Allergy Awareness Week 2017: My Experience

 

As you may or may not know this week 24th – 30th April is Allergy Awareness Week. About 8 years ago I didn’t really know much about any allergies; except Asthma and Eczema which I have experienced but I didn’t realise that asthma is closely linked to allergies.

I had a naïve uneducated view that if someone came into contact with something they had a mild allergic to it gave them a rash or an upset stomach, a bit like a stomach bug which most will get from time to time. Obviously I knew that there were severe allergies which the individual needed to carry an epi-pen to prevent anaphylactic shock – like my step-sisters son does for a peanut allergy. I didn’t realise how life changing any type of allergy is and I don’t think you do until you have one yourself or someone close to you does and I’m going to share some of my experiences.

 

Dairy Allergies

My eldest son, Tristan has had problems with diarrhoea and stomach pains for most of his life. We had been fobbed off by doctors being told it was toddler’s diarrhoea. Over Christmas 2015 we visited family and Tristan played Pie Face with his cousins (for those of you that don’t know the game it’s basically getting squirty cream splattered in your face). Tristan’s face came up in a massive rash which took 24 hours before it began to go down despite being washed and various creams to try and get rid of it.

He’s now been dairy-free for approximately 9 months since the beginning of the summer holidays last year. We felt it would be easier to monitor what he was eating and help him get used to the change in diet without looking at his friends eating the things he loves but now can’t have. In the past 9 months Tristan’s symptoms have improved drastically previously his bowel movements were 90% loose and now it’s completely changed and is about 90% solid.

From my perspective cutting out the dairy from Tristan’s diet has been relatively easy. We have to check the ingredients on everything he has. Most of the everyday dairy products have been swapped to soya or coconut based products which are ALOT more expensive! I have found the dairy-free options don’t cater very well for children in the way of cereal bars and bags of biscuits. Luckily I’ve found Tristan is happy with other healthier snacks like raisins and fruit winder type things. I was quite impressed with the seasonal items available over Christmas and Easter from the free from section in the supermarkets.

When I asked Tristan how he’s finding being dairy free and he said ‘it’s ok, but I get a little bit sad because I’m not allowed dairy and I can’t have things like Yorkshire puddings and they were one of my favourites.’ He’s doing so well with it, a lot better than I expected. If someone offers him something to eat he will always ask if it has dairy in and say no thank you if it has. It’s been suggested by the paediatrician that we start to re-introduce a small amount of dairy under a dietician and see how we get on. I’m interested in seeing how we get on as Tristan’s mistakenly had milk chocolate with no obvious reaction. On the other hand he’s dipped his finger in my tea and touched his face – I know the things kids do – and had a rash reaction.

One of the main things with a food allergy that people don’t think about I am cross contamination. Something as simple as making a ‘normal’ sandwich then making a dairy-free sandwich without washing the board causes a risk of cross contamination. Tristan has a habit of sucking his fingers – a bit like some children suck their thumbs – this could cause cross contamination and is more than likely the reason he still has that 10% loose bowel movement. Hopefully he’ll grow out of it one day which is a possibility.  One of Tristan’s cousins had a dairy allergy and grew out of it, unfortunately it’s resurfaced now she’s hit puberty. Fingers crossed they both grow out of it. You can find more information about food allergies at Allergy UK.

 

Eczema

My youngest Lewis has suffered with eczema for most of his life. When he was younger he suffered with it severely on his face. We tried lots of different creams and steroids which sometimes helped temporarily.  The best thing that helped him and got rid of it on his face was going on holiday abroad. Doctors were adamant that the sun and sea salt would not affect it. However 2 weeks abroad and Lewis’s eczema went from severe to virtually none existent.

For the past 2 years we have found as the winter draws in the eczema appears. Although it’s now his wrists, his elbows and back of his knees where he suffers now. Keeping the area’s moisturised several times a day with different creams does help. Lewis itches his wrists mainly at night and is in a vicious cycle. To prevent this we smother his wrists in Double-base cream and wrap bandages around his wrists. Generally this works quite well for us at the moment, making it more manageable. You can find more information about eczema at Eczema.org

Asthma

Asthma is a long term condition which could basically be explained as sensitive airways. An asthma attack can be triggered by a variety of things such as dust, pets and pollen. I’m including this in this post as asthma is very closely linked to allergies. I’m very familiar with asthma as most of my family have it. Asthmatic’s need to take a preventer inhaler regularly with the aim of keeping the asthma under control. Asthmatics also carry a reliever to use in the event of an attack. You can findmore information at Asthma UK. 

Coeliac Disease

I had never heard of Coeliac Disease until a met my mother in law who has it. Coeliac Disease is a autoimmune disease. It causes an allergic reaction to gluten products including wheat, barley and rye which are in most everyday foods. If someone with Coeliac Disease has gluten they experience symptoms such as diarrhoea, nausea, bloating, tiredness, wind and constipation. You can find out more here at Coeliac UK.

Tree Pollen

A couple of years ago my sister in law broke out in a horrible rash on her face, neck and chest. After a series of tests she was told it’s an allergy to a specific type of tree pollen. Unfortunately this type of tree was a common tree which was located close to her house. She tried a variety of creams both steroid and moisturising and eventually found Aveeno cream soothe it.

My sister-in-law has since moved house and has found that her allergy has gone. She is able to cope with small amounts of this tree pollen. She has said the excessive use of steroid creams has left her skin aged more than it should be. Her daughter has recently broke out in the same rash and currently waiting to find out which tree pollen is causing it.

Unfortunately I have been unable to find a source of further information. I have found that this allergy is closely linked to hay fever, however the symptoms of hay fever do not include this rash. If you have any concerns or similar symptoms  please raise it with your GP.

Peanut Allergy

A peanut allergy is the one allergy that I’d heard of having life threatening consequences. If someone with a peanut allergy comes into contact with them they go into anaphylactic shock. They have to carry an epi-pen to relieve this. I’m not close to my step sister however I know that her son has this allergy. I didn’t realise how different this type of allergy was from other allergies. Last year we received a letter asking parents not to allow their children to eat peanuts before school and not to bring in anything with nuts as another child had a severe allergy. I don’t personally have much more information on peanut allergies but you can find out about peanut allergies here.

 

March 2017 Income Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where on Earth did March go??? It absolutely flew by for me! It’s probably due to the amount of work I’ve been doing which as you will see has paid off financially. Probably not great for my health as I feel exhausted, but we’re getting so close to our goal of buying our first home. I also had an exam on the 30th and after feeling like I’d been on autopilot for the whole topic it was safe to say I needed a whole lotta revision!

Why I publish Income Reports?

I’m going to be publishing a monthly income report to share with you the income from my blog and side hustles because not only will it encourage me to regularly take note of how much I’m actually earning, it will keep me motivated in pushing these side hustles to boost my income even more and I will be showing what sort of realistic figures you can achieve.

Side Hustle Income

Mystery Shopping.

£48.00

Mystery Shopping companies usually have 1 payday’s per month meaning assignments worked after the cut off period will be paid in the following month.

Cashback

£29.52

Here I am combining Cashback Apps such as Checkout Smart and TopCashBack with Cashback Schemes such as cashback rewards from banks. Most of the time these companies let you choose when to cash-out so I’m happy for it to stay there until I’ve build up a decent amount. Some also have a threshold that you need to reach before it will allow you to cash out.

Surveys

£6.00

I haven’t done any surveys this month as I’ve been busy with my other side hustles.

Red Wigwam

In last month’s Income Report I told you a little about Red Wigwam and how I’d joined up and become a temporary fulfillment manager with them, 12 hours per week from home. This month I’ve also done a lot of field merchandising for a national campaign they have for around 5 hours per week. I’ve done some mystery shopping but I’ve included that in the mystery shopping income.

£669.01

 

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Blog Income

This month my blog has taken a bit of a backseat as I’ve been busy boosting my income with other side hustles.

Sponsored Posts

£0.00

Total side hustle income for March is £752.53

 

<<< Last Month’s Income Report

 

February 2017 Income Report

February 2017 has been a very busy month for me. I did lots of mystery shopping at the start of the month, went away for a week during half term and after signing up to a temporary recruitment agency at end of January which I’ve done a lot of work for this month which has been fantastic for my side hustle income, I’ll explain this a bit more further on.

Why I publish Income Reports?

I’m going to be publishing a monthly income report to share with you the income from my blog and side hustles because not only will it encourage me to regularly take note of how much I’m actually earning, it will keep me motivated in pushing these side hustles to boost my income even more and I will be showing what sort of realistic figures you can achieve.

Side Hustle Income

Mystery Shopping.

£49.75

Mystery Shopping companies usually have 1 payday’s per month meaning assignments worked after the cut off period will be paid in the following month.

Cashback

£10.03

Here I am combining Cashback Apps such as Checkout Smart and TopCashBack with Cashback Schemes such as cashback rewards from banks. Most of the time these companies let you choose when to cash-out so I’m happy for it to stay there until I’ve build up a decent amount. Some also have a threshold that you need to reach before it will allow you to cash out.

Surveys

£0.00

I haven’t done any surveys this month as I’ve been busy with my other side hustles.

Red Wigwam

As I said at the start of this post I signed up to a temporary recruitment agency at the end of January after reading about them being good for mystery shopping. I have done 1 mystery shop with them which I have included in the mystery shopping sections income above. I’ve also carried out 4 hours of field merchandising for them and have 5 hours per week booked for March. I am also lucky enough to live relatively close to their office and they were recruiting a temporary fulfilment manager and… I got the job! It’s brilliant! I’m working 12 hours a week from home maintaining communications and timesheets. So this has had a massive impact on my side hustle income. I’m going to call it a side hustle as it’s not my main job.

£290.86

 

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Blog Income

This month my blog has taken a bit of a backseat as I’ve been busy boosting my income with other side hustles.

Sponsored Posts

£0.00

Total side hustle income for February £350.64

<<< Last Month                                                                                                                                                            Next Month >>>

 

£9.50 Holidays with The Sun (Codes included)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here at Busylazymum.co.uk we think The Sun’s £9.50 Holidays are great! . We love them! In the past 3 years we have been to Butlin’s 5 times and Pontin’s once all at a fraction of the price their own website’s quote.

The latest £9.50 Holidays deal is open now for priority booking; this is if you’ve booked previously and they will have sent you an email with a reference number. Normal booking opens tomorrow.  If you head over to ukholidaysinthesun.co.uk it will give you all the information you need, for park availability, which holidays you need to pay extra for etc.

We went to Pontin’s Prestatyn Sands last week February half term for just £38, albeit we were disappointed with the cleanliness and you’ll be able to read our review shortly, but not everyone has the same standards. I would suggest heading over to TripAdvisor and checking the reviews for yourselves before booking.

The last time we went to Butlin’s was the weekend before Christmas 2016, Friday – Monday for the 4 of us, and we paid a total of £150.00 which consisted of the £38 paid when booked via Sun Holidays for the Accommodation, £36 Power Charge, Linen charge of £16 and £60 for our entertainment passes. We thought this was brilliant as we saw Santa and went Ice skating and there was more festive entertainment on top of all the everyday entertainment. We normally pay £120 when we go and it’s not around Christmas.

If you want to get something booked it is so easy! Head over to the booking site here and simply enter these 5 codes, 4 destination options and 4 date options and your options will show up.  Please pop back and let us know where you’ve booked. We hope you have a great time!

The Slow Cooker – A Busylazymum’s Best Friend

Slow cooker

This post may include affiliate links.

Have you ever used a slow cooker? If you have that’s great! There so easy to use, aren’t they? If you haven’t… why not! They’re a BusyLazyMum’s Best Friend! We own 3 slow cookers in our house, yes 3! We use them at least 3 times a week as they make cooking so simple, especially when my husband and I eat at a different time to our boys on weekdays. You can view a whole range of slow cookers here on amazon.

Meals I make

Ok, so I’m a lazy cook, I confess I hate it! So some of my slow cooker meals are made mega lazy. This is mostly due to me rushing around.

Curries and Chinese dishes:

This is where my mega-laziness come in; I literally just throw in some meat,  a few chicken breasts or some diced beef or pork and then pour in a jar or 2 of curry/Chinese sauce. It could probably be a bit healthier if I made the sauce myself but these are my go-to quick meals for my husband and I, as my eldest has a dairy allergy, it can be difficult and expensive to find curry sauces that he can have.

Meatballs in Bolognese sauce:

this is my go-to meal for my boys for when we’re having a busy day. Again I’m mega lazy and just throw meatballs in with a jar of Bolognese sauce. I usually put this on high at around 12-1 and it’s done around 5ish, if I’m out for the day I’ll keep it on low all day. I sometimes add pasta directly to the slow cooker but personally I find it tastes a bit starchy, although the boys don’t complain. Most of the time though I cook the pasta in a separate pan on the hob and just spoon the meatballs and sauce over and add some dairy-free cheese.

Casseroles:

We love casseroles in our house, they are usually served with steak chips and crusty bread. Again I cheat a bit with casseroles, I put the meat in; sausages, chicken or beef and I buy a bag of prepared casserole veg from Asda, pour over a Schwartz sachet of casserole mix to suit the meat I’m using and fill the slow cooker with boiled water. I leave this on low for around 8 hours, the boys have theirs and I switch the slow cooker onto warm until we are ready to eat.

Whole Chicken:

I can hear you now, you cook a whole chicken in the slow cooker. Yep, I do and no I’m not crazy. Put the whole chicken upside down in the slow cooker. The next step can vary, sometimes I fill the slow cooker with chicken stock, herbs and spices and sometimes I just pop a bit of water in the bottom so it doesn’t stick. Usually the latter is when I’m in a rush.

Gammon in Coke:

As simple as the name, just pop a joint of gammon and approx. half a large bottle of Coke or any fizzy drink you prefer into the slow cooker. I’ve actually heard of people doing this but with orange or apple juice, so it really is up to you what drink you choose to use. If you want to stick to something plain you can still use water.

Pulled Pork:

I place a pork joint in the slow cooker, I prefer to cut the fat off first as it’s more difficult once its been cooked. Add a little water to the bottom of the slow cooker again to stop it sticking and cook on high for around 4 hours or low for around 8 hours. Once it has cooked take 2 forks and shred it. We enjoy BBQ pulled pork, so we do everything I said before then add in a BBQ Sauce and leave on low for about an hour before serving. We somethings have these on jacket potatoes (which can also be cooked in the slow cooker) or with wedges and corn on the cob.

I won’t go in to more detail right now, but I’ve also made Jacket potatoes, Gooey chocolate orange cake and various flavours of fudge in the slow cooker but that’s for another post.

Our First Income Report

our first income report

January 2017 has been the first month in which my blog has began receiving views –Yay! We haven’t officially launched as I don’t feel I have enough contend just yet – believe me I am working on it! Anyway as we’ve just started receiving visits I feel like its the perfect time to start monitoring and providing an income report.

When I jotted up how much I’d earnt this month I couldn’t quite believe it, it’s been a busy month – My husband and our boys didn’t go back to work/school until the 9th –so it’s taken the remainder of the month to get back into half a routine! We had family visit and I sat the hardest exam of my life, so the spare time I had was spent revising instead of side hustling.

 

Why publish Income Reports?

I’m going to be publishing a monthly income report to share with you the income from my blog and side hustles because not only will it encourage me to regularly take note of how much I’m actually earning, it will keep me motivated in pushing these side hustles to boost my income even more and I will be showing what sort of realistic figures you can achieve.

Side Hustle Income

Mystery Shopping.

£31.00

Mystery Shopping companies usually have 1 payday’s per month meaning assignments worked after the cut off period will be paid in the following month.

Cashback

£26.55

Here I am combining Cashback Apps such as Checkout Smart and TopCashBack with Cashback Schemes such as cashback rewards from banks. Most of the time these companies let you choose when to cash-out so I’m happy for it to stay there until I’ve build up a decent amount. Some also have a threshold that you need to reach before it will allow you to cash out.

Surveys

£9.00

With surveys you need to hit a cash-out threshold before you can get paid. I am £1 away from hitting that with the survey company I have used this month.

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Blog Income

I really didn’t expect to make money on my blog for a little while yet as like I said before I’ve not officially launched yet. But I thought it couldn’t hurt in putting my details down for a few sponsored post opportunities and I got one! I was both excited and nervous! But I’ve done it, you can find it here.

Sponsored Post

£50.00

 

Total Side Hustle Income for January  £116.55

Next Month >>>

Blog Goals for Quarter 1 of 2017

I think that having public goals will hold me accountable to you my readers and motivate me into achieving them. As busylazymum.co.uk is a new blog and not yet officially launched I will break my first year into quarters to ensure they are realistic.

My blog goals for Quatre 1.

1. Officially Launch.

2. Set up social media pages and get 50 likes, followers and pins.

3. Earn £50 per month from my blog.

4. Post regularly (at least 3 times per week)

5. Post 5 reviews per month.

They may seem simple and probably are but I don’t want to start with unrealistic goals, when I’m not 100% sure what to expect.