17.05

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&  T H E   B U M P   A T   S I X   M O N T H S .

Is that not the garden of dreams, right there? Note to self- win the lottery, buy a house with lots of lovely land, and then employ a gardener to create flower beds that explode into a riot of colour each spring…

In other news (back in reality and not dreamland)- isn’t the weather right now just beautiful? Sure, this morning is kind of overcast, but it isn’t raining, it isn’t cold, AND we’ve had a few consecutive days of glorious sunshine so we have to be grateful!

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The ducklings out on the pond are growing bigger by the day, and spend their time snoozing in a fluffy heap in the sun on the banks, whilst inside Elsie finds any patch of sunlight she can that shines through the windows, and parks herself in it looking ever so pleased with herself.

And speaking of getting bigger, this bump is suddenly making itself known! Up until the past week or so it would only really show if I wore actual maternity clothes, but now all of a sudden, at six months, I feel like a properly pregnant woman!

And I’m totally, 100% loving it.
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One of the things I’m enjoying most right now is adapting my regular clothes to fit my pregnant shape.

Whilst I have been building up a little collection of lovely maternity pieces to see me through the final few months of my pregnancy (writing ‘final few months’ feels so scary, yikes!), it’s also nice to feel that with a bit of creativity, most of my ‘regular’ wardrobe is still full of possibilities!

And actually, this above-the-bump skirt plus a tied off shirt combo is my new favourite!

Though I have to confess, I put together this outfit, did my make up and hair and put shoes on and grabbed my handbag to leave the house, then whilst walking to my car realised that in raising the skirt up a few inches to my new, much higher waist, I had also brought the slits in the skirt up to a *very* inappropriate height!

But I liked it too much to change, so decided just to walk a little more carefully so as not to let the skirt fly open ;) And hey, our neighbours were entertained I’m sure!

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We spend this past weekend clearing out the guest bedroom, ready for the arrival of nursery furniture in the next couple of weeks.

Whilst the process was pretty tiring and not particularly exciting, it was also insanely satisfying (so many bags of useless rubbish were taken to the dump!), and kind of cathartic in a way, too.

Clearing and sorting out the mountains of ‘stuff’ we’ve gathered over the past few years of living together, realising how little of it was truly useful or necessary, and then emptying out the room ready for its new purpose- well, it felt like a little life milestone!

And for goodness SAKE, I am TOO excited about having a lovely little cot all of our own in there!

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Tell me, how did you spend your weekend? I hope it was a lovely one!

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12.05

Cider-with-Rosie-Nesting-inspiration

Jason and I have never been all that great at sorting out the finishing touches, round our house.

We love to start a project, oh my goodness do we! But those last few bits and pieces, like putting up artwork and finding new handles for our wardrobe doors (not kidding, we only just did this after a year of being handle-less!) and putting photos into frames and replacing the cushions in the living room? Well, we’re not so great at all that!

Until, that was, my nesting urges kicked in! Now I’m blitzing this house like it’s an episode of Changing Rooms (remember that, British children of the 80s and 90s?!) and have been ticking things off the ‘Household’ to-do list in my Evernote app like I’m on some kind of mission. Which, I suppose, I am.

Right now I’m in the middle of updating our living room (it was the first room we ever did in the house, so was in need of a soft furnishings refresh), and also have been finishing up jobs in every other room of the house.

I’ll be sharing a post with all the changes I’ve made in a few weeks time (though the nursery will be deserving its own post, I think!), but today thought I’d share a little inspiration board I’m working from at the moment!

Links for all the products featured are below…

Braided storage basket
‘Milk’ print
Pink textured cushion
Grey edged cushion
Black chalkboard planter
Wood & grey cube shelf
Turquoise teacup

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10.05

Cider-with-Rosie-Spring-weekend-23-weeks-5

T H E   P E R F E C T   S A T U R D A Y .

Our Saturday began the same way as ever other day- with a 6am wake up call from the little pup downstairs. She’s as regular as clockwork, always ready at 6am on the dot with a whine and a scratch at the gate to let us know she’d like to be let outside and then to have her breakfast, please.

Jason and I had sat out around the fire pit until almost 11pm the previous night, and so waking up so early on a weekend morning felt pretty tough going. Good practise though, I guess…

We always take it in turns to do the early shift, and Saturday was my day to be up with the birds. The morning was hazy but warm already, and I opened the curtains in the living room to find the bunch of peonies I’d bought a couple of days previously in full, beautiful bloom.

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There’s no flower that makes me happier than the peony. They’re always the most spectacular, don’t you think?

After a leisurely breakfast, and an even more leisurely walk with the dogs, our first order of the day was to visit the garden centre to pick up some new greenery for our little garden.

I feel like I’ve talked a dozen times before about how much I wish I was naturally green-fingered (and how sadly UN-green fingered I actually am!), but since I know that I’ll never get better at keeping our garden looking ship-shape if I don’t try at all, try I will!

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We bought a few new plants to fill up the beds- purple and white dahlias that I would just love to grow tall and flower every year without fail, a huge rosemary plant to sit potted on the deck, a lovely ornate fuchsia, and some strawberry plants to put in place of the herbs that didn’t make it through the winter in our wall planters.

Oh, and a hanging vine tomato plant too!

I’m thinking that maybe the fact it’s hanging, as opposed to on the ground, will help to keep pests like slugs and snails away…though perhaps that’s just wishful thinking?

But still, we’ve dutifully given all the new plants a good feed with Baby Bio (which we bought purely because I remember using it with my Grandma as a child, to feed the tomatoes we grew in a gro-bag on our patio), and now we’re keeping our fingers crossed that they all flourish!

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And speaking of growing, this bump of mine seems to have suddenly popped!

About time too, given that I’m now only week away from being six months pregnant. Can you even believe that? I’m starting to worry about stupid things, like that we haven’t chosen curtains for the nursery yet, and how many layers to dress the baby in at night. I need to get a grip…

This dress was a treat from my lovely Mum around Easter time, and I’ve been saving it since then to wear when A- the weather finally got warm (and now it has- hurrah!), and B- for when I could actually fill the belly part with bump!

And it turns out that maternity clothes, funnily enough, actually highlight your bump rather than it just looking kind of awkward when you wear your regular stuff. Who knew? ;)

Pale blue polka dot dress

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We had family coming over later that day for a barbecue, and so my afternoon was spent tinkering in the kitchen.

Salads were prepared (my favourite of all- caprese- was made with those fist-sized tomatoes in the photos above), chicken was marinated, and the sweetest pineapple I ever had the pleasure of tasting was sliced up and laid out ready to become the basis of a tropical fruit salad.

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^^ Sweet pineapple, ripe mango, tart passionfruit, and fresh (homegrown!) mint. The best. ^^

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The evening become our second in a row spent sitting around the fire until late, toasting marshmallows and talking as the night drew in.

We’re really trying to make the most of these calm, peaceful months, both by spending as much time as we can savouring all the free time we have right now, but also by trying to fit in as much as possible whilst we only have ourselves to think of!

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I think it’s the fact that we’re on something of a countdown right now that’s making everything feel that bit more heightened. I’m happier, more emotional, more ‘in the moment’, more sensitive, more appreciative, just more…more!

It feels so lovely to just soak in weekends like this, all whilst wondering and dreaming about how wonderfully different our lives will be in a year’s time.

And I think that that, combined with the flowers and the sunshine and the quality time spent with some of my favourite people, and all that delicious food and the smell of woodsmoke in my hair, is what made this particular weekend such a perfect one.

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07.05

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G O O D B Y E    T O   A P R I L   S H O W E R S . . .

It feels as though spring has well and truly arrived during the past week, doesn’t it? What with the blossom everywhere you look, and the ducklings that potter over from the pond to our front garden for their breakfast, and the sunshine that finally has started to pack a punch, I feel like we can finally, FINALLY say that winter is well and truly behind us!

I thought today I’d share a couple of the bits and bobs that I’ve been enjoying most over the past few weeks- a little selection of ‘Spring favourites’, if you will!

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Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre

I actually mentioned this moisturiser in my post about Birchbox a couple of weeks ago, and need to thank the box-curation team for the mini tube of Lait-Creme that arrived through my letterbox a couple of months ago that led to my discover of the magic of Embryolisse!

It’s such a lovely moisturiser- light and yet ultra-hydrating, and without the slight greasy feel that my other favourite moisturiser (La Roche Posay Rosaliac UV) has. I’ve been using it every evening since I first discovered it, and am certain it’s been helping keep my skin balanced during a time when my hormones are pretty all over the place!

It makes a great base for makeup too, though since it doesn’t have any SPF, I’m currently still using my La Roche Posay each morning to protect my skin whilst my melanin levels are raised during pregnancy.

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Photo prints via SimLab

I couldn’t do a round up of my favourite things for the past month or so without including mention of the prints we’ve had done lately! Our wedding photographer Sam recommended a print company called SimLab, who he uses for all the printing services he offers, and they really are great.

We’ve ordered a range of sizes, from little 6x4inch shots that we’ve dotted round the house in pretty frames, to a huge A2 print of the final shot Sam took of our wedding that is now hanging in pride of place in our hallway! All the prints are such great quality, and shipping is fast too. And I’m getting to stare at photos from that happy day, every day, is just the best!

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Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Stretch Mark Lotion

I’ve been using this daily for the past few months now, and it’s been the number one most recommended product to me by recently pregnant friends and family members. In fact, a friend of mine even put a bottle in the little care parcel she gifted me after we told her we were expecting!

I’m certain that getting- or not getting- stretch marks comes largely down to genes, but I’m also certain that if there’s anything I can do to help keep them at bay, I’ll be doing it!

I’ve been using this lotion all over my torso and on my thighs every morning since practically the moment that test showed up positive, and whilst I know my bump still has masses more growing to do (and my skin masses more stretching!), it’s definitely expanded a lot already and seems to be holding up so far!

And it means you end up walking round smelling like a bar of chocolate, which really is no bad thing…

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Label M Organic Lemongrass Shampoo

Like most people, I’m always keen…no, DESPERATE…to try and recreate exactly what’s done to my hair at the salon so it looks that great when I style it at home. And like most people, I’ve always found it nigh on impossible.

What I realised the the other day though, was that maybe I wasn’t starting from a good foundation?

I was in the market for a new shampoo anyway when I visited the hairdressers the week before last (my scalp had been going haywire, and my hair itself was like straw), and so I decided on a whim to buy a bottle of the lovely organic, sulphate free lemongrass shampoo that was used on me that day.

In short, it’s been a miracle product. It’s slightly more expensive than the usual shampoo I buy (£14 for a not all that big bottle), BUT it gives my roots bounce, keeps my scalp calm, and gives my hair more shine than I’ve ever known it have before.

Definitely a new holy grail product for me!

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Marks and Spencer’s Vine Tomato diffuser

Being pregnant has brought with it many an odd symptom, and a hyper sensitive nose is one of them. Which, I’ll be honest, has led to nothing short of a full blown obsession about making sure our house smells delicious at all times, because even the faintest hint of a cooking smell or Eau de Soggy Dog is absolutely horrendous to my sensitive nostrils!

Enter, diffusers. They’re not something I ever really used up until the past month or so (I’d always been sceptical about how well they *really* worked…), but I wanted to find a way to fragrance our house continuously without one of those plug-in air fresheners things.

This Vine Tomato diffuser is my current favourite, and opening the living room door to it each morning is so lovely. It’s fresh, summery, and not too overpowering, and is keeping my nose very happy indeed! A winner all round!

~ ~ ~

And that’s a wrap on my current favourites! I’d love to know what’s been top of your favourites list so far this spring? Let’s have a share-up in the comments!

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