Swoon is moving…

February 6, 2014

PrintSwoon is moving!

I am slowly but surely getting the website together with the help of All That Good Stuff (my Husband’s company yo!)

You can now find me at http://www.youmakemeswoon.co.uk.

We still have some work to do but I am moving the blog over there as of today. I hope you’ll come and join me there – subscribers you’ll have to join again over at the new address.

Sally
xx

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Gifts for New Parents

February 5, 2014

I thought I would share some of the best gifts I received for ideas for gifts for new parents.

Excuse the length of this post, I hope it’s useful.

Gifts

Gifts for Baby
All the gifts I received were wonderful and I loved them all – if you want to buy your friend a cute outfit or a cuddly teddy then go ahead. Before the baby arrives you have no idea what you are going to need and all that cute stuff just adds to the excitement. That said this is a list of the gifts I received that I really love and have found useful.

Swaddle pods – a gift from gorgeous friends in Australia, we loved this when Jessica was brand new. Swaddle blankets are absolutely fine but if you have a wriggler then you’ll spend a lot of time re-wrapping the baby especially with the kerfuffle of night-feeds. I also received lovely sleeping bags which as soon as Jessica wasn’t up for swaddling we put her in. They too are wonderful for keeping her warm and you don’t have to fuss with blankets every time you feed.

Sleepsuits – I do love dressing Jessica in cute outfits but it’s a hassle when they are little especially if they don’t like fuss so if you want to give something seriously useful then all in ones are the way to go. My favourites are from Mama’s and Papas and John Lewis as they wash really well but we got given some seriously lovely ones from Petit Bandeau that I will keep forever – that first size is so tiny and something I want to remember.
Little tip you should get ones with feet and scratch hands on.

Pretty blankets and quilts – I am lucky to own a lot of beautiful quilts and I got given a few more, plus I treated Jessica to some little colourful ones for her nursery. I use all of them. I don’t believe you can have to many blankets or quilts. I use them to cover the bed when I am feeding, I use them to add an extra layer on Jessica at night, I use them when we got out in the pram and now for playing on the floor at home and out. They get puked on and dribbled on a lot, you need a few.
Find out if the nursery had a colour scheme and try and buy one to fit.

Huge Muslins – I got given some beautiful muslins at my baby shower, and they are huge. I always make sure I have one of these when we go out. Baby’s are sick a lot. You need to always have a muslin handy. I loved having pretty ones to take out with me and at home I have pack after pack of plain white ones.
I also have the softest bamboo muslins for wiping dribble and milk.
I love Aden and Anais.

Every baby needs a Sophie. The cutest toy and it has really come into its own recently (teething!)

Also the cutest, softest toys are Jellycats – you can buy them everywhere. Jessica has so many bunny’s and the sweetest musical star in the car.
I also adore Maileg toys, I am very naughty with these, Jessica is already growing a gorgeous collection.

If you are a Mama and have found you have used something a lot and love it pass that knowledge on, some of the best gifts I received were exactly these.

Gifts for Mama – so gratefully received!
If the Mama is on baby number two or more this is the way to go, they probably have everything they need!

Give a Mama to be a massage or mani-pedi for use before the baby comes and she will LOVE you. Those last few weeks before baby arrives are tough, you are fed up of being uncomfortable and just want to meet your little one. The best thing I did was relax and take time for me, these are amazing gifts to give and will be the last time she’ll be able to do it for a while.

I highly recommend pampering products, especially early on in the pregnancy. A few wonderful friends gave me treats and I spent a lot of time having long bubble baths and using all these lovely products people gave me. I am so glad I did enjoy them while I can because it is so rare now!
I loved the Mama Mio products, the rich body lotion felt and smelt amazing and was a pleasure to use, as were the oils.
I also like Burts Bee’s products and still do, I have some of the baby bits too and they are so lovely to use.
Also Neal’s Yard (my Mum gave me the seaweed and arnica foaming bath – which is for when you are overtired how apt!)

I think any products that are natural are great when you’re pregnant your skin can be a bit more sensitive than normal and natural products for me always tend to be worth the extra cost because they feel good to use.

I also loved the Elemis Japanese Camellia Oil which I am still using. It soaks into the skin so quickly and isn’t greasy at all and is a joy to use.

One more idea that I can pass on and it’s possibly the best is to be helpful when you visit. I could have kissed the friends that dropped in with food, my mother-in-laws came and cleaned and friends that insisted on washing up etc were life-savers.

At first when the baby is brand new and possibly Dad is off work they might have it all sorted but, unless it’s going to offend, when you visit someone with a new baby make the tea, take food – if you can take a big pie or casserole they’ll love you forever, take a look around when you visit see if there is anything you can do to help, especially if the new Mama is having a tough time, someone just cleaning up, throwing the vacuum around might just make their week a little easier.

I wish I had known this before… I was so clueless, I imagine I was the super unhelpful guest visiting friends with new babies… Sorry to all of you!

xx

I have been meaning to write about this pub since November, but a few more visits since then have cemented my love and I had to share.

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Since becoming a Mama eating out is a whole new ballgame. There is so much more to think about. Parking, access with a (rather large) buggy, baby changing ad of course the most important – whether a baby is welcome!

We first visited here on a recommendation that the roast was awesome from a friend who has a 2-year-old, so knew they’d be okay about kids. It was my birthday and there were two big tables of adults with quite a few babies and toddlers, in fact this has been the case every time we visit. We have also visited for dinner, when Jessica was younger and sleepier and tucked ourselves away in a corner with delicious fish and chips and wine.

Top tip – they sometimes do a mixed roast – all three meats! It’s like a gourmet carvery! Also get the scotch egg, SO GOOD.

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The staff are always so friendly and nothing is too much trouble. Little things like high chairs already out with plastic bowls and cutlery have been noted, so has the heater in the baby changing (SO needed) and then we found out the owner has a little one and another on the way – all explained. He knows what families need. He has us for life. It’s our favourite spot, we always end up bringing a crew.

Of course none of this would matter if the food was rubbish, but it isn’t it’s great. Really great. My favourite place for a roast. The wine list is good but the beer selection is even more extensive. The normal menu has an awesome burger which is served pink and you can eat in the bar as well as the restaurant.

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I love this place. Go visit, just don’t take my spot!

The Famous Royal Navy Volunteer.

February

February 3, 2014

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This month…

I am aiming to continue to eat well, the scales have started to move in the right direction! I may still be having treats but meals have been super healthy and I intend to keep that up – Holiday in 5 months and counting!

I will try to step up the exercise, I hit Nike hard this payday, nothing like new gym kit for motivation! It will be hard to find the time but if nothing else I am going to take more (and longer) walks with the buggy.

I have lots of work on so I am going to write myself a schedule. I think having regular working times will help me get into habits and make it easier to get done. I am really enjoying using my brain to think about something else other than baby… it reminds me that I am still me.

I will be celebrating my husbands birthday and a favourite holiday – Valentines! I have an awesome card this year.

What are you looking forward to this month?

xx