To blog or not blog?

It’s been a far while since I wrote a personal post for my blog. I have had opportunities to do some reviews and it has been great to get back into my writing and the chance to work eith new people. In case you missed them Little Leaf Eco  Chicken Dinner with Countdown and review for Optically.co.nz

I wanted to write this post because my poor blog has been so neglected for almost a year! I never had any intention to take a break or leave it so long. Last year was crazy busy. I changed jobs, we went to England for a month for my brother’s wedding, we sold our first home and bought a new one. BUT before we could sell our previous home, we had to put in a new shower, hire a storage unit to declutter, paint, clean, as well as attend open homes, looking for our new home.

I really struggled with poor health last year too. I don’t know why as I have always been generally healthy, but I had tummy bugs, strep throat, plus a viral illness just before we went to England and then after we moved into our new home I got bronchitis. I was not a healthy Mumma. So far this year has been MUCH better.

I was asked by a reader why I had stopped writing? I explained about our busy year and my blog was one of the things that got put on hold. She then said to me that she hoped I would continue to write and she found me to be a sincere mummy blog. WOW reading that blown me away. And it has definitely given me the incentive to get back into writing again.

I enjoy reading other Mummy blogs, I have done for several years now, even before I thought about writing my own. But I do feel I have to ‘compete’ with them, yes silly I know. But the world of Mummy blogging seems to be very competitive and popular, it’s all about like and shares. If your post isn’t liked then no one else sees it, unless the page has an already established following.  

This is actually one of the reasons I stopped writing, I became really disheartened and I definitely questioned why I was even bothering. I have never been a competitive person, but the pressure got to me. I felt my life didn’t live up to what I was seeing in other blog posts. And I also felt because I don’t live in a big vity I was at a huge disadvantage.

Social media platforms changed the way posts are seen, and one thing I refuse to do it pay to ‘boost’ my post. If I did this for one post, would I then have to do the same for other posts?

Sure you could say I’m a tad miffed I don’t have a following but I honestly don’t mind, I write because I want to write. I am relatively new to blogging and who knows what the future will hold.

I needed to take ‘time out’ last year due to family, work and my health. I will still write when I want too. My life is busy enough without feeling like I have to write a blog post.

Thanks for reading,

Stacey

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Review post for- Optically.co.nz

I was asked by Optically.co.nz if I wanted to collabrate and do a review for them. Being a wearer of glasses myself, (I need to wear them for driving and watching TV) I was very excited to get some new glasses.

 

What you need to know

Optically.co.nz was lauched in 2015 and they are one of the largest online providers of prescription glasses and sunglasses in New Zealand.

There are over 3000 frames to choose from, offering a wide variety of brands and styles. So you should find something on there which is affordable as well as being able to browse through the premium brands. There are roughly 31 different designer frames on the website.

The price of the glasses starts from $9, meaning that they are 14 times cheaper than most high street stores. The $9 glasses includes standard prescription lenses with FREE anti-reflective coating.

Prescription sunglasses begin at $49 and there are over 500 styles to look at, there are also a number of designer labels which you may find are well within your budget.

If you live in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch you can expect your glasses to be with you within 10 working days, if you live outside of these areas you will need to allow an extra 2 working days for delivery.

 

Hesistant about buying glasses online?

Worried to purchase without trying them on first? I thought about this too. Optically.co.nz has a virtual mirror, so you can see what you look like in the glasses before selecting the BUY NOW option. And if you haven’t fallen in love with your glasses than there is a 90 day unconditional returns option.

Still not sure about the glasses, well there is also the option to an Home Trial, you can select up to four frames to try on at home, 30 styles to choose from. You can see how they look, fit and ask for your family and friends opinions. If you choose this option, the frames can be with you within 24 hours, try them on, love them? Then place an order and pop your trial box in the mail, Freepost.

I had a good browse through the Women’s glasses and the frames I chose are called Walden Daring.

 

Description: (taken from website)

  • An elegant and stylish pair of full rimmed glasses
  • This pair benefits from slender arms with flex hinges.
  • Secure but relaxing on the nose due to the fine finish.

 

I thought they were different to the current prescription glasses that I have. I used the virtual ‘Try-on’, which was really easy to use. I took a photo of myself using the camera on my phone and when I had done that it uploaded the glasses onto my face, so I had a really good idea if they suited me or not.

I would recommend using the ‘Try-on’ option, just gives you a rough idea as to whether the glasses suit you or not, plus it was really easy to use.

 

The verdict.

When the glasses arrived they were well packed. The case was inside a small bubble bag, which was inside a larger bubble bag. Upon opening the case, you can see that they were well packaged and no scratches or a marks.

To me I thought that the frames look a tad darker than on the website, I have noticed that this can occur for most things when bought online. It can be a gamble buying anything, will I like it, will they suit me? Using the virtual ‘try-on’ definitely helped and I would highly reccommend doing that or using the Home Trial option.

The glasses are lighter in weight that I thought they would be. On the website the measurements are given of each pair of glasses to help you decide if the frames are the right ones for you.

The frames are a little bigger than my other glasses so it has taken me a few looks in the mirror to get used to seeing bigger frames on my face. I do really like them and I am really pleased with my choice of glasses.

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If you are looking for a new pair of glasses or just a second pair to keep in the car or use at work, or even to match a favourite outfit, I’m sure a visit to optically will help you decide.

You can find Optically on

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Overall I am really happy with my glasses, a HUGE thank you to optically for gifting me a pair of glasses to review.

Stacey

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NB: I was sent a pair of frames including the prescription to review, all opinions expressed are my own.

Review for Little Leaf Eco

Wow, its been a while since I did a review and even wrote a post. A few weeks ago I was fortunate to be approached by Maileen of Little Leaf Eco, to review a couple of her items amd I took her up on the opportunity.

I was sent a Stinky Bag for Little Miss and a Kid’s Backpack for Mr Happy. I am always on the look out for new and different things for my children and the chance to review both items has been well received in our household.

A Little About Little Leaf Eco

They are a New Zealand family owned company, with a focus on creating items to minimise waste, help the environment whilst maintaining a high standard.

The creater is a Mum of two boys and finding she was getting tired of lunchboxes breaking halfway through the school year, as well as trying to find the right shape and not always knowing what chemicals were used to create the lunchboxes, her first product the Lunch Tote was born.

Other products by Little Leaf Eco

On the website you can find the Lunch Tote, Stinky Bag, Kid’s Backpack’s and a selection of Wooden Toys.

 

On to the Stinky Bag

The Stinky Bag is designed to be used for sports, swimming gear, gym kits, toys, sleepover items and anything else you can think of. Little Miss is starting school in a matter of months and has weekly swimming lessons so I thought this bag would be perfect for her to try.

We were sent the pink ‘Princess in Training’ bag. When I first showed Little Miss her instantly had a huge smile on her face. She was keen to have a look at the different compartments and started discussing what she could use the bag for.

What interested me most about the Stinky Bag is the bottom zippered section that has been designed to store wet, dirty or used gear separately, ie the Stinky stuff! Plus, the bag has been made so you can put the wet/dirty clothes straight into the washing machine within having to touch them. Tip the opened part of the bag straight into the machine. And the bag is also washing machine friendly (note: I haven’t washed mine yet!).

We have used the bag for swimming lessons and it is perfect! No more having to take a plastic bag to put her wet togs, hat and towel in. The first time we used it, Little Miss had to put her wet things in the ‘wet’ section by herself!

Perfect size to fit everything

There a few pockets to the Stinky Bag also, an outside zip pocket and another one with a velcro seal. Inside the main compartment of the bag, there is a pocket to hold a few small items as well as a label for your child to name their bag.

Separate zip to get into the ‘stinky’ compartment, velcro pocket at the front


Plenty of room inside the bag, two small pockets and a label to name the bag

At the top there is the zip as well as a magnetic button, so you can fold over the top of the bag if you don’t need to fill the bag.

At $59.95 the Stinky Bag can be on the expensive side for bags, but for the size of bag it is worth it. I feel Little Miss will get a lot of use from this when she starts school and because of the design and style of it, I think it will be a favourite bag of hers for a few years to come.

The Stinky Bag comes in three different designs. The two other designs are Super Hero Stinky Bag and Hands Off Stinky Bag

 

Kid’s Backpack

The Kid’s Backpack’s are animal themed and perfect for toddlers and preschool children. They are made with 100% recycled cotton canvas, so lightweight for little people and they have adjustable shoulder straps and I would say they are washable.

There are five designs to choose from, I was given the Blue Dog backpack for Mr Happy. The other designs available are Green Cat, Orange Monkey, Pink Bunny and Red Dog.

Blue Dog Kid’s Backpack $49.95

What I love about it is that it is just his size, easy for him to put on and it can hold his lunchbox, and several changes of clothes for Preschool. It doesn’t have waterproof lining, but its easy for him to open and close.

It also has a handle on the top of the bag, good for hanging up and great for storing the bag at home. Inside of the bag has colourful lining, appealing to young children and has two pockets built inside, always handy to have extra compartments, Mr Happy just loves it. He turns three next month, but I would say that this bag would be ideal from age one upwards, as Little Leaf Eco suggests.

Colourful lining, two small pockets.

So there you have it, my review of two really great Mum-made and of course New Zealand and Eco-friendly products. Little Miss and Mr Happy are proud as punch with their new bags.

Happy Kids with their Stinky Bag and Backpack


Mr Happy ‘modelling’ without realising

Links for Little Leaf Eco

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NB: I was sent the ‘Stinky bag’ and Kid’s Backpack to review and all views and photos are my own. Some information has been adapted from the Little Leaf Eco website.

June

The month of June, I look forward to it but I also dread it. I love it but I also dislike it.

June marks the half way point of the year, and dare I say it, only another six months until Christmas, eek! June is also the beginning of summer in England and the beginning of winter in New Zealand. Living in New Zealand now for just over 12 years I am well adjusted to the seasons here, but June will always be a summer month to me.
I celebrate and remember some pretty special people during this month. The first week of June, it is one of my younger brothers birthday and Little Misses birthday. (I still remember the same brother saying to me shortly before I had Little Miss that I wasn’t too have her on his birthday, as it was his day). Brothers huh?

June 2nd 2011 was the day my beloved Grandpa passed away, he lived for 97 years, pretty good innings huh? And the 3rd June 2011 was the day I delivered our beloved, firstborn baby boy Alex.

This year marked five years since we met him and said goodbye to him. Wow, five years, it’s quite a milestone huh? The build up to the day was harder that the actual day itself, it always is. I had the day planned, I knew how we would celebrate his day and we did.

It is a day to remember him, but of course it is also a day to celebrate. I miss him everyday, and often find my mind wandering at different times of the day, what would he look like, what would he enjoy? What would he have liked for his fifth birthday?

A few days leading up to his birthday I explained to Little Miss that we would be having a family day for Alex’s birthday. Mummy and Daddy would not be going to work and the four of us would have a day of fun. Little Miss decided Chipmunks would be a great idea (indoor soft play venue), followed by cupcakes for afternoon tea and a trip to the cemetery with Nana and Grandad (my Husband’s parents) to do our balloon release.

When I was having this conversation with Little Miss, one evening after dinner, she looked at me and said “But Mummy, Alex is supposed to go to school this year”. With these words I burst into tears. Just hearing these words from my daughter made the event seem more real. I hadn’t felt like crying prior to my chat with her, so the tears caught myself as well as her off guard. I guess with the lead up to the actual day, the tears were a form of release. Little Miss and I shared a hug and I explained to her that Alex couldn’t go to school because he lives with the stars, but he would be watching over her when it will be her and Mr Happy’s turn to venture off to school.

To us Alex is our shining star, we look to the sky at night and we can always see him. Little Miss will always point to one of the brightest stars and says it is Alex. For me and our family I feel it is really important to have a symbol we can look for and see and be able to think of our boy and big brother.

We had a lovely day remembering Alex and celebrating his fifth year. To me as hard as it is, his birthday is a celebration. He existed, he was and still is my first born baby. I think of him everyday, and these days I smile. It wasn’t always easy to smile but know I feel that I can.

Here are some of the photos from our day.

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Mr Happy

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Slide Fun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Five Yummy Cupcakes

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Beautiful Flowers 3 vases xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Balloon release

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xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Project Doll House: Part Three

Welcome to Part Three of Project Dollhouse.

Little Miss is now four years old, she had her birthday this week. Wow, its crazy how quickly time flies. My husbands parents, along with her aunt and uncle gave her some furniture for the dolls house as a birthday present and lets just say, she was one happy girl.

It was no secret to her that I was working on a dolls house for her birthday, she would often look at it with pride whilst I was working it and never once asked to have it before her actual birthday.

I wanted to share some photos of the finishing touches I did. There are still some things I would like to add to the house, but to me it is work in progress and it is great to see Little Miss enjoying her dolls house.

I mentioned in Project Dollhouse: Part Two that I was going to attempt to make some curtains, well lets just say they didn’t go according to plan. I thought it would be relatively easy to hand sew them, but I was wrong. Luckily, a friend offered to loan me her sewing machine and then she offered to sew them for me. I took her up on the offer, and the curtains look FAB!

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Awesome curtains. They are hanging on a bamboo skewer cut down to size and I used some 3M hooks to hang them up.

The paint featured in the room with the curtains is Sugar and Spice by Resene

I personally think the curtains look great and Little Miss is really pleased with them, I know just need to get something that I can use to pin back the curtains and something that is safe. Little Miss’s brother Mr Happy is 2 and he is also a fan of the house. Any ideas would be appreciated, I’m thinking Bakers Twine would be quite good, but then it could get lost and I’m not sure how Little Miss will get on having to tie them back all the time.

In my last blog post I shared photos of two completed rooms and I did day in this blog post I would share another couple of rooms, here they are:

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Sugar and Spice

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Perfume

I used the colour Perfume in two of the rooms as I thought it broke up the pinlk, plus I loved it!

As you can see on some of my photos, my painting is not the best and my lovely Father even commented that my finishing wasn’t the best. I will agree with him there. I know I’m not the best painter and I don’t pretent to be. At the end of the day I was painting the doll house for Little Miss and I’m sure she isn’t going to criticize my painting skills. So there were quite a few pait marks on the floor, but I didn’t mind as I knew I would be covering it.

At first I thought about putting scarpabook paper onto the floor, I had a few papers that could easiely pass for flooring. I tried them out and didn’t like it. I then thought of carpet, but decided against it as I thought it would be too bulky and I thought the dolls and the furniture wouldn’t sit nicely. Also, I knew Little Miss would get highly frustrated if her doll house accessories would fall over! so, I then thought about felt after someone suggested it.

I don’t have any felt at home so I had to hit the art and craft shops. I immediately thought of black, but when I looked at it I just knew it would be too dark. After looking at the other colours I decided on white. And I reckon it looks perfect. I bought half a metre as it was cheaper and I had enough for the four rooms plus the loft room and I had a little left over. I used superglue to stick it down, after it had dried the ends started to lift so I used double sided tape to stick it down. And now it looks perfect and even looks like real carpet.

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White felt as carpet, before I used double sided tape.

Can you see on the photo that there is also some black and white washi tape covering the edges?! More on that next time.

I think I will save a more on the doll house for a fourth and final post Project Dollhouse: Part Four.

I will leave you with a few photos of some of the interiors, I used some of the cute dollhouse decor from Luluncat

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Planter, Rug, Lego man and Wall hanging from Luluncat

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Table accessories from Luluncat

 

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Me and Mrs C

A little while ago I shared a blog called Dear Mrs C this post was about me using antidepressants to treat my Post Natal Depression (PND). Shortly after I wrote and shared the post, I made an appointment to see my GP to renew my prescription and to discuss reducing my current dose.

I had been thinking for a while about reducing the dose, I felt the time was right. I had been in a good place for several months and I know when I have my low moments that everything will be ok. I was also worried about any withdrawals I could possibly experience due to the decrease in dosage and I wanted to limit them as much as I could.

I still get overwhelmed at times, with parenting, work, being a wife but who doesn’t? I do however feel I am in a much better frame of mind these days, but I still have my ‘bad’ days. You can do it, Stacey I told myself.

When I saw my GP, I explained how I had been feeling and other things I was doing to maintain a healthy balance in my life. I told him how I like to go to work and feel like ‘Stacey’ and not just a ‘Mummy’. And I really enjoy my time with my children,  also I no longer have the overwhelming feelings of wanting to leave my husband and children. Anyone who has experienced this feeling or is feeling like this, it well and truly SUCKS! Feeling like a failure, and wanting to turn your back on your family you are a part of is very lonely, I never want to feel like that again. At the time I never realised how low I got, I think I hid it quite well at times.

My GP was really good and we both agreed that it was a good time to reduce my dose, by half a tablet. I now take 30mg, one and a half tablets once a day in the morning. My GP explained he would like me to continue on this reduced dose for six months before decreasing any further. I thought this was a really good plan, it would prevent any withdrawals and hopefully help me to remain in a good place.

I started writing this blog post at the end of March and now here I am almost at the end of May. I am due another trip to the doctors for a repeat prescription, it has almost been three months since I reduced my antidepressant and I can say it has been going really well. Phew!

It is so good to write about being in a good place, happy, calm (well relatively calm, my hubby tells me I worry too much!) and to feel like I enjoy my life. I love being a Mum and Wife and I hope I am a better friend and person to those people who know me.

I look back on last year and even the year before and I know now that I wasn’t always in the best frame of mind and I wasn’t really living, but existing.

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Me and Mr Happy April 2016

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Enjoying my children, something that had previously seemed so, so hard

 

It is so healing for me to look at these photos of myself with my children and know the smile is ‘real’ and not forced. Although like I said, there are some days when the smile is harder to achieve,but the good days are by far outweighing the bad days.

When I saw this ‘Winning’ tank avaliable through TheHood I just knew ut would be perfect for me. I love their collection of T Shirts and Sweaters which sum up Mum Life.

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Aus$ 34.99

'Winning'

‘Winning’

Thanks for reading and letting me share, take care xxx

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NB: I purchased the ‘Winning’ tank for myself and my opinion is all my own, I love it!