29 March 2018

Pregnancy Update: 36-39+ Weeks

This will probably be my last pregnancy update post because I have, according to the calendar, pretty much come to the end of my pregnancy. As I write this I am 39.5 weeks pregnant and my baby is considered full term, which means that she can arrive any day and when she arrives she should be healthy and "ready".

My maternity leave was supposed to start on the 22nd of March (the day after the public holiday), but at my 37 week scan the week before, my doctor said she's going to book me off on sick leave for 19-20 March because  "What are you still doing at work??" and she reckons I need to stay home and relax before the baby arrives. My boss made me go to work on the Monday for an "HR meeting" which turned out to be a surprise baby shower, so I wasn't too cross with him! I didn't know how I would fare at home alone with nothing to do except wait for the baby, so I set up something each day to keep busy. The Monday afternoon one of my good friends came to visit me at home with Seattle coffees in hand, the Tuesday I went for milkshakes after work with one of my blogger besties, and the Wednesday was the public holiday so the hubby and I spent the day at home vegging on the couch. The Thursday was our 38 week scan at the doctor after which I went grocery shopping, and on the Friday I went for lunch with two of my friends. 

At the 38 week scan last Thursday the doctor said that I was already 2 cm dilated and that she would be surprised if I made my 39 week scan on the 28th of March... Her prediction was that Olive would arrive on the weekend of the 23rd, but, as you are reading this it's already past that and Olive is still snuggled up in her home of the past nine months... I went for my 39 week scan and the doctor said that not much has changed since the previous scan. So now we wait...

As far as symptoms go, the extreme tiredness has subsided, but that's probably because I can now nap whenever I want to and for how long I want to! The other day I had three naps in a ten-hour span, each lasting up to one hour. The heartburn has also subsided for the most part, probably because Olive dropped and is no longer squishing my intestines. Moving around is just a pain, and bending down even more so. My right leg is constantly in pain as Olive is pressing on some or other nerve that sometimes sends shockwaves through my right thigh and my crotch ("lightning crotch" is a real thing!). Besides that I miss being able to close my legs (sorry) as it's now pretty impossible to sit with my legs closed without it hurting. Speaking of legs hurting: I have leg pains when I sleep at night. They're not cramps, just pains. I take a SlowMag capsule every evening and that helps somewhat, but I still wake up in the early hours of the morning and have horrible leg pains around my knees and calves. Anyone else experienced this?

Olive's room is now officially finished (you can see the nursery tour here): we even got a lamp for the side table (picture below). The car seats are also ready to be installed, we just don't want to put it in our cars just yet, it is South Africa after all and I don't want my window to be smashed just for a car seat! Her carry cot is also ready to be snoozed in. The idea is that she will sleep in our room in her carry cot until she either outgrows the carry cot or she is six months old, then she can sleep in her own cot in her own room. I would like her to sleep in her own cot during the day, just to get used to her own room, but we'll see how it goes.

I oscillate between being very nervous and very excited: I have this fear that I'll go into labour and not know it! Not everyone's water breaks before going into labour so I'm scared that this will be me and that I won't realise the contractions are, in actual fact, contractions. The flip side to this is that every ache and pain is now scrutinised and analysed! Everyone around me is on baby watch and almost every day someone will Whatsapp me and ask if I'm still pregnant. In the beginning it was funny but now I'm getting slightly annoyed. I know everyone is excited and that they care, but really people, you'll know when I go into labour!

The one thing that is also making me very scared is the fact that my doctor is going on holiday (for a week!) a day before my due date. I want my baby to arrive when she's ready, I don't want to be induced or to fiddle with the process of starting labour, but I do wish that she'll arrive before my doctor leaves. I don't know the stand-in doctor and I feel that this is a very personal and special event and that my doctor and I have built up a good and trusting relationship over the past nine months.  That being said, I'm sure my doctor wouldn't just have any random doctor fill in for her, so I'll just have to trust the process and believe everything will work out perfectly. Otherwise I'll just have to stay in bed and "knyp" until the doctor comes back (the husband's solution)...

Until next time!


22 March 2018

Nursery Tour

We've been working on the nursery for months on end and we're finally finished. When we moved into our home in 2016 we kept the spare bedroom next to our bedroom empty. We told friends and family that it will be a "store room", but we always knew that it would one day (God willing) become a nursery. Today I'll be taking you through the nursery and showing you all the things we've bought and made. I am incredibly proud of the nursery and especially proud of my husband's handiwork.

First off, we painted (ok, my husband painted, I just supervised and checked for missed spots) the walls white and grey: the bottom third is dark grey and the top two thirds are white (ceiling is also white). Coincidentally the grey on the walls perfectly match the curtains, but I've had the curtains since we moved into the house. The curtains are lined cheapies from Mr Price Home. The idea was to replace them later on (we just bought the cheapest decent ones we could find so that we at least had something to hang in front of the windows!), but they grew on me and now they're staying.

We initially had thick textured carpets in a chocolate brown colour in the room, but with a baby and all the bodily fluids that come with that, we didn't want to risk it. Initially we couldn't decide between (thinner) carpets, tiles, or laminate flooring, but in the end laminate flooring won as it's easier to keep clean than carpets, but not nearly as cold as tiles. That was the only thing in the nursery that we didn't do ourselves. We got a very reasonable quote from a company and it took them all of 90 minutes to remove the carpets, put in laminate flooring, and put up new matching skirtings. We're very happy with the result and it makes the room look much bigger and lighter. It also goes surprisingly well with the two-toned walls.

The white cot we bought second hand from Gumtree. At the time I didn't know you get different sized cots; I thought a cot was a cot was a cot. We got a large cot so everything else also had to be large: the mattress, the waterproofs, and the fitted sheets. We bought the Snuggletime Healthtex 3-in-1 mattress from Takealot as Takealot were the cheapest at the time. I received a few waterproof fitted sheets as well as soft cotton fitted sheets (such as the pink one on the photo) as presents for my babyshower. The mosquito net I got at Mr Price Home - I initially bought one for a cot but it was too small so I had to exchange it for a larger one. I like the pom-pom details and as it is actually for a single or three quarter bed, I can still use it when Olive gets bigger and sleeps in a bed.

I know not to put toys in a baby's cot (choking and suffocation hazard and all that), but since she's not here yet the cot looks incredibly empty without the stuffed toys... The star and moon pillows are both from Mr Price Home and the soft toys are from various shops. The beautiful pink bear is a babyshower gift made by an aunt.

We decided to rather get a chest of drawers and put a changing mattress on top than buy a dedicated changing table or compactum. When the baby's older we can still use the chest of drawers as a chest of drawers. The changing mattress/pad is a Snuggletime mattress from Babies R Us as they were the cheapest. I poked and prodded a couple of changing mattresses and the one from Snuggletime felt the sturdiest, plus it has a plastic cover so easy to wipe off. The white frame around the changing mattress is a wooden changing station made by my dear husband. It's a bit larger than the chest of drawers and it has a frame surrounding the changing mattress so that the mattress can't slide off the chest. It also has space for toiletries on the side.

The toiletries on the right hand side are bath time and changing time toiletries: cotton wool, cotton wool balls, baby oil, Sudocrem, baby jelly, lotion, wash, earbuds, wash cloths, comb, brush, and nail clippers. I might put most of these things back in the drawers, but this is how it looks for now! The bath time supplies will be getting their own container and moving to the bathroom across the hallway, but for now everything is kept in the nursery.

Our Tommee Tippee nappy bin is next to the chest of drawers, behind the door. I know I can just use a normal plastic bin, but gosh, I really can't stand the smell of dirty nappies! Our house and yard is also quite big and the outside dustbin is literally on the other side of the yard, so I'm not at all keen on walking that far every time Olive has a dirty nappy...

Inside the first small drawer I keep a lot of nappies - these are newborn nappies that I got as part of a baby shower gift. I also keep a packet of Johnson's baby wipes in there.

In the second small drawer I keep more toiletries: some of the things on top of the chest of drawers might end up back here depending on what I'll be using. In here are more cotton wool balls, linen savers, bath thermometer, wash cloths, baby powder, Sudocrem, bum cream, and soap bars.

In the first large drawer I keep newborn and 0-3 month clothes. I don't know how big she's going to be or how long she will be wearing newborn clothes, so I decided to pack both sizes in here. The drawer looks incredibly untidy, but the drawers are very small so it's difficult to fit in everything the way I want to!

In the second large drawer I keep her socks and booties, more wash cloths, burp cloths, towels, and random things like nasal aspirators, dummy clips, dummies, a medicine dropper, etcetera.

In the third large drawer I keep her muslin and swaddling blankets and a few other fluffy and fleecy blankets (and her lamb snuggle blanky). The rest of the blankets are too thick for the chest of drawers so I keep them in the closet.

On the other side of the chest of drawers we have a woven laundry basket. I got it at Mr Price Home for  next to nothing. I think it was originally priced at R699 but I got more than half off, score!

We put two floating shelves up in the nursery and both are from Mr Price Home. The one above the changing table is a 90 cm one in "natural" (there are about five colours to choose from), and the one above the feeding chair is a 60 cm one also in "natural". On this shelf we have a lot of small random things. I might change it later on, but this is what it looks like for now. The rubber ducky set was part of a baby shower gift. The picture frame (this one and the one right at the beginning of the post) we bought on special at Builder's Warehouse. The bear and the shoes were gifts. The white star nightlight is from Mr Price Home, and the grey stars are actually coat hooks that we still need to put up (maybe), also from Mr Price Home.

We got the feeding chair at Eric Barnard Furnishers on special. I'm very thankful because I was not going to pay R3,000 for a chair! The white and grey blanket was a gift from my Gran. The side table actually comes a long way: I bought it about 6 or 7 years ago from Ericcsons Mattress and Pine for something ridiculous like R70. It's been used in the most random places since then, but when we couldn't get an affordable side table (why are they so expensive?!) we decided to just use this one. The husband fixed it up: sanded the legs, oiled the legs, put vinyl on top, and did the edging. and I think it looks great! I still need a lamp for the side table, but I'll get to that this week now that I'm on maternity leave.

On the floating shelf I put all the books that Olive received as gifts. The trinket box, the pink bear book stand, and the Carol Boyes picture frame were all gifts from friends and family. I bought a baby record book at Baby Boom to record all her milestones and I was very chuffed to find an Afrikaans one!

The multicoloured rug in the middle of the room was another steal of a deal from Mr Price Home. I went in there one day looking for something else when this caught my eye on the Priced To Go rack... It really adds a lovely pop of colour to the room without being too contrasting.

We have a small walk-in closet in this room with lots of shelves. Unfortunately this is where we store a multitude of stuff, including our fancy evening wear and clothes that we don't wear very often but that are too bulky to fold up. I made space on the shelves for Olive's things and it really helps!

The first shelf contains three woven baskets from Mr Price Home with clothes that will be too big for Olive now: 3-6 months, 6-12 months, and 12-18 months. There are also two pairs of shoes (so cute!) and a few things for me such as breast pads. On the second shelf are extra toiletries. We got a lot of wet wipes when we bought nappies at the Baby Expo, as well as for my babyshowers. There's also extra shampoos and lotions, nappy bin refills, linen savers, a Tommee Tippee microwave steriliser, Phillips Avent bottles, bottle brush, breastmilk bags, and a breastmilk bottle. The third shelf is currently a bit unorganised and contains a baby wrap, baby carrier, baby pamphlets, feeding bottles, feeding sets, and toys to use when she's a bit older. The fourth shelf contains size 1 nappies.

On the floor I keep size 2 nappies. Next to the shelves there are size 3 nappies, extra bed linen (I need a better way to store them), as well as thicker blankets that don't fit into the chest of drawers. She only has about three dresses, so they hang on teeny tiny hangers on the rail next to the shelves. I also put my Medela breast pump that came with the City Style Bag on the floor so that I know where it is when I need to use it. My Dischem baby bag is also there, packed and ready to go when we're out and about (I'm taking my other bag to hospital for now).

Something that's for the baby but that isn't in the nursery itself is our bath trolley. I bought a baby bath at Mr Price Home (I promise this post isn't sponsored by them!) and then we had to figure out how we're going to make it work so that I don't have to bend over or stand on my knees next to the big bath tub. My wonderful husband decided to build a trolley (at the right height) so that I can put the baby bath on top and not strain my back. It has wheels (and brakes!) so that we can move it around. The idea is to use it as a kitchen island when we're done using it for the baby.

If you're still reading this, kudos! I know it's a monster of a blog post, but I'm so chuffed with the way the nursery came out, and I'm looking forward to spending lots of time in there..

Until next time!


19 March 2018

Review: Wet N Wild PhotoFocus

I've been a big fan of Wet N Wild cosmetics ever since they launched in South Africa. Most of their products are high quality and their prices are very affordable. Their eyeshadow trios and eyeshadow palettes are some of my favourites. Their PhotoFocus range is fast becoming a favourite in my makeup bag and today I'll show you some of the products I have acquired from the range and let you know my thoughts on them.

PhotoFocus Eyeshadow Primer

It all started with an eyeshadow primer... About a year ago I was looking for a new eyeshadow primer and I happened to see this one from Wet N Wild. At R130 I was a bit sceptic as that is quite a lot to pay for a drugstore eyeshadow primer. However, I quickly fell in love with this product. It comes in a 10ml tube and it will last you a long time as you really only need a tiny bit at a time. The texture reminds me of a NYX eyeshadow primer I once used (the one with the doe foot applicator, I can't recall the name now). It's very creamy and spreads easily onto the lid without tugging at the skin. If you apply too much it will leave you with a weird white cast after you've set it with powder, so be warned! That being said...this is the best eyeshadow primer I have used except for the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potions (and those are very expensive). My eyelids are extremely oily and even on days where I don't wear eyeshadow, I still apply this to my lids as they will otherwise be creasy and gross by 17:00. It really prolongs my eyeshadow looks and I can highly recommend it.

PhotoFocus Foundation in "Soft Beige"

After watching Tati from the Glam Life Guru profess her love for this foundation, I knew I had to get it when it launched in South Africa. I trust her opinion so if (1) she loves it, (2) it's available in South Africa, and (3) it's affordable, I'm definitely going to try it. The foundation claims to eliminate photo flashback (no white cast when your photo is taken with the flash on) under seven light conditions with top smartphone models, and both with and without flash. Now I haven't tried any of these claims, but I can say that I am really enjoying this foundation. 

The glass bottle looks very high-end and it's nice and heavy. The cap twists off and you get a spatula-type applicator to apply the foundation with. As you can see from the above photo, things are bound to get messy real soon. I scoop out a tiny bit on the back of my hand and then either apply dots to my face, or directly dab my beauty sponge on the back of my hand before bopping it onto my face. The texture of the foundation is a bit thicker than a serum foundation, but more liquidy than, say, the Rimmel Match Perfection foundation or the essence Fresh & Fit Awake Make Up foundation. I personally prefer a more liquidy foundation as I find it easier to apply and to slightly sheer out. The foundation looks like skin but does offer enough coverage to hide imperfections and blemishes. I will continue to use this and I'm sure I'll still like it after a few more weeks. This retails for R100 but the shade range is very limited.

PhotoFocus Concealer in "Light/Medium Beige"

When I bought the foundation I also picked up this concealer. I can't remember all the details, but I think Tati said that she loved the foundation but not the concealer. Anyway, I still wanted to try it out for myself. The concealer comes with a doe foot applicator and is quite creamy, but not as creamy as my beloved Bourjois Radiance Reveal concealer. It applies nicely with a damp beauty sponge, but I would've like it to be a bit more creamy. It's also a bit warmer than the foundation, but not so much that it looks weird when applied on top of the foundation. It doesn't crease or cake under my eyes and it goes nicely with the foundation, and for R65, it's a steal.

PhotoFocus Pressed Powder in "Neutral Beige"

I was looking for a new powder and this domed pressed powder looked really interesting. I haven't really used it a lot so I can't comment on the staying power or the coverage, but I can say that it is extremely soft and finely milled. It's also a breeze picking up product on a brush, even if the brush is quite fluffy. I have the feeling that if you're oily skinned but you don't like the look or feel of a liquid foundation that this might do the trick for you. At R90 this is also a very good price for a high-quality pressed powder.

Wet N Wild products are currently on a 3-for-2 special at Clicks (online and in-store). I'm thinking of picking up another eyeshadow primer as mine is almost empty, as well as a contouring kit, and maybe a mascara. What are your picks? Let me know in the comments section! Come on, enable me...

Until next time!


16 March 2018

Review: Physicians Formula Butter Range

After watching many overseas bloggers rave about these products, we finally have the Physicians Formula Butter Bronzers and Butter Blushes on our shores! In South Africa, Physicians Formula (PF) is sold exclusively at selected Dischem stores. I've never really paid much attention to the brand except for a blush here and a CC Cream there. Ever since the Butter range landed on our shores everyone is stalking the shelves feverishly in the hopes of getting their hands on a blush or a bronzer.

True to form we're not getting the entire range in South Africa, but we are however getting about three blushes and one or two bronzers (although I've only managed to find one). They aren't very cheap - you're looking at around R210 for a blush or a bronzer. That being said, the pans are nice and big so you'll get lots of use from it. The bronzer is also a bit larger than the blushes (11 g versus 7.5 g worth of product).

I bought two blushes and a bronzer (one I bought on their recent Beauty Fair when they had 20% off all PF products). I also bought the Argan Oil and Coconut Primer, but more on that in a later post. The blushes are in the shades "Plum Rose" and "Natural Glow", while the bronzer is in the shade "Light Bronzer".

The packaging of both the bronzer and the blushes are super bright and fun with a very summery feel. The packaging is quite sturdy but quite bulky, so maybe not be the best for travel. The packaging is pretty much a trademark of PF: round plastic compact and when you open it there's a pan of blush/bronzer and when you lift that up there's a small brush and a round mirror. I don't use the brush but I always think the PF packaging is super cute. Then there's the smell: both the bronzer and the blushes smell like coconut. The overseas bloggers like to say it smells like holiday, and I've heard other people say that none of their holidays ever smelled like artificial coconut, but I digress. I personally love the warm coconutty scent, but if you don't, don't worry: it dissipates within a few minutes of application.

The texture of both the bronzer and the blushes is very silky and, well, buttery. Brushes pick up a nice amount of product although all the shades I've chosen look incredibly natural on my skintone. Plum Rose doesn't really look plummy or rosy to me and I have to say that it's my least favourite of the three, just because of the fact that it doesn't really show up on my skin. Natural Glow is a beautiful pinky gold and looks more like a highlighter than a blush if you build it up. Light Bronzer looks incredibly natural on me but it's possible to build it up. It's better to have to build up a bronzer than having to tone it down! I think I might need the darker bronzer, but at the time my local Dischem only had one or two compacts of the light bronzer left.

Below you can see swatches of, from top to bottom, the bronzer, "Natural glow", and "Plum rose".

I can't really say anything about the wear time of these products as blushes and bronzers don't tend to last on my skin in any case. I do, however, enjoy using all three of them and I personally enjoy the scent.

Have you ever tried any of these? Which shades should I try next? Let me know!

Until next time!


12 March 2018

What's in My Bag?: Hospital Edition

I'm currently 37 weeks pregnant and my hospital bags are finally packed. I've been packing them on and off for weeks while I've been figuring out what exactly to pack. I've been reading up on hospital bags on blog posts, forums, magazines, and YouTube. Our hospital also gave us a booklet with a very short list that I can't figure out if it's for natural births or c-section births. My plan (or rather, my "wish") is to have a natural delivery, but I suppose you need to be prepared for anything.

My bag

For my bag I actually packed two bags: one for labour and one for afterwards. It might seem a bit excessive but when I read it it made sense to bring two separate bags. For the labour I packed a leather overnight bag that used to be my mother-in-law's. 

Inside my bag:
  • Towel
  • Face cloth x2
  • Laundry bag (for dirty clothes)
  • Sleep shirt (cheap one that I can chuck if it becomes gross)
  • Gown (for walking around in, should I want to)
  • Slippers
  • Magazine
  • Board game - Phase 10
  • Juice boxes
  • iPhone charger + cable
  • Earphones
  • Toiletry bag

In my toiletry bag I packed my usual travel bag plus a few extras: cleanser, toner, serum, moisturiser, earbuds, travel size Bio-Oil, Garnier Micellar face wipes, Sorbet Spa shower gel, Oh So Heavenly hand cream, toothbrush plus holder, travel toothpaste, deodorant, hairbrush plus spare Invisibobble, nail file, wide tooth comb, floss, shampoo and conditioner decanted into travel bottles, bath lily, and CoLab Active dry shampoo (it smells amazing).

As for documents I am taking my birth plan (I downloaded one from the internet and just checked the necessary boxes), black pen for filling in forms, hospital stay confirmation (I booked my spot in December already), medical aid authorisation number, and a copy of my ID.

My second bag

For my second bag I packed a small hand luggage suitcase with wheels. Inside the bag:
  • Linen savers (I know I'll be in a hospital but I'll be mortified if I ruin the linen)
  • Travel breastfeeding pillow
  • Breastfeeding bras x2
  • Disposable panties x3
  • Panties x3 (cheap ones in case I hate the disposable ones and that I can chuck if need be)
  • Front-opening PJs x2 (front-opening for breastfeeding)
  • Maternity pads (sexy...)
  • Breast pads
  • Travel hairdryer
  • Clothes to go home in (comfy pants and maternity T-shirt)
  • Small makeup bag (primer, BB cream, powder, Beauty Blender, eyebrow products, mascara sample)

Baby's bag

I received this beautiful light grey Winnie The Pooh nappy bag from my grandmother as part of my baby shower gifts. The hospital's booklet gave a short list of what to pack in the baby's bag, but it didn't distinguish between natural births (short hospital stay) and c-section births (longer hospital stay), so we're going to have to wing it. They do give you a nappy bag in hospital containing a beanie, a teddy, nappies, maternity pads, and samples, but the head of the maternity unit told me to rather bring along extra nappies, pads, wipes, and surgical spirits. Inside the bag:

  • Packet of newborn nappies
  • Wet wipes (Dove Baby suitable for newborns)
  • Surgical spirits (for the umbilical stump)
  • Blankets x3 (one fleece, two brushed cotton)
  • Cloth diaper
  • Warm onesies x5 (two cotton, two fleecy, one fuzzy)
  • Vests x5 (two short-sleeved, three long-sleeved)
  • Socks x5
  • Hats x2

A friend of mine gave birth at the same hospital two years ago and she said what really helped her is to pack the baby's outfits into ziploc bags so that the nurses can just take a ziploc bag out instead of having to rummage through the entire nappy bag. For a going home outfit I packed an all-pink outfit: pink long-sleeved body vest, pink fuzzy onesie (that her daddy picked out, might I add), and a pink hat.

The cotton onesies are from Woolworths and Ackermans, the fleecy onesies are from Ackermans, and the fuzzy onesie is from Jet. Ackermans and Jet have the cutest baby clothes and so affordable! The vests are all either from Jet or Ackermans, and the socks and hats I can't remember.

Things that I still need to pack in my bag include my iPod, my Fitbit charger (I'm still using it), my medical aid card (still in my wallet), my ID book (still in my handbag), my prenatal vitamins, and some snacks (I'm still trying to think what to get). What would you recommend for snacks?

Until next time!