Wednesday 30 July 2014

Eliot's 13 Month Update

Mummy is late again at getting this post up! I can't believe how quickly the months fly past!
This month you have learnt to clap your hands, if someone says 'clap hands' or sings a song with those words you will clap hands! If I'd written this post on time I would still be saying you are very confident with walking but today you actually walked by yourself, lots of steps and did it several times! We are so so proud of you! Unfortunately you also banged your head against your cot when you tried to get up, so you have a nasty bruise :( 
We bought your first pair of shoes as you liked being on your feet outside holding our hands, they will be a necessity now you can walk by yourself. You were actually a lot more co-operative than I thought you would be when you had your feet measured. You are currently a 4.5 H and have a pair of Clarks Doodles.
We are still experiencing the tantrums, particularly when you can't have your own way. After talking to various other parents, you aren't the only one and I've been informed these will last until at least your second birthday!
Your first shoes!
You have been on and off your food this past month, even some of your favourites! I think it could be because of the weather. It has been so hot and I know I don't feel like eating a lot so perhaps you feel the same. Raisins have fast become a favourite snack and you gobble these up! Nana Mary has been treating you to ice creams when you're out with her so you've learnt how to lick them and won't share with anybody! You've also tried some diluted pure juices, you didn't like the orange but you are a fan of apple and mango juice!

We have your 8-12 month check booked so I will be able to  update this in your next update!
Nothing has changed here.

You had a very unsettled couple of nights when we stayed at Nana and Grandad's, I think you were too hot! 
Your Likes/Dislikes

  • You are back to loving the washing machine, particularly at Nana & Grandads
  • You love ice cream
  • You don't like sit on rides when they move
  • You stilldon't like having your nappy changed
Enjoying sitting on a ride and 'driving' but you cried when it started to move!


It's crazy how much you've grown and changed! I put some clips together of you from 7-13 months...
We love you lots


I get excited when parents themselves come up with innovative products. After all we're the ones that see what makes our kids tick, keeps them happy, soothes them, reassures them etc. So who better to design and produce new products?!
This is what happened when two mums from New York decided to set up a business together, they came up with Toogiez. It's a venture that's live over on kickstarter now.

Toogiez are the loveable toys that attach to a specially designed toogiez t-shirt with velcro, as pictured.
 There are a range of Toogiez available to suit your child's tastes and/or mood. I love the concept, as well as being changeable and interactive for children they also offer reassurance too!
I have seen lots of positive feedback from others bloggers who are reviewing the toogiez via posts and social media.
They are suitable for children aged 2-8 years so Eliot is too young for them but I do have one to giveaway!!!
So to win a t-shirt and two toogiez of your choice enter the rafflecopter below! The competition is open worldwide!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday 28 July 2014

Fun On The Farm

Driving the combine harvester

On Saturday afternoon Eliot and I headed to Willows Farm Village with my mum. I'd been there several times before when I was a nanny many moons ago and I always enjoyed it as did the children I looked after. So I wondered if I would be just as impressed a few years down the line and a mother myself.
Quite simply the answer was yes! I'm an animal lover anyway so I knew I would enjoy it and enjoy watching Eliot discover and learn. Since my last visit the farm has changed, it's expanded and there are more things to see and do. From indoor and outdoor play areas to animals to feed and activities to participate in, there really is so much to do. We arrived about 2:30pm and stayed until the farm closed at 5:30pm but I'd really recommend arriving before lunchtime so you can experience all Willows has to offer. I'd also recommend buying your tickets online as they are slightly cheaper than buying on arrival. The tickets are also valid for the season so you don't have to book a particular date which I thought was really great and offers flexibility.

The first thing we did was visit the barn, which had farm animals to pet and feed and also rabbits and guinea pigs to cuddle. Eliot enjoyed looking at the animals and listening to the sounds they made but did try to pick up and eat the animal feed from the floor!
Next we had a little walk and rode on Tristan the runaway tractor. Eliot didn't really enjoy it, I think it was because it was too noisy.
After we had another walk around and Eliot played in the play areas before we treated ourselves to an ice-cream.

We had a lovely afternoon and I really recommend visiting over the summer if you have young children and are looking for  days out.

Here's a video of what we got up to at the farm...

#MinuteMonday 5 Lemurs!


This week our clip takes your a few months back to April, at The West Midlands Safari Park on our first family hol...

Thursday 17 July 2014

Staying Safe In the Sun with Organic Children Sun Lotion REVIEW

The temperature is set to soar over the next couple of days (it's pretty darn hot already!) and one thing for sure is that we need to keep the whole family safe outside!
Last week I made the mistake of not putting on any sun cream whilst on a school trip to the seaside. It was overcast when we arrived and it was fairly breezy down on the beach. My job was to stand in the water with a fellow teacher to ensure the groups of children that came in for a paddle did not stray beyond us. Later on when we had lunch up on the grass, was when the sun seemed to come out and it did begin to feel quite hot.
 On the coach journey back my arms and face began to feel a bit tender. But boy my calves had massively paid the price for me foolishly not applying any sun cream. That evening they were bright red and very sore indeed!
I would never even contemplate not putting any sun cream on Eliot, so this was a reminder that my skin is not invincible and I should not be na├»ve about overcast breezy conditions! Of course standing in the water reflected the sun on my poor calves even more.  As well as the kids we need to ensure we protect our own skin too!

As we all know the sun is at it's hottest from around 11am-3pm, if it's possible you should avoid being in the direct sun for lengthy periods at these times. Obviously most people will be out at some point between these times, so what can we do to maximise protection from the heat and sun?

  • Wear cool comfortable clothing. Pure cotton is the best
  • Wear a hat to keep those rays off heads, faces and backs of necks
  • Drink plenty of water and cool drinks to stay hydrated
  • Treat yourself to ice lollies/ice creams to help stay cool
  • Stay in the shade when possible or avoid the sun altogether between 11am-3am
  • Water play is a great way for little ones to have fun and help stay cool, whether it's in the paddling pool or simply a washing up bowl with water and toys.
  • Dress the kids in clothes that offer sun protection
  • And of course apply sun cream to those areas that are exposed to the sun
Eliot staying safe in the sun

We were recently sent some Green People Organic Children Sun Lotion to try out and review. In SPF 25, it is scent free and offers medium protection from UVA and UVB. It is perfect for all skin types including sensitive skin as it is free from nasties such as, parabens, alcohol and colourants. 81% of the ingredients are organic and the lotion is approved by the vegetarian society. Definitely a product I feel comfortable about applying to Eliot's skin.
Something that I have particularly liked about the Organic Children's sun lotion is that it is scent free, some sun creams have a very strong smell making you wonder about what ingredients they contain. It is not greasy at all and rubs in very easily to the skin, which is very beneficial when you have a wriggling toddler! I have found this perfect for Eliot's skin.

I also made a surprising discovery! Did you know that there is only a 2% difference in protection between SPF 25 and SPF 50? Nope? Neither did I, I thought you were getting double the protection when using SPF 50! Therefore there is a very small difference in the amount of protection.

Enjoy the sunny weather over the next few days but remember to stay sun safe!

*I was sent the product for the purpose review, all views are entirely my own

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Infacare Baby Bath REVIEW

A while back we were sent a lovely big bottle of Infacare ultra mild baby bath. On the bottle it says 'Infacare Ultra Mild Baby Bath does more than just clean gently, it helps care for your baby's skin too'.
It also states to be suitable for babies and children who may have sensitive and/or dry skin. This appealed to me as Eliot has suffered from baby eczema particularly on his legs. Therefore I am wary about what I use at bath times. However, we have had no problems with the Infacare baby bath, Eliot's skin has agreed with it and there hasn't been a bit of eczema in sight. It has been very gentle on his squishy baby skin and it smells lovely too, fresh but delicate! It creates lots bubbles for bath time and sensory fun.
Eliot has loved his bath time from the early days and it has been a wonderful way for him to relax and stimulate his senses. We have recently started using the main bath and he loves nothing more but to lay back and kick and splash in the bubbles.
Linda Blair, who is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist, a Chartered Scientist, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and a Registered Practitioner Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council says...
"Bath time provides an ideal opportunity to tune in to your baby, a time
to reflect on what your baby might be thinking.  All that fun playing with
bubbles can help them to learn through touch and play, and parents can
learn to recognise what their baby is trying to tell them."
So bath time for little ones is not only about getting clean but also learning through their senses.
Infacare baby bath ultra mild is suitable to use with babies 1 month old and over. It is available in 400ml and 750ml bottles. You can pick it up at several major retailers, such as Asda, Boots and Wilkinsons. It is also available to buy online from Amazon and other online sites.
Eliot enjoying a bath with Infacare.
* I was sent the product in exchange for a review.  All views are entirely my own

Sunday 13 July 2014

'It's all a trick' #HeinzPastaQuotes

Hands down, Julia Donaldson is one of the best children's authors ever! I became familiar with her wonderful books as a trainee teacher and my love continues to grow. Her stories grip a group of thirty children, make them laugh, make them shout "it rhymes!', and enhance their reading enjoyment.
 So when my little guy came into the world last year, there were no doubts he was going to be introduced to Julia Donaldson books early on. The first book I read to him by Julia Donaldson was 'The Gruffalo', He smiled and giggled when I changed my voice to represent the various characters.
So when the opportunity arose to enter the #HeinzPastaQuotes with Tots 100 there was no question that our quote would come from a Julia Donaldson book. But which one would we choose as we genuinely adore all of the ones we have in our collection. It was going to be a tricky decision but we read them and I based our decision on Eliot's reaction to the different stories. At the moment the clear winner is 'The Gruffalo's Child' and our favourite quote from the book is...

'Its all a trick
I don't believe in the big bad mouse'

This post is my entry to the Tots 100 and Heinz competition to support book week.

Thursday 10 July 2014

One Minute

On Monday morning at work, I received a voicemail from my dad. He was calling to tell me my mum was in hospital.
A few years ago I received a similar voicemail from him, that time my mum was in intensive care after having a heart attack when coming round from a general anaesthetic.

So obviously I was very worried and upset having received the voicemail on Monday. I left work and headed to my parents place to pick up some bits for my mum. Once I'd got them I drove to the hospital. It took me a few minutes to find where her ward was. When I did, I walked in to a sea of of blue curtains and a lot of staff around one of the beds. A nurse came over, I told her my mums name and she asked me to wait outside for a few minutes as they were working on a patient. I then realised there was something serious happening, I saw a man pacing the corridor visibly upset.
I waited quite a while before I was able to go into the ward and see my mum. She was surprised and relieved to see me. She explained that the woman in the next bed had arrived in hospital just after my mum. They'd said 'hello' to each other and shortly after her family arrived. Then at some point all of a sudden the next thing my mum noticed was doctors and nurses rushing around the lady before all the curtains around the other beds were closed. Very sadly the lady passed away. We weren't aware of this until later on though.
Whilst keeping my mum company I thought and reflected. I thought about how day to day life is taken for granted by myself, by others. I saw the amazing jobs the nurses were doing of taking care of the patients.
In moments like those you really see how life is so precious. One minute we can be here and the next minute, be gone. Situations such as this put things in perspective.
Thankfully my mum is now at home and doctors couldn't see a problem with her heart. I need to remember not to take things for granted.

What has made you reflect?

Sunday 6 July 2014

The Ordinary Moments #12 First Shoes

Blurry as someone was keen to test out their new shoes!
It's been a while since I've posted an Ordinary Moments post. After declaring I would be more on top of getting them done, it's been a massive fail. I have been getting bogged down with work and other bits and pieces which has made me very unorganised on my blog.
Any-hoo, on Friday I bought Eliot his first pair of 'proper' shoes, so I guess this an 'extraordinary' ordinary moment because it's not everyday you buy your little one their first pair of shoes but they're a necessity.
It wasn't planned, I was out shopping with my mum and as there were sales I thought I'd take advantage and grab a bargain. The shoes had to be Clarks. I remember getting my feet measured as a child and trying on new shoes in Clarks. I want the same for Eliot, the half sizes, the width fittings. Basically getting a good fit, good quality shoe!
We headed into a shop that sold Clarks shoes and Eliot had his feet measured, he was actually a lot more co-operative than I thought he would be whilst they were measured. The mini tantrums began when I was trying to get him to have a wander in a pair and he wanted to go in another direction.
I went with a pair of Clarks Doodle shoes that were in the sale, I think they look very cute!
Linking up with The Ordinary moments

mummy daddy me

Baby/Toddler Boy Clothes Haul

Eliot was a very lucky boy on his 1st Birthday and received lovely gifts from family and friends. I've done a vlog to share the clothes that he was bought...I love a clothes haul! I'm totally 'vlog bombed by one of my city kitties, Coco!

Saturday 5 July 2014

Anarkali Indian Restaurant REVIEW

 A few Thursdays ago, we were lucky enough to have a dinner date at The Anarkali Indian Restaurant in Hammersmith West London.
Indian is one of my absolute fave cusines, I've been chowing down on Indian food for as long as I can remember!
On arrival I informed the waiter we had a table booked, I wasn't entirely sure he'd heard what I'd said. We were shown to a table and started browsing the menu over poppadums' and chutney.

In my opinion you can't do an Indian without poppadums', they are a staple part of an Indian meal. I was pleasantly surprised that there were six different chutneys/dips to try, I find most Indian restaurants usually have four. All tasted great but the lime pickle was probably my fave, I do love a bit of spice!

I decided not to opt for a starter as I find Indian quite filling and I waned to ensure there was plenty of room for my main. The OH went for Prawn Puree for his starter.

It was presented nicely and my OH said he enjoyed the flavours but started to feel full fairly quickly. I did warn him that puree dishes are filling!

For my main course I ordered Vegetable Thali. If you're not familiar with 'Thali' dishes they give a little taster of a few dishes along with rice and naan. Here's what I got to try out, onion bhaji, sag paneer, aloo gobi, tarka daal and bhindi bhaji. I loved trying out the varied selection and would definitely recommend it!

My OH commented on how it didn't look like there was much food but believe me there was plenty and I couldn't finish it! I recommend trying a Thali as it enables you to try more than a couple of things, perhaps dishes you haven't tasted before or if Indian cusine is new to you, Thali is a good start! Anarkali also serve a meat version too for those of you that like meat in every dinner.

My other half opted for lamb passanda, a mildly spiced dish, he chose special fried rice and sag aloo to accompany it. When the meal arrived mushroom fried rice had been brought by mistake, the staff were apologetic and very swiftly served the special fried rice my OH had ordered. He enjoyed trying dishes that he wasn't familiar with and exploring the flavours.
We were both way too full for pudding so we asked for the bill. When it arrived I quickly realised that I hadn't been heard when we arrived. We were expecting the drinks to be on the bill but the food had also been added. A bit of an embarrassing situation but it was rectified quickly, even though the staff appeared to have no idea we were meant to be there that evening.

Overall we had an enjoyable date night at the Anarkali restaurant. The atmosphere was pleasant and the staff were attentive. There is a large selection of dishes to choose from that will suit everyone's spice palette, from mild to very hot.

* We received a free meal in exchange for a review.  All views are entirely my own

Wednesday 2 July 2014

Eliot's 1st Birthday

Eliot turned a whole year old on Thursday 26th June, I thought I'd share how we celebrated!
The day started off with poo! We went into his room singing happy Birthday, when the OH opened the blind and we were greeted by Eliot and a nice lump of poo next to him! Typically that is the first time his nappy has exploded in the cot, I'm just thankful he didn't get his hands in it and smear it everywhere!

We'd got his presents all ready for him the night before, along with a few balloons. He didn't have a clue what was going on when we brought him in to the living room and kitchen. Still he didn't waste any time and got into the ball bit to play and had a quick go on his trike which his Nana and Grandad bought.

 We opened some of his other gifts over breakfast but he didn't really get the whole 'open and discover' aspect and ended up pushing them on the floor.
After breakfast we got ready and headed out for the day, Eliot rode his new trike and first stop was modelling an outfit for  When We Were Little. It was for their Spring/Summer 2015 collection. He looked adorable in the clothes he wore and I can't wait to see the photos! 
Next we went for a spot of lunch at a chain called The Banana Tree. Eliot was starting to get tired as his nap is usually before or after lunch, it was at this point I realised I'd made a huge boo boo! Napping would be difficult/near impossible on his trike, which meant we were going to end up with one cranky little birthday boy...massive fail! However we decided to carry on with our plans and headed to Battersea Park. My poor boy kept failing asleep in his trike, so we thought it would be a good idea to park up the trike and get him out to sleep in my arms. He woke straight away and refused to go to sleep. Admitting defeat we went into the play area and he spent a fair bit of time on one of his favourite things, the swing!

After that we popped into Battersea Park Zoo, Eliot loves animals so we thought it would be an ideal birthday visit. It was very quiet which was perfect for us to stroll and around and get a good look at  all the animals. Eliot enjoyed watching all of them apart from the pigs who were grunting noisily. He started crying so we had to move on swiftly. The zoo hosts a huge sand play area, Eliot hadn't experienced sand before so when we plonked him down he was a bit unsure. However it wasn't long before he started crawling around to explore. It was then time to start our long walk home! (see the video at the bottom for more animal antics!)
Watching the Meerkats with daddy

Squirrel Monkey

Back at home we had dinner and celebrated our boys special day with a cake.
A couple of days later we had a small  bee themed party at home with some family and friends. I made a simple yellow and black dot '1' cake which turned out ok and everyone said they liked it, although my dad did comment it was 'a little dry'. Pah! I'm just pleased it turned out alright. Getting the icing over it was the trickiest bit and it wasn't anywhere near perfect but it just about passed if you didn't look closely!
Food Table

I made my own extremely simple party bags to fit in with the theme, I got the idea from good old Pinterest! All I used were yellow paper bags, bee themed stickers and washi tape, all purchased on ebay.

Overall I think my little bee thoroughly enjoyed his celebrations, even if he did have no idea what was going on.
How did/will you celebrate your little ones 1st Birthday?

Binky Linky
Thank you so much for stopping by! I appreciate comments and read all of them!