Monday, 29 February 2016

Meal Planning Monday 29/2

Happy Monday Meal Planners! Tomorrow is March I am definately having a baby in March, eek!

After our previous disastrous week, last week we ate all of our meals, woo hoo! I even made double batches of fish pie and chilli for the freezer and there is a small portion of the curry we had in there for a small person sized dinner too. I am trying to make it so I have some easy bits to pull out once baby arrives.
We have our quarterly utilities bill through  (the biggest of the year) so this week is definitely a budget week, we already have meat in the freezer and I shopped our cupboards to see what meals I could make with what we already have. For some reason I seem to have loads of eggs in, so tonight is omelettes and will fill them with whatever is in the fridge.
We have a fairly busy week, Phil and I are having a date night on Tuesday so will be eating at Trinity Leeds, I am planning on taking the boys into Leeds on Thursday and we will probably go to my parents house for a day too.

Monday Omelettes with various fillings

Tuesday Eating out

Wednesday Homemade meatballs in tomato sauce with pasta

Thursday Cheesy beans on toast

Friday BBQ Chicken Fajitas with sweetcorn and sweet potato fries

Saturday Salmon,  mash and veg

Sunday Pasta, pesto and peas

As usual I am linking up with Meal Planning Monday over on At Home With Mrs M.

If you are looking for inspiration why check out my previous meal planning posts?

Sunday, 28 February 2016

VBA2C The one with the birth plan

If you have been following my pregnancy you will know that I am hoping to have a VBA2C even after my confusing consultant appointment this week. So today's post is the one with the birth plan. The NHS website now has an area dedicated to helping you write a birth plan which is useful if feeling overwhelmed.

Now I know as well as anyone that birth plans are funny things, they can completely go out of the window either through necessity or because once in labour you find you simply change your mind. However I have found thinking about my birth plan has made me consider what is really important to me and I wanted to have those things written down, it isn't a huge list, just things that I want known.

Birth Partner

Phil to stay with me during labour and birth.

Labour and birth

  • I want to keep active during labour and go with what my body tells me. I would like the option of a birthing ball/beanbags.
  • I would like baby straight onto me for skin to skin, I am happy to wait for weighing etc. 
  • I would like to delay clamping of the cord once clamped Phil is to cut the cord.
  • Once cord is clamped I would like the injection to help deliver the placenta.
  • I would like baby to have the Vitamin K injection.

Pain relief 

  • I would like no or minimal pain relief ideally, gas and air to start. I am happy to be flexible on this depending on how I am coping with labour and how long I am labouring for. 
  • I would like to avoid epidural if possible.


  • I am planning on breastfeeding and would like to try baby on the breast as soon as possible. 
  • I am hoping to have a supply of harvested colostrumnon standby if needed. 
  • No formula to be given without permission from myself or Phil.


  • If I am unable to have immediate skin to skin, Phil will do this instead. Baby is then to come to me as soon as possible before any other visitors. 

Saturday, 27 February 2016

36 weeks pregnant, a long update

I am 36 weeks pregnant now, so close to the end and I have such mixed feelings, excited to meet this little boy,  sad that what has been a (mostly)lovely pregnancy will be over and after my consultant appointment this week I am a little bit anxious about how he will arrive. 

I'll start with the good stuff. I feel pretty good for this stage, I am still feeling able to keep pretty active and go on long walks without suffering. I have noticed a bit more heartburn but to be honest it was far worse in my last pregnancy. Baby is still lovely and lively, my bump is measuring perfectly and my blood pressure is really good. At my consultant appointment he was 4/5 engaged (though I know they can pop in and out) which is great as he knows which direction he should be going in.
My bump continues to grow and I have had lots of bump comments from people while out and about this week, asking when I am due etc. It is quite heavy too and I have been spending lots of time in the bath!
We have everything sorted now, after struggling to find any nice sheets for our Chicco Next to Me crib I ordered some lovely fabrics and Phils mum is going to turn them into some flat sheets for us. I am getting my nursing bras next week and then it is just a sling left to buy.
On the flipside I am tired, this is down to a mix of extra loo trips in the night, pregnancy insomnia and Alex being really unsettled for 4 nights in a row this week, usually when he wakes he goes back off easily but this week he hasn't been so easy to settle. Tiredness is my only complaint really so I do feel lucky overall.

I saw my consultant on Wednesday and to be honest I left feeling a bit upset and unsure of what to do. At this appointment they had my notes (the hospital couldn't find them last time). I already knew my consultant would prefer me to have another c section and I knew she would point out the risk of scar rupture (though I did challenge the odds she gave me as I have done my own research into this and neither her nor the junior with her could give me evidence to back it up) both of these were discussed at my last appointment.
I wasn't expecting to be told that according to my notes when I was opened up for my second c section that I had bad internal scarring from my first section, of course I knew that i would have some scarring but it seems mine is quite bad. That if I attempt a vba2c and it ends up in an emergency c section the scarring could cause a delay in them being able to get baby out. This has been playing on mind since and I am unsure how to proceed. Obviously this would only cause an issue if I were to need an emergency casearean and chances are that I wouldn't, I will be monitored closely in labour and so any problems should be picked up in good time but on the flipside of course I don't want to put either of us in any danger and then again a c section is a big operation and has risks even if elective. It is like a big mess in my head at the moment.

My consultant has booked me in for an appointment this week with another consultant for a second opinion. For now I am still aiming for my vba2c though I can change my mind at any time.
We have agreed on me going a week overdue and if I don't go into labour by that point I will have an elective c section as they won't induce me. I am planning on lots of long walks to keeping active to hopefully get baby moving before then.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Easy Spring Crafts with foam

The signs of spring are definitely in the air, daffodils are springing up and blossom is starting to appear on trees. I love the seasons of change and this month our home education is focusing on Spring and Easter so I was excited to receive a box full of Spring Crafts from Baker Ross.

We received a value pack of pastel foam sheets the pretty colours included in this set make them ideal for Springtime crafting. At £2.75 for a pack of 12 A4 sheets this really is great value and the sheets are so versatile. I decided to use ours for some simple spring flowers and butterflies adding some coloured craft sticks that I already had. I loved how Sebastian made sure his butterfly was symmetrical. As well as looking sweet on display at home they would also make a cute gift for grandma.

If you prefer a ready made kit with zero effort, these Blossom Tree Kits (£3.45 for 3) are just gorgeous and simple but fun to create. Everything is included, you don't even need glue. We really enjoyed putting these together and the boys have them displayed in their bedrooms so they can see the blossom even when at home.

**We were sent these products for the purpose of this post but all opinions are my own**

Family Fever

Lush Ladybird Bubble Bar

Each year along with the Valentines and Easter products, Lush release a few Mothers Day gifts too. This year the range is pretty small and the only one that appealed to me was the very cute looking Ladybird Bubble Bar.
Lush ladybird bubble bar

Not only is the red and purple ladybird design cute to look at but it also smells pretty amazing too, sweet with a hint of mint, I haven't smelt a Lush product like this before. It contains geranium and peppermint oils to revive and uplift, perfect for us mums!

As with all bubble bars simply crumble the bar under warm running water to get mounds of soft scented bubbles. Depending on which part of the bar you use the bath water will turn red or purple. I shared my bar with the boys they wanted to use the purple end so I got a bright red bath.
Lush ladybird bubble bar

Lush ladybird bubble bar

The bubbles are generous and the scent stays in the bath although I didn't notice it on my beautifully soft skin afterwards. 

Lush Ladybird Bubble Bar is priced at £3.95 and should last 3 or 4 baths depending on how generous you are with it!

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Easy Homemade Pizza

We all love pizza in this house and while I am partial to a Dominos or supermarket bought pizza for ease, making your own pizza is easy and satisfying plus you know exactly what has gone into it.
Easy homemade pizza

To make our homemade pizza I use the penny pizza dough recipe from A Girl Called Jack though I swap salt for herbs. It is the easiest recipe and the boys are able to make this dough without much input from me. You can buy pizza sauce for the topping but I prefer to make my own. This recipe makes a pizza big enough for 2 adults plus 2 children with sides.

The dough

250g plain flour
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
7g sachet fast-acting dried yeast
1 tablespoon oil
200ml warm water

Add the flour, herbs and yeast into a mixing bowl, make a well in the centre and add the oil and around 3/4 of the water. Combine to make a soft dough, add the extra water if needed. 
Knead on a floured surface for a few minutes then pop the dough back into a mixing bowl, cover the bowl with cling film and leave for an hour or so to double in size. 
Remove the dough from the bowl and roll out thinly before topping.

The topping

1 carton passata
dried mixed herbs

Stir the herbs through the passata and spread on your pizza base. Extra sauce can be frozen. Then add your cheese and any other toppings you fancy.

The cooking

Preheat your oven. Place the pizza on a preheated tray and bake at 180° for around 20 minutes when the cheese is golden and bubbling.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Coldpress Juices

When Coldpress Juices read me raving about their Golden Delicious apple juice in my recent Degustabox review they offered to send me some of their other juices to try out including their Pink Lady juice which I was desperate to try. A few days later I received a lovely parcel with various juices and smoothies to try.
Coldpress juices

So what is Coldpress? Cold Pressure is a new method of making juice.  The fruit and veg is pressed without any heat which means they preserve both more taste and nutrients which can be lost in traditional pasteurisation.

Coldpress make a range of fruit and veg juices and also smoothies. All come packaged in a funky and unique hexagonal bottle.
Coldpress juices

Coldpress juices

Coldpress juices

Of course I got stuck into the Coldpress Pink Lady Apple juice right away. Just as lovely as I thought it would bexpect and really refreshing, I bet this would be even better on a hot summers day. I also really loved the Valencian Orange juice(perfect mixer for vodka) and the Strawberry and Banana smoothie.
The boys enjoyed the Mean Green juice which is packed full of celery, cucumber, lettuce, spinach and pear and also the Coconut, Pineapple and Banana smoothie.

Coldpress Juices are available from various nationwide retailers such as Tesco, Waitrose and Morrisons as well as many independent stores.

**I received some samples for the purpose of this post but all opinions are my own**
Family Fever

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

35 weeks pregnant

Wow 35 weeks pregnant already(36 now), baby is getting very close now! This week baby is over 5lb in weight similar to a honeydew melon and around 46cm long, his kidneys are fully developed and his liver has started to work.

35 weeks pregnant

This week my tiredness has continued, not as bad as last week but then I am trying to take it a bit easier and head to bed a bit earlier. I have been a bit grumpy though again not as bad as last week. I have continued to have lots so Braxton Hicks randomly through the day.
A little too much information maybe but one of my nipples has been driving me mad, it is stinging on and off during the day, it kind of feels like that toe curling pain when a newborn latches on. The only thing that eases is if I massage my breast for a while.
My bump has also started to get pretty itchy at times and it can look pretty red and angry. I am jealous of all those mamas who have lovely smooth stretch mark free bumps, mine is more like a road map! I will never love my stretchmarks but I know that the marks soon fade away and I don't hate them either.

We are definitely organised now, I just need to buy nursing bras really and to finish washing all the baby bits. I have managed to sneak some on the washing line.

I had my midwife appointment, baby is head down and very low but not engaged. My blood pressure is still fine (though higher then it has been) and he is still measuring on his line which would have him currently at around 6lb 7 though I think he will just be long instead of chunky. We talked a little about birth and she answered a couple of questions that I had about monitoring and cord clamping. I am finishing writing my plan this weekend so will write a separate post about that.

I see the consultant tomorrow and soon i will be full term. Too exciting!

Monday, 22 February 2016

Meal Planning Monday 22/2

Happy Monday Meal Planners! February always goes past in the blink of an eye and this one has been no different.

Last week's meal plan pretty much went to pot, we ate 3 out of our 7 meals. I forgot to buy pesto, I took the boys out for dinner with my whole family another night and I forgot to defrost the fish for the fish pie, it was one of those weeks! We did have our bolognese in tortillas and homemade pizza and garlic bread which all came out perfectly.
Homemade pizza meal planning monday

Last week's failings mean this week we have a few repeats of meals.

Monday Fish Pie

Tuesday Slow Cooker Chilli with jacket potatoes 

Wednesday Pork and Apple burgers with wedges

Thursday Creamy chicken and bacon pasta

Friday Chicken and sweet potato korma with naan bread

Saturday Pizza Pasta Bake

Sunday Sausages, mash, peas and gravy

As usual I am linking up with Meal Planning Monday over on At Home With Mrs M.

If you are looking for inspiration why check out my previous meal planning posts?

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Lush Lover Lamp Bath Bomb

On Valentines Day Phil gave me a little treat of a Lush Lover Lamp Bath Bomb. At 8 months pregnant the bath is my favourite place to be, I could spend hours in there!

I will be honest and say that in store I had passed over this product in favour of the Unicorn Horn but I am so glad that Phil picked this up for me because it is LOVELY!
Lush lover lamp bath bomb

The main reason I overlooked it was because it isn't the most exciting product to look at (as a long time fan of Lush I should know better), a creamy white bath bomb with 3 small hearts, it is a simple design. However it smells gorgeous, vanilla and chocolaty with a hint of orange, a scent combination that I personally really like. 

The magic happens when you add it to your fizzes quickly leaving the bath a creamy milky colour with a trail of cute tiny red confetti hearts plus the 3 hearts embedded into the bath bomb which are in fact solid cocoa butter. What a treat!
Lush Lover Lamp bath bomb

Lush lover lamp bath bomb

The bath water smelt amazing, and was so soft and I used the cocoa butter hearts to massage all over my bump which at this stage is feeling very tight and itchy. It really soothed and moisturised my poor suffering skin. You could also leave these hearts to melt in the water for a more generalised moisture hit.

After my bath I didn't really feel like I needed to moisturise as the bath bomb itself did the job, if I wasn't suffering with dry skin I wouldn't have bothered. 

The only disappointment with this product is that it is limited edition,  I really hope Lush bring out a similar product as I really recommend it for anyone who is pregnant and suffering with an itchy bump!

The bath bomb is still available online priced at £3.95. 

Thursday, 18 February 2016

JADU Tea Review

Being a tea lover I am always excited to find new brands and when I was asked if I would like to try the award winning JADU tea I jumped at the chance.

JADU Tea London is an independent global luxury tea brand based in the UK. JADU means magic in ancient Sanskrit and this tea brand is on a mission to conjure a little magic through the world of tea.

Jadu tea English breakfast

Jadu tea English breakfast

My favourite tea which I drink every day without fail is the classic English Breakfast and I received this in the form of both tea envelopes and loose tea.
The loose leaf came in one of the JADU tea's navy blue suede and gold boxes, this beautiful packaging really fits with the brands luxury image, it is almost like a jewellery box and screams open me!  The tea envelopes are silky to touch and spacious allowing the tea to brew.
The tea itself is absolutely lovely smooth and tasty.

Jadu tea China green

I was also sent samples of China Green a refreshing smooth, full bodied green tea full of antioxidants. Spa Afternoon a blend of Chinese oolong tea and premium herbs designed to cleanse and purify and Mademoiselle Grey a flirtatious take on the classic Earl Grey. All gorgeous and luxurious.

If you are looking for a luxury tea experience either for yourself or as a gift for a loved one JADU tea comes highly recommended from me.

**I received samples from JADU tea for the purpose of this post but all opinions are my own**
Family Fever

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Lemon Jelly Playdough

Last week I had an urge to make play dough. I absolutely love homemade playdough but Alex received a huge bumper set of the ready made stuff for his birthday so recently we have been playing with that instead(such a great activity to have on the kitchen table to keep little ones busy while you cook).

So back to my playdough making urge. As it was pancake day, I decided it would have to be lemon scented and I figured as I had some lemon jelly powder I would use that,  similar to the kool aid dough I have made before.
Lemon jelly playdough

2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup salt
1 sachet lemon jelly powder
1 cup boiling water
yellow food colouring (I use sugarflair gels)

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. In a cup mix the jelly powder, boiling water and a little food colouring together before adding this to the flour and salt a small amount at a time until you end up with a sticky dough. Allow to cool a little and then need the dough until it is no longer sticky.

I set it out with a whole load of tools and cutters and the boys were away, Sebastian was printing words into the dough and making patterns with tools, Alex enjoyed cutting out shapes and pushing his hands into the dough to make prints. They both made pancakes from the dough and built up stacks of them.  All the while the fresh lemony scent kept wafting up to our noses.
Lemon jelly playdough

Lemon jelly playdough

Lemon jelly playdough

Lemon jelly playdough

KAWS at The Yorkshire Sculpture Park

When I first saw that American artist KAWS  was to have his first UK exhibition at The Yorkshire Sculpture park I was pretty excited, I love pop art and what better way to introduce it to the boys than by actually seeing it! I was pretty sure they would enjoy the huge sculptures and that they would appeal to them.

We live a short distance from the sculpture park and I absolutely love visiting in all seasons we always discover something new each time we go. It's such an amazing space for the whole family to explore and enjoy, take a picnic along in the summer and you could easily spend a whole day there.

The KAWS exhibition opened a couple of weeks ago, and I was eager to visit when we had a dry day as the exhibition is both inside and out. I had seen on Instagram that the park had been really busy so we decided to visit on a weekday! This was definitely the right choice, though it was still fairly busy(but it is half term locally).

We visited the outdoor sculptures first, these are located near to the lake and cascade bridge and are just an awesome sight. To me they looked massive so I can only imagine how huge they were in the boys eyes.
Kaws at the Yorkshire sculpture park

Kaws at the Yorkshire sculpture park

KAWS at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Being 8 months pregnant I was unsure about the amount of walking as the indoor part of the exhibition is down in the Longside Gallery, which is around 2.5km from the main car park but there is a free regular shuttlebus to take you both ways. As it happens I was fine to walk and really enjoyed it, it was a freezing cold but beautifully sunny day and we enjoyed strolling through the field full of sheep down to the gallery and even spotted a couple of early lambs.
Sheep at the Yorkshire sculpture park

Walking at Yorkshire sculpture park

Yorkshire sculpture park

The indoor part of the exhibition contained more sculptures and some cavasses, we were greeted and advised no touching of the exhibits but photos were fine.  Phil and I loved this one as parents of two young children we felt it summed up our days!

Sebastian loved the neon pink sculpture, saying it looked like it was made of jelly and of course both boys liked the sculptures showing you internal organs.
Kaws at the Yorkshire sculpture park

Kaws at the Yorkshire sculpture park
Sebastian also liked the paintings and I was impressed that he noticed the continued use of the X in both the sculptures and canvasses.
Kaws at Yorkshire sculpture park

The KAWS exhibition is running until June 2016. It is free to visit although you do have to pay to park.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Meal Planning Monday 15/2

Happy Monday Meal Planners! The weeks are absolutely flying past at the moment. Did you manage plenty of pancakes on Tuesday? The boys managed 4 each which I was pretty impressed with.

Last week we did well with our meals. There was only one meal that we missed, I was too tired to cook so instead the boys had dinner at our local Sainsburys cafe (amazing kids meals for £3 including a drink and an item of fruit) and I couldn't even tell you what Phil and I had. My favourite meal was definitely our turkey burgers, I don't generally buy turkey but they were so tasty, I will definitely be adding them to our plan again as an alternative to our homemade beef or pork and apple burgers.

We've been to the farm shop and stocked up on meat for the next few weeks and I am writing this after a restful weekend so I am feeling positive about the week ahead and hoping we will eat it all!

Monday Sausage rolls, beans and curly fries

Tuesday  Stand and stuff tacos filled with bolognese filling (thank you Kim for this idea)

Wednesday Chicken and sweet potato korma with rice(Sebs choice)

Thursday Pasta Pesto

Friday Jacket potatoes with various fillings

Saturday Homemade pizza and garlic pizza bread plus salad

Sunday Fish pie

As usual I am linking up with Meal Planning Monday over on At Home With Mrs M.

If you are looking for inspiration why check out my previous meal planning posts?

Sunday, 14 February 2016

January Degustabox Review and Discount Code

It’s time for my January Degustabox review and discount code offer for my readers! Yes that’s right the fab team at Degustabox are offering an amazing £6 off your first box, all you need to do is sign up using the code BLDEG15
January deugustabox review
If you haven’t heard of Degustabox before, it is a monthly food and drink subscription box containing items from both well loved and new brands so you can discover delicious new flavours each month. We have been lucky enough to have been reviewing these boxes for over a year now, and i genuinely love them especially as the contents are a total surprise until you open the box, plus the delivery service is excellent. You can see my thoughts on previous boxes and some recipes I have made with products received in the boxes here.  Recently Degustabox introduced DB Discoveries a way to introduce us to smaller and less known brands to us.
January degustabox review

January degustabox review

Amoy A brand most of us will be familiar with Amoy have launched a new Taste of Asia range bringing us tasty cooking sauces in easy to use convenient pouches. We received a Thai Massaman Curry and Malaysian Laska to try, I decided to cook the Thai curry last week and it was so quick and easy and yummy served with some rice.
Fruit Bowl This months DB Discovery brand is Fruit Bowl. Now I have seen and heard of the brand before but we haven't had many of their products and have never tried these blackcurrant flakes before. A great portable snack for children these have gone down really well with both of the boys. We will definitely be buying Fruit Bowl products again. 

Tsingtao This month saw us celebrating Chinese New Year and Degustabox included this bottle of Tsingtao internationally recognised as the finest beer in China. Phil drank this and enjoyed it.

Conscious Chocolate A totally new brand to me. Being a chocolate lover I was excited to try it out, the chocolate is raw, organic, vegan and handmade. We received the award winning Plain Jane bar and it is anything but plain! Smooth and delicious, I enjoyed this with a hot drink when the boys were in bed. 

Coldpress A few weeks ago I had a week where I couldn't get enough of apple juice (pregnancy is so strange!) so when my Degustabox arrived with a bottle of Coldpress Golden Delicious juice in it, I did get a bit more excited than the average person would and I drank it within an hour. The juice is lovely, really fresh tasting and I have looked into the Coldpress brand and now I want to try the pink lady juice too plus their other gorgeous sounding juices and smoothies.
Slim Noodles Made from organic Konjac flour and oat fibre, slim noodles are a healthy alternative to regular noodles.They contain just 9 calories per 100g serving so can help you lose weight.

Finn Crisp A brand we know and love from previous Degustaboxes, the crispbreads are lovely with some soft cheese spread on top and make for a nice filling snack without resorting to something naughty. 
Clarks We enjoy Clarks maple syrups so I was interested to see this Carob Fruit Syrup included in our box as it isn't something I would necessarily pick up in a shop . It can be easily used in so many ways from sweetening drinks to baking to pancakes, handy as this month saw us celebrate pancake day so that is how we tried it and I can confirm it is delish!
Yushoi A totally new brand and product to me, Yushoi Snapea rice sticks are a healthier alternative to crisps. A baked snack using green peas they come in at less than 99 calories per serving (21g) they are a good source of both protein and fibre.
Jordans Country Crisp We all love Jordans cereals in this house and this Fruit and Nut version has gone down really well. Golden Oat Clusters with fruit and crunchy nuts, a great way to start the day. We enjoy them topped with fresh berries. 

A fantastic box as usual, a great start to 2016, as I mentioned at the start of my post you can get £6 off your first box, simply sign up at Degustabox and use the code BLDEG15 for your discount.
You can also like Degustabox on Facebook and follow them on Twitter to keep up to date with the latest information.

**I was sent the box for the purpose of this post but all opinions are my own**
Family Fever

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