Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Maclaren Universal Cosy Toes Review.

Since i have been blogging one company has been unbelievably kind to me by suppling products for review and once again they have given me another excellent product to try.

Tabitha is a nightmare for keeping blankets on her legs when out in the buggy so as the Siberian winter approached i began thinking of getting a cosy toes for her. As I don't drive some days no matter how cold it is i have to go out of the house with Tabitha in the buggy so it is important that she is warm and comfortable. Choosing one I found hard, the ones i mostly see are the fluffy or fleecy ones in bold colours and patterns. They look very snug but are just not to my personal taste i prefer things understated and classic looking. I got myself confused, searching for so many different types and overloading my head with a zillion cosy toes eventually i just didn't like the look of any.

I was so relieved when Maclaren said they would supply me with one as i was hopeful it would follow suit of their buggy designs and be stylish yet functional. I was not let down. The cosy toes they supplied matches the buggy i reviewed a few months back for them The Maclaren Quest Sport, a classic charcoal grey with a simple brand logo in white stitching across the front, the outer fabric is cotton but the inside is fleece lined and very soft to the touch.

Getting it in place on the buggy is pretty straight forward. The straps need to be lengthened to accommodate the extra fabric and Tabithas growing tummy, a job i hate doing. Those adjusters are fiddly on every buggy i've ever used. Maclaren we'd love you even more if you found a way to make that a quicker action. Tabitha is quite a tall girl and has long gangly legs so i was a bit concerned that a cosy toes maybe something she would grow out of quickly but she seems to have a fair bit of room for growth in the bottom of it.

I have two buggies and have found that the cosy toes will fit the 5 point harness on both. However a little adaption to the fixings is needed ( i have sewed two duffle coat toggles onto the back of my Bugaboo to secure the ties in place ) It is obviously designed for a Maclaren but its certainly is not untransferable if necessary.

I like to find a fault in the products i review but i really am struggling with this one. Tabitha has no objection to being zipped up in it when we go out. No more using cot blankets and having them dragging along the pavement. The seams are well made and strong, the zip smooth and sturdy. Tabitha looks so warm wrapped up like a snug bug in her pushchair, i don't think twice about venturing out on cold weather days.

A cosy toes is a must have for this time of year and if your looking for something timeless and well made, Maclaren are the people to see.

Thomas likes it too!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Friday, 26 November 2010

Out with the old, in with the new....

Moover Wooden Pram
Tabitha got some excellent toys for her birthday. Obviously we chose them and hoped she'd like them but i reckon we did pretty well as they seem to have gone down a storm!

Brio Rocker
We love wooden toys and were thinking it would be a good idea to try to build up a selection of unisex wooden toys should we have more sproglettes in the future.

Original Wheelie Bug
That said we seem to have fallen into a little Ladybird theme somewhere along the way....erm boys like ladybirds too don't they? Oh well......

Kidorable Wellies
Knowing the snow is on the way i wanted to get her some wellies for going out in the snow and the only issue i'm faced with now is how to get her to walk while she is touching the ladybirds faces and saying 'Sssssshhoooooes'.

Little Life Rucksack
Tabithas resent attitude has made me very aware that the battle of wills is about to kick in. She already strops when i try to get her back in the buggy at the park and it is a matter of time before she wants to walk places. I'm not a fan of reins mostly because they always look a bit cheap so we went for this rucksack which will carry mummies purse and keys nappies/wipes a few toys but also has a wrist strap for me to hold while she toddles off like a big girl.

Branching Out Wooden Puzzle
I loved this puzzle when i saw it, under each letter is a picture representing it. Toys like this being around from a  young age will help Tabs learn colours and letters without  too much effort or forced learning. It also looks fabulous on her dresser.

Baby Born Bathable Doll
I think my other half thought i'd gone mad when i added this to the list but its a must have for a little girl. I agree a wooden one would have been nice or a Blythe but she is 1 not 8 so we went with this. She goes in the bath and has a outfits you can buy separately. As if to prove my point when Tabs unwrapped this she immediately put the bottle in the babies mouth and patted its head, just like Mummy does. 

Talking De Li
The other must have purchase that went a bit against the grain was this... On a recent shopping trip to Tesco i saw this talking De Li and pressed its tummy, Tabitha went bright red and dropped her head in shame, it was a classic 'Muuuuuuum' moment! She was torn between her excitement and her embarrassment at my actions. It was the cutest thing i'd ever seen.

Of course in true Tabitha style she has played mostly with the number one helium balloon my mum got her, its been dragged from room to room and i'm a bit concerned what will happen when it has its day. 

What i need to do now is clear out the old toys, the rattles, the teething toys and the battered board books, because we have a big girl on our hands.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Goodbye Pert Breasts - A Guest Post.

[ I am really pleased to have a guest post by Ben Wakeling author of 'Goodbye, Pert Breasts: The Diary of a Newborn Dad' .....Ben also writes a parenting blog 'Goodbye Pert Breasts' from a Dads perspective and does it with much needed humour and grace. ]

"If you’d wanted to speak to me a year ago today, you’d have probably found me in Mothercare, lingering suspiciously in the maternity bra section. Allow me to explain, before you go dialling the police. I would not, of course, have been looking at the underwear; instead, I’d most likely be trying to catch sight of my wife as she dashed from stand to stand, filling her basket with babygrows, toys and anything else that she thought might be remotely necessary for the baby she was due to have in April.

On one such occasion, I moved on from the underwear after attracting strange glances from shoppers and staff, and instead browsed the pregnancy books on a little rotating stand. Leafing through a few, I realised something: every book was aimed at the mum. They spoke of how much weight she would put on, what her hormones would be doing, and what she should be eating. There was nothing for me, the dad, to tell me what I should be doing.
It was then that the little idea sperm and egg fused in my mind, and I thought about writing a book, all about pregnancy from a father’s point of view. This book would not only provide expectant dads with practical advice on how to get more involved during those sticky nine months, but also answer the really important pregnancy questions going through any man’s mind. Is my partner going to poo during labour? What do I do when she shrieks at me in a hormonal rage? And just exactly how big are her boobs going to get? (By the way, the answers to these three questions are Probably, Run and Very.)

And so, ‘Goodbye, Pert Breasts: The Diary of a Newborn Dad’ was born. Not in the same way as my son would be, of course; I just mean that I began to write it. Each week, I wrote about what had happened: any anecdotes I had, observations I’d made and how my wife was progressing. I also included information about how our baby was developing in the womb, and gave advice on how dads can be supportive during what could easily be a traumatic time for the mum. At the end of the book, I wrote several chapters to help new parents make big decisions (such as whether to breast or bottle feed), how fatherhood would change a dad’s life (such as not having as much beer money any more), and a few step-by-step articles on how to do various baby-related things (like make a placenta milkshake). All that, along with a few bizarre extras thrown in, formed my book – which, after numerous rejection letters from agents, I decided to publish myself.

Pregnancy is, of course, a big deal for any mother. But fathers can completely freak out as well, although we often hide it better in order to retain our mega-manly image. We are living in a time when dads want to get more involved; it’s just sometimes, we’re not really sure how, especially when our partner holds us responsible for everything that goes wrong, pregnancy-related or not  - that’s why you’ll often see the father lingering hesitantly in the corner of the delivery suite as his partner wails through another contraction. Seriously, we need all the help we can get: which is why I hope that my book can give dads a point in the right direction, while making them (and their partners) laugh their socks off."

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The Gallery - Black and White.

The Gallery theme this week at Sticky Fingers is simply Black and White. 

After having a good look through my black and white pictures i found this moody shot of me and Tabitha-Lo. Tomorrow is her 1st birthday and this time last year i was sat very angrily on a labour ward, 10 days overdue and eating KFC, only hours away from an emergency c-section.

Mumra and T-Lo.
Gangsta all the way.... Braaap.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Free day pass for Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing.

I always thought i was not a gym person. I would disbelieve people who said they enjoyed sweating away pumping weights or using rowing machines. I was wrong and i don't admit that often, I get it now i really do, i feel so energized when i leave after a workout, so pleased with myself as i watch my shape change. 

My irrational hang up about killing myself using equipment and making a fool of myself were irradiated in half an hour and now i have a lifetime ahead of me with the confidence to use the gym.

I really feel that this is something i will do forever now, even when i get the jeans back on. Loving the buzz and enjoy the challenge of pushing myself a little further each time.

Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing are aware many people are unsure of the gym environment and are confident in their facilities being second to none that they offer free day passes for you to see how you get on....I wish i had known this years ago and not wasted time carrying my gym phobia around.

Why not find your local Nuffield and get down there for a day, try it out rather than dismissing it as 'not for you' like i did for years. You won't know what your missing untill you do.

Click on the button below.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Never too late for learning...

This month i have learnt...

That Bonjela is rubbish, use Abesol Liquid on teething gums.

Controlled crying works, whatever my previous opinions on it, it works.

My child is irrationally terrified of the washing machine, the hoover and the ironing board. If this continues into adulthood she will make a crap wife.

If you dye your hair and want rid of it asap, wash with cheap shampoo, washing up liquid or dandruff shampoo it'll be gone pretty quick.

Oh and you can clean a kitchen with a winey child attached to your leg. Its slow going and challenging but it can be done.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

The Gallery - Before and After.

Theme of The Gallery this week is Before and After and Tara challenged us to take an old photo and re stage it in present day.

I have changed my mind about six times about which photo to use! This was not an easy one Tara... I have found my one year old very awkward in performing given task. So this entry was one i came across randomly and realised i had a similar photo from last year....

December 2009

Baby Tabitha-Lo was a week old and due to her arriving two days into Daddies new job he had returned to work after a weeks paternity leave so we sent him this his first day back.

November 2010

Tabitha-Lo is a few days off her first birthday and we are still sending Daddy stupid pictures when he is at work!

Head over to Sticky Fingers to check out the other entries.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Who is your man in love with?

My man loves Helena Bonham Carter. 
He thinks she is mega hot. I didn't get it at first, now i do. 

I really like that he likes Helena. I love that she is not your average hotty, that he loves her quirkiness and messed up hair, that her teeth aren't perfect and that her eyelashes are her own.

I don't think i could bear it if he lusted after someone plastic and lip glossed to death. Messed up hair and smudged eye make up i can do....

Do you know who your man lusts after? What do you think about his choice?

Welcome to the World!

Huge congratulations to my wonderful friend Clare, husband Mark and big brother Harvey on the safe arrival of Dexter Marley Lawrence. 
Born 10th November 2010 weighing 5lb 11oz.

P.S ... Dexter, If Carlsberg made mums they would make them like yours.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Towel or no towel?

What type of changing room user are you?

Since using the Nuffield Fitness and Wellbeing Gym i have been observing the habits of the womens changing rooms. Not in a weird pervy way of course but its always quite fascinated me how different peoples comfort levels are about being naked in front of people.

I'm not a prude at all and quite like to have a good gander at a nice fit body of any sex and even a butchers at the not so perfect always helps keep your insecurities in check. Oh come on everyone has a side ways look now and again.... Sometimes i find myself taken aback by peoples 'strange' behaviour. 

Yesterday a fully clothed woman wearing her coat returned to the changing rooms found her friend who was totally starkers and drying her private bits in the communal area and had a fully blown conversation. My brain just computes this as wrong. Am i wrong?

See if that was me i'd have stopped drying myself covered myself in the towel had the conversation and then resumed drying.

Another woman come to open her locker after her shower and literally put her fanny in my face last week. She was totally naked, just holding her towel in her hand, untrimmed and centimeters from my face! 

It might be me, maybe i am a prude but if you've got a towel just use it even if its just a little bit?!

If you really must dry every inch of your lower regions with that much enthusiasm then grab yourself a changing cubicle, for the love of God. 

Saying all of this i have an admission to make...

The other day i found myself surrounded my a group of elderly ladies, all somewhat larger ladies and i stripped right off, blinding them with my 34 years and resent weight loss. I left feeling a million dollars.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The Gallery - Seasons.

Autumn in the park.

I don't think this needs any words.

Remember to visit Sticky Fingers and see the other entries.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Tantrum Trouble.

We all love our kids of course but they also drive us mad at times. I had thought it would be a few years before this kind of thing started but i now discover 11 months is not too soon for the first tantrum and don't i know it!

While having a nice cup of tea and chat with my mum Tabitha decided the attention on her was lacking and threw herself face down on the floor, her arms and legs pounding the floor and then the wailing began. We thought this was of course hilarious and both laughed, my mum told her she was hitting Miss Mouse, so promptly Tabitha flung the said toy across the room and booted a bus that was lying near by, the tantrum continued.

There has been a few repeat performances since and i have to say for now i do find them quite funny however i know i'm everyday edging closer to the one in the supermarket or middle of the street when you have to use your knee to get them into the buggy or carseat surrounded by gawping bystanders.

So heres the thing i thought while i am finding it *quite* funny lets make the most of it...

Make me feel better by posting your most dramatic tantrum/crying/screaming photos of your little angels, if you haven't got any keep your camera handy for a few days i'm sure one will pop up then come back and post your link.

I need to know i'm not alone!

Tantrum Trouble Entries - Best form of contraception in the world.

  1. Tantrums - a response
  2. Tantrum Trouble
  3. Kai a year ago. He's still no bloody better *sigh*
  1. MBM - Angry Baby? I'd rather have Angry Birds.
  2. Mummytips entry. . .
  3. Attack of the Todzilla. . .
  4. This linky list is now closed.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Little Dish Review and Giveaway.

A lovely little package arrived for me last week.

Little Dish sent me a very cute cooler bag filled with ready meals and pouches for Tabitha to review. How could we say no? For starters this means a week of no cooking for Mummy, Wooohooo.

(I have to admit i was probably more excited than i should have been about the cooler bag but i'm now desperate for summer to come back so we can picnic.) 

I had heard of Little Dish previously as they are one of the brands i am familiar with seeing in most stores. Pre prepared organic meals, no added sugar or salt just nice wholesome food but ready to go. I have always been a fan of the micro meal, i'll hold my hands up i'm no Nigella cooking, is not my thing. 

This where i expect the nasty comments to come flying in from all angles. I try to feed Tabitha good food where i can but i am not a 100% organic mum. I even buy frozen veg sometimes and chuck that in her meals. Shock horror! I can hear the intake of breath from Earth Mothers everywhere.... 

Saying that if i see two baby meals the same price and one is organic and one not i will choose the organic one of course... i'm not an idiot. 

So do Little Dish meet madams approval? The pouches came just at the right time as she was teething for two days and refused all lumpy food so they were guzzled down immediately.

The meals went down equally as well the rest of the week. One whole meal was a little too large for her appetite which pleased me, I happily finished them off for her. The meals are very tasty and more reflective of a home cooked dish than your average microwave meal.

I'll definitely be buying Little Dish meals for Tabitha in the future.

What was also a godsend was that the company have supplied me with a Little Dish cookbook to help me over come my kitchen crapness.

The great news for you lucky readers is i also have one of these books to giveaway to one of you....

To enter the competition:
  • Follow me on Facebook/Twitter
  • Comment below leaving your email address 
  • Answer this question....In the nursery rhyme Hey diddle diddle, Who did the dish run away with?

All correct entries will be put into a draw and the winner picked at random on 17th November 2010. Good Luck!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Stella McCartney Kids Range.

Stella McCartney launched her new childrens range in London on Wednesday and i would have happily gnawed someones hand off to get a ticket to go. The clothes range from baby newborn to 12 years and are all designed reflecting Stellas usual style, the items are not fussy, pretentious or prissy.

What i like the most is the simplicity of the outfits, i can actually see me letting Tabitha wear them and her enjoy wearing them. They lend themselves to being played in and look comfortable and designed for real life.

Superb little touches like the glow in the dark features on the pajamas are fun and really telling that Stella is a mother herself and knows what is needed to sometimes get children into their pajamas at the end of a long day.

When i look at clothes for Tabitha i always find myself wishing she was a little older and this range does it to me again. The yellow wellies make me think of superhero boots and the unisex double breasted pea coat is just calling out to be worn over the cutest of school uniforms.

Finally there is not much more i can say about my favourite piece from the collection except i need it, i want it, Tabitha has to have it.

A mini military jacket with red cuffs and gold trims. *sigh*

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The Gallery - Show me the funny.


Everytime i see this photo i crack up. The leggings fit so well with the colours of the caterpillar or as he is known in our house 'Cheebob' its like a hybrid under sofa monster. I spent a good three months making Tabitha realise getting under something you can't get out of is a bad idea.

Head over to Sticky Fingers to check out everyone elses entries.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Oooooh Hello!

Since having Tabitha i have worked my way through a variety of wardrobes.

Firstly i was in maternity stuff and leggings, still struggling to be comfortable with waistbands after the c-section 'the legging' became my friend. My tops were huge and baggy and the days of heels long gone.

As i have lost my baby weight i have been reluctant to splash out too much on new clothes for fear of them not fitting for long. I treated myself to one pair of new jeans in each size as i moved down the scales, of course still wearing the baggy tops and sloppy jumpers that come down past my arse.

A few weeks ago i got my first pair of skinny black jeans and they have made me feel a bit more normal again. I'm no longer scared to flash my thighs in a normal length top anymore, no more hiding away under layers of fabric.

My new job involves spending hours in Top Shop and Miss Selfridge and has reminded me of fashion and its ability to make me feel good. Everyday i spend hundreds of pounds in my mind and eye up customers outfits wondering if i should try that look this winter or not? I feel like something inside me has be awakened.

So basically, who wants to lend me a few hundred quid?