Is breast best? 

Is breast best? 


I decided to write this post after a received a message from a fellow mum asking for my opinion on the ongoing debate Breast feeding v bottle feeding.  This is a topic that refuses to desist so here I am to give my personal opinions on it all.  

Tilly Mae is 3 years and 3 months so it has been a while since I had to   Make the choice but the same issues are circling like hawks above new mothers heads and I think it’s getting worse if anything .

Everywhere I have looked lately I have noticed a massive influx in pictures of women breastfeeding or articles about how it’s so much better than bottle feeding. First things first I have no issue with mothers choosing to feed their children from their own milk but I just wish the same courtesy had been extended to me throughout my experience of bottle feeding. From the go I bottle fed and I have no regrets.
 

Anyone reading this who chooses to think that I am in anyway dissing boob feeders can just unlike, unfollow or just generally do one because this is not at all what I am doing.  I also believe that if you choose to breastfeed you should be allowed to and it wherever and whenever it is needed it really bothers me that people have to make such a stand by protesting/posting photographs  for it to be normalised.  

I didn’t even heat my daughters bottles up, I always used room temperature, sterilised formula from day one and I never had any issue but again this is not a blog focusing on how I prepped my child’s food, do what works for you .
I received such judgement from day one from mid wives, nurses, healthcare workers and generally other mothers about my lack of desire to feed Tilly from my own milk. I was made to feel like a bad mum for choosing not to breast feed but I know I am a good mother for choosing what’s I feel more comfortable as an opinion for my child. 
I have just watched a video made by bottle feeding mothers defending themselves which just annoys the heck out of me EVERY SINGLE ONE gave excuses as to why they didn’t breastfeed 
‘It hurt my nipples’

‘I didn’t produce enough milk’

I hate that mothers are made to feel like they need to come up with reasons why the chose formula. Don’t feel pressured to do anything choose your own path. My reason for not breastfeeding is that the thought of it creeped me out, I’m not ashamed of my opinion or my choice because that’s exactly what it is a choice.  
I’m sick of mothers mud slinging at each other for not standing by a certain idea when we should be standing side by side for raising out children the best way we can. It’s yet another non argument that causes such strong reactions within the different fractions.
We are all parents. Bottle feeding was good for me it allowed me the freedom that I wanted, it allowed my husband and family to share in then joy of feeding our daughter and gave me a break when I needed it most.
We would all go mad if it was an argument like ‘what’s the best way to raise a child, within a religious or non religious movement?’ It doesn’t matter, people should just stop it we are all just fighting about what and who’s best when we should be fighting to have all children and parents treated equally regardless of something so trivial as how they are fed.

Signing off with love and lipstick,
Pip 🖤💋💄

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A rediagnosis has given me my life back.

A rediagnosis has given me my life back.

I can finally share the joy that is my re diagnosis for the ongoing medical issues I have had over the past 15 years.  I have spent almost half of my life in chronic pain, being sent from gastroenterologists to gynaecologists and back more times than I care to remember been subjected to every test I can think of to try and pin down what is wrong with me.  

I tried to get my repeat pescription for my tramadol only to be refused by my new gp, let’s just say I was less than impressed.  I was given a pescription for indigestion (a hernia was found during my last endoscopy) but this is something I barely suffer with so in a huff I told the doctor she could keep her medication and that I wanted another appointment to investigate this problem.

My younger sister is a sister at the RVI hospital in Newcastle so I asked her to accompany me for reassurance and help with getting the seriousness of my condition over to a woman I felt was not taking me seriously.

Anyway, i sat down in the same chair in the same surgery I have been going to for over 5 years since I moved into the area.  I was waiting for it and the doctor didn’t fail ‘what are your symptoms’ my whole person automatically went on the defensive.  I have fought to have my case heard so many times, I wish I had a pound for every time I have said the words vomiting, nausea and chronic lower abdominal pain I would be a very rich girl!  

So I explained the symptoms again, while she typed it into her computer and out of the corner of my eye I could see my sisters head shaking and eyes rolling, she backed up my every word and made it crystal clear the direction my life was heading if nothing was done.  

It just so happened that my sister mentioned that people can physically see when I ‘get my pains’, that all colour instantly drains from my face (like I’m not pale enough!) and something changed in the doctors demeanour.  She started on her computer and explained that she thinks she knows what it could be.

She has diagnosed me as having abdominal migraines.  After reading up on it, I tick every box of symptoms

  • Severe Stomach pain that isn’t in one specific spot (non-localized pain)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite (not as much now as when it all started when I dropped over 5 stone in a matter of months)
  • General malaise, overall discomfort, uneasiness
  • Often there is no head pain, just the stomach discomfort and pain
  • Symptoms completely go away between episodes.
  • Lack of energy.
  • Pain that lasts 3-72 hours.

Abdominal migraine was overlooked as it is so rare in adults.  Approximately 2% of children suffer from and much, much fewer adults.  It is often mistaken as IBD, IBS or lactose intolerance.

There are many triggers that lead to an attack such as

  • Stress.  Both positive and negative stresses can lead to a flare up.  I stress a lot and I have always noticed that this is a massive trigger with me.
  • Changes in sleeping patterns.
  • Fasting or skipping meals. 
  • Excercise (at least I am safe from this one)
  • Certain foods have been identified as triggers.  Chocolate, cheese, Citrus fruits, alcohol and foods containing MSG and preserved meats such as hotdogs or sausages.

I can’t tell you the relief I feel at having what feels like the Perfect diagnosis.  I have spent my life feeling like my many diagnosis didn’t quite fit but this one really feels like it fits.  When I came out of the doctors I felt like I had my life back.

I have been given medication.  My medication is what given to treat regular migraines.  I have to take 2 as soon as I feel an attack coming on. I have had what I feel would have been 2 attacks and the symptoms all but disappeared within 30 minutes of taking the tablets so fingers crossed this is the answer I have been waiting 15 years for.  

I feel like I can plan things which for me has always been difficult as I never know when I will be ill or how bad it will make me.  I can see a future which for me is such relief in itself.

I hope my ongoing battle and this blog has been an insight into what it is like being me and as this is such a rare diagnosis I hope maybe someone out there who’s been potentially misdiagnosed can read this and take it further.  Your illness isn’t always as it seems never give up the fight, you are stronger than you realise.

Signing off with love and lipstick,

Pip 💋🖤💄

Is that my biological clock ticking?

Is that my biological clock ticking?



So we are finally in a settled routine with Tilly and the boys.  School, pickups, drop offs and even the minor things are ironed out and I am a massive fan of routine and I like everything just so.

I went to the doctors who have diagnosed me with abdominal migraines and they have said that I need the coil fitted as my pill is a massive contributing factor to my illness which has stirred up some unknown feelings inside me about having babies.

I am nearly 34 and Tilly will be 4 this year with her brothers being 6 and 11 respectively, if I want another baby now is the time to do it, I’m getting on and when I have the coil fitted it will be in for 3 years and I wouldn’t take it out to try. 

Alex is content to not have anymore but if I wanted to try he would be 100% on board with my decision.  I’m totally torn on the idea.  On one hand I have mouse begging me for a baby sister (she has no idea we don’t choose) and then on the flip side I don’t know if I could go back to the disruption and intensity of having a newborn so I have decided to do what I do what I do best and that’s to make a pro/cons list 

Pros 

  • A live in sibling for mouse.
  • Having a little human who needs us as much as mouse.
  • Carrying a baby inside me, other than the indigestion it was the most amazing experience I have had as a woman.
  • Tilly would have a full time live in sibling.
  • WHO DOESNT LOVE A BABY!!

Cons 

  • Cost (baby’s are expensive)
  • Space (we have a 3 bedroom home, 1 for us, 1 for mouse and 1 for the boys when they come over.
  • Just getting my life back.
  • My dreams of a career change would be on hold again.
  • My age, I wish I had mouse earlier.

I fear my heart is trying to overrule my head.  I never wanted children yet here we are with 3 between us and another seems crazy when I say it out loud but some of the most important humans in my life are my two amazing sisters, my life would be nothing without their love and support and my heart aches that mouse won’t have that relationship, if her siblings lived closer I think my worries would be eased.

This blog isn’t really helping my cause, I’m just as confused as when I started so fingers crossed a decision just comes to me. I know everyone has their thoughts on the matter both to and against but this is solely one only myself and my husband can finally come to.  So who knows what this year will hold for the Flecks.

Signing off with love and lipstick,

Pip 💋🖤💄

You eat what?! My weirdo food connections.

You eat what?! My weirdo food connections.

I’m a obsessive eater,  I always have been.  My love affair with food that has been one of the most turbulent relationships I have ever been part of, I associate food with joy, it makes me happy when I’m sad and I celebrate great things with a side portion of everything yummy.

My affair with food is something inherently in me, it’s a obsession I have inherited from my dad.  Unfortunately my love of food comes with the constant struggle with my weight.  This blog isn’t about that struggle today. This is about realise how weird I am with food and the choices that surround it, until very recently I didn’t even realise I had issues that were tied up with food, i have no idea where they came from but I’m guessing it’s just something we are raised with.  Have a read and let me know if you have any quirks regarding food, where did you pick them up from?

So, I went into the staff room at work at lunch recently as I had finished my shift and one of my colleagues Steve was eating cod bites and chips and I stated that it was a very dramatic thing to have on a dinner time, they all thought that was hilarious but I am a creature of habit and routine and you can’t have tea time food at lunchtime unless you won’t be having a tea time, even now in my own mind that sounds a little crazy but lunch is for sandwiches and maybe a bowl of soup at a push, then I asked what Kevin had and he had last night Chinese leftovers, obviously I love vicariously through other people’s food so when I asked him what he had they were amazed reaction to the fact he had chow mein and rice.  This apparently is a normal thing, I would never think to have rice with noodles, in my weird brain they are considered two sides that would never go together it’s a one or another situation.  Is this only me? 

So this has got me to thinking what food things do I consider odd and I’m actually shocked at myself.

  •  Sunday dinners, more than one type of potatoes feels like  bedlam and I would never make mash and roast but I’m over the moon if someone else makes it for me it’s so naughty.  
  • Certain foods go or must not not go with sides but there is also some things that defy my own rules for example corned beef pie even though it’s made with mash you can have chips or mash as a side whereas bacon sandwiches cannot have a side they are for solo eating.
  •   You can’t have sides as a main. (Only exception that I can think of is fried rice from the Chinese but it has to have at least one meat in and has to be accompanied with a sauce)
  • Soup AND a sandwich, how is this even a thing I have never had both it’s one or the other both together blows my mind.
  • Everything can go in a sandwich, trust me (as long  as it’s buttered) 
  • Breakfast can only be small unless you are away/having it instead of lunch, a bacon/sausage sandwich are blurred lines, it’s almost like a treat so lunch is usually a no  following this.
  • Eating chocolate at anytime other than night feels highly luxurious and naughty, unless it’s pudding.  
  • Having pudding after food removes the allowance of a sweet treat on a evening.
  • Watching cooking/food related shows isa appetite suppressant, food porn as I call it stops me from snacking, I live vicariously through other people’s food and their eating.

There are a few I realise have been self imposed after years of dieting to aide dieting as my inner fatty would eat anything at anytime and my college/university photographs will back up my story.

Reading back on some of these I realise how twisted my relationship with food is, it’s a beautiful disfunctional relationship which I will continue to hone and perfect in my own nutso way.

Signing off, with love and lipstick,

Pip 💋🖤💄

I will never do THAT when I’m a mum…..


When younger, free of kids and the responsibility that goes with it we can so easily look at other mothers and say,

“I will NEVER do that when I’m a mother”

The flip side of this simple thought is something completely different.  It’s easy to sit back with your full nights sleep and ‘me’ time and idealise that you will be some kind of Snow whitesque parent but In all reality when it comes down to it you will do ANYTHING for a easy and peaceful life.

I was sat in the doctors waiting room yesterday with a woman who was heavily pregnant and her son who was about to turn one.  He was running around and being a typical kid but you could see she was anxious at people’s looks.  Me and my sister struck up a conversation with her as she bribed her son into sitting in his pushchair with the promise of a lollipop.  She was making a point of telling us that it was a ‘treat’ and that ‘he doesn’t normally get sweets.  I stopped her in her tracks and explained what we have kids and she didn’t have to explain herself to us, as trust us we understand.

Some days your kids are being proper douchey,they are just in a mood for no sane reason where they don’t want to eat, they cry, they are overly clingy and at this point there is only so long you can remain calm before chucking a packet of gummy bears to them just to make it stop, even if it is for 5 minute while they demolish the sugary treat like tiny cannibals.  

The other day Tilly woke up crying and I knew I was in for a day from hell before I even got out of bed.  She was sobbing her heart out and when i asked her what was wrong apparently I had ruined her life because I don’t let her go in the bath wearing a swimming costume!!? I mean come on kid what the actual hell are you talking about, this has never even been a discussion but hell if it makes you happy and stops the crying let me grab a vatt of tea and I will run you a bath feel free to wear what you fancy.  By the time we went downstairs she found my iPad and put on max and ruby (I have many issues with this programme, where’s their parents for a start) and she totally forgot about the mornings meltdown a mere 10 minutes prior!

Many Kids are weird eaters and mine is no exception.  She’s a non eater, she has no appetite at all (apart from ‘treats’), so when she asks for something I feed her it but in a typical day she survives of rice crispies, crumpets, chicken nuggets and a variation of other crap.  She will rub her tummy and say ‘I’m hungry’ when I say what do you want she always says ‘sweets’, well your not really hungry then are you little mate!  

She LOVES YouTube, I mean loves it, potentially more than she loves me.  I would always say, ‘I’m not having my child watch that trash’ now I’m SO on board with the gods of tube.  It teaches her so much and makes her happy.  It’s not like she’s on it 24/7 but if it gets me a extra hour in bed in the morning well I’m not stupid, sign me up.

I used to feed Tilly Crisps in her pushchair when going around the shops if it stopped her from having the mother of all meltdowns and I’m not even ashamed.

She is allowed to think she runs the show when needed but in all reality she knows who’s boss, just ask her she always responds with ‘mummy’s the boss’.

My daughter is fierce and independent and I allow much more than I ever thought I would but trust me I now realise I had some twisted notion that I would be some kind tattooed stepford wife when in reality during my short period of being a mum so far I have sneaked a bar or two of chocolate into the toilet, locked the door and eaten it while Tilly’s been pounding on the other side just for a minute to regain my sanity, it ain’t glamorous but needs must when the devil drives.

The make believe movie adaptation of motherhood now makes me laugh, most of us are lucky to function and if it takes bribery, trickery and all the handed down magic to make it work then that’s just what we will do.  The reality never fits the ideal and I have the support of my husband so when I see single mothers/fathers holding their own I want to hug them and congratulate them on having the strength and surviving.

I love my kids but don’t get me wrong I’m getting my own back with 5am starts and uncontrollable hysterics when they are teens, it’s character building.

Signing off with love and lipstick,

Pip 💋🖤💄

Girly stuff, Pressed glitter pallette review.

Those who know me know I am a makeup obsessive.  I live, breathe and think about painting my face at least 80% of my day.  I even go as far to admit that I shop online on my favourite makeup boutiques with no money therefore no intention of finishing the sale but the thrill is enough.  So when I was contacted by makeup artist Alysia Todd about testing out one of her pressed glitter eyeshadow palettes I jumped at the chance.


The palette has 15 individual pans and the colours are fully customisable.  The texture of the glitter pans at first touch feel almost like a gel Allowing the pickup of the product to be quite easy.

Swatches

To fully try it out I decided to do a dramatic eye look and I used the champagne colour glitter.  I have never used a Pressed glitter palette before so I wasn’t sure how to apply the glitter It was a case of trial and error, I used my finger to pat it onto my lid then going in with a thin brush to neaten the edges.

Completed champagne glitter eyeshadow look.
How it looks with eyes closed.

It is so hard to capture just how much I glittered, it was magical I felt glamorous and as a magpie I love anything sparkly.  I applied my makeup at 1pm (using primer and setting spray) and it looked exactly the same when I came to remove it at 9pm.  Can’t really ask more than that. A must for anyone who loves makeup.I don’t go out a lot these days but I will save this for those occasions.  I cannot wait to play around with more colours.

Pressed glitter palettes are available to order through Alysia Todds makeup page on Facebook (see link below).

https://www.facebook.com/AlysiaToddMakeup/

The palette price is £15 which works out at £1 per pan which is rediculously inexpensive for a handmade makeup product. The pallette is also cruelty free and made with natural Aloe Vera.  Alysia also makes the glitter eye shadows in individual pots at a great price of 4 for £10.
I cannot recommend buying from this lovely lady.  Her love of makeup and attitude is second to none.

Signing off with love and lipstick,

Pip 💋🖤💄