Tuesday, 27 January 2015

BABY HAUL: The unplanned weekend shopping trip...

We didn't plan a shopping trip last weekend but after going for a lovely pub meal to celebrate my little brothers birthday over towards Loughborough we decided to nip into Leicester High Cross Shopping Centre. The sales seem to still be going on, so there are still some good bargains to be had. As we bought all of this last weekend they should still be available in the shops, but where possible I've included links to alternative products that are in stock.

I'm loving the more summery baby girl clothing that is finally being released. As our baby is due at the beginning of April we really need to stock up on cooler, summery outfits rather than the wintery stock that's been around recently.


^3-6 Months Blue Summer Dress £6^
^0-3 Months Pack of 2 Dresses £5^
^3-6 Months Cream Cardigan with Bow Detail £4^
^3-6 Months Pink Cardigan with Bow Detail £4^

Zara Baby 
^0-1 Month Pack of 2 was £7.99 reduced to £3.99^
(similar here and here)
^1-3 Months Panda Sleep suit was £9.99 reduced to £5.99^
(similar here)

John Lewis 
^Floral Print Swaddling Blanket was £10 reduced to £7^
(similar here)
^0-3 Months Pink Knitted Long Sleeved Dress was £18 reduced to £12.50^

Are you still picking up any good sale purchases?

Feel free to leave a comment :)

Helen x

Monday, 26 January 2015

PREGNANCY: Week 29 Update

We're finally moved into our building site of a new house! Luckily we managed to pretty much finish off the main bedroom, so that's our little sanctuary away from the messy decorating of the rest of the house. 

Week 29 has been a week of uncomfortable backache and the constant feeling of tired muscles in my legs - like I had done 10000+ squats! My lower back was really uncomfortable, whichever position I adopted when lying down. I guess my big bump is starting to weigh down and my poor back doesn't know what to do. Tom said that he thought my bump looked slightly lower than usual, though it's hard to tell from the angle I see it and it still has such a long way to grow. 

This week has been the first week I've felt a bit like a 'beached whale' - I am so wide and I'm almost sure I've put on weight on my legs, arms and face. I wasn't expecting to feel so big during my pregnancy. I thought I'd love the excuse to eat more (not that you need to, in reality you only need approximately 350 calories more a day) and watch my body grow because it was suppose to, not because I had eaten too much. But actually this week I've felt a bit rubbish about my body. Not my bump, I still think that's amazing but it's the rest of my body that has been changing too. I will be publishing a blog post with a lot more detail about my sudden lack of body confidence very soon, so keep an eye out for that if you're interested or are experiencing something similar.

I've also started getting the 'mask of pregnancy' or at least I think I have. It's darkened patches on my face, resulting in my face looking quite blotchy. I haven't changed my skincare routine, so I'm putting it down to pregnancy. It's not a major issue, as it can be covered up with a medium to full coverage foundation (I'm currently using L'Oreal True Match Foundation, which is more of a lighter medium coverage). 

My nails are growing so quickly these days, I can't keep up. When I put gel nail varnish on I have to take it off before it's really ready to come off because there's a big gap at the nail bed where my nails have grown! Not a bad side effect of pregnancy, as I've always dreamt of having stronger and longer nails! 

I can really feel her under my ribs now, it feels like the bottom of my ribs are pushing into my womb sometimes. It's a really strange feeling, being able to feel your insides. Her movement pattern has changed over the past couple of weeks, she used to keep me up all night and be pretty quiet during the day. But nowadays she's pretty active during the day and slightly quieter at night - hopefully a reflection of her sleep patterns when she's born! Though I read that a lot of the movements we feel are when they're asleep, so who knows?! 

Our NCT meeting this week focused on breast feeding, which had been the session I was most interested in before starting the course. It was so interesting and I learnt loads about how to help your baby latch on properly, all about expressing breast milk and some of the common issues that arise during breastfeeding. I'm not naive, I know that breastfeeding can be/will be very challenging, so it's been really helpful learning a bit more about it this week. I can't believe I'm now 30 weeks - that sounds scarily near to 40 weeks!  

Which pregnancy symptoms were your favourite?

Feel free to leave me a comment :) 

Helen x

Friday, 23 January 2015

HAUL: Cath Kidston Factory Outlet

The first ever Cath Kidston Factory Outlet haul is still one of my most visited blog posts (see here)! Since first visiting the Factory Outlet Shop in St. Neots I have made every excuse you could imagine to visit there again. There are so many great bargains to be had but the unpredictability of stock has sometimes meant my shopping trips there haven't been all that successful. Sometimes there just isn't anything I need or want. However, the last time I visited it was successful and made even more so by the fact that I can now buy the many Cath Kidston baby related products I have yearned after for years. 

This is what I got on my last visit recently...  

^Peg Bag WAS £14 NOW £7. We're planning on putting little socks or bibs in this, then hanging it in the babies room.^

^Carrier Bag Store WAS £10 NOW £2. We thought this could have nappies or vests in for the baby, an easy way to store and access them.^

^Tea Towel WAS £7 NOW £3. We aren't sure what this will be for yet but it will no doubt end up in the baby room. Any ideas would be appreciated?^

^Perhaps one of my most favourite Cath Kidston purchases ever - Changing Bag WAS £60 NOW £30. The use of this is pretty obvious and I was impressed it came with a changing mat and bottle warmer too.^

^Holiday Bag Foldaway WAS £38 NOW £25. This is actually a really big bag that folds out and can also be folded away. I think I might use it as one of my hospital bags when I go into labour, it has a detachable zip pocket inside and it's machine washable.^

Have you got any bargains from the Cath Kidston Factory Outlet?

Feel free to leave me comment :)

Helen x

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

HOUSE: The Process of Decorating our Bedroom

As I've previously mentioned I decided to put myself in charge of decorating our bedroom, as I was pretty much useless in the other rooms. It's been so much fun learning basic decorating skills, tips and tricks, mainly from my Dad but YouTube videos and the internet in general have been very helpful too.

When we first looked at the room that would become our bedroom we looked at the standard of the wallpaper, woodwork, fireplace and floorboards (as we're having exposed floorboards). Looking at the whole room is so important because it helps you identify the work that will need to be done. Luckily, in our bedroom the wallpaper was good enough to just paint over. There were a couple of joins where the wallpaper had started to peel away, so I used an adhesive to basically glue the wallpaper back down. It was easy to do and saved having to peel all the wallpaper off and then putting lining paper back up. There was a very dark purple colour on the chimney breast and one wall, which needed to be painted over with a Pure Brilliant White paint first. Otherwise when we went to paint our chosen colour on top the purple would have still shown through. 

As for the colour scheme in our bedroom, we have decided to go for grey. The chimney breast is a dark grey and the walls a very light grey. Don't underestimate the tough job of finding and liking paint - we have bought so many tester pots its ridiculous! We settled on B&Q Colours Silk Emulsion Paint in Grey Slate 2.5l £14 for the chimney breast and Wickes Vinyl Silk Emulsion Paint in Powder Grey 2.5l (£15.99) for the rest of the walls. For the skirting borders, door surrounds and fireplace mantelpiece we opted for Pure Brilliant White Gloss Paint for Wood and Metal - a lot of brands do this product.

The first job was to sand down all of the woodwork in the room: door frames, skirting boards, window (as we decided to paint it white), fireplace and the loft entrance. It was a tough job - I have the weakest arms but skill wise it was very easy. This breaks the seal of the paint already on these areas and means that there's a rough surface for the new paint to stick to. Or so I'm told. I then brushed down these areas to make sure there wasn't any residue left and painted the wood undercoat paint on. It's an almost white colour and prepares the wood ready for the gloss paint to be applied. I'd highly recommend using a small brush for this, as I battled on with a much too big one for so long and then 'treated myself' to a small decorating brush from Wickes (this one to be precise). It made the job so much easier!

Next I started painting the walls (I had already painted the chimney breast and dark purple wall with a pure brilliant white matt emulsion paint) with the Powder Grey paint. Using a paint brush I painted around the light switch, skirting boards, edge of the walls and the ceiling with the paint first. Then, using a roller I rolled on the paint to the rest of the wall. I used the Professional Roller & Tray Set 230mm from Wickes (£3.99), as I was advised to use a medium pile length roller (the hairs on the roller are medium length, as you can get long and short too but they're for different jobs). Rolling on the paint means you get a beautiful finish and its so much quicker too! After painting one coat and letting it completely dry, I painted a second layer. Very easy to do but quite time consuming. I did the same thing with the dark grey paint on the chimney breast too.

After that, I painted the woodwork with the white gloss paint and made sure I was really careful with where I was painting as I had now painted the walls. Other than painting the skirting boards making my acid reflux in pregnancy even worse, I really enjoyed painting our bedroom. I am a true amateur and it's so satisfying seeing your hard work take shape.

Tom has now painted the ceiling, with a matt pure brilliant white paint, and we are currently preparing the floorboards to be painted grey too. I went around with a scraper, scraping up any dried drips of paint/old paint and started the sand the floorboards down. We will then make sure that there is no residue left on the floorboards before painting the undercoat primer for wood on. The paint we have chosen for the floorboards is the Ronseal Diamond Hard Floor Paint in Slate. It says its very hard wearing, so hopefully it will stand the test of time!

That's where I'm up to with the bedroom at the moment. I'm really looking forward to putting our new furniture and home accessories in to the bedroom now - starting to make it look more like a bedroom than a decorating site.

Do you enjoy decorating rooms in your house? 

Feel free to leave me a comment :)

Helen x 

Monday, 19 January 2015

PREGNANCY: Week 28 Update

This is the week we packed up our rented house and moved to our new building site of a house. Now normally this would be an exciting time but the lack of bath, shower, flushing toilet, sink upstairs and kitchen dampened the excitement slightly. In fact I was completely dreading this last week. I couldn't carry any heavy boxes, or use certain cleaning products and having no proper toilet has sent me into a mild panic! Not an ideal situation for anyone, let alone someone 6 1/2 months pregnant! But hey go, it's not like we didn't try to have more ready before we moved in - my Dad has been working around the clock, as have we. It won't be long until the bathroom is useable, until then we're taking a camping approach to our new house.

Week 28 started with some tummy pains - growing bump+stretching skin+belly button only just staying in=pain around my tummy. Nothing that wasn't completely bearable though, just slightly uncomfortable. Her turning movements have got stronger this week too, which really has kept us both going! I love just watching my tummy, trying to catch her wiggling around or kicking - I still need to catch it on film though. Every time I try and film her moving she goes all shy and stops! 

There's no sign of the linea nigra making an appearance, although I do have a darkening around my belly button. It looks a bit like a bruise, I presume it's my skin stretching and my belly button is only just still an innie. I don't have any stretch marks yet, which is remarkable as I'm definitely a 'going to get stretch marks' kind of girl. I don't mind getting them, as they will have given me my daughter but for now I'm happy not to have them. I've been applying the Mama Mio Stretch Mark Oil at night and the Palmers Cocoa Butter Stretch Mark Cream on in the mornings. 

I had a trapped nerve at the top of my left leg about a month or so ago and it's still playing up every now and again. I sometimes get shooting pains down my left leg, which really stop me in my tracks. They are painful and just a bit inconvenient, as it's been stopping me being able to paint the floorboards in our bedroom. Hopefully it will sort itself out soon. 

I've also started having more leg cramps this week, which are pretty painful. I'd never really experienced cramp much before but now I know what my husband is talking about when he gets it! I've only woken up once in the night with leg cramp, so it's not yet disturbing my sleep as much as I've read it can do. 

The pregnancy waddle is definitely starting to make an appearance. Some days I just feel so big and can't imagine getting any bigger. But I'm fully aware of how much growing my baby still has to go, I'm just not sure if my skin will stretch any further! 

We had another couple of NCT meetings this week, one longer session at the  weekend and one during the week. The weekend session covered birth and labour, which if I'm honest I wasn't looking forward to. Ignorance is bliss, right? I just wasn't sure I really wanted to know what was going to happen during labour, I've go to go through it so why not just let nature take it's course?! But it was actually really interesting and definitely food for thought for the next 12ish weeks. The second session was on inductions and starting to look at the first 6 weeks of life with a baby. Fair to say it sounds pretty exhausting and unpredictable but also incredible and a time to treasure. I am apprehensive about what those first couple of months are going to be like. There are just so many questions - what will it be like? When will I know my baby is hungry? How will I recover from labour? What can my husband do to help? How do I feed my baby? Etc. etc. I could go on and on. From speaking to other mums to be, this worry is completely normal as it is a terrifying time of your life. It's the complete unknown. 

What was/has been your most uncomfortable symptom during pregnancy?

Feel free to leave me a comment :) 

Helen x

Friday, 16 January 2015

SALE SHOPPING: Baby Girl feat. Mothercare, Marks and Spencers, TK Maxx

This year sale shopping was taken to a whole level, I was on a mission to buy as many cute baby clothes as I could possibly justify. Finding out the gender of our baby has meant that clothes shopping is easier, as I know what I'm looking for, and therefore needed some level of control. Baby clothes just pull on my heart strings. I had tried to restrain myself until the sales, which wasn't a complete success but I tried nonetheless! I have fallen in love with so many pieces I picked up in the sale this year and for the first time they aren't even for me! I did most of this sale shopping online on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day - I knew what I wanted so it wasn't a matter of browsing for a long time. A lot lf these close are for next autumn/winter, as that's the style of clothes that were mostly in the sale. I bought 6-9 months, hoping they will fit her, it's all a bit of a guessing game really.


£16 reduced to £8

£14 reduced to £7

£10 reduced to £5 

£9 reduced to £4

£8 2 pack reduced to £4

£8 2 pack reduced to £4
£7 reduced to £3.50
£6 reduced to £4

Tesco F&F Clothing 

£4 reduced to £2

£3 reduced to £1.50

Marks and Spencer's 

£14 reduced to £7

£14 reduced to £6

£6 reduced to £4

£6 reduced to £4

£14 reduced to £9

£9 reduced to £6

£10 reduced to £8

£12 reduced to £6

Sainsburys TU Clothing 

£6 reduced to £4

TK Maxx

£19.99 reduced to £10

£14.99 reduced to £8

JoJo Maman Bebe 

£24 reduced to £12

£24 reduced to £12

£10 reduced to £5

£10 reduced to £5 

£2.50 reduced to £1

£6 reduced to £3

£6 reduced to £3

£10 reduced to £5

Did you pick up any good bargains in the sales?

Feel free to leave me a comment - I love reading every single one :) 

Helen x