Friday, 13 January 2017

Review: PUR Correcting Primer

At Christmas I received a beauty advent calendar from Marks and Spencer's. Ever since I have been preening, moisturising, painting, oiling myself with all of the products and I've found my favourite.

I don't wear an awful lot of makeup, I mean I usually moisturise, then put on a bit of eyeliner and mascara and be done with it. Mostly I find foundation doesn't stay on for the whole day, it feels heavy on my face and it rubs off on clothes and it's generally a chore to put on. But this primer has completely changed how I feel about make up.

I put it on over moisturiser and immediately my skin feels so smooth and soft, it doesn't take ages to be absorbed or to dry, I'm ready to put foundation on within seconds. My foundation goes on so easily, just using my fingers and that dries quickly too. It's only a cheap Avon foundation but it feels great and it's all down to the primer.

I then put my usual (well.. usual when I wear make up) routine of a bit of powder, benefit blusher and a bit of highlighter on the top of my cheek bones. Bit of eyeliner and mascara and done!

£24.00 - Pur Correcting primer

It's the best thing I've ever put on my face. Makes me actually enjoy putting make up on. It's a bit pricey but I think its 100% worth it if it allows you to wear a cheap foundation with all of the benefits of an expensive one.

Definitely 5 stars from me!

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Thursday, 12 January 2017

Antenatal classes, are they worth it?

Last night we had our first Antenatal class provided by NCT. We are on the NCT signature course which apparently allows the group to tailor the information that we get.

The cost of the course was £189.00 and consists of 5 sessions spread out of January. We decided to attend as we have recently moved to the area and don't know many people in the same situation as us. We only have a small handful of friends who have children and some of those live much further afield.

We nervously arrived at our local library and 4 other couples also did the same. We sat awkwardly in a circle exchanging small talk until the instructor began and so did the dreaded Icebreaker activities!

We split into groups which just happened to be male vs female and had to find out about each-other by writing down  a unique thing about ourselves and then one thing we all had in common. It wasn't actually as bad as it sounds and everyone was very friendly. A couple of the girls are the exact same amount of pregnant that I am which is good.

We then went through what we would like to cover and any worries or concerns we had in our groups. It turns out that a lot of the things that I am worried about are affecting the other ladies too, particularly whether we would cope with the pain of labour and how we'll cope with the lack of sleep. C-Sections, what happens if the baby gets stuck and so on.

The men were wondering what they can do to be of help during labour, how to hold a baby safely, when to know that you should be going to the hospital etc. It was really nice to hear what they were worried about.

We then had an overview of the mechanics of labour with some illustrated diagrams, which was anxiety inducing!!

We then had to try out some birthing positions in our couples, which was fairly embarrassing when you've only just met the others, at least everyone else was in the same boat. I found using an exercise ball to bounce on very comfortable and chatting to the instructor about birthing pools etc was very useful. I'm 80% sure I'd like a water birth if possible.

It was quite a full on 2 and a half hours - very informative, I knew a lot less than I thought I knew. Looking forward to next week & getting to know the other ladies a bit better. Its a shame we cant go out for a couple of wines together!

Me - 34.5 weeks pregnant.

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Wednesday, 11 January 2017

This is us ♡

Tuesday night's viewing in our house is all about 'This is us'.

If you haven't heard of it yet I would get involved, I wouldn't recommend Googling there may be some spoilers. I'm not going to spoil it as the first episode is really amazing and I would have been really annoyed if someone ruined it for me.

I would describe it as an American series similar to Love Actually, where all of the characters are in some way intertwined.

It stars Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia and follows their lives as parents.

When I first saw the advert I thought it was going to be really traumatic, it looked like Mandy Moore was going to die in childbirth, not ideal watching for a pregnant woman, so i gave it a miss.

It wasn't until I saw the advert for the next episode that I realised she was alive and that it was safe for me to watch. It's funny, charming, moving and the acting is great too.

I can't stress enough how good it is. Have a binge on All4 (4OD or whatever it's called thesedays). Once you've caught up its on Tuesday nights at 10pm (sometimes 9).

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

House Transformation - out with the old and gross.

In October this year, we exchanged on a house, it's a 1930s fixer-upper - 3 bedrooms, bathroom, downstairs wet-room, kitchen and living room and a huge driveway.

I struggled to look past the mess of the brochure pictures, we bought it as an ex-rental so naturally the tenants didn't clear up for the photographs. Each time we went for a viewing there was mouldy fruit in the kitchen and there was a strange smell in the air.

Nevertheless we bought it and set to work stripping layers of foamy wallpaper off the walls, tearing out the bathroom and the kitchen and covering everything in white paint.

I'm lucky to have a super-handy husband who can do literally everything and also a Dad who is currently not working, we're incredibly thankful for this!

Here's some pictures of the before and after.

Kitchen BEFORE pictures:

And SWOOOOOOOOOSH (homes under the hammer styley)

The table was £80 from Argos - I know! It seems to have gone up in price now! How annoying.

And the chairs i got on amazon for £110.

The lighting was also a bargain from Amazon - £24.99
And this pendant light also in copper from Habitat - £30 in the sale.

Next is the living room - lovely purple walls, not sure why we didnt keep those (I joke)


And the bathroom.... The mouldy silicone was the best feature (yuk)

SWOOOOOOOOSH (last time I promise)

I Love it!

What do you think?

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Monday, 9 January 2017

It's perfectly normal, just try not to worry...

Yeah sure! Not helpful when you’re feeling worried.

Had a bit of a meltdown at the weekend, I woke up in the middle of the night and was suddenly overwhelmed with Anxiety. I burst into tears and my husband had to stay up with me and calm me down, I suppose it’s his job and I’m lucky to have such a supportive husband.

I’m usually a rational person, I swear!!

This morning I think I almost gave him a heart attack calling him about a pain that I had which I had never had before and it wouldn’t go away, it happened during a Braxton contraction which was a bit scary, naturally I thought I was going into labour.

So I had so many things going around in my head and it all accumulated at 2am on saturday night,  it’s impossible not to worry about these things. I did speak to my husband about some of these and here’s a couple of examples. I’m just using this as blogging therapy!

  • Will the baby be early? My husband was 6 weeks premature and so with 6 weeks to go I’m panicking at every twinge!
  •  Will the baby be late? I’m off work three weeks before the baby comes and I’ll be eating all the spicy food and pineapple I can get my hands on.
  • Will I cope with the pain? I’d like to avoid the drugs as much as possible, just because I don’t like the sound of the ones that go into the baby’s bloodstream. I don’t feel like I have a very high pain threshold so I’m quite nervous. We start our NCT classes this week so hopefully I’ll have a better idea about pain relief once those are done.
  • How will I deliver?
  • Will I need a lot of stitches?
  • Will I poo? yep! most likely!!
  • Will I cope with the baby crying all the time? How much will it actually cry? A pregnant friend at work said they feed about 8 times a day?! I mean what the hell!?
  • Will I cope on less sleep, at the moment I sleep around 10 hours a night so it’s going to be hard to adjust.
  • Will I be able to breastfeed? Breast is best – so everyone keeps saying (and nagging about) but it doesn’t work for everyone and it might not work out?!

So it turns out he’s just as nervous as me, I’m not alone. I just need to remember that, remember it’s ok and totally normal to be nervous, scared, anxious, let’s face it, totally sh$tting ourselves!

Anyone else going through the same thing but too embarrassed to tell anyone?

I washed the baby clothes this weekend. Check out these teeny joggers!!!!

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Showstopping beef wellington.

New years eve was a very different affair for us this year. Due to the lack of alcohol and the fact that I am usually asleep by 10pm nowadays we decided to stay in and cook a special meal to ring in 2017.

Gingersnap lightbox - Get it on amazon.

Usually we'd be partying until the wee hours, especially on new year's eve, the majority of our friends are still partying regularly and it's hard not to feel a tad left out, so you've got to treat yourself haven't you?!

Beef wellington is what we went for, we've always wanted to give it a go and it did not disappoint. We bought a Chateaubriand from the butcher just before Christmas and kept it in the freezer whilst we went away. 800g is what we asked for to feed four of us and that ended up with four generous slices and a bit extra for the extra hungry husband and my dad who was blown away by it and hasn't stopped talking about it since. The price was £35.00 so it's definitely for a special occasion, not just a normal Saturday night.

It was a bit daunting to cook such an expensive piece of meat but surprisingly easy and now we have done it once I would definitely feel confident doing it again.

We did it using a hybrid of Jamie Oliver's recipe and advice from the brother in law who is a chef and has made many wellingtons in his time.

Serve with super garlicky Dauphinoise potatoes, a red wine and onion gravy and some fancy broccoli.

(For 4-5 people)
800g Chataubriand (fillet of beef)
Chopped fresh rosemary
Rock salt
Black pepper
1 packet of mixed mushrooms
1 packet of chicken livers
1 packet ready rolled puff pastry
1 egg
1 packet of serrano ham

So basically we just simplified the other recipes we had seen and tried to make it fool proof. We prepped it all in the morning and then just put it in the oven in the evening, no stress!

1. Chop the mushrooms and chicken livers into small pieces and fry with a small amount of oil until most of the moisture is gone - this is important to avoid a soggy bottom. Then transfer these to a chopping board or baking tray spread them out and let them cool completely.
2. Take the meat out of the fridge about an hour before cooking, Roll it in rock salt, pepper and the chopped rosemary and then sear the meat in a hot frying pan for about 5 minutes in total, ensuring all of the sides have begun to brown. Then, again, transfer to a chopping board and leave to cool completely, important to keep the meat tender and also avoid a soggy bottom, some of the juices will escape whilst cooling.
3. When the meat has cooled you can now assemble! Put the puff pastry on a baking tray and cover with your chicken liver/mushroom mixture, ensure you leave about a 3 inch gap at the bottom to seal the pastry.
4. Wrap the beef in the serrano ham, ensuring there are no gaps (as best you can)
5. Place the beef wrapped in ham at the top of the pastry and use the baking paper that it comes in to help you roll the beef down the pastry.
6. Brush some egg onto the gap you have left and press this onto the outside of the pastry sealing it in.
7. Crimp the sides like  a Christmas cracker, egg wash the entire thing and then put in the fridge on a baking paper lined baking tray until you are almost ready to cook.
8. Take out of the fridge at least an hour before you cook it, it has to be room temp.
9. Put baking tray on the hob and heat the bottom up to cook the pastry (Soggy bottom mitigation) for 4 minutes.
10. Put in the pre-heated oven for 35 minutes at 190 fan.

Seriously, that's it.

Here are some pics I took along the way...

 And here's the money shot!!

Hope you can give it a go! Any one else got any other show stoppers they can recommend?

Emma x

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