My Body Shop Favourites!

My Body Shop Favourites!

On the 29th March I was lucky enough to be invited to a blogger event at The Body Shop in Southampton, a brand that I already had such a massive love for! The Vitamin E skin care range has already replaced my beloved Liz Earle regime – one that I have used for years.

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The evening started with a glass of bubbles (I KNOW WHAT A TREAT!) and a browse around the Southampton store. I am a massive online shopper since being a mummy – purely because getting out of the house sometimes is a nightmare let alone trying to park in West Quay! Then we were lucky enough to find out more about The Body Shop from the staff and the company blew my mind! Did you know that The Body Shop is the first global cosmetics company to stop animal testing in 1989? Did you know that The Body Shop is an 100% vegetarian beauty brand? No? I didn’t either, 60% of The Body Shop products are now vegan – they are pretty much a guilt free brand!

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I could list hundred’s of my Body Shop favourites but I am going to only name a few!

The Vitamin E Range 

As I quickly mentioned above – I AM OBSESSED! This range was actually introduced to me by my younger sister, Olivia after I noticed her glowing complexion  – something I was desperate for! The range is suitable for all skin types – a rarity! I do use the whole range but a special mention for the Vitamin E Hydrating Toner! Its super refreshing, amazingly hydrating and is alcohol free! What more do you want!!

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The Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Cleansing Oil-In-Gel

I was lucky enough be given this amazing product in my goody bag from the event and I have used it every day since! It is a first step gel textured cleanser which is infused with three different seed oils for all over the world. I have never used an oil based cleanser but I am so glad I finally have! This product has a sensorial texture which glides over your skin that then turns into a light milky lotion once wet! It is an 100% vegan product, gentle and all round FANTASTIC product!

Coconut Nourishing Body Butter

An all time favourite Body Shop product and one they are rightly famous for! I am a huge fan of all their body butters but coconut has got to be my favourite scent! I use it almost every night following a bath/shower since using I have noticed fading of my stretch marks – EVERY mothers dream, my skin feels moisturised and it smells INCREDIBLE!

Strawberry Bath Bomb 

Remember the Hubba Bubba bubblegum’s you used to get when you were a kid? This product smells exactly like them! A nostalgic experience of relaxing in a milky PINK hot bath, listening the boy bands of the 90’s whilst surrounded by the scent of my childhood – my idea of a perfect pamper evening and what every mum needs!

 

So another massive thank you to The Body Shop West Quay for the invitation, I had an amazing night and throughly enjoying new products which are life changing!

Please check out The Body Shop by visiting their website: http://www.thebodyshop.com

Check out and follow The Body Shop Westquay’s Insta @thequaytobeauty

Help them get 5K signatures by signing their campaign against animal testing here: https://foreveragainstanimaltesting.com/page/9140/petition/1

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The joys of weaning – our journey so far.

The joys of weaning – our journey so far.

Weaning seems like a scary step in parenting but also a very exciting one. I am very lucky to have a child who enjoys food and I have found it very easy so far.

Currently the Department Of Health recommend that you do not wean your baby until they are 6 months, but if your baby has a medical condition that suggests solid food would be better for them than milk then to start around the 4 month mark.

But as we know, ALL babies are different and often ready before that 6 month mark – Ted was definitely ready before this and I started weaning at 4 and a half months.

How did I know?

  1. He had good head control and was sitting supported very well.
  2. He had been gaining weight nicely – more than doubled his birth weight.
  3. He was reaching out for all types of objects (including my food and toys) and putting them in his mouth.
  4. Watched my every move when I was eating, started to get very restless at the fact of not having any.
  5. Waking during the night – some may say this is a developmental stage but once I started weaning he was sleeping amazingly well again (Yes I am one of those lucky mums who has a good sleeper!)

Cow and gate sent me an amazing 5 step guide to weaning which I found incredibly helpful which got us well on our way to weaning.

Link: https://www.cowandgate.co.uk/five-step-weaning-plan/how-to-start-weaning

So to begin with I was offering one vegetable/fruit puree a day to introduce different flavours. When starting I would highly suggest a particular time in the day where baby is not overly hungry! For Teddy we chose dinner time so around 4ish, after a bottle! Because remember this is all about tasting not so much eating a big meal! I highly recommend either making your own or if you currently don’t have a blender, Ella Kitchen pouches as they are made with organic vegetables and lemon juice – nothing else added. Ted was a massive fan of these, also gives him tasters of so many vegetables and fruits!

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After about 2-3 weeks, I continued with just fruit and vegetables but mixed up a few different flavours into one puree. When introducing just one flavour at a time, Teddy found green vegetable puree very bitter and hard to swallow – which I didn’t like tasting either! So ted’s all time favourite was baked sweet potato and spinach puree, full of greens, iron but sweetened by the sweet potato! Again if you have no access to a blender, Piccolo puree pouches are great!

Teddy is now enjoying a huge variety of finger foods including fruits, toast and baby snacks! Teddy’s favourite baby snacks include Farley Rusks, Organix Carrot Puffs, Ella’s Kitchen Strawberry and Banana puffs and Kiddylious Banana Wafers. He is on 2-3 meals a day. I have also been introducing meats/fish, I often get questions on the recipes I use! I am a massive fan of Annabel Karmel’s app which is £3.99 and includes recipes for babies first tastes right up to children and family meals! They are all super easy – nutritious and balanced!

My top tips would be:

  • Be prepared for mess!
  • Buy a blender!
  • Make sure you have a collection of baby Tupperware!
  • Lastly RELAX and ENJOY it – it is so much fun!

 

I hope you found this blog useful – please do ask me any questions you have, I would love to help! This article was not sponsored – just an honest review on products that we LOVE!!

x

A letter to my son.

A letter to my son.

Dear Teddy,

Since an early age I’ve wanted to be a mother, I dreamt about you and hoped that one day you would be here. This time last year me and your daddy saw you for the first time and from that day forward I was ready to undertake my role as your mummy.

Pregnancy was hard but seeing you move, respond to me and grow made it all worth it. That dream had come true, the dream of having half of me and half of my best friend, I could love you forever and we could watch you grow together.

You have been with us now for 5 months now and I still remember the first time I held you like it was only yesterday. You were perfect. You had daddy’s eyes, my button nose, you had tiny little fingers that griped onto mine – it was love at first sight. You gave me a purpose, you made me feel love that I never thought I was capable of, you filled me with strength I never knew I had and most of all you made me a mum.

I remember looking at families who looked to complete, and now I understand that. I often look through the pictures of the day you were born, you were so tiny, it takes me back to those sleepless night that I was so grateful for, takes me back to the pain that I wouldn’t change, takes me back to the tears I cried because of the love I have for you.

You are now 5 months old and we already have a lifetime of memories together. Nobody told me how your first smile would fill me with warmth, nobody told me how proud I would be of every new little thing you would learn, nobody would tell me how heartbroken I would feel when you had your first cold. Writing this letter to you has got me thinking of you future memories we will share together, your first birthday, your first day at school, your first love and finding who you are in this world we live in. I hope that one day you will realise that being yourself is always enough and I will forever be proud you. I hope that you will look back on the moments we share together and realise that you were so loved every second of every day.

I hope that you find your soul mate like I found mine, I hope that you see the best in very person you meet, I hope that you travel the world and no matter where you are or what you are doing, know that my heart is always your home.

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Teddy, you have changed my life for the better and you have given me a happiest like no other and I cannot wait to see what your future holds for you.

 

Mummy pamper night with Sabao.

Mummy pamper night with Sabao.

So for those who know me, I love a pamper evening but these days they are a rare occasion. I am a massive lush fan but recently found a small Southampton run business called Sabao. Nisha, also a mum of two has extensive knowledge within the luxury beauty industry and after having one of these IMPORTANT mummy pamper nights was left disappointed with the quality of her bath bomb. She created her own bath bombs and I was lucky enough to recieve one to review!

So a bit about the bath bombs:

  • They are SLS free and paraben free.
  • They contain essential oils – key for promoting positive mental wellness and well-being.
  • They are packed with cocoa butter and sweet almond oil – say goodbye to the lengthy moisturising.
  • They also include detoxifying ingredients that help remove dead skin cells.

I tried out Brazilian Rosewood and French lavender described as “a dip into the stunning, turquoise lagoon with this relaxing and soothing bath bomb. You’ll step out of the bath leaving all your stress behind.” I honestly couldn’t describe it better – this bomb turned the water a vibrant blue colour and it smells incredible. You just drop the bomb into clean running water and it begins to fizz away! Unlike other bombs I have used, the fizz is long lasting! Overall I was really impressed with this bath bomb and has defiently replaced my go to retailer. Please support this small business and give it a try – you will definetly not regret it! Find Nisha on facebook and insta @hellosabao!! Buy at http://www.sabao.co.uk!!

5 things that they don’t tell you about postnatal recovery!

5 things that they don’t tell you about postnatal recovery!

I asked my mum friends what they wished to be told about what happens after having a baby, because nobody tells you! It was interesting that however you birth your baby whether vaginally or by c section the same things come up!

1. Stitches!

Yes I said stitches! Did you know that 9 out of 10 women have some degree of tearing when having a baby so expect to have stitches especially if this is your first baby, (something I actually forgotten about whilst pregnant and I ended up with a third degree tear = a hell of a lot of stitches!) They are a pain the arse, you legit feel like your legs are also stitched together! Walking is an issue, take it easy! Stitches also equals a very swollen foofoo! I wasn’t quite ready for the amount of midwives who wanted to look at my vagina …. mortifying! But hey girls, at least you get a free designer vagina on the NHS!

2. Bleeding

They say imagine a very heavy period ….. no imagine worst! You will see blood in very odd shapes and sizes! A lot of my mummy friends expressed how showering was always good fun as running to grab a towel very quickly so it doesn’t look like someones been murdered and the remains are all over the floor – I could not of put it better myself! But on the positive your body is just clearing out the unnecessary crap which is no longer needed!

3. Baby blues

Something that I really struggled with as I had a very long stay in hospital due to recovery, I remember day two hitting and I was crying at least 10 times a day for an unknown reason! I just felt so overwhelmed and a little bit empty but couldn’t put my finger on why! Why was I crying? I was meant to be happy and taking everything in my stride – it isn’t that easy and if I could say anything too future mum’s – do not beat yourself up about feeling sad or crying – it is completely normal, just talk about how you are feeling!

4. Breastfeeding is not easy!

Breastfeeding has always been a massive passion of mine and I did not realise how tough it really is! I unfortunately did not have a good start as I had a huge blood loss and required a blood transfusion post birth – which ment my milk supply would take that little bit longer to kick in! I always pictured having this easy baby who latches straight away and feeds for short periods at a time and peacefully sleeping in between – not the case! I had a baby constantly attached to my tit (which by the way fucking hurts!) and i mean for hours at a time. Finally he would fall asleep and bam awake and crying within 2 minutes! I ended up combine feeding as I was convinced I had low supply, by I ended up feeding him for 3 and a half months – I am planning on writing another blog on my breastfeeding journey! When your milk comes in it is like you are early pregnant all over again they really hurt, you stink of gone off cheese and constantly leak everywhere! I have just only been able to sleep at night with no bra on!

5. Pain

It really does hurt, you feel like you’ve been drop kicked in the cunt (sorry mum and grandma!) Peeing wasn’t too bad for me as I just leant forward as much as I could (I must have looked like a right twat!) Take lots of lactulose – one thing I was so thankful for because when it came to pooping it just fell out!

Everything about post birth is super painful but we are super women, we have grown and birthed a baby and that is pretty awesome!! But take it easy because it will pay off! 22365263_10155064079217061_3303496823393261471_n (1)

“Once the baby is out, you will forget about the pain.”

“Once the baby is out, you will forget about the pain.”

Before having my baby I have always been so interested in birth! I initially wanted to be a midwife because choosing my career in Children’s Nursing. One born every minute has always been a firm favourite of mine and yes … I do cry every time a baby is born! Women just boss it!

so 36 weeks came around and my midwife came to my house to discuss my birthing plan! For those who know me I am very stubborn and know too much for my own good …. as soon as the epidural was mentioned I was quite clear that I did not want one at all! I wanted my relaxed water birth, using all my breathing techniques that I learnt in my Daisy Birthing classes whilst listening to soothing music. By that point my SPD was dreadful and I was desperate to go into labour!

38 weeks I had my first stretch and sweep (consultant decision!) I was already 2cm dilated and had a lovely soft cervix! The midwife was almost certain that baby would come early …. what a joke that was! 39 weeks came around – another sweep – cervix still 2cm dilated. 40 weeks and yes I was still only 2cm and had a third sweep.

Sunday 8th October …. the contractions finally began!I was 3 days overdue which I was very happy about! I cannot quite remember what a contraction feels like now it’s almost like a very annoying painful itch! I was excited but little did I know this would be me for three days! Monday arrived and still contracting ….. they were getting worse and closer together at one point and then further apart again. Tuesday early hours I decided to call labour line to let them know what was happening and they suggested that I go in to be assessed! by this point I had been having contractions for over 24 hours and they were so painful now that sleep was out of the question! The midwife examined me and I was only 3cm …. I was so disappointed by that point! How could I be having strong contractions but no progress! So I was sent home and told to call up again at midday and if no progress still a plan would need to be put in place.

Midday arrived and I was still the same but now I was exhausted due to no sleep …. having contractions every 3-4 minutes. I called my own midwife (big mistake!) who told me that my contractions were not close enough and that I had to continue at home, I explained that this was not the plan set by the ward and that I should be looked at. But no. She disagreed and told me that I was not progressing because I was not sleeping (by the way this midwife has never had a baby so has no idea what it feels like!) I was so angry …. I hung up the phone, got in a hot bath and pretty much sobbed the whole afternoon. I couldn’t cope anymore. My birth plan was not going to plan. I was exhausted, I had lost control and I was not looking forward to meeting my baby anymore.

6pm came ….. 48 hours of contracting and I was still the same. I decided to go against my midwife and call labour line to explain the situation. The midwife on the end of that phone really was a savior. She was sympathetic, was appalled by the way I was treated and told me to come in straight away.

By this point my birth plan had gone out of the window and I just wanted my baby here as quickly but as safely as possible! Pethidine – bloody amazing, knocked me out for 5 hours – the best sleep I ever had! It was early hours of 11th October, 3am and it was time to reassess. I had my fingers, toes and everything crossed (apart from my legs) hoping that I had made some progress but no. I was still 3cm so the decision was made to start induction. Because I had already been contracting the midwife broke my waters first to see if labour would then progress. And oh my god did it then get painful. Gas and air – rubbish. Did not touch the sides. I didn’t want it, the midwife and my mum told me I needed to get out of bed which I did not what to do either I froze because of the pain. I wanted the epidural and I wanted it quickly.

Down to labour ward I went – something that I was so against having prenatally. I sat on the edge of the bed being held still by the midwife and breathing the gas and air that James was clinging onto. I had the strongest pressure that I was pushing away whilst having my epidural in but didn’t think to stay anything as I knew the doctor wouldn’t give me my epidural! I was actually 8cm at this point ….. I went from 3cm dilated to 8cm in two hours! I strongly believe that if I didn’t have that epidural Teddy would had been born by 6am!

I began pushing at 8am ….. I started off strong …. I could do this! 2 hours later and I was still pushing. I was exhausted, I was falling asleep in between contractions. Teddy was getting fed up and he turned whilst I was pushing so the doctors arrived and told me they needed to get baby out quickly which ment I needed an episotomy and a forcep delivery – being a neonatal nurse this was something I always dreaded. They brought in a resuscitare in the room, I have never felt a fear like it …. luckily I couldn’t feel a thing. Two contractions later at 11:59am Teddy James Robert Chadwick was born …. he cried straight away. I was so relived and in love with him! Finally meeting this human being that you made and grew for 9 months was the best feeling in the world!

And it is true ….. as soon as you meet your baby, you forget all about the pain no matter how traumatic your labour story is!

I’m calling BS, pregnancy sucks!

I’m calling BS, pregnancy sucks!

When I used see pregnant ladies walking around holding on to their beautiful bumps with that pregnancy glow, I could not wait for it to be my turn! Now I have carried a baby I can only have sympathy for these women! Pregnancy SUCKS. Nobody warns you about the hung over feeling you have everyday but without the fun you had the night before and the incredible amounts of wine you had consumed. Instead you spend all day feeling like a walking zombie with rock hard boobs and ZERO glow! Your head feels like it weighs 10 stone and already you are the clock watching, counting down the hours until it’s a reasonable time to nap!

Then the sickness kicks in ….. they call it morning sickness but BS more like 24 hour sickness! I felt sick from the minute I got up until the second I went to sleep, I remember spend all day trying not to gag on my own saliva because I felt so nauseous (not ideal when you are working a 12 hour shift on a roast hot ward!) “Try eating ginger biscuits” I heard on a daily basis but nothing worked!

When nothing fits …. I like to think I dealt with this well as living in dresses/ leggings suited me to a T! I was comfortable most of the time …. until I was about 32 weeks and then sleeping became an issue! But maternity jeans are ugly and super uncomfortable ….. joys of being very short! Towards the later parts of my pregnancy I had extremely bad SPD (pelvic gurdle pain) which became an absolute pain! I was like Bambi, one minute I was fine and the next I would get shooting and numbness down my legs and plonk straight onto the floor!

The only thing I miss about being pregnant is being sat up late at night watching my belly make all weird shapes and sizes …. that first kick you feel makes all the sickness worth it!

Ultrasounds – I remember going into the room shitting a brick waiting to see what was making me feel so rotten, Pam, the ultrasound technician squirted warm jelly on my belly and told me to look at the screen, there it was …. a tiny bean. I instantly fell in love with this tiny little baby on the screen with its little flicker heartbeat I could see! It was so strange seeing it move around but not being able to feel a thing! I booked a private scan at 16 weeks as I was so eager to know the sex of the baby, that was a lovely experience, as we could take my mum, my sister and James mum. I was convinced I was having a girl until about one week before the scan because I had a very strange dream that I had a baby boy and from that point forward I was always refer to bean as ‘he.’ As soon as the technician went to see what flavour the baby was we knew straight away! Poor guy …

 

 

So for all those pregnant ladies out there – I’m sorry but pregnancy never gets easier despite what people tell you but coming from me YOU GO GIRL growing a baby is hard work but amazing!