Wednesday, 30 July 2014

There is no secret!!

I'm going to be totally honest and tell you I was in two minds about doing this post. After consulting my very honest blogging friends we all agreed it's a contentious issue, and can get women's backs up, but most of them said they would be interested to read it. I decided to go ahead with it and share my thoughts. What am I talking about- why the post baby body of course!! 

You'd have to have been living under a rock not to have noticed the media frenzy when a high profile celeb has a baby. All the talk about their crazy diets and gruelling exercise regimes is plastered all over the mags and I'm sure many people do buy into it. But I for one don't. There is no secret trick to weight loss and the sooner you realise that the sooner you get on your way to loosing the weight. 

So how do they do it? 

1.Having a head start. Celebs have a helping hand in that the vast majority of them have amazing bodies to begin with, and the muscle memory eventually kicks in again after a few months anyway. The vast majority of us don't have rock hard abs to begin with, so to think that we could possibly have flat stomachs shortly after having a baby is ludicrous. 

2.Genes. A lot of the celebs and models have got where they are because of their figures, and a lot of the time their figures are down to their genes. We all have a friend that eats like a horse and never puts on any weight - well a lot of celebs are that 'friend'. So it stands to reason that genes will play a part in post baby recovery too. 

3. Being healthy. A lot of women see pregnancy as an excuse to gorge on forbidden foods, after all we're eating for two right? Wrong. We only need to eat an extra 200 calories a day to provide for the baby, and that doesn't even begin to cover a gorging session. The key is eating healthy throughout pregnancy not only for your health but for your baby too. Obviously you're going to put on weight but if you are sensible and stay within the healthy range, it's going to be easier to loose it the other side. For a lot of Celebs their career is built on their bodies so they are probably thinking long term more than the rest of us who's income doesn't depend on how quick we get back into our skinny jeans. 

4. Money. Probably the most obvious one. When you can pay for nannies, personal trainers, nutritionists and god knows what else, it's going to be a lot easier than the average woman who is surviving on little sleep, running a house, tending to a newborn, possibly looking after other children and in some cases even working.

I've had a few emails from women who've had babies recently asking how I've lost my baby weight, so I thought I'd do a post in the hope it may help someone. The vast majority of my weight loss, I've put down to genes, or as some people call it luck! Through being sensible and eating normal throughout pregnancy I put 1 and 1/2 stone. One stone disappeared in the few days following birth, leaving me with half a stone to play with. Being moderately active and eating healthy, has shifted the last half stone without too much effort. Breastfeeding has also played a part, as it burns up to 500 calories a day, basically while sitting on your bum - where else would you get a workout like that without breaking out in a sweat! 

I did put on more weight in my last pregnancy, with about a 2 stone gain. It wasn't as easy shifted last time, and I literally only lost about 10 pound after giving birth, and my wee man was 7lb 2oz. It took about 9 months of strict dieting and being very active. I wasn't as healthy 3/4 years ago and did do a bit more 'eating for two' in my last pregnancy. But while loosing the weight last time I educated myself on diet and have a lot more knowledge now, and subsequently changed my attitude to food. 

I used the My Fitness Pal app to help with weight loss after my last pregnancy. Basically you put in your current weight and your ideal weight, and how much you want to loose a week, and it tells you how many calories you need to eat per day to get there. Then you log in what you eat daily to keep track and it counts up the calories for you.You can also add any exercise to it too. It does take a bit of time and thought, but its a great way of educating yourself on the amount of calories, carbs, protein etc in your food. I don't calorie count now, as long term I think its unsustainable. I just eat loads of fruit, vegetables, quite a lot of protein and try not to go too crazy on carbs. I also have a gluten and dairy intolerance so have to be careful with food choices. 

While I might be back to normal on the scales now my bodies not exactly as it was before, I definitely still have a wobbly belly complete with linea nigra. Because my stomach muscles split during pregnancy I have to be careful with core exercises. I still have some hip pain following on from the PGP I had while pregnant, and to top it all off I have an awful shoulder injury from overuse of muscles and bad posture while feeding. 

It's going to take a bit of exercise to really tone up, but right now I can't really do much, so I'm continuing to walk as much as possible and do a little bit of light running when I can, and eat healthy and hope I'll get to where I want to be in a few months time.

So there's no big secret to the perfect post baby body, but if you arm yourself with a bit of knowledge on healthy eating and get active, you will see progress. Instagram is great for getting healthy eating ideas and fitness inspiration. Search #fitspo #postbabybody #healthyeating #cleaneating type hashtags and have a quick flick through your feed every morning to help you on the straight and narrow for that day.

Whenever your little ones (hopefully) go down for a nap, if you can, use the time to do a YouTube ten minute exercise session or plan a healthy lunch for yourself. And remember 9 months on 9 months off, and if you can do it any sooner that's brilliant, but if you're determined you will get there. 

I think the best thing is to try and change your lifestyle as opposed to dieting, concentrate on eating healthy so you can set a good example, because weaning is not far away and why would you feed your babies with the best food possible and fill your own body full of crap. Around the weaning stage is a great time to start eating healthy, so take full advantage of all those healthy foods you're feeding the wee ones.

Obviously I'm no expert, I just have a love for food and exercise, and I'm far from perfect, but I do try and do the best I can with what I've got. But whats most important of all is to enjoy those snuggly, chubby, cute little balls of joy you created as obviously their needs come first. If you have a bit of time and energy to spare for getting back into shape use it, if not just do it when you can, the baby days are only a few months of your life!





Tx



Friday, 11 July 2014

#BloggersAbroad

When Kaleidoscope contacted me about getting involved with their #bloggersabroad feature, I immediately thought that because I'd never shopped with them before I wasn't sure if it was my thing. On having a quick nosey on the site I changed my mind, and thought I would definitely be able to pick a few things to bring on holiday from their vast range. 

All their holiday items are grouped together in the one section called the Holiday Shop. I love when sites do this as navigating a whole site can be very daunting.

I was immediately drawn to this red sleeveless shirt. I'm making a conscious effort to buy more red, as I have very little of it in my wardrobe. I knew it would both work as a holiday piece and slot into my everyday wardrobe. Sleeveless shirts are also great for wearing under jumpers without bulking up too much. I've worn it here with off white denim shorts, and think it will be perfect for a day of exploring. The shorts will definitely be going in my suitcase. White shorts are prefect for a capsule suitcase as they go with everything and make a great alternative to denim ones. 

Matalan shorts
Next sandals
Topshop necklace

I'm showing major love to playsuits at the minute, and picked out this navy polka dot one. I've already worn it with flat sandals during the day, and it will work as a beach cover up over a bikini on holidays, and then could be dressed up with heels at night. I usually only take tan wedges on holiday as we tend to do a lot of dandering about in the evenings, and these are the only ones I have that are as comfortable as flats. Plus tan usually goes with everything. 

Next flat sandals
Topshop wedges 

This printed beach kaftan jumped out at me too, I loved the print and embellishment on the neck. I'm going to pair it with gold sandals to pick out the detail. It's half price in the sale also, that's the good thing about going on holidays late in the summer, you can get some sale bargains in June when the summer sales start.  

Gold sandals are years old have no idea where they came from!
Heatons hat

I'm looking forward to packing these pieces in my suitcase come September when we're off to Spain. I'm sure the shirt will get a run out before then, it looks great with a black and white striped skirt for a night out, which are few and far between at the minute!

Tx

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The bargainous skirt!

I decided to have a wee nosey at the start of the Zara sale a few weeks back. Not the smartest move for someone who is supposed to be saving all their pennies for the new house, but I just couldn't resist.

I think I did pretty well though and was very restrained, the husband might not agree but what he doesn't know won't hurt him eh?  My "what this old thing?! I've had it for years" act deserves an Oscar nomination at this stage. 

So what did I buy, well I hate to say it but it's sort of predictable, neon - check, grey -check, nursing friendly - check! 

I couldn't resist this neon jacket, bright jackets are brilliant for just finishing off an outfit. This one will work all year round and looks as good over jumpsuits and dress as it does over a white tee and jeans. It seems to be sold out now unfortunately. 


As soon as I saw this jumpsuit I knew it was for me. I've been drawn to this minty blue colour recently and the fact that it has a wrap for making the boobies accessible meant it was a done deal. This now seems to be sold out also.


But what I'm really loving is this grey wrap skirt. I'm sure I've well over ten jersey skirts in my wardrobe. They are so versatile and usually very cheap, that it's hard to pass one up. The go with everything from killer heels to converse. This grey one was no exception, as I knew I could wear it out, or wear it during the day with flats. It has the perfect amount of stretch and has an added spanx effect of pulling you in, and who doesn't love it when that happens!!

H&M Breton top
H&M heels 

Topshop top
Next sandals

I went back to the Zara website today to check if they are still in stock, as I've had a lot of people asking where I got it and what do you know they're only down to six blooming quid!! Mine was £9.99 at the start of the sale. I'm sure I don't even have to tell you I ended up buying another couple. The neon and charcoal are now on their way to me!!

Buy here

Buy here

Buy here

There are also patterned ones, which are equally as nice, and I love the grey knot front one too, but was very restrained and decided one grey jersey skirt is enough, even for me.

Buy here

Buy here

Buy here

There a quite a few sizes left in most of them, but if you fancy one be quick, as I can't imagine they'll hang around long at £5.99!! 

Tx

Friday, 27 June 2014

Feeding not frumping!

If you're a breast feeding mummy, I'm sure you've spent more than a few hours trawling the Internet looking for suitable feeding attire for special occasions. If you're anything like me those searches won't have been very fruitful.

After scouring every corner of the net for a nursing dress to wear to a wedding, I can conclude there's absolutely none that I like. I don't think your style should have to change just because you're nursing, so if I wouldn't wear it normally I'm not wearing it while nursing. I don't know about you, but going to an event wearing something I'm not comfortable in would sort of ruin my day. It can be a stressy enough day with a baby in tow without feeling a bit crap about your outfit.

I know wrap dresses are considered the dogs danglies when it comes to nursing dresses, but they're really not me. But, it has to be said the wrap is very functional and there's definitely a reason most nursing dresses are wrap styles. I was after a more modern wrap style rather than the usual jersey wrap and was pleasantly surprised that I found so many options.

So here's my round up of what I've found, as always links are below the photos.
The zip front dress is also having a moment, so a few options can be found on the high street. These are a great option for easy access, and provide plenty of coverage for those rather unsexy nursing bras.
Another options is to go with the matchy matchy trend, and wear a co-ordinating skirt and top set. Most of these could pass for a dress, with the added bonus that you will get extra wear out of them as separates.
If it's a jumpsuit you're after, River Island has come up trumps recently. They have this jumpsuit with a wrap front, and it actually has a popper button at the bust,for easy access. It comes in quite a few different prints also.
I bought this one a few weeks ago, it's so comfy as it has elastic around the waist at the back so doesn't feel as restrictive as some jumpsuits can.
Jumpsuits are fast becoming accepted evening wear, with a killer pair of heels and a sparkly bag they look as good if not better than a dress, add a fascinator and you're ready for a wedding. Jersey jumpsuits are great too, not only are they very handy for feeding but can be very flattering on a post partum body, while being very on trend at the same time. Win win all round!
If our sunny weather ever comes back heres a few playsuit options too. I have the blue Zara one and its perfect for feeding as its quite roomy around the top.
I've recently ordered a few basic jersey tops from Boohoo that have been very handy. They're loose around the bottom and I just wear a stretchy vest under and they've worked pretty well.
Left outfit: Necklace from my shop The Treasure Trove, Boohoo top, Only jeans, Next sandals
Right outfit: Boohoo top, RI skirt, Next sandals
Wrap tops are big at the moment too, and the sheer material is getting a big thumbs up from me at the minute (I'm still in the sweaty Betty stage) as they provide a bit of coverage without being too hot.

So to conclude here are my top tips for breast feeding attire.
  • If a wrap over top has a little stitch at the bust simply un-pick it and replace with a little square of Velcro, thus preserving your modesty and giving you easy access to the boobage.
  • Wear a stretchy vest under a low cut top and simply unclick bra, vest goes down top goes up and boob's your uncle!
  • A killer pair of heels and great accessories such as a statement necklace or fascinator can really transform the plainest of dresses, so don't be put off by the dress straight away. I've added more necklaces to the shop, so many of them look great with a dress, have a look here.

I hope you've picked up some tips to make shopping a bit easier - and remember think outside the box, and don't limit yourself to traditional nursing wear. You're feeding not frumping remember!!!

Tx

Friday, 13 June 2014

A style rut and some storage

For some unknown reason I've been drawn to black a lot recently. Perhaps it's to match the bags under my eyes it's featured heavily recently in my outfits! 

I'm sort of in a style rut at the moment and I'm really not feeling the love for my wardrobe space so maybe that's something to do with it. I'm looking forward to the move into the new house so I have a bit more room for my clothes. Being able to see everything at a glance will help, out of sight out of mind and all that!! 

We're about two months away from moving in and my dressing room (yes my, hubbie can find a wee corner somewhere for his, or share with the wee man like he does now!) and en suite currently looks like this.


Some day soon I hope it will look like this.

I'm hoping I can stretch the space enough to have this! 


Necklace storage is another obstacle I've have to overcome. Since starting The Treasure Trove my necklace collection has grown considerably! Perks of the job of course! I've taken over a decorative hanging thingymajig in the bathroom, necklaces can now be found in every nook and cranny of our small house at the minute. 







All necklaces from my shop The Treasure Trove

Now most people can't spare the space to have a wall of shoes, but necklace storage is a bit easier to overcome. I like the idea of hooks and on rails to store mine, as you can see it all at a glance, and it's doesn't take up too much room.

These ones from Ikea are marketed as a kitchen storage solution, but I think they will be perfect for the job. The little hanging cups will come in handy too. Our Master bedroom accent colour is orange so it works out perfect. Love it when a good storage plan comes together!! 


Onto recent outfits- if you like black you've come to the right place. If colour is your thing, well maybe check back next time when I'm feeling a bit more inspired! 


Isabel Marant for H&M tee
Next white skinnies 


New look striped top
Next white skinnies 
H&M boots


Next top
Oasis skinnies
Next shoes 


F&F blouse
Topshop skinnies
New look shoes


Hopefully next time I'll be a little more colourful and inspiring!


Tx




Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Functional dressing

Getting dressed at the moment takes a bit more thought than usual as I'm feeding Baby C myself, so this means anything I wear needs to be breast feeding friendly. 

Most nursing wear is totally not my thing, the majority of it seems to be wrap tops which I don't really like. I would love to design a young, trendier range of nursing clothes. Maternity wear has come on leaps and bounds in recent years with the likes of ASOS and Topshop doing some great pieces, but nursing wear just hasn't caught up sadly.

So in the absence of specific nursing clothes I've had to modify my outfits to accommodate feeding time while out and about. 

I wear a nursing bra and a normal vest every day, so the top layer just needs to be able to pull up to work. I started of wearing a lot of shirts, but you do end up exposing a bit of top boob this way. So I now wear jumpers and sweatshirts more. So I unclick bra, vest goes down, top goes up and away we go. It's working so far and I'm sure no one has been flashed just yet. I've even had a few men stand and talk to me while I've been feeding and they haven't caught on, because I know if they did they'd probably get all embarrassed and run for the hills!! 

I'm getting frustrated that I can't wear dresses though. I have a few new ones that I bought in the late stages of pregnancy that are taunting me from the wardrobe everyday. There's no way they are going to work anytime soon, so I just have to accept it! First world problems eh? 

In baby news Baby C is now 7 weeks old and has slept through the night for the last 4 nights, she even done an amazing 10 hours last night!! Her big brother slept through from that age too. Marlene from Chocolate, Cookies and Candies said I could make millions selling my secret but sadly for my bank balance I don't have one. Mr T'n'P loves his sleep so I'm putting it down to that! It's fustrating when he falls asleep mid conversation, but not so fustrating when you wake up at 7:30am and both kids are still happily snoozing away!! 

In other amazing news I finally got me a pair of flat yellow shoes!! Yellow shoes are my holy grail, as I wear so much of it. I can't tell you the amount of yellow shoes I've ordered and sent back. But I've hit the jackpot with these babies. They are the perfect shade of yellow (and believe me there are plenty!) comfy and with a perfect point! If you fancy them be quick, there are only limited sizes left. 



Necklace from my shop
H&M Breton
Only jeans via ASOS 



Necklace from my shop 
F&F shell top
Zara jeans 
Next shoes


Necklace from my shop
New look shirt
Matalan trousers 
H&M boots 

Check out this gorgeous River Island jumpsuit- I tried it on knowing I had nowhere to wear it to. I was very restrained and left empty handed, but I'm thinking I really need it in my life. It's hard to see but it has a citrus stripe in it too. It would even be nursing friendly so it's practically made for me, so I think a cheeky online purchase is in order. 


Tx 

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The social butterfly

Baby C has been something of a little social butterfly since she has arrived. At 6 weeks old she has already attended a Wedding, First Communion and a Christening (albeit her own!) 

First up the wedding. I was so excited to go shopping again after Baby C's arrival, but babies, toddlers and shopping don't  really mix so as usual ASOS came to the rescue. One massive box and several outfits later I settled on this lemon dress from whistles. Of course I choose the yellow option, but the pink almost made the cut.  It must be due to the arrival of Baby C, but I'm definitely warming to pink a lot more these days!! 

The shoes are from ASOS too, they're an ivory colour and are very bridalesque. They would be perfect with a Jenny Packham style Wedding dress. 
Baby C in Mamas & Papas

This dress comes in a few different colour options and since I've worn it I've seen Mylene in the pink version, and Holly in the navy version. Obviously I'm watching too much daytime TV! 






















On to Baby C's Christening. I didn't buy anything new for this *proud face*. Since I'm feeding Baby C myself dresses can be a little tricky unless you have a separate room to pop off to like I did at the wedding. So a skirt/top combo is the only way to go. I settled on this next pencil skirt and F&F shell top, the Zara jacket was a last minute addition as it was a little dull that morning. Shoe wise I choose these pointed RI courts as they are very comfy and I knew there would be a lot of standing to be done.

Zara jacket 
F&F shell top
Next skirt
RI shoes 


Looking back on photos I think I should have worn a necklace, but as I got about 45 seconds to actually get dressed a styling session wasn't really an option. So I had to go without!! 


Lastly my God Daughters First Communion yesterday. I hadn't much time this week to think about what to wear and so this outfit was pulled together literally ten minutes before I went out the door. 
F&F shell top
H&M skirt
Zara sandals

In times like this I always rely on my trusty H&M pencil skirt. The great thing about it is that it has so many colours that you can pull out a different colour each time and wear so many different tops with it. I went for the white shell top again as it worked well for feeding last week. This time I added one of the Treasure Trove necklaces to pick out some of the colours on the skirt. Last years Zara sandals finished it off. 

Tx