The End Of An Era – Paying Homage to Milky Breasts

I’ve been lucky enough to provide my wonderful daughter with breast milk for a whole year. Despite starting back at work just after she turned 5 months old along with all the ups and downs of breastfeeding, I managed to keep it going.

Orginaly I planned to feed for 3 months which then turned to 6, and then once I got the hang of expressing enough milk to cover the hours I was working, i thought ‘what the heck, let’s go for the year milstone’. I have to say, I am pretty chuffed with myself.  There is a part of me that wants to keep going but I know it’s the right time now since we’ve got down to one feed a day, and little ba really doesn’t seem to care if it’s come from mummy or cow.

Tonight, on the night of my (not so) little one’s first birthday, I layed beside her feeding her a much appreciated  bottle of warmed cows milk. To say the least I couldn’t help but feel a little bit gutted, it was like the end of an era.. ‘The Great Teat of Life’ – April  2016 – 2017. Rip my lovely milky boobies.

Of course breast feeding was so much more than the nurishment it provided. Health benefits aside, it was mine and baby’s little thing, it was what bonded us and made baby (and me) trust my parental insticts. I suppose now I feel like a bit of a safety net has been taken away. Now I have to rely on alternative nurishments alone to do the job of keeping growing baby fit and well. We still have lots of cuddles though, especially at the ‘would have been’ breastfeeding times.

On the one hand I can drink once again, my partner can feed her more, giving me a bit more of a break and we could actually spend the night away alone, which actually seems like something we haven’t done in a lifetime (though she would still be terribly missed). Yet at the same time I think about how fast this year has flown and how this is the first of many things I’ll have to let go of as my baby grows up and needs her mummy less and less.

I have loved every minute of being a mum. I am embracing the present yet forever worrying about the future. Though I must be doing something right as when it comes to parenting I have no regrets. The past year has painted beautiful memories full of peace, love and happiness.

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Finding Fantastic Freebies & Bargains

We all love a good bargain, better yet, who doesn’t love a cheeky goody or freebie. It’s not always easy finding a good deal once the summer offers have ended, and who wants to wait until January for their next sale shopping fix. As for free gifts, they can be even rarer to come across.

I’ve put together what is hopefully a helpful list of websites and places were anyone can find Bargains, samples and free stuff, to keep you going until the next big sale event. What’s not to love? Enjoy! X

All Beauty

All Beauty formally known as Cheap Smells ( I totally get why they renamed it) is one of my favourite online discount beauty retailers. It’s perfect for if your looking to grab a bargain. They pretty much sell any mainstream beauty brand you can think of at a discount price. Not only that, but they’ll do a price match on any product you find cheaper elsewhere and there is a free gifts section of the website too.

Bounty club

One for all my fellow mamma bears out there. Having a baby can be expensive so most of us will take any help we can get in terms of free stuff. If you haven’t already heard of bounty you can register online to receive free bounty packs full off goodies, information and parenting guides.

There’s also an online community, expert advise, competitions and exclusive, personalised offers and savings of up to 70% off. If your expecting, ask your midwife and she might already have a free bounty pack for you without having to sign up. Similar clubs include Emma’s Diary, Boots baby club and Your Baby Club UK.

Everything Five Pound

If you really want to spend as little as possible on your wardrobe then this is the site for you. everythingfivepounds.com has so much to offer and is well worth a browse if your looking for a new cheap and cheerful outfit. There’s items for men, women, kids and the home.

As the name suggests, everything on the site costs five pound, but don’t let that put you off in terms of product quality. I actually bought a lovely grey maxi dress from here and when I received it, it had originally come from boohoo.com a very well known and trusted fashion retailer.

Freebie Websites

There are tons of freebie websites out there but you should always do your research and be careful about what information you are giving out, especially if a website looks suspicious. These websites do tend to generate a lot of spam so I suggest using an old email address or creating a brand new one specifically for using with these sites.

Two freebie sites that are definitely worth looking into are Magic Freebies and Latest Free Stuff. On both these websites you will find freebies, samples, competitions and more, promoting all sorts products and companies.

Beauty Counters

Makeup and beauty counters are another great place to source free samples whilst your out and about shopping. Usually you only receive them once you’ve purchased something from the counter, but if you get chatty with the shop assistant and are generally interested in a product, your sure to get a sample to test before buying.

So hopefully these suggestions will come of use to anyone looking to save money or grab a freebie. Any more advice on finding great deals and free goodies would be greatly appreciated, leave your comments. Happy bargain hunting people!

A Helping Hand in Calming Baby

Well I’ve been a mamma for almost three months now and of the baby products I’ve come across so far, Johnson’s Baby Bed Time Cream has to be my favourite. Of course the essentials like nappies, wipes and fragranced sacks are any parents favourites for obvious reasons, I mean, where would we be without them? But in terms of baby products that might not be considered necessities, the bed time cream gets a high rating from me.

To begin with the smell is absolutely lovely. It’s amazing how many people tell me my baby smells wonderful but they’re not lying, she really does! It has a really sweet, mellow fragrance and is in keeping with that generic soothing baby scent that most Johnson’s products have. To tell you the truth I’ve actually used the stuff myself a couple of times and tried to claim It as my own ‘natural fragrance.’ – ‘oh yeah that… That’s just what I smell like.’

I think the bed time cream is most effective after bath time. Though I do like to use it as a general moisturiser too.

My little one does love having baths, but is most displeased when it’s time to get out and boy does she let me (and half the street) know it. One things for sure my girl has a cracking pair of lungs! Once she’s dry and warm I like to rub the cream all over her tummy and then massage her legs with it. It really does calm her down, there’s been times were we’ve even gone from screams to smiles within seconds.

I give this product top ratings, it does seem to help my little one sleep better too if I use it just before bed time. So if your having troubles calming your child or just want to have a beautiful smelling baby, give this stuff a go!

My Beauty Saviours From Breastfeeding Induced Dehydration

I know, this post sure does have one great mouthful of a title. In fact ‘great mouthful’ is exactly the phrase that springs to mind when I reflect on my life over the past three months…. I have the greediest child ever!!

There are many perks to breastfeeding your little one. There’s no need to faff around with bottles, the milk is ready and accessible whenever you need it ( very handy at 3 o’clock in the morning, wen baby decides it’s dinner time) and of course it’s a great method for bonding with your new born. I know what you’re thinking… ‘Hurray for boobies!’ I mean, the list goes on and on, let’s not forget the many other charming delights to be experienced with breastfeeding, such as sore nipples, swollen breasts, leakage (admittedly does have its comedic values), constant drained energy ( also a symptom of general parenthood ) and chronic dehydration. So yeah, breastfeeding does come with its challenges.

Throughout the day I drink so much water to stop my body feeling like the Sahara desert, but it’s still never enough to prevent that irritating crusty dry feeling I get when waking up for night time feeds. Luckily I have found some superb products, from my favourite beauty store Lush, which help me to cope with this issue.

If there’s one thing that goes hand in hand with dehydration, it’s dry lips. A common problem many of us experience, both breastfeeders and non breastfeeders. Now I love a good lip balm, but I always seem to find myself re-applying and re-applying the stuff, until it seems to be having no effect whatsoever. Alas I have finally found a balm that agrees with my lips. I literally only have to use Lush’s Key Lime Pie lip balm once and it lasts for hours. Of course Lush do a few more flavours of lip balm but the Key Lime Pie, in my opinion, is definitely the best smelling… It’s positively scrumptious!

If you need a quick blast of refreshing water to wake you up in the morning (or during the night), then I would definitely suggest Breath of Fresh Air toner water. The bottle describes it as ‘ a sea breeze captured in a bottle’ and I can really see why. It really helps to wash away that crusty dry sleepy feeling and is a fantastic pick-me-up. I also like to use Lush’s Eau Roma Water toner as it hydrates the skin and has a lovely calming effect.

I would definitely recommend these products as a quick fix for if you don’t have time to hop in the shower or don’t have a large glass of water to hand. Perfect for tiredness, skin dehydration, dryness and other symptoms of breastfeeding.

A Brief Moment

So I haven’t done any writing for quite a while and thought it was about time I got my creative juices flowing once more… Towards the end of my pregnancy I pretty much gave up on life, my motivation levels dropped to zero. I couldn’t be bothered to write, I couldn’t be bothers to do my yoga, I barely left the house and I had the sex drive of an eighty year old panda! In fact I spent the majority of my time lounging around in the bath, like a great big whale.

Understandably, since giving birth I have had no time to sit and write… Even now as I write this I have my little one in one arm suckling away. Tapping away at a laptop with one finger takes great patience but (as most mums will know) patients is somethings you need buckets of when looking after a new born, so something as trivial as this bares no challenge.

My beautiful baby girl is now eleven weeks and as the days go by my confidence grows and grows. I literally can not remember what it’s like to not be a mum and I often find myself thinking ‘what the hell did I use to do with all that spare time I had.’ One things for sure, there’s no more lounging around in the bath for hours on end for me, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as I do feel much less prune-like these days.

I have never been so happy to be in a sleep deprived state, with greasy hair and covered in sick. At the moment I just love life and would not have things any other way. Some say that becoming a parent is hard ‘hard’, personally I would use the phrase ‘ wonderfully challenging’ to describe it.

It’s not that the tasks involved in looking after a little one are hard, it’s just a whole new experience. Things can seem repetitive, tiring and at times frustrating, there is always something new to learn around the corner but throughout it all I always feel an overwhelming sense of love in my heart. I would definitely recommend parenthood to others, especially those who describe their lives as ‘boring’.

Thank you world for giving me the greatest gift of all.