Monday, 29 February 2016

#3things: last minute mother's day gifts

Mother's Day is literally just around the corner (it's Sunday, if you'd forgotten!). If you're looking for some last minute gift inspiration for your mum, look no further.

You could go with a card - and maybe some flowers. But why not go one step further. Here are my top three gift ideas for your mum this Mother's Day:

top 3 mother's day gifts

A spa day, voucher or treatment will offer your mum a bit of time out. You could join her for a spa day together, or let her have an hour or two of "me time" with a voucher for facial or massage.

Afternoon tea is a favourite in our family. Lots of places are offering afternoon tea for Mother's Day - just be sure to book in advance.

Or how about some jewellery? Something personalised will be a special keepsake for your mum for always. Check out not on the high street for more options.

Friday, 26 February 2016

style: leather maternity leggings

I've always loved the leather legging look but never found the right pair. Maybe I need to look at real leather but, for me, they always seem so expensive! Then I got pregnant and found the perfect faux pair! These were totally a spur of the moment "add to basket" that I didn't give much thought to. I was ordering some maternity swimming costumes to try from the Next clearance when I spotted these leggings and figured I had nothing to loose. All of my other maternity trousers/leggings have been over the bump style so, again, I was unsure about these.

But the minute I tried them on, I knew they were for keeps! They have just the right amount of elastic in to hug my legs but also mean that they are easy to put on. The under the bump band also works fine - although I'll reserve judgement to see if they last for the latter stages of pregnancy.

Plus, Next do different leg lengths for their maternity wear, which for a shortly like me is a godsend! We don't all grow taller just because we're getting wider!!

maternity leather leggings

If you're looking to splurge, these Dover Maternity Leather Leggings by Isabella Oliver are just the ticket.

If you're on a budget, these Next maternity coated leggings are just £12!

I'm loving my faux leather leggings by Next - they are so easy to style. I'll be dressing them up for the evening with a lace top for evening and a pair of embellished flats (or heels if you fancy). For day, I'll be teaming the leggings with an oversized shirt and crisp white trainers:

how to wear leather look maternity leggings

Images via Pinterest here and here

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

beauty: moisturise, moisturise, moisturise

My skin - up until about five and a half months ago - was always fairly "normal". Never too oily or too dry. I didn't often need to use a moisturiser - although I did at night. Ever since being pregnant, my skin has become soooo dry. On my face, on my legs, on my arms - everywhere. Nowhere has been safe from the dryness.

This, combined with the fear of stretch marks, has meant a whole overhaul of my skincare routine. No longer can I remove my make-up and maybe remember to put some moisturiser on my face before falling into bed, or get up in the morning, have a shower and get dressed. I've had to make time for a whole lot of moisturising.

Over on my style and beauty blog, I blogged about the Boots No7 Early Defence collection a while ago. This is still the best moisturiser I've tried yet. I particularly love the night cream but now, the day cream works well too. I can't skip day cream under my make-up anymore otherwise it cakes like never before.


For the rest of me, I'm currently loving the Norwegian Formula Visibly Renew Elasti-Boost Body Lotion. First of all, the pump action dispenser saves time and second, the formula is light and absorbs quickly - so important for getting dressed quickly in the morning.

I'm using this on my bump too in the mornings but for the evenings I've been slathering on Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion For Stretch Marks. Like the original Cocoa Butter, this lotion is thick and highly scented. It feels luxurious but is a bit much for all day - for me.

*Disclosure: I was sent the No7 Early Defence creams and Norwegian Formula lotion to try out. All views on these are my own - in fact, I have re-bought both since running out!

Monday, 22 February 2016

brand: Mokee

Mokee specialise in beautiful handcrafted baby products for your nursery. My sister alerted me to this brand, after her friend had one of their cots. Their product range is quite small but actually that’s probably better – it’s simple and perfectly formed. Their Pinterest and Instagram pages are a dream for planning your nursery. I basically want everything!


The wool nest moses baskets look so cosy, while the sleek cots are chic and modern.

We haven't started on our nursery conversion yet. We currently live in a three bed townhouse which means that the third bedroom is on the first floor with our living room, while the other two bedrooms are on the second floor. The third bedroom is currently an office-come-junk-room and the second bedroom, a spare room. We are planning to move the spare bed down and into the third bedroom and to turn our second bedroom into the nursery.

I will be sure to post before and after pics etc of the nursery make-over.

Friday, 19 February 2016

top tips: travelling when pregnant

Our recent trip to Rome last weekend was planned before I found out I was pregnant, so once it transpired that I would be about 5 months in, our plans had to change a little. Here are my top tips for travelling when pregnant:

  1. Check with your airline on their policy for flying pregnant ladies. Most will be fine with you travelling until you’re beyond 30 weeks but many will want a letter from your midwife or a “Fit to Fly” form filled in. For me, Ryanair wanted one for those over 28 weeks.
  2. Let your insurance company know. It may incur a charge but this is better than something happening and then finding out that you’re not covered.
  3. If you’re travelling in Europe, make sure your EHIC card is in date and that you pack it!
  4. When you’re on the plane, make sure to wear a pair of compression socks and get up and walk about as much as possible – at least once an hour. For a short haul trip in Europe, this could easily be covered with a trip to the loo at the beginning and nearer the end of your flight.
  5. Pack your medical notes. Preferably in your hand luggage. Just in case.
  6. Wear loose, comfortable clothing for travelling. And for the whole of your trip – you don’t want to feel constrained.
  7. Make sure to pack sensible shoes for walking. This is particularly important if you’re off on a city break, as I was.
  8. Pack a pillow. I have been exhausted nearly all of my pregnancy. So a 6am flight was pretty tiring. I took a pillow with me for the flight and managed to get an hours sleep in on the way. It was also nice to have a pillow I knew with me on the trip for bedtime too.
  9. Pack snacks. I find that my energy levels dip quickly now that I’m pregnant so I need a lot of snacks. At the beginning I also needed regular snacks to quell any nausea.
  10. Pack light. Believe me, you’ll be thankful when you don’t have to lug a heavy suitcase through the airport.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

style: feeling more like me

maternity dress

Dressing for my bump has been a big challenge. As I said before, I also write a beauty and style blog. I like to think that over the years and as I reached my 30s, I’d found my “style”. I had a way of dressing that suited me, suited my lifestyle and made me feel comfortable. Adding a bump to the equation (and boobs) was always going to be a challenge but I don’t think I’d realised quite how big a challenge. I tended to wear loose, oversized pieces before I was pregnant and assumed that I’d be able to wear many of these throughout the nine months. Up until about 20 weeks, this did seem to be working but then I think I must have “popped”! My bump suddenly felt much bigger and clothes that a week or two before had fitted neatly over my bump were now being stretched and looked a little odd.

My first maternity purchase was a pair of maternity jeans. I have worn skinny jeans for years (and years and years) and so decided to stick with my usual shape. My favourite two pairs are from H&M. They feel more like jeggings if I’m honest. They’re really stretchy and really comfortable. Comfort has been a massive consideration when buying maternity clothes. The reason I bought the jeans in the first place was because my non-maternity jeans were starting to dig in and make my nausea even worse.

For weeks 14 through to 20, my maternity jeans worked fine with long line tees and vests under loose, oversized jumpers.

Once I hit week 20, I realised that many of my normal jumpers were getting too short and the pool of clothes I could wear was rapidly decreasing. So I had to hit the shops again.

how to wear non maternity when pregnant

Primark maternity dress

I wanted to stick to my usual style of skinnier bottom half and looser top half. But much of the maternity clothing I came across was fitted and stretchy on top. So this week I resorted to Primark for a few of their non-maternity oversized dresses to see my through the next few weeks. Funny how something so simple as a shapeless dress can make you feel more like yourself again...

Monday, 15 February 2016

baby on board

At the half way point of my pregnancy, I decided that I didn’t want to blink and miss the amazing journey that I’m on. As a style and beauty blogger (you can check it out here), writing a blog seems like the most logical way of documenting this experience.

I’ll admit that this pregnancy thing hasn’t been the breeze I expected. Since week six, I’ve been plagued by nausea. It got really bad around weeks 11-14 and then started to subside a little but I still wake up each morning and have to run to the bathroom. By now though, the nausea is confined to early morning, not all day as it was just a few weeks ago.

As if that wasn't enough, for the past six weeks or so I’ve been managing with SPD (or pelvic girdle pain) which is pretty painful. Some days it doesn’t affect me too much, others I can barely move without feeling pain.

I realise that compared to some people, this is nothing and I want to be clear that none of this is to say that I’m not enjoying being pregnant. Maybe “enjoying” is the wrong turn of phrase. I am beyond happy to be pregnant. I can’t really describe how excited I felt when I saw the line on the test that morning way back in October. But I think I naively thought that I’d sail through the nine months, feeling well and generally glowing! The reality of pregnancy has come as something of a shock.

To be honest, I am enjoying a new lease of energy. Despite disrupted sleep (hi, 4am!), I am feeling much more lively than I was during the first trimester when everything was exhausting.

Most of all, I realise that my body is doing an amazing thing right now – it’s growing a whole new person. And I don’t want to let the next few months pass me by without remembering to document anything from them.

I’m not sure if I expect anyone to find my pregnancy ramblings at all interesting or useful but if you do happen upon this blog and it helps in anyway, leave a comment and say hi.