From The Lady Magazine;

https://lady.co.uk/beauty-review-champneys-tring

The name Champneys is synonymous with luxury. Ever since 1981, they have been the inventors of the getaway well-being retreat that city dwellers love to escape to while Mrs Dorothy Purdew (now 86!) is still very active in the business and all that it stands for.

Set in sprawling grounds with grand fountains and well-kept gardens, Champneys at Tring is one of the UK’s most well-known spas, leading the way in expert treatments. It has been transformed from a stately home originally owned by the Rothschilds (which still holds all of its classic English charm) to a state of the art spa which includes a marine wellness centre, spa treatments, fitness and more.

I was there for a day of pampering and rejuvenation and on arrival was immediately welcomed by friendly staff who brought me one of the iconic white fluffy Champneys bathrobes (which I couldn’t wait to get on!) and then whisked away for the grand tour. The venue is luxurious and decorated in an elegant and chic style but without any stuffiness- indeed I revelled in how you can keep your robe on all day should you wish and leisurely wander around! The spa itself is absolutely huge so the tour was definitely needed. It holds jacuzzis, two fitness studios, shops, a swimming pool, gym, a tennis court and of course their famous spa that they are so well known for.

From massage and facials to wraps and scrubs, there was something for everyone to revel in their carefully-crafted list of dreamy treatments – which includes brands like Carita, Clarins, Elemis and Jessica. I prepared to relax and unwind with utmost dedication as I picked out the Beautiful Bumps package and a Collagen Gold facial.

 

I was taken through to a quiet tranquil treatment room and given a massage using the Champneys Shea Butter designed specifically for blossoming bumps. It involved a back, arm, leg, foot and scalp massage which sent me into a bliss-like state (and almost fast asleep too!) Massage benefits many areas of the body whilst helping to ease tiredness, improve circulation and relax the muscles in your lower back.

After all that hard work of relaxing it was time to take a break for some lunch. The Art Deco style restaurant was spacious with banquets and tables looking out onto the vast green lawns. The lunch is a suitable mix of fresh salads, sides, hot seafood, meat, vegetarian main courses and some not too naughty desserts (I fully recommend the healthy cheesecake!) Well, as I have an appetite the size of an elephant at present I tried a mix of salad and main and afterwards leisurely strolled (or should I say waddled) to have the Collagen Gold facial which Champneys is so well known for.

The Collagen Gold Facial is something skin often loses out on- hydration with the infusion of collagen and involves a refreshing mix of cleansing, exfoliating followed by the collagen gold mask suitable for all skin types (which looked a little futuristic but felt very calming on the skin). This was also followed by a massage.

I must admit I am a huge fan of reflexology so when my therapist asked me what massage I would like to try whilst my mask was working it’s magic I had to pick feet of course!

Many of their treatments can be tailored to your time at the spa and my guest (my mum) gave me the full report on her Citrus Blush treatment. She has dry skin so the Citrus Blush is designed specifically for hydrating and gives a full body uplifting experience, including a tension-relieving back massage and hot stone neck and shoulder massage. After being scrubbed, cleansed, massaged and slathered in beautiful Champneys products there was only one thing for it- head to the gift store! Here you can buy the actual products they use on you in an array of sizes and sets. I instantly bought the Shea butter but not sure my massage technique on myself will quite cut the Champneys level at home. And as my mum said on leaving the grand doors of Tring, “It’s hard work being so pampered!”

To book your spa experience;

www.champneys.com

For Beautiful Bumps visit;

www.champneys.com/explore-treatments/baby-on-board/

For Collagen Gold Facials;

www.champneys.com/treatments/facials/champneys-collagen-gold-facial/

Today I had the pleasure of attending the Jacadi store in Westfield Shepherds Bush for a morning of baby talks, sweet treats and viewing their new collection. And let me just say it did not disappoint!

I arrived to hear a lovely speaker Mellanoire talking about her experience of motherhood, giving us tips and hearing more of our stories- I was the last one in and so ended up being asked to be the first one speak (yikes!) but actually the other mothers and pregnant woman were very welcoming and soon we were chatting like old friends.

The Jacadi shop is very beautiful also. Everything is laid out well and the quality of the material are all rich cottons, wools and other lovely materials. Jacadi is a premium children’s brand driven by strong values, providing the world with authentic and timeless children’s fashion in the French tradition and heritage. This reputation is the result of a strong commitment to quality, incomparable fabrics, exclusive patterns and attention to detail. Jacadi products reflect elegance and refinement for children from 0 to 12 years. You can definitely get a touch of distinctive French feeling to the clothes whilst I secretly started wanting everything!

They also went to town with the food!They had some lovely goodies on offer- French pastries and pastel coloured macarons were laid out and of course I couldn’t resist but try each flavour (it was morning but I like to think macarons are good at any time of day 😉 And of course we have the excuse of being pregnant (worried I may keep that one going after I give birth!)

After the talks I wandered leisurely around the store to see their new collection… I also loved their array of sweet soft toys, teddies, rabbits and yes, there was a seagull in there! I found the store spacious, tranquil and beautifully laid out, a very relaxing space away from the business of London.

Jacadi, I’ll be back and next time it will probably be with baby in tow!

mwww.jacadi.co.uk

xxxx

 

As seen @ The Lady Magazine

https://lady.co.uk/dr-murad-facial-blush-and-blow

I had heard Dr Murad was a celebrity favourite and I have most definitely seen the creams on the shelves but could his products help me with my combination skin? And who is Dr Murad? Known as ‘the father of internal skincare’ (sounds quite saintly when put like that!) Dr Howard Murad is recognized as a leading visionary for his scientific innovations which focuses on a total body approach to youth building and overall wellness. His mission and passion is to help people unlock their potential to look younger, to feel younger and to live healthier, happier and more rewarding lives (good to know if you want to snitch a couple of years off your D.O.B).

There is also something quite appealing about science and beauty. Instead of being all talk, Dr Murad has been in the business since 1989, creating groundbreaking skincare formulas, which were among the first to achieve significant measurable anti-aging results without surgery. Dr Murad continues this innovative research and holds 19 patents for advances in the science of skin health.

At Blush and Blow, a spacious hair and beauty clinic stood in a leafy neighbourhood of West London, there is something calm and tranquil when arriving. My lovely therapist listened to my concerns (mainly combination skin which tends to be dry and oily in different areas) and recommended their classic Dr Murad facial with Vitamin C mask. The poor thing had her work cut out for her removing the amount of makeup I had been wearing earlier in the day and then the cleansing of the face began (which also felt like a lovely light massage).

The idea of the facial is to combine a high-performance glycolic peel with a selection of creams and serums. She put a low version of this on my skin  (as I am pregnant) and told me to tell her what level of tingling I felt. Indeed the sensation was not uncomfortable at all but felt very light on the skin and each stage of the treatment was a seamless transition to a selection of statement creams designed to provide a plumper, glowing and more smoother skin after just one treatment.

There is also the added factor of hydration. Living in a city, being busy along with tiredness can cause a whole host of complexities within the skin. The facial aims to bring back a more advanced level of hydration whilst tackling problem areas. Dr Murad believes in three areas of hydration problems; Genetic ageing, environmental ageing and hormonal ageing and even though these are mainly natural processes that happen over time there are ways to combat it with the right replenishment.

Indeed after my facial, I did feel I had ‘got the glow,’ with the amount of creams, tonics and serums that had been gently applied. There is also the therapeutic effects of the facial. Being whisked away from central London for an hour, having your skin cleaned, plumped, hydrated and refreshed made me feel very pampered indeed with a natural healthy glow. And as they say, if the body is pampered, the mind is free to concentrate!

The Dr Murad facial is now available at Blush and Blow;

www.blushandblow.com 

020 7736 0430

 

Well that flew by, didn’t it?!

Can’t believe today marks the 28 week mark and that I’m over halfway of the journey (or maybe the journey is yet to begin?) Yes, I look like a flump in this photo (pink marshmallow alert!) but I guess it will get even bigger so just have to roll with it!

I have got into being pregnant much more lately and think I will actually miss being pregnant when it’s all over! Lots of people I’ve met said they couldn’t wait to get it over with but I’m actually relishing in it  (and obviously because I’ve been eating so much lol!)

Well, a little about my journey so far… I am due on 21 June (Midsummers day I think it is) although this is subject to change as every time I go to the hospital they change it by a day or two.

I will reveal the gender soon….so excited 😉 I have had such a rocky pregnancy, especially at the beginning. I was super sick and I have never felt exhaustation like I did. I could barely get home in the evening, and at 6pm I would just order a deliveroo then go to bed… yes that was my life! I literally could hardly do a thing. Then of course as I have had a few complications like low lying placenta I was told not to exercise or lift anything… that can only mean one thing- food and sofa! Oops! I’m looking back at old photos last summer when I did a 2 month ballet barre teacher course, dancing for 4 hours a day and studying made me super fit. Now I can’t touch my toes (there’s something that keeps getting in the way hehe 😉

So it has been a bit of a resting pregnancy as I can’t do much.

But after hitting my second trimester, my energy is back with full force! Thank the lord! I am used to being so busy so when told to rest I simply can’t and now that I have my energy back I find I sleep later.

I have had a few cravings, nothing too bonkers, just mainly gherkins, pickled onions, cakes and crap orange juice- yes you did hear me right! I love cheap orange juice! I could totally buy more ‘diva’ orange juice but I’ve been craving the pasteurised and not particularly good for you kind. It’s become my little addiction (a cheap addiction at that too 😉

After I got to week 22 I could start to feel the baby moving. It feels a bit Ike butterflies, very slight and tickly almost. But now it’s full blown kicks! And lately, the baby has been hiccuping! At first this freaked me out, it’s very slight movement but very consistent just like when we have the hiccups but much less stronger (and no noise) Of course I got out Dr. Google- bad mistake! Those forums and online sites often have negative comments or bad ideas and I have realised this is worse for me and makes me freak out more! I have been trying to stick with the NHS website for facts, although I must admit at the beginning I couldn’t stop googling all healthcare things for pregnancy! People on forums are annonymous people, not healthcare professionals so one has to be careful, although the moral support is always good.

As my bump is getting bigger, I’m trying to find clothes that fit- I love being feminine, chic , elegant and emulating the vintage style but it’s hard to find genuine pieces from the 50’s that don’t give off a tent look! So as you will see in previous posts I’ve bee a bit careful with the planning of that and found some lovely one-off pieces that work well.

Next I will be doing a birth plan and have started shopping for some lovely vintage baby items! More on those soon,

Annette

xxx

 

For anyone that feels their bump growing they know one thing for certain – it gets impossible to dress it! As I mentioned in my previous post I tried to squeeze myself into trousers and dresses for a while (not a good look I must admit) until I decided to succumb to the tum! Now I have been searching for feminine maternity pieces, and finding authentic vintage wear has proved a little too difficult.

But fear not, there are plenty of alternatives readily available from high street and designer brands and you don’t need to spend a fortune in the process.  I personally find it a fun challenge to dress and I have even found better things than specific maternity wear- enter the wrap dress!

I accidentally wore a Boden number one day (an old friend used to work for them and gave it to me as a gift) and was the only thing washed that would fit me. Then I realised how comfortable and lovely it felt and decided that was it- I was a woman on a mission to find more!

I have now found quite a few suitable ones including the one I’m wearing below from Zara 

But there are many more to choose from as listed below- I would love to hear about your maternity dress wear tips! Don’t forget to click on the links to directly shop!

Annette xxxx

Zara

£49

ASOS

£75

Collectif Vintage Amaya Velvet Dress

£20.48

ASOS Frill Detail Wrap Dress

£35

Dorothy Perkins Navy Self Tie Floral Print Wrap Dress

£26

Seraphine Black Floral Silk Wrap Maternity Dress

£99

Isabella Rose Elisha Dress

£139