29 May 2014

Week 36 Pregnancy Update

How far along?
37 weeks today. Baby J is full term! That makes me so excited, but a little nervous that he/she could come any time now.

Total weight gain?
In total, I've put on about 30lb. This puts me at the higher end of the scale for my height and pre-pregnancy weight, but is still completely on track with where I should be now, so I'm not too worried!

Maternity clothes?
Just working with whatever fits and is comfortable!

Stretch marks?
Still none *touch wood they don't make a last minute appearance*.

Sleep?
As with the past few weeks, sleep has been pretty rubbish. I'm way too hot on a night and finding a comfortable position to lie in is near enough impossible.

Best moment this week?
Getting the nursery furniture up! I'm going to do a blog post on the nursery next week once I've got the final few bits sorted for the room. I've also loved having the time to 'nest' and fully clean the house, as well as do lots of cooking/baking.

Worst moment this week?
None!

Miss anything?
I've missed being able to generally move around like a regular person, and not like a waddling penguin!
 
Movement?
Movement has definitely slowed down, but my gosh does this little one have strong legs! There seems to always be a little foot poking out, which I think is super cute :)

Food cravings?
I've been having cravings at every scale this week! One minute I want sweet things like ice lollies and chocolate, then I want things like vinegar, tartar sauce and lemons!

There was quite a funny moment this week, I was sitting at the kitchen counter literally with an ice lolly in one hand, and a pickled onion in the other! Call me mental, but it was the best thing ever!

Anything making you feel sick or queasy?
No.

Gender?
Surprise!

Symptoms?
My back is getting really sore now, and my midwife pointed out that my blood pressure has gone up slightly. It's still in the 'normal' area, but higher than what it has usually been. I've been told to keep an eye out for headaches etc. and go back next week to have it checked again. Hopefully it's nothing serious!

Belly button in or out?
In, but if Baby J lies in a certain position it pops out!

Happy or moody?
Happy!

Looking forward to?
Adding the finishing touches to the nursery, and just keeping on top of all the housework etc. just in case Baby J makes an early appearance!


And here is the bump for 36 weeks!
 
 
 
Nicola xx
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26 May 2014

Recipe | Raspberry & Oat Cupcakes

Hello Everyone!

Hope you are all having a lovely bank holiday.

Today I decided I wanted to do some baking, and thought I would share with you my little creation! As you will already know from the title, I made some 'healthy' Raspberry and Oat cupcakes. I say 'healthy' as they don't contain any butter, and I think the ingredients are more on the healthier scale than your usual cupcake mixture.

For my first attempt, I'm really impressed with these! I think they would be great as muffins as well as cupcakes, and would be ideal as an on-the-go breakfast, as well as a yummy little treat!



So to make these, you will need:
100g oats
125g self-raising flour
80g caster sugar
1 medium egg
250ml milk
4 tbsp vegetable oil
150g rinsed and drained raspberries, I used frozen.
cupcake/muffin cups


Method:
1. Preheat your oven to 220C or Gas mark 7.
2. Mix all your dry ingredients, e.g. oats, flour and sugar. Then add egg, milk and oil before gently folding in your  raspberries.
3. Grease your muffin cups and fill them up to  3/4
4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes and cool on a wire rack before serving.
 
 
I think these are super easy to make, and the raspberries can be substituted for any other fruit.
 
I hope you enjoyed this post - let me know if you end up making them, I'd love to know what you think!
 
Nicola xx
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22 May 2014

Week 35 Pregnancy Update

How far along?
36 weeks today. One week 'til full term! Wow, that's come round quickly!

Total weight gain?
I've not had a chance to weigh myself this week, so I'm not sure!

Maternity clothes?
Just working with whatever fits and is comfortable!

Stretch marks?
Still none.

Sleep?
I'm still having a pretty rubbish nights sleep, which I can't see changing now! I keep waking up thinking my waters have broken, and I struggle to get comfortable. The heat hasn't been helping either! 

Best moment this week?
I've had lots of great moments this week! I got to see two of my best friends get married, Tom and I celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary, and I've been super productive round the house now I am on maternity leave. Maybe too productive... I really need to slow down!!

Worst moment this week?
No bad moments, I'm just trying to enjoy these final few weeks.

Miss anything?
I've been missing wine this week a bit. Only because the weather is so nice and it just doesn't feel right sitting outside with a lovely cold glass of rosé in my hand!
 
Movement?
Movement seems to have slowed down now, but is definitely a lot stronger.

Food cravings?
I've been craving sour things recently! Like olives, tartar sauce, vinegar... and I've had a real thing for ice lollies this week too!

Anything making you feel sick or queasy?
No.

Gender?
Surprise!

Symptoms?
Same as the last few weeks, but my back and feet are getting really sore now, and I've definitely been getting more tired.

Belly button in or out?
In, but if Baby J lies in a certain position it pops out!

Happy or moody?
Happy!

Looking forward to?
Finishing off the nursery! It should be done this week, so keep an eye out for a blog post! I'm also just looking forward to getting the house all sorted, and seeing a few friends that are also on maternity leave.
And here is the bump for 35 weeks!
 
 
 
Nicola xx
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21 May 2014

What I Ate Wednesday


As this is my first week on maternity leave, I've really no excuse not to make more of an effort with my meals! I have to say though, I've enjoyed making myself healthier meals and taking the time to be a bit more creative.

For breakfast this morning, I had granola with natural yogurt, bananas and strawberries and a cup of tea.


For lunch, I had tuna on toast with cucumber and olives. I've had a real craving for olives recently - think its the sourness I really like.


I had an afternoon snack of apple, blueberries and strawberries. I was tempted to have an ice lolly or some ice cream, but thought I would save that as an after dinner treat!


For dinner we had chicken with lemon and courgette couscous and some spinach. I saw this recipe on the Good Food website, and thought it would be perfect for such a nice sunny evening.


... and I did have that cheeky bowl of ice cream I was craving all afternoon! I'm glad I waited to have it until after dinner, it made it all the more enjoyable :)


Let me know if you'd like to see more of these 'What I Ate Wednesdays'. I really love having a nosey at what other people have to eat (I'm such a foodie!) so if you do anything similar or have posted any recipes, leave me a link in the comments!

Nicola xx
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Review | Benefit Gimme Brow

I'm slightly late to the party when it comes to the Benefit Gimme Brow gel, but I couldn't not give it a little place on my blog!

I'm a 'natural brow' kind of girl. I'm all for thicker eyebrows, but I like them to look natural. I've been pretty lucky in the eyebrow department, as they are already quite thick and don't need a lot of maintaining, just the odd tweeze of a few strays every now and again.

With this, I've always opted for powder on an angled brush, just to fill in any sparse areas. But having heard so many amazing things about the Gimme Brow gel, I just had to give it a go!

As always with Benefit, the packaging is gorgeous.
 
The formula is a brush-on fiber gel which adheres to the skin & hair. On first application I found it to be a lot lighter than I thought, which meant it was buildable without the fear of going over the top! The brush is similar to that of a mascara brush, and is perfect size even for the thinnest of brows. 

(L) Before application | (R) After application
 
 
Gimme Brow comes in two different shades: light/medium and medium/dark. I chose the darker shade as my eyebrows are near black anyway, but it would also be suited for much lighter brows than mine. 

Overall, I can't fault this product. It's a firm favourite in my makeup bag now, and have even got my mum into it! At £17.50 it is a little pricey, but I would totally recommend to anyone! 

Nicola xx

 

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20 May 2014

Let the Nesting Begin!


Now that I am on maternity leave, this pregnancy suddenly feels very real! I feel really organised, but at the same time feel like I have so much still do to!

I keep re-folding clothes that are already neatly folded, making lists about lists I have made, and cannot for the life of me put the duster down!

I know this time is for me to rest and put my feet up, but I almost feel guilty for not having every square inch of the house just perfect, in case Baby J decides to make an early appearance!

Thankfully, the nursery furniture arrives today so I can start to organise a bit more, and Tom’s dad is coming to help put it all together tomorrow. I love a good flat pack, so I am looking forward to starting this – even if he will only allow me to do the small drawers!

I’m sure I’m not the only one who went into mega-nesting mode once on maternity leave – did you manage relax at any point, or does it just get worse the closer you get to your due date?!

Nicola xx


Copyright free image sourced from http://pixabay.com/, for free.
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18 May 2014

The Day I Married My Best Friend

 

I can’t believe it was a year ago today that Tom and I got married! It is a day I will never forget, and every day I feel more and more grateful that I got to marry my best friend.
 

When
Saturday 18th May 2013.
 
Where
The Crown Hotel, Wetheral, Carlisle – the village my mum and dad live in and the place I grew up.

Weather
Honestly? Terrible! It could not have rained more. But thankfully, this didn’t dampen our day in the slightest and made for the most incredible photos!

Theme
We didn’t have a specific theme, we just knew we wanted neutral, warm colours, with a ‘classic vintage chic’ feel.

Bride and Groom Outfits
My dress was a Maggie Sottero, and was actually the first dress I tried on! My mum found the dress online, and it looked absolutely stunning. So we travelled two hours to Preston, where the nearest store had a sample, and I instantly loved it the minute I saw it! I tried two others on just to have a comparison, but I knew instantly that was the dress and I just had to have it!


The dress actually had a lovely train, but it was pinned up in this picture - you can see this better in the pictures above!

Tom wore a gorgeous kilt 1860 by Greenwoods, in Grey Spirit. It’s a lovely grey/pewter and black colour, which matched the pewter in my dress.
 
 
Bridal Party
My bridesmaids were my two best friends, Lauren and Steph, who have been my best friends since I was 4 years old, my stepdaughter Maya, and my chief bridesmaid was my cousin Samantha. They wore dresses by Ebony Rose, in a gorgeous champagne colour. Even though Maya was a lot younger than my bridesmaids, I wanted to have her in the same dresses as them as she is a little too old for the flower girl look. So we added some straps to her dress so it was more age appropriate.

 
 
The best men, Edward and Sean (Tom had two best men as he couldn’t decide who to choose!) and usher, his brother Ben, wore the same Grey Spirit kilt as Tom, and our dads both wore suits which were also from 1860 in a similar charcoal colour to the kilts.
 

 
Flowers
We got the flowers from Brenda at Gardenalia, who is an absolute gem! She has this incredible way of knowing exactly what you want without you having to say a word! My bouquet was made up of avalanche roses, peonies and thistle, and round the stem I had my late gran’s eternity ring tied to it – my something old and something blue.


The bridesmaid’s bouquets were actually faux flowers! Brenda just got them in when we went to finalise the order, and we ended up changing to these last minute. They were stunning and made a great gift to the girls as well.
 
 
Tom and the boys all wore white thistles for their button holes, with Tom having an additional rose to match my bouquet.

The table flowers were also faux flowers, but you would never know looking at them! We had a mixture of tall and low vases, with avalanche roses and peonies. I loved the different heights on the tables, and think it added a real ‘wow’ to the room.
 

 
Cake
We got our cake from a local lady in Wetheral called The Cakery. We went for a two tiered cake. The top layer was carrot cake with orange buttercream, and the bottom was lemon cake with homemade lemon curd and buttercream. Both layers were encased in white chocolate ganache, and the design was done to match the lace detail on my dress, and had a gorgeous metallic finish with off white sugar roses on top to match the bouquet. I’ve never had a cake so beautiful, and so delicious!


Music
I walked up the isle to a piece of music Tom actually found online! I’ve no idea how he came across it, but it’s a piece called April (Come She Will) by Clint Mansell, and I was in tears when he first played it to me. It was perfect and I loved even more that he found it.

Our first dance was A Thousand Years by Christina Perri. It’s such a beautiful song, and we both felt like it fit our story perfectly.

Photographer
I have to say, I think we had the best photographer in the world! His name is Daniel Pearn-Rowe, of 31 Down Photography in Berkshire, and his work is literally breath-taking. I’ve honestly never seen photographs like his. He is the funniest guy, and made us all feel so comfortable on the day – he felt more like a guest than a photographer!

He took so many pictures that I absolutely love, especially this one of Tom and I out in the rain – I have no idea how he did it, but he managed to make the rain look like glitter!
 
 
He also captured some amazing moments, like this one of Tom and Dan (his Gran), who very sadly passed away two months after our wedding.
 
 
Honeymoon
We decided to have a bit of a splurge on our honeymoon, and had two weeks at The Moon Palace Resort in Cancun, Mexico! I’ve never stayed in such a beautiful place, it was incredible! There was not one thing I could fault. The rooms, food, staff, and the resort were out of this world, and we can only hope to go back there one day! We spent the majority of the time chilling out, sunbathing, eating and drinking, and even swam with dolphins!

 
 

 
 
 


This year has gone so fast, It’s scary! And now I can’t believe we are one month away from meeting our little baby J! It has been the best year of my life, and I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for us.
 

Thanks for reading!

Nicola xx
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15 May 2014

Week 34 Pregnancy Update

How far along?
35 weeks today.

Total weight gain?
I've put on another 2lbs this week - I feel like I've put on a lot recently but my bump is measuring right for how far along I am, so I'm not too worried.

Maternity clothes?
Nothing new, still just working with whatever fits and is comfortable!

Stretch marks?
Still none.

Sleep?
I've still not been sleeping very well. I've been having really restless sleep and my dreams are so random! I've been dreaming that my waters have broken in the night, so keep waking up in a total panic!

Best moment this week?
I've got to be honest, finishing for maternity leave today was my best moment! Although I will be a little sad to leave my colleagues, I'm so ready to be off work and will hopefully have a nice few relaxing weeks to get ready for Baby J before his/her arrival!

Worst moment this week?
After my little 'early labour' scare last week, I've not had any bad moments since thankfully! The pains seem to have eased off so I'm just trying to take it easy and not over-stretch myself.

Miss anything?
Nothing this week. I am trying my best to enjoy these final few weeks of pregnancy!
 
Movement?
Still getting lots of movement, and can definitely make out body parts!

Food cravings?
No cravings this week, again just very thirsty!

Anything making you feel sick or queasy?
No.

Gender?
Surprise!

Symptoms?
Same as last week... Tiredness, backache, slight swelling of hands and feet, stomach cramps, sore hips...

Belly button in or out?
In, but depending on where Baby J is lying it can be pretty flat.

Happy or moody?
Happy now that my little scare is over!

Looking forward to?
One of my best friends gets married this weekend, so really looking forward to the wedding! It is also our 1 year wedding anniversary on Sunday, I can't believe it! So very much looking forward to a day with Tom to celebrate... keep an eye out for a little blog post all about our wedding day this weekend!

And here is the bump for 34 weeks!


 
Nicola xx
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11 May 2014

What's In My Hospital Bag?

When I first started blogging, the 'What's In My Hospital Bag' post was the one I was looking forward to writing the most - because it meant that it wouldn't be long before we actually got to meet Baby J!

I'm currently 34 weeks pregnant, which still gives me a bit of time... but as you may have read in my Week 33 Pregnancy Update, I've been having a few aches and pains recently, which the midwife thought could be early labour! So I wanted my bags packed well in advance, just in case Baby J decided to make an early appearance!


I decided to pack two separate bags, one for me and one for Baby J. I did try to pack just one bag, but felt that everything was really unorganised - and that just stresses me out!

First up is Baby J's bag!

 
I am using my Storksak Caroline changing bag. I love how many different compartments there are, which keep everything really organised. I did a post all about this bag which you can read here.
 
 
Inside I have packed:
1 pack of Pampers New Born nappies (23 in a pack)
1 pack of Pampers Natural Clean Fragrance Free wipes
5 vests
3 sleepsuits
1 velour 'coming home' sleepsuit
1 cardigan
2 hats
2 bibs
2 pairs of socks
2 pairs of cotton scratch mitts
3 muslins
1 blanket
Sudocrem
Antibacterial hand sanitiser
 
 
 
And here is what I have packed for mummy!
 
 
 
 Inside I have packed:
1 nightie for labour
1 set of PJ's for after labour/overnight (if staying)
1 dressing gown
1 going home outfit (maternity sweat pants and baggy jumper)
2 packs of Boots ultra towels
1 pack of 5 dark knickers
1 towel
Wash bag with toiletries
Slipper socks
Hairbrush and hairbands
 
In my wash bag I have included:
Toothbrushes
Toothpaste
Face wipes
Face wash
Moisturiser
Shampoo
Dry Shampoo
Deodorant
Lip balm
 
Other items I will be taking but are not included in my bag yet are my maternity notes, camera and charger, phone charger, energy drinks and snacks for both Tom and I.
 
 
I hope you've enjoyed having a little nosey through my bags! I know how much I've enjoyed looking at other peoples posts and videos, as they've really helped me decide what I will/won't need.
 
I'd love to know what your hospital bag essentials were, and was there anything you took that you didn't need? If you have done a post of your bag, please leave me a link in the comments so I can have a peek :)

Thanks for reading!
 
Nicola xx


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8 May 2014

Week 33 Pregnancy Update

How far along?
34 weeks today.
 
Total weight gain?
Well guys, I hit the 2st mark! I've noticed a big change in my bump this week so I was actually expecting to have put more on.
 
Maternity clothes?
Really struggling with everyday clothes now - there's only a few things that fit me! But I've got enough to keep me going until the end I think.
 
Stretch marks?
Still none.
 
Sleep?
Sleep hasn't been as good this week, I've been having a lot more aches and pains this week, which I'll go into more in a bit, so I've been a lot more restless. I have been having some really vivid dreams about Baby J though! They're getting me soooo excited to meet him/her!
 
Best moment this week?
I've not had any 'best moments' this week. Not in a bad way, it's just been a bit of a quiet week really! We did go purchase some little bits for Baby J, and a dishwasher! Oooh, the excitement of being all grown up, haha.
 
Worst moment this week?
As I said, I've been having a bit of a bad time with aches and pains this week. I've been feeling off for about 4/5 days and have have had a few stomach cramps and pressure low down.

I went to see the midwife yesterday and she said it did sound like I had a bug, but that it could also be the signs of early labour!! Really hoping that Baby J isn't ready to come yet, as I'm still 34 weeks...  but I will keep an eye on any pains I feel and if they do seem to increase in any way, I will be calling the maternity ward!
 
Miss anything?
Just generally feeling better! Ooh, and being able to walk around without feeling the need to pee every 5 minutes! Haha.
 
Movement?
Still getting lots of movement, but like I said it's coupled with lots of pain at the moment.
 
Food cravings?
I've been sooo thirsty recently! So I've been making sure to drink as much water as possible.
 
Anything making you feel sick or queasy?
Everything, but I think that's just from generally not feeling well rather than anything in particular.
 
Gender?
Surprise!
 
Symptoms?
Tiredness, backache, slight swelling of hands and feet, stomach cramps, sore hips... gosh I feel like this list is getting longer every week!
 
Belly button in or out?
In, but depending on where Baby J is lying it can be pretty flat.
 
Happy or moody?
Happy mostly, even though I've not been feeling so good!
 
Looking forward to?
Finishing for maternity leave next week! I feel so ready to finish work now, I'm just exhausted when there and don't feel like I can fully concentrate.
 
 
And here is the bump for 33 weeks!


 
Nicola xx
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6 May 2014

Review | Storksak Caroline Changing Bag

I don't know about you, but for me, picking out a changing bag was such an exiting part of the baby-preparation! Maybe because I knew it could also be a little treat for me too. I mean, what girl doesn't love shopping for a new handbag, even if it is filled with nappies and wet wipes!

Storksak was a brand I had heard a lot about, and knew they did stylish, high quality bags that would suit me perfect! There were so many to chose from, but after rave reviews - Amy Antionette and Anna Saccone you get a special shout-out there! - I knew the Caroline was the one for me.

 
 



I decided to go with the black nylon version rather than the leather. Firstly because it was more affordable for me, and secondly because I thought it would be easier to keep clean and look after.

The bag has two padded shoulder straps, as well as a removable, adjustable strap that can be used over the shoulder or clipped onto the pram.



The bag has six internal storage compartments and three outer pockets, as well as a padded changing mat, insulated bottle holder and a detachable vanity case.

 
With so much space inside and all the different little compartments, it will be super easy to keep all of Baby J's things organised and easy to find, as well as a couple of compartments for mummy to use!


I am going to do another post once Baby J is here and I am using the bag on an everyday basis, so keep an eye out for that!

I'd love to know what changing bag you have, or what bag you have your eye on!

Thanks for reading.

Nicola xx


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3 May 2014

Review | Lollipop Lane Baby Products

I was so excited last week when I received a notification on Instagram to say I had won the Lollipop Lane competition for some Burp Cloths, Muslin Squares and Cuddle Robe and Wash Mitt from their Lady Bug range!


They have the most gorgeous items on their website, and are really affordable. They stock everything from bedding, moses baskets, clothing, changing bags... you name it, they probably have it!

I received my delivery yesterday and am obsessed with everything already! Even though Baby J isn't due for another 6 weeks, I couldn't help but open everything up to have a good look...


Muslin Squares... how beautiful are these?!

Burp Cloths... so cute!

Cuddle Robe and Wash Mitt... I can't wait to wrap Baby J up in this and have lots of cosy snuggles!
All the items I received are excellent quality, and the lady bug embroidery is such a lovely addition! We don't know whether Baby J is a boy or a girl, but because these are totally gender neutral they will be perfect whatever he/she is!

The muslin squares may be my favourite item of all - I absolutely love the mint green colour, and they are so soft!


If you are interested in these products, or would like to take a look at the Lollipop Lane website, just click the link here. You can also find them on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


Let me know if you do purchase anything from them, I'd love to know what you got!

Nicola xx



This is not a sponsored post. I have chosen to write this because I genuinely love the products! I was sent these through winning a competition Lollipop Lane ran on Instagram.

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