Diary of a Boho Baby – Sallyann (26 Weeks) The Scan and Nursery Ideas

Diary of a Boho Baby - SallyAnn

Today I’d like to welcome back Sallyann to the blog.  Sallyann is now 26 weeks pregnant and loving her pregancy so far!  Last time at 22 weeks pregant she told us all about her maternity wardrobe and the key items she had bought and was planning to buy. Today Sallyann tells us how she is getting on so far, her last scan and the progress she is making with getting the house ready. 


I’ll pass you over to Sallyann…….

I cannot believe I am half way through my pregnancy and I have to admit I am probably one of the most annoying people as I am enjoying the experience even the second time round. It is fantastic feeling, now have a noticeable bump as I don’t get those looks “hmmm is she isn’t she or has she stopped going to the gym”.
The 20 week scan is such a mile stone for so many women you are half way there  your baby looks so formed on the scan and many find out the sex so the planning for babies arrival really begins.
I am in awe of the scan how we can see all the essential organs the spine and even the lenses of the eye, we didn’t find out the sex it is a lovely surprise on the day. When I got home I joked with my family that my scan looks the same as Gracie-May did, I am convinced! They of cause thought baby brain had taken over my sanity too lol!!

Although I am not nesting quite yet I have been completing my diary for the next few weeks and I realise as I fill it with summer holidays, birthday parties and a trip to a French chateaux the next few months will fly and I will be getting ready to push in no time!
I have also booked a birth prep class with my yoga teacher which I felt really helped last time and I have also booked a few hypnobirthing sessions after reading about its effectiveness on several blogs. I like the feeling that I am prepared even if on the day I ask for all the medication possible. (more…)



Recipe Love: Millionaires Shortbread

recipe love

Today I’m delighted to welcome back Chloe from The Loveliest Food to the Blog. Chloe is our resident food expert and today brings you a recipe for one of my favourite things of all time; Millionaires shortbread. What’s not to love in this classic tray bake recipe…shortbread, caramel and chocolate all in one delicious mouth full! This is another recipe I will be trying out in the next few weeks, I just hope mine turn out as perfectly as Chloe’s!


Millionaires Shortbread


I’ll pass you over to Chloe…..

I’ve tried numerous recipes to make millionaires shortbread but none have turned out anywhere near as good as this one. Providing you master the caramel it’s not sickly like a lot of shop bought versions and the ratio’s are just about perfect. It took me two attempts to really know when the caramel was ready (it will take at least 15 minutes) but if you’re patient it’s amazing!


Ingredients : For the shortbread:

  • 125g unsalted butter or baking margarine
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • 175g plain flour
  • Pinch of salt

For the topping:

  • 200g condensed milk
  • 125g unsalted butter or baking margarine
  • 125g golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 200g milk chocolate




Film Review: Begin Again

Film Review

Today we see the welcome return of John in our film review slot. John has been off for a few weeks recovering from an opperation, but he is back fighting fit and has been off to the cinema for us to review another film, and it looks like todays is a good one!

I’ll pass you over to John……..

 Begin Again

I’ve been missing out on the cinema recently.  I’ve been recovering from a double hernia operation (I was only expecting one – I suppose I should be grateful they did it in one go).  Thus I wasn’t driving for a few weeks and wasn’t able to get in front of a big screen.  I consoled myself by taking Mr. Nick Hood’s recommendation from one of the earlier posts on ‘A Boho Life’ and settled down to do the whole of ‘Breaking Bad’.  As no one else was in at the time, like BB’s hero, I spent much of the time in just my pants.
Now I’ve spoiled your day with that image, you’ll be delighted to know I am driving again.  So last night I put additional clothing on and returned to the cinema.  After something as unashamedly dark as Breaking Bad, I thought I’d better find a nice light rom-com sort of movie to redress the balance.  Hence, large fizzy drink and box of dry triangles claiming to be nachos in hand, I settled into seat D10 (sadly, my favourite) to watch “Begin Again”.

So, before I tell you a little about it, I’ll unusually start with my conclusion.  Go see it.  Go see it this week.  It’s my favourite film of the year so far.  Take a partner, or a parent or even an older (teenage) child. I think you’ll find they will come out happy.


Ok – a quick premise.  Kiera Knightly is in her element as waiflike English muso in New York, ‘Greta’.  She’s just been dumped by her up and coming rock star boyfriend.  She is about to head back across the pond to the safety of England and crumpets.  On her last night, she runs into washed up record producer ‘Dan’ (Mark Ruffalo), who hears her play a song.  He falls in love with her style and convinces her to make an album with him.
So we’re in fairly standard rom-com territory, right?  They’re going to make the album and fall in love on the way.  Then it will all turn out beautifully.  They will head off to fame and fortune, hand in hand, to the strains of some irritating boy band.  Well, actually no. (more…)



Real Pets: Show and Tell – Mongo the Ginger Cat and Luna the Boston Terrier

real pets show and tell

I have another wonderful Real Pets feature for you today, and this time it is of both  the feline and canine variety. Wedding photographer Derryn Semple tells us all about how the fact that she worked from home led her to gain her two pets, Mongo the ginger cat and Luna the Boston terrier. I’m sure you will agree both animals are gorgeous!

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I’ll pass you over to Derryn………..

I am a wedding photographer who works from home. I went through a stage not long ago where I would get incredible lonely and bored during the day and quite unproductive. My fiancé Mark finally agreed to us getting a pet. We visited a few shelters and pet stores, but didn’t find an animal that felt like ‘home’. One day, a friend posted a picture on Facebook of the tiniest ginger kitten I have ever seen, that had been rescued from a drain and brought to the local vet. I sent Mark a picture, and by that afternoon we brought our little kitty home. Mongo had been found alone at 2 weeks old in a drain, his paws were swollen and his claws couldn’t retract. We thought that once the swelling went down, they’d come right. But to this day, he has the most adorably deformed toes. Being only 2 weeks old, he became very attached to me, sleeping in my shirt against my chest, and not leaving me for a second. It wouldn’t be uncommon if you walked past my window and heard conversations between us. He cheered me up and I quickly got back into my routine at work. Having a little fur ball purring on my lap made a world of difference. (more…)



Restaurant Review – Pizza Express New Summer On Menu

Restaurant Review - Pizza Express New Summer On Menu

On Sunday Nik and I were invited to go and review the new Pizza Express, Summer specials menu at the York branch of Pizza express Never one to turn down a free meal, Nik and I kindly accepted the offer and made our way to York. I’ve been to Pizza express on numerous occasions and to be honest never had a bad meal, with such a big chain you always know what you are getting. I was interested to try out the summer specials as I tend to always order the same sort of thing, so thought the change might do me good.

I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised, the food was delicious, living up to the ‘summer menu‘ title, all three courses were light, full of flavour and perfect for the time of year. The service was excellent and I would highly recommend all the items currently on the specials menu.

summer speicasls

I’ll leave Nik to tell you more about our experience and exactly what we ate! 

Two weeks ago, Kelly was asked if we would like to review the New Summer On Menu at Pizza Express in York. As a lovely of York and Pizza, the answer was a resounding yes! Fast forward 2 weeks and we arrive at Sunday 13th July, just 3 weeks and 3 days after the arrival of Dexter.

As you parents out there will appreciate (and non-parents take for granted!) leaving the house is a major operation! 3 Weeks and 4 days ago, we would have jumped in the car, hot-footed it to York and had a gentle saunter around before our table booking of 2PM. We had to bath a hungry baby, feed him, change his nappy and wait for his Mum and Dad to get ready too – which takes time you really don’t have! Our original departure of 11AM came and went and at 12PM, we left the house, with Sat Nav telling us we would arrive at our destination at 1.15PM. Great, 45 mins to saunter, table at 2PM!

The parking gods had other ideas. First space looked great. Sign appeared to read we could park for free on a Sunday and was close to the centre. WRONG! You need a degree to understand the parking signs these days! So, baby out, pram out, armed with £3 coins. £4 to park! So, baby in, pram in, drive to find another space. In York. On a Sunday. With great weather. And the annual Dragon Boat Races. Good luck!

A stressful drive round the streets of York took us to Marygate and luckily a Car Park that was broken and so free today! Things are looking up! A quick getaway from the car park and even quick run by the river – festooned with stalls celebrating the Dragon Boat racing – and laden with slow walking people, a bit of elbowing and to Pizza Express!

We were a little flustered to say the least! Dexter, as always, completely unfazed. Mum and Dad at their wits end! Pacified by a very calm and collected waiter who showed us to our table with enough room for the Pram and a lovely view of the River Ouse.

So to the menu! A very simple choice for us today – much to my relief as Kelly takes an age to decide what she wants! 2 pizzas to choose from, one salad and 2 desserts. Luckily for Kelly a Hugo ‘Pizza Express’ cocktail was on offer, which took the edge of! This mixture of Prosecco and Elderflower garnered the first ‘Ooh, very refreshing and summery! ‘ – the first of many.

As always, in any pizzeria, it is customary for the Hoods to order cheesy garlic bread, and as always in Pizza Express it was cheesy and garlicky and very nice! Yum!

drink (more…)



My Birth Story – A Personal Post and a Promise to my Baby Boy.

My Birth Story - A Personal Post and Promise to my Baby Boy.

Last week over on Boho Weddings I shared with you a selection of photos from my first 2 weeks and 3 days with baby Dexter. So many of you left lovely comments across the blog social media, and I thank each and every one of you. Your warm wishes are very much appreciated.

Dexter is now 3 weeks and 3 days old and has already stolen my heart. The last few weeks and days have been totally amazing and I have loved every minute of it……….yes there have been emotional days that everyone warned me about (day 5 stands out for me!) but those are  a distant memory as my little man just fills me with so much joy every time I look at him. Even those 3am feeds are a happy occasion as I get to wake up and give him cuddles and smother him with love!………..I am well and truly in my own little baby bubble!

As I mentioned in my Boho weddings post, the birth didn’t exactly go to plan, but to be honest I don’t know many people’s who’s did!
As my due date came closer, I imaged each day being the day that he arrived, dream scenarios of me having my fake tan done, make up on, my contractions starting once I’d had a good meal so I wasn’t hungry. Ideas of staying at home for as long as possible so I was labouring in my own 4 walls, I even had films lined up to watch in the early stages of labour to take my mind off the pain (Greece, Dirty Dancing and The Great Gatsby if your interested) With weeks of hynobirth training behind me I was ready and eager to carry out as much of a natural birth as I could……….this however was not the reality!

After having my spleen out when I was 18, due to a rare blood disorder, I was under close observation through the whole of my pregnancy, add-on the fact that I am 42 and it was an IVF baby which meant I had monthly appointments with two consultants, as well as my regular hematologist. I have to admit at times I just wished for a normal pregnancy where I wasn’t treated any differently and could just get on with it! Luckey though even with my low blood count, I had a pretty normal and regular pregnancy. Yes the backache was bad, the trapped nerves and the swollen feet, calves and knees were pretty rubbish but over all I did pretty well. I manged not to over eat, which also meant I only put on just under 2 stone, so all in all it was pretty straight forward.

As much as I wanted a water birth, I was told mid pregnancy that due to my blood condition I would have to have a consultant led birth, which meant that I would be rigged up to the monitors to keep an eye on mine and the babies development, something I really fought against, but in the end I decided that if the experts didn’t think a water birth was wise then maybe I should just do as they say.

All was good with the pregnancy until my due date. I had a standard check up with one of my consultants booked in for the morning of my due date, (18th June) just to see how I was getting on. As it turned out this appointment brought up the fact that I and developed preeclampsia, so it was at this point I was told I had to stay in hospital until the baby was born……….Not ideal! Luckely Nik was with me and he was an absolute angel, he really looked after me and still is over 3 weeks later! I was taken up to a ward and then the whole birthing process started.

1 My Birth Story 2 My Birth Story

After a standard examination the induction process was started, they wanted to get the baby out as soon as possible due to my preeclampsia. Pretty much as soon as they carried out the induction and rigged me up to the monitor I could feel the contractions starting straight away, they were pretty light to start with, but none the less they were there. Nik went home to pick up my hospital bag, and by the time he had come back they were pretty strong and pretty frequent. I was moved into a private room and from there time seemed to speed past.

I’m not going to g into the whole ins and outs, but I will say that the next few hours had its highs and lows! After a very scary moment when we lost the babies heart beat and lots of doctors and midwives rushed around looking very panicked, Nik looked scared and I cried, I was prepped for theatre. Lucky the heart beat came back, but from there was taken to the labour room. I started off trying to crack jokes to keep the mood light, I put on my Ben Howard CD, followed by my birthing playlist……….I carried out my hypnobirthing techniques to stay calm and relaxed, but after hours and hours of contracting I have to say I was tired, hungry and a bit emotional.
At this point it was 4am and after another examination still only 1cm dilated. How could this be so? I had been working so hard?? the contractions were strong (and painful) yet I still wasn’t getting anywhere. With 2 midwives literally sat next to the monitor keeping a very close eye on the babies heartbeat, and with a few more scares when it dropped the doctors decided that it best to carry out a C section and get the baby out.

4 My Birth Story

I have to admit that before I went into labour the last thing I ever wanted was a c section, it was probably the last option on my birth plan………however after hours and hours in labour and desperate to meet my little boy and know that he was healthy and all in one piece, I just wanted them to get him out! So a C section it was!

By this point I was so tired so my memory is a bit fuzzy, I remember going into theatre, and being prepped for the operation, lots of very serious stuff being told to me, (of which I can remember nothing) but before I knew it there was a big blue screen between me and the doctors and within minutes my baby was out!

I can’t to tell you how relieved I was to see him. When they placed Dexter next to my head for me to see him for the first time I really couldn’t be happier. He was all in one piece and was happy and healthy, what more could a mother wish for!?!

5 My Birth Story (more…)