The Mummy Tag

Yesterday I was tagged in The Mummy Tag by Katy from KatyKicker.com. In the past I’ve done a post for her about Younique and we’ve been good friends for a while now – we’ll be meeting for the first time at the SHO-MO conference in September 😀

My Mummy Tag

1. Are you a Stay at Home Mum or a Working Mum?

I’m a stay-at-home working Mum. I currently work from home doing various roles such as blogging, mystery shopping, matched betting and direct sales (Younique and Jamberry). I feel very fortunate to be able to bring in my own income while being at home for my son. 

2. Would you have it any other way?

This is a hard question to answer. I do love being around for my son, I love that I can go to the school events and if he’s ill then I’m here for him but I do miss the social aspect of being out to work. I have a really good support network within the working from home community with people such as Katy and Jon from The Money Shed, as well as The Money Shed community but actually being around people is missed.

3. Do you co-sleep?

Only if my husband is away for the night and even then at my own risk 😉 #octopuschild When he was a baby I didn’t, I was too scared of hurting him and I actually wanted to get some sleep. I had him in a moses basket next to my bed until he grew out of it then in a cot in our room until about 6 months old – he has had his own room since.

4. What is your one must-have item for your baby?

Oh wow, this was like seven years ago now. I’d have to say either the FisherPrice Rainforest Bouncer, he loved that thing and it gave me a chance to do necessary house things such as having a cuppa. Also, more from a practical view – Muslin cloths, I bought a huge pack of them and still used them when he was around three years old. I used them as light blankets, to clean up mess, as a peek-a-boo toy, cold compress and many other things.

5. How many kids do you plan on having?

Just Eban. We tried for five years for a second but it wasn’t meant to be. I suffer from PCOS which can cause fertility problems so when I got to 30 we decided that we would stop trying and my husband went for the snip. I’m happy and feel very lucky to have Eban in my life, I do worry about him being an only child sometimes but it does mean we can do so much more for him without worrying we’ve stretched ourselves (and our income) too thin.

6. Date nights? How often do you have them?

I feel really lucky as I have my mum and sister just up the street. My sister has Eban one Friday or Saturday night a month for us (he loves going to play with his cousins), and my mum has him every other Friday afterschool for tea and overnight on a Thursday in the holidays – she is also available if something comes up like a gig. My father-in-law will also have him for a night or two every couple of months so with all that support we have plenty of date nights…at least once a month.

7. Your child’s favourite show?

Pokemon or Horrid Henry – he flicks between the two. The only problem is when he’s on a Pokemon fix because it’s all he talks about, the little geek!

8. Name one thing you brought before you had the baby and never ended up using?

I don’t think we got anything we didn’t use, there were things we got but didn’t use as much as we thought we would such as the baby bath – we only used it for the first couple of weeks while he was so tiny.

9. Your child’s favourite food?

Picky tea – this consists of lots of little bits of foods like fruit, veg, yoghurt then added protein and carbs. So a typical picky tea is apple, grapes, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, cheese/ham/nuggets, rice cake and maybe a little treat like a biscuit. If you ask him what he’d like 99% of the time it’s a picky tea.

10. How many cars does your family have?

One. I don’t drive anyway. 

11. Weight gain, before pregnancy, during, after and now?

Before pregnancy I’d lost about two stone, we got married in the October and fell pregnant at the end of November. I gained one and a half stone during pregnancy which was all baby – I was back in my pre-pregnancy jeans within a week of giving birth. Now? well, lets not talk about that haha

12. Dream holiday with your kids?

Anywhere there is a beach and things to do. Eban adores the seaside (like his mum and dad) so if there is a beach then he’s happy, as are we. He’s also developed a love of photography like his dad which we’re encouraging so places to walk that have great photo spots. I recently went to Northumberland with my mum, Eban and my nephew which was perfect; we visited castles, animal parks and beaches.

13. Dream holiday without your kids?

I have many places that I’d love to visit without a small child but are completely different so I’d love to do a proper relaxing holiday somewhere with clear warm waters, cocktails in coconuts, massages and pure pampering but I also want to do culture such as city breaks (Rome, Paris, Amsterdam).

14. How has your life changed since having kids?

I don’t think anything dramatic has changed, not that doesn’t happen to every parent (more tired, less money etc). I have developed a few additional phobias which have come along since having him such as this overwhelming fear of driving, I now flat out refuse to drive because the thought paralyses me. Also my fear of heights has become worse which has often left me holding the bags at the bottom of an attraction and worrying about the ones going up.

15. Finish the sentence “It makes heart melt when…”

I watch Daddy/Son time. With Aaron working as much as he does I love watching them spend time together because I worry about Eban wanting me too much as leaving Daddy out. Cuddles on a night, watching a documentary together or general silliness makes my realise how much I love my little family.

16. Where do you shop for your kids?

I don’t really. I think the only things we’ve bought since birth has been school uniforms, dress up outfits and underwear. My mum is forever buying clothes and he gets a huge pile for his birthday and Christmas. She shops for him at Matalan and Asda.

17. Favourite make-up and skincare products?

My entire make-up collection is Younique, most of it I’ve got for free but I’ve gone from being a mascara and eyeliner girl to owning a full set of make-up including primer and contouring. I do really love the products, I know people are sceptical of Presenters saying that but I do really, REALLY love the products. Skin care is somewhere I need to improve as I do tend to go cheap or whatever is on offer which might explain why I still have the skin of a 15 year old – spotty not young and soft 😉 Younique launch a new range in September so I’m thinking out treating myself to it and giving it a try but at the moment I have Nivea moisturiser unless I’m doing my make-up then it’s Younique’s Divine and a charcoal based face wash and clay mask.

**I’ve included links to the Younique products I use because the Skimlinks plugin I use will just link them to random products anyway.

18. Huggies or Pampers?

Neither, I hated both – especially Huggies wipes. I used Aldi’s own most of the time or Asda’s Little Angels.

19. Have you always wanted kids?

Yes. I always wanted two but hey-ho. Aaron and I actually started talking about kids really early on and started trying after a year of being together; we were living together after two weeks and engaged after three months – when you know, you know!

20. Best part of being a mum?

I love being able to share my love of things with Eban, he has the same music tastes as me so being able to share that with him is awesome. Teaching him about things in the world and seeing his face light up when he learns something new, knowing that I’m helping him learn and grow.

I’m going to be a rebel and not tag any specific mummy bloggers in this, if you are a mummy blogger who decides to do The Mummy Tag after reading this then please let me know below so I can check it out 😀

Moving Jamberry And Younique Posts

I wanted to keep you in the loop, especially those people who come to my blog when looking for Jamberry or Younique information. This blog was initially created for me to talk about whatever I wanted and at the time I only had Younique but even then I felt like I had to hold back how often I posted for fear of scaring people away – I know it’s silly but it’s how I felt, and still feel. So I’ve decided that moving Jamberry and Younique Posts to their own separate blogs is the best thing for this blog and those businesses. It means I can dedicate the time and posts needed to each company while not overloading this one with business talk.

Moving Jamberry And Younique Posts

I will still keep the menu tabs at the top of my website but now when you click them they lead to the new blogs which are slowly coming together well, especially the Jamberry one. All the news from each company as well as information about the products, parties and joining will now be posted there and shared to the relevant business Facebook page and my other social channels.

Chammy In Real Life will be left to the non-business areas of my life so making money online, food, reviews, rants etc…there may be a Jamberry or Younique post in there now and again but it’s now a rare thing.

Cham’s Jams and Jamberry can now be found at blog.chamsjams.co.uk where it is updated with all the latest news, offers and information. If you want more information then you can drop me an email to info@chamsjams.co.uk

Beauty Witchcraft and Younique information will now live at blog.beautywitchcraft.co.uk where you’ll find the latest updates and news. If you’d like to get in contact about Younique then please drop me an email to info@beautywitchcraft.co.uk

 

INNOVO Restore The Floor Review

I’m the type of person who thinks I know best, I tend to ignore expert advice and just accept the consequences so when I fell pregnant with my son I completely ignored all the advice with regards to pelvic floor exercises. I was far too busy enjoying the fun sides of pregnancy, like eating what I wanted, having an excuse to put my feet up and enjoying the little alien that was wriggling around inside my belly – I was never going to suffer for not doing it…or so I thought. Who knew I’d end up so past embarrassing that I’d look to technology to help me and luckily INNOVO Restore The Floor was there with their “restore the floor” device.

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Don’t get me wrong, after the birth of my son I tried to do some pelvic floor exercises such as holding my wee while on the loo and clenching the muscles while I sat down, but for me remembering to do it was never my strong point. I do it a couple of times a day but then the next day I’d forget and go a week in between doing them – I knew this wasn’t going to be effective but it just kept slipping my mind.

Slowly this lack of care for my own body turned into a real issue. I was having to stop in my tracks to sneeze so I could cross my legs and hope I didn’t wet myself, jumping around started to prove a problem and it got worse over time but I was embarrassed, I thought it’d go away and only old ladies suffered with this – not someone in their mid to late 20’s.

I reached a point where I was wetting myself when I coughed, I dreaded getting a cold and the last couple of winters I had a couple of very bad chesty coughs that lasted for weeks – I even started sleeping with a towel under me, it had got that bad. Denial is a strong thing, embarrassment is a terrible feeling and both of these stopped me getting help, stopped me from buying products that would help and I still didn’t exercise because I thought I’d got to the point where I was passed help and just accepted it.

I think the real turning point for me was when my husband started the Insanity workout classes, he loved it and begged me to join him but I knew I couldn’t, I knew that I’d need to wee minutes after starting the workout even if I’d just been. He started showing me the moves to do at home but I dreaded the star jumps because I’d need to rush to the loo or end up wetting myself. I hated it.

This is when I was approached by INNOVO to try their “Restore Your Pelvic Floor” device and I’ll admit I was sceptical. Basically it sends gentle electrical impulses through your muscles to help tighten them – like an ab toner belt but placed in such a way they target your pelvic floor muscles.

What is it?

The device itself is like a pair of shorts you wrap around your legs, I highly recommend wearing them when you’re not expecting company (haha). They have four gel pads for each leg which are positioned on your legs and bum. The first time you put them on can be a little tricky and they feel weird to wear but you soon get used to them. Each leg then has a cable which plugs into the device that controls the pulse, you then get yourself in a comfy position that allows your pelvis to be slightly slanted (laid down with bent knees is my way) then hit go. At first you’ll feel a tingle in your legs but as you increase the strength of the pulse that will move to being a pulling sensation in your pelvic floor region. Honestly, it’s weird but it isn’t painful and you soon get used to it – I’ve actually learned to really like the sensation.

Does it work?

Now that is the question! Like I said I was sceptical, obviously this was the easy way out – ok, the more expensive easy way out but easy nonetheless. After a week I honestly felt a difference, doing my home exercises were proving a little less problematic, not a huge difference but to say it had only been a week I was VERY impressed. A month in to wearing the device five times a week for 30 minutes was proving well worth my time, I’d lay on the sofa with it pulsing away and barely notice it – I have fallen asleep a few times too.

I’ve been using the device for 12 weeks now and until I have a nasty cough I won’t know how large of an improvement I’ve had but I can jump around and sneeze without having to worry – I’m now looking into reducing the time I wear it and starting to introduce normal pelvic exercises into my routine in order to maintain my new found muscles.

What’s the cost?

The cost of the device is £249 which includes everything you need (the device, charger, controller, gel pads, manual) and can be spread over six monthly payments. The gel pads need replacing every six months (or 60 uses) and are £29.99 for a full set of eight..

It’s been a life changer, it really has. In one way I wish it hadn’t have got to that stage, I wish I’d have listened to everyone when they said do your pelvic floor exercises – if I had then I wouldn’t have suffered with such extreme bladder weakness before I’d even hit 30. It’s not just old ladies that get it, do your exercises but if, like me you didn’t listen then the INNOVO Restore The Floor really could change your life!

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.

Mystery Shopping: Part 3 – Apps

Welcome to the final part of my mystery shopping theme. Over the last three posts I have talked about the main ways to earn money via mystery shopping; traditional, online and app. Last time I posted about online mystery shopping which can find here and the week before it was traditional mystery shopping, you can find that post here. This time, I delve into the world of mystery shopping apps.

mystery shopping apps

What is app mystery shopping?

The mystery shopping app industry is constantly growing; there seems to be a new company offering it every few months. The concept is the same as both traditional and online mystery shopping in that you are paid to analyse the company but the reporting is done through a mobile app rather than online. You download an app which will show you jobs available in your area, you accept the job and visit the venue where you are taken through the steps required. They may ask you to take photos of specific products or displays, ask about the staff and store, or even just want you to take a photo of a street sign. Some jobs will require you to buy something and will reimburse you an amount for that purchase. I once had a task that needed me to talk about the crisp shelf in a local petrol station, I then had to buy a packet of Prawn Cocktail crisps and talk about them for an additional fee.

How do I find app mystery shopping work?

There are a few apps that I recommend you download, the first one if you have an iPhone (there are no plans for this to come to Android) is Field Agent; from what I see, this is one of the best paying apps with the most work. Then there is Roamler who may require you to enter a referral code, if you need one then pop over to The Money Shed and sign up; they have an ongoing code for their members. Others include Clic and Walk,Streetspotr and iPoll.  I also recommend a newer one to the market called Streetbees, they don’t have an app but you do need to use your phone to take photos and upload it via their website; they are kind of a mix between app and online.

How much can you earn with app mystery shopping?

I find that this style of mystery shopping is very dependant on your location. I know many people who earn £1000’s a year doing the tasks but other who really need to go out of their way to make anything. You need to know when tasks are becoming available in advance so you can snap them up quickly so I recommend following them on Facebook, Twitter or The Money Shed. The Money Shed have a good rapport with most of these companies and have many reps active on their forum to answer questions. They get a heads up from Field Agent for location maps and tasks coming up before Field Agent even announce it themselves, and bonuses from Streetbees as their members helped launch the company (often 50% bonuses on tasks).

The listed apps are always useful to have and check while you are out and about as tasks can pop up anywhere; with a chance that no-one else has snapped them up yet. At times you can plan ahead and bag yourself a few a day.

This concludes my mystery shopping theme, I hope this gives you a good idea of how to get into this sort of work and where to look for work. If you have any comments or questions then please feel free to pop them in the comments or drop me an email.

Giveaway: Jamberry Nail Wraps And Application Kit

To celebrate the growth of my team, the fact the sun is shining and I’m in an awesome mood at the moment I thought I’d do a giveaway. I’m offering one of you lovely readers the chance to grab yourself a full sheet of Jamberry Nail Wraps and an application kit – similar to what’s pictured below. That’s enough wraps for AT LEAST two manicures and two pedicures with leftovers.

Jamberry Nail Wraps Giveaway

Prize may differ to that shown

Basically what you are winning is:

A Full Sheet of Jamberry Wraps (from my stash)
Accent Nail Sheet
Cuticle Pusher
Orange Stick
Prep Wipes
File
Nail Scissors

To be in for a chance to win this little bundle, just follow the Rafflecopter instructions. Pop to my site www.chamsjams.co.uk, have a browse and tell me what wrap you like best.

Giveaway closes on the 31st July with the winner being chosen at random on the 1st August, winner will be emailed and prize dispatched withing 7 working days of winners reply. UK entrants only I’m afraid.

If you have any questions about the giveaway or Jamberry Nail Wraps in general then please drop me an email or a comment below. I also have an exclusive VIP group over on Facebook so feel free to come and join me for offers, giveaways and other fun stuff.

PLUS!!!! (That’s right, I’m not done yet) Every order made with me in July will get a free gift from me – if you’d like to order then pop over to www.chamsjams.co.uk and take a look.

a Rafflecopter giveaway