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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

14 weeks pregnancy update

So here I am being annoying pregnant blogger again and 14 weeks done and dusted (This is almost  week overdue now, I'm further on - couldn't decided if this was a really boring thing to be writing about) it's weird, because time DOES seem to be flying, but yet at the same time seems to be taking FOREVER until my next scan and finding out the sex time! (not sex time, gender time obv)

So how am I feeling? Overall, good. I use this term loosely, because in the day I feel ok, granted, I get tired by say 4 pm, and can often be found in a tired stupor if you  ask me to stay awake past 9pm but one cant really complain. My belly or should I say 'bump' seems to of popped a little more and I think I do look bigger and possibly, dare I say it, more pregnant (either that or I just look like I've had a superb eating Christmas) other symptoms, seem to of disappeared, although that being said I didn't really have much nausea/sickness (I've been really lucky) I've had a few days of headaches, but I think it was due to me being a little dehydrated. I have however been dealing with a lack of sleep. Unfortunately I have been getting alot of hip/joint pain the more I sleep on my side - I have been reading up that this is quite common. Common as it may be, it still sucks ass to get NO sleep during a night and then having to wake up at 6am to start work (dont tell me, good practice) I have read that a memory foam mattress topper can make a difference so going to look at getting one, and on my agenda is to start pregnancy yoga. More on this to follow.

Cravings? What have I not been eating. I've really noticed that I need to eat regularly now, I actually have breakfast these days - which is a first! I am craving lots of sweat stuff and err, fried food. tut tut I hear you say. I wish I could tell you I was being all super duper healthy like some new age mum, but alas I'm not! Whoops! The one thing I cant get enough of is Chewits. yes, that chewy sweet? yep... THEM! Can't stop. The one thing I cant stand? Lasagne..... *vom*

Baby is just over the size of a lemon right now and can now squint, grimace, frown and guess what PEE! Also baby can maybe possibly suck its thumb. It's all very exciting, if not a little hard to believe at the same time!

See you next Sunday for week 15 update!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Doing up the living room - frugal style

It's been several months of long, hard, work (namely for my OH) but our living room is FINALLY finished and I couldn't love it anymore. Pictures are up, the finishing touches are in and at last ,we have a new sofa after living with a very compact (read SMALL) two seater sofa that barely fitted bot home and the hubby on, lets just say it was WAY closer than I ever wanted/imagined it would be.

Despite the innate moaning I done throughout the entire renovation of the living room, I do love it now. Swings and roundabouts and all that! So I thought I'd give you a little insight to our new living room that was grafted lovingly all on a very tight budget! I kinda wish I had done more before,during, after blog posts but I kinda didn't really know if that would interest people as we aren't even close to some of these Pinterest board interiors.... so here are some of the little, frugal changes we've made to our house.

Our ssuperblovely,comfy sofa came from DFS and was a mere bargain considering all the customised changes we made to it - it has a double sofabed in it as well and fixed back cushions which are much better for longevity compared to cushion back. I added two red cushions. the covers came from Primark costing £3 each and used cushion filler from a haberdashery store. Our curtains came from Homebase and the picture from Photobox using our wedding pics. It cost about £80 in total but is gorgeous!

Had to have some rabbits involved somewhere. These came from Wilkinson's and cost a total of £10 combined! Bargain! The flowers are faux and came from Dunelm totalling £5! 

My two favourite prints in the room came from Boo and Boy. The first one features the date that me and Mark got engaged and the second features our wedding date. These are so reasonably priced considering the superb service and amazing design. They are miracle workers there! We 'may' have left room for a third for when baby arrives!

Alongside what I have shown you above, we also reclaimed our old parquet flooring. It was in dire need of some attention and despite people telling me parquet is 80's, we decided to give it a new lease of life and restored it by sanding it all down, repairing all the loose wood pieces and varnishing it to within an inch of its life. it was hard work and took a long time but we finished it and it looks amazing! We completed this task all by ourselves MASSIVELY reducing the spend! 

So there we have it, snippets of our DIY (literally) living room!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Sunday Reading: Sealed with Kiss - Rachel Lucas

Wouldn't be surprised if I wasn't the only person who said they would read more in 2015 - I am fully aiming to read a book every two weeks (here's hoping) and first up is a nice easy read.

I had this title recommended to me by a close friend before Christmas but unfortunately never got round to reading it. A first of Lucas's books Ive read it was described to me as a good easy-to-read book that had a real nice feel-good nature about it - JUST what I was looking for!

I found this book to be so comforting, friendly almost and fell in love with the detail descriptions of the surroundings. Focusing on the character Kate as she run's away to a completely island in Scotland after breaking up with her long-term boyfriend, I immediately felt some recognition and friendliness to her - we've all been in THAT position of just wanting to disappear somewhere new, to escape, to begin again. Rachel manages to describe the characters in such a way that we get a real insight to their emotions despite it being written in third person. Each character that we are introduced too really does have their own personality that is really brought to life with every description and spoken word.

Lucas manages to spread this trait to describing Kate's surroundings. I have never been to Scotland before but I sure as hell felt like I really was there when I was reading. The wildlife, the scenery, everything felt blissful. you get a sense of just hot remote it is, how the weather reflects the surroundings. I don't want to give too much away in terms of storyline, although I will say this is chick-lit at its very best. With warming characters and a really interesting storyline this really is how to do chick-lit. I finished the book feeling genuinely sad to come to the end, but felt thoroughly fulfilled and altogether good inside.

I would thoroughly recommend Rachel Lucas and can't wait to read more of her books!

Available to download via Amazon HERE

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Some pampering for me AND the bump

I am most definitely a bath queen, showers are too impersonal for me, baths are more in touch, more sensual and all the more relaxing - something of which I really look for now I have the bump in tow.

With many sleepless nights that now seem to be affecting me (hip pain anyone) and being massively busy both at work and at home decorating the house, running a bath means a whole lot more to me than it ever used too! I was really lucky to be gifted a Cusson's Mum & Me gift bag for Christmas by my very thoughtful sis in law - now, I'm not going to lie to you, but I literally had NO idea that when you were pregnant there were bump specific products to benefit you so was really intrigued to see if these made a difference.

In the gift bag contained:

Smooth and Glow Pregnancy Shampoo
Relax and Unwind Bath Soak
Soothe and Nourish Body Lotion
Relax and Unwind Sleep Mist

and an extra gift I was given was:

Stretch Mark Cream

The shampoo promised to make my hair more manageable, and despite only being into my 4th month of pregnancy, I have found my hair to be very dry and a bit coarse and wiry (this is after it was CRAZY greasy in the first trimester) I was really eager to try this in some small hope it might make the mop look a little more decent. The smell was gorgeous: very gentle, almost smelt baby-ish (that sounds weird but hopefully I'm not the only one to think so) and was very fresh. My hair felt really clean , after using and wasn't greasy at all. I found my hair to still be rather dry at the ends but overall it had a softer feel, however my hair still looks a mess! (I can thank growing out a crop for that!)

The Bath Soak contains Camomile to help de-stress as well as moisturising proprieties. I'm a Radox girl through and through and have used the Sleep Easy scent for far too many years so was really reluctant to give this a go, I was however really surprised with how moisturising it was on my skin, normally my skin does feel a little tight after a bath, but that had disappeared without a trace. The smell again was very soft and baby-powder, almost 'Matey' like (for those that remember) and it produced a fair few bubbles - easily pleased me! I ant say whether it was the Camomile that made me feel more relaxed or whether it was just the bath itself  - but I enjoyed either way.

The Body lotion contains Avacado (yum), almond and grapeseed oil to help moisturise and an ingredient called Allantoin which can help with itchy skin. The cream was nice and thick but absorbed well into the skin, without leaving any residue. The scent was delicious, to the point I DESPERATELY wanted to squeeze it in my gob... I know. the only downside was that my skin SO dry I found I needed to apply in quick succession otherwise my skin would've gone dry and scaly again (horrid central heating)

The Relax and unwind sleep mist is just total YUM. I am tempted to wear it as a perfume, as well drink it. It's just one of those amazing scents that not only smell clean, but its gentle, softening, warm, fluffy and a little homely too... yeah ALL of those things. Whether it helps me sleep, I have zilch idea, BUT I do notice myself feel calmer when I spray and breathe it in! This is a MUST,

I was also given the Stretch Mark cream also. This was on a huge recommendation from my sis in law who had used it and she didn't have ONE stretchmark, so... we shall see. BUT upon use, it's lovely and thick and feels really luxurious!

Personally, I love the Bump range from Cussons. I'm not saying its benefiting me anymore than other standard, unbump products, BUT I actually enjoyed the fact it was specific for pregnancy, even more so when I have noticed a change in both my  hair and skin. I would highly recommend all the products. Just try not to fall so in love with the smells you want to eat them.....

The gift pack is priced at £16.99 and the Stretch Mark cream at £9.99

Saturday, 10 January 2015

BUMPy opinions....

So I have dared to write my first mummy-to-be post - judge me if you will! Not gonna lie though, this being pregnant malarky sure gives me lots of inspiration on things to write! First up, BUMP talk.

It's that age old thing, unless a woman plasters a post-it note to her forehead the main tell-tale sign of being pregnant is well, her bump. As I am now in the second trimester I am finding that I seem to be brewing a little bump. I've been quite lucky pre pregnancy to have a relatively flat stomach without much work as I seem to carry any excess on my legs and hips, so my teeny tiny bump seems to of popped from nowhere, but yknow what, I love it. One thing I have learned already in pregnancy is that every single one is different and no two women are the same and this too, includes the size of a bump. And so I found out recently.

Upon posting a photo to instagram of my maternity/preggars fashion, I rec'd so many lovely comments about my bump which is BEYOND lovely to hear, but what I was surprised was the random messages from people to tell me they were surprised at my size, and how BIG I was for how far along I am. 

I was surprised, shocked possibly, but it really did make me wonder what was wrong with me. One thing I have been warned by from my friends that are already parents is that when you announce a pregnancy, everyone has their own opinion, but the better side of me didn't believe it. But here I was,  subjected to all things bump related. Dare I say, it made me feel bad about the bump I have, it made me a feel a little abnormal, so much so I had to do some reading up to check that I was... well yknow, OK. 

So is this the start of things to come? Can I get used to this type of opinion? Will I always feel like I should be comparing myself to other pregnancies? and should I just ignore? 

Monday, 5 January 2015

2015 - a VERY New Year

Did we all have a nice Christmas? how amazing is it to have some time off work, the excuse to eat endlessly, wearing pjs all day long, watching film after film and not getting up until midday, every day - it truly is a magical time. I had a great Christmas, not for the presents, but for the people that surrounded me with love, I will never be able to show just how much that meant to me, that made Christmas, oh that and another little secret I've been keeping......

For the past 13 weeks I have been brewing my very own little one and couldn't be happier. Granted, the timing sucks a little only starting my dream job not that long ago, but sometimes life throws you curve balls and well, this is one of those times. I'm beyond excited to share this news with you and as you can imagine it makes 2015 a very Happy New Year for me and the hubby. I'm due in early July and I cant wait to meet mini scribbles and I pray for continued health until he or she is safely with us.

So, where does this leave the blog? well, as with all the major events in my life, this blog shall follow me. The content will change, it'll have too but the name will stay the same. I'd like this blog to do what it has always done - be a memoir of my life and everything that goes on in it and  in this chapter, this would be pregnancy and having my first child. Im mega excited about it all and hope that my existing readers follow this really rather crazy journey and hopefully I might gain a few more but ultimately I hope whoever reads this blog, enjoys it for what it is. It's just me. I know some of you will moan and roll your eyes in fear of me turning into a mummy blogger but a part of me hopes I will - because why would I not want to share this very important part of my life with you?

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and have amazing hopes and dreams for this New Year - I have a feeling it may be a good one!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Christmas Greetings!

So, it has been a long time since I last updated the blog, something of which I feel incredibly guilty about. Life seemed to get SO much busier when I started my new job and unfortunately something had to give (shame it wasn't doing the husbands washing) so big apologies to those that used to regularly read my blog and who used to enjoy it, in a way I have kinda let you down. Soz.

However, as it's the season of goodwill etc, I'm hoping that my last remaining readers will read this post and kinda forgive me (the chocolate bribes will follow). It was my opportunity to wish each and every one of you a really lovely Christmas. Now is the time to really reflect on your year: remember the good, celebrate the excited and forget the bad but most of all take a look around you and really absorb those who are closest around you. Sometimes material things such as presents are given the highlight around Christmas, whereas things like watching old films with a loved one can be overlooked.

As I get older, I appreciate the small, so much more. I no longer ask for anything for Christmas. I have no needs or wants, all I ever want in my life is my family to be safe and well, for health and for us to be together in any way we can. I appreciate my mums cooking, the way I'll be made endless cups of tea by my dad throughout the entire Christmas period, the way Mark always buys Scruffy a present and then proceeds to wrap up and let her open it, the way we have to always have a basket of nuts that Mark has to crack open and the way the pieces fly everywhere! The festive buffet my mum always does and the competitive nature of the men when playing Monopoly. Sometimes the small things count for a whole lot more than a new handbag or pair of shoes.

I hope you all manage to take the time to fully appreciate what is really important in your lives this Christmas. Take the time to be WITH your family, log off your computers, shut down Twitter and really be present with those around you.

Merry Christmas all, have an amazing time no matter what you're doing, and I shall see you in the New Year.

Monday, 17 November 2014

These boots were made for walking, dancing, etc etc

I have ALOT of shoes, I mean ALOT. I have heels, sandals, pumps and flats - leather, canvas, glittery and metallic  but what I dont have is good pair of boots. I have 'boots' I use the term loosely, they are more fashion boots and whilst they look pretty they certainly do not like my feet and y'know what, being of the age 30, I do look for comfort these days.

In answer to my feet prayers, I was offered the opportunity to try out Clark's for my boot needs this Winter. I have only one other pair of Clark's shoes but these a flat loafers. My initial thoughts were that I wouldn't find any boots that was in my taste but when I went into my local branch I was pleasantly surprised to find there was so much choice - from knee high boots to ankle. I was specifically thinking more ankle boots for me this year as I have expanding calf muscles and can never really find knee high boots to fit nicely. After trying on various tan and black boots, I knew I wanted to find something in black, ankle boots with a slight heel so I could wear to work and look smart and yet wear them more casually at weekends where they would be comfy enough for long walks out - not looking for much am I?!?

After much trying on (the beauty of going to the shops rather than buying online was trying different styles on) I decided to go for the Malm Dance ankle boot. Priced at £69.99 these ankle boots caught my eye as they were just a little different to everything Id seen and tried on. Similar to Chelsea boots, with a cuban heel that looked a little cowboy-ish, these were exactly the type of boot I was looking for, and once I tried them on I knew they were the boot for me - they were SO comfy.

Basically these boots are just yummy. They're first outing was to work - I don't do too much walking around work, but I wanted to see how they faired for the office - were they suitable to wear in the office or did I have to resort back to my court shoes? They were perfect. They looked great with a black leather-look dress and tights - it was a nice modern take on office wear.
This weekend me and my boots ventured out for some shopping. I decided to wear some black skinny leg trousers and peterpan neckline top, finished off with my fur leather jacket, the boots fitted in perfectly. The proof is in the walking, and well, these boots were comfy throughout my entire trip into town: no rubbing and the heel wasn't uncomfortable at all. The insides are well padded, especially on the ball of the foot (which is where I experience pain first!) and I lasted all day, walking around shopping and no pain - success! 

I loved the look of these boots and it completely changed my impression of Clarks boots - they were so much more modern, the fit was exceptional and the quality is brilliant - all priced at £69.99, you are getting alot for your money. I'm already eyeing up the Lisette Blues boots in tan - look at them, they are yummy! 

What are your favourite Winter boots?

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Sunday Reading: Human Remains - Elizabeth Haynes

Some of you may have remembered about a gazillion years ago my Sunday blog post used to be a book review, well since the wedding took over my life and the blogging took a back seat I didn't really get much time to read, however now that has gone - I have drifted back to my books and so here is the first of many book reviews! Before you all think I shall be sprouting something semi-intelligent, let me clarify, I read for sheer pleasure, I like books that I can immerse myself in: whether it be thrillers or the fluffy romance kind - it doesn't matter. I will pretty much read anything and well, my reviews are pretty much just my thoughts. That ok? Phew. Read on!

Elizabeth Haynes isn't as well known as some thriller writers but this is the second book I have read of hers. Her first book ' Into the darkest corner' literally had me on the edge of my seat, biting down on a pillow and left me sleeping with the lights on. literally. I could not read the book alone it was THAT scary. So I was thrilled to find other books she had written and promptly downloaded 'Human Remains' shortly after I finished.

With the tag line "How well do you know your neighbours? Would you notice if they lived or died?" Can only mean you're in for a creepy ride. This book is written, rather cleverly, from different people's point of view - normally this is something that I can't stand in a book, I lose track, get confused and don't normally like chopping and changing, but Haynes manges to make this way of writing really work - and in fact, it is essential for the story. 
Focusing around the character of Annabel a police analyst who is outwardly to others classed as lonely, but to herself she is busy with work - concentrated and sensible Annabel has taken on the role of carer to her elderly mother, is single and lives alone with her cat. Nothing different happens in Annabel's life that is until the discovery of her dead decomposing neighbour in the house next door. Annabel is just appalled to think that no-one, including herself even noticed. What immediately sets this book apart from normal writing is the way Haynes writes about everyday life so, REAL. I sympathised and related to Annabel as she spoke of the mundane-ness of everyday life, but when this shock turn of events happened, again we are placed exactly in Annabel's situation and like her, I would've immediately felt shocked and horrified.

Through Annabel's work does she find similar case of deaths involving people being found much later, in their homes already dead. Annabel's real struggles to get anyone to listen to her and her findings are both frustrating for the reader as they are for the character, you get a real sense of her feelings.

The new individual we are introduced can only be described as odd. From the outset, Haynes manages to create a creepy chill with this character, we instantly know there to be something wrong with this individual but its pure genius the way Haynes manages to build on this character throughout the book until the point as to which your blood runs cold. Playing with underlying humour makes this character seem clever, slightly masochistic. Haynes is clever to write from the differing point of views, Annabel, the man behind it all and the deceased, makes for an ever changing storyline that doesn't give you time to relax. The man behind it all makes for uncomfortable reading but that's not to say you dont want too. The way Haynes writes from the two main characters point of view makes the story really get under your skin and prompts you to just keep turning the page.

For me, this wasn't AS good as Into the darkest corner but lordy, it is a good read, if not uncomfortable because it is so believable. A must-read for anyone who likes    thrillers. Thoroughly recommend.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

'There's no place like home' *clicks heels*

Now, I'm not going to blow you away with how heartfelt and serious this blog post is going to be. Nope, in all honesty, this is one of those posts that is purely there for show, like on a dark miserable day and all you crave is seeing some light... yeah, it's a bit like that but this time with sparkles. Y'see mostly I'd like to think my life is missing sparkles - both diamonds and fake ones but really, who gets to have a bit of sparkle on an every day basis? no-one. This blog post pretty much is that.

I cannot stop thinking about sparkly shoes y'see, I'm pretty sure its that time of year, I'm starting to feel a little more Festive and well, now we're getting into darker times of the year I cant help but feel I need something to put some oomph into my wardrobe. Anyone feel like that?!

Sparkly shoes and boots this season really are part of your staple wardrobe - you need them! (I give you permission) This year instead of saving the shoes or boots for that one special occasion, why not try teaming them for during the day, at work, out shopping, lunch with friends - sparkles can work for during the day too. This season why not opt for shoes with a block heel - no more ball pain (no sniggering) for pointed toe flats and for ankle boots that are slightly wider at the top. Here are my top picks to get sparkly this Winter

I love these boots more than my entire wardrobe and I pretty much fell off my seat when I saw these - yeah, that much love. These slightly wider ankle boots would look great teamed with some black trousers or even teamed with a dress or skirt. The list is endless, in fact anything is possible with these boots. Their sparkly right?!

For those of you who want a little bit of everything - we're talking glitter, mesh, bows and a rather sizeable heel - these are the shoes for you! Truly shocked that these babies only cost £38, these shoes are just stonkingly gorgeous, no other words needed.

I just had to include a red sparkly pair! Now, I'm not gonna lie, these shoes are both out of my budget and I'm pretty sure my feet will leave me if I make them walk in these, alas they are just so pretty... I mean look at them, they really are a eye-catcher!

How cute are these? and hey, look at the price tag and they are flat! WOOHOO! These very pale pink glitter pumps are a great festive shoe to wear to, err, pretty much everything - dressed up, dress down - it really doesn't matter, just buy!

These Matalan heels are great for the Christmas party season. Sometimes block heels can be a little bit too much, but the part glitter on these heels makes them seem a little bit more delicate and feminine. Oh and £18. Nuff said.

YES. I KNOW. I could buy an old car for this price, but a girl can dream right?! These Christian Louboutin brogues are the stuff dreams are made of! Sparkly, comfy, pretty, their Louboutin's for goodness sake, yeah, please someone buy them for me.... please? 

So, there you have it, serious sparkles. I told you this post wasn't rocket science, or that it wasn't going to change your life, but hey we all like to look at something pretty right? Well, this season sparkly is most definitely it.

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