You, but better.

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Does anyone know what day it is ? Anyone? Christmas was on a Sunday, OK so Monday, Tue- it’s Tuesday! Definitely Tuesday. Oh no hang on, has it been two days or three?

Every year we have this weird week of not knowing much for certain, other than our bank accounts have been well and truly drained and our tummies have been well and truly stuffed. In a Quality Street-induced sugar coma we bumble our way through the post-Christmas fog, trying to find homes for the mountain of ‘stuff’ that has appeared and wondering how long until we can start boxing up the baubles and getting the house back into some sort of order.

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Be Real Body Image Pledge with Dove

As readers of my weekly series ‘She Loves Herself’ will know, each guest ends their post by completing the statement: ‘I pledge to love myself a little more today by…’ 

From “drinking more water” to “appreciating just how much my body can do” these pledges are something we should all try to make (and stick to) for ourselves everyday. I’ve written here and here previously about my own thoughts on the pressure to strive for physical ‘perfection’ and it’s fair to say that even today body confidence doesn’t come naturally to me – I’m still a work in progress. 

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Gettin’ Hygge With It- Boxcitement Giveaway

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Yeah, yeah, I know it’s pronounced hoo-ga but that doesn’t stop my brain from seeing hygge as in ‘jiggy’ so just humour me ok?

A relatively new arrival to the UK, this Danish concept celebrates all things cosy and heart-warming. Think hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire with wooly socks and a good book and you get the idea. A more stark contrast to the recent trend for kale shots and courgetti you could not find. I’ll happily give myself to a lifestyle that encourages me to lie under a duvet and eat cinnamon rolls by candlelight. What’s not to like?

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Blogfest, an honest review.

Sooooo Blogfest. One of the biggest, most anticipated blogging events of the year hosted by Mumsnet and offering a day of sessions, seminars and keynote speeches.

I imagine there are already a lot of reviews floating around out there and almost a week after the event you’re probably sick to death of hearing about it so I’ll keep this short and sweet. I’ve purposely tried to avoid reading anything Blogfest-related since Saturday as I was really struggling to figure out a way to put my thoughts into words. In fact to be entirely honest I’ve been struggling to know what to make of the event at all.

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So I won’t bore you with every detail but here are a few things that have been bouncing around my brain since Saturday:

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She Loves Herself – Mum Muddling Through

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In 10 months of blogging I’ve been lucky enough to discover a whole bunch of awesome blogs and bloggers who have made me feel completely welcome in this strange new world of online shenanigans. I quickly discovered the world of linkies, an opportunity to share and discover blog posts and so once I’d figured out how they actually worked I decided to dip my toe in with #coolmumclub, which is co-hosted by Sarah at Mum Muddling Through. Ironically, while wandering around St Pancras this Saturday (en-route to Blogfest) Sarah was also the first of my online blogger buddies that I met in actual real life.  It’s just as well she recognised me really, what with her being an international woman of mystery and all I’d struggle to recognise her from her profile pic. This week she’s very kindly offered to take part in the series and talks about the different stages of womanhood and how these have directly influenced the relationship with her body and her view on body confidence in increasingly positive ways.

Name 3 parts of your body that you love and tell us why they’re so fabulous?

Now this is hard, isn’t it? If you asked me to name my three worst parts it’d be easy, but what I love about this series is how it’s challenging us to embrace positivity about our bodies so here goes nothin’.

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I’m going to Blogfest!

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So tomorrow morning a whole gaggle of excited blogger types will be alighting at King’s Cross Station for one of the biggest blogging events of the year: BLOGFEST. This year I’m more than a little bit excited to be one of them! Excited, but nervous. Luckily the monumental effort that goes into organising the rest of the family in order to allow this to happen is keeping my mind busy enough that I don’t have time to stress about it too much.

Here’s how  today is looking:

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OKIDO Subscription GIVEAWAY

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When it comes to kids magazines we have a love/hate relationship. The kids love them, I hate them. Gone are the days where I could carefully select a magazine for its educational and developmental benefits, nowadays it’s ALL ABOUT THE FREE TAT! Who cares about the actual content when there’s (another) free fairy wand or miniature skateboard thingy on offer eh? Fair to say I’d fallen out of love with the lot of them until I was recently sent some issues of ‘OKIDO- The Arts & Science Magazine for Kids’.

This is not your average kids magazine. For starters I’m a bit jealous of just how cool it looks. The whole design and illustration is fun, modern and enticing. Spud and Flump instantly recognised the characters from the hit Cbeebies show ‘Messy Goes To OKIDO’ and couldn’t wait to get stuck into them, pouring over the pages and pages of stories, puzzles and (secretly educational- shhhhh!) fun ideas.

The usually flimsy pages are replaced with high quality heavy paper giving the magazine a more book-like feel and making the cut-out activities sturdy and durable. Usually I try to get the kids magazines into the recycling bin as soon as possible without them noticing but I’m more than happy to keep hold of these for their reading baskets.

Each issue focuses on a topic (eg. water, dinosaurs, bodies, feelings) and offers lots of engaging and fun ways for children to learn and discover through stories, activities, games, doodles, recipes and poetry.

We learnt all about different types of dinosaurs and even have one of our own now!

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We followed the story of the water cycle, made our own boat and spent a soggy Saturday afternoon fishing from our own ‘indoor pond’!

Like most kids both mine are fascinated by anything to do with the body and there was lots of cool stuff for them to discover and do, the highlight of the entire magazine (for an 8 year old boy) being a game which involved farting – you can imagine the endless hilarity that caused between the pair of them!

There is so much to do that we haven’t managed half of it yet but so far OKIDO has been a huge hit with both the kids (and me!). It’s aimed at 3-8 year olds and although this seemed like a wide age range to me at first, looking through the issues I can see that this is probably true, younger readers would just need a helping hand from a grown up. In fact I’d even say children over 8 years would enjoy it too. It’s a bi-monthly magazine which retails at £4. You can subscribe for £19.99 for 6 copies which is fantastic value for money given just how much is crammed into each issue. To be in with a chance to win an annual subscription (6 copies) just click on the link below to take you to the entry form!

Ends 11/11/16 UK entries only please.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

If your little one is already a fan of Messy Monster and OKIDO you can find lots of lovely gift ideas on the website including adorable stationery (want), prints (want), toys, books and more.

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Disclosure: We were kindly sent these magazines for purposes of this review. All views are my own (and the kids!). 

Promoted on Competition Database, Super Lucky, Prize Finder, Loquax and Umeandthekids

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She Loves Herself – Five Little Doves

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Those of you who know of Laura through her blog Five Little Doves, know she’s not afraid to talk openly on the issues of stillbirth, miscarriage or chronic illness. Through her writing she raises awareness on these subjects in such an honest and deeply touching way. While body image isn’t a subject that features much it’s something that has had a huge impact on Laura in the past. It’s so great to have her take part in the series to share her own experience with body issues and how having children gave her the determination to confront them.

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Name 3 parts of your body that you love and tell us why they’re so fabulous?

Love is a difficult one, I struggle massively with body confidence and knew that this would be a challenge. I would say my eyes, mainly because they allow me to see my beautiful children and although I have more than a few laughter lines these days, they remind me of the fun we have had together. Am I allowed to say my womb? I am grateful every single day that it allowed me to carry five children, more than most are ever blessed with, and my heart as although it has been broken, it still loves unconditionally.

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