Posts tagged parenting
I love you two

20140610-114113.jpg Wow, isn't it different being a mother to two?!

I most definitely feel that someone wants a piece of me at all times. That's the hardest part, trying to make sure I give time to everyone in the family as equally as possible. For me, that's a constant battle. Having a newborn baby who needs me and should have me for everything short of breathing and a toddler who has been the centre of my world for the best part of 2.5 years as much as Gabriella is very independent she needs lots of emotional reassurance. What a time for the terrible twos to make an appearance, yes, right after Lucia was born! I've been blessed with Lucia, she's a pretty fab night time sleeper so it was not the newborn keeping me awake but Gabriella throwing all sorts of tantrums at 2am...needless to say I was not a happy Mama.

It was hard for Gabriella to adjust to having a little sister at home. She loved having a little sister but hated sharing me. Giving her special 'Gabriella' time on her own helped although I would say time is the biggest healer, it does get better 8 weeks later we are back to normal.

Looking back I think we were partly to blame we were totally overcompensating by letting Gabriella get away with lots of things we would normally have not allowed partly because we were very tired but mainly because we didn't want to be hard on her with the arrival of her little sister

My biggest fear of becoming a mother to two whilst I was pregnant was not being able to have enough love for the both of them or actually not loving them the same. This worry stayed with me until the moment I held Lucia in my arms and when Gabriella arrived at the birth centre and I saw them together for the first time my love for them grew to a whole other level.

Did I think being a mother could be anymore fulfilling before having Lucia? No...but being a mama to two fulfils me in so many more ways. They absolutely melt my heart.

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

Mummy Blog - Graze 3

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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Gabriella's Style...Now

20140214-105635.jpg Now that Gabriella can verbalise her likes and dislikes she doesn't hold back about her wardrobe. I'm just thankful we share the same style choices!

She loves bright colours, and yes, usually all mixed together in one outfit. I always ask her what she wants to wear, personally I think clothes can be quite a large part of expressing your personality.

Comfort is number one so leggings are a firm favourite in her wardrobe as are long sleeve t shirts with fun designs on but she developing a real love for skirts...music to my ears!

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And...the more sparkles and glitter the better!

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Of course I'd love to dress Gabriella in designer and boutique brands all the time but its not practical with the delicate use of fabrics and the financial burden. And, actually the high street do some really lovely pieces which I would hate to miss out on.

I'm not going to lie, I'm completely jealous of my daughters wardrobe especially being 8 month pregnant and now barely being able to fit into my oh so beautiful maternity clothes!

I'd love to hear what your child's style is like, do share.

Happy Valentines Day.

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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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In Love With Her Garden
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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!

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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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Moving to Another Hill!
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84ac39204da974dfa4f09a4ed64dc8fdIt's been a little quiet from me over the last week or so. Not only am I about to launch a business I'm now in the middle of moving house. There just never seems to be a dull moment in my life lately. With 6 days to pack, move and find a new home with a 19 month old baby in tow its been more than stressful but I've completely surprised myself and risen to the challenge! We have found a lovely new place, its definitely a more grown up family space with fabulous high ceilings and wait for it...a garden...Yes, a garden! What a luxury in London. Now that everything is packed and in storage there's just under 2 weeks until we move in. Temporarily staying at my Mums is lovely but i'm so ready to be back in my own house again. My nerves are on end worrying about what Gabriella might destroy next along dirty fingers on the walls. Sometimes I think our parents forget how difficult it is for things to stay pristine when you have a toddler.

Ive forgotten to share the biggest change about the move...I'm moving to Primrose Hill! Being such a Notting Hill girl at heart I wonder how I'm going to adapt to the change?? I know it's only down the road but I do feel a bit anxious. Luckily we will have Primrose Hill within a 5 minute walk, I'm going to embrace the change and look forward to exploring all my local spots, which of course I will be sharing with you very soon.

Please forgive me if I'm a little quiet over the next few weeks but I will be back in full force once I'm all settled.

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From Notting Hill to Portobello Road
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Notting Hill Blog

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.

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