Thursday 28 February 2013

Organic Spa Gel Mask

Before becoming a mama, I used to follow a simple skin care ritual: cleanse and moisturise with the occasional exfoliate and mask thrown in when my skin was feeling a little run down.  Makeup was for work days only, and I kept it very simple with mineral foundation, neutral mineral eye shadow and a quick slick of mascara and lipgloss. Viola!

Now that I'm a mama, all of that has fallen by the wayside.  I'm lucky if I get time to wash properly in the shower, and really it's a matter of choosing to cleanse or exfoliate my face and sometimes it's neither. Moisturiser happens when I remember, or when I happen look in the mirror and notice I'm more haggard than usual. And makeup - I think I remember how to use it!

What I'm trying to say here, is that I'm sadly in need of a little pampering, and my new lifestyle means that I also really value products that I can use for multiple purposes (hello, organic coconut oil - edible and a beauty multitasker!).

That's why I was so chuffed when I won an OrganicSpa Gel Mask. Given that this company is all about organic, natural and vegan products, it was right up my alley, claiming to replenish and brighten my dry, tired skin.

I love it when products come with the pump top. It just makes me feel like they stay fresher and it's a little more hygienic that I only touch what I'm going to use each time.

So do I love the mask? Heck yes! I had Mr Fork take over baby duties while I shut myself in the bathroom for some 'me' time.  The consistency is nice and thick so it really is a gel as promised and not a liquid (yay!). It was lightly scented in a pleasant and non overpowering way, and went on easily without tightening uncomfortably as it dried.

I applied a thin layer, left it on for 10 minutes or so while I paged through a magazine and then rinsed off, following with a layer of moisturiser. I definitely felt relaxed, moisturised, firmer and refreshed afterward so I'm going to make an extra effort to take care of my skin and give it some extra love occasionally.

Do you have any little rituals in your life that you make time for, to relax and help keep your sanity?

Wednesday 27 February 2013

Review: Fess little noses

Earlier this week, Ellie woke up snuffly, sneezing, and with a slight temperature.  The poor little thing, every time she went to feed, she ended up distressed because her nose was clogged, so then she'd sneeze and I'd end up with a charming array of boogers over whatever I was wearing.  She didn't actually realise she was sick to be honest, and was her usual energetic and smiley self, but she sounded just awful and I could hear her chest getting a bit rattly.  She sounded as though she was about to get a cold, and not feeling too crash hot myself, we took a trip to the chemist in the hope of lessening symptoms before it developed into something worse for both of us.

Enter one of the pitfalls of breastfeeding: you can't take any of the good stuff when you get sick because it just passes straight through the milk. So all I got was a bottle of vitamin C tablets and advised to use FESS to try and clear out my sinus.

Ellie got pretty much the same deal. We already had children's panadol to help bring down her temperature, so we were sorted there. (Just as an aside, why is baby panadol so horribly flavoured? Disgusting artificial cherry flavour doesn't do anyone any favours). We also had a tube of Euky Bearub which is seriously awesome - this was rubbed on her chest, back, and bottom of her feet, and really did help her breathe better (and also smelled nice but I like those sort of smells...).  

Finally, the chemist recommended baby FESS to help clear out her nose.  It came in a choice of spray or drops (same price), and I chose the spray because I could use it while she was upright, and didn't require 1-2 minutes of waiting for it to work like the drops apparently did.  Both the spray and drops also came with a nasal aspirator (henceforth known as the 'snot sucker').
FESS little noses box
Here's a comparison of the baby FESS and the adult version.

Basically, what you do is spray the FESS up into each little nostril.  You then squeeze the snot sucker bulb, hold it to the entrance of the nostril, block them both, and let the air back into the snot sucker. It then does what it does best (Mr Fork said that it wasn't necessary to show pictorial results so imagination will have to be used instead).

The snot sucker in all it's (clean) glory
I may be a little twisted but I got extraordinary amounts of satisfaction in extracting that snot. The beastlier they were, the more pride I got in 'getting' them. Mr Fork said I was disgusting and refused to admire the fruits of my labours after the first time I made him look.  At the advice from a nurse friend of mine, I also sprayed more saline into her nose after I'd extracted the snot to help thin the mucus so Ellie could get rid of it herself.

After the first day, we didn't need to use panadol anymore as her temperature was normal. She's still a bit rattly, but the Euky bearub is helping that out. The snot sucker (and spray) verdict? LOVE IT.  Honestly, every house with a baby should have one.  There is nothing more miserable than when your baby is sick, especially when there isn't anything you can really do to help them.  When they're so little they can't even blow their nose, it's heart breaking. This snot sucker device made it so Ellie could breathe and eat, and for that I'm grateful. The fact that it's so satisfying to use is just a bonus.  It's also washable, and pulls apart to make that job easier too. 

How do you cope when your child is sick? Any tips?

Monday 18 February 2013

Everyone needs a pink elephant

First of all, let me preface this post with a few salient facts. I'm part Asian. Really, that means nothing, but its a fine explanation for a few character traits. Namely, I'm frugal (Mr Fork would call it 'cheap'). If I can reuse something I already have, or make do with something else, I will.  I like to re-purpose things - I'll often wear clothes until they're threadbare and falling apart, and when they do, I'll consider sewing them into something else. I see nothing wrong with eating leftovers for several days, or in fact, cooking in quantities so large that I'm left with days of leftovers. If I can negotiate a better price or buy something in bulk, then you can be sure I'll do it (much to Mr Fork's embarrassment).

Anyway, where am I going with this?  Well, the other day, we had a family expedition to the pet store to stock up on puppy food.  While Mr Fork was looking at the fish, I wandered the toy section and came across this wonderful toy! It's pink (which means it's obviously for a girl). It says Elli (which means it would be perfect for someone named Ellie). It's designed to amuse puppies (which means it has plenty of noises and textures - perfect for baby sensory development).  Alas.  Much like with the Justin Beaver I was overruled, as Mr Fork deemed it inappropriate to buy our daughter a dog toy, no matter how cleverly I argued the suitability.

Spoilsport.  No pink elephant for Ellie.

So tell me, do you ever find a use for items which may not have been their original purpose?

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Happy year of the snake!

Hi! *waves* - yes, I'm still here.  I've just been busy with Chinese New Year celebrations, searching for child care and caring for a suddenly cranky teething baby.

Child care is really getting me down. It's very cut throat out there.  I started applying when I was pregnant, and I was told I needed a baby.  I applied when Ellie was a month old, and I was told that January was when they filled their vacancies so that was the best time. Come January/February, I'm getting asked why the heck I'm applying so late.  Just can't win!  So, it was planned I go back to work part time in April/May, but unless we can get a place, that doesn't look like it'll happen.  I'm going to be a picky mama too, and I won't take just any place - I've immediately crossed off the ones that didn't talk to Ellie when I inspected the centres, and I've crossed off the ones where the babies were left alone and/or looked bored.  I have a very short list left... and of those, there are very long waiting lists.  Some of the centres have told me I'd be lucky to get a place before her third birthday. Holy 'industry needs a shake up', Batman!

In other, more cheerful news, look what I grew! When I spread out the last lot of compost in the vegetable patch, I got a whole bunch of random things sprouting up.  I left them all to grow because who doesn't love surprises?  I suspect what I have is a whole bunch of pumpkin, some rather ragged looking tomato, a couple of grasshopper attracting eggplants (which still manage to produce a bumper crop regardless), and this glorious sunflower.  I don't know how it got there, and I'd thought it was a weed originally, but I'm so glad I left it to grow because now this lovely sunny flower looks amazing standing tall surrounded by sad looking mystery plants.

Finally speaking of surprises, the other day I won a competition on Facebook for an organic spa gel mask. Vegan, organic and FREE, what's not to love?! I haven't had a chance to test it out yet, but will report back when I do.

Does anyone have any tips for getting into child care? Or tips for dealing with teething (that's a whole post on it's own....)


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