Monday, 29 September 2014

Cussons Mum & Me Baby Bath to Comfort Snuffles

So, E has been at Kindergarten for just over two weeks now and already she's been ill with a cold and a tummy bug. It's one of those pearls of wisdom everyone loves to impart on you, that when your precious little one starts nursery, they will inevitably pick up every single bug going around the class. I just didn't expect it to happen on the first week and neither did I realise that this would mean the ENTIRE family would get sick!
I was therefore thrilled when a package from Cussons arrived on my doorstep last week, containing the newest addition to their Mum & Me range, their Baby Bath to Comfort Snuffles. An ingenious bubble bath that promises to help decongest blocked noses. That evening I poured some into my little ones' bath and the room filled with a lovely light menthol scent. I think we all began to breathe a little bit easier during bath time and anyone who has ever attempted to unblock a baby or young child's nose, will appreciate what a feat this can be.
My daughter suffers from eczema so I was a little concerned to use a product containing menthol on her skin as it could potentially be a little harsh for her. Luckily this product is hypoallergenic and we had no problems whatsoever although I wouldn't say that this is an every day bubble bath, just something you would use occasionally, when your child is suffering from a cold.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Fireman Sam Ocean Rescue DVD Screening

Today, we were invited to a very special screening to celebrate the release of the latest Fireman Sam DVD, Ocean Rescue. We love Fireman Sam in our house, he is after all Welsh and I am married to the 'Welshest' man on the planet, (self proclaimed I might add!).
We were so fortunate to have a beautiful sunny day for our trip down the Thames to London Bridge on a RIB Boat.  We have lived in London for so long that we often take it for granted, but with the sun glinting off it's landmarks and off the river, it felt like an entirely different city.

The second part of our trip was equally as exciting as our speedboat ride. We were whisked up in to the North Tower of Tower Bridge where a screening room had been set up for us to watch Fireman Sam's latest DVD, complete with popcorn and all sort of kiddie friendly treats. I had no idea that it was even possible to go up in to the bridge, and as an extra special treat, we were able to see the bridge opening up as a tall ship passed through beneath.

Of course we got to meet the man himself.....

As we left, E was given a Fireman Sam goodie bag, bursting with Fireman Sam treats including the Ocean Rescue DVD. 

We all had such a fun filled and unforgettable day and my two exhausted little munchkins are now both snoring happily in their beds, result!!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Nails of the week: Fingernail friends at the farm

This week's mani is presented to you by my darling daughter. We are both utterly obsessed with these children's nail stickers by NPW. I found these in a card shop and at just £3.50 they make perfect little treats for good behaviour. They're also really great for learning animals and colours. I grew up bilingual ( my father is Greek) and am trying to teach E some Greek at the moment, so we have been naming the animals and colours on her nails. 

E loves having her nails painted just like Mummy but like any 3 year old, she is far to impatient to sit and let her nails dry which can prove to be quite messy.  These take a matter of minutes to apply/ remove and as they are stickers no drying time. Despite E's concerns about her nails stickers coming off in the bath ( she is my daughter after all) they stayed firmly in place and lasted over a week until she got bored and peeled them off.
These come in quite a few different themes, we also have friends at the Zoo and after a quick google search I have also found ladybirds and butterflies. I think I'm going to be stocking up on some more of these as stocking fillers for Christmas, a little forward thinking I know!

Since being back at work the phrase 'work/life' balance has felt rather unattainable, especially now that I have two very small children. That combined with summer holidays meant that I had to take a bit of a break from blogging, while we adjusted as a family to our new schedule. Anyway, I am back now and ready to blog......

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Mrs Jones: On the Importance of Working from Home

So I did it! I have survived the first three weeks as a (part-time) working Mama of two. I really hate that phrase working mother, because of course all mothers work don't they?! Whilst the days I am in the office are mentally more exhausting because of the super early mornings and of course the job itself, the days I spend with children are physically more challenging but infinitely more rewarding.  

One thing that did make a huge difference in helping me integrate back in to the work place was the fact that for the first two weeks,  I was 'allowed' to work a day from home. Unfortunately my boss has since told me that it isn't an option for me to do more of this in future, and I can't understand why. I work as a social media manager so my job can easily be done remotely on occasion. 

The difference being able to work from home makes for me as a mother, is enormous. It made me feel that for once I was being treated as a worthy member of my department, valued and trusted to work without supervision, because of course working from home is often synonymous with the phrase 'pulling a sickie'! I felt like I actually got a lot more work done at home too because I could actually focus on the task at hand rather than having to stop and make inane chit chat with whoever walks past my desk in work. My mother was also there with me, helping look after little E and Rufio and I was able to stop for a break every now and then, help with nappy changes, lunch/dinner times and the occasional sneaky snuggle.

From a practical point of view, as a family we didn't have to wake up quite so early in the morning as there was no commute. Consequently everyone was in a much better mood throughout the day ( myself included) and getting ready was slightly less hurried and therefore less stressful all round. 

Most of all it made me feel empowered, that I could still be there for my children whilst juggling my job at the same time. For just two days, I felt far more inspired to get on with my work, I was more focused and therefore productive and ultimately I felt far more satisfied in my job. 

The government always seems eager to push mothers back in to the workplace, without a second thought to the emotional impact this has on us as human beings. I often feel like so much is expected of me, as a woman, a mother, an employee, a colleague etc and creating a work / life balance often feels unachievable.
Whilst promoting flexible working hours is certainly a step in the right direction, I also feel that much more should be done to allow working from home as a viable option for mothers in similar positions to myself. From a business point of view it means one less person in the office, lower overheads and so more profitability for businesses in the long run. Equally, greater job satisfaction is known to decreases absenteeism.   

Of course you can argue that you can't reproduce the interaction that goes on in the workplace remotely. Last year, Yahoo actually banned employees from working at home because of this and I feel that this move was slightly shameful, especially given that their CEO Marissa Mayer is herself a new mother! With all the technology available to us in 2014 there is no reason why a combination of working from home and office should be an option available to mothers!

I don't usually write opinionated posts but this is something that I feel very strongly about as you can probably tell. Are you a Mama who works ( aside from bringing up your children of course) and how do you feel about having the option to work from home, I would love to hear your views.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Nails of the Week: Gelish & Models Own

This week my nails are super neon peach with Gelish's I'm brighter than you and Models Own- Microdots as an accent nail. If you're not in to gels then Models Own in Beach bag or China Glaze's flip flop fantasy would make good dupe to recreate this look. 

Microdots from Models Own, is a multicoloured glitter polish on a clear base, it looks great on it's own or over a nude polish but right now I'm really in to amping up the colour and layering it over neons.
It reminded me of cupcake sprinkles until little E pointed out that it is in fact Mr Tumble Nail Polish!!

She is obsessed with Microdots, she has it on her fingers and toes at the moment and makes a point of showing her mani/ pedi to anyone who will listen. I really need to get her some child friendly nail polish, without any nasty chemicals. I hear Little BU is good, have any of you tried this?  

Now that I'm back in work I am trying to be super organised, getting the children's clothes ready the night before and having prepared for the morning. Yesterday morning however, I noticed that I had unwittingly matched my nails to the kiddiewinks' outfits. I love a good neon if you hadn't noticed!!

I have been getting lots of lovely comments about my tan lately. I wish I could say it was from two weeks of lying on a beach in Mykonos, unfortunately that's going to have to wait until the end of the summer. This tan is intact from a bottle, I'll be posting a review very soon on Cocoa Brown's 1hr tan Dark. It is uh-may-zing, a total game changer!!
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