Let’s Talk About Our Vaginas

Did my blog post title make you wince a bit? Do you get a bit embarrassed talking about your vagina? Because 40% of women recently polled by Vagisil admitted that they hate the word and 4 in 10 said they have never talked about their ‘intimate health’.

But really, when you think about it, why is this part of our body any different to our elbow or little toe? OK so it’s involved in sex and reproduction, but really, it’s just flesh. Aren’t we all grown up enough to talk about vaginas and intimate health properly? Especially those of us who have given birth. I remember lying in the hospital bed after giving birth, legs up and in stirrups, with nurses and doctors having a good old look at my vagina, trying to decide whether I’d need regular stitches or whether I’d need to go into surgery, to repair the (*crosses legs while typing*) tearing, and my main thought was: They could start selling tickets to tourists to come in and have a look, and I wouldn’t actually care! So many people had had a rummage and a poke by that point, that any embarrassment I might have felt, had vanished.

Vagisil’s Let’s Do Something campaign is all about removing the taboo around the vagina and encouraging women to be confident about speaking up when they think they might have a problem.  More than half of the women that Vagisil spoke to said that they’d be too embarrassed to ask for help from a pharmacist or GP if they thought they had a problem. And nearly a quarter admitted they’ve never properly looked at their vagina.

So why have Vagisil started the Let’s Do Something campaign? They have over 40 years of global experience and expertise in the intimate health category and they want to encourage women to be proactive and preventative with their intimate health.

Vagisil have a new range of intimate treatment and daily care products which are specifically designed to look after the health of your intimate area. We all take care of our face and body using special lotions, washes and creams; just like the rest of our body, our intimate skin benefits from special attention too.

Check out their website for advice and tips, and if you think you have an intimate health issue, go and see your GP or pharmacist.

This post was commissioned and sponsored by Vagisil – for information on how I work with brands, visit my Work With Me page.

3 Super Easy And Healthy Family Meals

As part of the Organix No Junk Challenge, I’ve been thinking a lot about easy and quick family meals I can make that are healthy and don’t involve processed food. I’m a huge fan of tasty food that’s super quick to make (giving us more time to be running around the park or watching Frozen) and today, I looked in my fridge and cupboards and set myself the task of thinking up three dishes that I could make with them. So what were these items?

Got these ingredients? 3 super quick meals you can make...

Everyone’s got these around, most of the time, right? So here goes… here are three super easy and healthy family meals using just these six ingredients… *channels Ainsley Harriott on Ready, Steady, Cook*…

6 Basic Ingredients... Make 3 Super Easy Family Meals - Not Another Mummy Blog

 

Meal 1: Eggs In Clouds (adapted from this recipe)

1 Separate egg, putting whites in a large bowl and yolk in a separate small bowl.

2 Whip whites until stiff peaks form.

3 Grate cheese and finely chop onion. Fold in cheese and onion to egg white.

4 Spoon into a mound on parchment-lined baking sheet; make a deep well in centre.

5 Bake at 450 degrees for 3 minutes.

6 Add yolk to well; season with pepper. Bake until yolks are just set, 2 to 3 minutes.

(Serve with toast)

 

Meal 2: Egg And Cheese Casserole (adapted from this fab Hungry, Healthy, Happy recipe)

1. Preheat your oven to 200C/390F.

2. Whisk 10 eggs, salt and pepper and 4 tbsp milk together and pour in to an oven dish.

3. Grate the cheese and finely shop the onion. Add to dish (chuck in other veg you might have like tomatoes, pepper or mushrooms.)

4. Cook in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the eggs are cooked.

(Serves 5)

 

Meal 3: Egg, Cheese and Onion Crepes (adapted from this amazing looking recipe on the Taming Twins blog)

1. Make a crepe/pancake by putting 100g plain flour and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack two eggs into the middle, then gradually pour in 300ml milk and 1 tbsp oil. Whisk together and pour into a moderately hot frying pan. Flip.

2. Finely chop the onion and in a separate frying pan, gently fry it in butter or oil.

3. When the underside of the pancake is almost done, put the onion on top, then the cheese. Fold in each side to make a square.

4. Break your egg into the space left.

5. Squish the sides down with your spatula to seal as the cheese melts.

6. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes until the egg is turning white.

7. Pop under the grill for a further 2 or 3 minutes until the yolk is just starting to cook.

 

So there you go, three super easy and healthy family meals with basic ingredients! If you’re interested in serving up healthy food for your family, check out the Organix No Junk Challenge. The No Junk Challenge is simple – it’s asking parents to look at the ingredients of the foods we’re buying for our kids. If we don’t recognise any of the ingredients, ask ourselves if we really want to be feeding it to our children. Read more about it over here and sign their pledge.

Organix No Junk Challenge

• Big thanks to Organix for collaborating with Not Another Mummy Blog. For information on how I work with brands, see my Work With Me page.

I’ve Only Just Started To Enjoy Motherhood

Family's feet

I’ve been a mum for three and a half years, and I’ve only recently started to enjoy it.

When I say that, I don’t mean that I hated being a mum before that. But it’s only now that I can look back on my time as a mum, so far, that it has dawned on me that motherhood feels different now. This feels like a terrible confession to make, so allow me to explain.

When my daughter was very young, I struggled. When I went back to work, I coped much better, but I used to dread the weekends coming. Isn’t that awful? As the weekend approached, I’d have an anxious knot form in my stomach, worried about how I’d cope all weekend, at home with my family. My family, who are lovely and amazing, might I add. Mr P is one of those real hands-on dads who’d get up with me for every night feed and who splits everything we have to do 50/50 (actually, he probably does more around the house than me….) And my gorgeous baby daughter (as she was then), learning to walk and reacting with joy to watching In The Night Garden. We’d do fun stuff at the weekend, like visit the park, but the days were based around her naps, her snacks, making sure she didn’t kick off and start screaming in public (like all one-year-olds inevitably do). I was a big ball of anxiety.

Other mums would speak about (or blog about) how blissful life with their kids was. Some would tweet about being sad that the school holidays were over and the kids were going back to school. Some would say that being a mum was their calling. And I just didn’t really get it. I’d look at what they were saying, and then look again at my life, and how I was feeling, and it didn’t add up. There were moments of joy, of bliss, and I never once wished I wasn’t a mum. But I didn’t really ‘get’ motherhood.

But recently, something must have changed, because I don’t feel like that anymore. Now, I genuinely look forward to seeing my daughter every day after work. I’ll be sitting on the train home (or standing, wedged in between a cross city worker or two) and I’ll smile, thinking about seeing her little face. I get that Friday Feeling again – a real excitement about the weekend arriving and knowing I’ll be spending time with my family. Whether we have no real plans, and we’ll just be lounging around in our PJs, watching TV, playing shop and drawing… or whether we have an action-packed weekend of seeing friends and squeezing in a birthday party or two… I know we’ll have a brilliant weekend.

Now that my daughter is three, we have real conversations. She asks (a lot of) questions, like “Why do mummies have boobs?” and “Why are there pipes under the road?”. She makes me laugh with her daft facial expressions and voices. We have kitchen discos (her waving a wand, me riding a hobby horse) and she reads us stories (she can’t actually read – she’s not a genius – she just remembers the stories and repeats them to us.) She runs through to our bedroom every morning, shouting “morning time!” before climbing up onto our bed and giving me the best cuddle ever. We play teachers, where she tells me where to sit, what my name is (I’m usually Little Georgina) and she is teacher, telling me what to do. We sing along to Frozen, loudly.

I love hanging out with her. She’s such a cool little person. All my anxiety and worry about family time has vanished, and I’m enjoying being a mum.

Are You Up To The No Junk Challenge?

healthier-eating

Something I feel strongly about – but need to work on – as a parent is making sure my daughter eats healthy food. Because she’s at pre-school five days a week, and eats healthy, freshly cooked meals there, we tend to let things slide a bit at the weekends. Her weekend meals usually consist of sausages and peas, microwave fish pie and broccoli or fish fingers and beans. Not the worst diet in the world, but I want to start giving her less processed food. In fact, that goes for me and Mr P too. We rely too heavily on convenience foods. And eat too many jelly babies and chocolate treats. So – this is why the Organix No Junk Challenge is right up my street.

Organix No Junk Challenge

What is it? Rising levels of obesity in kids, the high levels of salt, salt and sugar in foods targeted at toddlers and children, the amount of colourings and flavourings in processed foods and the fact that the food industry is currently self-regulated are all a huge concern today. Organix have launched the No Junk  Challenge which asks parents to watch a video, share it with other parents, and sign their pledge.

What should I be doing differently? The No Junk Challenge is simple – it’s asking parents to look at the ingredients of the foods we’re buying for our kids. If we don’t recognise any of the ingredients, ask ourselves if we really want to be feeding it to our children.

What difference will signing the pledge make? We’ll have a healthier family! Plus, Organix will then call on the food industry and the government to provide stricter controls on the levels of added salt, fat and sugar and artificial additives in children’s food. At the moment, no-one with a long term commitment is taking responsibility for what is in the public’s [and children’s] food. This has to change.

I’ll be making a real effort next week – and from now on – to cook proper, healthy meals for my three-year-old, and I’ll be checking out the ingredients on some of her snacks too… if you have any tips or recipes, please share them with me and I’ll let you know how I get on!

Big thanks to Organix for collaborating with Not Another Mummy Blog. For information on how I work with brands, see my Work With Me page.

A Weekend At The Ickworth

Sometimes, when you’re working hard every day, and everyone in the family has been run down with colds and bugs, and you’ve had lots of busy weekends rushing around seeing family and friends, it’s good to just….

Stop.

Last month, it became apparent that both me and Mr P were in need of some TLC and a breather from ‘real life’, and what better way than a family mini break in the countryside? So we packed up our car and, along with the three-year-old, we headed for The Ickworth in Suffolk. Part of The Luxury Family Hotel group, The Ickworth is housed in the east wing of Ickworth House. The beautiful building was designed by an Italian architect in the 18th Century, and was the home of the Earl of Bristol. Sold to the National Trust in the 1950s, the east wing was kept as a family home for the Marquess of Bristol until 1998 when it was sold to the National Trust… who have since leased it to the Luxury Family Hotel Group. Which might feel like a bit of a school lesson, but it shows the real history that this amazing place has.

The Ickworth is one of those hotels that manages to strike a perfect balance between being truly lovely for the grown ups and welcoming kids with open arms. As you walk in the grand entrance, friendly staff greet you and so does a large basket of toys with a sign explaining that they can be borrowed and enjoyed during your stay. A sign in the reception area tells you that there is a hotel dog, who is very child-friendly, but mustn’t be fed by guests. Children’s laughter accompanies the clinking of china tea cups and saucers, drifting through from the lounge areas.

While we were being shown our room – we stayed in the lovely Herbert room – I could feel my shoulders sink lower and any ‘real life’ stresses drift away. I immediately spotted Orla Kiely mugs with our in-room tea and coffee and a fab purple retro-looking phone… and knew this place would serve us well for the next couple of days.

Orla Kiely mugs

the Ickworth, Suffolk

The Ickworth hotel room

The Ickworth hotel ensuite

As soon as we were left alone in the room, things went something like this: Continue reading