Top 5 Space Saving Tips For New Furniture

Maximise space with these five top tips for dressing a smaller room…

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Space can be at a premium. From car parking outside your home, to garden space, and space in individual rooms. Not having enough room can mean that we feel hemmed in, and make the area full and cluttered. But with these ‘space-saving’ tips you can have a stylish and open feel to a room. It is all about colour and choosing furniture carefully, so that it blends and works well together.

Lighter Impact Furniture

This may be a phrase you have not come across before, but it is a concept that is all around you. To maximise space in a room, you need to show as much floor space as possible. And this means choosing furniture that is not block like, but lighter on its impact on, and in, the room. For example, consider the wingback chair; iconic in shape and style. You may think the wings make it feel big and cumbersome in a smaller living room. However, it doesn’t and that is because there is a gap between the floor and the underside of the seat. It appeals to the eye because it does not close down the floor space. Simple when you think about it – try it!

Neutral Tones and Colours

A small space may not be the place to experiment with dark, moody colours and tones (but we will take a look at this concept in a moment…). So if you crave space and light, then the answer is lighter, neutral tones throughout. That includes the walls, the ceiling, and the floor. Avoiding dark colours means light is not absorbed by the room but reflected within it. And this goes for furniture too. However, it doesn’t mean that patterns are out of the question. But use darker colours sparingly in the fabric, keeping fabric choices light and airy; perfect for making a room feel and look bigger.

A Dash of Dark Colour

Interior trends come and go. And when trends dictate darker colours, it can be hard to ignore. But small spaces and dark colours are not natural bedfellows: dark colours soak up light, leaving precious little for the remainder of the room. It can draw a wall or ceiling into the space; unless that is the look you are opting for, it is not a welcome effect of using dark colours. So when you want to add a pop of colour, use it sparingly. For example, in the bedroom, opt for a large, dark coloured fabric headboard and offset this with the rest of the room in light, neutral but complementing tones. In the living room, you could add a dark coloured armchair or two, or maybe add a burst of colour with a rug. Think smaller portions of dark colour rather than a whole feature wall.

Clever Furniture Choices

As already mentioned, furniture choices play a large part in how well dressed a room looks. Not opting for block armchairs and sofas that meet the floor helps the feeling of space by maximising the floor space. Choosing low impact furniture helps create a sense of space too but this can cause practical issues that need to be taken care of. In a small space, wall-to-wall furniture seems to ‘just happen’ because, after all, you need storage space. But be clever in your choices of furniture and opt for ones in which there is storage included. For example, forsake the sideboard for hiding away clutter with an ottoman coffee table. And when you do choose additional furniture, such as shelving units for example, keep the overall design ‘open’ so that it doesn’t feel like it is closing down the space.

Think Vertical

A room feels cluttered when the eyeline seems cluttered. And it feels small when the ceiling appears not too far from the top of your head. The feeling of space in a room comes from vision, not necessarily from the physical dimensions of the room. And that means tricking the eye into thinking there is more space than there actually is. Do this by magnifying and emphasising the height of a room. There are many ways of achieving this, but the traditional design ideas still hold water:

  • Light colours on ceilings – stick with brilliant, clean and crisp white if you can, or if that feels too stark, use a light shade of cream – but no darker. 
  • Hang curtain poles just below the ceiling – the long swathes of fabric will give the instant appeal of the room being tall and the room spacious. 
  • Vertical stripes may seem obvious, but they work – choose a muted striped pattern for wallpaper and if you don’t think it will work throughout the room, use it on one wall for a striking effect. 

Space saving and space maximising tips are all well and good, but which ones can you live with?

Sloane & Sons have a range of chairs that give any room, large or small, massive appeal. Traditional and iconic, the winged chair is a piece used in modern interior designs too and is ideal for use in a small living room or bedroom.

*Disclosure: This post is written in collaboration with Sloane & Sons.

Organise Your Bedroom #StorageForTheWin 

Despite only having one child, and being minimalist myself personally, I find we do still seem to have our fair share of stuff! I think that is down to a combination of reasons; we are home educators, so perhaps by nature we do need more things at home for that purpose. Plus we also spend more time at home than many people because of Squiggle’s needs. But whatever the reason is, a messy house is no use to anyone! I hate wasting time looking for missing things, life is much easier when our home environment is tidy and well oganised. Less distractions and less stress!

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Bedrooms are especially essential to be tidy and organised. I feel that it is much easier to get restful, good quality sleep in a calm, cosy environment; it helps my brain feel relaxed and able to switch off. Too much clutter visible in the bedroom is not conducive to good sleep!

That’s why I am pleased to be taking part in Bed Guru’s #StorageForTheWin campaign by sharing my organisation and storage tips for your bedroom. Online bed retailers Bed Guru are sleep experts; they understand that everyone has different sleep requirements and feel it is their obligation to ensure that everybody gets a goodnight sleep! They also have a fab competition running to win an ottoman divan bed base – more info on that below!

Top Tips To Declutter 

Ok, so first things first. If you want a neat and tidy bedroom then you need to get rid of the clutter! It is far easier to get organised – and stay that way – if you don’t have too much stuff to stay on top of in the first place. Here are my suggestions for effective decluttering:

• Sort everything into piles (e.g. tops, shoes, bedding and so on…)

• One pile at a time, go through each item in the pile. Consider if it is important and still useful to you. Only keep the things that you really need and/ or truly matter to you.

• For the items you do not plan to keep, organise them into piles of recycling/ upcycling, charity/ pass on to someone else and things to sell (if you so wish – otherwise these would also go in the charity pile).

• For items to keep, the next step will be to consider how and where to store it! (See below). 

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Organisation and Storage Tips

• Only store things in the bedroom that belong in there; it is meant to be a peaceful sanctuary for restful sleep, not a storage room!

• Shelves are useful for keeping smaller items that you would like to have out on display. Shelves above the bed, or corner shelving, maximises use of space most effectively.

• Wardrobes with sliding doors are great space savers. You can use boxes within the wardrobe to make best use of all the room available. Alternatively, choose a wardrobe with extra rails, drawers and/ or shelves built in. Or do both! 

• Find bedroom furniture that can be used for multi-purposes. For example, drawers or wardrobes that also serve as a bedside table.

• Use drawer dividers to organise smaller items effectively.

• Divan bed bases are a great way to store stuff in the bedroom out of sight without taking up any extra space for storage. Ottoman divan bed bases are especially great because they have a lift up opening base, with the help of gas pistons. This type of divan can store heavier items than the typical sliding drawer version because the bed base is supported by the floor. Some styles of Ottoman even open from the side so can fit snugly into tighter gaps; perfect for smaller bedrooms.

Win An Ottoman Divan Bed Base

As I mentioned above, Bed Guru are giving one very lucky person the chance to win an Ottoman divan bed base, so do pop over to their website to enter! With a choice of 19 fabrics, this awesome side opening storage bed will help you to organise your bedroom perfectly!  

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Find more storage and organisation tips, and share your own suggestions too, using the hashtag #StorageForTheWin on social media.

*Disclosure: This post is written in collaboration with Bed Guru.

    Depression: A Closer Look At Mental Health 

    Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the world and affects 350 million people worldwide. What Are the Symptoms of Depression?
    There are different types of depression with various symptoms but the most common include feeling sad, hopeless, and depressed for longer than two weeks, difficulty concentrating, feeling guilty or worthless, lack of energy or extreme fatigue, change in sleep pattern (sleeping too little or too much), lack of appetite, weight loss or gain, losing interest in activities you usually enjoy,
    or thoughts of harming yourself. There is no definite cause of depression but there are many theories and risk factors. There are many ways to treat depression, from medical to holistic. 

    ​What Is ‘Wrong’ with Me?

    Do you sometimes feel like something is missing in your life? Maybe you have lost interest in the activities that you used to love, such as biking or swimming. Are you feeling more tired than usual? You may be suffering from clinical depression. Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the world and affects 350 million people worldwide. In the United States, over 16 million adults have had at least one major depressive episode. That is close to 7% of all the adults in the United States.

    Who Is Most Affected by Depression?

    Although anyone can get depression at any age, and any gender, women are more than twice as likely to become depressed. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the age group that is most affected is between 12 and 25 years of age. However, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports a higher incidence of depression in adults from 40 to 59 years old. This discrepancy may be due to fluctuating amounts of reports from different years. Either way, anyone can have depression, no matter how old you are. 

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    What Are the Symptoms of Depression?

    There are different types of depression with various symptoms, but the most common include:

    • Feeling sad, hopeless, and depressed for longer than two weeks

    • Difficulty concentrating

    • Feeling guilty or worthless

    • Lack of energy or extreme fatigue

    • Change in sleep pattern (sleeping too little or too much)

    • Lack of appetite

    • Weight loss or gain

    • Losing interest in activities you usually enjoy

    • Thoughts of harming yourself

    Causes of Depression

    There is no definite cause of depression but there are many theories and risk factors. Some of these include:

    • Imbalance of brain chemicals

    • Hormones

    • Genetics

    • Previous mental health condition

    • Environmental such as extreme poverty, abuse, and neglect

    • Alcohol or drug abuse

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    How to Treat Depression

    There are many ways to treat depression, from medical to holistic. The most common way to treat depression is with antidepressant medication, such as Prozac, Wellbutrin, or Zoloft. These medications may take one or two weeks to take full effect, but just knowing that you are doing something to help can make you feel better. Psychotherapy is another common treatment for depression that is effective. Also, research shows that exercise is good for depression because it raises the dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin levels in the brain.

    Talk Therapy

    Talking about what you are feeling is one of the best ways to help yourself feel better. Some people prefer to talk to a psychiatrist, friend, or family member. However, others are more comfortable opening up to strangers in support groups. One thing that has become really popular recently is online therapy. It is extremely convenient to be able to just go online and talk to someone on Facetime, Google Hangouts, or Skype without having to leave your home. This is perfect for those of us who are so busy taking care of the kids, household, and everything else. Some websites offer thousands of licensed therapists who are available 24 hours a day. Go online and check it out. You can start feeling better today.

    *Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

    Housing Rabbits: A Hutch Is Not Enough

    A while back now I mentioned that I would write more about the enclosure we have for our beautiful pair of bunny furbabies. They are a larger breed and we couldn’t find anything on the market that we felt offered them enough space, but equally we are not DIY minded enough to make anything secure enough ourselves. So we set about having an enclosure custom – made by a highly rated ebay seller, and gave our exact specifications. We found this to be a relatively cheap option, it arrived very easy to assemble and is great quality construction; just what we need! 

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    We didn’t want anything to be able to dig in or out of their new home, so we laid down some wire mesh flooring, secured to the enclosure using cable ties, then covered it over with rolls of turf so the bunnies would be none the wiser! Then we added a shelter, plus some tunnels for them to play and hide in as well. They love their enclosure! 

    Step By Step Guide

    Measure the wire mesh to slightly larger than the enclosure area and cut it to size. Lay it down flat. Overlap any joins and cable tie them securely.

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    Put the enclosure frame on top of the wire flooring, making sure there is an overlap around the edges.

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    Secure the wire mesh to the bottom of the enclosure using cable ties. Make sure they are very tight so can’t be chewed and cut off the end being careful not to leave sharp edges.

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    Lay rolls of turf over the floor to cover over the wire. Take care to ensure there are no exposed edges or sharp bits of wire anywhere. 

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    Shelter and Accessories

    We then added a dog kennel from Pets at Home and burrow pipes from runaround for shelter and protection too. We also left the extra roll of turf we had spare in the enclosure as a little hill/ mound as well. We will introduce new things over time for further enrichment of course. 

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    The wire roof has a fold back panel opening. Once closed it is secured with padlocks and then partially covered over for extra protection. 

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    Final Thoughts

    Ideally this would be connected to a shed and/ or have extra adjoining sections. We hope that we can build them an extension soon! However, free range access to the garden under supervision for daily exercise is a good alternative too though. 

    Do you have pet rabbits? What type of enclosure do they live in?

    How To Tackle Cash Flow Issues

    We have all been there; despite doing your best to stay on top of the finances, somehow the money doesn’t quite stretch to your next pay check. Maybe an unexpected expense has cropped up that really cannot wait until the end of the month. Or an unpaid invoice messes up your carefully planned budget. Or perhaps it is simply that an error has occured somewhere along the line. Whatever the reason, realising you have a cash flow problem can be very stressful. Here are some top tips on how to tackle it… 

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    Nip Issues in the Bud 

    First of all, start trying to address the issue as soon as you realise that your money won’t stretch. If you see a shortfall coming and react immediately, you will have more options and less of a problem than if you bury your head in the sand and wait for the inevitable. 

    Immediately cut back on any unnecessary spending – and evaluate what you actually consider to be necessary to ensure it truly is absolutely essential. Even small budget cuts to groceries shopping for example, or walking whenever possible to save petrol money, could help to narrow that gap significantly. 

    Also check you don’t have any non-essential direct debits coming out and cancel any you don’t actually need to pay; for example, subscriptions. Although do be aware of minimum notice periods for any cancellations, or potential charges as per contracts, when doing this – you don’t want to find yourself in a different type of financial difficulty instead!

    Raise Some Cash – Fast

    Next up, try to raise the shortfall money. There are several ways to potentially do this, depending on how fast you need to raise the cash how much you need. Here are some suggestions:

    • Have a clear-out. Sell any secondhand items in good condition that you no longer actually use or need. While sites such as ebay are the obvious first choice for many people, I have personally found that it is actually often quicker and easier to sell on local selling sites via facebook, if your area has one. 
    • Get some extra temporary work. I know this can be a very tough task, and it depends on how much time you have, but it is sometimes possible! Take on extra shifts at work, or enquire about overtime. If this is not an option, you could try temp agencies or online sites like fiverr. Or look into casual work, such as at local bars. You could also just generally ask around to find out if anyone needs an extra pair of (paid) hands for one-off jobs; you never know, you might be asking at just the right time for someone to offer an ideal opportunity! (Note: Make sure you disclose paid work of course!) 
    • Exchange gift cards for cash. Do you have any gift cards that you haven’t yet spent? Assuming you can’t spend them on essentials, try selling them on local selling groups, or sites such as Zeek.

    And if all else fails… 

    If you have tried and failed to resolve the issue using the advice above, and anything else you might have thought of, then you may feel that it is time to consider borrowing. One possibility might be to ask friends or family, whereas for others this may not be an option, or you might simply prefer not to go down this route. A payday loan, using a credit card if you have one, or extending your overdraft are other options to explore. If the cash flow crisis is due to an unexpected item replacement, buying it on finance may be another option. It is important to compare fees and rates if you do borrow, in order to find the solution that is right for you. And remember to pay the money back as quickly as possible, and most definitely on time, so that you don’t fall further into debt. 

    Last But Not Least

    Once you have resolved the cash flow issue, try to reflect on what went wrong and take stock of your financial situation. Consider if and how you could try to avoid a cash flow problem happening again in the future. Review your budget and make sure you stick to it. Start a savings account if at all possible; try to put 10% of earnings into it if you can. The more prepared you are for any financial scenario, the less likely you are to get caught out again next time something crops up! (I do realise this is often easier said than done of course!)

    *Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.


    Love Your Body: Live Your Life by Shopaholic Adventures (Guest Post) 

    “The greatest fear in the world is of the opinions of others. And the moment you are unafraid of the crowd, you are no longer a sheep, you become a lion. A great roar arises in your heart, the roar of freedom.”

    – Osho

    Fashion is something I’ve always been passionate about, but it wasn’t always an easy hobby to have as a chubby girl in school and college, with limited options to wear to hide my fat.  I never had the confidence to fit into the kind of clothes my friends wore, this was the biggest beauty-anxiety and insecurity, I struggled with throughout my adolescent and teen years. 

    I tried my best to loose weight, from GM Diet, aerobics, yoga (inspired by weightloss journey of Kareena Kapoor and religiously doing 50 surya namaskars every day), skipping meals, to diets and more diets and I would be lying if I say it dint loose, I did loose but it was a temporary weight loss and I gained back again within 2-3 months.

    But the truth is, I know better – we all know better! Happiness is not a number on the scale. Happiness is from inside, its believing in you, self confidence. I learnt it the hard way after years of diets and exercise, I looked in the mirror and asked myself why I spent so much time hating my wide hips, lack of a thigh gap, thunder thighs, cellulite, stretch marks, thick knees? I asked myself, was wasting time focusing on the outside, worth being trapped in a mental prison of unhappiness on the inside?

    “You get to be a beautiful, “flawed,” and perfectly imperfect human being. You can choose to go from being a victim to becoming the hero of your own life story. There is no room for failure as YOU become in charge of yourself!!”

    body confidence, body positive, plus size, inspirational, fashion, blogger, Shopaholic Adventures, guest post, Living Life Our Way

    From that moment on, I made an effort to focus on accepting things about myself I once considered flaws. That was the day I got the confidence to pursue my love for fashion and be a fashion blogger, try new looks and styles and wear what I like. I love to dress up and I do it, I love wearing red and hot pink, and no one can tell me to not to wear as it might make me look fat. Well I say, let it be “that’s who I am. I love myself for who and how I am, and will continue to love myself forever.”

    “Your body size will fluctuate but the love you have for yourself will forever remain,

    Self-love is unconditional, no rules, no criticisms,

    Just over whelming LOVE!!”

    body confidence, body positive, plus size, inspirational, fashion, blogger, Shopaholic Adventures, guest post, Living Life Our Way

    This guest post was written by Praghti Malhotra, Co-Founder and Editor of Shopaholic Adventures You can also find her on Facebook Instagram and Pinterest.

    An Interview With Jo Huey: Author of Transition (Book Blog Tour)

    Jo Huey is an inspirational speaker, coach and author. She is also an adult child of an alcoholic and shares her personal story of living with an alcoholic father for 16 years and how that has impacted her adult life.

    Jo shares her story for two reasons, the first is to connect with those that have been affected so they know they aren’t alone and the second to educate and inform others about this very hidden problem. Within the book, Jo shares several techniques you’ll be able to learn and use in your life if you really want the change you seek.

    If you are interested in an inspirational and motivational story, then you won’t be disappointed. Her book, Transition, can be purchased through Amazon*.

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    Here is my Q&A with Jo…

    What process do you follow for your writing? Are you a planner or do you just let it flow? Straight to PC, or pen and paper?

    I started typing in Word straight away, no pen to paper for me. I don’t think my hand would cope with that! I’m a much faster typist, so that was never in question.

    I did a bit of planning in terms of topics and chapters, but it wasn’t until after I gave it to my friend to review that she suggested a different format. I started making all sorts of notes on post-its and hanging them from string but it just looked overwhelming, so I reverted back to my writing on the PC.

    I broke the chapters down and then added a ‘Time to Reflect’ section after many chapters, which allowed me to explain how I saw the previous chapters in the present. This allowed me to introduce learnings and reflections which would keep the reader engaged.

    Do you attend writing/author focused conferences? Which is your favourite?

    No I have never attended any writing conferences or any associated events. Recently, I’ve been given details about groups on Facebook which I’ve joined so I can learn and mix with other authors.

    How many manuscripts do you have that you never submitted? Will you consider approaching your publisher with them now?

    I went through a number of versions with my book and I had a draft printed, but it was never published because my ex boyfriends didn’t agree with the content. I had to redo it before I could self-publish.

    What one piece of advice do you wish you received before you started writing? What one piece of intended good advice, wasn’t what it seemed?

    I think if someone had suggested getting the right type of person to help with the editing and creation of the book that would have been helpful. I chose someone to edit it who used to be an editor, and was used to taking content out to make it succinct. That didn’t really suit the style of my book – what I needed was someone that knew about storytelling and how to engage with the audience.

    Being told to think about the structure was helpful… but also not, at the same time. If you’re new to writing it’s all a mine field and so it’s hard to know what will and won’t work.

    What is your favourite thing about the whole writing process?

    Once you’ve started writing a book it’s quite addictive and you can see something tangible coming together. For me, because the content was very personal, it allowed me to reflect on things that had happened, which was very interesting.

    Was there a particular book that made you sit up and think ‘that’s it, I’m going to be an author too’?

    I wouldn’t say a particular book but more a person. I was at a networking event I ran and a lady who attended said to me ‘Jo, you have a story, you should tell it’. That got me thinking into lots of things and that’s basically how I started the book and my business.

    Who do you envisage as playing your characters if your book was ever turned into a movie?

    There is no doubt in my mind that Reece Witherspoon would play me. She is someone I admire very much. Ever since watching her in ‘Legally Blonde’. I love her attitude and outlook on life and her integrity. She’s a great actress and so clever and I think she’d do a great job as she has done in other real life stories.

    What do you consider is your greatest accomplishment?

    My greatest accomplishment in my life has to be the transformation I’ve been through. It was one of the hardest and most fantastic things I chose to do. It’s taken courage, strength and determination but it has been worth the investment. My life has changed dramatically and ultimately I’m a more fulfilled, happier and calmer person because of it.

    Thank you Jo, for the interview.

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    *Amazon affiliate link

    10 Reasons To Be Happy

    I was tagged by The Mum Diaries to write about ten things that make me happy in celebration of International Day of Happiness. (Yes, I do realise I am very late!) So here goes…

    1. My family. Ok, granted, they also drive me crazy and make me want to run away screaming sometimes too. But, you know… balance is everything 😉 They definitely come top of the list! Squiggle in particular needs a special mention here. 💜

    2. My furbabies. Also part of the family of course, but they deserve a separate mention. How could I not smile at these little cuties!

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    3. Photography. I am by no means an expert, I don’t even have proper equipment, but I really enjoy it as a hobby. It brings out the creative side of me and that makes me happy!

    4. Writing/ blogging. I started writing a semi- private blog shortly after Squiggle was born, partly as a journal for those early days as new parent and as a way to share our latest news and developments with family. Over the years, this shifted in focus and naturally evolved; firstly to document our home ed journey then to share our love of nature, before developing it into a family lifestyle blog. I am a self- employed blogger now and am grateful that I can earn a small income from my interests! 

    5. Outdoors. I love getting outside in nature, it is so relaxing and helps with my overall wellbeing, and therefore my happiness.

    6. Live music. Whether it is at a huge festival or local pub, my favourite band or newbies playing covers, I just LOVE it. Seriously get all the feels!

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    7. Nights out. These are fairly rare, like many parents! But having the odd proper night out on the town now and again, catching up with friends (often involving drinking and dancing too!) gives me a chance to let my hair down and socialise. If the night out includes live music, even better!!!

    8. My guilty pleasures on TV. Big Brother, Love Island, TOWIE, Made in Chelsea to name but a few…. I can’t help it, I love them!

    9. Travel. I want to do more of this. The excitement of new adventures; visiting new countries and exploring new places is something that makes me really happy.

    10. Myself. Ultimately happiness comes from within. Looking after my own wellbeing, keeping myself balanced and maintaining my sense of inner peace, all leads to truly being happy.

    I now tag Clear and InspiredSo This is Adulthood and From Rachael Claire to write about 10 things that make you happy! 

    My Breastfeeding Story: From Latching Difficulties, Mastitis and Exploding Boobs To A Beautiful Extended Breastfeeding Relationship

    To mark the end of world breastfeeding week, I am taking a look back at my breastfeeding journey. Here is my story…

    I was very determined to breastfeed but our journey got off to a rough start after my c-section. (You can read my birth story here). I found it really difficult to begin with; I couldn’t get the latch right, she was unsettled and fidgety, and I was recovering from the birth. She was fractious and had to have blood tests to check her sugar levels. I was warned she would have to be topped up with formula if things didn’t improve, which left me feeling stressed and upset. I felt as a new mum that my very first choices as a parent were being undermined. If I remember rightly, during my two day stay in hospital I was told several times that the lactation consultant would see me but I don’t recall they did.

    Once home, we continued to have lots of problems with latching on. The midwife was bolshy and grabbed at my breast heavy handedly, trying to get her to latch. I felt… well maybe violated is too strong a word… but uncomfortable would be an understatement. It didn’t help. I was ridiculously sore everytime I fed her and so I was recommended nipple shields. I think they may have been helpful and necessary in our case but they also interferred with the natural dynamics of breastfeeding and were fiddly.

    She was also jaundiced so we were advised by the midwife that we had to feed every 2 hours around the clock, which meant we weren’t feeding on demand and she got into bad habits of having little and often, and waking frequently. I got mastitis twice, plus we rushed to hospital with an ‘exploding’ boob! (This is not as bad as it sounds; it was just a burst blood vessel. But when my daughter looked up at me with a mouthful of blood that I thought was hers, it gave me a fright that’s for sure!) All in all, our breastfeeding relationship was off to a pretty rocky start!

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    I don’t think things really clicked and got easier until after 4 months, which felt like forever at the time! By then, I was also incredibly self conscious about breastfeeding in public because I was finding it so tough to get it right even in the privacy of my own home. My answer to this was to express bottles to use whenever I went out anywhere. This was a good temporary solution for me as it meant I felt confident going out and socialising and I think if I hadn’t have done that I probably would have been more likely to just give up breastfeeding completely, but it probably did prolong the issues in the longer run. 

    I was close to giving up many times but it did finally get easier. I was glad I perservered, as I eventually got to experience how natural and easy it can be. Looking back, that difficult time seemed such a distant memory and I could see that those few months were such a short period in the scheme of things.

    I ended up extended breastfeeding full term. I would call it self-weaning but in reality it wasn’t because my milk dried up after several years. She easily accepted it though so I guess she was ready, even though it technically wasn’t her choice. 

    The bottom line is I did what I felt best at the time, and right for our family. And that is exactly what I think others should do too, regardless of what decision that is.

    Reality Rehab by Lisa Mary London – Book Blog Tour

    The following is a guest post by Lisa Mary London as part of her Reality Rehab blog tour.

    Gloria’s Guilty Addictions

    Buxom soap legend Gloria Grayson is headline news again, thanks to her starring role on TV’s biggest reality show, ‘Reality Rehab’ where she’s fighting the flab in front of 10 million viewers.  

    And her memoirs of the same name are flying off the bookshelves – adding the title of Author to her impressive resume of achievements!  In a world exclusive, Gloria reveals the personalities and pleasures she can’t live without.

    Lipstick

    When it comes to make-up more is more, and I’ve often been likened to Marilyn – Manson that is, not Monroe.  I didn’t become Britain’s sexiest soap icon without sporting more slap than Ronald McDonald.  Which reminds me, is it lunch time?

    I’m currently starring on reality TV, but I’m not a fan of the genre.  When I started out in showbiz, becoming famous required talent and hard graft.  You had to go to stage school, tour the provinces, sleep with TV executives…  These reality oiks walk into a house full of CCTV cameras and walk out megastars!  The world’s gone mad.

    As former star of Britain’s top soap ‘Jubilee Road’, I can’t get from one end of the Waitrose confectionary aisle to the other without a dozen selfie requests.  So along with my mobile, keys and emergency macaroon, I’m never without my scarlet lipstick.

    That said, I’m not keen on sneaky paparazzi shots taken when I’m putting out the bins, have accidentally parked in a disabled space, or set the dog on a Sun reporter.

    Baby-Girl

    My pedigree Maltipoo Baby-Girl is my constant companion and something of an addiction.  It’s spooky how much we have in common:  Both well-groomed, both glamorous and both capable of eating our own weight in banoffee pie.

    Baby-Girl’s in ‘Reality Rehab’ with me, on a strict diet and exercise regime.  Before rehab she’d never eaten dog food and weighed roughly the same as a snow leopard, or pop sensation Justin Bieber.

    I spoil my little sausage-gobbler rotten, she has a bigger designer wardrobe than I do, and why not?  Some people bitch my Baby-Girl’s a child substitute but they’ve got it all wrong – children are dog substitutes!

    Chocolate

    My name’s Gloria and I’m a chocoholic.  I could claim I’m devoted to the posh stuff but where cocoa’s concerned, I’m a total tart.  KitKat, Twix, Crunchie, Mars Bars, Snickers… and that’s before I’ve got out of bed!

    An unkind lady journalist recently pointed out my curves are a little more generous these days.  Rather ironic, as the tabloid reporter in question was a 16 stone cake monster with a backside that could fill the O2 Arena!

    I knew I’s gained weight when my masseuse asked if she could do the other leg next week, and I couldn’t find a Slanket to fit me.  As the saying goes – Life’s a bitch and then you diet!

    Perfume

    As two times holder of the ‘Rear of the Year’ title, the public could be forgiven for thinking my love life’s as peachy as my rear end.  

    No way!  I endured a hellish marriage to alcoholic love rat actor ‘Mad’ Tommy Mack, which was no picnic (Ooh, Picnic bars, I love those!)  If you’ve ever opened a newspaper, you’ll know my ex-husband’s so bad, he should have a bounty on his head.  But that’s another topic (Bounty… Topic… I’m ravenous and I’ve only just had lunch).

    We split acrimoniously, over his affair with a certain dyed redhead actress who shall remain nameless.  Oh alright then, Lianna Lowe. I came home one night and found an unfamiliar, budget brand G-string in our bed (Size 16, since you ask).

    When your love life stinks, a spray of Chanel No 5 is like a breath of fresh air.

    My Diary

    I never travel without my diary, as Oscar Wilde famously said, one should always have something sensational to read on the train. And my memoirs are so juicy, they inspired my fabulous new book, Reality Rehab.  

    It’s chock full of celebrity gossip and my glamorous pooch Baby-Girl is the cover star, in red bandana and matching designer shades.  Another of my addictions is animal print, and I designed the fabulous pink leopard cover myself. What better handbag accessory could a girl treat herself to than a copy of Reality Rehab – and all for the price of coffee and a cupcake!  Which reminds me, it’s time for my elevenses – Must dash! X