Trade To Aid Reusable Sanitary Pads - Giveaway

Recently Trade to aid contacted me about their reusable sanitary wear, something that I don't currently use, but have read a lot about and debated trying. Trade to aid is on a mission to alleviate period poverty! Period poverty is a global issue where financial constraints prevent girls and women of any age from accessing sanitary products for their periods. Without access to sanitary products, girls and women are forced to improvise or not use any sanitary products at all. Rags, toilet roll, paper towels or torn clothes could all be used as substitutes and may be used for longer than is healthy. Menstrual stigma and lack of education create a cruel self-perpetuating cycle that prevents women and girls from seeking help. For every pack of pads, you buy from Trade to aid they provide women and girls in refugee camps with sanitary products to support them on their periods. They also support menstrual educational programmes for young people in West Africa.

Trade To Aid reusable period pads are comfortable, secure and save you money. They are made of recycled, reusable materials and the pads are simple to wash and easy to reuse. Reusable pads reduce waste, keep plastic out of landfills and away from the oceans. They are an easy way to make a small change to the planet. The main thing that puts some people off reusable pads is the cleaning afterwards, but washing the pads is quick and easy. You can wash them by hand with soap and water, or pop them in the washing machine, and then hang them to dry. Each pad is made from super soft bamboo charcoal that is extra absorbent so you don't need to worry about leaks. They are so super colourful with a bright geometric pattern on each pad. Each pack of Trade To Aid reusable pads contains 6 pads, 2 light flow, 2 medium flow and 2 heavy flow, so one box can set you up for your entire period from start to finish. You also get a handy bag to store your used pads in on the go. The cost is just £29.99, the average woman in the UK spends around £13 a month minimum on sanitary products. That works out to over £1,500 over a 10-year period. So in less than 3 months, these pads will have paid for themselves.

The team over at Trade to aid have generously given me another set of these reusable pads to give away to one of my readers. For your chance to win just enter via the widget below. The more options you enter the more chance you have to win. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms And Conditions
1. Open to Uk and Ireland entrants aged over 18
2. One winner will be chosen via the widget and announced on the widget
3. Winner will be contacted via email and has 28 days to respond to winning email before a new winner is selected
4. Your details won't be passed to any third parties
5. Entries made using software or bulk entries will be disqualified
6. By entering you agree to your name being shared on social media as the winner
7. Giveaway open until midnight 14th November 2021

Silcock's Winter Wonderland Is Back!



The UK's Largest indoor Christmas theme park returns to Manchester for Christmas 2021! 


Kingpin Events, organisers of the UK’s largest indoor Christmas theme park, are delighted to announce that Silcock’s Winter Wonderland Manchester returns after a 4-year gap, bringing the magic of Christmas back to Manchester.

The much-loved festive extravaganza returns indoors at EventCity next to the Intu Trafford Centre from Saturday 4th December 2021 to Sunday 2nd January 2022.

The Christmas event became a top attraction in Manchester for five years from 2013-2017, becoming one of the city’s biggest annual events and now the much-loved attraction returns bigger and better than before with tickets now on sale for the unmissable festive family adventure.

Kingpin Events will transform the indoor 22,000 sq m exhibition space into an unbelievable and magical winter wonderland, featuring over 50 family rides and attractions all under one roof including Dodgems, Roller Coasters, Waltzers and too many children’s rides to mention. There is also a dazzling array of theatrical shows on the main stage including TV stars Daisy and Ollie, Ice Princess Show, Christmas Meltdown plus the spectacular Christmas Circus returns, all with daily performances. Not to mention being greeted by Elves and Fairies and the amazing surprises that are still to be announced!

Of course, Christmas would not be complete without visiting Father Christmas - complete with real reindeers- who will be taking time out of his busy schedule for meet and greets every day, up to and including Christmas Eve. You also have the option to purchase a toy and a photo from Father Christmas Toy Workshop.

If this wasn’t enough there are also games stalls and festive foods from German sausages to waffles and crepes, as well as an authentic German Bar for alcoholic drinks and refreshments.

Four hours of non-stop fun and entertainment all included in one amazing ticket price (excluding games and food stalls) along with 3000 free car park spaces.

I've teamed up with Winterwonderland Manchester to give one of you the chance to win a family ticket to their special VIP event on Monday 6th December! For your chance to win this ticket enter via the widget below, all entries are optional, but the more you complete the more chances you have to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms And Conditions
1. Open to Uk and Ireland entrants aged over 18
2. One winner will be chosen via the widget and announced on the widget
3. Winner will be contacted via email and has 28 days to respond to winning email before a new winner is selected
4. Your details won't be passed to any third parties
5. Entries made using software or bulk entries will be disqualified
6. By entering you agree to your name being shared on social media as the winner
7. Giveaway open until midnight 13th November 2021

Life With A Stoma When You're 13

***WARNING*** This post contains pictures of an actual stoma and scarring, do not look if you are squeamish.

We did a lot of groundwork with Pops to prepare her for life with a stoma, we used lots of pictures and lots of explaining to her what would happen at each step of the way. We obviously had no idea how she would actually take it when it happened. You can explain all you want to someone with Autism that a piece of their bowel will be stitched to their stomach, but until it's actually there you have no idea how they will react. It's been about 10 weeks since her 2nd surgery and we have both settled into life with a stoma and all it comes with. You can read all about her actual surgery in the blog post Not Where I Thought We'd Be and why her recovery has taken so long.

It's been a battle to find the right products for Pops to use with her stoma, ordinarily, you will use a flat bag that sticks on, but her stoma is flat on one side due to scarring so we are using a  different system, that's not been plain sailing though. Her scarring has progressed and naturally healing but at a very slow pace. Unfortunately due to her corrective surgery, she has scarring on either side of the stoma which has made life difficult for her. The best conditions for healing is clean and dry, keeping a stoma clean and dry is impossible, due largely down to the fact that poo comes out the end of it!!

It's taken the whole of the 10-week recovery for the scar to heal and only last week the final 2 stitches finally came out, I am hopeful that her stoma will pop out a little more now the stitches are gone and we can move away from the rigid bags, Pops doesn't find them as comfortable to wear as the flat bags. I can't believe how well she has coped with having a stoma so far, she amazes me every day. To begin with, she wasn't happy with me changing the bag, the bag only needs changing every few days and in between this time you empty it. Pops is really getting to grips with the care of her colostomy bag and I am sure in the future she will be doing all the care herself. She is already able to remove her bag herself and knows how to clean her stoma, we've got a bit of work to do before she can apply a new bag herself.

We have settled on a bag type and size and these are her last 2 boxes of bags that we have to cut ourselves. Her stoma seems to have settled at 34mm, so I sat and pre-cut all of the bags it makes changes so much easier and quicker. Her new delivery has arrived and it's got pre-cut bags in, so its bye bye scissors, which excites me. I do all of her bag care at the moment, but now she is all healed we are going to start showing other family members how to care for her stoma, so everyone can help her with it. Emptying the bag is really simple you just unroll the bottom of the bag whilst sitting on the toilet, it's not the nicest job and believe me when I tell you stoma poo absolutely reeks, you do get used to it, I am an expert at not breathing through my nose now!! Thankfully Pops seems to be nose blind to the smell and disregards it completely. When it comes to changing the bag it's definitely easier to have her lay down on the bed to do it. You have to position the bag right over her stoma and create a good seal to prevent it from leaking, we have had lots of leaks in the early days, it was a learning curve for both of us, but together we have got better and we haven't had a leaking bag for at least 3 weeks now, so I think we have cracked it. I think the fact her scar is all healed helps massively.

I can't explain the difference having a stoma has made to Pops life, she was so restricted before wearing nappies. It affected every part of her life from what she could to what she could wear. Before she lived in leggings and tunic style tops that hide her nappy, she's never been able to wear shorts and a t-shirt in the summer as she wasn't comfortable, she couldn't go swimming as you cant get swim nappies for a child who wears size 14 clothing. She couldn't do aqua therapy at school for the same reason, she couldn't go in our neighbour hot tub with her siblings and most importantly she couldn't go to the toilet for a wee! She's been bladder continent for years, but the council only allow you 4 nappies per day on the scheme, so she wasn't able to remove the nappy every time she went to the toilet. I think of all the things she is enjoying going to the toilet is the biggest change, I think for me too as trying to find an accessible toilet to change her in was always a nightmare, so we tended not to go out in case she needed changing. We go away in October and this is going to be her 1st holiday with no nappies, her first holiday where she can go swimming, 1st holiday where she can wear clothes that other 13-year-olds wear and she is soo excited.

We were worried about how life would be for her with a stoma, even the doctors didn't want to do a stoma at first due to her age. But, honestly, it's been life-changing for her in all the right ways, she can do so much more and she is so happy. It was a tricky, worrying road not helped by the cock-up in her first operation, but through it, all she's been an absolute trooper as always. She amazes us every day with her resilience, she is honestly amazing!

Thanks For Reading



Back To School Gift Guide 2021

With 4 children ages 10 to 17 going back to school and college in just a few weeks I have been getting bits and pieces for the last few weeks. When you factor in uniforms, footwear, packed lunch bags and stationary the cost mounts up quickly. I have teamed up with some brands I love to bring you some items you might need for your brood this back to school season, I have also added some items I have personally bought for the tribe myself.

For The College Student

My eldest starts his second year of college in a few weeks, hopefully, this year he will have more face to face lessons, but we know that some lessons will be online for part of the year.

Edifier G2II Headset - £66.95

Edifier® International, a prominent designer and award-winning manufacturer of consumer audio electronics for both the lifestyle and multimedia markets announce its latest offering to the gaming headset world – the G2 II headphones. Featuring virtual 7.1 surround sound, the G2 II headset offers full 360° surround sound effects for a totally immersive gaming experience. With accurate sound positioning, pinpointing exactly where the sound is coming from these are perfect for gaming and taking part in online lessons. The high-performance, the noise-cancelling microphone features a detachable 6mm, electret condenser microphone with omnidirectional reception, vital for making sure your teammates can always hear you despite your surroundings.

Smart Screen - £11.95

Smart Screen’ is a designer cleaning cloth and pouch tailored to neatly fit into any pocket, heavier weight than most microfibre glass cleaning cloths making it easier to handle. This premium product has been specifically manufactured with the current heightened awareness of cleanliness in mind, with a silver ion antibacterial liquid treatment applied during the weaving process. The ‘Smart Screen’ boasts a durability that ensures antibacterial properties lasts for up to 15 washes. This lifestyle accessory, though produced predominantly for phone and tablet use, can also be utilised for reading glasses or camera lens cleaning thanks to its’ versatility. Created for a mass-market audience, the cloth fits into any everyday scenario – from removing screen smears before entering a meeting, eradicating dirt picked up from the bottom of a handbag or getting rid of greasy finger marks on the family-shared tablet.

Educational Items

I love to get the children items that are both educational and fun at the same time, who doesn't like having fun and not knowing they are learning!

Teacher Play - From £5

These books have been created to support children in their understanding and learning of phonics. The teaching of phonics is essential in a child’s early development. By introducing letter-sound relationships, you’re helping to build the foundations of a child’s literacy skills. At this stage, children should have already been introduced to some sounds, therefore these books should be used as a resource to help implement the learning and ensure successful progression. Teacher Play 0 to 20 Number Cards offer children a fun and easy way to practice their numbers. The set features 21 double-sided cards with illustrations that help with correct formation. All cards are wipeable when using a dry wipe pen. Teacher Play a to z flash cards offer children a fun and easy way to practice their alphabet. The set features 26 double-sided cards with illustrations that help reinforce letter formation.

Tackling Tables - £11

Tackling Tables is the fun cards game for times tables success. Play for just 5-10 minutes a day and see a difference! It’s a teacher-developed, game-based method that’s widely used in schools to help students learn and understand their 1 to 12 times tables and corresponding division facts off by heart. Student Set is ideal for home learning or classroom environments to help boost maths fluency. 

Numberblocks Mathlink Cubes - £25

This special edition MathLink Cubes set brings Numberblocks learning to life as children see how numbers work and master key Early Learning maths skills through hands-on discovery and play. Now children can build their own Numberblocks characters using award-winning MathLink Cubes, follow 30 hands-on activities linked to the episodes, and play along as they watch episodes and learn. The 30 activities on the 15 write-and-wipe activity cards feature fun ways for children to use MathLink Cubes to develop early maths skills. The activities have been developed to help children recognise numbers, learn to count, add and subtract, discover division and multiplication, and develop problem-solving skills.

Pack Lunch Essentials

We have 3 on packed lunches as they absolutely hate school dinners!! I have already started to buy pack lunch fillers and water bottles.

Contigo Products - From £15

The swish auto seal bottle is reusable and leakproof, a sports bottle with Auto seal technology, automatically seals between sips to prevent leaks and spills. Push the button for on-the-go drinking and release it to seal the bottle, whether on the go, in the office or outdoors; wide opening for easy drinking, fits ice cubes. The gizmo flip kids water bottle has a spillproof spout and is easily dismantled to be washed all the way through. The stainless steel food flask is great for cold pasta or hot soups in the winter months. It is 100% leakproof even when it's lay on its side in their lunch bag.

Wax Wraps - From £12

With 8.2 million children heading back to school this September - pandemic permitting, it’s the perfect opportunity to get your kids started early with their eco-education. For those children who opt for a packed lunch, show them how to make environmentally friendly choices and switch to plastic-free options, such as using WaxWrap beeswax wrap which provides a fun and natural alternative to harmful clingfilm and keeps food super fresh.* Perfect for wrapping fresh and cooked food - everything from sandwiches and cheese to fruit and veggies, the colourful wraps are sustainable and reusable, will impress their classmates and might even earn brownie points with their teachers. In contrast, to cling film, WaxWrap comes in a handy bag, pre-cut sheets and on-a-roll format. Made from a perfectly balanced formula of just four natural materials: organic cotton, organic jojoba oil, pine resin and beeswax – which makes them super grippy. Once used, WaxWrap can be washed using cold water and washing up liquid, then patted dry with a clean towel. They can be washed over and over and if used correctly should last for around a year.

First Day Items

There is always those items that you want and need for their first day, whether that be a little treat to say well done, vitamins to keep those bugs at bay or a little packet of tissues to mop away those first-day tears.

Zoobles - £6.99

Experience magical pop-open transformations with Zoobles. The Zoobles and Happitat 1-Pack include one adorable Zoobles Animal character, a matching Happitat with a themed backdrop and a checklist to keep track of your collection. Each Zoobles Animal starts out as a colourful ball and opens up into a super-cute animal when you roll it onto its Happitat. To activate your character’s awesome transformation, simply drop or roll the ball over the metal hot spot on the Happitat — your character magically springs to life, revealing your Zoobles Animal. It’s so much fun! 
Twisty Girlz - £9.99

Introducing the newest way to twist to the playground. These fashionable dolls transform from cute girls into a bracelet you can wear. Each Twisty Girlz features a different stylish outfit and cool hairstyle and comes with a secret Twisty Pet. They are the perfect pocket money purchase for glamourous kids!

ColdZyme® is a mouth spray that treats and alleviates the common cold. ColdZyme® is unique as it works immediately to create a protective barrier between you and the cause of the cold, the actual common cold viruses. ColdZyme® is unique because it acts against the cause of the cold, the cold virus itself. ColdZyme® is easy to use and acts immediately by forming a protective barrier in the oral cavity and throat. The barrier works by capturing cold viruses and deactivating the virus' ability to infect cells so that the body can get rid of the virus naturally. ColdZyme® protects against cold viruses, relieves cold symptoms and can shorten the course of the disease when used at the early stages of a cold. ColdZyme® is available in 20ml and 7ml packs.

High School Essentials

When you reach high school you can be tricky, they want the named clothing, but they have to fit in with the school's policy. Here are 3 items I bought myself for my teenagers in high school.

Gripping the streets for decades, literally!! These were popular when I was in school the Kick Hi with trademark chunky sole, padded collar and all the small details that make them unquestionably Kickers. This pair is finished in matte black leather, all-black matching construction and branded eyelets, ready to tackle the school day in style. They also do these in the patent style, but I thought leather was more sensible! I bought these for Pops and got them from Amazon, they were even available on next day delivery.

This on-trend Adidas 3 Stripe Versatile Backpack is great for school or when you're on the go available in various colours and completed with the Adidas 3 stripe styling. It has the iconic 3 stripe styling, 3 compartments, adjustable straps and is big enough to house a laptop. It fits our school's bag criteria and it also comes in black, but if yours isn't too strict there are some funky colour options.

Regatta Baysea Jacket - £19.95

I ALWAYS use the Regatta outlet for our back to school coats because there are always lots of fab deals. The Baysea Jacket is made of soft-touch Hydrafort polyester with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish and sealed seams. Cut hip-length with curved side seams and a stripe-lined hood with the Battersea Cats and Dogs Home print for extra-cute style points. With the Regatta Outdoors badge on the left sleeve. Wear this casual mac to weatherproof your commute or weekend walks in the park.

I am still waiting on a few items filtering through, I will add them as they arrive.
Thanks For Reading

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