My Pregnancy Diary : 20 Weeks Update


Please excuse my absence for the past few months , the last blog I shared was our trip to Lisbon which actually turned out to be our favourite trip ever and little did we know it was probably going to be our last as just  two !

So much has changed over the past few months and I am so excited to start a pregnancy diary with you all ( better late then never) . I have been meaning to start writing about my journey as I have been getting so many mails daily from fellow expectant mums to be with lots of questions so this one is going to be a long one as it is going to cover the first half of my pregnancy journey.

How did we find out?

Its so funny when I look back now because it probably should have been obvious but we were so oblivious. I was getting really bad headaches which is something I never experienced before, I was also running to the bathroom a lot more then usual and I just didn't feel right. My mum said I might have a kidney infection so I went to the doctor and literally said 'I feel really different, I cant put my finger on it but I feel like there is something wrong. I went through all of my symptoms and she was most concerned about my headaches and was booking me in for an MRI. I went home with an MRI booked in for the following week and started getting ready for an event in town. I then got a phone call from the Doctor so say to come straight back, Luckily my mum came with me and when we went in she told us the good news! Neither of us could believe it, firstly we were relieved that there was nothing wrong with me which was our initial fear and secondly we were so over the moon with the exciting news that both of us jumped up to hug the doctor. My mum and me are so close that I was so happy to have her there so share that moment with me. Obviously Daniel,my dad & daniels parents were the next to find out, I actually couldn't believe I was telling Daniel that I was pregnant and that he was going to be a dad! It was such a surprise but one that was always very much hoped for.

I was about 8 weeks pregnant at that stage.

Our First Scan

We had our first scan at about 12 weeks and I can honestly say as excited I was to have it I had never felt so nervous in my life. My protective mothers instinct had already kicked in and worries that I never had before took over my thoughts.  I can only speak from my experience but I just needed to see our baby on the monitor and to know that everything was okay.

The baby appeared on the screen and I obviously ( emotional wreck) started to cry, It was moving so much but at that early stage I couldn't feel any of the movement so it was so surreal to see it kicking its legs and waving its arms. At this stage only our closest friends & families knew but once we had the scan we shared the news with everyone.

Have I had any sickness or cravings?

From about week 9 I started to feel nauseous most days from the minute I woke up. Nothing really would make it go away but I learnt quickly what helped to ease it throughout the day. I  found what worked for me was avoiding having an empty stomach, so I always had a supply of cream crackers in my bag and oranges randomly enough. I have craved fruit since then and still crave fruit everyday. I have completely gone of chocolate which is the biggest surprise as I am usually a complete chocaholic. The nausea completely stopped at about week 16 and I haven't had it again since. This picture was taken around that time, a lot of napping happened in this period of time.

Are we finding out the sex?

YES ! The absolute nosy b*itch in me could not wait to find out, the suspense would have actually killed me ! I have so much respect for anyone who has the willpower to wait until they give birth. I knew we were having a boy before any Doctor told us, I could feel it, so could Daniel and when we went to my parents house one day and my mum was sitting on the couch knitting a blue cardigan that confirmed it. My mum was 100% sure it was a boy and she is always right. When we went for the scan our predictions were confirmed and we found out we were going to have a boy. My sister has three gorgeous girls so it will be the first grandson for my parents. My mum and Daniels mum both have their knitting needles out and have been knitting up a storm which is so lovely! Here is a picture of Daniel and I as little ones, I can't wait to see the babies features, I am predicting it will be a blonde anyway! ps: How cute is Daniel !!!

Our 20 Week Scan

We had our 20 week scan last week which is the anomaly scan, this was a more detailed scan where they took measurements, looked at all of the organs and made sure everything was functioning and developing normally. They were able to confirm our due date which is in June.

I have been feeling little flutters for the past few weeks which I love, I find them so reassuring and comforting. I have bought some cute baby clothes and received some lovely gifts already so am starting to get a little drawer ready. We haven't made any big purchases yet but I have been looking at cots and prams and nursery bits. I am going to do a blog on skin & body care as I have made some changes to my routine since becoming pregnant. I have found some absolute gems though so might do that blog next.

I will be 22 weeks this sunday and genuinely can't get over how quickly the time is passing, I feel the past few weeks have been the easiest as I feel 'normal' and have more energy and also have developed a little bump so I am enjoying that too.

I will be sharing lots more blogs over the coming weeks, but for now thanks for reading and I will talk to you soon.

Tara & bump x


Tara Travels to : Lisbon

I have just returned from a fabulous trip to Lisbon. It was kind of a last minute decision to go and we were just happy to be getting away for a few days of sun before winter so we decided to try Air BnB for the first time.

Our Apartment

I downloaded the app and entered our dates and was amazed and the amount of places available at the last minute. I decided on our apartment mainly because of the location but when we arrived I was amazed at how lovely the apartment was.
Our location seemed to be in the centre of everything, most of the restaurants that we wanted to try were literally within 5 minutes walking distance. It is a lovely area so maybe best suited to couples or groups of friends, it is quite noisy at night which didn't bother us at all but if you had a family or small children it could be annoying.


Sea Me
Rua do Loreto
This was directly across from our apartment and was one of my favourite restaurants we went to. It's mainly fresh fish and sushi, lovely drinks and service.
Definitely book in advance.
Mini Bar 
One of Jose Avillez many restaurants in Lisbon. This was probably my favourite restaurant, you can have a tasting menu but we just went with Al La Carte. We picked about 7/8 dishes, all of which were gorgeous and so different.
I would definitely go back here and getting the tasting menu next time. Even though this had a more upmarket feel it was still great value for what we got.
All of Jose Avillez restaurants are meant to be fab so I would suggest checking a couple of them out.
Definitely book in advance.
Boa Boa
We were told we couldn't book a table here and to expect to wait for a table so that's exactly what we did. When we arrived there was a queue of about 24 ahead of us, we ended up waiting for about an hour for a table but had a few cocktails as we waited.
Really nice if you fancy having Asian food and fabulous cocktails.
Don't go here hungry though !
Principe Do Calhariz
We found this place on the way for a drink one of the evenings. There was a guy cooking in the window so there was a crowd of people watching. We stopped and looked and knew we had to come back. This is a seriously no frills place, really cheap authentic Portuguese food.
I definitely recommend going here for a casual night and if you do you have to get the prawns! 100% the nicest prawns I have ever eaten.
La Tanqueria de Lisboa PyC
We went here on our last night and again it was another popular spot, there was a wait of about 20 minutes for a table which was fine as you could have a cocktail and they gave you nachos while we waited.It was proper Mexican food and just abit too heavy for us. I know people will love it so if you like Mexican food definitely check it out.
No need to book.

Things to do

We were staying right in the centre so a lot of the things we went to see and do were within walking distance or a short bus ride away.
  • Take a trip to Alfama, we actually walked here as it wasn't far from our apartment. It is one of the oldest districts in Lisbon and really nice to just walk around and explore the narrow streets. Make your way to the National Pantheon and behind that you will find an absolutely huge market that is really interesting to wander around.
  • Take the tram 28 , these little yellow trams are so cute and this route will give you a good tour of the city.
  • Go to The LX factory, this was definitely a highlight for both of us. There is lots of interesting shops, cafes and bars. Its a nice place to go for a drink or lunch.
  • You have to try a Portuguese tart, one of the best you will find is in belem in a bakery called Pasteis de Belem. There was another gorgeous cafe right beside our apartment that literally only served these pastries and coffee, it was always filled with locals.
  • Have a drink in one of the outdoor bars along the sea front in Cais do Sodre.
  • If you want a beach day get the train to Caiscais, we didn't get a chance to do this but definitely will next time.
  • Get the boat over to Cacilhas, it takes about 10 minutes and brings you to a small fishing port where you will get unbelieveably fresh fish cooked to perfection.
  • Take the train to Sintra and explore the castle and amazing views, definitely wear comfortable shoes as there is lots of walking involved.
  • You HAVE to go for a drink in 'Park' is a rooftop bar on the top floor of a carpark. It is a little tricky to find and isn't really signposted. You will see sign for a carpark and then literally make your way up through the carpark to the top floor. I had the most gorgeous cocktails here. Make sure to go in the evening to catch the sunset and enjoy the amazing view of Lisbon.
There is so much more to see and do so we will definitely be returning to lisbon sooner rather then later. We have been on a few trips this year and both myself and Daniel enjoyed Lisbon the best. I hope you found this helpful! Tara xx

Gym Skin, Gym Make Up and Nutrition Advice from Catherine Carroll

A Lot of you have been asking about what I do to keep fit, what I eat on a daily basis and also about wearing make up to the gym, so I have decided to do one big blog post to cover everything.
I am been a member of Active You Gym for maybe three years now, usually attending around 3 classes a week. In the past I could eat what I want and never bothered with exercise, my diet was terrible consisting of a lot of sugary foods and takeaways. In my early twenties I didn't put on weight, I genuinely stayed around the same weight for years even though my diet was appalling. Coming in to my late twenties I noticed a change and realised my old lifestyle wasn't sustainable and my metabolism was no longer the same so that is when I decided to join a gym.
The main objective for me was so tone up and get healthy, it has definitely been more about making a lifestyle change then losing weight for me. In the past two years I have really put in a huge effort to clean up my diet, sticking to whole foods and avoiding processed food. The funny thing is that I actually eat more now then I did in the past, I am just eating the right foods.
I started personal training at Active You about 9 months before my wedding last year and by the time my wedding came around I felt the best I had felt probably ever. My skin, hair, moods..literally everything was  better then ever and I was fitter then ever aswell. After my wedding I wasn't great for a few months but I started back at it in January of this year and started personal training with my friend Catherine at Active You and she has totally got me back on track. Catherine is a mother of three, looks amazing and is so motivating. She texts me regularly with little reminders and some encouragement and like me totally believes in 'living' and having the odd treat, not being too hard on yourself and just trying your best. If you have a bad day and over indulge, just start again tomorrow and not feel guilty about it.
Catherine is full of great advice so I asked her could she share some tips with you guys. She is the professional and I just try to follow her guidelines and advice as much as possible.

Catherines  Nutrition Advice

1.Have 2-3 litres of water every day.
2.Never go longer than 3 hours without eating.
3.Eat 3 main meals and 2 snacks a day. (Subject to your time available)
4.Eat protein at least 3 times a day, eg turkey/chicken/fish/eggs.
5.Eat 2 good fats a day, eg nuts/oily fish/avocado.
6.Eat 2 good carbs a day, eg oats/quinoa/brown rice/sweet potatoes.
7.Post workout is one of the better times to have starchy carbs.
8.Pack in as much veg as possible, particularly green veg.
9.While healthy treats are a much better option as in its always better to get some nutrition from your treats, treats aren't treats if you have them all the time so keep them to a minimum.
10.Rule of thumb, if the ingredients say MORE than 5g sugars per 100g you should probably walk away. Or keep it for a cheat meal.
11.At least three times a week ensure there are 12 hours between your last meal in the evening and your first meal the following morning. This is allowing your body to detox naturally.
12.Try a new food/meal once a week.
13.Don't eat any food you hate because you won't keep it up! This is your new lifestyle, not a diet!! (no food plan should ever have an expiration date)
14.If it doesn't have a mother or come from the ground don't eat it!
15.Keep coffee/tea to a minimum and try replacing it with green tea.
16.Take a multivitamin and mineral and fish oils.
17.Eat like a king/queen in the a.m. and a pauper in the evening!

Gym Skin

It was actually Catherine that suggested that I write a blog on skincare and make up in the gym, and when I mentioned it online lots of you were asking questions so I will share what I recommend.
Pre Gym
My advice is to completely clean the skin of all makeup especially if you are coming from a long day at work. Remove everything with your regular cleanser, if you are in a rush The Cleanse Off Mitt is handy as it genuinely removes everything with just water so you can do this quickly before your session in the gym.
I usually use Bioderma micellar Water to remove my make up for the gym and then use a small amount of Biofresh Rose Water on a cotton pad and gently sweep it all over.
  • Avoid wearing a moisturiser or rich serum to the gym as it is likely to clog pores and possibly result in a breakout.
  • It is so important to remove your make up before working out, again it will definitely clog your pores.
  • Even if you have little or no make up on your skin it is still important to clean it before working out so there is nothing sitting on your skin that may clog your pores.

Gym Make Up

Ideally it is best to wear no make up to the gym at all, so many foundations are heavy on the skin and will just sink in to your pores as you work out potentially causing you to break out. There are simple things you can do if you really don't feel comfortable going completely bare faced that will hopefully make you feel more confident.

  • If you don't feel comfortable going bare faced to the gym opt for a mineral foundation like Bellapierre Mineral Powder. it contains just 4 ingredients, all of which are kind, gentle, protective and nurturing on the skin. Its non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic so won't sit in or clog pores like other foundations will. If you just have a few spots that you want to cover just pat this on with a fluffy eyeshadow brush like the E25 from blank canvas just to those areas instead of applying it all over the skin.
  • I have semi permanent eyelashes which do make a difference to me when I am going bare faced to the gym as I feel like I have something on. I know some people will not leave the house without mascara on so for the gym I would highly recommend opting for a waterproof one.

Post Gym

What you do post gym is so important for you skin, cleaning your face as soon as possible post gym session is what I recommend. You don't want a combination of dirt, oil and sweat clinging to your skin  and clogging your pores resulting in a breakout so wash your skin as soon as you can. I usually go to the gym in the evening so now is the time I do my night time skincare routine.

  • If you are rushing to work post session bring a mini face wash with you or a micellar water to clean your skin straight after your workout.
  • I like to use Pixi glow Tonic post workout on cleansed skin to close my pores. It is a gentle exfoliator so I use it every other day.

Tara xx