15.01

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If there’s one thing I’ve realised the value of, over the past few months, it’s a quiet, cosy family morning.

Having Miss Ottilie in our lives means that weekend lie-ins are a thing of the past (though since I do the night feeds, Jason often takes her out of the bedroom first thing so that I can have a little extra uninterrupted sleep!), but instead of mourning the peaceful weekend mornings we used to have, I’ve just been embracing the wonderful early morning chaos.

When Ottilie wakes in a happy mood and spends the first few hours of the day (before the ‘I need a nap crankiness’ hits!!) cooing and laughing and talking to us, it truly makes me feel like I’ve won the lottery with this lovely little family of mine!

My favourite kind of weekend mornings now are all about wearing our PJs for as long as possible, cuddling up together in bed with cups of tea, eating at least two different types of breakfast food over the course of the morning, and then heading out into the fresh air with those two lovely dogs.

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Last week Twinings sent us over a beautiful parcel filled with their range of Fruit & Herbal Infusion teas, and invited us to embrace all things ‘natural’. And it couldn’t be better timing for me, really, since over the past year I’ve all but given up caffeine, and the teas are all naturally caffeine free!

I was never sure of exactly how much or little caffeine was acceptable during pregnancy and so just switched over to decaffeinated for ease, and even though now I don’t worry about the odd cup of coffee, my tolerance to caffeine has all but disappeared!

So now that I’m all about the caffeine-free drinks, herbal and fruit teas have become my go-to. The Twinings infusions are beautiful- light and refreshing, and make the perfect natural alternative to the strong, headache-inducing cups of coffee I used to drink every morning!

I started this past Sunday with a few cups of the Strawberry and Raspberry Infusion, and it tasted and smelled so delicious even Ottilie was leaning into my cup!

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With our bellies filled (Ottilie’s with milk, ours with toast, porridge, orange juice, and a few cups of tea), we decided that though staying in PJs all day was tempting, we were all in need of a blast of fresh air.

And the weather outside obliged on that front, with bracing winds that had us all wrapping up in as many layers as we could fit on!

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Our weekend dog walks always make me so very happy- stomping round the woods with Ottilie tucked up cosily in the wrap on either mine or Jason’s chest, it feels exactly how I always imagined our life as a family of three would be. And I love the idea that Ottilie will grow up with fresh air in her lungs, rosy cheeks, and feeling connected to the natural world around her.

Once the dogs were suitably worn out and mud-caked, and with a quick stop off in the village for a fresh bunch of flowers to brighten up the living room, we made our way back home for lunch.

And since it was a Sunday, and Sunday has its own set of rules, I’m not ashamed to tell you I put my PJ bottoms straight back on and curled up to cuddle my sleeping baby with yet another cup of tea in hand.

Bliss.

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* This post was sponsored by Twinings. Thank you for supporting the sponsored content that makes Cider with Rosie possible. *

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31.10

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Last week Jason took a week off work, so we made the most of having time together as a family and headed into Guildford for lunch and a spot of shopping on Friday!

Ottilie is so much more alert and awake now, and it’s amazing! She spent our whole lunch sitting up with us at the table- staring around, smiling at us both, and peering nosily over our shoulders at the people sitting around us. It felt like she was really there *with* us, you know? It really is so true what people say about parenthood, it just gets better and better! We’ll just not mention the fact that she left the restaurant wearing a different outfit to the one she arrived in, due to a certain nappy situation…

Lunch itself was pretty great too! The Giggling Squid is a new Thai restaurant on Chapel Street in Guildford, and the green curry is without doubt the best I’ve ever tasted in England! It came pretty close to being as amazing the ones we ate in Thailand on our honeymoon (that are up there as some of the best dishes I’ve ever eaten), and that really is saying something!

You’ll have to excuse the grainy iPhone shots in this post, but I keep forgetting to take my proper camera out and about with me. But I figured it’s been such an age since I posted, you wouldn’t mind? ;)

I hope you’re all well, and have a happy Halloween!

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09.08

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How far along: 36 weeks! I’m officially in my ninth and final month of pregnancy, which is so surreal. Baby is apparently around the size of a papaya this week…though I’m guessing my app means one of those giant papayas you see in fruit markets and greengrocers, not those teeny mango-sized ones you can pick up in the supermarket…

Days until due date: 28!

The bump: Allllll out front these days! I keep forgetting how much bigger I am compared to my normal self, and am forever bashing my bump into the corners of tables, my car door, cupboard handles etc. etc. I’ve even managed to bruise it a couple of times, which isn’t very comfortable!

Weight changes: No idea!

Stretch marks? None, thank goodness. I’ve been very lucky so far- hoping the luck holds out over these final couple of weeks!

Cravings: I’ve definitely got more of a sweet tooth than normal, but I’ve not been craving anything much really. Oh, though I did get a major hankering for flapjack on Friday, and ended up making a batch on a whim! They were pretty tasty. My favourite snack at the moment though is frozen raspberries- so refreshing and tasty!

Sleep: What with my constant trips to the loo, the need to sleep on my left side (which I HATE!), and just my general restlessness, it’s fair to say neither Jason or I are sleeping all that well these days! I guess it’s all good practise though, and I’m amazed at how well I’m functioning on such broken sleep. I keep waiting for the third trimester exhaustion to hit me, but apart from the odd tired day, I’m not really feeling it at all.

Symptoms: A slight touch of occasional heartburn (having to order a mild curry when Jason and I treated ourselves to an Indian the weekend before last was SO rubbish!!), and a definite loosening up of my joints. But nothing I could complain about, really!

Best moment this week: Finishing up our beautiful nursery with a lovely armchair from HomeSense! It was a total steal, and I’m thrilled with it. Oh, and packing mine and baby’s hospital bag, which makes everything feel so very real!

Worst moment this week: Probably the super stressy, hormonal couple of days I had the weekend before last (so technically not exactly this week, but still…)! I’ve been fairly chilled this whole pregnancy, and since I usually suffer so badly with my hormones once a month, it’s been both a surprise and a joy! But I wasn’t myself at ALL the weekend before last, and I think Jason was glad to go back to work on Monday, ha! But I’m back to normal now, thank goodness! Thank goodness for us both…;)

Miss anything? Oh, just cheese. I’ve been thinking longingly about all the mouldy, stinky cheeses I’ll be able to eat once baby is here, and will be totally gutted if our first meal home post-birth isn’t a cheeseboard with lots of fresh apples, grapes, and crusty bread. Oh man, I can’t wait!

Movement: Lots, though I think baby is running out of space now since the movements aren’t quite so expansive as they were a few weeks ago. Instead I’m feeling tiny knees, feet, and elbows pressed up against the sides of my belly, and a little baby bottom right underneath my ribs!

Gender: A surprise!

Belly button in/out: Out! Especially when the baby is pushing right out against the front of my stomach.

Wedding Rings on/off: On!

Mood: Pretty fab! I’m both insanely impatient for what’s to come, and also nervous about how much our lives are about to change in just a few short weeks. We’re so, SO excited to be parents though, and think we’re as ready as we’ll ever be for the chaos!

Looking forward to: Being considered officially ‘full term’ from this coming Monday onwards!

 

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31.07

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I’m so, SO excited to be sharing an interview with the wonderful Angela, of The Awkward Blog here today on Cider with Rosie! She’s been one of my favourite bloggers to follow for a good couple of years now, because it’s just 100% impossible to read one of Angela’s posts and not feel uplifted by it! I mean, you only need glance over the gorgeous photos I’ve popped into this post to see why I love it so much, right?! Anyway, enough from me, and let’s get to know Angela a little better!

1. Will you tell us a little about how you got started writing The Awkward Blog, and what it means to you?

It all started three years ago- I was working at an advertising agency and just felt like I desperately needed some sort of creative outlet to escape into. I didn’t have a clue about having a niche, I didn’t know any other bloggers personally, I just wanted a space to write things or share some photos. Over time, I loved that it connected me to this new online community and that’s really what my blog means to me- connecting to other people through our different stories.

2. How would you sum up your blog, in just 3 words?

Silly Little Adventures…because I feel like that’s essentially what my life is about-whether it’s going on a trip, having an embarrassing moment, sharing a recipe or a story, they’re all my own little adventures (and also, I try not to take myself so seriously!)

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3. Let’s talk a little about the blogging community! What’re some of your favourite things about being involved in the industry? And anything you’d like to change, if you could?

I like that blogging is a community- there’s always a social aspect to it. It’s created many new friendships that I otherwise would never have made and I love that! I love that it opens up all these conversations and exchange of stories, and a sense of kinship.

On the other hand I do feel that we put too much pressure on ourselves, to the point it sucks the fun out of blogging. There is always a sense of needing to be better, to network more, to master this, that or the other more. Blogging has always had this edge of competitiveness and its easy to start questioning yourself. So if I could change something, it’d be that. We should all be nicer to ourselves. I felt a bit burnt out by it all towards the end of last year, and I promised myself that I would remember to have fun with it again.

4. Would you share with us three of your favourite posts, and tell us why they’re particular favourites?

Number one is my wedding! I got married last year, here in London. Having all my friends and family together blew my mind (I also wore feathers, so that was pretty cool too)

Number two, isn’t really a specific post. I like sharing my Life Lately updates- if I have a few interesting links to share I’ll add them in, as well as little snippets of what’s been going on recently. I’m less strict with myself on a Life Lately update; it’s not about layout or photo quality but more of a focus on sharing the everyday (for instance, hiding out in a loo at work)

Travel posts are my favourite, but I have a soft spot for the Morocco ones. I like looking back on the photos and remembering our newly wed adventures there.

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5. Okay, let’s talk London! What would be your ideal way to spend a day in your home city, if budget were no option? :)

My favourite way of wiling away the time would be to just walk! I’d make the most of the day by grabbing a coffee and a croissant and then people watch along the Southbank. I’d explore the Tate Modern, cross the bridge over to Embankment, and head towards Soho. I’d get some tea and dessert at Said Dal café, browse the shops on Carnaby Street and maybe treat myself to a mani/pedi. I’d ride a bike through Hyde Park and wander up Westbourne Grove and Portobello Road for trinkets. I’d head south to Brixton to have dinner and drinks at the market and then to a gig at Brixton Academy, before heading home to sink into a sofa with tea.

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6. Travel is a big passion of yours, right? What destinations have been your favourites to visit, and where are you keen to explore next?

Morocco, where I spent my mini-moon, was exciting. It’s only a four hour flight away but it’s a different world. There’s an air of adventure there but also, a great place to unwind and relax. I’ve recently come back from New York and it was really cool getting to explore the city with my sister this time round. Next week I’m looking forward to a weekend in the countryside and then for New Year’s, we decided to escape winter for a bit and are planning a trip to the Maldives.

7. If you could snap your fingers and suddenly become master of any particular skill or talent, what skill would you choose?

I wish I was more musically gifted. I’d love to play so many different instruments- The guitar! The drums! The bass! But I have zero coordination. I tried to take guitar lessons but sadly, I’m about as skilled as Phoebe Buffay. I grew up on a tropical island, where it felt like everyone could play something and I was envious that my musical talents only extended to the recorder. I can play a mean Three Blind Mice (and a decent Smelly Cat)

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8. And finally, it’s our old favourite Desert Island Discs! If you were stranded on a desert island, what would you bring along for the ride? You can bring two albums/CDs, two books, two films, ingredients to make a meal, and one luxury item!

Two albums- Can I have a Motown and Soul music compilation? I never ever tire of Sam Cooke. My second album would be…the Grease 2 soundtrack. I know it’s awful, but it’s so bad that it’s good, and if I’m stuck on a desert island, I’d really need some laughs.

Two books- I’d take Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, because that’s my favourite of the series. Then I’d also take Bossypants by Tina Fey to keep me laughing and motivated.

Two films- I’d take Labyrinth because it’s a classic (and David Bowie) and then probably Toy Story.

Ingredients to make a meal- I would take rice, spring onions, and some sort of honey soy glaze for the fish I will catch. I’m assuming I will be an expert fisherman.

And finally, my luxury item would be a razor to tame the leg hair situation. I’m on an island, I need to remain mermaid like at all times.

~ ~ ~

Thanks so much to the lovely Angela for such a fun interview! Don’t forget to follow along with The Awkward Blog via Bloglovin, and head over to read Angela’s most recent posts too!

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