Baby Brain: Is it really a thing?

Baby brain, is it really a thing? Before I was pregnant I'd joke with my other pregnant friends if they'd forgotten something or were having a bit of a thick moment, that they had the mythical baby brain

Now that I'm pregnant the joke's on me because I'm certain I'm suffering from a serious case of it!

I can't tell you how many times I've had to be reminded of conversations I simply can't remember, or gone upstairs to get something but can't remember what.  Once I made a cup of tea with cream instead of milk and sprayed deodorant under my arms after I'd put my top on!

Forgetfulness and confusion seems to be a running theme throughout this pregnancy and it appears I'm not alone with one mum I know comparing her memory to a fish!

Baby Brain Is it really thing?

So does baby brain actually really exist?  After a quick google search the medical jury's out.  Apparently there isn't enough supporting evidence that baby brain is an actual medical condition, with studies showing we did just as well as non-expecting women in various tests.  However other studies show that a woman's brain changes during pregnancy in order to for them to be more in tune with their baby's needs after giving birth.  Surely that's got to have some kind of effect on us.

So I guess whether baby brain medically exists or not, I know for certain I'm not quite as focused and switched on as usual.  When you're preparing for the arrival of something so small and fragile that will turn your entire world upside down is it any wonder?

So what do you think? Does baby brain exist?


Tinker and Stitch

Our lovely little town, Leek, is bursting with independent shops, bars and cafes.  In fact it's so good it came runner up in The Telegraph high street awards in 2014, which was kind of a big deal.  Over the years the town has really transformed itself and most of this is down to local business owners pulling together, arranging events and putting Leek back on the map.

One of the key events was the introduction of a new market on the first Sunday of every month.  A Makers & Artisans market bursting with over 30 stalls of locally produced food and crafts.  An opportunity to purchase something unique and original which hasn't been mass produced, not to mention an excellent way for new designers to showcase their goods.

I try and pop along each month as there's always something new to be found and as usual I wasn't disappointed.

A stall which really caught my eye was the curiously quirky Tinker & Stitch.  Specialising in handmade apparel for little tinkers, shop owner Sarah Williams decided to start making baby clothes after having her little girl earlier this year.  If you love a rainbow print, cloud, star, fox or unicorn, YES I SAID UNICORN then Tinker and Stitch's bright clothes are perfect for your babes.   The clothes are super soft and I love the fact they're made from bright quirky fabric.  In fact I kinda wished she did them in adult sizes too.

I can't wait until our baby is born and I can start buying cute stuff like this.  Have you got a favourite shop for children's clothes?


Bloggers Challenge

What do you do when you're suffering from a bout of bloggers block?  As  you know I took a year off because life was, well just getting a little bit crazy.  When I finally did get the time I needed to return to blogging I actually found it hard to get into the swing of things.  I kept thinking of / seeing / doing / wearing things that would make great posts yet couldn't quite bring myself to sit down and write them!

When I saw Rosalilium was challenging us to Write Every Day In November (BEDN) I took it as a sign!  It was the kick up the backside I needed to help me get back my blogging mojo but could I really write a post every day?  I only used to post once a week, twice at a push, thirty posts in thirty days is no easy feat but I like the idea of a challenge.  The whole idea of BEDN is to help those bloggers who may be stuck in a rut, or want to connect with other likeminded bloggers.  Topics are set for each day if you're stuck or you can write whatever you fancy.

So here I am on Day 5 feeling pretty proud that I've blogged more this week than I have in some months. It's not too late to take part in the challenge so if you fancy signing up just head over to Rosalilium's page and add your name to the google doc

Are you taking part in BEDN or have you taken part in a similar blogging challenge?


Life Through A Lens

The topic for today's BEDN (that's Blog Every Day in November incase you didn't know) is photography.  What I love most about photography is the way you see the world differently.  It's amazing how much more you appreciate things when looking through a viewfinder.  The deep teal of victorian tiles, a close up of a flower, a skyline you may not necessarily have notice before. 

One of my favourite photos I've taken is of my son, around 4 years ago.  We were on holiday, the sun was going down and he was sitting on a rock looking out to sea.  Although I couldn't see his face, his body language looked relaxed like he was deep in thought.  I love the redness in the sky and the gentle waves lapping at the shore.  This whole photo gives me a sense of calm

Are you a keen photographer?  What's your proudest photo?


Wedding Photography: Should You Invest?

Weddings, as you can probably imagine can be pretty expensive.  Even with the strongest will in the world it's easy to see how a budget can spiral out of control.  Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and you want it to be perfect.  Lets be realistic though, things are never going to be perfect, there's always something that will go wrong and as long as it's nothing too major, when it comes to the big day you won't even notice, or care!!

I loved every aspect of our wedding but one of the most important things to me was that we all had a good time.  Lets face it my guests wont really care whether the flowers co-ordinate with the bridesmaids dresses, how many hours I spent decorating jars or if my tiara had the right amount of sparkle. They care about watching two people they're pretty fond of making that commitment to each other. Secondly they care about what the food's like and how much alcohol is on the table and thirdly they want to have some fun!  Don't forget your guests are spending 8 hours of their time helping you celebrate. I often hear people saying 'it's your day, have it the way you want it' and to a certain extent I agree but remember it's not just about you! Your guests need to have a good time too.

The next most important thing to me is wedding photography.  If you only spend your money on one thing please, please, please choose a good photographer.  I've lost count of the times I've heard people say they're not too fussed about a photographer, or 'a family member's offered to take them for free'. If that's the case at the very least check out their work first. Just because someone has a dslr doesn't mean they know how to use it!  Can they take photos without chopping peoples heads off or giving them evil red eye? Do they know how to compose a photo, make sure it's in focus and avoid random strangers or fire exit signs in the background?  These are things you wont even notice on the day but you'll spot them as soon as you look at your photos.

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life.  You spend days, weeks, months even years planning it.  Do you think you'll be able to remember every minute of your day? You wont trust me, it goes by in a blink of an eye.  Think you'll be able to remember all of it after 20 years? Not a chance!  Sure you'll be able to remember some aspects but not from start to finish.  Having a decent, professional photographer capturing your day means nothing will be missed.

My husband wasn't too keen on spending a lot of money on a decent photographer, he thought the money would be better spent elsewhere but it was the only thing I put my foot down about.  In fact, I will openly admit he unleashed a bridezilla demon bride-to-be that I didn't know existed.  I may have even whispered the words "If we don't have a decent wedding photographer then there will be no wedding".  Yep, like I said, a total bridezilla on the subject.  Eight weeks after we got married and sat down to look at our photos James will openly admit it was the best thing we did.  They don't just capture you, they capture your friends and family and all the things you didn't see because you were so busy talking to everyone.  They capture a special day that will never happen again.  Looking at your photos helps bring back the memories and re-live that experience in a small way.


I'd like to credit these photos to Steve Bridgwood Photography and thank him for being such a massive part of our day.  When he went home that night, after an eleven hour shift, his work wasn't done.  He had hours of checking through hundreds of photos, finding the best ones and editing them. Wedding photographers really don't get enough credit for all their hard work on the day and after.  

So if you unsure whether to spend a large amount of your wedding budget on a decent wedding photographer, ask yourself this.  In ten years time what will your flower arrangements look like? How many times will you have worn your wedding dress? Was that 20 minute journey in a classic car that memorable? What I'm trying to say is your wedding photos will last lifetime.  They're all you have left of your special day, apart from each other I hope.


Leek and Potato Soup

For those of you who don't know me that well I'll let you into a not so secret, secret...I'm a terrible cook! Which I have to say is pretty frustrating when you're a real foodie like me.  It's not for the want of trying either.  I really do put the effort in but somehow the end product doesn't end up tasting or looking quite so, er desirable.

I really don't get it.  I always follow the recipe step by step. Take for example the chocolate cake I made in August.  I followed that recipe WORD FOR WORD and this was the end result! Shocking I know!

In my defence I would just like to say that a) the recipe didn't explain how much mixture to put in the tin and b) how the heck do you get the icing to stick to the cake without destroying half of it in the process!? On a positive note the cake actually tasted really nice and the five people who tried it lived to see another day.

And then there was the time I made pavlova. Note I said pavlova and not pizza as the below photo would lead you to believe.

Seriously , I have more chance of becoming a quantum physicist than I do a master chef.  However, just occasionally miracles do happen when I'm in the kitchen and it seems only fair to share my culinary delights with those of you also lacking skills in the kitchen department.  I know you're out there, show your faces!

As winter's approaching there's nothing a nicer than a warm hearty soup.  My favourite has to be Leek and Potato soup and it's got to be the easiest soup to make, in the world!!  Obviously I haven't put this to the test, if there are easier soups to make please feel free to comment below.

Leek and potato soup literally has 3 - 4 ingredients, 5 if you include seasoning,  Is that technically an ingredient? Who knows, lets not ponder! When I make soup I always think it's nice to make a big batch so we can get a few lunches from it, you could even freeze some of it.  So bear in mind these quantities are very generous!

8 leeks
7 small / medium potatoes
1 garlic clove
Vegetable stock
Salt and pepper

Cut off the stringy white end of the leek, peel a couple of layers off, then cut off the dark green part and throw away.  It feels like you've cut your leek in half and thrown it away, which seems like a waste but as far as I'm aware there's nothing else you do with that end of the leek!  Again feel free to enlighten me, as we all know I'm no expert!  

Slice the leeks around 2cm thick. Peel and chop the potatoes into quarters or smaller.  Remember, the smaller they are the quicker they'll soften.  Try to keep them roughly the same size so they cook through at the same time.  Add some oil to a big saucepan, throw in the the leeks and potatoes, add a crushed garlic clove and some salt and pepper, put the lid on the pot and leave to sweat on a low heat. I always fret that the veg will stick to the pan, so I keep going back to give them a good stir.  

After about 15 / 20 minutes I add some boiling water with a stock cube so that the veg really begins to boil down.  Then just leave this simmering on a low heat until the leeks and potatoes have completely softened.  Once you're happy the veg has completely cooked through, take off the heat and use a handheld blender to liquidise the soup.  Add water depending on how thick or thin you like your soup.

So in a nutshell, peel and chop your veg, chuck in a pan to sweat, add some stock, boil down, liquidise and that's it! Easy as pie, except that's a ridiculous comment because making pastry is not easy to do, at least not for me anyway! They should change it to 'easy as eating pie'. That I can do!

So, are you a terrible cook?  Do recipes baffle you?  Have you got an easy recipe you'd like to share if so I'd love to hear from you! 


Taking A Year Off

Ever feel like life is crashing down on top of you and there's no spare time to even breathe or think straight? That was pretty much me last year.  Busy working for two very different companies which seemed to keep on expanding, whilst trying to plan a wedding and have a life, was like juggling without any hands.  Eventually something had to give and as much as I enjoyed blogging a part of me was beginning to resent it.  I had all these things I wanted to share but didn't have the time, not to mention every post I wrote seemed to be sponsored in some way.  I guess I became a bit disillusioned with it all and blogging was beginning to feel like a chore, if you know what I mean?  I guess that's when I knew it was time to have a break.

Too much of this...

And trying to plan this ...

Meant basically I felt like this...

Having some time away from my blog gave me the space I needed to concentrate on work and enjoy wedding planning.  I was able to focus more on what was going on in my life instead of blogging about it and it definitely took the pressure off.  Lets face it, there's only so much we can do and we're all guilty of taking on too much.  Just lately though I've realised I've missed putting my thoughts down on "paper", reading other blogs etc.  I'm glad I took the time out, I feel more refreshed and now love my little old blog again.  Oh and with this little one on the way now is definitely a good time to catch up on some parent blogs

So how have you all been?  What's been going on in your world.  Have you ever felt like taking a step back and can you recommend any good parent and baby blogs?


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