Monday, 30 June 2014

Giveaway #2 Debenhams Baby Record Book

While I'm in labour I decided to launch my second giveaway for you, my lovely readers!
I'm giving away a lovely Baby Record Book from Debenhams.
Classic lullabies and nursery rhymes throughout the book for you to entertain your growing child. "Baby Record Book" pairs charming illustrations with prompts that help parents to record their child's measurements, milestones and memorable events.
Contains sections for scan pictures and questions and answers for the baby as it gets older as well as a lovely family tree section. 

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P.S. giveaway starts on 30 June 12am and ends on 14 July 12am

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Friday, 27 June 2014

What kind of mum will I be?

Many moons ago my work colleagues and I had a discussion about parenting and what kind of mums we would be. Some said that I would be strict, others suggested that I would be loving and caring.

But what do I think?! From what I can remember as a child my mum was loving and strict at the same time. I wasn't allowed to cross the road alone, I wasn't allowed to leave the playground which was in front of our house, but at the same time when and if I had problems she was always sorting them out for me, was there for me when I was poorly, I guess as any parent would. But I think there were more “DON'Ts” than “DOs” in our relationship.

I'm 100% sure that I will be strict, overprotective not that I want to, but I was a child myself and by nature I would try to protect my daughter, even though deep down I know she would need to make them in order to learn and do things differently next time.
I know, I know I'm ahead of myself, firstly we will have a small bundle of joy, and I would like to be:

- Caring
- Loving
- Relaxed
- Fun
- Enthusiastic
- Patient
- Calm
- Protective
- Supportive
- Happy
- Positive

What kind of mum/parent you want (ed) to be?

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Pregnancy update 40 weeks+ 5 days

Visible changes in my body: I think my bump is more rounder and maybe slightly lower

Other: Still going 2-3 times a night to the toilet. As you may recall from my last week's post we are in a kind of a limbo at the moment as our landlord didn't agree yet to us moving out, and we are desperately in need of our own place as we were forced to take refuge at my husband's parents house, which is not ideal for me at all. We wanted to vacate property on Friday, but it's now been a week and a half since the incident and them being informed about the situation. This situation stresses me out a lot, I cry almost every day and I'm worried about baby as well,-when she will arrive, how she will arrive and where we will be staying. Baby is active, especially during the evening, from time checking heartbeat with doppler. My sweep is booked for this Saturday, will see if it helps to fast forward labour.

How do I feel: Apart from stress, feel good (touch wood). If out and about feeling tired quicker.

Cravings: still none.

Fitness: stopped any fitness routine due to no treadmill available and not sure that it's a good time to carry on swimming in a public pool

Baby: At 40 weeks baby is getting a little heavier and may grow a bit more in length. The average baby is about 51cm long from head to toe and weighs about 3.4kg at birth. Baby continues to shed the greasy, white substance (vernix caseosa) which has been protecting her skin. If she shows no sign of making an appearance after another week, she may have slightly dry skin when she arrives.
She has mastered all the skills she'll need 
after she's born. She can instinctively search for her thumb and suck it, just as she will search for your breast for a feed soon after birth. 

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Carriwell Seamless Drop Cup Nursing Bra review

For the past couple of years I have been wearing sport bras more often as I prefer comfort over wearing fancy bras every day. During pregnancy was the first time when I felt incredibly uncomfortable in my favourite sport and wired bras. But as my bump grew and my rib cage expanded I made a decision to stop wearing a bra, I had to wear it when around people but during the day when I was on my own in the house I was taking it off.

A month ago I was offered (thanks to More4mums) to review Carriwell seamless drop cup nursing bra (£20), it was definitely a godsend review. I have opted for black bra as it is the most practical colour in size XL. The bra come in three colours: black, nude and white and sizes S, M, L and XL, which means it suits almost everyone's taste.

I couldn't wait to try the bra so put it straight away, to my surprise it came with extenders, which reassured me that it won't be too tight.

For the past month I have been testing it in washing, while wearing and I must say I like it a lot and planning to wear it while I'm pregnant and after giving birth for easy access for nursing.

  • very comfortable, I don't feel it on myself when wearing
  • the material doesn't irritate my skin
  • the material is stretchy enough therefore can fit my changing breast shape
  • comes with bra extenter
  • very easy to release a nursing clip with one hand
  • wide under band hides my unwanted curves
  • doesn't change it's shape after washing
  • no bra straps “cutting in”

Cons: None.

I would certainly recommend it for mums-to-be and mums with babies.

DISCLAIMER: I was sent the above item for the purposes of this review. All thoughts and opinion are my own. 

Friday, 20 June 2014

Why I Decided to Breastfeed (Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt 2014)

Today is my Due Date so I thought that maybe it's the best time to talk about breastfeeding. Few weeks ago I came across a thread on C & G Community where lady was seeking support as she was intending to bottle feed her baby, she felt that there is more support for those who are breastfeeding their babies than for those you prefer alternative method.
That made me think- why I never even thought about bottle feeding?! For me it was never a choice between breastfeeding and bottle feeding, it seems like a natural thing to do-breast feed.
When someone asks me what will I chose breast feed or bottle feed I reply by saying that I would like to breast feed, as obviously I can't predict what will happen in the future and I may change my mind, but that's what I'm aiming for and I can't dismiss breastfeeding without trying it first.

I have read few books about breastfeeding and attended NHS breastfeeding class whilst pregnant in a hope it will make me more confident and knowledgeable. I think it helped a lot to understand the nature of breastfeeding, it's benefits for both mum and baby, but the most difficult job is ahead of me. I do understand that it could and would be hard at first, but I'm looking forward to these moments of bonding with my little L.

My blog post participating in National Breastfeeding Awareness Week June 20th – 26th..
If you have enjoyed reading my post, you can find more articles about breastfeeding at these locations and participate in Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt giveaway. The more participating blog posts you read, the better your chances of winning the grand prize (over £1000 worth of breastfeeding and baby goodies):

Please complete the following Rafflecopter to enter the competition for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Grand Prize.

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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Decision made- we are moving out!

Last Friday evening we decided to change our routine slightly and not to go to the swimming pool, we thought that it would be nice to mix up our plans this weekend and we were planning to go to park on Saturday (which we did) and to the pool on Sunday (which never happened).
On Saturday after park we came home, were preparing to relax and watch TV when heard someone knocking on our back door, which normally never happens as our family and friends use front door only.
It was our next door neighbour asking to move our car as the van (I guess their mate) couldn't get through her car and my husband's car. Well she didn't explain that I knew it as when we parked we saw the van at the back of our garden, she just demanded to move the car.
Cutting long story short, I had to go outside as I heard her shouting at my husband over car parking, and few seconds later her partner ran towards them not to take park in the conversation but to make things worse, to assault my husband...These few minutes of my life flew so quick, I don't remember much as I was in total shock, but I remember her angry face, how she was running towards my husband and me shouting "Stop, stop".
That Saturday evening we spent in police station, and Sunday in A&E to note injuries from the accident. That was our last weekend in the house where we spent last 3 years, that was the weekend of horror, stress, tears.

We couldn't bare staying in this house any longer, we couldn't stay there knowing that next door to us live bullies, we couldn't be safe there.
On Sunday we moved in with in laws, I do appreciate their support and help but it's just not enough space for all of us here especially with a baby due this Friday.

On Monday I woke up around 3 am as all I could dream of was uncertainty we have, our baby arriving in the messiest time of our lives, us sharing the small house between 5 people, us not having our own corner. I just couldn't stop crying, the only thing I was wishing for was our baby being overdue. We needed, we had to search for our own house before she arrives.

But I think luck is on our side this week (fingers crossed), we have found one place available immediately, it is much smaller than our previous house but it means we can move in within next week, we might have our own nest! I can't express how positive I feel at the moment knowing that baby will be safe, we will be safe, no more putting up with neighbours or sharing place between 2 households.

It is such a relief! Please wish us luck and keep fingers crossed for us and our future!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Craftmill Pregnant Belly Casting Kit review

As some of you may recall I mentioned that I'm not a big fan of others taking photos of myself, me looking at myself on a photo and finding lots of things I don't like, for that reason I didn't really take any bump pictures or wanted to do a maternity photo shoot, but I still any parent-to-be wanted to capture one of the most amazing moment of our lives- my pregnancy.

I googled (as you do) to see what other people suggest and found local ladies who provide private bump/belly cast services in the comfort of your own home. Photos of their works looked amazing, but prices are absolutely ridiculous. I accept the fact that others will and can pay over £100, but I wasn't prepared to pay that much. Not to worry, for people like me who can't afford the luxury of someone making a belly cast I found DIY belly cast kits, which are reasonably priced and give you that bonding feeling with a bump.

Thanks to Craftmill (specialises in delivering high quality 3D craft, modelling and artist materials) I was provided with a EasyStandard Pregnant Belly Casting Kit (£7.54).

The kit consists of:
- gift bag
- 4 rolls of top quality medical grade super safe 15cm wide plaster bandages
- petroleum jelly
- instructions

Before we started applying the content of the kit we needed to prepare the working space, material and model (myself).

Working space:
we used our dinning area as it is the only part of our house with laminate flooring which I thought would be easier to clean. I put few newspaper sheets on the floor, covered my chair with a cotton sheet and put few more newspapers sheets on the table which we were using for preparing the kit.
I had a quick look online at belly cast examples to have an idea of how I would prefer my cast to look like. I thought that if we are planning to show the cast to our relatives and friends I would be very uncomfortable if they see my nipples therefore I opted to wear a bra, which was covered with cling film, for the rest of my bump and parts of my body I wanted to feature in the cast we applied petroleum jelly provided. And the last preparation was to decide am I going to stand or sit down, as we didn't know how long it will take we thought that it would be much better and less tiring if I was siting on a chair.

Prior to opening the kit I was wearing rubber gloves and asked my husband to wear gloves as well in case if it gets too messy and it did. Handling bandages is the most messy part as before you apply them onto belly they are dry and a bit flaky. I needed to cut bandages onto 30 cm strips and to soften them you would need to use warm water and off you go.

I must say it was definitely an interesting experience, even though I was a model I tried to control the process by checking in the mirror the position of bandages and how they are applied, mostly I was worried about the chest areas as I wanted it to be the same shape as my bra and I think we did a great job.

It took us approximately 30 minutes to apply all bandages (each strip applied was drying very quickly once put onto my body), we left it to dry for few days after. It was a bit messy on the floor and my trousers needed a wash but I quickly rubbed the floor and washed my trousers and all looked as if we didn't do anything. Ideally I would like to smooth it and maybe paint but it is a different story.

I am extremely happy with the result and I just can't stop looking at the cast, even my husband said that it looks as if it was created by a professional, what do you think?

DISCLAIMER: I was sent the above item for the purposes of this review. All thoughts and opinion are my own.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Baby entertainment wish list

Today I present you my last pre-baby Wish List, this week it's all about "Baby Entertainment". As you may recall from my previous wish lists I try to pick what I think is necessary and cheap/affordable. If you think I have missed anything, any essentials for the first month or two please do let me know.


Bright Starts Bouquet Surprise Baby Bouncer- Mothercare £19.99

Nuna Leaf Canopy- Kiddicare £20

Bear Hug Bouncer- BabiesRUs £29.96


Bruin Pink Playmat and Playgym- BabiesRUs £14.96

Sunny Safari Arch & Quilt- Kiddicare £24.49

Playgro Bugs n Bloom Activity Gym- Kiddicare £24.99


Graco Baby Delight Swing in Tutti Frutti- BabiesRUs £44.99

Bright Starts™ Comfort & Harmony™ Sandstone Bouncer- Kiddicare £45.00

Graco Baby Delight Swing- Asda £45

Mamas and Papas Merry Go Round Baby Swing- Argos £46.99

Disclaimer: I have a written consent from all brands mentioned to use above pictures.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Pregnancy update 38 weeks

Visible changes in my body: none, apart from my bump looks weird sometimes when little L moves on one of the sides.

Other: I started to go for a wee more often at night. I have seen my consultant last week, baby is engaged which is good, it's a shame no one can say when exactly our baby will arrive. Started or should I say trying to finish sorting out bits and pieces around the house.

How do I feel: I feel good (touch wood), can't really lie on my back as it is very uncomfortable and getting tired quicker, but it's almost the end of our pregnancy journey

Cravings: still none.

Fitness: swimming once a week, our treadmill is in the house but didn't have a chance to put it up properly.

Baby: At 38 weeks baby is has probably lost all the fine, downy hair and protective white vernix from their skin now. She is putting on weight in order to be able to control her body temperature outside the womb and to protect her organs. She is also building up waste made out of amniotic fluid, blood and skin in her intestines. She will excrete this after she is born. Her skin tone is now closer to the natural colour she will be when she is born. 

Monday, 9 June 2014

Upbeat high protein dairy drink review

I will be honest with you I don't know much about protein and how important it is in our daily life. But I do know that I like dairy products and all sorts of dairy drinks.

When I used to work in a banking industry, I remember those breaks when me and my mate shared a milk shake, it was our supplement to a food as it kept us going throughout the day.

When I was offered to review Upbeat (by The Good Whey Co., a family business with over 60 years of dairy heritage and over 40 years of expertise in crafting whey protein)- high protein dairy drink I was pleasantly surprised as
"many expecting mothers to be don't realise how important it is to consume the right amount of protein in their diet during and after pregnancy. The need for protein increases during this time to support the baby's growth, contribute to the extra muscular support for mum and to help produce healthy blood cells for both baby and mother. Also, as one of the components of breast milk is protein, it is essential that breastfeeding mothers increase the amount of protein in their diet".

Nutritional credentials:
20g protein
Low fat
Half the sugar of most fruit juices and smoothies
A source of calcium
Under 150kcal
Made with real fruit

Want to know more about the drink and if it's suitable for you or your family members please check FAQ section here.
Sounds great, right? So, my husband and I decided to give it a go. Unfortunately, you can't find Upbeat in any supermarket (available at Tesco, Ocado, Waitrose, Holland & Barrett, Booths), therefore I would suggest checking the nearest stockist on Feelingup beat website. Holland & Barrett was the only choice in my area, we were lucky enough as they had 2 last bottles: mango & passion fruit and strawberry (the only Upbeat flavours so far).

Each Upbeat bottle is only 250 ml, £1.79. I poured both drinks in a glass so that we can compare thickness and taste both drinks with my husband. What you notice straight away is that they smell exactly like mango, passion fruit and strawberry.
We have also noticed that mango & passion fruit drink was slightly thicker than strawberry one. Mango and passion fruit leaves sour/bitter aftertaste ( I had to have a whole 1 Litre bottle of water to get rid off this aftertaste), which we didn't like. Strawberry dairy drink is more of a watery consistency, but has better flavour and we definitely preferred strawberry flavour than mango & passion fruit flavour.

Would we buy it? Probably not, it is a bit over our budget and not too thick for our liking. But if Upbeat will be on offer or reduced will certainly buy strawberry flavour.

Recommendations: I would prefer if strawberry flavour could be more thicker and mango & passion fruits would be a little less strong. It would be great to see a chocolate flavoured Upbeat as well we would definitely try it!

Disclaimer: I was sent complimentary vouchers for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinion are my own. 

Friday, 6 June 2014

Swaddle blankets Wish List

This week it's all about "Swaddling blankets" (max budget £12.49). I thought it is more of an old- fashioned trend to swaddle baby, apparently not as there are lots of swaddling blankets online. Would you recommend swaddling and did you do it?

                                                  Swaddle Wrap- Mamas & Papas £6

SwaddleMe Pink Wavy Stripe- Asda £9.94

Olive & Henri Swaddle Robe- BabiesRUs £9.99

Swaddle Me Cotton Knit Animal Print Small/Medium- BabiesRUs £5.99

Grobag Hetty Gro Swaddle Blanket- BabiesRUs £12.49

Summer Infant SwaddleMe- Mothercare £9.99

Disclaimer: I have a written consent from all brands mentioned to use above pictures.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

What's in my hospital bag?!

As now I'm 37 weeks pregnant we have just few weeks left until we meet out little girl and my nerves started to kick in I thought it's definitely time to pack my hospital bag. 

Thanks to my mum who came to see us in April I have less washing and ironing to do, I actually didn't want to do anything back in April but now I'm very grateful that mum insisted in helping me.

I have browsed different website, forums, blogs with checklists, some of them were more helpful than others, but none of them had quantity of the items I was after. I decided to wait till my next appointment with the midwife (at that time I was around 30 weeks). Few weeks later ( it was a very long wait) she finally gave me the checklist of things I need to bring into hospital. 

Most of the clothing bits and pieces we already had and some of the essential ones for before and after labour we were kindly provided by Mamabloom, they sent me their essentials kit (£27.99): bed mats (pack of 5), maternity towels (pack of 10), disposable briefs (pack of 5), maternity towels (pack of 48), breast pads (pack of 80), ultra thin maternity towels (pack of 12), ultra slim breast pads (pack of 50).

I made few adjustments to the list in red plus a bag for my husband is our improvisation as I thought that he is involved in this as much as I am. 

  • 2 nighties 1 nightie for giving birth, 1 nightie for breastfeeding after birth, 1 vest for pool birth
  • 2 feeding bras/good support bra 2 black seamless bras
  • toiletries sample packs of shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush, small soap bar, bath sponge
  • dressing gown & slippers long cardigan, disposable slippers and flip flops
  • maternity sanitary towels (2 packs) 20 pads
  • paper pants are useful of large pants 4 pairs of full briefs
  • money for TV/ phone machine
  • flannels wet wipes
  • socks 2 pairs
  • lip salve
  • breast pads (15-20 for few days of stay) I'm planning to stay for 1 night so 5 pairs
  • hair band
  • drinks or snacks
  • plain base/baby oil for massage
  • big towel
  • my own pillow
  • my own birthing ball in case hospital ones are all in use
  • t-shirt and joggers to wear in hospital
  • intimate wipes
  • paracetamol
  • make up
  • phone/phone charger

  • disposable nappies (at least 12)
  • cotton wool (pleats)
  • 6 Babygro suits 3 in newborn size, 3 in 0-3 months size
  • 6 Vests 3 in newborn size, 3 in 0-3 months size
  • 2 hats
  • Scratch mittens 1 pair
  • cardingan
  • shawl or similar warm outer clothing for going home in blanket
  • muslin cloths/bibs I will be using 2-3 small towels instead
  • socks

  • t-shirt
  • deodorant/spray
  • drinks/snacks
  • sample pack of toothpaste/toothbrush
  • pants/socks

It seems that my list is even longer than baby's. Do you think I need to get rid off some things or should I add something extra?!

Monday, 2 June 2014

Book review: Breastfeeding made easy by Carlos Gonzalez

I guess nothing in the world can prepare you for something you have never experienced until you actually try it yourself. As I intend to breastfeed I was delighted to know that I have been picked to review "Breastfeeding made easy" book by Carlos Gonzalez (£11.99)- a pediatrician, father of 3 and a breastfeeding supporter. 

He tackles many real life questions from how to get started through to solids and going back to work.  He also covers treating illness, how to succeed in difficult circumstances and the importance of good support and how to access it.  

In his characteristic friendly style, and by tackling head-on the real- life questions mothers have about breastfeeding, he explains:
  • How breastfeeding works, and why most mothers, with support, can do it if they want to
  • How myths and misinformation can derail mothers, and how to avoid this 
  • How to manage introducing solid foods, weaning from the breast, and going back to work 
  • The proven heath benefits of breastfeeding, for babies and their mothers 
  • How treating illness, in mother and baby, needn’t mean the end of breastfeeding 
  • How breastfeeding can succeed even in difficult circumstances 
  • The importance of good breastfeeding support, and how to access it. 
What I wanted to learn from the book: I was expecting for it to give me clues on how to breastfeed, positions, best time for breastfeeding and something that can make breastfeeding easy.

I must admit that after reading the First Chapter I thought that I won't carry on reading as it was too "heavy", it had a scientific feel to it which made it more difficult for me to "attach" to as a book. As I was determined to read the book I carried on with other chapters.
Carlos comes across as knowledgeable, reassuring and a supportive person, which I think is essential. He talks about breastfeeding on demand, that it can not only be what baby wants, but when mother wants it too (within reason).
Throughout the book he mentions the term "western mothers", and the fact that he doesn't approve of their approach to breastfeeding or the way they think e.g. "My milk is drying up, I must give him another bottle" or "Poor little thing, he was crying because he had a lot of gas". He says that breastfeeding on demand has always existed and scheduled feeds are a modern invention.

Carlos gives valuable advice in each chapter but due to the volume of information it makes it difficult to digest as some of us prefer a quick "dip" (for that you can use detailed content section) into the book for a quick answer or someone prefers more tables and illustrations.

Unfortunately for me as a first-time parent (to-be) none of the information properly sank in, therefore I would recommend this book, but for those parents who have time on their hands to read the book and to dig in information, for second, third..time parents who already know what to do but looking for an alternative view.

DISCLAIMER: I was sent the above item for the purposes of this review. All thoughts and opinion are my own.