5 months into motherhood

Jai is now just over 5 months and quite honestly I don’t know where the time has gone.  During those early newborn days it felt like each hour went by so slowly and the evenings always felt drawn out but I guess that’s what sleep deprivation does.  As days are getting longer and the weather is warming up, I find myself going out more and thankfully Jai loves it, we’ve had endless lunches, a trip to the zoo, a mini break, shopping sprees and numerous coffees together.  He’s starting to develop his own little personality and I absolutely love it, he’s a cheeky, smiley and active little boy and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Naturally, the thought of going back to work in 7 months fills me with dread, I haven’t managed to tear myself away from my little boy for more than a few hours let alone a whole day but I guess as he grows more independent I will learn to leave him in the care of family.  I have often read about how lonely maternity leave can be for new mums and thankfully I haven’t felt this so much but I have craved adult company which has left me chewing my husbands ear off as soon as he comes home from work.

My main learning over the past few months have been simple but important ones:

Nothing else matters 

I often use this as a hashtag when referring to Jai on social media but I truly believe in this.  There isn’t anything else that matters to me more than Jai being happy, I have learnt to walk away from a messy kitchen, cancel plans, leave my hair unwashed and stay in bed if it means Jai is smiling.  Over the past 5 months Jai’s had 2 sets of vaccinations, a cold, an ear infection and a temperature, he’s needed me more than ever and I’ve stopped being so hellbent on routine if it means he’s happier.

Get out the house 

Our house is currently being renovated so I am living with in laws, it’s crowded at the best of times so I make a conscious effort to get out of the house, get some fresh air and explore new places.  I truly believe that babies need to get out, they need to see and hear the outside world and feel fresh air.  Jai always sleeps much better in the day and night when he’s been out.

 Enjoy every minute

Admittedly, I struggled when Jai was first born.  I was completely overwhelmed by everything but as time went by, I’ve enjoyed every moment.  When he’s ill he pines for me and when he’s full of beans he’s so energetic it’s incredible.  It’s amazing what a change in attitude can do but even when I’m exhausted he manages to make me smile and it all quickly becomes worth it.

Chill Out

In the first few months after having Jai, I felt like I had to play with him every second and ensure he was developing properly.  I often felt guilty when I would watch TV and leave him playing on his gym or if I went on my phone while he was playing.  I quickly learnt that it’s okay to leave babies to play, they learn to become independent and actually enjoy exploring my themselves.  Similar to adults, babies can also get fed up of constant playing, they need their own time but obviously have to be supervised.

xoxo

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Baby Essentials

I am now in my third month of maternity leave and the foggy newborn stage is starting to become a thing of the past.  Jai has settled into some sort of routine now and things are a little bit more manageable aside from the initial few minutes of putting him in his car seat – he hates being restricted.

I remember when I was in my 3rd trimester of pregnancy and the nesting instinct kicked in , I made a list of all the things I thought I’d require and began stocking the cupboards.  I also remember thinking I would need more than 1 of everything just in case.  The thing that I failed to realised is that the baby will ultimately decide what he or she will like so theres a lot of trial and error when buying things that promise to make your baby sleep.  I thought I would compile a list of generic products that have worked a treat for me in the hope that it will help some other newbie mommas out there.

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Bepanthen

We use this cream on Jai with every nappy change and he has never even had a hint of nappy rash, a large tube lasts for about 2 months so it’s great value especially if they are sitting in a soiled nappy for longer than they should be.

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Ewan The Sheep

Now, this is slightly gimmicky and although it does promise to put a baby to sleep, I use it as an aid to help Jai differentiate between night and day.  The sheep is super soft and comes with 3 different sounds which can be played by pressing each of Ewan’s paws – yes it’s very cute.  I am not a particular fan of the white noise option so I tend not to use this but the harp melody and womb sound work a treat when preparing Jai for bedtime, he now associates this sounds with quiet time.

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Aspirator

Unfortunately as Jai was a winter baby and it didn’t take him long to get a cold, after we heard him struggling to breathe through his nose at night we bought this nasal aspirator which was a god-send.  The filter end sits in the entrance of the nostril and the other end is where you suck, granted you need good lunch capacity with this but it works a treat and made me feel so much better knowing my baby could breathe more easily.

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Boppy nursing cushion

Jai was a small baby so nursing him at the beginning didn’t give me arm ache, this soon changed after he began gaining weight.  I remember taking my Boppy pillow with me to the hospital and it affected my latch so I ditched it until Jai gave me arm ache.  Once I had perfected my latch the pillow became essential, it’s the perfect shape and softness especially when Jai falls asleep after a feed.

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Kokoso coconut oil

I cannot recommend this coconut oil enough, it’s brilliant.  We used it as a treatment for cradle cap which cleared up within weeks, we used it on Jai’s hair with a baby brush and the flakes just came off easily.  We then continued using it on his skin and worked wonders to maintain the softness especially during the winter months.

There are other products that I use but the ones above have been essential for me.

 

xoxo

 

Enter the Mother-hood

My baby boy, Jai, is 2 months old and since he’s been born it’s been crazy.  I’m sure any new mom will be able to sympathise with the rollercoaster of emotions you feel after giving birth and that nothing truly prepares you for what your life turns into after having a baby.

Like most pregnant women, I started reading numerous books, blogs and articles about the practical elements of having a baby, we also attended an NCT course where I was fortunate to meet a group of like-minded couples all in the same boat.  We came away from the course slightly nervous about the birth but well equipped with enough knowledge we’d need to look after our newborns, or so we thought.

Here’s my list of the things that people fail or choose not to mention when having a baby.

Emotions

After giving birth the world seemed hazy, it wasn’t until after this haze that I felt an overwhelming wave of emotion.  For me the emotions were made up of feeling incredibly tired, having a ridiculous amount of love for a tiny human being, feeling uncomfortable from the waist down and thinking that I wanted to get my life into some sort of routine as quick as possible.  I remember seeing my parents for the first time and just crying and not really knowing why, suddenly your life changes forever and you need to keep yourself together whilst making sure you do everything right for this tiny human you’ve created.  The reality is that there is no right or wrong and everything you read may or may not work because each baby is different, as odd as it seems you do have to let your instinct guide you – as a rule of thumb if it feels right then it probably is.

Sleep

When I was pregnant everyone used to say get as much rest as you can cause once the baby is here you won’t get any.  In reality, there is only so much rest you can take without feeling incredibly lethargic and once I entered my third trimester I was finding it uncomfortable to sleep without having to wake up for a piddle everyone couple of hours or panic myself everytime I rolled onto my back.  I remember not sleeping at all the first night in the hospital and survived on 3 hours sleep over 5 days when Jai was born, I have never known exhaustion like it.  Sleep deprivation did get easier once Jai learnt the difference between day and night so thankfully I didn’t feel like a complete zombie for too long.

Breastfeeding

From when I found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to exclusively breastfeed, what I didn’t know was how difficult it would be.  I managed to breastfeed a little after Jai was born but soon began getting incredibly sore as he was not latching properly.  After watching endless videos and receiving advice from breastfeeding councillors and charities I eventually got the hang of it and feeding got much more easier.  Fortunately I managed to persevere through tears, soreness, sleeplessness and a very hungry baby, but I realise this isn’t the case for everyone and think it’s important to feed your baby the way that works for you.  The advice I would give to any new mum who would like to breastfeed is to keep calm and patient, take your time and remember that both you and your newborn need to get used to each other and this may not happen overnight.

Since Jai was born time has passed incredibly quickly, he’s no longer classed as a newborn and everyday he learns something different which is incredible.  My love for him grows stronger everyday and his smile melts my heart which makes all the above very easy to forget.

xoxo

Recent Purchases

I have recently become a home-owner and finally made that transition from thinking I was an adult to actually being one, so in an attempt to be more frugal I have been purchasing items which I feel have been more of a necessity over the past few months, please note that my definition of the word ‘necessity’ can change on a regular basis (there’s being frugal and being happy, and I will always choose the latter).

Having fallen in love with Anastasia’s Dip Brow Pomade for the past 4 months, I was eager to try the recently launched Brow Definer pencil.  I wanted something that would be quicker to apply then dip brow but could also be used alongside it to create those extra defined and slightly more dramatic brows. Initially, I was a little sceptical and this was mainly due to the application of the angled pencil, it’s take a little getting used and doesn’t have as much precision as dip brow applied with a brow brush, but after a week or so of practising I was soon getting into the swing of things and can safely say that this will probably be my make-up bag staple.  If like me, you prefer a more natural brow using your natural brow shape then I would suggest going a shade lighter with the Brow Definer, depending on the amount of pressure you apply I have found that sometimes my brows are ever so slightly darker then what I would prefer.  Anastasia also released a Brow Wiz pencil that compliments the definer which I am eager to try, especially as I have read that they are the perfect pairing – watch this space.

 

Admittedly, at a bargain price of just £5.25 I bought this on a bit of a whim while searching for an everyday primer suitable for my blemish prone, sensitive and oily skin.  Having recently fallen out of love with Benefit’s Porefection mainly because of its silica texture I wanted something lighter that made my skin feel hydrated.  Overall, the product is definitely hydrating and suitable for my skin type but its job as a primer is somewhat limited, it creates a moisturised base but doesn’t make foundation last any longer nor does it create that flawless base that you’d normally expect from a primer.

 

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Garnier 2in1 Makeup Remover

As part of my evening skincare routine, I like to have that squeaky clean feeling, especially after wearing makeup all day.  I was looking for something that would be gentle enough to leave my skin feeling clean whilst also removing every bit of makeup left before I cleansed, and moisturised.  Garnier’s offering definitely removed every trace of makeup and didn’t dry my skin out, the oily base left me feeling  bit nervous in case I had any breakouts but overall I cannot fault it, it does exactly what it says and is perfect for my sensitive skin and at a bargain price of £2.59 I will definitely be repurchasing.

xoxo

Buffalo & Rye

 

Working and living close by to the UK’s second city has its ups and downs especially when most mornings I find myself battling with heavy traffic and more recently numerous diversion signs on my 10 mile commute.

Birmingham is going through a huge transformation and although my commute can be frustrating its only a matter of time til the city has its own identity and is no longer dubbed as the uglier, uninspiring funny-accented sister of London.

To my delight the city’s transformation has bought with it a surge of great independent eateries one of which I tried this lunchtime with my fellow work colleagues.  Buffalo & Rye describes itself as a ‘taste of Americana’ and specialises in ‘dirty burgers’, ‘gourmet dogs’ and house smoked meats – I was sold and couldn’t wait to try it out on it’s second day of opening.

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Buffalo & Rye

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Star Wars Figures as wall decor

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Very cool table sauce storage

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My burger wrapped up

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My Chicken Buttermilk Burger

In short, my burger was awesome.  The bun was toasted to perfection, the chicken was crispy without being oily and had a lovely succulent texture and the salad was fresh and crunchy, my only real issue was with the distinct lack of flavour from the Cajun fries side order – they were powdery and bland.  However, I could easily substitute the fries with a milkshake next time I go – I avoided the shake as I was too afraid of falling into a food coma at work.

xoxo

 

Jaipur and Pondicherry, India

One of the many perks of being Indian means that over the course of the year you get invited to a fair few weddings and engagement parties.  For me it also meant that this year I got to see one of my closest friends get married in Jaipur, India.  Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and famously known as the ‘Pink City’.   It’s landscape is full of vibrant temples and grand palaces where Maharajas once ruled.  It’s opulence and grand hospitality was the perfect backdrop to what was definitely the wedding of the year.

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Rambagh Palace, Jaipur

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Rambagh Palace, Jaipur

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Wedding ceremony

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Wedding stage

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Wedding entrance

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Wedding dinner buffet

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The groom

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The wonderful grooms turban

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The beautiful bride

After the wedding, we thought we’d extend our stay in India (as you do) by discovering a Southern city called Pondicherry.  The city locally known as ‘Pondi’ has been ruled by the Portuguese, Dutch and more recently by the French who have all influenced the city over the years.  The city is completely different to Northern areas of India, the chilled out atmosphere, colonial buildings, boutique shopping, beach promenade and incredible seafood made it the perfect city to unwind in.  There were hidden boutiques and restaurants off the beaten track, locals were incredibly friendly and with many yoga teachers in the area the chilled out vibe really helped make Pondicherry a gem in India’s Southern Coast.

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View from Hotel reception

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Our beautiful room keys

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Ganesh temple

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Ganesh temple

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School children at Pondicherry museum

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Pondicherry life

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Colonial buildings

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Church in Pondicherry

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Grand hotel entrance doors

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The Promenade

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Our transport

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A chilled out rickshaw driver

xoxo

Recent Beauty Buys

Over the past few weeks I have purchased a fair few beauty buys, I am not entirely sure what spurred the splurge but it’s definitely changed my skincare and makeup routine for the better.  I have also had some great advice from 2 wonderful friends (Luci and Gabi) who have tried and tested numerous makeup and skincare products and provided their invaluable feedback which also contributed to my decision to buy these particular brands.

First a foremost I need to mention that my skin has always been super sensitive and blemish prone, although it can be oily it also has dry patches so I have to be careful to get the right balance of oil control and moisture – the joys of combination, blemish prone skin!

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo – Cleanser

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First and foremost I have to mention that I am a huge fan of this French skincare range.  Every product I have bought so far has been gentle on the skin and results have been noticeable within weeks of use too, I also find that the products last a long time so are excellent value for money too.

Pros

  • A lightweight creamy consistency which can be used on dry or damp skin.
  • Leaves the skin feeling hydrated and moisturised

Cons

  • Doesn’t remove all traces of makeup especially waterproof mascara or lip-stain
  • There are better products that do the same job much better

Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel

Effaclar

Pros

  • Gentle on the skin and leaves the skin feeling healthy without stripping moisture and over drying
  • A little really goes a long way with this so it’s great value for money
  • Works really well with Effaclar Duo Moisturiser, it actually leaves the skin looking healthier and you can see the results within a week or so

Cons

There are no real cons with this product and if I were to be incredibly fussy then I would say that it doesn’t foam as much as I would like it to especially because it does describe itself as ‘foaming’.  Aside from this I love it and will definitely re-purchase.

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil

Camomile

Pros

  • This is a miracle make up remover – it gently dissolves all traces of makeup without stripping the skin
  • 1 pump goes a long way and when used without water you can really see the makeup coming off
  • Leaves skin feeling smooth and soft and although it is an oil based cleanser it works really well on acne and blemish prone skin

Cons

  • You do need to follow this up with a face wash especially because it is an oil based cleanser, this isn’t really a con but I thought it was important to mention.

Benefit The Porefessional

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After using Lorac’s ‘I’m So Sensitive’ Soothing Face Primer for the best part of a year and being very impressed, I decided to take advice and go for something that is readily available in the UK.  I was pleasantly surprised with this, it feels like silk when you apply it on the skin and makes your make up last all day.

Pros

  • Feels amazing on the skin and a little goes a long way with this primer which is an added bonus
  • My make up lasted all day without shifting – normally I find that by midday my face starts to go shiny but was pleasantly surprised when I began to have a more of a dewy feel to my skin.
  • A plus point for me was that Benefit makeup is readily available in the UK, this may sound odd but I have picked up so many brands from the US and Hong Kong in the past and found it such a pain to try and find the brands in the UK without paying hefty import costs.

Cons

There really aren’t any cons to this product, but if I was to be really picky then it would be good if they stocked a larger sized tube of the primer.

I have also made a few makeup purchases recently which I am really pleased with so watch this space.

In the mean time if you have any new products that you’ve used, I’d love to hear about them

xoxo