Friday, 21 November 2014

PREGNANCY: My Top 5 Tips for the First Trimester

Being pregnant isn't as easy, as I naively thought it would be, yet it's the most incredible time as well. I have relied heavily on a small range of tips and tricks that I've learnt along the way that I wanted to share with you. If only I had known about these earlier I would have probably had a slightly easier first trimester. 
first trimester ::: fruit of the womb, document pregnancy, bump, pregnant, week
(Photo Credit)

Tip #1
Once your sensitivity to smells increases, it will hit you like you wouldn't imagine! There's no questioning, 'Oh I wonder if I've got an increased sensitivity to smells?', you know, trust me. I couldn't stomach a lot of smells: fresh washing, Tom's aftershave, any food cooking, LUSH bath bombs, my own perfume etc. It was pretty hard to avoid these but I would try my very hardest! I found that wearing a light scarf that had a smell on it I could handle (a berry smell was ok for me) was a sickness saver. As soon as I could smell something I didn't like I'd smell the scarf and wouldn't end up gagging. A slightly extreme move but honestly, when I say smells will repulse you, I mean repulse and you'll do anything to get away from it. 

Tip #2 
Sitting up in bed before getting out of bed. Simple, easy to do and it would help my tummy settle before getting up for the day. I found getting up straight away at 6am would leave me feeling light headed, sick and generally not very well. For the last 2 months I've been sitting up when my alarm goes off and then getting up 10 minutes later when the snooze goes off again. I couldn't stomach eating anything at that time, so it really helped to settle my nausea and definitely worth a try if your suffering from morning sickness. 

Tip #3 
Having food with you at all times. I take a 'picnic' of cold toast, apples, bananas and crackers out everywhere I go. Even if you think your only going to be half an hour it's really worth taking food with you. For me, if I don't eat every 2ish hours then I feel so incredibly sick, eating does help to make the nausea more manageable. Sometimes I couldn't be bothered to make toast and bring it out with me but boy did I regret it an hour later when I was feeling so so sick. 

Tip #4 
Sleep with a pillow in between your legs. Very early on into my pregnancy I struggled with lower back pain, which made sleeping difficult. I found that sleeping with a normal (I say normal because it wasn't a pregnancy one) pillow in between my legs and using it to rest my tummy on really helped. It took some getting used to but it was personally certainly worth it. I do plan to get a pregnancy pillow, which offers even more support, at some point soon as my bump is getting bigger by the day!

Tip #5
At times during the first trimester I found it extremely hard to be positive, as I was feeling so sick and knew that I had at least a month and a half still left feeling like that. If only I had known how incredible the first scan would be, I would have found it so much easier. As this is our first pregnancy, it's very much the unknown, so we didn't know what to expect at the scan. We were of course mostly concerned about finding out if our baby was doing ok, which they were. It was just so special, amazing and magical seeing our baby for the first time. They were dancing around, it's just so incredible to think that they are only about 6cm but already look like a little baby! So if your struggling with your emotions during the first trimester, then I'd try to focus on the first scan because I found that it changed my outlook on my pregnancy. 

What helped you through your first trimester?

Feel free to leave a comment :) 

Helen x

Thursday, 20 November 2014

MATERNITY OUTFIT: Autumn Stripes (plus my bump at 13 weeks)

Since being pregnant and looking for maternity wear I've realised just how hard it is to find flattering, stylish outfits. Asos have a good maternity range but I didn't have a massive bump at 13 weeks. I was in that awkward stage where my normal clothes are too tight but maternity clothes are generally far too big. So I've settled on 'normal' clothes that have a bit of stretch in them.

Deer Scarf - Gift
Stripy Long Sleeved Top - Primark - £4
Tights - Primark - £3.50
Shoes - New Look - £8 in the sale
(Bump at 13 weeks)

Feel free to leave me a comment :)

Helen x

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

WEDDING: Top companies that really made our wedding day!

During the planning process of our wedding we came across so many fantastic companies, brands and products that really added that something special to our wedding day. Our guests loved searching around the tipi for all of the small touches and we had so many compliments for how the tipi looked. It was so lovely and only possible with the brands and products the following companies offer...

Drinkstuff are primarily a catering website that offer the widest range of products for events, catering and drinks. The service is fantastic, always such clear communication and quick delivery. The photographs on their website are also so accurate, which is something we actually found wasn't the case on a lot of other websites. You knew exactly what you were ordering with drinkstuff and it arrived looking exactly as anticipated. Perfect, as wedding planning is stressful at the best of times. We had a wide variety of products from drinkstuff at our wedding, including enamel bowls which had the potatoes in for the main course, large glass drink dispensers which had the cocktails in for the drinks reception, ice scoops and tongs for the sweet area, pale blue Kilner bottles for tap water on the table etc. We couldn't have been happier with the products and the value for money, we struggled to find anyway cheaper for the same level of quality. If you're doing a diy wedding, like ours, then I highly recommend you check out the drinkstuff website. 

^Ice Tongs and Ice Scoop^
^Glass Drink Dispensers^

^Pale Blue Kilner Bottle 1ltr^

This company offer something perfect for an event or just at home. Beanbag Bazaar sell a fantastic range of beanbags, in a range of styles, sizes and colours. We opted for the Bazaar Bag Indoor & Outdoor Giant Bean Bags because we knew they'd be tough and waterproof, which they certainly are. We had always wanted a chill out area in the Tipi's, where guests could sit and relax and just take in the day. After looking into a range of possibilities we settled on the idea of having giant beanbags, as they are so comfortable and you can easily fit two people on one. They also brig out the child in everyone, which is adds a fun aspect to the event. When we recieved the large beanbags we made them up (incredibly easy!) and the put them outside to sit on and enjoy the sun. They are so comfy and can be sat on so many different ways! Tom quickly adopted one as his 'sitting in front of the tv' beanbag and has been loving it ever since. Our guests used the chill out area almost more than any other area, it was lovely to see people relaxing and enjoying themselves. The children loved them too! In fact as a result of seeing the beanbags at our wedding a number of people (adults and children a like!) have added them on to their Christmas lists! A compliment of the biggest kind. 

This was a brand we came across quite late on in our wedding planning. HuggleUp are a brand that offer personalised photo prints in either Polaroid style, framed or magnets. You order through their app, which makes it so easy and quick to do. Although you do have to make sure all of the photos you want to print are either on your smart device, Facebook or Instagram. I made a private album on Facebook for the photos I wanted to print, so that it was quick and easy to do on the app. It's only £12.50 for 22 personalised fridge magnets, which is incredible value for money! I knew I wanted to incorporate these into our wedding somehow but just wasn't sure how. I already had an order of their personalised photo Polaroid prints, which I loved! Then it came to me - we'll give personalised photo magnets as our favours. It's such a personal favour and really doesn't cost much at all. We slipped then just behind our menus, so they were a complete surprise for our guests and they loved them! Everyone wanted to say how much they loved their photo and we've since seen them on a lot of our guests fridges. We used some old photos that were scanned into a computer first and others that were photos of photos. The quality was good for all of them, which really made them special. We used the Polaroid prints on the photo booth photo line, to encourage others to peg their so there too. It worked perfectly! 

(HuggleUp Polaroid prints hanging next to the photo booth)
(we slipped in the photograph magnets just behind the menu - you can just about see it poking out)

Aren't hanging paper lanterns just beautiful? Tepee's have really tall 'ceilings' so we knew we wanted to do something with that space. A popular choice is a disco ball but we felt that that wouldn't really fit in with the theme of our wedding. After searching on good old Pinterest for ideas we fell in love with the idea of having a range of paper lanterns hanging from the ceilings. We came across The Hanging Lantern Company, who sell the widest range of paper lanterns in a variety of styles, colours and sizes. Although we didn't have a colour scheme, we were trying to stick to pastel colours. We settled on white, baby blue and robin egg coloured round paper lanterns. They were just perfect hanging from the ceiling and our guests loved them too! I also love the fact that their website has so much inspiration if you're struggling to envisage what your venue is going to look like.

  Off the Wall sell a range of different sized decals that can be completely personalised for your special event. The excellent thing with decals is that you can peel them off, not in a reusable sense but you can apply them to surfaces that aren't yours (i.e. a venue dance floor) and then just peel them off when you're finished. They leave no residue and add a lovely personalised touch. We had a mini decal on a large glass vase that was filled with marshmallows, next to the log fire.
Which companies help to make your wedding day extra special?

Feel free to leave a comment :)

Helen x

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

BEAUTY: Rio Beauty GO Laser

A while ago now I was sent the Rio Beauty GO Laser to try out - a laser hair removal treatment. I know that most women will be with me when I say how annoying and time consuming keeping yourself hair free is - it's a chore. We've all had those random sunny days we go to wear no tights and realise we haven't shaved our legs for a week or *that* vest top will have to be for another day as the underarms haven't been defuzzed in a while. I thought I could only dream of hair free days, until I read about the Rio Beauty GO Laser.

Soon after I received this product I found out I was pregnant, so couldn't really use it over the summer. Instead of letting it sit around for 9 months unused I let my sister-in-law borrow it. We checked her skin type would suit it, which it did so she began using it at the start of the summer. Very much like me, she dreamt of not having the daily faff of shaving and wanting something more permanent. This review is my sister-in-laws findings and opinions of this product, with my opinions thrown in when necessary.  

'Enjoy beautifully smooth skin every day with Rio Go Laser™. Laser hair removal for face and body hair.
GO LASER™ hair removal works by sending a laser beam to the hair follicle with enough energy to permanently disable the root without affecting the surrounding area. The result is permanent hair reduction. 
Simple to use, Go Laser hair removal is suitable for unwanted face or body hair. Just plug in and Go.'
(taken from the Rio Beauty website)

How incredibly smart does it look?! It doesn't look intimidating or overwhelming, which some may expect with a laser hair removal device. The instructions were simple and easy to follow, with clear visual instructions that meant you couldn't make a mistake. My sister-in-law said that it was easy to use and not as painful as she was expecting, more uncomfortable than painful. She tried it on her legs to start with. The results? Significantly less hair on her legs, she's not completely hair free as it takes quite a few treatments but she can definitely get away without shaving for a lot more days now. She's been super impressed with how easy it was to use, it wasn't too heavy.

One of the only downsides is that the area the laser targets at any one time is pretty small, which means covering your whole legs takes a lot of time and patience. There are two treatment modes -  scan mode that targets multiple hairs (but still a small area) and single hair mode, which does what it says on the tin. Unless the hair is on your face I can't really imagine when you'd want to target only a single hair but maybe that's just me?

Overall my sister-in-law is so pleased with the outcomes and she's going to continue using it every now and again until I want it back when our baby is born!

Do you dream of a life without the hassle of shaving everyday?

Feel free to leave me a comment :)

Helen x

Sunday, 16 November 2014

PREGNANCY: My First Trimester Experience

As you may have read in the 'I have some news' post (see here), we are expecting our first baby next year! It's such an exciting time and we feel so lucky to be given this chance to start our family together. Unfortunately though the first trimester was not particularly enjoyable for me. It is said to be the worst of all three trimesters, I can't comment yet if it is as I'm only in my second but it was a testing time for sure. I don't want people to think I'm moaning in any way about being pregnant because I'm not, I feel so incredibly lucky but when you can't do anything for months at a time it can be hard to focus on the happiness at times. 

The first month was alright, I was a lot more emotional and had some strange feeling in my tummy but other than that I felt 'normal'.

The second month was when things started kicking in. I became so incredibly tired, a completely new level I didn't know was possible. When I looked at the symptoms of the first trimester before getting pregnant read about fatigue and naively thought, how bad can it be?! I felt tired a lot lf the time anyway but oh no. Pregnancy tiredness is complete exhaustion, like standing up uses too much energy and going downstairs is a task that has to be built up to over many hours. It's horrible when you feel so useless, luckily Tom has been amazing and really has stepped up to the mark. At around 7/8 weeks I started getting really bad nausea and such sensitivity to smells. It meant I couldn't really move from lying down, sleeping was the only relief. I wasn't actually sick until 9 weeks though. 

The third month was the worst for nausea and sickness but better for fatigue. I was still very tired, we're talking 7.30pm bedtime everyday, which does make the day extremely short! But it's manageable. The sickness started around 9 weeks and was still happening up until around 15 weeks. As I'm in my second trimester now, it has come to a stop now, fingers crossed it stays like that. I know that I've not had the nausea/sickness as bad as some people get it, so I have been trying to consider myself lucky. I've also had complete food aversions since the start, something I really didn't expect. I have always been a food lover, so I always thought I'd be a food craver when pregnant but nope. I've hated pretty much all foods, except potato for the first 3 months of pregnancy. I couldn't wait to like food again! There have been many days when I could only stomach Rice Krispies and as a result I lost over half a stone. I've put it all back on again now!

I'm so excited to be in the second trimester, as everyone says this is the one to enjoy. It's also almost the run up to Christmas, so many exciting things happening. 

What was your first trimester like?

Feel free to leave me a comment :) 

Helen x

Disclaimer - these are just my experiences, every pregnancy is different. 

Saturday, 15 November 2014

LIFE: I have some news!

So you have probably realised that I've been pretty absent from my blog over the past month or so, for that I'm sorry but there are a couple of very good reasons why. Firstly, we obviously got married and then went away on our honeymoon. It was a magical time and one that I will treasure forever. If you want to read more about our honeymoon, see here. When we got back we were both straight back to work, a busy time as always. Just getting back into the routine took a while and we still have a long list of post wedding jobs we neXed to do - get thank you cards out, have my dress dry cleaned, put away all of our lovely  wedding gifts, go through the photos, make a photo album etc etc. 

When we got back from our honeymoon we knew we wanted to start looking at buying a house again, we had started looking a couple of years previously but just couldn't find anything that suited us and was in our price range. Well the first house we looked at we loved and have since been starting the process of buying that house. For anyone that has been lucky enough to buy a house, you'll know how much time/effort it entails. Luckily for me, Tom is being fantastic, as all that complicated jargon confuses me! The house is a bit of a project, so we've been spending time looking for bathrooms and kitchens in readiness. Busy times. 

But the biggest news of all and this has been going on during all over this madness, is that we are expecting our first baby together!! We are completely over the moon excited and now that I'm way passed the three month mark we are starting to relax into the pregnancy and not worry so much. As a natural worrier pregnancy did definitely bring out that side of me again, Google is a dangerous place for pregnany women. Avoid it! (I didn't which created more worry!) However, after a pretty horrible 3 months we had out first scan and saw our baby dancing around for the first time. Such an incredible and emotional experience. I can't stop looking at the scan photo, how can something so small be so perfect? 

So there you have it, now I'm sure you can understand why I've been a bit quiet recently but now I'm feeling less sick I'm certainly hoping to get back into posting blog posts regularly :) 

Helen x