Friday, June 27, 2014

Play and learn with playgro

I tell you being a toy tester is a hard life.... its just so... demanding. Nah, just kidding, being a toy tester is pretty freakin awesome! I mean that's what bub tells me. I think I actually play with the toys almost as much as she does sometimes, you know for research purposes. So you guys can be sure I'm providing an expert opinion in my reviews (yea lets go with that excuse). So, without further ado, let me introduce you to the next toy we've been testing out as part of our very important toy testing duties.
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

52 WEEKS OF MEMORIES | 25 - FAVOURITE TOY

Bub is somewhat spoilt for choice when it comes to toys. Its entirely my fault. I keep finding toys that are too cool to leave behind at the shops. Toys that allow me to relive my childhood. Toys that give her hours of entertainment. Toys that light up those perfect sparkly little blue eyes. Basically any cute toys.

She goes through phases with her toys. She seems to be on the cusp of graduating from the 'baby' toys like rattles to more grown up toys. Shes very into rolling balls (of all shapes and sizes) back and forth with me. Her most favourite thing to do at the moment though is to put little toys in and out of her cookie jar. The cookie jar is a second hand toy we inherited so I don't know where the original shapes are but she makes do with any old random toys she can fit into the opening. At the moment she prefers to use the wooden stacking discs from her windmill toy as fake cookies. Its very cute and shes so proud of herself.
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The moment I finally realised I was infertile




Walking into the fertility clinic part of the hospital I was still in denial. There wasn't anything wrong with me. This was just a follow-up by an overzealous dr. Sure we'd been trying to have a baby for over two years at this point, but it wasn't because I was infertile. It had to be something else. Timing, stress... anything. Anything but infertility. Something else I could fix, or change, or eliminate in order to solve the problem, but infertility I couldn't.

Sitting in the waiting room hallway I looked up and down at all the couples lined up against the wall waiting to see the drs and find out their fate. It was like a game of bingo sitting there eagerly waiting for our names to be called out. Each time a door opened and a name was read out a wave of excitement, then disappointment, washed over me.

My mind kept wandering back to the moment at highschool when we had the dreaded sex ed talk. They drummed home the "if you have unprotected sex you will get pregnant" message over and over. Well here I was sitting in a waiting room calling bullshit on that theory. I wanted nothing more than to get pregnant by having unprotected sex. In fact I was actively trying to do it. I felt like I'd been lied to all those years prior.

Its ok though there was still a shred of hope. I'd been taking clomid and I was sure this month was going to be it. This was the miracle I needed. I would go into that room and do a pregnancy test and it would be all good. I would be pregnant. I ignored that tiny flicker of doubt in the back of my mind and tried to reassure myself that this was it.

Finally we got called into the office. I was so eager to tell the dr that I thought I was pregnant. I was practically begging for a pregnancy test. He sent me off to do the test and I envisaged watching the line appear and the huge smile that would come across my face as I saw it. In reality I was told I had to give a sample and then a nurse had to come and collect it and conduct the pregnancy test in the lab. I don't know why I wasn't allowed to do my own test, god knows I was an expert at pregnancy tests by then. It didn't phase me too much though, it just meant I got to live in false hope for a bit longer.

Eventually the test results were in and I wasn't pregnant. It was amazing how nonchalant the dr was delivering the result. It was such a huge emotional blow for me and it was just another test result to him. Its interesting how something that can have such a devastating impact on my life was relatively meaningless to another. After that he went on to explain that we'd gone through all the options we could via the hospital clinic. If we wanted to continue with treatment we'd have to go onto IVF with a private clinic.

And there it was. There was no longer any doubt. I was most definitely infertile. I'd been denying it for so long, but when you hear the words your only option from here is IVF, it kind of smacks you square in the face.

I left that appointment feeling completely deflated. It didn't help that the clinic was right next to the maternity ward so I had to walk past all the pregnant women and their burgeoning bellies on the way out. For the last few weeks I'd looked at them with anticipation assuming I'd soon be joining them. This time I walked out resenting them. I resented that they had what I didn't and might never have. I didn't know them, but I couldn't help feeling like they'd betrayed me by flaunting their pregnant bellies around in public where I could see them. In reality they were just going about their business attending prenatal appointments and I was just being bitter and twisted and redirecting my disappointment into anger.

Infertility has a way of doing that to a person. You become somewhat irrational. Its hard to not become bitter. Suddenly every pregnant woman is having a child just to rub it in your face that they can, at least thats what you think at the time. Infertility is like having a monkey on your back. It's all consuming. Its deflating. Its depressing. But, like other obstacles in life it can be overcome (in some circumstances).

Three and a bit years, a divorce, a new partner and more fertility treatment on from that moment I became a mum. It wasn't without its dramas and a complicated pregnancy, but we got there and that's all that matters. Hopefully we'll be able to do it again in the future.


Toni x


Linking up with Jess, BelSonia and Cat




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Friday, June 20, 2014

The new little black dress

The little black dress - its a staple in every woman's wardrobe no matter what age. I've owned so many over the years. Majority of them following the same template - short, tight, uncomfortable, cant-bend-over-in-them but they looked shit hot! The last time I wore one of them was on our Sydney holiday in 2012 (where I incidentally got pregnant with our baby). The short, sexy type of little black dress has served me well over the years, but alas we had to part ways after I had said baby. It seems my hips grew wider. So, they sit in the wardrobe in the spare room until I decide I can bear parting ways with them.
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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

52 WEEKS OF MEMORIES | 24 - OUT & ABOUT (with Jimmy Giggle)

I planned the best day ever last Monday. Jimmy Giggle from Giggle and Hoot was visiting QLD and thanks to maternity leave we were able to attend! I have to say I was super excited about this, possibly even more than bub. Ok definitely more than bub given she didn't even know it was going to happen.

Shes seriously obsessed with Giggle and Hoot. I swear she times her naps around it when we're home. She can be sound asleep and then randomly wakes up right before Giggle and Hoot starts. I thought it was a fluke the first time, but she does it all the time now. The theme song is also my go to defence against the dreaded tantrums, especially in the car. Thankgod for youtube, its saved me from so many mega meltdowns when we're stuck in traffic.
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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mummy Must Have Review | Tiptoe & Co baby shoes

When I found out I was having a girl I couldn't wait to go out and buy a heap of cute teeny tiny baby shoes (as well as a bunch of other cute stuff). I had all these dreams of cute little outfits - matching tops and bottoms with cute shoes and bows in her hair. So I went a little overboard buying a bunch of cute shoes for 0-3 months and 3-6 months and had them all lined up in a pretty row in her nursery waiting for my future mini fashionista to arrive.

There were another four pairs in her drawers as well

In reality though the first few weeks were a blur of continuous nappy changes, sleeping and feeding and aint nobody got time to pull shoes and 2 piece outfits on and off every two hours for nappy changes. She pretty much spent her first three months in onesies all day and night. Cute onesies, but onesies that didn't require stylish shoes. We also didn't leave the house much in the first few weeks so my need motivation to dress her up all cutesie and matching wasn't very high. Needless to say, by the time the newborn fog cleared and I got around to going out and showing her off, she'd already grown out of most of the shoes (and cute outfits) I bought her. Luckily I only bought cheap shoes.

She still fit into one or two pairs, but I soon found out cheap shoes are just that. The shoes were obviously very poorly cut because each pair left red marks around her ankles, on her toes and across the top of her foot, even after wearing them for only short periods of time. Each time I put shoes on her she'd immediately try to pull them off. Most of them she could pull off without much trouble even while they were still done up. She preferred to try and eat them than actually wear them. So, I kind of gave up on the whole shoe idea and made do with socks and bare feet for a few months.

Since about eight months old she's been pulling herself up and cruising along the furniture. She's now progressed to cruising along anything and everything, only holding on with one hand. She also takes her walker, activity table, high chair and now port-a-cot (of all things) for walks around the lounge room each day. Its become quite apparent that little miss will soon be off walking on her own. So she definitely needs some proper, quality shoes. This time I avoided the $8 cheapies and invested in some quality leather shoes from Tiptoe & Co.



Bub now has two super cute pairs of pink leather shoes. Most of her outfits are pink so we got the sweetheart shoe in pink and the spring shoe in pink. Both shoes have a leather upper and soft pig skin lining. They're quite flexible, but still hold their shape when squished in the nappy bag. They're obviously really comfy when on because she doesn't fiddle with them or try and take them off. She'll happily wear these ones for hours at am time, which is making me super happy because I finally get to indulge my love of matching outfits and shoes. Yay!


Chillaxing in her cute matching outfit and headband

I really love the exposed stitching on the soles. Normally I'm not a fan of exposed seams on clothing, but I think it works well on the shoes and adds an extra bit of personality. I've done a bit of research and it seems the general consensus is soft soled shoes are better for babies and toddlers when they're first learning to walk. I have to say I agree. The soles on both these shoes are nice and soft, but still thick enough to provide support while shes walking (cruising at least). They also have two circles of rubber on the sole that provide added grip.



She has no problem zooming around in her shoes and maintains her balance really well. I put on a pair of the cheap shoes I bought earlier and she just sits on the floor trying to rip them off still. She doesn't even attempt to walk in those. These ones shes up and getting around straight after they're on.


Shes going to be off on her own before I know it


I found out about Tiptoe & Co via facebook and I'm totally in love with their shoes! Theres just so much cute! 

I already have a list of other styles I want to get (diamond - red, hoot, jemma and the pinkie boot are definitely on my list).



Tiptoe & Co is run by two sister-in-laws who started the business in 2013 to offer high quality shoes at affordable prices. They hand pick quality leather shoes for babies, toddlers and children. Tiptoe & Co stock a large range of shoes from popular brands Caroch, Freycoo and Little Blue Lamb as well as Shoezooz kids shoe labels. They sell all their shoes below the RRP too so its a huge win for customers.

Both our pairs of shoes are from Freycoo and I'm more than happy with them. At $28.95 (RRP $35) I think they're great value for leather shoes, especially considering the wear shes already got from them and the wear shes going to have from them in the future. If you want to get your hands on your own pair of cute shoes check out the awesome giveaway below.


They match her leggings perfectly



GIVEAWAY

Tiptoe & Co are generously offering one Finding Myself Young reader the chance to win a pair of baby shoes* To enter simply follow the prompts in the rafflecopter widget below. All of the mandatory steps must be completed in order to constitute a valid entry. Winner will be chosen by Tiptoe & Co based on the most creative answer to the blog post question. Full terms and conditions can be found in the widget below.

Giveaway commences 6:00am 17th June 2014 and ends 11:59pm 30th June 2014.

*winner can choose from any soft soled baby shoes available in stock at the end of the giveaway period.




a Rafflecopter giveaway


Toni x

Disclosure - We were gifted the two pairs of shoes, but did not receive payment for this review. All opinions expressed in this review are based on our experience with the products (and I have spent copious amounts of money on Tiptoe & Co shoes since writing this review).

Linking up with Jess


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Monday, June 16, 2014

My TOP 5 ways to minimise allergies

This post is in collaboration with Latex Mattresses Australia

Image source

Unfortunately we're not strangers to allergies in this house. Bub isn't the only one who has allergies though, I've suffered for as long as I can remember with extremely bad sinus and asthma. I can't tell you how many times I've been asked if I have a cold when my sinus is playing up (because I've lost count). Winter is pretty much my worst nightmare when it comes to my allergies because they always, without fail, flare up during winter each year. The sudden change in temperature combined with all the coughs and colds spreading like wildfire throughout the community = asthma and sinus hell for me. Every year I get at least one sinus infection (usually 2 or 3) and every few years I end up with a serious chest infection.

Asthma affects 10% of Australians* (over 2 million people) and over 3 million Australians** suffer with sinusitis or hayfever. I'm just one of the lucky unlucky ones who has both. Yay me, not. Having suffered for years I'm quite accustomed to dealing with my allergies, however its still quite scary when I have a bad asthma attack or an intense bout of sinus. Its super scary when I get both at the same time - not being able to breathe properly through your nose and mouth simultaneously is one of the scariest things you can ever experience. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

Since sinusitis and asthma are so common, I've put together a list of the non-medicated ways I try to minimise my allergies. The best way to manage an allergy of course is to reduce your exposure to known allergens; for me the biggest trigger for both my asthma and sinus is dust (and dust mites) so I try to remove dust as much as possible.

top five ways to minimise allergies


  • Wash bed linen regularly - When you add up how many hours you spend in your bed each week you soon realise how quickly the bedding gets dirty. If you're getting an average of 8hrs sleep a night it means you're spending 56hrs a week in the same sheets. Thats a whole heap of sweat and yuk building up in your bed each week providing the perfect environment for dust mites to thrive in. Ideally bedding should be washed weekly in hot water with a eucalyptus based detergent (both hot water and eucalyptus kill dust mites).

  • Use hypo-allergenic bedding - I'm a big fan of hypo-allergenic materials such as bamboo. I first started using it after searching organic fabrics because of bubs skin reactions. I now use bamboo sheets and a bamboo lined sleeping bag for her. While researching bamboo and other hypo-allergenic materials I discovered they also repel dust mites along with other allergens. I'm currently on the search for some bamboo sheets for our bed as well.
    T and I also got our act together and bought proper pillows a year ago. By proper I mean contoured latex pillows instead of the $10-only-good-for-two-weeks cheapies I used to buy (and replace) regularly. Latex is also hypo-allergenic and anti-bacterial. We're currently considering getting a latex mattress too because ours is desperately in need of replacing.

  • Vacuum often - Ok so this one is a little obvious. If you want to be less exposed to dust, remove the dust, right? But did you know you should also vacuum your mattress? Even though you cant see dust mites, you can be sure those little buggers are happily crawling around your mattress (personally I'm glad we can't see them). Vacuuming won't eradicate them, but it will help to remove the build up of droppings and dead dust mites which cause a lot of reactions. Word of warning though when you vacuum your mattress you'll realise just how gross they get. We did this when we moved the bedroom around after moving the cot out, and it just added another reason to the list of why we want to replace our mattress. It does not look pretty after 8 years of use.

  • Clean out filters - This one can be easily overlooked, but its amazing how quickly exhaust fans in bathrooms and filters on air conditioners and vacuums can get congested with dust. That's a whole lot of extra dust you don't need flying around your home. While you're cleaning those look up and check any fan blades as well.

  • Don't use feather dusters - They simply move the dust from the surface into the air instead of actually removing it. Instead use a damp cloth which will collect the dust and remove it. In addition you could use a cleaning spray that contains eucalyptus oil.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it's a great place to start. Of course if your allergies are continuous you may need some sort of medication as well (please refer to your GP for individual advice). As a backup I make sure I always have anti-histamines and ventolin on hand just incase because murphy's law says that if I don't have any, thats when I'm going to need them. Yep I found that out the hard way.


Do you suffer from allergies too?
Do you have any other tips?


Toni xx

Disclosure - this is a paid post in conjunction with Latex Mattresses Australia.

*Australian Bureau of Statistics
** Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Linking with Eva, Alicia and Kirsty


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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

52 WEEKS OF MEMORIES | 23 - CONTENT

There are so many ups and downs in this parenting gig, its refreshing to stop and pause during the times of contentment. Now that shes mastering the art of throwing tantrums and showing off the stubborn side of her personality, I relish the moments of content even more than before.

This photo was taken after she battled having a nap for over two hours the other day. I was definitely content when she finally went to sleep (and so was she).



23 | CONTENT

- we were both so content in this moment - 



If you would like to join in 52 weeks of memories you can find out how to play here. Feel free to share with your friends on facebook or instagram, the more who join in the better!

You can follow me on Instagram @tones84 and join in on Facebook. When sharing via Instagram or Facebook don't forget to use the hashtag #fmy52weeksofmemories so I can see your lovely photos.  If you have a blog feel free to link up your photos via the linky below and come back each week to link up each new prompt. 

Reminder - next weeks prompt is Out & About.





Toni xx


Also sharing with 
Trish from My Little Drummer Boys 
Bree from Twinkle in the eye 
Raychael from  Ms Mystery Case



Linky rules

2. Add your post for this weeks prompt
3. Grab the button below and link it to the bottom of your post or sidebar or text link
4. Visit some of the other blogs and share some comment love (because its the nice thing to do)


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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mummy Must Have Review | Gumigem Bubba Bag (including giveaway)

Teething is horrible. My poor baby girl isn't the best teether. She isn't the worst either, but she does have a hell of a time. She gets red cheeks, continuous drooling, chews anything and everything and screams when it gets too much. She wakes during the night and is generally an unhappy little girl. The thing that makes it worse for her is that she can teethe for months before her teeth actually break through.

She finally got her two bottom teeth at seven months after teething for weeks. It seems so cruel to go through all the pain and discomfort and not get anything at the end. It's now been over three months since those two broke through and despite constant teething, shes yet to cut any more teeth. I can finally feel the nubs of the top two, but it could still be weeks before they actually break through.

In an effort to alleviate her teething hell discomfort and minimise the disruption caused by an unhappy bubby, I'm always on the lookout for teething solutions. Thankfully these days there are so many options. Gone are the days where a wet washer was the only solution. I try to avoid teething gels and pain medication as much as possible so I prefer non medicated solutions. I've come across some great products searching online that I never knew about before, the latest is the Bubba Bag.

The Gumigem Bubba Bag is made just for teething bubs and consists of five elements including a purple handbag, a set of teething car keys, a teething credit card, a teething smart phone and a teething coin purse. Everything a little girl needs to feel just like mum. Each of the teething pieces are made from non-toxic, flexible silicone (the same as the silicone commonly used in teething jewellery). They also all have a custom slot where they can be attached to a dummy clip or toy saver so they don't get lost when you're out and about. All teething pieces can be washed in hot soapy water or sterilised. I wash ours in hot soapy water and then run them through the steam steriliser.

soft non toxic silicone teethers for teething babies and toddlers

Teething Car Keys

Bub has developed an obsession with our car keys in the last few weeks. If we happen to leave them lying around anywhere that she can get to she makes a bee line straight for them and within seconds they're in her mouth. I know most mums don't have a problem with their babies chewing on their car keys because it keeps them amused, but I don't really like the idea of her having a bit of metal with jagged edges shoved down her throat. Especially since she has no sense of how big her mouth is and she'll literally try to shove things as far down her throat as she can, until her gag reflex kicks in. Given shes choked so much in the past, it not only freaks me out, but also scares the crap out of me so I was really excited to see the car keys as part of the Bubba Bag.


She was just a little proud of herself when I gave her the car keys (and mildly confused that I wasn't taking them off her). She kept showing them to me like look mum I've got keys, and they're mine. It goes without saying that she loves the key part and like the regular car keys she shoves it in her mouth as far as it'll go. Its great though because none of the other teething toys we have will go anywhere near reaching her back teeth so it'll come in very handy when her molars are coming through.



Teething credit card

Just recently bub has learnt how to open daddy's wallet and take out all the cards (and any money if there's any in there) so shes just starting to work out what a credit card is. Although her idea of what it is = something to chew on, so the teething credit card fits that purpose perfectly.



I thought the keys would be her favourite, but the credit card most definitely wins hands down. She always goes straight for the credit card. I'm not sure if it's the blue colour that attracts her so much or if it just feels better on her gums with the raised numbers. I have a feeling she also likes the rectangular shape with the corners because she loves chewing on the corner bits the most.




Teething Phone

Ever since she worked out how to put stuff in her mouth shes been stealing my phone and eating it or generally slobbering all over it. Now that shes older she also throws a tantrum when I take it off her. Shes definitely attracted to smart phones. I don't think she quite understands that this one is actually a phone though (because if she did she would never put it down). I think its because its not purple like my phone case. It hasn't stopped her chewing away on it though. When shes older I'm sure she'll understand its a mini smart phone.




I think she also loves the rectangular shape of this one too as she constantly chews on the corners like she does with the credit card.



Teething purse

The teething purse looks just like a mini coin purse that my mum used to use. It even has the little nubs of the clasp on the end. Being bright red I thought she'd be really attracted to it, but it seems the credit card is more alluring. She does still chew on it, but given the choice of all the items the credit card always wins.


baby playing with Gumigem bubba bag teething toys


Handbag

The handbag is the perfect size for her to pick up and carry around. The fact that its purple also wins major brownie points because its my favourite colour (I know that's irrelevant, but I thought I'd add it in). The bag is made from neoprene (think wetsuit material) which is nice and soft and spongey for little fingers. It also holds its shape no matter how much it gets thrown about here and there. Its not just a claim, it really does, bub's road tested this feature a fair bit. I also love that it can be machine washed because its bound to get dirty being carted here and there by (sometimes grubby) little hands.



I love that the Gumigem Bubba Bag turns teething solutions into imaginary play pieces. Babies tend to get bored with teething rings very easily, but these pieces can be used for general play as well as teething so they have a dual purpose. As she gets older and wants to imitate me more I can see her having hours and hours of fun playing with them. Talking on her phone and buying things from the shop with her credit card. I already have a play cash register and play food I bought for my nieces a few years ago and I can totally see us having so many games of shops with them in the future. Her being the customer of course so she can strut her stuff and show off her fashionable handbag and flash her credit card around.

We got the Bubba Bag from Catherine at Gumigem Australia. The Gumigem brand is a UK based, family run business created by a fellow mum which is now available all over the world. If you're not from Australia you can go to Gumigem.com to find the appropriate website for your country. Gumigem stock a range of silicone teething jewellery for mums, dads and kids as well as the Bubba Bag. Catherine is the Australian distributor for Gumigem and decided to bring them to the Australian market after using the products for her two children while they were teething. You can keep up to date with all the latest Gumigem products online via Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram.
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Gumigem Australia teething products for babies and toddlers



win a $50 voucher for silicone teething products for mums and babies from GumigemGIVEAWAY

Catherine is kindly offering a Finding Myself Young reader the chance to win a $50 voucher to spend online at Gumigem Australia. Simply follow the prompts in the rafflecopter widget below for your chance to win.

Giveaway commences 6:00am 10th June 2014 and ends 11:59pm 16th June 2014. Full terms and conditions are in the widget below.

GOOD LUCK!

But wait there's more.....

Catherine is also offering all readers 20% off everything at Gumigem Australia until 30th June 2014, simply use the code FMY14 at checkout.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Toni x

*Disclosure - I was gifted a Bubba Bag to review, but was not paid for this review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own based on our experience with the products.

Linking up with Jess.
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Monday, June 9, 2014

Leaving my narcissistic husband changed my life



This post has been floating around in the back of my head begging to be written for a while now. When Kirsty came up with the prompt the biggest chance you've taken I knew it was time to finally get it out. I'm just hoping it makes sense now that I'm writing it because its a jumbled mess in my head.

When I decided to leave my ex-husband I really had no idea how much of a monument-us decision it was. Something just clicked in my head and I decided to do it. From that moment there was no going back, no second guessing, nothing. Once I decided to leave I couldn't go back. I couldn't imagine being with him for a minute longer. I'd had enough. Its like a light suddenly came on in my head and I could see clearly through all the bullshit and finally I realised I didn't have to live that way any more.

To set the scene for those who aren't familiar with my original blog posts, my ex-husband was the quintessential (abusive) narcissist*. I just had no idea at the time. He started out all charming. He was super attentive and affectionate which I loved at first. Having been single for a few years before meeting him, I was relishing the fact that someone loved me so much  that he wanted to spend all his time with me. I saw it as adoration in the beginning, but what I didn't see was that he was actually doing it so that I was spending all my time with him. So he always knew where I was, who I was with and what I was doing.

At first it was subtle, but it became more and more obvious as time went on. He slowly isolated me from my friends so that everything in my life was about him. He started out by not letting me go out with my friends without him. Then it went to not being allowed to go anywhere without him, even my mums house. Then we were only allowed to have friends who were married, because married people understand what its like to be married??? So eventually the majority of my friends dropped off and stopped bothering to invite me anywhere because they knew I wouldn't go anyway. I only had a handful of friends who stuck around and they were mainly people I worked with who knew the situation at home.

Soon he progressed to taking my car to work on my days off so he knew I couldn't go out when he wasn't there. On one of those days he actually had a car accident and totalled my car. Incidentally on that day mum had picked me up to discuss solicitors and how I could get out of the relationship. But, when I came home to find out my car was totalled my self confidence was shattered. My car was the only thing that was mine, just mine, and it was gone. All plans of leaving were destroyed along with my car.

So I stayed and endured a few more years. Years of being told how useless I was. How much my own family couldn't stand me. How he was the only one who truly loved me. How if I ever left him I'd never find anyone else who'd love me like he did.... etc etc. The constant taunting and verbal abuse cut so deep that eventually I became numb to it all.

Sometimes while you're going through a situation you can't quite comprehend just how big a deal it is or the effect it will have on life going forward. Sometimes, you're so invested in it that all you can do is keep going in order to survive. Its easier to keep facing what you know instead of facing the unknown. It was definitely a case of better the devil you know. He had eroded away all my self esteem and self confidence, I was emotionally crippled and couldn't imagine facing the world on my own.

Until one day it all changed.

I got to my breaking point and I'd had enough. It didn't matter what the future would be like. It didn't matter if I never found anyone else and if I was on my own for the rest of my life, because being on my own would be a thousand times better than being with him. The light bulb moment was when I found out he'd been cheating on me while we were in the midst of an infertility battle trying to conceive a child. When confronted he told me it was all my fault (amongst a whole heap of other bullshit stuff). At that point I just laughed. It was so clear to me how much an ass@*#! he was. The first thing I thought was "what if I have a daughter and she sees him treat me like this and thinks its ok".

That thought was enough to make me decide to leave. It was so over. I'd put up with a lot, but there was no way I was going to put a child through that reality. And so I decided to leave. I didn't care about the consequences, I didn't care about what might happen after. I didn't have any idea of the huge battle that lay ahead of me in order to do so, but even if I had, I still would've done it.

Its only now years later that I've really grasped what a huge chance I took. I've been seeing a psychologist for my PND and when we were talking about my general history he came up. I didn't go into detail, just a brief overview of how controlling he was and that I left. Without hesitation the first thing my psychologist said was "you're so lucky you got away from him because hes the type of person that ends up killing his wife". It kind of hit me in that moment what a huge step I'd taken. It also made me realise how incredibly grateful I was that I had done it and how lucky I was that it didn't go badly. All the statistics point to the fact that women in abusive relationships are most at risk when they're leaving the relationship. Put that together with the fact that it nearly sent me bankrupt and I could've ended up forgoing children because of it...and yea... it makes me realise just how huge it was.



Its without a doubt the biggest chance I've ever taken in my entire life and its had the biggest pay-off. While I went through months and months of emotional and financial hardship afterwards, because he was still trying to control me, I did come out the other side. And the other-side is wonderful. Life without him is nothing like he said it would be (surprise, surprise). It's liberating. It's freedom. I finally have my life back and for the first time in years the future can be whatever I want it to be.

If I never took that chance I wouldn't have the life I have today. I wouldn't have this blog. I wouldn't have fallen in love and wouldn't have my daughter. Sometimes taking a chance is the best thing you can do.


Toni x


Linking up with Kirsty and Alicia.


*Characteristics of a narcissist

  • Has an exaggerated sense of self importance
  • Is pre-occupied with power
  • Requires excessive and continuous admiration
  • Has a strong sense of entitlement
  • Has to be the centre of attention
  • Believes that they are special (more important than others)
  • Exploits others for their own gains
  • Lacks empathy for others
  • Is arrogant in behaviours or attitude

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Friday, June 6, 2014

The Twirly Trio (Playgro toy review)



Time to introduce you all to the second Playgro toy we've been trying out as official toy testers. The twirly trio is unlike any other baby toy I've seen before. It has three brightly coloured gears that are connected, but can be moved around in different directions. Each gear has a different feature to engage babies and encourage fine motor skills. Two have spinning balls (one is a rattle) and the middle one has a mirror on the back of the sun.

When I'm out at the shops buying toys (which happens way more than it should) I usually hold the toys up in front of bub to see if she likes them before I buy them. Some may call that cheating, but I call it being smart. There have been some toys I thought she'd really love that shes had no interest in at all and vice versa. I have to admit I probably wouldn't pick up the twirly trio off the shelves to show her because to me it looks like a very "boy" orientated toy. Its very technical looking (well technical in terms of baby toys) and it isn't pretty girly colours and doesn't make music. As a result, I'd automatically assume she wouldn't like it. I'm glad Playgro sent it to me though because my assumptions were completely wrong. She absolutely loves it.




The twirly trio keeps her entertained for ages. The movement of the gears help develop her cognitive skills as she has to work out which way to move them. I love the look of intense concentration she gets when shes playing with it. I can see her little brain ticking away.

Shes also using her fine motor skills learning to spin the balls around, which is her favourite thing to do. She likes the rattle ball over the coloured one because it makes noise and shes still completely obsessed with music (and noise in general). Im pretty sure shes also trying to work out how to get the coloured balls out of the rattle just quietly.



Shes definitely her fathers daughter because shes always checking herself out in the mirror! The combination of the bright colours and the mirror mean its great for when shes throwing little tantrums because she completely forgets what she was annoyed about. Its also a good distraction when shes in the high chair waiting for food and during the increasingly difficult nappy change times.




Another benefit (perhaps my favourite one at the moment) is that its made from soft plastic that soothes sore teething gums. It must make them feel pretty good because shes always  got it in her mouth lately. Which I'm totally fine with, anything that works for teething gets a big thumbs up from me!

I'm really glad that we got sent this toy as part of our stash to review because like I said above its not one that I normally would consider buying for her. I'm sure a lot of other mums may feel the same. I'm glad shes had the chance to enjoy hours of entertainment from it and its certainly opened my eyes to other types of toys to look out for when shopping. And its made me realise I shouldn't make assumptions (especially ones based on gender stereotypes!).

Do your kids love a toy you didn't expect them to like?
Would you buy this toy for your child if you saw it in a shop?


Toni xx

*Disclosure - as official Playgro toy testers bub and I are sent age appropriate toys for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed in this review are based on our personal experience with the products.

To purchase a twirly trio simply email sales@playgro.com

Read the other reviews here
Play and Learn Ball
Bathtime Squirtees


Linking up with Grace, Kaz, Eva, Wynter & Mums Take 5


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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

52 WEEKS OF MEMORIES | 22 - COLOUR

Bub is so captivated by bright colours. Shes particularly drawn to red. Whenever an ad comes on the tv with red in it she will literally stop what shes doing to stare at it. If you're standing in the way she'll turn her head to the side and look around you to see the tv. Its kind of funny (at least at this age) except when Im in the middle of feeding her and she completely refuses to eat during the ad because she doesn't want to have to look away from the tv. Yes, the tv's been turned off on more than one occasion at dinner time.

She's also really attracted to bright coloured toys, which is good because my lounge room resembles a toy shop. A very untidy second hand toy shop that sells well loved toys.


22 | COLOUR

- she loves the colours in her toy -


If you would like to join in 52 weeks of memories you can find out how to play here. Feel free to share with your friends on facebook or instagram, the more who join in the better!

You can follow me on Instagram @tones84 and join in on Facebook. When sharing via Instagram or Facebook don't forget to use the hashtag #fmy52weeksofmemories so I can see your lovely photos.  If you have a blog feel free to link up your photos via the linky below and come back each week to link up each new prompt. 

Reminder - next weeks prompt is Content.




Toni xx


Also sharing with 
Trish from My Little Drummer Boys 
Bree from Twinkle in the eye 
Raychael from  Ms Mystery Case



Linky rules

2. Add your post for this weeks prompt
3. Grab the button below and link it to the bottom of your post or sidebar or text link
4. Visit some of the other blogs and share some comment love (because its the nice thing to do)


Finding Myself Young
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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Mummy Must Have Review | Litecups (including giveaway)

When I was younger I was absolutely terrified of the dark. If I heard any noise at all I convinced myself it was monsters walking down the hallway to come get me. I would lie in bed paralised with fear. I clearly remember one night screaming at dad because there was a monster, who looked like a person dressed up in a dalmation costume of all things, standing in my doorway about to get me. To this day, over twenty years later, that memory is still crystal clear. That's how terrified I was.

When I was setting up the nursery there was never any doubt that I'd be getting a night light. T tried to oppose it for a while saying that having a night light would make her a sissy and scared of the dark. He was never going to win with that argument. Naturally I won common sense prevailed and we got a night light. In fact we ended up with quite a few because I got a couple from people as gifts.

I didn't realise there were so many different options in night lights. We have a butterfly that lights up, but it changes colour so its too distracting at bed time because she wants to watch it. We were also given a hanging bird mobile which lights up with LEDs, but because the nursery ceiling slopes down, it hangs down too low to use in the room so we're saving that for her big girl room. The light we've been using is a gummi bear shaped one with a one hour timer. The only problem with that one is it flattens the batteries within a week even though its only on for an hour a night, which is extremely annoying and expensive (especially considering the light was $40 to begin with). So, given our previous night light fails, when I was given the opportunity to try out some Litecups I was excited.

The Litecup combines a night light and a sippy cup in one. Its a 330ml cylindrical cup with a 360° spout around the top which provides a no spill, mess free drinking option for kids of all ages. It has a colourful lid and the LED night light is incorporated in a separate case in the base of the cup. It's made from plastic so is shatter proof when dropped (or thrown around) and is BPA and latex free.

The litecup was designed by UK industrial designer Gavin Reay. He wanted to create a product that would allow his children to find their drink at night and also not create mess if they knocked it over. He set about creating a drinking valve that would be no spill but still provide the most natural drinking experience possible. This fantastic product born in London is now available here via Litecup Australia.

The litecup is designed for cold, non fizzy drinks so great for water, juice or cordial. We're only using it for water at the moment as thats all bub drinks other than her formula which she still has in bottles. Once shes stopped having bottles we might also give her the formula feeds in the litecup. Its great for transitioning babies from a sippy cup to a normal cup. It teaches them to hold a cup with their hands instead of handles, but theres still the no spill aspect while they're learning so you won't end up with a huge mess everytime they have a drink.


Bub is still using a sippy cup with handles and a spout so I was surprised when I gave her the litecup for the first time that she knew it was a cup and she tried to drink out of it straight away. She's still a little confused by the lack of a spout and keeps touching the lid feeling for one incase she missed it. Despite this she still instinctively knew to suck from the edge. She's able to get the water out herself at ten months old.

She's really attracted to the bright coloured lids on the cups. Shes also shaken them upside down and dropped them when playing with them and they didn't leak. The only time one leaked a bit was when she knocked it off the table and it landed upside down directly on the lid on the tiled floors. It wasn't a huge spill, just a couple of mls that came out the edges from the force of the fall.

Although the litecups can be used as a night light and sippy cup combined, at the moment we're using a separate one for each. This is purely because she doesn't drink water at night and she wouldn't be coordinated enough to pick it up and drink from it in the middle of the night yet. For now I leave one of the litecups on a shelf across from her cot.

The light is barely visible when the bedroom light is on.

The led in the litecup is light sensitive and will turn off in daylight and on at night. You can also turn it on and off manually to save battery power. We turn it on just before she goes to bed and turn it off when we get her up in the morning. The battery is designed to last up to three months, we haven't had it that long yet but its already lasted a lot longer than our old night light batteries did.



With the bedroom light off, but the hallway light on and door still open.


With the light off and bedroom door shut.

The light gives off a nice soft glow in complete darkness. Its not too overpowering that it keeps her awake, but its light enough that she knows where she is if she wakes up. It also lets her find her dummy if she needs it. All of the litecups have a blue LED bulb regardless of the lid colour. The separate bulb and battery unit in the base is impossible to get into without a knife or blunt object to pop it out of the cup and also to open the unit (see Cate's example here) so I'm not worried about her being able to get the battery.

Since we've been using a litecup as her night light she hasn't woken up during the night, except one night that daddy forgot to turn it on. I went in and turned on the light and she quickly went back to sleep. I'm convinced that the soft glow of the litecup reassuring her at night is the reason shes been sleeping better. When we were using the old light on the one hour timer she would wake during the night all the time and cry because it was dark.

The litecup is suitable for children of all ages from babies through to pre teens. It doesn't have to be used exclusively as a sippy cup or night light, it would also be great for car trips, picnics and camping. I can't believe such a versatile product is only $18 (especially considering how expensive my gummi bear night light was). Litecup Australia have also been lovely enough to put together a special giveaway so you all have the chance to win one.


GIVEAWAY

Litecup Australia are offering all Finding Myself Young readers the chance to win your very own litecup in a colour of your choice* For your chance to win simply follow the prompts in the rafflecopter widget below. The winner will be the most creative answer to the blog comment question, as chosen by Litecup Australia.

Giveaway commences at 5:00am 3rd June 2014 and ends 11:59pm 9th June 2014. Full terms and conditions in the widget below.

*Please note the white litecup is no longer available. You can choose from clearly neutral, fluro pink, neon green, red, purple, blue or vivid orange.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Toni xx

*Disclosure - I was gifted a litecup in purple, pink and orange, but was not paid for this review. All opinions are my own based on our experience with the products.

Linking up with Jess
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