Amy Antoinette - A Motherhood & Lifestyle Blog: July 2013

30 July 2013

Love Boo Mummy Skincare

I must admit I've been quite slack when it comes to applying lotions and potions to my growing baby bump. Both in my twin pregnancy and my current pregnancy, I applied creams and oils sporadically, no more than a few times a week. Now I've reached the third trimester, when stretch marks are most likely to appear,  I thought it about time I establish some kind of routine in using pregnancy products to keep my skin in good condition. Since these four products from the Love Boo Mummy Skincare range have arrived, I've been enjoying applying them at least once a day - twice if I remember! 

The Love Boo range is a beautiful collection of skin care products, not only for pregnancy, but for after baby arrives too. Free from parabens and packed full of active ingredients, the luxurious range is natural and safe to use both whilst pregnant and nursing. I absolutely adore the packaging of this brand - pastel polka dots, butterflies and pretty fonts make it ultra feminine and a pleasure to use.

Bosom Buddy - £18.99 
A rapidly expanding bust is a common symptom of pregnancy, so I'm happy to have a product which is specifically designed to treat this area. The aptly named Bosom Buddy tones, tightens and helps stop stretch marks thanks to its natural ingredients. Centella and ginkgo biloba help to firm and improve elasticity whilst argan oil softens, smoothes and tightens the chest area, reducing the appearance of stretch marks. This is a rich and luxurious cream to apply, which is easily absorbed and leaves my skin noticeably smooth.

A naturally fragranced citrus body wash with special ingredients to keep skin supple and hydrated whilst gently cleansing. This body wash is perfect for dry or itchy skin, which is ideal for me as I've noticed my bump has become more itchy the bigger it grows! The subtle lemon and ginger fragrance is also great for calming morning sickness if you're in the early stages of pregnancy.

A luxurious and creamy body butter containing centella, shea butter and hibiscus flower,  this is my favourite product of the four. It's a dream to use - it feels nourishing to apply, keeps my skin intensely moisturised, and leaves it feeling ultra soft and supple. I love the scent, which has more shea butter than citrus coming through, and I apply this to both my bump and thighs in a bid to increase skin elasticity and help fight stretch-marks and cellulite.

This 100% natural oil is delicately scented with passion flower, sweet almond and argan oil, which combine to create a subtle and revitalising fragrance. With a silky texture, I was happy to discover this oil is non-greasy and absorbs quickly into the skin (unlike Bio-Oil!), so I've had no problems with it marking or rubbing off on clothing. Like most pregnancy oils, it works to combat the appearance of stretch marks and restore skin elasticity by moisturising and nourishing the skin, and I've noticed my skin feels supple and soft after applying this.

The Summer Skin Kit includes the four products above, available to buy from Love Boo for £45.99

24 July 2013

28 Weeks Pregnancy Update

This week marks the beginning of the third trimester, which is new territory for me and something which I am so grateful for. One of my pregnancy apps informs me I have 82 days to go, which doesn't sound long at all! This week has been filled with appointments - a glucose tolerance test, (which was just a formality as it's usually reserved for women with a high BMI, but necessary for me as my dad has type 2 diabetes), a blood test, an anti-D injection, the whooping cough vaccine, a scan and a midwife appointment. Overall, lot of needles, but I can't complain as it's nowhere near the amount I was subjected to in my last pregnancy and they all routine, rather than being needed due to complications.

Our consultant treated us to another 4D scan of our little one, where we were lucky enough to get an amazingly clear picture of our baby's face, where we saw cute chubby cheeks and plump lips! If all goes well, we should only be having two more scans, and then we will be seeing our baby in real life! The baby is now head down, which probably accounts for the kicks I've been feeling much higher up. Strange to have little feet poking my ribs! According to my baby books, at 28 weeks they measure around 37cm from head to toe, and from the scan, our little one is estimated to weigh 2lbs 13oz. My bump circumference in now 40", and after weeks of being on the cusp, my belly button finally popped out!

Over the past few weeks, Matt and I have cleared out one of our spare bedrooms in preparation for turning it into a nursery. The floor had become a large mass of indistinguishable clothes as tidying has been low on our list of priorities since last November, so it felt good to sort through everything and get organised. We're hoping to move to a bigger house next year, so we'll be painting the room a neutral colour rather than something gender specific, and adding touches of colour with accessories. We're currently favouring a light grey, but there don't seem to be too many options to choose from, so if you have any recommendations, do let me know!

My Pregnancy Diary

- - -

14 July 2013

DIY Maternity Photo Shoot

With the recent glorious sunshine the UK has been receiving, I thought it the perfect opportunity to head outdoors for a DIY Maternity Photo Shoot. We didn't get any proper photos during my pregnancy with William and Noah as I was in and out of hospital so frequently and on bed rest at home in between. So this time, I was keen to get some shots of my growing bump which I could treasure for years to come. 

I wanted something pastel, floaty and whimsical to wear, but the selection of maternity dresses available is pretty dire, so I headed to Missguided and bought a maxi dress in my regular size 8, which I just about managed to squeeze my ever-expanding bust into! I do prefer to buy non-maternity outfits where possible so I can wear them again, so no doubt this dress will be making an appearance again next summer.

I'd recommend every woman take some maternity shots while pregnant. We had a lovely time taking taking these pictures, and the photo shoot is now one of my favourite memories of this pregnancy. Whether it be using a professional photographer or a DIY project, you'll cherish the photos for a long time. I've added some DIY Maternity Shoot Tips below if you'd like to do one yourself.

DIY Maternity Photo Shoot Tips
  • Make sure you have a visible bump! It's suggested a good time is between 30 and 35 weeks, but it depends on the individual and whether you have a big or small bump. We took mine just before 26 weeks, as my bump was big enough for the photos and I didn't know if we would get another sunny weekend to take them! 
  • Props can be fun to include. I had planned on taking a little chalkboard and writing the number of weeks on it, but forget at the last moment. Other fun things to use would be scan pictures, balloons, baby books or baby shoes.
  • Try and take your photos outside for a pretty backdrop. We returned to Whatton Gardens for ours (where our wedding reception was held) as we knew there was plenty of beautiful scenery. Other lovely locations for photo shoots are forests, botanical gardens, parks, walking trails and beaches. 
  • If possible, shoot on a cloudy day and avoid direct sunlight. The best time to take them outside during summer is between 4-6pm, for soft lighting. We had to go against my own advice and battle the midday sun as the gardens closed at 4pm and I knew if I left it to the evening my hay fever would be unmanageable. We tried to take most of our photos in the shade or under some cover, but a few were taken in the direct sunlight and I'm still happy with how they look.
  • Take along a tripod if you plan on taking photos with your partner, or enlist the help of a family member or friend. It was a bit of a hassle setting up the tripod to the correct height and distance under the scorching sun, but worthwhile for the photos we got from it.
  • Don't worry about the people around you if you're taking your photos in a public place - you'll never see them again! A few people paused to peer at us out of curiosity, but we just continued on with what we were doing and they soon went away.

- - -

My Pregnancy Diary

- - -

10 July 2013

Shabby Chic Home Accessories

It's no secret I'm a fan of the anything shabby chic to create a country cottage look around the home. One of my favourite places to find an array of beautiful decorative accessories is Live Love Laugh. I've shopped with the company before so I was delighted when they contacted me to offer me some of their bestselling items. Stocked with pretty home accessories, soft furnishings and furniture, I could quite happily fill our entire home with their products! Here are the latest additions which are making a pretty appearance around the house...

PR Samples

4 July 2013

25 Weeks Pregnancy Update

25 weeks already. This pregnancy has raced by so far, much to my relief, and I'm now further along than I ever was with William and NoahMy bump is now almost the same size as it was when I went into labour with our twins, but I've needed to buy some new maternity clothes as I'm pregnant in a completely different season, so I've been enjoying dresses and t-shirts rather than long sleeved tops and oversized jumpers!

I have now passed all my milestones from my twin pregnancy - 12 weeks when we discovered when there was no amniotic fluid left around Noah, 20 weeks when my waters broke around William, and 23+2 when I gave birth to our baby boys. At this point, PPROM, which led to their premature birth, is no longer such a concern, so that at least is some comfort and our anxiety has lessened somewhat.

We've been seeing our consultant every 2 weeks for scans and monitoring, but now I'm past 24 weeks, we'll only be seeing her every 4 weeks until we feel comfortable enough not to have anymore. After eight scans I'll miss not seeing our little one so often. Our consultant has treated us to a 4D scan on three occasions now, which has been a magical experience. It is so amazing to see all the facial features so clearly, and watch our baby yawning and waving their little hands about. 

I've been feeling kicks from 17 weeks but they're getting stronger each week - enough to knock things off my tummy if I'm resting anything there! Sometimes little bubba has a very energetic kicking session, other times it's slow rolls and stretches which is a more strange sensation. Lately I've been enjoying playing music to the baby, after I bought Hayley Westenra's Hushabye album a few weeks ago. The first few times I played it were emotional as I thought of William and Noah and how I never got to sing lullabies to them, but they're beautiful songs and I love listening to them. It would be a very soothing selection to play during feeds and before bedtime.

Our excitement has started to grow as we realise there's a very real possibility we'll be taking this baby home. Last week we tentatively bought a few items for the baby, which was a special moment for us to enjoy. We were going to wait until 30 weeks, but I realised whether we buy things now, or wait until late into the third trimester, our baby could still die, and buying baby paraphernalia won't effect the outcome. I know it's not unusual for some women to have bought a whole host of baby items and have even got started on the nursery before the 20 week anomaly scan, let alone waiting to reach viability at 24 weeks. It must be lovely to feel so certain you will be taking home a healthy baby. But speaking to other bereaved mothers I know it's normal to hold off on buying things, so I'm glad we've finally been able embrace this part earlier than I expected.

Lastly, we're thinking of signing up for some NCT antenatal classes. Not so much for the information part, as I've already experienced labour and birth, but to meet some other couples in our area as we don't know anyone else with babies and we've heard good things about long lasting friendships developing. Do let me know if you've joined the NCT and whether you found it worthwhile.

My Pregnancy Diary

- - -

Follow on Bloglovin   

2 July 2013

Garden Delights

With the lighter evenings and mild temperatures, lately I've been enjoying spending my evenings exploring new hobbies and activities, rather than simply relying on the television for entertainment. As part of MoneySuperMarket's Big Night In, I was challenged to blog about my perfect night in. The recent warm weather has given me a rare opportunity to enjoy the garden, so I planned to spend my evening outside, where it's so  peaceful and serene. With the budget I was given, I purchased a beautiful Steepletone Retro Radio and a white wicker picnic basket to make my evening outdoors complete. I adore the retro radio. Not only is the design lovely, it's portable which makes it the perfect picnic accessory. So this is how I spent my night in - sitting amongst roses with music playing gently in the background and enjoying a hearty slice of strawberry pavlova with tea in vintage china whilst flicking through Country Living magazine. Simple pleasures are often the best.