Last Minute Plans?

Last Minute Plans?

If you’re like me and always have last minute plans and you only trust your children with certain people, finding childcare, especially at short notice can be a bloody pain if not near impossible.

Now I love my kids don’t get me wrong, but they aren’t exactly angels all the time. They need attention, conversation and most of all to be looked after safely when either myself or Alex cant be around. Finding a trusted babysitter takes time, much like finding that hairdresser that actually does what you asked for or the nail tech that can actually recreate that picture you found.

It’s like dating, you have to try a few before you find what works for you as a parent. Now i’m not suggesting you date your babysitter, this isn’t some kind of reality show, but when it comes to your kids you want to make sure its right.

I’m a working mum, as anyone who follows me on social media will know, working and managing (well attempting to manage) three small children and a baby is nothing short of chaotic to say the least.

I have one babysitter at home but there are times when she isn’t available and I have work or other commitments. This is why I use Bubble, which is an app that allows you to search for a babysitter that your friends or connections have used and left a review about, so you know if they are trustworthy and safe.

( https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/joinbubble.com )

I use the Bubble app when I have last minute work, where I can take the kids, but I need someone there with me to manage them whilst I work. For example, when I am on the radio and the kids can be there but just not on the radio, or when I am on This Morning or GMB – it means I can take the kids with me, and when I’m actually on air for that 10-15 minutes, I know they are safe in the green room, or I can see them through the glass.

The creators of Bubble are parents themselves, they understand the pain of the dreaded ‘sorry can’t get a sitter’ text. They also understand that when you are looking for a babysitter, the first people you ask for recommendations are your friends and family – which is what Bubble is, an app to ask for recommendations from people you know.

I love being a mum, I love my career, and I have no issue whatsoever saying I need help getting on top of both.

I’m also a human being, I need me time, a bath, a haircut, sometimes self-care is the best medicine when life gets overwhelming. There’s a massive stigma about working parents, and parents asking for help. However, getting that extra bit of assistance can actually help you be a better parent, it gives you more time to get organized and spend the quality time with your children that they actually need. Happy parent, happy child, happy life.

Of course, the key to an App like Bubble is trust, we’re talking about our kids here, so who we hire to take care of them is one hell of an important choice. 

Bubble simplifies the whole shenanigan, you get to see all the sitters around you and read their reviews from other local parents and crucially, see which ones are known to and used by your friends and community. You can see which other parents from your children’s school use the App and see which sitters they use, making Bubble easy to talk to and connect with other parents in the same situation as yourself. Bubble isn’t like the usual childcare agencies as it prides itself on finding the best sitter for you within your own social circle.

I’m not sure if its a mum thing, but I never do anything without reading the reviews, and the feedback on this App has been absolutely incredible! Each and every sitter you will be able to view has passed an online ID check, an online background check and is also insured. If you’d also like your sitter to have a DBS check, you can make this one of your preferences when you search!

Bubble independently verifies this too so you know you can trust it. I don’t think there’s anything quite as stressful as trying to find childcare cover, especially at short notice. As every mother/father knows, taking care of children is  incredibly demanding both physically and mentally, I’ve used Bubble to get a sitter to pop round for a couple of hours just so I can have some time to work or tidy the bloody house whilst she entertains (confines) the kids in one room.

Taking care of children is as much about looking after yourself as them, there’s no way you can give your kids 100{2ce2cf7ad3a51bc0ac64d8202c07acb09bafcb010a9be283a41b17e93f606e6c} when you’re running on empty.

These everyday things that I definitely took for granted before the kids came along. With Bubble I get to choose exactly which sitter is right for me, with a full profile, and list of information about the person who’ll be watching my kids, who better to make that decision than me right?! Its all about freeing up that extra bit of time so I can be the best version of myself to raise my kids, now that’s something I’m passionate about.

You can check them out here:-

Insta handle is: @bubblebabysittingapp

www.joinbubble.com

Apple:  https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/bubble-find-a-babysitter-now/id1089980698?mt=8

Android:  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tribo.bubbleapp&hl=en_GB

BOOK NOW

BOOK NOW

CLICK HERE TO BOOK

 

Mother Of Maniacs Jessica Cunningham (BBC Apprentice, ITV Good Morning Britain, Loose Women) presents an intimate, inspirational, high energy mental, #mindset workout with some of the UK’s most successful, celebrity influencers and entrepreneurs.

At the stunningly decadent venue, Menagerie Manchester; Visitors will hear and learn some incredible motivational stories and techniques from our panel of MINDSET ambassadors, LIVE on stage, featuring;

  • SAS superstar dad of five Ant Middleton (C4;SAS, Who Dares Wins/ Mutiny)
  • West Londons’ finest Mumtrapaneur extraordinaire Binky Felstead (C4 Made in Chelsea)
  • ITV’s resident Psychologist Emma Kenny (This Morning)
  • Author & Business guru and mother of three Noor Hibbert

CLICK HERE TO BOOK

In addition to the talks, during the three-hour event; visitors can mingle with a host of successful parents/bloggers and celebrities who will be sharing their pearls of wisdom, offering advice on how they juggle parenthood with a successful career.

Whether you want to learn how to turn your social media into a money-making-machine or simply uncover the self-belief it takes to start your own business or create that product you have been dreaming of, this is the event for you!

If you genuinely want to get out of your current situation, want a better life but feel un-motivated and don’t know where the heck to start, or just want to be within dancing distance of the stars or meet some of the UK’s hottest business talent, then join us at:

Menagerie, Manchester M3 5JL

Wednesday October 24th 6PM – 9PM

Those looking to continue the party and dine at Menagerie and enjoy a 25{2ce2cf7ad3a51bc0ac64d8202c07acb09bafcb010a9be283a41b17e93f606e6c} discount off food.

 

CLICK HERE TO BOOK


UPDATE – FINAL FEW TICKETS REMAINING!

Crystal life

Crystal life

So, I haven’t wrote a blog post in quite a while, slightly embarrassing. So i thought the best way to start it up again would be to start with a new energy, and my crystals give me a new energy! Now i know some of you reading this may think that i am bat shizzle crackers, the truth is, i probably am a little!
 
People use crystals in all different ways, perhaps they hold one whilst meditating, create a grid with them,  create beautiful spaces in their homes, carry them with them on a daily basis or place them on their bodies to balance their energy or bring them luck, money, love, friendship, positive vibes, or whatever it may be for that person.
 
The Crystals i bought were to give me motivation, energy, and positive vibes, as for the past week or so, I have just felt Low energy! Sometimes all you need to have is a comforting Crystal inside your pocket to remind you that everything will be ok! To some of you, that may sound bonkers, but to those who know, you know what that feels like. When I feel emotional, stressed or overwhelmed, a little special Crystal
inside my purse that I can hold in my hand, is all it takes to feel calm & at ease!
 
I wanted to write this blog post, as i honestly feel different when i wear, hold or meditate with Crystals. I know that to some people even a small everyday task is a lot to bare, this last week i have felt like that, the stresses of work, kids and not eating right. This morning, I opened up my little delivery and as crazy as this sounds, as soon as i held my new bracelets, and scented Crystals, i felt calm, OK, recharged, energized and as if a new lease of confidence had entered my brain! The strange thing is, i haven’t wrote a blog post in around 6 months and the day I receive my Crystals, I feel motivated to take on the day and get writing.
 
Maybe you are an avid crystal fan, or just want to know more, I’ll be honest I had always felt compelled towards crystals but I didn’t have a bloody clue what they all meant, or what they all were,  or where to bloody well start with them! Then on good old faithful Instagram laid me the way to two amazing girls who run www.crystalharmonyuk.co.uk ! It also helps that the two girls are very trendy and relatable!
 
Honestly, if you want to know anything about crystals and what they do, contact them or follow them on Instagram crystalharmonyuk
 
If you’re just starting out, here are my top 5 crystals and what they do:
 
Rose Quartz – Think LUUUURVE! This crystal is
bursting with love so if you are looking to attract
a love partner, or add more love into a current
relationship … or maybe you need to love
yourself a little more, this is the crystal for you!
 
Wear a bracelet to surround yourself with love, or
pop a rough piece in the bedroom for loving
energy!
 
Clear Quartz – If there were a hierarchy within
crystals and it was the royal family … this would
be the King! The master healer, and the
strongest energy amplifier on the planet! Grab
this beauty when you need an energy boost or
feel your motivation waning.
 
Amethyst – Know that feeling when you walk into
a beautiful health spa, knowing you have the
entire day to float around in a robe and do
nothing but zen yourself out … well that’s what
this crystal embodies!!! This crystal is chilling to
the max! A calm and peaceful delicious crystal!
 
Black Tourmaline – Ok, we all find ourselves
starting a day super positive and owning life, only
to be met with a complete mood hoover!!!! A
Debbie Downer! However you describe them,
they are everywhere! And if we are not careful,
their negativity can rub off onto us and lower our
mood! Carry black tourmaline to put a
metaphorical bubble around you so other
people’s negativity just bounces off and doesn’t
drag you down.
 
Citrine – Money money money! This is your
manifesting, hip-swinging, luck attracting,
buzzing with happiness crystal!!!! This attracts
If you want to know more about any of the above or what i use my crystal for, please message me! Or message the experts actually. hahahah 
 
 
Pregnancy – It’s ok to feel like a ratty dragon chicken.

Pregnancy – It’s ok to feel like a ratty dragon chicken.

Am I the only pregnant women that seem to feel that looking incredible naked is the new pregnancy trend? I’m starting to feel it’s all the rage to ‘embrace your body and post in a sexy negligee’ because you should ‘still feel sexy’ and ‘confident’ because ‘pregnancy is beautiful’.

There are endless streams of ‘Hot Mammas’ plastered on my social media feed, pregnant women in lingerie looking sexy and embracing their bumps and all the lumps that come with it. Whereas when I am looking in the mirror naked, all I am seeing is a reflection of myself that resembles some form of human chicken.

(By the way, I am slightly mortified that I agreed to do the above, this was me doing the classic “love heart hands on baby” pose…..looks good yeah? COUGH)

Now don’t get me wrong, I think pregnancy is one god damn beautiful thing, I feel so gratefull that I am pregnant, especially after a misscarriage and I say my thank you’s every single day that i have a healthy baby inside of me. I love the feeling of actually growing a baby, keeping it safe and experiencing a life forming inside of me….But I am also 33 weeks pregnant, so I’m calling bulls#*t on anyone who thinks becoming a walking talking human incubator should make you feel sexy! My poor Alex gets secretly freaked out that he is poking the baby, sometimes I get secretly freaked out he is poking the baby.

Here’s the truth, pregnancy with your first child, is new, can be exciting, and you can make you feel sexy.

However, pregnancy in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th time round is not hot. If you disagree feel free to imagine me laid like some kind of upturned turtle, with 10 day old hair, out of breath from trying to reach the Amazon Firestick whilst trying to type around the ever-growing collection of biscuit crumbs on my laptop. Beat that Demi.

Now please don’t think I hate being pregnant because I don’t, I mean I get to grow a little combination of Alex and me, in me! And god I feel so lucky to be able to do something as incredible as this, but the only ‘glow’ I’m getting is the headlights from the DHL delivery guy stocking me up on my nursing bras, breast pads, nappies and baby grows, that I’m now on first name terms with. Shout out to Steve if you’re reading this!

I am all for self-love, embracing your body and everything that comes along with it, but all I am seeing in magazines is this constant fixation that pregnant women should look/feel sexy?! I think I have seen 80{2ce2cf7ad3a51bc0ac64d8202c07acb09bafcb010a9be283a41b17e93f606e6c} of celebrities naked, with a spray tan, a full face of make-up on, fabulous hair and airbrushed skin…THIS IS NOT THE EFFING REALITY OF PREGNANCY. 

The focus is wrong, the emphasis on sexualising the pregnancy body is weird to me. Jesus, I used to enjoy sending races pictures to Alex, now, I cant get half an angle, never mind a good angle!

I don’t like how I feel, or how my body looks. I feel huge, my boobs are sore and jiggly, my ovaries feel like they are stretching and my high waisted jeans are high flying.  This time last year I was a size 8 with a six pack, and now … well I’m like some kind of permanently uncomfortable seal.

I also feel that I have lost my identity whilst being pregnant, but that is a whole new conversation. I lack energy, I lack patience, and I seem to lack any form of good mood – all of which I didn’t lack only a mere 33 weeks ago.

I want to take away this pressure, sure, you may be absolutely loving pregnancy, but there are a hell of a lot of women who are not. I know that I cannot be the only one, and guess what….THAT IS A-O-KAY!

Let’s look at the facts, I am exhausted, all the time, and not in some cute kind of ‘oh I’ve only been to the gym 9 times this week, made a home cooked meal every night, packed healthy smoothies for all the kids and now I’m a bit too tired to solve world peace today’ kind of way.

I’m talking I walked upstairs to take a shower and had to sit down halfway for a time out while I got my breath back kind of exhausted. Oh and I ache, oh my god I ache, you know I don’t think I’d mind as much if i’d actually done something more than sleep, walk and talk! I want to make this clear, pregnancy does not have to make you feel beautiful or confident  and you do not have to enjoy it, everyones journey is different.

For me, the magic of pregnancy is about the moments when you feel that little bundle of life move inside you? Isn’t that the beautiful bit? I mean yeah it does kinda look like there’s an alien squirming around in there, but honestly watching my girls and Alex get excited about the new baby gives me a feeling that just doesn’t compare. The beauty in pregnancy for me is all about the first times. The first flutter, the first time you hear a heart beat, the first time you see the baby at the scan not the first time i get a decent picture of me naked.

Yes, there’s days when the sun is shining and your heartburn subsides (for a few hours) and everything is all rainbows, puppies, adorable baby outfits and you kind of feel like you’ve got your shit together, but the next day you wake up to this insane back ache, accompanied by the fact you can no longer see your toes, shave your bikini line (God help the midwife), the kids need dressing, feeding, taking on the school run and the reality settles in.

I don’t want the added pressured to feel I have to look good, or embrace the way my bloody body looks or feel pressured to feel a certain way about pregnancy. I want to look exactly how I feel on that day, which is usually some combination of a ‘Ratty dragon” and ‘my hair hasn’t seen a hairbrush in days’. But this is bloody normal!

We are incredible women just growing a human, that is enough in itself. We don’t have to look hot off the catwalk, we don’t have to love pregnancy, it doesn’t mean we love our baby any less, or we are any less of a mother. It just means we look REAL and are HUMAN!

Lots of love

Jess

Jessica Cunningham enlists celebrity mums to celebrate mumpreneurs

Jessica Cunningham enlists celebrity mums to celebrate mumpreneurs

Jessica Cunningham enlists celebrity mums to celebrate mumpreneurs

The Apprentice star set to host an exclusive business event for fellow mums.

Heavily pregnant Jessica Cunningham is hosting the very first Mother Of Maniacs Bloggers/Press launch with fellow celebrity mums Stacey Solomon and Jacqueline Jossa as well as hugely successful parent bloggers Jessica Jones and Mre.Souer.

 

The Apprentice and CBB star, who is expecting her fourth child this summer, will be sharing stories on how and why you should always follow your dreams, improving self-confidence, tips on juggling the work/family balance and how to cope with negativity online.

 

The event, which takes place on the 30th May at Beaufort House in Chelsea is expecting a host of celebrity names and influencers to help other mums get into or improve their businesses.

 

Jessica said, “I meet so many fellow mums and dads on a daily basis who talk about how they wish they could start their own business, or take the first step in monetising their social media that it felt like the perfect fit to create a business event for mums and parents who really want some business support but aren’t sure where to turn”

 

The event, which is being supported by businesses run by mums or parents such as Shnuggle, Babycup and Gummee will be a one-stop shop event in helping ‘Boss Mums’ make their mark in the business world.

 

Jessica said, “Being a mum is a full-time job in itself, yet there are thousands of mums and dads at home with the best ideas for new products but no idea where to begin. 

 

Some of my favourite products such as the Zip Us In, which is a jacket appliance that makes your coat into a maternity coat, Bambizi which literally sell the most gorgeous nursery furniture, and Fill N Squeeze are now absolutely invaluable to new parents but the ideas behind each had to come from the fellow parents behind them, as we’re the ones who know exactly what’s missing for us on the market, one of our Boss mums run Planet Mermaid – A mermaid inspired swim tail!”

 

Jessica also added “I also think so many working mums and dads underestimate the power of well-being and how that is linked to success. A lot of parents feel they can’t have time to themselves, they feel guilty for it. We can’t be the best version of ourselves if we are tired constantly, energy is a huge source for success. I know the importance of taking 30 minutes a day to reenergise myself is. Whether that is an Iroha facemask in the bath, a coconut water whilst meditating or a bit if Sienna X fake tan. I always take 30 minutes a day to reenergise, we need to let parents know that is ok.”

 

 

 

The event is expected to host famous faces including Leanne Brown, Jess Impiazzi, Dawn Ward, Kristina Rihanoff, new parents Portia Jett and Ore Oduba and many more.

 

 

 

 

Editors notes:

 

What’s available for media?

 

  • Quotes from Jessica Cunningham and hugely successful Mum Boss CEO’s
  • Interviews with successful online influencers
  • Interviews with successful Mumpreneurs – all the above mentioned run a hugely successful business whilst being full-time parents
  • Interview with event organizer
  • Press Passes for the event for the press to attend
Vamoosh Anxiety, and let thee be gone!

Vamoosh Anxiety, and let thee be gone!

Wow, I was massively overwhelmed with all the private messages that I received yesterday about health anxiety, I read some truly heartbreaking messages, some really relateable messages and messages from people who were in deep despair. 

It took me 4 hours to get back to you all, there was well over a 100 messages, and I know that some people won’t of messaged but will of felt all the things I wrote in my blog yesterday.

So before I start, I just want to point out that I am by no means an expert in this, but I have done various courses over the past 8 years to do with energy healing, life coaching, EFT, well being and self -development. That, however, was for my own self-development and not as a career choice.

What I am sharing with you has helped me massively to get out of many bad mental states – as in, when you think one small minor thing, then the next minute, you’re Googling the S-H-I-T out of everything, whilst sat in a dark room and ignoring phones calls, and the world. 

So first things first, the anxiety I have found (in layman terms) is more than often caused by questioning the unknown and triggered by something.  Everyone in their lifetime will feel how you have felt at some point. It is a normal part of growing and developing, some people, however, are just better at ‘pulling themselves round” and some people just don’t know how to! Whatever you feel is fine, and know that you can feel better. 

Again, I am not expert, these are just techniques that i have learnt and practiced over the years that work for me, You might try them and be like “That Jess is so full of sh!t”… But hopefully, some or all will work for you. 

 

Positive talk 

Whenever I feel shitty, I am always cautious about the words that I use and that leaves my mouth. I make a conscious effort to ensure that every single word that I speak has a positive tone to it. If I am having a conversation with someone and they are telling me ‘how crap’ everything is (mate, I’m feeling shIt, i don’t need to hear this) I find a positive to their negative and give them a solution to their problem.

Sometimes, though you will find people who will come up with problems to their own solutions. WALK AWAY GIRLFRIEND, WALK AWAY! 

Again, if you try and not let any negativity leave your mouth, you will feel better. Words create our feelings, and our feelings create our reality. 

Affirmations and Incantations

Affirmations are positive one-liners about you. This is a good link from Louise Hay

who explains perfectly, but in short, affirmations are simply you saying to yourself the opposite of how you feel. This is so powerful, and really works, but you have to give it time, practice and doing consistently. For example, if you feel “Unlovable” find something you love about your self and tell yourself. 

I am a bloody good person

I deserve happiness

I am lovable

I am healthy, happy and content.

At first, you may feel like you are lying to yourself, but if you do this consistently, daily and only for a few minutes, you will feel better. YOU HAVE TO STICK TO IT!!

Incantations, are similar, but you say your affirmations with power – this is a great video from (my hero) Tony Robbins on how to practice (perform) them.

 

Body language

CHANGE YOUR BLOODY POSTURE!!!!!!!!

This, is one of the quickest ways, I find, to change how I feel, when I feel shit, my body language usually represents that!

So, i stand up straight, literally shake my self off, from my legs, my arms, my body and then I start walking with an actual spring in my step (not in public), (unless I have too). 

Try it right now, change your body language.

 

 

Dance movement and silly voices

Id like to think that I made this one up myself, as again, this is the quickest way, for me to change how I feel. I try to do this daily and in the mornings (If I remember). 

I simply:

  1. turn on some ‘happy” music (Apple has a playlist called ‘feeling happy’)
  2. Start dancing like one of my children…or Napoleon Dynamite – and literally use all my body as if I am throwing all that negative energy out there.
  3.  
  4. Say my affirmations in a really silly, cartoon, or sometimes American voice.

I listen to a podcast by a guy called Thomas Miller and there is one episode i love . – Podcast 141 “I can have what i want”

 

Gratitude

Gratitude is life changing. First thing in the morning and last thing at night (just before i meditate), I always say thank you, and feel full of gratitude for everything in my life. It doesn’t matter if things aren’t where i want them to be, I always say thank you.

If i dont feel well, I say thank you for my health and visualise myself laughing. I say thank you for my children’s health. We always say ‘grace’ at the table – The kids take it in turns each night to say what they are thankful for, Il be honest, Hatti the three year old usually copies the other two, and im not sure she knows what we are doing. I always say tahnk you for the roof over my head, the car i drive, the money i have, my relationship, the day….everything and anything. The thing with gratititude is, when you feel full of gratitude, you can not feel worried, scared, frantic, you just cant, because you feel so lucky for what you have in your life.

Meditation and Visualisation

If i remember and not absolutely shattered, before i go to sleep i put on a youtube guided meditation and visualise myself happy, healthy, wealthy and full of joy!

Then through oput the day, I let me self get caught up in daydreams, because day dreams help me to see what i am aiming for and . make it easuer to find a plan of action to get there. Once i have a plan of action, I always feel less anxious. I do this with work, health, ideas…everything.

EFT –  Tapping

EFT stands for emotional freedom techniques. You tap on the meridian energy points, don’t worry, you cant really get this wrong, you tap and what ever you feel anxious about , you speak of.

eg.

If you feel nervous about your health and feel sick with anxiety – whilst tapping, you may say:

“I hate this feeling of feeling sick to my stomach, thinking that im seriously ill, thinking I am not well” 

“I really wish this nervous, worried feeling would go, as i hate how negative it makes me feel”

EFT is actually briulliant, the first time you doi it, you will be like “What the fuck was that”. Then the day after, you will feel like negative energy has been released. I have used this gentleman Bill Tucker, he is £60 a session over skype, but really easy to talk to and i found him brilliant. You can also find some really good examples on Youtube. If you siuffer really bad with anxiety, I would suggest a session, if not and you want to relieve some anxiety, Youtube is great. 

Reiki healing

Reiki is AMAZING! If you are open to the magic of the Universe and the spirit realms, then this is facinating. Everyone has similiar but different experiences. For me, when I have reiki or practice on myself, i turn in to a jazz singer, start doing upside down Thai chi, Move on the therapy bed, tap my body…. i do all sorts and I sometimes see my third eye (google that ) and I always release negative enrgy, either through crying or uncontrolably laughing.

I am a reiki practitioner, so i practice reiki everyday, on my self, on my children, i send distance healing to people who need it and i find that it calms me and centres me!

 

Eat and drink well

Food is the fuel that makes your body and brain work, if your supplying it with alcohol and junk food, how can you expect to be happy, If you eat well and drink well, you will feel well!

Don’t worry I am not talking about cutting it out all togther, i bloody love a G&T (well, before pregancy). But if i felt anxious or worried, i never let myself drink alcohol, until i felt mentally better. Instead, i focused on juicing, eating lots of greens, and not processed food. Kind of like a detox.

 

I really hope this helps, or some of the techniques work for you, and if you do still feel anxious or worried about health, life or what ever it is, speak to someone, a therapist. We wouldn’t try to rewire our house, we get an electrician in, our brains are so much miore complex that than, so if you feel you need help, then a therapist is the person that can help. There is no shame in feeling sad, worried, or anxious. Working on self development and a healthy mental state is the best work you can do.Please feel free to send me an Email Momboss@motherofmaniacs.co.uk  and i will try my best to get back you!

Lots of Love 

Jess

My health anxiety. ANXIETY

My health anxiety. ANXIETY

I haven’t written a blog for a while, and the last couple of blog posts I have written have been promoting some other fabulous mummies and some family-friendly business. I feel however, I need to get back into the swing of things and let go, that and we had a minor scare the other day!!! 

I am going to talk about health anxiety. WHAT THE EFF. Now, I know that a few of you will have experienced this and not actually realized that it is a thing… but, trust me…it is a bloody awful thing. 

From being young, I had a mild form of health anxiety – although it is only in the last 8 months that I have realized that is what it was and is an actual type of anxiety.

I remember when I was around 18 years old, just after my grandmother died, I used to get headaches all the bloody time. My head would throb and I convinced myself that I had a tumor and that I was going to die. I understand that even writing that may seem a bit OTT, but at that time it was very real. Id tells my friends that I was dying of a tumor and they would look at me at me sopping into my wine, drunk, and smoking (yes I am an ex-smoker), days, weeks, months went passed where all i could think about was this fictitious tumor and the ‘what if’.

And of course, I was too scared to go to the doctors, because they would confirm the doom!  When in actual fact, when I grew some common sense (my mum dragged me to the doctor) it turned out it was due to the estrogen in the contraceptive pill that I was on. #AWKWARD. Then I came off the pill and everything was fine.

After that, the OCD about death and illness continued, but not just with my health, if my family got poorly, I thought that they had a deadly disease and i would be bidding fine farewells. If they didn’t answer the phone a few times in calling, I would think they had been in a car crash, or they had died – this was made even worse after reading the book called “The Secret” where what you think about you bring about….  Fak. Even writing this, I am careful in what I’m writing in case i attract the above (I am healthy, my family is healthy and we are all going to live to be over 100, just putting positive vibes out to the universe). 

Even though this has always been an ON/OFF issue, which was triggered by a death or an illness. I have still managed to go about day to day life, it only really seems to come on when something distressing or emotional happens and over the past few months it came on again. Just before I found out I was pregnant with my miscarriage, and shortly after my ex-partner had passed away.

I started to get really bad cramps, bleeding and ovary pain and I was adamant that I had cervical cancer – again, reading that I know that sounds crazy. I had missed two smear tests and the pain matched symptoms (Which of course Google had diagnosed me with), I remember driving back from acting class and bursting into tears, uncontrollably emotional thinking that my children were going to be left without any parents and cursing myself how i could be so stupid and not go an get my smear test done. 

The thought of going for a smear test scared me as, again, I was sure they would tell me something that they couldn’t take back, but I booked it and waited. 

My vagina results came back healthy and happy and so was I. But then a couple of days later my sister started to get headaches, nausea and with blackouts. I started really freaking out thinking she had a brain tumor as my sister is never ill and she couldn’t get out of bed or work – it was a severe case of a migraine.

It was at that point I realized that there was something wrong with my mental state and not my physical health, the bizarre thing is, I am never actually poorly, this was when I started to do some research and I saw articles upon articles about health anxiety and everything that I read about fit perfectly to my mindset and my feelings. 

 

Symptoms of health anxiety

  

It would consume my thoughts, then I would pick up on every little minor detail or pain on my body. After reading articles I soon started to feel mentally better and realized that I AM NOT ALONE! So so many people that I have talked to about this have had it, or know someone who seems to have the same crazy thoughts that i have had, and these are people who I would not hae thought suffered with any form of anxiety. 

Today, I know that I am fit and healthy and my children and family are fit and healthy, but even still if any of them are poorly, i automatically think the worst. So, I step out of the panic, look at everything surrounding the situation, breath and not overthink. 

I am a great believer in the power of positive thinking, mind over matter tactics and techniquies and what i have found have really helped is to practice a technique called ‘EFT’ which is tapping on certain points of your body and that helps reduce, if not elimate anxiety and worry, then i look at the logic of why I am/was feeling that way, then look at the logic of the sitaution and if i still feel like there is something serriously wrong with me (which 9/10 times i dont and the symptoms go) i then go to the doctor. 

These are a few links that can help you understand about health anxiety 

Health Anxiety

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/health-anxiety/

 

And then a link to an EFT video to help you understand about tapping for health anxiety. 

 

 

Anyway, I hope this has helped in some shape or form and if you do know of anyone who ios suffering with heakth anxiety, it is very real for them, there are many reasons why health anxiety happens, it generally happens when you are forced to subconsciously question your own mortality. The best thing you can do is listen, support and help!

 

Lots of Love

 

Jess

Introducing mum for Monday, Erika Swinn! Celeb make up artist!

Introducing mum for Monday, Erika Swinn! Celeb make up artist!

Right, today’s mum for Monday is celebrity makeup artist, an old school friend and now bump buddy – Erika Swinn!
 
If you, like me, are prisoned by the school run, doomed to pack lunches, consumed in endless piles of washing and busy working on your dreams then you will also more than likely be able to resonate with this statement whilst looking in a mirror:
 
“who the eff is that staring back at me?” 
 
Motherhood and work, can sometimes take over, to the point where i stop fully making the effort to feel and look good. And may i add, there is nothing wrong in wantinng to look good, as anyone who has had a day where they felt like “yes i look nice today” will also know that you are more confident when you feel you look less like death! 
 
So, I was invited to model at Erika’s master class yesterday where she teaches women the basics of make-up and some simply amazing beauty hacks. Basically, I have learned its all about the base to get that glowing look back that seemed so effortless in your 20’s”
 
BUT FIRST…. a little bit about Erika!
Erika, tell my readers about you
 
I’m in a position where nearly the last 8 years I adore going to work. I never dread a Monday and I can honestly say I have a great time when I’m working.
 
I’m also incredibly lucky that I get to spend so much time with my hubby and my two young children as I don’t work full-time hours. I am now pregnant with my third child, and at the start of this pregnancy I started thinking about what makes me the happiest work-wise, and how can I continue with it when I will have 3 children under 4!
 
I knew that I loved the industry side of being a makeup artist, but that often includes travel, short notice, often fast pace and it can feel unachievable when you have a new baby. Then it dawned on me, I adore the women that I’ve worked with, especially women on their wedding mornings and I love the fact that I pretty much always keep in touch with them.
 
That’s when I decided to run Masterclasses/ workshops for normal women wanting to make the most of their natural beauty. I like the variety in my job, so I can do this alongside everything else.
 
My personal style and work style is natural, I’m not a fan of the current heavy makeup trend and often brides tell me that’s why they’ve booked me. Anyone can watch youtube videos and learn a style, but what I think what is key is that has to be learnt on their own face.
 
 
Women come along to my masterclass where I set up makeup stations, so each woman has a mirror, mini kit and a set of brushes so they can follow my demonstrations and practice on their own faces!
 
I only take up to 10 women, as I want them to get the best out of the day. The day is a constant circle of me doing a demo on a model, and then each women trying it out on themselves. I’m there at those practical stages to help out, it’s one thing watching it, but actually doing it makes them remember each stage,m such as primer, highlighter and the brushes to use.
 
 
I take all of my products for the ladies to try, as I have tried soooo many and from so many different brands that I encourage everyone to try! Rarely would you get chance to try these products out or fully understand what each product is for!
 
 
I have had so many women telling me that they often feel insecure about chatting to the staff at cosmetics counters, so that is the main reason I take them, I make no money from this, I just want to give my years of experience as that is part of why women come to me!
 
 
The first course is a Basic Beauty course which covers:
  • Makeup removal
  • How to get a perfect base
  • Simple eyes and lips
  • How to naturally enhance and contour

My main aim is to make women feel confident in their own skin and I feel from the feedback I have, that is what I do. 

 Back to me now – Jess (Mother of Maniacs)
 
I went on the course on Sunday, and I took my mum with me to learn how to basically not look like shit. It is safe to say, it worked!
 
 
How to not look like shit 
Step 1
 
Prime, prime, and PRIME
 
If you get the base of your skin right sand primed, everything else becomes that much easier. I must admit, prior to going on the master class, I would just wack on a bot of moisturizer and hope for the best. Since Sunday, I have taken an extra minute (yes, it really does only take 1 extra minute) and primed my skin. Which has made my complexion glow and made me look actually AWAKE!!!
 
I used the products below for my base and concealer. Top tip, If you are using an under eye highlighter, put it in a V shape, as that doesn’t give you a white eyes panda look.
 
 
 
 
 
How to not look like shit 
Step 2
Now, I had my base on it was time to get my brows done, there are a basic structure and measurement in how to make your brows look rather snazzy, if t=you follow the below measurements and line everything up, you won’t go far wrong. I get my eyebrows microbladed so it is a lot easier to follow!
 
 
How to not look like shit 
Step 3
 
High lighter, Contour, and Blusher
 
This is one thing I didn’t quite realize and the way Erika taught how to apply is a lot easier than what I have been doing for the last few years! Always put your highlighter in a C shape (the right eye will be a C shape back to front) from the underneath of your brow to just underneath your eye socket bone. Keep your highlighter high, as this will make you look more youthful. 
 
Contour
 
Contouring for many seems soooooo daunting, but actually, all it is is applying bronzer in the right places. Again, Erika taught this in a none scary way., it even got Joy my 60-year-old mother on to the contour trend. Erika said to do another C shape around the C shape of the high lighter, with the bottom of the C coming in just under your cheekbone (if you suck your cheeks in, you will see where I am talking about).
 
Blusher
 
Again, with blusher, I had been slapping it on, in a strip, bright pink…WRONG!!! With your blusher, Erika said, keep it just on the Apples of your cheeks, and keep it high to make you appear more youthful. Which, actually,. it worked!
 
 
How to not look like shit 
Step 4
 
Eyes and Lips
 
I am going to do top tips for eyes and lips as a big long paragraph would not make sense
 
Eyes
  • Work with a mascara with a small brush, so you can get right into the lash line
  • Use an eyeliner along the lash line
  • Blend the eyeliner with a brush
  • Use a nude colour eyeliner (Wonder brow NYX) on the corners of your eye, top of the top lash line and on the water lines of your eye. This brightens your eye. (You can also use the wonder brow under your eyebrow and on the bow of your lip)
 
Lips
  • Use a soft lip liner, to stop that stuck on dried look which makes your lips look older
  • Only draw on the lip line and not above or around the lip line  – you don’t want clown features
  • Choose a lip liner that is the same colour as your lipstick
  • Blot your lips with a tissue
  • Add a tad bit of bronzer under the middle of your bottom lip to make them look bigger and a bit of lip liner in the middle of your lips to make them look fuller
  • Use concealer on the sides of the underneath of your lips to define and blend

 

And that is it! Voila! 

 

All the products that Erika used on me are below! 

 

 

You should definitely get in touch with Erika if you want to learn the basics of makeup and gain that little bit of confidence in using make-up. 

You can follow her on Instagram or email her for course details

 

Instagram 

Email: Erika@Erikaswinn.com 

Website: www.erikaswinn.com

Hiding vegetables in soup

Hiding vegetables in soup

Chicken, broccoli and carrot soup with a parmesan toast
 
 
For a few weeks after we found out that Anni was pregnant, nothing changed. I mean, of course, everything was different, but everything was also the same. And because life just went on I couldn’t get my head round the fact that by autumn I’d become a father.
 
I kept looking up how big the life growing inside her was, continually surprised at how this microscopic collection of cells was set to take charge and change everything.
 
In terms of food nothing also changed for a few weeks. Anni carried on in her usual calm way whilst I began to freak out and inspect the sell-by dates of every bit of food we had, turn our steaks into pieces of rubber and boil our eggs for 7 hours minimum.
 
After doing a bit of research into what women can and can’t eat during pregnancy we both discovered that pretty much all advice was contradictory, and the vast majority of foods recommended to avoid were based on guesswork, not fact. Just don’t eat raw food, don’t have too much mercury-rich fish and don’t give yourself salmonella.
 
Anni and I had a combined age of 68 and a combined salmonella contraction rate of zero, so I thought that we were going to be ok.
 
Instead, I chose to focus on all of the great food she could eat, and how each ingredient can be of benefit not only to her but to our unborn child. I’ll admit, now that my principal role in child creation was sadly over (and boy was it over) I was feeling pretty redundant. At least by taking charge of what we would eat over the coming year, I could feel like I was involved, and it was one less thing for Anni to worry about.
However, a few weeks into pregnancy, everything changed.
 
Anni began to find the thought of vegetables pretty unappealing and if I didn’t make food for her that was
basically beige in appearance, she would have none of it. She also began to crave salt so I had to act fast before she started eying up the salt pot at 11am each day.
 
My challenge, therefore, was to make appetizing dishes that I knew she would eat in those first few weeks, but also provide enough of the good stuff for our growing baby.
 
So I started to hide vegetables in food. I started to do this a lot. Soup was my number one way of hiding vegetables for Anni in her first trimester. It was the middle of winter, nights were cold and dark and so a warming bowl of goodness and some cheese on toast went down really well.
 
I made a lot of soup in those first few weeks, they are so easy to make, require minimal preparation, are a great way of using up lots of vegetables and also freeze really well. This particular dish is packed with broccoli which due to its high folate, fibre and vitamin content, is a fantastic pregnancy superfood. The parmesan toast also satisfied her salt cravings.
 
 
Ingredients
 
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 6 carrots
  • one onion
  • one head of broccoli
  • handfuls of thyme, sage and rosemary
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • two slices of brioche bread
  • 60g grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper
Method
  • Boil the stock in a pan and then reduce to a simmer. Peel and finely slice the carrots and place in the pan.
  • Roughly tear up the rosemary, sage and thyme and add.
  • Finely slice the chicken and add to the pan before roughly chopping the broccoli and also adding in.
  • Bring the liquid back to the boil and cook for at least five minutes (you want to ensure that the chicken is completely cooked through.
  • Meanwhile place 2 slices of brioche bread under the grill, toast slightly then remove.
  • Using a stick blender, mix the soup thoroughly. Reduce the heat to a low simmer.
  • Sprinkle the grated parmesan over the brioche and place back under the grill for 1-2 minutes until the parmesan has melted.
  • Pour the soup into bowls and place the toast on top of the mixture.
 
Why is this good for mum and baby?
 
Chicken – Protein, vitamin B, zinc
Brioche – Fibre, protein
Parmesan – Protein, calcium, vitamin A
Carrots – Vitamin A, C, potassium, fibre, calcium
Broccoli – Vitamins A, B, C, E, K, folate, potassium, fibre
Rosemary – Vitamin A, B, C, folate
Thyme – Fibre, Vitamin B, C, calcium
Onion/shallots – Fibre, Vitamin B, C, D, K, Zinc, Iron, Folate,
Magnesium, potassium
 
 
Make sure you follow me on Instagram @at_dads_table for food that is, well , delicious and also cheack out my blog www.thefmlyman.com
 
See you soon 
 
Adam 
Kids Happy House makes my house happy

Kids Happy House makes my house happy

OMG – Just before I start blogging, I just want to make you all aware THIS IS NOT A PAID POST! 

This is simply one post from an excited mum for other mums to get excited over! If you, like me, bloody love baby and children gadgets then Kids Happy House is going to be like that minute at the school drop of when you realise you are child-free for 6 hours – BLISS!

All their gadgets are hand-picked from independent retailers in AMERICA and are picked to be innovative and bloody helpful for parents #winninginlife !!!!!!! Which in short means, they are the only people in the UK who stock such cool, amazing little products!!! It is a run by a lovely couple who have two children aged 7 and 5 and yet they still managed to look like catalogue models! You can read their story here

Ok, so now onto the products that did a little dance of joy over were:

FunBites – £7

This is a perfect gadget for fussy eaters, my kid’s aren’t fussy eaters but i do have this weird obsession with making sandwiches and food look cute and fun. Although my kids deffo do not appreciate the caterpillar sandwich with tomatoes for eyes that I get great enjoyment out of making, they do appreciate being given the job of pushing the Funbites down to make little sandwiches. This is also good for toddlers when they are starting to each little sandwiches. 

I have the red love heart one – I also have an obsession with love hearts and so does Pops.

The Brushies -£5

These could be THE cutest little invention in the world. It is a little finger toothbrush that you put on your finger and use to brush the babies teeth! When I saw this, I wanted to fast forward 12 months so i had my baby here ready to brush its teeth. You can use the brushie from as young as four weeks and as old as 4 years. Although I wouldn’t trust Hatti who is nearly 4 not to bite my finger off. She is the wild beast of the clan.

Mouthie Mitten – £15

This is the product where my eyes lit up and i sang my praises to the lord. My three didn’t get their teeth through until they were over 12moinths! Yet they seemed to teeth from coming straight out of the womb!!!! All that dribble, crying and not being able to knaw on anything because guaranteed, they would throw their teething ring on the floor of a cafe, out of the pram or in my face….! This little mit slips on baby’s hand and voila! They chew! Yes, it really is that simple! Thank me later, and it is machine washable!!! 

 

Kudo Banz – £29.99

Kudo Banz bands – £9.99

I have started star charts weekly and either, the kids have stuck their own stickers on, it’s got food on it, ripped or just forgotten about. Yet my children respond very well to bribery and treats. So Kudo Banz works like a sticker chart, but it goes on your child’s wrist so it is always there when you need it. HALLELUJAH! It teaches kids to listen without yelling (I am a yeller) so families can spend time more positively. Kudo Banz has got my girls excited about getting a new charm for their band and has made them better listening and the easy-to-use app makes it magically come to life.

Finally, something that works and encourages them to tidy their rooms!!!

The App (Search ‘Kudo Banz’ in apps)

The reward bracelets (there are different options for older children too)

 

 

And there you have it, these are my FAVOURITE choices!!!

 

Lots of love

Jess #MomBoss

Website – kidshappyhouse.co.uk

Instagram @Kidshappyhouse

However, looking on the website, not only do i want 99.9{2ce2cf7ad3a51bc0ac64d8202c07acb09bafcb010a9be283a41b17e93f606e6c} of the stuff on there, these products also stood out to me!

 

Enjoy xoxox

 

 

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