38 weeks pregnant

So one more day until I’m 39 weeks pregnant and almost one week until my due date (7/07/21).

Scary stuff.

Honestly though I can see myself going at least a week overdue. I just have that feeling. I’m not starting maternity leave until I pop so I at least have some structure and routine to my day so I’m not staring at the calendar. I think if I was on maternity leave now, or even next week, I’d be so bored. We’ve pretty much done everything for the baby coming. I’ve cleaned everywhere. I feel prepared and ready. So nothing left to do but wait.

But waiting is fine, to be honest. I don’t feel particularly uncomfortable. My pelvis and lower back do ache from time to time, I can’t wait to sleep on my back again and my nose getting congested every afternoon and evening without fail is annoying. But I’m lucky to really only be “suffering” from those issues rather than some of the more severe and uncomfortable symptoms some women can get. I’m highly aware of how easy my pregnancy has been compared to others and for that I’m grateful.

I’m VERY grateful that I’ve still being able to run as well. It’s two to three 5ks a week (a definite step down from 32 weeks where I was still running 25-30 miles a week). The calf niggle I got stopped me for a bit and then, when I got back to it, my pelvis and the general heaviness of my tummy made running further fairly uncomfortable and the recovery afterwards takes some time. But 5k is manageable and comfortable. I’m fairly intuitive with when I run now too. Have I had a good night sleep? How does my body feel?

While I’m really sad parkrun didn’t start back up again on 26th June (it’s been pushed back to August), we still went down to Netley Abbey (my home parkrun) to meet up with some running buddies for a “not parkrun” and coffee afterwards. We got there for 9am and were pleasantly surprised to see so many familiar faces running around the course. It didn’t feel crowded or unsafe. The sun was shining and Kyle and I enjoyed running the three laps around. Though Netley is far more hilly than I’m used to compared to flat Portsmouth. I definitely felt heavily pregnant running haha!

I managed to complete the 5k in just under 30 minutes, which I’ll happily take right now!

Then we went and sat outside the café and enjoyed some tasty rocky road that the lovely Sheryl had made and (decaf) latte. It was so nice – it almost felt like old normal times. It does make me sad that by the time parkrun is (hopefully) back up properly I won’t be able to run because I’ll have recently given birth. But I definitely want to pop down with the little man and support Kyle running. With parkrun it’s not just about the running, it’s about the social connections and that lovely Saturday morning warm fuzzy glow you get after being there.

On Sunday we went to Stansted House to go to the Nostalgia Festival, where Kyle’s sister, Laura, had a stall and the rest of his family were also there to support. She was selling her handmade wigs (which are just GORGEOUS). You can find her on Instagram @theWiggie and see her products HERE.

We even went on the carousel, which was hilarious and good fun.

The Nostalgia Show was good fun. We moseyed round the different stalls, selling vintage bits and bobs, and the street food vendors – so good.

For lunch I grabbed a chicken shawarma with halloumi fries…

Delicious food from Cairo Van

…and then followed that with an extremely chocolatey brownie.

Brownie was from a food truck called Gin and Tea

We even entered Alfie into a very light-hearted dog show that happened. He sadly didn’t win but he ALMOST won the most waggy tail award. He was robbed!

And back to running, I had a fantastic run on Monday morning in the cooler temperatures. My legs felt pretty good and the usual pelvic pressure wasn’t as strong. I actually ran a lot faster than I have in a while, which was surprising.

I was tempted to run a bit further but I decided to play it sensible because I wanted to run later in the week and recovery does take a bit longer. So pushing my body further is not the most sensible. All about consistent quality runs now!

So on to the next week I guess! Who knows how many pregnancy updates I have left to do eh!

Do you enjoy going round stalls at festivals?

What would you pick: regular fries, sweet potato or halloumi?

37 weeks pregnant

Wow so I am at “term” for my pregnancy!

So this basically means the baby is fully grown and potentially ready to be born. Of course it’s unlikely I’ll be giving birth in the next few days or even week (I say this simply because statistics show first time pregnancies tend to go late and the fact that I’ve had no inklings of things happening) but there’s a chance and if it happened he would be good to enter the world.

It’s just a waiting game which is both terrifying and exciting. We have everything ready at home. From clothes washed, nursery organised, next-to-me crib set up, pram built, car seat installed, reusable nappies washed and ready… so much to think about!

From a self-focused perspective, I’ve had my hair cut (last time was a year ago!) so I feel a bit more tidy. And I’ve also had my first COVID vaccine. I had the pfizer and other than a tender upper arm I felt fine. I did have an amusing moment when getting it done when the nurse asked if there was any chance I was pregnant. I thought she was joking but turns out she wasn’t and I think she was just on autopilot and hadn’t looked at me properly haha!

I’ve made my ‘padsticles’ (maybe TMI, but basically I’ve prepped my maternity sanitary pads ready to go with witch-hazel, aloe vera gel and lavender oil and popped them in the freezer so they’ll be cold and healing post-birth. If you don’t know, you bleed a lot post birth and everything is a bit battered, swollen and painful so this should help with healing).

I’ve tidied, cleaned, organised… full-on nesting has been a-go-go! My last job is to tidy up the garden a bit but that’s lower priority.

We also celebrated my birthday a little early (it was 19th June) as I really wanted to have a fancy afternoon tea and we decided to go to London. So we decided to go a week early so it wouldn’t clash with a busy weekend of Father’s Day and seeing family, and also being one week less pregnant helped! 😉

So we went to the Ampersand Hotel in Kensington and had a very quirky afternoon tea. It was “science themed” and was so much fun. We got to make our own lemonade with different ingredients. There was a cool dry ice smoke effect thing that happened when the waitress poured something in the top (can you tell science wasn’t my strongest skill at school??). And all the cakes were science themed or shaped.

We even got to dig for buried fossils in a chocolate crumb that looked like soil.

Not only was it fun, it was super tasty. And we were chuffed when they offered us seconds. We happily had a few more sandwiches!

My capacity to eat a lot though is disappointingly small and I was VERY full afterwards. It helped we had a lovely (albeit hot) walk in Hyde Park and then headed to find the nearest Doughnut Times for some treats to take home with us.

I got a Biscoff and original glazed, whereas Kyle also got a glazed as well as a Bueno flavoured one). We spotted Crosstown doughnut across the road and decided to grab one from there as well as we’d heard everyone rave about the peanut butter and jam flavoured one.

When we tried them later I have to confess, I much prefer the Doughnut Time doughnuts. The Crosstown was good don’t get me wrong but for someone who adores all things crazy sweet, Doughnut Time was just a bit more me. Crosstown was a bit more “mature” and so not as sweet and crazy. I’d definitely try some others though, just to be certain 😉

Moving away from doughnuts, one of the things I really wanted to do while pregnant was go swimming. However it’s not something in general I’m massively keen on and what with COVID making everything more complicated, I decided the best thing to do was embrace the good weather and take a dip in the sea instead. This would also mean I would have gotten in the sea pregnant as well, which was another nice box to tick.

We knew going down to Southsea beach (about 4 miles away from us) would be rammed because the weather was so good, so we decided to go to the quieter Eastern road seafront. It’s far less popular coastal spot, mainly used by dog walkers – not many people go swimming here! However, I was on a mission and didn’t want a long swim. So we drove the mile there (the first England Euro match was on in 30 mins so we were on a time  limit), I had my bikini on ready with a towel. We walked down to the edge and in I popped!

The water was lovely and warm surprisingly and not too deep. But deep enough for me to do a 5 minute little swim. It felt incredible – the weight of my bump just disappeared. I can understand the appeal of swimming when you’re pregnant (but the faff of getting there, getting changed, sorting my hair out afterwards and getting dry is just so much effort for me). We then hopped back to the car and got back in time for the football!

And on a final note, I was recently sent some collagen infused spring water from FYX drinks to try out. Each bottle contains 2500mg of marine collagen which is known to help repair damaged ligaments, joints and muscles due to the protein, as well as enhancing your skin, nails and hair.

I tried out their Raspberry, Acai Berry, White Tea and Aloe Vera flavour and their Lemon & Lime, Moringa Tea, Lemon Balm and Aloe Vera flavour. It’s low calorie (about 31 calories per bottle) and as well as the collagen contains lots of vitamins and antioxidants.

So a powerhouse drink! And it was surprisingly really tasty and refreshing.

Have you gone swimming (pool or sea) this summer?

Do you prefer Doughnut Time or Crosstown, or another doughnut brand?

Do you enjoy afternoon tea?

**Full disclaimer: I was sent the FYX drinks for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own honest ones.**

Fresh Content: Buying Food Machinery For The First Time

I’ve got a slightly different post today to do with food machinery – not something I’m that familiar with but interesting nonetheless.

When it comes to food production, there is a broad assortment of machines to choose from. You need to choose your food production machinery with a great amount of care, as this is something that will have a massive impact on quality and productivity levels at your business. Keeping that in mind, in this post we are going to provide you with all of the information you need to know when it comes to buying the best machine for you.

What should you consider when buying food production machinery?

New or second hand? – There is only one place to begin, and this is by determining whether you should opt for a new machine or one that is second-hand. The latter option can be extremely beneficial, as it gives you the opportunity to invest in a type of machine and/or model that you otherwise would not be able to afford. However, if you go for a used machine, you do need to acquire it from a credible retailer, as you don’t want to run the risk of anything going wrong. 

Efficiency levels – Efficiency is a factor that is of paramount importance when shopping for food production machinery for your business. You want to be sure that the machine is going to speed up the production process, so that the effects can be felt at your business in terms of enhanced output and consequently increased sales. 

Price – Price is a pivotal factor when buying any product for your business. However, you should not simply go for the first machine you lay your eyes on. You need to choose with care. Consider the other aspects first and then let price be the final determining factor.

Read reviews – You should read reviews that have been left by previous customers. This is the best way to get an honest insight into the machine that you are considering purchasing and to make sure the company has a good reputation in the food services industry. If people have generally not been satisfied, you can rest assured that they will have taken to the Internet to express their annoyance, and this is something you should be able to pick up on with ease.

Credible retailer – Last but not least, it is always a good idea to purchase the machine from a credible retailer. Not only will this improve your chances of benefitting from a quality machine, but it will also ensure that help is available in regards to maintenance and servicing as well. 

To conclude, there is a lot that needs to be considered when you are looking for machinery for your food production needs. However, if you carefully contemplate the points that we have mentioned, you should find it much easier to locate the machinery that you require for your needs. Take the time to do your research and assess the different options that are out there. The Internet is a great source for all your information.

Is there an area you’re familiar with?

Have you ever worked with food?

Just keep swimming… or running

I realise my blog has suddenly become quite pregnancy focused. Somewhat understandable as that’s what’s currently going on right now for me, and let’s be honest there’s not much else happening anyway!

I’m now a couple of days away from 15 weeks and feeling miles better than I was during the first trimester.

Some days I get a little bit of random nausea early in the morning but mostly I’m out of the woods. Just general tiredness really. And other than the increasing size of my boobs, I pretty much look the same as before. I don’t currently have a noticeable bump. If I eat a lot in the evening (like when we get a takeaway at the weekend) it definitely pops out more, but I’m guessing this is mostly bloating and the food I’ve just eaten. By morning I’m back to “normal”.

Other than my pregnancy, Kyle and I are just pootling along through Lockdown 3.0… WFH during the week, Facetiming family and friends and then getting a takeaway or two at the weekend to keep us from going mad.

Last weekend was nice as my friend Mark was able to join me for a 10k run on Saturday morning. It was just so nice to run with someone else! I did used to run with Kyle at least once a week but he’s struggling a little with motivation (no races, no parkrun) and doesn’t particularly want to get up early in the week like I do. For me, if I don’t run in the morning I’d really struggle to go later as my motivation just dips completely.

So anyway Mark and I were able to run together and it just reminded me how easy running feels when you’re chatting away with someone. Hopefully we’ll do it again soon. He’s coming back from injury so my pregnancy pace was luckily not too slow for him! (He’s quite zippy normally).

I’m trying not to think too much about the coming months if I’m honest. Kyle and I deliberately didn’t take any holiday other than the Bank Holidays over Christmas so we could carry more holiday over to this year. The plan being that we could go on a little “baby moon” (hate that phrase) before the baby arrives.

We have to take this holiday though before the end of March and I’m panicking we won’t be able to go anywhere because we’ll still be locked down. Obviously I don’t expect us to go anywhere abroad, but I’d love to go somewhere other than Portsmouth right now! A little AirBnb, some walks, some time together just the two of us.

I’d dread that we’d have to take the holiday and be sat inside our house. I would go mad. And I don’t really want to take any holiday after March for the 2021 allocation because this is going to help boost my maternity leave pay. Argh. But it’ll be what it’ll be.

So we just work weekend to weekend and try to find little things to keep us going. Like ordering doughnuts from the local bakery. Or trying new takeaways near us.

Delicious cake from The Parade Tearooms

Or going for walks down to Southsea and getting takeaway coffees and cake.

Anything to just keep it from feeling too much like Groundhog Day.

How are you doing?

Are you planning any holidays this year?

A weekend of fun and food in Brighton

Kyle and I just love Brighton and we like to go for a little mini trip just before Christmas.

This was our third time going and initially we were worried we wouldn’t be able to because of All The Reasons but thankfully both Portsmouth and Brighton are in tier 2.

We took Friday off and I got in a lovely seven mile run in the morning. Normally I’d quite like to do a run in Brighton but I thought it would just be easier to move my run from Saturday to beforehand on Friday so I wouldn’t have to take my running gear with me and we could have a nice lie-in. As much as I love running in Brighton, it’s also nice to lay in bed and chill with Kyle. He’s not as into running recently (for All The Reasons) and it felt a little sad me waking up early and doing a run on my own while he was back at the Airbnb.

Anyway my seven mile run was really lovely. I ran a new route down to Old Portsmouth and it refreshed things up for me a bit. My runs have become a little  samey recently. Just the same old routes, the same distances… my motivation was getting a bit stale. So changing my route up really helped and I really enjoyed the run.

Then Kyle and I headed to Brighton, all masked up, on the train. Our Airbnb was about a 20 minute walk from the station and super close to the seafront which was lovely.

The room itself was gorgeous – and definitely made me think to earmark if I wanted to do the Brighton marathon again (which is almost certainly something I’d love to do!)

We mooched around the Lanes and the local shops and stopped for a quick pick-me-up at a lovely café called Black Mocha. What I love about Brighton are all the independent coffee shops and shops in general. And they all offer vegan options for milk, which is great. We both went for a hot chocolate (I chose almond milk), topped with whipped cream, big marshmallows and huge chunky pieces of honeycomb!

It was delicious. And because we couldn’t resist we got ourselves a slice of the salted caramel brownie each too. Very greedy but very worth it!

We were then well-fuelled to do more browsing around the shops and enjoying the lights coming on as the darker afternoon drew in. It was quite busy in Brighton so we both decided to keep our masks on outside when it was super busy – it just felt a little claustrophobic round the shops. Of course we were part of the problem too…

We bought some doughnuts from Dum Dum Doughnuts (which we’ve tried before and are divine!) so we’d have some pudding or later and the next day.

Then we headed to Meat Liquor for our dinner. We went here last year and really liked it so decided to go again.

We both went for a fried chicken burger and I went for Buffalo and blue cheese loaded fries while Kyle went for cheesy gravy loaded fries. The food was so good!

We then ambled back to our Airbnb, watched Freaky Friday before munching on some doughnuts in bed. It was absolutely luxurious. I had an Oreo doughnut which was stuffed with Oreo buttercream – amazing.

The next morning we both woke up quite early surprisingly and decided to get up and get out for breakfast. We were going to go to the Breakfast Club, where we’ve been before, but then a café called Moksha Caffe caught my eye on Instagram so we decided to go there instead. While we do like the Breakfast Club it can get so busy and it’s a little bit over-hyped for what it is. We were so chuffed to have gone to Moksha Caffe instead as it was so good.

We easily got a table (I mean, we were quite early for a Saturday!) and both ordered the main big breakfast with homemade hash browns added.

I also had a carrot, apple and ginger juice which was super tasty. The breakfast was so good! From the homemade baked beans to the sourdough toast, it was very nice! We’ll definitely go back.

Then we headed back to the train to go back home. It was such a lovely trip to Brighton. So Christmassy, so full of happy memories – of which we added more too. I love this tradition for us!

The next day I got up early to meet my friend, Martin, for a rather wet and soggy run. I haven’t seen Martin in real life for maybe over a year which is mad! We had lots of catch up on and it was lovely to run with a friend on such a miserable day. I certainly wouldn’t have enjoyed the run as much on my own.

I ran 6.5 miles with Martin then 3.5 miles on my own before getting home and dry with a much needed bacon roll!

And of course we finished our weekend with another doughnut 😉

This was a Lotus Biscoff cronut (doughnut cross with a croissant). Honestly one of the best doughnuts I’ve ever had!

It was such a lovely, albeit tiring, weekend. I’m so glad we were able to maintain some kind of normality through all the craziness. Who knows what the new year will bring after all…

Have you still been able to do “normal” things you’d do around Christmas?

Do you prefer chicken, beef or veggie burgers? I love chicken burgers.