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Category: Family Lifestyle & Personal Thoughts

  1. How to keep a relationship strong after having kids

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    There’s no doubt about it - having kids is going to change the dynamics of a relationship.  No longer can you devote all your time and attention to your other half.  Late nights and broken sleep can affect mood and stress levels, as well as decrease any expected precious evening time together you may have had planned.  Babies and children are unpredictable. 

    Even with a five year old and two year old, we never know what the day or night will bring.  Illnesses suddenly spring out of nowhere and though they may mostly sleep through the night, we’ll suddenly go through a patch of them refusing to go to bed or waking up with growing pains for nights on end.  Often we plan to spend an evening together with no work or social distractions, once the children are in bed, but by the time they are asleep we’re both practically asleep too or too shattered to interact!

    That being said, I feel like our relationship is still strong and perhaps even stronger since having children.  One friend with older children once told me if we can get through the early years of having kids, we can get through anything!

    Here are three things I think help to keep a relationship strong after having a baby.

    How to keep a relationship strong after having kids

    Stay intimate, when you can

    Women can feel very self-conscious of their new bodies after having a baby as often there are some changes in shape and size.  Reassure her that you still find her attractive.   Finding time for intimacy along with a newfound tiredness are definitely obstacles once you have children.  It can also take time to want to be intimate again after giving birth, so be patient!   

    Just knowing you still find each other attractive and that it’s simply these reasons for why there’s less affection will ensure no one feels insecure.  Communication with each other is important here too.  If you’re not ready, just say.  If you’re too tired, don’t feel pressured.  If there are other reasons for lack of intimacy such as pain, dryness or erectile dysfunction then seek advice.

    Communication is key

    Tying in nicely with both other points is communication.  Clearly discussing how one another is feeling is key to a successful relationship.  Being open, frank and honest is a must.  Playing silly games with one another or playing the silent game is never going to play out well.  Don’t always expect your other half to sense how you’re feeling, just be open and tell them.  Sometimes they have no clue if you’re stressed out or struggling, no matter how obvious you think it is.

    By discussing how you are feeling in an honest and open way means you can communicate clearly with one another and provide support if needed.

    Spend time together, kid free

    Harder said than done, but even one night every couple of months for a meal out together can be enough.  It’s a welcome break from the duties of parenthood and a chance to talk without interruption.

    If you don’t have any childcare or perhaps you’re still breastfeeding, why not set up a date night at home?  Once every week, or two, cook and enjoy a meal together with no TV, mobile phones or distractions (unless of course the kids wake up!).  If you can’t get out for a date night, bring the date night to you.

    Spending enough time together as a couple, remaining affectionate and clearly communicating is all so important for a strong relationship.

    Related blog posts:

    The secrets to a long term relationship
    A Sneak Peek at our Garden 'Wedfest' Wedding
    5 Annoying Things My Husband Does

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    How to keep a relationship strong after having kids

    *collaborative post

  2. The 5 Most Important Things to Have in Your First Aid Box

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    Having a first aid box wherever you are, whether at work, home or camping, is an essential. You never know when an injury may occur or when you may need to give first aid to yourself, your family or even a stranger. You may make your own first aid kit or buy one from many pharmacies and drug stores or online.  Here are some items you should include:

    The 5 Most Important Things to Have in Your First Aid Box

    Bandages and Dressings

    These are essential for any cuts and scrapes or a serious bleed. They are sterile and highly absorbent, and can be wrapped and tied around the area, meaning they stay on better than Elastoplast’s. If you ever need to assist someone who is having a serious bleed, a bandage can be used as a tourniquet tied above the bleed to reduce blood flow to the injured area and stop blood loss rapidly. Having this simple piece of equipment could be the difference between life and death with a large cut incident.

    Scissors

    These can be used to cut bandages, cut clothes, rope, seatbelts and many more. First aid box scissors are usually just used for simple things such as cutting dressings to the correct length, but can be used in more serious events to cut away clothes to reveal the site of injury if needed.

    Tweezers

    This is a simple one that many people may forget, but how many times as a child did you get a splinter? Splinters not only hurt, but left untreated can cause infection, so the sooner a splinter is removed, the better. If you go camping a lot, this is definitely an essential when learning how to make a first aid box based on what activities you are doing.

    Gloves

    Gloves protect you from bodily fluids or anything else you may come into contact with. There is no use in cleaning a wound with your hands that may be harboring thousands of germs. When administering first aid, we must ensure we protect ourselves, as well as the person we are administering first aid to. If you have a cut on your hand you may be endangering yourself to blood-borne viruses, making two casualties from the situation.

    Pain Relieving Medication

    No matter where we are or what we are doing, chances are someone has asked you at some point for some aspirin, and you haven’t been able to help. Having this in your first aid box means always having pain relief to hand if needed, as aspirin and ibuprofen are one of the highest selling over the counter medications, bringing in just over $4.1 billion in sales in 2016.

    These are just some of the essential things that you may need in your first aid box, but this is not a comprehensive list. There are many more items that may come in useful for you depending on whether you use a first aid box in a clinical setting or a family setting. Remember, even simple first aid can help save a life, always be prepared. 

    Related blog posts:

    Cardiac Arrest: How you can save someone’s life with a defibrillator
    Residues of 123 pesticides found in children’s school fruit! Yuck!
    Your ultimate inspirational guide to being truly healthy
    Physical education is no longer physical!

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    The 5 Most Important Things to Have in Your First Aid Box

    *collaborative post

  3. Style Challenge: Dressing the man in my life with Jacamo

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    I was recently set a style challenge by menswear clothing website Jacamo to style the man in my life with their clothes for £100.  I managed to kit hubby Ben out from head to toe with brand new jeans, a shirt, a parka jacket and even a pair of casual hi-tops for said budget.

    I’ve never really dressed Ben before.  He works at the head office of a large fashion brand so gets a lot of clothes from work, meaning we never have to shop for clothes for him.  Buying from another retailer was quite tricky at first as I’m so used to seeing him in the same clothes, but Jacamo have loads on offer. 

    They stock affordable clothes as well as well-known brands such as Firetrap, French Connection, Nike and many more.  When I realised I could get a whole outfit for £100 I rose to the challenge.  The challenge of dressing him head to toe, as well as attempting to find an outfit he’d actually want to wear.

    I chose black jeans as he only wears blue jeans.  Click here to see all the jeans.  He’s actually worn them since they arrived so that was a great choice.  Go me!  The shirt is a flannel feel, so super soft and cosy for the winter months in a festive red colour.  Hi-tops are always brilliant for keeping the wet ground away from feet and ankles warm so I reckon he’ll get a lot of use from these the coming months. 

    The jacket is quite lightweight, but perfect if you’re already wearing a stack of layers underneath, I’m thinking long sleeve tee with festive knitted Christmas jumper over the top… tis the season.  So if you’ve already got a few layers on, this jacket is great and you won’t feel so Michelin man like and unable to move.  That's the one thing I hate about winter - being so padded up in clothes I don't feel free.  View the jackets they stock here.

    I don’t think I did too badly and I reckon he looks pretty good.  I told Ben he can have the clothes so long as he poses for some photographs for my blog post.  He’s definitely more comfortable than me with having his picture taken, but I think he does feel like a plonker trying to actually pose for a clothes photo!   So we had a bit of a giggle and took some of his version of model poses as well as some more serious ones.

    Enjoy!

    Style Challenge Dressing the man in my life with Jacamo (3)

    Style Challenge Dressing the man in my life with Jacamo (4)Style Challenge Dressing the man in my life with Jacamo (2)

    Style Challenge Dressing the man in my life with Jacamo (5)

    And here's little Reuben wanting to get involved too:

    Style Challenge Dressing the man in my life with Jacamo (1)

     

    *I was sent these items for review by Jacamo – they sell some great menswear (see fabulous model hubby Ben above)

     Here are some more of my brilliant fashion blog posts:

    Do you dress like a mum? How my style is changing now I’m in my 30s. 
    Five Other Ways to Use Your Fashion Scarf 
    A peek at my new outfits from affordable fashion website LOTD

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    Style Challenge Dressing the man in my life with Jacamo

  4. A Christmas Gift Guide for Hubby with Jacamo

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    Now it’s November everyone can stop telling me to not mention the C word, as Christmas really is around the corner.  In fact, it’s next month!  Are you prepared?

    I was super organised this year and purchased our presents in September!  I wanted to be really prepared.  I’m also self-employed, so never know what my income will be like.  I had a good month in September so it seemed sensible to get the bulk of our shopping done whilst funds were good.

    The kids are super easy to buy for, but husband is not always so easy.  As adults if we need or want something, we just buy it!  Me and Ben usually don’t buy gifts for each other and instead treat ourselves to something big we need for the home.  The last two years have seen us buy a washer/dryer and a dishwasher.  I’ve got my eye on a G-Tech Air Ram this year!

    If Ben did want a Christmas present, he’d be pretty happy with some new clothes.  Most people roll their eyes at the thought of socks for Christmas, but he actually loves receiving them!  He says there’s nothing like a fresh pair of socks.  I also have no idea what he does to all his socks as they seem to get holes in so quickly, whereas mine last for years and years!

    I’ve been browsing the menswear section at Jacamo and they have loads of great gift ideas for men this year.  Here are my 6 top menswear gift ideas:

     

    Please pin me!

    JACAMO Christmas Gift Guide for Hubby

     

    Clockwise from left:

    Stag Print Shirt (JOE BROWNS XMAS STAG PRINT SHIRT)

    I just love this shirt, isn’t it awesome?  Who doesn’t love a stag print?  If hubby hates wearing a Christmas jumper, this is a great alternative and he’ll look cool too.

    Monster Socks (CAPSULE PACK OF 4 MONSTER SOCKS)

    I told you hubby always love fresh socks, so I had to feature some.  For added novelty value go for these monster print versions.

    Red Checked Shirt (FIRETRAP CHASM SHIRT)

    Red and green are colours symbolic with the festive season.  This red shirt will look great on and is perfect for casual Christmas drinkies.

    Christmas Pants (CAPSULE PACK OF 3 HIPSTERS)

    As well as new socks, who doesn’t love some new pants?  Plus at Christmas you can get away with wearing some novelty prints such as these holly, snowmen and pudding pants!

    Cosy Slipper Socks (CAPSULE PACK OF 2 SLIPPER SOCKS)

    I had to include these socks too as I’ve never seen the slipper socks for men before.  I have stacks of these as they are so cosy on our hard floors in the winter, so I’m sure hubby would be grateful for a pair too.

    Click here to go to the Jacamo website for fab socks and pants and even more gift ideas for your hubby!

     

    More Christmas blog posts:

    Organise Your Money this Christmas with a Budget Planner
    Christmas Comes Early: My First Scalextric Review
    How to prepare your home for guests this Christmas
    Simple Style Tricks To Make Your Home Feel Cosy This Winter
    9 Indoor activities to keep adults entertained at home this winter 

     

    *collaborative post

  5. Natural Mums: An Introduction to Eco Friendly Cloth Nappies with Me Becoming Mum

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    Today I have a guest post for you from Naomi who blogs at Me Becoming Mum.  As you may have guessed I am very into healthy living.  This extends from the healthy food choices I make right through to what I choose to put on my skin and the products I use around the home.  One thing I didn’t use with my children was cloth nappies. 

    If I had my children again I would absolutely consider it.  I hate the terrible impact we are having on the environment every day and this is why I choose to use natural products on me and around the home.  Everything eventually ends up back in the environment at some point.  I have started using natural tampons and pads which are organic and biodegradable.  There are so many choices we can make every day to protect ourselves and the environment from unnecessary damage.

    I’m going to learn a thing or two myself today.  Enjoy!

    Natural Mums An Introduction to Eco Friendly Cloth Nappies with Me Becoming

    Using Cloth Alternatives

    Hi, I’m Naomi and I blog over at Me Becoming Mum. I like to write honest posts, keeping it real about the truths and realities of my life from pregnancy and parenthood, to being a wife and running my own business.

    I am a 26 year old wife of six and a half years and mummy to two beautiful little girls, my eldest turned three in February 2017 and my youngest who will be one in December 2017.

    Now before I get started, I want you to know something. I am not some crazy hippy chick, who loves to dance around a camp fire and live in a cave. I am a true representation of the technology generation (I guess I would have to be to be able to keep up with a blog, business and the 6+ social media accounts that accompany them!) At the same time, I do use cloth alternatives to the disposable products that a lot of women and parents opt to use. These include cloth nappies for my children, cloth sanitary pads and cloth breast pads.

    I didn’t always use them. To be honest, if you had asked me five years ago if I would be now, I would likely have laughed in your face. The idea of having to wash anything with bodily fluids of any kind on would have repulsed me. It kind of still does, but I do it anyway. The reality is that it is likely I would be doing so anyway, as how many people have had to wash clothes after a messy night out; and how many parents have had to deal with those epic baby poo-spolsions that cover you and the child and require nothing short of a full on shower to clean you both off?

    Now that I use them, I wouldn’t go back. I decided to share with you my top five reasons for using cloth; so here we go:

    1)      You should use cloth alternatives because... they are so much cheaper!

    We started using cloth nappies when we discovered that our eldest daughter was allergic to disposable nappies, but when we made the calculations we worked out what a good idea it was. The initial outlay seems expensive (on average a birth to potty collection of day and night nappies will cost between £200 and £300) but in the long run it is so much cheaper, as you only have to buy them once. Those nappies will not only last until your child is toilet trained; but any other children that you have too! The same goes for breast pads (for those of us that breastfeed) and sanitary pads (which will work for every woman!).

    2)      You should use cloth alternatives because... they are so much more comfy!

    This goes for the items that I use as well as the nappies. Soft cottons and other fibres are so much nicer to wear than the paper used for disposable items. After all breast pads, sanitary pads and nappies are all going in some of the most sensitive areas of our baby’s and our bodies. A lot of places offer different linings too, I have some minky sanitary pads that are the most comfy things to wear, especially when I am super uncomfortable in the first place.

    3)      You should use cloth alternatives because... they look so much nicer!

    When I first started looking into cloth nappies for our daughter, I was expecting (like I imagine most people do!) to find a whole load of big sheets you need to wrap around your baby, and nappy pins to seal them. This is not the case. They look no different to normal nappies, plus they come in so many different designs. Just like everything we buy there are different brands, but the one thing they all have in common is the fact that they have an amazing range of colours and patterns for you to choose from. The same applies to the breast pads and sanitary pads. Although no one except you will see them, I have everything from flowers to rainbows on mine!

    4)      You should use cloth alternatives because... they can be used again and again!

    The one thing that I love about cloth is that no matter how many periods and children I have I will never run out of sanitary pads, breast pads or nappies. There will be no running down to the shop in a panic because I have run out and if I had more than one child in nappies at the same time it will not cost me any extra because I already have the stash to cover them.

    5)      You should use cloth alternatives because... they are better for the environment!

    This may be a really obvious one, but not chucking a load of nappies, sanitary pads, tampons and breast pads into the bin to end up on landfills is so much better for the environment. Even though you are using the washing machine a few extra times it is still more environmentally friendly to use cloth rather than their disposable counterparts.

    You can find me in the following places:

    Website: www.mebecomingmum.co.uk

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/mebecomingmum

    Instagram: www.instagram.com/mebecomingmum

    Twitter: www.twitter.com/mebecomingmum

    Thank you so much to Naomi for popping by today and sharing all she knows about cloth nappies.  Would I make the switch if I had another child or could go back in time?  Absolutely.  I really think I would.  I dread to think of how many nappies I’ve thrown out and into a landfill.  It’s quite a disgusting thought!

    Related blog posts:
    3 Important Reasons to Choose Organic (other than your personal health)
    My Current Top 5 Natural Home Cleaning Brands
    How to save time and money on your laundry with Ecoegg
    Eco Diva Ultimate Cleaner Review
    Natural Beauty: What’s in my make up bag?

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    Natural Mums- An Introduction to Eco Friendly Cloth Nappies with Me Becomin