Sunday, 31 March 2013

The Hundred House Hotel, Norton

We visited Hundred House for Easter Sunday lunch, their Sunday lunch menu is basically a cut down a la carte menu and for three course it is £19.95 (or two for £16.95).  Which is a real bargain when you consider the quality and the amount of food you get.

For starters I decided on the tapas of meat with pate and focaccia – I couldn’t eat the pate being 6 months pregnant, however I devoured the rest and it was beautiful!  The meats were so tasty and there was a gorgeous tasty sundried tomato paste which was really yummy!  Hubby had one of their signature starters - Black Pudding, Chorizo & Apple Stack with Moydens Smoked Cheese Sauce & Crispy Onion Rings – which he absolutely loves and it is a massive portion, you could almost use it as a main course.  Mum had a kipper mousse which she said was really tasty and again was a decent portion size.
Black Pudding

For mains I decided on Breast of Chicken Stuffed with Ricotta, Spinach & Pinenuts with Tomato & Basil – the chicken was beautifully cooked, plenty of sauce with the meal (something a lot of places scrimp upon!) and the filling was very tasty.  It came with roast potatoes, mash, ratatouille and celeriac – its so nice to have vegetables which are a bit different to the norm.  However we also got a bowl of veg for the table which consisted of courgettes, carrot and swede mash and some of your usual veggies.  Hubby had the Suet Pudding of venison and beef with Juniper Sauce – this again was a huge portion and was so tasty, it was beautifully cooked.  Finally mum had fillet of Hake Stuffed with Salmon & Dill Mousse Served with Chive Cream Sauce and again, now complaints, only some mmmms and ahhhs to be heard, the fish was cooked to perfection and was really tasty.

For dessert I went for Hazelnut Meringues with Chocolate Sauce & honeycomb ice cream – I don’t normally ‘do’ ice cream but this was DIVINE!!  Beautiful home made ice cream which was more honeycomb than it was ice cream, it was so tasty and scrumptious, the meringues were beautiful too and came with plenty of chocolate sauce (I am always disappointed when all you get is a token amount!!).  Hubby had apple pie with a really nice light custard, again another lovely homemade dessert.

You really cannot beat their Sunday Lunch, yes the a la carte of an evening can work out expensive but it is worth it, so when you consider the Sunday Lunch it really CANNOT be beaten.  Next time hubby can get away from work on a Sunday we will be there!!!

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Maternity Bras

Aargh I am getting fed up of bras, I hate bra shopping, it is a right pain and I am not particularly keen on getting measured.  My normal bra has started to dig in as it is underwired and isn’t a maternity bra, I also though that when I am in hospital I don’t want an underwire as I want to be more comfortable if I am in bed. 

So I started my hunt for a non wired maternity bra.  I ordered a Royce Emily Nursing Bra in 32H (same size as my current bra) and when it came it was too tight around my body so I thought I needed a 34.  I went into Mothercare to try on their Blooming Marvellous twin pack bras and a 34H was too big, a 32G fit perfectly round me but the cup was too small.  Typically they hadn’t got a 32H – grrrr!!!  Anyway I went online and the same bra set was £10 cheaper on their website so I ordered them.  When they came they were too small, both around my body and in the cup – how does that work???  So I took them back to get my money back and am still without a non wired bra! 

Would be glad of any suggestions??  I don’t want to spend a fortune as I won’t be wearing it long.  However could do with getting one from the High Street so I can try it on.  I struggle with the sizes though being small around my torso and big in the cup, some bigger cups don’t start from 32 and will start at 34. 


Friday, 29 March 2013

Babydan Playpen Lite

I chose this playpen as I didn’t like the ones with bars, my reason for using the playpen is we have a cat and dogs and I know full well that one of them will steal the baby’s toys given half the chance and also I am not sure how she is going to take to a baby so I wanted a playpen that was a bit more secure, it also is a lot lighter and looks nicer (I think).  It’s really light to move it from room to room which is great and quite easy to clip together the panels as well – they just have connectors at the top and bottom and a rod which goes in between to hold them in place.  I think it will come in useful and seems good quality.

BabyStart Ria 3

This pushchair is normally £79.99 but is currently on offer at £49.99 at Argos.  Using an Emma’s Diary voucher it worked out at £24.99 – so I didn’t think you could go wrong for that.  We had been looking at the Quinny Zapp Extra and the Baby Jogger Mini but didn’t want to spend a fortune in case it wasn’t used much.  We have the iCandy apple travel system and although I love it, it is big, heavy and cumbersome so I thought for holidays and quick trips to the shop I wanted something lightweight which we could use from birth.

The Ria does the job really, yes it feels a bit cheap and plasticy compared to some but that’s because it is cheap.  I like the styling, it still looks nice and doesn’t look particularly cheap.  It folds up really easily and folds down in half so is still fairly wide measuring  but the wheels come off easily should you need to – the only thing I don’t like is the footrest sort of sticks up when folded and doesn’t fold in on itself - on a plane I could see it might get damaged?  I like the single handle on the pushchair, am not keen on two handles, it seems to be nice and light and easy to manoeuvre – can’t see it coping too well on rough terrain but I have my iCandy for that.  The seat folds flat and sits up at different degrees by adjusting a strap at the back – child can only ever lie flat or face forward.  The bumper bar/tray simply clicks in but is a bit awkward to get off as the catches are a bit placsticy and awkward so I don’t expect I will use that on it when she is older.  Harness seems sturdy enough.  It also came with a rain cover which Velcros over the whole pushchair and looks like it will keep baby nice and dry.  Finally I like the little peep hole in the canopy/hood so you can see what your little one is up to!

So all in all I would recommend it as a second pushchair if you can get it at sale prices – I don’t think I would want to pay £79.99 for it as I think it is more like a £50 pushchair really.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Embarking into the.....

So it’s that time – I am entering into……… the third trimester!!  To me it seems a bit silly as I am 28 weeks, surely pregnancy should be split equally into thirds, so that should have been 26.6 weeks?  Seems to make more sense that it would be split into thirds, for ease, round it up to 27 weeks and I should have been in my third trimester last week.  That’s just me being pedantic!!

 We had another midwife appointment today who measured be at 27.5cm which is near enough as they say the size equates to the amount of weeks you are which would be 28cm.  It is a funny way of measuring though as they measure from your pubic bone up to your breastbone and I don't really understand how they can do it accurately as some people are fatter than others.  So seems a bit strange but there you go!

According to the Babycenter My Pregnancy app (which I would recommend to anyone who is pregnant, really gives you some useful daily info) she can now blink her eyes and be able to see the change in light.  It amazes me when Mark puts his hand on my belly and rubs it she will follow it round, sometimes she will kick him and he can really feel it but others I can feel flutters under where his hand is moving – I don’t know how she knows he is there as he isn’t pressing or prodding at all. 

On another note I keep hearing stories about how people have expected girls and have had a boy!!  So it does worry me a little, though the sonographer did say she was 100% certain but I have heard that boys bits can be hidden.  It doesn’t really matter if we do have a boy as the nursery, pram, pushchair and all the big stuff is neutral (am not a massive pink fan!).  It’s just that we have quite a lot of dresses and pink clothes so we will have to do some shopping if she does turn out to be a he – think I will pack the neutral babygrows in my hospital bag just in case!!

27 Weeks

Am struggling today, I hate these up and down moods of pregnancy. I just feel like an oompah loompah today, being only 5ft2 my bump seems to take over all of my body and I just look like a short, fat thing. My bump feels so heavy and like it’s pulling me down (hubby said I should wear a back pack with a brick in it to even me out!) and am just so uncomfortable.

It’s not always like this but I dread to think what I will be like in a month’s time if I am feeling like this already. I feel like you do when you have just eaten a 5 course meal! And just going up a flight of stairs I am out of breath – thoroughly FED UP! It could be worse but right now it’s bad enough.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The Pigot Arms, Pattingham

Just a quick note on The Pigot, we had had a long day so decided to pop in for a bit of dinner.  It was curry night which was a curry and a drink for £7.45 so that’s what Mark went for, he got loads of food!  Not only did he get curry (chicken tikka karahi), he also had chips (or rice), onion bhaji, pappadom and a naan bread!  The curry was really tasty and the chicken was nice bits of chicken breast too.  I had aubergine bake from their Dishes under 500 calories menu (as I had been scoffing krispy kremes most of the day!) and it was really tasty, it was like cannelloni but the aubergine replaced the pasta and the tomato and cheese sauce was really tasty, it also came with a superfoods salad which had got some really tasty seeded salsa and some green beans within it.  We were really impressed, we have been before and it’s just been a so so type of meal – something you think is okay for a pub, but today we sat in the restaurant and really enjoyed the food. 

We also had another guest join us!!  Waitress did ask if we wanted him moved, but he was fine and quite happy to sit with us!!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Don’t you just hate it when….

People rub your bump without asking – why would you do that?  I would never do that to someone, I think it’s completely impolite, someone did it to me today for the first time and it made me flinch.  Close friends and close family, yes, but someone who is near enough a stranger – it felt weird.

People say:
  • Well I never had to buy a maternity ?? (for example coat or tops) as if to say – you must be a lot bigger than I ever was.  This again gets me down a bit as the first 20 weeks I hardly showed but all of a sudden I feel huge so it just gets me down. 
  • Your life will never be the same – well yes I think we figured that one out for ourselves and I think we will cope!
  • You think you are tired now, you just wait – err yes, again it’s pretty obvious that is going to be the case!  At least I won’t be carrying round a massive great belly that weighs a tonne 24 hours a day!!

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Baby Bath & Top & Tail Bowl

Well we picked up the Starry Nights set this morning and I haven’t a clue what the top and tail bowl is actually for but we've got one!  I am sure some of these things we don’t actually need as I don’t really know what they’re for?  Muslin cloths are the same – I picked up a pack in the Aldi baby event but don’t know what they’re for, really cute though, one has little doggies on it. We also picked up the Starry Nights Moses Basket bedding set from Toys R Us.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

25 Week Bump Shoot

Took a few  pics of my bump at 25 weeks, first time have attempted self portrait - it's quite tricky lol!!

 25 Weeks

25 Weeks

25 Weeks

Thursday, 14 March 2013

25 weeks

We had our midwife appointment and she’s measuring spot on average of 25cm at 25 weeks, we heard her heartbeat for the first time and midwife was impressed it was so strong.  So all is well with baby Stokes and mummy Stokes – just a blood pressure and urine test today.  She did say if I have to be induced I need to go into hospital and can’t use the MLU which would be a real shame and I am pretty sure I will be induced – really want to use the MLU though, it’s so small and friendly there, will have to do lots of walking when I break up from work!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Mill - Alveley

We took mum to The Mill for Mothers Day lunch – I am not overly keen on the venue as the decor is quite dated and more aimed at the older clientele really.  However mum likes the fact you can sit and have coffee in the lounge afterwards and the building itself is a lovely old mill – it could be really nice if it was updated!  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not dirty or worn – it’s just very old fashioned.  I don’t know what is wrong with Mothers Day menus these days – everywhere seems just to have roasts on, which is a bit boring!  But The Mill had some other meals as well as roasts, the venison took my fancy!

For starters, hubby and I had Filo Basket filled with a warm King Prawn, Potato & Bacon Salad with Pesto Dressing – the filling was gorgeous, very tasty and something a bit different, my only complaint would be the filo pastry was a little thick and over floured so I didn’t eat much of it.  Mum had Duo of Salmon & Plaice Mousse on a Herb Salad with Lemon Dressing which she thoroughly enjoyed and had no complaints.

For mains I had Flash Fried Venison with a Port Jus & Roast Cherry Tomatoes which was lovely and tender and the sauce was very tasty.  Hubby had Roast Leg of Rosemary & Garlic Studded Lamb with Red Wine Sauce which was a little overcooked (ie not pink in the middle) which to be honest is probably expected in a place like this as I can image the older clientele would complain if it was pink!  He got a good size portion and the sauce was again tasty.  Mum had the Whole Sea Bream baked under a Lemon Salt Crust and again had no complaints.  Accompaniments were your standard veg and potatoes, would have been nice to have had some different potatoes and veg but again they are catering for the normal clientele.

For dessert mum and I had Lemon, White Chocolate & Sultana Sponge with Vanilla Custard which was lovely, although I couldn’t taste the white chocolate which was a little disappointing but mum liked it like that as thought it would have been too sweet otherwise.  Hubby had a baileys lumpy bumpy cake which was nice but a bit too creamy for my liking!

Finally we had coffee in the lounge and mum had a present of a house plant which was a nice touch.  It was £24.50 for the four courses.  All in all it is nice to go every now and then but I wouldn't really rave about it.  It is a shame they don’t update it and bring it into the 21st century as it could be really nice, it does feel like it’s stuck in the 80s.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Indigo - Indian Restaurant

Mark wanted to go for an Indian for his birthday so I thought I would try and find somewhere a bit special and not your usual Indian.  I came across Indigo in Penn and after looking at Tripadvisor and speaking to a couple of colleagues that had been I decided to book it.  We arrived early and were told we could have a better table if we weren’t there for an all night session, which we decided to do as we said we wouldn’t be any longer than 2 hours. 
As we were new customers they brought us out a tray of different curry sauces with poppadoms to try which we thought was a great idea as we both never venture any further from our usual (Chicken Tikka Masala and Chicken Tikka Saagwala) for fear we might not like it.  This way we could see whether we liked the sauce before we ordered.  So we decided to try something different and Mark went for North Indian Garlic Chilli Lamb Tikka and I went for Methi Gosht (also lamb) – I thought that lamb isn’t normally great at an Indian so it would be a good way to test them!  We were both impressed, the lamb was tender and not fatty at all, I had a keema naan which was beautiful and not stodgy like the norm.  For starters we had some chicken and fish pakora, which were lovely and freshly cooked.  We are a bit spoilt though as I love the chicken pakoras from our local Indian and these weren’t as tasty but were a lot fresher.  Also the sauces for the pappadoms were divine, mint sauce and chutneys etc. they were like nothing I have ever tasted before.  The interior as well was new and modern and really funky, by the time we came out it was heaving! 
Somewhere we will be visiting again and I would recommend!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

The Collies!

I took this a little while ago but thought I would share as I think it's one of my all time favourites.  Rum my 7yr old welsh sheepdog cross collie and Cas (right) my 13 year old border collie rescued from Border Collie Trust at 6 months old.

Blooming Marvellous Maternity Support Belt

I have been struggling this week with really bad round ligament pain, it's completely stopped me from doing things on a few occasions - I think sometimes I forget I am 5 months pregnant and continue to do everything as normal!  So after reading some info online I decided I needed some support, I wanted to buy from the High Street straight away so I decided on this from Mothercare.
I ended up with a medium, thought I would be a small as I am an 8/10 in trousers but it just wasn't quite big enough.  So far I think it's brilliant, very discreet (some looked like real brace type things = very attractive, not!) and haven't had any pain since wearing it and we went on a walk for about 2 hours while I wore it yesterday.  Here's my gorgeous boy in the lovely sunshine after having a great time swimming in the lake :)