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Summer has officially hit us in Cannes and nothing gets me more in the mood for the hottest months of the year than an upbeat playlist. S...

MIDWEEK MUSIC MIX 29


Summer has officially hit us in Cannes and nothing gets me more in the mood for the hottest months of the year than an upbeat playlist. So I have put together a feel good mix to help everyone get in the Summer spirit. Whether you are off on a road trip, drinking cocktails on your patio or poolside, this music mix is perfect to play while enjoying all the perks of this lush season. Enjoy yourselves!

Ah! Yesterday I hit my 39th week and I'm sitting here with my big belly popping out in front of me wondering, where does all this ...

THE SECOND TIME AROUND


Ah! Yesterday I hit my 39th week and I'm sitting here with my big belly popping out in front of me wondering, where does all this time go? Like my last pregnancy I had the best intention of blogging and sharing about my journey with each passing month, but then life unexpectedly gets in the way of that and now here I am at the end of my second journey and this is like the third or fourth time I've actually written anything about it. Between getting all ready for baby, spending as much time as I can with Oslo, finding him a nanny to take him two days a week, and just the everyday tasks, I have found it hard to have time to just sit down and write or even relax. So here we are at the very end, Oslo is happily at his nanny's for the day and I am taking this time to finally share what an incredible, but in many ways more difficult pregnancy I have had. 

I thought I would also get around to sharing some photos from my first maternity shoot I did in the Spring on a little beach in Cannes with my first love Oslo. I always feel a bit like a fraud whenever I am in front of a camera, but I am so happy Caroline Liabot of Elles & Eux Photographie captured these special moments between us. This little guy is in for the surprise of his life any day now, so I'm happy we have these photos before he is not the only little love in the family.




I went into this pregnancy expecting it to be very similar to my first, meaning hardly any symptoms and overall feeling like sunshine and roses. No one really told me that second pregnancies, and third and fourth for that matter, can actually be a lot harder. Of course once I started mentioning to friends and my mum that I have physically been feeling much more strain and pain this time, then they all piped up and said that it's totally normal. Would have been nice to know! Really I can't complain because my first and third trimesters were fairly easy and it seems my body has sort of gotten used to the exhaustion and added strain of carrying around a clingy 12kg toddler. But geez that second trimester was a killer for me.

This baby has been a very big boy from the beginning, even my doctor was a little taken back by his growth each month. With bigger babies comes quick expanding hips and a big belly, so my body took a hard hit especially throughout the second trimester. The positive of that is because our bodies have already expanded and shifted before it usually does this earlier on, but unfortunately I had a ton of hip and lower back pain for months. Luckily once this guy flipped round and was head down most of the pain went away. The past couple of months have been much easier on me, except for the odd leg cramp that stops me in my tracks, a bit of volcanic acid reflux, and going pee 5 times a night. Something else that was a bit of a new experience for me this time was false or practice contractions. Since about 25 weeks I have experienced constant contractions, not consistent ones but they definitely came everyday. As much as they weren't the most fun thing to have, I was happy to take them as a challenge to practice my hypnobirthing breathing exercises and get ready for the real ones in labour. 

It definitely feels like my body is much more in tune this time around, which I guess it to be expected because this is not our first rodeo. I'm just hoping that when I go into labour my body is like ''Hey, I've got this, I am a seasoned pro! You just sit back and relax and I will take it from here.'' Don't worry my expectations are not high at all! Seriously though, I am prepared to go through another natural birth and accept all the things (pain!) that can come with it. I'm feeling so prepared with all of the words of wisdom my midwife, doula, doctor and hypnobirthing classes have taught me throughout as well. Let's just cross our fingers this labour isn't 25 hours and I stay in great health during the whole labour and delivery.




Now that I am 39 weeks that inevitable feeling of impatience is creeping in. I began labour with Oslo when I was 39 weeks and 2 days, so I of course expect this baby to follow suit. It also doesn't help that when I got checked by my doctor at 36 weeks, he told me I was 1cm dilated and baby should be here within a week or two. Well a week or two has passed and I am preparing myself to have a July baby that might want to wait a little longer then Oslo did. I'm just so eager and excited to finally meet this little bébé and go through all the incredible and intense highs and lows of being the mother to a newborn again. I get so giddy thinking about it, I really can't wait! Until then I will continue nesting like a mad women, trying my best to just sit and relax, and cherish these last moments with my little Oslo and James. Oh and I'm going to swim a lot, because I won't be able to do that for a little while after and summer in the South of France is only fun when you can swim. So if you need me I will be sipping my mocktail by my in-law's pool and waiting for baby boy number 2 to make his debut.


Thank you so much to Caroline Liabot for these gorgeous photos. You can see more of her beautiful photos here.

It seems time has been slipping through my fingers this pregnancy, and as I write this I am currently 37 weeks pregnant and nearing the...

BABYMOON IN THE FRENCH WINE COUNTRY


It seems time has been slipping through my fingers this pregnancy, and as I write this I am currently 37 weeks pregnant and nearing the end of this incredible journey. But let me take you back to 14 weeks ago when I was only 23 weeks pregnant when James and I escaped to the gorgeous French wine country for a little babymoon. Time for just the two of us is very rare and I know it will be even harder to come by when our second bébé arrives at the beginning of July, so when we do get a chance to spend a night away together it means so much to us.

On a beautiful warm Spring day in March we drove an hour away through miles of vineyards and hillsides to Château de Berne, a hotel, spa and Michelin star restaurant in the heart of the wine region of Provence. As soon as you enter through the front gates you really feel like you have stepped into a French countryside paradise. We both felt instantly relaxed and at peace, and just so excited to spoil ourselves for the next two days.








We checked into our room after we ate a delicious lunch outside under the sun, and we soon discovered we were only one of three guests that were booked for the night. This is always music to our ears because we love to be alone and it meant we got the room with the best view! Our room was so beautiful I didn't want to leave and could have stayed in either the bed or the bath my whole stay. It felt so nice to have a lovely clean adult room with no baby items in sight. Just a special place for us to relax in and enjoy with zero interruptions. 

My favourite part of the whole room was the bathroom which had an entire wall of privacy glass. So we could see out, but no one could see in. It did take a bit of getting used to, I must say it was so strange seeing a gardener tending to the plants outside while I was in the glass shower all naked! 











After a nice long bath in the deepest tub in the world, we headed to the spa for a session of spoiling. This spa was so pretty and peaceful, and like the rest of the hotel, we were the only ones in sight. I'm not one to go and treat myself to a massage, but with being pregnant and all I thought it was a great opportunity to have a prenatal massage and really give my body a break. James booked a massage for himself as well and the funniest thing always seems to happen whenever we go for massages together. The two masseuses show up and one is always tall and sturdy and the other is tiny. Every single time I get the tall and stronger looking one and James is stuck with this teensy little girl, who we just end up feeling bad for because James is a very large man at 6'4''. This little lady had her work cut out for her! I thoroughly enjoyed my hour long massage, but poor James on the other hand really did not get that deep tissue massage he was after. Her fingers must have been broken by the end! After our massages we went swimming in the pool with a beautiful view of the vineyards.





Feeling like we are on cloud nine, we went back to our room to get ready for our special dinner at the Michelin star restaurant, Le Jardin de Benjamin. This was my first time ever experiencing a Michelin star restaurant so I was very excited and obviously had very high expectations. The dining room, food and service really was all it's cracked up to be and was even beyond what I could have imagined. We had so much fun waiting for each little course to arrive and then being blown away each time. I almost felt guilty devouring the beautiful creations the chef made for us. Eating at a restaurant like this definitely makes it harder to go back to regular ones, I must say.

After a beautiful night we woke up to breakfast on the terrace which again was the stuff dreams are made of. One of the major perks of staying here during the off season is that we didn't have to leave the property right after check out. So after a long breakfast and getting ready we checked out but decided to stay a while and explore some of the other activities the hotel offers. We were told we had to try their electric bikes and go on a big ride around the property. If you know me then you will be well aware that I am the least coordinated kind of person there is and bikes are a dangerous thing for me to go on. I'm not being dramatic here, the last time I rode a bike was in Lucca with James and my sister and I lost control of my bike and almost fell into a canal. Me and bikes or anything with wheels are not friends, so I thought adding a motor onto the bike would makes things even worse. But the hotel staff assured me it would be fine and I would love it. So I went ahead with this crazy idea and oh man am I glad I did!






I can't even begin to tell you how fun electric bikes are! Everyone has to do it. It is like a safer version of a scooter and they go so fast. James and I felt like kids the whole time we were riding, I didn't want it to end. It was also the perfect way to take in the view of this massive vineyard property. I would go back to the hotel just for the bikes, it was the best part.






After that incredible bike ride we decided to take one last walk around the hotel before we headed home. This little getaway was quick, but we so needed it. I am always amazed how connected we feel after a day or two away just us. These moments with James mean so much to me, I really wish we could do it more often.

Until next time, we had such an amazing stay at Château de Berne and I couldn't recommend it enough. Even if you don't have the time to stay a night at the hotel, I would definitely book yourself in for a lunch and wine tour. It's rosé season and this place knows how to make the perfect Summer drink!

BOY!!! It has been a few weeks now since we found out our second bébé on the way is another boy. After telling many shocked f...

IT'S A...




BOY!!!

It has been a few weeks now since we found out our second bébé on the way is another boy. After telling many shocked family members and friends who all thought I was having a girl (including myself!), we are thrilled to finally announce the happy news publicly. We're having a boy!





When I was pregnant with Oslo we waited to find out if he was a boy or a girl until the birth. For us it was such an exciting surprise and a lot easier than I thought it would be. Once we had made the decision not to find out, we never really talked about ever wanting to know. 

This time was different for me though, I really wanted to find out for a few reasons. I thought it would help me connect even more this pregnancy knowing a bit more about this precious little life growing inside of me. I knew it would be much easier in planning what we needed to buy or sell and for decorating the nursery. I also wanted to be able to have Oslo know beforehand if he was going to be a big brother to a baby girl or boy. At 18 months he can't fully grasp it yet, but I like to think he always knows more than he lets on, so I'm happy to tell him either way. Finally, James and I had a really hard time choosing a boy name for my first pregnancy and we spent months and months going back and forth on names. So I wanted to make it less stressful this time in knowing we only had to choose one name for the baby. Well two I guess if you count the middle name, which we are stuck on this time as well!

But the problem was James was very uncertain if he wanted to find out or not. He liked the surprise of waiting till the birth and wanted to do that again. After a few conversations and even a suggestion from James that I should find out and he shouldn't, which I promptly turned down, we decided it would be fun to both find out together.

As soon as we told our OB we wanted to find out the gender, he put the ultrasound wand to my belly and there was no denying what we were expecting. There he was in all his glory!



I must say I had an extremely strong intuition that this baby was a girl. I am sure it was a bit of me really wanting a daughter, but also because this pregnancy has been so different than my first. I really thought there was no way it was a boy. So when my doctor announced it was in fact a boy I was a bit shocked and for a few seconds disappointed. Ah I hate admitting that, but it is the truth! I had the feeling I needed to mourn that I wasn't having a daughter to then fully accept I would be raising just boys.

Now that I have taken the time to reflect on it, I am so beyond thrilled to be having two gorgeous little boys in my life. How lucky am I!?

With my two sons only being 21 months apart I can already imagine how close they will be. I love to think of them being the best of friends and discovering so many fun things together. Oslo is the most sweet-natured and loving little boy, especially to babies, and it brings me to happy tears just thinking of how he will be with his baby brother. It is only a short three months before those incredible moments are going to happen and without anticipating too much, I really can't wait.


Here's to raising boys!

''Raising Boys'' shirt from Ren&Gem.

Thank you to my brilliant sister for capturing these photos. You can see more of her work at Wild Eyed Photography or on her Instagram.