little loves [ chocolate, jake gyllenhaal + hypnobirthing ]


Friday has caught me off guard a bit this week – the days felt as if they were dragging and then all of a sudden here we are nearly at the weekend.  It’s been a bit of a strange week for me anyway, where I’ve alternated between days where I’ve felt I could conquer the world and others where I felt as if I was trying to run through treacle.  The joys of late pregnancy!

But Friday means time to reflect on what has brightened my days this week, and there has been a lot.



The teenager was in a swim meet over the weekend (smashing his PB’s as usual), which gave me the chance to get stuck in to The History of Love by Nicole Krauss.  I wasn’t sure what to expect of this, as the title sounds quite chick-lit-y and I’d rather read the contents of my own bowel than chick-lit.  But it had been passed on to me by a friend, who happens to be the only hipster I know, so I was pretty sure I was safe.

This book had me from the start, I was crying by page 13, and the story blew me away.  Told mainly through the eyes of a 14 year old American girl and a 80 year old Polish Holocaust survivor who don’t know one another, it centres on a book written about a woman the man spent his life loving and whom the girl had been named after.  It’s part coming-of-age, part mystery, part beautifully written gorgeousness and it is now one of my favourite books.



We watched the very dark, very sexy Nocturnal Animals at the weekend.  I’ll watch anything with Jake Gyllenhaal in it (because he’s a brilliant actor.  It’s got nothing to do with his puppy dog baby blues or his dimples or his mouth or those pecs…I’m not that shallow, it’s all about the acting for me), but it helps when the story is gripping and the rest of the cast are on point too.  Loved it!



…lots of lush music, as I’m starting to make up a couple of playlists for the birth.  I love nothing more than making a playlist, its my favourite part of organising an event – our wedding one was a bloody masterpiece and our Christmas one is flawless.  For labour and birth I’ve got a very chilled mix and one with a bit of tempo, and I’ve loved digging up some great tracks.  Elbow, Zero 7 (and lots more Sia), Jose Gonzalez, Jeff Buckley, Coldplay, The Weekend, James Bay, Semisonic, Kygo…I’ve been down memory lane and right back up to date.  I’ll probably do a post on them when they’re done.



…Easter egg hunts!  Considering we don’t really *do* Easter…we really *did* Easter this year.  Because the four year old was having a friend over I kind of felt we should do something, so I bought cheap plastic eggs off Amazon, filled them with sweets and then hid them around the house.  They had a great time just barging around finding them, and then shared their sweets at the end.

I’d forgotten that I’d bought a egg hunt pack from Asda too though, so decided to up my game a little by setting up a hunt with clues that the teenager could help his brother solve.  I loved watching the wee one excitedly solving the clues and hearing his squeals of joy when he found an egg!

And as if that wasn’t enough hunting, we also went to Bannockburn to do the Cadbury and National Trust Scotland Easter hunt.  We’d never been, so it was nice to learn about our history whilst hunting for clues, and the four year old even got to dress up like a knight!

We do one of these every year, as it’s a great way to get out of the house (away from the hot cross buns and chocolate!) and get the kids active whilst having fun.  Because the egg hunts are usually done in the grounds of a NTS site rather than in the castle/house itself you don’t pay the usual admission fee, so it’s a cheap way to see some new places.  The first time we did one back when the teenager was little, we ended up signing up for a family membership to National Trust Scotland.  Now that our youngest is a bit older, we’re tempted to sign up for another.  And the hunts are good because they’re more about solving the clues than chocolate, though there is the prize of an egg (or this year, a wee bunny) if you get them all right.  Look out for them next year!



I’ve had to admit defeat and hang up my glow sticks until I can go back to Clubbercise after this baby is born, so I’ve switched my cardio hit from dancing to swimming.  I blogged about why I love swimming when pregnant, and churned out 50 lengths this morning.  This involves wearing The World’s Most Hideous Swim Suit™ but thankfully the only other people in the pool at that time in the morning are oldies who I’m pretty sure can’t see me through their goggles anyway!


And lastly…

I’ve started a Hypnobirth course, via my gorgeous friend who happens to be a midwife.  It’s already made me feel more relaxed about my pregnancy, let alone the birth, and I’m really enjoying it.  I need to blog about my birth plans, and I’d love it if anyone can suggest some bloggers to follow who had a home birth, a water birth or a Hypnobirth so I can have a nosy at their experiences!


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#littleloves [ toni morrison, nearly naked feet + a cute food diary ]

I love that Friday has come around again.  Plus, I have a three day weekend ahead of me once I finish up tonight.  Admittedly that weekend does contain a play date, a kid’s birthday party and a swim meet, so neither restful nor my idea of bliss, but at least it doesn’t include work and takes me one step closer to maternity leave.  I’m now past the 30 week mark!

After all the fun of London and Legoland last week, this has been a routine and not very exciting seven days.  But that isn’t to say there haven’t been some highlights, so check out what Little Loves have brightened my days this week…



I got stuck into Beloved as I mentioned last week, and wow…what a harrowing story.  I’ll admit to not having read a lot of stories based around the slave trade or black rights in the American south, particularly not those told from the perspective of a person of colour.  I’ve read Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman, but Beloved is from an earlier time period and from a non-white perspective and was a real eye opener for me.  The core story about the events leading up to the murder of a child and the subsequent haunting kept me turning the page, and though it was a difficult read I’m glad I made it through.

Blog-wise I’ve read some great posts this week, like this vintage post by Mum Muddling Through about being a non-selfie blogger.  It struck a chord with me as I’ve taken a semi-anonymous stance with this blog.  I’m not trying to conceal myself from anyone reading, but to conceal my blog from people in my real life.  I had a blog before, but found that once I shared it with friends and family I started censoring myself.  There will be the odd image of me and the kids on here, but I suppose I’m hoping my words rather than my photos will give my blog character so that I can keep life and blogging a bit more separate this time around.



We’ve hit a lull in our real-time viewing, so have returned to Homeland (season 5).  I’d forgotten just how good it is – I’m easily distracted by my tablet, but with Homeland I definitely put it down!  I love how Saul just cuts through people’s bullshit and says what needs to be said, I think everyone needs a Saul in their lives.  I know I’d love him to just follow me around and point out where I’m fucking up.  Warning: lots of f-bombs in the following video…

We also watched the Channel 5 documentary about the London Underground, which I’m aware makes me sound painfully hip.  But coming from Glasgow where our tube map is a simple circle, I am always in awe of the London one.  Top moment was the massive vacuum cleaner they put the trains into, and the amount of dirt that gets sucked out *boak*  Now Hubs understands my fear of public transport headrests (one of my many crazy dirt-phobic issues).



The worst line in a song ever, courtesy of All Time Low’s Dirty Laundry – “dirty laundry looks good on you.”  Um, since when did crusty undercrackers become a turn on?   Innuendo fail.



Plans for winding down for maternity leave!  Hells yes.  Five and a half weeks to go, and I’ve managed to sneak in a day of annual leave most of those weeks to cut my knackered, heavy, strained body some slack as I slog through the final stages of growing our latest addition.

Oh, and this amazing roasted sweet potato hummus courtesy of Slimming Eats.



Excuse the blinding white of my feet, but I wore my first flat pumps of the year (which ripped my heels open…thank you Primark), as I’ve had to retire my boots. Not because of the weather – which doesn’t seem to be able to make up its mind if we’re having spring or not this year – but because I literally can’t bend over to do the damn things up any more.


And lastly…

After spectacularly falling off the healthy eating wagon whilst we were away in London, I ordered this adorable food diary from Fox and Moon to get me back on track.  If you’re a dieter and use Instagram, this is probably not news to you – I know my feed is flooded with pictures of their range.  But you can get a diary to suit either SlimmingWorld or Weight Watchers, and I got one specifically for those of us trying not to eat for two.  I love it, and it’s helped me pull myself together this week.



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#littleloves [ legoland, yellow ponchos + making memories ]


We have been making the most of the spring holidays this week, and spent a few days in London on a sort of family baby-moon.  Legoland was our main destination, but we managed to cram in a fair bit in three days.  So that’s why there’s been some radio silence on the blog this week, and why most of my Little Loves today will have a bit of a theme!

Legoland was really great, and I might do a blog post on that alone.  I had been a bit worried how a 30 week pregnant woman would cope with a theme park, but we had an amazing day.  I coped well with the whole trip actually, even though we clocked up over 8 miles on foot each day, so I’m very proud of myself.

Little Loves focuses on the small touches that have made the past week sparkle, and there have been quite a few so lets get started…


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