Little things…

Effi, La Millou & Jollein baby blankets

I have been thinking of doing this post for weeks but there’s never been enough time or energy or simply lack of creative juices flowing. I think I suffered a little bit from the latter one during this pregnancy. I tried to blame it on a shift in priorities but to be honest, I’m not sure what it was. Anyway, it’s gone now so yay!!! :-)

I’m due in 4 weeks. Two more weeks at work and I’ll be officially on my maternity leave. Like any other first time mamabear, I stocked my kitchen with natural remedies to induce and shorten labour; dates (tip #1: six a day during the last 4 weeks, you can get them in one of the Middle Eastern shops) and a raspberry leaf tea.

I finished shopping for my baby last month. I did start quite early to be honest, I think once the first trimester finished. I guess I was too excited not to look at those cute little things plus I knew I would be buying lots from abroad and it’d take a while for everything to arrive. Do I regret? Absolutely not :-)

* tap on/ hover over a picture for details!

One of the first things that we bought was a car seat with a base (BeSafe Isofix). I got it on Adverts from a lovely Polish couple from Bray. (tip #2: for safety reasons make sure not to buy a second-hand car seat that is older than 5 years).

Next we bought a crib. Again, we got it on Adverts. I believe in buying second-hand. It is such a great way of prolonging life of things that someone else no longer needs.
From the moment I saw Stokke Sleepi Crib on Pinterest, I knew this was The One! I loved its oval shape and how functional it was!
It grows with a baby, so after 6 months you just extend its sides and add a bigger mattress and you are sorted for another few months without compromising on space. And since we live in a small cottage, we need something that fits in our bedroom. Ah yes, have I mentioned that our baby will be sharing a bedroom with us? Another benefit of having this crib is the fact that it fits through the door. So we don’t need an extra day-bed. We can just move a crib from bedroom to living room and voila! the little one is hanging out with us!

Once the “big” stuff was sorted (tip #3: we waited 4 months for the buggy to arrive so make sure to order in advance) I moved on to accessories & clothes. And I was in heaven!

It’s not a secret that I love textiles. So I probably got carried away a little bit, but no regrets!
Majority of muslin, bamboo and flannel clothes I bought in TK Maxx, like my favourite Aden & Anais. Others, I ordered directly from the producers, like Kuba’s fave ‘Shit just got real’ swaddle scarf by Coveted Things. I wrote about it here.


I also love blankets so I made sure to get a few of those too. I ordered a couple from Effi, La Millou and Jollein plus one beautiful dusty pink blanket by Color Stories which I bought here in Ireland at Nordville.
Finally, a wrap! Both, Kuba and I believe in attachment parenting so buying a wrap carrier was a non-brainer. We decided to get a Solly Baby wrap – I wrote about it here.

The biggest challenge for me was buying clothes. Babies grow really fast. So there’s not much point in buying very expensive clothes. But on the other hand, I prefer buying less but of a good quality. And so I hand-picked few brands (Gray Label,  Petite Soul, Coodo etc) and waited for sales ;-) Also, I decided to get some multi-packs for newborn at Mamas & Papas. All white but I love them.

For accessories I shopped mostly on Amazon; thermometer, bath thermometer, wooden baby brush, nail scissors, room thermometer, sleeping bag, baby bottle, sleep monitorpacifier or nasal aspirator.

Let’s move on to care products.
I read SO much about all different kind of products for babies (from oils, nappies, to creams and balms) and moms (for after the labour, nipple creams and maternity pads) that I could probably write a book ;-)
Here it is in a nutshell; lanolin is not as good as everyone thinks so I found another brand that does lanolin-free nipple cream: Moo Goo Udder Cream. It smells lovely and it has really good reviews. You can order it online or buy in Nourish on Wicklow St.
Lastly, I would like to recommend Almond Oil for the perineum massage (although for the love of God, why it is called a massage is beyond me!). I started doing it around week 34 so fingers crossed it protects me from third degree tears (tip #4: no need to spend a tenner on a special perineum massage oil, the almond oil does the job just as well).

Storksak Organics is the brand I chose for the little one. They only use the natural and certified organic ingredients so exactly what I was looking for for the delicate skin of our baby girl.

Finally, my hospital bag.
I used eumom hospital bag checklist to pack my bag although, as mentioned in my previous post, I cut it by half. I added TENS machine though which I plan to use once the surges start.
As many of you know, I took hypnobirthing class and I’m listening to GentleBirth tracks so my iPhone and a loudspeaker are going into my bag too.
I packed a separate small bag for the labour ward. It contains a black dress which I got in Lidl (it cost something like 8e so I won’t feel guilty throwing it away after the birth), a pair of flip flops which can be easily rinsed if needed, a small face towel, a lip balm and a face mist. I also plan to bring 2l of water with me (tip #5: bring a straw too so your partner can hold a bottle for you) and some homemade energy balls & bars.
For after the post-birth I bought Natracare maternity pads and witch hazel which is one of the safest natural postpartum vaginal care options around.

Ufff, I don’t think I have ever written such a long post. Next time I’ll tell you all about GentleBirth and placenta encapsulation, yes! I’ll be “eating” my placenta!

Thanks for stopping by and please share your thoughts or ask questions if you are a mamabear too, I would love to hear from you!

Have a lovely evening!

xxx, Marta

DISCLAIMER: I paid for all the things in the post with my own money, nothing was sponsored. Recommendations are 100% honest.

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ten bits #6

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I’m so looking forward to going back to work! I spent this last week at home, resting – apparently you should slow down when you’re pregnant – really? ;-)
Anyhow, it was still quite a productive week: I packed my hospital bag, whoo hoo! Kuba is certainly delighted, he was slowly getting worried that if I go into labour sooner than my EDD, he’ll end up packing it! Well, it’s done babe! I used eumom hospital bag checklist as an example although I did cut it by half. I really don’t think my 1 day old baby will need 12 bibs! ;-)

Ok, enough about the bag! Here are this week’s ten bits!

1.Finally, a nude lingerie collection for all shades of woman!

To try and provide a shade for women of all ethnicities, underwear label Naja has just released their #nudeforall bras, briefs and g-strings which are made to suit women’s different skin tones. The seven shades of nude collection, is currently being advertised across New York City using real women to model the Naja range. It’s a campaign that aims to stop objectifying women, especially in photo shoots where women are usually portrayed as sex symbols.“It’s giving a face and a personality to the women in the ads,” Latin American born founder, Catalina Girald said. “One is a ballerina. Another is a software engineer. Victoria’s Secret angels have wings on them but we don’t know anything about them, and they’re these mythical creatures that don’t exist. We wanted to represent women in lingerie as they actually are.”
I say BRAVO!

2.The witty world of Frank Höhne, one of the most recognised German illustrators working today.

3.Totally in love with Laura Berger’s animations <3

4.A must-see photography project! Michelle De Punzio’s “City of Glass”. “It is a story of love and mystery. The pursuit of something that was lost, or that never belonged to us completely: our own identity and ability to see.”

5. IG account to follow: Ukrainian artist Snezhana Soosh. She posts on her feed some truly amazing illustrations of a father-daughter relationship. You’ve got to see them!

6.Recipe of the week: Lemon gelato (or should I rather say 4-ingredients gelato recipe).

7.Whoo hoo, the second season of Chef’s Table returns to Netflix!

8.LOL! not your average pool floats ;-)

9.Sometimes we just have to ignore things so we can live peacefully.

10.After watching this video, I promised myself not to complain about our small cottage, ever again!

Hope you all have a great week!

xxx, Marta

Photo by Clemens Poloczek

Little Loaf Story #4 – Philomena Kloss & the bears

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I’m officially nesting. I have been for a while actually. Last night for example, we put together little one’s crib – can’t wait to show you! A beauty! (of course, what else can I say ;-) )
So yes, I’m a very happy mamabear who is trying to make her home as cosy as possible for the arrival of her baby girl in about 8 weeks :-)

Here is the fourth Little Loaf Story dedicated to unique baby stuff from around the world.
Today’s post is about Philomena Kloss, a very special brand from Ukraine who I found on Etsy while browsing for handmade toys.

Nadia and Tanya are the creators of Philomena Kloss. Back in 2010 when the project started, they had no clear idea of what their future creations would look like. They were just two creative girls form Odessa who simply enjoyed embroidering, knitting and…making toys. Until one day the idea of first Philomena Kloss bear was born!Philomena Kloss Odessaą
Now their family includes unusual stuffed tweed bears, foxes and racoons, each of which has its own name and story and is made to become kid’s real friend.

It was a great pleasure for me to chat to the girls and ask them few questions. I wholly recommend that you make time to absorb their thoughts :-)
(Please note that no editorial changes were made to the girls’ answers).

1. How did you meet?

We met and began to communicate through similar interests and passion for sewing clothes. Although our profession at the university were not associated with sewing, but we always like to deal with something creative. Through such interests we started to communicate and work together.

2. What did you do before Philomena Kloss? Was it always something that creative?

Prior to the creation of these our popular bears we sewed different classic plush bears, as well as rabbits, donkeys and even hamsters!

3. What inspires you to create your teddys?

We live in a city by the sea. We are doing something that brings joy to us and others people. Every week we send parcels in different countries and get so warm feedback. We feel that wings are growing. This is perhaps the most inspiration.

4. What advice would you give to young people who feel like creating something unique but are too afraid to take this step?

The most important thing – believe in yourself, do not be afraid to try new things, to experiment. You can be inspired by something, that you have seen, and use interesting ideas, reincarnating them for yourself. But, please, never make copy, it will not bring you any enjoyment out of your work, and much less recognition.

5. Are you planning to launch new creations? If yes, can you tell us what is it going to be?

Bears have friends – foxes, raccoons, wolves. So far, the foxes are most popular after the bears, so, we do them more often. Besides, we like their embroidered ears and tails. But raccoons and wolves, sometimes appear too.

6. What music do you listen to while creating teddys? Or maybe you prefer working with no music in the background?

Most often, we listen quiet melodic music, which helps to tune into a working harmony and at the same time to keep the tranquility and inner peace.

Philomena Kloss odessa toysPhilomena Kloss odessa toysYou can order your Philomena Kloss teddy bear, fox or racoon on Etsy.

Tanya and Nadia aro also amazing Instagramers! Follow them @philomena_kloss.

Now, hands up who can actually resist buying one? I can’t! I guess it’s this little girl in me speaking!

xxx, Marta

Photos courtesy of Nadia and Tanya of Philomena Kloss. 

My dear baby…

loaf story my dear baby letter

My dear baby, in 9 weeks I’ll bring you to this world. You will be celebrated the way you are, not the way you are expected to be.

I will make sure there’s no pressure for you to look a certain way and act in a certain manner.

Who you naturally are is enough! So be loud my dear baby! be athletic! be fearless! be messy! be joyous! be frustrated!

That is OK! Not only OK, but worthy of celebration!

Love,
Mom

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All photographs by very talented Kate T Parker, fine art photographer based in Atlanta. Also a lucky mom to two amazing girls.
Kate T Parker also speaks on the subjects of women’s issues. Featured photographs come from the “Strong is the New Pretty” project which will be published as a book next year.