Friday, 7 April 2017

Fast foreward 7 months - Let's talk teethers!

Ok, so technically a little more than 7 months, but little man aka 'Adam Laith' is 7 months old now, so let's go with that. He was born on the 24th of August and is the cutest, happiest and sweetest little boy ever!!!

I'm not going to get into his birth story as it's all a blur, and I sadly won't be sharing photos of Adem or Esra anymore as that's what we decided upon as a family. I already announced that a while ago on Instagram, but thought I would mention it on here too, incase anyone had missed it. I also wanted to thank you all for the continued support regarding the subject, I definitely think it was the correct thing to do and feel really good about it.

Furthermore, I've been through some tough stuff lately, like losing my grandfather and both kiddos getting the chicken pox. But, life goes on which seems cruel but it has to be that way. My family are still in Turkey and it just seems like everyone is still on holiday and everything feels surreal. I genuinely didn't think I would get back to blogging as I had kind of given up on it due to how different it is now than when I first started. But, I have decided not to let that bother me and just do my own thing and stay true to myself always. I'm going to be using blogging as a sort of therapeutic output hopefully my positive energy will shine through.

Onto the teething part. Well, Mr Adem has 2 teeth at the bottom and he has been quite miserable with it which has the complete opposite of Esra who wasn't greatly affected by it at all. I am using teething gels and powders which work a treat too but, theres something about little toys that do the trick. I have basically purchased almost every single teether on the market and wanted to share my views and favourites as it seems I have become quite addicted to buying toys. But, not just anything as I'm really quite fussy, which  can sometimes get the better of me. I have really tried to be conscious of the materials used, the toxicity and safety of the products. Here's what I am sharing today....

1) Manhattan Toys - Skwish in natural £12.50 I love this teether which is also a great grasping toy. Esra used to have the multicoloured version and loved it just as much too. This was basically the first toy that Adem held, he likes to wave it around and really teethe on the big beads. I love that it's wooden and the beads make a rattling sound providing a great sensory and tactile experience. The only downside is, it's technically better from 6m+ as when he was smaller I found that the beads sort of poked him in the eye as he was trying to chew on the beads at a lower level. However it's perfect for him now at 7 months.

2) Green Toys - Twist Teether £9.99 - This teether again is similar to the squish in size but a lot more loud as it's made from 100% recycled plastic milk bottles and makes a cool clacking sound when shaken. The plastic is completely non toxic and safe to chew on and made in the USA. It's one of the only brands of plastic toys which I truly trust. (We also have some speed boats and stacking cups for the bath too.) Adem absolutely loves the hard plastic and just loves chewing on the different shapes. I love that the colours on this are pastel and not so in your face like most baby toys. This is one of the toys that I usually attach to the buggy to take along with us as it really keeps him entertained and his gums busy and soothed.

3) Banana Teether - This is a classic and definitely worth the hype. We started using this when Adem was about 12 weeks old to just massage his gums which calmed him down instantly. It's made from a bpa free silicone which for some reason I'm not 100% comfortable with but he really enjoys it as it gives him so much relief.

4) PolkaDottKids - Silicone and Wooden Teethers - These are fantastic handmade in the UK teethers that aren't only beautiful to look at but work really well as easing pain too. Adem loves the simplicity of the designs and can chew for ages on just the simple wooden rings. A definite must have for the handbag.

5) Sophie the Giraffe £14.99 - This was Esra's absolute favourite and the only teether I needed with her. But, for some reason Sophie isn't quite cutting it with lil man. He holds it for about 5 seconds then chews on it for 2 seconds and throws it away. "Mama buy me more" is the message he conveys. So thumbs down for Sophie this time around. Side note, seen as though Adem wasn't enjoying it I decided to cut it open to see if there was any mould inside and I'm happy to report that there wasn't which is a huge relief as this was Esra's that I kept so it's over 5 years old, Eeeek!

6) Calmies Ball £14.99 - I only purchased this teether last week as teething and chicken pox is possibly one of the worst combos ever. I thought it would really help calm him down true to it's 'calmies' name  and make him forget about his itching and focus on his gums. It's a great tactile ball that squashes flat and smells absolutely divine like vanilla cakes. It's completely eco friendly and non toxic made from rubber and I love it. I have even caught my husband playing around with it as it's a great sensory toy and absolutely perfect to teethe on. It's a great size that fits nicely in his hands and lovely and soft for him to chew on. This is possibly my favourite of them all as it can be used just as a simple ball to roll around to enable crawling and even as a bath toy. 
Gotta get my moneys worth obviously/

7) Matchstick Monkey (emerald green) £12.99  I only got this yesterday and it's very similar to the banana teether but the handles are smaller and thinner making it easier to hold. It's basically the exact same thing in the shape of a monkey and you definitely don't need both but I couldn't resist the lovely colour. This is quite a new toy on the market and at first I wasn't sure on the quality of it as I thought it had a strong chemical scent but my husband assured me that there wasn't. On the brighter side, Adem giggles when he sees the monkeys face so thats a major positive in my book.

8) Grimms Toys Wooden Fish £15 - I'm not gonna lie, when I was buying this one from a local toy boutique I thought about how cool it looked and that I simply had to have it for my boy. I thought I was buying it more for me than him but, I was wrong. Adem, completely and utterly loves this solid wooden fish. He is forever chewing on the tail and manipulating it in his hand. It's really easy for him to hold and has the softest rattle inside which is really quiet. I am so happy he loves it as I felt kind of guilty for buying him something that didn't look like much fun. It's so easy to fall into the trap of buying typical bright, flashing and loud baby items but the simplest of things make babies happy and it's important not to overwhelm them. I LOVE the brand 'Grimms' and they make some lovely toys and I have quite a few on wish lists for Eid and Birthdays. 

9) Hevea Dummy - This soother is pretty big, I tried to give it to Adem when he was a newborn but it just looked so wrong so I saved it and thought he could use it as a teether when he was a little older. It's made from completely natural safe rubber and it really helps calm him down if he's upset, he just puts it in and out of his mouth and moves it around his gums whilst biting and chewing on it. 
10) Nuby 'Spin n Teethe' Triangle Teether £3.79 - This teether is a firm favourite which I attach to his jumperoo and it's constantly in his mouth making him smile. We also had the bugaloop but the bright colours and shiny plastic just scares me, he also didn't enjoy that one as much as this. I know I'm slightly extra in that department but, I can't help it. This  triangle version is one that I will sometimes throw in my bag too as I don't mind if it gets lost as it was quite cheap, because lets face it 'baby brain' with 2 kids is a million times worse lol and I am bound to forget stuff whilst out and about. Confession, I already lost a few things - oh dear

11) Wooden Egg -Tiger Stores £2 - This isn't technically a teether but I go to Tiger a LOT and when I saw this it reminded me of the Montessori egg and cup toy and that was that. Adem LOVES this SO much. He's constantly trying to roll it around and bite at it with his teeth. The shape and size is perfect and I love the fact that it's not a conventional teether and made from solid wood. They have loads in stores at the moment because of easter. Try one, with your baby and if it fails just use it for display or crafting, but I guarantee it will become a favourite. :)

Wow it seems I have a lot to say and missed the sound of typing, well done if you read up to here!

In conclusion we basically LOVE most of these teethers but Adem also loves to chew on his soft toys and even his sleeve. My top 5 would be the Calmies ball, Green Toys teether, the banana, Grimms wooden fish and the egg and a bonus would be the polka dott teethers as they are so damn beautiful!

What are your favourite teething toys? Well, not you personally but your bubbas :)

Disclaimer: No affiliate links, not paid, not sponsored, I purchased everything with my own money apart from the polkadott teethers which were gifted. Honest opinion as ALWAYS!

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

30 Weeks Pregnant...

Wow 30 weeks already, only 10 weeks until little mans due date. Time is honestly flying by this time and I honestly feel a little overwhelmed. I'm definitely trying to be a lot more minimalistic with this baby and I still haven't personally crocheted a blanket for him yet, but my mums made 2 already. I love this yellow popcorn stitch one! We have got the cot and moses basket, I just need bedding and a stand for the basket, also some newborn clothes, carseat........ ok I still need a lot. But, it's ok I have time, I think.... :)

I have started collecting a few bits for my hospital bag, and decided to purchase the Weleda Baby Calendula shampoo & body wash as it had so many great reviews on Amazon. I used Burts Bees with Esra which was lovely but this time around I wanted something different and fresh.

A few days after I was contacted randomly by the PR for Weleda with a press release for the shampoo & body wash I had just purchased asking if I wanted a sample, I explained I already purchased it and they sent me a few other baby bits instead which was lovely. I have used the face cream on Esra as she complained here cheeks were itchy and it was so lovely and rich with a smooth texture that absorbed well. I feel like I'm going to get hooked on this brand as I have tried a few bits from their skincare range for me in the past and it was really nourishing, I'm loving the more natural brands as always. I will keep you updated with which products are true hits.

Here's the bump at 30 weeks, 7 & a half months pregnant.

Some people tell me I'm tiny, some people tell me I'm huge, I think I'm pretty average for 30 weeks, little man was measuring well at previous midwife appointment, but she did say that he wasn't very big as I complained that I felt huge :) I have no idea how much weight I have gained as I haven't weighed myself, I will once I see some scales though as I'm just curious. To be fair, I'm not fussed as I know I will lose it once he's out. (positive thinking) Overall I am feeling good, similar to Esra's pregnancy but this guy is definitely more active, pushing, kicking and doing all sorts of sports in there. He is also giving me pressure down below when I walk for long periods of time and has been giving me so much heartburn.

The most comfortable thing for me to wear are these jeggings which sit under the belly and not even maternity, I have also purchased a couple of leggings in the next size up and have managed to avoid purchasing maternity clothes. Although I did get a couple of really cheap maternity tops from New Look in the sale. I refuse to wear maternity everything and look frumpy! I have 1 pair of jean shorts from H & M maternity that I kept from Esra's pregnancy and it still fits so perfect for the warm weather if the sun stays out in London. Furthermore, my belly button is still an 'innie' but I'm sure within the next few weeks I will upgrade to being an 'outie'. No major cravings, apart from 'Lilt' soft drink which is so random for me.

Hello little one, apparently baby is the size of a melon.

I can't wait to meet you little one! :) Esra, is still so excited, I have been keeping her involved with everything and she honestly can't wait to meet her little brother. 

I am a bit scared, ok very scared of the whole birthing process as I know what to expect. But, I have been a bit more sensible and done a bit more research this time for the healing process. With Esra, I had a natural water birth which was beautiful but traumatic for me as it happened so fast. I'm aiming for the same natural water birth this time round too, but hoping I can be be a lot calmer inshallah (wishful thinking) I have to make sure I pack some candles and lavender essential oil, ok haha that was a joke, "aint nobody got time for that", but in theory that would be nice! :)

Here are a few things I have been using and a few things I will be using soon.....

Earth Mama Angel Baby - Postpartum Bath Herbs
These are like a sitz bath, they are packaged like little tea bags and you let them sit in the bath which helps the healing process. This also had excellent reviews so I had to purchase. There are also so many other products from this line but I think I will try to make my own concoctions of some of them.

Neal's Yard - Mothers Balm
I'm still using this luxurious balm on my belly day and night, and still no stretch marks touch wood.

Reusable Bamboo Cotton Breast Pads
A much more eco friendly option, as the disposable ones are just wasted. Although I'm sure I will keep some of those on hand too as these aren't waterproof. I purchased these from ebay for really cheap and they are excellent quality.

Tums - Antacid Tablets
I have these whenever I have heartburn and they help so much, they taste a lot nicer than gaviscon too. 

Which Hazel
I have been using this as a toner on my skin, but I purchased to make postpartum healing pads, I saw on youtube how you can mix aloe vera gel and which hazel and apply onto a sanitary towel, place in the fridge and it's instant relief for where mama needs it most.

This has been so lovely, I have been alternating using this with the Neal's Yard mothers balm, I really didn't think I would love anything as equally but I do. this oil is so nourishing, rich and soothing and if there's any itch, it's sure to be gone as it contains jojoba, sweet almond & wheat germ oil and arnica. I would highly recommend, I was sent this too which is perfect as I would never of purchased it myself as I felt that nothing would compare to the mothers balm. Also, a note to other mamas to be, don't bother with bio oil, it's one of the most terrible oils I have tried, not nourishing at all, if your really stuck, then use olive or coconut oil from your kitchen and you will benefit 10X more. I also purchased a tub of the cocoa butter stretch mark balm, and it was a sorry excuse for a balm, seriously a waste of money.

This is supposed to be applied to your lady part in preparation for birth, I purchased after researching for anything that prevented tearing. TMI, I know but there is stuff out there peeps.

Weleda - Nursing Oil
This is to be applied to the nipple and breast area to keep it moist and stimulate and prepare for milk flow, this was sent to me also. With Esra I used Lansinoh, but I like that this is all natural and an easily absorbed oil, will see how it goes.

Ok, now I have to go pee! *typical pregnancy talk*

Speak soon x X x

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Lush Haul...

Who can resist the scent of a Lush store?

Definitely, not me... particularly when its a new mahoosive store in Oxford Street. I walked straight in and here's what I walked out with...

I actually went in only to buy a cleanser and maybe 1 bath bomb...

'Angels on bare skin' is a lovely soothing cleanser made from ground almonds and lavender oil. I used to use this in the past quite regularly but somehow it slipped my routine. However, pregnancy skin is a lot more sensitive so I thought the introduction of this back into my life will be just the 'pick me up' my skin needs.

This cleanser is soothing and calming and great for dry skin and eczema too, as you can see it is a solid crumbly product and you pinch a bit off and put it in the middle of your palm, add water and lather onto your skin. It smells of lavender so it's very comforting and a great product to use right before bed.

I picked up 2 bubble bars, 1 bath bomb and I was given an extra bubble bar as a random act of kindness, the SA was so sweet and she even recognised me and told me she read my blog, shout out to you Zahra, thank you so much.

The Comforter (Bubble Bar) This is an all time favourite, I always buy one with every Lush purchase as you don't have to use it all in one go. I crumble bits off and make it last as long as possible (About 4 baths worth). It smells AMAZING with a fresh fruity scent with notes of blackcurrant and bergamot. Furthermore, it produces lots of lovely bubbles and pink bath water, what more does one want?

UltraViolet (Bubble Bar) This is from the new easter range and I purchased for the same reason as mentioned above, its a nice hefty large chunk and can be used for several baths when crumbled off. It looks amazing, like a dark rainbow and the scent is divine!! It contains Rosewood and jasmine so it's high in floral notes and produces lovely violet bath water and just sounds really relaxing. I think this one is for me! :)

Fizzbanger (Bath Bomb) This is bright yellow and blue on the inside so changes colour as it fizzes away. Esra's favourite colour is green at the moment, so the fact that her bath water would eventually turn green, sold me on this one. It smells like citrus lemons and cinnamon and I'm sure Esra will have a lot of fun tonight. :)

Down The Rabbit Hole (Bubble bar) This is part of their easter range, it looks like a candy swirl and smells really sweet with notes of orange, I am sure Esra will love this! (This was the one that was given to me as a random act of kindness.)

I wish you could smell everything... Mmmmmmmm

They had so many cool bath bombs and bubble bars, I basically want everything! I haven't been to Lush in AGES and really feel like I'm having withdrawal symptoms lol. I am planning to go back and get some shampoo and conditioner bars for my hair, I also want 'Big" shampoo and 'Curly Wurly' for Esra plus a whole lot more!

What are your favourites from Lush right now? There was so many cool Easter items, and I really wish I got the bunch of carrots, check them out if you haven't already.

On another note, I have all the ingredients to make my own bath bombs, so might try and make a few with Esra, that will be way more economic but probably won't look as good!

Thursday, 25 February 2016

15 Weeks Pregnant...

Good afternoon and Happy Thursday, I'm back as you can see however, not quick enough like I promised for January. As you can see from the title of the post, I got pregnant :) therefore I had the worst morning sickness literally as soon as I found out and EVERYTHING was on hold as survival mode kicked in.

We found out I was pregnant just before my birthday which is Christmas day, it was a lovely surprise even though it was still planned, it honestly feels crazy to be pregnant with baby no2 as it feels like yesterday I was pregnant with Esra. Baby's due date is 16th of August 2016. Esra is 4 but will be almost 5 when baby arrives, I think it's a nice age gap, I could no way have dealt with 2 toddlers and am glad we waited a little longer.

I had the worst nausea which lasted 24 hours of the day, I was vomiting and not eating much and to top it off I got a cold in Decemeber followed by the worst Flu in the beginning of February. My nausea is almost gone now that I'm in the 2nd trimester but it does make an appearance now and then particularly in the evenings. However, I am feeling SO much better and feel back to my normal self, i can eat and enjoy my food and I am not sleeping as much as I did in the 1st trimester as I feel like my energy is coming back as the placenta kicks in.

Here's baby bump at 15 weeks and 2 days, I'm smaller than I expected to be at this stage but I was quite tiny with Esra too and didn't start showing properly until much later. I did however expect to be massive at this stage as it's the 2nd pregnancy, but I'm sure I will eat my words and be huge towards the end lol.

I'm roughly the same size I was with Esra, I did stop working out whilst I was really sick but ready to get back into it now, I want a healthy fit pregnancy and hopefully I keep it up, I damn well will keep it up! :) I'm just praying for an easy smooth pregnancy inshallah...

Lets talk Lotions and Potions...

My hair has been quite dry and I have been enjoying using the Organix 'Argan oil of Morocco' range, I LOVE the serum on damp hair which definitely adds moisture to my locks. The shampoo and conditioner is great too however I want to try the 'Coconut Milk' range next.

With regards to my growing belly and breast area I have been using the Melvita 'Extraordinary oil' and a mixture of the Neals Yard 'Mothers Balm'. The Melvita oil absorbs instantly as it has a silky fine texture and is a "dry" oil which is great when you don't want to transfer oil to your clothes.

However my absolute favourite for my belly is the 'Mothers Balm'. I used 3 tubs of these for my pregnancy with Esra, I always apply this at night and sometimes in the morning. I got absolutely no stretch marks on my belly and I'm hoping that I don't get any this time round too. It's not a big deal if I do, but anything to prevent it.

The 'Mothers Balm' has a really thick balmy texture and is quite greasy when applied, it does absorb but it still leaves a film on the skin which I love as it's really soothing and feels moisturised at all times. 10/10 from me!!

The 13 week scan was truly amazing, as soon as I saw baby moving and heard the heart beating my heart melted. I was so anxious but everything seemed good at this stage thank god. I do panic when I don't have nausea and we didn't buy a doppler as I just feel like it will drive me mad. My next scan is on the 30th of March where we will find out the gender. I honestly don't mind what baby is as long as they are healthy inshallah. A girl would be lovely so that they can be sisters but a boy would be so lovely too, it will be nice to have one of each. I am happy with whatever god has planned for us, I just can't wait to find out so I can go shopping! :)

Any gender guesses?

Esra thinks baby is a boy and is really happy to be a big sister. We had to tell her right away as she kept jumping on me and asking me to pick her up and swing her around, so we had to tell her and she has handled it really well. She just wants to shop for baby too, she keeps picking up baby clothes and asking if we can buy them. She is SO excited and asks everyday if baby is coming out today.

I am kind of in nesting mode already, obviously baby will sleep in our room with a moses basket for a while and then move into Esra's room. I'm trying to think of how I can make space for the both of them as Esra's room is quite small, but I can do it especially with my decluttering approach. It will be a challenge and I can't wait to see what we end up with.

I haven't done any shopping for baby yet and don't really plan to until after the gender scan, but I'm sure I will be back to making some crochet goodies for baby in no time. I do however plan to be as minimalistic with this baby as much as possible. I feel much more ready and know what is really needed and what isn't. Wish me luck!

So if you have read all the way to the end, well done :) and speak soon! x X x

Friday, 25 December 2015

Why hello there....

Firstly, Merry Christmas to all those celebrating today. It's been exactly 1 whole year since I did the last blog post and this post is long overdue but here it is....

Yup, it's my birthday again, another year older and wiser. I must admit, it's been nice having a break from picking up my camera, checking emails and updating but it feels good to be typing away right now too.

As most of you know from Instagram, Esra unfortunately got Mastoiditis this time last year and required emergency surgery. I have deleted most of her photos and everything mentioning the hard times as I just can't bare to look at them. For those of you who don't know, 'mastoiditis' happens when a middle ear infection gets untreated, or in our case misdiagnosed several times. We went to A&E and the GP several times but kept getting assured it was a viral infection and that it would heal on it's own. Mastoiditis is very serious as the mastoid bone is the bone that supports the brain and if the infection had leaked through it could have caused major problems.  The surgery itself was stressful enough as the incision they made was right near the facial nerve. All my hairs are shivering and standing up thinking about it! Luckily, we got the surgery on time and my little pumpkin has made a very good recovery and is left unaffected thankfully. Anyway, I am so thankful that we overcame that stage in our life and have closed that chapter. I take everyday as a blessing and like to enjoy every moment. I just felt like I needed to update on here to let those know who didn't know.

This year I got Esra a little pink "winter" tree that we popped into our fireplace, initially the decor was minimal but she kept coming home with little pine cones in her pocket along with metallic string and clay ornaments from nursery so basically everything got shoved onto it all artistically organised by Esra herself lol, it's so nice to see them smile.

I want to start blogging again, but only once or twice a week about things that interest me and things I enjoy doing. I'm still liking the not checking emails every 2 seconds idea, and will keep that up for as long as I can. Blogging has changed SO much since I last started and it feels like everyone is a pro at it now, but my viewpoint has changed so much in that past year. I still love my makeup and beauty but I'm OK with not having an entire room full of products, I like to use natural products where possible instead of chemical based and like to take a more eco friendly option where I can too. My aim has always been to own decent sized makeup bag full of makeup and hopefully I will achieve that very soon as I have already downsized so much.
I'm on a journey to become a "minimalist" and I feel like I'm almost there, but I need a final declutter in some key zones and plan on sharing some of my journey with you.

Thank you all for your patience and hope you understand my lack of posts, hope you have all had a fab day and now enjoying some Christmas films in cosy pj's.

I'm already planning my next post, speak soon... x X x

Thursday, 25 December 2014

The big 3 0 & Merry Christmas

It's official... I am now 30 and so here's to the 30's being the best decade of my life ever!! I just want to express how truly grateful I am for everything I have in my life, I'm humbled by your comments on Instagram everyday and I pray I can do better and be a better person everyday. Thank you all for your amazing support, I truly appreciate it.

How amazing does this 'Flake' cake look, I feel huge just staring at it but feel even better when it's in my belly of course! How can one person love chocolate so much!? A massive thank you to my husband who knows me too well! :)

Merry Christmas to all of you who are celebrating today, I hope you are all having an amazing day with your loved ones.