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Screentime – Remember To Take A Break

I took a class in a beautiful yoga studio last week. The room was open and spacious, the decor was calming and the mood content.

The teacher brought us through a relaxing sequence which was ideal after a days work to quiet the mind and come down from the stress and stimulus of modern living.

At the end of the class, after we closed and we started to move again I noticed two people immediately had phones in their hands before they even left the mat. They sat with their shoulders hunched and their eyes close to the screen as if they would be sucked inside of it.

There was no worry or consternation on their faces after to suggest that there were circumstances which required both of them to check their phones immediately after class.

This was disheartening for me to see. There is so much more to yoga than just the exercise. Meditation and looking inwards are an equally important part of yoga just as much as the postures.

How can we look inward to ourselves if we cannot resist the urge to go to our screens immediately after our yoga session.

I wonder how the teacher who offered the beautiful class felt when she saw two of the recipients immediately pick up their phones and hunch over them like Golem with the ring.

There are mental benefits to be taken from yoga and meditation, which are lost if we do not allow them to sink in.

I too am guilty of too much screen time. I am writing this blog on a device as I speak. My screen-time app on my IPhone tells me that I spent an average of 2 hours a day on my phone in the last 7 days.

Surely though there is a time and a place.

All to often I see people stare into a screen with their thumbs moving furiously while out for dinner with a group or in a meeting. It is a well known fact that we cannot multi task, we simply jump from one task to another and loose efficiency as we do so. If we are focused on the screen we are not focused on anything else.

There are certain spaces which have no place for screens, those places we come to relax and unwind. Your bedroom for example. The yoga studio. The church or the temple.

My fear is that as a society we will become entranced as a whole, unable to detach and therefore unable to destress. We will become blind to what is around us because we see everything through a 7 inch screen.

My hope is that as a society we will see these screens for what they are. Useful tools, but nothing more than interactive two dimensional surfaces which cannot replace real experiences.

My hope is that we take the time to let our minds digest the experiences laid out before us before we get sucked back into the black hole of a screen.

A black hole is so powerful that even light cannot escape, an IPhone screen is so powerful that it takes our thoughts, ideas and feelings.

Here are some simple tips we can put in place to limit or become more aware of our screen time:

  1. Leave the phone at home a little more. Recognize that it is not always required.
  2. Leave it in another room while you sleep.
  3. Use screentime – you’ll find it in settings for IPhone. Im not sure about android.
  4. Take a break from social media. See if you miss it.

I hope this helps.

Peace,

George

The Second Trimester: A Personal Experience

Here we are on the edge of entering into the third trimester of our first pregnancy. A good time to take a moment and reflect on the past few months and document the personal experiences along the way.

 

Overall pregnancy for me has been a positive and gradual change. Honestly there hasn’t been any major dramas or changes that were overwhelming to deal with. Changes are slow and steady, just what we need when our bodies are changing shape, hormones are being produced, extra blood created and a little human growing inside.

 

Before getting pregnant I had a completely different perception of what pregnancy would feel like. Uncomfortable, large, sweaty, swollen, tired & different. These are some of the words I would have used to describe how I would predict I would feel during this experience. The reality is none of these apply…..yet! Right now, I am really enjoying the whole experience and living each day as it comes. Sure, towards the end, all of the above may apply but I want to remember that that was just the end, a small percentage of the time. I think sometimes we can remember the not so great parts of an experience better than the regular everyday “how it really was” parts. This is one of the major reasons I wanted to document my experience so I can pass on my experience to other new moms and my daughter in the future. We need to document how pregnancy really is so we can create an accurate picture of the whole experience instead of just the later not so great part, a tiny portion of the journey.

 

The following is a memoir of my second trimester, the highs and lows and how we (myself & George) dealt with everything that came our way.

 

The first major exciting event for us in the second trimester was seeing our baby for the second time. The ultrasound this time round was far more detailed and we got to see our baby’s heartbeat, legs, arms, feet, hands, spine, head and all the facial features. At first our baby was shy and was facing towards my spine so all we could see was the back of the body and a side profile. The technician asked us to go for a walk so that the baby would turn around as she needed to take photos of the baby facing away from the spine. After our walk the baby moved and we could see it from a different angle which was really nice. The baby was super active and was moving and kicking the whole time. It was really funny & emotional seeing the little legs on the screen back kicking my belly and feeling it at the same time……surreal.

 

We were both so happy to hear that our baby looked healthy and had a strong heartbeat. We had decided we wanted to find out the sex but were disappointed that day as the technician could not tell us. She would pass the scans along to our midwife and they would tell us. That meant we had to wait another week. Disappointing but not the end of the world. Just relieved our baby was so healthy looking.

 

After the scan George and myself went for a cup of tea and a sweet in an afternoon tea café called “The Secret Garden” and we were both beaming looking at the baby pictures from the scan. We both had to go back to work after so it was nice to have that time together before going back to real life.

The weeks leading up to the scan were a little bit stressful as we got a positive result back from our genetic screening test that meant I needed to get additional tests to confirm if our baby had down syndrome or not. Apparently 80% of women who take a 1st genetic screening test get a positive result but only about 10% or less of those babies would have a genetic defect.

 

At first, I was not worried because the odds were so low but as time went on it was the only thing I could think about. The worry if our child did have down syndrome, what would we do? We would have to research a lot about raising a child with down syndrome and connect with other families who had down syndrome children, find professionals to explain how having a child with downs would be different and how we would have to adapt. It took 2 weeks to get the results back from the second screening and those 2 weeks I have to say were emotionally hard. Of course, everyone wants their baby to be born healthy and free from any genetic defects. However, the reality of life is we have no control. It was completely out of our hands and for those 2 weeks myself & George really did have to come to terms with the fact that we may be having a baby with down syndrome.

 

First of all, we both had made the decision very early in the pregnancy that no matter what kind of baby we have we would be keeping our child & abortion or termination would never be an option for us. This is a totally personal choice and not associated with religious or spiritual believes, it was just our choice. We confirmed this decision when we got our genetic results back. Georges reaction to the news was so comforting, it wasn’t even an option for him that we would ever give up our baby. Nothing changed in those 2 weeks about how we felt about our child. We both loved the little human so much already that we couldn’t imagine losing it. The connection was there and no matter what, we wanted to parent this child, even if the road might be a little different or more difficult than what we had first imagined.

 

We finally got the call from our midwife at 7:30pm on a Thursday to confirm that our baby did not have down syndrome and that we no longer needed to worry about it. Honestly, I was so relieved. I cried. Going through this experience was a huge eye opener for both of us. Right away it puts life into perspective. The little worries you may have on a daily basis fade away and all that matters is your child and your family. How can we provide the best for our child and how we as parents can cope with unexpected news. It was definitely a growing experience for us and one that personally I won’t forget.

Life can turn all your expectations upside down in minutes, it’s how we deal with this unexpected change is what’s important. This is something I want to keep close to my heart for the rest of our lives as our child for sure will test us in ways we will never even imagine. This experience has thought me to be open, to not be cemented into my own expectations of what my child will be, we as parents really hope that we will let our child be whoever it wants to be without placing our ideals & expectations of what our child should be onto it.

Even though those 2 weeks were emotionally though, I wouldn’t change a thing as what we gained from that experience was invaluable. When I told my parents that there may be a chance, we may have a child with down syndrome my mother automatically responded saying that down syndrome children are wonderful. That’s who I want to be for my child.

 

The next big memorial moment from the second trimester was when we found out about the sex of our baby. We really didn’t care wether our baby was a boy or a girl. We wanted to find out so we could refer to it by he or she and not by it! We are those people who could not wait until the birth to find out the sex. We needed to know. We were told after our second scan that our midwife would call us in a week or so to let us know about the sex. However, we didn’t get a call and I followed up with our midwife to see why and they had made an error on the ultrasound forms and forgot to tick the box that we wanted to know the sex of the baby.

 

However, because we had done the 2nd screening for the genetic testing they can tell by those blood samples whether our baby was male or female. It took a few extra days but we got the call from our midwife around 11:00am midweek to let us know we were having a little baby girl. That moment I was on my break from work on my regular 30min walk. I was so happy! It felt like a real surprise as everyone was convinced, I was having a boy, even my dentist! Lol! George was certain we were having a boy, apparently, he could feel it in his bones! So funny! He is from a family of boys so the idea of a girl was alien to him.

 

Straight away I couldn’t wait to tell him…..he was in a work retreat that day and I could not get through to him until the end of day. When I told him, it was a girl he was so surprised! It was so great to hear him thinking out loud of how he was going to be a father to a little girl. “I don’t know how to deal with little girls” was his reply, I was laughing so hard and told him he would have to learn. He was so happy! Again, our expectations were turned on their heads. We only had boys’ names picked and had no idea of girl’s names. Our little girl is testing us so much and she isn’t even born yet! It was the best surprise yet. Now we could call our baby our little girl.

Over the 3 months in this semester I felt great. I had lots of energy and was trying to get in my 10,000 steps a day, going to a prenatal yoga class at the weekends and snow shoeing here and there when I could. I love moving and walking was my preferred choice of exercise throughout my whole pregnancy so far. Being outside and moving makes me feel so good and I really think our baby likes it. Before my 11am and 2pm break in work baby begins to move and kick as if she is telling me it’s time to go for your walk, get up and go! I have the same routing in work, I go for walks on my breaks just to get energy following and get outside in the fresh air.

 

Don’t get me wrong I would not be up for going on major hikes like what we would normally do but walking along the beach and up moderate hills feels good. Elevation is where I really feel the difference in my breath while being pregnant. I’m much slower going up the tougher hills than I used to be but I am pregnant so I just take it slow;-)

 

Emotionally I would say I have been stable throughout so far. I believe George will agree! Lol! The one thing that I really have to work on is getting my iron levels up, a common problem in pregnant women, except my Iron levels are extremely low and I may need transfusions closer to the end if I cannot get the levels up. Right now, I am on 300mg of iron a day and take it in the evenings as it is supposed to absorb better at night. Fingers crossed the levels rise. Even though the iron levels are really low, I am feeling great, I don’t feel tired and forget I am pregnant sometimes, until I go tie my shoes or move too fast to turn in bed and my belly muscles start telling me to slow it down.

 

Food wise we have been eating really well and haven’t been craving anything weird. We are eating lots of whole foods. I love to cook and really love cooking healthy, hearty meals that are tasty. I believe this is probably helping with how I feel too. Food is so important to help nourish mommy, daddy & baby. Both of us haven’t been sick at all during the pregnancy either so we are doing well.

 

Meditation is something we do every day in the mornings but since becoming pregnant I have been drawn to it even more. Yoga Nidra is something I had never tried before pregnancy and now it is a class I look forward to every week. My friend Aisling provided a 6-week course of Yoga Nidra sessions for 1 hour on a Sunday at 6pm. I looked forward to Sunday evenings just to get that hour to fully relax and meditate. Her new class series begins again this week and I cannot wait.

 

The below are some other little highlights of the second trimester:

 

  • Feeling our baby kick for the first time and every day after (around 20-21 weeks)
  • Choosing our babies name which we love so much but wont’ reveal to anyone until she is born
  • George reading our babies first book to her every night. I swear she stops moving when she hears her Daddy read. The first book we bought her was of course on Irish Mythology
  • Sourcing the stroller, bassinet, car seat and chair from Facebook market place (a blog coming soon on what we bought and why)
  • Starting to read some books on how to plan for the 3 months after the baby arrives (will give the list of all books I read in the third trimester blog)
  • Asked my Mum to come over to help with baby once George goes back to work after taking 2 weeks off…. super excited as my parents have not been in Vancouver for about 6 years…. we go home every year

 

 

Overall the second trimester was a hugely positive experience and we learned so much about being a parent already. We are looking forward to the next phase and what it may bring. We are enjoying each day as it comes and trying to savour our time together as a couple before our world is changed forever. A duo becomes a trio, a family.

 

Thank you so much for reading.

 

If you would like to share anything please do.

 

Have a great week.

 

Chat soon,

 

Theresa xx

How I Overcame My Anger Issues

When I was a small boy I was always considered to be a little bit irritable. I was particular and meticulous and very detailed orientated. Maybe this played a part in the tendency toward annoyance or lack of tolerance towards things not working out.

As I grew older I was more interested in books and small toys than soccer or being outside. It’s funny now, though I still love to read and I still love toys I live for the outdoors. The outdoors changed me.

I’m not sure when my bad temper developed, maybe it was always there but it grew more intense. I was never unhappy child, nothing in my life contributed towards it, I think that some people need to work on their reactions more than others.

I have never been in a fist fight in my entire life, I am not a violent man but there is a destructive nature inside me. As I write this I try to remember when I first noticed it or when it first became a problem. The earliest I can remember breaking something through anger was probably when I was in my twenties.

I am sure that an immature disrespect for other peoples property played a part also but it followed through my twenties and into my mid thirties until I finally realized I had to do something about it.

The anger I felt never interfered with my life or my relationships but I know now through research the effect that intense anger has on both the body and the brain.

The emotions I felt were not simply anger or irritation but rage. A rage which would build up to an uncontrollable level where I could not hold my reaction. It was blind and uncontrollable, like a drug in my veins.

It took a long trail of little broken items before I realized it was effecting my mental health through the stress it laid on me.

It is difficult to describe the hold the rage took on me. From my perspective I went from zero to ten (on an anger scale) immediately with no warning. In all reality it was building and I was too distracted to see it. The pressure built until it could no longer be contained and I reacted physically by breaking something.

There is a misled idea out there that it is macho to lose ones temper and that someone who smashes things is someone you don’t mess with. If you met me you would realize this is not the case but on a serious note, we cannot associate losing control with strength. It is a weakness, in fact it is probably one of the weakest acts one can commit.

In my angry outbursts I put my fist through several windows, doors, laptop screens, smart phones, I once cracked a car windshield. I mention these because I want to be honest. It will seem funny to some people and pathetic to others but the simple fact is that losing control is and act of weakness brought on by lack of awareness and mismanagement of my emotions.

It wasn’t just the outburst or having to buy a new phone or laptop screen or door or whatever it happened to be this time, it was the low I would feel afterwards. What comes up must come down. The low was every bit as extreme as the high of the intense rage. A great sadness that would swallow me up.

It was maybe four or five years ago when I went to see a professional about my anger issues. It wasn’t a particularly difficult step for me and to be honest I don’t think I took it seriously, but never the less I went through my own choice without suggestion or coercion.

The funny thing is that, for me the answer was so much simpler. The professional I spoke to encouraged me to make the visits a part of my ongoing lifestyle but I did not keep it up.

I believe every situation is unique and I am writing about my own experience only. My opinions on my own therapy sessions do not bear any weight on the experience in general or the importance of seeking help.

In my own particular case I eventually realized that the solution was there all along, within my grasp, ready for me to take hold of. I just couldn’t see it.

I do not remember exactly where and when I put the following practises in place, I believe it was a gradual process but the simple practises I will talk about changed my mindset and in doing so changed my life.

Journalling and reflection:

For some years I have been keeping a diary, inspired by my father I think who religiously writes about his day in his spidery writing, documenting his days.

I like to document my day and read back through it sometimes, but it is also important to offload everything onto paper, your thoughts, your dreams, your worries, your feelings.

Now, I understand again the macho attitude that writing in journals is not how a man deals with things. This is the bullshit attitute we need to make a thing of the past. Times are changing and, we as a race are waking up to what we need.

If I did not incorporate these measures I would be out of shape, stressed out, unhappy and unhealthy.

Exercise:

Movement is so important. I sit at a desk for most of the day, but even if you have a reasonably active job the important thing here is to get the heart rate up.

Vigorous exercise produces brain chemicals which are proven to make us happier.

Cut out negative people:

Life is too short to deal with negative attitudes. Negative talk effects our brains. How can you remain positive if you are not receiving positive vibes and energy.

This sounds callous, but to be honest, so what? We are not users who hang around with people just to gain something, but conversely, we do not have to tolerate people in our lives who offer nothing positive and negatively effect us.

Get away from a negative environment:

My work environment was stressful. It was only in hindsight that I realized I did not enjoy my job and that it was chipping away at me bit by bit every day. It is hard to make a change when you do not realize the change needs to be made, but deep down I knew and eventually it surfaced, and I became receptive to moving on.

It was when I opened up to the possibility that the opportunity presented itself.

Gratitude:

I listened to a TedTALK where a Fransiscan monk spoke about the merits of gratitude and that it is the path to hapiness.

This may seem unrealistic. If you think so just try it out for a week. Write down three things you are grateful for everyday and see how it feels.

Smile:

Again, this may seem like it can’t make a real overall difference but it does. Smile, even if you don’t feel like it, just fake it. The happy chemicals will come flooding straight in like a whole bunch of happy drugs.

Have a read of my blog on the effects of smiling.

Eat healthy:

You are what you eat. Garbage in, garbage out. Be smart with your food choices. I ate crap for about 28 years of my life, actually it was when Theresa and I moved in together that my diet changed. I wonder why?

Yoga:

Yoga saved me. It was through yoga that I found so many other practises like meditation and really looking inwards to see myself. It also brings so much focus to the breath which I think is the most important aspect of our lives.

Fresh air:

There is no better medicine than clean fresh air. I have not been sick in years, but I remember heading up into the fresh winter air of the north shore mountains in Vancouver and feeling all the symptoms immediately disappear once I got out into the crisp clean air.

It has the same effect on the mind, cleaning out any crap which is clogged up in there, whether it be thoughts, emotions or just general junk.

Be positive:

Negative self talk will literally kill you, eventually. You cannot change your self talk until you start to listen to it and for that you need space and silence which brings me onto my next topic.

Meditation:

In my opinion everybody needs to meditate. It should be thought in schools and encouraged in the work place. My daughter will be brought up with meditation being part of her life like brushing her teeth or washing her hands, a part of daily life.

I cannot stress the importance meditation enough. A friend of mine once told me he wasn’t a meditation kind of guy. I had suggested it when he spoke about his many stresses. It seemed better to remain stressed out rather than do something about it.

If the body is tired or stressed we rest it. The mind is no different. We need to create space and silence in the mind so that we can see ourselves and observe our state.

I could never change my course of action when I was to wound up because I couldn’t even see the issue. I just spiralled out of control

Breath:

The breath controls everyhing. Without the breath we cannot live, we cannot move. The breath creates space both in the body and mind. It also gives us the chance to pause.

How many times have you been told to take a deep breath?

It works. Take a slow, deep breath and you take the time to pause, take stock of the situation and come away from the shallow, quick (fight or flight) breathing to a more controlled state of mind.

If one deep breath has this effect, imagine what you can do with ten deep breaths.

I have given a lot of information here, to simplify it, if I were to pick the top three things that helped me overcome my anger issues I would say:

  1. Exercise (yoga and hiking)
  2. Fresh air
  3. Meditation

So after all that, where am I now? It is about four years since I have started to take yoga and meditation seriously.

Maybe I lie in the title when I say I overcame my anger issues. The anger surfaces from time to time, though far less often than it used to. It probably always will, but the difference is that now I can see where I am at.

I am aware of what is happening and I am aware of what I can do to take myself out of the situation or deal with it in a calm manner.

I think I am healthier (physically and mentally) now than I ever have been in my entire life.

It takes effort, it is something I will work on for the rest of my life but the only effort is in being consistent, it is in remembering to be kind to yourself and in knowing that you will slip up sometimes but that there is a way to calm the rough seas and let everything become still.

There is a way to slow down and stop you just have to give yourself the space to see that.

Peace,

George

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Who Do You Believe Is In Control Of Your Destiny?

What is your dream and how will you get there?

Do you dream big or do you settle for what you have?

You may already have everything you want but that doesn’t mean you don’t stop reaching. It doesn’t mean you stop searching.

If you have every step of your path laid out before you, then you know which direction to turn in your search when you are lost. Maybe you feel that you have already arrived at your destination. Ask yourself – have you? The journey doesn’t end so therefore the search doesn’t end.

Who do you believe is in charge of you and your destiny?

Is it the system?

Is it the beurocrats, the politicians, the government, your boss, your wages, your talents? No. These are all just aspects of your life.

I feel that the key word here is believe. Who do you BELIEVE is in charge or your destiny? It’s not society, it’s not the people who wronged you, forget them.

YOU ARE IN CHARGE, whether you believe that or not.

There’s that word again. That belief is what is important. That belief is what makes or breaks you. That belief defines you and shapes you into the person you will become.

If you don’t believe, then you will not change. Stand up, raise your chin, pull your shoulders back and declare to all in a strong voice “I am in charge of my own destiny.” Grab the bull the horns and get out there into the storm of a world we have to weather and take what is yours.

Take your destiny.

I speak metaphorically here, but the power is there, all you have to do is take charge. You have the power to get out of bed and go for a run before work. You have the power to spend one hour less watching Netflix and read a book from the library. You have the power to chose a salad or a pizza.

You are in charge of your destiny and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

Who do you think was in charge of Christopher Reeves destiny? Or Stephen Hawking? Or Viktor Frankl? Was it the horse that threw superman to the ground and broke his back? Motor neurone disease which slowed the world renowned physicist down to a physical stop but did it take charge of his life? The Nazis took everythign from Frankl but they did not best him.

Paralyzing injuries, debilitating sickness and an army of evil could not overpower these people.

They had the drive to keep going, to push through the hardest, life ending moments, to crawl through a river of shit and come out clean on the other side just like Andy Defresne in The Shawshank Redemption.

Forget about the privelaged folk who have everything, forget about the people you think you need to compare yourself to – they are not in charge of your destiny.

They do not care about your destiny. It is in your hands and you are in charge.

Take a pause and look around. Where are you? What are you going to do next? What did you eat today? Did you exercise? What did you learn? If you dont like the answer to any of these questions, remember that the rest of your life starts now and you are in control.

You have the power to change and shape your destiny as you chose. Not as someone else choses but as you chose.

Get up, look up, get out there and do what it is that makes you feel strong and powerful and keep on doing it. Keep on looking up.

You have the power to do what you want.

Peace,

George

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Maternity Capsule Wardrobe: What I bought & Why

Being pregnant for the first time can be at times overwhelming. There are so many things to learn, consider and decide on before the baby even arrives! My advice as a first time Mom is to slow everything down. In reality we have 40 weeks before the child arrives so it lots of time to research and make an educated decision about buying necessities like strollers, car seats, bassinets & all the “must haves” before the baby is born.

The same attitude should be applied to buying maternity clothes. First of all, I suggest not to go buying maternity clothes when your regular clothes still fit. Pack away all the clothes that don’t fit & display all the clothes that still fit and build your wardrobe around these.

 

Pictures: I chose to wear the black high neck I already had, my new black maternity jeans and old pair of black boots for all photos to highlight how 1 outfit can be worn in so many different ways. In these pictures I am 24 weeks pregnant.

Use the first few months to do your research on what maternity clothes you will actually need and what style of clothes you want to buy & which you will wear throughout the pregnancy. The time of year & where you live will have an effect on what purchases you make.

We found out I was pregnant in October; my due date is June 15th. Most of my pregnancy is through the colder & cooler months of winter & spring. My style is generally jeans, thin sweaters, cardigans & sweaters for these seasons. These were the items I decided I would buy for my maternity closet once I grew out of my regular clothes.

Looking up styles on Pinterest & Instagram is great to get some inspiration of how you want to look while being pregnant. For me my favourite style is casual/cool, no fuss everyday clothes that are comfortable but look super cool. Once I see pictures of the styles, I like I save them for inspiration. I work in an office but we have no dress code so basically you can wear what you like. This is great for me as I don’t have to waste money on suits and clothes, I would never wear given a choice. However, the same rules apply if you do have a more formal wardrobe.

Picture: This navy leather jacket I have for the past 4 years, love it so much. I paid a lot of money for it but it’s the only leather jacket I will ever own & will last me my life time…..even during pregnancy. I never wear this jacket closed, I snap the top button closed and wear a scarf tied or draped in front.

The next step I took once I had an idea of what items I needed to buy for my maternity wardrobe was to pack away all my regular clothes that no longer fit. The majority of my jeans were too small by week 19, I had one stretchy pair of skinny jeans left which were still fitting so I kept them out until they were not comfortable any more. I like large shirts over skinny jeans so I had a couple of shirts that still fit and will fit for a another few months. I had 2 vest tops, 3 thin high neck tops and 4 cardigans that all fit well and will for many more months.

These are all the items I kept for my maternity capsule closet, all the rest of the clothes got vacuumed packed and stored in an ikea storage container underneath our bed.

 

Picture: This green coat again was an investment which I got in an amazing sale! Its 3 years old & it comes out every winter. The coat style is big & loose so it has worked out really well for being pregnant. I can still close it but I usually wear it open with a scarf & hat as shown in the picture.

Hanging in my wardrobe before going shopping for maternity clothes were:

Clothing

1 pair of jeans

2 vest tops (black & red)

3 thin high neck tops (green, grey, black)

4 cardigans (Navy, grey, pattern, black)

2 large shirts (denim, grey)

Outerwear

1 green winter coat

1 navy leather jacket

2 Blazers

2 heavy knight cardigans

Shoes (all still fit, no swelling of feet yet)

2 pairs black ankle boots

1 pair red ankle boots

1 pair white sneakers

1 pair black sneakers

2 pairs fancy shoes

Accessories

4 Scarves

3 Hats

Small Jewellery collection

Using accessories, shoes & switching up outerwear can make the same outfit look so different All of these things can come from your regular wardrobe. A trick I like to use is to wear my blazers that no longer close with a thick wool scarf draped in front so I keep warm, the bump is concealed and I get to wear my favourite blazer.

Picture: This blazer was one of my favourite finds in Turnabout second hand store 2 years ago. I love blazers, I have 3 & wear them all the time in the Autumn & Spring. Blazers are also great for us pregnant women as they provide a nice silhouette, don’t need to close in the front and a scarf can easily keep bump warm if its a chiller day. 

Next it’s time to review the list above and fill in the gaps. Looking at the above list the first thing I decided to purchase was maternity pants. At week 20 I bought a black pair of skinny jeans and grey denim skinny jeans. First, I looked in local second-hand stores for maternity jeans but nobody had any. There was one store who sold maternity clothes second hand but they were closed when I visited “Cobblestone”. There are options online but I really needed to try on the pants before buying online second-hand as I had no clue how the sizing worked. Turns out you go y the size you are in your jeans. Another thing I avoided was buying hauls of second-hand clothing from Facebook market place. Although you can get lots of clothes for a great price, you end up with lots of clothes, many of which you probably won’t ever wear. Beware of the hauls!

On my list of items, I wanted to purchase (second hand if possible) were;

2 pairs of blue jeans (light & dark)

1 thin high neck top (mustard)

1 camel colour cardigan

1 heavy black sweater

1 camel scarf

1 red blouse for fancy occasion

2 other tops which will get me through chilly days and warmer spring days

Once I had my list, I went to the local second-hand stores to look for tops. I don’t need to buy maternity tops, I decided to size up on regular tops and see how they looked. I lucked out on my first shop in Turnabout on 4th avenue. I found a fabulous black cashmere sweater & red silk blouse. Two items knocked off my list almost immediately. A few weeks later I decided to see what was in the sales in Aritzia in Oakridge as I could not find any other items second-hand. I picked up 1 thin high neck in a mustard colour, a cashmere camel cardigan and a camel scarf all on sale.

Picture: Peek a boo! Here is my current bump situation at 24 weeks. Looking forward to seeing it grow bigger and finding new ways to use my new & current clothes to look & feel great while my body changes shape & size.

What’s remaining on my list:

2 pairs of blue jeans

2 other tops which will get me through chilly days and warmer spring days

This weekend I plan on visiting “cobblestone” hoping that it will be open this time to see if I can pick up the above items, I also plan on visiting another excellent second-hand store called Dragon Phoenix in the Southlands. I’m hoping I will be lucky and find the remaining items but if not, I will keep searching. This is what’s fun about conscious shopping, you really put time into looking for the perfect addition to your wardrobe. I appreciate my clothes so much more now than when I would go out on a whim and purchase mindlessly.

I hope this was helpful.

Again, if you have any feedback or comments, we would love to hear from you.

Have a great week.

Chat soon,

Theresa x