1 September 2017

Baby Favourites

These are some of my favourite things I've been using since having Jack. There are lots more that I missed off - like the gorgeous Aden + Anais towel and flannel set I was given which is so lovely - let me know what yours are in the comments below. Probably a bit too much information in here for some - also if I seem to get shorter during filming that's because it's hard with a baby on your knee!

Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets
Aden + Anais Towel
Lil Cubs Swaddle Muslin
Ana Wiz Washable Natural Bamboo Breast Pads ( Mixed, Pack of 12)
Kit + Kin nappies
Natracare Maternity Pads
Multi-Mam Balm
PPOGOO Waterproof Burp Cloths
Marks & Spencer Baby Grows
Breastvest Breast Vest Top

5 August 2017

The Breastfeeding Box

Anyone who knows me or how follows me on Instagram will no that, although I do it as much as I can bear too, I hate breastfeeding. It does not make me feel bonded to the baby, it makes me feel a strange combination of resentful, trapped, inadequate and like a cow. I do it because I can and there are lots of women out there who would love to be able to and can't and because it is good for them. I am a crap milk maker though so the boys have all had top up bottles when either they, or I, need it. Why they don't recommend combination feeding more often I have no idea. I'm sure if they did more women would breastfeed but to feed a baby when you aren't making enough milk or hate it and feel that it's an either/or option is ridiculous.

Anyway, part of my problem with it is that having been a mountainous pregnant person you are suddenly not pregnant anymore and (eventually) much more able and mobile and yet there you sit, pinned under a feeding baby staring at the mess/washing up/DIY/gardening/whatever and unable to do anything about it. So, pretty quickly with Ned I made myself a breastfeeding box.

On one of the many errands I sent my mother on when he was a newborn I asked her to pick me up a box from the Spend & Save and in it I put a load of things that I was always wanting when trapped under a feeding baby. It didn't make breastfeeding great but it made it so much better. I was prepared when visitors came round, if I was bored, hungry or thirsty and if the baby did a massive puke I had a muslin to hand. When I was getting ready to feed Ned I'd get my box and plonk it down next to me and I knew I'd have everything to hand. If I forgot to do this it would mean I could ask someone to bring it to me instead of saying 'can you get my nipple cream it's in the bedrooms' then 'oo sorry can you find me some water' followed by 'can you find a muslin?'.

I also hate that visitors expect you to whap your baps out in front of them, or turn up while you are feeding and looking like a hag. So I have make-up that I can slap on while someone else answers the door.  I often try to take myself to another room and I'd say at least half the time the visitor would come and find me.

I recommend this to every new mum (second and third time round I used it less as I was basically feeding Jim and Jack on the move) and it's especially good if you've had a C-section because they you really shouldn't be moving about while feeding. You are fairly mobile when you are feeding but if you have a fussy or colicy baby you don't want to move an inch if they've settled. I've listed below what I put it in but you can add your own stuff obvs. You get the idea.

  • When I get back from the hospital I edit and transfer my washbag to the breastfeeding box (you can see in the pictures... it has watermelons on it). In the washbag I have breastpads, nipple cream, tic tacs, lip balm, blusher, deodorant, Clinique Moisturse Surge spray, hand cream, hand sanitiser, hand mirror, black eye liner and mascara (I cannot be viewed without mascara as a minimum requirement).
  • Flapjacks or other similar snacks but I like flapjacks. Oats are good for making milk so basically, while you are breastfeeding, they are a health food. 
  • Something to read - I have a backlog of London Review of Books though a kindle is ideal if you are feeding as there are no pages... which can be problematic.
  • Baby wipes
  • Muslin
  • Remote controls if you are as scatty as me
  • Notebook and pen - transferred from hospital bag. With Ned I kept having to write down timings because he wanted to eat again and I couldn't persuade the midwives that I wasn't making enough milk. Thank god for friends who convince you that top-up bottles won't kill the baby. Also useful for doodling, writing shopping lists and thoughts on the new baby if you are so inclined. 
  • Bottle of water - I don't usually approve of bottles of water but if you've breastfed you know that horrible immediate and desperate thirst that can appear as soon as you've got them on. 

3 August 2017

The War on Plastic

This may sound odd but for a while, in fact almost since I had Jim in 2015, I've felt a bit like my life was on hold. You are very much at the beck and call of a newborn baby and so therefore having a social life or any time to yourself is rare. I also sort of knew that we would have another baby and therefore there were lots of things there was no point in doing until after that had happened. Well, it's happened and finally there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Yes I have a newborn, a 2 year old and a 4 year old so it's not like I'm going all night raving in Ibiza (I've done that and hated it so I won't be doing that anyway but you see what I mean) but apart from my boobs, I've got my body back, I'm not going to be pregnant again, I'm not going to have another newborn. My life from no on is post-baby.

This has manifested itself in many ways but one of them is I have started my own war on plastic. I realise that, although I recycle and use a Brita FillandGo Water Filter Bottle, I've basically been ignoring the massive plastic problem. And it's not just plastic, I've looked into reusable nappies but have been too scared to try them. So I'm slowly but surely eradicating plastic from the house and have started using biodegradable nappies and though i'm still concerned about the amount of plastic in my bathroom that's all my stuff I feel like I'm making progress.

All the things I've found and am using I'll be reviewing on here and will be using the label 'War on Plastic', so you can see all the posts there. You can also see what's going on on my Instagram where I'm @corinnaharrod

Please let me know what you are using to wage your own war on plastic and any suggestions you have and good brands to know about - I'd love to hear from you. 

13 June 2017

Father's Day Gift Ideas 2017

Father's day is a tricky one. Men are so different. We used to take my father out for lunch as he was away working a lot, we lived in London and it was really nice to spend some time together. Also I find with men if they want something they usually get it themselves. My husband has a horror of more stuff being bought into the house having spent the last couple of years sorting through his late father's horded belongings and acquiring two children and the plastic tat that inevitably comes with them. For our anniversary I tend to take him out for supper.
Skull Cufflinks from The Great Frog

Father's Day though is different. Taking a hugely pregnant wife and two small children anywhere to eat isn't that relaxing and though I'm pretty sure he'd love it if I sent him to the pub for the afternoon I'm not sure that really counts. Of course I'm hoping Ned will create something at pre-school for his dad (I had a beautiful earring dish made) but in case that doesn't happen I have a few back-ups.

Accessories  - I love these skull cufflinks from The Great Frog (all their cufflinks are pretty awesome). I'm also always on the hunt for a vintage silver belt buckle for him but I think I need to go to America to track one of these down. These Gaucho belts look great and go with everything - Joe has the Neopolitan which has lasted for years and he wears it most days.

18 February 2017

An Easy Kids 4th Birthday Party

I don't want to sound like a mean mom but I am going to put off spending money on my kids birthday party until I absolutely have to. It will come sooner for my eldest who has his birthday in November. Jim, a June baby, will be having his parties in the garden at home until he's old enough to go to the pub, and then no doubt he will return with his friends, inebriated, to the garden.

4th Birthday Party
Ned and his giraffe cake
It is sort of more effort on your part, they will need entertaining a bit but from my experience there will be a certain amount of over-excited running around and getting every single toy out and onto the floor. This will take up quite a lot of the time as will feeding them anything so really one activity and one or two party games will do for 3/4 year olds. Indeed for Ned's 3rd birthday we just did pass the parcel and let them dash around with a load of balloons and that seemed to do the trick. You don't have to pay a huge amount to a venue and then worry about people turning up and although you do have to do some food prep and the clearing up it has, so far, not been too arduous.

I think either 11-12.30am or 3-4.30pm is a good time for a party. Half my friends prefer the morning as it leaves you the rest of the day to get on with stuff. Half of them prefer the afternoon as it means you can have a lazy morning at home knowing there is an 'activity' in the afternoon. This year we went for the morning as we had it on 5th November and I thought it would give people time to head off to fireworks things in the afternoon. Ned's birthday is actually on 1st November so quite often an afternoon party is better for us if we've been to a Halloween party the day before. 

8 February 2017

Pretty Iconic: A Personal Look at the Beauty Products Changed the World

Sali Hughes Pretty IconicSali Hughes' first book Pretty Honest: The Straight-Talking Beauty Companion (you can read my review here) was a no-brainer purchase for me. Writing down my knowledge on beauty and make-up was why I started this blog and Pretty Honest is basically every thing you need to know whether you wear make-up every day or not (thanks a lot Hughes). But half this blog is product reviews - some which we won't remember in a years time and some that are real icons and nostalgia triggers and that's the genius idea behind Pretty Iconic: A Personal Look at the Beauty Products that Changed the World.

And yes I know. A book of reviews doesn't sound that great, which is why I didn't feel the need to rush out and buy this. But then I got my hands on a copy at a friends house and I absolutely loved it. Let me clarify, I feel like my knowledge of make-up and skincare products is pretty comprehensive especially 1980s and '90s when there wasn't the sheer glut of products that we have now. But why this book works is that for those of us who wore Lulu in their teens, who know that bloody YSL Touche Eclat is not a concealer and spend their working life listening to people saying 'I can't wear red lipstick. Ruby Woo looked awful on me' Sali's writing on these products is so spot on that I actually shouted 'yes' as some bits of it. And for those who don't know so much it's all you do need to know - it's historical, cultural, and for a lot of us incredibly nostalgic. My mother wears two of the scnets mentioned (Rive Gauche and Chanel No 5) neither of which I can carry off (though god knows I've tried) and both which immidiately take me back to watching her get ready to go out, the fascination at this ritual mixed with the dread of the babysitter still palpable.

10 January 2017

Happy 2017

2016 was a bit full on. Not just with Brexit, Trump and the vast amount of celebrity deaths. We moved (which is stressful), my mum moved, we spent a lot of time trying to work out the tricky issue of having kids and making any money (how this is still a problem in 2016 is beyond me) and to cap it all I spent most of November in bed with morning sickness, noro virus and a delightful kidney infection.

But, even though I actually dislike 'New Year's Eve' as a thing and find it all a bit depressing, I find myself, as ever, rolling into January feeling relentlessly positive and like everything will be ok. No doubt this will fade as the months wear on but for now I'm going to run with it. We have nearly finished doing the kitchen which wasn't major works but took longer than we thought it would. Now just to get the worktop in, shelves built and the whole thing painted. We are hoping to do the loft at the end of February, are off to France in May (please let it be hot) and are having another baby in July (after which Mr H is threatening to have everything below the waist lazered off).

Partly what has got me down in the past is the difficulty of juggling work and small children, I need to earn money but with two small boys and a steady rotation of sick bugs, colds and building work it's very hard to schedule things in. I know this is the same for a lot of mums. However, I'm refocusing the make-up business to be more consultation based which is what I'm really passionate about and I hope that this will fit in with our home situation. We've redesigned the website www.corinnaharrod.com so please go and have a look. It's still being updated but you pretty much get the gist.

I'm also going to actively focus on the positives this year. Having small children can be very isolating and I find myself fixating on the things I'm missing; falling out of touch with friends, not being able to go on crazy nights out, not being able to forge ahead with my career. Well that was last year. This year I'm going to make an effort with those friends who are still around, I'm going to do the things that I can do and appreciate them. Reading, listening to records, drawing and writing. Spending time with the boys while they are small - Ned will go to school in September!

Blogging and social media has also been a problem. Blogging used to be about writing; it's so much more than that now but it's hard to not compare yourself to everyone else, especially when beauty bloggers are ten a penny. So I'm going to follow those people that make me feel positive (a post of those to follow) and keep focussing on why I started in the first place - wanting to write and my passion for beauty and skincare. It's what I know, it's what I'm good at and I want to help people navigate an industry that is now so huge. I am a make-up artist but it's non-make-up artists who I want to reach so if you haven't already go and check out my (original) blog www.londonmakeupblog.com and feel free to ask for any advice or product reviews.

As for this blog I will still be documenting my successes and failures on the home front. I'm on Instagram most of the time (@corinnaharrod) where I will be trying to be one of those positive normal people that make it such a nice place to be.

Happy New Year everyone - thanks for reading

Currently Listening To: Five to One by The Doors (see my What I'm Listening To playlist on YouTube)
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