Tuesday, 28 April 2015

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

1. Borrowing Allan's jogging bottoms and being 100% comfy! Most of my maternity clothes are too tight around the middle or sit above or below my bump, but these are perfect!

2. My flat in Dundee is now repaired! Woohoo! After months of dealing with the insurance company, estate agent and repairmen I can finally market my flat properly and get it sold! This is the first step towards us buying a family home, so fingers crossed!

3. My new pink raincoat makes me happy. I don't usually wear pink or pastels, but this plastic jacket is so sweet I couldn't resist! Plus it's practical isn't it?!

4. I love this rainbow of reusable nappies which we bought and received this week and can't wait to see them on our baby's bum!

5. For years on and off I've been listening to This American Life, which is a Chicago-based public radio show hosted by Ira Glass with a weekly topic. I've been listening to it a lot over the last week or so when I can't sleep or whilst I make tea etc. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes serious, sometimes educational, but always entertaining and informative.

6. The glorious sunshine this week reminded me how brilliant beer gardens are (even when your cider is non-alcoholic)!

7. I can't tell you the last time I watched Labyrinth but it's still brilliant. There's something about the imagination that went into 80s movies that made so many of them classics.

8. I've been craving strawberry milkshakes. Yum!

9. All through my pregnancy the kittens have become friendlier and friendlier, but this last week my furry bodyguards have been following me around and sleeping in the bed with us. Meg sleeps on the pillow and Jack sleeps beside the bump most of the night. So cute!

How has your week been?

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Pregnancy Update: Baby Bird At 40 Weeks

Well here we are, today is our due date!

We had a midwife appointment a week ago and discussed having a sweep next week, which is totally optional and sounds slightly unpleasant, but I'm away to give birth so in the grand scheme of it all "unpleasant" and "uncomfortable" is nothing! In the meantime we're still trying all the old tricks but to no avail.

Thursday was such an exciting mail day though! This week is Real Nappy Week, a week dedicated to spreading the word about reusable nappies with great discounts and competitions. After getting loads of great information from local expert Nicole at The Nappy Laundry, I had already picked the brands and styles I wanted to use, so I set about getting the best deal I could.

The top row are one size pocket nappies by Little Lamb and the bottom row are Basics by Bambooty. They're all one size nappies which should fit baby from birth to potty training using a system of poppers to adjust the size. I love the rainbow of colours we've bought and can't wait to see our baby's tiny butt in them!

We're trying to go reusable for pretty much everything, so I also bought reusable nappy liners (for catching the poo!), reusable breast pads and reusable baby cloths instead of using wipes. A lot of people tell me it's too much work or doesn't help the environment that much but I just can't imagine putting thousands of nappies in landfill, it just doesn't sit right with me. So we'll give it our best shot!

We also plan to be babywearers, so we bought a Boba wrap from The Nappy Laundry. Nicole went through the various designs and brands and we decided to start with this as it's relatively inexpensive, sturdy and would fit both Allan and I. It's also great for breastfeeding on the go which is important to me. I think that's us all organised now...

How I'm Feeling

To be honest, I'm getting fed up! I'm getting bored of being off work on my own and I'm losing motivation to leave the house.  I sleep well until about 6-8am and I feel great, so I get up and have breakfast, but then I slowly fade and have a nap from about 10am til lunchtime! The postman is now getting used to seeing me in my pyjamas with wild hair! The swelling in my hands is annoying and sometimes sore but generally I'm fine. I've had some major Braxton Hicks, especially one evening when it went on for so long I wondered if baby was on it's way! Any new pain or sensation makes me wonder!

What I'm Wearing

The same as usual, nothing new to report here! I still refuse to buy anything new but can't wait to get back into a wider selection, even if it's just more of my maternity stuff which I no longer fit into!
What I'm Eating

I'm starting to lose my appetite a bit, although one sunny day this week I absolutely had to have a strawberry milkshake and Smarties McFlurry from McDonalds! I'd really like that again now actually!

If baby hasn't arrived of its own accord in the next two weeks labour will be induced, so this should be my last pregnancy update! I can't wait to introduce our tiny sweetheart!

Monday, 20 April 2015

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

1. Putting my maternity leave to good use, I made up the baby's cotbed with a cute set covered in bright animals and a toy cow!

2. I love Jelly Belly Beans but haven't had them for ages so thought I'd treat myself. Cue me, sorting them out into flavours, then eating them in order of least favourite to favourite! Jelly bean etiquette!

3. We had good news when we visited the vet this week, little Panda will be ok! They thought he may have a brain tumour but he has responded well to his medication.  The vet said he'll never be 100%, but at least he isn't in any pain.

4. There's very little that can beat a chip shop supper when you crave one! I always have a macaroni pie, chips and a can of Irn-Bru. It has to be a can, it always tastes better out of a can!

5. I'd read the book years ago but have only just watched the movie of To Kill A Mockingbird. It was basically how it was in my head when I read it, complete with the feelings of rage and sadness it gives me!

6. We bought a baby book a few months ago and I figured it would be a nice touch to learn calligraphy rather than use my usual handwriting! I bought a pen from eBay and have been putting some practice in!

7. Allan had a day off on Friday and it was glorious sunshine, so instead of staying at home and working on the bathroom as planned, we decided to jump in the car and head to the seaside! Beautiful days like that can't be wasted!

8. Allan bought me some hard backed books so I could organise my recipes. The plan is to cook these recipes I've ripped out of magazines etc, decide if we like them, then glue the good ones into the books for future use.

9. Again, making use of the good weather, we had an impromptu picnic after Allan's work on Saturday. We just drove out to a scenic spot 10 minutes from home and sat and ate sandwiches! Even getting out in the sun for half an hour makes me feel good!

How has your week been? Share your highlights and make me jealous!

Friday, 17 April 2015

Our Newest Additions (And It's Not Who You'd Think)!

Despite what people say about the size of my pregnant belly, this is not a post about twins! We're still waiting for Bumpy to arrive!

Allan and I have a problem. We can't go to a pet store without looking at the animals, and we can't avoid going to pet stores because we have animals! And everytime we go, Allan tries to persuade me to get more pets, and I have to be the sensible one and say no!

But our last trip was different. Panda had became unwell and we were told he may have a brain tumour, which broke our hearts. And if the worst happened it would have left Woody as the only guinea pig and he'd be lost without his pal. (Luckily, Panda has since been treated and is on the mend).

So when we got to Pets At Home, Allan used his persuasive powers (he didn't have to try very hard!) and within the blink of an eye we were bonding with some furry little cuties!

So here they are, introducing Napoleon and Pedro!

We've only had them a few days and they've bonded so well with the other piggies!

Napoleon (the ginger and white one) is super-fast and cheeky just like Woody was when he was little! Pedro is tiny and quiet and gives great sad eyes!

So this is our brood (left-right: Panda, Pedro, Napoleon and Woody)! Now I'm putting my foot down! No more piggies, ok?! (Unless we get more space...)

Thursday, 16 April 2015

A Cinemagoers Guide To Cinema Etiquette

I haven't been to the cinema all that much recently, but whilst on maternity leave I'm getting back into it. You see, I used to go the cinema at least once or twice a week, I was part of a cinema group and an avid moviegoer. But as much as I loved it, my cinema trip this week reminded me of a few things that really grind my gears about the general ignorance of some people when they get into that screen.

Basically, this Oatmeal cartoon sums it up!

Here are my top tips to not p'ing me/other people off:

If you've been allocated seats, sit in them

Because sure as hell the person whose seats those are will want them, and rightly so! I book my seats online to get the best seats I can. I want to be central to the screen, middle to back. I take the time to book them for optimal viewing. And yes, I'm aware how geeky that sounds!

I have moved people out of my seat, often on principle, because if I sit somewhere else the person with that ticket is likely to move me and I'm not into that. I've seen a couple having to move 3 times in one screening because they couldn't just sit in the seats allocated to them. I've also nearly sat on a man's lap after coming in late to a movie, finding my seat, but not seeing him in the dark!

Shut up

Well, at the very least, if you absolutely have to, comment rarely in whispers. The cinema is not your living room, you are not free to speak at full volume the whole way through. It's actually quite expensive to go to the cinema, let people enjoy it. Also, if you're packing audible snacks, wait until the louder bits to rustle that bag or munch loudly, ok?

Stay off your phone

Seriously, you can't sit for 2-3 hours without checking your phone? If it's that important, you probably shouldn't be sitting in a cinema.

Even if you think you're being discreet, you're not. One of my proudest moments was hitting someone's phone from two rows and half a section away with a napkin when they started playing a game halfway through a film!

Keep your feet down

Your footrest is actually the back of someone's chair. If the screen's pretty empty then ok, put your feet up. But if there's anyone in the seats in front, even in the few to either side of it, they don't want you kicking, pushing or sticking your cheesy feet in their face. I've had to tell a grown woman not to kick the back of my chair, it's not just kids that do this!

So there we go! Simples, eh? I think these are pretty basic and obvious forms of courtesy in a cinema, but maybe that's just me! What do you think? Have I missed anything out?

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Pregnancy Update: Baby Bird At 38 Weeks

Less than two weeks to go!

Not a lot has happened this last fortnight! I started maternity leave last week and I've been trying to catch up with things and put my feet up a bit more too. I started out with a couple of days doing lots but my ankles and hands were swelling up like balloons so it was time to dial it back a bit!

After packing the hospital bag, we've moved onto packing the hospital snacks bag. Yes, that is a thing! It's recommended that you take some food and drink to the hospital to keep energy levels up during labour. So far we've got Lucozade, Snickers, Nak'd bars, wholemeal bread and Quorn for sandwiches, crisps, diluting juice, flapjacks and pear drops! It all sounds like a delicious picnic right now, not sure how I'll feel at the time!

As baby could arrive anytime between now and the next few weeks I thought it was probably about time to dress the cotbed! I got a bargain set for £7 from Tesco which included the bumper, sheet, quilt and blanket and it's nice and bright for a girl or a boy! Now I just have to keep the cats out of it!

How I'm Feeling

I still feel pretty uncomfortable and that's not going to change anytime soon! My support belt definitely helps and sitting upright feels like the comfiest position right now.  Sleeping isn't too bad but putting a pillow under the bump helps too. I did some grocery shopping earlier in the week but walking about too much can be painful and trying not too buy too much so I can carry it is difficult too!

What I'm Wearing

I've pretty much decided not to buy any further maternity clothes because I'm already outgrowing some of the stuff I have! But I have bought this awesome New Look maxi skirt and it's so comfy! It's from the normal range so I can still wear it afterwards, but it has an elasticated waist which means I can wear it over the bump at the moment and around my waist when I have one again! I've been wearing a vest over it too so it tucks under a bit and doesn't just hang off the bump and make me look like the side of a house!
What I'm Eating

This week's cravings have been cheese and oatcakes and Frosted Wheats! I'm still drinking lots of fresh juice and eating lots of fruit, especially oranges, and haven't the same sweet-tooth I had before.

Hopefully baby will arrive soon, I can't wait to meet him/her! I've been trying curries and pineapple and hot baths, all old wives tales I'm sure, but nothing is budging baby yet! But you never know, it could be any minute now... :D

Monday, 13 April 2015

The Return Of ♥ This Week's Loves ♥

I can't believe it's been almost a year since I last posted a ♥ This Week's Loves ♥! I'm not sure why I stopped, but I think it's time to pick it up again, and be thankful for all the things that make me happy!

1. Whilst I was working I really struggled to have nice nails, they were always chipping or breaking. So I'm taking the opportunity whilst I'm on maternity leave to have pretty nails, even if it's just for a short time!

2. If you've been reading my pregnancy updates you'll know that I'm ever expanding and outgrowing even my maternity clothes! So hurrah! for this New Look maxi skirt which is part of their normal range so will still fit after baby is here! It has an elasticated waist which currently sits above my bump comfortably. Look at that big belly!

3. I've been trying out new ways to relax and painting is one of them. But none of your high-brow artistry here, I'm just colouring-in My Little Pony pictures! Managed to smudge my dots in this one though :(

4. I first saw Tsum Tsum in a Disney Store in Japan almost 3 years ago and have always regretted not grabbing some whilst I had the chance. Luckily, here we are in 2015 and UK stores are now stocking them! Yippee!

5. We expanded our family this week, and not in the way most people expected! We adopted two new guinea pigs, Napoleon and Pedro! So far Napoleon is a little adventurer, running around like a bullet and causing havoc, whilst Pedro is quiet and shy.

6. I hadn't been to the cinema for ages, and after going at least once a week in the past I promised myself a catch-up during my maternity leave. This week I went to see Home, which has a way better story than the trailers hint at...

7. ...and Fast & Furious 7, which is so cheesy but exciting at the same time! Don't even ask why Iggy Azalea has even two seconds in it. Tsk!

8. The weather has been pretty good here so all the pretty flowers are coming out and I love it! These are a bouquet obviously, but check out that multi-pastel one! So purdy!

9. The family took Granny out for afternoon tea this weekend for her birthday. Who doesn't love afternoon tea? Either that or buffets every meal and I'd be a happy bunny! Yum!

How has your week been? Share your highlights and make me jealous!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

The '1989' Ask Anything Tag

One of my bestest buddies Leanne is a big Taylor Swift fan and did this tag over on her blog Eat, Love, Wanderlust recently.

I'm not such a big fan but the questions are really good so I'm giving it a go! Feel free to join in!


1. Welcome to New York // If you could live in any city, which would it be and why?

Easy. It'd be Tokyo. It's somewhere I'd always wanted to go and when I finally went there in 2012 it was every bit as wonderful as I'd expected, if not more so! It's such a diverse, efficient and friendly place, I'd love to go back. I'll stop gushing just now, but if you want to read about my trip feel free to here!

2. Blank Space // What is something that everyone thinks is true about you but is actually false?

I have no idea! What have they been saying about me?! I think I'm pretty straight-forward so I can't really answer that one!

3. Style // What is one item in your closet that makes you feel unstoppable?

I would say heels, but that unstoppable feeling only last until they begin to hurt and make me stop! But sometimes you just stick on an outfit and it feels amazing, like you've actually managed to put together something that is fashionable and makes you look really good! That's when I'm unstoppable!

4. Out of the Woods // What is one thing that you’re afraid of?

Anything bad happening to my family, which is a pretty obvious one. Generally I don't have any phobias, although I would have said blood tests before, but after having lots of them recently has kind of cured that!

5. All You Had To Do Was Stay // Who is someone you wish was still in your life?

This is going to sound harsh but no-one. I have lost my fair share of family and friends, and I think that people come and go throughout life, each leaving something behind which shapes you as a person.
6. Shake It Off // What is something you have had to shake off?

Worrying about what people think. For the majority of my life I haven't given a crap about what people think, but somewhere in my early 30s I sort of stopped being me and started to conform to what other people wanted me to be. At the time I didn't see it, but as soon as I did and started claiming back all the weird and wonderful things that make me the individual that I am, everything started to fall into place!

7. I Wish You Would // What is something you’d like to happen right now?

Seeing as our first baby is due to arrive very soon, I'd like an easy, quick birth to a happy and healthy baby please!

8. Bad Blood // Have you ever had someone stab you in the back?

Hells yeah! I think everyone has. But people have their own reasons for doing things, and I just cut them off. You don't need people like that in your life.

9. Wildest Dreams // What would you like to be remembered for?

Being a good person. I like to think I'm nice and friendly and fun and easy-going but that my quirks and Karen-isms are just as appreciated!

10. How You Get The Girl // What is your favourite pick-up line?

Wow, it's been so long since I've heard a chat-up line! I like the cheesy, funny ones because if you get someone laughing it shows that you have something in common already.

11. This Love // What is something you got back that you never thought you would?

Complete happiness, although looking back I'm not sure I actually had it before! Some (usually older) friends and family like to put a bit of pressure on if you are still single in your mid-20s or older, not realising that that's not necessarily how the world works now. I took my time, kissed some frogs and ended up meeting my prince at 34. I don't count that time as wasted, it helped me to understand what I did and didn't want so that when I met Allan I knew pretty early on that he was the one! Now, almost 18 months later, we're engaged, expecting our first baby and preparing to move (along with our four furry friends!) into our first proper home together!

12. I Know Places // Where is one place you always feel safe?


13. Clean // What is an important lesson you have learned in life?

Live your own life, your own way, and let others do the same (unless it causes harm or suffering to others, then stop it!).

Let me know if you take part in the tag so I can read all about it!

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Maira Gall