Pushing the pause button…

It’s been holidays and now back to the grind. I have had no “lus” to write and have been busy with a few other projects as well as my very busy and demanding 13 month old.

So… I am officially taking a break from this blog.

I will write again when the bug bites.

Xx

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A mama community

I don’t know about you, but in my circle of friends I am one of a handful that is a mom. My friends are not in the same phase as me and don’t quite get the mama banter. Motherhood can be a lonely road.

As you know I opened a baby department in my moms store and this is my base where all other projects rise from. We had a talk given by my Aunt who is a professor in pediatric nursing at UCT. The idea rose that we should create a community of moms, that come together once a month:

1. Meet other mothers – to connect and share.

2. To learn – there will be a theme and a speaker at each event. Knowledge is power, and for our kids, we need to make educated decisions.

3. This is a group for conscious parents who are interested in natural and eco-friendly living.

This is meant to be fun, informative and social. All events will be held in Bloemfontein.

To join this group – click HERE

Our first event set for early next year…

ECO-FRIENDLY mom & baby

  • An introduction to modern cloth nappies – we will hold demos, show you our personal nappy collections and give the load down on caring for them.
  • Natural detergent and cleaning solutions for your home
  • Natural and organic skin products for baby
  • Mama cloth and cup – reusable sanitary products for mom

*There will be products for sale too, if you wish to purchase something.

Date: 31 January 2015, Oliewenhuis @ 3pm

Bring your kids along, a picnic basket and blanket. Husbands and friends are welcome.

pooh_picnic_1680x1050

Hope to see you there!

xx

 

Mama cloth: Charlie Banana Review

So I have conquered my first cycle using mama cloth. I must admit that I only did it part time.

Honestly, I don’t like wearing pads when I leave the house and have pants on, and I am yet to have purchased my menstrual cup.

photo 1 (6)  photo 2 (5)  photo 3 (5)  photo (5)

On first inspection they are well designed pads, and come in beautiful prints. They are very soft and lush, making them super comfortable to wear. Not that plasticy or crinkly paper feeling. Compare wearing soft cotton underwear to wearing disposable plastic underwear – its the same really… cloth wins by a mile in my books.

They rinse out easily with cold water. You can also put them in a small bucket of water to soak for a short while, then throw the water in the toilet and then rinse the pad and throw in laundry basket till wash day. In my case I just wash them with my cloth diapers. They also dry quickly in the sun.

It feels like I am taking responsibility for my part in making the world a greener place. 16900 is the average amount of sanitary pads and tampons a woman will use in her lifetime. I had no period pain this month, I am not sure if my flow has lightened because the cloth pad is so much more absorbent than a normal pad, that it is hard to tell. They really hold up well. The one thing I will say is that the super might be great for a heavy flow, however it is not a great night time pad. I would prefer a longer one which gives more coverage. Also the cut is too straight for my liking. I would prefer a more curved shape in my next buy. This is also why it is important to try out different brands. This way you can test the waters first, before committing to an entire stash of one design. The liners are perfect for light spotting days, and a good way to experiments with mama cloth. Even if you decide that mama cloth is not for you, cloth panty liners should be.

Overall impression: 8/10

I hope I am getting you closer to trying it;) It really is worth giving it a chance.

xx

Available from tinyhiney.co.za 

Cloth diapering to mama cloth – eco living

I have been cloth diapering my son for almost a year, and my goodness it’s a good feeling. Not only is it better his bottom but also for the environment.

Disposables have only been around for about 60 years – they take 500 years to decompose – so in essence all the disposables ever used are still lying in landfills! It is believed that around 18 billion disposables end up in landfills in America alone per year. That is enough motivation for me.

landfills

Most people don’t know this or do this, but one is supposed to dispose of the waste in the diaper before chucking it. The waste leaks into the ground and contaminates it, whereas when the waste is flushed it goes through the sewerage system. So next time before wrapping up that dirty diaper, flush the waste down the toilet and dispose of it safely.

Anyway, my focus today are natural solutions for woman’s  monthlies.

After 19 months of menstrual free bliss, it returned… I rushed to the shops and got my supplies. For some reason I was not gelling with the disposable pads and tampons… And because I was already into eco diapering I decided to give mama cloth a try. This may be a strange concept for some to wrap their head around, but the alternative is much more horrifying. Can you imagine your monthly pads lying in the landfills – An average North American uses 16,800 disposable pads/tampons during a lifetime. Every year, in Britain alone, a staggering 1 billion sanitary towels get disposed off and end up in landfills.

tampons and pads

Natural, easy, comfortable and healthy alternatives

There are some great products on the market –

1. Cloth pads – they come in beautiful prints and various sizes (panty liners, regular and large). They are soft and comfortable to wear. Easy to clean and reusable!

mama cloth        mama cloth 2

  • Charlie Banana® innovative washable feminine pads are very comfortable and stylish. A must try for every woman.
  • They are free of perfumes, chlorine, and chemicals.
  • Choose your ideal absorbency: Panty liner, Regular, Super.
  • They are unbelievably stain resistant.
  • We have a fabulous selection of colours to choose from.
  • They are sold in packs of 3 with the mini tote bag included.

Available from www.tinyhiney.co.za

mama thx

  • THX cloth pads are very affordable
  • They come in packs of 3

Available from www.babythingz.co.za
2. Menstrual cups – they are silicon cups that are inserted.

sku5072-myown-cup-large

My own cup R215 on faithfultonature.co.za, is the most affordable one I have come across in SA. Other brands to check out are: meluna cup, iris cup, mia cup, mpower cup, moon cup. There are many brands available. I would recommend reading reviews on blogs to make a decision about which cup would be the best for you.

Benefits

  • Saves money
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Health benefits
    Mama Cloth has also been proven to have many health benefits associated with their use. “Maxi Pads” and disposable diapers are both laced with chemicals and unnatural products. These chemicals and toxins have been proven to increase the chances of yeast infections, rashes and some of the toxins, such as bleach, have even been banned in many European countries and been linked to cancer!
  • Improved menstruation
    Many users of Mama Cloth have reported that with continued use of Mama Cloth, their menstrual cycles shortened, their cramps decreased, and their overall flow decreased. These benefits have been shown to be linked to the lack of chemicals and toxins which undoubtedly have a negative impact on health.
  • More comfortable
    Due to Soft fabric, various sizes and shapes.

There is a great group on Facebook for mama cloth and cup users, so if you are interested to find out more go HERE.

Consider switching – you will be happy you did;)

xx

Mon Amie – the most beautiful handmade soft toys

I stumbled across this business page on FB and fell in love.

mon amie logo

 

About

My name is Armanda Vidal Brassel and my profession is Interior Design, I am passionate about all things that are creative and beautiful.

I was inspired to start a business selling hand made soft toys, shortly after the birth of my six-month-old son. My husband and I want to give our baby, toys that will prepare him for a bright future. We were however disappointed with the mass produced toys available in South Africa. I started looking for “old school” toys, whose only limits were our son’s imagination.

My business is called “mon amie”, meaning my friend in French. Each toy has been “made with love” by skillful hobbyists worldwide. The toys have traveled from as far as Turkey, Russia, China, America, England, Israel, Ukraine and Vietnam. They are made from natural raw materials and are unique in design and colour. I mostly sell one of a kind or a very limited number of each toy.
“Mon amie” toys aim to encourage children to explore their magnificently imaginative minds and to create a new world every time they play.

Some of my favourites

dolls     mouse

bunny     bunny 2

Hop over to her FB Page to view all the products – HERE

NEW Baby Cosmetics from Sophie la Girafe and my favourite skincare for baby

Sophie cosmetics

Sophie la Girafe has launched a range of organic baby cosmetics. The products are very mild and gentle, wonderful for sensitive skin and newborns. For more info on the range visit sophielagirafe.

The Sophie range includes:

  • Starter kit
  • Hair and body wash
  • Face cream
  • Body lotion
  • Protection cream
  • Body oil
  • Bubble bath

It is on the pricey side, ranging between R 299 and R 349. Quality comes with a price tag though…

I must admit that I love various products from different ranges. These are my favourite body care products for Cobus:

  1. Hair and body wash – Out of all the ones I have tried, pure beginnings remains on top. I like the foaminess and the smell. I find oh lief and SLGifare a bit mild for my liking. However, all 3 are great and I rotate them every once in a while.BABY_WASH_NEW
  2. Bum cream – Oh lief has a fabulous bum balm. It is oil based, and really nourishes and moisturizes the skin. It has tea tree oil in, so it is anti-bacterial fungal and viral. Excellent for rashes too, after 2 applications the rash starts to fade. I used cloth diapers, so bum cream is not necessary, however I apply after his bath just to moisturize that little bum.bum balm
  3. Body cream – I use 2 – Oh life aqueous cream and Oh lief body wax. Both incredible. The aqueous is enriched with organic olive, sesame and coconut oil which nourishes, protects and soothes the skin. It is fragrance free, and is suitable for those prone to dry or problematic skin. Cobus battles a bit of eczema. I use Hygrosal bath salts in his bath, and since I have done that I have seen a huge improvement in his skin. The water was too harsh. I also massage him with Oh lief body wax. An oil based wax ideal for baby massage, moisturizer & soothing before bedtime.   Natural-Olive-Baby-Wax-125gNatural-Olive-Aqueuos-Cream-250ml
  4. Baby wipes – I have converted to Cloth diapering, mama cloth and now I am going to invest in some reusable baby wipes. However, when I do use wipes I use the pure beginnings wipes. Pure bamboo wipes, that smell lovely and work really well.

BABY_WET_WIPE_NEW_lr

If you have the option to use natural and organic skin products I would highly recommend and encourage it.

For great tips on creating a less toxic world for your baby click HERE

xx

On demand feeding vs schedule feeding

Advise that the medical profession gives new mothers more often than not… baffles me.

They are in no way trained to give support or advise regarding nutrition or a healthy lifestyle. They are trained to deal with illness, not the prevention thereof. They are drug advisers, diagnosers and are invaluable when in crisis, but trust me when I tell you most (not all) are not conscious and do not educate themselves on the natural way, even though common sense should be enough. They do what they know – but is that enough?

Your baby is unique. They know exactly what they need and want. The closer you are to your baby the better you will be able to read these signs and respond appropriately. There is a special bond between a mother and a child, and you will instinctively know what to do. Follow your gut. It is your own GPS system that navigates you into making decisions for your little one. One thing that I always encourage is making educated decisions. So if someone tells you something, or offers advise, don’t take it point blank. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. You will feel more confident in your decisions as a mother, if they are educated decisions.

Here is a wonderful article discussing the benefits of feeding on demand as well as giving a cross cultural view.

Read this articleBreastfeeding on demand: A cross-cultural perspective 

photo credit: undercovermama.com

photo credit: undercovermama.com

Read this article by the La Leche Legue on : Feeding on Cue

xx