15 October, 2015: ‘Cast Life – A Parent’s Guide to DDH’ is out today and will offer a much needed, long overdue life line to parents with children suffering from Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH).

DDH occurs when the ball and socket of the hip joint do not fit snugly together and whilst it affects between one and three children in every thousand, information and support is shockingly poor leaving parents feeling confused about what happens next.

Inspired by her son who was diagnosed at four months, the author, Natalie Trice, knows all too well that whilst DDH is not life threatening, it certainly is life changing.

Natalie passionately believes that there needs to be more awareness of DDH, which if left untreated, can lead to long term disability, hip replacements and life long pain.

Cast Life is a comprehensive book that covers everything from easy to understand explanations about the condition and the treatments involved to the products available to make life easier for children in casts. It also looks at family life, dealing with emotions as well including first person stories and parent comments.

Professor N. M. P. Clarke ChM, DM, FRCS Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, who wrote the foreword for Cast Life, commented, ““DDH is one of the most common congenital abnormalities and it is remarkable that there is so little information out there. This book is essential reading for the parents of children with the condition, as well as health professionals working with them, and I would love to see it in all clinics around the world.”

Natalie added, “When a child is diagnosed with any illness, the parents often feel overwhelmed and want know as much about the condition as possible. When Lucas was diagnosed with DDH I was terrified and my initial search for information threw up horrific images and worst-case scenarios that simply compounded my fear.

“With Lucas facing more surgery this autumn, I am really pleased to have done something to help others as I know how hard the waiting and recovery periods are. Cast Life isn’t loaded with medical jargon, but it gives the reader the knowledge and facts they need to get to grips with DDH so they regain a little bit of control and power in what can be a tough situation.”

Cast Life is available on Amazon in the UK and US and Natalie has also set up Spica Warrior [] a charity offering information about DDH, 10% of the royalties will be going to this cause, and blogs about the condition at



I Have Used A Food Bank.

Its true, I have used a food bank, on more than one occasion.

When we first moved into this house, we were still struggling with the massive life change that is me as well as all the bills you have when you move house, final payments etc.

It was hard, and I think myself so lucky to have had my family support worker at that time, she’s the one who helped me access the food bank and got us out of having no food left in the house.

I have been that person who didn’t have enough to pay for their shopping at the till in Morrisons. I have had to count every single penny just to work out what we needed to get and how much we had to get it.

It all started way back when me and Hubby had just moved into our own flat with Pops. We saw it as a chance to do everything we ever wanted and maxed out every card and overdraft. Never once did either of us think twice, or even consider the fact that the cost of living was so high.

We soon had to seek help, which came in the shape of the CAB. We decided on a debt relief  order, not the best choice but at that time, it was the only way out of the mess we had created.

This meant we could not take out any loans etc for 12 months. Which was probably a blessing in disguise looking back. But it did leave us in ‘one way’ kind of living situation.

We could only have what we could afford, and even the we had to second guess ourselves before spending any money.

Our lowest point was when I first got my diagnosis. We had no help and had no idea where to turn next. I guess that’s the point our family support worker came to the rescue and helped us get everything we have today.

It was by far, the hardest time we have been through as a family. As well as the usual worries, we had the fact we had no money, a baby due in weeks and the MS. It was beyond shit. 

I hated having to ask for a food parcel, but they fed us on more than one occasion and we were more than grateful.

I guess what I am trying to say is, never be afraid to ask for help. Letting people like my social worker and family support worker into our lives were so hard, purely because of the stigma that comes with them. A stigma which was really short lived for me.

All of the people who I was so scared to let in, became important people in my life, and they helped us far more than I ever expected.

Now we haven’t had a food parcel in well over a year, we are settled and we live within our means (most of the time)

I might not look like the kind of person you might expect to need something like a food parcel, but I was and I am glad I asked for help when I needed it most.


Female Genital Mutilation.

So last night on Casualty the subject of female genital mutilation (FGM) was raised.

To be honest, its something I had never heard of, the storyline was played out really well, with it being such a unspoken subject, I learnt alot from one Saturday night soap and it got me thinking.

FGM, oddly, is usually part of a cultural belief, they believe its something adolescent girls should go through on their way to adulthood. I am all for people being able to live with there cultural and religious beliefs, however this one does not sit right with me. Especially as it is still very often done the old fashioned way.

It ranges from full or partial removal of the clitoris,  re-position of the labia and even full closure of the vagina. None of these things, to me, seem remotely like something any young girl should ever have to go through.

Truth of the matter is, although this is so much more common in Africa, it also affects around  20,000+ adolescent girls in the UK, often being done at home by people who are not even medically trained! It can cause infections, disfigurement and even death, should it be done wrong. 

Its something people don’t even think about, however more people, especially people working in the health sector and the teaching sector need to be more aware of this, they need to know how to help these girls.

If you know someone who has suffer from FGM, or you are facing it yourself, please know there is help out there and it is not something that has to happen.

A great place to start is FOWARD, they have great help and advice for women in these circumstances!

Pink Chillies Review

When I was given the chance to review one of PinkChillies beautiful toys I was so excited.

PinkChillies offers a new and exciting range of very cute elephant based gifts with a twist!The characters were born out of a love for Elephants their habitats and a desire to make a difference to their lives.
Not only are the characters fresh and adorable, each memer of our named family also represents an endangered species and/or enviorment issue.
PLUS we give 10% of the profit from the sales of our products to charity!
Our adorable family of elephants and their friends is constantly growing, you won’t be able to resist collecting them all.

The package arrived and I have to say I was probably more excited than Pops. She is a massive soft toy fan so I knew she would love them.

Well yes she did, she was taken straight away, and so were me and Huby. I have to say I did not expect it to be so big! We had Etana, who retails at £12.99, she was lovely. Very good quality, with-stands Pops 24/7 ‘playing’ Very soft, felt very luxurious. Each plush Elephant comes with its own tag, an an explanation of the name. I like this it gave it a personal touch. They have embroidered patterns on them, which is really unique and original, a really nice touch you don’t find with many soft toys. You can also hand wash this item, so getting her dirty is not an issue. 

They would make perfect gifts for birthdays or any special occasions. I will defiantly be using them in the future as they are affordable for all budgets. They have a fantastic range, with key-rings and bags. The fact that 10% of each order goes to their charity is such a bonus, giving something back whilst getting a fantastic product.

Pops decided to take Etana to play school to give it a real try, here is Etanas day.
The only problem we have had is we only have one, and both girls love her!
There really is nothing I don’t like about this product. I was really impressed with all aspects. Head over to their easy to use website today and take a look for yourself.

You can follow Pink Chillies on Facebook and Twitter.

This review was honest and based on my own view and experience.

Thank you for reading