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12/10/2016

Dear Santa... | Just Add Ginger


Christmas Wishlist - Just Add Ginger blog

Christmas is a little anti-climactic this year. Normally, the house by now would be decorated top to toe in all things festive, but with a new baby on the way and a potential move on the cards, our priorities are elsewhere, and all my excitement, along with the Christmas tree, are still packed away in the loft.

Meaning I haven't really thought about what would go on my Christmas wishlist this year. To me, the baby and all the things he'll need come first, and any goodies I've been eyeing up take second place. However, there are of course a few little bits and pieces that I would be delighted to see under the tree (or receive for my birthday, which is two weeks after Christmas). It's impossible not to write a little dream list at this time of year, isn't it?

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Beauty: With clothing items being firmly off the cards for the time being, over the past few months I have been a sucker for all things beauty related. The idea of an evening of pampering well overtakes even the thought of a night out on the town nowadays, and in the phase of being responsible for a child, having some little luxuries in which I can (hopefully) have time to indulge really fill me with joy. 

The main indulgence being a new foundation. My skin at the moment is a nightmare when it comes to oxidising my base, and after having a few hormone-induced breakouts, I think the time is here to make a splurge and sort the situation out. And it's the Nars Sheer Glow foundation that's been on my radar of late. I've heard a lot of good things about it, and am hopeful there'll be a colour out there that really matches my skin. It's been a constant on my wishlist, and something which I plan to treat myself to once January comes around. With dark circles and sleepless nights on the horizon, I don't just owe it to myself, but to the rest of the world! 

Alongside foundation, maintaining a sense of normalcy when it comes to complexion also comes in the form of lipstick. Every time I walk past the Charlotte Tilbury counter in John Lewis, my beauty blogger senses go crazy. The packaging alone is the stuff dreams are made of, and being able to slip one of those shiny lipstick bullets into my handbag would be the ultimate in #bloggergoals as well as the answer to my flawless complexion dreams. 

I haven't had a roasting hot bath in months. Literally. Long hot soaks in the tub seem like a distant memory, along with super-splurgy bath products. The Laura Mercier Coconut Milk Honey Bath is just the epitome of bath time luxury in my eyes. From the packaging to the scent this has been something I've dreamt of having for ages and ages and ages. I can just envisage myself handing over parental duties for am hour to Ryan, running the hot water to roasting, and languishing with this in the bath for as long as I can. Not much to some, but as an avid bath fan, this is what dreams are made of for me right now. 

Fragrance: If you follow me on Instagram then you will know our house is undergoing a makeover. Downstairs the walls are now 90% brilliant white. It was a choice made to brighten up the space, and it has really worked. However, the crisp cleanliness has now meant Ryan has forbade me to burn candles anywhere than the bathroom for fear of getting soot marks everywhere. Well, in the new house, I want to go candle mad. And both the Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede and The White Company Winter candles are first on the list. I cannot and will not go all year without cracking out some of the scents I just love and filling the house with a cosy comforting smell that just makes you want to stay snuggled up in your pyjamas all day. 

Miscellaneous: I'm so late to jump on this wagon, but with a new house on the cards, I am totally lusting after a set of Ikea Alex drawers to house my beauty stash. I've pruned it down quite a lot, and the thought of my own little place to store all my favourite products, with a cute little Pinterest-worthy display housed on top is just really setting my heart a-flutter! 

No wishlist of mine would be complete without featuring my favourite chocolates. When the sleepless nights, hair-tearing moments and stressful situations arise, what better way to alleviate the tension than knowing there's a box of my fave Charbonnel et Walker Strawberry Truffles in the cupboard?


12/03/2016

Bathtime Made Beautiful* | Just Add Ginger


SoapBombs.co.uk Bath Blaster

Ever a sucker for a pretty bath product, nowadays, having some quality me time soaking in the tub is just one of those luxuries in which I just love to indulge. A die-hard Lush fan, it is very tricky for me to steer away from the tried and tested and delve into the depths of a new brand to try something new. However when I was given the chance to select a Bath Blaster from the SoapBombs website to try I saw it as a golden opportunity to go completely out of my comfort zone and - hopefully- find somewhere new to shop to help me indulge in one of my guiltiest pleasures. 

As a creature of habit, I am always mesmerised by just how lovely Lush bath products are at this time of year. However, just one glimpse at the SoapBombs website and I soon realised Lush had been blown out of the water! Each and every one of the bath blasters was just utterly breathtaking in design. From 3D figurines to sparkles and colours galore, I found the prospect of choosing one to try really daunting. Just how was I going to decide? 

Limiting my choices to the more festive range, I decided that fragrance was a good filtering factor, and so began the dilemma of trying to envisage what delicious combination of scents each bath blaster was going to treat my nose to. Finally, I decided to go for the Merrily On High blaster, which boasts a fragrance combination of frankincense and myrrh. Decorated with gold glitter and a beautiful Christmas ornament - things couldn't really get more festive! 

I was really impressed with how quickly (and well packaged) my bath blaster came. It arrived well within a week, and sat nestled in a bed of air-filled bags. All the decoration was in tact and undisturbed, and looked just as lovely as it did in the product image on the website. 

video

Slipping the blaster into the bath, it fizzed and danced away contentedly, turning the water a warm orange-yellow and filling the bathroom with a soft, spicy and inviting winter fragrance. It was the perfect balance and not at all overbearing, which is something I really appreciated, as some scents for me at the moment can prove just a bit too intense to handle. The glitter dispersed evenly, and was so finely milled that it was barely noticeable in the water. The formulation of the bath blaster itself left my skin soft to the touch, and smelling gorgeous. There was no slimy oiliness left on my skin after bath time was over, and the tub was pretty much as clean as it was before it had met the blaster.

Bath blasters are priced at £2.50 and I think the quality you get is just incredible. SoapBombs is a family-run business, and the passion they have for bath and pamper products is clearly seen from the selection they have on their website. It's like bringing a little piece of luxury into your bath routine, and there are just so many designs and scents to choose from. Perfect as a Christmas present, stocking filler, or as a cheeky little something from you to you, I can honestly say that I think I've been introduced a new little hidden gem and I can't wait to order more from the website. Not only offering bath products, SoapBombs offer home fragrances, soaps, candles and skincare too....

Goodbye bank balance!

To browse the SoapBombs shop, click here


* I was very kindly given the opportunity to select a bath blaster from soapbombs.co.uk to review free of charge. This does not affect my opinions. They are always 100% honest and guided by my experiences.

11/25/2016

An Alcohol Free Alternative For Fizz Fans | Just Add Ginger


Tesco Finest Alcohol Free Pinotage review- Just Add Ginger

It's really no secret that I am a girl who loves her fizz. A discovery I made in my later twenties, I am a true appreciator of a fine prosecco or bottle glass of champagne. That was until I found myself with a growing child in my belly and unable to pop the cork on a cracking set of bubbles on a Friday night. And whereas I could treat myself on the very rare occasion, with Christmas and my 30th birthday approaching in the next few months, I want to save the two drinks I'm allowing myself for then.

I didn't even realise Tesco stocked alcohol-free offerings until last week, when MG called to let us know that she had found some alcohol free fizz during the weekly shop that she would save until we came down. Sufficiently intrigued, I awaited Saturday evening to roll round so that I could see just if this discovery would live up to the real thing.

Image: c/o Tesco

Having picked up both the Pinotage Blush and the Chenin Blanc from the Tesco Finest range, MG let me decide which to sample first as we sat down around the dining table that evening. Opting for the blush (the colour looked too tempting) and glass in  hand, as soon as the bubbles started to pop, I started to wonder just if this would fool me and be an apt substitute for what had been one of my guiltiest pleasures. I've tried alcohol free variations before and nothing has blown me away, so you can imagine how dubious I was stepping in to this experiment. 

When it comes to rosé I am normally a fan of the sweeter varieties, and the pinotage blush definitely hits you from the get go with a fruity fragrance, Not just tasting of grape, there is something behind it that rang slightly of a Brown Brothers Moscato Rosa that I adore but they unfortunately no longer seem to stock anywhere. This made my taste-buds very happy, although, after a few sips, I was still unable to quite place what it was I was tasting. Irregardless of this, it was really rather like drinking fruit juice. Glass after glass went down so well that if this had have been alcoholic, I would have been pickled very quickly. There was no snap and bite that I find with "normal" prosecco or champagne, which I must say I did miss a touch. When it came to the flavour, there was just a little something missing. 

However, there were bubbles by the dozen. Had I been at a party or get-together where I didn't want to feel left out, this definitely would have delivered. On the outset you couldn't tell this was alcohol free. It still looked like a little glass of luxury. And from an aesthetic perspective, the bottle looked really fancy too - sleek and chic, with the recognisable Tesco Finest typography and a cork to pop for an extra touch of extravagance. 

Although I wasn't 100% blown away by the pinotage blush, it served as an enjoyable alternative, and would be perfect for anybody (pregnant or otherwise) who does not or cannot drink. We've saved the chenin blanc for Christmas, and I am really intrigued to see if the white variation brings out that crispness that always takes my breath away with prosecco or champagne. Because that is something -especially after a testing day - that I do still miss. 

Both drinks are currently listed as unavailable on the Tesco website, but keep your eye out online or in-store for them if you'd like to give them a try too! 

11/18/2016

A Festive Evening At Lush | Just Add Ginger


Lush Spa Liverpool

Ever since the Lush spa in Liverpool first opened, I hoped, dreamed and prayed that they would host blogger events. Having been a die-hard Lush fan for years, this was definitely something that was on my inner blogger checklist. 

My prayers were answered last month, when Lush invited a bunch of us bloggers down for a skincare event, but it was their most recent event that just really cemented my love and true appreciation for Lush as a brand, and the store in Liverpool as just one of my favourite shopping haunts.

After the doors opened at 7pm welcoming us in out of the cold, we were checked in and immediately divided up into groups. Following the warm greetings from the Lush staff, and saying our hellos to familiar faces and introducing ourselves, Megan - the event coordinator - explained what the event would entail. With stations positioned around the room ready to introduce us to how Lush get ready for the Christmas season, and the gentle tinkling of the ivories in the background from the live pianist (what a treat), the festive atmosphere was inescapable, and extremely welcome. 

Lush Ltd Lipsticks

At twenty minute intervals, the groups rotated to each different station, where we learned all about knot wraps, the Lush Christmas lines, had a makeup masterclass, and a tour of the Lush spa. All the while, staff floated around the floor, treating us to mince pies, mulled wine and juice, and demonstrating some of the gorgeous festive goodies that were on sale in the store. Whilst the pianist took breaks, Christmas tunes blasted out the speakers, filling our ears and ramping up the Christmas spirit to the max. Unable to contain my joy, I happily joined in a little sing-song with Holly (it was pretty apt that I was in the 'Inhibited' group really). 

Lush Spa Liverpool

Lush Spa Liverpool

Our group headed up for our spa tour last, and it was just like being welcomed into a cosy country kitchen, with rooms set up to depict treatments, and mood lighting setting the atmosphere in the waiting area. The Lush soundtrack tickled our ears, and I realised just how much I longed myself back for a treatment. (Top tip: If you're a fellow mamma-to-be, there are treatments suitable for us!) 

I really credit an enjoyable event to the organisation, and Lush blew it out the water with this one. We were well and truly spoilt for food, drink, and attention from the staff, and it was so nice to be able to peruse the products at ease without the oppressing Christmas crowds that seem to flock to Liverpool as soon as it hits December. 

One of the highlights of the evening has to be participating in the Mannequin challenge. It was hilarious to see the room change from chatter, smiles and singing to complete silence and stillness as we all did our best to be as mannequin-like as possible. (I had to get a cheek twitch, didn't I?) 

Lush Bath Ballistics

It took so much inner restrain to not buy all the Christmas goodies in the store. Tempting as it was to fill up a basket during the time we had to shop, I have turned in to a complete basket case and am holding out to payday and after I've bought our Tommie Tippee Prep Machine - don't judge me! 

Lush Ltd Christmas products

As we exited the store, we were all very kindly handed goodie bags containing some select Christmas products (including my favourite ever - Luxury Lush Pud) to try out at home. It was such a generous gesture, and utter treat for us all. I live and breathe for the Lush Christmas releases, and there were some products in the bags that I had been desperate to try for ages ... how did you know eh Lush?

I cannot sing the praises of Lush enough for putting on this fantastic event for us, and only hope there are more coming in the future. If you are a blogger from the North West and missed out this time, definitely keep an eye out on Lush Liverpool's social media pages to catch the call for the next one. 

Check out Lush's full Christmas range here. And for more details about the Lush Spa in Liverpool, click here

11/14/2016

Feeling Neglected By Fashion | Just Add Ginger


Pregnancy And Fashion

Before I got pregnant, the biggest shopping woe I had was buying jeans. It was my fashion bugbear and drove me to absolute distraction. 

I didn't stop to take a moment, step back and realise how lucky I was. Walking in to shops, set out before me were always row upon row of pretty clothes, seasonal staples and party wear, all mine for the wearing. I didn't appreciate just how much choice there was...

Until I got up the duff.

Yesterday, I went on a massive Facebook rant about this because I was just at the end of my tether. Sarah, Ryan and I had spent the whole afternoon looking round shops in Liverpool One because I wanted to find a dress to add to my concise maternity wardrobe, and as we stepped in to each of those shops, my morale just slipped further and further away. Look online at any high street retailer that stocks maternity wear and the ranges are not huge, but extensive enough. H&M...New Look...Topshop...they all stock clothes that I think are almost on a par with the sort of styles I'd usually go for. Go in-store, and it's a completely different story. The sections are tiny, and the lines completely uninspiring. It's awkward enough that whilst you're pregnant, you have to contend with every part of you growing, but it makes it worse when you can't try anything on. I feel as though pregnant women have been pigeonholed and are just presented with this uniform we are expected to wear. Maternity jeans, leggings, a top, and some kind of jumper and you're done, That glitzy top or party dress you saw online, forget seeing those in store. You're stuck with having to order three different sizes to try on at home for that one! Got a last-minute snazzy party to go to? I'm sure they won't mind if you show up in a pair of jeans and a "maternity top" that you have to squeeze yourself in to, or jumper with a sickening bump related motif. 

I just don't understand it! And it's something I find incredibly frustrating. Especially at a time of year when everywhere is full of glittering dresses, sequins and hemlines that would have been suitable for your pre-pregnancy body but now would give you zero modesty. 

Seemingly, there's not much of a demand for extensive maternity lines in store. Seriously, are you bloody surprised? Heading in shop after shop, it's just the same story. It's as though the shops are saying, "oh, you're pregnant now? Here's your mumsy top and slouchy jumper - now be on your way." 

Why, just why?

Why not give us more of a choice? How difficult is it to be a bit more inclusive? Like a particular dress that has been designed for the "regular" brand? Add a bit more material and put it out across the board! Hang a few sizes in your stores and see how they do. And for God's sake stop hiding your Maternity lines at the back! We are pregnant, not pariahs of society. 

EVERYBODY should have the chance to look fierce and feel fabulous. I'm speaking as an expectant mother, but it should be the same for all, no matter what size or shape you are. It's only now that I realise just how frustrating the high street fashion world is. Not everybody can or wants top shop solely online. I know we are living in a technological age, but it goes without saying that fits of garments vary depending on the style and the shop. Yesterday, I tried on two jumpers from Topshop. One barely covered my bump, and the other looked about three sizes too big. How are you supposed to tell this from a cut out on a website? 

So this is my plea to high street retailers. Stop neglecting niches in your customer demographic. As a once loyal customer with an unhealthy habit of window shopping in your stores at the weekends I have now lost faith in you. Just because I am pregnant it doesn't mean I don't love fashion. I don't want to disregard who I was in place of a 'mummyform'. I want to celebrate my bump in style. And I want to be able to bloody try things on. Stop offering us uninspiring clothes and give us choice. It's a difficult enough journey, and some of us still actually want to look lovely whilst we battle the aches, the pains, the tiredness and the hormones. 

The time will come for pyjamas, spots of hidden spit up and moments where I just don't give a shit, but I don't think I'm quite there just yet. Restore my faith in fashion, and give us all a chance to see some different styles out there! 

#pregnantnotpariah

10/29/2016

Anxiety In Pregnancy | Just Add Ginger


Anxiety in Pregnancy


I have always been a worrier. I am easily freaked out by the unknown, scared by the "what if" moments, and generally just can be a little bit of an anxious person. I don't think my overactive imagination and storyteller brain help, and since getting pregnant, things have just got a whole lot worse. 

It was our first scare that kicked things off. Up until then, I was just plodding along, suffering with nothing more than just a few moments of feeling wound up about things, and generally terrified that at some point in the future I would have to act as a grown up. But since that first visit to the EPAU, I have been a ticking time bomb. Nearly anything can set me off, and my hormones just make it worse. I find myself crying over  the irrational and things over which I have no control, probably because in this journey, I can't have control. It is just awful, and poor Ryan just has to go with it, even though we can spend hours upon hours talking over the same points just so I can gain some semblance of reassurance. 

Factor in to that two other visits to the hospital following out of the blue scares and you have the recipe for disaster. Anxiety is making it impossible for me to enjoy being pregnant right now because I live in fear of something happening again. It is entirely out of my hands, and that lack of control makes it even harder to bear. I'm counting down the minutes until I can feel baby move, and have even had to book a reassurance scan because the waiting to see little nugget was just too much to think about. 

Why am I telling you all this? Because pregnancy is bloody hard work. And I didn't realise just how much until I was there. It is terrifying. It's like riding a roller coaster in the pitch black - you don't know where the bends are going to take you, and when it's going to stop. And you sometimes don't think anyone will understand. Sometimes you just feel completely alone.

But you aren't alone. Be it a partner, a friend, midwife or GP, there is someone always there who can help you out - even if it's just to be a shoulder to cry on. Bottling up and hiding all these fears will only make it worse. But by embracing how we feel (even though we may feel incredibly silly) is one step forward on to a better path. As a first time mummy-to-be everything is a new experience and I don't know what I should be scared of, but knowing I have a support network really, really helps.

Even though ultimately we are pregnant on our own, we are not alone.

There may of course be times where you aren't able to talk to anyone, or, like I've felt, you just feel completely silly for even wanting to confess how you're feeling. For moments like these, this is where writing can really help. Hence why this blog post is in existence. I don't feel anxious right this second (I'm currently sitting in my dressing gown nursing dregs of a stone cold coffee), but I do feel a little on edge. And for no apparent reason. But by tapping away and bearing my soul to this little space on the internet, I can feel that tension ebbing away.

Even if you don't want to talk to someone, talk to no-one. 

Find a piece of paper and write down your fears, open a Word doc and type out the tension, or just talk out loud to yourself. The more you open up to accept how you feel, the lighter things might get. Anxiety shouldn't be ignored, but it's important for us to realise and embrace our feelings and let them become a part of this experience without taking us over.

I'm not writing this post claiming to be an expert. I'm far from it. All this is completely new to me, but after searching the internet for some sort of reference to help me realise that feeling lie this is okay and failing, I just wanted to get my experiences out there. Finding techniques to help manage these anxious feelings is really important for our well being. Pregnancy takes a toll on us, and we need to take some time to think about what will make us feel better, the support we need, and how we can make pregnancy feel as magical as it ultimately should.

10/25/2016

Dining At Chaophraya* | Just Add Ginger


Chaophraya Liverpool Just Add Ginger

I think nearly everybody has that one type of cuisine with which they are just not that familiar. For me, that is Thai food. It's not for lack of trying, but many of the dishes go beyond my spice tolerance and often I've found it difficult to get too adventurous because I just wouldn't have been able to handle the heat.

Chaophraya reached out to me about a week ago inviting me down to an evening dedicated to their new menu launch. Disappointed that I wan't able to make it on the night, I asked if I might be able to pop down (husband in tow) to sample the menu on another occasion. So on Saturday evening, Ryan and I found ourselves on a rather special date night in Liverpool One.

The beautiful décor and sheer opulent feel of the restaurant was clear pretty much as soon as we stepped in to the restaurant. From the staff's stunning uniforms to the gilded gold statues and beautiful finishings. The styling of the venue really helped set the tone of the evening in a highly sophisticated way, even down to the simplistic and chic menu designs. I was filled with high hopes as we sat down ready to make the agonising decision of just what exactly to sample. 

Chaophraya Liverpool - Just Add Ginger

Planning well ahead, and knowing that every time we take a trip to a restaurant, there's an agonising wait whilst I 'Oooh' and 'Ahh' over the menu, I had taken a sneaky peek online before heading out to eat. Thankfully this is where pregnancy works on my side as I was quickly able to eliminate things I couldn't have / contained things I knew I had lost my taste for. With this in mind, I ordered the Chicken Spring Rolls to start followed by the Duck Tamarind, whilst Ryan opted for the Steamed Dumplings with the Thai Red Prawn Curry as his main option.

Aside from all the delicious choices from the food menu, I was delighted by the drinks menu too. Jam packed full of amazing sounding cocktails, wines, spirits and beers, there was also a choice of non-alcoholic cocktails and soft drinks - something which can be a rarity in restaurants, and something that has become a bit of a bugbear of late. Not wanting to miss out on a fancy drink, I ordered a Tropical alcohol-free cocktail to sip alongside my meal.

Chaophraya Liverpool - Just Add Ginger

Chaophraya Liverpool - Just Add Ginger blog

Now normally, I find the sizes of starters to be somewhat inconsistent. Some can be too big, making it impossible to enjoy a full three course dining experience, whereas others are teeny tiny, barely providing enough of a sampler to whet your appetite. But our starters at Chaophraya were just right. Delicate, more-ish, and jam-packed full of flavour. The presentation was also fabulous, which really played a big part in our enjoyment of the food. We definitely chose the right dishes to start off our meal, as neither of us were that willing to share the food, and mouthful after mouthful were gobbled up in record time. Our Tropical drinks, sweet and smooth, provided an excellent bit of relief as we took intermittent breaks to coo over how lovely the food was.



Even though the restaurant was busy, the waiting time between courses was minimal. After a short wait after our starters, the mains were placed down in front of us. Again, our choices could not have been more perfect. As soon as the plates were on the table, a beautiful and fragrant aroma filled our nostrils and made our stomachs growl. My duck was a perfectly blend of beautifully crisp pieces and super succulent mouthfuls, and the accompanying sauce made the whole dish wonderfully balanced against the earthy qualities of the vegetables. And I was just as delighted with my coconut rice side (coconut rice is one of my favourites), which was busting with coconut flavour and really complemented the sweetness of my main. Ryan enjoyed his main course equally as much, and was happy to find that the prawns were rather generous in size. It was testament to the food that our conversation over dinner became less and less the more and more of the dishes we ate. Given time, I could have finished up every morsel, but knowing that there was a fair chance I may want to try out a dessert, I left just a little bit of space for a sweet.

Chaophraya Liverpool review - Just Add Ginger

It didn't take long to decide what to have. The one dish that instantly called out to me was the White Chocolate Box. I don't take desserts lightly, so trust me when I say that this pud was one of the most delicious that I've ever tasted. It cuts a close second to the Dark Chocolate And Raspberry Tears that Yukti offers. The mix of sweet white chocolate and the sharpness of the raspberry coulis inside were a match made in heaven, and it was incredibly difficult to share the dessert fairly with Ryan. The more I ate, the more I wanted, and if I had not been starting to get really full, I think I could easily have managed one on my own.

Going to Chaophraya really opened my eyes as to what Thai cuisine has to offer, With so many different choices on the menu, there is something for everyone, and you could happily go back again and again and try something different. It was one of the most sophisticated and opulent dining settings I have ever experienced, and I'm already looking forward to heading back again!

To find out more about Chaophraya and to take a peek at their new menu, click here

* I was very kindly gifted a free meal at Chaophraya for myself and Ryan (thank you so much guys). This in no way influences my opinions. They are always 100% honest and guided by my experiences and taste buds. 

10/23/2016

The Girl Behind The Ginger | Just Add Ginger


Blogger Q&A - Just Add Ginger

I'm a bit of a sucker for a blog tag. They are probably some of my favourite to do. And when I read Sarah's Q&A post, I knew it was a tag in which I just had to partake. I like to think I have quite an open outlook when it comes to the things I share on my blog, but it's questions like this that really help you get to know the quirkier side of me. 

So, without further ado, let's dive straight in to the questions....

Apple or Orange juice?
Orange juice. I cannot stand apple juice!

Are you a morning or night person?
Neither at the moment. I do tend to usually get more done in the morning though (when I'm not having a mid-morning nap)!

Which do you prefer, sweet or salty food?
It honestly depends on my mood. My biggest pregnancy craving right now is chocolate milk, and I love satsumas, but I would never turn down some cheese or a bag of crisps!

Ninjas or pirates?
Pirates. Definitely pirates.

Autobots or Decepticons?
Autobots. 

What was your favourite childhood TV program?
I used to love watching Captain Caveman, and I have always loved Scooby Doo. I have had a deep appreciation for mystery programmes ever since I was a child.

Are you a collector of anything?
Ryan would say receipts, but in reality not really. I used to be, but I value a tidy home too much to clutter it with collectables. 

If you could be any animal, what would you be?
Hmm....maybe a cat - then all the sleeping I do would always be justifiable, 

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I'd love to be Mary Poppins and just make things tidy themselves away. Okay - so not quite a superpower, but such a handy talent to have.

What do you usually think about before falling asleep?
Not a lot. As soon as my head hits the pillow I'm out like a light. 

Do you believe in E.T's or life on other planets?
Yes. To think we are all alone in the entire universe seems a little odd. There must be something else out there.

Do you believe in ghosts?
Absolutely. I've never seen one, but I do believe they exist.

Ever been addicted to a video/computer game?
The Sims. I used to play it for hours, and I do dabble in playing The Sims 4 sometimes. I've lost hours (probably even days) of my life to The Sims.

You're given a million dollars, what do you spend it on?
I'd set myself up with a business, ensure I saved some for the future, make sure my parents have an awesome house, and then try and take all the family on an amazing weekend away. Money left over would be divided in between charities I support.

Do you have any bad habits?
I chew the insides of cheeks when I'm nervous or stressed. 

Which bad habits drive you crazy?
People who don't indicate when changing lanes!!!!

List 3 of your best personality traits.
Loyalty, Dedication, Hard Working

Have you got any celeb crushes?
Johnny Depp forever! And Thor - phwoar! I used to also have a huge crush on Legolas (the character in the LOTR films, not Orlando Bloom).

Name one thing you wish you could change about yourself?
I wish I was less of a worrier. 

What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?
Hair and smile

What personality traits do you look for in a partner?
Sense of humour, the ability to listen, and kindness. 

What personality traits do you dislike in other people?
Haughtiness, dishonesty, and deceptiveness.

Are you mostly a clean or messy person?
In between. Mess really grates on me, and I try to keep a tidy house, but sometimes leaving the washing up until the last possible minute is just too tempting.

Do you see yourself getting married in the next 5 years?
Haha - already done that one!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
Somewhere where I can have grass beneath my feet. 

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I'd love to go back to New York. We were going to go around my 30th, but that's out the window now hehe.

List 5 goals on your life to-do list?
Raise a happy family
Be the best wife I can be
Write more
Say yes to opportunities more
Take a 1st class flight somewhere.

Name one regret that you have.
I don't think I have any. All choices I've made have led me to become the person I am.

Name one thing you love about being an adult.
Independence.
What is your favourite song at the moment?
Hmm..... I'm not sure. Anything Ed Sheeran because that's the cd in the car at the moment.

What is your favourite song of all time?
I don't think I have a favourite favourite, but I really like By Your Side by Sade & Us And Them by Pink Floyd

What's your favourite thing to do on a Saturday night?
Nap, eat, and binge watch Dinner Date. 

What is your favourite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon?
Go on a walk. I love Autumn and getting out in the fresh air when it's all crisp and chilly is just fabulous.

Have you got any hidden talents?
I do a pretty good Yogi Bear impression!

You're about to walk the green mile, what do you have as your last meal?
Salmon with really crisp skin, chive mash and Ryan's lasagne.

What would be your dream job?
Something where I could be creative. I don't want to be a high flyer, but as long as I'm doing something that makes me happy and means I can be there for my family I'd be content forever. 

Would you rather have, 100 million pounds or true love?
True love.

If you could have 3 wishes granted, what would they be?
I wish I didn't get so anxious
I wish chocolate milk was good for you
I wish  Beyonce would call and offer to play a gig for my 30th birthday free of charge.

Ever wish you were born the opposite sex?
Nope.

So, there you have it - did you learn something new? This was definitely one of my most enjoyable tag posts I've done, and if you enjoyed reading it just as much, then I tag YOU too! 


10/21/2016

The Diary Of A Pregnant Woman | Just Add Ginger



Just Add Ginger blog - Diary of a pregnant woman


Dear Diary, 

Y'know.... 

Being pregnant isn't everything
That I'd thought it'd be,
waking up at half past four
desperate for a wee, 

The things you want to cry about, 
the things that make you roar.
Disaster strikes when there's 
a single speck of dust upon the floor. 

Weeping over politics 
and sad things on the news, 
Getting annoyed at your other half. 
when what to eat you just can't choose. 

Cooing over baby clothes 
you just can't quite afford, 
Stressing over bottle types 
And what to paint on nursery walls.

Getting used to that big long list 
of food you just can't eat, 
The random deep sleep cat naps, 
when fatigue you can't defeat.

Finding that you've run out of clothes, 
"Nothing wants to fit!" 
Your husband still looks oh-so dapper, 
when you just feel like sh*t.


The anguish over baby names, 
Just how are you to pick? 
Dustin, Justin, Penny, Lola. 
Oh, nothing seems to stick. 

Aches and pains are everywhere. 
You can just about put on your socks. 
Gagging on your toothbrush - 
just when will all these things stop? 

And then there's the times you can't predict, 
when things don't go to plan. 
Waiting rooms and phone calls 
knowing the outcome's out your hands. 

But on this big new journey 
I wouldn't change a thing, 
When baby's here it's a whole new chapter...

of guessing if that's poo or chocolate on your chin.


9/30/2016

A Small Addition (And Big Announcement) | Just Add Ginger


Pregnancy Announcement - Just Add Ginger

This is a very strange feeling. By the time this post has gone live I will have started it hmm.... about seven weeks ago. This one I've been sitting on for a long time and I'm so happy that I can finally, finally, hit the publish button. So, here goes... 

I'M PREGNANT!

Scan picture Just Add Ginger

It feels so good to finally get this out there. Even now, seven weeks ago (hello future me) I feel a little nervous even typing those words. At the time of starting to write this post I am seven weeks and three days pregnant, and truth be told, scared to death! 

We found out we were expecting very early, and, to be quite honest, these weeks haven't been easy. I'm very lucky that in between the time finding out and now I haven't had any morning sickness, but I am on a constant countdown to the twelve week mark in complete fear that something is going to happen. I'm desperate to tel people, desperate to celebrate, to cry, to laugh (in between needing a wee for the hundredth time), and to run out and buy things, but I'm just too nervous to do that right now. Having to wait is torment, but I'm terrified to tell people, just in case I jinx myself. 

But now, at last, I can sit down here and talk about it! The good, the bad and the ugly. You can be sure I'll be sharing it all!

Finding Out: 

I thought something was strange for a little while. I couldn't put my finger on it, but something was just off. Ryan, trying to convince me I was imagining things kept saying "it's just your body going through a change". Unconvinced, feeling increasingly bloated, and after a trip to the baby exhibition in the National History Museum, the day before my period was due I decided to pee on a stick...just to check. The first test was utterly useless, coming up with a totally blue screen and no clear line whatsoever. Test number two however clearly showed an indicative blue cross. Clutching stick in hand, I called Ryan in, and waved it in his face. In typical comedic fashion, and before a big grin appeared, his response was "well, we'd better make you a Drs appointment then!"

Symptoms: 

Up To Week Seven: The most surprising thing about this time is how un-pregnant I feel. I had visions of hitting a certain point and being ridden with morning sickness, but, so far, I've been very, very lucky in that department. It came to a point though in week 7 where I was convinced it was a dream. Despite a period that was clearly not going to appear, it just didn't seem real, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I had to buy another test, just to make sure I wasn't mad (my first ultrasound was just too far away for me to manage!)

However, what I've lacked in nausea I've made up for in indigestion, a nagging worry and unbearable nights of insomnia. The struggle is real with the worry, and it has made me feel a bit anxious. Not just for myself and our little nugget (our name for the baby) but for Ryan, and just life in general. It's stupid, and un-founded, but I just can't help it. Some mornings I just cry and cry and get all hot and bothered. It has been an unshakeable fear - probably linked to my lack of sleep - and its driving me nuts! 

Aside from the sore, growing chest area that irk me from time to time, from the end of week 6 I've also had random bouts of indigestion. With no correlation to the food I'm eating or the time of day I can only guess this is pregnancy related. Oh, and it's true what they say about gas too. If I'm not hiccuping I'm burping, and if I'm not burping....you get the idea!

Weeks 8-10: I've still felt incredibly un-pregnant, but what I did start to notice is how bloated I started to get by week 10. I look about three months pregnant by the end of the day and I just felt huge. I'm completely out of wearing jeans and have practically lived in the same clothes because I felt like everyone would either guess or think that I've been overdoing the cheese and beer! (Thank you Boohoo who totally saved my life in having dresses to hide myself).

We had our first midwife appointment in these few weeks and both Ryan and I love who we have. The support just initially was amazing and I know we both feel so comfortable now having had that first appointment. There were tears from me and a lot of questions to answer but I definitely now feel that my support network is stronger and if there are ever any issues, there will always be people on hand to offer an ear / shoulder / advice.

In these weeks the anxiety got worse. Nearly everyday something was there that totally stressed me out and made me upset. I worried constantly about me, little nugget or Ryan to various degrees and it was incredibly frustrating. The thing that helped was talking to Ryan. When I felt overwhelmed just having him there to listen to me figure out why I'm worrying about the same thing for the fourth day in a row was a godsend.

There were also a great amount of changes happening in these weeks, but, for the sake of maintaining some tones of decorum in this post I won't go in to these. Let's just say it's definitely not been all sunshine and rainbows and if I was an emoji, I would be the embarrassed face!

Baby bump 12 weeks


Weeks 11-14: These have been the hardest weeks imaginable. Where I have been fortunate to not have any morning sickness, the world came tumbling down not once, but twice over these three weeks as I suffered two really scary bleeds. Thinking the worse, I was inconsolable, and Ryan was my absolute rock. Both times we immediately headed down to the EPAU to get checked out, but it was that sense of being so out of control for this little person you want so desperately to protect. As it turns out, I have a secondary sack that seems to have been the cause of the issue, and to our relief, baby has been dancing around in my tummy happily as if without a care in the world.

The week 12 dating scan was such a relief I can tell you. Baby measured right on schedule but absolutely refused to keep still meaning that I have to go in for a blood test next week for one of my screening tests (thanks kiddo)! The other discovery that was made at our latest scan (14 weeks) was that I have an amniotic band. At the moment baby is nowhere near it and moving around freely, but this is something that will need to get checked at 20 weeks. I'm hoping it will disappear by then, but the thought of any potential thing going wrong is really worrying. Even though this pregnancy seems so surreal still, that maternal instinct is really kicking in, and all I want to do is just shield little nugget from any harm.

All of this has kicked off some anxiety again, as I have no way of being able to tell if everything is okay. I can only have faith and rest in between work as much as I can. It is something that is definitely on my list to speak to my midwife about. Being a worrier by nature, this has moved things up a few pegs that's for sure!

At the moment it's really odd to think that in just a few months I'm going to be a mum, but if there's one thing I am sure of, it's that come rain, sleet, snow or sunshine, I love our little nugget to the moon and back.