Cut the crap! 💩

Whenever I see or hear something sad about dogs/animals I have to scoop my fur baby up for a big cuddle. This is what happened yesterday. Cellulite and all.

Reason for this post though (the cellulite kind of plays a part here), is because I have just overheard a young girl/teenager on the phone talking about some “miracle cream” – someone had a baby 2 weeks ago and she’s used the cream non-stop since and her stretch marks are “almost gone”. If the girl had hung up I 100% would have turned around to her and told her the truth.

OH MY GOSH I am so fed up with products being marketed like this. That is WHAT WOULD HAPPEN NATURALLY OVER TIME ANYWAY 🤦🏽‍♀️ once you’ve got stretch marks – they ain’t going anywhere (ok maybe they will with some laser surgery or something) – a cream is NOT gonna make them just disappear. Stretch marks stretch and fade over time. As your belly returns to its non-stretched state over time, the stretch marks will reduce and fade. I know this, because not only have I had them on my thighs since puberty, but I’ve been there with every stupid diet pill and miracle cream there is for cellulite/stretch marks (I never even had cellulite until I was pregnant. My dysmorphic brain just thought I did.) I won’t lie – I hate them, but they’re part of life. I moisturise a fair bit anyway, and when my thighs are slimmer [through running] they are fainter. To be fair, they’re quite faint now (considering how slim my thighs ARE NOT 🤣). I am moisturising like a crazy person whilst pregnant in a bid to not gain any more – but if it happens, it happens. They’ll be a mark of what my body has grown. I’ll probably still hate them, but at least I got the chance to finally be pregnant and carry our child: something I never thought would happen. I honestly don’t seem much difference in creams being marketed as a miracle cure for stretch marks much difference to that of bloody Kim KW and her stupid appetite suppressant lollipops.

It. Is. All. Bullshit.

Moisturise, exercise, eat a healthy, balanced diet. Get outside and [safely] enjoy the sun. Don’t waste your hard earned cash on miracle BS.

Love x

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Pro-Choice.

As a non-Irish woman, living in England, I don’t know what else I can do other than use my social media platforms to add to the right for #prochoice

I have never had an abortion. As a woman who, without the aid of fantastic fertility clinics and the development of science, would not be able to have children, it is unlikely I will ever be faced with what I can only call a dilemma as to whether or not to abort my unborn child. As a woman who is currently 26 weeks pregnant with our miracle IVF baby, I am grateful for this – because I honestly do not believe it is a choice I could ever make. But a choice which, would be mine nonetheless.

I describe abortion as a dilemma because, not for a second can I imagine that any woman would blindly enter into aborting her unborn child without a lot of reason, thought, and heartache going into it. Aborting a child won’t just end there – with the baby gone; I’d imagine that no matter what circumstances surround the need for abortion, that the knowledge of having done so will live in within you forever.

Physically, it might seem easy. Mentally; not so.

But, as a human being – who doesn’t believe herself to be particularly intelligent, but does pride herself on her common sense – I understand. I understand that whilst we can all be so similar, we also can all be so different, and thus, we need choice. I have never, ever understood why individuals find themselves so worked up and concerned with the matters of other individuals; it does not concern them. Which is exactly why I love this image – if you don’t like/want something: don’t do it. That is YOUR choice. Why does anyone feel they have the right to decide how another person – female or male – should live their life? Lesbian, Gay, Straight, Bisexual, Transexual, In need of an abortion, in need of a home, in need of medication to stabilise your health [i could go on] – by and large – who’s choice should that be but that of the individual(s) involved?

For those fighting for pro-life… I too, am pro-life. However, once more, that is, MY CHOICE. I have never been raped, and thus never fallen pregnant with a child conceived from rape. I am so, so thankful that I am not pregnant with an “unwanted” child. That I am not pregnant with a child so deformed it would not survive labour. I am lucky that I have not had to make the difficult decision of whether or not to abort a child, and I hope that is a decision I will never have to make. For me, the second we knew we were pregnant at 3 weeks 6 days, that was our baby. It was a life, one we had finally created. Our perfect, miracle baby. But, medically, it is deemed an embryo until 8 weeks, and a fetus until birth. Not a baby, an embryo, then a foetus. It is MY CHOICE to consider it our baby from the word go. It is MY CHOICE to consider it a life worth fighting for, or not fighting for. Choice, is what’s important here.

It’s 2018 for goodness sake – why can’t we get on with our OWN lives without consistently having to battle for such simple human rights; choice. At the end of the day, that’s all it boils down to. The same as the choice I make to run. To own, walk, look after and love a dog. To pop to the shops or not. It is my choice.

Gousto

Wanted to share a little review on Gousto food delivery boxes after I used Susie Verrill’s 50% off two boxes code… I felt like with that discount it was too good an offer not to try!

First meal - LambFirst meal – Lemony lamb meatballs and warm harissa dressing


Let’s just say – I would only use Gousto again with a 50% off code; the meals are 110% NOT worth full price! Whilst they are quite yummy, and reasonably easy to cook, alongside more or less meeting the time guidelines suggested on the cards (unlike Jamie Oliver’s “15 minute meals” but only if you pre-prepare EVERYTHING 🤪!!) the portion controls are extremely odd, and bulked out with cheap stodginess (rice, for example) which I am NOT a fan of at the best of times (in my head it should be a higher meat/protein/veg content & less carbs… is that just me?!) – yet you STILL don’t feel particularly full after finishing, or an hour or so later you’re hungry again. James and I both found it incredibly odd (and, having spoken to another friend about it, she too had used Gousto and agreed) that the “meat” side of the meals is barely anything – for example, in our blackened chicken, corn and tomato rice recipe (which was delicious), we shared one, normal sized chicken breast between two adults – I mean, what?! When would you EVER do that?! More chicken less rice needed when we recreate ourselves in future!!

Blackened chicken, corn and tomato rice


Despite my fairly negative review, if you still think you’d like to try Gousto, then please do so using my code which will mean you too get 50% off your first two deliveries.. I do think at 50% off the boxes are much more worth it, and if you know you have a particularly busy week ahead of you, they are quite useful for easy, quick, delicious meals, often (like most recipe books I guess!) with things you wouldn’t think to try – a particular favourite of mine was “sprout mash” with our pork belly, sprout mash and red cabbage meal (I was too hungry to remember to take a picture!!) turns out this is the only way I like sprouts! It worked out quite conveniently for us that we received our first box in the week between my egg collection and our embryo transfer, when I somehow still wanted reasonably healthy food but with absolutely zero effort as I had no energy to cook!

My discount code: Gousto – however, if you’re using then maybe let me know, as they also failed to properly apply the 50% off code to my boxes when I ordered so I had to chase for a refund and an apology!!!

Crispy Mushroom Dal, Coriander Chutney

Become – Anti Flush Tank Top

This is one mostly for the ladies – sorry guys! But feel free to read on as you may be able to help a wonderful lady in your life!

At 30, I am, fortunately (!), not menopausal. Although, having tried it myself now. I don’t think this brand should just be marketed for women going through the menopause.

Become is a brand producing tank tops and underwear to help regulate body temperature for those suffering with hot flushes – be it due to the menopause, pregnancy, or just part of your genetic makeup that occasionally you suffer from the odd hot flush. I’d pop myself in the last category, and I often find it embarrassing, especially given I am physically one of the coldest people on the planet – often even running in several layers in the winter months!!

Typically, in the last few days I’ve been wearing the Become tank top, I can’t say I’ve noticed any specific hot flushes (if I’d had this just a month earlier whilst still on all the IVF meds and fun that comes with it, it’d have been ideal!) mind you, it is absolutely baltic at the moment isn’t it!! ☃️

However, in the few days I have been trying out the tank top I have (albeit rarely 😴!) been walking the dog all layered up – and this is a classic example of where I suddenly get flushed and sweaty – because the second I step inside somewhere warm having been wrapped up in several layers against the cold outside I get HOT 🤒. But…. not so much wearing the become tank top! I genuinely noticed a difference in not feeling so sweaty after stepping indoors, and I also didn’t then get super freezing cold shortly after from clammy, sweaty clothing still on me. My only downside was that my armpits/arms weren’t also covered and, given your armpits are quite a key sweating point, I could have done with a bit more “support” as such there as well… maybe a t-shirt/long sleeve will be introduced in the future. I also feel like bra options could and should be available in this – after all, pants are! I’ve worn the tank top both with a bra and braless – but neither way prevented that feeling of “under-boob-sweat” because the top isn’t fitted directly underneath your bust there.

I am a sucker for cute packaging!My Pros

  • Cute packaging
  • Bargain price with my discount code TALKTOMUMSKAREN (until 15/01/18)
  • super soft feel
  • Fits well (aside from below con)
  • works and I’m not menopausal!

My Cons (have fed these back to the company!)

  • Doesn’t come in a T-Shirt or long-sleeved option! 👚
  • Inside packaging (alongside the brand in general) advertises for menopausal women, which is quite a niche/specific market, when really it suits much more than this
  • Size Small fitted well on me, although felt a bit short which I dislike
  • Lack of “support” under bust – bra option needed!

If you’d like to give Become a try, I have a special 20% discount code available until January 15th 2018, just use TALKTOMUMSKAREN at the online checkout https://www.webecome.co.uk. Delivery is free and surprisingly and unexpectedly quick! I know it is January but this brand doesn’t often offer discounts, I honestly don’t think £31.20 is too bad a price especially for the benefits!

Below is a lot of links and videos etc.

If you want to learn more about the product, see more images etc then please visit – https://www.talktomums.co.uk/hot-women-cool-solution/ Product Benefits;

1. Works with world renowned active wear, intimate wear and swim wear brands

2. Regulates your body temperature

3. Wicks moisture away from the body

4. Reduces odour

5. Silky smooth material

6. 18 months product research with Hohenstein Institute

7. Uses flat yarns to draw the moisture away from the skin and evaporate it

Videos

Why use this product – https://youtu.be/NDZiaHiIR-s, What is the product – https://youtu.be/M4JGkD8ISjk, How does it work – https://youtu.be/EKx2FahG5iQ Xxx

No. More. Presents!!

This is something I have been thinking about for a while. At least the last year. And a blog I have been meaning to write for the same amount of time. But it is only now, in my apparent new 3.30am-????!am wake up time, whilst flicking through an old Good Housekeeping magazine my mum left me at Christmas, looking at page upon page (20 pages worth in fact!! And then over the page there is then talk of online shopping “just after midnight to be first in the queue” on “Cyber Monday” also stating “you snooze, you lose!”!!!! 🤦🏽‍♀️) of their “GH gift guide” that I feel beyond anxious and sick at the sheer amount of rubbish there is in this world that is often forced upon us until we feel like we “need” it and thus succumb to buying.

Really?! What are the chances of not already having salt and pepper shakers?!


Except that really, we probably don’t need much of it at all.

Christmas morning this year, as every year, I felt a little overwhelmed. I do find Christmas and (my own) birthdays overwhelming; part of the great joy of my own anxiety of the stark reminder of time passing all too fast. But I felt more so overwhelmed when I saw the huge pile of Christmas presents under the tree. Yes there was 6 of us at ours for Christmas this year – but fully grown adults, not a single child in sight – as you might have expected given the amount of presents under the tree!

Call me Scrooge if you like. I don’t care. I think it is utterly ridiculous.

For me, Christmas is about/for the children and the magic of it all (no, I’m not religious). Of course I will still continue to buy my godchildren (etc) Christmas and birthday presents – as children unable to buy what they want or need when they want, like adults, that is different! But what I will say is, ever since they were born I’ve often also wondered if buying them something they will soon grow out of is utterly pointless – I’d much rather put money in their savings accounts for when they will inevitably need it as adults starting out in this crazy world… that said, I know it makes them (as with all children!) happy now to receive presents, and that too is important.

So this year, I’m not doing it anymore. I’m not going to fall into the trap of buying presents for everyone and anyone I’ve ever met (ok slight exaggeration!). And in return I don’t want anything. In this 21st century world we are somewhat spoilt in that when we decide we need or want something, we buy it. There’s no such thing as having to wait until Christmas or birthdays, and if we don’t buy it for ourselves… do we really want or need it?!

I find it stressful. In the most grateful of senses. It is stressful receiving presents upon presents of things you don’t really want or need. Trying to find homes for things or feeling the need to have a mass clear out (which I desperately need to do but am far too exhausted to do it!). I find it stressful trying to think of what I could possibly buy for so-and-so, but often even the likes of my own Dad, or brother, etc. I find it stressful when then asked “what can we get James (etc)?” because, I don’t know! And very often he is there saying “nothing! I don’t want anything! I don’t need anything! I want nothing!” Sometimes, even when I do provide an idea it is then ignores – so what was even the point?! Don’t even get me started on the stress involved if something is faulty.

Last year, as every year, James had no idea what to buy his brother (or dad) for Christmas. Being male he typically left it until the last minute, but even so, in a world of practical 24hour delivery, that didn’t really matter. To this day I am fairly sure he hasn’t bought him anything, because he can’t think of anything. He doesn’t know what he might want or need (likely nothing!) and so (as far as I’m aware) he just hasn’t!! His mum only got something because I happened to spot something I thought she would like! Why are we buying presents for people when we don’t even know what to buy them? Or what they already have?! My dad at one point went and ordered an amazon Alexa for James which was returned because we already have one. One that we don’t use because we don’t have a smart home or much to connect it to or have even really had the time to figure out how best to use it, and in fact it is currently turned off because she kept responding whenever the tv advert came on!!

I totally appreciate there are occasions when you see something you know a loved one will love – and that’s fine, and something I too will continue to do, (although anxious that they may already have, however I guess one must assume you would already know if they had it because if it’s something they really love they are likely to have spoken about it…?!) but I am done with gifting for the sake of gifting. Buying for the sake of buying, and all the stress and waste that comes with it.

I also find it stressful that there are often hundreds and hundreds of options of the same thing. Trying to figure out which one is actually the best/cheapest/value for money or actually does what you need is something I often find confusing and stressful – even in trying to buy a blender for example. There often seems to be so many “new” (& old) businesses doing the same thing that we are flooded with multiple products making what should be simple decisions near impossible. Sometimes I feel like a new brand appears on a daily basis doing something that already exists tenfold..

For me, I much prefer to spend time with loved ones, doing, rather than having. If I see something I need or want (because yes I still fall into that consumer trap of desire for things I probably don’t need!), I’ll likely buy it! One of my best memories of 2017 is the Bombay Sapphire gin experience with my husband, parents, brother and his girlfriend. We “did” and spent time together and actually had genuine fun without being, or feeling forced. It was something different.

and looks like “doing” is better for our future mental health too!

I know “doing” often means spending money on this or that, but I would much rather spend time experiencing than not being able to see my friends, have fun and create memories because they are skint from spending money on gifts no one really wants or needs! I think we all know I would much rather travel and holiday – see the world – than have another thing.

(I had an “in sum” friendly end to this but a WordPress bug in the app has just deleted it 😡)Xxx

 

Update!! Have moved onto the next month (December) issue of Good Housekeeping mag where they have yet another 10+ page “ultimate gift guide” – plus separate pages for children’s toys! I used to love this magazine as it focused less on fake “celebrities” and garbage and more on real, interesting and factual, proper journalism!!

Dirty Thirty

​​​​As the final weekend of my month long birthday celebrations have drawn to an end, I felt the need to write a little blog..

My husband is a funny fcuker… 😉😂

It’s now been 21 yesterday’s ago since I was 29. And really, I guess I feel no different. I have so many friends spanning across so many different ages – some younger, plenty older than me. I know we are all the same in dreading another year passing and another year older. It doesn’t make it any easier, I really do simply just dread it. I look at others my age and constantly think they seem to have their lives much more “together”, are seemingly more mature and generally doing pretty well for themselves…  ok, in reality I know this isn’t really true, and actually I am basing this thought on a random couple I saw on “first dates” several months ago, who basically seemed worlds apart in maturity and having their “shit together” than me. I know many of my friends are just like me – muddling through life, having fun as much as possible, and probably think they don’t feel mature/30/they have their shit together, or should be adulting in general….

​  Dirty Thirty – well, you suck. You kind of were always going to, I guess, because I’m *almost* the real life version of Peter Pan; I don’t want to grow up. Only problem is, I am.

I think it could have been easier though. If you’d brought me at least one (or even 2, 3 or 4) happy healthy babies by now, I’d probably be coping better. Have my purpose. Be happier and marginally calmer (ok maybe not calmer or less anxious but I am sure happier). If I could run free and have little baby versions of us running around us freely too.

Maybe it’s going to come with my 30’s. I hope so as 40’s is definitely too late (and I can’t bare thinking about – where, how, is life going//so fast?!). In reality, I don’t feel any different to any other day. I’m just very aware that with ageing comes a life over and certain death – I like to think despite the best efforts of many drivers/my mental health/general life, I will make it to old age.

Some things I’m learning:

  1. Age really is, just a number. Fight it by staying young and having fun – life’s too short, it’s always playtime 😈 
    “Never lose your sparkle”
  2. If you really do have to keep getting older – drag out the celebrations as long as physically possible. I’ve dragged mine out a month, 7 “official” birthday dinners “out” this year – I think one less than last year. Poor show! See all your friends and family – or as many as possible.
  3. Fit 2. Into your everyday life. See friends and family and have as much fun as possible – we all came into this world with nothing and are all going to be leaving with nothing – take pictures/make memories; objects will be left behind (although to be inherited 😉 [been stealing my mums jewellery since 1987, she’s still happily alive and kicking and I’d like to keep it that way, whilst still “inheriting” {stealing} her jewellery!])
  4. Anxiety won’t lessen, if anything it seems to be getting worse. Maybe it gets worse before it gets better?
  5. You’d do better to not put yourself in situations that make you anxious, but you still have a determined belief that things should be right/fair/just and trying to bring that into the lives of morons often causes you anxiety you could avoid. 
  6. With that, depression won’t change either. Sadly, the world is still full of more a-holes than good people. It gets you down.
  7. It wouldn’t seem possible – given some of your previous responses… but alcohol will affect you even more and hangovers will be easier to come by 🙄

Here’s to the next 30 years! 😱😱😱

How to live life ☺️💖

Smile, Love and be Kind x

I just wanted to do a little post to try and help direct people to these awesome books, written and illustrated by fabulous people who’s worlds were shattered far too early in life, but who continued to somehow remain positive, strong, kind and inspirational throughout.

I’ve bought both books so far for friends children, as well as copies for our house. They are such sweet, lovely, well written books with the strong message of kindness being magical and so, so important solid throughout them. The illustrations are also all hand drawn by Jake. The books don’t fail to make you smile.These books are incredible – don’t just take my word for it! You can purchase Tara & Tyrone books (currently two with a third on the way) written by the incredible Emmy and brilliantly illustrated by Jake through Etsy, or if you want a message from Jake and Molly dog 🐶, email ejtandem@hotmail.com – I’ve added my own message (see below) to the children we’ve bought them for too. I can’t credit Emmy and Jake enough for their constant positivity and kindness – and no, I don’t know them personally so there is no friendship bias here!

You can also read more about Emmy and the journey #EJTandem
Dear Ollie, Ellen (and Thomas*),
I am so sorry I didn’t get you this book earlier to enable it to be signed once again by the inspirational author as well as the wonderful illustrator, and the lovely Molly dog 🐶😉.
Emmy sadly passed away on 16.06.17. She fought hard against an impossible battle. But she inspired the world. She taught us life is too short. She taught us to live life to the fullest. And most importantly, she taught us to “smile, love and be kind”.

I love you forever, your (fairy) godmother xx

*not Thomas’ godmother!