[Guest Post-Rhiannon] – My Breastfeeding Story

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Horror Stories I heard about breastfeeding:

From the moment I found out I was expecting I knew I wanted to breastfeed, I did some research and read a lot of breastfeeding horror stories. I remember reading that breastfeeding was hard, so a friend advised me to take formula with me to the hospital however when I told my midwife this she informed me it would be best not to as it would tempt me to give up on breastfeeding if I got to tired or if little one was having a hard time. Although my mind was set on breastfeeding I was told by people not to worry if I couldn’t and not to feel like a failure if for whatever reason I couldn’t.

The other worry I had from stories I’d heard and read was about feeding in public. You hear horrible things about new mothers being turned away from establishments such as coffee shops or stores for feeding in public, getting negative comments such as telling them to go feed in private, to cover up or people just being rude in general.

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See previous blog post: “Confessions of a Harry Potter Addict” for reference

Breastfeeding Experience

Due to complications (baby was breach) we planned a c-section, within an hour of him being born he was latched on and feeding with no struggles which led me to feel relieved due to hearing that the first time can be difficult. However the next day at only 1 day old I was having some troubles as baby was too sleepy to latch on, which is common for c-sec babies and I asked for some help from a nurse. Without using the word ‘formula’ she kept prompting and trying to coerce me into formula feeding him, but when I made it quite clear I wanted to breastfeed another nurse was called in to help teach me how to express to wake him up.

When he was born he was a rather large baby weighing 10lb 3oz but roughly 5 days after birth he lost 7% of his birth weight . By 6 weeks he gained that back plus then weighing 13lb 10oz. To help with my recovery we chose to co-sleep, we found this made breastfeeding and night feeds easier on both of us because he could dream feed and it meant that I didn’t have to get up during the night.

The first time I breast-fed in public I was in Primark, and of course I was nervous. However he was crying hysterically and wouldn’t settle with comforting, because his dad was in the changing rooms I made the decision to feed where I was. A member of staff asked me if I’d like to feed somewhere more private but I told them that felt confident enough to do so where I was and I haven’t looked back since, now feeding whenever and wherever he needs it meaning on buses, in a park or whilst eating out.

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First feed and now

Common Misconception and My Experiences

“It takes away from the fathers bonding experience”: I’ve found that this is not the case at all, breastfeeding isn’t the only way to bond with baby, there’s plenty for daddy to do, such as: playing, cuddling, sensory activities (teaching), bathing, changing and talking to.

“Breastfeeding is painful”: Although tenderness can be common especially with cluster feeding, physical pain itself isn’t. If you find that it’s painful to feed there’s usually a reason either that baby isn’t latching properly or they have lip or tongue tie, if you find it’s hurting then it’s best to talk to a lactation consultant rather than a midwife or doctor as they have more training in such matters.

“you can’t drink and breastfeed/you can’t breastfeed after drinking/ “pump and dump”:You can in fact drink alcohol whilst breastfeeding as very minimal amounts of it goes into the breast milk so it isn’t toxic, this makes it a waste to do the “pump and dump” method. However if you find yourself to drunk to walk, or even look after yourself you obviously can’t feed a baby as it’s a risk. You also can’t co-sleep because it’s a SIDS risk (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

In general I’ve found breastfeeding to be a rewarding experience and recommend other new mothers to at least try it, if you struggle there are people to talk to. I’ve never had any negative comments, never been asked to leave an establishment in fact I’ve found that most staff are very accommodating when they see I’m feeding. So yes I co-sleep, yes I comfort feed and use my breast as a dummy but it’s what works for us. It may not for everyone so just remember to do what you thinks best for baby. Don’t give up because you have a bad day, it will get better.

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Featured Post [Royal Lemon Creations Review]

So as well as blogging I am a Graphic Design graduate, studying a MA in Fine Art and create and sell jewellery. My jewellery company called Royal Lemon Creations got a wonderful review from a friend/customer called Alda that I would like to share and feature as todays blog.

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Pictured: Alice in Wonderland inspired charm bracelet, Royal Lemon Creations logo sticker and little note that came with it.

The awaveofbooks review can be read here. I really appreciate hearing from my customers as it allows me learn and grow. You can also check out Aldas here as well as her own blog awaveofbooks.

If you are interested in seeing more of my creations or ordering from me you can find my store here.

 

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Spicy Sweet Potato Soup [Vegan]

There’s nothing better on a cold day than sitting down to a bowl of warm comforting soup. Now I generally don’t like soup but as a rule I tend to love anything sweet potato and as my attempt at eating healthier more wholesome meals I decided to create my own soup recipe, modifying a traditional sweet potato soup recipe.

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Ingredients:

3 sweet potatoes

3 white potatoes

800ml vegetable broth

1 tbsp oil, 1 red onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp ginger

1 tbsp paprika, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cajun seasoning

sprinkle of salt, white sugar and chilli flakes

Directions

  1. To a large saucepan, heat the oil on medium heat, add the diced red onion, crushed garlic cloves and ginger.
  2. Add the vegetable broth, bring to a boil.
  3. Peel and diced the potatoes, add to the broth, lower the heat.
  4. Add paprika, cinnamon, cajun seasonings, salt, white sugar and chilli flakes.
  5. Cook until potatoes have softened.
  6. Take off heat and let cool.
  7. Puree soup, reheat and enjoy.

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The blend of the sweet potato, spices and hint of chilli come together nicely to create this smooth, creamy soup. The flavours mix together perfectly (at least in my opinion), I usually pair it with a few crackers or sprinkle some more chilli flakes or a drizzle of sriracha.

What’s your favourite soup recipe? If you try this please take photographs and tag my facebook page WatchMeBlather.
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Ecotools Brushes Review

So I’ve been getting really into eyeshadow lately but hated the two brushes I had one was a sponge applicator and the other an other fluffy type brush I don’t even remember where I got it from. That’s when I decided that I needed to get some brushes but didn’t want to spend a fortune on something I may not like or even be good at using, it was to my delight when ordering some things online on the Boots site that I saw that the Ecotools Brushes were on sale. I ordered myself the EcoTools Eye Enhancing Duo Brush Set meaning I got four brushes instead two.

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The brushes came in a reusuable pouch made of natural ingredients, when removed they have a sturdy bamboo handle and soft bristles. My main reason for ordering these other than convenience was that I wanted cruelty free brushes but was worried about using synthetic as they usually don’t apply makeup as well, however these brushes I found were so and picked up the product great with minimum fallout.

Each brush is clearly labelled with what it’s used for making it the perfect set for someone just starting out with eyeshadow. The different brush heads also make it great for a smokey eye look and the bristles are soft so it feels nice on the eyes. The product is also made with all natural or recyclable materials meaning it’s ethical and for the price an overall great product and I’d definitely recommend them.

I purchased mine on sale for £2.79 however they can be found here: Ecotools Brushes for only £6.99

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My 5 Fixable “Flaws”

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” – J K Rowlings

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So like many I have things that we consider flaws, some are genetic others a factor of lifestyle and personality. But many of them are at least in my mind fixable given time and will to better yourself. Here are what I consider 5 of my fixable flaws:

  1. Procrastination – I have always had a problem with getting up and getting things done. As I’ve gotten older and started to learn more about responsibility, however I still struggle with it. To fix it I’ve started writing daily goals to ensure I do what I need to, as well as making sure I stick to my blog post schedule.
  2. Fitness – Lately I’ve started getting really into fitness again, however my stamina and strength aren’t as they were before. To overcome this I’ve been making sure I work out for at least 30 minutes a day, upping my cardio and weight training to help better myself
  3. Motivation – this goes hand in hand with that last two, some days I would like to be able to just jump out of bed, full of smiles and power through my to-do lists, however I’m human (mostly cat but still) but I’ve decided to start working on this. Mainly by setting a time to wake up every day and sticking to it, trying to fulfill at least 3 things a day off my lists and working out every day.
  4. Unhealthy eating (junk food) – Now I love cooking and healthy meals but sometimes there’s nothing better than a greasy takeaway, chocolate bar or something sugary sweet. However I understand these are detremental to my health and fitness goals so I’ve decided to do as I did with soda and energy drinks, and take a month out where I don’t eat any takeaways.
  5. Creative slump/block – This is something that terrifies me as a creative person, I’ve recently had trouble creating something, anything. But I realised that my keeping away from drawing because I feel as though my work is bad at the moment isn’t helping me so I’m taking it upon myself to try drawing or creating something everyday even if it’s just a little doodle, as well as working on my photography which is a newly reignited love of mine.

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So do you have a fixable “flaw”? If so what is it and can you do to fix it? Leave your answers in the comment section below.

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Healthy King Prawn Pasta Recipe

It is one of my goals in life to discover as many healthy and delicious recipes as I’m able, however sometimes it’s nice to just make something up and hope for the best. Here is one I came up with recently that I love and make quite often.

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Ingredients:

  • 50g pasta
  • 30g baby spinach
  • 40g yellow bell pepper
  • 100g beansprouts
  • 30g tenderstem brocolli
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 100g shelled king prawns
  • sprinkle of chilli flakes
  • sprinkle of salt
  • 1tsp chilli infused oil (whatever you have will be fine)
  1. Boil the pasta in a pan of hot water with the baby spinach.
  2. Dice the garlic and in a separate pan fry it in the oil until it is fragrant turn down the heat and add the beansprouts.
  3. Dice all the vegetables and add to the pan of boiling pasta, add the king prawns to the pan with the garlic and beansprouts.
  4. When the king prawns are cooked remove from pan, add the veggies to the pasta, drain and plate up.
  5. Add the prawns on top of the pasta and vegetables, sprinkle some chilli flakes and salt over the top. Serve and Enjoy.

If you make this please take photos and tag my facebook page WatchMeBlather, to let me know what you think of it.

What’s your favourite pasta recipe?
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[Guest Post] – Keisha Danielle

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I have a couple of childhood memories of my mother. You see, I did not grow up with my mother. I was actually raised by my paternal grandmother and great-grandmother. My mother lived in Texas and she came to visit whenever she could. I remember one time when I was seven she came to my house and I sat on the couch with her and I drew pictures for her on my Magna-Doodle. My grandmother told me to talk to her instead but at age seven and not being the best communicator, I did not know what to talk about. I kept drawing. Another time she came around Christmas. I believe I was ten years old. I went to my other grandmother’s house (mom’s mother) and I remember lying on the floor in the living room next to her. She reached over and gave me a kiss on the lips. I remember wiping it off and she laughed at me saying, ‘Hey! Dont wipe my kissy off.’ I miss my mom very much. She passed away in March of this year. I wish I had more memories with her but I understand why she left. I forgive her. And I love …

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Check out Keishas facebook page here: Keisha Danielle Author page

 

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Confessions of a Harry Potter Addict

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On my way to Hogwarts #SlytherinPride

So it’s no news to those who know me that I’m obsessed (okay maybe addicted is a better word) to everything Harry Potter. Owning everything from the books, to the funko figures plus multiple HP inspired tattoos, boasting my Slytherin Pride whilst I recite the films word for word. But why do I love HP so much? What about J K Rowlings fantastical world hooked me from the start and continued into my adult life? Well as a child is was amazing to me to read about this crazy magical world from the perspective of a boy who’d been raised knowing nothing about it. The creatures, spells, characters and plot were incredible and you felt drawn into the magical world, this was made even better when the films came out as you finally saw that world you’d imagined all that time come to life on the screen.

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“Hogwarts is my home”

So here’s a list of “394″ confessions from this Harry Potter addict (it wont actually be 394, I think … possibly)

  1. Hearing the song of your people (Hedwigs tune) and rushing to watch it not matter what you were doing previously.
  2. Owning the whole book and dvd collection including The Cursed Child (with extras incase you lose or break one)
  3. Reciting the films word for word because you’ve watched them so many times it becomes second nature.
  4. When it comes to picking an outfit to wear and most of your choices are Harry Potter themed, yes this includes pajamas and underwear.
  5. Having multiple Pottermore accounts and being enrolled in Hogwarts Online
  6. When shopping you always find the Harry Potter section, even when you didn’t know there was one and ALWAYS leave with most if not all of the things.
  7. Owning and buying as much merchandise as your bank account will allow that month.
  8. Crying over all the IMPORTANT deaths *coughs* Hedwig *coughs* Dobby
  9. Harry Potter Pickup Lines … need I say anymore
  10. Hoping Rowling will do something new for the Harry Potter series, mainly wanting something for the Mauraders.
  11. Secretly trying to learn Parseltongue and failing miserably.
  12. Shipping odd couples: Dramione, Drarry, Druna, Hermione/Luna, Lupin/Sirius
  13. Having a crush on multiple characters … and maybe dreaming about a few.
  14. Wanting desperately to visit all the Harry Potter attractions.
  15. Wishing you owned a castle so you could decorate it like Hogwarts.
  16. Wishing it was socially acceptable to walk around head to toe in Harry Potter gear or Hogwarts robes (but not minding and doing it anyways)
  17. Wishing the films were exactly like the books not matter how long they might end up.
  18. Being tempted to name all future pets and children after your favourite characters
  19. Fangirling for hours with your best friend over the littlest HP related news.
  20. When your best friend is also obsessed so together you’re training the 6 week old to also love Harry Potter (and it’s starting to work)
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Bonus confession: crying when Alan Rickman died knowing Snape would be no more.

So are you obsessed with any fandoms? If so confess something about it in the comment section below.

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