Thursday, 27 February 2014

Some people's experiences put things in perspective.

I really hope Jacob (@JacobBenGray) doesn't mind me posting this. If he does then let me know Jacob and I'll remove it immediately.
I can't remember why I first came across his profile on Twitter or what made me feel compelled to follow him, but I hit the follow button and that's all she wrote as they say.
I don't know him and only know what I know through tweets exchanged and those on his timeline. If I remember correctly he has spent about 14 months in hospital and is still there now.
Because of meningitis/meningococcal septicaemia he has had both of his feet amputated and is currently awaiting his new feet. Jacob will then have to learn to walk again. I'm sure I'm only scratching the surface. He's on a long road to recovery and as if that isn't enough to deal with, he tweets his journey for others to read. His journey shows just how necessary vaccination against meningitis is! I've read along the way that certain MPs feel that the meningitis B vaccination isn't cost effective. Surely a simple vaccination is much more effective that kids needlessly dying or spending over a year in hospital?! Seems like a no-brainer to me.
He feels that one voice will never be heard but I urge you to give him a wee follow. He's educating, giving a real, genuine insight into his experience. This is the side that we never hear about.
I wish him all the best in his recovery.

Much love. xx

@latte_fiend on Twitter.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Hand And Feet Moisturising Treatments.

When I think of pampering myself I normally envisage a nice hot bath, a face mask, a body scrub, an indulgent body moisturiser and so on. Its rare for me to think of treating my hands or my feet, yet they're the ones that put in the most work on a daily basis!
I was in Poundland a few weeks ago and seen a twenty minute deep moisturising foot pack and a twenty minute intensive treatment hand pack. Both were £1, obviously! :-)
I'm a big believer that not everything has to be the top end of the market and cost ten prices. Sure, its nice but its not always necessary. Plus, at £1 each, if they happened to be rubbish products I didn't feel like I had wasted money that could have been better spent elsewhere.
Onto the products....

The foot pack is basically a pair of plastic socks containing tea tree and peppermint oil. It smells really nice - a fresh, clean scent and it also makes your feet tingle which is quite novel. The treatment itself claims that it "penetrates deep into the skin to reduce callus build up and help repair and soften cracked split heels". I believe that moisturising treatments are much more effective when you add some heat so after slipping on the socks I then slipped my feet into some furry slippers and sat with my feet up in front of the fire. I have to say that after twenty minutes my feet felt no different. Maybe I needed to do a couple more treatments but I'm sold on it.
The hand pack was a pair of plastic gloves containing the most fragrant mixture of rose flower, shea butter, collagen and vitamin E. The pack claims that it helps "treat and heal rough, dry and chapped hands and deeply penetrate with nutrients and moisturise immediately". I loved this pack! After twenty minutes my hands felt softer, smoother and they smelled lovely too! I'll definitely be picking up one of these again when I see it.

Have you tried these out?
Much love. xx

@latte_fiend on Twitter.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Cheeky Wipes

When I was getting ready to have my son last year I was going through the usual decisions a mum-to-be has to make. What steriliser? Do I breastfeed or formula feed? What type of Moses basket should I get? The list goes on & on.
At the time I also thought about reusable nappies/wipes versus disposable nappies/wipes. Being a single mum-to-be I decided there was no way I'd have time to look after my new baby, plus do a mountain of nappy laundry as well.
I try to do my bit for the environment so it has always stuck in my craw that I'm using disposable nappies and wipes. That's not to say I'm judging those that do! I just felt like I should have at least tried reusables, but when that wee bundle arrives you just get caught up in him/her.
I'm finally in the process of making the switch now, only 11 months late! :-) I'm still trying to decide on which reusable nappy to go for but I've made the switch to reusable wipes, namely Cheeky Wipes

Just recently I had the opportunity to try out the Cheeky Wipes All-In-One Kit. After using the wipes for a while now, I really don't know what I thought was so daunting about reusuables! Cheeky Wipes makes the whole process so simple.

The All-In-One Kit contains the following:
- 25 soft cloth baby wipes, 15cm x 15cm. You can choose from cotton terry, 'Ultimate' cotton & cotton velour or microfiber.
- 'Single-Clip' Fresh Baby Wipes container.
- 'Single-Clip' Mucky Baby Wipes container - with mesh bag insert.
- Cheeky Wipes Fresh Baby Wipes waterproof out and about travel bag.
- Cheeky Wipes Mucky Baby Wipes waterproof out and about travel bag - with mesh bag insert.
- 10 ml bottle of Fresh Baby Wipes Essential Oil Blend. You can choose from Lavender & Chamomile, Mandarin & teatree or Rose & Rose Geranium.
- 10 ml bottle of Tea Tree & Tea Tree Lemon Mucky Baby Wipes Essential Oil Blend.

Onto using the wee system! :-) I'll speak about the Fresh Wipes container first. Its so simple! You literally fill the container up with water to the fill line and add a few drops of your Fresh Wipes essential oil, I have been using the Lavendar and Chamomile one and it smells fantastic, not overpowering, just really clean. Then you pop your clean wipes in and turn them now and again to soak up that fragrant water. :-) That's it! There's a single clip on each container so everything is nice and secure. My son still tried to get into it but I'm pleased to say, he failed. :-)
Cheeky Wipes suggests that every two days you pop any unused wipes into your machine just to freshen them up. Plus, you don't need to wait for the laundered wipes to dry - just pop them back into the Fresh Wipes container with some fresh soaking solution.

Now, onto the Mucky Wipes container. Same thing again, fill it up with water to the fill line and add a few drops of the Mucky Wipes essential oil. Then attach the mesh bag insert to the wee hooks in the box and you're good to go. 

I particularly loved the Mucky/Fresh Wipes waterproof out and about bags. They don't take up much room in your baby bag for a start and if you don't like the idea of touching the "mucky" wipes at the end of a day out then all you have to do is loosen the drawstring on the bag and pop them in the machine. I love that!

You can wash the wipes anywhere from 30-70 degrees but Cheeky Wipes do suggest washing them once a week at 60 degrees. I just bung them in with my towel wash.
And just to add, the All-In-One kit is £39. You might want extra wipes if your baby is smaller but 25 wipes is more than enough for my wee boy now that he's older.
My only regret is that I didn't go with them from the beginning. I can only imagine the money I would have saved & no faffing around with cotton wool & cool boiled water in the early weeks!

Have any of you tried Cheeky Wipes? How much did you love them? :-)

Much love. 

Lisa. xx
@latte_fiend on Twitter. 

~ This product was sent to me for review purposes ~ 

Monday, 17 February 2014

A date - to go or not?

So, anyone that has read through my posts will know that I have been single for quite a while now. I've basically been single since I was 2 months pregnant. My son is now almost one! In that time so much has changed. I've changed so much!

Just recently I was asked out on a "date". In the same instance I was excited, flattered and absolutely petrified! Part of me wants to go, he's a nice guy. The other part of me wants to run and hide somewhere. Here's what has been rushing around in my head; Can I leave my baby? Will I just end up counting down the seconds wanting to rush home to him? Will I know how to hold a conversation that doesn't revolve around babies? What will I wear? How should I do my hair/makeup? All that and so much more!

This morning I woke up and decided that I would go ahead with it, if only to push myself. By this evening I was definitely not going and convinced myself that I was rushing myself.

So, have any of you been in this position? How did you handle it? Any advice or suggestions would be all gratefully received. :-)

Much love. xx

@latte_fiend on Twitter.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Thou Shalt Not Covet's Big Blog Give Away.

Over at Thou Shalt Not Covet, Michelle is having a big blog give away. She's offering over £575 worth of prizes so as you can imagine, its proving to be a popular competition.

The prizes are as follows:
  1. A large ad space on TSNC's blog for the month of April (If you’re a blogger or have a company)
  2. NastyGal Weekend Warrior Anorak £42.20 (M)
  3. NastyGal Timeless Bracelet £11.17
  4. The London Perfume Company Swarovski Aura Perfume Set £18.99
  5. Soap & Glory The-Ultimelt™-Deep-Purifying-Hot-Cloth-Cleanser from Cohorted £10.00
  6. The Handbag Shop LYDC Rounded Grab Bag £32.99
  7. Soap & Glory Bright-Here-Bright-Now™-Instant-Radiance-Energy-Boost-Balm from Cohorted £12.00
  8. Hypnotic Loris Silver & Amethyst Necklace from Violet Darkling £85.00
  9. Soap & Glory Greatest-Scrub-Of-All from Cohorted £9.00
  10. All Eyes on You Brush Set from Crownbrush £19.99
  11. Catwalk Glamour Structured Pink Across Body Bag £50
  12. NastyGal Dream In Colors Maxi Dress £29.79 (S)
  13. Balenciaga Sunglasses from Blaze Sunglasses £35
  14. NastyGal Genie byEugenia Kim Corey Wool Cap £37.23
  15. NastyGal Shoe Cult Switch Bootie £60.82 (UK5.5)
  16. NastyGal The Clear Clutch Set £21.72
  17. Soap & Glory Puffy-Eye-Attack™-Turbo-Boost-Hydragel from Cohorted £12.50
  18. Chelsea Beautique Eyebrow Kit (Colour of your choice) £35
  19. Shoes or boots of your choice from Lasula Boutique £40
  20. NastyGal Double Arrow Necklace £12.41
  21. And the second prize winner will win a large selection of beauty products from LookFantastic.
If I were to win I would be most excited to try out the Chelsea Boutique Eyebrow Kit and the Balenciaga Sunglasses. Nothing screams "summer is coming!!!" more than a pair of gorgeous sunglasses! Have a nosey, enter & good luck!


@latte_fiend on Twitter

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Alzheimer's Disease, My Experience.

"It seems that when you have cancer you are a brave battler against the disease, but when you have Alzheimer's you are an old fart. That's how people see you. It makes you feel quite alone."       -Terry Pratchett

Alzheimer's Disease, this is a topic I've wanted to talk about for a while.

My grandfather passed away at this time of year seven years ago. He passed away from complications that were linked to/and a direct result of the fact that he had Alzheimer's Disease. At the very end of 2013 my grandmother was diagnosed as having Alzheimers Disease so writing this post right now seems all the more fitting.

Can I preface this by saying that I'm not writing this to compare illnesses. I'm not writing this to say that my experience was better or worse than anyone else that is coping with a terminal illness. All I want to do is write my thoughts down and talk about my experience with this particular illness, the hard parts. Not that there any easy parts when it comes to terminal illness.
One of the things that I found most difficult, both with my grandfather and now my grandmother is that initial diagnosis. Prior to the diagnosis there are normally whispers among the family, assumptions about what the problem is. Each time I have heard the diagnosis you lose hope. You realise that this is the beginning of a long hard road for everyone involved and there is no happy ending. All you can do is slap a smile on, look after that person and enjoy the moments that would once have been small and insignificant.

The guilt. The guilt kills me. I felt guilty when I was with my grandfather and couldn't do anything to stop the confusion. I felt guilty that he managed to get out of the house when I was looking after him (I only popped to the loo for two seconds). I felt guilty when he would talk to me about things that happened 40 years ago because he thought I was someone else. Guilty because we had to make the decision to put him into the EMI unit of a home at the end. Guilty every time I had to say goodbye to him in the home. Guilty because towards the end he forgot how to eat and walk. None of it was my fault. None of it was anybody's fault. It doesn't stop the guilt though.

Marcia Wallace described this perfectly, better than I ever could. She said "I'm in awe of people out there who deal with Alzheimer's, because they have to deal with death 10 times over, year after year." She maybe doesn't mean it the way I interpret it but there's something in it that strikes a chord with me. With Alzheimer's, as the disease progresses, you lose more and more of that person. Each time I felt like I was saying goodbye, goodbye to that part of my grandfather that I had known and loved, that part that would only ever be a memory from then on.

Though, in the infamous words of Winnie The Pooh...

And now, we begin the journey with my grandmother.

If you would like to donate to the Alzheimer's Society then you can do so here.

Much love. xx

@latte_fiend on Twitter.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

My Links Of London Valentine Wishlist.

Links Of London is a website full of beautiful pieces that I often spend ages lusting after. Oh to win the lottery. :-) There are so many beautiful pieces that its hard to pick just one!
Links of London are currently running a competition for bloggers to win £1000 worth of jewellery from their collection. Imagine!!! All you have to do is create your very own Links Of London wishlist on a blog post or Pinterest board & tweet a link to it alongside this hashtag #myvalentinewishlist. It took me all day to create my list but I finally put it together.

1. ID Friendship Baby - Blue     £95

2. Effervescence Bubble Necklace     £120

3. Sweetie Signature Stud Earrings     £395

4. Celeste Rose Gold Wrap Ring     £180

5. Sweetie Essence Bracelet     £395

6. Driver Square White Watch     £350

7. Mr Men. Large Square Frame     £110

This competition is open to the general public; for more information follow this link

Monday, 10 February 2014

Dear Baby Boy....

Dear Baby Boy,

Mummy has been thinking about a few things today so I thought I would tell you about them.

  • I wish that you would kiss me with the same enthusiasm that you do when offering kisses to virtual strangers.
  • I wish you would throw your toys in the toy box as expertly as you throw your snacks around the kitchen.
  • I wish you would race to your bedroom at bedtime as quickly as you race to the bathroom when you discover the door is open.
  • I notice that you don't rip the pages out of your books like you rip them out of my magazines.
  • I'm not as silly as I look, I know that when you start clapping in that cute wee way that you're really just trying to distract me from the fact that I caught you pulling all the DVDs off the shelf again.
  • Why don't you get as excited to see me as you do when you see your granny's dog?
  • You're as complaint as you are defiant and I love it.
All of this and only 10.5 months old. I joke of course but more than anything, I hope that you never ever change. If I had to make a list of what my perfect baby would be like....its you. You make me smile every single day. You make me want to be the best person that I can be. I've never known love like it. Who needs a man on Valentine's day when I have a mini Mr Perfect at home?

Much love. xx

@latte_fiend on Twitter

Friday, 7 February 2014

17 minutes free time?

Last week Netmums said that recent research would suggest that mums get just 17 minutes "me time" a day. 17 minutes! 
As a single mother, I can definitely concur with this, assuming that they're not counting once the babies are in bed?
From the moment I wake until the moment I put the little man in bed it's all go go go. Baths, cooking, nappy changes, mum & baby groups, library visits, grocery shopping, cleaning, playing with baby, reading to baby, daily walk to get fresh air, popping in to check on elderly relatives & so on.
I don't resent this though. This is what I signed up for & while some days are exhausting I wouldn't have it any other way. As the baby grows up I will inevitably have more & more "me time" & I'm not sure that I'll be ok or happy with that option.
My "me time" comes in the evenings. Little man goes to bed at 7.30pm. I spend the next hour cooking myself a bite to eat, tidying away toys, dishes etc. Once that's done I spend a few hours doing things for me - a glass of wine, a hot bath, trashy tv, catching up with friends & passing time on various social networks. 
Realistically, I probably do get more than 17 minutes "me time" a day but it's still down in the low numbers. I just try to use my time efficiently during the day because time to myself in the evenings means more to me than a snatched few minutes during the day. 
If you're a mum, how much "me time" do you think you get? 

Busy Bee Candles, a new addiction.

From other blog posts you will notice that I adore scented candles, wax tarts, anything that makes my home smell gorgeous.
In December I came across @BusyBeeCandles on Twitter & decided to have a nosey at their website ( Big mistake! :-) I put in a small "test" order to see what I thought of them and suffice to say, I'm in love. I'm normally a die hard Yankee Candle fan & there's precious little that has made me stray from them over the years but because of Busy Bee Candles I haven't visited the Yankee Candle store since the end of last year.
At the moment I enjoy burning tartlets rather than candles because I can change the scent when it takes my fancy. Because of that reason, I'm loving Busy Bee Candle's Magik Beans. They rate their fragrances according to their strength which is a fab' idea! I tend to go for the stronger fragrances. A few Magik Beans burning in the living room & my entire house smells yummy. Their containers stack so they're not strewn all over one of my drawers. You can mix different beans to experiment and find a "recipe" you love.

Busy Bee Candles are really reasonably priced and I'm certainly spending less now per month than I was spending in Yankee Candle which only means that I can buy more! :-)
I have put in two orders recently & both have come to less than £15 & lasted me for a month. Who can complain about that?
I'm looking forward to working my way through their collection. :-)

What about you, have you used Busy Bee Candles? What did you think?

Much love.  xx

@latte_fiend on Twitter.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Swell Pets

So I found I was able to have a wee splurge recently and spoil my little Buddy, a very pampered Yorkshire terrier. Since the baby has come along I have had to forgo some of Buddy's treats for y'know...nappies, formula etc. :-)

I found a great wee site at They literally seem to have everything that a pet owner could possibly want or need. I was specifically interested in their dog section but I did have a nosey at the other areas and most, if not all, items seem to be reduced from their RRP.

Anyway, onto the fun part, the shopping! :-) I have an issue with Buddy scratching the sofa when he's trying to get comfy. It drives me absolutely bananas. I have tried putting down a blanket but he just claws at it until its moved and he's back on the sofa again. I spied the Cleo Pet Sofa Loafer and decided I had to have it. It really is a fab' item and keenly priced at £23.79. It protects the sofa with its waterproof base so if Buddy manages to get up there when he's wet it doesn't soak through to my sofa. The part that covers the armrest can be switched from one side to the other depending on the end you prefer. Buddy has tried his best to move it but its non slip so that solves that problem!

I also picked up a gorgeous wee Ancol Paw & Bone collar for £3.99. Its red and the cutest wee collar. I got a few compliments out on our daily walks this week which is always nice. :-)

Finally, I thought Buddy deserved a new toy. He loves working off some energy on tug toys so that seemed like the obvious choice. Swell Pets has 8 different dog toy sections but I find it very difficult to pass a Kong toy when I see one. They stand up to all the abuse that Buddy puts them through! I decided on the Kong Tugger Monkey which was £8.99. It took about three seconds before he was all over it, carrying it around waiting for someone to take him up on the offer. :-)

With some sites I find that they only offer free P&P when your basket reaches an extortionate total. Swell Pets offer free P&P on orders over £29.

Their customer service is friendly & fast. I literally cannot fault them & will definitely be making future purchases on their site rather than trawling local pet stores.

Have any of you shopped on Swell Pets? What was your experience?

Much love. xx

@latte_fiend on Twitter

~These products were sent to me for review purposes~

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Save, save, save!

So following @OhNoItsBex has inspired me to see what prizes I can win via blogs & Twitter competitions in 2014. In doing so I should save money which will help the purse at Christmas time, hopefully!
I'm a single mum who is in the process of becoming self employed & I've been watching the pennies so this seems like a logical step to take. 
I'm also going to do a wardrobe clean out and sell all my unwanted handbags etc. 
Wish me luck! Any tips or advice would be gratefully received.

Much love. xx

@latte_fiend on Twitter

Monday, 3 February 2014

Funky Skincare Bath Teabags

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I recently had the pleasure of reviewing Funky Skincare's novel, but absolutely fantastic, bath teabags. They're from their Wild Olive brand.
After putting the baby in bed my favourite way to unwind is to run a nice hot bath and soak in it with a glass of wine. I normally opt for bath bombs from Lush but sometimes I don't want to be covered in "bits". Its just something else to clean up and trust me, with a rambunctious son, I don't need anything else to clean! :-)

The Funky Skincare teabags solve this problem for me because everything stays contained in the teabag while infusing the water with its delicious scent. The water doesn't colour either, just in case you're wondering. The bath teabags work like a regular teabag - run your bath, pop the teabag in and let it stew. Simple! Then you can either leave it in when you descend in relaxation mode or discard it.
The teabags are priced at £1.75 for a single teabag, or if you fancy treating yourself you can get an assortment pack of the five fragrances for £8.50. Very affordable considering I spend £2.50+ on various bath bombs. Its Mother's Day soon, wouldn't the assortment pack make a lovely wee pampering gift?
The five scents available are:
Lemon, Maychang and Green Tea Bath Tea Bag
Lime, Hymalayan Cedarwood and Green Tea Bath Tea Bag
Mandarin, Bergamot and Orange Blossom Bath
Tuberose & Jasmine Bath
Lavender & White Tea
I tried the Tuberose & Jasmine bag and the fragrance was beautiful and not at all overpowering like some bath fragrances can be. I felt relaxed and refreshed afterwards, which is always a positive at the end of a kid fuelled day! A few friends visited later that evening and commented on the nice smell in the house.
Funky Skincare aren't just about bath teabags. They stock an array of products for your bath, face, body, hands, accessories and gift sets.
I've got an eye on Ora Naturals Argan & Manuka Daily Face Cream and Cheeky Cow cosmetic bag for me and a Lime and Coconut Souffle Bath Melt for my mum.

Have any of you tried Funky Skincare products? What did you try? How did you find them?

Much love. xx


@latte_fiend on Twitter.

Baby Boy's Books Of The Month (Feb14)

I love reading books to my little boy and he loves listening. Even at eleven months he becomes engrossed in the pictures as I read and turn each page. When we come to a favourite page he'll put his hand on it so that he can look for a wee bit longer. :-)
I'm so happy that he enjoys books. I had a huge appetite for reading when I was a child (even as an adult!) and when working in daycare and now as a childminder, reading stories is one of my favourite parts of the daily routine.

Reading aloud:
teaches a baby about communication
introduces concepts such as numbers, letters, colors, and shapes in a fun way
builds listening, memory, and vocabulary skills
gives babies information about the world around them

I buy books for my son every month (I need a spending ban on that!) and we also go to the library once a week.
Based on all of that I have decided to do a monthly blog post about what books particularly caught my son's attention. As I said earlier, he's currently only eleven months so his favourite books are as much about the illustrations as they are about the flow of the story.

So, all that said, February's favourites were:

The Gruffalo's Child - Julia Donaldson
Who, whatever their age, doesn't love a bit of Julia Donaldson? I really get into playing the characters in her books and O spends most of the book looking up at me, smiling at the different voices. I LOVE JULIA DONALDSON. There, I said it. ;-)

A Bit Lost - Chris Haughton
I didn't really enjoy reading this book to be honest (I know, its not about me!) The story itself reminds me a lot of Julia Donaldson's Monkey Puzzle. It just wasn't as good unfortunately.

Puddles and Bubbles - Driver Dan's Story Train
O watches Driver Dan's Story Train on Ceebeebies while I'm preparing his meal and loves it. Its one of the few times I know that he won't venture outside of the living room so this book was a no-brainer.

Magic Forest - Peep-Po
This is a pull-tab book and when O understood how it worked he loved trying to pull the tab out by himself and "oooohing" when a new character appeared. :-)

Cleo The Cat - Caroline Mockford
Cute board book about a stray cat that is looking for a new home. I love the flow of this book because the language is simple yet rhymes. I find rhyming stories very enjoyable to read. The illustrations are bright and colourful which is right up O's street!

That's Not My Plane - Usborne
That's Not My Lion - Usborne
That's Not My Meerkat - Usborne
O loves the different textures within these books. They in turn help to develop his wee sensory skills and language.

What books are your children currently enjoying?
Much love. xx


@latte_fiend on Twitter.