folly! at Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal

I haven’t been to Fountains Abbey since I was a teenager on a school trip, and it’s been on our list of places to visit for a while.  In fact, I even stuck it in my post of places I wanted to visit this summer.  So when we were invited along to a bloggers picnic at the end of July I was very excited.

The picnic was held at the Studley Royal Water Gardens side of the beautiful World Heritage Site. When we arrived we were greeted by the immediate beauty of the grounds as we drove through the deer park.  We then made our way up to the Banqueting House where the picnic was being held.  Sat in front of the intricately designed banqueting house, surrounded by a wildflower garden and all the trees was just the perfect setting for any picnic.   Continue reading

There’s a party in the woods.

Luca turned six at the start of July and for months beforehand we spent hours searching for birthday party ideas.

I hate soft play and we go to enough soft play parties that I knew I didn’t want to add our own into the mix.  Some of the other ideas we had turned out to be ridiculously expensive for what you got and so we got a bit stuck.  Being pregnant I didn’t really want to host a party at our house this year either.

Then a friend of a friend suggested Greenman Learning.

Greenman Learning is a forest school local to us who hold all sorts of classes for both children and adults, and holiday schemes, but they also host parties too. It sounded perfect as we love being outdoors and for a summer party where better to be than in the woods?

We invited 15 of Luca’s friends to come and join us on the Sunday before his birthday and the weather was absolutely glorious for it. Continue reading

Me & Mine – July 2018

July has been such a busy month. Starting with Luca’s birthday and party in the woods, lots of days spent in my parents pool to make the most of the glorious weather we’ve been having, a doggy play date with Charli from Candidly Rhubarb, a gender scan, mini maternity shoot, school breaking up and then a trip to Stockeld Park and Fountains Abbey and finishing with a day sunflower picking.

It’s been a really truly fab month for us all and I’m hoping all the fun and frolicks continue throughout August too.  I’m really trying to spend lots of time with Luca before he has to start to share me, and I’m lapping up every second of him.  Plus he’s been absolutely lovely since school finished. Continue reading

Cooking Up Chaos – It’s a Boy

So last week we went for our 20-week scan.

It was in the afternoon so we dropped Luca off at my mum’s as he didn’t want to come with us and headed to the hospital.  I was feeling so nervous beforehand, the worry of getting in there and something being wrong was quite overwhelming but Ant did a really good job of distracting me and keeping me calm.

We went into the ultrasound room and straight away the lovely sonographer showed us our baby’s heartbeat.  I knew it must be fine as I’d been kicked to death that morning but after losing a baby there is always that niggle in the back of your mind.

Once the sonographer finished her little chat with us she asked if we wanted to know the gender of the baby and after one final check with Ant, I told her we did.   She told us she would do all the checks she needed to and then we would find out.  As she did a full-length check of the baby both me and Ant turned to each other and smiled.  Ant mouthed to me, “I think I might know what it is.”  I was pretty sure I did too.  Continue reading

Cooking Up Chaos – Week 18

So I’ve been pretty crap at posting updates weekly (shocker!). So I just thought I’d do them more haphazardly when there are actually things to report as not much seems to change from week to week apart from the odd small things.

Since I last posted though I’ve started to feel the baby move around and now it’s much more frequently. It’s such a lovely feeling and now I am also much less worried all the time as those little kicks throughout the day are very reassuring.  I’m still getting the weird poking out things and wonky belly as well.

I’ve also started with the joys of hip pain and heartburn since I last posted, BUT the headaches have gone.  You win some you lose some right?  I still can’t drink tea or coffee and the foods I’m averse to seems to be slowly growing.  I’m still not craving anything though.  Well, that’s a lie, I occasionally crave something but that something changes each time. Continue reading

Capturing Childhood Retreat with Sarah Mason Photography

When my birthday was creeping closer and Ant was asking me what I wanted for my present I had absolutely no idea.

Then one day when I was scrolling social media I saw our wedding photographer, Sarah Mason, was starting to run some photography retreats. One of these was a capturing childhood retreat and straight away I knew I wanted in.

The retreat took place on a freezing cold, snowy weekend in March. I got up early on Saturday morning, packed up everything I needed and grabbed my homework.

When I arrived in Hebden Bridge, which is such a picturesque little village, I was greeted by the frozen canal as I made my way to The Wash House, where it was being held. I was greeted by Sarah and ushered into the warmth of this gorgeous little house.

The log fire was roaring, there were tea and pastries and we were all ready for what the weekend held.

Continue reading

21 Places We Want to Visit This Summer

The summer holidays are fast approaching for us, Luca has less than a week of school left and then we have 7 ish weeks of uninterrupted time together. For once I am not working over the summer break either. I can’t bloody wait, whilst also feeling slightly nervous about how I’m going to entertain him for that many days (46 if you’re actually counting) without completely losing my marbles!! Ant has two weeks off late in August so at least I will have an extra pair of hands around then, but for the most part, it’s just me, the kid, the dog and the bump.

So to help get us through the holidays without too many complaints of boredom, I’ve decided to make a list of places we can go as I always find parenting so much easier when we aren’t locked up in the house. I’ve got both free and cheap days covered for when we aren’t so flush for cash and more expensive ones too. And I’m hoping to do lots of places we haven’t been to yet. The list started off quite small but as I went along more places kept springing to mind. So we probably won’t do all of these things but it’s nice to have a list to refer to if we need it.  I’ve got lots of options to choose from now, depending on the day, and most of them should be dog-friendly too.  Always a bonus. Continue reading

Getting Mum Fit – Making the Most of Weekends

It’s been a little longer than planned between the last post on getting mum fit and this one.  I’ve been so busy growing a human that most of the other stuff in my life has been put on hold.  But it’s here, better late than never as they say.   This weeks post from Matt is all about keeping on track over the weekend or at least minimising the damage we do to our health goals over our relaxed two days off.   So without further ado, here is Matt’s wisdom.

Are the weekends stalling your progress or making you feel guilty?

Most of us live for the weekends.  Those 2 golden days away from the 9 to 5 and school runs are what we live for.  Yet are our weekends ruining the progress we make throughout the week?

Do we go too far off track from the health goals we have during Monday to Friday?
Is the loosened regime of good food and exercise derailing our progress?

People tend to end up weighing more on a Monday than they do on a Friday. And it’s not just our weight that is affected.  It’s also, and more importantly our;

  • sleep schedules
  • stress
  • energy levels

These all take a hit from what happens between Happy Hour on Friday and our Sunday Dinner.

So, what can we do to stay on track and possibly even make more progress, instead of undoing it? Continue reading

Cooking Up Chaos – Week 14

Gosh, that’s it, the first trimester done.

I can’t believe we have made it to the second trimester.  Those first 10 weeks absolutely dragged and the past 4 have flown.

Grass Seed is now the size of a peach apparently.  Anyone else find that hard to imagine seeing as they aren’t the shape of said examples.  I find it really hard to comprehend but it’s nice to know they are getting bigger. And my tummy is definitely slowly getting bigger too.  This has been the week when I’ve really had to think about investing in some maternity clothes.

Week 14 has been a good one, I’m definitely starting to feel more human again and the bouts of morning sickness have eased off which I’m so thankful for.    I’m still getting really, really bad headaches though this week, I get at least two a day which is absolutely no fun at all.

I’m also already really uncomfortable.  My hips are absolutely killing me, and I can’t even walk at the same pace I used to walk at before which is also no fun.  I’m also very aware of my uterus.  I’m so uncomfortable most of the time and I’m not sure if it’s a second baby thing or if it’s because I’m physically a lot fitter this pregnancy, which I wasn’t with Luca.  So all my stomach muscles are really feeling the stretch and change that’s going on.  Because of that, I’ve decided I’m going to lay off the abdominal stuff for a bit in my PT sessions and see if it makes any difference.

Grass seed keeps doing those weird, trying to escape from my stomach, things and it’s happening more regularly as well now.  But when it’s not poking out in a big lump I can’t feel baby at all.  It’s very strange.  I’m going to mention it to my midwife when I see her next week.

I’ve also weirdly started to want to sleep on my right-hand side.  I usually sleep on my stomach or left-hand side but not anymore.  Apparently, it’s a sign that Grass Seed might be a girl, but I’m not sure I believe in any of the old wives tales about predicting gender.  They are fun to look at though and this little prediction makes Luca and Ant very happy as they both desperately want a girl.

 

Cooking up Chaos – Week 4 – 12

Welcome to my weekly pregnancy update.   This is quite a long one to catch you up over the previous weeks that have got us to this point but after this, I am hoping to just give you a quick weekly update to share with you how this pregnancy is going and the journey to us becoming a family of 4!!  It feels very odd writing that.

Week 4

So I found out I am pregnant today. I took a test really late at night as I had a spa day planned for tomorrow to celebrate my 30th. My period is late by a few days but I wasn’t really expecting to see those blue lines appear.  I had a feeling I might be pregnant but honestly just thought it was because I really wanted to be.  So those faint blue lines were such a lovely surprise.  I was home alone as well as Ant was working a late shift so had to wait what felt like ages to tell him.

Told a few of my friends at the spa today. It was pretty obvious something was amiss as I wasn’t going in the hot tub or sauna etc. Everyone is very excited whereas at the minute I’m just terrified I’m going to lose this one too. Continue reading