Friday, 28 February 2014

NOTD - Pink to Make The Boys Wink

Inspired, of course, by my little girl, this is a mixture of two polishes for a pale pink fench style manicure.

After base coat of OPI Nail Envy in Matt, I applied one coat of Essie's Sugar Daddy for a nude pink finish, on the tips is one coat of OPI's Make Him Mine Liquid Sand (Christmas 2013 collection) dabbed onto the tips. All sealed with a top coat of Sechi Vite.

Very simple, but very effective.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Pearls of Pregnancy Wisdom

Pearls of Pregnancy Wisdom is advice I wanted to pass on from my own experience. This does not replace professional help, your Midwife/GP is your best help in any circumstances (I called my midwife many times at strange times of the night and they were always helpful). It is better to get things look at rather than worry as it will not do you or baby any good.


And you will be tired, your body is creating a small person and needs all the energy it can get. I underestimated how worn out I would be in my 3rd trimester and planned to do all my cleaning/preparation then, in the end it was a panic to get everything set up for Bethany in time (even at 12 days late). I would have a lie in in the morning, nap mid afternoon for up to 2 hours and still climb into bed at about 11pm.


You will go crazy with everyone telling you to rest, it did for me, but you are going to need those reserves for when your newborn comes along. Get some books, magazines, DVD Box Sets and put your (swollen) feet up. You will miss you 'me time'.


Go and get hair cut, eyebrows done, etc. Because when newborn is here you will not have time to even consider doing any of this done. Also get a simple haircut that looks good washed and needs little maintence afterwards so it can be styled quickly. 

Spending time with the Other Half

In hindsight I'd wish I had put my foot down about spending more time with husband before Beth came along, we are now ships that pass in the night, as one person finishes the night shift the other is starting. We are both currently very tired which does hinder any romance, so spending that large amount of time together before baby will only strengthen you when they are here.

You do not need to spend a fortune

You honesty do not, we had a extremely limited budget to get baby bits and we have survived on the basics. We made sure that baby had transport, somewhere to sleep, somewhere to be changed and changed into. We had a lot of gifts of toys and clothes, Beth's wardrobe looks far better than mine and she is roughly kitted out for the next year at least. If it is something you want but it doesn't fit in the budget, ask for it as a gift. I really wanted a Ewan the Sleepsheep after reading reviews but even second hand they were nearly full price, my mum brought me this in the end after hearing about it.

Become friends with EBay, Preloved and NCT Nearly New Sales

Put that free time to good use and stalk stuff on these sites, I got my Mama & Papa's bouncher for £4.50 from eBay, My Travel System for £30 from Preloved, and Baby Monitor for £7 from NCT sales. I also used the free time to sell items I didn't want with the understanding that it was for either maternity clothes for me or baby stuff for Beth. I spent a lot of rest time on my tablet!

Best Pregnancy Books

What to Expect When You're Expecting - Heidi E. Murkoff and Sharon Mazel

Breaks everything down month by month, is detailed but it was my most referred to book out of all the pregnancy ones I had. Also contains the pre-conception advice, as well as covers all different kinds of pregnancy like multiples and if things do not go to plan. A must have.

Hypnobirthing: The Breakthrough to Safer, Easier, More Comfortable Childbirth

I have previously written about Hypnobirthing before and found it a huge help towards my anxiety about labour, they do recommend to start in pregnancy so when you do go into labout then its automatic. I was told by my midwives I was calm and I had very little pain relief until I was fully dilated. I'm even told now as a first time mum that I am very calm, and I do think this was a huge help. I still practice it exercises today.

Minus Nine to One: The Diary of an Honest Mumby Jools Oliver

A second hand book shop find and just what I needed, wonderfully written and honest. It charts from trying to their mass of children, offering insight and advice. It does includes some gorgeous shots of her and Jamie's children. Love this and don't want to part with it.

Best Pregnancy App (That are free!)

Baby Centre Pregnancy Tracker

Tracks your pregnancy day by day, offering tips, things to do, things to consider and funny insights. There is also check lists so you can make sure that things are being done, as well as being able to search the site for information. I constantly referred to this for everything, from baby growth to labour syntoms. I fully recommend registering on the forums, joining your birth club and chatting to other mums that are due the same time as you - it was a huge support. A Must have app.

If you can take one thing away from this is that if you are ever in doubt, call your Midwife and don't ever think it's something silly, sometimes your instinct is 100% right.

So Mums what would you add?

Friday, 21 February 2014

Bethany Update - Month 1

At 2ish Weeks
Can someone explain to me where that month has zoomed off to? It only just felt like I brought her home and was panicing that I had nothing ready. Now I am a lean, mean nappy chaging machine that is also making formula at the same time!

She still is just so tiny, she now weighs 7lb 5ozs but is eating like a trooper between 3-4 hours and 120mls. Even though she is small, the health visitor isn't concerned but we do go to weekly weigh ins at the moment. I now also have been reported as recovering well, and things are slowly returning to normal and healing. By my 6 week check it should be recoverd and I can look at getting more exercise and out of the house.

Beth has also started to be more awake at night, which is fun for me as normally I can feed her and put her back down. Hopefully we can start trying to put a routine together now my husband has a new job and we both are far more confident in what we are doing now. Ewan the Dreamsheep is arriving in the next few days to hopefully help out (Youtube the videos, babies fall alseep in seconds with this!)

She gave me the other day the biggest beaming smile when she saw me when my MIL was holding her, she seemed overjoyed to see me and it was the best feeling. It's little bits like that that keep me going when I've only had a handful of hours sleep and she's crying for (to me) no reason.

Simon Cowell said after the birth of his child, " I never knew how much love and pride you could feel." I completely agree with this, I still stare at her for hours because I cannot believe she's here and to me she is just beautiful (how can you resist those big eyes!)

Her "What ARE you doing Mummy?" face at 3 weeks

Monday, 17 February 2014

Neom Complete Bliss Hand Cream

As a new Mum you wash your hands several times a day, before/after feeds, before/after bathroom breaks (to prevent cross infection), as well as hot soapy water to wash feeding bottle. Your hands really do suffer, they get drier, itchy and all the cuticles get cracked. My gorgeous pregnancy nails were a thing of the past (pictured here with Essie's For The Twill of It on), I was left with short flakey below par nails.

I had got this 50ml size in one of British Beauty Blogger's infamous blog boxes, and have been using it an intense evening treatment. Neom is more known for it candle ranges and me being naive, was surpised that they did more than that in their range.

Complete Bliss main ingrediant is Moroccan Rose, which is aromatherapy is used for drier skins as well as soothing, it also contains vitamin A&E packed Shea Butter, Macadamia Nut Oil, Rosemary Leaf & Pomegranate for noisturent. Pnnk pepper and lime give the scent an uplifting, fresher tone that stops the rose from over powering the product. The constitancy is rich but still sinks in without resdue.

Neom only sell this in a 250ml pump bottle for £18.00 (this is 7p per a 1 ml) through their website. However I have spotted some going for £13.00 so its worth having a search for. This would make a luxury present for a new mum and like me I'm sure they would appreciate a little luxury after a long day with a newborn.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

I Promise Gift

My husband and I don't celebrate Valentine's Day for two reasons: 1. We tell each other we love the other everyday, we don't need over priced tact to show that and 2. It's also our anniversary of when we re-met on a night out exactly a week later on 21st. On the other hand I am an old romantic who does put a thought into gifts, so this appealed to me greatly.

IPromise puts your little promises and gestures into writing turning them into keep sakes. They come in two colour ways Blue or Red and are printed on thick, high quality card. You can add whatever you would like and can put on illastrations. If you get stuck for ideas, IPromise also has some suggestions.

I love the idea behind these, I did spend a large amount of time thinking of what I want to promise my Husband (dont't worry he won't be reading this before next week, he's been banned!). My promises were: To hug and love you everyday. To support you in your dreams. To love our family everlasting.

Considering we both been ships that pass in the night as one of us goes to bed while the other sits up with our newborn girl, I really wanted something to show that not only did I appreciate the support he gave me but not forgotten him as a person.

IPromise starts at £9.50 (for the set I have) up to £18.50 depending on how mnay promises you want to give. You can purchase them through their website

*PR Sample

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Benefit They're Real Mascara

Hype - There is nothing that turns me more off a product than the world and their dog going nuts, while I sit there reading all the reviews and go, "but it's only a mascara". Yes, I did say that because to me there is so many on the market it needs to really be something extra special to win me over. I may have given a little bit of a ladylike sequel when I saw this in my goodie bag at July London Met Up last year because I wanted to try it to see if it lived up to the hype around it.

They're Real has departed from the traditional bristal brush onto the latest plastic brustal/comb. It promises the whole song and dance: It lengthens, curls, volumises, lifts and separates. Does it actually deliver?

I have used this nearly everyday until it dried up at 6 months, and yes it did give me better looking lashes. I do not use more than 3 coats of mascara on my lashes, I do not go into the spider lash look. I did find with this I didn't need to as it gave the volume and defination I wanted with them stnading out as it was perfect deep black.

This is my only gripe about They're Real, it takes an oily remover, a lot of cotton pads and a lot of paience to get this off. Even with this small arsenal of removal bits, I will still find that I will wake with it all around my eyes in the morning and will be usng the remover again to get the rest off.

Does it live up to hype? I hate to admit but yes it does, Benefit has created a cover-all-basis mascara and can be layered up with clogging or bits forming - great for natural lashes or building up to those big fluttery lashes. Will set you back £19.50 at Benefit, Boots or Department Stores nation wide.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Eye of Horus Liquid Define Eye Liner

I got my hands on this after another one of my random conversations about still seeking the liquid eye liner, when I was a little younger I went through a phase of wearing liquid liner everyday with a subtle flick. I had previously used Lancome Artliner because I found it easy to use, however I hated the price tag and stopped using it. I has since been trying to find the one that was not only easy to use but a reasonable price bracket. I then got a message asking if I wanted to try this to see if it could be the one I've been seeking, and as you can tell I said yes.

Eye of Horus looks to the Egyptian history to inspire their product range of eye definers. They believe in being cruelty free and use as close to natural ingredients as possible. Based in Australia, they've now come to the UK amongst high praise from Pixiwoo after being used in their tutorials on youtube. I also know that other artists that have tried them, have loved them to.

The nib is taped to a point which makes flicks a lot easier to do and no matter which side you use it still gives the same result. The colour is the blackest black you can get, and dries quickly so there is no transfer after application. This does mean that if you want to smudge it you will need to work quickly. I wore this for the first time at my work Christmas do in December and not only survived the night, but removed easily without leaving anything behind to leave me with panda eyes in the morning (which is something my Lancome one did).

From FOTD Christmas do (I miss my pregnancy glow)

 Price is £13.00 from Cocktail Cosmetics, while it is still on the higher end of the price range, this is worth the investment as for me it is the one as it ticks all the boxes on what I needed in a liner.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

NOTD - Nails Inc. Victoria

Love the vampness of this polish, makes me feel all Pulp Fiction and want to start jiving in a burger bar.

With having to shorten my nails before labour I wanted a colour that looked classic and glamourous (even though at the time I didn't feel it), as well as something I can wear with my PJ's as well as anything I decided to get dressed in.

You will need to coats to get an even layer and it lasted on me for about 5 days until the edges started to fade. As it is a cream finish the removal is easy, but you will need a base coat to stop it staining the nails.

The classic is available from Nails Inc website RRP £11.00 but is available in 3 for £22 mix and match offer currently running.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

The Aftermath (Birth Story Part 2)

I now had my daughter in my arms and a proud Husband on the phone to the grandparents (I was no fit state to talk to anyone because of the amount of drugs I had over the past few hours). I was trying to come to terms that not only was my lower body was non existent at this present time but the little human beside me was my baby that only an hour ago had been pushing down on my pelvis. I couldn't stop grinning, regardless of how tired and drained I was. I was asked if I want to try and feed her, but she had other plans and didn't want to know. I was told that was fine, we had both been through a lot and she probably was a bit dopey.

Taken an hour after labour, feeling like I've been hit with a wrecking ball!
 This is when the baby doctor came over, something had come up in her blood results and she will need to stay in for a few days and have regular antibiotics. I had already been told that I would be staying for 24 hours because of the epidural, but to hear she was unwell was upsetting.  We were taken to labour ward and left to settle in. My husband said his goodbyes as he needed some sleep and a change of clothes but will come back in the evening. It was just her and me, but I couldn't care for her as I was on 24 hour bed rest, every time she cried I had to get a midwife to change her and pass her over to me. She was also refusing to breastfeed. They took Beth away for 3 hours that afternoon to start her IV for the antibiotics, same as her mum she had small veins so had to have an injection to start.

The epidural took 5 hours to wear off until I got any feeling, I was like Uma Thurman from Kill Bill Vol.1 getting my toes to wiggle. This also is when visiting times started, grandparents came and went, I finally ate something but could not sleep. I wanted to take in every minute of my daughter and let it all sink in, early morning they came in and removed everything that had restricted me to bed so I could sleep. What I was really dying to do was to look after my daughter myself and pick up for cuddles.

Breast feeding was still a nightmare, at this point she had only had a few mouthfuls of my milk and I was getting concerned that she was not feeding, I was in tears when the midwives found me. We gave her some formula and they supported me in hand expressing so we can give the feeds she needed. Beth guzzled that first bottle and slept contently for hours. By the afternoon I had only slept a couple of hours since birth, I was exhausted and couldn't keep my eyes open as well as increasingly emotional.

According to the people on my ward I passed out asleep at about 6, didn't wake up until late, and was sleeping the same way as Beth - arms stretched out on my back. I woke up happier and refreshed, I got asked if I want to take Beth down for her next dose of antibiotics (by now they had manage to fit an IV in her, it eclipsed her poor arm) and met the team in neonatal. They are all wonderful, and they were really welcoming, cooing over Beth and soothing her when she cried. I'm very glad I got to met them and am thankful they looked after her so well.

We had to cover the IV with mittens so she didn't chew on it!
I met all the consultants who was part of the birth, so they can answer any questions I had as well as explain to me why decisions had been made as everything had happened because it was so quick. I was applauded that I survived so long on so little pain relief and that the progress I had made since birth was exceeding expectations. I was signed off as my care was complete and now was waiting for Beth to get the all clear.

The ward I was on soon became my family, we spent hours talking in the morning and Beth soon became a favourite for cuddles (I was on a mixed pre/post labour ward). Over breakfast Thursday morning I was told that if Beth's next set of blood tests came back clear at 5pm we can go home. She went off at 3pm for her final dose and was wheeled back up with the same consultant who smiled and said that we could go as the results has come back early. My Husband had left 10 minutes earlier so I was hurriedly trying to call him to come back!

We left hospital at 6pm (after getting my dinner I ordered), wishing everyone the best and bundling the bags we had into the car. I also came to realise life with stitches was going to be interesting as everything hurt and pulled, I was on pain killers to help with the swelling and bruising (thankfully I had brought arnica tablets to help as well). The first night home was a huge learning curve but I survived as it was good to be home.

Peace and quiet
Since then its been a blur of nappies, bottles, cuddles, visitors, and grabbing sleep/food where possible. Husband has been a huge help giving me rest breaks where possible as well as cuddles for me. Beth is coming along beautifully, she needs to put on a little more weight but still guzzles her feeds like we starve her (which I like to point out we don't!). The Husband and I fight over who's going to hold her and I could watch her for hours with her little noises and movements. My husband always asks me, "Was it worth it all?" and I always answer, "Of course, she's gorgeous".

Saturday, 1 February 2014

When Minilemming Became Bethany (Birth Story Part 1)

I was right when I was said Minilemming wasn't in a hurry to come up anytime soon. I spend my overdue days resting and waiting and waiting, with Hubby never far from my side. We spent nights talking to bump to try and coax them out sooner. I was soon getting frustrated, being big and tired there wasn't a lot i could do to pass the time, Hubby even has to wrestle the hoover off me at one point.

I got to my 41 week appointment and was offered a sweep to try to move things along, at this point I was happy to try anything. I went food shopping with Hubby but soon wanted to go home as I started to feel unwell, by late afternoon I was getting random tightenings at all sort of times, they continued through Saturday and Sunday where I was curled up on the coach with paracetamol. All the signs where there - I was in the first stages of labour.

4am Monday morning my waters went with a small pop with one of my tighenings, I called the Midwife unit and they were happy to let me stay at home as I was coping OK. I left my husband to sleep and settled in front of the TV and tried to rest. I called the unit a little later and they were still happy for me to stay at home, I now was getting more regular and consistent but was still thinking everything was fine.

After sleeping all day, I called the unit again early evening 12 hours after my waters broke and they asked for me to get checked out. We gathered bags and went down to get assessed, thinking that I would be sent back, oh how wrong we were. My husband dropped me off, drove back home (we only live 5 minutes away) and said he'll see me soon. I was examed by one of the midwives who said that Minilemming had done a poo in my waters and I needed to get to hospital ASAP. I called Husband and it was full steam ahead, racing across the countryside with consistent contractions to the hospital 30 minutes away.

The birthing centre has already called ahead and told them to expect me, they got me into a room and hooked up to a monitor with every contraction just focusing on breathing and remembering that it only lasts a short time before it goes. After 3 hours they decided to keep me overnight as I was now not far away from labour. I was joking that it was a waste of time booking in for my induction in the morning then. At this point I finally got given some paracetamol and codine as well as an IV for antibiotics to reduce infection because of the length of time my waters had gone. The IV was a huge problem as I have tiny veins, so they tried several times, in the end the anesthetist came in later and did another for them. I did finally drifted off in some kind of sleep (The husband got known because of the woman next door and the argument she was having with her drunk partner over the phone).

At 5am everything was getting stronger and my thinking was that the pain killers were wearing off so I asked for some more, this meant more monitoring and the midwife having a feel up there. She turned round after a few minutes and pressed a button for the whole team to come in - I was already 9cm dilated and was millimeters from being fully, I need to get to a delivery room, NOW!

I was rushed in, put in a hospital gown, and given gas & air - I will declare my love for gas & air now, amazing stuff but don't go too mad on it or you'll feel sick/dizzy. I had sips of water in between contractions and the atmosphere was relaxed and joking. At what would of been my induction time, I was told that we were starting the hour of pushing, and yes I pushed, putting everything into each contraction and having my cheerleaders cheering me on.

An hour came and went, I was exhausted and we couldn't figure why nothing was progressing, my contractions were decreasing and there was signs that all was not well inside. I was put on a hormone drip to bring them back and half an hour later the specialist was called in. He apologised as he had a feel around (having a baby is not for the shy people!) and immediately said that we need to get to the theatre as the baby was facing he wrong way, they were facing to my right so the head was not in the right position and I needed help.

This is where things become a blur - While things were explained to  dazed me, Husband was put into blue scrubs as well as his size 11 feet into only shoes they had, green crocs in a 6. I signed the consent forms and off through the hospital we went. I re-met the anesthetist who explained quickly what was going to happen with the epidural, the one thing I did not want to have was about to happen. I was going to have a kelland forcep delivery attempt, this meant that they were going to turn them correctly and help me delivery, if this failed I was having an C-section. I prayed that it wouldn't come to this, as they numbed half my body - everything was now in their hands.

The team of 8 worked quickly and my baby girl was born 11.21am, she was taken away, cleaned and brought over. As I was hooked up to every possible IV/monitor going, Husband got to hold her first. I was smitten straight away, she was and is beyond gorgeous, it was moving to watch those first moments with my daughter and my husband. While we bonded, I was stitched up as I had to be cut (20 stitches in all) as well as all the post labour bits. I was wheeled into recovery were my daughter was put beside me for my first cuddle, it was here she was named Bethany Kathleen and was no longer known as Minilemming.