A visit to Jamie's Italian - on Royal Caribbean's 'Ovation of the Seas'

Okay cruise lovers, you're going to LOVE this post!

We had the pleasure of being invited to visit the Royal Caribbean ship 'Ovation of the Seas' as she docked in Sydney Harbour on Friday - and what a vessel she is! 
We dined at Jamie's Italian for the launching of their new menu, and my goodness, the food was incredible. From farm fresh produce, pasta and dishes all hand made in the restaurant, to lovely wait staff and beautiful views, it was amazing!
Meeting the man of the hour himself was the icing on the cake! What a lovely & humble human being. 
We're a family that LOVES cruising, and this little taster is making us very excited to get out on the water again. Our girls (who range from 2-10) would have so much to do on this Royal Caribbean cruise - and hubby and I would too.
Do you and your family love to cruise? 

Breathe Gently was provided with a complimentary invitation to this event with Royal Caribbean - all reviews are my own. If you are interested in a product review appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me. #gifted 

You can also get in touch with me via my @mamajags Instagram page.

A very big hello

It's been some time since I posted here, because I've been flat out working on my social media pages. 

If you're still following along, hello! If you're new here, welcome! 

The girls are growing like crazy - Emma is almost 2, Amelia is creeping towards 4, Claire is 7 and Georgia is 10.5 and well on her way to becoming a sassy teenager. 

In the past year, we've said goodbye to our two kitties - and we're still missing their furry little presence around our home. Spencer is still a happy old puppy, ruling the backyard and spending most of his days sleeping in the sunshine, living out his golden years. One day we'll add more fur babies to our lives, but not right now.
With both parents working, two kids in school, one toddler (soon to be two!) in daycare, life is busy, it's hectic, it's crammed with weekends full of sport and swimming lessons and messy houses - but we wouldn't change a thing! 

Discount code for @fitazfk - use 10ALY at the checkout

You guys! If you're looking for a program to do at home that'll keep you motivated, healthy and active,  definitely make sure you check out FitAzFk!
You can get 10% off the Transform and Postpartum programs, as well as their activewear range.
Just use code 10ALY at the checkout! You'll get 6 months access, heaps of support, and hopefully feel amazing too! 

Nearly One

 How is it that time seems to get faster and faster with every little one you have? It's extra bittersweet when they're your last baby - Emma will be one in three weeks, and I'm not sure my heart can handle it! 

FitAzFk: A Work in Progress - use 10ALY to join!

If you're a new (or old!) Mama, or just someone looking to get their fitness and their energy back, definitely check out FitAzFk - it's been such a game changer for me! 

It's been five months and I'm down 13kg so far - feeling happier and healthier in my own skin, and prioritising the time to move and make myself active again. I have a ways to go yet, but I'm feeling good and I know I'll get there at my own pace.

By signing up, you'll get access to 6 months of the app itself - full of fitness workouts to do at home, meals to try, and the facebook group accountability. The workouts are 5 days a week, 28 minutes long - so definitely achievable, especially if you are time poor like me. If you sign up for the TRANSFORM challenges, you'll have 8 weeks all planned out for you - it's amazing.
Make sure you use 10ALY for a discount when you start with FitAzFk - and follow me on Instagram for even more of my ongoing journey. :) 

Cake Maternity/Nursing Bras: A Review

Emma is seven months old, and still breastfeeds like an absolute champ! I'm very lucky in that all four of my babies have fed well (even through some initial hiccups like premature births and tongue ties!) - I've been at this nursing gig for some time now. I wonder how many hours I've been feeding over the last decade - I think it would be a pretty impressive figure! 

I was so pleased when the lovely team at Cake Maternity reached out to see if I'd be interested in trying and reviewing some of their favourite nursing bras. I've followed their brand for some time now, but hadn't had the chance to purchase - so this opportunity was perfect. Before we start, here's a little about the brand: Cake Maternity are nursing bra specialists who are passionate about breastfeeding and the many benefits it offers to both mum, bub and the environment. Breastfeeding, whilst natural, doesn’t always come naturally and they understand that every woman’s experience is different and at times challenging. Their mission is to empower women as they mindfully navigate the world of motherhood and help make breastfeeding easier, through experience-driven innovation.

When you're breastfeeding, it's important to choose bras that are not only supportive, but also comfortable - if there's one time in your life you're going to be up close & personal with your breasts, it's now! After confirming my measurements and using the fit guide, we narrowed down the selection to three styles:

 I've been wearing each of these three bras for the past several weeks, and can happily say that they're both comfortable AND supportive - so much so, that I will struggle going back to my everyday bras now! Now... on we go to my review!

The Tutti Frutti Nursing Bra is one one of the prettiest nursing bras I've encountered. It has a lovely low pluging neckline, a supportive racer-back design, and is so soft and luxurious. Emma can't take her hands off it when I wear it - see below! 
Its nursing panels are easy to unclip, and it still has a good amount of modesty covering, even for someone who's bigger busted like myself. Such a beautiful staple piece, I feel really well supported when I wear this bra - and it doesn't feel like your typical dowdy nursing bra. A+ for glam! 
The Zest Nursing Sports Bra has been fantastic, especially as I've been jumping back into my fitness after getting the all-clear from my postpartum physio. It's supportive without being restrictive, and being able to nurse while wearing active wear is a game changer for me. 
If you're a Mama who loves to get out and go for walks or gym classes with your baby, you're going to love this one.
And last, but certainly not least, my favourite - aka the bra that I'd happily wear every single day for the rest of my life, is the Lotus Hands-free Pumping & Nursing Bra
This is the COMFIEST lounge bra I have ever worn, and it's not only easy to nurse in, it can also convert to a hands-free pumping bra. Winning! I am planning on heading back to snap up some more of these bad boys.
All in all, I'm thrilled with the selection and the support that these bras have provided, and will be wearing them for many months to come. If you're currently pregnant or breastfeeding, I highly recommend visiting the website and adding some Cake Maternity pieces to your postpartum wardrobe. The hardest part will be decided which ones to add to your cart! 

Breathe Gently was provided with a complimentary selection of nursing bras from Cake Maternity for review - all reviews are my own. If you are interested in a product review appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me. #gifted 

You can also get in touch with me via my @mamajags Instagram page.

'I do it myself, Mama!'

‘I do it myself, mama!’

The phrase that makes all parents, even seasoned ones who have been around the block a few times, cringe and beam at the same time. You celebrate the fact that your little one is growing up and learning new skills.. but you feel your already stretched patience bursting at the seams.
‘I do it myself, mama!’ We are going be late. You’ve already had breakfast, we don’t need more food. It’s winter hun, you can’t wear shorts outside. Please wait a moment, I’m helping your sister. One step at a time, so you don’t fall…
‘I do it myself, mama!’ Here, let me help you, I can do it a little faster. Let me show you an easier way. How about we do this together? Maybe your big sister can give you a hand.

‘I do it myself, mama!’ Meltdown. Meltdown. Meltdown. Baths at 7am. Cuddles and disaster naps on the couch at 9am. ‘I do it myself, mama!’ And one day, they really do just do it themselves - and you’re so proud you could burst, but you’re also sporting just a few more grey hairs from the process. Let’s normalise that parenting (especially parenting toddlers!) isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, and that you can be both proud and incredibly frazzled at the same time. We’re only human after all, and so are they - just tinier versions. Now… someone please pass the coffee and chocolate.

The End of an Era

 It’s the end of an era. There will be no more babies in this household. 

I’ve thrown out the expired ovulation kits, the clunky old fertility monitor, the countless pee cups and even the stash of IVF medications living in my back fridge that I was too superstitious to discard until now.

This week marks the official end of our journey to parenthood. Now, it’s all about the journey THROUGH parenthood.

To those still struggling, hoping, grieving or worrying, you are strong. I’ll never forget this phase of our lives - where it taught us to be bigger, stronger, wiser, kinder on a path that nobody should have to face.

To those who supported me over the years, the excitement, the frustration, the jealousy. Through the darkest days of my life. Through the most joyous days of my life. To the ones who sobbed with me after we lost our babies. To the ones who cheered on a positive ovulation stick, who picked me up after yet another failed cycle. To the ones who celebrated our pregnancies even while going through their own journeys. You are the strong ones.

I will hug my girls tight every single day, and know that I’m going to raise them into their own strong warrior women, who will know how much we fought for them, and how much we love them.

Wacom Intuos: a review

Do your kids love to draw? If you've got a Creative Kid like Georgia, you need to check out the Wacom Intous - it's the perfect tool to get those imaginations running! We've been playing with it this past week, and it's been an absolute breeze to use.  

All you need to do is connect your Intuos pen tablet to your PC or Mac, get your kiddos all set up, and you're good to go! It's a great, visual way for your kiddos to create, draw and explore, and really encourages creativity. 

You can start simple with younger kids, and take it to the next levels when your children are older - the options are endless! Georgia decided to draw up her own pamphlet on looking after the ocean... completely of her own accord. It was a great conversation starter too! 

I love seeing how their minds work when they have the creative freedom, and the resources, to do what they love!

Did you know you can use your $100 Creative Kids Voucher on a Wacom Intuos of your own? 

Now's the perfect time to redeem it before the year runs out. Make sure you visit Wacom Australia and snap one up today - what will your tiny humans create on theirs?

Need some ideas on how to keep the kids entertained while at home - perhaps over the upcoming school holidays? Visit the Wacom Blog to read more!

Breathe Gently was provided with a complimentary Intuos from Wacom Australia for review - all reviews are my own. If you are interested in a product review appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me. #gifted #sponsored

You can also get in touch with me via my @mamajags Instagram page.

Pregnancy in a Pandemic

 Hi baby girl!
Being pregnant in a lockdown isn't something I've experienced before. Amelia was a new baby when our first Covid wave hit last year, and that was hard enough. I missed my village, people missed her growing up, she missed out on having a Meet & Greet, a Christening AND a first birthday because of the constant outbreaks that popped up.
Now here we are, over a year later, and this newest outbreak is just as brutal, if not more. It's hard being pregnant with not a lot of support. Every visit alone. Every ultrasound alone. Feeling worried for the birth, for the restrictions, for the limitations. Seeing stories of new mother's birthing alone, away from their support partners. It's just brutal.
But every kick, every nudge, every wiggle... I'm so grateful for every single one. This is my last pregnancy, and I'm soaking it all up and so, so grateful to be here. Be safe and be well, friends. xx

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