Recycling with Simple Human

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I have had the pleasure of reviewing a beautiful recycler from Simple Human recently; to be precise it’s the 48 litre touch-bar recycler. For me personally I have never liked recycling as it usually means lots of cartons and cardboard stacking up on my work surfaces throughout the day or carrier bags filled with recyclable items hanging from the kitchen door handle, so I have really enjoyed recycling with Simple Human and their 48 litre touch-bar recycler.

Recycling in the home is so easy but so many of us forget or believe that we don’t have enough time to sort through our trash and recycle. Nine out of ten homes in the UK have recycling bins that are emptied by the council either weekly or fortnightly, but how many of us actually fill these recycle bins? *Hands up* I’m guilty of putting out a half empty recycle bin on collection day, well I say “I” but it’s actually S that takes charge of bin duty. So whilst reviewing the Simple Human 48 litre touch-bar recycler, I decided to set the Mummy Whiskers family the challenge of filling the recycle bin every fortnight.

The touch-bar recycler has many fantastic features, the design was thought out very well and the recycler is very stylish and slick, perfect for any kitchen. My favourite features are:

Dual Buckets:

The blue one is for recyclable items and the black one is for regular trash, I used the bin liners provided in the black bucket. The liner bags are really strong and easy to tie up with draw string fastening. The buckets are great and I love been able to store my recyclables in there until I have time to take them out the to the recycle bin in the garden. The bucket easily lifts out so I can take it outside and simply tip the contents into the outdoor recycle bin.

Slider Discs:

Under the recycler are nylon slider discs, they make it effortless to move the recycler across the floor and don’t leave any marks on the tiles. Until I looked underneath I was convinced the recycler had wheels!

Bucket Park:

This is pretty cool, you can lift the bucket a few inches, tilt it and it sits on the curves inside the recycler so you can easily change the bags over without fully removing the bucket.

Fingerprint Proof:

Yes, that’s right; this stainless steel recycler is fingerprint proof. Believe me G certainly tested this feature thoroughly!

Touch-Bar Opening:

It’s so easy to open the recycler; just a gentle tap on the touch-bar opens it. If you don’t want to touch the recycler with your hands you can easily use your hip, knee or any other body part to open it!

10 Year Warranty:

This product comes with a 10 year warranty, although I doubt you will need it as their products are very well made with the best quality materials.

Space Efficient Hinge:

Finally, the recycler has a space efficient hinge, this means that the lid to the recycler not only fully opens but it moves up out of the way so you can access the bins inside fully without catching the lid with trash.

 But my favourite thing about the recycler has to be that my kitchen looks THAT much nicer now that my trash is hidden inside this beautiful new kitchen feature. I have found that since using the touch-bar recycler I have become more conscious of where I am putting the trash and this has resulted in our recycle bin overflowing on collection days. I’m actually going to ask my local council for a second recycle bin!

The 48 litre recycler is £149.99 this comes with free delivery and a 10 year warranty. I can’t praise this product enough; it’s wonderful and has made such a great improvement to my kitchen in more ways that one.

You can see all of the Simple Human range on their website. You can also follow Simple Human on Facebook; follow @simplehuman on Twitter; or follow Simple Human on Google +.

Here are a few simple pointers to help you recycle more at home:

  • Firstly check if your local council does recycle collections and when. You can also find out what you can recycle and where here.
  • If you don’t already have a recycle bin (usually green) then request one from your local council. They’re free of charge.
  • If you need more space you can ask your local council for a larger recycle bin or a second one, depending on the area you live in.
  • Check all packaging for the recycle logos, if you need help understanding what each logo means you can find out here.
  • Check with your local council what items they recycle, this can vary in different areas.
  • Wash food containers such as glass sauce jars and tins before putting them into the recycle bin.
  • If your local council doesn’t collect certain recyclable items such as glass then check your local supermarkets for recycling drop off points.
  • Get your children to join in with sorting through what can be recycled; it’s never too early or too late to make a start.
  • Most supermarkets collect used carrier bags to recycle now, so this is something else worth checking out.
  • You can find lots more tips on recycling at Recycle Now.

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Disclaimer: I received this Simple Human 48 litre touch-bar recycler for the purposes of this review. All opinions and thoughts were independently formed by members of the Mummy Whiskers household and me.
Images courtesy of Octonauts Live

Win a family ticket for Octonauts Live


For the first time the Octonauts will be touring live around the UK and I am very excited to have a family ticket to give away on here! The tour starts on 16th October 2014 and runs through until 5th July 2015 so there will be plenty of venues and dates to choose from if you are lucky enough to win.

Enjoy an action-packed interactive musical stage show with the Octonauts in an underwater adventure, with surprises around every corner. The perfect family event with fun for all!

You can see full details of the tour dates and venues on the Octonauts Live website.

I also have a sneaky peek look at some photos from the Octonauts Live set to share with you all today!

Images courtesy of Octonauts Live
Images courtesy of Octonauts Live

So for your chance to win a family ticket for Octonauts Live (two adults and two children) simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. The mandatory entry is to make a comment on this post with your child’s favourite Octonauts character. The other entries are optional but will give you a higher chance of winning.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to UK residents only. The winner will be drawn at random on Tuesday 7th October 2014 and emailed the same day. The winner will have until Thursday 9th October 2014 to respond to the email with their details, if they fail to do so they will be disqualified and another winner will be drawn at random. Any entrants that do not complete their entries as per the terms and conditions will be disqualified. For the full terms and conditions please see the link on the Rafflecopter form.

Good luck everyone!


Halloumi and Blueberry Salad


It’s Monday, or Meat Free Monday to be precise! I haven’t published a recipe for Meat Free Monday for a while now, so I thought it was time to get back into it. This week I am sharing with you more of a meal idea than a recipe, Halloumi and Blueberry Salad. It’s delicious and low fat so perfect if you are on a diet or even a healthy eating mission. This salad is just the right size for a light lunch, snack or as a side at dinner. I love halloumi cheese, it’s so tasty and of course squeaky!


Halloumi and Blueberry Salad

Time: 5-10 minutes.

Weight Watchers: 3 Propoints.

Serves: 1



~ Side plate or small plate.

~ Colander.

~ Frying pan and spatula.


~ Large handful of spinach leaves, washed and excess water removed by dabbing with a piece of kitchen roll.

~ Large handful of rocket leaves, washed and excess water removed by dabbing with a piece of kitchen roll.

~ ½ cup of blueberries; washed and excess water removed by dabbing with a piece of kitchen roll.

~ 40g light halloumi cheese.

~ Drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

~ Olive oil, preferably in a spray bottle.


This is pretty simple really.

1) Arrange the spinach leaves on a small plate / side plate.

2) Arrange the rocket leaves on top of the spinach.

3) Sprinkle the blueberries on top of the leaf mix.

4) Slice the halloumi cheese no more than 1cm thick.

5) Heat a frying pan and lightly spray with some olive oil.

6) Place the halloumi slices in the pan and fry for a few minutes on each side until they have a nice golden coating.

7) Place on top of the salad.

8) Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the salad and serve immediately.


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Image courtesy of Peppa Pig Live

Peppa Pig’s Big Splash Tour

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A few weeks ago we went to see the Peppa Pig’s Big Splash Tour live. G adores Peppa Pig and always has so we were pretty excited about this event in the Mummy Whiskers household.

In this show the nursery roof has a leak. Peppa Pig and her friends set up a fete to raise the money to repair the roof, with activities including a champion puddle jumping competition! There is a lot of audience participation involved in the show as Peppa Pig and her friends need the audience to help them organise the fete and make it a success.

Image courtesy of Peppa Pig Live
Image courtesy of Peppa Pig Live

The cast perform on stage with puppets for the characters of Peppa Pig, they are very engaging with the children, absolutely fantastic. Every child in the audience thoroughly enjoyed the show, joining in with the singing and dancing. G thoroughly enjoyed the show, he was mesmerised by the puppets and performers, squealing with delight when Peppa herself came onto the stage.

I haven’t mentioned the grown-ups; of course they enjoyed the show too! Everyone joining in with the singing and dancing, yes, even the grown-ups were taking part in this. I even saw a few parents wearing Peppa Pig t-shirts! I must buy some for the next tour; I for one can’t wait for the next tour.

Image courtesy of Peppa Pig Live
Image courtesy of Peppa Pig Live

The tour is running across the UK and Ireland until the 4th January 2015, with more dates still to be announced. You can see the full details of the tour and purchase tickets and merchandise on the official Peppa Pig Live website. You can also follow Peppa Pig Live on Facebook for their latest news.

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Disclaimer: I received tickets for Peppa Pig’s Big Splash Live for the purposes of this review. All opinions and thoughts were independently formed by members of the Mummy Whiskers household and me.

August Degustabox

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We had another exciting month with food, this time with the August Degustabox. As usual it was filled with a good variety of goodies for us to try out and of course we stepped up to the challenge!

So here we go…


Mexican Dave’s Lightly Salted Tortilla Chips

RRP £1.00

Delicious thick and crunchy tortilla chips, we made them into the usual Nacho Dish that we always have, I must post my salsa sauce recipe soon.


Berry White Peach & Goji Berry Organic Drink

RRP £1.59

S and I both tried this; we really liked it, very fruity and refreshing! It’s also a very healthy drink with no added sugars and no artificial preservatives.


Schwartz Flavour Shots

RRP £1.39

There are eight flavours available; we received the Spanish Smoked Paprika Chicken flavour and the Mexican Fajitas flavour. They are both suitable for vegetarians and I actually used them with Quorn pieces instead of chicken. They worked really well and were very tasty. I didn’t think they would be very flavoursome as there is such a small amount there, but it spread well in the pan and tasted fantastic.


Caribbean Twist

RRP £2.50

You can’t beat a bit of booze in a Degustabox and the Caribbean Twist Strawberry Daiquiri is no exception, it’s so fruity and refreshing, it’s hard to believe its alcoholic at all!


Fever Tree Tonic Water and Ginger Beer

RRP £1.69 each bottle

Ever since my pregnancy I haven’t been able to bring myself to drink tonic water, I was really put off it. But I braved it and gave it a try. I was pleasantly surprised, this was quite honestly the best tonic water I have ever had the pleasure of drinking!

I was even more terrified of the ginger beer, despite the fact ginger beer was my favourite drink before pregnancy, each time I have tried it since a wave of nausea has washed over me along with some pretty grim HG flashbacks. So I took this one slowly, I started by sniffing the drink, it didn’t smell like the usual ginger beers, so I then moved on to slowly taking a small sip. Honestly, it tastes a lot nicer than most ginger beers you find, there was something about it that was actually really nice. I won’t go as far as saying it has made its way back to the top of my favourites list, but it was very nice.


Lindt HELLO Just For You Heart Chocolate Tin

RRP £3.49

Degustabox, you know me too well. Chocolate, yum! Lindt really is delicious chocolate and these chocolate hearts are absolutely divine! The tin contains ten individually wrapped chocolates, they didn’t last long I’m afraid; we are all chocolate addicts in this house!


Cawston Press Kid’s Blends Apple and Pear

RRP £1.89 for a 3 pack

G tried this juice, he loved it. I’m afraid he still says very little so I don’t have any words from him about this fruity juice, but he did manage to say “mmmmmmmm” “yumyumyumyum” whilst drinking and he wouldn’t share.


Brioche Pasquier Pains Au Lait

RRP £1.69

These delicious plain brioche rolls didn’t last long in our house at all, mainly eaten by G. I managed to steal one to try though. We have always bought chocolate chip brioche before and I expected these to be quite tasteless but they are far from it. Really delicious! You could jazz them up with some home-made jam and cream too.


Dr Oetker Edible Wafer Cases

RRP £2.50

I was pretty excited to try these edible wafer cases. On the packet it says that they are strong enough to hold their shape in the oven, so I decided to test that and make sure.

I made Blackberry, Ginger and Milk Chocolate Muffins; the cases held their own, they tasted and looked great even after they come out of the oven.

My only gripe with these is that you only get six in a pack; I mainly bake in batches of 12 so found that annoying. I also felt they were a little expensive at £2.50 for six cases, but the novelty of them is great and they do hold their shape in the oven!


Brioche Pasquier Pain au Chocolat

RRP £1.79

Again, these flew out of the kitchen at full speed. These were delicious, fresh, light and fluffy. Divine heated up under the grill for a few minutes.


MOMA Bircher Muesli Pack

RRP £2.99 per 4 pack

We found these in our local Sainsbury’s store and purchased them with the Degustabox Fridge voucher that we received in our Degustabox this month. They are delicious and a great option if you need breakfast in a hurry or to take to work with you.


Overall, August was another fantastic month for Degustabox, as difficult as it is to decide I have chosen the Lindt chocolates to be my favourite item.

If you would like to try out a Degustabox for yourself I have a voucher code so that you can get £3 off your first month. Simply enter the code BX6UN when you register to receive your discount.

You can find out more about Degustabox on their website. Why not check out DegustaboxUK on Facebook or follow @DegustaboxUK on Twitter to find out more about their latest offers and news.



Disclaimer: I received the August Degustabox for the purposes of this review. All opinions and thoughts were independently formed by myself and members of the Mummy Whiskers household.


Blackberry, Ginger and Milk Chocolate Muffins

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On my quest for more interesting snacks to help me with my diet, I made some Blackberry, Ginger and Milk Chocolate Muffins. I recently received a pack of Dr Oetker Edible Wafer Cases in the August Degustabox and decided to try them out with this recipe.

Blackberry, Ginger and Milk Chocolate Muffins

Makes: 12

Preparation Time: 10 minutes. Bake Time: 25-30 minutes.

Weight Watchers: 4 ProPoints each.


~ Mixing bowl

~ Electric or hand mixer

~ Muffin baking trays to hold 12

~ 12 muffin cases (I used Dr Oetker Edible Wafer Cases)

~ Sieve and spatula


~ 225g plain flour

~ 1 tsp baking powder

~ 6 tbsp sweetener

~ Sprinkle of ground vanilla

~ ½ tsp ground ginger

~ 2 medium eggs

~ 50g low fat butter (I used Clover Light)

~ 200g ginger yogurt (I used Rachel’s Organic Greek Yogurt Ginger flavour)

~ 45g blackberries chopped

~ 45g milk chocolate chips


1) Preheat oven to 190 (180 for fan assisted).

2) Add the eggs, yogurt and butter to the mixing bowl and mix well.

3) Sieve the flour into the mixing bowl and add the baking powder, sweetener, ground vanilla and ginger. Stir through well.

4) Add the blackberries and milk chocolate chips and stir through evenly.

5) Place the muffin cases into the moulds in the muffin trays and spoon in the mixture evenly.

6) Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

7) Allow to cool on a cooling rack and enjoy!

Casa Costello

The Lego Movie

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This week we have been busy watching reviewing the Lego movie, it’s a tough job but somebody has to do it so naturally we rose to the challenge.

So this is the first full length feature film that Lego have created and as a huge Lego addict I was very excited to watch.

Emmet is the ordinary Lego construction worker who blends into the crowd so well he is hardly noticed. Emmet is thought to be the “Special” according to a prophet and joins a quest to stop the evil tyrant, Lord Business, from gluing the Lego universe into place with the Kragle (a tube of Krazy Glue).

Emmet meets Wildstyle when he discovers the Piece of Resistance, which attaches to his back and together they join with superhero allies such as Batman, Superman, Gandalf, Cleopatra and Vitruvius. The allies are disappointed when they discover that Emmet isn’t special after all and that he has no creativity.

At the end of the film it goes to a basement in a house where a child is playing with his father’s Lego set and the father is annoyed that his son has changed things around. As the child explains the story of the game he has been playing to his father the same story line is going on in the Lego world.

We have watched the film several times since the DVD arrived and absolutely love it. It’s as addictive to watch as Lego is to play with and a great story line. I love the subtle grown up jokes thrown in for good measure!

The Lego movie really is one of those DVDs that get watched over and over, definitely not for the back of the shelf. I can’t begin to imagine how they will top this with the sequel!

In the Lego universe everything really is awesome!

Disclaimer: I was given the Lego Movie DVD by Suppose!com for the purposes of this review. All opinions and thoughts were independently formed by myself and members of the Mummy Whiskers household.

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Duchess of Cambridge and Hyperemesis Gravidarum


Earlier this week I heard the news that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting her second baby, and that she is currently receiving treatment and care for the condition Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) again.

The news of anyone suffering from HG, whether it be their first pregnancy or not, leaves me with mixed emotions that I can’t quite place. I am of course delighted to hear of the Duchess expecting her second child; it is wonderful that Prince George will have a little brother or sister, but it always saddens me deeply to hear of anyone suffering from HG.

I must be crazy because I am sat here crying for a woman I have never met, simply because she is suffering from a serious pregnancy illness, Hyperemesis Gravidarum. But I suffered from HG myself a few years ago and I’m still recovering physically as well as emotionally. Quite honestly, I don’t think the heartache ever goes away; you just become stronger for surviving and that strength becomes a part of you forever.

In the news it has been said that the Duchess is receiving treatment at home for HG, yet she has still had to announce her pregnancy early because of the illness. Sadly there is no hiding from HG; it does take over your life. But I really do hope that with early treatment and care her suffering is reduced and her pregnancy can be as smooth as possible.

With all the media attention surrounding Hyperemesis Gravidarum at the moment, I thought it would be a good opportunity to remind you of the charity Pregnancy Sickness Support (PSS). Pregnancy Sickness Support is a wonderful UK charity that offers support to women suffering from pregnancy sickness at any level, including Hyperemesis Gravidarum. They have a great support network where a sufferer can be matched to a trained peer support volunteer if they need one to one support. The charity also has an online support forum for sufferers to connect with each other; the forum is also moderated by trained volunteers.

If you are suffering from pregnancy sickness or Hyperemesis Gravidarum, or even if you know someone who is, then please take a look at the PSS website for more information. I promise that they won’t suggest ginger! You can also find Pregnancy Sickness Support UK on Facebook, or follow @HGSupportUK on Twitter.

Do you want to help in some way? Why not read about becoming a PSS volunteer here. If you don’t have the time to help out but still want to do something then you can donate to PSS here.

Later this month there will be a new book released, Hyperemesis Gravidarum: The Definitive Guide. The book is written by Amanda at the Family Patch and Caitlin at Spewing Mummy, to find out more about the book visit Spewing Mummy. You will also find lots of helpful information about Hyperemesis Gravidarum over at Spewing Mummy.

Another useful resource is Adventures of Adam which is written by Emma, a dear friend and trustee at PSS. Adventures of Adam is a wonderful blog filled with play ideas that are perfect for a mother suffering from HG. The activities are quick and easy to set up, using items around the house and that the child could play with independently.

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OXO Good Grips review


Until recently I always associated OXO with baby / toddler eating tools, my kitchen cupboards in particular are over flowing with spoons, bowls, food pots and plates. OXO Tots have over the past two years transformed my kitchen from the idyllic matching red and white that it was to a rainbow of BPA free plastic. Until now that is, now that I have discovered OXO Good Grips and OXO SteeL.

OXO very kindly sent me the Pop-Up cookbook / tablet holder to review; I was very excited about this as I have tried many recipe book holders over the years and never really got along with any of them. But the main reason I was so excited was that it also doubles up as a tablet holder and I need all the help I can get to drag myself up to date with technology!

They also sent me another item to try out, the hand held mixer, yes that’s right a good old fashioned style hand mixer. This one, not so excited about, scared if I’m entirely honest. I am a lazy baker, I have always used electric mixers and looked on at my mother in horror as she tells me how she always hand mixed everything in her day. I quite honestly feared my arm may drop off whilst using this hand held mixer!


So starting with the Pop-Up cookbook / tablet holder; I really like this, a lot. In official bullet point format below I have listed everything that I like about the Pop-Up cookbook / tablet holder.

~ The colour. Its white, which is perfect as it fits in nicely anywhere in my kitchen. Well let’s face it, when it’s white it will fit in nicely in any kitchen.

~ It’s made of a strong plastic and is very sturdy, even with my heaviest cookbook held the holder showed no signs of weakness or tippling over. Impressive!

~ My main pet hate in the kitchen is objects that have lots of silly nooks and crannies that gather dust and require a lot of faffing to clean. This Pop-Up cookbook / tablet holder however isn’t one of these, it’s really easy to wipe clean. I’m not sure if it’s intentional or not but it doesn’t seem to get as dusty as some other items in my kitchen either…

~ The splatter guard is a great feature, especially if you are using your tablet; I found it protected my books and tablet really well so I could keep them beside the cooker without worrying that they would become damaged by flying splats of tomato.

The splatter guard folds down too so I was able to scroll down the screen on my tablet and turn the pages of my good old fashioned books too. At first it took me a while to pull down the splatter guard, I was terrified that I would break something but it really is stronger than it looks.


Overall I love the Pop-Up cookbook / tablet holder, I’m glad that I have found a way to use my tablet in the kitchen safely and a way to protect my precious cookbooks too.


Next up I gave the hand held mixer a run for its money. I decided to start small with my mixing; I am severely unfit and know my limits. So expecting to feel some hard core pain from hand mixing, I made my way to the kitchen to make Yorkshire puddings.

Cue: Rocky theme music for dramatic effect.

I had my serious face on, rolled up my sleeves, took a deep breath and mixed that a Yorkshire pudding batter like there was no tomorrow.

I soon realised that actually, this mixing was really easy, no aching arm, I wasn’t even out of breath! The hand held mixer was starting to win me over, I was starting to feel old school!

Favourite features:

~ The non slip grips on the main handle and the turning knob are fantastic; I managed to keep hold of the mixer without an aching hand. It’s really comfortable to hold and use.

~ The turning knob is so light, I didn’t need to use any effort what so ever to turn it and mix. Even G at 2 years old loves using it, it makes mixing effortless.

~ The beaters are easily removed and the rotating gears are sealed into the casing which makes the hand held mixer really easy to clean. Did I mention how much I hate having little niggly bits to clean? This has to be my favourite plus point!

~ The sleek style of this hand held mixer makes it look very modern despite the fact it is a very traditional mixer, the black and white colours mean it will blend into any kitchen. It certainly looks good in mine!


Overall I really surprised myself with the handheld mixer, it’s so effortless to use, so stylish yet practical at the same time. I even stepped things up a gear and used it to make some violet and vanilla fairy cakes, even with a heavier cake mix it was still really light and easy to mix with.

Oh, and the final plus point of the hand held mixer; my arm didn’t fall off. Yippee!


The Pop-Up cookbook / tablet holder costs £20 and can be found on the OXO website in the OXO Good Grips section.

The hand held mixer costs £20 and can also be found in the OXO Good Grips section.

You can see the full range available from OXO on their website here. You can also follow OXO UK on Facebook or @oxo_uk on Twitter to find out about their latest news and offers.


Disclaimer: I was given the cookbook / tablet holder and hand held mixer for the purposes of this review. All opinions and thoughts were independently formed by myself and members of the Mummy Whiskers household.



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First day at preschool

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Today was your first day at preschool; I have prepared you well for this big adventure, lovingly sewing your name tags; picking out a bag and a lunch box just for you. I carefully filled out the sheets to tell them about all the things that you like and dislike, I made sure they know not to chop your bananas; I know how much that bothers you. We have talked about what it will be like every day, about the lovely boys and girls that you will become friends with; about all the new things you will learn and all the games that you will play.

As the weeks drew closer I started to think about when you were born, you were so tiny, so precious, my little HG survivor; my very own baby bear. I have always been proud of you from that very first day, I carry that pride with me along with all the love in the world that I have for you. But I also carry the weight of guilt too, I don’t think I will ever stop feeling guilty that I couldn’t look after you properly when I was carrying you. I know the HG is to blame for not eating, keeping food down and for the medications that I had to take whilst I was carrying you, but I can’t help but feel that I failed you as a mother during those nine months and I have spent every day since you were born trying to make it up to you. I don’t think I will ever be able to stop doing that.

But now you are two, you are becoming your own little person and I cannot wrap you in cotton wool and protect you from the world anymore. I have to let you go, just a little bit, so that you can grow and become everything that you dream to be. I missed you terribly whilst you were there today and I know you missed me too. You held onto me so tightly when I picked you up and you cried a little, but you are ok now, you are happy to be back at home.

We will do it all over again tomorrow and slowly but surely we will get used to this new routine. I will still miss you though; you will always be my baby bear.

Super Busy Mum