Saturday, 20 September 2014


We ummed and ahed about whether or not to take little Ern with us on our honeymoon, and decided of course we should! We'd have missed him way too much!

We had a wonderful week traveling from our home in Kent all the way to Salcombe in Devon.

It was our first family adventure!

We stayed in some great places, and it was a real treat for the three of us to spend so much time together.

Ernest seemed to thrive having both mine and Tom's undivided attention.

The highlights of our trip were Brighton Hotel Du Vin, Brighton Aquarium, fish'n'chips on the beach, The Pig on the Beach at Studland Bay Dorset, a cliff top walk to The Old Harry Rocks, Monkey World, The spa facilities at the Salcombe Harbour Hotel, lunch at The Winking Prawn, and Ernie's first time paddling on North Sands beach.

Friday, 19 September 2014

My Naked Wedding Cake

Here's a picture of my wedding cake, the day after, re-assembled in my Mother-in-Law's kitchen!

We were having so much fun that we totally forgot to cut the cake!

It's a stack of Victoria sponges, filled with raspberry jam & vanilla buttercream, dressed with fresh fruit, a light dusting of icing sugar, and flowers.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Is Benzoyl Peroxide safe?

I wanted to post this information I found - that confirms my thoughts and feelings about Benzoyl Peroxide use during pregnancy to tackle acne.

Most expecting women are concerned with how ingredients absorbed through the skin may affect the health of their unborn babies, and if like me, you find yourself struggling with skin issues - this can be doubly hard. 

In fact, many pregnant women suffer from worsening acne.

I also experienced dilated blood vessels - due to increased blood flow to the skin - which resulted in loads of spider veins across my cheeks, chest, and arms. 

These statements are from an article I found quoting Dr. Rogers and Dr. Jenny Murase - who are Palo Alto-based dermatologists whose specialties include pregnancy and lactation.

While studies on using benzoyl peroxide while pregnant haven’t been conducted, researchers haven't found the zit-fighter to be of concern. Dr. Rogers agrees. “I’ve seen studies in which there was a negative outcome when benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid were fed to rats in large quantities, but this has never been shown in humans — and never with topical application.”

Dr. Rogers says that you shouldn't altogether forsake glycolic and salicylic acids, benzoyl peroxide, or even retinol — you just have to know how and when to use them.

They certainly caused my pregnancy no harm whatsoever.

Dr. Rogers also typically guides her pregnant patients to use glycolic acid to treat these skin conditions first, because the research is more established for this ingredient. Then, if the skin isn’t responding, she may suggest salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide — which she says are also safe in small amounts.

She suggests benzoyl peroxide because its antibacterial properties can help quell zits, and salicylic acid to help dry the skin of excess oil. 

She notes, however, that if it makes a patient feel better to be more cautious about a skin-care ingredient, then they should just skip it.

If your skin gets oily or you get hormone-driven acne, Dr. Murase suggests washing your face with a salicylic acid-based wash. “Salicylic acid preparations can help with oil reduction.”

I can't stress enough how much of a skin saviour Obagi's Therapeutic Lotion was for me during my pregnancy (and beyond.) It's an amazing lightweight acne treatment lotion with 5% BPO.

You can read more about my experience of pregnancy acne here.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Sookie's Brithday Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes for Ernie's birthday buddy Sookie. My lovey friend Lindsay and I had our babies a day apart!

I love making cupcakes, these are a combination of Mary Berry's cupcake sponge recipe, and Humingbird bakery's cream cheese frosting - my all time favourite.

The edible flower decorations are Dr. Oetker Wafer Daisies. This was my second attempt at piping a rose swirl - they're not too bad, but I'd definitely like to practice doing more.

For anyone whose wondering how…

You start from the middle and pipe a small amount of buttercream into the centre, using a star shaped nozzle.

Slowly work your way around going anti-clockwise until you reach the outer edge of your cupcake. 

Just remember to apply even pressure to your pipping bag,  as this insures an even swirl all the way around.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Early signs of pregnancy

If you're someone who's trying to conceive - or TTC as it's so often referred to in mumsnet lingo - you'll be in the frustrating camp of trying to work out if you've fallen pregnant before a home pregnancy test can give you a definite answer.

From the point of ovulation - if you've timed your baby-making correctly - it's an impossibly long two week wait before you can take that all important test, but there are definitely signs and symptoms you can look out for that may indicate success.

It's important to point out that a lot of these are similar to pre-menstrual symptoms so the only real indication of pregnancy is a positive test, but if you're like I was, you'll be looking for anything that might give you a heads up.

So here goes, these are my top five signs that you may be prego, before the all important pee stick tells you so…

1. Tingly nipples - This was my very first sign that I was pregnant. A tingly almost itchy sensation in my nipples. The surge in hormones in your body causes an increased blood supply to your breasts, which causes the tingling sensation.

2. Implantation bleeding - About a week after conception, the embryo pushes itself into the wall of the uterus. This causes some light bleeding or spots of blood to appear when wiping.

3. Spots - in particular breaking out around my hairline, plus mild headaches and dizziness.

4. Light cramping - I noticed some light uterine cramping in early pregnancy. You may also feel 'full' or 'heavy' around your uterus, and actually it's not uncommon to hear that in early pregnancy some women describe feeling like they were about to start their period any minute.

5. Sore gums - Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make your gums more vulnerable to plaque, leading to inflammation and bleeding. This is also called pregnancy gingivitis or gum disease.

My advice to anyone trying to conceive is that until you get your BFP (big fat positive - more mumsnet speak) don't make any major changes to your life. If you missed your mate's birthday drinks out because you thought that there was a possibility you were pregnant, and then found out that you weren't - you'd be even more gutted.

As they also say in the mumsnet forums - baby dust to all of you!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Walking in the woods

Young Ern mastering the art of an afternoon stroll.

13 months