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Asaba has been in our lives for almost a whole month now and, over the course of this month, I am pretty sure I have experienced every emotion known to man. I have felt such intense love for both my children but also intense guilt that I am not dividing my time equally between them. I have cried in front of slightly concerned looking midwives, I have been so giddy with joy that I thought my heart could explode, and I have sat up in the dead of night looking at pictures of my babies together and feeling a contentment that I can't put into words.

The post-partum period is intense. Emotionally but also physically. The uterine contractions were so much more painful second time around and my back is still sore to date (from what, I am not entirely sure). And, if we are being mega honest here, I still find myself mentally noting every public toilet I see when I am out because my bladder really isn't what it used to be. The recovery period was longer than with Ava - and that is before we even start to discuss breastfeeding.

This time around, I was adamant that I wanted to breastfeed after it was so hit and miss the first time around. I really wanted that experience of nursing a child. But, man, is it hard work. Thankfully, I was able to get some help from the breastfeeding expert on the neonatal ward we were on (despite having been discharged) because Asaba basically chewed my nipples straight off. After a month, I think we're getting the hang of things though. Although I doubt my nipples will ever recover (RIP).


This time is so blessed and I feel so grateful for everyday with my two children but, at the same time, it has been a lot. There have been days where Isaac has been at work and I have felt so stressed and overwhelmed. There have been days when Ava has been really playing up for attention and I have gotten angry rather than understanding her needs. As wonderful as this time is, it is also hard. Despite what Instagram wants us to believe, parenting isn't always picture perfect strolls through the park jumping in puddles followed by hot chocolate stops at the local café. Some days you will stay indoors because it is just easier than trying to get everyone dressed and ready. Some days you will be shouty mum and hate yourself for it. Some days you will be so busy that you realise by 10pm that you have only had two bites of a half-eaten sandwich all day. That is the reality of parenting more than one child (well, at least it is my reality) and I think it is important that we talk about this otherwise new mums will go around thinking they are failures for not doing Pinterest-worthy crafts everyday with their toddler whilst a very well-behaved newborn sleeps swaddled in a moses basket nearby.

Our first month has been a whirlwind. It has been hard and exhausting but also filled with bursts of joy and boundless love. It has been overwhelming but, looking back, I wouldn't change any of it (ok, maybe the nipple issue).


You may also enjoy:
Asaba's Birth Story
How I Found Out I Was Pregnant With Asaba
I'm Not A Cool Mum And That's OK
Reclaiming My Identity Post-Partum
Things I Wish I'd Been Told About The Newborn Stage

An Honest Conversation About Being A Mum Of Two


Asaba has been in our lives for almost a whole month now and, over the course of this month, I am pretty sure I have experienced every emotion known to man. I have felt such intense love for both my children but also intense guilt that I am not dividing my time equally between them. I have cried in front of slightly concerned looking midwives, I have been so giddy with joy that I thought my heart could explode, and I have sat up in the dead of night looking at pictures of my babies together and feeling a contentment that I can't put into words.

The post-partum period is intense. Emotionally but also physically. The uterine contractions were so much more painful second time around and my back is still sore to date (from what, I am not entirely sure). And, if we are being mega honest here, I still find myself mentally noting every public toilet I see when I am out because my bladder really isn't what it used to be. The recovery period was longer than with Ava - and that is before we even start to discuss breastfeeding.

This time around, I was adamant that I wanted to breastfeed after it was so hit and miss the first time around. I really wanted that experience of nursing a child. But, man, is it hard work. Thankfully, I was able to get some help from the breastfeeding expert on the neonatal ward we were on (despite having been discharged) because Asaba basically chewed my nipples straight off. After a month, I think we're getting the hang of things though. Although I doubt my nipples will ever recover (RIP).


This time is so blessed and I feel so grateful for everyday with my two children but, at the same time, it has been a lot. There have been days where Isaac has been at work and I have felt so stressed and overwhelmed. There have been days when Ava has been really playing up for attention and I have gotten angry rather than understanding her needs. As wonderful as this time is, it is also hard. Despite what Instagram wants us to believe, parenting isn't always picture perfect strolls through the park jumping in puddles followed by hot chocolate stops at the local café. Some days you will stay indoors because it is just easier than trying to get everyone dressed and ready. Some days you will be shouty mum and hate yourself for it. Some days you will be so busy that you realise by 10pm that you have only had two bites of a half-eaten sandwich all day. That is the reality of parenting more than one child (well, at least it is my reality) and I think it is important that we talk about this otherwise new mums will go around thinking they are failures for not doing Pinterest-worthy crafts everyday with their toddler whilst a very well-behaved newborn sleeps swaddled in a moses basket nearby.

Our first month has been a whirlwind. It has been hard and exhausting but also filled with bursts of joy and boundless love. It has been overwhelming but, looking back, I wouldn't change any of it (ok, maybe the nipple issue).


You may also enjoy:
Asaba's Birth Story
How I Found Out I Was Pregnant With Asaba
I'm Not A Cool Mum And That's OK
Reclaiming My Identity Post-Partum
Things I Wish I'd Been Told About The Newborn Stage
I was gifted the Sleepyhead Deluxe+ in exchange for a review and social media coverage but all opinions (and cute babies) are my own.

I am currently sat on the sofa whilst Asaba naps in his Sleepyhead on the coffee table. He has a mug of hot chocolate - which is actually still hot (what a novelty!) - sat beside him. I am in absolute mum heaven right now. So, what better time to dust the cobwebs off my laptop and sit down to write a little review of our new favourite baby gadget.


We have been using our Sleepyhead Deluxe+ pod for just over two weeks now and it has honestly been a godsend. Asaba has been co-sleeping throughout the night in his Sleepyhead but we also use it for his naps and to keep him safely contained somewhere whilst I do things like cooking and showering.

Asaba took to it instantly. I think the design creates the feeling of being a bit closed in and supported (like being held) whilst still being able to see what is going on around him - and being able to see me throughout the night - which makes him feel really comfortable. He actually slept better that first night home than any of the previous nights in the cot in the hospital!

Naturally, all babies are different and their sleep habits are different too. Ava would only co-sleep in my arms whereas I think Asaba is a little less clingy and would probably take to just sleeping in a cot or a moses basket if we had taken that route. So, I can't really say that it is the Sleepyhead that is wholly to thank for Asaba's 'not too bad for a newborn' sleep habits but I can say that the Sleepyhead has made a wealth of difference on the convenience front.

For me, the best thing about the Sleepyhead is that I can co-sleep without worrying that I could accidentally roll onto him or that he will burrow down under the covers. And, as I am solely breastfeeding, it is so much easier just to grab him out of the Sleepyhead next to me rather than having to get up in the night to get him from a cot.


Also on the note of safety, Sleepyheads are now being used in four different NHS hospitals across the UK. The hospitals have been quoted on saying that the Sleepyheads 'really help to calm and settle' the babies and small children that use them and that 'parents have been wowed by their comforting powers'. Several hospitals have also partnered with the Sleepyhead of Sweden brand to create special Sleepyhead pods that can be used in MRI and CT scanners to make the experience a little more comfortable for the children needing to undergo these procedures.

In terms of washing it, the cover is super easy to remove and wash (which is lucky because you know nothing stays clean for long with a newborn). It is machine washable so that saves a lot of faffing around trying to wash on special settings or taking to the dry cleaner and it is easy to put back on too.

All in all, I am an absolute Sleepyhead convert. The fact that it allows me to safely co-sleep makes night feeds so much easier and just gives me that peace of mind that he isn't able roll anywhere or nestle down under the covers. It has made the newborn stage so much easier - honestly, I don't think I could do without it now.

Have you tried the Sleepyhead? What did you think?

Featured:
Sleepyhead Deluxe+ in print Cyclo (gifted)

Sleepyhead Deluxe+ Pod: Is It Worth Investing In?

I was gifted the Sleepyhead Deluxe+ in exchange for a review and social media coverage but all opinions (and cute babies) are my own.

I am currently sat on the sofa whilst Asaba naps in his Sleepyhead on the coffee table. He has a mug of hot chocolate - which is actually still hot (what a novelty!) - sat beside him. I am in absolute mum heaven right now. So, what better time to dust the cobwebs off my laptop and sit down to write a little review of our new favourite baby gadget.


We have been using our Sleepyhead Deluxe+ pod for just over two weeks now and it has honestly been a godsend. Asaba has been co-sleeping throughout the night in his Sleepyhead but we also use it for his naps and to keep him safely contained somewhere whilst I do things like cooking and showering.

Asaba took to it instantly. I think the design creates the feeling of being a bit closed in and supported (like being held) whilst still being able to see what is going on around him - and being able to see me throughout the night - which makes him feel really comfortable. He actually slept better that first night home than any of the previous nights in the cot in the hospital!

Naturally, all babies are different and their sleep habits are different too. Ava would only co-sleep in my arms whereas I think Asaba is a little less clingy and would probably take to just sleeping in a cot or a moses basket if we had taken that route. So, I can't really say that it is the Sleepyhead that is wholly to thank for Asaba's 'not too bad for a newborn' sleep habits but I can say that the Sleepyhead has made a wealth of difference on the convenience front.

For me, the best thing about the Sleepyhead is that I can co-sleep without worrying that I could accidentally roll onto him or that he will burrow down under the covers. And, as I am solely breastfeeding, it is so much easier just to grab him out of the Sleepyhead next to me rather than having to get up in the night to get him from a cot.


Also on the note of safety, Sleepyheads are now being used in four different NHS hospitals across the UK. The hospitals have been quoted on saying that the Sleepyheads 'really help to calm and settle' the babies and small children that use them and that 'parents have been wowed by their comforting powers'. Several hospitals have also partnered with the Sleepyhead of Sweden brand to create special Sleepyhead pods that can be used in MRI and CT scanners to make the experience a little more comfortable for the children needing to undergo these procedures.

In terms of washing it, the cover is super easy to remove and wash (which is lucky because you know nothing stays clean for long with a newborn). It is machine washable so that saves a lot of faffing around trying to wash on special settings or taking to the dry cleaner and it is easy to put back on too.

All in all, I am an absolute Sleepyhead convert. The fact that it allows me to safely co-sleep makes night feeds so much easier and just gives me that peace of mind that he isn't able roll anywhere or nestle down under the covers. It has made the newborn stage so much easier - honestly, I don't think I could do without it now.

Have you tried the Sleepyhead? What did you think?

Featured:
Sleepyhead Deluxe+ in print Cyclo (gifted)

A while ago, I wrote a post all about my fears about giving birth a second time after a not-so-straightforward birth with Ava. In all honesty, I was really worried about how this birth would be. Not only did I have the memories of a slightly chaotic, long, and panic-filled labour fresh in my mind but also I'm in a foreign country and. at this point, I was 6 days overdue - one day before I was meant to go in to be induced. But this birth was so perfect. Yes, it hurt but it left me feeling positive and competent in my own abilities. And so grateful to everyone who had been involved.

It all started around 8am. Ava and I had been segregated to a separate room as we were both battling colds and Isaac didn't want to be infected as he didn't want to have to take extra time off work before the baby arrived. On that day, I woke up with what I instantly identified as contractions. It was an ache that spread across my hips and lower back before snaking round my lower belly. They were moderately painful (although I wouldn't have said so at the time!) and coming every 10-15 minutes. So, I picked up the phone and called Isaac from the other room and told him 'the baby is coming today'.


As the morning progressed, so did the contractions and by 11am, they were coming every 5 minutes. So, we got the last few things together and made our way to the hospital. When we arrived, we went up to the labour ward and they gave me a 30 minute CTG to monitor the baby's heartrate and the frequency of contractions. Annoyingly, the contractions started to slow down once we arrived so we were sent to the waiting room to wait to be seen by a nurse for a scan and physical examination. 

A few cups of coffee later, we were called through to the room to be seen by the nurse. By this stage, the contractions had slowed down to every 15 minutes and, after a fairly painful physical examination, I was told that I was 2cm dilated. They said I could either go home and wait until labour starts to progress or stay in as I was meant to come in the following day to be induced anyway. I chose to go home.

And, of course, it was then that the contractions started to pick up again.


Over the next few hours, I ate a lot of toast. I had a bath. And then I lay on the sofa in a towel and cried as the contractions got more intense. I must have been lying there for about an hour powering through each contraction as Isaac was preparing daal and chapatis in the kitchen and Ava was watching Peppa Pig in the other room. They both kept coming in and out. One offering his hand for me to squeeze. The other saying 'awh mimi' and stroking my leg. I knew that we had to get back to the hospital else I would be giving birth on the living room floor but Isaac was still trying to finish cooking. With each contraction, I was growing more and more impatient (read: filled with murderous rage) and started shouting orders at him as he ran around the house trying to locate lids for bottles and other random items. Eventually, we reached the car (but only after I literally stood screaming on the staircase mid-contraction as the neighbour's kid watched me from their front door - awks) and the contractions were so intense that by the time we reached the labour ward at around 6.30pm, I couldn't even speak to the nurse and just thrust my Mutterpass (the German maternity notes book) at Isaac so he could explain. 

We were taken through to the same room we had been in earlier for the CTG and they told me I was 8cm dilated. I then proceeded to beg for drugs in both English and German. I even told Isaac to make sure they gave me drugs. The nurse then offered me an infusion. I didn't know what it was but anything to reduce the pain was good by me. So, she put the drip into my hand and gave me the pain relief. It helped a bit but the contractions were so strong. 

We stayed in that room for probably about 2 hours or even less before I felt like I had to start pushing. Isaac was by my side and Ava was in her pushchair watching Peppa Pig on my phone but they were asked to go behind a screen as the nurse examined me again. I was fully dilated.


She then told Isaac that he should go with Ava to the waiting room as they were going to take me through to a different room to give birth. He tried to protest and the nurse asked me what I wanted to do but, in the end, it was insisted upon that Ava wasn't there during the actual birth. Looking back, I was scared by the prospect of labouring without Isaac with me but it was the right decision not to have Ava in the room as her being there would have distracted me from focusing on just birthing the child and I would have felt uncomfortable knowing that she was seeing all the bleeding and everything.

They brought me a wheelchair and helped me to hobble over to it and, at that moment, my waters broke. It felt like a water balloon popping but inside of me. I was then carted through to the delivery room where I lay on a bed (on my side, grasping a pillow) with the same nurse alongside me.

I remember feeling really scared as we arrived at the delivery room. All of my fears from my first birth came to the surface and, without Isaac there, I was afraid of how I would manage. But the nurse was amazing. She reassured me that she wouldn't leave my side even for a second and that the worst of it was over. She told me everything I needed to hear and really made me feel like I could manage - even by myself.

The contractions were coming faster now but they didn't feel as bad as they did before - maybe because I was focused on pushing. With each contraction, I could feel the baby moving down (something I never felt with Ava as we didn't get to this stage without intervention). We must have been in that room for just ten minutes before another nurse was called. I insisted on remaining on my side so they held one of my legs in the air with each contraction. Soon enough, they said they could see the baby's head. At this very moment, Isaac appeared and explained he had left Ava with another woman in the waiting room for a few minutes whilst he came in to check on me. Little did he know that the baby was actually coming right at that moment. He was with me for ten minutes and, in that time, the baby was born.

After just 45 minutes (at the very most) of pushing, Asaba Lawrence Musinguzi entered the world at 9.15pm weighing 7lb 4oz. He was placed on my chest and, I must admit, I had a bit of a happy cry. Ava was soon brought in to meet her little brother and she seemed to instantly take to him. She kept trying to reach down to cuddle him and saying 'baby!' over and over.

Honestly, it was exactly the birth I would have wanted and I feel like it has dispelled so many of my fears and hang-ups that my first birth left me with. 


Asaba's Birth Story


A while ago, I wrote a post all about my fears about giving birth a second time after a not-so-straightforward birth with Ava. In all honesty, I was really worried about how this birth would be. Not only did I have the memories of a slightly chaotic, long, and panic-filled labour fresh in my mind but also I'm in a foreign country and. at this point, I was 6 days overdue - one day before I was meant to go in to be induced. But this birth was so perfect. Yes, it hurt but it left me feeling positive and competent in my own abilities. And so grateful to everyone who had been involved.

It all started around 8am. Ava and I had been segregated to a separate room as we were both battling colds and Isaac didn't want to be infected as he didn't want to have to take extra time off work before the baby arrived. On that day, I woke up with what I instantly identified as contractions. It was an ache that spread across my hips and lower back before snaking round my lower belly. They were moderately painful (although I wouldn't have said so at the time!) and coming every 10-15 minutes. So, I picked up the phone and called Isaac from the other room and told him 'the baby is coming today'.


As the morning progressed, so did the contractions and by 11am, they were coming every 5 minutes. So, we got the last few things together and made our way to the hospital. When we arrived, we went up to the labour ward and they gave me a 30 minute CTG to monitor the baby's heartrate and the frequency of contractions. Annoyingly, the contractions started to slow down once we arrived so we were sent to the waiting room to wait to be seen by a nurse for a scan and physical examination. 

A few cups of coffee later, we were called through to the room to be seen by the nurse. By this stage, the contractions had slowed down to every 15 minutes and, after a fairly painful physical examination, I was told that I was 2cm dilated. They said I could either go home and wait until labour starts to progress or stay in as I was meant to come in the following day to be induced anyway. I chose to go home.

And, of course, it was then that the contractions started to pick up again.


Over the next few hours, I ate a lot of toast. I had a bath. And then I lay on the sofa in a towel and cried as the contractions got more intense. I must have been lying there for about an hour powering through each contraction as Isaac was preparing daal and chapatis in the kitchen and Ava was watching Peppa Pig in the other room. They both kept coming in and out. One offering his hand for me to squeeze. The other saying 'awh mimi' and stroking my leg. I knew that we had to get back to the hospital else I would be giving birth on the living room floor but Isaac was still trying to finish cooking. With each contraction, I was growing more and more impatient (read: filled with murderous rage) and started shouting orders at him as he ran around the house trying to locate lids for bottles and other random items. Eventually, we reached the car (but only after I literally stood screaming on the staircase mid-contraction as the neighbour's kid watched me from their front door - awks) and the contractions were so intense that by the time we reached the labour ward at around 6.30pm, I couldn't even speak to the nurse and just thrust my Mutterpass (the German maternity notes book) at Isaac so he could explain. 

We were taken through to the same room we had been in earlier for the CTG and they told me I was 8cm dilated. I then proceeded to beg for drugs in both English and German. I even told Isaac to make sure they gave me drugs. The nurse then offered me an infusion. I didn't know what it was but anything to reduce the pain was good by me. So, she put the drip into my hand and gave me the pain relief. It helped a bit but the contractions were so strong. 

We stayed in that room for probably about 2 hours or even less before I felt like I had to start pushing. Isaac was by my side and Ava was in her pushchair watching Peppa Pig on my phone but they were asked to go behind a screen as the nurse examined me again. I was fully dilated.


She then told Isaac that he should go with Ava to the waiting room as they were going to take me through to a different room to give birth. He tried to protest and the nurse asked me what I wanted to do but, in the end, it was insisted upon that Ava wasn't there during the actual birth. Looking back, I was scared by the prospect of labouring without Isaac with me but it was the right decision not to have Ava in the room as her being there would have distracted me from focusing on just birthing the child and I would have felt uncomfortable knowing that she was seeing all the bleeding and everything.

They brought me a wheelchair and helped me to hobble over to it and, at that moment, my waters broke. It felt like a water balloon popping but inside of me. I was then carted through to the delivery room where I lay on a bed (on my side, grasping a pillow) with the same nurse alongside me.

I remember feeling really scared as we arrived at the delivery room. All of my fears from my first birth came to the surface and, without Isaac there, I was afraid of how I would manage. But the nurse was amazing. She reassured me that she wouldn't leave my side even for a second and that the worst of it was over. She told me everything I needed to hear and really made me feel like I could manage - even by myself.

The contractions were coming faster now but they didn't feel as bad as they did before - maybe because I was focused on pushing. With each contraction, I could feel the baby moving down (something I never felt with Ava as we didn't get to this stage without intervention). We must have been in that room for just ten minutes before another nurse was called. I insisted on remaining on my side so they held one of my legs in the air with each contraction. Soon enough, they said they could see the baby's head. At this very moment, Isaac appeared and explained he had left Ava with another woman in the waiting room for a few minutes whilst he came in to check on me. Little did he know that the baby was actually coming right at that moment. He was with me for ten minutes and, in that time, the baby was born.

After just 45 minutes (at the very most) of pushing, Asaba Lawrence Musinguzi entered the world at 9.15pm weighing 7lb 4oz. He was placed on my chest and, I must admit, I had a bit of a happy cry. Ava was soon brought in to meet her little brother and she seemed to instantly take to him. She kept trying to reach down to cuddle him and saying 'baby!' over and over.

Honestly, it was exactly the birth I would have wanted and I feel like it has dispelled so many of my fears and hang-ups that my first birth left me with. 



This is a post I never imagined I would ever be writing. Not a chance. You may even recall that around 32 weeks, I was convinced that I was going into labour (I wrote a whole post about it here). And, even once I had been assured that I wasn't in early labour, I still thought the baby would be early. I didn't think for a second that we would make it to October. Let alone our due date. And certainly not past our due date! And even the gynaecologist that has been examining me since we have been here in Germany was fairly certain that the baby would be early too. Hell, she even told me at my 36 weeks appointment that she doubted I would make it to the next appointment at 38 weeks.

But I am now 4 days overdue and there is no sign that baby is looking to make an entrance into the world any time soon. He seems pretty snug in there. And, to be fair, who can blame him? The amount of chocolate he has been getting lately, I would want to stay put too.

Honestly though, there have been times that I have felt really fed up lately. I feel huge and uncomfortable a lot of the time and I hate having to stay in the house but walking (well, waddling) is even more uncomfortable than the cabin fever that is stalking my every waking hour. My hips are aching. My legs are aching. My back is aching. Basically, everything is aching. And I just miss doing stuff. I am the kinda person who likes to be out and about and ticking things off of my to-do list. I like taking Ava out and seeing her running around rather than plonking her in front of Peppa Pig whilst I lie very still on the bed as she babbles to me about boats and Daddy Pig and dinosaurs. I miss getting dressed into actual clothes and putting on makeup and feeling like me.

I think that is what I am struggling with the most right now. It is not the discomfort of being overdue. Or really any worry about the baby (I am assured he is doing perfectly fine in there). I mean, I am not even too worried about the labour anymore. I am just itching to not be pregnant anymore. I want some kinda normalcy back and to be able to go outside and enjoy stuff again. And, of course, I can't wait to meet him and soak up all that newborn goodness. To sniff his head and put him in cute outfits and watch Ava interact with him. I want him to be here so we can all enjoy him and love him.

So, here's hoping that he won't keep us waiting too much longer and that the next post that goes up after this one will feature his little face.

Shop this look (aff links):
Jumper (similar)
Coat (similar)
Skirt (similar)
Necklace (similar)

You may also enjoy:
Pregnancy Diaries #1-8
How I Found Out I Was Pregnant With Baby #2
Things I Wish I'd Been Told About The Newborn Stage
Transitioning Your Maternity Wardrobe From Summer To Autumn
Reclaiming My Identity Post-Partum
I'm Not A Cool Mum & That's OK

Pregnancy Diaries #9: Overdue


This is a post I never imagined I would ever be writing. Not a chance. You may even recall that around 32 weeks, I was convinced that I was going into labour (I wrote a whole post about it here). And, even once I had been assured that I wasn't in early labour, I still thought the baby would be early. I didn't think for a second that we would make it to October. Let alone our due date. And certainly not past our due date! And even the gynaecologist that has been examining me since we have been here in Germany was fairly certain that the baby would be early too. Hell, she even told me at my 36 weeks appointment that she doubted I would make it to the next appointment at 38 weeks.

But I am now 4 days overdue and there is no sign that baby is looking to make an entrance into the world any time soon. He seems pretty snug in there. And, to be fair, who can blame him? The amount of chocolate he has been getting lately, I would want to stay put too.

Honestly though, there have been times that I have felt really fed up lately. I feel huge and uncomfortable a lot of the time and I hate having to stay in the house but walking (well, waddling) is even more uncomfortable than the cabin fever that is stalking my every waking hour. My hips are aching. My legs are aching. My back is aching. Basically, everything is aching. And I just miss doing stuff. I am the kinda person who likes to be out and about and ticking things off of my to-do list. I like taking Ava out and seeing her running around rather than plonking her in front of Peppa Pig whilst I lie very still on the bed as she babbles to me about boats and Daddy Pig and dinosaurs. I miss getting dressed into actual clothes and putting on makeup and feeling like me.

I think that is what I am struggling with the most right now. It is not the discomfort of being overdue. Or really any worry about the baby (I am assured he is doing perfectly fine in there). I mean, I am not even too worried about the labour anymore. I am just itching to not be pregnant anymore. I want some kinda normalcy back and to be able to go outside and enjoy stuff again. And, of course, I can't wait to meet him and soak up all that newborn goodness. To sniff his head and put him in cute outfits and watch Ava interact with him. I want him to be here so we can all enjoy him and love him.

So, here's hoping that he won't keep us waiting too much longer and that the next post that goes up after this one will feature his little face.

Shop this look (aff links):
Jumper (similar)
Coat (similar)
Skirt (similar)
Necklace (similar)

You may also enjoy:
Pregnancy Diaries #1-8
How I Found Out I Was Pregnant With Baby #2
Things I Wish I'd Been Told About The Newborn Stage
Transitioning Your Maternity Wardrobe From Summer To Autumn
Reclaiming My Identity Post-Partum
I'm Not A Cool Mum & That's OK

I'm broke. Like really broke. What with moving to a new country and a new baby on the way, my bank balance is looking extremely dire. So, naturally, I have been having to make some cut backs wherever I can. I have been buying less coffees (*sob*). I have banned myself from even browsing ASOS. And the German version of Just Eat has been deleted from my phone. What with my coffee, clothes, and takeaway outgoings limited, my expenditure has greatly reduced but there is still one other outgoing that I am yet to come to terms with - and that is blogging.

I don't think people are all that aware of how expensive blogging can actually be. There are so many little chunks of money that go into it and they quickly add up over the course of the year. But I still believe it is possible to run a blog on a budget - at least, that is what I keep telling myself - so I have put together a list of a few things that I have done recently to limit my blog related spending without (hopefully!) compromising on quality or content.

Get creative with what you've got
I recently wrote a post about how I changed up my Instagram and adopted a theme but what I didn't mention was the reason for that: I couldn't afford to continue to create the kinda content I had been making before. I have always loved posting a mixture of lifestyle and fashion on my Instagram and that led to me actively seeking out interesting things to do so that I could post about them. Be it visiting a cool café where they do awesome latte art or travelling to a location specifically to shoot an outfit picture there because I loved the look of the place. It wasn't sustainable anymore. So, I introduced a new theme which allowed me just to take pictures at home. I didn't need a tripod (mine broke) as I could balance the camera on a ladder. I didn't really need new clothes for every post or to be somewhere interesting because the whole point was a minimalist, uncluttered look. Honestly, this theme isn't really what I love - I like for my content to be a reflection of my daily life - but it is ok for now (and makes me a lot happier than just having my account sitting dormant would).

Research if something is worth it before you enter into a subscription
I feel like it is so easy to just fall into the trap of buying a subscription to an editing service or app without really giving it much thought - especially when it is only something like £8 per month. But most apps will offer limited services for free or have a competitor that does it for the fraction of the price. So, before you subscribe, really give the app a go (if possible) and see if it is a good fit for you.

Try to avoid the FOMO pressure
I have written before about how fashion blogging made me buy more clothes than necessary - both because I was influenced by other bloggers and so I could be part of the hype over a certain item of clothing. There is a real FOMO that comes along with blogging - and social media in general, I guess - that influences our spending a lot. So, before you buy, be sure to ask yourself why you want it. Do you actually like it? Is it really your style or did you just see someone you admire wearing it?

Reuse blog props
One thing I used to do a lot was buying blog props - then not even using them! It is so easy to talk yourself into a purchase just because it will look good in a picture or because you worry what people will think if you keep using the same props in multiple pictures. Then I realised that no one was actually paying that much attention anyway. Hit up Tiger, invest in some cute pieces, and work them into your pics year round. It'll save you so much money.

Shop around
For things like buying a domain and a web design, be sure to shop around and find the best deal. You can get a load of designs really cheap on Etsy and your domain shouldn't be costing you the earth either - I think mine is about £24 per year through GoDaddy.

Ask to be paid
If you are at the point with your blog where you are being contacted by brands asking to collaborate then be sure to ask if they have a budget. They might say no - fine - but, if they say yes, then that is cash you can pump back into your blog. Also don't be scared to pitch to brands if you think your blog would be a good fit for them or if you have seen them working with bloggers before. It doesn't hurt to ask and could really help cover any of your blog's outgoings that you would rather not fork out for yourself.

What are your top money saving tips for bloggers?

You may also enjoy:
Is Blogging Superficial?
Are Lightroom Presets Worth It?
My Top Tips For New Bloggers
What My Digital Detox Taught Me
Allowing Your Blog To Grow With You
Learning To Switch Off As A Blogger

Blogging On A Budget: Is It Possible?


I'm broke. Like really broke. What with moving to a new country and a new baby on the way, my bank balance is looking extremely dire. So, naturally, I have been having to make some cut backs wherever I can. I have been buying less coffees (*sob*). I have banned myself from even browsing ASOS. And the German version of Just Eat has been deleted from my phone. What with my coffee, clothes, and takeaway outgoings limited, my expenditure has greatly reduced but there is still one other outgoing that I am yet to come to terms with - and that is blogging.

I don't think people are all that aware of how expensive blogging can actually be. There are so many little chunks of money that go into it and they quickly add up over the course of the year. But I still believe it is possible to run a blog on a budget - at least, that is what I keep telling myself - so I have put together a list of a few things that I have done recently to limit my blog related spending without (hopefully!) compromising on quality or content.

Get creative with what you've got
I recently wrote a post about how I changed up my Instagram and adopted a theme but what I didn't mention was the reason for that: I couldn't afford to continue to create the kinda content I had been making before. I have always loved posting a mixture of lifestyle and fashion on my Instagram and that led to me actively seeking out interesting things to do so that I could post about them. Be it visiting a cool café where they do awesome latte art or travelling to a location specifically to shoot an outfit picture there because I loved the look of the place. It wasn't sustainable anymore. So, I introduced a new theme which allowed me just to take pictures at home. I didn't need a tripod (mine broke) as I could balance the camera on a ladder. I didn't really need new clothes for every post or to be somewhere interesting because the whole point was a minimalist, uncluttered look. Honestly, this theme isn't really what I love - I like for my content to be a reflection of my daily life - but it is ok for now (and makes me a lot happier than just having my account sitting dormant would).

Research if something is worth it before you enter into a subscription
I feel like it is so easy to just fall into the trap of buying a subscription to an editing service or app without really giving it much thought - especially when it is only something like £8 per month. But most apps will offer limited services for free or have a competitor that does it for the fraction of the price. So, before you subscribe, really give the app a go (if possible) and see if it is a good fit for you.

Try to avoid the FOMO pressure
I have written before about how fashion blogging made me buy more clothes than necessary - both because I was influenced by other bloggers and so I could be part of the hype over a certain item of clothing. There is a real FOMO that comes along with blogging - and social media in general, I guess - that influences our spending a lot. So, before you buy, be sure to ask yourself why you want it. Do you actually like it? Is it really your style or did you just see someone you admire wearing it?

Reuse blog props
One thing I used to do a lot was buying blog props - then not even using them! It is so easy to talk yourself into a purchase just because it will look good in a picture or because you worry what people will think if you keep using the same props in multiple pictures. Then I realised that no one was actually paying that much attention anyway. Hit up Tiger, invest in some cute pieces, and work them into your pics year round. It'll save you so much money.

Shop around
For things like buying a domain and a web design, be sure to shop around and find the best deal. You can get a load of designs really cheap on Etsy and your domain shouldn't be costing you the earth either - I think mine is about £24 per year through GoDaddy.

Ask to be paid
If you are at the point with your blog where you are being contacted by brands asking to collaborate then be sure to ask if they have a budget. They might say no - fine - but, if they say yes, then that is cash you can pump back into your blog. Also don't be scared to pitch to brands if you think your blog would be a good fit for them or if you have seen them working with bloggers before. It doesn't hurt to ask and could really help cover any of your blog's outgoings that you would rather not fork out for yourself.

What are your top money saving tips for bloggers?

You may also enjoy:
Is Blogging Superficial?
Are Lightroom Presets Worth It?
My Top Tips For New Bloggers
What My Digital Detox Taught Me
Allowing Your Blog To Grow With You
Learning To Switch Off As A Blogger

Breastfeeding Ava was hard work. It started with a five day post-birth hospital stay as she refused to latch and had to start combination feeding and ended with her slowly gravitating towards the bottle more and more until my supply had all but dried up. I kept it up for three months.

And, looking back, they were an emotional three months. I wanted it to work so badly. I wanted to breastfeed her and create that connection that I thought, at the time, could only come from her relying on me to provide her with what she needed. But the experience I had imagined didn't really live up to reality. I had pictured us reclining back in a nursing chair whilst she snuggled into me and I soaked up those moments but, in reality, there was a lot more bleeding and blocked ducts and hours spent trying to hand pump enough milk into a bottle to satisfy her. By the time she finally got used to breastfeeding, I just couldn't make enough milk. She would feed for almost the whole evening sometimes and then I had to top her up with a bottle because she just hadn't had enough. Add into the mix the fact that she was only around 5lbs when she was born and you have the recipe for more stress and worry than anything else.

So, with Baby #2's arrival imminent, I am starting to think about whether I want to give breastfeeding another shot. I am trying to see where I went wrong last time - whether there is anything I could do differently second time around to make the whole process a lot smoother. And there are a few small things that I know I will be doing differently this time around. However, I don't blame myself for things not working out first time around. I feel like every child is different and every breastfeeding experience is different so I am trying hard not to beat myself up about it.

Anyway, this time, I don't want to admit defeat so easily. I feel like pressure at the hospital and my own worry about whether Ava was getting enough really hindered me the first time around. It had me reaching for a bottle rather than trying to nurse because I didn't have that assurance that what I was doing was good enough.

Also I didn't feel that comfortable breastfeeding in front of other people. Even around friends and family, I felt the need to remove myself from the room to feed the baby and, soon enough, I was reaching for the bottle instead as it was just more convenient and a whole lot less awkward. This time around, I think I will just expect people to deal with it. I mean, it is one of the most natural things in the world so why should I feel uncomfortable?

And I also want to invest in an electric pump instead of a hand one because the hand pump I had before took so much of my very little free time and didn't really work well anyway. This time, I know a bit better which things are worth investing a little more money into and I think an electric pump is one of them.

I feel a lot more optimistic about breastfeeding this time around. Maybe because I kinda know what I am doing and feel a little more in control because of that. Either way, I am excited to start this new chapter and see where it takes us.

You may also enjoy:
Pregnancy Diaries #1-7
I'm Not A Cool Mum & That's OK
How I Found Out I Was Pregnant With Baby #2
My 24 Hour Labour Story
Our Weaning Journey
Our Breastfeeding Journey May Be Coming To The End

Pregnancy Diaries #8: An Honest Chat About Breastfeeding


Breastfeeding Ava was hard work. It started with a five day post-birth hospital stay as she refused to latch and had to start combination feeding and ended with her slowly gravitating towards the bottle more and more until my supply had all but dried up. I kept it up for three months.

And, looking back, they were an emotional three months. I wanted it to work so badly. I wanted to breastfeed her and create that connection that I thought, at the time, could only come from her relying on me to provide her with what she needed. But the experience I had imagined didn't really live up to reality. I had pictured us reclining back in a nursing chair whilst she snuggled into me and I soaked up those moments but, in reality, there was a lot more bleeding and blocked ducts and hours spent trying to hand pump enough milk into a bottle to satisfy her. By the time she finally got used to breastfeeding, I just couldn't make enough milk. She would feed for almost the whole evening sometimes and then I had to top her up with a bottle because she just hadn't had enough. Add into the mix the fact that she was only around 5lbs when she was born and you have the recipe for more stress and worry than anything else.

So, with Baby #2's arrival imminent, I am starting to think about whether I want to give breastfeeding another shot. I am trying to see where I went wrong last time - whether there is anything I could do differently second time around to make the whole process a lot smoother. And there are a few small things that I know I will be doing differently this time around. However, I don't blame myself for things not working out first time around. I feel like every child is different and every breastfeeding experience is different so I am trying hard not to beat myself up about it.

Anyway, this time, I don't want to admit defeat so easily. I feel like pressure at the hospital and my own worry about whether Ava was getting enough really hindered me the first time around. It had me reaching for a bottle rather than trying to nurse because I didn't have that assurance that what I was doing was good enough.

Also I didn't feel that comfortable breastfeeding in front of other people. Even around friends and family, I felt the need to remove myself from the room to feed the baby and, soon enough, I was reaching for the bottle instead as it was just more convenient and a whole lot less awkward. This time around, I think I will just expect people to deal with it. I mean, it is one of the most natural things in the world so why should I feel uncomfortable?

And I also want to invest in an electric pump instead of a hand one because the hand pump I had before took so much of my very little free time and didn't really work well anyway. This time, I know a bit better which things are worth investing a little more money into and I think an electric pump is one of them.

I feel a lot more optimistic about breastfeeding this time around. Maybe because I kinda know what I am doing and feel a little more in control because of that. Either way, I am excited to start this new chapter and see where it takes us.

You may also enjoy:
Pregnancy Diaries #1-7
I'm Not A Cool Mum & That's OK
How I Found Out I Was Pregnant With Baby #2
My 24 Hour Labour Story
Our Weaning Journey
Our Breastfeeding Journey May Be Coming To The End

Autumn is finally here! The crisp, cool air has arrived in place of the sticky summer heat. The days are getting shorter so we can wave goodbye to having to explain to a toddler why she must go to bed despite the fact the sun is still up. And it is finally socially acceptable to slob around in PJs all day long drinking gallons of hot chocolate again. Autumn is undoubtedly the absolute best season and, after a very hot summer whilst being very pregnant, I am even grateful for the rainy days.

So, as has become almost a tradition on this blog, I wanted to write a post ringing in the new season and sharing some of the things I want to do to really make the most of it. But, this year, I am going off-piste a little bit as I want to share a few more unusual things I want to do too. Worry not, though, I will definitely still be filling my days with all of the usuals too.

Create a leaf wall
This leaf wall that has been gracing my Instagram page over the last week was a bit of a spur of the moment lightbulb moment. I'm not sure if I had seen it on Pinterest (probably) or if it was my autumnally-wired brain updating the whole DIY flower wall trend for the new season but it was a lot of fun. Ava even tried to get to get involved too - until I caught her eating leaves and she had to go and watch Peppa Pig instead. But, apart from the whole leaf eating issue, it was a great family friendly craft - especially if you really milk it. I'm talking going to the park to search for leaves (gotta get a good variety of shapes and colours in there), having the kids organise them into piles, getting them involved sticking them up on the wall (literally just sellotape them - or maybe use some cute washi tape if you're feeling fancy), and ofc get out all the props for a photoshoot in front of your creation. Literally hours of free fun - and a great opportunity to get some cute pics for grandma too.

Get crafting
Much in the same vein, I have been on Pinterest a lot recently looking for cute autumnal crafts. And not just pumpkin carving - oh no, my friend - I am talking autumnal quotes written on big leaves with white Sharpies, mirrors adorned with fake orange flowers, and gallery walls consisting almost entirely of overly edited pumpkin patch pics. Yes, Isaac is a little concerned. No, I don't really care.


Bake a vegetable pie
We all know autumn is pie season. Even my unborn child knows it because I have been craving a good shortcrust pastry chicken pie for a while now. But the best pie - the one I will definitely be making on a weekly basis until spring rolls in next year - is my veggie pie. It consists of a shortcrust pastry (homemade because I really am an absolute domestic goddess), sweet potato, spinach, and feta cheese. Man, is it good.

Go searching for puddles
Ava is currently absolutely obsessed with Peppa Pig. I mean, obsessed. Her first question in the morning is whether she can watch it - usually met with 'Peppa is still sleeping' - but, at some point, I cave and let her watch it. And then the only way to prize her away from the screen is by convincing her there is more fun to be had elsewhere. Not easy. Usually I have to pretend to be Mummy Dinosaur and chase her around the house. Or we go out in search of muddy puddles to jump up and down in (sorry if you now have the song stuck in your head). And she loves it. The washing machine doesn't but she does.


Create your own popcorn flavour combinations
One of my fave childhood memories is of me, my mum, and my siblings all in our PJs, watching a film, under a duvet, with a big bowl of popcorn being passed around. I mean, that is just autumn to a T, right? Naturally, I want to carry on this tradition - but give it a little tweak. I want to experiment with different popcorn flavours. I want to go full Willy Wonka on this popcorn. I mean, drizzling over chocolate and adding pic'n'mix. Maybe even trying some savoury options - perhaps chunks of cheddar cheese in the salty popcorn? And, once Ava is a little older, I know she'll be excited to invent her own flavours too.

Buy matching PJs and never take them off again
Yes, I am the kinda mum who likes to match with her kids. And, yes, I very much intend to buy specifically matching pyjamas to wear around the house. Hell, I might even go the whole hog and get some Christmas ones too.

Taste test all the hot chocolates I can find
Now I am living in Germany, I have to survive autumn without my beloved Costa (*cries bonfire spiced tears*). Thankfully, they do have a Starbucks here so I can get my fix of pumpkin spice latte but I do prefer the Costa one tbh. However, I am trying to roll with the whole situation and broaden my hot drinks horizon by opening it up to hot chocolate taste testing. I have already seen a Nutella coffee around here which doesn't strictly count but I will still be buying it. Let's hope German hot chocolate lives up to my expectations!

What is on your autumn bucket list?

Shop the look (aff links):
T-shirt: Wednesday's Girl via ASOS
Skirt: Primark

You may also enjoy:
Transitioning Your Maternity Wardrobe From Summer Into Autumn
Transitioning Into Autumn: What To Wear
Autumn Lookbook With Femme Luxe
Autumn Bucket List 2017 (and 2014 - for the lols)
Why I Want To Take More Fashion Risks This Autumn

Family-Friendly Autumn Bucket List Ideas


Autumn is finally here! The crisp, cool air has arrived in place of the sticky summer heat. The days are getting shorter so we can wave goodbye to having to explain to a toddler why she must go to bed despite the fact the sun is still up. And it is finally socially acceptable to slob around in PJs all day long drinking gallons of hot chocolate again. Autumn is undoubtedly the absolute best season and, after a very hot summer whilst being very pregnant, I am even grateful for the rainy days.

So, as has become almost a tradition on this blog, I wanted to write a post ringing in the new season and sharing some of the things I want to do to really make the most of it. But, this year, I am going off-piste a little bit as I want to share a few more unusual things I want to do too. Worry not, though, I will definitely still be filling my days with all of the usuals too.

Create a leaf wall
This leaf wall that has been gracing my Instagram page over the last week was a bit of a spur of the moment lightbulb moment. I'm not sure if I had seen it on Pinterest (probably) or if it was my autumnally-wired brain updating the whole DIY flower wall trend for the new season but it was a lot of fun. Ava even tried to get to get involved too - until I caught her eating leaves and she had to go and watch Peppa Pig instead. But, apart from the whole leaf eating issue, it was a great family friendly craft - especially if you really milk it. I'm talking going to the park to search for leaves (gotta get a good variety of shapes and colours in there), having the kids organise them into piles, getting them involved sticking them up on the wall (literally just sellotape them - or maybe use some cute washi tape if you're feeling fancy), and ofc get out all the props for a photoshoot in front of your creation. Literally hours of free fun - and a great opportunity to get some cute pics for grandma too.

Get crafting
Much in the same vein, I have been on Pinterest a lot recently looking for cute autumnal crafts. And not just pumpkin carving - oh no, my friend - I am talking autumnal quotes written on big leaves with white Sharpies, mirrors adorned with fake orange flowers, and gallery walls consisting almost entirely of overly edited pumpkin patch pics. Yes, Isaac is a little concerned. No, I don't really care.


Bake a vegetable pie
We all know autumn is pie season. Even my unborn child knows it because I have been craving a good shortcrust pastry chicken pie for a while now. But the best pie - the one I will definitely be making on a weekly basis until spring rolls in next year - is my veggie pie. It consists of a shortcrust pastry (homemade because I really am an absolute domestic goddess), sweet potato, spinach, and feta cheese. Man, is it good.

Go searching for puddles
Ava is currently absolutely obsessed with Peppa Pig. I mean, obsessed. Her first question in the morning is whether she can watch it - usually met with 'Peppa is still sleeping' - but, at some point, I cave and let her watch it. And then the only way to prize her away from the screen is by convincing her there is more fun to be had elsewhere. Not easy. Usually I have to pretend to be Mummy Dinosaur and chase her around the house. Or we go out in search of muddy puddles to jump up and down in (sorry if you now have the song stuck in your head). And she loves it. The washing machine doesn't but she does.


Create your own popcorn flavour combinations
One of my fave childhood memories is of me, my mum, and my siblings all in our PJs, watching a film, under a duvet, with a big bowl of popcorn being passed around. I mean, that is just autumn to a T, right? Naturally, I want to carry on this tradition - but give it a little tweak. I want to experiment with different popcorn flavours. I want to go full Willy Wonka on this popcorn. I mean, drizzling over chocolate and adding pic'n'mix. Maybe even trying some savoury options - perhaps chunks of cheddar cheese in the salty popcorn? And, once Ava is a little older, I know she'll be excited to invent her own flavours too.

Buy matching PJs and never take them off again
Yes, I am the kinda mum who likes to match with her kids. And, yes, I very much intend to buy specifically matching pyjamas to wear around the house. Hell, I might even go the whole hog and get some Christmas ones too.

Taste test all the hot chocolates I can find
Now I am living in Germany, I have to survive autumn without my beloved Costa (*cries bonfire spiced tears*). Thankfully, they do have a Starbucks here so I can get my fix of pumpkin spice latte but I do prefer the Costa one tbh. However, I am trying to roll with the whole situation and broaden my hot drinks horizon by opening it up to hot chocolate taste testing. I have already seen a Nutella coffee around here which doesn't strictly count but I will still be buying it. Let's hope German hot chocolate lives up to my expectations!

What is on your autumn bucket list?

Shop the look (aff links):
T-shirt: Wednesday's Girl via ASOS
Skirt: Primark

You may also enjoy:
Transitioning Your Maternity Wardrobe From Summer Into Autumn
Transitioning Into Autumn: What To Wear
Autumn Lookbook With Femme Luxe
Autumn Bucket List 2017 (and 2014 - for the lols)
Why I Want To Take More Fashion Risks This Autumn

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