Books in the post? Special deliveries from Bookabees!o

The summer holidays are LONG, the weather can be totally uncooperative, and sometimes, like many other parents, I find myself questioning my sanity and wondering how I will keep my kids busy and happy for the duration of their break. 

Fortunately both my children LOVE reading, so that’s an easy out for me, encouraging them to curl up with a book, or to read with or to me. This makes me happy, to see and to know they are doing something that is good for them and will hopefully last them a lifetime. You don’t need much to be able to read, mostly a book you enjoy and a spot to sit and read it in, I find! 

Finding good books can be a bit challenging, but when I happened upon Bookabees, a book subscription and delivery service just for kids, I knew we were onto a good thing! 

Not only do you get parcels delivered specially for the kids, but they get books, too, which makes it even better. 

How it works:

Bookabees is a subscription book club for children.

“Each month they are sent exciting new books from top children’s authors, either selected by you or hand chosen by us, in a personalised package.

You can either keep them for 50% RRP of the book or return them with no added cost to the subscription.

By The Bookabees or you! The Bookabees know the best books for each child’s age, stage and interests, helped along by the information you give us, and authors, teachers, parents, grandparents, actors, illustrators and government lobbyists.

If you prefer you can have complete control and choose the books yourself online.

Initially The Bookabees handpick books based on the information you share with us – age, gender, the books your child has loved. But this can be refined along the way if you choose to rate and review books, and move them around your ‘queue’. The more you do this, the more personalised the books we choose will be.

We all know how quickly children develop, and some books fast become too young for their developmental stage. But with Bookabees, the hassle-free once a month delivery ensures that your child always has interesting new reading material. On top of this Bookabees deliveries include fun personalized extras – these might be stickers, paper aeroplanes, bookmarks and messages from the Bookabees themselves – these vary every month.”

It’s such a fabulous concept and works really well, and really is great value for money when you think about the cost of buying one book, and you can work out a montlhy subscription that suits your budget and your child’s reading needs and ability. My tweenager reads at least one book a week so this is perfect for her, to keep up with her reading and find new books but also so we don’t have to worry about storing them, as they can be returned when she is finished with them. It’s easy to sign up and use, and their delivery is speedy and the books come beautifully packaged. 

I have to apologise for the quality of this photo. It was taken by the children as I was on bedrest post knee surgery, and they haven’t quite perfected their photo skills and my carpet hadn’t been hoovered. However, the fact the books arrived the week I was recovering so gave the tweenager something to keep her busy outweighs all of this! This blog is all about keeping things real and honest parenting! 😉

Emily says:

“I love getting books in the post and I have really enjoyed reading the books they chose for me, some are different from what I myself would normally choose, but I think this is a good thing. I love that they arrive just in time for me to finish what I am reading and that I can get new books every month”

Mum says:

This is a fab concept and it works really well, and I am really impressed with the choices of books sent, and the books available to choose from. You can set up the account easily and control what books you want, depending on your preference and your child’s needs/reading level/likes. Much excitement when a box of books arrive! This is a great idea as a gift for a child that loves reading or simply to make getting your hands on good books for your kids much easier, if like us, getting to the library doesn’t happen as often as you would like. It’s convenient to use and when you are finished with the books you can either purchase them for half the price they would retail in the shops or you can pop them back in the box and send them back, it’s all set up for you to do that, and easily return them. You can also feedback to your account so you preferences are updated if you really liked a particular book or if you didn’t (because that does happen, although the tweenager loved the selection she was sent!)

We are so thrilled with Bookabees and the concept and we are looking forward to seeing what will be arriving next month to read. It’s well worth looking into, and investing in. Books delivered to your door monthly to keep your kids busy and reading? That can’t be a bad thing, can it? 

*we were very kindly sent some books to try this service but all opinions are our own*

 

Posted in Family Life and Parenting Tagged with: , , , ,

Summer is perfect for cycling…

The summer holidays are a perfect time for all sorts of activities, to keep your family active and busy. Recently as a family we decided to buy new bikes for the children and teach them to enjoy cycling, beyond it being just a means of getting to school and back. 

The small boy has been cycling for a while but his bike was way too small for him, and his sister only recently decided she wanted to learn to ride a bike properly and needed a brand new bike, so off we went shopping to get new ones. Fortunately the husband is a total cycling geek, so he knew what to get and what bikes were needed and sizes and types, thank goodness, because I am more of  a “ooh, it’s a pretty colour, let’s get that one”, and not really very knowledgeable, so he did all the practical bits, choosing what they needed and what worked for each of them. 

Both children have loved having their new bikes and have grown very confident with their cycling abilities, road safety awareness and bike skills. It’s been lovely to watch them learn and enjoy and be able to cycle with the husband during the holidays. 

Bikes don’t come just on their own, though, and when you buy a bike you need to think about all the extra bits and pieces like helmets, water bottles, gloves, specialist tires, shoes, cycling clothes, that you may need. The cost of this can all add up, especially if like us, you are kitting out a new bike set up. What can help is finding  cycling bargains that will help you get kitted out with everything you need, to make cycling safe, comfortable and fun, whether you are getting your kids set up with their first bike and all they need or, you are buying cycling gear as a gift for someone or getting yourself some new items because cycling is part of your life, being able to save some money on what you need could be useful and mean you can stretch your budget further if you can grab a bargain or two. All those bits and pieces you need add up and it’s important to get what you need, but if you can save some money whilst doing so, it can’t be a bad thing, can it. 

So, why not get on your bike this summer, and get out and about and enjoy cycling. Grab a bike and all the bits you need and get on the road. 

*this is a collaborative post*
Posted in Money & Finances Tagged with: , ,

My Sunday Photo

A happy bee enjoying the last of the summer lavender at Mayfield lavender farm.

 

OneDad3Girls

Posted in Photography Tagged with: , , ,

Skipping through the lavender…

You know when you try to make a plan to do something and it just doesn’t happen, no matter how optimistically you try? Things just happen, or get in the way, to stop your plans? 

We had that recently. We wanted to go and visit a local ish to us lavender farm, to see the lavender and have a nice family day out. Admittedly, a visit to a lavender farm is also perfect blog and social media fodder. I had visions in my head of my smiling, beautiful children skipping through the lavendar whilst I took photos, to share. 

In a sort of “series of unfortunate event” style of happenings, we have tried and planned for three weeks to go to this place. Between evil bouts of stomach bug, hamsters dying, having to collect family from airports unexpectedly, and also new family members arriving (that wasn’t unfortunate, our new niece is adorable and we are absolutely delighted by her arrival, she just came earlier than expected and her timing meant a lot of plans had to be shifted and rearranged to work around this, whilst my in laws were also here visiting) and it seemed like it wouldn’t actually happen. Lavender only blooms for so long, and we thought we might miss it. Every year we say “we must go visit the lavender” and it doesn’t happen. 

Anyway, we finally did it! We made it. No one was sick, no one arrived unexpectedly, no one needed to call a vet out to deal with sick hamsters, and we actually got in the car and got there. 

My visions of it being a beautiful family experience were not quite met, even though it’s a beautiful spot. You can smell the lavender and there is a lovely cafe there and a shop where I could happily blow all our weekly food budget on edible lavender and home made goodies. 

My children were grumpy, because neither of them slept well the night before, and there were wasps. For some reason, wasps upset my children and becasuse I am allergic to wasp stings, I get irritated when my kids flap and freak out around wasps, because their freaking out increases my risk of being stung by annoyed wasps. 

So we devoured our delicious cake and coffee…

Lavender scone, with lavender tea, if you please!

The kids were NOT in the mood to skip charmingly through the lavender, much to my annoyance, but the husband got into the spirit of things (much to the tweenager’s disgust, she spends most of her time mortally offended by everything her parents do these days, and when we act up, to wind her up, it’s like the end of the world is about to strike, we are so mean!) 

Uncooperative children and a husband probably delirious from lack of sleep fueled by far too much coffee and cake… his sense of humour is one of the reasons I married him, sadly the tweenager is NOT appreciating it much right, now. I could hear her muttering “Dad, you ARE SO EMBARRASSING”, poor kid!

We enjoyed a tractor ride around the farm, which thankfully cheered everyone up tremendously (After I had stamped my feet and declared that if everyone didn’t get a hold of themselves we would be going home!) and it really is a lovely spot. Bees humming in the lavender, the sky was blue, the sun was out, and some smiles appeared. 

Sort of running through the lavender to stop me whining about getting some photos. Actually, they had great fun and were all suitably exhausted and smelled nice after a few tumbles into the bushes!

Note to self, must send the boys for a haircut, soon and why does my tweenager look so grown up? 

It really is a stunning spot and if you live near us, well worth a visit when the lavender is in full bloom. 

At least we can say we did it, and enjoyed it, even if I didn’t get those oh so glamorous blog fodder shots I wanted. The best laid plans, eh? 😉

Photos taken at Mayfield Lavender, you can find out more details here 

 

 

Posted in Family Life and Parenting, Family travel

Summer garden fun at the Bentall Centre in Kingston…

I love where I live, we have so much to offer, locally, from beautiful spots to visit, with scenic views, to nice places to eat out and enjoy time with friends. We are also lucky to have a fab shopping centre close to us, near where I work and this summer holiday they have some great activities for adults and kids, to take part in and have fun and it’s garden themed, which is perfect when you need something to do, and the British summer weather is simply not cooperating!

Summer is Blooming at The Bentall Centre

 This summer The Bentall Centre will be transformed into an eye-catching Summer Garden! From 17th July – 2nd September shoppers can enjoy spending their time in the Summer Garden and floral draped tipi on the Lower Ground Floor. There will be the perfect picture opportunity in front of their flower cart and Kikki.K’s gigantic pencil display on the Ground Floor.  

The Summer Garden will provide a beautiful, tranquil space for families to take a break from shopping and allow them to participate in creative activities provided by the centre. There will be interactive games, workshops, styling sessions and beautiful displays from the centre’s latest summer collections and lots of other entertainment!

Throughout the summer The Bentall Centre will be hosting a number of free activities in the Summer Garden including activities for all ages. Here are just some of the activities you can look forward to:

Take a moment for yourself on Tuesday 25th July with the fabulous Annie Clark from Mind Body Bowl who will be running yoga sessions throughout the day. Annie will be guiding shoppers through the yoga programme, from yoga newbies to seasoned professionals all are welcome! (Free booking link here)

On Tuesday 1st August Join the renowned
Columbia Creative, the floral design
specialists who have worked with the likes of
Harrods and Vogue, for their famous bouquet making workshops. (Free booking link here)

Embroidery is a huge trend for this season. Gone are plain jeans and jackets, it’s cool to upcycle and give your look a new lease of life. Join The Bentall Centre in the Summer Garden on Tuesday 8th August for an embroidery for beginner’s class that will have you learning all the new techniques. (Free booking link here)

Want to know what to wear to that all important event or are stuck to know how to build up a wardrobe of key pieces you will love season after season? On Tuesday 15st August Stylist Victoria Genevieve will be on hand to talk you through how to avoid a wardrobe crisis and look great no matter what event you have. (Free booking link here)

Ever wondered how to master the art of calligraphy perfect for those summer event invitations? Fear no more there will be a Calligraphy basics workshop in the Summer Garden on Tuesday 22nd August for those wishing to master the art of letter writing. (Free booking link here)

The fun isn’t just for the adults though!

Every Saturday there will be free activities for little ones to enjoy. On Saturday 22nd July Let little ones feed the birds (and the bees!) this summer with a workshop to decorate bird houses, and make bird feeders and seed bombs to plant in the garden, attracting a host of mini beasts.

On Saturday 29th July Make sure kids have got all the summer essentials to hand, with a shopping bag, purse, wallet and pencil case decorating workshop. Kids can have fun with fabric pen and paints, gems and embellishments.

Children can enjoy a storytelling session on Saturday 5th August, with a short version of James and the Giant Peach, followed by interactive games such as musical stick insects and a centre bug hunt. There will also be a craft workshop where children make their own creatures from the story to take home.

Children can make book marks, decorate note books, personalise story book covers, get creative in short story writing workshops or even decorate a book keepsake box on Saturday 12th August.

On Saturday 19th August children are encouraged to bring their teddies in for the day as they settle on blankets for stories from Tiddlywink Talulah. There will be a banquet fit for a little king and they can spot bears through our imaginary binoculars and following a bread crumb trail to see where it leads.

Children can decorate their own recycled plant pot on Saturday 26th August whilst choosing from a range of vegetable seeds to plant such as green beans and pepper seeds, then be given take home care guides.

Children can get into character making wooden spoon or hand puppets on Saturday 2nd September.  With portable puppet theatres children can get creative as they don the puppet stage with their own imagination and role play some fairy tales.

Can you spot the Bentall Centre fairies? Follow their trail around the centre and you may even find some tiny residents.

There will also be a number of Bentall Centre retailers joining in the fun with the likes of Kikki.K, Tortilla, Fun Learning, Whittards, T2, Bentalls and many more providing activity throughout July and August.

So if you are local, come and join in the fun. 

*this is a collaborative piece*

 

Posted in Family Life and Parenting Tagged with: , , ,

Carpet cleaning magic with Bissell…

I don’t know about you, but I hate dirty carpets. We have quite light, high maintenance carpets (bad choice, they were pre the children) and they stain and mark easily, and let’s face it, kids make mess and stains and spills happen. We also have pets, and our house is often busy with people visiting, so our poor carpets take a lot of strain. Just last week, I had to try not to cry when dinner was accidentally spilled all over the carpet, leaving a huge stain. 

I have tried a few carpet cleaning products in my time, and some of them have worked fairly well, but others have been less than successful. 

So when Bissell sent me some of their stain remover spray to try, I will admit to being pretty skeptical, because I feel like I have been there and done that on the carpet stain removal merry go round… 

Thankfully they realise that a mum’s sanity is frail, particlarly in the sschool holidays so they didn’t ask me to test it out on my own carpet first, but sent us some fun things to make mess with and try it out. The small boy was delighted when I said he could squirt paint and mascara all over the place….

What they say it does…

“This aerosol carpet spot and stain remover instantly and permanently removes tough set-in stains like tomato sauce, salad dressing, dirty motor oil, vegetable oil, red wine, make-up, food grease, blood, pet stains, coffee, mud, dirt, cola, tea, grass make-up & fruit juice. The Revolutionary dual chamber system is great for both oil and dye-based stains such as red wine, cola, fruit juice, coffee, gravy, lipstick, ink and motor oil. Its oxy stain destroyer formula works to mobilize, lift, and penetrate the stain at the source to remove some of the toughest stains in 30 seconds** and the formula dives deep into the surface to penetrate and lift stains away while the oxy stain destroyer continues to work until the stain is gone.”

We made a mess with red wine (ok, so I wanted to drink that, but I resisted) various brighly coloured paints, and some mascara. All of which are notoriously tough to get off carpets. 

I have to say, I was VERY impressed. Follow the instructions for use, and apply the spray as directed and literally watch stains start to disapear. The red wine stain went, almost as if by magic and the other stains too a real beating too and even the paint lifted off. It does say some stains need a second application, but that’s to be expected for certain types of liquids and solids, and I could see the mascara coming off. The stuff REALLY does work. You may need to blot and gently remove some materials, but for a lot of the stains you just watch as they vanish. I even tried it on that dinner stain, a plate full of spagetti bolognaise, that left it’s mark on our carpet and one application and it was GONE. I cried, tears of joy this time. I even tried it on some old foundation stains on my bedroom carpet and it worked. Basically I spent a morning going round the house zapping stains. The things that make us mums happy are very weird, aren’t they?

It is slightly more expensive than your average carpet stain removal spray, but because a little goes a long way, and it really does work, so it’s most certainly worth investing in, for emergencies and to have to hand to get rid of those evil stains you think won’t ever go. 

So, if like me, carpet stains are the bane of your life, then I suggest you get your hands on some of this spray. It really does what it says on the tin. Now I am off to find more stains, to clean, and get excited about. My children think it’s hilarious and my husband thinks I have entirely lost the plot but my carpet will be stain free…

(they have lots of other carpet care and cleaning products, too, well worth checking out, to help keep carpets and other areas in your home clean and looking good) 

*we were kindly sent some products to try. No real carpets were harmed in the making of these videos and I may have tasted the red wine ;)*

Posted in Family Life and Parenting, Home & Garden Tagged with: , , ,

Making A “Splash” With The Cash! Socializing On A Small Budget

Sometimes it can seem that we have nothing to do. But sometimes the pendulum can swing the other way, and we can’t stop for the amount of birthday parties, engagement parties, weddings, and openings of an envelope! All of these can be a major drain on our finances, and it can be a big concern because we want to enjoy ourselves but be cautious about how much we spend can without it impacting on our enjoyment? So is there a way of balancing the budget at the same time as balancing the drinks tray?

Go For The Cheap (And Stealthy) Options

Nobody knows what you’re drinking, so if you can only afford a tonic water with a bit of lemon in it, it’s a good way to get away with having a drink in your hands without spending a lot of money. If you are planning on going out for a long night with lots of beverages, then it’s always cheaper to drink at home before heading out. Or if you’re having dinner out, you could split an appetizer with a friend rather than have one to yourself.

 

Save Your Money For The Nights Out

In other words, don’t spend your money on anything else! You can live off good quality food that is cheap by heading to the greengrocers and getting fruit and vegetables that are close to going off so you could still enjoy a nutritious meal. There are fantastic and healthy meals you can make, such as porridge which will keep you full and energized. If you can find ways to save money during the week so you can splurge at your friend’s wedding, then it’s worth the effort.

Financial Support

If you have a bunch of social engagements in a very short period of time, it may make some sense to get a short-term payday loan, pending you can pay it back within a specific period of time. So if you are wondering about a cash advance near you there are many options for you to try, but this is only advisable if you need to spend a lot of money in a short period of time and you’re able to repay it without it impacting on your overall bank balance.

Don’t Get Caught Up In The Round Buying Mentality

This is Kryptonite for a lot of people who are struggling financially but still want to have a thriving social life. If you can avoid getting caught in the pattern of having to buy rounds then this will save you a lot of money. And that’s not to say that you should have drinks bought for you but you duck out of buying them, because that’s not particularly fair! Instead you might just be better off being honest and saying you are strapped for cash.

Talking finances with friends can be a difficult subject especially as you want to enjoy yourself on a night out, but if you can make little changes that don’t impact your overall night out then you will see that your bank balance hasn’t been impacted that badly!

*this is a collaborative post*

Posted in Money & Finances

Zero Waste Household: Top Tips To Make It Achievable

credit

How much waste does your household produce every year? According to statistics, homes in the country produce more than 7 million tonnes of rubbish, with the average household throwing out enough to fill a large, three-floor house from top to bottom. That’s an astonishing amount of trash, and it’s no surprise that environmentalists are getting seriously concerned with the landfill and sea pollution problems that are starting to have huge impacts all over the world.

In short, we all need to do a little more when it comes to dealing with the trash in our homes. As regular readers of my blog will know, I’m pretty keen on green ideas, and it saddens me that something that could be easily solved with a little time and ingenuity is causing such a problem. Wouldn’t it be great if we could run our homes producing the much vaunted zero waste?

The reality of achieving zero waste is a little complicated, of course. But there are a few things we could all do that will help us get close. In today’s guide, I’m going to run through some of the ideas that anyone can start trying out at home right away. Let’s get started with some of the basics.

Stop consuming

While it’s true that we live in a consumer society, and it can be difficult to stop shopping when we are surrounded by advertising, it’s still possible to buy less. It’s just a case of thinking a little deeper about every purchase we make, whether it’s a pointless addition to the weekly shop or an extra few gifts for a birthday or celebration.

Ultimately, the less you bring home with you, the less waste you will create. And given that virtually everything you buy comes wrapped up in packaging, it’s easy to see where you can start making a difference.

Perhaps you can order your veg to come to your door fresh instead of buying multipacks from the superstore. Maybe you can buy your children experiences for their birthdays rather than bags of toys. You can even buy secondhand instead of brand new – and all the swathes of packaging that come with it.

credit

Buy in bulk

There are some things you should buy in bulk, however. Given that every time you buy something from a shop, it comes in packaging, it makes sense to cut down the amount of packaging you bring home.

You can’t do this for perishable products, of course, as it will end up being thrown away once it goes off – more on which later. But for long-lasting foods such as rice, dried pasta – even cheese – you can make a big difference in reducing the amount of packaging you bring home.

You can also change things like your soap and washing liquids. Go for bulk castile soap which you can use for both activities instead of buying separate bottles for everything. You can even use castile soap as a body wash or shower gel – it’s that useful!

Use up your food

According to statistics, up to 40 percent of the food we buy ends up in the bin. It’s a shocking waste when you consider how many hungry people there are in the world, and it’s also a huge contributor to landfill.

Another tragedy is that it doesn’t even need to be disposed of – with a little meal planning you should be able to use up all ingredients that are approaching their use by date. Even if you miss something, there is still no excuse to contribute to landfill as all food scraps can be used in your garden compost. Not only will it help reduce your household waste, but you will also get a beautifully fed garden to boot!

Again, it’s all about making sure you are checking dates and keeping your kitchen in order – it won’t take you long once you get into the swing of things.

credit

Recycle everything

It’s important to know about your city and state’s recycling policy, to ensure that any waste you drop off at the local refuse centre is dealt with appropriately. Not every city is as thorough as it could be, and it may be better to find alternatives in some locations.

It’s the same with the rubbish collection companies you use, too, when you need help getting rid of the waste from home renovations or big clear outs. Refuse specialists samedayrubbishremoval.com.au recommend that you only ever use firms that take their environmental responsibilities seriously. Failure on your part to check out their recycling and reusing policy is likely to mean your trash will end up in landfill – or worse, dumped on a country road somewhere.

So, make sure you are recycling as much as possible, but before you do that, also make sure you have reused everything as much as you possibly can. Let’s take a look at a few ways of doing just that right now.

Reuse everything

Look around on your local supermarket’s shelves the next time you do your weekly shop, and you will see an astonishing array of disposable products. Yes, they are handy and convenient, but they are also incredibly damaging to the environment. Paper towels, plastic bags, disposable cups, plates and cutlery for kids parties – we have all used them in the past.

Wherever possible, you should be trying to swap out these disposables for reusables. Buy handkerchiefs instead of tissues. Bring tote bags for your weekly shop instead of using store supplied plastic bags. Invest in sturdy plastics for your children’s parties instead of buying weak, thin, one-use-only alternatives.

Not only will you be helping to save the planet, but you will also be saving a good deal of money that could go towards something special – a holiday fund, perhaps.

Refuse junk mail

Junk mail is a terrible scourge. Be honest, how many of those direct mail adverts that come through your door do you ever actually read, or find useful? Trust me, you won’t miss them, even if you are the world’s greatest coupon collector.

If you want to say goodbye to junk mail, it can be tough to eliminate completely, but you can opt out of getting the vast majority of it in a few different ways.

First of all, get yourself a No Advertising Material sticker for your letterbox. It won’t stop everything, but it might make flyer droppers think twice about posting their mail through the door. And it also gives you every right to complain to the company that sent the adverts – get in touch with the Distribution Standards Board and let them know what happened. You should register with https://www.adma.com.au/do-not-mail, which takes you out of circulation from over 500 direct mail companies. Finally, you can opt out digitally with Catalogue Central and Lasoo Online Catalogue to make sure you are only being targeted with advertising materials you might be interested in.

It should take you around 10-15 minutes to get all this done, and once you have finished, you will see a dramatic reduction in direct mailouts coming through your door.

Conclusion

Will doing all this help you achieve zero waste for your household? In all honesty, it’s unlikely. But make no mistake about it, taking these simple steps will certainly start you off in the right direction. If you want a better world for your children, at some point you are going to have to step up to the plate and do your bit. With a few lifestyle tweaks here and there, as well as some good household planning, you will soon find yourself getting close to the golden goose of zero waste. And, of course, you will save yourself some cash at the same time. Good luck!

*this is a collaborative post*
Posted in Going Green, Home & Garden

Here’s to a new knee…

If you follow our blog or social media, you will know that I have struggled with recurring knee issues for the past few years. I have had a couple of bad falls which have damaged my knees and also a life time on my feet as a nanny, nurse, and working with families where I am running around all day, as well as being a busy mum who walks everywhere, and also being a (very) amateur running, as well as having done ballet into my teens, hasn’t helped. 

My left knee has suffered a lot, in the past few years, with pain, inflammation and periods of time where I haven’t been able to run or do much exercise. It’s been an ongoing process of assessments, MRI scans, physiotherapy appointments, seeing a sports injury specialist (because my knee issues fall into that category) and treatment, exercises, rest, exploitative surgery, more treatment, knee supports… the list goes on!

It’s been long, somewhat frustraing, fairly painful, and it’s got a bit tedious. My knee and it’s issues have become part of life, as I have struggled to manage a knee that dislocates easily, is not stable, and ligament issues and cartilage damage, that have evolved from that.

Over the past couple of years, I have lost some weight and started to work on getting in shape and get fitter, and running (I am by no means a professional or really any good, but I love it) helped me with this. The knee issues have meant I have struggled to keep fit and in shape, though, with bouts of time off when was too painful. 

I hope to be able to start getting back into shape and getting fit again. It’s been a long road, to get to a place where my knee will be in good shape, to let me do this. 

So, five weeks ago, I had the first of two major surgeries to repair my knee. My knee has been unstable and badly positioned. So this first surgery repoistioned it, correctly, and and some tendons were released, as well. I also had some cartilage removed that was damaged and causing pain. This now means my knee is in the correct position, and stable. I have had to be very strict about resting post surgery, but at five weeks post op, I am doing well and it is healing beautifully and my medical team are really pleased with the results. 

I will have to face more surgery next year, a clinical trial of a new procedure in fact, to replace some ligaments that have been so damaged they can no longer function properly, but for now, the knee is almost pain free, it feels good, and is in far better shape than it has been for a long, long time. 

The end of a long road is almost halfway in site. Here’s to full recovery and a knee that holds me up for a long time to come…

A newish to me, knee. Up and about after three weeks of rest and recovery and on the way to fitness again. Knee brace is not fashionable but it keeps it stable whilst it heals!

*this piece is written as a collaborative post*

 

Posted in Me, beyond just being "mum" Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Helping skin get better with Cetraben…

It’s no secret that we have struggled with skin issues in our house. I have psoriasis and Emily has dealt with eczema as well as very dry and sensitive skin since she was a baby. We have spent a lot of time and energy into figuring out what treatments and skin care regimes work for us, and we know that it can be very stressful and worrying when you have a child or a family member with skin issues that can affect many areas of their life. For us, it took a lot of mananging and working out what caused flare ups and how to deal with them when they happened and getting into a good skin care routine to prevent issues as well as treat them when they happened. 

Cetraben, which makes skin emollient treatments and skincare solutions for families struggling with eczema and other issues, is working in partnership with The British Skin Foundation, to provide a service called Starting From Scratch, which aims to deliver tailored and manageable expert advice straight to your inbox to help improve your skincare regime and nurture confidence in caring for your skin. We are big fans of their lotions and creams and are excited to share about a new project they have started. 

An innovative new online initiative offering people with dry skin conditions access to expert authored advice has launched today.

The ‘Start from Scratch’ programme enables people to sign up for free, to receive holistic, expert led advice about managing their problematic skin.  Developed via a partnership between emollient brand Cetraben and the British Skin Foundation, the programme aims to help inspire and empower people with eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions to make positive changes that will help improve the condition of their skin, as well as how they feel about it. 

 Each recipient will get an email once a week for six weeks, with each email providing health and lifestyle advice to help manage their skin. The topics include; ‘achieving better sleep’, ‘breaking the itch, scratch, itch cycle’ and ‘getting the most from your emollient’. 

 Each email includes four actions that are realistic and easy to implement.  The recipient can select one or more to put in place straightaway.  Each email explains the ‘why’ as well as ‘what’ to do to encourage uptake.  

 The expert panel that helped create the advisory content includes: Dr Brian Malcolm, a GP that specialises in dermatology, Julie Van Onselen, Dermatology Clinical Advisor and Educator and Dr Anna Baker, a Health Psychologist and Cognitive Behavioural Therapist.  The advisory emails were reviewed and approved by a panel of dermatology experts commissioned by the British Skin Foundation.  In addition, the advice emails were tried and tested by a small panel of people with problematic skin.

It’s simple and free to sign up to, and you get weekly mails arriving in your inbox with advice and information tailored to you. We signed up, because whilst we have been doing this dealing with eczema and psoriasis thing for a long time, I am always keen for new advice and input and I know that skin care researchers are always working on new treatments and ideas so it’s great to be on the receiving end of these mails to give me top tips and expert input, and also to fill me in on things that are new or that I might not have tried. The mails are useful and very informative and easy to read and we have found them very helpful. 

You can sign up with Cetraben at Start From Scratch and start getting advice and information send straight to you. Why not sign up today, and see if they can give you the support you need to work out what’s best for the skincare issues you or a family member may be struggling with. It’s certainly been helpful for us. 

*this is a collaborative post*
Posted in Family Life and Parenting, Health Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Seo wordpress plugin by www.seowizard.org.