Preggo Updates – 26 Weeks

Posted in Pregnancy and Baby.

26 weeks! You’ve been great.

ASOS maternity clothing

Skirt, ASOS | T-shirt, Illustrated People | Trainers, Stan Smith

Right now, I’m truly enjoying pregnancy. I feel full of energy and motivation, I love the way my body’s changing and I’m so excited for the future. Everyone tells me this middle bit is the ‘golden time’, so I’m gonna ride that for as long as I can. When a lady in House of Fraser told me I was looking well I almost shouted ‘I KNOW!’. Everyone loves a pregnant woman!

I don’t have many updates for you – bump’s getting bigger, baby’s kicking lots and I’ve really started to pin down a pattern of movement, which is lovely. Heartburn’s a bitch and sleeping is still no fun, but whatever. Nothing’s bringing me down this week!

So, a short but sweet post for you this week. If you fancy a more in-depth read, take a look at my rather long rant on maternity clothing. And I’ll be back, hopefully with a bit more to say, next week!

Things to see and do in Copenhagen

Posted in Travel.

Since we returned from our recent trip to Copenhagen, I can’t stop thinking about how much I loved it. It truly is the most amazing city, so I’ve pulled together a guide on our time there with some top tips for anyone planning a visit.

things to do in copenhagen

We headed over to Denmark via a quick (less than 2 hours!) flight from Manchester and stayed in an AirBnb apartment in the Vanløse area – more on this in a separate post. We had 3.5 days to explore the city, arriving on Tuesday afternoon and leaving on Friday night, but I’m now itching to get back and discover more. Copenhagen is without a doubt, one of the most inspiring places I’ve ever been. Here’s what we got up to!

tivoli gardens copenhagen
tivoli gardens copenhagen
Døp hot dogs copenhagen
Hay design house copenhagen

Tivoli Gardens and central Copenhagen

Our first full day was spent in the central part of Copenhagen, starting at Tivoli Gardens. Tivoli is the second-oldest amusement park in the world (it opened in 1843!) and it’s totally charming – think hilarious wobby mirrors and old-school rollercoasters mixed with lush gardens and blooming flowers. It costs 110 DDK to get in (more if you want to go on the rides, although you can pay for them individually once inside) but there’s plenty to see once you’re in and it’s lovely to just wander around.

After we’d exhausted Tivoli we walked up Østergade, the main shopping street in the city centre. This is the only place we visited that was busy – there were lots of people about and it was very touristy, but we had two goals – Flying Tiger and Hay House. Both were worth the crowds, the former for cheap homewares and the latter for awesome interior inspiration. Then we peeled off the main street onto a quieter side street where we stumbled across the best hotdogs ever from DØP followed by cake at one of the many cute coffee shops.

visiting superkilen park cophenhagen
what to see in copenhagen
Mikkeller and Friends copenhagen
copenhagen trip blog post

Nørrebro and Frederiksberg 

For day two, we headed out to the Nørrebro and Frederiksberg districts. We started at Superkilen Park in Nørrebro, an amazing public park with super cool street art and loads of playground equipment to mess about on. After an hour or so of monkey bar swinging and play-boxing in the ring, we walked to Sankt Hans Torv square in the centre of Nørrebro and stopped for a drink in the sun. Nørrebro is described as the ‘Shoreditch of Copenhagen’ and it lives up to its name – it has a shabby, hipster vibe with lots of vintage and antique shops, indie coffee shops and, most importantly, the Acne Archive store.

hiring bikes in copenhagen

From Nørrebro, we jumped on GoBikes and rode across the city to our next destination – Frederiksberg. We loved the GoBikes – run by Bycyklen in CPH, there are stations all over the city and each bike has a built-in operating system, so you can sign up for an account, unlock the bike and type your destination in to the GPS. The bikes cost 25 DKK per hour and they have electric assistance, making them so easy to ride. We did have a few technical problems with two of our bikes but I think that was just bad luck!

On our way to Frederiksberg we stopped off at Torvehallerne, an indoor/outdoor food market with stalls selling everything from fresh fish to Mexican churros, and then stopped again to grab a beer (soda for me) at Mikkeller & Friends.

fredericksberg gardens copenhagen

We reached Frederiksberg Gardens around 6pm – the perfect time to sit back on the grass and relax. The gardens are absolutely beautiful and so peaceful, especially later in the day when the light is soft and groups of friends are meeting after work.

Frederiksberg is more ‘up market’ than Nørrebro, with lovely boutique shops and amazing restaurants – we ate at Sokkelund in the evening and the food was totally delicious.

visiting copenhagen post
things to see and do in copenhagen
ideas for travelling in copenhagen
copenhagen travel blog post

Vesterbro and Nyhavn

Before we headed back home we had time to discover two more key parts of Copenhagen – the Vesterbro district and the Nyhavn harbour.

Vesterbro was first up and a short ride on the metro took us to the centre where we found lots of gorgeous design shops including Playtype, which is well worth a visit if you’re a fan of beautiful things. We walked down Værnedamsvej – a foodie street packed with cafes and restaurants – and stopped for the most delicious pork sandwich at Meyers Deli before we were back on the metro to our next destination.

Nyhavn is the harbour area of Copenhagen and was our last stop before our flight home. It’s pretty touristy but definitely worth a visit – for 80 DKK you can jump on a canal boat tour and see loads of Copenhagen’s most famous sights, all at once. Which is exactly what we did!

We sailed through the freetown of Christiana, a hippie commune where photos are banned and there’s a 25 year waiting list for houses (!), then past the opera house and theatre – two examples of stunning Danish architecture. Then it was past the Danish Royal Family’s yacht and an exclusive housing complex where apartments cost upwards of £6m, around the Little Mermaid statute with a quick glimpse of the spiral church before we were pulling back in to the harbour.

The tour lasted about an hour and 15 minutes and we saw loads – perfect for fitting in all the more touristy things without spending lots of time travelling between different areas.

riding bikes in copenhagen

After one last drink, our time in Copenhagen was over and we were back on the metro heading to the airport. I was completely taken in by this amazing city and just can’t wait to go back – if you’re planning a trip, here are some super quick tips to bear in mind…

– The metro is quick, clean and really easy to use… once you work out the ticketing system! It took us a while to find out we could buy a CityPass, which allowed us to travel all over the city for 24 hours at a cost of 80 DKK. The ticket is sent as a text, so make sure you have signal before buying. We bought ours online here.

– When in Copenhagen, hiring bikes is a must. Literally everyone rides a bike so you’ll feel like a local, plus the roads are flat and there are dedicated bike lanes everywhere, making it very easy and safe. If you’ve got little ones, the Christiana bikes have cool pods on the front for them to ride in!

– The currency in Copenhagen is Danish Kroner – the notes are pretty easy but the coins are very confusing and there seems to be loads of different ones! However, we found that practically every shopkeeper was delighted to help us with the currency and would often swap the confusing smaller coins for notes/easier big ones.

– Smørrebrød is a Danish delicacy – basically an open sandwich served on sourdough rye bread, they’re readily available in cafes and a must if you want to sample the local food.

– Danes are so friendly and always happy to help – numerous people came to our aid with metro tips and street directions, without us even having to ask. Everyone we met spoke perfect English but a tentative ‘tak’ (Danish for thanks) went down a treat!

Maternity clothing – what to wear when pregnant part 1

Posted in Pregnancy and Baby.

As someone with an ASOS Premier account and three full-to-bursting double wardrobes, maternity clothing was always going to be a big part of my pregnancy. There are many women who go for nothing but comfort during their pregnancies, and I salute them. There are also many women who can make their existing clothing work throughout pregnancy, and I salute them, too. I am neither of these women, and I have spent rather a lot of time and money on my maternity wardrobe.

The thing I’ve found about being pregnant is, I want to feel like myself. My body is no longer my own – everything I eat, everywhere I go and everything I do now affects more than just me, and that’s quite hard to accept. Clothing is one area where I can please myself without thinking about potential repercussions… although it’s not entirely without consequence, as opinions on what pregnancy women should and should not wear are rife, too. But I digress. This is a post about how I’ve approached dressing my burgeoning bump throughout the first half of my pregnancy, so let’s get on with it.

pregnancy style blog uk

When I’m not busy growing a baby, I live in jeans and probably have about 10 pairs. But 10 weeks into pregnancy I found that jeans were just deeply uncomfortable – I didn’t really show until about 14 weeks, but as I favour a skinny style, everything just felt so tight and restrictive. I gave bump bands a go for a while but they just rode up until they sat in a useless bunch around my stomach. So from about 12 weeks, I was in maternity jeans.

I’ve had four pairs of maternity jeans and to be honest, none of them are particularly great. Aesthetically speaking, my faves are the Topshop Jamie’s pictured above (nicely slim right down to the ankle, stylish rips) but they’re an under the bump style and they literally just fall off me whenever I walk anywhere. Maybe they’ll fit better when my bump is bigger, who knows. For now, though, they’re relegated to days when I don’t have to move about much. I also have two pairs of over the bump jeans from New Look – one blue, one black. These were super cheap at £17.99 a pair and they look perfectly fine, but the extra fabric around the belly is just too much for summer and they make me hot. So again, relegated. Jeans, it seems, aren’t great during pregnancy.

what to wear during pregnancy

Day to day, I wear leggings. In true blogger style I don’t have many pictures of me wearing leggings, but I have a few maternity pairs from ASOS, some regular ones from H&M and a denim-like pair from Topshop that are all super comfy and reasonably priced. Leggings paired with an oversized shirt, t-shirt dress or smock tends to be my daily outfit because it a) is comfortable and b) makes me look like a stylin’ Danish mother-to-be. Or at least, that’s what I tell myself. 

I stick to basic colours like black, white, navy and grey and finish off my outfits with a big necklace, cool bag, denim jacket and pair of trainers. The great thing about this kind of dressing is you’re not restricted to specific maternity clothing – an oversized shirt or smock dress will accommodate your bump (maybe size up if you want it to last throughout) and won’t come in the standard butterfly print many maternity retailers inexplicably think pregnant women want to wear. I’ve had great success with pieces from ASOS, Monki, Zara, Cos and Topshop – these pieces will last me beyond my pregnancy and there’s not a floral pattern in sight. 

stylish maternity clothing uk

When I’m not slobbing about at home and I actually have to go out into the world, I like to show off my bump in more form-fitting pieces, and this is where it gets a bit tricky. Firstly, let me point out that I’m a straight-sized woman who has no problem dressing herself from the high street – I can’t speak for petite or plus size women, for whom I know clothing in general is difficult, never mind with the added element of pregnancy. If you know of any bloggers with different body types who are writing about maternity clothing, please do link them in the comments and I’ll include a list at the end.

Even from my privileged position, dressing to ‘show off’ a baby bump is bloody hard work. I’ve found that aside from the oversized look, regular clothing does not work for me – I can’t just buy a stretchy dress from the normal range, because my bump pulls it all out of shape. So it’s maternity clothing all the way, and what’s out there is dire. There are only three places I shop for maternity clothes – ASOS, Topshop and H&M. ASOS is my current favourite because there’s lots of choice, it’s reasonably cheap and in general, the offering is stylish (although there are a few suspect ‘hands off the bump’ type t-shirts). Topshop comes in second as their maternity range is just a replica of their regular range cut for a pregnant body, so everything fits really well (bar the jeans) and looks great. Sadly it’s pretty pricy and there isn’t a huge selection, but still worth a look. H&M I’ve found best for basics – long-cut t-shirts, stretchy vest dresses and comfy pants have all been top buys, and cheap to boot.

When dressing to say ‘hey look, I’m having a baby!’ I like to wear bodycon or A-line midi dresses, a maxi skirt with a tucked-in top or skinny jeans with a fitted t-shirt.

second trimester pregnancy clothes

The final thing I want to cover is maternity occasion wear. I’ve been to two weddings so far this summer, and finding an outfit for each was such a struggle – and that’s just in the first half of pregnancy. If I get invited to another formal occasion later on I’ll probably have two options – admit defeat and wear something with ribbons or just not go (preferable tbh). Maternity occasion wear is, quite plainly, awful. From my extensive searching, ASOS is the only retailer that offers anything halfway decent when you need to be a bit dressy and even then, a lot of its scuba-fabric dresses are horrible quality. Why the vast majority of maternity retailers seem to think pregnant women want to look like trussed up sausages squeezed into sheaths of lace when they attend a wedding, I don’t know. 

The printed dress above and the navy lace dress further up were found after hours of searching and endless returns – thank GOD wedding season is almost over. If you know me in real life and are planning to invite me to a formal event in the next 2 months, please tell me now so I can spend every waking hour searching for something to wear. 

So! That’s my experience of dressing during pregnancy, up to 26 weeks. I’m planning to do a part two later on when the bump’s much bigger and dressing becomes even more of a challenge but for now, if you have any maternity clothing recommendations leave ’em in the comments and let me know your own trials and tribulations. 

Preggo Updates – 25 Weeks

Posted in Pregnancy and Baby.

I spent most of my 25th week of pregnancy in Copenhagen, walking about 20,000 steps per day and doing a lot of STUFF.

pregnancy updates blogDress, ASOS | Leggings, ASOS | Jacket, Primark | Sandals, old | Bag, Kanken | Necklace, Gem Smith | Sunglasses, Céline

Before we left home, I was a little bit worried about how I’d fare in Copenhagen. My last big trip during pregnancy was to the US and it involved a lot of afternoon naps, slow walking and ‘resting’ in bars with a bowl of mac and cheese. But Rob and I were heading to Denmark with all our combined siblings, and I didn’t want to be the preggo at the back asking for a toilet break every 5 minutes. I was determined not miss a single section of action, and really didn’t want the rest of our group to feel like they couldn’t do things because of me.

I needn’t have worried, though, as Copenhagen was the perfect city to explore while pregnant.

25 weeks pregnant blog postShirt dress, Monki | Leggings, ASOS | Trainers, Nike | Jacket, Primark | Sunglasses, Céline

Copenhagen is chilled out in a way I’ve never experienced in another major city. Apart from the one main tourist street in the centre, there were hardly any people… anywhere. The streets are so wide and clean and peaceful – it’s really quite something when you’re used to the hustle and bustle of literally every other big city.

There was a lot of walking, my feet did hurt and I did start to flag a little… and then we discovered the bikes. We cycled all over the city and even in rush hour, I didn’t ever feel unsafe. The roads are exceptionally flat and the bikes we hired were motor assisted, so pedalling was hardly any work at all and journeys took no time. We zipped all over the place, locking our bikes up when we stopped for food then jumping back on to continue exploring.

The ease of cycling (no long walks, no packed metros) combined with the laidback pace of the city and the manageable temperatures (around 16-19 degrees) made it an absolute dream trip at 25 weeks – if you’re currently preggo and thinking about booking a break, I’d highly recommend. Full post coming soon!

wedding guest pregnancy maternity outfit

Dress, ASOS | Shoes, Bertie | Bag, ASOS (similar)

In other preggo news, my bump is getting bigger every day and Baby A’s movement has been really strong this week. After a horrible few weeks with my skin, I changed up my products and things are clearing up nicely – I’ll write a proper post on this, as I’ve really struggled with my skin during pregnancy and there are quite a few things you need to avoid, which makes it even more difficult!

Sleeping is another point of contention at the moment – I usually love sleeping on my back but that’s not advised during pregnancy as the extra weight at the front can press down on a main artery in your back, leaving you gasping for breath. I’ve been trying to stick to the recommended left-hand side but my hips are achy and it’s just not very comfortable. 

Vague moaning aside, I’m still thoroughly enjoying being pregs. Yesterday I read Milly’s 6 month baby update (how adorable is Florence though?) and got very excited and a little bit impatient for Baby A’s arrival in November. But although I can’t wait for the actual baby bit, I am loving the pregnancy bit too. Hopefully it’ll continue in this fashion for another 3 months… it’s pretty easy all the way through, right? 😉

A Roadtrip to Countryside Luxury

Posted in Travel.

It’s no secret that Rob and I love a roadtrip. Whenever we’ve got a spare weekend, we jump in the car and pick a point on Google Maps, go discover a new town or woodland walk, then drive home with pop punk blaring and the windows down.

So when TravelSupermarket asked if I’d like to go on a ‘road-based adventure’ to somewhere new, I was all in!

summer maternity clothing

Part of the TravelSupermarket project involved hiring a car – now, for full disclosure I’ll say that Rob and I do have our own car. But hiring one was no big deal, especially as we used TravelSupermarket’s car hire comparison site to find a great deal. Plus it meant we saved petrol and mileage on our own car! After collecting our nippy little number, stocking up on driving treats (almond croissants and Haribo are our top tips) and stopping for a quick outfit snap, we were on our way.

The best roadtrips are 3-4 hours – it’s a long enough drive to listen to a few of your fave albums (Blink-182’s new one and everything by Charlie Simpson, FYI) but short enough that you don’t really need a stop… even with a baby pressing on your bladder. Although I did practically run to the room for a wee when we arrived.

With that timeframe in mind, we decided to drive down to Somerset for a stay at The Pig Near Bath – Somerset is a part of the UK I’ve never really visited (apart from a quick trip to Bath last year), it’s a 3hr 50 min drive from Leeds, and the hotel looked absolutely amazing.

luxurious countryside hotel
luxury countryside hotel uk
the pig near bath restaurant

… and it really, really was!

We arrived at The Pig just in time for our 2.30pm lunch booking – the hotel has a gorgeous conservatory restaurant with food made from produce grown in the on-site kitchen garden, and has a fresh, green aesthetic to suit the style of the food. A two-course meal was included in our hotel booking, so enjoyed the English Organic Halloumi and the Home Smoked Wester Ross Salmon followed by the Pork Loin and the Chicken Breast. Delicious.

We added a third course (an extra £6 each) and took our desserts out to the terrace to eat while watching the live music coming from Smoked and Uncut – The Pig’s annual summer festival, which we had tickets to as part of our booking! It was so nice to sit eating ice cream in the sun as Turin Breaks played an awesome set.

luxury hotel the pig somerset
the pig hotel somerset

After our food, Rob headed back to our room and I had a pregnancy massage in the cute little ‘potting shed’ spa (amazing). Then I jumped in that freestanding tub and we just took it easy till dinner back in the restaurant at 9pm – after another amazing couple of courses, we retreated to bed and watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty on TV. Literally, a perfect day. 

The next morning we headed down for breakfast, which was a delightful spread of pastries, fresh fruit and cereal. I added a sausage sandwich and a pot of tea for extra sustenance, then after one last bath (we don’t have one at home so I was determined to make the most of it!) we were checking out and on the road again. 

On our way back home we took a slight detour and headed towards Stratford-upon-Avon to stop and explore. I hadn’t been to Stratford since a school trip to Shakespeare’s birthplace, so thought it’d be a good pitstop on our way back north. To be honest, there’s not a lot to Stratford other than the Shakespeare thing, but Rob and I spent an enjoyable hour walking along the river with the biggest ice creams you’ve ever seen, before jumping in the car and getting back on the road.

things to see in stratford upon avon

Two almond croissants and a Classic Pop Punk playlist later and we were back in Leeds, feeling totally rejuvenated after our roadtrip break. Big thanks to TravelSupermarket for making it possible – we loved our road-based adventure!

TravelSupermarket provided funds for this trip.