Sunday, 26 January 2020

AZURA BAY MATERNITY LINGERIE


If you've been following my blog and social media for a few years, you will have seen I often collaborate with Azura Bay, an ethical lingerie and loungewear store who specialise in eco-luxe fashion for women. Although I have never met Ashley, I feel we have connected with our passion for empowering women and celebrating the female form through beautiful lingerie. The blog you are about to read is in collaboration with Azura Bay, and I am going to share some of my experiences of breastfeeding.


Naturally, when I found out I was pregnant, I didn't want to stop modelling. I wanted to feel empowered with my new body and celebrate it, not hide it away. I also wanted to document the changes my body went through, because not only did I find it fascinating, I also found it quite challenging. The first significant difference I noticed was the size of my boobs they grew - quickly. Almost overnight! In all honesty, it wasn't something I wasn't prepared for at all, but it was something I eventually embraced and just made sure I adapted my wardrobe to my expanding body.

I reached out to Ashley at Azura Bay to see if she had any lingerie that would suit my pregnant physique and soon to be a postpartum body. Much to my delight, she did, and I was gifted the most beautiful Nursing / Transition Bralette. It was and still is the most luxurious and elegant bra I own, to date!

So now you know the bra I lived in while pregnant and breastfeeding, but let's chat a little more about "pregnant boobs."

To put it bluntly - my boobs felt heavy. They ached, they were sore and uncomfortable, but the minute I put on the Mayana Genevieve, Nikki Black Lace Bralette I felt instant comfort. It was like someone has lifted all the extra weight off my chest, releasing the pressure off my back, it felt like heavy. Now looking back at them, I realise HOW BIG they were. They were almost the size of my head, and I have a big head! It is quite spectacular how much your body changes.

Well, the changes don't stop there. When I gave birth to Albee, in the early hours of 30th August 2018, my body changed again. I was no longer carrying my son. I was holding him in my arms, breastfeeding him and kissing him gently on his forehead. It was the most mind-blowing feeling and still is nearly 18 months on.

Breastfeeding, however, was not the magical experience I thought it would be. I struggled a lot at the start; I couldn't get into the swing of it. Albee didn't latch well, and as a result, I ended up with mastitis in both boobs, one of which resulted in an abscess. I had to go to the hospital so many times I lost count. I had my boobs drained, which was not a pleasant experience and meant I had to leave my son with a family member much earlier than I would have liked. It was not to welcome into motherhood that I expected. I wasn't fully aware of how unwell it had made me until the third course of antibiotics hit my system. I thought I was just tired after looking caring for a newborn, but there is tiredness, and there is not being able to pick your child up because your body is so unwell.

I then had to express for six months and combination feed formula and breastmilk, to try and prevent the same thing happening again!

It was not how imagined my breastfeeding experience to go. I thought I would be able to feed Albee for at least a year. It did break my heart, and I battled with a range of emotions and feelings, all of which I put on myself. However, looking back on it, I know I tried my best, and I made the best decisions for my son and me.

Now I am 18 months on, and Albee is thriving, and I want to share my advice on breastfeeding and feeding for expecting mothers. So here they are:

Listen to your instincts
Do what feels right for you. You know your body better than anyone so listen to it.

Buy a great bra
If you chose to breastfeed, invest in a good-quality nursing bra. I cannot rate the Azura Bay Mayana Genevieve, Nikki Black Lace Bralette enough. For pre and post-birth, all you want is to be comfortable, but it doesn't need to leave you feeling frumpy. You CAN feel beautiful and be a nursing mother!

Ask for advice in the right places.
Chat to your friends, call your local breastfeeding specialist, and ask family members who have had children. Sharing your experiences and calling upon others for their advice will help you understand the journey you are on.

Fed is BEST
A fed baby is the best kind of baby. Many will argue that breast is best, but if it is making you unwell or stressed, then maybe it's not.

Be patient with yourself
You are going on a crazy journey, and whether you choose to breastfeed or not, you are going to feel many emotions. Hopefully, lots of these emotions will be positive, but trust me, there will be a few that are not. Try not to dwell on these. Just ride it out, relax and trust in the process.

I hope that by sharing my story that it may help some of you. If you are an expecting mother or a new mother reading this, remember you are enough, do what you feel is best for you and your child and give yourself time. Time to adjust to your new role, be patient and above all enjoy it ALL!



Photos by Checkered Photography 

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Tuesday, 10 December 2019

DIY Wire Shell Ring



A little while ago, Kernowcraft sent me a Gemstone ring DIY kit. I couldn't believe how simple it was to put together and it really took no time at all! I actually didn't even use any tools, but you may want to use a spoon or if you have the kit, a bezel rocker.


It really is a two-step process and you have your very own stunning ring with the gemstone of your choice. It is very much a beginner-friendly kit, which would make the perfect gift for anyone who is a budding jewellery designer or who has a love of rings. 

Here is how I made my own Wire Shell Ring. 








Step 1
Place the cabochon into the ring setting.
Mine is a Peruvian Amazonite Cabochon









Step 2
Use a bezel rocker (or spoon!) to gently push the claws of the setting over the stone - alternating from each side, to keep the stone central. 

Or as I did, with my fingers, then later, finishing it off with a spoon to ensure it was secure.


There you have it! It is that simple. To grab on for yourself just click here





*gifted from Kernowcraft 




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Sunday, 10 November 2019

Over One Year On

It’s been a while since I spoke about motherhood — nearly seven months, which is a little embarrassing. But, as all parents know, time flies by when you've had kids, ah screw that, time flies for everyone.

One thing I will say about my life flashing before my eyes there has been a direct correlation with my lack of motherhood blog posts, and going back to work - one day shy of full time. Finding the time to sit down and write, doesn't come as easy as it used to, but hopefully, I will get back my blogging hat on a little more.

In June, I stepped back into the office for a few more days a week, and suddenly my life became full. The weeks flew by. The months flashed before my eyes and my time with Albee became more precious than ever before.

Albee is now 14 months old, nearly 15 months. He is walking, he can communicate with me. His vocabulary blows my mind! I never knew a child of his age could communicate in the way he does. Our bond is deep; I feel a real connection with him; he’s like my little buddy.

Each stage he goes through is lovely, and as much as I miss the newborn cuddles, and his ability to fall asleep anywhere. My walking, talking, pasta gobbling toddler that loves to play peek-a-boo has made motherhood fun for me, in ways I never knew possible!

Already, I have digressed. This blog entry wasn’t meant to be about how awesome Albee is, although I could write pages and pages on this subject. What I wanted to talk about was how I have felt going back to work, after having Albee.

It’s is getting close to my year anniversary of going back to work as a mother. Starting with just one day a week at three months, which may seem a little soon to some, but when you’re self-employed and also love your job, you have to make it work.

I struggled. I missed Albee, but I was also thrilled to be back at work. I loved being involved in decision making, planning collaborations, and writing about surfing again.

There were moments after having Albee that I felt like I’d lost my identity. My body had changed. My hormones were all over the place, and I questioned who I was and wanted to be.

Going back to work helped me reconnect with who I was before, and I feel fortunate to be able to say that. Not everyone gets that chance or loves their job. That one day at work a week helped me find me again. It also made me more present as a parent.

Then at ten months on, I was back in the office three days a week, with one day or working from home. Now, this was a lot harder because we had to decide to find childcare for Albee.

Our childcare is fantastic, but I still cried the first day I left him and had to go to work. I know I am not the only mother that goes through this, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

Albee is thriving in childcare, and our time together is filled with adventure, playtime and visiting family. I am excited for our days off together like I used to feel about weekends.

As much as it may sound like I have been smashing the work mum balance, it’s not without that horrible plague that I call “Mum Guilt!” I hate it. I have had no "mum guilt" from anyone in my life; the only person that makes me feel guilty is myself. Who knows why I do, because it’s flipping stupid. All I am trying to do is provide for my child.

It’s because of this terrible feeling that I wanted to write this blog post. Being a mother is hard enough, especially when you through trying to maintain a career into the mix. Whether you’re a stay at home, mum, working mum, juggling the two mum. Whoever you are and whatever you’re doing don’t be hard on yourself. You are doing your best and whatever you feel is right for your child. There is no right or wrong way to do this; we are all just winging it.

No one prepares us for the changes that we are set to face. Changes to our bodies, emotions, careers, relationships with our partners it's such a hard transition to go through. So, remember, never judge a mother by her perfectly styled hair and super on-trend outfit, because she is going through nearly all if not all the same emotional marathon that you're on.

Bringing up children is hard, it’s life-changing and a lot to deal with, so go easy on yourself. Take it all in your stride and trust in yourself; you are smashing it!


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Monday, 14 October 2019

Only Hearts Azura Bay

Back when the sun was warm on my skin, my tan was a little darker, my hair laced with saltwater and the days felt endless. So, with summer feeling like a distant memory, I thought I'd share images from another one of collaboration with ethical lingerie and women's loungewear store Azura Bay and photographer Lizzie Churchill

This was, in fact, my first lingerie shoot since having my son. My body has changed, and so has my opinion of it, but much to my surprise, instead of disliking my body since childbirth, I love it more. 

It has a new purpose; it created life and has helped me nurture that life and continues to do so. I will never look at myself in the same way. 

One thing I couldn't wait to do when I felt fully recovered from birth was to get into some pretty underwear. I was sick of wearing big pants and sets that made me feel frumpy. I wanted to be in sets that made me feel confident and comfortable at the same time.


I hope you like the images and stay tuned for more from our collaboration.

x











This blog features images which were taken as part of a paid for collaboration 

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Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Lighthouse Clothing

Coastal living is in my blood; it's what feeds my soul. I can say with my hand on my heart; I will never live away from the coast. There is a sense of freedom that I feel when I am on the beach; it comforts me and gives me a feeling of belonging - it's something I will never be able to live without.
Growing up in a city, spending 11 years of my life, feeling enclosed by my surroundings has made me never take for granted where I am now. The place I call home isn't just one town; it's not just Newquay, it's Cornwall. 
For over 20 years, I have called Cornwall my home, I have wandered her beaches, explored her coastal paths and gazed upon her quaint villages. I have found my favourite places on Earth, as well as some of the people I treasure the most. If you were to ask me how my perfect day would plan out, it would always revolve around the beach and the surf. I move with the tides and drift with the waves, and as long as I am out in the sea air, I am happy. 
Now, I am a mother and preparing to raise my son in this beautiful corner of the world, and I couldn't be happier to know that he will get to experience life on the beach. There aren't many days that go by when he is not on the beach at some point during his waking hours, crawling, playing in the sand and splashing in the rockpools. He keeps me on my toes, and I always need to be ready for adventure. 

Since welcoming in this new role as a mother, I have realised a few things: 
1. Coffee is always a good idea
2. You can get showers, dressed and makeup done in less than 20 minutes
3. You want to feel comfortable in what you're wearing. 
I live in jeans, striped tops, cotton shirts and jackets that will suit, whatever the weather. Not to forget barefoot on the beach and trainers for around the town, I am 100% committed to being comfortable, but still trying to feel stylish at the same time. I have found stripping back my style and going back to basics has made my life easier, hassle-free and my wardrobe more organised. 
When Lighthouse Clothing asked me to collaborate on a blog post, I jumped at the chance. Their Ocean ShirtCauseway Breton TopRathlin Jacket and Outrider Waterproof Coat are perfect additions to my coastal lifestyle. 
To celebrate the collaboration, they are offering you all the chance to get £10 off your first purchase with the code CORINNE10 when you spend over £40.

S H O P  T H E   L O O K S 

























This blog was in paid collaboration with Lighthouse Clothing 
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Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Making Surfing Fun

Since becoming a mum, I struggle to surf as much as I did pre-baby. No longer can surf every time the waves arrive, nor can I surf for hours and hours upon end. I am sure that one day I will, but Albee is so young still, and when you're a working mum, it's not always as easy as chasing the swell. 

At the start of my surfing journey postpartum, I really struggled to keep my surf stoke and struggled not to hold on to negative thoughts when it came to missing the surf because of mum duties. As soon as I accepted that my life had changed, and so would my surf time, I was quickly able to let go of any stresses and pressure I had put on myself and truly enjoy the time that I did and do have in the water ... all be it few and far between. 

I wanted to share these thoughts with you because I know how hard we can be on ourselves. As surfers, as mothers, as human beings. We put so much pressure on ourselves to perform to our best abilities all the time. To be doing the things we love all the time. When in reality, sometimes, that's just not possible. Maybe your childcare fell through, you're a single parent and have very little time to yourself, or you have to work late. Whatever the reasoning, life can simply get in the way of your surf time, and that is ok. 

It's unrealistic to expect to be able to do what you love all the time, and it's also an unnecessary pressure to put on yourself. I used to always feel like I had to be doing remarkable things all the time, and had to be seen to be travelling, surfing, shooting - "living my best life". When in reality, when I was, in fact, doing all of those things I took them for granted. I didn't live in the moment, appreciate the moment. I always felt like I was chasing the next thing. 

Now I don't travel as much as I did, my shoots are more sporadic, but I couldn't be happier. I appreciate the times that I am in the water, in front of a camera and find joy in planning mini staycations and daydreaming about trips away after the summer.

Maybe I have been rambling on a little too much and gone off on a tangent, but I just wanted to express how my life becoming a little more "ordinary" and a little less "instagramable" has, in fact, made my life fuller and made me a lot happier. 

I now surf less than I ever have before, but I am making surfing fun again. I enjoy the feeling of being in the water, sat on my board, not worrying about a thing. If you don't already, I urge you to try and do the same. Remove that pressure and make surfing fun! 








Photos by Ben Battell // Wetsuits by C-Skins // Surfboard by Fourth Surfboards
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Monday, 22 April 2019

Eco Parenting

Before having Albee I never really considered how much waste a baby could generate, it was something that had never really entered my mind, but when I started to get prepared for his arrival, I began to think about ways in which I could reduce my waste as a parent. Because let's face it, this is something we should all be doing in all aspects of our lives. So, with today World Earth Day I thought it would make sense for me to share my experiences reusable nappies and wipes.


It's hard to change the bad habits we have all got into, but motherhood was something I had never experienced before, and I was adamant I would do my best to not get into any wasteful routines. However, I also wanted to be mindful that I didn't know how I would find my new role and didn't want to add any unnecessary pressure, so I decided to try and focus on one area at a time rather than setting my sights on being a 100% plastic free parent, because I knew I would struggle with this. The area I chose to focus on was nappy time.


It shocked me when I found out some nappies take 500 years to break down. Five hundred years, which is crazy, and something that hit home. Especially when I remember a breastfeeding specialist telling me to change Albee every time he needed feeding to ensure he was awake, and that he could feed every couple of hours!


I would say I change Albee's nappy (at age seven nearly eight months old) around 4/5 times in 24 hours, sometimes more sometimes less but let's go with 5. So that's five nappies a day, seven days a week, for a month, you're looking at 140 nappies per month. Crazy isn't it!


Then there are the wet wipes, don't get me started on those! Most don't decompose, most clog up our drains, sewage systems and waterways and most contain chemicals which are tough on our babies skin. I hate wet wipes and only use them if I am stuck.


So if you're a parent of expecting mother, father or parent already and you're looking to reduce your little one's waste here are some tips I would like to share and some brands I am using, and I trust. Not everyone is ready to give reusable nappies a go, they can seem daunting, time-consuming and the thought of cleaning up you know what can fill some with dread. Hopefully, I will convince you to give them a go and help reduce your little one's waste.


N A P P I E S 



I brought 4 Bambino Mio nappies from Aldi and have been sent two more from the brand as a gift. Five of the nappies are the all in one system, and one is the two-piece nappy.

I can say after using them for who knows how many months they are amazing. Both designs have their benefits. The all in ones are quick, easy to get on, but I found the two piece system could hold more and had more room for extra linning. At the start, we had some accidents, because one thing I didn't realise is that they cannot stay in the reusable nappies as long as the disposable ones (well Albee cannot anyway!). So, I had to make sure I changed him more or added extra linning.


Don't be scared to use them out and about. Bambino Mio also sells convenient wet bags, which you can put any dirty nappies, you can zip them away, carry them around with you until you can get home and wash them. Add extra linning if you're going on a big car journey or putting them down for a nap. You can buy additional nappy liners or even use muslins or flannel cloths.

Washing them isn't an issue. I kept his nappies in a nappy bin, with some essential oil in it. When the bin is full I wash them on their own or with my reusable nappy wipes. I use a Bio D nappy sanitiser as well which is excellent and always make sure I wash my machine once a month (which I did before anyway.)





W I P E S 

My advice, buy the Cheeky Wipes System. You will not regret it. They are great for all the fluids your baby will excrete. They have changed my life. I carry them around with me and on the odd occasion where I have to use a wet wipe I hate it! I cannot shout about this brand enough; I honestly think they are up there with one of the best things I have EVER received.

In the set you get

- One dirty box

- One clean box

- Cotton Pads/Wipes

- Two types of essential oils

They are so easy to use, you simply get your cotton wipes wet in the clean box, wipe away the mess on your little one, then chuck it in the dirty box — that simple.

And same as the nappies I store them in the dirty box until the end of the day and then wash them with the nappies.


I honestly do not know what I would do without the Cheeky Wipes and the Bambino Mio nappies. They are by far one of the best products I have been gifted as a mother. They are clean, hygienic and kind on your babies skin and earth friendly.

Now I have shared the brands I have been using here are my top tips!

Don't be hard on yourself
If you use a disposable one from time to time. Sometimes, you have those days and especially at the start when life is one big whirlwind!

Be prepared.
Take multiple wipes and nappies and a wet bag to put them in. You never know how many you're going to need when you're out and about.

Find your own way.
Understand what works for you if that's one reusable nappy a day that's cool. Just do what suits you and your lifestyle.


It's a small step but it's a step all the same and the more steps we all take to reduce our waste can only have a positive result on the environment we live in.












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