The golden rule is never say never – Organic Mama product review

Organic Mama_lifelovetravelfood_teethingjewellery

There are quite a few things I’ve already done during motherhood that I said I’d never do. Such as… I won’t be one of those Mum’s who misses her kid the second she walks out the front door for date night (I missed him almost immediately and talked about him pretty much the entire night). I won’t drink endless cups of coffee (two cups on average a day… except they’re usually double-shots. Don’t judge me). I won’t spam my Facebook page with baby photos and posts (totally guilty but he’s all I take photos of… apart from food). I will be able to talk about things APART from my baby (how?! I don’t DO anything else!) I won’t tell people not to touch my baby if he’s asleep (I just told Mum off for this one and she didn’t even touch him, she was just being a nice Nanna and checking he’d not got himself stuck between the cradle bars mid-sleep which is his new party trick). And one I was quite certain I wouldn’t break… I won’t wear teething jewellery.

This last one is interesting because as soon as H was born, I immediately started looking at teething jewellery in a whole new light. I swear there’s something in your brain that flicks over when you become a Mum. Eight hours sleep is no longer a necessity. Coffee is even more important than food. If breastfeeding, your entire wardrobe becomes unwearable unless it can be adapted to breastfeed in. Normal bras seem like the biggest luxury in the world.

My interests and likes changed from cool new bars to baby-friendly cafes. Cute babies clog my instagram feed and I’m more interested in buying H new clothes than I am in buying things for myself. Ok, that one might not be COMPLETELY truthful but I’m less selfish than I used to be. I think…

During my endless scrolling during night feeds (I’m an expert at feeding H on one side while scrolling through instagram with the other) I came across @organicmamashop on instagram. Filled with beautiful items for Mum’s and bubs, I was instantly drawn to the range of teething jewellery on offer. I love the range of colours and the shapes of the beads – nothing like my original thoughts on teething jewellery. I know what I like, I know what suits me and as much as I adore being a Mummy, I still want to feel gorgeous and wear pretty things.

Organic Mama_lifelovetravelfood_teethjewellery

This is where Organic Mama definitely delivers. I have the Boho Mama necklace with in cream and grey. I adore the colours as they’re neutral enough to go with all my outfits and the beads are beautifully soft for H to chew on (when he gets to that stage!) Even though H isn’t teething yet (oh the joys still to come) I still wear my necklace as it’s also good for increasing tactile awareness. He’s changing everyday and I notice he’s started grabbing at things so this necklace is just perfect. Although I’m trying to work out how to get him to grab my necklace rather than my hair!

Organic Mama_lifelovetravelfood_teethingjewellery

Allowing babies to feel different textures is great for their development and this necklace is soft and smooth to touch. Just now as I bent over to coo at him (yes, I now coo on a regular basis) he gave me the hugest smile and began to chew on my necklace. Talk about a perfect product placement moment.

Organic Mama_lifelovetravelfood_teethjewellery

Another reason to love it is it helps H focus during breastfeeding. He’s definitely a kid who gets FOMO (fear of missing out for those of you who aren’t so down with the cool-kid lingo… don’t worry, I had to google it the first time I heard it) and likes to look around while breastfeeding. I never knew that teething jewellery could have so many uses! I seriously thought they were just for kids to chew on when they’re teething but like all things to do with motherhood, I’m learning so much!

 

Organic Mama_lifelovetravelfood_teethjewellery

For a gorgeous range of teething jewellery and other beautiful baby things, be sure to check out www.organicmama.co.uk or follow them on instagram @organicmamashop If you have any specific colours in mind for your necklace, just drop Organic Mama a line and they will be happy to help you find exactly what you’re after!

Organic Mama_lifelovetravelfood_teethjewellery

Thank you to Organic Mama for gifting me my Boho Mama necklace. H and I both love it!

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lifelovetravelfood… baby!

Baby lifelovetravelfood

There are some extremely exciting, nerve-wracking months ahead in the world of lifelovetravelfood.  I am ridiculously excited to announce that B and I are expecting a baby into our family, due December 2015.

This is a progressive post, one that I have been writing as these things happened so it’s been quite a few months in the making! Here’s our journey (travel, if you will) of how our baby story unfolded.

Baby lifelovetravelfood
Coming soon…
Image @lifelovetravelfood

– – –

The reality…

It was something people had been asking us for years, “When are you going to have a baby?” I think after it took us nine years until we got married, people were looking for a new question to ask but they soon gave up. We were young, living in London, travelling every second weekend and to be brutally honest, loving our selfish lifestyle.

When we made the announcement that we were moving back to Australia after four and a half years of being away, that question began to pop up again. Both of my sisters had just had babies so all eyes were on me. We knew we wanted a bub, so much so that we’d been buying baby toys and clothes during our travels, it just hadn’t ever been the right time. Then one day, we had the conversation again and it was the right time. Apart from starting to take folic acid, that was all the preparation we really did and we were incredibly blessed (that overly used word is totally appropriate here) and lucky to fall pregnant.

One fateful Friday night, I said to B, “Ok… it’s time. I’m going to do a pregnancy test.” We read the package instructions (which are really not that complicated) over and over again. So many times that I said, “Hurry up, I need to pee!”

And we waited. Three minutes felt like a reeeeeally long time. When the timer sounded, B put his hand over the result so it would be revealed to the both of us at the same time. And there it was. A little purple line. Positive result. We were pregnant.

I immediately burst into tears and B just hugged me, completely still. I believe the words, “Oh my gosh!” were repeated over and over again. B was in shock, I was terrified – but in a good way!

All I wanted to do was tell people. I was SO excited, and it didn’t help that my sisters were both anticipating the news. I’m SURE L&G knew we were pregnant because I had been avoiding alcohol for a good week or so. Even before I discovered I was pregnant, I just felt like something was different so decided to cut out alcohol. I’m pretty sure they thought we were pregnant even before we did!

– – –

The nickname…

Every baby bump has a nickname and ours got its name about seven years ago – Keggy. Yes, like a keg of beer – suits us, don’t you think?! We are no strangers to a pub or taste testing many, many global beers so what better name for a bump that will essential grow quite large, to be named after a beer vessel? B even said he would grow his own Keg-belly so that we can experience getting fat together!

– – –

The reactions…

Telling family was overwhelming and very, VERY exciting. We visited the doctor to get confirmation and I almost fainted due to an overload of information and feeling very, very unprepared for it all. My family were totally expecting it so their reactions were pure joy with a few tears and a couple of ear-shattering screams thrown in for good measure.

B’s family’s reactions were wonderful. This is the first baby for his side of the family, so they were absolutely ecstatic. His parents were overjoyed which was just lovely to hear. His sister couldn’t quite believe it, her reaction was absolutely brilliant! His brother being a typical boy, didn’t squeal like his sister however he was really chuffed when B asked if he was ready to become an Uncle. It really does warm my heart to know that our families are so excited for us and it makes it all the more exciting for us as soon-to-be parents.

– – –

The due date…

On our first visit to the doctor, we were both pretty confident that we’d be having a January baby. Clearly our calculations were a bit off because we were told our baby’s due date was 26 December. A Boxing Day baby. I think I turned towards Ben, my eyes wider than saucepans and he looked just the same. Later, we discussed how Keggy would forever hate us for being born around Christmas. As a January baby myself, I vowed never to have a baby so close to the start or end of the year but what will be will be and I am 100% thrilled at the idea now! I wonder if they do a Christmas dinner in hospital…

– – –

The no alcohol thing…

Before we even knew Keggy was in there, I had one day at work where things went downhill very quickly and I felt TERRIBLE. I think I knew something was up then, and when I called B I could tell in his voice that he thought the exact same thing – even though neither of us said it!

From then on, I stopped drinking. Avoiding alcohol actually hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. I kinda just haven’t felt like it. Say whaaaa?! I’ve been quite happy with my bubble water with lime. B is pretty chuffed that he has a designated driver on hand to chauffer him around to various pubs. He’s not abused this right just yet because I don’t think drinking alone is much fun!

We now judge pubs on whether they offer free soda water. They get huge brownie points if they do, or I leave as a very annoyed customer if it costs almost as much as a beer (which is often the case).

– – –

The symptoms…

From about week six, nausea kicked in – all day, every day. It was horrible! But I kept reminding myself that we’re SO lucky Keggy is growing away so really must remember that (which was really hard at times when I couldn’t get out of bed for fear of vomiting). Trying to eat healthy and avoid the bad stuff was MUCH harder than I had anticipated. Here I was thinking I was going to be a healthy pregnant saint. Pfft! Often I didn’t want fruit, yogurt made me feel ill and all I really wanted was salt and vinegar shapes, twisties and cheese. Let me just say I have eaten a LOT Of cheese during my pregnancy. Cheese flavoured chips, cheese on toast, cheese and crackers, philli cheese, cottage cheese. Just cheese. I think you get the idea.

cheese_google images
Cheese glorious cheese
Image from Google images

In week nine, my cravings changed from savoury to sweet. I was all about peanut butter and jam toast, muesli, banana cake and chocolate (preferably Top Deck flavour). This was throwing everyone off from guessing Keggy’s gender because ‘apparently’ savoury = boy, sweet = girl. I’m not saying that’s a fact, it’s just a running thing in my family. And no, we’re not going to find out if Keggy is a mini d or a mini b – I think I want a surprise but I am known for being impatient (it’s the Gen Y in me) so let’s just see how that goes!

By week 12, my nausea was a thing of the past – hooray! I was back to eating normally and was much more inclined to eat healthy again. I well and truly fell off the clean-eating bandwagon during my first trimester, but I honestly couldn’t be bothered and healthy food didn’t appeal like it used to. I feel MUCH better now (no longer am I ridiculously tired, getting 9 hours sleep and still needing more) and seeing our baby jump around (seriously, it barely kept still!) at our 12 week scan made it feel totally worthwhile and worth every yucky feeling. We’ve also loved seeing Keggy all lumpy when I wake up in the morning. He/she tends to nestle into the side that I’ve been sleeping on, and often when I wake up and lie on my back, you can really feel him/her and it’s just an incredible feeling.

– – –

The suspicion…

Most people have been really good and not said anything or asked any questions. I’ve noticed a few stares at my belly, but I often wonder if that’s just me being paranoid! I’m sure there are a few people in my life who have their suspicions. It’s not gone unnoticed that I am no longer drinking! At work, apparently my pregnancy was, ‘The worst kept secret in CCM [my department name] history,” all because I avoided alcohol a few times at work drinks!

One person asked me outright if I was pregnant and to say it was awkward was an understatement. Let me just say to you all – don’t ask someone if they’re pregnant, even if you’re super sure they are!! If they aren’t pregnant, it’s an insult but if they are, there might be a very good reason why they’re not saying anything. People will tell you when they want to so until that time comes, keep your lip zipped and pipe down! #reallyreallyawkward

Pregnancy image_google images
Just don’t ask people!
Image from Google images

 

– – –

So that’s the journey of Keggy so far. I’ll no doubt give you updates on my progress and the size of my waistline (which has expanded from day one because I was in such good shape before we got pregnant and it has been TOUGH trying to hide it the last few weeks!) as the months progress so stay tuned for more on lifelovetravelfood… baby!

Love Dan xx

Aunty lifelovetravelfood

It’s love time on lifelovetravelfood.

Can I just say that being an Aunty is one of the best things ever. You get all the fun, none of the work and no mess. Well… That last bit isn’t quite true, I’ve had some less than pleasant things on me thanks to some leaky nappies but nothing that completely grossed me out.
 
I am now the proud Aunty Dan of three awesome, adorable niblings. Niblings is the collective term for my siblings children. Siblings + nieces and nephews = niblings. Stolen from my friend G, I cannot take credit for this cute term! 

Fat lil foot. Owned by R
Photo from R’s mummy, L

I refuse to be that annoying Aunty who pulls their cheeks and tells them how adorable they are but while they’re little and can’t escape me, I totally am that person. I’m not sure when the cut off for this type of behaviour needs to stop – maybe when they’re old enough to wriggle free and wipe away my kisses with a disgusted look on their face… At least I don’t wear lipstick so I won’t leave any evidence.
Little E
How can this not make you go ‘awww!!’
Photo credit – hithergreenhavoc via instagram

One was awesome. Two was even better but three?! Three is the best!! I am so in love with the fact that I’m so close to my newest nibling, E. I visit him every week and adore seeing the changes in him. I cannot wait to meet chubby Cabbage Patch Doll, R, in September. She’s my current phone wallpaper with the biggest cheeks I think I’ve ever seen! I can’t wait to see them in person! And before you think I’m playing favourites, don’t worry, there’s a fortnightly rota going so each nibling gets a turn as my phone wallpaper. I think it’s K’s turn next! And speaking of my little bear, I can’t WAIT for regular play dates with him. It always looks like so much fun from the other side of the computer via skype! 
 
K collecting shells with Aunty J


I promise I won’t be an Aunty bore and go on about their cuteness, how my niblings are better than yours, their hilarious stories or any of that other stuff so I’ll finish up by saying… To their parents – J and L, L and G – you guys have the most awesome, cute, amazing kids ever – thanks for having them!!

R and K cute hand prints they gave to
their Daddy for his birthday
(insert ‘awww’ here) – Photo from L
How cute are E’s booties? Made by
his talented Nanna. Photo from J
One final foot pic, this time it’s E’s
Photo by his Mummy, J


Becoming Mrs M…

Oh dear… it seems my monthly blogging plan fell well and truly out the window because of a somewhat important date in my diary. A huge part of my blog was going to be about my upcoming wedding and now, in January 2013, it has been and gone and we’re almost at our four month anniversary. And before you ask, no, we do not celebrate monthly – good luck to those who do but I’m lucky to get flowers on the yearly one.

And so as I catch up on months and months of late blog posts, I have decided to dedicate the next few to one theme per post. This month (which should have been September 2012) is LOVE. Awwww!

In the lead up to our big day, I was determined not to be a bridezilla or be one of those brides who loses it just because one small thing that no one else would probably even notice, went wrong. I thought I did pretty good on the bridezilla front and even heard my groom-to-be claim, “Yeah, she’s been really good actually” to friends when he thought I was out of earshot. This even stayed true when, at the wedding rehearsal, I gave the groomsmen strict instructions to please get rid of all gaudy fake flowers and extra large floppy bows on the day. The lovely elderly gentleman who owned the chapel where we were getting married seemed very surprised that I was requesting they all be removed and he insisted on leaving them up until the wedding day, in case I changed my mind. I didn’t.

And so the actual day had arrived. Previously cool as a cucumber, on the day I turned nervous, quiet and most shocking of all, uninterested in champagne. What?! With five bridesmaids and my Mum to get through with hair and makeup, we started the day early yet before I knew it, our photographer (the incredibly sweet and talented Sheila Higgins) showed up and it was time to get dressed. From the previous dress dramas I’d had, putting on my dress made me even more nervous than I already felt. Not to mention my panic in remembering the copious amounts of Aussie foods I’d been scoffing since we got back into the country. England does NOT know how to make a good pie. Or a sausage roll. Or Super Rooster chicken burger. But it fit! And it was almost a bit loose – woo hoo! Take that rude dress-maker-lady. I might’ve even fitted into the version of my dress that was extra, extra small. But probably not.

I loved having photos with my parents and surround by my girls. I know many of you will say that five bridesmaids is way over the top but when you have two big sisters who mean the world to you, two best friends who you couldn’t imagine life without and a gorgeous new sister-in-law, you can understand why I wanted and needed each one of them by my side.

My girls xx

http://www.sheilahigginsphotography.com.au


I think I felt most nervous when I was in the car with my Dad on the way to the chapel. My Uncle was our driver (in vintage V8 Ford Valiant – awesome!) and he and my Dad were chatting away to me while I gave one word answers and wouldn’t let go of Dad’s hand the whole way. As I walked down the aisle with my Dad, funnily enough, I didn’t notice any of the decorations I’d so carefully chosen or, that all the bows and fake flower arrangements had been carefully locked away (thanks groomsmen!)

Vintage wedding car
Photo by Stephen Robertson


The ceremony was short and sweet. We were married by my sister’s best friend’s husband, Adam Ladhams, which made it even more special. We wrote our own vows which nearly tipped me over the edge nerves-wise and my now father-in-law said he could see my knees shaking underneath my dress! Can’t wait to see that one on the wedding video! B’s vows were amazing! He’s not one for mushy words but his vows made me so happy and best of all, laugh out loud when he quoted Anchorman – brilliant! 

Funny vows – what could be better?!


And then it was over. We left the chapel and as we reached the end of the aisle, I said to him, “Thank goodness that’s over.” With his reply being, “I reckon!” It’s not that we didn’t enjoy it, we loved every minute but repeating vows and having all those eyes on you that whole time was scary! I even forgot my name at one point! Bit of an issue when the marriage isn’t legal unless you say your full name! Don’t worry, we are actually married, I just needed some prompting of what my name was before we continued.

The relief is obvious!

http://www.sheilahigginsphotography.com.au


Saying hi to all our friends and family who came to celebrate our wedding was one of my favourite parts of the entire day. It was incredible to see who had come and made all that effort to be with us to see us get married. As clichéd as it sounds, it’s those moments that made our day what it was. Ok, I’ll try to leave the soppy stuff alone now.

After the group photo, we rushed off to Queen’s Park to get in some photos before the sun went down. I loved everything about the photos. It was so much fun. We had bubbly and beers, snacks for the bridal party and it was relaxed, casual and fun. Sheila was absolutely wonderful. I knew before I’d even seen the photos that I would love them. I just can’t believe she got so many good ones, especially the candid pics, they’re my favourite.

Sums up our day perfectly – full of
fun and laughter

http://www.sheilahigginsphotography.com.au


Another thing that made our day so special was that we were able to replicate the same poses in the same location that my parents had their wedding photos. They had a bridal party of six so the photos in front of the canon, you could actually see the canon. Our bridal party of twelve on the other hand made it rather difficult to see the canon but I absolutely love that we did it. The best bit? Our photos were taken almost exactly 40 years later – it was my parents ruby wedding anniversary the very next day.

The canon photo

http://www.sheilahigginsphotography.com.au


Once the sun had gone down, we went back to Preston Manor to start the party. However, the best man, maid of honour, my new husband and I took a little pit stop en route to take a photo outside the alcohol store, Dan Murphy’s. Because as some of you may know, this is my new married name and we couldn’t pass up such a golden opportunity! No one seemed to bat an eyelid at a bride standing in a liquor store carpark in a bridal gown… perhaps it’s the norm in Toowoomba? 

It had to be done…
Photo taken on the best man’s
iphone by the maid of honour


This post is going on a bit now so I’ll try to make the reception bit quick. It was the best party I’ve even been to. Our MC (who is also my brother in law) was absolutely brilliant. Our DJ (who is my other brother in law) was awesome. The speeches were wonderful, we were surrounded by all our favourite people – I could not have asked for anything better. The food was delicious (although I didn’t really eat much, I was just too excited to eat and for those of you who know me, you know this is a VERY rare occasion!) the cake was amazing (hand made by my incredible sister) the lolly bar was a hit… oh I could go on and on! Instead of going into all the tiny details that made our wedding awesome (in my opinion!)if you’re interested, check out Polka Dot Bride, a wedding blog that our wedding was featured on. If it’s detail you want, this is where you’ll find it because if I’m honest, I can’t be bothered to go into that level of detail again! Plus it would make my blog go on forever.

When the sad time of midnight rolled around, it was time to go. We said our goodbyes, expecting to leave immediately but good old reliable Garden City Toowoomba Cabs had other ideas. Despite calling and booking in advance, telling them it was a wedding and that it was important they showed up, they didn’t  We had friends on the phone immediately to get one out as soon as possible and when one finally arrived and we gave him the address of our accommodation, he said, “Where’s that?” I mean come on, T’bar isn’t even that big!! He really was a delight… but thankfully, we did end up getting there in the end. But only after both bride and groom yelled at him – perhaps I did have a bridezilla moment after all, “This is my WEDDING night. I just want to get HOME! We just GAVE you the address. Just put it in your GPS!! Can we PLEASE just GO NOW?

And so that’s the story of our wedding day. A very long winded story. I could have written pages more but a) it would have put everyone off reading the whole post and b) I would probably never have gotten around to posting it on my blog, seeing as it’s already four months late! And now for the rest of the photos. All photos by Sheila Higgins unless otherwise stated.


Photo by Stephen Robertson


Love


Next up… travel… the honeymoon!