My Pregnancy Blog: The Uphill

pregnancy blog

Okay, I’m holding my hands up and admitting defeat on this one: my pregnancy blog, The Uphill, is still not completely finished. But I feel as though I’ll have given birth by the time I’ve twaddled about with it to the point where I’m completely happy, so here I am throwing the doors open wide and inviting you all to have a read. If you’re at all interested, that is. If you can’t think of anything worse than reading about sore ribs, belly buttons and birthing fears then stay right here!

For the rest of you: welcome. The content that’s up there at the moment is mostly diary stuff from the past few weeks, but I will be writing much more about the whole “trying to conceive” business, because I know that it’s an issue for so many people and I feel that it’s very important to address it. I’m working up to the heavy stuff, I’m afraid, because it’s actually very hard putting your heart out there on a plate! I had a few very long cries when I read some of your comments on my pregnancy announcement post: God, it can be a lonely world out there, can’t it? It’s amazing what we feel we can and can’t talk about, even with our close family and friends. Trying – and struggling – to conceive, suffering pregnancy losses, dealing with fertility issues; all shrouded in such a sense of desperation and helplessness and a feeling that you’re failing some kind of fundamental life test. I hope that there can be some interesting (and kind, and supportive) discussion over on The Uphill. I’ll try and check in as often as I can, though I’m not slowing down on anything here on A Model Recommends so please be patient if it takes me a while to join in!

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Where I’d Go On Holiday, Right Now.

aenaon villas santorini

If I didn’t have a house renovation happening (aka “the money pit”) and a baby about to emerge, then I would one hundred percent be going on holiday right this very minute. You know when you get to the end of your tether and the only thing you want to do is run away and hide on a beach for a week? That is happening, to me, right now. But the house thing: it’s a pain. Also, at thirty-eight weeks pregnant I don’t think I’m even allowed on a plane. Am I? Surely not – I’d need an extra seat!

Anyway, as I was saying: were I not pregnant, with a half-demolished house, living in a criminally overpriced short-term holiday let with a mountain of work to get done, I would definitely be escaping. Fantasy holidays coming right up – feel free to book them and then smugly report back to me with all of the juicy details. I promise I won’t hate you. Much.

holiday review santorini

1) Aenaon Villas, Santorini. Current weather conditions: approx 26C. The perfect compromise between hotel-staying and villa-renting. There are just a few villas (totally luxurious) set over various levels and terraces so that each one is very private. There’s a beautiful infinity pool, the views are stupendous and the breakfasts, brought to your outside (or inside) dining table, are what can only be described as epic. There’s no bar or restaurant here, but if you want a cocktail, a glass of wine or a tasty light lunch then all are provided on a kind of casual, “pretend you’re staying with relatives” basis. There are also self-catering facilities.

aenaon villas santorini

Take a look here for more details – the villa at the very top of the resort is incredible, with its own private plunge-pool. Santorini is so easy to get to – you can fly direct and then just grab a taxi at the airport. Mr AMR and I always said we’d go back for a long weekend, but I can’t see that happening for a while!

tuscany hotel review

2) Poggio Piglia, Siena, Italy. Current weather? 25C, ish. For the quick weekend away somewhere sunny and easy, a jet across to Tuscany is ideal. You can find cheap flights to Pisa and it’s not too much of a drive from there to the beautiful Poggio Piglia hotel, an imposing stone fortress surrounded by beautiful vineyards. There’s a pool to lie beside, an excellent restaurant to eat in and the famous Montepulciano to visit when you’re sick of doing nothing. (Never.) I reviewed this hotel as a secret spy – you can read my review and find booking details here. Rooms start at about £150 per night.

perfect stays polzeath rainer rocks

3) Polzeath, Cornwall. Current weather? Who ever knows?! When you stay in good old GB, you have to take the rough with the smooth when it comes to climate. But if you’re right on the beach in somewhere as beautiful as Cornwall then it almost doesn’t matter whether you’re doing cliff-top walks in the drizzle or lying prone on the hot sand. A true British Holiday is one that requires all of your outerwear and footwear to be crammed into the boot so that any eventuality is covered and being able to cram your car full and just set off is one of the true joys of the “staycation”. Luxury house rental company PerfectStays have a new property on Polzeath beach; Rainer Rocks sleeps 8, is dog friendly and has a great outdoor terrace as well as being just minutes from the sea. Find out more, pore over the gallery photos and see availability here. If there were eight of you, this would be an incredibly good value (yet luxurious!) holiday.

al maha desert resort

4) I was undecided as to whether I should recommend this fourth place because I have a feeling that it would be far too hot for most people. And, unless you are an actual royal, it’s probably too expensive. But I think that it’s possibly one of the best places I’ve ever been and so as far as fantasy hols go, it’s in. The Al Maha Desert Resort with its individual tented villas (each has its own infinity pool) is set within the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. You feel as though you’re as far from everything as you can possibly be. Food is exemplary, service is seamless and discreet – it’s the kind of place you’d go if you were a celebrity and had just undergone some weird, dramatic facial transformation. The only things that would see you would be the camels humpling past on the horizon. Villas here start at around five million pounds a night, but if you can afford it, or you’re planning a honeymoon and asking people to chip in, then try and do a couple of nights here. I stayed when I was doing a fashion shoot with a magazine about ten or more years ago and I still remember every little detail. Take a look at the website here.

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Spring Wardrobe Staples: The Transitional Almost-Jacket

Coats again! This time some that are a little lighter than the classic leather jacket that I posted earlier in the week; flippy little things that you can throw on almost as you would a cardigan or a plaid shirt. Perfect for the end of spring when the weather can be a bit changeable and useful right the way through summer, when chilly evenings require a cover-up or the odd “off” day can still catch you out, if you don’t have something to throw on. Incidentally, all of the below have been tried-and-tested with a humungous pregnancy bump – I can’t do them up, obviously, but they look very nice undone and will look (quite frankly!) excellent once I’m back in the realms of my default body shape.

next army shirt jacket

The Kate Moss Transitional Festival Jacket

This has absolutely nothing to do with Kate Moss – it’s not part of her collection for Topshop and she has never modelled it, either – but it just reminds me of the kind of thing she used to throw on with her denim shorts when she was in her “festival going” era. It’s actually more of a shirt than a jacket – completely unlined, one layer of soft fabric – but it has the kind of jackety features you want when looking for an extra layer. I love the military detailing and the supersoft feel. You can find it at here.

graham and spencer

The Chunky Cardigan Coat 

This is a bit special – half “moto” jacket, half chunky cardigan, it adds a really cool edge to a casual outfit. If you wanted to do that whole skinny-black-jeans-with-motorbike-boots thing, but it was too warm for a full-on leather jacket then this is slightly more wearable.

graham spencer

It also looks really good with pretty skirts and little vest tops – not that I am managing to squeeze myself into anything so dainty, at the moment, but I have been doing some fantasy styling, hanging things up against the wall! I can’t wait to wear this little jacket – zipped up to the top, the collar forms a kind of funnel-neck, which is a bit funky, so there are a few different ways to wear it… It’s called the “Jobeth” sweater and it’s by the gorgeous Velvet by Graham and Spencer. Find it at and Bliss Boutiques.

crop knit jacket hush

The Chanel-Esque Daytime Knitted Jacket

A gorgeous little knitted jacket with definite Chanel vibes, this looks excellent with a pair of blue jeans and some little ballet pumps. It’s unstructured and soft so you don’t have to worry about creases or ruining the line of the shoulders if you want to take it off and carry it in your bag, but it looks really smart and peps up the most basic of outfits. (Classic white tee-shirt under this is gorgeous.) You can find the Crop Knit Jacket at Hush – it’s £80. **UPDATE: since writing this post the Hush jacket has sold out! They do still have the multi-colour cardi, which is the same kind of shape, but it’s not quite as jackety. Sorry. I should have got this post out faster..

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Aromatherapy Associates: Sickbed Stuff

aromatherapy associates

Ugh. I feel absolutely shocking. I have dragged myself out of bed to do a bit of essential admin, but my head feels as though there’s a cannon ball rolling about inside it and I’m sitting slumped over as though I’m suffering the world’s most epic hangover. If you don’t hear from me for a day or two, then I’m holed up in my nest of duvets drinking lemon and honey and having weird, delirious dreams! At least I’m getting plenty of sleep for my Sleep Plus Challenge (see my Instagram feed) which lasts for the rest of the week – I’m spritzing away with my pillow spray and the whole bedroom smells lavendery and lush!

Other stuff getting me through the day: the Breathe Essence from Aromatherapy Associates (sprinkle a few drops onto a tissue and inhale deeply, or burn in one of those room fragrance oil burners for a more all-encompassing effect) and the De-Stress massage oil from the same, wonderful brand. I know that “De-Stress” might not be the most appropriate blend for illness, but who cares? Whatever floats your boat is what I say. I’ll be quite honest; I only managed to massage my shins before I had to collapse back under the bedsheets, but hey ho, it’s the thought that counts, and the scent of my shins was out of this world. (There’s a phrase I never thought I’d write.) The massage oil is pricey but the formulation is absolutely gorgeous; much better value, overall, than spending thirty or forty quid on a body cream that’s just had a load of perfume added to it. (Although I do have an enormous soft spot for Mugler’s Angel body cream!) The Breathe Essence is £17 but lasts for ages when you’re only using mere drops at a time – less “medicinal” than good old Olbas Oil, but it’s more of a mind-and-body treatment than a nasal passage un-stuffer. Comforting and uplifting, showing you the light at the end of the sickbed tunnel… Continue reading