This Is Me Review: Skinfix Gentle Baby Regimen

Skinfix

Dry, sensitive skin is something I have been battling all my life, lucky me right? When I was younger I used to suffer from horrendous eczema, I remember the backs of my knees would be red raw. Now that I’m older (boooo), I still get the odd patch, and my hands are really susceptible to dermatitis. Because of this, I’m really aware of what I use on my skin, and because I know it can be genetic, I’m even more careful about what I will use on the boys’ skin – Finn because he’s a newborn and Reuben because he’s already shown signs of allergies and skin sensitivity (sorry son).

When the team at Skinfix got in touch to offer me the chance of reviewing the new Skinfix Gentle Baby Regimen – free of fragrance, steroids, tree nut and peanut ingredients, dermatologist recommended and paediatrician tested – I jumped at the chance.

The range launched in Boots on June 17th, we were lucky to get a sneak peak and have been using the Skinfix Gentle Hair & Body Wash (236ml / £12.99), the Skinfix Nappy Balm (60g / £6.99) and the Skinfix Gentle Lotion (236ml / £12.99) for the past month.

The first thing we tried was the Nappy Balm, normally we use Metanium as we find it’s the best product for clearing up sore bottoms quickly, but it does smell chemically and I find it leaves a stain if you get it on a baby grow. The smell of the Skinfix Nappy Balm is lovely, formulated using sunflower and jojoba oils, it is just so much nicer applying it to sore bottoms. I’ll admit I was sceptical about it being able to do the job as quickly asMetanium does but was surprised at how effectively it worked. This is now a staple product on our changing station and I feel so much better about applying something far more natural to Finn’s tiny bottom.

I have been using the Skinfix Gentle Hair & Body Wash on Reuben for a few weeks now. It’s the first time I’ve switched from Dentinox shampoo as even at three he’s quite prone to ruddy cradle cap! I’ve had no issues with Reuben suffering from a dry, flaky scalp, and I love the fact it is a tear-free formula. Hair wash days can be particularly stressful in our house, but he was excited to try a new shampoo, I told him it was magic and wouldn’t sting his eyes, and it was a hit! I’m also a big fan of it being a body wash in one, the less “stuff” I have cluttering up my toy-filled bathroom the better! It also makes the whole bath time routine easier using an all-in-one product. Again Reuben suffers from patches of eczema, but in the four weeks we’ve been using the product there hasn’t been a patch on him, so it’s a thumbs up from me!

The Skinfix Gentle Lotion, made with 98% natural ingredients has been the perfect treatment for the little patches of dry skin on Finn that newborns seem to get. Also, I have been using this one myself! After years of using steroid-based ointments I try to use lotions until I absolutely have to switch to a hydrocortisone cream. I find some creams can sting a bit on my skin but I’ve had no trouble with this one, and it’s left me feeling moisturised. There is an Eczema Balm available, which I am keen to try for my next ‘flare up’ and they also do a hand wash, which given how often I wash my hands currently I think is definitely worth trying out.

I’ve really enjoyed trialling these products, as mentioned I can be wary of putting anything new on my skin for fear of a reaction, I much prefer the idea of putting something natural on my skin, so this range get full approval from me!

Skinfix is available to buy from Boots online and in-store now.

S xxx

Disclaimer: I was sent Skinfix Gentle Baby products free of charge, but all opinions are my own.

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Date nights after children: The reality

Now before I begin I need to fess up, although we do use the term ‘date night’ in this house, I don’t like it. I like the premise, but I do wonder why we stopped saying “’let’s go out for dinner/drinks” and instead turned it into date night.

Anyway, we actively embrace date nights in our house, usually after prolonged periods of arguing due to lack of sleep or realise we’ve not had a conversation over dinner for some time that hasn’t involved catching a plate a toddler has thrown or watching Hollyoaks (what? I like it).

Nowadays our date nights are just a bit different from the childfree days, when we used to go out for dinner (when we had a three course meal and ate it slowly and shared a bottle of wine without feeling like people are staring at us for having a bottle of wine and a child), or when we used to go out for drinks (get sh*tfaced). These days they take careful planning, and usually go a bit like this:

Me: “I’m done, I’m not having anymore kids, I’m so tired, I don’t even look like my mum anymore I look like my dad I’m that tired. I never get any time to myself, I can’t cope.”

Husband chirps in: “Let’s have a date night.”

Excellent, seems like a massively good idea. What more could two tired, angry people want than a night out to rekindle their love for each other? Bring back the memories of the good old days. Relight those fires.

We need a babysitter, shit. So then you have to find a babysitter “we can’t ask mum again we asked her last time” “true”, *looks through list of Facebook friends*, “I’ll ask mum”.

So there you go, all booked in and ready to go. I’m even excited. Until…. WTF am I going to wear? All I have is Breton stripes and old leopard print H&M cardigans. So then I go on ASOS, the “new in” section to make sure that what I buy is so on trend. “Why the eff are they all cropped tops?”. Scrap ASOS, I’ll have a look at Warehouse and Oasis, reliable, safe, sometimes sexy, because that’s what I need to be. “Why is it £75 for a dress?” Shit. I’m going to have to go to New Look and buy something potentially flammable but that doesn’t say “mum that can’t coordinate a wardrobe”. Just need to fit the time in to go shopping, with a toddler, and get undressed in a changing room with a toddler. Sod it, I’ll just go with jeans and a black top, I’ll throw on a fake gemmed necklace and it will be brilliant.

Then it comes to date night, I get my mum over late afternoon to have a play with Reuben and sit down to dinner with him while I go and have a relaxing bath, paint my nails (toenails and fingernails), we’ll take him up the stairs, kiss him goodnight and off we’ll go. OR, mum will arrive as Reuben is mid tantrum, one of many that day. He’ll refuse to eat dinner, scream in the bath, and won’t go to sleep. So we leave the house stressed, smudged nails, barely on talking terms. But it’s fine because WE ARE OUT.

And thus begins an evening of talking about Reuben, his development, and am I too strict? Am I too soft? Do I spoil him? Did you see that thing he did earlier with the crayon? He’s a genius, he’s definitely advanced…. And then onto which room we are going to decorate next in the house, which requires a gin chaser, before realising it’s 10pm and if we’re not home soon we’ll really pay for it in the morning.

On the way home we dream about a lie-in in the morning, and a nice family day at the park. And then Reuben spends half the night waking up crying before insisting on a 6am get-up, which we both pretend we can’t hear until one person relents  and gets up. And thus begins the cycle: work, parenthood, work, being a zombie until the next date night.

Magic.

Me and him

Here we are loving life and each other….!

S xxx

 

 

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Father’s Day is fast approaching (Sunday 19 June), and while I shall be giving Ben the gift of another son (I can totally get away with that), I thought I would share some nice bits and pieces I’ve spotted, usually during my middle of the night online shopping sprees that I forget about until I sign for them from the postman. “What’s this?” I always ask him, smooth Siobhan.

I’ve tried to keep it as broad as possible and reasonably priced, so here’s what I think would make a nice gift or two for those superstar dads:

  1. T-shirt, Parenting Apparel, £26

Mens_BREAKING_DAD_Tee_light_charcoal_largeMens_DADASS_Tee_navy_large

2. Personalised Barbecue Tools, Notonthehighstreet.com, £30

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3. The Beer Chocolate Hamper, Hotel Chocolat, £25

father's day hotel chocolat

4. Weber, Grill Academy Courses, Nationwide, from £69

meat

5. Clarins Men Essential Grooming Set, Allbeauty.com, £29.95

clarins

6. Brewdog Mixed Cases, from £23

Brewdg

7. Framed Instagram Pics, nowframeit.com, from £10.95

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8. Socks, John Lewis, £12

socks

9. Whisky Wedge, Oliver Bonas, £15

whisky wedge

10. daddy cool mug, big tomato company, £12.95

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Happy shopping!

S xxx

 

Will you PLEASE just put your shoes on?

I know I’m not the only person who starts most of their days exasperatingly asking a toddler to just sit still and put their shoes on. Michael McIntyre perfectly summed up leaving the house with kids in a sketch that I cry laugh at time and time again, sometimes I just cry.

Getting a small person to cooperate with getting dressed and then get ready to leave the house is my Everest. We only have to leave the house a couple of mornings a week, but those mornings are fraught with tantrums, tears and my inner monologue that could land me in a heap of trouble if it every came to light.

As I’m sure I’m not the only one I’ve put together an unprofessional guide to leaving the house with a toddler. Maybe don’t take this too seriously:
  1. Count to three. There is nothing more terrifying to a child than the prospect of their mum getting to three. There is nothing more terrifying for a mum than counting to three and then having to do something about it. “Right I’ve counted to three, I’m really cross now. Please put on your shoes.”
  2. Bribe them. Don’t bring out the big guns first, start small, offer a packet of raisins, then go in for the Pom Bears, peak with a new toy from The Entertainer and chocolate for breakfast for a week if you’re struggling. You’re in survival mode now.
  3. Make your life easier and dress them before they wake up.
  4. Quit your job, take them out of childcare, never leave the house.
  5. Stop being unreasonable. Come on now, are you sure it’s not just you?
  6. Tell them you’ll phone Daddy / Mummy / Granny / Santa / The Easter Bunny and tell them they’re being really naughty. Watch them not care.
  7. Tell them that’s it, you’re not taking them out, and go and sit on the sofa in front of Lorraine. Watch them call your bluff.
  8. Plead. Beg. Shed a tear.
  9. Tell them they’ll have to leave the house without shoes and their feet will fall off because of the cold.
  10. And repeat.

Good luck!

 

S xxx

Bra day

Bra day: When R refused to leave without my bras.

As We Become Four: A Letter to Reuben

My Little R,

You’re soon to become a big brother and your and our world is about to go through a huge change – but for the better I promise.

You came into our lives nearly three years ago now and what a three years they have been. You made me a mum, and the proudest mum at that. While we got off to a shaky start what with the colic, reflux, driving up and down the A30 night after night trying to settle you, I wouldn’t change it for the world. It gave us a strong bond, even if I did swear a few times (just because I do it, it doesn’t mean you can).

You’ve grown into the loveliest boy, I genuinely love spending time with you. Reubs you make me laugh every single day, either by playing the class clown, performing your “shakey bum” dance or simply by being you. 

You’ve always been strong-willed, determined and have an independent streak, like me! There’s nothing wrong with knowing your own mind. Don’t ever let anyone take this away from you, but don’t be rude to people.

I’m ever so nervous about bringing a new baby into your world, mum guilt is a strange thing, there always seems to be something new to feel guilty about!

While it probably won’t be easy at first, we’ll all grow into this change together and you will make the best big brother. This new little guy is going to be so lucky to be able to call you that, and you will become the best of friends, eventually…!

Thank you for making me a mum, because of who you are is why I want to do it all over again.


Love,

Mummy xxx

Pregnancy post: The Last Hurdle

The end of this pregnancy is in sight, HOORAH! I am very much at the permanently exhausted stage, and fully believe I’ll get more sleep once this baby is born. Yes I will, yes I will, yes I will.

Sleep is pretty non-existent (it’s to prepare me for when the baby comes as lots of “helpful” people say). I just cannot get comfortable, I’m sleeping propped upright with a V cushion and pillows, and longing for the day I can sleep on my back again, it’s the little things.

I am officially on maternity leave and have a week or two or three or I’ll smoke this baby out (not with cigarettes), to “rest” before our newborn arrives. I must admit currently I feel the least rested I could possibly be. The last few weeks of cramming in as much work as possible, coupled with general life stuff has pretty much wiped me out emotionally and physically. Ben and I have had a few “discussions” around priorities, I think it could be a gender thing… Many conversations with friends with children echo my complaints of the fact that sometimes their partner doesn’t fully understand how tiring it is to grow a human and how can they? I have often wished that Ben could just experience it for a day, but then he was ill for a couple of days and I realised he is definitely not as hard as I am.

What he has been helpful with is putting together the last couple of bits and pieces before H2 arrives. We’ve chosen a Snüzpod for our bedroom, which I covered in a previous post. I snuz.jpgreally like this crib because you can move it around the house, so no need for a moses basket, which R didn’t like anyway.  I figured when you add up the price of the moses basket, stand and bedding it was worth spending the extra on the Snüzpod.

We’ve also got a changing table in our living room, we had a similar set-up with R and post C-section it was really useful to
have somechanging tablething my height to change nappies and save going up and down the stairs (a wee bit sore post-op). This changing table is a Mothercare unit and was brand new from eBay for about £20, bargain.

When I was pregnant with R I was quite the nester but this time it hasn’t really clicked in. I look at bits and think how much I’d like to clean them but I just don’t have the energy or desire. Instead I’m focusing on enjoying spending some time with R before his little brother arrives, usually on the sofa reading books. We read so many every day, he really enjoys being read to and I enjoy the additional cuddles. Getting out and about is a bit exhausting now, I can’t keep up with him at all if he runs off, so I limit where I take him (mum guilt klaxon), but I must admit he’s turned a corner the past couple of weeks and been super helpful. I’ve just totally jinxed it.

As my due date approaches my thoughts are now naturally turning to labour and I’ve had a few sleepless nights worrying about it. I definitely felt less anxious when I was expecting R because I didn’t know what to expect and pictured a gas and air natural birth – then had quite the opposite. R is actually my main concern this time, whatever happens I just don’t want him to be freaked out or think something is wrong. We have introduced him to the fact that I will be having this baby in a hospital, just like when he was born, and he seems to be ok with that. I do feel a bit more in control in terms of decisions this time however, and I feel more informed about what I do and don’t want to happen, so watch out world!

We had my friend Donna at Sweet Whimsy Photography come and take some pics of us a couple of weeks ago, so I thought I’d share a pic below. We’re really pleased to have some bump shots and our last pics as a family of three taken so beautifully!

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Until next time…

S xxx

The Beauty of Being ‘Heavily Pregnant’

It’s not a great term is it? “Heavily pregnant” but that’s what we’re going with. Now that I can finally say I’m having a baby next month, I definitely fall into that category of tortoisepregnancy, and I can confirm I very much feel (look) it.

It’s amazing how much you forget from one pregnancy to the next and for me it’s forgetting just how tired I get with just over a month to go. Having a toddler in tow this time probably doesn’t help with my energy levels, but gee-whizz, I feel like if my bladder (and constantly moving baby) allowed, I could sleep for a week without waking. Although a straight eight hours would be pretty rad right now.

Being heavily pregnant comes with other little bonuses too:

  1. Even maternity clothes are becoming slightly too tight. I mean come on, throw me a bone here, my current choice is anything that stretches or anything tent-like with holes for my head and arms.
  2. I feel like I could fall asleep anywhere except I can’t actually get comfortable enough to have a full night’s sleep ever. I actually believe I will have more sleep when this baby arrives, but that could just be denial.
  3. Every single movement I make comes complete with a sound effect.
  4. I’ve perfected the waddle, the hands on my lower back arching my back stance and the “don’t even try to talk to me” death stare.
  5. I’m so over being pregnant. I’m sure it’s my body’s way of preparing me to accept that shortly this baby will be coming out, which I am totally fine with.
  6. I swing between being excited and then in a state of almost denial mixed with fear. “Aww look at this little vest, how can something be so small? HOW DO I HOLD A NEWBORN WITHOUT BREAKING IT?” Pretty normal stuff there.
  7. Weird but normal for this stage in pregnancy bodily happenings start, well happening.
  8. I see my midwife more regularly which means making peace with peeing on my hand first thing, while trying to pee in a pot with the world’s smallest circumference.
  9. Personal grooming is no longer safe for me to do myself. We’ll just leave that one there.
  10. I’m hotter than the sun, and therefore probably one of the few people in the UK grateful we haven’t had a nice spring. Sorry!
  11. I’ve embraced the “full brief” and I have no regrets.
  12. I’ve forcibly embraced only slip-on footwear.
  13. I have to sit down to put on my pants, socks, leggings and trousers.
  14. When turning over in bed during the night I have to sit up and turn over, and then usually pee (in the toilet, not my bed).
  15. Right now the sound of cracking open a new Gaviscon seal is the non-pregnancy sound of the prosecco cork popping.
  16. The whole needing a pee immediately after I’ve just had a pee thing.
  17. The hormones that make me want to divorce myself are back. Ben is doing a top job of just dealing / ignoring them to be fair, depending on what he thinks is safest. I guess he has learnt from the first time!
  18. I spend a lot of time trying to imagine who this little one will look like. If this one could look like me a little that would be nice.
  19. I am constantly starving, but can no longer finish a meal, which you would think would be a good thing, but it basically means I snack hourly.
  20. Everyone in public stares at me. But they soon move out-of-the-way, I feel a little like Moses.
  21. I have to remember to only fill the bath halfway or it will spill over the sides.
  22. Seeing a sunny weather forecast makes me irrationally emotional.
  23. I really miss underwired bras, this mono-boob nursing bra look is not the one.

S xxx