Saturday, 9 August 2014

Pregnancy Journey : The Discovery & Appointments, what to expect.

Back on 21 June Spencer and I found out that we were expecting our first child. My period was a week late, which isn't uncommon. We popped a packet of two Tesco pregnancy tests for £3.50 into our trolley along with our weekly shop and eagerly I used one as soon as we had unpacked our shopping. There was a line on it but it was a very faint line so we really weren't sure, we used the second test the next day as they are said to work better in the morning, again we had a very faint line. That day I spent a lot of time on Google, did this mean I was pregnant or not? It made me very restless and anxious, so much so that I couldn't wait to try out a more expensive Clear Blue digital test, thankfully that one confirmed that we were indeed pregnant! 

We told both sets of parents, my sister and Spencer's brother straight away, I couldn't keep it to myself! We decided not to tell the majority of people until after our scan, though I did tell my bosses in work for health and safety reasons. A few people also guessed as me not smoking or drinking was rather suspicious! 

I booked a Doctors appointment the day after finding out. They didn't really do much at the Doctors, they gave us an estimated due date based on the first day of my last period, which I had already worked out using the NHS calculator. They gave me a little leaflet detailing foods that I should avoid and that type of thing, prescribed me some Folic Acid and asked me to leave a urine sample with the receptionist. They didn't test the pregnancy as "the shop bought ones are pretty much the same as what they do now so there is no need". I also left my details with the receptionist so that she could pass them onto my Midwife. 

My Midwife rang me a few days later to book me in for an appointment at my house. We had to wait a little while for the appointment as she was going away on holiday, as we had a little wait she went ahead and requested our scan before the appointment so as not to hold things up. 

The Midwife appointment was pretty much a form filling in exercise, she went through a load of questions with myself and Spencer, focusing mainly on our health history and both of our families health histories. We were also asked if we were blood relatives. She talked us through the Downs Syndrome screening test. We were given a Bounty pack full of information, some samples and money off vouchers and told what to expect at our various appointments. To be honest there was so much information I forgot most of it as soon as she left. 

Our scan date came around quite quickly, we were booked in for when we were estimated at 11 weeks and 3 days. I had to take a urine sample with me and drink a pint of water one hour before the appointment. Thankfully the scan was at our local hospital which is literally a two minute walk from our door so it wasn't too painful travelling there with a full bladder! When we arrived I was given another urine pot and told that I had to do another sample after the scan, so many urine samples! 

The scan itself was absolutely amazing, we saw our little baby wiggling around in my tummy and also heard his/her very rapid heartbeat. It blows my mind to think that all of this is happening inside me. Words really cannot explain how you feel upon the first glimpse of your baby on that screen. They measured and dated us at 11 weeks and 5 days, only two days difference to our estimated date. Our due date is now the 21st February 2015, a day before Spencer's Birthday. 

We were asked if we wanted the Downs Syndrome screening which we both declined. It wouldn't make any difference to us if the baby did have Downs so we didn't want to have potentially risky procedures to find out. I had my weight, height and blood pressure taken and also had a lot of blood taken, they tested for Rubella susceptibility, Hepatitis B, HIV, blood group & antibodies, Sickle cell and thalassaemi and I will receive the results in the post. I was given some pregnancy vitamins and sent on my merry way with my scan photos and a very happy feeling. 

Talking of scan photos, they cost £3 each, though ours kindly charged us for two and gave us four. You need pound coins to put into a machine to buy them. Thankfully our Midwife warned us about this in advance but so many other people didn't know and had to dash up to the local shop for change. 

My next pregnancy post will be talking about my symptoms so far.

Please note that I am based in Wales and my experiences may be different to other parts of the country.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Gift Idea/Review : JewelCandle

When I first heard about JewelCandles I thought it was such a great idea, a candle that burns down to reveal either a pair of earings or a ring, a gift within a gift that no lady could resist! The candles are 100% handmade and contain a jewellery item worth between £10 - £250. They come in a wide range of scents and currently have three main design choices.

I could not wait to get burning my candle and reveal my second gift in the form of a pair of earings. My candle burnt for approximately nine hours (around five hours in one sitting, four the next) before I was able to retrieve my little foil package with my tweezers.

These were the beautiful earings sitting inside my parcel. I'm unsure of the value but they seem to be of decent quality.

Overall I really rate my JewelCandle experience, the earings were pretty and the scent delicious without being too overpowering. I would guess that my earings are probably nearer to the £10 mark than the £250 range but I am more than happy with this, £16.95 for a pair of quality earings and a candle is quite the bargain in my opinion. 

To see what others have received in their candles visit the JewelCandle facebook page.

If you would like to treat yourself  to your very own JewelCandle use code slice20 by 31 August 2014 to receive a 20% discount.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Week in Photos #177

The kitchen is coming along nicely, the lights are up and the tiles are almost finished, Spencer has done a border around the work top with the same tiles since I took this photo. I'm pretty sure he just needs to grout the tiles and then we are done! 

Bob was annoyed because Kitty was in his box \\ cwtches with Kitty on a Sunday is what it is all about \\ Bob has a  swollen lip which actually makes him look really pretty \\ Kitty and Bob do love each other really.

Delicious strawberries \\ toad in the hole \\ giant yorkshire pudding with beef mince, veg, potatoes & gravy \\ chicken and veg.

Estee Lauder pay day treats \\ my Jewel Candle*, review to follow \\ Frankie & Benny's with the girls on Saturday \\ found a coke bottle with my name on....

Monday, 14 July 2014

Week in Photos #176

Flick loves to squawk at us when we are trying to enjoy a weekend lie in. She looks a lot prettier with her mouth closed.

Kitty and Bob have been so tired all week, I think the heat is really getting to them bless. Side note, Bob has the cutest, fluffiest belly! 

I went to the local Carnival on Saturday with the family. We had a lovely day and thankfully the weather held out for the majority of the day. I enjoyed warm dinky doughnuts and Nutella while sitting on the grass in the sunshine. I couldn't resist buying some cupcakes to take home for Spencer and I. 

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Recipe : Smoked Salmon Nicoise with Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer are currently gearing towards the Royal Welsh Show where they will have a stand focusing on animal welfare and conservation. Young visitors to their stand will get the chance to get hands on and learn more about the importance of protecting Britain’s wildlife. There will be an observation bee hive and an active beetle bank. Children can get interactive with the M&S giant bee hotel while parents enjoy chef demonstrations and the chance to taste some of the produce on offer from local suppliers. There will be plenty of other activities on top of these, it really does sound as if it is going to be a great, fun and informative stand which will celebrate Food to Feel Good About.  

What: M&S stand. When: 21st to 24th July.  Where: Royal Welsh Show, Royal Welsh Showground, Llanelwedd, Builth Wells, Powys LD2 3SY.

To keep in line with the Royal Welsh Show and the M&S Summer of Flavour I was kindly provided with some ingredients to make a deliciously satisfying Salmon Nicoise salad.

Smoked Salmon Nicoise, serves 2

Ingredients :

In my recipe white wine vinegar was substituted for white balsamic.

Whisk dressing ingredients and set aside.

Bring a pan of water to the boil and blanch fine beans for three minutes before refreshing in ice cold water.
Cook potatoes until tender and allow to cool before slicing.
Soft boil an egg for 5 ½ minutes and cool in a saucepan under cold running water.
Once chilled peel egg and cut into half.

In a large mixing bowl gently toss tomatoes, both beans, olives, potato, parsley & dressing.

Divide tossed leaves between two large bowls.
Flake peppered salmon on top and carefully place soft boiled egg.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Week in Photos #175

Nothing major has happened in the kitchen, the progress has gone a bit quiet as we've been trying to decide on paint and waiting for a spare weekend to go look at tiles. We've bought a very shiny new toaster and have finally decided on this paint, we decided to keep it neutral. We picked up three tile samples from Mandarin stone, we want the mosaic style of the end two tiles but aren't sure which of the three colours to go for. In the shop I preferred the left but the colours look completely different in our kitchen and we are now edging towards the one on the right.

Yesterday we went along to Marks & Spencer to pick up the ingredients for the delicious Smoked Salmon Nicoise* that we enjoyed for lunch, full post on that coming soon.

A Pizza Hut delivery opened near us so obviously we had to try it.

Kitty flat out. Bob's box fetish has continued this week.

This chocolate is amazing \\ we have a challenge in work at the moment to, as a group, walk as many steps as it would take to walk from Cardiff to Mexico, the aim is 10,000 steps a day. This is the closest I've had so far \\ yummy ice rose tea \\ one of our holidays came up on my Timehop, I now want a holiday.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Week in Photos #174

A trip to IKEA resulted in meatballs, of course \\ Chicken stuffed with mozzarella, wrapped in bacon with rice \\ pork dinner \\ rice pudding & PJs because I felt poorly (still do a little)

We've tried loads of paint samples in the kitchen, I'm not actually sure if I like any yet, this could take a while...

Bob has a box fetish.

I now have two Loom Bands courtesy of my niece, I am considering jumping on the bandwagon and making my own as everyone seems obsessed with them! I shared a coke with Bro :) 

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Review : Origins GinZing Moisturiser

Origins GinZing™ instantly hydrates and revs up radiance.

This lightweight, oil-free, skin energy drink, fortified with legendary skin-boosters like Panax Ginseng and Coffee Bean, jumpstarts hydration levels. Lacklustre-looking skin is rapidly refreshed and revitalised to create a healthy, vibrant glow.

Origins GinZing moisturiser is an oil free moisturiser with a gel consistency that smells absolutely amazing (think tangerines) and feels lovely on the skin. I've been using it for about two to three weeks now. I have combination skin that gets very greasy, as a result I am always interested in trying out oil free moisturisers. I've been using this morning and evening as instructed and am finding that it really works well with my skin. I have found that since using this my skin looks brighter, my spots are reduced and my dry patches are almost non-existent. I'm not going to make huge claims about the fact that my skin no longer gets greasy because it does, but I haven't worn my loose powder on top of my foundation this past week and it hasn't been unbearable. My foundation has still been intact by the end of the day, my skin does look shiny but an okay shiny as oppose to the usual greasy mess.

I am enjoying using this so much that I am now considering trying out some of the other items from the GinZing range. Have you tried anything from Origins GinZing range?

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Week in Photos #173

I still love checking the timehop app every morning, it has become part of my 'waking up' routine now alongside emails, facebook, instagram and Twitter, no wonder I'm always late! I can't believe how different both Spencer and I looked six years ago. I want to look like that again. 

We've had another week of microwave meals, which have actually been quite nice, my roast dinner even came with a little Yorkshire Pudding! 

We ran out of microwave meals so decided to take advantage of our Tasty Rewards points and go to Table Table for a free burger each, it was delicious \\ Healthy breakfast yesterday morning *sarcasm* \\ We finally tried the Cookie Nut Crunch, its delicious \\ My new latte glasses have arrived, drinks from my Tassimo look so much prettier now.

Today my niece and nephew came to our house, picked their own strawberries, washed them & ate them. My niece bought us both a loom band, we're down with the kids now.

Kitchen progress! We now have a messy but fully functioning kitchen! I'm so pleased with it, everything has come together perfectly. We just need to paint, tile and pretty it up and then we'll be done.