Tuesday, 27 March 2012

BoBo goes to his first Disco

One of the first bloggers I met was the lovely Maria who blogs at very busy Mama.  She has sadly left the British shores and is now back in the US, but her blog is one I LOVE to catch up on.

She regularly hosts a Trendy Toddler Link Up and this week, it is the turn of my fashionista middle son BoBo to get in on the action.  He was invited to his first disco and insisted on dressing himself.  I think he did a sterling job!

Boots: Converse from TK Maxx - about £16.99 IIRC?

Shorts: Gap, Summer 2011

Shirt: Hard to see detail, but lots of mopeds for the inner mod (LOVE!) in the Monsoon Christmas sale for £7.99 (bargain!)

Tank: Ralph Lauren Fall 2011

Here is is rocking it with his little sis' (who, the minute the sun comes out, put on a beach dress)

As for the disco, he didn't win the dance off but was VERY impressed that 3 girls told him "they loved him".  I can see I am going to have to keep my eye on this one ;-)

Peace and Love

S.A.M xoxo

Sunday, 25 March 2012

My Top 5 beauty products

How could I NOT take part in Kate's listography this week?!  I regularly bring your my favourite product as part of my "Super Amazing Mum Loves......" updates and have spoken about my love of red lipstick and time savers such as Gelac and Minx

Just because we are mums, doesn't mean we have to let ourselves go, if anything, taking five minutes to slick on some lipstick and powder is enough to make anyone feel better to tackle the world!

Here are my Top 5 beauty products: 

1) MAC Pro longwear Lipstick

So, SO, SO good, I blogged about it back in January 2011 this should be part of everyone's routine.  Comes in so many colours and really does last the distance.  It is easy to apply and lasts forever so well worth the expense.

2) Benefit They're real mascara.  I never thought I would use any other mascara apart from Lancome, I have tried so many over the years and NONE ever matched the lasting power of Lancome.  I like very "spiky" mascara that gives real definition and bought this on a whim.  It is AMAZING. 

3) Benefit Pore Minimiser - If you haven't tried a primer, then I can highly recommend this.  I don't have big pores but this little beauty smooths the skin prior to foundation application.  It really does give a "photo finish" and a little goes a long way.

4) NARS Laguna Bronzer - if you have pale skin, then this will really wake it up!  It's a really natural colour (don't be put of by the colour in the box as looks much darker than it is) that gives pale skin a lovely bronze (but natural glow!).  No TOWIE tans here, just lovely, natural, healthy looking skin.

5) Waitrose Bottom Butter.  This little pot of miracle, costs less than £3 and although meant for babies bottoms, is the best anti wrinkle cream going!  I don't use this everyday but a few times a week and my skin really is peachy!  It is quite thick, but smells divine.  Also great for hands, lips, tidying stray eyebrow hairs, an eyelash conditioner, an overnight foot softener (I smother my feet in the butter, pop on a pair of socks and the next day my feet are beautifully soft). 

What are you favourites?  Go check out everyone else on Kate Takes 5.

Peace and Love

S.A.M xoxo

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 24 March 2012

An open letter to Olly Murs

Dear Olly,

I have to admit, as a 30 something mum of three, I haven't really listened to current music for a LONG time. It seems that once you have children, your finger on the music pulse seriously stops beating, despite listening to the radio pretty much daily, which I have to admit, is usually on BBC London.  

My children are boys of eight and five, and my daughter is three.  To be honest, music still isn't really on my eldest sons radar, he is more into playing rugby and riding his BMX.

However, my five year old is really getting into music.  Youtube is a regular request and I have been shocked at what they are wanting to watch.  Here are two videos from the current Top 10:

This is the official video for Nicki Minaj - Starships

And 1:32 into the video, she sings about "f**k who you want, and f**k who you like" which is totally inappropriate.  Whilst some could say this is great for feminism, it is not so great when you have young children watching/listening.

Next up we have Flo Rida - Wild Ones, which although not a bad tune, if full of bad cliches...girls writhing in bikinis whilst gyrating in front of presumably Flo RIDA who of course, is sitting back with his homies drinking magnums of Cristal before jumping into his red Ferrari.

Whoa there....what is going on?  

Since when did this sort of thing become common currency?  Sure you'd have the odd video which was risque back in the day, (Madonna kissing a black Jesus in Like a Prayer anyone?) but now it seems that the majority are controversial (in my eyes anyway.)

Next up, we have LMFAO, which I have to admit, makes me laugh a LOT but not when you have a 3 year old girl singing "I'm sexy and I know it" whilst thrusting her pelvis at me.  She hasn't even seen the video by the way, she is copying her brother.

I'm not even comfortable with the word "sexy" but again, it seems to be normalised now in songs and everyday conversations.

BoBo keeps singing "my heart skip, skips a beat" and so, in a bid to find something wholesome, I had a look at your official video:

What can I say?

It is a breathe of fresh air in this "homie drinks whilst girls gyrate" culture.  It's perfect, it's suitable and more to the point, it is a very good tune.  A quick look at your other music videos also portrays this same wholesomeness.  

As a mother, I applaud you.  Thank you for NOT going down the stereotypical music video route.  Thank you for keeping it real but most importantly, thank you for being a positive role model to kids today.

Peace and Love

S.A.M xoxo

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

A lovely LOVELY moment

I have just picked the Pixie up from pre-school today and the teach in charge, asked me to stay behind as she wanted to tell me something.

I was worried it was going to be something bad, but no, she said to me "thank you for having such an amazing daughter, today she made me cry as when we asked the children if anyone wanted to sing, she stood up, bold as brass and sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow in the sweetest little voice.

So, naturally, being the "showbiz, jazz hands" mum that I am, I asked the Pixie if she would sing it to me so I could capture for you all.........

Ladies and Gentleman, I think we have the new Bonnie Langford ;-)


Love you little Pixie!!!!

Peace and Love

S.A.M xoxo

A new me - Where I discover the exlir of life.....

Every morning for the past six weeks, I have been glugging back a large glass of quite possibly, the vilest tasting stuff I have ever had the displeasure of tasting.  If you imagine silage with a very strong smell, you wouldn't be far wrong.  It sometimes makes me gag, but without fail, I am back for more the next day.

Why on *earth* is she doing that I hear you ask??  

The answer is because I have discovered the Exlir of Life.  

I have found something that is really making a difference to my energy levels, stamina, and food cravings.  I have discovered Maca.  

Maca root has been used in Peru for energy and endurance for over 2,000 years.  It has high levels of manganese, phosphorus and iron which all aid energy, metabolism and reduce tiredness.  I suffer from all sorts of metabolic issues as I have an underactive thyroid and PCOS which are both hormone disorders - my endocrinologist has said that my metabolism is that of a 70 year old (at 37 no less) and one of the key reasons why I struggle to lose weight despite being active and eating relatively well.

I have been hearing rumblings about Maca for a while now and duly ordered some from Organic Burst as it is imperative that no chemicals have gone near the Maca (which looks like a turnip!) in order for it to do its thing.

You're advised to start of on a low dosage  (3/4 to 1 teaspoon) and then to increase over a two week period.  They tell you to mix it into your cereal or have with a smoothie.  I am going to be frank here, it is better to just stick it in a large glass of water and glug it down, otherwise it ruins the taste of your smoothies or cereal.  Here's one I made earlier......

It is vile, it is disgusting, but it is also over and done with in less than 60 seconds.  

The results however, are worth the vileness as I am quite literally, a different person.  Within a few days, I noticed a difference, I was more alert, more balanced and less tired.  I felt like the old me BK (before Kids).  I had a zest and a spring in my step.

My skin however, had a massive outbreak which totally threw me as I have never had problem skin before, I tweeted Organic Burst and they said that this is a common reaction and that it should clear up in a few weeks.  It did and my skin is now glowing.  I look really, *really* healthy.

Another side effect is that I am not getting hungry, again when I tweeted Organic Burst, they said this could be to do with my metabolism speeding up.  I don't know the scientific behind this, but I have lost weight.  Remember, I have a metabolism of a 70 year old, so this is NOT easy.

I am seeing my endocrinologist at the end of April so will love to hear what he thinks.

All I know, is that I am feeling, looking and being much better.

It may not be the true elixir of life, but it is definitely making me embrace it with a renewed energy!

Peace and Love

S.A.M xoxo

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Merci Maman for your Maman

The best thing (by a long shot!) about social media is the people that you meet.  I am also very lucky that my professional job at Halo Lifestyle means I get to meet a lot of the people that I tweet with.  I now consider the lovely Beatrice and Clemence as friends and they own the beautiful, bespoke, jewellery company Merci Maman where you can get unique, quirky, personalised gifts for your loved ones.

I have now been wearing my Lariat necklace for near on two years, and I regularly get gushing comments.  It truly is beautiful and bespoke - I LOVE the fact I have the children's names so close to my heart.

It's not to late to order YOUR bespoke piece of jewellery in time for mothers day, they really do have a lovely selection as you can see below - the question is, what will you choose??!

You have until tomorrow lunchtime to order for normal post, or up until Friday for next day guaranteed delivery.

Peace and Love

S.A.M xoxo

Disclaimer - I was NOT paid to write this, nor was I gifted.  Instead, Merci Maman sent a beautiful liberty print bracelet to my friend Tamsyn who blogs at Manic Mum Blog and is going through a hellish time as her husband recovers from a life changing brain injury.  

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Living on the edge - World Kidney Day

Today is World Kidney Day.  This will probably pass many of you by, but for me, it has quite literally made me stop in my tracks and reflect since reading this on notes from home.

My beautiful Beansey only has one kidney.  At my twenty week scan we were told that "the right kidney is not quite right" and offered a termination.  For me, to write that, has made me wince and cry and feel rather angry.  There was no way on earth that was ever going to be an option and thank goodness we didn't go down that route, of aborting our "not perfect" child because he is the most perfect child you could wish for and more.

credit: notes from home

So, at 20 weeks old in my womb, he was diagnosed with PUV (Posterior Urethral Values) which in laymans terms is basically a flap of skin that grows across the urethra and obstructs the flow of urine, this resulted in his right kidney not growing properly and his left compensating which means he has a "super kidney".

His birth was a three day labour ending in an emergency C section at just past midnight.  I gave him a quick cuddle and he was whisked of to the neo-natal intensive care unit whilst I was left in recovery hallucinating and seeing death.  I eventually got to a ward and had to spend the night, on my own whilst six over women around me tended to their babies.  I pathetically showed every midwife that came in his Polaroid.  They  didn't care.  HAW was with Beansey most of the night and I was alone, sobbing.

The next morning, I was wheeled down to meet him and fell in love instantly.  Here was my big bruiser of a boy, all 10lbs 1oz him and the greedy guzzler latched on like there was no tomorrow.  I cried and cried and cried.  

He had to have an operation at four days old to remove the valve and finally we were allowed to take him home at two weeks.  I had my baby home.

He is going to be nine this year and has regular, yearly check ups. At four years of age, he had the right kidney removed as it was non functioning.  This was a truly awful time but my superstar came around from the op and was doing headstands on his bed within the hour.  His consultant was amazed at how quickly he recovered and still tells his students today about "Super Beansey" .

His "super kidney" is doing the job of two, so whilst he may not be symmetrical or "perfect", he is living life to the full playing first team football and rugby at county level already.  He is loving, clever, handsome and caring.  He is truly amazing and I am so, so proud to call him my son.

I joke about being a control freak but what I hate is the "not knowing".  I'm not even going to go to the "dark place" I go to every once in a while, but imagine not knowing what the future holds for your child and you will understand that I am sitting her quite literally sobbing on my keyboard as a write this.

Nobody can say what the future holds for him, as a teenager he may (or may not) have growth issues, he may (or may not) need dialysis or transplant.   If this is the case, will he spend his life in and out of hospitals.  If so, I think will he ever marry?  Will he have children?  A regular job? In my darkest moments, I think will I outlive him?  Or, will he grow up to be fit and healthy with a long and fulfilled life?

The objective of World Kidney Day is to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide. 

Did you know:

1) Kidneys are roughly the size of fists and control the salt and water in your body so that your blood pressure remains the same
2) Their main job is to remove toxins and excess water from our blood
3)They also help to control blood pressure, produce red blood cells and keep our bones healthy
4) Diabetes and high blood pressure are key risk factors for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

You can find out more by going to World Kidney Day and pledging to make a change to look after your kidneys and those of the ones you love.

Peace and Love

S.A.M xoxo

Monday, 5 March 2012

My week in 5 photos....Listography

Oooohhh...my likey the listography over at Kate takes 5 this week.  Quite simply, you need to upload five photos that sum up your week..............

Yesterday, I spent 6 hours in a cold, wet and VERY muddy field watching Beansey and the rest of the team take part in a rugby festival.  They did amazingly well before the final was called off due to the weather conditions!  My baby played amazingly well - he didn't notice the cold or the mud!

We eat out as a family pretty much once a week - the kids are *usually* impeccably behaved in restaurants and we love to give them the opportunity to broaden their palate.  My kids eat olives, mussels, calves liver, curry, Chinese, sushi and have been to so many lovely restaurants and experienced many wonderful gastronomic experiences (including catching and cooking their own lobsters in France!).  Food is one of lifes pleasures to be enjoyed!

Dear readers, let me introduce you to Rapunzel....regular readers of my blog will know that Pixie is obsessed with fairies, princesses and of course, her beloved Wizard of Oz.  We have gone from watching *that* daily and the latest obsession is now tangled.  This is her, outside her tower, showing me how long her hair is.....as I say to her (and the boys!) all the time "moooother, knows best".

The lady on the left is my great grandmother on my mums side.  The wonder of facebook is that you can keep in touch with so many people who you might not speak to that often.  My second cousin has been posting family photographs and this was one I had never seen before.  Consequently, I have been thinking about family a lot this past week.

As a self confessed make up junkie, I've been looking at and updating my make up this week - watch this space for some exciting news coming up!

Love to see five photos from your week and remember kids, Moooother, knows best!

Peace and Love

S.A.M xoxo

When do you need two cars?!

When do you need two cars?

I passed my driving test at 17 and my first car was a convertible that I saved and saved and saved for.  It was a gem, a gleaming GTI with a black hood and my goodness me, it rocked!!  I can remember driving down to the coast for a girls weekend in Bournemouth, with the music blaring and the wind in my hair, having to pull over to put the hood up as it was pouring down with rain!  Those were the carefree days.

I then moved on to company cars (well, this was the 90s in media sweetie/darling) and working in advertising saw me drive a convertible and Jeep.  You would quite literally be given a list of cars and take your pick.  Again, exciting times!

When I was pregnant with Beansy, we realised that a 2 seater sports car wasn’t exactly family friendly (baby on the sunroof?!) and so, we traded up the sports car for another Jeep that we fondly called the PUG mobile. 

However, with another baby on the way and an extremely bouncy dog, we made the move to an *whisper* estate car.  I was dead set against this, it fitted the cliché of 2.4 kids and a dog which I always try and avoid, but I have to say, the Audi was a great car.  We got 80k out of that before needing to upgrade.

We are now at the stage in our lives when I think we need another car.  The boys both play football and rugby at the weekend and this invariably involves away matches.  At present, one grown up goes in the car to the away match taking Pixie, whilst the other parent (usually me!) goes on the bike to BoBo’s training.

However, next year, this all changes as he will hopefully be picked for an academy team as well!  Not to mention the fact that I want Pixie to start Gymnastics.

So, what do we do? 

I want to give them all the opportunity to play sport – invariably it always falls on a Saturday/Sunday morning and so, with the boys playing away at two different venues and Pixie at gymnastics, I really feel that the time has come to invest in a little run-around car. 

As well as finding a deal on a car, I will also have to compare car insurance as we are already paying a hefty penalty for driving an X5. 

Have you found that you need another set of wheels??  If so, at what ages were your children when this happened?  Or, do you manage with one car and cut down on activities?

Peace and Love

S.A.M xoxo

This is an sponsored post for Tesco compare - all words and experiences though are mine and mine alone!