Sunday, 24 August 2014

Do Rug Doctor Carpet Cleaners Really Work?

Do Rug Doctor Carpet Cleaners Really Work


Do Rug Doctor Carpet Cleaners Really Work?

When we moved into our new home in January, we were met with some sorry-looking cream carpets in the through lounge. Not only had the previous tenants been the owner of a naughty dog who had urinated all over the damn place, but as they had moved out they had kindly left muddy footprints absolutely everywhere. It was pretty minging.

Do Rug Doctor Carpet Cleaners Really Work

We weren’t too bothered as the original plan was to get real wood flooring fitted throughout.  As our workmen began to finish re-plastering downstairs, we discovered the life-changing news that we were going to be parents and our priorities instantly changed. A new carpet had to be put on the back-burner whilst nursery furniture and saving up for maternity leave took all our surplus cash.

So what to do with the smelly dirty carpet?

We borrowed a vax carpet cleaner off family but it didn’t make very much difference to the deeply ingrained filth.

Before we called the professionals in we tried the Rug Doctor. My expectations were low if I am totally honest with you. I thought it would be the same as the Vax cleaner and not make much of a difference.

Do Rug Doctor Carpet Cleaners Really Work

The Rug Doctor is absolutely brilliant! It arrived by courier in a massive box which contained the machine and three different chemicals. The carpet detergent goes in the machine with water, whilst the other two spray-bottles are spot treatments you can spritz on before the Rug Doctor, although I wasn’t really sure what the difference was between ‘Spot and Stain Remover’ and ‘Oxy Power Stain Remover’.

Rug Doctor Carpet Cleaner review

Ok, for the sake of some photos, I was posing with the Rug Doctor but being pregnant I did NOT do any lifting and pushing – Pete did everything. This is the only downside to the Rug Doctor – frail people would not be able to use it, they would require help to get it out of the box, assemble, and move around.

The Rug Doctor is slowly pulled across the carpet and removes dirt instantly! You do not need to go back and forth over one area.

Rug Doctor Carpet Cleaner manchester

The results were astounding! Just as good as getting a professional to come to your home and a lot cheaper.
The smelly old carpet has a new lease of life and the Rug Doctor has saved us a small fortune.
I’m going to hire it again before Baby arrives and perhaps do the carpets every 4-6 months.


Prices:
With a 24 hour machine rental and the Rug Doctor 4 litre bottle of Rug Doctor Carpet Detergent you can clean your whole house - up to 8 rooms - for around £42.99.





This product was sent for review purposes only. No monetary compensation was received and opinions are 100% my own.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Hello You Tube!

vlog you tube blogger manchester


So after weeks, or more like months, of deliberation I have decided to launch my You Tube channel. I’ve been thinking about setting one up for some time now but never quite got around to it. The main reason was because I am lazy. Blogging takes up so much time, from content writing, to uploading and editing photographs, I thought perhaps vlogging would be slightly easier.

It isn’t.

As you can see from my first video, the editing, lighting and soundtrack are extremely amateurish. It’s also a bit cringe watching yourself on camera (do I really sound like that!?) but you know what, I’m proud of myself because I have learnt something new. I can now make a basic You Tube video and if I decide to keep it up, my skills should improve and so should the quality.

It’s the same looking back at my early blog posts; I often think “What the Hell!?”


Anyway, it would absolutely make my day if you popped over and gave me a thumbs up, subscribed, or left a comment, and if you have a You Tube channel please let me know in the comments so I can follow you back……..




xXx

Saturday, 9 August 2014

My Body UNashamed

body confidence

Today I am tremendously excited to be involved, along with 65 other bloggers, in the brand new #bodyUNashamed project.

#bodyUNashamed has been created by my blogging friend Penny (LilliesandLove) who is absolutely sick to death of men and women feeling inadequate just because they don’t fit in to the ridiculous photoshopped stereotypes that we have thrust upon us each and every day in the media. Social media leaves you wide open to criticism from all angles and this ‘trolling’ is affecting so many, particularly young, people with often devastating consequences.

Nearly every woman I know has suffered body confidence issues in the past but now is the time to stand up and fight back against body shaming!

Step one

I have been linked with the lovely Meriannen (from Meriannen) and my job is to highlight 3 things about this blogger which I think are great.



I’d never come across this blog before, but as soon as I began reading I couldn’t stop! As Meriannen herself says:

”It’s an emotional ride, but it’s worth getting on. This all is about the dreams of becoming a parent and what happens when everything just doesn’t go according to the plans. Above all, it’s a story of survival”.

Meriannen is a beautiful, amazing Finnish lady living in the UK. Not only did she have to endure a long-distance relationship with her partner Dan throughout her pregnancy, she then gave birth prematurely to her baby with cerebral palsy and profound hearing loss.

It is extremely difficult for me to put into words only 3 things which are great about Meriannen as I could write an essay! But here goes:

1.     You are an amazing writer; I cried reading your posts about your love for Dan and I can’t wait to read more about your story!

2.     You are a true natural beauty. You don’t need to wear layers and layers of makeup to look beautiful. Your striking blonde hair and blue eyes make you stand out from the crowd. Gorgeous!

3.     Your bravery is an inspiration. From having to cope with your pregnancy alone, to moving to a different country, and now facing challenges with a special baby makes you an incredibly inspiring blogger, woman and mother.

Step 2

Now it’s my turn to list 3 things I think are great about myself. I’ll admit, this is really difficult for me. When I was a teen I used to list in my mind all the things I would change about myself from head to toe such as “no frizzy hair, nicer eyebrows, bigger eyes, longer eyelashes, no freckles” and so it went on. Thinking about that now is rather shocking for me as it’s an unhealthy thing to do. If my son or daughter ever had low self-esteem and no body confidence I would be devastated. I suppose that this is what #bodyUNashamed is all about; tackling a deep –rooted negativity which is found in nearly everyone. As part of the project, FashionGlammy was paired up with myself and you can find the 3 things she thought about me HERE.

So here goes:

1.     I love my body. All of it. I am healthy. I can walk, run, dance and do roly-polys if I so wish. Some people are not so lucky to be able to do these things. I’ve pushed my body to limits; I’ve ran 26 miles, I’ve cycled 60 miles, and now I am about to put it to the ultimate test of  delivering my Baby. I’m proud of my body and I respect it. I want to keep my body as healthy as possible for as long as I have breath in my lungs. I want to see my Grandchildren grow up and I want to enjoy many, many years with my best friend and soul mate. This is my motivation to exercise my body and give it the best fuel.

Manchester blogger


2.     I love my belly. I’ve loved watching it grow larger and feel the first kicks of our Baby. Some women feel fat and frumpy with a baby bump and try and disguise it. NO! The miracle of life should be celebrated. I know I will miss my bump when it has gone.

Manchester blogger pregnant pregnancy


3.     I love my freckles. It’s funny that the one thing I used to hate about my face is now one of my favourites. They say “freckles never fall on a face that isn't fair” which I think is lovely. Freckles are cute and are associated with youth, and warm summer months. My favourite reason I love my freckles though, is because my Husband loves them so much. He lovingly calls me “freckles” and he tells me I am beautiful every day. He genuinely means it and it makes my belly do summersaults and my heart beat faster.

Manchester blogger


#bodyUNashamed

Phew, that was quite an emotional post to write but I feel pretty damn amazing now, so many thanks to Penny, Meriannen and FashionGlammy.

You don’t have to be a blogger to get involved, to be proud of who you are and to embrace the #bodyUNashamed mentality.  Be healthy, be happy, but never apologise for the way your body looks.  
Use the hashtag and embrace it in helping yourself and others to feel good about themselves! Tag your friends and tell them why they as so great!




xXx

Monday, 4 August 2014

30 Weeks Pregnant Bump Update

30 weeks pregnant bump belly

I really can’t believe how close to meeting Baby we are! The countdown is on – in single figures from next week.


How far along? 30+4

Total weight gain/loss? I’ve forgotten to weigh myself these past couple of weeks. I know that the average baby weighs around 3 pounds already and our Baby is measuring slightly bigger than average! Oh God.

Maternity clothes? In the photo above I am wearing a nighty! I bought a couple from Primark to wear during labour but I can’t resist stripping off and throwing this on when I get in from work – it’s so damn comfortable.

Stretch marks? Still none. Perhaps I will escape them altogether, fingers crossed.

Sleep? This heat wave has made sleeping really difficult for me. Baby is pressing on my bladder causing frequent loo visits and now I am experiencing even more weird dreams than usual. I woke up at 4am the other morning panicking because a big brown bear was after us. Proper scary. My sleeping is much lighter than before the pregnancy and I think this is just my body preparing for Baby’s arrival.

Best moment this fortnight? Finishing off our antenatal classes has made us so excited about the next few weeks, and we feel nervous, but ready to be parents.

Miss anything? No nothing! I’m not bothered about drinking anymore, and it’s been so long since I ate steak that it would probably make me feel really ill if I had a medium rare fillet anyway.

Movement? The last few days has marked such an incredible increase in Baby’s movements. We can physically see Baby jumping and kicking around and when I cuddle Pete he can feel Baby kicking him like its saying “Hello Daddy”. I’m going to enjoy these movements as I believe they may decrease a bit as Baby has less room to move around over the next few weeks.

Food cravings? No not really, in fact my appetite has actually decreased over the last few days. I think my stomach is being squished so it’s a bit like having a gastric band and I feel full really quickly.

Anything making you queasy or sick? I’ve had the odd day of feeling a bit sick but I’m not sure whats causing it, apart from my congested and cramped internal organs!

Labour Signs?  I’ve been feeling the odd mild cramps which are not painful in the slightest. I don’t want to say they are Braxton Hicks as I think they would feel stronger. I think it’s just my belly stretching little bit further.

Current Symptoms? Nose bleeds, bit of belly ache, severe tiredness and the worst issue I’m experiencing at the moment is pain in my glutes. I have no idea why but it only accentuates my pregnant waddle and makes me feel like I’ve had a proper good arse-kicking. Literally.

Belly button in or out? Out! But it’s wonky! I hope it goes back to normal eventually!

Wedding rings on or off? On.

Happy or moody most of the time? Pete says “happy” =)


Looking forward to? Holding our Baby and kissing it’s little face.


Have you read my other bump updates?




Saturday, 2 August 2014

The Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist

Being a first time Mum, and not really sure what will await me when I walk though those labour ward doors in a few short weeks, I really want to nail the packaging of my hospital bag so everything will be covered no matter what labour and delivery I end up having.

There is absolutely loads of advice on what to pack in the hospital bag all over the internet, from bloggers and vloggers, to established baby gurus such as Boots and Bounty. However, with so much information out there I feel a little bit overwhelmed, so I decided to ask the very people who know best; I asked Mums.

Lots and lots of Mums.

Here is my Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist. Many thanks to all the Super Mums who helped me with it; you know who you are.

Okay, let's do this.............

what to pack in hospital bag for labour


The first step is to separate your belongings into three distinct areas:

1. Labour bag
2. Baby's bag
3. Mum going home bag

This simple system will guarantee everything you need is easily identifiable whilst at the same time removing the need to drag around unessential items during labour.


The Labour Bag

Your labour bag should be the one thing you take into hospital with you whilst the other two bags can be left in the car. The Labour bags should contain the following things:
what to pack in hospital bag for labour


Green notes

Keep these on the very top of your bag. They are very important because they include all your medical history and birth plan, if you have one.

Clothes

You need to pack enough clothes to cover whatever sort of labour and delivery you end up having, but without bringing the entire contents of your wardrobe:


2 or 3 x cheap nighties. You can throw these away if they get messy during labour. You may want to change a couple of times if you have a long labour and feel really sweaty.
2x Pyjamas. These can be worn after delivery when you are nice and clean. A couple of pairs should be enough to see you through if you have to stay in hospital for a while.

6 pairs big old knickers  - special maternity knickers are a waste of money.

Warm socks to keep your tootsies warm and comfortable.

Dressing gown – for pottering around the ward, or covering up when visitors arrive.

Slippers – if you want to have a walk around.

Flip flops – to help avoid slips when showering (plus its more hygienic).

Nursing bra or a comfy bra

Spare t-shirt for partner – in case they have been feeling a bit sweaty / got dirty.


Toiletries

I don’t feel like myself if I don’t have my own toiletries and makeup to hand. The following list should get you through labour and help you to feel wonderful after delivery:

Toothbrush / paste
Hairbrush
Pony tails and grips
Flannel
Soap 
Unperfumed shower gel
Deodorant
Makeup – if you use it
Lip balm – as lips can get dry during labour.
Towel
24 super-absorbent sanitary pads or Tena incontinence knickers
Baby wipes – not recommended on new Baby, but useful for you.


Labour Aids

The following items may help you through labour and delivery.

Water spray
Wheat bag for backache – should have access to a microwave
Birthing ball – check if hospital provides one first
iPod docking station / Music
Books, magazine
Phone charger
Good camera/charger
Own pillow case - for comfort


Food

Depending on what time you arrive in hospital or give birth, there may not be any access to food for hours and hours. You should pack plenty of high-energy snacks, and bring enough for your partner too.

Cartons of juice – straws if you are  too knackered to sit up
Snacks – crisps, cereal bars etc
Flask of ice - to suck on if very warm



what to pack in hospital bag for baby
1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10


Baby’s things can all be packed into your baby changing bag. After delivery and some glorious skin to skin time, your birth partner can go and collect Baby’s bag out of the car. If the midwife or someone else will be dressing Baby, it will be super simple to give them the bag and say “everything you need is in here”.

Baby's bag should contain:


5 vests
5 baby grows
Hat
Scratch mittens
Cardigan
Socks
Blanket
Nappies
Nappy sacks
Nipple cream
Cotton wool balls
Tissues
Nappy cream


Going Home Bag

what to pack in hospital bag for labour
1/2/3/4

This little bag should contain a a loose, comfortable outfit to wear after you have given birth and to come home in along with plastic bags for any dirty clothes.

So now you should have everything you need for a comfortable labour and delivery in hospital.

Good luck!

You can read all my other pregnancy posts HERE.

What do you think of my Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist?



Thursday, 24 July 2014

Ye Olde Black Ladd

ye olde black ladd oldham

My favourite pastime, like many people I presume, is going out of an evening for a lovely meal with my favourite dining partner (that’s my Husband). We used to have a weekly “Date Night” on a Thursday which would involve a meal out somewhere, and perhaps a film afterwards, and I used to look forward to our dates all week. We also used to eat out on other days of the week too, and enjoy a long drive and nice lunch out at the weekend. Basically what I am trying to say is that we ate out a lot; all our money went on this hobby but that was before a wedding, mortgage, and now Baby!

Nowadays eating out has become more of a treat. On Tuesday, Pete sold a painting so he offered to take us out for tea. Where do you go when you are quite tired, in casual clothes (but still smart mind you) and want a relaxed atmosphere with amazing home-cooked food and strictly no 8 course pompous bullshit?

We ended up in Ye Olde Black Ladd, on Buckstones Rd in Oldham. The reviews on Trip Advisor were promising and after getting a little bored with my favourite pub The White House and my second favourite The Old Original I decided it was time to find a new hidden gem.
After a lovely drive from Shaw up  Buckstones Rd enjoying the unexpected countryside, the view of Ye Olde Black Ladd in  the distance certainly didn’t disappoint. A typical timber framed black and white Tudor building (slightly spoiled by a crappy red “Food Served All Day” sign) plus the wonderful view, made me feel like I was far far away from Oldham on a work night. The inside was just as cute and traditional, but I would advise booking in advance as the restaurant was busy!

The steaks looked amazing as did the choice of sauces (the Black Ladd was right up my street) but I’m avoiding steak for the whole of my pregnancy (if I can’t have it medium rare I aint gonna bother) and Pete really surprised me by going for the chilli burger (£9.95). I almost ordered the lasagne but changed my mind at the last minute and went for the Chicken Stroganoff (£11.95).

the black ladd oldham


Both meals were absolutely delicious. The burger was served with a side salad, onion rings and a separate big portion of chips whilst the Stroganoff came with rice, salad and garlic bread. I love it when you get a decent side salad with peppers, cress and all that jazz, as some restaurants will serve you some pathetic-looking limp leaves and one measly cherry tomato. The garlic bread is probably the nicest I’ve had in a pub before.

The portions were large and great value for money and we decided then and there we would be back very soon to sample the steaks!

the black ladd oldham


Now, if we would have left it there, I would have scored the food 8/10. However, we decided to order pudding. The desert menu looked awesome, but I was simply too full, warm and pregnant to squeeze anything else in so I passed on the treacle pudding and decided to share Pete’s Blueberry Cheesecake (£4.35). One look at the horrible processed wedge told me it wasn’t a homemade dessert. It had some generic red sauce squirted over the plate and it was absolutely tasteless and by that I mean it had NO TASTE whatsoever. Even the accompanying vanilla ice cream was like frozen water. It was so bad that something happened that I have never seen before: Pete left some cheesecake on the plate.

Maybe we just got unlucky and picked the only rubbish pudding on the menu, or perhaps all the deserts are bought in and universally bland. Either way, we enjoyed our main course so much we will definitely return to Ye Olde Black Ladd and I’ll let you know how I get on with that steak…


Overall score = 7/10




What's Happened? What's Happening?

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Intimate Waxing with The Waxologist

intimate waxing blog review


Hair removal, for most women, is a necessary evil, but for me it is the absolute bane of my life!
Take, for example, the shaving of the legs (sounds like a theatre production). I really despise spending a fortune on women’s razors as I think they are such a damn rip-off! Blades are ridiculously overpriced and most of the time it is actually cheaper to buy a whole new razor than a packet of new blades!

I usually stick to the cheapest of the cheap razors which will instantaneously turn to rust the second they encounter water. Then we have the rigmarole of shaving. It’s boring, time consuming, and (especially for a rapidly expanding pregnant lady) can be quite difficult to contort into the required positions. Cheap razors cut my legs but even the expensive ones can often lead to a nasty nick. And I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I always tend to miss a bit (usually when I’m going to somebody’s house for a BBQ and the sun beams down onto my pasty legs clearly highlighting the fact that one is sporting a Mohawk). Then we have the unexpected sandal day weather where you forgot to shave your toes.

 I hate it!

All this stress for one day of smooth pins before the whole process starts all over again.

My preferred option of hair removal has to be hair removal cream. The downside is obviously the horrid pong and standing around for ages trying not to drip onto the bathroom mat whilst telling your other half to “give you 10 minutes” . Ah, the joys of co-habiting.

So what about hair removal ‘down there’? 
Shaving brings the same problems as with legs, except with all the, erm, nooks and crannies, it all becomes a higher-risk affair. Hair removal cream smells vile and then there’s always the chance of leaving it on too long you get chemical burns, or not leaving it on long enough so it’s basically a patchy, pointless mess.

I decided I needed help. 
Can you tell?

intimate waxing blog review


A few of my friends are committed waxers, so I decided it was time for me to man-up, and give it a try……

I searched for “waxing, Manchester” on twitter and discovered that Lauren, aka The Waxologist ,was offering half price for the whole month of June. What a great opportunity to try waxing out, I thought to myself. I’ve had my legs waxed many years before and I remember it was rather painful but not that bad.

The very idea of enduring an intimate wax filled me with dread. Of course there is the total embarrassment of getting your privates out in front of a stranger (I haven’t even had to do that with my midwife yet) and Lauren clearly states she’s a no-messing around kind of therapist; it’s a “knickers off” job and straight down to business. This makes sense as Lauren waxes everywhere, and I mean everywhere (if that’s what you want).

intimate waxing blog review


I actually found this reassuring as some waxing stories I’ve been told don’t sound very through. You get to keep your underwear on and the therapist just pulls them to one side and waxes off two small strips to make sure you have a neat bikini line. I’ve always thought to myself “but what about the rest of it!?” I’m not a particularly hairy person but I definitely have more hair than that!

Lauren has blogged about the anatomy of a lady and exactly where hair grows / is removed from and what position you are required to be in, so I’ll leave it up to her to explain as I can’t bring myself to use the word ‘crack’ on my blog (whoops!).

And then there is the pain. I’m a wimp with pain anyway, so the thought of being waxed in the most intimate of areas was almost unbearable. (Just in case any weird blokes are reading this right now, let’s get one thing straight: Lady Gardens are very sensitive areas; you all go on about being kicked in the balls as the worst pain ever, but a kick in the fanny ain’t much fun for us either!)

Despite the pain, the promise of smooth skin for weeks with no more chemicals or nasty razor nicks made my mind up.

I arrived for my half leg and intimate wax appointment absolutely terrified. Being pregnant, I couldn’t even have a strong painkiller or any alcohol to numb the pain. The Waxologist is a cute little clinic in Cheadle and Lauren’s friendliness made me relax instantly. I thought we were going to start with the legs but Lauren said it was best to get the worst over and done with first. She left me alone whilst I stripped off from the waist down and lay on the bed watching telly. Lauren explained the first wax is always the worst, but if you keep it up then there is less and less regrowth over time.

intimate waxing blog review


The first step was to trim the hair a little bit with what can only be described as a beard trimmer (Pete said I should have used his for free) then the wax was applied, left for quite a while to set, then pulled off. Yes it hurt to the point that it took my breath away, but it was bearable and nowhere near as bad as I thought.

Two things surprised me about the intimate wax. The first was the size of the strips used. I imaged tiny little strips that would go over the same area again and again. Wrong. Lauren uses really large strips so all one side is done with one strip, all the other side is done with another, and the, erm, “undercarriage” is done with another two. In total I think I had 6 strips to do everything, so that was only 6 times I had a waxing strip pull hair out. I imagined it would be hundreds of pulls and tugs and endless pain, but it really wasn’t.

The second thing that surprised me was the pain. Like I said, yes it hurt when the strip was pulled off, but the pain vanished instantly when the strip was removed. Because that area was done and dusted with one strip then you didn’t have any more pain in the same area. Also, there was a long break between each strip being removed as the wax has to fully set. During the ‘down time’ Lauren just potters round chatting like it’s the most natural thing  in the world whilst you sit there legs akimbo. After a while it really isn’t that embarrassing as Lauren has to look at fannies all day, every day, and yours is really nothing special.

After the intimate wax was over it was time for legs. I was so relieved that I didn’t feel a thing and can almost say it was relaxing!

Aftercare instructions were to exfoliate the waxed areas and use E45 cream to moisturise, not body butter, as this can clog pores and lead to ingrowing hairs.

The Results

Intimate Wax

Don’t worry, no pictures! I’m not telling you which “style” out of the choice of 3 I went for, as some things are private (hard to believe being a blogger, I know).

Initial results of the intimate wax were amazing! I’ve never achieved such a smooth result using any other hair removal method, and not one single hair was missed.

2 weeks later the area was still super smooth and perfect! Any other hair removal method would have resulted in a big bush two weeks later – not with waxing!

3 weeks later – there is a small amount of regrowth now but it is definitely still at the acceptable stage. I think 4 weeks is the optimum time to re-wax.

Legs

Initial results – nice and smooth. However, the very next day my legs started to feel a bit spikey. You couldn’t see any hair and they looked smooth but I think the problem here was that I’d shaved for so long that all the hairs were different lengths and so some were too tiny to be waxed on the day of my appointment. 2 weeks later legs were quite hairy but not as bad as they would be if I didn’t shave for 2 weeks.

Overall

I am a total waxing convert. I’m so happy with the results and I think that the intimate wax in particular is life-changing for me. I am definitely going to keep up my regular wax appointments and I will update you in a few months when hopefully regrowth will begin to reduce. I am also going to stick with Lauren, as I think it may be difficult to find a therapist you can trust, but I know exactly what  I am going to get from Lauren, and that is great results.


Waxing can become quite pricey for those on a tight budget like me, however, I truly believe it should be an integral part of your beauty regime. Especially for pregnant ladies who can’t physically reach certain areas, or are feeling a little frumpy and fed up, a date with The Waxologist will make you feel like a million bucks.

intimate waxing blog review
xXx