Mama-Baba-Dohttp://mamababado.comThis is an example RSS feeden-us© Copyright 2018 mamababado.comHow I got my Health Back with Food<p>I am a person who is always going to be prone to certain things. Allergies (to many things; cats, dust, pets, carpets, fabric sprays, smoke, harsh detergents, body sprays), asthma, eczema and inflammation of my joints.</p> <p>Amazingly, I have also discovered that the connection between diet and our health is HUGE! And I want to shout this from the rooftops as I keep seeing people suffering, like I did and I know that most of that suffering is not necessary.</p> <p>I know this because I have BEEN there! Done that! Worn a million of the t-shirts!</p> <p>My diet as a child was the usual diet for any child growing up in the 70s and 80s. Cereal with milk for breakfast. Crackers with honey and peanut butter. Lunch was a sandwich (or the dreaded school dinners when I was younger - &nbsp;HEAVE!) and dinner would be something delicious like lasagne, fish, home-made chips, home made french bread pizza...I NEVER used to drink any water - only if it had squash in it.&nbsp;</p> <p>I hardly ate any fruit... a few grapes perhaps, an apple every day but not ever an abundance of fruits and veggies. I hated salad and it was all my mum could do to encourage me to eat the two bits of tomato on my plate.&nbsp;</p> <p>When I went to Secondary school, the school dinners improved in my eyes although having only a small bit of breaded fish and a fried egg every Friday is NOT my idea now of a nourishing meal.</p> <p>Allergies and my skin and hayfever, colds and coughs started to get worse and more frequent. I would spend my whole summer buried in tissues, sniffing Olbas oil, taking antihistamines that never worked yet made me feel detached from my body, scratching my skin to bits when the eczema kept spreading further and further over my body.</p> <p>Let&#39;s talk more about the eczema as it is very significant. From my mid-teens, it was a part of me. I would&nbsp;go clubbing and dance for four hours and my skin would burn (the night clubs were full of smoke back then) and it would all flare up and I wouldn&#39;t know how to take care of it. The doctor kept on prescribing the same hydrocortizone cream... for eight years! He never once asked me what I ate or drank. It was just as simple as, &#39;You have this rash, you need this cream.&#39;</p> <p>I would wake up with blood in my finger nails from the scratching. I knew I wasn&#39;t dirty but I felt it. It was like this permanent mark upon me and one day I just thought I cannot believe I have this! I don&#39;t understand it! Why? (I always used to ask &#39;why&#39;!)</p> <p>I then went to live in Swaziland, South East Africa for a year to volunteer for a Baha&#39;i youth year of service. Eczema and all! My health was bad out there. I took tablets for malaria, depsite us not living in a malaria area and my diet was terrible. We were surrounded by beautiful fruits and I didn&#39;t eat a single darned one of them! Instead, I was hooked on coffee and would drink several cups of instant coffee a day, each with 2 sugars in and powdered milk!</p> <p>Breakfast was now huge hunks of bread with some kind of spread and loads of high sugar peanut butter.</p> <p>Most days after school, which was quite stressful, my friend and I would scoff big chocolate bars and quite often head into Mbabane, the Capital and go to a special ice-cream place there and eat and eat...</p> <p>We would be invited to people&#39;s homes and they would make us the most delicious foods, high in refined fats and sugars, which was just what we wanted.</p> <p>And my body then started to break down. The eczema was literally a sign (not that I knew then!), screaming at me DO SOMETHING! Stop shoving this crap into your body! PLEASE feed me what nature intended!</p> <p>I started to get crippling pains in my stomach which would send me almost delirious and my skin was so bad that my children at the school would ask why it was so bad. People would stop both me and my friend in the street and tell us about a remedy they had for bad skin.</p> <p>I remember once, us both in our dingy bathroom, putting on this horrible smelling concotion of milk and lemon... nope! It did not work.</p> <p>Then finally, I went to see a specialist who knew all about disease and illness and how the body worked. She checked me over, did some tests then told me that my body was so toxic that it was indeed starting to break down. She told me to go and eat just watermelon for a few days.</p> <p>Well... I didn&#39;t! I went back to where we lived and continued to drink the disgusting coffee and the mountains of refined white sugar and loads of white bread and white pasta and hardly any fruit or raw vegetables.</p> <p>We then came home and our parents were shocked to see how much weight we&#39;d put on and how bad our skin was.</p> <p>My legs were a mess from infected mosquito bites and red raw eczema.</p> <p>I was a mess!</p> <p>I sank into a depression and cried a lot of the time. It was hard being back from such an incredible experience. I missed living in Africa and&nbsp;I started to lose faith in myself. I&nbsp;stopped eating &#39;properly&#39; in order to lose weight and then in my first year of University, made friends with an amazing group of lads and we formed a band and I just loved it so much. The second year was even better but my diet consisted of about&nbsp;3 chocolate bars a day, some cake, lots of dancing at night clubs then having cheese on toast. Looking back now, I had a very disordered way of eating.</p> <p>After I lost quite a bit of weight (still feeling massive though as my diet was so poor so I FELT internally poor!) a friend picked me up (literally!) and said &#39;ENOUGH VICKY! You have lost enough weight now. You are beautiful.&nbsp;Stop.&#39;</p> <p>And then, a miracle happened.</p> <p>Someone gave me a copy of a book called Fit for Life. He RAVED about this book and said it had changed his life. He has just been away for a year living in Australia and was starting to put these principles into practice.</p> <p>I devoured the book. Maybe it was because I was older, or that it was my time to listen... I took on the main principles. NO dairy. NO refined white sugar, pastas of breads. Eat ONLY fruit in the morning until midday. No animal flesh (easy as I was vegetarian at that point)</p> <p>Would you believe me if I told you that in a matter of weeks, ALL the eczema, terrible skin, crippling stomach pains, colds, coughs, everything.... it all went. What had just happened?!</p> <p>I kept thinking it was too good to be true but the more I learned, the more I put into practice. I would nearly always food combine and had stopped having cereal with milk for breakfast. I made these little changes and kept on discovering new ways to eat and WHEN to eat. For example, to always drink water before a meal. To always eat melon before other fruits.&nbsp;</p> <p>I kept all these principles in mind and in action throughout my 20s and 30s. My diet was not perfected and my weight fluctuated but I suffered no more from the onslaught of all those terribly annoying and life-sapping illnesses.</p> <p>Since then, I discovered even more amazingness when I started juicing (thanks to <a href="">Fleur Missaghian </a>and later, Jason Vale!) and then the wonders of a high raw food diet (thanks to <a href="">Shazzie!</a>) And then I met Miles! And Miles, who was also a <a href="">Registered Nutritional Therapist&nbsp;</a>&nbsp;caught me in a time when I had turned to sugar for comfort and when I needed to lose weight. So here I am now.&nbsp;</p> <p>My principles are still in place. I still food combine and I drink green juices daily. I haven&#39;t have caffeine in the form of tea and coffee for over a decade (with the odd Coke here and there!) I don&#39;t drink alcohol. I don&#39;t suffer any more from coughs, sore throats, colds, eczema all over my body and hayfever.</p> <p>But I still struggle with food and this is why I am so delighted that Miles has become a coach for me. He has worked with hundreds of patients with eating disorders, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and the work he does is amazing and healing.</p> <p>He reminds me that I can eat fruit in abundance and large bowls of steamed greens and veggies. He reminds me that I need to stick to my principles and that I need to take care of myself and that I OWE it to myself and my family.&nbsp;</p> <p>This is my health story in a (rather long) nutshell.</p> <p>If you are suffering from ANY disease or illness, please, whatever you are doing, try the route through diet. No harm can come from it. And the evidence is mounting... a plant-based diet, FULL of fresh, living foods is what we are all heading for. It&#39;s the diet of the future and can be the diet of now.&nbsp;</p> <p>We do not need to go ON a diet any longer. We don&#39;t need to lose weight only to put it back on again. We don&#39;t need to keep on applying harsh creams to our skin. We just need to:</p> <p>Drink water...lots of it!</p> <p>Eat loads of greens... loads!</p> <p>Eat tonnes of fruit.... just like an ABUNDANCE of fruit!</p> <p>We need to stop putting stuff into our bodies that keeps us addicted and ill.&nbsp;</p> <p>We need to start living.</p> <p>I am grateful to God every single day that I found this route... the pain of all the illness I used to suffer serves as a memory to keep me on track. And for the times I feel myself slipping, my skin is there in an instant to remind me... don&#39;t do it! I am still prone to everything I described. But I can enjoy a life within bigger boundaries, with more freedom to roam.</p> <p>I want to share this journey with you and enable you to learn what I have learned over the last 20 years and what I have learned more recently with Miles. So I invited him to be the Registered Nutritional Therapist on a programme that we developed together and it is brilliant and based on all my experiences and all of Miles&#39; expertise!</p> <p>If you would like to address what is going on with your body, we offer SO much support and a wealth of knowledge and recipes and expertise.&nbsp;</p> <p>Come and book onto <a href="">SuperCharged Mom </a>(even if you&#39;re not a mother!) and see how we can help you to find the real you! I often feel like a butterfly, emerging from her chrysallis, even after all these years at the age of 41! I would never go back... only forward now.</p>, 09 May 2016 00:07:51 +0200When are you Going Back to Work?<p><em>Here I am, working hard!</em></p> <p><strong>&quot;When are you going back to work?&quot;</strong></p> <p>I got asked this question quite soon after the birth of both our babies. Like raising a tiny human is not work? Like somehow, every bit of work I did up until the point of giving birth was valid work and now this is... well, what exactly is it? It&#39;s amazing and wonderful and... hard work. It&#39;s a daily grind. It&#39;s also pure joy. It&#39;s also frustration and Oh My God! It&#39;s also &#39;Am I good enough?&#39; mixed with &#39;I&#39;m the best parent in the world!&#39; It&#39;s ongoing, it&#39;s never-ending, it&#39;s something I chose, and something I wish I had more support with... I would not change it for the world.&nbsp;</p> <p>Someone called once whilst I was breastfeeding.&nbsp;I declined and texted saying &#39;At work now... will call later&#39;! I wasn&#39;t joking. I know, I could have said I was feeding. I guess it made me feel better.</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px"><span style="color:rgb(20, 24, 35); font-family:helvetica,arial,sans-serif">I started working when I was 11. I had a paper round for two years. When I was 13, I got</span></span>&nbsp;a Saturday job as a waitress in a burger cafe - I did this for two years. When I was 15, I worked for two years in a cheap clothes shop and then when I turned 17, Joy of Joys! I worked in Millets camping store which I loved as this was the first job where the staff were really nice and I got on well here! In the summer holidays and after my A-Levels I worked in a variety of factories, from putting chocolates into a box on a conveyor belt, to putting toppings on a pizza, from putting cardboard boxes into other boxes to getting strips ready to put on airplanes.</p> <p>When I was 19, I left to do a year&#39;s volunteer teaching in Swaziland. Pretty much as soon as I got back, I returned to my Saturday job in the camping store and also embarked upon a four-year teaching degree. In my second year of Uni, I realised I could not afford to pay my rent so I got another job (on top of my Saturday job and aforementioned full-time degree), cleaning every night in the General hospital where we lived. I did this for two years until I literally nearly burned out and started fainting on the job.&nbsp;</p> <p>In my second year of Uni, I was offered a job I could not&nbsp;refuse... a Saturday spot working in our (then) very cool record store, SpinaDisc! Victory was mine!</p> <p>In my summer holidays, whilst studying for my degree, I worked for 3 months in America, being a camp counsellor and music director. I worked with MENCAP&nbsp;for another summer.&nbsp;</p> <p>When I graduated, I then got my first teaching post&nbsp;and worked for two years in a middle school as an English and Music teacher.</p> <p>After teaching for two years, I worked as part of a Performing Arts Collective, with friends who were also teachers, for six years in schools. We were inundated with work and led workshops which OFSTED loved (one of them said it had a &#39;tangible spiritual element&#39; to it) I then had.... our first baby girl.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>And then people almost immediately started to&nbsp;ask&nbsp;me... &quot;When will you be returning to work?&quot;</strong></p> <p>Can you imagine the amazingness of how a baby is created? How she grows and forms inside of the mother&#39;s body,&nbsp;&nbsp;day by day until she reaches that moment when she is ready to make her way into this world? How much energy and effort the mother needs to put into helping this baby grow... and yes, resting becomes part of work when you grow another human inside your own body!</p> <p>Both our babies had different births and both came safely into the world.I always knew I wanted to be at home with our little ones;&nbsp;I knew this since I was 19.&nbsp;I never thought I would have to explain why so many times!</p> <p>As our babies grew, every now and then I would be asked when I was &#39;going back to teaching&#39;. When would I put them in nursery? I always felt I mumbled my answers as if I had to explain... actually... er... this IS my job now.&nbsp;</p> <p>No, it is not paid.</p> <p>No, we are not eligible for much support as a mother at home (almost zero!)</p> <p>Yes, we are constantly reminded as a mother at home, that we should be adding to our economy and getting paid.</p> <p>Well... I am standing up, with my head tall and proud and saying....</p> <p><strong>I am at work.</strong></p> <p><em>It is 24/7.</em></p> <p>I love every moment, even the tough, challenging moments. Even the bits where I have to escape for an hour. Even when I stay awake each night, working till 2am on projects like recipe books and courses and recording music to help people because even though I am a mother at home, my brain ticks in overdrive the whole time and I do&nbsp;want to add to the economy and to our family&#39;s finances. (I actually believe I am contributing by raising our children too!)</p> <p>So I build my business.</p> <p>I breastfeed our baby.</p> <p>I chat for an hour to our older girl&nbsp;each night before bed and read her a story and go on bike rides.</p> <p>I feed through the night. I wake up for the school run.</p> <p>I don&#39;t need to go back to work... because I am already here.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Did this post resonate with you? Please share and comment if you want to carry on the conversation!</em></p> <p><strong><span style="font-size:14px">If you liked this, then you might like my daily posts on my <a href=""><span style="color:#EE82EE">Facebook page</span></a><span style="color:#EE82EE">! </span>Come and join in!</span></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p>, 29 Apr 2016 12:17:57 +0200Supercharged Mom in Just 30 Days: Online Programme! <p>Feel <strong>Great</strong>, Lose Weight and become <strong>supercharged</strong> in just 30 Days!</p> <h2>Would <strong>you</strong> like to be a Supercharged Mom!</h2> <div style="text-align: center; width: 100%; padding-top: 20px;"><img src="" /> <img src="" /> <img src="" /> <img src="" /> <img src="" /></div> <p>A brilliant new programme, especially designed for busy, active Moms who want to prioritize&nbsp;their health!<strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>Is this you?</strong></p> <p>Would you like to enjoy having <strong>more</strong> energy,&nbsp;delicious food, clarity, focus&nbsp;<em>and </em>recipes and daily support? And <strong>less </strong>life-overwhelm, stress and daily slumps? <strong><em>Keep reading!&nbsp;</em></strong></p> <div class="wideHolderSecTwo" style="clear: both;"><strong>Mamas!</strong> <p><em>I know what it&rsquo;s like.</em></p> <ul> <li>You have a baby, a toddler, a child, a teen or even a fully-grown son/daughter and with all the good intentions in the world, you don&rsquo;t always manage to look after yourself.</li> <li><em>You put your family&rsquo;s needs and health before your own.</em></li> <li>You often snack on the go, and don&rsquo;t get time to eat a proper meal.</li> <li><em>You reach for high </em><strong>refined</strong><em> sugar/processed &#39;cardboard&#39; junk&nbsp;foods to get instant energy but then have to deal with the dreaded slump and lack of focus for hours after.</em></li> <li>You want to run and play with your children but some days it is all you can do to even get out of bed, get the school run done with and make a cup of tea!</li> </ul> </div> <p>I know this feeling ALL too well! And there are hundreds of thousands of moms out there who can also relate! You want to eat well but you feel there is no time and you have little energy to make sure you are eating the right foods!</p> <p><strong>This course is not just about losing weight (although if you are over your natural weight, you will!)</strong></p> <p>This is about you finding that <strong>zest,</strong> that <em>lust for life,</em> the get-up and <strong>GO</strong> that has been missing for so long.</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <div style="text-align: center; width: 100%;"><img src="" /> <img src="" /> <img src="" /> <img src="" /> <img src="" /></div> <div class="wideHolderSecThree"> <h3><strong>What if you could, in just 30 days, totally kickstart your&nbsp;journey to:</strong></h3> <ul> <li>Learn how to eat abundantly and deliciously for life with no restriction!</li> <li>Learn how to eat MORE (not less) and stay lean, fit and healthy for life!</li> <li>Feel&nbsp;energised so you are not struggling through the day but <em>bounding!</em></li> <li>Shine with a glow from the inside out AND reach your natural weight!?</li> </ul> </div> <p><strong>This is ALL within your grasp and this is why I have teamed up with&nbsp;Miles Kasiri, Registered Nutritional&nbsp;Therapist&nbsp;and founder of Healthy Crazy Cool&nbsp;to&nbsp;create&nbsp;this superb 30 day programme,&nbsp;especially designed for busy mothers, who desperately have tried every solution but feel nothing is working!</strong></p> <p><strong>RESULTS ARE GUARANTEED</strong> if you follow this <strong>30 Day programme</strong> to the letter! And you won&rsquo;t have to wait 30 days to feel the effects and see results! As soon as you step-on to <strong>SuperCharged Mom,</strong> you will have already overcome that first hurdle; making a commitment to better your own life, therefore, also helping to improve your whole family!</p> <div class="salesStrip"> <div class="salesStripInner"> <div class="salesMid"> <p><a class="payClick_big jPay" href=";new=25&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">Get Instant Access to Supercharged Mom in Just 30 Days</a></p> <p><a class="jPay" href=";new=25&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">Early bird Special offer: Enrol NOW and pay only &pound;29.95 / $43.95! (usual price &pound;49.95 / $72.95)</a></p> </div> <div class="salesLeft"><a class="jPay" href=";new=25&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/"><img alt="Enrol now on the WonderCake Crafting 101 eLearning Course" src="/sites/1361268160/images/enrolNowButton.png" /></a></div> <div class="salesRight"> <p><a class="payClick jPay" href=";new=25&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">30 Day Programme + Email Support + FaceBook Support Group Access</a><br /> <a class="payClick_big jPay" href=";new=25&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">CLICK HERE TO GET SUPERCHARGED</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <h3><em>Who are Victoria and Miles?</em></h3> <div> <h4><strong>Victoria Leith</strong></h4> <img class="left" src="/sites/1361268160/images/victoriaLeith-WonderCake.png" style="margin-right:10px; width:180px" /> <p>I am Victoria Leith, mother to two girls (one toddler and one nine year old) and I am a teacher by profession and now author and creator of<a href=""> LittleSong</a>.&nbsp;I&nbsp;wrote <em>97 Parenting Tips</em> for Shazzie&rsquo;s series of &rsquo;97&rsquo; apps, was a regular contributor to <em>The Green Parent </em>with&nbsp;a feature called<em> Ten Simple Steps, wrote regular features for Get Fresh magazine&nbsp;</em>and am the author of five books, including <em>I&rsquo;ll Have the Fruit and Grains, Please!</em> I have suffered with depression and anxiety in the past as well as a whole host of illnesses including eczema, persistent colds, coughs, sore-throats, digestive issues and depression.</p> <p>However, I have always managed to combat ALL of the above through following a plant-based diet, mediation, exercises and having an excellent support group around me. I invite you to be part of MY ongoing journey and experience the life-changing joy that comes when you feel <strong>Super-Charged!</strong></p> </div> <div style="text-align: center; width: 200px; margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;"><img class="left" src="/sites/1361268160/images/pinkStarTransLeft.png" style="width:50px" /><img class="right" src="/sites/1361268160/images/pinkStarTransRight.png" style="width:50px" /> <div class="clear">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div> <h4><strong>Miles Kasiri</strong></h4> <img class="left" src="/sites/1361268160/images/milesKasiri.jpg" style="margin-right:10px; width:180px" /> <p>Miles Kasiri is a leading Registered Nutritional Therapist and specialises in weight loss, body composition, digestive health, energy and vitality and plant-based nutrition. Miles trained at The College of Naturopathic Medicine, London where he studied Biomedicine and Nutritional therapy.&nbsp;Miles is also a qualified Personal Trainer and former athlete with a great knowledge in sports nutrition.&nbsp;</p> <p>He has vast experience working with a wide variety of patients such as those suffering from chronic diseases, athletes wishing to optimise sports performance, people who need to lose weight and those in good health who are looking to improve their energy and vitality.&nbsp;</p> <p>He was also the <strong>Head&nbsp;Nutritional Therapist </strong>for a clinic specialising in addiction, and has experience working with patients suffering from eating disorders and substance abuse, using nutritional therapy to aid their healing process for <strong>five years.</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Miles uses food as medicine to help restore balance and promote optimal health.</strong></p> <p>&ldquo;<em>Over the past five years I have received so much information, support and guidance from Miles as a close friend and more recently he has been working with me on a professional basis to help me on my journey to better health. Not only is his knowledge second to none, as he is informed by the most up to date research, but his caring, encouraging and loving approach really inspires me to want to be healthier. Miles is truly awesome and I would recommend him to everyone.</em>&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;<em>Miles really delivers his knowledge in a clear, concise, no-nonsense yet loving manner. His sincere desire to assist as many people in the world as possible shines through with every consultation and conversation we have ever had. He puts things to me that I would not have thought of and gives me food for thought every day. I have never seen someone so committed to helping others in the field of health - Miles gives and gives because he truly wants healing to take place with every person he comes across who asks for his help.</em>&rdquo;</p> <div style="text-align: center; width: 200px; margin-right: auto; margin-left: auto;"><img class="left" src="/sites/1361268160/images/pinkStarTransLeft.png" style="width:50px" /><img class="right" src="/sites/1361268160/images/pinkStarTransRight.png" style="width:50px" /> <div class="clear">&nbsp;</div> </div> <p>This is <strong>not</strong> a crash course! Or a 30-day detox! This plan is a stepping stone, a kickstart to the <strong>rest of your life</strong> on this planet, to live and eat more sustainably, more abundantly and with joy, loving your body, enjoying the freedom that comes with eating real food, that is nourishing physically and mentally.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Together, we both have a keen passion in working with moms to have dramatically improved mental and physical health and well-being.</strong></p> <p><em><strong>All recipes</strong> on our&nbsp;30-day plan are&nbsp;100 per cent vegan and plant-based!</em></p> <div class="salesStrip"> <div class="salesStripInner"> <div class="salesMid"> <p><a class="payClick_big jPay" href=";new=25&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">Get Instant Access to Supercharged Mom in Just 30 Days</a></p> <p><a class="jPay" href=";new=25&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">Early bird Special offer: Enrol NOW and pay only &pound;29.95 / $43.95! (usual price &pound;49.95 / $72.95)</a></p> </div> <div class="salesLeft"><a class="jPay" href=";new=25&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/"><img alt="Enrol now on the WonderCake Crafting 101 eLearning Course" src="/sites/1361268160/images/enrolNowButton.png" /></a></div> <div class="salesRight"> <p><a class="payClick jPay" href=";new=25&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">30 Day Programme + Email Support + FaceBook Support Group Access</a><br /> <a class="payClick_big jPay" href=";new=25&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">CLICK HERE TO GET SUPERCHARGED</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="wideHolderSecThree"> <h3><strong>What does the Supercharged Mom 30-Day plan offer me?</strong></h3> <p><strong>Daily </strong>support videos from Victoria and Miles (two videos each day) for 30 days and support in the Facebook group covering all aspects to SuperCharging<strong> your </strong>life!</p> <ul> <li>This programme aims to teach you, educate you and provide you with the tools that will help you live a healthy, balanced lifestyle.</li> <li>SuperCharged Mom! is just the beginning and a stepping stone towards a life of better mental, physcial and spiritual health.</li> <li>You will learn how to eat foods such as sweet, sugary, FRESH fruits in abundance, whilst watching the pounds slide off!</li> <li>The course will show you how all wholefoods are super foods &nbsp;- and we aim to show you how to balance your days and your life.</li> <li>You will learn ways how to keep yourself motivated, how to overcome the daily pitfalls and discover tried and tested ways of getting your groove back!</li> </ul> </div> <div class="wideHolderSecTwo"> <h4><strong><em>As part of the programme, you will also&nbsp;receive:</em></strong></h4> <ul> <li>Your plan&nbsp;(which includes recipe for&nbsp;green drinks, meals, soups, salads and even daily treats!) for the 30 Days.&nbsp;</li> <li>Daily motivational &lsquo;postcards&rsquo; to print out, laminate and put on your fridge, on the cupboards and around the home, with positive affirmations and quotes to help you on the plan.</li> <li>Recipe cards to print out, laminate and keep in your kitchen to refer to when you need to.</li> </ul> </div> <h3><em><strong>FREE!</strong></em></h3> <p>You will have free and continued access to an ongoing support Facebook group for as long as you want &lsquo;in&rsquo;!&nbsp;</p> <p>Gain daily support and expert advice&nbsp;from Victoria and Miles&nbsp;and also from a like-minded community to keep your on track and focused on your health goal.</p> <div class="salesStrip"> <div class="salesStripInner"> <div class="salesMid"> <p><a class="payClick_big jPay" href=";new=25&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">Get Instant Access to Supercharged Mom in Just 30 Days</a></p> <p><a class="jPay" href=";new=25&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">Early bird Special offer: Enrol NOW and pay only &pound;29.95 / $43.95! (usual price &pound;49.95 / $72.95)</a></p> </div> <div class="salesLeft"><a class="jPay" href=";new=25&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/"><img alt="Enrol now on the WonderCake Crafting 101 eLearning Course" src="/sites/1361268160/images/enrolNowButton.png" /></a></div> <div class="salesRight"> <p><a class="payClick jPay" href=";new=25&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">30 Day Programme + Email Support + FaceBook Support Group Access</a><br /> <a class="payClick_big jPay" href=";new=25&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">CLICK HERE TO GET SUPERCHARGED</a></p> </div> </div> </div> </div>, 21 Apr 2016 22:25:06 +0200Wake Wakey! Luscious Green Smoothie Recipe<p>This is the elixir of life and youth, I swear! I have this every day, sometimes twice a day and I literally hardly ever get ill. Compare that to always (and I mean always) having persistent colds, coughs, sore throats, hayfever, skin problems and more... and now I am free from all of those pesky illnesses! I also had someone say I looked 27 the other day but that&#39;s by-the-by! <strong>Enjoy!</strong></p>, 18 Apr 2016 13:09:26 +0200Get Your Beet On!, 18 Apr 2016 13:05:05 +0200Wot Shakespeare Said, 18 Apr 2016 01:37:08 +0200Mother Melon, 18 Apr 2016 01:31:00 +0200Give a Child the Chance to Create..., 17 Apr 2016 02:55:26 +0200Feeling 40 Fabulous!, 17 Apr 2016 02:33:39 +0200Music Makes a Mama Feel Good!, 17 Apr 2016 02:31:25 +0200What Would I Say to my Younger Self?, 17 Apr 2016 01:32:16 +0200Ninety Seven Parenting Tips<p>Parents, when you feel you want some advice, support or wisdom, spin the wheel in 97 Parenting Tips and you will unearth a gem that you can put into practise that very same day, even in the moment!</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE</a></p> <p>When you&#39;ve had a good day and you want to hold onto those feelings of being a super-parent, pick a card and read it, knowing that you are consciously making a difference to the world. And on those days where you don&#39;t even recognise your own voice and being a parent seems an impossible task, pick another card and breathe.... and know that there are thousands of parents out there, striving, day after day, to raise their children in a loving, caring world. You can do it to. Let the tips guide you into your power of being a conscious, loving parent.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE</a></p>, 16 Apr 2016 14:29:54 +0200I'll Have the Fruit and Grains Please!<p>Aimed particularly at young people, I&rsquo;ll Have the Fruit and Grains,please! is about making inspired choices which will eventually lead us down the path to optimum health and well-being.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE</a></p> <p>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~</p> <p>&lsquo;What will be the food of the future?&rsquo;</p> <p>&lsquo;Fruit and grains. The time will come when meat will no longer be eaten.&rsquo;</p> <p>Victoria Leith came across this intriguing statement of &lsquo;Abdu&rsquo;l-Bah&aacute;, made in the early years of the 20th century, while investigating different ways to improve her own health. This prompted her to look carefully at what the Bah&aacute;&rsquo;&iacute; teachings say about keeping a healthy body and mind. What she found was so exciting that she wanted to share with everyone interested in cultivating a healthier life style.</p> <p>Aimed particularly at young people, I&rsquo;ll Have the Fruit and Grains,please! is about making inspired choices which will eventually lead us down the path to optimum health and well-being. With her light-hearted approach, Victoria Leith considers the role of<br /> * food<br /> * sleep<br /> * simplicity<br /> * moderation</p> <p>in achieving a healthy life and provides a tempting selection of recipes for family meals, snacks and entertaining.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE</a></p>, 16 Apr 2016 13:29:56 +0200My Husband, not my Helper.<p><span style="color:rgb(20, 24, 35); font-family:helvetica,arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px">Today, my husband&nbsp;</span><span style="color:rgb(20, 24, 35); font-family:helvetica,arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px">made our breakfast, as he does every single day. He gets up in the morning, has his shower, goes downstairs and starts juicing the apples, celery and lemon ready for our smoothie. He washes the juicer and blender, puts&nbsp;all the bits back together for the next morning.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="color:rgb(20, 24, 35); font-family:helvetica,arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px">Today, he also&nbsp;washed up several times, played with our toddler&nbsp;and took her to the beach, made cups of tea for me and his sister who was visiting, changed nappies&nbsp;and put our toddler&nbsp;to bed. He did some work. He spent a good 90 minutes cleaning and tidying downstairs. </span></p> <p><strong><span style="color:rgb(20, 24, 35); font-family:helvetica,arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px">People say to me <em>&#39;You are so lucky! My husband would never do all of that!&#39; </em></span></strong></p> <p><span style="color:rgb(20, 24, 35); font-family:helvetica,arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px">Whilst my husband&nbsp;was doing all of the above,&nbsp;I was feeding our little one, I was helping our older daughter get ready&nbsp;in the morning for school, I was doing laundry and folding, I was hoovering, I was feeding our babe&nbsp;again and resting with her as she fell asleep for her afternoon nap. I did some work online&nbsp;whilst she slept.&nbsp;I&nbsp;picked up&nbsp;our eldest&nbsp;from school, co-tutored&nbsp;a&nbsp;children&#39;s class and got&nbsp;dinner sorted.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="color:rgb(20, 24, 35); font-family:helvetica,arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px">I was gave a 40-minute bath to our youngest. I taught her how to count to ten in Mandarin and we played with ShopKins. We played on the bed with her big sister for 30 minutes, tickling, singing, laughing...I&nbsp;got her all sleepy with my milk and&nbsp;said&nbsp;prayers with our eldest&nbsp;and read&nbsp;her the Secret Seven and waited&nbsp;until she fell asleep. </span></p> <p><span style="color:rgb(20, 24, 35); font-family:helvetica,arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px">I have lay-ins on weekends. I make sure I am the one who tends to our babes at night, every night, since their births. I let my husband sleep. I make dinner, he makes dinner, sometimes one of us does more, the other does something different. We are always doing <em>something</em> of value to add to our family.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="color:rgb(20, 24, 35); font-family:helvetica,arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px">This is how it rolls every day in our home. It is not luck, this is how we orchestrate it.&nbsp;We are a team! We <em>both</em> work hard! We both have <em>different</em> roles. We <strong>both</strong> put effort in to make our family work. My husband is not &#39;helping me&#39;...we are helpmates for each other.&nbsp;He is not a baby sitter for our children. He is their father. </span></p> <p><span style="color:#EE82EE"><span style="font-family:helvetica,arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px">We are two wings of a bird! We try to keep our flight steady so that the bird of our relationship can fly.</span></span></p> <p><span style="color:rgb(20, 24, 35); font-family:helvetica,arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px">I am grateful for his input into our family and he is grateful for mine, and we both thank each other for the input we put in, every single day.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="color:#EE82EE"><strong><span style="font-size:14px">We have been married for 15 years and I put this down to:</span></strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-size:14px">- Respect for each other.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:14px">- Love for each other.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:14px">- We thank each other every day.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:14px">- When we disagree, we consult and we resolve. We listen and we hear each other. We try to see things from the other one&#39;s perspective.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size:14px">- We pray together. We eat together. Say we love each other. I cry and feel overwhelmed. He sits as patiently as a rock and holds me tight. I hear him with all this woes.&nbsp;We sit side-by-side on computers together.&nbsp;We do stuff apart.&nbsp;I encourage my husband whilst he studies at Uni. He encourages me with the things I do. He does the stuff I can&#39;t do. And vice versa. He makes me laugh. I make him laugh. He rolls his eyes at me and I roll them back!&nbsp;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="color:#EE82EE">You can connect with me</span><strong><span style="color:#0000FF"> </span><a href=""><span style="color:#0000FF">here</span></a><span style="color:#0000FF"> </span></strong><span style="color:#EE82EE">on Facebook for more MamaBabaDo updates and musings!</span></p>, 16 Apr 2016 00:31:32 +0200Mama! Create a Successful Facebook Launch!<p>This is a short, nifty little ebook which explains exactly how I launched my ebook Caramelia Cakery:The Raw UnBakery and made &pound;900 profit in just two days, ALL thanks to Facebook and its wonderful Events feature!</p> <p>This is a perfect book for you if you:</p> <p>- Have a great idea, have made the product (ebook, cakes, course) and want to sell and share with the world!</p> <p>- Are at home and want to stop daytime TV watching and get DOING!</p> <p>- Want to know step-by-step how to do this! It was work, but it was not hard.... if I can do it, you can too!</p>, 15 Apr 2016 12:14:18 +0200The Night Out<p><iframe frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p>, 12 Apr 2016 19:25:40 +0200Calm Before Bed<p><strong>A beautiful and peaceful&nbsp;story meditation experience for children of all ages (we recommend 2-9 but any age who needs a calm and relaxing chill-out time before bed-time.)</strong></p> <p>&bull; Does your child have a challenge relaxing before bedtime?</p> <p>&bull; Is your child full of worries and anxieties that just never seem to go away?</p> <p>&bull; Are bedtimes fraught and full of temper tantrums and arguments?</p> <p><strong>Why not try playing our peaceful story meditations!</strong></p> <p>Try it for a week and see how much calmer and relaxed your child is from listening to soothing, peaceful words, music and sounds from nature.</p> <p>I wrote this first story mediation for my 9-year old brother nearly 13 years ago and he listened to it every night for over a year. He loved his bedtime meditations and it always brought him peace and calm and sent him to sleep every time.</p> <p>I am a musician, teacher and mother to two girls and they love the calm bedtime routine we share with them which always includes songs and beautiful words and music.&nbsp;</p> <p>I wanted to share these with the world so this is the first of many story meditations to come!&nbsp;</p> <p>Calm Before Bed can also be used in the classroom, to calm the children before home-time, to enable them to feel centred and empowered and to realise the gems within them.</p> <p>I worked on this, Journey Down Stream, with my husband so it is our great delight to have worked as a team and we offer this to you, in the hope that it is of assistance to you, your family and the children you interact with and care for.</p> <p><strong>Bedtime meditation for children -<em> Journey Down Stream.</em></strong></p> <p><em>Words and Music by </em>Victoria Leith</p> <p><em>Production by</em> Tom Leith&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src=";color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p>, 25 Feb 2016 23:20:03 +0100A Woman's Place, 19 Nov 2015 23:38:58 +0100Hello I'm a Mother, I have Holes in my Shoes<p>Just something I was pondering today (and a lot of days!)&nbsp;I have been feeling of late how little support mothers get at home... how hard we try and work to bring in extra pennies whilst being at home because we made that choice&nbsp;... how we are not entitled to this benefit and that. &nbsp;The reward for me being a mother at home is so great and I would not change it for the world... but yes, I do have holes in my shoes (at the time of writing!) but I don&#39;t feel sorry for myself. I see those<u>&nbsp;</u><span style="line-height:1.6em">holes as very significant to how little motherhood is prized and valued and the holes make me so glad that despite all the noise and the clamour of &#39;when are you going back to work?&#39; I stayed with my gut, my instinct, my right!</span></p> <p>I have always worked and I see motherhood as work, valuable work. I don&#39;t believe that I should be forced to make a choice between raising my children and earning a living. My work is 24/7 and whilst my babies sleep I write... I am a song writer, a novelist, I have ghost-written, I am in the middle of writing an album. I make the most and use every single moment I have. When motherhood is cherished and valued (and parenthood... speaking more from my perspective here!) to the point where the mother is championed for being &#39;at home&#39;&nbsp;rather than penalised and pressured at every turn to &#39;return to work&#39;, we will see great shifts in how our society works!</p> <p><em>Please feel free to share this post!</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Hello, I&#39;m a mother, I have holes in my shoes. </strong></p> <p>I have one bra... I need two, or three. The one I have is nearly done but I have to make do.&nbsp;</p> <p>Some days we scour the cupboards and realise that it&#39;s not actually bare... there are old bags of lentils and potatoes in there.</p> <p>Cinema, holidays, trips to big cities are replaced by simple walks, leaf collecting, singing little ditties...</p> <p>I have no spare change to give to people in the streets... I often see their hand outstretched and think, I know where you&#39;re coming from, I&#39;m also in need.</p> <p>We were fortunate with friends, they gave us their clothes<br /> The baby never had to want for anything, we have more than most.</p> <p>Our rented home came with everything we needed, which was a blessing because we&#39;d given all our big things away to work overseas....</p> <p>I&#39;m not complaining, just telling it how it is. I love being a mother and there&#39;s no way I&#39;d trade it.</p> <p>I get to be with my baby from dusk until dawn, in the midst of the night, in the sweet early morn.&nbsp;</p> <p>I get to hear all her first words, her sweet baby voice,<br /> To witness how she moves around our home, how she negotiates, makes a choice.</p> <p>I love, I wonder and marvel every day, I made this choice for it all to be this way.</p> <p>So whilst this hole in my shoe, it&#39;s real, it exists, not sure when I&#39;ll get another pair but listen to this...</p> <p>My baby said ten new words today! She cuddled me for a hour before she drifted away...</p> <p>I get to hold her and watch her as she sleeps, we eat lunch together, I listen, she speaks!</p> <p>The rain gets in to the holes in my shoes... I work when baby sleeps and I&#39;ll carry this through</p> <p>It just might take its time, I&#39;ll persevere, I&#39;ll work hard</p> <p>I&#39;m staying with my baby because it&#39;s my choice, my life, my right...</p> <p>Hello, I&#39;m a mother, I carried her in my womb... I nurtured her for nearly a year, I birthed her into this world, this room... I carried her, I wanted her, I asked for her, I prayed for her... I want to be with her every day and my love as a mother makes me feel this way.</p> <p>Hello, I&#39;m a mother, I have holes in my shoes...</p> <p>They remind me that this is where I want to be.</p> <p><strong>Victoria Leith Nov 19th 2015</strong></p> <p>If you loved this post, you might also love my new venture, which I started so that I could make a positive and worthwhile difference in schools and the family home whilst <em>also</em>&nbsp;making&nbsp;a living whilst raising my babies using my talents as a songwriter! Come visit here at <a href=""></a></p>, 19 Nov 2015 01:38:54 +0100Dear Citizen of the World... Now is the Time!<p><strong>Dear Citizen of the World,</strong></p> <p>Now is the time, more than ever, to feel rooted, to be strong, to be grounded.</p> <p>Now is the time to reach out to that neighbour to invite them round for a meal and to become friends.</p> <p>Now is the time to speak our truth clearly and calmly, with love and with unswerving confidence.&nbsp;</p> <p>Listen to our hearts. What do our hearts tell us? Do we need to continue to believe every thing we read and every thing we are told?</p> <p>Listen to that heart beat... it is the same beating sound inside every single human being on this planet.</p> <p>Now is the time to feel the fear, to embrace it, then to channel it into works of service.&nbsp;</p> <p>Ask ourselves, what can we do? What would we<em> like </em>to do? What is out of our comfort zone but doable anyway? How much can we offer?</p> <p>Now is the time to focus on what makes us feel good. To find our faith. To believe in at least ourselves and what we are worth to this world.</p> <p>Now is the time to love our children, to hold them tight, to show them there is another way and to encourage them to serve humanity.&nbsp;</p> <p>Now is the time to not only connect on social media but to talk to the people in our street, the shop-owners, the dog-walkers, the street-sweepers, the person who sits on his own on the bench each day, the woman who wants to talk to you about God, the man who wants to sell you double-glazing, the family who home-school their children, the mother who has just had a baby, the father who is pushing his child high on the swing...</p> <p>Now is the time for connection. Why wait? What are we waiting for? We have all the tools, all the resources to do this now. We don&#39;t need educating... we just need to do it.&nbsp;</p> <p>To share.</p> <p>To love.</p> <p>To learn.</p> <p>To embrace.</p> <p>To hold each other.</p> <p>To cry and grieve.</p> <p>To carry on.</p> <p>To rise above fear and hate.</p> <p>To reach out.</p> <p>To comfort.</p> <p>To nourish.</p> <p>To laugh.</p> <p>To live.</p> <p>To enjoy.</p> <p>To work hard.</p> <p>To raise our children in the way we believe they should be raised.</p> <p>To not accept anything less.</p> <p>To love our own selves so that we may love others.</p> <p>Now is the time to realise that we have more control than we once considered. That we do not have to watch, buy, participate in anything that makes us or others feel unworthy or unloved.</p> <p>We can change things... I know we can because I look at my children with their beautiful innocent eyes and hearts and I see the world through their vision. It is clearer and less complicated and we can learn that it doesn&#39;t make us naive to believe that peace is inevitable.</p> <p>Now is the time to look for the beauty, to seek out the treasures and connect, talk, consult, plan and reflect.</p> <p>Now is the time to let that person go in front of us in the queue. To let the anger within us subside when someone drives too near or too slowly. To not meet hate with hate but rather open our arms and our hearts and forgive, understand, find out more, listen.</p> <p>Now is the time to show each other that if we want a world with peace at its core, then we need to practise being peaceful with our friends, our family, our children, our husbands, our wives, within our work, no matter where we come from, what we do, what we decide to wear in the morning, what we choose to eat in the evening... we are all one.</p> <p><strong>Dear Citizen of the World</strong>... before we go to bed tonight, pray, think positive words, light a candle or just be still in a reflective space. But think... think about what we want. And let&#39;s manifest it together.</p> <p>With love from&nbsp;</p> <p>Your fellow friend</p> <p>You can connect with me, Victoria Leith, <strong><a href="">here on Facebook </a></strong>:) Come and say hello!</p> <p><strong>Art&nbsp;by Care</strong></p>, 18 Nov 2015 00:47:50 +0100Easy and Tasty Slow-Cooked Chick Pea Curry<p>This is a plant-based, gluten-free curry that takes moments to prepare then you pop on a low flame (or in a slow cooker) and let all the flavours infuse! It is SO good! Hope you like it too:)</p> <p>In a pan place the following:</p> <p>1 cup chickpeas (1 can)</p> <p>two big handfuls spinach</p> <p>1 cup chopped courgette</p> <p>1 cup broccoli florets</p> <p>3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or minced</p> <p>1/2 a red onion, finely sliced</p> <p>2 cups coconut milk</p> <p>a big pinch of sea salt</p> <p>juice of half a lemon</p> <p>1 tsp turmeric</p> <p>1 tsp Jamaican jerk seasoning (or similar)</p> <p>1 tsp cumin seens</p> <p>1 tsp mild curry powder</p> <p>1 cup cherry tomatoes</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Method:</p> <p>No need to do anything else but cook on a low flame for approx 20-30 mins.</p> <p>I have used no oil in this recipe. Serve with slices of avocado drizzled with lemon/balsamic and a handful of walnuts!<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Did you love this recipe? Please share it!</strong></p> <p>Would you like to make some amazing desserts that are free from refined sugar, gluten and dairy? Check out the store for some wonderful books and an online course that will save your cake life!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>, 08 Aug 2015 11:21:59 +0200Is it Time to Stop Buying Products that are Tested on Animals Yet?<p><em>When we take a good look at what is going on and stop hiding... we can discover the truth!</em>&nbsp;</p> <p>I<strong> remember in the 80&#39;s, in an English GCSE lesson, one of my friends gave a talk about</strong> animal rights. Half way through her presentation, she became so emotional about the subject that she broke down, crying inconsolably. We were about 15 at the time and we all wore badges (or buttons!) on our bags that said we were Against Animal Testing and Ban the Bomb. Anita Roddick was all the rage and we had a role model to look up to and were concerned about such issues.</p> <p>Then... it all faded. Suddenly, celebrities started to endorse a whole load of products&nbsp;for the bathroom and make-up bag that are definitely tested on animals. I don&#39;t see many people with badges anymore (or maybe I am not looking close enough). Yet&nbsp;Ricky Gervais keeps popping up on my news feed on Facebook with yet another plea to STOP all animal testing. And good on him! Because everytime I see his face, I remember... I must be mindful of what I am buying. I must think. I must be conscious.&nbsp;</p> <p>Everyone knew recently about the shockingly sad demise of poor Cecil the Lion... that beautiful&nbsp;and majestic creature, his life ripped away for a mere fanciful trophy.</p> <p>And meanwhile, animals every day are being treated so appallingly in the name of beauty and fashion. So my question is: can we put the same level of thought and concern into&nbsp;what is going on every day in the animal testing industry? I used to purposefully not watch any videos of animals being tested on because I could not bear it but now, I make sure I watch enough so that my mind can be educated. I won&#39;t share anything here. Just google it and find out... and then make up your mind.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>It is important to think about poor Cecil&nbsp;and to honour him. But there is nothing we can do about that tragedy now.</p> <p>However, we ALL have a very simple choice. We do not have to continue to buy products that are tested on animals. This is the truth. It is in our hands. We can all take a good look at what is in our cupboard and check online whether they test on animals or not. We can have conversations, find out, investigate the truth. And then... just stop buying.</p> <p>I know there are products we are all attached to but we can learn, we can change, we can alter our reality. I used to wear a lot of hairspray in the late 80&#39;s. I could not go without it. Then one day, a friend suggested that I try not wearing it and I haven&#39;t since. So one less consumer buying hairspray (which is great for the environment AND the animals AND my lungs!)</p> <p>It is 2015 now and I just wonder... when are we going to stop testing on animals? I really do believe that the answer is... when we stop buying.</p> <p>Of course, this goes for everything. There is a lot to sort out in this world, and a lot to clean up! But tonight, I just happen to be consciously thinking about animals being tested on when it is for beauty. Can we wear a mascara with a conscience?&nbsp;</p> <p>Please help me by making a list of companies who do NOT test on animals so we can support those products and eliminate the need altogether.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>, 02 Aug 2015 20:50:10 +0200The Most Amazing Raw Chocolate Cake in the World... Definitely! <p>OK, so quick disclaimer! I have tasted some pretty good raw chocolate cakes but this one... this one is my favourite-to-date and it is from our funki new recipe book which you can purchase <a href="">HERE!&nbsp;</a></p> <p>We discovered this amazing raw vegan coconut milk powder from this<a href=""> awesome company</a> in the UK. They are a small family run business and also sell the couverture chocolate drops which feature in this recipe too. You can get a MAHOOSIVE 1 KG bag of these babies (just cacao paste and coconut sugar!) for a superb price.</p> <p>So, let&#39;s get on with the recipe, shall we? &nbsp;This makes a small but delicious cake so if you want a big huge one for a birthday party then just double, triple or even quadruple the ingredients.</p> <p>And Kate Bush, if you are reading this by some miracle, this cake is for you!</p> <p><strong>For the cake you will need:</strong></p> <p>400g sticky medjool dates, pitted<br /> 100g couverture chocolate drops or 100g raw chocolate (melted)&nbsp;<br /> 200g cacao powder<br /> 3 tbsp raw honey (or maple syrup)<br /> 50g coconut milk powder (mix with a little warm water first)<br /> 50g cacao butter (melted)</p> <p><strong>Method:</strong></p> <p>Process all the above ingredients together in a food processor until all is incorporated. Keep scraping the sides if necessary</p> <p>Spoon the mixture into two small cake moulds and set in the freezer until firm but not frozen</p> <p><strong>For the buttercream frosting you will need:</strong></p> <p>50g coconut milk powder<br /> 1 tbsp maple syrup<br /> 1 tsp water<br /> 1 tsp coconut oil</p> <p><strong>Method:</strong></p> <p>Mix the above ingredients by hand with a spoon until fully incorporated.&nbsp;</p> <p>Take the firmed up cakes out of the freezer.<br /> Spread the cream on top of one of the cakes and place the other cake on top to make a sandwich!</p> <p><strong>For the glossy chocolate topping:</strong></p> <p>Simply melt 50g couverture chocolate drops (or 50g raw choc) and drizzle over the top. Decorate with more drops.</p> <p>Keep&nbsp;in the fridge for a gooey cake and in the freezer for a firmer cake.</p> <p><em><strong>Let me&nbsp;know if you enjoyed making this! If you&#39;d like to learn how to make amazing &#39;no-bake&#39; cakes that are free from gluten, wheat, eggs, dairy and refined white sugar then check out the amazing deal on my WonderCake 101 Raw Cake Crafting Course! It is TOO good to miss! :)</strong></em></p> <p>To find out how to make amazing healthy cakes for you and your family, then<a href=""> CLICK HERE!</a>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Did you love this recipe? Please share!</strong></p>, 31 Jul 2015 14:14:51 +0200An Honest Look at How Much I have in my Account Right Now<p><strong>There has never been a better time than right now to make money online!</strong></p> <p>I have products that people all over the world love reading and using and they tell me, via email and Facebook that what I do helps them to make a difference in their lives.</p> <p><em>That is so cool!</em></p> <p>I get a big thrill when I receive an email from someone who made one of my recipes and they tell me that they are able to still eat treats and lose weight/overcome an illness.</p> <p>So with all this amazingness, let&#39;s take a good look at my bank balance, right here, right now.</p> <p><strong>I have &pound;6 in my bank account.</strong></p> <p>That&#39;s it.</p> <p>No savings. Nothing else.&nbsp;</p> <p>I am one of those &#39;mumpreneurs&#39; who works and works and works... gets some results then works some more.&nbsp;</p> <p>Then crashes. And tells herself &#39;I am not good enough to do this. Why on earth would anyone listen to me anyway?&#39;&nbsp;</p> <p>This is no one&#39;s doing but my own and I totally get that! It is what I do.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>I need to stop it.</strong></p> <p>Then I receive an email saying &#39;Thank you! I love your work! What you do is amazing! And you blog on Huffington Post? So great!&#39; And someone with a high profile will love my book or order a cake. Another victory!</p> <p>I feel elated for a few moments then the hard work starts again but with very little return. But this is partly because I get an attack of the &#39;Who am I to be sharing this with the world?! Again. You can&#39;t just work hard for x amount of time. You need to continue to put some welly in!</p> <p>Working online is tough. It is not easy and all glamourous. It is a challenge, no scrap that, <strong>really</strong>, really hard to find your tribe. People are not always willing to share your work. Some are jealous. Some feel threatened by your apparent (or literal) success. Some people take your work and pass it off as their own. Some are just your friends and don&#39;t particularly want you bombarding their newsfeed with yet another &#39;Please share my work... I need to eat today&#39; posts! (and I totally get that! Don&#39;t worry friends!)</p> <p><strong>I do not want you to feel sorry for me or all those other people out there trying to really make it work.</strong></p> <p>I also don&#39;t care to hear &#39;why don&#39;t you go back to work?&#39;</p> <p>I am working.&nbsp;</p> <p>Full time.</p> <p>Baby, breastfeeding, motherhood... it is a 24 hour job. I have skills and talents and I am grateful that this online world exists because it has got me through the last year and put some food on our plates.</p> <p><strong>But we have &pound;6 in our bank account today.</strong></p> <p>This is not to say that this is my bank balance every day. Some months are much better. At the moment, I am building the business and what I would like all the good people to know starting their businesses up now is that not everyone will be earning hundreds of thousands in their first year. That is OK. Do not give up. Believe in your product.</p> <p>If you choose to sell online, expect a lot of rejection. Expect people who have had to work their way up from the ground, with help from the online community to reject you and ignore you and decide that your products and your vibe is not what they want. Expect some to say &#39;Well done&#39; and expect others to tell you to &#39;go and get a proper job&#39;, rather than this online palava.</p> <p><em>And you have to accept this and move the heck on!</em></p> <p>One thing I am grateful for on a daily basis is that I would not have had any business to speak of at all if I hadn&#39;t taken this<a href=""> superb course</a> which I recommend to all start-up entrepreneurs. From this, I have earned thousands... and this is after having a baby and typing with one left hand whilst baby breastfeeds. I am also reminded constantly by&nbsp;my business mentor that I need to keep on and that the hard work starts after I finish creating a product!</p> <p>&nbsp;I have done what many deem to be impossible however and every day I practice gratitude for everything we do have. I have paid bills and we have food. We teach our eldest the value of working hard and that when money is not in the bank, you have to pull out all the stops and not sit there idly wishing for money.</p> <p>So... what now? I will continue. And I hope you will too.&nbsp;</p> <p>Thanks for listening x</p> <p><strong>Are you a mumpreneur trying to make it work and finding it a challenge? What do you suggest we all do to help each other? How can we raise each other up? How can we enable each other to be successful?</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>ps Since writing this post, I have had 7 sales.See? It will get better! Just believe in yourself, put effort in every day and believe in yourself and what you have to offer.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Was this post helpful to you? Please do pass it on! Thank you x</strong></p>, 25 Jul 2015 15:04:24 +0200Caramelia Cakery: Unbaked - New Recipe Book Out Now<p>After three years of&nbsp;cake and treat crafting, <strong>Caramelia Cakery</strong> has created more recipes for you to enjoy with your family, in this, their second recipe book!&nbsp;Raw, un-baked, free-from gluten, dairy, refined white sugar and eggs, there are so many gorgeous recipes in this book, you won&#39;t know where to start!&nbsp;</p> <p>It is easy to get these ingredients now as we are living in a time where traders are waking up to the fact that we need to be eating a healthier diet. These cakes, treats, shakes and cheesecakes, whilst healthy are also completely decadent so there is no compromise on taste!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Featured recipes are:</strong></p> <p><strong>Apricot and Lemon Trail Cheesecake</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Raw Toffee Caramel Bars</em></p> <p><strong>Ganesh Pie</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Summer Berry White Chocolate Cheesecake&nbsp;</em></p> <p><strong>Pistachio and Rose Baklava Cake-Shake</strong></p> <p><em>and much, much more!</em></p> <p>Delve into this book and enjoy<strong> Victoria</strong>&nbsp;and <strong>Peace&#39;s</strong> sumptuous delights!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><span style="font-size:26px">Buy now for ONLY &pound;5.00/$7.80!&nbsp;</span></strong><br /> <em>Usual price, &pound;7.50/$11.95!</em></p>, 01 Jul 2015 14:20:45 +0200A Story about Prayer, Money, Life, Miracles and a Really Great Skype Session with an Earth Angel!<p><strong>Which of these statements do you agree with?</strong></p> <ul> <li>Life can be awesome!</li> <li>Life can be really tough!</li> <li>Some days I feel on top of the world!</li> <li>Some days&hellip; the weight of the world gets me down.</li> <li>I have a business that I think is awesome!</li> <li>I am not quite sure how to get my business moving forward&hellip; I am stuck!</li> <li>I say prayers for assistance to help me with every day life and miracles happen every day.</li> </ul> <p>For me, all of these are true! I LOVE life but I wouldn&rsquo;t be a human being if I was untouched by the daily atrocities that happen throughout the world. I also feel grateful for everything we have&hellip; but sometimes I think OH MY GOD! How are we going to eat tonight?!</p> <p>Money is nearly always tight with us but I am learning to not keep saying &lsquo;We don&rsquo;t have any money&rsquo;.. because inevitably there is always at least &pound;1 in the bank! Husband is at Uni. I was on state maternity and now and building my business. So when we got a quote the other day for &pound;1700 to do some repair work on our property back where we used to live&hellip; it was hard not to freak out.</p> <p>Yet I had to remind myself. Vick! God is ALWAYS there and when you ask, He answers.</p> <p>At this point, I want to pause. Whether you pray or not, have a faith or not, believe in a Higher power or not&hellip; this is how this works for me. So I want to share it because it not only works&hellip; it works in THE most amazing way! And I didn&rsquo;t have to go on a course to learn this. I have put it into practise and it never fails me.</p> <p>I know some people will be hugely sceptical about all of this but that is ok! Either this isn&rsquo;t for you or&hellip; maybe you have never tried it! If you have tried every thing else and not this, then I invite you to give it a go.</p> <p>You do NOT need to be aligned with any faith to say a prayer and have it answered. I considered myself no faith at all when I was younger and received miraculous answers to prayer. I considered myself a Christian and&hellip; prayers still answered! I have been a Baha&rsquo;i (<a href=""></a>) since age 13... prayers answered in ways I am just constantly dumbfounded by!</p> <p>Now, the next few examples are money oriented. I want you to know that my life is not at all about money - it is about love and service and what we need as a family and I am happy to trust God completely that this amazing Divine Source of All-Knowing energy KNOWS exactly what I need and when I need it. Not that there is anything wrong with money. As my 8 year old daughter said randomly the other day... &#39;Mummy... money is like an energy, isn&#39;t it? Just coming to us and then we spend it but then it comes back again like waves in the sea.&#39; WAH!!</p> <p>But I also believe that I need to ask. I need to sit down and say that prayer (or walk and say that prayer). I need to ask, ask ask! I have ALWAYS received an answer. Whether it&rsquo;s an inner knowing, someone coming into my life with the answer&hellip; ok let me give you a few examples and the first one is...</p> <p>We lived in China. We were due to come back and had NOTHING. We gave away all our furniture and most of our possessions as we thought we&rsquo;d stay out there for longer. I had to cut my contract short at the school I was working at and I had to pay them money and lost earnings, all to the tune of &pound;10,000.</p> <p>I was six months pregnant and we had one more month in China. Where were we going to live when we got back? We said prayers every. single. day. In fact&hellip; every moment of every day! Literally! I have a running prayer in my head sometimes and it is simply, Please God&hellip; I cannot do this without You. I need your help, your assistance, your guidance.</p> <p>Rewind a few months. As soon as we got to China and were settled in our apartment, I had a really vivid dream. I woke up and told my husband. It was SO clear. I dreamt we had come back from China and we were given a home to live in. It was small but also large and was exactly what we needed. And it was free.</p> <p>Two months later, I had the same dream. Different home, but free!</p> <p>I started to pray about our return&hellip; I knew to trust completely and I knew to ask but I felt my resolve faltering&hellip; how could we possibly find somewhere to live. We would be going home to the UK with NO money!! Tom kept reminding me to trust.</p> <p>I had the dream one more time. We would return and be given somewhere to live, for free.</p> <p>I spoke to a friend about not having anywhere...</p> <p>She mentioned this to another mutual friend and then she got in touch with me.</p> <p>&quot;I have spoke to my mum&hellip; when you get back, you can stay in her flat... (for free!)</p> <p>Seriously&hellip; I was floored! We stayed there, in a fully furnished flat for three months, and were only asked to contribute towards bills. I was able to have the birth I wanted and rest and relax&hellip; it was a safe haven. We all felt truly blessed. It was exactly what we needed.</p> <p>Now let&rsquo;s rewind a few years. We made some serious money mistakes. We were in debt. There was NO way at that point, or so it seemed, that we&rsquo;d be able to raise the extra money to pay off the thousands and thousands of pounds we had borrowed.</p> <p>I was standing in our kitchen. We had already prayed and prayed&hellip; every day the stress of it all was getting worse and worse. I stood in our kitchen and just said&hellip; &#39;God! I know that this is a lot to ask&hellip; but I know that in reality it is nothing too. Please&hellip; we need about &pound;15,000 to clear our debt. We cannot do this alone.&quot;</p> <p>A few days later, we received some mail. This letter was from an old finance company that every now and then would send us a mailout to get a new loan from them. We had cut all of our cards up years ago however and every time we got something from them it would go straight into the recycling bin.</p> <p>Same company, same envelope, but this time, as I held it in my hands I had an overwhelming urge to open THIS one. I had NO idea why but something made me do it&hellip; I don&rsquo;t mean an external force. It was just a... I have got to open this! But my mind was telling me PUT IT IN THE BIN!</p> <p>I read the letter&hellip; something told me to keep reading, keep reading. Then I felt a thunderbolt jolt through my body as my heart skipped several beats.</p> <p>There is was, in black and white.</p> <p><strong>WE OWE YOU &pound;15,000</strong></p> <p>Shaking, I took it down to the cellar to show my husband as I thought it must be a fake. But it was a PPI claim, (that we had never filed!)</p> <p>We received our cheque for (just under! After tax!) &pound;15,000 a couple of weeks later and paid off swathes of debt.</p> <p>I cannot stand here and tell you why this happened. All I know is that I asked, directly and was answered.</p> <p>Forward wind now to us arriving back from China, with literally NO money. So we were staying in this gorgeous fully-furnished flat. We needed to buy a car, live, buy food etc. We had a gift from a relative for &pound;1000. Tom filed a tax claim and we received another &pound;1000. We sorted through our post from being away and there was a cheque that we nearly missed for &pound;3000. The amount was exactly what we needed and not a penny more!</p> <p>Coming back from living in another country, having had the best experience ever and returning totally on faith that all would be well&hellip; trusting in God that everything will be provided... it is just intense and crazy and wonderful all at the same time.</p> <p>Living in that flat, we knew we had to move on and rent somewhere by the sea. We had applied short term for some benefits whilst Tom looked for work (and he didn&rsquo;t get a single bite!) However, we had just enough to see us through the holidays. We looked for a home in Kent where we were going to relocate but it was looking hairy&hellip; we were wondering how on earth we were going to be able to purchase beds, wardrobes, cutlery, towels... literally we just had six suitcases of belongings!</p> <p>To cut a really long story a bit short, we finally found somewhere by the sea that was fully furnished. Ridiculously so! To tea towels, an iron, chairs, table and even&hellip; towels!</p> <p>And now&hellip; for the present. Today in fact. Back to that massive bill of &pound;1700 that we needed to pay.</p> <p>And when we added up what we needed (paying the car, a friend who had bought something for us recently and a short-term loan from the in-laws,<strong> it came to just over &pound;3100</strong>.</p> <p>This morning, an amazing friend from Ireland, Nichola Sherlock, (the Earth Angel I referred to in the title of this post!) called me for a special 1:1 chat. She was giving this to me for free to thank me because I had organised a fund-raising concert a couple of years previously for her daughter who suffered from terrible burns to her face in an accident involving head lice solution and a naked flame.</p> <p>And here we were, chatting on Skype! It was AMAZING to hear Nichola&rsquo;s voice! We have known each other for a few years on Facebook and to make this deeper connection was just so powerful.</p> <p>Nichola instantly (in under 30 seconds!) got to the root cause of why I was holding myself back in my business (and it was a big surprise!) We chatted for 15 minutes in a whirlwind of wonder, with her talking beautifully and holding me in the most sacred and lovely space. I was listened to and as she is very intuitive and in tune, she had lots of things to say to me that I scribbled down furiously because they were all one hundred per cent spot on!</p> <p>Then my husband came into the room and I had to pause&hellip; because he was shaking a bit of paper under my nose with yet another PPI claim that had arrived at that exact moment. It was for&hellip; can you guess?</p> <p><strong>&pound;3,100!</strong></p> <p><strong>EXACTLY</strong> what we needed and not a penny more.</p> <p>I continued with my session with Nichola and life will also continue. And some days will still be a struggle and some days we will feel victorious and others we will be wondering WHY?!</p> <p>But praying for me is such a reality. It is not whimsical. It is absolute. I could include many more stories here about the power of prayer but I am saving that for my new book which will come out&hellip;. at some point!</p> <p>I just wanted to share this now because every single day I hear from people who are hurting. Who are desperate. Who are living under the shadow of things which are plasters (band aids) on what lies beneath. I have never felt so confident and so astounded by the power of prayer. I read set prayers from the Baha&rsquo;i writings which are stunningly beautiful and as illustrated in this post, I sometimes just voice it all out loud.</p> <p>When I say my prayers are always answered, this does not mean I always get what I want. I don&#39;t feel like I need to have it all and I also believe that this life really is the place for us to develop our spiritual qualities. Pain, suffering ... All of this is hard to understand. A lot of it is our own doing. Some things just seem to happen. If we try and do it all alone, well from my experience is it all a lot harder and a tougher road to take.</p> <p>I want to tell you more! I want you to know that really&hellip; I know people from ALL faiths and none and prayers are answered everywhere.</p> <p>I can&rsquo;t wait to share much, much more on this subject but for now, would you like to try it out?</p> <p>It does not have to be money related at all. It could be to solve any difficulty.</p> <p>Because even though we sometimes feel that there is NO way out and that life is ruined&hellip; that things cannot change and there is no escape&hellip; I KNOW the opposite to be true.</p> <p>Just standing in that kitchen all those years ago&hellip; asking for what I felt was an enormous sum of money and to receive it so randomly&hellip; God is a name to describe something we cannot describe. The wind is so powerful yet we can only see it in the shape and form of actions, such as leaves dancing in the breeze or waves raging in a storm. This power is REAL.</p> <p>Love x</p> <p>One of the prayers I say, (well, actually sing!) every single day with my family is:</p> <p><strong>Armed with the power of Thy name, nothing can ever hurt me and with Thy love in my heart all the world&#39;s afflictions can in no wise alarm me.</strong><br /> <em>Baha&#39;u&#39;llah</em></p>, 26 Feb 2015 19:05:00 +0100Learn to Easily Make Delicious, Nutritious Cakes!<div id="section_one"> <div class="sectOneTxt"> <div class="wideHolderSecOne "> <div class="odd"><img class="wc-star" src="/sites/1361268160/images/blueStarOneSmall.png" /> <p>Do you want to cut out white refined sugar but still want to make cakes and treats for you and your family that taste even better than shop bought goodies?</p> </div> <div class="even"><img class="wc-star" src="/sites/1361268160/images/blueStarTwoSmall.png" /> <p>Do you want to literally have your cake and eat it, with the knowledge that you are nourishing your body AND mind?</p> </div> <div class="odd"><img class="wc-star" src="/sites/1361268160/images/blueStarOneSmall.png" /> <p>Do you want your family to be eating cakes and treats&nbsp;that are <strong>free</strong> from potentially harmful&nbsp;additives and artificial colours and to be eating gorgeous and natural produce instead?</p> </div> <div class="even"><img class="wc-star" src="/sites/1361268160/images/blueStarTwoSmall.png" /> <p>Would you love to be able to make a profit from making your own WonderCake creations, selling them to friends and beyond?</p> </div> <div class="odd last"><img class="wc-star" src="/sites/1361268160/images/blueStarOneSmall.png" /> <p>Would you just love to sink your teeth into a cake that requires NO cooking or baking, that is <strong>free from</strong> gluten, refined sugar, eggs and dairy, yet still tastes like a slice of heaven?</p> </div> </div> <div class="wideHolderSecOne cText"> <p>Then you have most definitely come to the right place! Welcome to the decadently tasty AND nutritious world of MamaBabaDo&#39;s Caramelia Cakery... it&#39;s a sparkly place to be!</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="salesStrip"> <div class="salesStripInner"> <div class="salesMid"> <p><a class="payClick_big jPay" href=";new=14&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">WonderCake Crafting 101 is available now</a></p> <p><a class="jPay" href=";new=14&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">Learn raw cake crafting at your own pace</a></p> </div> <div class="salesLeft"><a class="jPay" href=";new=14&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/"><img alt="Enrol now on the WonderCake Crafting 101 eLearning Course" src="/sites/1361268160/images/enrolNowButton.png" /></a></div> <div class="salesRight"> <p><a class="payClick jPay" href=";new=14&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">Nine Week eLearning course + Email Support + FaceBook Support Group Access</a><br /> <a class="payClick_big jPay" href=";new=14&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">CLICK HERE TO ENROL NOW</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div id="section_three"> <div class="secThreeUpper"> <div class="secThreeTitle"> <div class="secThreeTitleTop bigPinkText"> <p>In this nine week e-course you will learn all of my cake-making secrets.</p> </div> <div class="secThreeTitleStarsLeft"><img alt="Wondercake crafting 101 course detials" src="/sites/1361268160/images/wonderCake-Cakes.jpg" /></div> <div class="secThreeTitleBottom bigPinkText"> <p>Here&#39;s what you&#39;ll get for participating in my WonderCake Course!</p> </div> </div> <div class="wideHolderSecThree "> <ul> <li>Make amazing cakes using only the finest natural ingredients that you, your family and friends will love and devour. Discover how to use fruits and vegetables to make your cakes come alive in a burst of natural colours. Your cakes will taste incredible and look aesthetically awesome!</li> <li>Make the most of your equipment to get different textures and flavours through various exciting processing methods</li> <li>Craft your own WonderCakes that you can choose to either eat yourself or SELL for a profit! I will talk you through everything I did to set myself up and sell recipe books. I will make it a walk in the park - AND you will get my personal assistance every step of the way if you decide to do that!</li> <li>Make glorious and beautiful layers with superfoods to make your cakes exquisite and stand out from the rest of the cakes on the pot luck or party table!</li> <li>Learn how to use moulds to create different effects and to make your cakes look professional, with minimum fuss and effort.</li> </ul> </div> <h2>Making raw cakes is easier than you think!</h2> </div> <div class="secThreeLower"> <p>I know this because I am not a natural cake baker.</p> <div class="secThreeLowerLeft"> <p>When I discovered I had a talent for making raw cakes (cakes that require no cooking!) with natural ingredients and which could pass as some or more of my &#39;five a day&#39;, I was over the moon! When people started to buy my cakes, I couldn&#39;t believe it! Many people attended my workshops and said things like &#39;I love your cakes - I&#39;d never be able to make them like you though!&#39; Then I would teach them a few tricks and they&#39;d be making creations to rival mine!</p> </div> <div class="secThreeLowerRight"> <p>I then launched my first recipe e book and it sold 1000 copies! That&#39;s just little me, making my humble (yet awesome!) cakes and making MONEY from them!</p> <p>So guess what! I will also teach you how YOU can make a profit from selling cakes and recipe books - all in a pinch! Easy to do... nothing fancy required. Just a bit of effort and lots of passion!</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="salesStrip"> <div class="salesStripInner"> <div class="salesMid"> <p><a class="payClick_big jPay" href=";new=14&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">WonderCake Crafting 101 is available now</a></p> <p><a class="jPay" href=";new=14&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">Learn raw cake crafting at your own pace</a></p> </div> <div class="salesLeft"><a class="jPay" href=";new=14&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/"><img alt="Enrol now on the WonderCake Crafting 101 eLearning Course" src="/sites/1361268160/images/enrolNowButton.png" /></a></div> <div class="salesRight"> <p><a class="payClick jPay" href=";new=14&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">Nine Week eLearning course + Email Support + FaceBook Support Group Access</a><br /> <a class="payClick_big jPay" href=";new=14&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">CLICK HERE TO ENROL NOW</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div id="section_four"> <div class="mainHolderSecFour "> <div class="secFourTop"> <h2>Treat yourself to an amazing new skill. Here&#39;s what you get:</h2> <div class="wideHolderSecFour"> <ul> <li>Nine-week e-course on cake-crafting</li> <li>Admission to my private VIC facebook group (Very Important Cakes - only for e-course participants!) where I will be there on hand to answer any cake-making queries and you&#39;ll get new videos and recipes FIRST!</li> <li>One year of free email support when ever you need it for me to guide you through making or selling your cakes.</li> </ul> </div> <div class="clear">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="secFourMid"><img alt="wondercake crafting 101 elearning course run down" class="left" src="/sites/1361268160/images/pinkStarTransLeft.png" /><img alt="wondercake crafting 101 elearning course run down" class="right" src="/sites/1361268160/images/pinkStarTransRight.png" /> <div class="exBigPinkText"> <p>Here&#39;s a run-down of the weekly Modules, delivered each week straight to your inbox!</p> </div> <div class="bigPinkText"> <p>Remember, you will be able to do the work when YOU are free and when you have the time.</p> </div> <p>Each lesson I deliver to you will combine a mixture of video tutorials, PDF workbooks and full assistance from me in the VIC Facebook group, whenever you need me.</p> <div class="clear">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="secFourModules"><img alt="participants enjoying themselves at a wondercake workshop" class="elDisp right" src="/sites/1361268160/images/wonderCakeWorkshops.png" /> <div class="wideHolderSecFour "> <ul> <li><strong>WonderCake Crafting - The Introduction!</strong><br /> In this lesson, I will introduce you to everything you need: materials, ingredients and tools to make fabulous cakes.</li> <li><strong>Crafting Colours, Crafting Taste</strong><br /> In this lesson, you will learn how to make vibrant colours using only natural ingredients and I will show you how to get the best effects when you come to make your own cakes. You will also learn how to make cakes taste delightful... there&#39;s a trick to it! It takes some practice but it is well worth it.</li> <li><strong>Cake Time! </strong><br /> I will teach you how to make my signature Cake of Wonderment! There is an adapted version in my current recipe book but this is the real deal and it gets everybody talking at the dinner table. Get your apron on ready!</li> <li><strong>Crafting a Cake</strong><br /> In this lesson, I will guide you how to make your own cake! This will involve posting your efforts up (either in videos or photos) on the VIC Facebook group - it is as if you are in a physical workshop with me!</li> <li><strong>Cake Time Part 2!</strong><br /> I show you step-by-step how to make my indulgent raw Caramelia Christmas Cake - this WILL blow everyone&#39;s socks off at Christmas time and I will add in some extras too - how to decorate your incredible raw Christmas Cake!</li> <li><strong>Cake Time Part 3!</strong><br /> I will share with you my top secret divinely incredible chocolate cake recipe... it is SO good but keep the recipe SHHH!!</li> <li><strong>Crafting a Cake Part 2</strong><br /> Now it is time to put all your learned knowledge to practice again. You will make a whole cake from start to finish and I will help you plan it and guide you through as much as you need. This time, you will need taste testers and we will post the results up and share... then you will be able to see how you could tweak it or what went perfectly right!</li> <li><strong>Finishing touches</strong><br /> In this lesson, I will show you how with a few simple flourishes, you can make cakes look really great... even good enough to sell!</li> <li><strong>The Big Sell</strong><br /> This is the final lesson for this course and I will take you through what I did to set myself up to sell my cakes.</li> </ul> </div> <div class="clear">&nbsp;</div> <p>So that&#39;s the course... :) I am so excited to share the cake-crafting journey with you! Let&#39;s get you making cakes in no time!</p> </div> <div class="secFourBottom"><img alt="wondercake crafting 101 please enrol now" src="/sites/1361268160/images/logoPinkSmall.png" /> <h2>The course is available now</h2> <p>Enrol NOW and start making awesome healthy cakes</p> <p>Available only through the Nourished Village.</p> <p>I will also give you a free video and tutorial on how to get a simple recipe book together, how to sell it AND how to set up a launch on Facebook! I did this myself and sold 300 books in 24 hours - I can tell you, I was super pleased with that and got to keep 100% of the profits!</p> <p>You also get free admission to the secret VIC Facebook group - I will be very active in there, answering any questions you might have.</p> <p>Free email support for a year! ANYTIME you want my input on Cake-Crafting!</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="salesStrip"> <div class="salesStripInner"> <div class="salesMid"> <p><a class="payClick_big jPay" href=";new=14&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">WonderCake Crafting 101 is available now</a></p> <p><a class="jPay" href=";new=14&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">Learn raw cake crafting at your own pace</a></p> </div> <div class="salesLeft"><a class="jPay" href=";new=14&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/"><img alt="Enrol now on the WonderCake Crafting 101 eLearning Course" src="/sites/1361268160/images/enrolNowButton.png" /></a></div> <div class="salesRight"> <p><a class="payClick jPay" href=";new=14&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">Nine Week eLearning course + Email Support + FaceBook Support Group Access</a><br /> <a class="payClick_big jPay" href=";new=14&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">CLICK HERE TO ENROL NOW</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div id="section_five"> <div class="mainHolderSecFive "> <h2>Here&#39;s what other people thought about their cake crafting experiences</h2> <div class="wideHolderSecFive"><img alt="WonderCake Crafting what you learn" src="/sites/1361268160/images/wondercakeTestimonialStarKerchara.jpg" /> <p>I was lucky enough to attend one of Victoria&#39;s live cakery workshops last year and wow was the 5-hour journey to London worth it. Not only did I get to make an epic Cake of Wonderment but I learned loads about where to get some super-cool ingredients too. Victoria is such a darlin&#39; and genuinely cares about giving everyone the best darn healthy cake experiences in the world. As a certified &quot;cake queen&quot; with allergies to everything, I can&#39;t recommend Victoria&#39;s courses and classes enough. She&#39;s yummy!<br /> - <em>Star Khechara, Bad-Ass Biz Babe and vegan cake muncher (attended workshop in London UK)</em></p> </div> <div class="wideHolderSecFive"><img alt="WonderCake Crafting what you learn" src="/sites/1361268160/images/wondercakeTestimonialMartonClark.jpg" /> <p>I really enjoyed Victoria&#39;s Caramelia Cakery workshop at The Raw Chef&#39;s HQ in Brixton, London. Victoria expertly led a three-hour class, showing us creative ways to make our own amazingly magical and delicious all-raw, all-natural cakes. I&#39;d definitely recommend Victoria&#39;s workshops (and eating her cakes!) as part of a natural and healthy lifestyle.<br /> - <em>Martin Clark, Editor Om Yoga Magazine (attended workshop in London UK)</em></p> </div> <div class="wideHolderSecFive"><img alt="WonderCake Crafting what you learn" src="/sites/1361268160/images/wondercakeTestimonialNinaLembecke.jpg" /> <p>The wonderful Victoria Jane Leith did an amazing job of showing us some of her great creations and let us experiment, learn, and create for ourselves.<br /> - <em>Nina Lembcke-Beattie (attended workshop in Northants UK)</em></p> </div> <div class="wideHolderSecFive"><img alt="WonderCake Crafting what you learn" src="/sites/1361268160/images/wondercakeTestimonialLouArmitt.jpg" /> <p>I had tasted Victoria&#39;s cakes before, (so I&#39;ve been to tummy heaven a few times!) but how they were made was a complete mystery, until I was able to attend a workshop. It was beyond all expectation, fun, fascinating and thought-provoking. My 12-year-old daughter loved it too, and came home saying, &quot;There&#39;s not much point in living if you&#39;re not learning, is there Mummy?&quot; Victoria is a wonderful teacher and I&#39;d recommend anyone to go on her workshops who is interested in food that is delicious and nutritious.<br /> - <em>Lou Armitt, Film Maker (attended workshop in Northants UK)</em></p> </div> <div class="wideHolderSecFive"><img alt="WonderCake Crafting what you learn" src="/sites/1361268160/images/wondercakeTestimonialEmmaStott.jpg" /> <p>Wow this girl makes great magical cakes! The afternoon was a wonderful shared space of creation led by Victoria and offered a great opportunity to come together, exchange share and learn, and needless to say all the beautiful vibrant cakes were yummy too.<br /> - <em>Emma Stott (attended workshop in Northants UK)</em></p> </div> <div class="clear">&nbsp;</div> </div> </div> <div class="salesStrip"> <div class="salesStripInner"> <div class="salesMid"> <p><a class="payClick_big jPay" href=";new=14&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">WonderCake Crafting 101 is available now</a></p> <p><a class="jPay" href=";new=14&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">Learn raw cake crafting at your own pace</a></p> </div> <div class="salesLeft"><a class="jPay" href=";new=14&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/"><img alt="Enrol now on the WonderCake Crafting 101 eLearning Course" src="/sites/1361268160/images/enrolNowButton.png" /></a></div> <div class="salesRight"> <p><a class="payClick jPay" href=";new=14&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">Nine Week eLearning course + Email Support + FaceBook Support Group Access</a><br /> <a class="payClick_big jPay" href=";new=14&amp;from=/raw-health-glutenfree-store/">CLICK HERE TO ENROL NOW</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div id="section_six"> <div class="wideHolderSecSix "> <p><strong>What happens during the enrolment process?</strong><br /> Once you&#39;ve clicked the Enrol Now button an item will be added to your cart in your chosen currency, you can add other items if you wish and pay for them all in one go. Once you are ready to pay, go to the cart page and go through to the checkout oppose, you will then be able to pay via Paypal by clicking the &quot;pay&quot; button (you don&#39;t need a Paypal account to pay) you will then be taken to Paypal to make your payment. After payment has been received you will be brought back to this site automatically, if you&#39;ve paid with your PayPal account. If you&#39;ve paid with a credit or debit card you need to follow the instuctions in Paypal to return to this site.</p> <p>On your return you&#39;ll be presented with the sign up form. Fill out your details and follow the simple instructions and you&#39;re ready to go.</p> <p>I look forward to seeing you on the course.</p> <img alt="victoria leith wondercake crafting 101" src="/sites/1361268160/images/wondercakeVictoriaLeithSignature.png" /></div> </div> <div id="dialog-message">&nbsp;</div>, 20 Feb 2015 15:53:08 +0100FREE BOOK! 30 Recipes for your Dehydrator<p>30 delicious recipes from the kitchen of Victoria Leith!</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD</a></p>, 18 Feb 2015 11:08:38 +010030 Days in the Raw<p>A few years ago, I conducted an experiment. I went &#39;raw&#39; for 30 days, which meant I ate nothing but raw, unprocessed, fresh and live, nutrient-dense food. What happened? What results did I find?</p> <p>Would you like to take the raw for 30 days challenge? I witnessed amazing results and so might you! Why not try it yourself? New year, new you?! Includes 25 incredible recipes, my 30-day diary, before-and-after photos of my transformation in 30 days plus your very own planner to kick-start YOUR 30 days! Not for you? Why not gift to a friend!</p>, 18 Feb 2015 11:05:35 +0100Caramelia Cakery: The Raw Un-Bakery<p>This is my first recipe e book and is full of incredible delights that are full of really good stuff like nuts, seeds, pure cacao and coconut butters, raw honey, fruits and veggies.</p> <p>If you love cake but also love your healthy life, look no further! From &#39;Rawlos&#39; to full-on birthday cake, this book will change your cake life!</p> <p>If you want treats that are free from gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, refined sugars and flours and that also have NO artificial colours of flavours (what!? Amazing!) then look no futher! Tried and tested on my little family, lots of friends and a few strangers!</p> <p>Completely vegan? This book is STILL for you as you can substitute any recipe that calls for raw honey with maple or coconut syrup (or any other sweetener that you choose!)</p>, 18 Feb 2015 11:00:18 +0100The World was so Busy Arguing About Vaccines that it Forgot what was also Making our Children Sick<p>Let&#39;s not lose our heads about this...</p> <p>Every time I go on the internet, I see blog posts, written by writers who just want to share a different side to things, an alternative view or just simply, a humble opinion. Then I see in the comments section below, a barrage of abuse, death threats, profanity&hellip; what happened!?</p> <p>The latest and greatest debate&hellip; the one about vaccinations (you surely can&rsquo;t have missed it!) has got people from all walks of life talking. Well, sharing opinions. Ok&hellip; slating each other viciously and violently. I have read some shockers. I have read abuse from both sides. I have seen how scared people have been to post that they don&rsquo;t vaccinate or that they do&hellip; in my opinion, we still have a choice in the UK and no, I do not think it is clear cut. And no, I am not &#39;anti&#39; vaccination. I am all for seeking the truth about things though and I know that when our health visitor told us &#39;No, you cannot see the list of ingredients&#39; and &#39;Vaccines are 100 per cent safe&#39; I felt very annoyed because I believe I have a right to know what goes into mine and my children&#39;s bodies and no... they are not 100 per cent safe.</p> <p>And some people I know or have read about whose children have had vaccine damage have done so because they were allergic to an ingredient in the vaccine. This system is not perfect and I am sure we will see changes over the next few decades on this... We had a government years ago who said &lsquo;vaccinate vaccine vaccinate&rsquo; and a prime minister who refused to tell us what he had chosen for his family. I know friends who have had family members suffer damage from vaccines and likewise, damage from illness. I and my whole family had measles as children with no complications and &lsquo;measles parties&#39; were popular. I remember when my brothers got measles first I got really upset&hellip; I wanted the measles too! My worst memory from this time was that I got all dressed up to go to a party that every single child on our council estate was going to&hellip; I had my fairy wings on ready to go and was filled with excitement. Then my step-mum noticed my rash and that was that. No party and I was devastated! I got to watch the news at ten and I had a high temperature.</p> <p><strong>Anyway, this article has nothing to do with whether we should vaccinate or not.</strong><br /> No matter what anyone says, by law, you still have the choice. For every person that tells me that parents should vaccinate, another tells me a reason why not. I find it all utterly confusing and sad that we have come to this point of being able to write the words to unvaccinating parents &lsquo;You should all be rounded up and shot&rsquo;. Wow.</p> <p>This is what I find most interesting and would genuinely like to open up a healthy dialogue about this. It has been bothering me for some time (since I had children!) and I feel that if we are able to get up in arms about the issue of vaccinating, or not, then what happened to this area of debate, which if statistics are anything to go by, are far more shocking.</p> <p><strong>Have you guessed what it is yet? I will give you a few more clues!</strong></p> <ul> <li>This product when over-consumed is helping to create disease and illness in our children&rsquo;s bodies</li> <li>Over eating on this product is encouraging obesity in children (of all ages)</li> <li>It is making them likely candidates for diabetes and heart disease.</li> <li>There is no vaccination for the diseases this products contributes to. It all comes down to whether we let our children over consume it or not.</li> <li>This product is addictive, has been likened to heroin and some scientists say that if we were to discover this product now, it would be banned.</li> <li>It is served liberally in our breakfast cereals, in bread, in children&rsquo;s drinks, in puddings, chocolate, sweeties and we are letting them consume it in larger and larger quantities&hellip; ok I know you guessed it by now!</li> </ul> <p><strong>SUGAR!</strong><br /> When one of my friends once discovered that shock horror, I did not let my then six year old drink Coca Cola, I was told I was mean and I should let her have it every now and then&hellip; no harm can come from it.</p> <p>The thing is, if you don&rsquo;t give your children sugary products these days, you are seen as a little bit left-of-centre&hellip; a bit wacky, abnormal, strange, overly health-conscious. I have certainly been called some names and that is just based on my EFFORTS and intentions, not even by what I always do! I have felt quite often that when we are in group situations, I have let our child have far more sugar than I wanted because that is what everyone else was doing. And it was only one day... The next day, we all suffer for this decision.</p> <p>But here&rsquo;s the thing. I am not knocking anyone here as I am doing this to my child too. I know that sugar is addictive and I know that the World Health Organisation has predicted that there will be 2.3 BILLION overweight adults in the world by 2015 and that diabetes is really not so uncommon these days&hellip; this is serious.</p> <p>If you walk into any superstore, just look at the aisle upon aisle stocked high with products filled with refined white sugar. It is so easy to buy. And we are receiving mixed messages constantly, just like with vaccinations except this time, we are willingly letting our children consume this stuff, become addicted to it then wonder why:</p> <ul> <li>they need decayed teeth extracting (according to our dentist, this is down to WHEN our children are eating sugar. Sitting down and sucking candies over the space of an hour or two is not going to help their teeth. He says if they are going to consume sugar at all, to have some after a meal.)</li> <li>their behaviour is fractured and erratic</li> <li>they have stomach aches</li> <li>they have withdrawal symptoms that they don&rsquo;t recognise so they get angry and confused</li> <li>they cannot go for one single day without sugar and in some extreme cases, become very, very sick and morbidly obese through excessive consumption of candies, fast food and white bread/pasta.</li> </ul> <p>According to Miles Kasiri, a qualified Nutritional Therapist who works with many patients every week and has seen first hand some of the devastating effects of a poor diet, over consumption of sugar can lead to a whole host of maladies and illness and there are too many to list here!</p> <p>So why is it that we are terrified of our children contracting say, the measles virus but not becoming diabetic? Because from where I am standing, it looks far more likely for the latter. Why do we stress about tuberculosis but not about rotting teeth? Why are we happy to tell a parent who has researched for years about vaccinations and has decided not to vaccinate that they are responsible for the illness and death of other vaccinated children but are not happy to consider that we are also then equally as responsible for any illness our children might get when they are older due to their poor diet?</p> <p>No one wants their child to be sick! We all have that in common! I do not want my child to go through the horrors of becoming diabetic. Yet when I have expressed my stance on sugar in the past, I have been shouted down, talked over, ridiculed and told I am an over-protective parent.</p> <p>So please&hellip; can we talk about this? With love? With the desire to seek a better life for our most precious and amazing children? They deserve us to have this conversation. There is enough on the internet at the moment to think about with regards to vaccination and let every one make their independent choices there. But I don&#39;t see the same discussions about sugar. The discussions, in my opinion, need to happen. If unvaccinated children should wear stickers (a suggestion I read earlier!) then how about stickers for parents who let their children drink coke at every meal? Can I just go up to the next parent who is letting their very young child drink a fizzy, sugary drink and ask them not to? No! Of course not and I wouldn&#39;t ever dream of doing such a thing! But what if that parent lets that child drink one or two fizzy drinks every day for the next ten years and the child does become diabetic? Should that parent go to prison? Because again, I read a view earlier that parents of unvaccinated children should be locked up.</p> <p><strong>The real deal is this.</strong><br /> No one is going to think badly of you if you serve just fruit at your next gathering. Or if you make a cake using more wholesome ingredients instead of Betty Crocker icing. Or if you get the Switch Witch to visit your child to magic away their Halloween candy for something they can use instead. Or if you teach your child the amazing wonder of having a clear mind and a healthy body free of addiction. Because if you are like me, you have spent most of your adult life trying to free yourself from being addicted to refined white sugar.</p> <p>But in the meantime, could we look into how to enable our children to be as healthy and happy as they possibly can? Because I don&rsquo;t want to have to explain to my two daughters when they are twenty&hellip; it was my fault. I ALLOWED you to eat sugar every single day. And I never stopped you. I thought I was limiting your intake but the lines got so blurry that ten years passed and I never realised fully the extent how much white refined sugar I was giving you.</p> <p>There is no innocuation for diabetes, heart-disease, clogged arteries and obesity. But we can totally change this if we work together. And it all comes down to our diet as a whole. I am not advocating we never eat sugar ever again but I know for myself and my family, I want to give our bodies the chance they deserve to be as healthy as possible.</p> <p>I am prepared for some to be defensive about this. &lsquo;But what about birthdays? Christmas? School parties? School discos? School dinners? Play-dates? Weekends? Special Fridays? Halloween? Treat night? Special Sunday?&#39; You can see that we could actually have something going on every single day&hellip; so what can we do?</p> <p>I have many ideas about what we can do and two of my chapters in my FREE book are short and sweet and dedicated to sharing some ideas. Like I said before&hellip; I am NOT perfect in this. I want to get better though and I want to TALK about this one, not sweep it under the carpet before it is too late.</p> <p>Subscribe to my newsletter and you will get my free book There&rsquo;s More to Life than Biscuits - and boy, do I need to read this book myself now! Also, if you would like to learn how to make treats that are totally free from refined sugar, using whole foods (still to be eaten in moderation) then consider learning with me on my international online WonderCake 101 Cake-Crafting Course. They are all &#39;no-bake&#39; (or raw) and have no artificial colours or flavourings.</p> <p>No matter what our children say, we can choose, as parents, to not give them sugar. My mother cracked this when I was younger. We would visit her in the school holidays and would not eat a single bite of sugar. But she would teach us how to learn to love other treats such as eating a handful of red-skinned peanuts, chewing on a liquorice root and eating wholesome sweet fruits!! It can be done and there is no shame in saying... no! x No, because I love you.</p>, 14 Feb 2015 18:58:00 +0100Would you like to create a life full of health, happiness and DOING?<p>Then MamaBabaDo is the perfect place for you! Thank you for coming to visit! It is truly wonderful to have you here. My name is <strong>Victoria Leith</strong> and I am a Mama to two gorgeous babas! One is a baby baba, one is an older baba!</p> <p>I am a qualified teacher by profession and it has been my honour to work with other people&#39;s &#39;babas&#39; around the world: China, America, Africa and the UK. I stayed/stay at home with my babas but also work so that makes me a &#39;work-at-home&#39; mama although between you and I, perhaps we don&#39;t need to assign labels to ourselves anymore like that! Mamas across the world... whatever we are all doing, we are MAMAS, right?!</p> <p>The idea behind <strong>MamaBabaDo</strong> is to help each other lead healthier, happier lives through sharing ideas, tips, motivation and support. We all have the ability to change perspective on life. When you have a child of any age, you might feel so happy and elated.</p> <p>Or... you might feel stuck, under-appreciated and under-valued, and eating all the foods that make you feel lousy rather than lively. If you are are feeling stuck right now, and would like change, then I invite you into my world where nothing is impossible! And where with love and friendship, and working together, we can all share the joy and happiness.</p> <hr /> <div><img alt="" src="/sites/1361268160/images/mamababado-fun-with-the-children.jpg" style="float:right; margin-bottom:5px; margin-left:10px; margin-top:7px; width:300px" /></div> <p>This is the place to come to when you would like to read about conscious parenting (not perfect parenting!), really life-changing, health-giving recipes, incredible cakes full of delicious and nutritious ingredients, really beautiful soul-stirring music and life-affirming meditations and wherever you live in the world, the chance to learn with me online with some fabulous e-courses! I like funny and I like serious.</p> <p>I love to connect with people all over the world and try and speak my truth in my writing as much as possible, whether it&#39;s about spiritual subjects, food, discipline or head lice!</p> <p>Everything expressed on <strong>MamaBabaDo</strong> is my opinion, my thoughts, my beliefs and my ideas. If you spy a recipe you love or an article that either resonates with you, or you believe it will reach out to someone you know, do share. I would really love that! Thank you!</p> <p>I have a really cool free book for everyone who signs up to my newsletter! It&#39;s easy to sign up and you have my promise that I will never share your details with anyone else! I will, however, email you weekly with recipes, new blog articles, news, support, motivation and competitions!</p> <hr /> <p><strong>So let&#39;s re-cap:</strong></p> <p><strong>- Mama </strong><br /> <strong>- Baba </strong><br /> <strong>- DO!</strong></p> <p>Whatever it is you want to do in life, you can still be a mama, have a baba and DO it!</p> <hr />, 14 Feb 2015 00:18:22 +0100The Day I Learned to be a Little Less Judgemental<p>I made a big judgement call on this avocado. He looked super mean but when I got to know him, he was really lovely!</p> <p>We make judgements every single day. We judge whether to cross the road or not, whether our baby has had enough to eat&hellip; I could reel off a long list!</p> <p>We also make other judgements which are, in my opinion, unnecessary, or formed out of habit. Sometimes, they are not our judgements at all but a voice of a person we once spoke to and now their voice echoes in our minds.</p> <p>I really like to think of myself as a non-judgemental person (in the sense of judging a person before I know the situation or even when I do). I subscribe to the way of thinking, &lsquo;How can we judge others? We need to look and focus on our own faults&rsquo;.</p> <p>Sometimes I cannot seem to switch the judgement off in my mind, however. It might not reach the surface of my lips to transform into words but sure enough, those words are thoughts in my mind. I try to keep them light and breezy but this is not always an easy task! I am pretty sure, without sounding too judgmental, that you know what I am talking about!</p> <p>Well, one day, I learned a big lesson. I didn&rsquo;t have horrible thoughts about this girl that I met&hellip; but I did have thoughts. And here is my story.</p> <p>My family and I were preparing to go and live in China and so I ventured off to the Chinese Embassy in London to sort out our Visas. I was full of excitement, a little fear and a huge sense of adventure.</p> <p>I sat on one of the chairs in the waiting area, big smile on my face, listening out for my ticket number to be called.</p> <p>Then&hellip; in she walked. Just the most stunningly beautiful woman! She was SO confident&hellip; she literally breezed in, the most gorgeous perfect hair I ever saw, really long, honey blonde, beautiful blue eyes. I am totally happy with my lovely long red hair and hazel brown eyes so I didn&rsquo;t feel the stab of envy that I might have felt years back. I just thought WOW! This woman has it all! Just without a care in the world, she must be so happy. This might all sound like positive judgements but truth be told, I was just looking at the surface and felt I had it all sussed!</p> <p>She sat right opposite me and we started to chat. We asked each other the obvious question; &lsquo;What takes you to China?&rsquo;</p> <p>I went first and told her all about my new job teaching at an International School.</p> <p>Then she told me that she would be walking the Great Wall of China&hellip; there would be a group of them going.</p> <p>I replied &lsquo;Oh that is great&rsquo; but it felt like there was more to come.</p> <p>&lsquo;We are walking for Charity&rsquo; the woman continued&hellip;</p> <p>&lsquo;To raise awareness of&hellip;&rsquo; and here my mind goes blank as I cannot remember the charity at all.</p> <p><strong>What I do remember is what she said next.</strong><br /> She told me how when she was a young teen at school, she lost all of her hair. All of it. And how she still does not have any hair. And how this beautiful long honey blonde hair is a wig. And how sometimes, when people stare at her on the Tube, she whips her hair off to surprise people.</p> <p>I was just blown away. And so happy! So happy to meet this wonderful woman. So inspired! I have friends who have lost their hair for various reasons&hellip; and I know it is far from easy. And we live on this massive yet small planet, in the grand scheme of things and we put SO much pressure on ourselves to be perfect.</p> <p>And here I was, assuming all sorts of things and had I not chatted to this incredibly lovely woman, I would never have learned about her story.</p> <p>Since that day, I have definitely been more mindful. When I meet people, I try really hard to see beyond what is there. Everyone has a story and some people love to share it too!</p> <p>I was on the Tube myself the other day and I watched people&hellip; the woman who was listening to something on her headphones, the man who was watching something on his tablet, the girl who was looking sideways at the man next to her and eyeing up his sushi&hellip;!</p> <p>And I may have ideas about what these people are thinking/listening to/watching or what their lives are like. But in reality, I have no idea whatsoever.</p> <p>Talking is good. Talking makes the world smaller. And it leads to a deeper understanding (quick Kate Bush ref there!)</p> <p>My fabulous friend Fleur Missaghian and I compiled a FABULOUS book a few years ago&hellip; so fabulous even that Sir Richard Branson himself endorsed it! No-one would publish it as all the publishers we approached said no-one wants to read a book about peace!</p> <p>The book looks at a day in the life of various people around the world. A world famous rockstar. A prisoner. An artist who paints using his mouth. A mother. A soldier.</p> <p>All these people have incredible and simple stories to tell&hellip; and we would love to have you read this book for free because we believe these stories are so inspirational.</p> <p>I strive every day to better myself and I work hard, in my own mind, to remind myself of the virtues I possess, &lsquo;Strive&rsquo; is the key word so if you feel you want to lighten the load, read our book, take some time out to re-think and try practising looking beyond what you see. Please share your stories! I would love to hear from you if you had a particular time when you judged a situation and it turned out to be completely different to what you initially thought!</p> <p>Thank you for reading.</p>, 13 Feb 2015 16:26:00 +0100Why Women Don't Need to be Mean to Succeed in Business<p><em>Here I am pretending to be a real meany pegs! But I am a nice girl at heart... Promise!</em></p> <p>I am not a business woman - but I do sell products. Oh... So maybe I AM a business woman!</p> <p>Are you like me and are finding you are having a hard time accepting that you are indeed &#39;in business&#39;? Why do I find it a challenge? And what am I doing to address this?</p> <p>First up... I grew up with the idea (and reality) that most people in business are men. Yes, we could reel off a few succesful business women and Anita Roddick always comes to mind. But actually when I think about it, from when I was younger, she is the only one that comes to mind.</p> <p>A few years back, I went to a woman&#39;s business event where my early years idol Toyah Wilcox was guest speaking. As the women milled around afterwards, I got this sense that there was a lot of.... Well, how can I describe it? It felt like a masculine energy. Which is fine... But there were no men! And I am not talking about women who are naturally more masculine. This was more &#39;I am in business. And this is how I think I should come across. I want you to think of me in a certain way and I definitely don&#39;t want you to think I am weak.&#39;</p> <p>Some of the women I spoke to that day were very standoffish. Some were incredibly nervous. So many, when I introduced myself would launch into a tirade of business speak. Busy busi business!</p> <p>One woman some to be quite brash and said we as women had to be mean to get ahead.</p> <p>So this is where I switch off. And this is where I am making changes. And this is where, if you are woman in business, I would value your input to this discussion because these hidden inequalities that women suffer are still present and still being manifested and it is time to speak our truth and to be &#39;business women&#39; yet we do not have to conform to any kind of model.</p> <p>I look around at many of my new friends who definitley run their own business. I don&#39;t know if they consider themselves business peeps because some of them use different language. Many women are writing to me and are stuck and afraid and are still not enjoying the success they deserve.</p> <p>I have been told by a handful of strong-willed men that I am too soft, that my approach will not work unless I get more aggressive. I have been encouraged to lie, to lose weight, to not be so nice and that I will get lost in a sea of other women who are trying to do the same.</p> <p><strong>Well, recently, I have been thinking differently.</strong><br /> I have been constantly reminding myself on a daily basis what I am able to offer the world.</p> <p>I counsel myself to do what it is that I need to because my work is not about treading on people or trying to make the most amount of money, putting myself or other people down, slating other people or their products to highlight my own or being famous for the mere sake of it.</p> <p>I have realised these truths about myself and I am totally happy to shine now. Ok... Every now and then, I still get scared. But every single day now, I am doing something towards my business. That word is still loaded for me but I want to be a part of a group of heart-centred women AND men who are in the process of redefining what it means to be in business.</p> <p>I write positive, to the point but flowery emails. I get results. Speaking from the heart sets me in the direction I need to go. I have even had a personal email conversation with Sir Richard Branson - because I emailed him and quite simply... He emailed me back. Everyone is a person. To me, everyone is a soul of God.</p> <p>I am a mother to two gorgeous girls and one is a baby. I often work whilst she is breastfeeding and sleeping, typing with one hand (even my left hand!) I am working so hard because I want to and I need to. I could watch day time tv but there is no time. I am currently the major wage earner and we won&#39;t have a place to live or food on the table if I do not work hard. Oh and I also want to raise my babies so &#39;going back to work&#39; is not a option for me... I AM at work and it is incredibly important for me to be at home for various reasons. This is why I have set up my own business. This is why I write. This is why I need an agent! And it is working but I totally need to recognise that now and continue, continue, continue!</p> <p>I know some people in the industry I am working in do not take me seriously. I am learning that this is OK because I am being drawn more and more to the right people and I am really starting to appreciate and truly love this journey and connecting with like- minded people. Wow! So many amazing people out there!</p> <p>Let me just make one thing clear. If you mean business, it does not equate to being mean in business. Are you with me? Now... Get out there and shine like a star. As Marianne Williamson said (and Nelson Mandela quoted in his famous inaugural speech)</p> <p>&quot;Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won&#39;t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It&#39;s not just in some of us; it&#39;s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.&rdquo;</p> <p>I am done with shrinking. How about you? X</p>, 11 Feb 2015 18:34:00 +0100How to Get Your Child to Stop Being Angry and Frustrated<p>(hint: it is nothing to do with your child changing their behaviour!)</p> <p><strong>Did you bite someone&#39;s head off today? Let&#39;s talk about solutions!</strong><br /> I am a parent of two girls. One is nearly 8 months old and one is nearly 8 years. I LOVE the age gap. They both love each other so much and have an amazing relationship, one that I did not think was possible!</p> <p>I try to be a conscious parent. In doing this, this does not mean by any means that I am a perfect parent. It just means that I am aware of my actions, I try to improve my parenting skills and I bring myself to account when I feel I have parented in a way that could have been (much) better.</p> <p>What does &#39;bringing myself to account mean?&#39; It simply means that I reflect on my own actions and behaviour and try to find a way to improve. This could be with my mindset. That I need to go to bed earlier. That I need to be more present and not on my iPad when my child comes home from school. That I was grumpy and that had an effect on my daughter&#39;s behaviour - she wasn&#39;t just in a grumpy mood for no reason - that sort of thing!</p> <p>I have worked with hundreds of children over the last twenty years as a teacher and had my own class of 12 three-year olds when I lived in China. I marvelled at how much I was able to stay in control and adopt some pretty fabulous techniques whilst working with my 12 babies. And how for some reason, at home, it is not always that easy!</p> <p>There are SO many reasons why you might be on a short fuse today. It could be that your child is pushing your buttons and repeatedly asking for something in the shop when you have answered them quite a few times already.</p> <p>It could be that they are singing really loudly and it just annoys you... because you are on your computer.</p> <p>It could be that your child accidentally bumps your younger child&#39;s head and you over worry so end up talking loudly rather than kindly.</p> <p>It could be that in the rush of the morning school run, you find you have been barking, instead of talking for the last hour and that your stress levels are through the roof. Every sound, every whine, every THING is set to make you blow a fuse.</p> <p>OK... we can calm down. Really... give yourself a little moment to re-group your thoughts and figure out what is really going on here.</p> <p>We often attribute blame to another person, including our own children. When we look to each situation, can we ask ourselves the following?</p> <p><strong>Was I totally present for my child?</strong><br /> Did I remember that she is a young human, with less life experience?</p> <p>Did I speak sarcastically or with a mean undertone?</p> <p>Is the reason why my child is shouting right now/blowing a fuse/expressing anger because he/she has seen this recently in our home?</p> <p>Is she reflecting back what I have been giving back?</p> <p>None of us our perfect. Own that right now. It is impossible to be this perfection. But, a little bit of perfect comes into play when we really own our behaviours.</p> <p><strong>Here is what I learned recently.</strong><br /> Without realising, I had been nagging my 7 year old daughter. I had been impatient with her. I was blaming all her negative behaviour on her, and not reflecting on my own.</p> <p>I said a prayer... &#39;Create in me a pure heart, O my God and renew a tranquil conscience within me, O my Hope...&quot;</p> <p>These words echoed in my mind and instantly allowed me to feel peace. I sat on my bed, in the dark, and reflected over the previous few days. I saw my little girl getting more and more impatient. And how frustrated I was getting with her. And how every night, I felt sad that I hadn&#39;t listened more, been more attentive and had been in pain for a few days so had snapped and spoken not as nicely as I could have done.</p> <p>Children like to feel safe and whilst it is totally implausible to think that a parent could never show any emotion, I believe, from my own trial and error, working with hundreds of children and being a mum of two, that when we are calm and centred, a child may still try to test the boundaries and push buttons but if they are in that arena of total calm and safety and feeling really respected, then situations can diffuse MUCH quicker than if the parent is reactive, aggressive and angry back.</p> <p>Think about a child who is being struck. They want to defend themselves. Their natural instinct will be to hit back. If we shout at a child, consistently (not because they are in danger) then our child will find it much easier to shout. If we are sarcastic to the child, we must not be surprised when our child offers sarcasm back. The difference is... we are &#39;allowed&#39; to do all of those things (or we &#39;do&#39; them - striking a child is not permissible in our home and is banned in several countries) and display those behaviours but our children are not? Shouting, blaming, demeaning... all of these behaviours we can display can be just as damaging as hitting, if displayed and practiced continuously and over time.</p> <p><strong>I am all for problem-solving and finding solutions.</strong><br /> You might be a parent who is at their wits end. I promise you... this can change. But... you have to be willing to bring YOURSELF to account, sit in a space by yourself to reflect and see what can be changed.</p> <p>Here are some changes I made recently and wow! Our home has gone from being stressy and frustrating as hell to an environment of calm and order... in the space of a day! Parenting is a constant work of art, isn&#39;t it?! We all have our down days and moments. But if we try this &#39;bringing ourselves to account&#39; a little more often, we can become better parents and our children will then see a real reflection of the what is to come and how the world can actually be a beautiful place. When we are adults, we consult, we reflect. We say sorry. Never be afraid to look your child in the eye directly and say those words, &#39;I am sorry&#39;. Don&#39;t be afraid to know that you made a mistake. Be confident that just as the wind can change direction in an instant, so can all of us.</p> <p><strong>Try These!</strong><br /> The clock is ticking and you know you only have a limited time left to get ready for the school run. Your child is taking her time putting on her clothes.</p> <p>You want to say: &#39;Hurry up/why aren&#39;t you dressed yet? Don&#39;t you know you&#39;re going to be late for school?&#39;</p> <p><strong>Try instead:</strong> &#39;How are you doing? I see you have your tights on - great! Can I help you get ready? or &#39;Doing well... let&#39;s see if we can get ready before I count to 60 so we can be on time for school! Yay!&#39;</p> <p>What is the worst thing that could happen here? If you are late... then so be it. This will be a time to reflect as a family and consider getting up earlier, be more prepared the night before and being totally honest... is it my child&#39;s fault we are late? Did I need to nag for the entire morning before school? What can change for tomorrow?</p> <p>It is bedtime and your child is drawing and engaged in an activity. You are tired and want some &#39;you&#39; time. You want to say &quot;Bed time -now! Come on, let&#39;s go... quickly!&quot;</p> <p>This will inevitably be met with a negative reaction because your child is mid-activity and they have had no warning. Think of them as a human, not just as your child who won&#39;t do what they are told. <strong>Try this instead:</strong></p> <p>&quot;Hey (name)! I see you&#39;re drawing! Great! You have five more minutes and then we&#39;re packing up to get ready for bed.&quot;</p> <p>This is more likely to be met with an &quot;Ok!&quot; You can reinforce what you said to make sure they understand, use a timer or bring their attention to the time on the clock. &quot;Just to make sure... you have five more minutes - see, when the big hand reaches the five? Then we go and get ready for bed.&quot;</p> <p>You need to make sure that in five minutes, you then carry this through. Your child might protest... if they don&#39;t, then be sure to make mention that you appreciate them helping and using their initiative. Perhaps as a reward they could have an extra five minutes tomorrow night to draw.</p> <p>If they react, stay strong, stay calm. Raising your voice and shouting and whining will only invite the same response back as the child will perceive fear, emotion, tiredness... and they will try to continue to push. Children thrive on order with many aspects of life, and within that order, there is a lot of freedom. You can point this out.</p> <p>Over the last few days, there have been a few times when I have asked our daughter to do something and she hasn&#39;t yet I remained calm and assertive and loving throughout. I mentioned a couple of times that there would be a consequence.</p> <p>The same conversations last week were inviting tears, tantrums and more! But when I reflected, this was all actually invited by me! Tone of voice is KEY here!</p> <p>I want this post to be honest and true. And I totally believe from this experience that I have learned such a lot!</p> <p>Bringing ourselves to account is not only OK... it is crucial to us having a happy, healthy home. For instance... did we allow our children to stay up late last night? And eat a tonne of sugar? Then we need to own that and let their grumpiness and feeling irritable be comforted. And then return to an earlier night with less sugar and more grounding foods.</p> <p>It feels SO freeing to have this mindset and really... the results have been astounding! I have always seen myself as a pretty good parent and sometimes, a bloody awful parent. But the bringing myself to account for my own behaviour and then moving forward and putting into action better behaviour has brought us peace!</p> <p>One final important thought. I speak from this perspective, only because it is what I know. I am married and my husband and I consult about everything. And we made these changes and decisions together, through consultation and prayer. Our whole lives are based around these two pillars which we believe help us through. You do not have to aligned with any faith to sit in stillness and think... and reflect and change ideas. Prioritise consulting with another trusted person, whether it is your wife, husband, partner, mother or friend.</p> <p><strong>Got stories to share? Why not post them below?</strong><br /> Found this helpful? I bet others would find it helpful too, so please do share!</p> <p>Finding something challenging about parenting and want to &#39;chew the fat&#39; about it? Email me: and I will share my thoughts and post the question and answer on MamaBabaDo so that others can benefit and share their thoughts too. Together, we&#39;re stronger... right?!</p> <p>Love x</p>, 03 Feb 2015 17:02:00 +0100Moving Across the World Gave our Family a New Perspective<p>I remember the moment I got THE email that read: Is this for you? If not, do pass it on!</p> <p>I had only been saying the week before how much I&#39;d love to go and work in an international school and now, here it was, the call for someone to come and work in TEDA International School in Tianjin, China.</p> <p>I consulted with my family immediately. Both my husband and 6 year old daughter, were totally up for the idea. We did lots of research and googled images to see where we&#39;d be living. I watched Imogen Heap&#39;s &#39;XiXi She Knows&#39; video on repeat from when she&#39;d worked in Hang Zhou for a few weeks to carry out a fabulous music project. I was scared but it felt right and I cried every time I watched the video as it was so beautiful.</p> <p>A couple of friends were initially upset with us. My Dad told me horror stories every day about what was going on in China! Many friends said they wished they could have this opportunity to make this change and that we should go for it - my husband was in a new job that he didn&#39;t like and my part-time teaching job was only for a term. Our daughter, although settled in her lovely village school also yearned for adventure. She is superbly confident and open to new things, change and was excited beyond belief.</p> <p>Then one day, I met with a friend who was really sad we were going. I went home and announced that we couldn&#39;t possible go - people needed us. The pollution would be bad for my breathing. The Grandparents would miss out on their grandchild growing up. I&#39;d had the interview with the school and told them YES! But I wrote and said that we had changed our mind - really sorry.</p> <p>And here was the defining moment. When I calmly told my daughter one day after school that we had decided not to go after all, she immediately burst into tears. &#39;But we are SUPPOSED to go to China&#39; she insisted. &#39;And I wanted to try Chinese sweets...&#39; she added!</p> <p>This threw me. I had known deep down all this time that were were going to go - I wasn&#39;t sure what I was playing at but it must have been the fear of the unknown.</p> <p>We then decided to DO it (if the school would have me!) I wrote to them and they said a resounding yes!</p> <p>The next few weeks were a whirlwind of pure excitement, more research, talking to one of my best friends who had lived there years ago (she was another massive reason why we ended up going!). We made our trips to the Chinese Embassy in London, we had several goodbye parties, our upset friends transformed into &#39;happy for us&#39; friends and my Dad toned down his horror stories (kind of!). Once everyone accepted that we were going, they were behind us all the way! We had quite a few leaving parties, gatherings and meals. It felt strange as we didn&#39;t know how long we were saying goodbye for. We had talked about staying there from one year, to five!</p> <p>The company where my husband was working was a little surprised to hear that he was already going to leave... but they wished him well (apart from one sour commenter!) and that was that.</p> <p>Moving was already changing us. We had to think differently. We gave away most of our big belongings such as beds, sofas, wardrobes and chairs. We had a limit on what we could take and wanted to travel light. We didn&#39;t give returning a second thought. We put 40 boxes in our friend&#39;s barn and slimmed down our possessions by about the same.</p> <p>We let our daughter take one full case of toys and books and I crammed in as much of her stuff in as possible in other suitcases. We were told that we could buy every thing there so to forget bringing towels and toiletries (unless we had favourite brands). I was glad we listened to this advice.</p> <p>We were advised to get our inoculations (with hindsight now, we didn&#39;t need them!) and we spent &pound;400 on getting our medicals done - again, pretty pointless as we had official medicals not long after we arrived in China.</p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/1361268160/images/new-perspective.jpg" /></p> <p>That moment when were were seated on the plane, with our 6-year old, we all held hands and breathed deeply. We just couldn&#39;t believe it! It all happened so terrifically fast. We knew when we got to China that we&#39;d be met at Beijing airport and taken to a hotel in the Tianjin Economic Development Area. And that I would start work three weeks after our arrival.</p> <p>When we landed at Beijing, and started to make our way down the aisle to get off the plane, our daughter piped up cheerily, &#39;Ah China! The perfect place to be!&#39;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It was her amazingly positive attitude that essentially guided us to move and to move joyously. It was so hot and humid when we arrived. We had a long journey to our hotel and we had no idea on what to expect. My husband told me a few weeks later that when we got to our hotel, he thought what have we done! And wanted to turn back!</p> <p>We loved learning Chinese and also finding out little things such as every evening, hundreds of people of all ages would gather in a large stadium and exercise together and be together... moving and being happy. This blew me away and I wish it would happen here more!</p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/1361268160/images/new-perspective-change-country.jpg" /></p> <p>We could walk down the street and discover someone suddenly practising Tai Qi moves or doing some press-ups on equipment. We made friends with everyone from the humble street cleaners to people working in the government. We ate tonnes of watermelon. We loved the food (nothing like Chinese take-away here in the UK)</p> <p>I fell pregnant two months after arriving and we decided to stay just for nine months in the end. But our lives had changed forever. Our daughter turned seven and a month before we were due to come home, asked if we could stay there.</p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/1361268160/images/new-perspective-chinese-new-year.jpg" /></p> <p>But we came home, had a baby, moved to the seaside in Kent, and my husband started University. We now believe that anything can happen and we are pretty certain that we will travel again. I miss my life in China desperately sometimes but am equally happy to be here. It feels most days as if we dreamt the whole experience.</p> <p>Change is good, no matter what form it takes. You don&#39;t need to move half way around the world to gain new perspective on life, but for those who feel a passion to do so, I would like to say - do it!</p> <p>You can read all about our experiences and life in China on my blog here: <a href=""></a></p> <p>Are you thinking of having an adventure and moving to a different part of the world? If you want to know more about &#39;how we did it&#39; do feel free to contact me! <a href=""></a></p>, 31 Jan 2015 18:02:00 +0100Why I will Always be a Foster Child<p>When I was nine-months old, I was fostered for a year. I grew up with this knowledge and didn&#39;t really give it a second thought. It wasn&#39;t a big deal... I had lovely foster parents who I still keep in touch with today (although I must write them an update!) I was the baby of the family and there were other children there, their own children who apparently loved me very much.</p> <p>I obviously cannot remember anything about this experience but whilst growing up, we talked about it openly in my family and it was part of regular conversations, all positive. When I was about ten or so, I started to write to my foster mother. She started to send me presents. I felt such a connection with her and whilst I didn&#39;t &#39;know&#39; her, I did! It never made sense to me back then and I am still trying to make sense of it now.</p> <p>I remember lying on the bed with my first born child when she was nine months old and thinking wow! This is when I went to live with different people! I can&#39;t imagine being without my baby.</p> <p>Of course, growing up as a child, I didn&#39;t give circumstances any thought. There was no blame, there was no &#39;why me&#39; as I was too young.</p> <p>I invited my foster parents to my wedding - I felt it was so important for them to be there. They came and again, when I saw them, it felt so strange as I only recognised them from photos, not having proper physical memories... yet the connection was so strong.</p> <p>When I was pregnant, I wanted a bit of my foster mother&#39;s name for my girl... I have two other mums too! My birth mother and a step-mother. Wow! I am one lucky lady! Really!</p> <p>All my mothers are special to me and I love them all so much. I have different relationships with them. I grew up with my step-mother and father. I only saw my birth mother once or twice a year and for one period of time, from age 11, I chose not to see her for 7 years which now I feel bad about. I feel very connected to her now as I do to all of them.</p> <p>But every now and then, I think of my foster parents. I have cried over being fostered now that I realise how much pain must have been attached to the process. One of the boys who lived there cried when I left. Another one of my foster brothers was murdered. He used to hang me out of the top window because I thought it was funny! I used to lie under the water at bath-time and look up at my foster mother and smile at her, eyes wide open. I didn&#39;t know this until a few years back, but they used to pray too. They were loving and amazing. It is strange to think I cannot remember yet they have always been part of my life.</p> <p>I look at my second baby girl now as she approaches that age of nine months. She is so wonderful as is my first. It crosses my mind from time-to-time that if I was to not exist, I would soon be forgotten in their living memory (best not to dwell on that!). But memories are kept alive through talking openly, consulting, listening to the real feelings that children who have been fostered have. To honour that even if they were a baby, that the experience they had is valued and given attention.</p> <p>I still see myself as &#39;a foster child&#39; and &#39;someone who has been fostered&#39;. And that is ok. As a family, we also fostered children whilst growing up and they still see my parents as a huge part of their upbringing, because it wasn&#39;t only for the six months they lived with us. The nurturing continued way beyond that and still continues today as my parents attend their weddings, funerals, parties and keep in touch.</p> <p>It is an amazing service to offer, to bring other children into your home and treat them as well as your own. To give them love during difficult times. But also, keeping in contact and to honour them as a person - to be interested in their progress because not only did I have foster parents, they had a foster child.</p> <p>Would you like to share your experiences of being fostered? Are you thinking of fostering? I would love you comment below! Thank you for reading x</p>, 24 Jan 2015 18:55:00 +0100How to Get Your Baby to Stop Crying in the Car<p>Here we are... about to get in the car! Happy as a lamb but Mama knows!</p> <p>It&#39;s time to go on a baby play-date! You&#39;re not driving too far... maybe it&#39;s a 30 minute drive to your friend&#39;s house. You pack the nappy bag, you get your baby (who is usually very, very happy indeed) and bundle her into her seat.</p> <p><strong>&quot;WAHHHHH!&quot;</strong></p> <p>Is your baby like mine? Does she NOT like the car?</p> <p>My first babe was totally different! As soon as we hit 20 mph she would settle right down. Maybe it&#39;s a misguided memory but I am pretty sure that she liked it more than baby number two!</p> <p>This one, just like our first is a happy, smiley baby who strangers coo over as she tilts her head to one side and gives them her biggest beams!</p> <p>Until I try to get her dressed... or put her in the car!</p> <p>It&#39;s not every time that she cries... and I have a few tricks up my sleeve.</p> <p>The title to this post is a a little misleading! I want you to come and interact with this post and tell me how YOU got YOUR baby to settle and not cry in the car! I will go first... here are my ideas that have worked!</p> <p>1. If husband, me and first child are all going somewhere, I always sit in the back. Sometimes, on a couple of longer journeys when we couldn&#39;t stop and there was traffic, I managed a quick breastfeed! Not that I am going to officially recommend this (and yes, baby was still safely strapped in and so was I... there is a knack!) but after 15 minutes of baby crying and us not being able to stop... I needed to feed! I am there in the back to entertain, to stroke a hand, to offer different toys and things to look at and play with. I have to do all of this whilst mainly looking forward as I get motion sickness! Some parents insist on sitting up front but it is SO much easier if I sit in the back. Husband doesn&#39;t mind - in fact, he is in favour of it as the crying makes it harder to concentrate on driving!</p> <p>2. So I have a load of things to capture baby&#39;s interest. And I offer them to her one-by-one. Different textures are good. She gets bored of the same fluffy bunny so I try and bring a bag of exciting and different things! She sometimes interacts with something for longer if it feels different to her.</p> <p>3. If baby is on the verge of sleeping and is getting upset because she wants to go to sleep and wants more comfort, I sing on repeat a prayer: &#39;Armed with the power of Thy name, nothing can ever hurt me and with Thy love in my heart, all the world&#39;s afflictions can in no wise alarm me.&#39; Thank you to Sky Music for writing the music to this beautiful prayer... I couldn&#39;t be without it!</p> <p>This works a charm! It is soothing and the melody is beautiful and she loves it! You don&#39;t have to sing this one but find a cue song that is a lullaby or a prayer. This does NOT work if she is not feeling sleepy!</p> <p>4. So what if I am driving and baby is alone in the back. This is the tricky one! I am still working on this. Part of me feels that it is a lot to ask a baby to sit in their chair for an amount of time. The key here is to not let yourself get upset or frustrated. If you start to feel like this, try and find a space to pull over. Put baby&#39;s needs first, as you would at home. Does she need a feed? A change? A cuddle? I know that mine just wants to get out, be free and romp around as she is in a very active phase at the moment! You need to assess how far you are away from your destination. I have taken babe out, tried to feed her, realised she just wants to play, we still need to be somewhere so I put her back and she gets even more upset. Then I feel sad for her and vow to never travel on my own with her again! But this is not always possible!</p> <p>5. When you are not sitting next to them, you are limited. Music may not always be the magic trick but how about talking? If you have a story tape or the radio... try that!</p> <p>6. Babies pick up on our emotions so if baby is crying, try to not say &#39;We are nearly there! Calm down&#39; etc in a panicked voice. Speak calmly and soothingly and even if they don&#39;t stop crying, they can still hear your voice and know you are there.</p> <p>7. Ewan the Dream Sheep is starting to come on our journeys to pick up older child from school. She loves Ewan and the lullaby he plays. There are also ocean waves... I got my Ewan second hand so hunt around before spending full price on one first!</p> <p>8. Consider staying more local! Ok, I know this is not an option for many mums (and dads) but ask yourself... do I need to go on this long journey? Is it important? Is it worth it? Whilst baby is not enjoying the car, could your friends come to visit you instead? This is a good as any reason to pick a school within walking distance and find friends near you! (yes, yes, I know!! We drive to our school and our friends are dotted around everywhere! Just something to consider:)</p> <p>9. Get the bus!</p> <p>So tell me... what did you/do you do to get your baby happy and not bawling her gorgeous little heart out? Thank you for sharing x</p> <p>ps Important! One thing I would NEVER advise is to give your child a snack whilst they are on their own in the back and you are driving. x</p>, 22 Jan 2015 18:29:00 +0100The Crazy Story Behind the Booja Booja Truffles<p>Have you ever wished upon a star for a truffle that is divinely irresistible in every possible way? And did you wish for it to be... organic? Free from soya and gluten? And then did that dream came true? It did for me and it can for you because Booja Booja are bloomin&#39; chocolate truffle geniuses and I can&#39;t praise them enough for bringing such a wonderful indulgence to the world.</p> <p>I love truffles SO much but I am trying to be more ethical in my food choices - not always easy no matter what anyone says!</p> <p>When I first heard about Booja Booja, I had the good fortune to try their raspberry one which was SO good (especially straight out of the fridge) that I thought that heaven had perhaps literally come to earth in the form of a truffle. Just that word... truffle! It makes me feel that something very good is going to come my way.</p> <p>So here we are, with another chocolate review. Except... I really want you to try these truffles! Booja kindly sent me TWO boxes of their Banoffee Truffles - NINE in each box! I sampled one little cuboid of perfection then BOOM! The rest were also &#39;sampled&#39;. Sharing was not an option (sorry family - next time!) I didn&#39;t think I would like their Banoffee ones but was I wrong? Yes! I am now their number one fan and need to make sure those babies are PRO-POINTED! (only Weight Watcher peeps will understand!)</p> <p>I have a confession to make... I had to replace the competition box. OMGOLLY! Am I bad or what?</p> <p>Please... I don&#39;t get commission for saying this (unless, Booja Booja, if you are reading this and want to send me weekly parcels of truffles it is TOTALLY up to you!) Just order a box (or three) to see what I am talking about. Divine indulgences that just melt in the mouth and are full of wonderful ingredients, a cute little card, perfect little presentation box which is SO suitable for any gifting occasion... AND they sell their truffle range in my favourite supermarket in the world (yes, YOU Waitrose!)</p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/1361268160/images/booja-booja-truffles-box-front.jpg" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/1361268160/images/booja-booja-truffles-box.jpg" /></p> <p>ps If you were wondering what the crazy story was behind it all... yes, that was just a ruse to get you to read this! BUT! The really amazing thing, and it is not crazy at all, is when you buy Booja Booja truffles, there is NO dairy in these delights! So no taking little cows away from their Mama cows. That makes me happy and I need to do more of that x Thank you <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p>, 20 Jan 2015 18:41:00 +0100Losing Weight with the Three-Pronged Approach<p>I had some eye-brows raised at my latest decision to &#39;join&#39; Weight Watchers! Believe me, one of my own eye-brows was raised too!</p> <p>Here is why some eye-brows were raised, including mine!</p> <p>&#39;Weight-Watchers when you&#39;re high-raw? They just promote their crappy products full of sugar!&#39;</p> <p>&#39;But... you&#39;re healthy!</p> <p>&#39;But... you make cakes that are good for you!&#39;</p> <p>&#39;;re not overweight...&#39;</p> <p>So here&#39;s the deal. Just like most other women who have had a baby or two or even who haven&#39;t, I struggle with my weight. I can&#39;t blame this weight gain on my newborn baby. For starters, she is now 7 months. And I have gained a stone since she was born! What I DO blame my weight gain on is that when I came back with my family from living in China, I wanted to choff and scoff every food I had missed and craved whilst being away but didn&#39;t have access to! I was MUCH slimmer in China! I was pregnant AND slim! (and still overweight but losing weight whilst putting on weight without even trying.)</p> <p>I am currently four stone overweight. It&#39;s ok! It will come off. Except I don&#39;t have time to think about it. I need a structure and I need support. I have lost weight in the past with my husband and this time, I decided I would check out WW. I had tried Slimming World in the past and had never got on with it (and didn&#39;t like the whole idea of the &#39;Syns&#39;.) I have no idea how Slimming World works now - I guess it&#39;s much the same as WW and will be good for some and not for others. That is also, ok!</p> <p>I eat a high raw diet so people are often shocked when I tell them I am overweight. &#39;But you look so healthy&#39;! And I am in many ways! But as many people know, I also make raw cakes for a living and have been eating a lot of them. And I have not been doing as much exercise since the birth of my newest bee! My body ached so much for quite a few months but now it is regaining massively in strength! When I joined WW I became aware very quickly (as I already knew but needed someone else to tell me aside from friends!) that everything has a point. I cannot eat a hundred cakes a day and lose weight. I can however, if I chose, eat cake every single day and lose weight. I could also choose to eat a Creme egg every single day... and this is where you can be healthy on WW or not.</p> <p>At my first meeting, I raised the point that I loved avocados and should I want to, could I use all my points eating them? I was told YES of course!! Well this is brilliant because years ago, this was not the case. Smoothies and juices were not encouraged but eating tonnes of fat free stuff and sugary treats supplied by WW were. They have upped their game and moved with the times and now they say HOWEVER you eat, if you need to lose weight, just use the point system.</p> <p>So I can have my big green smoothie and my kale chips and my raw toffee bars... I can do all of this and lose weight. And yes, yes yes! I already know this! But just like having a fabulous cleaner come in once a week to sort out our home, having a weigh-in and having a group to check into with face-to-face contact is brilliant!</p> <p>And I am pretty excited!</p> <p>But WW is just part of my weight-loss journey and 1 prong on my 3-pronged fork! (*if Miranda Hart is reading, I bet you love that word, &#39;prong&#39;!) The second prong is my knowledge that I have learned over the years about which foods serve my body best. I am pretty clued up now on which foods are good for ME and which foods I need to avoid. For the past few years I have eaten a high-raw diet and have enjoyed much better health because of it. My third prong, is that I also have a naturopath who is working closely with me. He is AWESOME and we are writing a fabulous recipe book together! He keeps me on track and regularly tells me to &#39;go fruit myself&#39; which I love as 1. It is funny and 2. Fruit is &#39;free&#39; on the WW plan.</p> <p>I always seem to apply 3-prongs to most things in my life. I think in this way, there is more chance of success. If I was to just &#39;do Weight Watchers&#39; without the other two prongs, I am sure I would enjoy success. But I also know that my learning journey has not just enabled me to lose weight before... it has enabled me to rid myself of many pesky illnesses and ailments including eczema, hay-fever and regular sore-throats colds and coughs, which I simply do not get any more.</p> <p>So if you want to lose weight, don&#39;t feel like you&#39;ve lost the plot or failed because you turn to something like WW. We have an AWESOME &#39;leader&#39; who is brilliant! She is motivating me every week (and I have only been to two sessions!) And the group are just wonderful. Real mixture of people and I am loving them more each week!</p> <p>I look forward to sharing not only fabulous photos of my weight-loss!</p> <p>Would you like to lose weight but are finding it hard year after year to do so? Why not consider my three-pronged approach! And you can also join me and many other women (and a couple of men!) in Our 30 Day Raw Transformation. We are on Facebook so come and find us! We are all supporting each other to be healthy and happy so really, that is my fourth prong! x</p> <p>If you would like to keep up-to-date with my weight-loss efforts, my blog-posts and more, then DO sign up for my weekly newsletter. To thank you for signing up, you will receive a free copy of my brilliant little book, There&#39;s More to Life than Biscuits and then every week you will receive a lovely newsletter with recipes, articles, musings, competitions and offers!</p> <p>How would you like to come and learn how to make the most wonderful cakes in the world with me, online!? I have a FABULOUS deal for you... and if you love cake, you will love the course! Come and check out what it&#39;s all about! Click here for cake-awesomeness!</p>, 14 Jan 2015 18:37:00 +0100For all the Mums in all the Playgrounds<p>I am a mum and I know a lot of mums. We have known different mothers as a family as our daughter has been to three different schools so far. And in each school, no matter whether it&#39;s a little village school, a big town school or a school in China, I have noticed something. There are always some mums standing in the playground, on their own. Without a buddy. With no one to connect with and talk to. Every single day.</p> <p>I have a theory though. I reckon that a lot of people who are in the playground want to reach out. They might not think they are good enough or funny enough. They are probably shy. Is this you? I know if it sometimes me. But being a connector, this overtakes my shyness and I start chatting and approaching people because that is what I do. I believe everyone can learn to do this. Here is a poem for all the mums who want to just make some friends and have a bit of human contact. We are hearing about some horrendous things going on at the moment... really bloody awful happenings. This is not a time to stand alone in the playground. Now is the time to get together, make friends and hang out. What do you think? Please share this with every mum you know - I want to start a friendship movement and I would love it to spread like wildfire. The more we get to know each other, the more we won&#39;t let atrocious things happen to one another. x</p> <p><strong>The Mum in the Playground</strong><br /> by Victoria Leith 2014</p> <p>Are you the mum in the playground?</p> <p>The one who stands alone?<br /> The mum who keeps her gaze to the ground<br /> Who looks down at her phone?<br /> Are you the one who won&#39;t look up<br /> Too shy to make a smile?<br /> Are you the mum who hasn&#39;t felt the love for quite a while?<br /> Are you the one who got a dirty look today and then,<br /> Received no smiles from other mums<br /> You feel it never ends.</p> <p>Are you the mum who hardly sleeps<br /> Because you doubt your worth?<br /> And into the playground each day you creep<br /> You&#39;d rather look at the earth<br /> You want to make friends, yes it&#39;s true<br /> But that would mean a lie<br /> You&#39;d have to smile at strangers<br /> Whilst inside you weep, you cry<br /> No-one knows your story<br /> No-one ever asks<br /> Days turn into weeks and months<br /> Is it really that much of a task?</p> <p>You wish you had more confidence<br /> You wish you&#39;d had more sleep<br /> You hope those other mums out there<br /> Aren&#39;t feeling sad as deep<br /> Are you the mum who stands alone<br /> Wishing that someone would say<br /> &#39;Do you want to come over for a cup of tea? It would really make my day&#39;?</p> <p>Perhaps the other mums you see</p> <p>Are thinking just like you</p> <p>So who will make a move today...</p> <p>Be brave, it could be you</p> <p>You shine a light more brightly<br /> Than you thought that you could shine<br /> Not everyone notices but that&#39;s ok<br /> They will get there in time<br /> Perhaps we&#39;re all just hoping that one day we&#39;ll be the one<br /> That gets the invite to come for tea<br /> To feel like the popular one</p> <p>It&#39;s funny how in playgrounds<br /> We can stand there every day<br /> Lots of lonely people with nothing much to say<br /> Looking, waiting for our kids<br /> To come running out of school<br /> Perhaps tomorrow we could try<br /> Breaking this silence rule<br /> Maybe tomorrow when we arrive<br /> Even if it&#39;s blowing a gale<br /> We can give each other a hug and a smile<br /> And blaze a different trail<br /> And perhaps if we try this over the week<br /> More mums will follow this path<br /> And perhaps the playground will be a place where we joke and we play and we laugh<br /> Are you the mum in the playground<br /> The one who stands on her own<br /> Don&#39;t be! Just come and say hi to me<br /> What&#39;s the point in being alone?</p> <p>I love you mums... yes, I do x</p>, 16 Dec 2014 16:45:00 +0100Why I will Never say this Word Ever Again Unless I Truly Mean it!<p>It all started the night before my good friend came to visit. Not even someone I need to impress, just a really great down-to-earth friend. I mentioned slightly frantically in the evening when the children were asleep to my husband that &#39;we really need to tidy in here&#39; meaning the front room and meaning not me! It would take me three hours of my evening to sort through all the piles, hoover and clean the stains from the sofa and the rug. And my husband certainly wasn&#39;t in a position to do any tidying - he was holding a sleeping babe and in for a night of tele and well-deserved break.</p> <p>So I went on Facebook, did some work, kept eyeing the unsorted piles, kept giving the stains an evil look and figured I could quickly run the hoover over tomorrow morn after dropping off our eldest at school.</p> <p>I went to bed, woke up, fed baby, had shower, helped older one to get ready, exhorted (ok, nagged) her to tidy up some of her bits and meanwhile the hoover stayed in the cupboard and the stains remained on the sofa and the carpet and the rug.</p> <p>Let&#39;s go back to my shower time. I didn&#39;t just have a shower. I started to say that one word... that one little teeny tiny yet ever-so-loaded word that I hear myself and many other women say every day. SORRY.</p> <p>I could hear my thoughts clearly... sorry about the mess... ah yes, sorry about the stains... sorry about the pile of books, sorry that the rubbish is still in the kitchen as is the recycling, sorry that the hallway has some stuff in it and suitcases that we still haven&#39;t unpacked from China six months ago, sorry, sorry SORRY!</p> <p>Wow! I was practically starting to hyperventilate! Right! I told myself there and then in the shower that for once, just for once (and perhaps this could be the start of a beautiful new habit) that I would not say sorry AT ALL when my friends came round. I would not apologise for the stains, for the paper and books piles, for the rubbish, for anything. My mind was already starting to battle this and I wanted to say sorry. I don&#39;t know why. It is something I have been accustomed to doing when anyone enters our home. My mother came to visit a couple of weeks ago and I could hear myself saying the &#39;s&#39; word before she&#39;d even walked through the door.</p> <p>It was five minutes before my friend arrived. No time for hoovering, (feeding baby again). No time to sort anything. No time to quickly go upstairs and fold three laundry loads of washing (just in case they wanted to go up into our bedroom!) NO TIME! This was it! I was about to have a friend over and NOT SAY SORRY.</p> <p>You know what I am talking about, right? If you think this truly doesn&#39;t apply to you I want you to be super aware next time someone comes to visit. It could be that you don&#39;t say sorry because you spent four hours cleaning your family home before some came over for a quick 30 minute coffee and natter. It could be that you are one of those people who have really cracked this habit. Are you? Hmmmm... I am not so sure!</p> <p><strong>Back to my friend date!</strong><br /> As soon as she arrived, I had to go out without fastening my bra. I wanted to apologise for this but kept my lips shut. Really... it was tough! No kidding! She was 15 minutes late (I didn&#39;t care) and she said sorry for this and also sorry about her trousers (I am not sure why as they looked really cool to me). I suppressed the extreme urge to apologise for living in a gated community. But rules are rules! I turned it round with a story... &#39;I love living here but I do find it frustrating that we have to put in a code to get in...&#39; and then talked about the story of when our home nearly caught fire many years ago and how I actually felt a bit safer here. What I really wanted to say was... you guessed it!</p> <p>We walked into the home and again, it was all I could do to not say &#39;sorry about the mess!!&#39; (this friend has 3 children... I KNOW she does not care but I still wanted to say it. I refrained. She complimented our home... how lovely, how warm, how sweet. (you haven&#39;t seen the stains yet!) We ventured past the kitchen (sorry about the rubbish) and into the lounge. More exclamations from my beautiful friend. I tried to see the room from her perspective. Was it really that bad? Not one single mention of piles or stains!</p> <p>We chatted nineteen to the dozen for an hour straight. She said &#39;sorry&#39; for various things along the way, each time me giggling to myself and also thinking that if I wasn&#39;t conducting this experiment, that I would have also said sorry a few hundred times by now.</p> <p>We had a great time. She brought gifts. She said sorry about the gifts. I was so happy for the gifts (but am truly sorry that I ate them all and didn&#39;t save any for my family!)</p> <p>Then... she put baby on the carpet. I eyed the stains. Would she notice? Would she give two hoots? I knew she wouldn&#39;t but I really wanted to apologise to validate that I knew what she possibly knew. Her baby vomited over the carpet. &quot;SORRY&quot;! She exclaimed.</p> <p>She left and I was sooo happy to have spent time with her. I love her to bits!</p> <p>So ladies... what do you think? Is it time to stop saying sorry?</p> <p>Unless you really need to say it and then play them this song that I wrote about really being sorry!</p> <p>I hope you enjoyed reading this! Please share with all the women you know... and if you catch yourself saying sorry (sorry I am overweight, sorry I have a milk stain on my boob, sorry I am not wearing make-up today, sorry my carpet has bits on it, sorry my car has rubbish everywhere, sorry that I have a spot on my chin, sorry that I am using this wipe to clean my cup when you just saw me wipe my baby&#39;s vomit with it, sorry I smell of garlic today, sorry that I am feeding my baby out of a pouch and not home-cooked food, sorry that I am eating this chocolate when I am on a diet.... ) just give yourself a hug and say &#39;Would you like a cuppa?&#39; instead!</p> <p>Love you x</p>, 10 Dec 2014 08:04:00 +0100Are you a Work-at-Home Mom?<p>As a &#39;work-at-home&#39; Mama (I work whilst baby sleeps!) I am constantly looking out for ways to earn an income to help our family. I have been self-employed for 13 years now, although when I worked in China, I was still registered in the UK but I was &#39;employed&#39; for the time I was there. Some people look at my life and say &#39;WOW! You are living the dream!&#39; Well... in some ways, yes. I get to spend a lot of time with my family. My husband is studying at University and we have a 5-month old babe at the time of writing and a 7 year old. Life can be a lot of fun and there is a tonne of love between us and we laugh out loud every day (LOL!)</p> <p>Here&#39;s the thing though! Yes, it is amazing in many ways but it means I have to be switched on all the time to think about how to grow my business and how to make it work. I am super lucky (well, I say blessed!) as my husband is totally supportive and I am totally supportive of his choice to study for a degree. But when I make a sale, it is fabulous. I get a little buzz just thinking that someone out there in the world is using my expertise and knowledge, or listening to one of my songs or reading one of my books. But one sale or a handful of sales does not pay the bills!</p> <p>So as a Mama who really wants to make this work but also care for her babe full-time, I need to pull out all the stops. I do not have time to clean the home as when baby sleeps, I am working, not cleaning. In the evenings, I am often at my laptop, typing away or staring into space and dreaming up a new way to promote my business. I can see why so many people give up at this stage and go &#39;back to work&#39; but for me, it is not an option. I want to stay at home. I want to see all my baby&#39;s &#39;firsts&#39; and I know that as my own mother didn&#39;t get to see a lot of my &#39;firsts&#39; it is really really important to me. Plus I enjoy this time of nurturing baby... I believe it is my role as a primary carer to raise her. Some of my friends chose not to do this... that did not make them any less of a mama! But you might be surprised to know that I never had questions for any of my friends who went back to work but I have had a load of questions and comments about me NOT &#39;going back to work&#39;! Hmm! We can champion all ways... yes?</p> <p>I am really going for it this time as I would like this to work. And this is where I put out a plea to everyone who has friends who are parents (and friends who are not parents too!) and who are trying to make their business work! DO share their efforts... they work really hard at what they do. (this is why I have included a large pic of me holding one of my friend&#39;s awesome raw chocolate bars! I WANT her to succeed! The more people that know about her, the more people will buy her chocs!) Give them ideas. Support them. Realise that...they are tired and want more downtime. They are not lazy and avoiding work. Raising babies IS work and a full-time job! My babies were ill this week so I did everything I usually do in the day with school drop-offs then back with babe, trying to catch some sleep when she slept as I was ill too then I would try and fit in a couple of hours in the evening with a pounding head whilst tending to older not-so-well child in between and then having a not-so-great sleep due to coughing away and tending to poorly babe with snuffly nose...</p> <p>In the past I have often stopped doing what I do just when I am about to enjoy some kind of success. I don&#39;t know why this is...but what I do know is that I (and this is personal to me so I am not saying you should do the same!) enjoy being a mama who stays at home and I also want to earn an income. A good income. One where that husband can work at Uni and get the degree he deserves (and which will help his job prospects in the future). One where we can go and visit friends and not worry that we need to spend &pound;20 - &pound;100 in petrol money. One where we can live in a house that is suited to all our needs and where we can continue to nurture our dreams. There are no more &#39;things&#39; that I want or need (well, apart from a piano!) and being of service in any work I do is important so I need to keep myself in check to make sure that what I DO do at home is helping others in some way. Is it all possible? I would love to hear your thoughts!</p>, 29 Nov 2014 16:56:00 +0100How DOES she do it?<p>I get asked a lot by friends how do I manage it all? How did we manage to move from China back to England when I was 7 months pregnant (and how did I manage to walk the Great Wall when I WAS 7 months pregnant!) How did I manage to have a baby with no pain relief (that is another blog post already on here!) How do I manage to stay so happy all of the time (I don&#39;t! But most of the time I am). How did we manage to move to another county when we had a two-week old baby? And how did I manage to set up my business when I had a two-week old babe? And how do I manage to write blog posts AND make cake AND feed a now 5 month old babe AND still put my 7 year old to bed AND.... and and and!</p> <p>Honestly, I get asked these things a lot! Sometimes it is a question that is asked with an almost accusing undertone! And sometimes with awe and wonder. But I assure you, there is nothing magic about getting everything done. It is all to do with various elements. I am going to write a course soon about how to do this in more detail (which hey! It will be a FREE course! &#39;But how will you manage to get your music recorded AND a cake course and....&#39;)</p> <p><strong>Here are my top five ways to &#39;get things done&#39;. </strong></p> <p><strong>1. Husband.</strong> There... no magic pill or potion, just as simple as I have a husband who is the most supportive and loving partner I could wish for. We are a team and we work together. I support him and he supports me. He makes the green smoothie every morning for breakfast. I get our babe up and ready and feed her. Our 7 year old gets herself ready now and I am there to encourage her. He cleans the kitchen, I get myself ready (he has already had his shower). He makes the dinner, I do the bath-time routine. I usually put our 7 year old to bed whilst he holds baby. I do filming whilst he takes the girls out for a walk. We work so well together and I honestly could not do everything I do without him. The major support doesn&#39;t have to be your husband. Not everyone has a husband who is at university and works from home. It can be a good friend (a very good friend!), a nanny, a parent, a family member. I sometimes say (in a slightly panicked way) &#39;I don&#39;t know how I would get all this done without you&#39; and hubby gently reminds me that he IS here!</p> <p><strong>2. Making the most of the power of the minute! </strong>In every moment, there is an opportunity. My friends ask me how I managed to take Star Khechara&#39;s fabulous Entrepreneur&#39;s E-Course whilst I had a new born. I watched her course whilst I fed my baby and whilst baby slept. I made notes with one hand writing whilst one hand holding. I could have watched day-time TV whilst I fed her but I chose not to. There is nothing wrong with watching day-time TV but I did it once and I got bored. Plus I have a million things in my mind to do so I HAD to make that choice. In the evenings, I spend time with my husband but I am generally on my iPad. We now have our dates in the day-time when babe is asleep and in the carrier.</p> <p><strong>3. I use a carrier!</strong> As soon as babe is asleep, into the carrier she goes. And then I do one of three things. 1. I work. 2. I go on a &#39;date&#39; with husband. 3. I spend time with my 7 year old. Oh and one more then... 4. I relax with a cuppa. Yes I do! And a slice of delicious raw cake that I made the previous night when I chose to make cake rather than watch TV!</p> <p><strong>4. Make music next to baby.</strong> I am currently writing an album of lullabies for babies, toddlers, children and any adult that wants to listen to my melodies to get to sleep! But I don&#39;t need to set aside a different time for this. Babe is playing happily next to me and I grab my guitar and start playing and writing. Don&#39;t be scared to LIVE whilst your baby watches on! They are learning and loving the process!</p> <p><strong>5. I let my husband help me.</strong> In fact, I don&#39;t ask anymore... he offers before I even get there. He knows me so well. And I let him. Too many women want to do everything themselves - why? What&#39;s wrong in letting someone else do the things you can&#39;t do or don&#39;t want to do or don&#39;t have time to do? This is why we also hired a cleaner to come and clean our home for two hours a week. She is amazing. She does in two hours what would literally take me days! It took me a while to convince myself that it was ok to get someone to come and clean (still got one foot in the &#39;I should do everything myself&#39; world and &#39;what will people think of me?&#39; planet! But then I was like OMG! I can&#39;t do it all. I want a clean house. I want to be able to be there 100 per cent for my children and I want to start building up my business before my maternity runs out!</p> <p>So there you have it - a sneak peek into my life. I make cakes. I have a hot bath from time-to-time. I make time to chat with friends even when I can. I give time to my family and give myself snippets of time too (working on that one!)</p> <p>This is how I do it! x</p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/1361268160/images/how-does-she-do-it-willow.jpg" /></p>, 30 Oct 2014 08:31:00 +0100Looking Good for the Children<p>I am a qualified teacher by profession, with a Bachelor of Education in Language Arts. Before I studied on my four-year degree course, I taught in Swaziland for a year as a volunteer, which I loved.</p> <p>After this intense teaching experience, I found it quite frustrating having to go and study something which for some cannot be taught. We spent almost the whole first year looking at books and listening to long lectures about teaching and theories and &#39;pedagogy&#39; and stuff I really didn&#39;t pay much attention to as all I wanted to do was GET INTO THE CLASSROOM!</p> <p>I remember once, my tutor saying that we musn&#39;t give too much ourselves to the children and certainly not to smile &#39;until Christmas&#39;. A teacher, when I was an NQT advised me to wear a power suit or something to show authority. Lucky for my children, I ignored all of this advice! I love all the children I have ever worked with. And the ones I miss at the moment are my 12 babes from China, in an international school where I worked for 9 months last year. They were so special to me. And every day, I made a special effort to look nice for them. Why? Because children, especially young ones, like to look at something pleasing. Maria Montessori talked about this... smelling nice, maybe putting a flower in your hair, wearing different colours and being clean. I did all of this for my children and do it as much as I can for my own two girls too. I view it as &#39;showing up&#39; and caring... it&#39;s not about &#39;being pretty&#39; - it&#39;s about respecting myself to show I care and in turn, teaching those tender young hearts that caring about yourself is important. And that when they gaze upon me, as they do (I was their &#39;mother&#39; for the day times!), I wanted them to see a pretty flower, a smiling face, a clean appearance. Well, by the end of the day, after they had wiped their noses upon my dress and I had smudged my eye makeup because of laughing so much with them, I wasn&#39;t so clean! But we had such a bond and I miss it! I miss them. If you work with children or have your own, consider what Maria Montessori talked about... just the simple things can bring so much joy x</p>, 07 Oct 2014 17:09:00 +0200Baby Needs your Love, Love!<p>In all fairness, I haven&#39;t read this book. All I have read is the snippet below and the many negative comments about this book on Amazon. All I am going to say is... mamas! What does your gut tell you? Trust your instincts -we have them for a reason x</p>, 18 Sep 2014 21:14:00 +0200Eat<p>My naturopath is on my case to get me to my natural weight after having two babies (seven years apart!) Here are pics of a few meals I have been eating!</p> <p><img alt="Beetroot salad" src="/sites/1361268160/images/eat-healthy-rainbow-beetroot-salad.jpg" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/1361268160/images/eat-healthy-salad.jpg" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/1361268160/images/eat-healthy-stirfry.jpg" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/1361268160/images/eat-omlette.jpg" /></p>, 18 Sep 2014 21:08:00 +0200What's it Like to Give Birth with no Pain Relief?<p>I always wondered... for our first baby girl, I had planned on a home-birth, to breathe my babe out a la Hypnobirthing and to love the entire process. Well, something different happened! I experienced light contractions, I felt blissful. I put Kate Bush&#39;s Aerial album on and breathed through the night to soft, warm candle light as my husband slept upstairs. Three days later...! Still in labour (although not recognised medically!) It was me in the end who said to my midwife (who was poorly) that I was totally happy to go to hospital. For some reason, all the roads were blocked so we had to call an ambulance, literally just to clear the traffic. Baby at this point was in a posterior position so all contractions were very painful and in my legs. But I still kept calm and breathed (still in Hypnobirthing mode!) The nice midwife at the hospital remarked how calm I was, considering the scale of the pain. I just closed my eyes and breathed through each contraction and didn&#39;t make a single sound. Someone down the corridor was screaming blue murder. I continued to be calm and zen like. I needed drugs though! I had my waters broken, hooked up to several bits and pieces (bit of a blur now!) A doctor came in and announced I need a C-section. My midwife argued with him that I didn&#39;t need one at all. They continued to argue whilst I waved a hand up... &#39;I&#39;m not actually having a C-section...&#39;</p> <p>I was then given a spinal block which was amazing. Just to not feel that pain, which is weird as I cannot describe it! But then it was all gone, almost instantly. I started shaking, profusely, which another midwife said was normal and she held my hand. That is the first time she showed any sense of humanity in hours as before she had been cold and off-hand. She started to shave my nether regions without asking and didn&#39;t smile. That pissed me off! This is a spiritual amazing time for me! Hold my hand! Be nice! Don&#39;t shave before asking permission! Say lovely things... please?:)</p> <p>I had no urge to push which worried everyone. I told them that I had been taught to breathe the baby out. Hmmm... they were not impressed with that. When I had my legs up in stirrups, I felt pretty chirpy considering this was exactly the opposite of what I had planned! But that is what Hypnobirthing teaches you... to be relaxed, to breathe, to get inside of yourself and focus. I highly recommend doing the classes before you have a baby! Read the book. Listen to the CD. Honestly, WELL worth it, no matter what the outcome x</p> <p>Again it was all a blur and happened very fast. I had to be cut (obviously didn&#39;t feel a thing) and the doc got out the forceps. I think babe had to be turned the right way first then they told me I absolutely HAD to push - this was it. It sounded urgent. I couldn&#39;t feel anything though (whose leg is that? Oh! It&#39;s mine! SO weird!) but I did what I thought must be pushing and three supposed pushes later, Hello Babe! Oh and then they whipped her away so quickly and all I wanted to do was cuddle her. I was flooded with happy hormones - very grateful for that! I felt amazing and on a high. My baby girl was gorgeous. I wish they hadn&#39;t cleaned her up and cut the cord so quick. It was &#39;IN&#39; and &#39;OUT&#39;! Oh well...happy, healthy girl! So that is story number one in a nutshell.</p> <p>Now forward wind to baby girl number two. When I got pregnant I was living and working in an international school in China. I was SO happy...we all were. I got sick for a few weeks then it passed and just like the first pregnancy, I felt great. My friends threw me a rocking baby shower! When I was seven months we flew home and I still felt wonderful. But I had a little prayer... and I said it a lot. I really, really wanted to experience, in comparison, natural childbirth. Not to get a medal (hey, however your baby is born into this world, or even if you didn&#39;t physically birth your baby, you deserve a million diamond-encrusted medals!) But there was something inside me that kept thinking... I know the birth I want. You are not promised a pain-free birth in Hypnobirthing but I do know it&#39;s possible. And I know it&#39;s possible to have a gentle birth with no doctors arguing in front of you or cold midwives shaving you when you have no idea what is going on! I just wanted to experience it basically, so I could write about it and share the experience with other women.</p> <p>Every time I said this little prayer, I felt a knowing feeling inside... you will get the birth you want. In my head, I listed everything I wanted. I wanted to birth this baby in a birthing centre. I wanted the midwife to be kind and loving. I wanted to leave, with my baby and husband, feeling empowered. I wanted them to play our music on repeat. I wanted them to not cut the cord until I said so. I didn&#39;t want to feel hurried and rushed and out of control. I wanted to be ASKED. I wanted respect. Do you think I was asking too much? Well... I didn&#39;t even write this plan down on paper but God was listening because every single thing I asked for was answered! Every SINGLE thing!</p> <p><img alt="Mama-Baba-Do Reading Hypnobirthing Manual" src="/sites/1361268160/images/mamababado-hypnobirthing-ambynest.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>In early stages of labour in our friend&#39;s apartment where we were living temporarily when we got back from China. </strong></p> <p>I even wanted to feel what it felt like to have my waters break this time. I didn&#39;t know what it felt like and wanted to! I wanted to FEEL everything! So at about 3am I woke up to feel a bit wet... but it wasn&#39;t like how water felt. It almost felt like velvet water! A bit slimy! I managed to get to the bathroom and it wasn&#39;t much... but enough to think my waters had broken. I had a course of adrenaline running through my body. I said prayers... I checked in on my 7 year old who was fast asleep. I tried to go back to sleep but was way too excited! OMG!! Seriously.... Oh My God! Thank you! I tried not to wake my husband but had to tell him of course. Then he went back to sleep whilst I started to get ready. I started to feel a slight contraction - no pain at all - just a feeling of my tummy tightening and lifting, then releasing again. It felt amazing! I started to feel in awe of my body, of my baby inside me, of the millions of women before me who had birthed their babies. I kept my prayer of a natural birth in my mind. I also tried to detach from it at the same time but I also felt an intense knowing that it would work out the way I had wished for!</p> <p>At about 5:30 am I couldn&#39;t help myself - I had to call my parents! My Dad came to pick our daughter up at about 7am. When I woke her and told her I was in labour, she was SO excited. She hugged me and said some amazing things! The pic of me and her at the top of this post is just after this time. She went off happily with my Dad - I was really glad she was going to go but also missed her! I wanted her to be at the birth and at one point she had said yes... then she said it would be too gross, so no! I was glad she didn&#39;t come in the end.. more of that later!</p> <p>We kept ringing the birthing centre in Northampton (AMAZING place! A real gift to the town!) and they assured me that I didn&#39;t need to come in yet. I had my little contractions about every 7 - 10 minutes for quite a while, with no pain. It all felt really good! A part of me thought... wow! I am going to actually experience a pain-free birth! I am going to be &#39;one of those women&#39;! Then all of a sudden, my contractions stopped. Hm! I wondered why. I then thought, perhaps I need to release a couple of fears. I told Tom (husband) a few things I was worried about. He then did some light touch massage, and as suggested by Ina May, I did a little nipple stimulation (!) and hey presto! Back came the contractions! (we were taught to call them surges and actually, that is a better name I feel to describe them as they are like waves in the sea, coming back and forth, getting stronger each time.)</p> <p>Still no pain! Still feeling great! I was eating bits and bobs. Some chocolate covered mulberries from the <a href="">Raw Chocolate Company</a>! A banana! A Bliss Bar! I drank coconut water.A far cry from before when I was told to eat nothing in labour! No wonder I had no energy last time! The surges were then coming every 6 minutes or so. The midwife at the birthing centre said I could come in to be assessed so off we went, and then the surges stopped again as soon as we got there.</p> <p>Now for a slight deviation. A few weeks back when we had come to look around the birthing centre, we&#39;d met a really lovely midwife who we instantly connected with. She was from Italy, had an awesome smile and was kind to my 7 year old daughter. I really wanted her to be my midwife so I had added that to my prayer wish list. And guess what! She had just come back from a ten day holiday and it was her turn to be on duty, just as we turned up! Wow! She asked me how I felt about an internal exam. Let me repeat that. She asked me. She didn&#39;t say I had to have it... she was calm and said if I didn&#39;t feel comfortable I didn&#39;t need to have it. But I felt I could trust her and felt totally relaxed in her presence so she did the exam. Little tip here ladies... just relax! Breath! If you resist, a hand going up your vagina will hurt! But if you totally relax... no pain whatsoever.</p> <p>Our midwife then said we could both help ourselves to tea, coffee etc. There was a mini fridge in our massive room in the birthing centre, a big pool, a double bed, that was folded into the wall, space to walk around, a birthing ball and a double mattress on the floor should I want to birth my baby there!</p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/1361268160/images/mmababado-birthing-centre.jpg" /></p> <p><strong>In the assessment room, just before we went for our walk! </strong></p> <p>Still no surges however so the midwife suggested we go for a walk. So Tom and I started to walk around the campus of Northamton General hospital and I reminisced about how I used to clean here every evening for two and a half hours whilst I was training to be teacher. Suddenly... Boom! The surges started and they were strong this time. Every time I had one, I had to rest on a wall or Tom, but still no pain... just very intense. I focused on the breathing techniques and felt calm and happy. Then they started to come very two minutes or so and walking was becoming a bit more of a challenge! We started to head back and this time, the surges were starting to feel more than intense. But still manageable through breathing. We got back to the birthing centre and had to walk up the stairs - wow did that seem like an effort!</p> <p>It was almost as if my body was now on some kind of auto pilot. In my head, I was thinking, this is happening! I am getting the birth I wanted! I am not being rushed into theatre! I&#39;ll be able to feel it and write about it! Yay! When we got back into the room, suddenly I felt as if my body was falling out of my body! That is the only way to describe it! It didn&#39;t hurt, there was just a huge feeling inside of me like a pop! And then the rest of the waters came gushing out (shame that didn&#39;t happen in Waitrose, as I hear they give you a year&#39;s free shopping! GLAD it didn&#39;t happen anywhere in public!) I hobbled to the bathroom where I took off my velvety wet/slimy water clothes and then I decided at this point that it might just be better if I didn&#39;t wear anything. Really... there was no point!</p> <p>Now the surges were no longer like soft rushing waves in an ocean of calm... they were coming every 30 seconds or so and were strong and powerful. But! The more I relaxed, the better I could manage the feeling of great intensity. Yes, pain! But it was unlike any other pain. Pain IS the word and yet it is not the word. It comes then bam! It&#39;s gone! I started to make moaning noises even though I had swore to myself I wouldn&#39;t make any noise! It felt good to moan... I kept it low as that seemed to help. I suddenly felt like I was aware of everything but also my birthing body had just completely taken over. Tom was there by my side rubbing my back and saying affirmations in a soft, but strong low voice. Our midwive hovered, not intervening until she felt she could assist, like at one point when I wanted to get into the pool and then she helped me in. Oh it felt so good to get in but OMG here came another surge! And now all I could do was pray, and for some reason, repeat Tom&#39;s name over and over... except surprise! I found myself calling him Thomas! This made me laugh inside my mind as I could hear myself saying &#39;Thomas... Thomas!!&#39; and bless him, he just went with it! I don&#39;t know how long I was in the pool for. I was in established labour for six hours but really, that time distortion kicks in really soon and it just went past like a fast blur.</p> <p>There is a prayer I say - more like an invocation. I am a Baha&#39;i and my whole life is centred around prayer. I started to feel the need to say this invocation now, over and over with each contraction. I shook my head from side to side... nooooo! NoooooooO! Then the prayer then more noooooos! It felt SO blissful when the pain passed then it would build up again. I kept thinking... this is meant to be happening. Tom kept saying I could do it. I told him at one point that I couldn&#39;t go on... I felt drowsy, full of adrenaline, full of power and OHHHH! The pain! Wow! SO unlike anything I had ever felt. It was off the scale. I remember even thinking those words... this is OFF the scale! But it was also all manageable. I could do it. I asked the midwife at one point how much longer? Will I give birth soon I asked with pitiful eyes? She just smiled and said, &#39;I don&#39;t know! Maybe!&#39; Honestly... she was amazing. An angel from heaven! She was there the whole time, just smiling, keeping out of the way or at one point, when the pain was really intense in my back she rubbed it really hard and that helped massively.</p> <p>I had read stories about women just instinctively knowing what to do and what position to be in. And here I was, experiencing the very same thing. And suddenly, it felt like my insides were going to totally spill out onto the floor which scared me. I resisted and the midwive assured me... just let go! Don&#39;t worry! &#39;But what if I do a massive poo&#39; (as that is exactly what it feels like!) &#39;It&#39;s ok if you do&#39; she said... &#39;Let go...&#39; - And even though I resisted that bit for a while, my God! It was amazing! My body was pushing the baby out and I wasn&#39;t doing any work!! It came with every contraction... and once I got my head round the weird feeling of it all, it started to make sense. The pain made sense. The contractions made sense. I went over to the floor bed and knew that it was going to happen fast now. The midwife called her colleague in so that there were two to deliver the baby. I was on all fours and had my head down. With each contraction now, my body was literally pushing this baby out. And when I went with it, it worked. And then... I remember that feeling of the head of my baby girl coming down... it burned! But it wasn&#39;t an all encompassing pain. At first I felt scared of the new sensation then again, it made sense. I marveled at how my body was doing this!! A baby is going to come OUT of my body! Oh my freaking goodness! How amazing am I?!! I could feel the head coming out and the midwives got excited. I was making all sorts of noises now and couldn&#39;t help a single darn one of them! Then I felt the baby&#39;s head retract...that was a weird one! Nooooo! Come out the other way! I said to Tom to repeat a prayer over and over (Is there any Remover of Difficulties save God? Say, praised be God! He is God! All are His servants and all abide by His bidding) which he did. He midwife told me to push now at certain points. It was an incredible feeling to feel the baby&#39;s head come out! That literally was total relief and really, a total miracle that a baby can come out from down there! The midwife remarked at how much hair she had! I felt joyous! I knew it was just around the corner. Then the other midwife said those incredible words... one more push Victoria and your baby will be with you. When it was time, I pushed (literally feels as if you are doing the biggest poo of your life as you are using the same muscles!) and then HELLO BABY! Feeling little baby slide out of my body was the most ecstatic feeling ever. I wanted to do that bit again! Just amazing! I was stuck on all fours and couldn&#39;t get round to lay on my back. I had been in this position for so long and suddenly I felt weak but I also couldn&#39;t wait to have my precious bundle on my body to feel her skin next to mine. The midwife helped me to turn round and she put my baby girl on me. Willow was small and smelt incredible! I kept smelling her head and felt over the moon! She had my blood all over her tiny body and she was waxy and greasy. What a miracle. To think we all, every single one of us, start out this way. I told the midwife that I had a special prayer to whisper into baby&#39;s right ear. Tom retrieved the prayer from my bag and I did this... such a special moment. They left the cord attached until it stopped pulsating. It was so long! I couldn&#39;t believe it - like something from an alien planet! And beautiful!</p> <p>Tom then took baby and cuddled her for an hour and a half as NOW was the time to get some drugs - gas and air! I had torn where I&#39;d had the episiotomy seven years ago and after being assessed, the midwife said I would need stitches. I had an injection to &#39;numb the area&#39; and then I started to breathe in the gas and air, which sent me doolally for an hour and I wished someone had recorded me as I was saying the funniest things! I thought I was being extremely hilarious and at one point had a laughing fit! It was just such a joyous time being in that room in those precious moments after. We&#39;d had our Steve Halpern CD playing on repeat for the entire birth and the lighting was low and could be changed to different colours! I started mumbling to the midwife about how amazing she was... I meant every word I said but I probably sounded like a raving mad woman! The weird effects of the gas and air passed after the hour and then I was handed my baby again!</p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/1361268160/images/mamababado-newborn.jpg" /></p> <p>The midwife asked us to guess the weight of our baby and we were all wrong! She was a lovely big 8 lbs 11 oz! She didn&#39;t clean the baby... I loved that! Everything felt right and in its place. I needed to deliver the placenta... blimey those things are massive! She put it in a bowl so I could see just how big it was! I was then in even more awe of my body... just how incredible are we to be able to do this? What an immensely perfect design. Baby came straight into bed with me and then I was straight onto Facebook! I was made hot chocolate and toast by the midwife... I didn&#39;t want to leave! Tom went home to get sleep and I stayed in bed, just feeling amazing and SO empowered. I know, having had two very different birthing stories that this scenario might not always happen. But... not matter what... enjoy the process. Try not to fear the pain because it&#39;s the pain and feeling it all that contributed to me feeling like a lion RAWWRR!!!! I left that birthing centre feeling on top of the world and that I could now achieve anything! Because what I had just experienced was the most intense and amazing and painful and incredible things ever!</p> <p>Thank you for reading x I hope it is inspiring to those who are on their journey to giving birth:) PLEASE feel free to share your birth stories here... it is actually very wonderful and cathartic to share - after the big experience you have just had, whether it&#39;s natural, with pain relief, without, C-Section... whatever! Birthing a baby into the world is incredible! x</p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/1361268160/images/mamababado-newborn-snuggle.jpg" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/1361268160/images/mamababado-new-sister.jpg" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/1361268160/images/mamababdo-justborn.jpg" /></p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/1361268160/images/mamababdo-baby-smile.jpg" /></p>, 17 Sep 2014 21:34:00 +0200Rejoicing to be Turning 40!<p>I turn 40 this weekend... and I am really happy about that! Despite needing to shift a few pounds (ok, a few stone) after having my second baby three months ago, I eat good foods and drink green smoothies, reflect, meditate and say prayers, have fun with my family and I think it shows!</p> <p>I feel good about life and all it took were a few changes! Someone commented recently that I look younger since I had my babies! I still feel 17 in my head sometimes, particularly when I listen to the Smashing Pumpkins!</p> <p>For my birthday treat this week, I get to see Kate Bush perform live, which is an experience I never thought I&#39;d get to witness in my lifetime. And then I also will be visiting Tanya&#39;s incredible raw food/plant-based cafe/restaurant in Chelsea, London.</p> <p>Oh the joys! Don&#39;t worry about turning 40, or 30 or 20 or 50 or 80... just give yourselves the treats in life that you love.</p> <p>Spend time with family and friends. Do what makes you feel good... and sometimes do what just needs to be done! But even when I have taken up the most tiresome or grossest jobs in life, I have always done so with a happy heart, which made the ultimate difference!</p> <p>Love x</p>, 16 Sep 2014 08:34:00 +0200Lemon Water to Start my Day<p>I have started my day for many years now with a glass of warm water and lemon... I used to be a &#39;five cups of tea a day&#39; girl (with two sugars in each cuppa!) and now, I LOVE the taste of this drink instead and how it makes me feel.</p> <p>Try the Lemon Water Challenge for 7 days. Wake up and make this your first drink of the day. Have a couple of glasses. Feel the hydrating effects. Do it every day for 7 days and then tell me how you feel!</p>, 15 Sep 2014 17:54:00 +0200