Category Archives: lifestyle

Baby Diaries: The Ultimate Baby Shower Gift!

C: Now I am still not entirely convinced about baby showers… it is definitely a very American thing to me (although when it comes to Halloween and Christmas they have got the art of celebrating down!) and I didn’t really want one! However, the sister in law can only minority be tamed, so I had a baby shower/afternoon tea on my birthday and it was actually lovely! I didn’t want people to feel like they had to bring a gift, so I made sure that was specified on the invites, but one of the gifts I received I thought deserved a special mention on the blog – the Neals Yard Mother and Baby Organic Collection which is £45 and available here.

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First of all the packaging is absolutely beautiful, and I loved that it is a gift for mums to be as well as babies – its nice to get some pampering in before baby arrives as apparently I won’t have much time for that once my bundle of joy (poo and nappies) is here!

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Obviously I haven’t tried any of the baby products yet, but I shall make sure to update this post once baba has given her verdict on them (She’s still too young to be trying them)! However, the Mothers Bath Oil is by far my favourite product! It smells so lovely and relaxing, and really helps to calm down both me and my troublesome skin! Im not particularly keen on the Massage Oil just because I personally don’t like using oils/I keep dropping it and making a mess and L moans about the slippery bathroom! But the flannel is lovely quality and I enjoyed using the Mothers Balm on those pesky stretch mark areas – it stopped my skin getting itchy and kept it supple and moisturised!

This is literally the perfect gift for any mum to be! It is beautiful and functional, and the bonus is that it is all organic too where possible! I know a lot of pregnant ladies are super concerned about only using organic products on their body as obviously what your body absorbs is potentially finding its way to the little one, so this is perfect! Personally I have still been using what works for me as my skin is too sensitive to be swapping products around, but this is still perfect when you are unsure on what to buy someone for their baby shower – everyone buys baby clothes etc so its lovely to get something different!

What do you guys think of this from Neals Yard? I haven’t tried many of their products before, but I shall definitely be popping in to my local store to see what goodies they have! #twolittleowls

A Big Announcement…

A: Firstly, apologies for being a little quiet and not quite so organised with blog posts recently, but things have been a little manic at two little owls hq.

Chloe has been rather busy to say the least; she is now the very proud mother to her beautiful baby daughter! Baby arrived last week and I can honestly say she is one of the cutest little ones I’ve ever seen. They are both doing super well and it’s lovely to see their little family start to grow. I’m sure you will be seeing some updates as the weeks go by, but for now here is a sneaky photo of baby’s (not so little but VERY cute) tootsies.

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Love from Annie (and Chloe) x

A Pregnancy Update: What to Expect in Your Third Trimester

C: hey lovelies… welcome to my final trimester update (you can see my posts about the 1st and 2nd Trimesters here and here if you are interested)! I literally cannot believe I am basically full term now… its crazy/apparently I am going to have a baby soon. Who knew being pregnant meant you had a baby at the end? I sure as hell forgot, cooking babies takes WAY too long. So anyway, lets get on with my third trimester experiences.

1. you thought your belly had got big in the second trimester? Seriously, somehow it just keeps on growing and growing and growing and growing… and you get the idea. Its massive and by the time you get to about 35 weeks you have forgotten what having a flat stomach ever felt like.

2. Talking of an ever expanding stomach? The stretch marks you have bragged about avoiding? They are coming for you. With a vengeance! The creams all lied and so did the idiots who said if your mum didn’t get any then you wouldn’t – I wrote a whole post about it here if you fancy.

3. You will forget how to sleep. Everyone tells you to rest whilst you can, but in between trying to get comfy, the need to wee every half an hour and the leg cramps? Its near on impossible. Naps are the answer and your new best friend.

4. Baby kicks felt lovely before (they didn’t for me, they still freak me out a bit even though I love them at the same time)? Well they won’t anymore! Baby runs out of room and you will feel like your insides are a punch bag/your skin might break if they move one more time.

5. Then they don’t move for a whole ten minutes and you assume the worst, drink all the cold drinks etc just so they move and hurt again. Excellent.

6. MATERNITY LEAVE! WAHOOOOO! The first couple of weeks are excellent. You clean, you make babies room look nice, you cook fun stuff…

7. and then you get bored. And stroppy that you don’t have a baby yet and its taking too long.

8. Suddenly everyone in the world has given birth to beautiful babies and posted their photos all over Facebook to tease/taunt you that you haven’t had one yet.

9. Everywhere you go people either give you pitying looks or stare at you like you are a bomb about to go off. Especially if you have Braxton Hicks in the supermarket… that really scares them.

10. Talking of Braxton Hicks… they aren’t very nice either. Even before labour you get some nice practice contractions to hint at the pain/delights that are to come. I would personally prefer to be blissfully unaware, but apparently this is your bodies way of practicing. Fabulous.

11. The thought of giving birth gets a little bit more scary/real and yet you are so desperate to see your baby and not be pregnant that you are also looking forward to it at the same time.

12. You know the old wives tales (yes we are talking long walks, all the sexy time, pineapple, curry… you get the idea) are probably a load of rubbish, but you decide that giving them all a go anyway(apart from the sex ones obvs, thats what got you into this mess in the first place), even though you know they aren’t going to work. No point risking it eh?

13. You watch One Born Every Minute religiously as “revision” whilst pointing out to the boyfriend (who you have also made watch it) what male behaviour you are witnessing is acceptable and which definitely is not.

14. You have a baby shower and then suddenly you realise that you completely over bought on clothes and your unborn child has more clothes to wear in their first 0-3 months than you have in your entire wardrobe.

15. And then apparently… you have a baby? Who knew? (Although I’m deffo still waiting impatiently for mine/probably will be pregnant forever) 

So has anyone else had similar third trimester experiences? I shall post up a birth post if anyone is interested? I don’t want to scare you all, and won’t share unnecessary gory details, but am happy to write a post on it if anyone is interested? Let me know! #twolittleowls

Baby Diaries: Do Stretch Mark Oils/Creams Really Work?

C: stretch marks… not pretty but probably one of those pregnancy things that everyone worries about at least a little bit? Pregnancy is a beautiful thing (in theory/for outsiders who don’t have to deal with the nasty little side effects our beautiful babies cause our poor bodies) but no one wants a body of stretch marks that last forever – even if they do fade eventually. The difficult thing is the number of products on the market, some of which are quite frankly extortionate in price. So the real question is… do they work? In my experience, I am afraid the answer is nope! And after a little research this seems to be the case for most people.

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I have tried several creams/oils that are widely available, and have been using them twice daily since the start of the second trimester, so since like week 12. And I am afraid to say, despite the major “lubing up” as the boyfriend delightfully calls this lengthy twice daily process I still have stretch marks. Now admittedly, I have watched one born every minute and spoken to my midwife about it, and my stretch marks are no where near as bad as other peoples. They are all very thin lines, and are mostly just on my hips rather than all the way across my new beer belly which I am super pleased about. But they are still there.

Would they have been worse if I havent used these creams? Who knows. I am afraid I can’t comment on that, I was far too scared of the dreaded stretch marks to risk not using them! After a little research I found that apparently stretch marks are hereditary…. which also seems to be a lie as my mother informed me she didn’t get any (and my father butted in, informing me his actual beer belly is still beautifully clear of stretch marks – inserted lolling emojis here). In fact, my midwife has told me that 90% of ladies get stretch marks. NINETY PERCENT. That is basically everyone.

So my recommendation? Both of these creams made my skin more supple and moisturised, meaning I haven’t had an itchy tummy whilst it has stretched, and if nothing more it is a way of pre-bonding with your beautiful baby via a little massage. As far as the bio-oil goes, I shall report back on how quickly my marks fade after they have finished stretching, but so far they haven’t gone bright red and look like old ones already, so I am feeling positive! But to cut a long story short? If you are gonna get them…. It’s going to happen no matter what! So my advice is to be prepared and not worry about it, your life isn’t over and they will fade eventually! 

Any preggo bloggers out there found the same thing? #twolittleowls

Jessys Mum’s Chilli Jam Recipe!

C: if you saw our Summer plans post, you would know that making jams/chutneys is one of my aims for this Summer whilst on maternity leave. I don’t know why, but I find it very therapeutic and this is my all time favourite recipe! Jessy’s mum used to make this, and every time I went round we ate like a whole jar! With cheese, crackers, in sandwhiches… you name it, we couldn’t get enough! Eventually she gave me the recipe so I could have a go at making my own/so I didn’t keep eating all of hers probably! This isn’t a proper jam… as in you wouldn’t have it on toast (although I have tried it, and tbh I would totally eat it again!), but its amazing in sandwiches as a sweet chutney or with cheese and biscuits! It has a kick to it, but isn’t super duper spicy so don’t panic at the number of chilis in there!

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Ingredients:

8 red peppers (deseeded and cut into chunks), 10 red chillies (roughly chopped), finger sized piece of fresh ginger, 8 peeled garlic cloves, 400g can of chopped tomatoes, 1lb 10z of golden caster sugar, 250ml red wine vinegar.

Method:

1. Tip peppers, chilis (including seeds), ginger and garlic into a food processor and blitz until finely chopped – scrape into a heavy bottomed pan.

2. Add chopped tomatoes, sugar and vinegar and then bring to the boil. Skim off any scum and then simmer for 50 minutes or until jam starts to go sticky – stirring throughout occasionally.

3. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes whilst stirring frequently and then allow to cool slightly.

4. Transfer to sterilised jars and then jam mixture will last 3 months.

Hope you guys have a go at this, as it is truly amazing! Let us know if you do (Annie loves it too, I obvs have to take her a jar whenever I make this badboy!) #twolittleowls

The Make-Up Clear Out!

C: now I have moved house and have started my maternity leave I decided it was time for the dreaded make up clear out. I am an epic hoarder and absolutely hate throwing away things that aren’t completely used up, I also used to take all my older make up in my work bag so I didn’t risk breaking or loosing something precious (broken UD palettes sound like a tragedy to anyone else?!). Now I have finished work I have absolutely no reason to keep some of these products that generally went un-used anyway, so here we have my make up clear out!

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Aww look at all the sad, battered and bruised make up! As you can see most of these products are super old but previously very loved! So what exactly have I decided to throw out?

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Natural Collection Eye Case – I got this for Christmas when I was about 15 from my Auntie and I was in love with it! Unfortunately, I also dropped it and broke the black colour and used up the dark brown and almost all of the pale neutral shade. I basically kept this for sentimental purposes as it was my first eye shadow palette, as I have never really used the purple and pink shades!

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Avon True Colour Eyeshadows in Deep Forest – another well loved eye shadow product, that I would still be using today if it hadn’t died of old age. The shadows used to be super pigmented and blendable but have gone hard and horrid. I am not moaning, as I bought these at uni so they lasted a good couple of years! I would happily re-purchase these if Avon stocked the colour again (which they don’t, alas).

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17 Colour Compact – pretty sure my Auntie also got me this one Christmas too! Both of the neutral shades are basically finished and I would never use the blue eye shadow even if I do pretend I am adventurous with my make up – thats just too adventurous/13 years old for me to handle! I also never use lip products that come in palettes due to the obvious eyeshadow powdery/stickiness that you can witness here!

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Virgin Vie Lipstick in Sheer Candy – yes you read that right, I am such a hoarder I have still kept a Virgin Vie lipstick that is basically empty and definitely gone off. I haven’t used this in forever but once again another product I was struggling to say goodbye to as I hadn’t quite finished it (I am starting to think I take after my stingy father a little bit too much!).

Ted Baker Purple Eyeliner – there is no shade name on this, and I don’t think I have ever used it to be quite honest. It came in a gift set and I completely forgot about it! It is not very pigmented now, possibly due to old age so its time for the bin I’m afraid.

So there we have my make up clear out! Is anyone else as bad at hoarding products as me?! I don’t know what it is about beauty items, but unless they have ran out I just can’t seem to say goodbye! On the plus side, I am now all ready to set up my dressing table in my new house, so keep an eye out for my beauty storage posts that are coming your way! #twolittleowls

Chloe’s Mums Healthy Fruit & Nut Muffins!

C: I stole this recipe from my mother as last time I went round she had baked these and they smelt SO SO good! I had to eat one immediately (which I blame on being pregnant, not on just being greedy of course) and they are super yummy. My mum gave me the recipe to try at home, and trust me… although I love to bake and have some skills? These are the easiest thing to make ever! And the plus side? They are freezable! Meaning you can make a batch (the recipe makes 12), freeze them and then take one out each day for your breakfast – so good for those of us who are in a rush but want a healthy option for their breakfast!

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Recipe:

Dry Ingredients: 225g plain flour, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 200g raisins, 200g chopped walnuts

Wet Ingredients: 250ml milk, 1 egg, 175g light brown sugar, 80ml olive oil

Instructions:

Combine all the dry ingredients together in one bowl and then separately combine the wet ingredients together in another.

Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Divide between 12 muffin cases and bake at 180C for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Seriously… its that easy! I know these aren’t 100% healthy, but they are certainly a better option when compared to a cheeky Starbucks muffin every morning! If you aren’t keen on nuts you could also swap them for some cranberries or other dried fruit! Hope you enjoy the recipe, and let me know if you try them! #twolittleowls