@ 37 weeks {full term!}

WoW!  I am 37 weeks pregnant.  Baby will be here soon and we are so excited.  But this past week has been a bit hard, I won't lie.  At our 36 week check up last Monday, the midwife was feeling my tummy and was pretty sure baby was breech but she got another midwife to come in and see what she thought.  She had a feel and was pretty certain baby was breech too.

So off we went to the hospital on Christmas Eve where we spent 6 hours having a scan, seeing a consultant and him doing an ECV (external cephalic version) which is basically them trying to turn baby by applying pressure on my tummy.  It was very uncomfortable and unfortunately he wouldn't turn.  But we tried.  Typical male being stubborn!! hehe

So we have a c-section booked for the 14th January.  We asked the consultant what the chances are of baby turning himself before I went into labour and he gave us a whopping 0% chance!  But you never know he might turn.  But if he doesn't, then it is a c-section for me.  I know many women who have had c-sections and it really isn't a big deal.  As long as me and baby are fine that is the main thing.  And having a natural birth these days with a breech baby is just too risky (in our opinion).

But other than that - we are all fine.  I am pretty tired and moving around is becoming increasingly challenging.  Some of the hardest things include tying my shoelaces, getting dressed, getting up from sitting down and sleeping for more than 1 hour because it always feels like I need the loo!!  Christmas was relaxing, we have been buying the few last bits and pieces and finishing off the nursery.  Two weeks Tuesday baby will be here - eeeeek!  I suppose one of the plus sides to having a c-section is knowing when he will be here.  Unless I go into labour which I don't think I will, what with him being our first.

We are going to enjoy this week ahead while Mani is off work, go see a movie, go out for lunch, watch too much TV, sleep, relax and enjoy the last two weeks of just us.  But secretly, we are just wishing the next two weeks away so we can hold baby Choudhry, give him cuddles, become parents and start our journey as a family of three. ♥

Decorating the Christmas table


Now that we live in the countryside, I had to go for a stroll and see what I could forage to decorate the table this Christmas.  I pulled on my jacket, wellies and biggest scarf one morning and headed out.  It was freezing but actually really good to get some fresh air.   Can you see my bump in my silhouette? hehe

I was thinking twigs, berries, holly, candles and twinkling lights.  And this is what I came up with...
 




What I used
A couple of glass jars (recycled)
Charger plates
Sprigs of holly, conifer and twigs
Rose hip berries
Tea light candles
String lights
Pine cones (shop bought)
Vase
Spare baubles

I filled up the jars with water and added some holly, berries and conifer and gently placed a candle at the top.  I loosely placed some holly, twigs and conifer around the jars, added some pine cones and string lights and hoped for the best.

I also filled up a vase with some spare baubles which is such a quick way to get your room or table feeling festive.  You could also add some string lights in there too.

I think it looks effective and again, making something homemade and going foraging locally is fun!
There are endless ideas out there on Pinterest, you could spraypaint some twigs, use glass vases, bigger candles, cranberries, glitter etc.

Follow me on Pinterest to get some easy DIY ideas for Christmas ♥

Homemade Mince Pies

This year, for the first time, I made proper homemade mince pies. I am talking mincemeat and pastry people.  And what's more?  They turned out pretty damn good.  Hooray!

I used Delia Smith's mincemeat recipe a few weeks ago and stored it in kilner jars.  I used vegetable suet as Mani is vegetarian and to be perfectly honest I preferred the thought of using vegetarian suet too even though I am a carnivore!  I used a pastry recipe from Delicious magazine but added some ground almonds, orange juice and cinnamon too.  The almonds are supposed to make the pastry last that much longer.

 


I chilled my pastry for about 45 minutes and rolled it out quite thin, cut out small circles using a glass and pressed them into a greased 12 hole tin (approx 6cm x 2cm each) which I picked up from Cargo.  I put a heaped teaspoon of mincemeat into each and covered some with a lid and others with just stars.  I then brushed with beaten egg and sprinkled with caster sugar.  I used a fork to crimp the edges.  Once they had cooled I dusted them with icing sugar.

 
 


I am so super chuffed with how they turned out - the only thing is I am going to have to make some more as I have demolished most of them off already - they are only small!!

Totally worth the time and effort and what I love most is that these homemade mince pies taste SO much better than shop-bought ones.  Seriously, there is no comparison.  So go and do it.  Make something homemade this Christmas.

Happy Friday!

Maternity Shoot

I had to have one.  I am not going to be pregnant for the first time again and I just love photographs.  Recording bump and how I looked is a special moment in time for us - and our dear friend Neil really captured the moments that afternoon.

I got lots of inspiration off Pinterest but mostly we ended up just seeing what worked and since Mani and I aren't especially huge fans of our picture being taken we ended up having a few giggles along the way.

We just ambled down the lane at the back of our house past some fields and some muddy paths - it was freezing but I was adamant not to wear my jacket for the photos.  Luckily Rita was on hand to hold our jackets and throw them at us once the shots were taken.

Definitely going to be printing some of these off to put in the nursery and our bedroom ♥

Big thank you to Neil and Rita - be sure to check our Neil's website - what a talented fella!







Sewing DIY: Stuffed elephant toys





I stumbled across this beautiful tutorial and as soon as I saw this family of elephants I knew I had to make them.  I ended up just making a mom and baby and decided to use some left over fabric from my first quilt and give them to my gorgeous little brother for his birthday.  I also made a quilted pillowcase for him.



I am super chuffed with how they turned out, I might make some for baby Choudhry too :)  They literally took no more than an hour to make and are super simple.

And!! This little project got featured on Sew Mama Sew!

I love it when a project comes together ♥

Watch out for a few more sewing projects I have on the go for baby and gifts for family too.

Homemade Sloe Gin

So a few weeks back, we picked some sloe berries and this is the outcome.  Delicious homemade sloe gin.  Mani has tasted it and said it is absolutely delicious.  Lovely and sweet and very moreish.  I am so glad I made him come pick berries with me on a freezing cold Sunday in November!

I followed this recipe to make the gin, but there are so many variations out there, personally I would caster sugar next time as normal sugar tends to solidify at the bottom if you don't shake the jars religiously everyday.  On reflection, I also should have made the gin in big jars rather that straight into the gift jars I did to make it easier to decant the berries but it is done now.  That's how you learn!

 
My plan was to buy some Juniper Organic Gin but it was just a bit too pricey so I went with what was on special at the time and ended up buying Waitrose London Dry Gin which does the job and saves on the pennies.

I made some labels using cardboard, my gold pen and some little holly leaves I had in my craft stash.  Overall, I am pretty chuffed with how they turned out and I hope our friends enjoy their homemade sloe gin. ♥

On maternity leave

{Neil Crook Photography}

Last Friday I finished work - I am officially on maternity leave.  I planned to finish on the 23rd December but I just wasn't coping.  The commute, getting up early, getting back late, the cold and working was just getting too much.  I stressed as to what to do - I didn't want to let work down but at the same time, I needed to look after myself.  Hence why I have been so quiet on the blog, in the evenings I am too tired to do anything other than cook dinner and shower! I do feel so much more relaxed now I am home.  I am 34 weeks now and I really cannot fathom that there is only up to 8 weeks left before baby Choudhry appears! So.very.exciting!!!!!

It is weird being at home in the day, I am not bored yet but I have to do lists that I give myself everyday and I am determined to stick to them.  Plus, I plan on going swimming twice a week or going for a walk to keep my exercise up too as well as doing some yoga and practicing my breathing.   A visit to the midwife today shows that all is normal and baby's heartbeat is strong.  As I write this he is kicking and moving around.  It is so fascinating to think that in just a few weeks time he will be here with us.

I have been washing baby clothes, starting to pack my hospital bag and writing a list of all the things I need to get done before this little man comes onto the scene.  It is such an exciting time and I want to soak up the anticipation, the excitement and the feelings that come with your first pregnancy.  It really is something special.

We attended our first antenatal class last week, one of four provided by the NHS.  It was interesting and good to meet other couples in the same situation as you.  I did have to giggle though, everytime the midwife taking the class mentioned a word like "vagina" or "back passage" or similar you could see the guys trying to stifle a smirk.  Nothing changes!!

So here is to the last festive season of just me and Mani.  Here is to soaking up the special moments of just us two.  Watching Christmas movies, enjoying the next two weeks at home, pottering, nesting, organising, baking.  And who knows, baby is due 19th January but he might make an early appearance.  So lets make the most of the time we have now.

Happy Tuesday ♥

P.S. Check back next week for our beautiful maternity shoot courtesy of our awesome friend Neil.
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