The Winner takes it all…..

Either I’m winning, or Little H is winning right now! Up until this week I have managed a shower every other day, a blow dry, straighten of my hair, AND a full face of makeup almost daily. Thought I had parenting bossed!! Now I am fully aware this isn’t necessary. But I follow after my mother. I like to look presentable, and put together. It makes me feel me. Without a lick of lipstick I feel dull. It’s all so superficial and stupid I know. It’s not like I wear a ton of slap, but that bit makes me, well, me!

This was until last week…. hello six week growth spurt. Monday I bossed it, met the NCT dreamy mums for lunch in the sun, Little H was super well behaved, I ate halloumi fries, she slept, point to me!

Tuesday… our lovely friend from work came over, I spent the two hours prior to her arrival feeding, attempting to walk the pup dog in the rain, putting a swish of makeup on one handed with her in the sling singing twinkle twinkle at the top of my lungs…. good bye shaped and coloured eyebrows, it was nice knowing you, RIP – but for now, the concealer and Lippy rules. I hope to fill those little slugs in and shape them in 2020 when this one is big bigger 😂 Point to Little H!

Which leads to Wednesday …. it was 13.54, I had managed to walk fern dog round the field , once (not the hour and half strolls she was used too when I was on maternity leave 😂) I had eaten two slices of cold dominoes pizza left over from last nights treat – one handed, drank 1 hot cup of tea whilst doing squats with madam in the sling to keep her asleep, drunk two cups of Luke warm tea, one of which was reheated. I hadn’t managed to brush my hair…. and wash my face! I knew people said sometimes you just can’t get out the house, I didn’t believe them! I feel so super organised at work that I thought I could boss this…… nah. My small tiny human had won. How does something so small, innocent, and despite being the most gorgeous thing I have ever set eyes on, be entirely consuming. Who knows. Little H has won – point to her!

From now on it’s a day by day, point by point scoreboard for us two.

Tomorrow is always another day, and ultimately I really don’t care if I haven’t brushed my hair…… although I’m just about to book another hair appointment because – well who doesn’t LOVE having a dose of ‘me’ time, and glossy locks!!

I had a baby

So – I had a baby. The most incredible experience. I don’t really know where to start.

I’m sorry for anyone that followed this blog for my radio silence since…… about August last year. Life happened, and blogging fell by the wayside. I’m back!!

Blessed we were last May to find out that Little H would be making an appearance this February. As a nurse, I as much as I was excited, was petrified. Petrified something would go wrong. I didn’t allow myself to get excited until the 20 week scan was over. At that point, I was getting pretty big pretty quickly, and allowed myself to feel it was all real. And from that moment, I loved pregnancy. Well…… I say loved! I loved the growing bump, the kick and flutters, and the full on pregnancy glow! I have never had such long, thick hair 🙌🏻

I will be honest …… the back ache that crippled me off clinical duties at work, the heart burn, the persistent insomnia, the pillow fort I built every night, and what I can only describe as ‘moving the titanic’ every time I rolled over, or wanted to get off the sofa was hard work!! I didn’t love those aspects, but the good outweighed the bad. And I was surrounded by the most fantastic bosses at work who protected me in the kindest ways possible, a seriously supportive husband, and made some what I can only hope will be life long friends at NCT, along with the fabulous girls already in my life.

Maternity leave flew by, a blur of nesting, walks, coffee dates, and eating A LOT of cake. This time was amazing, not only did I manage to paint my nails a different colour every 3-4 days, but fully embraced ‘me’ time, it was bliss.

And so after being induced, Little H arrived on February 15th at 0740. One beautiful, wide eyed, 7lb, bundle of loveliness. I don’t know how you describe labour and those days afterwards. A blur. A blur that’s clouded with so much love that you can’t see any further than your little persons face through the sleep deprivation and learning how to read the manual for your bundle that doesn’t exist! It was wonderful.

Little H in non Heathcote, or Bayliss style lost weight, (as so many babies do in those first few days), and project weight gain commenced. We chose to breast feed Little H, and this I can honestly stay is the hardest thing I have EVER done. Sore nipples, continuous on and off feeding, day & night, expressing, hand expressing, topping up – I felt like Daisy the cow. Thank God for Mr H being my sidekick, cheer leader, snack provider, and tea maker every hour of the day!

But we’re surviving! We have had three and a half weeks of wonderful paternity leave getting out and about (see Mr H’s blog Pedals and Pushchairs for our adventures so far) Tomorrow is solo day 1. Let’s see if I can get out of the house in one piece. Wish me luck!!!!

Lots of Love,

Mrs Heatho x

The cycling wife….

As I’m sure most of you are aware I love the outdoors. I crave fresh air daily, and although I have the best job in the world, I wish I could do it outside. Before I started nursing I went to uni to do a degree in Outdoor Adventure. I wanted to climb mountains and take people with me, so that they could enjoy my love of fresh air too. Mountains are my playground. I can openly admit I have never been the most fit. I have minimal actual climbing experience apart from gaining a single pitch award and my Mountain Leaders, but I haven’t been attached to a harness in years. But I can walk. I don’t walk fast, but I plod on and on and on. The plodding drives Mr H mad….. I’m 5ft4 (just!), he’s 6ft3 and with thighs of steel….. I just can’t keep up any decent pace! But I go up mountains, and love it, and when I finally get to top, I’m chuffed!

I have followed so many Instagram accounts of inspirational women outdoor adventurists, and ‘Challenge Sophie’ caught my eye (http://www.challengesophie.com/ Just a normal girl, but with the same love and seeming understanding for fresh air and mountains. They only difference is she road cycles…. and looks epic doing it!!! Living so close to the Peak District and Mr H and I having walked up anything we could find, I fancied the cycling ‘thing’. I hadn’t a clue if I would even be any good at it. Jumping on my bandwagon, Mr H also thought he would try his hand at cycling too.

Well, cycling….. I’m not a natural. Just as with mountaineering I plod. Plod on, and on, and on…… Mr H and his thighs of steel loved it, and climbed, and started to adventuring further to climb bigger hills. I just couldn’t t keep up. Our friends in Derby all cycle to, and soon boys cycling became more and more competitive and Strava became the new Facebook and Instagram. Who went fastest, who had the best segment, who’d done the most miles in a week….. who cares?! Me. I was so happy for Mr H. He had found a sport that he loved again after not swimming competitively for years and football fizzling out, and (I’m sure he agrees – he is never going to compete in the Tour de France) but that does not matter when they come back and look chuffed! (And then turn instantly back to Strava and Garmin to check times and segments again)!

I had become a cycling wife….During this time, we have been lucky enough to fall pregnant. And those that know, a combination of hormones, morning sickness and picky eating made me feel like a pants wife. Whilst on a day out climbing hills with a friend, we stopped in Bakewell and whilst browsing Cotswold Camping for a new pretty piece of kit (I LOVE kit!) there were all the sports books. Ideal!! I’ll get Mr H a hill climbing book for being a rubbish wife – 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs. Well – like a kid at Christmas he loved it! Planning weekends away and saying “I will take the bike just incase we get a free afternoon”, knowing full well that he had found a climb close to our destination in the book! The book got serious – the second issue arrived in the post, so with 200 glorious big fat uphill pieces of tarmac to spin the bike on….. heaven had arrived!

So on a glorious walk today the uphill climbs reached a new wife brownie point winner, I would become a photographer. After a plod (slowly, but surely now turning into a waddle at 21 weeks preggo) Mr H hatched a plan to incorporate 2 climbs afterwards. I’d have coffee in the pub with the dog, he’d ride his bike! Perfect! However, the second climb was on the way home, so as a serial Instagram poster – I thought I could grab some nice shots of the boy in action….. DING DING DING, brownie points in the bag!

I’m not going to lie, I loved it, it was great fun. Passion and excelling in sport is something I wish I had more of. I’m passionate, but have, and always will be average…. I’m built like a square, strong legs and arms, but naff all coordination or endurance for anything! And from now weekends away always involve the bike (and the books). The bike goes everywhere. But girls – if this happens to you, let them – they come back happy, sweaty, and often as they are feeling a little guilty for leaving you – so return with gifts!!!

Love,

Mrs Heatho x

If the Matress isn’t plump the sheets won’t fit properly!

The funniest and wisest piece of advice my gorgeous wedding makeup artist and beautician of many years told me in the beginning – "if the matress isn't plump – the sheet won't fit properly!" – and she was right! Dry, dehydrated, sad skin with a layer of makeup will never look as good as healthy, well moisturised, conditioned and plump skin! 

I cannot profess to know anything about skin, makeup or what should go on my face. But over the years I have read blogs, visited beauty counter after beauty counter and seen only two beauticians (I like the ones I like!) but hydration with copious glasses of water, moisturiser and a steady skin routine is standing me in a hopefully good place as I approach my 30's with a couple of crows feet when I smile and a frown like I'm sure I was born with. I will commit to keeping it this way!

I hope I'm as lucky as my mum – she has regular facials, and spends money on essential products (plus the occasional mega indulgence!), but her face is radiant, glowy, the makeup sits seamlessly onto her face! (Come on genes – please work for me!)

For years I used the Liz Earle cleanse and polish, toner and moisturised with which ever Estée Lauder freebie mum has sent me across! But at Christmas I converted to Bobbi Brown after reading so many good reviews. And I have to say I LOVE IT! 

The cleansing oil has revolutionised my life – no more make up wipes for me! I know they are bad, but I just loved the convenience post night shift or after a late night, but the Bobbi Brown cleansing oil in literally 5 seconds removes every piece of day nastiness with as little effort. Using it twice a day since Christmas and I'm only half way down the bottle – now that's value for money! This isn't an ad. I'm not famous. Only a few of you lovely people read these garbled words – but please buy this bottle of gold!

http://m.bobbibrown.co.uk/products/14013/Skincare/Cleansers-Toners?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxveM0Nm41QIV57vtCh1DhgkqEAAYASAAEgLoVvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CPvrxdHZuNUCFQeMUQod_G8Euw

My little splurge this month is the Becca Champagne Pop pressed powder.

http://www.spacenk.com/uk/en_GB/makeup/cheeks/highlighter/champagne-pop-limited-edition-shimmering-skin-perfector-pressed-highlighter-MUK200019269.html.

A little late to the party, but this is a true gem!!! A subtle glow in the prettiest packaging that needs no further explanation. This is going to be an ongoing affair and hard to beat alongside this little gem of a primer by Laura Mercier! It's like putting a glittery makeup superglue on every morning. My makeup sticks all day!

http://www.spacenk.com/uk/en_GB/foundation-primer-radiance-US300022838.html

Lots of Love, (and plump skin),

Mrs H x

Staycation

After being indecisive about where to head in our week off staycation Mr H and I finally settled on a few days in Somerset, just outside Watchet in Mr H’s family caravan! Staycations tend to happen once a year for us and vary in every way. Last year we spent two weeks in Scotland, the couple of years previous mainly in Cornwall. After a short(ish) drive south, we arrived to a slightly grey evening of setting up base and strolling along the fossil filled beaches looking for hidden gems.

Wednesday was wet. I can’t explain how wet because it was beyond wet. Everything was just wet. But the weather soon changed in our favour.

The days passed with scenic walks along the coast, scrambles up over the Quantock hills (whilst Mr H mountain bikes some apparently ‘epic trails’) and filling our tummies with cream teas and fish and chips! We visited Dunster Castle and tried to find the most beautiful villages covered in rolling blossoms and blooms!


The Fern dog came along for the trip and loved every minute of camping! 
Hope everyone is well, and stocking up on strawberries and cream ready for Wimbledon!

Love,

Mrs Heatho

Hygge

Hygge – that word that nobody really knows how to pronounce. A word that is interpreted by anyone in a million different ways, as everyone's 'Hygge' is different. A concept created by the Danish to explain the feeling of contentment and relaxation in a situation or experience created by yourself, friends, and family. 

My Hygge is simple. It involves being outdoors or surrounded by food. (The previous blog posts probably give that away). This week has been especially Hygge-ish!

Mr H and I took a spontaneous afternoon stroll in Robin Wood with Fern pup. We have been before but just followed the main trails. Instead this time we thought we'd go off track a bit! Off track took us through knee deep mud puddles and a mountain of brambles and logs to jump over – it was much more fun, my kind of Hygge! 


Peony season is well and Truely upon us and my instagram feed is overflowing with the delicate leaves in varying pinks. I actually picked mine up in Aldi, and they have all opened up! 



I'm actually off for most of this weekend in the AMAZING British sun. We cooked paella and had a leisurely bike ride to the pub for drinks. Perfectly topped off with a walk round the castle and corn fields,  a meaty BBQ with William Chase cocktails in the garden. This one  is a refreshing Lemon and Thyme Mule. It really has been a lovely Hygge feeling week! 


Lots of Love, 
Mrs Heatho x

May into June


How is it Friday already? How is it already June!

This post is a bit of a random one, but pretty much sums up the last week or so! It’s been a week of work scattered with loveliness with friends. Last week Fern dog and I met up with my gorgeous work friends and their puppies for a stroll, a cuppa and cake around Calke Abbey – a picture perfect National Trust house and park which is linked to the National Forest just a couple of miles from our house. Work friends are so important. As a nurse, having this support allows you to unwind and rationalise what’s gone on. We work hard, so naturally we should play hard! Well – tea and cake ‘hard’!!! 


The weather had been so beautiful before the weekend and the garden was starting to bloom, my potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes and peppers starting to sprout in the raised bed and the grass finally looking moss free and luscious. My dad is my gardening guru. He would (and still does) spend hours watering and feeding his hanging baskets and veg patches, and I hope, as my little garden matures that I can do him proud and match his show gardens and produce displays. We landscaped our little garden last year and it’s still finding it’s feet a little, but i will show you the progress Mr H and I have made in another post. I am aware I’m nearly 30 – going on nearly 60 , but I love it!!


This week has ended with me and Fern strolling around Elvaston Castle and the clover fields surrounding it for a couple of hours in the ‘almost’ sun! Bouncy sprocker ears were fully engaged, and after a couple of hours she was out cold for the evening. 



These wellies are a dream by the way. Recommended by our lovely friends, these neoprene lined Aigle boots have turned out to be sooooo comfy, durable and I can walk miles in them! They’re not pretty, they’re not pink with flowers, but I wouldn’t change them even if you paid me! I can’t recommend them enough!

I’m back to work this weekend but I hope you all have a lovely one. 

Lots of Love, 

Mrs Heatho

My wellies can be found at the link below- https://www.aigle.com/en_fr/parcours-2-5868.html 

Calke Abbey – https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/calke-abbey