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A Glimpse

Welcome to my blog! First off, I’d like to say I’m extremely new to this thing, so bear with me for my first few posts as I wrap my head around things. My name is Sam and I am a *semi-new* mum of one. One bub, whose 1 year old. He likes to keep me on my toes now that he’s walking too. I’ll refer to him as baby K, K or little man throughout my posts (I think… like I said, I’m new to this so I wont pretend I can foretell the future at this stage :P).

I’ll be talking about various aspects of my day-to-day life and experiences as a first time mum, but I’d also love to hear about your own experiences as a first, third, eighth, etc. time mum (seriously, no judgement… mums come in different flavours and varieties!)

So stick around and check out my future posts, drop me a comment to say hi, give me some ideas or maybe just tell me a bit on your perspective of mum life. Can’t wait to get to know you all.

 

Waste-Free Moon Cycle

Hello beautiful people! So, I recently made the decision to live a more zero waste lifestyle. Since leaving my childhood home, I always did what I thought would help when it came to recycling and being eco-friendly. I reused plastic grocery bags, I recycled old milk cartons etc… but after a little research, I realised this is not nearly helpful to the degree it needs to be. In saying that, this post is about the ‘feminine products’ so I will focus on that in this post and do a further ‘zero waste’ post at a later date.

So, its pretty much a fact of life for females from puberty to menopause… periods. Though it goes by many names; time of the month, sacred bleeding, menstruation, aunt flo, etc. Periods are regarded to most as inconvenient, messy, gross… though without them, we wouldn’t get that sheer relief of “I’m not pregnant, YAY!” or be able to map out our most fertile times for when we do look at having children… many of us have lost touch with what it means to bleed. I used to think it was inconvenient, messy and gross… but as you grow and learn… perspectives change, which was initially where my eco-friendly start on feminine products began. I started out buying disposables I thought were better because they were organic cotton and had a pretty box (don’t judge it’s all part of the learning process :’D), then dove further into research and came across sea sponge tampons… which to a degree were great don’t get me wrong… for straight walking and sleeping and general daily activities, they held up well. Although, as time went on, I began to resent the rinsing and reinsertion that happened almost as often as you’d change a tampon.. yes they were more eco friendly as they can be composted and break down etc, but more convenient? Not really.

Then I decided to get over my fear and give the menstrual cup a go. I bought a cheap, medical-grade silicon cup off of eBay which turned up mid-cycle.. PERFECT. I could try it straight after a quick sterilisation in boiling water (I do about 5-7 minutes). Though immensely daunting at first, I mean look at it… how could you not, the cup looks huge!

MC4
Clear is my first purchased, pink is a recent purchase.

I did a quick search on alternative folds because the C-Fold they recommend with most instruction pamphlets that accompany a menstrual cup looked just as daunting as if I were to just shove it in as is! Find fold alternatives here – Cup Folds. I personally find the “punchdown” fold the easiest, but we’re all different. Insertion is also different depending on the finish of the cup. My clear one has a “shiny” finish so tends to be easier to insert for the most part. The pink one is matte, though easier to grip, I do find for me that this one takes a little bit longer to use. I’ve been using a cup now for about 3-4 cycles and I doubt I will go back.

Now for those of you who are pregnant, religious beliefs don’t allow tampons/ etc to be used, or who are already having postpartum bleeding, there are alternatives to the cup. Reusable/ washable pads and panty liners.

MC3
Folded up neatly.
MC2
Reusable Pad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I bought a reusable pad on eBay ( I wanted to test the waters before I get pregnant with a second bubba). The one I purchased (shown above), whilst really pretty in design, was not practical as a means for post partum bleeding. I don’t know a great deal about reusable pads yet, but have heard good things. I urge you to check dimensions before purchase, as I am technically plus size, I found this to not be wide enough and therefore bunched up when fastened. Do your research, check dimensions and if you find one that works, let us know in the comments 😀

Quick notes –

When using a cup:

  • If the cup leaks, its not inserted correctly or the seal has not worked. Try twisting it to ensure it seals properly.. you’ll thank me later.
  • Make sure you relax as much as possible, avoid inserting whilst lying down… squat or put a leg on the bath or vanity… a deep breath out when you insert it can do wonders.
  • Make sure you check you are getting the most appropriate, most come in 2 types: pre-children and post children.
  • Cups are not completely zero waste as eventually they do need to be thrown away, but they last around 15 years per cup.

 

Good luck with your zero waste moon cycle and thanks for sticking with me through this super long post!

Review of Washboard bag

Okay, so I ran a brief and somewhat rough test with K’s cloth nappies which were the original reason for the project (in the hopes we could take then overseas and avoid ‘sposies’.

Anyway, parts of the zigzag pattern peeled away from the bag (probably from me bending the bag to get a grip whilst scrubbing) and the bag i chose actually leaked as i was scrubbing leaving me wiyh wet hands and a puddle on my scrubbing surface, which fortunately for me was my bathtub, so all in all it worked somewhat.

I may have added a few too many items though as the actually nappy shell wasn’t quite clean, but the liners i put in (which are what really needs the scrubbing anyway) soaped up well and seemed to be cleaner.

So I think I’ll call it a half success. A heavier based bag as opposed the the one i bought would have been much more successful at holding and retaining water as I scrubbed, and all dots as opposed to a dot and zigzag pattern too. I hope this helps on your efforts to make your own version. Good luck and get crafty 😀

Travel Washboard Bag

Okay beautiful people, first things first… I apologise for my hiatus in posting, I have been seriously lacking motivation for doing a lot lately. Secondly, I know this was meant to be posted over the weekend, but I had much less time than I anticipated. Now that’s out of the way… what you’re here really here for – how to make your very own washboard travel laundry bag.
Step 1: Invest in your supplies –

gluegun                                           drybags

Glue Gun (with refills)       &        Dry bag (mine is a Bluefield 40L in orange off eBay.com.au)

 

Step 2: Plug in your glue gun and add the first stick to it. Flip your dry bag inside out so the side with the waterproof lining is then external.

loadedgluegun

Step 3: Once the glue gun has heated up and likely begun to ooze… start your “pattern” of glue about 2 – 3 inches below the opening of the bag and about 1.5-2 inches from the side fold when its flat on your work surface leave about a centimetre before the seam at the base. I used 2 variations for my glue pattern – dots (as seen on a Scrubba bag) and a continuous zigzag/wave (see yellow pattern below). Leave to dry.

gluepattern

Step 4: Once your first side is dry (mine was pretty quick… but I did mine while K was on his nap) flip it over and start doing the same pattern on the opposite side. Once done, leave to dry (I ended up doing my second side with K on his afternoon nap). That’s it… all done.

Notes

Put some paper or piece of rubbish under your glue gun to catch globs of glue when your gun is off or not being used.

When running low on the used stick, add a glob of glue to your next one so you don’t have to feed it continuously as you’re focusing on your pattern.

If you want, add some crosshatching or an adhesive rubber patch on the outside to use as a handgrip when scrubbing clothes inside the bag. (I haven’t done this as yet, I will test and review my bag on a later post to see how it fares without them).

 

Thanks for reading and good luck with your projects, let me know how it goes. Post any adjustments that worked for you in the comments too – you just might help out another reader!

Transitioning

About a month ago now I enlisted the help of my mum, her partner and my fiancé D to upcycle K’s first cot (before we managed to get him a brand new one). I wanted to give it new life as a toddler bed for K before he needed a big boy bed. I’d been mentally designing it for a few months in my head, I wanted it to be a floor bed, it had to utilise as much of the original cot as possible so  we didn’t have to pay any extra for things like screws and planks etc. and it had to have a bed head and a bed tail/end/etc.

So I finally managed to get myself organised and get all the pieces together, went over the rough design with my enlisted group and we got to work. First we trimmed down the pieces to how I’d drawn them out (basically chopping off the legs and the country-retro style piece of the headboard, as well as shortening the tail end of the bed so it was roughly mattress height). We Then painted over the cot, keeping it white but just giving it a bit of a fresh look. We used one of the side railing pieces to create a side barrier so K wouldn’t accidently roll out too. (Pictures at the end of the post.) Once it had all been put together to make sure it looked right, we put the screws in to hold it together. Unfortunately due to the holes having been predrilled, the screws didn’t stay in very well (they slip out if you try to push and pull the bed), however if you don’t move the bed all is fine.

We tried getting K to take his naps in the toddler bed so we could transition him out of the cot and take it out of the room. But for a few weeks he only wanted to sleep on the floor, so I decided to only put him in the toddler bed on occasion, up until recently at least. On Monday I put him in the toddler bed and he stayed in there for his whole nap *cue mama victory dancing*. So I made sure that if I’d checked on him and he was asleep, to leave the door shut but not to the point it clicked into the frame, very slightly ajar. It seems that it has been working because he still goes down in his toddler bed at the end of the week, he gets himself up and comes out once he is done napping. We plan to try an overnighter in the toddler bed this weekend *fingers crossed*.

Have you guys tried bed transitioning yet? What did you find worked? What were your setbacks/ triumphs/ surprises?

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Yoga and the things it has taught me so far…

I first attempted yoga shortly after having baby K (after the recommended 6 week healing period anyway). I expected for it to be unenjoyable, slow and incredibly boring to do… something I wasn’t likely to repeat often if at all. For a while, lets say a couple of months, I was right… I barely did yoga. I told myself “I don’t have a mat so I can’t do it” or “I’m not flexible enough so why bother?”, I’m sure anyone who has considered yoga has probably felt this way, but when you feel this way, you’re sure you’re the only one. So I gave up for a couple of months, but still saw beautiful poses filling my Instagram feed daily and decided to have another crack at it… I went to Kmart and bought myself a $5 cheap yoga mat so if I didn’t end up continuing, no big deal I spend that on a coffee anyway. So after about a month or so of yoga 2-3 times a week, I started looking at better yoga mats, eco-friendly ones (save the whales and all) and stumbled upon Yoloha Yoga cork mats. I fell in love with them and my fiance’ got me one as a surprise for my birthday.

At the time, I was only doing yoga for the status I felt it gave me, I was one of those girls you see on Instagram who was part of the ‘cult’ or the ‘yoga movement’… but I wasn’t understanding the actual point of yoga. So I started doing some research, curious as to why I wasn’t getting where they were quickly, and why I didn’t feel satisfied with my practise – even after taking a couple of classes which were incredibly unenjoyable. It didn’t take long to figure out why… I was competing. Competing with the girls on Instagram who undoubtedly had been practising daily for years, competing with myself on what I thought I should be capable of and by when, competing with an idea. I stepped back and decided to restart fresh.

I began doing simple poses and trying to make sure my form was right, I began looking at progression yoga pictures rather than only advanced yogi pictures. Little by little (and I am by no means nearly as flexible, strong and controlled as the yogis who grace Instagram) I am improving. Yoga began to actually teach me once I let it.

yoga

It started teaching me patience, with myself and with others.

It taught me movement (or lack of), even of the most basic kind, can be difficult – tree pose anyone?

It taught me acceptance (though this is something I still struggle with every single day) of myself does not necessarily mean I cannot better myself.

practiseprogress

Bit by bit, yoga has me pulling away my artificial layers, layers I don’t need, layers that no longer serve me, layers that keep me stagnant in life. Yoga has opened my eyes in other parts of life too – without yoga, I’m not certain I would have ever considered veganism. I may not have made one of my best friends (even though its only online at this stage). I may not be the compassionate, strong, dare I say – beautiful person I am becoming. If you have ever considered yoga and thought to start you had to be a particular person to be any good, I urge you to have a go. If you tried a class but found it unenjoyable, I urge you to perhaps find another class, or try to teach yourself as I have.

For those of you who practise already, are you a daily doer? Maybe every few days? Or even once a week? What is your favourite type of yoga? What’s your favourite pose? I can’t wait to read about your yoga journeys!

PS – I have started an Instagram page for my blog and will try posting regularly, but especially to let you know when there is a new post. Or you could sign up and get an email notification too 🙂 Happy readings

check out the Mum of 0ne Instagram

 

 

 

Hopes and Dreams

Okay, so it’s not exactly a super original post but hear me out.

My dreams of what I wanted in my life have changed dramatically since I was old enough to remember what they were. I mean if you ask 5 year old me, I wanted to marry a boy that was the son of a family friend (he was going to be a vet apparently), I was going to be a mum.. and that was it. So simple, well I got halfway there, I am definitely a mum. The boy on the other hand, is not someone I maintained that kind of interest in beyond childhood. Dreams change as you develop new values and ideals as well as what you materialistically want to manifest into your life.

For example, throughout my teenage years (and the first couple of years of my 20’s) I wanted a big house, with a big kitchen (hey, I like the idea of cooking together without the ever present bumping into and tripping over one another), a his and hers closet space, oh and a huge backyard so my kids could run around with plenty of space for kiddy shenanigans and games. That changed again earlier this year. I watched a documentary called “Minimalism” which for me, was a giant eye opener into what I actually wanted out of life. Now I was wanting a small home, think tiny homes (google/Pinterest it, I promise they’re not as unusual as you think), but I still want it on a big plot of land (recently I decided that land should be an island 😛 ) somewhere near a source of water and foresty sort of area. I want my kids… *plural because I intend to have more* … to have the space to climb trees or build and craft things from stuff they found on the ground or near the edge of the water.

fortney

Though I still wanted a space that was adult-friendly. Where my partner (lets call him “D” for now) could have time together doing the things that we love to do as well. Materialistic things like a giant closet just didn’t feel realistic anymore, I even scanned all the photos in my house onto the computer so that I didn’t have to find storage for them anymore. It seems daunting – throwing away all these things we think are important or significant, or that we keep out of obligation to somebody… but it was one of the most liberating things I have done in my adult life. My hopes now are that my future is sustainably built and full of memories and experiences rather than things that ultimately do me no good. I’m yet to hear of anyone on their death bed wishing that they had bought more, worked more or care more about what they looked like than having adventures and experiences they could be proud of.

smile think give

Have you had an epiphany or a-ha moment where you just knew that everything you ‘wanted’ wasn’t really  what you wanted?

 

 

 

Random Cravings

Do you ever get the random craving… you know the ones. The “I can’t sleep until this craving is satisfied” cravings. Last night I put K to bed after what felt like a really long and snotty day, it is flu season after all, and had the overwhelming desire for a sweet treat. I wasn’t sure what exactly I felt like eating until I searched some mug cake ideas on Pinterest. I love my mug cakes (I’m not big on sharing my cakes if I don’t have to either).

donutmug

Anyway, so I found a “jam donut” mug cake… and oh my universe did it look delicious. I didn’t have all the ingredients though *mental tantrum here* so I sussed out what I could improvise with. I decided I’d substitute the almond meal with just some plain flour (because I know very few people who don’t at least have that in their house), and I’d sub most of the sugar with blackstrap molasses (I shouldn’t be too naughty with my cakes because I have my wedding coming up in August). I also substitute the flax egg for roughly a teaspoon on cornflour and 1-2 tablespoons of water, this is what I used in pretty much all baking where an egg is required.

So once the batter was made, I made my “jam” by mashing up 5 strawberries, I could have used half this though as I didn’t end up putting it all in, and added some more molasses and combined. Added half the batter to a lightly greased mug, followed by the jam and then batter to top off and popped it into the microwave for a minute (another reason I  seriously love mug cakes… they’re practically instant). Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and you have yourself a jam donut cake *licks lips*. Now disclosure, my recipe didn’t really look like the picture, it looked more like a dense muffin. It did however taste beautiful, and more importantly, satisfied my intense craving.

Do you guys enjoy mug cakes? What are some of your favourites?

For those of you keen on trying this yourself, I have put the link below. Let me know how yours turns out and if you modified yours too.

Jam Donut Mug Cake