Wednesday, September 30, 2015

52 WEEKS OF MEMORIES | 39 - FROM ABOVE

This photo both excites me and slightly freaks me out at the same time. I'm excited that she's developing a love of sonny angels like I have, although I'm slightly concerned that when she plays with them the majority of the time they're usually decapitated. She has an obsession with ripping their heads off and walking the bodies around without heads. I'm wondering if I should be concerned about that? The other day she bought me a plastic cup with sonny angel heads in it to drink.... that was interesting. I'm hoping its just a phase, but if any psychologists are reading this and think I should be concerned please let me know.

39 | FROM ABOVE


If you'd like to play along too, join in with 52 Weeks of Memories and get creative. Feel free to share with your friends on Facebook or Instagram, the more who join in the better!

You can follow me on Instagram 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. I've also started a facebook group for the challenge if you feel more comfortable sharing in a group setting. 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 kiss.


Also linking with Trish, Steph and Raychael


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)

52 weeks of memories




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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Mummy Must Have Review | Childish Things

I have to say one of the things I was looking forward to most when having bub was the fact that I'd get to play with toys again. Yeah sure I was super excited about having a baby too, don't get me wrong, but seriously how cool is it that we have a legitimate excuse to play with toys again as adults?! I clearly didn't get enough time playing with toys as a child. I'm loving being able to relive my childhood alongside her, its so much fun seeing things through the eyes of a child again.

I'm slightly ashamed to say that we have a toy collection big enough to rival a toy shop. In fact my lounge room and dining area look like a toy shop {we got rid of our dining table to make her a play corner}. But its awesome, I love it as much as her. 

I really love playing with all the retro toys that were around during my childhood that are still sold today. Things like the fisher and price dial up phone, wooden letter blocks and pretend food. That stuff will never get old. While some toys have pretty much stayed the same over the last 20+ years, I've also found a few retro style toys that have had a modern twist, and I'm a little bit in love with them. The most obvious would be sonny angels which are a modern version of the original kewpie dolls that were around when I was a kid. To say I'm obsessed with them is an understatement. I've also recently found some other awesome retro toys that have had a modern twist and I thought I'd share them {incase you're a closet toy lover like me}.

YOGA JOES


How freaking cool are these? The first thing I think of when I look at them is the army men from toy story, except they've become yoga masters instead of soldiers. I can just imagine them moving through the different yoga poses while I sleep. These are probably the coolest reincarnation of a retro toy I've ever seen.



Yoga Joes were created in the US and are the brain child of yoga practitioner and entrepreneur Dan Abramson. He's essentially taken what was once a war toy and re-purposed them into a symbol of peace and calm. Its quite a clever oxymoron of good vs evil when you think about it. Instead of evoking feelings of aggression, these toy soldiers evoke peace and stillness. You can't help feeling chilled out when you look at them. They also make me feel a tincy bit guilty for not doing yoga for so long.

Not only do they provide a great visual reminder to chill out and take a moment to calm down {don't we all need a reminder to do that every now and then}, they also make really cool photography props. For someone like me who loves taking photos, they provide hours of fun and get the creative juices flowing. I took them outside the other day and had a little mini photo shoot with them. I'm sure I looked super weird to the neighbours crouching down in the grass with a bunch of toys and my camera, but the photos are totally worth it.











Yoga Joes come in a set of 9 army men in different yoga poses. They're made from high quality non-toxic plastic and they're pretty tough {a few of them took kamikaze leaps out of the tree while I was trying to balance them}. Although I don't think I'll be giving them to bub to play with on a regular basis because I want them to stay nice, and besides they're pretty much for me not her. She did manage to take them a few times while I was trying to do my arty photo shoot though.



Of course T couldn't just let me and her have all the fun, he had to play with them too. Being a male, he couldn't help himself and made them pose in some compromising positions {especially involving the poor joe in downward facing dog}. Seriously why do men always have to turn innocent things into sexual innuendos? Innuendos aside though, these are probably one of the only things from my blog he's ever been interested in, and he's really hard to impress. Perhaps they'll help him get his zen on too.



POP! CORN


If you love balloon animals then you're going to freakin love these. Pop! Corns are replicas of balloon animal unicorns. I'm sorry, but how cool is that? Not only do you get to have a balloon animal in the shape of a unicorn, it also lasts forever. And how clever is their name {anything with the name popcorn has to be good, right?}.



Pop! Corns are miniature vinyl figurines that are approximately 7.5cm tall. There are 10 different colours and they come in blind boxes {like sonny angels} so you don't know which one you'll get, unless you buy a whole box. Speaking of sonny angels, these make the perfect companion for my little naked babies. Yep my sonny angel addiction has gone to a whole new level now I know about Pop! Corns.




Of course bub stole {I say stole because he's mine, obviously} the Pop! Corn off me as well. "Look mummy horsey, neeeeeeeigh". She hasn't quite got the concept of unicorns yet so I'm just going along with it being a horsey for now. "Look mum tail, look mum feet, look mum ears". She then got her wooden carrots and fed the horsey and mouse {sonny angel} carrots. "Horsey carrots, num num num". So stinking cute. I had to play with her too because if I tried to leave I got yelled at "mummy horsey too!". Fine by me though, any excuse to play.



If unicorns aren't your thing {or if you just become addicted to them and want all of them}, there's also a range of Pop! Pups. Shut the front door. They're the cutest little balloon dogs ever. Naturally, I've already ordered some of these {I couldn't help myself}.

CHILDISH THINGS


I got the Yoga Joes & Pop! Corn from Childish Things. Childish Things is an alternative online boutique that stocks a range of classic, cool and slightly quirky children's items. They have an eclectic mix of clothing, toys, and home decor. What I love most is that they stock a huge range of retro style toys with a difference. Things like superman mr potato head and bambi lamps, just to name a few. If you're looking for a gift for someone who's hard to buy for then you'll probably find it here, and not just for kids, adults will love most of it too {I do}. Owner Amy has sourced a great range of unique, quality pieces that will last a lifetime and be passed on to the next generation - sparking the love of retro toys all over again.


If you want to get your hands on some of these awesome toys, Childish Things currently have a special offer, use the code HIPHIP at checkout to save 25% off everything from www.childishthings.com.au {hurry it ends tomorrow, 30th September 2015}. And if the Yoga Joes take your fancy, you could win a set simply by signing up to the Childish Things mailing list {at the bottom of the website} plus you'll receive 10% off your next order for signing up.

What was your favourite toy as a child?

Toni x

P.S. Childish Things are the Australian distributor for Yoga Joes, if you have a store and would like to stock them email Amy.


Disclosure - I was provided a set of Yoga Joes + a Pop! Corn for the purpose of review {and I've since purchased more}. All opinions expressed are my own. I did not receive payment for this review.

Linking with Jess
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Monday, September 28, 2015

How to boost your child's immunity

If you're anything like me, or most of my friends with kids, then you've probably dealt with your fair share of runny noses, colds and fevers. You may have even been unfortunate enough to have dealt with hand, foot and mouth like we have. Kids have a habit of getting sick {a lot}, especially if they attend daycare. You'll never stop kids getting sick altogether, but to help minimise the chance of them catching every lurgy going around, the team at HealthInsuranceComparison.com.au have put together a list of ways to boost your child's immunity.


Boosting Your Child’s Immunity


Do you worry about how often your child gets ill? Getting sick might seem like an inevitable part of growing up but it’s often no coincidence that some children have very robust immune systems, while others catch everything going around. If your child falls into the latter category, here’s some good news: the experts believe that you can help your child to build a stronger immune system with some lifestyle and diet changes.

You Are What You Eat

Building a strong immune system is closely connected to diet. A balanced diet is a must for good health so you probably won’t be too surprised to know that it’s one of the main building blocks for a more resilient immune system. At its most simplest, this involves making sure that your child is getting a range of key nutrients that are vital for a healthy immune system, including vitamin C, Vitamin D, B vitamins, zinc, essential fatty acids and antioxidants.
You know the importance of making sure that your child eats at least 5 pieces of fruit and vegetables each day but some have particular benefits when it comes to immunity. Carrots, strawberries, oranges and green beans all contain phytonutrients for much stronger resistance against viruses, for example. Berries are a good source of vitamin C, and also contain antioxidants. They can be added to cereals or eaten as snacks.  Leafy greens can be added to lasagne or made into smoothies if your child isn’t keen on eating them.
Garlic is a natural antibiotic and can work wonders for building stronger immunity. It is most effective when it’s fresh and raw, and can be added to pasta dishes to disguise the taste.

Building a Healthier Digestive System

Taking probiotics on a daily basis can help to restore levels of healthy bacteria in the gut for better digestive health. Yoghurt can also work well in this regard, especially those with active cultures.

Limiting Sugar and Additives

Studies have suggested that eating too much sugar can have negative impact on resilience and may actually weaken the immune system. If your child is regularly eating junk food and sugary drinks, this may go some way towards explaining why they pick up bugs and viruses, especially if it isn't evened out with lots of healthy, immune-boosting foods as well.

Staying Hydrated

Even a relatively mild level of dehydration means that your child’s body isn’t functioning as effectively as it could be. Water and milk are the best options for staying hydrated. Fizzy drinks and juices with high sugar content should be restricted or avoided.

Can Health Insurance Help?

If you’re concerned that your child’s immunity may be compromised by allergies, you may be interested to know more about Nutrition/Dietetics support, which is available on Extras health insurance with some health funds. This can also be invaluable if your child’s diet is likely to have an effect on their physical health due to a particular condition that they have. Seeing a dietician privately can soon become fairly expensive but health insurance can cover some of this to make it more affordable. You’ll usually need a mid to top level Extra policy for this type of support to be included, as basic Extras policies do not usually cover it.



At www.HealthInsuranceComparison.com.au, we’re all about helping more Australians to understand health insurance and find the best cover for their needs and budget. Whether you’re just trying to get a feel for the market or you’ve already got a very good idea of what you need to be covered for, we’ll help you to find a policy that works for you.

Linking with Eva & Alicia 
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Friday, September 25, 2015

Kids First Aid Australia - first aid courses for parents

Before I had bub I'd never done a first aid course. I never really had a need to, at work we had first aid officers and at home T had first aid training, so I figured I'd be covered should something happen {the thought of something happening to him never crossed my mind, obviously}.

Having a tiny little human changed all that though. Knowing I was now responsible for her life made me realise just how important it was for me to be prepared should something happen. As luck would have it I had a baby with a severe dairy allergy which caused her to choke on a regular basis {before her allergy was diagnosed}, which was extremely scary. One time she even stopped breathing. Watching your baby flailing around in your arms struggling to breath and turning grey is one of the scariest experiences you can go through as a parent, and I went through it whilst home alone and having no idea what to do.

It was deathly silent but I could see the fear in her little eyes as she looked up at me unable to breathe. She was only 3 months old. Instinctively I put her over my should and whacked her {as hard as you can whack a 3 month old} until she started getting some air in. I didn't think to call an ambulance, in that moment my instincts went into survival mode and I did what I could to try and get her breathing again. It worked, but she remained struggling to breath through mucus and was lethargic for a good hour afterwards. I took her to the doctor, who sent us to the hospital and we spent the night being monitored. After that I knew I had to get some first aid training because chances were it would happen again.
When she was about 5 months old I did a Kids First Aid course after seeing them advertised online. Kids First Aid courses are run by husband and wife paramedics Ben and Kate Fisher and are specifically designed for parents and caregivers. The course runs for 3hrs and covers the top 10 most common emergency situations likely to occur involving children - allergies and anaphylaxis, choking, bites and stings, burns, fits and fevers, poisoning, fractures and bleeding, head injuries, drowning and meningococcal. They also cover CPR in depth and you get a quick reference poster to take home.


Kate ran the course that I attended with my mum and it was such a relaxed and intimate setting, where we were able to ask questions throughout the presentation. Having the information provided put into context through her own experience being a paramedic made it stick in the forefront of my mind. I also learnt how to do effective CPR for the first time in my life and it wasn't anywhere near as complicated as I thought it would be. I immediately felt better equipt to deal with any emergency situations that may arise in the future. Little did I know that a few months later I'd be faced with another emergency situation at home.

One night while avoiding bed time bub was jumping on the couch, and literally seconds after I told her to be careful or she'd fall off, she lost her footing and fell head first onto the tiled floor. Of course I was horrified watching it unravel in front of my eyes, but once she started screaming I knew that was a good sign. I knew that if she stayed conscious, screamed and wasn't vomiting then there was a good chance she was ok. She had a huge bruise that started swelling rapidly on her head so we called an ambulance without hesitation {something I probably would've second guessed before taking the course}. In the time between calling the ambulance and them arriving I knew I had to keep her awake so we cuddled up on the couch, with a cool face washer over her swollen bruise, and watched the Bananas in Pyjamas until the ambulance officers arrived. I have no doubt that the kids first aid course helped me to remain a lot calmer in that situation than I would've been usually. I knew what signs to look out for after a head injury and the way she was responding made me feel a lot less anxious. I also felt confident calling the ambulance which I've never done before {mind you I did lose it a little bit when I saw how much her head was swelling}. That single incident alone made the $85 I spent on the first aid course worth it.

Recently I attended another Kids First Aid course as a refresher with my friend Cate. This time the course was run by Ben and I also took the time to practice my CPR skills on the training dummy. It was great to do the course again and refresh my skills that I learnt the first time. 

Note: I probably wouldn't be smiling if giving CPR for real

This was Cate's first time attending a Kids First Aid course so I asked her some questions about her experience.

How old are your children?
I've got four kids at home, 13, 8, 6 and 2

What did you learn during the session?
I learnt that the Bee Gees song "stayin alive"actually has a purpose in the world (you'll have to do the course to find out what) and that if you give a child nurofen and panadol and the fever still doesn't break, they probably have meningoccocal

Have you ever been in a situation where having first aid knowledge could have helped?
Considering the four kids, and my previous role as a scout leader, I've never actually needed to use my first aid knowledge

Since completing the session, do you feel more prepared in the event of an emergency?
I definitely feel more confident about being able to give CPR if, heaven forbid, something was to happen.

What did you enjoy most about the session?
Hearing actual stories of emergencies from the instructor and other group members is quite interesting, because it shows that these things do actually happen to people, it's not just someone trying to scare you into learning.


Kids First Aid offers the only first aid courses delivered exclusively by experienced paramedics, designed to teach parents and caregivers how to respond calmly and confidently to 10 of the most common first aid emergency situations involving children. KFA courses are available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Perth and Adelaide. To book and find the closest course visit www.kidsfirstaid.com.au. Email now and mention this blog to secure 10% discount.

One of the main aims of the course is for parents and caregivers to feel confident enough to administer first aid during the period of time before the ambulance arrives. No matter how quick an ambulance is to respond to an emergency, there is inevitably going to be a period of time where you as a primary carer are going to be the only person available to administer CPR or first aid, and those crucial moments could save a life. I personally feel so much more confident in being able to handle that situation if needed to and I think all parents should do this course because you never know when you may find yourself in that situation.

Kids First Aid have just released an online video course. With over 2 hours of comprehensive, high-definition video training, it shows you how to calmly and effectively handle 10 of the most common emergency situations Aussie kids face (so you’re never left looking on helplessly). Kids First Aid are letting Finding Myself Young readers get lifetime access to the course at a significant discount. That means you can go through the course as many times as you like, share it with your family and caregivers, and return to it whenever you need a refresher. Find out all about the Kids First Aid online course here.




Disclosure - I was given complimentary tickets to attend the recent Kids First Aid course in return for this post, however I have previously paid to attend the course myself. All opinions, including unfortunate emergencies, are my own. Affiliate links are included in this post for the online course which means if you sign up I get a small % of the purchase price, however it does not affect the cost to you.
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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

52 WEEKS OF MEMORIES | 38 - HOLDING

I'm breaking from the norm this week and not doing a photo of bub. I was playing around with my camera yesterday while out in the garden and happened to take a really awesome photo of me holding a clover {it was completely by fluke as I still haven't read the manual so I just kept taking photos until it focused the way I wanted it to}. I couldn't find a 4 leaf clover, but I'm really happy with how it turned out, now I just need to work out exactly how I did it.

38 | HOLDING


If you'd like to play along too, join in with 52 Weeks of Memories and get creative. Feel free to share with your friends on Facebook or Instagram, the more who join in the better!

You can follow me on Instagram 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. I've also started a facebook group for the challenge if you feel more comfortable sharing in a group setting. 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 from above.


Also linking with Trish, Steph and Raychael


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)

52 weeks of memories




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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Mummy Must Have Review | Adventure Snacks

Having a child with lots of food allergies means I'm usually cooking everything from scratch. She very rarely gets to eat anything out of a packet and when she does its usually from the health food aisle. The rest of the time I'm slaving away in the kitchen or she's eating something simple like sultanas or coconut yoghurt as snacks. I pretty much don't eat snacks around her either because if I eat anything that she can't have and she catches me all hell breaks loose, especially when I'm trying to explain to her that she can't eat it because she has allergies {which she still doesn't understand yet}. Its easier to just avoid eating things in front of her, by sneaking food behind the pantry doors.

I've recently discovered Adventure Snacks, a company which makes healthy and convenient snacks for busy mums. Founder of Adventure Snacks, Tracey, started the company to fill a void for mums who want to create healthy snacks for their kids and themselves. She's created a number of ready to make packet mixes so mums have all the ingredients on hand to create healthy recipes, free from refined sugar and preservatives, quickly without having to go to the supermarket to grab a heap of items. All you need to add are some basics from the pantry like milk or butter. There's also a new range of ready to eat dried fruit and trail mix snacks.

SULTANA, OAT AND CARROT COOKIES


I have to admit, I've never baked cookies before - from a packet mix or from scratch. I know its probably a bit sacrilegious to admit I'm a mum who's never baked cookies, but there you go. The reason being I don't want her to be eating sugar loaded sweet cookies all the time {plus I don't need to be eating any more sugary treats either} and I naively thought all cookies were sweet ones. I was so excited to see Adventure Snacks have a healthy cookie recipe {and even more excited that it sneaks carrot which bub currently refuses to eat}.


The best way I could describe the sultana, oat & carrot cookies is similar to an Anzac biscuit {although I may just be thinking that because the oats reminded me of Anzac biscuits}. You can't taste the carrot at all so the kids will never know its in there. I found them to be a little dry more like a biscuit texture rather than a chewy cookie, although I did overcook mine a little bit {like I said I've never made cookies before}. It didn't stop my mum stealing them for herself though, and she doesn't even like sultanas.



CRANBERRY, FIG & SEED BALLS


Bliss balls are one of those things I've always wanted to try making, but have been too scared to actually do it. I've always been a bit lost about what to put in them {there's so many different versions out there}, plus I don't have a huge stash of nuts and seeds sitting at home that I can use, should the desire to make them arise on a whim. I'm not about to rush out to the supermarket just to buy all the ingredients to make them, to me that kind of defeats the purpose of them because they're meant to be quick and easy. The cranberry, fig & seed balls packet mix makes it so easy to make bliss balls. It literally took me about 3 minutes to make them.


The packet mix has everything you need in it except coconut oil. Preparing them literally meant whizzing them in the food processor for a few minutes and then rolling them into balls. So easy! Admittedly I did skip rolling them in desiccated coconut after {because I don't like the texture of coconut}, but that would only take an extra minute or two. If you're a fan of sultanas, cranberries and figs then these will be your idea of heaven.


READY TO EAT SNACKS


Tracey has also recently added a range of ready to eat snacks in addition to the packet mixes. The snack packs include trail mixes and dried organic, preservative free fruits. We've tried the natural sultanas and the dried mango and papaya. Bub loves the sultanas, every time she has them she always asks "more tanies pease" and ends up having 2-3 bowls of them in a row. I'm in love with the dried mango and papaya, it tastes exactly like eating the normal fruit, but you don't feel like you're eating as much. Bub liked the mango but she's not a fan of having to chew it, which is fine by me because it means there's more for mummy. It also gives me a healthier alternative when I'm in a grazing mood and would normally turn to sneaking lollies in the pantry.


One of the things I love about Adventure Snacks is that you can make the packet mixes dairy free if you want to. It's so hard for me to find packet versions of almost anything which are completely dairy free + don't contain any of bub's other allergens, but Adventure Snacks has a good range of foods that are ok for bub to eat. There's also gluten free and vegan friendly choices.

While the packet mixes may appear a bit expensive to some, when you break down the cost of buying all the individual organic ingredients you'd need to make them from scratch it actually works out alright. Plus sometimes you can't put a price on convenience {like when you have a cranky toddler screaming at you for food NOW}. If you're unsure of whether your kids will like the flavours and don't want to buy an entire mix incase it goes to waste, you can try the trial pack which includes smaller packets of the sultana, oat and carrot cookies, choc-beet muffins and cranberry, fig & seed balls for $25.


Are you a packet mix or cook from scratch kind of person? 

Toni x

Disclosure - I was provided some trial packs of the mentioned Adventure Snack items in order to review them. All opinions expressed are my own based on our experience with the items. I did not receive payment for this review.

Linking with Jess & Kylie
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Monday, September 21, 2015

Infertility hurts


A handful of people know that we've been trying to have another baby. Others have probably guessed, but I've kept it pretty close to my chest. I was really hoping that this time around it would just happen. That somehow my first pregnancy would've flicked a switch in my body and it would just know what to do to get pregnant this time around. I was hoping, actually wishing, my infertility would've gone away and I wouldn't have to go through all this pain again. But here we are after trying for almost 6 months and we're no closer to being pregnant than we were when we started.

It was at this point when trying for bub that I pretty much had a breakdown and went to the fertility Dr to start treatment. I spent 3½ years prior to that trying to conceive with my ex-husband so I knew after 6 months of nothing happening that I didn't want to waste any more time. I didn't want the roller-coaster of emotions to go on any longer than it had to. This time though it's felt different, at least I thought it did. I thought I was coping.

The last few months I've felt much more relaxed than I did the first time around. Already having a child now I haven't been as desperate as I was before. I know its possible for me to get pregnant and I already have a gorgeous little girl who I get to hang out with every day. My life hasn't been hinging on pregnancy tests each month like it was the first time. There have still been pregnancy tests every now and then {thanks to my body being all over the place and giving me false hope}, but there haven't been as many. Because I know how heartbreaking it is watching that ink run across the test window, hoping and praying for a second line to appear. Those 3 minutes seem like a lifetime and then just like that they're over and that one single line is the most depressing thing you've ever seen. Its amazing how a bit of ink on a piece of paper can so vehemently crush you. Well not this time round. I've taken a few tests, but I've rarely allowed myself to get my hopes up. Only once did I actually think I might be pregnant, but I convinced myself I wasn't so the negative test wasn't as hard to swallow.

I thought I was handling it. I thought I was stronger than last time. I have a thicker skin afterall. I've been there, done that and most of all I know it can work. I know there can be success and I thought that knowledge would be enough to get me through. But its not. It's becoming so apparent that its not.

This week I burst into tears after seeing a pregnancy announcement. It wasn't because I'm not happy for them, I'm so so happy for them, it was just a {completely unexpected} knee jerk reaction. Reality smacked me over the head. For some reason that single moment made it glaringly obvious to me that no matter how much I want to get pregnant I can't just decide I want it to work and have it happen. Other people can decide they want a baby and have a baby, and I just can't. And I'm not ok with that. Suddenly, in a split second, all of the feelings came rushing back and the only way I can process that is by crying. The emotional floodgates have opened. I can feel it.

I'm back to feeling inadequate. I'm back to feeling like I'm not a real woman, because I know my body can't do what its meant to be able to do. And that hurts. It hurts so much. It hurts just as much as the first time. I thought it was different the second time around, but its exactly the same, I'd just built up much higher walls around my feelings, but right now they're crumbling all around me and I don't know what to do.


I don't want to be here again. I don't want to be on this roller-coaster. I don't want to feel helpless. I don't want to look at bub and just see time ticking away and realise that there might be a huge age gap between her and a sibling, or that she might end up being an only child. I don't want to be seeing the world this way again, but I don't want to get off this ride either. I don't give up and I won't. I can't. I have to hold onto the hope that we will still have another baby, even if it means more fertility treatment. I just wish I still had rose coloured glasses on and could pretend it wasn't hurting so much.

I know it has nothing to do with the pregnancy announcement either, that was simply a catalyst to something that would've happened eventually. Apparently you can push your feelings down as hard as possible, but eventually they find a way to bubble back up to the surface.

But, I know things are never as bad as they seem and there's always hope so I'll put a smile on my face and keep holding onto that {and cuddle all my friends adorable babies until we can have another one ourselves}.

Toni x

Linking with Kirsty, Alicia & Eva
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Friday, September 18, 2015

Dairy free banana muffins

I love baking savoury recipes, but I've never really had a desire to bake sweet things, with the exception of cupcakes for birthdays every now and then. However, since having a toddler I've realised savoury just won't cut it all the time. Even though she doesn't get sugar that often {because she doesn't eat much processed food due to allergies} she's still managed to work out what it is and decided that she LOVES it. So naturally to keep her happy I've had to come up with something sweet that's ok for her to have every now and then, so banana muffins it is.


Of course I still had to keep them allergy friendly so I came up with a recipe that is dairy free, soy free and egg free. For this recipe I've used nuttlex, oat milk and egg replacer powder to substitute the butter, milk and eggs. You could also use almond milk instead of oat milk if you want to add a bit more sweetness {although I think they're sweet enough as they are, but it all comes down to personal preference}.


I've made the muffins quite a few times now and have used 2 large cavendish bananas each time which gives them a subtle banana flavour, but if you want them to be a bit more in your face banana then use 3 bananas. You can of course use lady-fingers if you prefer them. I make the muffins as mini patty cake size muffins for bub and normal ones for us {although lately she's been eating the big ones too}.


BANANA MUFFINS


INGREDIENTS
* 2 overripe bananas {mashed}
* 2 cups self-raising flour
* 1 cup caster sugar
* 2 tablespoons Nuttlex
* 1 egg {using egg replacer powder}
* 2 tablespoons oat milk

METHOD
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
2. Beat wet ingredients together using an electric mixer.
3. Slowly add in dry ingredients while mixing until well combined.
4. Fill muffin cases and cook in oven for 15-20 minutes until risen and skewer comes out clean.


Linking with Lauren, Grace & Kylie
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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

52 WEEKS OF MEMORIES | 37 - PERFECT

The most perfect thing right now is that I get to be a mum to this cheeky little munchkin, and we get to dress in matching clothes {and take silly selfies on the couch}.

37 | PERFECT


If you'd like to play along too, join in with 52 Weeks of Memories and get creative. Feel free to share with your friends on Facebook or Instagram, the more who join in the better!

You can follow me on Instagram 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. I've also started a facebook group for the challenge if you feel more comfortable sharing in a group setting. 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 holding.


Also linking with Trish, Steph and Raychael


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)

52 weeks of memories




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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Mummy Must Have Review | Dress My Bear

One of the first things you think of as a gift for a new baby or child is a teddy bear. It's a gift that remains appropriate all throughout childhood. They make great confidants, partners in crime during fun adventures, buddies at picnics and often they become treasured keepsakes as we get older.

The humble teddy bear has come a long way with countless different colours and styles to choose from across a plethora of shops. These days there's also a number of different companies that offer personalised teddy bears. One company offering personalised bears with a twist is Dress My Bear.


Dress My Bear combine a traditional soft and cuddly bear with personalised artwork of your choice. There are two bears to choose from - the traditional teddy bear with a white shirt or a graduation bear with a graduation hat, white shirt and scroll. Both bears can be personalised with either a photo, scanned artwork or image of your choice which is printed onto the white t-shirt.
Dress My Bear use a super soft honey coloured bear which is great for both boys or girls. Each bear is 25cm high. Teddy bears are $29.95 and graduation bears are $31.95. Bears can be ordered online from Dress My Bear. The ordering process isn't overwhelming, in fact its really quick and easy. Simply:

1. Choose which bear {teddy bear or a graduation bear}
2. Upload artwork  {scanned artwork, photo or an image}

I ordered two different bears {one basic teddy bear and one graduation bear}. I got one with a photo of us together and on the other one I scanned a copy of one of her drawings. The ordering process was really easy and the bears arrived quickly after my order was finalised. If you do have any issues ordering they are very helpful, responding quickly via email.

TEDDY BEAR WITH PHOTO


I chose a photo of the two of us together that was taken when we were mucking around one day. We love to take selfies together pretty much every day and we're usually making funny faces. I love this photo because it captures her cheeky personality perfectly. This bear will definitely be a keepsake for her to have when she's older. I also hope that if we ever have to be apart for any reason she can hug her bear and feel like I'm still with her.



I was really happy with the way the photo turned out on the teddy bear. I thought it might have come out grainy or lost a bit of detail when it transferred onto the shirt but its come up almost exactly the same as the original image. She recognised that it was me and her straight away.

GRADUATION BEAR WITH ARTWORK


The artwork on the graduation bear looks exactly like a tiny replica of her original drawing. Dress My Bear also put a nice border around the image in a complimentary colour that makes it really pop on the t-shirt. You can also request to have your child's name, age and the year {or a combination of them} added under the drawing which I did because later on I'm likely to forget how old she was when she drew it.



We originally had a different drawing ready to go on her bear, but I made the mistake of leaving it on the table after it was finished and she spilt her drink on it and destroyed it. I don't know why people say don't cry over spilt milk because I certainly wanted to cry when that happened. Bub doesn't really draw proper pictures yet, but she does do some pretty colourful squiggles. To make her drawing a bit more interesting I drew a heart and tried to get her to colour it in. Clearly that failed and she just drew everywhere around it, so I coloured it in. I wanted to put a heart on it because heart is one of her new favourite words at the moment and she recognises them straight away. As soon as we opened the bear from the bag she immediately pointed to it "heart mummy, look heart", followed by "hat mummy, look bear hat".

FUNDRAISING BEARS


In addition to their normal bears which make great gifts, Dress My Bear also have fundraising packages available for schools. Bears can be purchased at special fundraising rates, personalised as you choose and then sold for the RRP to make a profit for your school. Dress My Bear offer a unique fundraising item that steps out of the box compared to the more traditional sausage sizzle or chocolate drive fundraising ideas. Although it is a higher investment for those purchasing {compared to chocolate for example}, it means they get a personalised keepsake that lasts forever, plus you raise a higher profit for your school compared to traditional methods. To enquire about fundraising packages, fill out this form.

*****

Teddies from Dress My Bear make a great personalised gift or keepsake for children of all ages. They'd be great gifts for a baby shower, birthday, Christmas, mothers day, fathers day or graduation. Dress My Bear are kindly offering Finding Myself Young readers free shipping, simply use the code fmyfree at the checkout when ordering via www.dressmybear.com.au.

Did you have a treasured teddy as a child?

Toni x


Disclosure - I was provided with 2 bears with images of my choice for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own based on my experience with the ordering process and the product. I did not receive payment for this review.

Linking with Jess
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Monday, September 14, 2015

Too Busy Sleeping - Zanni Louise & Anna Pignataro

We've always known we want more than one child {we want 3 if you're wondering}. So we've known since bub was born that there'll come a time when we're going to have to prepare her for the arrival of a new sibling {at least if infertility grants us another baby}. Bringing a new sibling home can be a huge adjustment for a child so I know we'll have to approach it delicately when the time comes so she's not too overwhelmed.

It just so happens that one of the mums in my mothers group added to her family recently so bub's started being exposed to the idea of a new baby. Its sparked an interest in babies so we've got a few "baby" dolls so she can pretend to feed, cuddle and love the baby. I'm planning on using these to help her once a new baby comes into our family. In addition to her own baby doll, I also plan on using books to help her through the transition period.

I've always been a big believer in using children's books to help explain difficult situations to kids. They're written in simple, easy words that kids understand and often explain situations better than we could ourselves. Plus the illustrations also help children to visually understand situations they've never experienced before. So, when fellow blogger {and children's author} Zanni asked me if I'd like to review her new book Too Busy Sleeping, I jumped at the chance. I want every tool up my sleeve for when the time comes.

Too Busy Sleeping - Zanni Louise & Anna Pignataro
Little Hare, 2015


Too Busy Sleeping tells the story of Eleanor, a little girl who's adjusting to the arrival of her new baby brother Reuben. It takes us through her first day as a big sister after he arrives home. Eleanor longs to play with baby Reuben, but he's always too busy sleeping. She faces frustration throughout the day, but overcomes it in a positive way each time.

I can see bub in Eleanor, from her blonde hair to the games she plays throughout the day, her inquisitive nature and even the fact that she eats spaghetti for dinner {which is bub's all time favourite meal}. I know that she'll relate to the story in many ways once she's a little bit older. She doesn't quite have the attention span to sit and take in the whole story at the moment, but she does sit and point to all the pictures with me and tell me what they are and what Eleanor's doing. We read the story, without reading the actual story if you know what I mean.

So many children see having a new sibling as a bad thing, but Zanni has been able to portray the whole experience in a positive light throughout the book, even when Eleanor faces frustration. Zanni explains the joy, fun and laughter little babies can bring {in a way that children will understand}; even though they may not always do what you want them to. 



Anna Pignataro has illustrated the book with beautiful watercolour and collage drawings that compliment Zanni's words perfectly. She captures the magic and whimsy of childhood through her gorgeous illustrations {including the pencil outlines which remind me of my own drawings when I was younger}. The collage pieces are so detailed the pictures appear to be three dimensional. I can't help myself, I keep touching the pages trying to feel all the different fabrics and textures. Bub is super tactile so she spends ages touching the pictures and often wants to go back to certain pictures to look at them over and over.

Too Busy Sleeping will be a constant feature in our house, especially now that bub is getting more and more into books. I'll be reading to to her regularly in the hopes that when we do add to our family she'll be readily prepared for what's to come. I hope her experience with a new bub is just as positive as Eleanor's {and just quietly I hope our next bub is too busy sleeping because it'd be nice to have a baby that likes to sleep for a change}.

Too Busy Sleeping is available in hardback for $24.95 from Zanni Louise and at leading book stores throughout Australia.

Toni x

Disclosure - I was given a copy of Too Busy Sleeping in order to provide a review. All opinions expressed are my own based on the book. I did not receive payment for this review.

Linking with AliciaKirsty & Caroline.
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