New beginnings pregnancy massage at Seckford Spa Suffolk

It’s been such an up and down ride this year for many reasons. Mostly due to the fact that I’ve been pregnant for the majority of it! I decided to take Paul to Seckford Hall’s Spa for his birthday last month which we really enjoyed. We both had mini treatments which left me wanting more. So, I went back by myself a few weeks later after being kindly invited to try the New Beginnings pregnancy massage at Seckford Spa Suffolk.

This spa is located just outside of Ipswich so not far at all from my mother’s doorstep. Since I’ve been spending most weeks in Suffolk, I made the appointment soon after my previous visit. The spa is so lovely with an honest country feel. The conservatory is a place where you can sit back and have a tea and cake if you’re not a spa goer and just watch the world go by. Many weddings take place at Seckford Hall, and it’s not difficult to see why from the stunning facade and views.

The swimming pool, sauna and jacuzzi are located on the ground floor of the spa, while all the beauty treatments such as massages, pedicures and facials are on the floor above.

The ‘New Beginnings’ treatment (£60) is suitable for pregnant women who are 16 weeks and over- I was definitely over this point last month! The treatment is designed to help restore balance and, much like all massages, helps to relax the mind and body.

For the treatment, I lay on both sides to allow my masseuse access either side of my body in turn. She focused on going from my shoulder down to my upper leg, then repeated on the other side. I had a pillow between my legs, as is natural for most pregnant women to feel comfy when laying this way.

We moved onto the lower legs and feet which I just loved- it’s tough not being able to reach that far down anymore! I was on my back for this, though you can have the bed adjusted so you are more propped up if you get short of breath or dizzy if horizontal. The last part was my neck and shoulders- we put some oil on the belly too but you don’t have to if you don’t want to. 

The products used were from Temple Spa- I loved the aromatherapy resting cream called ‘Repose’ (£40) used at the beginning and end of the treatment.

The New Beginnings pregnancy massage at Seckford Spa Suffolk was a much needed piece of bliss. If you are searching for a great spa around East Anglia that offers treatments during pregnancy, this one should be top of your list to try!

Until next time,

Saharasplash x

Did you catch my birthday blog post this month? See my week by week pregnancy time lapse here

A very blobby birthday to me

This is going to be a super light post, mainly because it wasn’t supposed to be on my blog schedule, and the fact that it’s my birthday! I have had more than a few thoughts about my pregnancy and all the photos I’ve been taking to document my changing body these past 8 months. Legs, bum, boobs in particular have expanded and stretched beyond anything I could ever imagine… and I’m ok with that. It has been a great first pregnancy, and I am now in the final days just waiting and waiting for something to happen. In my mind, it almost doesn’t feel like anything is about to change, but of course it will! Before I go into labour, I wanted to put this out there so you can see a month by month play as it were. For those who aren’t aware, Blobby is my baby. So raise a glass for me today as I reach the grand old age of 27- a very blobby birthday to me indeed! Enjoy the snaps…

Weeks 5-13

Weeks 14-22

Weeks 23-31

Weeks 32-40

Now the final stretch is in sight, I want to thank all my friends, family and readers for being there in the form of a text, tweet and visit throughout my pregnancy.

Blobby, it’s been real, but seriously now, get out!

Saharasplash x

Those final days of pregnancy

Those final days of pregnancy are to be frank, pretty crap. Not just because you’re feeling tired, stressed out, unprepared and all of the above already- what makes things even worse is if you think you have an idea on when your baby will arrive, and then it doesn’t. It’s a crazy time, you’re about to enter an unknown world with a million possible outcomes you just cannot predict. Worries of ‘will my baby be healthy and normal?’ are floating around in your head and you just can’t push the doubts of ‘am I able to do this?’ from your mind. I have found my pregnancy to be a fairly good one up to this point, but I’m ready to admit that I am just a little bit fed up now.

I’m sleeping well and eating great. No issues in any way health wise. The only problem is, it’s the anticipation that’s really getting to me. I don’t know if my waters will break at any moment, or if I’ll be needing to make an appointment next week to kickstart things once I reach the overdue stage. I have been telling myself for 8 months that I won’t go past my due date, and that’s part of the reason why I think I’m starting to get disheartened with only a few days to go till I reach the 40 week mark.

So, while I have frequent meltdowns and shout at my sister for no reason, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about the importance of making as much time as possible for yourself in those final days of pregnancy.

nspa Mum to be gift box- £10* 

The nspa collection at Asda have a wonderful mum to be range. Whether you are currently expecting or would like to find a gorgeous gift for a mum to be, here’s a little bit about the range:

The nspa mum to be collection has been created for your special time (goodness knows I need it this week!). The collection of naturally inspired cruelty free products will help take care of the changing needs of your skin not only during pregnancy but as a new mum too.

Taking the time to relax and de-stress is key, as is ensuring your skin is kept silky soft, supple and in great condition throughout your pregnancy and beyond. Not only does the range allow you to look after your skin during this life and body changing time, it also provides an escape that you can count on to help your inner well-being.

I have found that time to myself with my baby is so important. Bonding with your growing baby while it’s still living inside you is a useful tool to keep your mind strong and focused before labour begins.

The aromas from the nspa beautiful mum gift box have really helped me during those final days of pregnancy. Keep your fingers crossed for me that this baby arrives before my due date! If you have any more tips then leave them in the comments below!

Saharasplash x

Thanks for reading! Here’s the latest news from my last London trip: Joining the sit-stand movement with Fellowes and Viking

*PR samples included. All thoughts and views my own

Joining the sit-stand movement with Fellowes and Viking

It’s quite sad thinking that this event write up may be the last one I do in a while. Bodywise, it’s very difficult to get around to as many London events as I used to, so I am making these last few count until I can get back into things (just before Christmas is the plan). As far as events go, this one was definitely worth the travel and slow walk from the tube station to the venue. I had my sister along for the fun (and just in case my waters broke!) and we met up with Eboni en route which was lovely. So, the post title may be a bit obscure to those reading for the first time. Fellowes and Viking are companies who are involved in the office furniture, supplies and stationery business and decided to put an event together in support of the sit-stand desk. It’s incredible to think that 88% of offices in Sweden and Denmark have implemented the sit-stand desk concept, so I’m here to tell you all about them!

The Lotus Sit-Stand Workstation in white

A bit about the Sit-Stand Desk concept…

We had a quick brief from a Fellowes UK representative (Richard) who gave us a bit of history into the brand. Their first ever product was a bankers box, and over time they have grown with the decades and are now huge in the office supplies world. Richard spoke about ergonomics, which is the study of people’s efficiency in the workplace. The sit-stand workstation hopes to disrupt the ergonomic pattern for a better working environment. Their research reveals how joining the sit-stand movement can have a positive long-term impact on employees’ health, happiness and productivity.

Smooth Lift Counterbalance Technology™ make height adjustment easy to accommodate multiple users and work styles at one work station- just perfect if your office needs a switch around. No more monitor adjustments the hard way!

Photo credit: Elouisa Gergiou

What happened next…

Focusing on workplace health and happiness ideals, we then had a lovely treat in the form of The Pamper Company. I used to work in an office where we had a masseuse come in bi-weekly so I know first hand how this can really make a difference to the working day.

I had a wonderful back, neck and shoulder massage to restore some calm and peace in my day.

Photo credit: Elouisa Gergiou

Photo credit: Elouisa Gergiou

As if it couldn’t get any better…

Afterwards, we were introduced to Mr Flavour, a smoothie and juice company who taught us a little about making delicious cold drinks.

I combined watermelon, kale, almond milk and ice chips to make a healthy, sweet and light green juice.

We came away with a lovely bag including a pure white wrist support which goes perfectly with my blogger’s office desk setup!

Check that out here

So, are you converted? Would you like to see your office joining the sit-stand movement? Let me know in the comments section below!

Saharasplash x

Thanks for reading Joining the Sit-Stand movement with Fellowes and Viking. If you’d like another adventure, here’s one I went on recently with My Little Piccolo and Waitrose! 

My last maternity shoot in Cambridge with Emma Shaw Photography

Doing an outdoor shoot is such a fun thing to do as a blogger. Taking tours of new places, meeting up with other creatives and photographers as well as planning outfits down to the very last detail. It’s a lot of effort, and on this shoot (my last maternity shoot) I found it to be the toughest one yet. BUT… I think that this was one of the most rewarding days for so many reasons. Here’s what happened on my last maternity shoot in Cambridge with Emma Shaw Photography.

I have known Emma as a photographer and friend for many years. She took one of the first couple photos of Paul and I way back when, which now resides on canvas in our home. I absolutely love her style and skill, so when we decided to have a little meet up for a maternity shoot around Cambridge, I knew it was going to be a good’n!

We didn’t make a specific plan of where to shoot, we just walked through the streets and found some beautiful places within minutes.

Dress: Boohoo Maternity

Shoes: Melissa

We stopped around the punting area and Queens’ College for lunch at the Anchor Pub. They did a wonderful gluten free bunless burger for me. I had time for a quick outfit change too!

These shots were taken around the punting area as you walk down beside the canal. We were blessed with a beautiful day- not too sunny so no reflectors required!

Dress: Lindex (not maternity, just got a bigger size!)

Shoes: Peacocks

The final outfit and shots were quite hard for me as we had been going and walking for a good portion of the late morning and early afternoon. My hips and back were just not up to going much further, so we decided to do a circle and make our way back into town to where we started. Paul gallantly helped me change behind some trees (as you do) as there weren’t many shops or toilets nearby the college grounds.

I love this shot below Emma took. It sort of looks like I’m smuggling a basketball under my dress but the colours and scenery are stunning!

Dress: Lindex (again, just got a bigger size)

Shoes: H&M

So after a very slow walk back to the start, we parted ways after a very action packed day out. I had such a blast with Emma, she is the number one gal for effortless outdoor shots. My last maternity shoot in Cambridge with Emma Shaw Photography was definitely one of the highlights during my pregnancy.

I couldn’t resist getting a photo with one of the many cows just laying around amidst the bustling tourists- I guess they’re used to the attention!

Saharasplash x

All photos in this post belong to Emma Shaw Photography. Please do not redistribute in any way without asking for permission.

Have you had a maternity shoot done before? Would love to know how it went and see some pics! Tweet me @saharasplash xxx

Weaning Tips with My Little Piccolo and Waitrose

I have been spending a lot of time counting down to milestones- when the baby reaches full term at 37 weeks (today!) for example and how many days left till my predicted due date. Like I’ve mentioned previously, I want to maintain the lifestyle aspect of my blog from fashion to the family, so this is something I’m really trying to focus on doing. I still want those without children to come to my site to read a post about what Cadbury is bringing out this year for Christmas as well as something like this- Weaning Tips with My Little Piccolo and Waitrose. I hope that my new readers as well as long time supporters can sort of co-exist together in one harmonious bubble of awesomeness. Read on to find out what happened when a bunch of mums (and my pregnant self) took over the Kings Cross Waitrose to explore the shelves…

The amazing brand behind the morning trip is My Little Piccolo. They are an organic baby food brand who have been organising trails up and down the country over the past few months to spread the word about best weaning tips. Together with Alice Fotheringham, an infant nutrition specialist and nutritional chef, they have reached out to all sorts of mums and had a big impact on the groups from the tours. I’m here to share a few things I learned myself which I’d love to pass on to any mums going through weaning, or just as food for thought for the future!

Frozen fruit is not cheating

Alice lead us through Waitrose aisle by aisle where we all had different types of questions. One popular question being about fruit and veg and how to incorporate this into a weaning baby’s diet. Frozen fruit is the perfect way to create a lovely dessert for baby and the family. Seasonal fruits such as strawberries can be bought frozen and blended up or cooked to make a compote, smoothie or crumble base. Stewed apples from frozen can settle a sickly tummy too. It’s absolutely fine to feed fruit from frozen to hungry little ones so don’t feel like you have to buy it all fresh.

Don’t be afraid of strong flavours

This is a really great tip I discovered on the tour. Alice explained to us that you shouldn’t be afraid of introducing stronger flavours such as mature cheddar (suitable from one year) or mustard in mashed potato for example. These strong tastes will help your baby to get used to trying out lots of variety, and apparently many weaning babies are fond of tinned mackerel or sardines too! Using different herbs and spices is also a better way of flavouring food instead of reaching for the salt when preparing meals for your baby.

There’s more to dips than just ketchup

A lot of us will open our fridge doors and be greeted with your standard bottle of ketchup, mayo and potentially a BBQ sauce. On our way round the shelves, we discovered that low and behold- there’s more to dips than just these three! Yogurt dips, pesto, and pea hummus are all perfect alternatives to the red sauce, here’s why:

  • It gets baby used to many different flavours
  • It reduces the sugar intake immediately on the plate (especially if dessert is on the menu too)
  • Colour variation in dips and sauces will help teach your child that green isn’t always related to yucky veggies!

Breakfast can be deceiving

So I’m a really big cereal eater. My go to tends to be the Nestle gluten free honey nut cornflakes day to day in the mornings. For babies and toddlers however, cereal is a sure way of starting the day off with too much sugar. It was also interesting to hear that Weetabix (compared to Waitrose own brand) contains three times the amount of sugar- that’s a big difference. We were advised to simply rule out 3/4 of cereals altogether when weaning and focus on porridge.

A huge thank you has to go out to Alice, the My Little Piccolo team and Waitrose for such a great day, I can’t wait to put it into practice in the New Year!

Meanwhile for mums already on the weaning journey, the My Little Piccolo website has a wealth of exciting recipes to try at home and has info on where you can purchase the products seen above.

Saharasplash x