Wednesday, 1 October 2014

What I Wore Wednesday: Meet Greater Than Rubies

I'll be having a series of guest posts scheduled over the next few weeks as I'm recovering post c-section and settling into life with our new baby. Please show them some love and be sure to visit their blogs!

Hey y'all! I'm Caitlin, from Greater Than Rubies, and I'm so excited to be joining you on Transatlantic Blonde all the way from Texas today!

One of the things I love most about What I Wore Wednesday is the chance to come up with "new" outfits from my closet. I used to be so overwhelmed with all the style information I saw every day on Pinterest, blogs, and magazines. I was always shopping to try to recreate that exact look I'd seen somewhere or to keep from wearing exactly the same thing twice. I ended up breaking up with shopping for a year to learn how to really mix and match what I had before I bought anything else.

Now, I look for inspiration from all those places that used to trip me up to shop my own closet for similar looks. In honor of What I Wore Wednesday, I'm recreating my own spin on a gorgeous outfit I saw here a few weeks back that paired polka dots with a bright pop of color.

  Greater Than Rubies

This polka dot button up is one of my go-to's, and I wore it this week with simple gold jewelry, skinny jeans, and a pair of bright ballet flats. I'll probably wear a few variations of this look as it cools down, and change out the bright shoes for a cardigan or blazer, bold statement necklace, or maybe a colored belt for a fresh spin on the look.

I'm so looking forward to seeing what you're wearing this week, and hope you'll stop by Greater Than Rubies for some more remixing inspiration! Thanks so much to Melaina for having me!

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Friday, 26 September 2014

Bump Watch 2014: 39 Weeks

Here we are---my very last bump post. It's the night before my c-section so technically I'm 38 weeks, 6 days and 23 hours but I think it's okay we just call it 39 right?  I'm casually munching on a pop tart and drinking a pint of milk before I have to fast from midnight. I've finished packing my hospital bag (literally 10 minutes ago) and we just have a few baby clothes to finish drying and the baby's bag will be done, too. The house is all in order with prams, moses baskets and the like all built up. Laundry done, dishes clean, floors vacuumed--all thanks to NotBlondeHusband and his mother.

I'm more than ready for this pregnancy to be over. It's not a secret that my body pretty much did not like me being pregnant and that I've gotten pretty fed up with how incapacitated I've become because of it. My Mom and her husband both arrived in Glasgow tonight and have gone to Troon with Blondie Boy to stay at my mother-in-law's house while I'm in the hospital.  It means BB gets time with both his grandmas and NBH doesn't have to worry about taking care of him and visiting with me.

I'm slightly anxious about the hospital stay--in UK hospitals husbands are only allowed in 9-9 which is the part I hate the most, followed quickly by the fact you are on a ward with 6 other people separated only by a cloth curtain. I've packed ear-plugs and an eye-mask and am hoping for the best. I'm very grateful for the NHS but I do get jealous of my friends back home with private rooms where their husband can spend the night too.

NBH's Dad is picking us up at 7am to drop us at the hospital and then well I don't really know what will happen. They don't tell you specifically what time your turn is so we could be first or we could be in for a long wait. I've packed magazines and downloaded a lot of intellectually stimulating tv shows  Here Comes Honey Boo Boo to the iPad; hopefully that will keep me distracted from the fasting and the waiting. If I'm honest I'm not sure I'll sleep much tonight so maybe I will nap too.

So when you are reading this maybe I'm sitting waiting in a hospital bed, in a theatre getting prepped for surgery or recovering with our new baby. I'm always surprised that people read the random things I have to say here and I'm really grateful to anyone who's followed along this pregnancy journey. It's been a weird one from going on job interviews in the 2nd trimester to severe SPD but I'm glad y'all were here to share it with me.

*How far along?: 39 weeks
*Total weight gain: 13kg (according to MW 12.5 is average)
*How big is baby?: A watermelon
*Maternity clothes?: No I'm gliding around in a string bikini
*Sleep?: The past two days I've woken up before 5:30am; not cool.
*Best moment this week?: Started maternity leave
*Movement?: Yes, while the bebe has mellowed slightly and isn't quite as violent they are still moving tons.
*Food cravings?: I really want a Barq's Red Creme Soda mostly because no one can source one for me!
*Labor signs?: None; if I didn't have my section booked I think we'd be looking at another 41 weeker.
*Belly button in or out?: Innie.
*What I miss: Same as always--not being sore & being independent.
*What I'm looking forward to: Hmm let me think....maybe having a baby today?
*Milestone: See above--WE ARE HAVING A BABY!

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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

What I Wore Wednesday: Stylish Changing Bags

The words stylish and changing bags (diaper or nappy bags if you prefer) don't always go hand in hand. For those not in the know babies require a lot of crap (and produce a lot of actual crap) so you need a fairly large bag to cope. It's something you will take with you every time you leave the house for the next two years minimum so you really don't want something sub par. I had a great OiOi changing bag my BFF got me but five years later it has seen better days.

This time around we've opted for a bag each--one for NotBlondeHusband and one for me. We have over a foot of height difference between us so there is no dealing with constantly adjusting straps and it means we can each have a bag that is more our own style.

First up NBH's bag: Chester Satchel by JoJo Maman Bébé

Leather Satchel Changing Bag

The Chester Satchel changing bag has been designed to be both stylish and practical. Made from smart hardwearing leather-look material with internal pockets to keep everything you need organised. It also has a large exterior back pocket with magnetic closure that contains a co-ordinating padded changing mat. The shoulder strap is fully adjustable and there are additional buggy clips making it easy to hang on most prams/strollers, too.

The satchel style is a lot like the bag I got NBH years ago from a wee stall in Camden Town that he then took to Uni everyday. A lot of diaper bags can be overly feminine which to be honest look a bit silly on my 6'3" broad shouldered husband so it was great to find a bag that would work for him but also wouldn't look strange if I grabbed it for a day out, too.

That being said y'all know what I'm like and  I needed a glam bag of my own if I was going to be using it daily:  Paris by Béaba

Suede Stylish Changing Bag

The Paris bag's chic style is inspired by the leather trade with all the functions of a changing bag. Large storage space. Faux leather. Supplied with removable changing mat, anti-bacterial soother storage case, pushchair straps, isothermal meal pouch, dirty laundry bag--everything you could need disguised as a handbag.

I love that you wouldn't look at it at first glance and think changing bag. Also it is the perfect size to take my MacBook Air on my commute to work without having to carry around a giant back pack too!

We obviously still have to check them out to see how they work in real life but we are really happy with them thus far and I'm sure they will stand up to the test in practice!

Who's bag do you prefer? If you have kids did you share a bag with your partner or each have your own?


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Friday, 19 September 2014

Bump Watch 2014: 38 Weeks

Only one week left. It's been a crazy week. I went in Monday for acupuncture again and had a bad reaction to it and almost passed out. The first odd reaction I felt unwell but I really felt like I was going to pass out this time; because of that I'm not allowed to try acupuncture any more for my pain. Frustrating but makes sense. So after crossed wires with my doctor today I've finally gotten some co-codamol to try when I really need it. I've not taken any opiate based pain killers since I was 17 and had some post tonsillectomy and they made me puke. I'm a bit nervous to try them but if they help me sleep through the pain at night it will be good.

Otherwise we (and by we I mean mostly NBH) are getting things done around the house. Our Shnuggle Moses Basket is built and my mother-in-law has been taking away loads of baby clothes to wash and bring back for us as well. I went through and separated and washed all our smaller size cloth diapers so slowly but surely hopefully we will be somewhat ready when baby arrives.

My pre-op appointment was pretty uneventful. I've put on .5kg more than the average weight gain in pregnancy (not too shabby) and everything else seems fine other than my SPD. I'm also allowed to have my nails done for my c-section which is awesome because I'd heard different conflicting things about nailpolish and surgery.  I have to fast from midnight the night before and take an antacid before bed and then take another the morning of my surgery. We have to arrive at the hospital at 7:30am but we don't know when my actual surgery will be; the midwife said there are normally 4-5 scheduled for a day and they prioritise on a case by case basis.

So now we just wait. I'm working through Tuesday (still from home) and my Mom and her husband arrive in Glasgow on Thursday so I hopefully the next week will fly by. I haven't decided yet if I will take a late night bump photo for one last post next Friday or not yet but no matter what within a week I will not be pregnant any more!

*How far along?: 38 weeks
*Total weight gain: 13kg since my first weigh in 
*How big is baby?: A pumpkin. Now I want a Pumpkin Spice Latte.
*Maternity clothes?: Yes but I only have a few tops that fit.
*Sleep?: It's crappy but hopefully co-codomal will help.
*Best moment this week?: Am I allowed to say getting a new iPhone 6?
*Movement?: I actually think this baby is now MORE active.
*Food cravings?: No.
*Labor signs?: No, the bebe is in this for the long haul like their brother.
*Belly button in or out?: Innie.
*What I miss: Still miss being pain free and being able to go where I want when I want.
*What I'm looking forward to: My Mom arriving!
*Milestone: Had my pre-op appointment 

Here is Blondie Boy's 38 week update from 2009 if you like to compare/contrast.

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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

What I Wore Wednesday: Post Natal PJs

So two weeks ago I asked y'all for help to find some maternity nightwear. I really thought I'd hit a dead end but then the lovely Lynn from More 4 Mums reached out to me and asked if I'd like to try the Hot Milk Twilight Nightie that they stock. 

It has an internal shelf bra for modesty and support, and easy to pull down if you choose to breastfeed. The front has a lace insert and the ruching detail provides a flattering fit for both during pregnancy and after. I was honestly really surprised at how supportive the shelf is as normally tops with shelves are pointless for me; it's not something you'd wear out in public without a bra but more than supportive for around the hospital or home. I'm currently a 34GG so if it can support me it can support anyone! 

Cute and comfortable, stylish and supportive--what more could I ask for? The material is also really soft as well so it won't scratch or irritate my incision. 

I also got a large pink flannel nightshirt from Tesco (in case the ward is cold) and a Ramone's tee and legging PJ set from Primark (so I can walk off/around the ward) as well. I don't know how many days I'll be in hospital but I figure 3 options means if I have all eventualities covered and NBH doesn't have to scramble to wash anything if I get puked or pooped (nice!) on by our new arrival, either!

Right now More 4 Mums has a competition to win any one piece from the Hotmilk sleepwear range, too! Hurry though it closes September 30th. Even if you don't win you can use code MM6 to get yourself 10% Hotmilk--how fab is that?

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Transatlantic Blonde was provided a Hot Milk nightie for review but all opinions are our own.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Bump Watch 2014: 37 Weeks

Here I am full-term in all my sans-fards glory. No make-up and only half dried hair doesn't make for quite as nice as the fab photo Steph took last week but it is most more realistic to what I look like day to day.  I had acupuncture on Monday and made sure to eat in the car on the way over, had NotBlondeHusband drop me at the door & wore a sleeveless top and my blood pressure was A-ok. I actually felt like walking was a little less painful the next day but then Wednesday evening/night  I was crazy sore.

Today as well has probably been the most pain I've been in; I think I'm just near the end and in addition to the SPD I have the weight of baby on my pelvis plus their head banging in to it as well. I pretty much can't walk anywhere with the crutches so I'm only leaving my bed if I have to. It sucks and I'm basically having a pity party for myself 24/7 but there are only 2 weeks until my c-section. 

It's not fair on Blondie Boy and especially not NBH that I can't do anything and I'm very lucky they are both being crazy helpful and understanding. I'm also grateful for NBH's parents who are helping out with Blondie Boy when they can.  

Next week is a big week--first we have the Scottish referendum on Thursday and I have my pre-op appointment on Friday. I'm also going to try and get booked for some pre-op pampering as I have vouchers that my old co-workers gave me that expire at the end of this month. Since I can't park near the salon NBH is going to drop me off at the door and pick me up. It's really frustrating having to rely on someone else so much and I know it can't be easy for NBH to have to pick up all the slack either.

So if you see me bitching and moaning on twitter I'm sorry. The baby is perfectly fine, it's just me who's having issues and while I have tried not to moan too much publicly I've pretty much hit my limit. I honestly don't know how people with chronic pain and mobility issues get by on a regular basis and I'm very lucky that this is all only (hopefully) temporary.

*How far along?: 37 weeks
*How big is baby?: Winter Melon--is that a real thing? It looks like a girthy cucumber.
*Maternity clothes?: No I'm living solely in Size 0 Designer Samples
*Sleep?: I tend to have one night where I only wake up once (yay!) followed by the next night of waking up tons. It's a craptastic pattern.
*Best moment this week?: NBH's Mum treated me to some Yo Sushi, yum!
*Movement?: Yes this kid takes after their brother and is not letting up
*Food cravings?: I really like this New Yorker from Pret last week and I'd like to have it again but there is no way for me to get to a Pret
*Labor signs?: No but I think I'm having Braxton Hicks unless they aren't supposed to hurt in which case I'm having random real contractions
*Belly button in or out?: Innie
*What I miss: Being able to go places and do things and not be in pain
*What I'm looking forward to: Acupuncture on Monday
*Milestone: 9 months pregnant! Baby is officially full term. Just for fun I've got some polls below if you want to wager what you think bebe will be!

If you like to compare/contrast here is Blondie Boy's 37 week update form 2009.

Is it a boy or girl bump?

Poll Maker

Blondie Baby or....
Another Blondie Baby
Dark like Daddy
Radom Redhead
Poll Maker
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Wednesday, 10 September 2014

What I Wore Wednesday: Debenhams AW14

Last week I headed off to the Debenhams AW 14 Press Show with my friend and fabulous photographer Steph. I haven't been attending many events recently since I'm on crutches but there was no way I was going to miss a preview of what Debenhams has on offer this autumn and fall. I definitely paid for it the next day but I'm so glad I went.

There was lots of glitter and glam on offer for the holiday season with full length sequin gowns and loads of faux fur but my favourite holiday offers came from the beauty department. Debenhams has some amazing beauty counters and their holiday treats did not disappoint.

How cute are these Benefit Christmas sets? I particularly love the  advent calendar filled with 24 miniature products plus one of the brand's bestselling products or a surprise gift. It will be available from mid-October at Debenhams and is sure to sell-out! There are also smaller gift-sets like Cutie Cravings if a full 25 days of surprises isn't your thing.

I've been looking for a new shadow palette since I started commuting in June; I love my Urban Decay Naked palette but wanted something a bit more compact I could easily throw in my bag and use on my hour train ride every morning. I love the new palettes from Too Faced. The bottom palette is an amazing value all-in-one that would make a fab gift but I love how the smaller Cat Eyes palette has everything you'd need for a simple smokey eye to a sexy evening look. It doesn't hurt that it's leopard print either!

This Ole Henriksen gift set grabbed my eye as I've been using their Truth Serum Collagen Booster for the past few months. It is a potent vitamin C complex to brighten and smooth and I absolutely love it. I received a sample of the African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser, which also appears in the gift set, which I can't wait to try, too.

It wasn't just all beauty though. Steph and I both fell for some hot pink fabulousness.

I mentioned before that faux fur was a big feature in many of the collections and it probably comes as no surprise that I fell for hot pink faux fur. I love this H! by Henry Holland leather motorcycle jacket and the faux fur collar just takes it to a whole other level. Leather, zips, hot pink---I'm sold!

Steph fell for this blinged out hot pink clutch evening bag that would be perfect for dressing up a little black dress or for a night out on the town. She's just as much a sucker for bright colour and sparkles as I am.

We had a great time and as much as I'm sad to see summer weather go I'm looking forward to what autumn fashion has in store for us all. I have a feeling I won't be getting my flip-flops out again any time soon!

What AW trends are you most looking forward to this year?

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