Thursday, 6 November 2014

Mummy Time #16: Jazmin Balfour

Jazmin has minimalist mama style totally nailed - I want her to style me... and my home! Her wonderful Instagram feed includes snapshots of her life in Norwich with her gorgeous son, Reuben, outfit photos, and inspiration taken from Pinterest. Jazmin let me choose the photos for this post and I was completely spoilt as all of them are just spot-on... However, wouldn't play ball with me so I had to remove the whitagram-esque edges (it was making them grey), therefore I recommend you have an insta-stalk to see for yourselves if you're not already a follower!


Who are you?

Hi, my name is Jazmin. I live in Norwich City Centre with my soul mate, Alex, who is an account manager for a web development company. We have been together for five years and we had our first son, Reuben, on February the 26th 2014. Reuben is now eight months old.

What do you do for a living?

I am a visual merchandiser for the Plus Size and Petite range at New Look in Norwich. I took nine months of maternity leave and I have now returned four days a week. We are so lucky that both my parents and Alex’s parents are completely on board to help out so we don’t have to worry about childcare. My partner and I also run a luxury accessories brand for men called Aart & Lola (, and we specialise in bespoke handmade ties from the finest English Silk. We have been featured in a couple of magazines as well as Norwich Fashion Week. We are currently re-branding & producing our spring collection which will be available for purchase in the New Year.

How are you?

I am busy! Some days are really hard, with two jobs, a baby and a household to see to it can become tough. But I have a great support network.

What do you do to relax? 

I sit and read magazines, shop, or watch awful day time TV.

What do you do when you have time to yourself?

Mostly clean, or work. I also like to put Michael Jackson on full blast and dance around like I am a teenager again.

How does a typical day go?

Reuben normally wakes at around 6am and has a bottle in his cot, now I have stopped breastfeeding, then falls back asleep until about 8.30am. While he’s asleep I’ll clean and have a bit of time with Alex before he goes to work. Once Reu wakes he normally plays while I finish cleaning then we will have breakfast together. He then has his first nap around 11am-ish which can last anywhere between 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the night before, really. I normally sit down and relax or do some more cleaning. Once he wakes from his nap we normally play at home or go out for a walk or see friends. He has his lunch at around 1 o'clock and we then meet Alex and all come home for lunch. Afternoons are normally spent watching films together, reading books and playing. Alex gets home at around 5.30pm, while Reuben is eating his dinner, so Alex gets some time to relax before Reuben wants to play and have cuddles with daddy. Alex will then play, bath him and put him to bed for around 8pm-ish.


How was your pregnancy?

My pregnancy was awful. I was an emotional wreck. I suffered an ectopic pregnancy last February and found out I had Endometriosis. I was told having children naturally would be difficult, so Reuben was a miracle. I was considered a high risk pregnancy for the first 15 weeks, and suffered morning sickness all day and all night until 30 weeks. For the first couple of weeks of being pregnant my hormones were sky high- I snapped at everyone as I had so much worry that I was going to lose another baby & then not be able to conceive again. But once we had our first scan and I was told all was fine and healthy, my fears were lifted. I went into labour at 34 weeks (due to stress) and was transferred hospital and given steroid injections. After three days of contracting they just stopped and I was sent home and put on bed rest until 37 weeks. The day I was “allowed” to do stuff, I went into labour.    

Did you have any cravings?

Cans of Coke- it couldn't be from a bottle, it HAD to be a can.

Did you find out what you were having?

Yes, and I am glad we did. We are rubbish with surprises.

How did you decide on your names and you already have the names ready before they arrived?

We wanted a traditional name and Reuben suited us. Albert his middle name, named after Alex’s grandfather and my great grandfather - both amazing men.

How did your prepare for your baby’s arrival?

I didn't really do a lot, I gave birth too soon so we missed our Antenatal classes. I just watched a hell of a lot of One Born Every Minute (I don’t recommend this as I worried I had all this stuff wrong with me).

How was your labour?

My labour was amazing – it was around five hours long, start to finish. We didn't actually think I was in labour as the contractions were manageable; we went for a long walk, which I think helped a lot. When I started getting them two minutes apart we called the Midwife-led ward who told me to come in. I bounced on a ball while I was waiting for them to do my blood pressure and checks. Then I was straight in a birthing pool, an hour of pushing with no pain relief and Reuben Albert Seeley was born weighing 7lb 2.  It was so good that at two days old he was at our dress fitting for our first fashion show.


How did you get on with breastfeeding?

Amazing - he latched on twelve minutes after being born, and my milk came in two days after that. The only time I had a meltdown is when I got mastitis when he was three months old, but I fed through it and took antibiotics. I stopped breastfeeding exclusively at five months, in preparation for going back to work. I then stopped feeding at night at six months.

Does your baby have a feeding routine?

Reuben loves milk so he will have between four to six bottles a day, which I know is probably too much, but he is on his weight line so I don’t worry too much. I think I am still used to feeding on demand.

What was your approach to weaning your baby onto solids?

We started weaning at 20 weeks with advice from the doctor - I was losing too much weight & Reuben was feeding all day. We did purees and now he loves food & we do a mixture of finger food and lumps.

What are your baby's favourite foods?

Rice cakes. He can’t get enough of them!

Does your baby have a sleep routine?

He sleeps from 8pm-6am then has a bottle and sleep again until 8am. He naps at 11am and then again at 3pm.

How do you keep your baby entertained?

He just likes to play with anything. He is very active so crawls everywhere. Just being in his pushchair keeps him amused- he loves people watching.

When you're baby's freaking out, what do you find helps to calm them down?

We are pretty lucky and he doesn’t really ever freak out. We are both pretty laid back and when he does we just gentle rock him & cuddle. He is normally fine after that,

At what age did your baby start becoming more mobile and how do you cope with it?

Reuben started crawling at 6 months old.  We live in a coach house style apartment so stair gates have had to go up. I have found leaves in his mouth from the house plants, but once told ‘no’ he soon moves on.


Have you taken your baby on any holidays?

We have been away twice with Reuben & also on a lot of trips to London. We took him to Camp Bestival when he was five months old and it was great, I’d recommend it to anyone with young children as it is aimed at families. He cried a lot of the journey, as he was going through a stage where he hated the car, but we popped on the dvd player and he was amused. We stopped regularly as I was breastfeeding and it was a five hour drive each way. We camped for three nights and he was an angel. He loved the sights and music, and Mr Tumble live. 

We then went on holiday for a week to Cornwall where we rented a cottage. He slept the whole way there and back. The holiday was amazing - he loved it. The sound of the sea helped him sleep all the way through and we spent a lot of time on the beach and went for walks. It was a good test as we have booked a holiday with Kid & Coe to Italy for three weeks next year and we are driving and, although he will be a bit older, we know we can do it.

What were your baby holiday essentials?

Our front carrier for both of our times away. He loves it so much as he is close to us but can still see.

Was your baby's routine affected by being on holiday?

His routine wasn't affected at all really. I think because we are so laid back, he is too. We just kind of go with the flow a lot. 

Did your baby seem to be affected by the change of environment?

It was really hot both times we went away so lots of water and sun cream were needed. He was fine though.


Does your baby have a favourite toy?

His lovely Paul (it’s a Paul Smith rabbit we called it Paul as a joke really and it has just stuck). He carries it everywhere sleeps with it, chews the ears & rubs his faces with it.

What was your most recent baby or baby-related purchase and why did you buy it?

I bought some Marimekko bibs for Christmas and a couple of new Natursutten dummies (he won’t take any other brand).

What has been the most useful thing you've discovered?

A white noise app. It’s a life changer.

What is your baby’s mode of transport?

We have the new Stokke Xplory, I love it. It cost more than my first car but was totally worth it. It’s high, which means we have eye contact the whole time with each other and has a small turning circle which is great when you live in a city centre. The only down points are that it won’t fit in the boot of a lot of cars & it’s not great if you have to go up and down a lot of curbs. It was Alex’s choice and I am so glad we went with. It was great on the tube also and light weight to get up and down the stairs.

What are your baby essentials when you go out?

Dummies, Paul rabbit (HA), and drinks for us both.

Where are your favourite places to shop for baby clothes?

H&M. I just love the basics.


What do you wish you knew before you had a baby?

Don’t worry about the people that change during your pregnancy because you will meet a hell of a lot of stronger people who you have more in common with. Also, rest a lot.

What's the best advice or most useful tip that anyone's given you about parenting?

I am stubborn and don’t really take parenting advice, but the best thing someone ever said is leave the housework and just enjoy the cuddles - you can never give too many.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with other mums or expectant mums?

Sleep and enjoy as many date night as possible. Also keep the receipts for baby clothes if you get the wrong size you can always change them.

I hope you enjoyed this week's Mummy Time post, and thank you to Jazmin for sharing!

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Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. It really means a lot! Nicki x