Monday, 19 December 2016

H is Two Months Old

Newborn Baby Two Month Update
I cannot believe it's already been two months with Harrison: it's completely flew in, but at the same time, I can't remember a time before he was born. I can't remember a full nights sleep, or what it feels like to have clean jeans on, or what a hot meal tastes like, and to be honest, I don't mind at all. I'll apologise in advance for the length of this post - in the month since the last update, my little newborn is no longer newborn, he's changed entirely and he's already becoming a little character. I hate to say he's growing up too quickly, as anyone who's read my last updates will know that it's all I seem to say in them, but it really is true. I look at the pictures I took in the first few days, and he looks nothing like that anymore, he truly has changed completely and I can't even fathom the changes he'll make in the next few months.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

The 12 Days Of Christmas | #3 The Perks Of Having A Newborn At Christmas

Newborn Christmas Outfits Next First ChristmasNewborn Christmas Outfits Next First Christmas
Christmas is such a family oriented time, you'd think having a newborn would make it all that much better, but in reality, there's not a lot you can do with a little one when they are that tiny. We are now family, and that will make it the most memorable year regardless of what we do, but that doesn't mean I've not said numerous times how excited I am for Christmas next year. I can't wait for Harrison to be a year old and able to do so much more. In saying that though, I'm extremely guilty of wishing away the moment we're in right now: just because Harrison doesn't really know what is going on doesn't mean Christmas this year doesn't have it's own little perks.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

The 12 Days of Christmas | #2 Santa Spends Too Much

Babies First Christmas Santa Clause Leggings and Slippers
Am I wrong for not spoiling my child on his first Christmas? Don't get me wrong now - I'm no scrooge. Christmas is without a doubt my favourite time of the year: my Yankee candles are burning from Halloween onwards, I'll take any opportunity to watch Elf in October, and decorations are up the minute I can convince everyone else it's no longer crazy. Christmas is just such a family oriented time - everything about it screams family, and I know Harrison will be brought up loving Christmas just as much as I do.

Monday, 12 December 2016

The 12 Days of Christmas | #1 Making Memories With Little Chickie

Little Chickie Newborn Christmas Clothes First Xmas Festive Leggings
Harrison is only 7 weeks old - his first Christmas was always going to be a quieter one. He's giggling and laughing now, which is amazing, but he's not exactly at the stage where I am happy to be handing him off to every Tom, Dick and Harry dressed in a Santa suit for a picture. I wanted to be able to do things this Christmas that would make it memorable, he's growing so quickly and he won't be this little for long, so what better time to make memories than at Christmas. Little chunk is already pretty big, so it was about time we finally took his hand and foot prints before a little frame is too small for his not so newborn hands and feet...

Friday, 2 December 2016

The Entertainer: Glasgow's Newest Toy Shop

Earlier today, myself and Harrison had the pleasure of a quick whistle stop tour of the new Entertainer Toy Shop in Silverburn Shopping Centre, ahead of the grand opening tomorrow. Founded by husband and wife team Gary and Catherine Grant in 1981, it is very much a family business, and the family values translate to the store. Never has an Entertainer store opened on a Sunday,  and gives 10% of all annual profits to childrens charities. The shop is located directly across from New Look and the United Colours of Benetton, and given that there is no longer any specific toy shops in Silverburn, it's a welcome addition.

The grand opening is tomorrow - Saturday 3rd December, just in time for the festive period. You can expect demos, balloons, competitions and various characters to take pictures with - there's also a free Lego gift with every Lego purchase, and many chances to win other bits and bobs! More than that, you'll have the chance to experience everything The Entertainer has to offer.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Newborn Hacks: The Lilypod Baby Bean Bag

Lilypod Baby Bean Bag Colic Babies Relief Apples and Pips
Lilypod Baby Bean Bag Colic Babies Relief Apples and PipsIf you had told me last year that baby bean bags were a thing, never mind a very useful thing, I'd have thought you were crazy. I'll be the first to say the baby market is oversaturated: you name it, it's stocked in Babies R Us, never mind the stuff you can find on the internet. When I was in my final trimester, I came across Apples and Pips during their Twitter launch party, and managed to win myself a Lilypod Baby Beanbag. Free is free, and I was happy as larry with my pastel blue elephant bean bag. Needless to say, it arrived, and I won't lie, I thought it would be added to the evergrowing pile of hyped up baby products that I'd never use. In my head, I couldn't find a time I'd use it - surely during the day he would be in his moses, at night in his crib, when would we ever use a bean bag?...

Roll on Harrison's birth, and pretty soon it became apparent that he would not be going anywhere near a moses basket during the day, in fact, he wouldn't settle anywhere flat at all. Although  not affected by colic, he was windy and uncomfortable when lying flat on his back, so finding a way to make him comfortable that wasn't lying on my chest when he wasn't asleep was difficult. Cue the baby bean bag.
Lilypod Baby Bean Bag Colic Babies Relief Apples and PipsLilypod Baby Bean Bag Colic Babies Relief Apples and PipsLilypod Baby Bean Bag Colic Babies Relief Apples and Pips
The Lilypod Baby Bean Bag allows Harrison to sit at an angle - which we can alter by moulding the polystyrene balls inside - unaided but supported, letting him look around and interact when awake, or sleep if needed. It comes with a replaceable cover that zips on and off, and a base that is wipeable, so it's easy to clean and maintain. Although right now he pretty much sinks right in and isn't moving anywhere, it has a harness in the middle which will keep him in place when he gets a bit older and starts to roll over.

It's an ingenious idea really, there is nothing complicated about it, it's a bean bag with a strap. No big revelation, but it really does work wonders for him. You can pick it up from Apples and Pips here for £39.99, and I couldn't recommend it enough.

Lilypod Baby Bean Bag Colic Babies Relief Apples and Pips

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Monday, 28 November 2016

The Bounce Back | Jumping on The TeaTox Bandwagon + GIVEAWAY

Essential Teatox Detox Tea Weightloss Fast Tea
The Essential Tea-Tox Detox Tea is designed to naturally boost you, leaving you feeling energised, rested, less bloated and so much more.  I'm late to the party (about 5 years late), but I'm here. The infamous teatox seems to linger like a bad smell, every so often they come back around, and almost every time they do I turn my nose up at them. I'm probably supposed to start this post off with all of the positive vibes that should accompany a 'tea-tox', the benefits it can offer, the svelte figure I'll inevitably achieve, the glowing skin... but no, I'm starting it with my first introduction to magic tea. It was around 6 or so years ago now, and a friend payed £50 for two weeks worth of detoxing tea bags in an effort to lose weight before a girls holiday. Now, at 15 years old £50 was big bucks, and she essentially payed this to sit on a toilet for 4 days before deciding it was a waste of money. Since then, it's safe to say I've been put off them for life. Since having a baby though, it's just not as easy as it was before to lose weight. On top of that, I felt sluggish,  always tired, and at the point where I'd do anything for a little boost. Even if it means trying out a tea tox.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Newborn Hacks | MyHummy Snoozy Bear

myHummy Snooze Bear in Blue White Noise toy newborn
I've made no secret of how much I love white noise for my newborn, so when myHummy offered to send Harrison a myHummy Snoozy, I jumped at the chance. myHummy are a The hummy bear is a sleep guard, a soft cuddly friend that has the added bonus of the soothing white noise which activates in response to babies movement. Newborns are not used to silence: they've spent nine months in the womb, encased within the muffled sounds of mummy's life and next to her heartbeat, dead silence is no comfort, in fact, for my baby especially, silence doesn't work at all. Previously we've used an app on our phones - Sound Sleeper - which by all means done the job, but at what cost? Although there's nothing proven as yet, something doesn't sit right with me about placing a radiating phone inside my babies crib.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Maternity Leave Realities: The First Month

The Reality of Maternity Leave in the First Month Baby Sleeping Whilst Working
Maternity leave was supposed to be all baby cuddles, coffee catch-ups and lunch dates. I'd fill my time with over ironing and learning to cook (given that right now  burning toast is about all I am good for) whilst my baby napped, and having couch cuddles and playtime when he woke up. I had big plans and was under the false allusion they'd be at all possible. I've been on maternity leave for five whole weeks now. In that time, I've gone for coffee once with Harrison in tow. It was through a Costa drive-thru and I forgot to ask for sweeteners. I didn't even leave the car and I still managed to fail at coffee dates. I feel like that alone sums up how well my maternity plans are panning out. My reality was skewed, that much is for sure and I blame all of you. I blame everyone else bar myself. All I had to go on was the cushy baby pictures, the snaps of the ladies lunches and the blogging success of so many mummas at home, false sense of security doesn't even begin to cover it. It turns out, my maternity leave reality hasn't been as scenic.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

A Stress Free Bathtime With CuddleDry

CuddleDry Original Bath Towel Apron Neborn Bathtime Easy
The Original Cuddledry Bath Towel is a hands free way to get your baby out of the bath and snug as a bug stress free, or at least so they say. I got this towel when I was pregnant, and dare I say, completely forgot about it up until now. This post is not sponsored nor were we sent this product to review, the concept is just such an interesting one that I couldn't help but want to share my experience with it.

Harrison hated bath-time initially - every night without fail he'd squeal blue murder the minute he touched the water; it was a two person task, one to hold and wash the child, another to hold the dummy in place in an effort to prevent him from waking the full street. At a month old, he's now officially a water baby. No matter how unsettled he is throughout the day, within seconds of being in the tub he's relaxed and content, at peace with the rubber ducks. I can't say his love for bathtime was down to the Cuddledry Towel, but it did help us with the transition of getting him out of the bath without the squeals, that much it was responsible for.

Monday, 21 November 2016

9 Fool Proof Ways to Spot A New Mum

spotting a new mum newborn baby wishaw hospital cute easy labour
The irony of this post is the na├»ve ideal I came into motherhood with; when I imagined the first few weeks of parenthood, sure, I imagined sleepless nights, but I also imagined the relaxing coffee dates, mindless chit-chat over lunch with a sound sleeping baby, scenic walks in the park with the pram.. the reality though has been very different, who would have thought. If you happened to see me out and about right now, I swear you could pin-point my newly acquired motherhood a mile off, I practically scream new mum after all.. On the off chance you didn't quite catch my new mum role by my tiny human in tow, here's 9 sure fire ways to tell:

Sunday, 20 November 2016

The Bounce Back | Week 1 Update

Bounce Back From Pregnancy Update Week 1 lose baby weight lean in 15 results
Today marks 7 days into my Bounce Back from pregnancy plan - I was determined to get back to feeling fit and healthy as quickly as possible, but this week alone has been enough to show me that it's not going to be anywhere near as easy to get back to peak fitness as it was to get there. How did it go you ask? Shit. It just went shit. I lost 3lbs, but that's not really a plus right now, given that I achieved that from eating all but nothing during the day and stuffing my face with Haribos at night time when I can relieve my arms from the baby I've cradled for the best part of 13 hours. The whole point of my bounce back from pregnancy plan was to regain health - getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight is great and all, but ultimately, not worth an ounce of effort if I still feel as unfit as ever.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Christmas Gift Guide | The Memorable Presents for Baby's First Christmas

I made no secret of the fact that I didn't want to go crazy on Christmas presents for Harrison; at 2 months old he's not exactly going to remember the gifts he receives, no matter how extravagant. I talked about it in depth in a recent post, but essentially, I don't think wasting money on toys, or clothes, or anything else along those lines would be worth doing. I won't lie, the thought of it didn't quite sit right with me - christmas is christmas after all, no matter how little, I didn't want Harrisons' first Christmas not to be a special one. I don't believe gifts are the be all and end all of Christmas, but there is no denying that nowadays - because of that, and because of the twinges of guilt I was feeling at the thought of Harrison being presentless on Christmas morning (not that he'd notice, he will no doubt be in a milk-coma...), I decided to find gifts that could be used for the rest of his early years. The things that make you know it's Christmas.

I've found a good few that I've added to my list for Harrison, some of which if I buy this year I'll use for the rest of his childhood, others that I may have to repurchase in years to come. Either way, everything in this gift guide has more sentimental value than a passing trend.  Somehow though in my bid to save money I've managed to amass a list that would probably cost more than I'd spend on the latest range of Fisher Price goodies, but at least with these I know we'll be using them for years to come, and not just for the three weeks following.


Friday, 18 November 2016

H is 1 Month Old

 baby update newborn harrison one month old tracking twenty milestone cards

Harrison is one month old today. I've started every single one of these updates off saying how terrifying it is that we're another week down, and this week is no different.  It is terrifying. It's terrifying that I no longer have a baby that I can describe as weeks old; from here on out we're into the months, and I can only imagine how fast time will fly from here. I keep on wishing away the days - I can't wait for him to smile, to laugh, to roll over and to crawl, but I can't bear the thought of losing the newborn days. Everyone said it would go quickly, but I didn't quite imagine it would go this quickly. He's doing well, I can't say that enough. Sleeps not great, but it never was going to be, he's a newborn, he doesn't know the difference between night and day. I've gotten used to being tired, if that's the only struggle we have to face in these first few weeks then I'll be forever grateful. Babies aren't easy, I expected it to be difficult, not easy, but worth it in the end. He definitely is worth it.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Finding What Works For Us | NUBY UK

Nuby Bottles Newborn Baby
It's taken us a month, but we've finally settled on Nuby bottles. Harrison is a Nuby brand rep', but that didn't stop us testing a few other brands until we found what worked for him.  I'll be honest, I'm completely clueless as to what brands are good for a baby. Whilst pregnant, I decided I'd use Avent bottles, Pampers nappies, Johnsons Skincare, SMA milk... The list goes on. Harrison is now one month old, and with the exception of the Johnsons' skincare stuff, we've changed them all. With Harrison's dry skin I'm ready to fling Johnsons' out the window also. Everyone told me to wait and see what suited my baby when he arrived, and I now understand why.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

The Bounce Back #1 | 6 Steps for Losing The Baby Weight?

Losing the Baby Weight; Bouncing Back from Pregnancy
I'm under no false allusions here - being healthy and fit as a new mum is going to be a lot harder than it ever has been before. I've had a pretty healthy lifestyle for the past few years - I love the gym, I like plain food and was happy to live off of egg whites, chicken, rice (and chocolate), and I probably got a little bit too much joy out of making diet and exercise plans. It's just the way I've always been. I have plenty of training plans from before I fell pregnant still on my computer, printed in a folder, lying around my room. I have my diet plans, my macronutrient aims, my calories, an almost daily weight for the past  2 years at least. It would be easy enough for me to go ahead and try and fall back into any one of these - but it would not work. I have a baby now, it's not realistic for me to food prep three times a week at this stage, I can't make it to the gym six times a week, and I won't be getting up at 5am, so I'm setting a few goals for myself that I'll actually be able to stick to, and that will still get me the results I'm looking for.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Baby Style: Mama Et Moi

Mama Et Moi is a mother, baby and child boutique with a range of brands that are original, unique and affordable. By the time Harrison was a week old, he had every single item in the Next Autumn/Winter collection, pretty much for up until he is 9 months old. I always knew he would, so when I was pregnant I started looking for less popular baby clothing companies - not less popular, that's not the right word, just less well known.

Mama Et Moi Absorba Sleepsuit newborn original boutique affordable baby boy

Sunday, 13 November 2016

The Bounce Back

Bouncing Back From Pregnancy - Losing the Baby Weight standing on scales lose weight easy with baby
During my pregnancy, I struggled majorly with body image throughout. I posted about it various times, but could never quite explain the effect it had on me. I hated my pregnancy, but had none of the symptoms that would normally make a pregnancy difficult, I just hated the changes my body went through. It wasn’t just the way my body looked - I knew that part was necessary, weight gain and adaptation is a large part of pregnancy, but I’ve never felt so unfit or unhealthy as I was during the last trimester. I've always been very active, and I've always been on some sort of diet, and I suppose as a result, I'd always been pretty small. At the time,  I'd never have thought so, but I look back now and can't help but wonder how I thought I was fat, or big, or chunky, or any of the other words I'd use constantly to describe my body. Following my pregnancy, I gained exactly 3 stone/42lbs/19kg depending on how you work it. I'd say that's probably a normal amount for pregnancy, but it definitely wasn't a normal amount for me, and it's not an amount I was comfortable with. I guess it's just my selfishness coming out, which is obviously a trait that does not go hand in hand with motherhood, but I resented gaining it, and the sooner I lose it, the better I'll feel.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

7 Things They Don't Tell You About The First Two Weeks

When Harrison was born, everyone took pride in putting in their there two cents. It's a right of passage for a new mum, everyone imparts wisdom from their own cushy newborn days, and I'm under no false allusions that I'll probably do the same. I was warned of the meconium poos, the lack of sleep, the endless torrent of visitors and told my mothers instinct would be come naturally. In a way, yes, this was all true, but there was a lot I didn't know about the first fortnight with a newborn, and a lot that probably would have been good to know.
newborn baby crib first photo natural birth easy positive story


Friday, 11 November 2016

H is Three Weeks Old

newborn baby three week update milestone cards
I swear I only wrote Harrisons' two week update a few days ago - these weeks are absolutely flying by, and I have no idea how to slow them down. I know I say it every single update, but I truly cannot fathom the fact that next week little chunk will be a month old already. I think it's about time we get over the month mark so I can move onto monthly updates rather than weekly, as doing weekly updates just highlights how quickly these weeks are actually going.

Harrison has had a great week this week, as have I. We finally made a little bit of a breakthrough with sleep, and he's been managing to keep his milk down, which he hadn't been doing up until now. It's baby steps, but we're slowly but surely adjusting, and he's coming on leaps and bounds with every week, and is already becoming a little character.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Newborn Hacks: Whisbear Humming Bear | GIVEAWAY

Whisbear Humming Bear White Noise Toy Newborn Sleep How To Harrison is only three weeks old - he was never going to be sleeping through the night at this point, that much I was always aware of. What I didn't realise though, was how difficult it would be in the beginning to get him to sleep in the first place. Newborns only supposed to sleep and feed after all? How could it be so difficult to get him to sleep at night... In the first few nights, I honestly felt like the walking dead, he wouldn't go down for more than an hour or two at a time, and even when he would go down, he'd be stirring. Because of this, I was eager to try anything I could to help him sleep even just that little bit longer. We tried hot water battles in his bed before putting him down, dream feeds, swaddling, towels around his moses, sleep nests (which have also worked an absolute treat - see our Purflo Nest review here), and came across the Whisbear Humming Bear.

Monday, 7 November 2016

H is Two Weeks Old

This update is now 4 days late, which kind of defeats the purpose of having weekly updates... but we're playing catch up here. Hopefully in the next few weeks we can get back into a routine that means I can actually get posts out on time, doubtful though!


Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Newborn Hacks: The Purflo Breathable Nest

Purflo Breathable Nest sleepyhead review poddlepod
From the minute I found out I was pregnant - I was already dreading the sleepless nights, I had the typical first mum expectation that I'd be up from 9pm to 9am, and by the end of Week 2 I'd have eye-bags down to my chin. We've made it to Week 2, and sure, I may looking my best, but I'd say I'm still fighting off the chin level eye-bags. I think I can safely say this is in part down to our Purflo Breathable Nest.


Saturday, 29 October 2016

A Nice Nappy Bin? #binbeautiful

I think it's safe to say times have well and truly changed: you know your a mum when your getting excited over a nappy bin...

When decorating Harrison's nursery, I was determined to have nothing garish, which is easier said than done in the world of nursery decoration. Since we knew we were Team Blue from the get-go, we had the option of decorating with a boy in mind, but a lot of the blue accessories were just too bright and out there for my liking. I wanted white and baby blue, as understated as possible, and that was about it. Unfortunately for us, it's hard to find a nappy bin that can be described as understated. It's not exactly what people look for in a bin for poo'ey nappies, so I can understand why they are few and far between. When Cheeky Rascals' offered to send us one of the new Korbell Nappy Bins to review - I all but jumped at the chance.
nappy bin korbell Cheeky Rascalls nice bin subtle pastel blue

Friday, 28 October 2016

H is One Week Old

Harrison is no longer days old, that is absolutely crazy. Well, he is still days old, but that's not how we'll count. It's weeks now. Before we know it it'll be months, and that is even crazier. This week has been the most mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting week of my life, but it has also already been the best. Harrison is perfect: an absolute pest at night, completely draining, and leaves me covered in sick, pee or poo 90% of the time, but still completely perfect. This week has absolutely flew in, it is crazy to think that only a 8 days ago he was still in my stomach, and now I can't imagine life without him.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

How Do Parents Unwind?

Prior to being a parent - I'd happily unwind in the gym, or at the pub, or in the midst of a binge watching marathon in my bed, after though, somehow I don't think I'll quite manage to unwind doing those...

The last week has been the most stressful, tiring, yet rewarding week of my life so far - nothing can quite prepare you for life as a mum, and I can only imagine that from here, my stress levels aren't going to decrease any. Everyone told me to make the most of the end of my maternity leave, to sleep when I can, to make the most of the last few hours I had binge watching box sets in bed by myself, even having a spare half hour to have a bath in peace, as I wouldn't have it when Harrison arrived. They weren't wrong. Finding time to shower at the minute is a struggle never mind have a relaxing bath, so the time I've been able to amass to relax I've used wisely. Unwinding as a parent is a different experience, that is for sure, but you definitely appreciate it so much more. With a newborn, they are asleep A LOT, but aren't exactly independent, so your never really relaxed. Rattan Direct are in the midst of conducting a survey about how parents unwind around the home, and whilst I was filling this out it really got me thinking about the various things I've done in the past week or so to try and still feel remotely human. If you have a spare minute, fill out the survey - it's quick and it really gets you thinking about the different ways you actually spend your time...

Unwinding At Home


Sunday, 23 October 2016

The Birth Story

pregnancy blog birth story baby J natural labour no interventions

I'll start this off by saying this may well be a slightly unrealistic version of labour - I've either gotten extremely lucky, or I have the pain tolerance of a god, but I don't think my labour could have gone better had I wrote it myself. Our little boy was born on the Friday 21st October at 3.15am - and I think I speak for both myself and Jordan when I say we've never loved such a little person so quickly or so much. At this point, I'm exhausted, mentally, physically and emotionally, but I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. Labour was my biggest fear, but my biggest surprise. Here's Baby J's story.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

My Pregnancy Essentials

I am so pleased to be able to say that this will be the last post I have to write while pregnant, thank the lord. With an induction planned for tomorrow morning at 8am, I thought I'd take today to reflect on my pregnancy and the various ways I made it easier for myself. How surreal to think that by the end of this weekend our little boy will finally be here... I'm so excited - I've hated pregnancy, but everyone's said the end result will be worth it, and I don't doubt that for a second.

As I've said, I have hated pregnancy, and so I've relied heavily on a few different products to see me through the various stages, if I found it bad with these, I truly don't know what I'd have done without. It really does come down to the little things in the end that just make you all that little more comfortable - and I would highly recommend all of the things below. (Apart from maybe the first one.... maybe give that one a miss if you can).

First Trimester

Ah ignorance is truly truly bliss. I made it through the entirety of my first trimester - and pretty much all of my second - without having a clue I was pregnant, and I can honestly not complain about any of  the first part of my pregnancy. I was still squatting twice my bodyweight for sets at 3 months in the gym, and was still comfortably running a mile and a half in 11 minutes to meet the fitness standard for work at 6 months pregnant - I was not fussed by it at all. I honestly think most of the downsides of pregnancy are in your head - or at least they were for me. The minute I found out I was pregnant, I suddenly became more tired, more inclined to curl up on the couch with a take-away, and a lot less likely to be active - which was ultimately my downfall, as I talked about here. Although ignorance is not something you can simply order Next Day Delivery on Amazon, being aware of how you are feeling, and being realistic about these feelings can help a lot. Knowing wether you are actually tired, and sick, and really need a good old take-away, or wether your just simply feeling sorry for yourself, is key.

Clean Diet and Consistent Exercise
As I said, this wasn't something I done actively because I knew about my pregnancy and wanted to make it easier, but I do believe it had something to do with how easy the entire first part of my pregnancy was. I ate an extremely regimented diet, with a lot of protein and little fat, and trained daily, which ultimately held off the weight gain and lethargy for a good while, which was key to how comfortable I was.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Yes, I'm STILL Pregnant

There is nothing more frustrating than going past your due date: every minute of the last 9 months, relies on your due date being the be all and end all of pregnancy. I'm being dramatic, but the last how many months have just been one big lie. I've hated pregnancy and made no secret of it, and the only thing that was getting me through - obviously ignoring the obvious bundle of joy at the end of the tunnel - was the 14th October. On the 14th October I'd have my baby and everything would be great. It's now the 18th, and low and behold, no baby, and no end in sight. I should be induced within the next few days if nothing happens, but thats still little comfort following the frustration you feel when your due date comes and goes and nothing happens.

At this point in time, I'm more hormonal and irrational than before, and nothing anyone says is really helping all that much. If you know someone in this situation though, I can make some very strong recommendations on what NOT to say to someone who is overdue. Believe you me, your better off saying nothing than going with anyone of these...

Sunday, 16 October 2016

What They Don't Tell You About Living Together

In the next week or so, two will become three, and I can't help but wonder how much everything will change. One of the main things obviously, will be our living situation. We've heard all of the horror stories about newborns, and I like to think we are ready for it, but without a doubt it'll hit us like a tonne of bricks still. There are some things that no one can prepare you for. Looking back, even moving in with a boyfriend had a good few of these. The lack of privacy, kissing goodbye to personal space, the washing up debates, sure, I was prepared for that. There was a good few few key points I never thought about, and that no one told me about before moving in with your better half. I thought it would be nice to list the things that shocked me a bit, just before it all changes yet again...

1. The Smell

It's not a bad smell - at least, not the majority of the time. But there is a distinct change in scent. It's just boy smell. There's a constant musk that no amount of Vanilla candles or open windows can mask,   and although you get accustomed to it, every so often, you'll get a whiff and wonder how you've not been noticing it all along. It's a good thing I don't mind boy smell, it comes with the territory, but it is different to what I've been used to for the past 21 years.. Whilst on the subject of smells actually, the wardrobe will never ever be the same again after adding the collection of football boots and trainers to the floor- nothing can bring it back after that, plain nasty.

2. Expect a Bedside Drinks Tray


Friday, 14 October 2016

40 Week Update

This better be my last update, I swear to goodness....
Today is my due date. I've made it the entire 40 weeks, and if bubba would like to make an appearance today that would be absolutely perfect. Somehow though, I don't think I'll be quite so lucky.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Newborn Clothing Haul

I've tried not to be excessive with clothes shopping for the little one - I really truly have, but my version of excessive and everyone else's is probably very different and I may have still managed to go slightly overboard by normal standards. I could be here for hours showing everything I've bought Baby J in the past few months, so I've tried to whittle it down to just a few of the shops that have been really good for newborn baby clothes, as I've actually found it difficult to find clothes that I really like for him. I've always been a bit of a prude when it came to newborn clothes, and I like what I like - I'd always said I'd only have my baby in white, blue and grey while he's a newborn, but that does limit you a lot in what you can actually buy. Although I knew his sex from the get-go, I'm drawn to team yellow and I love everything unisex, much to Jordan's dismay, who has wanted him in a tracksuit since Day 1. Not a chance...

It goes without saying that most of his clothes in the early days will be sleepsuits, he won't be in dungarees permanently... but I haven't included them in this post just to save it getting even moreso excessive than it probably already is.

1. Mothercare

I truly did not ever think I'd like Mothercare as much as I have done during this pregnancy - I always went on about Baby Zara and how much I loved the clothes from there, but when it came down to the Newborn stage, I couldn't get over the pastels and muted colours in Mothercare - plus it was really affordable for the quality of the items. The Peter Rabbit items especially just feel so soft and luxurious, which was surprising as they really weren't all that expensive at all. A lot of the items I'd bought were sleepsuits and vests, which I didn't realise until I grouped it altogether, so there isn't actually nearly as much as I thought there was here. I also purchased two bits from the Myleene Klass collection - only when I got home did I realise I think it's baby girl clothes... oh well, a dark hat and no-one will be able to tell the difference! (I hope).
Mothercare newborn haul baby haul sleep suit cute
1 £12.00 | 2 £18.00

Sunday, 9 October 2016

My Labour Fears

Labour *should* be happening any day now - I've been counting down the days for the entirety of the final trimester, and you'd think I was gearing up for Christmas at the rate I've wanted this to come round. Reality is now beginning to hit though, and whilst I've hated pregnancy, and I'm ready to meet little Baby J - I am not ready for labour. I suppose you probably never are 'ready' as such, but I've now read what must be close to hundreds of birth stories, I've googled every possible outcome, and I've watched many a labour video on youtube (only the nice, edited, not gruesome, vlog style ones - even I can't bring myself to face One Born Every Minute until after delivery) and if anything I feel worse off than I did before. My labour fears may be erratic, but they are definitely there.
labour fears real labour child birth scary episiotomy epidural gas air

1. What If It Lasts for 37 hours?


Saturday, 8 October 2016

Secret Saviours: No More Stretch Marks?

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored, but I was gifted the items contained in it. Every opinion given is entirely my own, and I wouldn't recommend it if I didn't believe in it.

Stretch marks are a widely accepted part of pregnancy, generally they are fairly common and can simply be an unfortunate result of child-bearing for nine months. Your growing a little person inside of you - it's fairly reasonable to assume that your skin will have to stretch to accommodate this. I personally had been really worried about getting stretch marks during my pregnancy, only because I had suffered them fairly badly in my early teens. After going on the contraceptive pill to try and combat my acne, my body responded with an unexpected pair of boobs in a very short space of time, and with them some stretch marks to keep them company. These did fade over time, but not without trying every cream and oil in the book, so with my skin being obviously prone to stretch marks, I was open to trying anything I could to prevent them during pregnancy.
no stretch marks during pregnancy get rid of marks secret saviours
Simply put, stretch marks are left by tearing just below the surface of the skin, and different factors can leave you more prone to them: being a young mum, family history, big babies or excessive weight gain to name but a few... Given the fact I'm young, my personal history, and how quickly I'd put on weight in the last trimester, it's safe to say I was prone.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

I HATE Being Pregnant

I won't even bother to apologise for the blatancy of the title of this post. I truly do hate being pregnant, and I have hated it for pretty much the entirety. I've been reluctant to post my opinion on this, as I feel it could be a bit of a sensitive subject for some, but I hope anyone reading can take it with a pinch of salt. I've seen one too many a comment alluding to those complaining about pregnancy and how it can be insensitive to those who cannot have children of their own, or to those who have experienced miscarriages, and I don't want to overstep boundaries here, but my inability to enjoy my pregnancy does not mean I'm any less grateful for the life it will deliver at the end. I'm extremely thankful to be pregnant and what it will mean for my life, but that doesn't mean I have to enjoy it, and I should, as should everyone else, be aloud to voice that without judgement.
I have had an easy pregnancy, I'm under no false allusion here. I didn't hate the time I was pregnant because of my morning sickness, or my tiredness, or my cravings. I didn't hate the time because of swollen feet, which I couldn't see by the end anyway, or my bad skin and greasy hair. The symptoms I could deal with, and I'd happily do those all over again. It was the inability to feel like myself for the past four months that has really got to me. My third trimester has been nothing short of an absolute nightmare, if only in the mental sense, rather than the physical.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Desenio Prints: Am I Scandinavian Yet?

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored, but I was gifted the items contained in it. I would however order these off of my own back again, and every opinion given is entirely my own.

Let me be the very first to say here - I am no interior designer by any stretch of the imagination. I can barely work Pinterest never mind have a room based on the aesthetic. Any time I set out to 'decorate' any room in this house, my lavish plans are swiftly abandoned in favour of whatever I find on the day in Ikea. My latest bedroom upheaval was no different. I'd gone for a strict minimal black and cream, no accents, no nothing, aiming originally for the typical Pinterest Scandinavian look. Unfortunately, I bailed after having bought all of the furniture/bedding/basic necessities, and was left with a haphazard unfinished looking bedroom. When Desenio offered to send over some prints, I all but jumped at the chance to pull my pitiful room out of the gutter, and it gave me a fresh kick to finally sort it out, just in time for the cosy Autumn nights.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

My October Goals

I've seen this post floating around the blogging world a lot in the past few days, and figured I'd jump on the band-wagon as a way to keep myself accountable. I've always been a big goal setter as it is, wether it be university related previously, fitness, weight loss, financial. You name it, I'll have made a check-list for it. I love the idea of new beginnings, and a new month signifies just that for me. October is going to be an odd month for me, and without a doubt one that will be hard to set goals for. I'm due with Baby J on the 14th, but it goes without saying he could arrive anytime this month, so I've made sure these goals take into account that.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

A True Pregnancy Pamper Night

My idea of pampering has completely changed from the pre-pregnancy days: let's just make that clear from the get go. Long gone are the days when a relaxing night of pampering consisted of painting my toenails, glasses of wine and head-to-toe moisturising. Nowadays - i.e. 38 weeks pregnant - pampering is a lot more of a simple affair, and there a few very necessary adaptations that have been made. I'm no beauty blogger - I don't own the newest of face creams and smelly bits and bobs, pre-pregnancy Boots own brand bubble bath suited me fine, and this far in to a pregnancy I am no different. My idea of pampering is definitely not limited to a beauty regime, in fact, it doesn't involve much of it at all, here's my less than luxurious pregnancy pamper tips.

- Embrace Take-Away and Bad TV

I don't want to get ready to go out, I don't want to be surrounded by people, I don't want to have to wait on my food and let's face it, chances are I'll be 'sleepy-time' tired by the time dessert even rolls around. Pregnancy is the perfect excuse to order take-away and sit in, no one can judge you for it. I'm all for making sure baby gets the proper nutrition, but at the same time, I need my good ole' Nandos once in a while (/multiple times a week). I've also used this time to throw myself back into bad reality TV - X Factor, Ex On the Beach, The Great British Bake Off - you name it I watch it now.. what else am I going to do with my Saturday night?

Saturday, 1 October 2016

8 Ways To Kick-Start Labour Naturally

Pregnancy is a long stint - almost an entire year spent as an oven, albeit the reward at the end is well worth it, but no matter how good the reward, time doesn't miraculously speed up. In fact, towards the end I swear it slows down. The third trimester feels like time has been at a stand-still, and by 38 weeks I'd try anything to get this baby out and moving. A quick google search returned thousands upon thousands of natural remedies to coax baby out - 99% of which I can guarantee won't work. In fact, all of them probably won't work, but at this point in time, I'm ready to try anything to make sure I don't go over due date. I'll take everyone's advice and rest up and enjoy the last few days I'll ever have on my own, but towards the end of this week Operation Baby commences. Here's the plan of action.

methods of inducing labour naturally or early pineapple spicy food walking sex

Friday, 30 September 2016

38 Week Update

These updates are getting few and far between now - I'm not sure how many I'll actually have left. The days are absolutely dragging in, but the weeks are flying. I cannot quite believe that there is only 2 weeks left until my due date. Honestly, I don't know where the last few months have gone. I'm so excited to meet little bub, and for my pregnancy to be over, as we all know I've not exactly enjoyed it, but as I get towards the end I am getting more and more anxious about motherhood. I'm guessing that's completely normal though - it's a big change. I've also brought the start of my maternity leave forward - I was due to work right up until 39+4, but I was absolutely floored this week. I can't explain how exhausted I was, and it just didn't seem like the smartest of ideas to push myself that far that close to my due date. My work is relatively easy, but the 5am starts and lack of sleep was less than ideal, so it was time to make a decision for my health rather than my bank balance.
38 week pregnancy bump at full term bump only pregnancy fit pregnancy

I've well and truly ballooned at this point - I'd been eager to try and gain as much weight as I could in the past two weeks, just on the off chance Baby J's slow growth was down to my food choices, so I've been shovelling in the food, and I think it's very obvious by this picture - I am no longer all bump by any means! Earlier today I had another growth scan: I had mentioned in my 36 week update that during my scan the midwife had expressed a few concerns about Baby J's growth.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Wednesday Wish-list: Baby Fashion

Let me start off by saying that this is not a newborn fashion post by any stretch of the imagination: whilst all of the clothes listed here do come in newborn size, it’s safe to say I won’t be subjecting a newborn baby to a stiff collared shirt and a bomber jacket any time soon. 

 One of the funnest parts of being pregnant so far (let’s be clear, there hasn’t exactly been an abundance of them) has been planning out little outfits for the new baby. Anyone who says otherwise, is probably lying. I started off this post gathering white and baby blue sleep suit after white and baby blue sleepsuit, and quickly realised I’d much rather have a look at clothing for when he’s a little bit older, and when I can dress him like an ‘old farmer’ as the other half would call it. Here’s my picks for little Baby J’s first winter:

Milk Sleepsuit£26.95
This is just cute - no justification needed here. If you haven't already, definitely check out Buddy and Me. Some of the items on there are crackers, plus these sleep suits are 100% organic cotton and extremely eco friendly!

Sunday, 25 September 2016

What's In My Hospital Bag?

I've now watched countless videos and read blog post after post detailing the content's of everyone's hospital bags - as I get closer to my due date I want to feel as prepared as possible, and a big part of that is having everything I need ready for when I go into labour.  I've left packing my bags extremely late - I'll be 38 weeks as of Friday, but it was such an easy task to put off, labour didn't feel real, in fact it still doesn't, so the drive to pack my hospital bag just wasn't there. I very nearly gave the midwife a heart attack when I told her this last week though, and she suggested it was maybe time I got ready to have this child which will inevitably make an appearance this month.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Breastfeeding?: I'd Rather Go on a Night Out

The Bottle Vs Breast debate is not one I had any had any desire to partake publicly in - mainly because I feel so strongly about it - as I didn't want a post to degenerate into a rant. Quick clarification - I feel strongly about the debate and how publicly it is disputed, NOT about my stance in the debate. I recently came across an article though, and felt I couldn't hold my tongue any longer.

Benefits of breastfeeding vs bottle the debate fed is best maternity

I was intrigued - with so much hype around the Bottle VS Breast debate - and what with everyone and their nan appearing to disapprove of sole bottle feeding - I'd have assumed the British rates would have been higher. By title alone, this article confused me. Societal influence has been evident during my short pregnancy, but not in the way this title suggests.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

6 Things Not To Say To A Pregnant Girl

When someone finds out they are pregnant, everyone wants to offer their opinion - it is a well known inconvenience of pregnancy. I say inconvenience because although people simply want to help, some will take any opportunity to pass down every golden nugget of information. They do mean well, but often these golden nuggets are the last things you want to hear whilst pregnant. Pregnancy is such an individual experience and will be unique to every person, and because of this there's so many different ways to agitate a hormonal pregnant lady. We are irrational, it happens. I think there's a few key areas that should be completely off-limits for open discussion: long story short, if you happen to see me within the next 2 weeks, I beg of you, do not make any of these comments. Just don't.

1. 'Your 8 months pregnant? But I'm fatter than you are!' 
This is in the exact same boat as 'Woaaah your bump is massive'. You may think this is a compliment and that you are making me feel better, but you are not. My weight gain may not be all that significant to you, but currently I'm feeling like I fall somewhere between a post-gobstopper Violet from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and a baby whale - so it's definitely significant to me.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Wednesday Wish-list: Changing Bags

If someone had told me this time a few months ago I'd be trawling the internet for fashionable changing bags - I'd have told them exactly where to go! I've been toying with the idea of the Yves Saint Laurent Monogramme bag for the best part of two years, and this year was the year I'd finally succumbed to allowing myself to buy one. Too bad I fell pregnant and my priorities changed... My priorities have changed, but my taste hasn't. I really don't like changing bags that look like changing bags - there's my brutal truth. So I set out to find one that I could be happy to have with me as much for a nice lunch or shopping with the girls and baby J but would be durable for the sheer grossness it'll probably be faced with...

Here's my finds:
leather changing bags fashion designer storsak jem and bee beau baby fashion maternity 1.  Storksak Emma Bag £230.00 
I feel like this bag speaks for itself: pebble leather, go-to black shade, the look of a designer back, with all of the practicalities of a high end changing bag. It’s machine washable, and comes with a padded changing mat and hundreds of convenient storage. This is the big thing - it looks like a normal bag, which is what i want, but has all of the good points of a changing bag. I love a designer bag, but there’s no point in stuffing smelly nappies into a pristine Yves Saint Laurent. The Storsak bags have a designer look, but durability that is necessary with a baby.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Myrtle and Maude Mumma-To-Be Tummy Settling Pack

Morning sickness is a bitch.
There is absolutely no way around that unfortunately. Around three quarters of all expectant mothers experience morning sickness in the first trimester - wether that be just the discerning feeling of nausea, or wether your unlucky enough to be spewing up your guts on the Number 9 bus three days a week... Either way, it's not fun, albeit most girls just accept it as an unfortunate symptom of pregnancy.

Recently though, I came across the Myrtle and Maude Mumma-To-Be Tummy Settling Pack, and I'm beyond impressed. Myrtle and Maude is a newish company that I have no doubts will be a go-to for Expectant Mothers before long. They've created a tummy settling pack, made from all natural ingredients, which is supposed to reduce the effects of sickness and ease one of the less fun parts of pregnancy. I'll say from the start that this post is no way sponsored - I'm just really impressed by the brand as a whole.

The pack comes with three products - all in delightful packaging, clean and minimalistic.

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