Sunday 29 January 2017

Clothing Wishlist

Whoever says that when you’re pregnant you have to buy Maternity clothes is a big fat liar. During both of my pregnancies (yes, I know I’m only half way through this one...), I only ever bought maternity leggings and tights for the simple reason that the waistband got ridiculously tight on my normal ones due to the bump growing and growing. When it came to everything else, I just upped a size and stuck to what I’d usually wear. Look at this blog post for example, this was the day before I went into labour!! No one ever knew the difference and it meant that I weren’t getting rid of maternity clothes a couple of weeks after baby was born! 

I’m on the hunt for some new bits for work at the moment as I’m getting bored of what I currently own and fit in! I live in leggings and loose fitted shirts anyway so wearing these whilst being pregnant just happens naturally and up until about 2 weeks ago, you couldn’t even tell I was pregnant! I’ve found these super cute bits over on Quiz, a few of which are in the sale too which is a bonus! All of which are perfect to dress up or down!

Along with clothes for now, I’m also trying to hunt down a perfect ‘post-baby wedding outfit’ as I have a wedding to go to just 4 weeks after I will have had our little boy. I’m thinking loose fitting (to show none of my lumps and bumps), cap sleeves (for ease if I choose to breastfeed) and definitely long (because no woman can last that long in heels after she’s had a baby!). I popped into Quiz just before Christmas to find a New Years Eve dress and it was one of just two places that I managed to find a beautiful occasion dress so I know that if I keep looking, something will pop up!

Flower design Blue Shirt - £26.99
Striped cold shoulder shirt - £9.99
Nude Long shift top - 14.99
Rose Embroidery Jumper - £14.99
*(Sponsored post)

Thursday 26 January 2017

Pregnancy Update: Week 25

I can’t believe I’m over half way through this pregnancy, there’s less time left than what I’ve already done and I can’t wait to meet my baby boy! I’ve started to prepare the little things and we need to go and get his wardrobe and some storage from IKEA next week to make a start on the nursery. It’s a massive mess of boxes and baby stuff at the moment but once the wardrobe is in, there’ll be a bit more order to everything (I hope). Have a read to see how I’ve been getting on this week...

Due date?
5th May 2017 (although he’s due to come a week early via elective section - you can read more about that here)
How far along? 
I’m now 25 Weeks and 2 days

It’s a Boy!! 

Maternity clothes?
Just tights at the moment as they have support for my bump. Everything else is just a size bigger than what I normally am and I’m simply living in leggings and baggy tops/jumpers! I may have to go and buy some maternity leggings soon though as these ones are starting to become a little uncomfortable. I have been using my Secret Saviours bump support and day/night gel this week as my bump has been really itchy and it’ll be featuring on my blog soon so stay tuned! 

Waking up at least once a night to go for a wee but still getting a pretty decent nights’ sleep. Apart from having a hacking cough this week, baby seems to wake up just as I get into bed and then first thing in the morning so we have similar sleeping patterns it seems...

Lots! He’s a very active baby and I’ve been feeling movements and kicks from around 17 weeks. They’re full on now though and you can see my tummy jolt for some of them! Adam has also felt quite a few now with the first ‘kick’ being on Christmas Eve! 

Not really had any cravings at all during this pregnancy, more so wanting things at random points in the day and not being able to forget about them. Currently on my second Mars Bar Ice cream of the night... 
Other than Heartburn and the obvious bump, not many symptoms. My hair seems to have grown a lot though and has stopped falling out - when I was pregnant with Millie, I lost lots of hair and I did with this pregnancy up until 12/13 weeks.
Best moment this week?
Not a fat lot, I’ve been quite poorly with a bad case of Conjunctivitis that Millie passed onto me and because I’m pregnant, I can’t take antibiotics or even eye-drops so I’ve had to battle that out along with Bronchitis coming back and being back on my inhaler! 

Miss anything?
Sleeping on my front. I try, I sleep with a long pillow at the side of me and cock my leg over it but it’s just not the same! 
 Anything making you queasy or sick? 
Nope, thank god. 

Labour signs?
No! Too early! 

Belly button in or out?
Half & Half. Kind of in, kind of out. It’s sort of flat now along my stomach rather than going in or popping out but I think it will pop. 
Wedding rings on or off?
I'm not married (yet) but my ring I normally wear is still on and still has lots of room behind it too!

Happy or moody most of the time?
Happy although work gets me down at times as its a pretty stressful job! 

Looking forward to?
36 week appointment to schedule in my C-section date! 

Tuesday 24 January 2017

Mens Fashion

I like to think that I know my stuff when it comes to Fashion, whether it’s women or children but when it comes to men, it’s a slight stumbling block and I don’t really tend to take charge. Adam has got a pretty good taste in Fashion too with numerous items in my wardrobe being gifts from Adam and he loves dressing Millie too! But when it does come down to Mens Fashion, do you know what you’re talking about? 

If I was a male, I think i’d end up living in joggers and trainers, I pretty much do that now anyway so it’s not much different, is it?! Well, lets take a look... I’ve delved into Adam’s wardrobe and let him take charge to put together 2 Smart-Casual outfits to help give us ladies a little more knowledge into the realm that is Mens Fashion. 

One of Adams’ favourite pieces in his wardrobe is this Vito Camo Blazer that he got from ASOS a few years ago. It is so easy to dress up or down and he often wears it with just a T-shirt underneath like this Dripping Lips Wasted Heroes T-Shirt or a simple White Shirt goes well too. It also has cute detailing all on the inside and on the cuffs, take a peek at the picture below...

 A styling tip to remember when it comes to Blazers is Get it fitted! A fitted jacket or blazer like this should fit perfectly, leaving you able to button it up if you need to without pulling across your stomach (too many beers?) or along your shoulders - make sure the sleeves are long enough too being around 1/2 an inch down from your wrists. This way, you won’t look like you’ve borrowed it from a friend or, like I said, have had one too many beers... 

Trousers are also another thing to ensure you have fitted properly. Whether it’s suit trousers, casual chinos or jeans, they need to be fitted and comfortable. Make sure that when getting measured for mens trousers, your inner and outer leg are both measured correctly and make sure that they’re sitting below your ankles and not above. Jeans are a little easier to suit as you can turn up jeans if they’re too long but still, make sure that they fit right around the waste, the whole ‘baggy trousers’ thing was so 1990. 

If you’re looking to dress a little more formal smart-casual then jeans can also pull a look together nicely and who doesn’t love a man who can pull off not only a good blazer but a bow-tie too!? Back at New Year, we had a house party with a few friends and set a ‘Black Tie’ theme which soon went out the window and got knocked down to Smart wear. All the blokes wore bow-ties and us girls got our sparkly dresses and heels out! Adam wore his tweed style Blazer from Burtons Menswear, A simple White shirt and his Bow-Tie (that he can’t actually tie himself, I had to do it!) with his Jeans and a pair of Brogues from Matalan. The whole look was perfect, it’s the right balance of Smart and Casual all in one and it can easily be dressed up; adding a pair of Mens trousers or dressed down; removing the bow-tie, unbuttoning the shirt and swapping the brogues for trainers. 

Again, the whole get it fitted motto comes into play here, more-so than before. Make sure your blazer is comfortable, not pulling or stretching and the detailing is in the bow-tie. There are 100’s of How-To videos on Youtube so don’t be put off. Make sure your jeans are ironed, ripped jeans are obviously a no-no and clean up your shoes. I guess a skinny tie could be worn too, whatever floats your boat I suppose... 

I do have to admit that he looks pretty good in either, a little more facial hair and he’d be 10/10 for me... until then, I’ll settle at a 9 and will take the bow-tie any day. Adam loves his smart-casual style as it’s different from what he wears in the day; as he’s a Personal Trainer, he basically lives in active wear - joggers, hoodies, trainers, you know the drill. When it’s chance to look half decent, he takes it! If you're looking to stand out a little more though, you may want to ditch the denim. Styled trousers are less common on younger men, so it will make an extra strong fashion statement. They're also an easy way of taking a look a step beyond 'casual'. If you're older, tailored trousers will no doubt be familiar territory, but make sure you're going for a more modern, slimmer fit to hit the right note.

What do you think of mens fashion in general? Do you think you know what you’re talking about when it comes to suit fittings or bow-ties?! I think I’m getting there and I guess when baby boy comes, I’ll have to get used to dressing another male! 
(*Collaborative post)

Sunday 22 January 2017

TK Maxx Beauty Bargains

Quite often, I find myself wondering around TK Maxx with a basket load of stuff - some of it I don’t actually need, of course, but most are bargains that I just can’t miss out on! My ‘local’ store is in Burton on Trent but I could also easily access the one in Tamworth too. I tend to venture in once a week just to see what things that have had in new and most of these buys have been over the last 2 months, with some being as recent as the start of January. 

If you struggle to find anything in your local stores, try looking online too as sometimes they will pop some items on there but most of the time, you do have to rummage through opened packets, broken shadows and lipsticks that have been smudged! I have got some awesome bargains recently ranging from NARS cosmetics and even a Magnitone cleanser! 

When I went in just before Christmas, they had a massive range of NARS cosmetics ranging from Lipsticks, Glosses, Nail polishes, Eyeshadows and even a few Foundations so I managed to grab myself a single eyeshadow and a nail varnish - I think the shadow was £4.00 (RRP £18.00) and the Nail varnish was £3.00 (RRP £15.00)! The colour choices aren't great but I got colours that I knew I would use, even if it’s not until summer! 

They also had a massive range of the Tony Moly skincare bits including the sheet face masks that retail at £6.00 each! Each mask was in TK Maxx for just £1.99 per mask and they also had the lip balms and the eye creams too, I wish I had got them now! These haven’t been in store again since so I’m definitely glad I stocked up whilst I had chance! They’re great sheet masks which are targeted at different problems including dry skin, elasticity, dehydration and a few other things. Make sure you look up the skincare isle as these weren’t with the makeup bits. 

makeup forever at TK Maxx

Tony Moly at TK Maxx

Makeup forever at TK Maxx

TK Maxx Makeup

Just after Christmas, I popped in to spend some birthday money and they had a heap load of Makeup Forever and Too Faced makeup including glosses, eyeshadows, lipsticks, eye crayons and primers. I couldn’t help myself and grabbed 4 Makeup Forever glosses which retail around £13 per lipgloss and we £3.00 each and a single eyeshadow which again are around £13 per shadow which was £4.00!! I also grabbed a full sized, Too Faced Shadow Insurance primer but I can’t quite remember how much it was (pretty sure it was £4-5 though!)

The best of the bunch has got to be the Magnitone Cleanser which usually retail between £60-£80 in shops, this was on the bottom shelf by where all the makeup bags were so looks like someone had dumped it there but the price tag was £19.00!!! £19.00 for a Magnitone - all being said, it doesn’t have a warranty with it and the charger is only a USB but, £19.00 for this lovely, baby blue Magnitone London edition! I don’t think I will ever beat this bargain! 

TK maxx makeup

They had so much in store too along with Kate Spade purses and phone cases, lots of REN skincare, Burberry foundations and pressed powders and tonnes of Perfumes, I haven’t been in recently (within the last 2 weeks) so I can’t wait for Payday to come to see what other bargains I can get. I usually post whatever I discover over on my Instagram so make sure you’re following to find out if I grab anything worth knowing about! 

Wednesday 18 January 2017

Caesarean Section or VBAC?

It's well over the half way point now and I'll be hitting 23 weeks pregnant on Friday. Since the constant nausea stopped back around 17 weeks, I've felt relatively normal and pretty relaxed about the whole pregnancy but it was over Christmas that it sort of hit me that I'm going to be having another baby and the process then dawned on me... I've been asking myself the question of C-Section or VBAC for a while and as time goes on, the question still lingers.
With Millie, the whole labour process was a little, well, traumatic. The start of things were pretty simple - contractions etc. were fine, it was only from the after being in labour already for a good 20 hours that things just weren't progressing and the nurses realised that an emergency section would be required. You can read more about Millie's Birth story here. So, this time round, I have been offered an elective section or to try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) and I've gone back and forth with the idea of both but I'm still in a bit of a pickle.

So I've listed a couple of pro's and con's for each method to help me narrow down what would work best for us...

C-section or VBAC

Pro's of C-section:
 - Knowing exactly what day baby will be here. This helps massively with us as my family, who would be looking after Millie during the labour, live 30 minutes away so a sudden onset of labour wouldn't really be ideal for us. Knowing what day I was going to have baby just makes the whole thing 10x easier and a lot more relaxing too.
- No worry of having a repeat of what happened with Millie. The stress and trauma of the entire thing stuck with me and Adam for a long time (over a year!) and I just don't want to have to go through that again.
- Knowing what the recovery is like and being prepared second time round. Simply knowing what it all entails, how it works and the process afterwards is comforting to know. However, this is also a con... read below.
Cons of a C-section:
 - The recovery is horrid. I couldn't sit myself up in bed for a good week and the pain is ridiculous., not being able to walk around or drive for 6 weeks also puts a spanner in the works! Of course, it is major stomach surgery so it has to be considered but when I couldn't get up quick enough to see to Millie during the night or even bend down and change her nappy, it got a little too much.
- The 'after' section. Removing the dressing 6 weeks later has to be worse than the surgery itself. I can barely remember removing the dressing last time as I was crying so much I just wet it as much as I could and ripped it clean off.
Pro's of VBAC:
- A natural delivery. Every woman craves to experience the natural way of giving birth and I do kind of wish that I could do it but the thought of what happened last time puts me off massively.
- Faster recovery time! There's no stitches (if you're lucky) and most women are up and about 1-2 days after a natural birth so you can get back into the swing of things fairly quickly!
- Experiencing labour again. Even though it hurt like a bitch, I would love to experience contractions and the excitement of going into labour again like I did last time but again, the thought of what happened with Millie and her birth just puts me off.
Cons of VBAC:
 - You're waiting around for things to happen naturally. I'm so impatient and if I can be told a date when baby is coming I'd much rather prefer that then hanging around for 40+ weeks for it to happen. Also, as mentioned above, we don't have anyone who lives close enough to come and take care of Millie if this was to happen in the middle of the night!
- Your scar can tear. Having a section previously means that the doctors have to carefully monitor you and your scar throughout labour as the pressure can make it tear which is lethal to both Mum and Baby.
- It's not always successful. Even if I wanted to try for a natural birth via VBAC, there is still a 25% chance that it won't happen and it would end in another emergency section or assisted delivery. Not what I want to experience!
I'm pretty sure that my decision has been made and I'm opting for an elective section, it just makes so much sense to me and my family, baby included, so for now, I'm going to stick with that. But, I am open to trying to progress naturally if I were to go into labour before the date of my section. So, I guess we'll just see what happens closer to the time!
I'd love to hear your stories or views on having an elective section or VBAC. Have you been through them both? Are you in a similar situation to me? I'd love to know...

Sunday 15 January 2017

Morphe 35F Palette Review

I was very spoilt over Christmas and received lots of lovely gifts from family and friends and I was extremely lucky to have received the forever lusted over palette that is the Morphe 35F 'Fall into Frost' palette. Even though I definitely didn't need another palette, this is one on it's own and I just had to add it to my collection. I already have the Morphe 35N but it's one of my forgotten-about palettes that has been buried beneath all of the other palettes but it's safe to say, it's now top of the pile along with the newly added 35F.

Morphe 35F Palette

Morphe 35F Palette
The Morphe palettes are, as you probably know, very hard to get hold of, with the last batch that Beauty Bay had in stock selling out within 6 hours of being online! With each palette full of 35 beautiful shades, ranging from Neutrals to Purples, earthy Pinks and Gold's, they also come in a selection of finishes including full palettes of Mattes or a mix of both Matte and Shimmer shades.

The 35F is full of amazingly pigmented autumnal shades including burnt oranges, deep burgundy's, browns and lighter creams - it's the perfect palette for Smokey eyes or everyday looks. Including 7 matte shadows and 28 shimmer shades that are all buttery and easy to apply and blend, you couldn't really ask for much more to come from a palette. I have been using my Spectrum Collections brushes to use these shadows and they work perfectly to help apply, pack and blend the shadows out to achieve the look you’re after.

Morphe 35F Palette

 I've worn nearly all of the shadows already ranging from doing dramatic Smokey eyes for evenings out and shimmery bright highlighted eyes for days at work - it's really versatile and will work for anyone and everyone, probably the reason it's still sold out! The value for money that you get from this palette is amazing, averaging out at just 67p per shadow! Every single shade I have swatched has amazing colour payoff, including the matte's and the shimmery shades almost look duo-chrome if you match them with a darker/lighter colour.

I’ve been using this palette everyday, even for work, because the eyeshadows just apply so well and quickly that you can swipe one or two shades across your lid and you’re good to go!

Morphe 35F Palette

You can see from these few swatches how pigmented all of the shadows are, even the matte shades that wouldn’t seem to come off that well with other brands. This is the second Morphe palette I own and I definitely will be getting more, I’ve got my eyes on the 35O but that might have to wait until payday as January never seems to be a good month for money (or makeup!). 

One of the shades I have absolutely been loving are the burnt red shades. There are about 6 Reddy-Purpley toned shades that are all shimmers but have an almighty colour payoff so you really don’t need to use a lot. I think the only thing about this palette that could be improved is that it has a mirror in the lid - it would make it super easy to pack as you’d only need to take this one palette and also, it would make it a lot easier to apply as it is quite a big palette anyway so it takes up hella' lot of room on my dressing table! 

I’m now keeping my eyes peeled for the 35O to come back into stock on Beauty Bay and also tempted to try a few other bits from Morphe Brushes too because if everything is as good as this palette, it’s worth trying! 

Have you got any of the Morphe palettes? 
Which is your favourite?!
 Or what item should I buy and try next... Let me know! 

Thursday 12 January 2017

What I got for my Birthday

It's a late-comer but I've wanted to showcase 'What I got for my Birthday' for a while... If some of you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that my birthday falls at a horrible time in the year, just 4 days after Christmas. Sometimes it's good, i.e SALES and sometimes it's bad... But this year, I had a wonderful day and got lots of goodies!

On my actual birthday, Me and Adam went shopping to the Bullring. We're both local to Birmingham originally but don't go that often anymore as Derby is closer for us. I took along my birthday money and had some money put aside for myself to pick up a few bits I knew that I wanted. Within a few hours, I'd got what I wanted and much, much more! We also went to Rub Smokehouse for lunch which was incredible where I had a double cheeseburger which was stacked between two sweet waffles and doused in maple syrup with a side of sweet potato fries (mouth is watering right now!).
Adam got me a few little treats to open up on the day of my birthday but had ordered me some trainers previously that I knew I had to wait to get. He bought me some cute blue furry slippers as mine have reached the point of no return, a couple of DVD's including 'Bad Moms' and 'The Purge: Election Year' and an amazing new yearly diary from Eccolo which has stickers in for all kinds of dates and appointments!

I got an amazing little bag full of treats from my friend at work, Becki, which included a Nutella Cereal Bowl which come with a Mini Jar of Nutella and some porridge oats (amazing!), a compact mirror in the form of chocolate, a disco ball drinks cup, a Zoella Lifestyle planner and a in-handbag accessories pack which has everything you need in your handbag including mini nail file, lip balm, clear nail polish, bobbles and hair pins!

I mainly got money from my family which I used to get myself a couple of bits with including some Muji Acrylic storage, a new highlighter from Illamasqua which is gorrrrgeous, a new coat from New Look, a new double-bobble beanie hat, some underwear and socks from Boux Avenue and Victoria's Secrets and a 100ml Bottle of Cerruti 1881 perfume. I also got myself a couple of additional bits including a gorgeous Leopard print shirt from Primark in Selfridges, some mini Instax glitter filled frames and a mirror to go in the downstairs toilet! I managed to get a few bargains from TK Maxx too that you may have seen over on my Instagram however, I've got a post coming about those but I did get my hands on these beautiful glitter Steve Maddon trainers which were only £30.00 (RRP £70!)  Along with all of this I had 4 FREE Krispy Kremes, 1 free one for my Birthday and then a voucher for any 3 others - what better treat can you get on your birthday!?

Sunday 8 January 2017

Hello 2017!

Happy New Year everyone and welcome to 2017! 

2017 is a brand new year, a brand new start and a chance to refresh and make right whatever went wrong in 2016. If you had a pretty crappy 2016 then now is the time to look ahead and focus on what’s to come in 2017. For me, I have so many things to look forward to that it’s going to be an exciting year for sure so take a look at what I’m most looking forward to... 

This month is pretty quiet - I have a few hospital appointments and midwife appointments as I’ll be hitting the 28/30 week mark in my pregnancy. Me and Adam are booked to go and see the new 50 Shades of Grey film though and we want to go and use the vouchers we got for Christmas at Jamie’s Italian over in Birmingham so there’s just a few things to look forward to this month! 

My best friend is home from traveling after 2 long years which means she’s planing my Baby Shower for this month! I’m super excited as I know she knows me exactly and will do everything she can to make it a day to remember for both me and Baby! Along with some much needed quality time with Adam too before baby number 2 comes, I’ll be getting things ready for him and I’ll also be counting down the days to my maternity leave! I plan on leaving during the first week of April if I can manage to stay that long however it may end up coming a week or two earlier depending on how the pregnancy goes through March - wish me luck! Also, the brand new Beauty and the Beast film is out this month which I’m really looking forward to! 

If you didn’t already know, we are expecting baby number two and it’s a Boy! We’re so pleased to be blessed with having one of each gender and Millie can’t WAIT to meet her baby brother, neither can we! But the waiting isn’t up yet, he’s due to be born by planned c-section around the end of April time so up until then, there’ll be lots of preparations, buying of cute little outfits and general relaxing (as much as I can of course) until he makes his arrival. This is definitely the most exciting part of this year for me! Millie also turns 4 in April which is CRAZY

Along with getting used to life with a newborn and a toddler, we have a close friends’ wedding to celebrate in May! This is the first of 3 weddings we have this year so it’s a busy one but I can’t wait to see them all get wed! There’s not much more planned for March as I’ll be spending most of the time recovering from my section so lots of film watching and Netflix catch-ups too! 

I’m off to see Joel Dommett this month (hottie!!) down at our local Brewhouse Arts Centre! There’s a bunch of ladies from work going but me and Adam are going as our first ‘date night’ after baby being born. Along with this, June will be our first family (of 4) holiday and we’re heading back to Cornwall as we didn’t get chance to go last year. We book the same cottage in Bodmin every time we go and you can read more about our last visit to Cornwall here. It’s a lovely, family run cottage that is around 20 minutes away from 4 beaches and ports which means we’re never far from something to do or somewhere to go. It also has a hot tub so it means we get some alone time (even if it is just 20 minutes) and chance to wind down after a busy day! We’re also hoping to go back to Bluestone Wales as a family of 4 because there’s so much to do for Millie yet it’s still really family friendly too so we’ll be good taking the little one along with us and it’ll be nice to go back after 2 years. You can read about our last trip to Bluestone back in 2015 here. 

We have another wedding this month which is down in Torquay so we’re going to make it a long weekend and book a little B&B for us to stay in and have a look around the town and seaside in hope that the weather is good which will mean holiday number 3 will be ticked off for us! This is also the month of my friend, Katie’s, Hen party. I can’t say too much as she doesn’t know what’s happening but I’ve loved planning it and I’m guessing it’ll be my first night out since having Baby so it’s sure to be a good one! 

It’s probably my favourite month as the weather is usually beautiful which means lots of days out and weekend trips to towns and seasides but it’s also Adam’s birthday so we usually do something and either go away for the weekend or take a day trip somewhere. I do hope that this doesn’t change as it’s always nice to treat him for his birthday! At the end of the month, it’s Katie’s wedding which means they’ll be a spa day plonked somewhere in the month before the big day! I’m a bridesmaid so I’m really excited to be sharing it with her! 

This is probably the quietest month of them all, however... there’s a pretty big thing happening here! Millie starts SCHOOL! Yep, she’ll be starting primary school this year which I can’t believe. My little girl will be heading off in her uniform which means it’ll just be me and baby for the first time since he was born and no more Millie during the daytime! 

October is usually the time that I start planning for Christmas and start the Christmas shopping - it’ll be no different this year as there’ll be 2 to buy for. I also hope that we can have a little weekend away somewhere too but I’m not too sure where to go - somewhere in the UK still, so send your ideas! 

It’s scary to think this far ahead but again, we don’t have anything set in stone for this month but it’ll be the start of preparing for Christmas - Christmas markets, colder weather and cosy nights in.

It’ll be our first Christmas as a family of 4 and I can’t wait! I love Christmas, I always have, but having children to celebrate it with makes it 1000x better! It’ll completely make my year seeing Millie and Baby playing and opening their presents Christmas morning! I’ll also be turning 28 this month... but we won’t talk about that as it’s getting closer and closer to 30! 

What’s happening in your 2017? I’d love to know...