Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Rainy Day

Today was one of those days! Coming into December the rainy days are becoming more frequent and it's becoming dark so early in the day. Myself and Ollie had absolutely no plans today, and so close to Christmas we can't be trusted to go out anywhere exciting in fear that we spend all our Christmas savings. Or days when you literally just cannot be bothered getting in the car! 

Today Ollie napped very early and by lunch time we had been for a long walk, so where as he was bouncing off the walls- at 5 months pregnant I was hitting my midday slump with  no hope of him settling down again I decided we would do some meditation and relaxation techniques.
Just a few minutes of deep breathing, stretching, and relaxing music and it gave me the energy to spur on for the rest of the day. Ollie joined me for a while with some poses, he also sat on my head, walked Peppa pig across my face and urgently needed to know "what's that Mammy" all within the same 20 minutes.

Don't be put off, If you are trying to take time to yourself as a mammy;
✔️even a  5 minutes of deep breathing/ gentle stretching can help restore energy levels. Try get a few minutes in each day
✔️have lots of activities around to occupy little ones, Ollie is really into Art& craft at the moment and I've stocked up with heaps of materials and stickers from Dealz to keep him busy
✔️ if it's really not working you can always try again later, don't get worked up trying to relax.
✔️limit screen time as much as possible. This is a personal one but I find most of the time social media is filled with useless  information that won't add to your day.

The struggle is real 😂, trying to have 5 minutes quiet time with a 2 year old!

Coming up to Christmas I have premade heaps of these Christmas tree decorations that Ollie then decorates with stickers and keeps him so busy. Yay 

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Life is for living.

I'm sure you have heard the saying "live each day like it is your last", it's not my favourite saying as it's not really possible, is it? Surely if this was your last day, you wouldn't spend it sitting on a crowded bus for an hour to go to work a ten hour shift in an office! You need to do this, no matter how much you might not want to... But if it was your last day. No way! You'd spend it with family and friends, laugh, dance and sing and certainly no one would go to work. 

It's on these days, the every days, that it is hardest to muster up appreciation for all that we do have. It can be hard to see the positive side to the ordinary every days. But each and every day is life, each week that passes shouldn't be wasted or wished away, even if it seems the same as last week.

It hit me recently, as I was driving along one day how we only appreciate how  much we have when it is gone. We only appreciate our health when we are ill, our youth when we are old, our freedom once we have responsibilities, the absolute wonder if the world once it seems to be falling apart.

My other half was recently diagnosed with an illness that will effect him forever more, that will change our path. Instead of getting upset over this, we thought "ok , now our path has changed, let's see where this one leads". We still have a beautiful healthy boy, we are alive and get to wake up each day together. We are healthy enough to be able to work, we have our family, our friends and we have today.

So to end on a positive note. Try to appreciate each day to the fullest. Here are a few of my tips for gratitude. 
➕ Be present. Notice the people around you, the smells, the sounds and sights. Use all your senses and you will see things today that you never noticed before.
➕Don't compare your day/ life to others.   Social media is a powerful tool but it gives a warped sense or reality. Everyone's life has ups and downs. 
➕Count your blessings. Literally. From having time to sit with your family over breakfast to having the ability to work. Take a moment to be still each day and think of all you are grateful for. It all counts. Count it.

A new day tomorrow, let's make it count. 

With love 
Rachael. X

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Ban the bead.

I have seen a lot lately about the LUSH Ban the bead campaign. It surrounds the concept of the environmental damage that microbeads in exfoliants are having on marine life. In one study 35% of fish tested were found to have microbead particles in their digestive system. Microbeads in body and face exfoliants are made from plastics (you will see it on packaging as Polypropylene or similar) that do not bio-degrade and are therefore building up in the oceans. 

There are 2 types of exfoliaters 1: Chemical ( such as a sallysidic acid) or mechanical (beads/grains/particles). I think that it is pretty unnecessary to use an artificial product on your skin when there are so many natural grainy substances that can do the same physical job. 

So in the name of beauty I set about to make my own natural exfoliants using only ingredients from my kitchen or garden. I have a pretty normal skin type, and generally only exfoliate my face once a week, but I stopped altogether for about 5 weeks. By this week it looked dull and lifeless!

I made up a few for different skin types or concerns;


  • capsule of activated charcoal
  • few fresh mint leaves
  • zest from a lime
  • small drop of cool water to mix a paste
This is a great deep cleansing exfoliate that can be left on as a mask. Charcoal is deeply purifying and detoxing for the skin. The lime is packed with Vit C and Mint contains Vitamin A which helps repair skins surface. Empty the charcoal capsule and mix all the ingredients into a bowl, use your fingers to mash everything up into a paste. The charcoal is a fine powder so it is the perfect light exfoliant for oilier skin.

  • Polenta ( or any fine maize)
  • Fresh corriander
  • Virgin organic coconut oil
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Polenta is a fine maize grain rich in Vit A and C. It is slightly coarser so perfect for drier skin. Corriander is very nourishing for dry skin too. A small drop of coconut oil to bind it all together. My skin was so soft after using this.

Other grains that can be used as exfoliaters:
Coffee- Caffeine for perky bright skin
Oats- If you suffer from sensitivity
Crushed Almonds/Cashews/Macadamia Nuts- Dry skin
Salt or Sugar- More coarse so better for a body exfoliater

Mix with fruits or veggies such as 
Citrus Fruits rinds

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Inhale good, exhale bad

Welcome back to Wellness Wednesday! 

It's been a busy week for my little family this last week, between working, projects and family time it's been all go go go!

As mummas daily life is chock full of busy times.Stress comes with the territory when you are trying to juggle so many things in a daily basis. It's easy to feel like your fighting a loosing battle with household chores, work, and general life. Sometimes it is important to remember just to BREATHE. To really breathe, deeply, and let go of the tension you are holding in your body. It will instantly give you relief. I see so many people coming into my work, holding their shoulders so high and tight, completely unbeknownst to them. Stress and tension are physically draining and can take a toll on your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Have you ever had a particularly stressful day, and then the slightest thing sets you off, and afterwards you feel so much better, albeit slightly crazy :)

On a daily basis it's so important to take time out just to BE. Weather it is 1 minute or 15 minutes or an hour - if your lucky. Breathing deeply right down to your little toe and exhaling, releasing all the negative energy and emotions and thoughts. That niggle of annoyance about the towel that your other half left on the bathroom floor. Let it go. The stress you feel over the ever increasing laundry or dishes. Let it go. The exasperation you feel when your little humans empty the toy box everywhere, seconds after it has been tidied away. Let it go. If it does not serve you let it go! 

When I'm feeling particularly stressed I find a quiet corner in the house or take a walk outside and breathe. Inhale good energy, fresh air, positive thoughts. Exhale your gripes, annoyances, negative energy and stress. Let your shoulders relax. I bet you didn't even realise you were holding them tight?

 When you are finished you will feel ready to put back on your mummy hat and take on the world again. So when it feels like it's all getting too much, just remember to take a step back and just breathe .

Much love,

Rachael x

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Wellness Wednesday

Hi all, 

I thought I would start a thread for wellness Wednesday's that, hopefully il be able to post every week with a positive little message!
 Being a mum (or dad) is one of the most amazing and rewarding jobs that there is. Getting to watch your little ones grow and develop and achieve their goals is such an amazing feeling but being a parent is also such a hard job at times too. It is so important to be aware of this and to accept that it isn't always going to be lovely and easy! 

As a mum your day starts at crazy o'clock in the morning, you don't get lunch breaks, double pay, holidays or time off. When we are feeling tired or run down, or if we have a busy schedule it can be a little overwhelming. Being mindful does not mean to be positive all the time, it does mean to be aware of how you are feeling at that present moment and seeing the reasons that may be making you feel like that.. And to accept it!

When I'm feeling overpowered or low on energy, or if I'm having a tricky moment with Ollie there are a few things I like to try to pick our moods up! 
•Go outside; fresh air and the outdoors are known to increase your mood. Especially in Ireland when the weather can be so wet. Just wrap up well and get outside for even a few minutes! 
•Nourish yourself; you know those days when you have a take away and instantly feel sluggish and tired. Rarely do you feel like this after a salad or fruit. Keep it in mind next time you go to fix a meal. Eating well will nourish your body and mind. 
•Meditate and Stretch; if you have time take 15 minutes or even 5 minutes to meditate and focus your thoughts. Deep breathing or sun salutations are great for increasing energy and positivity. I try to set aside time in the garden while Ollie is playing for this. If yoga or meditation is not your thing light excersise will help too. Often when you have taken time to be with your thoughts you will realise that what was stressing you is not that important (the dishes will wait)
• Take time out for yourself; this is so important for self wellness to just take time out to do something you enjoy, by yourself! Wether it's going for a walk in the evening while your other half watches baby, Meeting friends or just having a bath in peace. It's important not to loose sight of you as a person outside your role as a parent.

And sometimes the only thing that will help on those days where you feel like you want to pull your hair out is a good nights SLEEP! :) Keep in mind what an amazing job you are doing mummy's and how much your little ones appreciate what you do!

Rachael x

Monday, 4 May 2015

Stop to smell the roses.

Firstly I just want to say sorry for my complete absence from the blog lately. I have been taking time out to really focus on Ollie and embrace our time together. 

I mentioned in a previous post I got tickets for  a mindfulness workshop and myself and Billy attended it in March. It focused on mindfulness with parenting and really helped me to become more aware of the present moment, not to be anxious about the future or regretful for the past. 

As adults we are looked at as the teachers to children and to set a good example yet it is children who show us how to embrace the present moment. Our little ones are determined, they don't give up until they get what they want and they see the beauty and wonder in the world that we have become so accustomed and blinded to. They teach us to live every day to the fullest.

So lately I have been spending a lot of time with Ollie outdoors and learning from him. We do yoga, we have our breakfast in the veggie patch (when it's not raining) and mostly we play 😊.His latest hobby is smelling every single flower he sees. When we are out walking he picks all the dandelions and daisies, I'm trying to teach him not pick "planted" flowers. Even with the dandelion, which is basically a weed, he takes a long sniff and says WOW. Our cherry blossom tree bloomed in the last week and the fragrance off the flowers is so beautiful. That tree has been in the garden for years and I don't think I ever really even saw it! One aspect of mindfulness is beginners mind which is basically seeing the world through a child's eyes. 

Im really going to try and practice this on a daily basis. Our little ones have so much to show us and open our eyes to the important things in life. I'm going to make a big effort also to post more regularly on this but I keep the Mayalu Facebook page updated more quite often so check that out.

Rachael xx

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Nailed it!

Most of you have probably heard the hype about toxins in nail polishes. It wouldn't come as a surprise, with the strong smell of it, that a lot of those little colourful bottles are filled to the brim with toxins. Most polishes have phased out the ingredients for the 3-free polishes and are slowley following suit for 5-free, greener more natural polishes!

What is 3 free and 5 free nail polishes?

3 Free; No Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene, and Formaldehyde
5 Free; No Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, and Camphor
The harmful effects of these ingredients are are well documented. They are strong, toxic chemicals and a quick google search will fill you in on all the deets!

I'm not too picky on brands of nail polishes as I rarely paint my nails any more since I had Ollie. If I do buy polishes its nice to be able to make an informed decision, especially since the more natural ones are just as good in my opinion. Great range of colours, brands and better for your nails and health :)

Which brands are 3 Free?

 CND, Essie, Estee Lauder, Hard Candy, Lancome, M.A.C., Nars, OPI, NYC, Wet ‘n’ Wild, Avon, Revlon, Nubar
Which brands are 5 free?

Chanel, Dashing Diva, Dior, Givenchy, Hopscotch Kids, L’Oreal, Nubar, RGB, Scotch Naturals, Uslu Airlines, Zoya, Mineral Fusion, 

If you know of any other brands that I'm missing, et me know and I'll add them in :)


Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Finding peace with toddler tantrums.

He wanted to flollow the ducks into the pond!

funny; courtesy of pinterest

Tantrums. The terrible two's. I have been expecting them, preparing for them and I got a dose of a real tantrum the other day-except Ollie is only 18 months! Now of course he has had his fair share of outbursts before but these full blown tantrums are completely different. I wanted to explore the best way to react and to navigate these tricky situations.

Ollie's first major meltdown happened when we were out for a walk the other day. We had played a lovely game of football in the park and I had popped him in his buggy to go for a nice long walk before we headed back to the car. So we were half way through our walk when suddenly Ollie decided he didn't ant to be in the buggy anymore. Fair enough. I popped his harness on to let him walk. Nope don't want to walk. Didn't want to play football. Didn't want to be carried. Didn't want me to carry the football/put it under the pram. Didn't want to be carried. It seemed all he wanted to do was sit on the floor and cry. I gave up on the idea of a walk and decided to return to the car.  It didn't help that my coat was made of the same slippy material as his coat so as I struggled to carry the screaming toddler who had made himself all floppy he just slid off my hip and to maneuver the pram with the other hand. I tried to keep my face calm and loving and continued planting little kisses on his tear stained cheek. I must have looked like such a crazy woman- my hair a mess from being pulled, my coat covered in little footprints trying to escape, stumbling down the street trying to get home. I can laugh now but at the time the journey back to the car seemed endless.

Why am I telling you this? Obviously its not my greatest moment as a mum! On the drive home it led me to think... What do you do when your toddler is throwing a tantrum?

Now as with all new mums, we are all just learning as we go and I am lucky enough to have my own mum (mother to 6) to turn to for advice so here are a few nuggets of advice to help you survive the stress' of tantrums.
A bit like Ollie the other day 

Firstly remember that your toddler is just trying to communicate something and you don't understand. They are old enough to have a sense of self- they have developed their personalities and sense of will. Basically they know what they want and what they don't! (Now is may be something as silly as wanting to share their yogurt with the dog.)

Be present; Keep your face calm, positive happy or neutral but try not to fall into a stressed/negative or agitated state as this will only mirror your toddler instead of lift their spirits. 

Offer an alternative or a distraction: So you may not let them take a toy from another child but offer them another or take them away from the situation. 

Play with them: Sometimes the reason they are acting up is because of boredom. I find the best thing to do in these situations are to be their to play with them, Go outside for a walk or run around. Leave the dishes (they will wait). A calm toddler is much less stressful than a messy kitchen!

Let them help: If your toddler wants something that you have- but cant give them ( for instance; a dusting cloth). It may be their way of saying but mum I want to do what your doing too! Give them a clean cloth/ face cloth so they can mimic you (their hero ;))

Remember that your toddler is trying to communicate

Tantrums can be upsetting for both mum and baby so once your little one is settled again, take some time out to reflect or meditate. This can restore your energy levels and bring you back to a more peaceful and positive state. 

Nourish your body and mind, drink green juice - keep your energy high to help you cope with stress. Tired mum + cranky baby happy times

Spend some time away from technology, reading stories, going for walks it will help you de-stress.

Don't take it personally. They still love you :) 

I hope you may find some helpful info in here and as they say a problem shared is a problem halved ;) Any other mums out there have any other tips?


Reasons my toddler is crying; He wanted to put his hand in my hot tea!

Monday, 9 February 2015

January/ February Faves!

Hi Ladies,

What better time to start a monthly faves post than at the start of the year... Already I am running behind! This is a post I love reading on other blogs. This will be a bit of a mix of beauty/baby fave's I have been loving over the last 6 weeks or so.

Darphin Vitalskin Serum

I have been LOVING this or the last few weeks. This super-hydrating serum really perks up and brightens your skin(with caffeine extract and vitamin C) and leaves your skin super fresh and glowing. Love love love it! 


There is nothing better on a dark winters morning than a bowl of hot porridge to set you up for the day :) To shake it up a bit I make it with almond or coconut milk, a few raisins, sprinkling of cinnamon and some honey.

Lucas' Pawpaw Ointment

Made from fermented Paw paw fruit, this little tube is a miracle worker. I keep one in my handbag all the time especially during these winter months. Among its many uses it can be used as a lip balm, on dry skin, as a hand cream, for nappy rash or for taming fly-away hairs! I bulk bought before I left Australia and now get my friends to bring me home some whenever they're visiting :)

Make Up

This Buxom lip gloss is from Sephora that I got as a gift from a friend. It's a lip plumping gloss but it is a lovely light texture, non-sticky and really moisturising for the lips. I have the shade "White Russian" and its a lovely pale pink shade.

The next 2 are NYX products which are super affordable, only 4 or 5 euro each. The HD concealer is brilliant,I use it as a highlighter and under eye dark circle concealer. Its highly pigmented and has a lovely light powder finish. A brilliant concealer for just a few euro!! You can't go wrong with this.

The Lip pencil again was only a few euro and I have the shade 719 PECAN 
. I love this colour its a dusty pinky-brown colour. Similar to MAC "Amplified" and has a cream sheen finish.

I am loving NYX cosmetics they are brilliant quality for the price, I'l be going back for more soon :)

Baby Harness:

Now Ollie is getting braver and more independent, whenever we are out and about he doesn't want to hold my hand or stay in his buggy. Half the time I was pushing an empty buggy trying to run after him :) He wants to explore by himself! I picked up a harness one day in Tesco and found it was brilliant for keeping him safe yet giving him a sense of independence!

Let me know if you enjoy these kinds of posts and I'd love to hear any feedback. Have a lovely week.

Rachael x

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Find YOUR perfect skincare routine!

Hi Ladies,

I am always getting asked for advice on skincare routines and what products to use at home to suit your skin. It can sometimes be hard to get impartial advice so my aim today is to give a few pointers on how to find the right skincare for YOU, A lot of which is trial and error. What works for one persons' skin may not work for someone else's or a review for a product that may be brilliant but may not necessarily suit your skin type. My aim today is to give a few simple pointers to help you on your way.

I have a lot of experience working as a facial therapist and over the years have seen it all with regards skin so I thought I would share some tips and tricks to get the best skincare routine for you!

Your skin type:
This might sound a little obvious but a lot of women aren't actually sure what there skin type is. It is key to use products that are suited to your skin. Skin types may be Normal, Oily, Dry or Combination. Skin conditions can be classed as Dehydrated, congested or sensitive. You may have a combination of any of these. 

So although you may get breakouts along your jaw, you may not be oily. Breakouts can be caused by stress, hormones, allergies etc as well as oiliness. For an in-depth skin analysis having a facial with a skin expert is a good place to start. This way you can really get to know your skin.

Cleansing is so important (I'd nearly say most important) when it comes to a skincare routine. Regardless if you wear make up day to day, but more-so if you do. Start with a separate eye cleanse to remove eye make up and mascara. I use my trusty old coconut oil or No7 eye make up remover is also very good.
I recommend a cream cleanser if you wear makeup and to cleanse twice. If you are partial to washes, keep this for your second cleanse or for in the mornings ( as they can be drying on the skin). To cleanse simply massage a euro coin size amount into the skin and remove with warm damp facecloth. 
Tip: Bulk buy cheap baby muslin cloths to save your nice facecloths. click here to find.

Toning your skin is also very important but often overlooked. It removes excess oils/ cleanser residue and prepares your skin for your moisturiser. Unless you have excessively oily skin avoid using toners containing alcohol. Simple natural toners such as rose water are perfect. Or again No.7 have some nice mild toners

Finding a moisturiser that suits your skin and makes an impact can be quite trial and error. For drier skins try to opt for a water-in-oil mix (heavier) and for normal skin oil-in-water tends to sit better. With oily or very oily skin try opt for oil-free and non-comedegenic moisturisers (won't block your pores). I will try to do more reviews on products with tags on suitable skin types but as I said it is quite a personal thing! From late 20's onward you will want to start introducing some anti-aging into your skincare. For oily/sensitive/ congested skin check out my review on La Roche Posay skincare

Eye care:
Again from mid 20's an eye cream is something you might want to consider using. They are lighter in consistency than your facial cream so better suited to the delicate eye area. It also targets fine lines/dark circles/puffiness.

If you get this much done, your not doing too bad!

Exfoliants help remove any build up of dead skin cells. This in turn helps your moisturiser to better penetrate to the living cells.( I hold my hands up, I do slack on this sometimes/ alot). If your skin is sensitive try use a mild exfoliant and limit it to once per week. Otherwise 2-3 times per week is recommended. 

Serums, masks, oils and elixirs are all add-ons really. If you can nail the basics down and then gradually build up your products you will be more likely to stick with it. I hope this helps. Any questions or tips please feel free to share.



My skincare fave's at the moment!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Babycook Review

When I was growing up there were only one or two well known brands of baby food and most of you are probably familiar with those little glass jars that they came in. When we started weaning Ollie onto solid foods we looked around at the nutritional value of these jars. I tried a few myself, they looked bland, smelt funny and tasted like cornflour... which surprise surprise was a main ingredient! I found it hard to get Ollie to eat much if any of these jars and who can blame him really so I had to look at other options.

Today I am reviewing the BEABA Babycook food processor that I used to make most of Ollie's food.It's a bit of a strange thing to review but if my mum hadn't told me about it I would never have even known there was such a thing on the market! I fell in love with this the first time I used it. It is so simple and handy to use to make healthy, nutritious, fresh meals for your little one. BEABA is a french brand that has been around for the last 20 years. The babycook has 2 main parts. The main body, the power source, has a compartment that you fill with water. The second part is the food processor. Inside this is a little basket. Your chopped raw fruit or veggies go in the basket in the processor and you turn it on. Simple! They are gently steamed and cooked to perfection every time. Once done, then you simply tip the basket of food into the processor, turn it on and you are left with a smooth puree- perfect for weaning babies. 

It comes with a cookbook with ideas of different recipes. Surprisingly one of Ollie's favourites was Broccoli, Pear and Peas! The purees can be made in advance and frozen (v. handy!) The steam cooking helps to lock in all the nutrients and any leftover water makes a perfect drink for a weaning baby as it contains more veggie nutrients! Once baby can handle chunkier food the steaming function alone is the perfect time saving way to cook and lock in all the goodness. I still use mine all the time even for cooking my own veg!

This would be a great gift for a family member or friend with a newborn that you are looking for that something special for. The retail at about 122 EURO and can be ordered online or boots online. For more gift ideas check out my previous post on more gifts for mum-to-be here Hope this review is helpful.

Rachael x

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Some things new mothers cannot prepare for

Leading up to the birth of your first child is an exciting time. You've decorated the nursery, read all the pregnancy books and been to the pre-natal classes. Every second person you meet has some nugget of wisdom to bestow upon you about your impending motherhood but there are some things that new mums just cannot prepare for and do not expect!

  1. The smell of nappies.
When I was in my last few weeks of pregnancy myself and my sister went shopping one day and found ourselves strolling around the Yankee candle shop. As you do, I spent ages smelling all the different candles trying to decide on which one to take home to put in my bedroom, where Ollie was also to be sleeping. My sister suggested the Baby Powder scented candle and I replied that " the room will already smell like baby powder" ha ha WRONG! A newborn needs a nappy change every 2-3 hours in the first few weeks, will spit up milk and the inevitable "poo-nami's". So if you don't keep up with the soiled clothes or nappies your room will most definitely not smell like baby powder!
How did someone this small make that much mess :)

     2. Baby hairs.

Some women are lucky enough not to experience these. I had never even heard of baby hairs. I had heard that during pregnancy your hair loss slows down leaving you with beautiful, thick, healthy hair. Lovely. Then about 4 months after the baby is born you loose a lot of your hair quite quickly as it makes up for lost time. Not so lovely but it was expected. What I failed to realise however that the mass of hair that fell out must grow back and painstakingly slowly. I only realised in my first week back at work when Ollie was about 7 months old and I had tied my hair up into a casual bun and I had what looked like fluff all along my hairline. Now nearly 9 months later this fluff is only about an inch long. On me they tend to stick straight out at a 90 degree angle to the rest of my hair (Whyyyy!!!) Oh and Do not attempt to straighten them- this only makes matters worse! This knowledge doesn't really help you in any way, so if you are unlucky to be one of the few that d get baby hairs, just sit back and enjoy the show! :) 

(haha) baby-hair sufferers unite!

   3. Your priorities completely change.

When I was in the hospital ward after having Ollie a woman opposite me was in having her fourth baby and was said to me " Motherhood is a full time job. No holidays, No lunch breaks or No such thing as calling in sick". To be honest I kind of rolled my eyes, thinking she was being overly dramatic but she could not have spoken the truth more. There are days when you spend so long making sure baby is fed, dressed and clean before you go out that you will end up leaving the house hungry, without showering and wearing a jumper with babies breakfast all over it. But it doesn't matter any more. You learn to survive on 4 hours sleep and still greet baby with a smile in the morning. The household chores will wait and some days I still need to remember to stop stressing over the full laundry basket and instead tip over the toy box and play together. My mum printed me this poem one day I was particularly stressed over the mountain of cleaning that had built up and I try to remind myself of it on the busier days. When I lived in Australia my lifestyle was weekends at the beach and cocktails on rooftop bars, now my days are filled with singing nursery rhymes, bath times and teddy-bears picnics. And I wouldn't have it any other way!

Swapping this

For this?... definitely! :)

Lots of love,

Rachael. x

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Facebook page

Just a quick post, if you have been following my blog and want to keep up-to-date with new posts you can now add me on Facebook at I will be using this a lot more regularly and posting links to my blog posts from here! :)

Hope you're all having a lovely day,

Rachael x

Friday, 9 January 2015

Oliver's BCG Story.

(I just want to say that the purpose of this story in not to scare anyone from inoculations I simply wanted to share my experience and to see if anyone had experienced anything similar.)

It all started when Ollie was about 4 weeks old and I brought him to our local health center for his BCG injection (against tuberculosis). I was sent the appointment in the post and thought nothing of it and off I went. The injection itself was fine... in fact Ollie slept through it! In the weeks after a tiny red mark stayed on the injection spot which is quite a common reaction I've heard. 

In the months that followed the skin surrounding the injection spot changed and became quite inflamed and irregular. The skin was bumpy and about 1/2 centimeter thicker than the rest of his arm. It also had a red line around the border. It seemed to spread and then retract occasionally. Every time I saw the nurse for further inoculations (which are done on the legs) I would show her and each time she assured me that it was perfectly normal reaction and could take months to clear.

I did my research and the only thing I could come up with was that it was the tuberculosis itself affecting the skin and the skin condition was called lichen scrufulosorum.

As Ollie reached 15 months old and his arm continued to get worse I decided enough was enough. Although it didn't hurt him I was nervous Ollie was going to be left with a large scar on his arm. I rang my great-aunt to ask her advice and she suggested I try mixing bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice to a paste and applying it to the scar. 

I did this daily and I was amazed at how after only a few days the difference it had made. First it went bright red, over about 3 days ( like it was detoxing the area). Then it started cracking and looked very dry and whiter while the red line remained. By day 5 the texture of the skin had completely evened out but the red line remained. 

I couldn't believe how 2 simple ingredients could make such a huge difference in just a few days after 14 months of trying everything. A few days later I went to the doctors with Ollie and he finally prescribed a medicine that i had to give him for a few days to help finish clearing it up. Now the texture and colour are back to normal, after 14 months it only look a week to clear up! Just a faded outline is all that is visible- Its amazing!

I am so relieved as I was worried that Ollie would have this scar on his arm for life. Although I was brushed off so many times I brought it up to the nurse I am certain now that if anything like this comes up I will be more assertive as 15 months is much too long to deal with this.

If anyone has any similar experiences I would be eager to hear them. Now as I said at the start the purpose of this story is not to scare people from injections, I would still bring Ollie for the injection. The lesson I learnt from this experience is that when it comes to our children if you have any concerns, don't let anyone brush them off. If you feel you are not being listened to then ask for a second opinion- Mothers know best! 

Get in touch please if you have any similar stories or insights to share.

Rachel x
Day 1; Starting the treatment today
Day 3

Day 4
Day 7

Day 10 (at present)

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Gift Ideas for a New Mum!

At some point in 2015, you are sure to know someone who is expecting a baby. Depending on how well you know the person and your budget it can be tricky to figure out what to buy for the new arrival.  No doubt any new mum will be gifted with lots of adorable tiny baby clothes but if you really want to think outside the box here are a few gift ideas:

  • Sangenic Nappy Bin:

Not quite as cute as teeny-tiny baby clothes but she will definitely thank you for it. The bin helps to eliminate the smell and bacteria associated with dirty nappies! The starter pack will have everything you need to last at least a few weeks. I got mine from mothercare. Look here.

  • Clevamama keepsake suitcase:
There are lots of variations of keepsake boxes but I think this one is very cute and big enough to hold a lot of things. It comes with a record book where you can fill in all special dates, add photos of special first occasions and a note from mum and dad to baby. It also comes with stickers to personalise it! Look here

  • Baby Carrier or Sling
This is something that most mums would love to get and will, no doubt, get a lot of use for a few years. There are a few different types to get. I have 2. The first, a stretchy wrap, I got when Ollie was a newborn and was amazing for bringing him around the zoo or park while he could sleep or feed.
 The second, a soft-structured carrier, I got recently. Now he wants to walk everywhere I find I spend most of my time pushing an empty buggy so having this instead of a buggy is a lot less hassle and a lot lighter to carry around! I found a great range here at where they can also do consultations to find the right one.

  • A Treat for Mum or Dad:
You can be sure that any new mum (or dad) would appreciate a voucher for a Day Spa where they can get a relaxing massage for a pedicure for their aching feet and just take a few hours off to rest. Failing that for a new mum some luxurious Bath or Body lotions would go down a treat.I personally love Spa Sanctuary brand at Boots as they have lovely gift sets. Their body butters and moisturisers are incredibly hydrating and smell so good. Another favourite is Soap and Glory at Boots. Their products are really cute and smell amazing. I love the Sugar crush range. It smells like zesty lime and the moisturiser is so hydrating it leaves skin feeling so soft. See products and gift sets

2015 is sure to see more than a few baby announcements so I hope this helps if your struggling to think of gift ideas for the Mum-to-be in your life. :)

Rachael x

Friday, 2 January 2015

New year, New Ideas!

Firstly I just wanted to say Happy New Year to everyone and I hope you all had a lovely relaxing Christmas!

Now I know gift idea posts are usually done before Christmas but Myself , Billy and Ollie got a few gifts over the holidays that I think are so original and personal that they would be perfect as gifts for newborns, new parents, engagements, weddings or birthdays! ( Which I'm sure there will be plenty of in 2015!)

My brother came back from London for the first time in over 6 months and he  really spoiled us with gifts. One in particular that I really loved was some Personalized Building Blocks. Four wooden blocks engraved with anything you want. Ours had Ollie's name, Birth weight, Date of Birth, and place of birth. Definitely a keepsake I will cherish. Find similar here at

The next gift I got was a beautiful pendant, Billy tells me it is a Nepalese pendant and something to do with Buddha's face. I really love this. I am not a huge jewellery wearer and only really wear sentimental pieces and I have been wearing this every day since I got it. I love it because it is something very thoughtful and personal. If anyone has any more information on this symbol on the pendant I would love to hear it :)

Then lastly Myself and Billy got 2 tickets to a Mindfulness and Meditation afternoon workshop. This is something I have always been very interested in and I am so excited to go to it. This particular course is for parents of children of all ages. Practicing mindfulness helps us to foster an appreciation of the joyful moments of parenting and to cultivate self-compassion for the difficult times. I will write a post when we do make time to go to the course. I think this is a fantastically original gift for any new parents! Look up courses here

"Being a parent is one of the greatest mindfulness practices of all"- Jon Kabat-Zinn

I'll keep you all posted on how it goes.

Rachael x