January Favourites 2017

I didn't have a whole lot of beauty favourites this month but I'd rather give you guys my honest opinions on what I've tried rather than try & load my video/blog posts with lots of products. These were the ones that stood out to me this month: 

What I Ate Wednesday {24.1.17}

Sorry my blog posts are all late this week! But I'm finally getting round to posting this week's What I Ate Wednesday. That awful third trimester symptom from hell (I'm talking about constipation - sorry if that's TMI again but you know, this is real life!) seems like it's here to stay though thankfully it's not as bad as last time around & I'm dealing with it in a more natural approach...in other words, no drugs so far! Hot water with lemon in the mornings has been helping a bit, as well as the other obvious ones such as drinking plenty of water, eating lots of fibre etc. To make my lemon water all I did was fill this cup mostly with boiling water and the rest with cold, then squeeze half a lemon into it and that's it! I try to drink the whole thing before embarking on the school run. 

For breakfast we went to Carluccio's after school drop-off (just Emilia today - so Eduardo joined us!) and I got this amazing pink porridge! This was my first time eating breakfast at Carluccio's and I wasn't expecting it to be pink! So cool! It came with "woodland berries", apple and honey. I also got a black coffee & bottle of still water.  

Our breakfast was quite filling so the next time I ate was at lunch. It doesn't look very appetising unfortunately...haha sorry about that! I bought octopus & squid which comes in little tins and one of them was in a sort of vinaigrette sauce that made everything brown. But it did taste good, I promise haha! This octopus salad is totally made up of other veggies and ingredients that were in the fridge including cauliflower, red onion, sweetcorn and egg. I forgot to drink water with my meal but I did drink a bottle after I came home from bringing Emilia to swimming. 

My afternoon snack was very green-themed! It wasn't intentional but just worked out that way! I was quite hungry in the afternoon so had two kiwis, a Dove's Farm apple & sultana flapjack (these are amazing!) and some homemade kale crisps which we just baked in the oven until crispy with sea-salt. I also had a black coffee to keep myself awake! 

For dinner we had beef chilli in corn wraps with added avocado slices, kidney beans, salsa, sour cream and grated cheddar cheese on top. These were soooo delicious! Both Jonathan & I loved them and they were super filling as well. Jonathan had his without the sour cream and a little more beef. To drink I had another bottle of water. 

At the moment we are spending our evenings watching Shooter on Netflix which isn't the best show in the world but for now it fills a gap! This was my dessert/showtime treat. I was actually quite full from dinner but made a chai tea with almond milk and had a few of these Dove's Farm fruity oat biscuits (which are delicious!! Jonathan has rationed us both to four a night after I devoured the last pack in one sitting. Oops...hahaha!)

That's all for today but feel free to check out my vlog of the day, including Emilia's baby name slip! ;) 

Luxury Haul for 3 Kids

Apologies for the lack of videos & blog posts but this week has been manic! We were in London all day Monday so I filmed yesterday instead and wanted to get this luxury kids' sale haul up for you before everything goes out of stock! This was the first haul where I bought clothes for three children which is crazy! I'm still getting used to the idea of soon having three, haha! Eduardo didn't have nursery yesterday so he joined me for the video. I actually didn't think he would last the whole time but he was really well behaved and aside from flinging a Moana doll around the room and constantly losing her in my pillows he kept pretty quiet! Here are the links to everything I bought - there is one non-sale item and some things are already out of stock. I imagine most things are going to be gone soon so if you see something you like, act quickly! 

For Emilia

For Eduardo

For Baby

Body Image Advice & Quitting Smoking!

Here's a tip on how to wear over-the-knee boots when pregnant...don't. Mark my words, you.will.regret.it. About 20 minutes into pulling them on this morning I really should have given up, but I persisted and then had the same battle later that day when I attempted to take them off. Well, let's just say I got my workout in for the day! There was lots of sweating, panting, straining and eventually shouting of profanities. But at least the pictures turned out nice and that's all that matters, right?! Haha.

Boots aside this was a really comfy outfit & one I wore a slight variation of last week when we went into London. The jeans are my new faves from Seraphine maternity. Stretchy, soft denim with an over-the-bump panel...perfect! The black jumper actually doubles as a nursing top with the side-buttons and is also from Seraphine. This reminds me of an old (non-maternity) GAP one I used to have years ago which I loved and am pretty sure I featured it on the blog a few times too. My boots were really affordable Daisy Street ones I got from ASOS a while ago and aside from the fact that they're a nightmare for a preggo to get on & off, they are super comfortable - even during my long walk back from Eduardo's nursery! My Hermes scarf & cuff were Christmas presents from Jonathan.

Today I also filmed an Ask Anna video which had been a long time coming as I hadn't done one of these in a while! I answered questions on body image advice, quitting smoking (even though I'm totally unqualified to give that advice! But I tried!) and how to know if you're ready for babies! Let me know what you think of the video and I hope you all have a fabulous weekend! 

What I Ate Wednesday {17.1.17}

Lately I've been getting the dreaded pregnancy symptom that gave me hell last time...constipation!! :( (If that's TMI for you, then you probably shouldn't be reading this blog - haha!) But this pregnancy it hasn't been as awful so far and I'm doing everything I can to treat it/prevent it as naturally as possible. So I have been adding in this morning "digestion tonic" if you will and it really does help! It's just hot water mixed with a bit of cold (so I can drink it straight away) with half a lemon squeezed in. That's it! Drink on an empty stomach and it will honestly be your life-saver ;)

Jonathan, Eduardo and I went to Bill's for breakfast after dropping Emilia off at school. This has become our little morning tradition whenever Eduardo isn't at nursery or we're not busy with something else and he loves it! I ordered the porridge with soy milk, banana, hazelnuts and honey. I also got a black coffee and drank a bottle of water. 

I wasn't hungry again until lunch as that breakfast really filled me up! I had a big tuna salad with boiled eggs, red onion, tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, lettuce, avocado and olive oil with a bottle of water. This salad is so delicious, I had it twice last week! I love the combination of egg and tuna...yum. 

Later that afternoon I had a black coffee (to keep myself awake!) some melon slices and a medjool date. Bit of a random snack I know...but I couldn't figure out what I wanted to eat and ended up grabbing stuff from the fridge without really thinking about it!

We usually eat dinner around 6 o'clock but I was still cooking and getting hungry again. What I've found in the third trimester is that I'm constantly hungry if I'm not suffering with heartburn! So I had another quick snack of a banana and spoon of peanut butter. 

For dinner I made beef steaks (done in a sandwich press/grill by Cuisinart which is honestly my favourite kitchen appliance I've ever bought! It's amazing! We make everything in this.) with broccoli and I had leftover potato/parsnip mix from the night before. There was sweet potato in it but that was all gone as it's everybody's favourite! I've never been a fan of steak and wouldn't order it in a restaurant but these actually turned out really good! And Jonathan was super happy :) To drink I had a bottle of water.

Dessert was actually pretty healthy as I had one of my vegan brownies I baked over the weekend which the kids don't like (they tell me it's because there's nuts in them...ughhh) and Jonathan isn't a fan either (boo) but I happen to think they're good! Although I would not call these brownies. They're drier and more like a banana chocolate walnut loaf cake. But I like them because they're healthy, I know all of the ingredients that are in them and they're quite rich & dense. Plus I used good quality chocolate so you know it's good :) I had one with a few raspberries as the combination is delicious, plus a peppermint licorice tea and another water! 

And that's all folks! Feel free to check out my What I Ate video above to see what we got up to yesterday!

8 Pregnancy Must-Haves

Here are my top pregnancy must-haves which I can't live without and have stood the test of time throughout each of my pregnancies!

1. Water
This sounds like a no-brainer but honestly drinking enough water is so important during pregnancy. I always try to force myself to drink 2L of water a day but especially when I'm pregnant as I get so dehydrated when I don't! So whether you buy a big 2L bottle of water to keep in the fridge and fill up everyday, or a 1L one that you refill twice...or if you want to buy a re-useable one there are plenty available to choose from. Personally I am always more motivated to drink water when it's really cold so I make sure to get in 4 500ml bottles a day which I keep in the fridge so they're easy to grab. 

2. Prenatal vitamins
I've taken Pregnacare Max with every pregnancy and I would recommend them to anyone. These are a little bit better than the normal kind as they come with two tablets - a prenatal multivitamin which includes folic acid and an omega-3 fish oil capsule. Not only are these great for your baby's development but you'll also find they benefit your hair, skin and nails too! I love taking these and continue on even when I'm breastfeeding.  

3. Maternity bra
I was quite late to the party this time around but a good quality, supportive maternity bra is SO important. Your boobs grow a lot during pregnancy and things can get pretty uncomfortable & sore. Minimising discomfort in your chest and back area will actually make a huge difference to how you feel when pregnant. I remember the first time I tried on a maternity sports bra when I was pregnant with Emilia and I almost cried with relief. My favourite at the moment is the Cake Lingerie Croissant Nursing bra but I also really rate the Motherhood Sports Clip Down Nursing bra with the racer back straps as they can sometimes be the most comfortable style.  

4. Maternity leggings
If there's one thing I've learned in pregnancy it's that leggings are your BEST friend. There comes a time (usually around the third trimester) when you don't even want to look at a pair of maternity jeans...comfy stretchy leggings are where it's at! I have countless pairs but my most recent favourite are these Isabella Oliver ones which come with an over-the-bump panel. I love the premium quality of these and also own them in an under the bump style but prefer the added support of the extra fabric.  

5. Bio Oil
Whether you've already got stretch marks from previous pregnancies or you're just preventing them, every pregnant woman should have some bio-oil in their life! I got them around my bellybutton but used this stuff religiously (even afterwards) and they faded right down to being almost unnoticeable. However your belly does stretch and obviously get larger during pregnancy so you want to keep your skin well-moisturised either way. So I use this everyday at night time (because it will stain your clothes though it comes out in the wash...but I'd prefer to get my pyjamas oily!) before bed. I slather it all over my boobs, belly and hips to prevent new stretch marks and also to help with the old ones.  

6. Dream Genii pillow
I had this pillow during my last two pregnancies and repurchased it this time round (as I think I got rid of it when we moved). This is something I normally start to use in the second trimester when sleeping gets uncomfortable and you need more support at night. You sleep on your side with the long bit between your legs which is basically the equivalent to the old school way of keeping one leg elevated with a pillow in between them (my mum used to do this!). The only difference is this moulds to your shape and also provides some back support with the shorter side bit. You can also use the Dream Genii afterwards for nursing if you wrap it around you like a shelf for your baby.  

7. Rennie tablets
You may be lucky enough not to get heartburn during pregnancy but I always suffer with it and I actually think it gets worse every time! Thankfully though there are many ways to combat it and I cannot live without Rennie tablets during this stage of the pregnancy! I literally carry them around everywhere with me and the relief it instant after taking one. I also love how they just taste like mints so I never think of them as a medicine nor are they a chore to take! I like the spearmint flavour...though I think they do lots of different kinds now.

8. What to Expect app
There are so many pregnancy apps available now and even since my first pregnancy with Emilia there has been a huge increase in the amount that are out there! I've downloaded quite a few but the one I keep going back to time & time again which I feel is the most informative and easiest to keep up with is the What to Expect Pregnancy app. This tracks your pregnancy and sends you weekly updates on symptoms, your baby's growth as well as reminders on what you should be doing or planning throughout each stage of pregnancy. 

I hope this blog post helps, especially if you're going through your first pregnancy and are looking for some tips! These are definitely the items I would recommend to anybody and what has always worked for me. Let me know if you have any pregnancy must-haves you'd like to add to this list as well!

Overnight 3 Day Wavy Hair

I've been asked over & over to do an updated tutorial on how I do my hair...and this is nothing particularly new. However I do have some tips for you guys that I'd like to share on how to maintain your curls/waves for two days after styling them and what to do overnight. The first part of the video shows you how I curl my hair with a 2 inch big barrel curling iron (I use the Nume 3 in 1 Curl Jam wand on the largest barrel for looser, more natural waves). I find the longer my hair gets, the better this looks when styled with a big barrel! My top tips for curling hair that lasts is to style it all in the same direction on each side, going away from the face pointing the curling wand downwards. Then I spray with hairspray (I use L'Oreal Elnett), apply some dry shampoo to the roots (Batiste Heavenly Volume is my fave), hair oil (Orofluido) to the ends and run my fingers through it to loosen the curls. 

When I sleep on it I wear my hair in a big bun at the top of my head but you'll have to watch the tutorial to see how I do that because I can't really explain it in words, haha! I could barely explain myself in the video either but I did try (three times!). I hope this tutorial helps some of you and that you can enjoy your curls for three days like me! 

Best Beauty Products of 2016!

Today's outfit is super cosy for comfy winter date nights! I'm wearing a chunky knit cream cardigan by Abercrombie (pretty old purchase), black maternity leggings from ASOS, olive green maternity top from Next and my tan Uggs.

I also uploaded my Best Beauty Products of 2016 video. Here are my beauty must-haves:

- Bare Minerals Concealer in Summer Bisque
- Bare Minerals Original Foundation in Medium Beige
- Bare Minerals Bronzer Warmth
- Bare Minerals Mineral Veil
- Laura Geller Bronze & Brighten Fair
- Benefit Browzings Medium
- Stila Eyes are the Window Shadow Palette
- Naked 3 Palette
- Charlotte Tilbury The Golden Goddess Eyeshadow Palette
- YSL Shocking Eyeliner in Black
- Makeup Forever Waterproof Eye Pencil
- YSL Luxurious Mascara for False Lash Effect
- Bobbi Brown Lip Liner in Cocoa
- MAC Lipstick in Blankety
- MAC Cremesheen Softly Lit
- Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb
- Kerastase Nutritive Bain Satin 1 & Lait Vital
- Batiste Heavenly Volume Dry Shampoo
- Orofluido Hair Oil
- Dove Derma Spa Summer Revived Medium to Dark Skin
- Heliocare Advanced Gel SPF 50
- Obagi Clenziderm System (Daily Care Cleanser, Pore Therapy Toner, Therapeutic Lotion)
- Tata Harper Rebuilding Moisturiser
- Tata Harper Restorative Eye Creme
- Oral B 3D White Luxe Dental Floss

Throwback Thursday: School Pictures

I feel like everybody has this kind of awkwardly posed school picture! The kind where they bring you into the library, give you a puzzle piece to hold and instruct you where to place your hands...yup that's the one! Emilia came back from school last term with a similar kind of picture (which I unfortunately can't share because she's wearing her uniform in it) and it totally reminded me of this! This one was taken in America - I think I was about 6 years old and it was the year before we moved to Ireland. Next time I'm in my mum's house I will try to root out some more awkward school pictures to show you as this is the only one I have. Let me know below, do you have a school picture like this?! 

What I Ate Wednesday {10.1.17}

I always have breakfast after the school run as 7:30am is too early for me to eat in the mornings. However we had to go into London at 9am for my doctor's appointment so this was a tight squeeze! I made porridge with almond milk, half a banana, cinnamon & raisins. (Yum!) I also had my usual black coffee & bottle of water which I drank in the car. 

We ate lunch at Le Pain Quotidien after my appointment. Jonathan had never been here before but he loved it! I got the toasted tartine which I stupidly thought was a quiche...this is how you know your French is really bad! But it turns out it was an open sandwich, haha! Actually I would be happy with either so I didn't care. Mine was with roasted veggies, beetroot, pesto and goat's cheese and came with a side salad. This was sooo good as they put it on a brown sourdough bread which was amazing. To drink I just had water.

That afternoon we met our friends Adam and Sabrina in the Bulgari hotel for some drinks & snacks. We all ordered a berry smoothie which nobody liked (it was quite watery though we just made it up - it wasn't actually on the menu) and I also had some green olives which they brought to the table. 

By the time we got home I was exhausted and ready for dinner! We had baked chicken with mushroom, coconut cream & onion sauce, mashed potato and mixed veggies (broccoli, peas and baby carrots). I was so hungry and this totally hit the spot! To drink I had a bottle of water.

Honestly I was pretty full from dinner but later that evening I got myself a snack just to satisfy my sweet tooth! I'm trying really hard to be healthy during the week so I had a medjool date & some chopped mango. I also had a licorice and peppermint tea and another bottle of water. I was quite proud of myself although tonight is date night so I probably won't be as good! ;)

If you want to see the video from today you can check it out here! 

What I Got for Christmas 2016

Initially I was not going to film this video as I know this type of vlog is a breeding ground for hate and negativity...but I've been inundated with requests to do one and I was recently organising all the playlists on my channel & realised I've made a What I Got for Christmas for a couple of years now! So it would be a pity not to...plus I ultimately want to make videos that you guys like to watch! So here it is - What I Got for Christmas 2016!

Items Mentioned: 

1. Hermés Collier de Chien Bracelet in black leather with gold clasp 
2. Hermés Le Mors á la Connetable cashmere & silk shawl 
8. GAP Flannel Roll-up Sleep Pants (sold out in this print)
9. GAP Ribbed Long Sleeve Henley in white heather

Third Trimester

Here's another maternity outfit! Now that I'm in the third trimester I've definitely grown out of my Next jeans and into these Seraphine Over-Bump Ripped Skinny Maternity ones which I'm embarrassed to say looked huge to me when I first got them! Now they fit like a glove ;) But seriously, they are super comfy. Whilst pregnant I will almost always reach for leggings or something less restrictive than jeans but I make the exception for these. They're a very soft, stretchy denim with an over the bump panel which makes them feel almost as good as any pair of leggings or joggers! I wear these in a size 10. My shirt isn't maternity - it's a classic blue Romy large pocket shirt from Whistles (now unfortunately out of stock). I love this one because it's quite oversized and made from a very soft cotton. My boots are from YSL which I purchased last autumn. 

I also uploaded my pregnancy workout for the second trimester with Lucy, so if you're interested in that kind of thing check it out here! :)

Throwback Thursday: Baby Talk

Here's little baby me, well not so much of a baby...more so Emilia's age or a bit older...munching on an apple, wearing a homemade nightie sewn by my auntie (which I loved by the way!). I was such a blondie! Nowadays I pay good money to colour sections of my hair this shade! 

Today was Emilia's first day back at school after half term. And tomorrow Eduardo starts nursery for real! :( My babies are getting big! Everyone keeps saying to me "oh it's fine you'll have another baby soon" and while it might be a distraction, every child is different so I still don't think it softens the blow of seeing your other children grow up! The baby stages with both Emilia & Eduardo were so special and individual...unfortunately there's no way to get them back BUT that's why I love what we do. I will be eternally grateful to Jonathan for keeping up a daily vlog throughout these special times in our life when our children are small! Because sometimes looking back on the vlogs gives me a whole different perspective. It's also misleading to a certain extent because you're only seeing a fraction of a day, so at times I find myself looking back through rose-tinted glasses when in reality those times were hard work! Especially after Eduardo was born. I think having two under two plus moving countries is probably one of the most stressful things I've ever done in my life...but at least I can enjoy these moments and revisit them from a safe distance!

I've been thinking a lot about babies, age gaps and all that sort of thing. At first I was worried about having three because God knows these two, well behaved and easy going as they are, can still be a handful especially when I'm trying to balance working from home. But now I'm realising that this age gap might actually work to my advantage as Emilia will be 4 and 1/2 and Eduardo almost 3, both will be at school/nursery in the mornings so at least for half a day it'll just be me & the baby. In a few months time I could be eating my words and obviously, I know there will be moments when I'm pulling my hair out (when aren't there moments like that?!) but I'm hopeful for a more chilled out experience the third time round. Until she starts moving about and is off the boob...then I'm in trouble ;) 

What I Ate Wednesday {3.1.17}

Breakfast 8:20am
First What I Ate Wednesday of the year! I know how much you guys love these...and truthfully I really like doing them because I love seeing what other people eat in a day - I don't know why but somehow it's fascinating?! So I definitely plan to keep these posts up in 2017.  Anyway, for breakfast this morning I had a soft boiled egg, a slice of multiseed toast with butter, a black coffee and bottle of water. I always add salt to my boiled egg too (just a little, but it makes all the difference!).

Snack 11:30am
Mid morning I had a quick snack of a tiny banana (hahaha...not by choice! But that's what you get sometimes with organic fruit) and spoonful of peanut butter (my fave!). 

Lunch 2pm
We went to Bluewater Shopping Centre to do some baby shopping and by the time we arrived it was lunchtime. So we eventually settled on Wahaca for lunch (after attempting to queue at about 5 different restaurants) which does amazing Mexican food. My favourite is the supercharge salad which contains avocado, feta cheese, pumpkin seeds, bulgur wheat and grated carrot and is served in a tortilla bowl (which I always eat...even though it's probably not very healthy!). I also shared a big bottle of water with Jonathan.  

Dinner 6pm
That tortilla bowl filled me up until later in the evening when we got home for dinner. We had baked salmon (one of my favourites and I know I've featured it loads on here before!) with sweet potato, baby carrots and steamed broccoli. The sweet potato and carrots were roasted in the oven with a little olive oil, garlic and parsley. They are sooo good! I also drank another bottle of water with dinner. 

Snack 9pm
I've been trying to keep it healthy so instead of dessert I had a bowl of chopped mango and (out of date) plain yoghurt with a cup of licorice and peppermint tea. I was actually really craving fruit so this hit the spot! 

That's all for today - you can check out my video above featuring the whole family plus two crazy dogs and Theo's hilarious antics (Albi and Theo have a love-hate relationship...it's complicated!). Enjoy!

My New Year's Resolutions 2017

1. Write/keep a diary
I'd really like to keep a diary this year - I do have a life planner where I write all my to-do's and keep on track of my calendar. This is something I'm very consistent with but finding the time to write is not as easy. However I have kept diaries in the past and find looking back on them so interesting! So my main resolution this year is to write something in my diary every day (or at least most days) in 2017.

2. Walk the dogs more
This time last year I was working out 5 times a week and since getting pregnant I've been trying to keep up with my training at least twice a week but I miss being more active with the dogs. Bringing them out for walks is such a bonding experience and also keeps me fit as well! Having six dogs and two kids does make it difficult to keep it a priority and they do already get walked several times a week by their dog walker anyway. It's also impossible for me to walk all six at the same time which is probably why I put it off so much, especially while pregnant! But I'm going to make a conscious effort this year to walk two different dogs on the other days of the week, so that it's fair for all of them! I also want to take them out more two at a time on family activities and just enjoy our dogs more as part of the family even when we're outside the house. 

3. Eat balanced - but not diet
Dieting is a no-no for me but eating healthy is always a good goal to strive towards! I feel like as long as you don't feel guilty for eating certain foods, never go hungry and just keep a healthy balance everything is okay. So my goal this year (especially after Christmas!) is to try to keep my meals & snacks healthy during the week and then splurge a bit more at the weekend. Over Christmas I've been eating whatever I wanted (aka lots of mince pies and cream!!) which is fine too but I know there are slightly more nutritious options that would probably benefit me & the baby a bit more! 

4. Get more sleep!
I think this was a resolution for 2016 too and I can't say I've stuck to it very well! I also think this is probably a silly goal to have when I'm about to have a baby...but what I mean is I would like to go to bed earlier. I'm really terrible at this and more often than not it ends up being about midnight by the time my head hits the pillow. Jonathan is such a night owl & I always find myself trying to keep up with him! But then I lose out as I'm an early riser so I find myself burning the candle at both ends. When I was in my final year at school I was so good and used to get 9-10 hours of sleep a night...I also felt amazing! So I know the benefits of getting more sleep...I just need to put it into practise. My goal is to try for 8 hours each night and my FitBit actually tracks my sleep so this has been quite motivational and should help me stick with it!

5. Decorate our house
Something I haven't mentioned on here yet but it's been talked about on our vlog...but we bought a house! Which we are now in the process of decorating and tweaking to make our own. There are a few changes we'd like to make before we move in so Jonathan and I are looking forward to decorating what should hopefully become our dream house. I'm also really excited to be able to plan for an actual nursery this time!

Huge Winter ASOS Haul!

Happy New Year everyone! And welcome back to my blog! Today's video is a big winter sales haul I did on ASOS. Check out my picks below - I've linked everything up for you. And enjoy the video...it's full of interruptions from kids, dogs barking and even Jonathan makes an entrance ;) This is what happens when it's half term and you're still trying to film! I'll be back to posting 5 days a week on here and Mon-Wed-Fri on my YouTube channel. Enjoy and happy 2017!

ASOS Maternity Boucle Cardigan Size UK 8 (forgot this one as it was hanging in my closet!)

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