Monday, 31 March 2014

Overwhelmed

by Bex

So we did it.  We're where we never thought we'd be!  I'm terrified.  Not just of what is coming but what might go wrong.  We've been hit by so many unexpected disappointments after each success and we're at just as much risk of miscarriage as anyone (possibly more if it turns out to be twins).  Obviously I'm trying not to think about that and just to enjoy the moment.  I am pregnant, OH MY GOSH!

I guess because I have been writing about this openly for so long puts me in a somewhat unique (or at least rare) position as a non-anonymous blogger who can write about the early days of pregnancy as they happen.  It is much more common for the first 12 weeks to be kept secret.  Only a few of our 'real life' friends and relatives read my blog and we have (I think) told them all but until we have at least our first scan, we won't be doing 'the big reveal' to all.  However, you guys, who do read this blog have gone through this with me (crying again, wow these pregnancy hormones are strong!) and always believed for me and been there to hold my hand through the dark times.  You know I truly had given up at one point and that was the most difficult thing.  I think that's why, for now at least, it doesn't seem real that what we always wanted and hoped for is actually happening!

From a single cell...

So, anyway, the last week of waiting was hard.  I was convinced after week one following implantation that it hadn't worked.  I was very irritable at the weekend (sorry Nik) and thought it was PMS.  Twitter reassured me this wasn't necessarily true and that early pregnancy could also elicit these types of mood swings along with cramps, bleeding, etc.  I hadn't done much reading or research as I found it too much to deal with before.  On the Sunday night, having become paranoid my period was imminent (it was due Monday or possibly Tuesday) we decided to do a test just to see if it was negative.  We knew that within 7 days we might get a false positive due to the hCG injection I received just after the implantation to try to help my body hang onto those embryos!  We saw a faint line and were happy just to still have hope.  It was promising but as it was day 7, we put it down to the injection and decided to test again on Tuesday.

Tuesday was a horrendous day!  After two awful events, I decided I didn't want a negative test to be the third!  I went out for dinner that night and had a lovely time discussing ranting about my day with awesome friends who made me feel much better.  I was starting to feel seriously tired in the evenings though and head to head home straight after we'd eaten.  It didn't help that I'd started waking up at 4.30am every day either!  As a result of my early morning insomnia, I wasn't sure if that was my reason for tiredness or could it be that early pregnancy tiredness I'd heard so much about from friends?

Another clue was the sore boobs.  Again, could be related to an impending period so I didn't want to read too much into that either.  After Monday and Tuesday passed with no other signs though and my boobs were still sore I started to get more hopeful.  It's so hard trying to stay grounded after so many setbacks, I didn't want to get ahead of myself but on Wednesday morning I took another test.  Two days after my period was due and with Sunday's faint line to compare with, I knew this one was a definite positive.  Nik wasn't home from his night shift yet and I had to go to work so I wrote him a letter and hid it with the two tests in his cufflink box in our bedroom.  I didn't think he'd find it and called him on my way home at lunchtime to tell him to open the box.  He read my soppy, excited letter and knew I was on my way home anticipating his excited face.  He had 10 minutes to let it sink in before I got back to a confused face - he wanted verbal confirmation!  lol.

Until we had our blood test on Friday, we didn't want to get too ahead of ourselves but did tell our parents and a few special people.  The reactions were amazing, with a lot of swear words, lol.  And I loved all of the comments on yesterday's brief announcement post!  :)

I went to see a friend on Friday evening to tell her.  Her 6 year old daughter (my flower girl) heard me say I'm pregnant and she declared, "I know what that means!  You have a baby in your tummy!" and then wrote me this:


The blood test confirmed everything looked good, healthy levels of hCG.  This is happening.  Eeeek!  :)

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Friday, 28 March 2014

Macarons - Foodie Friday

by Bex

The lovely Diana came over recently to help me make my first batch of macarons using a recipe she adapted from another blog.  See her blog, a dizzy girl, for details (and for the salted caramel ganache!).  I am sharing her recipe and tips here with her permission along with the photos we took in my kitchen on the day and my notes in italic.  Of course, I made my macarons green!  ;)  I was extremely pleased with the way they turned out - a pretty good success rate, all thanks to some fantastic supervision from my instructor - thanks D!  :)


Ingredients
100g ground almonds
110g egg whites 
200g  icing sugar
4 tablespoons granulated sugar

Method
Prepare a template on the back of greaseproof paper by drawing round a coin or something circular.  I suggest a £2 coin.  (I made mini ones and bigger ones.)  Put the paper on top of a baking sheet. 

Whisk the egg whites.  Once they start to foam, add one tablespoon of sugar at a time.  Continue whisking until the mixture is stiff.  If adding colour, do it after the sugar has been added. 


Sieve the icing sugar and ground almonds into a bowl.  This could take a while as the almonds are rarely fine enough!  You need elbow grease to push it through the sieve.  Fold the dry mix into the egg whites gently. 


Put the mix into a piping bag with a round tip and pipe onto the template.  Once done, bang the baking tray on the worktop a few times to release any air bubbles. 



Set aside the macarons for an hour to develop a skin on top. 

Bake for approx 10-11 minutes at 150 oC.  I test that mine are ready by wobbling them slightly.  If the top wobbles, they need another minute or so.  Watch them closely, as they can turn brown very easily.  (You can see mine started to go despite constant rotating and leaving the door ajar, my oven is always hotter in the back right corner!)

Remove from the oven and cool.  They should have a dimply "foot" and a smooth surface on top. 

Pretty chuffed with those feet!

Carefully peel from the greaseproof paper.  I lift the paper up and peel it away from the macaron.  Don't be tempted to twist the macaron off the paper!  (I had varied success in removing them - I found a very thin spatula useful to gently scrape them off but only after they've fully cooled or they're too sticky!)

Varied success in peeling them off - loved the sticky middles though!

If the macarons are slightly uneven in size, pair up similar sized ones ready for filling. 

Fillings
The most common filling for a macaron is a simple chocolate ganache.  Simply dollop a little bit of filling on the bottom macaron and gently sandwich them together. 

Dark Chocolate Ganache:

100g good quality dark chocolate
100 ml double cream

Break up the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.  Bring the cream to the boil, then let it cool for one minute.  Pour over the cream and stir until smooth.  Cool and then use to sandwich the macarons. 


My first macaron!

Tips

Ok, first of all, this isn't a quick bake.  You need to rest the macarons so it's not something that can be whipped up quickly. 

The aging of the egg whites IS important.  My one disastrous batch of macarons were made with non-aged egg whites.  I use liquid egg whites (Two Chicks, normally in the ready made pastry section of a supermarket) and leave them out at room temperature for at least 3-4 hours.  If I was using actual egg whites, I'd age them for at least 12 hours but the longer the better. 

If you are adding colour, use powder or gel.  It's best not to add any more liquid to the mix. 

If you find the macarons go brown easily while cooking, prop open the oven door with a wooden spoon. 

I only ever make one baking tray load at a time, in the centre of my oven.  I've found that it's hard to bake them evenly otherwise. 

Make a template to help pipe the circles.  For mini-macarons like my pink ones, I used a 10p coin.  For normal sized ones, a £2 coin is about right!

It's really important not to over mix the egg whites and dry ingredients.  One way to test it is to drop a small dollop of the mix onto a plate.  If it smooths out, then the mix is ready.  If it looks grainy and rough, it needs a little more mixing. 



I ran out of ganache for the last few so I whipped up some double cream with a tiny bit of icing sugar and some apple sauce!  I actually preferred these ones but my chocoholic husband adored the chocolate ones of course!


Thanks so much Diana for being an awesome teacher and making my first batch a huge success!  :)

(I also suggest you check out Diana's recipe for salted caramel cheesecake bites - I've tasted them and they are sooooo good!)

Thursday, 27 March 2014

A 'Proper' Family

by Bex

It was brought to my attention recently that I may have caused offence to people with the post I wrote when I was really struggling.  When I wrote that post, I think it was clear that I really was in a pit of despair and I wasn't coping very well at all with everything that has happened over the last few months.  I mentioned a lot of my feelings at the time and also all of the things I was worried we would never get to experience.  One of those things was feeling like a proper family, making people grandparents and uncles.  I absolutely never meant to imply that not having children means you aren't a proper family.  I absolutely respect that some people choose not to have children and others, like us, simply can't and for whatever reason decide not to pursue other routes such as adoption.  Of course I realise that a life without children can be a happy one but for me, at that time, I couldn't see that for my life.  Having wanted children for years and always having assumed it would one day happen made it hard for me to deal with the fact it may not.  When that possibility was constantly slipping out of our reach I really struggled to see the good things in life.

Reading it back, I do sound awfully dramatic about it all.  At the time, I was genuinely convinced that our chance at ever being pregnant was over.  I was grieving for that loss.  You may not understand that as I never had a child to grieve but I had lost something.  Our child has always existed to me.  Yes, only in my head, but ever since we decided to start trying for a family, or if I'm being honest, even before that, I could imagine our family life.  And back when I wrote that post, I was trying to come to terms with the fact that our family was never going to be the way we expected.

I had already dealt with the fact that our route to start a family was different, we could no longer just make it happen, we needed help from doctors, nurses and embryologists.  When it seemed like even that was beyond reach, the decision to start a family was no longer in our hands.  If we go down the adoption route - someone else makes the decision about whether we ever get to be parents!  That scares me.

The thing is, I guess it depends on your definition of family.  As you can see above, I have said the words "start a family" a few times because that's what we all say when we decide to have children.  It doesn't mean that you don't already have a family.  If anything, I feel like I have a huge family as I count many of my friends as family given that many of my actual family live far away.  But having grown up always thinking that one day I would get to have a family of my own, i.e. have children.  Having that possibility taken away from me has been very hard to bare.  It was part of our wedding ceremony, that we wanted to share a life together and start a family.  That is all I meant by my comment.  That and the fact I know our parents also wish to be grandparents.  Seeing others sharing their new young families with the rest of their family, uncles, aunties, cousins, I just want to be able to do the same thing.

I know fairness has nothing to do with it, we are no more or less deserving than anyone else who wants a baby but the feeling of just how unfair it seems that we want this so much and it still wasn't happening was too much for me on top of everything else - not knowing where we'd be living, Nik having been on nights all week, a general feeling of lack of control over our lives.  I gave up.  I'm not proud of that but I am grateful to have received so much love and understanding at the really tough times.

I wish I could have handled this whole experience better.  I wrote about how I couldn't see a future and had nothing to look forward to.  Luckily that has now changed (even before our doctor miraculously managed to navigate my crazy cervix to implant our embryos, I actually started writing this before that happened!) and I can look forward to living in Brighton, we have a holiday to enjoy, there are lots of weekends of plans coming up...

I do know how lucky we are, even though it doesn't always feel like it but I'm sorry, sometimes the sadness just takes over because when you want something THIS much and this life changing and it just seems like it will never happen, it can get hard to see the good things.  I don't mean to only dwell on the bad.  And I am so grateful for my husband, family and friends who stand by me and help to pull me out of that pit and see the good things in life again.  I'm glad I never stay down for long.  Thank you for believing for me, for having hope when mine was lost and for sticking by me even though I thought I'd lost myself.

I have been told I have a romantic view of what having a baby will be like and yes, that is true.  I'm pretty sure all soon-to-be mothers probably do but I have always been realistic about it too.  Having seen friends go through some pretty tough times with newborns and toddlers it would be impossible to have an entirely rosy view of life with a baby!  I've even said in previous posts how I try to think of all the things I wouldn't enjoy such as lack of sleep, constant worry, being covered in vomit and poo (and I'm sure there are many, many more challenges to being a mother) when it seems like we will be missing out on so much.  But that's just it.  I've also seen the joy, happiness and magic in people's lives as a result of their children and that's what I'm so afraid I may never get to experience.  The good comes with the bad but I'd still want to be part of the good.  Reading magical comments like those on this post over on Florence Finds can be hard when things are not going well but also remind me that it's a big thing we're going through, whether it works or not, and wanting it isn't just in my head - my body wants it too which makes this so much harder to deal with at times.  I was hormonal and particularly emotional during that very bad week which just made everything seem so much worse.

Sometimes I wonder if we're being spared - perhaps I would have a horrendously difficult pregnancy, or really struggle to cope with being a mother.  I still can't imagine not getting to be a mother though and it's not just the baby stuff I think about.  I do think adoption could bring us happiness but it doesn't take away the grief we feel for the start of family life we thought we'd have.  (I also feel guilty for not just adopting anyway since there are so many children in need of a good home, but that's another post in itself and adoption brings with it so many different challenges which we need to be prepared to face.  We're just not ready for that yet.)  My counsellor has reassured me that everything I have been feeling is totally normal considering what we've been going through and I am not the only one dealing with IVF and having all of these thoughts.  That is one of the reasons why I write about it.  As much as I might cringe when I look back over certain posts, I'm leaving them there because they are utterly honest account of how I feel as we struggle through this time.  Life isn't always happy, even if it may seem from the outside like it should be and although I try not to dwell on things too much, I won't can't ignore the bad times.  I chose to write about IVF, with Nik's permission, and I will always write the full story, warts and all, even if it does make me seem a bit dramatic from time to time!

I guess I just wanted to try to explain myself better, when not in a bad place.  I hate the thought of being misunderstood and would never mean to cause offence to anyone.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Boho style inspiration for Thailand - Pin it do it

by Bex

I'd already planned most of my holiday wardrobe for this trip but after spotting a couple more things in town, it really has turned into entirely boho style for this holiday.  I'm thinking, beads, long necklaces, fringing, tie dye and lots of floaty dresses.  Ideal for the sticky heat and long days on the beach, by the pool or exploring the local towns and national park.  My hair will most likely be frizzy in the humidity anyway (Monica style) so the straighteners are (probably) being left behind and I'll be going curly full-on frizz on this holiday.  I expect it will be mostly tied up in the heat anyway, it's already 30+ degrees over there!

Here are a few of my inspiration pins (since it's been so long since I did a pin it do it!) and below you will find a few of the new items I have bought as a wee pre-holiday treat.  i.e. I couldn't resist!

Personally I think there are two ways to do boho, the simple, stylish, neutral way and the full-on print-tastic, colourful, fully accessorised way.  I like both and will be mixing it up a bit and of course putting my own spin on the look.

Simple boho style inspiration:

L-R: OneTwoThreeFour
(I particularly love number 2 - I have a straw fedora like that, £2 from Primark last year
and I have some coloured trousers similar to number 3.) 

Then colourful prints and floaty dresses/trousers:

L-R: OneTwoThreeFourFive

Of course, the billowing cover-ups and fringing:

L-R: OneTwoThreeFourFive

And the accessories, piled up bangles and bracelets, dangly necklaces, beads and chunky rings:

L-R: OneTwoThreeFourFive
(I have plenty of friendship bracelets and beaded accessories.)

I've got some tie-dye dresses which I bought in Malaysia and quite a few beaded accessories already.  I also have a fab black fringed bag from H&M which they have just brought out in a pale grey - ideal for summer!  It's only £19.99 (although they do have a real suede one as well as faux leather for £69.99) and I had a voucher for 25% off so it was only £14.99.  (Voucher code = 1319 for 25% off one item and 1396 for free delivery if spending over £50.)

£19.99 - H&M

I also spotted this gorgeous pink and olive green dragonfly print scarf so OBVIOUSLY had to have it, especially since it was only £7.99 and strikes me as a bit McQueen-esque!

£7.99 - H&M

And although I definitely can't afford the Missoni sequined kaftan above, this H&M one is pretty gorgeous:

Sequined kaftan - £59.99 - H&M

Forever 21 also have some awesome boho style accessories at the moment:

 Bracelet - £3.90 and Necklace - £5.65 both Forever 21

And this gorgeous green beaded stunner - £11.65 - Forever 21

Primark also have some fab boho style things in for summer including this gorgeous fringed cover-up:

£15 - Primark

And these gorgeous chevron palazzo pants:

Palazzo pants, £12 - Primark
I also got a very flattering floaty tie-dye maxi dress for just £10 but can't find any pictures online.  It's very similar to this one but with yellow bits around the white patches:

Image Source

I have a few sewing projects (adjustments and new tops) to make before we go as well.  I can't wait to go all hippy style in the sunshine!  Which is your favourite look above?  Do you embrace boho style for the summer?

Monday, 24 March 2014

Random update

by Bex

There may not be many pictures in this post (unusual, I know!) but I'm not very organised at the moment and despite having SO many things I want to blog about, I'm just not quite finding the time right now.  I'm still trying to keep as busy as possible to keep my mind off impending knowledge of whether our IVF has worked and that has involved lots of meeting up with friends, going out, shopping, reading and watching films.  I've been having trouble concentrating on even the reading and films as my mind often wanders so I haven't done much photo editing or writing at all lately.

Last week has been lovely.  After the first couple of days being spent chilling in PJs, I spent every day out doing something fun.  I had lunch with Roz on Wednesday, Pammie on Thursday, Briony on Friday, various Yelpers on Saturday and some of our local friends on Sunday too.  I did a bit of holiday shopping (not too much Nik, I promise!), had a bubble tea outing with Lynsey and went on a great fun photo walk with Yelp, not to mention finishing my book and starting a new one which I've just been sent to review by Gemma.

Awesome burger at Jacker de Viande

Bubble tea at Tempo Tea Bar

I found Lynsey at the end of this rainbow, in a green dress.
Maybe she's a leprechaun!?   ;)

I'll upload the proper pictures from the photo walk soon
(my camera phone blew the highlights when I took a pic of the screen)

HUGE portion of lasagne at Tony Macaroni's in Livingston!

I have been trying to be healthy, contrary to the above choices!  At home we've been eating turkey stir fries and of course I've been on the pineapple just in case it helps those embryos stick!  It's so hard trying not to read into signs as to whether it might have worked or not.  Feeling a bit irritable at the weekend I assumed it hadn't as I thought it was PMS but apparently this can also be normal for early pregnancy so we're still hoping.  I found the first week post-FET quite easy but now my patience (what little I have) is wearing thin and I just want to know!!!  Only a few more days I guess.

I've started reading The Oversight by Charlie Fletcher - the blurb sounds amazing and I can't wait to get into it properly!  (I'm only on page 8!)  I do love a good magical fantasy book and this one sounds just up my street  :)


Mum sent us this very cool minion card she made to say the minions are on our side for the embryos sticking!  :)


I'm very excitedly planning my holiday wardrobe and am going for a very boho style for Thailand which you can read all about on Wednesday - lots of inspiration pictures and a few of the things I have purchased recently.  Including a gorgeous fringed kimono from Primark which I couldn't wait to wear and since it was sunny today (Sunday), I went for it with cropped jeans and a white T-shirt.  ;)


Sunday evening is being spent writing this while snuggled up in bed and about to read more of my book.  I'm also rocking these fab Brighton-esque PJ bottoms which I just had to buy when I saw them in Primark, in honour of our impending big move down south!  :)


I'm back to work properly this week so hopefully that will keep me busy and my mind more occupied.  Plus given the size of this book, I have to finish it before we fly off to Thailand next Monday so I have space to take all my maxis!  ;)

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Necklace of the day - roundup

by Bex

I know not everyone who reads the blog follows us on Twitter/Instagram so you may not see everything else we post on there.  I've already written about Necklace of the day and did a roundup of the first few.  I've decided I want to do a roundup every week or so showing which is the most popular and also any others who have joined in.  I will pick a favourite (not one of my own) each week and share it here on Sunday afternoons.

Since it's been a while since I did a roundup so there are quite a few this week.  The large image was the most popular 'liked' necklace this week:


And as for the entries of others' necklaces, my favourite has to be Siobhan's cute and colourful bunting necklace from Tatty Devine.


To join in, just add the hashtag #ODnotd to your instagram pictures of necklaces.

Which is your favourite this week?

Friday, 21 March 2014

Foodie Friday - Apple Bread Pudding

by Roz

It's been ages since I've shared a recipe on the blog!  When I saw the lovely Kimberley, from Swoon Worthy and AO at Home, tweeted about easy apple bread pudding I was intrigued.  B loves apple desserts and I thought it would be nice to make it for him as a treat last weekend, how nice a wife am I?!  (Well I have to do something to cancel out the fact that I grate random veggies in with dinner to make him eat them!  Best so far is courgette fritters that I called veggie rostis, he scoffed the lot and loved them but remains adamant that he hates courgettes and refuses to eat the rosti creations again).


Source

Click on either of the links above to get the recipe, it's super easy with the most time consuming bit peeling and chopping the apples.  You mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and then pour the liquid ones on top and chuck it in the oven.  A perfect, hassle free dessert.



This is how the pudding looked just before I poured the milky egg mixture over the top and popped it in the oven.


It smelt so delicious when it was baking, for what seemed like a long 40 minutes, that I forgot to take a picture when it came out the oven before I dished it out....oops bad blogger!


I served it with warm custard and it was very good.  I highly recommend the recipe and will definitely be making it again :)

The recipe said it serves five and I agree that you get five generous portions out of the pudding, so the next day I took the leftovers round to Bex's and Nik, Bex and I munched the twice baked pud with some yummy ice cream from SugarRush.  I had mine with Dime Bar ice cream *drools*

Roz xx

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Progress!

by Bex

Oh.  My.  God.

I still can't quite believe it!  They did it.  They got through the crazy cervix.  Our embryos survived and we have 2 of them inside me right now!  I'm officially an incubator!  It feels so weird.  We won't know if I'm actually pregnant for a couple of weeks but at least we have finally had our proper chance.  This entire experience over the last 18 months since being referred has been so difficult, hitting walls at each and every stage.  To have finally managed to get to the end point of treatment feels miraculous!

I know this doesn't mean anything.  It still might not, or never work.  But just having had a proper chance at last is a huge step and it means we can try again if this cycle fails.  It's not over yet and I really thought it would be.  I really was prepared for the end.

It turns out that despite a very trepidatious specialist doing our procedure and discussions of likely outcomes and possibilities including transmyometrial transfers (almost never successful), he was able to navigate my cervical canal with not too much trouble this time.  Having the MRI meant he could visualise the way in and he managed to get around all the bends and get our embryos where they need to be!  I am delighted and quite shellshocked.  It hasn't quite sunk in yet as this was the least likely result!

The little white spot in the circled grey smudge is the fluid containing our embryos, sitting in my endometrium!

Obviously it's not over yet and there could be more disappointment coming our way but I don't even care at the moment.  I'm just happy to have some hope back!  Plus, we'll be flying off to Thailand when we find out so either way, we'll have some R&R to look forward to whatever the outcome.  I'll either be diving or snorkelling, indulging in cocktail happy hours or sipping fruity concoctions.  :)

Thanks so much for all of your happy (and tearful in some cases) responses to our news on Instagram/Twitter on Monday!  Fingers crossed they stick!  Who knows, maybe we'll still get our 2 for 1 ;)

It worked! 

In the meantime I am trying to keep busy and think about it as little as possible, lest I drive myself mad wondering.  The first couple of days I took it easy, full on pyjama days, making lists for house selling/holiday planning and watching various TV shows and films while blogging.  On Wednesday I left the house to meet Roz for a lovely lunch at Jacker de Viande followed by some accidental (but minor) holiday shopping in Primark and H&M.  Afterwards I went for a swim because I have been trying to be healthier and swimming was actually encouraged by the doctors as a non-impact sport.  I only had to avoid exercise following the sedation for a day.  Plus, I will be wearing a bikini in 2 weeks so every little helps to tone up!  I have got lots more decluttering done and am generally feeling pretty good.

Today I have 2 more 'dates' with a couple of friends, Pammie in the morning for gooey hot chocolate at the Chocolate Factory and then Lynsay for bubble tea in the afternoon!  :)  I'll be in work on Friday morning before meeting Briony for lunch and then meeting a couple of estate agents for some valuations of our flat!  Keeping busy is certainly helping during this waiting stage.  I have a Yelp event on Saturday and a couple of nights out next week to look forward to as well and by then it will be just days until our holiday so whatever happens, I have lots to do.  Nik is kept busy at work as usual (he's been on nights again this week but since I've been home I've been able to see him in the mornings) but we have this weekend off together and I think we'll just concentrate on the big move as we have so much to organise!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Thailand hotels!

by Bex

So, we're off to Thailand in less than 2 weeks.  Roz has already helped me pick out my holiday wardrobe again (we have so much fun doing that!) and everything's confirmed.

In week one we are staying at the Swissotel in Phuket.  A lovely looking 3+ star hotel where all the rooms are suites.  Better still, it was only £196 pp for the week.  (Sadly the flights weren't as much of a bargain but it will definitely be worth it and we only have one stop in Dubai before landing directly in Phuket.)

Image Source

Image Source
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And OMG - look at these big squishy comfy sunbeds!  Whoever thought of them is a genius!!!

Image Source

Our second hotel, La Flora, is in Khao Lak which is a bit further up the coast and closer to the Similan Islands.  It looks amazing and I can't wait to relax and explore the local national park and either go diving or snorkelling at the famous islands.  La Flora has an infinity pool as well as another pool with a swim up bar and lots of little nooks to hide in if you want to pretend you have your own wee pool ;)  (We couldn't afford the amazing looking villa with private plunge pools/jacuzzis!)  Our week here is more expensive but we decided to splash out for a bit more luxury since we're going all that way and it's still amazing value for what it is!  A 4+ star hotel with a spa, free wifi - so plenty of pics to make you all jealous ;) - and lovely looking food not to mention multiple happy hours!  ;)








Can.  Not.  Wait.
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