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…

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A scarf would bring this together…

I kicked myself when I got into the city and realised I’d forgotten to wear my new favourite scarf. I think the outfit works without it but the scarf added something… I’m not sure what… oh wait. I know. Warmth!! I was so freaking cold taking these pictures!

This is my first real “put together” maternity outfit. I’ve been unconvinced by maternity wear, not sure if it’s a waste of money. I bought myself this shirt from H&M and I’m so glad I did. Putting on a well fitting item of clothing can really help you feel good. I’ve not wanted to post outfit pics because I’ve not really been happy with what I’m wearing, but on this day I felt like myself again and loved it. I’m not going over the top with maternity wear because I still think it can be a bit of a waste of money (except the jeans, they are so comfortable I just want to live in them forever). But having a few nice items in my wardrobe is going to be important for me I think.

Jeans – Jojo Maman Bebe | Boots (similar)- Clarks | Shirt – H&M | Coat (similar) – H&M | Hat -Accessorise

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.

Lancôme Tonique Confort – Review

Toning was always a step I overlooked.  Recently though, I’ve been taking better care of my skin and adding toning into my routine. Funny thing – my skin is better for it. The extra TLC I’ve been giving it works.

Until recently I was using quite a harsh toner.  It was very drying and although it did help improve my pores and reduce blackheads, it made my face red and patchy.  I hate wasting products but I didn’t want to have come a long way with my skin to just have it be red and damaged by my toner. So I went on the hunt for something better.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Lancôme skincare so searched the Feelunique website for toners in their range.  They have a lot to choose from but I settled with the hydration tonic.


It’s wonderful.  So refreshing, cooling and calming.  Great after a face mask or exfoliate as it’s super hydrating too.  It’s got a good consistency (think gravy?) and a little goes a long way.

I apply it with my fingers and take some time to really massage it into my skin and enjoy the cooling temperature and calming smell.  On the bottle it says ’tissue off’ honestly I don’t know if that means you need to wipe it off after but I find it soaks in so there’s no need?


I’d recommend not using a cotton pad to apply as you end up losing a lot of the product to the cotton wool.

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!

My Hair – A Love Hate Relationship

I think it’s fairly safe to say that at some point everyone gets a hair cut, or a colour (or maybe just wakes up one day with hair) that they hate. I pretty much live in a constant state of hair hate.  I might like it for a little while but I get bored or I change shampoo and suddenly my hair does nothing the same as it used too.

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When I was young my hair was straight, I normally wore it in a bob with a fringe or long and shapeless, all in all it was OK hair.  It’s always been very fine, but generally speaking there was nothing wrong with it .  When I was about 12 I took myself along to the hairdresser and thus began my hair issues.  I had about 3 or 4 inches off and without that extra weight my hair sprang into some kind of wavy, kinky mess.  I think I saw people from school on my way home and they laughed at me, never before had anyone laughed at me for my hair so I knew it was dreadful.  Truth be told, looking back now, it wasn’t that bad, I just didn’t know what to do with it. After years of washing and air drying with no issues I now had to put thought into it. I survived this haircut by scraping it back into a ponytail and ignoring it.  (I won’t talk about the time I crimped it for the school disco… people who didn’t go asked if it was true I really had an afro…)

It wasn’t until I was 16 or so that I really started to think more about my hair.  There had been a few bobs and fringes, but up until I hit my Emo phase I just let it do what it wanted.

Emo brought with it very short hair with a long fringe, black hair dye, lots of product and for a short time, a bright red fringe.  In a lot of way this was some of my favourite hair times.  Keeping it short and messy meant there was very little for me to do with it.  Maybe run a straightener over the fringe, but that’s about it. Only thing I didn’t enjoy was my hairdresser telling me the photo I’d brought in was of a boy and did I know that… And did I still want the haircut? Maybe some pretty layers instead, with a bit of feathering?

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This opened the way to keeping my hair pretty short through my late teens and early twenties, and a particular favourite of mine was my platinum pixie cut. I’d have that back in a shot if I still had the face shape for it!

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My latest trick is growing out my fringe just to cut it back in as soon as it’s reach the right length.  On occasion I even cut it myself, I think I got pretty good at it.  I’m currently in the growing out stage, having returned to the bob with fringe look, again.

The most recent disappointment was when bleaching it straighten out some really lovely curls I was just getting the hang of.  And of course I got bored of the blonde and home dyed it ginger, which I also got bored of and dyed it, what was supposed to be brown but turned out red.

I’ve had some great hair ideas, I thought about rainbow coloured hair. For a while I wanted some kind of mermaid blue/green wavy look.  I’ve thought about and actually attempted to dye the underside of my hair green… I do sometimes consider just shaving it all of but I’m scared I might have a weird head.

Cliche time… It’s just hair! It grows back!  If there’s one thing I’ve learned and I’m sure will continue learning it’s that it really doesn’t matter what you do. It will grow back,  and if things get really bad there are some fantastic wigs out there.

 

When I Wear Makeup…

“Everyday Makeup” wouldn’t really be an accurate name for this post.  More often than not, I don’t wear make up.  I love putting it on and playing around with new looks, but most days I’m too lazy, preferring to spend an extra 10 minutes in bed than getting up and doing my face.

However I do have a quick ‘go to’ look for days I have a little more time.  It’s very minimal and one that’s easy to dress up when required.

The products I’m showing are ones I’m currently using, but things like foundation or mascara change regularly depending on what took my fancy when I was shopping.  If you have any product recommendations I’d love to hear them.  I’m particularly interested in picking up a tinted moisturiser, so leave your suggestions below or let me know on Twitter!


Sephora Teint Infusion – Very buildable, light and moisturising without leaving you too shiny.

NYX Above & Beyond Concealer – A new product to me but so far it’s great, full coverage, matte but not TOO matte.

Natural Collection SunTint Bronzing Powder (Sun shine) & Blushed Cheeks (Peach Melba) – Again, buildable, well pigmented, not cakey.

Rimmel Stay Matte – A staple in my makeup kit, does what is says on the pot. What more can you ask for!?

NYX Badunkadunk Mascara – Fantastic, lengthens, adds volume, not waterproof but that’s cool with me! Add to curled lashes and boom!

Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo (Pink gold) – I’ve been lusting after these pots of wonder for a long time and finally got myself one.  I was not disappointed. Creamy, long lasting and works well with other shadows cream and powder alike.

L’Oreal Paris Gold Obsession (Nude gold)  – I love everyone of these lipsticks and choosing just one was so hard.  I’m really glad I went for nude, so much more versatile.  Does need to be topped up throughout the day/night but it doesn’t leave your lips looking patchy or dry.  A subtle shimmer and beautifully natural nude.  Definitely a ‘my lips, but better’ look.

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!

 

First Impressions: Masque B.A.R, Luminizing Charcoal Peel off mask

I’ve seen videos of people peeling these thick black masks off, crying because of how painful it is and I thought, “I need this mask”.

Sadly I can never remember which brands are the most painful looking, more pain more gain right?

When I was in Boots today I had a good old look around the skin care section and found these face masks by Masque Bar.  They seemed to tick the boxes, charcoal, peel, “deep cleansing”. My skin has been really bad lately, it never feels clean and I’ve been getting a lot of break outs, so I wanted something that I was really going to feel.  I also wanted to get a few products that I could make a regular part of not only my facial routine but my general skin routine, I also suffer from a lot of body acne. I picked up the Simple Cleansing Oil and  a Biore Pore penetrating charcoal bar.

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So, enough chit chat. what about the mask!

For £9.99 you get 3x 10ml packets each of which is 1 mask.  The packets are a little annoying, the mask itself is very thick and sticky and when you’re trying to squeeze the goop out without getting it everywhere it can get a little tricky, I called for backup and even with a second pair of hand it was tough.

The mask starts to dry very fast and becomes difficult to evenly smooth over your face so you need to be quick getting it all slathered on.  However this does mean that once it’s on your face its not going anywhere until you rip that sucker off!  With some soap and hot water you can get it off your hands pretty easy.

For a deep cleansing, detoxifying mask it’s surprisingly soothing, I find some masks make my face tingle or can get a little warm, this one it quite pleasant to  wear, which is good because you’ll be wearing it for 30mins while it dries.

I started getting a little nervous ones it got towards the removal.  It was a little tough to find a good spot to start, you need to pull the mask downwards when removing but I’d applied a little thinly around my hair line. Side note:  It’s a bitch to pull out of your hair… Try to avoid…

The removal was actually pretty satisfying, not painful, a little uncomfortable on some of the more delicate areas near the eyes but there were no tears.  My face feels amazing, smooth, clean, fresh and it looks brighter.  See below for obligatory ‘look what came out of my face’ photo.

I will be adding this to my skin care routine, one of the best masks I’ve used recently.  Just need to find a quick way to remove it from the package…

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So this was in my chin… Nice right?

What other masks should I try?

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