Life Lately : June 2015

Saturday 27 June 2015

Hi Dolls

It's all been very cosy and domestic this month. I'm in full-on nesting mode and all I seem to want to do is take care of the house and make cookies - it's like I woke up and it was suddenly the 1950's!

With all the stress we had at the end of last year trying to make the house move happen, its been nice to just relax and enjoy it a bit. I'm actually looking forward to going on maternity leave at the moment, which is now only seven weeks away.

Bump Watch

I've reached 30 weeks, which means there's only 9 weeks left until our son arrives! This whole pregnancy seems to have flown by.

Everyone kept telling me it would slow down and drag at the end, but that hasn't happened so far. I am impatient to meet him, but at the same time I feel like there's a lot I need to get done around the house and things before he arrives.

We've made all our big baby purchases now, although I'm holding off on having the nursery completely set up. There's still a few little things we need to get, but it's mostly done.

We've even gone ahead and bought his pram - we went for an iCandy Peach and I am in love with it - who knew it was possible to be as interested in prams as handbags?

But you do also get bags - my mother in law bought us this beautiful SkipHop Deluxe Duo changing bag in Herringbone. I think its nice enough to use as a handbag. That's just as well seeing as I'll be carrying it around on a daily basis for two years at the minimum!

I've been very well for the most part and I'm still managing to go to the gym, although I've had to reduce the intensity of what I do a lot. Basically its just some stationary bike and cross trainer at this point, but its more about keeping the habit going. I'm still walking to and from the office every day as well.

I did get some acid reflux the other week, which made it hard to eat enough, but that thankfully passed. I've had to give up anything too acidic for the time being, like orange juice which I was drinking my body weight in before!

My bump is massive now, and it's starting to get more of a big deal doing stuff like getting up from the sofa and bending down to pick things up if I drop them. I've made a bump to baby bucket list of things I'd like to do before the baby arrives too, which you can catch up with here.

Brunch at Cured

My friend Claire came back up to visit a couple of weeks ago, and we took the opportunity to try out brunch at Cured, a great cafe in my town, while we had a catch-up. I was very impressed!

We both ordered the 'Eggs Royale', which was basically eggs benedict with smoked salmon served on a big croissant. It was absolutely delicious. Going out for brunch is my favourite thing now, as although I'm staying up a lot later, I still get tired too easily for late nights out at dinner.

It was so lovely to catch up with Claire and hear more about thoughts she's had on her wedding - she's been checking out teepees! Doing bridesmaid duty will be the perfect motivation to shed this baby weight as well.

House Beautiful

Our house is currently looking like a warzone again, as we decided to tackle decorating the hallway, stripping out all the 70's woodchip, replastering and painting, along with getting some new furniture. This means there's dust absolutely everywhere and its chaos.

I know it will be worth it in the end, but the trouble is that due to my insane nesting instinct I've become very OCD about keeping everything clean and tidy, so the mess is bugging me!

Above is what we're aiming for - the hall is typical Victorian, quite narrow and dark, so I want a white on white colour scheme to maximise the light.

There's still so many big projects to do in the house. We also want to replace the bathroom, there's loads to do in the garden and I'd like to do a makeover of the front of the house, with a new front door and some planters. Then there's still our dressing room to fit out.

It would be lovely to be able to do it all instantly, but because we're doing the work ourselves, it takes a long time. 

Pentaparty Launch

Bump got his red carpet debut this month! Yep, we were rubbing shoulders with the C-list (Blue, Hollyoaks stars, TOWIE alumnus) at the opening of Pentahotel Derby. It was a fabulous night, mainly because of the Haagen Daaz ice cream bar, which is basically a pregnant ladies dream come true.

Major thanks to the very lovely Charlie from The Dainty Bride, who took me along as her plus one. We had fun, although sadly neither of us were able to drink and so we missed out on the free flowing champagne and ice bar cocktails! Read about our night here.

Creative Class Awards

A work related event, and it's nice when things come along which really inspire you and get you all fired up about your job again.

Each year, the city I live in picks 10 of its brightest and best upcoming businesses to act as case studies and ambassadors. They're always an amazing bunch, but this year's picks seemed extraordinary.

From the company who are developing a way to detect cancerous cells through a simple blood test given by a GP, a firm making in-roads in the world of digital marketing, to a university spin-out who have developed a treatment that can halve the need to use chemical fertiliser on crops, these are some huge ideas that could- quite literally- change the world.

It made me so proud to hear their stories and why they think doing business in Nottingham has given them an advantage. There's nothing like home grown talent! 

New Additions

So the family just got bigger... No, the baby didn't arrive early, but Seb and I did finally get a pair of hens!

We've been on about keeping chickens for quite a while now, especially after our friends got some a while back.

In fact, we've had the coop and everything set up for a while, just waiting for its new occupants, and last weekend we brought two hens home.

I was having a flustered moment when we went to the farm where we got them, so I actually stayed in the car while Seb picked them out. When he brought a clucking cardboard box back to the car it was a little surreal!

The hens have been settling in really well, and although they were a bit timid at first, they're now super friendly.

They will come up to you when you let them out of the run and play follow the leader around the garden, and let you stroke their soft feathers. They're very endearing and put themselves to bed each night as well! We've called them Bardot and Hepburn
In the future, we may expand the brood but decided to see how we got on with two first.

They started laying a couple of weeks after we got them, and we get two fresh eggs a day, which is more than enough.

They're really very easy to look after, providing you keep them safe from predators with a secure run and keep their food stored well in an airtight container so as not to attract vermin. They just need feeding and watering, a bit of grit and dirt and some toys (chickens are actually quite intelligent and enjoy something to play with).

I've really enjoyed letting them out in the mornings and 'tucking them in' at night- basically this just involves opening up and closing the nesting box inside their run, but I love saying goodnight to them.

There's something really comforting about them.

Shilling has also bonded with them really nicely. I watched them quite closely the first few times they were all out in the garden together, but they seem to like hanging out - it helps that the cat is as soft as butter and definitely at the bottom of the pecking order though!

Family Time

Spending lots of time with family and friends at the moment, which has been lovely.

In between all the bad weather we managed to host a barbecue, which was great. We went for a Mexican theme- making a big joint of smokey pulled pork and a chicken, then just setting out lots of tortillas, salsa, sour cream, spicy rice and salads so people could make burritos. It was quite a relaxed way of doing things and different from the standard sausages and burgers thing.
It was also my mother in law's birthday and she very kindly had us all round for a family dinner (we tried to say we should be cooking for them, but that's what she wanted!).

There was a delicious Osso Bucco followed by white chocolate roulade and homemade rhubarb crumble with vanilla custard- it was actually one of the best meals we've had for ages, and we all throughly enjoyed hanging out in their garden with a coffee afterwards.

It was actually nice to do something adults only, although we were talking about holidays and maybe all hiring a villa together in France or Italy, which I love the sound of. We all went on holiday to Rome years ago and had the best time.

Her garden is amazing and they grow loads of vegetables, which has really inspired me to plant some of our own, although that will be next year now.

We also got to pet the calves at the bottom of the garden, which was awesome! How cute!!


To Chop or not to chop?

I've been mulling over getting my long hair chopped into a bob, but I'm not entirely sure if that's a crazy pregnancy hormones decision that I'll regret.

I've had long hair for years and its always been a bit of a 'safety blanket', so a few people have told me not to do it. But I am drawn to having shorter hair now for practicality after the baby comes, and I also just plain fancy a change. Sort of want to overcome my fears about cutting my hair as well.

As a child, I had hair long enough to sit on because my mother liked it. Of course, when I hit 13 and could choose for myself, I immeadiately had a pageboy bob cut.

The trouble was, it did look awful. The cut was bad, with a flat crown and volume around the jaw, which made my face look massive, just as I was going through a puppy fat stage!

I also didn't know much about how to style my hair, which was quite frizzy and wavy (this was pre-YouTube tutorials and also pre-GHD's!), so what had looked nice as long tumbling waves looked awful when cropped! I was horrified, and since then I have never had hair shorter than shoulder length.

But I just feel the time is right for a change. I'm entering a new chapter in life, and I know a good hairdresser could create a lovely style. But is it the wrong time to plunge into a hair change? I just can't decide....

Little Pleasures

I'm massively into reed fragrance diffusers at the moment. Someone gifted me a Fig & Grape one which I put in the living room and every time I walk into the room I can smell this glorious scent. I liked it so much I went and bought one for the bedroom as well.

This is the Milieu Oriental Gardenia & Honeysuckle scent, and its absolutely heavenly. Scent is a really great way of turning a house into a home - one of those little things that makes a big impact.

I'm Watching

As we speak, Seb and I are binge-watching Sons of Anarchy. We're already nearly at the end of Series Four.

At first, I found it a little hard to get into as its quite a male dominated series, but there is some brilliant acting, and a few very strong female characters have emerged, although its still depicting the tale of a motorcycle gang with all the misogynistic attitudes that seems to entail at times.

We're really gripped now though, and any excuse to look at Charlie Hunnam basically...

I'm Reading

I ticked off an item on my Bump to Baby Bucket list and finished Alison Weir's epic 'York and Lancaster: The Wars of the Roses'. It was absolutely brilliant, and my mind felt really 'well fed' afterwards. These are massive historical topics, but Weir writes so humanely and fluidly that you get totally drawn into the characters, and forget about wading through years of politics and events.

Already onto another historical epic - The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance by Paul Strathern.

Full of intrigue and a great introduction to the dawning of the Renaissance, which is a period I didn't know much about. It has made me desperately want to go back to Italy and visit Florence. Next holiday idea?

I've also decided to learn a bit more about hypnobirthing. I'm not generally much of a believer in alternative therapies, but I've met a few people who insist they were able to have a much calmer and more positive experience giving birth after they'd learnt some of the techniques. And I'm intrigued enough to want to know more!

I've decided to go into hospital to have the baby, but I've always been very scared of that environment, and I want to give myself the chance to feel more in control. So in addition to listening to some podcasts, I've got Mindful Hypnobirthing by Sophie Fletcher lined up on Kindle to help me learn more.

I'm Listening

Actually, I haven't been listening to much new music this month. Instead, podcasts seem to have taken over my walk home from work and time at the gym. As well as the hypnobirthing, I have been loving The Simple Sophisticate podcasts.

Widely about lifestyle, they cover a huge range of topics, from 'how to be the CEO of your own life' to 'creating a lingerie capsule wardrobe'. A lot of the principles make sense to me and chime with how I like to live my own life, so I feel they're teaching me a lot.

There's also a blog over at if you're intrigued.

So that was my life in June - what have you been up to lately?

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