Life, Lately May 2015

Thursday 28 May 2015

Hi Dolls

Can’t believe May is almost finished! Where is this year going?

I’m quite busy at work at the moment, especially now I’m aware my days are numbered before going on maternity leave at the end of August, and I’ve been given a few large scale projects to complete before then, including launching a new campaign and doing a complete rebrand of a service area.

No rest for the wicked! I’ve been fitting in lots of fun things as well though.

I’m feeling like its important to make the most of how easy it is to do stuff without a baby in tow, and before I get too large and uncomfortable to do lots.

Here’s what’s been happening in my little world lately…


Of course, baby stuff continues to be the main theme of my world at the moment.

I’ve reached 26 weeks now and the baby is the size of a coconut (I find that a bit alarming…) I can really feel him kicking a lot, and although it can be uncomfortable I absolutely love it. Its like he’s communicating with me.

My bump is really large now, but I still don’t feel like I’ve put on a tonne of weight anywhere else.

Still making do with limited looser clothes rather than buying lots of maternity wear, and there’s only three months to go now. I wonder if I can get away with it completely? It means my outfits are very limited, but I’d rather have that than buy lots of stuff that I won’t use very much.

The nursery decoration is coming on now as well. Last weekend, we put up this beautiful Paddington wallpaper that Seb had spotted. It’s really given the room character. I also bought these beautiful
Paddington sketches that I found in Covent Garden – so the nursery definitely has a theme now!

We’ve also bought his cot and changing table, a dark wood set from KUB, a beautiful mirror and a blue and white striped lampshade. I’m on the lookout for a blind to match. We still need to get a chest of drawers, toy storage baskets and a nursing chair as well as a few other bits, but its coming together.

His room looks out over the garden down to the canal and the view is so lovely and green - I hope he’ll feel at home there.

We’ve also been doing some more thinking about names. The original idea was to have a ‘shortlist’ of about five, and then decide when the baby is born. But we’re actually struggling to find enough names that we both like!

There’s been a front runner for a while, but I recently found another that I really like as well, so perhaps we will manage to get to five before he arrives.

Tea at Yumacha with a Dainty Bride

Before we went on holiday, I met up with a new blogging friend at Yumacha, a lovely oriental tapas bar and teahouse in the town where I live.

Charlie blogs over at Dainty Bride about fashion, beauty and her upcoming wedding plans. I’d already liked her blog for a while when we decided to go guest posts for each other, and then I found out we live fairly close together, so we decided to have an offline meet-up and a chat.

It was so lovely to meet her in person, as we’ve been at the same events before but our paths didn’t cross. We had a great time nattering away and munching on dim sum.

Yumacha has some lovely delicacies to try, stuff like Vietnamese Gua Bao and little Thai dumplings. It’s a super relaxed atmosphere and also does beautiful cocktails, so I’ll have to go back when I’m not pregnant and sample some.

We had the most gorgeous flowering jasmine tea with little fortune cookies as well.

Afterwards, I met up with Seb’s family for some drinks at Mud Crab, as it was my sister in law’s birthday.

She’d been away in Norfolk and had gotten the baby the sweetest little Joules baby grow from the shop there. Very exciting. He definitely has a better wardrobe than me already!

Babymoon in Italy

The main event this month was our trip to Italy. We had the most amazing time touring around Venice, Verona and Lake Garda, soaking up the culture and scenery, eating our body weight in gelato!

I won’t say too much as I did a separate post on the trip, which you can see here.

I’ve only ever been to Rome before, so it was great to see some more of Italy and its made me want to go back with the baby – its such a family friendly country.

What was really nice was getting the chance to spend some quality time with Seb together and just enjoy all we have to look forward to at the moment.

New blogs I’m loving

Lately, I’ve found some new reads I’m enjoying a lot, so it only seemed fair to share the love.

Priceless Life of Mine is run by a very lovely lady called Steph, who I met when we went to the Peter Pizzeria launch over in Leicester. Her blog is so personal and engaging, I’ve really been getting into it. You know you’re hooked when you start going through the archive posts!

Its no surprise I’ve also been loving some parenting blogs - A Little Londoner is adorable, Mr Grumpbox never fails to make me smile with its honesty, and Mummy Pixie has been a great resource in terms of what to expect as a first time parent.

Makeup and fashion wise, I’m loving Annabel’s blog over at Mascara and Maltesers, the beautiful writing on The Persephone Complex and the outfits on Lifestyle By Joules as well.

Finding new blogs to love always inspires me to up my game and aim to produce better posts.

Trip to London & The RHS Chelsea Flower Show

This past weekend I’ve been down in the capital enjoying my sister in law’s hen party - which was far too classy, no flashing veils or L plates in sight!

We stayed in a lovely hotel by Vauxhall Bridge and had a great time. We visited Covent Garden for some shopping, had a picnic in St James’ Park, went to the Flower Show at Chelsea which was really inspiring, went on the London Eye and visited some great cafes and a festival on the South Bank.

Hopefully my bump didn’t slow them down too much! There’s a post coming on what we got up to. Of course I had a great time, but I was desperate to get back to Seb at the end of it!

I’m Watching

As always I’m very late to the party with this show, but I devoured the first series of Peaky Blinders in two days. I loved the acting and the way it was shot. I’m now keen to watch series two.

I’ve also almost caught up with Game of Thrones and I’m ready to start on series 5, which we’ve been recording on Sky Atlantic while we watched the DVD’s of past series.

I was also really engaged with The Island, where Bear Grylls shipped a bunch of castaways off to the middle of the Pacific. There was a men’s and a women’s island this time, and I have to say, it made me ashamed to be a girl!

The women’s island were properly rubbish – they failed to establish basics like clean water, a fire and food until right at the end, and spent a lot of time falling out, falling seriously ill and getting lost instead.

Perhaps it was edited to make them look worse, which would be a scandal, but they were really poor compared to the guys. Of course, I would be beyond useless in that situation, so they did a million times better than I would, but I still cringed to watch them

I’m Reading

Gotten through so many books this month, due to having some time off- I’m absolutely making the most of it, as I know it might be hard to get any time for reading when my little man arrives.

While I was away, I read The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald. Its such a classic but somehow I’d just never gotten around to it, although I love his other works. I found it very atmospheric and poignant like most of his writing.

Then I moved on to Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. She wrote the smash hit ‘Gone Girl’ of course, and knows her way around a pacy thriller.

This one was brilliantly constructed and I ouldn’t put it down – I’ve now read all three of her novels, so I hope she’s working on something new!

Next was Chocolate Wars by Deborah Cadbury - this is a non-fiction telling the story of Britain’s most famous chocolate producers – Fry, Rowntree and Cadbury’s and how they evolved into the food super giants of today.

It was interesting to learn more about the Quaker values that formed the ethos of these companies and how they say uncomfortably with the enormous wealth that these family-run businesses managed to build to. It did make me very sad that none of these brands exists independently anymore, when they were such a part of the Victorian DNA.

After that, I read We Were Liars by e. Lockhart after being recommended it. Its an exploration of tragedy in a privileged world, centered around the tensions, secrets and lies at the heart of one wealthy New England family, with a pretty big plot twist at the end - a good ‘beach read’.

And I’ve just started Alison Weir’s history of Mary Boleyn. I adore her histories and I’ve read almost all of them now.

She’s especially good with strong female characters where not much is known about their lives in contemporary sources, and really gives their characters life.

Mary Boleyn was pretty much always in the shadow of her younger sister Anne, who of course went on to be the controversial second wife of Henry VIII.

I’m Listening

I've been really getting into the tunes of Lolawolf, especially the track 'Calm Down'. They're a band fronted by Zoe Kravitz (the actress and of course, daughter of Lenny). They have an odd mixture of sweet melody and grimy beats that's weirdly hypnotic.

I’ve also been enjoying the more chilled out bits of Jamie xx, who released his first solo album this week, and I've been repeat listening to Indiana's album 'No Romeo' in the run up to seeing her perform live again this week.

If she's half as good as when I last saw her at The Bodega its going to be spectacular.

And darn cute is this Parlane iPad case we picked up the other day? I love anything with animal portraits on!

Til next time...

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