5 Tips For A Brand New Mummy

I've only been a mama for just over three months so I'm no expert but having experienced the newborn stage I wanted to share five little tips for any mamas-to-be and new mummies out there. The tips are very simple and you might even have heard them a thousand times already but it doesn't hurt to keep them in mind!

1. Don't bother with newborn outfits | Buy sleepsuits and vests instead. You'll find it hard enough dressing and undressing your baby a million times a day, when it's all new to you, let alone if you throw complicated outfits into the mix! Make it simple for yourself. Oh and don't buy too much newborn stuff - they don't stay that tiny for long!

2. Say YES to help | You don't have to do everything yourself. It doesn't make you any less of an awesome mum! If a family member offers to cook, clean, do your washing, cuddle your baby while you shower, say "YES, YES PLEASE."

3. But don't be afraid to say no | Everyone is going to want to pay you a visit when your little one has arrived safely but if you're not ready for visitors, don't be afraid to say no. Your extended family and friends will understand if you need a few days (or longer!) just to be with your baby. I ended up switching off my phone for a couple of days just because I wanted time to adjust to my new mummy life. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that at all.

4. Talk it out | You're going to have all sorts of new worries as a new mummy, so talk them out with someone close to you. From the colour of baby poo to milk posets and sore nipples - you can talk to other mummies about all these things without them looking at you with a strange look on their face! Having people to talk to can be really reassuring when everything is so new.

5. Enjoy it | If you're anything like me and the majority of other new mummies, you won't get much done with a newborn (only baby things) and that's perfectly fine. You won't get this time back, so enjoy every moment! You'll never look back on your life and think, gah I should have put that extra load of washing in, will you? So don't stress about the small things. You're doing great.

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NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams

Dare I say it...I think I may have found my favourite ever lip product in the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams! That's a really bold statement to make I know but it's so unlike me to buy a lip product in multiple colours because I love it so much! And for it to be a matte lip product is even more surprising! I've never gotten along with matte lip products in the past as I've always found them so drying.

The NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams (£5.50 from Boots) are just on another level for me. The shade range is stunning, the formula is long lasting and the 'matte-ness' isn't drying in the slightest. They're virtually weightless on the lips and offer a gorgeous pop of colour. I can't rave about them enough!

So far I own three of the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams: Amsterdam, Istanbul and Milan. Amsterdam is a stunning blue-toned red that will suit most skin tones. It's my first choice for days when I want a bold lip to go with my simple winged eyeliner. Istanbul is a pretty pale pink shade. I wasn't sure it'd actually suit me but I was pleasantly surprised!

My favourite shade though has to be Milan, a mauve pink that I featured in my January Favourites post. I feel like it really suits my complexion and adds a special finishing touch to my everyday makeup looks.

I know I'm really late jumping on the bandwagon with these but I'm so glad I've finally discovered them! I've got my eye on so many of the other shades so I don't imagine it'll be long before I'm expanding my Soft Matte Lip Creams collection.

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Calming Colouring

Colouring is a huge craze right now but it's one I'm happy to join in with. I find colouring so calming; it helps me to relax and wind down, particularly when I need to go to sleep but my brain is still whirring with thoughts and ideas. Occasionally I'll colour while feeding Arthur instead of watching or reading something.

The Enchanted Forest colouring book by Johanna Basford (£4.99 here) is simply beautiful. There are pages and pages of stunning inky drawings to colour in, along with hidden objects to find. I'm still colouring the title page so you can imagine how long it's going to take me to complete the whole book. I think Arthur will have started colouring himself by the time I'm close to finishing!

As you can see, I'm definitely not the neatest when it comes to colouring in but I don't think that really matters. I could spend time erasing my mistakes with the rubbers on my Staedtler colouring pencils but ain't nobody got time for that! The Staedtler colouring pencils are super lovely. I have a pack of 24 and the colour selection is beautiful. You could use felt tip pens instead but if you're a crappy 'colourer' like me, I say stick to the pencils!

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January Favourites 2016

1. NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in 'Milan'
I think I've finally found a matte lip product I actually get on with! The NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams are beautifully formulated, long lasting and available in a range of gorgeous shades from nudes to pinks, berries and reds. The shade 'Milan' is a mauvey pink colour, perfect for everyday wear. I find it really brightens my entire makeup look and gives my lips a boost. I'll be popping up a full review of the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams later this week.

2. Black Musk Eau De Parfum
The Body Shop's Black Musk Eau De Parfum is my go-to fragrance. It's a sweet, yet sexy vanilla-based scent, which lasts for hours on the skin. It's made with cruelty-free ingredients and also has a gorgeous display-worthy bottle. You can read my full review of it here.

3. Lottie London Lip Balm
The cold always leaves my lips a little worse for wear so a good lip balm is one of my winter essentials. At the moment I'm loving the Caramel Apple flavoured lip balm from Lottie London. It's great for nourishing the lips and also comes in a cute (and super handy) ball design.

4. Sanctuary Spa Luxury Signature Room Mist
The Sanctuary Spa signature scent is my absolute favourite, so I was delighted to receive it in room mist form for Christmas. The signature scent features many of my favourites, including vanilla, bergamot, patchouli and sandalwood. It's uplifting, yet relaxing and a couple of spritz will leave your room beautifully scented for most of the day.

5. Sanctuary Spa Therapist's Secret Facial Oil
Featured recently in my Glow & Boost post, the Sanctuary Therapist's Secret Facial Oil has become a firm staple in both my morning and evening skincare routines. It's perfect for giving my skin an extra boost of hydration, leaving it looking healthy and glowing (even when I'm a tired old mummy!)

What were your January favourites?
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Boobbix Cookies for Breastfeeding Mums

Breastfeeding isn't easy. You're bound to hear how natural and wonderful it is but that's usually from mothers that have been doing it for months and months. I've been doing it for just over three months and yes, for me it's now natural and wonderful but I can still remember the very beginning and just how bloody hard it was! (Side note: It's totally worth it though!)

Breastfeeding problems are fairly common so if you're finding it difficult - you're not alone. I found it really difficult to get Arthur to latch on to start with, as jaundice made him super sleepy. It took patience and perseverance to get it right but we got there together and that's something I feel so proud of. I have absolutely nothing against formula feeding but breastfeeding is something I really wanted to do, so I'm glad I stuck at it.

Another breastfeeding problem some mums struggle with is maintaining their milk supply. Thankfully, this isn't a problem I've faced so far but it's good to know that if I did have this problem in the future, there are products out there to help.

Boobbix Lactation Cookies* are designed to boost breast milk supply naturally. They're (mostly) organic, packed full of vitamins and nutrients and also happen to come in five tasty flavours; Chocolate Chip & Oat, Cranberry & Almond, Date & Ginger, Oatmeal & Raisin and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip.

The individually wrapped cookies (perfect for popping in your handbag) contain four main ingredients: oats, flaxseed, Brewer's yeast and fenugreek. These are Galactagogues, which basically means they increase milk supply. The cookies are also great for giving you an extra boost of energy, which no mum should pass up on! If you're breastfeeding, you'll be burning around 300-500 extra calories a day, so one or two cookies, with a cup of tea or in my case - a decaf latte, will certainly help to keep you going.

Having tried the Chocolate Chip & Oat cookies myself, I'm pleased to say they're very yummy! If I'm being super picky, there's perhaps just a touch too much cinnamon for me - but I think most people actually love cinnamon! The lactation cookies have a lovely texture and definitely hit the spot when you're in need of a quick snack in between nursing, changing, cuddling and playing with your little one. I really like how the cookies are packaged (very informative) and the fact they're individually wrapped keeps them nice and fresh.

As mentioned earlier, I have quite a lot of milk at the moment, so it's personally hard for me to judge how much these cookies have boosted my supply but I've read fantastic things about them on the blogs of other breastfeeding mums. With this in mind, I wanted to share them with you, as I really believe they could help breastfeeding mums out there who are perhaps in need of something to aid them in maintaining and boosting their milk supply.

Boobbix Lactation Cookies are priced at £10.50 a box and can be purchased here. More information can be found about the cookies and their ingredients on the Boobbix website.


*Item sent in exchange for an honest review. 
All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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This Modern Life Wishlist

One of my favourite online stores for nursery accessories has to be This Modern Life. They have so many lovely items, from cute cloud night lights to quirky quote prints. Here's just a few of the things I've currently got my eye on...

1. Light Box - £30.00
Everyone seems crazy for light boxes at the moment! I really want one for Arthur's nursery so I can write him little messages and read them to him when he's older.

2. Cloud Night Light - £10.00
I'm in need of a good night light for Arthur's nursery (for when he's actually sleeping in there) and I've never seen one so cute! The colour is perfect for the room and the fact it's a happy cloud just makes it even better.

3. Pom Pom Fairy Lights - £25.00
Who doesn't love fairy lights? I can't decide whether I'd put these in Arthur's room or my own! I think they'd look lovely draped over the headboard of my bed.

4. Wire Mesh Display Grid - £55.00
I'd love to use this in either my living room or bedroom to pin up my little Instax Mini photos. 

5. You Are My Happy Flag - £14.00
This little flag would look lovely hanging on the wall in Arthur's room. I can't get enough of cute quotes!

6. Eef Lillemor Print - £12.00
If you saw this post then you'll know how much I love Eef Lillemor prints. I've already framed three postcard prints for Arthur's nursery but this one would look lovely on the wall, alongside the flag.

Have you bought anything from This Modern Life before?

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Sanctuary Skincare: Glow & Boost

Sanctuary Spa is a brand I love and trust. I've been using their products for years, after being first introduced to their bath range by my mum. I've also become a fan of their skincare range but there were still products on my list to try; so you can imagine my delight when I unwrapped the Sanctuary Spa Glow and Boost Skincare Collection on Christmas Day!

The Glow and Boost set includes the Radiance Exfoliator, Illuminating Moisture Lotion SPF15, Therapist's Secret Facial Oil and the 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask. Out of all of the products, it was the Secret Facial Oil that I was most excited to try. I love the old fashioned style dropper bottle and have had great results using the product morning and night. It really works to plump up and hydrate the skin. A little goes a long way so this should last me a little while - good job since the full size costs £17.50...I've got to say though it's worth every penny.

I'm all for an illuminating face cream, so the Moisture Lotion ticked all of the boxes for me. It's got quite a lightweight consistency, which feels lovely on the skin and sinks in super quick. I find that it leaves my skin extra soft and definitely works well to brighten my complexion. This paired with with the Botanics All Bright Radiance Balm (more on that in an upcoming post) gives all the glow you'll need!

The Radiance Exfoliator and 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask are both products I've tried before. The exfoliator is great for leaving the skin feeling thoroughly cleansed and smoothed, though I think some may find the exfoliating particles a little too harsh. The 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask is a charcoal mask that actually warms up when applied to the face. Once it's worked it's magic, it leaves your skin feeling fully purified - a great choice for end-of-week pampering sessions.

The Sanctuary Glow & Boost kit has unfortunately sold out on the Boots website, though may still be available in some stores. It's been reduced from £20.00 to just £6.00 so if you see it, snap it up quick! If you can't get your hands on the gift set, you'll be pleased to know that all of the products featured in the set can be purchased separately on the Boots website. I believe they're currently on three-for-two, making now the optimal time to treat yourself and refresh your winter skincare routine!

Have you tried any Sanctuary skincare before?

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Birth bag: What I actually used!

I was pretty pants at blogging during my pregnancy, so I never got round to writing a 'What's in my hospital bag' post. It's partly that and the fact I must have repacked my bags so many times that in the end, even I wasn't sure what was in there haha! So instead I thought I'd put together a 'What I actually used in my hospital bag' post. I hope it's of some use to any mamas-to-be reading this!

Oversized nightie & a nursing one - I'd originally planned a water birth but seeing as I was induced, I knew that'd be a no no. Luckily I'd picked up a rather large nightie from Primark for a few pounds. It was perfect for giving birth. It had a couple of buttons on the neckline, which I was able to undo so Arthur could be placed underneath and straight onto my chest for skin-to-skin. You'll also want an extra nightie (I took a nursing one) or pyjamas if you've got to stay over night like I did.

Slipper socks - It's true what they say - your feet can get cold in labour. I remember asking my mum to put my slipper socks on for me. So glad I packed them.

Hair bands / bobbles / grips - I wore my hair in two plaits to give birth and used grips to keep it off my face.

Lip balm - I only used it once as my lips got a bit dry but I was glad I packed it.

Something to keep you entertained (in my case a someone - my mum!) - You might want a Kindle or some magazines to read, especially if you're in labour for a long time. I didn't actually use mine though! Me and mum just chatted and I tried to sleep a little in between contractions.

Toiletries and a towel - You're likely to want to shower after you've given birth so pack some shampoo, body wash, deodorant and your toothbrush / toothpaste. Minis are best! I took a pack of face wipes too. I didn't bother with makeup! Some hospitals might provide towels but I took my own just to be on the safe side.

Kimono - Hospital bag checklists say to pack a dressing gown but I didn't own one and didn't think there was any point in buying one if I wasn't going to wear it ever again. Instead I took my long kimono, just to use as a cover up when I was on the maternity ward, after having Arthur. It tends to be warm in hospital, so it was absolutely fine and didn't take up half as much room in my hospital bag! Obviously a lightweight dressing gown would be fine too.

Nursing bra - One of my breastfeeding essentials. They make it much easier for feeding baby.

Maternity pads, breast pads and old knickers - Pretty obvious why you'll need these. Pack plenty of maternity pads and old knickers! I wouldn't bother with disposable ones. Apparently they're super uncomfortable and I can imagine them making a horrible yet hilarious noise when you walk.

Maternity clothes - Make sure your going home clothes are comfy! I wore my maternity leggings and a maternity top. You're not going to automatically go back to your old shape, so you might as well get a bit more wear out of them and be comfortable at the same time.

Plastic bag - I took one of these to put mine and Arthur's dirty clothes in - saves getting everything else messy.

Baby essentials - I packed a separate bag for Arthur filled with his Naty Size 1 Nappies (I took a whole pack just in case), cotton wool (I took wipes but ended up using cotton wool and water), sleepsuits, vests, a couple of muslin cloths, hat and cellular baby blanket. The sleepsuits had scratch mits on them already (Next are great for this) and I got my dad to bring in a snowsuit when he came to pick us up.

My other essentials - Camera and spare batteries, phone, hairbrush, little mirror, maternity notes (I wrote my birth preferences in there but they'll probably ask you anyway) & medication (I take thyroxine).

I wish I'd packed...

Extra sleepsuits - I didn't quite grasp how many sleepsuits and vests I'd need for Arthur, as we ended up staying over night and then most of the next day. I think I only packed two and then had to get my mum to bring in extra the next day. If you can't fit more in your hospital bag, have them packed in a 'go-bag' ready for your partner or family to bring in for you if you need them. It's hard to know what size to pack. Arthur was 9lb 3 and newborn was still big on him! The best fit were his Next First Size sleepsuits which actually only said they went up to 7lb something on the label (obviously wrong). You could just pack a selection. It doesn't really matter if the sleepsuits are a little big!

Mobile phone charger - Yep, I stupidly forgot to pack my phone charger and yes my phone ran out of battery as soon as I got onto the maternity ward after giving birth. Luckily I'd taken my camera and my mum had hers so we got plenty of newborn Arthur pictures!

Bobble bottle - It would have saved a few trips to the water machine!

Other things you might want to pack (I didn't pack / use these)...
  • Tens machine
  • Birth ball
  • Extra pillows / breastfeeding pillow
  • Hot water bottle
  • Headphones
  • iPod

  • Things the lists tell you to pack but you probably won't use...
  • Water spray - I couldn't imagine anything worse than being sprayed with water while in labour but each to their own!
  • Ear plugs and an eye mask 'to help you sleep on a brightly lit, noisy ward' - It's your first night with your brand new baby, you're not going to sleep well no matter what you pack!

  • Hope you mamas-to-be find this useful!  Shout up if you have any questions!
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    Sunday Scribbles: Happiness

    You won't look back on your life and wish you'd spent more time working, sitting at a computer or doing household chores, so you should never feel guilty about doing the things that make you happy to be alive. Here's just a few things that have made me happy this week...

    Arthur smiles - There's nothing that fills my heart with joy as much as seeing Arthur smile back at me. To know he loves me and I make him happy is just the best feeling in the entire world.

    Countryside walks - When I was pregnant, I kept thinking ahead to the times where I'd be able to take Arthur around the country park in his pram and it's just as wonderful as I imagined. This week we went for a walk around the lake, in the sunshine. It was so beautiful and it made me grateful that I get to live in such a lovely place.

    #20BeautifulWomen - I was tagged in the #20BeautifulWomen tag on Instagram last night and it really put a smile on my face. The idea is that you share a photo that makes you feel beautiful and then tag your friends to do the same. I shared the picture above of me and Arthur cuddling, after our first night together in hospital. I really enjoyed browsing the photos other women had shared and reading their beautiful stories. So inspiring.

    Tea for two - Drinking tea out of pretty tea cups with my mum and talking about anything and everything. She gets me. I get her. Pure happiness!

    What has made you happy this week?
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