The fourth trimester in pregnancy

Having read this article online I feel like the writer Ashley Pearson makes a really valid point.  Pregnancy isn’t just a three trimester deal.  In fact the hardest trimester is probably when you bring the baby home and if you’re anything like me you’ll be completely novice at how to deal with him/her.  Honestly I won’t even pick up friends new-born babies because I’m so scared of damaging them!

While my little one is safely tucked away in my womb I know that this will be the last time I’ll be able to get on a bus or leave the house easily without having to pack a huge bag of baby goodies to strap to a pram.  When he’s out I’m sure my world will become chaotic for a while.  Especially the first three months.

photo1

So this article I found to be really useful.

Ashley Pearson even goes as far as to list the essential items a fourth trimester woman will need..  I’ve gone through her list and omitted the ones I don’t think will be as useful but seeing as I’ve linked the article I know I can always refer back to it as can you ;)

Some of the things she writes about are useful but aren’t necessarily for me so I mention them and then say how I would personally do things.

1. The Perfecter Hair Styler, £69.99.  A round brush to sort out your tresses quickly and efficiently.  I already own the Babyliss Big Hair Styler, £45.00.  So that ones already checked off my list.  (Which by the way the Babyliss styler is an amazing hair tool.  I’ve not used The Perfecter so I can’t compare but if you have I’d love to hear your comments.)

1

2. Baby powder will be abundant and can be used to disguise greasy locks.  Cheaper than dry hair shampoo.

3. The textured hair wrap by Ken Paves.  I’m not particularly fond of hair pieces at all.  So this isn’t for me.  I’d rather just bung my hair up in a bun, ponytail or plait.

4. A form of light reflecting concealer to hide dark circles.  I’ve tried light reflecting concealer’s including the notorious YSL Touche Éclat and found I just can’t make them work for me.  I’d rather just use my usual concealer to hide a multitude of facial sins at the same time.  I’m a big fan of MAC Pro Longwear Concealer.  It comes in a small pump tube that’s easy to transport around.  I use one pump a day with a foundation brush over the areas I want to disguise and find it works brilliantly.  I have half a tube left and I use it nearly every day and I’ve had it since March.

photo

5. The Cocoonababy.  Ashley states she’d get an extra hours sleep just by using this.  So this will be on my purchase list.  Has anyone else tried it? I’d love to hear some reviews on it.  It’s supposed to resemble the womb and helps with gastric reflux.  But at £129.95 I want to know it works first!

231946374

6. Jackson Reece Kinder by Nature baby wipes to use from birth (removing the need for cotton wool and warm water).  I’ve seen these already and have these on my must purchase list.  They’re eco friendly and are 99% natural plant extract so are good for sensitive bottoms.  They’re made with natural aloe vera and purified water and don’t contain any of the nasties found in other similar products like parabens, alcohol etc.  Most supermarkets stock them now as well so no excuse buying the cheaper but more damaging products.  Currenlty you can buy them direct from the stockists on Amazon for £15.96 for a bundle of 10 packs which contain 64 wipes each.  Hmmm.. where’s my credit card?

l_506007005305910_1354101713_62

7. The Jamie Storksak Baby Bag, £150.00.  This truly is a great design for men to not fear the nappy bag.  But we’ve already purchased ours and as I’m going to be the stay at home mum I bought one that I thought was suitable and worked with my style.  I bought the Cath Kidston Cowboy Changing Bag.  It costs £65.00 (but I got mine for £30.00 in a sale), and it contains a changing mat and a bottle holder as well as numerous pockets and is wipe clean.

thCAH3ZM40

8. The Clarisonic facial brush, £125.00, to cleanse your face properly and quickly.  I’ve been lusting after one of these for ages.  I’ll give in eventually and buy one.  My current facial regime is to cleanse with a Simple face wash in the morning, tone and moisturise with Estee Lauder oil free anti oxidant cream.  In the evening I use St Ive’s Apricot Scrub to double cleanse taking off my pro long wear concealer, tone, then use advanced night repair serum by Estee Lauder and finishing off with the same moisturiser as in the morning (even though it has SPF in it).

9. Anita post natal girdle, £42.40-£59.99.  Not the sexiest item but anything that might help sculpt me back to pre pregnancy so I can start wearing my sexy lingerie again is all good in my books.  It’s been rated highly and is supposedly quite comfortable especially compared to the other post natal girdles on the market.

A1885-anita-rebelt-panty

10. The Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra sounds comfortable as anything to me! I’ve purchased some nursing bras already as my usual bras don’t seem to fit me anymore.  The ones I purchased are from Marks and Spencer’s and if I’m honest they aren’t the sexiest of designs.  They literally are boulder holders.  Not great for looking sexy at this time.

The Bravado body silk nursing bra isn’t the sexiest either but from the pictures it looks just like a sports bra and comes in a variety of basic colours and a choice of two seasonal colours which I assume they change.  This is something I’m putting on my purchase list as well.

BV1401H-bravado-nursing

11. Get on board with DietChef.  One of my biggest problems is when I’m tired I’ll just forgo food.  Having someone else take care of putting together healthy meals for me would be a god send.  It would be a god send now not only once the baby is born.. lets see if I can convince my other half on this one…

Another way around this is doing a mass cooking session and freezing loads of meals to just defrost and heat up or microwave.  Lets see if I can get the two grandmothers to be on board and help me out!

12. Make sure you look after you overly stretched skin by continuing to moisturise.

I’m currently slathering on the lotions and potions.  I know stretch marks are mainly down to genetics, but I also think if you have dry skin it’s more likely to mark as it does stretch so why not give it a little helping hand and moisturise it to prevent some of the marks you’ll otherwise get.  I’ve been using a concoction of creams because everyone keeps telling me to use different ones.  So depending on how I feel I pick up which ever one I fancy using.

So far on my shelf I have Bio Oil, Weleda stretch mark massage oil, Mama naked serenity stretch mark cream and The Body Shop’s cocoa butter stick (recommended to me by a friend who said when I have the urge to scratch my belly as it grows scratch it with the cocoa butter stick instead).  Currently I have no stretch marks.  But I have a whole lot more stretching to do.

biooil

10540669-1375716930-927098

cocoa-butter-moisturizing-stick_l

13.  Find a way to ease stress.  I’m currently doing ante-natal yoga in the attempt to keep myself limber and to hopefully aid me in delivery but I intend to keep up yoga post natal as well.  That hour a week does clear my mind.  I also love to read and I’m addicted to my kindle.  I don’t have the Kindle Fire as I didn’t want all the additional gadgets on a book reader to distract me.  I just wanted the book reader.  I bought a cover for my kindle which has a little light engrained in it which means I can read it even if my partner is asleep so this will also carry me through the night feeds when my little one makes his appearance.  I bought my cover from Amazon.

kindle-cover-with-light-1

I hope you’ve found this post to be helpful.  I know it’ll be something I’ll keep referring back to when we start buying bits and bobs and also when the little man is here and I’m struggling!  So for that I’m grateful for the original article by Ashley Pearson.

Epilators- The pain of a thousand needles… or not!

Epilators.

4

Even the word conjures fear inside me.  I used to own one and I think I used it once.  I figured if birth was on a similar pain threshold I’d refrain from having a child ever.

Yet here I am pregnant.  So I thought it was time to test out the epilator market again and see if I could find one that didn’t hurt.

The reason this came about was because my sister told me she epilated.  She epilated her legs and under her arms and it didn’t cause her any discomfort at all.  My initial thoughts were ‘she’s lying.’

Normally I’m a shave it kind of girl.  Nice and easy to do.  But has anyone else noticed how expensive razor blades are getting? Plus with shaving the hair does grow back quickly so it seems like I’m always fighting those hairs.  I contemplated waxing, but at a cost of £32.00 for a full leg and £15.00 for my underarms I just couldn’t justify that cost.  Plus I hate that I’d have to grow the hair back.  Mmmmm attractive!

I’m a trained beauty therapist as well so I know when I’m being ripped off.  And those prices I wasn’t going to go near. So next best option… the dreaded epilator.

I took a trip down to my local Boots and looked at the selection they had in store.  This is where I ended up in a bit of a pickle.  To me something that costs a lot of money = a better product.  But at the same time an epilator = the pain of a thousand needles.

Did I really want to buy an epilator I might only use once and at top price?

But then again if I didn’t would that mean I’d immediately be putting myself into the hands of a tormenting machine?

Sense eventually prevailed and I went for a middle priced epilator.  The Philips Satinelle Soft.  It came with a massage roller for extra gentle hair removal and also a sensitive cap for delicate areas.  It was like I was buying a torture device but I was given extras to ensure it would be too torturous!

1

I got home and took everything out of the box.  But I wasn’t brave enough to use it.  So I left it for a few days before I plucked up the courage.  I attached the roller cap to the epilator (I needed the security of it) and set to work on my legs with my eyes shut.

I was pleasantly surprised.  It really wasn’t anywhere near as painful as I remember epilating to be.  It’s much less painful than waxing and it keeps the hair away at bay for a long time.  In fact on that first time of using it I progressed from my full legs to under my arms.  Again not a problem.  I even took off the massage rolling cap to see how bad the epilator was without it.  Honestly it wasn’t a problem.  Using it now I don’t use any of the attachments as I don’t find it painful.

3

I do however hold out reservations for my bikini line.  I did do a bit of it, but I wasn’t brave enough to continue south… plus now I’m at that stage where I can’t quite see what I’m doing over my bump I’m not sure I’m going to risk it as who knows what I might end up tweezing off!

For a relatively cheap epilator it’s one of the best things I’ve bought for convenience and ease.  The only problem I find is that I can’t charge it and use it away from a power source.  And sometimes I have to go over a hair slowly to make sure the tweezers clamp it and pull it.  Other then that though I’ve encouraged everyone to try it! Even testing it out on my partners arm.  He wasn’t too impressed but lets face it men just aren’t built with the same ability to deal with hair removal as women.

Catwalk4Change

On the 6th September 2013 I’m going to be donning my glad rags to attend the Catwalk4Change charity runway show which will be launching fashion week here in London.  I won’t lie I’m a little bit nervous as I’m going alone but I’m there to support the cause and to blog about the event to help to promote the reasons behind it.

Talking about those glad rags I better find something soon as the event will be full of some big names and organisations and I’d like to think I’d make a good impression! Got to keep up with the Jones’ don’t you know ;)

I can not tell you how excited I am to be attending this event which hopes to showcase that models don’t have to be a certain stereotype and that fashion can be enjoyed by all.  I think this is a really important message to portray.  Especially in my current situation I’m more aware now then ever before about how the media is stereotyping what is perceived as beautiful.  I’m having a boy so hopefully he won’t feel the pressure as much as little girl babies born in today’s world.

As I’m a pregnant woman attending I hope to look at the styles being presented and come away with some new ideas for the upcoming seasons on how to style myself and my bump while keeping up with the trends.  Of course I’ll be passing on all this information to you as well!

There will be two runway shows.  The first one will have a 1950′s influence and will be showcasing the mature ladies.  Personally I think this is a really important feature as many women as we age don’t have a clue how to dress or what is appropriate or how to translate fashion suitably.  I speak for my lovely mother here who is just lost when it comes to fashion.  I look back at pictures of her in the 70′s with her amazing style and it seems that as she’s become older she’s almost just given up.  She has no one to refer to or no style to show her how she can be fashionable even though she’s a mature woman.  For big do’s my sister and I tend to take control with her and dress her and she lets us.  That’s how lost she is!

The second show is a collaboration with pret-a-reporter blogger Edita Lozovska and aims to bring different nationalities and figure types to the run way using bloggers to walk the walk and using particular designers to showcase a variety of cultural, social and religious fashion influences.

To really show how much this event is making waves in the fashion world, I only need to mention the name Caroline Rush.  The Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council.  This event has caught her eye so you can only imagine how big this event is going to be and hopefully how big the voices setting up this event will be in terms of portraying an equal side to fashion.

If you want to attend the show yourself tickets are on sale now for £20 from www.modelsofdiversity.org.  All proceeds go to the charities Mind and MacMillan.

Bountiful hair and an upcoming Pagan Wedding

I have a very exciting wedding to attend this weekend up in the Lake District (a Pagan one- first time for me!).

3

So I thought today would be a brilliant time to get my hair cut and have a professional blow dry.  A little bit of dry hair shampoo will hopefully keep those locks looking fresh and healthy. (A bonus of being pregnant is that my hair is much much thicker and doesn’t need washing so often.  I used to wash it every other day.  I can currently go three or four days and it still looks fine)

As you know perhaps from previous posts I’m a fan of the Chelsea blow dry.  And if I go to a hairdressers that’s the barnet I hope to end up with as I walk out the doors.

I have wrestled with hairdressers in London and I have to say Taylor Taylor is by far the best hairdressers I’ve been to.  Every time I sway from them I end up with some horrific hair cut that takes me ages to grow out.  They are pricey but honestly so worth the expenditure for great looking hair.  Plus they’re so easy to get to on public transport, just hop on the East London Line (air con too) and get off at Shoreditch High Street.  It’s a 5 minute walk away!

8

5

Usually I have Ashley sort out my hair, but as I booked in last night for today she was already fully booked so I had Nicole for my 1pm appointment.

I wanted a nice blunt fringe cut in and then a blow dry to last me the weekend.  And that’s exactly what I got.  Along with an ice cold cranberry juice with lots of ice, and a seat next to the fan when I was getting my hair washed.

7

I’ve always gone from having a blunt fringe to growing it out and back again.  So I’m obviously during my the cutting it in again phase.  I think a fringe really suits my face shape.  I have an oval face that’s slightly long and the fringe really helps to balance my face.  Plus at the front of my head I have a few greys starting to poke through.  I know you can get your hair coloured when you’re pregnant but I’m trying to not do anything which could potentially be harmful so I’d rather keep my three or four grey hairs and hide them under my new fringe.

6

But as you know with the Lakes comes the rain- don’t worry though I’ve bought myself a nice big hair saving umbrella :)

Nothing is going to ruin my hair this weekend.

I really hope the wedding is as beautiful as I imagine it’s going to be.  Like I said I’ve never been to a Pagan wedding before and don’t know what to expect but I love learning about new rituals and ceremonies.

I’ll make sure I get some pictures up for you all as well :)

Flesh and Buns, London

The title gives away the kind of restaurant Flesh and Buns is.

1

11

It’s all about stuffing those buns with your favourite kind of flesh (this sounds like I’ve gone slightly off topic but trust me I’m still talking about food!).

The ‘flesh’ on offer at this new Japanese eatery is plentiful you have your choice of sirloin steak, fried sole, fried iron steak, braised pork belly, whole baby chicken, crispy duck leg, salmon teriyaki, grilled sea bass and lamb chops.  All served with individual appropriate sauces on the side and brought over to your table with steamed buns and a bowl of salad to make up your own perfect bun.

The concept when I heard about it sounded so simple and yet so delicious I’m surprised no where else in London has done something similar before, although I’ve no doubt a few copycat restaurants will attempt to cash in at some point.

Luckily we had reservations at Flesh and Buns, as it was so busy! If you don’t make reservations you can wait at the bar for a table to become free.  And with the cocktails they have on offer I’m sure many of you wouldn’t be too upset at having to do this! (A frozen yuzu margarita anyone? or perhaps a raspberry and pineapple cobbler?)

The restaurant was packed but we were shown to our seat straight away.  There is a big long table in the centre of the room so for those of you in twos you are seated at this table.  Bigger groups get individual tables around the rest of the room.  This is possibly the ONLY problem at Flesh and Buns.  It’s such a thriving place and the atmosphere is brilliant, but if you are in a twosome you are seated opposite each other on this long table which did make chatting and gossiping quite hard.  They have background music playing as well and with your neighbours trying to hear each other too it all gets quite deafening.  Perhaps sitting side by side would have made it slightly easier?

flesh+and+buns

The staff however are impeccable at their jobs.  We never had to worry about anything, service was spot on and really helpful.  We were offered still, sparkling or tap water in a bottle immediately.  And I also ordered myself a delicious yuzu and raspberry presse with elderflower.  (I rate them highly and drunk two during the evening).

2

We were given guidance on how much to order as well.  The restaurant is based upon the Japanese culture of sharing food so our waitress recommended we share three or four of the starters and to choose one main flesh and buns meal to share.  Or  share maybe one or two starters and pick two of the flesh and bun meals.

The starters looked mouth watering but typically the bits I’d want to eat are currently off menu for me plus I’d managed to fill myself up on a huge bowl of cereal while I was at home before venturing into central.  Next time though I’m going with an empty belly and ordering everything! (I may have to wait until I’ve popped at Christmas time).  I can imagine the sashimi is to die for!

So instead my friend and I decided we’d order one of the flesh and buns because we didn’t know how much we would end up being presented with.  And then indulge in the desserts afterwards.

We both had a real hankering for some pork so we went with braised pork belly which came with a mustard miso dressing (pickled apple).

10

The buns when they arrived were so clever they already had a fold in them so they were easy to open up and stuff.  I always refer to steamed buns as clouds because they’re so soft and just remind me of fluffy white clouds. Four buns come as part of the meal however you can order more buns or other sides to go with your meat such as a variety of rice.  For us however four buns was perfectly adequate.  (Damn that cereal I ate again.. I know I could have fitted much more in otherwise).

3

9

8

After polishing off the meal we were given cold flannels in a silver bucket to cleanse our little grubby fingers and then we were shown the dessert menu.  Dessert is my weakness.  If you’re a dessert person then Flesh and Buns will not disappoint you.  The only hardship is what to pick from such a scrummy menu.

The crispy bananas caught my eye, so did the chocolate fondant, kinako doughnuts and the Bone Daddies sundae.  But I couldn’t resist the excitement of ordering the s’more.

During the main meal I’d seen people toasting marshmallows on skewers in a fire brought over to their tables in a cube type stone pit.  The smell of toasting marshmallows from neighbours and the fun of cooking up my dessert had me sold.

The fire pit was brought over with a plate that had two skewered slabs of marshmallows, four chocolate biscuits; two of which had a matcha paste on them.

5

7

Once the marshmallow is toasted you put in between two of the chocolate biscuits (one which has the green matcha) and eat the oozing concoction.

6

The first one I ate was delicious.  I laughed so much and took quite a while eating it because I was licking my hands and fingers clean from the marshmallow oozing goodness.  Unfortunately though in that time my fire had gone out before I managed to toast the second one.  I could easily have asked my waitress to relight the fire but I was so excited I ate my second one without toasting the marshmallow and it was still yummy but didn’t have that childhood toasted marshmallow taste obviously.

4

I highly recommend Flesh and Buns, the restaurant is fun and light-hearted and the food is tasty.  The service brilliant and the drinks divine.  Just imagine how highly I’ll rate it when I’m not pregnant!

Old London had a farm (called Surrey Docks Farm)

So I was up early today. Dressed and ready to go and do some exploring. The annoying thing about being on maternity leave is that no one is free in the day unless it’s a weekend, so I have to go and explore by myself. Not far from where I live is the Surrey Docks Farm. I haven’t actually been there in a while but thought I’d take the opportunity to pop down there today and rekindle those country roots of mine.

s1

The Surrey Docks Farm is free to go to (I repeat FREE which is a novelty in London) and is a fully functioning working farm in the city of London. So a great place to go if you’re an original country bumpkin or if you have children to entertain this summer school holiday.

The place was heaving with parents and young children.  Prams were everywhere, children were skipping around looking at all the animals and feeding the goats. What I loved was thinking that many of these children wouldn’t normally get an opportunity to see farm-yard animals like this if they too are city dwellers so what a fantastic place to bring them to.

s3

s2

s14

The farm itself works with the Southwark community, local schools and the disabled to educate and teach them about farming and food production. Not only do they teach and educate about the animals but also plants and vegetables. The whole shebang of farming really! As much as you can learn anyway from a city farm. They rely solely on volunteers and donations and so need all the support they can get.

s9

s15

(Anthropod Apartments: Bespoke apartments for urban insects)

The place is an absolute dream for young children. The farm has put on a list of summer holiday activities to help out the parents during these weeks off. With the activities ranging in price from £1.00 to £3.00 it really is a cheap way to keep the children occupied for some time. Taking a look at the activity list some of the things going on include: pottery, story telling, bush craft, pond dipping, animal handling, meeting the big animals and the small animals and even a bee day! There’s so much on with something different each day.

s5

s6

s4

While the children are occupied the parents can take refuge in the Frizzante café where the food is all freshly prepared using the farm produce where possible. I didn’t get the chance to pop in today and try out the food. The farm was so busy there wasn’t really space for a single lonely looking pregnant woman!

The back of the farm leads straight to the Thames, where the tide was low today so a little stretch of beach was visible.

s10

So I took a little walk to the edge of the Thames by following the steps down to the riverbed and took in the views and the felt the breeze on my skin. I probably didn’t wear the most appropriate shoes for walking over wet sand and stones. (Little satin ballet pumps).

s8

s13

s12

s11

Personally I think the Surrey Docks Farm is a brilliant place for parents and children to visit. There really aren’t many cheap things in London to take children to. And with free entrance and activities costing a maximum of £3.00 I don’t think you can go wrong here. The activities don’t just occur in the holidays either, they have different events going on year round and for children a weekly Saturday young farmers club and a weekday after school gardening club.

Do beware though that the farm is a working farm, and so smells like one! Like I said previously I’m a girl from the country originally so those smells just remind me of home.

s7

s16

Afternoon tea at The Lanesborough

It was time for a catch up with one of my favourite girlfriends ever. Before the bump was conceived we enjoyed the delights of London by night. These days that’s not quite as appropriate as I’m sporting an ever-increasing belly, so London by night has taken a backseat and our ‘date nights’ have now become ‘date days’.

After some thinking we decided a little spot of Afternoon Tea was in order. But in London with so many choices it’s hard to pick a place. The reviews on The Lanesborough were outstanding, so we thought we’d go and sample what they had on offer. I did my research and found that some of the other top hotels didn’t quite pull off the taste reviews in the same way The Lanesborough had managed to.

I made the booking online a few weeks back, which was confirmed by phone by The Lanesborough. So a nice easy way to make a booking.

On the day punctual as ever I turned up first. My friend always has a tendency to be late. It’s just her way and over the years I’ve gotten used to it. The Lanesborough do seat you promptly at the given time however. So at 4pm they came to find me to tell me they had started seating. If I’d have requested it I’m sure they would have allowed me to wait outside for my friend but as I was in nosy mode I chose to be shown to our table. I wanted to see the Apsley’s Venetian styled dining room for myself and take some pictures.

apsleys%20banner

The room was perfectly sized and accommodated some very large celebratory groups and also more intimate partnerships. The glass roof kept the area nice and light and the chandeliers glistened as the sunlight bore down on them. A pianist was playing background classical scores and the ambience was just so relaxing and luxurious.

L1

l6

l7

As I was seated I was given the afternoon tea menu to peruse and one was left for my friend for when she arrived. I was a little hesitant about Afternoon Tea simply because I adore tea but I’m aware of the caffeine limits during pregnancy. But they had on the list the decaffeinated version of my favourite Earl Grey tea, so I was happy. So while waiting I was brought over a silver service of decaffeinated Earl Grey to sip and enjoy. A little label around the teapot handle indicated the tea choice so when they refilled it they knew what I had requested.

l3

10 minutes later and I’m still sat by myself, again not unusual with this friend but I know some people can get a little bit antsy during this time. The staff came over and asked if I’d like a newspaper to read while I was waiting. To me that’s brilliant service. Something to do while sat alone without feeling like a stood up person. So there I was teacup in one hand and paper in the other. Just as I was getting into a good story my friend turns up. So I handed the newspaper back and let the social discussions begin!

My friend has never been a big tea drinker, and she’s not one for alcohol either. So she bypassed the champagne and went with what the tea sommelier recommended. He said that if she didn’t like it she’d be able to change the tea but hopefully she’d find the chosen tea a good flavour. Even she was surprised when it came out, and drunk two full teapots of the same tea!

When ordering our Afternoon Tea stand our waiter asked us if there was any dietary requirements we had. I mentioned I was pregnant and she mentioned she disliked fish and seafood. With this in mind he recommended we have sandwiches suitable for both of us and let me know that everything we were served was fully pasteurised so I’d be fine to eat everything on the afternoon tea stand. The Lanesborough staff did an amazing job at putting my mind at ease.

First we were served an amuse bouche. A gorgeous coconut cream, mousse and apricot fruit concoction. Delicious.

l2

Once that had been cleared our three-tier stand arrived .  An extra plate was put in front of us as well on which sat two warm onion compote quiches.  Again delicious.

l5

Then we started on our stand. Starting from the bottom with the sandwiches and working our way up to the top where the pastries and cakes were.

l4

I’m sorry to say that I didn’t actually write down descriptions of what we were given. It was all just so tasty I polished them all off. In hindsight I should have taken individual pictures of things and written down the actual descriptions.  So I’ll do my best to remember and try and describe what I ate.

We each had 5 different sandwiches, they all came on different types of bread. The buns were egg mayonnaise and the bun itself reminded me of a choux pastry. The ham and cheese sandwich came on a slightly aniseed flavoured white bread (a few of the seeds were dispersed in the bread). I also remember the beetroot sandwich we had, but can’t remember the bread and if my remember correctly we had the chicken sandwich in a brown bread with apricots in it.  The last sandwich was the good old cucumber sandwich.

Don’t quote me on flavours because I could be completely wrong but trust me when I say all of them were divine and the plate devoured.

Our waiter returned and asked us if we would like another plate of sandwiches but with two parts of the stand still left we declined.  So he removed the bottom plate.

Not long after he returned and the bottom tier now housed a toasted split teacake with melted butter and two scones. One fruit and one plain and the obligatory clotted cream, jam and lemon curd were left at our table.

Again that plate was cleared by myself and my friend and every last crumb was consumed.  Not even any time for a quick picture!

Finally we got ourselves started on the second tier. A cake selection. There was a carrot cake, a chocolate cake with raspberry integrated into it and a sponge cake with a fruit layer.

l8

 

After sharing two of the cakes we were starting to really fill up. The top-tier of desserts didn’t seem like it was going to fit.  So we did a bit more gossiping and some tea drinking and then we finished off the final loaf cake and halved a chocolate looking something from the top-tier which turned out to be a delicate mousse. The final two choices on the top of the stand just weren’t going to fit in either of us. Such a shame.

l9

The date day was an incredible success, we both enjoyed ourselves thoroughly spending over two hours in deep conversation and experiencing a top-notch Afternoon Tea experience. It’s easy to see why The Lanesborough have won many accolades for their Afternoon Tea. I absolutely recommend it for anyone coming to London or living in London.  I want to go back already.

l10

l11

Bit of Paris by St. Thomas’ Hospital in London

So today was our big 21 week scan.  The last scan of my pregnancy as long as everything continues to go fine.  Luckily it was a nice long scan so I got to stare at baby on the monitor for longer then I had done previously.  I got to look at every little detail that came up, including the four heart chambers and the blood flow in and out of it.  I’m glad to say that everything looked normal and so far the little one is healthy and happy!  In fact it was a little too happy, it was completely chilled out lying upside down with its ankles crossed.

Obviously the health of the child is the most important part of the scan but lets not lie the most exciting part is to find out the gender… and today we were told that the little life growing in me is…

tho

A boy!

I did think I wanted a girl but I was so happy when we were told it’s a boy.  Now it all seems so much more real and exciting.  Finally we can start thinking about names and buying bits for his arrival.

To celebrate we thought we’d take a little stroll around the hospital location to see if we could find a nice place to get some breakfast.  (An 8.15am appointment didn’t leave us much time to underground it to the hospital in rush hour and get breakfast at home).

We walked past the perfect place.

tho8

It’s called the BB Bakery County Hall.  It’s got that Parisian flair mixed with that quintessential English feel as well.  It’s so kitsch and beautiful to walk into.  The décor is all teapots, cupcakes, books and flowers.

tho4

tho6

tho3

tho2

Unfortunately because it was so early in the morning I wasn’t ready to try out all the delicious looking cakes they had.  But I certainly made a mental note of them.  So I went for a freshly squeezed orange juice and my favourite- pain au chocolat.

I was in absolute heaven.  The pain au chocolat was divine.  It was soft in the inside with a good amount of chocolate and the topping was nicely crisped and flaky.  In fact it was so good we went back and ordered another one to take away with us for me to have later.  (It’s gone already).  The orange juice was exactly what was needed as I’d been craving a freshly squeezed one all morning after seeing a picture of a cut orange in the newspaper.   I can not stand carton orange juice and hate ordering orange juice in England because it usually is some horrible concentrated formula.  So all in all I was a very happy little mother-to-be!

tho7

tho9

As far as I could tell everything is made on the premises and is fresh.  Behind the cake display was an open kitchen with baked goodies on the table tops ready to be added to the front and sold.  Honestly how perfect can a bakery get?

tho5

The pregnant wedding dress advisor

Another bonus of being on maternity leave and being the ‘sober’ friend is that I’m pretty much on call for everything anytime.  This meant I got to go wedding dress shopping with one of my longest-known friends today.  On a Saturday morning most people are suffering with hangovers- not me though!  I have my wits about me!

We took a little trip just outside of London to a beautiful market town called Beaconsfield In Buckinghamshire.  Which let’s be honest is basically London!

The dress shop was located in the old part of the town which is just simply gorgeous.  The buildings are so quaint.  It’s like stepping into a chocolate box town.  The wedding dress shop front was beautiful and I implore any female to try to walk past it without dreaming romantic notions filled with lace, tulle and that ever after.

bea

bea2

But the outside of the shop was nothing compared to the dresses inside the shop which were divine.  If I wasn’t sporting a bump I’d have pretended it was my wedding and slipped a few of those dresses on (20 weeks and 5 days now).

bea9

My friend explained the styles and looks she liked and described the wedding location and the shop assistant literally rounded up so many varieties of dresses for her to try on.  I sat in a separate room as she was fitted into her dresses and waited with bated breath to see how she looked and to give her my honest advice.

The first dress was breath-taking and by far my favourite dress of the day.  She tried on similar styles but we kept coming back to this gorgeous romantic, vintage style bridal gown with a dusky beige sash .  The lace was beautiful and the train had lace around the edges as well which just made the dress look so dreamy.  Topped off with a veil I had goose bumps looking at her!  If it had been me I’d have ordered the dress there and then, but she’s much more sensible and decided to wait a couple more weeks before committing to it.  I know there’s another dress in a central London dress shop she likes as well, so it’ll be between the two dresses.  But I honestly can’t see how this dress can be topped.  It’s divine.

bea5

bea3

All the dresses she tried on were stunning though.

bea4

After such an exciting morning we thought we’d have a little walk about and find some lunch.  We didn’t have far to go as literally opposite the bridal store was a large pub which was recommended to us by the staff at the dress shop called The Royal Saracens Head.  Internally the pub is really stylish with loads of big sofas and wooden tables.  This is more of an upmarket pub and the interior really does reflect this.

The food menu looked amazing but these days I’m less in control of what I eat and the baby tends to decide for me.  So all those foods I’m not allowed were straight away dismissed and then it came down to what I really fancied (or rather what little one fancies).  Today ’we’ fancied a pizza.  A proper fire cooked thin margarita pizza.

bea7

It wasn’t the best pizza in the world but it filled me up and was tasty enough.  The base was a little bit soggy.  But to be fair if I wasn’t pregnant I’d have gone for a more interesting tiger prawn, courgette and chilli pizza or the tiger prawn and chorizo linguine.  Both much more up my street.  The order was rushed through as well because when ordering we actually forgot to order the second meal so the first meal had already arrived before we ordered the second meal.  The soggy base was probably due to the fact it was a rush order!  Although thinking about that pizza now I really wish I had some here with me…

After our food we took a little walk to the church across the street from the pub.  It’s the kind of church that’s picture perfect, so I couldn’t resist taking a couple of pictures before we headed back into London.

bea6

bea8

What a nice, relaxing, romantic and quaint day I’ve had so far!  Even the drive back into London was traffic free and easy which has to be a first.  Now time to relax into the evening…