Australia · Health and Wellbeing (mental, physical, emotional & spiritual)

Week 32 – Why is there hair growing on my belly?

My belly is growing hair and it is freaking me out.

I also can’t breathe properly and I seem to be going to the bathroom every half hour.

My little babe is perfecting their excellent karate moves, and quite frankly the strength behind each move is kind of shocking!

I had my first Midwife appointment this week, it was a private antenatal class which was quite good. Most of the information shared was information I had read or heard about from my sister or Mum, but as my Midwife was talking about my experience with my birth and my baby it really hit home.

There were tears and quite frankly I didn’t see that coming. I don’t cry easily, don’t really experience the happy tears and certainly don’t cry around people I don’t know! Yet here I was, picturing the moment I will meet our baby and I was overcome with emotions.

Truth be told I missed a fair bit of the information because my eyes kept tearing up at finally meeting our baby! The emotional hangover I had after the crying lasted the rest of the day and I actually had to go to bed early. Emotional wreck I tell you!

It is wild to know that we will meet our babe soon, I’m excited but nervous. I have two more weeks of work left before I start maternity leave.

I guess it’s nearly time to start planning my hospital stay!

What were your third trimester saviours?

Australia

Expecting Mindfully

Pregnancy is miraculous, a gift, an honour and a marvel which is hard to believe. It is also hard freaking work!

I’m now in my seventh month of my pregnancy (with my first babe) and ooo boy, I was not prepared for all the weird and wonderful surprises during this journey!

Our pregnancy was planned and long-awaited and when we found out I was pregnant, I honestly felt as though my heart was going to beat out of my chest.

2020 has been a time of awful uncertainty in the world, and to some degree it has been a real conflict to celebrate and talk about this baby, knowing the struggles and the pain Earth and her inhabitants are going through.

For my own mental health I’ve been keeping a mindfulness journal, intermittently – but I want to make a conscious effort to keep it up during this last trimester.

This is a little spot for me to write about my pregnancy so far, and pregnancy ahead. Primarily this has always been a travel blog, and then a mental health blog, so I am hoping the transition makes sense.

I would love to connect with other mums-to-be and especially other mums who have experienced peri/post natal mental health battles.

Courtney x

Australia

24 Weeks

‘When you moved, I felt squeezed with a wild infatuation and protectiveness. We are one. Nothing, not even death, can change that.’ – Suzanne Finnamore

In the last week my belly bump has grown, it is rounder than before and it feels much more firm. Moving in certain ways is getting harder and I am really starting to feel the weight.

There is more to it than just its growth though, I’ve started to feel movements. Your movements.

Beautiful, fluttering movements. After a really rough pregnancy, to be able to experience those first noticeable movements from you is nothing short of delightful.

When I wake in the mornings and roll over onto my back, I wait for you to rise to the surface (so to speak). I will feel the motion and shortly after see the risen part of my stomach. Last week you were mostly to the left, this week you have been to the right. I spend my first five minutes awake waiting for my little surface visitor. When you do meet my hand at the surface and push every so slowly against it, it is the days reassurance for me.

That what I am going through day to day, is for both of us. It is not just for me anymore. This alone beautiful but terrifying, both settling and overwhelming.

For now the flutters are just between you and I, the movements cannot be felt on the outside and your Dad hasn’t felt you yet. In your own time your movements will become more pronounced.

Thank you for greeting me in the morning, for having a little groove whenever I play music and for being the cute little frog you are at the moment.

I can’t wait to meet you.

x

Australia · Health and Wellbeing (mental, physical, emotional & spiritual) · Lifestyle · Social Media / Marketing

Organic Beauty Wipes – worth the hype?

I have long been the woman who uses her fingers to put makeup on, has the one brush for anything in powder form, and approaches skincare like a male farmer in his fifties (water and soap, right?).

I know that I should have started a skin-care regime years ago, lord knows my mother encouraged me too (sorry, Mum). Every now and then I have been somewhat committed but then, of course, I get bored with the whole thing. My bathroom is smaller than most people’s, the counter surface is minimal and the last thing I need is 50-thousand different products cluttering up the area, so anything deemed excessive or complicated gets the boot when I am cleaning.

Recently I decided to add to my collection of sewn products and try my hand at beauty wipes, and you guys I – AM – CONVERTED!

I have used these beautiful wipes for cleanser, exfoliant, toner, in applying and removing face mask products, I have even used them as nail polish remover pads.

If you are at all interested in making a purchase, I would be so thankful and chuffed! Free Domestic postage is available, Afterpay is available and $1 from each sale is going to Black Rainbow Australia for the month of June, I really want to crack my $100 fundraising goal!

x Courtney x

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Thank you for reading my post! I am a Brisbane based creative and blogger. I do not receive payment for my blogging, and in the event, I have been gifted any products and items, I will always mention this. I live with my Husband, make hand-crafted household and personal eco-friendly items, accessories, and provide photographic services when requested.

If you enjoyed my post, I would be so appreciative if you left me a review and liked this post :).

Australia

Who do I think I am?

photography of tree
Photo by gypsyugal on Pexels.com

Genealogy has always been fascinating to me. I loved to hear stories from my Mum and Dad about where we had originally come from. You see, they were just stories passed down from generation to generation. I longed to have the family history I had read about in Looking for Alibrandi. I wanted to have family recipes, old photos, old love letters. Anything that I could build on, stories I could share.

When I met my now-Husband he had stories of his Dad when he lived back in Ireland, how he grew up, what he overcame, and of course how he came to live in Australia.

When I was little I knew that we were ‘Irish’, as in Dad’s family line had come from Ireland (a long, long, long time ago). I used to take this and my red hair would make sense to me (only one in the family!), I believed my pale skin and my freckles were as a result of my heritage. Having a name with a ‘y’ and an ‘e’ where they really didn’t need to be made sense. Our Mum would tell us stories that her Dad had told her, and his Dad before him – about the Scottish and Norwegian heritage on her side.

ground group growth hands
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I have managed to trace my Paternal side back to Patrick Byrnes, who arrived in Australia as a convict in the mid 19th Century, my maternal side is very well tracked due to the Service records held from WW1 and WW2. So whilst administratively I have been able to put together some form of a family tree, the genetic side of things has been much trickier. Like a good fiction book, I come from a line of ‘I am not your sister, I am your Mum’, ‘Yes your name is XYZ, but I had a baby before you and named them XYZ before adopting them out’, and ‘Oh yeah, your Mum died, so I married her sister, who has the same name as you’. Seriously – it would make one hell of a book!

This search was to determine our genetic roots, it was so important to me to be able to have a foundation to build off. When I have children of my own, I want to be able to pinpoint their heritage. It is harder when your people have been in Australia for as long as ours have. I am really excited to pull apart the results and go through them!

Have you done your DNA testing? Did you have any surprises?

x Courtney x

Thank you for reading my post! I am a Brisbane based creative and blogger. I do not receive payment for my blogging, and in the event, I have been gifted any products and items, I will always mention this. I live with my Husband, make hand-crafted household and personal eco-friendly items, accessories, and provide photographic services when requested.

If you enjoyed my post, I would be so appreciative if you left me a review and liked this post.

You can find me on:

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For any wholesale, product sale, blogging or photographic requests – please email me at hello@courtneygayecreative.com.

 

Australia · Health and Wellbeing (mental, physical, emotional & spiritual) · Lifestyle · Social Media / Marketing

Baxter Blue Eyewear Review – Part 1

I spend way too much time looking at screens, not only with my social media, using my phone and running mybusiness, but I also work in front of a computer for 8 hours of the day, and that is just in my paid employment.

Often i will come home with eye-strain and headaches. I wear glasses at work, but that was to reduce glare, rather than as prescription. I have been seeing the ads for Baxter Blue glasses for a couple of weeks and Ifigured at a relatively affordable cost, it was worth trialling them.

I ordered them on Thursday and here we are on Monday morning and I have them, that is one hell of a fast turnaround! The style I was originally after were sold out, so I went with the ‘Clark / gloss black’ style – gotta love those strong lines and a classic style!

ACS_0575[1]My first impression is they are incredibly light and are a nice fit, I can actually feel (see?) the difference? My eyes feel less strained. I can see the difference looking at the screen, my eyes are hurting some, but I think that is because they are no longer straining, it will likely take some getting used to.

I will trial these for the week and see how I am at the end of the week, I go home with incredibly tired and itchy eyes most days, so if these provide even 10% relief, I will be thankful!

Baxter Blue provides a person in need a pair of reading glasses for each set sold – so seeing as 2019 is all about the year of giving for me, this gives me the warm and fuzzies. They have partnered with RestoringVision to provide this wonderful service, a not-for-profit organisation who has distributed over 7 million pairs of glasses to those in need since 2003.

My gorgeous new frames are going to: filter out 50% of harmful bue violet light, let the good blue light in, alleviate my digital eye strain, add contract to define characters on screen (I can see this already!),  fight reflections, avoid scratches and look pretty darn cute.

I will see how I go for the week, and provide an update for anyone who, like me, is heavily involved in digital screen time!

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*This is not a sponsored post, I will always honestly review items which I have bought and am trialling for myself.

Australia · brisbane · Health and Wellbeing (mental, physical, emotional & spiritual) · Lifestyle · Social Media / Marketing

Kind February <3

IMG_0972[1]Being charitable should be a daily task, like brushing your teeth or having a shower. Sadly, we sometimes only remember to be charitable when there is a particular function/event/drive and there is a chance to promote a particular organisation or cause.

My mission this year is to be charitable every day, in many different ways.

In November & December, I littered our kitchen with canning equipment, trays of fruit, far too much sugar and sterilised jars.

As it approached Valentine’s Day, I can honestly say my Husband is ready to lock me in the backroom to stop me from dropping thread and cotton and pins throughout our two-bedroom unit, as though I am personally shedding these items from my body.

IMG_2609[1]I have no intention of slowing down with my creations, I may have a pretty solid case of #scrunchiethumb and hear the sound of my sewing machine in my sleep, but I feel so good about my creations!

So, how can you help? Well, first of all, Lee is holding a pretty bloody cute Pop-Up Kissing Booth with her dutiful and cuddly Aussie Bulldog, Derek. If you are in the South-East Queensland area, then this event is for you – the details can be found here.

Your gold coin donation will go directly to the support of vital medical research products funded by the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.

February and March, my donations will be going to Cancer Research Australia, an organisation I was made aware of through my friend Lee, who is fundraising for this incredible charity throughout 2019. I am hoping to reach the $100 mark for them, as I did for Orange Sky Laundry.

I hope to see all of your gorgeous photos taken with the kissing booth and there will also be a few prizes given out for the winning photo of each location! You will go into the draw to win a dog kerchief + scrunchie combo, created by Rock it Like a Redmond :).

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Australia · Courtney's Travel Tips & Tricks · Health and Wellbeing (mental, physical, emotional & spiritual) · Love and Happiness (and all the fun bits in between) · Social Media / Marketing

My #instabreak (read: #instarelief)

A week and a bit ago, I decided to deactivate my travel Instagram page, @courtney_brisbaneblogger. It was a choice I battled with over and over and for the first couple of days, I honestly was not sure if I had made the right choice.

Now I can honestly say, I made the right choice. I am not waking in the morning and checking Instagram, worrying about the stats. Worrying that I am not getting notifications from the same people, being disheartened by the lack of engagement.

I miss the contact of several people, absolutely – but for the sake of my mental health, I have to tell you – it is the best choice I could have possibly made. I absolutely want to get back on there one day, although I wonder if there is, in fact, a way to clean-out my followers and those accounts I am following – without re-activating my account.

….

So I waited a week before I continued this post, just to see if my opinion had changed at all. It has not, thankfully. This last week I have been able to concentrate on my business, my work, and my I.R.L friends. I have not been caught up in algorithms and phony human-contact, hashtags, and scrolling through the same photos over and over again.

I can slowly feel my creativity coming back to me, I felt porous, leached dry of any genuine creativity when I was playing such close attention to my lifestyle/travel IG. There are quite a few people I have connected with, through text and message – those who genuinely understand the need for a break.

What I find to be completely amazing though, is the gorgeous woman who started our niche #gram tribe, also was going through the same thing! I had no idea when I was at our meetup (the night before I deleted/blocked everything) and looking at this incredible woman in the flesh, that she too was looking at taking a break. I’ve just checked and yep, this woman -who I really admire, has also taken a break from the gram.

The thing is, it is and is not real life, as much as any one thing can be both and both not something. You look at places, some genuine shots, genuine moments and then there are the pre-meditated, posed, screen-show masterpieces which are popular. It is fictitious, it is vacuous and do you know what? It is not inspiring. Not at all. It creates a breeding ground of doubt, of comparison and of an intrinsic sensation of failure.

I know there are people out there who are personally offended by my choice to delete my page or to stop communicating with them. All I can say is it is personal 100%. It was personal to me and I am feeling lighter, breathing deeper and my social media anxiety is fading.

Thank goodness.

Another thing to remember, social media is not real-life and other people’s actions are always made for THEM, not for you and that is A-OK.

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Australia · Lifestyle · Love and Happiness (and all the fun bits in between) · Social Media / Marketing

#thegram – an update, it’s time to ditch

The other day I wrote about how I was feeling towards #instagram and my travel/blog account.

Yesterday there was an incredible meet-up, for a travel group I was heavily involved in and truly loved. Given my feelings lately towards Social Media, and Instagram in particular – I was tossing up whether or not to go. I really wanted to meet the woman who had put the group together and had been so incredibly generous, kind and inclusive to all of us. There were a few other local girls I had chatted to on the platform and wanted to meet.

Despite my anxiety being a 15/10, I went and it was so lovely to ‘meet’ these people I have spoken with for a year and a half. Sadly my anxiety got the better of me and I had to leave. I only lasted around 45 minutes and my need to leave and get to my safe-place, home.

captureLast night I was so worked up with anxiety and stress related to my Instagram page that I actually decided this morning to A) delete my travel page I started with another person and B) temporarily (perhaps permanently) deactivate my personal travel / blog page.

This is no reflection on the wonderful members of the community I was part of, however I can honestly say I feel better about it already.

It is time to go back to enjoying my writing, getting my business off of the ground and centering myself. Thanks to everyone who has supported me, read my posts and encouraged me. I may or may not reactivate @courtney_brisbaneblogger / @courtneygaye travels, but for now I think I will just take a break and get back to what I really love.

I hope to see you around the traps otherwise, take care and look after yourselves and the things you love ❤

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