February Favourites

Wow!  I can’t believe February has been and gone.  I t was over in a flash!  Anyone else feel the same?  Those couple or three days clearly make a lot of difference, although I feel this year is flying by pretty quickly.  As it is the end of the month I thought I would share the obligatory favourites from this month and let you know what I have been loving.

Max Factor Foundations

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I popped into Superdrug initially looking for the Loreal Pro Glow foundation which I had been recommended but when I couldn’t find it I decided to have a little browse and found these two.  The descriptions sounded perfect for my skin and as they were in a buy one get one half price offer I decided to grab both.  One is perfect for every day wear and one is better for when I have a long day or need a little extra coverage.  My skin is really dehydrated and I am trying my hardest to take better care of it and these have been fantastic.  Both help keep my skin looking glowy and fresh, don’t stick to the dry patches and last really well.  I am super impressed and will be repurchasing I am sure!

Mowgli Indian Street Food Restaurant

Me and Ste don’t often go out for food but after a busy morning in Birmingham with the Salts crew (see below) I needed to eat.  As we got back to the train station we talked about going to Ed’s Diner.  We spent our first weekend together in Birmingham and went there for breakfast before we had to leave for home so it hold’s a few memories!  Unfortunately it was packed so we went looking for somewhere else.  Did I mention I was starving?!  Ste then noticed a sign for Mowgli and was sending a photo to his Dad (it’s a family thing) and we realised it was a restaurant.  We had a quick look at the menu and decided to give it a try.  Our waiter was fab, the restaurant looked great and there was an amazing smell coming from the kitchen.  The waiter explained it was like ordering Tapas, aside from two dishes which would each be like one main meal for an adult.  We chose the cheese on toast (without a doubt the best cheese on toast I have ever tasted), chip butty (spiced chips rolled in a chapatti), the lamb keema and some roti breads.  Even Ste ate more than I have seen in a long while…he couldn’t help it, the food was absolutely stunning.  Would recommend this place to everyone I know, it was just outstanding and some of the tastiest food I have ever eaten!

Dog Lead

All you Instagram followers out the re will know about my gorgeous dog, Knox.  He is an 11 month old Staffie and we got him just before he turned six months old.  Unfortunately he wasn’t trained well as a puppy and so we are having to do a lot of work with him but he is an absolutely lovely dog.  I have seen a couple of leads like this one in the shops and always thought they might be a good idea but finally took the plunge after an Amazon search and purchased one.  As he can still get a little excitable and pull on the lead I have been worried that the arthritis in my wrists and elbows will start playing up.  These leads have a slight spring to them and I am hoping will absorb some of the shock so my joints don’t have to!  So far so good, and the lead is holding up well.

Passions Deli Sweet Popcorn from Aldi

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I have been trying to watch what I am eating this year as my snacking especially had got a little out of control.  I have discovered these small bags of sweet Aldi popcorn which are super tasty and a great portion size for a mid morning or afternoon snack.  I am really lucky as an ostomate to be able to eat popcorn without suffering major problems as long as I chew well and drink plenty

Canvas from Aldi

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This was definitely my bargain of the month!  The colours will go perfectly in our bedroom once the decorating is done and it was just £3.99!  Amazing!

Aussie Shampoo/Conditioner/Mask

My hair has been a nightmare lately.  The hair currently growing out was what was coming through during a Crohns flare and is in a really terrible condition.  The hairdressers I have gone to the last couple of times in Halifax are absolutely amazing and really understanding and have just been doing regular trims to get it under control, as taking off all the damaged hair would leave it short and I do not want to go that short all in one go!  I also went to Asda and spent a little more to get the Aussie hair shampoo, conditioner and three minute miracle mask.  They were on offer for 3 for 2 so that was a bonus and it has definitely been helping as well as smelling amazing.  Sometimes a little extra investment in products is definitely worth it in the long run!

Filming experience with Salts Healthcare

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Last week me and Ste had an amazing experience when we travelled to Birmingham to meet with the Salts Healthcare team to take some photos and record some video footage talking about their new Confidence BE bags.  I will be writing a full post about the day so you can find out more about what we did but it was absolutely brilliant.  Completely wiped us out but it really was worth it and I really enjoyed it.  Really love seeing how I am finally getting my confidence back after a few years of not quite being myself!

The Good Place (Netflix)

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I may have previously talked about this series before but I have now watched the whole of the second season and I just really enjoyed it.  It is a little bit wacky and different but I really liked watching what happened next every week.  I am gutted I now have to wait aaaaages for the next season but am glad to hear it has been renewed.  The basic premise is that Eleanor (played by Kristen Bell) dies and goes to heaven and gets told she has been taken to ‘The Good Place’ as she has earned her place there through being such a good person on Earth.  Thing is – she wasn’t and she realises she has been put there by mistake.  The story continues from there and it really is a funny watch, the characters are all fantastic and I could do with my own Janet!  And if you don’t agree just fork off!

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty (Audible)

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Audible is one of my favourite discoveries of the last six months.  When my Mum recommended it I really wasn’t too sure but it has become my best friend on long car journeys.  I still have a paperback Liane Moriarty book to read but this is the third or fourth of hers I have bought on Audible and I absolutely LOVE her books.  The lady who reads them also has an amazing voice which I find I could sit listening to for ages.  Even Ste ends up putting down his book and listening while we are in the car together!  This story takes place on a small, private island and is centered around a family with a big secret.  The major story line focuses on this mystery but the side story lines including about body confidence and post-natal depression were also gripping.

Loreal Glam Nude CC Cream

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I have been using this colour corrector before my foundation and it has really helped even out my skin tone.  It is also perfect for no make up days and helps me feel more confident about wearing less make up and no foundation as I always worry that my skin looks awful without any.  Will be another product I am repurchasing!

Barry M Flawless Mist & Fix

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Lastly, y new make up setting spray and I am currently using this Barry M one.  I bought it as I like the word illuminating but you have to be careful not to spray too much or too close or you can end up looking a little glittery and sparkly!  It helps keep my make up in place all day long and I love the finish it gives so a big thumbs up from me!  Also, it doesn’t smell nearly as bad as my last one so that is an added bonus!

That is all for February my lovelies.  Thankyou for joining me for another month and I am really looking forward to March.  My Monday blog series will be continuing through this month and we have Mother’s Day coming up which is really exciting!  Let me know what you have been loving and I should be trying in the comments below and I will see you for more favourites next month!

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy

January Favourites

Can’t believe it is that time already, January has flown by!  Hope you have all enjoyed the first month of 2018.  It is typically known as the most depressing month but I have come into the new year with a positive attitude and am really looking forward to what I can experience, achieve and accomplish this year.  On with the post and here are some of the things I have been loving this month!

First up is a new series I have been watching on Netflix.  I am a bit late to this one as most people I know watched it when it was shown on the BBC, but I am really enjoying Doctor Foster.  Suranne Jones is amazing as the lead character and definitely deserves the awards she has received for this role.  I am about three quarters of the way through season one.  Without spoiling too much she plays a doctor who finds out her husband is cheating on her but rather than confront him straight away, she starts to plot her revenge while still acting as the dutiful wife.  It is really interesting and I am not sure I would be able to be as controlled as she is.  A must watch if, like me, you didn’t watch it when it aired on TV.

Doctor Foster (Netflix)

 

Sticking to a TV theme I also advise you all to check out Bad Moms Christmas.  Me and Ste watched it a couple of weeks ago and it is fab!  I really enjoyed the first one and so was looking forward to this one and it didn’t disappoint.  A great cast and storyline, sometimes sequels can be a bit of a let down but I throughly enjoyed this one.

Food next!  I have been trying to eat a little more thoughtfully this month as the steroids have definitely taken their toll this last year.  I am now on a reducing plan with them and can’t wait to be rid of the them for good.  I discovered these and thought they would be a bit of a healthier snack and I can just grab a handful when I fancy something to munch on.  They are the Jacobs Cracker Crisps and are so delicious and a few always fill me up enough so I can last until my next meal.

Jacobs Cracker Crisps

I have also discovered the Just Tasty packs of sandwiches from Aldi and am in love with the smoked cheese ones.  Think I have had about four in the last couple of weeks!  It is nice to find tasty sandwiches on plain bread (this bread has sundried tomatoes in but I mean without the seeds).  With my stoma I am unable to eat the multi grain breads so often the only choices are plain cheese or ham on white bread!  This is super tasty and they also have a pulled pork, stuffing and apple sauce one which is yummy too (but not as much as this one).

My next couple of things I have been loving in January were a couple of things I have ‘treated’ myself to.  The first is these Blom Cards.  I have been following Anna (aka Mamas Scrapbook on Instagram) for a while now and she keeps me highly entertained with her Instagram stories.  She is a psychotherapist and has created Blom Cards with one of her designer friends.  They contain 30  cards, each with a psychologically grounded insight or challenge and I have really found them helpful.  I keep them on my make-up desk so I can see them every morning when I am getting ready for the day.  I do not aim to complete one a day but stick with a card until the opportunity presents itself, or just bear the advice given on it for that whole week.  You can purchase your own over on the Etsy shop by clicking here

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The other treat came from the lovely ‘The Mummy Club’, who sent me their January subscription box to try out.  The boxes contain treats, support and pick me ups for mums and mums to be.  My box was filled with some amazing things but I won’t spoil it too much by going into it, as you will be seeing a complete review of the box very soon.  You are able to sign up for the monthly boxes, get a ‘mini’ box or even send one to a friend as a treat which is a lovely idea.  Check them out on Instagram and look out for the full review coming soon.  I have now signed up for a monthly box which shows how much I loved it!  I really love supporting small businesses and love the ethos of mums supporting mums.

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The Mummy Club January box

One of my favourite beauty treats this month has been these Essence nail polishes.  They are super affordable (£1.60 each in Wilko) and the nail SOS treatment was just £2 and has really been helping to strengthen my nails.  They come in a huge range of colours, apply nicely and last well.

Essence nail polish

My other beauty treat came from a Christmas set Ste bought me.  I try and use the hand scrub from it at least twice a week (normally on my face exfoliate and mask evenings).  My skin can become dry and dehydrated very quickly and the last few weeks I have even started to get splits and sores on my knuckles but using this gives my hands a real boost. I follow it up with the hand cream which I use every night.  Keeping it next to my bed helps remind me to do it!  I had never really thought of using a scrub for my hands but it has really helped with the dry skin, particularly on my knuckles.

champneys hand scrub

Lastly, my favourtie book of the month has to be Giovanna Fletcher’s Some Kind Of Woonderful.  ‘Chick-Lit’ books aren’t typically my favourite style to read but I do enjoy the odd one now and again as I find them easy to read and uplifting.  This one however, eschewed the typical everything suddenly falls into the main characters lap and she lives happily ever after and just seemed so much more real.  It showed the struggle of ending a long term relationship and how you begin to pull your life back together.  Highly recommend this one and will be checking out her other books too.  You can still sign up to my book club, check out my post about it here

I am pleased to announce I have teamed up with a fantastic company called What2Buy4Kids.  They sell educational and unique toys and gifts for children from birth to 12 years and the customer service is second to none.  You can visit their website by clicking here and I have a discount code which will give you 10% off any orders placed which is SPOONMU218.  Happy shopping!

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Last but not least I had to mention the boy’s and their fun in their ‘Gelli Baff’.  If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen the photos.  The boys each got one in their stockings, this was Leo’s and Riley has the ‘Crackle Baff’ which we haven’t tried yet.  They both absolutely loved it and spent an hour playing in the bath and having fun.  They come in different colours and wash out really easily, so no mess afterwards.  I wasn’t sure how Riley would react at first as he can be funny with different textures, but after five minutes of getting used to it her was having as much fun as Leo.

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So those are my January favourites for you this month, I hope you enjoy checking out the ones of interest to you.  Let me know anything you have been loving this month in the comments below and here is to an exciting February.

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy

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BlogMas Day 23 – December Favourites

So with it being BlogMas I haven’t done a Five Friday Favourites post in a while, so I thought I would round them up in a monthly favourites post instead. There is a whole range of different things to share so I hope you enjoy reading through and maybe get some inspiration to give some of them a try yourself!

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First up is the current book I’m reading, Some Kind Of Wonderful by Giovanna Fletcher. I am only just over half way but it’s a real can’t put downer and I’m sure I will have it finished very soon. I will be sure to post a review once I have completely finished to let you all know what I think, but if you are looking for an easy, enjoyable, girlie read, this one is for you!

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Next up is the six part series of Alias Grace I’ve just finished watching on Netflix. Set in 19th century Canada, it’s the story of Grace, who was found guilty of murder in her teens. She is visited by a doctor, employed to see if she can be released on grounds of insanity and she tells him her story. I really enjoyed the series and was completely sucked in from the first episode. There was a slightly unexpected twist near the end for me but it didn’t make it any less enjoyable and although left with questions, I’m happy it ended the way it did. So did she or didn’t she?!

 

 

Next up are these two, my wonderful parents. They have been there for me through another difficult month with having Ste in hospital as well as the boys not being here every day to keep me going. They are currently going through a lot themselves, which I will go into at another time, yet they still make time for us and make sure we are all ok. I don’t tell them enough I’m sure, how lucky and grateful I am to them so here I am, telling everyone – my parents are amazing! Love you both!

 

 

I received this amazing artwork as a gift and it is truly beautiful. It’s going to go up in our bedroom which we are currently getting sorted and decorated as I want to use touches of pink and purple in there to go with the cream and light grey for a pop of colour. It is the first piece of ‘proper’ artwork I have owned and it is all marked up as only so many of each one is reproduced so it has an exclusivity about it. It comes from a website called Stag & Raven (which you can visit here) who specialise in tattoo art. Me and Ste both have tattoos and they are pretty popular in the IBD community. Many of my friends have some beautiful pieces, covering up scars and around their bags etc. The prices are super reasonable for what you get and they come well packaged and are very high quality. Definitely a good one to check out if you want some amazing pieces for your house at great prices, or are looking for a special gift.

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I was super pleased to receive my cards through the post this month. I’m planning on attending some events next year and want to be able to make the blog bigger, well known and trusted amongst mum’s, ostomates and spoonie’s alike. I’m looking forward to some exciting opportunities and these will help me be able to connect with more people, more easily. I also got a matching pen for when I’m out and about so everyone knows who I am!

 

 

We have all been really impressed with the Wilkos Blox Advent Calendar. So much cheaper than the Lego version at only £8 but some great little models which the boys have really enjoyed putting together. They have now had a few sets of these (and Santa may be bringing some more). The price is so much more reasonable than Lego but they do connect with the Lego bricks so the boys can put it all together and play as one toy. The castle is pretty epic (and only £20), Leo enjoyed putting the bus together for last year’s Advent and the dragon family was another favourite. Definitely worth checking out if you have a Lego fan!

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I had to include my new mug in my favourites! Those of you who follow me on Instagram (check out http://www.instagram.com/thespooniemummy) will have seen it already but I couldn’t resist. It came from B&M and was only £1.50. It is a good size and covered in my favourites – flamingoes!

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I got one of my Christmas presents from Ste early as it was my advent calendar. I was so pleased he got me this one, as although he sometimes moans about the amount of candles I buy, he knew I would love it. The scents are gorgeous and Christmassy and Yankee really are one of the best at making your whole house smell amazing. Did you have an Advent this year? Let me know which one in the comments below.

 

 

I am so pleased my local Asda has started to stock the ‘wonky veg’ boxes. They are just £3.50 each and you get plenty of veg for the whole week in there! It’s supposed to be the stuff that is less aesthetically pleasing but for the most part I see nothing wrong with it and the taste is certainly no different! The only extras I’ve needed to buy are more potatoes and some garlic and I’ve had two now. Brilliant bargain for families so make sure you keep an eye out in your local Asda.

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And last but not least, me and Riley made our front cover debut on the Winter edition of Respond’s magazine, Connect. This was a gorgeous photo taken by my mum last Winter. We had such a great day, seeing a Christmas show and then going ice skating. The boys hadn’t done it before (and neither had I since being a teen) but we all had an amazing time. Check out the online magazine here and you will be able to find details on the website about how you can receive your copy through the post. The magazine is full of great content and also features my lovely co-host of The IBD & Ostomy Support Show, Louise and her story.

So there’s a round up of some of my favourites this month. From January I will be doing a monthly, rather than weekly round up of my favourite things as I am planning to change around my schedule a bit. Let me know in the comments below what your favourite things this month have been and I look forward to reading them.