Wednesday, 1 April 2015

HOSPITAL BAG: Packing The Baby Bag

Packing my hospital bag was exciting enough but packing the baby's hospital bag was almost too much. Too much cuteness, too much 'awww-ing' over everything I was packing. I'm sure the novelty will wear off but for now I'm really enjoying washing her clothes, tumble drying them, folding them, organising them etc! Again, I read a lot of hospital bag lists for the baby and settled on these items (plus a couple more I've packed since, like a blanket and couple more newborn baby grows and vests).
3x 0-1 month babygrows 
2x Dribble bibs
1 pair of scratch mitts
1 pair of booties
1 hat
Cellular Blanket
Is there anything else you'd recommend packing for baby?

Feel free to leave me a comment :) 

Helen x

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

HOSPITAL BAG: Packing My Bag

At 36 weeks pregnant I finally got around to washing, organising and packing my hospital bag. I had originally planned to have it ready by around 32 weeks but was just too busy trying to get the house ready for our little arrival. It was such a weight off my mind once I had packed it, knowing that if I did go into labour I would be completely unprepared! We still need to practice putting the car seat in and out of the car. I've heard of a lot of new parents who hadn't and were then trying to work it out in the hospital carpark!
After reading 101 different hospital bag lists I settled on the items I thought I'd need/want with me. There are a couple of things I've since packed that aren't in these photos, such as headphones, bendy straws (for Tom to 'feed' me water), jug, going home outfit and my camera/charger. I also need to get some magazines and snacks for both Tom and I, but other than that we're pretty much done. 
Cath Kidston Fold Out Bag (similar here)
Travel Size Shampoo
Travel Size Batiste Dry Shampoo 
Travel Size Conditioner 
2x Primark Maternity Nightgowns 
2x Primark Thick Thermal Socks
4x Primark Knickers
Grey Primark Towel 
Mini Toothpaste
Mini Toothbrush
Primark Slip On Slippers
Plastic Bag for washing
Kleenex Tissues

Have I missed anything? Is there anything else you'd recommend packing?

Feel free to leave me a comment :) 

Helen x

Monday, 30 March 2015

PREGNANCY: 38 Week Update

This week was my second full week of maternity leave, which went a lot quicker than the first. I tried to keep my mind busy with various little projects around the house - washing more baby clothes, organising the 3-6 month clothes we have, sorting out our spare room etc. I had planned to meet up with some of the NCT Mum's on Thursday but thanks to various pregnancy niggles I decided it wasn't best to go.

I've actually had a couple of 'Oh my goodness I'm in labour' moments this week, probably definitely wishful thinking on my part. I'm just so ready for her arrival. On Wednesday night I woke up at 4.30am with period like pains and bad back ache, I felt different. After an hour and a half of trying to get comfortable I woke my husband up, who just mumbled something, turned over and went back to sleep! I finally managed to get back to sleep myself and when I woke up in the morning the tummy/back pains had subsided somewhat and I didn't have any feeling that labour was imminent. Has anyone else found that pregnancy tummy/back pains were worse during the night? Mine have been constantly worse during the night, resulting in disrupted sleep. Luckily I can nap during the day now, which I certainly have been doing! 

Once again my emotions have been all over the place this week - I'm not exactly the best company some of the time! It's the combination of not really having much to do each day, a lack of focus, and the feeling of uncomfortable impatience. I really want to meet our daughter. I really want her to not be in my ribs every evening. I really want to get labour over and done with. I really want to start the hard journey of breastfeeding. I really want to stare at our baby for hours on end, just because I can. All of these and more are making me snappier than usual, it's just so frustrating knowing I'm being snappy but not really being able to control it. I'll be glad when my hormones settle down and I feel a bit more like me again.

In my desperation to meet our daughter I've been trying various techniques to bring on labour. A lot of the methods are old wives tales and won't work unless your baby is ready to make an appearance, but it doesn't hurt to try! I had an Indian Head Massage and Facial this week, my husband had got me them for my birthday (some last minute pampering) and I'd also read that massage can bring on labour. Other than me worrying my waters would break during the treatments it didn't kick start anything. I've also eaten pineapple almost everyday this week, although yesterday I read that you would need to eat at least 7 for it to have any effect at all! I've got a box of Raspberry Leaf Tea but haven't tried it yet. My yoga ball has seen some serious bouncing this week, with an attempt to bring baby's head down further and I've done a couple of longer walks. But nothing, not yet anyway.

I had my 38 week midwife appointment, which went really well as she said what I'd wanted to hear - the baby is now engaged! Even though that doesn't really mean much, as a baby can be engaged from 36 weeks, its a step in the right direction. My bump is measuring bang on - 38cm at 38 weeks and my blood pressure was fine. The next appointment is when I'm 3 days overdue, so I'm really hoping I don't need to go to that because our baby has arrived!

What were the first signs you were in labour?

Feel free to leave me a comment :)

Helen x

Sunday, 29 March 2015

REVIEW: February Degustabox

Last month I first introduced you to the Degustabox - a fantastic subscription box service in which you recieve a box FULL of food and drink goodies every month. The January box was filled with healthy products, new year and all that. Now onto the February Degustabox* - a box much more to my personal taste. We're talking chocolate, nuts, lots of interesting flavours and new products to try out! Opening the Degustabox is always so exciting because you never know what's going to be inside, I'm a sucker for this kind of thing. 
Schwartz Flavour Shots x2 - £1.40 each
I'm all up for easy, quick ways of introducing a lot of flavour to meals, especially with having no real kitchen at the moment (we're in the middle of renovating). These Schwartz Flavour Shots came in Indian Mild Masala Curry and Spanish Paella - I can't wait to try these out!
Whole earth 3 nut spread - £3
A new twist on peanut butter, which I hadn't come across before. This spread contains cashews, peanuts and hazelnuts - a dreamy combination if you ask me. I've been really enjoying this on toast and on slices of apple. 
Jack Link's Beef Snack - £1.39
As a vegetarian I'm clearly not able to try this but I've heard it was very chewy! It doesn't have to be kept in the fridge, so it's perfect for packed lunches.
Original Melba Thins - £1.39
Hello current pregnancy obsession! These are packaged in 10 sets, so you don't have to eat the whole box of Melba thins in one go - ideal for keeping that crispness. I love love love these with margarine, pickle, cheese, chilli jam and jam - not all at the same time though. 
Beet It Sport Pro-Elite Bar x2 -£1.35 each
These are Beetroot and Oat flapjacks, ideal for energy when excersing for any length of time. The combination of oats and beetroot is an interesting one, it's something I wouldn't usually try but hav now had the opportunity to thanks to the Degustabox. 
Laimon Fresh Sparkling Lemon-Lime and Mint Drink -£1.99
I absolutely loved the sound of this when I saw it in the box, if sounded like a mojito but without the alcohol - therefore pregnancy friendly! It's so tasty and does taste similar to a mojito, I regretted not drinking it with lots of crushed ice. Now I'm on the hunt for more, so that I can do just that!
American Muffin Co. Ltd 6 Chocolate Brownie Bites - £2.50
Anything that makes my packed lunches more exciting is good with me and these brownies definitely did that. They are individually wrapped, making them ideal for on the go. They're also gluten and wheat free.
Lily O'Briens Cocoa Cookie Crunch -£2.50
This was my favourite product from this Degustabox box - they are incredible. Chocolately, crunchy and bite size all make for the most delicious treat. We made our way through this whole bag in an embarrassingly quick time
Peanut Hottie -£3
I have seen this peanut butter flavour hot drink floating around social media for a while and been so intrigued. Now I have the opportunity to try it and I'm a bit nervous if I'm honest. I haven't tried if yet but I've smelt it and it smells sweeeet! 

You can use the code -ZJXE0- for a £3 discount - so go check out the website!

Have you tried the a Peanut Hottie drink?

Feel free to leave me a comment :)

Helen x

Friday, 27 March 2015

INTRODUCING: Little Chickie Baby and Toddler Clothing Boutique

Why does looking for baby clothes become such an obsession? Everyone I know loves shopping for baby clothes, they are just so tiny and cute! I've been loving browsing the Internet for unique baby clothes, especially as we know we're having a girl. I sometimes think if I didn't know the gender would we have bought quite so many clothes? The answer is probably yes but I can pretend that we wouldn't have. 
When it comes to cute baby clothes, a fun website and unique clothing designs Little Chickie has it all! Little Chickie is a family run, independent baby and toddler online clothing boutique, which brings a range of unique, fashionable brands to the market. The website is has such a cute design and is one of the easiest websites I've been on to navigate - something I definitely look for, as time is always limited. There's various sections on the website, including: boys, girls, unisex clothing, holiday shop, sale, gift ideas and brands. This makes browsing the beautiful clothing products very easy, which will be dangerous for your bank account but perfect for the lucky recipients wardrobe.
^I spotted this advert in the latest gurgle magazine!^
One brand that really stood out to me on the Little Chickie website was Pigeon Organics Baby Clothing. Their design of baby grows are like nothing I had seen before. They are designed to last between 0-6 months or 6-12 months old, a lot longer than most baby grows. They do this by having a really clever design on the feet part of the baby grow, you can flip over the material when the baby is younger (covering their little feet) and then unflip the material when they get older (exposing their feet). This results in the baby grow lasting a lot longer and gives you the flexibility of exposing the babies feet or not, depending on the temperate and size of the baby. How clever?!
 This design is the Baby Girl Romper - Pink Spotty*. You can clearly see here the foot design, as well as the pretty stripy pattern paired up with the spots.

Here are my top picks from Little Chickie...


There is currently 20% off when you spend £35 on the Little Chickie website, so now is the perfect time to pick up some of these beautiful items.

Which is your favourite item from the Little Chickie website?

Feel free to leave me a comment :)

Helen x

Thursday, 26 March 2015

PREGNANCY: Organic Vital Touch Natalia Pampering Products

 Pampering during pregnancy has been an essential for me, it hasn't been every day, sometimes not even every week but knowing that I have a range of high quality, organic products aimed at my every expanding pregnant body has been very reassuring. Taking half an hour to look after myself, not worry about general life worries and really focus on bonding with my baby has been invaluable - if you haven't tried it then I'd highly recommend you do. Obviously life doesn't always allow for daily pampering but if you can grab 30 minutes every week you'll feel amazing for it and it's something to look forward to, through all of the uncomfortable days. 

Now I'm on maternity leave I've been able to spend a bit more time concentrating on myself - both mentally and physically. Pregnancy has definitely taken its toll on my body now - it's tired, achy, has the odd stretch mark and my feet/hands are very swollen. I'm certainly not complaining, it's incredible that I have a little baby growing inside me. Therefore I feel a certain level of responsibility to look after myself and consequently my baby. One way I've been doing this is through using high quality, organic body products and taking that time out.
Vital Touch Natalia has the most fantastic range of organic pampering products aimed at throughout pregnancy, labour & birth, new parents, baby and maternity gifts. Over the past month or so I've been lucky enough to trial some of the Vital Touch Natalia Prenatal products and I've been seriously impressed. 

The Vital Touch Natalia Prenatal Bath Soak* has been the only bath soak I've been using and now that we have a bath at our house (after a long 3 months without one!) it's been even more special. I like the fact that they recommend how many capfuls of the bath soak to put in, too often I pour and pour away, then realise I've emptied half the bubble bath in! This creates a nice amount of bubbles and smells very soothing. Personally it isn't the most moisturising bath soak for my skin, but when I've been pairing it with the Vital Touch Natalia Massage Oil* and Anti-Stretch Butter* my skin has felt very hydrated.
Vital Touch Natalia Prenatal Massage Oil* is seriously luxurious and has been so nice to use all over my body, not just on my back. When I can persuade Tom to massage my back (does anyone suffer from an aching back almost constantly in pregnancy?) he's been using this product. I've been impressed at how long it lasts, it doesn't sink into the skin straight away which is a downfall of a lot of massage oils I've tried. You don't want to get through half a bottle in 5 minutes because your skin drinks it up! I've found that massage throughout pregnancy has been a lovely way for my husband to bond with our baby. I've even packed this product in my hospital bag, so that it can be used when I'm in labour.
Vital Touch Natalia Instant Revitaliser* is a 'pick me up' in a roller ball - exactly what has been needed in later pregnancy. It smells incredible - think sweet orange, geranium and frankincense - all blended together for a refreshing uplift. I've also packed this into my hospital bag, so that I can roll it on my pressure points during labour. Anything to keep me going!
Vital Touch Natalia Prenatal Anti-Stretch Butter* is packed with nourishing, hydrating and natural ingredients that have really made a difference to the feel of my skin. It's never been so well hydrated, especially impressive as it was getting dry where my skin has stretch so much on my bump. It contains shea butter, avocado oil and rosehip seed oil with essential oils of lavender, mandarin, neroli and frankincense. Sensory and skin heaven.   
 Last but certainly not least the Vital Touch Natalia Prenatal Leg Refresher* has been a holy grail item for the last couple of weeks. As I've mentioned in a number of weekly pregnancy updates, I've been getting really swollen feet and hands thanks to water retention. It's been getting quite uncomfortable, as the skin gets tighter and I can barely bend my fingers and toes! So I've been enjoying soothing this product all over my legs - it's refreshing, slightly tingly and it encourages you to take the time to massage your legs/feet. This has all been helping with making my swollen feet/hand situation more comfortable.

What have you been using to relieve pregnancy aches and pains?

Feel free to leave me a comment :)

Helen x