Mountain Buggy Protect review: it’s amazing what you can hold between your teeth

Maxi Cosi better watch its back. Mountain Buggy has entered the travel system market with a new group 0+ baby car seat from birth to 13kg (pictured). And boy, is it light. In case I haven’t harped on about it enough, we live in a fourth floor flat, which is one thing when you’ve got an independent three year old who can walk, but quite another when you’ve got said independent three year old AND a baby. Which is asleep in the car seat. And shopping. And wellington boots the independent three year old discarded in the hallway downstairs…you get the picture. It’s amazing what you can hold between your teeth. […]

By |February 18th, 2015|Baby, Family life, Money, Newborn, Parenting, Reviews|0 Comments

Abra-ca-Debora pancakes review: yum yum!

It’s Pancake Day, it’s Pancake Day it’s P-P-P-P-P-P-P-P Pancake Day! We LOVE pancake day in our house, so I thought [...]

By |February 9th, 2015|Baby, baking, Craft, Family life, Food, Health, Newborn, Parenting, Recipes, Reviews|4 Comments

Thrupenny Bits nursing cushion – hands free breast feeding!

I used to think nursing pillows were one of those things they try and sell you but you don’t really need. That was until I started back at work nine weeks after having a very hungry baby. So when MadeForMums asked me to review a Thrupenny Bits nursing cushion (so called because it’s cockney rhyming slang for you-know-what) in which you’re supposed to be able to feed hands-free, I jumped at the chance. And would you adam and eve it, you really can (pictured)! The pillow comes in two sizes, small and large, which you lay in your lap. There are two straps which you tie around your waist to secure the pillow, meaning, unlike other cushions on the market, there’s no gap between you and the pillow which the baby can slip into. […]

Aldi and chinos aren’t words you’d expect to find in the same sentence

Aldi and chinos aren’t words you’d expect to find in the same sentence. Misery Guts and chinos aren’t either, more’s the pity. He’s more of a Levis man, but somehow the artfully dishevelled look on the mannequin in the shop translates to simply dishevelled owing to the fact he doesn’t iron anything. (One could argue this is partly my fault, as I avoid it at all costs. Frankly, life’s too short). So when Aldi asked us to review their new Men’s Classics range, which went into stores on January 22, I thought why not? […]

By |January 28th, 2015|Beauty, Family life, Fashion, Money, Parenting, Reviews|0 Comments

I’ve been giving our baby drops of something I don’t EXACTLY know what is from a bottle I bought on the internet…

After weeks of nightmare evenings and nights with Little B wreathing around in discomfort I’ve started to give him something to help with the griping pain. I had hoped the phase would pass without third party help, but I couldn’t stand it any longer. I visited Boots but came away empty handed when I read the ingredients in the likes of Infacol and Gripe Water – there are more E numbers than you can shake a stick at. Rather than giving him something to treat the symptoms (mega wind, gas, tummy as tight as a drum) I want to get to the root of the problem, so am starting with a probiotic to try and balance out whatever’s going on in his tummy. I opted for BioGaia drops after a reader kindly recommended them, although rather than paying the full £14.99 I bought them from eBay for under £10 instead. […]

By |January 16th, 2015|Baby, Breast feeding, Family life, Health, Money, Newborn, Parenting, Reviews|2 Comments

Bedside cribs: a ‘safe’ co-sleeping solution?

At just six weeks old Little B has outgrown the moses basket. Not that he slept in it much anyway, preferring to sleep in our bed spread-eagled between us. But while this would send him into a deep, peaceful sleep, it of course meant I slept terribly, worried one of us would roll onto him, accidently pull the duvet over him or that he would shimmy himself against one of the pillows in his sleep. The health visitor advised putting him on my side of the bed rather than between us because as his mum I naturally sleep more lightly, but that’s hardly a long-term solution for the next few months when he’s too small to go into a cot in his own bedroom. So, after a bit of research, I think I’ve come up with the answer: a bedside crib (pictured). There are lots on the market, some as much as a couple of hundred pounds, but we went for the cheapest, Chicco’s Next2Me (£149.99), given he will have outgrown it by six months old. Even Misery Guts, who was predictably sceptical about buying yet more paraphernalia, admits it’s a nifty bit of kit. (You can hire other brands through the NCT, but the waiting list was until the middle of January, so not much help). […]

Stretch mark creams review: Bepanthen, Palmer’s & Bio Oil

They say there’s nothing you can really do about stretch marks: it’s in the genes and you'll either get them, [...]

Playmobil crane review: beats Cayla and Frozen hands down

Forget Cayla the talking doll or anything Frozen related this Christmas: a Playmobil crane beats both hands down. The remote controlled crane has been the top toy in our house ever since it arrived a few weeks ago, and not just for the little kids: the big kids love it too. While BB and her friends have been using it to hoist Polly Pocket up and down (pictured), visitors including BB’s uncle and granddad haven’t been able to resist seeing what they can pick up with its moving plastic hook either. At £59.99 it’s not exactly a stocking filler, but I think it definitely makes the grade in terms of longevity. It’s got a little Playmobil man in a top box ‘operating’ the crane (pictured) and a hand held remote control (also pictured) which can make the crane itself move in a 360 degree circle and the pulley go up and down, left and right. […]

By |December 12th, 2014|Family life, Money, Parenting, Reviews, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Phil & Ted’s Dot double buggy review: walking is getting rather tricky

I thought the three year age gap between BB and Little B would eliminate the need for a double buggy. I was wrong. Although BB will quite happily walk the couple of miles to Tesco and back, anything further and she (quite rightly) starts complaining, which given that we don’t have the car during the week and go everywhere on foot is making life rather tricky. So when MadeForMums asked me to review Phil & Ted’s latest Dot double buggy (pictured), I jumped at the chance. The double-decker style forward-facing Dot is designed to hold two children from birth to five years old, with the younger on the bottom and the older on the top. Marketed as Phil & Ted’s ‘most compact’ double pushchair to date, its 59cm wide slimline design makes it no wider than a standard stroller. And with a seat height of 65cms the Dot boasts one of the tallest seats on the market, although the main seat is rather snug and I would say there’s only limited growing room left. I’d be surprised if BB would fit into it when she’s five. […]

Paddington: there’s going to be a run on marmalade, duffle coats and Cornishware

There’s much excitement in the crummy mummy household: Paddington the movie has finally been released and we can’t wait to go and see it. Admittedly most of this excitement is from me: even though I’ve promised BB there are no Scary Bits she’s slightly dubious after our last trip to the cinema, when I took her to see Book of Life without researching the plot (ghosts + lost souls + Land of the Forgotten = lots of Scary Bits) Mostly I’m excited because there’s nothing like a good old British film at Christmas – acting greats including Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters, famous London landmarks such as Paddington Station and icons of Britishness like stripy Cornishware pottery (pictured) all brought together – what more could you want? Of course there’s no doubt there’s going to be a run on marmalade, duffle coats, Cornishware and everything else Paddington-related as a result, and good on them: I like it when everyday, honest things nobody usually notices get their 15 minutes of fame. […]

If someone had told me this is what lunchtimes would involve, I wouldn’t have believed them

She might have just turned 3, but BB is itching to start school. She asks me daily what colour her uniform will be (I don’t know because it depends which over-subscribed school we actually manage to get her into), who will collect her and pick her up (again I don’t know because it depends how far away said school is) and can she go to the school in Time For School on Cbeebies (at last a question I can actually answer – no.) Being an August baby by this time next year she will be in reception class, but until then I’ve got to come up with ways to satisfy her school curiosity or suffer death by questioning. So when aplaceforeverything.co.uk asked me to review LEGO’s latest lunch box set, launched to celebrate the release of the LEGO movie, I had an idea: we could start, like school, having ‘packed lunch’ at home (pictured). This is a brilliant idea, even if I do say so myself. I realise it’s a total waste of cling film, but the look on her face as she unwraps each item and says ‘wow’ is worth it (also pictured). […]

By |September 15th, 2014|Family life, Food, Money, Parenting, Reviews, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Aldi maternity clothes: you could get more than you bargained for

As a forces child I spent several years living in Germany, where our local supermarket was Aldi. I used to like going there because of the bins of totally non-supermarket and often pointless items, like watering cans in the shape of gnomes and solar sunflowers for the garden we didn’t have, which ran up the middle of the shop. As of next week those UK bins are now going to contain a ‘capsule’ collection of maternity and baby clothes, and I’ve been sent a few by way of sneak preview. There are dresses (£11.99, pictured), leggings (£6), tops (£9.99) and even a nappy changing bag (£14.99). The range is part of Aldi’s ‘specialbuys’ collection, which go in store every Thursday and Sunday and are only available while stocks last. It will be interesting to see how long these stocks last. […]

By |September 12th, 2014|Beauty, Breast feeding, Family life, Fashion, Parenting, Pregnancy, Reviews|0 Comments

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: it’s no surprise my waist has expanded this week

Week: 32 Waist: 38.5 inches (+0.5 inches) Feeling: Crampy legged I’m pleased to be able to report my craving for chicken soup now appears to have passed. In fact I don’t think I’ll be eating any for a very long time. Instead I’m eating and drinking other things it would never occur to me to consume normally, like squash (the liquid kind). I’ve been ridiculously thirsty throughout the entire pregnancy, and lately I’ve really been fancying squash, which I haven’t drunk for years. So when the nice people at Vimto kindly sent me some samples of their new no added sugar Squeezy water enhancer they came at the perfect time. […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: hello third trimester

Week: 28 Waist: 37 inches (-0.5 inches…again!) Feeling: Coming down with a cold, worst luck The quest for decent maternity clothes continues. When I was expecting BB in 2011 there was a plethora of inspiring ranges to choose from, and I remember having to rein myself in to curb the spending. What’s changed? Last month I ordered four tops from H&M – nothing fancy, several vests and a ‘smart’ top – but the fabric was so thin it was virtually transparent so I sent them straight back again. Instead I’ve spent the last few weeks in a (non-maternity) maxi dress from Peacocks, which is just the ticket in this hot weather. Sadly this isn’t going to see me into autumn though, and it was while pondering this that I stumbled upon what actually appears to be a nice selection of affordable outfits to house my growing bump. And you’ll never guess where from: Asda. That’s right, you did read correctly. […]

What’s wrong with a big pot yoghurt poured into a bowl and eaten with a spoon?

It’s been almost 10 years since Ella’s Kitchen pioneered the squeezable ‘pouch puree’ baby food concept and despite claims the format is no match for real fruit/veg and is no substitute for a ‘proper meal’ blah blah blah it’s fair to say the market is now awash with copycat brands. Which is why I was surprised to discover that gourmet yoghurt brand The Collective’s new Suckies are the first fresh branded yoghurt pouches on the market for kids. You’d think Petits Filous or someone would have thought of it before – why has it taken so long? Needless to say BB’s eyes lit up when a polystyrene box full of samples landed on our mat for the purposes of review this week. Like Ella’s Kitchen, Suckies come in brightly coloured pouches which became instantly referred to by BB – and no doubt countless toddlers – as ‘the red one’ and the ‘green one’ as opposed to their proper names. […]

By |July 23rd, 2014|Family life, Food, Health, Money, Parenting, Recipes, Reviews, Weaning|0 Comments