Degustabox | March

We were sent this box for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

It’s that time of the month again where I talk about all of the goodies sent to us in this month’s Degustabox. This month’s theme was Spring & Easter so I was interested to see what was in the box. You can get your first box for just £7.99 (usual price is £12.99) with shipping included. Just use this code WDGX9 on the website here (the code gets you a one time discount of £5).

With the theme, I assumed there would be some chocolate included and I was right. Here’s what we received in this month’s box.

Costa Signature Blend Coffee Ground For Cafetiere & Filter – £3.70

We don’t actually drink coffee in our house so this is going to a good home; my in laws. Nevertheless I have heard good things about Costa’s coffee.

Forest Feast Preda Fair Trade Mango 30g & Milk Chocolate Mango and Coconut Fruit Balls 30g – £1.29 each

These were a perfectly delicious treat. The perfect bit of indulgence without any of the guilt. These didn’t last long in my house at all.

Weetabix On The Go Strawberry – £1.49

We’ve tried these before although I am not sure if they were from a previous box. We really enjoy these so this was very welcomed.

Moose Juice Passionfruit – £1.59

We try not to have energy drinks too often in our house but sometimes do, Steve more than me. Steve liked this and said it was the best energy drink we have had in any of the previous boxes so high praise indeed.

Red Red Super Stews Black Eyed Beans & Tomato – £2.99

These are made with natural plant based ingredients and inspired by Africa. Unfortunately I could see that neither Steve or I would probably eat this so we are donating it to our local food bank rather than it languishing in our cupboard until it passes its expiry date.

Ballymaloe Original Relish 

Rich in tomatoes and made using all natural ingredients, this relish was definitely a positive addition to the box. We use a lot of relishes and chutneys, Steve especially, so he was happy to see this. It’s gluten free, suitable for vegans and tastes great.

Jubel Alpine Beer cut with Peach – £1.80

We haven’t actually tried this yet but were super intrigued to see it in the box. It is a lively lager with the zest of freshly ripe peaches, gluten free, naturally infused and vegan too. Can’t wait to see what its like!

Green & Black’s Praline bar and Truffle bar – 89p each

I never used to be a fan of Green & Black’s, I mostly associated them with dark chocolate which I wasn’t a fan of. As I’ve got older and my tastes have matured, I find myself enjoying dark chocolate more and now I also realise that Green & Black’s do milk chocolate too. These are made with ethically sourced chocolate and contain no artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. These were absolutely delicious.

KIND Snacks Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt – £1.35

These are a tasty and nutritious snack bar which we were very happy to see in the box. These are gluten free and naturally high in protein and a great option to slip into your handbag or pocket for an afternoon snack.

Chum Fruit Bites Apple & Strawberry – 79p each

These are made with 100% fruit, high in fibre and vegan. These also did not last long with my two kids – they devoured these quickly and really enjoyed them. They are delicious and we will certainly be buying again.

Willie’s Cacao single state chocolate Passionfruit – £1.99

This slab of chocolate only just made it out of the box before me and Steve shared it between us. These are made using only natural ingredients and this was super tasty, a nice treat that we could indulge in that we didn’t have to share with the kids for once.

Overall I was fairly impressed with this box. There was a fair amount of sweet stuff compared to savoury but I’m not complaining. With the box retailing at £12.99, the boxes contents added up to just over £20 if you were to buy them all separately – a great saving, I think!

Which item of the box would be your favourite?

How to Choose a Crib Mattress for Your Nursery

Collaborative Post

Among the best experiences in life is bearing a child. Once you have delivered a baby, you want to make sure that he or she feels the love you have on him. One of the best ways to do this is by purchasing a comfortable and safe crib mattress for the baby.

The problem is the fact that there is a variety of companies manufacturing these mattresses today. As a result, they are available in a range of brands and at a different price. Each of the products has unique qualities from others. In this way, selecting the best crib mattress turns to be a tricky exercise.

In consideration of this, we devoted our time to generate a guide on how to choose a crib mattress for your nursery. We aim to make sure that your selection process gets simplified. The followings are seven things that you should look out for when purchasing a crib mattress.

  1. Safety Standards

The first step to make sure that you are buying only the best is by considering safety standards. The federal regulations outline the rules of a full-size crib as well as the mattress. Understanding these regulations gives you a chance to buy both the crib-bed and the mattress separately. You’re sure that they’ll fit each other perfectly.

Such regulations ensure that there is no head entrapment between crib and mattress sides. Therefore, it helps to reduce any chances of the baby suffocating. You should make sure that the space between cannot fit two fingers stuck together. It’s a regulation that got enacted by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. This article will help you learn more about these regulations.

  1. Construction Structure

In the market, you will have a variety of materials used to make the mattresses. These include foam, innerspring, and organic mattresses. With foam mattress, they are less expensive in comparison to innerspring. Their thickness ranges between 3” to 6”. However, we advise that you consider picking a foam mattress that gets the specific design for babies. By doing this, you help to reduce the chances of SIDS or suffocation. Excellent foam made crib mattress should be firmer than softer.

An innerspring mattress is a better option than the foam crib beddings. You can evaluate the efficiency of the bedding by checking on the amount of steel used in the making. You can also consider purchasing organic mattresses. However, the materials used such as organic cotton and wool are expensive. In this way, this mattress type is more expensive in comparison to other mattresses.

With these types of mattresses, you’ll have a variety to consider. Therefore, you should spend time learning about the benefits of each brand. By understandings pros and cons for each mattress type, you can comfortably purchase a category of your choice.

  1. Weight

Another significant factor that you should consider checking is the weight of the crib mattress. For a foam mattress, consider picking a weight that ranges between 7 to 8 pounds. The density can, however, rise to 20 pounds. For the innerspring baby mattresses, you should run for something that ranges between 15 and 30 pounds of weight.

Charles 🇵🇭

  1. Double Side Mattress

It’s possible that you have seen some mattresses marked 2-stage while in the market. What it means is that one side of the bedding is firmer and the other one softer. You can use the firmer surface for infants while the fainter side will perfectly suit the toddlers. You, therefore, stand a chance to reuse the mattress as your baby develops in different stages.

However, whether to turn the mattress should not be a random choice. You should consider talking with a pediatrician before making the final decision. Also, before you can purchase the bedding, you should check for a tag showing which side is firmer and which one is softer. If the label is missing, ignore that particular product.

  1. Air Venting

When you purchase a mattress, you should consider buying one that has a proper venting. The cover should be in a position to ensure sufficient airflow throughout the bedding. The venting should also assure that the baby can adequately breathe without any complications.

There are chances that the baby will roll and sleep on their stomach. When such a situation happens, and the beddings lack proper venting, the baby can suffocate and die. A flawlessly vented mattress should consist of side vents to keep the air moving correctly.

  1. The Cost

The cost of bedding is also an ideal factor on how to choose a crib mattress for your nursery. You should consider a price that comfortably fits into your budget. From the statistics, a perfect quality mattress will sell at the cost of approximately $90 to $200.

It’s good to note that, higher prices means extra unique features incorporated. Take an example of someone shopping for an organically manufactured mattress. Or a cushion that comes with an allergen-reducing cover. Such a buffer will not sell for a price of less than $190. You can, however, find crib mattresses that cost as low as $40 but the quality is not up to standards.

The best thing to do when it comes to cost is not to consider saving money. If you want something that is perfectly comfortable for your baby, be ready to spend as much as possible.

  1. Crib Mattress certification

The first certification for a standard mattress is the Consumer Product Safety Commission certificate. If you’re purchasing the bedding in the US, you should also check if it passes the “American Society for Testing and Materials.” You can as well check on other certifications such as the Global Organic Textile Standards. The GOTS is a regulation that runs all organically made textiles. The procedures call for 70% organic fibers in the making of the product.

The Final Verdict

When you consider selecting a mattress, you should always think of the comfort and safety of your baby. For proper guidelines of safe baby sleep, consider these tips, which will help you make sure that your kid sleeps safe and out of possible injuries. Don’t worry about the cost of the mattress if the quality is your drive. Make sure to purchase the best to make sure that your baby enjoys the comfort of the bed. Also, make sure to check on the presence of all independent certifications if you aim to buy the best.

Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis | Review

I was sent an Advanced Reader Copy of this book for the purpose of review. All thoughts are my own honest opinion. This post also contains affiliate links.

After being offered an ARC of Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis, I was wondering if I should have read her previous book ‘Girl, Wash Your Face‘ {affiliate link}, especially as so many of my friends had been raving about it in real life and on social media. But I was reassured that wasn’t the case so began reading this book.

Described as a shame-free plan for embracing and achieving your goals, it sounded just like a book I needed. I’m always pushing myself and striving to achieve my goals but it is true that so many of us feel shame when trying to better ourselves which we really shouldn’t.

Written by #1 New York Times and #1 USA Today bestselling author, business podcaster and motivational speaker Rachel Hollis, the book urges women to stop apologizing for their desires, hopes and dreams and instead to go after them. Rachel is a well known bestselling author and lifestyle influencer with a global social media fanbase in the millions and a loving family. I’d heard a little about her before starting this book but found out so much more during my time reading it.

I’ve never been one for self help books, I’ve never been one for non fiction in general but I have found myself leaning towards non fiction in recent months. I was excited to see if Rachel’s advice could help me in any way.

Something I loved about the book is that it was sectioned into different parts. For instance, Part 1 was Excuses To Let Go Of and it was separated into little ‘chapters’ which were titled Excuse 1, Excuse 2 etc. The book was formed in three parts – Part 1 which was, of course, Excuses To Let Go Of; Part 2 which was Behaviors To Adopt and Part 3 was Skills To Acquire. In each part, the author details the various excuses, behaviors and skills that people use and handily provides anecdotes from her own life where applicable to show that she knows what she is talking about.

What I really enjoyed in the book was that you can see how the author has grown over the years. She always knew she wanted a New York Times #1 bestseller but had to work for it and had to wait many years before finally achieving that goal. She also talks about her first TV appearance on local TV and her appearance on the Today show, something she’d aspired to be on for many years – it was eight years between these two TV appearances and had sent hundreds and hundreds of pitches for TV appearances in the meantime with only a handful accepted in that time. It goes to show that you should never stop working towards your goals, despite how long it may take to achieve them.

Since finishing the book, I have found myself going back to certain sections to remind myself when I am not feeling especially confident about my goals. I know that they are achievable and what to do to achieve them but sometimes find myself struggling and need a kick up the bum to get myself back into action. This book is the perfect tonic for this, reminding me that it is okay to falter and stumble sometimes – we all do it. It is important to get back ‘on the horse’ though, so to speak.

If you are a woman constantly working towards your goals who is in need of a little bit of motivation and inspiration, then Girl, Stop Apologizing {affiliate link} is definitely worth adding to your bookshelves. The author is like a best friend, reminding you of your worth and telling you about what she has experienced so you can bond. She’s letting you know that if she can do it, so can you – and I’m certainly going to keep trying.

Suffering Hair Loss as A New Mother? No Need to Worry Too Much

Sponsored Post

Hair loss as a new mother is quite common. If you have nurtured long and lustrous hair throughout your pregnancy, it may be a shock when your hair starts to fall out after pregnancy.

During the first weeks of motherhood, you will be happy and joyous about your newborn to even worry about how your hair looks like.

This is until the hair reminds you by starting to fall out in clumps. However, this is not another nail in the pre-baby appearance coffin.

There are solutions and effective remedies to help you out. This article goes through why you need not to worry too much if you are suffering hair loss as a new mother.

Are you suffering hair loss as a new mother?

No need to worry too much. According to health care professionals, the causes of hair loss after pregnancy is related to hormonal changes.

The body experiences increasing levels of progesterone and estrogen during pregnancy. This causes the hair to remain in an on-going growth stage creating more lustrous and thicker strands.

After childbirth, these hormones decrease tremendously in the following months. The hair will remain in the resting stage for about three months then start falling out. New growth will show itself along the hairline in the form of baby bangs.

Is it normal or?

Majority of new mothers are confused about how much hair loss is normal. If you find surplus strands clogging your shower drain or on your pillow, there is no need to worry too much.

When you have not had a baby, it is normal to lose approximately 80 hairs a day. However, new mothers may shed about four hundred hairs daily.

You should hence not worry too much if you find yourself losing this amount of hair. The hair loss should slow down to pre-pregnancy levels in about six months after giving birth.

In case the shedding does not slow after six months, this may serve as an indicator that there are other health indicators are at play.

In this case, you can tell the doctor about the issue of excessive hair loss. Pregnancy can alter the ferritin levels and may place your thyroid out of whack making it essential to carry out blood tests. Ferritin is a blood protein that helps in iron storage.

Alex Holyoake

Pregnancy Is Not the Only Reason

If your hair loss is not as a result of giving birth, several other causes may cause hair loss.

These include high fever, undergone an operation, stopped taking birth control pills, lost more than twenty pounds of weight and recovery from illness.

If you have undergone a lot of stress, you can suffer from long-term excessive hair loss.

Anxiety is a reason to postpartum hair loss, and some blog sites like The Wife Choice offer quite a lot of solutions to make new mothers’ life easier and help reduce their anxiety.

Drug and treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy treatments often cause hair loss which regrows after the treatment stops.

Women with hereditary hair loss will often suffer from gradual and continuous hair loss after pregnancy. If the woman has inherited the genes of hereditary hair loss, she may suffer from gradual thinning.  

Are there solutions for hair loss as a new mother?

Taking good care of the newborn is stressful and puts your body in a lot of strain. This is the same case as breastfeeding.

The best thing you need to do is first ensuring you blood iron, sugar, vitamin D, ferritin and zinc levels are normal.

More so, you need to do everything you can to reduce stress. This is easier to say than to do when you are taking care of a newborn.

A healthy diet with lots of proteins will help in hair regrowth. Eggs, fish, lentils, and tofu are good sources of proteins.

There are prenatal vitamin supplements to supply vitamin D that helps in controlling post-pregnant hair loss. Eating healthy foods after pregnancy is effective in keeping your hair healthy.

Does Shampooing Help?

According to the majority of people, they think that shampooing will reduce hair loss.

However, the frequency of shampooing your hair will not affect the amount of hair you lose.

The hair that is ready to fall out will fall out. To prevent excessive hair loss, you need to be extra gentle during this after pregnancy shedding season.

You should shampoo the hair when necessary that is if you have the time to shampoo at all.

Also, to minimize tangling, you need to use a fine wide-toothed comb and a perfect conditioner. Instead of using rubber bands, you should use barrettes or scrunchies to put your hair up.

Avoid pulling your hair into tight ponytails. You should also put off any chemically based treatments until the hair stops to fall off.

Curling, flat irons and skip blow-dryers should be skipped.  Try to use a shorter hairstyle and avoid to use heat directly on your hair.

It Is Important for Women to Embrace Change

After some months of hair loss, your hair will start to grow back.

You may note that there is a difference in texture, color, and condition of your hair from the one that you had before having a newborn.

The hair changes slowly and naturally over time in a seven-year cycle. It is a pregnancy that speeds up this process making it seem to change overnight presenting a bit of shock.

If your regrown hair is different, you may need to embrace it by rethinking your hairstyle and adjusting to unfamiliar thickness.

If your hair appears to greyish, you can start coloring your hair. Alternatively, pregnancy can bring you a positive effect on your appearance.

Some women who have had weak tresses of hair previously have enjoyed the best hair after having a newborn.

Finally

As the due birth date draws near, you are looking forward to losing your extra baby weight and a big belly.

But there is one thing you may not wish to lose, that is your shiny and thick lustrous hair.

However, as stated above, postpartum hair losses normal and you don’t have to worry anymore.

But if you continue to see clumps of hair in your hairbrush after your baby hits the first birthday, you will require to talk to a dermatologist to ensure there is no additional cause for your hair loss.

Daniel’s Story | Alder Hey Children’s Charity Ambassadors

I have shared this post for free for charity. I have not been paid for this post. Each year I choose a couple of charities to support for free on the blog.

The Alder Hey Children’s Charity Ambassadors are children from all walks of life, who have been treated at Alder Hey or are a relative of a patient who has undergone treatment at our children’s hospital. We all know that childhood should be filled with smiles, fun and laughter but children often have to be brave and grow up quickly when they become ill. The charity wants to help to support all of the children who come through their doors.

Just ask Daniel Bell, and his mum Rosalind; one of the ambassadors.

Image supplied by Alder Hey Children’s Charity

When three year old Daniel was diagnosed with a brain tumour, he was rushed to Alder Hey, a centre for excellence on brain conditions. His tumour was the size of an adult fist and there was a possibility that the surgery which would save his life could also rob him of key motor and mobility skills.

Thankfully, his surgeries were aided by Alder Hey’s state of the art 3-T MRI scanner. The device,  paid for by the charity, allows surgeons to scan the brain during surgery and assess the success of the operation in the operating theatre and not many months after recovery. This equipment was featured recently in an episode of Hospital on BBC2, again in a lifesaving situation.

Image supplied by Alder Hey Children’s Charity

He is now a healthy, happy and active six year old boy. He is a budding actor, recently seen in a production of Little Shop of Horrors with his local Performing Arts Club.

He also raises money for Alder Hey, named a Young Ambassador for the charity. So far, he and his family have raised more than £22,000 for the charity – accomplished by collecting people’s Christmas trees which is just one of the fun ways Alder Hey’s young and old fundraisers raise money. They’ve also done bake sales, park runs and charity car washes too!

All the ambassadors help to raise money for the charity which helps them continue to provide vital funds to provide life saving medical equipment and facilities which make a real difference to families every day.

The charity has also recently installed distraction technology within the wards. This helps to distract attention away from the treatment or examinations that need to be carried out by professionals. Young patients are entertained with colourful, bright and positive images projected on the walls of the room. This helps to transform a white ward into a magical world where children can escape from their fear.

Alder Hey relies on the support and kindness from the public to continue to provide innovative solutions and vital funds. There are plenty of ways to do this. Alder Hey Children’s Charity has recently launched a brand-new running hub to inspire and motivate people to run for charity. With delicious recipe ideas, running tips and plenty of running training plans (5k, 10K, half marathon and marathon  training). if you’d like to challenge yourself to run a 5K, 10K or even a marathon we would love to you go and check out the Alder Hey Running Hub now.