Afro Hair and Beauty Live

On Bank Holiday Monday my mum, my sister, my aunt, Logan and I headed to the Afro Hair and Beauty show. I remember seeing it posted last year on Instagram by the influencers that I follow, and I promised myself that I would go the following year. Fast forward to Sunday 27th May, and watching the influencers and bloggers that I follow, I realised I was going to miss the show! Luckily my sister and I managed to get tickets for the Monday and my aunt already had tickets for herself and my mum.

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At the show, some of my favourite brands- Cantu, Camille Rose Naturals and Aunt Jackie’s Curls and Coils, had pop up stalls. We also had a chance to browse other brands, and watch some live demos from; Revlon Realistic, Palmers, Mielle, As I Am, and Twisted Sista. The best thing about the show was being able to pick up my favourite products as well as try out new ones for a discounted price. For example, Camille Rose Naturals products can range from £15 to £20 depending on the product and the shop you buy it from, but at the show they were £8 each or two for £15. Regardless, this brand will always get my coins, because they just smell so damn good.

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Not going to lie, trying to get Logan to stay still whilst I was taking a picture of my product bundles was hard, but I did it! From the Aunt Jackie’s Curls and Coils range I bought my staple product which is; the defining curl custard. It’s the one product I use for wash and go’s that lasts at least four to five days, needing minimal refreshing. I also met the lovely Davina aka @thecreamycrackrehab. My friend and I have been following her on Instagram for a while, and are obsessed with her posts and the fact she represents diversity amongst hair types within the natural hair community. At the Camille Rose Naturals pop-up I picked up; the almond jai twisting butter – which is the holy grail for twisting and smells like heaven and candy floss, I also picked up the curl revitalising hair smoother (a product i have been desperate to try) and alongside this I got some samples of leave in conditioner and deep conditioner. Another brand I was keen to try out was Revlon Realistic, after seeing them featured on Treasure Tress’ monthly box and seeing video reviews from influencers such as @AbbieCurls, @ukcurlygirl and @Rekaylacurls I was feeling very optimistic. At the stand they had two bundles on offer, one for £10 and the other for £20. Within the £10 bundle I received, a rat tail and wide tooth comb, edge control, curl revive spray and twisting pudding. All these products were from the Black Seed Oil range. The last two days I have been using the twisting pudding for a braid out, and the results have been amazing. When unravelling my braids, they still look as juicy from the night before when braiding them!

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My sister and I were lucky enough to be the Day two winners of the Revlon competition, we won the entire Black Seed Oil range, which included the shampoo, conditioner, leave in conditioner, edge control, curl revitalising spray, twisting pudding and curling custard. My sister and I will be sharing the products amongst ourselves, so I’ll be having the shampoo, conditioner, leave in conditioner and curling custard (as she already has these products) and she’ll have the rest!

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18 months; what have I learnt so far?

Motherhood. Parenthood.

Does it get easier? Hell no, each day gets harder and harder, as Logan gets stronger and wiser. Originally when I wanted to write this post, I wanted it to be titled ‘What have I learnt in the first year?’ what’s an extra six months of experience added on the side?

  1. Planning a first birthday will be the most stressful, emotional day of your life. The weeks leading up to Logan’s birthday I had planned (with the help of my mum and sister) the bouncy castle, the caterers, the hall, decorations. etc. No one ever warns you of how tiring the planning can be as well as the actual day. To be frank, I spent the majority of Logan’s birthday crying and eating cake – shout out to Elina for the gorgeous cupcakes and cakes!
  2. Everyone’s got something to say on whether you breastfed or not. I breastfed Logan until he was six months, I had had enough at this point, I was exhausted and wanted my boobies back. However some people would say to me; “oh you wouldn’t be that exhausted if you started breastfeeding in the first place”, “you should have breastfed for longer, it would build up his strength”. How about my tits and my choice!
  3. On the discussion of boobs, no one warns you how post-partum boobs can change so drastically. Pre-Logan I was a perky 32-34B (depending on the bra and the months), during my pregnancy I became a 32D and once my milk came in I was a 36D. Queue in, the back ache and boob pain. However once I stopped breastfeeding, my boobs disappeared and I mean literally disappeared. Vanished without a trace. For the last year, I’ve been a member of the ‘itty bitty titty committee’ which has shaken my confidence (I’m not going to lie) in wearing nice tops and dresses.
  4. You adjust to the sleep deprivation and exhaustion. It’s possible to get 4 hours sleep within one night, have a whinging, teething baby crying through the night, and make it to your 10am lecture by the skin of your teeth. Within the last 18 months I can honestly say Logan has only slept through the night at least 10-15 times. Even as I write this at 11:22pm I bet myself a G&T that Logan will wake up between 1-2am.
  5. Support is key, whether it’s from a partner, parents, siblings or friends. No one ever said becoming a parent would be easy, but nothing can prepare you for how hard it actually is. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and feel you have to struggle alone, it’s not worth it. My mum and sister love Logan to bits but every now and then they ask; how’s Jordan?

How am I? I’m exhausted, I became a human climbing frame in the middle of the night and Logan had me in a chokehold but I’m fine.

Update: Logan woke up at 11:25pm because he heard his dad talking loudly.

How to cope being a student mother?

Wishing all my followers and readers a happy new year!

I know it has been a long while since I have blogged about Logan and I, but if you are following me on either Facebook, Instagram or Twitter you know I have been busy studying during my first semester at university.

“How do you cope being a mum and a student?” something I am asked almost daily, and to tell you the god’s honest truth. I have no idea (my cousin did call me superwoman though, which made me cry). Being a mum is exhausting. Being a student is exhausting, so I am doubly exhausted. I’m thankful for the support of my sister, forever encouraging me to use my spare time wisely by studying, and I am also thankful for one of my best friends at uni who reminds me who I am doing this for.

My tips to cope being a student mum:

  1. Be organised – buy a planner and organise your days and times!
  2. Dedicate one day off from your lectures and seminars to catch up on outstanding work, or to get ahead and do extra reading.
  3. Do something extra-curricular! I joined my uni’s cheerleading team at the start of the semester, and its amazing what a few hours of exercise a week can do for your endorphins.
  4. Getting enough rest – unfortunately I do not practise what I preach (but this year I am going to try and turn it around)
  5. Not being afraid to ask for help – I’m thankful for the support network I have at my university. For student parents there’s a lot on offer to help with studies and extended deadlines.

A lot of people admire me for starting my studies whilst being a parent, it isn’t easy but having a child shouldn’t stop me from following my dreams. I may be travelling a different route to achieve my goal and my journey may take a little longer, but doesn’t mean I can’t achieve it! There’s never the right time to have a child or start your studies or career, so just do it whenever YOU feel like it!

The D word continued

 

So following on from my recent blog post, I decided to write another one but go into more depth. Usually a lot of my thought processes and ideas emerge overnight whilst I sleep, so I find it quite difficult to blog sometimes because I can’t remember what my previous ideas were from the night beforehand – I’m still claiming I have baby brain, I don’t care.

The first thing I have to say is what I’m about to write about next is more me complaining about my partner and taking on other mother’s accounts, and I’m in no way bashing the male population. Why on earth do “men” assume that being a mother isn’t a full time job and we have all the time in the world. My partner said to me – and no word of a lie other mothers have said their partners have said the same – “what have you done all day, being a mum isn’t a full time job, I’ve woken up at the crack of dawn and worked 8-9 hours in one day, you get to relax all the time”. Honestly comments like this used to get me down but now I laugh as I’m not the only one who hears this bullshit. Not only am I the one who wakes up during the night to settle Logan, I also spend all day keeping him entertained, feeding and teaching him things, yet apparently I have time to relax. Half the time I don’t even have time to eat breakfast, let alone to relax.

Once Logan was born, my biggest fear was going out and Logan having a public meltdown. Being a new parent is scary, and with an unsettled baby its even more overwhelming. In March for my cousin’s 21st birthday it was the first time I had taken Logan out in public for a family dinner and he wouldn’t stop crying and nothing is more annoying than everyone trying to put in their two pence on what I should do; “maybe he wants breast, don’t bottle-feed him, he’s too hot, maybe he’s tired, he’s teething”. I literally wanted the ground to swallow me whole. Since then the only time I ever left the house was to go the shops and to go to work and I felt bad I was keeping Logan indoors all the time.

A new experience I tried a few weeks ago was baby sensory in Chelmsford. A lot of people have asked me what is baby sensory, and I honestly can’t explain it, but its amazing watching your baby get in touch with their senses and developing. Since attending baby sensory Logan has learnt to sit up by himself, how to crawl properly and how to balance his weight standing up holding onto things.

Looking back on the things I’ve done with Logan, I wish I had done more in his early months regarding going out to baby classes and events, and I’m definitely going to try harder going forward. A lot of people ask me why don’t I go out with Logan, and its honestly so hard to explain to people how some days you just want to sit in your pjs, you don’t want to tidy up, you don’t want to leave the house and yes I understand that it’s unhealthy for my baby and I, but I would appreciate if people would stop asking me if I’ve left my house today, I just don’t want to.

As usual with parenthood, you wish there was a manual for everything from breastfeeding to how to tell why your child is crying. I honestly wish there was a manual for PPD, how do I cope with it, how do I not let it interfere with my daily life, when do I get my energy back?

The ‘D’ word

This will probably be my most personal and upfront post to date. When I decided to write about the topic of depression and post partum depression it was a week after Mental Health Awareness week. However I put off writing about it because I didn’t know how to get the words out and explain how I was feeling.

Post partum depression is a type of depression that affects both men and women. PPD is unlike the baby blues as it goes on for longer. After giving birth to Logan I experienced the baby blues which was completely common, however as the months went on I noticed I was still feeling low in myself.

Every month, my health visitor would come round and check up on me and Logan and see how we were getting on. Usually I am the type of person that does not like to admit when I am down or struggling, however my health visitor helped me open up to admit how I was feeling. Every single visit she would make me fill out a questionnaire called the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, which had ten questions and I had to pick how I was feeling over the last seven days, now there isn’t a right or wrong answer its just used to determine how the parent is feeling. Every week was different, some weeks I was feeling on cloud nine and other weeks I was extremely low not wanting to leave the house. The first time I did the EPDS, my HV sat down with me and asked me what was making me feel this way; I felt I went back to work way too early, I was missing Logan whilst I was at work, I hated where we moved to – as much Chelmsford is a lovely area, I was too far from family and friends and felt isolated, and lastly as much as I love my partner and he is the world’s best dad to Logan he wasn’t being as supportive and helpful as I would have liked him to be.

Currently at the moment I am feeling good in myself, I got a conditional offer from an university in Essex and I recently passed my assistant swim coach qualification. However over the last few weeks Logan has been teething really badly and having nappy rash and not being his overall normal self and its killing me ( I wish someone would have told me how bad a parent feels when their child is teething) and also we’ve now moved from Chelmsford to Hornchurch, I am now considerably closer to family and friends however the moving process with a baby is something I don’t plan to go through again until Logan is older!

Its been a while

So a quick update, Logan is now five months and I have officially been working for two months. At first, I thought going back to work was a good idea but now I am regretting it. A hour of driving to drop Logan off to his babysitter, a hour to drive to work. Working around 2.5 – 3 hours then driving to pick Logan up and then driving home. The last few months have not been easy, not only have I been sleep deprived, I have been physically and mentally exhausted trying to cope with everything. So fellow working mums, when does it get easier?

As I am writing this post I can’t tell whether its a massive rant complaining about motherhood or keeping my readers updated with Logan’s milestones. Aside from the tiredness, seeing how Logan has changed over the many weeks has been incredible; from rolling on his front to his back, now rolling on his back to his front, attempting to crawl and using his knees, smiling and laughing 24/7 and most importantly being weaned.

Now I know you are supposed to start weaning at six months as recommended by the NHS, but we started when Logan was four months (approx. 17 weeks). Logan was always interested in our food, whether it was watching us like a hawk whilst we eat or trying to reach up and grab food off our plate. We started off with vegetables as recommended like carrots, peas and broccoli. For the last weeks I had been buying HIPP organic jars and Ella’s Kitchen pouches which have been on offer in Tesco’s. What I love about the jars and pouches is just the convenience of being able to use them and take them on the go. My partner did purchase a Tommee Tippee baby steamer and blender which I used for the first time at the weekend. It was easy and straight forward to use and has helpful booklets with recipes, and how long to steam and blend fruits and vegetables.

Seven (and everything in between) to eleven weeks.

I’ve tried on about three attempts to try and write this blog and each time I’ve been stopped or distracted. When I originally wanted to write this blog Logan was almost two months, and now he’s almost three! (However time has felt like it has been dragging). But a quick update nonetheless; Logan is steadily putting on weight, at his eight week check up he weighed 12lb2oz and was wearing size 2 nappies, he’s now currently wearing size 3.

At first I found newborns to be quite boring – sorry Logan – all they do is poop, eat and sleep (what a life eh!), however the real fun started when Logan was seven weeks and have me a cheeky gumless smile (and no it was NOT wind!). He started doing it more often and the next day he woke my partner and I up by babbling, gurgling, cooing and giggling at 9:30am. This went on for about 45 minutes to a hour whilst the beau and I responded back. I’m pretty sure our neighbour downstairs thought we might have pigeons in our flat with the amount of noise that was going on.

Of course a pivotal moment in a baby’s life is their immunisations that happen at eight weeks, twelve weeks, sixteen weeks and when they turn one years old. At eight weeks Logan had his 5-in-1, PCV, Men B vaccine and his oral dose of the Rotavirus vaccine, and boy did he handle it like a champ! He had his Rotavirus vaccine first and then his injections after, and of course he cried and belched – I can’t even classify it as a burp as it was so loud and mature – and then stopped crying much to the nurses surprise.

Now back to this current date, Logan is wearing 3-6 months and is getting longer and longer each day, he’s already top-to-tail in his play-mat and is almost top-to-tail in his carry cot and Moses basket!