How to handle a typical boozy hen party as a pregnant woman

There is this myth that pregnant women just can’t be fun anymore.  They can’t drink, they can’t party, they become obsessed with babies and therefore become dull.  What utter rubbish!

Yes we become ‘excited’ about a change in our lives which is to be expected but just because there’s a bun in the oven doesn’t mean our brains got a transplant at the same time.  We still know how to have fun!  So make sure your non pregnant friends know you still want to socialise and go out as some can assume you’re ‘past’ it.

So with this in mind off I trundled for a proper East-End hen party for a friend that’s due to be married in the coming weeks.  I wouldn’t be able to participate in everything but I was gonna damn well try my hardest to still be me but while acknowledging my growing child.

The theme of the day was Hip-Hop.  We all had to dress up Hip-Hop style.  I did kind of fail here actually, simply because my wardrobe is limited and what I buy now I need to last.  So I wore a dress from New Look that I knew I’d be comfortable in all day and accessorised with some good old Primark cheap goodies.  Some MASSIVE gold hoop earrings, a sexy gold dollar sign chain and one hot pink visor.  Granted I could have hip hopped it more, but for some reason my pictures on Instagram have gone down a hit with actual hip hop followers who I fear think I was serious in my accessorising choices!  Oh dear…

Here’s the dress I wore:

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Maternity navy skinny stripe midi dress

Anyway once we all managed to meet up dressed in our questionably ghetto outfits we started off with a few drinks at The Royal Inn.  While the other girls enjoyed Pimms and Prosecco I stuck to a lime soda.  It’s almost reminiscent of my vodka, lime and soda days so it keeps me happy enough.  Plus the day was sweltering again so the non dehydrating drink was a blessing to me!  (the other girls ended up with headaches and having to neck some nurofen- bonus pregnant mum!)

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After most the party were happily merry we went into Victoria Park to do some old school sports day games.  For this part I took pictures and played the referee as I’m not too sure little one would have appreciated me doing the sack race.  The egg and spoon race I could have participated in but we were all more consumed in trying to make a rather terrible Hip Hop video while munching down on picnic goodies.  Don’t doubt a pregnant woman’s ability to dance! ;) or how debauched a hen party can get in terms of picnic goodies!

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(I thought a small picture here would be more suitable!)

Next up a short bus ride took us to the notorious Brick Lane for a good curry.  With so many curry houses to choose from we picked Sheba.  And judging by the awards we chose pretty damn well!  The party were given some free wine and I was topped up with the requested tap water, so we were all satiated with suitable beverages.  But the star of the show was the food.  Absolutely incredible.

I wasn’t starving when I got there after all the picnic munching, so I decided to share a begun tomato jhool (aubergine and tomatoes baked in a tandoori oven and then cooked in special herbs and spices and garnished with garlic), some rice and a peshwari naan.  Honestly BEST curry house ever.  I’m definitely going back with the other half and ordering a table full of food next time.

As we were quite a big party we were particularly loud and many of the diners decided to move downstairs and out of the way (sorry!).  Probably a good thing really as our next game involved play-doh and all of us sculpting what we assumed the groom to ‘look like.’  The bride to be obviously chose the best one at the end.  There were some worrying looking specimens in the line up!

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(watching the bride pick her groom!)

Fully stuffed and with the rest of the hen party extremely drunk we walked a couple of minutes down the road to the All Star Lanes.  I never knew they did karaoke here, as I’d been there previously to bowl and eat food, but they also have private rooms for a good old sing-song.  After belting out a few good old Madonna classics I thought I’d make my exit and allow the girls to get really debauched and continue their night of full on clubbing.  I felt a little guilty for babies ears too so I booked myself an Uber taxi and took myself home.

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See pregnant girls can still have sober fun.  We just know when to call it quits at the right time for not only us but our friends as well.

Sorting out my not so glossy pregnancy hair with Sleep Rollers

Yes my hair has grown.  Yes it’s fuller. And yes it looks like a complete and utter mess!! *cue breakdown*

Blame it on genetics but I’ve never had lucious sleek locks.  Since the age of 16 I’ve battled with it to try and tame it.  Even considering ironing out the frizz and kinks on an ironing board.

I’ve tried various treaments, the Yuko treatment which is permanent and makes it poker straight but lasts ages.  However the frizzy regrowth on top of your head leaves something to be desired and you shouldn’t really use it on dyed hair (it’s that damaging you’ll end up with broken hair).  I’ve not heard much about it recently so I have no idea whether or not it’s still safe to do! (either way it’s definitely not safe in pregnancy).

And I’ve also tried the Brazilian Blowout which I love.  Love. Love. Love. Love. Love.  It doesn’t make your hair POKER straight but it tames it and it leaves it so gorgeous.  A holiday essential for me.  But it isn’t permanent and washes out bit by bit and so it should be redone approximately every 3/4 months.  I get mine done at Taylor Taylor in London.  It’s an expensive hairdressers but they really are in a class of their own.  Considering hair is a really important feature for a woman I always think a good hairdresser is one cost you shouldn’t scrimp on.  I have tried in the past and it’s been disastrous.

Pre pregnancy I’d settle back into the luxurious chairs sipping on a French Martini.  These days it’s a cranberry juice to make sure those common UTI women get during pregnancy stay at bay!  Luckily I’ve not had any problems yet.

But I’m pregnant and can’t get the Brazilian Blowout done anymore.  So what was easy managable ‘wash and go’ hair has now tranformed into what I can only imagine most people get when they rub a balloon over their hair.  It’s dull, frizzy and pretty depressing.

My go to tool typically is a pair of GHD’s.  But I love the Chelsea blowdry look.  For those of you unfamiliar with the term think Kate Middleton.  Volume, slight curl, sleek, well maintained.  I have friends that are skilled with GHD’s and blowdrying and can create the look themselves with ease.  I can’t.  I really really can’t.  I can’t even begin to imagine how much money I’ve spent trying to buy the tools to recreate this look.  Heated rollers, tongs, brushes, hair products, velcro rollers, sponge rollers, more tongs.  You get the idea.

The one thing I really want to stay away from if I can is applying to much heat on my frazzled hair.  So I wanted to find something that was less damaging.  My twitter feed is full of girls who have bought Sleep Rollers.  Annoyingly the retweets from the company all have pictures of girls with rollers in their hair but not so many pictures of what the girls look like after the rollers come out.  However with so many girls saying how amazing the sleep rollers were I had to dig deep and buy myself some.

The website confused me a little bit, there were rollers all over the place.  Different packages, different types.  ARRGGHH.  After sifting through the bits on offer I picked what I thought were the original sleep rollers with none of the fancy gimmicks.

I also bought the fringe roller.

After watching the sleep rollers demonstration online through youtube, and really torn between wanting to mute the video but needing to know how to use the sleep rollers I set to work on my frizzy barnet.

I ran the cold tap and used a comb to dampen my hair and put the fringe roller in first and then worked my way behind that roller to set the first couple of pink rollers and then worked the sides of my hair, always making sure my hair was damp.  Working my way around until all hair was rolled and pinned up.  Considering my hair abilities I testify this was easy.

I tried lying down on the rollers and unless you have the ability to sleep on a hedgehog I wouldn’t really say it’s a product you can sleep in.  But once I felt my hair was dry I took the rollers out.  Initially I wasn’t that impressed.  I had too much volume.  But what can be said is the frizz had tamed.

My fringe though had gone disastrous.  I have a side swept fringe, and the curler created this huge volumionous fringe which wouldn’t flatten.  I combed through my hair, tied it up and went to bed.

The next day after waking up and doing my usual things I thought it was time to try and tame the hair.  I was going to get out the straighteners and just use something trusted to sort out the barnet.  However once I used the straighteners on my fringe for some reason the rest of my hair suddenly looked amazing,  Like seriously amazing.  I’d had it tied up all night, but the curls had managed to stay in tact and the huge amount of volume calmed down to give me ‘normal’ volume I wanted to look more Made in Chelsea and less The Only Way is Essex.

So I left it as it was.  I applied a bit of serum to my hair and went off to meet some friends.  And then it rained… oh well at least I know they work!

I’m not overly keen on the fringe roller but I use it now to keep my fringe off my face while I set the other rollers and then take it out.

All in all a pretty amazing product that’s simple to use and non damaging!

Maternity spree. I must learn to control myself soon!

I may officially be unemployed right now and relying on OH as my belly expands, but a London girl still has needs! And clothes certainly fit into those needs.  Especially with a few swanky things coming up.  So I thought I’d check out the ASOS maternity range this time to find just a couple of things to add to my maternity wardrobe.  If I’m going to get bigger and bigger and pop around christmas time I’d quite like to do it in style!

This is the first dress I bought.  An ASOS maternity midi dress with a wrap skirt.  I bought it in the burgandy colour which seems to have been the last one in stock at my size!  But I also love it in the black.  I thought it would be appropriate for the Christmas parties later this year, dinner dates with OH and pretty much anything actually where more formal wear is required.  The best thing about the dress however is the fact it’s been discounted and is now £12.50 from £28.00.  Now that’s a thrifty bargain!

The other number I purchased today is this dress:

The ASOS maternity skater dress in oriental bird print.  This dress is just a little casual something that suits my typical style.  I love tea dresses.  I loved them before I got pregnant and anything that I can wear that suits my ‘blossoming’ figure that I liked previous I want to continue to wear if possible.  It keeps me as me.  They suit my figure as I’m naturally a petite girl but with a large bust and I find tea dresses keep my style feminine but not slutty.  This dress was also on sale which is why I couldn’t help but snap it up! It’s currently £16.50 down from £28.00.

Obviously it’s one thing loving the style of something on the internet but it’s another thing when it lands at your door.  I’m particularly fussy when it comes to fit and even material.  I can not stand cheap fabrics against my skin.  So i’ll let you know how these purchases measure up!

Wedding in Chester!

I might be a London mum-to-be now but I do have some Northern routes having spent my University years in Leeds.  So I’m often popping off out of London for various catch ups and in particular going to weddings! Oh I love a good wedding.  There’s nothing more beautiful then seeing two people stand up in front of friends and family promising to be with each other forever.

This was however my first wedding as a pregnant woman.  So I didn’t quite know what to expect.  All my London friends decided to trek up to chester on the day of the wedding (saturday).  However my other half had an early shift on the Friday so we thought we would casually drive up there, check into an inexpensive hotel and just relax until the ceremony started the day after at midday.

Things didn’t run quite as smoothly…

The hotel I’d booked as recommended by the Groom just wasn’t up to par for a pregnant woman, and take it from me I’m not one to complain.  I’m shy and easily embarrassed and never make a fuss.  But the room was just sweltering from the overbearing summer heatwave.  The hotel provided a fan, but it was that hot the fan just blew out hot air.  The room was too hot for OH and he’s not the pregnant one!

So off he went to speak to reception to ask for an air con room only to be told that they’d all been snapped up earlier on in the day by other guests staying at the hotel.  After a 4 hour drive this wasn’t what we needed.  He explained our situation but there literally was nothing the hotel could do.  They couldn’t even provide another fan.  So we went online and looked for another hotel in the area after securing a refund from hotel 1.

We went from being thrifty at hotel 1 to splashing the cash at hotel 2.  But when you’re hot you want to make sure you have a decent hotel that has air con.  We were too hot and bothered to spend ages searching so we just booked the best hotel in Chester.  The Grosvenor.

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Oh my what a hotel.  They were made aware of my situation through the booking we made via lastminute.com and they even upgraded us.  I could have kissed the check in lady.  From the moment we pulled up to the end of our stay we were treated like royalty.  The room was cold with an air con unit we could control.  The bed was huge.  The suite was just divine.

Our bed was even turned down and bottles of water left on our bedside tables.  They kept the kitchens open for us for dinner because we ended up arriving so late.  Unfortunately the Michelin star restaurant the Simon Radley was fully booked unsurprisingly so we went to La Brasserie.  Which actually suited us better because we didn’t plan on staying somewhere so suave so we were limited in our ‘casual yet appropriate dining attire.’

The food was spectacular.  Unfortunately they did have a lot on the menu that wasn’t suitable for pregnant women but I was salivating reading it all.  All my favourite foods… I just can’t eat them for another 4 months!

My starter was heaven on a plate. Piglet, crispy belly and squid cassoulet.

If I could have licked the bowl I would have!

My main was much more simple.  I went for the mushroom tagliatelle.  Which was beautifully made, but I am finding large meals hard to eat.  I think I’m running out of space. So most of it was given to OH who manages to devour everything and anything!

Our stay at the Grosvenor was only for the night so we got up in the morning had a beautiful breakfast, (I picked at the continental selection because I was still full, OH went for a full english), and got ready for a long day ahead sharing in on a special day for friends.

The problem I had here was that I didn’t want to spend a fortune on an outfit for a wedding that was something I’d only wear once or maybe twice during my pregnancy.  Plus with the heat I didn’t want to feel hot and uncomfortable sat in a church.  What was important for me was to remain as modest as I could in my clothing choice.  To wear something I could wear again casually and to be able to feel comfortable all day long.  So this is the number I picked out

I realise the last picture looks suitably disturbing with the blurred out face while I stand amongst the graves at the churchyard! But I hope you agree the dress did the trick and the heels managed to dress it up a little bit along with the purse.

The dress is from my shopping spree at New Look, it’s the ‘Maternity Blue Floral Crochet Collar Dress’ and cost me £19.99.  The shoes have been in my wardrobe a while, I bought them from Zara so I don’t think they’ll be available to purchase in store anymore but Zara do great staples for wardrobe basics.  The purse I also bought a while back and is a New Look number too.  I’m not typically a fan of the New Look bags and purses because I do think they can look cheap.  (I think you can be thrifty and still make something look expensive), but this purse because it’s so plain just works for me.  But again because I bought it so long ago I don’t think that particular purse will be in store anymore.

The wedding was beautiful, the bride looked stunning in a custom made gown sewn and created by her mother.  And the day was a success.  All in all not a bad weekend spent! :)
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Maternity wear and this heatwave

I have to be honest this ongoing heat wave in the UK is really not made for pregnant women! I can not for the life of me seem to cool down.  And no matter how much I drink I always feel really dehydrated!  Thank god for those Brita water bottles, I’m carrying mine around with me everywhere I go.

I’m actually considering purchasing an air con unit- something I thought I’d never need living in the UK, but living in London in this weather is just not for me.  And that took me by surprise! I’m the one person that loves to go away and chase the sunshine!

For now I’ll have to make do with the non rotating fan I have…

One of the hardest things I found is wearing something appropriate in this weather.  Normally I’d just head out in a pair of shorts and a light top.  But I haven’t fit into my shorts in a VERY long time and as for my tops- well with my engorged breasts it just looks wrong. So I had to give in and buy some maternity wear.

I did a little shopping spree online using the New Look website.  They have some great maternity pieces.  At least I think they do! They go with the sense of style that I have so I don’t feel like I’m losing my identity.  Plus many of the pieces I bought I’ve thought about how they’d work past this heatwave.  I bought mainly dresses so I could use them under layers of cardigans and wear tights to warm myself up a bit when the temperature drops.  Or tops/dresses that will work with leggings.  So overall I think the money was well spent!  I also bought myself three pairs of shoes to work with all the outfits.  Some sandals, a pair of ankle low heel boots and some loafers.  I’m sure you’ll get to see all my pieces over the next few weeks, but here’s what I wore today…

The ‘charcoal ruched side long line tunic’ cost me £9.99, great for this weather right now and can easily be transformed into something warmer for winter.  (Throw on some leggings and boots and a thick cardigan).

A really great purchase!

 

My first post

As of yesterday I’ve given up my job and taken early maternity leave.  I’m an expectant first time mum and I’m due on December 16th, so what better way then to share my experiences of this time with you all! And hopefully any other London mums out there or mums to be will find my posts helpful.

For London I suppose I’m quite a young mum.  I do have friends that have children but most of my London group are still enjoying the dating life and looking for that Mr Right to settle with.  At 29, I’m sure many of you won’t find me all that young, but what I am aware of is that I don’t want to feel like I’ve lost my identity through having a baby.  I’m very excited about his or her arrival, but I want to still be me as I think a balanced mum makes for a balanced baby and ultimately a happy family.  But I suppose that’s an experiment I’ll learn and let you know how I’ll manage!

Right now I’m 18 weeks pregnant and just waiting on my next scan which isn’t until August 5th to find out the gender.  I have a feeling the baby is a girl, and I’ve been referring to it as ‘she’.  However the other half is from an all male family so I feel like logically it must be a boy!

Anyway that’s a little post on what this blog is all about and the direction I want to to go in, I’ll keep you all updated on my progress and things for pregnant mums/mums to do in this great amazing city that doesn’t involve bar nights out (for now anyway).

TheLondonMum