UK Lifestyle Blog

12 September 2018

Our Pregnancy Diary | Weeks 16-20 and Gender Reveal!





Week 16

Baby is the size of an Avocado

Week 16 has been the most exciting week! We had our second midwife appointment mid-week, where we got to hear our little babes heartbeat for the first time. It was such a special moment that I won't ever forget. We went through my various blood results and booked me in for my next appointment at 25 weeks, which at the minute seems so far away.

We then had our private gender scan booked for the Saturday at 10am. Our little squidge has a habit of turning their back to us whenever we have a scan, so we can't get a good look! When we first went in and started the scan they were in the exact same position, and I thought oh no we're not going to be able to find out! Luckily after turning on my side for a few minutes baby decided to move and we got a very good look at HIM. If you follow me on other social media platforms you will have already seen, but our gorgeous little one is a beautiful Baby Boy! We even got to see him briefly in 4D which was incredible, he was still being shy though and had his hands up to his face. There's something so nice about finally being able to call baby Him, instead of it!

I had been holding off doing any shopping until this point, one because I wanted to wait and make sure everything was progressing as it should, and two I wanted to know what section to shop in!! I will admit though, I'm not a huge fan of just blue for boys, pink for girls. So as soon as the scan was done, we headed out to shop. As we were at Mothercare already, we started there. We then moved on to Next, which I didn't find too much in, and finally Mama's and Papa's which we spent so, so much in. I loved all the new season collection - lots of mustard and woodland themed cuteness! It's fair to say he will have a better wardrobe than us.



Week 17

Baby is the size of an Onion

Week 17 started with a horrible cold, which I spent most of my time sofa bound with hot water and lemon. I started to feel better by mid week which was good as i'm still so tired! I'm waiting for this endless energy of the second trimester that I've heard people talk about, and the 'glow', the only glow I've had so far is the pool of sweat that forms as soon as I get up thanks to this heatwave!

We did manage to pop out for a nice stroll at the weekend to Calke Abbey, followed by a scrumptious Sunday Lunch for me. Considering the weather was in the high 20's, I call that a success! We also bought a few more baby clothes, I am a woman drawn to the baby aisle wherever we go. In reality I could do with purchasing a few new bits for myself, as my favourite skinny jeans are definitely becoming a bit too tight now. Though I've found the in-store maternity selection a little lack lustre, everywhere seems to only sell it online, which is pretty useless when I'm not sure what size I will need!


Week 18

Baby is the size of a Sweet Potato


I felt little squidge move for the first time on Tuesday 7th, I had been wondering if I'd felt him move before this, but there was no mistaking the two consecutive jabs I got in my lower abdomen!




Week 19

Baby is the size of a Mango

This week the movements really ramped up, and now I can definitely tell when its Little Hart wiggling about in there.
We have been making plans this week on what we need to get done in the house, what we need to buy and everything else that comes with growing a little human. I've been busy dreaming up what I want the nursery to look like, and can't wait to get started on it. The trouble is, as we have a 3 bed house for just 2 of us we ended up using the second room as storage for all the things that don't have a home, or things we don't even use! So before I can get on with all the nice parts of decorating the nursery, I have to get through some serious de-cluttering!

Week 20

We made it to our 20 week scan! It's the one I had been most anxious about, but also the most excited for. We got to see our little one's button nose, tiny toes and lips. It was such an incredible scan and I was amazed at how in detail they could monitor baby's growth. He was wriggling away on the day too and when he stretched both arms up I could feel it! The difference between the 12 week scan and the 20 week scan is incredible, he no longer fits onto the screen and my app is telling me that he is now the size of a large carrot! The app also tells me that baby has taste buds now which definitely makes me more conscious about what I'm eating as I've been really craving spicy food! We still haven't bought any large items as we are waiting to get the house in order first., though we've booked ourselves onto the Mamas and Papas Parents to Be event at the end of September, which I'm hoping is when we will buy our pram.
 We have just finished painting our downstairs bathroom and are now moving onto clearing our bedroom, as that's where he is sleeping first. Not sure it was our greatest idea to do up most of the house whilst being over half way through this pregnancy, but I will keep you posted on how we get on! I need to create more storage for all our things, to make room for all Baby's things, wish me luck!


Here's to the next 20 weeks!







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24 July 2018

Our Pregnancy Diary | The First Trimester




As I sit typing this, I still can't believe that I'm already into my second trimester. It seems like both a life time and a blink of an eye ago that I saw those 2 pink lines, and felt the first bubbles of excitement (and nerves). I wanted to document these special moments, even if it's only me and my husband who reads them.



Shhh!




I think the hardest part of the first 12 weeks is keeping it a secret. To not be able to tell people that you feel like you just want to sleep for 24 hours straight, or that you're not intentionally (ok you are, but you catch my drift!) avoiding social gatherings involving alcohol is quite the challenge! I really wanted to tell the world as soon as we found out, but the worrier in me also was frightened of all the things that could go wrong (I still am to be honest).


Sickness

I'm not going to complain too much about sickness, as in all honesty, I've probably had what some would say is an easy ride. I didn't have any sickness until after 9 weeks, and even then it was mostly in the evenings. I would be fine all day at work, maybe the odd wave of nausea just before and after eating, then feel worse as the afternoon went on. Luckily for me, I would just go to bed early, which did help a lot. The hot weather has made the sickness feeling flare up again recently though, and I'm finding it difficult to keep cool!




Sleeping

I have slept a lot. A lot a lot a lot. I have been the nap queen. I haven't napped so much since when I was at university and I would always schedule an afternoon nap. I've really felt the effects of exhaustion on a whole other level. I used to hear others talk about the tiredness, and would think how bad can it really be? Well now I understand. I'm starting to feel a bit better now I'm into my second trimester (but I do still want a nap now and again). The first trimester though, I could easily nap for a few hours and then go to bed at 10pm again. I'm very fortunate my husband has helped out a lot, doing the food shop on his own and sorting dinner etc just so I can sleep.



Food

For most of the first trimester I really lost my appetite, and it's only just starting to rear it's head a little now. The thought of food turned my stomach, and I could just about manage to eat a sandwich. I haven't really had any cravings either, instead I've found I just want plain things, like ready salted crisps. Not the most healthy option, but needs must.

Early Scan




The wait for the 12 week mark just seemed like such a long way off, and I was already feeling very anxious, so we decided to take the plunge and book an early scan. We chose Mother Care Baby Bond, and I have to say I was hugely impressed with them. They made me feel really at ease and relaxed, and it was a lovely moment to see our tiny little dot there on the screen. I was around 7 weeks pregnant at that time, so there wasn't a whole lot the technician could tell us, but we did see our little ones heart beating away. That was comfort enough. They aren't the cheapest of things, ours cost £89, but I did feel a weight lifted off my shoulders to know that the baby was indeed there, and matched up to what we thought we were date wise.



What I've been buying 

I didn't buy much at all in the first trimester. I picked up some of the Pregnacare Vitamins to try and get some of the goodness into what was a very bland diet. I also picked up Clemmie's 'How to grow a baby and push it out' book, and I have to say I really love it! Definitely would recommend if you're looking for some witty yet informative pregnancy reading.




So there we have it, my first trimester summed up- night time nausea, nap queen and ready salted crisp fiend. I hope you've enjoyed a little peak into my experience of the first trimester. I'm so excited to be in to the second, and very much looking forward to gaining some much needed energy back!


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10 July 2018

We're Having a Baby!




You may (or may not) have noticed that I've been a little quiet around these parts for the past few months, but it is all for good reason....we're having a baby! Our little Baby Hart is due in January.

If you follow me on Instagram, you will probably have already seen our big news, but it feels so good to finally be able to share it with our nearest and dearest. I can stop worrying about being invited out for drinks, as everyone who knows me, knows I love a gin and I'm sure it would have eventually roused suspicion if I suddenly started passing it up!

We found out we were expecting our little squidge on 4th May. It was actually a little comical looking back, as I wasn't expecting it to be our month and only took the test as I was due to start my period. I was hurryingly getting ready for work, so left it in the bathroom and carried on pottering about. It was actually my husband who alerted me to the fact that the test was positive, and I even brushed him off by saying 'there has to be two lines you know' but sure enough he was right, there they were, two pink lines.

With not much time to let the news sink in I had to set off to work, full of a bundle of emotions, and in fact a little disbelief! So much so that I went out and bought two more tests, just to be extra certain. Each one came back with the same two lines.


We decided to wait until we had our twelve week scan before sharing our news, as I'm very much a worrier by nature. Though let's be honest does the worrying ever stop now?!

I'm currently just over 14 weeks pregnant and so excited to continue on this journey, growing teeny Baby Hart. I can't wait to share this next chapter of our lives.


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25 April 2018

Garden Transformation Plans and Inspiration




We are currently waiting for this awful weather we've been having to pass so that we can get stuck in to giving our garden a good transformation.

I've been scouring Instagram, Pinterest, magazines and more for inspiration. I've even been going to some open gardens for ideas on how to really transform our space (as well as the fact that I just love them!)

At the moment our garden is lacking character. It has a small courtyard outside our backdoor, followed by an extremely long lawn and at the end is a concrete plinth which is currently housing our shed.

We gave the garden a quick revamp last summer, with the addition of the shed, bird feeders, a little 2 chairs and table set, and an arch way. Stephen painted the fence, and I painted our gate, some planters and started on the shed. We just wanted to quickly create somewhere for us to sit and have a cup of tea in the summer sunshine.



Over this last year I have really gotten interested in gardening and growing plants. I have had my first go at growing tulips and alliums. Which, despite this horrible weather, went ok! Since then I have purchased a few more bulbs and seeds, as well as a climbing rose and some sweet peas. I'm waiting for this rain to pass before I can get started on sowing these, but I'm very aware that time is of the essence and I need to get them potted before the end of April!

This year, we want to start establishing our borders and create a larger social area, to have family and friends round in summer evenings. I look forward to enjoying a slab of home made cake and a gin cocktail in the sunshine, overlooking our growing garden bursting with flowers.

The first jobs on our list are, to dig out both the new larger seating area and the borders. We need to finish the shed and repair some of the winter damage that the storms have caused to it, and also replace the fence at the bottom of the garden, as it's currently just a wire one.

Once we have completed that, we will begin to plant out our seeds and purchase any larger plants.

We will be filling our seating area with small gravel, for a country cottage feel. I plan to surround it with raised beds of lavender and roses. I also want to hang festoon lights over the top of a large bench, complete with solar lanterns for a really romantic feel in the evenings.

Our borders will be a mix of wildflowers and cutting flowers. I want to see what works best in our garden and over the years really get it established.

I've been pinning away on my so though I would share with you some of our inspiration for the garden.




I absolutely adore the top photo, and it's definitely the look we'd like to achieve in our own garden.

Have you recently started making over your garden
in preparation for those long summer days?
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15 April 2018

Our Travel Plans for 2018




If you've stuck around on my blog for long enough, you will know that me and my Husband love to travel. We've been to so many incredible places over the years we've been together, and have definitely made the most of our free time.

Last year we decided to have more breaks in the UK, rather than just one trip abroad, and do you know what? I really enjoyed them. So much so, that we are doing it again this year. Don't get us wrong we still love to travel abroad, and have plans for a trip at some point in the future, Italian coast we're looking at you. For now though, let me share with you what we have planned for this year.



February |
New Mills, Derbyshire




You would have seen already that we had a few days away in the pretty We stayed in a surrounded by stunning views, and enjoyed a break of lots of walking and relaxing. This trip was particularly special to us as it was one of our presents to my Dad for his Birthday. We made some fantastic memories, such as trying to get back to the cottage from the pub, when the paths had magically turned to ice within a few short hours!

It was lovely to escape for a mid week break in the middle of a cold, dreary, February, and I would highly recommend New Mills, it's a great place to explore Derbyshire from.







May |
Linton in Craven, North Yorkshire

We decided that February to June felt like such a long time, and that we needed a mini break to escape from it all. There are so many gorgeous places to visit in North Yorkshire that it took us a while to choose where to go, I knew I wanted to be near to Skipton, which is when we came across Linton in Craven. It's such a quaint place with plenty of spectacular views and a nearby pub. I cannot wait to explore from our pretty B&B base. Our room also has a huge bath tub in it, which I plan to make the most of! Especially if the weather doesn't make a drastic improvement.




June/July |
Tenby, Wales

My Mum and Dad booked a pretty little cottage in Tenby,  and they asked us if we would like to join them on their break, which of course we jumped at! Tenby looks like such a gorgeous town, with its colourful coastal houses and plenty of places to explore. I've been having a nosey at where to eat and what activities we can do when we get there, my favourite part of trip planning. Fish & Chips, and independent shops, are top of the list! Alongside some coastal walks and wildlife spotting.

We went away with my Mum and Dad last year to and absolutely loved it, so I can't wait for this years break with them. 





July |
Centre Parc's

In July I'm also heading to Centre Parc's with my friends. I've never actually been to a Centre Parc's before, so I'm excited to see what they're like! I look forward to spending quality time with my friends whilst relaxing in the spa and chatting away the day in such great company. 


September |
Road trip around Scotland 

This is our biggest trip of 2018, we are going on a driving tour around Scotland with my Husband, Mother-in-law and Father-in-law. It's something we have been discussing for a while and have finally got the ball rolling. We'll be stopping at Glasgow, Loch Lomond, Edinburgh, Fort William, and the Cairngorms. We wanted a nice mix of urban and rural, so I think this list strikes the right balance. We've actually visited Edinburgh already, as I took my Husband there for a surprise Birthday break for his 21st back in 2013! We're looking forward to going back again to see more of what Edinburgh has to offer.

I can't wait for this trip, and have already started researching where to eat (again!) and what to do in each of the places we'll be stopping at. High on my list is a trip to see Glenfinnan Viaduct, which may look very familiar if you're a Harry Potter fan.

I would love to hear any of your recommendations of things to see or do in Scotland too, so please leave them in a comment! We're planning lots of sight seeing, but would also love some ''off the beaten track'' things to do/see.

November | TBC

That's all of the trips we have currently planned. We're also looking at booking a weekend away in November again if we can afford it, for our second anniversary. I'd like to make it our tradition, that instead of buying each other gifts for our anniversary, we choose to go away somewhere for one night and make more memories instead. Our first anniversary was spent in the gorgeous and it was the best way to celebrate our first year as Husband and Wife.

We are yet to decide where to go this year. I'm a huge fan of country retreats, and with our anniversary being in November, I dream of nights by a roaring log fire with a hot chocolate in hand. If you have any UK countryside weekend break recommendations for us, please leave them in the comments!




So that's our plans for this year's travels, are you off anywhere exciting this year? 



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11 March 2018

Our Escape to New Mills, Derbyshire



We recently escaped daily life, for a slice of country living. It's no secret that my dream is to move to a chocolate box village, surrounded by rolling hills. To be able to spend my days with plenty of walks with my two dogs (nope I don't own even one dog at the moment..) For now though, I will make the most of sneaky little trips to the English countryside.

It was a very special trip this time, in celebration of my Dad's 50th Birthday. Me and my brother had chipped together to take us all away, for some quality time together in beautiful surroundings.

I had come across the cottage we stayed in online, which you can read about I thought that it looked like the perfect place to get away from it all, yet be in walking distance to a few cafes and pubs. Idyllic for everyone.


Day One.


It took us around an hour and a half's drive, up through the peak district, passing through Bakewell and Buxton, and arriving in the High Peak. We reached New Mills at around Mid Day and spent some time exploring the town, before heading down to the Millenium Bridge. 

  New Mills is a town in the High Peak, where the rivers Sett and Goyt join. It's built up of winding streets lined with pretty stone cottages (many of which have fox door knockers which I absolutely must have) and a span of panoramic views wherever you turn.



We weaved our way down to the Millenium Bridge, which was a magical sight in itself, but the fact that it was gently snowing too made it even more glorious. The view at the top of the steps, looking down to the mills and bridge is just breath taking. We pottered along for a little while, before the snow started to hit a little harder and we all decided that it was high time for some food and coffee. We definitely needed to thaw out!



We walked back up to the main street in New Mills and came across Clock Work Café. It was the perfect place to stop for a bits to eat, right in the centre of New Mills and not too far walk from our cottage. We warmed up with the ultimate comfort foods, I had hash brown with a cheese and onion pie, which hit the spot nicely.



By the time that we had finished our food, we decided we had best check in to our Cottage. Brow Farm is a short drive from New Mills centre (only a couple of minutes) and is situated at the bottom of a long drive way. We let ourselves in to the cottage and immediately felt at home.

The underfloor heating on the ground floor was heaven on our aching feet, and we had been given some divine gooey chocolate brownies to enjoy, which we did with a nice hot cup of tea.



At around 5:30 we decided to walk down to the Pride of the Peaks pub for a quick drink. We managed to snag a spot right beside the roaring open fire, and spent a couple hours here sipping on gin and chatting. On our way back to the cottage we grabbed some fish and chips from The Crispy Cod for tea and spent the rest of the night relaxing. We ended up watching our wedding speeches, which was so nice to reminisce over.


The walk home was very eventful, as due to all the snow freezing in a matter of two hours, the streets were like ice rinks! We were having to waddle and cling on so we didn't fall. Something to laugh about now but at the time I was slightly hysterical.

Day Two


Today was much brighter than yesterday and the snow had finally stopped. We all got up and enjoyed breakfast together, we gave my dad his birthday presents, which I'm very pleased to report he loved! Then we set off on one of the walks we'd seen in a leaflet. 




The walk took us down some seriously beautiful streets, the houses were all gorgeous with pretty, colourful doors and little plant pots dotted outside. It was also a steep hilly walk, which had all of us exhausted by the time we had made it to the starting point! 




The walk began from the Pub, ironically where we were going to eat that evening! It took us up another fairly steep hill through lots of fields. When we reached the top the views were incredible, and definitely worth it! 






The route was a circular trail, taking you through numerous fields, which were pretty muddy at times!



Overall it took us around an hour or so to complete, and was thoroughly enjoyable!

By the time we had reached our Cottage we slurped down a nice hot cup of tea and a chocolate brownie, before retiring ourselves to a well deserved afternoon nap.

Later in the evening we headed out for my Dad's Birthday meal, back at the , we had seen that it was very popular and it looked lovely when we had been by it earlier in the day. This time though we drove up to it!

The food was absolutely delicious and I would highly recommend a visit to the Pack Horse Inn if you're in the New Mills area. We headed back down to the centre for one more quick drink in the Royal Oak, whose décor was seriously dreamy, with lots of panelling and patterned tiles.


Our final morning in the cottage was spent soaking in the last of the view (and underfloor heating). Luckily/unluckily, however you may see it, I woke up very early with a cold and couldn't settle. I made my way into the kitchen for a drink, and i'm so glad I did as the sun was just rising.


So that brings us to the end of our trip to New Mills. We had a wonderful mid week break, and if you're looking for an escape to Derbyshire, New Mills is one that should be on your list. It has plenty of walks, and is great for reaching other parts of Derbyshire too, so if you have a few more days than we did, you can tick off some more places on your Derbyshire list!



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10 February 2018

Our Stay at Brow Farm, New Mills



Our escape to the High Peak was made extremely special due to our stay at Brow Farm, New Mills. Me and my brother has been looking for the perfect accommodation to take our dad away for his birthday. I was scouring the internet (like I do most days) when I came across Brow Farm.



If you've read my blog for a while you will know that my dream home is a cottage in the countryside, with a pretty view that I can spend hours pottering in the garden admiring. My only problem? can't afford it..Yet. I can however, afford to live the dream for a few days, and Brow Farm Cottage is all kinds of house 'goals'. From the gorgeous stone exterior, to the panoramic view of rolling hills, it certainly does not disappoint.



You approach Brow Farm down a long drive, where you can find ample parking at the bottom, right next to the cottage. This meant that transferring the bags from the car to inside was extremely easy (great if you're an over packer like me!).

 The first thing you will notice when you pull up is the view. I could go on about that view over and over, it's just stunning. I can only imagine how beautiful it looks on a summers night, sat outside with a gin in hand.




You enter the cottage into the large airy hallway, it's bright with gloriously high ceilings and wooden beams. Like I mentioned earlier, if your a fan of modern country cottages this one is right up your street.

  Our first port of call was exploring the entire cottage before unpacking! After checking out all of the bedrooms and picking out which ones we wanted, my parents got the upstairs double bedroom with the en-suite (it was my dads birthday after all) and we had a lovely spacious double on the ground floor. There is also a family bathroom downstairs, which has both a walk in shower (complete with rainfall shower head eek!) and a tub, perfect for a long soak after those idyllic country walks.



My absolute favourite part of the cottage has to be to kitchen/dining room. The room is one huge open plan space, with lots of windows giving it such a bright feel. Normally when you think of open plan in February, you think it must be cold? Nope. Under floor heating. I have since decided that I need this putting in all through our house, it really is a game changer. Taking off your shoes at the end of the day and no need for slippers.



The décor is kept very minimal, with a nod to the countryside shown through adorable little duck ornaments and pretty patterned cushions. There is a huge farmhouse style table taking centre stage, ideal for getting the whole family round for some scrumptious home cooked food, or if you're like us..a take away!

It really is the perfect entertaining space. There's a sofa in the corner, which is great for looking at the view through the windows, or reading a good book. There's also a breakfast bar too which makes a great perch to enjoy your morning coffee.



The kitchen itself comes with all the necessities that you would need for your stay, kettle, toaster, oven and washing machine. What really grabbed us though, were the thoughtful touches, there were eggs from the farm and some delicious brownies (that I had far too many of!). There were also lots of leaflets for restaurants, walking routes, magazines etc. which came in really handy. We ended up going to the Pack Horse Inn for dinner, which we came across on one of the leaflets.


If you like the cosy/hygge vibe, then the upstairs balcony style living area will be your type of space. The sofas are extremely snug and the whole area just screams relaxation. It's great for unwinding in front of the TV. We only sat up here once, but had we have stayed longer we would definitely have made more use of it.



On our second day, I had gotten up early and pottered into the kitchen for a drink. I was so pleased that I had, as I managed to just catch the sunrise over the hills, which made getting up early so much easier, I have to say. I think if I lived here I could definitely embrace being a morning person.


If you're looking for the perfect slice of country life, with a stunning view and close proximity to a few pubs and shops, Brow Farm is the place to stay. Cath and David are amazing hosts, they made us feel very welcome from the moment we arrived. We will definitely be making a trip back sometime in the future, hopefully for a little longer next time too.


Find out more about Brow Farm through their website
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