Sunday, 24 May 2015

Baby number two

When the sonographer printed out the pictures from the scan he gave the first one to Wilf. He's been cherishing it and taking peeks every now and again when he thinks we're not looking. The other day he wanted to take it into his nursery to show his teacher and friends during circle time. He almost ran into into class this morning and handed the picture to his key worker blurting out 'I'm going to be a big brother because this baby lives in my mummy's tummy!' and then quite embarrassingly, I burst into tears in front of a class room of three year olds.

Thank you so so much for your lovely messages over here and on my social media. We've been totally blown away by your lovely sentiments and I'm so happy to be sharing the news finally with you all.

I have to start this first pregnancy post with a bit of a moan (bare with me) as the past two months have been really really difficult to say the least. Having suffered very badly with morning sickness with Wilf until 17 weeks I was very prepared for these symptoms and yet in a way I wasn't, you really can't fully remember how they felt until you are in the midst of them again (or you probably wouldn't go through with it again! ;)). Truthfully the symptoms started off a lot milder than my last pregnancy and have mostly continued that way of which I am more than thankful of but it's still felt like a big struggle. 

I think a lot of this has been down to my situation being so different this time round. Last time I worked in a hot, cramped office above a chinese takeaway where my almost hourly dashes to the bathroom did little to disguise to my colleagues my situation (and yet they didn't let on they knew!). I was also working long hours, commuting, attending meetings and generally putting my body through a lot more. That being the case morning sickness with Wilf was 24hr nausea with sickness roughly about 2-4 times a day.

This time round although I have a three year old to look after I am able to take it a lot easier, although the 24hr feeling of nausea is the same I am able to deal with it in the comfort of my own home and decided pretty early on to cancel all events and travel that I possibly could so I could camp out on my sofa or the many walks around my local park for fresh air. I'm lucky that my blog is now my job and so although I've felt terribly guilty about how I've pretty much abandoned this space over the past few weeks as I found it so hard to type words through the fog of sickness, I knew that ultimately when I was able it would still be here for me. That and the fact I couldn't really tell you I'd done anything much but feel sorry for myself at home! 

The past week or so have been the hardest so far where my symptoms stepped up a notch and I found myself in that all familiar place of evenings sat on the bathroom floor wiping 'sorry for myself' tears from my eyes. On the day of our scan we went to a tea garden with Tom's mum to celebrate and my body celebrated by making me throw up in a bush, all the glamour! 

I'd love to say it's passed now but I'm pretty sure it will continue for a while longer (so apologise again if there is sporadic posting for a while longer). I guess the difference is that now I have a child I have the benefit of knowing it really really is all worth it, regardless of just how miserable it is at the time. 

Wow who knew you could write so much about feeling sick hey? Thanks for reading this far ;)

We had decided around Christmas time that we would be ready to try for another baby this year but mainly in the loose 'it would be nice to have another child sometime' kind of way, so when nothing happened in January or February it wasn't of any real concern. I have to admit that I had this funny idea that it would happen the first month and so that was a little bit of a disappointment but after that we just got on with our busy lives and so by the time we actually discovered I was a couple of months later it was a bit of a surprise.

We actually found out on our three city trip whilst taking a bike ride around Vondelpark in Amsterdam. I hadn't given any thought to being pregnant until I realised I was four days late and so decided to pick up a test that morning and we found out later that morning in the park's cafe toilets. Thankfully we were due home a couple of days later and although I realised that's why I was probably crazy tired and cranky the sickness didn't kick in until midway through week 5 which I'm so thankful for! 

I wasn't sure how I felt at first finding out I was pregnant again. My pregnancy with Wilf was conceived after baby loss and I felt at the time that getting pregnant again was the only way to deal with my grief. Rightly or wrongly becoming pregnant again helped me deal with an immense grief I wasn't coping well with and I clung to it. This time round I already have my lovely boy and I have to admit that I wasn't 100% sure how I felt. I'm not sure how that comes across but I thought it best to be completely honest that it took me some weeks to really get my head around it. My initial thought was 'how am I going to cope with 24 hour sickness and a three year old' a thought that hadn't occurred to me with my last pregnancy as my previous failed pregnancy had been one of no symptoms and I had no idea what was in store for me. My other thoughts were filled with how this would change our dynamic, would I be ruining Wilf's life? Also the realisation that our relationship would be tested to the limits yet again with all that comes with sleep deprivation and life with a newborn. 

I felt very guilty for a long while for not feeling the same excitement I had expected and truthfully the past few weeks have been ones filled with a lot of tears. I have no idea if this is normal in second pregnancies but it's taken a lot longer for it to really sink in. I didn't actually tell my parents until week ten which probably had a lot to do with how confused I was feeling. I'm really happy to say now that since the scan and telling Wilf (which was pretty much one of the best moments of my life) it really has sunk in and I'm feeling those bubbles of excitement about welcoming a new member of our family. It's definitely all become real now and I'm letting myself day dream about life with a baby again, seeing Wilf become a big brother and all the love that is coming our way.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Get Ready for Summer with Iced Snacks You Can Make at Home

The clocks have moved forward, spring has sprung and summer is on its way, which means moving away from the comforts of warming soups and pasta bakes to console your winter blues. This time of year calls for refreshing salads, plenty of fruit and iced drinks to keep you cool and energised. Here are some iced recipes to make at home, which are quick and easy yet impressive enough to entertain with your friends or family. As a cooling snack, a light dessert or a vitalising drink, these delicious recipes will leave you wanting more!

Elderflower Ice Cream

This recipe comes from David Johnson who works at The Cross Keys in Chelsea

Ice cream is simple to make from your own kitchen and tastes even better homemade. This one is beautifully light and fragrant with the elderflower; a perfect sweet refreshing treat.
150ml full-fat milk
3 medium egg yolks
50g caster sugar
150ml Jersey or clotted cream
100ml Elderflower cordial

Bring the milk to the boil in a heavy saucepan, then remove from the heat. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl, then pour the milk over the eggs and sugar and mix well. Return to the pan and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk, ensuring you do not boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream and cordial. Leave to cool, and if you have the luxury of an ice cream machine, churn in this until thickened. If you don’t, decant into a clean container and place in the freezer, removing after 45 minutes to stir vigorously. Repeat this at regular intervals until your ice cream is smooth, thick and creamy, beginning to firm up. Leave in the freezer for 4-6 hours, then enjoy.


Another recipe from David Johnson

Limes are just incredible in summer; their tart yet sweet taste lends so well to iced treats such as these amazingly zingy ice lollies.
Zest and juice of 5 limes
180g icing sugar
450g crème fraiche
90ml cold water
Place the lime zest and juice, icing sugar and water into a bowl and mix thoroughly. Leave to stand for 30 minutes to infuse and develop the flavours. Beat the crème fraiche into this lime syrup and pour into ice lolly moulds, placing into the freezer for around 2 hours or until firm.


Recipe adapted from Cosmopolitan
I love to have iced drinks in the summer, from tea and coffee to lemonade and cocktails. There are lots of easy ways you can make a delicious yet speedy iced drink–this chocolate iced mocha recipe will only take 5 minutes but will taste incredible! Here is an adult twist on a childhood favourite. As a child I adored pink lemonade, it always reminds me of celebrations and warm lazy days, and this cocktail generates those summer vibes.
50ml citrus vodka, such as Stolichnaya Citros
1 tbsp sugar
Juice of half a lemon
Dash of grenadine
Mix all together in a cocktail shaker, and pour into a glass with ice. Finish with slice of fresh lemon or strawberry and sit and enjoy.  

This is a collaborative post

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Some news..

Just popping in to share some news with you all! I can't tell you how long it's felt keeping this under wraps for the past couple of months. It feels so good to share!

I'll be back soon to share a longer post about how the past couple of months have been. Although be warned there may be a fair bit of moaning as it's been more than a little bit tough. Still I'm just so thankful to be on this journey and becoming a family of four! 

Friday, 15 May 2015

Party Crown DIY plus Wild Things - Funky little clothes to sew giveaway!

I'm really excited to share this post with you today, a DIY from one of my favourite creatives plus a really lovely giveaway! If you've not come across Wild Thing Dresses before you may recognise them from the shark dungarees Wilf is often found in (here last year and here more recently). I've been a big fan of Kirsty's work since I discovered her around three years ago and I was so excited when she told me she's made a book of simple patterns so that we can make her designs ourself. 

The book in itself is stunning, everything from the photography to the brilliant tutorials and of course the colourful creativeness in each design. I'm really excited to share with you a DIY that Kirsty came up with exclusively for Tigerlilly Quinn readers. I know you'll love it!

(don't forget to scroll down to the bottom of the post to enter the giveaway!)

This super easy crown is a great way to use scraps of fabric and a plain old headband to create a funky little party crown which can be reversed. Using heat n bond allows you to create a firm bonded fabric which can be cut without fraying and is reversible.

I have used similar techniques in the book to create super easy appliqué shapes which are easy to apply.

1. Bond adhesive web to the reverse of one piece of fabric of felt.
I’ve used a metallic finish fabric and a printed cotton.

2. Peel off the paper backing.

3. Bond the second piece to the reverse.

4. Cut out the paper template, Trace around the template and cut out.

5.Bring the ends together. Sew with a single stitch back and forth to secure.

6. Continue to slip stitch the two edges together and finish again by
Sewing with a single stitch back and forth to secure.

7.Gently fold and snip two small openings into the crown as shown.

8. Feed the headband through the crown to assemble.

And now for the giveaway! I am delighted to be able to giveaway a copy of Kirsty's new book, a choice of fabrics to make two of the designs in the book AND either a ready made character dress or character dungaree. All you need to do is enter the rafflecopter below and good luck!

all entries will be added the Tigerlilly Quinn newsletter of which you can opt out of at any time. The competition runs for two weeks and is UK only entries 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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