When Your Kids Start Doing Big School Things

For all parents who have been through this, you will know how difficult it is, for so many different reasons. The biggest has to be the fact that you have to accept that your child is now growing up, is being more independent from you.  That little school life that you once knew and love, is all gone. They’re walking to school on their own, shutting themselves away from you. Getting all sorts of new friends that you just can’t figure out. So it can all be a whirlwind of change when they start moving up through the years at school, but it still doesn’t take the importance of you away. You still need to be that guiding light for them, and that person they can come to for anything. School really is where the whirlwind of emotions happens, and if you can’t be there to support that. And then help them control the emotions, well there’s so many things that can happen. From depression to withdrawal, school can cause it all. But we’re not here to talk about the negatives. We want to go through with you some of the things that kids start doing in big school, and how you can nurture them through it!

Exploring More

Now this is one of the best things that happens when your kids start to go through the years, and up to school. They get the opportunity to explore parts of the world, explore parts of the country you live in. They may become more curious about what surrounds them. 

A school trip is so much more educational than anything you would have done with them as well. It’s a great way for them to gel with the friends they’re making, so much quicker. Getting out and away from the school, learning in a different environment, is also so important. Being in the classroom all of the time can be mind numbing. Just think about how you feel when you have a training day, and you’re sat in a classroom all day. It’s just not the place you want to be, and your kids will feel the same. So always try to facilitate these school trips, even if the price keeps going up and up. It’ll help them to have a healthier attitude towards school, and their surroundings!

A Big Group Of Friends

The peers that your kids surround yourself with are really going to have an effect on them. And it’s either going to be positive, or negative. But the things is, it’s rare for a child to notice when the effect is negative, because all they’re trying to seek is approval from their peers, and to be wanted by the group. It can potentially lead to damaging behaviours, such as acting up in school, lying at home, and causing mischief in the community. If this starts happening, you want to try and guide your child away from the people they’re with. Making them towards people who are going to have a better influence. If your kids are already surrounded by a good group, then you’re in luck. They can really help to lift the spirits on a bad day, educate them in the right way, and create fun in their life that family just can’t!

Big School Problems

When big school problems come, you really can have a pickle on your hands. The most worrying problem you’re going to face, is when your child is not meeting the grades that they’re supposed to get, having comments from teachers that they’re not as interested when in class.

Once a child starts to find school demotivating, it’s so hard to get them back on track. But one thing you can do, is put extra focus on the subjects they do like. Then try and  link them to the subjects they don’t. For example, a common one for kids to love is sports, so you could say that if they want to keep going with their sports. They could turn this into a career one day both me and my brother have sports related degrees. Start a reward system for every good grade that they get as well!  They more they think they can get out of it, the more they’re actually going to work to get something out of it!

Lashing Out

This one closely links to the big school problems they have, but when they start lashing out against you. It usually links to things going on in school, or changes happening to them. When they do start to lash out, don’t be that force bearing down on them. Learn to become more like their friend, and someone they can confide in. They’re going to lash out so much more if they know they have all of these rules to follow, and that you’re enforcing them.

 

Tips For A Cosy Night In

Sometimes all you want at the end of the day is a cosy night in. Life can get a little hectic, and it’s good to take some time out and spend your evening indoors. So here are some tips for a cosy night in.

Take A Bath

After a hard day at work, your body can feel physically tired.  There’s really nothing like a hot bubble bath to relax the muscles. Oils are great for infusing into a bath so that you can breathe in this into your body to help relax the mind too. Go to town with any bath bombs or bubble bath that can create a ton of bubbles and sink into.  For sure Lush is a company which I would recommend checking out. Then you can rest your body for a good half an hour. After your bath, you can wrap yourself up with hotel quality bathrobes from Richard Haworth. Let your hair dry naturally for a change and spend some time relaxing in your robe before getting changed.

Cook A Meal With Your Partner Or Friends

Cooking a meal is made much more fun when you’re doing it with your partner or friends. It’s a chance to do something fairly easy and that way you can catch up with the latest that’s been going on in your life. It’s also saving you money by not getting takeaway and cooking the food yourself instead – it’s likely to be a bit healthier. Open a bottle of wine and have a glass while you cook.

Have A Movie Marathon

Movies and your favourite television programmes are always a great way of having a laid back evening in front of the TV. Treat yourself to a movie marathon, whether that’s something you’ve watched before, maybe a series of films in the same genre. Disney films are good for channelling your inner child. Or perhaps something action-packed or those that are full of horror and gore. Whatever you choose, it’s something to watch while you graze on food and drink some sort of beverage.

Do A Pamper Routine

We don’t give ourselves enough self-care, and that can have an impact on our state of mind mentally. So it’s important to treat yourself to a pamper evening every now and then. A pamper routine might be doing a gazillion skincare steps, just putting on a face mask or painting your nails. It’s some time dedicated to you and your body to appreciate it and to make it feel good. Have these pamper sessions on your own but if you have a friend over, pamper one another!

With a busy lifestyle for many, we don’t get enough time to really enjoy our nights in. However, it’s good to set aside some time every now and then to relax. Give yourself a pampering, take a hot soak in a bath and when you’re cosied up on the sofa, enjoy a movie marathon with all of the popcorn and fizz. There’s nothing better than putting your feet up and letting your mind and body unravel and relax.

What do you do when you have a cosy night in?

Charlotte xx

 

Finding Time To Exercise As A Busy Parent

Once you’ve made the decision to get fit, one of the toughest challenges you have to face is finding the time. As a parent, your day is jam-packed from the moment you open your eyes. Between making lunches, cleaning clothes, helping out with homework. There is very little time to much much else, especially spend hours in the gym. However, with some planning and creativity, even the busiest of parents can find the time for a regular work out. With that in mind, here are ten things that you can do to fit exercise into your hectic family life.

  1. Set An Earlier Alarm

The earlier you wake up each morning, the more you can get done with your days, including exercise. If you have a difficult time fitting a workout into your usual routine. Then create a new one by waking up a little earlier each morning. Between thirty minutes and an hour is plenty of time for a decent workout. If it makes things easier, you could put your exercise gear on first  Getting your workout over with earlier means that you can focus on your kids the rest of the day.

  1. Create An Exercise Space

When you need to travel all the way to the gym to exercise, it makes it a lot less likely that you’re going to bother. This is especially true if your gym is far away or you don’t have anyone to watch the children. Rather than succumb to this excuse, you should create an exercise space in the home. You could make this area anywhere, from a corner of the living room to a spare bedroom upstairs. When the weather isn’t too harsh, you could even work out on the grass in the garden.

  1. Trade-Off Workout Times

Those that prefer to exercise in a gym can benefit from making friends with other fitness-minded parents. When you both need and want to work out, the simplest solution is to do so at different times. This means that you can take turns looking after one another’s children. If you like to exercise on Tuesdays and Thursdays, for example, you could ask your new friend to watch the kids and then return the favour when they want to workout Wednesdays and Fridays.

  1. Join A Fitness Class

You may have someone watching your little ones for you, but that doesn’t mean that you want to spend hours away from them. Because of this, you should create a more efficient workout. Rather than waste precious minutes wandering around the gym looking for something to do, you should join a fitness class. These classes have qualified instructors to lead them, which means that you’ll know exactly what you should be doing. They also only last around an hour a session.

  1. Choose The Right Gym

Gyms these days realise that some parents aren’t going to have anyone to watch their little ones while they work out. For this reason, certain chains offer a child care service. These establishments let you exercise, knowing that someone qualified is looking after your children. Some of these gyms even offer activities for the whole family, allowing you to work out together. Switching to one of these fitness centres, therefore, can benefit your kids as much as you.

  1. Play With The Kids

Playing with children is one of the best ways for parents to exercise. It’s fun, it offers quality time with the kids, and it’s also free. To make the most of this play time, you should stick to buying your little ones toys that encourage exercise, like footballs and bikes. Even Play Like Mum’s Silver Cross dolls’ prams encourage your kids to walk and run. Exercise doesn’t need to be boring, it just needs to be active, so find activities for playtime that get the family moving.

  1. Use Your Down Time

After a long and tiring day, there’s nothing most of us enjoy more than laying on the couch to watch some tv. Rather than ditch this downtime to fit in a workout, you should try merging both activities. You could run on a treadmill, for example, or do push-ups while you have your eyes on the screen. Some people also walk up and down the stairs or run around the block while the adverts are on. Keeping exercise equipment by the TV will remind you to do this.

  1. Get The Family Involved

Exercise doesn’t have to be an activity that you do alone. There are many ways to work out as a family that are fun and beneficial for everyone. You could take walks together, go on bike rides, play tag in the park, or organise family football matches. You could also take your little ones swimming or to dance classes. Once your kids start to see how fun exercise can be, they’ll want to do it more and more so you won’t need anyone to look after them while you work out.

  1. Make Chores More Active

Just like you can combine downtime or playtime with exercise, you can do the same with the chores too. Instead of taking your car to a car wash, you can clean it yourself with a bucket and sponge. This means that you’re moving, which counts as exercise. You can also walk on the spot while you iron and fold the clothes instead of standing still or dance around while you dust. Many outdoor chores, like gardening and sweeping the driveway, can also be made more active.

  1. Move At Every Opportunity

Every little helps when it comes to your health and fitness. If you can’t spare the time to go to the gym each day, then you should find other ways to be active instead. You could go up the stairs, rather than taking an elevator, for example, or walk your little ones to school instead of driving them. If you’re helping your kids with their homework, stand up while doing so, instead of sitting down. None of these activities requires much effort, but they do add up over the days.

Hopefully this helps you to be able to have more time to exercise. I know this can be something which I struggle with as well.

Charlotte xxx

Top Tips to Help You Save on Big Purchases

If you want to save money, then you can quickly start thinking about all of the things that you need to stop spending on. But when you live an ultra-frugal lifestyle it can get pretty exhausting, right? While saving money can be such a good thing, that can feel good too. However, it can be hard to stick to it, but can also mean that people are living in extreme ways. For example, if it gets to the point that you are looking for hours to get a coupon for 10% off a tiny purchase.  Then maybe you need to take a step back and look at better ways to be doing things.

Of course, though, there are plenty of times when being frugal can be such an important thing that can help you. More so when it comes to large purchases. A 10% off coupon for something like a bottle of shampoo might seem pointless.  But when it comes to getting a new TV or washing machine, that 10% off can be a really great saving. So if you are going to be making some big purchases soon.  It can be worth putting in some of those hours to make sure that you’re able to get the best deal. So here are some tips and tricks to help you save, as well as get the best savings, on those big ticket items.

Discounted Gift Cards

If you are looking for a hack to save money on some big ticket items. Then it can be a great idea to look to get some discounted gift cards to make that purchase. You can buy some gift cards at a discount, meaning that you get your savings there. Then use the cards for the purchase. There are sites like CardPool where you can get these discounted gifts cards online, ranging from 1% to 15% off the face value of the card. This does depend on the shop or brand. So doing some research as to where to buy your large item will help you know which gift cards to be buying. Of course, you can use these alongside other discount codes and discounts to make the savings even greater.

Buy Used or Refurbished

If you want to save money, and really get some bargains. Have you thought of buying things that are new to you, rather than brand new? It is commonly known that something from a charity shop is going to be even more of a bargain. So for things like furniture, buying used can be a good way to go as you can save quite a lot. Sometimes they even have brand new items in some charity shops. 

Of course, there are large ticket items like TVs and laptops that you might be looking to buy, might be harder to source from a charity shop. So with these kinds of things, look to get them refurbished instead. A refurbished item is something that has been used before, but it will have been checked and inspected before selling. This is to make sure that the items still does work. Apple products are commonly refurbished and sold in stores, and you can get some real savings with those.

Get with Credit

If you have a large purchase to make, then using a credit card, or getting something on credit can be a good idea.  To start off with, buying something on a credit card can come with a lot of consumer protection. That a regular debit card doesn’t have. One of them is that if the item goes into the sale within a certain time period after buying it. Then you can apply for the difference back, using a price rewind feature. You could always pay the credit card off in full straight away. 

There are a lot of cards that will come with introductory offers such as 0% interest . This can last for a year or a set amount of time. This can be a good idea if you have a large purchase to make, don’t have the money up front.  But you know by the time period being out, you will have. As long as these things are paid off in full, then it can be worth it for the savings. You may also have a card with a cash-back program, then you can earn points or miles.  That can be redeemed for purchases, such as flights or groceries.

You could always look for something like secured homeowner loans from Evolution Money if you are in need of something substantial, such as major home repairs or adding an extension to your home, for example. Again, as long as you have planned it out financially and know that you can afford the repayment. Then it could be something that can work for you if needed. So don’t always dismiss credit as something that is bad, it can be something that works for you.

 

Do you use comparison sites for your bills?

Saving money is something which I love to do. You may have see that I have spoken about it in some of my goals post and I have even done posts about saving money. People think about putting pennies away and doing side hustle. People do not always look if they are getting the best deals on bills which they have to pay. This is something which we do often maybe ever 3 months. We always are using comparison site to get the best deals. We have found that we have been able to save a bit of money I think we save £100 this year at least.

Gas and Electric

There is a lot of compare sites which allows you to get the best deal on your gas and electric. Every year we lock in our gas and electric to make sure that we are getting the best deal.  I have the date our contract runs out on my phone and a month or so before I will check the deals. Usually I end up switching which means that I end up with more pennies at the end of the month. I am sure a number of you do this as well. Usually I end up using a comparison site in order to get the best deal.

Insurance

Of course, there are other bills which you can save money on. This year I am going to be checking our house insurance to make sure that I can not get a better deal. I have always checked Joe’s car insurance to make sure that he is not paying to much and have always managed to get him a better deal. Saving money is something which I love to be able to do. It can be time consuming however, you always feel better if you are able to save some money. Again I use a lot of comparison sites. This saves me having to go on every different company’s site to get the best deal.

Mobile

I usually look on comparison sites when I am looking for the best deal on my mobile. Then I do pop over to Sky Mobiles website because there not on there. I managed to save myself £3 a month on my contract when my last contract ran out. I even managed to get more data. Since I am now on Sky Mobile I am able to change the amount of data I get every month. This means that I can change how much my bill is and my data does roll over. Another bonus which I love about my contract is if sky offer a deal I can take it up and not affect my contract. This is something which I have done recently. I managed to save another £5 a month which is a huge bonus. Of course, all the £5 a months you save soon add up.

Broadband And TV

The bill which you can change that I did not have a comparison site for is for my‘ broadband and tv. Currently I am locked into a package however, I know this is not going to be the case forever. This was until I came across a site which allows you to compare broadband and TV deals. As someone who loves sports I always want to be able to keep a package which can have a the sports channels. I have found some deals which are cheaper than I am currently paying. Once my contract is over I think I may change to save money. For sure this is going to be a website which I am going to be using a lot.

Do you ever compare your bills to make sure that your getting the best deals. You could be saving a lot of money and they could go things such as Christmas for sure it is not too early to think about that.

Charlotte xx

 

Tasty Plant-Based Meals for the Whole Family

Health experts have been saying for years that too much meat isn’t good for us.  And everyone would be healthier if we ate less meat and more vegetables. Trouble is, most people are used to eating meat with nearly every meal, and it can be hard to get kids to eat more veg.

Here are some ideas for how to put together easy, plant-based meals that all the family will enjoy. I have managed to introduce more vegetables into our family’s meals in the last year. 

Introduce Changes Gradually

This is the first step in getting the family to enjoy more vegetables. Most of us find it hard to make changes, and with diet it can be especially challenging. If your family isn’t used to lots of veg on the plate, suddenly serving such a meal might lead to a few protests.

Start gradually introducing one or two more veg varieties in ways that don’t change the substance of the meal too much. As the family gets used to more veg, everyone will be willing to be a bit more adventurous in trying new things.

The Hidden Vegetable

If your family enjoys sauce based dishes such as curries, Chinese, Thai , or Italian. It’s very easy to sneak a few veg in there. Instead of making the sauce part of the dish with mostly meat.  Try adding chopped carrot, sliced red peppers, a few peas, or a little chopped celery. Not only are you eating a few more veg than you normally would in such a dish, you’ve found an inexpensive way to make the meal go further.

Another way to be a little stealthy is to add vegetable rice to ordinary cooked rice. You can get cauliflower rice, sweet potato rice and broccoli rice that comes in pouches . It just needs just a couple of minutes in the microwave to heat up. Add some to boiled rice for a change of flavour and a bit of veggie goodness. Vegetable rice is also good straight from the pouch, as it’s already cooked and prepared. If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s low in carbs and has no added preservatives.

Make Vegetables Fun for Kids

A plate full of soggy vegetables is never going to delight a child.  Offer some cucumber ribbons or make veg kebabs with cherry tomatoes, chopped peppers and cubed cucumber. A bit of apple or cheese adds a tasty extra. You can also make carrots more fun as a snack if you cut them into thin fingers then stand them up in a tub like fries. Include a savoury dip for an extra fun element. In fact, offering a bit of ketchup or mayonnaise for dipping give kids a familiar taste that can encourage them to try something new.

When you’re serving vegetables on a plate for kids, get a bit creative. Make smiley faces or animals by arranging vegetables into little heaps strategically placed on the plate. I know this is something which Jess would love. 

Baked Veggies

You can bake all kinds of vegetables, and they’re a tasty addition to any meal. Try arranging chopped or sliced red peppers on a baking tray, drizzling with olive oil. Then baking them until they’re soft and a little bit charred on the outside.

Baked carrots and parsnips are also delicious, and so is roasted butternut squash. A baked platter of veg such as parsnips, sweet potatoes, peppers and onions makes a tasty and varied accompaniment. You can toss them together with microwaved cauliflower or broccoli rice to create a single side dish. This is something which we may have to do in the future. 

There are lots of ways to make healthier plant-based meals for the family, including using convenience foods. That are healthy but save time chopping and prepping. Introduce changes gradually at meal times, without putting pressure on anyone to eat things they don’t like, and pretty soon you’ll be eating more veg every day.

Do you struggle to get veg on your child’s plates?

Charlotte xx

This is a collaborative post

Turn a Low Maintenance Garden Into a Green Space

If you have just moved into your new home, and the back garden is more suitable for an older couple than your kids. You might want to make some changes. Using your creativity and restore some greenery in the space. Allowing you to enjoy the privacy and relaxing outdoor space. Low maintenance gardens are great if you have limited time to spend outdoors on gardening. Here is how you can transform yours.

Planter Boxes

If you have a limited budget, and don’t want to get rid of your patio and paving slabs, you can use different upcycled planter boxes to get some colour in your garden. You can pick some wooden planters up from your nearest garden centre, and choose the flowers that will keep your garden colourful without having to pay too much attention to them. Don’t forget to choose the perfect spot for each plant. Find the right plants for your boxes at Green Gardener and make the most out of the limited space.

Ladder Display

If you would like to spruce up your patio and make it look greener, you can also get a ladder display.  This will hold multiple pots with various flowers. If you don’t really have the space to grow fruit or vegetables, you can get flowering runner beans to go up the ladder, and harvest regularly. You might also be able to have peas or cherry tomatoes on display. This for sure would save us some money on your fruit and veg bills. 

Potted Shrubs

In case you don’t have the ground space for your shrubs and bushes.  You just need to find a big enough pot to create a natural green barrier for your garden. You can use these shrubs to make your patio more private, or to create shade in the summer. Evergreens that grow well in a large pot, but you will have to take care of choosing the right fertilizer.

Raised Flower Beds

In case you cannot take up the patio, but would like to create a small vegetable patch in the garden.  Without taking too much of the lawn space away, you can also use raised flower beds or even try square yard gardening. This method is designed for limited space and will help you make the most out of your garden.

Hanging Baskets

If you want to spruce up your garden on a budget, you might even just get a couple of hanging baskets that will flower all summer. They will not require a lot of work, just regular watering, and finding the right amount of sunshine and shade. The good news is that you can change the flowers you plant in them every year, and create a unique look that you can be proud of. For sure this is something which I may add to ours very soon. 

If you have a low maintenance garden, chances are that you will need to add some life and colour to the brick and gravel. The above cost-effective solutions will help you create the perfect entertainment space for the summer outdoors.

Now lets just hope the weather comes nice so you can spend some time in the garden. Instead of having to look at it from inside.

Do you have a nice low maintenance garden?

 

Charlotte xx

This is a collaborative post

Common Health Conditions During Pregnancy

Everyone says you should enjoy pregnancy because it is only for a short period of time. At the end of it all being well you get an amazing beautiful healthy baby. People rarely tell you that sometimes it is not plain sailing and you will end up with additional conditions during the length of your pregnancy. They can last for a few months post baby as well. The five most common health conditions during pregnancy actually include morning sickness, anaemia, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, back pain and also antenatal depression.

I was lucky that I did not actually have all of these common conditions. However, I think that it is very rare that you actually do suffer from all of them. Actually suffered from both anaemia and back pain however, this could have been due to having a back to back baby. I am going to share more about all of the common conditions.

Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is super common with 7 out of 10 women experiencing it. Either as nausea or sickness. It tends to start around week 9 of pregnancy of course this can be before or even after. No two pregnancy’s are the same for sure. The good thing if you can call it that should you get morning sickness before 12 weeks you can have treatment for it. In some cases you can become several dehydrated and this can cause a trip to the hospital. Of course, there is different types of morning sickness with the worse been hyperemesis gravidarum. This form usually requires hospital treatment and impacts your day to day life. It has become more widely known as it is something Kate Middleton struggled with throughout her pregnancies. Morning sick I do not think I suffered with of course, I may have done and just thought it was a hangover. If you do not know I did not find out I was pregnant until 26 weeks.  I must have been one of the lucky 3 out of 10 women.

Tips for helping coping with morning sickness

Drink tea and nibble on a plain biscuit in bed. Who wouldn’t want to be able to have biscuits and tea in bed every morning. I think this is something which I would love despite the fact of not been a huge fan of tea.

Snacking is key try basic things such a brown bread toast and sandwiches. I remember I always had to have small meals constantly because this helped me feel better. Apparently this is so that your stomach is never completely empty.

Try and sip small amounts of water throughout the day this then stops you becoming dehydrated. This is something which I try and do now even though I am not pregnant.

Avoid too much pressure on your stomach, wear clothes which could be more lose. If you are feeling sick you do not want something pushing down on your stomach. I know this can be harder when you have an evergrowing stomach. I just used to purchase things a couple of sizes to big to prevent this.

Of course, you can try and eat ginger biscuits as it is known to have anti-nausea properties. However, if you do have HG. This may not be enough to to stop you being sick however, it may help a little bit.

Anaemia

For sure this is something which I battled through out my pregnancy. I only found out that I had this condition due to a routine blood test. One of the main signs is actually tiredness however, I had just started a new job and was towards the end of my third year at university. Of course, I was tired I did not think it was because I had a baby inside  growing me too. You can also feel like you are dizzy, faint and see spots in your eyes. This is something which occurred to me because I was severe anaemic.If you have aneamia their is a risk that your baby will be born premature. This does not mean they will because you have it Jess was 5 days late.  There is some treatment which can do without having to take tablets like I had to.

To try and prevent anaemia you can eat more red meat, green and leafy vegetables and drink fresh orange. Vitamin C does help the absorbing iron. This is something I struggled with due to having a very limited budget when I was at university. I ate a lot more chicken than I did red meat this could be one of the reasons why I did develop anaemia. If I should become pregnant again in the future I think I would change my diet in order to avoid the tablets.  Also try and decrease the amount of tea and coffee you consume I know it is hard because caffeine slows down the absorbing of Iron. I seem to think that I was limited to a couple of coffee’s a day this was very hard because I had usually around.

I joked that I was iron man because of the fact that at one stage I was on 3 200mg tablets a day.  It took me around 6 months to have my iron levels back to normal. This was after two blood transfusions which were done after birth.

Gestational Diabetes

This is one which I know a couple of bloggers have had during their pregnancy’s. Gestational diabetes will mean that 1 in 5 women have to take medication.  You are more at risk of gestational diabetes if you are overweight. This is occurs because your body can not produce enough insulin for your own baby. There is a risk that you will have to have your baby born early. This can occur if your baby is getting to much sugar it crosses the placenta and this can cause them to grow abnormally large.

During your pregnancy you do get a number of tests for gestational diabetes. This is done by testing for glucose in your urine. I used to find it hard to pee in a tube in order for the midwife to be able to check for glucose. If it is found that you do have glucose in your urine it does mean that you may need more tests. This can include fasting blood sugar and glucose tolerance test. You’ll have more frequent hospital antenatal checks and will be referred to a diabetes specialist.  These are checks I did not have to have because glucose was never found in my urine.

Your baby may be born early in order for them not to be born to large. It is recommend that you still exercise.Of course, you may not be able to do as much as you could before you was pregnant. Try avoid sugary treats and also fizzy drinks during pregnancy. This is because it can increase the risk of gestational diabetes. If you have had gestational diabetes your risk of developing diabetes later in life is increased even if your blood sugar tests return to normal after the birth. So as you can imagine this is one condition you want to try and avoid occurring.

Pre-Eclampsia

This occurs when a pregnant woman has both high blood pressure and a high level of protein in her urine. This actually affects 10% of first time pregnancies. 1-2% of them will be severe cases of pre-eclampsia. This is a condition which actually is not usually occurring until the second half your pregnancy. It is usually around week 20 that this can first be spotted. At your antenatal checks your midwife will measure your blood pressure and check your urine and ask about symptoms of swelling.

You are more at risk of developing pre-eclampsia if your a first time mum, have history of it in your family, are overweight or over the age of 40. I have known several people be at risk of this who have not gone on to fully develop pre-eclampsia. The symptoms which you need to look out for for pre-eclampsia are swelling in the hands and feet, blurred vision, pain in the upper abdomen and also vomiting. You can have excessive weight gain due to fluid retention. If you have any of these symptoms you should see a medical professional ASAP. This could have some serious consequences if you are not checked ASAP.

Pre-eclampsia can only be cured by delivering the baby so you will be closely monitored until delivery is possible. You will need to give birth in hospital. If pre-eclampsia is severe you will be admitted to hospital where immediate delivery may be required, even if the baby is born prematurely. You will be given a follow up appointment after the delivery. I know babies who have been born at a healthy weight as a result of pre-eclampsia . Try and keep healthy by eating as good diet as you can during the pregnancy.  Try and cut down smoking if this is something which you do. As well as exercise this is something which I was doing a lot during pregnancy.

Back Pain in Pregnancy.

For sure this is something which I had this could have been due to having a back to back baby. However, there could be other reasons for example a women gains 10-12.5kg while pregnant. This is usually around the stomach area which means that the centre of gravity is tilted forward. I think I actually put on 11kg while I was pregnant and I still have a few of those KG to lose now nearly 4 years on.

The ligaments in your back  also relax more while pregnant which can cause the pain to actually increase. As they are not as tight allowing them to carry the extra weight easily. There is no cure to the back pain sadly I remember having to have support on it. I remember having cold coke cans on my back during labour to try and reduce some of the pain which I was having. You can actually swim which helps reduce the amount of pain that you are in. It is recommended that you go at least once a week while pregnant. I know I could not have done this because I do not even think I had the energy for this.

Antenatal Depression

Depression is something which affects 12% of women during pregnancy. This is something which the majority of women are scared to speak about because of the fear of been judged. Two thirds of these women go on to develop postnatal depression which is something which is spoken about a lot more. There any many reasons why a women may suffer from antenatal depression it could be because she is getting used to the used to the change in life. After all there has been a huge change and her body is constantly changing. There is the pressure to be happy and to enjoy the pregnancy. The women may also be struggling with a number of the common health conditions as well. It is important to speak to your GP or your midwife if you are feeling low.

Of course, because I did not have such a long time to get my head around all of the changes. I wish I had spoken out how I was feeling. I was going to have Jess adopted if you didn’t know. There was a number of feelings going through me at this stage. I felt very scared because I was about to go through birth who wouldn’t be and not have a baby at the end of it. She would have been adopted by a lovely family they already had foster parents waiting. I felt guilty because of the situation I was in. Ashamed when people would ask me about it because after all I couldn’t bond with my bump she was not mine to bond with. I wish I had spoken out about how I was feeling I would if I was in this situation again.

Have you suffered with any of these common health pregnancy conditions?

 

Charlotte xxx

This post is in collaboration with Emma’s Diary

 

 

Maintaining Your Car- Don’t Forget Your Tyres

Maintaining a car is something which a large portion of us have to do. There are so many elements to it from making sure the breaks do not fail if we need to slam on. Making sure the paint work is not too badly damaged is also something which has to happen. Sometime which most people neglect until it comes to their service or an MOT is their tyres. A simple check every week could save your a fortune. You risk getting a fine if you have a tyre which is not up to standard. Today I am going to share with you some tips for making sure your tyres are maintained correctly.

Inflated Tyres

Make sure your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure needed for the load which you are carrying. For example if you are just going on a normal day out with the children you do not need them a heavy load. It has been proven if you have them under inflated it can be harder to slow down. This means that you increase risk of a crash. If have them over inflated you run this risk of a blowout occurring. This is something which I am very scared of occurring as there could be some serious consequences. You can check your pressure at most petrol stations or even have your own portable pressure checker. You must do them when your car is cold our this can give a different reading.

Tread

You need to also make sure that your tyres are not too bald because this could cause your problems with the police. Which could see you having a fine which is not something which you would want. The balder your tyres are the more likely you are likely to get something in them which could cause a flat tire. The legal limit is 1.6 millimeters but for safety reasons you could replace them before they reach the legal limit. Make sure you check your tread once a month so you do not get caught for a fine. Even if they are close to the limit it maybe time to get replaced.

Tyre Rotation

This is something which I had not heard of previously until I was researching for this post. Apparently every 5,000 miles you are supposed to rotate your tyres. This means that your tyres wear even instead of actually having two which are heavily worn. It depends on your car to how you do the tyre rotation due to some cars been two wheel drive and others been four wheel drive. This is something which you are going to have to check.

Give your Tyres a Wash

This is something which we do not do a lot because we forget that the tyres need loving as well. Washing them do stop the road grime, heat and also moisture from becoming backed on the tyres of the car. All you need to do is damp a sponge and then wipe them this will stop them becoming as baked in horrible rubbish. It may make them last longer as well. It is not going to cost you anything to do this.

Replacement Tyres

Of course, tyres do not last for ever and they are going to need to be replaced. You can come a cross a number of problems when you need to replace your tyres. However, Calmac tyres autocentre in Northampton have good quality , robust tyres at affordable rates. You can even book your tyres online with them for free. This means that you do not have to worry about them not having your tyres in. Also you can go when it is actually convenient for you. You don’t even know what type of tyres you need because all you have to do is stick in your cars regimentation,

Are tyres something which you forget when you are maintaining your car?

Charlotte xxx

This is a sponsored post however, all words are my own.

10 Ways to Save Money

January is a month where people look to save money because of overspending at Christmas. It is always a good time to look at the finances meaning you have more money for luxuries. For us we like to save money in order to be able to treat ourselves to luxuries. For example, this year we want to go on a couple of weekends away and create amazing memories.

Check Phone Contracts

For me this something which I have done recently my phone contract was coming to the end. Brand loyalty is something which has gone now there is no such thing. I had a phone contract for a fair amount of years with Vodafone. When it came to upgrading I shopped around a little bit. I found a newer version of Iphone with more data for cheaper than I was paying. I changed the contract and saved about £50 a year. Due to now been with Sky, it means my data rolls over as well. So I effectively have a piggy bank which stores my data I have not used. When it becomes so full I can reduce my contract to one with fewer data and use that. This is allowed will in my contract I can increase the data amount back again when I need. This would be great if I need to save even more money. I know this is something Joe is looking at doing when his contract comes to an end.

Trade in Old Devices

This may sound like a really simple one but it can be so effective. When you get a new device which is an upgrade why not trade in your old version. I know I am terrible when I get a new phone I do not want the old one. I recently found 2 of my old mobile phones and have traded them in with CEX and a Webuymobiles. This is money which I would have never had so can go straight into the savings. I know this time of year is when a lot of people get new devices. So why not make some space and some pennies from you old ones.

Unsubscribe From Company Emails

They will only send you the latest offers which will tempt you on to the site. Which more times than not will end up in you spending money. Usually, this is on things which you do not want or need. I have done this to a number of companies over the festive period. I must say I do not miss receiving as many emails. Also I have gained the time I would have spent browising their site and this has made me more productive.

Don’t take your bank card shopping

This is one which I really need to start doing because I can spend money on impluse purchase. If you only have cash on you it does mean that you can not go over the budget. This would be handy in stores like home bargains and Aldi where it is easy to spend money because their so cheap. I have seen people take the money out of their account split it into different wallets depending what the money is for. Then at the end of the month, anything left over is savings. Going out without my bank card and no cash is something I have done a lot if I am only going somewhere like the gym and should not need money.

Sell unwanted items

Selling unwanted items has never been more simple since the introduction of Facebook Marketplace. All you have to do is take a quick snap and upload it with a quick description and the amount you want for the item. I must admit this is something we use a lot and have sold a wide array of items from baby items to TV’s to kitchen worktops. People out there will want you things and even come and collect it from you house there is no hassle of having to post the item out. If you do not want to use that of course, there is always eBay which is somewhere which I use a lot to sell some of Jess’ old clothing. There have been months where I have made £100+ from selling unwanted things.

Use eBay to purchase items

You can find some great bargains on eBay too be honest people do sell brand new items. The can be unwanted items or for some reason they have ended up with multiple of the item. Or a range of different reasons Converse are something which I usually pick up from eBay for around 50% off they may be worn a couple of times only. I also purchase a range of different things for Jess on there including fancy dress for events such as World Book Day and Halloween. So many bargains can be found on eBay and it is one way of stopping things been thrown away into landfill.

Meal Plan

Meal planning is something which I have started doing more and more. I am seeing the benefits of it because it does not mean that we are walking around the supermarkets just picking up what we fancy. Instead I know what I need and also it makes me more aware of what I have in my fridge and freezer. Sometimes I will purchase meat when it is reduced in the supermarkets freeze it and then use it in a meal in the coming weeks. I have noticed we have less food waste since we have been doing this as well which is always a bonus. If you want to see some of the meals which we have been consuming check out my meal plans.

Use Cashback Sites

This is something which I spoke about in my post about how to save money online. I know this is something which a lot of people do either using Quidco or Topcashback. Last year I managed to get £100 back this is handy when you are feeling the pinch of January after Christmas. Already I have money in my account this year because it can take a while to get it that ‘s the only downside. This is money back on purchases which you would have made anyway which is always a bonus. I have had cashback on a wide range of things including holidays and presents.

Check renewal prices

This is something which I always do I have dates in my phone of when things are due. Sometimes I know it is a pain but it can save you some money like last year I saved £20 on our breakdown cover as a result of one phone call. We had our letter through which stated that it was going to rise by £20. When I looked on the same companies site I could get it for the same price I had the year before. One phone call later and I had it back at that price the reason they said it has gone up is because they had a high volume of call out that year. Even though I had not had a call out it just goes to show that checking the renewal prices can pay.

Do you need that subscription?

Recently I cancelled my Amazon Prime membership the reason is because we do not need to in the same house. We can share which means that we are saving £79 a year which is a huge bonus. I have got rid of box sets which I had for free for a few months because it was not getting used at all this meant we would be saving £5 a month. I feel like we may be the only ones who do not have Netflix but I would rather spend my money on something I am going to use than something which is going to be effectively wasted. Instead, I have sky sports which I use a lot more than I would Netflix.

What money saving tips do you have?

Charlotte xxx