Thursday 30 October 2014

16 Weeks Pregnant - Update

Baby is the size of an Avocado.

I thought I'd better start my pregnancy updates, I realised that I haven't posted anything pregnancy related since announcing I'm pregnant with baby number 2 so today seems like a good day to start and I think it will be quite nice to document all the changes happening to me and my body!

I am actually reaching the end of 16 weeks, I will be 17 weeks on Sunday. As you can see from the picture above I have definitely started with a bit of a bump, personally I'm feeling bloated and fat and a little embarrassed about how big my stomach appears! In the  photo it looks like bump is a little wonky, I can only assume it's how baby is lying. I've definitely been feeling some movement over the last week or so, it feels different to my first pregnancy, at times it feels like baby is swimming right across my stomach! Bizarre. I've also been able to find the heartbeat on my doppler last week which is so lovely to hear. 

As far as cravings go I haven't really had any, my appetite hasn't been great this week, in the evenings I haven't eaten much other than toast or soup but I'm going to try and make a conscious effort to eat a bit more as I know that isn't really a great diet to be living on! I'm also feeling pretty tired still, with working full time, then coming home to look after a crazy toddler and maintain a house I'm sometimes in bed at 9:30pm! I'm still waiting for the second trimester glow and energy to find me! In better news though my skin seems to be improving as in the first trimester I became ever so spotty which I'm generally not particularly so that symptom was a bit rubbish! The nausea has thankfully massively improved, I am no longer feeling like I'm going to vomit every 5 minutes or sucking on ginger sweets to take the queasiness away.

At 16 weeks you can find out the gender of your baby, I have to confess we paid for a private scan through Babybond  last Saturday and I do know the sex of baby number 2 BUT for the moment I'm keeping it to myself (and family and friends) just for now. I am hoping to get it confirmed again at my next NHS scan at the end of November.

I have done no preparation for the little one as yet, I doubt I will until after my 20 week scan, I will have to have a root around the loft to see what we have got and what we need to buy.......job for the husband I think!

I will be back again with my 17 week update next week. 

Improving Your Elderly Relative's Social Life

Here is a lovely article about how to improve your elderly relative's quality of life with social interaction, it's so important that elderly people maintain some quality of life as able. 

How to Improve Your Elderly Relative’s Social Life
Winter time can be a particularly isolating time for older people. However, it is very important to encourage your elderly relative to stay social even when it becomes increasingly difficult due to mobility issues or a decreasing circle of established friends. Staying sociable is very good for an older persons health as it helps stave off depression and dementia as the mind keeps mind active. Here are a few tips and bits of inspiration towards ensuring your relative keeps socially active in their later years.

Get Care at Home
Services like Extra Care at Home not only provide help with domestic tasks such as cleaning and hygiene routines but also offer companionship and conversation. Carers will accompany their clients to the shops and help arrange their social calendar to make engaging with the outside world as easy as possible. Just having someone else around the house at regular times can work wonders for the mood of someone who has began to feel isolated and providing a link to external facilities and services can be invaluable. Many companies today will make use of up to date technology like home care scheduling software to assist with all their scheduling needs to ensure the client receives the best care possible at the times they need it.  

Join a Club
Most cities, towns and villagers have organised clubs and societies specifically aimed at older people. Many provide transport so they can get picked up and host games, activities and talks. It’s a great way to keep someone stimulated and meet people in similar situations.

A great way for your relative to feel useful is to get them to volunteer. There are a wealth of opportunities at different venues and companies including roles where volunteers can work directly with the public or just behind the scenes with colleagues. Museums and National Trust properties can be great for this.

Connect to the Web
More and more of the older generations are learning how easy it is to go online. There is so much to discover through Facebook reminiscence groups, local news sites and inspiration for activities.

Take Them Shopping
A simple trip to the local shops can make a big difference to someone who is stuck in the house all week. They may see old friends, catch up on gossip and get some inspiration for new meals to cook.

Eat Out
Most pubs and restaurants have pensioner specials either on the menu every day or particular days of the week. Making this a regular occurrence will provide a change of scenery and allow your older relative to form bonds with new people they will see on a regular basis.

Befriender Service
Charity Age UK run an excellent telephone service which provides older people with a ‘befriender’ who they can ring at set times for friendly conversation.

Fitness classes

Check the local gym to see what classes are on offer for older people. Lower intensity and shorter duration are great for general health and wellbeing as well as providing the social aspect of meeting people which will improve mood and confidence. This is a real catch-all solution.  

Sunday 26 October 2014

Silent Sunday - 26/10/14

Friday 24 October 2014

Making Memories with Photobox Calendar's

We are nearing 'that' time of year again, yes the 'C' word is just around the corner and it's time to start thinking about gifts that people would like to receive. I do tend to like putting some thought into gifts that I buy people and one of the items I like to purchase for close family are personalised calendars. Having previously purchased one for my parents I know that they are a winner and received with thanks. My parents absolutely loved receiving a photo calendar that documented Alfie's first year in the world and they were keen to hint that they'd like one every year, well at least that's one gift sorted for them! Obviously there are many other gifts ideas and for some inspiration check out Pinterest for some beautiful and Christmas related ideas.

Personally I am fanatical about having a calendar in the kitchen, even though I document everything important into my diary I always scribe it onto our calendar aswell so that my husband is aware of any upcoming arrangements.

I have previously used Photobox to order personalised calendars and was impressed with the ease of using the website to design the item, the speedy dispatch and quality of the calendar. Not only was the website easy to navigate, when designing the calendar it was quite straightforward and fun! It's worth mentioning that even when I used some photos from my phone when the calendar arrived the quality was pretty good. It's so nice to create a calendar full of memories from the past year, it makes me quite nostalgic.

Photobox have created this great Infographic with an 8 step bootcamp for your brain. Using these simple steps within the infographic , the idea being that you will never forget a date or face again!

So for a unique and personal gift click here to be taken to the selection of calendar's and diaries that you can create. You really cannot go wrong giving a personalised item as a gift, it's something that can be treasured throughout the year and ensures you relive precious memories throughout the year over and over again. 

So if you have a husband that needs reminding of dates or you are fanatical about date keeping like myself your house wouldn't be and shouldn't be complete without a calendar.

Tips for Making Your Own Jewellery

Jewellery making is such a huge thing at the moment, I'd love to have a go when I have some more time. For anyone thinking of having a go here is a great article packed full of useful info to help you out. 

Tips for making your Own Jewellery
If embarking upon a venture like making your own jewellery, it can be tough to know where to start, what to try, and what to do with your new creations. Every jewellery maker is different, and there are so many different techniques out there and different channels to showcase your work.
We’ve put together a list of a few things to hopefully help you on your way to becoming a great and successful jewellery maker!

Look around to see what styles you like
From modern to traditional, simple to intricate, delicate to statement, the possibilities are endless with jewellery, and any jewellery fanatic will know that. Before you get started, it’s a good idea to take a look at as many different styles as possible; from looking online (on store sites and on image based sites like Pinterest) and actually getting out there and going to stores that sell jewellery and physically seeing what you like.
When you’ve identified a style, you can then start to think about your niche; how you can pay homage to that style whilst bringing something new and special to it.

Experiment with different materials
As you get more adventurous, it’s a good idea to look into trying out new materials to work with so you can start making some really different and interesting stuff. You can get hold of jewellery making materials really easily and for a reasonable price online too, at sites like which is great if you’re working on a budget.

Organise your supplies
Looking after your supplies sounds like an obvious thing to do and remember, but it is a really important one as you won’t want to spend all that money and time on a project to lose or ruin any of your supplies! Invest in a good organiser – things like cheap cosmetics boxes usually work quite well and will be significantly cheaper than proper craft organisers, too.

Try different pieces of jewellery
Trying out different pieces of jewellery is a great idea for experimenting and building up your portfolio and collection. It’s a great way to find out what you’re best at, too. It’s also ideal for when you start to get people wanting matching/complementing sets of your jewellery! There’s a good guide for trying different pieces of jewellery here.

Advertise your jewellery and get it out there
As you start getting better you’ll no doubt start to think about turning your hobby into a bit of a business, and this is great! Unique, homemade jewellery is really popular (as long as it’s of decent quality and not too pricey, of course). Therefore when you do get more confident and want to share your amazing creations, it’s a great idea to get yourself out there as a jewellery maker as much as you can.

Get on as many social media channels as you can, from creating a facebook page to a twitter, an instagram and a pinterest and promote yourself like crazy!  

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Glossybox October 2014 - Review

October is here and with that the new Glossybox arrived through my letter box the other day. This month we have another unique box and it's the the Pop Art Edition. There are three box designs available and I was lucky enough to receive the box with a hot pink background! It looks very funky, might just have to find things to store in this box! Initial impressions once I'd opened the box were pretty good!

So what did I receive this month?

So there were a couple of differences one being that we did not receive the usual item description card, this was sent via email beforehand so we could either decide to open before we receive the box or wait until after. I opted to open the email after to avoid spoilers. The other difference was that we again received a spoiler card for the November box whetting our appetite of an item that will definitely be included in the November box. I'm not overly bothered by not receiving an item card as generally they just get chucked in the bin after anyway!

So first item up is the item that I knew was going to be included in this box. Nuxe Creme Fraiche De Beaute Mask (full size 50ml item received RRP £19.50). I already loved the sound of this item which is a mask designed to hydrate and soothe the skin and maintain its appearance. It smells divine and I look forward to using it.

Next was my least favourite item even though I love the brand! This is a Ciate Paint Pot, shade Unrestricted Glam (full size item received 13.5ml RRP £9.00). I love Ciate but I was sooo disappointed to receive a black shade :-( especially when I have seen in other reviews others have received a gorgeous purple shade! This polish will sadly be going to waste, black is a colour that I  just don't wear. 

Third item was Etre Belle Cosmetics Lip Lift Peel (full size received 15ml, RRP 12.95 euros), having never heard of the brand I was intrigued, designed to act as an exfoliator the gentle formula is used to remove dead cells and refine the lips surface. After using this item a couple of times I have to admit it really works my lips felt incredibly soft and smooth afterwards and it's not necessarily an item I would normally purchase. 

Next was So Susan Flutter Mascara (Full size 4ml received RRP £14.95). I'm fairly sure we received a mascara not so long ago, I believe it was Maybelline so a little disappointed to see a repeated item so soon. Initially the product looks quite good quality but once I'd opened it I did feel that it felt a little bit cheap, the price rivals that of some high quality mascara's and I question whether I would purchase a different brand for the same price. That being said mascara is always handy and I will no doubt use it up!

A little perfume sample was the next item I looked at, I received a very cute miniature of Yves Rocher Quelqes Notes D'Amour (sample size included RRP for full size 30ml £33.00). This is a feminine fragrance and features notes of damascus rose, guaiac wood and patchouli. It's a bit too sweet for me but handy to pop into my hand bag as a spare. 

The final item received was by a popular high street brand that I frequently use. Rimmel London BB Cream Matte (sample size tube received, RRP £6.99 for full size 30ml). The popular BB creams are a must in my household, shame it wasn't a full sized item but I will certainly be using this as a day to day foundation, nice little item to be included. 

Overall, with the exception of the Ciate paint pot I think this is a great box, a nice variety of items and I think Glossybox are really starting to listen to their customers and pack the boxes with some decent items. The only other thing that has disappointed myself and other customers is that they have changed the amount of Glossydots that can be redeemed for surveys, instead of the usual 50 per review it is now only 20 that is received so that's a bot of a shame.

So there we have the October box, did anyone else receive anything different in theirs?

* Glossybox is a monthly subscription service that costs £13.25 a month inclusive of P&P.

Tuesday 14 October 2014

My Little Secret

Over the last couple of months you may have noticed that I have been pretty quiet on my blog. There has been a special reason for this and that reason is...... I'm pregnant again, up the duff, have a bun in the oven etc etc. 

Baby Number 2 is on board!

I had thought alot over recent months about when would be the right time to try for another baby and after discussions with my husband it's not a decision that we made lightly and it was different this time, with Alfie he was a marvellous surprise but this time round it's been planned so already quite a different situation. I always question whether there really is a right time for a baby and honestly I think not, I think fate decides these things for you, however in this instance for us this felt like the right time.  

I genuinely didn't think I would fall pregnant quite so quickly, after been diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) before Alfie I was told that I could struggle to conceive, fortunately I only had the polycystic part and not the syndrome which meant with some dieting, exercise and a different mind set it clearly made a difference to my fertility and along came Alfie. 

So let's roll back a few weeks ago and I was feeling fine! No real signs or symptoms of a pregnancy just a couple of days late which is what prompted me to test. I only had some cheapies in the house but though what the hell, I may as well pee on the stick and see what happens!

As you can see in the picture below this is the result that I could see, or at least I thought I could see!I really wasn't sure that this was a true line as it was so very faint but the more I looked at it in various different lighting I could definitely see the line!  I literally could not believe it, I was pregnant!! Hubby was at work by this point and Alfie was due at nursery so after whizzing the little man to nursery I quickly shot to Tesco to grab another couple of tests!

Anyone who has found out they are pregnant previously I think will understand the need to do more tests, it's almost like the first test is a teaser and is lying! I remember my midwife previously telling me that the cheapy tests are just as reliable as the digi ones but I think it's still nice to see it flash onto the screen. 

So here I was alone in my bathroom with some more tests on the go! After the third test it finally did sink in, I was going to be a Mummy again! I thought I better tell the husband, he probably should be aware! So I rang him and broke the news to him over the phone while he was at work, not ideal but I was so shocked I couldn't help but tell him, his reaction this time around was much better and I would say he didn't have a head in hands moment  thankfully! 

So after letting this sink in my own head I decided to tell my parents and my two closest friends, telling my best friend was hard for reasons which I won't go into. So the next few weeks were passed in a bubble of pregnancy and pregnancy related symptoms! With Alfie I had a pretty smooth pregnancy (up till the point of labour!),  I was nauseous and tired but it was manageable, this time round I have been exhausted, dizzy and feeling sick as a dog, the constant nausea has been, at times, crippling, all amplified by working full time and having a hyper active toddler! 

Thankfully I am now starting to come out of the sicky stage and am starting to get my energy back so I'm hoping to get back a little bit to normality and hopefully enjoy my pregnancy for the 2nd time!

My next challenge is to get Alfie to understand that he is going to be a big brother and focus on giving him alot of attention over the next few months, after all he will always be my little man.

I will hopefully be back to posting more regularly and you can follow my pregnancy updates through my blog when I get around to posting them.

I'm delighted and feeling extremely fortunate to be expecting again as I know there are many people who would love to be in my situation. Baby number 2 is expected at some point in April 2015.

Thanks as always for reading my ramblings!

Monday 6 October 2014

My First Beauty Box Swap - Summer 2014

I have recently participated in my first beauty box swap, the concept is very simple you get set a budget, you get allocated a fellow beauty lover and you get sent some likes and dislikes of said person and choose some items to be sent to them. The excitement and anticipation of what you might receive is great.

I received a huge box wrapped in very cheery wrapping paper, it was literally like having a birthday present delivered, I couldn't wait to have a rummage and see what I'd been sent from my secret beauty swapper.

Nestled between layers of hot pink tissue paper were so many items, I kept discovering new items as I kept pulling the tissue paper out. I also received a card with yummy looking doughnuts on it but sadly the sender chose to remain anonymous so I don't know who to thanks for all my lovely items! 

So what did I receive? As you can see in the picture above the box was crammed full of loveliness. 

The first item I pulled out, along with the card was some Nails Inc Wraps in a very funky zebra print. I always like to have a set of nail wraps in the house just in case I need to get ready quickly and not have to worry about my nails drying so these are great. 

Next up was a Dr Nick Lowe Super Charged Day Cream, perfect I need some new day cream and after trying a blob of this on the back of my hand I will definitely be looking forward to trying this during the day. 

The next item was a rather blingy nail file, you can never have enough nail files right? I'm forever losing them too so this is very handy....pardon the pun.

After the nail file, I unwrapped a rather pretty Mint London Nail Polish. I've never heard of the brand but it's a very nice Summery colour and applies nicely so I shall add this to my ever growing collection!

I then received a mini Clinique Lip Gloss very sweet, the picture makes it look more of a red colour but actually it's more of a browny, sheer tint when worn, it's nice. 

The next item unravelled from the depths of the pink tissue paper was a very pretty pink lippie by Collection. I'm recently a lip stick convert (previously I wore alot of lip gloss) and am favouring Mac so although I perhaps wouldn't choose this normally the colour is very pretty.

Next up is a very glittery MUA lip gloss having never used any MUA products in the past I wasn't sure what to expect but I quite like this lip gloss, it will be lovely layered over one of my other lip sticks. 

I then discoverd a very lovely Models Own Chunky Eyeliner with Smudger it's gorgeous, lovely colour and I love the added smudger on the other end, perfect! 

Last but not least I received a very cute and quirky Russian Doll Lip Balm I think it's cherry flavour, it's very cute though and as I'm sure you all know by now  I do love a lip balm!

So I'm sure you'll agree that it's certainly a very varied box and some lovely items were sent so whoever sent it thankyou very much, you listened to my brief! I would definitely consider joining in another beauty box swap, it was fun.

Thankyou as always for reading.
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Sunday 5 October 2014

Silent Sunday - 05/10/14