Sunday 31 August 2014

Tommee Tippee Steri-Bottles

I posted a photo of these steri-bottles on my instagram and facebook accounts the other day. A few people hadn't heard of them so I thought I'd do a quick post and share this handy product!
I first came across the bottles last summer when I'd forgotten a feed for Eliot, I didn't buy them then as he wasn't three months old but didn't forget about them. On bank holiday Monday we went away for the night and I thought they would be much easier than faffing with washing bottles and teats.
Quite simply they are sterilised disposable bottles that are ready to use and suitable for babies over three months. Perfect for one or two nights away, long days out or kept in at home in case of  unforeseen events.
All you need to do is remove one bottle and teat from the stack at a time. As long as you don't tear the packaging past the rest of the teats they will stay sterile. The bottles come in a bag which must be resealed each time a bottle is taken out.
We don't sterilise anymore so this wasn't an issue for us but it couldn't be any easier to do hassle free bottle feeding on the go.
As it turned out Eliot wouldn't actually drink from the bottles but this is no fault of the bottle! I bought a couple of cartons of toddler formula as they don't need to be stored in a fridge before they're opened. Whereas cows milk obviously does, we didn't have a fridge in the room and it was a bit stuffy.
Eliot took a couple of sips then refused to drink the formula that night. The next morning we tried again but he refused. When we did get some cows milk he wouldn't even try it as he thought it was still the formula. So we had a bit of a milk fail but I still think the steri-bottles are fab!
I'm pretty certain they can only be purchased from Boots (bigger stores and online). They are available in packs of two £2.49 or five £4.49.
Have you tried the Tommee Tippee steri-bottles?

Thursday 28 August 2014

Eliot's 14 Month Update

Monday was bank holiday, we went away for the night with Nana J so that's why I'm late again with your update!
This month you seem more and more like a little boy and no longer a baby, (although you'll always be my baby!) you just seem so big! You definitely look older than 14 months and people are often surprised when they ask how old you are and we tell them.
I have noticed that you are spending more time playing wtih/exploring your toys, you are also more interested in your books and will sit looking at the pages and turn them. You'll also happily sit and look at a book with an adult, usually Grandad! One of your favourite things is pulling all your books from the shelf and putting them on a chair in your room or all over the floor.
It's also become more apparent how much you take in as you know a lot of things we're talking about or ask you to do. You are saying a few more words, tick-tock (you also wave your finger, Nana J taught you this), car and of course mama, dada, nana. You wave hello and goodbye, when we ask you where someone/something is and they're not there you hold two hands out to say 'gone'. You also do this when something falls on the floor or if someone leaves the room. You applaud yourself when you point to the clock and say tick-tock as you've got used to us doing this. It is funny and so cute! Nana J bought you a new book which plays a few different nursery rhymes and you started to dance to incy wincy spider. You rock on your feet and sway side to side, again it makes us chuckle but it's adorable. 
When you want something you will point at something and grunt, you have been doing this for a while but I'm not sure I've mentioned it.
A clip of you saying tick-tock
Unbelievably in just over a month you've grown a whole shoe size! I know baby/toddler feet grow fast but I didn't expect it to be that quick! I think you will cost us a small fortune in shoes! Back to Clarks we went and ended up getting a pair of fitted trainers that have a flashing light. You were measuring a five and a half H but they seemed a bit wide, so you have a G fitting.

Generally you love the fact that you are fully mobile and want to walk/run everywhere, not always in the direction we need to go! You are more steady are your feet but still have little falls, they don't bother you unless you really hurt yourself. You just get back up and get on with it. As Nana J says, you're a typical boy.

These past few weeks you have really been off your food and fussy. Even with things you used to love, you won't even try never mind eat. Like mango for example, you would polish half a mango off no problem but now you'll only seem to eat it if I leave the skin on and you can suck it off yourself. I'm not sure if it's just a phase or fussy toddler territory that we're in with no return! I hope it's just a phase as it was lovely to watch you gobble your food and enjoy it.  You are happy eating a few things, banana, omelette, grapes, raisins, crackers, peas, pasta and of course things that you shouldn't eat much of! Everything else is a bit hit and miss, some days you'll eat it, others you won't and quite often you'll refuse altogether.
Mummy did buy you some toddler cutlery, you like eating off the fork and can put the food in your mouth by yourself.
We tried giving you your milk in a beaker but you weren't too keen so we're still using the bottles for now.

Mummy cancelled your 8-12 month check as we ended up not being in London, so we still haven't had your weight checked. I will have to chase them to book another one as they haven't called back with an appointment yet.
You are still in 12-18 month clothes, some are a bit more snug than others so you won't wear them for much longer. Mummy has also found more 12-18 month clothes in your wardrobe that I'd forgotten about so we need to try and get some wear out of them!

You love throwing and rolling balls
You've slept through most nights this month, occasionally as usual you've cried in your sleep but settle with a dummy. There was one night where you were very upset and you only went back to sleep after having some milk. I think your teeth might have been bothering you.
Mimi cat loves you and always rubs her head on you
Your Likes/Dislikes

  • You adore being mobile, to get around independently is really your most favourite thing
  • You are  still obsessed with the washing machine, still particularly at Nana & Grandads
  • You love the cats and stroke (grab) Mimi, Coco runs if you enter the same room
  • You still enjoy nursery rhymes
  • You love playing with balls, rolling, kicking or throwing them
  • You don't like the noise from hand dryers in public toilets
  • You continue to battle when having your nappy changed, it normally takes two of us

I can't believe how quickly you're growing and changing little man, I wonder what 15 months will bring?!
Lots of Love Mummy xxx

Cheeky Chappy!

Sunday 24 August 2014

My Sunday Photo

My Sunday photo this week is a list of boy names we wrote when I was pregnant.

Friday 22 August 2014

StressFreePrint Business Cards REVIEW

A while back now I had the opportunity to review some business cards from StressFreePrint. It was perfect timing, just before BritMums live. I hadn't sorted any business cards out for the event so I was very thankful for the opportunity.
I was directly emailed by a helpful member of  staff called Craig in the StressFreePrint team, to put forward my business card requirements and send over any artwork I would like included. I had an idea of what I wanted, a purple and green theme to link with my blog and obviously all my social media details. After describing what I would like I received an email the following day from another helpful staff member, Nilesh in the artwork department.
Nilesh had done everything I'd requested but I wasn't entirely happy with my original idea so I emailed back and asked for some changes to be made. Nilesh replied swiftly with images of the updated artwork but then I decided I wanted a different photo. Overall I made a few changes to my business card design, each time Nilesh responded very swiftly in an utterly professional manner. I was more than impressed with the speed at which I was responded to. It was also clear my requests were taken on board and listened to. I must admit I was a bit of a pain in the bum customer with the changes but nothing was too much to ask.
Once I'd confirmed I was happy my business cards Nilesh emailed to confirm my order was awaiting print and would be dispatched within two working days.

It wasn't long until the package with my business cards arrived. As you can see they came packaged in nice little boxes which makes them easy to keep neat and tidy and easy to carry around without getting bent etc. Ideal storage!

I was more than happy with the actual business cards, they were exactly, as expected what I'd requested and they looked fab. The quality is excellent and I definitely recommend StressFreePrint for any of your printing needs!

As well as business cards, StressFreePrint offer an abundance of services, leaflets/flyers, posters, booklets, menus, invitations, postcards and bookmarks to name a few! They also produce seasonal goods such as calendars and greeting cards, check out their site for yourself  :)

* I was sent the business cards in exchange for a review. All opinions are honest and my own.

Feeling Nervous...

Last day at work with the Year 2 Team
This photo was taken on the last day of the school term a few weeks ago. My very last day teaching in the school I have worked the longest in since becoming a teacher. In the run up it didn't actually feel real, it felt as though the end of term was never going to arrive. But of course it did and on that day I actually got quite emotional. First of all was the last assembly, got a bit choked during that. Later on one of the children from my (dare I say it) best class came over, gave me a hug and told me I was 'a great teacher'. At the end of the day another child from that class came to say goodbye. She said that I was her 'best teacher'. Moments like those are part of what makes teaching a fantastic job. To be fair most kids tell you you're their favourite teacher after you've taught them for a length of time but I hadn't taught them since June 2013 prior to my maternity leave, so it really was touching.
It was at the staff barbecue when my emotions eventually got the better of me. A few of us were leaving and we were being handed cards. My colleague who had started when I did, gave a great leaving speech and when it got to me I couldn't get my words out. Not only because I was on the verge of tears but I can never really say what I want in situations like that. Thanks to reading other blogs I've worked out I have a few social anxiety issues and I believe that's part of what prevents me from saying more or what I really want to say. I ended up sobbing on a colleagues shoulder.
There were many highs and lows throughout my time there. My bump grew there and I worked with an amazing team of people. Some I got to know quite well and others not so well but everyone worked damn hard to make a difference in the children's learning and development.
It will be strange not to return at the beginning of the school term but I know it will be a very different place as lots of changes happened whilst I was on maternity leave.
So now I am theoretically jobless but I have registered with a couple of supply teaching agencies. This is why I am nervous and apprehensive. I won't know what school I'll be in, what year group I'll be teaching quite possibly until 7am on the actual day.
I have heard lots of negatives about supply teaching but I've also been told how great it can be too. Still, I'm nervous. What exactly I'm nervous about I'm not entirely sure, there's a mix of things. On any 'not so good days', I'll just have to remind myself that at the end of the day I'll be leaving and I don't have to return.
If you have any tips for overcoming/beating the nerves I would love to hear them! :)

Binky Linky

Monday 18 August 2014

They're Almost Over...

I'm talking about the summer holidays, we've had sun, we've had downpours so we have been able to get outside and enjoy the good weather but have needed some rainy day options too! For me my little man has recently found his feet so my main job has been to make sure he doesn't have any nasty falls. Other than that we have enjoyed indoor time learning how to play with different toys and some sensory messy play. One of our favourites is cornflour. You manipulate it and it's solid, stop and it's gloop! Eliot loved watching me roll it in my hands and seeing it go gloopy. He had a great time poking it and picking it off his highchair tray. It's a fab, cheap way to do some sensory exploring and you can make it more exciting by adding food colouring and bits of glitter.
Outdoors we've been enjoying lots of visits to different parks and visiting museums.
At one of many parks

 In the British Museum
One of the  best things about the summer holidays is getting the chance to catch up with family we don't see very often. Eliot loves his big cousin Ella so it was nice they had more time to play.

 Of course being active indoors or out works up an appetite! We were recently sent some McVitie's BN biscuits to try out which are a great 'treat' snack. If you haven't come across them yet, they are sandwich biscuits with a cheeky wink available in three different flavours (chocolate, raspberry & vanilla). We were sent the raspberry and chocolate to try.
 I think I enjoyed trying the BN biscuits more than Eliot! Both flavours taste great but I would have to say I preferred the chocolate overall, probably because I am a bit of a chocoholic! Here's Eliot enjoying a BN biccie...

As I said they are great as sweet treats and perfect for picnics in or out.

My tips for the summer holidays...
  •  Have some rainy day activities up your sleeve, even when it's not raining! From crafts, to toys to projects there is so much inspiration out there!
  • Budget for days out as they can be very costly. Taking picnics can save a lot of dosh too!
  • Encourage your kids to use their imagination. Whether it's going on a Gruffalo hunt or role play with their toy shop, get them to use it!
  • Catch up with family and friends, it's nice for the kids to spend time together and/or with different people.
  • Get cooking in the kitchen, it could be simple fairy cakes or something more complicated. A great way to inspire kids to get hands on with food.
  • Make the most of the good days, get outside to the park or wherever takes your fancy!
  • Read with your children everyday whether it's you reading to them or vice versa!
What would be your best tip for summer fun?
This post is an entry for 42 Days Of Summer Linky Challenge sponsored by McVitie's BN. Learn more at

Monday 11 August 2014

What's In My Changing Bag

One of my favourite videos to watch on YouTube is a 'What's In My Changing Bag' so I've jumped on that bandwagon and recorded one myself. I also made the decision to quit Veda after a couple of vlog related dramas. Friday night I uploaded but then realised I hadn't edited correctly so that didn't go up until Saturday morning. Then we didn't get home till 10pm Saturday after looking at possible areas to move to. I had barely any footage to upload and it wouldn't upload in time. So my last Veda vid was What's In My Changing Bag :)

Friday 8 August 2014

One Year On...Pyloric Stenosis

Pyloric Stenosis becomes apparent when a baby is around six weeks olds. It is more likely to affect firstborn babies and boys.
Apparently it is fairly common although I had never heard of it nor knew anyone whose baby had it.

One year ago today I took Eliot to Accident & Emergency at St Thomas' Hospital. Six weeks earlier he had been born there. One year ago today I was told that my son had pyloric stenosis, I was told he would need an operation, I was told I could not feed him. I will never forget his tears and the look on his face as if to say 'Mummy why aren't you feeding me?'
No parent wants to see their child ill in any way. We were lucky that we found out what the problem was straight away, we were lucky it was not anything more serious.

Eliot before his operation
 But still it was one of the worst things I've experienced, my baby with tubes coming out of him, my baby being taken from me by the surgeons. Waiting to find out my baby was ok after being operated on.
After the op
Thankfully it all went well, he recovered perfectly and is none the wiser about his ordeal at such an early age.
You can read about the run up, the symptoms and time frame in my post from earlier on in the year.

Please do share with any expectant mummies, it was not something I was aware of prior to Eliot being sick.
One year on, Eliot is a happy and healthy little chap!

Harvester update

A couple of months back, you may remember I wrote a post about an incident with the Harvester restaurant serving out of date baby food, you can read my post here. I thought I would do a quick update as after my last correspondence with the CEO my other half was still unsatisfied that there had not been an apology from the top. To cut a long story short he arranged for one of the area managers to contact us and meet in person if we wished. When she contacted my other half they arranged a date, the day before Eliot's first birthday party. Typical the OH would do such a thing when I had cake baking to be doing!
So I couldn't attend the meeting but my partner did. The area manager went into detail about how she had investigated the matter, one thing that that came up was that they had called me following my initial complaint and she'd checked the phone records. I did not receive any call from them, unless they called from a withheld number or some 08 zillion to the back of beyond number. In that case I would not have picked up my phone (I don't to such numbers) and in that case they should have left a voicemail. That got my back up a bit because it insinuated we were liars, of course I wasn't there to argue my case but the OH obviously did. Other than that the meeting went ok, we were informed that training/measures had been put in place to ensure that no other baby is served out of date food and the incident had been a learning curve. They did kindly give Eliot a Toys R Us voucher to apologise for 'letting him down', which was unexpected.
After my previous post  I received a comment from someone who basically said after getting our meal complimentary we shouldn't have taken it further. It was not about getting a 'freebie' it was about the health and safety of my son and other babies! If we hadn't made a fuss/drama, there's a possibility it could have happened to someone else's baby and if they have new measures in place as we were informed, it theoretically should never happen again.  And that is not a bad thing!

Tuesday 5 August 2014

First Year Favourites-Essential Baby Items & Tips When buying


I like many other mums, went crazy baby shopping when I was pregnant. I bought far too many baby clothes and other unnecessary bits and bobs, so I thought I'd make a vlog featuring my favourite essential baby items. I realise not all will be 'essential' to some parents but the items featured are what I found essential for us, my favourite baby essentials! I haven't included any of the 'big' items in the vlog just the little things that make a difference!

Even though I did go 'crazy' when baby buying, there are a few tips I'd thought I'd share that enabled me to save quite a bit of money! (especially on some of those larger items)

  • Find out when the next baby & toddler events are on at supermarkets, you can bag some real bargains!
  • ALWAYS shop around (including online) and compare prices to find the best deal
  • Shops like Mothercare hold expectant parent evenings and offer extra discounts (I bought our pushchair from Mothercare on one of these evenings and got an extra 10% off an already reduced item!)
  • Wait for end of season sales
  • Find out if any ex-display items are for sale (I could have bought a Silver Cross Surf with carrycot for £250)
  • Use ebay (I bought our Mama's & Papas cotbed, changing unit and wardrobe set brand new and saved £95 on the stores reduced price!)
  • Coupons, coupons, coupons, use them or lose them!
  • Join up with baby clubs such as Boots, Cow & Gate, Aptamil etc for discounts and freebies
 What were your favourite essentials?
My first year faves...
Binky Linky

Monday 4 August 2014

I'm Hosting #MinuteMonday today :)


The lovely Donna from The London Mum is busy with her move so today I'm hosting #minutemonday for her. Leave your links in the comment box below, I look forward to watching ;)

These are the rules:
  • Every Monday I’ll host the linky on TheLondonMum.  All you have to do is upload your vlog to YouTube and post the link in the comments section with the full link.  eg.
  • Make sure you visit 2-3 of the links posted and comment on their vlogs and subscribe to the channels.
  • If you want to promote your vlog via twitter use the hashtag #MinuteMonday and just include me on your post @thelondonmum and I’ll RT all links.
  • The vlogs have to be 60 seconds or less.
  • Use the linky badge on your link page
Here's my #minutemonday this week

Saturday 2 August 2014

#VEDA 2014

So at the last minute I decided to attempt VEDA ( vlog every day in August). I will be mostly using my phone for the vids as it should be easier to to the whole thing. That means there won't really be any editing but I know it won't be possible for me to vlog, edit and get a video uploaded everyday using my camera.
Leave your links if you're doing VEDA too! :)

Veda Day 2
We head to East London for a freebie lunch...

Here's yesterday's little intro as I managed to delete all the clips...

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