When I first found out I was pregnant, one of the first things on my shopping list was… Pregnancy books! Yes yes, there’s a lot of information online, but I love books! I also signed up to BabyCenter, where they send you updates your baby’s weekly development.
So, I decided to review three pregnancy books.. To be more exact, a book, a journal and an organizer!
This is not your typical pregnancy book. It takes a humorous twist to the usual serious medical books that are on the market. Is it for everyone? No. Some people find it utterly hilarious, others just don’t agree with what Vicki Iovine has to say. In certain areas of the book, Iovine writes about how exercising during pregnancy is a waste of time, some reasons being that ‘you will get fat anyway’ and ‘exercise will not help you in labor or delivery in any way’. I personally disagree with this, but to each their own.
The thing that a lot of women seem to be disagreeing with Iovine about most, is natural birth. She seems to be against taking the natural route, and that epidurals are a must have. Obviously, not everyone agrees with this. Personally, I had made sure that my obgyn knew from the start that I wanted an epidural, but a lot of women want to do it the natural way. And, why not! I’m actually jealous of those strong mamas!
This is my personal favourite! It’s great for staying organised, complete with tabs, and it’s designed to perfectly fit in your purse! This organiser is not packed with the information you find in pregnancy books, although it does have a page at the beginning of each section that serves as an introduction and tells you where to look for specific things. It’s full of helpful checklists detailing the things you should remember, and does a great job in helping you organise and prepare.
And it doesn’t just stop at pregnancy! There is a section to keep a new mum organised too! You can record feeding and diapering, keep track of well baby visits (baby growth chart included), your postnatal checkup notes, etc.
This journal is perfect for capturing such a special journey! This beautiful book has week to week information on pregnancy, as well as providing prompts to enable mums to be to tell their own unique story. It also has a section where you can add your baby’s firsts, from first movements to first smile, first Christmas to first birthday. There’s also space for photos and scans! It’s the perfect diary for mums to be!
In addition to these reviews, I’m also giving away these three books to one lucky mummy to be!
This giveaway has now ended!
I want to send a big thank you to everyone who participated in this giveaway and helped make it a success!
And a special congratulations to Anthea, the winner of the three pregnancy books giveaway!
Have you heard of this new thing – the baby neck float? The first time I saw a picture of a baby in these neck floats, I thought it was a joke.. I HAD to do some research about this, cos it just looked unsafe to me, but if it’s on the market it has to be safe, right? Well, the results I found have proven otherwise!
What is the baby neck float? It’s basically an inflatable ring that sits around your baby’s neck while they float in the water. It keeps your baby’s head, and ONLY his head, above water! I mean, when you think of your child’s safety, is a tight plastic ring around their neck something you would consider as safe?
Some of these neck floats advertise that they will “help your baby learn how to swim”. Babies don’t learn how to swim with an inflatable ring around their neck.. All it will help him do is learn how to dangle in the water like seaweed under a boat.
The Swimming Teachers’ Association (STA), an independent charity, and Birthlight, a non-profit organisation have highlighted the “damaging” effects placing babies in floating neck rings could have on their physical, neurological and emotional development.
Apart from looking extremely uncomfortable and unnatural, this float restricts head and neck movement, and experts are warning parents about the risks behind this neck float. Françoise Freedman, founder of Birthlight, said,”There are the potential risks linked to the frequent use of a neck device that claims total safety and apparent comfort for babies, yet deprives them of the freedom to move, which we now know can have long-term implications.”
“When babies hang vertically in water with their heads supported by a semi-rigid foam structure – particularly those under 5 months – concern arises about compression of the soft and subtle vertebrae in their necks, and strain in ligaments and muscles.”
“When babies over three months are placed in neck rings, this may also interfere with the neuro pathways associated with the head-righting reflex that helps babies aged between 3 and 6 months respond to their spontaneous desire to sit up. It takes a disproportionate effort and muscular tension for babies in neck rings to try and right themselves up, which they are naturally driven to do.”
“This isolated activity completely goes against the very essence of baby swimming, which is human contact: bonding with your child so they can explore the water in a safe, relaxed, fun environment.”
You can read the full report here if you need more convincing. If you’re thinking, “Then what do I do if I want to take my little one swimming?”. Well, you have two options:
Hold your baby in your arms while you ‘splash’ in the water. It is the best bonding experience, and they enjoy it so much!
Letting you baby splash in the water is fun, and also beneficial for their development! While still discovering who they are, water can give them a boost in confidence from a very early age. Swimming baby floats can create a fun and safe way for your little one to enjoy the water. They come in all colours, shapes and sizes, but it is important to check all the features of the baby float you choose to ensure maximum comfort and safety for your baby.
What to look for when buying a baby float
Sun protection – Your baby’s skin is very delicate, so you might consider a baby float with a canopy for that extra sun protection. Please keep in mind though, that these types of floats are unsafe sometimes, as they can topple over with wind. Which is why I only included the Mummy & Me canopy floats, as an adult’s weight can balance the float and keep in steady. Still, to be on the safe side, remove the canopy in windy situations, and always stay close to your baby. Other tips to help with sun protection: For babies 6 months or over, apply sunscreen generously and reapply every 2 hours or more (please note that most creams are not advised for babies under six months, although there are some that have been specifically formulated for newborns). Also, avoid exposing your baby to the sun at peak hours (10am – 4pm) and dress your baby in protective clothing, a hat with a brim and sunglasses.
Safety features – The purpose of baby floats is to, first and foremost, keep your baby safe in the water. So this is the most important thing to check before purchasing a baby float. Check for safety features like leakages, seat straps, and safety valves which keep the float stable in water. Always secure the baby comfortably in the float before lowering it in the pool for complete safety. Please keep in mind, even with the safest baby float, accidents can happen. Always stay within arm’s reach of your baby, and closely supervise at all times.
Price – Baby float price range from €10 – €30 defending on the features and brand. As there are many baby floats on the market, look at the safety features first, then make your decision.
Size – Baby floats come in many sizes because they’re made for different ages. So before buying, make sure to check the weight and age recommendations of the baby float. Some baby floats are also designed to grow with your baby!
For the ultimate parent and baby pool bonding experience, the Poolmaster Learn To Swim provides an open ring for adults to steer, and a drop seat with ample paddling room for your baby. This baby float has a canopy for sun protection and two inflatable toys.
This baby float offers ample support for your little one’s back, neck and chest. It’s perfect for getting your baby used to being in the water and encourages swimming development! This float has two interconnecting inflatable rings for extra stability and safety.
A pool float designed for twins, or sibling close in age! This makes it so easy for parents to have two children in the water at the same time! The float remains stable even with 2 children different in age and weight, or when used with only 1 child. This float also comes with with 5 fun coloured balls to play with in the central splash area.
A fun boat shaped float, complete with a steering and horn, and it was designed with mummy/daddy in mind too! This float has an open ring for the adults to steer, and a canopy for sun protection. It also had 2 handholds for your little one to hold on to for safety.
This float’s 4-in-1 design starts off as a boat to introduce your little one to the water, then converts into a cruiser, a kick float, and a kick board as your child advances. It comes with two security handles for extra safety and a three ply vinyl baby seat with reinforced web core to securely hold your little one.
Intex is a popular brand, known for being reliable and having good quality products. This float has two rings for extra stability and safety, and has a pillow headrest to support your little one. It is one of the cheapest and safest ways to introduce your baby to the water.
This easy-to-use float system aids swimming development by allowing buoyancy to be tailored to the wearer’s needs as they grow and develop water confidence. It provides ultimate sun protection, with the covered areas having 100% UV protection! This swim jacket also has a bright yellow back providing high visibility for parents
Age recommendation – 18 months-3 years, 4-5 years & 6-7 years
Made of top quality neoprene and soft Lycra binding
This float is a brilliant buoyancy aid to help get your toddler used to being in the water and encourage swimming development, while also offering support to the back, neck and chest. This float has two interconnecting inflatable rings for extra stability and safety.
The market is flooded with baby floats, so I hope I helped make your decision a bit easier. Always keep in mind, it is very important that you keep a close eye on your little one when in the water, and make sure to be within arm’s reach to prevent any accidents.
As you can see, I didn’t include baby neck floats in this list. After some research I have found that these floats aren’t safe at all!
Little boys and getting their hair cut.. Most of them are NOT huge fans! They scream, they cringe, they even try to run away! You bribe them with ice cream, you give them your phone and you make silly faces hoping they would sit still (cos the last thing you want is your little one to come out of the barber shop with a bald patch!).
I won’t lie, my son doesn’t mind getting his hair cut, but he gets bored easily (like most kids do), which means he’ll start to fidget and move, making the process a bit more difficult then I (or the barber) would like. Which is why, thanks to my sister in law’s suggestion, I tried Ta’ Spiru barber shop. And let me tell you, I’m so glad I did!
First of all, I can’t not mention the overall design of the shop! It has this retro, rustic design which I love!
Isn’t that awesome? But, obviously, that’s not what my son got excited about.. THIS was!
What little boy wouldn’t love this? So, that was the first thing that put a smile on both our faces (that HAD to do the trick, Mason is obsessed with cars!). But that wasn’t just it! The barber set up a game on his tablet and gave it to my son as a distraction. He was over the moon! I just wanted to high five the good man for being so prepared!
You can tell how much he enjoyed himself, and his hair was on point! As soon as we stepped outside, he asked me to start taking him there for his hair cuts. FINALLY, he can actually start looking forward to going to the barber!
We went back yesterday and he had so much fun! I kid you not, have a look for yourself!
Doesn’t that look like so much fun? I give props to the staff for being so patient and actually making the whole process so enjoyable for my little guy!
If your little one hates getting their hair cut or the whole ordeal is stressful for both of you, I highly recommend giving this barber shop a try!
This is my honest opinion about Ta’ Spiru Barber Shop. A discounted or free service was not given for this review.
I don’t know about you, but I love a working out at home. I don’t have to stress about gym opening hours, or who to leave my son with while I go work out. I also don’t have to worry about how ridiculous I look or how much I’m sweating all over the place! A home gym is a blessing for busy mums! If you make the decision of having your daily workout at home, all you need to do is invest in a few pieces of equipment and you’re good to go. Thinking about the money you will spend on your equipment versus paying a monthly gym membership, you’re saving money in the long run!
Here is a list of the top 10 workout equipment you will need for a home gym:
Dumbbells – These are a must have for your home gym. Dumbbells are the most versatile piece of equipment you can own, and they give that added weight for a more intense workout.
Resistance Bands – These are perfect if you travel a lot or have limited space in your home gym. Resistance bands are very versatile, you can work out your whole body, adding variety and intensity to your exercise routine.
Kettlebells – These are also a must have if you want to make the most of your workout routine. If you want to burn A LOT of calories quickly with an effective workout, I suggest buying kettlebells. It is best to start out with a 12-18 pound kettlebell at first, and then building up your strength from there.
Stability Ball – This is the best piece equipment for working out your abs! It’s also great for stability and balance, and they can make your workout more challenging.
BOSU Balance Trainer – This can be used to add intensity to you cardio workout and lower body workouts, while also increasing your balance. Flip it over and it can be used to strengthen your core while working on your upper body. All in all, it’s an amazing piece of equipment to have!
Jump Rope – Jumping rope is a mega calorie burning workout! You can burn 100 calories in as little as 10 minutes! I suggest either a speed rope (much smoother with each jump), or a weighted jump rope (for a more intense workout).
Aerobics Step – This provides an extra challenge to your leg workouts and is also versatile. The high step can be used for aerobics, and as a bench for tricep dips and even pushups.
TRX Suspension Trainer – If you want a fun and intense workout, you need to get one of these! The TRX Suspension Trainer is the perfect addition to any fitness lover!
Foam Roller – I absolutely LOVE this! Once you get used to the feeling of it, I’m sure you will too! It breaks up the knots in your muscles. It helps maintain healthy muscles, and allows for increased strength and mobility.
Yoga Mat – This is a must if you’re working out at home (or even outside). If you’re going to get sweaty (and who doesn’t during a workout?) it’s best to get a good non slip mat. It’s better to get a yoga mat that’s a bit expensive then having to change a cheap one every few months.And if that wasn’t enough, here are 5 more things that will make your workout even better!
A water bottle to keep you nice and hydrated during your workout.
A towel to wipe away your sparkles (cos we don’t sweat!)
Have you ever looked at a piece of decor in your house and thought “I can do something with this and make it look fabulous!”?. I do it all the time!
I love glass vases, but sometimes I just look at them and think – BORING! They’re plain, transparent, they need flair! And, who am I kidding? I’ll find any excise for a DIY project! So I went out and got a couple of spray paints (like one can wasn’t enough!) and went crazy.. See, when I have a project in mind I sometimes don’t read tutorials and I just learn as I go along. So, mistakes were made, I screwed up a perfectly good vase BUT I learned from it. And I’m going to share with you the mistakes I made (so you don’t make them!) and what you need to do to spray paint a vase perfectly.
Meet my first victim (a vase I bought from Ikea a couple of years ago). That is definitely not pretty! Confession – I was impatient. And with spray painting, impatience is your enemy! So I bid adieu to my horrible project, and tried again. I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did, so I’m going to tell you how to properly spray paint a vase (or anything else really), without getting drips or worse, having to throw away a perfectly good piece of decor!
Find the vase (or a piece of decor) you want to spray paint. Make sure to clean it properly and that it’s fully dry.
Find a place where you want to do your spray paining project and cover the area you will be using. I do my spray painting on the terrace (that way the smell doesn’t go inside), and covered the floor with a sheet I use just for these kinds of projects.
Shake your spray paint bottle well for about 1 minute. First thing you should do before spraying your vase is to do a test spray on a piece of paper or cardboard (something you don’t mind ruining).
Once the spray paint is coming out smoothly, STEP BACK from the vase 10″ to 16″ (this instruction is at the back of spray cans, it’s that important!). I repeat, step back!
Moving your vase back and forth, lightly mist your jar with paint. Do you want your vase to look like the one above? Didn’t think so. Don’t coat it with a huge chunk of paint, as that will result in drips!
After lightly misting your vase, get up, walk away, make a nice cup of coffee, check your Facebook, etc. Just DO NOT go back for 15 minutes. Then, go back and repeat for as many times as you need to ensure an opaque coating. Just remember to let the spray paint dry between each coating. This takes a little longer, yes. But keep in mind, that’s better then throwing away the vase!
Ready for take two?
It’s quite an easy way of making something dull look pretty, you just need a little patience!
Lately I haven’t been feeling as energetic as usual. I’ve also been bloated and uncomfortable. I needed to see what had changed, and why I was feeling that way. The answer? I was eating unhealthy junk daily! So I decided to do something about it, and started doing my research on superfoods and what I should be eating to start feeling good again! So I will be sharing my new knowledge here today.
Let me first start by defining the term ‘superfood’ (no, it’s not a type of food that makes you want to wear a cape and fly around the city saving people, but it does make you feel super awesome!)
Definition of superfood (plural – superfoods)
A food (such as salmon, broccoli, or blueberries) that is rich in compounds (such as antioxidants, fibre, or fatty acids) considered beneficial to a person’s health
Superfoods increase energy and vitality, regulate cholesterol and blood pressure and may help to prevent or fight cancer and other diseases. — Kathleen Back Brady, Tallahassee (Florida) Democrat, 26 Feb. 2014
Because acai is rich in polyphenols and other antioxidants, it’s been hailed by some as a superfood or “miracle berry.” — Andrew Weil, Self Healing, October 2006
The reason for eating well, apart from wanting to loose a couple of inches, is to feel and perform your very best! And you don’t have to do a strict diet either. Because we know how that goes! You starve yourself and you end up putting the pounds back on, and nobody wants that! By switching to superfoods you don’t have to eat less, you just have to eat right.
You don’t even have to stop eating dessert! If you’re craving, say, a piece of pumpkin pie or blueberry crumble, go ahead and enjoy it! These desserts contain superfoods, just skip the sugar and you’re good to go! Here’s a list of 10 superfoods to get you started:
Berries: Berries have a lot of health benefits! Acai berries are extremely high in antioxidants called anthocyanins that helps keep your cholesterol levels balanced. Blackberries contain polyphenols, a class of antioxidants known for their cancer-fighting abilities. Blackberries have high concentrations of the antioxidant which helps prevent the development of cancer. Blueberries keep you mentally sharp as you age. This is because these berries are packed with antioxidants called anthocyanins. Strawberries are packed with Vitamin C, which can help prevent cataracts, which can lead to blindness in older age. These are just a couple of ‘superberries’ and their health benefits.
Pumpkins: Pumpkins are full of vitamins and minerals, but low in calories! They contain potassium, which helps decrease the risk of stroke, protection against loss of muscle mass, preservation of bone mineral density, and reduction in the formation of kidney stones.Pumpkins are also rich in carotenoids, which help keep your eyesight sharp! Also, pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, which helps you sleep better and also improves your mood!
Avocados: Avocados are very high in potassium, which is linked to reducing blood pressure, major risk factors for heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. They also contain folate, which may help reduce the risk of depression. Avocados also contain Vitamin K1, which are beneficial for bone health.
Red bell peppers: These bell peppers contain phytonutrient capsaicin, which has important anti-cancer and blood-sugar balancing properties. Red bell peppers are also a great source of vitamin B6 and folate. Both these vitamins and minerals can help prevent anaemia. These sweet peppers also help support healthy eyesight, especially night vision! This is because they are high in Vitamin A.
Broccoli: Broccoli contains sulforaphane, which has been shown to kill cancer stem cells, thereby striking to the root of tumour growth. Recent studies have shown that it only takes three to five servings of broccoli per week to obtain the cancer prevention benefits. But it’s important that the broccoli you eat still has a live enzyme called myrosinase. This enzyme is needed to form the sulforaphane, its active cancer fighting substance. So it is recommended to only steam broccoli for two to four minutes to protect both the enzyme and the vegetable’s other nutrients. Another way is to eat it raw.
Eggs: Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet, containing a little bit of almost every nutrient we need! They are rich in betaine and choline, which promote heart health. Eggs are also packed with iron, zinc and phosphorus which are vital for your body. Women need plenty of iron due to menstruation, and not getting enough could leave you feeling tired, run down and grumpy. Zinc keeps your immune system in top shape and helps your body turn food into energy. Phosphorus is important for healthy bones and teeth.
Greek yoghurt: Greek yoghurt has a much higher amount of protein than milk, which benefits health for your bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, hair and blood. Protein is also linked to linked to improved body composition, increased metabolic rate and reduced hunger.
Nuts: Walnuts contain antioxidants which help fight against cancer. Almonds are rich in calcium, which helps bone building. If you’re allergic to/avoid eating dairy, these nuts are beneficial to make sure you are getting enough calcium. Cashews are rich in the mineral magnesium, which is thought to improve age-related memory loss. Pecans are packed with plant sterols, valuable compounds that are effective at lowering cholesterol levels. These just are a couple of nuts and their health benefits.
Oats: Oats contain large amounts of beta-glucan, a type of soluble fibre, which helps reduce cholesterol levels and blood sugar. It also increases the feeling of fullness and increases growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract. Studies have also shown that eating foods rich in whole-oat sources of soluble fibre (oats, oat bran, and oat flour) may help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
Dark chocolate: The bioactive compounds, namely flavanols, in dark chocolate can benefit your skin. These can protect against sun-induced damage, improve blood flow to the skin and increase skin density and hydration. Apart from that, flavanols have a very positive effect on heart health by helping lower blood pressure and improving blood flow to the heart as well as the brain.
These are only a few superfoods which can benefit your overall health. There are many more, and you will feel so much better when you switch from eating junk to a healthy lifestyle!
“Over weeks and months, you will get addicted to the awesome taste of healthy food, and start wondering why you never did it earlier!” – The Fitness Doc
Hold on to your socks! These outfits are absolutely adorable! And to top it off, they’re budget friendly too!
I can’t walk next to a kids’ clothes shop without going googly eyed for all the baby clothes, so you can imagine how hard it was for me to choose just 9 outfits! Links to the clothes will follow (all prices listed are excluding shipping).
What’s in my bag?? Loads of things! But that’s why we have large bags right? I love ‘What’s in my bag?’ posts, so I’m sharing my own with you guys!
Obviously, I always have my wallet, phone and keys with me. Then, I usually have my little notepad and pen, for when an idea strikes (I know I know, phones have built in notepads, but I like writing stuff down sometimes), my sunglasses cos summer is here and it’s super sunny! I also have a pouch where I carry everyday medication just in case, like ibuprofen, allergy meds and tiger balm. I always have a pack of ginger chews in my bag, they work wonders for an upset stomach and I actually like their taste (strange cos people usually hate it!). Then I have a body mist, hand cream, lip balm, a pack of tissues and wipes (my little one hates having dirty hands so wet wipes are a necessity!). Apart from all those things, I usually also have a couple of receipts, crumbs and ginger chew wrappers, but nobody wants to see that! And finally, my bag! I actually bought it as a really good price and it’s perfect for every day use, and more importantly everything fits comfortably in it! I even carry my laptop in it sometimes!