GO DIGI-FORCE!!!!

I want to talk about maternity notes..when you’re pregnant, your midwife gives you a paper book that you MUST CARRY WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES…for 7 months! 

You get it at your booking in appointment when you’re about 8 weeks in and it’s your bible. Your midwife writes all your updates in it, the hospital give you print outs from your scan to put inside and this is your only record. 

WHY??

I love the NHS..I’m so glad we have it..but come on. How is this efficient? Why are you sending me letters when you could send emails? Why can’t you have a computer system with all this stuff on? 

This applies to all aspects of the NHS to be honest..they’d surely save money if they went digital..in both time and resource. Why hasn’t it been done?

The maternity notes in particular bother me because if I lose them..that’s that! 

And for this pregnancy I’ve spilled an entire bottle of water in my bag, damaging the pages quite badly, and today an entire pot of soup emptied in there damaging them even further and making the whole thing stink of Thai curry. 

I don’t really have anywhere I want to go with this other than to have a rant. Shall I start a government petition? Does anyone know of one out there? 

Here are my sad notes…

Bye! 

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Home made facial! 

So I have hormonal pregnancy skin plus I’ve always had a problem with excessive sebum.. That’s blackheads to you. I mostly have OK skin, but just around my jawline I get little blackheads and they’re the BANE OF MY LIFE. 

I spend most of my time wishing I could just get a facial my life would be perfect. But I think ooo 50 quid for a facial.. I’ll wait till next month. Then I wax 30 quid in boots on nothing and another 20 in H&M on “loungewear”. But my budgeting issues are for another day. 

Anyway.. I’ve been googling home blackhead remedies. I tried a milk and cinnamon scrub..an egg white mask..and last week I bought some bentonite clay from Amazon so I could make a clay mask!

The clay I bought is branded as having magical aztek healing powers. It comes as a powder and cost about a tenner.. Bit less. I cleansed my face, exfoliated with this dermalogica knock off of a powder exfoliator..Then put on the mask. You mix the powder with apple cider vinegar to make a paste and then just smear all over your face. The vinegar stung my eyes a little so I gave the eye area a wide birth. 

It said to leave on for 10 minutes for sensitive skin and 20 minutes for normal so I waited 10.. It dried SO TIGHT I couldn’t move my face…washed it off with warm water and a flannel and then lathered my face in coconut oil. 

I was going to do it a few times before I did a post about it.. But this was two days ago and I can already see a difference!! I’m amazed! It really does have magical aztec healing powers! 

Bye! 

OOTD: White Hot White Heat 

Well it’s pretty miserable and rainy this week..hello June! But it’s still v warm Nd sometimes the day starts out sunny and you get hopeful.. So the other day I took advantage of 3 hours, no rain.. And wore a summer dress woo! 
I love this one from Zara.. It’s not maternity but I bought it last summer post baby so it’s in a bigger size.. It shows my bump and keeps me cool plus it’s comfy and I can sit on the floor with Fred without flashing my giant knickers. 

I added colourful earrings which I took off after an hour cos I’m not used to heavy earrings anymore.. And my marksys sandals.. Plus an orange bag! 

And there you have it… Bye! 

Mid week dinner: mushroom and olive surprise

My friend tash gave me this recipe and I’ve modified it a bit.. She came up with it to sneak mushrooms into her kid’s dinner… The mushroom is grated so you get the mushroom taste without them picking through great chunks of it and turning their nose up… It’s really easy to make.. Makes loads of leftovers and it’s delish…

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You’ll need:

500g packet of pasta (spirali or conciglie work really well)
Packet of mushrooms (grated)
Zest of a lemon
Chopped parsley
Chopped red onion or onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Cheddar cheese, grated
1 egg
Packet of ricotta
Jar of black olives, halved

1. Cook the pasta. Fry the onion in a large frying pan or wok.. Once soft add the mushroom and cook for a couple of minutes.. It won’t need long. Then throw in the zest, garlic and parsley.

2. Mix the egg with the ricotta and season..stir into the cooked, drained pasta until well coated.

3. Add the mushroom mixture to the pasta and mix well.

4. Add the cheese and olives to the mix.. Then transfer to an oven proof dish. Sprinkle a little more cheese on top. Squeeze some lemon juice over the dish.

5. Bake for 20 minutes until you have a crusty top.

And there you have it! Tash didn’t add the ricotta and egg.. So it isn’t really needed if you’re not into it…I just like it. And she grilled it I think, not baked. And she used spring onions not red onions but I have about 5 bags of red onions in the fridge so I used that!
Play around with it! The key is the grated mushroom mixture really.

Ok bye!!

A Little Life

I’ve called this blog post this because I just finished a book of the same title (really good but depressing and epic..by Hanya Yanagihara)..I just thought it fit because Fredrik Moss Hogan is now ONE. And his life is little. But also big! He’s got full days of family and friends and play and more toys than Hamleys.

I’ve been thinking about Fred’s life a lot as his first birthday approached and I really feel like I’ve learned so much about myself since he was born. Here are some of my reflections…and a lot of selfies…

Being a mum is unexpectedly hard

I thought I’d be a natural…and by natural I mean no worries, no cares, no self doubt, no boredom, no stress.
Now that I’m a mum I of course know that being worried, full of self doubt, getting bored and stressed with your baby don’t mean you’re not a natural mum at all…But obvs before I had Fred I knew NOTHING.

Before I had the baby I remember saying to colleagues WOO I get a year off work! And they were like err it’s quite hard having a baby you know and I was all yeah yeah blah blah blah.
I knew in an abstract way it would be hard but it didn’t really mean anything. I couldn’t imagine.
It’s still better than going to work though FOR DEFINITE.

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Family photo from Jan 2015

I AM a natural and good mum/bad mum is dumb

I’m always saying things like “I did this, does it make me a bad mum?”
Or “I feel like a bad mum today”
Which is stupid. I know that now.
I love my baby and I’d do anything for him and I use common sense and love and Google to make the right decisions by him. That’s really all you can ask for.

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Discovering that putting the baby in the sling is magic Feb 2015

I project..A LOT

I always knew this actually but it’s funny how much I do it.
I’ve been known to shop when stressed or feeling down..I’ve been known to stockpile chocolates when I don’t feel in control of my life..I get obsessed with how messy my cupboards are when work is busy.
With Fred, I’ve been really weirdly controlling about certain aspects of his upbringing to counteract the parts of his life I can’t control..
I can see now why I obsessively stuck to every rule in the baby led weaning book and never deviated; to compensate for not being able to control his naps or sleep.
I should know..I did study psychiatry at Harvard for 7 years.

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Breastfeeding at my dad's 59th birthday March 2015

I’m addicted to shopping

I’ll never stop wanting more more more clothes, house stuff, baby stuff, junk.
I thought having a baby would change that in me but sadly NO.

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Matching stripes in April 2015

I take a lot of selfies

I opened an instagram account on my due date and wow I take a lot of selfies. It’s good though it’s a lovely document of my fringe status.

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Now that I’ve cracked the first year I want MORE MORE MORE BABIES!!!

It’ll probably be mega easy the next time round RIGHT?

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Candid shot of us sleeping Jan 2015

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Mummy and Freddie September 2015

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Freddie in a gilet, October 2015

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The Hogans..December 2015

A Tale of Unrequited Love

There’s a love story unfolding in our house. It’s quite touching but also sad as it’s completely one sided.

Fredrik has been in love with Jamie Lannister (Lanny) the cat since he could see. When she saunters into the room his face lights up and he looks at me with glee. If she walks right up to him or glides past, tantalisingly close, he tries to grab fistfulls of her fur (his version of a cuddle). Of course at 9 and a half months old he’s also incredibly mobile and he will doggedly (cattedly?) chase after her until he gets a bit of that sweet fur in his hands.

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The problem is that Lanny hates children. She barely tolerates adults but she really hates children. If any kids come round she hisses at them and runs away. It’s not hate actually..it’s stone cold fear which translates to hate. Like me and rats

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She disappeared through this tiny door!

She’s got a lot of issues actually..she’s afraid of all the neighborhood cats and she has an eating disorder..She eats her feelings.

And now she has a small monster terrorising her. High places are her friend.
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I can’t feel too sorry for her though..sometimes she goes and just sits next to Fred and waggles her tail in his face. Tease!

But she’s never hissed at Fred. And she sometimes gives him a little nip as a warning but has never bitten or scratched. I think she knows he’s a bit pathetic. Takes one to know one!

I think when he’s older and he understands how to feed her, they’ll become fast friends.

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Here’s a cute video from my instagram…
https://instagram.com/p/1uyHsIQ07l/

Normcore Au Max

So on Saturday, Dan and I walked up to Crystal Palace in the glorious sunshine and meandered about a bit. In my new life as a mum, this constitutes a day out and also warrants lipstick.

It was a lovely walk and took about an hour..part of it was vertical. As a new mum trying to lose a bit of baby jiggle, how long walks up hills= 👍.

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I wore what is really part of a uniform for me now..Topshop Double Side leggings (amazing things..I’ve mentioned them before and I’m mentioning them again..if you’re preggo..buy them..if you’re a new mum, buy them..super comfy and so thick they’re basically trousers. So I was wrong..leggings CAN be trousers.) with converse trainers and a checked shirt. Also from Topshop. Again, you’ve seen it before..shirts are good for breastfeeding cos you’ve got easy access..and this one is super long to cover big bum, big belly!

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I added RayBans and an orange Zara bag..then topped it off with orange lipstick..

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The piece de residence was my coat..my new coat which I obsessed over for 3 days and then Dan bought for me as an early mother’s day gift.
I needed this coat. It may seem like an ordinary cream parka to you but this coat transforms my outfits into laid back cool normcore wonders. It makes me seem in control..and ready for anything. Cos it’s chic yet also has a hood. You know what I’m saying right?
Anyways it’s from gap and it’s perfect.

Unforch, Dan took a series of unflattering photos of my outfit..We were in a rush cos the baby was crying and it’s not good to ignore your baby while you take pictures for your blog. 

In other news, I got a new duvet set! It’s from Sainsbury’s (when you’ve just had a baby you do a lot of browsing in the home and clothes depts if supermarkets).

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Bye!

The Waiting Game

This post is more of a general update than a style update…I now have one week until Mr Jiggly is due so on one hand I could go into labour at any time, and on the other it could be another three weeks. That’s quite hard to get my head around really. I’ve been reading blogs of other mothers to get tips on how to make the most of my time, and also on what those first few weeks will be like.

I read one yesterday called “diary of a new father”…it started off by saying that the first two weeks are “hell”. Great!
I don’t care if it’s hell though, I just want Mr Jiggly to come.

My time is quite full though..here’s a list of things I’ve been doing and have planned to keep me busy.

1. Procrastination
I was doing a coaching qualification at work and have to do 2 assignments by the end of Jan..the plan was to get these done on my month off before Mr Jiggly comes. Gosh I’m good at putting this off..makes the time go really fast. I’ve done nothing and can’t really see me actually getting started. Oh well who cares when I’ll have a baby! Also I’ve forgotten my password to my work comp and there’s no way in hell I’m calling IT. It’ll really ruin my maternity leave buzz.

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2. Boxset-erama
I started watching House on Netflix the day I started my mat leave..I’m already on season 5! It’s pretty cheesy and repetitive but I love it. Very easy watching and I think I fancy Hugh Laurie, which is confusing because it’s DARLING! Also it’s Bertie we Worcester..not sexy characters from my childhood really. Anyways I can really wile away the hours watching this. Yesterday I ended up doing nothing but watch House and eat chocolate biscuits and the day went by in a flash!

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3. Exercise
I’ve loved swimming during my pregnancy..it’s kept me feeling like I’m still exercising, I’m weightless when I do it and it’s great for my aching back, joints and muscles. There’s a pool only a few minutes walk from my new house and I’m going about twice a week..I might try and go every day now because my nights are so uncomfortable. I feel completely relaxed and amazing in the pool it’s great..and if I go in the morning, when I get back it’s time for lunch hooray!

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4. Ante natal networking
I’m slowly building a bit of a network. We all swapped details at my nhs ante natal classes and last week 4 of us met for lunch. It was really nice to actually find out about people and talk about our aches and pains and plans. I’ve also been swapping details with girls from my maternity yoga class and on Thursday I’m meeting one for a walk and a coffee.

It’s actually really weird building a network..I’ve met other pregnant girls and got on with them and wanted to ask for their number but been too embarrassed…it’s like dating!
You just have to get bold.

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5. Pamper Pamper Pamper
And no I don’t mean the nappies! Lol.
During the course of my maternity leave I have had/will have had a manicure, bikini wax, facial, pregnancy massage and pedicure. All treats and pampering sessions that either will help me relax or be something to enjoy while I still can.

I highly recommend this if you’re pregnant. Luckily I’ve been given vouchers and presents to help pay for it all as it does all add up.

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I did read about pregnant people having loads of treatments done so they look good in the photos when the baby comes out…which is weird and not what I’m doing!

There’s no point in me getting a fake tan and semi permanent make up for child birth, I’m sure the sweaty face and bedraggled hair will counteract.

And that’s about it!
My “guide” to pre baby maternity leave…

Next time..I’ll live blog an episode of House for you how riveting!

An eventful week and a surprise

Well I can safely say I’m brimming with excitement…bursting…buzzing. I’m ready to pop.

First point…We exchanged and completed on our house last week after months of slow dragging and letters being sent back and forth, second class in the post. Solicitors and mortgage lenders don’t seem to have heard of email or scanners.
But we’re moving in a week! Professionals are coming to pack all my things and move them to my new home..cleaning the old one for me too.
I can finally sort out Mr Jiggly’s room! I can nest! I’m not sure if I actually have that ‘nesting thing’ or if it’s just my personality but I’m desperate to do some home making…or at least pay someone else to do it for me.

Second point of excitement…it’s my last week of work! Thank heavens for that! The commute wipes me out completely…only 4 more of these to go!

Finally..yesterday I met my best friends for brunch and someone really casually suggested we all go back to Halcyon’s (one the friends) house for some tea…Ok I said…maybe…no you’re right let’s do it, I never see you guys. I had driven so everyone got the bus while two of us headed over in the car…it was only about a mile away but lots of one way streets and it took a bloody age. Laura, who’d come with me in the car also needed to stop for a diet coke coz she was hungover….We finally got to Halc’s and there was a surprise baby shower for me! They’d all been panicking I would get there super fast in the car so was taken on a wild goose chase…amazing. They were all convinced I knew about it but I hadn’t a clue…someone at work asked me last week if I’d had one and I was like err no..I just hadn’t even thought about it.

What a lovely surprise..they’d all clubbed in and got me a voucher for a place in Crystal palace that does pregnancy massage..there were cakes, balloons, games and Prosecco for the drinkers. So lovely.

The games were especially good..nappies filled with melted chocolate and you had to guess the chocolate…most disgusting game ever. Also baby pictures of everyone and I

had to guess the baby…impossible. I was terrible at it.

But it was such a lovely afternoon and I was so touched.

35 weeks pregnant tomorrow so only 5 weeks til Christmas! I mean til Mr Jiggly!

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Right which nappy shall I eat from?

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The ice cubes had little babies in them

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Hen listening to the baby

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Mmmm delicious nappy mess

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Nappy fun

I want I want I want (and other stories)

I started this blog to reflect the fact that as a pregnant woman, buying an entire new wardrobe just for the duration of your maternity is unrealistic and expensive..especially seeing as when the baby actually comes, income goes down and expenses go up. However…as a confessed fashion and shopping addict I’m struggling. Every month I give myself a small (ish…Dan would argue it’s not small at all) budget for clothes etc. This goes in a flash the day after payday and then I spend the rest of the month dreaming of all the other things I wish I could have.

This transitioning weather isn’t helping either. I bought two maternity dresses this summer which haven’t had much run (thank you August, my changeable and unpredictable frenemy). And you really can’t wear maxi dresses with boots and a coat in autumn/winter.

So at the moment my list of wants is topped by black skinny jeans. I feel as though if I had a pair of these my quality of life would go up 100%. That’s the extent of my desperado-ness.

I really like these from Asos.

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I love asos cos I can get free next day delivery to my local shop which means not having to trek to the local delivery office on a Saturday morning cos your parcel was delivered while at work.

I also like these ripped ones but I think you have to be tall and thin to pull them off…so you look like a starving punk and not an overfed homeless person. Can’t dress them up either which is the point of skinny jeans.

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I don’t think the price is that bad but more than I can afford right now..so I’ll try primark first as I’ve heard they do good non-baggy skinnies.

Next up is a blanket scarf…this is basically a big scarf that looks like you’ve draped a blanket around you. I’ve wanted one of these since Spring as it’s a great transitional weather piece when a jacket isn’t enough and a coat is too much. I’ve had my eye on Zara cos they’ve done good ones every year but at the moment they don’t have colours I like. Then I found this one on Asos (They don’t pay me by the way).

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I sent it to my mum to show her I liked it and she rocked up on Saturday with a very similar one from the depths of her wardrobe. It’s mine now. Here I am wearing it on Saturday with a slim fitting dress and boots. But imagine how cool it’ll look with my new skinny black jeans!

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My next wants are more related to beauty and relaxation…as a pregnant woman you have to take care of yourself! That’s what everyone says. It’s medical.

So I’d like a massage..I’m sleeping very uncomfortably..all squished up and tossy turny. And my lower back is agony. But I can’t just have a normal massage cos I can’t lie on my front. I suppose they would need a special table with a hole in it where my tummy is. Does this exist?

Also would like a manicure and pedicure. So I feel glam.

Also need a facial.

So if anyone has any home remedy tips for deep cleaning facials and salon finish nails please send them my way! Cos I’m not a bloody millionaire!

Some beauty tips of my own!

My friend Jane did pass along a few tips for the face…run olive oil into your face…then get a flannel hot under the hot tap and place over your face for 20 seconds. This draws out all the dirt and opens your pores. Then use the flannel to get off all the oil..then mix some nutmeg and milk together and use to scrub face. Don’t scrub too hard cos the nutmeg is already abrasive. Just gently rub. Wash off. Your face will now be very clean and the nutmeg works on blackheads after the pores have all opened. You also won’t need any moisturiser after this.

Give it a try I love it! Give it a Google too it’s not crackpot..it’s callled the oil cleansing method.

I also yesterday gave my hands and feet a 1 minute scrub using my l’occitane hand scrub given to me by my brothers-in-law Steven and Joe. I love this stuff. Make sure you scrub on the nails too to help with cuticles. Then I used hand cream on both hands and feet..and nail cream too. If you don’t have this stuff..a manicurist reccomended soaking nails in olive oil once a week..good old olive oil eh??

Then I used a nail buffer on all nails and filed and shaped. It’s not too much bother if you do it while watching “for a few dollars more” as I did…because the film was quite boring and not much talking. We watched it as part of our “let’s watch the 100 greatest films ever” from imdb. I didn’t really like the film but I’m defo channeling Clint Eastwood with my new blanket scarf!

Ok bye!

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