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Mamma Fairy

Mamma Musings

How To Make Your Garden More Secure

flower pots in garden

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Our  garden forms a pivotal part of out family life and as such your garden is one of the main ways you can create a secure fence around your home. Once the boundaries of your property are safe, it can give homeowners peace of mind. Having the right measures in place will successfully put off any potential intruders and actively safeguard your belongings. Having had the misfortune of this happening to us in 2015 it really does leave a lasting impact.

If you have a log cabin, this can be another reason you’ll want to ensure your garden is secure. There are several secure log cabins for sale in the UK that can be a great storage option for the garden.

Some of the best ways you can secure your garden so you can assess the current level of safety and what you may need to do are set out below and this is with the befit of experience and hindsight.

TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR GARDEN MORE SECURE

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Mamma Musings

3 Parenting Milestones And How To Tackle Them

Being a parent can long and difficult journey with a lot of milestones along the way. Those big events that come in every child’s life come as a big challenge for the parents but if you’re prepared for them, it doesn’t have to be that hard. These are some of the biggest milestones that all parents are going to face and how to deal with them.

The First Day Of School

Sending your child off to school for the first time is one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do. The idea of leaving them all day in the care of some complete strangers is incredibly scary and when you get home, it’s difficult to know what to do with yourself. It’s important that you hold it together because it’s a very stressful time for your child as well and if they pick up on the fact that you’re worried, it’ll make things worse for them. The second thing to remember is to always keep yourself busy. If you just sit around waiting for them to come home the hours will turn into days and it’ll feel like forever before they get back. Just get on with whatever you have to do for the day and they’ll be back before you know it.

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Baba Reviews

Good Quality durable kids clothings – check out Tunetoo!

A couple of weeks back we were asked to give Tunetoo clothing a try out on my little men.  Anybody who reads our adventures will know we love getting out and about exploring whatever the weather. Always ready for a task we said why not and off we went on line to the Tunetoo website to pick our designs.

About the Brand

By way of background Tunetoo are based in France having launched in 2013.  The produce a range of personalised clothing for kids and adults such as hoodies for kids or kids tshirts (and for the grown ups too!). Not only clothing they also produce accessories (hats, bags, towels) and gift items such as personalised mugs and mouse pads.

Our picks

pic of hoodie

Pic Credit: TuneToo

So I let the wee men loose to pick exactly what they wanted.  It was an easy decision both wanted hoodies.  In order to get some inspiration we decided to look at the Art Shop section which is the pre printed designs.  Both fell in love with the dancing sheep design in aqua blue (pic opposite).

I am not exaggerating when I say the variety of options and colour combinations is endless from animals to automobile and everything inbetween.  I could spend hours browsing the designs.

All designs are also available in male/female and kids…….family hoodies anyone?

Mamma Fairy Verdict

Durability is a mega plus here. They have been worn many times resulting in being thrown in the washing machine many times and they have maintained there shape, colour and the  graphic totally intact. This is a huge bug bear for me when you buy printed good and the graphic fades but this really wasnt the case here.

So if you are often a fab personalised or customised product thats hard wearing and reasonable do check out the fab selection from TuneToo.

 

Note: We were sent the hoodies to review but we were not asked to write this I (and the boys) genuinely love them.

 

 

Features

Sleep and fertility – is there a link?

Can you imagine how it is not getting any sleep? It is a terrible thought, right? You probably know how rough it is by getting through the day on less than 7 hours of sleep a night- which is too little, as it is best to have at least 8 hours of sleep a night in order to be functioning and to maintain good health.

It is crucial to have enough sleep because it affects your overall health, quality of life, as well as fertility. Because a good night’s sleep helps restore and refresh your brain, organ systems, and helps regulate hormones- that includes hormones that are fertility related.

The same part of the brain that regulates sleep-wake hormones such as cortisol and melatonin also is responsible for regulating productive hormones such as the luteinizing hormone (LH). That is the hormone that triggers ovulation when it rises, and it is also responsible for keeping your menstrual cycle regular.

How it affects fertility

Therefore, if women are not sleeping enough or having a proper quality of sleep (constantly waking up in the night and feeling poorly rested during the day), the lack of sleep could very well affect the release of LH, which can prevent ovulation from happening, and be the cause of irregular cycles.

It is also important to note that in men, lack of sleep can also affect the maturation of sperm so it certainly has negative effects on both men and women.

Not only does lack of sleep cause hormonal imbalance, but it can affect your fertility in other ways such as diabetes, cardiovascular conditions as well as obesity.

When you are sleeping poorly, you are going to be prone to craving simple carbs and trans fats. You will be more likely to grab a candy bar or a bag of chips instead of a healthy snack like fruit or veggies in a dip. You will be craving sugar a lot more and it has to do with high cortisol levels.

While lack of sleep can prevent ovulation from happening, you are prone to falling into poor lifestyles, which also means you will be less likely have the energy to exercise. The lack of sleep is keeping your fertility and overall health quite poor as a result.

Not to mention, you will be more than irritable, drowsy and have problems with concentration and memory if your sleep quality is poor. You may be prone to illnesses such as catching viruses easily.

Causes of sleep disorders

There are many things that can cause problems with sleep. If you are not under a considerable amount of stress (which is notorious for causing poor sleep), then you will want to make an appointment with your doctor to make sure there is no underlying cause. In fact, your doctor may want you to have a sleep study done to rule out any underlying issues such as sleep apnea, insomnia or restless legs syndrome.

How to help your fertility

If you are not having any health issues that are getting in the way of your sleep, then you need to start getting back into a good sleep habit where you can get at least 7 hours a sleep each night because daylight and sleep are integral to our biological clocks.

However, if you genuinely feel well rested on less than 7 hours of sleep, it is possible that you don’t require 7 hours to function. Sleep requirements can vary from person to person, and from season to season.

You will also want to get outdoors for a 10-minute walk each day. If you are in a colder climate or if you have been having a lot of rain, you will want to use a lightbox which is a portable unit that allows you to get light when you are stuck indoors. They are often used for the treatment of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

It is also recommended not to work odd hours if you can help it. If you are working late night, or have graveyard shift hours, that can get in the way of your sleep, and cause irregular cycles and reproductive disturbances. If a pregnancy did happen while working odd hours or if you were sleeping poorly, the pregnancy could be at risk as lack of sleep is not good for the unborn baby.

If you are trying to conceive, doing shift work is not recommended for women, and even for men! Your chances of chances of getting pregnant can be affected.

Also, go to bed at the same time every day, even on weekends because a consistent sleep-wake schedule will help you maintain a healthy sleep cycle.

As it is known that stress is a killer for proper sleep, so, therefore, be sure to pay your bills earlier in the day, don’t read disturbing books, or don’t watch disturbing movies, and stay away from websites that could upset you. That will only cause your mind to race which will cause you to fall asleep much later than you had intended when you end up having to wake up just a few hours later!

It is also a good idea to keep lighting dim late at night so it helps you get tired, as bright lights in the evening can actually shift your body clock.

Also, be sure not to drink any coffee later than 2 pm and limit your caffeine intake especially while trying to get pregnant. However, too much caffeine can keep you wired in the evening. The same goes for chocolate. Don’t eat too much of it especially if it is late in the evening.

Given that you are trying to conceive, you will want to avoid alcohol as alcohol also disturbs your sleep.

Last but not least, as tempting as it may be to take something to help you sleep, stay away from melatonin supplements if you are trying to conceive because there is a risk of suppressing your fertility even further!

So do what you can to make sure you are getting a good night sleep, and as long as you feel rested and you are functioning well even on less than 7 hours of sleep (as sleep can vary which was mentioned earlier), and you are taking care of yourself- you can start trying to conceive.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post. Please note if you have any concerns always consult a medical professional.
Features

Netflix New years countdowns for Kids

Netflix, Kids and New Year Countdowns

Netflix image

New Years Countdowns from Netflix

Back in 2014 Netflix came up with the genius idea of an on-demand New Years Eve count down for kids. Last year was the first year my five year old declared he was staying up for the New Year!! However mama was not ready to deal with the fall out of a very late night given he isn’t the worlds best sleeper to begin with!

Cue the genius that is the on demand count downs incorporating your kids favourite programs  …….  this year Netflix have nine new on-demand countdown which are available from Tuesday, 26 December.    The new ones are:

  • DreamWorks All Hail King Julien,
  • Beat Bugs,
  • Larva,
  • Pororo,
  • Puffin Rock,
  • Skylanders Academy,
  • True and the Rainbow Kingdom,
  • DreamWorks Trollhunters
  • Word Party.

All New Year’s Eve countdowns can be found by searching “countdowns” on Netflix or simply visiting netflix.com/countdown.

 

Note: We are a member of the Netflix StreamTeam for which we receive a years subscription however we were paid member before going the StreamTeam
Mamma Musings

First school term done – some thoughts from a newbie mum

school books photo

Pic Credit: Pixabay

My oldest started school this year.   It was a momentous occasion for both me and him. Now that the first term is done and dust what have I learned?  I’ll be honest I was quite apprehensive about how we would all adapt to this new routine but its funny how we worry so unnecessarily. School life has become part of everyday life. As a total newbie into the school system the first couple of months have been a learning experience for this mama too.

 

Parents Perspective

Perhaps the biggest  learning point for me was  to become super organised.  That’s having the clothes out the night before, lunches made and bags packed. Jennie from Rice Cakes and Raisins had the same advice, keep the shoes all lined up at the front door to avoid the inevitable morning panic searching the house for them or for the match! I reached out to my fellow first time school parents to see what they thought after completing the first term their top tips are:

  • Jemma from Have Kids will Travel UK found of the great learning to be dealing with the new ups and downs of school friendships and not being there for them every minute. It can be so hard when your child comes home and says they were on their own or had nobody to play  with it, it just breaks my heart.
  • In a similar vein Michelle from What Mummy Thinks notes not to believe everything your child says. Very true in our case! They don’t mean any harm but they can be a little generous with the truth. My advice would be if in doubt speak to the teacher. They are well used to hearing stories of what kids said at home and can straighten out the record very quickly.
  • Never mind the kid and playground politics, it can be seen with the adults too.  Ill admit I was totally oblivious that such politics do exist however I have had first hand experience of it myself.  Natalie from Crummy Mummy also has had similar experience. However in the interest of balance Helena from Babyfoote assures us that this doesn’t exist in every school and that real friendships can be made at the school gate.

Teachers perspective

We have heard some view points for new parents. Now lets here from the other side. My sister is a teacher and kindly offered some insights:

  • Keep communication with the teacher/ school open don’t be afraid to seek clarification if your child says something or if you have a concern. Teachers are more than happy to ally any fears you might have.
  • Always check the school bag/ lunch box for notes. Kids have a habit of forgetting!
  • We are human too if the uniform isn’t perfectly pressed stained etc it doesn’t matter these things happen, none of us are perfect.
  • Use the resources that are available. If extra assistance is needed there are lots of resources available to assist and don’t be afraid to ask or utilise additional resources such as for example dyslexia support for teachers and parents.
  • Encourage your child all the way, praise the good, listen to the stories and show interest in their homework. Regardless of what you may have thought of school or homework yourself do try not to project that view on to your child.

If you have any other words of wisdom please do share them with us.

Note: This is a collaborative post however I retain full editorial control

 

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Mamma Musings

Pregnancy and Postpartum hair loss – tips & advice

Pregnancy and Post Partum hair loss

**This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine
Pregant bump black and white picture

Pic Credit Pixabay

I have had two kids but by no means do I profess to be an expert! However what I can do is go through some of the things that worked for me.  I have naturally very thick (unruly!) hair which I regularly give out about.  However I was totally unprepared for the hair loss that came following the birth of each of my boys.  No joke the shower plug hole was literally full of hair every time I washed it. Not only that I was finding hair everywhere!

I was so concerned I would be bald within a week.  This added more stress to already stressful time with a newborn.  I have set out below a couple of things that I wouldn’t have minded knowing back then!

  1. First up and probably most importantly, its perfectly normal (however ill caveat this by saying if you are very concerned do see a GP or your health nurse for peace of mind). It is reported that as many as 90% of women experience hair loss in the first six months of pregnancy.
  2. There is no one size fits all solution to what product will work for you so experiment with a couple of different  good quality ones.  I  previously wrote about my experience with Viviscal which I found worked really well. I avoided rich conditioners and stuck with light serums. I found mild light shampoos worked well.
  3. Maybe a tad extreme for some but many of my close friends have used this time to get a good hair chop or a new low maintenance style.
  4. My best pal had quite extreme hair loss known as postpartum alopecia.  It began to really affect her mindset and confidence and she decided in the short term to opt for a wig. There are a huge selection of different types available from synthetic to real hair. In addition the colours and styles are endless, from curly to straight to bob to long.  You could look at it as an opportunity to experiment with that hair style you have always wanted to try out.  For many years wigs were incredibly expensive but not so anymore, they have become so much more reasonable in price.
  5. Lots of protein rich foods. Nutritionists often recommend a protein rich diet to help rebuild the hair fibers.
  6. My own mother used a home made castor oil treatment to treat her own pregnancy hair loss.  Simply massaging the scalp with a mix of castor oil and almond oil combined with luke warm water.
  7. Crucially also is don’t over brush, especially with a harsh rough brush or comb, instead use a wide tooth comb gently and not excessively.

Hopefully the above is of some help. Do bear in mind the rate of hair loss should slow down and if you do have concerns do seek professional advice as hair loss can be a symptom  of other underlying conditions.

 

 

 

Features

Enhance the Beauty of a Conservatory with Stylish Furniture

conservatory window

Pic Credit: Pixabay

The conservatory has come of age. With beautiful detailing that enhances the beauty as well as bringing increased energy efficiency to the space, a conservatory is a means of adding extra space to your home.

But no matter how you choose to use the space, you want it to have a stylish, yet functional interior. So how do you create a space that is effortlessly chic?

Creating the Perfect Conservatory Interior

  • Play with styles but make sure there are common elements that keep it connected to the interior design décor of your home
  • With so much natural light, colours take on a completely different tone and feel, experiment to see which colours really work
  • Accessories are key detailing features that can transform the space into something extraordinary, don’t underestimate their use in the conservatory
  • Consider materials and fabrics carefully as the light and heat can be problematic for some
  • Rattan is the perfect choice because it has all the right properties to withstand heat and light of the conservatory, as well as being available in classic, traditional and modern styled pieces

A Stylish Conservatory…

… is the end product you will have after reading this Guide to Stylish Conservatory Furniture. With handy hints and tips, it has everything you need to know about styling the space in your conservatory.

Features

7 ways to make the most of the Christmas downtime for the year ahead

Christmas is supposed to be a time when we finally get a break from work and get the chance to see family and friends that maybe we haven’t seen all year. However, for many it will be the most stressful time of year, with lots of rushing around whilst trying to find the perfect presents for their loved ones. So is it even possible to have a relaxed Christmas, allowing us to recharge before a new year starts?

To help you make the most of your Christmas downtime, here are seven ways you can take care of your wellbeing this festive season and get a much-needed break before 2018 rolls around.

Schedule in your relaxation time

Our Christmas schedules can be extremely hectic, with rushing around shops to find presents, to running back and forth from family homes on endless visits. It can be easy to get carried away and before you know it, your Christmas holiday is over!

If you are one of those who feel like the festive season passes you by, this year, make sure you schedule in your relaxation time. Simply writing in an hour or two every other day to rest and do something you love, can make a huge difference to how you feel.

Gift yourself some ‘you’ time

No matter how busy you are, make sure you gift yourself some alone time this Christmas. Whether it’s a nice spa day or just a solo walk around the local park. Get some time to yourself, away from the craziness that is Christmas.

Make sure you are looking after health

Health and diet in particular, can take a turn for the worst over the Christmas period. We’ll have chocolate for breakfast and stuff ourselves with buffet foods and soon our energy levels will take a hit. Not to mention the late nights and Christmas party drinks draining us of much needed sleep.

Make sure you keep your health in mind when choosing what to eat, and if you need a nap during the day to make up some essential sleep, then feel free! Taking multivitamins and supplements, such as those from Vitabiotics, can help you to get all the vitamins and minerals you need to keep your body balanced this season.

Have a duvet day

It’s something that many of us are deprived of day-to-day, so take this opportunity to have a full duvet day. Put on your favourite Christmas films and snuggle down with loved ones. Enjoy the peace and calm that comes with allowing yourself to do absolutely nothing!

Give your home a clear out

On Christmas morning, you’ll have a pile of new objects to fit into your home, whether it’s toys, clothes or a new Xbox. Use this time to adopt the mindset of ‘out with the old, in with the new’ and declutter your home of unused or unwanted items.   Not only will you feel refreshed, but you’ll also be able to make room for all of your new gifts!

Get out of the house with family or friends

walking quiet country road

My Christmas Day walking route – so peaceful

It may be cold outside but that’s no excuse to not get out and about throughout December!  A brisk stroll through the park on Christmas Day can be the perfect thing to break up the day and get you prepared for the Christmas feast.   The great outdoors can work wonders for your mental health, with the fresh air filling your lungs, waking you up and clearing your head.

Reconnect with old friends

Christmas is often the time when old friends return home to see family, so make sure to get in touch with those that you may have lost touch with over the year. Making the most of the Christmas period all comes down to making sure you take a breather and schedule your time effectively. Be smarter with your free time, ensure you take good care of yourself and you’ll notice a huge difference in both your mindset and your motivation when it’s time to get back into the office in the new year.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Mamma Musings

Interior Design Trends whats going to be hot in 2018

Top Trends for 2018

We have just about entered the Christmas season and already im scouring Pinterest to make my wish list for our home renovations for 2018. We have been undergoing some major renovations throughout 2017 and this will continue with hopefully the final touches just left to do in 2018.  Often its the final interior design finishes that are the hardest to agree on. With this in mind im delighted to work with Sloane & Sons  to look at what is predicted to the big interior design trends in 2018.

interior design inspiration

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Over the last few years we have all been moving towards high tech homes where everything is interconnected, wifi enabled etc. However I am delighted to see one of the top trends for 2018 is the move back towards balance and simplicity. Enjoying views, chill out corners, or spaces to relax, unplug and unwind. I love it!

While I whole-heatedly embrace technology I also love the idea of the breather, the time out away from being so accessible.

Other predictions im loving for 2018 are dark wood flooring, tonal reds and simple furniture shapes – clean lines and curves. Now these are trends I can really get behind.  I love simplicity and elegance in interior design.

For more information on the above trends and details on how to incorporate them into your home see here

Note: This is a collaborative post

 

The Mamma Fairy