Carry on Camping

I have lots of issues with camping in general. First and foremost is my dislike of insects, a reasonable sized spider can bring on a panic attack in me. I can just about tolerate other bugs and mini beasts, but I don’t like them and avoid them at all costs!

Secondly, I like my home comforts, I don’t like being cold or wet and I am very fussy about where I sleep – if I can’t get comfy, I can’t sleep. End of. I like nothing better than coming home after a busy day, getting my pjs on and relaxing on the sofa in front of the TV. Ahhh bliss!

So when Michael first mentioned that we should go camping, I wasn’t impressed, but just ignored it as a passing phase. But apparently it wasn’t, and he got Sophie on board too. And finally I crumbled, giving into the pressure of the 2 people closest to me, wanting to give me a nervous breakdown. This weekend was spent shopping for a tent and camping equipment.

carry on camping

After several hours trying to decide exactly what it was we wanted and how we would use our tent, we settled on an Outwell Montana 6 – sold to us as one of the most popular tents ever. I am hoping the guy at the camping exhibition knows what he was on about, because I didn’t have a clue. Its been several years since I camped.

So we are now the ‘proud’ owners of a tent, a camping table, stove, kitchen unit and plenty of other stuff that we are somehow going to have to try and fit into the car whenever we fancy a few days away.

Now don’t get me wrong, despite my hesitance, I really can see the benefits of camping – I actually like love the idea of being in the outdoors 24/7 – taking time away from screens and giving Sophie more freedom than she is allowed normally. Spending time together as a family, in the great outdoors, sounds perfect, but I am just not sure that I will be able to take to it!

carry on camping carry on camping

Sophie already loves being outdoors and is so excited to be going camping

And you get to look forward to seeing how I get on – this could either help me overcome my fear of all things creepy crawly, being cold and wet and having an uncomfy bed, or it could totally push me over the edge!


Penne Arrabbiata

Penne Arrabbiata

For me, there is nothing better than pasta – it can be the ultimate comfort food, or a light meal. Its so versatile and traditional Italian recipes are packed full of fresh ingredients, which make for a healthy dinner. Its also quick and easy to prepare, if like me, you don’t make it from scratch.

A recent survey by the International Currency Exchange has shown that a high percentage of holiday makers choose their holiday destination based on the cuisine on offer. And I have to agree here – my ideal holiday would be in Italy, and a big reason for that would be the food.

I sometimes think that the most simple of dishes, done well can be the best, and with this in mind I have recreated this traditional Italian dish, which I would just love to try in Italy! Simple, bold flavours make it delicious and fresh tasting. It is also one of Michaels favourites, and we have eaten it in a few Italian restaurants. It would be a must if we ever when we visit Italy!

Penne Arrabbiata

Penne Arrabbiate

Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 20 mins


  • 500g Penne pasta
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 red chillis
  • 2 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • A handful of Basil
  • half tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper to season
  • Shaved Parmesan, to serve


  1. Cook the pasta in a large pan, according to the packet instructions
  2. Finely chop the garlic, chilli and basil
  3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the garlic and chilli, fry over a medium for a couple of minutes
  4. Add the tinned tomatoes, sugar and basil, then season to taste
  5. Bring the sauce to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, before stirring into the cooked pasta.
  6. Sprinkle over the parmesan and serve with a sprig of basil

This post is my entry into the International Currency Exchange blogger cooking challenge. I was compensated for the ingredients used to create this recipe.

A guide to accessing contraception

Preventing pregnancy does not have to be hard work. With such a wide range of contraceptive methods available today, you are sure to find a solution that is right for you.

Whether you are considering using contraception for the first time or would like to change your birth control, it is vital that you are clued up on the facts.

You have various options when you’re deciding where to go to get contraception. For example, you can visit your GP surgery, community contraception clinics or sexual health clinics. As well as accessing birth control in these places, you can get information on the pros and cons of each method. You can also discuss any concerns you may have about contraception and sexual health in general. Meanwhile, doctors or nurses can assess your physical health to help determine what methods of birth control would be most appropriate for you.

It is now also possible to access birth control from reputable online pharmacies, such as LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor.

 Know your options

Before you make any decisions regarding contraception, it is important that you’re fully in the know. After all, there are 15 different types to choose from, including combined pills such as Microgynon 30 and Cilest, condoms, implants, injections, patches, diaphragms and intrauterine devices (IUDs).

There is lots of information on offer regarding these various options, but always make sure you get your facts from a reliable source, such as the NHS or LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor.

By reading up on the types of contraception now available, you can boost your confidence and help ensure you make the best possible choices.


Whichever form of birth control you select, it’s recommended that you use condoms as well. After all, these are the only method of contraception that prevents sexually transmitted infections.

When you’re buying these products, always choose versions that have the CE mark on the packet. This means they have been tested to European safety standards.

Emergency contraception

If you have had unprotected sex or your contraception has failed, it’s possible to access emergency contraception. Bear in mind that the sooner you use these forms of contraception, the more effective they are. Also, emergency contraception shouldn’t be used instead of your normal method of birth control.

You might decide to take the morning after pill, which can be accessed from your GP, contraception clinics and some pharmacies. IUDs can also be fitted as a form of emergency contraception. To get this, you will have to visit your doctor or a sexual health clinic.

Open communication

There is certainly no shortage of options when you’re searching for methods of birth control and, as long as you know where to look, accessing contraception is now easier than ever before.

For the best results when it comes to family planning, it’s helpful to have open and honest communication with your partner. After all, the decisions you make will affect both of you. Similarly, contraception should always be seen as a joint responsibility.

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Advancements in Parenting

Its amazing to think just how much giving birth and parenting has advanced over the past few hundred years isn’t it? I often wonder how us parents of today would have coped without all our mod cons. Of course you always adapt to what is available, but I have to admit I would be lost without some of the things we have today. As part of World Breast feeding Week last week (1st-7th August) Benenden produced this infographic. I was surprised when some things came into being.

The evolution of parenthood timeline

Parenthood timeline Infographic by benenden health

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The truth that is depression – goodbye Robin Williams

Today we woke up to the news that we have lost a true legend, for yesterday Robin Williams passed away, in what is said to be a probable suicide. Throughout his career Robin Williams has given so much to us, from laughs, to heart warming anecdotes. But in the end he died in sadness and alone.

That is the truth that is depression.

Depression doesn’t care how rich you are, or how popular or famous. It doesn’t care how many friends and family you have, or where you live or who you are. It is totally indiscriminate. And when it hits, none of the above matters either.

It feels like you are totally alone, the words of friends and family can mean nothing. The support and love around you doesn’t even register. Nothing matters. Not fame, nor money, nor even family at times. When you fall into the deepest darkest place that you never even realised existed, it feels like there is no way out. Happiness feels impossible. Life feels hopeless. And sometimes enough is enough and you can’t go on anymore. Depression consumes you. And it becomes you, it defines who you are and how you behave, it taints everything that was ever good. It changes you as a person.

And it changes the way people see you. The way they interact with you and think of you. There isn’t a single inch of your life that isn’t affected by this horrible illness. For the world looking in, it is easy to say ‘get over it’ ‘look on the bright side’ or ‘its really not that bad’, but depression changes the way you think and see things, including yourself.

That is the truth that is depression.

I hope that in death Robin Williams finds the peace he was very obviously lacking in life. I hope his family and friends don’t blame themselves.

RIP Robin, thanks for the memories.

Are There Legitimate Risks in Getting a Prenatal Ultrasound?

Pregnant women and their doctors have come to rely upon prenatal ultrasounds during the course of a pregnancy to ensure the fetus is growing and developing in healthy ways. The procedure has become extremely common, and there are no legitimate risks involved for the mother or the child. Naturally, all tests and procedures should be discussed in depth with your doctor and medical staff. However, the prenatal ultrasound is not anything to worry about. Your ultrasound will help your practitioner measure the size of the fetus, check the heart beat and estimate your delivery date. 

Prenatal ultrasounds are not complicated procedures. You will need to arrive for your ultrasound appointment with a full bladder, so drink plenty of water before your appointment, and avoid using the restroom until after it’s done. That full bladder will be the most uncomfortable part of the process for you. It helps your ultrasound technician better see the uterus and the fetus growing inside it.

The ultrasound isn’t like a regular medical appointment, you don’t need to undress or wear a terrible paper robe. Instead, you’ll simply need to expose your abdomen so the technician or nurse can spread a cool gel all over your stomach. This might not feel great, but it’s necessary for the procedure and it’s not harmful to your body. You’ll need to relax while the ultrasound want is moved back and forth over your stomach. The technology is amazing and without any risks. Sonic waves are identified and processed through the ultrasound, transmitting an image of your baby onto a screen. There’s nothing harmful about these sonic waves. They are not radioactive and your baby will not be affected by your curious look at what’s going on in there.

A prenatal ultrasound can help your doctor determine the position of your fetus in your uterus. This is necessary to track the progression of your pregnancy and to prepare for delivery. A prenatal ultrasound can also determine the gender of your baby, so if you and your partner want to know whether you’re having a little girl or a little boy, your ultrasound will help.

Prenatal ultrasounds are necessary to detect any concerns the doctor might have about the development and growth of the fetus. The technicians conducting these procedures are highly trained and professional. It’s a surprisingly detailed look at how the baby is doing. Prenatal ultrasounds are safe during your pregnancy and the number of ultrasounds that are scheduled will depend on your doctor.

This post was written for All You Need is Love And Cake by Glenn Josephik. Glenn is an account representative and the marketing coordinator at MedCorp LLC, the industry leader and premier business source for used portable ultrasound systems. You can follow Glenn Josephik on Google+.

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