We have spent most of the Christmas holidays at home, vegging out and stuffing our faces with more food than I knew was possible to eat. Yesterday I decided that enough was enough. We needed to go out and get some fresh air! We went to town and Little N and Ian went to get their haircut, so that they'll look smart for returning to work and starting preschool next week. We had a little wander around the shops, grabbed some lunch and then headed to Wymondley Wood to go exploring.

Days Out: A Winter Woodland Walk

We have spent most of the Christmas holidays at home, vegging out and stuffing our faces with more food than I knew was possible to eat. Yesterday I decided that enough was enough. We needed to go out and get some fresh air! We went to town and Little N and Ian went to get their haircut, so that they'll look smart for returning to work and starting preschool next week. We had a little wander around the shops, grabbed some lunch and then headed to Wymondley Wood to go exploring.

2015 has been a crazy, busy year. A toddler and a baby, and two stepchildren. School schedules, toddler groups, breastfeeding support groups.  Planning holidays. Planning a wedding! Family life, blog life. I've had two diaries and a notepad on the go. I write lists everywhere. Notes in my phone, on the back of receipts, reminders everywhere. Go here, don't forget to do this, remember that. Never switching off.



Plan, Play, Rest | Stick To Stigu Planner Review & Giveaway

2015 has been a crazy, busy year. A toddler and a baby, and two stepchildren. School schedules, toddler groups, breastfeeding support groups.  Planning holidays. Planning a wedding! Family life, blog life. I've had two diaries and a notepad on the go. I write lists everywhere. Notes in my phone, on the back of receipts, reminders everywhere. Go here, don't forget to do this, remember that. Never switching off.



This year, for the first Christmas ever, we are not going to visit any relatives on Christmas Day. Or Boxing Day. Nor are we going to have any relatives come to us. Nope. It's just going to be me, Ian and the children. No visiting, and no visitors. And that's just the way we want it to be.

Why we're not seeing family this Christmas

This year, for the first Christmas ever, we are not going to visit any relatives on Christmas Day. Or Boxing Day. Nor are we going to have any relatives come to us. Nope. It's just going to be me, Ian and the children. No visiting, and no visitors. And that's just the way we want it to be.

On Sunday night Baby J had me up half the night - I wish I was exaggerating - so yesterday we had a quiet day at home. When J went for his nap, Little N and I got the craft stuff out and had a go at some of the Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom Festive Fun activities. There are lots of fun things you can do, such as making Christmas cards and crackers, a letter to Santa, a Christmas hot chocolate recipe and a dot-to-dot Santa's sleigh activity. 




Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom Festive Fun!

On Sunday night Baby J had me up half the night - I wish I was exaggerating - so yesterday we had a quiet day at home. When J went for his nap, Little N and I got the craft stuff out and had a go at some of the Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom Festive Fun activities. There are lots of fun things you can do, such as making Christmas cards and crackers, a letter to Santa, a Christmas hot chocolate recipe and a dot-to-dot Santa's sleigh activity. 




In my post about why I choose extended rear-facing car seats, I explained that Baby J's new car seat is the Joie i-Anchor. This car seat is part of the i-AnchorSafe system, which is held with the i-AnchorFIX base. It’s suitable from birth and children can travel rear-facing up to 18kgs, which means that the average child will be able to sit rear-facing until they are about 4 years old. In this post I'll be telling you about the Joie i-Anchor car seat in more detail and giving you a closer look - including my tall 3 year old sitting in the seat!


REVIEW: Joie i-Anchor Extended Rear Facing Car Seat

In my post about why I choose extended rear-facing car seats, I explained that Baby J's new car seat is the Joie i-Anchor. This car seat is part of the i-AnchorSafe system, which is held with the i-AnchorFIX base. It’s suitable from birth and children can travel rear-facing up to 18kgs, which means that the average child will be able to sit rear-facing until they are about 4 years old. In this post I'll be telling you about the Joie i-Anchor car seat in more detail and giving you a closer look - including my tall 3 year old sitting in the seat!


Although I eat pretty healthily at mealtimes, I am an awful snacker. I am forever reaching for biscuits or crisps or chocolate, especially if I'm on the go and rushing around after my children. I heard about the Optiwell #SmallChanges challenge and it sounded ideal for someone like me. The challenge was to encourage me to make small changes to my unhealthy snack habits over a 10 day period by swapping them for Optiwell, a brand new yogurt drink with no fat and no added sugar!

Making #SmallChanges with Optiwell

Although I eat pretty healthily at mealtimes, I am an awful snacker. I am forever reaching for biscuits or crisps or chocolate, especially if I'm on the go and rushing around after my children. I heard about the Optiwell #SmallChanges challenge and it sounded ideal for someone like me. The challenge was to encourage me to make small changes to my unhealthy snack habits over a 10 day period by swapping them for Optiwell, a brand new yogurt drink with no fat and no added sugar!

If you are a lover of olives then this is the book for you! The Olive it! Recipe Book features recipes for olive marinades, tapenades and tapas to inspire you to in the kitchen. Celebrated Spanish chefs José Pizarro and Omar Allibhoy share their joy of olives and family-trusted recipes that have been passed down through generations. Read on to find out how you can win a copy!



GIVEAWAY: Olive It! Recipe Book

If you are a lover of olives then this is the book for you! The Olive it! Recipe Book features recipes for olive marinades, tapenades and tapas to inspire you to in the kitchen. Celebrated Spanish chefs José Pizarro and Omar Allibhoy share their joy of olives and family-trusted recipes that have been passed down through generations. Read on to find out how you can win a copy!



Christmas is all the more magical since becoming a mother. Especially this year. Now that Little N is 3 years old he understands what Christmas is about and he recognises lots of things related to the festive season, like snow, Santa, reindeer, Christmas trees and, of course, presents! It makes the planning and preparation for Christmas so much more fun for me, knowing that my little boy is brimming with excitement. To get us in the festive spirit we have been playing the Orchard Toys Christmas Surprises game.



REVIEW: Orchard Toys Christmas Surprises

Christmas is all the more magical since becoming a mother. Especially this year. Now that Little N is 3 years old he understands what Christmas is about and he recognises lots of things related to the festive season, like snow, Santa, reindeer, Christmas trees and, of course, presents! It makes the planning and preparation for Christmas so much more fun for me, knowing that my little boy is brimming with excitement. To get us in the festive spirit we have been playing the Orchard Toys Christmas Surprises game.



It's crazy how quickly Little N is learning and developing at the moment. His speech is coming on leaps and bounds, and he picks up new words every day. He can recognise colours and shapes, he can count to 20 and he can sing the alphabet song - even if he does make half of it up! He knows the days of the week and he's now interested in knowing what time it is. To help him to learn about telling the time, he has his very own watch: a ladybird Anisnap watch from Aniworld

Mini Style: Aniworld Anisnap Children's Watch + GIVEAWAY!

It's crazy how quickly Little N is learning and developing at the moment. His speech is coming on leaps and bounds, and he picks up new words every day. He can recognise colours and shapes, he can count to 20 and he can sing the alphabet song - even if he does make half of it up! He knows the days of the week and he's now interested in knowing what time it is. To help him to learn about telling the time, he has his very own watch: a ladybird Anisnap watch from Aniworld

Last week we donned our Christmas jumpers and took the boys to meet Santa for the first time ever at Willows Activity Farm in London Colney, St Albans. Set in the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside, Willows Activity Farm offers a wonderful family day out with a fun packed programme whatever the weather, and my family and I were invited along to experience the Willows Santa Spectacular.

Days Out: Santa Spectacular at Willows Activity Farm

Last week we donned our Christmas jumpers and took the boys to meet Santa for the first time ever at Willows Activity Farm in London Colney, St Albans. Set in the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside, Willows Activity Farm offers a wonderful family day out with a fun packed programme whatever the weather, and my family and I were invited along to experience the Willows Santa Spectacular.

Christmas is fast approaching and so I have put together a selection of my top gift ideas for children. Whether you are shopping for babies, toddlers or preschoolers, I have a Christmas present idea for every child. My gift ideas are perfect whether they're a boy or a girl, and I have something to suit all budgets too!



Christmas Gift Guide for Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers

Christmas is fast approaching and so I have put together a selection of my top gift ideas for children. Whether you are shopping for babies, toddlers or preschoolers, I have a Christmas present idea for every child. My gift ideas are perfect whether they're a boy or a girl, and I have something to suit all budgets too!



This year marks my third Christmas as a mother, and this year I decided to get into the festive spirit early by dressing the boys in Christmas jumpers every day in December. Well, I have to make the most of the chance to dress the boys how I like while still can, before they start choosing their own wardrobes! Hatley’s Little Blue House has got some fabulous ideas for Christmas this year and the boys have been sporting a couple of cute pieces from the range.

 

Mini Style: Christmas Jumpers with Hatley

This year marks my third Christmas as a mother, and this year I decided to get into the festive spirit early by dressing the boys in Christmas jumpers every day in December. Well, I have to make the most of the chance to dress the boys how I like while still can, before they start choosing their own wardrobes! Hatley’s Little Blue House has got some fabulous ideas for Christmas this year and the boys have been sporting a couple of cute pieces from the range.

 
I have a bone to pick with baby and pregnancy magazines. When I was pregnant with Little N, I bought loads. I'd get excited when the new issues came out each month. I would spend hours poring over them, circling all the things I wanted to buy, and filling my head with totally unrealistic ideas of what having a baby would be like.
 
At some point those magazines would do a relationships feature. And in each one the point of the feature was how to keep the spark alive in the bedroom. In a nutshell: we must keep our sex lives the same as what they were pre-pregnancy, or our relationships will suffer. 

Sex, Motherhood & Magazines

I have a bone to pick with baby and pregnancy magazines. When I was pregnant with Little N, I bought loads. I'd get excited when the new issues came out each month. I would spend hours poring over them, circling all the things I wanted to buy, and filling my head with totally unrealistic ideas of what having a baby would be like.
 
At some point those magazines would do a relationships feature. And in each one the point of the feature was how to keep the spark alive in the bedroom. In a nutshell: we must keep our sex lives the same as what they were pre-pregnancy, or our relationships will suffer. 

I don’t know about you but during the winter months I really struggle to drink enough water. The temptation of warming up with a hot cup of tea or coffee is far more appealing than the thought of swigging a cold glass of water. During winter dehydration can cause dry skin, chapped lips, tiredness, headaches and coughs so it’s really important to make sure you get enough H2O.

Robinsons have created a selection of seasonal recipes using their range of eleven delicious real fruit squash flavours to inspire us all to drink more water this winter, and my family and I have been trying them out. Here are my two favourite recipes to keep you hydrated AND warm through the colder season, with no added sugar! Yum!

How to Drink More Water This Winter

I don’t know about you but during the winter months I really struggle to drink enough water. The temptation of warming up with a hot cup of tea or coffee is far more appealing than the thought of swigging a cold glass of water. During winter dehydration can cause dry skin, chapped lips, tiredness, headaches and coughs so it’s really important to make sure you get enough H2O.

Robinsons have created a selection of seasonal recipes using their range of eleven delicious real fruit squash flavours to inspire us all to drink more water this winter, and my family and I have been trying them out. Here are my two favourite recipes to keep you hydrated AND warm through the colder season, with no added sugar! Yum!

Little N and Baby J have got two older siblings. My stepson was 5 and my stepdaughter was 3 when my eldest was born, and I thought that being a stepmum had prepared me for motherhood. I was so wrong. I had no idea what a shock to the system it would be. I had no idea how much it would impact my career, my relationship and my friendships, and I had no idea how long it would take me to find my confidence as a mother.

 

becoming a confidnt parent

Becoming A Confident Parent

Little N and Baby J have got two older siblings. My stepson was 5 and my stepdaughter was 3 when my eldest was born, and I thought that being a stepmum had prepared me for motherhood. I was so wrong. I had no idea what a shock to the system it would be. I had no idea how much it would impact my career, my relationship and my friendships, and I had no idea how long it would take me to find my confidence as a mother.

 

becoming a confidnt parent

For as long as I can remember I have always enjoyed reading and my love of books is something I hope my children will inherit. The boys have quite an impressive little library already and I make a point of reading to them at least once a day. A great way to get young children interested in reading is with a book about their favourite characters, and even better if the child features in the book as well! Little N adores Thomas & Friends so this personalised Christmas book with him at the centre of the story is just the ticket.

thomas & friends personalised christmas book review

Thomas & Friends You and the Christmas Rescue Personalised Book

For as long as I can remember I have always enjoyed reading and my love of books is something I hope my children will inherit. The boys have quite an impressive little library already and I make a point of reading to them at least once a day. A great way to get young children interested in reading is with a book about their favourite characters, and even better if the child features in the book as well! Little N adores Thomas & Friends so this personalised Christmas book with him at the centre of the story is just the ticket.

thomas & friends personalised christmas book review
You may have noticed that I’m a bit of a fan of foxes. I particularly adore baby and children’s clothing that features woodland creatures, especially when my little red furry friends are involved. So when I saw that organic lifestyle brand Finn + Emma was now available here in the UK at Natural Baby Shower I let out a little squeal of delight. Finn + Emma produce stunning wooden toys and clothing that are the perfect balance of style and sustainability. And their woodland collection features lots of furry critters, including foxes!

finn   emma clothing review

Mini Style: Finn + Emma

You may have noticed that I’m a bit of a fan of foxes. I particularly adore baby and children’s clothing that features woodland creatures, especially when my little red furry friends are involved. So when I saw that organic lifestyle brand Finn + Emma was now available here in the UK at Natural Baby Shower I let out a little squeal of delight. Finn + Emma produce stunning wooden toys and clothing that are the perfect balance of style and sustainability. And their woodland collection features lots of furry critters, including foxes!

finn   emma clothing review
Before I had children most of my disposable income was spent on clothes. I love fashion and my colleagues would roll their eyes as daily parcels arrived from my lunchtime online shopping habit. Since having children, my own wardrobe has taken a back seat as my obsession with clothes has moved to kids fashion. So it’s always a treat to actually get something for me, like this gorgeous mustard chunky knit jumper from Luxemme.

luxemme limited edition mustard jumper review

Mama Style: Luxemme

Before I had children most of my disposable income was spent on clothes. I love fashion and my colleagues would roll their eyes as daily parcels arrived from my lunchtime online shopping habit. Since having children, my own wardrobe has taken a back seat as my obsession with clothes has moved to kids fashion. So it’s always a treat to actually get something for me, like this gorgeous mustard chunky knit jumper from Luxemme.

luxemme limited edition mustard jumper review
Baby J has got a new set of wheels: the very cool Fisher-Price Charisma Trike. It’s a unique 3 in 1 tricycle that manoeuvres like a stroller. It’s suitable for ages 10-36 months and has three stages so it grows with the child, going from parent-controlled Touch Steering to an independent trike that he will eventually be able to pedal himself.

fisher-price trike review

REVIEW: Fisher-Price Charisma Trike

Baby J has got a new set of wheels: the very cool Fisher-Price Charisma Trike. It’s a unique 3 in 1 tricycle that manoeuvres like a stroller. It’s suitable for ages 10-36 months and has three stages so it grows with the child, going from parent-controlled Touch Steering to an independent trike that he will eventually be able to pedal himself.

fisher-price trike review
My Christmas shopping has officially started! Here I’m sharing some of my favourite gift ideas for men this Christmas. There is a gift idea to suit all tastes and budgets, with goodies starting at just £7.50. So if you’re looking for a gift for your husband, boyfriend, dad or brother, then look no further!
christmas gift guide for men

Christmas Gift Guide for Men

My Christmas shopping has officially started! Here I’m sharing some of my favourite gift ideas for men this Christmas. There is a gift idea to suit all tastes and budgets, with goodies starting at just £7.50. So if you’re looking for a gift for your husband, boyfriend, dad or brother, then look no further!
christmas gift guide for men
With Christmas fast approaching I thought it would be a good time to bust some of the breastfeeding myths. When I had my first baby I thought there were all these things that I couldn’t do, eat or drink, but it turns out that most of it was utter rubbish!

breastfeeding myths

Busting The Breastfeeding Myths

With Christmas fast approaching I thought it would be a good time to bust some of the breastfeeding myths. When I had my first baby I thought there were all these things that I couldn’t do, eat or drink, but it turns out that most of it was utter rubbish!

breastfeeding myths
What would you do if you found out that your husband had been secretly planning to divorce you? This is the situation that Maya finds herself in, in Leah McLaren’s second novel. A Better Man* is the latest book in the Britmum’s Book Club and focuses around Maya and Nick’s marriage, which has been struggling since the birth of their twins a few years ago.

a-better-man-image-396x600

REVIEW: A Better Man by Leah McLaren

What would you do if you found out that your husband had been secretly planning to divorce you? This is the situation that Maya finds herself in, in Leah McLaren’s second novel. A Better Man* is the latest book in the Britmum’s Book Club and focuses around Maya and Nick’s marriage, which has been struggling since the birth of their twins a few years ago.

a-better-man-image-396x600

We all know someone that is tricky to buy for at Christmas or on birthdays. That person who seemingly has everything they need or want already. It’s a struggle I face every year, however this Christmas I have found the perfect gift: The Book of Everyone. The Book of Everyone is a beautifully crafted 50-page book that can be created about anyone you wish. It is a timeless, thoughtful and unique gift which is available in paperback, hardback, deluxe and even digital formats.

 

the book of everyone review

REVIEW: The Book Of Everyone

We all know someone that is tricky to buy for at Christmas or on birthdays. That person who seemingly has everything they need or want already. It’s a struggle I face every year, however this Christmas I have found the perfect gift: The Book of Everyone. The Book of Everyone is a beautifully crafted 50-page book that can be created about anyone you wish. It is a timeless, thoughtful and unique gift which is available in paperback, hardback, deluxe and even digital formats.

 

the book of everyone review

J recently reached the weight and height limit on his group 0+ car seat so it was time to choose a new one. I know that he is now old enough and weighs enough to be able to go into many of the forward-facing car seats, but like his older brother I am keeping him rear-facing for as long as possible. Why? Well, in a nutshell extended rear-facing is the safest way for a child to travel. It doesn’t mean that forward-facing car seats are not safe – they absolutely are safe – it just means that rear-facing is safer.

joie ianchor extended rear facing

Why I Choose Extended Rear-Facing Car Seats

J recently reached the weight and height limit on his group 0+ car seat so it was time to choose a new one. I know that he is now old enough and weighs enough to be able to go into many of the forward-facing car seats, but like his older brother I am keeping him rear-facing for as long as possible. Why? Well, in a nutshell extended rear-facing is the safest way for a child to travel. It doesn’t mean that forward-facing car seats are not safe – they absolutely are safe – it just means that rear-facing is safer.

joie ianchor extended rear facing

I love adding new books to my boys’ mini library and these two modernised Miffy books are the latest ones to be added to their ever-growing collection. Miffy turned 60 this year and there are a whole range of exciting books, toys, clothes and accessories available from the Miffy Shop to celebrate.

 

miffy books review

Have you seen the modernised Miffy Books?

I love adding new books to my boys’ mini library and these two modernised Miffy books are the latest ones to be added to their ever-growing collection. Miffy turned 60 this year and there are a whole range of exciting books, toys, clothes and accessories available from the Miffy Shop to celebrate.

 

miffy books review

With the boys feeling under the weather – and me too for that matter – we decided to snuggle up on the sofa in our PJs and watch our new DVD, Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom Elf and Fairy Party. The new DVD has ten fun filled episodes and there is an activity book to accompany it, too. And to make lunch a little more interesting that day, I followed one of the recipes from Nanny Plum’s cookbook to make some fun caterpillar sandwiches.

ben and holly elf and fairy party dvd book review

Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom Elf and Fairy Party

With the boys feeling under the weather – and me too for that matter – we decided to snuggle up on the sofa in our PJs and watch our new DVD, Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom Elf and Fairy Party. The new DVD has ten fun filled episodes and there is an activity book to accompany it, too. And to make lunch a little more interesting that day, I followed one of the recipes from Nanny Plum’s cookbook to make some fun caterpillar sandwiches.

ben and holly elf and fairy party dvd book review

I have to confess, for a long time I didn’t understand the fuss over Dyson vacuum cleaners and the obsession some people have with them. They couldn’t be that much better than the other brands on the market, surely? Last month I was invited to attend an event at the Dyson showroom in London to learn more about the renowned British company and their latest V6 cordless technology. I would never have thought that a cordless vacuum could be just as powerful as a corded cleaner. I left the event a total convert and couldn’t wait to get my hands on my own Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner. My Dyson V6 Total Clean is now here and I can’t stop telling people how absolutely brilliant it truly is. I am now one of those obsessed people.

 

Dyson V6 Total Clean review

REVIEW: Dyson V6 Total Clean

I have to confess, for a long time I didn’t understand the fuss over Dyson vacuum cleaners and the obsession some people have with them. They couldn’t be that much better than the other brands on the market, surely? Last month I was invited to attend an event at the Dyson showroom in London to learn more about the renowned British company and their latest V6 cordless technology. I would never have thought that a cordless vacuum could be just as powerful as a corded cleaner. I left the event a total convert and couldn’t wait to get my hands on my own Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner. My Dyson V6 Total Clean is now here and I can’t stop telling people how absolutely brilliant it truly is. I am now one of those obsessed people.

 

Dyson V6 Total Clean review

I love L’Occitane, their products remind me of summers spent in the south of France. Their range of beautiful Christmas gifts features new limited edition scents, stylish gift boxes and timeless gift collections, all carefully crafted with natural ingredients. Here are six of my favourite L’Occitane gift sets for giving the magic of Provence this Christmas.

christmas with l'occitane

Christmas 2015 with L'Occitane

I love L’Occitane, their products remind me of summers spent in the south of France. Their range of beautiful Christmas gifts features new limited edition scents, stylish gift boxes and timeless gift collections, all carefully crafted with natural ingredients. Here are six of my favourite L’Occitane gift sets for giving the magic of Provence this Christmas.

christmas with l'occitane
Joules is a brand of clothing that I absolutely adore, especially for my boys. Made with super soft cotton, their exclusive prints and motifs are utterly gorgeous and their pieces are made to last. Little touches like ribbed cuffs, popper openings, envelope necks and button fastenings mean that Joules clothes not only look wonderful, they are comfortable and easy to wear, too. And best of all, their current winter range of clothes and accessories for 0-3 year olds features lots of my two favourite things when it comes to fashion: stripes, and plenty of foxes! Here are 9 of my favourite foxy pieces from Joules.

joules fox baby boy clothes

Mini Style: Top Fox ft. Joules Baby

Joules is a brand of clothing that I absolutely adore, especially for my boys. Made with super soft cotton, their exclusive prints and motifs are utterly gorgeous and their pieces are made to last. Little touches like ribbed cuffs, popper openings, envelope necks and button fastenings mean that Joules clothes not only look wonderful, they are comfortable and easy to wear, too. And best of all, their current winter range of clothes and accessories for 0-3 year olds features lots of my two favourite things when it comes to fashion: stripes, and plenty of foxes! Here are 9 of my favourite foxy pieces from Joules.

joules fox baby boy clothes
baby 12 month update

How big? Last month Baby J celebrated his first birthday, and he weighed in at 22lb 3oz. He’s about 78cm, though it’s hard to say exactly as he won’t lie still for long enough for me to measure his height, nor will he do it standing up! He’s wearing size 12-18 month in clothes and is size 4G in shoes.

Baby J is 12 Months Old

baby 12 month update

How big? Last month Baby J celebrated his first birthday, and he weighed in at 22lb 3oz. He’s about 78cm, though it’s hard to say exactly as he won’t lie still for long enough for me to measure his height, nor will he do it standing up! He’s wearing size 12-18 month in clothes and is size 4G in shoes.
Baby J loves to drink water, but it has been a bit of a struggle finding a cup that he can use confidently. He struggled with the traditional hard spouted sippy cups, and even struggled with the soft spouted sippy cups that his big brother was a fan of. I couldn’t help but think, if only there was a baby cup with a straw. It turns out that there is! Tommee Tippee have put a lots of thought into their selection of cups for babies and toddlers, and their current range includes several different types for each stage of weaning!

tommee tippee straw cup 6M - weaning (lifestyle)

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Tommee Tippee Cups

Baby J loves to drink water, but it has been a bit of a struggle finding a cup that he can use confidently. He struggled with the traditional hard spouted sippy cups, and even struggled with the soft spouted sippy cups that his big brother was a fan of. I couldn’t help but think, if only there was a baby cup with a straw. It turns out that there is! Tommee Tippee have put a lots of thought into their selection of cups for babies and toddlers, and their current range includes several different types for each stage of weaning!

tommee tippee straw cup 6M - weaning (lifestyle)
Baby J started walking just after he turned 11 months old, but I haven’t been in a rush to get him wearing shoes. In fact, the opposite, as I have learned that being barefoot is best for little feet. Growing feet need plenty of room for muscles to strengthen, toes to be able to spread and learn to grip, and bones to form in their natural position.

Allowing children to be barefoot as much as possible, especially in the first few years of life, is the best way to allow this to happen. It’s not always practical, especially now that J wants to walk and explore outside, so shoes like Bobux protect those soft little toes but also mimic the freedom of being barefoot.

bobux barefoot micro trainers review

Mini Style: Bobux Shoes

Baby J started walking just after he turned 11 months old, but I haven’t been in a rush to get him wearing shoes. In fact, the opposite, as I have learned that being barefoot is best for little feet. Growing feet need plenty of room for muscles to strengthen, toes to be able to spread and learn to grip, and bones to form in their natural position.

Allowing children to be barefoot as much as possible, especially in the first few years of life, is the best way to allow this to happen. It’s not always practical, especially now that J wants to walk and explore outside, so shoes like Bobux protect those soft little toes but also mimic the freedom of being barefoot.

bobux barefoot micro trainers review
Did you know there are certain foods that can help you get a winning smile and prevent things like tooth decay? Simplyhealth put together a brilliant infographic on six superfoods that are great for your smile, and then challenged me to come up with some recipes featuring some of those foods.

I used some of them to create a Waldorf salad with a twist, spinach, tomato & chilli pasta, and simple cheese & apple cracker snacks for the boys. All three creations are super quick to make, really easy and so good for your teeth as they feature four out of the six superfoods recommended by Simplyhealth. Read on to find out how I made them…

Cook your way to a healthy smile pin

Cook Your Way to a Healthy Smile

Did you know there are certain foods that can help you get a winning smile and prevent things like tooth decay? Simplyhealth put together a brilliant infographic on six superfoods that are great for your smile, and then challenged me to come up with some recipes featuring some of those foods.

I used some of them to create a Waldorf salad with a twist, spinach, tomato & chilli pasta, and simple cheese & apple cracker snacks for the boys. All three creations are super quick to make, really easy and so good for your teeth as they feature four out of the six superfoods recommended by Simplyhealth. Read on to find out how I made them…

Cook your way to a healthy smile pin
I have two children, two gorgeous and amazing little boys. They are my whole world, the centre of my universe, the apple of my eye, the anchors to my life. I am so proud of them and I love them beyond measure. But as much as I adore my beautiful children, I'm full of self-doubt and hate for my post-baby body.

I loved my pregnant body. I felt absolutely wonderful and embraced my growing bump during both of my pregnancies. But my post-baby body is proving a little harder to love.


I look in the mirror and this is what I see:

I see hair that is limp and fine. Hair that is recovering from the post-partum moult and has those fuzzy downy bits of regrowth that create a frizzy-looking halo around my head.

When You Hate Your Post-Birth Body

I have two children, two gorgeous and amazing little boys. They are my whole world, the centre of my universe, the apple of my eye, the anchors to my life. I am so proud of them and I love them beyond measure. But as much as I adore my beautiful children, I'm full of self-doubt and hate for my post-baby body.

I loved my pregnant body. I felt absolutely wonderful and embraced my growing bump during both of my pregnancies. But my post-baby body is proving a little harder to love.


I look in the mirror and this is what I see:

I see hair that is limp and fine. Hair that is recovering from the post-partum moult and has those fuzzy downy bits of regrowth that create a frizzy-looking halo around my head.

With the weather turning colder, much colder, I am favouring more carby dishes and particularly ones with a bit of spice. Ian and I love chilli in our food, so this healthy pasta dish satisfies both the craving for carbs and the need for some heat! It’s a really quick dish too, it will take no more than 20 minutes to get it on the table.

 

tomato, spinach & chilli rigatoni pasta

RECIPE: Tomato, Spinach & Chilli Rigatoni

With the weather turning colder, much colder, I am favouring more carby dishes and particularly ones with a bit of spice. Ian and I love chilli in our food, so this healthy pasta dish satisfies both the craving for carbs and the need for some heat! It’s a really quick dish too, it will take no more than 20 minutes to get it on the table.

 

tomato, spinach & chilli rigatoni pasta

I had never tried a Waldorf salad before. It’s a classic but because I’m allergic to walnuts, it isn’t something I would ever order. So I came up with a Waldorf salad – with a twist! I’m not allergic to pine nuts so I often use them as a substitute, and that’s exactly what I did to create this delicious salad. It is such a tasty salad and it could not be easier to make!

 

waldorf salad with a twist

RECIPE: Waldorf Salad with a Twist

I had never tried a Waldorf salad before. It’s a classic but because I’m allergic to walnuts, it isn’t something I would ever order. So I came up with a Waldorf salad – with a twist! I’m not allergic to pine nuts so I often use them as a substitute, and that’s exactly what I did to create this delicious salad. It is such a tasty salad and it could not be easier to make!

 

waldorf salad with a twist

We all know that breastfeeding is perfect for a baby, but did you know that breastmilk is also great for toddlers? In fact, the World Health Organisation and UNICEF recommend breastfeeding continue until at least the age of two and beyond. Breastmilk continues to provide vitamins and nutrition to toddlers, protection from illness, and comfort when they are poorly.

 

Breastfeeding a toddler is a whole different ball game to breastfeeding a baby though, so here are my top 5 tips. 

 

theraline pillow review

 

5 Tips for Breastfeeding a Toddler

We all know that breastfeeding is perfect for a baby, but did you know that breastmilk is also great for toddlers? In fact, the World Health Organisation and UNICEF recommend breastfeeding continue until at least the age of two and beyond. Breastmilk continues to provide vitamins and nutrition to toddlers, protection from illness, and comfort when they are poorly.

 

Breastfeeding a toddler is a whole different ball game to breastfeeding a baby though, so here are my top 5 tips. 

 

theraline pillow review

 

One of our favourite things to do on a rainy day is to bake. This year saw Dick Bruna’s loveable bunny Miffy turn 60, so Little N and I decided to bake some special cakes to celebrate Miffy’s 60th birthday! Using a simple fairy cake recipe and some super cute Miffy rice paper toppers, we came up with these scrummy little cakes.

 

miffy birthday fairy cake recipe

RECIPE: Miffy Fairy Cakes

One of our favourite things to do on a rainy day is to bake. This year saw Dick Bruna’s loveable bunny Miffy turn 60, so Little N and I decided to bake some special cakes to celebrate Miffy’s 60th birthday! Using a simple fairy cake recipe and some super cute Miffy rice paper toppers, we came up with these scrummy little cakes.

 

miffy birthday fairy cake recipe

Over the summer months Baby J has happily slept under a thin blanket, but now the weather is getting cooler and the nights are turning cold, a blanket isn’t enough. He is far too wriggly for a duvet, so going back to using a baby sleeping bag is the obvious choice. Now that he is walking, most baby sleeping bags would restrict his little feet, however Slumbersac have the perfect solution: a baby sleeping bag with feet!

 

slumbersac review

REVIEW: Slumbersac Sleeping Bag with Feet

Over the summer months Baby J has happily slept under a thin blanket, but now the weather is getting cooler and the nights are turning cold, a blanket isn’t enough. He is far too wriggly for a duvet, so going back to using a baby sleeping bag is the obvious choice. Now that he is walking, most baby sleeping bags would restrict his little feet, however Slumbersac have the perfect solution: a baby sleeping bag with feet!

 

slumbersac review

My boys love yogurt and fromage frais. I introduced them when they first started weaning at 6 months old, and now they are 3 and 1 they still love them just as much. They like to have a pot of fromage frais as a healthy snack or pudding after a meal, and I have often thought that they would be a great snack to take when we are out and about for the day. Except for one thing… the mess!

oxo tot roll up bib review

Snack Time with Little Yeos & OXO Tot

My boys love yogurt and fromage frais. I introduced them when they first started weaning at 6 months old, and now they are 3 and 1 they still love them just as much. They like to have a pot of fromage frais as a healthy snack or pudding after a meal, and I have often thought that they would be a great snack to take when we are out and about for the day. Except for one thing… the mess!

oxo tot roll up bib review
Little N has been a bit of a fusspot with his food of late, but one thing he absolutely loves is milk. It’s a great source of protein, vitamin D and calcium so even if it’s a battle to get other food into him, at least I know he is getting a lot of goodness from milk. We took part in the #MilkDrinkersMilk Challenge with Britmums and Cravendale to show how we enjoy milk. I don’t drink milk so Little N was more than happy to take up the challenge instead!

cravendale

A Teddy Bears’ Picnic with Cravendale

Little N has been a bit of a fusspot with his food of late, but one thing he absolutely loves is milk. It’s a great source of protein, vitamin D and calcium so even if it’s a battle to get other food into him, at least I know he is getting a lot of goodness from milk. We took part in the #MilkDrinkersMilk Challenge with Britmums and Cravendale to show how we enjoy milk. I don’t drink milk so Little N was more than happy to take up the challenge instead!

cravendale
I have always had a love of books, right from a young age, and I am trying to instil that love of books in my boys. They already have a large collection of bright and beautiful books, and the latest addition to their little library is City Atlas (£20.00)* from the Wide Eyed books series.

City Atlas Wide Eyed Editions

REVIEW: City Atlas by Georgia Cherry & Martin Haake

I have always had a love of books, right from a young age, and I am trying to instil that love of books in my boys. They already have a large collection of bright and beautiful books, and the latest addition to their little library is City Atlas (£20.00)* from the Wide Eyed books series.

City Atlas Wide Eyed Editions
The great thing about baby-led weaning is that you and your baby can eat the same thing, so you don’t have to worry about making separate food for your child. As long as you’ve gone easy on the salt and there aren’t any whole nuts or honey (for under ones) then you can enjoy meals as a family! One of the other great things about this is that it makes me more aware of what we’re all eating, and so we’ve all been eating more healthily.

hummus houmous recipe

Baby-Led Weaning: Easy Peasy Hummus

The great thing about baby-led weaning is that you and your baby can eat the same thing, so you don’t have to worry about making separate food for your child. As long as you’ve gone easy on the salt and there aren’t any whole nuts or honey (for under ones) then you can enjoy meals as a family! One of the other great things about this is that it makes me more aware of what we’re all eating, and so we’ve all been eating more healthily.

hummus houmous recipe

Like a lot of children his age, Little N is a big fan of Thomas & Friends. Not only is it fun to watch, it has also helped him to learn his colours and numbers. He was very excited when we received the Thomas & Friends My Push & Learn Thomas* from KD UK. It’s described as the ultimate train for fun and learning, as it helps children discover numbers, letters, colours, shapes and characters from the Thomas & Friends!

IMG_3588

REVIEW: Thomas & Friends My Push & Learn Thomas

Like a lot of children his age, Little N is a big fan of Thomas & Friends. Not only is it fun to watch, it has also helped him to learn his colours and numbers. He was very excited when we received the Thomas & Friends My Push & Learn Thomas* from KD UK. It’s described as the ultimate train for fun and learning, as it helps children discover numbers, letters, colours, shapes and characters from the Thomas & Friends!

IMG_3588

Tea is very much a part of everyday life for most Brits. This unique plant from China is now the nation’s favourite drink, and I for one can’t get through a day without at least one cup. For many of us, tea is made using tea bags, however to really appreciate the taste I love to brew a pot of loose leaf tea. With loose leaf tea you get the full flavour of the tea leaves, and you won’t get a more flavourful tea than Quinteassential’s award-winning range.

quinteassential imperial earl grey tea review

REVIEW: Quinteassential Teas

Tea is very much a part of everyday life for most Brits. This unique plant from China is now the nation’s favourite drink, and I for one can’t get through a day without at least one cup. For many of us, tea is made using tea bags, however to really appreciate the taste I love to brew a pot of loose leaf tea. With loose leaf tea you get the full flavour of the tea leaves, and you won’t get a more flavourful tea than Quinteassential’s award-winning range.

quinteassential imperial earl grey tea review

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The idea of a family bed is one that has caused a lot of controversy over the years, as some believe that having an infant or toddler sleeping in a proper bed with parents is wrong while others believe that it is an individual choice and there is no right or wrong. Many parents decide that they want to go down the family bed route and this is because they believe that there are many benefits to doing this.

The Benefits of the Family Bed

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The idea of a family bed is one that has caused a lot of controversy over the years, as some believe that having an infant or toddler sleeping in a proper bed with parents is wrong while others believe that it is an individual choice and there is no right or wrong. Many parents decide that they want to go down the family bed route and this is because they believe that there are many benefits to doing this.
It’s safe to say that in the (almost) 3 years that I have been a mum, my style has totally changed. If you were to look back at old photos, you’d see that I was always wearing dangly earrings, pretty necklaces and funky bracelets. As any mum knows, costume and fine jewellery become a no-no once you have babies, because babies like to pull and tug and chew on pretty, dangly things. Well, not any more! With Nibbling’s fabulous range of baby-safe jewellery I no longer need to compromise. I can wear fashionable jewellery and it is safe for my baby to play with!

nibbling teething necklace review

Mama Style: Nibbling Jewellery

It’s safe to say that in the (almost) 3 years that I have been a mum, my style has totally changed. If you were to look back at old photos, you’d see that I was always wearing dangly earrings, pretty necklaces and funky bracelets. As any mum knows, costume and fine jewellery become a no-no once you have babies, because babies like to pull and tug and chew on pretty, dangly things. Well, not any more! With Nibbling’s fabulous range of baby-safe jewellery I no longer need to compromise. I can wear fashionable jewellery and it is safe for my baby to play with!

nibbling teething necklace review
As you’ll know from reading my review, I absolutely love the Nibbling range of teething jewellery and I have one of their necklaces to give away to one lucky reader. One person will win a Nibbling Victoria Teething Necklace in black, worth £24.00!

nibbling teething jewellery review

GIVEAWAY: Nibbling Teething Necklace

As you’ll know from reading my review, I absolutely love the Nibbling range of teething jewellery and I have one of their necklaces to give away to one lucky reader. One person will win a Nibbling Victoria Teething Necklace in black, worth £24.00!

nibbling teething jewellery review

Welcome to another look at what’s on the menu this week! I hope it gives you some inspiration. As it’s getting colder we’re having soup at least once a week and I’m bringing out some of our favourite winter warmer meals. I love making our meal plans; life is so hectic so it’s good to have something organised, plus planning our meals each week tends to save us money!

 

weekly meal planner 10

Weekly Meal Planner #10

Welcome to another look at what’s on the menu this week! I hope it gives you some inspiration. As it’s getting colder we’re having soup at least once a week and I’m bringing out some of our favourite winter warmer meals. I love making our meal plans; life is so hectic so it’s good to have something organised, plus planning our meals each week tends to save us money!

 

weekly meal planner 10

Brrr, hasn’t the weather suddenly turned chillier? Long gone are the balmy days with the boys running around in the garden wearing sleeveless rompers and linen shorts; the t-shirts and sandals have been packed away in favour of chunky knits and soft trousers; and now you won’t see us anywhere without a coat and a hat on. J’s new coat for this winter is this gorgeous nautical rain coat* from Powell Craft.

baby-looking-at-pigeons

Mini Style: Powell Craft Nautical Rain Coat

Brrr, hasn’t the weather suddenly turned chillier? Long gone are the balmy days with the boys running around in the garden wearing sleeveless rompers and linen shorts; the t-shirts and sandals have been packed away in favour of chunky knits and soft trousers; and now you won’t see us anywhere without a coat and a hat on. J’s new coat for this winter is this gorgeous nautical rain coat* from Powell Craft.

baby-looking-at-pigeons
Last week I had the pleasure of receiving one of the most gorgeous items of children’s clothing ever. This delightful long-sleeved top* arrived from babyzoo, a fresh new brand of children’s clothing individually designed and created in Brighton for parents who want to dress their children in fun, bright, ethically sourced clothes.

baby-playing-with-wooden-toy-boat

Mini Style: Introducing babyzoo

Last week I had the pleasure of receiving one of the most gorgeous items of children’s clothing ever. This delightful long-sleeved top* arrived from babyzoo, a fresh new brand of children’s clothing individually designed and created in Brighton for parents who want to dress their children in fun, bright, ethically sourced clothes.

baby-playing-with-wooden-toy-boat

My little tiny baby boy is no longer a little tiny baby boy. He is a strapping, lively, fun-loving one year old! He is a toddler! Can you believe it? I can’t. I swear he was born just yesterday. I know all parents will say that, but J’s first 12 months have absolutely flown by, so much faster than Little N’s first year. I guess it’s because I am running around – literally – after two of them that the time has gone so much quicker this time.

 

Baby-sitting-on-bed

Baby J’s First Birthday

My little tiny baby boy is no longer a little tiny baby boy. He is a strapping, lively, fun-loving one year old! He is a toddler! Can you believe it? I can’t. I swear he was born just yesterday. I know all parents will say that, but J’s first 12 months have absolutely flown by, so much faster than Little N’s first year. I guess it’s because I am running around – literally – after two of them that the time has gone so much quicker this time.

 

Baby-sitting-on-bed


Next year my family and I will be heading to the Dominican Republic for my brother’s wedding. It will be the first time my boys have ever been abroad. Before I had children I used to love going to different countries for holidays and would go away at least once a year, so I hope this is the start of many more holidays to come!
 
I had a go at the Karcher Monuments of the World quiz and it got me thinking about the places I’d like to go. Here is a list of 5 cool cities around the world that I’d love to visit with my family.


Statue Of Liberty Skyline And Blue Sky

5 Cool Cities I Want To Visit Around The World


Next year my family and I will be heading to the Dominican Republic for my brother’s wedding. It will be the first time my boys have ever been abroad. Before I had children I used to love going to different countries for holidays and would go away at least once a year, so I hope this is the start of many more holidays to come!
 
I had a go at the Karcher Monuments of the World quiz and it got me thinking about the places I’d like to go. Here is a list of 5 cool cities around the world that I’d love to visit with my family.


Statue Of Liberty Skyline And Blue Sky
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