People say what?

Ok, so I’m only writing this because I’m in that kind of mood.

Well I’ll be honest I am usually in this type of mood … the type of mood that’s slightly cynical and sarcastic. I reflect on things sometimes and think…. WTAF! Then I make mental notes and promises to myself that I will not do that or say that to someone else.

Today’s topic is.,. The shit people say when you are pregnant or have just announced, or are about to give birth.

I’m sure even 4th time round I still haven’t heard it all. But when you reflect on it, and yes, so much of it is meant to be nice or well meaning.. even the social norm. When you truly reflect on it, you think… what the actual fuck. Why the hell did you think.. yep.. I’ll open my mouth and say that.

Here goes ( I’m sure you have heard many of these yourself, this is a list of stuff that stuck or makes me shake my head still. I have also sourced a bunch of comments sent in by some friends who have received some baffling and unsolicited comments or statements themselves).

And I will note, of course not all of this is meant to sound bad. It’s just kinda funny now. Also as I said.. I’m on my 4th… people are well over us having babies I’m sure. You are greeted more with a baffled look than an excited one 😂😜

• Are you sure? ( that your pregnant… )

• The results may be wrong

• oh shit..

.• Did you want it?

• Was it an accident?

• Are you going to have more ( literally after you have just announced you are pregnant)

.• Do you want a boy or girl? ( that one always baffles me. I don’t know why it’s just in this day and age I don’t know if it’s really appropriate to Ask anymore)

• How did that happen? ( you are kidding right? RIGHT??)

•Oh you must be close!

•Can I touch it?!

•Sorry is it ok if I touch your belly? (Whilst already rubbing it)

•You shouldn’t be driving

•You shouldn’t be carrying that

•You shouldn’t be drinking that coffee

•You shouldn’t be riding your bike

•You shouldn’t have walked that far

•3rd child – have you worked out how it happens by now

•You need a tv in your room

• Are you sure there’s only one in there?

• You must be having twins! ( yes…scans these days are so basic. So glad you made me see the light!)

• Oooh yeah I can see that fluid ( wow.. super man!)

• Oh you’re really swollen

•Put your feet up

•You shouldn’t be working

•Let the pregnant lady eat first

• Don’t lift your arms… it could make the chord wrap around the baby and choke it. ( WTAF?)

• You need to take all the drugs

• Make sure you do it all natural… that’s a real birth

• A cesarean isn’t really giving birth..

• I hope it’s black this time.! That’s my favourite colour skin! ( this one was announced by Byron in the waiting room at a scan. Everyone in the room were in fits of giggles while I went bright red and immediately vacated the area with him. It was beautiful… it was just very loud.)

• Yep, you have ages to go still. ( literally the day before I gave birth)

• Oh I would love for it to be a boy…

• Oh I hope it’s a girl…

• Are you keeping your placenta? ( interesting question from lady behind you at the supermarket…)

• Oh the other children will help with everything. That’s why you have more than one.

And the absolute NO NO of all time… that seems to happen so often after a couple give birth….

The announcement of the arrival or congratulations on social media BEFORE the actual parents have done it.

This is a go straight to jail move. No going back from this one. Doesn’t matter if your are family or close friends. Biggest dick move of the century no matter how you spin it.

Yep.

There is nothing wrong with talking to a pregnant woman about her up coming birth and child, so don’t get me wrong. It’s the unsolicited advice, statements and assumptions that can end up freaking her out and more so, making you look like a bit of a…butthead.

If you can help yourself, maybe just stick with some good old conversation about the weather. Even show her the app you have on your phone. Because no one else probably has that to check themselves. 😜😜

This post is dedicated to some of my gal pals who understand these sentiments oh to well. Thanks my loves, you guys are the best

The Ummum xxx

It’s not all flower crowns and pizza.

This probably is going to come off as insensitive, selfish and totally vain to some people. But I have to be utterly honest about this and it’s been brewing in my mind for a long time now.

I don’t enjoy pregnancy. And that’s ok.


Yep. I said it. Bring on all the comments of how selfish it is to feel this way. It’s a blessing I am carrying a baby. That infact this is my 4th when others struggle to conceive.

I totally know!!

But the brutal truth is not all women bask in the glow of pregnancy. It’s not all flower crowns and butterflies.

It’s also..

Massive fluid retention

Prolapse

Breakouts

Peeing yourself

Varicose veins the size of planets

Rashes

Thyroid problems

Breathlessness

Cramps that feel like knives

Sudden allergen reactions you have never had.

Depression

Anxiety

Sleeplessness… make that.. no sleep!

Moodiness and I don’t mean the normal type… Epic emotional meltdowns

Low self esteem

Panic attacks

Sickness, morning or noon or night or all 3

Irrational fears

Uncomfortable weight gain

Hair loss, nail breakage and bleeding gums

Extreme exhaustion

Did I mention peeing yourself?

The list actually goes on.

To top it off a lot of us preggo women also have irrational reactions to everyday comments that are made in your general direction.

I will add that this time being my 3rd baby in 3 years my body has absolutely had it. That has been noted duely in every scan I have had and unfortunately there is a lot of scar tissue in my lady baby making womb thingy to prove it. (TMI for some… soz!)

And an abundance of issues that I have had shows in my emotions and physical body. My last pregnancy was very tough. I was sick constantly almost everyday and had massive issues with vericose veins on my legs which caused a lot of pain. This time round its back with a vengeance and they have spread. Joy!  So much so that the issue of how I deliver is now to be advised. I now simply relate to being pregnant as being rather unwell. I hate that it’s the way I feel , but it’s etched into my body memory now.

When I was pregnant with Byron, I had only recently gone through a miscarriage. The entire pregnancy with him was absolute high tension and nerves. I was convinced something could happen and my obstetrician wanted to see me every fortnight to check on Bub ( didn’t help the nerves or general mood either. ) So I guess you could say that my first full experience wasn’t the joyful process usually planned out for first time mothers either.

This is the reality and I am not alone. I have actually spoken to many, many women who feel the same way. Difference is… it’s shameful to admit baby carrying ain’t yo thing.

And that seems to be part of society now. Anyone and everyone will openly disagree and shame you if you do something or say something that may not be the perceived norm.

But you know what… it is ok to feel this way. It’s only taken me 4 pregnancies to realise this. Own your feelings is far more empowering then disregarding them. I think you need to acknowledge it for your own health and sanity.

It is so so so important to be kind to yourself when expecting. You hear this a lot but the reality for most women in that a lot of the time you a juggling several full time jobs. Studies have shown the modern woman now does on average of 2 and a half full time work loads as well as being the main person on child raising. That’s astounding!

But… know if you do feel this way you are not alone! Note: not all pregnancy ARE like this, but this is my blog so… (I poke my tongue out at you and say.. sod it! Na na!)

If you do struggle, don’t be shy with talking to your GP or loved ones about your concerns. Remember: we are all different and life isn’t instagram perfecto!

You got this!
Xxx

Capsule wardrobe with Whitebrick Blog – Katherine Koulizakis

FINDING SELF CONFIDENCE THROUGH A MINIMALIST APPROACH TO STYLE – PREGNANCY SERIES


Have you ever thought about who is setting the standard of image that you must live up to? Who says Kim Kardashian is a beauty icon?

So many young women imitate this image. I believe media and society are heavily to blame, but who ever made them in charge of how we should look? By adapting yourself to fit this image you are allowing ‘them’ to be in control of telling you and everyone else how you should look! Image insecurity, recognise it, accept you, love you for all you have. See value in the blessings you have received, ask yourself if you need more, simplify and just be as real and true to yourself as you can.
With White Brick Blog, I hope to share my experience, share a message and perhaps help a small hand full of women that are facing the emotional and physical challenges that come with these expectation. Particularly the expectation of how you look when carrying a baby. Make it easy, make it a fun challenge and understand that wellbeing and value can be found in simplifying ones choices.

img_1779

Where did the minimalist journey start?
Of course right at rock bottom girlfriend! I started practicing minimalism in 2015 after a huge relationship breakdowns and an amalgamation of life changing events that left me craving for simplicity and intentionality in my life. My brother @jaydenkouli, introduced me to The Minimalists and from their podcasts, I was inspired to make some serious changes. Introduced to the de-cluttering concept I became addicted really. Went from a sad-hoarding-brand-worshipping fashionista to selling everything I owned at Kirribili Markets.I only kept my favourite things. Unbeknown at the time, that this was one of the major steps toward the capsule wardrobe journey.

Let’s fast forward a few years… Engaged  and pregnant!
Found this cutie that lived out of a back pack at my place for 2 weeks, who showed me first hand the true meaning of a capsule wardrobe before I even knew about it. Now we live happily ever after with baby along the way. So let’s continue on that chapter within the saga!
Think about that moment when you were getting dressed in the morning and realise you can no longer button up those jeans of yours. You are literally bursting out of your “period bras” overnight, rushing to Kmart to find something that will fit you… until the next growth. Not to mention, your j-string is disappearing into the ‘void’? Welcome to the noticeable body changes of pregnancy darling! That’s what I went through.
Started to feel fat and not so sexy any longer. Let alone the frustration of spending an hour sorting through clothing, trying to find a button up shirt that closed over these melons. Don’t want to cause any unnecessary distractions at the office meetings! This is when I decided to take intentional control and find a solution to my self-esteem and ‘I am running late again’ problem. The solution I had heard of previously and decided to implement; Project 333.
It is a minimalist capsule wardrobe concept initiated by Courtney Carver, in 2010. Her premise is all you need to get through a season (3 months) is 33 total wardrobe items or less if possible. Rather than falling into a hole of self pitty and lack of confidence, I changed the attitude and dressed this beautiful baby making body of mine with minimal spending and maximum return.

img_1782

Streamline your pregnancy capsule wardrobe by following these 5 steps:
1. Put aside your favourite things: Pick out 5 tops, 5 blouses, 5 jackets, 5 skirts, 5 pants, 5 shoes, 5 accessories. Lay them out on your bed. Bask in their glory, remember that feeling. You should feel this romance about all items in your wardrobe. Otherwise… cull!

2. Have a packing party: Invite over a friend and pack away all your items that do not add value to your life or do not fit you any longer (or that shortly won’t). Don’t worry, you will get back into them post baby. Keep your T-shirts, stretchy dresses and skirts that you can wear. Separate winter and summer wardrobe.

3. Set aside a budget: We are not advocating consumerism and this is no excuse to go on a shopping spree. But, you do need to buy some maternity pieces. Use and abuse the fast fashion online boutiques: I really hate promoting brands but I found ASOS (better quality) and BOOHOO the most cost efficient for maternity clothing.

4. Shift your focus: Notice your thoughts around what you wear. Notice your mind set – I have nothing to wear, I wore that last week, wish I could buy that [INSERT BRAND]. Stop it and get over it. I promise, I get more compliments now wearing my $20 canvas Boohoo shoes than I did in my $1,200 Prada boots.

5. Be creative and combo: If you get stuck you can always follow the White Brick Blog Guide here and Instagram account for inspiration. It is essential to mix things up. Just because they tell you it is a kimono, doesn’t mean you cannot wear it is a sexy split skirt or open neck shirt.

If you are keen on following a THEUMMUM FULL TIME MUM PREGNANCY SUMMER STYLE GUIDE select the link below to;
FIND OUT MORE

https://pin.it/XNvwnvS

Theummum and whitebrickblog are your personal cheer squad for getting started. We have both adapted the concept and we hope you can to.
Stay connected and share your outfits via – #mamamance

YOU CAN DO IT! If you do decide to take up the challenge please tag us and use the new comical hashtag play on words from ‘bromance’….
#mamamance
@whitebrickblog
@theummum

http://whitebrick.blog/

Life to the Minimum 

If you haven’t heard the word minimalist yet, you may be living underneath a rock. It seems to be booming lately although this is indeed not a new craze at all. If you follow my FB or Instagram then you would know I am indeed a fan of Joshua Becker, Courtney Carver, Allie Casazza and of course The Minimalists to name a few. 

It seems more and more people and families are embracing a less is more approach to life, so I thought I would post about how we do it, due to the amount of comments we get about our home with 3 going on 4 kids. 

Technically I have been doing this since my early 20’s,  so it’s more just the way I am and has been adopted into our family home organically, rather than making a huge change in one go. I will freely admit I am constantly working on it and so often catch myself out with accumulating unnecessary stuff for everyone. After having kids I found a massive shift in the amount of things we had ( like many). It began to weigh me down and honestly gave me a deep sense of unhappiness. I began to give to much emphasis and energy towards what we had. I compared, I got anxious that it wasn’t as good as someone else on social media, I questioned myself as a provider for my kids.. did they have enough or was I spoiling them. The end result was it was taking up way too much of my time  and energy. which in turn took up too much of my families energy. 

So this is and most likely always will be a constant work in progress for me as we grow and change but that’s ok. I’m aware and I hope continue to be. 

When people look through the kids wardrobes or toy boxes, usually they comment how neat or bare things are to what would usually considered normal for a growing family. I do disagree, I still feel we have more than enough and I’m by no means drastic on having everything cut back to a bare minimum with only beds and a chair. But, some super simple and easy to do things that don’t feel like huge changes can declutter the home and have you feeling less held down by non essential items.

It’s important to love the space you are in. So the choices you make to furnish your home and choices of quality and love. Absolutely love the things you surround yourselves with and it will give you joy. Don’t give time and energy to anything that you question. 
Firstly with kids, before Christmas and any birthday we go through what we have toy wise and either bin or donate. Broken toys happen as a common occurrence in all homes. So staying on top of that immediately helps keep junk at bay. Toys that haven’t been used or outgrown the kids have a choice to pass on to the younger  siblings ( rarely happens) or we donate. This is slowly rubbing off on the kids in a great way. Understanding that donating good quality toys if they are not used, to someone who will, teaches children more on the value of kindness and less on the importance of materialistic things. It’s a hard one… they are surrounded by consumer driven businesses every minute, especially on kids YouTube. But.. it does counteract some of it … hopefully. I have heard the idea of rotating toys every 6 months. Put some away and swap them over. Ultimately, if it hasn’t been asked for, needed or missed than absolutely no point. You are only storing unwanted items and adding to the clutter.

Use what only fits in toy baskets!

We have toy baskets for each kid and one communal one. Only what fits in ya toy tub , stays! 

Birthdays and Christmas gifts have been stripped back since the girls arrived. It’s more common for money in accounts from family rather than gifts which helps so much and the focus on one large gift rather than a billion little ones from us.  Yes… there will always be surprises, that’s ok. But weekly visits to Kmart for cars, dolls or useless panda heads all adds up and in the long run… not great for the mindset of anyone. It’s just not needed. 

Furniture and kitchen: Basicaly only what we need. This is the real trap of millions of plates, cups, Tupperware, shit you collected from fast food joints, millions of cooking contraptions you used once, that ninja bullet for the one week you decided to be “healthy”, the list goes on. Use what you need and invest in quality rather than quantity ( blah that old saying)

Do you need 6 different sets of glasses, plates and bowls?

If it hasn’t been used or thought of in 6 months… goodbye. 

Clothes: My girlfriend recently did a massive clear out on all her clothes. And this girl had the best ( still does) wardrobe. My go to, to find a dress if I had nothing. She had recently read ‘The life-changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo’, and had made the shift to move things out of her life that didn’t “spark joy”. It went across the board for her whole home but what was very powerful, was we then went for coffee and a window shop to catch up and her whole attitude towards buying anything had changed. The rule of if it didn’t spark joy she moved on also carried through with her purchasing. And this is the BIGGEST thing. Buying unnecessary stuff, even, EVEN if it’s on sale may not be worth it. That 5 dollar top you saw at HM…. will you wear it every week or is it simply the price that’s actually appealing? 

She was actually rewarded by a pair of shoes she wanted about 3 months earlier that were still sitting there but now half price. She still loved them, so it was worth the wait, price and purchase. It sparked her joy and she was so happy. I was happy. We ate buttery baked goods and all in all had a great day! 

This is such an excellent way of really only allowing in what you really will use. Patience is a virtue.

I have personally now embarked on project 333 that was created by Courtney Carver with the help from my girl Katherine from White Brick Co. She has helped me declutter and restyle myself in simple and effective uses of the pieces I already own, while culling my wardrobe down to 33 ( I got down to 28) seasonal peices! Yep, you heard correct! And on the first day of my decluttered and newly looked at wardrobe, I got 3 complements from strangers on my outfit! Amazing!

 

Katherine will be sharing more on the blog soon on who to make your wardrobe easy and sparkly again! I can’t wait to share her advice with you all!! 

Bathrooms: This can be a massive one! Do you hoard makeup, soaps, hair products, skin care items but rarely use them? If you open your cupboards and it’s choc full of these items then it’s time to throw stuff out! 

Not only can impulse buying this type of thing can damage the back pocket… a lot of the time this stuff is truely unnecessary to your life. Keep the few products you do use every day and ditch the rest. 

After one of our many moves we did over the last few years, I noticed how much crap we had under the sink and literally boxed it up and donated it. Most of the stuff was freebies we just had never touched and was just going to waste. Now the bathrooms are very stream lined to only what we use and then we squeeze every last bit out before buying more. Too add… when you have two little girls that love to go through everything you have, it’s easier to have less of that sort of stuff for them to cause trouble with . 
Purchasing: I usually now only shop online and will mull over a purchase for at least 4 weeks before I buy. 

And here is the big one… I do a ‘shave cull’ as I call it every 3 months. Basically this is just where I do a quick whip around with one bag and see if there is anything we don’t use or I haven’t event noticed in wardrobes, cupboards and drawers. Sometimes you get a lot, sometimes hardly anything but it keeps me onto of it all and is a lot less overwhelming.

My husband and I usually wait sometimes up to 6 months for big household items and if it’s wanted and or needed then we buy… and usually in cash. The credit card is a trap for getting used for uselessness. It’s not there for whim purchasing.. it will haunt you big time! We also buy a lot of furniture second hand. If we find something we love or a certain style, often we can find excellent condition second hand versions at an absolute fraction of the price. And to counteract the spending we are never afraid to gumtree items that are unused or not needed anymore to help pay for the new purchase. It’s kind of like… if something comes in then something may go out. So far it’s balanced really well. 

 Spending to make you feel better or reward yourself can also end up biting you in the backside. Really think about what you need mentally before you go to any shops armed with the idea of “treat yo self”. It may actually be not what you need at all. I would personally feel better without the hole in the pocket or owing the bank back money on something I most likely won’t love in a month. A trust me when I say… I have fallen prey to that a lot in the past. 

Digital Clutter:This one is hard and you need to stay on top of. Honestly it gets me every time. I try to clean out emails, random photos and junk from my phone in order to stay on top of what I do need to do but in time, it can easily runaway with you. If I am good with it, I often find I am more on top of my work, emails and articles because everything is clean, in order and only what I need to do is presenting itself. Photos are downloaded onto hard drives but probably not often enough. We are working on that! 

But on another note when it comes to papers, files and books, that too needs to be kept in order. Recently I culled back all my uni things I had kept for 15 years. I had a sentimental idea of holding onto it in case I needed it again. Truth be told after reading through it I knew it was slightly out of date, good for a laugh at myself, walk down memory lane but in the end I bid goodbye to over 7 kilos of papers and folders. It felt good! 

The mental part is the biggest thing with letting go of things. It takes time if you have put sentimental value on things but a lot of the time we put it on things that really aren’t as important as the memories attached to them. And that is something you cannot throw out. Admittedly I have my wedding dress still in my cupboard…. but it’s there purely to see if I can fit back into it after this baby….really…. it’s a challenge…. all women do this…. right??
I could go on and on about declutter and the home. I’m a bit of a home admin nerd. But truely once you cut through some of the clutter.. the feeling it brings you is so worth it.

Remember once you declutter, don’t run out and replace things. Sit with less. Eventually you sees small changes in your spending, wants and back pocket! 

Not only that… there is more room to breathe, less to clean, less to worry about, less to take up in your life. Your kids have more room to play, create and explore. And you definitely get more sainity and peace in return. 

It can impact your life in more ways than you realise.

Start small and see how you feel. 

For some great inspiration follow these guys on Instagram 

@theminamilists

@bemorewithless

@allie_thatsme

@joshuabecker 

@whitebrickblog 
Enjoy!

The Ummum 

Xxx

Cruelty Free Beauty 

This may seem like a slightly out of character post for me, as I never really talk beauty much. Well, I’m a mummy blogger not beauty BUT  for the last several months, I have been suffering really incredibly sensitive skin issues ( I’ve actually had strange skin most of my life) but lately…. ugh it’s a nightmare! 

Anyway, I was lucky enough to meet a beautiful lady over the good old world of Instagram and turns out, not only was she a nurse but had a range of cruelty free make up options from the company Young Living, called Savvy Minerals and suggested I try some out. So, all the way from Canada, I received the most beautiful parcel of goodies and was most intrigued to give it a go. 

All my old makeup was giving me grief so I was on the market anyway for something new. Literally, I walk past the Maybeline counter in Kmart and would get itchy. Maybe it’s Maybeline or maybe it’s just me getting older?  #great

 

Now before you go… “oh here we go”.. . no stop. Many of you have may indeed seen this company through social media and they are more widely known for their essential oils. The truth is, most of these type of companies actually produce the most high quality and ethically sourced stuff on the markets. The amount of information you can find is astounding. 

And yes, a lot of women go into the business side of it to… OMG … help support their families and create a new way of life. Nothing wrong with that. They can do incredibly well from it. 

99% of the time, these companies will produce quality that far our ways the average brands we often reach for more out of comfort. And you have seen the memes… a woman doing her research will go deeper and further than the FBI. 

Regardless of what you may used to think, network marketing companies produce pretty damn good stuff. And you get far better customer service than most retailers. And on I side note I do not recommend anything I do not LOVE and or USE. 


Above is Vanessa  with Savvy Minerals

Clarissa before and after with Savvy Minerals ❤️


Short story is people… it’s amazing stuff. I I will most certainly now using it for good after giving it a go and also that it will be widely available in Australia come December.

This makeup did not  give me any skin issue AT ALL, which is massive because any makeup over the last 5 months has caused a really nasty rash all over my face. It had great  coverage, doesn’t at all look caked on, beautiful colours and best of all…. completely cruelty and chemical free! 

No Bismuth 

No Phthalate 

No Parbens

No Gluten Dye

No Synthetic Colorant 

No Fragrance 

No Mineral Oil 

And not tested on animals of course.

Something that we should all be reaching for when selecting products we use. Cruelty is just not justifiable in this day and age my friends! 

To top it off there is loads of really helpful videos on applications and ways you can use it. If I managed to be able to do it.. anyone can! Trust me! It is also really very fun to play around with it and the make up lasts you quite awhile! 

These are all biggies for me and as I get older I am indeed finding my sensitive skin only gets worse so I have to be careful with what I put in my body and on it. So this is a win for me. I was utterly over the moon at this product so I really wanted to share. 

If you want to know more please feel free to contact Ranette directly on Instagram @r_oickle

Or on Facebook  Ranette Orickle  

She has so much information for you and can help with anything you need
Xx 

The Ummum