Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Dressing the ever growing bump

I'm on the home straight now, but that unfortunately means dressing has become a bit trickier. Being on site the first six months of my pregnancy, while far from glamorous, was extremely easy to dress for. Now I'm back in the office, I definitely have to do a bit more thinking about what I can wear, that is, what I can fit into!

Luckily my hips don't seem to have widened as much as they did last time, so my normal trousers still fit, at this stage. I did buy two pairs of maternity trousers for work though, as I'm sitting all day now and wanted to be as comfortable as possible.

I bought a black pair of trousers from ASOS. I have these in non maternity and love them so knew they would work with my existing wardrobe. I nabbed these while there was a 20% code floating about, so they only set me back £17.60. They are currently £22, which is very reasonable, as cheap black trousers can look exactly that - cheap. But these are pretty good for the price, so much so, I have bought a back up pair in case my normal ones ever fall apart. They also come in petite and curve.

These are my main grab and go item, as black cropped trousers work with most things. All I have to do is find a top that covers my bump (not always an easy task might I add) and I'm good to go.

Next jumper
ASOS trousers
ASOS Boots
Zara blouse
ASOS trousers
River Island Shoes 
I've been sticking with the blouse/wool jumper formula a lot recently. I have loads of silky type blouses, so they have been housing the bump just fine. I can't see it lasting forever if the last weeks growing rate is anything to go by. So I may need a few new tops pretty soon.

Weekend dressing has been slightly easier, but I've stuck with blouses and jumpers too. The added layer of a shirt underneath is perfect for me as I'm one of those annoying people who's always cold.

H&M denim shirt
H&M jumper
H&M maternity jeans
Mango boots
River Island blouse
H&M cashmere jumper
H&M jeans
Next jumper
H&M cashmere scarf
Zara jeans
ASOS wedge trainers
Oddly enough dressing up I find pretty easy. I have a few pairs of slouchy trousers and some dresses with a bit of spare material. So they are working just fine for now.

River Island dress
River Island shoes

New look necklace
H&M blouse
Matalan trousers
ASOS wedge boots
Zara blouse
Zara jeans
River Island shoes

You may have noticed I'm now the proud owner of a full length mirror - not out of time I hear you say, the bedroom light isn't great but you will have to put up with it until we get into the new house. No more chopped off head or feet, but the main bonus is it ensures I make the bed everyday!

P.S. Please forgive the weird formatting. My relationship with blogger is going through a rough patch at the minute, but I really wanted to get a post up, as I've been lying about a lot so busy recently ;)



Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Muffin marvellous

So now I’m back in the nice cosy office, on a comfy chair all day it has definitely helped me get back into my cooking routine. So far this year I have been eating pretty well – go me!!
My pregnancy cravings for fruit and veg have definitely kept me on the right track though. I’m a big eater at the best of times but pregnancy means I need a little bit more energy too, so I have to be prepared at all times, in case baby TnP decides they fancy a wee snack. On Sunday evenings I make a massive batch of savoury muffins to nibble on during the week. The wee man is mad into baking at the minute, so it helps to keep him out of mischief, but he always thinks he's getting cupcakes at the end of it so is a little disappointed.

I can’t eat gluten, so making anything with a traditional recipe and replacing the normal flour for gluten free flour is always a bit of a gamble, but this time I can say it paid off. I think the trick it to do it in recipes that don’t contain too much flour and a lot of liquid or eggs to keep the mix a little moist. These little beauties were amazing and so easy to make, and I’ve been asked for the recipe loads already, so I thought I should share. The basic recipe is from the ‘My Daddy Cooks’ book by Nick Coffer.

Makes:10-12 muffins (although I got 20)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes (about 18mins done me so keep a good eye on them)

For the base mix:
  • 125g extra-mature cheddar cheese grated (worth buying extra mature as it adds to the flavour)
  • 225g self-raising flour (I swapped for Doves farm Gluten free flour, and threw in a pinch of baking powder for good measure)
  • 175ml milk
  • 55ml olive oil
  • 1egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
 You can then add whatever filling you want, so it’s great for using up leftovers. I added;
  • 3 rashers of chopped cooked bacon
  • 2 chopped tomatoes,
  • handful of chopped spinach (us preggo ladies have to keep our iron levels up!)
The recipe suggests adding 1 large carrot and 1 courgette both grated.
Mix the dry ingredients (flour, cheese and your fillings) then add the other ingredients (milk, oil and water) and smooth into a lumpy batter. Bung the slightly disgusting looking mix into a greased muffin tin, pat down and place in oven.

Remove after 18-20 minutes. They should be golden on top, and should sound hollow when you tap them. Leave to cool for a few minutes.

Mine have kept for 4 days in a sealed container, but they have been severely rationed, as I don’t think they’d have lasted a day otherwise. They are a big hit with kids and are a great way of getting a bit of calcium and iron into them, in the guise of a bun. Next time I think I may do them in bun cases too.
I have a bit of a thing for making savoury muffin type things. Another big favourite of mine is the quinoa pizza muffins, that I have shared before here. They are packed full of protein and feel like a ‘dirty’ snack when they are actually pretty healthy.

Even easier is egg muffins. I have no set recipe for this, as I just throw in whatever I have to hand. It’s the same as an omlette mix really. Beat a few eggs in, add a bit of pepper and a glug of milk and whatever filling you fancy, like cooked chopped sausage or bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms or broccoli, and a handful of whatever cheese you have. You could also spice these up a bit with a pinch of curry powder or cayenne pepper. Spoon into greased muffin tray and cook for 18-20 minutes, or whenever a knife popped in the middle comes out clean. Another great grab and go snack for the hectic lives we all seem to lead nowadays!

I love picking up easy, quick and healthy(ish) recipes, if you have any please do share them. I can never have too many recipes.


Saturday, 4 January 2014

Finally winning the hair battle!

I mentioned on my last post that I received a life changing present at Christmas. Now you may think I'm exaggerating, but it has seriously changed my life. I have fine hair but loads and loads of it, so it usually gets mistaken for thick hair. It's also very frizzy, and since I've lost my curl it only has a bit of a wave now.

Doing my hair from washing to heading out the door takes about an hour. I have to blow dry it, then straighten it to calm the frizz, then I usually curl it with the Remington Pearl wand as it's very flat without a curl. Hence it's my most hated task, and you definitely won't catch me washing it every day - I have better things to do with my time (like shop!).  The curling wand is a pretty good tool too for a lasting curl or wave and the Pearl seems to be the best on the market, but it's actually the babyliss big hair I'm whittering on about. 

£44.99 at Argos
A few of my blogging buddies (Kat from DMBL40 and Avril from SGS) have been singing it's praises, but I was still reluctant as I have serious frizz going on, and I thought nothing would work for my crazy hair. I thought basically if it sounds too good to be true it usually is. But I was eventually convinced otherwise, and I really couldn't pass it up. I was chuffed when my mum bought it for me and could not wait to have a go with it. 

It's basically a brush with a hair dryer built into if. It also spins in both directions, depending on which button you press, so you can flick your hair out or under, or a combination of both gives a nice bouncy blow dry look. If you've had a blow dry from a hair dresser before you'll know that it takes a bit of skill to rotate the brush and blow dry at the same time. The big hair gets rid of one tool completely and when you press the spin button it even does that rotating motion for you too. Making it all bit more manageable. 

I started off by watching a few YouTube tutorials, and gave myself plenty of time to get to grips with it, before heading out for a long lunch with the girls. I thought the first go would be an absolute nightmare, but it was far from it. My main problem was always getting volume at my roots, as my hair is pretty heavy and seems to fall flat at the roots, but the big hair solved this. I'm not a total pro yet but I think after a few weeks I'll be flying. 

The method that works for me is to blast my hair until 80% dry, then I concentrate on doing sections. I then split it into two layers (top and bottom) whizzing though the bottom layer pretty quick and concentrating on the top section and roots a bit more. I didn't have to straighten it at all after, which is completely unheard of for me. It was lovely and shiny and smooth, with a bit of root lift and some added bounce, and best of all it was done in about half the time of my normal routine. 

After my first go, looking rather pleased with myself! 

H&M silk shirt
Whistles sculptured tee
Next necklace
H&M jeans
Mango suede boots (now £35.99)
Oasis leather jacket
Zara scarf 
If you haven't already guessed I really do recommend it. I even look forward to washing my hair which coming from me is a massive thing. If it can smooth my lions mane it can sort anyone's ! 


Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The Christmas round-up!

So Christmas has been and gone for another year. It was a double celebration for us this year, as I've now entered my third trimester, so the countdown is officially on and baby TnP should be making an appearance in the next 3ish months.

I received some gorgeous pressies this year, including a stunning Michael Kors watch. Unfortunately I already have a Rose gold one, and who really needs two rose gold watches? So I'm going to change it to a Stainless steel one instead. 

I also received a life changing present (dramatic much?!) all will be revealed in my next post, so stay tuned!! 

The run up to Christmas was pretty hectic for me this year with work and one thing and another, so I hadn't done much planning by way of outfits. I had picked up this skirt in Dunnes a few week back, it's in the Savida range. They have some stunning pieces, although it can be a tad overpriced at times I think. The skirt became the main feature of my Christmas Day outfit. I think this is the first Christmas in years where I didn't wear a dress. But the Lycra ensured there was maximum stretch for a food belly on top of a baby belly. 

H&M blouse
Savida skirt
Dunnes pumps 

I was wearing heels at the start of the day, but that was rather optimistic of me, as my pelvic pain is now a killer. So I'm now sporting a rather fetching support belt most of the time, to give my pelvis a bit more support. I have kindly spared you the sight of it for outfit photos. I highly recommend it if you are experiencing outer pelvic pain. Here's the link, in case any of you are suffering like me. 

So onto Boxing Day, and following very little planning, I delved into the wardrobe that morning to see what I could find, in the hope that something would fit. This is the first outing of the Topshop fluro print dress, since I bought it a few months back. It's perfect for housing my bump as there is plenty of excess material to it, and my support belt is cunningly disguised underneath too. 

Topshop dress
Hispanics navy wedge boots 

I spent both days in maximum comfort, which lets face it is exactly what you want to do when your spending an entire day stuffing your face, and secretly scoffing the little ones selection boxes - cadburys buttons anyone??

But operation healthy eating is back on track for 2014. I did get a bit derailed with all the sweets that suddenly appeared in our house over the festive season. This morning started with a spinach and tomato omelette, with a side of mushrooms and some gluten free brown bread (Genius is thee best gluten free bread on the market in my opinion). That kept me going a few hours at least. Baby TnP is extremely active, so it's not so much a case of 'eating for two' but more like 'eating for ten' at times!


I hope you all had a nice few days, and received some gorgeous pressies to boot! I'm sure most of you have grabbed some amazing sales bargains at this stage - so go on sicken me and do share. I'm being very good this year and have bought very little indeed - I know, I can't believe it either!!!

So it's now 2014, and I hope you all have an amazing year to come. I want to thank you for reading, and really appreciate the lovely comments I have had in 2013. I never thought I would still be here in a year after starting this blog, and I've made some amazing friends along the way! 

I've a few major changes to look forward to this year, obviously welcoming baby TnP into the world, and finally moving into our new house, being the big ones. Safe to say excited doesn't even begin to cover it!! 

T x