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Review & Giveaway: Itchy Baby Co

Review & Giveaway: Itchy Baby Co

*Please note that whilst this is a sponsored post, all opinions and findings are my own.

If you have a child that suffers from allergies and skin irritations, then you know the heartache that comes with trying to ease your child’s pain and discomfort when it flares up. My Ella, with her Irish red hair and milky white skin, unfortunately suffered her first Eczema break out in her first summer, when sun cream was applied to her arms and neck. In the common ‘sweat spots’ her skin quickly becomes dry, scratchy and irritated. Often advancing quickly into red and raw sores that can be so painful. I quickly learned that particular brands of sun cream were her enemy, as were soap based cleansers. We have medicated cream on stand by for times when it gets particularly bad, but I’ve always kept my eye out for gentle products that help protect and nourish her fragile skin, particularly in her elbow areas.

So when I was approached by the Itchy Baby Company to try their range, I was excited to hear about their similar, back story. Developed in Australia by a pharmacist mum , Julia Simmonds, her son’s eczema is the reason behind itchy baby co. She ‘had hit rock bottom’. Admitted to hospital with her toddler’s infected eczema covering more than 75% of his little body. Despite having tried product after product, countless visits to the doctor and listening to anyone who had any advice to give, here she was. Felling guilty, helpless and utterly desperate to help her little boy.

Itchy Baby Co

Itchy Baby Co

Itchy Baby Co

Itchy Baby Co

Eczema is so challenging and we deal with it every day through the emotional heartache and practical problems it throws our way. Julia’s product range contains only the goodness of natural ingredients to nourish and hydrate your child’s skin without any chemicals or irritants.

I was lucky enough to try the following products from their range:

  • Natural Oatmeal bath soak
  • Natural Oatmeal bath soak with goats milk
  • NAtrual Oatemal Bath Soad with goats milk and organic coconut
  • Natural Oatmeal moisturise with organic coconut
  • Natural Scalp Oil

I’ve been using the bath soak in the bath with both my children each night. I’ve followed this with using the moisturiser on Ella’s skin. I’ve noticed that the areas, particularly on the inside of her elbows have remained clear and free of any irritation. Ella would sometimes wake in the night with irritated and itchy skin, and this has not happened at all during the last fortnight. IT’s been wonderful and I would so far recommend the range to anyone!

I’m thrilled to be able offer one of my readers the chance to win their own chance to experience the Itchy Baby Co range. Thanks to Itchy Baby Co, I am giving away an amazing prize pack including:

1 x Natural Oatmeal Bath Soak ($14)

1 x Natural Oatmeal Bath Soak with goats milk ($16)

1 x Natural Oatmeal Bath Soak with goats milk & organic coconut ($16)

1 x Natural Oatmeal Moisturiser with organic coconut ($21)

1 x Natural Scalp Oil ($18)

Total Value of product: $85

 

To WIN:

  1. Head to Instagram
  2. like the image for the blog post, follow @happyellaafter & @itchybabyco
  3. List which product from their range you would love to try most, and how it would help your family.
  4. Tag a friend (no comp accounts please)

One winner will be chosen on (date to be advised)

To view their range and shop, head to : https://itchybabyco.com.au/shop/

Comp is open 8pm Thurs 18th April AEST and closes on Sunday 21st April at 9pm AEST. No comp accounts please. Australian residents only.

This giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by Instagram. By entering you are releasing Instagram of any and all responsibility and agree to the terms of use.

 

Please note: For best results we recommend bathing in itchy baby co. bath soak every day and applying our itchy baby co. moisturiser immediately after the bath, while the skin is still damp. Our moisturiser can be used as often as needed throughout the day. · It is important you patch test itchy baby co. products first for allergies. Although they develop their products without irritants everyone’s skin can respond differently to natural products.

Losing Dad : Six months on

Losing Dad : Six months on

It’s been six months today since we lost Dad. Six months feels so long, and yet it feels as raw as ever. It’s such a long time to not hear someone’s voice or see them smile.  I’m writing this today because I find it helpful to write it down. Helpful to share how I’m feeling with others. Sometimes I receive messages from others, sometimes total strangers, who have walked this path too. T Sometimes I get messages from people who have read my posts and they say it has helped them. To feel as though they are in this with someone else. That they are not alone. People sometimes ask me why I write this blog. I write for many reasons. Today I’m writing because I feel proud of our family for getting through a really, really hard time.

These last six months have taught me a great deal. When Dad passed away it was the first time in my life that I truly felt like this was a problem that  I couldn’t fix it. I couldn’t find an answer, a solution. I couldn’t see how it would be ok. Losing your Dad, especially when you are so close has effected me in so many ways. It’s made me grow up even more, and yet it’s made me feel as though I’m a kid again. No matter how old you are, when you lose your Dad, you are taken back to those childhood times where you truly just thought he would be here to protect you forever. These six months have taught me that we truly never really grow up. Grief knows no age. It knows not maturity. It makes you face your fears, stand up to the challenge and stand up to the plate. And yet it can strip away everything that has made you feel all grown up, and leave you wanting your Dad like you did when you were five years old.

losing dad six months on

These last six months have taught me that grief takes time to overcome. A really long time. IT has taught me to see life through a new lens. A new reality where we need to both remember, cherish and lean on our wonderful memories, and yet at the same time, create new ones to help us see that life can bring us all happiness again. That it WILL be ok. Whilst we often feel at a loss to fill the giant void in our life, that we have enough love around us to help us feel whole. One day we will. I know it. Sometimes you feel at an utter loss which direction to take. In the end I’ve learnt that it doesn’t really matter. Just try your best to keep going and be happy.

These last six months have taught me how loved my Dad truly was. Not only by his family, including his beautiful Grandchildren, who only this morning spoke about their darling ‘Pa’ after looking at pictures on our fridge. A double edged sword, these moments bring me both tremendous relief to know that they remember him, and yet I feel a sense of pain that they won’ know him more. I’ve learnt from people, far and wide, familiar and unfamiliar, that he left his ‘mark’ on their lives. Ironically.

I’ve learnt the power of positivity. Of smiling through the pain. Of the need to let yourself cry when you need it, but the feeling of joy rush through your body when you laugh and allow yourself to really smile.

So with the ticking of the clock, and the dawn of a new day, today we will toast to our Dad. With a crownie tonight: free and compulsory as he would say.

Dad we are doing ok. We miss you more than words could ever describe. However we’ve got each others’ back, just like I know you would want. You’d be so proud, especially of Mum. We all are.

Sydney celebrations with Netflix

Sydney celebrations with Netflix

This past long weekend, we escaped the chaos that is the Melbourne Cup Carnival and headed north to Sydney. We were lucky enough to be guests of Netflix, who held a Christmas celebration for their blogging Stream Team. I’ve felt very privileged to have been a member of this team for almost two years, as we test out and share the fantastic variety of films and television shows that Netflix provide. If you’ve been a follower of Happy Ella After, you will know that I’m a big fan. Some of the best features for families include:

  1. On demand : No waiting around for your (or your child’s) favourite show to be on. Watch it when you like!
  2. Profiles: You can create personalised profiles for each member of your family. Netflix will remember what you’ve watched, and you can even stop and pause your shows and go back to the point you’ve finished once the kids are in bed! They even suggest shows for you, based on your interests and things you’ve watched.
  3. Search function: the search function for kids is fantastic. You can find what your kids want based on the characters that appear. Easy peasy.
  4. Updates: they are forever adding new titles and series. Many of them are exclusive to netflix!
  5. Anywhere, anytime: You can watch Netflix on your TV, your iPad, your phone, your laptop!

So last weekend we headed to Sy-da-ney to catch up with some fellow bloggers and their families to have some fun… here are some shots…

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It was so much for to head north for the weekend and just enjoy being with my little family. We actually extended the day and headed to Bondi afterwards to make it a real mini break. I’ve never been to Bondi (no really, I haven’t) and I have to say that it was fantastic. Stay tuned next week for a family friendly review of this iconic city!

Thanks to the entire team for having us!

If you want to know more about Netflix, please head to the link here. 

kate

Losing Dad: Two months on

Losing Dad: Two months on

This weekend will mark two months since losing Dad. To be honest, if feels like two decades since I last saw him. The intense pain has started to ease in some ways, and yet in others it is actually worse. It’s worse because two months on, it is starting to feel real. The world that stopped momentarily in dismay to digest the news that Dad had been taken so suddenly has been replaced by a reality that everything and everyone still carries on, and yet we feel so left behind.  Time ticks over, people go back to work, the flowers wilt. It’s a harsh reality for us at the moment as we try to rationalise his absence. It’s impossible. The calmness of a steady world, rhythmically moving from day to night, night to day is far from the reality of our chaotic world, hit like a tornado. Everything is the same, and yet everything is so different.

It’s left me feeling lost about many things, big things in life. Is there really a heaven? Where DO we all go? People say that in times of great loss you really cling to your faith. In some ways this is true, and in others it leaves you questioning the very essence of what you believe. I’ve prayed. Day in day out. I’ve gone to church and lit candles. I’ve looked for signs. I’ve waited for him to come to me in my dreams. But nothing has brought me comfort. Not really. I’m left wondering about the meaning of life when someone can so suddenly be erased. How the world can simply delete the presence of such a magnificent man in so many ways, and yet he is everywhere. How can we ever reconcile this is a destination that is a little beyond our understanding right now. I’m hopeful that we will get there one day.

What has indeed helped and brought great comfort is the support of family and friends. What I’ve come to know about people who are dealing with intense grief. What we all need is different. Some need space. Others need to be close to others. I’m of the later kind. Phone calls, messages, cards, food, hugs and more hugs. Flowers sent two months later from a friend, just so I would know that my family, and more importantly, My Dad are ever present in their thoughts. A simple gesture with profound meaning and impact.

losing dad

I’m holding on desperately to the sound of his voice. The image of his hands. His somewhat aged and disfigured fingers after suffering years of arthritis. Yet still so precious. You feel like stopping everyone in the street, to make sure they know / knew about this wonderful human being. What he did, how he lived life. I’ve covered my fridge in photos so that he is ever present in my childrens’ lives and thoughts. I just miss him. His ability to make anyone smile, just by walking into the room. The laughter that he infused in my children. The way he called me Katie. There are yet a handful of people who do that, and I wish I could hear it one last time.

losing dad

So two months on I think that as a family, we are doing remarkably well. We are doing our best. We have amazing people around us. It’s tremendously hard to transform and reshape your family unit. To try to fill in the vast void that is left both physically and emotionally. As a friend who recently also passed away said each and every day, hug your loved ones. There is so much truth in that it hurts. I know that one day I will be able to look at the thousands of photos and simply smile without feeling a lump in my throat. I’m not sure when that will be, but I know it will happen.

Grief is the price we pay for love. As hard as that reality is, we wouldn’t therefore want it any other way.

kate

Losing Dad, finding Hope

Losing Dad, finding Hope

Three weeks on from losing our beautiful Dad, things are really only now becoming real. He really did pass away. Suddenly. He really isn’t coming back. I can’t believe I’m even writing this. Only four months ago I wrote about losing my Nan, after 93 years. A long and happy life. My Dad’s life was incredibly happy. However it was cut too short. Dad passed away in his sleep, something everyone ‘wants’ to do. Except when it’s 30 years too early. It’s as though he has vanished, the world has deleted him. And yet he is still here. Every where, in every thing, every thought. Dad would hate this. He would hate to see his family suffering, asking why, living this reality each day. And yet I also know that Dad would be wanting us to live our lives. To be happy. To make the most of each and every day. After all, that is what he did.

losing dad

At Dad’s funeral, we included this beautiful poem in his mass booklet….

He is Gone – A Poem by David Harkins

You can shed tears that he is gone,

Or you can smile because he lived,

You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back,

Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left.

 

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him

Or you can be full of the love that you shared,

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,

Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

 

You can remember him and only that he is gone

Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on,

You can cry and close your mind be empty and turn your back,

Or you can do what he would want: smile, open your eyes,

love and go on.

IMG_4840This was my Dad. Mark Patrick Sherlock. It’s hard to put into words a description of a Father who gave you the life of your dreams. He was not only the most amazing Dad, but he was a person we all wanted to be. Loving, kind, hard working, generous. Dad was a people person. It was actually very hard to find a photo of my Dad on his own. He smiled from ear to ear in each and every one. Dad created a life for us, that I hope I can create for my children. He epitomised happiness. He loved his job and worked with the RSL for over 30 years caring for those who have returned after serving for their country. He loved our Mum. Adored her. He gave her a ‘double kiss’ each time he said goodbye, and each time he came home. He travelled a great deal, and not matter where he was in the world, he would text Mum wishing her a good night…’don’t let the bed bugs bite’.

losing dad

When you lose your Dad, especially so suddenly you feel vulnerable. Bare. Exposed. The person who you knew would always protect you is no longer there. You have to grow up in an instant. You have to consider yourself an adult, who now has to rise to the occasion and ‘be’ the person they wanted you to be. Strong, brave, hopeful. Finding hope is hard at times like this. I hope we all can. I know we will with time.

As Fathers’ Day approaches, I’m feeling sad, scared, numb. I’m also feeling incredibly reflective, and so proud of the life he gave me, and the life he lived. Not everyone is able to say that their Father truly is their hero. I’m blessed that I can. My beautiful husband told me that he wants our children to love him the way we loved our Dad. Already I can see that they do, and my Dad would be proud of him.

So three weeks on after losing Dad, I am searching for hope. I’m searching for the things that can bring us comfort. The love of family and friends. The blessings of my children. The messages and memories shared from near and far. I hope they keep coming, they help more than you know. Grief is exhausting. People ask you how you are, but you don’t know how you are, or what to say. You know that people don’t know what to say either. You just put one foot in front of the other, and do your best. People say it gets easier with time. I hope so. I know it will. In the mean time we are surrounded by incredible support. In my previous post I talked about it ‘taking a village to raise a parent’. Well it also takes a village to help you when you lose one.

My fridge is covered in photos of our family. Of my Dad’s smile and his love of life. I want to keep him ever present in our thoughts and in our reality. He may not be here in body, but he is most definitely here in spirit. He is still my Dad. Always and forever. This brings me hope and a smile. We can close our eyes and pray that he will come back, or we can open our eyes and see all that he has left. A life of memories and love.

losing dad

 

losing dad

kate

 

Product Review: Food Babies Love – Fresh Pots

Product Review: Food Babies Love – Fresh Pots

Mum Life = busy, crazy, love fuelled chaos. Before you have children you think that you will have it all sorted. Once you have them you realise that some days you’ve got things sorted (well, sort of), and other days you are just trying to survive. No matter what happens in our busy daily lives however, the one thing that I want for my children is to eat well. Eat food that is nutritious, but is easy to prepare.

Despite the best intentions, life gets in the way and it’s not always easy for parents to cook meals for their children which leaves the majority of parents relying on pre-packed foods. Unfortunately for most parents,the ready-made options available in store, including well-known baby food brands, are heat blasted allowing them to sit on the shelves for up to 18 months – so whilst convenient, important nutritional value is lost.

What’s even worse, explains best-selling Author, entrepreneur, Melbourne-based baby food expert and mother of 3, Emily Dupuche, is that “There are whole fridges dedicated to fresh pet food in supermarkets, but you can’t find any fresh baby food. It is unacceptable. Busy parents today deserve access to convenient, fresh, nutritious meals for their children with less salt, sugar and preservatives. We don’t buy meat off the shelf to eat, so we shouldn’t have to serve our babies just that.” Whilst I’m not a Mum who is super fussy about what types of food my children eat, I do want my children to have a balance of healthy meals that also taste great. I’ve shared some products that I’ve found before on my blog, and am thrilled today to share another great product that can save Mums and their babies everywhere!



Food Babies Love Fresh Pots

Dupuche has been fostering healthy eating habits in children and inspiring parents for 5 years. Dupuche’s first book, Food Babies Love (published by Pan MacMillan) has sold over 10,000 copies, made popular for it’s easy and delicious real food ideas to suit parents looking for strategies and solutions to feed babies the good food they need to thrive.

The popularity of the Food Babies Love guide and demand from parents looking for more food babies love, motivated Dupuche to take the favourite recipes from the guide and launch Food Babies Love – Fresh Pots – an Australian-first range of readily available FRESH baby and toddler meals.

Food Babies Love – Fresh Pots, is a range of convenient, nourishing baby and toddler food, offering time-poor parents peace of mind and the much needed opportunity to feed their babies fresh, wholesome and quick meals without compromising on nutrition, flavour and taste. It’s simple, real food that is kitchen fresh and exactly like home-made food.

“Mums want to know what ingredients they are feeding their children and how it has been prepared. With Fresh Pots the process and ingredients are transparent. We’ve taken the favourite recipes from the guide and prepared them fresh for parents. Being time poor doesn’t need to mean poor quality food for our children,”.

Food Babies Love Fresh Pots

 

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Dupuche has also chosen to package the meals in clear pots rather than pouches, specifically to stimulate all the senses of a growing baby including sight, smell and texture – key stimulants for developing palettes, interest and a healthy relationship with food. The 200g tamper-proof pots are microwavable and freezable and come in three distinct ages and stages. Early proteins for 6 plus months, textured meals for 7 plus months and toddler meals for 10 plus months.

There are 7 delicious varieties in the range. The range includes Lentil Dahl, Fish Pie, Curry, family favourites such as Spaghetti Bolognaise and more. Our favourite was definitely the chicken curry. I loved it too!

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Food Babies Love – Fresh Pots can be found in the refrigerated section of select supermarkets and grocers along the Eastern Seaboard with the option of weekly home delivery for Melbournians. RRP $6.45 and the book is also available in stores or via their website for $25. To purchase visit the store here: https://foodbabieslove.com.au/

kate

 

www.foodbabieslove.com.au

Facebook: foodbabieslove

Instagram: @foodbabieslove

Product Review: Vics Action Cold & Flu

Product Review: Vics Action Cold & Flu

If you’ve seen ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’, you’ll know that the Dad claims that anything can be cleaned or cured with Windex. Got a sore arm? Spray it with Windex. Got a cough, spray yourself with Windex. Well if you know me, you’ll know that I’ve always got a jar of Vics close at hand. In my handbag, in the car, beside my bed, in my desk at work. I’ve been known as the ‘Vics lady’ for some time now, and my boss has even converted to the sweet smell of vapour rub when ever she feels a cold coming on. I’m telling you, there is nothing better to help clear your nose, and make yourself feel better.

Vics Action Day & Night

Well that is, until I was asked to try Vics Action Cold & Flu. As a blogger, I’m asked from time to time to review specific products and give my opnions. I always pride myself however, on only choosing and showcasing products that I truly believe in. Products that make a difference to my family and my life.

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It barely helps taking medication that only helps with half your symptoms. Heaven knows that as a working Mum, I have zero time to be sick. Vicks Action Cold & Flu helps to manage the most bothersome of cold and flu symptoms, so you can handle both pain and cold.

Vicks Action Day & Night Relief helps relieve the following:

  • Blocked Nose
  • Runny Nose
  • Sore Throat
  • Fever and Headache
  • Body Aches
  • Sneezing

HOW IT WORKS:

Vicks Action Day & Night Relief has scientifically proven ingredients without Codeine or PSE, combined to address the symptoms of cold and flu.

 

As always, don’t be a dill and make sure you read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist, see your doctor.

This new range is available at your local pharmacy.

kate