Illustrated Teacup

Family and lifestyle blog from a tattooed wife, exploring the big wide world

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

BABY: Pregnancy update - March - weeks 23-27

Pregnancy update 23-27 weeks

So far, touch wood, I've had a relatively simple pregnancy - posting at 28 weeks + 2 days - which I have to admit is nice.
As anyone that knows me well, I'm hyper-organised, so we've been getting a few little things sorted with the nursery and planning my baby shower.

I had my 25 week midwife appointment which went as well as can be expected. Despite forgetting my notes and having a different midwife, anyway. Baby Bee's heartbeat is currently at 142bpm and very active, like I didn't know!!

We seem to be settling into a waking routine between us, which includes lots of kicks at 8am, 11am, 2pm 4pm and 7pm and sometimes between 9pm-11pm. It's a nice little routine and bodes well hopefully for when they come into the world!

We've also started sorting out all the baby clothes we've been collecting, including some new purchases (the above Badger jumper/cardigan from John Lewis was an obvious purchase for us, so thank you Dann - can we also appreciate the uber cuteness of John Lewis baby clothing). Plus I've had a little sort of the nursery, though we have a long way to go yet!


Tuesday, 29 March 2016

BEAUTY: Why I'm trying to be cruelty-free

Cruelty Free Make-Up

I've always loved make up. As a teen I went through the obligatory stage of brightly coloured eyeshadows with too much glitter and electric blue mascara. It was cheap and cheerful.
I followed strict rules from my parents - no make up at school. I then followed my mothers make up routine for much of my late teens - coloured eyeliners and concealer, and I added mascara and the occasional lipgloss. I went through the goth stages of too much dark eyeliner. I played with neon brights, and most recently developed a true love for blending eyeshadows, usually nudes, browns, golds and the occasional smokey eye for a night out.
My every day look includes brows, eyeliner, mascara and a lip colour (oh I do love lip colours). I'm relatively low maintenance when it comes to make up.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

LIFESTYLE: A very Good Friday

A very Good Friday

How was everyone's Easter? Did you have a good one?

We had the full four days off work as neither of us work Bank Holidays so we made the most of it on Friday with a trip out. Also did anyone else absolutely love the totally untraditional Bank Holiday sunshine we had on Good Friday? It was glorious down in Southampton.


Friday, 25 March 2016

FOOD: Pork and Hungarian Pepper Sauce - Jamie's 15 minute dish

Pork and Hungarian Pepper Sauce
You guys know how much I am loving cooking at the moment right? And how much I love writing recipe posts and trying new foods, well today includes another new recipe from Jamie's 15 minute meals. 
This time around we have pork steaks with Hungarian pepper sauce and rice. It's a nice take on pork in a tomato-based sauce with rice. And as always it's a pretty simple to pull together.   

Thursday, 24 March 2016

BLOGGING: Brighton Bloggers Meet Up

Brighton Bloggers Meet Up

Last weekend I took a little trip out to Brighton with some of the Southampton Bloggers for the Brighton Blog Meet Up organised by Laura of Lola and Behold.

We travelled over by train and spent the morning exploring (I discovered a new love for Sass and Belle, thank you Alice) and grabbing food before heading over to The Globe to meet some more South Coast bloggers.

The event itself was a cute mix of bloggers with a couple of brands attending including purepotions, Homage and Snact. There was a fun ice-breaking activity to get to know people in the room, plus a raffle with some amazing prizes.


Wednesday, 23 March 2016

BABY: My top baby/pregnancy books

I've always been a bit of a book lover so of course had to invest in a few ahead of Baby Bee's arrival. I just think books can give you so much good information, and usually slightly more trusted than the internet.
So I thought I'd share a few books that I've really enjoyed throughout my early and mid-pregnancy.

Friday, 18 March 2016

FASHION: Top ASOS maternity wear picks

There are many plus sides to pregnancy including the glow, the joy of carrying a child and being allowed to eat pretty much what you like without judgement.
However there are also a large number of negatives including heart burn, backache, tiredness and hormone weirdness. On top of that your growing body needs re-clothing as your bump starts to stretch out your normal clothing, and if like me, you're a fan of high waisted bottoms, well they're in storage shortly after you announce the pregnancy.


Thursday, 17 March 2016

BLOGGING: Soton Bloggers Lunch

Last Saturday was a pretty good one actually as I got together with my fellow Soton Bloggers for a lunch time get-together.

Hosted by Soton Bloggers very own Alice, we met up in the Off Piste room at Orange Rooms in Bedford Place, Southampton for good food, drinks and general blogging chit chat and catch ups. Keeping it intimate at 15 of us, meant everyone got the chance to talk and get to know each others, with a mix of veteran Southampton bloggers and a few newbies at their first little event in the city.


Tuesday, 15 March 2016

FOOD: Valentines and Easter Degustabox for February

February Degustabox
It's that time of the month again. It's Degustabox time and this months February box* is pretty awesome. Especially if you have a sweet tooth like me. 

The February box is inspired by Valentines and Easter so be prepared for sweet but somewhat healthy snacks. And you can get your hands on a money off Degustabox at the end of this post!


Friday, 11 March 2016

FOOD: Friday Night Greek Chicken

Greek Chicken and Veg Couscous

We're loving the easiness of coucous in our house at the moment. It basically cooks itself and is so easy, especially for those busy weekday evenings.
Today's foodie post is a yummy Friday night dinner, healthy but a little cheeky too and all ready in less than 30 minutes.
Be warned, this recipe uses a lot of couscous, so if you need to half the measures that's cool as we ended up with about three spare portions afterwards (which were handy for work lunches the next weeks). You can see the full recipe in this book.


Wednesday, 9 March 2016

BLOGGING: March Advertiser

March is well and truly underway so it's time to introduce my March advertiser Laura from Laura Knows Lifestyle

Laura is a self-confessed geek who spends her days blogging about her life as well as her love for TV, Flaming Hot Doritos and tea - yeah she's mind kind of girl too! Her posts include food, beauty, TV and fashion. 

You can follow along with Laura's adventure on her blog, keep up to date with Bloglovin, chat at Twitter and check out her photos on Instagram! Go give the girl some love! 

If you would like to advertise in  my sidebar, please visit my advertise page, or email me on


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

FOOD: Mettricks - the best coffee in Southampton

Mettricks Southampton
You might have seen from my Instagram and Twitter of late my new favourite location in Southampton, Mettricks
Basically the lovely Alice from Annie Writes Beauty is a bit of a wizz at finding the next hot places in the city, and pretty much made us fall in love with Mettricks and everything they do. 

Mettricks is a gorgeous and rather quaint local business in the heart of Southampton that specialises in bringing the very best coffee and loose-leaf tea to city dwellers and visitors, as well as locally sourced food. In keeping with a traditional cafe they of course sell an abundance of cake (especially to bloggers - lemon and blueberry is lush FYI), as well as breakfast, brunch, lunch and as of February 26th evening food. 
Housed in Old Town and outside the Bargate they have great locations depending on where you are in the city, and come May, we'll be seeing Mettricks in the culutral quarter in the newly refurbished Guildhall Square. Due to their new opening and fancy extra location, they are broadening their coffee horizons and introducing live music, cocktails, wines and evening food with opening times running til 10pm at Old Town and 11pm at the Guildhall on a number of evenings per week. 

Sunday, 6 March 2016

LIFESTYLE: Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day

^^Literally my favourite photograph of my mother and I from when I was little. Taken in May 1990, I was six months old^^

It's that time of year again to celebrate our mummies, and I honestly couldn't shout about my mum enough.
This years Mothers Day is kind of an important one for me as it's my last one not being a parent myself. This time next year Baby Bee will be with us in the big wide world and honesty I'm so excited for the challenge that is motherhood. But this year, I'm focusing on my mumma.

She's had a really tough year, especially over the last couple of months, but as always she powers through. She's my inspiration.

My happiest moment last year was seeing my mums face when we showed her the scan photos of Baby Bee. She genuinely looked over the moon, and as a woman who plays things close to her chest this really did mean the world to me.

Her opinion matters to me. It always has. I had 'Mum' tattooed on my wrist at 18 before I went to University to remind me every single day who I wanted to be, who I looked up, and who I wanted to make proud always.
She's my hero, and the best mother I could ever have asked for, and she looked after three girls pretty much alone, and then totally alone for many years. And despite her jokes, we've all turned out OK.

So happy mother's day to all the mums out there.


Wednesday, 2 March 2016

BABY: Gender Neutral Wish List

Gender Neutral Affordable Baby Clothes
As I'm now 24 weeks pregnant I'm starting to think more and more about clothing for Baby Bee. 
Because we're not finding out the gender we are going down the gender neutral route which can be a little tricky I'm not going to lie. 

Almost everywhere that sells children's and baby clothes section them out by gender, with huge collections of pink tutu's, and dinosaur onesies. Now we don't exactly need masses of clothes as we really only need gender neutral for the first couple of months until well we know what Baby Bee is, and then we'll be buying more gender specific clothing. 

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

FOOD: Simply Green Tea Salmon

Simply Green Tea Salmon

A new foodie post and this one is a super healthy dinner option. This Green Tea Salmon with Coconut Rice and Wok Fried Greens is a great dinner for those wanting something easy, delicious and healthy with Chinese/Thai inspirations. This was really popular with Dann, especially before training in the evenings, and a great way to get in that all important fish into your diet.

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