I am loving my fitness journey! I can see my body changing slowly and I am loving the effects of eating healthier; it’s made a great impact on my skin, hair (even though I’m still experiencing postpartum hairloss) and energy level. Being a parent can be really stressful – actually it is VERY stressful – but some of us are just better at managing the stress than others. I used to be so chilled when it came to parenting when it was just LO but with Baby Girl now in the picture, I find that I am a lot more stressed, have zero patience, constantly anxious and feel like I can’t shut off properly because every five minutes one of them is crying (screaming) or the house needs tidying… again for the tenth time.
Being away in the morning for my fitness classes really gives me that ‘time out’ that I need to keep myself sane and I really love it. So when Kalie (@pyschicladykay) sent me an email to let me know about a meditation and sound healing taster session she was doing last week I could only say yes. Time out to meditate and heal? Why would I ever try to decline that offer? I’ve only ever touched on meditation in yoga class and through my BeCalm mindfulness app but it can be so hard to switch off and meditate properly with so much going around. I was excited to see what Kalie’s taster session was going to offer. Continue reading “Review: Meditation & Sound Healing therapy in Greenwich”→
It was announced in August that a London hospital decided to pilot a scheme that has been a part of the Finnish maternity scheme for over eighty years. I first came across the post on the Baby London website and thought it was such an interesting topic. Upon digging deeper into the article, I came to realise that the Finnish have been supplying new mums with a ‘baby box’ that is filled with mum and baby products. The baby box is used as a sleeping place for the newborn replacing the need for a cot, crib or moses basket.
Apparently, the baby box has been proven to be a really safe place for newborns to sleep as they cannot roll in the box. It’s something that the Finnish have been doing for over 80 years so it’s a big surprise that the UK has only decided to start implementing something like this now. The baby box is also filled with many things a new mum may need from nappies to baby bodysuits to money-off coupons and vouchers for all things baby.
If the pilot is announced as a success, we may see this new maternity scheme rolled out across the UK.
Okay, so this haul is more of a mini-haul as it only consists of three products I bought from Holland and Barrett a few weeks ago. H&B is my go-to store when I am looking for anything to do with health foods and supplements. I love their nut mixes especially the carob-coated nut mix and the stores always stocks a wide variety of my beloved Nakd food bars. If you’ve never tried one, I suggest you go out and buy one asap because that’s how good they are and they’re healthy for you.
I love chocolate. But then again, who doesn’t? It’s one thing to buy chocolate but it’s another to have it posted to you every month. 🙂
I discovered the loveliness of Hotel Chocolat a few months ago when I decided to sign up to their “Tasting Club” which is a monthly chocolate box subscription service. They have several selection boxes for you to choose from; the classic box, dark chocolate box, the milk chocolate box, white chocolate box, alcoholic box and fruity box. A box costs £22.95 including postage and packaging which is quite expensive but the chocolates are sooo good I have not managed to wean myself off them yet… although I will be stopping my subscription later this month (more on this later in the post).
I started my subscription by opting for the Classic Box. Each box that I have received so far has been fantastic. The flavours have been really up my street and my favourite selection from the boxes so far have been the Eton Mess, the carrot cake, the billionaire’s shortbread and all the nutty praline truffle ones.
The chocolate selections that I wasn’t a big fan of were the alcoholic ones as I don’t drink and just found them too strong (I gave these to Daddy P and he absolutely loves them!) and the fruity ones were usually hit-and-miss. Although saying that, my favourite fruity selection has to be the Gooseberry Fool – it’s slightly tangy, slightly sweet and seriously creamy thanks to the white chocolate casing.
My favourite selection out of this box was the square piece in the photo that is close to the ipad (caramel looking top). That caramel nougatine was crunchy, sweet and sticky. The inside was filled with praline truffle and was soo delicious! My least favourite from this box was the round white chocolate piece with the purple dot (blueberry filling). I love eating fresh blueberries but hated the taste in this chocolate. I just thought it didn’t compliment the white chocolate enough and was a bit of a weird combo.
Why I am stopping my subscription
At the beginning of August (well, end of July to be exact) I decided to embark on a health journey.
I have never ate well so my diet was full of crap consisting of bad fats, sugar and processed foods. Not good. On top of that, I never exercised. I then realised that after being diagnosed with gestational diabetes in both of my pregnancies, I needed to make a change to my diet and lifestyle… NOW. So I started to eat better and healthier and took up postnatal pilates then signed up to the local gym to get fit and strong. For this reason, I decided I want to stop my chocolate subscription box as it’s not a necessity for me and is not healthy. I can’t be scoffing my face with a whole box of chocolates on a monthly basis and think it’s a healthy lifestyle choice.
Don’t get me wrong, I still indulge in chocolate and other naughty foods occasionally (I call them ‘cheat days’) but generally, I try to stay away from things like that but last week was challenging as it was mine and LO’s birthday so we kind of threw caution to the wind and pigged out on junk… Ooops! It’s okay to slip up occasionally so I won’t be too hard on myself for it and I will just make up for it by eating a little more healthier than usual this week. 🙂
The Hotel Chocolat tasting club subscription is £9.95 when you sign up for your first box which you can easily cancel straight after if you didn’t want to carry on the subscription to the next month. I definitely recommend giving them a try it if you haven’t before. You can either get the box as a treat to yourself or you can give the box to friends/family as a lovely gift. Either way, you won’t be disappointed! 🙂
If you’ve been following me on Instagram (@mannyngo) you will know that I have started to embark on a journey to a healthier lifestyle over the last few weeks. My ab-separation has pretty much gone now – at most they are between 1-1.5 finger width apart. Around the belly button feels a little more like just under 2 finger widths apart but I think it’s normally a little more gappy around the belly button.
Even as a second-time mum there are still things that I am learning about second time round. LO is what you’d call the “perfect baby”. He breastfed well, hardly ever cried, didn’t cry or get a fever at all when it was time for immunisations, he slept good and didn’t suffer from colic or reflux or other little niggles like that. Baby Girl however was the complete opposite.
She was constantly crying. She had colic from day one as well as silent reflux and the midwives at the hospital didn’t notice it. We got meds for her later on. She constantly had hiccoughs which I think was due to the reflux because she would never burp after feeds. Even after five or ten minutes patting her in every direction to get her to wind, it wouldn’t happen.
She also didn’t breastfeed well as l my nipple was too big for her mouth so she had a terrible latch. Then to top it all off… She was constipated and it made her extra fussy – like WTF?! I thought exclusively breastfed babies never get constipated? Well, I can tell you know from experience that it’s definitely a lie. Exclusively BF babies are just as susecptible to constipation as formula-fed babies. The good thing was that she continued to gain weight well so I just had to cope and manage with it.
Three months on…
Now baby girl is three months old, it’s been much better. Her fussiness is at a minimum. We stopped giving her the reflux meds and her colic just disappeared as she got older and so did the reflux. I think it’s because when babies are newborns their stomach is so immature therefore they get colicky really easily and can become sensitive to everything.
She burps by herself after most feeds and when I pat her there is always a satisfying burp afterwards. Music to my ears! 🙂 I also started combi-feeding (breastfeeding and formula feeding) and it’s really sorted out her constipation. She now has regular bowel movements so for us, this worked really well. I love breastfeeding and wish I could’ve exclusively breastfeed Baby Girl longer but I didn’t want to be selfish. She needed more and upping the feeds was still not satisfying her so I had to supplement with formula.
Development-wise she is smiling a lot more, she is babbling away non-stop which is so adorable. Sometimes I wish LO would stop talking and Baby Girl would start haha! She is also really good on her front – I’ve been trying to increase her tummy time but already she seems to be holding her head up well which is fantastic. 🙂
She’s also very good at kicking her legs…sometimes to a point where she actually moves from where she originally was. LO says she’s ‘peddling’ – bless him! 🙂 He gets so excited when she kicks her legs and occasionally joins in with her…
She’s also so dribbly now and constantly biting on her hands – I really think she’s teething so I’ve already bought her a few teething toys but she doesn’t really know what to do with it yet. I’ll wait a little longer then hopefully she’ll just start to figure it out.
I just can’t believe how fast they grow… soon before I know it, it’ll be her first birthday! *gasps*
We have everything available to us at our doorstep – literally! There is a Costa Coffee store opening soon right downstairs and I’ve been telling my friends I don’t know if that is a good idea because I will probably tell Daddy P to watch the kids while I hide out in there behind my sugar-free caramel decaff latte.
I love living in Greenwich.
I wrote a post a couple of weeks back about an exhibition that is currently on in the National Maritime Museum until August 29th called “Above and Beyond”. I also wrote in the post that it was aimed at kids from 7+ which is what it states on the Royal Museums Greenwich website however when we went, there was a lot more younger children (preschoolers) at the exhibition which was lovely to see as I didn’t expect that. (I think Baby Girl was the youngest visitor on the day we went.)
National Maritime Museum
The NMM is one of the Royal Museums Greenwich alongside Cutty Sark, the Royal Observatory and the Queen’s House – all of these places are available for viewing pleasures but I believe the National Maritime Museum offers the most free galleries and exhibitions out of the four. It is also one of the most baby-friendly museums I’ve been to so far.
| watch our video – click play below|
The Above and Beyond Exhibition
Our day out to the exhibition was much better than I anticipated. Mainly because I was slightly worried that LO won’t enjoy it but it was quite the contrary – he absolutely loved it! We were lucky enough to be invited along to review the exhibition for my blog, which I kindly accepted. 🙂
I’ve also been given an exclusive promo code so all of you lovely readers can get 10% off your tickets.
Just use the code MUMMY10 when booking online or directly at the admissions desk.
The day we decided to head out to the museum it started raining lightly but all was well as I brought along with us LO’s umbrella so he could stay dry – I don’t mind the drizzle as much. We got our Peppa Pig umbrella from The Works for just £3.00. So cheap as all the other children’s brollies I found online were around £10-14. (That is extortionate!)
Once we picked up our tickets at the admissions desk we headed to the lift to take us downstairs. Inside the exhibition were lots of interactive stations where you could learn about how aircrafts fly in the air, how sonic waves travel and how they affect the nose of the planes. You can also take a virtual elevator ride to outer space and fly your own supersonic jet simulator. LO wasn’t interested in the big children’s games and instead preferred playing with the buttons on the sonic waves machine. He had fun so I didn’t mind – instead it gave me time to walk about and explore other parts of the exhibition.
We took the virtual elevator ride to outer space and saw the edge of planet Earth. It was amazing! We also found out what commercial planes are constructed from and learnt about the different space rockets and shuttles that have been sent to space. There were to-scale miniature versions of the space crafts which looked so cool. There are staff members in the exhibition who I believe you could go to for more information if you wanted to find out more about something specific. Most of the older children were playing at the flight simulators – there were even people queuing up to play!
The AHOY! Children’s Gallery
After we were done with exploring the Above & Beyond exhibition, we headed back upstairs to have a quick play in the AHOY! children’s gallery before going home. LO’s been to play here once before and loved it then and it was no different this time round. He was confident in playing around the areas by himself and really enjoyed playing with the foam ships and inside the little play house.
It’s aimed at children from 0-5 years so expect to see plenty of toddlers and preschoolers running about. You may also find a few mums with babies hiding out in here too. 🙂 I love this little area – it was only opened about a year ago but I think really adds a fun element to the museum and also it’s the one place where you can let your kids roam free and scream and shout with potentially annoying anyone else. Haha!
I hope you liked our video and review. Have you been to any museums lately?
NB. We were kindly given tickets by Royal Museums Greenwich to review this exhibition. All words, opinions and photos are my own.
Last week we were invited to come along and experience the sold-out event, Holiday to Space with Q Pootle 5. It was a special event put on by the Royal Museums Greenwich as part of their Holiday to Space series, held at the Royal Observatory. I previously posted a blog about this event which you can read here.
Our day started off at 10am but we left about 30mins before as we only live down the road. Due to the location of our home, we ended up at the South entrance of the park, near Greenwich High Street so we had to walk up to the Royal Observatory through the park. It took us about 15 mins to walk up there and LO managed to get up without a stroller as I decided against taking it. Baby Girl was at home with Daddy P so it was just Mummy and LO time – something we’ve not done in such a long time. When we reached the top, we were a tad thirsty so headed into the Pavillion Cafe where we stocked up on water, juice and sandwiches as LO didn’t have any breakfast before we left – we’re usually still in bed at 8am haha! 🙂
Once we arrived outside the Royal Observatory we could see all the other families also waiting for the event. Like I mentioned earlier, the event had been sold out – I never knew it was so popular! When the staff opened the Observatory gates, families were kindly escorted into the Peter Harrison Planetarium.
LO in the main gallery of The Royal Observatory
Sitting inside the planetarium
Space activity: making plasticine moon craters
The day’s itinerary was as follows…
| Watch Q Pootle 5 shows in the Peter Harrison Planetarium
After “checking in” we headed downstairs to the main planetarium. We were amazed, neither me or LO had seen such a place before so it was a special moment (for me!) and I could see that he was really curious to discover what was around him. He gets really fidgety when he gets excited! LO finally managed to calm down and we sat while the museum’s astrologist, Brendan, explained what we’ll be watching and introduced Nick Butterworth to us. Nick is the creator, author and illustrator of Q Pootle 5 which is a children’s TV cartoon series about friendly aliens aired on Cbeebies. You can watch episodes here
We watched two episodes of Q Pootle 5; the first one was about Q Pootle 5 and his friends join Planet Dave in awaiting the arrival of Comet Gordon. The gang put on a lovely show with music, bunting and more. The second show was about a satellite that accidentally fell on planet Oki Doki. Q Pootle 5 and his friends help to repair the satellite then helped to launch it back into orbit.
| Creator Nick Butterworth talks to us about how he created Q Pootle 5
When we had watched the shows, we were split into two teams; red and blue. We were Team Red. We were then escorted into a small room where Nick Butterworth talked about how he came to create Q Pootle 5. It was lovely to hear him explain how much planning is involved when turning a 2D illustration into a 3D animation. There is a lot of science and technical stuff at work here! Nick told us there was about a team of forty involved in the making of Q Pootle 5.
| Participate in a group space activity
Once the talk was over, we swapped with Team Blue and went into another little room where astrologist Brendan set up our space activity. The kids learnt about how shadows on the moon, what moon craters are and how they’re made. Brendan then asked all the children to grab a bit of plasticine and make their own crater. LO had other ideas; he didn’t want to turn his long sausage-shaped plasticine into a moon crater and preferred to keep it straight. My little boy for some reason is rarely in the mood to take part in group activities, he’d much prefer just to play by himself or in one-on-one.
| Nick Butterworth’s book signing
After playing with our plasticine, LO needed a quick toilet break. On our way back from the toilet, it was time to get ready to head on out downstairs onto the planetarium’s terrace where Nick Butterworth would be book-signing. We were a little early so I decided to take us to the museum shop – a big fat mistake!
Everything was fine at the start; we looked around the shop, played with a few toys then dum-dum-duummmmm!! LO wanted to buy the large space rocket. It was £15 and I wasn’t ready to part with the cash so tried using different strategies to get him out of the shop. It worked but then once we were outside – bam! – LO pulled out of the bag a big, fat (not to mention loud) tantrum. The more I tried to talk to him and calm him down, the louder he screamed and whined. I knew what it meant. It was time for a nap. He had been up for too long and he was ready to sleep.
We didn’t have the stroller and still waiting for Nick to arrive, I didn’t want to leave and not get the book signed as we had come all this way and who knew when we would see Nick again to have him sign it. I stuck to my guns and didn’t cave in by buying him the toy. We sat down in the terrace cafe and I gave him a few dinosaur sweeties to try and kick-start his energy. It worked a little. We eventually got our booked signed then thanked Nick, his wife and the RMG staff for hosting a brilliant day out and headed home. We walked back down the way we came and stopped at the little ice cream shop for a little ice lolly to cool us down.
It was a brilliant day out and we had lovely weather. When we got home, we snuggled up with Baby Girl and just chilled out for the rest of the day. A perfect ending to a perfect day. 🙂
– watch our day out: –
NB. We were invited to this event by the Royal Museums Greenwich. All words, opinions and photos are my own. Photos that are not mine are credited respectively.
Being a new mum can be a challenge especially in the first twelve months of a baby’s life. Despite this being my second birth I still felt and faced the same things I did when I was a first-time mum; anxiety, newborn worries and challenges (reflux, colic, breastfeeding issues), postpartum problems and body hang-ups, baby blues and generally feeling overwhelmed with everything.
It’s totally common for new mums to find that they get the “baby blues” at some stage in their post-pregnancy life which is completely normal. The majority of the time it will just go away by itself. However, sometimes a little bit of extra support is needed for us mums. I had the baby blues in both pregnancies but this time round found it a little more difficult to cope. Baby Girl was constantly crying and Daddy P was away most of the time. I felt like I was being left alone to defend for myself then having an active toddler on top of that made it even more challenging. Continue reading “The Real World Parenting Awards: Recognising people who go the extra mile”→
It’s no surprise that when it rains, I don’t like to take LO outside because he comes back DRENCHED – not because it’s raining but because he is constantly splashing in every puddle he can find. Whether it’s a little tiny puddle or a massive puddle that goes up to his ankles… he’s in them!
It’s not a nightmare when he’s got the right shoes on going to nursery but when he doesn’t, it actually makes my blood boil because it means he’ll be wet all day long and I can’t stand knowing that he’s damp (think of all that nasty bacteria breeding!!) Wellies have become one of our staple buys now – it got to a point when I wanted LO to have three pairs; one to keep at nursery, one to keep at home and one to keep at Ba’s (grandma’s) house so he’s always prepared.
However I came to realise that just having wellies was not enough for LO because when he splashes, his bottoms get wet. I cannot tell you the number of times that LO has left nursery in different bottoms on a rainy day because they let the kids out in the garden and of course, LO is the first one to be jumping in the puddles. So when I received an email from a British company called Dry Kids who sell children’s waterproof clothing I was absolutely ecstatic to have the opportunity to test out their wear. Unfortunately at the time of receiving the wonderful waterproof dungarees for LO, we’ve had a bloody heatwave and summer weather with no rain!
As we’ve had such good weather so far, for this post I will be reviewing the quality of the dungarees but not its performance. I will hopefully be able to do this at a later time when the rain decides to come back again. (I’m sure that won’t be long knowing what British summers are like!)
Here are some photos of the lovely Dry Kids waterproof dungarees to feast your eyes on:
The material is really good quality
Elasticated cuffs and a band to ensure a secure fit
You’ll never lose your dungarees with this name tag label
My favourite feature – poppers for a good fit
Adjustable straps so the dungarees can grow with your bubba 🙂
As you can see, the quality of the dungarees is really good. These are the unlined waterproof dungarees which is slightly more lightweight than their fleeced version. I think I will buy the fleeced version for winter time as I really like these dungarees. I can already tell that with LO splashing in the water he won’t be able to get his bottoms wet – YAY! 🙂
My favourite feature of these bottoms are the little plastic poppers on the sides. LO has a slim torso so sometimes when I buy things for his age, it comes up a little big but having these poppers will mean he can have a better fit. I also like the handy name-tag label which will be really useful for him at nursery. I’m definitely going to have to purchase another pair in September for when LO goes back to nursery.
The waterproof dungarees are just £14.95 (so cheap!) and come in a range of funky colours. They also do a lovely warmer fleeced version which is only a couple of pounds more at £17.95. I highly recommend Dry Kids clothing especially if your children love the outdoors. If you live in a more rural area, then I think your little one’s wardrobe can’t be complete without a pair of these. Dry Kids sell a whole range of outdoor clothing from these dungarees to wellies and all-in-ones. LO has a waterproof all-in-one that we bought a little while ago but I much prefer these new Dry Kids dungarees as they are way easier to take off and put on especially when it’s time for a wee. 🙂
About Dry Kids
“DryKids was born because our own kids loved to be outside playing, climbing and getting wet whatever the weather and location.” – Dry Kids
The UK based company is all about providing fun, functional and comfy waterproof outerwear for kids of all ages from 2-12 years old. They offer everything from all-in-ones suits to high-vis shirts and beanie hats. For more on Dry Kids and their waterproof clothing, visit http://www.drykids.co.uk/
Have you got any waterproof gear for your little ones? What do you think of them?
NB. We were kindly sent a pair of waterproof dungarees by DryKids to review. All words, opinions and photos are my own.