29 April 2014

My 25th Birthday

I can't believe I am 25 today.

A quarter of a century?! If I live my life again, I'll be 50... that's a really scary thought!

I've had such a brilliant day, and it's safe to say I've been spoiled rotten! I've been treated to a gorgeous lunch at Armathwaite Hall in Keswick, Cumbria by Tom, and have received so many lovely presents. My favourite has to be my Storksak Caroline changing bag! I can't believe Tom got me this - I was so determined to save up and treat myself. But I am so grateful for it, he really is the best husband ever. Not because of the gifts he buys, but the thought that goes into them.

Here's some snaps I have taken today - hope you enjoy having a little look through!













I can't believe this is my last birthday before becoming a mummy! I absolutely cannot wait :)

Thanks for reading!

Nicola xx
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28 April 2014

My Surprise Baby Shower!

Writing this post I am still in complete shock that not only did my incredible mum and cousin organise the most wonderful baby shower, but also that I had absolutely no clue about it!

I was told that we were heading out for afternoon tea to celebrate my birthday, but instead I was greeted by my family and friends for a surprise baby shower! As you can imagine, I was in completely blown away. That tied in with my crazy pregnancy hormones, I was just a blubbering mess saying ‘oh my god, oh my god!’ over and over.

So, I did get my afternoon tea, but with plenty of games, fun, laughter, and the most generous gifts - Baby J is one spoiled baby already!

I didn’t get too many pictures as I was a bit overwhelmed most of the day, but here are a few snaps that my cousin took – enjoy!














I can’t thank my mum and cousin enough for organising this for me, it was such a lovely surprise and I had such a wonderful day! Tom and I are so grateful for all the lovely gifts we got. It’s so incredible to think how much Baby J is loved and he/she isn’t even here yet!

I haven’t gone into too much detail about the games we played etc. but if you would like me to do a more detailed post please let me know!


Thanks for reading :)

Nicola xx
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27 April 2014

Beauty Haul!

You know you're a fully-fledged blogger when you get just as excited to photograph your new products as you do to use them!

I couldn't help myself! Not that I feel the need to justify my little splurge *yes I do* but it is payday, and my birthday on Tuesday, so it just seemed right that I treated myself to a couple of new things.


First of all, can we just take a second to appreciate how blooming beautiful these products are?!

I first saw this lipstick on the lovely Liza Pridaux's blog, and instantly knew I had to have it! it's the most gorgeous coral colour and feels so moisturising on the lips.

As The Body Shop had a 3 for 2 offer on, I also picked up this blusher. As you can tell, coral is my favourite colour and I it's perfect for spring and summer. I know I will get plenty of wear out of this. My third item was the Aloe Body Butter. I go through this like nobody's business, I absolutely love it. It's great for sensitive skin and is a lovely creamy texture that doesn't leave my skin feeling sticky after applying.

VO5 Heat Defence Styling Spray | VO5 Hairspray Extra Firm | Simple Kind To Skin Moisturising Shower Cream | Maybelline The Rocket Mascara | Collection 2000 Illuminating Touch Concealer in 02 Nude | The Body Shop Colour Crush Lipstick in 18 Sunset Romance | The Body Shop All In One Blusher in Macaroon | Lush Oatifix Fresh Face Mask | Collection 2000 Work The Colour Nail Varnish in Babydoll Pink



 I absolutely adore this facemask. It is my 'go to' pamper product. I love that it is all fresh ingredients (even though it means it doesn't last as long) so I know it is only doing good things to my skin. I love oats as beauty products, they always make my skin feel incredible and I can immediately feel the difference. I did a little post last week about a homemade moisturising body wash using oats, which you can see here.


I hope you enjoyed my little haul - It's the first I have done so I'd love to know what you thought and if I should do more of these!

Let me know any products you have been loving recently, I'm always on the lookout for new things to try out!

Nicola xx

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24 April 2014

Week 31 Pregnancy Update

How far along?
32 weeks today.
 
Total weight gain?
I was brave and got back on the scales this week…. I’ve put on 1st 12lb – urgh! I feel like I am starting to put a little bit of weight on my face now, which I can’t say I’m overly happy about! Ha.

Maternity clothes?
I’ve not got anything new – with only 8 weeks left I am just going to make do with what I have that fits… which isn’t much at the moment!

Stretch marks?
Still none.

Sleep?
I’ve actually been sleeping a lot better this week. Tom often wakes up feeling baby J kicking as he hugs my belly, but I seem to sleep through it quite easily :)

Best moment this week?
I’ve had a great few days off over the Easter Holiday – I did a little post with some pics which you can see here. We painted the nursery, had a few day trips out, and obviously ate lots and lots of chocolate!

Worst moment this week?
I can’t say I’ve had any bad moments, It’s been a great week.

Miss anything?
No.

Movement?
Lots! I did get quite a few sharp pains last week which I’ve been told is ‘lightning crotch’ – no need to explain, I’m sure you can imagine from the name what that feels like! But I think that was baby J turning as my midwife told me he/she is now head down – woohoo!

Food cravings?
None recently, I’m just trying to eat as healthy as possible and get lots of iron in my diet. My midwife said I’m not anaemic, but I could do with eating a lot more greens and red meat for the iron, so I’ve been trying my best to eat as much of that as I can.

Anything making you feel sick or queasy?
No.

Gender?
Surprise!

Symptoms?
Tiredness, backache, sore boobs, lightning crotch…

Belly button in or out?
In, but it looks almost flat now. Think it’s going to be an outie soon!

Happy or moody?
Happy!

Looking forward to?
My birthday on Tuesday :) I don’t have anything planned, but Tom and I are off work so we may go for lunch somewhere and do a little bit of shopping, which will no doubt be for baby J rather than me! Unless he has something planned that I don’t know about… either way, I’m looking forward it :)


And here is the bump for 31 weeks!

 
 
Nicola xx
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23 April 2014

Make Your Own Moisturising Body Wash

Hi Guys!
 
Today I wanted to do a little post telling you about my favourite product for moisturising my skin… porridge!
 
 
 
I have very sensitive skin and suffer from eczema, so I always try to look for products that are parfum free where possible, especially when it comes to bath and shower products and moisturisers.
 
I came across this little trick when I was having a very bad eczema breakout, and wanted something natural that would really moisturise my skin and sooth it, without all the nasty chemicals you can get in some products.
 
To make this it is very simple. All you need is:
  •  Porridge
  •  An old pop sock/stockings/tights.
 
 
 
Method: Take a pop sock or cut a section of tights, place a handful of porridge oats inside, tie at the top and voila! Easy peasy, and super cheap to make!
 
Just take this in the bath or shower with you, and the warm water will start to mush the porridge oats and give you this lovely creamy consistency that you can use all over the body.
 
 
It may sound like a silly one, but I absolutely swear by it, and urge you to give it a go if you are looking for something cheap, 100% natural and extremely effective. I use this when I feel like my skin needs a little tlc, and I can see the improvement in my skin immediately.
 
 
I’d love to know if you try this out and what you think!
 
Caution: do not put the oats directly into the bath, always use a pop sock or tights to contain them! I made this mistake once and getting mushy oats out of your drained bath is not an easy task at all!
 
Nicola xx
 
 
Copywright free image sourced from FreeDigitalPhotos.net for free.
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22 April 2014

Our Egg-citing Easter Weekend!

So sorry about the title! I couldn’t resist :)


I had the best Easter Holiday these past few days!

We've been very busy painting baby J's nursery, having trips into the Lake District, visiting family up in Scotland, and eating lots and lots of chocolate :)

I did start writing a post about what we got up to each day, but you'd have been on your third cup of tea by the time you finished reading, so I thought I would post a few pictures instead. Enjoy!


Amazing display at Ye Olde Friars chocolate shop in Keswick

Breakfast at Dobbies Garden Centre...yum!
Ready to paint!
Before and After! Full blog post to follow
The drive to Keswick
Gorgeous scenery!

Tom and Maya with their ice creams

 


Carlisle Market


 
Easter Eggs! Maya even got Baby J a present, so cute!

My cousin's beautiful baby girl Evie

Kids den out in the garden :)

Hope you all had a lovely Easter Holiday :)

Nicola xx

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20 April 2014

Spring Fever!

 
 

This week I have been in such a good mood, I feel like I am literally in love with life. That may sound really, and it may just be the sun getting to my head, but I feel so happy with life, and feel really thankful for everything I have and have coming my way!

 


J’adore… * Taking photos of pretty much everything * having huge clear-outs and spring cleaning * candles – and lots of them! * spending time with my wonderful friends and family * flowers * jewellery * watching my beautiful bump get bigger every day * sunshine * sunglasses * home accessories * lipgloss * pastel colours *

 
 

Do any of you feel more inspired by this lovely weather? I’d love to hear all the things you are loving – leave me a comment below or send me a tweet @nicljohnstx!

 

Nicola xx
 
 
Copyright free image sourced from http://pixabay.com/, for free.
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17 April 2014

Week 30 Pregnancy Update

How far along?
31 weeks today. (counting down in single figures now!!)

Total weight gain?
I haven’t weighed myself this week, so not sure.

Maternity clothes?
I Bought a new dress from H&M, just a basic midi dress that will do for both work and the weekends. It’s maternity, but I think I will still be able to wear it post-pregnancy! I’m absolutely in love with it and it was only £14.99, bargain! I’ll pop a link to it here.

Stretch marks?
Still none.

Sleep?
Still not brilliant, I keep getting woken by kicks which are lovely to feel, but they are so strong they are now waking me up!

Best moment this week?
The weather has been great the past few days, so we’ve been enjoying sitting out in the garden having a drink – non-alcoholic rosé for me!

My cousin and his wife also gave birth to their second daughter this week, so really looking forward to going for a visit!

Worst moment this week?
I had my whooping cough injection on Wednesday, and I was so ill after it! It wasn’t until I looked it up on the internet (good old Google!) that I realised how bad the side effects were. I felt extremely sick and nauseous, and just ached all over. So if you are advised to get this by your midwife, just be sure you are aware of the side effects beforehand!

Another bad moment this week, if you saw my tweet, was that I accidentally hovered up my favourite earrings! I got them for my 21st birthday from my late Gran, so they are extremely sentimental. Just imagine me sitting on the kitchen floor, crying my eyes out as I sift through the pile of dust from the hoover bag… not pretty! Luckily, I did find them and they are currently in the jewellers getting cleaned :)  

Miss anything?
I’ve really missed the ability to get off the couch gracefully – I feel like a beached whale at the moment!

Movement?
Still very active! Baby J is still breech, so I’ve been bouncing on my exercise ball and doing various exercise to help turn him/her. There’s a great website called Spinning Babies which my midwife friend recommended, that’s given some great tips.

Food cravings?
None recently.

Anything making you feel sick or queasy?
No.

Gender?
Surprise!

Symptoms?
Tiredness, backache, sore boobs, a bit of lightning crotch…

Belly button in or out?
In.

Happy or moody?
Happy mostly.

Looking forward to?
I’m off work for a few days, so extremely excited to paint the nursery! (blog post to follow) Also really looking forward to some time off with Tom and Maya, and taking a trip up to Scotland on Monday to meet my cousin’s new baby girl Evie!
 

And here is the bump for 30 weeks!


Nicola xx
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10 April 2014

Week 29 Pregnancy Update

How far along?
30 weeks today. Woohoo! As my nana would say, only fingers left to count!

Total weight gain?
Gained another 2lbs this week, which I can totally tell as baby J feels like it’s been through a growth spurt.

Maternity clothes?
I bought a couple of basic tops from H&M, just some oversized ones in the non-maternity section. They are about £7 each so will do perfectly.

Stretch marks?
Still none.

Sleep?
Still feeling very tired, and it’s a struggle to get comfortable on a night.

Best moment this week?
I really enjoyed our second antenatal class on Tuesday. I did a post about it which you can see here.

Worst moment this week?
I’ve still been feeling quite stressed, but trying to manage everything and get as organised as possible, which seems to help.

Miss anything?
Just being able to move easily! Feeling quite heavy now.

Movement?
Lots! Baby J is breech at the moment so I’m feeling plenty of kicks lower down. I’ve just bought an exercise ball to try and help turn this little monkey.

Food cravings?
None recently.

Anything making you feel sick or queasy?
My morning sickness feels like it has come back, which is no fun at all!

Gender?
Surprise!

Symptoms?
Tiredness, morning sickness, backache….

Belly button in or out?
In.

Happy or moody?
Happy mostly.

Looking forward to?
Being off for a few days next week with Tom and Maya. We are going to decorate the nursery and have a move around of some of the furniture, and obviously some fun family time!

And here is the bump for 29 weeks!


 

Nicola xx

 
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9 April 2014

Antenatal Classes: Class Two.

Tom and I went to our second antenatal class last night, and again, we loved it! As I said last week, I think these are really beneficial to expectant parents and if they are offered in your area I definitely recommend going!

If you would like to see last week’s post on our first class, you can take a look here.


The Class
Following on from last week, this class was all about labour, but we spoke more about pain relief as well as what happens if things don’t quite go to plan i.e being induced or having a caesarean.

Most hospitals offer the same pain relief, but we specifically went through what is on offer at our hospital. We are one of the few hospitals that do not offer epidurals, which is OK by me as I didn’t particularly like the idea of them, but I know some people in our class were a little disappointed by this. Here’s a brief summary of what is on offer to us, and what affect it has on us as well as the baby:

Entonox (Gas and Air)
This is a colourless, odourless gas made of half oxygen and half nitrous oxide. It takes the edge off labour pain, but does not block it out completely.

It is available in all hospitals, and is self-administered via a mouthpiece or mask.

We went over the advantages and disadvantages of this, which I will list below:

Advantages
·         Easy to use.
·         You control how and when you use it.
·         It won't directly interfere with your labour.
·         It doesn't stay in your system.
·         It's safe for your baby and the extra oxygen you breathe in may even be good for you and your baby.
·         Your baby doesn't require extra monitoring while you're using it.
·         You can use if you're  in a birth pool.

Disadvantages
·         It's only a mild painkiller.
·         It may make you feel drowsy, light headed or nauseous.
·         It dries your mouth out if you use it for long periods.
·         Keeping hold of the mask or mouthpiece may stop you from moving around and getting comfortable.
·         It is not available for a home birth.


Diamorphine
This is a powerful opiate that is injected into your thigh to relieve labour pains. Although the plant this comes from is the same plant as heroine, it does not give you or the baby any dependence on the drug.

Advantages
·         It can be given by a midwife, so there's no need to wait for a doctor.
·         It can help you to relax and get some rest.
·         It won't slow your labour down.
·         It can be used for a home birth.
·         You can still use a birth pool
·         It is more effective than Pethidine and is less likely to make you feel sick.

Disadvantages
·         It only provides limited relief from the pain of labour.
·         If it crosses the placenta, it may affect baby's breathing for a few days/interfere with  breastfeeding.
·         It may make you feel drowsy or sick. 


Meptid
This is very similar to Diamorphine, but is a works for a shorter amount of time. you can however have two injections within your labour, rather than the one Diamorphine.

Advantages
Meptid has the same benefits as Diamorphine and other similar drugs though it:
·         May be less likely to make you feel drowsy.
·         May be less likely to affect your baby's breathing.
·         May be quicker to take effect.

Disadvantages
·         may be more likely to make you feel and be sick.
·         Is less commonly used.

After we spoke about the different types of pain relief available, we also talked about birth plans, and although they are a good idea, they can very quickly change if being induced.

If you are to be induced, it means that the midwives and doctors may need to intervene more which can lead to a change in your birth plan. I won’t go into this in too much detail as it is very different for each person (and I would be writing forever going over every option!) but it was great to go over all the scenarios so that if it were to happen to us, we would feel like we knew a bit more about what was going on.

We also spoke about caesareans and what the procedure is for these.


We left the class again feeling really positive, and felt a lot more informed about what type of pain relief was on offer, as well as feeling prepared for what could happen if we were not to have the birth we hoped for.

I would recommend speaking to your midwife about what can happen when being induced, as it is quite a lengthy topic. But as I said, if these antenatal classes are on offer to you I really recommend going!



Next week we are learning all about what to do when the baby arrives – I’m really looking forward to this one! So be sure to check my blog next week for a post about that. I’ll also put the link up on Twitter and Blogger – you can see where to find me in the links on the right hand side of this page!

I hope this post was helpful, and if you have been to your local antenatal classes I’d love to know what you thought of them!

Thanks for reading :)

Nicola xx
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