Things Nobody Told Me About Pregnancy!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

So when I wasn't pregnant, I admit - it wasn't something I put a lot of thought into. I had two stepchildren and wasn't trying to conceive, but we were blessed with a bundle of joy so I thought I'd compile a few things I've 'discovered' about pregnancy that nobody warned me about.
 

A Day At Drayton Manor, Tamworth

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The summer holidays have begun here in the UK, and we decided to get ours off to an active start with a visit to the Drayton Manor theme park in Tamworth. This all happened because it was Tristan's birthday this week, and we gave him the choice of any theme park in the UK - both he and Mike love rollercoasters and eventually it was decided that Drayton Manor was the place he wanted to go.

The great thing about this particular theme park is that it isn't just rollercoasters and thrill rides - one section of the park is also a zoo, which meant that pregnant animal lover me could happily go exploring too. I actually didn't mind following the boys either, because unlike some park like Alton Towers there are benches positioned around the park meaning I could usually take a seat and watch them (or take sneaky photographs) - I didn't have to stand up for huge periods of time, easing the pressure on my hips.

17 Week Pregnancy Update - Cramping & A Reprieve From HG!

Monday, July 24, 2017


Goodness have I been looking forward to a break from the wonderful (not.) Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Not only because it really has been wearing me out, or because I really do love my food and I hate seeing it in the toilet bowl - but because.. I can't say nor spell it without wincing. Its been shortened to 'HG' so many times, and that causes problems of its own when describing to people how unwell I've actually been.

On Losing My Way In The Blogging World..

Sunday, July 23, 2017

I lost my way when it comes to blogging. I'm not afraid to admit that right now. When I discovered I had lost my job a few months ago - merely weeks after announcing my pregnancy - I panicked and immediately began cultivating sponsored opportunities to help us cope with the potential damaging loss of my wages.
 

I went for job interview after job interview - each of them coming back negatively. In fact, one job kept me waiting over a week for a letter in the post telling me I hadn't been successful after telling me they'd be in touch over 5 days earlier by phone. Everything felt a little bleak. I was finishing my contract at a job I adored with no way of staying, and getting doors closed in my face each and every time that I tried to claw my way out of the hole. I remember speaking with a colleague and reminding myself "when one door closes, another opens - when it doesn't, it isn't your door".

Must-See London Locations For The Perfect Date Night

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

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London is a great place to spend your date night, because there is so much to see and do in all a relatively small space. So whether you are choosing to spend just the evening, or you are on a longer couples break, keep reading for some phenomenal suggestions on what to do.

See a show

One of the most popular destinations for visitors to the big smoke is the West End. This is because it’s London’s theater district, and it's there that you can find all of the famous big name shows that are on.

Of course, a great deal of these are all singing, all dancing, musical productions often based on famous people like Michael Jackson, or Carol King. Or on favourite films like The Lion King and Wicked (based on the wizard of Oz).

Although you can also find some more serious products running in this area including the scary Woman in Black running at the Fortune Theatre, or The Kite Runner at the Playhouse Theatre.

Remember too that if cost is a concern booking online on the same day as the performance can save you as much as half the ticket price. Leaving you cash left over for other fun activities.

Get scared

What is more perfect for a date night than going to an attraction that gets you a little anxious? Then you can reach out to your other half for support and hug, and they can prove how brave they are by helping you out?

With this in mind, why not do a ghost walk at night, or even take a trip on The Ghost Bus? Where you can sit cuddled up together while you hear about all the gruesome and scary things that have occurred along your route.

Sing your heart out

However, if you and you the half would prefer to get you kicks in a less spine tingling way, why try somewhere like Bunga Bunga as they offer karaoke in Covent Garden instead? There you can sing your heart out. But not to a pre-recorded backing track, but as the frontman of an actual band!


You can also grab a delicious bite to eat, and a few cocktails to give you the Dutch (Italian?) courage you need to get up on stage.

Rock out at a gig

If you and your partner fancy reliving a little of your youth on your date, why not get tickets for a gig? There are plenty of to choose from all over London, such as the Smyths Tribute band tour. Or you could go for something a bit more up to date such as the Lana del Rey gig in Brixton in July?


Experience al fresco theater

If it's something a little more cultural, but still fun you are after why not attend a play at the open air Globe theater in Southwark? There you will find a selection of Shakespeare's works such as Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing on offer. As well as some non-Shakespearian offerings such as Boudica.

You can even attend a midnight matinee, and sit out under the stars with your loved one. What could be more romantic than that?

Five Things To Not Scrimp On When You Have A Family

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

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Having a family is really expensive. It’s thought that a typical family spends £230,000 raising just one child to the age of twenty-one. Now that it is common place for children to stay in the parental home much longer, that cost could continue to soar. The costs include food, clothes and toys. Further and higher education can cause the figure to increase too. But there are many other costs we don’t think about in family life, that we really can’t afford to cut back on:

Life Insurance

When you have a mortgage, you should take out life insurance. How much insurance you take out is up to you. Typically, couples make sure the mortgage is paid off should one of the partners pass away. However, you should consider adding on the value of the missing salary, and all the other debts you have. Even extra childcare should be factored in so the remaining partner can continue working. It all adds up.


Health Insurance

Just as it is important for you to consider insuring your life for when you are not here, you also need to consider taking better care of yourself while you are around. After all, we would prefer to be here than not, especially with our families. So it’s important that you consider getting some health insurance as well. You can get health plans from under £2.00 a week which in the grand scheme of things could go a long way to helping you through any health problems. Covering costs of some of the other smaller things like optical and dental health.


Annual Leave

In these times when at least one partner is scraping a living through part-time or self-employed work, holidays can be difficult to take. Basically, if you don’t work, you don’t earn. But kids tend to remember those times when you are all together taking quality holidays that are fun. Book block leave, whatever you do for a living, and enjoy some quality time together as a family. Make some lifelong memories and have some fun!


Exercise

Lead by example when it comes to keeping active. If your kids see that you will still head to that gym class or go for that walk whatever the weather, they will pick up good habits for life too. Even when you are tired and busy, make time to give your body what it needs. Fresh air and exercise are essential for maintaining your fitness and health. Keep up with your kids by making time to look after your body.


Maintaining Your Home

As a homeowner, it is down to you to keep the property safe and in good order. With a family to keep warm and dry, don’t scrimp on essential repairs or maintenance. Doing it yourself can save a fortune but getting it done right can save you from disaster down the line.

We’re all looking to save on the costs of life these days. But there are some things you really can’t scrimp on. Take care of your family and yourself.

Headaches: The Epidemic You Should Be Aware Of

Monday, July 17, 2017

Did you know that only a very small percentage of the public don’t suffer with headaches? Around 97% of people, just like you, suffer from headaches fairly regularly. It’s easy to see that they have become somewhat of an epidemic over recent years, and definitely something we should all be clued up on. Just why are we all suffering from headaches now, and what can we do about it?

Medication - A Saviour Or Something You Should Avoid?

Many people don’t think twice when they have a headache. They reach for the nearest jar of pills and pop a couple, safe in the knowledge that the pain should subside fairly soon. However, medication definitely isn’t the saviour many think it is. Rather than getting to the root of the problem and eradicating your headaches from there, you are simply masking the problem. No doubt it will come back again sooner rather than later, and you’ll get into a vicious cycle of taking medication, that in the long run, really isn’t doing anything good for your body. Instead of reaching for a painkiller, you should get to the root of the problem. Why are you having headaches? Some people like to find out quickly and efficiently by using a Dr App Online to help them. However, those who have more time may prefer to book an appointment. Try to do the following things every day to help your pain subside too:

Cut Down On Screen Time

In recent years, screen time is something many of us struggle to cut down on. We have TVs, tablets, smartphones, and all kinds of other things that mean we basically stare at a screen for hours each day. Not only does this dilute the quality of our lives, it can also cause many health issues, including headaches.

Focus On What You’re Putting Into Your Body

The body needs natural, unprocessed foods to survive. That means filling up on your vegetables, and as many other natural foods as possible. Of course you aren’t expected to be perfect, but if you eat nothing but processed junk food (that can even sometimes be disguised as health food) you’re not doing your head any favours. Learn to read nutritional labels. The fewer ingredients, the better!

Take The Time To De-stress

Many of us lead fast paced, stressful lives. Do you take the time to de-stress? Meditation is an amazing tool that can be used to relax and clear your mind. Most find that with a continued practice, they reduce their headaches dramatically. You can also take baths, go for walks, and simply try a hobby that you love.

Exercise

Exercise releases endorphins, making us happy in the short-term. When you continue, you improve your health in the long-term. You should never look at exercise as a way to ‘look’ better. It’s a way to feel better, live longer, and get more out of life!

Now you’re aware of the headache epidemic, don’t pop pills whenever you get a pain. Start living a healthier lifestyle overall and you will reduce your headaches!

16 Week Pregnancy Update & Consultation

Sunday, July 16, 2017

This week we had the consultation appointment for my hips - or so we thought. Turns out, it was more of a consultation about everything - blood, urine, hips and mental health. I wrote about my hips a few months ago on this post regarding hip impingement, but due to falling pregnant just before having my surgery I'm pretty much back at square one.

My urine sample came back fine, but she did have me go give another two phials of blood as she noticed the blood tests I had a few weeks ago came back anaemic. As this is quite common during pregnancy, I'm not too worried - hopefully when the second set of bloods come back, I'll just have to adjust my diet slightly or take a supplement.

I think everyone going to these scans and appointments, works themselves up the days before. For some reason, I convinced myself that this was all just a huge hospital mix up and that I wasn't really pregnant at all (despite having two ultrasounds to tell me otherwise!) so when the urine came back with no problems I was relieved. As if the midwife read my mind, she asked if me and Mike wanted to listen to the baby using a heart beat monitor. Yes, yes, yes, yes - YES.

I can't explain how I felt when I heard that little sound. It sounds like a horse, running under water (thank you to our Midwife for nailing that description - it really does) and I immediately felt that surge of.. Something. It didn't seem to matter what was going on outside of my womb - our baby was healthy, happy and thriving away inside me.

My hip impingement was something more complex, though. I had to spell it out for our midwife as she had never heard of it before ('f-e-m-o-r-o a-c-e-t-a-b-u-l-a-r i-m-p-i-n-g-e-m-e-n-t') and it was decided that I'd have to have a meeting with an orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in hips before any decision could be made. Obviously, they're worried about my hips impacting on the carrying of our little one, and ultimately the birth - I get a lot of pain in my right hip and despite my best efforts the left seems to be surrendering to it too. It isn't really a great sign but I've read of women giving birth in many positions so hopefully, something works out.

At the moment, I'm really into reading birth stories - they don't terrify me as much anymore, and to be honest the curiosity has kicked in. What used to literally make me sick with fear is becoming more understandable and as I feel our baby growing it feels more natural to me. Birth isn't going to be pleasant, but it really is something natural for a woman to do.

Feel free to leave your own birth stories in the comments below, I'd love to give yours a read!

My Favourite Bedroom Finds This Summer

Saturday, July 15, 2017


My favourite room in the house - in any house we own - is the bedroom. I feel like I spend 80% of my life sleeping or daydreaming about sleep, so I guess that really is only a natural thing (I'm aware I was possibly a sloth in a previous life). I'm really guilty about browsing the bedding aisles when it comes to supermarkets - over the years, they've excelled at the bedding stakes and today I'm sharing a few of my favourite finds this summer!

My picks from George at ASDA:
Chevron Vintage Patch Duvet (double) £11 and the Grey Marble Duvet (double) £9. Special mention to this Professor Umbridge style duvet cover too. Cat plates, gaudy pink stripes - this has her name all over it right?
 
George (based at ASDA in the UK) have a wonderful selection of bedding at the moment - from vivid patterned bedding like the Vintage Chevron bedding above to the more muted, stylised look as seen on the marble print. I always enjoy a good snoop around the bedding section at ASDA as they always have an on-point collection, I for one still covet my willow print bedding that I bought from ASDA for £6 years ago. Hard wearing and pretty durable even with hot washes, the quality really doesn't reflect on the price. I've paid much more for much less, so I never need an excuse to not buy!

My picks from F&F at Tesco:

Pink Spotty Damask Duvet Set (double) £20 (a silver version is also available) and the Pink / Grey Allium Bloom Duvet (double) £15

F&F is the homeware/clothing brand which belongs to Tesco. While they can't compete pricing wise with ASDA, I find the duvet sets are thicker and much more suited to the winter months thanks to the heavier cotton. I've included them in these summer picks, because the prints they currently have featured are wonderfully seasonal - I love the blush pink and grey trend so I'm in love with the pair I found, above.

Have you made any savvy bedding buys this year? Why not check your local supermarket every so often to make sure you aren't missing out!

Are You Doing Daily Damage to Your Eyes?

Friday, July 14, 2017

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I’m going to assume that you like your eyesight. Sure, you might not always like what your eyesight allows you to see, but you’re not exactly willing to give it up as a result, right? The problem with people and their eyesight is that they aren’t often all that proactive when it comes to protecting our eyesight for the long term. In fact, a lot of us are actually making a bunch of mistakes all the time that result in damage to our long term eyesight!

It’s essential that you get to grips with the ways in which you can help protect your eyesight. You don’t want to spend all your time squinting to see things a few metres away a few years down the line, right? And if your eyesight is already not all that great, then it’s even more important that you take measures to protect it. Here’s a quick guide to the things you need to ensure you’re doing in order to keep your vision sharp.


Get your eyes away from that screen

Computer screens, television screens, smartphone screens… we spend a lot of time looking at these screens. A lot of us know by now that the whole “sitting too close to the TV will damage your eyes” thing our parents used to tell us doesn’t really have any hard evidence to back it up - but does that mean you’re safe to look at screens all day without frequent breaks?

No. Screens emit light and contain a lot of visual information, so looking at a screen is actually giving your eyes a pretty hefty workout. That’s why you should probably take a break every fifteen to twenty minutes. Go look at something else. Like, now. Seriously, go look at a flower or something for a few minutes and then return to this article.


Shield your eyes from the sun

Summer is great and everything, but the sun can get pretty obnoxious at this time of year. It’s begging for your attention; you can barely go outside without it sending some punishing rays of light right in your line of sight, making you shield your eyes with your hand if you don’t happen to have any sunglasses with you.

That hand shield isn’t good enough, I’m afraid. You need to get your hands on some sunglasses. Really cheaps ones are better than nothing, but specialist sunglasses or even designer sunglasses for women are better at this job. The rays need to be properly deflected before they reach your eyes - cheap ones won’t always do the trick.


Get some sleep!

If statistics are anything to go by, then it’s likely that you’re not getting as much sleep as you should. And that’s not great for your eyes at all, for reasons that are probably quite easy to understand.

Your eyes have been taking in visual information all day. They’re tired. Like every other part of your body, they need to get some rest if you want them to retain their proper long-term functionality. Make sure you’re getting at least seven hours of sleep a night if you want to protect your vision!

UK Vacations: 3 Cities Everyone Should Visit

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

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Taking a vacation in the UK is a big goal for people in the US and Europe. They see the British people and their aristocracy on TV and love the idea of checking it out for themselves. That helps to explain why the country welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists every summer -  it’s not the best place to go if you enjoy lazing around on beaches and getting a tan, however, the nation is steeped in history and it once had the largest empire on the planet. So, there are many interesting sights and things to see during your stay. Today, I’m going to discuss three cities that all travellers should consider.

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EDINBURGH

Lots of people overlook Wales and Scotland when they visit the UK. I think that's because it’s quite a long drive from the capital. However, you can catch a plane for next to nothing if you book at the right time. Edinburgh is a beautiful city where the wealthiest Scottish people reside. There is a lot of stunning architecture and ancient history to discover. Tourists can buy tickets for castle tours and more. It’s an essential stop on any serious UK trip, and so it’s sensible to make arrangements as soon as possible. Just bear in mind that Scotland is usually a little colder than England. So, you’ll need to wrap up warm.

BIRMINGHAM

Birmingham is England’s second largest city, and most overseas travellers never pay it a visit. The location is home to one of the largest shopping districts in the country. Anyone who wants to pick up the latest fashions during their stay should check out the Bullring. There is also a fantastic nightlife in Birmingham where you will find almost every different type of music. Thanks to Jamaican immigration during the 1950s, the city has a vibrant culture. Indeed, the influence of Jamaican traditions is noticeable everywhere. If you want to meet some real English people and find out what their lives are like, Birmingham is a vital stop on your trip.


 
 
LONDON

London is a stunning city that’s home to the Queen and Parliament. Prices are often higher than anywhere else in the country. For that reason, it makes sense to find homestay accommodation rather than booking a hotel. At the end of the day, you’ll need as much cash as possible to get around and purchase attraction tickets. Nothing is more fun than taking a boat trip down the Thames river with a tour guide. You can also spend time checking out the best views of the city from The London Eye. Taking a stroll to Buckingham Palace doesn’t cost anything, and you might even get to see the Lady herself.

Whenever you fly to the UK, make sure you visit all the places mentioned in this post. If you overlook any of these areas, you’re going to miss out on an exciting experience. I hope you’ve benefited from this article, and that you will now have a better time during your trip. At the end of the day, the UK is an important country on the global scene. I think more people should take the time to spend a few nights there. Enjoy!

The Right And Wrong Foods To Eat When Dealing With Psoriasis

Monday, July 10, 2017

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Living with a skin condition like psoriasis is difficult. There’s no quick fix and, though you can keep it at bay for years at a time, the chances are it’ll come back to bite you somewhere along the line. The problem is, doctors still aren’t sure of causes. And, there’s no cure to speak of. So, a diagnosis of psoriasis is a long-term thing.

The good news is, there are steps you can take to make this condition all but invisible. Tips and tricks all over the internet can help towards that goal. And, sites like Psoriasis Quality Care offer a wealth of information to help you keep things under control. Included are a few articles about food and psoriasis, which is what we’re going to look at. We all know that what we eat has an impact on our skin. We eat greasy foods; we get spots. We eat fresh options; we glow like angels. So, it makes sense to consider diet when it comes to fighting psoriasis, too. It’s important to note that doctors have been unable to link food and psoriasis. But, a bit of common sense suggests that the two are connected somehow. That’s why we’re going to look at the right and wrong foods to eat if you’re one of the unlucky ones.

THE WRONG FOODS

The majority of us already know the main foods which are bad for our skin. Junk food, for example, is a nightmare. When it comes to psoriasis, junk food is harmful in a few different ways. That’s mainly because it causes weight gain. Doctor’s suspect there is a close link between weight and the extent of this condition. Dr. Luigi Naldi, author of a study on the subject, said, “There was a clear correlation between the amount of weight loss and the improvement of psoriasis. Patients who lost more weight experienced a larger improvement in psoriasis.” So, those junk foods won’t help you.

You may be surprised to hear that red meat is also a no-go. The above reasons apply here, too. Red meat is high in saturated fats which aren’t good for the waistline. But, this issue goes deeper still. The hormones your body creates after ingesting omega-6 fatty acid from meat can cause inflammation. And, psoriasis is an inflammatory condition. So, meat is best avoided.

THE RIGHT FOODS

When you bear in mind the link between psoriasis and weight loss, it makes sense to give up foods which are bad for you. Focus on a natural diet which helps you lose weight. Salads, lean meats, beans, and eggs are all much better options. For the most part, a psoriasis diet doesn’t have to be any different from a regular diet. So, take your pick of a plan which suits and get to work.

It’s also worth considering an anti-inflammatory diet. Foods like fish and seeds are fantastic options here. As well as being anti-inflammatory, they have a wealth of health benefits to enjoy. Who wouldn’t want that?

15 Week Pregnancy Update

Sunday, July 09, 2017

I've enjoyed this week of being pregnant. Sickness has been there, but in waves - I'll feel like I'm on the verge of throwing up for two hours, then have a good three to four hours of feeling moderately okay. Still nauseous, but not as bad as it has been. At work we actually went on a trip to Liverpool, and I was able to cope by timing my medication around the coach journey - the journey there and back were pretty rough, but our time inside was well managed and I even ate some dinner problem free. I hope this signals the end of HG for me, but I don't want to get my hopes up too high.. I know some weeks can feel like a reprieve and then the next it comes back with a vengeance.

I've noticed I'm much more exhausted this week - I'm working through the day then having to sleep, before waking and being able to unwind with Mike in an evening. The exhaustion is hard to describe - I often feel like my feet are impossibly heavy on the way home from work, then as soon as I get through the door I fall into bed and that can be me out for the count for a few hours.

MILESTONES THIS WEEK:
  • Baby is now able to detect light changes in the womb
  • My baby now has his or her sexual organs - but we won't be able to get to know the sex for another three weeks!
  • Baby can now hear my voice, and other things going on with me - for example, my digestive system. Poor little thing!
SYMPTOMS I'M EXPERIENCING:
  • Exhaustion
  • Cravings: pickles, especially gherkins
  • Flutters in my stomach - like I'm hungry and its rumbling, but I'm not
  • A stuffy nose - very stuffy. This is common and is called 'rhinitis of pregnancy'

If You See Anything This Year, Let It Be the Untouched World

Thursday, July 06, 2017

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Going off the beaten track and seeing the last untouched remnants of planet earth is a must-do activity for those who are sick to death of tourists. It is a must-do activity for those who don’t want to spend this summer lounging by a pool by day and propping up a bar at night. It’s a must-do activity for those that actually want to see and feel the true wonders our world still has to offer. So, if there’s one activity you do this year, let it be seeing the beauty of the untouched world. Below you can find information on some of the best places that fall into this category to visit.


Thailand

There are parts of Thailand that are hugely developed and full of tourists year in, year out. But there are also some parts of it that are not. Some parts of it are still relatively untouched, and to really experience Thailand, these are the parts of it that you should visit. One such place is Myanmar, where you can visit the Tanintharyi region. Here you can see what is probably the most undisturbed areas that the jewel of Southeast Asia has to offer — just make sure not to disturb the peace when you're there.

Morocco

North Africa is another such place where life has changed very little over recent years, so is a place that you should most definitely visit. Specifically, the Mt Toubkal region of Morocco, where the Berber people call home, is the place that you should next visit as you go off the beaten track. And if you want to do your bit for charity whilst you’re at it, you can join the Morocco Mount Toubkal Trek. This is a long weekend charity challenge where funds can be raised for the charity of your choice. So, taking such a venture need not only benefit you, but can benefit others too.

Jordan

Petra, in Jordan, is one of the most untouched areas left on earth, despite being so close to civilisation. In Petra, there are no cities or suburbs. There are no cars polluting the air as people race to get to and from work. And there are sure not a lot of tourists flocking there year in year out. And this is surprising, seeing as though the archaic tombs that lie there give a glimpse into times gone by and that the whole area has been deemed a World Heritage Site.

Argentina

Argentina is home to many of the wonders of the world — one of it’s biggest wonders is Purmamarca. This is small town in the country and is the location of the Seven Coloured Mountains; also, it has been, for it’s whole existence, a place that has been untouched and untrammelled on by tourists.

There are still some amazing places to visit and amazing things to see in this planet that don’t involve a pool or a bar. So, if you want to go off the beaten track and see something different on your holidays this year, let it be any of the places mentioned above. Just be sure to stay safe if travelling alone, and to not disturb the peace of wherever it is you may go.

Good Music, Good Food & Good Friends - The Perfect Barbeque!

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Summer means beach parties, adventures on the coast and good old barbeques. Is there anything better than getting out the grill and relaxing with your nearest and dearest as the smell of dinner fills the air? I think not. As well as some of my favourite dishes, there are a few things a summer barbeque just cannot do without - obviously, sometimes the good weather isn't always possible but you can certainly give the day a great vibe!

Good Music

Music can make or break a good night at a barbeque - make a varied summery playlist and accept that some of the songs won't be completely up your street. Whether you have a docking station you use for your outdoor entertainment, or a stereo system from indoors with a window open.. Make sure you add that extra spark of life to the party! I recommend a Panasonic Speaker System, wireless and easy to use they're built to last through summer and into years to come.

Remember to consider your neighbours when enjoying your night - nobody likes in irresponsible neighbour, and children in close vicinity certainly won't have as much stamina as you. At certain times of day you have a legal responsibility to keep the noise down!

Good Food
 
Food is the focal point of any barbeque - I love preparing my favourite pulled chicken recipe as well as some more traditional staples of the grill - steaks, chicken drumsticks and some grilled chicken breast.
 
Even with the grill being a meat-dominated affair, I'm quite happy to put some vegetable skewers or seafood on for the more partial as not everyone enjoys a slab of steak - something to keep in mind when entertaining. Lighter options are things like coleslaw, jacket potatoes and corn on the cob, perfect for smaller appetites.

Good Friends
 
When it comes to a barbeque, you can have friends by the dozen or just your nearest and dearest - whichever you choose its bound to be a hit on a hot summers night. If celebrating with friends, make sure you have some beers in the fridge and some wine cooled - and for the smaller ones, perhaps some home made fruit coolers for quenching some younger thirsts.

14 Week Pregnancy Update

Sunday, July 02, 2017

14 weeks has passed me by, and looking back on the week I've had I'm a little relieved. Between soft cramps in my abdomen, to the full effects of HG I've had a week of ups and downs - though I've managed to keep my head up and get everything I've needed to do done alongside.

I have found that I'm craving much more sugar this week. Especially the little gummy, pickamix goodies you can buy! I've managed to keep myself controlled with this, and between throwing things back up again with the HG I can indulge in a sugary treat or two without any major worries. In fact, I think the boosts of sugar have done me the world of good when I've been unable to keep much else in my system.

MILESTONES THIS WEEK:
  • Baby can now make facial expressions - squinting, grimacing - the facial muscles are really getting a work out
  • Arms and legs are now making more coordinated movements - our little one covered their face on the last scan we went to so this was so obvious!
  • This week marks the beginning of distinguishing facial features developing - Mike and me are showing through!
SYMPTOMS I'M EXPERIENCING:
  • Sickness and nausea, still going strong unfortunately
  • Dizziness when standing up too quickly
  • Very mild cramping in abdomen, like soft period pains
  • Extreme tiredness - I can't go a day without a nap at the moment!
  • Emotional mood swings - tears are only a half-second away at any time.
I have to say, this week is the first week I've properly 'felt' pregnant. I have a definite bump forming, my trousers are too tight and the tiredness has absolutely wiped me out - but it isn't unpleasant. Knowing I have something so precious inside is incredibly special, and I can't describe how protective I feel. Aside from the odd sugary treat, I'm doing my best to eat healthily - little portions, as often as I can - and I'm much more aware that things I do eat and drink are fuelling not just me but us.

These Shortcuts Make Healthy Living Easier

Saturday, July 01, 2017

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Who has time to really be healthy? There are all these things you're supposed to do that you can struggle to find the time for. Even if you do have time, you also need to have the energy, willpower, and desire to do them. Staying healthy when you don't want to dedicate huge amounts of your life to it might seem like it's tough. But just because you can't live up to the ideal of the super healthy person, it doesn't mean you can't look after your health. You can still keep healthy by using shortcuts that will help you achieve a healthier lifestyle. If you want to be healthier, but you don't want to spend too much time on it, try these shortcuts.


Split Up Your Exercise

Ideally, you should be getting half an hour of moderate exercise each day, at least. Some people might choose to bunch some of this up into longer sessions less frequently. But this can seem like an awful lot of work when you're busy, especially during the week. One way to make it easier is to split up your exercise time instead. Instead of doing one half-hour workout, spend ten minutes exercising three times a day. Even if you just go for a walk, it makes it easier to get active for ten minutes before work, at lunchtime, and in the evening.
 
Treat Yourself to Prepared Fruit and Veg

Getting a healthy amount of fruits and vegetables is essential for a balanced diet. It can feel like a lot of pressure though, especially when you feel like you need to have a certain number of portions every day. Preparing fruit and veg and getting it into your meals can be pretty time-consuming. An easy way to address this is to use prepared foods, which are easy to put straight into your meal or eat as a snack. As well as using pre-chopped vegetables, you can enjoy dried fruit and trays of veg for dipping. Just be careful about the amount of packaging if you want to be eco-friendly.

Use an Online Doctor

Everyone can find it hard to make time to see a doctor. It's easy to put something out of your mind and pretend it doesn't matter if it means not having to take time off work. However, there are ways you can save time, so you don't have to spend so long seeing a doctor. The internet has allowed pretty much everything to be online, including doctors. You can make an appointment to speak to a doctor through a video chat for many issues. Of course, it's not ideal for every problem, but it can be useful for a range of more minor health complaints.
 
Get Medication Online
 
As well as speaking to a doctor online, you can often get hold of different medications online too. There are lots of over-the-counter medicines that you can easily order, so you don't have to take a trip to your nearest store or pharmacy. On top of that, you can even get some medications that require a prescription. If you've used a particular birth control in the past, you can request your contraceptive pill online for a repeat prescription from an online doctor. Sometimes doctors can write you new prescriptions too. You can't do this for everything, but it does work well for some things, especially repeat prescriptions.
 

Take Naps

You should get roughly eight hours of sleep each night to feel refreshed the next day. This can be pretty tough though, especially if you're busy or have kids who wake you up. But when you don't get enough sleep, it can leave you feeling tired in the afternoon and exhausted by bedtime. One way to help solve this is to become a fan of power napping. Getting in a quick nap during the day, even if it's just for 20 minutes can help to refresh you. However, be careful. If you sleep too long, you could wake up feeling groggy and find it a struggle to get to sleep at night.
 
Clean Up Quickly

Maintaining good hygiene is essential if you want to stay healthy. Ideally, you should wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water anytime they might be contaminated with bacteria. This can include after going to the toilet, handling raw meat, or spending time out in the garden. However, you don't always have the time or the facilities to do this. One of the handy ways to address the problem is to have anti-bacterial gel or wipes that you can use to clean your hands. They contain alcohol to help kill bacteria, so you can clean your hands even if you're on the move, camping, or just far away from a bathroom.


Have a Healthy Breakfast To Go

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, according to many people. But the morning is often one of the busiest parts of your day when you don't have a lot of time or energy. If you're slow to get started in the morning or too busy getting little people out the door, making time for a proper breakfast isn't easy. Grabbing something you can have on-the-go or when you get to work is a good idea, and it can be healthy. If you don't want to have something prepackaged, prepare something the night before or even at the beginning of the week for each morning.

Use Quick Teeth-cleaning Solutions

Regular brushing and flossing are essential parts of good oral hygiene. Ideally, you're meant to brush after each meal to keep your teeth clean. However, it's not always easy or convenient to do that. If you don't want to brush in the bathroom at work or somewhere else that feels equally strange, you might just skip it all together. As an alternative, chewing sugar-free gum or using a toothpick can both be good. Even just having a drink of water is useful too. Take these shortcuts to maintain your health without the hassle. You don't have to use them all the time, but they work when you're in a bind.
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