Friday, 22 September 2017

All Hallows Eve

Trick or treat

Halloween is a big topic of conversation in our house right now, Leo considers it a holiday as big as a Birthday or Christmas and I have already been given my marching orders to purchase him a axe and a big bucket so that he can collect candy. 

What Leo wants to dress up as this year is anybody's guess, we haven't quite got around to discussing that part of the scenario just yet, but to say he is excited is quite the understatement. We are lucky to live in a nice quiet area where it is possible for me to take him Trick or Treating, and last year he came home with enough candy to last him into the New Year (And it did!).

I guess I should have known that Leo would eventually catch the Halloween bug, because in my younger days (and I guess you could say older days because I still love any excuse to dress up!), I did love any excuse to dress up and get my scare on (and it appears that Leo is no different!).

Trick or treat

We have started looking at what we will be doing this All Hallows Eve, and it seems that we will MOST CERTAINLY be going out around our local neighbourhood seeing what tricks or treats Leo can endure, so of course that means that we will be getting some candy in and making the front of the house trick or treat friendly. Personalised Gift Shop have a great selection of Halloween Sweets and loot bags right now so make sure to check those out! 

I think that is what is most important really, if you are taking part in the Halloween fun then you need to make this clear to those who will be out and about. Our rule of thumb is to only knock on the door of those who have a pumpkin out of the front (or a skeleton of course!). That way we avoid annoying people who may not want to open the door to a bunch of kids and strangers.

Last year Leo and I went out with another local family around the local area, we were back nice and early so we grabbed a chip shop dinner and sat around watching Hocus Pocus (and of course answered the door every time it knocked), we ate some of the sweet haul and just had a nice evening while some candles flickered in the background. 

If you are stuck for things to do with the children this Halloween then this Halloween To Do List might be a good place to start, it's full of ideas from Pumpkin Carving, what to watch on the box, games and what to eat! 

With Halloween just over a month away, I need to make sure that Leo is sorted with a costume, loot bag and whatever else he may need. I am half tempted to call in a Cruella Deville costume and take Lux out for the evening stroll, because why should Leo have all the fun? 

Poor Lux had to endure his first Halloween last year, and that involved his spots turning into spiders....

Spider Dalmatian

We tried to grow our own pumpkins this year, and unfortunately it seems that we still have to go and purchase them. One spotty dog has been eating anything and everything that dares to grow in our grow bags. The cucumbers are missing chunks and a tell tale sign was when we caught him trying to bury his chicken thigh in with the plants....

We do carve a pretty good pumpkin though, so it doesn't really matter where they come from.






Let's Talk About BOOBS



Let's talk about boobs.

I think that it's absolute madness that in 2017 it is still taboo to talk about BOOBS. Maybe it's because at some point over the ages, women's breasts have become sexualised and in this capacity it has meant that this natural part of a woman's anatomy has become tarnished, so that when women need to discuss important issues about their own body, they don't feel that they can, or maybe that they should.

Now this is usually very apparent when it comes to breastfeeding, I have heard of Mother's who have taken themselves away to the bathroom to feed their baby, whether it was through embarrassment or the worry of offending bystanders with their natural womanly feeding techniques, whatever it was, it shouldn't have ever been an issue and it should be accepted no matter where you are in the world.

The nature of this actually extends far past the aspect of just breastfeeding though, it comes down to health and wellbeing. As women we should ALL know our bodies, this gives us an advantage in the instance that we notice a change, maybe a new lump that wasn't there before. The sooner we can pin point what might be going on, the sooner we can seek help, guidance and if needed, treatment.
When to see a doctor:
- You spot a new lump or thickened tissue in either breast that was not there before.
- A change of size or shape of either one of your breasts.
- Bloodstained discharge from your nipples, or a rash surrounding them.
- A lump or selling in either of your armpits
- Skin dimpling on your breasts.
- A change in the appearance of your nipples. For example becoming sunken into your breast.
It is worth remembering that breast pain isn't usually a symptom of breast cancer, and 90% of lumps are not cancerous, but it is always worth getting checked over by your GP.
We live in a world where we hear about cancer everyday, and one of those cancer's is of course breast cancer. We cannot be scared of discussing this, of sharing our experiences because ultimately they could help to save lives.

Back in 2015 I found my very own lump.
I can recall it like it happened only yesterday...

Leo was sat on the bed with the iPad in hand and the television for company, while I took off my clothes and got ready for my shower. I brushed my teeth and it was while completing this mundane everyday task that I first saw it.

I actually saw it before I had even touched it. The lump was big enough for me to see in my reflection and instinctively I put my hand up to lay a finger on it, to feel it. to investigate its presence. It was hard to the touch, solid and about the same size as a small blueberry, but it was there to the side of my left breast just waiting to be discovered.

I booked a doctors appointment and thankfully I was given the all clear right then and there, but actually finding a lump is enough to really strike the worry into you.

There are measures you can take to check yourself out at home, have you ever heard of Breastlight?

Breastlight™ is a new health and well being product for women. It’s actually a unique invention for detection of breast illness. Being part of breast cancer awareness campaign this self-examination device helps in finding the abnormalities in breast and a woman can examine any unusual change in their breasts with frequent sessions that can easily be done at home.



Breastlight shines a harmless red light through the breast tissue so that you can see some of the particulars inside. Through these sessions you can have a clear view and further can make out whether it is giving normal signs or some alarming ciphers. In such a way you feel more confident that you are having a caring disposition for your body as well as a sigh of relief and obviously it dispels many apprehensions.
I really like that this is something you can do from home, because it gives you that extra detail when you are being vigilant, it allows you to take your home check that one step further. It obviously does not replace the necessity of a Mammogram screening, but it can really aid the home check.

It's so important to simply be vigilant and consistent, and if you are unsure or concerned about anything, book in with your doctor and take the next step forward.

Planning a Baby's Nursery


Planning a Baby's Nursery

 It's been a long time since I prepared Leo's nursery, but it was something that I truly loved doing. There is something truly special about furnishing and decorating a room that is dedicated to your young child. A room that you can put a personal touch on and fill with all of the things that are going to be a big part of their lives in the years that are to come.

When Leo was born I was still at home, but luckily we had a room that would become Leo's. I spent my time painting it Blue and decided on subtle hints of Disney through the use of wall stickers and cuddly toys. I would have loved to incorporate some Disney Blinds like the ones here on the VELUX website.

It is a room we kept simple, but a room that always felt calm, it was a practical space that had plenty of storage for all of the clothing that he was going to grow in and out of very quickly, a space that held all of his toys and the room that was where he was now going to be sleeping in.

Planning a Baby's Nursery

Leo was 12 weeks old when we started to make the transition from moses basket to the cot, and it was something that I was in two very different minds about, but the reality was that he was now growing so quickly and the moses basket was simply not a safe option any longer. 

It took us about a week to get the room ready for our not so little man, and if you are currently going through a similar transition, I highly recommend checking out your local Facebook selling sites. We picked up the White Wardrobe for a bargain price second hand, and we still have it 6 years later in Leo's room at the new house.

It's so easy to be fooled into thinking that you need to purchase everything new (I looked at the children's wardrobes and almost choked on my cup of tea!), but there are some bargains to be had in brilliant condition. We did purchase Leo's cot new from Toys R Us, but in hindsight, most of the bedroom furniture was bought second hand. 
Planning a Baby's Nursery

The best advice I could give anyone who is currently trying to kit out a nursery is purchase as much as you can second hand, if you can't find what you need, see what discounts/special offers are available and whatever you do, purchase full size items (Like the wardrobe) so that it will last as they transition from babies into small children.

Leo has been out for his cot for what feels like a lifetime now, and he has just gone into his first double bed (upon his request), so that should now see him into his teenage years.

One thing is for sure, these kids certainly grow up very quickly.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post

Thursday, 21 September 2017

UncommonGoods - Top 5 Gift Ideas

I have started thinking about the C word over here at Life Unexpected and that has involved a number of different lists being made, because this year I am really struggling to come up with ideas for people. It definitely does get harder with each year that goes by, because what do you get for people who already have everything?  I have already decided that this year we are going to make sure that we just get Leo items that we know he will use, after having a huge toy cull over the last month or so, the last thing we want to do is be inundated with new toys all over again...

With that in mind I have taken to the internet on the hunt for new and exciting places to get started with the Christmas shopping (it really is never too early!), I love coming across new companies online because it allows you to browse through a selection of products that you may have never come across before, and that is exactly what happened when I discovered UncommonGoods. 

UncommonGoods was founded back in 1999 in Brooklyn, New York and they set out to feature unique gifts such as jewelry, d├ęcor, tabletop items and handcrafted presents that have been created in harmony with our environment and without causing any harm to animals or our fellow human race. They are  proud to be a founding B Corp. B Corporations use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems around the world, this means that they meet a rigorous standard on a wide range of issues, including wage levels, environmental impact, and giving back to the community.

I love companies like this because you really do get to see some interesting and one of a kind pieces, and that is exactly why I have picked out 5 of my favourite UncommonGoods Gift ideas to share with you.

I have picked these 5 items out with thoughts of my the older family members such as siblings, parents and close relatives. 

Personalised Family Print

My brother and his wife are moving into their new home in the next week or so, and I couldn't help thinking just how lovely this print is. I do love a unique gift idea, especially ones that you can customise it to reflect your own family members and this art by Mary and Shelly Klein is just lovely. You can customise the skin tones, hair, clothing colours and create a really gorgeous piece that is personal to the chosen recipients. 

It's printed on 100% archival enhanced matte paper and framed in Black BonanzaWood.

Intersection of Love - Photo Print


I really like this piece, and was actually looking at it as a potential stocking filler for the other half as this fit us better as we aren't married, and obviously both have different surnames. You can put both of your surnames on the sign along with a special year (and you can even add in a second special date, like maybe the day you got married).

Scratch Map Deluxe


This got me thinking about Luke again, he has a real love globes and maps (You just need to look at his flat where there are two rather large maps of the world on display!), and I thought that a world map where you can scratch off where you have been was just a brilliant idea. 

The map is printed in refined gold-and-black palette, and with the eraser you can scratch off the places that you have been! When you take the layer off you uncover bursts of colour underneath along with infographics and facts about the world. It is printed on sturdy cardstock and made within the UK. 


Come In, Go Away Door Mat
I love a good door mat, especially one that reflects my sense of humour. The writing reads differently depending on which way you are reading it, one side says 'Come In' and the other 'Go Away'. It is sure to baffle your guests.

It's made out of coconut husks and made in India.

Nordic Tea Light Trough


I have been loving all the Autumn weather that is a sure fire sign that Winter is on the way, it's encouraging nights in with the candles flickering and a blanket to snuggle up with. This Nordic inspired tea light holder is a great addition to your hibernation, it has room for a whole row of tea lights and makes a beautiful silhouette of the forest. 

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

What’s Your Ideal Toilet?


The toilet has come from being a uniform, utilitarian bathroom feature to being a style statement in itself. Nowadays toilets are available in a bewildering range of shapes, sizes and varieties, with the latest addition being the wall-mounted type. 

If you’re remodelling your bathroom, you need to know about the different types of toilet and understand some of the jargon so that when you go to betterbathrooms.com you know exactly what you’re talking about. 

The closed-coupled toilet 
This type is the UK’s most popular and it consists of the familiar two pieces of porcelain – the cistern and the bowl. One good thing about this type is that it comes in a wide range of styles and colours so you’ll have more choices when it comes to expressing your style. The closed-coupled is also the cheapest option, both in terms of equipment and installation. 

The other advantage this type has is that the soil pipe can go out and to the right, left, down or back. 

The back-to- wall toilet 
A more modern take on the toilet is the back-to- wall design. This sort has the cistern hidden behind a wall or a cabinet to offer a sleek, neat and modern look. It can also be a big space saver because some concealed cisterns are as shallow as 10cm, which is much slimmer than the average closed-coupled tank. 

You can still get to the cistern if you need to – either through a panel in the cabinet or by removing a flush plate if it’s in a wall. This means maintenance and repairs are just as easy as they are with a regular style toilet. 

The wall-mounted toilet 
Wall-mounted toilets also have the cistern hidden away in furniture or behind a flush plate, but the cistern and the toilet are supported by a very strong wall frame. This toilet can fit to any wall as long as it’s supported and reinforced well enough. 

The frame can support up to 200kg in weight if it’s installed properly, so most people don’t need to worry about ripping it out of the wall. Wall- mounted toilets are ideal for a smaller bathroom as the floor underneath them creates the feeling of more open space. In fact, this type of toilet does also save some space in a similar way to the back-to- wall variety. 

The closed-back toilet 
This variety is also known as the fully-enclosed toilet and it’s a closed- coupled toilet that fits fully against the wall so it looks compact and neat. 

You can’t use this model, however, if the soil pipe exits to the right or to the left of the toilet. It’s easy to keep clean and you don’t have to look at a U-bend or other unsightly pipework. 

The comfort height toilet 
These toilets are around 4-5cm higher than regular ones so that they’re more comfortable for users. It might not seem much, but that extra 4- 5cm makes a lot of difference to the user if he or she is very tall, elderly or has mobility problems. Sitting down and getting up can be painful for many people, especially if they have arthritis in the knees or hips, so anything that makes life easier is more than welcome.

Implants Vs Dentures – What is the Difference?



Dentures, or false teeth as they are also known, have been around for many years, and for those who have lost their original set of teeth, dentures were the only way to remedy that, at least until the birth of dental implant technology. 

For those who wear dentures, the routine will already be embedded into your psyche, with many time consuming tasks to be carried out to maintain your removable teeth, which after a while, become second nature. The glass of water by the bed provides immersion for the teeth, while giving your overworked gums some much needed rest, and with a special denture cleaning pill dropped into the water before you sleep, your teeth are perfectly clean and ready to chomp. 

A Simple Plate

Image by EnvisionTEC via Flickr

Dentures are made from a special cast, which is applied to the roof of the mouth, and this impression gives the dentist the exact shape of your upper and lower jaw, which is then used to create the dentures. If you would like to know how much dentures cost, an online search will bring up a list of dental clinics that specialise in dentures, and you will get an idea of the cost range. The plate is either made with a rigid, acrylic resin or a special type of polymer, and is, of course, the same colour as your gums, making the dentures look natural. The plate must fit well, and usually are fixed in place using a special oral adhesive that will keep the dentures in place for the entire day. Often, the dentist will have to make minor adjustments to the plate using a high speed buffing tool, and while the wearer might experience some discomfort initially, this does not last long.

Image by drdaisy96

This is a revolutionary method that involves drilling into the jawbone and attaching tungsten steel pins, which will provide the anchor for the implants. Tungsten steel is used because it can easily fuse with bone, and after some time, is essentially part of the jaw structure. The implants could range from a single tooth to a full set of teeth, and typically, a full set of upper implants would be fabricated as a single unit, which is secured to the tungsten pins in 3 or 4 locations, giving the wearer a perfect set of teeth that are not removable. There are interesting articles online that discuss the risks and benefits of dental implants, and in particular, single tooth implants. 

As you might expect, dental implants are not cheap, but whether it is a single tooth or a complete set, implants are the closest one can get to the real thing. The implants would be guaranteed for many years, and there are different price brackets, depending on the implant material, and, as with all new technology, prices will invariably level out, making implants available to all. 

Dentistry, like every other profession, has had its fair share of innovations, and implants are a long term solution for missing teeth, with benefits that far outweigh dentures.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Uggs - Boots that last

Uggs


Years ago my other half treated me to a pair of Uggs, I think this was partly because he was fed up of seeing the worn out soles on my unofficial Ugg boots, and I have to admit that all these years later they are still serving me well. The soles are still in fantastic condition and they are looking over all super.

This one pair of Uggs has ultimately converted me, because as with anything else in life you really do get what you pay for. I have a feeling that my Uggs were a Christmas present dating back from before Leo was born, which makes them over 6 years old. 

How amazing is that?

I used to think that the initial cost was quite pricey but when broken down over a 6 year time frame it really isn't much at all. It is for that very reason that I have been considering a new Uggs purchase now that it is officially winter boots season. 

Uggs

As I have a perfectly good pair of what I refer to as traditional Uggs (black knit ankle length), I have been considering something a little different. There is a fantastic Ugg Sale on LovetheSales.com and they currently have these gorgeous Ellecia Wedged Boots in Chestnut, they are very similar to a pair of boots I already own, but they don't get worn very often as they are so uncomfortable (which again reiterates that you get what you pay for!), and if a new pair of Uggs lasted as long as the pair that I already have, it can only be a win.

Uggs

When it comes to wedge boots they are my absolute favourite, but unless I can combine the comfort with the look, then I can't help but put them to the back of my closet. I don't mind paying more for something if I know it will get used, they will be comfortable and they look good (even 6+ years later!).

Every girl needs a pair of brown ankle boots, and I think that I may just have to pick a pair up from LovetheSales!

After all £138.00 over 6 years works out as a complete and utter bargain!