15 December 2017

Fizz Chocolate Fountain*

Friday, December 15, 2017 0 Comments
I'm probably not the kind of person that visits Maplin much. I associate it mostly with electronics like computer stuff, lights, cables... Last time I visited the store was good few years ago, when I needed a cable to connect my laptop to the router (Wi-Fi in my student flat sucked).

Anyway, I never knew they have stuff that's more up my street, like their novelty cookware selection! And they were kind enough to send us this cool Fizz Chocolate Fountain to try out.

Unsurprisingly, Adam's in love with it from the moment he saw the box and insisted on trying it out straight away. Once I stocked up on chocolate and all sorts of things for dipping, we gave it a go.

The fountain is super easy to use. Once it's placed on flat and stable surface, you just attach the auger and cascade tower, and plug it in. Turn the heater on, get your chocolate sauce ready, pour it into the base, switch the knob to turn on the motor and watch your chocolate flow. Easy-peasy!

If you get the consistency of your chocolate mix right, it's quite mesmerizing to watch actually. 

We're not really the party people, but it is the party season and a chocolate fountain would be a great addition to your table. Get some skewers, fruit pieces, marshmallows, biscuits, waffle pieces... Anything you fancy to eat chocolate-dipped! Seeing as I'm spending New Year's Eve alone with the kids again, I might set it up for a little fun time for me and Adam ;)

Alternatively, if you're not big on the chocolate, you can use it like fondue - make a cheesy sauce and prepare some savoury nibbles for dipping.

I mentioned it's really easy to set up, and it's equally easy to clean afterwards - take the auger and cascade tower out and rinse, pour the leftover chocolate out and wipe the base, and it's ready to go into the cupboard ready for the next party. The only complaint I have about it, is that the base would be easier to clean properly if it also came off, but it's not really that big of a deal.

It's a fantastic little piece - and if you still need to find a gift for anyone, or want something fancy to entertain your guests, if you order by 6pm on Sunday 17 December you can get one in time for Christmas. Get one from Maplin HERE - check out their other items too!

*We were sent the Fizz Chocolate Fountain from Maplin for the review - all opinions are, as always, my own and unaffected.

02 December 2017

Hey baby! - my birth story

Saturday, December 02, 2017 1 Comments
Well hello there! It's been a while again, but for the past few weeks life's been rather busy...

Word of warning: there's a bit of a long post ahead!

On the 2nd of November we finally met our little girl. I must say I didn't really enjoy this pregnancy - first few months were filled with sickness and extreme tiredness, the last couple meant all kinds of aches and pains. I got to the point when I just wanted this baby out.

Last two months of my pregnancy were far from pleasant. If you follow my Instagram, you might've seen me mention that I've been having growth scans - at 32 weeks my midwife said I'm measuring slightly small, so she decided to refer me for an ultrasound to give baby a check. It confirmed that she was just below her expected weight, so we were monitored, having scans and consultant reviews every 2 weeks. At one point it was suggested that I get induced at 38 weeks if the baby wasn't thriving, but she got back onto the expected spot on the chart and instead of induction we were getting discharged from the consultant's care. I did, however, agree to get the induction booked at 41 weeks - I was getting too tired to wait. Although in the run-up to this I was really hoping that things would start naturally.

We hit our due date on 25th October and nothing happened. Then on the 29th we took a risk of going out for my birthday and I just prayed I wouldn't go into labour - let's be honest, hardly an ideal way to spend one's birthday (despite obviously wonderful present at the end of it).

As Missy was too stubborn to come out, on the 1st of November we headed to the hospital for my agreed induction. After initial assessment and CTG I had a pessary inserted, and the midwives warned me that things might not be as quick as I'd hope, so I should be prepared to still be on the ward by weekend (it was Wednesday). Hubby stayed with me most of the time, only popping out to pick Adam up from school. He brought him over during the visiting hours, and poor kid was actually expecting the baby to already be there - I explained to him earlier that mummy was going to hospital for the doctor to help take the baby out. Hubby then dropped him off to some family and returned to keep me company. In the meantime I started having contractions, but with no actual progress Hubby went home at the end of visiting time at 9pm, thinking he'd be back the following morning.

Because of the labour being induced I was regularly monitored - at one point the ctg picked up that baby's heartbeat was too fast and I needed doctor's assessment. That was probably the most unpleasant moment of my labour, when she got pretty harsh with me and announced afterwards... that she'd just given me a membrane sweep! But I was just too worried about my baby at that moment, I was scared it would all end up with emergency c-section. I even started to have silly thoughts that something bad would happen to myself! Doctors decided to put me on iv fluids to rehydrate me and hopefully calm the baby down. Obviously my veins were too tricky for everyone present and they ended up calling the anaesthetist to put a cannula in my hand, but it did the trick - baby's heart slowed down, but they decided to remove the pessary (which usually stays in for 24 hours) as things were progressing quicker than expected and it was probably causing baby's distress.

So the baby was now calm, but my contractions kept getting stronger. First time round I was in the delivery suite by this stage, with gas and air taking the edge off the pain. This time, in the induction ward, all I had was a dose of paracetamol and codeine, followed by a shot of pethidine later on. Well, according to the anaesthetist who saw me, I should've been in delivery room by then, but they claimed they had no spaces at that time.

Suddenly the pain started becoming unbearable - but, even though it wasn't my first birth, and the midwives kept coming to check on me, I didn't think there was actually much progress. At some point the senior midwife decided I seem in so much pain, she would examine me. Turns out I was 6cm at that point, so it was high time to move to the labour ward. One of the midwives went off to let them know, while the other just gathered all my stuff on my bed ready to move me. I (barely) managed to call Hubby to come to the hospital, he told me he needed to drop Adam off to his aunt first (he was supposed to stay the night there, but apparently wouldn't let daddy go), and we were off to delivery suite. I can't quite believe how amazing a midwife's intuition is - they kept telling me to breathe through the contractions and try not to push, even though I myself didn't think I needed to push just yet!

But guess what? I called Hubby just before entering the lift, and 11 minutes later it was over, the baby was out. Imagine the look on his face when he got there thinking I'm still giving birth, and the baby was already in my arms! Earlier I was actually really scared, thinking I can't do it on my own without him by my side. At that moment I felt bad for him that he missed it, but there was no way he could've made it even without having to drop Adam off ;)

So there she was. On the 2nd of November, at 4:40 am, little Aminah was born ❤

We got plenty of skin-to-skin while I was getting some stitches, then I fed her and we were left to rest for a bit. Then one of the midwives came to ask if we wanted to go home seeing as everything was OK, so I obviously said 'yes'! After spending a week in hospital with Adam, I didn't want to stay in any longer than absolutely necessary. So about 9am we were all ready to go, picked Adam up on our way and got home to start settling down.

It's not all been easy in this past month, but I think it's fair to say we're doing rather well so far. Also, I think I'm ready to get back to blogging now, and I might have plenty to write about (although it did take me a month to sit down to this one lol!).

Massive thank you to everyone who sent good wishes our way! ❤