HOW MUCH PLASTIC DO WE WASTE AS PARENTS?

Throughout life, we are sometimes oblivious to the amount of plastic that we use on a daily basis and as parents, thoughts about plastic waste seem to escape us too. As mummy’s and daddy’s, we all want easy, cost effective, and convenience at our fingertips – but is this always best?

Sadly, we are all aware that our planet is suffering, but are we actually trying to contribute towards saving Mother Nature?  Simple gestures such as being more aware of our household waste, and to be aware of the waste that we leave behind as parents can go a long way. To be honest, I didn’t even know about half of the things contributing towards plastic waste that I used to use every day for my daughter, but since finding out the facts, I of course just had to share it with you!

Image credit : Eco by Naty

Did you know that only 5% of plastics are actually recycled properly? FIVE PERCENT, according to The Guardian. Statistics show that one refuse trucks worth of plastic is dumped into the ocean every minute. YES, every MINUTE! There are 1,440 minutes in one day, 10,080 minutes a week, and 40,320 minutes per month, roughly. With statistics like this, one wonders why we aren’t doing more to help our planet and reduce our waste.

For some reason, plastic is in almost EVERYTHING that we use on a daily basis. Because plastic is relatively cheap to produce, it is of course the number 1 option for the packaging of products. Currently, it is estimated that plastic production will increase 400% by 2050. FOUR HUNDRED PERCENT!

As parents, we tend to opt for convenience and cost effective solutions to many things. We might see a fabulous deal on a 10 pack of wipes, and naturally we think “BARGAIN!”, and in the trolley it goes. Is this really best though?

Did you know that there is plastic in baby wipes? Many of us do not realise this, but many wet wipes are actually made up of plastic resins, like polyester and polypropylene. These materials make it impossible for a wet wipe to biodegrade. Instead, they break up into tiny pieces over time, and release endless amounts of microscopic fibres into our environment.

Image credit: Eco by Naty

Every year, over 8.8 million tons of plastic from all sorts of products are released into our oceans. It is estimated that there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050. If this isn’t enough to make you want to help mother nature, then I’m not sure what is.

Plastic waste is of course a result of MANY things. I’ve put together a list of products that we use as parents that are contributing to the worlds plastic waste crisis as well as eco-friendly alternatives.

Plastic toothbrush

Did you know that 1 single plastic toothbrush takes 1,000 years to decompose? Try switching to a bamboo toothbrush. They’re super easy to find online. 

Plastic toys

This one’s a no brainer. Try and opt for wooden toys rather than the plastic ones, as it is far more sustainable and more gentle on our planet.

Bottled toiletries

This goes for kids and adults. Have you ever considered how many bottled toiletries we go through in one year, per person? Switch to solid soaps rather than bottled products, unless they’re eco-friendly bottles.

Shiny gift wrapping paper

We use these for our kids birthdays, normally. Try a plain, more sophisticated look with brown paper, and a non-plastic ribbon, or gift wrap that is made out of actual paper.

Wipes

As I explained earlier, many wipes have plastic in them. Try opt for eco-friendly wipes (Eco by Naty are fab!) or a damp cloth. Damp cloths are also super easy to take out with you in your kids bags, so that they are easy to reach.

Nappies

Did you know that just as wipes have plastic in them, so do nappies? Yes, strange, isn’t it? A fabulous plastic free eco-friendly nappy alternative is Eco by Naty nappies.

Nappy sacks

I honestly find nappy sacks to be the biggest waste of single use plastic. It’s as if you’re putting a nappy into a mini shopping bag only to put it into the bin?

Another eco-friendly choice of nappy sacks in biodegradable sacks are Eco by Naty.

Juice boxes with straws

It’s so easy to just reach for a boxed juice for your child, but have you ever thought about the plastic straw that comes with it (normally glued to the back of the box?).

We all know straws wreak havoc on our environment, so why would a kids juice box be any different? Try and prepare juice at home and decant it into a waste free bottle for your kids.

Take away coffee cups

This doesn’t necessarily relate directly with our kids, but as parents, we tend to be very tired. And very tired people tend to opt for take away coffee on the go to keep ourselves going. The take away cups that we have our coffee is made up of plastics. Try and opt for an eco-friendly coffee cup instead. Some coffee shops have actually started selling these in the shop too – which is fab

Kids lunch snacks

Pretty much all of our kids snacks are wrapped in some form of plastic. Be aware of this next time you are shopping for delicious snacks for them by opting for a “homemade” alternative. A prime example is kids string cheese. These cheese sticks are individually wrapped in plastic, only to be placed in another plastic bag all together – I mean, seriously? All the plastic! A home-made option would be to buy a big block of cheese, and cut individual slices for your kids lunch boxes.

 As you can see, there’s plastic in pretty much everything that we use for our kids. The list goes on and on. Sometimes, we simply cannot escape the use of plastic with some items, but for the most part, we can try eliminate the unnecessary ones.  What I have also found is that people seem to confuse being eco-friendly with being SUPER expensive too, which isn’t the case at all.

If you find that eco-friendly brands are going to cost you more, there’s no harm in doing a “homemade” version – like damp cloths, rather than buying eco-friendly wipes.

I really feel that as parents, we should educate our kids and make them aware of single use plastics. We should get them involved. Let’s all get creative and help save our planet.

You never know, our little humans might come up with fabulous ways to keep the plastic at bay! After all, they are our future!

Until next time,

Mycaila – Jade

xxx

(Image credit for featured image is http://www.dw.com/en/un-resolves-to-end-ocean-plastic-waste/a-41690999)

Sources:

https://www.naty.com/uk/why-we-should-stop-using-oil-based-plastics.html

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jan/19/more-plastic-than-fish-in-the-sea-by-2050-warns-ellen-macarthur

 

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FITNESS UPDATE: MY POSTPARTUM WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY MARCH 2018

This month has been an amazing month of testing my boundaries with eating chocolate (because Easter), starting a new fitness class, making friends (which might or might not have resulted in a day of cocktail drinking and a disgustingly delicious Italian pasta meal), and of course, a month of yet again wearing my lycra gym pants 5/7 days of the week because of the much-loved spandex benefits.

If you remember my brave decision as of last month to finally ditch the bloody scale because we weren’t really seeing eye to eye, then you’d have probably guessed that YES, I was of course close to a little pants piddle when tallying up my results from the last 30 days with my monthly weigh in and measurements. The main thoughts running through my mind were “Have you managed to pull this off?” and “Heavens above, please don’t let the scale defeat me”. Having not checked in on my results weekly as I normally would have kind of left me off track, not really knowing what to expect.

4th March vs 4th April

Although my results aren’t happening as fast as they once did before, I am reaping the rewards in other ways. I started this journey as a size 18 and have bought my first pair of size 16 jeans during the month of March. I also have a few items of clothing that I set as short term “goals” to fit into. These were mainly tops/coats that were too tight around my arms, but now fit. Yay!

One size down in my new jeans named after Harper! Yay!

MARCH’S WEIGHT LOSS TOTAL

Although, the scale says I have only lost 1.6kg this month, my measuring tape says otherwise, with a MUCH more positive attitude. I am 9.5cm down in total around my body for March.

TOTAL CM LOST AS OF 4 JANUARY TO 4 MARCH:

March has been a great month of movement as I have started an aerobics fitness class twice a week, followed by a bums and tums class straight afterwards. These classes burn an average of 850 calories twice a week, which KILLS me, being 1hr and 15min total, but it is so worth it and is a fun way to do cardio.

My daily goal at the moment is to burn 500 calories worth of exercise a day. Monday, Wednesday and Friday are weight training focused exercise days and Tuesday and Thursday are aerobics classes cardio.

I am going to start encouraging myself to be a little less lenient when it comes to weekend wine, as it is Robbie’s birthday next month and I’d like to wear something feminine and flowy and hopefully in a size smaller.

4th January (left) vs 4th April (right)

I’m looking forward to the next month of this journey, and hopefully a smaller Mycaila will be writing to you from behind the computer screen next month!

Keep those bottoms moving, heart rates up and calories down!

Until next time,

Mycaila – Jade

 

A LETTER TO MY DAUGHTER …

To my gorgeous baby girl,

You have touched our lives with so much happiness, so much laughter, countless memories and irreplaceable moments over the last 7 months.

When you were born, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew that we already had a connection because I guessed that you were going to be a girl – and I was right (mummy’s always right). You have been the best thing that has happened to me. You are my reason. My reason for everything. For every smile. Every laugh. For every night of interrupted sleep. For every burst of love. For every goal that I want to achieve. For why I want to be successful.

You, my gorgeous girl, are my motivation. My devotion. My dedication.

At the moment, your favourite thing to do is pull my hair, get sick on me, wake up countless times during the night, and keep mummy and daddy on our toes. You fart continuously, burp in my face, throw your toys everywhere and you love your morning cuddles. You’re my biggest challenge, but my favourite reward, over and over again.

My favourite part of every day is waking up to your infectious gummy smile and to hear you gurgle and try talk throughout the day.

I love watching you grow. I love the way you never give up on what you want. Whether it be a bottle, a toy that you’re trying to reach, or your dummy that you so lovingly throw across the room. I love being able to get you dressed every day, watching you chew your big toe and listening to your endless conversations with yourself.

I wake up, looking forward to what each day might bring with you.

Best friends!

I will be there every time you need a best friend and whenever you are feeling down. I will be there for every smile. For every laugh. For every moment. I will always support you, tell you when you are out of line and watch out for you. I will always lend a helping hand when you need it. I will always be there to catch you. I will always try my best to make you feel better. To comfort you. To guide you. I will always want the best for you, and always try my best to give you just that. I will never give you less than you deserve, and I will always make sure that you are loved like no other.

I will always treasure every cuddle together, every time someone compliments you to tell me just how gorgeous you are. I always treasure whenever you need me to help you fall asleep or when you need a hand on your chest for reassurance. I treasure every smile you share my way. I treasure all the love that I see in your eyes, and I will always treasure the unbreakable bond that we have.

You have shown me what it’s like to have a love like no other and to feel unconditional compassion, patience and indescribable amounts of pride for such a tiny human being. You might be the smallest thing around, but you certainly do control an awful lot of everything.

You are already such a gorgeous, kind hearted being. You are gentle. You are loving, and you are extremely clever. You don’t fear anything. You trust absolutely everyone and you are already so determined. This, I wish for you to carry with you throughout your life as you grow up and flourish into a strong but delicate little girl. Someone who is so colourful, but has the presence of an angel.

I want you to never settle. I want you to always compare every boy that you meet to Daddy. I want you to never settle for anything less than how daddy treats you – like a princess. A worthy, beautiful little darling. A gift. A blessing. An absolute angel!

You are exquisite.

You are loved.

You are the definition of joy.

You are my biggest achievement.

You are special.

You are the brightest colour in my life.

And you always come first. Everytime.

I love you unconditionally. I love you forever.

Love Mummy xxx

Happiness is being with you!

FITNESS UPDATE: MY POSTPARTUM WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY FEBRUARY 2018

This month’s journey has been an interesting few weeks of trial and error, making space for room to grow (well not literally – we’re trying to shrink in size LOL).

I’ve been on this journey for EIGHT short WEEKS!  When I realised how long I have been on this journey, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad, thinking that I should have lost at least a minimum of 8kg this far. I had a pity party moment, sulked, might’ve eaten a Cadbury’s crème Egg (or I might not have), and read back over my progress chart to try and figure out where I have gone wrong.

And besides for the Cadbury’s Crème Egg, I realised that I hadn’t really gone wrong anywhere! I’m not going to pretend as though I’m a Positive Percy 25/7 (25 (not 24/7) because wannabe over achiever).

Thank heavens for the progress chart, because that ended my pity party very quickly. Although I have had a month of crazy toy – toying with my weight on the scale, my measurements have really fly kicked through what I thought were feelings of disappointment of thinking that I could do better. Only losing 1.6kg this month can send one into a state of such thought, especially after losing almost 5kg the month before.

January 4th 2018 to the left and March 4th 2018 to the right.

So, what’s going on? Why is the scale playing with my feelings like this?

First things first, anyone who is on a weight loss journey should know that the scale is NOT a true reflection of how your body has changed for MANY reasons – especially if you’re a lady, but more of that for another day.

I have always used the scale to measure my “success”, but have also let the number that reflects back at me control how I feel when it’s not what I want to see. For this reason, I have made a big decision going forward, which is to DITCH THE SCALE and my weekly weigh in and only go by measurements.

I’m doing this because for the last month of hopping on and off the scale every week, with minimal results and fluctuations more disastrous than the stock market, I have been second guessing my progress, feeling somewhat demotivated. I will be doing a casual weigh in once a month to keep myself in check and relying mostly on the progress of my monthly measurements results.

THIS MONTHS UPDATE

Although I have only lost 1.6kg, I have also lost a total of 13cm – which backs my decision even more to ditch the scale.

This brings my total weight loss over the last 8 weeks to 5.8kg with a total of 29.5cm lost all over. My measurements have gone done the most around my “mum pouch”. I have lost 11cm around that area so far, which makes my little heart very happy as this is a VERY difficult area to lose from and a total of 6.5cm around my waist.

January 4th 2018 to the left and March 4th 2018 to the right.

Throughout this month, I have also tried to put my fear aside of exercising my abdominals after my C section – and I have managed to do an abs session at least twice a week now. I can feel that this area is getting stronger, slowly but surely. Abs have always been one of my favourite exercises to do, which is now becoming more of a reality again since having Harps – and I AM SO FRIKKEN EXCITED!

January 4th 2018 to the left and March 4th 2018 to the right – Not the best look, but small victories count!

So, if you are on this journey too, and you feel like you are taking one step forward, and … you guessed it – 2 steps back, then try and find the denominator as to why this is. Mine was the scale which was tugging at my heart strings ever so viciously, but I’m hoping that this new strategy going forward will help change the mind-set to get where I (you) want to be.

Until next time,

Mycaila – Jade

xxx

 

5 WAYS TO RESET YOUR WEIGHT LOSS MINDSET

Trying to get yourself in the right mind frame when losing weight can be more exhausting than squeezing your bottom into lycra gym pants on a hot day. Losing weight is more than just wanting to see the number change on the scale (not that the scale is always the best option for this process). It’s a person seeking a happier outlook on themselves and what they see in the mirror.

While on this journey myself, I thought I’d share my top 5 tips that help my outlook on the entire process, lycra gym pants and all. These changes have helped shift my energy to a more positive way of looking at things, and to allow myself to not be as harsh on myself as I have once been before.

Sometimes it’s best to remember that weight loss is a JOURNEY and not a race. Slow progress is better than no progress.

SET REALISTIC GOALS

I cannot underline, emphasise, and shout this point out loud enough to all the fellow bottoms trying to lose weight. Setting unrealistic goals for yourself is welcoming failure with open arms, and with a glass of champers on arrival!

It’s simple, if you set unrealistic goals, you have a higher chance of not reaching them. Not reaching that goal will set you back into an even bigger level of annoyance and demotivation, which will only result in wanting to double achieve the first unrealistic goal. This then becomes even MORE unachievable. This is such a quick way to get yourself down. We want happy spirits during this process, not demotivated ones.

Losing weight should be the result of your small goals. Shift your attention to your short-term goals, rather than just focusing on losing weight. Rather set few smaller goals which will help you reach your end result.

Pace yourself!

RETHINK YOUR REWARDS

Often when we lose weight, our first way to reward ourselves is with food, or a “cheat meal”. Rather than highlighting this meal(s) as a reward, rather work it into your eating plan or weekend as if it’s the norm, and not as something forsaken and only allowed on special occasions. Build a healthy love relationship with food.

Try rewarding yourself with something like a few items of clothing for every 3kg that you lose, or a new item of make-up for every goal that you reach.

Treat yoself, girl!

 GRAVITATE TOWARDS POSITIVITY

What’s a successful day without your Positive Pants on? It’s time to purge all the negativity surrounding yourself, whether it be the dead plant living in your kitchen, a messy house, or a bad routine that leaves you feeling more drained than anything else. A simple clean out while purging of the negative things surrounding us can work wonders!

Get yourself up in the morning with a clean, tidy house. It’s time to get those curtains open, feel the sun through the windows and get every day on this journey off to a positive start!

Coffee is classed as positivity, right?

CONSISTENCY

Being consistent never came easy! This is a vital step to making a big change to a happier you. Without consistency, we don’t have any structural routine. Consistency builds this part of our journey. Follow through every day when it comes to eating healthy and sticking to your workout routines. Skipping one day could have a domino effect for the rest of the week, month, year(s).

Get it done!

 PATIENCE

As with many things, be patient with your body. This is one of my most difficult tips to practice because as like everyone else, I WANT RESULTS. And I want them NOW.

Eating 2 salads and going for a run around the block is not going to get you where you want to be. It might nudge you in the right direction, but don’t expect to have your end result after eating well and exercising for a week. Patience, my friend. This is the biggest key to success.

Let’s all practice these tips together. Uplift yourself and other people who you know might be on this journey too. Empower yourself and others. Reach your goals. Put in the effort. Don’t do this half-heartedly, and wear your lycra gym tights with sass!

Until next time,

Mycaila-Jade

Xxx

5 THINGS THAT I HAVE LEARNED SINCE BECOMING A MUM

What? I’m a mum?

YES! This still doesn’t feel real. I have a TINY human. A little baby. My own darling angel.

Before becoming a mum, I had my own idea of what I thought motherhood would possibly be like. In reality, my ideas were not far off. Not far off from 5 cups of coffee a day, explosive nappies and the appreciative ogre burps in my face after a bottle that has been gobbled.

In the short 6 months that I have been a mum, I already feel like I have learned so much. At my baby shower, I received so many presents which resulted in constant babble of “what’s this for?”, “How do you use this?”, “Where does this go?

Along with that went the thought pattern of “Am I actually about to birth an offspring?”

It seems I’ve come a long way since then. My daughter is 6 months old and going strong. Mummy is also going strong, thanks to Nespresso in the mornings and wine at night! (just kidding – I’m still trying to lose the baby weight!)

Motherhood is an adjustment. More of an adjustment than my jean size since giving birth, but hey, that’s one of life’s curve balls – literally.

Here is what I’ve learned since becoming a mum:

Multitasking

Becoming a multitasking queen should be a skilled point on your CV after becoming a mum. Bottle in one hand, coffee in the other. Coffee because we have to keep ourselves going. Bottle because screaming hungry baby. Either way, I’d consider this an almost win-win sitch.

Patience

If ever you considered becoming a meditating Buda, now is the time. Without patience, you aren’t getting anywhere, pal. Those screams and cries of not knowing what our kid wants can be enough to drive us up the wall. Especially when we have tried every method to calm the poor buggas. It’s a total moment of “OMG, am I a bad mum? Does this little human even like me? All it does is cry. What do I do with it?”

 Motherhood comes with chores

If you thought your chores were over since being a teen, you’re wrong. I’m talking about sterilising bottles, measuring formula portions, nappies, packing baby’s bag, the copious amounts of extra baggage required to pack and unpack in the car when going out – the list is never ending. We have a whole extra human to look after besides ourselves. It’s funny how a baby requires more than an adult to just pop down to the shops. Thank heavens for dads and other helping hands us mums have.

 Sky rocketing stress level

Those moments featuring your screaming child in the back of the car on the highway, like is she going to die or explode from screaming that loudly? Because my head sure is! My favourite is when feral moments like these happen on highways, and you can do NOTHING about it!

You can never take enough photos – of the same thing.

Buying extra cloud storage is a must with our offspring. Don’t you find it weird how we all take photos of the SAME THING. We want to capture every moment, every second, every memory. It’s human nature. It’s also human nature to have a complete wobbly when deleting “the same” pictures to free up some space.

Realising that there’s no instruction manual when it comes to parenting is a scary revelation. But at the same time, it’s not. It means you can parent however you want. I definitely have so much more to learn through motherhood. These are only a few highlights that have stuck out to me.

The best thing, amongst all of these is the rewards of smiles, gurgles, cuddles and affection we get from our little ones. All the joy in the world is reflected through those little gummy smiles from our babies.

To all the mums reading this, you’re doing a frikkin fabulous job!

Until next time,

Mycaila Jade

xxx

LEARNING TO LOVE YOUR CHANGING BODY THROUGH PREGNANCY

Pregnancy can be tough at times. Every experience is different, which is what makes your journey so unique. If it were all the same, our experiences wouldn’t be our own. As with many things, pregnancy comes with plenty of ups and downs, and well sometimes, they can get the better of us. Other times, we just have to keep our head held high and keep on cruising.

Pregnancy is not the time to be harsh on yourself with your change of appearance. Your newly found shape is something that speaks so much more than what any handful of words could ever amount to. Your new shape is the reality of what your body is capable of doing.

There’s a teeny – tiny bump there!

Sometimes, it’s not just your tummy that grows. Sometimes it’s everything else in between that you might find escalating in size too. I sure am experiencing this. Yes, there are the odd few women who are lucky enough to hardly gain much more than what they should, and this is okay, they are beautiful too, but for the majority of us, we can end up gaining a lot more than what we bargained for. Is there anything wrong with this? No. Should we be ashamed? No.

Pregnancy is a time when we are supposed to feel more beautiful than ever, and so we should! It’s a time during which we are meant to GLOW! We are meant to shine bright and radiate nothing but happiness and new life.

Don’t sacrifice your pregnancy experience by worrying about what you look like. Don’t wish your pregnancy away because you want to be back to your pre preggy weight. Weight is just a number. Embrace your new shape. Show it off. Make people wish that they could be as confident as you are, belly and all. You’re glowing for not one, but two humans. Let your stretch marks appear, and your butt get bigger. Enjoy your feet being swollen and your cheeks looking chubbier. It’s all part of the experience.

Loving the bump unconditionally!

Don’t upset yourself because your stretchy leggings no longer fit. It’s okay, we’ve all been there. Some of us are still going through it, some of us might only be starting it, but at the end of the day, our bodies are OUR bodies. They respond to how WE treat them. If you look after your body and treat her properly, in turn, she will look after you. She will grow and nurture your sprouting bean.

Fill your body up with appreciation and love. Respect your body. Don’t think of your body as ugly, or too fat. You are growing another human. That is a gift. Some people aren’t able to even experience what your body is capable of doing. It’s some peoples biggest wish and dream to be able to nurture and grow their own baby. Appreciate what your body can do.

As women, our bodies are capable of absolute magic. Your tummy grows to make space for your beautiful bundle. We feed, protect and are able to GROW an actual human being over 9 months – in our TUMMIES of all places. We then give birth and bring our little humans into the world, only for our bodies to heal all by themselves and to do it all over again, if you choose. Don’t let something as small as your weight define your comfort around people while you’re pregnant. Something so miniscule in comparison to what our bodies are doing is not worth the emotions of being upset about something like our physical appearance.

 

The smallest 15 week bump!

Having a positive body image while you’re pregnant is important. We are, after all, the creators of nurturing new life, and our bodies are possibly one of the most incredible creations to walk the planet. Not to mention the cute little baby you have growing bigger day by day.

Give yourself a break. Show yourself some love. And enjoy your own personal experience.

Until next time,

Mycaila – Jade & baby

xxx