12 MONTHS POSTPARTUM AND HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY HENRY

Now, I know this sounds cliché, but I literally feel as though 2017 went by in a blink. 2017 for me has been one of those years that doesn’t quite feel like it really happened.

Did I really grow a human and experience childbirth? Did I really (and successfully) reproduce! Did I endure many interrupted and sleepless nights? I’m too tired to recall. 😉 Did I really find enough inner bravery to take an almost 5 month old on a transatlantic holiday to New York?! Did I really move back to my home roots, by the seaside in Leigh-on-Sea? YOU BET I DID! Did I unnecessarily obsess over every single aspect on the things that didn’t matter? Yes. Did I obsess enough over things that did matter? Nope. Did I lose that last stone of baby weight which I’ve been holding on to ever since I gave birth? Nope.

Henry is 1. One! Uno! The big ONE! How did that happen? Here’s the final instalment of my postpartum updates…

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It’s time for you to bloom and to flourish

Mental Health. A taboo that is finally being spoken of more. Words such as depression and anxiety either get used either far too cautiously due to the feeling of being unnecessarily embarrassed or as to not offend, or far too flippantly which can take away from the meaning and genuine insecurities surrounding the circumstances involved. As someone who understands and appreciates such descriptive words (through my own experiences as well learning from other people’s journeys) it’s important to ensure you’re following the right bloggers/influencers and using appropriate tools when it comes to all things mental health. Here on Flamingo Monroe I don’t try to be any kind of know it all or hardcore “influencer”, I justly try to be myself.

Via Instagram, I recently became friendly with Anna of Mama’s Scrapbook. Her frequent and highly amusing Instastories keep me rather entertained when I’m forcing myself to have 5 minutes of downtime to drink my morning coffee. I hope I don’t sound stalker-ish – I follow lots of bloggers and personalities and enjoy watching all their instastories! Anna is an accredited and experienced BACP Psychotherapist, a mother to two young boys, has a great eye for interior design, uploads Instagram posts providing confidence, guidance and reassurance to all and she also writes her blog – which has a strong focus on mental health and lifestyle.

She’s recently started a business venture with a close friend – bringing together her psychotherapy knowledge and her friend’s graphic design credentials, they’ve created Blöm Cards. Blöm [Bl – Om] is derived from the Scandinavian Word ‘Blomstre’, meaning to bloom, to flourish….

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The “Mumpreneur” era is upon us

For a while now I have wanted to cover off the subject of “mumpreneur” and I feel now is as good as time as any for two reasons…

  1. The media, social and blogging worlds are bubbling with lava(esque) news stories regarding the lack of flexible working hours and high childcare costs. It’s not easy for working mamas – fact! Pressure is somewhat building and we have great thanks to the likes of Anna Whitehouse of Mother Pukka with her Flex Appeal campaign.
  2. Henry is 10.5 months old, and it is around about now when I was originally planning on heading back up to the big smoke to my Monday-Friday full time job.

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Messaroos! A Messy Play Group for Babies and Toddlers: Review

As a mother who enjoys taking her son to baby groups and classes since he was two weeks old (not obsessively – twice a week is ample!) when Messaroos  – a baby/toddler group – launched, I had to check it out. This wasn’t just any baby group, but a messy play group! THIS IS EVERY PARENTS/CARERS DREAM!

The touch, feel, smell – and maybe taste haha – of (safe) messy play ingredients help to stimulate the senses, encourage little ones to learn new textures and enhance their concentration levels from being out-of-the-norm from regular sensory toys at home. If you don’t want too much mess at home with messy play, then why not let someone else set up shop elsewhere, arrange all the messy fun and then leave it to them to clear up afterwards! It’s a genius idea for a play group which is unique to anything else I’ve taken Henry to. All you have to do is take a spare change of clothes for your little one, and maybe a pack of wet wipes… 😉

I’ve enclosed some photos of Henry’s experience and I have also interviewed the co-creaters – Jo and Ella. They are both young yummy mummies, who saw a gap in the market for a new pre-school group idea and who are embracing and inspiring the #mumpreneur era.

I’m championing every parent who a) has found it difficult to return to their full time employment post pregnancy (due to redundancies, lack off flexible working and part time opportunities, financing childcare etc) and have therefore bitten the bullet and started a new business venture. Jo and Ella are inspirational parents indeed…

Messy play stimulates, focuses and develops your little ones’ senses and is great for learning new textures and for having fun!

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My recent love for organic #FeedYourHappy

Food makes us happy, right? Well it makes me VERY happy! I turn to food when I want a treat or a dose of happiness, as do so many of you I’m sure. But in recent years, part with thanks to various medical blips and hurdles I’ve jumped (or fallen!) through, I’ve become more aware and savvy about what I’m consuming.

This isn’t a healthy eating blog post by any means – I say, currently dunking a digestive in my cup of tea whilst I’m proof reading this post. Becoming a parent has made my eyes open to the food choices I make for me and my family, especially now I have a baby son eating solid foods. I’m responsible for his wellbeing and what he eats, and I have learned so much about how important it is to ensure I provide him with a nutritional yet safe diet.

This is featured post, working with the Organic Trade Board, to help their celebrity campaigner DJ Sara Cox spread the organic love this September with their “Feed Your Happy” campaign, designed to promote the awareness of organic food throughout Organic September and why it makes us happy. I’m joining in, as I want to share my views on organic food, and why it makes me happy – albeit only recently. #FeedYourHappy…

Celebrity campaigner, Sara Cox

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Baby weaning recipe: Guest post by “Weaning the Nation”

Here is our third and final instalment of our mini series with mummy food blogger Weaning the Nation. I hope you’ve enjoyed the recipes so far and this last yummy meal for you and your little ones to enjoy is certainly worth the wait.

As with other recipes from this guest blogger mini series, this one yet again is versatile and is great for lunch or dinner. I LOVE meal ideas where I can eat the same as Henry and at the same time – and this is certainly one of those dishes… Gimme a spoon!

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