Life: Friendship

Last Saturday I met up with a friend who I haven't seen for 10 years. 10 whole years! C and I had met when we were 16 and had one of those wonderfully intense best friend relationships where you talk on the phone for hours, are giddy whenever you're together and are completely inseparable. For a number of reasons we grew apart and have only kept in touch over occasional messages over the last decade, but on Saturday we went for lunch and caught up on our lives, both admitting that our friendship was something we both often think about and remember as a really special time. 

It got me thinking about friends and how important these kind of relationships are - complicated, loving and such a big part of life. Someone I know put something on Instagram recently which really resonated with me - she said 'there's friends and there's family, and there are friends who become family and family who become the best of friends'.

At the age of 30 I feel I really know who my friends are and so wanted to write about how they've fit in my life, and whether they're still in it. Also on a bit of a side note - am very excited to read Dolly Alderton's new book 'Everything I Know About Love' and 'The F Word' by Lily Pebbles - both which have a focus on friendship.

The School Friends

What a special bunch my school friends are - there are only a small group of 4 of us but we've remained so tight over the years and whilst we'll spend time reminiscing on old times we're also talking every day about books we've read and what we're up to that weekend. We have so many memories together - seeing each other in the canteen every day at college and obsessing over boys from the table we always sat at (and giving them ridiculous nicknames), going on holiday to Newquay and sharing the most tiny room between 5 of us and the regular sleepovers and house parties.

We've truly grown up together, through every questionable fashion phase, learning to drive and discovering mobile phones, iPods and the wonderful world of MSN. Now we are all 'grown-up' (sort of) with mortgages, partners and babies on the way and it's another new adventure for us.

The Uni Girls 

At Uni, My friends and I would always talk about how you'd be lifelong friends if you get past the 7 year mark. We're now at 12 years so I think we can safely say we'll be friends for life! Uni friends are pretty unique as you spend so much time together. Most of our courses were fairly light lecture wise so there was lots of time spent on the sofa, attempting to write essays and watching Hollyoaks. We laughed together, cried with each other and spoke about everything imaginable. We couldn't watch a TV show without talking the whole way through. 

My favourite times at Uni were the impromptu nights out. We'd scoff our dinners, and then all head to our rooms to get ready together with music blasting. Having access to so many wardrobes and make-up was the best! We'd always make sure to take a digital camera out with us and would take over 300 photos each night, which we'd go through the morning after and put most of them on Facebook. Those were the days!

Over the years it's become harder to see each other regularly, as we are all living in different parts of the country and two of the girls are in Portugal and Australia, but we talk all of the time and see each other a couple of times a year - usually for the next wedding! 

The Boyfriend's Besties

I've known Chris' best mates for almost as long as he has, as we met in our second year of Uni when he lived in the flat above me! Over the past 12 or so years they've stayed just as friendly so I've got to know them really well and count them as friends myself. What's been really lovely is that as more girlfriends have joined the crew, we've become a really close gang and will often go out for drinks and dinners, and for trips away together.

 It's a great mix of people as the boys can take themselves off, and the girls can chat and chill out together. It helps that we've all been living in London for the past few years, although everyone is gradually moving out so changes are ahead. We'll be hosting weekends in the country at each others houses, rather than meeting in London restaurants.

We are all off to Cape Town at the end of March and everyone is very excited for this big friend holiday.

The Work Friends 

I find work friends so fascinating, as I find that you spend so much time together and know so much about each others lives. You'll come into the office and tell them about your evening, what you ate, what you argued with your husband detail is spared! May be just speaking for my own team here who are massive over-sharers (just how I like it!). Then you'll leave the company and you'll not speak to them again!

At every place I've worked, I've been lucky to have always made a great group of friends who have been a huge part of my time at the company and who I've loved going for work drinks with. I feel like most work friends will be there for a certain time of your life and then others who stick around and make it to proper friend status. I've got over a handful of friends through my years of work who I know I'll be in touch with for a long time.

Daisy x

Travel: Our Honeymoon - Heritage Le Telfair in Mauritius

I've finally gotten around to writing up about our incredible honeymoon to Mauritius! We got married last August and went on a minimoon straight after, and then booked our honeymoon for November. I'm really glad we did this as it was so nice to have it to look forward to after the wedding excitement had died down.

We originally booked the Maldives for our honeymoon, however once we started researching the zika virus we realised that it wasn't the best idea with us wanting to start a family soon after (my Maldives dream still lives on!). Luckily we were able to re-book at the beautiful recently renovated Heritage Le Telfair, which is located in the south of Mauritius and we were all set to go for 9 days in paradise!

A must-have for Chris (the husband) was flying direct so we went direct with British Airways. The flight is about 12 hours (night flights both there and back) so was my longest flight to date. Amazingly on the way there we had a spare seat next to us so I could actually lie down to sleep - hoorah! The flights were actually fine and I ended up sleeping for the majority of it, both ways. I didn't watch any films which is very unlike me. Have to say - Virgin are so much better in my opinion and we were on quite an old plane which wasn't the best, but overall it was fine and flying direct was ace.

As Mauritius is a tropical island it comes with a tropical climate and so when we arrived they had had two weeks of rain! Luckily it rained on our first day and then cleared up for the rest of the honeymoon - the weather was beautiful. Hot and sunny but with a much-needed breeze.

We arrived in the early morning and got a taxi straight to our hotel in the south of the island. It was raining at this point so wasn't the beautiful sunny arrival we'd imagined but oh my gosh, it was still breathtaking. We were warmly greeted, our bags whisked away and told to relax on the sofas in their lobby - we were given a cold drink and flannels which were so gratefully received! We were then told about a little blip with our room as the one we wanted was overbooked, but it was all handled really well and worked out nicely in the end as we got to try two different rooms, and also got lots of freebies throughout our stay!

The hotel is absolutely gorgeous - we felt so spoilt the whole time. It has a beautiful spa and we had a wonderful couple's massage whilst we were there. The surroundings are colonial-style and so well kept with lots of greenery and space. It never felt crowded, but there was always a lovely relaxed vibe with lots of friendly faces. They have a private beach and there was never any stress or rush to get a beach lounger. For the first 3 nights we were in a junior suite, however we then moved to our sea view junior suite which was incredible - you can see from the photos that you could walk out and were straight on the beach! I can't describe how blissful this was. We also had an outdoor shower and a four poster bed so it was just dreamy all round.

The beach was stunning, as you'd expect from a tropical paradise. The sea was clear blue and easy to get into (I always struggle getting into the sea!) and the sand was white. Each morning we'd go on a quiet beach walk before breakfast, and then most of our day was spent our beach loungers. There were always waiters walking by who would get you drinks and food, and fresh fruit was readily handed out. We also loved the Coco Shack with swings as seats and which provided fresh coconuts - I don't like coconut water but these were amazing!

We went for their Gourmet Bliss package which meant that all food was included, with a few supplements for more expensive dishes like lobster, or certain wines. Breakfast is at their buffet restaurant, Annabella's and there are fresh juices, and lots of gorgeous food to choose from. For lunch and dinner, we could eat in any of the 12 restaurants on the Domaine de Bel Ombre (there are two hotels, and you can also eat at the Chateau which is a gorgeous manor house) and we really took advantage! We ate so much food over our 9 days. It was all delicious. Our favourite was Gin'Ja - a pan-asian fusion restaurant right on the beach, and for lunch we loved Le Palmier which again, is right on the beach. We also loved the Cavendish Bar and would regularly go after dinner for a cocktail, or a whisky for Chris.

I'll be honest, we didn't leave the area of our resort and enjoyed 9 days of total relaxation, with one day where we ventured out quad biking! There was plenty to do in the resort if you wanted to with lots of water sports. We went on the glass bottomed boat, tried out a pedalo (slightly stressful with a strong current!) and played pool and table tennis but most of our time was spent eating, reading and relaxing.

We had the most amazing honeymoon and were so impressed by the staff, and how spoilt we felt. I realised that I hadn't felt irritated or annoyed for the whole time (unusual for me, haha!). It was absolute bliss and I'd go back in a heartbeat!

Daisy x

Pregnancy: The First Trimester

As you may have seen in my earlier post, we are having a baby! Eeep! I've been writing about how I've been feeling since I found out so thought I'd share my 'diary entries' here - be prepared for a very long post! When I was found out I was pregnant I loved watching videos and reading blogposts about the early weeks.

4 weeks pregnant

The first I noticed arrived when I was only 1 week pregnant (obvs didn't know it then) and it was sore boobs. Really sore boobs. I also found that I was needing the bathroom more often (although this wasn't a big sign as I am always going for a wee!) and last week I suddenly came over very nauseous at work and ended up being off the next day because I felt so sick and tired. Since then I've felt ever so slightly nauseous and am not sure what food I fancy. My appetite has definitely got smaller but if I don't eat for a while I start feeling sick so I plan to stock up on lots of healthy snacks. Weirdly, I am slightly off chocolate which is very unlike me but also a relief as I want to try and eat as healthy as possible whilst I feel ok and am not craving all the bad food.

It's a weird feeling in early pregnancy. It's such an exciting time and I love looking at my app to see what's happening with it's development, but it's also quite nerve-wracking. Every time I go to the toilet I worry about finding blood and keep worrying about things going wrong. However, I think if something bad happened I'd feel just as upset so I may as well be excited and enjoy it as much as possible. It's also been quite hard trying to hide being pregnant - especially as finding out coincided with Christmas parties. I've had to disguise lemonade as vodka and lemonade but suspect all of my workmates guess that I am expecting- not much gets past my team! I've also come down with a mega cold and am having to get through without day nurse which isn't fun.

At the moment I just can't wait to have a 12 week scan, make sure everything is ok and start telling people! Every time I think about it I get a buzz of excitement because it's just so lovely to know you are growing a little person.

6 weeks pregnant

At the moment it's 5pm and I'm snuggled on the sofa, still in my PJs. It's New Year's Eve and it's the first quiet one we've had in a few years - mostly because our friends have plans and also because I don't feel up for being the only sober one and just want to hibernate.

I am now 6 weeks pregnant and it's been an amazing Christmas because we told our close family our news. Telling my parents was the most lovely time and I will remember it always. It was Christmas Eve and we went to Wagamama with my parents - we gave them a Christmas card (we'd already sent them one but said we'd found a more special one!) and it was signed off from Chris, Daisy and the baby. Watching them read it and seeing the penny drop was so funny - they were so happily surprised and there were tears, mostly from me! Telling people has been just amazing and I can't wait to get to 12 weeks and be able to tell everyone.

In terms of how I've been feeling, I've not been feeling very nauseous but definitely don't feel right. I have been super tired over Christmas, but can't tell if that's the pregnancy or if it's just relaxing after a busy few months - probably a mix of both. The past few days I've felt quite exhausted and am dreading going back to work on Tuesday. Will definitely be keeping my evenings free so I can come home and crash!

I'm constantly hungry, but craving healthy foods - especially fruit and veg. Weirdly I'm off chocolate and have hardly had any over Christmas which is so unlike me. I am missing alcohol though which is surprising as I'm not a big drinker.

My boobs are still really sore and I'm finding it uncomfortable sleeping at night. I feel this will continue throughout the next 9 months!

9 weeks pregnant

I'm now 9 weeks pregnant so thought I'd do an update on the last few weeks. The overwhelming feeling has been tiredness - I've been finding work OK (thankfully) as I'm so busy that I don't have time to focus on feeling tired, and it helps that I have a desk job. I've been coming home and getting into bed at 8 or 9pm. Despite this, I still wake up at 7.30 feeling knackered! I've also been going to the toilet multiple times during the night and am still suffering with sore boobs. I did buy a maternity sleep bra from Jojo Maman Bebe which is really comfortable and has helped a lot! I'm still hungry all of the time and my love for chocolate is back in full force!

We did have a scare last weekend. I went to the toilet and there was some blood. My heart stopped when I saw it and my immediate thought was that I was losing the baby. I didn't carry on bleeding though so felt a little bit more reassured but went to my GP the next day who referred me for an early scan and the Early Pregnancy Unit. We had to wait for hours to be seen (as it's a drop in type clinic) but finally met the sonographer who did an internal scan. The internal scan was a lot better than I thought- I thought it would hurt but it was just uncomfortable.

Seeing the baby was the most amazing feeling. You do wonder if there will be anything in there, but you could clearly see our tiny little bub. It stayed in the same position for ages (sleeping obviously, it's my child!) until the sonographer made it move. All was looking good and it was so reassuring to see the heart beating. It made us both so happy.

13 weeks pregnant

So, this is where we are now! I'm very ready for the first trimester to be over and to hopefully get my energy back soon. I'm still so tired and having to go to bed early most nights, and my weekends are mostly spent on the sofa (and also in bed!). Luckily I can't complain at all about sickness as have gotten away with only a small bit of nausea in the very early weeks.

I've been needing to go to the toilet 3 or 4 times a night and having broken sleep is something I'm not used to (feel like it's preparing me for 6 months time!). I have also had some funny aches and twinges in my lower stomach, which can really hurt when I sneeze - think it's called round ligament pain.

In terms of food and cravings, I had a random craving for pickles a couple of weekends ago. I just had to eat some (and I don't usually like them!). We went to our local market and bought a tub of them, and they were like drops of pickle heaven. The next day I had one and didn't like it all! So strange. I am also loving sweets at the moment - fruit pastilles and haribo strawbs make my mouth water. To be honest, I just have a whole new appreciation for food- I think because I am constantly hungry I'm enjoying every bite of food so much!

I have bought a couple of pairs of maternity jeans from H&M and have started wearing them - they are the most comfortable jeans in the world. I don't think I'll ever go back to normal ones! 

Sorry for the long post but I wanted to remember how I've been feeling over this pregnancy, and will carry on doing diary posts for the next 6 months.

Daisy x

Life: We're having a baby!

In August this year, we will be celebrating our one year anniversary and also....surprise! - the imminent arrival of our little baby! I've been pretty quiet on social media because it's been a tiring few months whilst our tiny one has grown (and sucked all of my energy!)- there will be a post coming up with how I've been feeling in the first trimester which is almost over as I'll be 14 weeks on Monday.

Probably worth adding that my pregnancy posts will likely be quite TMI so if you don't want to hear about all of that 'fun' then maybe give these posts a skip.

So how did we find out? Well, we had a weekend at our friend's house and my period was due that Saturday. It didn't arrive but on Sunday I had some light spotting which continued over the next few days. I was waiting for it to get heavier but it never did. I had some cheap tests from Sainsbury's (far left on the photo below) which a workmate had given me so decided to use one on Monday night. To my shock there was a faint line - I couldn't believe it and then started doubting the test. The next day I took a Boots test (in my work toilets!), and a fancy ClearBlue one. Both were positive and there was no doubt that I was carrying a little baby and it was the most wonderful, indescribable feeling. I wrapped up a test and gave it to Chris as an early Christmas present - his face was a picture. We were both so shocked as we knew we wanted a baby soon but didn't expect it this soon! Our little keen bean.

We had our scan last Tuesday and everything is looking good for the little one. We could see the heart beating and we had a trainee sonographer helping out which meant that we had more time to see the baby wriggling around. It was amazing to see how it reacted to being nudged with the wand and seeing their little legs. Chris is convinced that they have his cyclist legs!

We are over the moon and although it's quite scary too, we're so excited about this new adventure and I'm looking forward to posting about my pregnancy journey on my blog.

Daisy x