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All About Me – Day 1- #Blogtober17

This month I am joining in on a blog challenge! Blogtober 2017. I will blog every day for a whole month! Today is Day 1 and the subject is “All About Me”.

So here goes!!

blogtober17, all about me

I am Lucie, a 38 year old mother of 3 and Wife to Ed! Married for 9 years… together for almost 16 years!!  We live in West Sussex. My beautiful children are Izzy, almost 15, Xavier is 11 and Fraser is 5 months old.

I am 2nd oldest of 4 girls! Yes! Three sisters! It was MURDER growing up haha! Mum & Dad have been married for 42 years.  Dad sadly has been diagnosed with Alzheimers so very tough times ahead for all of us. This makes me so so sad.

I started writing my blog 4 and a half years ago when I was going through struggles with the education system with Xavier who is Autistic. After two mainstream schools failed him he is now in the most amazing Special Needs School and thriving. I love writing. I really wish I had discovered Blogging sooner! There is the most amazing community of people that comes with the blogging world! So friendly and helpful. I have made lots of friends through this too and met some real lovely people.

 

Other things I love to do…. enter competitions! I have been a little slack lately but this has been my hobby for almost 12 years now! I have won some amazing prizes in that time. A trip to New York in 2007 and a trip to Dubai in 2012 are by far my two best ever wins! Just incredible! I have won so many lovely things that I have been able to gift to family and friends that I wouldn’t be able to afford. Cameras, mobiles, iPads, toys, vouchers, an american fridge freezer, microwave… the list really is endless. I also got the chance to meet David Beckham 7 years ago through competitions! A fellow comper won the chance but couldn’t go so let me go instead! I was beside myself. Very beautiful and very lovely man! Below is Ed and I in New York on our prize trip!

New York, competition, winner

I also love football!! My daughter does too! She played league football for 6 years but sadly at the end of last season her team folded so I am now lost on Sundays. I used to love watching her play. We are the football fans and the males in the house aren’t fussed! Not sure about Fraser yet! Hopefully he will be a footballer.

 

I love my family, I love to cook, I love reading books but I don’t seem to have the time to do that anymore. Same with drawing. I used to do a lot of that but don’t have spare time these days! Haha! The joys of motherhood! Something else I really enjoy is listening to music. I don’t do it often enough. It is so therapeutic.

 

all about me, blog challenge, family,

 

I will openly admit to suffering from Depression on and off for most of my adult life. I’m currently on a bit of a downwards spiral with Post Natal Depression but fighting it hard. Writing this blog helps me so much. Writing in general I find a massive help, it is a great release. It should be spoken about and not be a taboo subject.

 

So this is me! Mum, cook, cleaner, cuddler, wifey, daughter, sister, referee, taxi service, slightly crazy, life loving, blog writing Lucie!

 

#Blogtober17

 

 

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Two Birds with One Stone

Two Birds with one stone…. clear out the unwanted stuff and make some money doing so!

For AGES…. OK, years…. I have been meaning to have a good old clear out. I have so much clutter/junk/unwanted items laying around the house that is taking up valuable space.

I’ve been so far just sorting through the clothes that Fraser has grown out of! I cannot believe the amount of clothing this boy has!! It really is crazy! So many beautiful clothes! So many in fact that he probably only wore everything once! The mountains of newborn and 0-3 month clothes actually hid my dining table for a good week! Not started on the 3-6 months clothes yet! He is just about still in 6-9 months but some 9-12 month items fit him already! He will be  5 months old in a matter of days! He really is a chunky monkey!

I tried listing a few things on local Facebook selling pages but that didn’t go well at all! So I decided to give eBay a go.

 

So I signed up for an account and downloaded the app onto my phone. It actually was really straight forward. I got a handful of items together, took some pictures and got ready for listing.  When you first join eBay you are allowed to list 10 items per month, that is then reviewed once you have 10 positive feedback as a seller. It is a little annoying when you have enough clothes to fill a supermarket twice over but I do understand why they do it!

 

I listed my 10 items for 7 days and found it really really easy and quick to do. They give you an guide starting price on each listing which is really helpful so I went with their suggestion on all my listings. Once all ten listings were done and live I found myself slightly obsessively checking for watchers and bids!

Over the course of the 7 days of selling my first ten items, sales went really well. I used the Auction option rather than the Buy It Now option. I managed to sell 8 of those items listed. Fantastic!

ebay, selling, money,

 

I posted all my items off promptly once I had received payment for them. The app is great for this part too. It sends you a notification once someone had made payment.

So that is my total for successfully selling 8 items. I am so happy with that! There are so many things going on that we could do with extra money for at the moment. Oldest will be off to New York with school in Feb ’19, its also her 15th birthday 6 weeks before christmas! Then we have Christmas itself which is never cheap! Then a month after that is our middle childs 12th birthday. We really didn’t plan that well!! Haha! We are also saving for some home improvements so the perfect way to help is by clearing out unwanted goods and making space but more importantly is making money whilst doing so. Can’t wait to list my next lot. My house is going to be empty at this rate! What a wonderful thought?? A clutter free house!

 

 

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. [I have received a voucher as a token of thanks for this post].

 

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Hauck Roma Pushchair Review – Kiddies Kingdom

Excitingly, we were contacted by Kiddies Kingdom to ask if we would like to review a pushchair! How could we possibly say no?!

 

Obviously we already have a pram/pushchair that we bought just before Fraser was born, which we love but it is very bulky and heavy. The Hauck Roma that we have been asked to review is more of a stroller pushchair.

baby, travel

The pushchair comes boxed complete apart from the 2 front wheels and hood that need attaching. Both are incredibly simple to do. The front wheel spools have protectors on which easily pop off and the wheels just push on and then click when secure.

My first impressions when the Roma was taken out of the box was an immediate love for the kiwi and midnight colours. A really lovely combination.

The frame is lightweight compared to the pram/pushchair that I already have. Even with the weight difference it is very sturdy. It is also really easy to push. The front wheels have the option of being set to just forward or swivel.

This buggy folds down to a nice compact size and even has a handle to make it easy to carry! It’s so handy and I’m sure would fit in the boot of most cars! When folded there is a clip that holds it together in this position.

pushchair, lightweight

roma, hauck

Fraser was very intrigued when I sat him in his new wheels for the first time! He was looking around!

stroller, lightweight

The 5 point harness is fab and the clip to undo it is really easy to open (also comparing to my pushchair) but not too easy. Plus padding on the straps so they don’t rub against little ones neck. All straps are very easy to adjust as well.

baby, travel

Another handy feature of this pushchair is a nice sized, handy pocket on the back of the hood, great for chucking a spare dummy in or your purse for a walk to the shops.

brakes

The brakes on this buggy are so simple to use. You simply press down on the tab until it clicks against the wheels and this can be done from either side. Then reverse the process to release the brake.

folding down, compact

This tab that is central between the wheels at the back is a part of the folding down and opening process. So when you want to fold down the buggy you will lift this tab upwards, then there is a tab sticking out on the right hand side of the frame that you have to push down on and the whole thing will fold down. Then as before reverse the process when opening up the buggy and it will click into place when fully opened.

roma

handles

One of the things that did concern me was the handle height. Hubby is 6ft 4 and I am 5ft 11. I had visions of us being hunched over pushing this buggy but that is not the case at all. The handles are a perfect height. They are not adjustable but just perfect for us. They are foam covered so super comfortable to grip too.

recline

The toggle underneath the seat is how you adjust the seating position. Hold in the button in the toggle and pull down on the strap and push the toggle upwards for an upright seating position. Then you would need to press the button in and pull the toggle downwards to lay the seat flat. This is suitable from birth as it does lay completely flat. As you can also see from the picture that the shopping basket underneath is a fabulous size.

review, kiddies kingdom

Overall we really love this stroller. It is so handy, convenient, lightweight and looks great! The ONLY downside to it is that it doesn’t come with a rain cover which is a little annoying but they are cheap enough to buy.

 

Looking for some new wheels for your little one? There are great pushchairs for sale at Kiddies Kingdom!

 

We were sent this pushchair to review. All thoughts and opinion are honest and my own.

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Post Natal Meltdown

The meltdown has begun. I have been dreading this for a while. It has been slowly creeping up on me.

My head feels heavy. My chest feels like it is bearing the weight of 100 elephants.

I am fighting so hard to stop the tears from flowing. It is back.

I feel lost under a black cloud.

I feel alone even though I have people around me.The walls are closing in, I’m trapped.

My mind is not where I want it to be. It has been taken over by the negativity.

I don’t want this battle, I don’t have the energy to fight.

I’m tired, no exhausted and don’t have the strength to stand tall.

I am not me. Where did “me” go? I want her back. I have a responsibility. I need to get up and fight this with every ounce of my being.

How can I find this strength?  I admit defeat…. I need help! I need support. I need positivity.

My ability to focus has disappeared. Gone. Vanished into thin air.

This place is familiar and not a place I have fond memories of or a place I wanted to revisit.

I feel nauseous and dizzy. My brain is mush, there is so much… too much going on in there.

Just want to sleep. For a week! Want to hide under the security of my duvet. But I can’t.

I have lost myself. I need to find me, pamper me, treat me and be kind to me.

I am a very lucky mum to have 3 beautiful healthy children.

I am a very lucky wife to have such a supportive and loving husband.

But I’m still lost!! I’m drowning, drowning in the inability to control my emotions and feelings.

I hate this feeling so much. I hate that I can’t fight it. I hate that it is taking over.

My heart beats so hard it feels like it will rip through my chest. I have to take a deep breath. I have to calm down. It’s so hard. The anxiety is so hard.

I need to be ME again.

On a mission to find ME!

depression, sadness, anxiety, PND

 

 

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Christmas Gift Guide for Babies Under 1

My christmas gift guide is here for Babies under one year. Christmas is fast approaching so I thought I’d get super organised and compile a small list of gift ideas. It can be really tricky buying for babies but I have based this list on us buying for Fraser for his first Christmas.

 

Toys:

Toys I suppose are the obvious choice really but they have to be age appropriate so it does take some investigating. Now Fraser can sit up with support and now likes his Tummy Time so this Hungry Caterpillar Activity Toy is perfect to entertain him when he’s on his front or sitting/laying.

Suitable from birth, this toy from Born Gifted is fabulous. I am a HUGE fan of the Very Hungry Caterpillar anyway but it has so many ways to keep baby amused. I has velcro straps too so can be attached to pram/pushchair or cot. The Caterpillars feet and tentacles are made from material that makes a crinkle/crispy sound when touched or scrunched. Fraser particularly likes this bit. There are small hoops to grab underneath, a large hoop with beads that move about too. The material is bright in each section and has different textures.

 

It is so well made and beautifully embroidered. If you press the embroidered leaf it plays Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!

The clear globe in the middle spins around making a rattle sound with the tiny beads inside. Fraser loves his activity  caterpillar so it get a huge thumbs up from us!

Price £19.99

 

Books:

It is never too early to get your children into books! My older two kids adore books and I am hoping Fraser will too!

This book is awesome. It is hardback, although you can get paperback too. You can also have your childs face put on the front of the book as well as their name. I really love this idea! We opted for just the personalised text. It is so adorable. There are a number of titles you can have personalised on the website and lots of other items other than books too.

I love this message we could have printed inside the front cover. It is a lovely touch that can make this gift just that little bit more special.

book, personalised, christmas

The illustrations in this book are beautiful. Really cute characters and animals. I love everything about them from the backgrounds to the artwork. This beautifully made book from It’s Your Story is a perfect gift for baby. We definitely recommend this.

Price: From £15

 

Personalised Soft Toy/Teddy:

Who doesn’t love a teddy!?? This isn’t one I’d give Fraser to play with though, it’d be more of a keepsake I think but it is so cute! TIGGER!!!

tigger, disney, baby

 

tigger, christmas, baby

This isn’t just any old teddy though… Tigger has a special personalised scalloped tag hanging on his satin ribbon bow! Tigger comes carefully wrapped in tissue paper and presented in a lovely tulle drawstring bag. The teddy from Find Me A Gift, is approx 21cm in height and incredibly soft to touch. The personalisation on the disc is limited to 50 characters but you can have whatever message you like.

Price: £23.99

 

Money Boxes:

Baby may already have one but if not, I think a money box is lovely idea for a gift. This one from Find Me A Gift is really nice. It is glass on one side so you can actually see into your money box and see how many pennies you’ve got.

 

The My First Money Box has an animal picture on the back that you can also see through the glass front. Printed on the front glass panel is the words My First Money Box. It is wooden and painted in white. You can get to your money through the back, it has got four clips like a photo frame that you slide round and take the back panel off. Its really well made too and do other versions for grown ups!

Price: £19.99 but currently on sale at £12.99!

 

I really hope this has helped in giving you some ideas for gifts for Baby’s first Christmas. I cannot wait to spend our first Christmas as a family of FIVE! 

 

 

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WIN a Fisher Price Bright Beats Build a Beat Stacker Toy

 

We bring you yet another competition, this time is to win a Fisher Price Bright Beats Stacker Toy!

This toy is suitable from 6 Months to 3 years old.

 

This competition is to celebrate the fact I have just officially started my christmas shopping! Yes the C word, I do apologise! I just want to be prepared for a change and not have to leave it all to the last minute like I do every other year and get really stressed out! This year I WILL be organised! Have any of you started your shopping yet?

Fraser will be just under 8 months old when Christmas comes around. It is possible he will be crawling by then…. I have visions of the christmas tree being pulled over and finding baubles everywhere! Awww I cannot wait. Babys first Christmas! So exciting. Need to buy another Stocking so that Father Christmas can leave Fraser some goodies too along side his brother and sister! He can eat Christmas Dinner too by then! YAY

 

fisher price. music, lights, baby

Product Description:

Let’s boogie, baby. Your little one willow stacking our adorable boogie characters to hear upbeat music and see dancing lights in the base. Start out in stack a song mode. When baby pushes down on the base with any of the boogie buddies, your little one is rewarded with dancing lights, and instrumental songs. In build-a-beat mode. each time baby adds a boogie and presses down, they’ll be layering up cool sounds. Take musical fun to great heights with bright beats build -a-beat stacker!

build-a-beat stacker, toy, lights

 

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning this amazing toy is follow the steps in the widget below! Good Luck everyone!

 

Fisher Price Bright Beats Toy Giveaway

 

 

 

 

Product images and description courtesy of Amazon.

 

 

 

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Mum Vs Teething Baby! 5 Things You Need!

 

teething

Teething! Brace yourselves!!

Fraser is 19 weeks old now and most definitely teething! Drowning in dribble! Lots of grizzles. Rosy cheeks. A not so smiley Bubba! Well I have compiled a small list of things I recommend you have to hand when you have a teething Baby!!

 

1.  Toys to chew on!!

sophie la girafe

We have a Sophie the Giraffe teether toy which Fraser has taken a real shine to. He smiles when he sees her face! It is very cute! He has no qualms about shoving her head in his dribble filled face and chowing down! Its a great toy as it is easily washable and very durable. These are so popular and I can see why. We have a few other teething toys too, including fabric toys with chewable plastic sections for teething. Sophie is by far Frasers favourite though. Have PLENTY of teething toys available for baby. They can actually soothe the gums and gently help the teeth to break through when ready.

teething toy

2. Plenty of Bibs/ Muslin Cloths

Now when I was pregnant with Fraser I bought a packet of 3 Muslin cloths. Then I bought some more, then when he was born I got another pack! Muslin overload? Too much? God no! I am so glad I bought as many as I did especially as Fraser has colic and reflux! They have been an absolute saviour! I never used these with my older children but I could make do with just bibs for them as they were never sick! Come to think of it I don’t remember them dribbling as much as Fraser does either. Muslin cloths are a MUST have!! I have 2 in my changing bag at all times. Fraser does wear a bib some of the time but I do prefer Muslins. Dribble bibs are definitely good to have too. In fact I don’t think you could have too many of those either.

 

3. Spare Clothes

These you’d probably have with you anyway incase of a leaky nappy or poo explosion! Don’t you just love those?! Eww! Maybe pop in an extra set just incase. I have found Fraser has been soaking through bibs, then t-shirt/ sleep suit  and vest. Honestly I cannot emphasise enough how much dribble comes out of my child! Definitely pack extra, it is better to have too much than not enough!

teething baby

 

4. Teething Gel

Teething gel is another definite MUST have item! There are a few out there but we have found that Dentinox the most effective for Fraser. We actually used this with our other two children too. It can be reapplied if necessary every 20 minutes. Others which must be a bit stronger can only be applied every 3 hours. It must be so painful for them when those teeth are coming through. This gel definitely relieves a bit of the pain for our Bubba. I take it with us wherever we go. There are powders and granules too for teething, I’ve never used them personally as discovered the gel first and that works well for us.

teething gel

 

5. Nappy Rash Cream

Now I know this sounds like an odd one but Sudocrem is great if they get sore from dribble. Fraser manages to get dribble right underneath his chin. Right in a fold of chub. It can get really red and sore and I just put a bit of sudocrem on and it is right as rain! Sudocrem is magic cream to me! It can be used for so many different things and works wonders.  Again this is probably something you’d have with you most of the time anyway so it’s just an added bonus that it can help with soreness too.

 

What are your must-haves for a teething baby?

 

 

 

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Autism and the Summer Holidays

As the Summer Holidays draw to a close I’m taking a look back at how Xavier has found them.

 

beach, summer, brighton, autism

We haven’t done a huge amount these holidays to be honest. It’s really hard. Izzy prefers to be out and about doing things. She is old enough to do this with her friends now though. Xavier much prefers to be at home where there is an iPad and WiFi!! Its dreadful really… what do I do? Cut myself in half? I feel like I have really let the kids down this summer. We have had a few days out. Not as many as I’d have liked but at least we managed a few. We have spent a few days with family too which has been nice. Xavier has a fear of dogs and all of the family bar a couple of people have them now. My sister around the corner from us has one too but Xavier is getting better every time at coping with being around the dog. It’s so hard for him and I don’t force him into the situation but he does want to spend time with his cousins (especially on their birthdays) so he copes. Just.

One in particular to Brighton. We met up with a few friends and had an incredibly windy walk to the seafront. The kids loved playing on the beach. Xavier really didn’t want to go home. It has been tough because I also have a colicky/refluxy baby to consider now too so for the best part of the holidays we have been at home. He loves his baby brother so very much and is so good with him. Look at them together. I love this picture so much! You can tell they are brothers can’t you!

 

autism, brothers, siblings, summer, holidays

 

So as the end of the holidays have drawn closer, I have noticed that Xavier has become more edgy. He has been asked by various people if he is looking forward to going back to school? Looking forward to being a Secondary Student? He has always laughed and said Ewww No!!! He does love his school and although he is staying in the same building, he will be upstairs, will have a female teacher for the 1st time in years, there will be a couple of new people in his class, so there are NEW things going on. New things to get his head around. He is 95% a very placid boy. Over the last few weeks we have had a few mini meltdowns. For reasons sometimes unknown.

 

 

So tomorrow is D-Day! First day of Secondary education. I cannot believe how grown up Xavier is. He is so polite, well spoken and intelligent, it is like talking to an adult when conversing with him. I’m really proud of him for everything he has to deal with. It must be really hard for him. I’d love to spend a day inside his head. I bet it is manic in there!

 

A new school year begins, lets see what is in store! He has gone to bed as calm as you like this evening. I hope it will be like that in the morning…. I’ll let you know!

 

 

 

 

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What’s For Dinner? Slow Cooked Half Leg of Lamb

Who doesn’t love a roast dinner on a Sunday?

 

Slow cooked Lamb

Lamb is my absolute favourite. I don’t cook it very often as it is expensive but with a family of fairly fussy eaters this is something I can cook that everyone will eat. This is another simple recipe! It’s the rest of the roast dinner that seems to take all the hard work.

 

Ingredients needed:

Half a leg of lamb

1 teaspoon of Bisto Lamb Gravy granules

1 teaspoon of Mint Sauce

1 mug of boiling water.

 

 

So…. dust off that Slow Cooker. You need to put the lamb into the slow cooker. Boil the kettle and add one teaspoon of Bisto Lamb gravy granules and one teaspoon of mint sauce into a mug. Fill the mug to the top with boiling water and stir. Pour all over the lamb in the slow cooker and put the lid on.

 

 

Put on High for 4 hours or Low of 8 hours and turn half way through if possible. The lamb will be moist and falling off the bone when ready. It is so beautiful! Serve with all the favourite Roast dinner trimmings and your mouth will love you forever.  It is such an easy recipe and so delicious!

 

 

More recipes coming in the near future! Why not sign up to our newsletter so you don’t miss out!

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7 Reasons Why I Love Blogging

 

 

 

Four Years I have been blogging for! That’s crazy! Four whole years! I absolutely LOVE it!

Here’s why:

1. I have made some amazing friends through this incredible hobby. Really lovely people who will go out of their way to help you out! They aren’t just virtual/cyber friends either. I have actually met up with quite a few at blogging conferences. Spent a weekend with them and become good friends. I don’t live close enough to any bloggers to see them on a regular basis but that is the joy of the internet! We can speak daily!

2. I have been given amazing opportunities too for myself and my family. We were lucky enough to be asked to review a holiday with Eurocamp 3 years ago. I drove to France and it was the kids 1st holiday abroad! We had the most amazing time! Opportunities like that don’t come along very often but that meant a huge amount to us as we’ve only ever had 1 other holiday so to get the kids out of the country was incredible. Very grateful for that.

3. Community. The blogging community is something else! I have recently joined a couple of groups that have given me the fire back in my belly. They are so friendly and helpful and no matter how many questions I or anyone else ask, there is always someone around to answer or guide you in the right direction. I think I would be lost without these groups and really wish I had found them earlier.

4. It helps me and is a sort of release. I blog about pretty much everything. So if something is bothering me I like to write it down. Whether anyone actually reads it or not is another matter but I find it very cathartic. “A problem shared is a problem halved” as they say!

5. I love to write. Once I start I can’t stop and do probably waffle on a fair bit but I love it.  Knowing as well that people do read my posts and leave comments is a great feeling. I was actually Shortlisted as a finalist in the 2015 UK Blog Awards!!! Out of thousands and thousands of bloggers… little old me was shortlisted down to one in eleven finalists in the Most Innovative category. I was absolutely blown away. I will never forget that. I didn’t win but I didn’t even think I’d be shortlisted so I didn’t have a care in the world. I was on cloud nine!

6. It has given me confidence to write a book. I did write a short e-book back in 2014. It did ok but I am now looking at revising that and adding loads more to it and having it actually printed into real books! How exciting is that?! Without blogging I would never have had the confidence to do that. Watch this space! I rushed into it last time and am taking my time with this new one.

7.  I get to share my ups and downs with the world. My triumphs and falls. All the good and bad stuff. I write 99% of it here and hope that people can relate to it. Especially the Autism related things and the mental health posts. If someone can read a post of mine and take comfort from it knowing they aren’t alone, then I will be happy.