Life as a new Mum with my Rainbow baby.

 

I feel like I should have posted this a while ago now… but I guess motherhood has just taken over and I’ve just been enjoyed every moment with Gabriel… so here goes..

Well it feels like it took a lifetime to finally hold my baby is my arms and take him home.. but I feel like this was my journey and without this journey we would have never got this beautiful gift.. my baby Gabriel.

From going through the worst thing I have ever gone through and having the worst year of my life (after baby Sebastian being stillborn)… being so down and probably depressed (even though I try not to use that word) to 3 months later finding out I was pregnant again, being filled with worry and not being able to relax until this new baby had arrived.

Gabriel came 4 weeks early and I’m sure it was because our little angel Sebastian didn’t want me to worry any more so he gave him to us as soon as he was fully developed and ready for the big wide world at 36 weeks.

I can’t even begin to explain what it is like having a baby after a stillbirth… but all I can say is it is WONDERFUL! I know for sure this little baby is going to be so so spoilt by everyone around us… especially me and Ainslee, we already fuss over him so so much – Way more than we should and I think we appreciate him that little bit more than families who don’t have any complications. I guess it’s just the way the world goes round but we are so thankful to finally have him here.

I feel like motherhood has come really naturally to me and I am enjoying each and every moment, every milestone that he makes I also get a bit sad because he may have outgrown his tiny coat or he is going up to that next toy and no longer is he wanting to be clung to me 24/7 but each milestone amazes me but I just wish time would slow down. Its safe to say I have a super clingy baby, and I think if it was anyone else they would be wishing he wouldn’t be so clingy, or would settle on their own by now… but I think because we went through what we went through I love that he needs me for absolutely everything and I’m so lucky that I can spend all of my time with him ❤

We are currently breastfeeding and I am planning on doing this for as long as possible as I truly believe it is the best thing for my baby… I was a little shocked if I’m honest at how few people I have met that actually breastfeed… and I don’t mean if they have given breastfeeding a try and it hasn’t worked for them, I mean the people who choose from day 1 to formula feed. Is it because they’re embarrassed to feed in public or because they want to be able to share the feeding experience with friends and family? I want to also create some kind of awareness to how its okay to feed in public and not to be embarrassed because it is the most natural thing for you and your baby and also the best thing.

The classes we have tried so far are baby sensory and baby massage, we also love to get outdoors everyday and try as many new experiences as possible.. whether that be listening to music at home, having bath times together or trying a new class, I want Gabriel to try as many things as possible. We have him signed up for Rhythm Time to start at the end of February and we’ve been invited to try Tumble Tots once he’s 6 months old.

In terms of my weight loss postpartum I have lost almost 3 stone now since giving birth as I had put on a total of 5 stone through my 2 pregnancies… Walking every day, doing my core exercises each evening when Ainslee can hold him and eating a healthy balanced diet has worked really well for me so far… I have only recently started to up my exercise and go for a few runs each week so I’m hoping that by Summer time I will be back to my pre pregnancy weight… fingers crossed, from being super fit pre pregnancy to how I am has taken a lot of getting used to and I would really like to be much fitter as I want Gabriel to have someone to look up to and when he’s bigger we’ll be able to do lots of fitness type things as a family… so my goal this year is to try and make as much time for my fitness as possible and make it the next priority after Gabriel of course.

I hope this has given you an insight into how motherhood is going for me so far… Id love to hear your experiences or if anyone has any advice or just needs a fellow mum to chat to! I’ll be writing blog post each week from now and hope you enjoy following my journey!

 

 

Lots of love

 

Maria and Gabriel x

How LushTums isn’t just a ‘Pregnancy Yoga Class’

So during my first pregnancy with baby Sebastian I wanted to try out a yoga class. At the time though I was still taking part in all my normal high intensity classes at the gym so thought it might be a bit ‘boring’ or a bit to ‘slow’ for what I needed. How wrong I was… looking back I really wished I had taken some time out for my baby and do something a little more gentle and relaxing and also to be around mum’s-to-be.

Before we lost Sebastian I had been to a get together with LushTums in Alderley Edge with the amazing teacher Jai, it was at The Yard and we all chatted and talked about what we are going through, symptoms and what classes we want to try etc. I went along with my friend Sarah who was also pregnant at the time and we had a lovely evening. I really wanted to join these classes but not long after I started to feel quite unwell.. and that was when things took a turn for the worst.

Loosing your baby… no one can explain what it feels like or what it does to you and I can imagine that if I had become close with a few of the ladies at the class I would of found it really hard to keep in touch with them… or even tell the teacher why I hadn’t returned. When I received an email from Jai a few weeks after we had lost Sebastian and no one knew what had happened apart from close friends and family, all she said in the email was

‘Hi, Maria

How are you?’

And that gave me the chance to explain what had happened, she wasn’t emailing me to ask me to sign up to her classes or wonder what I thought about her event.. It was a genuine email and she just wanted to know if I was OK!

By doing this we kept in touch and went for a few coffee’s we cried and laughed and she was able to lead me in the right direction for support and who to chat to when I do get pregnant again. She really helped my mental wellbeing and made me realise IT DOES HAPPEN TO A LOT OF PEOPLE.. even though when it happens to you we think we are the only ones and it does feel like you are the only one!

NOW THAT I AM PREGNANT AGAIN

Now that I am 17 weeks pregnant I really want to start Pregnancy Yoga to try and help relieve my stress and anxieties.. and give me some time to try and bond with my new baby. I no that doing this is easier said that done… as going into a room full of pregnant ladies who are so excited about having their baby when you’re just taking one day at a time and not expecting any particular out come to protect yourself is going to be very hard and emotional. I can just picture myself at the back of the class having a break down and everyone staring at me *laughs*

I know now though that as long as I told the teacher whilst emailing her to sort out which class I can make and how much it is etc.. I can tell her what has happened to me and she will make the class aware so that they don’t have to explain myself to everyone when we are chatting.

Pregnancy classes should be a safe place to go for everyone.. lets face it a lot of women have some type of trouble in the process of creating a human… whether it be struggling to get pregnant, miscarriage, stillbirth or loosing a baby once they are born or even things like struggling with postnatal depression. It isn’t something to be ashamed of either. So if you are worried about taking part in a class just chat to your teacher before hand and I bet you will feel a lot better once they have reassured you that you will have a lovely time in their class.

Check out the LushTums website for everything you need to know and where all the classes are held lushtums.co.uk

 

 

Sebastian

I found out that I was pregnant last May and my due date was 24th January 2017. Finding out that I was pregnant was a mixture of emotions for me.. excitement, panic and scared… but as the time went on and myself and Ainslee went to lots of baby events, classes and found out that 2 of my really good friends were also due around the same time as me (Sarah-Kate and Sarah).. so this made everything really exciting for us and the fact we were just about to buy a house together made it feel like the perfect time for us.

After the 1st trimester of terrible morning, (day and night) sickness I was so glad to be in the 2nd trimester and was loving life completely. I felt so lucky to have an amazing boyfriend and feeling our little baby growing inside of me was THE most magical feeling. By this point we had been to two scans at Stepping Hill Hospital, one at 10 weeks (because me and Ainslee thought I was at 12 weeks already) and then another at 12 weeks. Both scans were so exciting for us, everything was growing perfectly and the midwife always said how good all the measurements were and that because we are both really active and healthy everything will be really straight forward with us.

I got to 20 weeks and I was feeling full of energy and went out for a few of my friends birthday parties (only out for food.. no alcohol of course)… I had exercised throughout the pregnancy so far but was now able to go a bit more regularly as I wasn’t feeling sick 24/7 anymore. We went along for our 20 week scan and we found out we were having a BOY!! As soon as we left the hospital we went shopping and bought the cutest outfits for him and everything seemed really real now.

The next 3 weeks I started to feel much more movement and I remember calling my friend Sarah-Kate and saying to her how excited I was about meeting our babies and how it doesn’t seem far away at all now!

I feel like since I said those words ‘IM SO EXCITED’ everything changed….

I started to feel really flu like and my glands were really swollen.. I just told myself I must be fighting a virus and need to rest and take it easy. Anyway a week had gone by and I hadn’t been to the gym for a few days so went for a workout… anyway that was probably the worst thing I could of done. That night I felt like I had caught the flu…. you know when your body aches and you just want to stay in bed… I decided to have a bath and thought it would help ease my aches and pains… after my bath I went for a wee and noticed some slimy stuff on my leg… it looked like snot and I was a bit confused… I thought it may just have come out after having a bath… I researched this because it had never happened before and it said things on google like ‘You may get a “show” when you are in your final weeks of pregnancy and to call your midwife’ and ‘This could be a sign that you are in early labour’ anyway I remembered that everyone says not to read into things when you try to diagnose yourself through Google so I put it to the back of my mind and hoped I would feel better in the morning. I was around 25 weeks pregnant now so though all the things that I had read of Google wouldn’t apply to me… anyway in the morning I woke up and all day I was needing to wee more and more frequently.. this happened for several days until the 7th October where I woke up and got out of bed… when I stood up a huge gush of what I thought was wee went everywhere… it was at this point that I thought I MUST have a urine infection because I was weeing so much and uncontrollably (I have never had this before).

After going to work that morning I came home and got straight in bed. My flu symptoms were worse than ever and I was still weeing A LOT. It was at that point my mum told me to go to the hospital and get checked over. My mum took me to the hospital where the doctors sent me to the delivery department to just get checked over (Ainlsee was out at work all day so at this point he just thought I was being dramatic and that the nurses would just send me home)…. I was telling the nurses that I think I have an infection so they said to me that they were going to check the babies heart beat and do a few tests just to make sure everything was all okay… I was thinking at worst I would need some antibiotics to get rid of whatever I had. The nurses were all so friendly and as they were trying to find my babies heart beat they kept the atmosphere really positive and not once did I think there was something wrong with my baby. The nurse told me that she couldn’t find the heart beat so she would get a proper scanner so that she could see that the baby was okay. She said sometimes the placenta gets in the way so not to worry. A special doctor then appeared with a big scanner so that we could see the baby. I remember being excited to see him and said to my mum “It’s nice that you get to see him on the screen” because up until then it was only Ainslee and myself who had been to the scans. The lady was really taking her time with the scan and I couldn’t tell if she had found the heart beat or not because the placenta makes a strange noise… (It sounds just like a heat beat to me.)

She hadn’t said anything for what felt like 5 minutes, so I said to her “Is he okay?” she turned around and said to me “He doesn’t have a heart beat” I remember looking at my mum and breaking down in tears. We both cried in each others arms and I just didn’t know what to do. I rang Ainslee straight away and all I could say to him was “There is no heart beat.. He’s dead!” Ainslee didn’t understand and Im sure he was seriously confused but he said he would come and see me straight away. We then had to go in for another scan to confirm his death… I felt numb and the only way I can explain the way I felt was like there was a dead baby inside of me. As soon as she said he wasn’t alive I could explain exactly how I was feeling…not flu like, feverish or unwell… but like my baby had died. I felt lifeless and like my world had ended.

Before we knew it, it was 6pm and myself and Ainslee were sat in the bereavement ward and I was been given a tablet to induce my labour. Not only was I heart broken about loosing my baby… I now had to process the fact that I was going to go into labour, which I didn’t think I would have to do for another 13 weeks and I had no idea what I had to do.

During the night I was in a lot of pain and by 9am the following morning I was in full on labour.

Sebastian Ainslee Shafto was born at 11:20am on the 8th October and seeing him for the first time was so hard for both of us. We were devastated and had no idea why this had happened to us.

The Merlin Alderley Edge

So we were invited along to try out The Merlin in Alderley Edge on Sunday and because Ainslee (my boyfriend) hates roast dinners I couldn’t wait to have one after missing my mums roast dinners from what felt like a life time ago.

The Merlin is on the main road coming into Alderley Edge from the Wilmslow side and has a large carpark so its great for meeting up with the family at the weekends or a great meeting point for weekday lunches or meetings.

On arrival we could see that it was very busy so we thought it must be good if nearly every table was taken up. We ordered our drinks and had a look at the menu… I already knew I wanted a chicken roast dinner so went for a light starter and chose the Chilli King Prawns… Ainslee went for the Rib-eye Steak and had the Scallops for his starter.

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~Starter~

The food was all beautifully presented and looked and tasted really fresh. The atmosphere was really cosy and we were sat right by the window so could look out onto the Alderley Edge countryside from our table. It was the perfect place for us to be spending our Sunday afternoon.

After devouring my roast dinner…. apart from Ainslee having to finish off my chicken (because the portions are so generous) I felt so full, but after looking at the desert menu we were both easily persuaded into ordering a desert. Ainslee ordered the Fruit Crumble because he loves a traditional desert and I went for the chocolate bomb… which I’m sure you have already seen on my social media channels… My desert was a chocolate bomb with caramel ice cream in the centre and popping candy around the outside… need I say anymore…

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~Desert~

I was also tempted by the selection of mini deserts that you can order.. so that you can try all of the deserts on the menu, but Ainslee was set on his crumble and I couldn’t of taken on all of that haha!

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~Sunday Outfit~

We will definitely be returning to The Merlin in Alderley Edge, whether its for meetings or for a Sunday lunch with the family. Because who doesn’t love a traditional english afternoon in a Cheshire Pub!

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~Coffees~

Check out The Merlin on social media

@TheMerlinAlderleyEdge

or

Visit their website

themerlin.co.uk

Intro

Okay, so I have wanted to do this blog post for sometime now and haven’t really known what to say…. Some of you may have known that I was recently pregnant and others may not… But yes I had a stillbirth.

A lot of my friends have been telling me to write my experience down on paper.. whether it’s just to help me process things, or to eventually tell my story to you all to raise awareness. So I started writing and ended up writing around 8 A4 pages and thought to myself I can’t put all of this into one post, so I have decided to dedicate part of my blog to ‘Stillbirth Awareness’ and tell you in small blog posts my story and how I am recovering from what I can only explain as the worst experience to happen to a woman and also try and give women advice and to create a community where you don’t need to be afraid to talk about it.

I’m not really very open about my personal life on social media but thought that because this is such a taboo subject and there doesn’t seem to be a lot out there to help people like myself, my aim is to open peoples eyes that this does happen, make people feel okay to talk about it and most of all to help other’s who have gone through the same experience and for women who are going through it… or women who it hasn’t even happened to yet.

Whether it’s yourself, a friend or a family member who has been through the tragedy of a still birth I would love for you to tell them about my new awareness program. Because no one should feel alone about this subject.

If you would like to talk to me personally about this subject please don’t hesitate to email me cheshiregossipgirl@gmail.com

I will be posting weekly posts sharing my story, talking about depression, body changes, trying again and how it’s really important to have family and friends around you.

Favourite products this month so far..

This month I have been so lucky in receiving some amazing products and of course I have tried and tested all of these products and have my absolute favourites of course. Along with all the amazing Kiehls products that I received.. I feel like I need a bit more time with those, so that I can get a real feel for which are my favourites and how Im getting on with them etc.

So lets start with OLAPLEX… I have been looking for a long time now, for that hair product that really makes me go ‘WOW’ I am growing my hair and even though my hair is very thick. I feel that because I get highlights a lot and it gets damaged through everyday styling and heating.. It was starting to feel really brittle and VERY tangled. Every time I washed my hair brushing it would be so painful… I would almost end up in tears because it was so knotted. So I was introduced to this product by Ben at HOB SALON in Hale Village and he gave me this product to try at home, along with going in for regular ‘OLAPLEX in-salon treatments’ and doing my weekly treatment at home, my hair is feeling so much healthier. It is now completely tangle free and I feel like my hair is so much stronger and also looks a lot healthier.

5* for this product

RRP £32 NOW £19.99 at JUSTMYLOOK or purchase from HOB SALON Hale

SILVER/PURPLE SHAMPOO

I have been on a mission to get my hair just how I like it this month and I felt that my hair was a very warm tone of blonde.. almost a little gingery… which I hated! So I was doing some research on how to get rid of those warm tones and try to get it a little more ashy… I also have a friend who has recommended using a silver shampoo, so whilst at the hairdressers I asked which one to go for and luckily for me System Professional were able to give me a bottle of their Silver Shampoo… Now I warn you all, this shampoo is PURPLE and I mean bright purple!!!! I was a little bit scared to use it for the first time.

HOW I APPLIED IT:

  • I jumped in the shower and wet my hair through.
  • I used a 50p size blob and massaged it into my hair (make sure you rub it in all the way to the ends of your hair.)
  • I left it on my hair whilst I showered, washed my face etc.
  • Then I rinsed it off, squeezed out excess water and applied a good conditioner.
  • Left that on whilst I shaved my legs and then I rinsed it off.

My hair instantly looked a lot cleaner, whiter and fresher. I highly recommend using the System Professional Silver shampoo. Not only does the product do exactly what it says on the bottle.. you also get a huge bottle and it is amazing value for money.

Systems Professionals You can purchase this product online or again at HOB SALONS

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Now finally this has to be my FAVOURITE product this month… it’s my new Olympus Pen e-pl7.. I was debating for a long time on which camera to go for and had heard some amazing reviews on this camera. I wanted this camera so that I could start vlogging and I think I made the right decision. From its stylish outer case to its flip down selfie screen, It has to be up there with some of the best cameras. And at only £399 It is definitely an investment for any other keen bloggers/vloggers. It has wifi so that you can quickly upload any photos and also a wide range of onscreen filters and editing tools. I think I have officially found my new best friend.

CHECK OUT MY NEW YOUTUBE CHANNEL Cheshire Gossip Girl

I purchased mine from Jessops for £399 and if you go onto the Olympus website they also have some amazing accessories to go with it. such as stylish bags and leather straps. I think they will have to be my next treat.

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The SpinFactory in Wilmslow and Spinningfields.

Hi everyone.. I thought I would give you all an update on my classes so far at the Spin Factory. I am always up for trying something new especially when it comes to exercise, I like to mix up my exercise regime and also try out a new class each month… whether its a new class at the gym or at a different location. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to try and push myself out of my comfort zone at least once a week so I thought that going to a brand new environment for me and trying classes I have never done before would be a great place to start.

I have been to the Wilmslow Prospin venue a few times now and I am growing to really love it. everyone seems so friendly and the classes are really tough but the teachers are amazing at guiding you through the class if you have never been before and also making sure that you go at your own pace.. giving you different option and trying out the different options on your bike so that its a great workout for YOU! I love the fact that its not just SPIN classes at the Spin Factory.. the yoga classes and circuit classes are also a great workout and it means you can stay and do a few classes so that you get an amazing total body workout.

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I was in Manchester last week visiting some of my clients and also having a few meetings, so because I knew I was going into Manchester and I knew I would be having a break between meetings I checked the app to see what classes were on that day. Luckily Hailey was running a few classes around lunch time so I was able to do a quick spin class, followed by a 30 minute power flow yoga class. It was brilliant because normally when I’m in Manchester and have a gap I would of gone shopping and spent too much money haha! You can get changed after the class in the changing rooms and this then mean’t that I didn’t have to go home after a long day and do a workout…. because I’d already done it 🙂

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Feeling fab after visiting the Spin Factory MCR

Before I forget to mention to you all… when I booked my classes at Spin Factory MCR on their app (which is all on the same app as the Wilmslow app) once I had booked in for the classes it then told me that the classes were now fully booked… and I made sure that I booked 2 days before the class. So if you’re planning to go I would definitely recommend making your booking as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

So far I am feeling much stronger since I started and also feeling much more energetic. I can’t wait to see my results after 1 months of being a Spin Factory member.

900 Degrees launches in Wilmslow

We were so excited to visit 900 degrees when they invited us to try out their menu and see what this place had to offer! We had already heard about 900 degrees as we knew it had been brought over from LA so when we met Alex one of the founders of the restaurant chain he WOW’d us with excitement of how big the brand is in America and now that it is coming over to the UK, Wilmslow is the first one to open up with plans for a Manchester location and many more…

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For starters who doesn’t love pizza? Then to be told that it is all healthy fresh produce and made form the lightest dough, so that you don’t feel ‘stuffed’ after your pizza…. no wonder it fits so well into the no carb LA lifestyle. Whilst we are all panicking about how many calories we eat each day and making sure we don’t gain a few pounds….. we love how we can visit 900 degrees and not feel guilty for having a pizza with as many toppings as we like!!

The reason for the restaurant being called 900 degrees is that your pizza is cooked at 900 degrees, so it only takes 90 seconds to cook… meaning you don’t have to wait for your food, its literally as quick as having a sandwich made!!!

We also love how you can choose as many toppings as you like and no that the price will always be £8.99. From a quick bite to eat on your lunch break to dining in the evenings with your family or friends, this place is definitely the coolest new hangout in Cheshire.

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£8.99 for all pizzas and choose as many toppings as you like.

They also have a large soda machine where you can pick any flavour you like.. we had the Fanta Raspberry and Sprite Vanilla…. with so many more flavours to choose from, along with the Oreo and Nutella shakes and their mouth drooling deserts.

With a wine and alcohol list that is only otherwise available in Mayfair London, the perfect date night location or to enjoy a catch up with your girls. We cant wait to go again.

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Check them out of social media @900degrees and find them at 46 Parsonage Green
Wilmslow.

xoxo

Going to the salon whilst pregnant..

You will probably no by now that I love having my hair done by one of my clients at Umberto Giannini in Harvey Nichols, Manchester. From just popping in for a braid to getting the whole works done…. So when I became pregnant I thought it was going to be tricky having my colour done like I used to as you hear so many stories about chemicals harming the baby and having awful skin reactions. So I thought what better way than to chat with the professional him self Ben (Manager of Umberto Giannini) and find out all the top tips about looking after your hair during and after your pregnancy.

Can I get my hair coloured whilst pregnant? 

Once you are out of the first trimester (12 weeks) you can get your hair coloured as normal. You MUST tell your hairdresser though as they need to take into consideration that because of your hormones the colour may not take as well as it normally would, meaning that the colour may need a little longer.

Could I go for a dramatic colour change whilst pregnant?

We advise all of our clients to stick with a similar colour to what they already have. As going a different shade could prove difficult in reaching your desired colour when your hair doesn’t take as well as it would normally.

Could having my hair coloured cause harm to the baby?

No, as long as you are out of the first trimester there can be no harm done to your growing baby. With new technologies in hair colorants it is always safe to use.

Why is my hair growing so much now I’m pregnant?

Because your hormones are racing around your body and also if you are taking a pregnancy vitamin along with a healthy pregnancy diet this can all contribute to faster growing hair.

Why does my hair get tangled so easily now I’m pregnant?

Knotted hair is a common symptom for mums-to-be as your body is concentrating on making sure your baby is developing nicely… So things like dry skin and tangled hair are only temporary until the baby arrives.

Once the baby does arrive do I need to do anything differently with my hair? (I have heard about peoples hair falling out)

I recommend to all my clients that they should take a basic hair and nail vitamin once their baby arrives, but make sure you go to your GP and make sure that this is the best thing for YOU and that the vitamin is safe to use if you are breast feeding.

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Ben and Ellie on shoot.

So having a relaxing time at the salon doesn’t need to be a thing of the past now that you’re pregnant.

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If you would like to make an appointment at Umberto Giannini for all appointments and consultations you can either download the Umberto Giannini app or call the salon on 0161 828 8840. Cut and finish start from only £37.

A little bit of lunch…

OK.. so we are officially obsessed with Australasia in Manchester.

They seem to do EVERYTHING from evening meals, high tea and even light lunches.

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After an afternoon of shopping last week we went along for a bite to eat (there was even so much choice for my pregnant self.) My favourite dish was the Vegetable Tempura – which is fried vegetables in the picture above, I could of had 2 of these dishes!!

We love how at Australasia you can either sit downstairs in their beautiful restaurant or you can relax upstairs in their Grand Pacific terrace, we can’t decide where we prefer to sit… But on this particularly raining day in Manchester we just wanted to be cosy inside.

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Red Fish Curry and Jasmine Rice + Pork Dumplings
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Stir fried mussels with chilli, sweet basil and peanuts

These are a selection of the dishes we shared… the fish curry was absolutely so delicious.

I couldn’t eat the mussels but wish I was allowed to eat them because they looked so good… My boyfriend was able to polish off the entire dish all to himself.

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Lychee and Ginger Panna Cotta + Pineapple Downunder cake with cherry and coconut

We love how fresh all the food is at Australasia, it all tastes so clean and healthy…. Even the deserts!!!!