Tuesday, 27 May 2014

An Interview with Jo Tantum

During my recent trip to The Baby Show 2014's Press Event I managed to grab a quick interview with lovely Jo Tantum who is recognised as one of the UKs leading baby sleep experts.
After spending much of her life working with parents to help them understand and conquer their baby's sleeping habits, Jo has gained a celebrity status within the parenting community with her regular appearances on national television shows including Live with Gabby, GMTV and Richard and Judy, as well as being featured in many newspapers and magazines around the world; this included spending six years a Prima Baby Magazine's resident sleep expert. If that is not enough, Jo is also an accomplished author with her book "Baby Secrets"!

I think its fair to say that when it comes to baby bedtimes, Jo knows what she is talking about!

So here goes... my very first audio interview on this side of the Mic:

You can find out more about Jo on her website www.jotantum.com.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

The Baby Show

Last week I was incredibly blessed to be invited along to the press day for The Baby Show 2014; I have never been to the baby show before, but thought this would be a great opportunity for me to go along and see what all the hype is about.

So last Friday, Lottie and I headed off to Birmingham for the press event. The orgernisers were kind enough to let me have an extra ticked so that I could invite my sister in law who is expecting her first baby towards the end of the summer.

In addition to attending the event, I was also asked if I would like to interview some of the experts who were appearing at this years baby show! In the run up to the show I was feeling a mixture of "wow this is such an amazing opportunity" to "oh my, I can't do this".

As many of my readers are most likely aware, I feature quite a bit on my local BBC Radio station, often offering an opinion or some advice on a particular topic or news story. I love being involved in my local radio and I am very keen to peruse a career based on my experience of being interviewed; so to be given the opportunity to be on the other side of a microphone was an amazing opportunity, especially as I was going to be to interviewing a celebrity!

Myself and Michelle Heaton from Liberty X

On arriving at the baby show we were greeted by the lovely people at Prima Baby magazine. When I walked by their stand I heard my name being mentioned and I turn around to see Alison who is Prima's staff writer, she was the lovely and kind lady that I spoke to on the phone when I had my hyperemesis story featured in Prima. It was so lovely to put a face to the name. Alison even pursued me to have my photo taken for a feature that they are running on style; I'm not sure why she picked me as I do really need to glam up and become much more of a yummy mummy. Any tips?

The baby show has so much to offer expecting or new parents, it was great to be able to walk around with my sister in law and give her lots of tips and show her some of the greatest products that can help in making motherhood easier.

I think its safe to say her bank account got a bit of a beating as she ended up buying a lot of things including Ewan the sheep who is deemed by many parents as being one of the best that thing they ever bought. Ewan clips to the cot and plays  heartbeat and womb sound that mimic the noises babies hear inside the womb, this supposedly helps babies to sleep. If you have not heard of Ewan before, have a look on google.

She also saved a non trivial amount of money on some cot bedding, a mattress, and range of breastfeeding accesories including the wonderful Lansinoh cream; I don't think I would have continued breastfeeding if I hadn't had this cream.

I will write more on the baby show, and will publish my interviews in the not too distant future so stay tuned.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

HG Awareness Day

A whole year has passed since I wrote about my experience of Hypermesis Gravidarum (HG); if you haven't already read my HG posts, I would recommend that you have a read as they really sum up how awful this condition is. Click on the tab above for more information.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum robbed me of the joys of pregnancy; I certainly did not bloom during them, and I still can feel slightly jealous of those people who have the perfect pregnancy and bloom; I would have loved nothing more than to feel that way, but it was not meant to be.

I must and do think of the positives; I was able to get through HG, not just once, but twice, and have two wonderful and amazing daughters who bring me so much joy and happiness; I would not change them for the world.

We will most likely not be adding another sibling for them, as I do not feel that I could battle against HG again. It would put an enormous strain on my body, and this combined with suffering an under active thyroid and ongoing knee issues would not be good health wise. I would feel as if I were letting my girls down if I could not be there for them, so it is with a heavy heart that I have to say no, no more babies, well not the human kind. Phil and I have been talking for some time about the option of having a dog and we are both in agreement this is a good idea, but we are not in any great rush and shall await the dog that suits us as a family. We will probably need to move to a bigger house first though.

Over the last year I have heard from many people who have suffered from HG; I have tried my best to help them both through social media and also with the numerous radio, newspaper and magazine interviews that I have taken part in to help raise awareness of the condition. I am pleased that I have been given the opportunity to speak out and help others; I think there have been two media highlights for me, the first was having my story featured in Prima Baby magazine and the other was hightling the condition on the radio.

This HG awareness day, please consider donating what you can to help continue the work of Pregnancy Sickness Support, a small charity that I have volunteered for since Lottie was a newborn. If you would like to make a donation you can do so by following this link.

Thank you and please share this link and any of my related HG posts to help raise more awareness of this condition.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Coombe Mill - Part 2

If you have not already read Part 1 of our Coombe Mill holiday, it can be found here.

When we set off for Cornwall, we hadn't really considered what we would do and where we would visit when we got down there; we decided to play it by ear - this is very unusual for me as I like to be organised and prepared. Fiona from Coombe Mill was very helpful and had lots of suggestions with hints and tips that guaranteed us some great days out.

We decided that if the weather was good we would go to the beach. Fiona recommended that we try the beach at Polzeath, which is situated on the North Cornwall coast and is approximately 30 minutes drive from Coombe Mill.

At the first glimpse of a sunny day, we borrowed some of Coombe Mill's buckets and spades, threw our wellies in the car and headed for the coast.

Polzeath is a fantastic beach; it is clean, safe and full of wonderful things to explore. It also claims to be Cornwall's No.1 surfing destination.

When we pulled up in the nearby car park, the girls could not wait to get out on the sand. We headed straight for the water so that the children could do some paddling. Lottie couldn't resist jumping in every patch of water that we encountered along the way. It wasn't long before the girl's wellies were full of water!

After playing in the sea, we explored the many rock pools and caves that lined the stunning beach, before stopping off at an ice cream van that had pulled up on the sand.

We then heading back to Coombe Mill for the 5pm train ride.

Coombe Mill has a model ride on railway that runs once a day. It is really nice, as after everyone has had a busy day doing their own things, all of the guests get together for the children to take a fun trip on the train and play on the adjacent play area.

Ruby enjoyed every trip that she took on the train, and even I had a go on it - of course just so Lottie could have a go :-)

Anyway, more on the train and our other trips soon.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Coombe Mill - Part 1

You may have noticed that things have been a little bit quiet on the blog for the last couple of weeks; this is because we recently spent a week in the gorgeous county of Cornwall, having a long overdue relaxing family holiday.

As far as I am concerned, when booking a family holiday in Cornwall there is only really one choice; it has to be Coombe Mill.

For those of you who have never heard of Coombe Mill before, Coombe Mill is a fantastic North Cornwall family holiday venue, consisting of sixteen unique self catering properties, ranging from stone cottages to state of the art log cabins, all of which are located within a thirty acre child friendly farm. In addition to the farm, there are many wonderful things for the children to do, including numerous play areas for the children (both indoor and outdoor), and even a ride on train!

This wonderful family business is run by the husband and wife team that is Fiona and Nick (A.K.A Farmer Nick), with the help of their six helpful and friendly children.

We arrived at around 6:30pm on the Saturday; it was pouring with rain. On arrival we were greeted by the lovely Fiona who is a fabulous host and is always on hand (or the end of a tweet) to offer advice and suggestions on things to do and places to visit. We were given the tour and then preceded to unpack, which seemed to take ages - Phil always says that I over pack!

We stayed in a beautiful stone cottage called Water Mill.

On entering our property I was immediately drawn to the huge log burner that dominated the living area. I have wanted a real log burner for many years, so I was keen to get it going; however my fire lighting skills were not very good at first, so we ended up sending an SOS tweet to Fiona, who graciously braved the elements to come and help us on that first night. I am pleased to say that I quickly mastered the art of lighting the fire.... unlike hubbie :)

Ruby woke us up bright and early the next morning as she was super excited to be going on the first Feed Run of the week. All of the guests assembled in the car park, where the children were given their Coombe Mill hats before piling into the purpose built trailer to be driven to the first feed stop.


Ruby, being little miss confident, managed to convince Farmer Nick that she should be the first child of the week to drive the tractor.

Before we set off, Fiona explained that Farmer Nick was running a few minutes late as a Coombe Mill first had happened that morning - triplet lambs had been born!

During the feed run the children fed many many different types of animals, including the chickens, where they also collected eggs for breakfast, pigs, goats, sheep, donkeys and deer.


My favourite had to be bottle feeding Ebony - the only bottle fed lamb on the farm.

We arrived back at Water Mill and after all our hard work had a well deserved second breakfast!

To be continued......

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Glamming Up!

Its not very often that I get the chance to glam up, but whilst we were away on holiday in Cornwall we attended Phil's cousin's wedding, so I decided to take up the opportunity to put a new outfit together.

I wanted an outfit that I would be able to wear for other occasions, so it needed to be able to be dressed up or down depending on the event. I have always loved Boden clothing and find the quality is amazing; their style of clothing tends to suit me and my frame. Fortunately there was a sale on so I picked out a grey slate coloured tea length style dress that had quite a full skirt, it was a dress I wouldn't normally wear as I didn't think it would suit my figure, but when it arrived I fell in love with it. The quality and weight of the fabric made the dress fit my petite figure really well.

To complement my dress, I had for some time been eyeing up some shoes from Livie and Luca, I really struggle with finding shoes that fit me as my feet are so narrow, so after several conversations with the lovely Natalie, I decided to place an order. I was so excited waiting for the shoes to arrive and tried them on in the car before I got home from the post office; I couldn't believe it... I had found a pair of shoes that were practical, stylish and actually fitted me! I have been so impressed with them that I actually ordered another pair in mustard.

To complete my outfit the lovely people at The Gorgeous Scarf Company offered me the opportunity to review one of their scarfs; I jumped at the chance, their scarfs are perfect for the everyday budget at just £15 with free UK delivery. I ordered a scarf called 'The Jackie Scarf' and I love it! It really complemented my outfit and added a touch of colour, I will certainly be wearing this scarf again in the future. I would really recommend you check out their website as they make great gifts or even treats to yourself.

I have to say when I put my outfit on I felt like a million dollars, and was so comfortable. I had many compliments from people about how lovely I look, Hubbie even managed to snap a few photos of me that I actually really like!

Disclaimer: I was kindly given the Scarf from The Gorgeous Scarf Company for free to review, however all thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not asked to mention Boden or Livie and Luca, but have done so because I have been so impressed with the amazing quality of the items.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Baby Show NEC (16th-18th May 2014) - Ticket Giveaway

This week I have been very kindly offered two tickets to give away for The Baby Show at the NEC in Birmingham on 16th to 18th May. This give away is curtsey of the lovely people at Chicco

Chicco offere a range of travel systems, side sleeping cots, highchairs, rockers, toys and much more. You can find details of all their products by visiting their website

I have never been to a baby show before but if its anything like the wedding shows that I visited at the NEC in the lead up to my wedding, there will be lots of products on offer to look at and even purchase at a reduced rate. I'm sure it will be a great day out.

I am actually a little bit jealous as I would have loved to have gone, but never mind, the competition is open to all (except me).

Its very simple to enter, all you need to do is tell me why you want the tickets. Please leave your reason in the comments section of this blog post and be sure to fill your details into the Rafflecopter widget; Each additional step you complete is another entry into the raffle. Terms and Conditions are also on there and the final closing date is Midnight on Friday 9th May 2014.

Good Luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway