A Few Days in Zurich

Switzerland had never really been on my radar for travel.  Not for any particular reason, it just wasn’t up there for me.  When hubby was told he’d be travelling there for work and we realised it fell nicely into the spot people say is perfect for a ‘Babymoon’  we took the opportunity to make a little holiday of it.

Zurich is absolutely beautiful, with cobbled streets and brightly coloured buildings around every corner.

 

 

We spent the weekend exploring the streets and enjoying each others company and it was the perfect place to do that.  We didn’t feel like we were missing out on all the exciting tourist things because to be honest, we didn’t really see anything that screamed ‘if you don’t do this you didn’t do Zurich’.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s lots to do, museums, a funicular railway and I want to go back when I feel more like shoppin’ until I’m droppin’.

One thing we did do that I’m really happy we did, was visit the highest point in Zurich.  Uetliberg is a mountain which has an elevation of 870m (2,850ft) which is more than twice the elevation of Zurich itself, and you can get just shy of the top by train*, the final 68m is gained by a walk, which we did. I’d like to tell you the view was amazing but as you’ll see from the below picture on the day we were there there was nothing to see.  It’s not even mist it was an actual cloud.  We visited the hotel at the top and had a hot chocolate before turning round and heading back!  Next time we go (because there will be a next time) we are going to do the Path of the Planets.  We saw The Sun and Earth but it was cold and did I mention we were in a cloud?!

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*because I’m married to a train nerd I thought I’d add that ‘…the railway line has a maximum gradient of 7.9% and is the steepest standard gauge adhesion railway in Europe’ [1]  You’re welcome.

The weather was wet and we didn’t get to see any snow to speak of but I was mostly ok with that.  As nice as snow would have been to look at, at 28 weeks pregnant walking around in it wouldn’t have been that fun. (Which is funny because 10 days after we got home we had more snow in Norwich than I think I’ve ever seen in my life anywhere).

I’m a bit of a coffee shop crawler and I was a little disappointed at the seeming lack of coffee shops, sure there was a Starbucks here and there but most of the “coffee shops” we found were actually bars that served coffee and we were normally underdressed for such places.  We found two good coffee shops on the final day Boréal and Cake Friends.

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For evening meals we tried an excellent Italian restaurant near our apartment Restaurant Limmattberg.

On the second night we had possibly the most expensive and the worst Indian takeaway ever: both meals were incredibly salty, the rice looked like instant microwave stuff. It was dreadful.  If we’d sat in to eat it we would have asked for a refund and gone elsewhere but neither of us could be bothered to walk back and complain.

On the last night we went to Burgermeister (Hubbs tells me this is witty, something to do with Burgomasters, I don’t know… You’ll have to google it ) this was quite possibly the best burger I have ever had.  There was only one veggie/vegan option but from what Andrew tells me there didn’t need to be any more because that would mean you might pick a different one and miss out on this one…  The menu is uncomplicated and I only wish we’d been there for a week so I could have tried all of the options.  If you’re in Zurich this would be my highest recommendation.

Have you been to Zurich?  Let me know what we missed so that we don’t miss it next time!

 

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An Honest Opinion Of Myself – Pregnancy

My hands and ankles are swollen, my thighs and bum have expanded, my back hurts, I can’t get comfortable ever and I’m peeing about 100 times an hour.  And yet, I feel better about myself than I have in a very long time, possibly better than I’ve ever felt about myself.

Before I was pregnant, I would never have worn tight-fitting, figure hugging dresses and skirts but the second my bump popped I was in horizontal stripes, embracing every lump and bump I had. I’ve had my pale, poorly shaved legs out and my no make-up days have heavily outweighed my make-up days.  I imagine its partially down to hormones, partially down to “pregnancy glow”, but a huge part of it is down to – and please pardon my French – my body is doing something fucking amazing right now!

Being positive about your body is a choice, always, and when you’re on your knees at the foot of the porcelain altar for thirteen straight weeks it can be pretty hard to love yourself much. And not everyone enjoys being pregnant, and what it does to their body and that’s okay too! I’ve definitely had days when I needed something loose and flowy to help me feel comfortable – I’m about 4 weeks from D-Day, feeling a bit swollen from the heat wave we’ve had, and rapidly running out of even pregnancy clothes that fit comfortably.

Comfort, not ‘these shoes are really comfortable’ but comfort within myself has been my key to enjoying this journey.  Looking in the mirror and feeling like me. It’s not been about feeling pretty or beautiful everyday, but about confidence and respect for myself and my body and what it’s doing.  Pregnancy does not change who you are. You are still you.   

Give yourself a chance. A chance to see past stretch marks, swelling ankles and puffy eyes.  Look in the mirror and tell yourself ‘My body was designed to do this and I’m doing it beautifully’. Behind it all, there is a tiny little person (or persons!) relying on you for everything and you are doing a fantastic job of providing that for them.  So embrace it for all that it is, because it takes up so little time really and when it’s done, that little person will be worth it all…

… I hope, because the swelling is really starting to get on my nerves a bit…

What’s in Baby’s Hospital Bag.

I’ve had little one’s hospital bag mostly packed for a few weeks now.  I think it’s fairly safe to say that packing the bag for baby is one of the more exciting parts of prepping for your new arrival.  You get to go through their clothes and select the items that feel special enough to be their firsts. First socks, first hat, first vest.  For me it was the time when I really started to think about what our little man would look like.

As most first time mums do, I’m sure I’ve over packed but having all my bases covered has helped me feel calm about those first few hours with baby.

The bag we’re using will be our everyday nappy bag,  I got it from Amazon.  It’s got pockets everywhere which makes it a fantastic hospital bag.  I’ve got things tucked away so I can tell my husband exactly where to find the scratch mitts, rather than him having to root around the whole bag looking for anything.

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On top there’s a blanket for coming home.  This one was made by little one’s Granny.

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In the outside pockets I’ve put muslins and water wipes.  Will 2 muslins be enough?!  I have also packed a pack of cotton wool incase the hospital would prefer we use that.

Inside I’ve put six newborn size nappies and a changing pad, the changing pad is only there because I wanted to make sure it was in the changing bag and didn’t get lost.

There’s a swaddling muslin and hat in case it’s a little chilly.

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In the inside back pocket are a few small bits that could easily get lost in the main pocket.  These are also items we are less likely to need but that I wanted to pack just incase.

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We are still in discussions about the use of a dummy but I’m packing it just in case.  Look at those tiny socks!

Clothes next,  first I’ve got a selection of “emergency” vests in case we’re in for a little longer and he needs a change of clothes.  Two are 0-3 months and one is newborn.  We packed a very sweet long-sleeved vest that will most likely not fit him as it’s ‘Small Baby’ size, but if it’s ever going to fit him it’ll be on his first day and would make for some quite nice newborn pictures.

Then I’ve packed six outfits, three newborn size and three 0-3 size.  That’s two babygrows for chilling out in the hospital (one in each size), a baby grow for if we come home at night (again one in each size) and an outfit for coming home in the day (yep, one in each size).  I’ve also packed a cardigan that should fit him no matter how big or small he is…

…unless he’s huge.  I hope he’s not huge…

Goals for 2018

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I rarely make my yearly resolutions or goals public.  I normally think about some things I’d like to do, maybe I’ll write them out but then I’ll just see where the year takes me. I really don’t mind doing that and have quite enjoyed going with the flow.  However this year is going to see some big changes in my life and I think I need to introduce some forethought and planning into my year if I want to come out of the other side still feeling like myself.

In June we are expecting our first baby and one of the best pieces of advice I’ve been given so far is to try and continue living life the way you want to.  If you enjoy travel, travel with the baby. If you like eating out, you can take the baby along! Knowing myself if I don’t push myself to get up and get out of the house, I’ll just laze around all day and do nothing and that’s not good for me or the baby.  So I’ve set myself 8 goals for the year.  I’ve been fairly kind to myself I think, but still tried to push myself out of my comfort zone a bit.

1. I’d like to read 50 books*.  I did this in 2016 without too much trouble so lets give it another shot.

2. Visit 3 new places.  I’ve left this fairly vague for a reason, practically speaking I’m not going to be jetting off to new countries this year with a big baby belly or a tiny tot in toe.
But England is a beautiful country and one that I’m embarrassed to say I’ve seen very little of. Closer to home even, I’ve really seen very little of Norfolk and East Anglia so I need to plan some weekend trips out!

3. Sew an item of clothing.  I know how to sew, and I know how to sew clothes.  I made a dress for the evening do at my wedding so I know I can make things I like wearing and want to do this more.  But this item of clothing doesn’t have to be for me.  Maybe a tiny baby bonnet is all I’ll manage this year but that’s OK too.

4. Learn a new skill.  Again a fairly vague one but there’s a whole year for me to figure out something new I’d like to learn!

5. Do something new every week.  I work part time and so unless I make plans to do things my free time can end up being wasted.  I don’t feel like I push myself out of my comfort zone enough and what to try and make sure that I don’t waste my last few months of child freeness. When baby is here I’m sure there will be a ton of new things I’ll be doing.

6. Blog and Vlog more.  I’d like to pick up my YouTube channel again and get back into the good blogging habits I started at the end of last year. Lets see!

These next two are things I’d like to do BB (Before Baby)

7. Declutter.  We’re about to introduce a small human and all its associated paraphernalia into our home… There’s not a lot of space.

8. Do a waste free month.  This ones going to need a bit more thought but we actually throw away very little general waste so what can I do to reduce that even more?  This one really excites me and will probably come with a bunch of blog posts and videos *fingers crossed*

*I’m going to do a YouTube video about my reading goals for the year.  Got a few prompts for myself.

Autumn Bucket List

I’ve seen a lot of people doing a kind of seasonal bucket list and I really like the idea.  It can be really easy to miss out on the changing seasons, what with work and life taking up so much time.  Having a small list of things you’d really like to do and planning time to do them is a great way to ensure you really appreciate your time.  It can be so easy to make no plans and waste a weekend or day off.  Here’s my Autumn to-do list!

  1. Have a snuggle picnic.  I totally made up the name of this. I wanted to go for a picnic during the summer and never did.  So I’d like to pack up loads of blankets and cushions and snuggle up in a park with an autumnal picnic!
  2. Bake Parkin and/or Gingerbread. Parkin is a traditionally northern English cake or biscuit.  Like gingerbread but made with black treacle.  Perfect for nibbling around a bonfire.
  3. Go fruit picking. Any Norwich based folks with tips on where to pick fruit hit me up!
  4. Have a dinner Party. For me, Autumn feels like the perfect time to fill your house with friends and delicious food.
  5. Carve a Pumpkin. Ok so it’s cliche but I do love carving pumpkins and it lends itself perfectly to my last one…
  6. Make pumpkin pie (and make mum try it). I love pumpkin pie and it shocks me that my mother has never had it. (although that would explain why I never had any until my 20s).  This year I’ll be sure to get mum to try some.  This is my favourite recipe


It’s taken me to the end of this list to see that I obviously like food in Autumn…. All food based!

What’s on your Autumn bucket list?

Favourites September Edition – Summer Memories

This summer brought with it a lot of change and a lot of excitement. Of course my birthday should be the highlight of summer for everyone around me, but this year we had other things to celebrate.

Since I’ve been married I have been sharing my husband with another being.  I think it’s fair to call it a being because it’s taken up so much of his time and energy, has caused us excitements, stresses and disappointments. This summer my husband finished his PhD and is now officially Dr Mundy.  We attended his graduation in Manchester and it felt like some kind of birth/funeral hybrid. 


This trip also brought with it another excitement, driving. Earlier in the year I passed my driving test (second try, all the best drivers pass second time).  We bought an old car from a work friend and the 5 hour drive from Norwich to Derbyshire was the first long drive I made.  I had to do all the driving, it was equal parts exhilarating and terrifying. 

We moved house (again. We have lived in a different house for every year we have been married). Moving brought us closer to our allotment from which we got our first (and last) harvest! We’ll still be eating the potatoes at Christmas.  We also abandoned the idea of an allotment in favour of a container garden.

Plus there was A LOT of great coffees and brunches with Laura from Rose and Weston. More of that in Autumn please!

Favourites: July Edition

For my July favourites I want to focus on my favourite household objects.  More specifically my favourite objects in my favourite room.


We have recently moved house and are working our way through the rooms getting them just the way we like them.  The first room was my dressing room / office, I might do a post on that another time.  We are just putting the final touches to the living room, this is the room that’s quickly become my favourite.

We don’t have a TV (we watch a lot of Netflix and DVDs) so we normally just load whatever we want to watch up on a laptop.  Our living room is very minimal and I love that your eye isn’t drawn to a massive black rectangle as soon as you step in.

For our anniversary we bought ourselves a new radio/CD player/Bluetooth speaker system.  We are in love with it, it looks really sleek and a bit retro and is super simple to use and set up.  The sound quality is great and it comes with a whole load of features like an alarm and a sleep timer that we’ve not really looked into yet.

We have a lot of green in our lives. Hubby’s parents recently adopted our cats and since then we have felt a real lack of life in the house – plants are the next best thing to pets I think. They lift your mood and they can be interesting to watch grow and change.  They will fill the four legged gap until we are ready to welcome a new fur baby into our lives.

I’m a knitter, and, as such, I make many many blankets, cushions and sometimes foot stools!  Knitted fabric is a wonderful texture and when it’s a nice colourful pattern it can be a real feature in your room, we have a table/basket (we got ours from IKEA) that holds all our blankets when it’s too hot for them.

Everyone loves a candle, right? I particularly like The White Company for candles. At the moment we have Ocean Tide.

We are planning to add a chair and a coffee table to this room and then it’s done done done!

What’s your favourite room and why? Let me know down below!

 

Plantation Gardens Cinema – Alien

In space no-one can hear you scream…

On Thursday night I went along to The Plantation Gardens here in Norwich to watch Alien on the big screen, it was fantastic!  I’ve never been into The Plantation Gardens before and even with a screen and lots of chairs set up, it still looked beautiful.

It was a fantastic location for an outdoor cinema. They set up a bar with drinks and nibbles. Some people brought along their own food and you could tell which groups were veteran outdoor cinema goers, we shivered in our camp chairs while other people donned hats, gloves and snuggled under blankets.

Of course I had to dress for the occasion and wore my Weyland-Yutani Corp t shirt, other than that I was dressed for comfort.alien


Official Alien Weyland Yutani Corp T-Shirt Building Better Worlds Warrior Corp

Favourites : June Edition

This month has been a real mix of a month for me.  It’s had some stresses and some excitements.  We just got our first car, we’re moving house and I’ve changed my working structure.  All very exciting but also very stressful. Here’s a few things I’ve been doing this month to keep stress to a minimum.

I’ve been trying to focus on some self care, keeping myself relaxed and chilled out.  If you read my last blog post you’ll see my new favourite deep cleanse skin routine. (These are the products I love)  It’s not an everyday routine but once a week I really like to give my face the TLC it deserves.

Painting my nails is not really something I’ve ever kept on top of, but this month I’ve tried to keep my nails freshly painted at all times. I enjoy taking the time to carefully apply the varnish and letting my hands rest for 30mins while they dry.  I particularly like Essie nail polish, there are so many great colours and with my Sally Hansen Double Duty base and top coat, I’m getting about a weeks wear out of them before they start chipping. Here I’m using the colour Cocktail Bling.

 

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Me and Andrew have been re-watching How I Met Your Mother, it’s such a great show. When we both get in from work we don’t really feel like watching anything new, watching an old favourite is so relaxing and HIMYM is totally brain chewing gum.

Other than that I’ve been drinking a lot of tea, tea is my saviour for a stressful day.  A good mug of Yorkshire tea, perfect!

Read about my Tea and Mug collection.

What do you do to de-stress at the end of the week?

Bx

Impress Emulsion & Lotion

My husband, Andrew, bought me a fantastic gift from his last trip with work.

He got me a gift set of make-up, which if you’d like to see my first impressions of, you can go here and see my YouTube video about that.

The gift set also came with some free samples of the Impress Emulsion and Lotion.  After doing a bit of research I found that the Lotion is basically a toner and the Emulsion is a moisturiser.  The Impress website by the way is fantastic, some really useful instructions for all the products.

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The first thing I’d like to say about these products is that they are samples, so you don’t get a lot of product which is fine! Perfect for a quick review.  My only problem with the size and design of the sample bottle however is that the plastic is very hard, making it very difficult to get the product out as I can’t squeeze the bottle.

The toner is nice, it doesn’t have to strong a smell, I find some toners can have a slightly alcoholic odour.  This one is quite sweet and I can’t smell any unpleasant medicinal scents to it.

The moisturiser similarly has a very pleasant smell.  It’s quit a milky consistency  which goes a long way, my skin loved it!  It’s not greasy and didn’t leave my face shiny or sticky.  It’s quite light so good for the summer.  As far as I can tell from the bottle it doesn’t contain any sun protection which would be a draw back for me, but there’s always the option to wear a separate sun screen.  Like I said, it was difficult to get enough product out of the bottle, I would like to have been able to more easily apply more, but I was cautious of wasting it!