Why I support the restricting of laxatives from sale within the UK…

*this post discusses eating disorders, the use of laxatives, bulimia and mental health. If any of these are a trigger issue for you, it may be best you don’t read on. However, if you read this and would like to reach out for some help, or know you are not alone, please do contact me and I can point you towards some helpful sources of support*

It’s rare for me to talk about a part of my past that I walked away from 20 years ago.

It’s also rare for me to stand up and say that something should be restricted and people shouldn’t be able to have the right to just buy them.

The BBC article mentioning that the government is looking at restricting access to laxatives that at the moment can be easily bought over the counter, by anyone, caught my eye today.

Normally I would chafe at the government telling me what I can and can’t buy or not allowing me to make choices. Normally this would annoy me. 

But twenty years ago, I made a choice to walk away from laxative induced bulimia and I fully agree that laxatives should not be so easy to buy. 

I am a recovered bulimic. I spent two years dealing with anorexia and two years taking laxatives that helped me to remove the food that I binged on. I almost put myself into kidney failure, my period stopped, my digestive system basically stopped working properly. I wasn’t thin, and I hid it well but I was able to comfort eat a LOT of food to fill the void and temporarily ease my brokenness, and then take 30-40 laxative tablets a day, to clean all that food out before my body could digest it. It meant I didn’t gain weight. I felt terrible most of the time but I functioned.

I stumbled upon laxatives and the idea of flushing my system after a violent bout of food poisoning, where I had diarrhoea and lost almost half a stone in a week! I was on a quest to be and stay thin and I illogically realised that I could give myself diarrhoea, if I ate too much, and I wouldn’t gain weight. Ironically, a friend from school, I knew had struggled with bulimia, but she had made herself vomit after eating. It didn’t occur to me at the time that taking laxatives was the same thing, just a different exit route (sorry for the tmi there) I bought and consumed laxatives almost every day for two years. I didn’t see that I had stepped from restricted eating to bingeing and purging, I just saw it as a way to be able to eat (I loved my food, just not the weight it made me gain) and not gain weight. My mind was a mess and my body was becoming one. My self image and disordered thinking around food and comfort made me do something very dangerous. I think the most tables I took in one day was 45. You can literally walk into most pharmacists and supermarkets and buy them and no one questions. You could just be mildly constipated, or you could be trying to make the contents of your stomach leave. No one checks, or asks you what you are needing them for. 

It was only when I ended up in A&E dehydrated and shaking, the doctor who saw me worked out what was going on, told me I was killing my self and referred me into the mental health system and I started to realise that I was broken, hurting, hurting myself and I didn’t actually want to die. I wanted to go to nursing school, to get married and be able to have children. I came home and I made a promise to myself I would never touch laxatives again. I spent time in therapy, and as an outpatient in an eating disorder unit, learning to manage and work through the issues that were causing my warped view of my body and the control food had over me. It took me a long time to be able to view food in a healthy way, and not to want to binge and purge. I was tempted a few times to go and do it again, but found the will to walk away from that temptation. 

I could, still in theory, walk into my local supermarket, tomorrow, go the over the counter section where you can buy medication with no restrictions, and buy as many packets of laxatives as I want, and walk out and take them. They are not monitored like pain medication or cold and cough medication. If my tweenager, aged not quite twelve, decided she wanted to take them, she could, and no one would stop her. 

Laxatives are a medication that if used sensibly for short term constipation, are an answer for some, but they can be used to facilitate someone purging themselves as part of an eating disorder. I don’t believe they should be so easy to access and buy. We live in a generation where even more pressure is put on girls and young people to look a certain way, social media and peers setting standards where “thin” is still desired. My own daughter has come to me and worried that she isn’t as “skinny” as some of her classmates, and we have had to reassure her that for her height and shape, she is perfect and even if she did have weight issues, we would not want her to take matters into her own hands, so we are very careful about talk of “being fat” and we don’t talk about weight or shape. I am very careful about how I talk about my own body around her and my son. 

I think, if I hadn’t been able to get hold of laxative so easily and cheaply, I possibly may not have wandered down the route of using them to purge my body. 

Like other medications, they can be kept where you have to ask for them, and there are at least some checks in place. So if a 15 year old walks up the counter in her local pharmacy and asks for three packets of laxative, she will be asked why she wants them, and if she can’t justify why, she won’t be allowed to buy them. \

Yes, in theory someone could buy them online, but again, checks need to be put in place. Someone should not be able to buy more than one packet at a time, or a number of packets in a period of time. 

If we can do this for other medications, we should be able to do this for laxatives. 

For once, I think it’s right. Close or at least narrow the way someone can damage their bodies. 

Laxative use, bingeing and purging, nearly destroyed me. I for one, think restricting their access is a good thing…

 

 

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Our week in photos Sept 15-22nd 2018

So we stopped our weekly photo updates a while ago, but then I decided that it would be nice to bring them back, mainly as a sort of memory recording for me, but also to show grandparents and family who don’t see everything or who aren’t on other social media with us, what we have been up to. 

We have had tweens going away and having a blast with her new class at school (she came home tired, covered in bruises from wall climbing and zip lining and making rafts) but she still has hair goals that make me envious. I really should let her do my hair, shouldn’t I?

We took a meal to a friend that had just had a new baby (something we like to do if we can) we made cookies, and it’s possible that I may have had a very tough week and resorted to sneaky life essentials to keep me going. 

We have been working on a plan for a special visit to Paradise Wildlife Park next weekend, and we have also literally gone BONKERS for conkers, and we now have so many in the house, that I have lost count. Apparently they ward off spiders. We certainly have enough to do that and then some! 

I discovered that one of my children adores anchovies and of course, we have our obligatory grumpycat photo. What would life be without that?

So that was our week. How was yours?

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3 Common Reasons for Contesting a Will  

Be mindful that contesting a will is not an easy or cheap process, so you may want to think twice before moving forward with your actions. However, it’s also possible there is good reason for why you want to contest a will and that you feel will give you a solid chance of being successful.

In fact, there are three explanations, in particular, that may cause you to want to contest a will. It’s a wise idea to make sure you feel confident that one or several of these points are valid before you proceed. Most importantly, do your due diligence and take your time, so you don’t make any silly mistakes.

Can Identify A Problem with it

One main reason you may want to contest a will is because you can clearly identify a problem with it. It’s possible you notice an issue with what or how much you’ve been granted and believe this isn’t what the testator truly wanted. If this is your situation, it’s best you bring your case to the people who work with these types of disputes on a regular basis such as The Inheritance Experts. They can help guide you and walk you through the next steps regarding how and if you should continue.

Lack of Mental Capacity

Another reason for contesting a will is that the person who wrote the will wasn’t mentally capable of doing so when the will was written and signed. This could be for a wide number of causes such as dementia, insanity or that they were under the influence of a substance. It can be difficult to prove because you have to be able to show the testator didn’t understand the consequences of what they were doing at the time and were out of mind. Keep in mind that this is a very possible scenario given the fact that those who write their will are often old and aging.

There’s an Updated Version

Additionally, a common reason for contesting a will is that there may be a newer or updated version of it out there that should have been considered. It’s important that you make sure to go through the proper steps to destroy the older will if you want to avoid this situation. Be sure the documents are properly dated and act fast if you believe there has been a mix-up and that there’s a more current version of the will you should be referring to. It’s going to depend on the particular laws of where you are based, and if the proper steps were taken to make sure the previous version was marked as invalid.

Conclusion

The reality is that there are a wide variety of reasons for why a will can be contested, but these are a few of the most common ones you should be aware of. If yours isn’t on this list that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t proceed and dig deeper into your specific scenario. In general, it’s best to get legal advice in this case and only proceed if you feel you have strong grounds for contesting it.

*this is a collaborative post*
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Newborn Checklist: What Do You Need?

(image source)

Nine months may feel like a long time, but there’s a lot to do when prepping for your baby’s arrival. Some expectant mothers buy their newborn essentials early on to avoid shopping when they’re heavily pregnant, while others wait until the last minute. Some are even caught out by an early delivery. Whether you’re super organised or doing a last-minute dash, this list will help you find everything you need to welcome your newborn

Nappies

Whether you choose the disposables or the reusable cloth kind, nappies are must-haves for the first 2-3 years of a baby’s life. Remember to pack some in your hospital bag and have a few different sizes waiting at home – you never know how big your baby will be. You can buy disposable nappies from most supermarkets and cloth nappies can be found online at The Green Nursery.

Baby clothes

You’ll need lots of baby clothes that are comfy and practical. Essential items include onesies with wide head openings, undersuits, pyjamas, a baby sleeping bag, jumpers or cardigans, socks and booties, hats, no-scratch mittens and a fleece suit for colder weather.

Sleeping

Your baby will need somewhere to sleep, such as a cot, cradle or Moses basket. This should have a flat, firm mattress but no pillow. Washable mattress pads and multiple fitted sheets are a must for dealing with vomit and spit-up – both of which are common in the early days. You should avoid using loose blankets, as these can pose a suffocation risk.

Feeding

Whether you breast or bottle feed your infant, there are some essentials you can’t get by without. One is a breast pump to help manage your supply, another is nipple cream to soothe your breasts in the early days. You will also need plenty of burp cloths or muslins. If you’re nursing, it’s a good idea to keep milk storage bags for the fridge and freezer and invest in a nursing pillow. If you plan to bottle feed, you will need 10+ bottles, a bottle brush, formula and sterilising equipment. When your baby begins weaning at around 6 months old, you will also need a high chair, spoons, bowls and plates.

Furniture

You don’t need much in the way of nursery furniture – as long as there’s somewhere comfortable for the baby to sleep and a mat for playing on. However, you may also decide on a changing unit where you can keep nappies, wipes and ointments, as well as a rocking chair for late-night feeds. You’ll also need somewhere to keep the baby’s clothes and a toy basket. A comfortable infant chair is also a good idea to keep your baby entertained while you shower or do jobs around the house.

Travel

You will need a stroller or infant carrier for walks, as well as a rear-facing infant car seat. Bear in mind that if you’re driving home, the maternity unit won’t allow you to leave without checking your car seat is safe and that your baby is strapped in correctly. After that, it is up to you to learn baby car seat safety.

Bath time

Your baby should bathe in a baby bathtub for the first few weeks, though they will transition to a bath seat in the family bath later. You’ll need a few hooded soft towels, a baby hairbrush, baby soap and some soft washcloths and sponges.

There you have it – your definitive newborn checklist. Plenty of new parents choose to buy other items such as special clothes to wear home from the hospital, dummies and comforters, but all your child needs in those early days is you and a few basic essentials.

*this is a collaborative post*

 

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Project 365 – a photo a day 21/09/18

Life has been a little upside down here the past few days so we’ve missed a few daily photos but this probably sums up how I have survived…

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Sharing a little coffee love with Blue Coffee Box (a giveaway)

*this is a review post, but all opinions are our own, and we were not paid for this review, but kindly sent some coffee to try*

It is no secret around here that I and we LOVE coffee. You only have to follow us on social media for a few days to know that basically in our house,  COFFEE IS LIFE. 

I am very lucky that I have a husband who is, a little bit of a coffee snob, so he’s taught me to enjoy good coffee and he makes good coffee and we enjoy trying new types and brands, and finding coffee brews that work for us. Some days we like a mellow brew and some days we need what we call “kick ass strong” cup fulls of coffee goodness. 

So when the team at Blue Coffee Box asked us if we would like to try some of their coffee we weren’t exactly going to say no, were we? 

So what are they?

THE BLUE COFFEE BOX SUBSCRIPTION

Handpicked speciality arabica gourmet coffee from 17 countries, selected for your taste preference, freshly hand-roasted in the UK, and delivered in a sleek, letterbox friendly box with origin and tasting notes.

Ethically sourced gourmet coffee

Roasted by the UK’s best of the best roasters

Free UK delivery – delivered worldwide

Their subscriptions are really good value, per month, for either single bags of coffee, or for a box with several smaller packs to try different ones. When you think about how much you might spend on buying one cup of coffee from a coffee shop, or on your weekly grocery bill, adding coffee to make at home, it works out quite reasonably and you are getting great tasting coffee as well as supporting coffee farmers directly, through Direct Trade, not via a third party or big company. So you get good coffee and you are supporting those who grow it, in a sustainable way. That’s a pretty good deal. 

The packages arrive efficiently (and we had just run out) and are boxed with details of each coffee, or your the coffee you have chosen and how to brew it and about where it has come from, and the flavours you can expect with each coffee. 

But how does the coffee taste and what is our verdict? 

So far, we have been very impressed. We have tried two of the packs that have arrived, and it’s hard to choose which one I like best. One has been very mellow and delicious and one has been much more robust and packs that just needed punch. The cards that come with the coffee are really interesting to tell you where they come from, and how they have been grown and roasted, and what tastes to expect, and the husband and I have decided that we would like to quit our day jobs and become coffee tasters! Wishful thinking! 

This is a great way to try new coffees and also support coffee growers, and would make a great gift for someone, or just as a treat for yourself. It’s also a perfect way to try new coffees. 

We have some good news, if you are someone who would like to try these coffees. We have three one month boxes of Blue Box Coffee to giveaway. Three winners will get a months supply to try and enjoy. 

All you need to do is comment on this post, with how you like your coffee and where your favourite coffee comes from (I like strong Italian roasts, the husband like South American blends) and then click on the link to complete your entry. It’s a simple as that. 

So good luck. Coffee is life!

One month of Blue Box coffee to try…

Terms & Conditions
 Three winners will be chosen to receive a months supply of coffee from Blue Box Coffee sent to them. 

NO cash prize or alternatives

Winner has 28 days to respond or new winners will be chosen

Winners must be 18 and UK residents

All entry requirements must be fulfilled and spam entries will be deleted

Winner will be notified via e-mail  and permission asked to share their postal details and e mail with the company sending the items. Please see our GDPR policy for privacy and data storage information. 

Ends 20/10/18

 

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Simple ways to encourage wildlife to your garden…

We are very lucky, that we have a garden, to enjoy, throughout the year. Maintaining it can be hard work, but it’s a lovely space to have and it means we can enjoy spending time outside, and the children can play, and get the benefits of being outside, which we all know are important. 

One of the things we love about having a garden and living where we do, is the wildlife that we see or know are also taking advantage of the space, and sharing it with us, or are we sharing it with them? 

We want to encourage wildlife, particularly those animals whose numbers are declining, and who are being pushed away from their natural habitats, by us humans. There are five very simple and easy ways you can help and encourage wildlife to visit or even make your garden and it’s surrounds their home, or at least a safe space for them. 

We have been very lucky to spot hedgehogs, badgers, foxes, and a number of butterflies, and because we are not fanatic gardeners, and we allow plants that are meant to grow locally to flourish we also get bees and other insects visiting. We have also planted some flowers and plants that will encourage insects, particularly bees, to populate. 

Some of the creatures and wildlife we don’t really get to see, when they visit our garden, because they come when we aren’t around, or at night when we are asleep, but we do like to be able to sit in the garden and enjoy watching nature happen around us. Sloane and Son’s Garden benches make the perfect garden furniture for sitting outside, in the garden, either for eating alfresco, soaking up some sun, relaxing after a days work, or when you have guests over, and you want to take advantage of good weather, or simply to sit and watch what nature sends to also enjoy the space. There is nothing I like more than taking a cup of coffee out to the garden to sit and just breathe for a few minutes, when I can, or sending the children outside to play. Sharing our garden and making it a lovely space for both us and the wildlife that inhabits it, is something we plan to keep doing, it’s for our benefit and theirs, and everybody wins. That can’t be a bad thing, can it?

*this is a collaborative post. Images used with permission*

 

 

 

Studying With Kids Around? It Can Be Done…

(Photo credit)

Studying with children around… mission impossible, right?

It is understandable why you would assume this. After all, it is not like children like to give us a moment to ourselves! However, while it can be harder to study while you have kids, it is not impossible. And no, you don’t need supermom powers! You simply need to master the art of time organisation, choose revision methds with care, and select a course that gives you a good amount of flexibility. This is the winning formula. Read on to discover more about the steps you should take.

Select a course that offers a good amount of flexibility – When it comes to choosing a course, it is definitely advisable to go down the online route. If you do this, you won’t have to compromise. Virtually every course is available online nowadays. This includes everything from nursing to an online engineering MBA. The great thing about online courses is that they offer more flexibility because you can learn and study whenever suits you. Despite this, the courses are the same in terms of content and the qualification you will receive at the end.

Be clever with your study and revision methods – The second tip you need to follow is all about being clever with the study and revision methods you use. Tailor your revision based on what your children are doing. If your children are asleep, for example, this is when you can really work hard on the most difficult elements of your case. If your children are watching the television, you could put your headphones in and listen to audio notes? That way, you are present with them, yet you are still studying.

Learn how to organise your time like a pro – The final piece of the puzzle is to become a pro with time management. You need to put together a thorough schedule on a weekly basis. Make sure your schedule does not only include your study commitments, but also your parental commitments too. You will then be able to determine the periods throughout the week whereby you will have moments to yourself and so you will be able to get the most done in terms of revising and learning new material. Make sure your schedule is flexible on the timing front, as something may take longer than expected, especially with kids around!

If you follow the three steps that have been mentioned above, you can ensure that you are able to study effectively while you have children around. No matter whether you are taking a degree in engineering, accountancy, forensics, or any other type of subject, if you choose a course carefully, organise your time well, and make the most of different revision methods, you can go a long way to ensuring you achieve study success!

*this is a collaborative post*

 

My Sunday Photo

This sums up how I have felt this week. Prickly. Safe to say I am glad the week is over. Taken at Kew Gardens, using my Huawei P20. No filters or editing. I do love catci, even when I am grumpy about life… 

Photalife
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Our week in photos – Sept 8th -14th 2018

So we stopped our weekly photo updates a while ago, but then I decided that it would be nice to bring them back, mainly as a sort of memory recording for me, but also to show grandparents and family who don’t see everything or who aren’t on other social media with us, what we have been up to. 

It has been a busy week, we are all settling into school routines and life, and getting back to normal after the school holidays. 

This week we have had Peacock feather collages, celebrating Roald Dahl’s birthday with a favourite story, tweens who have commandeered Mum’s precious MacBook to do their homework and signs of autumn coming with conker and acorn collecting happening and piles of nature things accumulating in my handbag, and around the house. 

We have also had cookie making (the recipe is here) I have been baking bread partly to eat and partly because I find baking therapeutic and husbands happy with coffee deliveries, and I found out this week that there’s a Vietnamese food stall near where I work and I am now going to be spending all my lunch money there every week…

We have also had the usual cat’s in charge of life scenarios, with Layla in the front line for photo opportunities and we had Daisy the Dog come for an evening of dog sitting. We are thinking about getting a dog so any dog practice is good for us to see what it’s like. 

This week coming we have the tween going off on a school trip, already, the boy and are I are off to a blog event later this week, and I am finally getting to grips with Pinterest (shameless plug, please follow me there, and any tips on how to make it work, are most appreciated. 

So that’s our week. How’s yours been? 

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