Baby B meets Nemo & Giraffe

Ever since I can remember I’ve always loved cats. In fact, I have a reputation amongst my friends as being a bit of a crazy cat lady!!

Unfortunately my mum is allergic to them so I was never lucky enough to have one when I was growing up. However, I did manage to adopt a stray whilst living at university (much to my housemates despair!), and as soon as I was a “real adult” living on my own, I went straight down to my local RSPCA rescue centre and adopted Della, a gorgeous 3 year old black and white moggy with the most beautiful eyes. It wasn’t an easy relationship, Della had clearly been mistreated and it took me a long time to earn her trust and for her to stop attacking me everytime I went near her. When Mr B and I moved to a bigger house, we thought it would be nice to adopt a kitten to keep Della company. We popped down to our local animal aid centre and adopted Jack, a cheeky little kitten who had been born in the rescue centre. Jack reminds me of a dog, he loves to play fetch and is very attention seeking and loving. Definitely not aloof like many cats (including Della!).


Baby B has been fascinated by both Jack and Della from a very early age. Initially she would stare intently at them, then came smiles at them, followed by giggles at them and the latest development is chasing them! This week I was overjoyed that her first proper word (other than “mama” and babbles etc!) appeared to be “cat” when she saw her little buddy Jack! She also loves to stroke Jack but at only 10 months old we are really struggling to get her to understand the concept of gentle and have to very closely supervise her when she is near to them!


I was therefore delighted when Lee Hunter, an aspiring children’s author and professional childcare practitioner sent me a complimentary copy of her first children’s book “Nemo and Giraffe”.

“Nemo and Giraffe” is based on the life and antics of Lee’s indoor cat Nemo and is the first book in a planned series which aims to help young children form positive relationships with cats and all pets, and to learn how to care for them from a young age. The series strives to teach valuable life lessons including friendship and to also promote animal rights and welfare. Lee believes that if children can understand and be aware of the appropriate treatment of animals at a young age it can stay with them and benefit them throughout life.

The inspiration behind the Nemo & Giraffe series is the struggle that Lee found as a childminder within her own home teaching the children to be considerate of her cat Nemo, and to learn that he may become frightened if they scream, jump or grab at him. Lee hopes that by promoting their awareness of Nemo’s feelings, the children will be able to not only improve their own behaviours but also their awareness of themselves and others.

I really enjoyed reading the story to Baby B, not least because of the beautiful illustrations by Lindy Damen. However one of the other things that I love about the book is the message about how you can be friends with anyone regardless of who they are and what they look like. I think this is a really nice message for children. I also love the idea of teaching Baby B to be gentle and considerate with our cats and with other animals.

From an educational point of view, I also like the use of descriptive words.

Lee has kindly agreed for me to reproduce some of the beautiful images here:

   You can check out Nemo & Giraffe on Twitter and Facebook here:

Twitter – Nemo & Giraffe

Facebook – Nemo & Giraffe

The book which was self published by Lee can also be purchased from Amazon here: Nemo & Giraffe

I’ll definitely be buying a couple as presents for Baby B’s friends!

X Becca

Binky Linky

70 Days. No excuses. Week 3 update

Week 3 = done!

So how did I do? Well I’m really pleased that I’ve managed to keep up the momentum and stick to working towards my goal of reaching a healthy BMI and fitting back into my work clothes! I think that I am starting to get results and a couple of people this week have asked me if I’ve lost weight which has been a nice reward for my hard work and a motivating kick to continue!

Unfortunately Mr B had to work late tonight which has meant I haven’t been able to get to the gym to weigh myself on the accurate gym scales and have instead had to rely on my old manual bathroom scales. Although I’m not going to argue with that given that according to these I lost another 4 pounds this week!!

Starting weight: 11 stone 6 pounds (super duper whizzy gym scales)
End weight: 11 stone 2 pounds (old crappy manual bathroom scales)

In the interest of fairness I’m going to stick with my own bathroom scales going forward! It just means I’ve probably gained a little advantage weight loss this week by changing them!

Again – I’m happy with how I’ve done this week. I’ve kept up with my healthy eating and have exercised often too.


I’ve continued to do Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD and have done 3 yoga classes this week.

Personal Training session – my gym provided me with a free personal training session where I discussed my fitness goals with a lovely lady who then put me together an hour long training programme. The programme features a mixture of cardio, free weights and mat work. I really liked how she was very mindful of the fact that my core may be a little weak after having Baby B (she asked if my abdominals separated) and she has included gentle core strengthening within my programme. This week I’ve done my programme 3 times.


I’ve continued to try to eat as healthily as possible and have eaten plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and fish. I’m no longer on my strict no meat, no dairy and no gluten detox but because i felt so good after doing it, I have continued to keep my gluten and dairy consumption low. I’ve also only introduced white meat (chicken, turkey and pork) into my diet this week.

I’m trying really hard to educate myself about healthy, nutritious food choices and using this to then make ‘good’ choices when it comes to what I eat. I had a meal out with some friends this week and I chose a delicious prawn and salmon salad with mineral water rather than the greasy meal and coke I would usually have picked.


I don’t believe in a full on deprivation diet because I don’t believe that it would be sustainable for me long term and I would pile the weight back on once I stopped depriving myself. Therefore I am allowing myself the few odd treats here and there if I want them but I haven’t actually had any this week because I have been focused on a healthy diet. I’ve actually really enjoyed the majority of the food I’ve eaten this week….



I mentioned last week that my eczema had been really bad lately but this week it has miraculously cleared up! Not completely but it is the best it has been in months! I believe that reducing my dairy intake and eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables has caused this.

I’m hoping that I can keep the momentum up next week and hopefully have another weight loss to report! Fingers crossed that I might even dip below 11 stone!!

Would love to hear any top tips or healthy recipes – feel free to comment your links below!

X Becca

70 days. No excuses. Week 2 update

So week 2 is done and dusted. As someone who usually starts off great with things like this and then loses enthusiasm and interest quite quickly, I really wanted to try and make sure that this didn’t happen. I do have work clothes to fit into after all!!

So how did I do?! Well I lost a massive 4 pounds!!!

Starting weight: 11 stone 10 pounds
End weight: 11 stone 6 pounds

I’m so happy with how I’ve done this week. I’ve really committed to losing weight with both an improved diet and more exercise.


Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD – I did this 2 days. Its hardcore for me and I was sweating buckets and had sore legs after!

Yoga classes – I did 2 vinyasa yoga classes this week and worked really hard in both of them. I’m loving the increased flexibility that yoga is giving me already even though I’ve only been practising a few months.

Swimming – I’ve done a few swimming sessions at the gym this week.

Running – I’ve done 2 running sessions on the treadmill this week and am still aiming to run a 5k over the summer!


So I decided to do a little detox this week and eliminate a few things from my diet that I know exarcebate my eczema (which is really bad at the moment) and my bloated belly IBS symptom.

This week I’ve therefore followed a no gluten, no dairy and no meat diet. I’ve eaten lots of fresh food such as fish, eggs, vegetables and salads. I actually have really enjoyed the food I’ve eaten and will probably carry on eating in this manner (albeit I’ll introduce white meats such as chicken, turkey and pork now as I love my nandos!!)


For breakfast (most important meal of the day!) I’ve had gluten free porridge oats made with almond milk with fresh fruit on the top. Absolutely delicious!

I’ve also loved stir fried crispy chilli and garlic kale with prawns and red peppers. And you can’t go wrong with homemade peri-peri sweet potato chips! Even Mr B conceeded that they were both nice and agreed to have them again! A result for the man who lives on starchy complex carbs and lots of meat!!

I’ve definitely seen a massive improvement in my bloating since eliminating gluten. My eczema has improved a little bit but still is really bad so will carry on with the no dairy for a while as I know that makes my skin worse.

Next week I hope to carry on with a more healthy diet (although I will introduce meat and the occasional treat!). I also hope to up my game exercise wise!

Watch this space! I will fit back into my work clothes and have a healthy BMI!

X Becca

70 Days. No excuses. Week 1 update

So as I said last week, I’m on a 70 day mission to fit back into my work clothes before the end of my maternity leave…..! I need to stop making excuses and just get off my fat bum and do it!

This update is a little late because both Baby B and I have been a bit poorly (I know, I know – I’m starting the excuses already!!)

I’m really pleased actually with how the first part of the week went in terms of my attitude and effort levels! I exercised regularly, declined a beer at the Rugby and limited my usual chocolate treats – was feeling quite shocked and smug at how well I was doing! However, towards the end of the week it all went a little downhill when I got poorly and my friend visited with a whole Banoffee pie for just the two of us….!

Anyway – here’s a quick snapshot of my week:

Day 1 (Tues 21st April)

Gym session (treadmill, cross trainer & exercise bike)
Walked to Baby Sensory (about 2 miles round trip)
Day 1 of #30daysofyoga with yoga with adriene

No treats!
Only drank water & herbal tea

Day 2 (Wednesday 22nd April)

Day 2 of #30daysofyoga
Walked for half an hour
Took Baby B swimming & did a few lengths myself
Forrest yoga class (1 hour)

No treats!
Only drank water and herbal tea

Day 3 (Thurs 23rd April)

Day 3 of 30 days of yoga
Walked 2.2 miles to the park
Walked 2 miles to the beer garden

1 treat – white wine spritzer in beer garden (impressed I managed to stick to one!!)

Day 4 (Friday 24th April)

Day 4 of 30 days of yoga

No treats!
Only drank water and herbal tea

Day 5 (Saturday 25th April)

Day 5 of 30 days of yoga

1 treat – chocolate bar (Cadburys Twirl mmmm yummy!)
Only drank water and herbal tea

Day 6 & Day 7 (Sunday 26th April & Monday 27th April)

Erm…..Banoffee pie anyone?! All went a bit downhill from here i’m afraid!!

End results

Starting weight: 11 Stone 11lbs
End weight: 11 Stone 10lbs

So 1lb weightloss in my first week. I know it’s not loads but it’s a start and I am determined to do this!

This week I am completing a detox by eliminating gluten, dairy and meat from my diet. I’ll be eating lots of gluten free products, fresh fruit, vegetables and fish! I’ve gone gluten & dairy free before on the advice of my doctor to help with my IBS and eczema and I found it really worked. As my eczema is really bad at the moment, I decided to give it another whirl!

Has anybody else tried a similar detox before? Would love to hear your top recipe tips!

Wish me luck!

X Becca

70 Days. No excuses!

Well the countdown is now unfortunately on! In 70 days time my maternity leave ends and I will be starting a brand spanking new job!

I’ve loved my maternity leave, lots of fun baby activities and long lunches & cake with new mummy friends! However I’ve probably had a little too much cake (“I’m breastfeeding so I need the extra calories”) and not enough exercise (“I’m too tired because I was up all night with Baby B”) and none of my lovely work suits fit me!!

Part of me is tempted to just go out and buy a new work wardrobe but I am not happy with my size at the moment and I also want to be fitter and healthier. It’s therefore time to stop the excuses and get off my bum & work for it!

So I’m setting myself a challenge for the next 70 days!

  1. I will exercise every day, even if this is just taking Baby B for a long walk
  2. I will take up running and sign up to run a 5k run at the end of the 70 days (I am a complete non runner!)
  3. I will only drink water and herbal teas when at home (no more calorie & sugar laden fizzy stuff!)
  4. I will limit myself to 3 naughty treats a week (rather than the 3 a day I probably have now!)
  5. I will provide a weekly progress update on my blog each Tuesday to motivate me to keep on track. 

I will provide “starting stats” (I.e. weight & measurements) in the first weekly update next Tuesday as I want to use “proper” scales and not the temperamental ones I have at home! If I’m feeling brave then I may also provide starting pictures…..!

I’m pretty rubbish at motivation so I think writing down my intentions here and knowing that I have to report on my progress should help to keep me on track! 

Is anyone else looking to lose weight at the moment? Would love to hear your top exercise and weightloss tips!

X Becca

Sim's Life

Baby B’s birth story…..

“Labour doesn’t hurt. It’s just an intense pressure that your body tells you is pain because that’s what you have been told to expect”

Yes. I am ashamed to say that I actually uttered these words. And uttered them a lot. To anyone and everyone that would listen. Nobody was brave enough to contradict a heavily pregnant deluded me, although in hindsight the smiles and sympathetic head tilting (especially from my mum!) should have warned me! Well let’s just say that karma bit me on the ass with that one!!

Now that Baby B is 9 months old, I thought it was about time to write my birth story. So Dad – here is where you need to stop reading. You too mum. For any first time pregnant mummies to be who are reading then please also stop reading and check out Ina May Gaskins Guide to Childbirth – it really is an amazing book which will prepare you really well for childbirth.

I’d had a relatively uneventful pregnancy although I had experienced the usual morning sickness, stretchmarks, varicose veins, SPD and carpal tunnel syndrome. At 41 weeks Baby B was still nowhere to be seen so my midwife gave me a stretch and sweep. It was uncomfortable but fine (no worse than a smear) and I was elated when she told me that Baby B was so low down that all I needed was a couple of contractions and out she would pop!

A few hours after the sweep I noticed that Baby B didn’t seem to be moving much and things just didn’t feel “right”. So at 1am we called the midwives who told us to go straight to hospital for monitoring. We rushed straight in, and were so relieved to hear Baby B’s heartbeat on the monitor. However, the doctor and midwife were concerned because Baby B’s heart rate was dropping during braxton hicks and was not very “variable”. I was told at 2am that they needed to induce labour immediately. Eeek! 

Now having planned a natural waterbirth at a midwife centre, I *may* have had a little meltdown at this point. So Mr B managed to convince them to let us go home for a few hours and then come back at 8am when the induction would start. Going home was the best idea ever as Mr B was able to give me a pep talk and I managed to get my head around the fact that I would be having my baby in a hospital (I hate hospitals due to a botched appendectomy I have had previously resulting in sepsis which nearly killed me).

So 8am arrives and we get led to a bed on the induction ward. And 9am, 10am, 11am, 12pm and 1pm pass with no start of the induction….! Finally at 2pm they tried to break my waters but were unable to so instead they inserted a pessary to induce labour! Hurray, surely Baby B would arrive soon right?! Ha! At 8pm when nothing had happened they transferred me to a ward and sent Mr B home. Queue another mini meltdown! I was convinced that labour would start and I’d be alone without Mr B! Overnight I had terrible backache and couldn’t lie down or get comfortable. I put my Tens machine on and tried to get some rest but it’s fair to say it ended up being one of the longest nights of my life waiting for morning! However I wasn’t really in pain – I did just feel discomfort (a bit like really bad period cramps mixed with constipation!)

Mr B arrived the next day and we stayed on the ward ALL DAY waiting to see if the pessary was going to work…! At 4pm they took me back to the induction suite and told me to go to the toilet and take the pessary out (Mr B was horrified!). They then attempted to break my waters again and this time they were successful! Hurray! Labour contractions started pretty much immediately every 4 minutes lasting 1 minute. As Baby B was back to back, my contractions felt like back spasms and I didn’t feel anything in the front of my bump at all which really surprised me. Over the next hour the contractions progressed but were manageable and I enjoyed the gas and air and bouncing on my birthing ball at this point. I also used some of my pregnancy yoga positions to relieve the pressure on my spine, as well as my yoga and hypnobirthing breathing techniques to ride through the contractions. 

An hour after my waters were broken I was moved to a private room where they wanted to put me on a syntocin drip to accelerate labour. Given that I had only been contracting for an hour, contractions were increasing and I had not been examined to check dilation I refused the drip. Midwife must have loved that ha! Eventually after much negotiation, I agreed that they could put me on the drip if I could have an epidural first. In all honesty, when I made this bargain I didn’t actually need the epidural as I was fine with gas and air and wasn’t really in any significant pain. However I was fearful that the drip would intensify my contractions to an unnatural unmanageable level and that I wouldn’t be able to cope, especially because I was having a “back to back, induced labour” which I had heard are notoriously painful (including from some of the midwives looking after me! #nothelpful) and I had planned a “natural” waterbirth.

Having asked for the epidural at 5pm, I didn’t actually get it until 1am due to lack of anaesthetists! By this time I was still coping ok with the contractions from a pain perspective but was so exhausted after being awake for the past few nights that I practically kissed the guy once he’d put it in! 

As soon as the epidural was in, I felt absolutely nothing in my legs (I didn’t realise this wasn’t normal!) and managed to get some rest from 1am until 7am when I felt no contractions whatsoever – bliss! Imagine my surprise when they examined me at 7am and told me I was fully dilated! Hurray! I couldn’t believe it – I was going to push my baby out!

It was agreed that we’d have a little break for something to eat (Mr B not me!) and then I would start pushing. This stage is all a bit of a blur but I remember being really desperate to start pushing and meet Baby B! It was also difficult to push because I couldn’t feel any contractions so couldn’t work with and listen to my body a la Ina May Gaskin. I ended up pushing for 3 hours at which point they scanned my belly and discovered Baby B was stuck and I had to consent to an emergency C Section. At this point the epidural wore off and I was panicking so tensed up and felt scared and in pain. I was whisked to theatre where they gave me a spinal and asked if I would try pushing again so they could try forceps. They gave me an episiotomy and on the next contraction I pushed as hard as I possibly could and Baby B was finally born at 12:43pm with the assistance of forceps. After 58 hours in labour, it’s fair to say that the relief I felt was overwhelming!

The placenta was removed manually by the obstetrician which meant that I couldn’t do the delayed cord clamping that I had planned. However I am so happy about this because it meant that Baby B has been able to save lives by donating a grade A umbilical cord (stem cells) to the Antony Nolan trust! This makes me overwhelmingly happy and Baby B got a lovely certificate and keepsake babygro from the Anthony Nolan trust to say thank you! Baby B has also thrived since her birth so the lack of delayed cord clamping has not hampered her whatsoever. If I am lucky enough to have another baby then I will definitely plan to donate the cord blood again.

After the birth, Baby B and I enjoyed a lovely cuddle whilst I was stitched up and we were then wheeled to recovery where I nursed her for the first time, ate a delicious piece of toast and then puked up everywhere!

So there you have it….Baby B’s birth story! 

X Becca