- I thought it would be fun to share my top 5 holidays of all time and give everyone a little more insight into my travel history. Essentially this list also reflects my fave places in the world, both for what they have to offer but also due to the many happy memories that I have made in each place. So here we go, my top 5!
- Let me share my secrets about why I love living in York. This week marks 2 years since we started this crazy adventure which is expat life in England. It is somewhat hard to believe and it has absolutely flown by. When we first landed in the UK we spent a couple of nights in London to catch up with friends and buy some winter woolies before making the 5 hour plus journey in our rental car to Scarborough, North Yorkshire. A quaint seaside town which was hugely popular in the 70s but is now filled with casinos, arcade games and rock lollies. A great place to visit on a sunny summer day for fish and chips and some ice-cream, but after about 3 days I had seen and done everything there was to do in Scarborough. We started researching online for places to live and we had been told good things about York. I found a couple of apartments which looked fabulous and booked viewings to check them out.
- I was convinced that Mackenzie would arrive early. I had read articles that suggested that early births are hereditary in the female line. My sister and I were born early, as was my mum, and my husband was born 4 weeks early also. Nevertheless, when I discovered my show one morning and two weeks before my due date, I was in shock. My instant reaction was to burst into tears, but I think I was also the tiniest bit excited as I knew within 24-48 hours she would be here. The Oxytocin Hormone had obviously kicked in as I literally did not even consider what was about to happen to my body. I text Troy straight away followed by my doula and then got on with my day.
I really struggled to decide on a baby bag (and I still refuse to call it a nappy bag – in my mind I am cooler than that!). I find lots of them to be bulky and ugly and definitely not something I wanted to be seen carting around with me. In the first year as a new mum you will use this bag every day, so it is worth some thought and investment. I encourage you to think outside of the box when you are choosing your baby bag and not to commit to the status quo because you think you should. And hey, if it is not a traditional baby bag then you can continue to use it for years to come. In fact I accidentally bought a Coach baby bag some years ago as a bag to use as a travel carry-on and didn’t even realize – it wasn’t until later when I found the changing mat inside! Here are a few of my fave stylish baby bags to inspire all you trendy mums.
- It has been well communicated that we recently traveled to the Margaret River Region in Australia to attend two VIP weddings. Its a truly incredible part of the world – beautiful beaches, a wide array of food options from fine dining to quality bakeries, delicious wines and every type of accommodation option you can think of from glamping to high end resorts. We have been traveling to Margaret River for weekend escapes or a lazy week on the beach as long as I can remember. Actually, the very first little trip that Troy and I took together was to Dunsborough, so it was pretty special to finally take our little girl there. No one could have predicted the adventures we would go on or the things we would achieve together during that first visit – at that point in time we had only been dating for about 3 months. This trip was a little different as we had a toddler in tow and we spent longer there than we usually would. Here is a recap on our vacay to the South West of Australia.
Are you like me and want to do everything you can to assist in preventing pregnancy related stretch marks? I don’t know whether it is genetics or my rigorous beauty regime but I was fortunate enough not to gain any stretch marks on my tummy, hips, thighs etc. during my pregnancy. I was relatively small throughout my pregnancy and at 20 weeks was mostly still able to hid my bump under a shift dress or loose t-shirt. I also delivered Mackenzie 2 weeks early so perhaps if I were to go full term then it would have been a different story. I have read that pregnancy traits are hereditary, although perhaps it is an old wives tail, however I expected that I would be small and I expected she would arrive well before her due date. That being said, I wanted to share the products that I used throughout my pregnancy. I started applying the products to my non existent bump around the 12 week mark once we had had our scan and everything was looking to be progressing well (I didn’t want to jinx it before then). I applied the products morning and night without fail and regardless of how exhausted I felt. And towards the end I was applying the products several times a day, as my skin was just so damn itchy as my belly grew. These are my recommended 5 products to prevent stretch marks.
I have always been a bit of a bookworm and love having books in our home. I only packed a few books to bring over to England and already our collection is piling up again (although I am doing my best to gift them on to friends and family to avoid too much clutter). And that’s why I am also considering signing up for Kindle Unlimited – you can get a 30 day free trial here if you are interested! I’m not a fast reader so I can easily take a month or two to read whatever is on my nightstand, but nonetheless I have a list of books waiting patiently in my Amazon cart for me to push the ‘buy now‘ button. These days I quite like reading books which will give me inspiration and ideas and then a bit of chick lit for good measure. My fave books of last year were Million Dollar Blog, Lean In and My Not So Perfect Life. This year the list has a similar-ish look and feel, so here are the Top 9 that I am attempting to read in 2019:
Recently we found ourselves flying with a toddler to attend two very important weddings. It was an incredibly long journey from York, England to Perth, Australia and it was made to feel even longer with a toddler in tow. Pre-baby we would have settled into our seats, watched endless movies and drunk copious amounts of wine to survive the flights. Nowadays we have to stay (relatively) sober and alert enough to tend to our toddler’s every need. Its definitely not ideal flying long haul and across multiple time zones with a toddler – everyone has asked how the flights were and my standard response is ‘it was okay.’ We survived, but it wasn’t great. My personal recommendation would be to avoid flying this far with a young mobile child whom struggles to be entertained for more than 5 minutes if you can. A trip closer to home and in the same time zone will be far more enjoyable for the whole family. But obviously there are many reasons why you might need to, such as two epic weddings, so I have prepared a few tips to help you survive flying with a toddler should you find yourself in the same situation.
5 Minutes with Louise of York Pilates People
I have practiced Pilates for many years and I have to admit that I am pretty terrible at it, so much so that I have barely graduated beyond the beginners class. However, I know that practicing Pilates is excellent for my body and it helps to significantly reduce the amount of everyday pain I suffer from my scoliosis. So naturally when I fell pregnant I wanted to continue on with the specifically designed pregnancy Pilates classes – well that and because I was terrified of becoming a pregnant whale (see my previous article – ‘10 Steps to a Happy & Healthy Pregnancy‘). I took these classes until I left Australia at 20 weeks pregnant but unfortunately was unable to find any classes when I arrived in York. Now, thanks to the lovely Louise at York Pilates People this has all changed. Louise has opened a wonderful studio in York which caters for pregnancy Pilates and post natal Pilates (plus classes for everything in between). This week I spent 5 minutes with Louise to discuss the benefits of Pilates for expectant Mums.
- I had been eager to travel to Dubai for a while prior to my first visit and now somehow we have managed 3 visits in the past 4 years. Dubai is a place that likes to advertise to the world that it is all singing and all dancing – it is a great place for a stop over but it also interesting to see that it is still very much under construction. Our first stay was the final leg of our honeymoon and the next trip was when I accompanied my husband on a work trip in 2016. In 2017 we travelled to Dubai for the Dubai World Cup which had been a bucket list item of ours for many years. My parents met us in Dubai (they were en route to England for a visit) which meant they could babysit whilst we had our first baby free outing. Given that we like the heat, this is a perfect destination for us. However, during our trip in June it was too hot, so I would personally avoid the height of summer and especially if you have a little one in tow. Here are the highlights of our visits and some useful information if you are planning to travel to Dubai yourself!