8 unique and inexpensive date ideas for new parents

Hello lovelies, welcome back to my blog and if you are new here I hope you enjoy this post. Today is Valentine’s Day and lots of couples will be celebrating it. When I was younger a bouquet of red roses, a box of chocolate and dinner seemed to be the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Times have changes and I would rather do something new that I will remember than the usual cliché valentine date that most couples do.

I wanted to give those who are celebrating unique and inexpensive ways to celebrate this year. If you don’t celebrate these are still fun ideas that you can do with you husband.

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Prepare his favourite breakfast

This is the perfect way to start this special day, when you cook food with love it tastes so much better than just going out for breakfast.

Go to a museum

This can also be a family day out, if you have a little one like us. Most big cities have at least one museum and chances are you might have not gone there as a couple before.

Go for a walk

When leading an active life especially with kids, it hard to remember the last time you took a nice walk together as a couple. Get someone to watch the babies for an hour and go for a walk together holding hands. If you can’t get someone to watch the baby (it is Tuesday after all) the baby can also join you in your walk in his stroller.

 Make a bucket list together

This is what my husband and I are doing this year. We are writing down all things we want to do together as a couple before we die no matter how unattainable it is at this time. Years later we can look at this and maybe even tick a few things off our bucket list.

Movie marathon

You both pick a movie and watch both of them at the comfort of your home after your baby’s bedtime.

Go out for some dessert

If you have a sweet tooth like us then nothing says “I love you” like a good dessert. You can get a range of different desserts at the fraction of the price if you decide to go for a 4-course meal on Valentine day at any restaurant. let’s face it going out for just dessert also saves you time because even if you take the baby along chances are you will finish your dessert before the baby gets bored and throws a tantrum.

 Prepare dinner together

You don’t have to be a culinary expert to make a nice dinner. It can be something as simple as preparing pizza together and picking your favourite topping. If you don’t know how to make the pizza base there are numerous video on YouTube and if it all fails you can always buy the base from the supermarket. The good thing about dinner you can prepare it after the baby’s bedtime.

Pray together

I saved the best to last; this is by far my favourite idea. When we were newly weds we used to pray together all the time and this is a way to connect as a couple spiritually.

As I mentioned earlier even if you don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day you can still try these ideas with your partner.

Are you doing anything special on Valentine’s Day this year? Please let me know by leaving me a comment

 

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Hey it’s okay…. New mummy edition

This was inspired by a fellow blogger from “Airing my laundry“; she got the idea from Glamour magazine. Being a mummy blogger it is only appropriate to make my list relating to motherhood, things that we should all be okay with and not feel guilty about.

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Hey, it’s okay …

… To formula feed your baby with all the pressures to breastfeed.

… To not remember the last time you went to get a mani-pedi or even the last time you applied nail polish.

… To have some of your pre-baby outfits in your closet that you know you might not wear again.

… To freak out & be worried when your baby has a bad fall or becomes sick.

… To still have a few extra pounds left of your baby weight, not everyone snaps back like celebrities.

… To use a pacifier or rock your baby to sleep… anything to calm your baby.

… To post photos of your baby all over social media.

… To be a working mother or a stay at home mum, there is nothing wrong with having your own dreams and aspirations

… To take a nap in the afternoon, motherhood can be exhausting at times and sometimes you need to refuel to keep up with your active toddler.

… To ask for help and advice when you need it; it’s okay to seeking professional help if you are struggling with motherhood.

Share with me one thing you’re okay with

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One Messy Mama

Blogging achievements & 2017 goals

I know it is almost February and some might think it is too late to set new years resolutions. To my defence this is not really a 2017 resolutions post! I want to remember all the tiny blogging milestones and set goals to reach in 2017.

There is something about writing your goals down that makes them seem attainable and realistic.

I’m a fairly new blogger; I started this blog in May 2016 (8 months ago). I went to the blogging world not knowing what to expect. Fortunately it gave me the chance to come across some lovely blogs and blogging communities from all over the world.

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Blog achievement

 2017 blogging goals

  • Consistency- I usually aim to post once or twice a week, I mainly write and edit my blogpost whenever I have free time but in 2017 I want to be more organised.
  • Self-hosting- this has been on my mind for a while I hope sometime in 2017 that I will self-host my blog. I’m not very tech savvy, self-hosting comes with a lot of things I’m not familiar with such as DA and Yoast (so fingers crossed!).
  • Social media followers- I want to increase my followers in these main platforms Instagram, new Facebook page and twitter. I want about 1k- 2k by the end of 2017 (I hope that is not wishful thinking)
  • Simply a Mama followers- I want to hopefully double my blog followers.
  • Start a Youtube channel- I’m extremely shy but I want to enter the world of Youtube sometime in 2017.
  • Collaborations and guest posts- to be able to be featured in other blogs again in 2017 would be awesome.
  • Create a tag/ series- for other bloggers and my readers to be featured on my blog.

I hope that I will be able to achieve all or some of my blogging goals in 2017.

 What are some of your blogging goals in 2017?

Any tips and tricks of how I can achieve my 2017 blogging goals are welcome

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New words- Pregnancy and beyond

When I first found out I was pregnant with baby E, I started binge watching pregnancy related/ birth stories on Youtube for hours and hours. Looking back I realised that through out my pregnancy and birth I learned a lot of new words and terms. In this post I’ll share some of them with you.

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 Linea nigra 

Who knew the black line on pregnant women’s tummy has a name.

Gestational diabetes 

This is a form of diabetes that some mothers get during their pregnancy and it usually goes away after delivery. There is glucose tolerance test that all pregnant mothers must undergo between 24-28 weeks of pregnancy. The test is you drinking a sugary drink then getting blood tests and monitoring.

Breech

This is when the baby is not head down. Some women have breech birth whereby the baby doesn’t come out headfirst. During my pregnancy I went for a 3d ultrasound. I was so eager to see baby E’s little face however, to our surprise he wasn’t head down yet. In the coming few weeks he turned. I’m so grateful that he did turn at the right time because the hospital I gave birth in didn’t deliver breech babies.

 Doula

Not to be confused with a midwife or a doctor; a doula’s job is to support the mother during childbirth. She is usually experienced and her role is to ensure a good birthing experience. I personally didn’t have a doula even though I really wished that I did.

 Assisted birth

When there is the need of an intervention during childbirth. These interventions include an induction, forceps and vacuum delivery. There is a need for an assisted birth if it is seen medically necessary such as a concern for the mum or baby.

 Induction

This is when hospital kick starts your birth, it is usually when labour doesn’t start naturally or for health reasons such as gestational diabetes where they rather the child is born sooner than later. There are many methods for inductions such a breaking your water, oxytocin, the balloon.

I had an induction with baby E after hours of my water breaking I didn’t have any signs of contractions we decided to take a drip to start my contractions.

 Episiotomy

This is the incision made during childbirth when it is needed and obstetrician sees it necessary. Not all women undergo an episiotomy during childbirth. Unfortunately with baby E being over 4 kgs my OB had to perform an episiotomy

 Meconium

That’s the baby’s first poo, enough said.

Colostrum

That’s the mummy’s first milk and it is usually yellowish however. It is also your baby’s first food.

Cluster feeding

This is when you are breastfeeding and when your baby’s feedings are close together. When my son was a day old he cluster feed for the whole night.

Mastitis

This is an inflammation because of blocked milk ducts. Sometimes you can end up having fever. You might need a dose of antibiotics to clear it because it is painful.

 Power pumping

When you are trying to increase your breast milk supply using a pump. You pump for 20 minutes then rest for 10 minutes then pump for another 10 minutes then rest for 10 minutes. This gives signals to your body to produce more milk because of the increased pumping. I power pumped when I was breastfeeding my son, in case you missed it here is my breastfeeding story.

 Jaundice

This is caused by bilirubin build-up in the baby’s blood and tissue. It is very common especially in Australia when 6 out of 10 newborns are diagnosed with it. It usually disappears in the first 4 weeks or less of the baby’s life and it is diagnosed through the new born screening test that is routinely done. Some babies might need light therapy to treat the severe jaundice and some babies might not require any treatment.

Colic

When your newborn cries uncontrollably and can’t be soothes. Usually the crying is more than 3 hours in a day. Some say that gripe water helps relief colic in babies above 6 weeks old. I’ve tried gripe water and my son seemed to feel better however, I’m still not certain if he was fussy because of colic or gas.

Reflux

Little ones sometimes have spit ups after a feed when the milk comes backup. Sometimes it is not seen as a big problem and I was advised to not to let my baby lay flat for around 30 minutes after a feed.

How many of these terms did you know before you became pregnant and had your baby?Any new terms I forgot to mention? Share them with me

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Family Day Out- Nairobi Animal Orphanage

Happy Monday mummies, I hope you all had a wonderful and relaxing weekend. One of our new year’s resolutions was to enjoy every moment and try to spend more family time together. Life has a way of making you so busy that you find yourself falling into a routine. As some of you may already know we live in the sunny Nairobi, Kenya.We decided to go this weekend to the Nairobi Animal Orphanage located in Langata.

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The animal orphanage is very similar to your average zoo however what makes it special is that all the animals there have been rescued from the wild at a very young age.

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Entry fees for Kenyans is 215 ksh (approximately $2) and for Kenyan residents around $3. surprisingly if you are a tourist entry fee is $22. We were greeted by the Maasai warriors at the entrance. The Maasai tribe is known for their unique culture and they mostly live next to the game parks in Maasai Mara and Serengeti (Tanzania).

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Most of the animals were caged; each cage had a description of the animal and a little story of how they were rescued. I loved how they also included each animal’s name in Swahili.ao-post-3

The only animal running freely around the park are the monkeys, we were warned to be alert because they are very cheeky and might snatch a bag or hat. Just a little “monkey business”.ao-post-4

It was the first time baby E has seen all these different types of animals. I’m glad that he got the chance to see the Africa lion because that is his favourite animal. Some of you might recall that his dad nicknamed him Simba (lion in Swahili) when he was a newborn.ao-post-5

We saw the leopard (Chui in Swahili) and I found it fascinating that they are able to kill prey heavier than themselves. We also got the chance to see a cheetah and learn that its name comes from a Hindu word that means spotted one. It was a beautiful family day out and we enjoyed every second.

Have you ever been to kenya? Would you like to visit one day?

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Our First Family Vacation

This is my first post in 2017, how exciting! If you follow me on instagram you would know by now that we went away on our first family vacation. We went to the coastal city of Mombasa. The city is one of the most important tourist destinations in Kenya and it attracts thousands of tourists each year.

To reach our destination we took our very first road trip with our 14 months old. It was along 8-hour drive but baby E was busy watching cartoon, napping and looking out of the window. We had a quick stop before we reached our destination to grab lunch and quick nappy change, etc… The pacifier was our best friend during our road trip; I carried all of baby E’s dummies with us just incase because there is nowhere to wash them in the car so I preferred just giving him a clean sterile one each time he drops his dummy.

We stayed for around 10 days in North coast, Nyali to be particular, in a beautiful seafront villa. The great thing about Mombasa is the amazing view of the ocean in the morning. Now that I’m back in Nairobi I’m surely missing that view.

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We went to Haller Park , it is a nature trail with lots of animals to see such as the crocodiles, Reptile Park with various types of snakes and fish farm. There is also feeding time which allows the park’s visitors to feed some of the animals. We were able to feed the giraffes.

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We went swimming in both the pool and beach. It was baby E’s first time swimming and he really enjoyed himself. We went on a glass boat and watched all the fish in the deep ocean. My husband even swam with the fish like a pro. Baby E enjoyed looking at all the different types of fish and loved how colourful they were.

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It was a fun packed vacation. If you ever visit Kenya you should consider visiting Mombasa for a few days. We definitely had a nice end to 2016 and a fantastic start to 2017. Thank you so much to all the new followers for subscribing to my blog. Happy New Year to all my lovely readers. May this year bring you health and good fortune.

Now that you know all about my holiday, How was yours?

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Quick Update Before The End Of The Year

I’ve been M.I.A for a little while from my blog but I have a very valid excuse this time… a teething baby! only a few months ago I was so anxious for baby E to get his first tooth; now what I would do to have my happy toothless baby with his big gummy smiles. Incase you missed me…I missed you too and here is what we’ve been up to while I was away.

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  • We tried out so many new restaurants and new meals these past few weeks.
  • We attended not one but two weddings, this includes attending my first Catholic Church wedding.
  • We celebrated my husband’s birthday and in a few weeks we will be celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary.
  • My sister in law came to Kenya for a visit so the past 2 weeks have just been bonding time.

Over all I think we grew stronger and closer as a family. We made a lot of great memories.

Baby

I know I stopped doing baby updates when baby E turned one and now he is 14 months. Where did the time go?

  • Baby E is now walking and running around
  • He is a typical toddler and he even throws tantrums when things don’t go his way.
  • He was 3 teeth and the 4th cut through so we are having a cranky baby who wakes up during the night to be comforted.
  • He still loves his pacifier.
  • He loves billy and bam bam

Over all he is well and healthy. He is growing so fast and keeps us on our toes. We are drained by his bedtime.

Me

  • I took a short blogging break however; I have been following other blogs.
  • I am loving a few new series lately.
  • I’m enjoying scented candles
  • I joined the gym and went on a healthy journey.
  • I finally got my driving license (better late than never), in fact now I can drive a manual car…Talk about skills
  • I’ve been featured on Mess & Merlot for her new blog series “she loves herself”
  • Last post Dear Internet…Please Stop With The Mummy shaming was one of the top 10 online reads on Life Motherhood & Everything

I mainly spend my days chasing baby E and my evening catching up on series and getting some sleep.

This blog has been such an important part of my stay at home mum life so I want to thank all those who have been supporting me in this journey.

What have you been up to lately? Any major changes in your life you would want to share!

I love hearing from you.

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Dear Internet…Please Stop With The Mummy shaming

Something I extremely hate (yes … Hate, I know it is such a strong word) is mum shaming other mums. In this era of social media it made it so easy to not only judge others but also voice your opinion in such rude manners.

I haven’t personally faced it however I witnessed it so many times in different platforms even on mummy forums and it is disgusting. Here are the topics the I have noticed lead to a lot of judgement and mummy shaming.

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Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding

This has been a topic of debate for a very long time. Unfortunately there is no winning. Mothers who bottle feed their babies maybe subjected to mum shaming and any viral photo or post on bottle feeding I can assure you that some mom on the comment section will mention “Breast is best”.

On the other hand if a mum posts a photo of her breastfeeding her baby she might get backlash for publicizing something that according to some mothers should be private, especially some Muslim mothers. A few months ago a famous Muslim Blogger and Youtuber Dina Torkia posted a photo of herself breastfeeding her daughter on Instagram and received a huge amount of criticism even though she was fully covered and her skin wasn’t even showing.

A mother who extensively breastfeeds her child past toddlerhood gets not only criticism but also all kind of profanity and rude comments on her post and got even interviewed on national television because of what people think is bizarre.

Cry it out method/ Ferber method

Some mummies resort to this method so that they can rest or for their babies to learn to self-sooth themselves. A lot of mothers said that it worked for them but if you write a post on it on social media rest assure another mother will criticize you and tell you to your face that you’re “heartless” or “a bad mom”.

Car seat

A poor mum on one from one mummy app I’m on in an app once told us that she was mum shamed and plain bullied by other mums when she mentioned that she changed her baby’s car seat from rear facing to forward facing before turning one.

 Baby-food: Home made VS store bought

There are really good quality store bought baby foods and if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands to prepare your baby’s meals they are a great alternative.

Some mothers online shamed a first time mum for buying her baby’s food instead of making it!! Are some of these people on social media serious?

Vaccinations

I have never seen people become so aggressive about any other topic online especially mothers. Some strongly believe that vaccinations have negative side effects on babies and choose not to vaccinate.

Funny enough some innocent mothers get shamed online for something completely out of their control, like the size of their bump or child’s weight and of course not loosing those extra pounds after having a baby. Some mummies choose to answer back and defend themselves and some suffer in silence after being bullied online.

I wish we could all be nice to each other; motherhood is hard enough without the extra dose criticism. There is no perfect mum out there; everyone is trying to do their best.

Do you think that some mummies online are simply bullies or just practicing freedom of expression? Have you ever personally faced mum shaming?

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One Year Old Gift Haul

I’m back! I know I haven’t posted in awhile but this mummy has been extremely busy. I truly missed the blogosphere and the blogging community these past weeks, the good news is I’m back to regular blog-posts (fingers crossed).

As most of you know we celebrated my son’s first birthday last month. As parents we all get invited to at least one children’s birthday a year and buying a gift that is age appropriate and that the child’s parent will appreciate can be a little tricky. Here are some of the great gifts baby E received for his birthday and it can give you an idea of what to buy the next time you are invited to a baby’s first birthday. These are in no particular order we loved all the gifts baby E got and we thank everyone for their thoughtful gifts.

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Cute outfits

I personally believe that you can never have enough cute outfits for your little one especially dressy ones for special events. It is best to buy size 2-3 if the baby is chunky or tall. The last thing you want is to buy clothes that are too small.

 Teething book

If you read my baby’s updates you would know that my son got his first tooth a few days shy of his first birthday. Teething toys are great for babies when they are teething. Buy such a gift if you are close to the family and know that their baby is a late teether like baby E.

 Bath toys

To keep bath time entertaining for the little ones and keep them occupied.

Scooby doo stuffed toy

Most babies like stuffed toys; baby E actually picked Scooby doo himself even though he hasn’t watched a single Scooby doo episode.

My 123 mini library

It is a collection of mini books that are light for babies to hold and carry. This gift is great way to introduce numbers to young babies.

Colours and Shapes book

This is a lovely book with different colours and shapes. Books are always a wonderful gift regardless of age.

Storybook rhymes

It is a singing book with some of our favourite children’s songs. It sings a different song every time you flip the page. It also has the option to mute it or reduce the volume, which is fantastic.

Fisher and Price 2 in 1 activity chime ball

This is one of E’s favourite toys now. It is an owl with three colourful balls inside that the baby can remove and play with. Baby E played with this so much that he actually misplaced one of the balls already.

Feeding high chair

We wanted to get baby E a feeding chair for the longest time and we are so grateful that he got one on his birthday that matches our home décor.

Mega blocks

Blocks are a fantastic gift because it helps with eye and hand coordination and it also encourages creative thinking.

 Happy Blocks Car

It has 6 large pieces, which makes it easy for one year olds to hold and play with .

Baby’s first bicycle

This was a gift from his grandfather, unfortunately baby E used about 2 times so far because we live in an apartment and there isn’t plenty of space.

A colourful baby comforter

Who doesn’t love comforters, right!

What was the favourite gift your child has ever received? Do you enjoy reading similar posts? Should I do more haul blog posts!

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I’ve Been Featured

Being a fairly new blogger any recognition I receive I highly appreciate it. I love being a part of the blogging community and I feel that slowly my blog is starting to get noticed. When I started my blog I didn’t think I will get many followers or readership but now I enjoy seeing the numbers of my followers and blog views increase in a short period.

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Last month I was featured Amaliah.co.uk which is a British modest fashion website; that is run by two sisters . Along side the blog the website also has the option to shop for modest fashion from famous brands such as ASOS and Zara. Amaliah.co.uk has a series about motherhood on their blog that I’m proud to be part of.

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My favourite question was: “what would you have told yourself as a mother now looking back?”

My respond was: “There will be many sleepless nights and some days you will feel so drained but seeing your little baby’s smile will make it all worth it. A lot of people will advise you please trust your instinct as a mother and don’t listen or pay attention because it will drive you crazy if you try to please everyone. Just remember he is your baby and you know what is best for him”.

I also answered a number of interesting motherhood related questions such as the meaning of motherhood and one thing I learned since becoming a mother. I’m pretty sure most of my followers by now know a thing or two about me but if you want to know more please check out my full feature on Amaliah.co.uk ’s #MotherhoodMoments 

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This month a fellow blogger and Instagram friend Gorgeous George’s Mama was generous enough to feature my post Things I’d do differently on my next pregnancy! on her blog. I enjoyed reading all the posts she selected to feature.

Check out the lovely GorgeousGeorgesMama ’s blog she documents precious moments with her son and takes us through her journey. I love coming across other mummy blogs. I guarantee you that you will enjoy her blog. If you are interested in reading the post I was featured in click here.

Were you ever featured in other blogs? Did you participate in guest posts or blog series? Feel free to link your featured posts below in the comment section and mention blogs that are hosting blog series.

I would love to hear from you; your comments mean the world to me.

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