Mum Sparkles http://www.mumsparkles.com Exploring Motherhood One Step at a Time Fri, 07 Apr 2017 16:55:47 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 http://www.mumsparkles.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/cropped-stars-1752836_1280-1-32x32.jpg Mum Sparkles http://www.mumsparkles.com 32 32 Magi:Bobble Review http://www.mumsparkles.com/magibobble-review/ http://www.mumsparkles.com/magibobble-review/#comments Fri, 07 Apr 2017 16:55:47 +0000 http://www.mumsparkles.com/?p=398 For a while I had been on the lookout for a water resistant hair band, or an alternative to the dreaded elastic band! Anyone out there that goes swimming or participates...

The post Magi:Bobble Review appeared first on Mum Sparkles.

]]>
For a while I had been on the lookout for a water resistant hair band, or an alternative to the dreaded elastic band! Anyone out there that goes swimming or participates in water activities will know that hair bands can loosen and slip off during swimming which is particularly annoying if your a child is in a swimming lesson. 

magi:bobble, magibobble My 7 year old daughter has been having frequent swimming sessions since the age of 5. Every week I double up the hair bands so they could stay in place. Her hair is long and straight. So when its time to shower, its quite a battle to get the hair bands off as the wet hair, tight bands situation is not the best mix. In addition to this, I then have to either separately wash the hair bands and dry them or put them in a little laundry bag (they still get lost) in the washing machine. Elastic bands are horrible for hair, I only used them twice (nightmare to remove) and never again!
magi:bobble, magibobble, hello kitty, treasure box, pink

Alas, during last months BlogConLdn I came across a brand of hair bands called Magi:Bobble that I actually thought were bracelets! These funky looking plastic bracelets are in fact hair bands. The way they have been designed allows for the hair band to stretch and hug the hair in place without creating a kink or pulling at it. Use it just like a regular hair band to easily create: pony tails, pig tails, hair buns etc.
 
My daughter has used them on 4 occasions and they work like a dream. I totally recommend these to anyone with children that go swimming. They keep the hair tied up in place, don’t loosen while swimming, don’t kink the hair, and because they’re nether elastic or material they’re easier to grip and pull off when its time to shower. Best of all: they’re WaterProof!!! So when its time to shower, she washes her hair with shampoo and washes the Magi:Bobbles then slips them onto her wrist. They dry in an instant (towel dry) and are ready to use again.
magi:bobble, plastic, water
They’re very durable, and when they stretch out, all you do is place them in a bowl, pour over some hot water and watch them spring back to their original shape. It’s a very cleaver little hair band. I’m quite impressed, I can see us using these for years to come, and a great accessory for holidays.
 
The Magi:Bobbles come 5 in a pack and make for great presents. Lots of mums have spotted them in my girls hair at the gym and have asked me about them. One mum said she’ll be stocking up on them during Christmas to use as stocking filers for her daughters – what a brilliant idea! Useful gifts.
magi:bobble, magibobble You can pick these up at: http://www.magibobble.com for £2.95 per pack (5 included). The ones in my images are part of the Neon collection. They also have a Natural collection, Pastel collection and a Precious Collection.
 
Disclaimer: The Magi:Bobbles featured above were kindly sent to me by the PR company. However, all images and opinions are my own. I have not been dictated what to write or sponsored for this post.

Share and Enjoy

FacebookTwitterDeliciousLinkedInStumbleUponAdd to favoritesEmailRSS

The post Magi:Bobble Review appeared first on Mum Sparkles.

]]>
http://www.mumsparkles.com/magibobble-review/feed/ 4
Travelling with Kids – 10 Top Tips http://www.mumsparkles.com/travelling-kids-10-top-tips/ http://www.mumsparkles.com/travelling-kids-10-top-tips/#comments Wed, 15 Mar 2017 21:18:34 +0000 http://www.mumsparkles.com/?p=392 With the turn of Spring and the prospects of warmer weather, its time to get the planners out and choose a holiday destination. The first time I travelled abroad with...

The post Travelling with Kids – 10 Top Tips appeared first on Mum Sparkles.

]]>
With the turn of Spring and the prospects of warmer weather, its time to get the planners out and choose a holiday destination. The first time I travelled abroad with a toddler entailed a one hour flight to Sweden for which my daughter spent the entire duration screaming. I’m sure you can imagine how delighted our fellow passengers were to be in our company.

 
Our so called ‘holiday’ was an eyeopener to how little prepared I was for all the struggles that a couple could encounter with a child both at the airport and onboard an aeroplane. Of course this getaway was forever etched in my mind and thankfully I made a mental note to never repeat those mistakes again. Since that time, we have traveled almost every year and for the most part none of our travels have ended in disaster or regret. I’ve compiled my top 10 tips for anybody travelling with toddlers or small children, and I wish you all a safe and serene journey.
 
candle, cupcakes, red velvet, novels, city guide, DK eyewitnesses guide, coffee, tommy hilfiger, glasses, chic, planning, mum sparkles, travelling with kids
1. Book ahead – This may seem obvious to some, but seriously, with airlines pocketing from ‘peak season’ bookings to hotel availability, i’m sure you will find it a struggle to maintain a spontaneous approach to travelling as you had previously done without children. Booking ahead means that not only can you bag flights and hotel rooms for a competitive price, but you could also ensure that important essentials such as a cot and a mini fridge (not a minibar) are also booked to your room.
 
2. Invest in travel and medical insurance – Like many things in life, if your insured you won’t need it, if you aren’t you will. And lets face it, all it takes is a dodgy meal in a restaurant for the kids to go down like a line of dominos. It’s always nice to have the assurance that you will find medical assistance if and when you need it. More often than not, medical insurance comes with a 24/7 medical assistance line where you can speak to trained medical professionals to obtain any advice you need; whether its to find the local name for medication that you require or to enquire about symptoms your experiencing. Remember, comparison websites don’t list all insurance providers, so do visit a few sites belonging to the market leaders and get a quote.
 
3. Check the hand luggage allowances with your airline – Some airlines have very strange allowances. Also, a certain orange budgeting airline now requires that you pay for even 1 piece of hand luggage (carry on). And while your at it, for a small fee, you can choose and confirm seating (especially to get a window seat), kids love looking out of the aeroplane, so its totally with it.
 
first aid kit, st john ambulance, scissors, hand sanitizer, sterile wipes, mum sparkles, travelling with kids
4. Pack the medicine – Please don’t wait until you get to the airport to stock up on Calpol or Piriton, get your own ahead of time. You will have a million things to do when you arrive at departures, so don’t give yourself more work to do.
 
5. Plan activities – Plan how many hours you will be spending at the airport and how many hours you will be spending on the aeroplane. Don’t let the kids get bored, chances are they will be feeling tired and the combination of the two makes for a great screamer. Divide any activities planned into 10-20 minute intervals. Pack a backpack full of NEW exciting things to do. My favourites are:
  • colouring book and crayons (pencils need sharpening, and felt tips are messy, so always crayons when on-the-go).
  • Peelable stickers – you can find these all over amazon, they’re slightly more expensive but great fun and super easy for you to clean up.
  • Play dough – kids love sensory play, try to create a mini areoplane model to get them excited about the flight.
  • A pack of snap cards – I used to shuffle ahead the cards and keep the doubles at the top so I could give them to my daughter. The euphoria from winning, clears up any travelling blues.

6. Chewable sugary foods – I’m not an advocate of sugar, but when travelling everyone needs a little pick-me-up. I tend to take along packets of raisins, dried fruit, chocolate covered strawberries and mini packets of Haribos. Cabin pressure will lead to blocked ears. The motion of sucking and chewing can relive the pressure build up in the ear canals. For bottle or breast fed babies, always ensure that you give a feed when taking off and landing.

7. Take a smart tablet – Charge it, and take a portable power bank. This will be your last resort when your mini angels are too tired to physically play but not tired enough to sleep. Enter the tablet, download a few new movies and child’s favourite tv series/ cartoons. Take headphones because Mr Smith across the aisle doesn’t want to listen to Peppa Pig for 30 mins!

lollipops, crayons, colouring books, colourful, flat lay, bubble mix, water guns,

8. Lots of small presents – Bribery works better than threats (especially when the naughty corner is millions of miles back home), and once you dish out the first ‘good-behaviour’ present, you will notice that your tot is suddenly more tolerant of their surroundings and less likely to break down at the push of a button. Small things (pound shop will provide many options).

9. Reasonable supply of food – hand luggage restrictions don’t apply to baby food or baby milk (stored breast milk or formula), so take as much as you need. For older kids: pack sandwiches and snacks. Be prepared incase your flight is delayed or the inflight meal isn’t as tasty as you’d hoped it might be.

10. Reins and an ID bracelet – It takes just 1 second for you to turn your back and your child runs off. This is especially the case when your child is very young and not strapped into a buggy. Whether you’ve had to fold up the buggy and hand it to cargo, or your little one just wont cooperate and stay in one. Get a set of reins and an ID bracelet. That way you will be permanently attached to little one whilst she still experiences some freedom. And if she’s Hoodenie and manages to escape, it will be easy to locate her with the wristband. Some of these now carry trackers that you can activate an alarm on to locate your child if they get lost.

 
Bon Voyage Xx

Share and Enjoy

FacebookTwitterDeliciousLinkedInStumbleUponAdd to favoritesEmailRSS

The post Travelling with Kids – 10 Top Tips appeared first on Mum Sparkles.

]]>
http://www.mumsparkles.com/travelling-kids-10-top-tips/feed/ 1
Chicken and Mushroom Pasta in 20 Minutes http://www.mumsparkles.com/chicken-mushroom-pasta-20-minutes/ http://www.mumsparkles.com/chicken-mushroom-pasta-20-minutes/#respond Mon, 20 Feb 2017 20:54:18 +0000 http://www.mumsparkles.com/?p=379 I‘ll be honest, I’m a massive foodie but I do not Love living in the kitchen and I can’t bear to slave away cooking for hours at a time (unless...

The post Chicken and Mushroom Pasta in 20 Minutes appeared first on Mum Sparkles.

]]>
I‘ll be honest, I’m a massive foodie but I do not Love living in the kitchen and I can’t bear to slave away cooking for hours at a time (unless it’s an important occasion). I do however, really enjoying making my family simple yummy meals from scratch that are also quick and easy. Now when I say scratch, I don’t mean making the pasta from scratch using a food mill (if you have time to do that then good for you!). The key to quick eating is simple: always stock up on dry ingredients in the cupboard and have some sort of veg in the freezer. That way your possibilities are endless, and I could think of a million different variations of this meal. If your a vegetarian leave out the chicken, if your a pescatarian replace it with prawns or any seafood of your choice.

ingredients, shopping, tesco, pasta

Now lets get to the fun stuff, to feed 6 people here’s what you will need:

1 Packet of Dried Pasta – I’ve used Fusilli because the kids love it (we call it twirls)

1 Sweet Pepper

1 Packet of Mushrooms – I’ve used frozen sliced mushrooms (saves time skinning, washing and chopping, also handy to keep in the freezer)

650g or 3 large Chicken Breast Pieces

Half a Tube of Tomato Puree

3 Cloves of Garlic

The juice of 1 Lemon

A Stock Cube

Any Dried Herbs you have to hand – I used Basil, Oregano and Mint

Salt and Pepper for seasoning

Olive Oil for a little frying

Now that you’ve sourced the ingredients, follow this Method:

boil pasta, boiling water

Boil: Medium Heat for Everything

Fill up 1 Hot Water Kettle and boil (saves time waiting for it to naturally heat up on the hob), empty the contents into a pot, add a generous sprinkling of salt and watch it bubble away. Now add the dried pasta and allow it to boil until aldente (soft but firm – like boobs pre-pregnancy). Then Drain and put to one side.

chopping peppers, chop chicken, crush garlic

Chop:

Chop up the Chicken and Pepper into your desired size of cubes. Now Crush the Garlic Cloves, Tip: don’t bother skinning the garlic, pop the clove whole into the garlic press, it will crush it all the same and no skin will come out of the other side (your welcome, stolen off Jamie Oliver!).
frying peppers and mushroom

Fry:

Using another pot, add about a table spoon of Olive Oil (or any other oil) and throw in the diced Peppers. Wait until the Peppers soften, now add the garlic and Chicken. Stir to get an even colour on the mixture. Now add the mushrooms (if frozen, no need to thaw).

sprinkle herbs on chicken

Sprinkle:

Now Add salt and pepper (to taste), Crumble in the Stock Cube, Sprinkle your Herbs and Combine. Next Add the tomato puree and Squeeze in the lemon juice. Stir and add 1 cup of water. Allow to Reduce for 5 minutes.

frying chicken

Combine:

Now Return your drained Pasta back into the pot you boiled them in. Slowly Pour the Pasta Sauce over the pasta (apparently you should NEVER do it the other way, don’t ask me why I just go with it) and Fold the Saucy Goodness into the Pasta.

Trust me this smells and tastes Heavenly. I added a side salad (serving suggestion, feel free to add any objects of your desire – edible ones though!).

Bon a Petit 

MS Xx 

 

 

 

Share and Enjoy

FacebookTwitterDeliciousLinkedInStumbleUponAdd to favoritesEmailRSS

The post Chicken and Mushroom Pasta in 20 Minutes appeared first on Mum Sparkles.

]]>
http://www.mumsparkles.com/chicken-mushroom-pasta-20-minutes/feed/ 0
Dining Out with an Allergic Child http://www.mumsparkles.com/dinning-allergic-child/ http://www.mumsparkles.com/dinning-allergic-child/#respond Wed, 15 Feb 2017 23:36:54 +0000 http://www.mumsparkles.com/?p=360 My eldest child (now 7) was diagnosed with a food allergy at the age of 9 months. I recall a lovely day out shopping at Selfridges ending up at A&E...

The post Dining Out with an Allergic Child appeared first on Mum Sparkles.

]]>
My eldest child (now 7) was diagnosed with a food allergy at the age of 9 months. I recall a lovely day out shopping at Selfridges ending up at A&E of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington. The offending item was a chocolate orange macaroon. I made the purchase while snooping around the delightful treats counter at the Hotel Chocolat concession in Selfridges. Being the foodie that I am, I couldn’t possibly wait until I got home to sample the chocolate goodness. So I dived into the perfectly presented box and removed a chocolate orange macaroon to curb my cravings. As I was indulging, I looked at my little cutie in her pink mini skirt and denim jacket with tiny pigtails on either side of her head and she gave me the biggest smile ever. So I did what most parents do..I broke off a tiny crumb sized amount from the macaroon and fed it to the baby. Obviously I have no intention in feeding my child a diet consisting of chocolate, and yes I do know that salt and sugar shouldn’t really be given to a baby, but i’m a parent, I was eating something delicious and I wanted my baby to try it. The events that followed from that tiny crumb sized amount left me feeling traumatised for quite a while after. No sooner did she ingest the crumb, she began vomiting violently. Next her face turned a blotchy red colour, her lips started to swell and she fell sound asleep. All this must have occurred in less than 3 minutes! You could imagine my horror. There was a crowd of people around me, I was sobbing whilst clutching onto my baby. Someone called an ambulance, we were rushed to A&E on blue lights, the paramedics administered antihistamines immediately and placed her on an oxygen mask. All that from a crumb of a macaroon!

I was later informed that the macaroon itself was not the issue, rather the egg allergen present within it. The human body is designed to protect us from harm. An allergic reaction is the body’s response to a potential harmful substance (allergen) that triggers an immune response. Allergic reactions can range from: upper respiratory mild reactions such as sneezing, nasal congestion, and itchy eyes/ throat to more serious reactions such as: skin rashes, swelling, fainting, lethargy (extreme fatigue) and a total shutdown of the body resulting in suspended breathing and a cardiac arrest. An allergic person will display a variation of symptoms according to their own immune systems response to a particular allergen.

It isn’t uncommon for children to experience food allergies. I was told repeatedly over the years “most children outgrow their allergy by the age of 5”. So I was holding onto a smidgen of hope that my daughter would outgrow her egg allergy until we reached the age of 7. We have now accepted that the allergy is more than likely to be a life sentence and we are OK to deal with it.

Naturally, the events back at Selfridges while my daughter was an infant really resonated with me. For a long time; my home, my parents home, and her nursery were strictly an egg-free territory. I was terrified to dine out with her, even at the most reputable places. I convinced myself that nobody beside me could possibly cook her an egg-free, uncontaminated meal. So we avoided dining out all costs. It was difficult, I had to learn to cook everything from scratch (you would be surprised how much egg there is in shop bought food), but it was a small price to pay.

By the time my daughter was three years old and totally knowledgable in her severe allergy. I felt slightly more at ease about her going to birthday parties, christenings, weddings (social events with cake). She was so wonderfully behaved around food. She fully understood that she must only eat food that mummy has “Okayed” because there could be egg in anything and egg was “bad bad bad”. I started toying with idea of actually dining out as a family and enjoying all the lovely places we frequented before the egg allergy came along.

So I set about to plan our first outing. It was basically a military assignment; I checked menus online, confirmed the allergy during booking, spoke to the chef when we got to the restaurant, lectured the staff that worked there, made a packed-lunch for dear daughter (just in case they couldn’t cook the meal), and packed the contents of a first aid kit (antihistamines and epi-pens of course). I was a total nightmare! The staff must have thought I was barking mad. We had a pleasant meal and overall it was a success but I couldn’t help watching my daughter like a hawk with every mouthful of pasta that she ate. I was ready to speed dial an ambulance and jab her thigh with an epi-pen!

If there is only one thing I could advise a mum living with a child’s allergy it would be to: Calm Down….

Yes your child is allergic, yes it is serious. But believe it or not, you as a parent are totally in control of this. No harm will come to your child if you plan ahead and you plan well. The allergen will not jump into your child’s mouth, nor will it crawl into your handbag and follow you home. There are a few simple steps to follow that will allow you to enjoy all the food you love Inside or Outside your home. Please don’t deprive yourself or your loved ones the experiences of dining out through sheer lack of faith in strangers. Restaurants (most) do not want you to experience harm whilst dinning out, on the contrary it is in their favour if you enjoy your meal and return for future visits. 

My simple checklist is as follows:

  1. The first time you dine out post diagnosis of the allergy – go to a restaurant that you are familiar with. Somewhere you love and have frequented in the past. That way your more at ease with your surroundings and more likely to be less apprehensive of the stranger cooking your childs meal.
  2. Do check online menus and make a selection ahead of time. This means your more organised on the night and are able to focus on spending time having great conversations rather than faffing over the menu.
  3. Call the restaurant and inform them that you will be attending with a child that has X allergy. Ask if they’re happy to accommodate your family and let them know that it will be your first time dining out since you found out about the allergy. You will be surprised at how lovely people can be when given “notice”.
  4. Explain to your child that you have ensured that their meal will be as safe as the ones that mummy cooks. Let them know that you have arranged everything and that everything will be just fine. Children need re-assurance no matter how small, this is massive for them.
  5. When you reach the restaurant gently remind your allocated waiter that you are the parent with the allergic child, and ask if there is anything you can do to help them navigate your child’s allergy.
  6. Always pack the antihistamines and epi-pens (good parenting, not necessarily being pessimistic)
  7. Look forward to your meal and enjoy it. Focus on your child’s enjoyment and capture the moment. This is a treat for the whole family not just the child, and when your having fun, your child channels your happiness.

 

 

Share and Enjoy

FacebookTwitterDeliciousLinkedInStumbleUponAdd to favoritesEmailRSS

The post Dining Out with an Allergic Child appeared first on Mum Sparkles.

]]>
http://www.mumsparkles.com/dinning-allergic-child/feed/ 0
Garnier Ultimate Blends – An Experience http://www.mumsparkles.com/garnier-ultimate-blends-experience/ http://www.mumsparkles.com/garnier-ultimate-blends-experience/#respond Wed, 15 Feb 2017 04:43:30 +0000 http://www.mumsparkles.com/?p=350 Living in central London certainly comes with a lot of perks, one of which is that if theres a brand launch – I will know about it. During the past...

The post Garnier Ultimate Blends – An Experience appeared first on Mum Sparkles.

]]>
Living in central London certainly comes with a lot of perks, one of which is that if theres a brand launch – I will know about it. During the past week, central London has been heaving with Garner Ultimate Blends branded staff handing out samples of haircare products outside every tube station, high street corner, shopping district and any areas populated with busy commuters and pedestrians. It was quite clear that there was something that Garnier wanted to shout about.

So after I did the morning school run on Thursday, I picked up a hair mask sample from a Garnier brand ambassador and thought “i’ll give this a go later” to see what the fuss is all about. I was also given leaflet detailing the 3 day pop-up store located on 15 Bateman Street. Later that day (about 100 hours later) after I put the kids to sleep, I decided to try out the hair mask post my usual daily hair washing routine. So I washed my hair (1 x shampoo, 1 x conditioner) and proceeded with the hair mask. As there were no time limit instructions on the sample, I decided 15 minutes would suffice. I applied the mask and combed it through with a shower comb. The product is very thick, so a little goes a long way, and I imagine that the retail version would last a decent number of weeks. It would have been far more glamorous if I had at that point; lit some candles, filled the bath with water, thrown in a few bath bombs and indulged in bubbly heaven whilst listening to relaxing music..Sadly I had a pile of laundry to fold and some bottles to sterilise, so my 15 minutes were spent wisely (shaving..I will spare you the details). Alas, I washed the mask off and towel dried my hair. And let me tell you, my hair felt so soft I actually thought I hadn’t washed it off properly! Felt and smelled utterly lush.

Needless to say, Garnier know what they’re doing. This product is good, and had me interested in discovering the full range as it probably intended to do. So, with the hubby looking after the kids on Saturday morning, I decided to take a walk (in the snow) to visit the pop-up store on Bateman Street. It was easy to find because the window display had a gorgeous, huge wooden sculpture in the shape of a Garnier Ultimate Blends bottle that was adorned with sunflowers, glass baubles with honeycombs inside and green foliage. Across the top of the shop was a massive Garnier logo – if you were after Garnier, you found it. And this was my stop.

Inside I was greeted by two very friendly staff who introduced themselves and set about to educate me in the world of Garnier Ultimate Blends hair products. The shop carried the same scent as the hair mask I had tried, which was divine. The walls were decorated with white-washed wooden planks that gave it a sense of being fresh and airy. Two further life sized wooden sculptures of the Ultimate Blends bottles stood on either side of the main room alongside a wall featuring the varieties of products on offer and a brief description of each type. In the middle of the room was a large television screen running a production about the heritage of Garnier Ultimate Blends, the ingredients used and the brand’s eco sustainability.

The pop-up was offering consumers a hair braid at the ‘braid bar’ (see my braid above), a Beyonce exercise class (sans Beyonce), a ‘pose and post’ photo booth encouraging consumers to post their experience on social media in a bid to win Garnier Ultimate Blends products, and a chance to create a personalised waterproof shampoo label to go with a complimentary shampoo bottle.

Thus far, the brand has handed out over 30,000 samples to passing pedestrians, 50,000 samples to offices and 10,000 samples with the Evening standard newspaper. No wonder why it felt like Garnier was literally everywhere!

On leaving the store, I was presented with a goody bag (pic above) that included my very own personalised Mum Sparkles Shampoo bottle (proud moment), 3 pin badges (7 year old daughter stole off me for her swimming bag), a sample of the much loved hair mask, a small cosmetic bag, and two money off coupons.

I waited a few days before sharing my experience because I wanted to try out the full range of the Ultimate Blends haircare products (I use the ‘Maple Healer’ range) to ascertain my love for it, and I genuinely do LOVE it. I purchased my products from Boots – RRP is £3.89 for 400ml shampoo/ conditioner, £4.49 for 400ml hair mask and £5.99 for 440ml body milk.

Share and Enjoy

FacebookTwitterDeliciousLinkedInStumbleUponAdd to favoritesEmailRSS

The post Garnier Ultimate Blends – An Experience appeared first on Mum Sparkles.

]]>
http://www.mumsparkles.com/garnier-ultimate-blends-experience/feed/ 0
Holy Grail Makeup Items for Busy Mums http://www.mumsparkles.com/holy-grail-makeup-items-busy-mums/ http://www.mumsparkles.com/holy-grail-makeup-items-busy-mums/#respond Sun, 15 Jan 2017 02:11:08 +0000 http://www.mumsparkles.com/?p=311 Whether you’ve been up all night with a baby or woke up by an alarm at the crack of dawn to get the kids ready for school, you will want...

The post Holy Grail Makeup Items for Busy Mums appeared first on Mum Sparkles.

]]>
Whether you’ve been up all night with a baby or woke up by an alarm at the crack of dawn to get the kids ready for school, you will want to make the hard work look effortless. But lets face it, who has 1 hour to do hair and makeup when you could put that time to better use for so many other things. For those busy school mornings when you literally have only 10 minutes for yourself to a) get dressed, b) brush the hair and c) sort out the face, I have compiled 5 makeup items that take a total of 5 minutes to apply and last the whole day. No need to hunt down any makeup brushes, or tools, morning makeup only needs the finest tools given to you by nature – your fingers!
 
1 – Rimmel BB Cream
Begin by applying an even layer of BB cream – I love using BB creams because they’re normally a lighter consistency than a foundation and so apply really easily and thinly without using brushes or fancy sponges. A BB cream also allows you to skip the moisturiser stage as it already contains one. Some BB creams like this one, also contain an SPF – extra added bonus. I’m using the Rimmel BB cream 9 in 1 Skin Perfecting Super Makeup because it contains a primer and a moisturiser. Also, it always leaves my skin looking dewy and feeling hydrated. This is a buildable product that allows for full coverage.
 
2 – LA Girl Pro Concealer
Next apply some concealer – I came across these LA girl concealers a few months ago and haven’t looked back since. They are absolutely fabulous. These high coverage concealers not only conceal dark circles and blemishes but can also act as highlighter. So after you have applied two semi circles for your under-eye area, feel free to run a little down the bridge of your nose, and swish some across your upper cheekbones.
 
3 – Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm 
Im now going to cheat by using one product for blusher and lipstick. Clinique have a whole range of shades in these. The Clinique Chubby stick cheek colour balms are a solid blusher in the form of a crayon with a creamy consistency. The crayons twist up from the bottom, so no sharpening necessary. To apply: gently press the crayon against your skin and apply small dots where you want the blusher to sit. Now with the tips of your fingers blend into the apples of your cheeks. The pro’s of using a solid blusher when pressed for time is they allow for less mess than a liquid or powder alternative. 
 
4 – Rimmel Scandaleyes Reloaded mascara
Now reach for your mascara. A good mascara instantly opens up your eyes making you look and feel more awake. I love the Rimmel Scandaleyes mascara, Its so intensely black, adds length and volume to lashes without smudging or smearing onto skin no matter how humid the conditions are. This mascara has been a staple of mine for so many years. My love for this mascara is equal to that of a YSL mascara that is easily three times the price!
 
5 – Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup setting spray   
Finally, i’m going to let you in on my most coveted beauty item and a total must have to any mum that just can’t/ won’t touch up her makeup throughout the day. If like me you find that your always juggling three things at once and the last thing on your mind is whether or not your blusher is still sitting where it should, but totally hoping that it is, then please invest in this item. When I finish applying my makeup for the day and i’m happy with the result, I take my Urban Decay setting spray and holding it 10-12 inches away from my face (with eyes closed) I spritz in a + motion and then an X. This ensures the product is distributed evenly. So whether you’ve made up a full face for a night out with the girls, or just making yourself look decent for life’s daily tasks, always be sure to end your makeup with a few spritz of this holy water. 
 
Go out and conquer the world knowing that your easy to wear makeup will not be shifting or evaporating until you decide that it’s time for it to come off!

Share and Enjoy

FacebookTwitterDeliciousLinkedInStumbleUponAdd to favoritesEmailRSS

The post Holy Grail Makeup Items for Busy Mums appeared first on Mum Sparkles.

]]>
http://www.mumsparkles.com/holy-grail-makeup-items-busy-mums/feed/ 0
Infant Colic and Fussy Eating http://www.mumsparkles.com/infant-colic-fussy-eating/ http://www.mumsparkles.com/infant-colic-fussy-eating/#comments Fri, 06 Jan 2017 23:52:37 +0000 http://www.mumsparkles.com/?p=245 Dealing with colic is no fun business, and as a mum you mostly feel helpless in witnessing your baby crying inconsolably for hours at a time. Every child is different...

The post Infant Colic and Fussy Eating appeared first on Mum Sparkles.

]]>
Dealing with colic is no fun business, and as a mum you mostly feel helpless in witnessing your baby crying inconsolably for hours at a time. Every child is different and will display a variation of symptoms. There is no lab test that could be conducted to aid in diagnosing infant colic. Generally, a GP will diagnose colic in an infant who appears to be otherwise healthy and gaining a steady weight. Official statistics report that Colic is affecting 1 in 5 babies in the U.K. and most outgrow it by the time they reach the age of 4-6 months. 

I experienced Colic with my eldest child, now 7 years old. She was officially diagnosed with Colic at 3 weeks old. Our experience wasn’t limited to evening long outbursts of crying as described by some sources. We had the so called “inconsolable” crying throughout the day, regardless of the time. I attempted everything I could to try and “limit” the Colic and soothe baby while she was experiencing it. My remedies included: setting a feeding schedule so her body could expect to receive a feed at a certain time. This helped with limiting the overproduction of stomach acids – resulting in less acid reflux (projectile vomits). My baby was bottle fed (due to medical circumstances not choice), so I made sure that she was properly burped following each feed. The night routine began 2 hours before bed time – first a bath, next a baby massage in a warm room with dimmed light, and finally a bottle feed followed by lots of cuddles and rocking baby to sleep. I also swaddled her until she was 2.5 months old. She slept beautifully at night and would only wake up for a feed, but come morning the long bouts of crying would start all over again. She would draw her legs into her tummy and cry and cry. I was convinced that my baby had trapped wind in her stomach which was making her so uncomfortable. Doctors, nurses and health visitors kept reassuring me that she was perfectly fine and that what she was experiencing was normal in some baby’s and that she would outgrow it. I was told to use Infacol (similar to Colief) in addition to reflux medication for relief. Unfortunately, none of the pharmaceutical remedies worked for us, so I stopped administering them a few weeks after we started. 

We simply survived the Colic. Baby was otherwise fit and healthy, and thriving beautifully – 50th Centile for weight and 98th Centile for height. However, when we began to baby wean it seemed apparent that my child lacked an interest in food. She had a poor appetite and not much desire to swallow food. At mealtimes, she would cautiously observe the spoon, open her mouth only slightly and take a tiny amount off the end of the spoon. Our mealtimes turned into an all singing/ dancing show starring me as the entertainer. I conjured up every ounce of energy I had everyday into planning fun, vibrant mealtimes with tasty food that was also aesthetically pleasing (not easy to do in a puree). This trend continued until my daughter was three years old! 

I’ll never forget her nursery teachers reaction to the meal I had prepared for lunch when she opened up her lunchbox during “settling in” day at nursery school. I’d basically created a mini scene of a jungle (cuts outs of lettuce, sweet peppers and cucumber) and had three little bears sitting in the middle (ham and cheese sandwiches cut out into bear shapes). Only then did I realise that this wasn’t a norm. My child was slightly more of a fussy eater than the average child and my remedy was slightly more excessive than other parents. I was very persistent with the feeding and determined for her to experience a variety of foods and maintain a balanced diet. So I persevered with the same foods, but experimented with flavours by inventing new dishes and decorating them to her style. Eventually, my comedy meals became less comic, so I’d still include the bear sandwiches but no jungle scene to go with them. Finally, she outgrew the fussy stage and is now happy to eat pretty much whatever she’s given minus black olives!

I was the first mum in my group of friends to get married and have a baby, so the only “mummy” support I had in raising a baby was from my mum and baby guide books. I came to loathe the books as they all seemed to speak of a “generic” type of child that I just didn’t identify with. By the time I fell pregnant with baby number two, my daughter was 6 years old and I was pretty confident about the baby stage and what it may entail. However, I couldn’t stop thinking about the prospect of the new baby developing Colic and later on turning into a fussy eater.

I was adamant that the Colic was related to trapped wind and that the baby bottles were the issue. I made sure to breast feed my son from the second he was born. I also insisted on burping post each feed and did the baby massages, bath and bedtime cuddles. Unfortunately, on doctors orders the breastfeeding had to stop and I was faced with the bottles dilemma all over again. So I went out and bought formula and bottles. We started off wonderfully, a few days in we experienced “some form of Colic”. The giveaway sign for me was when he drew his legs in while he cried. I thought there must be another way. I put out a message amongst my friends who were now mothers too for any suggestions on a remedy. One of my friends got back to me with the shortest message ever: Go out and buy some Dr Brown’s bottles NOW. That was literally it, so feeling a little sceptical but also desperate for a solution, I sent the hubby out to buy this brand of bottles. We tried the bottles for two days, and (touch wood) I promise you when I say this: To date (baby is 10 months old), we never experienced that sort of crying again. 

DrBrowns Infant Colic and Fussy Eating

I’ve researched these bottles on what differentiates them to other brands. Basically they contain 2 extra components to the standard bottle. The first bit is a rubber circle that has two tunnels inside (image above). This fits directly onto a long plastic funnel looking tube. These then sit inside the bottle and connect to the teat when you place it onto the seal of the bottle. Together, they make a “vent” system that allows for the air that is being suctioned into the baby’s mouth to be vented back into the bottle, allowing for only the liquid and a much smaller amount of air to enter baby’s mouth. As with any form of feeding, you must wind baby properly post feed as there will always be some naturally occurring air bubbles in the milk that you can help baby burp out. My son hasn’t turned out to be a fussy eater the same way his sister was. Granted he favours particular flavours like we all do, but he’s always willing to try out new foods. This does leave me wondering whether poor appetite in children is a result of learned behaviour stemming from their experience with infant feeding? I’d love to hear if any of you experienced Colic and whether it led to a poor appetite or a food aversion.  


Share and Enjoy

FacebookTwitterDeliciousLinkedInStumbleUponAdd to favoritesEmailRSS

The post Infant Colic and Fussy Eating appeared first on Mum Sparkles.

]]>
http://www.mumsparkles.com/infant-colic-fussy-eating/feed/ 2
New Years Resolutions – Learn To Love Yourself http://www.mumsparkles.com/new-years-resolutions-4-mums/ http://www.mumsparkles.com/new-years-resolutions-4-mums/#comments Thu, 05 Jan 2017 00:29:16 +0000 http://www.mumsparkles.com/?p=167   Every year on January the 1st I hangup a brand new wall calendar and sit down with a cup of coffee writing my new years resolutions. The list normally...

The post New Years Resolutions – Learn To Love Yourself appeared first on Mum Sparkles.

]]>
 

Every year on January the 1st I hangup a brand new wall calendar and sit down with a cup of coffee writing my new years resolutions. The list normally ends up being as long as my arm and I end up feeling less optimistic than when I first sat down to make the list! Over the years, my goals have included: Losing weight, starting a new diet, signing up to the gym, clearing out wardrobes, getting a new hairstyle, learning a musical instrument, resuming french lessons, the list goes on! And as the months of the year progressed I found myself less likely to achieve any of them because somehow I obligated myself to those specific goals. My commitments would change during the year, work and family life would intervene and I often found that I only had time to fulfil my daughters hobbies rather than my own. Consequently I’d feel deflated about not achieving my new years resolutions – rendering me lazy and self-neglected. Which I am not, I actually take a great deal of care of myself, am determined and hard headed which is exactly why I’m non-responsive to being told what to do – even if its me thats doing the telling.
 
And so, last year I took a different approach to the so called endless list of ambitions AKA New Years Resolutions. I convinced myself that it was right for me to take a break from the demanding tradition as I was 8.5 months pregnant and the size of a whale with an appetite to eat the world. Naturally, quite a few of the items on the original list above were simply out of question. I thought: I’m going to enjoy the rest of my pregnancy and when the baby comes I’ll aim to be as happy and as serene as I possibly could without striving for the perfect figure, or torturing my fingers in learning to play the guitar or violin! It felt great. No commitments to adhere to except for doing my best to be happy. So instead of signing up to the gym by obligation, I would take a gentle walk in our local park. Instead of conforming to a diet, I made simple food swaps and avoided the confectionary isle at the Supermarket. By magic, further along the year, when my son hit the 6 months mark and I was no longer a mombie (mum zombie – sleep deprived) I found myself exercising in my home to a workout DVD while my son napped. I also read four novels that I had bought months earlier and was meaning to read but never actually got round to! I have a long standing infatuation with literature and sometimes mum life doesn’t leave much room for it, so this was awesome. Towards Christmas, I found that I even had time to draw again. So, in a nutshell: The one year that I refrained from obligating myself to achievements that I knew would overwhelm me by sheer nature, I actually managed to accomplish more than I had the previous years! 
 
Try it for yourself: Scrap the New Years Resolutions list and learn to love yourself. Celebrate the curves on the body that gave you your beautiful children and give yourself a break. Your a parent and you do so much already, why burden yourself with goals right at the start of a fresh new year? Instead, try to re-energize yourself and appreciate everything around you without constantly striving for more. Nothing has to be done in the new year, the year has 12 months in it, you could start that hobby at any other time. The gym can wait and so can the diet. Let the new year be a focus on your wellbeing and a celebration of all your achievements in life thus far.
 
Happy New Year Everyone

Share and Enjoy

FacebookTwitterDeliciousLinkedInStumbleUponAdd to favoritesEmailRSS

The post New Years Resolutions – Learn To Love Yourself appeared first on Mum Sparkles.

]]>
http://www.mumsparkles.com/new-years-resolutions-4-mums/feed/ 2
Top 5 Baby Must Haves When Out & About http://www.mumsparkles.com/top-5-baby-must-haves-when-out-about/ http://www.mumsparkles.com/top-5-baby-must-haves-when-out-about/#respond Wed, 04 Jan 2017 21:04:25 +0000 http://www.mumsparkles.com/?p=114   There are so many times that I need to pop out of the house for literally 15 minutes to run a quick errand i.e. post office, corner shops, collecting...

The post Top 5 Baby Must Haves When Out & About appeared first on Mum Sparkles.

]]>
 

There are so many times that I need to pop out of the house for literally 15 minutes to run a quick errand i.e. post office, corner shops, collecting dry cleaning, the list goes on, but am immediately put off by all the hard work that goes into the “prep” to leave with a baby. So, rather than lugging around the main nappy changing bag that weighs a ton of bricks, I’ve managed to fit all that I need in a handbag the size of an A4 sheet of paper. The items mentioned in the list below are literally the only thing I take out with me on short outings. I still do take these same items with me when were out for longer, but I either double the quantity or add a few other bits for good measure.
 
 
1. Baby Carrier – Lets face it, not every shop, cafe, or convenience store has the capacity to install isles that are wide enough for us mums to navigate a pushchair around with ease. I often found that the buggy was able to get into the isle but not go around the bend, so I’d have to pull out all my buggy driving skills while a bunch of people watched me attempting to squeeze a big buggy round a narrow corner..i’d finally resort to lifting the oh-so-heavy buggy whilst clutching the bag of bread with my teeth – not so glamorous! I finally invested in a baby carrier. Yes, they are pricey, but so worth it. I say invest, because thats exactly what you are doing. Its an investment in time and practicality. Especially for those precious short outings. The carrier we love is the baby Bjorn carrier. So easy to wear, and sturdy. This thing has been with me since baby was 1 month old and is still going strong. I wash it about three times a week and it has kept in an impeccable condition. Baby chews on it all the time – so also a great teether, but essentially, it gives you a handsfree, easy transportation method for your baby. You can rock, bounce, and snuggle with your baby whilst running your errands. Win, win, win.

 

 

2. Change of clothes and nappy – Reality is: babies poo all the time, especially when you least expect it so please don’t ever attempt to leave the house without a spare change of clothes and a nappy. I’d hate for you to experience sods law! Try this trick: grab 1 x baby grow, lay over it 1 x short body suit and finally 1 x nappy. Now roll into a sausage and tie up with a hairband. At the eventuality of needing to change baby, you can use the hairband to tie up your hair, then unwind the rest of the bundle and use what you need.

 
 

3. Baby toy/ rattle – Now, you may not have considered a toy as a must have, but this has been a Godsend! We use the Freddie the Firefly highchair toy by Lamaze and heres why: This is an all-in-one entertainment system with a fabulous suction pad on the bottom that allows it to cling onto surfaces and stay put!. My son is now 10 months old, so needs a fair mount of entertaining. If I’m sitting in a cafe with a friend or waiting in a queue at the post office and he decides that he’s had enough, I whip out Freddie and attach it to plastic or glass surfaces and baby is entertained for ages! Freddie swings back and forth when baby tugs, so it moves with him while firmly attached to the surface. It has a ball in the middle that spins and rattles, two top wings with shapes that move along, two bottom wings that scrunch and crunch, and two lower rings that spin. In addition to this, Freddie spins 360 degrees, is vibrantly coloured really cute to look at. The perfect distraction for baby to get on with while you tackle that coffee or finish off a chore.

 

 

4. Bottle or Snack – It is necessary to always be armed with a bottle if your bottle feeding or a snack if your child is tolerating solids. Babies are like adults, they get peckish when out. so even if you’ve just fed baby, always take something along in your bag “just in case”. A fed baby makes a happy baby.

 
 

5. Cash not Plastic – It is indeed 2017, and yes we should theoretically be able to ditch the cash and live on plastic. But what about when the plastic fails you: The chip and pin won’t work, the dreaded “your card has sadly declined”, and the frightful eventuality of “this shop takes only cash payments”. I’ve experienced all 3, so take it from me always be armed with some form of cash so that your be it minimal “prep” to go out doesn’t go to waste.  

 

 

Share and Enjoy

FacebookTwitterDeliciousLinkedInStumbleUponAdd to favoritesEmailRSS

The post Top 5 Baby Must Haves When Out & About appeared first on Mum Sparkles.

]]>
http://www.mumsparkles.com/top-5-baby-must-haves-when-out-about/feed/ 0