Posts tagged family
Bank Holiday Weekend at Little Venice Canalway

IMG_6306 Bank holidays are made for over indulging in too much calories laden food which should of course be eaten in fabulous company, spending time with family and friends and generally staying out later than bedtime, well, in my case the children's bedtime. How nice to have an extra long weekend, but, doesn't it just leave us all wishing that bank holiday weekends are forever and that real life and their responsibilities don't exist? It has been wonderful to get carried away in the moment and have some work free time to create some lasting memories.

IMG_0130 West Thirty Six, Notting Hill too cute - sharing their first drink out! Gabriella's favourite face to pull at the moment…why can't it be smiles :-) IMG_0143 IMG_0142 IMG_6331 IMG_6300 IMG_6246

In our true family style naturally we started the bank holiday weekend on Saturday with lunch, we tried somewhere new, hats always exciting for us. We made it down to West Thirty Six on Goldborne Road in Notting Hill. Set in a beautiful, higeldy pigeldy townhouse style building and spread over a number of floors there is just so much to explore, we didn't get the chance to explore everywhere but that's great, it means I need to go back and have a wander and hopefully make it up to the fire pit located on the roof terrace. We enjoyed a delicious lunch, burgers of course nothing else will do for a bank holiday lunch. We then stopped on the way back at Little Venice to join in the celebrations at their annual Canal Cavalcade. Gabriella loves boats and what a spectacular display of narrow boats for her to enjoy. All Dressed up with buntings and heritage flags and other sorts of knick knacks, every boat was at their best on show for us all to enjoy. What I love about narrow boats is they're all individual and usually reflect elements of the owners personality. Gabriella loved searching for her 'favourite' boats. The sense of community could really be felt, all the narrow boat owners were drinking and eating and chatting together, and the support from the locals was amazing. Gabriella tried two new things, face painting and candyfloss. I was so excited to see my little girls face painted for the first time. The verdict was...she loved the face painting and was not too sure about candy floss, the idea was clearly greater than the experience!

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Mummy Loves...Graze

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?

Mummy Blog - Graze 1

Mummy Blog - Graze 2

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Mummy Blog - Graze 4

How Our Week's Going Down
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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.

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What's she like now?!
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My beautiful baby girl is growing up so fast, Gabriella is a little girl now, she kindly reminds me i'm NOT a baby i'm Gabby! Much to my dismay she has chosen to shorten her own name to Gabby, since she's been born I've made a point to tell everyone not to shorten her name, I now look completely stupid when she goes around introducing herself as Gabby. It amazes me how quickly they progress at this age. I love the fact that we can really communicate now, have conversations, chat, tell each other jokes and even have the odd argument!

Her personality is BIG! She's loud when comfortable with her company, an extreme chatterbox (talks me into insanity everyday!), a very sensitive soul, caring and loves to play toys, she's into bears not dolls, is a little bit of a tomboy (loves rough and tumble) but makes up for it with her love of sparkly stuff. I love the fact that shes independent and determined with that she can be terribly demanding and bossy but I love her all the same, she's my princess, my world.

I'm intrigued to see whether her unique little personality changes or adapts when the new addition to the family arrives.

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Guess What...

20131124-145950.jpg Yes, it's true...I'm pregnant!

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!

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Burgers and Macaroons in Covent Garden
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I've been feeling pretty lazy lately (for a good reason, which I will share with you later!). The overriding urge to eat hamburgers and crispy fries certainly encouraged me to leave the warm and toasty environment of home for the hustle and bustle of Covent Garden.

20131111-171907.jpg I've been dying to try Shake Shack which have launched their first UK restaurant in Covent Garden. With Gabriella's new found love for burgers and particularly fries she was more than up for it!

It was the perfect autumn day and one without rain for a change, on our way we had the chance to have some fun with the crisp leaves.

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And we all know its a total sin not to visit Laduree for a macaroon fix whilst in Covent Garden...

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I'm so glad Gabriella shares my enthusiasm for macaroons but it does mean there are less for me!

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Happy Birthday to Me :-)
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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.

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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.

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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.

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Mummy Loves... Organic Children by Green People
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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

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A trip to the City Farm...Yes in London!
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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.

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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.

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A Birthday Party in Regents Park
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Tis the season of parties and get togethers. Gabriella had been invited to her friend's 2nd Birthday feast in Regents Park. There was no better choice of venue than Regents Park whilst we take advantage of our great British heat wave plus it's just a walk away from home. Sometimes I completely forget that Gabriella now comprehends what im saying, this is probably because she spends much of her time ignoring me unless its something she wants to hear! Telling her about the party in the park before bedtime probably wasn't the best of timings, we had a very overexcited little girl who couldn't sleep.

To be honest the whole family was kind of excited, we've been so busy working that there's been a real lack of family time. We love nothing more than to eat, drink and be merry in the sun whilst the kids play. Well, it's never quite as relaxing as that sounds when including a toddler approaching the terrible 2's.

Gabriella has a beautiful dress from ilovegorgeous from last summer, it's probably the last wear she will get out of it before it gets packed away. Just as well, Gabriella's love affair with the chocolate birthday cake has definitely compromised this faithful party piece :-(

We have another party in the park coming up this weekend, I'm on the lookout for a new dress for my messy cake lover.

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One Of Our Favourite Spots...The Fountains
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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!

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What's in Gabriella's Wash Bag?
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20130616-150106.jpg It's no secret that I love products. It's been amazing to have an excuse to be opened up to the fabulous world of baby products by becoming a mother!

Here's a sneek peak at Gabriella's bath time favourites. I couldn't resist extended the post beyond its title to include some of her bath toys and accessories.

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Have a fab Sunday!

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Some of our Easter
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Easter has been a much needed break for me and my family but especially me. Lately, I've been more than exhausted. Quality time at home celebrating Easter has put a smile back on my face. Apart from a trip to church on Sunday morning we didn't leave home this holiday, long mornings in pyjamas and afternoons eating Easter eggs...it's been a lovely contrast to life lately. Putting together an Easter basket for Gabriella was so fun, I made lots of special treats for her. We made a lovely mezze lunch on Sunday afternoon before a huge tradtional roast in the evening. We even had a little Easter bunny running around the house! 20130401-122630.jpg

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Mummy Loves...Easter
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I love Easter...I'm so excited that it's around the corner. Looking out at the beautiful blossoms on the trees, daffodils on my desk and longer days starting to emerge, Easter is definitely in the air. Easter is not only about eating Easter Eggs until we feel sick but most importantly spending it with family. To get me inspired I've found some great inspirations for Easter on Pinterest. I'm a self confessed Pinterest addict! I would love you to join me on my Pinterest journey. Pinterest Username: withlovebaby

I love the bunny ears, I'm so going to make some for Gabriella!

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Baby Lotions...Three Of My Favourites
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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.

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The Lowdown: Estelle & Thild

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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.

Price: £20.00

Mummy Gorgeous' Rating: 4/5...A luxury choice, pricey but a little goes a long way.

The Lowdown: Waitrose Baby Solid Coconut Massage Oil

20130328-170832.jpg 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.

Price: £2.89

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

20130328-171857.jpg Texture: Perfect lotion texture not at all runny, easy to rub in.

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.

Price: £2.25

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?

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