One of the perks of being pregnant is being able to indulge in a little extra food than normal. As much as this is a welcome bonus ive found it can become exhausting to think about what to snack on and being bothered to keep getting up to make healthy snacks to avoid the easy temptation of choccie biscuits and crisps. Don't you just hate those low blood sugar moments? I find that I can be fine one moment then the next I'm like a wild woman who's not seen food before! This happens at home and when I'm out and takes me by complete surprise...every time.
I've found the perfect solution...Graze! They provide the ultimate healthy and delicious snack box fit for anyone...they even do one for specially for children which Gabriella loves and gets so excited over every Monday morning when her special box with her name printed on is delivered. It's nice to know that all their snacks have no nasties yet are totally delicious. What's great...you have the opportunity to rate or slate the snacks they've sent you each week since they send out a random 4 snacks in each box. If you dislike them, tell them. How? Easy peasy, just go to your online account tell them in advance if there's stuff you know you don't like or if your not sure try them and let them know if there are ones you don't like. You can also browse all their offerings and tell them what you love in advance and what you'd like to receive soon. It all adds to the fun and excitement of the brand.
In each box they provide 4 snack compartments in a lovely letterbox sized box that is delivered straight to your front door on a day of your choice and they can be ordered as a one-off or on regular order. I order one for myself and one for Gabriella each week on a Monday. What's great is the snack compartments can be opened individually and you can even pop one in your handbag for those desperate moments when your out.
At £3.89 per box delivered to your door it Graze comes highly recommended by Mummy Gorgeous.
What have been your favourite pregnancy snacks?
With roughly 6 weeks to go until the arrival of our new bundle of joy I'm getting more and more tired by the day. Keeping Gabriella occupied at home is getting to be very challenging. I think I've worked out the formula...variety is the spice of her life! The only problem is working out the 'variety' of activities! With fuzzy pregnancy brain I find it quite hard to think at all, It's certainly not easy thinking ahead and having activities pre-planned to keep her entertained and tantrum free.
So, what else have i been doing this week? Well...On top of having a 2 year old to run after, It would seem that I've taken nesting to a whole other level, I've completely and unreasonably forced my other half into gutting and re-doing our bathroom as if we are not busy enough!
Apart from a few trips to tile and hardware shops (how exciting, NOT!) we've only made it out once at Gabriella's request for 'coffee and cake' at our favourite local cupcake shop Primrose Bakery. So being at home this week means Gabriella has spent lots of her time jumping on beds, painting and drawing and clambering through the rumble from all the renovating.
It came as a bit of a surprise, a very welcomed one though so it's taken me a little time to get used to. I'm now just over 5 months and very excited to welcome our new buddle of joy into our family.
My goodness has it been exhausting, not only am I pregnant but I have a 2 year old toddler who can be more than a handful at times and am in the process of launching 2 businesses. Nevertheless it's still an exciting time and experience. Of course the good old days of DVDs on the sofa whilst scoffing my face and putting my feet up are definitely a distant memory of the first pregnancy but there are other things in this pregnancy that didn't and couldn't have happened which sort of make up for it. The mere fact that I have Gabriella who is super excited that she is going to have someone to play toys with is precious in itself. We've been bonding with 'baby' together. She gives my belly lots of kisses and cuddles and continuously updates 'baby' on what she's doing or what she has been doing...it's really very cute!
I hope you can forgive my infrequent blog posts and understand why I've been a little less active on the blogging front lately.
I'm off to eat a chocolate brownie...just because I can, without feeling too guilty...Happy Sunday!
I'm not quite sure how I feel about birthdays these days. I'm still trying to get my head around the idea that your 30's are the new 20's. Although I'm not a fan of getting older I do love that age has given me a wonderful family to share special occasions with. Any how, I had a fab birthday, spent most of it eating my favourite foods and tried a few amazing restaurants some of which I've been dying to try for ages.
We admittedly do not get much time to spend together as a couple since having Gabriella so we took full advantage that my mum offered to come and stay for my birthday weekend. Celebrations started early, we ran out of the house like teenagers to join some friends for birthday drinks one of which shares the same birthday week as me. Since we were in Mayfair and feeling a bit peckish we headed into Soho for a midnight snack at Grill Shack. All I can say is you really must try this place its simple, affordable great tasting burgers in an amazing location.
Saturday was my actual birthday, as most parents know choosing a restaurant can be hard work when considering toddlers! After all, who can predict those dreaded meltdowns or control their oh so funny clown like behaviour ( to us but not to others)! My first choice of Roka was certainly off bounds but I couldn't have chosen better Burger and Lobster another must try if you haven't already. Who could ask for a better menu, the choice of either burgers or lobster! With only 3 options there is no paper menu, get for us indecisive types and parents that never actually get a chance to look at the menu anyway! Great atmosphere, loud enough to drown out any behaviour problems from the kids and simply delicious food. All 3 options are £20 each, lobster for £20...yes please! The only down side is the wait time for tables, luckily we only had a 20-30 minute wait but I've heard it can be up to 2-3hrs, painful for kids.
To round off the weekend we stayed local and had lunch at XO in Belsize Village. Good food, amazing cocktails and a kids menu. Use the Toptable website to find some really good offers, at the moment they have 50% off the set menu.
Gabriella and I have just left daddy at home and been on a much needed 4 week holiday. Before leaving I was thinking about all the things I will need, particularly for Gabriella. One of the items at the top of my list was a good suncream for Gabriella, one that actually works and doesn't do more harm than good (according to some recent articles I've read lately this is scarily true). The fabulous people at Green People sent Gabriella a few of their yummy organic products to try and one happened to be the Organic Children Sun Lotion SPF25 Lavender. We have had the pleasure of trying and testing it in our great British summer before jetting off on our holidays. Its smells so delicious and natural, not that sickly, overpowering smell that we find with most sunscreens. it has great coverage and lasts for hours. it's as moisturising as a moisturiser but as effective as a sunscreen should be.
It's strange but true...I was literally bitten to pieces by mosquitoes from the very night we arrived. Gabriella didn't get one bite for the first 2 weeks. I thought it must be my deliciously sweet tasting irresistible blood they loved. I was wrong! After two weeks Gabriella started getting bitten. I couldn't understand why. Then I had a brain wave, it must be a product she's using and I'm not. We had spent. 2 days out of the sun and I hadn't put the Organic for Children sun cream on. That was it! This wonderful product had deterred those horrid creatures. I have a feeling it may have been the lavender that they hated. What more could you want form a suncream?!
As a mother it feels great not to be overloading Gabriella's young and delicate skin with horrible chemicals. It's by far the best sunscreen for children and it comes highly recommended from Mummy Gorgeous and Gabriella!
We can't wait to try more products from Green People
Gabriella spends most of her time spotting animals in the garden or when we're out and about and she just loves waking up to tweeting birds! She's completely obsessed with everyone else's cats and dogs. Am I a terrible mother for not letting her have any pets yet?! I don't know but what I do know is it will be another child and responsibility for me to look after. I think we'll just enjoy a bit of nature, the zoos, farms and everyone else's pets for the moment! I try to embrace her interests as much as possible and lately we've been checking out as many local places as we can. When I found out there was a local city farm we couldn't wait to check it out.
Kentish Town City Farm is nestled in amongst lots of high rise estates, exactly where you think there could be no such thing! Tucked behind an unobvious wooden door is the entrance to the farm. We were greeted by some chickens, with not a human in sight we strolled around the farm and I introduced Gabriella to all the typical farm animals. Most of which she recognised from her books. She was ever so excited, I think it was the fact that they were actually real and could move and make all the noises I've been telling her they could make.
I'm glad Gabriella had a good time, if I'm honest, as an adult I felt that the city farm felt slightly unloved, tired and uncared for, it has so much potential to be a wonderful place for young families to hang out. This could of course be a financial restriction but if guests were greeted by someone maybe we would know where to give donations safely. Also there could be an opportunity for a great farm shop and cafe. We could have done with pitstop to refuel, we had to stop stop for lunch somewhere else after :-(. All in all definitely worth a visit.
We are just loving the fabulous weather at the mo, I hope you are too?! It's been a little bit bitter sweet this week, although we've had this amazingly beautiful weather we have all some how managed to pick up stomach flu. It's not been possible for us to spend lazy afternoons in the park with this horrid stomach flu but all I can say is thank goodness we have a garden, I can't imagine having to be stuck indoors feeling sick knowing everyone else is having fun in the sun!
Gabriella has been in the garden at every opportunity wearing me out with helping her up and down the slide (I'm beginning to wonder whether this was a clever investment!)
So, yes the garden needs a little bit of work and a little bit of shopping for but it's got so much potential and that maturity in a garden that you can't buy. Now i'm on a mission to find the perfect garden furniture. I've already brought some climbing roses to add to the pretty English charm that garden already has.
I'm soooo looking forward to being all fully mended and feel like eating properly again so we can start enjoying some relaxed weekends bbqing the afternoons away!
We are settling into life in Hampstead(apart from the fact of needing meeting some local mums for me and playmates for Gabriella!) moving location with a child has taken me a while to find my bearings and special little spots that are fun for both me and Gabriella. The outdoor fountains that Gabriella can play in are definitely something we didn't have in Notting Hill. When I'm unprepared and no change of clothes seems to be the time Gabriella loves to insists on running through the fountains, More often than not I eave the house with a fully clothed dry toddler and return with an unclothed and fully soaked mess!
I cant tell you all how sorry I am that my blog posts have been virtually not existent over the last 6 weeks. I completely underestimated the strength I would need moving house with a toddler! One thing's for sure, I've learnt a lot....I now know that however much stuff you think your house stores times this by three! However long you think it may take to pack up your home times this by three and you will probably be three times more tired than you can ever imagine so saving some extra money for after the move so that you can book into a 5 star spa for a week is probably not a bad idea.
Staying at my mums until our new house was vacant was not easy as she is 100 miles from London, Gabriella loved having time with her Nana though so it was worth all the travelling for her to spend quality time with her.
Thankfully, we love our new home. Its an exciting space with beautiful high ceilings, patio doors which open out to a beautifully mature garden which we all know in London outside space is like gold dust. It certainly feels like a more grown up house in a grown up area. Most importantly I feel inspired in the space, lets face it for a creative it's essential.
My goodness I was not impressed with the 11 years worth of dirt left by the previous tenants, I'm completely disgusted that people live like that. I'm not making excuses but weeks of cleaning have contributed to my delayed blog posts! Anyway, the neighbourhood is just beautiful, with stunning tree lined streets and traditional red brick houses, draping wisteria here and there, blossom and magnolia everywhere, lots of traditional English Pubs and Ive swapped Hyde Park for Primrose Hill and Regents Park. I'm glad that Hampstead is so pretty because I have to say I was a little bit apprehensive about moving here as I've always been a West London girl. There's still lots to explore in Hampsted and I'm enjoying this new chapter in life. Any tips for places to go in Hampstead will be muchly appreciated!
After a quick trip to the seamstress for sample fittings for work this morning we decided to take a walk to Notting Hill. We popped into the newish Jamie Oliver Recipease shop. It's quite amazing, it's such an interactive store with cooking classes going on in a huge island kitchen in the middle of the whist shoppers shop. Im not sure if it was because there was cooking classes going on but the space feels so inspirational, I know any budding cook would appreciate visiting the store. Since Gabriella was enjoying stretching her legs and we were feeling a bit parched, we continued our walk down onto Portobello Road and stopped for a quick refuel in Kitchen & Pantry just off Portobello. Mmmmm maybe I could smell the carrot cake calling me! I never want to leave...It's so comfy and cosy! Comfort food of jacket potato with beans and sausages and carrot cake to finish hit the spot perfectly. It's cold once again but Portobello Road never disappoints, it has that inspiring buzz no matter what the weather.
For those of you that don't already know I'm launching a childrenswear brand and there are some fruits of my labour which I'm dying to show you! It's a sneak peak of the beautiful prints for With Love Baby's unisex collection. Welcome to the first public preview of With Love Baby, an introduction to our prints should allow you to grasp the feel and style of the brand. I'm so proud of what we have produced that I just couldn't wait to show you some of our delicate and unique in-house designed prints. With Love Baby is all about combining the balance of timeless yet contemporary styles and prints whilst keeping colour and fun. Unisex collections can be so predictable and safe with neutrals. I hope you agree that we've achieved the With Love Baby balance we desired to create with our prints?
It's true, i'm a product lover! I've loved trying lots of different baby products for Gabriella. I'm sharing 3 of my favourite baby lotions with you. The most important thing I've learnt about choosing baby skin are products is it's all in the ingredients. We all know its a bit difficult sometimes to take the extra moment to have a look on the back label of everything we are buying, but actually if at a glance you see any ingredients you have to think about the pronunciation and is difficult to read it's usually a sign that it's not great for you and especially not our children.
The Lowdown: Estelle & Thild
Not too thick but exactly as you would expect a lotion. Be careful a little goes a long way. Too much and it's difficult and takes ages to rub in. Extremely moisturising.
Smell: No smell soft baby smell with this one as no added fragrances but its perfect for a baby's early days and babies smell like babies anyway.
Ingredients: No fragrances, Parabens, Colours, Lanolin, Essential Oils or PEGs. Both Allergy tested and Paediatrician Confirmed. Predominantly oil based cream with the main ingredients being almond oil, sunflower oil and sesame oil. A completely luxury cream.
Mummy Gorgeous' Rating: 4/5...A luxury choice, pricey but a little goes a long way.
The Lowdown: Waitrose Baby Solid Coconut Massage Oil
Texture: Solid, you take a small lump and rub in you hands to warm and it melts into a liquid oil. Probably not ideal to use if your popping your baby into a silk dress but fine for everyday. Slightly oily but good for baby's skin.
Smell: Delicious! The smell is warm and comforting but delicate and not at all over powering.
Ingredients: in a nutshell it consists of coconut oil, vitamin E and vanilla extract. Very pure.
Mummy Gorgeous' Rating: 5/5...Affordable luxury and a firm favourite. This is great to use for baby massage when they are young babies.
The Lowdown: Johnsons Naturals Baby Lotion
Smell: Yummy, you can treasure that baby newborn smell forever.
Ingredients: seems to be things I can't read too easily but rest assured the product is 98% natural with 2% dedicated to preserving the formula and safety.
Mummy Gorgeous' Rating: 4/5...I do love this product, it smells so wonderful and is great on my daughter's skin. Highly recommended.
What are your favourite baby lotions and why?
The pressures on! Life is crazy hectic at the moment. With the imminent launch of my childrenswear brand looming and happening in the next few months I barely have time to spend with my daughter. I hate it because I feel so guilty. All I want to do is sit and play with her or pull funny faces and make her laugh all day. Gabriella is definitely my priority but at the moment it doesn't quite feel like I'm getting my priorities right. I'm spending so much time on my business, even though I know I'm working so hard to offer Gabriella a better life I still feel guilty. It's not even like I'm out to work in an office all day, I work from home the majority of the time, but with my head buried all day in the iMac I can't spend much quality time with my daughter.
Maybe everyone's life swings in roundabouts. I'm learning that motherhood and business is about juggling and at times the scales will feel unbalanced because something else requires your attention. What I've learnt lately is to savour and appreciate those precious moments or take full advantage of quieter weeks and make up for what feels like lost days whilst I've been snowed under.
It's a mothers prerogative, it's in our DNA to feel guilty, society definitely doesn't help ease the pressure we feel as a mother. The most important thing is finding the balance which works for you and your family.
I would love to know how other mothers feel and cope with the work/motherhood balance?
Gabriella has been having lots of fun with daddy in the park, emptying and playing with my makeup bag and sneakily eating easter egg which was left on the side (was definitely a Kodak moment but I didn't manage to catch it on camera!)
I'm not sure if you are aware but I've now moved to Wordpress! A new start for a new year, and what a year it has been. Gabriella has hit one. I've hit 30 and we have a second baby on the way...With Love Baby that is! My new Childrenswear label, but more about that later... I'm back and blogging at Mummy Gorgeous, not only because I've missed it but I feel that along with Gabriella it has been something I have nurtured and grown. I'm excited to share my journey as not only a mother, now business owner and designer.
Starting a new business with a small baby is not always easy, or how about never easy...It's all about just making it work! Every mum whether a stay at home mum (which, may I add is very much a full time job) or a mum that goes out to work has to find a balance that suits themselves and their family best. I try to prioritise being a mother first and fit everything else around my family. Making this choice is not necessarily the easiest professionally but it certainly feels right, and most importantly Gabriella is happy.
I thought it would be nice to start the year with a glance back at Gabriella as she is my inspiration and reason I work so hard...also she is very cute!