It’s been a while… Sorry for my extended absence from this blog but I do have a good excuse and some great content to share in future as a result.
As the COVID pandemic hit in February 2019 I was pregnant with my first baby. Max was born in the August and then in very quick succession I was pregnant with my second baby George who was born in November 2021. As you can imagine between the pandemic and two babies under 2 I’ve been incredibly busy. I adore my boys and family and can’t wait to share our family recipes; baby tips and learnings.
One of the best things I’ve doing over many years is building up my spice collection. Every recipe I’ve tried has generally meant I needed a particular type of spice. I don’t like spending too much money so I tend to buy different brands and get the most volume for my money. I also like to pick up different spices and herbs when i’m on holiday if I’ve had a recent local meal and want to try and recreate it at home so I ultimately end up with a whole load of ugly; mismatched containers.
As a result I bought a load of glass jars (see link below) and some labels that I think are usually used for making jam. Every time I now buy a new spice I create a new jar.
I also have larger jars with my homemade gravy mix (which I’ll include a recipe for soon) so using the same labels on them keeps my whole collection looking a bit organised.
A tip though if you do this is to make a note of the expiry date of the spices in a little book or an a spreadsheet online. The alternative option and a general rule of thumb is to completely replace and refresh your spices every couple of years if you are worried. This isn’t just for health reasons but really old spices just don’t taste the same.
If you want some of the types of jars I bought see below:
I thought you might interested if you’ve been following my keto journey on how much weight I’ve actually lost and whether any of this has made any difference. Well I’m officially 8lbs down since New Year’s Eve. Keto has been a huge part of that but I’ve also stopped drinking alcohol for the month and have really increased my exercise routine. I say increased but it’s not a lot really as I’m currently looking after our newborn baby full time, baby Max.
At the end of January I’ll be keeping up the exercise and eating fairly healthily but I’ll also be starting another fun journey which is baby led weaning with baby Max. I’ll be trying lots of methods and recipes eventually so I’ll be sharing lots of that on here. Hopefully you will enjoy that journey too.
I fell pregnant is November last year, so just before we really knew about the pandemic or anything COVID related. It was a planned pregnancy just after our honeymoon and surpassingly and gratefully I fell pregnant immediately. At my age (39) I expected just like my friends and people my age to take at least six months or struggle. My mother who is sadly deceased I was told later apparently got pregnant just looking at my father which I found out later by a family member. That would have bern good to know!
So pregnancy was thankfully really lovely. Other than the discomfort of being so big I didn’t get any morning sickness and my work took it really well. They have such a good policy they basically allowed me to take a year off with pay which is very unusual. My manager did comment that he’d like me to get a nanny which was a joke but I did recognize the compliment in that too.
After a few months it reached February of this year and we’d already booked to go on holiday. I had sinusitis as part of my pregnancy so I lost all sense of taste and smell for a month and looking back i do wonder if it was COVID 19 especially as we did pop over to Lanzarote for a holiday at the year. When I gave birth I was tested for whether I had COVID 19 but not whether o had the antigens for it. I’m not even sure the antigens lady that long or whether the tests are good enough yet but I did wonder.
On returning from holiday my manger advised me as a pregnancy woman the company policy is that I work from home as the pandemic was just stating. I hadn’t even packed up my desk from holiday as I assumed I was going back into the office which you will soon see never happened.
A few weeks go by working from home which is much harder than people make out. Having 10 Skype or zoom calls a day isn’t fun, I did however therefore recognize the first positive of the pandemic and that is no longer having to commute into the office which was long and expensive. I was slap worrying about doing that heavily pregnant which quickly went away as a concern.
The next advantage I’ll say is that not drinking alcohol whilst pregnancy was hard for me. As someone who went for a drink with her husband after work or with work colleagues. I really missed it. Now no one was socializing so no one was drinking. Selfish win on my behalf it think.
I know a lot of pregnant women won’t agree with me on this one and I think it comes to personality typing. Also, as I’ve said my mother is deceased so i don’t have an immediate bond to facilitate but what I really enjoyed about social distancing and isolating whilst pregnant is the distancing itself. To be specific I went to all girls school until I was 18 and don’t enjoy groups of women together as a result. I have close female friends but they are very similar to me, Therefore, not having to attend pregnancy groups and getting to learn it all online was a complete personality joy for me. I know this wouldn’t suit everyone so I guess I was lucky I didn’t need the emotional support.
Continuing on the social distancing topic I found other benefits such as not feeling left out that I couldn’t attend the annual spa day (hot tubs abs pregnancy don’t mix) or feel sad not being able to eat olives or seafood S no one was eating out.
Then let’s talk about family. I’m not a hugger. I don’t like people commenting on my appearance or feeling the need to touch my pregnant stomach. All avoided thanks to the pandemic.
I could go on about all the benefits I enjoyed but to be honest I think it just suited my personality and the fact I’m very self sufficient. This doesn’t give enough credit to my husband by the way locked up with me but thankfully he is very similar to me. We enjoyed having the time to prepare the nursery and being digitally savvy had no issue sourcing everything online (except paint it that’s a different story).
I’m summary although the pandemic was horrific and shocking to a lot of families including mine I think it’s important to recognise that although I didn’t get my baby shower there are more important things in life abs relatively I was incredibly lucky to be so protected at such an important time.
PS My birth story was quite different and sleeping in a mask on under staffed shared ward of screaming babies was a different matter but I’ll cover that in a separate blog.
Sorry it’s been such a long time since I’ve blogged but I’ve been super busy and for very good reason. We would like to introduce baby Max.
Max was born early August and it’s been amazing but equally hard work. As part of this blog I will start to cover lots of pregnancy and nursery preparation we did as well as our progress in things like baby led weaning. I’ve lots to share on what to pack for the hospital and what nappy bags should contain.
I’ll also write on what it was to be both pregnant and give birth during a pandemic. COVID has been a life altering event but strangely it has also given my pregnancy a lot of freedom and protection so there has also been strange benefits.
I’ve also a tonne of recipes I’ve made over my pregnancy I’ve not included so I’ll start posting these up regularly and look forward to feedback and more recipes to try.