New Years Eve

This is the last blog post I will be doing this year, as tonight is New Years Eve. I have been contemplating what to do for quite some time now, but remained undecided.

Happy New Year!

A glam makeup tutorial for going out, called my New Years Eve Face?
Who am I kidding, I will be staying at home with Mr. Loca, as babysitters are hard to get and almost impossible to pay tonight, probably in PJ bottoms by nine.

A retrospect on my blogging year?
I have been blogging for full four months, still trying to figure out where I want this blog to go and where my strengths and weaknesses are. A little to early to look back in an elaborate post.

Personal thoughts and New Years Resolutions?
There has been quite a lot personal stuff already, and I don’t think my life is that exciting. And my New Years resolutions… They are pretty boring as well, just repeating the whole eat healthy work out and loose that extra pound (or two) stuff.

So what did I go for?
My blog and beauty resolutions!

During the last months, I have been looking at the blogs I read with different eyes: What do I like, what keeps me coming back, what is it I could integrate into mine?

I discovered a whole lot of new blogs, some still very small, some already growing or full established, and I got a lot of inspiration.

1. My writing.
I love funny, witty blogposts. But I just can’t write them.
Maybe it is because English isn’t my native language, but I think the main reason is, I am just not that funny. I have an organized, scientific approach towards most things, and although I laugh a lot, it is because I surround myself with funny and witty people. That reflects in my writing, and I guess I will have to accept that, forever admiring the blogposts on Karen´s Makeup and Beauty Blog or posts like Melissas Beauty Cluedo: Who murdered my lovely skin?
The resolution is to try and stop being witty and write like I would talk in real life. Businesslike in my reviews, emotional in my personal posts.

2. My pictures
Looking back at the first pictures I uploaded, I cringe. And even if there is improvement already, there are still too many things to work out. So I will focus on finding a good background, improve my posing and selfie skills and figure out the lighting situation!

3. My makeup
I think I am pretty good at doing my makeup for everyday, and sometimes I even get complimented on it by a stranger.
But looking at Agatas perfect fall makeup (I mean, look at those eyes!) and so many other tutorials out there, I realize that it is time to work on my blending, contouring and creativity, especially when taking pictures. The lighting changes everything, and what looks lovely and colorful in person ends up one grey-brown mash in pictures.
On my beauty bucket list is joining Pixiwoos for one of their makeup courses. Would also make a great gift. Too bad Mr. Loca doesn’t read my blog…

4. Sticking to my schedule
When I started blogging, I wanted to upload once a week, but got quickly carried away, as I had some posts prepared, and started uploading twice a week. Once I started, I felt obliged to see it through, even through my exam preparation. Learning from that experience, I resist the urge to upload more often, just because I have some time on my hands right now.
I love returning to blogs everyday for new content, but I know I will not be able to see this through.

What are your resolutions, both personal and beauty-wise?
Let me know in the comments, as I am incredibly nosy!


26 Comments

Born to be worn

As I mentioned in my blogpost „The first three months – what you really need“, there are several ways to take your baby for walks.
You will see women pushing the pram all the time, but every now and then there will be a woman (or man) carrying the baby in either a baby sling or a specially designed carrier.
I am one of those.

Ostsee June 2014 (Photo credit Mr. Loca)

So if you ever wondered why on earth someone would burden herself with carrying around the baby, keep reading and feel free to ask unanswered questions in the comments.

Whenever I talk about motherhood, I include a disclaimer:
This is just what I chose to do with my firstborn. It may not work for you, and it may not even work for me if I have another child.
It is by no means the „right“ or „only“ way to do it.
It is just the way I did it, and my experiences.

Baby slings or carriers have been around for a long time. In fact, they have been around much longer than the pram, which was invented in the beginning of the 19th century in the UK, where taking the baby for walks first got into fashion among the upper class.
Before that, children were carried or put into the pushcart with the vegetables.

There has been a lot of research on carrying, mostly regarding mentally disabled children. It is therefore important to notice that the findings can not be easily transferred to completely healthy children.

Carrying your baby is said to train the sense of balance (helping with motor abilities later in life), strengthen the bond between parent and child and support the correct development of hip and spine. Apart from that, claims are that carried children grow up to be more intelligent, have more self-esteem and confidence. These claims lack scientific evidence, as they are incredibly hard to measure.

As mentioned before, there is only evidence for improved development in disabled children, as this is the main topic of research.
So if your child is perfectly healthy, why should you bother?

Firstly, because carrying your newborn is a wonderful thing.
Holding your sleeping baby in your arms is a blessing. But your arms will tire eventually, and after the first days of admiring the babys features, you may want to use your hands for something else. Doing the dishes, painting your nails, reading a book, whatever.
When you wrap her in a sling, she will be there, nestled against your chest, while you go on doing what you want to do, still smelling her, feeling her warmth and the beat of her heart.

Second, because bonding is important.
Keep your baby close to your heart, let her feel you and smell you, so she feels safe after suddenly being expelled from the warmth of your womb to the outside world.
You will take her for walks anyway, why not use this time for extra cuddles? This is a great way for the father to bond, too.

Third, because it is a life-saver when your child is a cry-baby.
The Little Bean wouldn’t tolerate lying in her crib more than ten minutes. She was a very bad sleeper, only ever finding rest in my arms during daytime, waking at every sound. After a few days she was exhausted, I was exhausted, and Mr. Loca had to go back to work. So I tried the sling, and she almost instantly went to sleep.
Now I don’t believe you can spoil a baby during its first year, and I don’t believe in letting them „cry it out“, so carrying her the first three months straight was the road I chose, and she turned out to be a happy baby, sleeping through the night in her own room most of the nights.

Fourth, because I love to go on hikes.
And no matter which pram you buy, it will be cumbersome to manage whenever you leave asphalt roads.
Carrying your baby will also add weight to your walks, sneaking in an additional little workout.

Fourthermore, for the looks.
Your babys head will stay nice and rounded, without that flat part many babys get during the first time. And there are so many pretty designs to choose from when buying a sling, it is a great accessory.

Hiking at Rügen, June 2014 (Photo credit Mr. Loca)

There are downsides, to be sure:
It can be to heavy, especially during the first days and if you have issues with your pelvic floor muscles. Posture is very, very important during this time!

You will have to carry the groceries, too, instead of conveniently putting the into the pram.

It takes some time to learn how to handle the sling. But believe me, it isn’t as complicated as it looks and there are lots of YT-Videos around.

Lots of people will stop you on the street, telling you why you shouldn’t do it. This seems to be something you sign up for when having a baby: Random people telling you what to do.

Not every baby likes it. Friends of mine have a baby boy, and he is the most content lying in his crib. Listen to your baby!

It really doesn’t matter what you are wearing as top. Nobody will be able to see it. Which can be a good thing, when the baby spit on you the second you decided to leave the house.

I carried the Little Bean up until she was nine months old. After that, she didn’t like it as much as she used to, preferring the push chair. If we go somewhere crowded, like a Christmas Market, I still carry her in the sling.
After some hesitation Mr. Loca first tried the Carrier and then the sling, which he preferred, and carried her whenever the two of them went for a walk.

So if you were hesitant, just give it a go. But make sure you get professional help when tying the baby in the sling for the first times, as it is very important to get it right.
Despite common fear, is is beneficial for spine and hips when done right.

If you want to know more:
Click here for an Irish website.
Or click here for a German website.

If you already have children, what were your experiences?
Or are there any questions left?
Please tell me your thoughts in the comments.


27 Comments

Christmas Time

When it comes to christmas, it has always been a family thing.
During the past 35 years, it rarely happened that I spend Christmas Eve anywhere else than at my parents house, and if I did, it was because I had to work.

The only exception was last year, which I spend at my in-laws for several reasons.
As much as I enjoyed it, they are a lovely people, it made me realize how much we rely on family traditions to really feel the christmas spirit.

Happy holidays everyone!

This year, I will be taking the Little Bean to my parents house for her first ever Christmas and I figured, I would take you along, show you my outfit and makeup and tell you what Christmas Eve is like where I live.

Most important question answered first: Yes, we do have a real tree.
It used to be huge, as the ceiling is very high, but lately we decided to go for a smaller tree, placed on a little table. You still get the look of a giant tree, but it is less likely that either the cats or my sisters dog (or maybe even the Little Bean) are going to knock it down.
The tree is put up just a few days before Christmas and decorated on Christmas Eve, usually by us „children“ (the youngest being 31).

When we were younger, we were allowed to watch tv while my parents did the preparations. It was a big deal, as watching tv wasn’t something we would do regularly.
Our favorite movies were „Drei Nüsse für Aschenbrödel“, a Czech fable, and „Little Lord Fauntleroy“.
And even though we have had our own tv for quite some time now, watching one of those movies with my sisters still is a thing on Christmas Eve.

During the day, everything is pretty laid back, but we dress up for the evening, even though it is just family and food. The trick is to find something chic, but comfortable. I usually wear a dress, loosely fit, to allow me a second (or even third) helping.
Here is what I will wear this year:

Akward posing…

The dress is H+M, bought two years ago, and is the closest thing to a christmas jumper I own. The empire waistline hides the food baby quite nicely, and worn with tights and a long sleeve it is warm enough for indoors and perfect for crawling around the floor with the Little Bean.
To be completely honest, I will change out of the overknee heels into my slippers at first chance.

For makeup, golden eyeshadow, black liner, mascara and a red lip are my go to look, and today will be no exception.

Close up of the eye makeup

Face:
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Nude (read full review here)
Maybelline Mattemaker Mattifying Powder
MAC Concealer Palette in Light
Bobby Brown Shimmer Bricks in Beige as highlighter
MAC „Harmony“ blush for contour

Eyes:
MAC „Painterly“ Paintpot
MAC „Manila Paper“ es all over the lid (LE, but still available in a quad)
MAC „Crosscultural“ es in the crease (LE)
L´Oréal Super Liner in Extra Black Gloss

Lips:
Sephora Matte Cream Lip Stain in 02 Always Red (read full review here)

Manila Paper is the one in the upper right corner of the quad, Crosscultural is the one on the palette

Unlike other countries, the presents in Germany are given at Christmas Eve instead of December 25th, so when it gets dark (at around 6 pm), my parents will light the candles (yes, we have real candles, but only on Christmas Eve) and we will gather around the tree.
Everyones presents are in separate places, and we will take turns, getting one thing from our „pile“, opening it up, and then the person who got it will tell what it is for and why she decided to gift it.

This will take some time, and after everything is unwrapped, it is time for the food.
On Christmas Eve, it is chicken salad in different variations, potatoe salad with sausages and seafood salad, bread, cheese and lychees for dessert.
The traditional roast goose is served on one of the following days, when we meet aunties, uncles and cousins, or, in my case the in-laws.

The rest of Christmas Eve will be spent talking, snacking on cookies and enjoying some family time. When we were smaller, my parents would get a board game as a family present, but since we all moved out, that stopped.
And even though I might be the only person in the whole wide world feeling that way: I am glad, because I majorly dislike board games!

With this looking forward to, I will leave you to your own preparations and hope you enjoyed that little peek into my life.
What are your favorite family traditions? I would love to hear!

Happy holidays!


14 Comments

It is the time for giving

December is the time for giving, not only to friends and family, but also to charity.
There are numerous good causes out there, and I am sure everyone has something that is very dear to his heart.
I wanted to take he opportunity to share with you the two that our family is going to support this year:

In the UK there is one day in december called „Christmas Jumper Day“, where millions of people go out wearing their hand-knitted Christmas Jumpers to show their support for a (pre-defined) good cause.
This year, the organization „Save the Children“, teaming up with the magazine „Brigitte“, decided to take this event to Germany.
As Christmas Jumpers aren´t a thing here, they decided to go for a scarf, called „Ein Schal fürs Leben“ („A scarf for life“).
It was designed by Lala Berlin, well- known for elegant, feminine clothes with a twist, and the wool and instructions are available in store and online.
The good cause this is aimed at are the Syrian refugees, especially the children. „Save the children“ works in the famine shelters, trying to establish some kind of stability and giving the children the opportunity to learn, play and talk about the things they had to experience.
Read more here (article in german)

The wool and the finished product (Source: www.brigitte.de)

My mother, who is an excellent knitters, bought right away and I am hoping to receive one of the finished pieces as christmas gift!
Today is the awareness day, so share the love and support by tweeting #schalfuersleben and if you haven’t found a charity to donate to yet, consider „Save the children“ .
Below a picture of my mother, featuring said scarf.
She asked me to add that this picture was just taken for blog purpose, as she would never ride her bike without wearing a helmet!

My mother, wearing the finished scarf. Photo credit: my father.

If you are more into beauty products than fashion pieces, the next one might spark your interest.
One of the founders is a family friend who decided after visiting Mali to support an organization making formal education possible for girls by selling organic karité-butter produced there.
The Body Butter is 100% organic, produced by Annemarie Börlind – Natural Beauty and called „Malibelle“.
So if you are still looking for a stocking filler, just click here.

Malibelle Karité-Körperbutter (Source: www.store.haeuser-der-hoffnung.org)

I hope you haven an awesome day.


6 Comments

Discover new blogs – Liebster Award

On november 21st, the lovely Agata from Her and Makeup nominated me for the „Liebster Award“ (which autocorrection keeps changing to „Lobster Award“).
I was delighted, put it on my to-post list and never really got around to doing it. 
The one thing that made me put it off is the following rule: „Nominate 11 other blogs with less than 200 followers.“ 
I am afraid I will not be able to do so, as the majority of blogs I read has way more followers or already did the Liebster Award.

Liebster Award

While still contemplating what to do, I was nominated yet again, this time by Dixi from Shedreamsfashion
To prevent an accumulation of nominations (wow, that sounds vain), I decided to 
1. Upload the picture
2. Link to the nominating blogs (as done above)
3. Answer the questions
4. List the less well-known blogs I enjoy reading, staying well below 11.

Her and Makeup is a wonderful beauty blog, and Agata is a friendly and warm person, a pleasure to chat with in the comments and very talented when it comes to applying makeup. Make sure to check her out!


Agatas Questions:
1. What’s  your all time favorite makeup/beauty product that you couldn’t live without?
Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm. No other lip balm is as effective in keeping my lips from drying out.

2. If you could wear only one color for the rest of your life (makeup, clothes etc) what would it be and why?
Black. I usually wear black liner and black mascara, and black clothes go with everything. If you now tell me, black isn’t a color, I would probably choose oxblood, so I´d have my lipstick sorted.

3. What or who inspires you to blog?
Numerous blogger and blogs I have been reading throughout the last four years. From the very beginning I wanted to be a part of this community, sharing my obsession, as there are only a few as deeply into makeup as I am in my circle of friends.
If I had to name three people, it would be Karen from Makeup and Beauty Blog, because she makes me laugh almost every day, Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup and Ruth from A model recommends, who’s writing is to the point and always a pleasure to read, no matter the topic.

4. How did you celebrate your last birthday?
It was ten days before the Little Bean was born, and I was looking like I was about to explode, but still had to give a talk about antimycotics in Intensive Care the day after my actual birthday, so I spent it sitting on my couch, laptop on my knees, hoping my daughter wouldn’t want to make an appearance on stage.

5. Do you like your friends simple or complex?
Complex. I am all about long late night talks and drama.

6. Tell us about a unique or quirky habit of yours.
I had to turn to Mr. Loca, as I couldn’t think of any. Luckily he had plenty to offer.
The one I decided to share is me drinking tea or hot chocolate. I simply can’t hold a hot drink without hugging the mug with both hands, as if I am about t freeze. Even in the height of summer, when I drink tea for breakfast.

7. What do you find the most challenging about blogging?
To be satisfied with my posts. Up until the second they are uploaded, I am constantly rereading them, feeling insecure about topic, pictures and my writing.

8. If they made a movie about your life, what would it be about and which actor would you want to play you?
Actor: Cate Blanchett. I love her looks, her attitude and she is Galadriel, need I say more?
I hope the movie would be about traveling and finding joy in the journey.

9. Do you blog full time or do you have another job? If so, what do you do?
I don´t blog full-time. I am an intensive care physician (I think senior physician is the correct term). At the moment I spend a lot of time at home with my baby girl, a great opportunity called „Elternzeit“ in Germany allows you to stay at home up to 12 months after you had a baby, still earning some money. I will be back to work full-time early next year, and I am looking forward to it.

10. When was the last time you turned your phone off? Not just on silent.
It turned itself off yesterday, does that count? Apart from that, a long time ago. I can’t even remember.

11. What major company would you like to work for and why?
That is tough one, I honestly can’t think of one. Maybe „Ärzte ohne Grenzen“, but that is no company, and I wouldn’t want to do it right now, because I couldn’t bear leaving the Little Bean for two months.

Shedreamsfahion is a fashion blog (you wouldn’t have guessed…), written by Dixi. 
To be completely honest, this isn’t a blog I follow, because Dixi is about half my age and I am not that much into fashion blogs in general, but she puts in great effort, sharing her take on fashion and giving an overview about upcoming trends. So if you are a fashionista, make sure to check her out and show her some love. 


Shedreamsfashion´s questions:
1. Who is your favorite fashion designer
Stella McCartney

2. If you had to live with one movie for your entire life, what would it be?
I am not sure if I get this question completely right: 
One movie to watch? „The last unicorn“ I am looking forward to watching it with the Little Bean pretty much ever since I discovered I was pregnant.
One movie to live in? „The Hobbit“. You´d get the pretty landscape and the hobbit food without the war raging in „Lord of the Rings“.

3. Why did you start your fashion blog?
Well, I don’t blog about fashion, so I think this relates to blogging in general. 
I really wanted to get in touch with other people as crazy about makeup and beauty as I am, and wanted to share my thoughts and my Face of the Day with someone who cares. I have one friend as deeply into makeup as I am, but that just wasn’t enough.

4. Who are your favorite fashion bloggers?
The Chriselle Factor
Song of Style
ANDYSTYLE
Addicted to Fashion (german)
kristiensworld (german)
L´Amour de Juliette
Wendy´s Lookbook

5. Hot Chocolate or Coffee?
Hot Chocolate. I don’t drink coffee.

6. What is your favorite book?
„To kill a mockingbird“ by Harper Lee. I must have been ten years when  first read it, and I have re-read it numerous times.

7. What is your ultimate goal in life?
Sounds cheesy, but: to be happy. Love the life I live.

8. Is there any particular saying you preach?
No, not really. Maybe „Practice what you preach.“

9. Which country would you love to visit?
India. 
I have wanted to go there ever since I read „The God of Small Things“, but so far I only managed a two hours stopover at the airport on my way to Nepal.

10. Do you have any pets?
Not at the moment. I used to have a cat, but didn’t get another one after she died. I work a lot, so any pet would be home alone too much.

11. If you could hang out with any celebrity, who would it be and why?
I don’t know. Angelina Jolie, to get some tips on how to manage work, charity and kids? Although I am pretty sure it comes down to an armada of nannies.

My questions:
1. How long did it take you to muster the courage to start to blog?
2. How many times did you actually do or thought about changing your blogname?
3. When is your preferred time to blog?
4. Do you listen to music while working or do you prefer silence?
5. What´s your favorite snack?
6. How much time a day do you spend on social media?
7. Does everyone in your family know you are blogging?
8. What do you think makes your blog special?
9. Which season do you prefer and why?
10. Do you like being outdoors?
11. What is the household chore you despise the most?

Blogs I love with less than 200 followers:
Heart and Seoul
kristiensworld (german)
somemomentsaregolden (german)
L´amour de Juliette

Have a wonderful day and enjoy the read!


6 Comments

The first three months – what you really need

Before the Little Bean was born, I read almost every book or blogpost about these first weeks I could get my hands on.

That’s the way of preparing myself I have been successfully using during my studying and workdays: I gather all the information there is, discharge what I feel lacks evidence, categorize everything remaining in my head and make a list.
A to-do list, a to-buy list, you name it.

All things grow with love – this is what you really need to know

This method had never failed me in assessing a new challenge well prepared.
Until now.

If you are looking for things to add to your own list, check the items below.
If you are looking for a more personal take on my experiences, keep reading until the end.

1. Bodies
Long or short sleeve depending on the month your baby will be born. I had about ten on rotation. Especially during the first time, there will be many diaper insufficiencies, so you may have to change them several times a day.
2. Onesies
I had several pretty outfits prepared and didn’t use them except for very special occasions. A onesie you can open separately at the bottom is all I could be bothered with. After all, you will change the diaper about ten times a day. You really don’t want to undress and redress the baby every time you do this.
3. A co-sleeper
We bought a BabyBay and it really was a lifesaver.
You can attach it to your bedside, that way the baby sleeps in her own space, but is just within arms reach for comforting and, even more important, breastfeeding. Getting up every time to nurse is much harder than just reaching over while living on your side. I more than once drifted off to sleep while nursing that way. Believe me, every minute counts!
Ours had rolls attached, so during daytime I could easily take it to the kitchen or the living room with me.
4. A pram/ a baby sling
Basically something to take the baby for walks in. We had a baby sling by Hoppediz and rarely used the pram.
In my opinion it is much more convenient carrying the baby than having to maneuver a cumbersome pram, and the Little Bean fell asleep almost instantly when she was in the sling.
She wasn’t a good sleeper during those first weeks, so I carried her a lot, even when we were at home.
I´ll have a blog post on carrying coming soon.
5. Bath tub
Just something to give the baby a bath in. You could use the sink, but wet newborn babies are that slippery, I wanted something the Little Bean could not as easily fall out off.
6. A place to change diapers
You absolutely do not need a fully equipped nursery! We had everything prepared, but only started using it when the Little Bean turned six months. Before that, a place to change diapers is all you really need. Some people will advice you to change diapers on the floor, so the baby won’t fall of the table, but regarding the number of needed nappy changes, I would have hurt my back if I had done this.
7. A hat and warm clothing for outdoors
Pretty self-explanatory.

Of course, what you end up using will differ from what I used, because every baby is different and the climate and month of birth will play an important role in your choice of clothing.
If you do not plan on breastfeeding exclusively, you will need baby bottles and formula, but even if you want to breastfeed, it can take the pressure of to have something like this already at home, just in case.

I had all that and more, but I was by no means prepared for my baby.

As some of you may know, I work as an intensive care physician, so I am used to nights on call and sleep deprivation.
But no job on earth will prepare you for the complete exhaustion you will experience when you are sleep deprived for weeks straight, breastfeeding every two hours and having your hormones all over the place.
Of course, I had read about all that, but there are some things you just can’t get by reading. You have to go through them on your own.
Mr. Loca had to get back to work after two weeks, working about 10 hours a day, weekends included, so it was just me and the baby most of the time, and more than once I thought I just couldn’t do it.
What helped me through this time, apart from the support of my wonderful family, were three things:


1. Stop reading about it on the internet.
Whether it may be sleeping, hours between breastfeeding, your baby crying a lot, you will most likely find something someone wrote about it. And in your desperate situation, you tend to forget that there aren’t that many experts out there, and that a lot written in message boards is completely and utterly bullshit.
Trust your gut feeling, turn to your midwife or someone you trust who has had babies that didn’t turn out monsters.
If I had stopped reading earlier and turned to my mother for advice, it would have saved me a lot of confusion.
2. Let go of all your great plans (for now)
I had saved up a lot of projects for the time I spend at home with my newborn. Books to read, papers to write and finally cleaning out the kitchen cupboard. I ended up doing neither of them.
Many babies sleep a lot. Some don’t.
But no matter what kind of baby yours is, you need all the time you can get to nourish yourself. Sleep, go for walks, read mystery novels, whatever you need. The time for your projects will come in the future.
3. Eat, shower, get dressed
While it is very important to take your time, it is also crucial to feel good in your own skin. And as convenient as it may be, not taking a shower and not getting dressed makes me feel awful.
So I made it a point to get up, nurse and change the baby, take a shower and put on some clothes. Even if my clothes were stretchy pants and a sweater, it made me feel as if I had conquered the day.

Believe me, you will get your life back, you will not loose the person you were before you gave birth and it will be more than worth it.

What do you think is essential during the first three months?


4 Comments

On a personal note

Todays post isn’t beauty-related in the usual way, which is why I went out of my uploading schedule (Sundays and Wednesdays, in case you wonder) and published it today.

So if you are looking for makeup reviews or skincare advice, I kindly ask you to check back on sunday.
But if you are in for a different topic and don’t mind me rambling on and getting all emotional, grab yourself a cup of coffee and click below.
My daughter just goes through a time of teething and developing, and even though she still is an absolute sunshine during daylight, crawling around our apartment at high speed, chatting away in her own language I not yet understand, sleeping has become quite difficult.
She started sleeping through the night at about six months, and shortly after we moved her to her own room. Everything was fine until about a three weeks ago, at a little more than eight months, when she stopped sleeping and started crying a lot at night, going back to sleep only if you held her in your arms for about half an hour. 
Needless to say, she co-sleeps in our bed 9 out of 10 nights.
I think it is due to teething, the upper front teeth are coming, one after the other. And even though I miss sleeping through the night, I am not complaining. She will leave my arms sooner than I will want her too, growing up so fast.
Earlier that week, when I sat there, watching her face after she had gone back to sleep, I couldn’t help but notice how much becoming a mother has changed me and the way I feel, but this is not the topic of my post.
It also made me think about the woman whose life I once changed in a similar way: My mother.
Once you have a child of your own, you realize and probably appreciate for the first time in your life what your parents did for you.
You realize they have gone through the same sleepless nights, hours of crying for no (obvious) reason, financial and personal limitations you are going through. (Don’t even think about puberty…)
And if you are lucky as I am, they are there to help you out even if you are 35 and all grown up, but are unable to cook, clean or do anything but look after your newborn baby.
My mother is a caring, loving person, a great cook and an awesome grandmother. 
She sparked my love for beauty and makeup, always looking on point.
But she also is the one who taught me to speak my mind, stand on my own two feet and pursue my goals.
She never told me or my sisters that we couldn’t do, be or have anything. 
She taught us to work for what we wanted and go our own way. (As did my father, but again, this is a topic for a different post.)
She managed to continue working while raising four kids, and one thing I will never forget is her saying: „You need your own pension fund more than you need a husband.“
My parents are married for 36 years. 
They fight, they care, they travel the world. 
They gave me relationship goals to stick to and the reassuring knowledge that it is possible to be with someone that long without inevitably getting bored.
My mother is a great role model for girls and women out there, especially for my daughter. 
I hope we will have her around for many years to come.
Today is her birthday.
Happy birthday, Mama. 

6 Comments

You are a tiger!

You are a tiger, you earned your stripes! is a quote every mom-to-be read or heard at least once during her pregnancy.
Because as your body starts changing, you inevitably face the question: Will I ever look like I did before? This question may have a different impact on every one of us, as we all give varying significance to the reflection in the mirror, but I am not going to lie:
For me, it was quite an important subject.

Don’t get me wrong: I would have gladly accepted any change to my body to become the mother of my beautiful daughter, and I always knew that growing a human being would not come without a price.
Boobs never as perky as they used to be, weight gain and the struggle to loose it again, temporary hair loss and the joy of being puked on whenever you would were anything else than sweatpants.

I was prepared.

Push-ups will fake the boob-job, weight can be lost, hair grows back and someday your baby will stop spitting. At least my mother tells me so.

Stretch marks, on the other hand… I don’t know why, but the thought of them left me sleepless. So one night I decided to stop tossing, cracked my laptop open and went on a mission to research everything there is that can possibly prevent them.

Still like to use it, love the smell

Sadly, there isn´t much. From a scientific view, there is absolutely no evidence that any of the practiced prevention measures really help.
One reason being that no one is interested in conducting controlled randomized prospective double-blind trials, I suppose…

So I ended up just picking out whatever seemed reasonable from a doctor´s point of view and didn´t cost a fortune, and I am glad to say I ended up with no stretch marks on my belly.

The one thing that may have helped more than everything else is my age. Being 35, my connective tissue isn’t as tight as it would be if I was in my early twenties.
That, for once, is an advantage when getting pregnant: You are not as prone to stretch marks than a younger mom-to-be is.
Also, genetics play an important role, so if your mother didn’t get them, chances are you will not get them either.
On a side note: My hips and butt are covered in stretch marks since I was 13 and gave into my sweet tooth way too much, but somehow they don’t bother me at all.

The second thing I would focus on is nutrition. Omega fatty acids, zinc, Vitamin C and E, all are important for your skin and will aid in keeping it elastic, giving your body all it needs to repair minor injuries. Also, avoiding excessive weight gain will certainly help.
Same goes for hydration, and luckily those things will not only help prevent stretch marks, but also are important to grow a healthy baby and not drain your body of its nutrients totally in the process.

But we wouldn’t be beauty enthusiasts if we would stop at healthy eating and genetics. I needed something to slather on, something to buy, something preferably nice smelling to ease my mind. Although Coconut Oil is highly recommended (and I use it for almost anything else), I went for something containing higher levels of vitamin E, as is oat or almond oil.

Here are two of the products I tried and really liked:
LUSH Lovely Jubblies breast cream, which I had bought some time before getting pregnant, but never got round to really using it regularly.
It contains Almond, Avocado and Jojoba Oil as well a meadowsweet which is said to be anti-inflammatory and as added bonus smells absolutely divine.
Bübchen Mama Massage Oil Also containing Almond and Jojoba Oil, rich in vitamin E and without mineral oil or preservatives. If you have sensitive skin though, the added perfume may be problematic.

Massaged into the skin every evening, preferably after taking a shower, where I used an exfoliating glove to increase blood flow, it left me smelling awesome and eased my mind, letting me doze off with the feeling I had done everything I could to prevent the chipmunk look.

What scared you the most during pregnancy?
Leave your tips to prevent stretch marks in the comments below.


4 Comments

Home base restored

Becoming a mother means changes. Changes in the way you spend your time, changes in your relationship, changes to your body and changes to your living area.
Living in a rented flat, there is only so much space, and in order to fit in crib, changing table and the myriad of toys you receive when announcing you are pregnant, something else had to leave.

That something was my vanity.

It all sounded very reasonable then. I would do my makeup in the bathroom, if I ever found the time, the overflowing stash would find a home in other drawers after a long overdue clear out and after moving the clothes to the bedroom we would be left with a spare room for the nursery.

But sometimes reason has to surrender to every day live. After spending ten months without my vanity, knocking my products of the bathroom shelf and seeing them shatter on the floor, running around looking for the one eyeshadow I desperately needed or cluttering the dining room table for days with products I wanted to take pictures of, another change was urgently required.

Luckily, Mr. Loca agreed, presumably annoyed by the blushes in his sock drawer, and after rearranging the furniture in our bedroom, there was space.

A quick trip to IKEA later, I am proud owner of MALM and ALEX, waiting to be filled with lipgloss and powder and to witness my attempts to recreate fall makeup.

This time, I promise, I will have the clear out that somehow never happened and will use the opportunity to reorganize and show you my makeup collection.


2 Comments