Sunday, 31 January 2016

Next Baby Girl Haul!

 So Mummy was a little bit naughty in the Next Sale, although this entire lot only cost me £40 it was certainly more than I'd planned on picking up! Just like last week's haul post I'm not going to go into detail of every picture and just let them speak for themselves but I think that we can agree they're all super cute! The last picture of the dress with all of the animals on is definitely my favourite, I got it in 3-6 months and I just cannot wait to put her in it over summer with some little white socks! Did any of you grab anything at the Next Sale? I almost couldn't believe that I've become one of "those Mums" who was there on Boxing Day! (Although I didn't get there until 10am, shh)

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Thursday, 28 January 2016

Clarins Essentials

 If you know me or this blog at all then you'll know that I adore Clarins, their new releases always take my breath away and even some of their staple classics are still firm favourites of mine. If you look across my collection you'll notice that I have more Clarins products that any other brand and that's for one reason alone, I trust them. To me it is so important to trust a brand both in terms of value for money and also in terms of quality of the product. Obviously Clarins isn't the cheapest brand on the market and I often try and find dupes for certain things to little or no avail. I thought that today I would share with you my favourites from my favourite and show you the three things that I've been reaching for time and time again recently. The first up is the Tonic Treatment Oil, it's hailed as the best thing for stretch marks so as soon as James and I started trying for a baby I went out and snapped this up. It's really costly at £47 but I've managed to make it last throughout my entire pregnancy by only treating myself to it once a day and alternating with something else at night time. It feels so luxurious and gives me a few minutes of me time every morning whilst I try my best to keep those pesky stretch marks at bay.
Next actually isn't baby related! It's the rerelease of their Everlasting + foundation, they reformulated it last year and I absolutely adore it. It's quite matte for me but I just tend not to use much powder over the top and mix a little NARS Copacabana highlighter over my cheek bones and it gives a flawless finish. It lasts all day long and even on my drying pregnancy skin it hasn't made too much of a difference. It's not one to be used on unprepared skin as the matte effect can eventually dry out your skin a little but I use the Origins GinZing Moisturiser underneath and haven't had any problems. It's quite a heavy finish but that suits me fine as I'm still not confident with my skin!
Lastly is another pregnancy product, it's the Stretch Mark Minimiser, I like this because it's great for both prevention and a cure (kind of) afterwards. You get so much product for the price tag and it lasts absolutely ages. I use this on my bump, hips and sides as that's where I want to prevent stretch marks but also where I already have them on my upper thighs. It feels lovely and thick and whilst my old ones are still there, I haven't yet developed any new ones in my pregnancy so I think the combination of this and the Tonic Oil in definitely working.
There's so many things that I love from Clarins that it was hard to pick just three but I didn't want to cover my entire Clarins collection (although let me know if that's something you'd like to see?) and these are the things that I've been reaching for most recently! Their eyeshadows are super easy to bend which will make my life easier when the baby arrives, their waterproof mascara is fantastic and their exfoliator is the most efficient that I've ever used. I'd love to know if anyone else has a love affair like this with a brand or if I'm just strange for latching on to one?!

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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

YSL Luxurious Mascara | Review

YSL Luxurious Mascara £25 - I got this on a whim after a makeover in House of Fraser back in December or November of last year, I felt really bad that I just didn't like the new foundation on my skin so bought this mascara in a Christmas giftset instead. I've never really found a mascara that has wowed me in all areas, my old faithful and favourite Stila Glamoureyes can go a bit grey towards the end of the day and everything else either makes me lashes look like spiders legs (I have insanely long eyelashes that don't need any lengthening whatsoever) or it barely looks as though it's on there. When the MUA was applying this to me I wasn't overly hopefully that I'd like it, I wasn't too bothered as it wasn't what I'd gone there for and I didn't feel as though I needed a new mascara. However when I looked in the mirror I was so pleasantly surprised. It gave me thicker lashes without making them too long and spidery, it's also SO black. The depth of colour is something that I seriously took for granted before I became a self confessed beauty addict, black was just black right? Wrong. A good, thick black mascara can be like gold dust and one that starts off black and actually stays like that for all eternity is even rarer. As it was in a gift set I thought I'd treat myself, I've never had such a high end mascara before and I really, really liked the way it made my lashes look. It's not too wet that it makes a mess all over my face but at the same time isn't dry and clumpy, it's also pretty easy to remove (something I have a bit of a gripe with is how easy a mascara is to remove, I don't like pulling all of my lashes out at the end of a long hard day). I don't have to reapply this on a day- to-day basis unless I'm going out for a meal or something in the evening as it holds the curl and lift well. I'll slick an extra coat on if I am headed out after work and it just revamps the "oomph" a little bit and makes it look even more dramatic. The packaging is also adorable, the rose gold mixed with the yellow gold and the luxurious YSL logo is also super handy, simply line it up to know that it's perfectly air tight and sealed to save it drying out too quickly. The only downside that I have to this product is a really petty one, and that's it's name. I just feel as though they could have gone to greater efforts than "luxurious mascara". Call me strange but I love the names that brands come up with for their products and it's something that really makes it stick in my mind, I've had to google the name of this mascara every time I've written about it because for me "luxurious" is pretty forgettable as far as a name goes! Of all the gripes to have with a product however, it's a pretty pathetic one and definitely something that I can overcome given that this is hands down the best mascara I have ever used. 

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Sunday, 24 January 2016

Mamas & Papas Haul

 Buying things for my Baby Girl is without a doubt my new favourite past time, I'm not going to put too many words into this post and just let those beautiful pictures of those beautiful clothes do the talking for me! This is everything that I got from the Mamas & Papas sale, it was actually on before Christmas and these arrived in late December but I just couldn't resist the bargains. I got everything in 3-6 months as I loved the prints and designs so wanted them to last a bit longer but I'm now slightly regretting it as she has barely anything in newborn! The sleep suits were half price from £22 for 3 down to £11, a bargain if you ask me and you can definitely feel the difference in quality. They feel so much more luxurious than some cheaper brands. I can't remember how much the bambi sleepsuit was but I know it was also on offer and is possibly the softest thing that Baby Sophie owns!

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Thursday, 21 January 2016

Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade | Review

Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade in "Ash Brown" £15 - I've always struggled to find "the" product for my brows, I have naturally dark blonde hair but my brows are a really cool tone so any "blonde" products are always far too red for me and anything for brown hair is too dark. I thought I'd found "the one" in Stila's Stay All Day Brows in Medium however before long it can get clogged up and run out of product, plus it takes a while to create defined brows with (it's perfect if you want a natural look, though). So I turned to Anastasia Beverly Hills, I've seen so many bloggers raving about their brow products that I thought I had to go for broke and give at least one of them a try. I'd just purchased my new Zoeva brush set so settled on the Dipbrow Pomade as it would give me an excuse to use my angled brush with it. I ordered "Ash Brown" as I was sucked in by the word Ash and hoped that it would finally be cool enough for my skin tone. I was right in how cool it was however I need to use a seriously light hand with this otherwise a scouse brow is something natural in comparison to what I end up with. I think I possibly should have gone for Taupe and as and when this runs out, I'll definitely be giving that a whirl. The formula, application, staying power etc etc is all fantastic on this though. It's super easy to apply, I use dip my angled liner brush into the pot, wipe off any excess (something you wouldn't need to do if you'd picked the right colour...) and then apply through my brows. It's buildable so I can match up any sparse areas that I need to and it's also really easy to remove with a quick wipe of a cotton bud incase I go wrong. It lasts all day long and also doesn't smudge. After using a waterproof brow product for over a year it's safe to say I was nervous to give this a run for it's money both at work and at the gym but it held up extremely well in both areas! I also use the tiniest amount, I've had this since October now and have used it every single day that I've worn make up since and you can see how much (or little should I say) I've used from the picture above. I can't quite believe how small of a dent I've made into it. I was slightly dubious at ordering this online that I may waste £15 of my money however it's been such a good investment into my beauty collection, I'm not sure whether to get this in a slightly lighter shade next time or whether to try their Brow Wizz next - what do you suggest? Let me know which colour you'd advise for me also. Ordering things online can be so hard. 

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Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Illamasqua Hydra Veil | Review

Illamasqua Hydra Veil £32 - This little beauty first came to my attention around 2 or so years ago when I'd been blogging for about a year, at first I thought "oh yes that's a great idea" and put it to the back of my mind. I've always been quite lucky with my skin and whilst it's been combination (and a little bit dry in the dead of winter), it's always been manageable with a good moisturiser. Then I remember being matched for Illamasqua's Skin Base Foundation back in 2013 and the guy using it on me beforehand, it was so refreshing and light on the skin. I couldn't believe how quickly it sank into my skin and left it feeling as though it'd had a "zap" of moisture. Again, I kind of forgot about it and just considered it a non-essential, on times I'd wish I had it and especially when preparing for big nights out it would have been lovely but I don't like near an Illamasqua counter and I didn't feel like I wanted it enough to pay for postage from somewhere online (does anyone else have that? I'll spend so much more money in an actual store purely because I've said £3.95 postage although it's cost me £15 in fuel and £5 in parking...). Anyway long story short James and I finally made a trip to Meadowhall the other week to buy some bits for baby Sophie and I just couldn't resist. I had a few gift cards for Debenhams and Boots so could treat myself to some final beauty luxuries before Sophie arrives and this was one of them. My skin went quite dry when I first fell pregnant and I would have loved to have this around to give me a little boost, now I tend to wear this as a primer before putting on any foundation (although I don't wear on it on no make-up days) and it just helps my skin stay nice and hydrated even on the longest of days. Usually by this time of year my skin is getting dry again, what with the cold weather and using more heating/air conditioning it can really effect even the appearance of my skin as well as the texture, but I've not noticed that this year and I'm sure it's down to this. It also feels really cool and refreshing when you apply it, perfect for those early mornings before work (and in preparation for when I've been woken up at 5am by a screaming baby). The other thing I love about it? Just how funky it looks! It goes back into a perfectly formed gel after every use so it looks brand new and when it's on the back of your hand or fingertips it looks just like jelly. A little really goes a long way too, I was worried that I'd have to use loads of this however I use a pea sized amount for each cheek and my forehead, so 3 peas in total.. It also comes with a miniature spatula which not only looks really nifty, it also helps you gauge the right amount and you can then scoop any excess off the back of your hand to put it back in should you happen to take out too much. I'm not sure how long it will last before it runs out but I'm hoping to get a good amount of use out of it as I don't know when I'll be able to go back and repurchase some more!

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Sunday, 17 January 2016

Things that suck for James about pregnancy

 It'd be unfair to say that us ladies get all of the stick during pregnancy, largely because behind this pregnant lady at least is one hell of a supportive Dad & Partner who has to see me go through my discomfort, put up with my mood swings and appear ecstatically excited at every single baby catalogue thrust under his nose. I was laid awake at 4am one night and wrote the draft to this post, J was actually at work, on his 30th Birthday and I had an overwhelming urge to commend and recognise him and his efforts on this blog. So here are the 10 things that my brain came up with in the small hours of the morning that totally suck for James, but he gets on with anyway.

1. He's always the last to know - Okay not strictly last but take her kicking for example, I had a good few weeks of feeling her and knowing she was wriggling around before he got to feel anything. Cue weeks of sitting with his hand glued to my belly and repeated "Can you feel that?" to an unsatisfied "no". Luckily he can feel her now and it would seem she's quite the Daddy's girl already, it's gone a bit awry recently as I've been off work for 2 weeks but if I've ever been away all day and she's been quiet & still, you can guarantee as soon as her Daddy's voice pipes up she'll start kicking away. I'm certain she can recognise voices as he's not always around in the evenings and then she normally won't come alive until I'm laid flat in bed. I sense favouritism already.
2. He has to be the level headed one - I'll be the first to admit that I'm a worrier, first my greatest fear was that I'd lose her in early pregnancy, now it's that I'll develop Pre-Eclampsia or gestational diabetes. We rely on him heavily to be the one to calm me down and think rationally about the situation before I bolt off to A&E at every available opportunity. Obviously on the occasions where we'e been told to go in by the Midwife he's been right there by my side and was just as concerned as I was, but I do rely on him to be the "strong" one.
3. He has to be the level headed one - No I'm not repeating myself (okay I kinda was) but I mean in a financial way too. If I had my way then my daughter would be head to toe in The Little White Company and Mini Boden and would probably be in all kinds of debt kitting out her nursery in the finest Silvercross furniture. Luckily for my bank balance, I have James to reign me in, even more luckily for me is whilst he is smart with money, he's by no means tight so we've reached a happy medium with Next, Zara, Mamas & Papas and GAP being amongst our favourite places to shop for her. She gets quite frankly fantastic quality but without her Mummy going bankrupt.
4. Things are more *ahem* physically challenging - Apologies to any of our nearest and dearest reading this, feel free to skip ahead to number 5. It's probably too much information for all of you but let's just say things ain't what they used to be in the bedroom department. Gone are the days of legging it upstairs and throwing caution & our clothes to the wind, nowadays my pleasure is 99% from being comfortable and 1% what he's actually doing. (Maybe those statistics are a little drastic but you catch my drift). We almost have to draw up an action place before of how much I've grown and how we're going to do this and I hear "I'm not hurting you am I?" on a regular occurrence. Luckily we can make a joke out of it and are so comfortable with each other that it doesn't phase us but I could completely understand if he ever got the hump.
5. It doesn't get much better when it's time for sleep, either - Unfortunately for James my most comfortable sleeping position is "Diagonal". I've find it quite comfy to have my head half on my pillow and half on his and whether I'm on my left, right or back I almost certainly have to be laying from corner to corner. I've also become an insanely light sleep (hence writing the draft for this at 4.50am because someone's not tied something down in their garden and it's making a continuous squeaking noise) so to me I now feel as though I'm sleeping next to Darth Vader. The poor bloke can probably count on one hand the amount of full nights sleep he's had beside me recently and we genuinely do a mini celebration if we make it to 7am.
6. He's doing the cooking/washing up for 2 - Whilst we've been very careful that I don't eat for two as it's unnecessary, he certainly does enough work around the house of the two of us. I've read that whilst most Mum's get a new lease of life in the second trimester, some of us also keep the tiredness of the first and become extremely lethargic. Unfortunately for James I am the latter, not that I want to be but after a day at work (which is nothing compared to what he does all day) all I can bring myself to do is crash on the sofa. It's something that I'm working on in 2016 for my sake as well as James' but the guy not only works hard out of our home but he now doesn't 90% of the chores within it. Don't get me wrong sometimes I'll go into nesting mode and clean this house from top to bottom single handedly in around 2 whole hours (followed by a looong nap) but the day to day stuff seems to be a struggle.
7. I get to be with her all day, every day - Something that I think James is quite keen on once our Little Girl has been born is having his time alone with her. I know I probably won't be in a fit state to let her out of my sight even with her father for a good 16 years (or at least until she can answer back) but it's something that we both feel is important for James. Right now I get her 24/7, I feel her every single movement and hiccup (even the ones at 4.30am that are so strong they actually wake me up) and I constantly know that she's okay and doing fine in there. I can physically feel her growing bigger and getting strong whereas with James' shift patterns he can sometimes go 3/4 days without being able to feel her kick or talk to her through my bump. He's already an incredibly doting Dad so I don't doubt that it's hard for him to have to text me and ask how she's doing.
8. He has to put up with my hormonal mood swings (to my face anyway) - I know pregnancy isn't a free pass to be mean to your partner and get away with it and I'd like to think that I've been more weepy and down than aggressive and moody but either way James knows he's pretty much stuck with it until probably a while after Sophie is born. I hope to God I'm not too nasty to him and if I can feel myself overreacting because of my hormones I try everything in my power to remove myself from the situation but many a time he has had to sit and cuddle me or stroke my hair because I'm in floods over tears over nothing (or turning the dining room light on and the bulbs randomly blowing). He's pretty good in spotting when it's the hormones talking vs when I'm just being a bitch and can let it go over his head but it can't be nice to see his partner turn into an unconsolable mess every time there's a full moon or the lasagne didn't go quite right.
9. Everyone else feels that they have a right to touch his woman - We're both quite old fashioned in our thinking that I am very much his woman and his alone. Although he's always telling his family (in particular his Dad) to look at or even feel my belly, I'm not sure he anticipated just how many others he'd have to share it with too. I was so careful to make sure that he was the first person besides me to feel her kick, and he's always the first person I tell any new milestone to. But his shift patterns do mean that we can go a fair few days without seeing each other properly and it must suck for him to hear if my friends or colleagues have been able to catch her kicking when he's been absent. I don't think he was too happy amount the amount of people who've helped themselves to a feel on my various Christmas parties either!
10. He knows that the worst is yet to come - My James is a realist and genuinely one of the most intelligent people that I know, therefore he's in no doubt at all that this whole pregnant girlfriend thing is a walk in the park compared to a newborn and new mother to look after. He knows that having to deal with my balling my eyes out for no reason probably won't stop when it appears the Sophie is doing the exact same thing and sleeping, whether diagonally or not, will be a distant memory for the both of us. He'll have twice the amount of female hormones to contend with for the rest of his life and whilst I don't that think phases him for a second, I'm also sure that he knows exactly what he's let himself in for. Especially if Sophie is anything like her mother! I won't magically give birth and snap back to my energetic housewife self with him at the centre of my universe like I was the day that we started trying for a baby. My body will be physically knackered and my brain will be even more clumsy than it is now and we'll both be starting blind eyed at this precious little newborn trying to figure it out together.

N.B James has never once complained about any of the above, I just know him pretty damn well and whilst he may not even see some of them as an issue (he's rather partial to a night snuggling the dog on the sofa), it doesn't mean that they're fair on him. I'd love nothing more to have a movie like pregnancy where I get overwhelming urges for him and then we spoon cradling my bump all night, but that isn't real life and whilst there's a lot of things that are pretty/really sh*t for me, it's not all rosy for those expectant Dad's either. So J if you ever happen to stumble across this (who am I kidding, the link will be sent to him the second this goes live), I appreciate you just being you and taking all of this in your stride. You're doing wonderfully and nobody gives you enough credit.

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Thursday, 14 January 2016

Clarins SS16 Collection

I'd say that 2015 was most definitely the year I fell in love with Clarins, from their ombre matte eyeshadows to their stretch mark cream, they seem to have a product for my every need. Spring 2016 looks to be no different for my favourite brand with their new Lip Perfectors being my favourite colours yet and the expansion of their Ombre Iridescent eyeshadows. I loved their single eyeshadows and I now own around 10 I think. Iridescent is bang on the right word for these, they aren't glittery, they aren't shimmery and they don't look overpowering when on the lid. I hate nothing more than eyeshadows that just look too much on and unless I'm going all out then I like to keep my eyes fairly understated. This silver/green and purple colour isn't something I'd usually pick up in store but when applied with a base of their Ombre Matte Eyeshadows and blended out they look beautiful.

I can't wait to see what else 2016 brings for Clarins!

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Tuesday, 12 January 2016

December Haul

So December 2015 was officially the time when I decided that my collection needed a change. Not only did I downsize massively ahead of buying all of our new arrival's furniture and going from my own dressing room to a single dressing table, but I also decided that if quantity was out of the window, quality certainly shouldn't be.

I threw out a LOT of makeup, had an IKEA bag full of clothes for charity and my bag for life was filled with handouts for friends and family of various cosmetics and skincare items. I felt like I therefore deserved my first ever Chanel lipstick. If you can only have one - you need to make it "the one" right? Only it didn't stop there. I had a Debenhams and a Boots gift card and I think you can see from above what they were spent on. I honestly only intended to pick up on Chanel lipstick, I envisaged a classic red to send me on my way. However that morning I decided to try out an MUA offering that was a deep plum red and fell in love. I wandered around Meadowhall trying to find whatever the opposite of a dupe is and ended up with Chanel's Passion and MACs Russian Red and Please Me. I've never completed my search for the perfect nude but Please Me with Clarins Lip Perfector in 07 over the top is a wonderful combination.

I've wanted the Illamasqua Hydra Veil for 2 whole years now, being pregnant made my skin go haywire and it was so dry in the first trimester that I thought I'd treat myself. I know that come April I will probably never splurge on myself again and although I've spent a lot of money on our little girl recently, I've not actually bought myself anything. And this technically counts as skincare - right?

A few days later I went into boots. The Chanel lipstick I'd previously bought wasn't quite as deep as I would have liked, still a beautiful colour but I had my heart set on something quite particular. I decided to give the Boots in Peterborough a try, it's not overly big so I wasn't too hopefully but low and behold I managed to find this beautiful YSL offering that I think will hit the spot perfectly, and opted for a nude Chanel lipstick this time.

I know that I probably seem mad spending so much on lipsticks when I'm having a baby, it really is rather out of character for me but I'm fed up of wasting gift cards on the odd thing here and there and not really having anything to show for my money. I work hard so I felt as though I deserved a little treat and this whole lot actually only cost me £4.50 out of my purse.

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Sunday, 10 January 2016

Baby Body Shaming (& Other Pregnancy Gripes!)

 Why is it that as soon as we announce we're pregnant other people feel as though they suddenly have a right to comment on, touch and judge both you and your body? It's almost from the get-go everyone else assumes they have the right to tell you what you can and can't eat, how fat you've got that week and even whether or not you look particularly tired on that day.

When I announced that I was expecting I'll admit I kind of want a flurry of well wishes and hugs and everyone congratulating us. Quickly I realised that wasn't going to be the case, certain people were really excited, many people didn't really care and a few were vocally disapproving. I have always been of the ideas that we're all different and we all want different things, at different times. That's what makes the world go around. But suddenly it seems, when you're having a baby, people can openly judge you.

Some of the worst offenders, surprisingly, are mothers themselves. You get the "been there done that" kind of mother who whatever you're experiencing, they've had 10 times worse whilst flying round the world solo balancing on their head. Morning Sickness? They lost twice as much weight as you did. Tiredness? They had to do it all plus then some and no-ever cared then how tired you were. I myself am well and truly out of the testing first trimester, but when a friend recently came to me with awful symptoms, I like to think that I offered my support and advice, rather than comment on how much worse it will get. You get the Debbie Downers who think everything is the end of the world, "how will you afford it?", "you aren't even married", "shouldn't you have waited?" Shouldn't you mind your own business? We made an informed, conscious decision to have this baby (and even if we hadn't, we're both adults) I shouldn't have to justify myself to anybody about my choice to have a baby. You get the interferers, who feel they have a right to publicly comment and pick out your flaws. I had one Mum actually comment on a photo I'd uploaded to Instagram that I shouldn't be eating said food in the picture. It really knocked my confidence and even though I knew I'd checked earlier, it made me trawl the internet again to ensure I was right in thinking I could eat it. If you're that concerned about someone, maybe a private message is a better option than publicly calling them out? And maybe check your own facts first. You also get the dramatisers, I know of one lady who said outright the hospital had told her to stop doing something, then proceeded to upload several posts of her doing that exact thing. This grinds my gears in all walks of life but never more so than when there's an unborn child 100% dependent on your body. I personally won't judge the decisions she's making as they're hers to make but then to plead for sympathy when she's suffering nasty side effects and still being moaned at for the doctors is something I struggle to ignore. Us expectant, new or experienced mothers should all be cheering each other on and building us all up, not tearing us down and making it into a competition.

Understandably (maybe) are those who don't have children, don't want children and have no interest in looking after children. I find their comments easier to brush off as I can accept that we just have differing views on how we want to live our lives but recently a man who I didn't know very well actually said to my face that I'd ruined my life. I couldn't mention the fact I was pregnant without getting a disapproving look and asked why on Earth I'd made such a decision. Did I know all she was going to do was poo and scream? Was I aware that my life was over for the next 18 years? Has anyone told me just how much it costs to raise a baby? How will I have a social life? Take my sister as an opposite example of this, she isn't particularly interested in having children. She'll love her niece when she arrives and no doubt will dote on her, but at the moment having one of her own isn't on the agenda for her. I don't question her choices, she doesn't question mine. We're different people. Strangers however seem to feel they can pass judgement on my differing way of life.

The only other thing that has really gotten me down whilst being pregnant is the "I didn't realise you were pregnant, I just thought you were a bit fat" comments. Since when has it been okay to tell anyone you thought they were "a bit fat" let alone a pregnant lady? I've had a bit of a problem with my growing body and escalating weight during my pregnancy so when people comment on my appearance and exclaim that they had to be told I was pregnant rather than had just piled on the pounds, it really got to me. Pregnancy effects everyone's body differently, I've seen ladies nowhere near as far along with me who have bumps much larger and I've also seen those who are farther along but still look smaller. Some ladies gain weight, some seem to lose it. As long as the baby measures well, what does it matter? I was starting to get really upset that my bump possibly wasn't big enough but at the end of the day, she's alive and very much kicking in there so she must be fine. To then have comments along the lines that I just look podgy rather than actually pregnant even when I was over 5 months gone, shook my confidence again. People (those who are pregnant and who aren't) should really learn that no two baby bumps are the same, I may even fall pregnant again and look completely different the second time around. Either way, it is not okay to comment on the appearance of a pregnant lady much the same as you wouldn't someone who isn't, so why do people think just because you're pregnant they have a right to comment on you?

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Saturday, 9 January 2016

I hate keeping secrets...

If you follow me on Twitter, Instagram or even have me as a friend on Facebook then you probably already know that earlier this week James got down on bended knee and asked me to marry him! I'm not sure that it's quite sunk in yet that I'm actually going to be someone's wife or that there is someone out there who wants to spend the rest of their life with me (I can be a bit of a nightmare...). I know that might seem silly to most people as we're expecting our first child together in just 13 short weeks which was 100% planned but it still seems surreal to me! James and I had obviously talked about marriage and whilst it's always been something we'd agreed we'd probably end up doing at some point, I'm also well aware that to James having a child is a far bigger act of commitment that buying a ring. That being said I think he was pretty nervous as I've never seen him so shy in front of me and I hope he's just as over the moon as I am! I shan't go in to the ins and outs of how he did it as I think we'd like to keep that between ourselves and close friends and family, but he kept it local and it was perfect for us. Obviously wedding planning is not at the top of my agenda at the moment (and who am I kidding, I know exactly what I want already anyway) and we have a rough idea of when we'd like to do it which isn't any time soon!

Anyway, I just wanted to pop a little something over on the blog to honour the occasion, I often look back through my archives and smile at the memories so it would seem silly not to include this one!

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Thursday, 7 January 2016

2016 Wishlist

 "New Year, New Me" ... or New Me, Same Old Beauty Obsessed Me. I don't really want anything to change other than the expansion of my beauty collection. I want to go from having lots of cheaper makeup to a select few, high end products. I've started as I meant to go on and ended 2015 with my first ever Chanel and YSL lipsticks and as you can see from the above, they're just the beginning of what's hopefully to come!

My Wishlist Includes:
Charlotte Tilbury "The Sophisticate" Palette £38
Zoeva Rose Gold Eye Brush Set £55
Hourglass Ambiant Lighting Palette £56
NARS Audacious Lipstick £24
NARS Creamy Concealer £22
Urban Decay Setting Spray £21
Tom Ford Lipstick £38
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation £29.50
by Terry Ombre Blackstar £29
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick £23

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Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Sophie's Wishlist

 I am not ashamed to admit that I have to be organised, with regards to my little girl I need to know what furniture I've got, what's on order and what I've got left to buy and I don't see that as a problem. I only have 13 weeks left until I'm due and a maximum of 11 weeks until my Maternity leave kicks in and I want everything sorted by the time I leave work. That might sound like a long time but when you consider I've now known about being pregnant of 22 weeks and it has flown by at the speed of light, it's scaring the hell out of me. I thought writing up Sophie's Wishlist of what we still have left to get will help me refocus on what we have to buy and I can budget the next two months pay to get all of these things. We're quite fussy and know what we want for our daughter so I thought a Mothercare Wishlist would be a fantastic idea now more and more family and friends are asking us what we might like for her as it includes the bigger items that I've listed below plus some little extras such as a Piggy Bank and Playmat.

Highchair - It appears that I have won the battle of the highchair and James has agreed to the Stokke Tripp Trapp + Baby Set. I want it in white as we're hopefully changing our dining set at some point in 2016 and white will go with everything. It also looks super clean and lovely and can be accessorised easily with the inserts. We'll obviously need to get the Baby Set for Sophie to begin with but I love that this can grow with her until she's old enough to sit at the table with us.

Changing Bag - I was in two minds about changing bags until recently, did I need a specific "changing bag" or would just a big shopper do? Do I get the one to match my pram? I've decided now on a specified Day-tripper Deluxe Satchel from BabaBing in "Berry", I know we wanted to keep major purchases gender neutral but I'm a girl too at the end of the day and the deep berry will match the grey of our (intended) pram beautifully. James has given me the green light to get berry too, it's not quite as feminine as some of them out there.

Breast Pump - I'm really keen to get the Medela Swing with Calma Breast Pump, I'd like the double one but I'm not sure that we can stretch to the extra expense and I only want to express a maximum of two bottles a day. I've read reviews on other brands and this one always, always comes out on top in terms of functionality and comfort for the Mother. I've seen a couple of offers on this and think it may be my next "big" purchase once the January payday finally rolls around!

Co-Sleeper - From day one we've been adamant on Co-Sleeping, I think it's going to be a god send when breastfeeding and after reading numerous posts from Mum's who wish they'd found out about it sooner, we knew it wasn't up for debate. I love the Chicco Next2Me Co-Sleeper as it looks quite sleek and comes with the mattress already. As our bedroom is grey and white already, it has to be in the Silver Grey colour of course.

Mobile - Again I've been umming and ahhing over what type of mobile to get her, when we first started trying we visited a boutique shop in Uphill Lincoln and saw a beautiful Moomins Mobile however, obviously the Moomins are white (not very stimulating) and I'm not sure how you'd set it to twirl etc and give her something to look at. After searching the internet for what seems like hours I've found the Musical Mobile White from Vertbaudet which isn't garish and tacky but will do the job and hopefully help to soothe her.

Sling - Another recent affirmation for me has been to use a sling. We have a dog, Max and where we like to walk him is not pram friendly. We know that Prams come prepared for all different types of terrain but our particularly favourite spot also involves a little stream that we love to splash about in and locally the best place to walk him in along the river bank, neither are suitable for any type of pram at all! Therefore I want to be able to pop Sophie in the Ergobaby Four Position 360 Sling (so eventually she can enjoy the countryside too) and stomp out with wellies and Dog in tow.

And that's it! We should have everything once this wishlist is completed, we purchased the rest of her nursery furniture, mattress and bouncer on Monday and I'll be doing a post on that as soon as it's all built and looking lovely. The only other thing is the curtains but the ones we were desperate for have now been discontinued so I'm scowering the internet day and night for these or an alternative that we like as much!

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Tuesday, 5 January 2016


Never one to be content with just blogging away merrily, as soon as I discovered I was pregnant I wanted to talk about it with anyone who would listen. However coming from a small group of friends and being the first to fall pregnant meant that it felt quite lonely, the only people I had for advice were my Mum and my Grandma and needless to say they both had their babies a long time ago!

I'm now 26 weeks pregnant and still haven't found a regular chat for expects and new parents. There's a wealth of questions that I have that I'd like answers to and I'm sure I'm not alone in that. We now live in an age of information sharing and what better time to tell everyone your best tips and advice than during one of the scariest times of a woman's life?

I decided therefore, to set up #mumchat. It's not just for Mum's though, it's for Dad's and those who are expecting too. I want to try and keep it including pregnant bloggers as I'm aware there are already chats out there for parents. It'll be a weekly chat, to begin with on Thursdays at 8pm GMT (hopefully giving new parents a chance to put their little one's to bed and settle down with a cuppa) but if everyone would prefer a different day then we can adapt! The reason for the hashtag simply being #mumchat is that I always run out of characters during twitter chats so wanted to keep it as short and sweet as possible. I really hope it doesn't put you Dad's off!

The first topic will be on technology and will be this Thursday 7th January at 8pm GMT. I've got a list as long as Baby Sophie's arm of topics that I want to cover but obviously I'm looking for your input too. Just drop me a tweet or comment below if there's anything you'd like to see covered! Similarly, if you fancy hosting the chat one week - just let me know!

To find us you can visit our twitter page - @mumblogchat and follow!

Hopefully see you there soon!

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Sunday, 3 January 2016

26 Week Bump Update

 I am totally cheating here and using a photo that I took earlier in the week, so this is more of a 25 + 3  bump than a 26 week exactly but you'll have to forgive me this once!

How far along: 26 Weeks + 2 Days
Days until due date: 95 Days!
My bump: I don't know if it's all of the festive food or what but I've certainly sprouted over the last few weeks!
Weight changes: I've officially put on 1st. I read somewhere that this is actually low for my stage in pregnancy but I'm happy with my size and the midwife seems happy with hers. 
Stretch marks? Only the ones on my legs but they've been there years!
Cravings: Nothing now luckily!
Sleep: Still not brilliant, I'm easily disturbed and thought I'd have an abundance of energy in my second trimester that seems to have evaded me. 
Symptoms: Restless, I'm desperate to get back to the gym and working out but I'm waiting until I've seen my midwife on the 7th to find out what I can and can't do. Heartburn is getting increasingly worse but luckily chocolate milk helps that and it's not too bad of a remedy! Other than that I'm just getting more and more uncomfortable as I get progressively bigger. 
Best moment this week: Shopping! I've spent a small fortune in the sales on my little girl and I've loved it. She's also getting really wriggly in there which is a lovely feeling. 
Worst moment this week: Lack of sleep, James has been poorly this week and needed some good night's sleep. I spent one night on the sofa and got a total of 2 hours sleep and the nights I am in bed aren't much better!
Miss anything? Other than sleep (I know I sound like a broken record) not really. I'm embracing my bigger bump and new pregnant figure.
Maternity clothes: I am officially in my maternity clothes. I'm quite lucky that I've discovered a new love for shirts and vests meaning that I don't need anything bigger on my top half yet (I quite like how my vests look stretched over my bump!) but on the bottom I'm well and truly in maternity jeans and trousers for work. Although my VS leggings still fit me nicely luckily. 
Movement: Not only can we feel her, we can see her! She must be getting big in there because if my phone is resting on my tummy then she can almost kick it off! She's so active. 
Gender: It's a girl! After a really disappointing anomaly scan where they couldn't see and therefore wouldn't say for sure, James kindly paid for us to go just two days later to The Brayford Studios where they confirmed that we definitely have a daughter on the way!
Belly button in/out: In
Mood: I think now that I've got a definitive bump. I feel a lot better. Hopefully no more "oh I thought you were just fat" comments that were getting me down previously. I'm also more excited and getting impatient to meet her! 
Looking forward to: We should be going to IKEA this week to buy her wardrobe and chest of drawers, then hopefully James can put up her cotbed and I can put all of her clothes away ready for her. I also want to order her pram fairly soon too as I'm worried we're cutting it a bit fine if it was to be ordered in. 

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