Four Days in NYC

After having our little girl we decided it was time for mom & dad to get away for few days for a bit of adult time so we booked a trip to the city that never sleeps for last November after our little girl turned one. A friend told me when I was beginning to chicken out of booking as didn’t want to leave my little lady, the best gift you can give your kids is a good marriage so off we went 😊

We went to New York mid November for four nights and had an absolute blast, spent a fortune, drank & eat at delicious bars & restaurants and shopped until we dropped, believe it or not hubby is a bigger shopper than me!!! 😆🛍

I flew out Norwegian Airlines as they were super cheap (save the $$ for the shops!!) and also my husband was working upstate New York so worked out perfectly, we stayed in a Holiday Inn up close to Woodbury Common on the Thursday night which is half hour drive from Stewart International Airport & hubby had a car so was perfect! With jet lag I was awake from dawn which was a pity as first night with no baby to wake me!! But it helped us get up & out early so we could get a good run of the day at Woodbury Common.

We LOVED the place it was massive and had nearly everything, we literally shopped until we dropped getting lots of sportswear, makeup & face creams, kids clothes & most importantly a designer handbag!!! 😁👜

I was delighted we had the car as we could bring our shopping bags back to the boot every few stores!! Definitely worth considering hiring a car for the trip to WC.

Woodbury has amazing outlet discounts in all the stores, click here for their website to download the discounts. You can get the bus to WC from Port Authority, the back of the ticket has a coupon for the discount book you can pick up at reception. If you get the bus there are lockers where you can store your shopping & one tip would be bring or buy a suitcase to help bring everything back to city & home!

✨ TIP: One thing we did do and I’m delighted, was pick up clothes for our little girl for next few years so we’re still taking down new bits and it’s like the trip that’s keeps on giving & we got great deals in Hilfiger & GAP for kids and such good quality!

🌟 Overall Woodbury Common was defo worth the trip with sooooo many great stores with amazing offers we didn’t even get to them all & great onsite facilities with WIFI, restaurants etc!

We drove into NYC for 6pm ish on Friday evening…….very romantic to drive into all the skyscrapers all lit up but also a recipe for a divorce 😆 let’s just say navigating on a highway can get stressful especially if the battery on your phone with google maps dies as you are about to go into Manhattan!!!!!! 🙈 Eventually got to where we should be going to drop our hire car off (was delighted to see the back of it!) and walk around the block to our hotel!

We stayed in The Lexington Hotel which is on Lexington Ave & 48th Street. It’s a fab newly renovated hotel with great facilities- bar & Starbucks ✅✅😆 But it’s location was so central, it’s just two blocks off 5th Avenue so meant we could walk most places!

🌟 Would definitely recommend this hotel as it’s a great price, not too small as far as New York hotels go & super central!

As we only had 4 days in the New York I wanted to be super organized so we could see as much as we could #noregrets and I love to be organized!!

Friday night – I had dinner booked at Beauty & Essex for Friday night at 11pm, knew we would conk after with jet lag so wanted to do drinks first & we got to the city so late! So after a quick turn at the hotel we ventured down 5th Avenue taking in the sights & lights, absolutely breathtaking! We stopped off at a wine bar for a little bubbles & then went to 230, a rooftop bar on 5th Av not far from the Empire State Building, we didn’t know what to expect but it was fab, we sat outside all snug on a terrace with heaters & blankets sipping bubbles & beer over looking the Empire State Building, it was another ✅ off our list!

We got a cab downtown to Beauty & Essex, it is the coolest restaurant, perfect for a lovely Friday night dinner! From the front it’s just a pawn shop but then as you step through the door behind the pawn shop it’s a total different world it’s so hard to explain but must be seen! There are a number of different floors & each one different, we had a drink on the ground floor in a really cool bar, I popped to the ladies & didn’t want to leave it 😆 there was a Prosecco bar in the toilet!!! 🥂 My kinda bathroom!! 😃 We has dinner upstairs, they serve delicious tapas & cocktails, the music kept my jet lag at bay.

🌟Verdict: loved Beauty & Essex so much it’s so different it’s hard to explain but lively drinks & food in a really cool setting but it’s kinda like a night club so if you don’t want something upbeat maybe give here a miss but it’s really worth a visit!

On Saturday we got up and went to Times Square which was only few blocks away, it was super cool stepping into the craziness of it, we went for lunch in The Hard Rock Cafe for the American experience.

I was so glad I had bought a new pair of Nikes in Woodbury Common we walked half of Manhattan but loved every minute, we were hoping to walk the High Line but it started raining so we took cover at The Standard Hotel.…..we had a beer in the Biergarten, it had real Oktoberfest vibes. We then went up to the rooftop at The Standard and fell in love with the city all over again, you can see uptown & downtown Manhattan as well as the river depending on what way your looking! We got a few glasses of bubbles & sat back and watched the sun set over the city in both directions it was just fabulous we didn’t want to leave! The bathrooms even over look the river & city!

We tried to book dinner in The Spotted Pig as I had read so many great reviews but you can’t book & the wait when we got there was too long so we got drinks & went around the corner for dinner. The Spotted Pig is cool it’s like a funky pub and not too dissimilar to pubs here so we didn’t mind not having dinner there. We had dinner in The Left Bank on the corner of this block & the food was delicious.

On Sunday morning we woke up & strolled up to upper east side for breakie all the while taking in the streets, we found a diner just around the corner from The Plaza exactly what we wanted to enjoy the American diner experience. We tried to get into Sarabeths but the wait was too long would recommend booking!

We strolled Central Park up to The Boathouse for a drink I had tried to book brunch but it was booked out, would definitely pre-booking online. The setting is just magical & felt like I was in a movie!

We got the subway down to Brooklyn to walk the Brooklyn bridge but first we wanted to experience Brooklyn, we went down to The River Cafe for a drink but it was closed but looked like a fab place, have heard great things so would be worth a visit! Dumbo is also another cool spot there too!

Walking back towards Manhattan over the Brooklyn bridge at sunset was class just so surreal walking into the tall skyline, you can see the Statute of Liberty in the distance too ✅

We did Broadway on Sunday night, we went to see The Lion King it’s was brilliant, a fabulous production & one of our favourite Disney stories! We went to a steakhouse after off Times Square which was delicious just quite.

Monday was our last day so we made the most of it by doing some last minute shopping 🛍 love LuLulemon so stocked up in their 5th Avenue store and got some Christmas gifts!

We also had to squeeze in some last sights so got the subway downtown to Wall Street, it was great to check out what you see in the movies & we went to the One World site – the memorial to the twin towers which was very peaceful but sad.

We got the subway back to Grand Central Station which was pretty magical as I’ve seen it in the movies lots! We got brunch in Pershing Square it was just delicious & lovely New York style diner, I had actually been 10 years previous with my mum & was delighted to stumble across it!

Here are some restaurants & bars we never made it to but were on my list;

  • Balthazar
  • Tao
  • Rue 57
  • 21 club
  • Magnolia Bakery
  • Buddakan
  • Il Cantanori
  • The River Cafe
  • Hudson Hotel 58th st – rooftop

🌟 Top Tips 🌟 we realised you don’t just walk out of hotel and find cafes/restaurants so having a list of places mapped out is definitely recommended & I would prebook what you can in advance on OpenTable as the good place book up fast!

Can’t wait to go back to try more of my list of places to go! Would definitely recommend New York for a weekend away for shopping, sights and food & drinks!

Aisling x

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Travelling with little ones

After a short staycation I thought I would put together a quick checklist for traveling with two littles ones mainly because I forgot some of the below and want somewhere to check for our next trip 🙈

Checklist for traveling with little ones:

  • Suncream
  • Water beakers
  • Plenty of changes of clothes for the little ones
  • Two sets of swim wear (I took one and we were trying to dry them between the pool and the beach)
  • Kids changing towels (these are so handy to pop over their heads)
  • Buckets and shovels
  • Bedtime story
  • Essential teddies
  • Cars/toys for hotel room
  • Kids toothbrush/tooth paste
  • Extra bags (for dirty laundry, food etc, found it so handy to separate out things, made them easy to grab)
  • Picnic bag/basket with cutlery, plates etc)
  • Picnic blanket
  • Buggy (I took the double to give our 3 year old the option to jump in when he got tired)
  • Kids blanket for buggy if weather isn’t great
  • Charged iPad for the car if the journey is long
  • Travel potty!
  • A magazine for mom – a girl can dream of a little down time!!

Up to now it would of been hard to do a hotel room all together as Jack woke a lot during the night, he doesn’t wake as much now so it was definitely easier to hit the road!

I love day trips and staycations with them as you can pack up the car and have the flexibility to come home whenever you want!

For our next break we are thinking of trying self catering so we could have a room for the boys but still have them close by and also so we could make the food for them, eating out is nice but you have to time it right and sometimes the boys just prefer nice simple food!

Happy summer hols,

Love T x

Planning for an Elective C-Section

I can’t believe I’m 5 months postnatal, it’s has just flown in in a whirlwind but the best whirlwind! I had my beautiful baby girl in late August bringing our lovely little family to a family of 5 including a little doggie!

It has taken me this long to sit back & reflect & write this blog as I am now only beginning to feel like me again after a pretty rough pregnancy & first few months post partum!

I had an emergency c-section on my first little girl in 2016 after 45 hours of labour but I was just delighted my beautiful baby girl arrived safely……all 10 lbs 8 oz of her!!!! Unfortunately the labour set me up for a pretty rough pregnancy this time which I hadn’t expected, I had to finish work in late May, three months before baba arrived due to anemia, SPD, bursitis & carpel tunnel (the list goes on!!! 🙈) at least this gave me the opportunity to rest which was great as that’s all I could physically do, couldn’t even look after my toddler which was tough!

I had hoped for a Vbac all along (vaginal birth after a cesarean) but at 34 weeks I just couldn’t take the back/pelvic pain any more and the thought that I could go over to 42 weeks so I gave in and decided the best option for baba & I was to go for an elective cesarean, all of a sudden I felt calmer knowing I would have a date & I could manage the next 4 weeks! Having a date was gold to me then!

This also gave me the opportunity to prepare myself for the operation and also set up childcare for our toddler. We had the most special day before our big day came we wanted to treat our little girl before she became a big sister so took her to Imaginosity in South Dublin which was pure magic for her at 21 months!

Making my planned cesarean more personal….

Having the date meant I could plan what I wanted for the birth of my baby girl & work with my consultant and anesthetist on making it as much like a natural delivery. My consultant lowered the screen as baby emerged out so I could see her & baba could ease out at her own pace (we couldn’t see anything bad just the top of her body). This enabled delayed cord clamping too and this also meant we could see the sex ourselves which was so magical. We did skin to skin in the theatre too for a few mins which I wasn’t able to do on my first baby. I also brought my own cellular blanket which I had slept with so it had my smell on it, so she would still feel close to me when they took her away during theatre. Doing all of these felt I was more in control also giving me more confidence going in.

What I packed for a cesarean

Having an elective c-section meant I could pack my bag with exactly what I needed so I didn’t need a Labour ward bag, I just packed my handbag with essentials for that morning & straight after for baby & I, we brought in my suitcase from the car once we had our room after baba had arrived, a small bag was easier to bring around.

For me

  • A little jewelry bag so I could pop everything into & put in my hubby’s pocket to keep safe while I was in surgery (I had my Chupi one!) they let me keep my wedding & engagement rings on as my hands were swollen from my carpel tunnel & eczema, taped them for surgery
  • I packed a comfy nightie for when I got back to the ward, a nightie I could slip on over my head as you won’t be able to get up for few hours with the epidural. Also bear in mind if you are thinking about breastfeeding pack a nightie that you can open up or clip down.
  • A little wash bag so I could freshen up from my bed after although you may not feel up to it for a few hours

For baby

  • A warm hat as it’s cold in theatre
  • They will dress the baby once back in recovery so pack a babygro & vest, I always buy up to 1 month size so I know they will fit ok! I packed these into a freezer bag with a nappy so hubby knows what to grab
  • I pack everything in freezer bags as per Teresa’s hospital bag blog, click here to read. Teresa has the best tips, I find the freezer bags so easy find what we need when hubby is trying to dig out clothes!
  • A few cellular blankets to swaddle baby

I packed everything as normal then from our hospital bag post with few small additions;

  • Pack 5 sets of pjs as you will be in 4/5 days
  • I always got comfy pj bottoms that will come up high over the scar as it will be quite tender
  • Lots of big granny knickers soo they too will come over the scar!

What to expect

I had done my pre-admission the week before where I meet the anesthetist & they did bloods & history so it was all covered off so when I was due to come in or before if I went into Labour they were all set to go!

Now I was all set to check in at 8am to the Coombe but my little lady had other ideas so we checked in at 3am instead!!! On check in they give you all your bands & a sexy gown to wear, your hubby will take all your belongings so bring a neat bag! Here you will remove all your jewelry also.

After being checked in the nurse called my consultant straight away & she arrived in 10 minutes so we didn’t have to wait long but everyone was so calm, it was a much calmer experience than my first section, the team in the Coombe were so good to keep the room calm & be by my side until my hubby was allowed in. You will get your epidural when you get to theatre sitting up, it’s a slight Bee sting & you must stay completely still but once in you won’t feel anything from tummy down. They will then lie you down & put up a screen so you can’t see anything going on but midwife & anesthetist will be beside you. Here they will insert a catheter until after the birth. They will do checks to ensure you can’t feel anything before they start, once they are all ready they will bring your partner in who will be gowned up & will be brought in to sit at your head which is a great comfort knowing they are beside you. You will feel a tugging & pulling sensation but this is normal. It all happens so fast then with the whole procedure taking 40mins, you will be taken to recovery for an hour after to check all your vitals after the operation, it was here I got to do more skin to skin & my first feed with baba 💘

One tip is to do something that will make you feel good before you go in, As well as all the grooming, I washed my hair before going in to hospital mid-contractions (I had to wait an hour for my parents to get up) and I felt so good for it afterwards as I felt a bit more like me with fresh hair & it lasted until my last day in hospital.

Note – you can’t wear nail polish in surgery so go with clear varnish if your looking to do your nails!

There is very little info on what to expect for an elective section but I came across a great blog from Irish Baby Fairy, click here to read, this really helped me know what to expect.

🌟Tips for after the birth🌟;

  • Get hubby to come in as early as he can if he hasn’t left to help you lift baba in & out of the cot as you can’t move out of bed!
  • You will have a catheter since surgery but it will be removed in the first day all going well, after this your nurse or your hubby can help you to the shower, take all the help as it is so hard to walk or stand but you will feel great after the shower & fresh pjs/nightie
  • Take your time, recovery can be tough so go easy, try walking around in the halls by day 3, I had awful spasms in my neck this was due to trapped air that had traveled up during surgery, tell the nurse as they can give more pain relief for it.
  • Take all the help when you get home as movement will still be slow, let hubby mind you, set yourself up with a feeding station in comfy chair & coffee table! I set up changing stations at different points in the house so once I came downstairs in the morning I didn’t have to go back up as it can be tough initially.
  • I got the bellyband & found it great for support after about 2 weeks once scar had healed a bit, this helped support my back also.
  • Get out for walks even short one down the street in first week as it will help you mentally, it’s a long 4 or 6 week stint without driving so little walks locally are a great lifesaver!
  • Keep taking pain relief to get ahead of the pain as it can be quite sore if you let forget to take it!
  • Wear leggings for first few weeks, I put on my maternity jeans in week 2 this time around & I got an infection in my wound even though I was killed washing it & doing everything right, stick to soft fabrics!
  • Soak up all the lovely cuddles they grow so fast!!!

Best of luck & most importantly enjoy the magical day of meeting your new baba

A ✨

The Buggy Addict!!

When I was pregnant with my first little guy I absolutely OBSESSED about getting the right buggy.  I wanted it all… One for walking, shopping, easy to put together, small, tidy, light weight, could turn into a double down the road, stylish, you name it, I wanted it!! I soon realised after reading multiple reviews there was no such buggy on the market.  What I needed to do was find one that ticked as many of my boxes as possible which leads me to my first buggy purchase… (it spiralled from there!!)

The Babystyle Egg

I loved everything about this buggy. It looked good (number 1!!!!), was neat and tidy, easy to collapse, handled very well and could turn into a tandem if needed.  The Egg belongs to the luxury buggy market and to be fair I think Babystyle have managed to get a lot of things right with this buggy.

I bought a package which came with the pram (0-6 months), the stroller seat (6 months+), the adapters for the car seat, the rain cover and the footmuff.

2 years on and I still love the Egg.  That said we’ve had our ups and downs.  The handle broke 3 times, which was an absolute pain as I couldn’t collapse the chasis so if I had a few passengers I would not have gotten it into my car.  The nursery store I purchased it from had closed down so I ended up going back to Babystyle directly.  They arranged with a repair shop to have it fixed.  On the third occasion they realised that there was unusual damage to the internal barrel of the handle (possibly incurred during shipping originally) which meant the problem kept reoccurring.  To be fair since they identified and fixed the source of the problem it hasn’t happened since.  It was fixed as good as new, however given that I had to be without my buggy for a week on each occasion and the face it kept happening I had thought Babystyle would just replace the chassis.  I know other Egg owners and nothing like this has happened theirs so I think I was just unfortunate.  Given this trouble it didn’t turn me off the actual buggy.

What I love

The egg is really neat, I can get into very tight spaces and it manoeuvres so well making shopping an absolute pleasure.

Most of the fabric zips off which makes washing it easy.  There is a lovely big canopy over the pram attachment. The basket is small but I found it sufficient. It collapses so easy and is easy to transport as it doesn’t take up huge amount of space.

Both the pram and seat are very comfy, our first little guy was always happy out in either.  I have a footmuff on the seat and he was snug as a bug when he fitted into it (he has since outgrown the muff).

I also have the two adapters to pop the car seat onto the chassis. I find this very handy when you just want to pop in somewhere quickly. The adapters are slightly awkward but once you get the hang of them they are grand. The same set were suitable for both my Maxi Cosi seat (I had on baby number 1) and the BeSafe seat (I have for baby number 2).

Using the egg as a tandem

One of my reasons for purchasing the egg was the ability to turn it into a double if we had a second child.  Now we have I’ve only used it a handful of times for a couple of reasons.  The frame is narrow so there is a lot of weight concentrated in the centre to push forward.  Also one child is under the other (which is fine when one is a baby and doesn’t care but I imagine this could lead to problems if they both want to see out! And finally there is a little putting together when you have to take off the pram, the seat, the adapters and collapse the frame (in addition to loading 2 children into the car!!!!!).  I won’t be purchasing the second seat (I had intended to) because of all of the above but what I might do is get a buggy board and let the toddler stand on the back.

What could be better

The umbrella sunshade is a little flimsy, we didn’t get much use out of it but equally the really sunny weather is short lived!

The wheels are small and made of plastic which is great as you don’t incur punctures.  However living on a country road I always felt it was too rocky and que my next buggy purchase… The Bob!

Overall

I would have no hesitation in recommending the egg as a run about, so neat and handles really well in tight spaces.  I would hesitate in recommending it as a tadem.  I have no regrets in the choice of luxury buggy I made, I love it overall but certainly it has a little room for improvement.

The Bob Revolution

The second buggy I purchased was the Bob Revolution.  It’s a three wheel off roader and jogging buggy.

What I love

The suspension meant my little one was so comfy on our bumpy country roads making walking a pleasure.  It just glides along with minimum effort pushing it and is easy to jog with.  It also comes with a rain cover which protects the little one in the case of an unexpected shower!! While it is bulky when collapsed it does collapse as one piece.

What could be better

The wheels are air which makes for much smoother journeys, however air tyres also lead to a lot of punctures!!!!  I replaced the tyres with a thicker tyre from Halfords, this reduced my punctures significantly.

It doesn’t automatically come with a bar across the front which I think should be standard, it would help protect the little one if the buggy did capsize.

It’s quite bulky when up and even when collapsed which makes getting around trickier and also fills a lot of space in the car.  It’s fantastic off road but not really a buggy for around the shops!

The actual seat part is very standard so I pimped it with a nice cosy blanket!

Overall

I really like the Bob and would highly recommend for jogging and off roading or even if you’re like me and walk a lot on country roads.  It’s not really necessary if you’re only going to use it for taking out and about on smooth surfaces.  Note it is only suitable from 6months+ as the seat does not go completely flat.

City Mini GT Double

Given the Egg buggy wasn’t ideal as a tandem and the double Bob isn’t suitable until 6 months I went back to the drawing board and read more reviews.  I came across the City Mini GT Twin and was lucky to find a reasonably priced second hand one on Adverts.  It was practically new and in great condition.  This has been my ‘go to’ buggy for the last 4 months since baby Jack was born.

What I love

The little ones are side by side and can both see out.  The canopies are separate so you have flexibility to pull down either one.  Also the canopy extends down a reasonable amount over the child and have two windows for looking in from behind.  The seat reclines fully so it’s suitable from birth.  The basket underneath is sufficient.  It’s bulky but I imagine neat on the double buggy scale.  It collapses as one piece so there isn’t a million parts to load into the car!

It’s narrow enough to fit through a standard doorway which is a big bonus and I love a neat and tidy buggy so this is a big plus in my book!

The tyres are rubber so no risk of punctures and also it’s also smoother on rougher surfaces

What could be better

The folding mechanism is underneath the blankets (I like adding buggy blankets for comfort).  It’s tricky getting at the part you pull with the blanket in place.  When folded the blanket is on the outside making it easy to get dirty!  While the buggy folds as one piece (which I think is great as you don’t have multiple parts to load into the car) there is slight knack to collapsing it.  The two handles have to be pulled straight up, if you pull them towards you it won’t collapse.  It’s also on the heavy side for loading but not unliftable (might get in some extra arm exercise!!)

Overall

For two children this is ideal, I would highly recommend this buggy without hesitation! Its neat for getting about the shops and doesn’t perform too badly on my country road for a walk!

Double Bob

So I loved my single Bob so much I wanted the double version so I could bring both kids out off roading! All I know about this buggy is that it got some great reviews.  I have it stored in the garage at the mo as similar to the single Bob it’s not suitable until baby is 6months and Jack is only 4 months! Review to follow!

Buggy addict Summary

I realise I may seem a little mad with 4 buggies for 2 little ones.  I never intended on buying more than one but as my needs changed I was adjusting as I went and it spiralled a little!! I haven’t sold any off yet as I can totally justify each one at the moment. I bought them all through either Done deal or Adverts.ie (the Egg was new but the nursery had it on Donedeal to sell it off, the others are all second hand).  I am lucky to have the space to store them and totally plan to flip them again when I’m done!

Here is my logic for each

  • The Egg is my ‘go to’ buggy for day trips and out and about to the shops or restaurants particularly if for the days I only have one little one with me!
  • The Bob is my walking buggy for the country roads I live on! This was ideal when I had only one little one. I’m keeping it for the days I only have one with me
  • The City Mini Double GT is really my top buggy if you have two children. It’s ticking the majority of boxes for me and is definitely the one we use most days since having our second baby.  For two little ones this is the one I would recommend hands down.  I could sell the other three in the morning and the CityMini Double GT would be more than sufficient.
  • The Double Bob is in storage until baby reaches 6 months, I hope to use this to get back into a little jogging!

The way I see it is having the right equipment makes minding the little ones so much easier.  Having the right buggy makes everyday getting out and about easier so it is a consideration but don’t get too worried, it’s easy to sell on if the buggy isn’t doing what you need it to do.

Happy Buggy Shopping,

Love T x

April’s Look Fantastic Beauty Box review

Baby present with a twist, my sister @rafferty_katie was trying to think of a unique baby gift for me and I think she outdid herself, she subscribed me to #lfbeautybox for the year – a gift for mammy – Happy mammy equals happy baby 💙 her thinking was also a monthly review of products for our page, I had so much fun trying out the April box 😍Here are my verdicts:

#lfbeautybox I just love it💕, it was delivered by courier, is fabulously packaged and feels so luxurious to unwrap, also love the booklet that comes with the box. It gives a full run down on each product included detailing how to use the product and some tips. It also gives recipes to make a number of masks and products yourself

The products:

@purcosmetics #fullychargedmascara I liked this mascara, I felt it added length (but not a lot of volume) and it lasted all day, I hadn’t come across the brand before, I would defo buy it but would use it only for a daytime look

@glamglow #supermudclearingtreatment this cracked me up, literally! It came out in a gray Clay like substance, after I awkwardly broke the seal of the tube it exploded across the room, I then put it on my face and it completely dried on my skin making laughing/talking impossible!! I had to soak it to remove it from my face, I found my skin tight after using it, I didn’t have any spots to hard to tell if it cleared the skin as promised!

@emmahardieskincare #moringacleansingbalm this smelled gorgeous and was really silky on my face, really nice product to use but it has to be washed off so it may not be everyone

@nuxeireland #cremefraichedebeaute daily face moisturiser I think this was my favourite product this month, made my skin really hydrated, definitely going to purchase

@dr.botanicals #veganbergamontandpoppyseedsoap this took me back in time as it’s a soap, I can’t remember the last bar of soap I used!! Smelled really nice and a nice product for the shower, the poppy seeds are actually quite abrasive so I imagine give good exfoliating results, I enjoyed this product as it smelled good, left my skin feeling good and was quite different to what I normally use

@nipandfab #glycolicfixdailycleansingpads these are refreshing however they are tiny, also I wouldn’t buy again simply as they recommend to use them throughout the day but on cleansed skin, as I wear makeup everyday it doesn’t work well with this type of product

Safe to say I am excited to see what next month brings,

Roll on May!!

Love T x

The Hospital Bag

On the countdown to the arrival of your little baby the hospital bag becomes a big topic and of course an important element as you want to make sure you have what you need for those precious first few days of your little ones life.  As many things as you can have organised will naturally help!

On my first pregnancy I read lots of other people’s lists online and in magazines and compiled what I thought I’d need.  Luckily I had kept a list and packed pretty much the same this time.  As I’m only home a few days I thought it was a good time to write this post comparing what I packed versus what I used.

My strategy on both stays was to have three bags:

  1. The Labour Ward Bag
  2. The General Hospital Bag
  3. The Going Home Bag

img_7017.jpg

As I went through the few days stay I repurpose the original bags, so after the baby’s birth the labour ward bag becomes my bag, the general hospital bag becomes the baby’s bag and the going home bag becomes the laundry bag!!

Bag 1: The Labour Ward Bag

img_7018.jpg

What I used (and couldn’t of done without!):

  • Sports bottle for water (so much easier then trying to sip water from a glass)
  • EOS lip balm (my lips were so dry, this really helped)
  • Hair bobble to tie back my hair
  • Fresh underwear for after
  • Nappy for the baby
  • Night dress (they gave me a hospital gown as I got an epidural and they needed to access my back easily, I put a night dress on after)
  • A magazine (this was handy before the labour ward, I was induced so I spent quite a few hours waiting for anything to happen!)

Extra items I packed (I didn’t use any of these this time but some are nice to haves!):

  • Outfit for a boy (Babygro, vest, nappy), Outfit for a girl (Babygro, vest, nappy): I didn’t need these as you don’t dress the baby until you are back in your room
  • Ankle socks
  • 3 pairs of underwear
  • Hand towel
  • Big towel (handy for a shower, I got the epidural early so I couldn’t walk around but others may have more time)
  • 2 night dresses: if you don’t have an epidural, therefore you may not be gowned so it’s nice to have a second night dress to put on after the birth
  • Maternity pads (they also have these in the labour room
  • Packet of tissues
  • Hair bobbins and pens
  • Breast pads
  • Hair brush
  • Note book and pen (really… no time or interest in writing anything!!!)
  • Sucky sweets
  • Toiletry bag (tooth brush, tooth paste, deodorant, facewash) I got the epidural earlier this time so I wasn’t able use the bathroom to freshen up but the last time I definitely brushed my teeth and washed my face to freshen up)
  • Slippers (didn’t need them in the Labour Ward bag but I did use them on the ward after, or flip flops could be handy too for going to the bathroom)

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Bag 2: The General Hospital Bag

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For me:

What I used (and couldn’t of done without!):

Within the general bag I pack 3 toiletry bags (this sounds like OCD but having everything in it’s own bag or compartment makes it so easy to just grab what you need and it stops you having to route around):

  1. Shower bag
    1. Shampoo
    2. Conditioner
    3. Shower gel/bodywash
    4. Body moisturiser
    5. Facecloth
    6. Deodorant
    7. Hair brush
    8. Hair bobbles and pens
  2. Toiletry bag
    1. Tooth brush
    2. Tooth paste
    3. Facewash / mini cleanser/toner, cotton wool and face moisturiser
    4. Spare pads (these are handy to have in the bathroom or are discreet to take this small bag to the bathroom with you when you have visitors)
    5. Arnica tablets – very handy to start taking for bruising
  • Cosmetic bag – I am a big believer that if you look good you’ll feel good, so at the risk of sounding vein I brought a little makeup bag with me and applied it each day after my shower J
    1. Foundation
    2. Powder/blush
    3. Mini eyeshadow palette
    4. Mascara
    5. Make up brushes
    6. Lipgloss
  • Socks x 2
  • Underwear x 5
  • Big towel
  • Small towel
  • PJs x 1
  • Packet of Maternity pads
  • Large cotton wool pads – extremely useful for dampening and cleaning stitches if you have stitches

Extra items I packed (I didn’t use any of these this time but some are nice to haves!):

  • More socks
  • Extra under wear – I only stayed 24 hours after having baby so I didn’t go through many socks and underwear, this will depend on how long you stay so it’s nice to have plenty packed rather than not enough!
  • Spare PJs
  • Dioralyte: I drank so much water I wasn’t dehydrated but thought in case I was these would be handy
  • Solpadeine: The midwives give you all the tablets you need for pain relief before and after so you won’t need extra

For baby:

  • 7 x Ikea/ freezer zip bags each packed with one Babygro, one vest, one nappy, one bib (I used 4 packs, again this will depend on how long you are in hospital, I would also increase to 2 bibs per pack, my little guy got a lot of mucous up so we went through a lot of bibs! I also only had one new born outfit and the rest were up to 1 month or small 0-3 month Babygro’s as I knew I was in for a big baby!!) (the ikea bags/freezer zip bags are useful to put in the dirty items as you use them)

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  • Cellular blanket
  • Burping cloths x 4
  • Extra bibs x 4
  • Hats x 4
  • Packet of nappies
  • Water wipes
  • Sudars

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For toddler:

  • Present from the baby

For the nurses:

  • 2 boxes of chocolates and 2 thank you cards, I gave one to the labour ward midwives and one to the midwives on the ward as they do such a wonderful job

What I didn’t have but would have been nice:

  • An extra towel for the floor for coming out of the shower
  • Leggings / t-shirt to change into from PJs for a change during the day
  • More bibs and more cloths – I had spare at home and hubby had to bring them in!

Bag 3: The Going Home Bag

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  • An outfit that fitted you at 26 weeks pregnancy, that is apparently the size of the bump after delivery)
    • Jeans, vest top, top, socks, shoes, underwear, maternity pad

As I mentioned I moved the purpose of these bags after the labour ward.  I used The Labour Ward Bag for all of my stuff and then the General Hospital bag for all of baby’s things.  This is useful again just for easy access of what you need.  I left the going home bag in the car and hubby brought it in when I needed it.  Once I took my going home clothes out of the small bag I repurposed this bag and used it for the laundry.

One last bag that’s useful is a bag for himself! Hubby packed an overnight bag and ended up in the hotel next door while he was patiently waiting to be needed!!!

I hope you find this list helpful and happy packing!!

Love T xx

Dyson Hairdryer review

The #dysonhairdryer …

I took the plunge and invested in the dyson the Christmas before last, before that I wasn’t a hairdryer fan, infact I never used one as my hair is so thick and long I always ran out of patience trying to dry my hair. After months of lusting I clubbed a few Christmas gifts together with a gift card from work and invested…

#myopinion – Honestly now I couldn’t do without it, I find it super quick to blast dry my hair after a shower, it gives it the soft salon feeling and keeps my frizz calm!!

I’ve gone from never drying my hair to using this a couple of times a week which I think says enough! It comes with multiple attachments but the one in the pic I tend to stick with out of habit! It has 3 heat settings and 3 speed settings, if you use it regularly I would suggest turning down the heat a little, while they claim it doesn’t damage your hair I have heard a few say they find it a little drying on the hair

The challenge I think is the price point, it is quite high and definitely an investment piece, I’m sure it will stand the test of time but the initial cost is considerable. I’ve yet to see it reduced/on sale anywhere, the only place I see value is purchasing at Boots during triple point events

Summary

😌drys hair incredibly fast

😌lightweight – easy to hold and handle

😊salon smooth hair without product

😊easy to use

😞pricepoint

😞not as quite as they claim

😞doesn’t come with a hairdresser!!

Verdict: overall definitely a thumbs up 👍🏻 put it on the bucket list

Rating 4 out of 5 (lost one point purely on the high price point)

Love

@justtwocailini xx