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Real posts

I am in no means a photographer and I don’t try to be. What I post on my Instagram is what you get and the pictures that you see here are real.

I don’t have the time to take marvellous photographs of me and or Kory on an expensive camera, I’ve got to grab whatever shot I can with my iPhone before he’s on the move again and make do with that! But I think that just adds to the realness of my blog. It might not look as professional as some of the other mummy blogs (cudos to you for being able to take flawless photos of your children and/or life) but I think it makes mine authentic and that’s what I’m going for.

Crap quality photos do irrate me on my grid and even on here so I do try to take ones that are as nice as I possibly can with what I have but my shots still don’t compare to that of others, their grids look immaculate and I’m okay with that.

When I started this blog I said I wanted to be honest, honest about parenting, honest about my life and that doesn’t include making my life look like it’s something out of a magazine and sharing just that online. Because for one, my life really isn’t perfect at all and for two, I think people can appreciate realness. In fact I think it’s important that people are real online instead of just sharing the ‘perfect’ moments. I want other parents to know that parenting isn’t always easy and that they’re not the only ones to feel that way. Maybe if more of us were honest about parenting and spoke openly about the struggles that come with it then there would be a whole lot less mum guilt. Not that it’s anyone else’s responsibility how I feel as a mother but I have to admit, I have compared myself to other parents that I see online, parents who seem to have it all together and come away feeling a bit rubbish about myself and I know I shouldn’t, no-one really knows what goes on behind Instagram because some people only choose to share with the world what they want you to see but it’s so easy to look at their seemingly perfect life and compare it to your own. So if your life really is as flawless as it looks online then I’m happy for you! But mine certainly isn’t and I’m not afraid to share and discuss those less insta-worthy moments. Especially if it means I will be helping another mum or dad feel a little better about their own parenting at the same time.

So no my grid isn’t perfect, my blog isn’t perfect, my life isn’t perfect, I’m not even perfect but this little guy is.

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Balmond’s Skincare review

After hearing so many positive things about Balmonds Skincare I was so pleased when they agreed to send me some of their products to try. I was very kindly sent a package in the post filled with lots of their different products and I have to say I am really impressed.

Having never used Balmonds products before I was very eager to try them out. So let’s get started with my review:

Since becoming pregnant I noticed that my skin had become very dry and quite sensitive. The Skin Salvation ointment has been great for nourishing my skin and because it is 100% natural like most Balmonds Skincare products I can use it without having to worry about having any reactions, irritations or itchiness. This rich, oil-based ointment made with bees wax can be used by all ages (from 6 weeks old) and on all skin types all over the body to moisturise dry skin. It is suitable for those who suffer with eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis (like myself) and any other dry skin complaints. Prices for this Balmonds product start from £7.99 but the ointment honestly goes a long way as only a small amount is needed when used.

The Balmonds Rosehip Scar Oil smells lovely. This was the product that I was most excited to try out. Since receiving the Scar Oil I have been using it on my stretch marks that are on my thighs and it has definitely nourished my skin and helped with the appearance of them. The Rosehip Scar Oil from the Balmonds range retails from £18.99 which may sound expensive but I think this product is definitely worth the money as I only use 2-3 drops of the oil with each use so I think this product will last me quite some time.

This Daily Moisturising Cream from the Balmonds Skincare range is made with all natural products and because it has been made with lighter Shea butter smells absolutely divine and leaves your skin feeling so soft and smooth. This light moisturiser is suitable for any age and is suitable for anyone who suffers with any dry skin complaints. This product retails from £13.99.

The Balmonds Bath and Body Oil is very versatile and can be used for multiple uses. You can use it as a shaving oil, massage oil, after a bath or shower to lock in moisture or even as a facial cleansing oil. This product is made from a unique blend of naturally nourishing oils, is suitable for all skin types from 6 weeks of age and because it is 100% natural can be used anywhere on the body. The Bath and Body Oil can be purchased from £12.99.

I think the Balmonds Skincare bottles although aren’t the cheapest skincare products on the market are all a decent size and are definitely worth the money. The products are very good quality, they are safe to use and are quite versatile. I think that makes them money well spent!

(Review to follow on the Chamomile Baby Oil once I have tried it out on Baby K.)

(Review to follow on the Baby Balm once I have tried it out on Baby K.)

I feel very lucky to have been able to test and review these products from the Balmonds Skincare range. I particularly like that all of the Balmonds products are all entirely natural and I would recommend these products to anyone who suffers with dry or irritated skin. All of these products can be found on the Balmonds website.

Thank you for reading my review, I hope you enjoyed it. Please let me know what your views are on the Balmonds Skincare range!

* Please note, I recieved these products in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own. *

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F%ck what other people think

Yesterday was a bit of a rollercoaster. It started off sh!t, then turned out to be pretty good and then went sh!t again.

Kory woke at about 6:30am and wouldn’t go back to sleep so we had an early start to the day which when you’ve got a 2 year old that doesn’t nap no matter how tired they are it’s never fun and so I already knew I was going to be in for a l-o-n-g day ahead. After getting up so early, I was feeling pretty tired myself after numerous bathroom trips throughout the night and could have done without such an early wake up call so felt like I couldn’t be bothered doing anything. All I wanted to do was sit and close my eyes which obviously wasn’t going to happen so I got myself and Kory dressed and then we headed out.

I took Kory to the cafe for some dinner, it was really nice and Kory was really well behaved. So much so that he even got treated to an ice cream afterwards for eating all of his dinner and for sitting so nicely. After that I took him out for a walk on his bike and then to a local play group that was on. It was good fun! I actually thought to myself ‘what a good day this is turning out to be’ but I must have spoken too soon because it’s after this point where it all started to go wrong…

Kory was asking me over and over if he could go to his Nan’s house, I wanted to just take him home because I could tell he was already tired but I ended up giving in and taking him to her house anyway. After he’d been so good, I didn’t want to tell him that he wasn’t allowed to go and see her.

But once we got there Kory just started to misbehave right away. I feel like he acts up more if we’re around other people or when we are somewhere else, I think he thinks I won’t tell him off the same and he’s not wrong. I won’t, well, can’t. At home whenever Kory misbehaves he gets sent to his bedroom until he calms down or until he says sorry because that’s what works for us but that isn’t possible if we’re not at home and I think he’s figured this out.

It’s hard being pregnant and dealing with toddler tantrums but that’s not what upset me most yesterday. What got to me was the comments that were made about Kory and my parenting. I came away feeling really bad about myself and about Kory’s behaviour as if I wasn’t being made to feel sh!t enough already by my 2 year old. When we got home, I bathed Kory and put him straight to bed and then I just cried. In fact I don’t think I even slept last night, I was up all night upset. Even though I know that my child is just like any other 2 year old, I still take other people’s comments to heart, probably more than I should but even though I have nothing to feel guilty for, Kory was the one being unreasonable and I was the one trying to deal with it the best way that I could I still spent the rest of the night feeling like a rubbish mum. And that’s when it dawned on me that this is how mothers are sometimes made to feel simply by other people’s ignorance and words and I don’t think any parent should be made to feel how I was made to feel yesterday and a million times before that.

Because let’s be honest, the judgement starts way before your child is even here. I’m currently expecting baby number 2 and I’ve already been judged for ‘doing too much’ or ‘doing too little.’

So I thought I’d write this blog post as a message to myself and to other mums and dads because I’m fed up of people passing judgement. I am the one who looks after my child every single day, I am the one who gets up with him in the night and gets up with him first thing in the morning. I’m the one that dresses him, cleans him, feeds him, plays with him, looks after him when he’s sick, learns him new things and teaches him right from wrong and I may not always get it right, I make mistakes too, Kory is no angel but i’m damn well proud of him. When he’s not smacking and snatching toys (because that’s what 2 year olds do sometimes!) he’s kind and caring, very loving and thoughtful, he’s so bright and clever and he makes me smile every single day. No one other than me looks after Kory, no one sees this other side to him, no one knows just how much of a good boy he actually is so it is so easy for others to make assumptions and to judge both me and him when they haven’t a clue because they don’t have to do what I do and they’ve probably forgot what it’s like having a 2 year old. It must be so easy for them to judge after they’ve had a full nights sleep and an uninterrupted meal or bathroom trip and assume they could do a better job than I can. So to those people I say that maybe they should take a walk in my shoes for a day and see just how easy parenting is then.

And do you know what else? I’m proud of myself too because all that Kory is, is because of my parenting. So even when he’s acting up, I’m proud of myself for how I handle it. I don’t need to raise a hand to my child to get him to listen, I don’t even need to raise my voice sometimes. Kory knows when he’s done something wrong and he will say sorry when he’s calmed down. At the end of the day he is 2 years old! He’s got a lot of learning to do and he’s gonna get it wrong sometimes just like you and I. So don’t compare me to other parents and what they might do, how they raise their child is up to them, that’s their parenting journey and no parent is better than anyone else. We all know just how hard parenting can be.

So just like how you might not agree with how my son behaves, I don’t agree with your comments. I don’t think it’s fair to say to a mum that they should act more like such a person because they are strict where as you give in.

WRONG. I don’t give in, when I say no I stand my ground and I mean no and Kory knows that. I would say that I am more laid back in some aspects like when it comes to Kory getting muddy, running around the garden with no pants on, eating treats and screen time but that’s because I feel like there are bigger things to worry about than my child having some chocolate and I honestly don’t think those things that I allow are gonna harm him in the long run. I’m letting him be a kid! I’d rather save my energy for the bigger issues, like the smacking and the being cheeky which I address every time.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, that is absolutely fine but before you voice your opinion maybe you should ask yourself:

‘Is what I’m going to say helpful?’

‘Is this my child?’

‘ Has my opinion been asked for?’

If the answer is no then you should probably just shut up.

Some children have conditions, mental or physical conditions and perhaps this affects their behaviour. Or in most cases (like my own) they’re simply being a child. Maybe they’re hungry, tired or they just feel like having a tantrum. Sometimes parents make choices for reasons that you as an outsider don’t have to understand.

So to fellow mums and dads that have been judged themselves, I just want you to know that we’re all doing the best we can and we’re still all gonna make mistakes and that other people passing judgement NEVER HELPS so you should do what i’m gonna start doing and f%ck what other people think.

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If you haven’t heard of this term already, ‘nesting’ during pregnancy is when you have the overwhelming desire to clean and organise your home to get it ready for your new baby. Is it possible that at 30 weeks pregnant I could be nesting already?!

Actually knowing me it probably is! It’s no secret that my babies have been known to make early appearances…

I know that I have been told to take it easy by everyone but I literally haven’t stopped cleaning the house. I just can’t help it! I’m actually aching from how much cleaning I’ve been doing; I’ve sorted through all the cupboards in the kitchen, I’ve decluttered every room in the house and I’ve cleaned high and low. I lay awake at night thinking about how I’m going to decorate the house for goodness sake! I feel like I’m going crazy but something is telling me that I will feel more content once it is all done.

So I guess you could say that I am nesting.

With Kory being our first baby it came as a total shock to us when he was born 6 weeks earlier than expected and we wasn’t prepared for his arrival at all. Our family was so helpful when it came to helping us get everything ready for him but at the same time it was stressful feeling so out of control and an already upsetting situation to be in was made more difficult by the added worry of trying to get everything completed before it was time for Kory to come home. Because of this it’s really important to me that our home is ready this time round so that there’s nothing that needs to be done once baby K is here, so that the adjustment to becoming a big brother for Kory can be made as smooth as possible and so that we can just enjoy our new family life as a family of four without having to worry about anything else.

Also I’ve got an obsession with bubbles at the minute. Yes bubbles. I had the same obsession towards the end of my pregnancy with Kory as well. I can’t explain it, all I know is that I want to squeeze warm, soapy bubbles in my hands.

I think it’s safe to say that I am either nesting or that I have gone crazy.

Was you/are you in full blown nesting mode? Let me know!

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What started off as a pretty crappy day yesterday actually turned out to be a really lovely day.

Yesterday morning Kory had already had about 100 meltdowns before 9:00am. He’d been playing at my mums house the night before and so had a bit of a later than usual bedtime that night and despite this still got up at the crack of dawn the next morning. (That’s why you have a bedtime, kiddo!) So I already knew what I was going to be in for… Kory, like me, is such a grouch when he’s not had enough sleep.

I was dreading being stuck at home with him all day why he climbed the walls to say the least so when my Nan rang and asked did me and Kory want to go to Cleveleys for the day with her and my grandad I eagerly said yes!! And to my surprise once we were there Kory was actually really well behaved too despite still being tired.

In Cleveleys the weather was nice and sunny, we had a walk around and a look in the shops, Kory played in the arcade and we stopped off at a café at dinner time for some fish and chips and a slice of cake! My mum and Nan spoilt Kory AGAIN as per usual because apparently that’s what nans do which obviously Kory was completely fine with and I even treated myself to some new tops for summer.

So I’d say we had a pretty good day. I was glad we got out of the house.

Isn’t it nice when your day totally changes around? So that was our Saturday, did you get up to anything nice yesterday?

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And just like that, I’ve turned 25 years old

Yesterday was my birthday. And just like that, I’ve turned 25 years old.

I don’t know where the time has gone. I feel like since becoming a mum birthdays come around a lot quicker. I see that Kory is growing up so fast but without realising it, that means so am I. Another year has gone by, I’m a year older which means Kory is also going to be another year older soon and it’s actually quite scary.

I wish time would slow down!

I became a mum at 22 years old and I feel like in that time, I’ve changed as a person, I’m not the same person that I was then. Becoming a parent does change you massively, I can’t even tell you how much. Being a parent has made me grow, i’ve matured in many ways. I don’t look at the world around me the same, I see things differently. I see everything through the eyes of a mum if you will. But at the same time I feel like for a 25 year old, I haven’t accomplished a great deal in my life. I haven’t done anything with my education, I don’t have a career, or money, my own house or a lot to show for myself but I do have an amazing partner, a beautiful little boy, a baby girl on the way and a lovely home, all that I am so grateful for. That is more than enough for me but birthdays just seem to remind me of what I haven’t yet accomplished in life and I think I end up giving myself a hard time.

Yesterday I didn’t really feel like celebrating much. Birthdays for some people are a time to be happy and to celebrate but without sounding selfish, I didn’t feel much like celebrating. With each birthday that passes and each year that I get older, it just makes me sad.

This blog post is sounding a lot more depressing than I meant for it to! LOL

I know that being 25 years old isn’t old but I didn’t want to celebrate being yet another year older. I didn’t want a party with big balloons and a cake, in fact I just wanted the day to be over with but at the same time, I was gutted when my partner couldn’t get the day off work, the house was a mess and Kory was choosing to act up which meant my birthday just felt like any other day of the week and it left me feeling a bit deflated. So I can’t win!

Once my partner came home from work, I did start to feel a little better then. And after looking at all of my birthday cards on the fireplace and the gifts I’d received, I did realise that I am more fortunate than I realise and that I’m probably just being a bit silly. I got lots of beautiful cards from family and friends, lots of people online and in person wished me happy birthday, I got bought some beautiful gifts and I even got some money too. I feel very lucky.

So that was my 25th birthday! I may not have gone anywhere or done anything in particular but nevertheless I am now another year older whether I want to be or not. I am no wiser but I am trying to be a more positive person. I’m not worrying about my next birthday and what I have yet to do with my life, instead I’m just gonna enjoy my life for what it is now and be happy with my family.

Thanks for reading.

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Fairy Snuggly Soft Fabric Softener review

Fairy is my favourite fabric softener to use on Kory’s clothes and has been from him being a newborn, it always leaves them feeling so soft and smelling so fresh so when I was offered the chance to try out the new Fairy Snuggly Fabric Softener to test and review as part of the Emma’s Diary Parent Squad I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to share my thoughts on what I think is a fantastic product.

Since receiving the Fairy Softener that I was gifted I have washed all baby K’s vests, baby grows and clothes using it and as expected all of her clothes came out of the washing machine smelling amazing and once dried felt just how clean washing should feel. Soft and Snuggly. Ready for me to fold and put away and perfect for my little girl to wear once she has arrived.

Fairy believes that the most delicate skin deserves the best that is why Fairy Snuggly Soft Fabric Softener is dermatologically tested. Which leaves me feeling comfortable washing my children’s clothes using Fairy knowing that it will be kind to their sensitive skin and leave their clothes feeling snuggly soft.

Thank you for reading my review on the Fairy Snuggly Soft Fabric Softener. Do you use Fairy when washing your family’s clothes? Let me know what your views are on this product in the comments section.

* Please note, I recieved this product in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own. *

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Why we co-sleep

Co-sleeping is definitely not for everybody. But we do and I want to share with you why.

When Kory was a small baby it wasn’t for us either, I was far too frightened to share my bed with him after hearing so much about SIDS. It was only as he got older that he started to co-sleep with us and we have no problem with it. Kory climbs into our bed with us in the middle of the night and sleeps much better knowing that we are right next to him and I sleep better knowing that he is okay.

My main reason for choosing to talk about our own co-sleeping arrangements is because often co-sleeping is frowned upon or more so, ‘shamed’ and I want to let other parents know that whether they choose to co-sleep or whether it just happens to happen to them (like it does with us!) that they are not crazy for sharing a bed with their child and to try and normalise it.

Often people who co-sleep get asked questions such as:

How are you able to sleep well with your child wriggling next to you?

This may come as a surprise but I actually sleep better when Kory is next to me. He sleeps through the night and has done from being 12 weeks old but if he did wake for a drink or from a bad dream which happens more than you think then I’m already right there next to him, neither of us have to fully wake up and I don’t have to get up out of bed to go into his room.

Don’t you worry about rolling over?

As I said earlier, when Kory was a small baby we never co-slept with him, in fact I was actually quite adamant that I didn’t want to and insisted on him sleeping in his own moses basket/cot due to fear of sharing a bed with him and rolling over onto him. It’s only been as he’s got older than he climbs into bed with us and rather than having to get up and put him back into his own bed, we let him stay. we don’t worry about rolling over onto him, it may sound strange but even when I’m asleep I’m still conscious and aware of what’s going on around me. Since becoming a mum I am such a light sleeper. Lots of people are against co-sleeping with children for safety reasons but what could be safer than having your child that close to you?

Who sleeps next to who?

I sleep next to my partner and when Kory climbs into bed with us in the middle of the night he sleeps between us both and although Kory is a real starfish sleeper, I love to cuddle him.

Doesn’t he fall out of bed?

Well he can’t fall out of our bed as he sleeps in the middle between me and my partner and before joining us he doesn’t fall out of his own single bed when he sleeps by himself either.

What is your bedtime routine?

Kory is allowed to go on his iPad up until tea time, after we’ve had our tea I don’t allow him to go on his iPad because it keeps him awake. We usually have tea around 4:30pm-5:00pm, then it’s play time, bath, pyjamas and bed for 7:00pm. I read Kory a bedtime story and he’s asleep for 7:30pm.

Are there any cons to co-sleeping?

Yes, I’m not gonna lie co-sleeping has its pros and its cons. One con would be that if me and Rory are cuddling in our sleep it can get interrupted but I also get a different type of intimacy from co-sleeping with Kory, when I sleep next to him I feel close to him and knowing that allowing him to share our bed is comforting to him feels good. So it’s sort of a trade but we know that it isn’t going to last forever. Kids aren’t small for long and it just means we have to work a little harder to make sure our relationship doesn’t suffer – which it doesn’t.

How long will your child want to co-sleep for?

Usually until they are ready to sleep through the entire night by themselves. Kory has a lovely bedroom that he loves spending time in and he goes to bed no problem but he must just wake in night and want to be near us. I’m not worried at all that I’m going to end up sharing my bed with my partner and our son when he’s 15. That’s not gonna happen LOL.

What do you think about co-sleeping? Would you co-sleep? Do you co-sleep? Let me know!

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Happy Father’s Day

I would like to wish a very special Father’s Day to the most incredible man who I am so lucky to call my partner and daddy to our children. We are blessed to have someone as kind, thoughtful and as caring as you in our lives.

Rory, up until having a child of our own together, I’d never really had a reason to celebrate Father’s Day before so I want to try to make all of yours as special as I can. You are an amazing dad to Kory, you would do absolutely anything and everything for either of us and for that you deserve to enjoy your day.

But I don’t just want you to know how special you are today, I want you to know how much we appreciate you every day.

I honestly don’t know how my life would have turned out had I not met you, you have given me two beautiful children and in that time I have watched you grow as a dad and bond with Kory and I am so excited to watch you do it all over again with baby K. I feel beyond fortunate, I love our little family and the lives we have created for ourselves. We have been through so much together and it hasn’t always been easy but I am so proud of you and you should be too.

I guess what I’m just trying to say is Happy Father’s Day, Rory. But I worry that I simply can’t put into words how much you truly mean to us and that there is no amount of actions that would ever be enough to thank you for everything you do and continue to do for us. We want to thank you for being the best daddy and we want to thank you for all of your love, care and hard work but above everything we just want to thank you for being you.

We love you!

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Dads don’t get enough credit

You could argue that us mums have the hardest and most responsible role to take on throughout the pregnancy, birth and even afterwards and we deserve all the support we can get but who supports dads?

If recent events have taught me anything it’s that dads do not get enough credit where it’s due or support. My partner is an amazing person and an amazing father. He works so hard to support us financially and he supported me tremendously through our most recent ordeal. What we went though was in no way any easier for him but unlike me, he didn’t receive any messages of support, no-one checked in on him, no-one asked if he was okay, all the attention seemed to be on myself and the baby and yet despite all of this and how hard it must have been for him as well, he remained strong for me and he did so without any support.

Up until writing this blog post, I hadn’t really given this any thought before.

So to my partner who is always there for me no matter what, who never lets me down or face anything by myself, I see you. And I see all of the other amazing fathers and husbands too. I see that you’ve tidied the house every morning before work while I’ve been on bed rest, I see that you’ve made me breakfast and even dinner and put it in the fridge for me, I see that you took Kory downstairs for me so that I could sleep in, I see that you have played with him and kept him busy when he was getting a bit fussy, I see that despite working hard you have come home and made tea for us, I see that you’ve run me a bath and ordered me to relax, I see how you try to make me laugh when I don’t even feel like smiling, I see the way you see me, how my body and even I as a person have changed but I’ve never doubted that you love me, I see the way you love me and take care of me when I have carried our children and how you would do absolutely anything for us and above everything I see how committed you are to supporting your family and the pain you experienced too after everything we’ve been through.

While not every father is deserving of praise, not let’s forget to give recognition to those ones that are. Let’s not forget to empower fathers too the way that mothers are encouraged to empower each other.

To my partner, I don’t know how I would have got through any of this without you. Thank you for always being by my side.

I see you and everything that you do even if other people don’t.