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Monday, 30 July 2012

Celebrating Our Engagement!

On Wednesday night I had a night out with friends of mine and Tim's for our engagement. It was pretty low key and relaxed and not everyone could make it mid-week and at short notice, but we wanted to make it for a time when our mutual friend was back in Bournemouth. We are having a seperate meal for our families to celebrate with us in a couple of weeks time.

We went out to a local wetherspoons bar and got a couple of bottles of pink champagne for people to toast us with.

Although everyone kept saying it was ok for me to have a bit of the champagne, I had a sip and left it at that. I have totally gone off all alcohol (not that I would drink much during pregnancy anyway) so stuck to Cranberry juice through the night.

After wetherspoons we moved onto Yates, I was quite proud of myself for hanging on until 11pm before giving in and going home (after stopping off at Subway for my favourite sandwich an Italian BMT yum!).

I had a great night and it was lovely to celebrate with our close friends.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Pregnancy Diary: 24 Weeks!

What's going on with me this week:

Babycentre says:

"You may be noticing stretch marks on your belly, hips and breasts. These faint, red or brown streaks are known as striae. Whereas creams won't erase them, wearing a supportive bra may help prevent or minimise them on your breasts.

They are very common at this stage of the pregnancy – about 90 per cent of women get them. After you've given birth, the reddish or brown pigmentation in the stretch marks gradually fades, and the streaks become lighter than the surrounding skin.

Also, your eyes may be light-sensitive and may feel gritty and dry. This is a perfectly normal pregnancy niggle known as dry eye syndrome. Try to rest your eyes as much as possible, and keep them clean with cotton wool and warm water".

What I feel this week:

My stretch marks from when I was pregnant before came back out to play a while ago now but recently they have gotten worse, and I have noticed a couple of new ones as well! I have been using bio oil every time I have a shower, and also using Palmers Cocoa Butter stretch mark cream every so often to help ease dryness and itching on my growing bump. I don't think the marks will fade at all whilst I am still gaining weight, but I am hoping that using the creams will help make them less obvious once I have had this baby and start losing weight again. If nothing else, it feels nice to spend a couple of minutes massaging the oil into my bump and connecting with my baby daughter. I try not to get upset abou the way stretch marks look and love this saying:

At the end of the day, my stretch marks show that I have carried my children, and this is such a huge acheivement that I don't mind that it makes me 'flawed'. I have been feeling a pain in my lower stomach a lot when walking lately, especially after overdoing it walking all over Paris last weekend. I have been advised by the midwife that it is completely normal ligament stretching pains, but it still hurts like hell and means I have been putting my feet up as often as possible, luckily this is easier now my mum is on summer holidays from work.

What's going on with my baby this week:

Babycentre says:

"Your baby now weighs more than 600g. She is starting to fill the space in your uterus (womb). From crown to heel she could measure 30cm. Though your baby still has little body fat and her skin is thin and fragile, she's well-proportioned. Her brain is growing rapidly, tastebuds have fully developed, and her footprints and fingerprints are continuing to form. Inside her body, her lungs are developing branches of the respiratory tree as well as cells that produce surfactant. This substance will help her air sacs inflate once she reaches the outside world".

What my baby looks like inside this week:

What my bump looks like this week:

Yep, actually massive now.....

Our Summer Holiday

Last weekend my mum, Cameron and I travelled to Paris for a little holiday. Originally I was planning on going to Spain, but in the end I decided to spend the same amount of money and go to Disneyland!

It was an early start as the eurostar left at 7am and we had to get into London, but it was worth the effort, and the totally sore feet and bump I got from a day of sightseeing on the Friday.

Cameron arriving in Paris

We walked to see the Sacre Coeur, the Louvre, caught sight of the Eiffel Tour and Notre Dame, and we walked along the Seine where there was a fake 'beach' event.

Outside the Sacre Couer

....and outside the Louvre

The River Seine

Getting back to our hotel that night we were exhausted, but up early again to get our coach transfer to Disney. Some people had said to me that I was silly taking Cameron to Disney when he is so young still as he wouldn't appreciate it, but I don't think this was the case. Sure, older children might be able to understand the characters and rides more, but Cameron could still get excited by the atmosphere.

My happy place!

As I am pregnant, we already knew there would be some rides I wouldn't be allowed on, and most of them I wasn't even bothered about as I don't like big rollercoaster rides usually. The only ride I was a bit upset about was Pirates of the Caribbean as it's my favourite one. I would never risk the health of me or my baby for a ride however, but my mum took Cameron on it.

Favourite Ride, not allowed to go on :(

Big mistake! He got a bit scared of the dark bits and ended up being sick on my mum!

After doing so many miles of walking the day before, I was in agony walking around so ended up hiring a wheelchair. I was given a disability pass which allowed me to skip some of the queues, it turned out that I wasn't allowed on more rides than originally thought however, so we didn't go on that many things.

On the boat ride around Frontierland :)

Having a ride on my hired wheelchair

Opening Boo's door

It was a great day though and I loved shopping for gifts for family in the many pretty shops around the park and in Disney Village.

Cameron wearing his brand new t-shirt with his cars toy

Cameron had a good time and we got lots of pictures taken around the parks.

Our train back to London wasn't until the afternoon so on the Sunday we ended up having lunch in the sunshine before going home again.

Going home, Gare du Nord

Cameron with his massive green balloon that popped on its way through customs!

We managed to pack quite a lot into such a short time away but it was definitely worth it.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Find Me a Gift Personalised Giraffe PJ Case: A Review

I always struggle to find unique presents when it comes to birthdays or other special occassions. I don't like buying a 'safe' gift and like to surprise the people I love with presents I know they will love and would not already have. For this reason I love sites such as Find Me a Gift.

I was really pleased when they offered to send me something off the site as an early birthday present for Cameron (who turns two in September). I was given a choice of a few items Cameron would love and I ended up choosing the Personalised Giraffe PJ Case as it was something that Cameron would enjoy playing with but was also practical.

What they say:

"This delightful personalised pyjama case is ideal for both adults and children. Now you can keep your pyjamas stashed safely away with our Personalised Giraffe Pyjama Case. They're perfect for birthdays and great for both boys and girls.
This personalised pyjama case can be made unique with a name and message of up to 40 characters (including spaces). Whoever you are buying it for, they are sure to appreciate the thought that went into this gift. Doubling up as a soft toy, our plush Giraffe Case will be treasured. You could even buy a pair of pyjama's or pop a cute little note inside, for some extra thought.
If you’re looking for a unique children's gift then our Giraffe Pyjama Case is a great option! Practical and fun for storing nightwear until it's time for bed".

What I say:

The gift came really quickly and I was impressed with the quality of the giraffe and how nice and soft it was. I didn't get long to admire it though as Cameron had seen me open it and he wanted it right away!

I was able to personalise the gift which means that even though Cameron is getting the present early, he will always have the birthday message from me on the gift to look back on. I think being able to personalise a present is a really nice touch and as I was given a maximum of 19 characters per line for 3 lines I was able to fit on 'Happy Birthday Cameron love mummy xx'.

It would also make a lovely present for a new baby or as a Christening/Naming Day present with the child's name and DOB. If there was one thing I wasn't 100% happy with it would be that the wording is coming away slightly on a couple of letters, which means that with time it may come away completely. This is probably just unfortunate and not the same with every product however.

Cameron absolutely loves the giraffe and has not put it down since getting it. He wouldn't even let me take a photo of it alone for the review until he had gone for his afternoon nap! I showed Cameron where he could put his pjs in the back section (which is quite roomy and would definitely have no problem housing a pair of kids pjs) and he found it amusing and will no doubt put his toys in there instead as he does with most toys with space to do so. Cameron definitely prefers to use the giraffe as a cuddly toy rather than a case for his pjs but no doubt he will love using it to carry some of this toys or clothes when we go away to France tomorrow for the weekend.

Rating: 4/5 This would have got a 5/5 if it hadn't of been for the missing birth certificate and some lettering coming away.

Overall I am really impressed with the giraffe. One thing I was a bit confused about was that I was informed the product I would be getting was the new version of the giraffe, one that came with a birth certificate, but upon receiving the gift it definitely didn't have a birth certificate with it. As this was a free gift I am not too concerned, but I would be annoyed if I had of chosen and paid for the new version and not received what I had ordered.

I think this is a great gift for any child. I think Cameron is the perfect age to really enjoy the cuddly toy aspect but a slightly older child might find it more fun t use as a pj case. I also think that it would make the perfect gift for a Christening or birthday for a young child. The fact that it can be personalised free of charge makes the gift even more special and I will definitely be using Find Me a Gift in the future as their service is great, prices reasonable and products of good value.

Disclaimer: I was sent this product to review but everything I have written is my own opinion. I have reviewed the product as I would if it had been bought with my own money.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Naked 2 Palette!

My latest hobby has been entering competitions online left right and centre. I'm not discriminatory, I will enter comps via Facebook, Twitter, competition sites, magazine sites and of course on other blogs.

I recently entered a competition to win an Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette on Lauren's blog and I couldn't believe it when I won!

I have wanted the palette ever since I saw it but there was no way I could afford it as a mum so I am so happy to have won it! Lauren was going on holiday the next day but she still managed to find the time to send out the palette and I received it yesterday.

It is beautiful and I can't wait to try it out for my engagement party next week! Watch out for a review...

Monday, 16 July 2012

Pregnancy Diary: 23 Weeks!

What's going on with me this week:

Babycentre says:

"You may feel clumsy now that your centre of gravity has shifted. Your gums may bleed when you brush your teeth and your belly button, once an 'innie', may now stick out. It'll revert to its pre-baby state soon after you give birth.

The middle months are a good time to think about a holiday. Find out about all you need to know, from suntans to vaccinations, in our travel section".

What I feel this week:

I am definitely getting an 'outie' belly button. It has slowly been creeping out for the last few weeks but now it is almost completely out and I love it as it makes my bump look more 'bump like' and less like I ate too many pies! My gums have been suffering as well, although I have always had issues with them and use a sensitive toothbrush because of it. As for thinking of a holiday, my mum, Cameron and I are going to France early Friday morning. We are staying in Paris for a few days and going to Disneyland on Saturday. It will be Cameron's first time there and I am very excited!

What's going on with my baby this week:

Babycentre says:

"Your baby now weighs a little more than 500g and measures about 29cm from crown to heel. His hearing is established and around now he may be able to make out a distorted version of your voice, the beating of your heart and your stomach rumblings.

When your baby is born, loud noises he has often heard in the uterus (womb), such as the barking of a dog or the roar of a vacuum cleaner, probably won't bother him.

Some people swear by the theory that unborn babies prefer classical music. So in the coming months you could put on relaxing Bach or Mozart for his enjoyment – and yours!

In addition to advances in your baby's hearing, his lungs are developing to prepare for breathing. And as he gets bigger you may be able to see him squirm underneath your clothes"!

What my baby looks like inside this week:

What my bump looks like this week:

Our Trip to Newcastle

The day after getting engaged I had to leave my new fiance and travel on the long car journey up to Newcastle to visit my brother to celebrate his engagement and house warming party.

 We left at half six in the morning on the Friday and arrived around half past one, which was pretty good considering just how far Newcastle is from us! Cameron was amazing on the journey and so well behaved, even though he only slept for a couple of hours. When we arrived, we took our stuff to the travelodge where we were staying (which was awful!) and then went over to my brother's new flat. We had to go shopping just after arriving as I had somehow managed to forget to pack any shoes for Cameron (and as we left early in the morning he hadn't been wearing any at the time!). I bought him a pair in Next which he loves!

That evening we had a chilled out time at the flat, meeting some of my brother's fiancee's family and eating pizza- yum! We were exhausted from the early start and long drive so went back to the hotel relatively early.

The next day was spent looking round Newcastle town centre, having some lunch and doing some shopping in the Next sale. I also met up briefly with a girl I originally met over the More! magazine page who lives in Newcastle, Amy and her two beautiful daughters. She gave me a load of baby girl clothes and some newborn nappies which was so kind of her. It was nice to finally meet someone I have been talking to online for a few years now!

After getting back to the flat I helped out by cooking the party food before everyone else arrived and the party started. I was exhausted again so spent most of the time sat down chatting to some of my brother's friends who had also travelled up from Bournemouth. Cameron was being adorable all night and amusing everyone.

It was quite sad when it came to saying goodbye that evening, but we will be seeing my brother and his fiancee again in August so it isn't too long this time.

On Sunday morning we left at 9am and got back to Bournemouth mid afternoon, absolutely shattered! I finally got to see Tim and we did our first bit of wedding planning in front of Four Weddings, scaring ourselves how expensive even a budget wedding is!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Pregnancy Diary: 22 Weeks!

What's going on with me this week:

Babycentre says:

"You've probably gained between 5.5kg and 7kg. Starting now, you'll begin to put on weight more steadily, averaging about 225g per week. You may crave certain foods and you may notice an increased (but not bloody) vaginal discharge. Both are a normal part of being pregnant"

What I feel this week:

I definitely feel like I am gaining weight at a scarily fast pace.... I am trying not to worry too much about the weight gain as I am eating mostly healthy foods, just allowing myself to give in to unhealthy junk food cravings occassionally. I am finding it difficult because I worked so hard to loose all my baby weight from when I was pregnant with Cameron and now I'm seeing it all pile back on really fast. I am being tested this week for Gestational Diabetes which scares the hell out of me but I am crossing my fingers I don't have it and if I do I will just try and deal with it the best I can. It is causing me a lot of stress at the moment but I am trying to forget about it by focusing on my trip to Newcastle on Friday for my brother's engagement party/housewarming party.

What's going on with my baby this week:

Babycentre says:

"Your baby now weighs almost 430g, measures about 28cm long from crown to heel. Your baby's legs aren't curled up so tightly to her tummy now. This means she can be measured from the top of her head to her heels, instead of her bottom. She is proportioned like a newborn, albeit a thinner version since her baby fat hasn't yet developed.

Although she's getting heavier every day, her skin still appears wrinkled and translucent because she needs to gain more weight. Her lips are distinct and her eyes are formed, though the coloured part (the iris) still lacks pigment. The pancreas, essential in the production of hormones, is developing steadily.

Even this early, the first signs of teeth appear in the form of tooth buds beneath her gum line. Before you know it, your baby will be born, and soon after, her first teeth come through".

What my baby looks like inside this week:

What my bump looks like this week:

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Pregnancy Product Review: Angelsounds Fetal Doppler

I have been more than a little paranoid this pregnancy. In the beginning I had bad cramps which resulted in a couple of early pregnancy scans. I thought this would help make me relax but instead things just got worse and by the twelve week scan I was hugely nervous, convinced something would be wrong. Seeing the baby again and being told the baby was low risk for Downs Syndrome made me relax for a bit but the eight week wait for the next scan resulted in my paranoia returning.

At fifteen weeks I found a fetal heart doppler on Amazon and decided to buy it. It cost £25 which was a lot less than others I had found online, and had lots of amazing reviews.

When the doppler came in the post I opened it up and the first thing I noticed was that the product is from China and the instructions are written in very bad (very amusing) English. You can make out what they are saying but don't take them too literally, some things have gotten lost in translation! Even though I was still a few days short of fourteen weeks, when the box tells you it is possible to detect a heartbeat from, I decided to try anyway. This was my first mistake.

I got seriously frustrated and tearful when I was unable to find my baby's heartbeat despite trying for ages. In the end I gave up and waited another week. When I still couldn't find a heartbeat I became very worried, but forced myself not to panic. Luckily I then had a midwife appointment where they found the heartbeat straight away, telling me it was very strong. A few days later I finally managed to find the heartbeat on my own and from then on have listened to it once a week or so.

It is great at putting your mind at rest if you are prone to panicking, my only advice would be to leave it until around sixteen weeks to make it easier to find a heartbeat and to use plenty of ultrasound gel (also, make sure you buy some more online as the bottle they include with the doppler is miniscule!).

Some people are wary about using these dopplers at home as apparently some women find it hard to tell whether what they can hear is their own heartbeat or that of the baby. If you have had your sixteen week midwife appointment, they should have listened to the heartbeat then so just listen out for the same sound (like a train chugging along, a lot faster than your own heartbeat).

I still use the doppler from time to time, although now I am able to feel the baby kicking and even see her movements, I find I am using it less often. For £25 I don't feel I have wasted my money for those weeks when I didn't have this tangible sign that things were ok, to have that reassurance was totally worth the cost.

Rating: 4/5
This doppler is pretty easy to use, cheaper than a lot of other similar products and is able to put your mind at rest whenever you need reassurance that baby is ok in there. I would recommend it to anyone, just remember that a heartbeat is not always easily found until later than the box states!

Have you ever used an at home doppler? What did you think of it?

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Product Review: Balance Me Rose Otto Intensive Lip Salve

As all my money currently goes on bills, food and baby stuff I haven't been able to do any product reviews of late. I have a Glamour subscription I got through trading in Nectar points so I got the latest issue through my front door along with the free gift of a lip salve. I am not one for wearing lip salves or balms often, although lately my lips have been feeling very chapped and dry so this came at a good time!

What they Say:


Discover our new, petroleum-free, 100% natural ultra-moisturising intensive lip salve. A daily beauty-must for salve addicts to plump, protect and smooth away dry patches on lips and leave them kiss-ably soft.
We’ve blended super hydrating 100% natural hyaluronic acid and highly emollient and protective pharma grade lanolin to plump and smooth; our trio of organic shea, mango and cocoa butters to soften and protect against the elements; vitamin and essential fatty acid-laden rosehip, jojoba and virgin coconut oils to soothe and hydrate with rose otto, rose geranium and palma rosa to calm and balance.
Apply daily as often as your lips demand. Our handy slanted applicator is ‘no mess’ and functional. For extra sensational lips, mix with your favourite lip colour on your finger tip, and apply to give lips a colourful, silky satin finish.
Balance Me uses the latest hi-tech natural ingredients and exquisite active aromas to create super natural anti-ageing skincare that delivers amazing results and brings your skin back into balance.

What I Say:

The scent of this lip salve was really overpowering, especially when on my lips, which really put me off to be honest. This might have affected me more than others as I am pregnant, I'm not sure. I can't fault the salve on its consistency as it came out the perfect amount which also meant less waste. It wasn't sticky or gloopy once on and I would have forgotten I was wearing it had it not been for the scent.


3.5/5 stars: If it hadn't of been for the overpowering smell of this lip salve it would have gotten a 5/5. Give it a try, especially if you get it free with Glamour as I did.

Cosmetics Kitten Giveaway!

A fellow blogger and Facebook friend of mine Lauren aka The Cosmetics Kitten has just come back from a short break from blogging and to celebrate her return she currently has an amazing giveaway on her blog!

 Enter now for your chance to win the beautiful Naked Palette 2 by Urban Decay!

List Upon List

I have a confession to make.

I am an addict.

Not to any of the usual suspects; I don't do drugs or smoke and am even off the alcohol 100% during this pregnancy. My addiction is a rather embarrassing one. I am addicted to writing lists, to being ultra organised and prepared for everything and anything that (ever) comes my way. Usually I have around four or five lists on the go at a time.

I mainly keep them on my notes section of my iPhone as it is easy to keep track of what needs to be done on the go, and to cross things off I just have to delete. My current iPhone lists include a 'Things to do for the new car' list, a 'what I need to do in preparation for the baby' list, a 'what I want to film for the bbc3 show' list and of course, my daily to do list.

This morning both myself and Cameron haven't been feeling very well so instead of going out, I have ended up writing about a million lists whilst Cameron keeps himself occupied with his toys and In the Night Garden obsession (I'm not the only one of us with an addiction, his is Iggle Piggle and Upsy Daisy).

I started by planning Cameron's second birthday party (yes, I am fully aware he doesn't turn two for another two and a half months...). After sourcing out all the In the Night Garden party bits and pieces I could think of and noting them down for nearer the time (I wanted to buy them then and there but being organised doesn't make me rich, sadly), I then moved onto my Baby Shower which is going to be held the day after Cameron's party.

I know, I know, someone else is meant to host the baby shower for me, but seriously, do you see someone as hyper organised as me allowing someone else to take over the planning? I of course will let my mum help nearer the time but for now I have let myself go mad on a pink themed tea party afternoon complete with party rings, pink cupcakes and even pink champagne (shame I won't be having any!).

Having planned all I could of the two September events (right down to when I should Facebook invite and properly invite people to both events, as well as when I should buy the decorations and food) I turned my attention to my mum's fiftieth birthday party, which is going to be held just a couple of days before my due date (eek!) as my mum's birthday is two days after I am due. This one is the hardest to plan on my own as my mum isn't one for surprises so I need her to help make most of the decisions. It is also the most urgent and expensive event as it will be for around forty to fifty people and a venue needs to be booked well in advance.

After planning the major events, I went onto scheduling in minor events, trips and people visiting over Summer. I have a printed out calendar for each month for this and, although August and October are both looking much too bare for my liking, I am slightly embarrassed to admit that July is now looking totally booked up with swimming trips, drama classes, visits to both Newcastle and Paris and hopefully a visit from a friend at the end of the month.

Finally, I have just written a shopping list for this afternoon's food shop...

Phew, I've got my list fix for today....

Do any of my readers write lists for everything?

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