Sunday, 1 February 2015

What Ted Said – Burping, Guitar Grandad and the L word!




Ted has began to become interested in the noises his body can make over the past few months. He finds trumping hilarious…such a boy! However, his favourite has to be burping. He does a loud over the top fake burp noise several times a day and shouts “Burp!” just so we all know!

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My parents live close by and Ted sees them all of the time but with Joe’s parents living over 100miles away there was always a worry by them that Ted wouldn’t know who they were. Both mine and Joe’s parents have ended up being Nana and Grandad so at first we thought Ted would be confused but this week he proved us wrong.

Joe’s Dad plays the guitar, it barely leaves his side when he is at home and it is something that we feel defines him. Ted clearly agrees as whilst playing at my parents last week he picked up the toy guitar and announced that it was Grandad’s Guitar. Not Grandad who was there but his McDonald Grandad.

So this week he had a little chat on the phone with Joe’s parents before bed and was so exited to talk to his Guitar Grandad! It makes me so happy that he recognises his whole family and loves them all just as much.

*****

Finally the most beautiful thing Ted has ever said happened this week. He learnt to say Love You. He has made noises like ahyoo for a few weeks but this week has made it all the more special that at bed time he says Love You Mummy, Love You Daddy and ends it with a gorgeous NuhNight! Needless to say there have been a few happy tears from this Mumma this week!
 
 
What have your little ones come out with this week?
 

Friday, 30 January 2015

5 Top Tips for January Sales and Shoetique Boots Review

January...Schmanuary! 

Are you with me guys? Christmas is over, New Year has been and it is frigging freezing outside. January sucks it's official. 

But......

It does bring us one good thing...SALES

The January sales, the time of year when even the sanest of person can be seen shoving an old lady out of their way just to get their hands on that last 50p Christmas Jumper from the rail in their size.

All joking aside though, the sales are a great place to pick up some bargains and add a sparkle of happiness to an otherwise miserable month. I have been checking out a great website called Shoetique recently and was lucky enough to receive a pair of boots to share with you.

I will get to the review soon but first I want to give you my 5 Top Tips for Sales Shopping!



1. Go prepared - this means comfy shoes, layers (it will get stuffy in those stores) and plenty of snack breaks...refuelling is a must!

2. Take a friend - Someone who knows what you like. Give them a list of items/sizes you are after and arrange a place to meet once you have rounded up your haul.

3. Buy Bigger - This applies to children's clothes. Always look at the sizes and try to guess the age they will be next year for that season. Buy Christmas jumpers for next year or summer hats a size bigger for when the sun comes out.

4. Stand your ground - This doesn't mean getting into a brawl over the last Superman onesie on the rack but it does mean don't let people be rude to you or snatch from you. If you want something then say politely "I had that first b**ches" - Yes I mean Beaches!

5. Be patient - You can sometimes get even better bargains at the end of the sales when stores are looking to shift old stock and they will reduce the prices again to clear room for the new ranges.

Hopefully you are all set for some good old rummaging!

Shoetique Review

My gorgeous Heavenly Feet boots are in the Shoetique Winter Sale reduced to £31.50. These Pluto 2 boots in Chocolate are one of the best pairs of boots I have ever had. 


        
They have a slight wedge heel of 1.5cm which is something I have had recommended to me so many times. Totally flat shoes really hurt my feet If I wear them for a long time but these wedges made them so easy to wear. I appreciated this on a day shopping around Milton Keynes recently!

The fleece linings are warm and cozy but not too thick like with some winter boots and I found the anti-fatigue insoles are great, I was amazed that even after a long walk my feet didn't hurt a all! 


The design is really simple but they do look great on, especially with a pair of skinny jeans. I like the elasticated side panel and the buckle, they are a style I think will never go out of fashion. They are imitation leather but seem to be really high quality and I think they will last me a long time. 

My Heavenly Feet Boots on our Family Photoshoot

I don't usually spend much on shoes but for just over £30 I think these are a great price and if you spend over £40 on Shoetique you get free next day delivery so why not have a look now and you can have a pair for the weekend!





*I was sent these boots in exchange for an honest review but all opinions are my own.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Our First Family Photo Shoot with Wildgoose Photographics

Last week we went on an adventure. One with a magical forest, woodland creatures and a secret garden...

Delapre Abbey in Northampton is a great place to explore with the family and totally free too get in. We were accompanied on our adventure by the wonderful Lisa from Wildgoose Photographics and had a fantastic time. 

Lisa is a Mummy of twin girls with a passion for photography. She is extremely talented and super friendly so when she offered to photograph our little family I was thrilled. She let us choose the location and she met us there for the shoot. 

The day was so cold but there was a sprinkle of magic in the air and the sun came out just as we arrived at the Abbey. We decided to wear neutral shades but as Lisa recommended we added a splash of colour to our outfits and as you can see in the photo's the colour really helped the pictures pop.

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Ted loved running around in the woods and we soon discovered he was a model in the making once he settled into having his photo taken. 

Lisa made us feel so comfortable and gave us suggestions of where would be a good place to capture a photo. We ended up with a great mix of natural and posed pictures which really capture our family enjoying special time together.

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Lisa finds her models are more comfortable when they are in places they love and that is a perfect way to capture beautiful natural moments. I couldn't agree more! We felt so relaxed and Ted had a lot of fun which he wouldn't have had in a stuffy studio being posed into abnormal position.

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Lisa's shoots start at just £75 for a Mini Shoot (1 Hour) which I think is plenty of time to get some great pictures. She will then put 20+ of your high res images onto a disk for you to keep and share with friends and family. She does offer printing options which you can check out on the website but she also gives you the freedom to use your photo's as you want to.

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I love the personality she captured in our shots and she really caught Ted's inquisitive nature. We had an incredible morning and despite the cold we wouldn't have changed a thing about it! 

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For more information about Lisa, her portfolio and price list visit her website:


She also writes a fantastic blog on her site where she documents her shoots including ours. So for a photographers insight into our day why not head over for a read!


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Sunday, 18 January 2015

First Time Parent's Guide to Baby Products

Other than the usual essentials every baby truly needs there are products we pick up along the way to help us with parenting and many we buy because A. Everyone else has one and B. We think we are bad parents if we don't have one.

I want to share with you the must haves, the must not haves and the must never be seen again's of the parenting world!



Things We Really Needed...and loved!

Bottles - Bottle fed babies need bottles...but when it comes to picking the right bottle that is were the confusion starts. Luckily I discovered the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature range and fell in love with them. Ted fed really well with them and he had little to no colic. We also got the next item from TT and loved it too.

Microwave Steriliser - These are genius, I won't go in to too much detail but you can read my full review here. I don't agree with spending lots of money and time faffing about with sterilising tablets when your microwave can do the trick in a few minutes!

Sleeping Bags - The Gro Company and the likes, you know the ones. Little one gets popped into them and they are snug as a bug until morning...or the 2am feed!

Dribble Bibs - Because they will sick up and dribble...everywhere...and it will get yucky! They also look very funky and take up minimal space in changing bags.


Budget Nappies - Supermarket own brand nappies, wipes, nappy bags etc are just as good and in some cases better than own brands Lucy from Mrs Bishop's Bakes and Banter has written a great comparison between Pampers and Aldi's Mamia nappies this week. Why not give cheaper ones a go!


Rocker/Bouncy Chair - It was great having a safe place to put tiny Ted down. He was comfortable, secure and actually loved spending time in his baby chair. It was great for when I needed to do some housework and he often fell asleep while being rocked gently.


 
Things We Thought We Needed

Bottle Warmer - We never used this..in fact we have ours still in its box. We always used either hot water in a bowl to heat Ted's bottles or the microwave but this must be done carefully. He now has his cows milk straight from the fridge and even as a little one would have his milk however it came, not fussy our boy!

Changing Unit/Mat- We set up a gorgeous changing station when I was pregnant in Ted's room. I used it a few times when he was newborn but mostly we used the bed, the floor, the sofa, the back of the car and basically any flat surface we could find to change him. I had a fold up mat in my changing bag for when we were outdoors but could never understand why people would carry their child all the way up to their room just to change a nappy! It just seemed pointless to me.

Nappy Bin - My point as above, who needs to traipse upstairs to dispose of a nappy when they could just pop it in a nappy bag and in to the normal bin? Waste of a lot of money and another product we 'thought' we needed.

Baby Shoes - Come on...why does a baby need shoes? We were brainwashed in to thinking we needed these, bought some or were gifted them. They never fitted on Ted's feet properly and were only our way of dressing him up to make him look cute. I will definitely be giving these a miss with the next one.



Things No Parents 'Need'.

Babywipe Warmer - Ted was born in December so I fully appreciate the wipes got a little cold in the night but not enough to need a gadget for them! Just hold them in your  hand for a second or two before use and they will be fine. Madness.

Nappy Holder - In our house this is called the packaging. Anyone who comes into your house and comments on how ugly that bag of unused nappies looks is a fool and should be removed from your social circle. Don't waste money on a specialist bag, box, unit to keep your frigging nappies in!

Burp Cloths - By this I mean the ones that are a tiny strip of fabric you drape over your shoulder specifically for sick ups. Just use a muslin square and if that isn't big enough you can always resort to a pac-a-mac!


What products would you add to or throw out of the
First Time Parent's Guide to Baby Products?
 

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Giraffe Restaurant Review - Kingston, Milton Keynes


giraffe - Love Eat Live
Just before Christmas we were invited to try the new menu at Giraffe. As we always enjoy our meals at this chain we had very high expectations so I thought I would let you know how we got on!

We arrived after a little shopping trip at Kingston in Milton Keynes and were greeted by a warm welcome from a gentleman who showed us to our table. He got Ted some crayons and a colouring sheet which instantly made him a friend of Teds!


We chose our drinks from the extensive drinks menu which included cocktails but at lunch time and with a toddler in tow I gave them a miss and opted for a Fresh Lemonade with Mint...a perfect choice as it was so refreshing. Shame Ted liked it too as I ended up drinking his coke instead! 

The starter/sharing menu is fantastic and it was so hard to settle on one option but being a lover of veggie snacks I chose the Edamame (£4.85) which were fried in soy, chilli and mirin and topped with sea salt. They were so moorish but after getting most of the way through the bowl my lips were tingling from the chilli and salt and it did taint the rest of the meal for me so perhaps would be better as a snack to have with drinks than at the start of a meal.


My Mum went for the Firecracker Chicken Tenders (£5.35) which were also delicious with a fresh Asian slaw and a zingy wasabi and lime dip.



Teds meal came out with our starters so that he could tuck in and we chose a simple dinner of Sausages, Mash and Beans. This was a big portion for a toddler with 2 huge sausages and a mountain of mash but the ingredients were great quality and at £4.35 I thought it was quite good value.

As the meals were being served the staff kept saying Hi to Ted who lapped up the attention and announced "Nice Man!" which made us all smile as this was the first time he had ever said the word Nice and I think he meant it!



For mains we went for Chicken Schnitzel and Thai Duck Stir Fry. By this point as I mentioned my taste buds were completely shot from the chilli and salt in the Edamame so I did find my Schnitzel a bit bland. That said I have had it before and it is a great meal, just perhaps the wrong combination. The mashed potato is super creamy and it is served with a grilled lemon and rocket which I love!



Mum's Stir Fry looked amazing and she said it was really tasty but just a bit rich with the chilli jam adding too much sweetness to the dish. 

Overall we thought the food was great but could just have done with a few minor tweaks to make them perfect. I would go easier on the salt in the Edamame and remove the chilli jam from the stir fry as it wasn't needed and there would be two perfect dishes.

My ratings...

5/5 Customer Service
4/5 Quality of Food
5/5 Variety on Menu
3/5 Value for Money
4/5 Facilities

The baby changing facilities were basic but clean and well maintained and the restaurant has that great vibe that I expect from Giraffe branches. Although it is a brand new restaurant it feels welcoming and homely which I think adds to it's attraction. The prices are higher than we normally pay but acceptable for a special occasion and the staff were fantastic.


Have you visited Giraffe yet? 




You can see the full menu on the Giraffe website.

P.s I lost lots of my photo's from the meal on my old phone, so sorry! The pictures at the top are my own and so are my opinions but all other images are from the website.

What Ted Said - The Ramblings of an Inquisitive Toddler

Inspired by my Mother in Law's posts about the funny things Joe's little brother says - What Fred Said - I have decided to share with you some of our little man's Tedism's. 

I literally cry with laughter sometimes at some of the hilarious things Ted comes out with now he has started talking, life has become one big stage for him where he can show off and make people giggle with his new trick. I love hearing his little voice and the way he sees the world is just brilliant.

Ladies and Gentlemen...I give you...What Ted Said!


Thursday, 8 January 2015

My 3 Goals for 2015


This year I have 3 simple rules I want to live by. I don't want to set unrealistic targets as I have in previous years but I want to grow and develop at a person and I think these 3 goals will help achieve this.

1. Learn something new every day
2. Take care of myself
3. Enjoy life

I think the first one is quite self explanatory, I want to learn new skills and embrace knowledge. I also want to take up a class or do a course which leads me on to number 2.

I want to take care of myself mentally and physically which means eating better, exercising more and learning to love myself for who I am. 

Finally is 3. Enjoy life! I want to enjoy every day with my little family, smile more and say yes to new opportunities to live the best life I can live...YOLO and all that!


What do you hope 2015 will bring?