~ April Favourites ~

This is something that a lot of vloggers do, but with my camera currently being out of action, and having done similar things on my blog before, I thought I’d just pop it on here! So here we go, the things I am loving, buying and recommending most from the past month…

Cosmetics

Nourish Protect Replenishing Peptide Serum

I tried a sample of this a few months ago and really loved the feel (and yummy citrusy smell) of this, so the hubby bought me some for Christmas! I’ve been using it routinely for about 3 months now as part of my evening skincare routine and I think I can see and feel the difference in my skin! It’s not too expensive, and I can see it still has months left in it!

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Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer

This was something I saw on a fellow bloggers ‘favourites’, so, having dark skin around my eyes, I thought I’d give it a whirl. I usually slather on the concealer around my eyes which can be quite heavy, but this is lovely and light and you just paint it on with the little applicator sponge, easy! I do find I still have to blend it in with my finger but the coverage it gives is fab. Buy it here!

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Pixi x Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse

I mentioned this in a previous vlog, but I just had to mention it again. I can’t get enough of this stuff, it is incredible – melts away make-up and leaves my face feeling AMAZING. If I could recommend one product that everyone must have, it would be this one!

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Roccabox

After seeing a few different options of these ‘beauty boxes’, I decided on the roccabox going on word-of-mouth of fellow instagrammers/youtubers. It is basically a [very beautiful] box of 5 different beauty products delivered to your door each month for only £10 (this month they were all full-size products too)! I am desperately trying to look after myself a lot more than I have previously so I thought that this would help! I was not disappointed with my first box, I’m pretty sure a few of the products will be on next months favourites list. I can’t wait to receive my next box to see what goodies await! Sign up here.

 

Homewares

New Look decorative plants

Anyone who hasn’t been buried under a rock for the past couple of months will know that one of the recent trends happens to be cacti/succulents/terrariums! I am well known at not being very good at keeping plants alive so when I spotted these little decorative versions in New Look (I know right, who knew they did lovely home bits?!), I knew they’d look perfect in my new little home office corner! There are loads to choose from, plus lots of other lovely bits too. Shop here

 

Light letters

I have been after some of these for ages, and I mean ages, but just couldn’t quite bring myself to spend a lot of money. Casually strolling through the next sale one evening, and there some were, for only £10, and they had both of the letters I wanted! I love them, and love that the girls have one each!

 

Simba Mattress

Now this is something that trumps the light letters on something we have been meaning to buy for a long time. Mattresses are an essential household item, but also can be very, very expensive! After much deliberation, and seeing as we were purchasing a new bed frame, we just decided to go for it and buy a really good quality mattress. It is probably the best decision we have made in a long time. I cannot recommend this mattress enough, it is unbelievably comfy and we have both been sleeping so much better since we had it. So much so, that Callum recently went for a nap before a man date with his friends, and slept through said date, he blames the mattress…

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Kids

Arbonne ABC Baby Hair & Body Wash

I have mentioned before that I am pretty picky with what I use to wash my babies with, so when I was offered the chance to try this new Arbonne body wash on them I was a little nervous. But I love it! It is SO soft and gentle on their skin and the mild scent is just to die for. Its pricier than other products but is a huge tube and would last for months and months!

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Blossom & Bear

I discovered this brand through instagram and instantly loved the look of their products. I bought a pram garland (£20) and a rainbow teether (£6) but there are plenty more beautiful products to explore for really reasonable prices too! Made from BPA free silicone beads and natural wooden rings, there really is no down side to these!

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Fred & Noah

Another amazing brand I have discovered through social media, Fred & Noah make the most gorgeous leggings in amazing prints! I have to limit ‘myself’ to one pair at a time, this time it was these fab blush zebra print pair which look SO cute on Lyla!

fredandnoah

 

Fashion

Primark Jeans

I am a known lover of Levi jeans, every pair of jeans I own are from there. But knowing that we will not be going to the US for a fair few months (because, come on, I’m not paying full price for them!), and being desperate for post-baby jeans that didn’t cut me in half, I ventured into primarni! I bought a pair of ‘distressed’ jeans for £15, some grey ‘jeggings’ for £6 and, the pair that has made me include these in my favourites, some high-waisted ones for £8. They fit so nicely and actually feel of good quality. Oh and they have washed really well too (I am aware that this makes me sound very old). I know where I’ll be going in future to stock up…

Kids Summer Collection – Next

I think it is pretty well known that I love, love, love Next clothes for kids. It was such a shame that I had to buy both the girls some summer bits for our upcoming holidays *rolls eyes*. Here are a couple of my favourite, really good value, purchases…

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Floral jumpsuit for Lyla – £11

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I bought them both one of these lovely jersey dresses (twinning is winning) – £8/£9

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Such a cute jersey dress for Daisy and only £6

next4

I never really put Lyla in rompers but I am loving them with Daisy, these were £18 for 4

Lifestyle

Country Parks

We as a family (and with friends) absolutely love being outside and exploring in the fresh air, and we are lucky enough to be surrounded by lots of gorgeous country parks nearby. We decided to buy a car park pass for all of our local parks and have already got so much use out of it! I’m all for lazy days at home but there’s something so relaxing about just going out and about for a walk and a play, and I am loving this at the minute!

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So there we have it, all of my favourite things from the past month – I hope I haven’t made you spend too much money!

All the love, Sian x

 

 

Recovering from a C-Section – My experience and ‘Hints & Tips’!

I am now 9 weeks post-delivery of my second baby, and I feel like I am still recovering in a small way from my second C-Section. I’m sure all of you have heard about caesareans and that they are “major abdominal surgery”, and even having been through it twice, I still forget that this is the case! I have been extremely lucky with my recovery on both occasions, I lost minimal blood during the surgery, regained feeling pretty quickly, and was discharged home after 48 hours (the second time round, they tried to send me home after 24 hours, I told them where to go when this was suggested…).

This may be an ‘overshare’ moment but this time round I have been left with a pretty strange sensation over my stomach, it started off numb, now it is is just consistently tingly?! On some occasions I can get a little bit of pain (eg. when my belt digs in slightly) but nothing that is very noticeable really! My fitness is heading back to where it was beforehand but whether I regain tone in my abdomen? We shall see over time! I also have been left with the very strange side effect of not feeling like I need to wee… Every few hours I have to remind myself that it would probably be a good idea to go to the loo as my body no longer tells me?! Luckily, no accidents have occured as of yet…

Anyway, for anybody planning a caesarean birth (or not planning – still read! You never know..), here are the lessons I learnt, hopefully they may be of some help:

  • When in the theatre there will be A LOT of people, hopefully lovely people if your experience is similar to mine, so talk to them (just maybe not during important moments like the spinal)! They are there for you, to put you at ease and to talk you through everything. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, if it helps you then do it. And if you feel anything out of the ordinary then tell them, they can fix it – I felt very nauseous both times and within a minute of telling them, it was gone!
  • The rules are different in all hospitals but try and get your skin to skin (if that’s what you’d like) as soon as you get out of theatre. There are many myths with breastfeeding and c-sections about it taking longer, I personally didn’t have any issues, both babies fed straight away so try not to stress about this beforehand and just take it as it comes after.
  • If the pain relief they are providing isn’t hitting the spot, there is always something stronger you can have, ask for it. Don’t try and grin and bear the pain.
  • When you first get out of bed take it slowly, don’t feel pressured or rushed, if you’re not ready then wait.
  • There is the C-Section pain, then there is the trapped wind (I know, soz for the detail) – ouch! I hate the stuff myself, but peppermint tea works so hold your nose and down it! The midwife also gave me some peppermint syrup (or something along those lines) which really helped.
  • You know those GORGEOUS paper pants everybody tells you to pack in your hospital bag? Well, yeah, they’re kind of great for c-section mummies. Normal pants tend to sit riiiiight where your scar is so it’ll be a few weeks until you will feel comfortable in them again. Either that, or take those huge maternity pants with you!
  • This may just have been me, but I was very naive in thinking that with a C-Section there would be minimal bleeding down there. Wrong. Be prepared.
  • Accept any help on offer with moving, turning over etc. When in hospital they should help with lifting baby if you need it, just ask!
  • TAKE IT SLOW. I ended up having a late night visit to the hospital 1 week post-op as I genuinely thought I had torn something inside by trying to sit up from lying flat without using anything to help me. The pain was indescribable and definitely taught me a lesson in not to rush.
  • Keep your scar clean, just use water, don’t touch it and don’t pick it! These days (god I sound like my mum saying that) the size of the wound is so small. I would say I’m not sure how they get a baby out of that opening but then I think about the alternative birth option…
  • Don’t over do it, but do try and get out to stretch your legs, you will feel better for it.
  • By about week 3 you will start to feel like you are getting back to normal; the ‘rule’ is that you don’t drive for 6 weeks but if you feel up to it then don’t keep yourself stuck in the house, a quick call to your insurance to confirm they are happy if you’re happy and you’re freeeee! (My insurance genuinely said that it’s up to me, they’d only really care if I’d lost a limb…ok, thanks then).
  • Yes, you will probably get the infamous tummy ledge above your scar. No, it doesn’t matter, be proud.

 

I know people who have had amazing caesarean experiences, and not so amazing. Who have delivered naturally and taken a lot longer to recover. And those who have been so scared of their delivery resulting in a c-section. All I can say is that if you have the chance to prepare then don’t panic (easier said than done, coming from the girl who cried with fear both times), and if you are aiming for a natural birth but are preparing for any outcome, then don’t panic. It may not be ideal, but if your baby arrives safely in the world then so what if you have to put your feet up for a few weeks?!

All the love,

Sian x

I’m Just Me

[Before I start I just want to say I did not intend this post to be all ‘woe is me’, so if it sounds that way then I’m so sorry!]

One of my friends said to me today that I need to stop criticising my own appearance on my vlogs, and as well as being so thankful for her feedback and honesty I was shocked, because I had NO IDEA that this was something I did!! I am that conscious of what I look like that I don’t even notice myself putting myself down?! 

I’m not going to go all deep into how I struggle quite a lot with my self esteem, but I do. So jumping feet first into this world of blogs and vlogs was, and is, a huge deal for me. In fact, just writing that then, I can’t quite believe that I have done these things in the first place (something that makes me actually quite proud of myself). I am putting myself on a platform that hopefully, in time, will become quite public. Therefore I need to be confident, but most of all I need to be me. I genuinely believe the only person in the world who knows the real me is my husband!! That’s crazy!! 

I just watched a Louise Pentland video (if you don’t know her, she is an extremely popular creator on YouTube) and she hit the nail on the head by stating the fact that YouTube is just one big popularity contest. YES! She is so right. But…I am not good at popularity contests. Oh shit! I’ve always been a follower rather than a leader. I was never the most popular in school, the most glamorous, the funniest, that just wasn’t me. I was one of the boys and I loved it!

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One of the boys!

But now I have ventured into this world, I am feeling immense pressure to be that person that I am not. I’m a jeans and t-shirt kinda girl, don’t always wear make up, I don’t wear dresses from Zara on a daily basis or get my hair blow dried twice a week, and I will never have a career as a stand up comedian. So for me to try and aim to be that is just downright unrealistic.

I find myself watching other mums with a slight jealous feeling inside, “how come they’re doing so well, I need to be like that so I can do well”. No! Or I’ll be shocked at the speed and quality of people’s editing skills, but I’m never going to a bloody Steven Spielberg so why am I worrying?! I just need to be me. I crack stupid jokes, drop swear words into sentences without realising, can be a bit geeky sometimes, pull very unflattering faces, and can be a little bit crazy. And from now on I’m determined to show all of those things. Not just on camera or on paper, but in real life too. No more holding back for fear of people’s judgement. 

And do you know what else I need to do? Give myself time!!!! Things don’t happen overnight (well that’s just not flippin good enough is it!!). I will never stop putting pressure on myself, or worrying, but I can at least be happy in my own skin and if people like me and spread the word then amazing, if not then it doesn’t matter! One thing is for sure, I’m not going to win that popularity contest, but if I can merge into the vast array of competitors then I will be a happy lady.

So here’s to the future, to hopefully taking this little hobby of mine a little bit further, and to self-confidence. Come on Sian, you can do this!!

All the love

S x