Saying Goodbye

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Family, The animals, Uncategorized

The month of August saw us saying goodbye to our beloved family pet, Sandy. When the Mr and I first moved in together we took a trip to Manchester Dog’s Home, we hadn’t planned on coming away with a pet, we were just exploring our options. That didn’t last long when we came upon a young German Shepard, her eye’s beaming and happy personality won us over and before we knew it we were signing those papers for her to come home with us that very afternoon.

2003010312.11.46 thumb Saying Goodbye

Sandy hadn’t had a very good life prior to arriving at the dog’s home, she had been picked up as a stray after her previous owners had abandoned her. She was a dog used for breeding and when she could no longer serve her purpose, she was discarded like she did not matter despite recently having a litter. That all changed when we brought her home, she was spayed and she was given the chance to become a much loved family pet and not a breeding machine.

Sandy was the happiest and most well behaved dog I have ever come across, she had the softest nature and was gentle with our other animals. She was clumsy and shed hair constantly but she made us laugh on a daily basis, she loved everything and everyone. She loved adventures, she loved to swim, she loved being surrounded by people and like most dogs, she loved a good belly tickle.

Over the past year we had noticed that Sandy was showing her age, being 16 years old she was doing pretty darn well. She began to struggle with her hips on walks, her eyesight and hearing wasn’t what it used to be and her bladder had us up at all hours. Despite that she was happy and content with life.

Three weeks ago we had discovered that Sandy had passed away in her sleep during the night, we knew that it had to happen some day but it’s still that initial shock, we weren’t quite expecting it. She wasn’t ill or in pain, just merely an old soul.

Sandy was an amazing dog, she brought a lot of joy in our lives. I can’t quite explain how much it hurts to know that she is no longer here with us but i’m happy that on that afternoon, those many years ago, she chose us to come home with. Saying goodbye to something that has played such a huge part in our lives hasn’t been easy

12 Week Dating Scans and 20 Week Anomaly Scans

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Pregnancy

If you’ve just found out you’re a mom-to-be chances are you’re full of questions about what to expect when you’re expecting. But don’t sweat it! Being nervous is totally normal. Here’s a look at two of the most important and informative ultrasound scans nearly all new mothers experience: the dating scan and the anomaly scan. 35684 440518836604 6653558 n thumb 12 Week Dating Scans and 20 Week Anomaly Scans

What’s a Dating Scan?

Typically the first ultrasound in your pregnancy, the dating scan gives us a very astute estimate of the date your little guy or gal will arrive. Generally, the dating scan takes place between 10 and 12 weeks of pregnancy, though it can be as early as 8 weeks. The scan will allow your doctor to confirm your pregnancy and whether the fetus is properly implanted and developing normally inside your womb.

The dating scan is very important not only because it tells you when the baby’s coming, but also because it can detect problems at the onset, allowing both you and your doctor to be proactive about yours and the baby’s health. The scan will check that your baby has a healthy heart beat and that it is developing normally as well as examine the health of your uterus and surround pelvic structures to ensure everything will be smooth sailing right up until your next visit, right around 20 weeks.

The Anomaly Scan

Things get really exciting when it’s time for the anomaly scan right around the 20-week mark. This ultrasound scan is very special because it confirms the results of your dating scan and allows you to see your baby in great detail while your doctor takes a deeper look to ensure your baby’s healthy and that she’s right on track.

The anomaly scan will usually take place between 18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy. The scan gives your doctor a very close look inside your womb to examine your baby’s vital organs, brain development, the health of her heart and much more. The exam runs between 20 and 45 minutes (depending on how many buns you’re baking) and for parents, it is typically the most in-depth, mind-blowing ultrasound experience of the entire pregnancy.

What to Expect During the Anomaly Scan

Nearly all practitioners order an anomaly scan for moms-to-be, so don’t panic. Just as with the dating scan, you should come in with a full bladder to allow for better viewing. Once the exam is under way, your doctor will measure and check your baby from top to bottom, including her brain, spine, stomach, kidneys and even the four chambers of her heart to ensure that everything is normal. The best part is you get to watch the whole thing, which can be really exciting! Oh and don’t forget! If you’d rather not know the sex of the baby just yet, be sure to tell your sonographer.

Depending on the results of the anomaly scan, your doctor may advise further testing. For moms over the age of 35, past the due date, or expecting multiples, regular ultrasound monitoring is more likely. But don’t worry; ultrasound is safe, painless and generally non-invasive and it will keep you in the know about your precious bundle!

This post was written for Mums the Nerd by Glenn Josephik. Glenn is an account representative and the marketing coordinator at MedCorp LLC, the industry leader and premier business source for used portable ultrasound systems. You can follow Glenn Josephik on Google+.

The Running Bug

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Health & Fitness, Running

I started running just a few months ago when I signed up to take part in my first ever 5k, I’ve never really been a sporty person and always held back due to one reason or another. I had no excuse when I signed up for the 5k, I had to start running. I cracked out the couch 2 5k and away I went. The first few weeks I opted to run at the gym but soon found out that running on a treadmill just wasn’t my thing, one morning after dropping the little one off at preschool I popped on my running shoes and took to the roads. I discovered there was a HUGE difference, it was exhilarating, I felt free, like nothing could stop me, this is how running should feel. From that moment I was hooked, anyone can run, you just need a good pair of running shoes.

2014070509.04.10 thumb The Running Bug

Time for Mum

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Just the Parents, Uncategorized

I don’t often make time just for myself or make may purchases for myself, like most mums you tend to your children and family first. It’s very rare that I treat myself, or enjoy time alone that isn’t spent working and I honestly don’t have any problems with that but sometimes it would be nice to be able to treat myself.

One thing that I would like to treat myself to is a nice watch, I’ve never really been a watch person, in fact the last time I can remember wearing a watch was a Baby-G watch in my teen years. I’m now older and beginning to appreciate watches, perhaps it’s my age but I seem to be drawn to them. Whilst cruising through duty free waiting for our flight to depart I spent a long time admiring the selection of watches available trying to narrow down what I would like in a watch. I honestly didn’t know there were so many options available to me.

I had narrowed it down after many weeks of consideration,

First of all I knew that I wanted a watch that would be suitable for all occasions, whether I was traipsing around a garden centre, running around soft play or even attending a wedding reception so this ruled out a leather strap for me.

It needed to be water-resistant, I’m forever cleaning and tidying so I need the piece of mind that if I accidently forget to remove the watch that I’m not going to ruin it.

I have quite large wrists for a lady so I wanted a round face to not draw attention or make them look even bigger.

I wanted the watch to be worn with most of my jewellery pieces so it would have to be of a similar colour.

MK5612342279 thumb Time for Mum

 

 

I had finally settled on the style of watch that I would like in my life, then I saw it, the Michael Kors Ladies Blair watch. It ticked all of my boxes and for the first time in my life I was lusting after a watch. It was the perfect combination of classical and elegant with its paved crystal insets and stainless steel bracelet strap. You can see more about the watch here on the Watch Hut site.

I’ve added it to my Christmas list this year but I actually think that I might go a little crazy and purchase this as a special treat for myself.

*Sponsored Post but all thoughts and words are my own

Coffee Moments with CaféPod

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Food, Food & Drink Reviews, Reviews, Uncategorized

I’ve mentioned before how much I love my Nespresso machine, it’s become a lifeline in our home. Being able to grab a barista quality coffee in a matter of minutes is why the Nespresso Lattissima + has become one of our favourite household appliances. I do enjoy having a cup of coffee in the mornings along with my fruit and muesli, it’s the cup that prepares me for the rest of the day and I particularly look forward to relaxing in the evenings with a cup of coffee after a meal.You may have also read that even though we love our Nespresso machine, there is a downside of only being able to purchase the Nespresso capsules direct from the online store or from one of their high street stores, if I run out it can be a huge pain.

I had a look around but was only able to find a few Nespresso compatible capsules, most of which were only available to order online which left me in the same situation of not being able to pick up a pack when at the local supermarket. That was until I heard of CaféPod, we’ve recently been trialling the CaféPod Nespresso compatible pods,  I was delighted to discover that they were available from my local Tesco store.

cafepodrange thumb Coffee Moments with CaféPod CaféPod have launched a range of capsules that fit in your Nespresso machine, each box contains 10 capsules priced at £2.75. On first inspection, the CaféPod pods/capsules come in individually sealed foil packets, it seemed a little excessive to me and took up a little more storage space.

The range, like Nespresso are numbered on the intensity and they even have a decaffeinated pod. the pods that I received to try were Smooth, Intense, Ristretto, and Arabica Lungo

The pods themselves are plastic unlike the Nespresso pods which are aluminium, this however made no difference to the actual end result in my opinion but the hot water did take a a little longer to filter through.

I should add here that the pods were just as easy and simple to use as the Nespresso pods, producing a decent coffee in a matter of minutes with just the push of a button.

cafepod thumb Coffee Moments with CaféPod The first pod that I tried was the smooth which has an intensity of 5, it was the perfect coffee for me to start my day with. Just like it’s name, it proved be a very smooth coffee with notes of chocolate and created a rather nice crema, which is just what I look for in an espresso.

cafepodnespresso thumb Coffee Moments with CaféPod

Next on my list to try was the Intense pod with a higher intensity of 8, this was my afternoon pick me up whilst working. It was a rich, heavy bodied coffee with a hint of dark chocolate. We use a lot of unsweetened almond milk in our household and I was quite surprised that the intense pod complimented the nutty almond milk flavour.

cafepodcollage thumb Coffee Moments with CaféPod

After finishing my workload for the afternoon, I took the little one outside to play in sun whilst I grabbed a moment to catch up with my current book over a glass of iced coffee. I chose the Arabica Lungo with an intensity rating of 4 to be the star of my iced coffee for it’s subtle red berry hints and toffee like aroma. It had a slight sweetness to it which really did create quite the delightful iced coffee.

Lastly I tried the Ristretto, it was the strongest with an intensity rating of 10 but after a long day a little pick me up was needed as we sat down to relax. I was quite surprised how much I enjoyed the Ristretto, I’m not usually one for such intense coffees but it was rather pleasant with dark chocolate and red berry hints and underlying hints of spice. I can certainly see this being quite a favourable coffee on a cold day in winter. Overall I found the Smooth to be the most versatile pod and it’s smoothness had me returning for a refill more than I should but my favourite pod had to be the Arabica Lungo, this pod had a fantastic aroma and with the lovely warm weather that we have been experiencing lately, it made the most amazing iced coffees.

CaféPod capsules are available to buy from Tesco, Waitrose, Ocado and Amazon for £2.75 per box.

Disclosure: I was sent a selection of CaféPod coffee capsules to review. All thoughts and words are my own.

 

Meet the Super Fruits!

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Healthy Eating

A team of superheroes like no other have been fighting the battle for healthy snacks and meals in our home. Meet the Healthy Avengers – the team of Super Fruits

TeamHealthyAvengers thumb Meet the Super Fruits!

We were inspired to create our superhero team by Plum Baby Mighty Moments competition through Tots100 where they are challenging bloggers to come up with a healthy superhero.

Isabelle loves her fruits, pulses and most vegetables, they make up most of her diet and provide her with a healthy balanced diet. She understands that we would rather her have healthy snacks and meals over junk food options and that is why we have an open fridge policy in our home. Isabelle has access to a fridge packed full of fresh vegetables and a fruit bowl which is available to her whenever she fancies a snack. She also loves her dried fruit and we always make sure that we have a varied selection to help satisfy her sweet tooth. She enjoys making herself a little pick and mix of dried fruits, nuts and berries for the day.

At school she has been learning all about the importance of healthy foods and she’s also very much a fan of superheroes so fusing the two together was something exciting and fun for her to do. We sat down this afternoon to talk about her favourite fruits and why she likes them, this then gave us the idea for our entry into the Plum Baby Mighty Moments competition. With my handy helper we set about making our own team from some of her favourite fruits, all complete with superhero capes and special abilities, I may have gone a little overboard making them their own little badges to but I am nothing if not thorough. We also had lots of fun creating and sticking the back ground for Super Fruits to pose in front of for their world wide debut.

CaptainGreenApple thumb Meet the Super Fruits! Our Team of Fruits include
  • Captain Green Apple: He has the ability to plant new seeds to grow lots of fruit and vegetables
  • Super Orange: She provides the vitamin C which helps to fight off colds and germs.
  • Sassy Strawberry Duo: They make the best smoothies to fill little bellies
  • Side Kick Cherries: These little guys are super clever
  • Big Red the Apple: Is super fast and strong
 

This is our entry into the Tots100/Plum Baby Mighty Moments Challenge. You can find our more about the challenge here.

I’m putting on my running shoes – The Color Run

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in The Color Run

In just 44 days I’m attempting something that I have never done before, a 5K run for charity in The Color Run. This might not seem a lot to some but for me with no running experience and overweight it’s a HUGE deal. My running style is terrible, if you imagine a Sea Lion running on an uphill trampoline then you get the general picture of my technique…it’s not pretty. I’m not doing this by myself, my partner in crime, the lovely Ashley from Coffee and Cakes and a bunch of other jolly good bloggers are joining me on the colourful 5K run.

the color run logoRoll thumb I’m putting on my running shoes – The Color Run




I have 44 days in which to complete the Couch 2 5K program in order to prepare me for the challenge ahead. In those days I would like to raise as much money as possible for Save the Children, I’m going to ask all of you lovely lot to donate if you can, I would be ever so grateful.


1794514 10152343057506605 7144531875816371987 n thumb I’m putting on my running shoes – The Color Run

You can check out my fundraising page here

Spring Cleaning Tips

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Home, Household, Uncategorized

Every year I try to make a conscious effort to de-clutter, we end up over run with toys, games and other items we have accumulated over the year. A good clear out is refreshing and having a really good spring clean really can make a huge difference. Here are a few spring cleaning tips to get you started

springcleaning thumb Spring Cleaning Tips Get rid of unwanted and unused items

We have a general rule in our house, if we can’t remember the last time we used or needed an item then it goes.

Donate clothes and other useable items charity shops and the clothes that aren’t suitable can be sent to recycling centres

Any any broken or unusable items then we arrange a trip to the local tip where they can be recycled.

You can sell items on auction sites like eBay or even your local selling sites. Most of the time you don’t even have to lift a finger. Arranging for items to be collected or even Contact DPD to arrange a delivery service.

upcycle thumb Spring Cleaning Tips Upcycling for those items that could serve another purpose, give that old table a lick of paint and a new lease of life. I’ve been eyeing up a bureau that would look amazing with a little bit of tlc and a fresh coat of paint in antique blue, it would be the perfect addition to my dining room or kitchen.

Make little changes

You can often make little cost effective changes like adding throw pillows, vases and decorative pieces. Little changes like this can make a huge impact and make the room look completely different with different moods without making a huge dent in your pocket. You can even switch out items seasonally for an easy makeover.

A lick of paint

If you are wanting to go the extra step, a fresh coat of paint can brighten and lift any room

Clean your carpets

It’s amazing what a difference cleaning your carpets can make, with a years worth of traffic, dirt and stains can become trapped in carpets which even the strongest of vacuums can’t remove. It needn’t be expensive, you can hire a carpet cleaner for the day so no need to purchase one.

Organisation Something as simple as reorganising your cupboards, draws and shelves will make your days easier. Having items easy to reach and knowing exactly where they are makes life a hell of a lot easier. This year we have invested in a lot of storage boxes, dividers and compartments to help organise our closets and make them more functional.

Feeling thrifty?

naturalcleaning thumb Spring Cleaning Tips

You can make your own cleaning products from every day ingredients, like lemon juice, baking soda, salt, essential oils and vinegar.

Refresh those fabrics

Using natural whiteners like lemons can help brighten fabrics, my curtains and linens look amazing after a good soak.

Finally

They best way to do it is stay organised and go one room at a time, use a checklist if you have to.

 

Keeping your Pets Happy and Healthy in Hot Weather

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Pets

With a ‘three month heat wave’ set to hit Britain from April-June, it’s time we got prepared in terms of keeping our pets healthy and safe in these upcoming months. Being exposed to extreme weather conditions, including hot temperatures can result in life threatening conditions for our beloved pets that can be avoided almost 100% of the time.

That being said, with a few handy tricks up your sleeve and a bit of careful consideration, there should be no reason as to why your pets can’t enjoy those lovely summer days just as much as we do. We’ve listed a few things you can do to keep them happy during the season.

shutterstock 110764904 thumb Keeping your Pets Happy and Healthy in Hot Weather

Making time together as a couple

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Just the Parents

It’s often been said on this very blog that the Mr and I don’t really get to spend time together as just a couple anymore, we’re not blaming little legs and love spending time together as a family but every now and again it’s be nice just to have that time together without worrying about nap schedules, toilet schedules and entertaining an excitable preschooler. I can’t remember the last time we had a planned day out without the child, it’s been years.

The Mr is my best friend and sometimes in family life you tend to sacrifice time together.This year we’re planning on making a change and spending some quality time together as a couple, just like we did before little legs came along. I’m putting my plan into action and  weekends away are high on our priority list with the aim of at least two getaways before the year is out.

LondonUnderground thumb Making time together as a couple

First on my list is a trip to London, I’m always drawn to the hustle and bustle of the capital, it’s night life, food and atmosphere are selling points for me and I’m sure the Mr would enjoy a trip to London that isn’t a work trip. We could dine out in the evenings, go sight seeing during the day, take in the museums and galleries and visit the tourist attractions. I’d like to take a trip along the Thames and maybe a spot of shopping or even visit the Food Lovers Market Soho to share our foodie passion. 

  •  

  •  

     

Copyright © 2012 Karina Davies
UA-34474558-1