Five Things Friday

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1. I’ve been using ecostore baby products for a while now and they’ve been great for my daughter’s sensitive skin. I made the switch after noticing how dry her skin was when using Johnson & Johnson’s baby products, not to mention the rash on her forehead from using their No Tears shampoo. Never again!

2. In my quest to find the perfect nude lippy, I came across this post on Byrdie about what types of nudes suit whom. It confirmed what I knew about myself; my warm-toned skin needs a caramel/beige colour. The last nude I purchased had a pink undertone which I realised didn’t suit me at all. I’ve ended up going with Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Caramel and I love it.

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3. A post on Cupcakes and Cashmere about the 5 Love Languages was really interesting. It makes sense that as people we differ in the ways we express love, and in turn the ways we feel loved. The post includes a link to the test where you can find out what your love language is. Mine happens to be Words of Affirmation; when I am verbally told that I have done a good job or I am loved, it means much more to me than say a gift or a hug. It would be worthwhile to have your partner or even your children take the test too, to see how it is they express and feel love within your relationship. The two of you could be very different!

4. A list of the 7 Books Oprah Couldn’t Live Without, all because they inspire her in her spiritual journey. I am currently reading The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer and it’s been a long time since I’ve found a book that has clicked with me so much. I’m about 7 chapters through and have been having an “ah ha!” moment in every one. It has been helping me to understand my very “busy mind”. I’m planning to write a bit about it when I finish.

5. I have just signed up to Bloglovin and it is such a great idea. It allows you to combine all the blogs you love into one place that is easily accessible. There are so many blogs that I enjoy but I’ve always found it a nuisance to go to all the separate websites, and often forget about some of them in the process. Here, you can combine them into one news feed. It’s a great site for us bloggers too who are looking to promote our content; you can ‘claim your blog’ and add a follow button to your site, allowing another way for people to subscribe to your posts. There’s a handy app too. Check it out!

Happy weekend all!

Courts xox

Mama Life

I was recently thinking about my life pre-motherhood, and having a laugh at how horrified my former self would be at some of the things I do:

- I am terrible at keeping up with new music these days. I feel so behind and out of touch.
– Speaking of music, the last concert I went to was The Wiggles. I was very excited about this.
– I have no idea what new bars / clubs are popular.
– I went to the movies alone to have some time to myself. I loved it.
– In fact, I recently went to a café by myself. I loved that too.
– I often wear the same outfit two days in a row. Usually because it’s already on the floor and easily accessible.
– My circle of close friends has become much smaller. True friends who don’t have kids will still make the effort for you, it’s kind of nice to realise that. Friendships should go beyond drinking and partying.
– I don’t have time to chat on the phone. If I’m not busy with my daughter, the absolute last thing I feel like doing is chatting on the phone.
– I can’t remember the last time I slept in. Even when I try, I just can’t.
– I hardly look in the mirror anymore. Could be a good week before I realise my eyebrows are overdue for some attention.
– My boobs don’t feel sexual to me whatsoever. They are a feeding vessel and that’s about it.
– My beloved handbag has made way for the baby bag. I tried a designer baby bag but ditched it because I didn’t find it practical enough. PRACTICAL ENOUGH.
– Messy bun. 9 times out of 10.
– I wipe baby snot with my sleeve. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

Ahhh mama life. I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Courts xox

Five Things Friday

IMG_6621.JPG1. I’ve just finished reading The Fault In Our Stars (I haven’t seen the movie) and I spent most of the book wondering why I hadn’t collapsed into a sobbing mess like everyone said I would. I did nearly shed a tear towards the end… nearly. But I honestly did not feel any emotional attachment towards Hazel and Gus, and I wonder if that’s because I didn’t find them very believable. I like that John Green wants his teenage characters to be philosophical and intelligent but they don’t speak or interact with each other like any 16 year olds I’ve ever known, and I’ve taught a lot of those. Perhaps I’d be more moved by the film!

2. As a stay-at-home mum I’m always keen for any activity that will keep my daughter entertained during the day. She has been attending Mainly Music now for a couple of weeks and she thoroughly enjoys it. The session is made up of 30 minutes of singing and dancing followed by morning tea. There’s bound to be a session close by to you, there are so many of them. I much prefer taking her to things like this where we can actually enjoy something together, rather than sitting around at a Plunket playgroup for 2 hours. Yawn!

3. Last week we received as part of our wedding favour gifts some beautiful products from Pure Fiji, my favourite being the Guava Body Butter which smells AMAZING. I’m kicking myself for not stocking up at Duty Free in Fiji when we flew out on Sunday. Grrr!!!

4. A post on why sulfate-free shampoo is much better for your hair on Your Stunning Self. I’m convinced!

5. The Baby Show starts today at ASB Showgrounds, so I’m hoping to get down there at some stage this weekend and have a nosy!

Have a great weekend!

Courts xox

Tips for Holidaying Mamas

I always used to think it was strange for mothers to be so desperate for time to themselves, only to constantly talk about missing their children the moment they are gone.

Funnily enough, I have just returned from 5 days in Fiji and I missed Tilly terribly the entire time. 5 days… not even a week and that was long enough away from my daughter for me!

I saw her in the face of every child I came across. I heard her in every laugh and every tantrum. I thought of her whenever I saw a toy or an activity she’d enjoy. I scrolled through my camera to stare at her photos and watch the same video of her over and over. When I had internet access, all I was interested in was seeing what she had been doing and if she was ok.

Needless to say I cried the moment I saw her at the airport.

Even though I literally felt like a piece of my soul was missing without her, it was great to get away. Us mamas give so much of ourselves to our children; we deserve a bit of time out and a chance to be selfish for once! It’s important too for couples to remember they had a relationship before they became parents, and that relationship needs to be nurtured.

Some tips for mamas who are off on holiday and leaving their bubbas for the first time (from my experience):

- You’ll feel much better knowing your babysitter is prepared. Tell them absolutely everything from their bath routine, to where their socks are, to what they like to eat for breakfast.

- Say goodbye if you can. I wish we had the opportunity to do this but we had to leave at 6am while Tilly was still asleep. She’s too young to understand what was going on and I feel it would’ve helped for her to see us leave, rather than wake up and wonder where we’d gone. That morning was a bit rough apparently.

- It’s inevitable your little one is going to miss you. Make sure your babysitter spares you the details until you return. The last thing you want to hear when you’re trying to relax and missing your baby already is that they found a photo of you and were inconsolable for an hour. Unless it’s absolutely necessary, you do not need to be told things like this. It will only upset you and there will be nothing you can do about it.

- Try avoid going on your phone too much to see how they are. It’s tempting but it’s an easy way to stop yourself from enjoying your trip. I could only get wi-fi reception in our resort lobby and while this annoyed me at first, it was probably for the best.

- Leave bub with someone you trust 100%. Not someone you kind of trust or mostly trust, but trust with absolutely everything. My daughter is very close to my mum, so I knew they would be ok. I trusted my mum to be calm and confident if everything turned to custard.

- Be prepared for bub to be shy when you return. It took a little while for Tilly to register who we were and what on earth was happening. Don’t take it to heart! It’s very normal. She was super clingy once she clicked.

If you get a chance to have a holiday, take it. You’ll feel anxious and sad at the thought of leaving your child, but chances are you’ll miss them more than they’ll miss you, and you deserve a break!!

Courts xox

Five Things Friday… Island Time

IMG_6568.JPGBula! Having been in beautiful Fiji for the past 5 days, I’m running on island time. Hey, why not do Five Things Friday on a Monday?!

1. Fiji is an amazing place. The weather is hot, the water is clear and the scenery is gorgeous. But what will stick in my mind even more than this is the beauty of the people. Never have I encountered so much genuine warmth and joy.

I was saddened to discover the staff at our resort are on a wage of $3 an hour; serving us meals that cost more than they earn in a day. Resorts like this are making a fortune, and that money sure isn’t going to the local workers! There really is a lot of poverty outside of these beautiful resorts in Fiji, and that was definitely a reality check for me.

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2. Our trip to Fiji was not just a relaxing holiday but also for the purpose of attending a wedding. If I learnt anything about destination weddings from this experience it would be to choose the location very carefully. It doesn’t matter how organised you are if things aren’t done the way you asked when you arrive!! The poor bride and groom managed quite a few mishaps very gracefully, but what a beautiful day it turned out to be.

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3. Travelling overseas while pregnant is not always easy. I found the flight, the long / bumpy road trips and the heat quite overwhelming at times. It definitely helped to be organised, well-hydrated, and to take every chance possible to relax. Mocktails were my friend!

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4. Moving on from Fiji… I’m so excited to try these recipes from A Healthy Mum: 10 breakfasts in 10 minutes. For now it’s available when you sign up to the site’s mailing list. It’s a great blog so totally worth it.

5. We are always feeling guilty for something as mothers; spending too much time on our phones is just one of those things. What a refreshing article this was: Dear Mom on the iPhone, You’re Doing Fine

Enjoy your week!

Courts xox

“You have as many hours in a day as Beyoncé”

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This quote irritates me beyond belief.

It is not because I don’t like Beyoncé because I do. I have been a fan since her Destiny’s Child days. She is beautiful, super talented and I had an amazing time at her Mrs Carter Auckland show last year. She clearly works extremely hard and fully deserves all her success!

What this quote does however, is fail to acknowledge all the privileges that have come with her success. Privileges that as a mother, I could only dream of!

Blue Ivy reportedly has six nannies!! SIX NANNIES!! I know you can’t believe everything you read but I’m sure with their lavish lifestyle this couldn’t be too far from the truth. I can only imagine what I’d have the time and freedom to do if I had six nannies.

And let’s not forget the personal chefs, trainers, assistants, stylists, cleaners, chauffeurs, private jets and millions of dollars to spare.

Things I’m sure Beyoncé never thinks:

Dammit, I didn’t get a chance to clean the bathroom again today.
Can I not eat in peace?!
Can I not pee in peace?!
Can I not shower in peace?!
Blue won’t stop crying. No time to put my makeup on, again.
No babysitter. Guess I’ll have to cancel that night out I haven’t had in months.
Argh, when was the last time I shaved my legs?!
Baby is finally asleep! Better hang out the washing, cook dinner and do the dishes.
I’m so sick with the flu, it’s going to be a struggle looking after Blue today!
Blue better not do a poo while we are out. I forgot to bring an extra nappy!
Oh no, Blue is sick. Better use a few days’ sick leave to stay home with her!

Feel free to add to the list!

I’m sure Beyoncé is a great mother. I’m sure there are days when she feels her work means she has to sacrifice time she would prefer to spend with her daughter. But she is not some sort of super mum that we should all aspire to be and we certainly shouldn’t be feeling inadequate for falling short. To say that you are capable of juggling motherhood, your personal life, health / exercise regime and a career the way Beyoncé can is very unrealistic.

In order to pursue our own goals, we have to work around the REAL WORLD.

So please don’t tell me that I have “as many hours in a day as Beyoncé”, or any other celebrity mum for that matter. In no way is it logical to compare myself as a mother to a person who has wealth, influence and power beyond what I could ever expect to attain.

Courts xox

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Five Things Friday

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1. With people going crazy for John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars I decided to read his first novel, Looking for Alaska. It’s written from the perspective of teenager Miles Halter; a coming of age story that explores themes of life and death, love and friendship, self-discovery, coming to terms with the unknown and rising above tragedy. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading The Fault in Our Stars next.

2. Speaking of books, I’ve recently rediscovered The Book Depository. The range of books you can search through is huge, shipping is free worldwide and it is much cheaper than buying a book from any store around here!

3. Coyo is just so delicious! It is a dairy free alternative to yoghurt and ice cream, and made from coconut milk. We buy ours from the local organic shop and I love it. It’s quite rich so you wouldn’t eat huge amounts in one go like normal yoghurt or ice cream. It’s seriously heaven in your mouth.

4. Continuing along the lines of yummy coconut, Tilly seems to have inherited my sensitive skin and one thing I like using on her and in her bath is coconut oil. The uses for both mum and bub are endless: 20 ways to use coconut oil on infants and children

5. I really enjoyed this article about the realities of juggling a career and motherhood: What if the best years of your life, just aren’t?

Courts xox