Mum time, my pregnancy

5 Things I’ve Been Doing While Waiting on Baby

When it came to choosing my maternity leave start date, I erred on the side of caution as an unassuming first time mum. I chose to use a weeks’ annual leave, followed by just over 2 weeks of mat leave before my due date, allowing myself time to get organised and to be prepared for a baby that could make an appearance at any point post 37 weeks.

As my due date has come and gone – and everything in the house has been routinely cleaned back to front several times – I’ve been twiddling my thumbs looking for ways to fill the time that don’t consist of continuously re-organising baby’s wardrobe/changing station/furniture arrangements.

1 – Updating my address book

Every Christmas I promise myself I’m going to be more organised when it comes to sending cards. Every year I fail, panic-ask for addresses, and usually end up either missing the postal deadline or forgetting to reach those further away friends. If they are more organised, maybe I’ve got a return address from their card. This has been helpfully torn from the envelope and tossed inside an address book with no rhyme or reason for it. Well not any more! My beautiful cupcake-design address book has been utilised to its purpose. Although friends, if you’re reading this, please don’t move ever again so I don’t need to change this.

2 – Clearing out old coats and shoes

This is probably something most people do at this time of year, out of habit as the seasons change. However I’ve been known to routinely buy new winter coats and boots etc, without throwing the old ones out. I’m not sure if this is due to a hoarders mentality, sentimental attachment to the items or a sheer panic of “but what if I NEED it one freezing day?” but it’s led to the instability of a coat stand and a collection of boots with heels that slope at angles Lady GaGa would be proud of. At any rate, most of these things don’t fit any more so it was satisfying to see them go.

3 – Christmas shopping

Admittedly, I don’t normally need an excuse to be doing this, and in actual fact the end of September is probably when I’d start looking at gift ideas anyway. With a few birthdays close to Christmas, plus the whole family to buy for, planning and budgeting for this time of year has always been something I’ve been cautious of, but even more so this year where I might be too pre-occupied to make the most of the Black Friday sales. Plus, searching for cute “from baby” gifts to grandparents/uncles is so much fun.

4 – General life admin

I’ve always been putting off getting a smart meter as its a fuss of organisation and change. Similarly I’ve been with the same energy provider since we moved here (well they do give us pre-sale to some great concerts…) as well as things like home insurance, banks, TV providers and other things Martin Lewis tells you to shop around for. So now is my chance to get my ducks in a row and maybe see if I can be getting a better deal elsewhere – as those savings will come in handy when my weekly grocery shop doubles to accommodate nappies, wipes and so on.

5 – Trying every old wives tale in the book

Ok so I’ve mostly been using my time productively (sort of). But I’m still disappointed that I don’t currently have a wee sleep thief in my arms to cuddle and care for. So over the past week or so I’ve been trying any advice anyone can give me on how to get this lazy little boy moving. I’ve been for literal walks in the park, bounced for hours on an exercise ball, eaten a range of spicy foods – you name it! Still, he appears to be quite comfy in his not-so-little nook. If anyone has any other unusual labour-inducing tips to share, I’d be only too happy to give them a go!

Mum time

Preparing for post-bump me

As b-day draws closer, I’ve driven myself mad with nesting and making sure I have everything organised for baby Murray when he makes an appearance. But what about me?

Don’t be so selfish, I hear you cry. Mum-life sees your child come first, and you’ll need to just fit your own needs in if there’s time after baby is sorted. And yes, while I’m inclined to agree, there’s also a degree of self-preservation after having a baby. I’m still me. I still need fed and clothed and to be in a good mental place in order to take care of baby properly and to the best of my ability. So I started with some shopping and some goals.

How impractical are regular clothes?

As someone who wants to at least give breastfeeding a go, I couldn’t help but notice that my wardrobe (both pre-bump and maternity) definitely didn’t want to comply. I’ve read around that post-partum bodies are usually the same size as 6 month pregnant bodies for the first little while, so although I’ll undoubtedly have clothes that fit – I’m not sure how many of them are practical for breastfeeding. Stretchy-tummy t-shirts and comfy, empire line dresses are fab, but when I plan to feed in the autumnal/winter months, I worry about the chill factor of having to pull a t-shirt all the way up, never mind the consequences of putting nearby innocent victims off their dinner by exposing my squashy mum-bod.

I’m not one for diving headfirst into expensive “problem solvers” like the breastfeeding tops that cost a fortune just because there’s an extra layer of material for privacy/warmth/convenience (here’s an example of one from Seraphine for about £40 a pop). Queue a trip to Primark and a panic-buy of blouses and vests.

In any event, I don’t see myself making loads of trips out and about in the very early days, but even in my own home I don’t want to be confined to pyjamas or that one vest that fits. Especially when baby Murray will no doubt have loads of visitors and well-wishers coming to see him.

Body goals

pre-pregnancy wardrobe goals

We often put a lot of pressure on ourselves to look a certain way, and this is especially true for new mums. I don’t fully expect to be able to jump back into my pre-pregnancy wardrobe right away (despite OH’s mum reportedly walking out the hospital in her size 8 jeans after having him!), but as someone who has always been quite active and health conscious, I’d like to be able to slowly build up to where I was pre-pregnancy. In fact, probably even during early pregnancy when I didn’t know bump existed yet!

I know attending 4 fitness classes a week is unrealistic, as is having the time to properly prep meals and snacks, at least in the early days. However if I can manage to try and slowly incorporate some fitness into my daily routine (whatever that ends up being!) I will be happier. I’ve already started to look on Pinterest for some great post-partum at-home exercises I can hopefully squeeze in between feeds, naps, changes etc!

The easiest way to feel, look and ultimately get back to my healthier self is to set some goals and stick to them. A couple of milestones have been set in terms of pre-pregnancy clothing, and while I couldn’t care about the number on the scales, there are a number of milestones set for things like distance, reps, length/time which I want to improve on. It won’t be a mad, manic 30-day challenge, but I’ll get there. And I’m sure bump will thank me for it when I’m happy, energised and full of the right endorphins and nutrients to take care of him properly!

Mum time, my pregnancy

Ooharr Star Glow Face Mask Review

One of the may things I didn’t know about baby showers is how many gifts mum to be gets. I naively thought it was all about playing silly baby games and receiving gifts for your unborn child. However, this unlikely mum was also spoiled with a plethora of pampering goodies ranging from wonderful Lush bath sets to Yankee candles, chocolates and face masks. At a time of serious discomfort and lack of sleep, I’m so grateful for every one of these gifts.

As baby M could make an appearance any day now, I decided to try and get as much use – or sampling – of these wonderful gifts before the only pampering my body gets is the occasional baby wipe to mop up sick/pee/hopefully not poo.

With some time to kill in between cleaning down cupboard doors and washing newborn clothes within an inch of their life, I decided to start with the Ooharr Star Glow skin polishing face mask gifted to me by a former work colleague.

Ooharr-star-glowThis mask promises to make you feel radiant and refreshed – something I’ll confess I’ve not felt since somewhere around the 7 month mark. Its ingredients include vanilla and honey – great smoothers which work well to give the mask a nice, and not overpowering smell. Almonds and Argan oil promise to condition the skin, whilst the Aloe Vera is there to cool and calm things.

The mask itself has a clay-like texture, but with some exfoliating bittiness to it. The mixture glides on fairly easily, with enough in a single sachet to cover your face and neck (in fact, lathering your neck in the stuff is recommended on the instructions). There’s no hot sensation or heaviness like with some masks – I suspect the Aloe Vera has a lot to do with that.

Overall 15-20 minutes is longer than I’d usually have a mask on for, whether that’s down to instructions or general drying/absorption rate on my face. However I found that I needed just over the recommended 20 minutes to allow the clay mixture to set in.

Face-mask-end-resultUpon cleaning the mask off, I found my skin feeling instantly different. Softer and smoother, my face was a bit pinkish but I think that had more to do with the shock of cold water to close my pores rather than the mask itself. Once the skin calmed down, I noticed that not only did it feel better, it also looked brighter and more radiant.

I would definitely recommend the Star Glow Ooharr mask to anyone, as it was so gentle and unabraisive I think this particular one would be suitable for most skin types. Now to find out which retailers stock it!


Mum time, Reviews

Beauty Must Have – Nail Polish Holder

Tweexy-nail-polish-holderI’m all for beauty hacks, tips, and anything that generally makes life easier when it comes to your beauty regime.

Painting nails has always been one of my favourite aspects of beauty. Whether it’s my own or I’m painting a friends nails, I love trying out new colours, patterns and styles and dedicate time to taking care of my nails. However when painting nails, there’s always been one thing that’s bothered me – the nail polish bottle always gets in the way!

Minimising time, maximising space

Finally, the solution to this popped up on my Facebook newsfeed recently (thank you targeted ads!). The Tweexy wearable nail polish bottle has definitely come to my rescue. Worn on your fingers like some sort of knuckle-duster, it fits pretty much everyone thanks to the flexible rubber material it’s made from.

Just about any standard nail varnish pot will fit in it too, meaning you can use it with all of the nail polishes you already own. Smaller ones fit too, as you can see from the image above. I’ve even managed to fit in the big, rectangular Tanya Burr bottles I got from her beauty advent calendar. As someone who sits and paints my nails at the coffee table, at work, on a plane, or anywhere I can fit my hand, this product takes the worry off where I’ll sit the bottle. It also avoids the dance of having to try and hold the bottle whilst painting nails with said holding hand, in a minimal space situation.

The way the ring positions the nail polish bottle means you won’t spill any excess anywhere, and you free up your hands to paint or position your nails. Genius huh?