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Dear Daisy, It is your first day at school...

6 weeks to go- 34 weeks pregnancy and bump update

6 weeks sounds like a long time, but actually realistically it could be as little as 3 weeks really.. Which doesn't sound like any time at all! 

Last week I had a busy weekend but promised I would pack my hospital bags- I lied! I didn't! Luckily I've not needed it but I am on to it this week! All the teeny babygrows and blankets are being washed and dried at the moment ready to be packed or put away. 

This week has been uncomfortable, my back is really sore and my ribs are too. I can't seem to wriggle her into a position which gives me much breathing space or space to eat! Getting on my hands and knees or kneeling up straight (like taught in my Lazy Daisy classes!) makes room for her and gives me a short burst of relief but then the wanders back to her favourite squished position! 

Last Sunday I also had what I think was my first braxton hicks. I was off to bed and having a wash and all of a sudden I kept getting huge waves of discomfort in my tummy and pelvis, I actually thought I was going into labour! I think I hit a bit of panic at the time but I survived! I just breathed through it and eased them by getting on my hands and knees again and rocked a bit. It was over in 10-12 minutes but ouch! I haven't really had any since, slight tightenings but nothing like that. Part of me wonders if maybe she was turning and got wedged?!?

Other complaints and moans this week include:

- Bad skin- it improved slightly and then went bad AGAIN! 
- Limp hair- it never looks clean even when it's been washed the hour before! 
- Sore, heavy boobs- I thought this was a first trimester problem?! 
- I can't reach my feet or see them even! I've got some lovely new polishes to use and can't even see my toes to guess where I'm painting!

I had my last Lazy Daisy birthing class on Friday evening, quite sad to be finished but then again excited as it means it's almost time to do the real birthing thing! I have mentioned doing a post on these classes a few times and I promise I will soon. I could have carried on and done another terms but I'm close now and part of me thinks I would only get to do a few more classes before baby arrives. 

The teacher from the classes has offered to lend me her pool for birthing at home which is fantastic! They can be so expensive to hire!! I'm starting to think further into the birth and labour and am even dreaming I have had her now, it must be on my mind quite a lot. I'm reading a book at the moment by Nicky Wesson on Home Birth, it's really reassuring and practical. Are there any other books anyone recommends? 

Quick update today, 

Lots of love and happy Mother's Day, 

Hayley xxx

Cake, Ladies and Bumps... Baby Shower

This week has been so busy with various work and personal commitments and so this is a little late but here is a  post on my baby shower as requested by some of you kind readers. It was a lovely afternoon with all of my favourite ladies basically eating cake, playing silly games and chattering! And as you will see opening LOTS of pressies! 

It was arranged by one of my best friends along with the help of my sisters at my local pub, it was really relaxed and just really nice to spend some time with the girls before I become a mummy for the first time. 

The girls had arranged some games including the following:
  • Baby Bingo - Basically we all had cards with various baby themed words such as Nappy, Dummy, Mummy etc and the caller shouted out the words and we had to cross them out as we went! As simple as that! 
  • How big is your bump? - A ball of string and a pair of scissors were passed around everyone and they pretty much just guessed how big my belly was at the time! Well... this was interesting. Some of the girls obviously see me being far fatter than I am! Charming! There were 2 girls who got it pretty much exact - no one under - estimated though!!!! Looking back at photos I think I am actually a little bigger than I think I am at times! 
  • Mr & Mrs Quiz - They had asked Ben some questions before the shower such as my worst habit, the name of my first car, what 3 items I would rescue in a fire etc and then the questions were asked to us all - including me! Who ever got the most answers right won. You would think I would know ALL of the answers - but nope i was useless! Or maybe it was my husband giving useless answers :)

I felt so spoilt and over whelmed with how kind everyone was to us, including the cakes that had been made and all of the presents - our little lady isn't even here yet! 

I know there can be a bit of a negative feeling around baby showers at times where they can sometimes be seen as an excuse for presents and that its a very American event. I would hate for any of my guests to have thought this though and really just wanted to see everyone. We were really spoiled with presents though, and I did find it over whelming, I am still looking through them and finding them homes, my friends and family really are the most loving and generous I have ever known. 

 And I can't not post this photo - all of the bumps that were there!! 

Its a bit of a photo heavy post but why not?! 

Lot's of love, 

Hayley xx

The little things in life... 33 week bump and pregnancy update

How fast is this all coming around now? I am sure the last few weeks will drag on but for now its flying by. 

I had an appointment with the midwife this week and all seemed well, good strong little heartbeat booming away and all bloods appeared to be healthy. When they measured my bump as they always do, guess what? It's measuring ahead - again. She didn't seem overly worried about it saying small framed ladies do tend to carry very much at the front and seeing as its all based on my height and BMI then it doesn't always mean baby is too big for her gestation. We shall see! But if I am honest I would rather a baby on the hippo side of things than too small and slow on the growth scale. 

We also saw the consultant this week who we see fairly regularly, this meant we got to see her via ultrasound again. She is growing beautifully, her little cheeks are really full and she already appears to have bags of character and attitude sticking her tongue out at us being her party trick this week! It's really amazing how as time has gone on you are no longer looking at what looks like a skeleton/ alien on the screen but an actual real life baby! Surreal slightly. 

He did her measurements for us and she is perfect at the moment, not too big at all but a good, healthy size. He estimated over 4 and a half pounds!!! That sounds huge to me, but I'm reassured it's not!

So that is how things are medically so far.. emotionally I am now feeling almost ready for her to arrive. Her bedroom is near enough done, in no means is it finished or ready to show off but if she was to come along then things would be ready enough. in terms of everything else I am almost there.. I now have cotbed mattress, moses basket mattress etc. everything a little more important than a towel or a rubber duck at least.

In terms of myself I am feeling heavy, very heavy. Getting out of bed is a chore and leaves me breathless, who would have thought it? More the reason to stay in it as long as possible! My skin has improved.. slightly. I'm trying not to tamper with it too much as in the past this hasn't always done me any favours. in the on-going war of the stretchmark's I still don't have any new ones, I am continuing to use all the lotions and potions as weapons against it but I do think if they are going to arrive, then they will.

Emotionally I have felt a bit drained this week, probably from the tiredness and the hormones. And perhaps the realisation that actually realistically it could be as little as 4 weeks until we meet our daughter. I am naturally very excited but after so much worry its always going to be a little nerve wracking meeting her for the 1st time, never mind getting her out of her little home in my womb!

I have a busy weekend coming up with my baby shower/ party with all of my friends on Saturday and then a family meal on Sunday for Ben's parents anniversary. However, I have one job I really want to get done this weekend and that's to pack mine and baby's hospital bag or at least somewhere close to ready, just in case. I have mentioned before about considering a home birth and I am still in that frame of mind where I am hoping that all will go well enough for me to be at home but I will still need all of our bits together in one place and I'm not daft in realising things don't always work out and we could end up in hospital anyway.

A home birth is looking more and more likely to be on the cards now and the obesctrian seemed happy enough with the idea. We will see how things progress and as long as baby is growing nicely still in a few weeks then we are good to go!  I'm going to do a post on why choose a home birth but would be interested in hearing if anyone else has had one or is considering? 

No bump photo just yet this week but I am planning to have some taken tomorrow at my baby shower when I am little more presentable and not in my pjs! 

I've been wondering this last week or so if she will look like me or her dad? By the looks of her ultrasounds she seems to have more of her dads features at the moment, although it's always hard to tell! Here is a photo of me as a newborn, 5 generations in it! Not many babies are lucky enough to see that many grandparents! 

What's coming up?? 

I have some lovely maternity items to review over the next few weeks including a maternity kaftan, kimono and also a nursing scarf - okay so I may leave that one to the day I am nursing but they are beautiful and I can't wait to show you all.

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

The little things in life... Baby's break the bank

In my magazine this month there is an article all about how the average pregnant woman spends around £1800 on her baby, before its even born!! Crazy isn't it? As crazy as it is though it doesn't necessarily surprise me all that much, there is so much choice out there and tempting things to go for that surely every baby needs?!? And actually a decent pram could set you back almost half of this new! 


We have been saving for a little while for when the time comes to having our family, but this sadly will only probably cover the loss of earnings for a few months and be there to use if needs be so we have had to be careful and sensible when getting ready for baby (I make it sound like we are sat waiting, all ready, this isn't the case!!).

 I am a bargain hunter at the best of times, I think its a trait I get from my mum, my sister is exactly the same! I'm not proud, if you look around you can get some perfect condition things for amazing prices, obviously you have to sift through the tat though!

Maternity wardrobe

Its inevitable that you grow out of your clothes at some point, even those lucky ladies that stay trim will need some kind of new things to cover up that expanding bump at some point. I was lucky that my friends who have had babies already have leant me some key bits, such as a few H&M Mama dresses and jeans that will have got me through most of my pregnancy. Maternity wear can be so expensive and really hit and miss on how it fits, I bought a few pieces that made me look like an elephant!! 

I am lucky in that I seem to be able to wear quite a bit of my old wardrobe, including my skinnies! Although... Fly open isn't the most attractive and lady like way of wearing jeans!!! I found some button extenders on Amazon that work a treat, much cheaper than more new jeans! 

The other clever little invention I've found is the Bump Band, Mothercare do them and it just means you can cover any flashing belly between your trousers and top, and you can hide any slightly open jeans!! 

Freebies and hand me downs

There are lots of freebies to be had when you join various clubs when you get pregnant such as the Boots parenting club, Cow and Gate etc, some are more useful than others and to be honest I have been a bit lazy in joining these. The one I have joined is Boots though, you get some good vouchers and you get more points when you buy baby products from there, which will always be good! I also got a free black changing bag, although I have gone for something more pretty and girly this will be perfect for when Ben has his maternity time, I'm sure he doesn't want to carry around a flowery satchel!! 

I have been given so many baby things, I know I'm very lucky and not everyone is but there are other ways of saving money when it comes to baby things. I'm told newborns will grow out of their cute little outfits super fast and most of the time won't even wear some items even once! So why spend a fortune?

 I have bought new clothes, I can't resist as there are so many pretty girly things around. But I also have been given bags of clothes to look through and choose what I want out of them. Also a tip from my sister was to look on eBay and selling sites to look for bundles, there are some really cheap and pretty much new ones out there. I've started to look at these now for the next few sizes up as I am already quite well stocked on tiny newborn clothes and have already bought some new!! 

Prams and furniture

This is where it gets pricy!!! And the choice is crazy! Choosing a travel system was like looking for a car!! There are tiers to look at for prams but it's really down to personal preference. Once you know what you want and you have given them a test drive you can start to have a look around and look for a good deal or even second hand. 

I was set on buying second hand as I wanted an Icandy and they can sometimes be on the higher end of price if you want all of the system, accessories etc. In the end I found a good deal at a local stockists but you really can get some good second hand or ex- display prams. This was my one big splurge to be honest, I just can't wait for it to arrive now! 

With my nursery furniture I have done exactly what I have done in the rest of my house! Looked for second hand, solid furniture that I can upcycle and make my own! I didn't want cheap furniture that would look naff after a few months of use. And also more importantly I wanted it to fit in with the rest of my home! 

I found the cotbed on a local selling site and cleaned it up, it didn't really need it as it was good condition but still. The same with the book shelf, chest of drawers etc. I'll share photos when it's complete! 

For now I am using photos like this for inspiration: 

Well, I have probably bored you all by now! 

Lots of love, 

Hayley xxx

The little things in life... Tour of my home #2 The Living Room

The last home post I completed for you was the tour of my kitchen and dining room, my favourite place in our home. Next up is the living room.. this has taken some getting right. We have lived in the house not even 18 months and this is the second design we have done! First time around was yuk! Very purple and really not us at all.

So as I said with the kitchen post the house was a complete renovation project... 


It is a really big room, and with two windows it makes the layout quite tricky to master, in fact we recently bought a new sofa just to fit the room! I have always wanted a snuggle chair (an armchair and a half basically) but never had room, well room is something I now have plenty of!

Don't you just love the carpet before though and the window boxing? Very retro! the only thing we still have is the chandelier, and that has been washed and up cycled and now has its own home in the hallway!

Although the windows can limit us slightly it makes the room so bright and have a real sense of space and air. Other than the re-wiring, central heating installation, new flooring, re-plastering etc it's pretty much just our furniture that makes the room what it is.

 I do love this room now it's almost finished and find it so comforting and relaxing to be in. I wanted a splash of colour with being garish and staying neutral somehow, I think we cracked it - just about.


Sofa & Curtains: Next Home, light: Homebase

Curtains: Next Home, Cushion handmade & The Range UK

I am a bit of a bargain hunter and so my furniture is usually second hand from auctions, Gumtree or Ebay etc. The dresser was a bargain from Gumtree, £35 and i used Annie Sloan in Paris Grey to bring it back to life. I will show you some of my trinkety (Is that even a word?) bits on it after, these change quite often as I find new finds I like. The book shelf unit is the same, an Ebay find and again in Paris Grey.

Bobby decided to photo bomb this one! Coffee table stripped and then painted in Farrow & Ball
So some of the bits that make it feel like home...

Candle: Homemade (not by me!) Cushions: Dunelm & Next
Throw: Primark

I must admit I have an obsession with cushions, I would have millions more if I was allowed and there was room! Candles also are one of my favourite things to look for. The teacups are handmade by a local business and smell amazing as well as obviously looking beautiful and fitting in nicely into my home.

Lamp: Dunelm

Well that is it! I know it is a photo heavy post but there are no other ways to talk about it, a picture speaks a thousand words and all that! 

Lots of love, 
Hayley xxx

The little things in life.. When things get difficult!

Well I'm almost 32 weeks pregnant now and how am I honestly feeling? Tired to the bone. It gets to around 4pm and I feel as if the life has been zapped out of me!! I feel fine up until then if I eat properly and drink plenty but then it goes rapidly down hill. It's quite normal as you get further on, apparently. 

It's a moany week this week, I feel huge, my tummy is tight and I feel like I can't even fill my lungs with the air that they need. On top of that my skin is worse than it ever was as a teenager, disgusting. Delightful hormones coming out to play I guess, making us pregnant ladies feel a million dollars! (Yeah right!) But each day that goes by is one day closer.. 

And here is my ever growing tummy... 

I told you I was huge! Baby must weigh at least 3 pounds now, 3 pounds! How frightening is that!!! 

I have about 5 weeks left at work now, I'm hoping it goes quite quickly as the sooner it goes the sooner we get to meet baby. And I selfishly can own my own body again! 

I have now done 3 (I think- the weeks are going too fast) classes of Lazy Daisy birthing and am honestly really enjoying them. I said in a previous post I wasn't too sure how I'd feel about them but I really do feel relaxed during and after the class and am feeling generally more positive about my labour. For now! We talk about birth and get to listen to other peoples stories in the sessions, the thought of this would have terrified me and I'd have covered my ears a few months ago but now I find it quite empowering. Us ladies were made for this! 

I've decided that I'd very much like a water birth if all goes my way with the labour and there are no complications with delivery. I do worry that the one pool at my local hospital may be occupied and then I will miss out. I'm also thinking that staying at home for as long as possible will help me to relax in my own space, do what I want and need to do without the panic of a clinical environment. 

I've always been weird in hospitals, it's not unusual for me to have a dippy turn and faint or vomit when there!! No idea why, pshycological I am sure in some way.

 So.. Staying at home for as long as I can. This is also leading me to seriously consider having a home birth or at least plan to anyway, I know things don't always go to plan with labour but we can only hope for the ideal situation. I am going to speak with my midwife this week and the consultant to see what they're opinions are! And then take it from there.. 

I know people have mixed opinions on home births but I'm not too bothered on what they think to be honest, it's our baby and I want to be relaxed and enjoy it as much as is physically possible where ever that may be! I of course will always listen to the medical professionals! 

Lots of love, 
Hayley xxx

The little things in life... Tour of my home #1 The Kitchen

In a recent post where I was giving you a sneak preview of our new bedroom I mentioned giving you a little tour of our home and showing you some of my favourite bits! This will be boring to some of you but I love reading this type of post, probably because I am a tad nosey!

We bought our house just after our wedding, about 18 months ago now. And when we bought it, it was a complete rennovation project. There were times when I thought what on earth are we doing?! We had to do things such as re-wiring, installing gas central heating, knock walls through, put walls in, bathrooms, kitchen, the list is endless and if we are honest its still not quite done - almost though and when I say not done I mean just the faffy little bits to finish off.

The Kitchen/ dining room

This is my favourite space in the house, its exactly what I envisaged when we were doing it now its complete, I spend a lot of time in here either working from home, baking and cooking etc. I love it! (some of my highlights on the right include my teacup chandelier from Next, my photo wall, the spice rack (another auction upclycled find painted in Annie Sloan Old Ochre) and my lovely view to the garden!

So what did it look like before?! The top picture below is the now dining area and then the kitchen, beautiful!

The fist thing that happened in here was to rip it out completely, and I mean completely! The units, the floor, the wall between the dining room and the poxy kitchen, the gas chimney that was stood in the kitchen and the wall that was between then kitchen and coal shed. It was dusty!!! We are lucky that our family and friends are very "useful" and did so much of the work for and with us.

It was dirty, dirty work! But definitely worth it. 

All of the furniture you can see is pretty much second hand, bought from auctions such as the dresser, the spice rack and even a few of the photo frames! Our farmhouse table and chairs is one of my favourite possessions, we bought this with some of our wedding money from  Ebay, it was a bargain for how solid and beautiful it is. Hopefully it will be with us for a while to come! 

Lots of love, 

I own the copyright to all photographs used

The little things in life... Baking Days #1

Baking is something I love to do, when I am in the mood for it though. I have phases where I will bake most weeks and then others where I seem to forget how much I enjoy it when I do. 

With the surprisingly spring like weekend we have just had I really fancied doing something light and citrus! No idea why a bit of sunshine makes me think of citrus, maybe it's the colours? So I decided on making some sticky lemon cupcakes... And a success they were! 

They are so easy to make and so quick, I will be making these again for sure. 

Here is the recipe: 

Main Cake: 225g Flour, 2tsp Baking powder, 150g caster sugar, 1 egg, 300ml plain yogurt, lemon zest and 75g melted butter.

Topping: 225g Creme fraiche, 50g icing sugar, lemon juice and zest to decorate.

 However I did make some subtle changes (I tend to do this!!!), in the main cake batter I used low fat natural yogurt and used more of it and less of the butter as well as half of the amount of sugar and then half of Stetvia (a natural sweetener which is much lighter than sugar and far better for you). I wanted it light and fluffy and this worked for me! For the icing I didn't use the sugar at all, instead I put a sprinkle of Stetvia in and added more lemon zest to sparkle it up a bit, if you don't think its sweet enough you could also add in a bit of sugar but I honestly don't think you need all of that icing sugar at all. Unless you want to be naughty of course! But with my tummy expanding by the day being 30 weeks pregnant I wanted to make it a snack I could have without feeling guilty as I knew I couldn't have just eaten one of them!  

In the photo below you can see my top tip in practise, an ice-cream scoop. They are perfect for scooping out the cake mix and filling the cupcake cases with no mess or fuss, no scraping teaspoons and getting all sticky. I highly recommend!


Lots of Love,
Hayley xxx