Wednesday, 30 July 2014

All Bran 5 Day Challenge

I was recently sent three boxes of new All Bran cereals, Red Berry Crunch, Chocolate Wheats and Golden Crunch. I was asked to take the All Bran 5 day challenge and to see his I felt at the end as well as sharing my thoughts on the three new flavours. 

The 5 day challenge is all about embracing our tummies and the way they look. Each of the All Bran products has digestive health benefits and All Bran claim that if you make it part of your daily routine to eat a bowl of All Bran then you should start to feel the benefits after just three days! They also say after five days you could start to feel more energised, revitalized and really good on the inside.

I have to say I am pretty good at eating breakfast regularly. It is very rare I go without and I do love my cereals but do sometimes find myself eating the kids ones sometimes for ease whilst making breakfast for the three of us rather than opting for healthier alternatives.

So the flavours... I was very happy to see the chocolate wheat as it's not often you get a chocolate option with healthy cereals. These were definitely my favourite followed closely by the red berry crunch which contained lovely pieces of dried strawberry. The golden crunch were ok but I would definitely say I'm less likely to go out and buy that flavour for myself as they were far too plain tasting for me.

As for the 5 day challenge, I can't say I felt much different especially energy-wise after the five days but I feel like that could very well be because of being pregnant. It's a shame as I could certainly do with an energy boost. I did really enjoy the cereals though and so I will try the challenge again once the baby is born and see if I feel any different.

This post is an entry for the Real Mums of All-Bran Linky Challenge, sponsored by Kelloggs

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Review: Spatone apple iron supplement

If you read my pregnancy diary you may already know that I've suffered pretty bad with anaemia and have been taking Spatone liquid iron supplements to try an raise my iron levels. Ever since I had Gracie almost four years ago, I've suffered on/off with anaemia and I've always used Spatone original sachets mixed in orange juice as vitamin C helps to absorb iron. Whenever I started to feel tired and drained, mainly in pregnancy, I would start on the Spatone again. What I liked was the lack of nasty side effects compared to the iron tablets which commonly cause stomach cramps and constipation.

Well at Britmums Live, I managed to speak to the lovely ladies from Spatone and got to try the new Spatone apple sachets, Spatone apple is your usual Spatone dose but already mixed with apple juice in a handy sachet. This means it tastes much nicer and is much more convenient for on the go. I was sent a months supply (a box containing 28 sachets) of Spatone apple to try so I could give them my thoughts and to see how it left me feeling by the end of the month. 

I've definitely found myself remembering to take my iron more frequently as I've left it in sight in the kitchen so if I'm in the house I take it there and then and if I'm in a rush going out I throw one in my handbag to take while I'm out. The first two weeks I didn't feel much different with my tiredness and energy levels. After the first two weeks though I started to feel less tired and lethargic and I can only assume it was the extra boost of Iron. I have also been informed by my midwife it is fine for me to take a double dose of Iron as my levels are so low and I need to keep them up for my C-Section so some days I have been taking an extra sachet, especially on days when I start to feel tired and drained again.

It is not particularly cheap to buy, although I find most vitamins expensive. I have found it is on long term offer at both Boots, where it is £10.75 and Tesco where it is £9.95 with them both offering 3 for 2 across their vitamins range so you can buy a three month supply for the price of two months or you can mix your order with any other vitamins you may need to buy. Plus you collect points at both stores too if you have loyalty cards.

If you have low iron or are looking for a top up of your Iron I would definitely recommend trying Spatone. For me it's a pregnancy must-have!

I was sent a months supply of Spatone to try free of charge but all opinions are my own.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Nursery School Wear. Buying Our First School Uniform

Well I'm pretty new to the whole school-wear scene. This year Gracie starts school Nursery and they have asked us to send the Nursery children in school uniform to get them used to it before Reception comes next year. With a new baby due to arrive just weeks before she starts I've had to get prepared early, I don't fancy panic buying last minute with three small children in tow. I've been looking out for the best offers as we have so much to buy and have shopped around in the hopes of finding long lasting yet affordable school clothing.

A few weeks back Marks & Spencer's had 20% back to school clothing. We got two packs of their 2 pack polo shirts for just £4 per pack and a 2 pack of skirts for just £8.

Not long before that Tesco had half price across ALL childrenswear! So I took full advantage by getting two Pinafores which were originally £5 for £2.50 each, two summer dresses which were £4 originally for £2 each and a 5 pack of knee length white socks for less than £2! I couldn't believe how much we saved.

It wasn't only supermarkets I shopped in, our local school uniform shop which sells all the school logo pieces had an offer on the PE kits. If you bought a school logo PE bag and T-shirt along with plain black shorts you pay just £10 saving a few pounds on the price of the items separately.

Of course with school shoes I've always been recommended to buy good quality at the beginning of the year as they need long lasting, hard wearing comfortable shoes. I usually use Clarks for the kids first pair of shoes but tend not to buy them regularly as they don't come cheap. However, as these will be worn everyday it's important to me that I choose the right ones. So we got Gracie measured at Clarks and she chose these lovely Daisy Meadow black leather shoes. You can see the rest of the Clarks school shoes collection here.

Now when it comes to jumpers and cardigans, my pretty amazing Nan, who used to knit all my school jumpers and cardigans as a child, has knitted Gracie two beautiful red cardigans to match the school colours meaning I don't have to worry about buying any.

 I also bought her a bargain pretty child's satchel from Cath Kidston a few months back for around £7. How cute is this?!

I think I've done pretty well, with only PE pumps and trainers left on my list to buy. Although I was a little naughty and with some of the money I saved with my bargain uniform buys I treated Gracie to some cute matching hair accessories. She is going to look so grown up in September!

Do you have any tips when it comes to buying school uniforms?

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

34 Weeks Pregnant

Today I am 34 weeks pregnant. Finally nearing the end. What a scorcher it's been this week too! I've barely been able to leave the house as it is just too hot to be this pregnant. I'm not moaning though , I have used the time to wash all our old baby girl clothes ready to put away in her wardrobe. It's been lovely looking through them. I had so much spare money when pregnant with Gracie as I had no rent or mortgage to pay so there are so many beautiful dresses and sleepsuits I am so glad I never got round to selling them as I can't wait to reuse them. 

I had a midwife appointment today which went mostly well except for I'm only measuring at 29 weeks so have been booked in for an emergency scan tomorrow morning to check all is ok. We are wondering whether baby is going to be smaller than Gracie and Zach which would definitely be a shock to the system. With my smallest baby so far being 9lb 10oz I don't know what I would do with a normal sized baby! I honestly don't mind how big baby is but I'm just hoping all goes well with the scan tomorrow and that she's just tucked in nice and tight.

Two weeks until my consultant appointment now and I can't wait to find out the date we will be meeting baby. It'll be nice to have an end date so I can finally be fully prepared for her arrival. 

Oh and *note to self* I MUST make a start on packing my hospital bag!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Gracie's Nursery Settling in Session

Last week I took Gracie for her settling in session in preparation for her starting school nursery this September. As she has always been cared for at home by us and very rarely looked after by friends or family, I was quite nervous for her.

She was very excited on the morning of the session. She woke up bright and early asking if it was time to go yet. I had to persuade her she didn't need to wear her uniform as that she could choose what to wear. She chose a Minnie Mouse dress top, black leggings and her denim jacket. She looked so grown up!

We left Zach at home with his great Nanny and Grandad and walked to school. We were the first there but soon joined by lots of others to queue up outside the Nursery classroom. I started to feel bad when the other parents and children seemed to know each other from preschool whereas Gracie knew no-one.

There was no need to worry. As soon as we were let in Gracie was off exploring. She started making pictures; painting, gluing & sticking and after a quick crayon picture she decided to head into the garden. The garden is lovely with lots of pretty plants and a huge selection of outdoor toys to play with. While Gracie was playing in the sand table I managed to have a chat with her TA.

The TA had been watching her and talking to her and pointed out to me how confident she was with everyone around her. She was shocked when I told her that Gracie had never been in any form of childcare before. Whilst I was chatting, Gracie disappeared to go and explore the rest of the garden and play with some more toys it was lovely seeing her go and play independently as I was expecting her to stick close to me. 

I was also glad that there were so many lovely children in the class and the parents were friendly. The session was only one hour long and flew by, it even ended in tears as Gracie wanted to stay longer. The whole day proved to me that she is definitely ready to go in September. I just can't believe how quick the time has come around!

Has anyone else got a little one starting school this September?

Thursday, 17 July 2014

33 Weeks Pregnant

You'll be relieved to hear I'm not moaning this week. I've had a pretty good week with not too many horrible symptoms. Although this week I have been amazed at how packed in baby feels inside me. It feels really uncomfortable compared to my last pregnancies but my bump is also much smaller. It's strange how totally different your bump can be each time and I really wish I had regular photos from my last pregnancies. I have lots of people making comments on how I don't look as far gone as I am. Along with one customer at work who actually gave me dieting tips as she thought I was just fat!

I've had an action packed week. We went to Alton Towers again Monday with my Dad and Stepmum for her 50th birthday and had an awesome day. I couldn't believe I lasted the whole day walking without too much struggling although I certainly ached Tuesday! Then Wednesday I braved getting the train to London alone to meet a blogger friend for a few blog events which was lots of fun but there will be a whole post about that soon so I won't divulge too much.

I also have a few baby essentials sorted now which I was panicking about. A few of the big things I needed now ticked off the list and I'm feeling much more optimistic. 

Things are looking much better this week and I think when I feel good I have a much better frame of mind so hopefully next week will be happy and healthy too!

Linking up to the #BlogBumpClub where you can find more posts clicking below or you can follow the hashtag on twitter.

Mother's Always Right

Friday, 11 July 2014

Why you shouldn't ask your toddler to name your new baby!

Why you shouldn't ask your toddler to name your new baby...

Buzz Lightyear, Gracie, Tinkerbell, Peppa Pig, the list goes on...

These are just a few of the completely serious name suggestions thrown into the mix by my 3.5 year old. I'm all for helping the older siblings feel included in decisions to avoid them feeling left out but maybe let them help pick some clothes or name the baby's 'favourite teddy'. Do not ask them what to call the baby unless you are just making a note of their suggestions for comedy value.

I don't know what possessed me to ask Gracie her opinion on names once we knew we were expecting a girl. It was definitely optimism at its best. As soon as she suggested Buzz Lightyear or 'Gracie like me' I decided she would not be naming our chunk number three!

Since then she has been coming up with a large range of unprompted suggestions. We can be watching a film or TV programme when she will suddenly say 'Tinkerbell, can I call that our baba now?' We have a giggle about it but I do wonder what she will say when baby arrives and we tell her baby's real name!

So If you are wondering of ways to make a toddler feel included in preparation for a new arrival, do not promise to let them name them. But maybe ask them if you fancy a giggle!

Have you ever had any hilarious name suggestions from your children? I would love to hear them!