28 weeks pregnant

So I’ve just hit 28 weeks and my third trimester.

It really is so mental how quickly it flies by. But looking back so much has happened! Thankfully the second trimester has been an utter dream really. I haven’t had a huge amount to complain about, especially compared to the hell of the first trimester.

28 weeks

This week has been especially good though as we were able to get in a lot of family time (albeit in gardens) and enjoy Easter as best as we could. On Good Friday Kyle and I headed to Stansted House to go for a lovely walk.

The weather was cold but sunny. I’ve been to Stansted House a few times – a couple of those times doing the Stansted Slog Half Marathon.

Let me tell you, that is not a half for the faint hearted! Undulating and off-road, but beautiful. Sadly it hasn’t been running for the past few years, COVID aside.

Anyway we had a lovely walk and decided to drop in to the gorgeous café to see if we could grab a hot drink. Well that escalated quickly when we saw just how many cakes they had on  display. We quickly upgraded our drinks to something a little more elaborate.

Kyle went for a sausage roll and slice of lemon drizzle, whereas I went for a warmed cheese scone followed by a Bakewell tart slice.

Oh wow it was fantastic! We did have to sit in our cars to eat it though due to the COVID rules but this was quite fun. We’ll definitely be going back again!

On Saturday I had the pleasure of Kyle joining me again for a long run. This time I managed to persuade him to join me for a bit longer. I was grateful for his company because along the Southsea promenade the wind was really quite relentless against us.

Kyle was great at keeping me going and motivating. In my mind I was just aiming to get to the public loo the other side of Southsea (just over 3 miles from my last loo visit – so kind of perfect). I’m definitely slowing down. Things are getting harder. But it’s still enjoyable and comfortable (not perfect but small aches here and there rather than any major discomfort or pain thankfully). I am finding though that I’m ready to stop running around 11-12 miles. I get tired, hungry and my hips are aching enough for me to know my body is done.

Easter itself was good. We saw my parents and some of Kyle’s family which was lovely. I also caught up with my sister who I hadn’t seen in over a year. Her work schedule clashes with mine and she lives in Southampton so it makes it tricky to meet up regular (and COVID, obviously). It was lovely to see her and for her to see my expanding bump.

Kyle and I also ate obscene amounts of chocolate in the form of eggs, brownies and Colin the Caterpillar (it’s my mum’s life mission to get us every new Colin – and for that I am ever grateful).

A lovely gift from Kyle’s mum (made by Kyle’s sister who has a side hustle baking business – find her HERE)

I do have moments of deep panic where I wonder if I’m eating too much chocolate and cake. But considering my weight gain has been steady and within the normal guidelines – and I have no other risk factors, I think I’m OK. Plus my diet hasn’t changed from before I was pregnant. I was just as greedy before.

These are just adorable and so tasty!

For my sanity though I am going to check with my midwife about gestational diabetes because when I’m halfway through an Easter egg these things can haunt me!

So a fairly quiet Easter really. I would have loved to have gone out for Sunday lunch or seen more of our family but hey ho – soon! I can’t wait for next year’s Easter where we can celebrate with the little man and make new traditions and memories. Very exciting!

How did you spend your Easter?

Do you enjoy Easter egg chocolate?

Sweet or savoury scone? I love them both!

Week 24 of being pregnant – featuring a lot of chocolate!

Week 24 of my pregnant and how are things going?

Well, pretty well actually! I feel really good. My energy levels are good, I’m sleeping well (though still grumbling about now being a side sleeper… I miss sleeping on my back so much!) and I’m still running three times a weeks (roughly around 25 miles/week) and strength training 3-4 times a week.

Running is getting slower of course and I’m finding both my hips get achy towards the end. But I’ve had some acupuncture and massage which massively helped, as does the lovely long hot water bottle Kyle’s sister bought me. Lots of good stretches throughout the day definitely ease the discomfort too.

I love running so much right now. I like to go first thing and just seeing the weather getting better makes me so happy. I might not be nearly as fast as I was before but I still get the same enjoyment. And the podcasts I listen to while running are now not just about running, food and movies but sprinkled with a heavy dose of pregnancy and baby related ones too.

Who’d have thought this would happen, definitely not me! I especially like Made by Mamas (though the number of adverts and sponsors they have in each episode REALLY annoys me) and the Pregnancy Wellness Podcast.

Food-wise things have been very good lately. Kyle amazingly treated me to some INCREDIBLE millionaire rocky roads from the Instagrammer @Nickichanlam (I’ve mentioned her before – she’s so so good). They were BRICKS!

They had a layer of caramel and a top layer of chocolate and then were basically packed full of mini-eggs, biscuit and marshmallows. So fricking good! I had one at 11am one day and basically was full until dinner that evening – and for me that’s really something!

I was also recently sent a super tasty set of drinks, Super DC, from Gusto. They’re basically healthily pimped out soft drinks aimed to boost your immune system as they’re packed full of vitamins.

They come in two flavours: Super DC Blood Orange and Super DC Blackcurrant & Elderberry. They’re full of antioxidants and contain a huge boost of Vitamin D and Vitamin C, for only around 60 calories a can.

 They actually taste REALLY good. The blood orange flavour tasted like a posh Fanta (and I love Fanta).

I honestly wanted to guzzle all the cans, they were super refreshing. Unfortunately they contain a bit too much Vitamin A for me being pregnant so I could only do a taste test, but this was good news for Kyle as he really liked them too.

I was also sent a really cool gift idea – a CHOCOLATE themed gift idea. It’s called ChocFace and basically you choose the photos you want to go on top of Belgian chocolate, which is all edible.

You can personalise what you call the box too, which I love

They come displayed in a really lovely box. I was quite impressed – the photos looked super clear and the chocolate was actually really tasty. I yomped my way through the box fairly quickly, I’m ashamed to say! It’s such a novel and fun idea. Really good gift for someone I think.

Slightly vainly I chose photos of myself and Kyle!

And on the note of food, Kyle and I had Monday and Tuesday off and we spent one of those days having a lovely walk down Southsea seafront and got some takeaway food from one of our favourite spots, The Parade Tearooms.

My favourite menu item from them is the Jane Salad (which I’ve had MANY times). It’s ginormous. And the takeaway version is just as big – giving you a large box of the cold items (salad bits, cheese, coleslaw) and then a large box of the hot items (crispy bacon, chicken and crispy potatoes). It was so good!

Unfortunately  my eyes were far too big for my tummy because after finishing this enormous salad I also wolfed down a gigantic wedge of tiffin afterwards.

This was a BIG mistake as honestly I felt so full for the rest of the day it wasn’t fun. I can definitely see this getting worse the longer the pregnancy continues because my stomach capacity just isn’t going to be what it used to be. Greedy Anna is going to have problems!

What’s your favourite, rocky road or tiffin? To be honest I’m not entirely sure the difference! I think rocky road has marshmallows and tiffin has raisins…

What’s your favourite salad? I really love caesar salads (especially if there are anchovies in it).

**Full Disclaimer: I was sent the Gusto drinks and the ChocFace chocolates for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own honest ones.**

Enjoying the food at least

Lockdown 3… the never ending days of sameness.

But Kyle and I have done our best to keep our spirits up and to enjoy the time we have left together (wow that sounds a bit scary). I mean, just the two of us (three with Alfie) before our lives get turned upside down in July.

One thing we really try to do every weekend is go for nice walks and enjoy our food. I mean, options are limited and this is really all anyone can do. But anyway, we try and have a nice walk together, or one of us will meet up with a parent or friend to go for a walk and a takeaway coffee to liven up the social juices.

During my pregnancy I’ve changed my usual coffee of choice (an obnoxiously complicated order) to a decaf almond latte which I just find divine. Previously I’d have some sort of syrup in there but my tastes have changed a bit and all I want is a coffee flavoured delicately creamy drink. Normally at home I’ll have a black decaf coffee (which I’ll invariably liven up with a side of chocolate), so it’s nice to have this simple pleasure to look forward to at the weekend.

Anyway a few other things that I’ve been really enjoying is cooking. We regularly get Hello Fresh, which we love as it jazzes up our weekday meals and keeps organising meals quite easy. But I was also recently sent a pack of game from the Game & Wild company. I’ve had meat from them before and really enjoyed it so I was excited to try out some other bits.

I don’t regularly eat game – I’d be more inclined in a restaurant to try something but I never think to try anything in a supermarket. But their Cook with Game Starter Pack is perfect for people who aren’t sure where to start. It comes with a selection of game and SO helpfully a recipe book.

Within the pack you get:

  • 6 Partridge Breasts
  • 4 Pheasant Breasts
  • 8 Pigeon Breasts
  • Venison Mince 500g
  • Talking Game Recipe Book

I don’t think  I’ve ever tried partridge, pheasant or pigeon so I was quite intrigued. I’ve had venison before (as a steak) but not as mince. I mean I was instantly thinking, burgers! I flicked through the recipe book, and the helpful seasonal recipe leaflet they included, to find options for the meat and the choice was fantastic. So many options!

I used the venison mind to make some INCREDIBLE burgers. They were so tasty. Less beefy than beef but just as juicy. Kyle was a BIG fan.

For the partridge I made a delicious lemon and mushroom risotto using one of the seasonal recipes and it was really tasty.

I love risottos but also feel a bit cheated when there isn’t a lot else going on so the added partridge gave it that extra jazz.

I had grand plans for the pheasant and pigeon by with the recipe of tasty looking curry and a stroganoff but as the weekend weather changed I got a very random and spontaneous desire for a BBQ. I could not get it out of my head!

Thankfully we had some coals saved in the shed, so got it fired up and, instead of wasting money on extra meat at the shop, we decided to bravely try the pigeon and pheasant on the BBQ (as well as some random pork steaks and ribs in the freezer in case it went pear shape!).

I tell you what, it worked! I marinated the breast with a tasty paprika and pepper herby blend and served with salad and buns. It was so good! Different, definitely, but a lovely treat on an early spring evening.

Really recommend this starter pack if you’re in the market for jazzing up your cooking and meals, especially during this boring lockdown period.

As well as cooking, we’ve also been ordering brownies from Instagram.  I mean this has sort of become a problem as we’ve now done it three times. The brownies are SO FRICKING good. They’re from an incredible hobby baker who does bespoke brownies that you order via direct messaging her.

M&M’s, Mini Eggs and Galazy Salted Caramel brownies

She’s been made redundant from work so this is a way for her to get a bit of money while she looks for another job. But MY GOD, she should definitely consider doing this for a living. Her brownies, honest to god, are the best I’ve ever had. I’d even go as far to say the best dessert food I’ve ever eaten. They are dense, squidgy, moist, soft, moreish and packed full of chocolate pieces (of which you can choose). I meeeeean WHAT. Kyle and I can’t get enough.

If you’re in need of a chocolate pick-me-up, I can’t recommend her more. She also does blondies, rocky road and millionaire shortbread (or monster creations blending them). Her Instagram is @nickichalam. Check her out immediately!

Mini Eggs and Guylian Shells brownies

We’ve already got another order on the go with her for next week…

What foodie bits have you been enjoying recently?

Have you ever ordered any baked items off of Instagram?

**Full disclaimer: I was sent the Wild & Game meat for free in exchange for a review. All thoughts are my own honest ones.**

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.

Things I’ve Been Loving Lately – October/November

So we’ve almost survived Lockdown 2.0, hurrah!

Christmas is just around the corner and I’m feeling positive for 2021. Here’s what I’ve been enjoying recently.

MINI Runner’s Gift Box

The lovely people from Adventusaur sent me one of their personalised running letterbox hampers which I think is just the sweetest and fun idea.

Basically it’s a little box full of handy running essentials. It’s such a great gift to send someone before a big race they’re about to do. It contains things like Vaseline (we’ve all been there…), a gel, Haribo (of course), a protein bar (handy for post-race recovery), amongst other items.

They’re a small up and coming business so I really hope people go for this sort of thing. During these COVID times it’s nice to be able to send someone something like this if you can’t actually see them. I guess it doesn’t even have to be for a race – but someone new to running as like a starter pack for them.

Free Train

I’m a big fan of taking my phone out with me on a run – whether for listening to music or a podcast or for the standard mid-run selfie/photo.

This is a very secure way to carry your phone and what’s handy is that you can fish it out very easily on the move, or if you want to stop.

I do love a running belt and the Koala Clip I have that attaches  to my sports bra, but it’s tricky to get my phone out easily if I want to quickly change a song or whatever. It feels super secure, doesn’t bounce and didn’t rub. It’s a great idea!

Floreseca Dried Flowers

I saw this on Instagram and just fell in love with their dried flowers. I’ve become a big fan of flowers in general but they never last long (obviously). However dried flowers obviously last a lot longer. And I knew they were about to launch their Christmas collection. They’re a small business so sell out quickly so I set my alarm for when they were launching and managed to snag myself a one of their Winter arrangements.

Ahhh they’re so beautiful! Love our sparkly and Christmassy they are, but not overly in your face Christmasssy, you know? I could potentially leave them up after Christmas – so very much worth their money!

Care packages

My amazingly talented baker (and runner) friend Emma sent me the sweetest care package recently.

It contained one of her freshly baked sourdough loaves, brownies and a GIANT 1kg bag of peanut M&M’s.

This was such a lovely thoughtful gift! I will have to show great restraint not to eat too many M&M’s in one sitting though haha.

Hello Fresh

So I’m back on the Hello Fresh train again. I really do love it. Previously I’d find myself scouring the Internet for recipes and wondering what to cook every week night for Kyle and I. I wanted healthy, filling and tasty but I was finding we were just falling into boring routines and bad habits. And takeaways, while I do love them so, were becoming easier to just fall back to if we’d had a particularly tough day.

Now we have three guaranteed week night meals of healthy, exciting and very tasty meals. I thoroughly enjoy cooking and this is just perfect. I love listening to a podcast while I prepare dinner. And then Kyle and I will sit down to something new and see what we think.

Most of the time we love the meals, occassionally (though it’s rare) we’re a bit “meh” (there was a Mexican tostada meal that didn’t float our boat for example) but we always enjoy trying them regardless and always feel full and happy. There nice and balanced too. It’s made my week far less stressful now! I also like that the company is very eco-focused too.

If you’d like to get £20 your first week you can use my link HERE (I get money off as well then too FYI).

Bare Grill’s Smokehouse and Mrs Potts

A few weeks ago I saw two of my close uni friends and we went out for an epic lunch at Bare Grills in Bristol. It was GIANT and exactly the type of meal I love. BBQ ribs, pulled pork, smoked sausage, chicken wings and brisket with a mountain of deliciously seasoned chips. It was epic!

How we then had room to go to Mrs Potts for dessert I have no idea. It was a good job that we had to queue for a 10-15 mins to get a seat though. It’s a very popular café in Bristol and serves so much chocolate-related items, like hot chocolate made from melted chocolate, brownies, cookies, cake… it’s incredible.

I went for a brownie hot chocolate and took away a slice of cake (with a pot of melted chocolate to drizzle over), a stuffed cookie and a white chocolate rocky road.

Kyle and I shared and the cake and cookie later that evening after I’d gotten home (and made space!). They were absolutely divine. The cookie was definitely the best out of the bunch but the cake with the chocolate over it was incredible too.

Caithness Paperweight

My grandad who lives in Stoke-On-Trent sent Kyle and I such a lovely present. He called it a “glass dump” which just doesn’t do justice to the beauty of the gift. I guess it’s a kind of paperweight, but it’s basically a unique hand-crafted glass ornament.

It’s such a gorgeous gift and will sit proudly in our house. I do worry about my grandad living alone in Stoke in this horrible time but I ring him regularly. He does so much volunteering which had to stop during the lockdowns so I worry he’s a bit out of sorts, but he seems in good spirits. He has such a positive and happy outlook to life.

So here’s to just as happy a December 🙂

**Full Disclaimer: I was sent the Free Train and Adventusaur for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own honest ones.**