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Review – Relax Pack From The Cocoon Collection

3 Jun

As a busy mum of three sometimes it’s nice to have a little time for me.

I may be a mum but I’m a woman too, one that like others, loves a little self indulgence.

The wonderful people over at cocoon collection understand this (or so their Relax Pack would indicate)!

Last week I was delivered a very exciting parcel, one packed with treats for me… Yes me!

I was presented with the Relax Pack (Massage and Pamper Pack) a white box tied in a beautiful hot pink ribbon.

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If the outside was anything to go by then I couldn’t wait to see what was inside!

Well, I wasn’t disappointed! Inside I found a beautiful selection of pampering treats. Just lifting the lid I knew I was in for a treat, the beautiful sweet aroma from the bath bomb could be smelt instantly.

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Here’s what was included…

The Gold Relaxer… a fantastic 4 point massager which soothes away achy muscles with its four clever points and is said to be a hand held dream!

Hand Lotion Set With Ceramic Dish. The set includes both hand wash and hand & nail cream and have a gorgeous fresh white linen and jasmine fragrance which I adore. Both wash and cream are contained within pump action dispenser bottles and presented in a beautiful ceramic dish… Perfect for the bathroom sink.

Crazy After Dark Bath Blaster – this is what I smelt as I lifted the lid of the box, this bomb smells absolutely gorgeous and what’s more its packed full of fab essential oils. I seriously couldn’t wait to relax with this fizzy away in the tub.

Flower Power Face Mask – This is a little face mask without the gunk! Instead of slapping some messy slop on my chops I was instead presented with a cloth which has been impregnated with sweet smelling mulberry to place on my face. The mask has been designed to refresh, revive and illuminate.

Eye Gel Pads – cooling and soothing, to awaken sleepy eyes and hopefully help improve my tired bagged eyes, giving them back some sparkle.

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Mini Emery Boards – A pack of 10 handbag sized little emery boards. These are held in a little box that displays a super cute but quirky design of a somewhat funky kitty.

Breakfast at Sniffany’s – designed to match the above emery boards, this sweet packet of tissues display the same quirky but somehow very cute Hollywood glam kitty design!

Now can you see why I was eager to put this kit to the test. This was definitely something I couldn’t wait to use but decided there was little point in doing so until I had some ‘Me time’

Finally that ‘Me Time’ came around when all the children were sleeping I grabbed my box and headed to the bathroom.

I unwrapped the bath bomb and added it to the bath as the hot water ran. In a sad sort of sense I was a little gutted to see it dissolving as it was so very pretty! However the smell that filled the air around me was lush and I couldn’t wait to soak my tired self within its essence.

Seriously I was in that bath till my toes wrinkled.

I also used the face mask and could feel myself drifting of to sleep as I relaxed in silence.

What a rare treat, little man is known to be up till 4am on most nights so the fact he was in his bed sleeping at a little past 1am was most pleasing.

Of course I’ve tried both the hand wash and lotion which left my hands smelling delightful. I’ve now moved them both into the kitchen as I hate the way my hands are left feeling following a session washing the dishes. I wash my hands and apply the lotion right afterwards and this instantly corrects the problem.

The emery boards are in my makeup bag ready for my next nail painting session and the tissues are in my handbag! Yes, I don’t want these to run out… Maybe I’ll just have to refill the funky packaging with some more tissues once used.

The eye mask is tucked away for my next bit of “Me time” which I’m hoping is someday soon.

As for the massager, this is yet to be tested… It’s just not the same trying to use it on yourself. Maybe I’ll get the kids on the job… *giggle*

I really do love the online Cocoon collection. Yes, I’ve tried out many of these online stores specialising in gift ideas but the range over at cocoon is so extensive it’s hard not to be impressed.

There really is something for everyone! You can find a specially designed section for all them major milestones whether it’s a gift for someone’s eightieth or someone’s big 50!

You will also find a great children’s selection which boast something for every occasion from the celebration of a birth or a get well gift. I love the “Being Brave” gift set that would make a really special gift for a child in hospital.

There are gifts for him, her, couples and more. You will find a great fathers day selection which again contains some impressive gift sets like the “Dads Dancing” kit or that of a “Big bag of beer”

With so much to chose from its hard to make a decision! I was drawn to many sets including the above “Relax pack” as well as the “Little pick me up” the “Sweet Fizz” the “Rush hour” specially for commuters and the lovely teacher gift of a personalised best teacher certificate. They even do beautiful jewellery gift sets so your sure to find the perfect gift for any occasion.

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I’m so glad I got to test and review a gift from the Cocoon Collection because I have now found a site I’d most definitely use in the future! I’ve already spotted a number of gift sets that I’d like to purchase for family and friends for those special occasions, ones which I know they will love.

The Relax Pack is great and I’d highly recommend this as the perfect gift for a reasonable price!

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For more information or just for a browse check out the Cocoon Collection online

Disclaimer: This is a review post. I was not paid to write this review but was offered a sample of the product in question as to provide readers with my honest thoughts and opinions.

Escaping to the seaside

30 May

So, I did it, I got away for a night. I left for Brighton on Sunday afternoon and returned on Monday evening.

Ok, Ok… this isn’t the longest of breaks, but a break this was which I sucked every minute out off.

My recent post “I don’t feel like me anymore” displayed my somewhat depressive state and as a result I shared my escape plan with you all.

So, how was my 24 hour break away? It was Bloody fabulous, that’s what it was!

I wasn’t alone in my escape for “me time” I took along a close friend also in need of TLC and as we sped off down the M25, music playing loudly with the wind in our hair we were itching to reach destination Hotel Du Vin.

Thanks to my Mad Blog Awards win back in September, I was able to book a room at the Hotel Du vin with the gift card I won. I had longed for this night for so long and now the pending realisation that I was finally getting it was shown as pure delight upon my smiling face.

Like Thelma and Louise (minus the crime) we were on a mission.

Destination reached, we unloaded our overnight bags from the boot of the car and headed to the hotel entrance with a hop and a skip in our step.

The hotel was stunning and for me it screamed relaxation. Given I was using my gift card I ordered a lovely room with a Monsoon shower (a room in itself) and the object of my desire… A roll top bath that I visited countless times during my one nights stay (I told u I sucked every minute out of it) laid in a mountain of bubbles, book in hand, I peacefully indulged my senses and for the first time in weeks failed to hear my own continuous whining voice within my own head.

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God, it felt good to be me.

To really get the most out of my short but relaxing break I booked a table at the Bistro Du Vin and as much as I love my children, to be able to eat a whole meal uninterrupted was something I really enjoyed, something I’d forgotten to be possible. I guess the fact it wasn’t a nibble of the kids popcorn chicken or sausage and mash that made it even better. Feasting on a three course feast is something this mum isn’t used to, to say it was a treat would be very much an understatement!

In case you’re wondering what it was I ate (and even if your not I’m telling you regardless) here it is…

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A starter of fresh crab from the sea on French toast. The picture is a tad dark and really does it no justice. Take my word for it, it was mind blowing.

Then I had a main of Salmon

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Dessert, well this actually failed to make it into the album because as soon as it hit the table I decided to hide it in my belly… You know… Just in case they decided to take it away again. The “it” I’m referring to was in fact the best Chocolate pave ever, what can I say… I’m only human!

Following a stroll beside the moon lit water, a good giggle and yet another swimming session in the bath, my head hit the pillow and my body received a long overdue dose of kip… When you hardly experience such a normality you begin to sodding appreciate it’s beauty when it comes your way.

Having slept I woke up ready to face a day of shopping in the Lanes finished with a couple of hours lazing on a deck chair with my toes dipped in the sea… Bliss.

First though it was breakfast which I’m told is the most important meal of the day! Yes this may be true nonetheless I never have any, I simply never have time in the mornings! Little man isn’t the easiest child to get out of bed, this sometimes takes a lot of asking over many hours (I guess the fact that he normally doesn’t fall asleep until 4 AM really doesn’t help this situation)! By the time everything is done and the children are of to school i’m simply no longer hungry. Today though things will be different! Me and my lovely friend were shown to a table and told to help ourselves to the cold buffet while our hot breakfast was cooked. I really enjoyed it, I actually didn’t know what to start on next, everything was just so scrummy.

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Having filled our bellies in a way I’ve never experienced at such an early hour, we checked out and said a reluctant goodbye to what had become my sanctuary for the night. Slowly strolling through the beautiful Brighton Lanes in the morning sunshine was a rare treat but such a pleasurable one.

Then resting my tired feet on the pebbled beach I wondered if I felt any differently within myself. I was more relaxed that was apparent, I’d smiled and definitely laughed a lot, this is also apparent…

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… So maybe I wasn’t depressed after all, maybe… just maybe I’m tired. Some days are good others are bad, I know that. I just sometimes feel that I’m drowning in my own craziness, and yes sometimes this causes me to feel a little guilty. Why? I don’t know? I’m the mother, it’s meant to be stressful at times… Maybe that’s why?

I’m home now and I’m not hiding behind the bricks that make up the walls of my home, there are no curtains drawn and no box of
Kleenex by my side. That’s just got to be a good sign right?

Bottom line is I don’t know what the future holds… Who does?

Something I do know is that I had a sodding good time in Brighton! That much I’m sure on.

With that I’ll leave you with a few pictures as proof… See I told you I had fun…

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Little Man’s Kitty has a seizure

29 May

So, if any of you read my post “I don’t feel like me anymore” you will know that I’ve been feeling a little down in the dumps and a tad stressed lately.

I wasn’t to sure what was happening, was I falling into the grips of depression, would I therefore be reliant upon my old friend “Mr Prozac”

Feeling a tad guilty I took a little “Me Time” and I went to Brighton on Sunday (just for the night) returning Monday evening. Preparations were in place for the children and that of our 2 cats and the 4 kittens (in which 2 are due to shortly be re-homed).

The night away really was needed! Just to have time to think and clear my head if anything! I’ll share my one nights break and those thoughts and feelings in another post, now isn’t the time, as on my return something else took place, something I’ll now share with you.

Mind you… This is no happy event! It’s one that I myself and the children found extremely distressing!

One of the four kittens, the weaker of the four, the one who’s always been that bit behind her siblings, had a seizure.

I was cleaning the kitten area when I noticed that the kitten was not running around and jumping about like the others, next thing I knew, she was trying to get back in the kitten enclosure and instead of slipping under its door as she normally would she had instead put her head through the bars and become stuck! However, she wasn’t distressed which I found strange, she just seemed to stare blankly. I freed her head and she sat there for a moment before accidentally stepping into the water bowl. I approached her and she started shaking, at first I thought she was shivering as the water was cold, then she fell to the side of the enclosure. My instant reaction was to pick her up and dry her quickly. Suddenly I realised this was something more serious! She dribbled and before I knew it her mouth was foaming heavily, she had a seizure right there in my arms.

All three children are extremely fond of the cats and the kittens, little man loves his Bella who is the mother of the litter. Little man was very nervous when Bella first had the kittens, his anxiety levels were off the scale as he worried about Bella and her new litter constantly.

It was a great relief for him to watch the kittens thrive and as they grew he became reassured all would be OK. Of course, I did well to remind him that the kittens were healthy, the likelihood of them becoming sick as the weeks went on was small!

I guess both the little man and his sister worried more due to the fact I needed to intervene a little and help Bella attend to them in way of feeding. Bella came into heat pretty quickly (when the kittens were almost 3 weeks old) and during this period she feed them less, requiring me to help by way of bottle feeding 4 hungry kittens. Initially one of the tabby’s was what one would normally refer to as the “runt” of the litter, then I noticed the kitten in question got pushed out more during feeding time and even it’s mother would sometimes become a little rough when grooming it.

Have you ever read the book ‘All cats have Aspergers’? (I’d highly recommend, little man loves this book)! My point is, looking back the kitten in question displayed some quirky behaviour, such as not mixing well within the group, being a tad bullied and sleeping in a corner with its face buried in amongst the side of the kitten box while the others huddled together. When all running around the room displaying some crazy speeds, this one joined in only a handful of times, and when she did it wasn’t long before she took herself of back to the enclosure and into her corner.

It’s strange as little man brought up that book and asked me “Do you think all cats really do have Aspergers? As our little black kitten seems to have it more!” I couldn’t help but smile, as in a way little man was displaying more awareness for his own “condition” and the fact he literally felt all cats had Aspergers was actually quite lovely. I wondered if this was the reason he connected with them so well, they have all become somewhat therapeutic in the way we often hear about horses and dogs when it comes to autism.

My daughter Alice-Sara, is also brilliant with the animals of the house, she’s like the zoo keeper who keeps them all in check as she goes about feeding them.

With this you can just imagine the total upset within the household when the kitten violently shook and cried out. I did a terribly job of remaining calm for the sakes of the children, fellow cats and the kitten itself. I just felt helpless and scared, extremely unprepared to witness such a worrying situation. I now know I should have laid her on the floor, removing everything that could harm her, instead I held her firmly and with tears streaming down my cheeks I tried reassuring her, through now I understand she would have had no idea what was happening.

By now Little man was standing at the door way with eyes so wide and watery I could almost see within them, that of my own reflection! He spoke just 3 words… “she’s dying mum” before fleeing the room. I wrapped her in a blanket as she continued to have accidents after the actual seizure, then throwing on my shoes I darted to my neighbours, rudely banging on her door at 11pm.

Thankfully we have one of the nicest and kindest neighbours you could wish for, a women who actually used to babysit me as a child. Inviting myself, daughter and kitten inside, she called the emergency vets which happens to be miles away and well beyond my reach (in my head I’m running of a list of those people I can call to collect me and whisk us off down there). However, having spoken with the vet and given the fact the kitten is by now no longer having the seizure, instead laid in my arms not fully together, I’m given the advice to keep a close eye on her throughout the night! Instructions are to keep her in a dark safe room away from others (including other animals) if she has another seizure, I must call again, otherwise it’s vets in morning… especially if she still wasn’t walking, using the litter tray, eating and drinking, generally not acting herself.

It’s now 3.30am, the children are in bed, little man having only just settled, I’m writing this on my iPhone as I lay in bed surrounded by pitch black darkness and a very weak kitty who remains very confused with very little awareness of what’s happening around her. Am I worried? Yes!

So, yes… I was home just a few hours before this happened, god I’m so thankful this didn’t all occur when I was away.

Thankfully I got a great nights sleep in Brighton, as I won’t be having any whatsoever tonight.

And to top it all off… I’m sun burnt… Really… Really… sun burnt!

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I don’t feel like me anymore

21 May

Lately I’ve not been feeling like me, my head feels as if it’s in a different zone from my body, I’m here but not fully.

I really can’t explain what it is I’m feeling, not even to that of myself. Why? Because I just don’t know!

Nothing huge has taken place, no drama out the ordinary. I’ve had just as little sleep as always… So no, I’m no more tired than usual (not physically anyway)!

Yet everything that I do I’m only half focused… I feel as though I’m running yet getting nowhere! The littlest of things are grating and grinding me down, the house is a tip and my motivations a miss!

I don’t want to drag my sorry arse down to my GP, leave with prescription for Prozac in hand. I don’t want to be an emotionless pill popping trance walking zombie again, because I’ve been one before and I don’t want to go there again.

But the signs are all there, not answering the telephone when it rings, lying on the floor when the door bell rings, crying over jeremy kyle when I’m normally peeing my pants laughing at that show.

I ask myself the same question over and over again… “am I going crazy”

My children are driving me loopy and although this is no more than usual, I’m finding myself snapping more quickly.

Take today for example, Little man comes home from school with yet another letter highlighting his challenging behaviour, I’m sat on the phone where I’m placed on hold for what seems like forever. Now I don’t even want to be making this call, yet it’s unavoidable, it’s one of those really important calls. 40 minutes later, having sat frustratingly on hold somebody finally comes to my assistance.

The Little man is fully aware of my stress, he even suggests at one point that I just hang up and give up, so when he starts blowing on on those football supporters horns (you know the really loud ones that almost deafen you) as soon as I’m connected, I’m simply not impressed. Fully aware I’m now in a position to talk to someone and having continuously requested he stops, he continues with his annoying horn blowing antics. The guy on the other end of the line, suggests I call back at a more “convenient” time, I feel like screaming “there is no F#*%#*% convenient time” instead I request he waits one minute (given I’ve waited 40 or more) so I can sort out my child’s menace like behaviour, only the cheeky so and so (yes, I can think of more fitting names) puts down the receiver and hangs up on me!

I look at the Little man his laughing by now. Placing my hand over my mouth as to muffle the scream, I jump up and leave the room. Retreating to my bedroom I let out a giant sob, Yes, I feel sorry for myself… Very much so!

It’s not long before little sister is home and she’s injuring her finger while forcefully trying to remove her bike from the back gate, the toddlers screaming his hungry and the little man is again blowing that bloody horn. A moments madness I take the horn and in a fit of anger I break it! It was either the horn or my head against the newest brick wall. With a margarine slowly approaching I feel to drag my sorry backside to bed but have dinners to cook and after school activities to sort!

I’m hoping to have a night away in Brighton next week. I’ll stay at the hotel du vin, relax in a roll top bath, eat chocolate till I’m sick and watch soppy movies in a large king size bed!

The next day I’ll get some retail therapy shopping in the lanes and chill-lax with fish and chips on the beach, before skipping home refreshed! Well… That’s the plan at least.

I just want some “Me time” is that so bad?

#HAWMC DAY 14 – A Little piece of paradise

16 Apr

The morning air is warm, the ocean breeze causes me to catch my breath…

The clear white sand glistens like millions of tiny crystals as its hit by the suns bright glare.

 I close my eyes only and listen to the light sweeping motion of the calm ocean waves that lay before me. It’s still early and the sound of a dolphins echo is the only voice to greet me.

 I drown myself in this moment, capturing my surroundings, storing the memory like a postcard.

 I spent the day as if I’m floating in nothingness, drifting in and out of a peaceful sleep I wake to drink freshly squeezed lemonade, so cold it cause my brain to freeze.

 A million miles away from my home, I desperately miss the presence of my children but I’ll return a new women, recharged and ready for anything the world has to throw at me. 

 I’m not selfish, I’m human! We all require a break from time to time, some space to declutter a frazzled mind, recharge one’s batteries. This I’m sure will make me a better mother.

 Yes, I could choose to spend an hour sat reading in Greenwich park, though given the choice, I’d much rather opt to chill out in the Maldives!

 Hay… A girls entitled to dream right?

image via google images 

Post 14/30 of the Health Activist Writing Month Challenge (#HAWMC) set by Wego Health.

Sudocrem – Mummy Matters Week

9 Jan

Us mum’s can’t be super mum’s all of the time and every now and then, even we can do with a bit of advice!

That’s why the leading baby brand Sudocrem are hosting a Mummy Matters week over on Facebook, as to be honest… Us mum’s do matter!

Between Monday 9th & Friday 13th January 2012, a team of the UK’s leading lifestyle experts will be sharing need to know advice on a range of subjects as well as answering direct questions from the Sudocrem Facebook community.

Each day will host a different expert (as outlined below), who will share around 20 key pieces of advice and answering questions on their subject throughout their allotted day.

Sudocrem would love for all Mums to join the Sudocrem Facebook community (www.facebook.com/Sudocrem) and get involved by asking questions directly to the experts.

Monday 9th January 2012 – Jennifer Liston-Smith (Executive & Maternity Coach)
Tuesday 10th January 2012 – Claire Wylde (Dietician)
Wednesday 11th January 2012 – Jo Barnard (Careers Advisor)
Thursday 12th January 2012 – Wendy Powell (Pre & Post Natal Fitness Expert)
Friday 13th January 2012 – Beth Goodrham (Personal Stylist)

Will I be popping along to see what it’s all about? Well, I do quite fancy discovering what Friday holds. What with it being a New Year and the need for a wardrobe revamp, its properly a good idea!

Visit Sudocrem by Clicking HERE

I’m A Guest Blogger At The Business Mums Unite

8 Aug

 This post isn’t about my children, or autism, “OK both are mentioned a tiny weeny bit! 

 Ok, so… I’m a mum who likes to get heard when it comes to autism, aspergers and special educational needs. I love blogging about the madness and sometime sheer randomness that is my life! Yes,… I’m a mum that blogs and although the term, “Mummy blogger” is something of a crap one… I love it all the same, blogging is therapy and I admit it, throwing my hands up in the air now… I love to write, something that used to resemble a pain in the butt. Then there is this extremely privileged role I’ve acquired… parenting these three amazing, beautiful children I have created (Ok, I didn’t create them all by myself, but with a little help from their daddy). But despite my love for my children, the task I embank on raising awareness for autism campaigns, while trying hard to contribute towards creating a recognisable change whether educational or otherwise, and of course my love of being amongst other great inspiring parent bloggers, I still need more! There is still so much left for me to do, I just require a push! Of course, there will always be things to challenge you within the areas just discussed but believe it or not, there are a number of other areas of interest I still want to try and pursue. Many parents of children with a disability no matter what it maybe, don’t want to talk about it when there is no need, they don’t want to build a career around it or expand on the knowledge learnt from the battles faced… I actually do, that hasn’t changed! However, as mentioned, I also want to put my hand at other things to. 

 There have been so many ideas, ambitions, “If you like” I often drift into a daze and think, “Yes, Of course I can do that, It will be a doodle” I’m not talking about anything in particular here! There have been many “Crazy ideas” this mum has acquired throughout the years, but this last year, there have been a few that just wont sit and rest at the back of my mind.

 “Shut up Claire” I’m aware I’m rambling here (something else I’m good at) and I’m just as much aware that I’m making no sense whatsoever! OK, the point…. I do actually have some…. Well, it’s centred around this invite I received… I’m very excited as I have been invited as a guest blogger to the launch of the very first Business Mums Unite Conference, which will be hosted at the Albert Hall Conference centre Nottingham UK on the 19th, October 2011. Are you now laughing? I know I’m not a business mum, “A mum, yes… Business mum, No…” but as mentioned I’m writing about the event so I’m going to be there! Now this is important so listen up mums! ” This is an event bringing mum’s in business together to socialise, gain inspiration, share and encourage one another, however the event also targets all them mum’s like me, the ones with the ideas floating around in their heads but never acted upon. Here you can attend work shops, talk to those who have taken the leap, gain inspiration, network, and get a real feel for the possibilities surrounding you. 

 Now I look a fibber, as many would have clearly established by now that, “That’s a mum with a burning ambition” Yes, there is a specific route I’ve considered taking and it’s not that I’m not motivated girls! I just don’t know how to take the steps. It’s hard to explain without splashing my ideas all over the blog for the world to see! Lets just say… i don’t have a clue! I’m a pretty sleek networker (compliment to self) but this requires more, and what with the desire to study for my degree, I’m starting to think that I somehow consider myself to be something of a, “Wonder Woman” That or I’m going to make time stand still! “No, I don’t think so either!” So… Looks like I’m heading for the right event and how about some company?

 So…. Here I am laying it out on the table, I want to build a successful career for that of myself and my family. I feel most privileged at the fact I’ve been considered good enough to report on the Ins and outs of the day both pre and post event. This for me is the opportunity to report and yes, take some notes for my own naughty gain… HA-HA-HA

 All mothers, especially you fellow blogging mums (yes, you know who you are)! Who fancies Nottingham on the 19th October? 

 Here’s a sneaky peek at what to expect and some info for all you potential brands that should know a good opportunity when they see it (need I say more)!

The Fabulous Event Founder is the lovely: Charlotte Pearson, Twitter id: @scandc

 (facebook & blog url can be found at the end of this post)

Event Sponsors: 

 HIPP Organic,  Trunki, MumpreneurUK

Conference

 Emma Wilsher: Official photographer for the event :  www.emmawilsher.co.uk

 Keynote speaker: Elaine Hanzak

 www.hanzak.com twitter: @elainehanzak 

 This inspirational mother & teacher wrote an inspiring book documenting her story about the extreme illness she suffered following the birth of her son. The book titled ‘Eyes without sparkle’ documents her journey through postnatal depression. She has since spoken at numerous events, appearing on national television 

And is now a ‘prima mother and baby magazine consultant.’ Now that’s pretty inspirational! 

 Speaker: Naomi Timperley 

www.babylovesdisco.co.uk and www.socialmediaboom.co.uk

twitter id for Baby Love Disco: @blduk twitter id for Naomi: @naomitimperley

  Naomi is fabulous, Come on, Baby Loves Disco is Ace and this business woman from Manchester happens to be the UK director. 

Naomi a survivor of the Dragons Den is now a very successful business woman in her own right, not only is she the director of the No1 day clubbing event for parents and their teeny boppers, but she also happens to be a very successful speaker, mentor, business adviser for SIFE at Salford University & a volunteer for Young Enterprise NW. If that just wasn’t enough already, she is also a social media trainer with Social media. YOU GO GIRL! 

Oops… How can I forget! Naomi is also a mother of two!

 I thought I didn’t have time for a business! There is no excuse is there!

 Confirmed workshops (more to be announced ) 

 Laura Morris: Learn the 3 R’s in customer service…  Twitter id: @2businessmum

 Debbie  O’Connor: Social Media for beginners… Twitter id: @motivatingmum

 Amanda Farren: Branding… Twitter id: @QwertyCowDesigns

 Starfish Accounting: Small business accounting… Twitter id: @StarfishACC

Exhibitors 

 These include:

Scentsy; Captain Tortue Group; Jacques Design Plus more…

Following Opportunities for Brands and Delegates

 Advertising: £30

Delegate places: Including lunch and goodie bag £65

 Trade stands: Including a delegate place and advertising package £150.00

 Plus a huge range of Sponsorship opportunities

Contact Charlotte, founder of the event for more information via @scandc or via the official website where you will also find all the latest info on this truly fabulous event!

Please visit the business mum unite official site by clicking HERE Facebook page can be accessed by clicking HERE & The official blog by clicking HERE

The gift of a beautiful friendship

31 May

A few days back I met up with one of my good friend’s for a spot of shopping and a catch up. 

It was during this catch up that I released how lucky I am to have this friend in my life!  Here’s why…

In adult life friendships can be hard things to maintain. Its thought to be even harder when only one of the two friends is a parent, which is the case for us!

This is often true for many, including me! What with the pressures being a parent brings…  It’s a time consuming task that leaves little room for socialising. Its sad but true that for many this type of friendship don’t last the course. 


This is even possible for some of the strongest friendships, those that have been maintained since childhood! Do you remember the days spent with that best friend who you swore would be your best friend forever? You know the one… You swore you would move to a foreign country with, share a flat with, be bridesmaid at her wedding, godmother to her children, and finally grow old and die with! There is a good chance that you haven’t seen nor spoke to that special someone for a very long time.

 It’s not only the factor of starting a family or getting married that sees such great friendships flounder, but also the changing interest you acquire as you sail through the different stages of your life!

Some of my closest childhood friendships have been lost through the years… and yes, many were lost when one of us started a family! Still, It should be noted that I haven’t only lost friendships with childless friends, but those who like me have at least popped out one child… In my case three!  After all… it’s a busy job being mum!

So, what happens when you throw autism into the mix? One friend not only starts a family but one of her children ends up being on the autism spectrum or has some other form of disability/special need? If the above is true, surely this leaves little hope of friendship survival!  

Sadly many of my own friendships just haven’t made it past the finish line! In all honesty, I properly only have a few that have. 

And guess what?

These are friendships I have with friends who don’t yet have children, bringing me back to the reason I consider myself a very lucky mummy!

As I sat with my friend discussing the Ins & outs of my youngest child’s tantrums, my daughters developing “attitude” and little mans offer of a school placement, I could tell that my friend was totally engaged with what it was I had to say! By now some of my friends would be checking their mobiles & making their excuses! Fortunately this isn’t the case with Donna!

You read a lot about the child with Aspergers not being able to make or maintain friendships, sadly this is all to often the case for the child’s parents too! Its something you read far less about, who wants to admit that as a grown arse woman you struggle to make or maintain friendships! Well, I’m not ashamed to state that, “Yes I find it extremely bloody hard!” Why?  Many people Just fail to understand Little man and a good nine times out of ten, they just can’t cope with his challenging ways! 

As for the aspect of making friends, this never seems to happen when out and about with the children. Fellow parents tend to look at myself & Little man before turning to gossip with the mothers in their group. Its like a whole room of eyes just on you! Have you ever felt that, the feeling that the whole room is looking at you? I have! Its something I feel daily! Every time I reach the school gate, go to the park or take the children to the soft play area. I feel it because normally the whole room is looking at me! 

Myself & little man can clear an entire park with our presence!  Oh yer… We could properly put you out of business, clearing almost any child friendly event presented to us. Does this make me sad! It breaks my bloody heart every-time I think about it. 

Do you know who makes me feel better at times like these? Donna! That’s the beauty of friendship!

Donna is like my sidekick, my backbone if you like, she keeps me strong and smiling. Donna isn’t just a friend who listens with real interest but supports and encourages me in anything I do… no matter how crazy (and I can be pretty crazy at times). She was by my side through Little man’s diagnosis, has attended & supported me through two court case’s when Little man was a school refuser, she has been there for nearly every meeting with his old mainstream school or the LEA, and she even attended the early bird course as she herself wanted to learn more!

One of my happier moments to our friendship was the day she held my hand as I pushed my youngest child into the world some eighteen months back. (Donna would likely state that held her hand I did not, referring to it as more of a squeeze that was so tight I almost cut of her blood circulation.) 

Donna is a woman who isn’t scared to share a day out with me and my children. (Even when I’ve arrange a sitter she encourages me to bring them along.) Donna has been present during some of little mans most challenging meltdowns, yet she’s never ran away leaving me to it, she’s encountered the stares form the public, chased Little man across a massive heath (yes he was determined to escape on a bus!), she’s talked him across a bridge when he was to frighten to move, she’s even patiently listens to his non-stop bus talk & constant singing of Bruno Mars hits! But best and most importantly of all… she loves and excepts him for the little boy that he is!

How amazing is that!! 

Post dedicated to my friend Donna Jordan to show my appreciation at having her in my life 

“Stressed! Who me?”

15 Nov

Stress! it’s something we all face at one time or another through life. Some people are stressed because of work, others have exams at uni and deadlines to hit! Then there are the parents.. stressed out because their children have kept them on their toes the entire day! The stressed out teacher who has encountered cheek from at least a fourth of his pupils out of his thirty something class………. I can go on all night you will never run out of examples.

What makes one person stressed, is a walk In the park to another. It’s very easy as a parent of a child on the autism spectrum to get frustrated and almost angry at others when they are sat complaining on the bus, train.. where ever it may be, about they’re “stressful” day at work, or the well dressed woman sat chatting with her friend about the stress she encountered while shopping on busy Oxford Street in the West end! You sit rolling your eyes thinking in ones own head, “Try my bloody day! The battle to remove my child from his bed, the challenge to persuade him to dress then go to school when his only had a few hours sleep meaning you have too!” That’s it now you’ve got me started… “If I have succeed in my morning quest, I’m then collecting my child from school at 12pm, his ten years old yet on half day and that’s even if his lasted that long!” You try hard to stop this bitterness but it keeps coming…. “Try shopping in Sainsburys with your ten year old verbally bashing you as you try to shop or better still throwing himself into shelves while screaming and shouting he hates you while having a full on meltdown… You don’t even know what’s upsetting him! But my god you need to find out. This is Sainsburys, I only wish I could shop in Oxford Street!!!!” It don’t stop coming…. “Bedtimes your child is still beeping and acting like a bus at 2am and all I wanna do is sleep”

The thing is… this guy and this woman both have the right to vent no matter what the reason is behind their stress! I’m not saying that just because I have a child on the spectrum my life Is harder then his or hers! That’s beside the point! These people haven’t done anything wrong.. I’m just sat there and if it has been a bad day I’m proberly just feeling extra sensitive and sorry for myself… If anything I’m just acting bitter. But why? I love my life and wouldn’t change it (I would change certain things that have happened, but wouldn’t we all!) A few mornings ago little man woke up in the worse mood and as result decided to beat up my bedroom door. Things like this I would change! The smile on his face as we board the 450 bus is priceless 🙂 This I would never change.

As a mother to three.. I get stressed! And beleive me, it’s not all down to my little aspie man. What do you do as a way to unwind? Read a book, watch a little telly, or chill to the sounds of London late night love songs on heart? Us mummy’s are normally only part free to indulge in mummy time, once our little angels are in the land of nod us mummys go for it! The thing is little man don’t sleep till the early hours! I put the baby to bed and like magic (99% of the time) he goes to sleep within minutes. How different my boys are! As soon as baby is fast a sleep I find myself getting ready for the night a head. There is normally so much I want to do, but just as much I have to do! Once my daughter is in bed, I start the battle to get little man in his! This is a battle that can go on for hours & hours… When he does follow his bedtime routine (we made a timeline using visual aids) he will normally just lay there in his bed in complete darkness, talking to himself about bus routes or acting out the bus doors opening and closing. Though I can hear him.. Beeping away, I know his in that bed and with this I jump in mine, Mac in hand and normally I will do a little blogging. Yep off Loading all my crap onto you guys is my stress reliever. If I didn’t have the blog I would be a “bonkers” Mummy (yer don’t think I don’t know what your thinking!) I only wish I got more time as it’s often the case that I pass out before I’ve even logged in!

A few nights back I really did have the chance for some me time. The childrens father was here taking care of the kids and I was laid upstairs with mood lighting (lamp dimmed) waiting for a TV show that I really wanted to see “I don’t watch much telly and I really wanted to see this show” I woke up the following morning fully dressed and in a state of utter confusion. Do u know I jumped out of my bed and stood there in the middle of my bedroom for a good five minutes trying my hardest to piece together what was going on!! Did I watch my programme? why in gods name is it light outside? Where’s my Children?

Once i had finally placed my brain firmly back in my head it all came back to me… well the children being with daddy, the mood lighting and just how comfortable I had felt! typical me had passed out again. Just then my daughter appeared fully dressed and ready to go to school. Daddy had stayed over as I was somewhat sedated and he had got the children ready for school (Well Not little man) he was doing his usual morning routine…Refusal to get up, washed, dressed…ect..ect…ect…
Well, I must have needed that sleep! Like they always say, “Everything seems better in the morning after a good nights sleep” So…. Did it? Did it heck!!

So yes I like many get stressed! It doesn’t mean I can’t cope or I’m having a breakdown! It just means I’m human.

After all… Life is stressful.. But it’s also Incredible rewarding, given the chance!

MUM’S GONE BANANAS IN HER PYJAMAS.

17 Apr

Has Anybody heard about the latest warning signs signaling mental health problems in mothers of young children? Rumor has it that mothers who wear pyjamas at 8.55am In the morning could be suffering from an undiagnosed mental health condition.

Sound crazy? Well the author of this blog does happen to be a loony pyjama wearing momma. So what do you expect?

As a child growing up I was told to never judge, Not to make assumptions about another, No matter what the circumstances. With this I become a firm believer of the saying never judge a book by its cover. So it’s sad that once an adult I discovered that those who are considered to be trusted professionals did not follow this rule. I’m not talking about the unwanted stares and rude comments made during our Autistic childs latest meltdown which always leads to the assumption that your child is nothing but a screaming, argumentative, stubborn brat. Even though yes that’s simultaneously just as annoying. No I’m talking about a professional, one whom you trust is making extreme assumptions based on your appearance at almost 9 am in the morning.

Let me explain as I’m guessing this crazy woman isn’t making much sense. As a Mental Mother of three young children, Ok two at the time! One who has Aspergers and displays a lack of interest in both sleep and school. Why in Gods name would I need to worry about the dress code I have chosen to display when opening my front door to The Educational professional who has finally agreed to pick little man and his sister up for school for a few weeks before the end of spring term? Has the country gone barking mad? Yes I answered my front door at 8.55 am in my pyjamas. I’m guilty what can I say. Does this action give you the right to question my mental state of mind? Did I answer my front door in the nude with a bottle of jacks D in one hand and a Benson&hedges in the other? No I did not So what the hell is the problem. Can’t you put pen to paper and come up with something constructive, Like how best to keep my son in school. After all it’s took a long time and effect on my part to build up some kind of routine and get him to come in at all. I’m sure some fantastic rewarding ideas may come to light if only more time was spent on him instead of these crazy judgemental assumptions so unsparingly given about his mother.

My son started school back in 2005 and since this time I have raised concerns in relation to a number of issues one being little mans reluctance to sleep of a night and another being his refusal to get ready and go to school. Still being assessed at the time and not yet on Melatonin  I was having a pretty crap time of it. Please remember Little man’s awake then it’s pretty likely that mum is too. Lack of sleep if any resulted in my looks having to take a back seat at least for a bit. People I’m not saying I was so tired I stopped washing! NO I’m just pointing out that having dragged Little mans butt out of his Pitt ( Which isn’t easy given his only been in it a meer few hours) Then chasing him all over the house and then pinning him down to dress him, Only to be successful but once your back is turned his back down to his undies and you do the WHOLE  thing again. Yes chasing, pinning and dressing often occurred three sometimes four times before a true result was made ( Thank God we are passed that Now ) This was more than a little time-consuming and extremely tiring I must add. So given this can you see why I may not find time to get myself sorted? Is it actually wrong or selfish that given the fact my child had kept me wake half if not all the night that I may be considering heading for my bed to recharge my batteries ready for the night ahead once the coast was clear? Next time I will be sure to put my face on and dress up in my super mum costume. Yer Right O.

Looking inside my Sons records did I expect to find notes and documents, Some addressed to members of the school and LEA? Maybe I did but I did not expect them to state concerns about my mental wellbeing because I wore Pyjamas. However was I surprised that such assumptions could be made in relation to my Mental state? Absolutely not! Just as I was not surprised to see that mistakes were made. No it wasn’t the Senco that collected the children! That is just one of over 20 inaccuracies and a few other that are utter untruths. Each and everyone can be so easy to prove through letters, note and documents within the same record or those I have of my own.

I also discovered that certain reports that had been written for other professionals within and outside of school refered to my childhood battle with OCD ( Obsessive compulsive disorder ) Which started at the tender age of 7 years. I do not see what bearing this information has in regards to my sons educational needs or diagnosis of Aspergers? It was only spoke of when family medical history was taken on a few of little mans assessments in relation to his diagnosis of Apergers. I had no reason to reframe from sharing such information with the professionals ( Not school ) involved in the care of my son. I’m not ashamed of my OCD just as I’m not ashamed of little mans autism I just don’t understand the reasons behind the schools choice to take the information from an assessment paper relating to little mans condition and then sharing it with others who in my opinion need not know or have no reason to know. I wish my sons diagnosis was so freely shared amongst the same people

It May seem I’m somewhat angry, annoyed and upset as a result of the pyjama MADNESS. I must be otherwise why the long post. I went through three stages… Anger, Upset, Laughter… By the time I wrote this I was pissing my pants. This was because it’s nothing but pure silly nonsense. How can I spend time worrying about this playground name calling. I have bigger worry in my life-like will my child receive the education best suited to his needs? Or how about will my daughter forever suffer as a result of her brothers Aspergers and the effect this has on both their school lives. Am I wrong or are these comments merely they’re to be hurtful or just because who ever wrote them lacked the ability to write something of intelligence. I don’t need to be a Psychologist, Doctor or a Mental Health practitioner to know that pyjamas are not a warrant for a diagnosis of any mental health condition but more suited to whoever wrote such a nasty comment in the first place. Hence the reason I decided to write this before firmly taking it on the chin!

So I fault it would be irresponsibly of me to finish this post without having given readers a WARNING.

Readers do you think you are safe behind the closed doors and the bricks that form your house when you are looking like something the cat dragged in? Don’t be hyping yourself up in the excitement of the prospect of settling down with a hot cuppa coffee and watching a little Jeremy Kyle! Hell No. Be getting yourself looking respectable as you don’t know who’s gonna come knock, knock, knocking on your door and be offended by them betty boo Jim Jams.

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