Archive for May, 2014

Baby food revamped

Posted: May 28, 2014 in books

I admit, I’m a little out of practice with the weaning stage. The last time I had to do it, was seven years ago, and my, how it’s changed. They have the oddest, and quite frankly, nasty sounding food I’ve ever heard of.

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Here is one example, and I can tell you, it doesn’t look too appetizing when it comes out of the pouch. I’m only glad my daughter doesn’t pay attention to what’s in the bowl, they say you eat with your eyes, I wouldn’t eat this! I mean where are the normal meals you used to have? It seems all brands have converted to this odd combination, and to be honest, my baby isn’t that keen on them.

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And what about this one? I don’t even know what rutabaga is!!

Is it just me being out of practice? Where are all the old food combinations? What’s wrong with good old fashion Heinz spag bol?

 

 

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Misdiagnosed

Posted: May 28, 2014 in books

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Most of you who follow me will know, that I tend to gripe on the national health system. But when it takes three medical professionals to diagnose a condition, then that kind of proves my point 🙂

My six-month old came out in a small rash across her forehead. I wasn’t really too concerned, I did all the appropriate checks for meningitis, and put it down to a heat rash. I took her to the doctors for another reason, and while I was there, decided to ask about the rash. She didn’t seem too sure what it could be, and told me that she wanted to try a cream for bacterial infection, and that if it didn’t work then we could try one for fungal infection. I thought it odd because the rash itself didn’t appear infected, if anything it was quite similar to a viral rash. No oozing or pus filled spots were present, but hey, she’s the expert. I started to use the cream, but it seemed to be spreading and rather inflamed. I returned to the doctors, and was given the alternative cream. Again this did nothing, and the rash was now all over her body, her eyes had become puffy where the spots were on the lids. I took her with me to my own appointment, and asked the nurses opinion. She said it looked like an old fashion milk rash, even though my daughter was clearly too old for that. She did advise not to continue with the cream, as she agreed with me, that there was no infection in the spots.

By now I’m really concerned, and tempted to go to A&E with her. My daughter didn’t seem affected by it, no temperatures, or going off her food. She seemed happy enough, if anything, I was more bothered by it than her! I gave the doctors one last chance, they fitted me in where I saw a different doctor. He diagnosed an allergic reaction straightaway, and prescribed anti- histamine, and some cream to help with the itch. It seems to be doing the trick, however I still don’t know what caused it, but he did advise that if I decided to go private to find out, all they prescribe after denting your bank balance is the same thing as my daughter was given. It seems I’m not the only one with a gripe against the medical professionals 🙂

But seriously, aren’t these doctors trained in this sort of thing? How can the first doctor not have known? I don’t blame the nurse, she is not as qualified as a doctor, although apparently some aren’t 🙂

Lists

Posted: May 10, 2014 in books

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Why do we love to write lists so much? We have shopping lists, well, I can understand the purpose of that one. If you shop for as many, as I do, then it can be quite a lot to remember. Having said that, I always write one, but for some reason, never seem to take it with me. I stand there, wracking my brain, trying to remember what I need to buy. Pointless really.

Then you have the to-do list. I never actually write one of these, mine is more of a mental list. My children, are always asking why I’m walking around the house, talking to myself. It’s because, I’m making my check list of what I’ve completed, and what needs doing next, or what can wait until tomorrow 🙂

We also have the list of ambitions, or ‘bucket list’ as some may say. Again, I’ve never written one of these. I have ideas in my mind, of what I’d like to achieve, or try in my lifetime, but if there is something I really want to do, I don’t need a list to complete it.

What other lists are out there? I’m sure some of you have lists to share, let’s hear them 🙂

Police, stop, and search

Posted: May 7, 2014 in books

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In my country, it is not uncommon to see someone being stopped, and searched by the police. This usually applies, to youngsters who appear to be up to no good, hanging around the streets. Obviously, if the police are correct in their suspicions, and the person in question, was, intending on selling drugs etc to passers by, then it is a job well done. This wasn’t the case in Spain, where I have just returned from my holiday. On the first day we arrived there, and left the hotel after check-in, we were approached by a young man offering to sell us drugs.

After politely declining, he continued to pursue us while we walked, and then tried to sell us other merchandise that he had in his bag. (watches, bracelets etc) This kind of annoyance happened each day we were there. These people lined the street, which were full of shops, bars, and restaurants, and they stood out like a sore thumb. Police cars, and bikes drove down this street, but oddly never seemed to stop, and search them. After speaking to one of the bar owners, (who happened to be English, and had moved to Spain, several years ago) he told us that they never got stopped by the police, and that they kept their drugs supply in the rubbish bin, which they stood next to.

Why is it, that the police don’t seem concerned by this? I know Spain is a relaxed country, but these people are a menace, and also dangerous. Who knows what, you could be buying from them, that is, if you were stupid enough to go ahead and deal with them. It did put a dampener on our holiday, constantly being accosted by these people. It wouldn’t happen where I live, they would have been stopped, and searched straightaway!

The blurb

Posted: May 7, 2014 in books

So now you’ve seen the cover, here is the blurb to Curses and Deception, book three in the series 🙂

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After the dramatic rescue of Megan, Trey wakes up to find himself held prisoner, trapped in a dreary dungeon with the beast inside of him bound. Being away from the chaos of his everyday life, he has a chance to get his head on straight and figure out how to tame the wolf. Or so he thought. His dungeon cellmate has captured his attention, and the beast inside is far from happy about it.

With a battle of wills raging inside, Trey and his cellmate attempt to escape the dungeon, but it’s only the first hurdle. With time ticking against them, they make their way through the maze ahead, desperate to escape. Will Trey get to explore his feelings towards her?

Or will the beast scare her off for good?

Cover reveal

Posted: May 5, 2014 in books

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Here is the cover to book three in the Twisted Bloodlines series. It’s due out in a couple of months, so if you haven’t read the first two, then what are you waiting for? 🙂 Once again, my publisher Miranda Stork, over at Moon Rose Publishing, has done me proud with yet another fantastic cover 🙂

Online holiday bookings

Posted: May 5, 2014 in books

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I recently booked a holiday to Spain, with https://www.onthebeach.co.uk/. I’d never booked a holiday online before, and was a little dubious about the whole thing. Firstly, you have to take it on good faith, that it isn’t a scam, and that you’re about to lose your bank balance. Secondly, with this particular company, they state ‘it is a ticketless airline’ so no tickets arriving in the post. All you’re supposed to do, is print off all the confirmation info, which consists of a flight voucher with your arrival/departure times. Then you have a hotel voucher with the name, and address of where you’ll be staying, and if you’re in need of a shuttle service (which we were) then you have a voucher for that. Bear in mind, that these are only pieces of paper, that I’ve printed out myself from a confirmation email.

As the time drew near for our holiday, we were a little panicked. We had no idea what to expect at the airport, we didn’t even have a terminal destination, although there was a flight reference number. (Which I checked online at Gatwick’s site, although I had to wait until it was 12 hours before I was due to fly, otherwise it wouldn’t show up)

We arrived at the airport with our pieces of paper, and were relieved to receive boarding passes, however we still had two more hurdles ahead of us. Thankfully, the shuttle, and hotel vouchers were legit, and we went on, to have a very nice holiday. The hotel was immaculate, with friendly staff, and on departure, the shuttle was ready, and waiting at the expected time.

I can only speak for this particular website of course, but I would recommend it. The holiday was cheap, and everything was as it stated, so no hidden hell-hole in a foreign country, or left stranded abroad, with no return flight. All round, a very nerve-wracking, but pleasantly surprising experience 🙂

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Here’s a little help, for those of you who have babies suffering from acid reflux, or reflux. Some of you may, already be aware of Aptamil Anti-Reflux formula, and may be thinking ‘DUH’ it’s been around forever, but if like me, it’s been a while (7 years in my case) since you had a formula fed baby, then I highly recommend it.

My six month old baby girl, has suffered with acid reflux since birth. Her sister before her, also suffered, although her case was severe. The doctor advised me to try medication, but it did nothing so we then tried Gaviscon. I’d been through this process with my other daughter, and didn’t hold out much hope, it did help a little, but not enough. I scoured the internet, and forums for anything else I could try, and came across several formulas that people had tried. I went for Aptamil, despite saying on the box to seek medical advice first. My doctors, and midwives had been less than helpful, telling me to persevere until she grows out of it. They are not the ones, who have to watch a baby get to the point where she would rather go without a feed, and start to lose weight because of it.

Since my daughter has been on this formula (a month) there has already been a significant change. She is no longer losing weight, drinking all of her feeds, and we have even begun weaning. She is extremely content, sleeping through the night, and no longer being sick. I wish I’d found the formula sooner, although I will say the milk is hard to work with. It’s very thick like a milkshake. You need fast flow teats otherwise it won’t come out. It can’t be kept in the fridge, or left standing too long, and sometimes near the end of a feed, the milk becomes too thick, and you have to unblock the hole. (run it under hot water) My daughter is usually on six ounces, so I make it up to seven, to make up for the last bit of the bottle she can’t get out when it becomes too frothy.

I don’t advise using this formula, unless your baby has been diagnosed with reflux, and their medication is not working. A change of milk isn’t always a solution, and may not work for your baby. I hope this post has been helpful, reflux is a horrible thing, and I was at my wits end for a way to help my baby 🙂

Fears

Posted: May 4, 2014 in books

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We all have a fear of something. Mine, happens to be the sea. It’s not because, I can’t swim, I am in fact a very good swimmer, I even used to be top of the class in my school. The fear occurred when I went on holiday, with my parents to Spain. I was swimming in the sea, it was quite calm at the time, and I wasn’t that far out. I remember there being a big rock, which I swam over to out of curiosity. A huge wave, came out of nowhere, taking me under the water, and I hit my head on the rock. I wasn’t knocked out, but I was a little dazed, which slowed my reaction to swim up to the surface. I can still remember struggling to breathe in my panic, my hazy vision, preventing me from finding my way out of the endless water. It was terrifying, and from that day, I’ve never set one toe in the sea again.

This was in my teenage years, but the fear has remained with me, I won’t even walk next to the sea. I didn’t realise, just how bad my fear was, until recently when I went to Spain with my husband. He really wanted to go on a boat ride around the coastline, so I agreed, thinking nothing of it. When I caught sight of the wooden pier, I was expected to walk across to reach the boat, my panic began to rise. There were no rails on either side to hold onto, and although the sea was really shallow, it did nothing to lessen the fear building inside of me.

Walking across that pier made me feel light headed, and I was actually shaking all over. I didn’t want to look down, because it was only made of flimsy wooden slats, which creaked, and moved with each step, but looking ahead wasn’t much better. All I could see, was masses of waves, rocking the boat which I was about to board. I eventually made it onto the boat, where I stayed in my seat through the whole journey. I may have even left, permanent indentations on the chair in front of me, from my fingers gripping onto it.

Every wave made my stomach somersault, but despite my legs feeling like jelly, I didn’t freak out. When the trip ended, and we returned to the pier, it was like one of those nightmares, where you’re moving, but you never seem to reach the end. When I eventually did, I would have kissed the ground, but it was several inches of sand, so I refrained 🙂 My husband stated, I didn’t even hold his hand that tight when I was in labour.

You don’t really know how bad your fear is, until you face it. Would I do it again? Hell no!!

Car insurance rip off

Posted: May 4, 2014 in books

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I feel, I must point out the worst car insurance company, I have ever come across. It’s not just me, that has had problems with this company. It has even been featured on the television, on a programme about comparison sites, and what insurance companies don’t reveal.

When I got my first car, I used a comparison site, I forget which one, but I went with the cheapest, as you do, and came across Diamond Car Insurance. Now as a new driver, I expected it to be costly so I decided to go, third party, fire, and theft. After a small heart attack at the quoted £166 for monthly instalments, it seemed to be fairly plain sailing. That was, until I found out, that it was only a ten month policy. This was the first complication, which was soon followed by a returned direct debit. This was because they attempted to take out an instalment, ten days before the contracted due date. I called to find out why, they said sometimes they do this, and do I want to change the due date. Temper held in, I explained that there isn’t a problem with the due date, my problem is when you try and take money weeks before it! They assured me, I wouldn’t be charged, and apologised for the inconvenience. A few days later, I received a letter from them. I’d been charged an extra £5 for the returned direct debit. This happened on another two occasions. Despite explaining, that I’m not a millionaire with a running bank balance, and that I had incurred bank charges, as well as their charges, through their mistake, they went on to demand the left over balance of the policy in full. This actually made my day, now was my chance to get rid of them without a cancellation fee, since it was them who were cancelling the policy.

I’m now fully comp, with all the cover needed, including breakdown insurance  with another company, and I only pay £106 a month. Yes it is still expensive to those of you who have been driving for years, but I haven’t reached three years yet, and with Diamond, I had no cover on anything at all. Diamond, are a complete rip off, and their customer service is a joke. They don’t stick to the due date, dipping into your bank account whenever the feeling suits them. This is my warning to all of you looking for an insurance company,

  Never go with Diamond car insurance!!!!

You have been warned 🙂