What I’m wearing while pregnant

I’m getting pretty bored of my ‘pregnancy wardrobe’ now.

Probably because I haven’t added that much to it for wearing while pregnant. For the first few weeks I just wore normal clothes and now – with a little over two months to go – spending a lot of money on clothing a body in a temporarily changed state doesn’t seem to make sense.

Having said that there have, of course, been some new additions. A couple of absolute essentials for me have been a few pairs of maternity tights and leggings (I got mine from H&M). Over these you can throw skirts, tops, jumpers and dresses – like this, taken a couple of weeks ago before an afternoon out in Leeds with the girls.

Maternity fashion - Primark berry dress and leggingsMaternity fashion - Primark berry dress and leggingsI’m sorry about the rubbish photos, I’m blaming the winter light (and some laziness).

The dress is just from Primark; I bought it because of its loose fit and thinking the rich berry colour would see me through a few winter parties.

This is what else I’ve been wearing:

  • Pencil skirt. This black jersey midi skirt from Asos has been the staple of my workwear wardrobe. It’s so comfy and goes with practically anything.
  • Loose-fitting tops.  I’ve bought a couple of maternity tees, but mostly – so far – I’m still wearing tops from pre-pregnancy. Luckily I tended to like things loose and long anyway.
  • Over-the-bump skinny jeans. My maternity jeans from Asos have done the job when I needed a ‘normal’, casual outfit, but haven’t been all that comfortable. Not much is when compared to leggings! Except…
  • The most comfortable pyjamas in the world. For Christmas, my brother and sister-in-law bought me this top and leggings set from Amoralia. They’re blissful to wear. In dark grey, I reckon they could totally pass for day wear too, and no doubt will in those first few crazy days after the baby comes. The top has zips for breastfeeding, which in my book makes it legit to be worn day and night. (It’s weird adding ‘will I be able to get my boobs out of it easily?’ when shopping for clothes, but this is where my life is).
  • A little treat. Recently I’ve treated myself to a couple of new tops from Seraphine. Their clothes are on the slightly-more-expensive side but I’ve found them worth it for fit and comfort. I bought this Aztec print blouse (£18 reduced from £45) and this striped top (I simply can’t last any longer without wearing a Breton stripe). I’m hoping both will be suitable for wearing after the baby’s here too.

So there you have it: not the most exciting or inspiring post on maternity fashion I’m sure – but an honest one!

Review: The Street Food Cook Book

It’s been great to watch the growth of street food in the last few years.

Northern cities have definitely been at the forefront, and Yorkshire has embraced the trend with open arms. If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I’m a fan. The meals I’ve eaten from food vans have been amazing.

Now a new book, The Street Food Cook Book, has pulled together some of the best northern street food – celebrating the events, sellers and recipes that epitomise the phenomenon.

Review The Street Food Cook BookFood from mobile vans is now about as far removed from greasy burger stands outside football matches as you can imagine. Continue reading “Review: The Street Food Cook Book”

Women in biz: Nathalie Bond Organics

While I dislike the name ‘mumpreneur’ (what’s wrong with just entrepreneur?) becoming pregnant or having a baby does seem to make many women reassess or change their careers.

When she became pregnant with first son Alfie, Nathalie Bond decided to stop using beauty products made with synthetic chemicals. She began making soaps and candles in her kitchen for her own use.

Shortly afterwards her company Nathalie Bond Organics was born, selling skincare and candles made with only natural and organic ingredients. They’re handmade in Sheffield on the edge of the Peak District National Park, where Nat, her husband Andy, Alfie and new baby Ted also live.

Just before Christmas, Nat sent me one of her candles to review. It was the orange and clove scent (only on sale until the end of January); four other varieties are available. I’m not usually a fan of spicy smells, but I found this one, while a winter warmer, to be delicate and fresh. Continue reading “Women in biz: Nathalie Bond Organics”

Ikea Live Lagom project – the products

You might remember that a few weeks ago I told you I’m taking part in Ikea’s Live Lagom project.

The project is about the small ways we can all live more sustainably. The Swedish “Lagom är bäst” means “the right amount is best” – so not denying yourself things you love, while not taking from the planet more than you need.

I’ve now discussed my lifestyle and home life with Ikea and their sustainability partners Hubbub, and decided that my journey towards taking less from the environment will involve:

  • cutting food waste by storing it better, cooking in batches and growing my own vegetables
  • using more energy efficient lighting
  • making the house cosier without turning up the heating – by, for example, covering a bare wood floor with a high pile rug and using a block-out blind
  • storing things more efficiently, so we don’t end up buying things we don’t need

Ikea have given each of their Live Lagom ambassadors a generous £500 to spend on their products. Now we all know that kind of money can take you pretty far in Ikea, but it’s not like I was scratching my head wondering what I could spend it on. More like I was struggling to whittle down my wish list.

This is how I’ve decided to spend my money. Continue reading “Ikea Live Lagom project – the products”

How pregnancy has surprised me

After waiting and hoping for so long to become pregnant, it’s surprised me a little bit how casual I feel about it most of the time.

We’ve got about three months to go, and we’ve now had the serious scans which showed – thankfully – that everything seems to be healthy.

(Oh, there is one thing. It looks like it could be a biggie. 9lb+ if it carries on growing as it has done so far. But I’ll worry about that nearer the time!)

I suppose casual is the wrong word, but I’ve got used to feeling the baby move inside me and it always being there, along for the ride.

Before I actually was, there are some things I thought I would do if/when I became pregnant: Continue reading “How pregnancy has surprised me”

Ideas for decorating the nursery

I’m currently entering the ‘just how much sh*t is this tiny human going to need?’ phase of preparation for parenting.

One thing that’s not in dispute – even though arguably there are more practical things to be doing, researching and buying – is that I want to get started on the nursery soon.

The baby’s room will be the smallest of our three bedrooms. It was actually the first room we finished, about four months after moving in. It never did get a shot at life as a study, or a crafting room, as planned; it’s been a dumping ground with a brief spell as a makeshift kitchen when we were renovating the downstairs.

But it is decorated perfectly well in neutral colours, so once everything got cleared out it could function perfectly well as a nursery, for the first few months at least.

But that wouldn’t quite be good enough for a blogger’s child, would it? No bland, boring décor here, thank you. Continue reading “Ideas for decorating the nursery”

A meal inspired by Greece

When we were in Athens last month, we had one of those moments that you know is going to sit in your memory bank forever.

We were sitting outside at a restaurant near the area of Monastiraki, eating a traditional dish of gyros each (delicious, and about £5), looking on to the Acropolis which we’d just been exploring.

Athens, Greece - Acropolis and ParthenonIt was the first full day of our holiday, and our first proper holiday for years. Over the coming days, we also went to the Greek islands of Mykonos, Santorini and Kefalonia.

So when Expedia asked me to be part of their World on a Plate blogger challenge – creating a meal inspired by a holiday destination – Greece instantly sprang to mind. Continue reading “A meal inspired by Greece”

Looking back on 2015

It feels like, each new year, just days pass and then you’re saying, ‘I can’t believe it’s <insert month> already.’

This year has been no exception, but when I sat down and thought about all the things that have gone on in the last 12 months I understood why.

It’s been busy, and eventful, and goes down as my most significant so far. Granted, next year is highly likely to push 2015 off the top spot.

  • It started by being really busy at work. I work for an MP, so the first few months of 2015 were absorbed with getting ready for the general election, and doing everything I could to help him be re-elected – and keep myself in a job. I’m proud he won his seat with an increased share of the vote, in the context of a difficult local and national picture. (Feel like a serious-ish read? You might like my post on why I think voting is so important).
  • Our first camp of the year was on Wales’ Ceredigion coast. And the location was simply stunning. We saw dolphins from the harbour wall. Just a few days of this and my body was reset after a frenetic few months at work. (These are the reasons I love camping so much).

Continue reading “Looking back on 2015”

How I’ll live more sustainably

With a baby due in the spring, it really focuses your mind on what legacy our generation should leave the next. (Frankly, it’s not looking too cracking at the moment, is it? But I’m hopeful).

I think climate change is something we absolutely have to address seriously – now – but I appreciate it’s not easy to live our lives the way we want to and are used to without causing some environmental damage.

I can’t claim to be an eco-warrior. I drive my car, I use electronic gadgets, I buy things I want rather than need. In a few months’ time, I’ll have brought another consumer into the world.

But if we all try to make small, everyday changes that are kinder to the planet, we should make a big difference. Or at least, we can’t justify sitting back and doing nothing.

That’s why I wanted to be part of Ikea’s ‘Live Lagom’ project. Lagom comes from the Swedish “Lagom är bäst”, which means “the right amount is best” – so not denying yourself what you love, while not taking from the planet more than you need.

Introduction to Ikea Live Lagom project

Continue reading “How I’ll live more sustainably”

Cruise part 3: Dubrovnik, Venice

Dubrovnik was probably the destination I was most looking forward to from the whole cruise.

It didn’t disappoint: it’s definitely on our list to go back to, to explore properly. In fact, I’m hoping to spend more time in Croatia next year.

With just a few hours in Dubrovnik this time though, we only really had time to see the Old Town and walk the medieval city’s stone walls, which allow fabulous views of the Adriatic Sea and some of Croatia’s islands, as well as Dubrovnik itself.

Old Town, Dubrovnik, Croatia Continue reading “Cruise part 3: Dubrovnik, Venice”

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