You mom, are doing great!

I’ve been wanting to write this for few years now and I am thankful to be able to do this now, finally. I have two important things/points to tell you here. (By the way though, this is not a post about stay at home moms vs working moms. Just give it a read <3 )

POINT 1

The first moment I wanted to write this blog – A few years ago, I got a birthday wish from my sister on Facebook. And in that wish she called me a superwoman, and praised how I handled all of these things -> I was studying full time, I was a blogger helping other moms and I was working, all while also trying my best to be a good mother to my daughter. I was quite thankful of course, but this wish also opened my eyes.
I was surprised, surprised at how much I was ACTUALLY doing. You won’t believe me, but to me, before reading her birthday wish, I felt like I was still not doing enough! To me, I felt like I needed to do more. You see, when I started blogging, on Instagram I was bombarded with other moms who were doing a lot! Some were owning businesses while doing a full-time job, some were blogging and some were doing both! And that was and is, still praised very much and that is great! However, we don’t always get to see more than the pictures…and that can get a bit overwhelming. Like for me, yes I was working but I just did one freelance job and I could do that because my husband kept our daughter after his work. How did I study full time and make sure I was giving my daughter the best parenting? I didn’t cook lunch; I was staying at my mom’s and she usually ended up cooking it. I never tried to hide that, and many people don’t either, but there are people out there that do. Just recently Karamo (yep, from Queer Eye) said on his Instagram, not to “fake it, till you make it” on social media because that causes a lot of stress on others. And he is so ON POINT.

Quick example for what I mean: I came across a small shop owner and I was inspired/overwhelmed and so I asked the lady, “How do you do everything?” Because she said she was a working lawyer, a mom to a toddler and owned a business as well. She told me “I get a lot of help from my mom who takes care of my baby and cooks for us.” And that’s great, it made sense and it was more understandable. A month later when she was talking about all the things she was doing for work while being a mom, I was happy for her and praised her and someone asked the same question again and this time she answered “honestly, it’s just a lot of coffee.” Basically she meant that she did all her work and be a mom with lack of sleep and lots of coffee. Of course, I’m sure she did that anyway, but if it was my first time hearing it, I would’ve probably thought she really did everything by herself and I would’ve probably felt like I wasn’t being able to do my best – that she was some kind of a super woman. I don’t think she thought too deep into her answer, and I don’t blame her. But it made me realize, just how these ‘quick messages’ can leave so much truth behind.

Anyways, here is the thing that I tell people all the time that I forgot to tell myself. Don’t compare yourself to others, because their life scenarios are different than yours. Everyone has their own timing. Some people have help and some people don’t. Some people will try and be real on Instagram and some won’t. Don’t believe everything that you see on social media. There is more than you can see in the pictures. <3 Do what you can, do at your own pace.

POINT 2

It might sound strange to some of you but before reading my sister’s wish, I was stressed, I was stressed because I thought I wasn’t doing enough. I remember when I read that birthday wish …I was in tears. And I realized, that I would never want anybody to go through the stress that I went through – feeling that they were not doing sufficient.
Before reading my sister’s message, I felt like I was just a student with one post in her blog. You see what happened there? I was so hard on myself, I completely forgot that I was doing something REALLY important too. I was taking care of my daughter! I was trying to be the best mom that I could be. I was feeding her, bathing her, putting her to sleep, teaching her the right from wrong, teaching her not to waste, reading books with her, taking her to swimming lessons, playing with toys that would ignite her imagination! All the things I thought would be part of good parenting skills. But I was so hard on myself that I didn’t think being a good mom was as much work as having a job, but heck, that of course is a lot of work.

My sister’s wish had also made me realize that even though my blog was small, I was still trying to help other moms both on and off Instagram. Every little I did, helped a new mom out there, even if one.

So, here is the thing I wan’t to say to you. Being a good mother to your child is enough. If you want to just focus on the baby, that is enough. If you wish to help others, whether through a blog or just by a phone call to another new mom, that is enough. If you’re raising a good human being, taking care of them, giving them love, while you trying to be a good person – that is more than enough. I mean, isn’t that what a supermom is?

*cape swish*

Five eco-friendly brands you should follow :)

HEY EVERYONE!! It’s been a while but without further ado, here are five environmentally friendly brands, that I would highly suggest for you to check out. And nope, I was not sponsored by any of them. Just amazed by all these fantastic, smart, innovative brands.

TenTree

Credit: https://www.instagram.com/tentree/

TenTree is an apparel brand that makes products from environmentally progressive fabrics such as hemp, TENCEL™ Lyocell, recycled polyester or cork. And they don’t just stop there, for every apparel they sell, they plant ten trees!
Tentree came as an idea when two friends Kalen Emsley and David Luba went on a trip to Hawaii and was inspired by the beauty of nature, and figured, why not create something to give back to it? Realizing that people loved buying from companies that were socially responsible, they decided to combine Kalen’s tree-planting knowledge with apparel to create an environmentally friendly brand. Thus, in 2012 with Kalen’s brother Derrick, they founded Tentree in Regina, Saskatchewan (Canada). [More in https://bit.ly/2kij9RY ] Their aim is to plant 1 billion trees by 2030. So glad that a company like this exists.
From the company’s “our mission” page: “At tentree, our goal is to become the most environmentally progressive brand on the planet. We don’t want to just reduce the negative impact of the apparel industry, we want to use it as a vehicle for change. Our purpose is to revitalize our environment and inspire a generation to believe that they can do the same.”

www.tentree.ca
Mind freaking blown? I think so. Just so so amazing!


BeyaMade

Credit: https://www.instagram.com/beyamade/

BeyaMade is a baby clothing shop founded in 2017 by Laurel Thompson, who used to be a fast fashion designer until her daughter, Beya, was born. After giving birth to her daughter, Laurel realized that she wanted a change in children’s fashion where clothing is not designed to be disposable.
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, BeyaMade uses old school techniques to create beautifully handcrafted clothes that you can adjust as your child grows! Which means you can buy less and waste less.
My favourite part about them is the way they source their fabrics. They get their materials from other American manufacturers who made more than what they needed. Basically, turning excess fabric – that would have otherwise ended up in landfill – to heirloom quality garments for your family to cherish for generations to come. Isn’t it beautiful!
From the company’s mission page: “You don’t need a new wardrobe for each child, you just need one really good one that LASTS.”

www.beyamade.com
Did I mention their outfits are also made from durable, comfortable, stain resisting material? So thoughtfully made!


Rothy’s

Credit: https://www.instagram.com/rothys/

This brilliant brand called Rothy’s is a San-Francisco based shoe company that makes shoes from recycled plastic and post-consumer recycled materials. It was founded in 2012 by Roth Martin and Stephen P. Hawthornthwaite who both wanted to create fashionable yet relaxed shoes using an environmentally friendly process.
Their products are created sustainably in a factory in China, owned and operated by the company themselves. I mean, they make shoes that are stylish, easy to walk on and washable, ALL while being kind to the environment. I am so glad that something like this is finally here.
From the company’s about page: “We believe beautiful, sustainable style is the way of the future.” Yep. We think so too Rothy’s, we think so too.

www.rothys.com
Psst…did you know? The Duchess of Sussex was seen wearing a pair too. Just sayin 😉


Faire Child

Credit: https://www.instagram.com/fairechild/

This innovative company, called Faire Child, makes beautiful handcrafted waterproof outerwear, from recycled plastic, in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. It was founded by designer Tabitha Osler, who wanted parents and children to be able to explore and have fun in nature, all while being kind to earth. I’ve always wondered how cool it would be to make waterproof jackets from recycled plastic, and voilà! Here they are!
Not only do they use a sustainable source (recycled plastic bottles) to make their products, once you are done with their products you can recycle it back again. And did I mention how obsessed I am of how they look? Inspired from vintage hunting jackets and workwear from the 1920’s and 1950’s, their products are beautiful, functional and maintains a quality that is build to last. Just check them out on their site – modern method with traditional design – so clever and so well done!!
From the company’s ‘our story’ page: “Waste is a Resource. By reusing materials [we] can lessen our dependency on raw materials and leave natural resources for future generations.”

www.fairechild.com
By the way, their children’s outerwear can be adjusted to grow with the child. Again longer lasting children’s products mean you are spending less money and resources. #nailedit


Re-Play

Credit: https://www.instagram.com/replayrecycled.ca/

This fun brand called Re-Play Recycled makes cute yet durable tableware from recycled plastic milk jugs. Re-Play, founded in 2011, is part of Re-Think It, Inc. which was founded by Craig and Amy Shumway in 1987. This husband and wife team wanted to create tableware that was eco-friendly yet economical. Their products are made in the USA and comes in the most fun colours. Their simple, modern designs are made to be convenient and easy to use.
Apart from plates and cutleries, their children’s collection also provides themed products like princess themed sippy cups and small utensils.
Children’s products are used and lost so much, so its great to know that there is a brand out there who is creating products from an eco-friendly source instead of new plastic. Their products not only meed the FDA and EU requirements, the quality is made to last. And of course, if you want you can recycle them back!
From their ‘about us’ page: RePlay Recycled remains a “family owned and family-focused company dedicated to providing sustainable and affordable products, while following responsible environmental and social business practices.”

https://re-play.com/
https://re-play.ca
Re-Play products are dishwasher and microwave safe. Recycled plastic ware for kids that are easy to clean? Yes please!


🙂 So there ya have it. Maybe next time you want to buy something, you can choose one of these brands. That way you not only get an amazing quality product, but you’re doing something good for Earth too!

*cape swish*

We made an upcycled laptop and Batbaby girl loves it!

Just sharing my experience will you all, in case it helps.
Early this year Batbaby girl (Bbg) randomly wanted to get a laptop. She saw ours and said ‘maybe’ she could get one for herself too. Of course the first thing that popped in my head was the toy laptop my dad got me as a kid. But honestly, those days, we didn’t do much screen time. Anyways, so we upcycled a cardboard instead. We used marker to draw out the permanent buttons and used chalk to draw whatever was inside the “screen”, so she could wipe and re-draw whatever, whenever she wanted to.

So, why didn’t I just buy her a toy laptop?

  • I really didn’t want to add another screen in her life. We all know by now, how too much screen time can be bad for a child’s brain. I’m not gonna annoy you and yap about that (simple google search will do). But I also know that at this day and age, it is very hard to keep them away from it. So I try my best to do without screen time whenever I can.
  • This laptop encourages imagination. And that is good for her brain! Plus, I remember as a kid, how much I absolutely loved to pretend play. I’m sure you’ll know what I’m talking about.
  • This laptop will be less distracting and help her gain problem solving skills. Since it doesn’t come with extra effects or sounds, it’ll help her interact with it better by figuring out things in her own way. (For eg: If she wants to pretend she’s watching something, she will draw a still from a cartoon show she likes. Or, if she wants to pretend she is typing, she will erase the chalk and write her ABC’s. It may sound sad to some people but honestly she has been having so much fun with it! It turned out all she wanted to do was pretend play. She didn’t even actually need to watch a show.)
    – It is more eco friendly. I saved this cardboard from a furniture box and up- cycled it. When she’s tired of it, she can easily recycle it. Also, it won’t turn out to be just another plastic junk if it somehow ends up breaking.
    Check out the laptop on the photos below!
    ☺️🌍♻️💻🎡
A small part of a book shelf can be seen on the right side of the photograph. The bool shelf is holding five books on one shelf, a globe on another and a Harry Potter wizard's collection box on the bottom shelf. The photograph's is focused on a cardboard laptop which is shown to be placed on a blue-grey round table. Along with that are couple of chalks on the side of the laptop and a blue duplo block.
A little girl is seen to be typing away on her toy cardboard laptop. Meanwhile the show "Earth to Luna" is drawn on the "screen" of this laptop.The laptop is placed on top of a colouring sheet and there are two chalks and a duplo block.
The cardboard laptop is placed on the circle blue-grey table top. Along with the laptop is a duplo block and a couple of chalks.

Psst: So far, we’ve “watched” Earth to Luna, Angry Bird and Yoohoo to the recue on her laptop! And today as we were “watching”, she said ‘Ok mamma, thats enough watching. Now its time for me to work, okay?’ -*pretends to type on laptop*

*cape swish*

My eco-friendly dish washing tips

A picture of a section of a kitchen. There is a sugar can and rolling pin sitting on the counter top beside the sink. Right above the sink is a hanging grey towel and a copper strainer. On the sink is a dish soap with a stainless steel scrubber beside it with a dish brush in front.


Hey guys! I’ve been meaning to do this post for you all for the past year and half, believe me or not! Hahaha…as you know I haven’t been very up to date with these things. Momlife + Worklife. Also, I wanted to organize it the best way I can so its easier and simpler to understand. Anyways, I think I am just going to dive into it… and so here it goes. My tips for you for eco-friendly dish washing.


ECO-FRIENDLY DISH SOAP

WHY / BENEFITS: Regular dish soaps have chemicals that can be toxic to humans, water and aquatic life. For example, in the case of humans, a chemical called Triclosan which is used to make a cleaner “anti-bacterial”, bio accumulates in our body and is often credited to the growth of “superbugs”. I know what you’re thinking —” C’mon! we don’t really consume dish soap! Plus, the water goes through a treatment plant before hitting the water outside”. You’re right we don’t consume dish soap intentionally but most of the times, you do have soap remains on the dishes which can eventually end up on your food. And suppose you do get rid of all soap from your dish, the chemicals that go down the drain will still affect the environment around us. You see, even though the water from households go through a sewage treatment plant, the toxic chemicals in the water are not fully removed in the process. Hence, they end up contaminating the fresh water outside and become harmful to aquatic life and animals (and the food chain). Eco-friendly dish soaps are free of these toxins and are biodegradable too!!

A picture of three different kinds of dish soaps sitting on a table. The three soaps presented here are: Method Dish Soap Refill; The Unscented Company and Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner.
Eco-friendly dish soap options

ECO OPTIONS: I have seen some dish washing methods posted on pages like Wiki How, where you can wash your dishes with baking soda and vinegar. And they seem pretty cool and economical too! However, with two kids, I chose to use an eco-friendly dish soap instead as it was easier to work around and took less time.
The photograph above shows few examples of soaps I have used and am using. Eco dish soaps like the ones from Method or Unscented Company works like regular soap but doesn’t use toxic ingredients and are biodegradable (meaning that they can break down naturally back to earth). They remove grease quite well too! I was happily surprised when I switched to them. Also, another option can be Dr Bronner’s Sal Suds, which require you to dilute the solution according to the kind of cleaning you need to do. For example, in their site it states for dishwashing “Undiluted: ½ tsp. Sal Suds in a large sink of water. 1 drop Sal Suds for one pot.” https://www.drbronner.com/all-one-blog/2018/07/sal-suds-dilution-cheat-sheet/ 😉 I use it for heavy duty cleaning like cleaning my stove, this stuff is magic!


ECO-FRIENDLY SCRUBBERS

WHY / BENEFITS: Eco-friendly methods of scrubbing the dishes mean that the products you are going to use will create less waste for the environment + some even safer for your health! Most of the eco-scrubbers are biodegradable, which means it can break down into nature without causing any harm. Regular scrubbers, like synthetic sponges, have micro fibers that breaks off as you use them and these micro fibers go through the water and into the ocean, eventually landing into our food chain.
There are reports found where chemicals used to make these products are contaminating aquatic life. 🙁 Not only that, plastic sponges don’t last very long and are known to grow bacteria in them quite easily! And the less they last, the more we use and MORE gets DUMPED into the landfill! 🙁

A collage of three pictures together. There is one big picture on the left which shows a wooden dish brush. On the right, there is a picture of a dish brush made out of wood and 100% recycled plastic. The picture on the bottom right shows a scrubber made of coconut fibre.
Eco-friendly dish scrubbing options

ECO OPTIONS: My favourite dish washing scrub is probably the wooden dish brush. Cuz, hey! Nobody wants to accidentally touch that mushy gooey stuff on pots and pans *cringe*.
The one shown on the left here is made from wood and usually allows you to change the head of the brush once the bristles wear out. The best part is, since the bristles are made from natural fibers, the whole thing is biodegradable 😀
I couldn’t find a good scrubber like this when I started buying things for my kitchen, but I came across the dish brush by Full Circle. It has a wooden handle and the head and bristles are made from 100% recycled plastic. I’ve been using this for two years now and it is still going strong!! (this particular one has amazing ratings on Amazon.)
For hard to reach areas you can use scrubbers made from natural fibers. The one shown on the bottom right is a scrubber made of coconut fiber. They are the sizes of regular sponges but sturdier and doesn’t scratch your dishes! 😀

Psst you GUYS!!  I was also going to put Stainless steel scrubbers as an option however! I just got reminded that they come from a non-renewable resource 🙁 and most of the time the metal is not recycled as the scrubbers end up in landfill + do not deteriorate easily. So just gotta keep that in mind.

EXTRA TIP: Dipping your unwashed dishes inside a sink full of water to get rid of food scum is probably more water saving than trying to scrub each dish under running water. (Might be obvious but shared just in case <3)


THE BEGINNING

OK So…As you probably know by now, I try to be eco-friendly when I can and I am not perfect but I am willing to learn and be better. And sometimes being eco-friendly can be a little overwhelming or expensive! Trust me…I get it! It can be discouraging sometimes but do not give up! Do what you can, I believe EVERY LITTLE STEP COUNTS! Don’t worry about what people say (eye-rollers we know you) just keep trying!
As my old man used to say, “GOOO PLANET”
XD


*cape wave*

SLEEP-TRAINING THE NIGHT OWL PART-1: The Basics

Owl surrounded by a book, a milk bottle and a pacifier
Hello and thank you for taking the time to read this! You are awesome! HIGH FIVE. This is Part 1 of my series of Sleep Training the Night Owl blog posts. Starting with the basics (that I found on the internet but summarized for you.)

HOW TO PREPARE BABY FOR SLEEP TRAINING:

Doctors usually recommend sleep training babies from 4-6 months, because that is usually the time when babies start to sleep longer and require less feedings during the night. BUT! Some babies may be ready at an older age, so if you are unsure it is best to ask your pediatrician/ doctor.

TIPS & TRICKS

medical-kit

  1. Have a talk with your doctor. Sometimes babies will go through wake ups at night due to illness or a growth spurt, for e.g. teething or learning to crawl (my little one did that.) But it can also be due to something serious, for e.g. sleep apnea or reflux. So if you think it might be a medical condition, its best to talk to your doctor to rule it out before you start sleep training.

calendar-4

  1. Be consistent. Develop a schedule for nap time and bed time. The obvious I guess – its so your little one gets used to it and learns that “hey its time to sleep!” Makes them feel more relaxed. You can use bedtime routines to help as well, for e.g.: warm bath, story-time, lullaby then to sleep.

Usual-ness

  1. Have a few weeks of usual-ness. Don’t plan to sleep train if you’re going through something that will alter your schedule greatly. For example: moving to a new house, going on a vacation, guests coming to stay over or birth of a new baby. The idea is ‘not to have disruptions to the normal flow of life at home’ – Emily DeJeu, babysleepsite.com. Because being consistent will help you in any sleep training process.

  1. Choose a sleep training method and try it! There are several kinds of sleep training methods such as cry-it out, fading and no-tears àlinks on these below. Choose one that you are comfortable in. However, take note, one method of sleep training that might work on your friend’s baby, might not work for yours. Or one method that worked for your first child might not work for the second. Babies are different, I’ve got only one so far but really, you will understand in time how even in these small bodies…they’ve got so many different characters.Check out the different kinds of methods in detail on babycenter.com :
    i) No-tears: http://www.babycenter.com/0_baby-sleep-training-no-tears-methods_1497581.bc
    ii) Fading: http://www.babycenter.com/0_baby-sleep-training-fading-methods_10413749.bc
    iii) Cry-it-out: http://www.babycenter.com/0_baby-sleep-training-cry-it-out-methods_1497112.bc
    OR try the one that worked for me featured on part 2.

What worked for you? 😀

*//cape wave\\*

Bibliography (can’t escape this ;D )

BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board. “Baby Sleep Training: The Basics.”BabyCenter. BabyCenter, L.L.C., May 2016. Web. 21 July 2016.

DeJeu, Emily. “5 Things to Do before Sleep Training.” Www.babysleepsite.com. The Baby Sleep Site, n.d. Web. 21 July 2016.

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Icon for tip number 4 made by MadebyOliver from www.flaticon.com

WHAT’S IN MY HOSPITAL BAG

More like, what was…

Earlier this year. I went through many lists of what should be in my hospital bag. Some websites will show you extensive lists which will seem quite ridiculous, but to be frank it might not be. Your list will depend on how difficult it is to get to the hospital from your home. Also, if your hospital is in a busy area with lots of stores or if its isolated. Will there be a few people travelling from home to hospital and back? If so your list doesn’t have to be a long one. But if not, don’t panic! Either way better to be more prepared right?

My hospital was 20-25 minutes away from home but ofcourse (knowing the ocd girl that I am) I made sure I packed enough that nobody would need to travel. Heres what was in my hospital bag!

I posted some images of what I had in my bag so it will be easier for some of you to understand (I made a list below the pictures.) ALSO! I will let you know at the end what I ended up not using. 🙂

PS: If you’re doing this last minute, don’t worry, chances are your hospital will provide you with a lot of the things for free (eg: baby diapers, rash cream, nursing pads, nipple cream, pads) and also if you need extra you can buy them in bundle for cheap from them. 🙂

1) Wallet; 2) Breastfeeding booklet/Health information booklet/ Phone numbers 3) Glasses 4) Pen 5) Cellphone (for picture taking as well) 6) Phone charger 7) Snack bars/ You can take banana or yogurt

 

PERSONAL ITEMS: 1) Extra clothes – comfy and I can wear when returning home, 2) Lingerie – Nursing bras and undies, 3) Nursing pads 4) Towel 5) Always maxi pads 6) Non-skid socks/ Slippers

 

BABY ITEMS PT ONE: 1) Two onsies 2) Two pairs of pants, 3) Sleeper/s, 4) Mittens, 5) Socks, 6) Cap, 7) Newborn Diapers – I took eight – hospital will provide you with some anyway

 

BABY ITEMS PT TWO: 1) Baby blanket for when coming home 2) One swaddle blanket – hospital will provide more anyway

 

TOILETRIES + EXTRAS: 1) Olive oil – My preference, you can take lotion, 2) Headband and clip – Hair-tie etc. 3) Pocket mirror 4) Nail clipper, 5) Facecream and Lipbalm, 6) Bio Oil for strecth marks – if you use it, 7) Tissue, 8) Toothpaste and tooth brush, 9) Shampoo and Body soap, 10) Make-up – I took my go-to stuff

Things I didn’t end up using:

i) The breastfeeding booklet/ health info. – Your hospital and nurses will end up helping you regarding these.

ii) Bio-oil – Thats just me, I was too frustrated with other things to use it.

Things I needed to bring in:

Extra baby clothes since my baby had to stay in the nursery for a week 😐 She was healthy when we got to bring her home so thats all that mattered. 🙂

Wish you all the best!  🙂 <3