Mum & Toddler: October Favourites!

October 31, 2014

mumandtoddlerovtoberfavouritesHappy Halloween! It is that time again….another monthly favourites. Here is everything that both Max and I have been enjoying throughout the month of October. Every mama needs some tricks up her sleeve and I hope you find this post helpful if you need or want ideas on how to entertain little ones on rainy days or if you simply need inspiration on how to set up your home for hibernation.

Thomas the Tank Engine

We purchased a ‘Thomas, a Percy and a Diesel’ model trains a few months ago when Max was starting to take an interest in trains and engines, but he never touched them again until this month! I showed him a couple of Thomas the Tank Engine episodes and he was/is hooked and now Max is Thomas mad and so very happy to chuff, puff and choo, choo around the house.

Eau Rose by Diptyque

I think it might be fair to say that there are no words left to say about this sensational scent as I have dedicated an entire blog post to it below. An ode to an odour! I like it.

Neom Comforting Candle

Talking of heavenly scents….I was lucky enough to be sent one of the Neom Autumn Collection candles this month and my entire house smells like it is inviting you in to hibernate for the winter. Lock the doors, I will be here till Spring! I chose the Comforting candle which is exactly what it is. An earthy and warming candle with hints of orange and cloves. Think Mulled Wine and reading by the fire as dusk becomes night. Heavenly.

Clipper Sleep Easy Tea

I don’t know where to start, but I have a confession…I am an English Rose who hates the ole fashioned “English Cuppa”. It is quite simply (pun intended) not my bag baby. I prefer coffee and green tea. Occasionally I have been known to sip on a peppermint tea, but mainly I live off water. As it has started to get cosier earlier and the light outside begins to dim I have found myself seeking comfort in warm drinks of an evening, but I didn’t want to have caffeine before bed so I discovered this ‘sleep’ tea that promises to relax you and encourage tired eyes. A cup of this before bed and I don’t even need to read a book. I am out like a light. I don’t have trouble sleeping, but I do sleep lightly now I am with child. Having the tea relaxes me so much that I feel like I have a much better and deeper sleep because of it.

Cosmo & Max by Ian Bailie

I have already dedicated quite a few posts to Ian’s Book, but what’s another amongst friends? If this is the first post you are seeing then the story goes….Ian is Max’s ‘dada’ and my lobster and he has written a children’s book all about our crazy shih tzu, Cosmo and our bambino, Max. It arrived this month and is very personal to us and something we started when Max arrived. Best of all Max loves this book and we have to read it unto 3 times before bed! It is now available on Amazon to buy xxx

Ladybird WheelyBug

Confession: We actually picked up our wheely bug from a secondhand shop because I think they are overpriced, but the link above will take you to Amazon. Apologies, but if you can find a cheaper one – go for it! The wheely bug is simply a ride along toy for your mini munchkin and they come in an array of animals and insect shapes. You can get a small version or a large bug. We found a small one and Max rides on his comfortably. Max has wheeled himself around the house every day since the wheelybug arrived. Success and now a new firm favourite. Wheeeeee.

Mega Bloks by Amazon

A couple of weeks ago, it rained. Shocker. It did more than rain, it rained solidly for a week and we were trapped indoors. Max has just stopped getting frustrated and started to enjoy lego and building so I purchased these mega bloks from Amazon in the hope that I could trick him into an afternoon with Ma, in the house, building towers and bridges. It worked! Huzzah.

John Lewis Goose Down Mattress Topper

I feel like this is a very ‘grown up’ favourite, but if it did not make the list then I would be a liar for it is my favourite of all my favourite things. My favourite thing about hotels are the beds, I am obsessed with cotton counts and pillow menus and I am constantly asking the age old question “how do they make their beds so god damn soft?”. My goal in life is to make my personal bed just as good if not better than a hotel bed. This is where the mattress topper comes in. We purchased the best that we could find and OH MY GAHD my bed is heaven. It is like sleeping on a cloud, being hugged by pure love and as soon as you get in, you simply sigh ‘ahhhhhhh’. I wish I was in it right now.

Essie Button Protein Power Soup

Soup, I love soup. As soon as it gets colder, soup becomes my go to meal. I am always cold in the winter, my husband refers to me as The Walking Dead because I am simply corpse cold so I need soup to survive. Nothing beats a warming, root vegetable soup so when I was catching up with one of my fave blogs ‘Essie Button’ I discovered her protein packed power soup recipe full of beans and roasted vegetables. I have had it for lunch and dinner on more than 2 occasions. It is so incredibly delicious and warming. Best of all it is super healthy and packed full of vitamins, nutrients and fibre to keep you going throughout the day.

 

Heaven Scent: Eau Rose by Diptyque

October 29, 2014

EAU ROSE BY DIPTYQUEI have always had a love/hate relationship with perfume, mainly because almost every scent I have spritzed on myself has given me either a bad headache or the gift of time travel. I am like a hound-dog and nearly every scent and sniff can send me back in time to a lost moment or feeling. It is mostly wonderful, but not every time…

Scents are so incredibly personal and what is right for one person can be completely wrong for the next so I apologise now if you end up in Space.NK after reading this post, with your nose dipped in top notes.

Now I am with toddler, my morning routine has gone from a leisurely 20 minute stroll around my bedroom casually applying lotions and potions to a frantic 20 second dash yelling “don’t eat that!” so spraying perfume (even if it is two pumps to the wind) is and has been the last thing on my mind. Until one rainy day this Autumn I tripped and stumbled onto Space.NK dot com and found the answer to my mama dreams….the ROLLERBALL.

eau rose diptyque roll on blog

Diptyque’s Eau Rose roll on is perfectly sized and can fit in my make up bag or handbag so I can easily draw it all over my neck and wrists as and when I please. I have no clue why or how this is easier than spritzing, but it works…for me. I forgot how sometimes a scent can transform the way you stand, present yourself and feel, much like when you go from wearing flats to stepping out in high heels. If I can’t get my hair down from its 3 day top knot or if I have been wearing the same socks and jeans all week, wearing a touch of perfume makes me feel OK. I may look haphazard, but I smell nice, better than nice…dreamy.

Diptyque’s scents are heavenly, beautifully packaged, BUT pricey. The roll on Diptyque perfume is half the price and size, BUT double the convenience. Huzzah! I knew I had to have it and the Eau Rose scent is divine. I find myself rolling it on before bed!

The description alone makes you feel like you have just had a holiday:

“The fruity freshness of lychee complements the sensation of petals of freshly cut Centifolia and Damanesca Roses. Coveted in Grasse and the Isparta region in Turkey, Rosa Centifolia and Rosa Damanesca infusions sign an essentially natural fragrance whose apparent fragility gives way to a generous heart. And when night falls, the rose becomes fleshier and voluptuous with the woody sensuality of musk and cedar.” – Space.NK

I honestly had no clue I had so much to say about perfume. I bought this product with my own pennies and pounds and this post is not sponsored at all…I just really, really like it. Like really though. Happy sniffing x

Eat, Play, Love : The Sunday Post

October 26, 2014

Sunday, bloody Sunday, has it been the longest week ever for you too? Max’s ‘Dadda’ has gloriously returned from his trip across the pond and as Kylie Minogue would croon “Now we’re back togetherrrrrr” and all is right again. I can safely say, I have never had so many baths or watched so many movies as I have done this week. I am glad that normal services will resume now the Mister is back. Not being able to watch The Walking Dead was a serious test of willpower. Mr.Bailie if you are reading this, you will know that my I take my zombie apocalypse research seriously and the fact that I put it on hold shows how much I heart your guts.

eatessiebuttonsoupEat

Winter is no longer coming. I think it has arrived. So soup is my dish of the day for both lunch and dinner, I draw the line at breakfast…that’s nutso. One of my favourite vloggers and bloggers is the lovely Essie Button and this past week she shared a protein packed power soup recipe which I have tried and tried again, It is deliciously warming on a cold winters eve. I eat mine on the sofa with a blanket whilst reading blogs or watching a movie from last years Oscar list. (I’m a bit behind).

playsundaypostPlay

Rain, rain go away. It has been one of those weeks, every toy has been played with and every book has been read. Even the dog had to pretend to be a horse at one point. I had to do one of my ‘emergency’ orders on Amazon and I purchased more lego bricks and mega blocks for major toddler construction/play. I don’t know if it is because he was born in Singapore or because he is a boy, but Max loves to build and he is getting so good at it. Long gone are the frustration whines and temper tantrums that used to accompany a building tipping over due to an unstable foundation. Phew.

cosmoandmaxthebookLove

The Cosmo & Max book, I know, I know, I am a broken record, but Ian Bailie as in Mister Bailie, Max’s ‘Dadda’ and my chosen person has a book, a published book that is available on Amazon to buy and read with your own eyeballs. I am bursting with pride and it is crazy in the coconuts awesome. I have had to read it at least 3 times before bed and naps and for the first time I do not mind.

First comes Dog, then comes Baby : Cosmo & Max by Ian Bailie

October 22, 2014

cosmoandmax

We have honestly been saying for years “I don’t know how people do it” and we are talking about people who just have a baby without owning a pet first. Having a pet is one of the best things in life, but nothing can quite prepare you for the life change, just like babies. It doesn’t matter if you have a parrot or a dog. Pets have issues too. Cosmo, is our Shih-Tzu and as soon as she arrived home (no bigger than a face flannel) the chaos began. We were up several times a night, cleaning up poop, saving her from electrocution when she chewed live wires, getting her jabs, cleaning her, feeding her, teaching her and playing with her. Having a pet really prepares you for children, especially when your puppy behaves like one…

We have had Cosmo since she was just 10 weeks old and she is 6 this year, she has moved house 5 times, countries twice and to top it all off we had a baby last year! We have thrown some serious challenges at her and of course she has dealt with each one in her very own and unique way. (Mainly barking and sleeping).

When Max arrived I was up every other hour breastfeeding that milk monster in the night and my dutiful husband forced his eyeballs open to keep me company at every single feed. We used these twilight hours to discuss our days or baby poo and we liked to daydream about our future and what it might look like. This is when we started to write the story of Cosmo and Max and Ian ran with it…every time I fed Max, Ian was thinking of a new verse or silly thing that Cosmo did. Then life got in the way and Max kept growing, Ian continued to add to the story as Max and Cosmo grew together.

Cosmo and Max was originally going to be a precious gift from us to Max on a special birthday, but we decided the story was too lovely not to share with the world so we found a fantastic illustrator and self published Cosmo and Max. It is now available to buy on Amazon as of this week and I could not be happier with how it has turned out and I am so proud of Ian for making the book a reality and for creating such a treasured gift for our son and yours.

Cosmo and Max is available to buy for just £4.99 on Amazon

cosmoansmaxthebookonamazon

 

Eat, Play, Love : The Sunday Post

October 19, 2014

Sundays are meant for lazy lie-ins, roast dinners, newspapers and hoodies, but once you have a toddler it all changes. Think lego, cartoons, screaming, crying, laughing, poop, milk, washing and being used as a human climbing frame especially if you dare to stay in bed for a minute longer than 7am. 20 months in and I wouldn’t change my new Sunday for the world. It is and has become our perfect chaos.

Last night I got the dreaded ‘Sunday Blues’ early as Mr.B left early this morning for San Francisco for work and he is already in the air heading for the Bay. My BAE is upstairs, currently snoozing his little mind off, whilst I enjoy a second coffee with Cosmo and catch up on all my favourite ‘Sunday posts’. So even though I am not nursing a hangover or indulging in a Friends Marathon, I am still having a peacefully lazy Sunday.

eatEat

Sweet Potato Chips are becoming an obsession. As soon as October 1st arrived, I craved and inevitably caved into these roasted beauties. They are so easy to cook and great as a snack or a friend for your burger. I splash mine with olive oil, paprika, salt, pepper and chilli flakes. They taste like tiny sticks of Autumn. So incredibly warming, delicious and healthy too.

playPlay

It has been another week of play dates, park dates and cake dates. We have been so incredibly lucky with the weather this week and so I made sure that I got out with Max every single day. The mini B has a cold at the moment so fresh air and a change of scenery was a must for this poorly fellow.

loveLove

Our chair from The London Chair Collective arrived yesterday and it looks brilliant and our lounge is finally coming together. We have been in our new house for 7 months now and finding inspiration has been relatively easy, but finding actual pieces that we can use with both a toddler and a dog has been challenging. When I saw this chair I couldn’t stop thinking about it and then within a week it arrived and it is now owning our room. It was originally part of a foyer chair for a hotel, it is Victorian and has been split and re-upholstered in a gorgeous mustard fabric, which looks so chic with our light grey walls. It is really starting to feel cosy and just in time….winter is coming!

My Honest Review : Honestly Healthy 6 Day Soup & Smoothie Cleanse

October 15, 2014

The Honestly Healthy cleanses or detox programmes are favourites to the likes of Victoria Beckham, Mel C and Millie Mackintosh and the cleanses are definitely not ‘as cheap as chips’, so chips have always won in my house…

This is a tale of a ‘real’ life person (ME) embarking on a 6 day soup and smoothie cleanse with the Honestly Healthy fridge fill service. This is my honest review and experience whilst on the cleanse and I hope it helps anyone who is thinking of starting a similar detox programme or cleanse.

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I feel like I should add that I knew that I wanted to share my journey on the blog, but I did not necessarily know or plan a format etc. However during my 6 detox days I kept a diary of how my day went, how I felt, I listed my struggles, my highs and lows and I noted any observations I had throughout the days. Once I finished the cleanse and read back over my notes I decided that they were so ‘straight to the point’ and funny that I would simply share them here, completely un-edited for a seriously honest, Honestly Healthy review.

HHfridgefillthemilkstand

Day 1

What have I done ? It’s Saturday and I deserve coffee and to eat all the things at the frikking farmers markets. Husband decides Chinese sticky back ribs are an appropriate solo meal whilst I drink soup. All dishes taste surprisingly delicious. Never feel hungry. Have an intense caffeine cold turkey headache. Take a nap whilst the boys swim and once Max goes to bed I have a bath, binge watch AHS and go to bed before 10pm. Get up to pee three times in the night, reminded of pregnancy days.

Day 2

I can’t believe I got through a day. Woop, woop. Oh god, waking up and realising I have 5 more days to go… All dishes super tasty and filling until the next one. Niggle of a headache today. Family round which is a huge test of will power for me. They had ice cream and coffee. I didn’t. Feeling smug. Have never wished for next week so bad. Husband cooked chilli tonight whilst I boiled soup and I internalised swear words, but the man has to eat!

Day 3

My joints hurt…am I dying? Had an awful nights sleep, but that was probably due to the 10 hours I had the previous night. Longing to chew. Went on Pinterest. Big mistake. Pinned all the food. Lost followers. Wondering why I thought I could do 6 days instead of 3. Realise I’m dumb. Smell coffee. Ok so I went back on Pinterest to look at food and found lots of fitness and positivity quotes. Feeling motivated. I’m back in the game and sipping some kind of carrot juice…lunch soup is delicious! I cracked and ate a few raisins. Failed! Dinner soup looks suspicious, tastes amazing and super filling. Not craving dessert/sugar. Run out of cleanse food and await delivery for the next 3 days. My fridge looks less Sci Fi without the containers.

Day 4

Had an ok nights sleep and feel good. More energy than the previous days and jeans feel looser. Awaiting to hear when my delivery for the next 3 days will turn up and wondering if peanut butter on toast will do in the interim? That and a frothy cappuccino? Make my own veg, fruit smoothie instead as I’m hungry and cannot wait till 11am because I have been up with a toddler since 7am! Skin looks clearer, which is amazing as I have had a lot of hormonal skin problems, but then again I’ve gone H.A.M with the Clearasil so who knows?! And I’m drinking so much water. Went to the park with mini Max and could hardly keep up, either he’s going through a growth spurt or I’m seriously low in energy? Just remembered I have full 3 days of play dates so need to bake… Chose to bake banana muffins. Torture. Using all my resolve not to go off plan. I’d like to read how Posh Spice does this with such ease! Fennel & pear soup for dinner, get me.

Day 5

Woke up this morning, feeling fine! Had a great nights sleep and this might be the first day I haven’t had a headache… Big woop. Husband has somehow smuggled in some Cadbury Twirl bars and thinks he has hidden them. Honestly why did I not decide to cleanse whilst he’s away on business? Again, dumb. Not craving the Twirl though…lifechanging! Max offered me some hummus that I had to pretend to eat… Torture. Seriously tired of sipping, but amazing for not slipping on my programme. I think this cleanse is making me rhyme. God, I’m cool. Decided I hate the smoothies and love the soups. One more day to go. Headache before bed, but I just watched the Kimye wedding so it could of been my brain cells screaming at me to sort my shizz out. One more day.

Day 6

D-Day! The last day. Thank heavens. Waiting for the eureka “oh I only eat bee pollen now” moment. When is it coming? My colon has decided to start it’s own cleanse. (Know what I’m saying?) Every juice and soup tastes more delicious knowing it’s the last time I will be gulping it. Felt incredibly tired today and realised I’ve taken more baths in the last week than in the last year…if anything this cleanse has made me relax! Eating my last soup and reflecting on the past six days I can’t help, but feel like I’ve hit a reset button. A button I’m motivated to keep shiny and new.

FINISHED!

hhsoupandsmoothie

This past week has showed me where I’ve been going wrong with my diet and the detox has made me so much more aware of what I’m putting into my body and for that I am grateful. I think that I am self aware, but by doing something as drastic as a cleanse with a menu and all my food laid out for me, well I found myself feeling more accountable and the difference between what I wanted and what I actually needed was suddenly far clearer than before.

hhjuiceandsmoothie

Start weight : 62.6kg 

End weight : 60.6kg

  • Things I hated: Caffeine withdrawal headaches, feeling tired and low of energy, husband eating and cooking (mans gotta eat), eating a meal with no sense of ‘occasion’. Bad sleep.
  • Things I loved: Drinking more water, better skin, better digestion, flatter tummy, weight loss, good sleep.

Other Information:

  • Honestly Healthy offer a ‘fridge fill’ service that is delivered straight to your door. This was only previously offered if you had a London postcode, but HH now offer this service nationwide! Go.
  • There are many different cleansing options to choose from and you can select to do a 3 day cleanse or a 6 day cleanse. you can choose to just give your system a kick start or if you’re tough enough you can dive straight into the ‘deep cleanse’.
  • To check out all the plans and cleansing options, click here: http://honestlyhealthyfood.com/plans/

I hope this helps anyone who is interested in the cleanse and feel free to send me questions via email or simply by leaving me a comment below. I will try and reply as soon as I can.

Mum & Toddler : September Favourites!

October 7, 2014

septemberfavourites

September was sunny, blue and surprisingly warm. Today was cold, wet and windy…what a difference a month makes…hello Autumn! This month we have been loving a lot of things and I cannot wait to share them with you.

Le Toy Van London Car Set

Max is a boy who loves his cars. He loves lining them up, driving them around the living room and yelling “zoom, zoom”. We actually had to buy two more sets. This dude is mad for cars, trains and diggers.

Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Food Recipe Book

I have every Jamie Oliver cook book going and so this was an obvious purchase for me, but woah Nelly Furtado! the recipes are amazing. Filthy, calorie-tastic comfort food. Delicious!

Alphabet Placemat

Up until now Max has been eating his food off his high chairs tray, but I was getting so tired of endlessly scrubbing every nook and cranny for spaghetti bolognese and he was starting to refuse to get in his chair so I needed a NEW strategy. This alphabet placemat has been the answers to my prayers…it is entertaining, colourful, interactive and best of all it is amazing toddler ‘come eat your dinner’ high chair bait.

Hape Construction Site Peg Puzzle

Max loves these peg puzzles, we now have 4! Need I say more?

JoJo Maman Bebe Fisherman Coat

This anorak is adorable and I am pretty mad that it doesn’t come in my size. It is waterproof, warm, it has a hood and makes Max look like the smallest fisherman ever. If the yellow is too bright for you – the mac also comes in navy and red.

H&M Shaping Jeans

A friend who works in H&M HQ told me to get a pair of these jeans as soon as possible and the promise was that they would change my life. It took a lot for me to click the mouse, because I am a Topshop jeans gal, but woah Nelly Furtado these jeans are amaze balls. Super shaping and great for anyone who wants to fake it till they make it! They are my new secret weapon.

Clearasil Ultra Skincare Collection

I have had such a problem with my face for the last 3 months. I am used to getting the odd blemish, but recently my hormones have attacked my chin and they invited all their friends. I had to take drastic action, seek professional advice and cry a lot before I purchased some of the Clearasil Ultra skin care range. I started with a clay mask and then a cream and now I own some toning pads and a scrub. My acne cleared within a few days and I noticed such a difference after just 12 hours. It is a miracle. I am not spot free yet, but I am getting back to my old self again and I am so grateful.

The Honourable Woman

Watch it! Watch it! Watch it! Amazing television and highly addictive. We watched half the series in one sitting. BBC2 iPlayer.

Sticky 9 Instagram Photo Fridge Magnets

I have mentioned my photo magnets before on the blog, but I just placed a huge order for even more instagram picture magnets. Max loves carrying these around, as well as re-arranging them on the fridge and freezer. I am an instagram addict so it is so nice to have our captured moments displayed where we can all see them every day, especially as we hardly ever print our pictures anymore.