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Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Pregnancy Diary - Part 2

 

So I’m well and truly into my second trimester and I have enjoyed it so much more than the first. Apart from tiredness and an achy back I’ve felt well and been able to really appreciate this stage in my pregnancy journey.

When we had our 12 week scan I was actually 14 weeks and whilst it was amazing to see our baby again it wasn’t the best of appointments. The computer systems were down so my full report couldn’t be done that day, the baby was just out of the date range for the nuchal transluancy test we’d opted to have so I had to be referred for bloods and the sonographer knocked a glass of water over my maternity notes so we had to wait around whilst she rewrote them! All of that aside, we were just so relived to see the baby moving around, developing as it should and with a strong heartbeat. 

After the 12 week scan we were able to tell a few more people which was lovely – especially my friends! Two of my best friends are also pregnant and it was so hard not to say anything straight away as all I wanted to do was talk to them, but we just wanted to get  to that milestone and make sure everything was as it should be before we told anyone else. 
At 15 weeks we went on a family holiday to Cornwall which was exactly what I needed, a week of fresh air, rest and lots of nice food. Whilst we were there I started feeling the first sign of movements (or the medical term, ‘quickening’) it felt a little bit like popping or fluttering – so exciting!

When I was much younger, the thought of a baby moving round in my stomach really grossed me out – now that it is actually happening to me, the only way I can describe it (I am aware that this is the cheesiest thing) is actual magic. It’s the best feeling in the world.

I’d been feeling the kicks and movement for a few weeks but David wasn’t yet able to feel them, then one Sunday I felt the baby doing some strong kicks and asked David to pass me his hand and he finally felt it! It was such a nice moment and so much more emotional than I thought.

It felt like quite a long wait between our 12 week and 20 week scan, I was anticipating this one the most as it’s a much longer scan to see baby’s full developments and any abnormalities. Our appointment was in the evening so it was hard to get through the day in work without thinking about it none stop. Whilst in the hospital waiting room I was so nervous waiting to be called in, luckily the sonographer couldn’t have been nicer and the whole experience was lovely. I had read that the sonographer can be quite quiet during this scan as they have to concentrate on every part of the baby but she talked us through everything she was looking at and what it all meant which made me feel at ease. Baby was tracking fine and I felt like a massive weight was lifted. Now it feels very weird that potentially that is the last time we’ll see the baby before they’re here!

In terms of products or things I’ve found helpful over this trimester, my pregnancy pillow is the best thing I’ve ever bought (so comfy – pregnant or not!) It’s quite big in the bed but it’s helped me make sure I sleep on my side (recommended for best blood flow in pregnancy) whereas normally I am an avid tummy sleeper.

I’ve got a few pairs of Topshop under the bump maternity jeans which have been a God send as well as some H&M none wired bras. I have struggled a little bit with my maternity style as I’ve outgrown a lot of my normal clothes now (I miss my high waisted jeans!) but ASOS also have a great range.

I’ve also been following influencer/vlogger Lily Pebbles on her pregnancy journey and she’s created a super helpful checklist if like me you have no idea where to start, or have a pregnant friend that you're looking to buy a useful gift for. You can find her blog post here. Plus she has some really great pregnancy videos on her YouTube channel which I’ve really enjoyed watching! 

If there’s any topics you’d like me to cover or any questions you have please comment on this post and let me know!

Alex x

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Pregnacy Diary - Part 1


The news is out – I’m pregnant!

So just to go waaay back to the start of this, I came off my pill September 2017 because it just wasn’t working for me, my skin was the worst it’s ever been, my mood swings were getting out of control and I’d started to get really down about it. So, I made the decision to let my body get back to the usual cycles (which did take a good few months and even then my periods were never like clockwork)

David and I obviously then had a conversation around me no longer being on contraception and at this point we just said we’d go with it and see what happened – we had our own house, good jobs, so if I were to fall pregnant, we were in a stable situation and knew we both wanted a family in the future.

Fast forward 11 months and nothing had happened. I would like to say at this point I wasn’t really tracking ovulation (I was using the app Natural Cycles to track my periods) it was difficult with my cycles not being regular etc but we did start to think that maybe something might be wrong.

August 2018 we got engaged and were beginning to start the process of planning the wedding for 2020 as that would be our 10 year anniversary year (and would hopefully give us a little more time to save!) In November, we parked the wedding planning and decided to enjoy Christmas and start up venue hunting again in the New Year.

Late November/early December I was expecting my period, I was already a few days late but didn’t think anything of it as this was quite normal for me. Got to 15th Dec and I woke up that Saturday morning and just thought, “I’ll do a test today just to double check.” Much to my surprise, the test came back positive! Two little lines. It was such a surreal moment walking back into the bedroom holding the test with a look of shock on my face that David didn’t even have to ask what the result was. David went straight out and bought a digital one just so we could be 100% and again, that came back positive – the word pregnant flashed up on the little window then a few seconds later 2-3 weeks. After the initial shock wore off, we were absolutely over the moon!

I’d had no symptoms (apart from my boobs being a bit sore but I thought that was just because my period was due!) no sickness, no food aversions, nothing! With it being Christmas time and seeing our families a lot we decided to tell them as they would wonder why I wasn’t drinking but it felt like such a special time to share our news.

After the excitement of telling our families had faded I found the very early weeks of my pregnancy a worrying and quite lonely time. Obviously I had David and our family who were great but it’s just a very surreal and strange few weeks when your medical appointments seems so far away and all you want is the reassurance that everything is okay in there. We opted to have an early private scan just before 10 weeks as I was getting more anxious every day and it was the best money we’ve ever spent. Hearing the sonographer say “yes, there’s the heartbeat” are words I will never forget.

Overall, the first trimester was a strange time for me, luckily I’d had no morning sickness at all only a little bit of nausea but what I didn’t realise was how all-consuming it was going to be, despite the lack of symptoms. My brain was on overdrive 24/7, I was stupidly googling every little thing to see if it was bad news, lying awake at night thinking of everything that could go wrong. If I could go back to those early weeks, I’d tell myself to relax and enjoy it as I look back on that time now as a blur of worry instead of excitement.

I’m now writing this at 20 weeks, after seeing our August baby at the scan this week (very tempted to find out the gender but we resisted!) I will be updating my journey on here as I enjoyed going into my second trimester and everything that has come with it - there's been quite a lot of change! 

Alex x 


Saturday, 13 January 2018

Skincare Heroes

As I’ve grown older I’ve realised that skincare is so much more than taking your makeup off with a face wipe before bed. I now have an overflow of go-to products with a skincare routine which works for me and I feel like I’m winning at adulting.

Gone are the days when skincare seemed like a chore, now I relish in each and every one of the products I use and I'm forever social stalking beauty bloggers and beauty editors for must have products and newest releases (Sophie Beresiner and Alex Steinherr I’m looking at you!). I also try to have one make-up free day at the weekend, to give my skin a break.

One of my biggest beauty revelations of 2017 was Glossier. I’m sure you will have heard about them by now, but after being desperate for months and months to get hold of their products they are finally available to order in the UK. One of my favourite products is the milky jelly cleanser, I have tried so many cleansers I’ve lost count but this is ‘the one’. I am already on my second bottle and use it religiously every day. I just love how it feels on the skin and it’s ability to melt and budge the most stubborn of make-up. Another favourite from them is Boy Brow  (I know this is technically make-up but I just had to give it a shout out!) this is the answer to my lazy girl wants perfect-but-messy-brow prayers. I literally want to bulk buy it so I’m never without! Have you tried any Glossier products? Which is your favourite? 


Along with Glossier, another brand I fell in love with was The Ordinary. Looking at their prices, I couldn’t quite believe the quality of these products! The salicylic acid is my spot buster hero – if I can feel a spot coming through I simply dot with this before bed and come morning it’s like it never happened! One of the steps in my skincare regime which I never miss is The Ordinary's hyaluronic acid. After cleansing, I just add a few drops onto the palms of my hands, rub together and then pat onto my skin before moisturising.  I find this step is essential to locking in moisture and I can always see a difference in my skin when I don’t use it.


I am also a massive face mask fan and usually pop 1 or 2 on every week. One of my favourites from last year was the Himalayan charcoal purifying glow mask from the Bodyshop. As it’s drying you can literally see the oil being drawn from your pores and once washed off leaves your skin so soft and glowy! Plus it smells incredible. A firm favourite and one I will be repurchasing! 

As I said, I'm always adding to the ever growing shelf in my bathroom (much to David's dismay!) So I will probably do another update soon and possibly a make-up heroes post if you're interested? Please leave comments below with your favourite products – I love hearing recommendations from you!

Alex x 

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Hello 2018!

So 2018 is going to be the year I refocus on this little corner of the internet! I have neglected it for far too long, but I feel ready and refreshed to create more content, so hopefully you’ll stick around!  

I am going to do a little bit of a home update, as you may follow over on my Instagram I have been sharing more and more of our house and less of the fashion/beauty content that I used to (mainly because I spent the last few months with no make-up on, in old jeans and paint covered hoodies!)

Interior design is something I have always been interested in, and I have been able to indulge in that passion since buying our house nearly two years ago. There’s still lots to do but I am really enjoying creating the space that we want to live in.

So now for the update - we finally moved into the main bedroom last month after the downstairs taking priority, and I am so happy to finally have a calm and uncluttered space to go to sleep in. Here’s some before and after pictures of our makeover, from the estate agent pictures from the previous owners, throughout the DIY process and end result! 






 



Bed - Wayfair
Rug - Very
Chest of Drawers - IKEA
Frames and prints - Desenio
Lamps – B&Q
Bedding – John Lewis
Flooring – B&Q

I was toying with having a completely all white space, but after going dark blue in the back room downstairs, we started thinking about something similar with a dark green feature wall and I’m glad we went through with it! The paint is Sacred Grove by Valspar and although it took a few more coats than we wanted it to, I’m so pleased with the end result and it’s the perfect shade, exactly what we had in mind!

I’d also just like to take a moment to talk about our Eve king-size mattress. I bagged this in the Black Friday sales and it is up there as one of the best things I’ve ever bought. I was quite concerned that it would be too firm but it is the perfect balance between firm enough to support your back and soft enough that it feels like sleeping on a cloud! So if you’re in the market for a new mattress, I would highly recommend an Eve!

There’s still a bit of accessorising to do, and we currently don’t have any wardrobes (!) but I will keep you up to date on that front. 

Our next big project will be the bathroom, which quite honestly was nearly a deal breaker for me when buying the house. But hopefully, this year we can turn it into something I don’t dread looking at every morning.

I will be sharing more and more updates over here so please do check back in!

Alex x


Monday, 9 October 2017

Urban Calm - LVL lashes

Hello!

So if you follow my Twitter/Instagram stories you will have seen that I've recently had a beauty treatment that has changed my life (dramatic, I know but stay with me...!)

Urban Calm Spa is tucked away in the Met Quarter, and it is exactly that, a little haven of calm in the center of the city. All of the staff are lovely and welcoming, and the list of treatments is endless!




The lovely Danielle at Urban Calm in Met Quarter fitted me in just before my holidays to give me a LVL lash treatment, something I've heard a lot about recently but have never tried myself. LVL is the original natural lash lift, and stands for length volume lift. A setting serum is used to straighten your natural lashes at the root making them look curled up and then lashes are tinted. 

Danielle talked me through each step and made me feel very comfortable throughout the treatment which lasted around an hour.

We took some before and after shots (I waited a while for the after shot as my eyes were a little red, hence the difference in lighting) and I'm sure you'll agree that the results are so good!


I went on holiday a few days after I had my LVL treatment and it was amazing not having to wear mascara! It's been a good few weeks since I had the treatment and my lashes still look so good! Can't believe how long they've lasted. 

Thank you again to Urban Calm, I'll be back!  

Alex x 

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Happy + Co

I am always on the lookout for new interior brands and when I received an email from Happy + Co it was unlike any other brand I'd come across before. Happy + Co believe businesses should be socially responsible, so for each product they sell 10% profit is invested in their Happy + Co farm in Cambodia. This provides  much needed jobs for the young men and women, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables for the whole community.  Pretty cool, right?

Happy + Co kindly gifted me an item but before we meet it, let’s talk about the packaging. I am a self-confessed sucker for pretty packaging, and this ticks all of the boxes – the branded dust bag is so cute and really handy to reuse. 



Here she is!  


 

Penny, the founder of Happy + co states "all our products are designed to be noticed but, above all, to be loved." And boy, do I love this cushion! I've been moving it into various rooms in the house as you may have seen on my Instagram the cushion now lives on my bed. 



I am so happy to be able to collaborate with a company who offer not only great products but a great brand ethos and something to feel good about when shopping for your home. Go check them out!

Alex x 

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

British Style Collective - Competition!





How exciting that the British Style Collective is in Liverpool 7th - 9th July! Even more exciting, I have FIVE tickets to give away.

Head over to my Instagram to enter! All you need to do is make sure you follow me and @britishstylecollective and comment on the post with #BritishStyleCollective

T&Cs

Tickets are valid for Sunday 9th July, Experience B - this includes: 
  • Access to Designer Showrooms & Gin Palace @ St George's Hall (recommended time from 9am)
  • Option to add a dedicated seat for one Designer Catwalk or Expert Talk at St George's Hall (limited availability)
  • Access to Shopping Halls at Exhibition Centre Liverpool (2pm - 6pm)
  • Alcatel Fashion Arena at Echo Arena Liverpool: 6.00pm
  • All day access to Fine Tuned @ Albert Dock
  • Bookable workshops @ Liverpool One
  • BSC Show Guide