Saturday, 30 July 2011

Mmmm......Cake & Jelly!!

There's nothing I love more than cake and jelly - actually I don't like jelly. The way it wibble wobbles, is like it has a mind of it's own. However I do like Cake & Jelly - a new online boutique which aim to create personalised gifts and clothes which are fun but practical.

Cake & Jelly is the brainchild from sisters Leah and Harri and there's nothing I love more than a family run business. It's so personal and you know you will get such a quality service. Every product looks like it is made with such care and attention.

Have a look at the kind of gift they offer:

Drawstring Bag - £12.50

Personalised Bunting - £25.00

Tote Bag - £7.00
I love the bunting as it can be personalised so would make a very special gift and one to treasure, I also think the tote bags are incredibly cute!!
I know Cake & Jelly have many more gorgeous goodies up their sleeves, including t-shirts. Fab for your own apples of your eye or gorgeous unique gifts.

Do take a look at their website - Cake & Jelly

Make sure you like their Facebook page.

Follow them on Twitter.

All this talk about Cake & Jelly has now made me very hungry. Damn you Dukan Diet!!


Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Dukan Diet Diaries - UPDATE

Well, I am now so slim that I have a washboard stomach that a Victoria Secret's model would envy!

Believe me? Didn't think so!

But the last time I posted, I was only on day 2. I have actually lost count what day I am on now (I have a 5 month old baby) but I am now in the Cruise Phase. Which means I can have veg included in my diet. Never in my life would I thought I would be pleased to see veg on my plate, but 4 days of pure protein and no energy whatsoever, veg was my new best friend.
To be honest, I am not really missing naughty things that much. I had a bad day last week, where the weather was miserable and I completely got out the wrong side of bed and so.....(whispering) I had a cookie. They were home-baked by James little girl (Molly's sister), so completely rude not to right? Right??
I also have had the odd glass of red. It's my little treat in the evening and plus it's good for your heart, so there!
After a few slips but a pretty good run here are the current stats:

Start Weight: 10 stone 8

Last Post Weight: 10 stone 5 1/2

Weight Now: 9 stone 8 1/4

Thats right! I have officially lost 1 stone!!!! Big pats  on the back and golf claps all round. So I celebrated today with a .........skinny blueberry muffin from Starbucks.

What?!?! Gimme a break!

I still have until 6th October to get to my so called 'True Weight', so 1 more stone to go!

Wish me luck.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Water Baby - Review

When we started trying for a baby, I started taking Folic Acid. This advice was given to me by the doctor who said even before I fall pregnant you need to act as if you are. So off I popped to Boots, bought my Folic Acid, took them, fell pregnant and carried on taking them.
But it's not always that straight forward. Without undermining the youth of our nation as I am sure many do know the importance of Folic Acid, however an unplanned pregnancy or the lack of knowledge surrounding the importance of taking Folic Acid can lead to serious birth defects. Did you know that only 7% of people in the US knew the importance of taking Folic Acid before falling pregnant. But taking Folic Acid before AND during pregnancy will reduce the risk that the baby will be born with a serious neural tube defect by up to 70%.

The most common neural spine defect is Spina Bifida, Anencephaly (severe underdevelopment of the brain). All these defects occur in the first 28 days of pregnancy usually before a woman knows she is pregnant.

That's why WaterBaby water is a fabulous and new way of taking Folic Acid.

WaterBaby is an everyday water drink packed with the recommended daily intake of Folic Acid and a blend of vitamins including zinc and calcium.
The thing I LOVE about this idea, is that not only do you get the recommended dose of Folic Acid but you also remain hydrated, which is as equally important when carrying a baby.

Benefits of drinking WaterBaby:

  • RDA of Folic Acid (400mg) in 1 bottle
  • B6 and B12 calcium & zinc
  • Helps aid overall hydration
  • Palatable option during morning sickness
  • Suitable for vegetarians
  • Developed and improved by food scientists
Now seeing as it is a little late for me to roadtest the drink, I asked my friend Chrissie with her beautiful bump to try the drink!

I asked Chrissie her thoughts on the drink:

"I loved the packaging and label and the brand name and if I saw this in a shop I would be instantly drawn to it. The colour of the water put me off slightly as it looks like watered down lemon cordial but it tasted nice. It did have a slight medicinal taste to it, but I'm guessing that's due to all the vitamins its packed with but it would be even better if  vitamin D was included as this too is highly important during pregnancy. Great drink which promotes healthy lifestyle and intake of Folic Acid during pregnancy"

Definitely worth a try if your sporting a beautiful bump.

£9.99 for a 7-day pack
£29.99 for a 28-day pack

Friday, 22 July 2011

Annabel Karmel 20th Anniversary - REVIEW

In the big, wonderful and exhausting world of mummy's, there's a name that sits comfortably with everyone. A lady, who at times of complete confusion when it comes to weaning, manages to spell things out especially for those who lost their brains during pregnancy (er, me!) And that name be Annabel Karmel - I think the title of this post probably gave it away a little while ago!

But for those of you strange beings who are not quite sure of Karmel's wise words, then a little more about her:

Annabel Karmel decided to come up with her own recipes because her first son, Nicholas, was an incredibly fussy eater. So in 1991, she wrote the original Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner, which has since sold over 2 million copies.
Annabel has sold over 3 million books worldwide and her wide range of Annabel Karmel ready meals are sold in numerous top children's attractions, holiday destinations, supermarkets and restaurants all over the country.
Now, she is celebrating her 20th year and has released a special 20th Anniversary edition of her best selling book Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner.

As a first time mum, this book has been a god-send. If you remember, way way back, I admitted that I can't cook. Apart from an amazing spag bol. But other than that, it's James who don's the pinnie!
I love the Plum pouches and Heinz pots for Molly, because they really are packed full of goodness but it's nice to make fresh, nutritious recipes and plus I can't have Molly growing up telling everyone "my mum can't cook!'. The shame.
What I love about the book is that it explains about what Molly can and can't have to begin with, it even has a helpful meal planner diary to really help you with some kind of routine. I started with just first tastes....Broccoli, Carrot, Potato, Banana just so she could get used to different tastes. Fair to say, she has a sweet tooth, or should I say gum! But I am persevering, I want Molly to love a variety of foods!
As of tomorrow, I am progressing to the combined tastes. I have taken my time with Molly, I am in no hurry. I did start weaning at 4 months, purely because of her reflux, and admittedly it has got worse since, but only from her milk - she rarely brings up food.
Now, I am not going to say this too loudly but I am starting to like the domestic goddess life. I like boiling veg, using the blender (that's it so far!) It's not rock 'n'roll but god damn, I like it!
I have decided to cook the following combinations for the next week or so:

  • Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato
  • Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato and Cauliflower
  • Pea and Parsnip

There are various other books in the Annabel Karmel range - I thoroughly recommend this book especially if you are weaning and clueless like myself :-)
Check out all of Annabel's other products at:

You can also catch Annabel on CiTV on 'Annabel's Kitchen' every day for cooking with children inspiration.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

I want to be a Portland Mummy.....

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege and pleasure to be invited up to The Portland Hospital, London to have a look at the perks of giving birth in a private hospital.

To be quite honest, I didn't really know what to expect. I knew it wasn't going to be anything like an NHS hospital, that's for sure, but i did wonder if it would be a little pretentious and snooty, and that if i walked in through the front door in my sunnies i could be papped.....unfortunately there were no paparazzi (damn it!) and it was neither pretentious or snooty!
Greeted with a steaming hot cup of coffee and a muffin - which my dear followers, I kindly declined...DUKAN DIET STILL GOING STRONG I HAVE YOU KNOW! - we sat down to listen to Dr Elia Maalouf, Consultant in General Paediatrics and Neonatal Medicine. He went into a little detail about the other services the Portland provide other than maternal and postnatal care:

  • Neonatal Intensive Care
  • General Paediatrics
  • Paediatric Gastroenterology
  • ENT
  • Paediatric Psychiatry & Psychology 
  • Out of Office ' Doc Around The Clock' - Consultant Paediatrician available 9am-9pm Mon-Fri and 10am-2pm Sat.
They also provide physiotherapy for both woman and child, Radiology and MRI with radiologists from Great Ormand St, Play Therapy which is used to help a child learn about a forthcoming operation so a teddy is used with bandages and pretend cannula's and many more!!!

The reassuring aspect to antenatal care is that you know your baby will be in safe hands, if anything were to happen. They have a resident 24hr doctor who will also attend delivery especially if an emergency c-sec is needed and they also have 1 nurse per baby. All doctors at The Portland also work at NHS hospitals so they don't get de-skilled, as we all know how crazy NHS hospitals can be and see all sorts of special cases.

What I found most shocking is that the NHS or should I really say government, refuse to give the chicken pox vaccine as it is felt it is not really required, but c'mon....i think money probably has something to do with it. Catching chicken pox whilst pregnant or even an elderly person can be life threatening, so I am not quite sure how this is deemed not 'required'. Anyway....The Portland do the vaccine (naturally!)

We then had a presentation by Midwife Stella and Midwife Sian. Both absolutely delightful ladies, and within seconds its easy to see why ladies feel at complete ease whilst attending The Portland for their antenatal care. I will bullet point the most important aspects of why midwifery-led care is highly ranked at The Portland:

  • A team of 6 dedicated midwives who provide continuity of care, compassion, support and clinical expertise throughout pregnancy, labour, birth and the postnatal period.
  • Antenatal care and classes for all women and labour & delivery care for established mothers.
  • 24 hr access to advice and support
  • Active birth workshops and Hypnobirthing training
What i love the most about the midwifery care at The Portland? They want to 'empower' women! I love that word. EMPOWER. Women can finally take control of their own pregnancy and birth. They individualise the woman's care and proactively support their choices. Girl Power eat your heart out.
But it wasn't until I read this, that things started to hit home:

"Women who have had an unsatisfactory or traumatic birth experience in the past, often book with us for subsequent pregnancies. Our aim is to provide a positive and holistic birth experience and to empower our women with choice and support".

I could honestly feel my eyes welling up. Just thinking back to my birth, well more my after care, I just wish I had the opportunity to receive such care. Yes the NHS is free of charge. Yes the NHS are incredibly busy AND do a grand job, BUT my aftercare was shocking. The one time in my life I feel I needed someone, actually really needed someone, and of course James and my wonderful friends and family were incredible, but went the clock struck 9pm.......we were dependent on the midwifery team. On my first night, hours after giving birth, saying good bye to James, i was very scared and emotional. And I was completely ignored!

I would of given my arm to have transferred to The Portland if someone (very wealthy) had offered!

We were then given a tour of the hospital.....and all I could say was WOW, WOW, WOW!

From the beautiful suites - ones with single beds, plasma TVs, ensuite bathroom complete with Molton Brown gift set, mini fridge complete with champagne and family suite which has their own bathroom and sofa bed. OR you can opt for the double bed suite. So yes that means Daddy can stay! OR the deluxe suite, which is basically like a holiday apartment....incredible huh?!
We then made our way up the Delivery Ward. Waiting for the escalator doors to open, I anticipated the hustle and bustle of a labour ward, but you could actually see the tumbleweed bouncing about.
'Oh, are there not many ladies in then?' i asked Stella.
'Yes, every lady has there own team with them in the room'.

After viewing the rest of the hospital, including the midwifery rooms which are spacious and beautifully decorated, we then headed for our 3 course lunch complete with champers (sorry, Dukan Diet!) and off we went with our fabulous goodie bag.

On the train back, i was brainstorming. How to get rich? How to get really really rich so that when baby number 2 comes along ( I am slowly twisting James arm, slowly) I too can be treated how every woman should be at the most important time of her life.

And as a little taster.....


Hummus with marinated tomatoes
Poached fruit

Main Course:
Roast Sirloin of Beef Salad
Poached Salmon Salad
Meatballs with Pappardelle

Banofee Pie
Cheese and Biscuits


Cheese and Tomato Pizza
Mini Fish Cakes with Tomato Ketchup
Grilled Plaice
Penne Pasta with Pesto Sauce

This is merely a snippet!!

Now for the not so tasty part (well for me anyway!) The Portland Prices:

Midwife Led Care

From 12th Week of Pregnancy: £9,250.00
From 20th Week of Pregnancy: £8,250.00
From 30th Week of Pregnancy: £7,250.00

So, to sum it up: In order to receive the best possible antenatal, postnatal, child health care and woman health care, you need money, but in my should always come first!

Thank you The Portland Hospital for a wonderful day!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Manhattan Toys - REVIEW

7 years ago my beautiful niece Erin, had a little toy called a Whoozit. She loved it, and the Whoozit is a fond memory of when Holly first became Auntie Holly.

Now Auntie Holly has become mummy, I desperately searched for a Whoozit...which I found in shopping paradise AKA John Lewis. But being in contact with a lovely chap from Manhattan Toys, has opened my eyes to all the other wonderful toys they produce.

They sent me a lovely (big) parcel with some Manhattan Toy goodies for Miss Molly to try. After tearing her away from her best friend Mr Whoozit, she certainly took a liking to these new little goodies in her life.

Molly's new playmates:

Whoozit Wrist Activity Spiral

My Snuggly Patches - Blankie

Wimmer Ferguson Sight & Sounds Travel Toy

Classic Baby Beads

See? LOTS of goodies!!

Molly adores the Whoozit Wrist Activity Spiral and I have to laugh when i put it on her as her face is a picture. 'Mummy what is this strange thing on my wrist? I don't know what it is, but I kinda like it'. This is incredibly handy as Molly is of the age where she is becoming incredibly active but not yet able to sit up, so laying down this keeps her entertained without the annoyance of her dropping it and unable to pick back up!

The Panda Snuggly Patches came in extra handy when it was nap time in the morning after breakfast! Molly loves soft toys against her face when she sleeps and as soon as dummy and Snuggly Patches were in place, she was out for the count!

The Wimmer Ferguson Sight & Sound Travel toy also keeps her incredibly entertained. It's great as it has lots of different textures, and her favourite noise....something that squeaks! I usually pop this on her car seat and it has a Velcro tie on so can hang, although once we have arrived at the destination, the toy has been pulled off and is playing with it or trying to eat every part of it!!

Molly has also played with the Classic Baby Beads, although for now I am holding onto them as she can't quite get the grip of them and just hits herself over the head with them. So I am holding them hostage and as soon as I feel she no longer beats herself up with them, i will let you know how we get on with them!

Stay posted for some more future Manhattan Toy goodies!
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Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Baby Luxe - Bonnie Baby

A few months ago flicking through my fave 'Molly' mag called Baby Hampshire, an advert for a designer baby clothing company caught my eye. Bonnie Baby. As soon as I caught sight of the advert, it was only a matter of minutes before I was on their website picking out everything and adding to the basket.....I wish!

Bonnie Baby offer a unique and stylish wardrobe for your special little bundle. Not only are the clothes made with care and gorgeous fabrics, they are also timeless little classics. Traditional yet on trend!
Its no wonder they won the Designer Baby Fashion award at the Junior Design Awards 2011.

So I was thrilled when the gorgeous ladies at Bonnie Baby sent me a little package (when I say 'me' I really mean 'Molly' but lets face it I really mean 'me'!)
Not only that but it was packaged so so beautifully - In a special Bonnie Baby box with a handwritten card and a Bonnie Baby hanger, along with their catalogue, which again I have picked out everything from there too!
I couldn't wait to try the clothes on my Moo Moo's and she looked adorable! Take a look:

                                                          I love their trademark apple!
                                                          Rib cardigan with silk buttons

It's easy to see why Bonnie Baby is also the celeb choice of clothing for their children. Jools Oliver, Crown Prince Christian of Denmark and Gwyneth Paltrow are all fans. Who knows...maybe Harper Seven Beckham may be their next little fan!

The clothing is so scrummy that I am going to look at their new bits and bobs and also their FAB sale!

                                   Thank you Bonnie Baby for making my baby look bonnie!
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