Thursday, 19 April 2012

New Shoes!

I love the stage when you buy the baby their first pair of shoes! Noah got his first pair at the weekend and I love them! He is a 4.5 G, which seems enormous to me for a 9 month old. We got them from Clarks as we did with Isla when she got her first pair. The only difference being that for her they did this really sweet thing of taking a polaroid of her in her new shoes and putting it in a little card frame to mark the occasion. They didn't seem to do it this time round which is a shame but I took this picture as soon as we left the shop and they look so cute on his feet!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Kenco Millicano - Review

Since Noah came on the scene my coffee intake has increased about 100%. He doesn't sleep through the night and he wakes up really early. I have to admit that I don't start my day with coffee I always have to have a cup of tea first thing to try and put a smile on my face but by mid morning I'm usually on the coffee to perk me up a bit. When Noah first arrived I was sent some Kenco Instant coffee with no obligation to write a review, it was just an act of kindness on the PR's part (thank you for understanding the tiredness us mums feel!) and I did appreciate it and actually ever since I've been a Kenco convert. We always buy it now.
Kenco Millicano is Kenco’s first ‘Wholebean Instant coffee’, a clever combination of instant coffee and finely-milled beans that is quite simply the closest thing to ‘proper’ coffee in an instant. It offers the convenience of instant with the quality and taste reminiscent of roast and ground coffee.

Recently Kenco have brought out the Kenco Millicano stick packs; individual handbag sized packs so coffee lovers can enjoy delicious Kenco Millicano wherever and whenever they want.
Small in size and individually wrapped, they are the perfect addition to any coffee lover’s handbag – just pop one in your handbag to enjoy your favourite Kenco Millicano coffee on the go; perfect for all the busy women out there who need a quick boost!
I tried the Kenco Millicano at home first as to be honest I didn't really have any opportunities to use it out of the home, as my regular haunts with Noah have delicious coffee anyway. Then on my return to work last week I did take it as I'm not a fan of the coffee brand we have there and we also have a filter coffee machine that makes pretty bad tasting coffee (we actually call it MUD in the office).  All I need to say is that it's really good cup of instant coffee! It tastes like proper ground coffee. I can see that this would be a good thing to carry around say if you travelled a lot. My only complaint is that in my bag full of random adult, toddler and baby items is that the box gets a bit crushed! I'm not sure of the solution to this, a small tin would keep the individual packets clean, dry and impossible to tear but then this isn't really environmentally friendly, perhaps a plastic packet with a resealable zip? Anyhow, this is a small detail and in no way detracts from the product.
Kenco Millicano is £3.99 for the 100g tin and £2.99 for the 85g refill pack. Kenco Millicano stick packs available from February 2012 with an RRP of £1.99 per box of ten. For more information on Kenco Millicano visit www.facebook.com/kencomillicano.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Warburtons Breakfast Products - Review


Warburtons have recently brought out some new breakfast products and a couple of Saturdays ago a big box arrived with the postman just in time for breakfast (he actually wanted to stay when I told him what was inside!).

We got to try Butter Brioche Rolls, Raisin Brioche Swirls, Chocolate Chip Loaf and Warburtons new White Plus Milk and Calcium Bread.
Starting with the patisserie style products, these were absolutely delicious. The brioche products come wrapped singly in cellophane, so no need to worry about opening the packaging for one brioche and the rest going a bit stale or also really handy for taking them out for a breakfast on the go. My personal favourite was the raisin brioche swirls, they were divine. They are filled with creme patisserie and are only 145 calories. They're quite small though, so two needed for my appetite!!

Isla liked the Chocolate Chip Loaf. We toasted it and put a bit of butter on and it was lovely. It really tastes nice and goes well with a cuppa. 

Little snack in the middle of crafting!
The butter Brioche rolls are just how you would expect them to be, they can be livened up with a bit of Choccy Philly I found!

Finally we tried the White Plus Milk and Calcium Bread. Apparently 2 slices of this bread a day gives you 50% of your RDA of calcium and it seems that according to recent research 60% of adults don't understand the importance of calcium in aiding bone development in the early years. The British obsession with dieting could be detrimental to the health of our children as people are misguided into banishing certain foods from their diets. White bread has been seen as a bit of a demon in recent times, but in fact it is a good source of calcium and by cutting it out of our diets we could be missing out on some vital nutrients.

Try the Warburtons ‘Calcium Calculator- Eat Well, Live Strong’ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/warburtons to see if you're eating enough calcium rich food per day.

All in all we loved these new products from Warburtons, they made a nice change from our staple breakfast of porridge and they obviously don't have to be confined to breakfast time, they're good for snacking on too.

We were sent a box of Warburtons Breakfast products to try free of charge. All opinions are my own.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Life Gets Complicated

Tomorrow I go back to work.

My days are going to be very different to how they have been the last 9 months, they are going to get very complicated. Right now they are like this:

Get up anytime between 5.30 and 6.30. Stick Cbeebies on the TV. Milk for kids, tea for me. Administer liquid refreshments, appear to enjoy Postman Pat. Make breakfast, requests taken for chocolate but dismissed and the usual porridge given. Clear up breakfast. Noah likes to chuck it around a fair bit. Take Noah up for a nap, dash in the shower after asking Isla to be a good girl and just SIT and watch TV for a bit. During the shower get called to come with tissue to wipe her bottom, she's done a poo "OK darling, well can you just stay put till I get downstairs, I'm washing my hair". Hurriedly finish shower, rush downstairs to make sure she's not decorated the furniture in poo, she has stayed put, she is great at listening to me I decide.

Usually we're out in the morning, to friends, or playgroup or one of our mums is over. Lunch starts around 11.30, followed by another nap (unfortunately only Noah!). Watch a film as a bit of quiet time for Isla. OH comes home from work and then we generally spend the whole afternoon together as a family, dinner at 5ish followed by bath and bedtime routine.

It's also possible to do some chores (well not many, but some). Life like this is fun but it is also very tiring so now I anticipate feeling even tireder when I throw work into the mix. Especially with a night feed thrown in and the occasional visit to Isla's bedroom for some reason or other.

My week will now look like this:

Monday
ME: work in London from 8.45am to 3.15pm. My commute is 1 hour 15 mins.
Children looked after by my mum at our house until OH gets home from work around 2pm and I'll get home around 4.45pm

Tuesday
As above but MIL doing the childcare
We then have to get Isla over to my parents (30 mins drive) to stay the night so she can be looked after by my mum who will also be looking after my niece
Wednesday
ME: work from home 8.30am - 12.30pm
I take Noah to nursery before work
Isla is with my mum
We then have to fetch Isla or she gets returned and then we take Noah to stay the night at MIL's

Thursday 
ME: work 9.30-5.30 at the office
Isla at nursery full day
Noah is with MIL

Friday
As above except I have to get both of them to nursery before work.

It's worth saying at this point that I'm on my own in the mornings, the OH leaves for work at 5.30am. So my main panic is how the f*ck am I going to get ready in the mornings - especially on Friday's when I have to get all 3 of us ready and at the nursery for 8am and then me on a train by 0809!? I'd laugh if it wasn't happening to me. At this moment I'm typing this and feeling a big knot building itself up in my chest and my head hurts.

So tomorrow I'll have some idea on how this all works and I'll see if I've got what it takes to be a mum of 2 and work 30 hours a week - laughable that this is called part time really - course it bloody isn't!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

National Trust is THE Best Place For Family Fun

I recently posted about the Cadbury Easter Egg Trails at National Trust. They're in full swing already and we went on one at the weekend. We went to Nymans House and Gardens and it's our brilliant day there that has made me want to share with you how a day out at a National Trust property is bloody brilliant for families. We have a family membership and it's been such good value. We always take a picnic (sometimes planned with all the trimmings, and other times just stuff cobbled together from the fridge and cupboard), we always try to remember a ball and for me I always have to have some method of capturing the day be it my iPhone or camera.

We went to Nymans on Sunday and we had fantastic weather, a lovely picnic, a good stroll around the grounds (thanks to being on the Egg trail!) and on the way home a super sleep out of the baby! Here are a few of our snaps:



There are so many properties up and down the country. I tend to use the National Trust app on my iPhone to see how close we are to places. When we go on our long weekend to Yorkshire in July I think we will also stop by an NT place as a rest stop, which will mean we'll get to see places that are beyond our own area too!

This is not a sponsored post, it's just me saying what a great organisation The National Trust is and what a great investment an annual membership is.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Vertbaudet - A Review

Given my daughter's recently developed fashion sense I was a a bit worried about choosing a dress to review for Vertbaudet. I worried that she wouldn't like it and then it would be a flat refusal to wear it, and then I wouldn't have a nice photo to accompany a review. I needn't have worried as she put this dress on and just started twirling and twirling round! She loves it.....


This dress is also very clever as it's CONVERTIBLE! Eh? Well I did wonder that myself when I ordered it but the design of the dress is such that it has coloured buttons around the middle of it and button holes around the bottom. So you basically button up the dress from bottom to middle and it converts to a blouse! It retails at £23 but at the moment has 20% off, making it £18.40. I can't wait for Isla to wear it in the summer!

All I need to say is that it's well made, has a fantastic design and my daughter rocks it!

Check out Vertbaudet for their gorgeous children's clothing, there are always some good deals on like today for instance they have a deal for 40% off your first item and then 20% off the remainder of your order! For me personally I'm eyeing up some of the home collection for Isla's bedroom.

We were sent this dress free of charge in order to review Vertbaudet. Isla's opinion is her own!

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked!


Alvin & The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (out on DVD & Blu-ray this week!), and to celebrate the release a fantastic sand artist created a bespoke drawing on Blackpool beach. The sand art drawing is of Alvin and is around 165 feet and has been drawn in a way that can be seen from the beach as opposed to having to go in a helicopter to see it!
The event involved children from a local school who went for a sand master class to help create this unique drawing. It was an exciting event for children and to create a fantastic art spectacle on the beach – something a little bit different!


And for anyone who hasn't seen it yet, Isla loved this film - it was the first film she ever saw at the cinema and she talks about it a lot now - caught her telling Grandpa yesterday about going to the cinema and seeing Alvin and singing the 'Bodyrockers' song and that we had sweeties! Love her xxx

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The Gallery - At Peace

National Trust Nymans Gardens - my new favourite place!

The subject from Tara at Sticky Fingers this week is 'At Peace' and this is my interpretation of that. My idea of peace would be in the outdoors where you can't hear the roar of cars and impatient car horns. Well away from my house where we have a regular daily struggle to park our car anywhere near our front door with two kids to get out of it, where every day it feels like there are lorries constantly pulling up to the printers over the road. Where there is no litter on the ground and no dog mess. This would be a place where my brain could shut down as it hasn't done for a good few months. It's always whirring and wondering 'what if this?' and 'what if that?'. I would love to turn up to a place like this on my own and lay down on the grass in the sunshine and just 'be'.

Click the badge below to find others 'At Peace'.....

This time next week...

This time next week I'll have done a days work after 9 months maternity leave.

This time next week I'll have not spent the entire day with my kids.

This time next week I'll be feeling guilty about going to work the next day and not spending the day with my kids.

This time next week I'll be rushing around getting everything organised for the morning.

This time next week I'll be feeling cream crackered from a regularly night waking baby, an early rising baby, a commute, a days work, another commute, cooking dinner, tidying up, bath time, bed time.

This time next week I'll be looking forward to getting into bed, only to repeat it all again the next day.

I don't need to say anymore about how I feel about this do I?

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Lollibop 2012 - Super Early Bird Tickets on Sale NOW!


LolliBop 2012 tickets went on sale Thursday, 22nd March for a super early bird price of £19.50pp. There are a limited number of tickets available at this special price for the family event, which is returning to Regent’s Park, August 17-19.

LolliBop are delighted to announce Halfords as an official partner for the 2012 event. Halfords will create a bespoke Bike City at LolliBop, which will include a Wacky Races obstacle course for under 5s, where children can be the first to try out a brand new range of Balance and Apollo kids Bikes. LolliBopper's will be the first in the country to ride the new bikes, which are available to buy exclusively at Halfords from September. For big brothers and sisters highlights include a BMX stunt display and demo area.
Pint sized guests (and grown ups) will notice a few more additions to the 2012 event. The ‘LolliBop Kitchen‘ will bring an exciting new area to the event, where LolliBoppers will have the chance to learn new skills from live demonstrations and interactive workshops. A new ’Tween‘ area will play host a number of activities including street dance, hula hoop, and beatbox workshops, and even it’s very own laser room! Other new areas include ‘The LolliBop Human Zoo’,‘The Disco Shed‘, and the ‘The Village Green‘(with its own live music, craft stalls, and street theatre).

Back by popular demand, the Science Museum are preparing for a triumphant return to Regent’s Park with an expanded area and dedicated Science Zone. For pre-schoolers, the ‘3 ft & Under’ area is back. Confirmed activities include a mini disco, tiny play, little arts, yoga, teddy bears picnic and baby salsa. An extended covered buggy park is also being created.

Old favourites, including ‘LolliSports‘, ‘Imagination Stations‘, ‘Itsy Bitsy Strictly‘ and ‘The Enchanted Forestwill all return for 2012. And of course no festival would be complete with a live stage. ‘LolliBop Live’ will play host to some of the hottest names in kids entertainment, with some surprises for adults to. Headliners to be announced soon.

LolliBop Super Early Bird day tickets are on sale now priced £19.50pp (numbers are limited). http://www.lollibopfestival.co.uk

Silent Sunday