Monday, 9 September 2013


Well, it's been a little while since I last posted (must do a bump update as the one below looks tiny compared to my 34 week football!!)

Today, I finally finished the nursery! My sister has kindly given us loads of clothes as she has a 2 year old son so there was so much to put away and get organised! She helped me out today and I am so relieved to have everything in its place.

We decided on bright colours for the room and with one wall already being bright blue, we painted the other bright orange. I really didn't want anything too pastel and knowing the gender meant we could go for it a bit more.

The curtains were originally part of a Mamas and Papas set which was over £100 but since I only wanted the curtains, I managed to get a £12 bargain on ebay.

We have gone with a very boyish theme of cars and guitars with blue and orange as the main colours and a touch of green.

The cot bedding was from Kieran's mum and was from John Lewis' transport range. The orange cars on the blue background matched our theme perfectly.

The cotbed was from an online supplier called Online4baby which I was dubious of using at first but since you could pay by PayPal it seemed safe. The sleigh style cotbed was delivered promptly and was great quality so it was worth it for such a good bargain (an extra bargain as it was my Mum's treat).

We finished it off with an over cot changer as we figured it would be easier than bending down - especially with two small dogs into everything! The polka dots matched the underside of the bedding and curtain tops! It was about £20 from Toys R Us. The final touch was a transport mobile from Mothercare.

We wanted some bright wall art and knew we wanted to introduce a guitar theme. I looked online but the prints were either too expensive or too dull or too grown up. I decided to go to Hobbycraft and pick up some £5 frames and some black and coloured card for about £5 total and make my own. I just drew out guitar silhouettes on the black and glued them on to some white card with cut out coloured strips. Once I framed them they looked pretty good and perfectly co-ordinated with the room!

We got this handy storage unit from Very and added the green baskets from the Range.

The top cupboard holds the daily essentials for nappy changing - a supply of nappies, wipes, creams and powders that we can easily grab. We also have a bib basket as we figured we'd be grabbing a few of these each day too. The other basket holds teddies at the moment as we have accumulated quite a few! We also have a basket for hats, mittens and gloves as they are too tiny to warrant a whole drawer! The other cupboards have knitwear and bits like the bottle warmer hidden away.

We were lucky as when we bought the house last year, the previous owners left a wardbrobe and chest of drawers that had barely been used. We have stored our supply of nappies on top for now (along with the car seat).

We have his name on the wall but since we are keeping it a secret I've blanked it out for now!

We have a few smarter things hanging in the wardrobe and then a couple of coats and sleep suits.
In the boxes we have blankets, sheets, toys and some spare bath bits and towels. All three drawers are sleep suits as we have so many thanks to my sister giving us my nephew's old ones. They are all in age order (for now) so should be easy to find what we need.
It's just such a relief to have things in the right place but I am sure we will start adjusting it as we start using the room.
The baby will be in a crib in our room for a while first but we plan to change him in his room so he can get used to being in there.
Only 5 more weeks until he is here!!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Outfit of the Day.

Dressing for work lately has been a but of a nightmare. We have a relaxed dress code but I like to be smartish. On Friday, I was interviewing for my maternity cover so wanted to look professional - easier said than done when you are almost 26 weeks and it's so sunny out!

I opted for a nice stretchy dress for extra comfort and Next shoes which I can always rely on!

This dress shows off my bump big time! I don't mind at all though - it's nice that people see I'm pregnant and ask me about it. Although not so nice when the person you are interviewing for 6 months cover says he'd rather it be permanent so if I don't want to go back just let him know there and then! Erm... it's my job thank you!

The Courteeners.

On Saturday, I surprised Kieran with tickets to the Courteeners at Castlefield Bowl in Manchester. It was one of the hottest days and I was driving 100 miles to watch a band outdoors at 26 weeks pregnant!

Flat shoes were a must and I knew I needed to stay cool. No waistbands either! I wore this stripy dress from ASOS and some Fred Perry pumps.

Once we had driven up, lunch was on the agenda so we popped into TGIs for food and some cocktails - well, mocktails!

I did have a little sip of Kieran's Apple Passion and was very jealous! But I made do with my Berry Blitz!

We finished lunch and had a lovely walk in the sunshine. We happened to wander straight past a Thorntons and couldn't resist an ice cream! Had to make the most of the sun!

When we arrived at the venue, it was not what I was expecting at all. Outdoor venues are usually grass but Castlefield was like a giant car park. However, there were some big concrete steps that made the perfect seat (for about 15 mins until my bum was numb!) we found a good spot and settled down for the first 3 support bands.

Kieran disappeared after the second band to get some water. He came back with a navy tshirt. I moaned as I wanted the white one! He opened it up only to reveal it was a tiny baby vest with the Courteeners on it! Every girl around us was almost in tears and confirmed I do have the sweetest ever husband!

By the time the Courteeners started, our safe sitting zone was raucous! We expected to stand but did not expect so many people to be getting into fights around us. Luckily, there were plenty of decent people who kept me out of the way and gave me warning when something was kicking off! 

I don't regret it one bit as it was an amazing night! The band were on top form and the atmosphere was unreal.

I was exhausted after starting the day at 8am and getting into bed at 2am but it was worth it. They're a really special band to us, we have their lyrics engraved on our wedding rings and one of their songs as our first dance at the wedding. In fact, after our wedding, about 10 guests went and bought their album, including the videographer who edited our highlights to their songs!

I'm not sure how many more gigs I'll make it to in the next 3 months but I'm so glad I did this one!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013


Buying the pram is one of the main purchases when expecting a new baby - along with the cot it's probably one of the most expensive too. There are so many practical and design features to consider too:

Weight (think of lifting it into the boot)
Boot size
Basket space
Handle height
Existing children
Compatibility with car seat
Ease of folding
Does it convert as the child gets older?
How sturdy is it/suspension/wheel thickness? Will you be pushing over pavements or cobbles or fields?!
And of course, the price!

There's probably loads more to think about too!


Before I knew we were expecting a baby boy (and when I was certain we were having a girl) I had my heart set on the Cosatto Giggle in the GoLightly design.

Obviously, the most striking thing here is the unusual design. I didn't want a plain black pram and so this really caught my eye. It also had the carry cot to use from birth but easily converted to a pushchair for later on. I saw it as something that would last until baby was walking so we didn't need to buy another. It was a reasonable price and lots of websites offered deals for the whole set - including the car seat and changing bag.

I read loads of reviews and they were mixed. Some loved it but a few found it wasn't strong enough. It's also good to check out reviews on YouTube as they often include demonstrations.

I went to a shop and tried it out and found it handled well - smooth cornering and lightweight feel. It was also really simply to change from forward facing to parent facing or from carry cot to pushchair and the car seat could be attached too. I was sold!

However, a few weeks later we were told it was a boy and I just had to accept this wasn't a boy design! They do offer several other designs but I just wasn't as keen so I started looking elsewhere.


I had heard a lot about ICandy but they were quite hard to research online. They don't sell online - only in shops and so don't publish prices. Probably a good job too as when we got to the shops we realised you were looking at a minimum £800 for brand new.

I really liked the iCandy Peach (they all have fruity names) in grey:

A lot of the reason I liked it was for the same as the Cosatto. It was easy to use and adjust, had pram and pushchair features and I liked the design. However, Kieran wasn't keen as he felt they were trying to be a bit too trendy and the high price tag wasn't justified.

Silver Cross

We then looked at two from Silver Cross; the surf and the wayfarer. I liked the idea of Silver Cross as to me, it's a classic pushchair brand and just seems reliable.

There wasn't much between the two prams - the surf was slightly more expensive (but nowhere near iCandy level) coming in at around £575 (there's an offer on to order with a free car seat at the minute). I loved it in aubergine:

Again, it was a travel system and seemed really sturdy in the video demonstrations on the website.

We also looked at the Wayfarer in blue:

Again, this met our travel system requirements and the RRP was slightly cheaper than the surf at £495.

We went to a shop and tried both out. Going back to our original checklist this is how they matched up:

  Surf Wayfarer
Weight (think of lifting it into the boot) Lightweight but maybe slightly heavier than Wayfarer Lightweight 
Boot size Easily fit in Ford Focus boot Easily fit in Ford Focus boot
Steering Easy to manoeuvre Easy to manoeuvre - very lightweight
Basket space Couldn't really access as carry cot sat right on top Good space and easy access
Handle height Adjustable Adjustable
Design Good colour options but plastic finish Good colour options and metal looking finish
Existing children n/a n/a
Compatibility with car seat Silver cross simplicity car seat fits on Silver cross simplicity car seat fits on
Ease of folding Very easy Very easy
Does it convert as the child gets older? Yes Yes
How sturdy is it/suspension/wheel thickness? Good suspension - advertised as all terrain Not much suspension - more city use
And of course, the price! RRP 575 RRP 495

After weighing up the options we decided on the Wayfarer for a couple of reasons.

1. We felt the finish with the metal frame looked better than the plastic frame of the Surf
2. The basket on the surf seemed pointless since it was impossible to access
3. The price!
4. We figured we would mainly be using it to pop to the shops so robust suspension wasn't a big need and the wayfarer was sufficient. It was also slightly easier to push and steer.

We bought ours from a local store and were able to pay £425 so it's definitely worth asking for a discount!

Another point to mention with the Wayfarer - and possible the Surf but I'm not sure - is that you buy the frame, carry cot and pushchair and then the covers separately. Although this was all included in the price what it means it the foot muff and hood are actually separate and can be purchased for around £100-£150 in other colours. This means you can update the pushchair for the seasons or if we have a girl next we can just buy new covers in a different colour!

The only word of warning with the Wayfarer so far (I've not actually used it with a baby in it!!) is the hood is difficult to adjust to fit on the pram. Once it's on, there's no problem but you have to hold it between open and closed to move the clips to attach it which is not in the instructions!!

We are really pleased with our purchase - especially Kieran who couldn't believe I actually liked the cheapest option best!! He can't wait to push the baby in it so maybe he will have to write the next review!

Outfit of the day.

This outfit features my new dress by Fearne Cotton at Very. It's not maternity but it is a shift shape so no waist to worry about!

I love the meadow print! The weather was hit and miss so I played it safe with leggings and since I've had some back ache, I was in ballet flats! Hoping to return to heels soon - this can't be it for 15 more weeks!

I like buying clothes that I know I'll be able to wear once baby has arrived so would rather opt for a 'normal' dress that has some stretch or extra room. However, I'm not sure how much longer it's going to be an option!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Nursery artwork.

I fully intend to do a full nursery post at some point but we still have a few finishing touches to put in place so I thought I'd just share some artwork I made to brighten the walls up - not that they needed it being bright orange!

We wanted to create a real little boy room and not have it too babyish so it lasted for a while. We decided on a car and guitar theme in the end - I think Kieran is expecting a little rock musician to come along!

I found some really nice prints on etsy but they were around £40 each!

The Etsy prints:

I figured that I could at least attempt to make them myself so off I went to hobbycraft to buy some coloured card and some £6 frames. 

I decided to do the background stripes in colours and the guitars in black. I used white A3 card for the background and then stuck on coloured stripes in a deliberately wonky way!

I got some guitar silhouettes on google images and copied them on to the black card. You could print the silhouettes bigger and trace but since I have no printer I persevered with free hand!

Kieran insisted on 3 different types of guitar - the more symmetrical the more difficult they were!

All together they cost about £25 for the three and that was mainly the frames. 

I've found some Toy Story silhouettes on google images too so am going to attempt a Woody and Buzz combo for my nephew!

Outfit of the day - 24 weeks.

I realise that my outfit posts are now out of order but wanted to share this post from 24 weeks. Getting to 24 weeks pregnant is a bit of a milestone. It's the point at which babies have a positive chance of survival if they were to be born this early and is known medically as viability day. 

Kieran and I spent the day shopping in Bicester - where my chance of survival amongst the bargain hunting crowd seemed less than positive! The weather was really in between being warm and wanting to rain so deciding what to wear was a nightmare all round!

I decided to play up the accessories for two reasons; one, the always fit and two, they can be good if you want to draw attention away from the bump.

I wore a favourite old pinafore dress, tights, wedge shoe boots (yes, wedges again!) and a hat from Topshop.

From the front, I don't think you can notice the bump at all!

Slightly more obvious side on! The bag is a Mulberry Mitsy and is pretty big. Big bags always make you look smaller which is why a lot of celebs opt for an oversized clutch or huge shopper!

And here's one with Kieran too!

Outfit of the day - 25 weeks.

This weekend I reached 25 weeks exactly! Still feels like ages to go though! 

Kieran and I went out for a nice dinner just the two of us and this is the outfit I wore...

I put on my trusty Topshop jeggings, a mint green shirt from ASOS that probably only has a few more weeks left before it won't go over the bump and wedges. Wedges are a great way to do comfy heels - they were before I was pregnant and so far they still are!

It was really nice to do my hair and make up and have a meal out. We were so tempted to just get a takeaway but I'm glad I made the effort.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Honeymoon - Las Vegas.

The last leg of our honeymoon was one of our favourite places, Vgeas!! Having been before, we had a good idea of what we wanted to do this time round and so were able to plan a few things in advance.

People sometimes can't get past the idea of Vegas as just casinos and gambling. Now, there is a lot of that to do if that's what you're into but there is also so much more. Amazing restaurants, world class shopping, fun bars, musicals, shows and even just wondering around some incredible hotels. You can go from New York, to Paris,  to Venice to Rome on one street!

We were staying in the Luxor which is an Egyptian themed hotel at one end of the strip. All the hotels on the strip are good (we'd previously stayed at the MGM and have since stayed at New York New York) so I think if you were thinking of where to stay I'd say you would be pretty safe with any strip based hotel.

Our hotel from the helicopter
 On the first night, we were pretty jetlagged after flying in from Hawaii and knew we had an early start the next day so we just checked in and got changed for dinner. We ate in the Luxor at an amazing steak restaurant called Tenders. It was pretty expensive but such a good meal and service.

 In Vegas, you will find a lot of people try and take your photo and then charge you so be careful. The above photo was taken in Tenders by a friendly but pretty pushy woman who liked to give instructions on exactly how we should pose! When she was distracted we just took a photo of the photo and saved ourselves the $50 she was asking for!

Amazing dessert at Tenders
 The next day we had an early morning trip to the Grand Canyon planned. My mum and dad had kindly got this for us as a wedding present and I can't recommend it enough. You can drive out or go by helicopter - we opted for helicopter obviously! Not only is it only 45 minutes compared to several hours but the views are amazing as you fly over the canyon. We were picked up from our hotel by limo and taken to the airfield.

 We had a lovely female pilot who was so knowledgable and friendly. We flew over the hoover dam and alond the Colorado River. The helicopter landed down in the canyon and we were able to have lunch at the bottom!

 It was amazing being in the canyon. It was so silent all around and looking up to the top made you realise just how vast it was. Not only is it deep but flying over also gives you an idea of the sheer area it covers.


I would definitely recommend the early morning trip. It's not so hot and it's still a clear day with good views. Our pilot said it was the best time too. By the time we got back to the strip we still had the whole afternoon to make the most of.
On the gondola

We decided to walk down to the Venetian hotel and have a gondola ride. Having now done this, it is not something I would recommend to others. It's a rip off! The gondalier was not friendly and wouldn't take any photos (as they want you to buy theirs). You are basically just paddled round for about 10 minutes in a swimming pool. It's definitely not something I would want to do again!

However, the walk down the strip is always interesting as you pass some impressive hotels. It's worth waiting for the Bellagio fountains too. They come on about every 15 minutes and are so well choreographed to the music.

The shoot up so high it's unbelieavable, I bet it would be amazing to have a fountain view room at the Bellagio!

The fountains are even better at night when they are all lit up.

Opposite the Bellagio is Paris, a hotel which has a Paris theme surprisingly! You can even take a ride up the Eiffel Tower! If Paris isn't your thing you could check out New York New York and brave the rollercoaster that runs through the hotel and out through the roof. I so wanted to do this but just chickened out at the last minute!

As well as a shopping and general exploring, we also decided to go and see Chris Angel who had a residency at our hotel. He's known for being a dark magician and he certainly lived up to this. He was amazing and left you so confused as to how he had pulled off the stunts - as well as terrifying me when a giant bunny rabbit appeared in the audience!

If you are planning on going to Vegas, I'd check out groupon first as they have plenty of offers on 2-4-1 tickets or discounts on shows and events.

No trip to Vegas would be complete without the compulsory trek to the world famous Vegas sign. You have to go past the Luxor and all the way past Mandalay Bay to get there so it may be worth skipping the 25 minute walk (especially in the heat - and especially if you have a flight to catch that morning!) and get a $10 taxi to the sign. There's plenty of people to take each others photos, live streaming for your family at home to watch and probably someone dressed as Elvis lurking around!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Outfit Of The Day.

Once I got to 23 weeks, I had to face the tough reality that my jeans just weren't going to fasten comfortably. I could just about get them done up but not without some seriously deep lines on my hips and a risk of popping open if I sat down!

Now, I wear jeans all the time so this was a serious issue. My sister joked that I'd be in the maternity jeans with the giant waistband and now this was looking like a serious option.

However, I have managed to bypass the giant waist after discovering jeggings! I am really not a fan of the jeggings that have fake seams and pockets printed on but this pair from Topshop are really just stretchy jeans. They don't have buttons and are really leggings but the seams are genuine so they look a lot more like real jeans. I got this light wash and also a darker blue.

The top and shoes are both Next. The top is long enough to cover the bump although I am not sure it's got much more stretch in it!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Honeymoon - Oahu.

As I said in my last honeymoon post, we wanted to make sure we had a taste of an exoctic honeymoon but didn't want anything too tropical! We are both fussy eaters and get bored if there's nothing but a beach so the main island of Hawaii, Oahu seemed ideal.

Unlike the other islands, Oahu is pretty Americanised and commercial. For us, it had the perfect balance of beautiful beach with palm trees and sunsets and the American shops and restaurants. We were staying in an area called Waikiki and our hotel was right on the beach.

 Upon arrival at the airport, we were greeted by our shuttle service with a traditional Hawaiian lei garland - just like in the films! What a great start after the 5 hour flight from San Francisco!

We just chilled out on the first night as we didn't get to our hotel until 10pm. This meant we were up early the next day to go and explore.

The beach was so beautiful and the sea so clear. I was having a paddle at one point and somehow failed to notice a 6ft wild sealion heading straight for me! I caused much amusement as I made a poor attempt to run through water as fast as I could! The view above is of Diamond Head - a famous tourist spot in Waikiki. I believe they offer trekking tours to the top but I decided that was far too active!
The good thing about it being Americanised is the restaurants - how could I resist another Cheesecake Factory visit? And of course, there was only one thing I could order - a genuine Hawaiian pizza!
We wondered down to the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort (an amazing looking hotel) and found a rep that helped us book some events. We had pre-booked Pearl Harbour before going but with 5 days to fill we wanted something else to keep us entertained. Kieran being the water lover, signed us up for parasailing and banana boating and I chose a Luau. Apparently, the Luaus in resorts are not very authentic so it is best to book one a little further out for a more genuine experience.

 The water activities involved being picked up pretty early and driven out of Waikiki. We then boarded the fastest, most scary speed 'dinghy' and were driven out to a bigger boat for the parasailing. The dinghy was bad enough so when I was sat aboard the bigger boat watching the first couple drift further and further into the air, I was terrified! The guys running it made sure they gave the couple a few dunks in the sea too!

We were attached to the sail on a pretty sturdy harness and then slowly released further and further up. In the end, we were 1000ft above the sea. The view was amazing and it was great fun - I'm so glad I did it! Being reeled back in was a bit scary as we had to make sure we hit the boat properly - we missed a few times and were soaked!

After the dinghy back to shore, Kieran was so seasick we had to give the banana boat a miss. I have to say I was mightily relieved as I did not want to do it at all!!!

 The Luau was much more my cup of tea! A traditional Hawaiian celebration! We did the one at Paradise Cove and I can't recommend it enough. We had a free cocktail on arrival and all of the entertainment was included in the ticket price. It is also set in the most beautiful surroundings. It was about half an hour from Waikiki but the lovely tour guide on the bus kept everyone entertained.

 As you can see, the views were amazing. I could see why a couple were getting married down on the beach!
 All of the entertainment and activities were included in the ticket price. We got traditional Hawaiian 'tattoos' (just painted on). Kieran shunned the male trend for something tribal and raised a few eyebrows with his blue flower!
 Here I am, attempting (and failing) to hit the target in some traditional Hawaiian spear throwing. There was also Hawaiian bowling, a local man climing a really tall palm tree completed unaided so he could shower everyone with petals, canoe rides around the cove and local crafts for sale.

 After all of the activities, everyone settled down for more cocktails and pig roast. There were hula girls and fire breathers providing the entertainment. It was so lovely to spend time in the cove at the sun set.
 Hawaii is known for its surfing and whilst we didn't sign up to a lesson, we did visit this lucky statue that surfers all come and pay their respects to.

We signed up for Pearl Harbour before we left and it meant a really early start! We were picked up at 6am to go and visit the historical site.

The tour was well worth it although it was really moving at times. We visited the battleship the USS Missouri and were able to wonder about it pretty freely. We then went over to the USS Arizona wreck where the memorial is.

It seemed so strange that such a battle could go on in such a beautiful place. On the way back, the driver took us on a tour of Honolulu which is the main city on the island. It was really nice to be able to see parts of Hawaii outside of the resort area.

Before we knew it, in between lounging on the beach or at the pool, late night shopping (most shops were open til midnight!) and eating plenty, it was time for our next destination... Las Vegas!