Sunday 29 November 2015

My Sunday Photo 29/11/15 My name is...

It's not a great photo, taken on my iPhone, blurry but it tickled me! Eliot found it hillarious putting on these clear lens glasses, he reminded me of a character from Harry Enfield & Chums (if you watched that back in the day) 

'My name is Michael Caine and I am a nosy neighbour!'


Thursday 26 November 2015

Salcura Bioskin Products Review & Giveaway ***CLOSED***

I was asked by the lovely team at Salcura if I'd like to try out some of their award winning products from their Bioskin range to celebrate their relaunch. They are ideal for those of us that have dry skin problems such as eczema or psoriasis. As I do suffer with eczema on my hands I was keen to try them out. When my hands get bad I apply a prescribed steroid cream which I'm not keen on doing because it thins the skin.
One aspect that made the Bioskin products particularly appealing to me was that they contain naturally active ingredients. Free from the steroids, SLS, parabens, lanolin, phthalates, antibiotics and paraffin.
Salcura state these products are gentle on the skin and work with it to aid its own natural healing process.  The re-launched  products contain the same formulas, the same ingredients, now in one unified therapy system and with a brand new product, DermaSerum. Thse products are suitable for adults and children over 12 years old.
I've been giving these products a good try over the past couple of months, here a my thoughts.
When I excitedly opened up my box of goodies I quite liked the re-lauch packaging, simple and sleek making it easy to read what's on the box.
 The first product I tried was the face cleanser, I am a big fan of face wash and would choose it any day over other cleansers, therefore I was looking forward to my next face wash!
 Its key ingredient is sea buckthorn, rich in nourishing omegas. The packaging states it is sourced from a coastal plant.
Orange in colour, it's not the most pleasant looking face wash but it smells great. I find it to have a fresh and fruity scent which reminds me of oranges. It lathers up nicely and leaves my skin feeling squeaky clean. Although I don't have any dry skin issues on my face, I felt happy I wasn't using something full of parabens etc. I'm impressed with how long the bottle has lasted, it's still going strong now!

After my face had been cleansed I used the derma serum just like a moisturiser after washing my face both in the day and night. It rubbed in to my skin easily and left it feeling smooth and moisturised. As it's in a smaller bottle it didn't last as long and ran out in just over a month, which isn't bad considering I was using it twice a day.
I'm not sure if it was one or a combination both of the products I was using on my face but a few days after starting to use the products a few spots came out on my chin area. I personally didn't find that an issue as I know a change in skincare can cause spots and they disappeared pretty quickly.

I found the body cleanser had a similar scent to the face cleanser with a gingery hint. Like the face cleanser, it's key ingredient is sea buckthorn and it is enriched with omega oils, vitamins and minerals.
As I don't suffer with eczema on my body I can't comment on how it helped with dry/itchy skin but I can say my mind was at ease as I was using another product free from SLS, artificial fragrance, paraffin and lanolin. Again the bottle is a generous size and lasted for ages, it would have lasted for longer if my other half hadn't have been using it too!

The last two products I have been using are the Dermaspray and the Zeoderm. The Dermasparay is intended for regular daily use as a source of moisture. It's recommended as an alternative to the usual emollient creams.  It aids healthy skin growth 'by nourishing new  skin cells in their early development'.
The  Zeoderm is an alternative to steroid creams, something I avoid as much as possible. Its key ingredient is natural volcanic zeolite which is sourced from volcanic deposits. On the box it is advised to be used alongside the Dermaspray 'when skin is going through a particularly bad phase'.
I was really intriuged to see how well these products would work as my hands to suffer with eczema more than usual these days!
I really like the natural scent in both of these products, the Dermaspray has a recognisable tea tree smell, which I love as tea tree products have worked on my skin since I was a teenager. The Zeoderm reminds me of Turkish rose scent.
I began by using these two products at night before going to bed, I sprayed the Dermaspray on my hands and rubbed it in before applying the Zeoderm cream. Both are absorbed quickly and easily and felt really soothing on my skin.
For the first few days I noticed the eczema around my hands was clearing up. I must admit I have been a bit rubbish at using products consistently on my hands. When my hands began to feel better I forgot to keep using them. When my skin became irritated again I resumed using them but I didn't feel they were working as well. I explained this to the PR who'd sent me the products and she advised me to use them more frequently during the day. Again I must hold my hands up and admit I didn't really do it, mainly because when I'm at work I'm so busy I literally don't have the time to remember to apply it. I'm paying the price now as my hands have some extremely dry/sore patches at the moment!

Overall I really enjoyed sampling these lovely products and think they're worth trying out if you suffer with the skin issues mentioned above, or simply if you are looking to avoid products with all the 'nasties' in them.

I do have a giveaway to win all the Bioskin products I tried out (see photo below) for one lucky person to win!Enter via the Rafflecopter.

* I was sent these products in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday 22 November 2015

My Sunday Photo 22/11/15 Not Quite Scooting!

Yesterday Eliot and I took his scooter out, it was freezing cold but we still enjoyed getting out and about. He did make me laugh as he wasn't riding the scooter but straddling it walking with his legs either side.
If he did put both his feet on and I pulled him along he kept saying he didn't like it. After he'd had enough of straddling the scooter I had to carry it! It was nice mummy and son time.

Saturday 21 November 2015

Toddler Clothes & Shoe Wishlist

I think I've said it before, but these days I much prefer shopping for clothes for Eliot than myself. Long gone the days I would get a little too excited about a trip to Topshop on Oxford street, these days it's all about the toddler clothing department!
Mr Eliot's wardrobe is probably (definitely) full enough for autumn/winter this year, naturally that doesn't stop me browsing online and in the shops, looking for bits to add to Eliot's wardrobe. To be fair he does need some new footwear for the winter, I just need to get him measured first!
So here are a few bits that have caught my eye and that I will hopefully adding to Eliot's collection!
  1. These super cute soft leather Chelsea boots are by Chipmunks from Brantano. I think they'd look great with lots of pieces from Eliot's wardrobe, just what he needs for winter.
  2. I just love these fire engine pyjamas from Gap, the white & blue stripes  with the red really caught my eye. As Eliot loves vehicles they'd be perfect for him!
  3. You may already know I have a thing for Zara Baby leggings and was super happy when they extended their sizing up to 3-4 years. I'm a fan a grey and I'd be able to talk about the numbers on them with Eliot, he's starting to pick up a lot of things and remember them now. Who wouldn't want a piece of clothing that is also a learning resource?!
  4. The jeans are from next, I adore the tartan turn ups at the bottom and think the elasticated waistbands are much more comfortable for tots. 
  5. My dad calls Eliot his 'champ' so I think this sweater will be a definite buy, I love the green and it's a colour that really seems to suit Eliot.
  6. I love the stripes of multi-colour on these Adidas trainers also from Brantano. The fact that they have a Velcro fastening is also a massive plus point, if you've experienced a toddler you'll understand why!
So there we have it, just a few of the bits I've got my eye on for Eliot. What toddler clothing and footwear is on your wishlist?

Thursday 19 November 2015

A Second Febrile Convulsion

In the paediatric assessment unit 

I started to write this back in June, I always planned to complete it. Now Eliot has suffered his third febrile convulsion it has encouraged me to get on with this one so I can start the next. By sharing our experiences I hope in some way they can be helpful to others, even if it's helpful to just one person, my job is done.

It's been over a month since Eliot suffered a second febrile convulsion.
He had been suffering from a cough for the previous two weeks, and I'd made a couple of out of hours appointments whilst staying at my parents as he'd become under the weather. The out of hours GP's diagnosed him with a sore throat. Within a couple of days he seemed to be as right as rain apart from the cough.
Our trip to Alton Towers was the following weekend. We had driven up to Rugeley to stay the night, so that we would have a shorter journey to the theme park. I was really looking forward to taking Eliot to CBeebies as a bank holiday treat.
When we arrived we checked in to a Travelodge and headed out for a walk. Later we went out for dinner before returning to the Travelodge. Eliot had been absolutely fine, his usual self. He went down to sleep no problems.
During the night he awoke crying, I assumed it might have been a bad dream and went over to put his dummy in. When I felt him he felt quite hot, (stupidly) I hadn't bought the thermometer with us so couldn't check his temperature. The room was quite warm and stuffy so at first I wasn't sure if that was the reason he seemed hot. For the rest of the night he slept next to me, although he was unsettled to begin with. The next morning he awoke still feeling warm, so I went over to the petrol station to buy some calpol (as I'd stupidly forgot to bring any of that too!)
Getting Eliot to take medicine is a nightmare but we managed to get some in. Within half an hour he seemed a bit perkier and ate some food.
We needed to make the decision whether or not to head to Alton Towers or home. In the end we decided to head to the park and if Eliot was unwell we would leave.
On route we stopped off to get some food. As I was driving out of the car park I turned to check on Eliot and was met by the sight of him convulsing. I literally stopped the car where it was, jumped out and ran round to get Eliot out his car seat. I was really conscious that there was a risk of  Elot swallowing his tongue so I wanted to get him on his side. The OH called an ambulance and that was when we realised we had no idea where we were. We had just pulled in to a retail park but didn't know where. Further down a man was crossing the road, the OH stopped him and he told the 999 operator where we were. I held Eliot on his side in my arms where he continued to convulse, making rasping noises and frothing at the mouth. A terrifying sight that I'd really hoped I wouldn't see ever again.
A single paramedic in a car arrived first, took all the information while checking Eliot's stats and giving him oxygen. It was then Eliot started to come round from the fit and began to cry.

The paramedic asked us what happened and Eliot's history with convulsions. Shortly after another ambulance arrived, after further talking Eliot was taken in the ambulance to Stafford hospital with the OH. I followed in my car and cried.
When we arrived at the hospital I needed to park the car so I wasn't with Eliot when he was taken through to A&E. I had to check in with the A&E reception and give them all our details before I was taken through to Eliot and the OH. 
After a wait, a doctor came and checked him over, he had a sore throat, she then asked her colleague to check his ear as well. 
We were then told that his left ear drum was perforated but it was an old perforation. This information came as a bit of a shock as Eliot had never suffered with any ear problems.
We were then sent to the paediatric assessment unit so Eliot could be assessed by the doctors there.
Eliot spent most of the afternoon asleep on my lap, his temperature and other stats taken regularly. He was also given some paracetamol and had some numbing spray sprayed on to his throat.
When he was seen by the first paediatric doctor he agreed there was a perforation in his ear drum. We then had another wait before we were seen by the senior doctor (who was rather interesting to say the  least!) he couldn't agree that Eliot did have an ear perforation. He wanted us to come back the following day and see the ear nose and throat team but we couldn't do that as we were in Stafford without anywhere to stay for another night. So we were told to take him to A&E at our local hospital so they could do a quick referral to the ENT team.
Whilst waiting Eliot's temperature started to creep back up, one of the nurses gave him some ibuprofen. Within half an hour he was running round the ward! It's amazing how quickly he felt much better, such a relief!
At around 7pm we were given discharge letter along with some throat spray. The OH & I were nervous about the journey home in case Eliot had another febrile convulsion and we would be in the car on a motorway. Fortunately he slept most of the way home.
The next day I took Eliot to A&E as advised. The doctor we saw said he could see a perforation and called up to the ENT to get us an appointment.
A couple of days later we saw the ENT doctor who had a look in Eliot's ears and confirmed he could see the perforation. He went to have a chat with the senior doctor. Next yet another doctor had a look in Eliot's ear but he wasn't convinced that he could see a perforation. So overall four doctors said they could see a perforation and two couldn't. It seemed strange especially as it was the senior doctors who couldn't see/confirm a perforation. I was told even if it was they wouldn't do anything unless it was causing Eliot problems. I was just told to protect it from soapy water with cotton wool and to go to our GP if I had concerns in the future. Thankfully his ears don't seem to be a problem and his hearing appears normal.
I really hoped that would be the last febrile convulsion I would see but as he had a third one last week it's more likely they will be a common occurrence.
Have your children suffered with febrile convulsions or a perforated ear drum?
I'm really interested to hear your experiences!

Sunday 8 November 2015

My Sunday Photo 8/11/15

It's not a great but this photo really sums up how I felt about full time teaching this week, 'cray cray'.
That's my car in the distance, this was one evening when I was leaving work. Apart from one other car and the school minibus, mine was the only car left in the car park.
 It had been an INSET day so the children hadn't been in but I still found myself working past the time I'd usually stay until. No matter how many hours of work I put in, there are always other tasks that need completing. It is just crazy! 


Saturday 7 November 2015

Returning To Full Time Teaching

My Role Play Area
You may or may not have noticed that my blog has been rather quiet of late, I haven't written a post for almost two months. In September I returned to full time teaching in a reception class, which is a pretty new age to me. I've mainly taught in key stage one (year one & two) so it's taking a bit of getting used to. I actually started my teacher training on the 3-7 years route then swapped to 5-11 in my third year as I didn't think working in the early yeas was for me after all.
Eight weeks and a half term down I'm really enjoying it. Enjoying doing something that is 'just me'.
Even though I'm enjoying it, it has been really tough, trying to juggle being a mum, looking after the house whilst teaching has been pretty exhausting. There's the never ending loads washing to do, cleaning, cooking etc at home. At work (which also comes home at times) there's the planning, classroom upkeep, teaching, assessing etc to do.
 I'd love to be a 'pinterest mum', to me that would be perfectly organised with a pristine home and plenty of time to spare. Unfortunately I'm finding there are simply not enough hours in the day and getting the work/life balance right is a challenge. I'm sure all you other working parents can relate!
I actually can't believe we are in November! September flew past in a whirlwind of settling children in to my class, getting my head round collecting evidence for the reception baseline assessments and some difficult behaviour from Eliot at home.
Getting my head round how a reception class is set up, utilised and managed during the day has been a learning curve. Having a home corner/role play area in my classroom is also something I'm not used to. In September it started out as being a home which I didn't really do anything to. Over half term I changed it to a classroom which I really enjoyed doing. Some of the children in my class already enjoyed playing 'teachers' so it seemed like a great idea to encourage them to use their imaginations and develop their vocabulary.
As you can see in the photos I included the aspects most classrooms have, teachers desk, book corner, children's work table and an ICT area which you can't see but consists of my old commodore amiga 500 keyboard.
After my maternity leave ended in 2014 I went back to teaching part time, meaning I shared a class with another teacher. One of the things I've enjoyed the most since returning full time is that this class are my class. No picking up where someone else left off or leaving work you'd really like to continue with, everything is your sole responsibility (which is where the workload increases).
So I thought I'd share the pros and cons of teaching full time from my own personal experience for anyone else who may be considering it...
  • Behaviour expectations are established by you
  • You know what has been taught and how well the children have understood because you have delivered the lessons
  • Work does not have to be rushed to be completed
  • Rules & classroom routine are what you have set up
  • You take the class through their week of learning
  • You make more of the weekends & evenings with your family
  • workload is immense & YOU are completely responsible for keeping on top of it
  • Less time with your own children
  • You don't have someone to share the big jobs with (like reports at the end of the year),
  • You are at work five days of the week
So there you have it, a quick update on how I've found returning to teaching full time. It of course is the main reason my blog has been so quiet!
I'd really love to hear your experiences of returning to work full time whether in teaching or another job!

Thank you so much for stopping by! I appreciate comments and read all of them!