10 days away from giving birth…..has Sarah Stage taken it a stage too far?

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We all know that eating well during pregnancy and exercising are musts, not only for a healthy mum, but, for a healthy baby too…..however….after seeing these photos of Sarah Stone 10 DAYS BEFORE HER DUE DATE (!) on Instagram I can’t help but wonder if some people take a healthy lifestyle too far during pregnancy? Many have questioned whether her somewhat extreme nine month pregnancy figure is causing harm to the baby? Click here to read the full news article that featured in the paper today.

Sarah Stage is a fitness enthusiast as can be seen from her Instagram account. I am a huge advocate for exercising during pregnancy and it is important for women to understand that it’s safe to do most forms of exercise in pregnancy, and exercising is far better for you and your baby than not doing any exercise at all………,but, seriously where the hell is that baby?! What are your thoughts?

Hollie xx

Pregnancy Fashion – My 3 warbrobe must have items

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I think quite often when ladies fall pregnant they feel the need to spend the next nine months covering up and essentially hiding the beautiful little being that is growing inside of them. I know from experience that you can go from feeling bloated on a good day to a huge waddling whale on a bad day (and I’m only five and a half months pregnant…..god only knows what I will feel like when I get to nine months!)

However, the age old saying that if you look good, you feel good has never been more true as when you are pregnant. I truly believe it is all about embracing the bump and dressing it so you look and feel good. Below are my top 3 must have pregnancy wardrobe items…….

1. Embrace your inner Zebra

Horizontal stripes are seriously flattering once your bump has ‘popped’…..this can typically be anywhere from  10 -16 weeks depending upon whether or not it is your first pregnancy (second timers tend to ‘pop’ earlier). Go for a dress or a top that is figure hugging, otherwise (and particularly after about 20 weeks) people may not know whether you have eaten too many pies or are indeed pregnant.

My dress in the photo above is from New Look. It is not specifically a maternity dress but I am still just about managing to squeeze into it!

2. Denim and white

I’m a huge fan of a denim shirt with a white figure hugging top underneath. This worn with a basic pair of leggings, is a perfect everyday comfortable, yet, fashionable look.

3. LBD

The Little Black Dress is the staple of every woman’s wardrobe and in my opinion the same is true through out pregnancy. For those evenings when you are feeling a little larger than normal popping on your LBD can make you feel both smaller and as a result sexier! Also, when you are pregnant you don’t want to spend a fortune on maternity wear for evening events, so I say invest in one great maternity LBD to see you through your pregnancy.

Hollie xx

Lovely bread and butter pudding

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My lovely bread and butter pudding recipe….perfect for an after Sunday dinner pudding/treat. I am a huge fan of deserts and would love to hear what your favourites are.
Ingredients
– 25g/1oz butter, plus extra for greasing
– 10 thin slices bread
– 50g/2oz mixture of sultanas and raisins
– 2-3 tsp cinnamon powder
– 350ml full fat milk
– 50ml double cream
– 2 eggs
– 25g granulated sugar white or brown
– a couple of pinches of nutmeg
– milk chocolate for grating, one small bar
– icing sugar for decoration

Method

1. Grease a 1 litre/2 pint oven dish with butter.
2. Cut the crusts off the bread. Spread each slice with on one side with butter (leaving nice big chunks of butter), and cut the bread into triangles.
3. Arrange a layer of bread, buttered-side up, in the bottom of the oven dish, then add a layer of sultanas and raisins. Sprinkle with some cinnamon, then repeat the layers of bread and sultanas/raisins, sprinkling with cinnamon, until you have used up all of the bread. Expect to do about 3 layers in total making sure that you finish with a layer of bread, then set aside.
4. Warm the milk and cream in a pan over a low heat ensuring that this does not come to the boil.
5. Crack the eggs into a bowl, add approximately three-quarters of the sugar and lightly whisk.
6. Add the warm milk and cream mixture to the eggs and sugar mix and stir well – this creates your custard mix.
7. Pour the custard mix over the prepared bread layers. Once complete sprinkle with nutmeg and the remaining sugar.
8. Leave the prepared pudding to stand for approximately 20 minutes.
8. Place the pudding dish into the oven and bake at 180-190c for 30-40 minutes, or until the custard has set and the top is golden-brown.
9. Let the pudding cool for 5 minutes and add a dusting icing sugar and the grated chocolate.
10. Enjoy!

Hollie xxx

Week 18

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I’m now 18 weeks pregnant and the above quote couldn’t more accurately reflect the emotional roller-coaster my hormones are currently taking me on. Anything can set me off at the moment, an advert on TV, a message from a friend, packing up my belongings to move or even the loss of the remote.

Most of the time I know I am being irrational or overreacting, but, like a reflex action and without a second thought I can find myself uncontrollably going from a lovely mood to a foul one! Eating well and exercising are on my to do list at the moment (as I write this I’ve already eaten a packet of Maltesers, of which I promised myself I would just have two or three). I am walking for a minimum of half an hour a day and occasionally fit in a Pilates class or two. My diet is mostly good and I have been making a conscious effort to get my 5 a day, although, I’m not sure pineapple upside-down cake and chocolate raisins are additions that I can count!

Any healthy pregnancy tips and tricks would be welcomed!

Hollie x

Resist the sofa…..the resistance band workout

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We all have days and weeks when exercising can at best be a luxury we don’t have time for, or at worst, an out-and-out chore. Whether you have the pressure of running a busy household, managing a hectic work schedule, or simply don’t fancy the gym, a resistance band workout is a fun, efficient and manageable way to fit in exercise when you might not otherwise be able to or want to.

Resistance bands are great in that they are inexpensive, small, lightweight and portable pieces of exercise equipment that can also be easily stored (not like the those exercise balls!). They are perfect for use at home, hotel workouts, or if you are tight on space at the gym.

Don’t think that you need a weights routine at the gym to build strength, resistance bands are excellent for whole body workouts, plus, they can also help build stamina and increase your range of motion. You can personalise your routine to target your troublesome areas as well as increasing the resistance as you progress in strengthening your muscles.

At the moment I am using the ‘Manuka‘ resistance band. This is a fantastic exercise band for beginners as the band has a variety of exercises drawn on to it which you can try out. When you become more advanced, have a look at this post from Greatist which provides a wider range of exercises that can be tried.

Happy streeeeetching!

Hollie x

Simple spinach soup

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This is a delicious and healthy recipe, packed full of iron, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and folic acid. Spinach is remarkable for its abilities to boost energy, increase vitality, maintain bone health and improve the quality of the blood. I am always looking for simple ways to ensure I get my 5 a day and this recipe is an easy way to get 2 portions per serving.

I tend to make a big batch (keeping a few servings in the fridge) and freeze the remainder into 6-8 separate freezer bags for quick lunches or snacks.

Let me know what you think and whether you have any great soup recipes of your own…..

Ingredients

  • 25g butter
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1-2 carrots chopped
  • 1 large leek chopped
  • 1 large stick of celery chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed
  • 1 small potato peeled and chopped
  • salt and black pepper
  • 750ml stock (use one to two chicken or vegetable stock cubes)
  • 250ml semi skimmed milk
  • 2 x 200g bags of spinach

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a large pan at a medium heat.  Once softened remove from the pan and add the onion, carrot, leek, celery and potato. Stir and put on the lid. Sweat for 10-15 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Add the crushed garlic to the pan and cook on a low to medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Pour in the stock and milk and cook for a further 10 – 15 minutes until the potato is soft.
  3. Add in half of the spinach and cook for a couple of minutes until the spinach has wilted.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining spinach and use a hand blender to blitz. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

It is so simple and delicious! I hope you enjoy.

Hollie x

The search for the perfect eyebrow

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Eyebrows are big business. Long gone are the days of over plucking and home tweezing (or worse penciling on the eyebrow). Now its all about big, angled brows that shape the face.

I have been in search of the perfect eyebrow for a good couple of years now, so I thought I would share a few tips and tricks for those of you on the same journey. If any of you lovely people have recommendations or suggestions of your own then please let me know, I would love to hear them! Keep reading below…..

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