The Results Are In...

Just had the email with my exam results...










I PASSED!


I'm so happy, and pleased with myself!
I got a Grade 2 pass.

Although I was shaking clicking through the website ;-)

Keeping Your Children Warm this Winter

Keeping Your Children Warm this Winter
A guest post from Galt Toys
 
While it is proven that we cannot catch a cold from being cold, getting too cold is unpleasant and means our body has to fight harder to keep itself functioning normally, and so we may be more susceptible to catching viruses such as the common cold, flu or something worse. Children have weaker immune systems than adults, and we parents know how important it is to keep them snuggly warm. In this post, Galt Toys offers some great tips for keeping your child this winter!

Out and About
For babies, prams offer a large amount of protection from the elements, but warm layered clothing, blankets and a rain cover are essential for keeping them snug and protecting from cold winds and rain. Snowsuits are fabulous, but keep an eye to make sure your child doesn’t get too warm, and remove or undo it if going indoors.

Toddlers who are finding their feet or who are becoming increasingly confident on their feet should have warm sturdy footwear, or wellies with thick socks to protect their little tootsies. Vests, t-shirts, hoodies, coats and snowsuits are essential (although not all at once) and can be layered accordingly.

Older children need a warm outer coat, and perhaps thermal underwear for the coldest days. All children should also have a hat, as most heat escapes from the top of their head, as well as gloves and a scarf if necessary.

Around the house
While we are all conscious to keep our homes warm, it is important to keep a child’s bedroom warm. Stay away from portable heaters and electric blankets where possible, as these can be dangerous to younger children (although less dangerous to teenagers as long as electric blankets are turned off!).

Instead, add extra sheets or a warmer quilt and lined curtains to keep the heat in that is already there. Warm pyjamas with long legs and sleeves are your best bet, and bed socks may be necessary if you have a child prone to discarding bedding during the night. Babies might benefit from a sleeping bag to prevent them losing their covers and becoming cold.

Attend to other cold problems around the house, such as draughts and cold windows by using excluders or heavy curtains. A door curtain for the front door may be useful in older properties or those without double glazing.

Bedtime routine
If your child is a little older, warm broths, hot meals and hot drinks at bedtime are excellent ways to warm your child from the inside. Look for healthy recipes online for some inspiration. A warm bath before climbing into warm pyjamas will also help them to get all snuggly ready for bed.

A warm child will be healthier, happier, and may even sleep better! Do you have any fab tips on keeping your child warm this winter?

Reasons to be Cheerful

For more information on what Reasons to Be Cheerful (#R2BC) is all about please check out this post from Michelle at Mummy from the Heart for a full description.

This week's Reasons to be Cheerful: 
  1. My exam (and therefore my course) is over! I'm glad to see the back of it. I really struggled with it as there was a lot of information to take in and remember, not good when Anti D's and mental health problems mess with my motivation, concentration, and memory! 
  2. My new course started last Saturday, I'm yet to start properly as I need to just let my head stop feeling like it is going to explode, but it's creative writing, so something I enjoy.
  3. After the really stressful day on Tuesday my exam (I'm confident with one question! :-0 but its worth 30%), Little Lady gave me a proud mummy moment and walked all the way across the room. She has been standing and taking 2 or 3 steps for a few weeks so it has been coming for a while, but it was like she new I needed it! Aren't kiddos amazing?
  4. I had a break from the revision to link up with Wendy at Handmade Harbour for her Midweek Papercraft Party, I did a very basic Halloween card / invite, but it was a great distraction from the stress. I'm hoping to join up with this week's theme of Men and boys
  5. Speaking of Halloween, have you seen the Alex and Alexa Blogger competition? I have blogged details here
  6. Because of my exam and revision, Daddy had booked a week off. I like to say we had some lovely family time, but we didn't really, I was too busy. Little Lady has enjoyed spending lots of time with him though. Hopefully, we will do something as a family, or even just as a couple, soon.
  7. I am planning a few Christmas posts at the moment, mainly crafty and gift inspired.
  8. I put on a LOT of weight this week. I know that isn't a reason to be cheerful and I certainly wasn't. I expected a bit of a gain due to Daddy cooking and me snacking on sandwiches etc. due to lack of time. But it did mean I had a bottle of Rioja and some chocolate! lol Onwards and upwards, I'm back to eating normally again.
So over to you, what are your reasons to be cheerful?

Alex and Alexa Spooky Fruit Blogger Competition

Making a pumpkin for Halloween?
Seriously, that's so last year!

Spooky Fruit is the new (orange and) black.


AlexandAlexa.com are running a Spooky Fruits competition for Blogger's to win a host of Halloween goodies.

There are 3 prizes to win.

Everything you need for a truly terrifying Halloween with the kids.
  • A cutely, creepy knitted toy from Lucky Boy Sunday
  • Two Halloween kids’ costumes from Lucy Locket
  • Two fabulous Lego storage heads for Halloween candy
  • A selection of beautiful Halloween party supplies for kids from Meri Meri
  • A set of cute Halloween figurines by wooden toy suppliers Le Toy Van
(Total value £223)
We will also feature the winning spooky fruit creation on the AlexandAlexa, Life & Style.


  • Two Lucy Locket Halloween Costumes
  • Halloween party supplies from Meri Meri
  • Le Toy Van Halloween toys
(Total value £118)


  • Halloween party supplies from Meri Meri
  • Le Toy Van Halloween toys
(Total value £58)

Great prizes, right? So how do we get involved?
  1. Create a spooky fruit creation and share on your blog.
  2. Include a link to the competition page here.
  3. Tweet or email your entry to AlexandAlexa.com via @AlexandAlexa or social@alexandalexa.com
  4. Closing Date: midnight (GMT) 24th October 2013.
Full T&C's on competition page: http://lifeandstyle.alexandalexa.com/halloween-party-supplies-for-kids/ 

Halloween Card / Invite

Having (finally) linked up with Wendy at Handmade Harbour for Midweek Papercraft Party last week with my cheap weight loss tracker, I won! Woo Hoo!

This week's theme is Halloween.

So here's my entry:

I'm taking a quick craft break from studying, so it's a bit basic this week. 

I looked on Google for free Halloween scrapbook paper for ideas. I have used freedigitalscrapbooking.com before, so I looked there and found a really cute purple ghost one, from here.

Cute, right?
I printed it slightly smaller that A5, I trimmed using my cheap little cutter, I cannot cut straight!


I then glued to an A5 piece of purple card. I'm designing this as a card cum invite, but you could just use a piece of A4 folded in half for a card.

I created a banner using Word and Bleeding Cowboy font, saying Happy Halloween.
I printed and cut out, layering on top, although to be honest, I could have printed over scrapbook paper, but I liked the mix of purples.

I created a Mummy. I make a body shape in card, then covered it in strips of tissue paper bandages.
 


Next I created Daddy, (can you see where I'm going with this...?). I found a google image of a skeleton. I was going to use Mr Printable's Bag of Bones tag idea for create a skeleton, but couldn't find brads.



For Little Monster, I used a digital stamp - friendly Halloween trick or treat monster - from Handmade Harbour shop. I coloured him in using pencils, before cutting him out, and accidentally breaking his arm off. Oops!




I added my people to the card, labbelled them and added 'Come join us...'.




I think Mummy might have worked better as a print out, it's rough but you get the idea! :-)



Reasons to be Cheerful

For more information on what Reasons to Be Cheerful (#R2BC) is all about please check out this post from Michelle at Mummy from the Heart for a full description.

This week's Reasons to be Cheerful: 
  1. My exam is on Tuesday and I'm really struggling, so will be glad to see the back of it!
  2. Although I would have preferred a break, my new course starts today, it's advanced writing and I'm glad to get back to something I'm good at!
  3. I lost another 2lbs this week at Slimming World. Expecting a bad week this week as I am using every spare minute to revise, so cooking and having breaks isn't really on the agenda...
  4. I had a fabulous night with my best friend on Wednesday, even if it did mean wandering the streets in the rain and contemplating a break in! lol
  5. Little Lady is doing well, although I suspect she's having a growth spurt or coming down with something as she's really tired, she not giving in though which is making her (and mummy) cranky.
  6. I've found some crafty things I want to make for Christmas presents. One involves using Kiki's old clothes I haven't got around to ebaying, so watch out for some crafty posts (when I find the time).
  7. I entered the weight loss tracker I made for myself and friend into Handmade Harbour's paper craft party, and won! Check out my shiny winner's badge on the right side bar :-)
  8. I continued with my group and felt a bit more comfortable this week, it really helps me that other are going through the same thing if you know what I mean, obviously I'd rather nobody ever suffered mental health difficulties.
So over to you, what have you been up to this week? 
What are your reasons to be cheerful? Do let me know.

Reasons to be Cheerful

For more information on what Reasons to Be Cheerful (#R2BC) is all about please check out this post from Michelle at Mummy from the Heart for a full description.

This week's Reasons to be Cheerful: 
  1. Little Lady is settling in well with the childminder. I really like the childminder too, instantly made me feel at ease.
  2. I have made a start on revision for my OU exam, which is good as I only have 11 days left!
  3. I lost another 3lb at Slimming World. So I have now lost my first stone, well actually 16lbs so far :) Only another 8lbs to my 10% loss goal.
  4. On Friday, I attended a Introduction to Group work meeting at Leeds Mind. I was so anxious the night before and felt so sick, and did my usual trick of babbling away ******** to cover my nerves! But I survived. I think it helps that everyone understands and shares mental health issues. I started the group meetings on Tuesday, and again fought through the anxiety to get there, but felt it helped once there.
  5. Both me and Kiki have had cold this week; for Little Lady this meant she struggled to sleep as she couldn't breathe well; for me, I just feel shocking, tired, aching, etc. I have ended up with painful ribs too, I suspect through coughing. I fought through the urge to just stuff my face with chocolate. I did mention I'm a comfort eater, right? So I'm feeling proud of myself for that.
  6. Even with my cold crappiness, I have managed to keep exercising. Not as much, I have had two days off though.
  7. I gave my friend her weight loss tracker to keep her motivated at Slimming World and she loved it. 
  8. I'm still trying to organise my crafty corner, and have started scanning all my patterns and 'how to's'.
 So over to you, what have you been up to this week? What are your reasons to be cheerful? Do let me know.

Cheap Weight Loss Tracker Craft

Whilst browsing on eBay recently, I came across Weight Loss Journey mini chalkboards.


 Now I liked the idea by handmadebyzoe2012 but at £8.50 including postage, it seemed a little expensive. So I did what any crafter does in these situations, I look to see how much it would be to buy the component pieces and made my own.

 Firstly,  I bought 2 MDF plaques with 3 hearts each, for a total of £4.95, figured I'd make one for my friend who is currently joining me a Slimming World. I bought mine pre-cut from agilisltd on eBay.


Agilis crafts & Personalised Gifts do various shapes and sizes, check them out here.

I also bought some chalkboard paint, again from eBay. I chose spray paint as I figured it would be easier to get a smoother surface.
I purchased this from gr8value2you. I actually bought two because I have an idea for the other... 
It was £5.10 including postage.  

 Both sellers dispatched orders next day, so I received with a few days, very happy and will use both again.

I decided to spray the plaques as well as the heart, I thought I could add an inspirational message maybe. Or just write the heart details, This Week, Total, To target.

*hint* lay it on greaseproof paper when spraying, it's easier to clean and doesn't stick.



 I applied 3 coats of chalkboard paint, letting each layer dry for about 30 minutes.

Once dried, I didn't spray the back as they are to be hung up, but you could, I choose some ribbon to attach the hearts. After playing around with lengths, I cut and tied it.
I wrote lbs on to the 6 hearts, 3 for each.

I decided to add cupcakes as the design. I used a free digi stamp from Wendy at Handmade Harbour's shop. Available here.

  

I cropped the stamp to just the cupcake, and then in photoshop edited the banner.
 I coloured the cupcakes in.
I cut out the cupcake, wrote on the banners, This Week..., So Far..., ...'til Target, and applied to a holographic purple card background. I then added several layers of Mod Podge matt to seal it.
As this dulled the holographics, I added a couple of layers of Mod Podge sparkle.

I glued the card in to place, and done!



What do you think?

Reasons To Be Cheerful

For more information on what Reasons to Be Cheerful (#R2BC) is all about please check out this post from Michelle at Mummy from the Heart for a full description.

This week's Reasons to be Cheerful: 
  1. I lost another 3.5 lbs, so the weight I'd put on last week plus another two pounds.
  2. My friends are amazing!
  3. Daddy is happier about childcare.
  4. I got crafty, I'll post soon.
  5. I'm trying to organise my crafty corner, which means scanning all my patterns and 'how to's' to digital.
  6. I'm doing quite well with Christmas presents. We are on holiday this year, so I want to get sorted soon, so we have money to spend! 
  7. I finished my last uni assignment for this OU module, I had to pull an all nighter to get it done. Now just need to get ready for the exam. 
  8. I was also featured on Michelle's blog as R2BC blogger of the week last week :-) Thank you Mich x

So over to you, what are your reasons to be cheerful this week?

Reasons to be Cheerful

For more information on what Reasons to Be Cheerful (#R2BC) is all about please check out this post from Michelle at Mummy from the Heart for a full description.

My reasons to be cheerful this week include:
  • I posted a rant about how Daddy reacted to first time childcare after last Thursday's visit to the potential child minder, and I received some lovely messages of support.
  • Lots of help and support was received from the lovely ladies at Give Mums A Break.
  • I decided to use the child minder, she is lovely, Kiki seemed happy with her too :) 
  • Although I had a really bad panic attack before I went, I had a great weekend at Plus North, a fashion event for all this plus size, with my closest friend.
  • We met some amazing people at Plus North and the After Party, especially the Topsy Curvy girls! 
  • Simply Be were kind enough to send me an outfit to review whilst there too. The dress was gorgeous.
  • I actually enjoyed shopping whilst there! Bought three pairs of shoes for £5 a pair, bargain! 

    I also bought a skirt from Topsy Curvy.
  • My friend also bought me a baby Pink Diamant√© Skull Scarf from there too  
  • Whilst in Manchester, I accidentally fell in to Swarovski and spent some pennies... I bought this N The Skull Pendant and Slake Fuchsia Ruby Bracelet, which is actually long enough to wear as a choker too. Now if I can only find someone to buy me the Happy Duck - Punk Duck  and N the Skull Docking Station....
  • We went to Afternoon Tea at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Manchester – Piccadilly too, although wasn't worth it, met some lovely ladies there too.
  • I actually went to a Parent & Baby group today, first one since my post natal groups, nearly 12 months ago.
 How was your week? Tell me....


Wobbles Wednesday

I'm dreading my Slimming World weigh in tonight, according to my scales, I have put 4lbs on. Oops!
However, I did have a great girlie weekend though. I have been good apart from the weekend, so hopefully my scales are wrong....

I will update and let you know when I've been judged, oops, I mean weighed :)

Uh Oh! I've put on 1.5lbs!


Simply Be Fashion Review

After I won tickets to Plus North Fashion Event, I obviously needed something to wear, and Simply Be stepped up and offered me an outfit from their collection. 

Simply Be offer a range of on trend plus size ladies clothing, including some amazing designers and brands.
I was offered an outfit to review, which meant I had to look on the website and narrow down the choices. There were plenty of things I could have chosen! 
As I was looking quite a few of the items went out of stock in my size, I imagine that the Plus North event meant a rush on sales. I emailed them and gave a list of a few things I liked.

These were:

Within 2 days I had received the AX Paris Navy Skater Dress and the Anna Scholz Tie belt jacket. 


  • Luxurious stretch fabric. Anna Scholz has done it again! Coloured jackets are so on-trend right now, straight from the catwalk to you! Sophisticated boyfriend style jacket in fab textured stretch crepe. So soft and drapey, this jacket can be worn open or belted with the self-fabric belt and looks great with the sleeves pushed up for that 'Glam girl around town' look! We all want one! Get it before it's gone! With pockets and self-tie belt. Unlined.
  • Length from 27in/69cm.

  • This navy floral dress looks gorgeous dressed up or down. Has flattering pleats to the front and back to ensure your curves look fabulous. The multi-floral print means that you can team with different coloured accessories. Complete the look by adding pink lippy and a cute clutch. Has zip back fastening.
  • Hand wash.
  • Cotton.
I tried them on straight away. The colour of the jacket is gorgeous, it's also beautifully soft.
The dress fit me perfectly. I love skater dresses anyway. I'm not a busty girls (I'm between a B/ C cup) and with a shaped bra, there wasn't much room, so for larger boobed ladies, it may be a bit tight. 
Same with the waist, so may be worth going up a size.

I wore the dress all day on Saturday and it really is comfortable, no nipping, or digging in, although a bit blowy with the wind. Had a few Marilyn moments! LOL

The jacket is quite long, and roomy on the boobs. I also lost a button within hours of wearing it, but again very comfortable. I wore it with a white T and jeans on Sunday. I ended up tying the belt behind the jackets, I felt it was too bulky with it fastened.




I adore the dress, so much so that I'm going to buy the coral in it.

Thank you to Simply Be for the outfit.

Find Simply Be:
@ Pinterest
@ Twitter
@ Simply Be Blog