pregnancy, Uncategorized

My First Trimester Must Haves

This pregnancy has been different to my first, I’ve been experiencing more symptoms this time, whereas Oliver’s pregnancy was a walk in the park. I am now in my second trimester and feel like some symptoms are easing but the following things have definitely seen me through. There’s nothing fancy or costly, just simple things that have seen me through the past 18 weeks.

Pregnancy vitamins – Since we found out we were expecting I’ve been taking the Seven Seas pregnancy multivitamins. (They are currently on offer in Asda on 3 for £10). Scott bought enough for my whole pregnancy and at our first midwife appointment I was told they now provide them but will continue to use my own.

Stretch Mark Cream – I’ve been using the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Massage Lotion (was £3.99 now £2.65 on offer at Superdrug). I used this when I was pregnant with Oliver and although I have stretch marks, they aren’t overly noticeable. I do think if you are going to get stretch marks there’s not much you can do, but creams and oils are said to help reduce the appearance of them. Personally, I don’t mind my stretch marks, I actually like the reminder of carrying my child, but I do apply my lotion whenever I remember.

Pillow/body pillow – I’ve found it quite uncomfortable to lie in bed for at least a month now. I have my body pillow from my pregnancy with Oliver but I haven’t yet been able to find the cover and using it without one creeps me out a little as its been in storage for 2+ years. So, I’ve been using a normal pillow and it’s definitely helped.

Water – I have been feeling so much better since I’ve increased my water intake. However, I’m 18 weeks now and they say some symptoms subside around this time. But, it’s a good habit to get into pregnant or not, so I’m running with it. It’s also cut my snacking down so I’m happy about that too. I fill up a few bottles and keep them in the fridge, I got mine from B&M for a couple of pounds.

Lemon&Ginger – To keep sickness at bay, I’ve been drinking a lot of hot water with lemon and ginger, or lemon and ginger tea. It’s really helped me especially during the first month or so. Recently, I haven’t been too in love with it but I’m trying to get back into it.

Good Support Network – This pregnancy has been very different to my pregnancy with Oliver thus far. I can’t thank our families enough for taking Oliver out for the day and overnight when I’ve been feeling crappy.

Maternity Wear – I’ve been living in H&M Mama Super Skinny Jeans (only £24.99!) for over a month now and they are so soft and comfortable. I don’t enjoy jeans shopping at the best of times, so I steered clear of them last time and really regret it now. I would definitely recommend them. I’ve also been wearing a few maternity tops too, anything that accentuates the bump is good in my books.

Rest – Exhaustion has been a killer this pregnancy. To the point of falling asleep on the couch during Oliver’s nap time; which wouldn’t normally happen. I’ve learned to listen to my body and have headed to bed early most evenings and rest when I can.

Let me know your first trimester/pregnancy must haves in the comments!

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parenting, Uncategorized

How Could I Bring My Child Into This World

The tragic incidents which affected and killed many in England recently, really struck a chord with me. One incident especially where children were targeted horrified me. How can you attack innocent children? What could they possibly have done to deserve that? And how could I bring my child into a world where things like that happen?

The increasing hatred in this world fills me anxiety for the future, my son’s future. Will there be more attacks? Will ‘they’ come to Edinburgh? Will attacks become the norm here? I pray they won’t.

The hatred attempts to divide us, our communities, we can’t and shouldn’t allow that to happen. If there’s anything I can teach my son, it’s inclusion and kindness. Include and be kind to everyone. We must remember these people are a very small minority and the world is a pretty big place. There’s a lot of good around.

Before having my son, I wouldn’t allow it to affect the way I live my life. But with a child thrown into the mix, I’ve felt that change slightly. The thought of putting Oliver in an unsafe situation unsettles me, but in the real world, how do I know what an unsafe situation is? Getting into my car and driving the same road daily, could potentially become an unsafe situation, who knows when and where hatred will strike.

The future is unknown, I have no way of controlling it and I refuse to allow such a tiny minority of brainwashed cowards to dictate how I should live my life; in fear or with reservations. With recent events in mind, the feeling of community is extremely overwhelming, showing solidarity and resilience to such terrible acts of violence. I hope humanity holds on to that.

I hope this world becomes a more positive place, I hope we manage to funnel out the extreme negativity, and although I will not shied the hatred when the time comes, I will do my best to show and have Oliver experience, the good. The beauty is there, sometimes you just need to look that little bit deeper.

My heart goes out to all those affected by the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London; and all over the world.

Natalie x

lifestyle, parenting

Fairy Trail Archerfield Walled Garden | North Berwick

One of our favourite things to do is explore the outdoors. Oliver loves being able to run free and collect treasures and at Archerfield Walled Garden, he can do just that.

The grounds and surrounding areas are beautifully kept, the cafe offers a lovely range of food and drinks and it won’t be difficult to pick something up from the deli and shop. You can enjoy sitting outside on the benches whilst your little ones play in the enclosed play area.

The trail leads you past several willow structures for kids and adults alike to explore and play. You can tie your ribbon, purchased from the shop, around the wishing tree on your way to the fairy trail.

The magic begins with a little red door for the children to enter and begin their search for fairies. Unfortunately, no fairies have been home whilst we’ve been there, but we’ll keep looking! As you follow the trail, you find out who lives behind each door and what their jobs are. Oliver gets so excited running up to open the fairy door to check if someone’s home. The magic and excitement of it all in his face is truly wonderful to see.

I would definitely a visit whether it’s to enjoy the fairy trail or a dog walk in the woods, there’s something for children and adults alike.

You can find more info here on the Archerfield Walled Garde website.

 

Natalie x

 

lifestyle, parenting

Briarlands Farm | Stirling

As fellow parents will understand, I spend a lot of time outdoors with my son Oliver and we are always on the search for new places to visit. We decided to meet up with friends at Briarlands Farm in Stirling, about an hours drive from our home in Edinburgh.

There are plenty activities to suit all ages and although we were there almost four hours, we didn’t see half of the park – but that’s the norm for us parents of toddlers! The farm boasts wide open space for kids to let off steam; jumping pillows; toddler trike tracks; sand pits; feeding the animals using feeding tubes and tractor/trailer rides amongst others. You can even meet some of the furry animals throughout the day.

Here’s some photos from the day:

Cred: @raimonda_days

Cred: @raimonda_days

Some activities and animal feed bags incur an additional charge (around £1 each), but with the low entrance fees you can’t complain. As Oliver is under three years and therefore free, I only paid one adult at £5.50!

We enjoyed a quick coffee and scone in the cafe whilst the boys played in the soft play. The cafe offers a soft play climbing frame as well as a large kids area filled with toys, play equipment and books. It’s free to play in the inside play areas – another perk. Oliver allowed me my full hot cup of coffee as he was having so much fun – result!

I would definitely recommend this farm to friends and it should go on your must-visit list.

We are always looking for new places to go, please leave your recommendations in the comments below!

Natalie x

 

lifestyle, parenting

My Priorities Have Changed

The second Oliver was placed in my arms, my life changed. My outlook, priorities, everything changed. I no longer wanted to rush into a career, all I wanted was to be a stay at home mum to my beautiful son.

Becoming a mum has most definitely given me a sense of purpose. I’ve been at home with Oliver for two years now and I’m honestly loving every minute of it – even the challenging parts. To me, there’s nothing in comparison to seeing first-hand your baby grow, achieve each milestone and experiencing new things together. Being at home with my child is extremely important to me and I’m so lucky to be in a position that enables me to do that.

My decision to stay at home attracted mostly positivity but I have had some negative comments along the way, mainly surrounding my future career. The way I see it is I’m only twenty-five, I will no doubt be working way past my seventies, probably eighties! so I have plenty time to find a career. For now my main priority is raising my child.

Every parent is different, some work some stay at home, we do what we feel is best for our family. I will never understand those who judge other parents decisions on the subject. How can my choice of staying at home to bring up my son be such a negative? From where I’m standing, there’s absolutely no negative.

Apologies for such a sporadic post, but I needed to vent. I’m interested to hear if anyone has encountered negativity with whatever decision you made; whether it be staying home or working. Us parents have a lot of guilt as it is, without other people adding to it. Do whatever works for you and your family, that’s all that should matter at the end of the day.

 N x

 

lifestyle, Uncategorized

Minimalism; Is it for me?

pexels-photo-1

It’s a bit of an inside joke that I’m pretty cut-throat when it comes to chucking things out. Every so often I fill bin bags with ‘stuff’ and off to the dump they go; I donate; I sell things on. And yet, I still feel suffocated.

If I said I didn’t like material things – I’d be lying. I love pretty things as much as the next person. But I’m starting to question why I long for such items. Am I trying to fill an emotional void with material things to make me feel better? I can yearn for something for months and when I finally have it, I move onto wanting for something else. I don’t seem to enjoy and appreciate things for long. Do material things bring any happiness to my life?

Over the years I have witnessed just how negatively clutter affects my mood and mental health. I have a personal limit when it comes to my home, if the mess and clutter exceeds this, I can completely shut down. Fortunately I haven’t been in that position for a long time, but am constantly aware of the threat. To some my limit might seem like nothing, but I know how quickly I can deteriorate, so it’s important to me, to keep on top of things.

I have recently been decluttering our home, slowly but surely. I worked through my wardrobe, throwing things out which hadn’t been worn (some still with tags on!) and others which when I put them on, I just didn’t feel good in. Already it feels like a weight has been lifted. I no longer waste my mornings trying to find an outfit, everything in there is wearable and ready to be thrown on. Decluttering our home is important to me, I truly believe a tidy space aids a tidy mind. Room by room, I’m throwing things out which we don’t like or even use, I’ve set myself the goal of one room per week, so will keep you updated on that.

Minimalism isn’t just about a tidy home, it includes everything cluttering our lives and our mind. Recently, I’ve found myself procrastinating, scrolling through social media and losing myself in a world of perfectionism and consumerism. I realised I hadn’t been living in the moment but constantly attached my mobile. I still post a photograph on Instagram, or write a status on Facebook, but I leave longer periods between checking my notifications – how many likes I have, who’s left a comment. I’m also trying to dedicate more time during my evenings to check-in with social media, or during my boy’s nap times. This means more quality time with my son and loved ones in the here and now – the way it should be.

My next move is to watch the Minimalism documentary, the two guys from The Minimalists  I find truly inspiring and motivating. They offer podcasts on their website exploring ways to declutter, organise and free yourself from stress, amongst many others. They’ve definitely got me thinking about every part of my life, I find myself totally fascinated by the minimalist concept. I’m only at the beginning of a very long journey ahead, I might fail, I might later realise the minimalist life isn’t for me. But I definitely feel inspired from what I’ve read thus far. I find myself re-evaluating what’s important to me, and even more so, what’s not.

I don’t believe in drastically reducing the number of my belongings and I don’t fancy living in a show home. I want our home to feel warm, cosy and child-friendly; I just want less of the unnecessary, unused stuff. I want to be able to breathe.

Would you describe yourself as a Minimalist? How are you getting on months or a year down the line? Has it changed your life for the better? I would love to know any tips, please leave a comment!

N x