Monday, 22 April 2013

Weekend Wish List!!

I thought I would start a new weekly post to share some of the things that are on my "Mummy Wish List'. Some of these things are just too expensive for my budget but oh-so-gorgeous, some are things that I will buy when I get around to it and some are things that I will be asking for when birthdays or Christmas comes around!!

I would just like to point out that I have not been paid or reimbursed in any way for my opinions on this post, however I have contacted some of the businesses to ensure that they are happy for me to feature their items.

So this week we have:

1. SugarJack Changing Bag

Even though I read many baby magazines and parenting blogs, I have to admit I had never heard of these bags until they kindly commented on one of my posts a while ago.  I LOVE these bags and one day hope to be he proud owner of one, although it is very doubtful on my budget!!

This is my absolute favourite of their range; the limited edition "Poppy" £349.00 but I must say-they are all beautiful!

These beautiful bags have a separate bag inside for your nappies, wipes etc that you can just whip out of the bag in a second to leave you with a glam bag for your date night/meeting/evening out with friends, and as I was told; "We aim to bring glam to the pram", and they definitely do!!
They also appear to be quite popular with the rich and famous!

2. Fresh Squeezed Squeeze Station

Fresh Squeezed Squeeze Station

I found this on the BabiesRUs website, and this is something I wish I had for when we started weaning H.  It is a station that purees food and expresses it into pouches ready to eat or store.  I think it is a genius idea and at only £24.99 for the starter kit, something that we will definitely consider an essential next time around with all of those baby gift vouchers you receive when expecting!!

3. Mam Dipper Set

Mam Dipper Set - Green

Found these on the BabiesRUs website too.  We have been a bit lazy on the self-feeding front lately and usually end up spoon-feeding H ourselves for speed and because it usually means less cleaning up!!  He seems to prefer finger-foods at the moment anyway, so I think these are the perfect way to ease him into self-feeding, and at only £5.29, they are on my shopping list for this weekend!!

4. Breathable Baby Crib Mesh Liner

I love the fun designs on these and when H was tiny, he was such a wriggler, trapping his arms or legs in between the slats of the crib and I was always looking for something like this.  These are for sale on Amazon at the moment for £27.30 which is pretty good value considering it goes all of the way around.  It would really brighten up H's nursery and keep his little arms and legs safe!!

5. Orbit Baby G2 Newborn Set

Buy Orbit Baby G2 Newborn Pushchair Set Online at

This is what I consider to be the ultimate pushchair!  It is so stylish and looks so comfy in all of those pap shots of the celebrities' babies!!  The biggest downfall is the price; at £940 PLUS accessories, it doesn't even come close to our budget!! My absolute favourite part of this is that you can swivel it around to rear-ward facing in the blink of an eye when baby is napping.  However at that price, I am sticking to my up-cycled Quinny for now!!

Well there you have it!  Some beautiful and practical items that I am lusting after this week.  I would love to know if any of you have any of these products and what you think of them.

Have a fab weekend!!

Onwards and upwards!

I have been absent from the blogging world over the couple of weeks because my little man has been poorly- hardly eating and being fairly grumpy (not surprising with a sky-high temperature). I initially thought he was teething but it was hand, foot and mouth disease!! He caught it from my great-niece who caught it from an 'unclean' soft play area. One thing H being poorly has done is bring home to me that no matter how old he gets, every time I see him poorly or in pain it will tie my tummy up in knots and make me want to cry!

One thing that I am so grateful for this week is how good-natured H is, poorly or not. We enjoyed a wonderful family day at the park a couple of Saturdays ago, making the most of the gorgeous weather we had and whilst we were there, H had his first feel of grass (he was too tiny last summer) and loved running his hands through it. On the Sunday, we drove to beautiful Arundel for my best friend's baby shower and then took a detour on the way home to visit family in Chichester. Even though he was clearly feeling out of sorts, he charmed everyone at the baby shower and definitely enjoyed flirting outrageously with all of the cooing women!  Here is a picture of my gift offering for the baby shower:

On a trip into town in the week, he even had the whole bus waving 'bye bye' on our way home!! These little things certainly make the lack of sleep easier to deal with and make me realise how lucky I am to have such a cheery little chap!!

This weekend we managed to enjoy some sunshine in the park again now H is back on top form and picked up a few bargains at a local NCT nearly new sale! We bought H some new trousers and shorts and he actually managed to wear a pair in the park yesterday!!

I have also signed up for a 10 week exercise programme in the hopes that it will kick-start a bit of weight loss and get me back into a healthier way if life. I will keep you posted on how that all turns out!!

Apart from all of that, I have been keeping myself busy creating some new products for my business and finding places to sell them. I have found one local place and took my wares there on Sunday.  It went really well and I gave out many business cards so I hope to go again and have been invited to sell at a craft fair coming up soon off of the back of it so I am hopeful that this means things are talking off!! I will certainly keep you posted.

Time to do some online
food shopping now because we didn't get around to it this weekend with all the fun we had!! ;)

Thursday, 4 April 2013

What beauty regime?!

So another day goes by with my only beauty regime being a 3 minute shower (in which I manage to brush my teeth and wash my face but not my hair), a quick scrape through my hair with a brush and then up it goes into a ponytail, and getting dressed into leggings, a vest top and a long cardigan! Being at home means that I tend to choose clothes like these because they are comfy and don't get in the way or cut into my new-found "curves" when I am cleaning, playing cars with H, or sitting down to write!

With hair as naturally curly and fine as mine, I can't wash it every day anyway because it would end up in a not so fetching fuzzy halo around my head! I tend to wash it about three times a week and then blowdry it straight so it is easier to manage. I did manage to have it cut for the first time in a year for my birthday in March and I always have high hopes of maintaining the cut with regular trims, but in all reality, that never happens!!

I would love to be one of those effortlessly cool and sophisticated mums who actually look half-decent after a "beauty regime" like mine but I am definitely a high-maintenance kind of girl. If I don't exfoliate my whole body, moisturise, fake tan, put a full face of make up on and blowdry my hair to within an inch of it's life, I end up looking like an extra on A's Friday night favourite; "The Walking Dead". Add that to a desperate need for at least two pairs of Spanx (or actually a cheap version of Spanx) whenever I try to get into any kind of decent-looking ensemble, and you get the picture.

Don't get me wrong-I do not want to be a "Skinny-Minnie". I had enough of that in high school and being a size 6 with huge 'assets' (family trait) always attracts the wrong kind of attention in my experience, but going from a size 6/8 in your teens to a size 14/16 in your late twenties feels like a step too far. My body shape suits a size 10/12 much better, so I am hoping I can get back to that within the next six months to a year. I want to feel good about turning the big 30 and I won't if I still have my post-baby belly and wobbly bum!

Having said that, I am actually rubbish at exercise and diet plans, so any advice offered would be gratefully received! I will blog on my progress and if I find any good recipes, I will add them here so you can all try them out.

One thing I do know though, is that whilst having a baby has done nothing for my physical side, it has worked wonders for my mental side. I am much stronger and more able to stand up for myself and my family now and I am lots more confident in my choices I make. This, I am sure, comes from knowing that every decision I make now has the best interests of my family taken into account so it makes it easier to be sure of them.

With that being said, I should probably remind myself that being healthy and happier with my appearance is going to be the best for my family in the long run and just stick to it, but only after I finish that pack of biscuits in the cupboard of course...

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

End of the "Firsts"

It has just dawned on me that this Easter was the last of the "firsts" that I will share with H before his first birthday.  We had a lovely, busy time over the Bank Holiday weekend, and even managed a whole day of relaxing on Easter Sunday-no mean feat in our world!  I don't know if this makes me happy or sad to be honest though-I am sad that everything will be something we have done before now, but also excited for his birthday and to make every event even more special now that we have made all our 'mistakes' and know what we would like it to be like.

I know with absolute certainty for example, that I will never again venture on to the Tube with my buggy and a heavily pregnant friend!  Saturday was an absolute nightmare of trying to negotiate non-puschair/wheelchair-friendly tube stations, to a point where after an hour of being stuck underground me, my desperate-looking friend and a sleeping H decided to just go back to St. Pancras International and have another coffee there!!

Another realisation this weekend has been how much I would like my HarryCakes Creations gift business to work out.  We spent a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon in Hobbycraft on Monday (my turn to choose the afternoon's activities), where I spent a small fortune on supplies to get myself motivated to make up more stock.  It worked and I now have a beautiful new collection to add to my website and Facebook page.  I am now looking into how I promote it a bit more and get myself "out there", so I have been checking out some craft and gift fairs to go to sell at and I was thinking of renting a stall at some of the nearly new sales in my area and advertising on the Facebook sites that will allow me to.  It struck me whilst making my creations how much I enjoyed it and that it didn't at all feel like work and that is exactly how I want to feel when trying to earn a crust!!

Here are a few of my new creations:

Making these have definitely got my creative juices flowing!  Best to put this new-found energy to good use and start planning H's First birthday party-the countdown has started!

Friday, 29 March 2013

Good Friday fun at Snetterton Park!

My Easter weekend started off in a somewhat traditional fashion of being stuck in traffic on the way to Norfolk. We were not as some of you might assume on our way for a romantic weekend or a camping holiday though, we were on our way to a....model shop!

If you know me, you know that this is probably one of the last places I would have wished to be spending my Good Friday, but I was playing the part of dutiful wife and mummy.

Two and a half hours after setting off on what I was told would be a forty-five minute journey (I had only been told that we were going to 'a model shop'), we arrived at the slightly underwhelming Snetterton Park. The reason we were there was because my husband had been given a glowing review of the place by a colleague and thought it would be a nice day out.  I am so glad that H likes to sleep in the car and slept most of the journey.

We walked through the almost empty car park to the warehouse-looking building, which from the outside looked tiny compared to what we had been told, and went straight to the Coffee Shop/Restaurant because H needed to be changed and fed before we ventured any further.  The changing facilities are extremely basic and could definitely do with updating and I had to 'go' with the cubicle door open because there was no designated cubicle for mum and baby, which is a huge bugbear of mine.  I feel that a lot of changing facilities are an afterthought and this abundantly clear with the little effort that is made with them.

Having changed H, he needed to be fed, so we made our way to the Restaurant and ordered a coffee each which was extremely strong and bitter but was pretty cheap at least and proceeded to feed H in his buggy because the one highchair they have was in use.

With H fed and changed, we set off into the chilly shop and were met with a huge array of toys and models.  I have to say that I was very impressed with the variety of children's toys because I had assumed it would be stocked with more adult 'toys'.  We were greeted by a large Thomas the Tank and huge pair of dinosaurs made entirely of Lego which H gazed at in awe and provided a good photo op, and the further we strolled, the more we realised that this place is a LOT bigger than it first seems.  They have an overhead railway with a working train and lots of different models put up to display what their goods are capable of, however a lot of them have broken or missing parts and are quite dusty on closer inspection.  This is not something that children will notice though and I witnessed many of them staring at awe at said displays.

As we wandered through, I did notice that there were very few members of staff around, and did consider that this was because it was a Bank Holiday.  Hubby then pointed out that this should have been one of their busiest times-especially considering the traffic jam on the way there!  On the subject of staff though, the ones we met were extremely sweet and helpful and seemed knowledgeable about the products they were selling, and the restaurant staff provided us with a jug of hot water to warm H's bottle before we left with a cheery smile, so quality really was better than quantity in this instance.

Another good point is that I feel that there really is something for most people to be interested in there-even me!  Be it puzzles, train sets, toys, RC cars, gardening products, nail varnish and hand cream or Yankee Candles.  I even found some craft 'bits' for my nappy cakes, which cheered me right up!

We had decided that we would choose a toy for H for his Easter present as he isn't allowed Dairy products and settled on a wooden tow truck made by "Wonderworld".  It is not a brand that we have come across before and it is lovely.  Having read the accompanying leaflet, I am pleased to see that this company help to replant two trees for every one used for these toys and seem to have a great knowledge of child development and how to spark the imagination of children of any age, and at a pretty good price too.

Having made our purchases and had a little play on the Formula One car made of Lego, we decided to let H burn off some steam in the toddler play area.  This area is well stocked with toys, and a pretty good size, however the toys are quite dirty and tired-looking which would probably be understandable anywhere other than a toy/model shop!!

On the whole, we had a lovely day at Snetterton Park as we are firm believers in a day out being what you make it, and we are very happy with the purchases we made there, but unfortunately it didn't quite live up to the claims on the website or in the leaflets, despite the fab array of merchandise.  It conveys an image of a venue that used to be great, but that has been forgotten and got a bit dusty along the way.  If I had older children however, I think that it would be the perfect place to take them to spend their Christmas or birthday money and allow them to let off some steam.

And H even slept most of the way home too!  Perfect end to a fun day!!!

Disclaimer:  I have not been asked or paid for this review-I just did it for fun!

Monday, 25 March 2013

Food for thought

My little man is refusing most of his food today and the slightly panicky feeling it gave me has made me realise that I am just a tad obsessive about him eating.

When I think about it though, I realise that I have felt this way pretty much since he was born. The whole way through my pregnancy, I planned on breastfeeding and despite the horror stories I had heard of cracked nipples and mastitis etc, I was looking forward to the close bond it would give me and my baby.

When H was born, instead of the skin to skin contact followed by breastfeeding that I had carefully written on my birth plan, he was whisked off, not breathing to the special care baby unit and eventually formula fed by nasal tube. Thankfully, when my milk finally came in a few days later, I got him latched on and off we went, happily for a few weeks until my milk supply started to wane and I was put on Domperidone to increase it.

The meds didn't work so well for me, so I decided to combination feed, bottle feeding and topping up with breastfeeds and solely breastfeeding at night. Despite my best efforts to solely breastfeed, my baby constantly screaming for more food was the deciding factor for my choice (a choice the not-so-friendly health visitor disagreed with, telling me I was feeding my baby 'evil powder'). The breastfeeding stopped when H started sleeping through at four months and left me feeling slightly bereft if I'm honest-I never realised how much I would love feeding my baby.

When H started projectile vomiting, pooing mucous and seeming to have awful tummy aches, I took him to the Dr (obviously not trusting the Health Visitor at this point having asked her what it might be and her telling me "babies throw up") and he was diagnosed as being Dairy Intolerant. This lead to me becoming way more obsessive about what I gave my son, quite rightly, and meant that I had to be extremely careful not to set off his symptoms.

So then came the weaning trials and tribulations which were much more fun than bottle feeding but not as satisfying for me as breastfeeding, and here we are! Still worrying about 'off' days with food and obsessing about what ingredients I put in his risottos, bolognese sauces,soups and the like. On the plus side, I am a way more adventurous cook, and we typically eat better as a result, not that my husband (or H today) will probably agree! That being said, H LOVED his not so adventurous jelly that he tried for the first time tonight-pic attached!!

I am looking for some more interesting dairy-free recipes that are as cheap as possible, so if you have any ideas-please let me know.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Super-Mum Sunday!!!

I'm sitting in bed writing this blog on my phone (the computer is too noisy for oh), contemplating a life that used to be.

Pre H, hubby and I used to call Sundays "Naked Sunday", for reasons best left to the imagination. We used to only get up to walk our two dogs in the afternoon and grab some sustenance before inevitably heading off to bed again.

Nowadays, I find myself up, very much dressed (to cover up the new wobbly bits I seem to have acquired), and entertaining a lively 10 month old usually before 7am.

Where I used to only just about manage a couple of miles walk, I spend my Sundays cooking, cleaning, entertaining, washing, ironing, making nappy cakes-you get the picture. Whilst carrying out all of these 'chores' today, I found myself pondering back to the 'good old days'. Then it hit me; I LOVE my "Super-Mum Sundays" (their new name, obviously)!! I love looking after my lo and hubby, I love playing with them in the park, I love cooking and baking and being creative with my nappy cakes, and I love going to bed on a Sunday night looking forward to next Sunday when we get to spend quality time together.

That is the important thing though...the quality time. We live such busy lives being "Super-Mums" that I often see the quality time go out of the window with families-including my own at times. Then I suddenly take a step back from whatever oh-so-important chore I am undertaking and remind myself that H will only be this young for a moment in time and I will look back on this time one day and not remember whether the ironing pile was huge, or the floors were dog hair-free, but that this was the day that we completely trashed his nursery by playing so much, and that this was the day he showed me that he can undress himself!!

The thing with being a "Super-Mum" is that, whilst it is very fashionable, it isn't particularly attainable. Not for me at least. I have always striven for perfection in everything I do, probably partly because i read too many magazines and that is what they promote and the only thing I can actually say I reached perfection with is making my son. (Aaaahhhh!). It is all very well secretly competing for the most unusual home-cooked lunches with the other parents in the baby group, nursery or school gates to give yourself a bit of motivation but not at the expense of quality time with your loved ones I say.