White Cotton Peonies

Giggling Squid has opened in Windsor!

FoodWindsor / Nov 9, 2018 / 0 Comments

In the past couple of months, Windsor has played host to two Royal weddings, but more importantly, Dickie and I’s date night. Date nights are a fairly new thing for us, having had two babies in fairly quick succession, it’s fair to say our social life has taken a bit of a beating. However, we’re getting back on an even keel and whilst I previously (and foolishly) thought that time away from the girls was selfish, I now see that if we’re happy, they’re happy – everyone’s a winner.

When I was contacted by the team at Giggling Squid to let me know that they were opening a restaurant in Windsor, I couldn’t wait to check it out. Thai is my favourite food and so I needed no encouragement for us to get our hungry bellies down there.

For those of you who aren’t aware of the Giggling Squid brand, it was started by a husband and wife in their basement flat in Brighton (which is now one of their restaurants, how cool is that?!). They began by creating scrumptious Thai tapas dishes (which still make up much of their lunch menu) but have since expanded out into authentic and delicious larger plates for the evening menu.

The Windsor restaurant was everything that I expected of Giggling Squid, passionate and friendly staff, authentic Thai cuisine and a quirky offbeat interior. We were greeted by the Manager who helped us with our dish and wine choices. Whilst we continued to be completely indecisive, we chowed down on some delicious prawn crackers with sweet chilli sauce (which doesn’t count as food if you haven’t officially ordered yet, right?).

We finally settled on the Sharing Platter which consisted of strips of hand-cut pork grilled on skewers, salt and pepper squid, Thai chicken wings and vegetable spring rolls. Given that I’m veggie and only had interest in the spring rolls, Dickie was in his element.

Having filled ourselves on the starter, we started to question how we were possibly going to fit in a main too but as soon as it arrived, we magically found the space, go figure! Dickie opted for the Chicken Thai Green Curry, whilst I went for the Vegetable Jungle Curry. It was hot. I loved every bit of it!

You can check it out for yourself at:
30 Thames Street
Windsor, SL4 1PR
01753 851011
#gifted

Tiny Love Gymini Deluxe Playmat: A REVIEW

Parenting / Nov 7, 2018 / 0 Comments

It’s fair to say that describing me as sleep deprived would be more than a slight understatement… which can be the only reason I can think of that I wrote a whole post months ago and didn’t post it!

The lovely folks at Tiny Love kindly sent us their Gymini Deluxe playmat from their new Into The Forest Collection just after Millie was born and she’s been captivated ever since. Having been given a second hand playmat from her sister (story of her life… second child syndrome!), it was definitely an upgrade.

The mat is nice and cushioned which was great for when Millie was a newbie but even better since she’s a clumsy roller/crawler. It walks the fine line between having bright colours and fun characters to encourage her imagation, growth and discovery whilst still remaining stylish enough that I don’t mind having it lying around the house.

Unlike any other playmat that I’ve seen, this one has an interactive electronic woodpecker that lights up and plays different tunes which is activated by movement. It’s basically baby crack. Millie loves it!

As she’s growing at a rate of knots and is determined to be sitting bolt upright at all times, I’ve been able to remove the adjustable arches and remove the Tiny Pioneer toys for her to play with independently.  Each is designed to support the Seven Developmental Wonders, helping cognition, motor skills, imagination and language. She now loves them so much that we have to take them with her in the car to keep her entertained.

You can read more about the new Into The Forest range here. It’s genuinely been a god send in our house, especially when I need to buy 10 minutes to shower… set it up in the bathroom and hello cleanliness!

#gifted

 

The Routine-Lover’s Guide to Bathing 2 under 2

Parenting / Nov 1, 2018 / 0 Comments

I’m a fan of routine, some call me militant, I’d rather think of it as organised. Whatever. I think it’s good for the minis to know what’s coming next and it’s good for my mental state too. Therefore, when Millie was born, the first thing I was nervous about tackling was the bath and bedtime routine. I searched online and couldn’t find much about dealing with two such young kiddos at bathtime alone… cue mental breakdown.

I wish that I was one of those mums who gives their kids sporadic baths – it’s not that I don’t approve of it (all credit if you can get away with it), it’s just that my monkeys are always filthy by the evening regardless of how many wipes they’ve have forced on them throughout the day.  Additionally, I’ve found it’s a great way to attempt to calm some of the energy levels before bed (if they bottled and sold that stuff, I’d be a millionaire).

After some gradual tweaking, I’m now comfortable with doing our bath and bed routine alone whilst Dickie is at work. With Millie almost 7 months, I’ve just transitioned her to a supporting seat so that she can bathe alongside Bells… of course this now means that Bells now wants to shower, but I’m trying to discourage that for as long as possible.

So, here is how our busiest hour of the day goes…

6pm – As the bath is running, curtains are drawn (the neighbours are always suspicious of this), PJs are prepped and outfits for tomorrow are hung, OCD much? I get everything ready for post-bathtime to make things as smooth as possible, including nappies, medicine, nappy cream, hairbrush etc. This minimises post-bath naked time and therefore the risk of puddles.

6.10pm – Bells gets undressed and spends some time squeezing her tummy with nothing coming out on the potty whilst I undress Millie and pop her in the bath. Once Millie is in and playing with toys, I get Bells into the bath with her, at which point she’s guaranteed to pee.

I start by bathing Millie and washing her hair. As she has so little hair at the moment (another sore subject), I use JOHNSON’S Bedtime Wash on both her body and hair. I then let her play/suck on Bells toes whilst I get Bells cleaned up.

Given that she’s an independent lay-dee, I squeeze the Bedtime Wash into her hands (leaving her in charge resulted in a whole bottle being used in one go previously and not all in the bath, so I’ve learned my lesson since then) for her to wash her face and body. I then give her the toothbrush for her to brush her teeth/eat the toothpaste.

After a thorough rub-a-dub, I wash her hair with JOHNSON’S Shiny Drops Shampoo before applying the Shiny Drops Conditioner. Thankfully the No More Tears formula means that the bubbles which always end up in her eyes result in a verse of “bubble pop” rather than tears.

Finally, I apply the Conditioning Spray to tackle the inevitable tangles before giving it a good brush through (I’ve learned this is much easier done in the confined space of a bath than yet another game of ‘chase me’).

6.25pm With Bells squeaky clean, I turn my attention back to Millie, drying her off as I get her out of the bath before lying her on a warm blanket with a nappy under her bum (I learned that bit the hard way #weegate) before giving her a thorough massage with JOHNSON’S Bedtime Oil. I did a baby massage course which taught me all of the basics, but to be honest it’s just mainly round and round rubbing whilst pretending to know what I’m doing.

6.35pm Having completed Millie’s massage and dressed her, I pop her in her jumperoo with Baby Jake (the lesser of two evils when faced with Baby Shark) for 5 minutes as I get Bells ready. As it’s often me doing duo bath time, Bells doesn’t get a massage often any more, but when Dickie’s around, I try to throw one in for her as a treat. I figure anything more regular has the potential to increase her current diva status levels.

6.45pm Bells sits with me reading/watching stories (READ: watching the iPad) for 10 minutes as I give Millie milk before her bedtime. I usually get Millie off to sleep before story time for Bells, but if she’s not playing ball, I’ll curse under my breath and take her with me before attempting again afterwards.

6.55pm Millie is usually down for the night at this point and so Bells is read 3 stories in her bed. The first story she gets to choose, the second relates to her Gro Clock (in the hope she might sleep past 5am!) and the last is always Lion Inside which signals it’s time for sleep. The light goes out for her last story and she gives me a kiss and a cuddle before I leave her to send herself off to sleep for the night.

7pm I congratulate myself for surviving and keeping the children alive by pouring myself a glass of wine. And relaxxxxxxx.

Do you have a bedtime routine? How does yours go? I’m always looking for ways to improve our minute-by-minute schedule, so any tips and advice are welcomed. 

#ad #johnsonsambassadors

TODDLER HAIR; THE STRUGGLE WAS REAL

Parenting / Sep 12, 2018 /

Bells was born bald. Totally bald. I remember brushing the skin on her head in the hope it would stimulate her follicles but nothing. Turns out that I just make babies that way as Millie is pretty much the same.

However, after one very long year, she finally started to grow some strands (or primary terminal hair for those hair boffins out there) and now she’s somewhat of a wild animal when she wakes in the morning. She has the most gorgeous blonde curls, which I love more than anything in the world… however with the hair comes the tangles, and trust me, bathtime has become a little less fun now that Bells doesn’t want me touching them.

Therefore, when I was introduced to the Shiny Drops range from Johnnson’s, I couldn’t wait to give it a go. For a start, it smelt of holidays, all fruity and fresh; but it also has a Kids Conditioner Spray which is intended to really help with the tangles.

From the moment that I tried it on Bells, I was completely in love! I used the shampoo to remove the excesses from the day (read: unwanted dinner) before adding conditioner and then rinsing. Whilst I ended up soaked in the process, Bells independence is in full force and so letting her attempt to rinse her own hair definitely helped the process . Then for the final step – the spray. I evenly coated her hair with the spray before combing (whilst in the bath to prevent her from running away) and the brush went straight through. AMAZING.

Each of the products have a drop of Argan Oil and a touch of silk proteins meaning that it’s also improved the shine and texture of her hair in the process. Winning all round.

I must admit, I had been tempted in the past to use a drop of my own hair products on her, but baby hair is so different from adult hair. It’s a lot finer and therefore it’s important that the products you use on them are super gentle. That said, I love the Shiny Drops range so much that I’ve started using it on my own hair…. much to Bells dismay!

Do you have a haircare routine for your munchkin? Any tips you care to share? I’d love to hear from you.

M xox

#AD #Completelytruethough #johnsonsambassadors

 

Gro to sleep my baby…

Uncategorized / Aug 1, 2018 /

Therefore, as I’m sure you can imagine, we’ve tried most things – later nights, earlier nights, no naps, longer naps…. to no avail. As a result, when we were contacted by the Gro Company to try their signature products, I literally snapped their hands off at the offer.

The product I was most excited about was the Gro Clock. It’s a firm favourite amongst many of my friends and so I couldn’t wait to give it a go. Bells is just getting to the age where she can now understand the concept that she was to wait for the stars to disappear and for the yellow sunshine to appear before she’s allowed out of bed. It also comes with a cute story about ‘Percy Pig’ who learns to stay in bed until the sunshine which has now become a regular read for Bells each night.

In honesty, Bells is yet to wait for the sunshine, but I think as she develops and grows a better understanding, it should have a much bigger impact and until then, it’s a fun new part of our routine.

Next up is the Gro Anywhere Blind. I love summer for the light late into the evenings and waking to the sun already being up – but it’s not so great when you have a baby and toddler to contend with. The Gro Blind is awesome in that you can easily adjust the size and attach it to any window using sucker pads. Whilst we use it at home, it’s also the first thing that gets taken with us when we’re travelling – great when you don’t know what the curtain situ will be like in the hotel you’re staying in, or even if you’re staying with friends (othing like making yourself at home!).

Lastly, the Gro to Bed has been a revelation. Since Bells has moved to her bed, we’ve taken her out of sleep sacks and more often than not, I’ll wake in the night and check on her to find her completely uncovered with the pillow missing. The Gro to Bed is genius bedding where the pillow case is attached to the bottom fitted sheet which means it’s not going anywhere. Add to the mix a duvet cover which you can also zip to the bottom sheet on cooler nights – creating one massive sleep sack, perfect.

Whilst there’s nothing that I can do about Bells internal clock – she’s an early riser – we’ve given ourselves the best possible chance of sleep.

Thanks to the Gro Company for coming to the rescue, we’re firm fans of the brand.

M xox

 

NB: whilst these products were gifted, I wouldn’t write about them unless I liked them. I turn down more opportunities to review products than I ever accept!