Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Event : Curry's and Nespresso Coffee Workshop at Waterloo Tea

On Sunday I was invited along to Waterloo Tea, Cardiff for a very interesting coffee workshop with Currys and Nespresso. There were a lot of bloggers, possibly more than I have ever seen in one room which was a little overwhelming at first but everyone was friendly which put me at ease.

We were split into groups and then sent off around the various stations in turn. The first stop for my group was the cocktail station, usually my idea of heaven but during pregnancy my idea of torture! We were shown how to make an orange coffee Martini style cocktail followed by a Toblerone cocktail, both sounded delicious, we were then shown a raspberry coffee mocktail which I got to try, it was actually very yummy. Emily and Charli both stepped up and made their own cocktails. 

Next up was the 'playstation' where we got to play with the Nespresso machines and ask the experts questions. I decided that I need one of the Nespresso milk frothers, apparently it makes amazing hot chocolate, and, of course milky coffees.

At this point I was absolutely starving so my day was made when we were told that we would be going for lunch next. The food provided was absolutely delicious, so much so I had to go up for seconds.

Lunch was followed by 'cupping' which I'll be honest, got quite a few giggles from us. It turns out that we were all wrong and cupping is not an innuendo for anything, it is actually the term for coffee tasting. We basically played a game where we had to call out the flavours in the coffee, I was pretty useless at this and didn't call out much other than coffee.

Then came my favourite part of the day, latte art. This is the part of the event that I was very excited for, all along stating that I wanted to attempt to make a cat in my latte. The training that we received was how to make a heart, my heart went very, very wrong and I somehow managed to use a wooden stirrer to turn it into a cat that I was, and still am, extremely proud of. I may have cheated a little but who cares when it looks this good!

After all that coffee and all that food there came cake. I was so full but couldn't resist a slice of the chocolate cake with espresso and caramel. Oh my it was good, so moist and so yummy!

Thank you Joe Blogs, Currys, Nespresso and Waterloo Tea for a fantastic day. For more details and photos you can read Currys blog post here.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Festive Afternoon Tea at The Celtic Manor

On Saturday I was lucky enough to be invited along to the stunning Celtic Manor Resort & Spa, Newport for a preview of their 2014 festive afternoon tea* and for an introduction to their new blog. I've been to The Celtic Manor a few times previously, I've attended a Wedding reception there, several work's Christmas parties and afternoon tea two years ago. The afternoon tea has changed since I went and is now seasonal, they are currently serving their Autumn tea, the delightful festive tea will be served from 01 - 24 December.

Our private room was suitably decorated for Christmas, with Michael BublĂ© playing in the background and crackers waiting to be pulled we really did get into the Christmas spirit.

We were greeted with champagne on arrival (Bucks Fizz for pregnant me!), Jess and India from the social media team spoke to us about the new blog and their plans to engage with fellow bloggers going forward (this was their first ever bloggers event), the head chef then came out and spoke to us about the tea that we were about to eat. On the week leading up to Christmas they serve an average of 250 - 300 festive afternoon teas, crazy!

With the afternoon tea comes a glass of Mulled Wine served in a pretty special teapot in the cutest cosy ever, I declined the Mulled Wine but there were a lot of satisfied slurps from around the table so I assume that it was good.

The bottom layer includes delicious finger sandwiches, a gorgeous Caerphilly cheese & leek tartlet, miniature brioche with prawns Marie Rose and a miniature bagel with smoked salmon, cream cheese and chives. 

The second layer hosts three Christmas cakes with a difference. A Penderyn whiskey and marmalade festive Bara Brith, Celtic Manor mince pies (the shortbread top is to die for) and a delightfully decorated white chocolate Christmas pudding truffle. 

The third and final pretty pastel layer contains pistachio marzipan cones, toasted sweet chestnut bouche Noel and glacĂ© cherry & apricot Florentine. 

As if we weren't already struggling at this point we were then served warm candied citrus peel and gingerbread spiced scones. Thankfully there are white boxes on hand so that you can take some of your yummy food home for later, I don't think any of the eleven of us managed to eat it all! 

As if they hadn't already spoilt us enough The Celtic Manor also provided us each with a lovely goody bag containing the cutest cinnamon biscuit with the hashtag for the event hand piped onto it, unfortunately mine was knocked in my bag and a bit of the icing fell off, but you get the picture. They also gave us some Elemis products from their spa.

Thank you so much to the Celtic Manor for such a lovely day, and massive congratulations to India for overcoming your fears and hosting your first event! Below are some of the bloggers from the day.


 India, Gemma and Jess

 Ellie, Hannah, India, Jess and me

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Pregnancy Appointment : 25 Week Midwife Appointment

This afternoon I had my 25 week midwife appointment. I didn't see my Midwife again, I'm not sure where she was as no one bothered to apologise for her absence. I've only met her once so far which doesn't actually bother me, so long as I'm getting the check ups I don't mind who does them, but I know some people do get annoyed by not seeing the same person all the way through.

I took my urine sample and notes along as I have to at each Midwife appointment. My urine was tested there and then and it was fine. I was given my urine pot back for my next appointment, with my wee still in it! She picked up an error in my notes, my growth chart states that I am due on 21 May instead of 21 February, she is getting this re-done, hopefully it will be ready for my next appointment. 

She checked my blood pressure which was perfect, I must be calmer now that I'm pregnant as it always used to be high, previously they've had to talk to me for a while and then take it again when it would be okay, nowadays it is perfect first time.

She had a feel of my tummy and somehow measured my baby while doing this, baby is currently measuring 25cm which is where they should be at this point. She got the doppler out and we heard a strong, healthy heart beating at 135 bpm. While examining my stomach she commented on the fact that my stretch marks are coming and to make sure that I use oil which I am and have been for a while, she said that stretch marks tend to be genetic, if one of your parents suffers with them you more than likely will.

She asked if I felt movements or had any significant vaginal discharge or headaches, to which I answered yes, no and occasional headaches but nothing too serious, she was happy with the answers. I asked about the stitch pain that I've had when walking, apparently this is quite normal, I should alternate my pace between fast and slow instead of slowing down completely just to keep my muscle up.

I was told to do some exercises to help with my hip pain, ten lots of pelvic floors, holding stomach in and holding bum in, all a couple of times a day.

I was given my MatB1 and told to give it to my employer, but also to take a copy as they only give you one and Spencer's work may also require a copy for his paternity leave. I enquired about a Dental Exemption form but have to pick this up from County Hospital, I have my diabetes test there so will attempt to remember to ask for it then.

I have now booked in for my next Midwife appointment at 28 weeks and also my whooping cough jab at 28 weeks, that week I also happen to have my diabetes test so it's a very busy week!  At my next appointment I will have my bloods taken again, yay (sarcasm).

Monday, 10 November 2014

25 Week Pregnancy Update

My sickness is all over the place lately, sometimes I have it every day than I can go a week without it. I think it is about a week since I was last sick but this morning I did really feel sick and had a few dry gags, which personally I find worse than actually being sick! The hip and knee pain is now really, really getting me down, I really don't think that this wet, cold weather is helping me at all. I'm still getting a lot of stitch.

Baby is still moving a lot but nothing visible from the outside and Spencer still can't feel the kicks. 

I have my twenty five week midwife appointment on Wednesday, my midwife was on holiday at my last appointment so hopefully I will see her at this one, I've only met her once so far! 

I've put a pound on this week bringing my total weight change to minus two pounds. 

All four (five including bump!) of us enjoyed a much needed lie in on Sunday, I seriously rely on weekend lie ins so much lately! 

My baby bump today at 25 weeks and two days. I am getting desperate for new work tops! 

I've really been getting into the Christmas spirit, helped along nicely with a Christmas present from my local Tiger store, Turkey, stuffing & cranberry baguettes and Starbucks red cups! I've also decided that being pregnant doesn't mean I have to be a Scrooge, so I bought a XL men's jumper and a suitably tacky bobble hat.

Spencer and I before going for a meal with his family on Friday \\ Spencer and I both enjoyed these hot chocolates last night. 

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Nursery Wishlist : Baby Changing Unit

We have been debating whether or not we need a baby changing unit for quite a while now. We have now decided to go for it and get one, but one that doubles up as storage that will be used long after we have finished with the changing part of it.

It will probably come as no surprise at all to regular readers that I want white furniture in the Nursery, I love white furniture.

My favourite of all of these is most definitely number five, though I'm not so keen on the £250 price tag. My second favourite is number three which is much more purse friendly at £130, good old IKEA! The only potential problem with this one is that it will be living under a sloped ceiling so we may not have the height clearance to open and close the baby changing top, which is a shame as that is what draws me to this particular one. If we don't have the clearance for this one I want to go for number one. Spencer however wants to go for number two regardless as it is one of the cheapest and the most practical storage wise. He is right but it isn't as pretty as the others....

Monday, 3 November 2014

Stocking Filler for her for less than £5

The fact that it is November means that it is now officially okay to start talking about and planning Christmas! I'm like a big kid at Christmas and get super excited, though this year things may be different as we have a baby on the way, we haven't yet decided whether to be sensible and do it on the cheap to save money for the new arrival, or to go crazy and have one last blow out spending loads on Christmas. Option two is definitely the most appealing!

If we do decide to do it on the cheap it can still be cheerful. Nyla Rose, one of my all time favourite websites (hello Lindy Bop dresses and cute homeware) stock plenty of items for less than £10, some less than £5. 

This gorgeous oilcloth coin purse with two compartments is one of those bargain gifts at just £4. This would be the perfect stocking filler, the perfect Secret Santa gift or just a great gift in general. As well as this polka dot design they also currently stock a floral print and butterfly print coin purse, both of which are lovely looking.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

24 Week Pregnancy Update

I really am slacking on the blogging front lately. I work 8:30 - 5:30 and am now so tired by the time that I get home that the last thing I want to do is write a blog post. My weekends have been jam packed for the last couple of weeks so I haven't had a lot of time to sit down and type. I seem to always be starting these posts with an excuse lately - sorry about that!

My sickness died off when I first started taking my anti-reflux tablets, I thought it was potentially going to be gone for good but unfortunately not, I'm not being sick every single morning like I was but I am still sick most mornings again now. I've had no heartburn at all since taking the tablets which is absolutely amazing, I seriously feel like a new person! The hip and knee pain is still awful, how I miss my faithful ibuprofen. If I avoid hard chairs it doesn't hurt quite as much, maybe I should start carrying a pillow around with me. I am going to the toilet a lot more than before, I find that I will be bursting and when I go hardly anything comes out, not a water infection, I think it is literally just that my bladder can't hold as much as before.

I'm getting a lot of movement now including the occasional big kick, Spencer is yet to feel them which surprises me as they are so hard at times.

I put another two pounds on last week bringing my total weight change to minus three pounds.

This is my bump at 23 weeks, I'm wearing my new dress and coat from New Look, both in this haul post.

They say that it is possible for cats to change around you during pregnancy. I would say that this is most definitely the case with Kitty who loves sleeping on the bump like so. She has always been a clingy cat but usually chooses to go to Spencer over me, settling for me when Spencer isn't in. She is slowly but surely choosing me (or my belly) over Spencer more and more often. Bob on the other hand hasn't changed at all and would still prefer to just sit in a box, even if it is a tight squeeze. He did however massage my back when I was being sick the other morning, literally leant up and started pawing gently on my back while I was being sick, so cute!

I'm slowly but surely getting into the Christmas spirit, I bought these gorgeous baubles from Wilkinson and my very festive nails from Primark.

This week we've had a new electric fireplace and I've also upcycled another IKEA Helmer, you can view my first attempt here.

I really got into the Halloween spirit on Friday with my 'bumpkin'! My friend suggested that I did one a while ago and I dismissed it. At the last minute I thought that I may never be pregnant at Halloween again so may regret not doing it while I had the chance, I bought some ridiculously overpriced face paints (all the cheap ones had sold out!) and went for it. I'm rather pleased with how it turned out. My niece found it really funny but my nephew wasn't really sure what to make of it!