Post Baby Pampering

9 months of pregnancy can really take its toll on your body. Your hair, your skin, your nails, even your teeth can be effected by the new hormones circulating your body and it’s rarely for the better! So now that baby is here, I intend to give myself a weekly once-over with all of these luxury products to help repair and recover my tired body from the outside in! From oil pulling to body polishing check out my top luxury items for a DIY pamper session…

Redken Diamond Oil Shampoo, £11.05 at Hairtrade.com

Starting from the top – head straight to Hairtrade.com and browse their huge collection of luxury haircare at very affordable prices. I needed something pretty heavy duty for my dry hair so a luxury daily wash and weekly deep mask treatment was my best bet at bringing some life back into it!

Diamond-Oil-Shampoo-300ml

 

Redken Diamond Oil Deep Facets, £18.10 at Hairtrade.com

If you have the time, leave this on towel dried hair for up to 15 minutes before rinsing away, the results are instant!

Diamond-Oil-Mask-250ml

Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Serum, £99

This really is the serum of all serums… To be applied before moisturiser, it will stimulate cell renewal and give you a glowing complexion within days of use. It promises to reduce fine lines but as I have only been using this for a few days I can’t comment on this, I can however tell you that my skin tone looks more even and certainly has a noticeably healthier feel!

00711_xl

ESPA Skincare Exfoliating Body Polish, £32

This is a seriously luxurious body polish. I apply this to damp skin when I get out of the shower and then jump back in to wash it all off. Takes no time at all and the results are amazing! It’s a very gentle exfoliator but leaves your skin feeling incredibly smooth.

bebp180

ESPA Skincare Naturally Radiant Gradual Tan, £34

And for a real treat, once my body is polished and moisturised, I add a touch of ESPA’s latest product – the Gradual Tan. No awful fake tan smell and certainly no streaks. It’s very mild and can be applied daily to build up a natural looking tan, but for a healthy glow – I’ll apply to body and face once a week. Just remember to wash your hands after :)

gradualtan_1

Elemis Jasmine and Rose, Hand and Nail Cream, £18

I keep a quality hand cream on me at all times. My hands and cuticles get so dry these days, I’m not sure if it’s another post pregnancy effect or just the weather – but this gorgeous cream has certainly improved them.

50821_xl

Cocowhite Assorted Flavours, £19.99

Now I haven’t actually tried these yet, but from extensive research these seem like the best in their field so are on my ‘things to get’ list! You’ve probably heard all about the teeth whitening benefits from oil pulling, but actually, it is the health benefits to your mouth that interest me most with this ancient remedy. Swishing the oil around your mouth actually pulls all toxins including bacteria and plaque from your teeth and gums to make them much healthier all round.  Will let you know how I get on :)

assorted_5718f5d4-500e-44fa-b571-9803133535d4_1024x1024

The Gadgets Every New Parent Needs

Most parents will be able to relate to the ‘Witching Hours’ where basically for no reason at all your baby will cry. Like clock-work. Every. Single. Day… This is usually in the evening. The Witching Hours in our house are between 7.30pm and 10.30pm where we have a rotation system trying every gizmo in the house to see what will settle Anastasia. We are yet to resort to putting her in the car seat for a drive around the block to get her to sleep – something we did regularly with Scarlett and Savannah! Well here are a few things we have discovered that might help you during those troubling times as well as a few luxuries that make the good times even better during those early days with your new baby.

Swoon Motion by Babymoov, £159.99

So our first stop during Witching Hour is the Swoon Motion, a truly marvellous baby swing! This will definitely buy us a fair amount of peace, at least enough to watch Eastenders. It swings, rocks and plays lovely lullaby’s (honestly, the music is actually really nice!) but what is most genius about it is the motion sensor that detects when your baby wakes so it can gently rock her back to sleep!

2015-05-07-1431004790-3522255-ScreenShot20150503at09.53.25.png

Canon Powershot N2 Exclusive to Jessops, £249

Don’t make the same mistake I did and take all those precious snaps on your phone, invest in a quality camera to capture these memories. I’m gutted that all of Savannah’s new baby pics were taken on my phone and not printable quality. This is the most fantastic little digital camera, it looks fab, fits perfectly into your nappy bag but the best thing of all? The skin smoothing feature when on selfie mode – this setting is a ‘must have’ for any new mum! Plus it can connect to wi-fi meaning you can still upload all your latest pics on Instagram and Facebook :)

2015-05-07-1431004828-6109800-ACANOCM1052761081.jpg

Boba Wrap from Natural Baby Shower, £38

With 3 kids – you definitely need both hands free and this little sling has been a saviour for that! Anastasia, like most babies is only happy when being held. She is content when out and about in her buggy and car seat, but when we are at home just mooching about the house – that is when I use this most! It takes a little while to get used to assembling, but it’ll soon be second nature.

2015-05-07-1431004940-496969-ScreenShot20150507at14.14.25.png

TheraPearl 3 in 1 Breast Therapy by Lansinoh £12.95

Whether you breast feed or not, on approximately day 2 after having your baby the milk will ‘come in’ and for some, that means engorgement and pain! It doesn’t last long and whilst I am a firm believer in the healing powers from savoy cabbage leaves it’s a bit gross stuffing them in your bra! These pads can be used hot or cold and will offer instant pain relief as well as aiding your milk flow in case of blocked ducts or mastitis.

2015-05-07-1431004873-4751147-TheraPearlWithPack.jpg

Baby Bouncer by Joie, £70

And our final little sanity saviour is the reliable bouncer. This is essential for our meal times because you can bounce it with your foot leaving you with both hands to eat! A luxury only a new parent can appreciate :)

234241401

Which products couldn’t you live without?

The Latest New Baby Products by Babymoov

At just 4 weeks old, Anastasia has already landed her first job as an official Brand Ambassador for Babymoov! This position has some serious perks and so far she has loved every single one of them :) So here she is during her first week of work…

Activity Nest, £79.99

Her first job was to lie back in the comfort of this fabulous Activity Nest. With it’s padded surround and new born pillow, this mat can be used from birth and offers not just somewhere to play, but a comfortable place for baby to nap! All that looking at dangly soft toys is tiring work…

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 12.43.50

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 12.43.43

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 12.43.37

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 12.43.33

Swoon Motion Baby Swing, £159.99

The next task in the tough life of a working 4 week old was to sit back and enjoy the relaxing sway of the brand new Swoon Motion. This luxurious baby swing not only has a 5 speed motion control, it can actually detect baby’s movement to gently rock her back to sleep should she wake!  How clever is that?! It has a selection of soothing music (that her sisters really seem to enjoy!) and has an adjustable padded seat for comfort. What I particularly love is how easy it is to use and assemble, the little control panel has clear icons on the buttons meaning that even Scarlett and Savannah can use it which is very helpful indeed!

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 12.40.50

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 12.41.41

Muslin Blankets, £19.99

These come in a pack of 3, one large and two medium sizes which is really handy because you don’t always want a swaddle blanket, you just want to throw it over your shoulder to catch any sick! They are really soft, wash well, and come in a great selection of designs – and quite frankly, you can’t have enough muzzy’s!

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 12.40.07

Cosydream Sleep-Positioner £29.99

Another hard day at work for Anastasia saw her taking a nap in this genius little sleep positioner which is one of Babymoov’s best sellers. The clever design offers the ultimate comfort and support to a sleeping baby and can be used on various surfaces. It also has a number of health benefits such as helping your baby to breath more easily which is very reassuring to a new mum.

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 12.39.50

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 12.39.38

We are pretty new to this brand as I’m sure most of you will be too, but it is definitely one I would recommend discovering. Check out their site here – they have a huge selection of innovative new baby and toddler products. As you can see from the pics, everything so far has had Anastasia’s seal of approval so we look forward to telling you about more soon!

babymoov-1403078218.jpg

Spring Giveaway: WIN a Custom Made Leather Satchel By Brit-Stitch!

With the 70’s vibes making a massive come back for SS15, the miniature satchel is the must-have accessory to own. So what better Spring giveaway than the chance to design your very own hand-made leather satchel by Brit-Stitch – a British brand specialising in luxury leather accessories.

Choose from one of 24 leather satchels from their stunning Half Pint collection which you can view in full here

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 13.11.57

OR, make something truly unique and select your favourite combination of colours to design your own! You can see how they do it here

Copy-of-_DSC0195-SQUARE-713x605

Perhaps you would like your initials embossed on the buckle to make it personal to you? (BTW I’m so into this look right now!).

milkman-713x605

You may have already seen on my Instagram that I am the proud owner of a Half Pint in Warm Sand, I honestly can’t recommend these gorgeous little bags enough for their timeless design and flawless quality.

So now for your chance to WIN…

Remember as usual, each way will count as a new entry!

  • Follow this blog via email or by hitting the blue follow icon
  • Share this post on your Facebook page via the icon below
  • Tag your most stylish friend on the relevant Instagram pic
  • Comment below including the colour of the satchel you would like to win or if you would rather design your own

The extremely lucky winner will be selected and notified on Tuesday 5th May 2015

Good luck! 

xx

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 13.12.42

My Guest Post For JoJo Maman Bébé: Sisters United By Fashion

I never thought I would be a mum that dresses her children in matching outfits, I have enough embarrassing photos from my own childhood to put me off doing the same! And this was certainly not a look I wanted to associate with…

sound-of-music2

But I have to say – on the odd occasion that I do dress my girls in matching clothes for a party or just playing at home, it gives them a sort of unity that I love! It makes me so proud that they are instantly recognisable as sisters.

IMG_0162

They are only 18 months apart in age, which was quite tough in the early days but they have a very special sisterly bond now. With such a small age gap, it also means they are generally into the same thing. Mostly Anna and Elsa… So whilst their little personalities couldn’t be more different, it’s handy for me that they will happily play with the same toys and choose the same film at the cinema.  When it comes to clothes, they are happy to be dressed differently – but if one is wearing a dress and you try to put the other in trousers, you may as well write the whole day off there and then.

IMG_0166

My girls LOVE dresses. The first thing my eldest daughter Scarlett will ask when she sees a new dress is “Does it go up?” by this she means, can she spin in it and will it twirl like the dresses on Strictly! It is now a test that every dress needs to pass before purchase otherwise neither her or Savannah will wear it.

IMG_0179

There are many reasons for and against dressing your children the same. One negative for me, is that I rely on the eldest to have outgrown her clothes ready for my other daughter to be in them the year after – it saves a fortune and I’m not sure how this would really work if they already had the same wardrobes! I suppose that is what is great about shopping at JoJo’s. So many ‘buy 2 and get £5 off’ offers :)

IMG_0215

IMG_0214

A ‘pro’ is it certainly helps with the washing, and makes finding the days outfit for each child far less stressful! When the girls get to wear matching clothes, they think of it as a real ‘occasion’ and will wrestle far less when getting dressed :)

IMG_0209

With a huge interest in fashion, I greatly believe in expressing yourself through what you wear and that every garment and accessory should reflect a part of your personality as an individual. But, whilst they are still young enough to not put up too much of a fight, I will continue to coordinate their outfits and get the odd matching piece where I can because quite frankly – I don’t think there is anything cuter!

Do you dress your children the same? Let JoJo know why or why not on Twitter along with a photo using the hashtag #JoJoTakeTwo

You can check out the original post on the official JoJo Maman Bébé site here.

Just Another Birth Story

We are so fortunate to have one of the best hospitals in the country on our door step, Frimley Park – well known for having one of the finest new maternity suites around – rumour has it there is even mood lighting above the luxury birthing pools! So that is exactly where I intended to welcome our latest addition to the family. However, this was not to be my birth story…

Officially a week over due, I had been experiencing some discomfort for a few days, but it never really seemed to get going. Looking back now, I actually think this discomfort was in fact the early stages of labour. I was already aware that the baby couldn’t physically be positioned any lower in my pelvis which was great, it meant that its journey was shorter so in theory would be quicker!

Well, at 12.34am on Sat 4th April, I woke in bed to a reasonably strong contraction and thought ‘Oooh. this might actually be it.’ I checked the clock so I could work out from the next one the distance between them, it was about 4 minutes so I text Paul who was probably playing his PS4 downstairs without a care in the world to say “I think this is it!” He came rushing up in a panic and before I could finish my sentence my waters broke in bed! Ewwwwwwww!!!! Blind panic hit us both as my waters hadn’t broken on the other 2 labours until minutes before the babies were born…

I got straight into the bathroom to reduce any ‘mess’ and waited for the waters to pass. In the mean time Paul was phoning around to get a Grandparent their asap to watch the girls! I got dressed quickly and we went downstairs to wait for Paul’s mum to arrive before heading to the hospital, another contraction hit and this time, I felt the urge to push… THIS WAS NOT HAPPENING!!! Paul called the midwives at the hospital and explained there really wasn’t much time, they advised he call 999 and that a midwife was on her way.

Paul called the emergency services and then relayed the conversation telling me I needed to take off my trousers. shit. just. got. real. I was having this baby at home!!! So I managed to make it back up the stairs and into the bathroom. It was starting to hurt a lot at this point so without hesitation I stripped down to my bra and got into the most comfortable position possible. This was on all fours with my face basically in the bin, one arm wrapped around the toilet with the other clutching onto the side of the bath. Hideous. But the bathroom is tiny and options were limited! The pushing stage was well and truly upon me and there was no sign of any paramedics or a midwife, all I had was me and the reassuring words of Paul on the phone to emergency services…

“What? You want me to put my hands up there?”

“Are you serious?”

“Ahhh mate. I can’t do that.”

“O my god. Really?”

“No there is something coming out. O my god.”

“O Jesus it’s dripping, there’s blood and all sorts of stuff coming out. Oh god.”

“Yeah I think it’s a head. O my god.”

“You need to hurry up.”

“Seriously where the fuck are you.”

“O my god. Yeah theres loads coming out. O my god.” 

This went on for what felt like a life time.

Finally the paramedics arrived with about 2 minutes to spare before the baby was born at 1.15!

My body went into total shock and I immediately got the shakes. I needed to get in the bath, but of course the placenta hadn’t been delivered yet and the midwife was still not there! So it was a combined effort to get me, the chord and the baby into the bath where I could relax a little bit. Then came the placenta. Gross. At this point the midwife arrived and took away all the nasties I didn’t want to see because honestly, the bathroom looked like a murder scene and I can’t ever imagine relaxing in that bath again.

There was one very big reason I never wanted a home birth – and that was the mess. I am totally neurotic about our beautiful home that I have put heart and soul into decorating and furnishing. I am more than aware of how ridiculous it is to own a rug I don’t let people walk on, or a sofa only adults are allowed to sit on and especially to own tea towels that are ‘for show’ only. So it’s no surprise that even amidst the total trauma of this unexpected delivery, I couldn’t help notice the dirty shoes of the paramedics on my cream carpet, I couldn’t believe it when the midwife grabbed my White Company dressing gown to wrap around me and when she suggested ‘stitching me up’ on my 400TC Egyptian Cotton bedlinen it just about tipped me over the edge. Still, we got on with it. It just meant more work for Paul the next morning.

The labour was pretty horrific, as all labours are – but at least it was quick. It was the 72 hours afterwards that I really suffered, the ‘afterpains’ could only be compared to the later stages of labour, the agony was unbearable and the combination of paracetamol and ibuprofen barely touched the sides.  I was totally bed bound for the first 36 hours. Apparently I am blessed with an efficient uterus that did 5 days worth of work returning to it’s original spot in just 6 hours. Ouchie. Thankfully, on day 6 the pains have almost gone. It’s just severe boob engorgement to deal with now that actually prevents me closing my arms properly as I have boob coming out of my armpit. Niiiiiice. I will be pleased when this week is over and my body settles down!

Anyway, that was that. That was the birth story of my new baby! Who might I just add was worth every horrible minute of it! She is an absolute delight! We didn’t have a name already planned, we assumed that when we found out if she was a boy or a girl a name would just come to us – well it didn’t. It has taken 5 days of endless searching but finally we have agreed on a name we both love.

Anastasia Grace Jacobs

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 21.12.55

Definition: Anastasia’s meaning relates to resurrection, making it an apt choice for an Easter or spring baby.

She has fitted perfectly into our family!

IMG_0438

And Scarlett and Savannah couldn’t love her more…

IMG_0313

40 Week Update

A post no blogger will be happy about writing! It’s weird how you can survive 40 long weeks of pregnancy whilst there is a due date ahead, but every hour that passes thereafter feels like a lifetime. I have served my 9 months – Where is my baby???!!!  So anyway, as I have nothing but time on my hands right now, I thought I would put together one of these little pregnancy templates to tell you how I’m feeling…

How far along: 40 weeks + 2 days

Size of baby: Worryingly large. I am only measuring 36cm so my bump appears quite small, but the midwife was quick to tell me that is because the baby is so compact and has dropped so much. It’s of a very “healthy” size – and I think we all know what that means. FYI Savannah was 9lb 8oz.

Total weight gain: Hang on I’ll go check… HOLY CRAP I was not expecting that. OK so I think I was about 8st 10lbs pre pregnancy, I have gained 32lbs – don’t waste time doing the maths just move along to the next point please. Also its evening and I’m wearing jeans ok?

Stretch marks: No, thankfully. Which is seriously lucky as I have been rubbish with skincare this time around. I have heard horror stories of these appearing after the birth though so I’m not counting my chickens just yet.

Maternity clothes: I’m currently living in my faithful H&M over the bump jeans and a couple of long sleeved Isabella Oliver tops, if I open up the rest of the maternity wardrobe it’s like accepting I have longer to go and I am sooooo ready to pack this wardrobe up now!

Pregnancy Symptoms: Still chucking up most mornings which is nice! Acid reflux literally making me feel like my throat is on fire. General back / rib pains. Unbelievably tired, as I wake up every night at least 3 times for a wee or just for no reason whatsoever and can’t get back to sleep again. Nails are growing too quickly and I’m not getting my moneys worth from my gels!

Best part of the week: Thai Foot Massage. So confident this baby is going to take AGES to come, I have booked it again for next week. It was amazing…

Food Cravings: Sugar. Lots and lots of sugar. Easter is not my friend right now. I literally can not stop buying eggs. My girls are loving it! Ahhhhh that’ll explain that weight gain then…

Food Aversions: Anything that requires effort to put together.

Last Midwife Appt: So apparently she could only feel 1/5th of the head as it is so low into my pelvis. I am pretty sure it has been there a while which is why I am so uncomfortable. It honestly feels like I am going to break the little ones neck every time I sit down – but the midwife promised me this hasn’t happened before so is quite unlikely.

Sex: Err, no thanks. Oh I see, no we don’t know the sex. Paul desperate for a boy as his weekends are taken over by ballet classes and Princess movies at the cinema. Also someone mentioned something about having 3 weddings to pay for and I literally watched the colour drain from his face. Bound to be another girl :)

Belly Button: What belly button? It’s gone! No sign of it whatsoever! Hope that comes back.

Birth Plan: Birthing pool and gas and air. A lot of gas and air. This is what I have done previously and in my head this is how it is going to go again, if that pool isn’t free then I’m pretty sure I am heading straight into panic mode!

How I’m Feeling: I’m in total limbo right now, haven’t made any social plans because I just don’t know what is around the corner! Every day is dragging and I’m filled with guilt that I’m not doing enough with the girls. I’m just desperate to get this little baby out so we can all start living again and having fun!

Scarlett and Savannah: Scarlett is beyond excited! She wants to look after the baby by herself, for it to sleep in her room and ever since feeding a bottle of milk to a goat at a farm party we went to – wants to be wholly responsible for feeding him / her. Lets see how long that one lasts! Savannah on the other hand, is in denial.

Ready?: Are you ever? My checklist is complete and the hospital bag is packed and I think I know what I am doing 3rd time around, but as Savannah taught me – no 2 babies are the same so until this little monkey makes his or her appearance I really have no idea what is to come!

IMG_0272

So there it is. Pregnancy at 40 weeks. Hopefully the next time I write to you it’ll be to show off the new addition to the family!

Wish me luck! xx