Happy November everyone. I hope you are all well and are looking forward to the end of the year and the festivities that come along with it. Although I don’t celebrate Christmas, I do celebrate Gurpurab and my son’s birthday is also in December. So, I thought it would be useful to put together some toddler holiday gift ideas with some of the things I am planning to get my toddler for his birthday during this holiday season.
KiwiCo Panda Crate was a subscription I signed PS for when he was born and it has been pretty great. I even gifted my nephew a box for his birthday. I think subscription box full of toys/activities for your child are pretty great. They come once a month packed full of toys/activities specifically targeted for your child’s age that engage them. I personally love that most of the toys are made of wood and challenge my child. I’ve done a review for the Bond With Me Panda Crate if you would like an idea as to what to expect.
I also recently got gifted the Mel Science chemistry subscription box and I love it. Being a scientist myself, I thoroughly enjoyed the box. Although PS is a bit young for it, we did have fun playing with the equipment included. If your child is a bit older, I highly recommend checking out this subscription box as well.
Although I do try to be a minimalist, it really is hard with kids. So, if you’re a minimalist looking for toddler holiday gift ideas, I strongly suggest a membership to your local soft play facility. Kids love this and it’s a good place for them to burn their energy in the colder months.
Books are always a great gift idea for kids. Although we do try to go to the library to stock up on books, I often find that the good books (books about trucks in our case) are always signed out. So, giving books as gifts during the holidays is a great idea.
Another really great gift for toddlers is a balance bike. They are coming to an age where they can learn to ride a bike and a balance bike is a great starting point. It may be too cold outside to ride the bike, but if you live in a spacious house, riding the balance bike inside the house works great too.
And that’s all, I didn’t want to overdo it, but I think any of these ideas make some great toddler holiday gift ideas. You know your child best, so if they have a very particular interest, that’s a great starting point too. Happy holidays!
As a working mom with a toddler, I have to say my days are quite busy. I’ve learned some tips and tricks to manage my time and provide for my family, all while focusing on my own goals as a working mom, that I’ll be sharing with you all today.
Focusing on Your Own Goals as a Working Mom
I do want to preface this by saying I only have experience being a working mom so I’ll be sharing what has worked for me. I also think that to achieve work-life balance, child care/daycare can make a big difference. It gives you time away from your child to focus on your goals/work, etc.
I often have to remind myself that I am not only a mom. Although being a mom is my biggest role in life right now, I am also a wife, a sister, a friend, an employee and I have my own goals in life. The first year of Partaap Singh’s life, I felt like I was in survival mode and only focused on him and his needs. Once he turned 1, I finally started to slowly think about myself and what I wanted to get out of my life.
To begin, I highly recommend sitting down and writing down your goals in life. I personally do this every year and I just do it in Google Sheets. I like to have different categories under which I write down specific goals. For example, I have Sikhi goals, Wellness goals, Financial goals, etc. Under Sikhi goals, some things I have written down are: listening to Sukhmani Sahib every day, doing Simran for 10 minutes each day, etc and for wellness some of my specific goals include exercising for 10 minutes a day, getting 10K steps a day, etc. By doing this, you yourself realize what you want to make a priority in your life. I even have a category called Partaap Singh which includes things I want to teach him, take him to, etc.
Plan Out Your Week
The next thing I recommend doing is planning out your week. Again, I do this on Google sheets and I have all the days of the week listed out and underneath I include the specific things that need to get done. Your list will include things that are just normal things that everyone has to do. Like doctors appointments, grocery days, cleaning days, etc. But I want you to go beyond that. I want you to write things that are good for you, I want you to write down your specific goals. For me, that means listening to Sukhmani Sahib, exercising, reading books, working on my blog, talking to my family and even going to the apple farm with my friends. If you don’t write down your goals, you’ll never focus on them and make them a priority. You’ll only continue to do the things that need to get done.
Finding the Time to Actually do the Things
So now, that you’ve actually written down your goals and which day of the week you want to do them, how are we going to find the time to actually accomplish them. This is where you begin to get creative. I do not have time to exercise in my day, I really don’t. I come home from work and I get a couple hours to make dinner, eat and then spend time with my family, so I don’t want to be doing exercise. So, I get creative. My lab is located on the third floor of our building and there are 13 floors in total. Every day at work, I spend 10 minutes, going up and down the stairs. Let me tell you, this is one intense workout. Be creative.
If your goal is to listen to Sukhmani Sahib every day, then do it while you do some mundane work at work. If your goal is to talk to your family and friends more, call them while you drive home from work. And if your goal is to write that blog post, set a timer for 30 minutes and do it during your lunch break. Finally, if your goal is to spend time with your friends, then invite them along on your next family outing. You’ll be surprised, even your friends that don’t have kids will still enjoy spending time with you and your kids.
Doing Things That Need to Get Done
Don’t get me wrong. You’ll still need to get the things you need to. I still need to get my child ready for the day, I still need to prepare meals and snacks for the day, I still need to clean and do the grocery. But I get creative. I make dinner every night but make sure there is enough for lunch the next day as well. I batch bake muffins, snacks and breakfasts on the weekend so I have snacks and breakfast for the week. Then I also do online grocery and get it delivered to my house, I have a rotating meal plan that is on autopilot so I’m not wasting my time planning meals and writing down grocery lists. I get it done, but I get it done efficiently. So, I have more time to focus on my goals.
Remember, you are not only a mom, you are your own person, you have goals, you have dreams. Make a plan and write it down. Make time for you!
I’ll be sharing more specifically how I get things done effectively in future posts, so look out for that. You don’t want to miss my foolproof rotating meal plan either.
I also don’t recommend you doing chores/work while your child naps. I am a huge proponent of using the time your child naps to do something for yourself. On the weekends, during nap-time, I either nap with him, watch YouTube videos or organize. You all know how therapeutic I find organizing, in fact it’s what Kamfy Living is all about 🙂
Hope you all enjoyed this post and are inspired to start focusing on your own goals as a working mom 🙂
Happy September everyone! Life is going by way too fast and I’m not sure if it’s due to the pandemic or having a baby, or both. Regardless, I’m trying to spend as much time as I can with my son, which is why the blog is always on the back burner. But today I thought I’d come on here and share some tips and my experience on traveling with a toddler on the Via Rail from Toronto to Montreal and back. We went to attend a wedding and it was a really fun trip.
This was the first trip we took with PS. This was the first time he went on a journey that was over an hour and the first time he didn’t sleep in his room at home. The trip was a huge success and I have to attribute the success in some planning ahead of time. Hope you all enjoy these tips on traveling with a toddler on the Via Rail.
Traveling With a Toddler on the Via Rail
For both the trip to Montreal and back, PS napped around 3 hours in the train. Since the train ride is 5 hours, he napped for more than half the journey. So, I highly recommend planning your trip around your child’s nap time as well. Napping kills a lot of time and it also gives you the chance to take a break and relax. I ended up just listening to music and eating snacks while PS napped.
If you have kids, you will get priority boarding on the train, so we were first in line and we went straight for the seats that faced each other. This is the perfect place to get seats when you have a toddler, as you get more leg room and you can put down the seat and lay your child down on the two seats to nap comfortably.
Having a variety of snacks on any journey will definitely keep any child happy. I don’t know what it is, but toddlers love snacks. Since the train from Toronto to Montreal is 5 hours, you’ll need to pack snacks that will be fine for that long. I brought along cheese strings and cut up fruit, however, I made sure to give this food to PS first. The other favourite snacks were nuts (we love our Laid Back Snacks subscription, use my code REFKAMALDEEPDUG to get 20% off), pretzels, popcorn, banana chips and some homemade muffin. I also packed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that PS really enjoyed. It was his first time eating it too.
I recommend bringing along snacks in original packaging so you can throw it out after it’s done and not have to lug around anything extra. I also suggest to buy some brand new snacks that your child has never had before but you think they might like. They can spend some time opening the snack and being excited to try something new.
Entertainment for Traveling with a Toddler on the Via Rail
I made a trip out to Dollarama to get a few new toys for PS to open during the trip. I went with what he likes best: trucks. Dollarama has a huge selection of toys and they are super affordable so I went ahead and got him 4 different packs of toy trucks. I left them in original packaging so it would take him time to open and be excited. Honestly, these toy trucks were such a hit. I gave a new one to him every time I felt he was getting bored and he would play with it for a good 20 minutes! I’ve actually done a whole blog post with my must buy baby products at Dollarama that you have to check out!
I also bought a few other toys/crafts from the dollar store. Play dough only engaged him for 5 minutes before he thought it was a good idea to eat some. The set of pom poms and pipe cleaners craft package also only kept him busy for 5 minutes before, again, he wanted to put the pom poms in his mouth and I had to take it away. I still think he is too young for these type of toys, but if your child is 2 years or older or has stopped putting things in their mouth, I think these are some excellent activities.
Another big hit was stickers. I bought the Melissa and Dough reusable stickers and they were quite a hit. We put them on the train window and created some stories as we did so. He really enjoyed these. The train also gave PS a package with some activities. The big hit was the stickers. He spent a good 20 minutes putting the stickers all over his legs and arms. It was fun to watch him as well.
I brought along an Ipad full of shows for PS, but he really did not watch anything. He isn’t really into watching many things, so I wasn’t really optimistic to begin with. But, I really am hoping one day he will enjoy watching TV or playing games on an Ipad while traveling.
I got to say we enjoyed our time and experience traveling with Via Rail. Let me know if you have made this trip before. Happy traveling 🙂
I love a good deal on anything and the dollar store is where I’ve scored some awesome deals for some incredible baby products. Next time you’re at Dollarama, make sure to pick up these items for your baby. Here are my 6 must buy baby products at Dollarama:
6 Must Buy Baby Products at Dollarama
Dollarama has these crocs for kids for 2 dollars and they look exactly like the brand name Crocs. We bought PS some other sandals/summer shoes from Carters, but these Dollarama shoes have nothing on them. They are light weight, easy to put on and wipe down and PS loves wearing them too. Highly recommend, you won’t find a better deal on baby shoes elsewhere.
I try to approach Partaap Singh’s toys with a Montessori perspective, however, it can get expensive. If you are looking for some realistic animal figurines and don’t want to spend a whole lot of money, you can get some amazing ones at Dollarama. PS has 2 packs of safari animals for a total of 12 animal figurines and they just cost a few bucks. He loves playing with them and when I ask him to bring me a lion, he knows which one it is and the sound it makes.
I’m not sure of the official name of this product, but I found them in the dog section of Dollarama. Basically they are meant to be used to pick up dog poop. However, I like to use these bags to store diapers or wet clothes when I’m out and about. I keep a roll of the poop bags in our car and use them to collect garbage that easily collects in the car. They are super practical and super affordable.
PS loves any type of ball, and instead of finding balls on Amazon or Walmart, where you won’t be able to find anything for a dollar or 2, I like to go to Dollarama. They have a huge collection of all sorts of balls. Baseball, football, big ball, little ball, spiky ball, you name it and they are just for a dollar or 2.
Bubbles are another thing all kids love and I bought a bubble machine so I don’t need to keep blowing bubbles, however, the refill packs of bubbles can be pricey. But not at the dollar store. You can find both refill bottles for bubbles as well as the bubble blowing stick at Dollarama. They have an assortment of sticks but I personally find that the refill bottle is where you score big.
I’m not sure if this is a boy thing, but PS loves all types of trucks/vehicles. Be it on TV, while we are driving or in a book but he will let everyone know when he sees a plane, truck or dump truck. So much so that some of the first words he said are bus, truck, Jhaaj (Punjabi for plane) and dump truck. We have bought PS some trucks from Amazon and Canadian Tire, however, if you want a diverse collection of vehicles at a great price, check the dollar store. They are made of plastic, but I’m finding plastic toys are the best for toddlers. They are affordable, your toddler will love em and they will keep your toddler busy for a while.
I hope you enjoyed this post on must buy baby products at Dollarama. The dollar store is huge and there is more to discover so I’ll be sure to do a follow up post soon. And if you’re looking for more mom hacks, check the Bekaming a Mom section of the blog. Happy playing 🙂
Hello hello. I’m trying to get back into the rhythm of blogging regularly and sharing with you all things that I’ve really been enjoying or finding interesting lately. Since the biggest part of my life is my journey of bekaming a mom right now, I’ll most likely be sharing a lot of mom content. Hope y’all find that interesting and helpful. PS is now 17 months and he’s been eating solids for a year now. I wouldn’t say he’s a picky eater per se, but he does have his preferences. So, today I’ll share with you all what my toddler eats in a day.
This is quite realistic and very typical and I’m totally okay with his diet, although a few months ago I used to stress quite a bit. But, this is life. I was a picky eater myself when I was young. So much so that I barely ate and used to throw up things I didn’t like. I love food now and try to eat healthy as much as possible. So, I am totally okay with what my son eats, as long as he is healthy and growing. Okay, so now on to what my toddler eats in a day.
What My Toddler Eats in a Day
Partaap Singh eats 2 different things for breakfast and we alternate these every day. One day he will have 3/4 of a piece of Weetabix cereal with some organic whole milk, with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter. I put this all in a bowl and microwave for a minute and stir it all together with a spoon so its nice and creamy. The second breakfast that we make is two pieces of Dempsters everything bagel, toasted with some butter spread on. Alongside the bagel he will have a mini strawberry yogurt. PS always eats one piece of strawberry every day for breakfast as well. For drink, it is always water for breakfast. My son doesn’t like drinking milk.
Lunch on most days is pretty much the same. He eats a YVES vegan hot dog. We grill it in the panini press to warm it up and peel off the outer later. He eats this along with a piece of McCain hash brown and occasionally some roasted broccoli. PS loves broccoli. The drink during lunch is always a mini Yoplait strawberry flavoured drink.
Most often PS has two snacks after lunch. One is before his second nap and the other is after waking up from the nap. The snack before nap time is pretty much always 1 entire cheese string. And the snack after waking up is usually a muffin I’ve baked. I try to bake healthy muffins that have fruits, veggies and protein hidden inside them.
I bake once every weekend and I always make a double batch of whatever it is. For example, when baking muffins, I make 30 muffins or so, half I freeze and half I use for the week ahead. Everyone enjoys snacking on the muffins, and I always have some in the freezer in case I don’t have time to bake or am in need of a snack as I run out the door with PS. Some of my favourite muffin recipes are by Tori from Fraiche Living. If she doesn’t have an egg replacement sub on the recipe, I always use a flax egg. The lemon blueberry and ricotta muffins and the chocolate zucchini hemp muffins are some of PS favourites.
PS snacks throughout the day with random things we are eating that we decide to let him try as well. For example, he loves eating granola that Gursheel is eating for breakfast or the Pinjeeri my MIL eats for breakfast. If we snack on chips or nuts during the day, we offer them to PS as well and he enjoys eating them. Even new fruits and vegetables he will try.
I’ve noticed that he tends to just suck on raw vegetables and spit them out after, but more often than not, he eats quite a few pieces of fruit. He currently is loving watermelon. When I come from work around 2 pm, I bring home a vanilla dip donut from Tim Hortons. PS has come to expect this “dodo” (that’s what he calls donuts) when he sees me coming home from work. And I let him eat a few pieces of the donut. He really loves his donuts.
Dinner – What My Toddler Eats in a Day
Dinner is where there is more variety day to day. I make dinner 4 times a week and my MIL makes roti twice a week and on Fridays every week we get takeout. Fridays are our deep house cleaning days so we like to get takeout, which is usually either pizza or burritos or Indian food. Thursdays are days where we have burgers and fries one week and hot dogs and hash brown the next. We look forward to Thursdays since making these meals is quite quick and they are definitely a treat dinner for the family. I have set up a rotating meal plan for us that works incredibly well. I will be doing a blog post about that system soon because it really has made meal planning be on autopilot for me.
We never make a separate dinner for PS, it is usually what we are having. The only thing is I don’t add spice. He pretty much tries everything we make but he can be picky about certain things. For example, for Thursdays he always eats and enjoys his burger patty. But he doesn’t enjoy eating the burger bun or the raw vegetables and that’s totally fine with me.
For the 2 days we make roti, PS is usually quite picky with eating the dhaal/sabzee. He enjoys eating the roti alone. Sometimes when he hide the daal/sabzee in the roti to make a paratha, he will eat it. For the days I make dinner, I’ve noticed certain things he really enjoys. When I share my rotating meal plan, I’ll also share the recipes I make. But I find he really likes meals that have tofu, rice, ground round and pasta. For example, some of his favourite meals include: crispy tofu bowl. tofu fried rice, taco burrito bowl, butternut squash quinoa bowl, enchiladas, just to name a few.
PS tends to try and eat most dinners. My sister had told me to prevent picky eaters, just don’t get into the habit of making a separate meal when PS doesn’t like something. So, there are days when he doesn’t want to eat what we’ve made. These tend to be rare, but when this does happen, I either give him leftovers of another dinner we had made earlier in the week, or I just stop offering. It could be that he just isn’t hungry.
And that’s pretty much it. Overall I am quite satisfied with what my toddler eats in a day. I want PS to love and try all foods and I’m happy that he loves roasted broccoli as much as he loves his vanilla dip donut. Life is about balance though isn’t it?
Happy eating and here are some pictures of my son eating some delicious vegan Daddy O Doughnuts.
Hello hello! How are you all my friends? I am back, and it’s been almost a year since my last blog post. Oh, what a year it has been. But I’m so happy to have my laptop in my laps and my fingers typing away on this keyboard and letting my thoughts drift onto the screen. I really have missed blogging. I find it therapeutic and it has become my creative outlet. So, I’ve decided to come back and start blogging regularly again.
So, why have I been gone for so long? Well, it has to do with many things, most of all related to being a new mom. I’ve been feeling isolated, tired, sad, lonely, bored, stressed about what’s going on in the world and overall just not feeling motivated. So, today I thought I’d share with you all how it has been for me this past year being a new mom and living through a global pandemic.
I’m writing these thoughts on Mother’s Day. This has become a day with a whole lot of meaning for me. Mother’s are incredible. They really are. You really don’t know until you become one yourself and realize, wow, I can do all this? I can grow a baby inside of me, I can go through labour and deliver a baby, I can breastfeed that baby and see it grow, I can do everything it takes from me to love that baby, protect that baby and just give all of my time and energy to that baby.
I really have been humbled this year. It is my body but it is the brilliance of God. It is so incredible to see what my body has been able to do this past year. I never would have thought or believed I had all of this in me. I’m truly fortunate and blessed to be a mother.
But, boy, has it been a hard year. First, when PS was born, I was in incredible pain. My episiotomy tears burned and I could barely move. Every time my baby breastfed, my nipples hurt so bad I cried each time. And I stressed about EVERY LITTLE THING.
But, it got better. My stitches healed, my nipples healed, and little by little the stress started to change. The stress is always there, but I think you get better and more confidant in handling it.
The anxiety about how to care for my baby and researching how to do every little thing. Giving a bath? I didn’t start giving a bath to my son alone until he was 1 years old. Spitting up milk? I called the nurses help line multiple times shocked to find my son spit up milk. Crying? I called 911 because my son didn’t stop crying for over 30 minutes. And then, when starting solids? I stressed every time he refused food and cheered every time I was able to sneak some into his mouth. Sleep? Oh, sleep is something I could write a whole blog post on (and I will). My body has been in a constant fight or flight mode this past year, and just now my body is starting to calm itself down.
With the global pandemic happening and being in lockdown for over a year, I have felt so lonely and isolated. I just felt stuck at home. Being all alone with your baby (although I also had my mother in law and Gursheel at home with me) it was still boring and lonely. Before your baby starts to walk and talk, they really don’t do much to interact with you.
So, I got bored. How can I play with my baby all day at home? There’s only so much we can do, before it becomes repetitive, boring and you long for social interaction. I have missed my sisters and parents so much this past year. My parents and sisters fortunately did come before the pandemic to meet PS, However, not having them around to talk to, share my struggles of being a mom, them not witnessing me being a mom and them not seeing PS growing up his first year was incredibly hard. I have been itching to hug them all again!
But, I did have a lot of love and support. When PS was born, I saw how incredible Gursheel was with him. All the fears I had of taking care of my baby, Gursheel did without thinking twice. I have built an incredible relationship with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law I have never had before. They have watched me become a mother and PS grow and they have been so helpful and supportive. It really takes a village to raise a child. Sharing the journey of being a mom with other moms is amazing. Only moms understand what it truly takes to be a mom.
I am crying writing this post, yet it feels nice writing these thoughts I’ve internalized this past year and putting them out there. So, today on Mother’s Day, I hope you realize what an incredible mom you are, because I am just started to realize it for myself. All mother’s are superstars. They go through each day, taking care of their children as their number one priority, even when they don’t feel so great themselves. And then they go through the boring days, the tiring days, the days when all their child wants is to be held. They do it all, because it needs to be done. People would say to me “it’s all worth it.” I finally get it. It’s so worth it!
Although babies do need a lot of things, I think you can still be smart about what you buy and absolutely need. I’m not a minimalist myself, but I hate having too many things. I want everything in my home to serve a function and spark joy and the same goes for baby essentials. So, today I’m sharing my minimalist baby essentials. Most of these items I either got as hand me downs or I received as gifts from my baby registry. These items will set you up for the first 6 months and beyond. I highly recommend getting things you are unsure about as the baby grows older since you never know what they need until the time comes.
I am going to divide my minimalist baby essentials in different categories to make it super easy for you all. Hope you all enjoy!
Minimalist Baby Essentials
For clothing, I highly recommend getting less than what you think you need because you will easily end up with way more than you need. Start with just 3 swaddles, a pack of wash cloths (that can easily serve many functions), 2 blankets and a weeks worth of clothing for every size. For example, for 0-3 month, get 7 onesies and 7 diaper shirts plus a couple extra. Do the same for 3-6 months, 6-9 months, etc., but for those sizes, just get diaper shirts and pants. For baby hats, I highly recommend the ones by Copper Pearl. They were the only ones that fit PS’s head perfectly from when he was a newborn to now (he’s 6 months) and they’re super adorable. I also recommend getting gender neutral clothes so they can be passed down to subsequent babies.
If you are planning on breastfeeding, then you don’t need much. A nursing pillow with one extra cover, some nursing bras and pads and D drops are all you absolutely need. Don’t buy bottles or a breast pump until you absolutely need to. Amazon can bring you these things the next day so don’t bother buying because you never know what you will and wont need.
The same goes for sleeping. I set up a beautiful nursery for PS thinking he will need his room right away. But you really don’t know how things will go with your baby. We started off with a bassinet in our room and then moved PS to his crib after a month, but at the two month mark, we started co-sleeping. So, I suggest just buying a bassinet to start and then see how life goes. Maybe you’ll need a crib, maybe you won’t.
For the baby monitor, we got the WyzM camera that is super affordable on Amazon and has great night vision. I didn’t want to spend a lot on the camera and this one is great and can be used as a camera later as well. Even for the sound machine I recommend getting an Amazon Alexa since it can play all types of white noise and do other things as well and can be used once your baby is older too.
Start with just 1 box of newborn swaddlers and 1 box of size 1 diapers. Again, you never know how big your baby is going to be. With PS we didn’t even need many newborn diapers. Also, I highly recommend getting a diaper pail that uses regular garbage bags since that will save you money over the long run. And just buy one changing pad with one cover but get a few of the wipeable diaper liners instead.
With regards to skin care, get one type of body wash/shampoo/moisturizer first and then see if your baby likes it. If they do, that’s great, stick with it. If not, then try a new product. I love K’pure Naturals products for my own skin care, and have been loving them for PS’s too.
This can be the most expensive category and the items you purchase here will last a long while. So, get good quality items. You will be able to use these items for subsequent babies and you’ll also be able to sell most of these items at a good price when you are done as well. So, try out a few brands of car seats, strollers and carriers and get something that is made of quality materials.
And, that’s all. Another essential for babies are toys, but you won’t be needing many in the first couple of months when all the baby does is sleep. But if you are looking for toy ideas for your little one, check out my Panda Crate review post. I have been loving all the toys the crate comes with and it’s basically all I’m purchasing for PS for now (other than all the gifts he received).
I hope you all found this minimalist baby essentials post helpful. Let me know in the comments below if you think I’m missing anything. For me, personally, these essentials are key 🙂
I received the most beautiful bouquet of flowers on my birthday from my sisters and it was one of the best gifts I’ve gotten. My sisters live in BC, so when there was a knock on the door with a man delivering me the flowers, it was quite a special surprise. I couldn’t stop admiring the flowers and every time I saw them over the next couple of days, I couldn’t help but smile. I was already dreading that they were soon going to die and I would have to throw them out. So, I went to Google and started researching how to dry flowers. I saw lots of tutorials of drying flowers using Silica gel, but I just didn’t want to go out and grab that.
So, I contacted Coriander Girl (the florist who made the arrangement) and she gave me some tips. So, I thought I’d share with you how to dry flowers without silica gel today based off what she told me and what I learned during the process. It really is quite easy and you can easily preserve the beautiful arrangement of flowers you receive forever! With Mother’s Day having just passed, I’m sure many of you received some beautiful bouquets and with the Pandemic going on, this really is the perfect time for this DIY project.
How To Dry Flowers Without Silica Gel
After a few days, the flowers will start to die. This is when you need to carefully take out each of the stems from the arrangement. I recommend doing this outside as it can get quite messy. If you find rotten stems, throw them out.
Next, grab the ends of the stems and tie some twine, string, or ribbon you have at home carefully around them. You may need to do several bunches of stems if your bouquet is quite large. Make sure to leave some of the string, twine or ribbon hanging out.
Then find a dark and cool area in your home. We found our garage to be the perfect location. Tie the flowers onto something that will allow them to hang upside down. We tied ours to the garage opener.
Now allow the flowers to dry over the course of a couple of weeks. I checked back on the flowers after 2 weeks and they were perfectly dry. Since I didn’t know which flowers would dry well and which wouldn’t, I just dried them all to find out. Roses and eucalyptus dried beautifully. The flowers that didn’t dry well I got rid of.
With the remainder of the flowers, I used the tin vase they came from to arrange the flowers. I’m obviously not a florist so I did the best I could, and if I do say so myself, I’d say they look quite remarkable.
Here are some vases that I think would look beautiful with your dried flower arrangement:
I’m so happy with how these dried flowers turned out and now I keep this arrangement of flowers in our bedroom. I wake up to these flowers every morning and they instantly bring a smile to my face. I hope you all enjoyed this little DIY and I’m so glad it really is so easy to dry flowers without silica gel. And if you’re looking for more DIYs, check out the Kamfy Living section of the blog!
I came across KiwiCo and the Panda Crate subscription service while I was pregnant and I knew I wanted to try out at least one box once Partaap Singh was born. So, I signed up and received the first crate (the Bond with Me Panda Crate) and was hooked. My son and I loved it so much that I signed up for the entire Panda Crate subscription right then and there. So, today I thought I would share what we received and do a Bond With Me Panda Crate review (one of the first crates we received).
KiwiCo is a subscription company that sends monthly crates to your home specifically curated for your child. The Panda Crate is meant for babies ages 0-24 months and comes every 2 months. You can subscribe to the box by paying for each box or you can pay for all the 12 boxes and get a great discount. Okay, now on to the review.
Bond With Me Panda Crate Review
The Bond With me Panda Crate is one of the first crates you will receive as it contains some really cool products for a newborn. We used every single one of these products right when he was born and we are still using them now (he’s 4 months today)!. You really do get more than your moneys worth. If you search for similar products on Amazon and add up the cost, it is more than what you pay for the box.
I love the panda theme for all the Panda Crates. I also love that there is no plastic, the toys are amazing quality and the packaging is minimal. Most of all I love the uniqueness of the toys and that all the products are specifically designed to aid my child’s development. The Bond with me Panda Crate explores parent child bonding, recognizing baby clues as well as visual development. Let’s get into all the products.
The box comes with a large swaddle blanket. Swaddling is great for the first few months as it helps with the Moro Reflex. The swaddle is large, made of cotton, is beautiful and we use it for every nap and bedtime. If your child doesn’t like to be swaddled, you can even use the blanket for tummy time or a burp cloth.
Next, you will find black and white contrast cards in the box. All these cards are space and Panda themed. PS loved them all and still enjoys looking at them. I show him one card at a time, describe what is on it all while moving it back and forth and up and down. He loved looking at the cards when he was 1 month old and still loves them to this day.
One of the best things (imo) in the box was the foldable tummy time mirror. This is great to use during tummy time, however, PS seemed to enjoy staring, talking and laughing at the Panda on this mirror book well before he started doing tummy time. The Panda made him so happy, that sometimes when he was crying, I would show him the panda and he would start smiling. It was so cute.
Next, there are monthly card cards to use for monthly pictures of your little one. On the back side is room to write down milestones, height, weight and other information. They also come with a pillow that the cards easily slip into with a little panda on it. I havn’t used the pillow for the monthly pictures, but I am planning on using it to prop on the nursing chair once I stop nursing. It’s a cute little pillow for sure.
Other than those products, the box also comes with a magazine with great information as well as cards that help explain each product in detail. There are additional cards that give information about other activities you can do with your baby as well.
I hope you all enjoyed this review and as you can tell, I totally love the subscription box. I love the concept, I love all the toys in the box, I love that I don’t need to do my own research since the box comes with everything I need to know and I love the price. If you want to purchase the Panda Crate subscription, for a limited time they have one month free with the code FUNSUMMER for the 6 and 12 month subscriptions!
We love using the Ofie play mat. We spend a lot of our days on the mat playing with PS and all his toys. This mat is comfortable, has grip, is super soft and I just love the print. Oh, and it’s double sided! Highly recommend.
Sometimes I find it surreal what is actually happening to the world right now. It’s 2020 and the Covid-19 outbreak is happening and everyone is practicing social distancing. I, on the other hand, am adjusting to life as a new mom during a pandemic and a lot of my family and friends are always checking in to see how both Partaap Singh and I are doing. And, honestly, I’m doing great. Because truth be told, I was already kind of practicing social distancing since Partaap Singh was born.
Since PS was born, I have been super anxious about being alone or being away from the home. And with this pandemic, both of those anxieties have pretty much gone away. Although I live my in laws and my mother in law is always home, the times she did step away to run a few errands and I was home all alone with PS, I would be super stressed out. I was afraid something would happen to PS while she was out and I wouldn’t know what to do. Since Ontario is in a state of emergency and we are told to stay home, guess what? She’s always home. And if she isn’t, Gursheel is.
Because Gursheel is also working from home, I am beyond grateful. Gursheel had taken 2 months of paternity leave and then once it was over, he had a couple of weeks of vacation he needed to take since he started a new job. He did just one week of work at his new job and then everyone was told to work from home. So, basically, since PS was born, Gursheel has been home the entire time, except for one week. I find it to be such a blessing that Gursheel gets to spend so much time with his son.
Another thing I wanted to mention was PS HATES being in his car seat (but I love the Maxi Cosi Mico Max 30). The instant we put him in his car seat, he cries and the crying escalates to what I call “scary crying.” And when you’re in a moving car and your baby is in the car seat, there is not much you can do to soothe him. So, I’m so happy PS has not experienced any more of these traumatizing experiences in the car seat since we have been home the whole time. He does have his vaccinations next week so I’m super stressed about how that will go, but we shall see.
Before the Covid-19 outbreak, I went out alone for a couple of appointments and I was super anxious about being away from PS. All I could think was I hope this appointment ends soon so I can be back home with PS. But now, with everything shut down, I am unable to even make any appointments. Although I would love a massage (my neck is so sore from nursing and carrying PS all day), my anxiety about being away from my son is gone for now.
So, all in all, I have been enjoying life as a new mom during a pandemic. I get to spend all day with my son and both Gursheel and my mother in law are home to help me along. With the weather getting better, I’m looking forward to going out for walks, but in the meantime I have been listening to a lot of books (check this post for some book recommendations). I can’t wait for the lockdown to end so we can finally see all of our family again but until then I am enjoying life as a new mom at home.
Boy, I’m not going to lie, but the first three months with a new baby were hard! I had an idea of what to expect, but you only learn when you go through the experience yourself. Looking back, it feels like time literally flew by and I can’t believe my little guy is already 3 months today.
All PS did the first month was eat, sleep, pee and poo. I was getting up every 2-3 hours during the day and 3-4 hours at night to feed him. Then I would change his diaper and get him to go back to sleep. Putting him back to sleep in the first month was so much easier compared to the second month. But the first month was hard mostly because I could barely move as I recovered from giving birth. Read all about my postpartum essentials list here. I also found breastfeeding to be quite challenging this month as well and didn’t think I would be able to do it for very long.
The first month we were doing laundry every 2-3 days and were changing PS outfits several times a day. This is because he kept peeing through his diaper. Mostly the reason for this was we didn’t know how to put on a diaper properly and the other reason was the newborn Pampers swaddlers were too small for him. Once we learned how to properly put on a diaper and switched to size 1 diapers, we only went through one outfit a day and did laundry once a week. I’m planning on doing a minimalist baby wardrobe soon so watch out for that.
The second month I found to be the most challenging. PS was still napping majority of the day (16 hours on average), but getting him to sleep proved to be super difficult. We would have to rock him for a while to get him to sleep and stay asleep. He outgrew his bassinet at 7 weeks so we moved him into his crib for night time. But, he was doing all of his day naps on the couch in the living room, although truth be told, we held him for most of them. Around 8 weeks, I noticed he would start crying loudly every time he woke up from his nap. It would sometimes take a good 20 minutes or so to calm him down which also gave me so much anxiety.
Starting from around 10 weeks I started putting PS for naps in his crib as well as for night time sleep and noticed that he was crying a lot less. In the mornings he would wake up smiling at me and when he woke up from his naps, he was crying from only a few. At 2 months, PS was sleeping around 4-6 hours consecutively at night before waking up to feed. At around 11 weeks, he even did a couple of nights of 8 hours before waking.
At 3 months, I realized the main reason of PS cries was he wasn’t napping properly. He took short naps (30-40 minutes long) and therefore wasn’t getting proper sleep. Even though he still continues to wakes up after 45 minutes from a nap. I now feed him or rock him when he wakes up and he sleeps another 45 minutes or so. This I noticed is the sweet spot for him. He wakes up happy and plays well for the next 1.5 hrs he is awake.
We also started co-sleeeping near the end of the second month. I was so anxious about doing this at first, but I realize I’ve become a light sleeper now. I wake up to the smallest sounds. Co-sleeping is easier in that I don’t have to get up from bed every time PS wakes up for a feed. Although, I’ve noticed, he is sleeping shorter increments at night compared to when he was in his crib at night-time. His longest stretch is 4 hours right now.
Also, now, at 3 months, I absolutely love breastfeeding. It doesn’t take that long, doesn’t hurt at all and I find it to be so fun to bond with PS. I remember the first month thinking I would never make it to 2 months and here I am at 3 months looking forward to trying to do this for a year.
Our biggest struggle now is getting PS to like being in the car seat. Every time we put him in the car seat, he starts crying and is so difficult to soothe. Especially, since in the car we can’t really do anything. If its a long drive, he will fall asleep, but if it’s a short ride, I try singing loudly, playing with him, but nothing really has been that effective. I would love to hear your suggestions.
As I’m writing this and looking back at pictures of PS from when he was first born, I am shocked at how much he has grown. From sleeping all the time to now playing and talking to us, it is crazy how fast he is growing. Although I am looking forward to watching him grow up, I’m really going to miss these first few months as a newborn.
I did a books read in 2018 blog post last year and I love going back to it to recommend books to friends. So, I thought I should do another one this year for the books I read in 2019. For the majority of 2019 I was pregnant and for the months I was not feeling well, I didn’t read any books. Therefore, I definitely read less books than in 2018, but that’s okay. March of 2020 is almost over and I’ve already read 5 books. At this rate, I should have my best year yet. Let’s wait and see.
This book was recommended by an Instagrammer I follow, but I did not enjoy it at all. I think the book had a deeper meaning that I really did not pick up on. It also won some awards so it’s supposed to be really good. Not my cup of tea that’s for sure.
This is a coffee table style of book but I found it extremely interesting and read it in one go. It’s about taking care of different types of flowers and how to use them in arrangements, etc. It’s a beautiful book and a great resource.
This was a book recommended to me by one of my friends. It started off okay but then as the titles suggests it goes into women discussing erotic stories. Not my cup of tea, I stopped the book right there.
The Goldfinch is a fiction book that has won the Pulitzer Prize and is a classic. It is also now a movie and it was also playing at TIFF last year in Toronto. It’s a long book that I only kind of enjoyed.
This book came highly recommended to me. It talks about baby’s sleep and the 5 S’s that help with baby getting better rest. Also, the author of this book created the Snoo – the smart bassinet (that is outside my budget but seems like a dream to have).
The IKEA Tarva dresser costs $224.9 CAD (after tax) and it is definitely the most affordable dresser you are going to find on the market, especially for its size. The other amazing thing about this dresser is that it is made to DIY. It is untreated solid wood, so all you have to do is paint and change the knobs and you get yourself a custom designed piece of furniture.
No one will ever guess it’s an IKEA Tarva dresser hack. In fact, I’ve had several Instagram followers ask me where the dresser in Partaap Singh’s nursery is from. When I tell them it’s from IKEA, they are surprised.
Although this IKEA Tarva dresser hack is quite easy to pull off, the hardest part is definitely building the Tarva dresser. I would suggest looking on Kijiji or Craigslist and see if someone is selling the dresser. That would save you a lot of time and effort. If you do buy a new dresser from IKEA like we did, the first step is to build the dresser. Follow the instructions provided. Just don’t add the knobs because you’ll be adding custom hardware later.
Next comes the painting step. I wanted to keep the legs of the dresser raw wood, so I first taped off the legs using painters tape. To paint, I used the Behr Matte Interior Paint and Primer in One in the colour Eucalyptus Wreath (Base 7400). With this paint, you only need to do one coat of paint, although, it doesn’t hurt to do two coats. I purchased the smallest can of paint and I still have more than half the paint left over. I decided to not do a top coat since in my DIY bedside table makeover, I didn’t like how it changed the colour.
Once the dresser is dry, remove the painters tape. Now comes time to install this beautiful black hardware for an amazing price at Wayfair. Instead of knobs, I decided to use these black pulls to create a sleek look on the dresser. These come in a pack of 10, although you’ll only need 6 for this IKEA Traver Dresser Hack. I measured the middle of each dresser drawer and placed the pulls in the middle and screwed them in with a screwdriver.
And that is it. Probably one of the easiest IKEA hacks since you don’t need to do anything to prep the dresser before painting. Now, all you need to do is accessorize the dresser and you are ready to enjoy this beautiful piece of furniture to keep your clothes all organized!
Now for the total cost for this IKEA Tarva Dresser Hack: $276.3! The dresser cost $224.9, the paint cost $22 and the black hardware was $29.4. To create this beautiful custom dresser that will last you a long time for under $300? I call that a win 🙂
Leave me a comment below if you try this IKEA Tarva Dresser Hack and how you accessorized your dresser. Happy DIY-ing.
My birthday is in February and this year I requested some bathroom accessories as gifts. I know, I’m an odd one. But, beautiful decor really does make me happy. So, I thought today I’ll share some of what I got along with some other beautiful budget bathroom accessories so you too can freshen up your space. I’m hoping one day to renovate our bathroom and share some styling shots of these items as well. These are all items that are beautiful, budget friendly, practical and timeless. These are always my goals for any project I work on including the IKEA baby room inspiration and our budget friendly bedroom transformation.
Some of my favourite stores that sell beautiful budge bathroom accessories include Urban Outfitters, Target, H&M Home and CB2. Here is a roundup of some of my favourite beautiful budget bathroom accessories including some shower curtains, towels and even a cute bathmat. My personal favourite are the Ventura Canisters from CB2. They are on an amazing sale, are great quality and they look gorgeous in our bathroom. 🙂
One of my most popular blog posts to date is still our budget friendly bedroom reveal and I’m excited to share Partaap Singh’s room with you all today. I love it even more than our bedroom! What is more special about his room is that almost everything is from IKEA making it very budget friendly. This is gonna be a great blog post if you are planning your nursery makeover and are seeking IKEA baby room inspiration. I’m also going to break down how much I spent at the very end, so stay tuned. I love setting a budget for my projects and challenge myself to always stay under budget.
IKEA Baby Room Inspiration
Before getting into this IKEA baby room inspiration breakdown, I wanted to share my 4 goals that I set for any room/project first.
First, it needs to look beautiful. Second, it needs to be budget friendly. I do not like to spend a lot on items and always try to find something that looks beautiful. Third, the space should be timeless or the items should be versatile. I wanted to create a nursery that was gender neutral and a room that my child can grow well into adulthood in. And fourth, the space should be practical and minimal to serve the function it needs to serve. Using these 4 criteria, I am so happy with how the nursery turned out. It is beautiful, budget friendly, timeless and practical.
My inspiration first came when I saw this beautiful sage green wallpaper By Livettes on Etsy. I knew I had to get it and it was my inspiration for the entire nursery. I love how easily wallpaper transforms a space and adds so much personality. The wallpaper was definitely the most expensive item I purchased, but it also makes the biggest impact, so well worth it.
The next thing I needed to tackle in this space was the lack of light. This is the one room in our house that doesn’t get much natural light. I painted the room white and it instantly made the room brighter. I then bought this beautiful large round Sandane mirror from IKEA. Mirrors help reflect light and add more light to any space.
I next added this Boja light fixture from IKEA as well as this reading lamp I found for a great price at HomeSense. It had a few hardly noticeable scratches. So, I asked for a discount and I got 20% off. I originally purchased black out curtains to help make it dark and easier for Partaap Singh to nap in, however, when I tested those out, the room became way to dark. So, I bought these beautiful light and airy sage green Hannalill curtains from IKEA. They are super inexpensive, but add a lot of texture to the space without darkening the room.
I already knew what crib I wanted to purchase. IKEA has this beautiful natural wood Sniglar crib that is under a $100 bucks that fit perfectly in my theme. I waited until they had their bedroom event and got it on sale. I also purchased the mattress, mattress protector, and the mattress sheets from IKEA, because they really do have the best deal and I love white everything. To accessorize, I placed this gorgeous story time quilt I was gifted from my good friend at my baby shower.
I wanted to have a beautiful dresser as a change station since it can grow with you as you get older. But dressers can be quite expensive and not very colourful. So, we bought this Tarva dresser from IKEA and the great thing about this is that it is big and the perfect size to put a change mat on top and its raw wood, so it is very easy to paint and DIY. Remember this DIY bedside table makeover from a few years ago? We still use and love those bedside tables to this day. I’ll post a DIY on how we made this custom dresser for well under $300 soon, so look out for that.
To accessorize the dresser, I placed a change mat I got as a hand me down from a good friend and bought this beautiful textured Gerbers change mat cover in grey. I also bought this Berakna vase from IKEA and these cotton stems (they will last forever) from Pier 1, that I arranged in the vase. Finally, I placed this super cool Savor memory box I was gifted from 2 good friends. They are practical, beautiful and fit perfectly in the room.
The nursing chair really took me a while to find the perfect one for the space. I didn’t want the typical chairs since I find them to be too big and bulky, too expensive and not really able to grow in the space. Gursheel actually came across this chair and it was perfect. It is a dark green velvet armchair and under a 100 dollars.
I paired it with these two natural Alseda stools from IKEA that make the perfect footrest when nursing. A footrest is more important that a chair that rocks or glides according to a lot of my mom friends. I also added a throw that my mother in law gave me as well as a small throw pillow. I share more about my nursing station essentials here.
To add some finishing touches and personalize the space, I found this super affordable rug from Amazon for under a 100 bucks. It grounds the space and adds texture and dimension. To prevent the rug from moving, I found this rug on carpet pad to work the best.
I didn’t want to hang anything above the crib, in the rare case it fell. So, I put up these two black IKEA frames on the wall beside the crib. In one I have this beautiful print by Keerat Kaur of the 5 Takhats and in the other a beautifully calligraphed hukamnama by Kalam Kollective from when Partaap Singh was born (the one we were blessed with his name). I love supporting amazing artists in our community and these pieces of art will be timeless.
Finally, on this last wall beside the window, I bought these Bekvam spice racks from IKEA. IKEA also has bookshelves that are the same thing but just a bit longer, but they are 20 bucks each whereas these were almost 20 bucks for all three and fit my wall perfectly.
I used two to display a few beautiful books. One is this book by Baljinder and the second is a Little People book on Marie Curie. I then added a Jellycat that I also use to take monthly pictures of Partaap Singh. The third rack I installed upside down so I can hang some cute outfits and a pair of Timberland baby shoes that my sister in law gifted PS. I also have this gorgeous painting of me when I was pregnant that my sister gifted me. Finally to keep the room smelling fresh (there are diapers in this room after all) I added a reed diffuser from Saje.
I love how this room turned out and I hope you appreciated this IKEA baby room inspiration post. Since I spend more than half my day in this room, I really wanted to have a room that makes me happy 🙂
Scroll down for pictures and a budget breakdown at the very end!
And now, if you were interested, here is the total I spent on the entire nursery. My budget was $2500 and I came well under at around $1700. See the picture below for the breakdown. I will be sharing a nursery closet reveal soon too so look out for that!
As a breastfeeding mom, you will spend a lot of time breastfeeding and you will need to set up a station to make yourself comfortable. These nursing station essentials are items that are helping me stay comfortable while I feed Partaap Singh (which ranges from around 2-4 hours a day).
Nursing Station Essentials
Nursing Chair and Table
During the day, I love feeding Partaap Singh (PS) in his nursery. I bought this armchair that was the perfect colour for the theme of the room and a great price point (I got it for under $100). But more importantly, it is comfortable. I also bought these Alseda stools from IKEA that I stacked on top of each other to make the perfect footrest, while staying within the theme of the room. Nursery tour is coming soon so look our for that!
I asked my mom friends on Instagram if they recommended a rocking chair versus an armchair, and a lot of moms said all you really need is a comfortable chair with a footrest. This setup works for my budget and fits my style since I find rocking chairs to be too big and bulky and quite pricey. I also bought this simple but beautiful Gladom side table from IKEA that makes for the perfect table to keep all of the following items on while I feed PS. Finally, I love having this beautiful rope basket to store all my nursing stations essentials so I can set up a station anywhere in the house.
Huge Straw Water Bottle
I didn’t realize how thirsty breastfeeding makes you. I think I drink over 4 Litres a day! And the crazy thing is, I don’t even pee that much. I remember when I was pregnant, I would pee every 30 minutes and I barely drank any water. Anyways, get yourself a large water bottle and make sure it has a straw. You don’t want to risk spilling water on your baby when you get thirsty while breastfeeding.
Disposable Nursing Pads
I hate waste so I bought myself some reusable bamboo nursing pads. However, I was leaking so much that I had to keep changing the pad every couple of hours. And apparently, reusable bamboo pads need to be washed very frequently, else the risk of infection increases. And no breastfeeding mom wants to get mastitis. These disposable pads from Madela are amazing. While I was changing the reusable pads every couple of hours, the disposable ones last me all day. And I don’t have to worry about infection, because I just toss it and use a new one once I need it.
A nursing pillow is absolutely an essential. It helps elevate your baby and also helps position the baby perfectly. You will minimize back issues while using a nursing pillow. I like to combine the nursing pillow with another small pillow (I love using the wedge that I shared in my pregnancy essentials post) on one side so that the side I am feeding PS on is slightly elevated. This is supposed to be good for preventing too many bubbles and helps with gas as well.
During the first few days of breastfeeding, my nipples got very cracked and sore. I had received this K’pure nipple balm as a gift from a friend for my baby shower, however, my midwife gave me a prescription to a cream that she said worked wonders. I’ve been using this prescription cream since and I think it really has helped with the pain.
Amazon Alexa or Google Home
We have an Amazon Alexa in our bedroom and the nursery and it is the most amazing thing ever. While breastfeeding in the nursery, I sit in my nursing chair and tell Alexa to connect my phone and play a podcast or audiobook. Since the breastfeeding sessions last me anywhere from 20 – 30 minutes and I’m feeding 8-9 times a day, that is a lot of time of me just sitting. I love listening to Katha in the morning and then Podcasts and Audiobooks the remainder of the day. I don’t even need to physically use my phone, I just talk to Alexa and she obeys my command. It’s great and an absolute essential.
During the night feeding sessions, I am in our bedroom and breastfeeding in bed. I have this beautiful rope basket on my bedside table with my essentials which includes diapers, wipes as well as my Kindle. I love reading books during the night sessions and the Kindle is great because I don’t need to turn on any lights. I’ve been reading baby books at night and I’ve already finished one just during the night feedings. I’m currently reading one about baby’s sleep since I’m debating if and when to start sleep training PS.
Finally, I think Airpods or any other type of wireless headphone is an essential. If you want to watch some videos while breastfeeding, then just connect your Airpods and you won’t disturb your baby and no wires will come in the way.
Well there you have it – all my nursing station essentials. All these items have really helped me stay comfortable and entertained while I feed our son. Since the nursing sessions take up 2-4 hours of my day, it’s important to have a great nursing station setup.
Postpartum for the first two weeks was quite rough for me. Once I hit the two week mark, I felt completely better and would go on to say I was ready to get back to my normal routine and was itching to start working out again. There were a few products and things I prepared ahead of time that really helped me out during those first two rough weeks that I would say are absolute essentials. My sister told me to prepare most of these items and today I’m going to share them as my postpartum essentials list.
As mentioned in Partaap Singh’s birth story, I had a third degree tear that was really quite painful. I’m not sure what an episiotomy, second degree, or any other degree tear for that matter feels like, but the third degree tear really restricted my movement and my sleep. These items in my postpartum essentials list really helped me ease the pain and possibly even allowed me to recover faster.
Postpartum Essentials List
The number one item on my postpartum essentials list has got to be padsicles. I made a bunch of these when I was 38 weeks pregnant and they proved to be super useful postpartum. They are easy to make and provide instant relief when you use them. My only suggestion would be to use smaller pads. I thought I would bleed a lot, but you bleed the most at the hospital for a day or two and they provide you with huge pads and padsicles that you can take advantage of there.
When I came home and started using my homemade padsicles, I found that they were a bit too big and bulky. Regardless, the pain relief was amazing. You can make them by opening up a pad, adding two tablespoons of Witch Hazel and 1 tablespoon of Aloe Vera Gel and applying it all over the pad. Close it up again, and keep the padsicles in a ziploc bag in the freezer for when you get home from the hospital.
I absolutely loved the mesh underwear that the hospital gives you that I wanted to purchase more from them. However, with the postpartum kit that the hospital sells, they only provide one of the mesh underwear. I had to get my hands on them, so my sister found them online on Amazon and bought some fore me. They are amazing and you must purchase a few for your postpartum as well.
I had purchased a Sitz Bath along with some Sitz bath salts from Amazon as recommended by my sister. However, I didn’t realize that the hospital gives you a Sitz bath as well to take home with you. So, I returned my Amazon one and used the one the hospital provided. I tried the Sitz bath with Epsom salts as well as with these Earth Mama salts I found online, however, my favorite way to use the Sitz bath was just with some regular warm/hot water. It felt amazing just sitting in the Sitz bath and it provided so much relief to my stitches that I tried doing it twice a day until I hit the 2 week postpartum mark.
Peri Bottle/Bidet Attachment
The hospital also provides you with a couple of peri bottles, or you can purchase this highly recommended one by FridaBaby. I personally just stuck with the peri bottles but also decided to purchase a bidet attachment for our toilet. I thought it made a great tool for postpartum but also for future use.
Tylenol and Advil
For the first two weeks postpartum, I took 2 Advils and 2 Tylenols every two hours to help with my pain. By the second week postpartum, I was at 2 of each daily and by the end of the second week, I didn’t need them at all. They were great at easing my pain and I highly recommend you keep a bottle of each handy for when you get home from the hospital.
I’m not going to lie, but you will need to have a bowel movement and when it comes, you will be in pain, maybe even a lot of pain. I remember the first few bowel movements for me were incredibly painful, but I got through them. A stool softener will help, but it will still be painful. I can’t imagine the pain if I didn’t use the stool softeners.
Well there you have it, if you want to have the most comfortable postpartum recovery period, I would suggest using this postpartum essentials list and getting all these items ready ahead of time. The first two weeks after you have your baby are a blur and you won’t have any time to go to the store or make padsicles. So, stock up and use these items to take care of yourself so you can focus on taking care of your new bundle of joy 🙂
For the past 9 months I’ve been listening to a lot of birth stories, and now that Partaap Singh is here I can share my birth story as well. Partaap Singh’s due date was December 18, 2019 and this little guy came just a day later and the days since have been flying by.
Now on to the birth story.
On December 18, I had my 40 week midwife appointment and my midwife gave me a membrane sweep making me 2 cm dilated (I was 1 cm dilated at that point). We also scheduled an induction at the hospital for Dec 25 just in case baby still hadn’t come.
I came home after the appointment and went for a walk with Gursheel and both my moms. I live with my mother in law and my parents had just arrived a couple days ago from Vancouver. Their timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I think we walked around for an hour and then after coming home, I continued to pace around the house. I started feeling a lot of pressure and I was sure something was happening, although, I didn’t think it would happen the next day.
That night I went to sleep around 9 pm and I remember waking up to pee around midnight and noticed Gursheel was still awake watching TV. At 2 am on December 19, 2019, I went to the bathroom because I noticed bloody discharge (which is normal after a membrane sweep) and put on a pad in case the amount of blood increased. While in the bathroom I started experiencing diarrhea and really bad lower back pain. I took a shower with hot water and then had a bath right after to help me ease the pain.
I realized soon that the pain I was experiencing was contractions since it would last for a few moments and then stop. So, I woke Gursheel and told him to start timing the contractions. My midwife said to page her when the contractions were lasting 1 minute, but upon timing, I realized mine were only 30 seconds and I didn’t know how I would make it to 1 minute since I was in extreme pain already.
To cope with the pain, I got on all fours and this time, when the contraction came, a gush of water came out as well. Although I was wearing a huge pad, it completely soaked and leaked through. Every time I had a contraction, a gush of green/yellow coloured water would leak out as well.
We called my midwife at 4 am and she came around 5 am to check me. She said I was 2-3 cm dilated but the colour of my water was concerning, meaning the baby had pooped inside of me. She also said I wasn’t quite ready to be admitted to the hospital just yet (I needed to be 4 cm dilated) and I should call her again once my contractions were lasting 1 minute.
The pain was so unbearable for me that I took another bath and when that didn’t work, got on my knees in a downward dog position and tried to get through the pain when the contraction came. I was miserable and I didn’t know how I could make it any longer. Both my moms and Gursheel tried to help me through the pain by telling me to breathe through it, but nothing really worked for me.
Around 9 am Gursheel called the midwife again saying my contractions were now close to 1 minute long and the midwife told us she would meet us at the hospital in an hour. I don’t know how I made it to the hospital, but we did on this cold and snowy day. Somehow I also managed to make it up the elevators and into the labour and delivery unit and got ourselves into a room.
My midwife came around 10 am, checked me and said I was still only 3 cm dilated, but because of the meconium in my water, they would admit me. Relieved, I asked to get the epidural and after hooking me up to the IV and the bands around my stomach to measure the baby’s heart rate and the contractions, the anesthesiologist arrived, gave me the epidural and the pain relief was instantaneous. I was basically back to my normal self.
From around 10 am to 4:47 pm, I went from a 3 cm to a complete 10 cm dilated and was ready to push by 4:50 pm. During this time, I chatted with my moms and drank orange juice, water and apple juice. My biggest regret was drinking orange juice, because as soon as it came time to push, my whole body started to shake and I started to vomit. Apparently this is because orange juice is acidic and it really upset my stomach at the worst time.
I was feeling pretty good overall and pretty motivated to push but every time I pushed, I would puke, which really started to drain me. As I mentioned in my Preparing my body for labour blog post, J-breathing was key and really helped me prepare for the pushing stage of my labour.
Partaap Singh was born at 6:21 pm with the help of a vacuum and the OB on call. The umbilical cord was wrapped around his shoulder, so although I was pushing really hard, the cord was just pulling him back. Because there was meconium in my water, there was a team and paediatrician in the room when he was born and they took him and checked on him as soon as he was born. I delivered my placenta, had a third degree tear, which the OB stitched up and then they pushed on my stomach to get out fluids, which I vaguely recall as being super painful.
Immediately after, I felt completely drained and exhausted and also had a high fever because of all the vomiting. They gave Partaap Singh to me to hold and my midwife and my moms helped me with skin on skin and breastfeeding. Although I was exhausted, it was surreal having our baby in my hands, the baby that we waited 9 months to meet. Partaap Singh was born at 7 lb 13 ounces and 54.5 cm long with black hair, long hands and feet, and just a whole lot of cuteness.
A lot happened after, but this birth story post will get too long if I shared all of that. But we are extremely blessed, grateful and humbled by this experience and having our newborn with us who instantly brought so much joy and happiness.
I hope you all enjoyed reading Partaap Singh’s birth story and I’m planning on being more regular with my blog posts while I’m on my maternity leave. Look out for post-partum and related posts coming soon 🙂
It’s officially my due date today and I am getting both excited and nervous to meet this baby. So, I’ve been gathering information from my midwives, books, podcasts, YouTube and blog posts about how to prepare your body for labour. I’ve been doing each of these things daily now to do whatever I can to help this baby come out and help me in labour and delivery.
Apparently, holding a deep squat for a couple of minutes can open up your pelvis and allow for more room for your baby to move down. Another advantage of holding a deep squat daily is it can strengthen your leg muscles. Having strong legs during labour can help with the final pushes when delivering your baby.
Chiropractic treatment is great at managing the aches and pains you experience during your pregnancy, but it also plays an important role in creating more space for the baby to move down the birth canal. Some research shows chiropractic treatment allows for a quick labour, delivery and recovery postpartum. I’ve been enjoying going to Kaur Chiro located in Brampton.
I’ve heard from many people that breathing is an important part of helping push your baby out. Upon research, I learned about a particular type of breathing exercise called J-breathing that can help move the baby down the birth canal without too much effort. I used to think breathing during labour and delivery involved holding my breath for as long as possible and then releasing with force to push out the baby. But this can be tiring for most women and actually reduces oxygen to your baby. J-breathing works by taking a deep breath in and then releasing the breath inside of your body. So, imagine exhaling and pushing the air out through your cervix and the air helping push the baby out. Apparently, if you breathe this way during labour and delivery, you won’t be as exhausted and tired. For a better description as to how this works, check out this YouTube video.
Eating dates starting from 36 weeks of your pregnancy until the end can help in softening your cervix and stimulate contractions. Dates have a bunch of other benefits as well, but eating 6 dates a day can help you dilate faster and get you into active labour sooner. I actually love eating dates so this has been easy to incorporate into my lifestyle. My favourite way to eat them is with some red raspberry leaf tea.
red raspberry leaf tea
Not only is red raspberry leaf tea a great source of antioxidants, it is commonly used near the end of pregnancy to help strengthen your uterus and prevent excessive bleeding after having your baby. You need to drink 4 bags of this tea daily to see the benefits apparently. To me 4 cups seems excessive, so I’ve been having just 2 cups daily, but I’m hoping even that much helps me in labour and delivery.
Finally, bouncing on an exercise ball is another way to bring the baby lower down your birth canal. It’s actually also on my pregnancy essentials list as well. I enjoy using the exercise ball to do figure 8’s to open up my pelvis as well as holding the ball as I do downward dog to get a great stretch. I’ve noticed if I sit on a chair or hard surface for too long, my tailbone starts to hurt. Sitting on the exercise ball really helps alleviate the pain and pressure.
I’m hoping all these tips on how to prepare your body for labour will help me have an easier labour and delivery, but honestly, only time and experience will tell.
Update (January 14, 2020): All these tips really did help me prepare for my labour and delivery day. Read all about Partaap Singh’s birth story here 🙂
Pregnancy is such a different experience than anything I’ve ever gone through and I don’t think it is very easy. Some people do have easy pregnancies and love being pregnant, but for the vast majority of us, it can be a tough time. I really wanted to write a blog post about pregnancy self care since it can be hard to take time out for yourself in the 9 months you are pregnant.
I found the first trimester to be the most challenging for me. Not only was I dealing with daily nausea, but I was also so so tired. It was too early to tell anyone I was pregnant, yet, I had to go to work and try to be like my normal self. I am usually a very energetic person that can’t sit still and always needs to be working on a project, however, during the first trimester, I couldn’t do very much at all. The second and now the third trimester had their own challenges, mostly fatigue and difficulty sleeping. But honestly, every day of the 9 months of pregnancy is so different.
That’s where the importance of pregnancy self care comes in. I’m going to share a few things that really helped me take out time for myself to get the care I needed for my body, mentally and physically.
Pregnancy Self Care
If I had the time and luxury, I would take an Epsom salt bath everyday, however, baths take a lot of time to set up and enjoy. Therefore, in this pregnancy, I found just taking another shower after I get home from work to be very relaxing. I have been getting the urge to itch my stomach almost daily during my last trimester, so I have been loving using this sugar scrub from K’pure to rub the sugar crystals into my belly, both giving me a good scratch and hydrating my skin. I look forward to my daily after work showers now and they are great at getting me relaxed and ready to wind down.
Whether it be a prenatal massage by an RMT or a nightly massage given to you by your husband or loved one, massages are amazing at relaxing your body instantly. I used to get weekly massages in my second trimester by my RMT, but in this third trimester, I get Gursheel to give me a good massage every night. I really enjoy the around the belly massage and I think it has really helped in decreasing my muscle spasms at night as well.
If there is one thing you can do for pregnancy self care, it is getting enough sleep. I have been finding sleep much more difficult now in the third trimester as I have been needing to get up multiple times a night to go pee. I really am looking forward to giving birth so I can go back to sleeping on my stomach.
I think I mentioned the Prenatal yoga routine on YouTube by Lara Dutta on my Instagram stories, but I need to bring it up again. This yoga routine is so so relaxing and helps give your baby more space in your body.
Upon recommendation by my mother-in-law and a lot of my mom friends here in Brampton, I started seeing Kaur Chiro who specializes in pregnancy and pediatric chiropractic. Now in the third trimester, my tailbone injury from the accident has become a lot more prominent and she really helps in keeping the pain at bay.
Talking to Family and Friends
I think emotional self care is a huge part of pregnancy self care. I mentioned this in my what they don’t tell you about pregnancy blog post, but I have been quite anxious during this pregnancy. And I’ve noticed that just talking to my family and friends about it has really helped me keep calm.
Don’t Compare yourself to others
Finally, I really wanted to include this point here to wrap up the pregnancy self care post. I think we all do this in some way or another but it can be really unhealthy, but try not to compare yourself to others. Everyone has their own journey/experience and everyone is struggling with their own challenges in life, so don’t compare your challenges (or lack thereof) to other pregnant woman. This is your story, own it and be grateful for this amazing blessing!
Over the course of this pregnancy, I’ve learned and adjusted my daily meal plan to fit the needs of the pregnancy, while also eating foods that don’t make me nauseous. So, today, I’m sharing a what I eat in a day – pregnancy edition blog post.
For breakfast, I now keep it the same. I have had some days where I didn’t eat my usual breakfast, and I couldn’t keep it down. So, now, without fail, I eat toast. Either it’s a Dempsters everything bagel with butter or the Stonemill bread with some butter or peanut butter and jelly. I now don’t try to risk it with something that’s not toast.
Along with my breakfast, I also like to make a green smoothie. Some days I am lazy and just have some almond milk. But I try to make a green smoothie and add some healthy ingredients. My go to green smoothie recipe is a cup of almond milk, frozen banana, a tablespoon of peanut butter, a scoop of Orgain chocolate flavored protein powder, a tablespoon of either ground flax or chia seeds, with a handful of spinach. So delicious and definitely nutritious. Or you can try this recipe I have posted in the past.
This fuels me up for a couple of hours as I head to work. After a couple of hours of working, I usually take a coffee break and get myself an iced coffee from Tim Hortons. The coffee content in this is usually quite low and I consider this a daily treat. Maybe not the healthiest, but it keeps me happy.
For a pre-lunch snack, I always eat cheese strings. I don’t know why but dairy is something I have really enjoyed eating during the pregnancy. Maybe my body can tell I need more fat and calcium so I crave it.
For lunch, we almost always take leftovers from dinner. This can range from a Buddha bowl, pasta, soup to more Indian foods including lentils (daal) and Sabzee. If I don’t feel like taking leftovers to work for lunch, I usually whip up a quick wrap with avocados, vegetables and hummus or cream cheese. So yummy and easy to make in the morning. I also have a serving of some type of fruit during lunch as well. My favourite is usually either berries or Asian pears.
In the afternoon, I always eat unflavoured Greek yogurt with red grapes mixed into it, something I’ve learned from my sister-in-law. It took me a while but I really love the taste of Greek yogurt now. It has lots of protein, fat and calcium! I also eat a granola bar in the afternoon as well.
A couple of hours later, I always eat a Gala apple. I’ve been loving gala apples the entire pregnancy! I also eat a few nuts and seeds at this time too. I like to mix together almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, 2 Brazil nuts (because apparently you’re not supposed to eat too many of these), and some dried cranberries.
Once I get home, I indulge in some chips and milk. Again, not healthy at all, but I love the taste and it makes me happy.
For dinner, again, I think we eat fairly healthy overall. I havn’t cooked very much this pregnancy. My mother in law (MIL) has been so great and makes Indian food almost daily. At most I’ll cook something twice a week which usually includes pasta, enchiladas, lasagna, soup, Buddha bowls, noodles, the list goes on. Most days, my MIL makes some Indian food. Dinner always makes me so full and I usually don’t eat that much. I definitely used to eat more when I was not pregnant during dinner.
I don’t usually do dessert since I’m so full from dinner. But from time to time, I like to indulge in some cookies or Indian sweets or ice cream.
And there it is. I follow this meal plan pretty much to the T everyday. Weekends, I am lazier and eat out a little more those days, but I am giving myself the luxury to just eat what I feel like and enjoy the pregnancy, however much I can. I hope you found this what I eat in a day – pregnancy edition post useful 🙂
I feel so lucky and blessed to not just have one beautiful baby shower, but two! I felt so much love during the course of the whole pregnancy and the baby showers that my family and friends threw for me, made it that much more special. This beautiful fall themed baby shower was thrown for us by my sister in law and I am so grateful to have such a loving family here in Toronto as well.
The theme fit the season really well and all the decor was so beautiful. My sister in law and friend decorated the community centre room with beautiful DIYs and fall themed decor, my favourite being the palette board painted white with the Hello Pumpkin sign. My mother in law made Chaat Papri (my favourite Indian food) and took care of the food setup. There were so many desserts to choose from and I was happy there were some leftovers. Not only did I indulge on the day of the shower, but the week after as well (good thing I passed that gestational diabetes test)!
A lot of my friends and family came out to the shower, with one of my friends actually renting out a car and coming out all the way from Toronto! Once everyone settled in and indulged in the food, we played some fun baby shower games. Gursheel and I had to guess the flavour of baby food (which tastes terrible in my opinion) but Gursheel somehow seemed to enjoy. The highlight game of the shower was definitely the musical chairs (which was also a favourite at my sister in laws bridal shower a couple years ago).
It was definitely I’ll cherish forever and I’m happy Gursheel was there to take pictures and capture the memories from the fall themed baby shower. This baby is so lucky to have so many amazing and loving people in its life and it has yet to be born!
On Thanksgiving long weekend, my sisters flew me down to BC and hosted the most beautiful, fun and memorable bee themed baby shower for me. I don’t get to see my family and friends often, but almost all of my close friends came out to the shower and I was showered with so much love. This new baby already has some pretty awesome Masi’s and I can’t wait for the baby to meet them all. I know party’s can take a lot of time and effort to plan and execute and I am so grateful to my amazing sisters and friends for making this day so special for me.
My older sister made some delicious food (she is a ninja in the kitchen) while my younger sister planned the entire event and hosted some really fun baby shower games (who knew Bingo could be so fun – even my nephew enjoyed it). My friend Manpreet from Simply Sophie Decor styled the bee themed baby shower with some beautiful DIYs and decor. So many other people were part of the execution and I am grateful to them all. I loved the setup of the event, one long table with everyone sitting around it. It made for a more intimate setting and everyone got to enjoy food while chatting and playing games together. It was really fun!
Gursheel gave me his camera and we tried to take some pictures of the day. He edited them for us and I hope you all enjoy these beautiful pictures of the bee themed baby shower.
It was such a memorable day filled with lots of love and laughs and I am grateful to have such amazing people in my life. I love you all!
Pregnancy is no walk in the park and your body changes so much over the course of the 9 months. To make things easier and more comfortable for me throughout the pregnancy, I’ve come with a pregnancy essentials list. Some of these things you’ll need in the first, second or third trimester only whereas others can be used throughout the pregnancy. I also tried to be minimal and not buy too many of the one time use items or items that take up too much space. I hope you find this pregnancy essentials list helpful if you’re also pregnant.
Pregnancy Essentials List
The majority of pregnant woman will experience morning sickness for some time. Some may be lucky and not experience any at all, and there may be others that get morning sickness throughout the pregnancy. For me, I had morning sickness between weeks 7-14 while also experiencing some nausea randomly in other weeks. After a lot of trial and error, I realized crackers really helped subside the nausea (my favourite are the Toppables brand). Especially in the mornings. I realized if I stayed on an empty stomach for too long in the morning, I would vomit. So, since the beginning of the pregnancy, I started keeping a box of crackers in my bedside table. As soon as I’ve brushed my teeth and taken a shower, I eat a cracker. Every day.
Another pregnancy essential for me is Diclectin. Diclectin is a a prescription medication that is used for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy and it is combination of an antihistamine and vitamin B6. You need to take 4 pills a day to see a difference because it is a medication that needs to be in your system throughout the day for you to feel the effects. This really helped me during the worst of the morning sickness and I took it into the second trimester as well because I really did not enjoy feeling nauseous.
My sisters gifted me this oil from Burts Bees and I started using it in the first trimester, well before there was even any sign of a bump. It smells so good (a lemony scent) and was very nice to apply to my stomach and back so I made it a part of my night time routine. I’m 30 weeks pregnant now, with a pretty big bump, and have yet to see any stretch marks. They say stretch marks are genetic and there is still another 10 weeks of this pregnancy left, so I could still get stretch marks. But this oil is definitely keeping my skin hydrated and healthy.
When my bump did start showing, it became quite uncomfortable for me to sleep at night. I am a stomach sleeper, so I had to stop sleeping on my stomach and transition to my side or back. I started looking into pregnancy pillows and asked friends and family their opinion about those giant pillows. Some loved them, some barely used them. I didn’t want to commit to such a large item in our room, so decided to get the pregnancy wedge. And boy oh boy, this is such a holy grail item for me and is my favourite in this pregnancy essentials list. It’s small, helps lift my stomach when I sleep on the side and easy to move around at night when I change positions. I even use it when I sit cross legged and need a little more support.
In the second trimester, I started getting round ligament pain, which is a sharp stretching sensation in my stomach going down to my legs. So, I started wearing my compression stockings and they made such a big difference. I wear them at work and take them off at night and I have not felt this pain in my legs since I started wearing them. As for the sharp stretching in my stomach, I think chiropractic treatment and gentle massage from Gursheel has helped quite a bit.
Related to round ligament pain, I found using my dry brush really helped. Dry brushing really helps with circulation and detoxifying your skin. I first featured my dry brush on my Amazon Favourites post and I have been using it ever since. It is a must have for pregnancy as well.
Also during the second trimester, I started getting a stuffy nose every morning (I shared this in my what they don’t tell you about pregnancy post from last week). I immediately purchased a saline spray from amazon that just contains sea water and that really helped to clear our my stuffy nose. I also noticed that if I used the saline spray too often, my nose started to dry out. I suggest only using this a couple of times a week to get the best benefit.
Now that I’m in my third trimester, I pulled out an exercise ball we had lying around and have really enjoyed sitting on it and stretching out my hips. It is more comfortable for me to sit on the exercise ball than on my bed/chair.
For the past 6.5 months, I’ve been keeping a pretty big secret: I’m pregnant! And today I am finally back with a blog post: what they don’t tell you about pregnancy!
Gursheel and I are both so excited and so so happy and I can’t even believe I am writing this post! As many of you can tell I have not been very active on my Instagram and the last blog post I wrote was in April. That’s because the first trimester really took a toll on me. And then once I finally started feeling better, near the end of the first trimester, we were in a really bad accident and it took me a while to recover from that as well.
All in all, I’m feeling a lot better and finally ready to get back into blogging. I’ve always wanted to be a mom someday and now that it’s finally happening, I can’t wait to share more of my journey with you all. Starting with, what they don’t tell you about pregnancy. I know everyone has such a different experience during their pregnancies, so all these are specific to me. But, I’m sure some of the mamas out there can relate.
What They Don’t Tell You About Pregnancy
It’s not easy to get pregnant
I was always under this misconception that I would get pregnant once I tried. Not the case! You really need to get to know your cycle and know when you’re ovulating and be quite strategic about when you try. I also talked to many people and learned how common infertility is! So, don’t be stressed like I was when it took us a little while to actually get pregnant. And there is a lot of help and support available!
You need to pee, a lot!
I already had a small bladder, but while being pregnant, I literally pee every 20 minutes or so. Sometimes, I’ll pee, and have to pee again after 2 minutes. Peeing during night-time is a pain as well. I have consistently been getting up at night to pee every night now.
You go up like 3 bra sizes!
In my first trimester I purchased a new bralette that was still slightly loose, however, now near the end of my second trimester, I’ve already outgrown that and purchased another couple bras!
Morning sickness isn’t just in the mornings
Morning sickness is the worst. I experienced morning sickness from around week 7 to week 13 and I still have random days where I puke. I had it the worst during dinner time where almost every night I couldn’t keep my dinner down. You can get medication that does help, but you have to take it 4 times a day and even swallowing can cause you to gag and therefore vomit.
It feels like you’re always sick
One morning, I woke up with a super stuffy nose and immediately thought I was sick. Not the case. I learned that stuffy nose is very common in pregnancy and now I always wake up with a stuffy nose. And sometimes you even get the added surprise of a bloody nose, which is also normal in pregnancy.
You get anxious about everything
I didn’t think I was an anxious person, until I got pregnant and first learned I am B-. When I looked into what that meant on Google, I completely scared myself. Following that, I started to Google every pain/discomfort I felt and started reading people’s horror stories which scared me even more. Every little thing that is not normal makes me so anxious.
Your husband will annoy you so much
I didn’t want to end with this one but I’ve realized I get annoyed at Gursheel so much these days over the littlest things. He is trying his absolute best to be helpful and loving, but I am constantly finding things to get annoyed about. I know he will never read this but he really has been the best throughout this pregnancy and I couldn’t be more grateful for him.
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed reading this post. I really have missed writing and blogging and I’m hoping I get back to my weekly blog routine. Again, I am so grateful to be pregnant and experience this humbling journey and I have so many great blog posts lined up.
Also, Gursheel took some maternity pictures of me while we were in Montreal and I love them. So look out for some travel guides as well coming to the Kam Travels section of the blog.
I was inspired by my friend, who made a New Year’s Resolution to cut down on her waste, to do the same. For the past couple of months I’ve been trying to put a conscious effort to minimize waste that I create on a daily basis. It’s been challenging and I feel no matter how hard I try, I will still create waste. But, I decided I’m okay with that as long as I am trying whenever possible. So, today I thought I’d share with you 5 easy steps you can take today to get started on the zero waste lifestyle.
I also want to preface this post by saying that for getting started on the zero waste lifestyle, you don’t need to go out and buy stuff that is zero waste. That defeats the purpose. Use what you already have around the house and once a particular item finishes, then think about how your future purchases can be smarter and fit the zero waste lifestyle. I just want to train my mind to be more conscious of the waste I am creating.
5 Easy Steps To Get Started on the Zero Waste Lifestyle
1.Reusable Bags/Cloth Tote Bags:
Always keep a tote bag on hand. I started keeping a couple of cloth bags in the car. I’ve had these two cloth bags for a long while now and they were just sitting in my closet. So, I pulled them out and now I leave them in the Jeep. Any time we go to the mall, a store, or just out and about, I take one of the totes along with me. So, whenever I get to the checkout, I just say I don’t need a bag and use my own.
The same goes for our weekly Friday night grocery shopping. I have a lot more reusable bags that I collected from stores like Lululemon and Saje and they make the perfect grocery shopping bag. I just bring them along with us and say no to the plastic bags at the store. I’ve noticed that with just having some tote bags easily accessible, I’ve really cut down on how many plastic bags I bring home!
2. Coffee Cup:
Say no to disposable coffee cups and take along your reusable coffee cup with you. Gursheel and I go to Starbucks at least once a week and during the week I usually go out to get some coffee at least once or twice. And never do I bring my own coffee cup. But, this has also come to a stop now. Any time we go out on the weekends, we bring along our coffee cups with us. Starbucks is really great because not only do they give you 10 cents off your drink when you bring your own coffee cup, but they also tend to give you more coffee! We always ask for a tall, but since our coffee cup is pretty big (20 oz), they fill it up all the way (that’s basically a venti sized drink)!
I also bring my KeepCup with me everywhere. In the mornings I make myself a lemon honey tea and in the afternoons at work, I either make myself a latte or I use my KeepCup to get a coffee. Just having a coffee cup with you really helps you cut down on all those disposable coffee cups that really add up to your waste. And they’re fun. I am obsessed with my KeepCup!
3. Reusable Water Bottle:
Start taking your reusable water bottle with you everywhere. I think this one is pretty obvious and I think almost everyone has a reusable water bottle. It is shocking to me the amount of plastic water bottles that are out there and used on a daily basis. My in laws actually use them quite a bit and this is something I really would like to encourage them to stop using. It is so easy to bring a water bottle along with you everywhere. There are water filters everywhere: at work, at airports, at malls and you can even ask any restaurant or coffee shop to fill up your water bottle.
4. Reusable Straws:
Get yourself some reusable straws. I really enjoy drinking cold beverages out of straws. I use it for my morning green smoothie as well as iced coffees or frappacinos when I am out and about. We all know how terrible plastic straws are for the environment, so now I have started to keep a stainless steel straw in my bag at all times. If I’m ever in the mood for an iced coffee when I’m out, I just pull out my own reusable straw. And if I don’t have my reusable straw with me, I’ll opt for a drink that doesn’t require a straw.
5. Reusable Ziploc Bags/Stasher Bag:
Finally, my last step is to stop buying ziploc bags. If you already have them, re-use them as much as you can. But once you’ve run out, I’d highly recommend to invest in some Stasher Bags. I am obsessed with my Stasher bags. I have a total of three now, but I’d like to get a few more so I can have easy access to them whenever I need. My favorite way to use mine is taking some to go snacks, making smoothie pouches for the week and making some popcorn. The Stasher bag is great because it is made of silicone and is BPA free, microwavable, freezable and heatable. It is multi-functional and a great way to opt out of ziploc bags.
I hope you find this post helpful. I saw this quote recently that really inspired me:“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero-waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”
Minimalism is one of the hottest trends of recent years. People are reducing the number of possessions in their homes significantly in order to streamline their lives and, sometimes, reduce the impact on the environment.
But the problem is that minimalism is usually something described in blogs and magazines. We don’t get to see how the people who adopt these lifestyles actually live.
The purpose of this post is to provide some elucidation on this point. We take a look at what really goes on in minimalist’s lives, and how it affects their living environment.
Quality Over Quantity
One of the overriding trends in the minimalist movement is this idea of quality over quantity. Instead of buying a lot of cheap clothes, true adherents tend to stick with a small capsule wardrobe or more expensive garments.
The same applies to bicycles. Instead of running through a new bike every couple of years, minimalists buy products designed to last for decades.
The list goes on and on. As such, many minimalists are actually avid savers. Instead of putting casual consumption on credit cards, they mindfully stash money away so that they can buy items that will bring genuine joy and contentment to their lives.
Specifically, the quality over quantity mentality makes consumerism “intentional.” Minimalists tend to have a plan for the material objects they want in their lives, and which they don’t.
Externalisation Of Possessions
Another trait of minimalists is their externalization of property. Instead of keeping all their possessions in their homes, they try to farm them out as much as possible to other people.
For example, minimalists are often regular sellers at impromptu trunk sales. These individuals love to flog the stuff they no longer need for discount prices.
They also regularly investigate storage unit prices to see if it is worth renting space there. Having extra capacity away from the home reduces clutter significantly, and lowers stress levels, too.
You’ll also notice that minimalists also make exceptionally thoughtful consumption choices. Instead of jumping on the first thing they see, these savvy individuals take time to deeply consider their consumer needs.
For example, when shopping at the discount store, they won’t grab random items off the shelf believing they need them. Instead, they will take their time to think about how each possession is going to contribute to their lives. If that contribution is lacking, they will simply move on.
Another interesting theme among minimalists is how they also embrace digital minimalism. Instead of spending all day on the computer, talking to people online, they take time away from the internet.
In addition, these individuals tend to be guarded about the notifications they receive and the email subscriber lists they are a part of. Digital minimalism helps to reduce mental confusion and promotes clarity. It can make it easier to navigate the day.
In terms of their homes, you’ll often find minimal computer equipment, if any. And if there is an office, it is in a quiet corner of the house and used for work, not play. #
Once you have a baby, the priorities in your life will shift dramatically. This can mean things like your career and even your partner get pushed out of the way. To an extent, this is normal. Your child needs your attention and care to live and thrive.
However, this can mean that you begin to neglect your relationship and other aspects of your life. While your baby is important, so are all of these other things. Finding balance isn’t easy, but it is possible, and it’s necessary.
Here are some date ideas for when you have the opportunity to leave the baby with a trusted sitter and enjoy some time together as a couple. Even if it’s just a couple of hours, it can make the world of difference to your mental health.
Sometimes it’s best to just go back to basics. One of the most difficult things about being a parent, especially if one of you stays at home with the baby throughout the day, is the lack of “grown-up” things. Anyone with a toddler knows the pain of hearing the dreaded theme tune of your kid’s favorite TV show.
If you’re too tired for anything else and just want the excuse to curl up together on the sofa with a good film or television show, go ahead. If you want to make things more of an event, then go to the cinema and have a proper date.
Speaking of basics, you can’t get more classic than a romantic meal out with your partner. But rather than going to the same family restaurant that you’re used to, consider exploring some more romantic places to eat.
Another option is to make your own romantic dinner. While the summer is still here, consider packing up a picnic just for the two of you. Depending on local regulations, you might even be able to pack a bottle of wine to share with your meal.
It’s simple, it’s classic, but it works.
Try an Escape Room
If you want something less classic, then try an escape room as a couple. Many escape rooms work best in a small group, so this is a fantastic option if you want to catch up with your friends as well.
Look for escape rooms near me and explore some of the different options. Some escape rooms are much more difficult than others, and they all have different themes.
Even if you’ve never tried an escape room before, it can be a breath of fresh air to try something different. Besides, there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of working your way through the different puzzles, working together as a team, and escaping.
Of course, if you don’t escape, there’s nothing stopping you from trying again.
Video Game Dates
On a related note, if you want to have fun with your significant other, video games might be an easy way to relax. Much like watching a film, you can play video games at home. If you want to spend a couple of hours playing together as a couple, there’s nothing wrong with that.
Or you might decide to go somewhere else for a more immersive experience. VR rooms are a great date idea that gives you the opportunity to let loose and be a little bit silly in front of the one you love.
You can also go bowling, try ax throwing, play mini-golf, or explore a whole host of other date options.
Visit Art Galleries/Museums
Sometimes, you just want to soak in some culture. Some art galleries and museums are child-friendly, but you can get more out of the experience if you aren’t trying to wrangle a mischievous toddler.
Go for a Walk
Again, walking in nature is something that you can and should do with your child. Walking through nature is a great way to encourage your kids to fall in love with nature and explore the world around them. But it’s also a great date idea.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a date, why not simply go for a walk together as a couple? Not everyone enjoys long, difficult hikes, but sometimes a quiet stroll in the evening can boost your energy and give you a precious chance to talk to each other.
When it comes to planning dates after having a child, the most important thing isn’t necessarily what you do. It’s the time you spend together and the appreciation you show for all that both of you do.
Oh, the joy of rainy days! They bring a touch of magic, don’t they? That soothing sound of rain on the windowpane, the smell of the earth, and, of course, that inescapable urge to tuck into something deliciously warm and comforting. Well, dear reader, grab your favorite blanket and a warm drink, as we dive into five fabulous meal options that are simply perfect for those rainy day cravings.
Ah, the Classic Chicken Pot Pie – an ageless wonder, a symphony of flavors. Imagine tender chicken, fresh vegetables like peas and carrots, all cozily tucked into a flaky pie crust. The sauce? Oh, it’s rich, creamy, and downright heavenly. This dish is home in a bowl.
How about a lush Chardonnay to go with that creamy filling? If you prefer to keep it non-alcoholic, spiced apple cider is a delightful companion. Either way, you’re in for a treat.
2. Beef Stew With Red Wine Reduction
Ingredients And Flavors
Picture this: slow-cooked beef stew, the meat practically melting in your mouth, infused with red wine and herbs like thyme and rosemary. It’s like an embrace from an old friend – warm, familiar, and oh-so-inviting.
A glass of the red wine used in the stew, perhaps a Merlot, makes for an elegant pairing. A loaf of freshly baked bread on the side? Divine.
3. Seafood Gumbo
Ingredients And Flavors
Now, for our seafood lovers, allow me to present Seafood Gumbo. It’s rich, spicy, and filled with the bounty of the sea, such as shrimp and crab. Those Cajun and Creole seasonings? They kick it up a notch, turning a rainy day into a culinary feast.
A chilled beer or a zesty Sauvignon Blanc offers a lovely contrast to the gumbo’s robust flavors. If you’re seeking something non-alcoholic, lemonade with a ginger twist is positively refreshing.
4. Chicken Marsala With Homemade Pasta
Ingredients And Flavors
Chicken Marsala with Homemade Pasta is pure elegance on a plate. Pan-seared chicken, sautéed mushrooms, enveloped in chicken marsala sauce like this one – it’s fine dining in the comfort of home. This dish is poetry in culinary form.
A chilled glass of Marsala wine, naturally, brings out the nuances of the sauce. A simple green salad on the side adds a crisp counterpoint. Bon appétit!
5. Vegan Lentil And Vegetable Curry
Ingredients And Flavors
Who says comfort food can’t be healthy? Vegan Lentil and Vegetable Curry is like a hug from Mother Earth herself. Lentils, hearty vegetables, and exotic spices come together for a dish that’s both nourishing and soul-satisfying.
A soothing herbal tea, like chamomile or peppermint, offers warmth and harmony with the curry. Serve it with whole-grain naan or brown rice, and you’ve got a feast.
Rainy days are like nature’s way of saying, “Slow down, savor the moment.” And these comforting dishes? They’re the culinary equivalent of a cozy embrace. From the timeless allure of Chicken Pot Pie to the vibrant charm of Seafood Gumbo, there’s something here to tantalize every palate. So go on, make your pick, relish the flavors, and let the rain serenade you. Cheers to delicious, rainy day dining!