Uncategorized

Baby Buys on a Budget…

I’m no fashion queen. The best I can manage these days is a scruffy top knot (thank god these are in fashion!) a slick of blusher and a jumper that doesn’t (always) have baby vomit on. I’ve never been bothered about dressing my children in designer clothes either; it just doesn’t interest me. But I do like a lovely quality baby grow, and do think there are certain brands on the market that deliver super cute prints with a high quality cotton fit and feel.

I’ve recently become a serious dab hand at finding some pretty good baby clothes and items online at half the price. The secret? They are mostly second hand. Now I can imagine there are certain people out there reeling in horror at the thought of dressing their most precious ones in second hand clothes, and granted, it’s not everyones cup of tea. But when you are on a statutory maternity leave budget, it makes the thought of second hand slightly more appealing. And means you can get good quality clothing, which let’s face it they will out grow in no time just like someone else’s baby has, without breaking the bank.

I’ve got some really amazing buys (often at 3am in the morning during Baby J’s feed) and actually not all are second hand. Some items are brand new with the tags to prove it. My best buys have been a brand new Joules baby grow for 99p, and a bundle of Jojo Maman Bebe onesies for £3.00. As pictured above, I also got some lovely John Lewis onesies (one brand new) for just 99p each. Excuse the slightly none ironed look in the photo; my fault not the sellers! (I hate ironing with a passion) I stick to rigid rules about buying and rarely go wrong now.

My love of a second hand bargain isn’t just restricted to clothes. Baby J’s dove grey snuz pod was an absolute bargain at just £70 (they currently retail at over double that price) and even after buying a brand new mattress to go with it; I still saved a pretty penny or two.

Here are my fail safe tips to help you grab some serious online bargain and hopefully help dodge some second hand nightmares!

  1. Know Your Brands – I know the brands I like; I know the brands which are a better fit or quality (in my opinion) and I know what I like. So I stick to these brands to avoid any unknown nasties; after all, it’s not a bargain if you don’t like it and won’t use it! My fail safe baby clothing brands? John Lewis, Joules, Jojo Maman Bebe and Marks and Spencer. I also found that in the very early days of wearing premature baby sized clothing that John Lewis and M&S did some lovely 4lb sized suits.
  2. If You’re Not Sure, Don’t Buy! – Well this is fairly simple. Again, it comes back to the fact that it not a bargain if you’ll never use it.
  3. Know Your Market – There’s certain sites which are safer to buy on in terms of payment protection etc, and have a large range of items to browse through. EBay and Depop (if you have’t heard of Depop then I HIGHLY recommend you check it out) are my two go to places. You can also check out seller ratings if you’re unsure who you’re buying off. My Snuz Pod was bought from Facebook Market place – it happened to be a local seller so didn’t cost me on delivery or much in petrol, but I did take my lovely husband with me to pick it up. Safety first and all. It also gave me the opportunity to view it first – if it hadn’t have been what I wanted I would have simply said no thank you and walked away.
  4. Look for Quality – If the item looks like it’s of poor quality on the photo, then walk away. Or ask to see more photos. I’ve bought items before which are more bobbled than expected for example and I’ve only felt disappointed and not used the items. In hindsight, I could see the quality wasn’t great on the photos and should have not bothered.
  5. When You’re Done, Sell Them On – Unless you plan on saving them for the next generation, why not sell your unused baby items when you’re done. As long as you’ve looked after them well, most items should sell on again and it’s another way to save some pennies. Yes it can be a faffing around going to the post office etc, but if that doesn’t bother you then it’s another way to be quids in.
  6. Wash All Items First – Despite the fact that I looked for good quality items from decent sellers; I ALWAYS wash my items first before putting them on Baby J. No only do I like to use Non Bio washing gel; I can also get them smelling as I like too. For none baby clothing such as high chairs etc; I always clean and disinfect items first before dousing them in Dettol All In One Disinfecting Spray which is great on upholstery and hard to reach places too.
Mum time, Uncategorized

Post pregnancy skin care

Goodbye rosy glow…

Well it’s fair to say that pregnancy glow has well and truly left me now. Yet another stolen product of prematurity! I was one of those lucky ones who, according to my friends, had a rosy look to the face and an extra twinkle in the eye, something all the money and face creams in the world can’t buy. And whilst I think my friends were quite complimentary (perhaps a little too much at times) I did inwardly love what pregnancy did for my skin.

Fast forward a few months…well for a start, I’m no longer pregnant. This winter has been horrendously cold and grim, and on top of that I spent all hours of the day between November and January in NICU. The stuffy, dry air conditioned air in NICU certainly did my skin no favours, and let’s face it, skin care is the last thing on anyones minds when faced with that situation. My day to day survival relied heavily on drinking gallons of tea, grabbing (not so healthy) snacks on the go and classing exercise as the walk from the car to the unit. And just for good measure throw in a load of changing hormones stress and lack of sleep and the result?! Dull, dry and tired (oh so tired!) skin.

Now that home life has resumed, I have decided to try to get back on top of my skin. Being home means having a minute or two during the day to actually think about myself without being consumed with guilt for doing so. My skin care routine is, without a doubt, basic. And for any beauty addict out there whose cringing behind their 5 step beauty regime (which yes I’m very jealous of!) I’ll be the first to admit it’s probably all wrong! BUT it’s quick, simple and more importantly, it works for me. Back in my twenties, I would spend horrendous amounts of money on gorgeous products in the hope of making my skin flawless. Now I just want to have skin that looks healthy and gets me through the day! Oh how times change. Whilst I won’t bore anyone with my step by step beauty regime (did I mention it’s pretty basic?!) I wanted to share the 3 main products which I’m loving right now.

What’s on my face?

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension

I’ve been using this little gem for about a month now and it’s packed with vitamin C, perfect for revitalising dull, tired skin AND fantastic as an anti ageing product. I’ve always been a fan of vitamin C products and this doesn’t disappoint. I apply it before moisturiser in the morning, and it gives a real tingle to the skin. Not for everyone I may add. It has a grainy texture which again, wouldn’t be to everyones taste, but I for one am not offended by it. My skin has definitely regained some glow back since using this. And the best part of it…It’s as cheap as chips! Just £4.90. Perfect for maternity leave pockets. The Ordinary is a brand that has been on my radar for a while now, and their products are incredibly pocket friendly but pack a real punch. Don’t be fooled by the price tag! Have a gander at their website for more information (Be warned, you may end up with many products in your basket)

http://www.theordinary.com

Piz Buin Face Cream 50+ SPF

It’s no secret that sun cream is skin saviour staple, but recently I’ve ignored this skin product super hero. Before maternity leave, I was quite committed to slapping sun cream on my face (well during summer anyway) as I work outside in all elements. But this has been another missed step for me recently. So I headed to my local Boots to invest in a good high factor sun cream specifically for the face (I hate the greasy feeling that sun creams often leave) and found this little gem for only £6.00. I was amazed at the price difference in facial sun creams just by going between two separate aisles – head to the beauty aisles and you’ll pay at least twice as much for a sun cream as you will if you look in the sun cream aisle. Anyway, back to Puiz Buin…I’ve only been using this a few days and I’m really impressed with the none greasy texture, and how quickly it soaks into the skin. No streaky white marks or over powering sun cream smell. Now just to stay disciplined in incorporating it into my daily winter routine!

http://www.boots.com/piz-buin

Nivea Daily Essentials 24 Hour Moisturising Day Cream 

On a recent trip to another city with Baby J for an impromptu scan, I ended up staying over for a few days, and needed to buy a moisturiser to see me through (The joys of prematurity again!) A quick dash to the local Tesco landed me with this (literally the only face moisturiser they stocked) and I have to say, for £2.00, this isn’t half bad! It has a lovely soft texture that leaves the skin feeling well moisturised, but again, none greasy. I have naturally oily skin and avoided greasy textures like the plague so was well prepared to ditch my cheap buy once I got home. But still I find myself reaching for it every morning. The dryness which my skin has suffered over the past few months has already improved. I’ll be sticking with this for the time being at least.

http://www.nivea.co.uk

So there you are, three cheap and cheerful products that are helping me to find that lovely rosy glow again. And all under £10.00. Bonus!
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Mum time

Behind the blog…

Thirty something year old wife and mum of one (Little T) who was expecting to become a mum of two, in February 2018. Baby J joined us without warning in November 2017. Premature babies were those cute, tiny babies who wore little Innocent smoothie sized hats that you read about in magazines. They happened to other people. They didn’t happen to me. And yet here I was, mother to a 27 weeker.

So three months have past and the dreaded NICU journey is over and life goes on. Every day I am thankful that we came out the other side of it. Yet now we face a whole other journey, as our family gets used to the tornado that having a premature baby throws at you. This is my personal journey of life, and my lifestyle, outside of the NICU as we try to get back to being just another ‘normal’ family.

NICU Talk

From NICU to now…

Nearly 3 whole months has passed from the time when, after what seemed like a whole life time in NICU, we carefully placed our tiny 4lb baby boy into his car seat and walked out the hospital door. Into the fresh air. Into our new lives.

As any parent whose child has been in NICU for any length of time will tell you, the experience is life changing. The stresses that came with being a parent of a premature baby didn’t stop there. In the same way that no one had prepared us for having our baby prematurely, no one prepared us for life outside those hospital doors. So here is our journey, from NICU to now…