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5 tips that will change the way you parent - Wednesday, February 8, 2017

As  parents we spend too much time comparing ourselves to other parents, trying to keep up. 

No wonder we are all stressed!

I've learned that it's not about fitting in; it's more about not looking like a total idiot....and even to use my least favourite expression, whatever...

Let me share with you some little gems that I have learned along this magnificient journey of mine.

1.Comparion is the thief of joy.  Instead of getting caught up in someone else's life, take a seat in your own.

2. Eat well, but keep it simple. It's okay to give the kids vegemite sandwiches for dinner every once in a while.

3. Dont sweat the small stuff.  Choose your battles carefully.

4. Be kind to yourself: you're doing a phenomal job. Start having some 'me time'.  Be a little bit selfish.

5. Turn off your devices and get to bed early.  Turn them off 1 hour before going to bed, and then read a book or listen to gentle music. We need about 7-8 hours a night

And lastly when it all gets too much, just remember to breathe.

Wise words by author Nicole Stucki, mother of three, naturopath & health coach.

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The Hospital Essentials - Friday, August 26, 2016

Thankfully with a shop full of things I needed, I managed to grab the following items below for my hospital essentials.

1. Newborn nappies Bambo

Bambo Nature Newborn Nappies Size 1 

I grabbed size 2 (3-4kg) assuming that my second will be the same or similar weight to the first. Boy was I wrong since he decided to come 3 weeks early and measuring only 2.5kg. Luckily the first few days the poo was fine for the size 2 nappies and we didn't have any leaks. Also surprised how lightweight the Bambo nappies are as with my first, I used Huggies, not really knowing much about chemicals and all that. So far, I've been impressed and can understand why so many parents love the Bambo brand in our store)

 

2. Aroma lily

Aromalily Aromatherapy Diffuser 

 

You might find this strange to be on the hospital essentials but I read about it on a Facebook chat and thought it was an AWESOME idea. Armed with the lily and my lively living essential oils, I was prepared for creating the perfect relaxing and fragrant environment for me to labour. So it might not have been as relaxing as I could handle but I turned it on in my hospital room too making the ambience always nice and fresh. The warm light and essential oils helps clean the air too and ward off any germs any vistors might bring in. I hope anyways!

 
Try other items in our Starter Pack.
 
Little Organics Starter Pack contains everything a new mum will need for this first time adventure.
 
Includes:
 
  1. Bambo Nature Newborn nappies (28 nappies)
  2. Gaia Bamboo Wipes (80 pack)
  3. Franjo's Kitchen Tank Topper - Pregnancy or Lactation Biscuits (14 servings)
  4. Mama Body Tea - Mama's Milk  (28 servings)
  5. Little Beans Organic Baby Wrap (120 x 120 cm)
  6. Pure Baby Organic Rib Body Suits (x 2)
  7. Badger Night Night Balm (21gm)
  8. Aromababy Barrier Balm (25gm)
  9. Dr Bronners Hand Sanitiser
  10. Just Jojoba 100% Pure Jojoba Oil (30ml)
  11. Natural Rubber Soother 
  12. Holle Organic Infant Formula 1 - sample sachet
  13. Holle Organic Infant Goat Milk  Formula 1 - sample sachet

Enjoy yourself and be ready for your bubba with natural selected items to kickstart your journey.

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Welcome to our baby boy - Saturday, August 20, 2016

My water broke on Tuesday morning and after two nights in hospital waiting they induced me Thursday morning.

What a miracle it is to hold a lil soul in your arms and how your heart just fills with love the more you look at them. I delivered naturally the same afternoon but it was intense. So painful, so stressful and I felt like a complete mess. Even though I started so well and calm and focus as soon as I grabbed the gas, I was delirious and broken. I pushed out my beautiful boy but I was so exhausted and my body became cold and I started shuddering. My beautiful boy came in and saw his lil brother for the first time as I could only gaze and smile at them both. It's amazing watching them bond and connect straightaway and it's amazing there's a new lil addition to our family.

The cheeky lil munchkin came 3 weeks early but is healthy at 2.5kg.

The body is so amazing and our children are little miracles. Little souls we hold in our lives and cherish forever. Welcome to the world our lil Munchkin.

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Learning to be in the moment - Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Learning to be in the moment

Since becoming a parent I’ve discovered meditation.  It really helps ground me and allow me to be in the moment which focuses my attention when it's being divided in lots of directions.  Just spending a few minutes each day focused on my breath and training my mind to be still – is hard, I won’t lie, it really does take practice – but the benefits are immediate.  Even after a short meditation, I feel calmer and more balanced. 
 
Here’s an easy way to start mediating:


Focus on your breathing - Take a few slow, deep breaths. Be aware of each time you breathe in and out. If you find your mind wandering, place your hand on your belly or your chest. Follow each breath as it comes in and goes out.

Your mind may start to wander. You might start to think about work deadlines or what’s for dinner. If it happens, accept and recognise that there are other thoughts on your mind. Simply re-focus by gently bringing your mind back to your breath. Concentrate again on your inhalation and exhalation.
 
If you find it difficult to focus on your breathing, try the mantra approach. Find a word that relaxes you. For example, "peace" or "love". Repeat the word slowly to yourself as you breathe in and out.

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Tranquility Giveaway - Monday, August 8, 2016
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Little Organics Bali Travels Essentials - Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The best thing about having my own store stocked with everything I love is that I can rush there last minute before flying to grab a bunch of last minute 'stuff!'

Since having a child, my travel essentials have changed drastically and there are certain things that aren't just necessities but are for comfort, should you need them!

My top travel essentials for our recent Bali trip are featured below:

Little Organics Bali Travel Essentials 

1. Vanilla Mozi Mosquito Repellant

Travelling to a tropical country like Bali and being a regular traveller to Asia due to family, I had already seeked out my favourite and reputable mossie repellant providers, as such the Vanilla Mozi mosquito was a definite must have. I am so easily bitten and for the life of me am so scared of my son catching Dengue fever. When we are in the tropics, I reapply regularly and even lightly put it on his clothes and hair cos those mossies are so nasty and can bite through clothes sometimes. 

2. Aromababy Sunscreen

You can't forget the old SLIP SLOP SLAP and beach weather means sunscreen is a necessity! A lot of mainstreams sunscreens contains an ingredient called oxybenzone which is carcinogenic. At Little Organics, we have two wonderful brands. I like the Aromababy for the tropics as it's lighter and glides on nicely. The sunscreen is natural, chemical free and best of all, safe to use!

3. Gaia Natural Baby Wipes

I guess I don't really need to explain much why these are a neccessity! Versatile and easy for anything, the small wipes size is just lighter and handier in my handbag and sun sack then the bigger 80 wipes version. These come in small 20 packs and are quite a good small size for out and about.

4. Divine Natural Hand Sanitiser

Kids and tropical Asian countries can mean be careful of germs! I carry my hand sanitiser around everywhere and my son is so used to cleaning his hands before he puts things in his mouth that he would be like 'Mum, sanitiser please' before he indulges in his snack or treat. I love the Divine range as it has a very lightly scented fresh smell and besides from being natural (always a must at Little Organics) it doesn't dry out my hands and feels lovely on. Just a small dash is all you need so it actually lasts quite a bit. Compared to those supermarket sanitiser (have you read what ingredients are in them??), it's a much superior product! 

5. Badger Sleep Balm

I have heard parents giving their children light medication before on a flight (Shock horror) so this is along that line, but much more natural! The sleep balm has ingredients such as lavender and bergamot and ginger which aids with sleep. I try to apply abit of this to my son's neck and temples and chest when we fly just to ease his excitement and relax him. For a flight to Bali, we chose the day flight to it wasn't as conducive, but for night flights, I think it just gives that extra help for them to calm, relax and fall asleep to the gentle humming of the plane. 

6. Yummy Earth Lollipops

I had them for me, being 5 months pregnant at the time, I keep craving sweets and these Yummy Earth lollies sweetened with just grape juice are better options for me. And of course, snacks for my son is always important too so I offer these to him too when the planes take off or lands so that their ears will pop with the swallowing and eating of the lollies. Always important, especially in small babies to give them something to something to take off with. Either breastmilk, baby snacks or if they are toddlers, just that one lolly at that moment can save you an ear ache for the whole trip.

7. Little Innoscents Vapour Balm

Last but not least, I carry these travel size balm everytime I travel. You never know when a cold hits, or they might feel the need to vomit so the balm is great for these occasions in warming his back and chest and any sore tummies. It's a definite neccessity in my bag and I love that there are no nasty petroleum in the Little Innoscents Vapour Balm! The smell of eucalyptus is gentle and soothing and warming to their body. You can even use it for yourself on your temples if you need just a lil essential oil for zen.

And finally, essentials for a Bali holiday! Just relax and enjoy!!! 

 

 

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Featured Mum in Business - TXG Compression Socks - Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Meet the beautiful Heather, mum and distributor behind TXG Compression sock range.

TXG Socks Founder Heather

Based in New Zealand, her socks are both widely available in New Zealand and Australia. I met her recently through a friend and knowing that I was flying to Bali soon, she gifted me these wonderful tencel compression socks.

TXG Compression Socks for the Plane

I naturally have a bias like of all things natural so the soft supple feel of tencel was something that really appealed to me. Tencel is a man-made fiver made from natural wood pulp from environmentally sustainable and certified Eucalytus tree farms. The statement that says they are 'softer than silk and cooler than linen' isn't too far from the truth as I was able to wear it going on and off Bali planes that landed in the middle of the fields and getting on buses to be driven into the airport. It was an amusing experience as we went from the chilled cabin to blasting humidity then getting squashed into a bus with a dozen other people and ricketing rocketing the drive into the terminal. 

TXG's Comfort Compression socks for Women (also known as circulation socks)  tencel range is more supple against the skin than modal, cotton or wool. It is hypoallergenic and so it won't lead to skin irritations. It is anti-static so clothing won't cling to the tencel. Tencel is extremely absorbent, more so than cotton, this means that when perspiration (sweat) is produced, it is quickly absorbed from the skin and transported to the fiber, as a result no water film is produced on the skin where bacteria could grown and cause foot odour. It is machine washable and dries more quickly than cotton. 

The TXG Comfort Compression Socks for Women are perfect if you're looking for a luxurious, stylish, lightweight, graduated compression sock which are ideal for my case was as flight socks for long haul travel but also good for wearing every day or to aid recovery after exercise.

Benefits of Graduated Compression Socks for Women:

  • Enhances blood circulation which promotes vitality

  • Lessens swelling, fatigue and tenderness in feet and legs

  • Aids prevention of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and swelling in feet and legs when flying or sitting for long periods

  • Supports prevention and treatment of mild oedema and mild venous ailments

  • Supports prevention and treatment of mild oedema and mild venous symptoms

Features of Comfort Women's Circulation Socks:

  • The toe is skillfully sewn by hand linking. This creates a seamless, smooth comfortable toe cage

  • Brand label is located on the sole of the sock, this ensures that the gradient compression remains unaffected by embroidery

  • Wide, generous comfortable cuff to prevent skin irritation or pressure tension

  • 3D heel and toe construction gives a relaxed, comfortable fit and provides extra strength for durability

Fabric Content:

  • 48.5% Tencel (R), 40.2% Micro Nylon, 11.3% Lycra®

Available Graduated Compression Levels:

  • Moderate (15-20mmHg)

  • Firm (20-30mmHg)

One of the most common concern of flying while pregnancy are blood clots on the plane. Fortunately the TXG tencel compresssion socks softer fabric was more breathable for the long flight yet tight enough to give me the compression I required. Being flat foot and always having aching legs, I always already had concerns with the extra weight you carry when pregnant. I was pleasantly surprised how at eased my feet were for the duration of the flights. When I landed in Jakarta following our Bali trip to visit family, wearing what I thought was more comfortable flat shoes put my whole body under distress. Only until the last two days I realised there were benefits to wearing the socks even when I wasn't flying and how it can help day to day as well. ´╗┐The socks are so comfortable to wear and I would highly recommend them for any pregnant mamas out there!

 

 

For more information on the TXG socks, visit their website at www.txgsocks.com.au. Use code LITTLEORGANICS for your 15% discount at checkout. 

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The Pregnancy Diaries - 6 months Hello Bali! - Monday, June 20, 2016

 25 Weeks Pregnant - Holidaying in Bali

People often call it the baby moon. For us, it's just pure coincidence that both times I was pregnant, I somehow had a holiday lined up in Bali around the 6-7 month mark. And gosh, I loved it!

Pregnant visting Bali

It was so nice to get out of the cold dreary Melbourne weather and hit sun, beach and tropical delight. I've been working hard since I got my energy back to get as much things sorted as I can so to take a week off to do absolutely nothing except swim and sleep was a luxury. It was our last holiday as a family of 3 and I made the most of the time together. My 6 year old boy said to me, 'Mummy, I don't want to go anywhere except stay in the hotel!'. I grinned and said 'That sounds absolutely perfect to me!'. So we spent the 5 days at the resort, swimming in the different pools, going to the different resort restaurants, sleeping in our room and watching tv and then heading back out again for more beach, swimming, bike riding and snacking.

I even sneaked in a pregnancy massage on the first day when we landed. After a lot of hesitation, I thought, what the heck, I'm on holiday and allowed myself to be pampered. My guilt dissapeard really quickly as I stepped into the zen Heavenly Spa at the Westin hotel. i fell asleep as my tired aching body was looked after and then relaxed with some desert and herbal drink in their relaxation lounge afterwards. As the buggy dropped me back off to my room, I had the most soundest sleep that night. 

You can chooose to do a lot in Bali or you can choose to do absolutely the minimum. My days started with a yoga class while my son and hubby ordered breakfast in bed and then we hit the breakfast buffet on a few mornings too. Westin offers a kids deal that covers their breakfast, lunch and dinner with just one daily cost at any of the restaurants in the resort. We restaurant hopped between the resort's restaurant for Indonesian food, Italian food and international food. The Italian restaurant was so good with their fresh soups and I fell in love with a barramundi fillet on mash potato and parsley oil dressing. It felt so healthy and easy to digest for my fussy pregnancy tastebuds. 

We spent one evening after dinner playing billards as a family and laughing the night away. Day time was mainly spent in the pools and then having a relaxing nap afterwards in the room. Westin offered a bike hire for kids and adult's bike so we got to do a family ride all the way along the beach down to a local park that had a helicopter pad. We got to ride through the footpath into the other resorts and also have a look at where the locals lived and played too. I think that's important too to give my son some perspective. Bali is beautiul but that's because resorts spends a lot of time cleaning up the beach forefront in the early mornings. Which reminds me, I went out one morning and watched the sunrise all by myself. It was the most peaceful and most beautiful way to wake up. 

Bali Baby Moon

I love Bali and totally recommend it as a little family winter escape during the cold months!

For more ideas on what travel essentials to carry, click on my travel essentials post here

 

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Side by Side: Sleep Balm and Night Night Balm - Thursday, June 9, 2016

Badger Sleep Balm and Night Night Balm - Side by Side

Sleep: young or old, we need it; and arguably as much as we need food, air, and water. However, it’s estimated that around 60 million Americans suffer from some sort of sleep disorder, including insomnia. Even us Badgers toss and turn from time to time! While the reasons for not sleeping are numerous and can differ from person to person, it’s essential that we let our bodies rest and rejuvenate to feel alert ready for the next day.

 
At Badger, we approach being healthy from a holistic perspective, which includes eating healthy food, drinking lots of water, and getting plenty of sleep. So what do Badgers do when sleep is hard to find? We turn to the art of aromatherapy, which uses pure botanical essences to calm, relax, uplift, and clear restless minds. Since Badger makes two sleep balms, people often ask: What’s the difference between the two? Can adults use Night-Night Balm? Can my kiddos use Sleep Balm?
 
Those questions and more are answered below in this side-by-side comparisons of Badger’s best sleep buddies. But before we dig in, it’s important to note that our balms are not drugs, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, or otherwise solve medical issues. So if you have a serious sleep issue, you should consult with your doctor or practitioner to determine the best course of treatment. That being said, if you like nice soft skin and dreamy aromatherapy blends, then please read on!
 

Sleep Balm Natural Sleep

 
Who the product is intended for:
 
Sleep Balm: busy adults with restless minds.
Night-Night Balm: active kids who need to unwind and relax.
 
Generally speaking, grownups and kids have different reasons why they can’t sleep. Adults, for the most part, have a difficult time turning off their brains long enough to fall asleep. Instead we’re thinking about the emails that need sending and errands that still need doing, while worrying about the bills and endless to-do lists. It’s no wonder why we have trouble falling asleep!
 
Sleep Balm features balsam fir, a key ingredient that evokes a mind-clearing walk in the woods, only from the comfort of your own bed. This magical oil is refreshing and relaxing to the body, as well as warming, helping to ease you into a relaxed state of mind so sleep can come naturally. Bergamot, which is a citrus, is traditionally uplifting without being stimulating and helps put you in a better mood as you drift off. Traditionally bergamot balances emotions, which can be very helpful if you tend to get riled up about stuff.
 
Night-Night Balm is a little more traditional in its approach. Chamomile and lavender are calming herbs for kids, while spearmint and mandarin are emotionally uplifting. In combination they promote peace and calm for a relaxed, happy transition into sleep.
 
Ingredient breakdown:
 
Sleep Balm Ingredients: *Olea Europaea (Extra Virgin Olive) Oil, *Ricinus Communis (Castor) Oil, *Cera Alba (Beeswax), Essential Oils of *Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot), *Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender), *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary Verbenone), *Zingiber Officinale (Ginger), *Abies Balsamea (Balsam Fir) and CO2 Extract of Zingiber Officinale (Ginger).
 
Night-Night Balm Ingredients: *Olea Europaea (Extra Virgin Olive) Oil, *Cera Alba (Beeswax), *Ricinus Communis (Castor) Oil, *Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Extract, Essential Oils of *Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender), Santalum Album (Sandalwood), *Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin), *Mentha Viridis (Spearmint), and *Anthemis Nobilis (Roman Chamomile).
 
* = Certified Organic
 
As you can see each balm is 95-100% USDA Certified Organic, with a base of extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, and castor oil in addition to aromatherapeutic essential oils. Our extra virgin olive oil comes from a family-owned estate in Spain, and is the highest quality food-grade oil you can get. In fact, it’s used by Michelin Star chefs in France and Spain for its remarkable health qualities. As a result these balms nourish the body – meaning you and the little ones have really soft skin – while providing many aromatherapeutic benefits.
 
Where to apply for best results:
 
Since both balms are based around the principles of aromatherapy, you’ll want to apply them anywhere you can smell the aroma. This includes under the nose, on the lips, chest, wrists, shoulders, temples, or other pulse points. You can also apply them to your feet and belly, and allow the essential oils to diffuse into the air. A lot of parents have said that they use Night-Night Balm for bedtime massages to relax their little ones, and as a bonus, mom and dad end up feeling relaxed, too.
 
Other notable points:
 
Aside from having different essential oil blends, I find that Night-Night Balm has a milder smell than Sleep Balm. But both can be used by anyone in the family at any time – since neither balm is a drug, they don’t actually make you sleepy. I find the Night-Night Balm especially relaxing to use at work.
 
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The Pregnancy Diaries - 5 month Mindset & Apps - Tuesday, May 3, 2016

5 month Bump Time...

With a second one on the way and still feeling bit scarred and scared from the first labour, my midwife suggested I go talk to someone about it as with the impending labour, no doubt some fearful anxiety and emotions will come up. So yesterday I took myself to see the hospital psychologist.

The appointment took about 1.5hours and covered everything, my history, childhood, current situation, family and of course the labour.

My labour itself was 8 hours and 20 mins. I was induced and I delivered naturally, relying on gas and the TENS machine. It wasn't for me the labour itself which terrified me and traumatised me but it was when I had to get my water broken that I was sobbing and felt I guess what I can describe as feeling a bit violated. I remember flinching and squirming and being yelled at by the doctor. It was literally minutes, maybe only even seconds but it's what I remember most clearly and I found most daunting. Here's hoping everything will go naturally this time around.

The psychologist explained to me that talking about it more will make you feel better and it will make you learn that it's just a memory and the feelings of distress you felt is passed. Being pregnant, on a scale of 1 -10, 10 being extremely stressed, you should always always try to keep your anxiety level at 5. 

Pregnancy is a beautiful and very connected experience. Unfortunately though, this means if you are feeling overly anxious, your baby will too. Continuous high levels of anxiety may affect your baby as the stress hormone cortisol can cross the placenta and influence the building blocks of your baby's emotional development. Extreme stress has been associated with pre term birth and low birth weight. Other symptoms that research has suggested is that it can lead to chronic health problems as adults such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Stress in the first trimester can result in newborns with increase irritability. "Who you are and what you are like when you're pregnant will affect who that baby is," says Janet DiPietro, a developmental psychologist at Johns Hopkins University. "Women's psychological functioning during pregnancy -- their anxiety level, stress, personality -- ultimately affects the temperament of their babies... It has too... the baby is awashed in all the chemicals produced by the mom.'

It's not all bad news for overly stressed mums though as other research has indicated that mums with higher cortisol level are more responsive to their babies needs and have a more positive maternal behaviour towards their babies. Overall though, in normal life or pregnancy, it's benefiical for you to keep a stable level of stress and anxiety in your life.

Calmness is something crucial and will help with your abiity to cope and be a mother. As a result, taking the time out to meditate and practise mindfulness is something you need to do, not think about doing, but something you should do.

There are a number of Pregnancy and mindfulness applications that the pyschologist referred to me and we took 10 minutes out of the session to practise and listen to a recording. The recording reminds us that even though we are on focused mediation, it is normal for the brain to be like waves and float in and out of thoughts. This is in no means indication of your abiity to meditate. It's just important to take your mind back to the present and focus yourself on your breathing.

I'll be downloading the following apps that are available on the Iphone and Android and making a concious effort to take a few minutes out each day to practice mindfulness. Afterall, this will be good for me and my baby and I definitely want that.

It's so different this time with a older child, a business to run and the usual life juggle! It was nice to get a reminder to relax and remember to keep your anxiety levels at a minimal. Refocus and reshuffle.

Mindthebump.org.au

and Mindfulness for Pregnancy (Itunes) By Mind Apps 

 

Reference:

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=51730&page=3

http://www.parentingscience.com/Stress-hormones-during-pregnancy.html

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