27 Week Pregnancy Update

As I write this I am 28 weeks and 1 day into my pregnancy journey and only have 83 days to go. Madness.

I've had a week off work which has been quite the revelation. I've been lying in, taking my time and chilling out a lot. This has had such a positive effect on me, I haven't been sick once, I've not felt tired, my joints haven't been hurting anywhere near as much, it really has been great! As a result of this I now want to start my maternity leave earlier but must resist, when I go back tomorrow there are only two months left so it isn't too long and I'd prefer to have more time off afterwards. 

I had a stomach bug last week which really wasn't very nice and left me not eating properly for a couple of days, to be honest my appetite hasn't been the same since but I'm hoping that once I get back into my routine with work I'll feel more hungry again. As a result of this bug I lost three pound bringing my total weight change so far to minus four pounds.

We celebrated our two year Wedding Anniversary in style with afternoon tea at The Angel Hotel, blog post to follow.

I mentioned last week that I quite fancied getting my hair cut into a bob, so I did. I feel nice and light after having all that hair chopped off. This is the first time in about two years that I haven't had ombre hair.

Another anniversary outing was to go and see The Lion King in Wales Millennium Centre, one of my favourite buildings. I must be the only person who didn't enjoy the show that much, everyone seems to rave about it but to be honest I found it a little boring. Maybe it's due to the pregnancy making me restless. I did enjoy my Nando's afterwards. 

We have made a start on our photo wall. I need to get quite a few more photos printed and added and also plan to add even more over the years, especially with baby on the way.

IKEA trip, I've gone off a lot of meat including the meatballs, this salmon was a very tasty alternative \\ Christmas cake by post - more details soon \\ M&S festive food breakfast buffet \\ Chippy lunch.

Kitty kept me company while I was suffering with my stomach bug \\ Kitty & Bob giving me the 'please' eyes because they wanted my food \\ Kitty likes to sit on my big warm belly \\ She also likes to sleep on our heads when we have family lie ins.

My bump at 27 + 5 \\ Upcycling cupboard doors to fit in to my work in progress nautical bathroom theme \\ wasn't sure what to do with my hair one day, one of the results of having it all cut off \\ I've done a lot of on-line shopping this past week.


Festive Foodie Treats with M&S

Just the other day I received a very exciting parcel from M&S*, I eagerly tore it open and kept finding delicious looking festive food treats which both Spencer and I could not wait to try. Spencer had literally been nagging me every single day for a little bit and got really frustrated when I told him no, I had to take photos first!

We received their Mulled Wine Spiced Fruit Loaf, a slab of Belgium chocolate, Clementine, Cranberry & Pomegranate Bucks Fizz, All Butter Panettone, a selection of mince pies, Christmas pudding cookies and last but by no means least the perfect stocking filler in the form of chocolate satsumas. 

On top of all of this we received a jar of raisins in dark rum syrup and a decorate your own gingerbread men kit. I'm currently trying to think of something to make with the raisins and waiting for my niece to help me decorate the gingerbread men.

As we've both taken this week off work we treated ourselves to a festive breakfast buffet, as pictured. We didn't eat much because it was all so rich and filling, but also all so delicious! Spencer took the rest of the Mulled Wine loaf and mince pies up to his parents house as they had short expiry dates so had to be eaten faster than we could manage. We're still working our way through everything else.

This would make for the perfect snack combination if you are having friends/family over for a Christmas night in.


John Lewis Nursery Advice Appointment

Spencer and I attended a baby and toddler event in Cardiff a little while back, I haven't written anything on here about it because, honestly, it wasn't great. One of the things that we did come away from there with was an appointment at John Lewis Cardiff for some no obligation nursery advice.

We went along to JL on Tuesday and met with the lovely Jan in their nursery department. First things first Jan handed us a goody bag (I'm not sure if everyone gets this or if this was because we booked through the baby & toddler event) and then asked us what we needed advice on. We said absolutely everything, this is our first baby and we are completely clueless.

Advise us on everything Jan did. She went through breastfeeding equipment, bathing products, towels, Moses baskets, bed linen, pushchairs, car seats, cosy toes, changing bags, changing mats, monitors, everything! As well as showing us the products and recommending certain things we were told how things worked, why we needed them and given extra advice, such as to fill a hot water bottle up with cold water and ice as I am suffering with hot feet in the nights. We weren't rushed or pressurised into buying anything at all. We were able to ask question after question without being made to feel silly or an inconvenience. 

We came from the appointment with quite a big wishlist, we didn't buy anything there and then due to the fact that John Lewis will price match, we wanted to go home and do some research on the prices before parting with our cash. These are a few of the things that we are currently considering purchasing as these are the most urgent items. 

I highly recommend booking an appointment at your local John Lewis if, like Spencer and I, you are clueless, first time parents to be.


Christmas Gift Idea : For the gadget lover

Case App is a great site that offers cases and skins to protect your gadgets. You can choose to design your own skin or case for your gadget or opt for a ready made design. As well as using pre-made images to design your own you can also upload images and text to the site. 

Personally I think that you can't beat the personal touch when giving gifts, so a case/skin designed for a loved one by a loved one could possibly be one of the sweetest gifts out there for a gadget lover.

There are also plenty of pretty pre designed cases which are a great alternative if you aren't feeling very creative.

Case App kindly allowed me to design a skin for my iPad, I used the images on their site to make this cute skin. Unfortunately I ordered the skin for the wrong model iPad so it didn't fit (whoops!). Despite my mistake I still got to get a feel for the skin and can conclude that the skin is made of super strong material, which is easily removed and re-applied which comes in handy if you make a mistake when applying.


26 Week Pregnancy Update

Time is going so fast, we currently only have 89 days to go and are very nearly in the third trimester, which is equally scary and exciting!

I'm still being sick, I tend to get a few days in a row where I'm sick and a few days where I'm not. I'm also finding that once again, pressure on my stomach is making me feel sick. I have ordered some dresses for work and hope that these will be a lot more comfortable than my current trousers. Joint and knee pain is still very much a pain, as is the stitch. I still have no cravings but am not enjoying as much food as before.

I haven't mentioned my skin changes in a while, my skin on my face has changed a lot, I'm now using Steamcream twice a day as it gets quite dry, I still get the occasional patch of grease but nothing like before. My spots have cleared up a lot and this past week I had several people tell me that I looked glowing. Unfortunately the skin on my back is still covered in spots, which is real annoying as I quite fancy having my hair cut into a bob but I like to hide my back with my long hair.

Baby is now kicking like crazy, Spencer still hasn't felt a kick but he has seen my tummy move a few times now, which, I'll be honest, freaks us both out a little!

I gained another pound this week bringing my total weight change to minus one pound.

Spencer and I went along to Clogau Gold, Cardiff for their one year anniversary and Christmas party where we ate nibbles and I drooled over this ring.

Bump at 25 + 6.

Bob decided Kitty was a comfy cushion. \\ Pre afternoon tea selfie \\ afternoon tea at The Celtic Manor \\ my accidental cat latte art.

I can't believe that we're in double figures \\ goodies from The Celtic Manor* \\ festive treats from M&S* \\ Indian tea.

P.S. sorry that this post is late, it has been sat in my drafts waiting to be finished for a while but I've been quite poorly with what I assume was a stomach bug.


Event : Curry's and Nespresso Coffee Workshop at Waterloo Tea

On Sunday I was invited along to Waterloo Tea, Cardiff for a very interesting coffee workshop with Currys and Nespresso. There were a lot of bloggers, possibly more than I have ever seen in one room which was a little overwhelming at first but everyone was friendly which put me at ease.

We were split into groups and then sent off around the various stations in turn. The first stop for my group was the cocktail station, usually my idea of heaven but during pregnancy my idea of torture! We were shown how to make an orange coffee Martini style cocktail followed by a Toblerone cocktail, both sounded delicious, we were then shown a raspberry coffee mocktail which I got to try, it was actually very yummy. Emily and Charli both stepped up and made their own cocktails. 

Next up was the 'playstation' where we got to play with the Nespresso machines and ask the experts questions. I decided that I need one of the Nespresso milk frothers, apparently it makes amazing hot chocolate, and, of course milky coffees.

At this point I was absolutely starving so my day was made when we were told that we would be going for lunch next. The food provided was absolutely delicious, so much so I had to go up for seconds.

Lunch was followed by 'cupping' which I'll be honest, got quite a few giggles from us. It turns out that we were all wrong and cupping is not an innuendo for anything, it is actually the term for coffee tasting. We basically played a game where we had to call out the flavours in the coffee, I was pretty useless at this and didn't call out much other than coffee.

Then came my favourite part of the day, latte art. This is the part of the event that I was very excited for, all along stating that I wanted to attempt to make a cat in my latte. The training that we received was how to make a heart, my heart went very, very wrong and I somehow managed to use a wooden stirrer to turn it into a cat that I was, and still am, extremely proud of. I may have cheated a little but who cares when it looks this good!

After all that coffee and all that food there came cake. I was so full but couldn't resist a slice of the chocolate cake with espresso and caramel. Oh my it was good, so moist and so yummy!

Thank you Joe Blogs, Currys, Nespresso and Waterloo Tea for a fantastic day. For more details and photos you can read Currys blog post here.


Festive Afternoon Tea at The Celtic Manor

On Saturday I was lucky enough to be invited along to the stunning Celtic Manor Resort & Spa, Newport for a preview of their 2014 festive afternoon tea* and for an introduction to their new blog. I've been to The Celtic Manor a few times previously, I've attended a Wedding reception there, several work's Christmas parties and afternoon tea two years ago. The afternoon tea has changed since I went and is now seasonal, they are currently serving their Autumn tea, the delightful festive tea will be served from 01 - 24 December.

Our private room was suitably decorated for Christmas, with Michael BublĂ© playing in the background and crackers waiting to be pulled we really did get into the Christmas spirit.

We were greeted with champagne on arrival (Bucks Fizz for pregnant me!), Jess and India from the social media team spoke to us about the new blog and their plans to engage with fellow bloggers going forward (this was their first ever bloggers event), the head chef then came out and spoke to us about the tea that we were about to eat. On the week leading up to Christmas they serve an average of 250 - 300 festive afternoon teas, crazy!

With the afternoon tea comes a glass of Mulled Wine served in a pretty special teapot in the cutest cosy ever, I declined the Mulled Wine but there were a lot of satisfied slurps from around the table so I assume that it was good.

The bottom layer includes delicious finger sandwiches, a gorgeous Caerphilly cheese & leek tartlet, miniature brioche with prawns Marie Rose and a miniature bagel with smoked salmon, cream cheese and chives. 

The second layer hosts three Christmas cakes with a difference. A Penderyn whiskey and marmalade festive Bara Brith, Celtic Manor mince pies (the shortbread top is to die for) and a delightfully decorated white chocolate Christmas pudding truffle. 

The third and final pretty pastel layer contains pistachio marzipan cones, toasted sweet chestnut bouche Noel and glacĂ© cherry & apricot Florentine. 

As if we weren't already struggling at this point we were then served warm candied citrus peel and gingerbread spiced scones. Thankfully there are white boxes on hand so that you can take some of your yummy food home for later, I don't think any of the eleven of us managed to eat it all! 

As if they hadn't already spoilt us enough The Celtic Manor also provided us each with a lovely goody bag containing the cutest cinnamon biscuit with the hashtag for the event hand piped onto it, unfortunately mine was knocked in my bag and a bit of the icing fell off, but you get the picture. They also gave us some Elemis products from their spa.

Thank you so much to the Celtic Manor for such a lovely day, and massive congratulations to India for overcoming your fears and hosting your first event! Below are some of the bloggers from the day.


 India, Gemma and Jess

 Ellie, Hannah, India, Jess and me