6 articles Tag swimming

Alternatives to Toys for Christmas

I don’t know about you, but sometimes it feels like we’re drowning in toys. Sausage is older now, so her interests are changing but Sausage is still firmly in the “circle every toy in the Christmas cataogue” stage. This year, I’ve been trying to think of things that they would love for Christmas which won’t take up much (if any) space in the house, and I’ve had some decent ideas so far, which I thought I’d share with you today:

Swimming Lessons

BB has a pool at her school, but it’s outdoor which means they only swim between Easter and October and the rest of the year they don’t use the pool at all. I was thinking that BB would probably love to have swimming lessons and that her grandparents could club together and pay for her to have lessons for a year. There are some Seriously Fun swimming lessons for babies and children out there and I think it would make a great gift.

Zoo Experience

A couple of years back, Husband arranged for me to go to Wingham Wildlife park to have an up-close experience with the raccoons and coatis and it was genuinely one of the best presents I’ve ever received. I’ve been in love with raccoons for years and getting to feed them was just phenomenal. Both of our girls are animal mad and I think they’d be just as thrilled with a keeper experience as part of their Christmas present.

Subscription Box

One of the (very small) things that bugs me about Christmas is that you spend silly amounts of time and money buying specially selected gifts and by January, a lot of it has been used up or forgotten. A subscription box would last all year long, giving monthly surprises and you can get lots of different types, to suit every kid. Some of them even have experiements inside, making them low-key educational without the kids even realising that they’re learning as they go!

Magazine Subscription

Like a subscription box, a magazine subscription is the gift that keeps on giving. BB is a MASSIVE fan of magazines (usually for the plastic rubbish attached to the front!) but I think she’d be so happy to get her favourite magazine in the post every month. Magazines are also good because they help to give kids in interest in reading. Sausage is old enough to enjoy a much wider array of magazines now, too, like nature photography, crafting, colouring and even music.

Vouchers

My kids are both at an age now where they love getting cash or vouchers for Christmas and birthdays because it means that they can go to the shops and choose stuff for themselves. Sausage even has her own contactless debit card now, and she LOVES having mney in her account so she can use her card. There are a few shops that the kids love, where they can buy things like books and stationery so getting them vouchers would definitely be a hit – plus, I don’t mind finding space for books!

The Perfect Swimsuit? Freya Fever Tankini Review with Lazeme

In my quest for the perfect swimsuit, I recently got in touch with Lazeme, the online retailers whose philosophy is something that really appealed to me: “Our aim is to bring you products that make you feel and look good when you find a bit of downtime. We work hard to source exclusive designs not readily available on the High Street and bring them direct to your door. So, sit back, catch a bit of relaxed living and be effortlessly stylish with Lazeme.”

I told them about my mission to feel covered up but stylish whilst swimming and they offered me the chance to choose any of the swimsuits that they sell. I was aware that Freya make lingerie for larger busted women, so when I saw they made swimwear too, I thought I’d have a browse of their range. The Fever Tankini hit me immediately as there are various options, one of which was a swimskirt!

Here’s what I chose:

Fever TankiniClick on photo to be taken to the full Freya Fever range on Lazeme

I tried the two items on as soon as they arrived and the first thing that struck me was that the top, which has a concealed boned bra inside, was probably the best-fitting piece of swimwear I’ve ever worn. I felt as though I was wearing a normal fitted bra underneath the top, but it’s made of a fairly light material so it doesn’t feel restrictive and I can’t imagine it making you feel hot if you were wearing it around the pool. The top is very fitted, with two seams down the front and detailing on the waist, which actually made me look slimmer (a SLIMMING swimming costume?! Have you ever heard of such witchcraft?!). It covers everything that I want covered, which made me feel a lot more confident during the long walk between the changing rooms and the pool (it’s not really that long but when you have body hang-ups, the walk between the cubicles and the water seems to take FOREVER).

I had my reservations about the skirt before it arrived;

1) It looks amazing on the model but what would it look like on an overweight, pale, mum of one?

2) What would it be like trying to swim in a skirt?

3) How much would it actually cover?

From the moment I tried on the swimskirt, I loved it. It covered my bottom and tops of my thighs, making me feel nicely covered, but it was short enough that it still looked quite young and funky, in fact the tankini top and swimskirt combo had a very feminine, 1950’s feel about it. I could just as easily imagine swooning around a pool in Southern Italy in this as I could swimming at my local pool.

Swimming-wise, I won’t deny it felt a bit odd at first. I, and I would wager most women aren’t used to swimming in a skirt, so feeling the extra fabric moving around in the water was a little disarming at first, but after a while I got used to it and I didn’t even notice it anymore.

Once we got out of the pool, I did notice that the skirt holds a LOT of water and was very heavy, so I had to have a massive wringing-out sesh before we packed our bags, but that’s by no means a criticism, just a reminder to you that you’ll need to do the same.

All in all, I genuinely could not be more thrilled with the Fever tankini – it’s given me some confidence back and allows me to swim without feeling self conscious about my body and I’ll definitely be taking it with me next time we go on holiday. Thanks so much to Lazeme for sending me the tankini, you guys rock and I think this may really be my perfect swimsuit!

Swimming During Pregnancy

When I was pregnant with Sausage, particularly towards the end, I was MASSIVE. I had polyhydramnious, meaning I carried an excess of amniotic fluid. Most babies stop moving so much in the last few weeks of pregnancy, simply because they cannot anymore, due to lack of space. Sausage, I think, swam lengths inside me, right up until the day she was born!

Add to this the fact that I had SPD, a painful condition in which my body releases too much of the hormone that we need to make our pelvis loosen up enough to fit a baby through it, as well as being in the largest stage of pregnancy in August, I was one seriously uncomfortable lady. My ankles and hands would swell daily and my movement was severely restricted due to the combination of my various ills.

At the time, it never even occurred to me that swimming probably would have done me the world of good, floating about in the cool water, taking the pressure off of my joints and allowing me to move around in a way that was low impact. I’ve looked into it and there’s even specific maternity swimwear that I could have invested in for my hippo-like form to splash around in! If we ever decide to have another child, I know for a fact that I’ll be using the pool to its full advantage!

Weirdly, (apart from this annoying pad of fat that I had under my bump which made me look like I had a massive beer gut *heave*) pregnancy was one of the few times in my life that I didn’t feel body-conscious. Yes, I was enormous, but I was supposed to be! Don’t get me wrong, I am not one of lifes ‘glowers’, you know, women who look like Mother Earth when they’re with-child, but it made me feel slightly freer about my body, which was a fairly liberating feeling.

If you have any concerns about swimming whilst pregnant, there’s a great article over on Baby Center with some info about keeping yourself safe.

Swimming Saturday

One of the things that Sausage and I love to do together is go swimming, it’s a fun way to spend a Saturday morning that doesn’t cost a fortune and gets us both up and active, rather than sitting indoors eating sugary cereal! This Saturday just passed was the first time we’d been swimming in a while and the first time since Sausage started having weekly swimming lessons at school. She’s lucky enough to have a  pool within the grounds of her school and although it’s an outdoor pool, it’s well heated so come the spring term they’re out there every Thursday morning.

Naturally, she insisted we buy her a new swimming costume for her lessons and despite my reservations, she sports a snazzy crossover number which is apparently the envy of all of her friends!

Anyway, I digress. Having not seen her new swimming skills in action since before she started formal lessons, I was absolutely blown away on Saturday to see what a difference it’s made. I’m a fairly good swimmer (fitness levels aside) and have tried my best to teach her the basics, but I truly take my hat off to her swimming teacher who, in four short weeks has obviously imparted some serious knowledge. Sausage, though still in armbands, is now swimming on her back for almost a whole pools width, doing a respectable version of beginners breast stroke and has gained so much confidence that she’ll now jump in from the side with no assistance!

I’m so impressed with the way she’s come on leaps and bounds in such a short time and can’t wait to see where she’ll be with it by the end of term. Swimming is such an important skill to have and aside from that can be a really fun way to spend time. I was a bit of a daredevil when I was a kid and spent many a happy summer with my parents on different parts of the South Coast, learning to boogie board and surf. I’m not very good at either, mind you, but had I not had the skills to swim, I’d never have been able to try.

Sausage and I have decided that swimming will be part of our Saturday morning ritual now, we’re aiming to go every week and I can’t wait to see how her swimming improves every time.

Commissioned Post

Next Swimwear Review

So, in my want to shape up, I’ve taken up swimming.

I know, no big deal, right?

WRONG.

This is a very big deal for two reasons:

1. I am scared of sharks. I am WELL aware of the fact that my local leisure centre isn’t in the habit of letting their pool be used by the local tiger shark swimming team nor am I under the illusion that a creature with gills could live in such heavily chlorinated water. I didn’t say it was a rational fear. But the fact is, although I am a decent enough swimmer, I panic in water and feel like there’s something chasing me, regardless of whether it’s an indoor Olympic training pool or not.

2. Swimming costumes. ACK.

I should probably elaborate on that last part.

If you’re overweight, the thought of donning what is essentially a very tight-fitting piece of shiny material doesn’t fill you with huge amounts of glee. If you have a bosom that’s so ample that the word ‘ample’ itself doesn’t even do it justice, as well as being overweight, then those two words – swimming costume – are enough to make you break out in a cold sweat. Which is not a good look when you’re wearing a swimming costume. SELF PERPETUATING NIGHTMARE.

I have a costume that I bought very cheaply last year so that I could take Sausage swimming but it’s not the most flattering garment. There’s zero support for boobage and it more or less makes me look like a mummy orca. So here’s what I did; I threw myself at the mercy of a few different clothing companies and asked if they could help. Next was the first to say yes and here’s the costume I chose (£34):

This isn’t me, but I look ALMOST identical to this in it…*ahem*

The material that the costume is made from is reassuringly good quality and the double-layered tummy control did a valiant job of holding in my paunch. There’s enough fabric covering your bottom that you don’t feel too exposed and the internal wired cups did a far better job of supporting my bust and keeping everything in place while I did my lengths. I felt confident in a swimsuit for the first time in years, which is no small achievement, and it felt nice enough to be worn on the beach or poolside, if you were looking for a flattering, well-covering suit for a holiday.

If I had a minor negative comment it would be that the halterneck, whilst flattering and pretty, meant that the full weight of my boobs were carried around my neck, but it’s one of those things that’s probably only an issue to me and let’s face it, the weight has to be distributed somewhere!

I’m thrilled with my new swimming costume and would definitely buy from Next again. Their E-G cup range is full of flattering suits and separates that offer comfort and style and they’re all reasonably priced too.

 

I received a free swimming costume for the purposes of this review, however all words and opinions here are honest and unbiased. 

Rebirth

It’s funny how life goes, isn’t it? You can be cruising along at a comfortable pace and then BAM! Something comes along and changes everything. Only, this life-changing event seems quite apt, it’s happened at a time that’s coincided with other events and I’ve woken up today feeling reborn.

(No, not like a born-again Christian, you should now me better than that by now!)

If you’re reading this, you’ll have cottoned on to the fact that this is my first post on the new URL, which is a rebirth in itself and it’s feeling very good at the moment. New me, new URL!

Today, instead of going to work, I took Sausage to nursery, came home (via the shops where I bought myself some cappuccino for my Tassimo machine!), tinkered with the settings on the blog, caught up on some emails. Then I went to pick Sausage up from nursery, which is something I never used to be able to do and we walked to the swimming pool, doing this along the way:

After swimming, which was fab until a kid pooped in the pool, we came home and had lunch together, something else I don’t get to do with Sausage on a Wednesday. We’ve spent our day singing songs, laughing, having fun and generally feeling free and easy.

It’s not too bad, this unemployment lark!