31 July 2014

Review: HelloCanvas

Taking photo's of my son is such a joy my heart burst every time he says "take a photo mum, cheese!". He loves having his photo taken, don't get me wrong he doesn't always stand still but he still loves to pose and it's a delight to have the photo's printed and kept to treasure forever. Once in a while you get a fab photo though and you just know this photo is meant to be blown up large scale, printed on a canvas and hung on the wall for all to see.

Last year we visited a photographer for some quick profile shots and he offered to take a few quick snaps of Logan. Our profile snaps were lovely but the photo of Logan was amazing and I couldn't wait to have it printed on a much grander scale. Luckily for me the very generous people from HelloCanvas asked if I would like to see the lovely quality of their products and I quickly agreed.

Special delivery
HelloCanvas say: "HelloCanvas was founded in 2004 and is the largest canvas prints website in the United Kingdom and throughout Europe! This is only possible because of your trust in our company, in combination with our enthusiastic team of 53 employees, who work each day with tremendous dedication and with lots of fun to deliver a great product. We all think we might have the best job in the world!"

HelloCanvas are a small company but they don't scrimp on quality, they definitely strive for excellence and have some great low prices to match. In fact their starting price for canvases is £8.00! That's super cheap and such a good price for the quality. Their frames are 1.2 inches deep and the canvas is made from 100% cotton. They print using the most advanced printing techniques there is today and a really interesting and brilliant fact is that the ink is UV resistant therefore never fades in the sun! Amazing.

On the wall in the hall upstairs
When the canvas arrived I must say I was very excited. I had lots of baby photos of Logan around the house but what was really needed was some toddler snaps. As you can see from the photo the canvas arrived well packaged in it's own perfectly sized box with plenty of bubble wrap to keep it safe. This canvas is 24 x 24 inches and costs £40 which I think is very reasonable as it's quite big. I got the other half to put this up in our hall way upstairs and it looks really good. It makes what was once an empty unloved space look more homely. Plus I get to see my little boys gorgeous chops even when he's in bed.

Ordering your very own canvas from HelloCanvas couldn't be easier. You simply click to order your own, upload your photo, pick your size, enter you details and pay. Simple as that really. They even accept paypal as well as visa/mastercard etc so plenty of different ways to pay. Delivery doesn't take long either, HelloCanvas always aim to deliver within 3 business days which is super fast compared to a few companies out there. There's even a handy Explanations page in case you get stuck with anything when ordering.

Overall I love my HelloCanvas print of Logan. It's super quality, very sturdy, fast delivery, great price and looks every bit the business. I just don't have a bad word to say about it. Everyone who's seen the canvas thinks it's fab and I couldn't agree more.

Mummies rating - 10/10

Please visit www.hellocanvas.co.uk for more products and information. You can also see what HelloCanvas get up to on Facebook and Twitter so why not pop over and tell them The Breastest News sent you.

30 July 2014

Second Time Round

One of the other reasons blogging took a back seat last year was because the other half and I were trying for child number 2 and it just didn't seem to be happening at all. I can only imagine the stress of our son being diagnosed with autism didn't help in any way as you're meant to be all relaxed about trying for a baby and "don't think about it and it'll happen eventually". Well all I could do was think about it, topped with my son being diagnosed with autism I felt like a failure as a parent. I know it wasn't anyone's fault for my son's autism or not getting pregnant but when you're feeling low everything seems to look a lot worse than it is.

Anyway I'm glad to say this year has been better than last and I am now 17 weeks pregnant and expecting baby number two in January 2015. A long while off yet but everything seems to be going ok so far and at the 12 week scan there was definitely a baby in there which put me at ease a bit. Before the scan I actually became very paranoid and thought I must have been making up my pregnancy symptoms even though I'd received 2 positive tests at home and 1 at the doctors. I suppose we were just trying for what felt like ages I couldn't quite believe it had happened!

Bump at 15 weeks
 I'm feeling much the same as I did when pregnant with Logan; feeling yucky and sick up until about 16 weeks, some sickness, tiredness however this time I have a sore painful back much quicker. It's so sore at points I'm hobbling around and if I do too much one day I wake up the next day feeling like I've been ten rounds in a boxing ring. Not great but can't complain much because at least I'm actually pregnant, hurray! I've been referred for physio although remembering from the last time they didn't do much, just gave me a few exercises to do and a support belt for my back and bump. Maybe this time I'll end up on crutches!?

People have already been guessing if I'm going to have a girl or a boy which is lovely. I have no idea myself at the moment although last time I thought I was having a boy as I couldn't think of any girls names. The other half and I aren't finding out the sex of this baby either, we'd quite like a nice surprise at the end. All part of the fun. Logan's very excited to become a big brother which is lovely but I'm sure it'll be a shock to his system when the baby arrives and the poor dogs won't know what's hit them when a screaming baby is brought into the house. I'm sure it'll all settle down though and everyone will take their normal place in the family unit.

Bump on holiday
 So there you go, finally pregnant again and looking forward to our new babies arrival next year. There's plenty to keep me busy till the end of this year so I'm assuming the time will fly in! Lets hope all goes smoothly or as smooth as can be.

29 July 2014

Where do I Start!?

As the title of this blog post says, where do I start!? I haven't blogged properly or taken any sort of interest in it for a whole year now. I sort of fell out of love with it really and a few things were happening with family life at the time so blogging took a back seat.

One of the major things in my families life that would change everything (for the better really) is that my son, Logan, was finally diagnosed with Autism. My other half and I had know Logan was a bit different to other children a few months after his first birthday. There was always a small niggle in the back of our minds, we tried not to compare him to children of the same age but how can you not? It's his peer group and I know every child develops at certain stages but they have milestones to reach don't they? And unfortunately he just wasn't reaching some. Plus he was showing other different behaviours such as hand flapping when he was very excited or becoming really uncomfortable and agitated in loud noisy places. He also wouldn't talk, point to anything or respond to his name. It's like he wasn't much interested unless he was doing something that he wanted to do.

Since Logan was so young when we picked up on his different behaviours we were told things like "oh he's so young and boys develop slower than girls, he'll probably grow out of it." or "maybe you should wait till he's at school before you have him tested for autism, he's so young they probably won't even be able to tell." or my favourite "I didn't talk till I was 4 and look at me now, I'm totally fine." I know people meant well and were trying to reassure us but we just knew something was different. At one point though as Logan progressed, whilst we were waiting for tests and also going through tests, he did much improve and catch up on some of his milestones and I think we tried to convince ourselves that maybe he didn't have autism. Maybe we were overreacting, paranoid parents that had worried about nothing and wasted health professionals time? However in June last year we got the news that our beloved son did indeed have autism, it sort of knocks the wind out of you, like you're having an out of body experience and watching your body react from some distant corner in the room. Even though the news was expected really, you try and tell yourself as a parent that my child couldn't possibly have autism. I didn't do anything wrong when I was pregnant! I didn't drink, smoke, take drugs, eat any dodgy cheese or pate! Why is this happening to my family!? But it was and it wasn't anyone's fault so we had to deal with it.

Posing for the camera in Anstruther

At first we weren't sure what to do. Do we tell people do we not tell people? But being autistic wasn't anything to be ashamed of so why hide it? So we told close family and friends to start with and as we gradually came to terms with autism and how we could best support Logan, we eventually started being able to tell complete strangers. So if Logan should say hit a child for no apparent reason, we knew it wasn't his fault, it was the autism (like some kind of dark entity) and we could tell the child's mother/ father etc what had happened and why. We would always make Logan apologise though and try to explain to him why hitting was wrong.

Anyway after being to so many different classes and autism parent groups I think the other half and I both feel really comfortable openly supporting and discussing autism with anyone. Like I said before it's nothing to be ashamed of and if anything having the diagnosis has helped us to help Logan in so many ways which we couldn't before. When he was at nursery we were able to put special measures in place, with the help of the nursery, to make Logan's life so much easier. We can now prepare so much more for trips out and about and can judge his reactions to certain environments to make places and experiences as pleasant as possible for him. We know his triggers, what sets him off and can now avoid or redirect where possible. Some people are even surprised when we tell them Logan's autistic, apart from the hand flapping you wouldn't know he was any different from any other 4 year old.

So Logan being diagnosed with autism wasn't the end of the world, it's actually been the best thing ever. He was going to have autism anyway no matter what we did but having the diagnosis helps us and other people understand him better and maybe appreciate the way he acts a bit more. He's turned out to be such a chatty happy social little boy. Not something you would typically associate with autism but everything's different. He has so many friends I can't keep up with all their names and nobody has a bad word to say about him which is lovely considering how testing he can be sometimes for the people who care for him.

Enjoying a day out at the zoo

There you have it though, one of the reasons why blogging wasn't really important to me or thought about much last year. I had so much more to think about other than what I was going to write about on my blog. I am hoping to get back into it though but I'm going to take it at a slower pace this time and do it when I want to do it not because I feel like I have to or to keep up my stats or any of that nonsense. Some things in life are more important...

Introducing the Revolutionary Magic Mitten


Every once in a while a truly revolutionary product hits the market and the incredible Magic Mitten is one such example. This ingenious product is set to help parents across the world instantly settle distressed babies and regain precious sleep!

The patented Magic Mitten is the first ever handheld baby calming aid that plays settling white noise sounds that only your baby can hear. The specially designed sounds have a swiftly calming effect that will soothe your baby whenever it’s distressed. Even babies with colic are gently soothed into a calm state, removing a stressful burden from sleep deprived mums and dads.

The clever design allows you to securely and easily hold your baby while holding the Magic Mitten to your baby’s ear so it can be used by anyone, at anytime, at home or out and about. Simply pop it in your baby bag wherever you and baby go.

  • Fixed volume providing safe decibel level                
  • Automatically switches off after 10 minutes use for safety and prolonged battery life
  • Three sound options, including mother's heartbeat, ocean waves and rain on a tin roof
  • Triple layered comfort pad for cushioning and sound diffusion
  • Removable comfort pad for easy cleaning
  • Rechargeable via AC/DC charger or USB connection included 

The Magic Mitten is set to hit the UK this month and will be available for £39.99 from www.jojomamanbebe.co.uk as well as a number of carefully selected retailers.

The Magic Mitten Story

The Magic Mitten was created in New Zealand by father Mark Hubble to help soothe his new daughter Lily. When Lily got herself in a state she was very difficult to settle and Mark and his wife exasperated themselves trying all kinds of things to calm her; dummies, pacing, rocking, singing, driving around in the car...the list goes on. Mark believed there must be a better way. So he began researching the calming effects of white noise and vowed to create a product that brought together the perfect sounds at the perfect pitch. 

Mark began designing an effective, safe and portable settling aid, that could be operated while holding a baby, and that didn’t drive everyone in the vicinity crazy. Mark's initial prototype was so successful at calming his daughter Lily that he knew he was onto something. The results were like magic!

Together with friends Simon and Dean, Mark developed, patented and began selling the Magic Mitten, which is now being distributed all over the world. 

To find out more about Magic Mitten you can visit www.magicmitten.com 


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