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5 Effective Tips to Get toned After Giving Birth

get toned after giving birthThe last thing you think about when you have a new baby is getting your figure back. In the early days, you’re too tired to worry about it, but once you start to get into the stride of coping with the new addition to the family, you’ll realise that being in better shape will help to prevent tiredness from missed sleep, as well as giving a boost to your confidence. There are five important steps to getting your body to feel more like it used to.

Listen to the midwives

Both midwives and health visitors have a wealth of information and experience of helping mums like you, so pay attention to their advice, which will include diet and exercise tips. One of the most important things you can do is to follow their instructions regarding pelvic floor exercises, which you will be able to begin immediately. Those internal muscles are important for bladder control, so you won’t want to neglect them.

Some little cheats

Nobody would blame you for feeling a bit frustrated if you didn’t see an immediate result; getting into shape can be challenging after pregnancy and birth, so it’s important to give yourself a helping hand. Buy some shaping underwear to hold in your tummy until your muscles are strong enough to do it for you and apply some fake tan from St. Tropez. This will give you a healthier look it also has a slimming effect, so you’ll feel happier about showing off your legs.

Don’t expect too much of yourself in the early days. The old advice to sleep when the baby sleeps is invaluable and will help you to find the strength to start working towards a fitter body. Remember that having a healthy lifestyle is the most important thing and the other benefits will follow.

Eat healthily

Get plenty of fresh ingredients, including seven items of fruit or vegetables in a day, especially if you’re breast-feeding. Try to avoid processed food, such as takeaways or frozen meals, if you can. Make the most of any offers of help from friends and family, by asking if they wouldn’t mind cooking you something healthy that you can freeze and use later while you still have your hands really full. They’ll be happy to help.

Make moving part of your routine

It’s highly unlikely that you’ll have the time or energy for going to the gym or to exercise classes, so it’s important that you find other ways to get your heart pumping. A brisk walk, pushing your baby’s pram, will exercise your heart, lungs and muscles and may even send the child to sleep, which means you can enjoy a cup of tea in peace when you get back. You’ll have a lot of extra laundry to take care of, so make putting it away a little more challenging by walking more briskly up the stairs or taking two at a time.

Find activities for two

Until you go back to work, if that’s what you’re planning to do, you can find quite a few shared physical activities for mums and babies, such as baby yoga and swimming classes. Baby yoga usually involves very gentle movements for both mother and child, so is more about relaxation that toning, but since being relaxed keeps you healthier and more able to stay active, it’s very useful. Swimming, on the other hand, is a great way to tone up the whole body and new-born babies can do it instinctively; if you start early enough, your child will never need a lesson.

Disclosure: This is a promotional post with image from BOB.

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Garmin Nuvi 50 – never get lost again

Garmin nuvi 50 sat nav review

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked, if I wanted to become a Safety and Security Tester for Tesco Compare and as road safety is something important to me when traveling with Amy, I joined the campaign.

As part of our role, we have received the Garmin Nuvi 50, a 5-inch sat nav which is perfect for everyone who is traveling in England and Ireland. It comes with all maps you will need for both countries, which is great, if you want to use it straight away without having to spend money on basic installations.

Other features are:

  • bright, extra-wide 5-inch touchscreen display
  • preloaded with maps for the UK & Ireland
  • accurate turn-by-turn directions
  • spoken street names
  • unique Cyclops Speed Cameras, Lane Assist with Junction View
  • points of interest such as hotels, restaurants and attractions
  • real-time, direction-relevant and accurate alerts
  • overspeed warning and speed limit information

What did we think of the Garmin Nuvi 50?

It’s a great piece of kit and a must-have for every driver who doesn’t fancy battling with maps, grumpy partners on the passenger seat or locals that really have no clue where they’re sending you.

Garmin nuvi 50 sat nav review 1

The setup of the Garmin Nuvi 50 is intuitive and self-explanatory. We simply installed it on the suction cup mount and got started. There was no need to study the manual and the on-screen instructions are clear and very easy to follow.

The screen is bright and colourful, making it easy to distinguish lanes and easily reaching your destination even within busy city centres. Points of interest are easy to find by name, post code or category while the Junction View is a great help for all those who struggle with unexpected crossroads.

Probably, our favourite feature is the Lane Assist feature, which guides you into the correct lane for approaching turns and exits – perfect on motorways, especially when you have a partner who insists on ignoring your instructions!

Garmin nuvi 50 sat nav review 2

All in all, the Garmin Nuvi 50 is a great little gadget for every driver. The directions are clear and easy to follow, which in itself makes your journey a whole lot safer as you avoid taking your eyes off the road, plus it is a real bargain. With an RRP of around £70, you really can’t complain, can you?

Disclosure: We were provided with a free Garmin Nuvi 50 for the purpose of this review. Our opinion is 100%.

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Caffe Cagliari – enjoy Italian coffee at home

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you will know that I absolutely love traveling and Italy is a country very close to my heart. I had a wonderful time traveling the country for my 18th birthday and although, I wasn’t a big fan of espresso or even coffee back then, however I did appreciate a foamy latte macchiato, which by the way shouldn’t be confused with a caffè latte.latte macchiato with caffe cagliari

While caffee latte it’s all about the espresso, Latte Macchiato focuses on the milk and a creamy foam topping that beautifully balances out the strong Italian espresso. It’s a lovely drink and you can easily re-create it home.

You might not have the Italian backdrop, but Caffe Cagliari, a 100 year old Italian family company, now make coffee capsules which are compatible with Nespresso coffee machines, which means that you just have to practise your coffee pouring technique to perfect the typical milky layers.

Caffe Cagliari know everything there is to know about coffee: Ambrogio Cagliari opened his first coffee roasting and tasting shop in Modena, Italy, in 1909 and ever since the Cagliari family have passed on their expert knowledge and experience from generation to generation. They are what you would call a real family business. Alessandra Cagliari, Amborgio’s great great grand daughter, handles the marketing and packaging of Caffe Cagliari today and if you believe the Intalian Espresso National Institute (I.N.E.I) then you’re onto a winner, if you choose Caffe Cagliari, because they only certify the best espresso brands out there.

What’s your favourite coffee-based drink and where do you like to enjoy it?

Disclosure: This is a promotional post

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Win with Wild Things and The Brit Pack

If you haven’t already read about The Brit Pack, let me tell you more…

It’s a collaboration formed of brands that design and manufacture quality goods here in the UK, specifically within the children’s arena. The collaboration is the inspiration of Grubbies – the ‘dungaree evangelists’ – made Great in Britain!The Brit Pack logo

The premise for the initiative is to help support and build recognition for brands that not only design, but also manufacture their goods in Britain. By working together, The Brit Pack aims to generate greater awareness for British made children’s brands.

The Brit Pack is currently formed of 14 brands including: Grubbies, Eggnogg, Helen Gordon, Picaloulou, Tweedies Originals, Immink, White Rabbit England, Funky Feet Fashion, Hop & Peck, Carddies, Project Jelly, Wild Things Funky Little Dresses, Michiko and Me, and Little Ponchos.

The Brit Pack are celebrating the collaboration with an egg-citing Easter Blog Hop. For 15 consecutive days in the run up to Easter, you’ll have an opportunity to WIN delightful children’s products, made with love, here in the UK.

WIN, WIN, WIN…

Wild things funky little dresses

Wild things easter bunny dress

wild things easter bunny rabbit dungaree overalls

wild things easter bunny dungarees

The tenth prize on the Easter Blog Hop is from WILD THINGS FUNKY LITTLE DRESSES who has provided an exclusive opportunity to WIN one of their super cute bunny themed outfits, worth £44 RRP.

Featuring bold graphic appliqué, children will adore these outfits. Choose between the beautiful bunny dress or delightful dungarees. The designs are made with care by a team of skilled UK makers, supporting a growing UK specialist industry, using local suppliers.

Wild Things Funky Little Dresses is a home grown brand in the truest sense.  Proudly promoting British made, and designed with little ones at heart.  The brand has grown rapidly and collected a celebrity following along the way, with outfits proving a hit with the likes of Lilly Allen, Charlotte Church, and Frances Cobain.

For further information visit: www.wildthingsdresses.com.  You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

For your chance to win, simply complete the entry criteria below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For an opportunity to WIN the next prize on #TheBritPack Easter Blog Hop, head over to MEDICATEDFOLLOWEROFFASHION on Thursday, 17 April ’14! 

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Win KeraFiber haircare products worth £85

Kerafiber hairthickening treatment for thin hair or those suffering from hairloss

Want to instantly transform the appearance of fine or thinning hair? Want a full head of hair in mere seconds? Look no further, KeraFiber is your answer! This new US brand is giving away a 3 month supply of best-selling Hair Building Fibers, together with a Fiber Hold Spray, Hair Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner, worth £85!

Currently selling out in salons and spas in New York, Miami and LA – KeraFiber is now launching in the UK to aid those suffering from fine or thinning hair. KeraFiber is made of 100% natural organic keratin protein fibres to give hair instant volume. The fibres are charged with static electricity to bond seamlessly with your own hair, and stay in place come rain, sweat or touch. The natural keratin fibres thicken thinning hair instantly, without the need for costly products or treatments.

Hair loss is a huge issue amongst men and women in the UK, with an estimated 50% of women losing more hair than usual after childbirth. New mums are especially vulnerable to thinning hair, a common symptom often suffered up to five months post-pregnancy.
Risk-free and easy to maintain, KeraFiber is a simple solution to thinning hair. Available in a wide variety of colours, from blonde to auburn, dark brown and black, KeraFiber will instantly transform any shade of hair for the better. Say goodbye to bald patches and thinning and hello to a full head of hair!

Visit www.kerafiber.com or call 020 3129 2566 for further information on products and testimonials.

If you would like to win £85 worth of KeraFiber haircare products, simply follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below. Good luck and don’t forget to fulfil the mandatory requirements before moving on to the bonus points! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Spring and Summer Candles from Matalan

matalan candles matalan jar candlesI have a slight obsession with candles, so when I saw that Matalan have brought out new candles with spring and summer scents, I just had to have them. I am a big fan of their candle range and have gone through every single scent of their autumn and winter collection, so this really was a no-brainer for me.

And look what I got: 6 candles for just £18. What an absolute bargain! I had actually ordered 7, but one of them broke in transit, so I will have to get that at a later point. I have already been refunded though, so don’t you worry about my poor bank account!

But back to my new stash of candles. They all smell amazing and come in handy glass jars, which are perfect, if, like me, you like little craft projects such as homemade scrubs or you just need a place to store your pens and make-up brushes, haha. I haven’t lit the candles yet as I wanted to take pics while they are still pretty and new, but I think the Mango and Mandarin scent will be my favourite of them all. It literally smells like holiday in a glass – sweet, fruity and very much like summer. Cotton Blossom might be another close contender. I love the smell of cotton and in candle form it’s just a bit like having the smell of freshly washed linen all around me – pure bliss, don’t you think?

So yes, that’s it from me. A bit of a random blog post, but I thought I’d share this little bargain with you and all the candle lovers in the world. If like me you are trying to be a little more thrifty, then Matalan’s candle range is a great value alternative to higher priced candles out there, so quick, go and grab them while they’re still in stock!

Disclosure: I bought these candles myself and just thought I’d share his fab little bargain wit you. 

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Win three copies of Radio Go! Go! Go!

Radio go go go by go go go from nick junior nick jr

If you hear their name, you might not initially know who Go! Go! Go! are, but once they start singing, the penny will drop. If your child watches Nick Jr that is!

Nick Jr’s resident pop band Go! Go! Go! are currently touring the country with their new live show and what would go along better than the launch of their brand new album Radio Go! Go! Go!? Amy was sent a copy beforehand and has really enjoyed listening to the songs on the album.

Radio Go! Go! Go! comes with a 12 track CD with bonus Karaoke tracks and a 30 minute DVD featuring favourites such as ‘Wake Up Smiling’, ‘This Is The Life’ and ‘Lay The Rhythm Down’ – perfect, if your little ones and you (yes you, not me) want to dance along and practise dance routines.

Go! Go! Go! make catchy bubblegum pop  - a bit like S Club 7 for toddlers and pre-schoolers and if your kids love happy music that makes them dance and sing and jump and go all hyper, then this is the perfect album for them. I will definitely get it out for Amy’s birthday party.

Radio Go! Go! Go! is available on Amazon for £7.26 right now and if you would like to see Go! Go! Go! live on their tour, then check out their tour dates below:

12/4 Sheffield University
13/4 Leeds City Varieties
14/4 Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre Newcastle
15/4 Palace Theatre Manchester
16/4 Town Hall Birmingham
17/4 Leamington Spa Assembly
18/4 Ipswich Regent Theatre
21/4 O2 Shepherds Bush Empire

Scroll down for Go! Go! Go! album giveaway:

For all of you who feel lucky, here the chance to win one of three Radio Go! Go! Go! albums. All you have to do is fill in the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Blog Your Heart Out

blog your heart out meme or tag

I haven’t done a tag or meme in a while, so when Donna from Little Lilypad tagged me in the Blog Your Heart Out meme, I knew that I would join in. I love reading memes and finding out more of the people behind a blog or YouTube channel, so I hope you will enjoy this as much as I do.

Who or what encouraged you to start blogging?

I have always been writing and have had blogs in the past (one about life in general when I was at uni and another one about my first year in the UK) but when I fell pregnant with Amy, I started to read parenting blogs for the first time. Carol’s New Mummy’s Tips was one of the first blogs I read and I really enjoyed reading about her journey as a new mum and all the advice she had to share. We soon got to chat on Twitter and I noticed that there’s a whole community of fun, supportive and clever women out there and I thought it would be fun to join them and at the same time record my pregnancy and our everyday life as a new family not only for us, but also friends and family abroad. Carol gave me some great advice and was always there when I had the questions and soon Mummy Alarm was born. I have been blogging for a little over three years now and never looked back!

How did you choose what to blog about?

At the time when I started my blog, pregnancy and motherhood were the big topics in my life, so I start Mummy Alarm with that in mind, but over the years the blog has evolved into a lifestyle/parenting blog, I would say. You can find a bit of everything, from personal posts, recipes, days out to travel posts. Gemma from Hello, It’s Gemma quite poignantly summed it up as magazine style during one of our meet-ups and I think I quite like this direction. I want this blog to reflect me as a person and I am interested in a lot of different things, so why not write about the mix of them?

What is something that people don’t know about you?

I have hairy toes, I fart (butterflies and pixie dust, obviously) and pretend it wasn’t me and I could go on like this for hours. There’s a lot of stuff that I don’t share, simply because I’m quite a private person – yes, you can be despite being a blogger. I’m quite selective in what I share and what I don’t share on the blog, but I would like to start writing more personal posts at some point.

Which three words describe your blogging style?

From the heart!

What do you love to do when you’re not blogging?

I love reading – blogs, books, magazines or the back of the shampoo bottle. I enjoy days out with my little family, eating chocolate ice-cream, watching YouTube videos, soaking in the bath until my feet get wrinkly and laughing until I can’t breath anymore. I love living life to the fullest – because I only have this one!

blog your heart out meme or tag

I hope this was fun to read and you’ve learned a little more about me. Now it’s my turn to tag a couple of people and believe me, there are a lot of people who I’d love to answer these questions. But I’ll restrict it to the following:

Andrea from All You Need Is Love And Cake

Jenny from Mummy Mishaps

Steph from I’m Counting UFOs

Fritha from Tigerlily Quinn

Kerry from Lived With Love

Helen from The Crazy Kitchen

 

 

 

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Cork for families

Cork for families

The vibrant city of Cork is a fantastic place for a family break. And when it comes to a great choice of hotels Cork has plenty to pick from, many with family rooms, meaning you can save money and have the ease of all resting your weary heads together after an action-packed day out.

Fota Wildlife Park

Perfect for a family excursion in the great outdoors, Fota Wildlife Park, located to the east of the city, is Cork’s most popular tourist attraction, so make it number one on your to do list. Don’t miss the spider monkeys, gibbons and kangaroos and when you’ve seen the animals, there’s a great play area too. The venue also runs regular special events for kids, so check it out online before visiting.

Go Safari

If the weather’s not on your side (and this is always a possibility in South Western Ireland!) but the kids still need to let off steam, Go Safari, a fab soft play centre featuring a 20 metre aerial zip-wire and electric go-karts is a great option for whiling away a few hours. You can catch up over a coffee in the café while the kids go crazy.

Cork for families Blackrock Castle Cork

Blackrock Castle

If you want a day out that will please the whole family, a good old-fashioned castle is always a great option and Blackrock Castle on the banks of the River Lee is an extra special choice as after you’ve taken a tour of the spooky dungeons you can explore the Observatory – a unique attraction that will delight anyone who’s fascinated by the mysteries of the universe.

Cork is a compact, friendly city, so it’s also an ideal place for your family to have a wander and enjoy each other’s company as you see where the day takes you.

This is a promotional post with images from whimsicaljanne and Naru Kenji.

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Keeping you home safe, part 1: 5 potential safety risks to protect your home from

home safety furnishings and fixingsWhen it comes to home safety, there’s no getting away from the fact that accidents happen from time to time. But many of the failures that lead to accidents and injuries in the home can easily be prevented by taking a few simple precautions.

Creating a checklist and going through it slowly and thoroughly should help you make your home as safe as it can possibly be. In the first of a three-part Home Safety series, here are five potential safety risks in the home that you can avoid:

1) Faulty or Damaged Furniture and Fittings

Whether your home is brand new or centuries old, there is always the risk that furniture and fittings could cause an accident or injury if they aren’t properly looked after, or fixed and replaced as soon as it’s required. This could be anything from a faulty floorboard, loose tiles, or a wobbly leg on a table chair. Getting these kinds of issues dealt with as soon as they arise will lower the risk of falls, trips, and any other kinds of accidents occurring.

2) Fire

There is a giant list of fire hazards in the home, and the majority of them are in the kitchen. Naked flames, overheating equipment, and plug sockets coming into contact with water could all occur in the kitchen if you are not careful and properly prepared. The kitchen should never be left unattended when cooking is taking place, as fires can start up in an instant and quickly become out of control.

Other areas of the home are susceptible to fire, too. Electric portable heaters being left on next to curtains or clothing could easily start a house fire, as well as other electrical equipment overheating. Keeping equipment uncovered and switched off at the mains when not in use should prevent any fires from breaking out as a result of an electric fire. All rooms should be fitted with smoke alarms to provide early warning of a fire, and having a fire extinguisher and fire blanket stored in your home somewhere easily accessible will help should the worst happen.

home safety gas hobs and appliances what you need to know

3) Gas

The home should receive a gas inspection once a year, but if you ever smell gas but cannot find the source of where it is coming from, it is always wise to contact the fire and rescue service right away. Gas leakages can be an issue with older homes and can often arise from a faulty boiler or faulty connections in the kitchen, with the oven the main user of gas. Installing a good carbon monoxide detector could potentially save lives.

4) Electric

There are a number of safety issues that can arise from having faulty electrics. Being electrocuted or even having a simple electric shock is not a very nice experience, so all lighting, electric plug sockets, and fittings should be installed correctly and be checked often. If a wall socket makes a spark or becomes very hot when something is plugged in, it should definitely not be used. It could lead to an electric fire or, at the very least, trip the fuse of the home. It’s advisable to get this checked and fixed by a qualified electrician if you’re in any doubt.

5) Water

Water leakages can become a major issue for the safety of the home. For example, faulty equipment or pipes that leak water could lead to electrocutions if they come into contact with electrical goods, not to mention the hazards that can come from slipping. This is commonly seen with washing machines that have become old or faulty. If they are kept in the garage and start to leak, they could come into contact with electric sockets and cause a fire or give somebody in the home a nasty electric shock. If there are any leakages in the home, they should be fixed as soon as possible in order to keep everybody safe.

We hope you’ve found these tips helpful, of course a major way to protect your house is to insure it, and you may want to check out these home insurance offers from More Th>n. Stay tuned for the next part in our Home Safety series, when we’ll be looking at what to do if your house is in a flood zone.

This is a promotional post with images by Johnny Ainsworth and Tom Page