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Spring Capsule Wardrobe-Outfit 5

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Spring is definitely in the air as we move into March but it’s still only 6°C out so I paired this light t-shirt  and jeans with a navy long sleeve thermal underneath for an extra bit of warmth. Threw on a pair of brown flat ankle boots and there you have it. Easy, comfy and casual. One of my go to outfits in my capsule wardrobe.


I also got my hair cut for the first time in about 10 months 🙈🙊

I’ve been badly in need of one for a while now and I finally got my ass in gear. My hair was down to my hips!

2 months after I stopped breast feeding my hair started to fall out. Another 2 months later the hair loss slowed and my hair started growing back with a vengeance! It was so heavy and long and was such a chore to wash and dry, Also I went through so many hair bands, seriously, a LOT! 

Nothing like a simple haircut to make you feel amazing.

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Striped t-shirt// Primark – Similar here & here
Jeans// Massimo Dutti
Belt// Primark – Similar here, here & here
Boots//Primark – Similar here & here

Spring Capsule Wardrobe Outfit 1

Day one and it was 3 degrees out! Yikes.

It was a bit cold today so I decided to throw a jumper over my chambray shirt and jeans!

I hadn’t planned on making it a part of my spring capsule wardrobe, but it’s one of the warmest jumpers I own and I love it 🙂

As I said in my last post, I’m not strictly following all the rules because, well, Ireland is a bit topsy turvey when it comes to the seasons, you never know what weather you’re going to get from one day to the next so even though I try to cover all bases with my 33 items, occasionally I have to grab an extra thick jumper or throw on those cosy leather boots!

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I’ve had this jumper  for a while now and I love it. It’s so thick and cosy.

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I picked up this shirt in Tesco! They have some lovely stuff from time to time. The chambray shirt in this blog post is also a bargain from Tesco 🙂

ISZL0486_FotorAARM9285_FotorThese Jeans! <3 Zara baby! I’ve been looking for a pair similar to these for AGES. I love the hip detail. They’re so comfy, too!

IMG_3602I finished off the outfit with these tan Chelsea boots that I picked up in Primark (Penneys) just before Christmas. They look great and go with practically everything. You can’t go wrong with this wardrobe staple.

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Jumper// Primark – Similar here & here
Shirt// F&F for Tesco –  here
Jeans// Zara – Similar here & here
Boots// Primark – SImilar here & here

Girls Night Outfit Details

Last weekend was my first proper night out in over a year! It was long overdue.
I won’t lie to you, it was fun! So much fun in fact that my head and my voice the next day were a bit worse for wear. There was a lot of talking and laughing and catching up with people who I hadn’t seen in so long. Most of them didn’t even know I’d had a baby! I took that as a compliment 😉

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I wanted to feel sexy but keep it somewhat casual and seeing as we’re still waiting for our lovely Irish summer I decided to keep the shorts, but skip the bare legs and opt for patterned tights instead.

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A gorgeous top, shorts, tights and heels are my go to outfit if I want to feel glam yet laid back. Add a tailored blazer for that sophisticated edge and there you have it!

There’s one rule that I always follow when choosing an outfit. Don’t show too much flesh. If I’m wearing shorts without tights, then I’ll wear something that covers me up on top, or if I’m wearing something low cut, then I’ll pair it with jeans.

You can make an exception for a killer dress, depending on the style and the weather.

I picked up this shirt in Spain last year and I’m so in love with it. The silk is nice and cool and it flows really nicely. I love the detail on the sleeves and the zip detail on the front.

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I’ve had these shorts for years! Right now they’re the only ones in my possession that fit my postpartum shape! So I guess you could say that they were a sound investment and probably only cost less than €10
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You can’t go wrong with a black blazer, it’s a staple for any wardrobe. The blazer is one of the most versatile items of clothing out there and it’s worth investing in one… or six!
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This bag was a birthday gift from a very special friend of mine (Hello China Doll) and it’s perfect for adding a splash of colour to any outfit. It also comes with a cross body and a wrist strap!

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I fell in love with this necklace as soon as I saw it. Zara is my go to for an amazing, affordable, statement piece.
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The shoes! Admittedly they’ve seen better days, but they cost me €20 and they’re still going strong. I’ve had them for about 8 years and they’re still my go to heels. You can’t go wrong with black patent and a cheeky bit of leopard print.

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Silk Shirt: Massimo Dutti – Similar here & here
Shorts: (old) Primark – Similar here & here
Longline Blazer: (old) Primark- Similar here & here
Bag: Mulberry
Necklace: Zara
Shoes: (old) Shoe Rack – Similar here & here

Hospital Bag Essentials for the expectant mother

Lets face it, picking out those teeny tiny baby clothes, washing them and adding them to your hospital bag is one of the most exciting things about the nesting instinct kicking in. It certainly beats the overwhelming urge to clean the oven!
But the main question you end up asking yourself is, where do I start?

Pinterest is a great place to start, there’s countless checklists and posts out there. One thing I found was that there were loads of blog posts from the US, many of them were about packing enough for a 1-2 night stay.
Here in Ireland, if it’s your first baby, you’ll most likely be staying in for two to three days after the birth, if you’ve had a cesarean you could be in hospital for five to seven days. This post will be your one stop checklist on what you’ll need for your hospital stay.

Out of the countless checklists I found online I was still stumped as to what to bring, I had 3 bags packed, one for the labour ward, one for myself and one for the baby gear. As great as the internet is, I recommend asking someone who’s been through the whole process for a bit of advice. My friend Sophie got me down from three bags to just one with everything packed into it.

One thing I would do differently, is pack a separate bag for the labour ward. The items highlighted in Blue are what I’d add to it.

Most of these things could be found in Penneys/Primark
Hospital Bag 1

1. Towels – Bath and hair towel. You’ll want to shower!
2. Flip Flops (for the shower)
3. Wash Bag:
– Travel Sized Shampoo, Conditioner and Shower gel (Boots have a great range of travel products)
– Toothbrush and Toothpaste
– Hand and Face Wipes – Super handy and saves loads of space, I picked up these tiny packets from Penneys.
– Moisturisers (Face & Body)
– Nipple cream
Distilled Witch Hazel – You’ll hear many things from the different midwives, but the veteran ones that have years of experience were all for the idea of adding some witch hazel to you Sanitary Pad. If you’ve had an Episiotomy it will soothe the stitches, help with any swelling and will speed up the healing process. There’s so many recipes online for ‘Padsicles’ (Witch Hazel, Aloe Vera Gel and Lavender Oil on the pad and stick them in the fridge/freezer) I’m sorry I didn’t try it!
Facecloth – Put this in your labour bag (Trust me) Some of the best advice I got was that a cold, wet facecloth against your forehead during labour will save your life. It’s true, and it helps your partner feel useful! 
4. Sanitary Pads- These are from Earthmother. They’re biodegradable, made from natural materials and super soft. There’s 10 pads in each box and you’ll need about 5 Boxes for the hospital and the weeks that follow.
5. Nursing Nightgowns x3 – I picked these up in Penneys in Waterford but they’ve since discontinued their maternity wear department to just a few stores in Dublin. They are however continuing the maternity underwear range- Nursing Bras, Nursing Tanks, Maternity Briefs and Belly Bands. The size 10/12 were quite big on top, if you’re on the smaller bust size then the 6/8 size are plenty loose but not gaping on top!
6. Nipple Shields– Do a bit of research on different brands. Another great website is: Once Born, the mamivac nipple shields were recommended to me in one of the breastfeeding groups on Facebook.
7. Dressing Gown
8. Button down nightshirt (For the labour ward) Pick up something cheap that you won’t mind throwing out after. Even if you’re not planning on breast feeding, skin to skin contact has some great benefits for you and baby.
9. Nursing Tanks x2 – I found these in Penneys, but you can pick up similar ones Here and Here  These ones are really good quality, they’re super comfy and they don’t break the bank, if you’re breast feeding you’ll be living in these for the next few weeks. If you’re usually a size 6/8 pick up the tanks in size 10-12, they’re quite a tight fit and the 10/12 size are longer and don’t ride up as much.
10. Mens Boxers- Pack of three. Soooo comfy!!!! Just pick up a pack, you won’t regret it.
11. Big Briefs – Pack of 5- super handy and comfy for after the birth and they’re way more practical than the disposable ones they give you in the hospital. Add one pair to your labour bag.
12. Slippers
13. Breast pads- This is a pack of 80 that I picked up in Tesco. You’re going to go through a lot of these especially if you’re breastfeeding. These are nice and soft but the boots brand are pretty good too. You can also get reusable breast pads and biodegradable ones for the eco- conscious.
14. Light, Cool & Comfy Pyjamas- The post labour ward is HOT and thanks to those PostPartum hot flushes you’ll feel SUPER HOT (and not in a sexy way) if you have guests, it’s nice to be able to cover up without feeling that you’re sweltering!
15. Socks– Pack these in your Labour bag. I can’t say I remember my feet getting cold or whether or not I was even wearing my socks. But it’s no harm to have them in there anyway.

Not Pictured above, but add a TENS machine to that list. I didn’t actually rent one, I borrowed one from the hospital and only for the fact that one lady didn’t want it, I would have had to do without, they have a very limited supply.  It saved my life! I swear, between that and Gas and Air, it’s a magical combination!
You can rent one from Boots or Mulligans.

What to pack for baby:
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1. Nappies– Pack a couple in your labour bag.
One pack contains 20 nappies which should be plenty for the 3 days, but it’d be no harm to have some on stand by at home if you run out. These are biodegradable ones, they have 30% less chemicals than any other nappy on the market. You can read a bit more about them in a recent blog post here
2. Nappy Sacks – Again these are biodegradable and lightly scented. They’re so handy for lots of things!
3. Biodegradable wipes– I used cotton wool and warm water for the first few weeks. The warm water is the best thing for getting that tar like substance (Meconium) off for the first few nappy changes. It’s so impossible with wipes, you end up using a ton! But yeah, these wipes are really gentle and contain zero chemicals! Also Water Wipes are a super alternative to cotton wool and water. You can buy them in bulk here which is much cheaper.
4. Cellular Blanket – These allow air to circulate and are recommended by the HSE, The Irish Sudden Infant Death Association and the National Paediatric Mortality Register . You can pick them up here.
5. This is the tricky part! I packed 4 baby grows and 4 vests. I thought four would be fine, It wasn’t. As it turns out, Finn was a pukey baby so the burp cloths, baby grows, bibs and vests that I packed lasted about 1 day! But you want to be able to fit everything else into your bag, yes? Pack another bag of baby stuff and leave it waiting at home. Just in case you need it.
6. Burp Cloths/Muslins pack about 6-8 of these, they’re light enough to fold up really small.
7. Mittens and Hat- A hat isn’t really necessary until you’re heading home. Some baby grows have mittens sown into the sleeve, but bring about 2-3 pairs if you have them, if not then that’s ok too, they’re not a necessity.
8. Bibs- Pack about four for starters but have more in the back-up bag!
9. Vest and babygrow for the labour ward. A friend of mine suggested bringing a resealable A4 sized bag to put the first outfit into, Vest, babygrow, mittens, as a keep sake for a memory box. They will hold the first scent of your baby and you can remind yourself of that memory. I didn’t do it, but I think it’s a sweet idea. 🙂 

The Storage bags that I packed the nappies and breast pads into are from IKEA. They’re super handy and come in 6 different sizes. They were perfect for saving space. But you can pick up similar ones anywhere.

Bag: H&M Similar here and here

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What special must have item did you pack in your hospital bag?

The Deal with Cloth – A Newbies review on Cloth Nappies and eco alternatives

Cloth or Disposable? Which is better? It’s a never ending debate and like everything they both have their pros and cons.

I’m not going to get into all of that, this website has some pretty good info that can help you make your own mind up.

I’m relatively new to the whole cloth thing. So I’m only going to cover the types/brands that I’ve used and what I personally think of them. When I got pregnant I started searching for an eco alternative to disposables. The fact that it takes a single disposable 500 years to degrade scared me so I did a bit of research.

The Cloth Nappy Library is great and they’ve loads of information, everything you could ever want to know and no stupid abbreviations that newbies like myself can’t understand. Man I hate abbreviations.

Anyway…
I found Little Lamb and heard some great things about their nappies, so I decided to buy one of their Nappy Kits in their online sale back in January. These are known as Two-Part Systems. You have the nappy and then the separate waterproof cover. I got 20 Microfibre Nappies including boosters, liners (Fleece and flushable disposables) a laundry bucket and some tea tree oil (For disinfecting them thoroughly from time to time) I invested in 6 wraps and have since then purchased some cute little designs. See the images below. They also have free postage to Ireland so that’s an added bonus! IMG_0505  IMG_0506 IMG_0507 IMG_0508 IMG_0509 IMG_0510

I have to say, I love these nappies. They’re so soft and because they’re microfibre they come out of the machine practically dry! The covers are so cute and they’re so easy to put on with the velcro tabs, they’re known as bombproof because they hold in even the most explosive poos. They’re just great. And just look at this cute little bottom! 🚼⤵ IMG_0504

The one thing about them is that they’re quite bulky, he’s a pretty big baby anyway so I have him in some 3-6 month clothes already at 10 Weeks, but the vests are quite snug when he’s wearing the nappy. Also when he’s sitting in his car seat, he doesn’t seem to be able to bend fully, it looks uncomfortable but It doesn’t seem to bother him in the slightest. So maybe that’s just me over-thinking it too much.

Little Lamb All in Ones
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They’re the most value for money, you don’t have to fork out for a separate cover, you can adjust the size so they fit from birth until the toddler years. These are just fleece lined waterproof covers that you add the boosters and liners to. Again I got 6 just to try them, but I can’t handle all the snap buttons. They’re a pain in the ass. But as the baby gets older we all know how exciting it can be to pull at velcro so with the snaps you’re guaranteed the nappy will stay on!

Bambino Mio Pre-Fold Nappies:
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I picked up a little starter pack at Aldi’s Baby and Toddler event. The pack included two wraps, the one above and a white wrap, and four nappies (See Below) The Nappies are 100% Cotton and you fold them to fit into the wrap. There’s different folds for  baby boys, girls and newborns. You can check out a handy video here

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They’re not quite as bulky as the Little Lamb ones, the cotton nappy is super absorbent and Finn seems comfortable enough in them. You can buy All in Ones* too, which unlike the Little Lamb have velcro fastening as opposed to the poppers/snap fastening.

*These I haven’t tried.

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Bambino Mio Woodland Fox Cover over Little Lamb Nappy

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The gNappy!

I ordered this one to try (plus 50% of the proceeds of this Gentle Giants cover went towards a great cause)
It’s basically a cute little cover with a waterproof snap pouch (Which can be swapped out), that you add a cloth or biodegradable insert into.
They’re relatively the same size as a disposable and they just seem to be super comfy. It contained a poop explosion and didn’t leak overnight. I haven’t used the cloth inserts, yet, (I’m planning on buying a pack) but I bought a pack of disposable inserts that you can compost or bin, you can use the cover for up to seven nappy changes and the velcro closes at the back, so little hands can’t pull at it.

The downside: They’re more expensive than the Little Lamb nappies and Bambino Mio and the postage can be a bit steep, you have to make sure to change the disposable inserts quite regularly, (every couple of hours) but in saying that, they’re not as bulky and Finn just looked comfortable and content in it.
I’m definitely going to invest in a few more!

The eco alternative: I don’t use cloth all the time. When I’m out and about and at bed time I prefer to use disposables. The brand I use are Beaming Baby Nappies. They’re 75% Biodegradable and degrade in 4 years as opposed to 400! They’re not 100% biodegradable hence why I only use them from time to time, but still it’s handy having a stash especially for babysitters (Cloth can seem a bit daunting) I order them through Earth Mother and they usually arrive the next day! They’re a great nighttime nappy! 

Like I said above, this post only covers what I’ve personally tried and tested.
Please feel free to comment below.
I’d love to read your suggestions on other brands of Cloth/Eco- Disposable nappies.

A x

Motherhood: The transition

So, holy crap! I had a baby.

One of the most amazing yet terrifying and tiring experiences of my life so far.
9 Weeks later and I’ve finally gotten around to writing this, 4 months after my last post!
So apologies for the delay to whoever may be reading, but ya, I gave birth to a tiny human and he is perfect in every way.

I must admit, I didn’t feel that overwhelming surge of joy and love when I first saw Finn and the midwife was placing him onto my chest. The first thing I did was lie back, let out a sigh of relief and my first thought was thank god that’s over!! But c’mon I spent three days in labour.

So Finn is here, he’s healthy and sturdy and adorable. It took me about four weeks to get my head around the fact that I’m now responsible for a tiny person (Still trying to accept that fact) and about 6 weeks to actually start to like him and fall hopelessly in love with him.

Yes there’s a chance that you may not like your child straight away, and that’s ok! One of the best pieces of advice myself and Ross got was “Don’t feel bad if you don’t fall in love with your baby straight away. It may take some time.” and so every time I looked at him and felt guilty about not feeling that exploding overwhelming joy and the “I’ll kill anyone whoever hurts him” feeling, I had to remind myself that it would come eventually and it did.

I mean don’t get me wrong, I did love him, that was inevitable, I loved him since the moment I found out I was pregnant.
Hell I spent the first three days of his life expressing every three hours to produce about 0.2ml of colostrum (and crying at 3am when I came up empty handed after half an hour of being hooked up to a machine) in order to give him the best start in life. I expressed exclusively for 3 weeks before I finally caved after his second growth spurt and supplemented with formula. I didn’t do all of that because I didn’t love him. I just wasn’t in love with him.

But now? Just look at that face!
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He’s an awesome little dude!
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and a little chubster!
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And we’re glad he’s here 🙂

BLUE and the SUPERBABY

A bittersweet day today.

The 24th of February 2014. A date that will always be ingrained in my mind and etched on my heart.
This day last year myself and Ross found out the devastating news that our little baby Blue had no heartbeat.
I wrote about it and the difference that our tiny baby made in my last post. You can read it here: https://newaims.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/the-letter-miscarriage-awareness-month-october/

This blog post is about 2 things: A happy announcement and my final film related post for a while.

I made a film about my experience with losing a baby. Originally, it was a film for me, It was a way for me to gain closure. But a good friend of mine, recommended that I show this little film to the world. Even if it helps one woman come to terms with losing her child then it’ll be worth it.
I contacted the Miscarriage Association of Ireland and I got some great feedback from them and a couple of other close friends.
I started thinking that maybe this little film would be able to make a difference.

I entered it into an online competition called Women in Film and although I came 4th the film got some great and valuable feedback and it was seen by a lot of women.

These women described it as:
“Very powerful”
“An Amazing Piece”
“Thought Provoking”
“Courageous”
“Genuinely heart-wrenching. Simply overwhelming”
“Emotionally beautiful”

So I’ve decided to post it today. It’s a very personal piece and one that I hope people will respect. It’s not easy putting such a raw and emotional piece of yourself out into the world.
If you know of anyone who could benefit from watching this film, please feel free to pass it along.

Blueberry (Blue)
Bluehttps://vimeo.com/99151559

On a lighter note.
I am officially taking a break as Managing Director of New Aims Productions.
Over the next few months I’ll be focusing on my latest Production:

SuperbabyThis will most likely be my last film related post for quite a while.
I’m looking forward to branching out into the trials and tribulations of juggling self employment and raising a little miniature film geek.

Wish me luck!
Ames
x

Ode

The beautiful Marian Rose
The beautiful Marian Rose
A close up of some of Bonzie's details
A close up of some of Bonzie’s details

My very first Post!
Let me start by sharing something with you that I worked so hard on a few years ago.
So back in 2012 I decided to make a short film based on the ballroom scene from the classic film Labyrinth.

Here’s a link to some images of the shoot by the super talented Simon Curran of http://www.iamacosmonaut.com/
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151325633059115.564842.164928274114&type=1&l=461664a381

I asked a local Waterford designer Bonzie http://www.bonziedesigns.com/index2.php to help me with the embellishment of the masks and a very good friend over at Eden Salon to do the hair http://edensalon.ie/
Mook Vignes did a great job on the Camera work and Mr. Jon Plimmer http://www.jon-plimmer.co.uk/ made some wonderful music to go along with it!
Everyone worked really hard and I was very happy with the final result.
You can check it out here:

https://vimeo.com/56989879

I hope you enjoy it!

Ames