From the minute I found out I was pregnant I could not wait for maternity leave to start. I haven’t exactly been happy in my job for various reasons and the thought of having a ‘break’ and focusing my attention on a new chapter and a new challenge is what kept me going for the last 9 months.
One of my favourite times of the week is Saturday and Sunday mornings, when the husband takes over the kitchen. He has a knack for making a mean breakfast and if we have time, he likes to get creative with his presentation – all in the name of having a laugh, not because he thinks he’s missed his vocation in life as a Michelin star chef.
My favourite breakfast, a la Mr Lynch, is his homemade Blueberry American-Style Pancakes, which often come decorated in a variety of fruits and always with coffee and orange juice. It’s a basic recipe which I’m sure he found online, but he’s perfected it over the months so I thought I’d share the joy right here in the form of some pancake porn and the recipe!
Pancakes (makes 4 pancakes):
- 200g self raising flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 egg
- 300ml milk
- Pinch of salt (optional)
- Knob of butter
- Blueberries (optional)
Toppings (all optional):
- Natural yoghurt
- Maple syrup
- Any kind of fruit (try warming your berries or peaches in a pan with some Mixed Spice until they go soft and a bit caramelised)
- Seive the flour and baking powder into bowl, adding the salt if you choose
- Pour the milk into a bowl and whisk in the egg, then pour into flour mix and whisk all together until you have a smooth batter
- If adding blueberries, throw them in now and stir through the batter
- Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan, then pour out any excess butter to use later – you just want a light coating on the pan to stop the batter sticking
- Add a ladle of the pancake mix into the pan – we go for a depth of around 1cm but it depends how big your pan is (you might want to go thinner and larger in a bigger pan)
- Cook for approx 2 minutes on a medium heat on each side, when you start to see bubbles coming through you know it’s cooked and it should be a golden brown shade
- Remove from the heat and put aside on a plate while you cook the rest of your pancakes until the batter runs out
- For our toppings, we always add a little maple syrup and a little natural yoghurt, often over some warmed fruit or bananas, all of which go perfectly with pancakes and blueberries.
Give them a try and let me know what you top them with, anything goes!!
Over the past three weeks of pregnancy I’ve had a definite growth spurt, one which has tested my sense of humour and my self-esteem. Never mind my body, this has been a mental challenge.
When it comes to body confidence I’ve always been relatively laid back. I’m not super confident by any means but I think I have it in control. I am a ‘live to eat’ kind of person and it’s my number one way to socialise, I just don’t want to give up food I love for the sake of being an inch smaller round the waist. As boring as it sounds, it is all about moderation and I have it in hand.
An exotic one this week, baby is just less than 30cm long (an average long ruler, to put it in perspective) and is the length of one of the only green vegetables I like, Bok Choi.
While I’m on my search for the perfect maternity wardrobe (it’s not going well) I’m uncovering plenty of inspiration from the wardrobes of pregnant celebrities. If only I was gliding down a red carpet every day I’d have enough ideas to see me through to baby’s due date (5th November, how could you forget?) because yes, there are tonnes of beautiful bump-friendly gowns and outfits which enhance the bump but look super chic when worn with heels and a full face of make up (and tailored to within an inch of it’s life to fit like a glove). But there is a definite lack of off-duty inspo which is more helpful for the likes of little old me. I guess stylists deserve a day or two off just like the rest of us.
But, let’s keep things positive and look at all the loveliness out there lately, from Blake Lively using the Cannes Film Festival red carpet as her own week-long catwalk, to Ginnifer Goodwin’s angelic look at a recent LA Benefit.
So here she is, one of my original favourites from my first Pregnant Celebrity Style post, Blake Lively, pregnant with child number two to her hubbie Ryan Reynolds. I have to say, a few of her outfit choices were a little hit and miss for me (let’s not mention the red Chanel Couture duster coat) and she’s not quite nailed it yet as she did with her first pregnancy, but there were a few corkers.
This sky blue metallic Atelier Versace number wasn’t her first outfit of the week, but it was the one that made everyone go ‘hang on, where’d that bump come from?! It was fitting, daring and god damn gorgeous, and she pulled it off with total confidence.
Her Giambattista Valli mini dress was a particular favourite of mine as it was fun, age appropriate (she didn’t look like she’d raided her Mum’s wardrobe) and showed off her fabulous legs. I love the shawl effect which made it perfectly ‘Cannes’ and thanks to the dainty embellishment, ruching and pleating, bump or no bump, it was easy to forget she was pregnant in this dress.
I’m not sure if it’s a dress or a coat but whatever it is, classic black with a plunge neckline is a timeless lesson in sexy but sophisticated. I hope Blake is enjoying her pregnancy as much as she is clearly enjoying playing dress up, and that in between the outfit changes and fittings she’s enjoying a tub or two of Ben and Jerry’s.
Liv Tyler is a classic beauty and she upped the glam for her recent trip to London where she attended the Elle Style Awards and picked up the statue for Best TV Actress. I actually attended the after party for these awards but didn’t do much serious celeb spotting unfortunately.
Liv’s blue off the shoulder gown is sleek and bold and perfect for someone who ain’t afraid to show off their gorgeous bump!
Nicky Hilton is a name I never imagined I’d blog about. I forgot she was even a person to be honest. But then she suddenly popped back up on the radar wearing a stunning Dennis Basso gown for a recent gala and had us all hooked. Strapless, floral applique and flowing, it was a perfect dress for a super serious event, one that you and I can probably only ever dream of!
Finally, looking every inch the Snow White character she plays in Once Upon A Time, Ginnifer Goodwin proved that sheer and white should not be avoided just because you’re pregnancy. Lovely to see a celebrity wearing a maternity brand for a red carpet appearance, and this A Pea in A Pod number hugs her in all the right places. Isn’t she just the cutest!!
Otherwise known as week 16 of pregnancy and a slightly confusing one for me as I thought a pickle was smaller than an avocado, which is apparently where I was at during week 15. All the apps and websites I look at seem to say differently, last week I was an avocado, this week I’m an avocado… It’s too confusing so I’m sticking with my Ovia pregnancy app and having done with it.
We had to make our first big decision at our first midwife appointment this week. Should we go for the Combined Screening at our 12 week scan, or should we not.
It’s a big decision to us, and I’d imagine to most expectant parents, because it’s a question of how much do you want to know, and what would you do with the information if you had it.
The week of the raspberry was a big one for me as it involved my first midwife appointment, and as I enter the week of the strawberry, it all feels much more real.
While I’ve still had quite a lot of nausea this week, which really kicked off in week 6 (the week of the blueberry), it seemed to subside slightly this week. I’ve had to keep eating really regularly to keep the worst of it down, but the overwhelming feeling of sickness definitely wasn’t as bad as it had been. Instead, fatigue has started to take over, and I’ve got a pretty horrible taste in my mouth. All the time. It’s not nice, and it’s not a metallic taste which I’ve heard it be described as, it’s a stale nasty taste but is there when I’ve brushed my teeth, eaten chewing gum, mints, mouthwash… I feel like I can taste actual hormones.
Oh my god.
As I write this, I’m sitting in work unable to look at anything other than the letter H on my keyboard. God knows how many typos I’ve written in the draft of this post as I can’t even look at the screen and follow the letters, that is how nauseous I feel right now.
After my previous posts, where I somewhat boasted of having no symptoms yet (although this was mostly down to me worrying there was nothing actually there), the dreaded sickness has hit me like a truck. I made it to six weeks and one day before it took me down.
So week 5 of pregnancy has been and gone. And it was… fine. Still no symptoms and still not quite sunk in yet.
I have been a little more on this planet this week. Last week (the week of the Poppyseed) was a big blur while I was coming to terms with the idea of it all. I got no work done (sorry boss if you ever read this) and couldn’t concentrate on anything. This week I’ve been back on form a bit more, although still slightly distracted by my Ovia Pregnancy app which you might remember me reviewing a few posts ago. Still totally fascinating to read about how my little Duff might be developing around about now, and how I could be feeling at each stage (sore boobs and the frequent need to pee, apparently. None of the above have shown their faces yet).