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! 

Shirt dress in style

So I wrote a post this week about my ideas for my A/W look..it didn’t take me long to spring into action and try it out. 
Friday was rain central and yesterday I met my bestie for brunch in London Bridge which is a wind tunnel due to all the tall buildings. And today it’s warmish but overcast. 

So on Friday I wore a new Zara black shirt dress with maternity leggings and black trainers. I was the perfect temperature. The shirt dress is more like a long shirr tbh. There’s no way I could wear it with tights instead of leggings but that’s ok. And it’ll be great once the baby comes out. 

Yesterday I wore another Zara shirt dress..this one is a bit longer and thicker..I was the perfect temp again for most of the trip, but then it warmed up in the afternoon and I started getting a little hot under the collar. It’ll be great for actual winter though. Plus I could wear it without tights. 

Today I’m just mega caj in maternity leggings and an asos loungewear top. Plus black trainers. I’m actually quite hot. 
And there you have it..Lara’s temperate update. 

I’m really doing this as a sort of clothing journal..it’s good to know what clothes you reach for most..what you wear time and time again..so you don’t waste money on clothes you like but don’t suit your lifestyle. That’s what my capsule wardrobe guru, Caroline, from unfancy says anyways. 

So maybe in a month I’ll look back and see how I’ve done. I’m on an economy drive again..well I never really stopped feeling like I was on an economy drive, I just kept failing. But I can’t buy any more clothes now. I have to be forced into a capsule wardrobe. I’ll be fine as long as the temperate drops to about 9 degrees in the next day. 

Bye! 

Waiting for Godot (Autumn) 

Autumn is not a thing. I have a fantasy about boots and snuggly jumpers and bright clear days and crunchy leaves. 

Every September I get excited by the autumnal colours and new clothes in the shops and every year I buy a lovely new winter coat that makes me sweat my face off..it really isn’t useable until December/January. 

September and October are ALWAYS HOT. 

I have to remember this. 

BUT I LOVE SHOPPING AND I LOVE NEW CLOTHES! I love clothes so much. I think about clothes all the time. 

And the problem with Autumn is that the mornings are darker and cooler..soon it’ll be raining a lot and grey, but still muggy and warm. So you don’t want to be swanning about in floaty colourful summer dresses. 

My additional clothes woes for Autumn/winter are that I’ll be pregnant for the next two months..getting bigger and bigger, hotter and hotter..and then I’ll have a baby and be breastfeeding and hot and fat. 

I found a really good blog called unfancy..the girl is a capsule wardrobe queen and recently put a tool on there your can download..it helps you plan your capsule..or if you don’t want a strict capsule, it’s just a wardrobe planner that helps you define your style and needs. 

I haven’t done it yet properly, but I’ve been thinking a lot about the activities in my life..where do I spend most of my time? What clothes do I tend to reach for the most? 

Well..at the moment I work three days a week so I need clothes that are versatile and can be smartened up..although at this stage in my pregnancy, a lot of my standards of what I feel is “smart enough” have to go out of the window. 

I also spend a lot of time lying on the sofa and sitting on the floor. When the baby comes I’ll probably be wearing a sling and driving to soft plays and baby groups..sitting on the floor a lot..walking around south London with a double buggy. 

I get hot easily and it’ll be winter so light layers to remove when in over heated busy play areas will be necessary. Comfy shoes. Clothes that don’t flash my knickers. 

My solution is:

  • Skinny jeans (maternity ones will do cos I’ll have a big jiggly tummy for some time)
  • Checked shirts and shirts I can wear over a vest top for easy boob access and hiding jiggly tummy. Also nice a cool and can fit over bump till baby comes.
  • Over the knee boots..Comfy and a bit edgy so I don’t feel like a frumpy loser.
  • Light leather look jacket..not heavy so I don’t get hot! I’ve already got this. 
  • Ankle boots..for work days or when over the knee won’t work.
  • Shirt dresses..a couple of these I cab wear with boots to both work and baby group..different shoes will dress up or down. 

I have most of this in my wardrobe already, I just need to sort through and maybe ask for a few things for my birthday. My dad already bought me a shirt dress the other day cos I’m a totes daddy’s girl and I think he feels bad that I’m a moody preggo lady.

I’ll do another post when I have my wardrobe put together and I’ve been trying it out! 

In the meantime…wow it’s really hot I can’t believe it’s so hot in Autumn..isn’t it hot?? When will it get cold? Wow..hot. #indiansummer

Come to Margate! My review.

So Dan and I just had a lovely two days away, sans baby, in Margate! We thought the seaside would be nice plus we could drop Fred at my mum’s and be there in an hour. I haven’t been away from Fred for two nights before so I felt safer knowing we weren’t that far away. Plus Margate is having this wonderful regen/resurge/arty, hipster rebirth. 

We stayed in a super amazing B&B, The Reading Rooms. It’s a restored Georgian townhouse..each room is an entire floor..super king bed..roll top bath and wet room shower..breakfast brought to the room to eat in the sunny window. Beautiful luxurious products in the bathroom, fluffy robes and towels, posh cafetiere and Italian biscuits for the tea and coffee facilities..it was like staying in a luxury spa. 

I just loved it. Both nights, we stayed in the room for the evening, having baths, relaxing on the big bed. It was just what I needed. 

When we weren’t soaking up the hotel room we were knocking about “the old town” pretending we could afford to spend 25 quid on some seaweed hand soap, or 15 quid on a mini cactus. 

We ate some really lovely meals..panzanella at the Greedy Cow, a gorge little cafe..white bean tuscan stew and “steak and chips” at the London Tavern..Asian fusion wonderfulness at The Ambrette. Dan drank a lot of craft ale. 

We went to the Turner Contemporary art gallery and I actually loved it and properly looked at the art, instead of just walking around really fast and heading to the gift shop. Probably cos I walk so slowly now and have to keep stopping for breaks.

The weather was pretty gorge so we hit the beach a few times. The first day we just went to the main one in town and then the b&b owner asked us what beach we’d gone to and when we told her she went “oh”. So the next day we looked up a better smaller more private one. 
On the last day we visited this amazing shell grotto..it’s basically an underground cave that’s been decorated with shell mosiac..no one knows where it came from or who did it. I have this feeling I read a novel set in Victorian times where an artist painted his muse down there. But it’s too slippery I can’t get hold of the memory. Anyway it was awesome. 

After that we went to Dreamland..I remember everyone going there when I was a teenager, but I had never gone myself. I don’t know what it was like before but now it’s this amazing pastel coloured retro funscape! I didn’t go on any rides, obvs..but Dan did while I watched. We were pretty lamo..got there as it opened…I saw Bugged Out are doing a club night there..I’ll probably just go to that. Ahem. 

I don’t want you to think the whole trip was idyllic. My body is not playing ball at the mo..I sleep badly, I wake up at 5am, my back hurts a lot so I can’t walk far. I cried once cos I thought the nail place I popped into had treated me badly. I keep getting heartburn..I get worn out and out of breath from a few minutes of walking, any incline or stairs. 

And that’s Margate!

There was one major drawback and that’s that there is a really bad excess of seaweed problem and when the tide goes out the stench is unbearable espesh for old preggo nose over here. But I can learn to breathe through my mouth. 

I looked at house prices and I can get a 5 bedroom Georgian townhouse for the price of my south London 2 bed terrace. So I’m moving there. Bye! 

Pinterest my house. NOW!

So I’m very much into making over my house at the mo. Am I “nesting” ? Maybe! 

I think there are always bits and bobs you want to change about your house..It’s a never ending cycle. And with Instagram and Pinterest it’s probably heightened cos I can look at very stylised people’s houses, rooms, corners etc and think YEAH I CAN DO THAT. 

The main focus of my attention is my bedroom. When the little girl comes she’ll need to share with us probably till she’s one..Freddie moved into his own room when he was not even quite 6 months, but we only have two bedrooms so she’ll have to bunk with us until we think they’re ready to share or we can move…to a bigger house! (Simpson’s quote).

Anyway, with this in mind I was looking for space saving ideas and thought a bed with lots of storage would be good. Which led to me finding the Ikea brimnes bed. Perfect!

The deep headboard means we don’t need bedside tables which means we could get a king size and still have space for a cot for the little girl!

But it’s not very stylish. Which led to my pinterest search of “ikea brimnes bed hack”. Which led to these inspirations for my bedroom…

Which led to this…

Which led to this…

Which led to this…

I’ve been busily painting mirror frames with Annie Sloan chalk paint and planning how I can restyle my bedroom to a copper/rose/grey theme. I’m going to spray paint things copper, I painted a mirror frame pink. New curtains. It’ll look amazing. 

In the meantime I project managed the painting of our stairs which used to be carpeted in brown carpet..then they were bare..now they’re beautiful and white and Pinterest worthy I reckon after we painted the walls dark dark grey and put in bright yellow light shades…

I can’t get the light shade in but hey ho you’ll just have to watch out for a finished house project post. 

So..in conclusion..love pinterest and wanna spend all my money on new light fittings and fitted wardrobes. Bye!

Feeling Gloomy

Well I’m fed up of being pregnant at the moment. Everyone told me the second pregnancy would race by and I wouldn’t even notice it. Well it’s DRAGGING. And I can’t remember how I was coping last time..if I’m doing worse or if this is how I felt..But I’m finding it hard. 

I certainly didn’t have an easy pleasant time of it with Fred. But I think emotionally I’m struggling more. Maybe because I don’t have as much down time to rest and relax now? Maybe because the morning after a terrible night of tossing and turning, Fred woke up at 5 today because teething. 

Well anyway..this is a self indulgent moany post. Here it is..the tide of moan.nn

Back ache, constant recurring thrush, emotional bag of tears, no time or energy to exercise even though my weight is high and I keep being told I should exercise THREE TIMES A WEEK, a teething toddler who can’t be pleased, a 1.5 hour commute each way, bad skin, I cut my thumb on a mandolin, people keep smoking in my FACE.

Ok phew I feel better now. 

While writing that, all the good things kept creeping in…what about my lovely white stairs that Dan spent all weekend painting? What about my amazing new bed that Dan spent all of last weekend building? What about when Fred CAN be pleased and he runs around in a circle giggling? What about my little girl who resides in my tummy and how she constantly turns and kicks, saying hello?

I told you I’m on an emotional rollercoaster..I’m getting choked up writing this on the tube. 

I think I need to learn some mindfulness techniques for those moments when it all feels helpless. 

Any tips?

Ok I’ll leave it at that..watch out for some house improvement posts!

Here’s a selfie of me at my desk maybe you’ll have a chuckle imagining me checking who was looking first before i surreptitiously took it. 

Baby style!!

So I don’t really tend to go shopping to actual shops that much but I look online a LOT. And I haven’t been able to resist looking at little girl’s clothes for that one who resides in my tummy. And while I was at it I had to look for Fred too. 

This is probably the first time I’m feeling the pinch of my wallet due to Fred’s need for clothing…so far everything has been mega cheap and I hadn’t needed to buy a lot of stuff in one go. We had one rainy day and I freaked out that all of Fred’s winter clothes are too small. Also I think Fred’s got a style now. Yes it might be 100% imposed by me but it’s a style nonetheless. 

His style mostly consists of “anything from Zara” which is quite similar to my own style funnily enough.  

So even though it’s August I bought him a yellow puffer coat and a selection of trousers and long sleeved t-shirts. 

I heard from an unreliable source that it’ll be a very hot Autumn (it’s hot every Autumn I can vouch for this from my tweets from the last 7 years where I’m constantly tweeting all through Sept to December “I’m boiling argh why did I wear a coat”) so these should tide him over until the black Friday Boden sales. 

And what about the little girl? The one who resides in my tummy? Well it’s basically nuts to buy her stuff. Most of Fred’s new born clothes will be fine for her cos boy’s sleepsuits are very gender neutral (woodland animals and nautical)..and really she’ll just be in sleep suits for the first few months..plus people will probably buy her presents..plus when she’s born the winter sales will be on. But I had to buy SOMETHING to put I her little drawer. 

So I bought her these…

They’re from NEXT and the tights not only have hedgehogs on the knees but also one on the bum. The cutest thing I’ve EVER SEEN. I like to cuddle it. 

And there you have it. Should I get Fred some mustard dungarees with a hedgehog on so they can match? Yes. Of course. 

Bye! 

Ootd: Beach cool

Last week there was a 3 day heat wave so naturally I bought two new dresses and an extra fan for the house in that time.

I worked for each of those days and both the commute and the office were a terrible nightmare for my 5 months pregnant self. All office attire went out of the window and I wore summer dresses and flat sandals each day. I also carried my facial spritz with me everywhere. 

At night I got into bed without drying myself after a cold shower..letting the fan do it’s magic. 

You’ve just got to know how to cope that’s all! 

Anyways, one dress I bought was from Zara of course! It’s perfect for maternity..floaty and cool. I wore it at the weekend for a blustery beach trip but I also wore it during the heat wave for work with a white cami underneath. And long shorts to protect my thighs (preggo chub rub is the WORST). 


This photo is of me with my travel fan that also spritzes water.

And here’s one of Fred at the beach…

Bye! 

Crafty as a fox who graduated with a first in craftiness. 

So there are about 5 million home improvement jobs on my list and half of them involve painting existing furniture. We painted our fireplace white when we moved in (it was a horrible shiny pine) and we painted an old tv table. Both were relatively simple (I did one while on mat leave and it took me 3 weeks to work myself around to it and I did the other one over 3 days when Freddie was a baby). So then I thought wow I’ll paint ALL our furniture!

In my sights are a Hemnes chest of drawers..some Ikea shelves, a blanket box, 6 dining chairs and a dining table. And a stool. And a step stool. 

I can’t even be bothered to wash my own face yet I’ll be doing this much painting over the next 5 months. 

Anyway I read about this magical paint called Annie Sloan chalk paint..you don’t need to sand and prime…you just paint right on! Magic! 

So I bought a tester pot (which they recommend will cover a small dresser) and the corresponding finishing wax and painted an Ikea step stool. 

And look! I love it!

I painted it Barcelona Orange cos I noticed I had a lot of accents of red and orange in my kitchen.

The paint is a bit funny..it took a while to get used to it…it’s very thick and I was putting too much on..plus it dries super fast so don’t pour loads into the paint tray..

With the wax too it’s a lovely affect. And so easy. The small pot just about covered this small stool though and I only did one coat..it was 6 quid and a proper big pot is 20 quid! So I think all my other furniture can wait.

OOTD: The Flora and the Fauna

A few weeks back we had a picnic in Crystal Palace park with all our friends to celebrate Janey’s bday. Gemma (cool shoe designer) turned up in a gorgeous floral dress from Warehouse that was the talk of the town. I basically went straight home and bought it online. 

It has a roomy waist which works well with my bump..but a slit up the front threatens to flash my knickers at any given moment. And the first time I wore it, as I was getting out of the car, the already risque slit, slit even further. Oops. 

I thought about sending it back but I figured the strain from my bump was what had done it. So I bought some fabric and black lace and my mum created a modesty panel! I think it looks a bit like I’m wearing a slip underneath and I’m really happy with it! 

I probably should have just bought a size bigger but hey. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.