Just Another Roadside Attraction

So Fredrik and I had a little adventure this week. It’s half term so I decided not to make any plans with my mum friends to meet out and about…it’ll just be rammo’d with kids. (Bleurgh kids amirite?). So I decided to visit my sister in law, Bec, in Maidstone one day instead. No traffic cos half term..hang out in her garden.

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So there I was pootling down the M20 when suddenly the car goes nuts, revving really hard. I pulled over to the hard shoulder when it had got to the point where I couldn’t drive faster than 40 miles an hour.

It had happened before tbh but I convinced myself I’d accidentally been driving in 3rd gear even though I’m an experienced driver who knows what she’s doing.

Anyway the hard shoulder is SCARY!
Loads of trucks whizzing by, making the car rock.

I rang Dan absolutely crying my eyes out. Then I rang Bec absolutely crying my eyes out. Once I’d suitably scared the shit out of them I pulled it together and called the AA..someone was with us within 10 minutes.

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I pulled the “I’m very scared I have a 4 month old with me”.

I also had to do a roadside wee cos of my post baby #pelvicfloor.

But Fred had a WHALE of a time.
I think he loved the sound of the cars, the wind, the flashing as they passed by.

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It really made me realise how much my life has changed..breaking down on the side of a motorway would have been nothing before..a so what? But with Fred with me I was genuinely afraid something bad might happen even if it was just me being emoshe.

And that’s it really…you probably sit around thinking….What did Lara do today? Now you know.

Ciao…..

Blah Blah Body Stuff

Having a baby is weird. It does weird things to your body image.

Before I was pregnant I was a bit obsessed with my weight. I tried really hard not to be. The media and the patriarchy make woman feel the need to look good and thin=good. As a feminist I wanted to be comfortable with who I am and not strive to be thin. But I can’t help it. I’m indoctrinated OK?

Anyways I probably weighed myself every day and what the scales said really influenced my mood. I was always watching what I ate. When I met up with friends we would talk about food, losing weight, what clothes fit and didn’t fit, what our weight loss goals were. It wasn’t all we talked about but the conversations were peppered.

Then I got pregnant and everything changed… I spent 9 months hoping my tummy would look bigger.. Wearing tight clothes to show off my bump.. Eating cake and ice cream every day.. Just not counting calories and not limiting myself. I didn’t go nuts.. I still ate pretty healthily I just had treats too and I felt so free.

When I had my big bump I don’t think I’d ever felt so body confident in my life.

Then the baby came out and I had this weird jiggly belly.. It was like a water bed! It’s not so bad now.. But I have fatter legs and bum.. fatter arms. I’ve got more cellulite. My boobs are enormous. It’s all different. Bigger. Not necessarily bad.. Just different. It doesn’t feel like my body. My old clothes either don’t fit or don’t suit me. I don’t know how to dress properly.

And now my mentality is sort of halfway between how I was pre pregnancy and when I was preggo.. I’m not obsessed.. I don’t weigh myself.. I can’t diet cos in breastfeeding.. I still talk about it with friends a bit too much.

I’m trying to lose weight but slowly and healthily.. But I still eat a Magnum a day. Sometimes I feel big and fat.. Sometimes I think.. Hey not bad for someone who just had a baby!
And I’m back to trying to be body confident and battling with myself.

It’s different now. But it’s the same.
Circle of life I guess.

Now pass the chockie bickies…. Breastfeeding is my cardio.

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Recipe Alert!! Lemon Mascarpone Pasta with Griddled Courgette

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I mean who fuck do I think I am? Gwyneth Paltrow? With my attempt at a full lifestyle blog. It’s evolving OK.. Let’s go with it. Don’t worry I won’t tell you to steam your vagina.

Anyways today I had a pretty busy day of lunching and meeting friends for coffee and forgot about dinner. Quick as a flash I thought this up.
I knew I wanted a crisp glass of white wine and then from there I thought a simple pasta dinner would work.

And the rest is history.

So.. All you need is:

Pasta..any shape will do.. Enough for however many people you are and the portion size you like. We had 125g each and it was NOT enough. But we’re greedy.
Half a pack of mascarpone (ricotta would do too..I actually wanted ricotta but they don’t sell it in my sainsos local)
A lemon
Parmasan
A courgette

Slice the courgette into rounds and brush with olive oil. Griddle.

Cook the pasta

When cooked, add the mascarpone, grated lemon zest and grated Parmesan.. Mix well and serve with the griddled courgette.

SO EASY AND IT WAS DELISH AND ALSO CHEAP.

Bye.

Oooo Missus! What a lovely STRIPE tease

Hi this post is about stripes!
Did you like the pun? I text my friend Hen “send me a pun on “stripes”. She sent me that. I love it.

So basically I read this article yesterday about how Breton tops are the British women’s summer staple. First, I thought hahaha this article is funny. Then I thought yes! I do have a Breton top.
Then I thought… I have a lot of stripy tops and clothes.

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This one, I bought in Topshop some years ago. This is a true Breton top. You know… I don’t know what Breton means. But whenever you see a Breton top it has a neckline like this one.
I wore it all through my pregnancy and I’m wearing it now. I guess it’s tent like quality means it fits no matter what size I am!

Here I am wearing it when was pregs…

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Here I am wearing it now with my pre-pregs skinny jeans that fit me again!

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The other stripes in my life are both new from Zara…yes I’m obsessed with Zara. Always have been.

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This is a stripy maxi dress. So far I’ve worn it with converse and with flip-flops and it looked shit with flip-flops. It looks good with a denim jacket.

I also got this nautical striped t-shirt.

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Yes it’s quite similar to the other one but it’s not you see. It’s got a different personality. The first one is like a laid back kind of girl who prefers to drink craft beer and go for runs. This one wouldn’t leave the house without her red lippy and only likes crisp white wine.

And there you have it.
Here’s a picture of Fred and me in matching stripes.

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OOTD: In the Navy!

So today I’m wearing all navy..navy jersey skirt from Asos and navy top from Zara…both of these are pre pregnancy clothes that I also wore as maternity gear. The skirt is mega versatile and featured on here quite a lot, along with it’s black sister. The top is great for boob access.

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I’ve worn them with my trusty Topshop belt and Converse.

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It’s quite good I’m wearing navy and Fredrik is in a nautical dungarees and whale printed vest, cos I’m visiting my parents who live IN a dockyard….

🎵In the navy!🎵 Blah blah blah blah blah🎵 blah….In the Navy! 🎵🎵🎵

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My Foot Hurts..Can I Go to the Nurse?

First..guess the movie quote in the title..second…I thought I’d write about how much being a mum just basically HURTS. I don’t mean childbirth..just the day to day life of mumming…

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Baby in a bag!

Since I had Freddie I’ve developed RSI in my arm…It started in my shoulder and spread to my elbow and wrist..I guess it was from breastfeeding in the beginning..babies are bloody heavy when you’re holding them for hours in the crook of your arm..

I went to the doctor about it and he recommended I take Ibuprofen for it and gave me a prescription (woo free meds)…I was taking two iboprofen with two paracetamol four times a day! I was in absolute agony and really worried this would just be it forever..

But using a combo of lots of pillows for breastfeeding and I guess the daily strength training of holding a baby for hours and hours meant that I gradually got better…it’s totally fine now!

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If you’re expecting, I highly recommend getting a breastfeeding pillow or some firm pillows that you can use for breastfeeding to save your arms…

Make sure it’s big and very firm..a softy flat pillow WILL NOT cut it.

Other pains and ailments which I’m not totally sure how to cure are my legs..I already had a problem with my knees and this is back with a vengeance..My hips also feel stiff and weird..I goes I spend a lot of time sitting on the floor cross legged..when I come downstairs in the morning I’m so stiff..I think I need a stena stair lift..

I’d really like to go to mum and baby yoga but the only one I can find in my area is on the same day as my baby massage class..we’ll see about that.

Today I went swimming to give my legs some non impact exercise..swimming is great I think cos you stretch and build muscle at the same time…

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Do you have tips for keeping the aches and pains of motherhood at bay?

I didn’t know what photos to use for this post so I’ve just put loads of Fredrik…

Bye!

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Lar-sentials (Lara’s Essentials) For new mums

I was thinking about what things I’ve bought or been given that have been mega helpful and come up with this list…

Giant pillow

I mentioned this in another blog post but so helpful! When I was pregnant I used to support my back cos our sofa then was really squishy and my back was agony by the end..when Fred came out I use it for breastfeeding or if he takes a nap in my arms..I actually had big pillows in every room and if I was in one where there wasn’t a pillow I’d call “DAN PLEASE FETCH MY PILLOW”…like I said before it needs to be very firm and not too flat…these from Ikea are good….or a proper breast feeding pillow..they’re good cos they fit around your body..but we never got one and then when I wanted one it seemed like a lot of money..plus we had big pillows anyways so it just seemed like more STUFF to fill our house..
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Breast Pump

I wrote a post about this too..I did have the Philips Avent manual pump but recently got the Mendela Swing electrical one..it’s so much better..it was 100 quid though but I think it’s worth it. If you can, you might want to wait until after you’ve had the baby and use someone else’s before you buy as I’ve heard some women struggle to express milk and it’s a lot of money to spend if you can’t use it. But everyone I know has this pump and it works like a dream for them all!
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Nail file and buffer

My nails grow SO FAST now that I’ve had Freddie…it’s nuts..I’m filing them down every week or they’re really long and I scratch the baby..while you’re at it give them a quick buff cos you don’t have time to paint them and even when you do manage it (which is never) they chip after an hour cos you’re always washing up. So a little buff makes you feel a bit nicer! This one from boots is only two quid..my sister in law bought it for me when I was still preggo in my “baby survival kit” and I’ve already replaced it once cos I use it so much.

Batiste Dry Shampoo

Washing your hair takes ages! I never noticed before how long you have to be in the shower to wash your hair..So to make your hair last a little longer this stuff is great..again it was in my baby survival kit! Thanks Helen!

Flannels

My mum bought me loads of 20p flannels from Ikea..I used to them to put down on the changing mat under the baby so he wouldn’t be cold..covered his penis with one so he couldn’t wee all over me while changing him..they were really handy!

Mr Hoopy Toy

This was a present and it’s a great toy! It’s basically a chain of plastic hoops, all bright colours..Fredrik has loved it for ages cos of the look of it and the sound of it rattling and now he sticks the hoops in his mouth to help with teething. They only cost about 2 pounds and they’re great!

Mamas and Papas All in Ones

They’re pricy but I love them so much. My mum bought us a pack as a present and then I bought a pack as a treat..we were given so much stuff I hadn’t bought Freddie anything and I had this over whelming urge to buy him something that I had picked out..people are so generous and give you so many presents..all you really need is about 7 vests and 7 baby grows, just in case..you’ll be given the rest and if you do need anything else it’s so easy to buy online…it’s better to have less and top up than have too much and feel like you’re not getting use out of all the lovely presents. Anyways mamas and papas have a lovely range and they wash really well and have a lovely feel to them…I’d wait until the baby needs size 3-6 months cos newborn stuff gets small MEGA FAST and 0-3 doesn’t last long either. I guess all babies are different though but Freddie has got the most wear out of his 3-6 month stuff out of all his clothes..and he’s only 4 months now!

Boots Products

I tried to stock up on stuff I buy from boots cos it’s REALLY hard to get to Boots these days! I do all my shopping online or at the supermarket now..If you’re preggo nearing full term..stock up on face wash, moisturiser and mascara cos it’s hard to pick it up again and it’s hard to describe what you like to someone else who can go for you…
But maybe that’s just me…I remember taking pictures of my empty containers and asking mum to go pick me up stuff but she found it really hard to just walk into a massive Boots and find it all.

A play mat

We were lent this one from my bro and it’s been a life saver..from quite an early age Fred really loved it and it would keep him entertained while I took a shower or made dinner etc..he went off it for a bit but he likes it again now. It’s light, you can pack it up and fold it away and it’s great. There are loads on the market, all good. And it’s the sort of thing you can ask for, for a present.

We were also lent a vibrating chair and a swing but Freddie never really liked either of them unfortunately.
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A bouncy from the door way thing

Freddie LOVES this…he bounces around in it smiling and laughing. It’s a better parent than either me or Dan.
I think he feels like he has a bit of independence to turn and look at whatever he likes and it gives him a new perspective. He’s been trying to stand since he was about 2 months as well so now he can! It’s a bit of a luxury item I guess..you have to have a doorway where you can see the baby and if you don’t have a lot of space it’s another THING in your house, cluttering up your lovely decor but we were lent this from my sis in law (Helen again..thanks Helen!!) And it’s BRILLIANT.

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And that’s it I think! Obvs you need all the usual stuff for the baby….I found the list on baby centre v helpful. Which? also does a list of essential things you really do need. But these were the little extras I really liked..

Are you a mum with some tips? Let me know!

New Mum: What’s in my makeup bag?

When I was preggo I did a “what’s in my makeup bag” and was challenged by some mum friends to do another after I had the baby.

As you can see, when I was up the duff I had oodles of time to give myself home manicures and pedicures weekly and to slather my body in various oils and lotions. And though I didn’t really wear much makeup, I had a serum and various other bits.

Now my spare time is a little sparse..I either get ready during Freddie’s first nap of the Day (half an hour for this plus breakfast plus tidy up bedroom and downstairs) or if I have somewhere to be, I do it while Dan is still at home before he heads to work. In either scenario I have about ten minutes to shower, get dressed and put on any make up.

And I do wear makeup every day. I have every day since Fred was about a week old. Apart from once when I had a fever and once when I went for brunch with my girlfriends which was a strange time to not bother.

Anyways, I’m not caked in slap or putting on a full face of the stuff, but every day I’ll put on something to my face to help me feel human and alive and like me.

So here we go!

Skin

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I cleanse my face every morning and night with this gel cleanser from No. 7 and a hot wet flannel. It gets off all traces of makeup..In the morning I put in on before I get in the shower to save time. Then I use this Simple day cream.

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I’ll always use Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser and Mac concealer..the moisturiser evens out skin tone and gives a bit of a glow and the concealer covers up my extreme bags and dark circles. I don’t use much cos I actually have really good skin at the moment..having a baby seems to have given me lovely skin! It’s never looked so good. I normally get a lot of blackheads under my jaw and I haven’t got ANY. I don’t know if it’s the way I’m cleansing or the having a baby but something’s going right.

Anyways..I Also MIGHT wear blusher depending on if I have time/feel like it/meeting someone. Most days I don’t bother.

Eyes

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I always add a bit of colour to my eyebrows..This new little kit from Rimmell is good..I prefer to get my eyebrows tinted when I get them threaded but I don’t really have time to go get my eyebrows done these days so this does a job.

I always wear mascara and this is a really good one from No 7.

Again depending on time and how I feel, I might line my lashes with brown eyeshadow that I bought in the queue in H&M once.

For lips I just put on a bit of Carmex and I’m done! I can’t be doing with lipstick coz then I get it all over Freddie’s head when I kiss him.

Here’s a photo of me with just the basics and then with the blush and eyeliner.

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There’s not a massive difference and in both I still don’t have that much on..he key is that I feel like I’ve made an effort..don’t cringe when I catch sight of myself in the mirror and feel good! It also can all be slapped on in a rush.

And there you have it!

Outfit of the Day: Just the one shade of grey plus new hair!

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Today I’m wearing a grey shirt dress from H&M which I bought a couple of months back to wear to a wedding. It was quite a low key, casual wedding and I thought this dress would be perfect for a) breastfeeding and b) I could wear it a lot afterwards. This is cos it really isn’t a dress you would normally pick for a wedding but I thought I’d dress it up by adding orange shoes, multi coloured earrings and an orange bag. Also false eyelashes and orange lips which juj up any outfit.

In the day it looks great with converse and a denim jacket.

Unforch the wedding didn’t go ahead as the bride was suffering some health problems so I didn’t get to dress it up..But here I am today wearing it with converse and Topshop necklace.
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We went to Shoreditch so I could get a haircut at my fave place Pimps and Pinups..I love it there.

Here’s a before and after!

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Outfit of the Day: Alt Denim

Today’s outfit is a Topshop denim dress that I bought recently. I like it cos it looks good with and without tights so it’s good for transitional weather. Plus I was getting quite obsessed with Alexa Chung’s range for AG. But I can’t afford AC for AG and went to topshop instead. I had quite a palava getting it in a size 14 though..there were about 3 in London in total.

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It’s a shirt dress so good for breastfeeding access and blue tends me to be a good colour for me.

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I wore it with brown Aldo boots and a baby.

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Freddie is wearing a lovely lobster romper from who knows where and Hen is wearing a dinosaur top and ripped jeans from Topshop.

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The Morris dancers are wearing a lot of flare.

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