Since about 3 months, when what I thought then was a bump (now I laugh that I thought that little curve was a bump) I have been obsessive about looking after my skin. If I can help it I do not want stretch marks… it might be inevitable but I am going to do everything in my power to try to avoid it. So far so good, though I still have a fairly small bump so I am not hopeful!

Anyway… here are the products I have loved, I have tried a lot of different creams and oils over the past few months.

Mama Mio products are amazing, I was given a gift set early one and used every last drop of everything, they are also all natural so very good for skin and baby.

I am down to the last of my super rich body cream, and it really is rich, and thick and luxurious. I will be buying more a little goes a hell of a long way so don’t be put off by the price.

bodycream 

The oil was also amazing, but I am applying oil morning and night so ran out quite quickly… I would recommend it. 

 oil

I also tried the tummy rub, which I applied over the top of the oil ‘sealing’ it, I want some more of this but in the mean time am using any body butters/lotions I have which feels almost as good.

tummyrub

A recent gift was the Elemis Japanese camellia oil, again expensive but this is not for slathering all over. I apply a little each evening and its gorgeous. The scent is lovely and has become part of my night time routine. It’s not too greasy and sinks in really well so perfect for applying before bed.

oil

I am of course like most Mum’s to be addicted to Bio-Oil which is cheap and cheerful and really works, so I have been told by many Mums.

A few even gave me this at the start and told me to get using it. So I do. I am on my 4th bottle so stock up on any deals you find.

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Another great range is the Mum and Me by Cussons which you can find everywhere. I am in love with the bubble bath and the sleep mist. When getting to sleep isn’t so easy a routine does help a little, and I am convinced this mist does too, plus it smells amazing.

bubbles 

sleep

A huge supply of body butter is definitely essential, I have used so many different ones but I love the Body Shop ones, they are super thick and smell amazing. I slather this on after the bio-oil at the moment.

bodybutter

My tummy has never been so well looked after!

P.S. Mums to be, don’t forget your boobs, sides and bum too… they are all susceptible. *sob*

Relax…

June 25, 2013

If you have a very busy job, or like me have two jobs, or if you are studying or working on a particularly large project here are my little tools and steps to take to help you get through a busy time. I am finding these even more important at the moment.

Firstly some physical acts to maintain your health when busy…

1. Sleep

This is super important if you are anything like me, I cannot function without enough sleep. There are some lucky people out there (my Husband is one) that can have very little sleep, get up and go about their day as normal. Most people need 6-7 hours.

If you are really busy do you think it’s better to stay up till 3am and not do your best work or to shut down at a reasonable hour and get up early refreshed? Exactly!

2. Tea

Coffee is my drink at the moment, until I have a had cup in the AM I feel like I am not ready to face the day. I know this is purely habit as I tend to go through different fads all year.
Make that change to tea, even better if it’s a loose leaf green tea. It will start you off gently with a little caffeine and we all know the majorness of green tea for your health. You will reap the benefits of this throughout your busy day.

3. Music

This could work in so many ways, are you studying? Then listen to something in the background that is calming, not distracting.
If you are travelling to work listen to something upbeat to wake you up and make you feel happy.  Know the power of a favourite song to uplift a bad mood, this always helps me enjoy my walk to work a little more.

4. Eat Well

When I am busy one of the first things to go is cooking from scratch, it doesn’t (and shouldn’t) have to be this way and will only be of detriment to your health, which let’s face it you are busy at work, college or home you do have time to get ill?

Get yourself an arsenal of quick, easy healthy recipes that you can go to, or set aside one evening and cook a couple of dishes that you can freeze and thus freeing up more time during the week.

If you really have no time a plate of your favourite vegetables steamed may not be exciting but will refuel you and your vitamin levels and sometimes this is what I am craving.

There are lots of quick easy recipes on Full as an Egg and on here.

5. Exercise

Which brings us to my next point… exercise, once again often the first thing to get pushed to the side when I get busy but not any more…

I actually get ill pretty quick when I am not exercising… generally within two weeks. Not kidding, if I eat naughty foods for two weeks but go to the gym I feel crappy but okay, if I skip the gym i get a cold or fluey symptoms.

Don’t let it slide, that time is so important. If you really feel stuck incorporate it into your day… that walk to work, put your trainers on and speed it up. Take a walk or exercise class on your lunch break or get up a half hour earlier and run then. It’ll be tough but you will never regret doing it, it will energize you!

This is particularly tough for me right now, but I am still walking a lot, and have just started yoga again.

6. Stretching and Meditation

Now if you are really going through a stressful busy period or project I cannot recommend this enough.

If you can go to a yoga or Pilates class. I am so addicted to that quiet time of concentration on my breath and really feeling my body get stretched out.

If you can’t learn some techniques and do it right after you get up. You will feel silly at first but once you start you’ll love it.

7. Take a Break

No matter how busy you are feeling frazzled and tired will not help you get it all done. Make sure you take a break. If you are sat in front of a computer screen all day take regular 5 minute breaks. Walk to the window and grab some air or get up and make more green tea just take your eyes of the screen every now and again.

As for lunch break, I am a huge advocate of a proper walk at lunch, no matter how bad the weather. Blow off the cobwebs, headphones in, walk even just for 20-30 minutes. It will do you the world of good and you’ll come back to your work ready to go again.

You need air and sunshine to live, let alone to keep you happy.

8. Take Care of Yourself

Basically I am telling you not to drop the things that I drop when I am busy.

Pamper time; my nails, a haircut, an eyebrow threading, shaving your legs etc. All those things take time but if you split them up and do one thing a day you’ll feel much better for it. This was my new years resolution… I don’t always succeed but it really is true.

The same could work on taking care of your home… one little chore a day will keep you on top of things and make you feel good.

9. Call a Friend

Feeling stressed? Call a friend and see how they are, laugh a little and put something in the diary for when things calm down. It’ll immediately give you a lift and something to look forward too.

10. Switch Off

When you really need to concentrate switch off, leave your phone in your bag or another room and don’t check your email or the news or twitter or anything for an hour or two and just dig in to your project or work. You’ll be surprised how much more you get done when you are not distracted.

All obvious things maybe, but I need this list as much as anyone.

I have found that being a grown up means being busy, juggling looking after a home, a job… man some people even throw kids into the mix… simple tools and remembering what is important for you will mean that even when you are reeeeeeeeeeally busy you still feel on top of everything and don’t get too stressed out.

image from ExPress-O via Marian WD

Swooning over… Hatch

June 24, 2013

I am so in love with this store…

Discovered via A Cup of Jo, Hatch make beautiful stylish maternity wear that is made to last. Meaning you can wear these pieces forever, not just through pregnancy.

They are not cheap, but not ridiculous either and the whole collection are just classic timeless pieces that I personally would love to wear at any time.

I haven’t really needed maternity wear until recently, although I did buy and borrow a few pieces but I am really starting to feel like a couple of new treats would really perk me up and get me excited to dress this bump instead of flinging on what fits!

I would definitely order the striped tee…

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This super cute denim shirt dress…

chambray.jpg.290x403_q100_crop_upscaleAnd this red number would be very handy for a few occasions when I am going to need to get dressed up.

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The models are so cute and make being pregnant look stylish… and I love that they also show the pieces on the non-pregnant ladies too so you can see they really can be worn later on.

Hatch

Our little trip to Greece was a little while ago now but I still wanted to share the hotel details with you, it was such a great little place…

We started off quite badly by missing our flights  so missed our first night, the hotel couldn’t have been nicer about the whole thing and reassured me via email that our booking would be unaffected and we could be picked up the next day.

We were met at the airport by a driver (despite our flight landing a little late) who refreshed us with bottles of iced tea and told us about the island’s places of interest as we drove and a short ride later we arrived…

I loved the lobby!

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reception2

If, unlike my Husband and I, you don’t travel with laptop’s then they have some for you to use here… we also had free wi-fi at the hotel for our stay, I really dislike hotels that charge especially as it only seems to be the bigger chain that do so.

It means my Husband can stay on top of his work (being self-employed) which means we are both more relaxed… also I can get my instagram fix.

reception

reception

The hotel is such a calming place, it felt like a spa with all the whites and muted colours…

outsidereception

We were then shown to our huge room… that bed, man I miss that bed…

There was also a seat and a sofa-bed plus a long bench and a table. So much room to spread out.

bed

The bathroom was, as most hotels have now, a basin and shower in the room and a separate toilet.

I loved the brushed concrete walls and the mood lighting in the shower…

bathroom

Most of all I loved our view, we were overlooking the pool, although not huge this was the bigger of the two pools… and waking up to this every morning was heaven, for the first time in a long time my Husband slept in and I was the early riser getting in little swims before he woke…

terrace

pool

The practicalities…  the pool is fairly small but we never found it overcrowded, and we always managed to get one of the six sun loungers when we wanted one, this might not be the case in high-season but we never found it an issue and liked that it was a quieter place to go when we didn’t want to be on the beach.

They also provided towels free of charge for the pool and beach leaving your fluffy white ones in the room.

poolrooms

I loved the little fairy lights in the pool at night too, magical.

pool

And so the beach…

beachentrance

This hotel is smack bang on the beach, the restaurant where you eat breakfast everyday spills out onto the sand, and has a number of sun beds and day beds, sofas and tables with and without shade to choose from…

beach

This is what I long-looked forward to in the run up to getting away… sitting in the sun with a glass of wine…

drinks

The hotel plays music from early until late so although the beach rooms had an even better view than us they had a lot more noise to contend with, and the beach was a lot busier.

The beach was pretty much full of sun loungers, which I didn’t mind at all but then it wasn’t too busy. I imagine in high season this might not be my favourite place to be… as I like smaller, less busy beaches. 

Breakfast here was wonderful as well, they had the most amazing Greek yogurt and honey, which I could not get enough of, as well as juices and coffee etc.

They had an omelette chef ready and waiting if that was your desire… as well as a number of breads and baked treats and Greek pies…

breakfast

…and the view, couldn’t have been better.

breakfast2

 breakfast

We didn’t eat at the hotel much purely because we were only there for such a short time and we love to explore but I did have to enjoy some sunlounger food action one afternoon and I loved that all I had to do was press a button on our umbrella and one of the wonderful staff members came to take my order… and the burger was everything a burger should be… huge and so tasty.

My chocolate shake was awesome too.

lunch

I would like to mention I did eat mostly Greek food the rest of the time!

And this is the water… the final amazing detail I have to share.

sea

It was my kind of beach… not too busy (we were there early June, I am told it gets super busy), plenty of sun loungers, which by the way are free when you stay at the hotel, the water was cool and salty so I could float away to my heart’s content, and it was still and clear… which means I don’t get knocked about or scared.

It was the perfect place for a relaxing Babymoon.

Mykonos Ammos Hotel

You won’t believe me but it’s true, this dress was made by the bride’s Mum…

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INSANE!

Go see more of this super cute wedding from Salt Lake City over on 100 Layer Cake, it’s so frothy!

xx

Six Months on…

June 18, 2013

So I am about to hit the third trimester of my pregnancy, the first 4 months were long and slow, and tough, but the time since then has flown by.

Baby and I are still being spoiled, my beautiful god-children each picked her a present, they are so lovely.

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I am really starting to grow now, there is no hiding the bump anymore.

I am living in my Topshop maternity jeans (best buy ever) and loose tees from Gap and dresses from ASOS and Isabella Oliver, throwing in tighter things now and again when I am feeling brave!

I definitely have a couple of preferred outfits, and staying smart for work is getting difficult, more shopping needed soon to dress this growing bump.

See my Mama-style inspiration here – http://pinterest.com/youmakemeswoon/mama-style/

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Little tasks I used to take for granted are becoming slightly difficult, nothing I can’t handle yet but I do find I need a little more time to get from A to B when I am walking and once again I am having to remember to have snacks and not to over-do it. Hunger and tiredness do not a happy Mama-to-be make.

There are lots of people around me who are pregnant too which is wonderful, some ahead of me, some behind but it is great to have lots of people to talk to and ask advice.

We are still not fully prepped yet due to holidays but I returned home from Paris to find that my Husband had painted the nursery (gold star to him), and then home from work yesterday to find it all finished and furniture in (lots more brownie points to him) so it is full steam ahead from now on… lots to do to make the little ones room beautiful and cozy and lots to buy too!

This my inspiration for the nursery;

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You can see all my nursery pins here; http://pinterest.com/youmakemeswoon/nursery/

I did kind of want a dusky pink and gold room once I found out it was a girl but I do always gravitate towards bright colours, plus my Husband is happy with this look too.

All white walls with bright everything else basically. Very excited to get started.

Last Week…

June 17, 2013

It has been a busy couple of weeks for me with two trips away but I did have a weekend at home in between…

We returned from Greece to a sunny UK, which was much appreciated as was this beautiful pink sky as we drove into Bristol, chocolate covered Oreo’s were my gift to my colleagues and they kept me going through my first day back at my desk…

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I spent most of the week doing what I always do and trying to recreate some holiday vibes, I came home even more obsessed with yogurt after eating beautiful thick Greek yogurt and honey every morning at our hotel and once again watermelon juice so my Husband made a big jug on Sunday and we pretended to be back on the beach…

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I also relished simple dinners and cooked breakfasts at home with coffee and juice, eggs just the way I like them… 

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We celebrated my sisters birthday with an evening out in Bath, a naughty dinner of burgers and fries at a favourite stop Hall and Woodhouse (I am in love with the silver ceiling) was delicious and much enjoyed.

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On Saturday we headed to Clevedon to walk along the seafront and the pier, where we saw the cutest proposal!  

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Then more birthday treats with a huge chocolate cream cake and champagne picnic on the grass… 

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Sunday was just as decadent, and more cream for me with a Sunday lunch in the countryside followed by a tropical mango and passionfruit mess and then headed home to pack for a trip to Paris with my Mama! 

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It might be Monday and I might have just had a week off but I am super tired today and already looking forward to the weekend, that’s bad right?

xx