Our Easter Tree Tradition

We started having an Easter tree last year.I wish I could say it is for Emma’s sake only but it would be a lie. I love putting it up and decorating it, so it is for my sake as well as hers :-).

I love Christmas trees and since last year at Easter we had such a cold spell, with snow and stormy weather, it seemed appropriate to have an Easter tree too. Which proved a bit confusing up to a point but hey, that’s another story…

Last year Alex found a tree branch which had been cut off and we decorated that as our Easter tree. This year we decided to upcycle our optic fiber Christmas tree and use it instead of a real branch. Works a wonder and on dark evenings we have the option to light it up, a bit weird but looks lovely when sitting with a cup of tea in the living room.

My decorations have been exclusively bought from bargain shops, as you can see in the picture, at around £1.00 per pack.

We have plastic toy Easter eggs, which Emma has decorated with stickers and we have filled with tiny Easter eggs that are to be munched from now until Easter.

Emma has enjoyed painting and decorating ceramic bunnies and eggs , as you can see in the box in the center. We have also made Easter cards which she has generously given to friends in playgroup.

019From last year, I have kept and re-used some very pretty and sparkly foam and glitter eggs and bird nests.They were again around £1 per set of six but look so cute in the tree! The wee chicks can be found everywhere this year, I even saw them in Tesco’s yesterday and they are very good value, around 16 for £1!!

004Of course, Emma’s favourite item is the Easter basket, where I decided to put a few treats for her to enjoy. She has had so far Easter bunnies from Milka, they are £0.67 for 3 in Home Bargains and so pretty looking under the tree!

Since we have a fireplace this year I decided to buy a bunting to decorate it. It was so easy to put together and I love the look of our living room with it now!

002 (2)All in all, I find doing anything that gives me a bit of time with Emma fun and we are both very pleased with the end result!

022Do you have any Easter traditions in your family? Please do share your ideas with me, I am always interested to hear about what other people do at Easter, besides eating chocolate eggs :-).

Blog Your Heart Out!

I have been tagged and challenged by the lovely Sophie at Franglaise Mummy to blog my heart out. I need to basically answer five questions that will allow other mummy bloggers to get to know me a bit better. Then I will tag five other mummies and challenge them to reveal a bit about themselves too.

I love the challenge in light of the decision I made last week to write a bit more about myself, not only about reflux and sibling issues we are facing at the moment, since they are temporary and will go away sooner or later.

So, here goes:

Who/What encouraged you to start blogging?

I started blogging in 2012, when we moved home. It was a very confusing time in my life, we had just lost our home, moved into rental accommodation and away from familiar surroundings and people. I found myself stranded and lonely and decided to pour my heart out into this blog, as a means to release my pent-up emotions.

How did you choose what topics to blog about?

At the time, I was “only a  mummy” so I blogged about raising a toddler in the beginning. As my confidence grew, I added recipes, travel posts and reviews to the blog.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I have two degrees: one in French and a Master’s in American Studies. So when people compliment me here on my “good English” I feel like strangling them, as they don’t realise I have studied for ages to get to this level of proficiency and it is not my living here and learning from the locals that did it :-)

What three words describe your style?

Hmmm…I would say reserved, quiet and reflective. I take my time to analyse a situation or a person, I don’t trust easily. When I have formed an opinion about something/someone it is generally not rushed judgement but a methodical analysis of recurrent behaviour/circumstances. So if you are my friend, I deem your trustworthy to be around. If you are not, it is because I have come to that conclusion by observing you and it is highly unlikely that you will become my friend any time soon…

What do you love to do when you are not blogging?

Sleeping…Honestly, with a small baby who is still up several times at night, I would love to be able to sleep a whole week to make up for the past 10 weeks of broken sleep :-). I also like shopping for bargains and cooking, when I am not under pressure.

DIGITAL CAMERAAnd this is me, on my wedding day, no make-up on!

Whom do I nominate now:

Honest Mum

Mother Nature Loves You

Hijacked by Twins

Musings of a 21st Century Stay at Home Mum

Oh So Amelia.


Sterimar Congestion Relief – Review

Spring usually brings longer and warmer days, tree blossoms but, unfortunately, for our family, it usually means stuffed noses and sniffles…This spring has been no different, with hubby constantly exhausting the tissue box supply and Emma bringing in all sorts of nasties from playgroup. Even as I write this, she is down with an ear infection, bless her!

You can imagine anything that can bring relief  to the situation is highly welcomed, so my excitement was justified when we were offered the chance to review the Sterimar products. I got really excited knowing that of all the congestion relief products available on the market at the moment, Sterimar would do no harm to either my baby nor to my ever-so-health-conscious hubby since it is 100% natural sea water, hence the name!

Hubby was actually over the moon when he realised what Sterimar Congestion Relief was as it reminded him of his home country, Greece and the sea dipping Greek people do when they have a cold, since they believe the salty water clears mucus naturally and relieves congestion. He tried it for a couple of evenings and reported clear airways, a big deal for him when it comes to a good night sleep.

Baby has been sniffling and coughing too these past few days. I have used only Sterimar Baby on him, at the doctor’s recommendation. I love the fact that Sterimar Baby can be used from birth, since it has no chemicals that could harm your baby. A big plus for me is that fact that it has a long and slim tube what can be inserted easily into tiny noses, I remember when Emma was a baby how difficult it was to put drops of any kind into her nose due to cumbersome devices. It is also a spray, which means you can hold your baby upright while using it, reducing the stress and the discomfort of both baby and mother!

You can find both Sterimar Congestion Relief and Sterimar Baby in Boots and most pharmacies across the UK or you can order it online.

For the purpose of this review, we were offered both products free of charge. We highly recommend them!


Remember Who You Are – Coffee For Your Heart

This post is a response to the prompt given by Holley Gerth this week.

And boy, can I relate to it! The last nine weeks have been a HUGE emotional roller coaster, with the blessing of a new baby being replaced by the terror of baby reflux and then the settling into the realisation that this too, no matter how tough it is, shall pass…

And yes, just like in the prompt, I do struggle to dissociate myself from the circumstances. Yes, indeed, I am the mother of a second reflux baby, I have PND, once again and  I did need mum’s help, just like last time…

BUT, in the same time, I am myself, Oana, a person who loves reading and blogging, who is passionate about social causes, who likes pizza and going out for a good cup of coffee and a strawberry and white chocolate bun.

I make mistakes, just like anyone, but have learned to live with the consequences.

I would love to make this blog do even better and am in the passive process of thinking it through and deciding what I could do to see it soar to the top.

I love holidays when spent with the people I love and in a warm and pleasant environment.

And most of all, I am God’s daughter, living with the active expectation of seeing Him intervene in our circumstances, in His own time and according to His will. Until then, all I can do is enjoy every moment I can, take every day as it comes and TRUST that He will not let me get overwhelmed or overtired again…What else could I do?



Hotel Chocolat: Easter Range Review

So we got very lucky and we were approached by Hotel Chocolat with the request to review some of their Easter range products, to the delight of my Emma, who is an absolute chocolate addict!

If you have lived somewhere in isolation and don’t know much about Hotel Chocolat, let me give you a brief introduction: it is a small enterprise that started 20 years ago out of passion for quality and ethics. Their chocolate is home-grown, so to say, by small producers in Saint-Lucia and Ghana. The business has slowly but steadily expanded to comprise its own unique plantation hotel and restaurant and has reached the States from 2011. Their motto is: “less sugar, more cocoa” which reassures me, as the mother of an avid consumer of chocolate :-)

The Easter range has great options for every taste and budget.

I was seriously tempted by their Easter Pick Me Up Gift Bag as it offers a selection of 6 White Praline Bunnies, 6 Salted Caramel Egglets, 4 Raspberry Zinger Egglets. For a lover of white chocolate and for sharing with friends and family, this would have been ideal!

easter-pick-me-up-2014Another great temptation was the Splat Egg Caramel, as I love caramel as well :-)

the-splat-caramel-chocolate-easter-eggBut in the end, I decided to please Emma and went for the Big City Easter Bunny as it was the most appropriate selection for a child her age. Needless to say, it was devoured in less than half an hour and I had a very pleased little girl int he house for the rest of the afternoon :-)big-city-easter-bunnySo if you are struggling to find a Mothers’ Day or an Easter present for your loved ones, why don’t you head over to Hotel Chocolat‘s website to face the temptation yourself  check out their range?

Word of the week: Upheaval

I have been praising my older one for being so accepting and understanding of the baby situation. But I suppose everything and everyone has a limit and she reached her acceptance and tolerance level this week.

It didn’t happen all of a sudden. The tell-tale signs had been there: clinginess when going somewhere; unexplained tears and moods. But at the beginning of the week they took a turn for the worse with her waking up at 5.30 on Monday and telling us she didn’t want to go either to playgroup nor to the childminder. On Tuesday it all culminated with floods of tears on the way to the nursery and her telling me: “I want to hide, mummy…so you can’t find me…and send me to the childminder…but you can find me so easily…”. My heart broke. Right there. I knew I had to amend this situation.

So I called the childminder and explained. Then we took time, just for the two of us, on Tuesday after playgroup. She wanted McDonald’s for a treat. And a dress for the summer. And I took her afterwards for a bun to top it all up.

She has been better but we had to give the childminder notice. I had less time to rest in the afternoons. And I had to call in the local nursery and see if they can have Georgie for a couple of afternoons a week, so I can have exclusive time with Emma.

And I have been tired. Tired of the fact that I am not enough for both my children at the moment. Tired of my imperfect solutions.

But hey, this is life, right? Nothing is perfect, all we can do is try our best!


Living Arrows-11/52

001I think this picture sums up the last couple of weeks for us: sibling acceptance.

Emma, my love, you continue to love your brother fiercely and are ever so proud of being his older sister. You are always around when he needs changed, eager to help if he cries, offering toys or suggestions to mummy if he seems uncomfortable.

You haven’t slept very well for the past few weeks and I can’t tell if it’s your mind still processing the changes that have occurred in our family, your daddy being away last week or just the brighter days…Hope it settles soon, as you are either grumpy, tearful or a bit cheeky when you haven’t had your proper sleep…

But you have come to accept your Bica’s presence in the house and take comfort in her arms sometimes. Or spend hours “working” alongside at the kitchen table. Here is you doing your “homework”, you are so ready for school and so eager and Bica doing her crosswords.


Georgie, the medicine you have been taking for more than two weeks now seems to have kicked in. Ever so slowly your sleep has got better and you are doing longer stretches at night and are not as unsettled during the day. But mummy still finds it a bit tough, a war of nerves, as I call it, trying to put you to sleep many, many times a day while doing everything else in the house. Good thing Bica is here and she is renowned for her patience, have no clue what we will do when she goes home at Easter. Hope you either learn to sleep through it or do without sleep…

I am linking this to the Living Arrows, as I believe as parents we are” the bows from which our children are sent forward”(Kahlil Gibran), responsible for their material, spiritual and emotional well being.

livingarrowsBrilliant Blog Posts



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