Rediscovering Me to Land a New Job

So a few weeks ago I was struggling with juggling nursing and being a mum. Life was tough and I could see no way of making it better. Then followed an even heartier kick in the teeth when I failed to gain the substantive post for the job I have been doing for 2 years. Yep I have to say I was pretty damn low. In fact so low I was seriously contemplating leaving nursing forever and becoming a postman. (I love post, I just think it’s so exciting get stuff through the door…)

Then came a moment in my life where someone actually stood up and basically said don’t be a dickhead. She was right, I either threw my toys out the pram or I picked myself up and dusted myself off. Stopped bemoaning the unfairness of the situation and actually proved I was more than what I was threatening to become.

Image from

It was hard. Almost crippled by self-doubt and the fear of failing a second time. But then I thought about what I have already overcome. The challenges I have faced head on – not least this last year with PND after Pudding. The time had come to stand up, to fight for what I believed and to put myself out there.

So I did. In went the application for a job I never would have applied for a year ago. Every time it crossed my mind over Christmas my stomach did that awful flip-flop. I let myself have moments of day dreaming that I had the job. Every time I did my confidence grew just a bit more. But not just that so did my passion for my nursing career. I felt re-energised for the first time since the children. I felt like me. Not just Mummy but a woman who could achieve her dreams of a career and family.

I planned how I could work and have the kids cared for. I read, anything and everything that might be useful. The interview was confirmed and I redoubled my efforts. Now I wanted this, really wanted it. No longer a pipe dream, I believed I could make this happen.

The interview date came. Sat waiting to be called my hand shook a little, my stomach seemed to twist and dance entirely to its own tune. If I thought the pre-interview wait was bad the post interview wait was a whole new form of torture. My mind analysed it over and over and over until I could barely remember what had even happened! Then finally the moment was there – as the words came out of my managers mouth I couldn’t really understand what she was saying. Let alone believe it! I had done it, the job was mine. Holy Shit!!!!!

So in the next few weeks I will start my new post. Full of enthusiasm and the passion to make positive changes. Will it all be plain sailing? Ha unlikely! I am on the steepest learning curve of my career. It’s going to be tough, a whole new challenge. Not just for me but for all of us as we try to juggle a new working pattern. Will it be worth it? I believe it will, but watch this space…


It’s Dinosaur; not Dine-Saw!

It’s a disappointment bigger than a Brachiosaurus that my boy Pie has not the slightest Iguanodon in dinosaurs. It’s not for lack of Triceratops on my part. Right from an egg I have been talking to him about these amazing creatures, but I may have been speaking in Velociraptor for all the good its done me. He doesn’t even Tyrannosaurus to look interested its like talking to a Diplodocus most days!

DariuszSankowski / Pixabay

He would rather talk about Star Wars or Harry Potter! It really gets my Spinosaurus up when I show him a dinosaur and he calls it a dragon. Why can’t we talk about Pachycephalosaurus or Zigongosaurus? They aren’t difficult names for my own Sauropod to get his tongue round! Yet he behaves like a creature from the early Triassic period and calls them all dine-saw…(Damn you George Pig) I know it’s not the be Allosaurus or end all but I always thought having kids would enable me to justify my own geeky love of dinosaurs!

I can still remember that first trip to the Natural History Museum with my own family. The sheer excitement as we walked through the door and came face to face with a colossal skeleton! It was an awe-inspiring moment, even now it still makes me Gallimimus. It cemented a life long passion and a desire to study Paleontology. (Alas this is waiting for my retirement, not many dinosaurs in Birmingham!)

JerzyGorecki / Pixabay

After a relentless first year of forcing dinosaur clothes, books and toys on him, Mr Pud has now banned me from trying to brainwash him into my Cretaceous period. I am not even allowed to show him Jurassic Park until he is older, not even the bit before it gets scary. But how can my Anklyosaurus-biter be such an old Stegosaurus? Maybe I will get lucky in Pudding and she will develop into a Gigantosaurus nerd like her Mother, after all who else is going to run round the Natural History Museum with me?


Rhyming with Wine

5 Ways to Beat the New Year Blues

Oh my don’t you think Christmas flies by faster and faster each year? All the planning, preparation, wrapping and cooking; then before you know it, it’s gone. You are left sitting in your pyjamas on Boxing Day morning surrounded by bags of wrapping paper and enough leftovers to see you through to the end of January. If you are like me post-Christmas can leave you a little flat! So here are my top tips for picking yourself up in the New Year.

Top Tips for Beating New Year Blues
Lazare / Pixabay
  • Make a pledge to get active – yeh I know it’s a cliché and that January sees an influx of gym memberships (that are never used after February) But you don’t have to join the gym to get fit. Just a promise to take the dog out more often, or to walk to school on those cold bright mornings. Keep your goal achievable – you don’t need to set yourself up to fail!

    Snufkin / Pixabay
  • Clean out your wardrobe. Come on admit you are never going to wear that dress ever again. And those shoes? What were you thinking. Be ruthless – if you haven’t worn  it in 6 months get rid of it. Better still bundle the best bits together and get yourself on eBay. With all that extra cash you can hit the sales, buying things you actually want to wear!

    cocoparisienne / Pixabay
  • Book a holiday – I was doing this whilst cooking Christmas dinner! It doesn’t have to be the holiday of a life time (unless you got a Christmas bonus in which case go for it!) But just a weekend away later in the year will give you something to look forward too. Loads of places take a deposit these days so if you are strapped for cash you can book now and pay a little later in the year when your finances have recovered from Christmas.

    Pexels / Pixabay
  • Set a goal – what do you really want to do this year? Sky dive, feed a meerkat or something more simple like read a book or spend more time with family. Decide what 2017 is going to mean for you and set yourself a target. It doesn’t have to be life changing – but it does us good to have something to work towards. Pudding, for example, has decided that she is going to curb TV use at HQ by chewing the buttons off the remote. You have to have goals people!

    Ben_Kerckx / Pixabay
  • Appreciate what you have. It’s not always about striving towards the next thing. Sometimes it’s learning to enjoy what’s around you. Taking the time to really make the most of friends and family. Finding joy in the little things, is the beginning of true of happiness. So whilst the New Year is a time to look forward and plan, it’s also a time to reflect.

So there you go a few simple ideas to banish those New Year Blues. Have you got any others you would like to share?

5 Top Tips For The Perfect Proposal Over The Festive Period

So tis the season right? The perfect time of year for popping that all important question. You want to get it right, but how is the best way to go about it? No one wants to end up like Phoebe from Friends emabarrassing themselves and their partner to be! We have been having a chat with pals at Dobell Formal Wear and together we have 5 top tips for making your proposal go without a glitch!

Making your Proposal Perfect
  1. Timing is everything! This is the most popular time of year for to propose to your other half. With almost 37% of folks proposing on New Years eve. What could be more romantic than getting down on one knee as the clock strikes midnight?

    annca / Pixabay
  2. Location, Location, Location – Of course you can make your proposal anywhere, somewhere significant to you and your other half is beautifully romantic. The most common place to pop that question is in a restaurant, with nearly a quarter of proposals happening over candle lit dinners. Looking for something a bit more exciting? Top landmarks are the next most popular engagement destinations.
  3. Look the part. Oh yes guys this is a big one! According to Dobell Formal Wear the most popular outfit choice is a blue suit, white shirt and tie. The lovely ladies will find you hard to resist in such an ensemble. Planning is everything don’t get caught out in your old jeans!
  4. Down on one knee? Well this is a tradition that seems to be fading fast. We can only imagine its due to the expense spent on the proposal outfit. Only 32% of men plan to get down on one knee to propose to their other half this year.
  5. Ring a ding ding: Tradition used to state that the engagement ring should be 3 months salary. In these modern times only 7% of guys follow this tradition whilst nearly a third say they buy the ring that they like, within their price range.

Got everything planned but that perfect outfit? Don’t panic Dobell Formal Wear have exactly what you need. The 21st of December is the busiest day of the year for buying that all important proposal outfit. I bet you didn’t know that enough ties will be brought to stretch from Edinburgh to Big Ben!

Get over to the Dobell website and use our code pudding10 for an extra 10% off everything you need to look the part for your perfect proposal this year.

*DISCLAIMER This is a collaborative post with Dobell Formal Wear – all thoughts and opinions are our own*

New Year is Here! Are you ready for your New Arrival? 5 Beautiful Nursery Ideas from Murals Wallpaper

So Christmas is nearly here and before you know it January will be knocking on the door. Now that New Year is round the corner the birth of your little bundle of joy is suddenly looking a lot closer. You have dreamed about the pram, picked out a few sleep suits and got the all important first stuffed bear. But the nursery? Oh you have thought about it but nothing quite lives up to all you dream of. You want a perfect room, a beautifully neutral space to enjoy with your new arrival. Somewhere to sit and feed, cosy but uncluttered. A space for everything and everything in its place.

So for your planning pleasure I have teamed up with Murals Wallpaper to bring you 5 beautiful nursery ideas.

Starry Night

Gorgeously neutral and chic, this simple theme of grey and white creates the perfect place for your new arrival to catch those needed zzzzs. I love the mixture of stars and hearts. Teamed with simple white furniture the Mural Wallpaper creates a modern nursery that will grow with your baby.

Cloud Illusions

A pale pallet of soft pinks and blues, keeps this nursery beautifully neutral. Simplistic cloud patterns will brighten even those dull grey February days, leaving you calm and relaxed. Again crisp white furniture helps bring this Murals Wallpaper alive – keeping the room feeling fresh and inviting.

Tweet Dreams

Know you are expecting a special little lady? This stunning woodland design complete with birds and owls is perfect. Elegant and fun with lots of things for little ones to look at as they grow up. This paper creates a brilliant nursery and captures imaginations as babies grow. A few girly accessories and some cute bunting will set this Mural Wallpaper off wonderfully.

All the Leaves Are

Another more feminine idea with this stunning leaf drop paper. Beautifully colourful yet subtle. A quirky pattern that will remind you of all the seasons. This Murals Wallpaper is right on trend, but trendy doesn’t have to mean uncomfortable like those pre-pregnancy shoes you craved! This nursery gives off a warm glow, a cosy feeling of nights spent curled up with baby. The pattern has so much going on that a just a few accessories are all that is needed to complete the look.

Nordic Nuance

Ah have you been dreaming of those clear cut nordic lines in your nursery? Its understandable but sometimes minimalistic can feel a little cold. This paper from Murals Wallpaper brings the gorgeous nordic colours and prints with a twist of cute fun. Clean and bright this nursery is perfect for baby boys and growing boys.

Fallen in love with these ideas? Or perhaps you think you have some great designs of your own. Mural Wallpaper can create wallpaper from your own uploaded images. Does a nursery get any more personal than that? Have a look at the Mural Wallpaper website for further details.

*DISCLAIMER – This is a collaborative post with Mural Wallpaper. All thoughts and opinion are my own. All images are from Mural Wallpaper*

To My Baby Now You Are One

Dearest Pudding,

Today you turned one. It has been a year since a nurse laid you on me and I met you for that first time. My squashed, slightly potato shaped Pudding. I knew I loved you before I saw you. But once I could feel you on my skin, see your face and feel your hand clasp round mine, I knew I would love you forever. My troll haired Pud. You have completed our family. We are now the awesome, foursome.Mummy Tag

It hasn’t been easy. I can’t deny there were times when I thought the PND would beat me. Would drag me down, tear our family apart. You wouldn’t let it – your smile got me through those darkest of days. Knowing you needed me kept me fighting. You will never know how low I felt in those early days of your life. You saved me Pud, saved me from myself.

I don’t know how a year has passed this fast. What a crazy year it has been. My little squashed potato you have blossomed into an independent little diva. The troll hair remains but that helpless newborn has gone. I remember those early cuddles, you curled into my neck. Fast asleep on my chest. Long gone are those days. Now I am lucky to get more than a passing wave as you crawl off on your next mischief-making adventure!

You are the cutest little thing right now. You always wake with a smile and a giggle. I love walking into your room and finding you babbling to your bears. You are an adventurous, plucky little lady. Forever climbing the stairs and diving off the sofa head first. The sausage dog loves you. She totally dotes on your every move, rolling over to allow you to stroke her tummy. Suffering you sitting on her and pulling her ears. You two are thick as thieves as she sits under your highchair scoffing scraps!

I know your brother has loved you from the beginning. But today watching you together as he helped with your presents I felt so proud. I knew then how much you loved each other. How important you are to each other. I know you two will fight, I know it won’t always be a rose garden. That’s ok, it’s what you do with your siblings – but just try not wind him up too much. I can already see he is going to be the sensitive one out of the two of you.

So now you are one my gorgeous Pudding. What excitement will the next 12 months bring? I don’t know for sure. What I do know is that this year has gone so fast. I can almost feel the time running through my fingers like sand. I want to catch it. To stop it, to have one more sleepy cuddle with you. One more moment listening to you babble. I know you have to grow-up, that you will continue to amaze me every day as you do so. But I will treasure this year in my memory. Remind myself of how you felt curled against my skin in the delivery room. For now though my Pud, you are one and to you my darling Happy Birthday.

Love Mummy x

A Day in The Life of a NICU Nurse

No publisher ID given

‘Oh wow what a lovely job, cuddling babies all day’ says a Mum when I tell her that I am a NICU nurse. Well yes it is, a great job. A privilege and a huge responsibility. But it’s also an emotional roller coaster. Knowing the life of these delicate babies is often held in my hands.

The NICU can be a loud busy place. Walking through the door you are often met with a barrage of alarms and a flurry of activity. Not all mornings start like that, sometimes there is time to take a breath. But other days you hit the ground running. These little people have you on the hop before you even begin. Such fragile little things that even the most stable on the unit can take a turn for the worse in the blink of an eye. I watch them like a hawk, respond to their needs. Turn them, snuggle them into tiny nests. Providing comfort care when the outside world all becomes too much for their preemie brains to take.

I watch in wonderment as their tiny bodies fight to maintain themselves. Encouraging their parents, supporting them in this most trying of times. Comforting their families as we ride this roller coaster together. The ups and downs of being born to soon. I explain the technical interventions required to keep their precious baby breathing and growing.

I Spend time with Mum, enable her to hold even the sickest of babies. Calm her when her breast milk starts to dry up through the stress of being in the NICU. Feeding her baby is one of her most important roles, but it’s not easy. She is in the unit every day, keeping her vigil by the bedside, she won’t eat properly or sleep properly. Feeling guilty, desperate and alone – my support to her is almost as critical as that to her baby. Bonds are created with families, they are trusting you with the most precious thing in their lives.

The ward round comes and the doctors make their plans. Plans that effect the whole family. Mostly there is hope but sometimes there is none. Hard decisions are made. Babies and their families keep coming. Some have completed their journey and we are waving them out the door. Home to a normal life, after the longest of roads travelled. Others are moving elsewhere requiring treatments we cannot provide or stepping down to local units. Completing that final phase of feeding and growing.

Of course there are cuddles. A break from the routine of caring for the sickest babies. A quick snuggle with a feed whilst Mum gets some rest. It is short-lived. The page has gone another baby needs the team. We race down the corridor, emergency bag in hand. Sometimes we know what to expect when we arrive. We know that this is a premature baby that will require our support. Other times it’s a term baby who hasn’t delivered as expected. The adrenaline rushes through your veins, it’s not excitement, it is a fight or flight response. I am trained for this, technically I know what needs to be done. But I never feel relaxed, this young life deserves my all, the best of my abilities. This family is counting on us.

There are times when as a team we are shocked to the core after events. You can’t help but become emotionally involved with these tiny babies and their families. Whilst everyone maintains their professionalism, ultimately it is the compassion and empathy that we feel that makes us the doctors and nurses we are. In the hardest of circumstances we are there for each other, who else could understand what this job does to a person? Tea and coffee are drunk by the bucket load and biscuits are consumed in vast quantities.

Yes this job is a privilege. It can be both beautiful and terrifying in equal measure. Watching these babies grow, flourish and eventually go home with their parents is one of the most satisfying parts. The journey is hard, for everyone. As a nurse it is technically challenging and emotionally wearing. I can’t imagine doing it without the amazing team of doctors and nurses around me.

After 12 long hours the day is finished. Notes are written, babies are tucked into their beds. But the NICU doesn’t sleep. The next shift is here. Their turn to ride this train. Continually watching, responding, comforting and caring for the babies and their families. For me its time to return to my own family, to try to decompress from the events of the day. Do I spend the day cuddling babies? Sometimes; but there is a lot more to a day in the life of a NICU nurse.

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#EatSleepBlogRT – Week 18

#EatSleepBlogRt is back! Apologies for late comments and tweets this week, I have been very poorly so blogging has not been top of my list…. I will make sure I am on it this week! I will catch up on all owed comments and tweets ASAP, can’t wait to see what you guys have written. In other news Pudding is one on Friday and I have no idea where this year has gone 😳 and Christmas is less than two weeks away. Don’t forget that next week will be the last #EatSleepBlogRT until the New Year.

Pop over to Catie’s page to see her top post. I will be updating my page in a while once I have completed my commenting – I will tweet my Top Post so the person doesn’t miss out on their badge.

Our amazing Top Tweeters this week were @heatherkeets, @buzymumsonia & @lisapomerantz – Grab yourself a badge each ladies you are a Tweeting Stars!

Petite Pudding

Get yourselves linked up and rest assured I will be getting to all those comments!

Big Loves

Petite Pudding

Linky Rules

      • You can link 2 post – all subjects welcome
      • Linky runs from 8pm Sunday until 8pm Tuesday.
      • Please put our lovely badge on so that we can show off its fabulous design!
      • Comment on the post before yours.
      • Retweet at least 5 posts on twitter using the #EatSleepBlogRT hashtag (including the hosts posts)
      • Hosts will retweet when you link up (if you tag us in your tweet) and when we comment.
      • We will pick one post each week as our featured post
      • A Host will comment on all posts linked up.

Simple right? Lets get out there and set the Twitter world alight with our blog sharing!

JORD Wood Watches My New Favourite Time Piece and Festive Giveaway

I don’t know about you but I am always chasing time these days. I think it’s the addition of two children in my life. The endless school runs, homework, play dates and household chores mean that time is constantly slipping away from me. But what better way to keep track of those precious minutes than with a gorgeous wooden women’s watch from JORD.

These beautifully crafted time pieces add a unique style to your wrist. Hand crafted from luxury wood and sized to your wrist, its time to make every minute count. Whether you are looking for a man’s watch or a women’s watch JORD has something for everyone. One thing you can certainly say is that these are cool watches.

JORD Women's Watch

The whole experience of receiving a JORD watch is thrilling. This sleek black box arrives at your door. Once you get inside the watch itself is contained in a smart wooden box and there is some wood oil too. This watch just cries out quality before you put it on. For me with my tiny sparrow wrists having a watch that fits immediately was amazing. I literally took it out the box and put it on. No having to go into town and waiting 3 days to have it resized, or the painful experience of attempting to put another hole in the strap. I love that it just fits – beautifully.

JORD women's watch

Now as a nurse I don’t get to wear a wrist watch all that often. When I do get to put a watch on I want it to be special. To fit perfectly and to make me feel like I am not chasing time but that I am enjoying every minute of my day. The sophisticated feel of the Frankie JORD watch against my skin makes me feel that. I love how the light catches off the emerald face. This women’s watch feels light to wear but has an air of quality about it. I have to say that a lot of people have commented on my new time piece.

JORD women's watch

*DISCLAIMER – This post is sponsored by JORD Wood Watches. I received the Frankie women’s watch for free in order to complete this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own*

Unique Watch

Stylish Cheeky Chompers to Soothe Teething Troubles

So as many of our readers will know young Pud has been teething since, well forever. At least that is how it feels! Despite being a dribbling, red-faced Were-Pudding we still have only cut two teeth. Our little drama Pud would have you believe she has more teeth than a great white shark so it was with delight we accepted the chance to review Cheeky Chompers.

Just like so many of the amazing baby products hitting our shelves Cheeky Chompers were designed by mumprenuers Amy and Julie. We love the ideas coming from mumpreneurs, because they know just what mums need. Born from the idea that teethers spend most of the time on the floor getting covered in goodness knows what, Amy & Julie designed the Neckerchew. A teether that stays attached to baby and always in easy reach. Simple yet brilliant, not to mention stylish.

I chose the Cat Spot design for Pudding, because I love spots. If you asked my family they would say I was spot obsessed… We were lucky enough to review the Chew Pack in the Cat Spot Design. This included the Neckerchew and the Comfortchew.

I love how soft both the Neckerchew and Comfortchew are. The Neckerchew comes with really sturdy poppers, unlike some of the other dribble bibs on the market, so it actually stays in place. I think Pudding looks great in hers. The rubber triangle on the end is textured to really help ease those gums. A little handy tip from the team at Cheeky Chompers was to put a smear of teething gel on the rubber bit. This really helped Pudding get the gel exactly where she needed it.

The Comfortchew was a huge hit for Pudding and me. She loved the tags attached, and I loved the little elasticated band which meant the comfort chew could be attached to the pram and or wrist. No more lost comforters in town!

Cheeky Chompers have advised me that the Cat Spot Design is almost sold out and that they won’t be making any more in this design. So if you want one, then you will need to be quick! However, there are some other beautiful designs available, take a look these:

It is a big thumbs up from us for Cheeky Chompers. Great designs, soft and functional, a real teething winner. Prices start from £11.99 for a Neckerchew make sure you check out the website for the full range. You can also find Cheeky Chompers on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

*DISCLAIMER – We were sent the Chew Pack from Cheeky Chompers free of charge in order to conduct this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own*