20 May 2020

We're having a baby! First Trimester Update

Well this is a blog post I couldn't have expected to write this year! If you follow me on Instagram you'll be fully aware that I'm 17 weeks pregnant with my first baby. And how delighted Simon and I are to finally be able to share our precious little secret with the world.

Growing a human during a global pandemic sure hasn't been easy, but with every emotional breakdown and mornings spent with my head in the toilet have been little moments of pure bliss. I've never felt such pure love and joy as I have since I found out I was pregnant, and it was the first time in my life I actually cried from happiness.

I wasn't planning on documenting my pregnancy, as it's not the "normal" topic of conversation around here. But having since announced our news on social media quite a few lovely women who are also expecting have reached out to me to say it's just nice to have someone to talk to that's going through the same thing they are.

So I thought I'd share my pregnancy video diary and updates on here too just in case it helps that one other person who might be feeling a little lonely or lost during this time.

Let's start at the beginning...

Early symptoms
I think the main one was that I just went off smoking completely, at around 1 or 2 weeks pregnant looking back. The thought of smoking or anyone smoking around me made me feel sick to my stomach!
My appetite also shot through the roof and I was craving really unusual foods (for me), I eat really healthily normally but I was eating pizza and pasties for lunch.

How I found out
The smoking and appetite signs made me think something was going on in my body, so I was already anticipating my period. When it was 3 days late I took a test - I was absolutely overwhelmed with happiness. Simon was playing a festival in Norway and wouldn't be home for another 4 days so I felt emotional and a little lost until he came home.

How I told my partner
I really didn't know how he would react, as it was really soon in our relationship. When he got back from Norway I insisted we ate at Nando's for tea (his favourite). I actually wrote him a letter telling him but I ended up just mumbling it from behind a pillow with tears in my eyes. He was shocked, silent for a few seconds and said "I'm going to be a Dad?"

Who we told first
Unfortunately due to lockdown we weren't able to tell any friends or family in person (I'm still waiting for a hug from my mum!). So we wanted to share the news in the most special way we could, we waited until we had the scan photo, took some nice pictures together in the park opposite the hospital and sent cards out to family. My mum and sister were the first to know, followed by my immediately family on our weekly video call. Everyone was so happy and excited!

Best reactions
Simon told his best friends via a weekly quiz on Zoom, he wrote a Disney round and his final question was "In the new film being created now, can you name the Disney Prince and Princess that are having a baby, which is set around Halloween?" - they were all buzzing!

12 week scan
Again, due to restrictions in place at the hospital, I went to the scan alone. When I first saw our tiny baby on the screen my heart broke - I was so overwhelmed with love but also really sad that Simon was missing this. It was really surreal, I didn't take my eyes off the screen once. All I could think was "we made you - you're in my tummy right now"

Worst symptoms?
Nausea. I got to discover that morning sickness isn't just in the a.m. In fact I felt worse during the evenings and would wake up a few times during the night to be sick. This happened every day between weeks 7 and 16.
Exhaustion was hard too as I'm usually so active, so to be laying on the sofa all day unable to find the energy to even pop the kettle on was really difficult. I could see everyone settling into their new lockdown routines and being super productive and all I was doing was watching t.v.
I can't stand the smell of cooking now, so I have to have really simple and plain food. Grazing and snacking to make sure my tummy is never empty helps with the sickness.

Any cravings?
Not really, at the beginning I loved strawberry and banana milkshakes, I've gone through phases of "Daddy meals" (i.e, foods I don't normally eat that I think the baby wants from Simon) such as burgers, curly fries, pasta. I would eat the same thing every day, but once you've vom'd your favourite meal it's hard to go back.
Right now I just love fresh fruit and apple juice.

Best thing I love most about being pregnant
The feeling that there's a tiny person inside me, that's half me and half the person I love most in the world. I can't wait to see him/her and grow into the best versions of ourselves.

Here's my first trimester video diary, it's mostly me complaining about how nauseous I am really.

Now I'm in my second trimester I've found like I feel a lot more like myself again, more energy and more motivation to create content. So if there's anything baby related you'd like to see in particular please let me know!

Thank you for following me along on my most exciting journey yet - and please do get in touch if you'd like a baby chat.

- H x

10 April 2020

Ideas for Easter at Home

I've been feeling quite bummed out about Easter this year, if you've followed me for a few years you'll know it's quite a big deal in our family, and we have 30 year old traditions - such as an Easter breakfast at my Grandparents' house followed by an egg hunt, a trip to Anglesey for a coastal walk, amongst other things. And living in a city centre studio away from my family - I wont be able to do any of the things I'm so familiar with and cherish dearly...

But then I remembered that pretty much everyone else here is in the same quarantined boat. So I dug through my archives of past Easter posts to share some ideas on how we can celebrate Easter at home.

1. Bake some goodies
My favourite Easter bake is Creme Egg Brownies, but a really simple classic (especially if you're struggling for ingredients) is a good old nest cake. I baked a chocolate sponge, covered it with a mixture of melted chocolate cornflakes, and decorated it with anything I could find!

2. Easter Delivery
Deliver some Easter cheer to your elderly family or neighbours by bicycle - you can use your recommended "one outdoor exercise per day" to make someone else's full of sunshine. Remember to keep your distance from older relatives... you can leave the goodies on the step and give them a little wave from the window!

3. Easter breakfast
Luckily this requires very little effort, we have the classic dippy eggs & soldiers accompanied by hot cross buns. Make a special occasion of it - set the table, use your best china and enjoy the morning.

4. Easter Egg Hunt in the garden
My grandparents have hosted an Easter Egg Hunt in the garden for 30 years, and as this will be the first year I won't be able to attend *sobs* so I'm going to do one for my 27 year old boyfriend in my studio apartment.

5. Fresh air walk
Whether you live alone or you're lucky enough to be spending this time with your family or loved ones - pack a flask of tea, wrap up some hot cross buns and take an Easter egg out for a brisk walk in the fresh air. We're all allowed one form of outdoor exercise per day so make the most of it! It might not be the beautiful coastal scenes of Anglesey that I'm accustomed to - but I'm going to walk down to the water at some point.

6. Pamper evening
One of my favourite Easter traditions is a Lush delivery - their spring products are almost up there with Christmas. I always order a huge box of goodies to enjoy over the Easter weekend. Regrettably this year I ordered them a month ago... to my mum's house... which I'm not at. So I've let my sister have at them instead.

7. Pyjama and film day
This one is pretty much what I'm sure the entire nation will be doing, and something we always save for Easter Monday. We put fresh jammies on, watch a selection of Easter themed films and eat as many of our Easter eggs as humanly possible. A few of our favourite films to watch are:
Miss Potter
Monty Python's Life of Brian
Jason and The Argonauts

I hope that whatever you're up to this Easter, you have a lovely weekend!

H x

4 April 2020

You are more than your productivity

After my third week of self-isolation/lockdown/quarantine I wanted to share a rather honest blog post for anyone else that might be feeling a little lost at the moment. I took a short "holiday" from social media this week - because I was becoming overwhelmed with how everybody seemed to just snap into this new way of life... adapting to new WFH routines and being able to change everything so quickly, whilst I had just enough motivation to get up and pop the kettle on.

Then I read an Insta-quote saying "you are more than your productivity" - which made me realise it's totally okay if all you have the energy for right now is taking care of yourself, keeping alive and healthy.

None of us are used to this, and as each of our bodies are different, we're all going to adjust differently and at different speeds.

So I stopped checking the news, and tried not to compare myself to what everyone else was doing, and tried to just be.

I've started to feel more positive and optimistic now - looking forward to different ways I can spend my time at home, learning new things, whilst not being overwhelmed by taking on too much.

So if you're struggling too - just slow down, we're in no rush to become quarantine pros. And if all else fails, I hear baking banana bread does wonders for your soul!

H x

7 March 2020

Stepping into spring with Bibi

I am officially the proud new member of Darts Club!

From the designer that brought us the iconic red lips clutch bag, the Lulu Guinness SS20 collection features some inspired British pub classics like darts, the fruit machine, bingo, dominos and the crossword puzzle.

Vinyl trench coat : Topshop // Ruffle blouse : Zara Kids // Jeans : H&M // Loafers : Dr Martens //
Tote bag : Lulu Guinness

When I was asked to take part in the HowDoYouDoLulu campaign my inner pensioner jumped for joy! I love nothing more than an old man pub on a Sunday afternoon and the collection is a fun combination of playful style and pub games.

Everyone's falling for Bibi (including a number of male friends who took a particular interest in my new bullseye tote).

Who knew darts could be so chic?!

*Bag gifted as part of a paid promotion for an Instagram campaign

16 February 2020

5 'Emma' inspired dresses

This weekend brings Jane Austen's beloved comedy, Emma, to the big screens. And along with it, a brand new obsession with costume since my recent Little Woman episode last month.
Hayley's dress: Sister Jane

In celebration of the film (which looks like it has been set inside a giant cream cake), my friend Lucy and I decided to re-create some of the looks with dresses that you can find on the high-street right now.
Lucy's dress: ASOS

We had so much fun researching the film, characters, and period - sourced our favourite pieces and headed up to the Georgian Quarter with our cameras.
Hayley's dress: ASOS

It was important for us to style the dresses how we would genuinely wear them today/early spring - queue ankle boots instead of slippers, and there wasn't an upper length glove or set of pearls in sight!
Lucy's dress: ASOS (currently out of stock)

We wanted to include wearable dresses that took inspiration from the film and Georgian period - rather than looking like we're attending an 18th century costume party. And we fell so much in love with the dresses that we soon started planning spring/summer picnics and days out.
Hayley's dress: ASOS

Lucy & I had so much fun putting this together - it's such a joy to be creative together from the process of research, to shopping for the perfect dress, to shooting together and posting something we're both really proud of!