Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Food Review: Bistrot Pierre Leicester

There’s nothing better than enjoying a lovely meal out, do you agree!? I love food and love trying and experiencing new restaurants and types of food and so I jumped at the chance to head down to the newly refurbished Bistrot Pierre in Leicester to try out their new Autumn/Winter menu and took the crew along with me too! 

We had a table booked for 12pm Sunday, the perfect time to fuel yourself for the day or to take advantage of the Sunday Roast to keep you full until teatime. We had a sneaky look at the menu online before we got there too and were super excited to eat all the food! Millie also knew exactly what she wanted before we even got there...

The Restaurant

Embracing the French culture and their love of French Cuisine, Bistro Pierre has a swanky feel to it with leather couches and little wooden tables that you’d typically find in any Bistrot in France. All of the food is prepared by chefs using a mixture of artisan provincial ingredients and locally sourced ingredients too. It has a very casual vibe to it however, I can imagine it can be the perfect place for a dinner date too, with dimmer lighting and candles on the tables! They also have highchairs for little ones and have cool menu books and crayons for older children so they have something to do whilst waiting on their dinner!

It’s less than 5 minutes away from Highcross shopping centre in Leicester so it’s perfect if you want to escape the usual ‘Fast food’ option and head for something a little different as there are a selection of different menus with 2 courses starting from just £11.95! You can also pop in for breakfast where they serve everything from Pastries to Pancakes, Full English to Toasties - I definitely need to revisit for Breakfast time! 

The Food

We had the 3 course Lunch option which is £13.95 (view the menu here) plus a bottle of the house Red Wine which was really good and Millie had a main with desert, plus all the bread before the mains come.

We were seated away from the main part of the restaurant which is always a relief for me whenever we’re with the kids as I like to know that they can do whatever they want without disturbing others however, it did get busier by the time we were on our mains but they were both chomping on food and were so well behaved, this didn’t actually become an issue at all. We definitely need to eat out a lot more now Mylo is starting to eat (he loves his food!). 

Parfait au foie de volaille (Chicken Liver Pate with Toasted Sourdough and Red Onion chutney)
Ramequin aux champignons (Baked Cheese and Mushroom Ramekin with Bacon bits) 
Both starters were delicious. The pate was so smooth and creamy and the red onion chutney accompanied it so well, even Millie enjoyed it coated on her bread! The Cheese and Mushroom was amazing - jealous that Adam got that instead of me as I could have eaten that twice over. The mushrooms were so juicy and the sauce was perfect to dip bread into! 

Haddock à la béarnaise (Haddock fillet on green beans with béarnaise sauce)
Burger maison (Beef burger with Gherkins, plum tomatoes, relish and gem lettuce) we both had a side of fries with our mains. 
Millie: Macaroni Cheese
The haddock was beautifully cooked and very meaty, it was the perfect size too served with the green beans and fries, I wasn’t left feeling like I’d overeaten. Adam had the burger and by the time I had eaten half of mine, it was gone! He said that the gherkins were really sweet and the burger was cooked just right! 
Millie’s macaroni cheese came with a little side of fries and cucumber + tomatoes, it was so cheesy it tasted amazing, she ate so much too which is unlike her but the bit she left, we actually had boxed up and she ate it later on at home! 

Crème brûlée 
Crepes with mixed Berry compote and Vanilla Ice cream
Millie: Strawberry Meringue and Ice cream
I was a little disappointed with the size of the crepes as I’m so used to HUGE chocolate filled ones and the mixed berry compote was a little sour for me but the ice cream was so good. Adam also really enjoyed his Creme brûlée (I don’t actually like it) and said it’s the best one he’s ever had. Millie ate all of her pudding - no more needs to be said. 


The service we received was great. Although we were served by a few different waiters/waitresses, it was a constantly amazing service with chatty, friendly staff who wanted to make us feel completely comfortable. 

The food portions were just right. We usually end up over-eating and end up coming home feeling really sick but this was just the perfect amount of food and we left 100% satisfied. No need for pudding on the way home! 

Millie enjoyed it too which is a massive thing for us, she enjoyed the food and had something to do as the menus have little activities inside with a pack of pencils - she’s really into her colouring and drawing at the moment so it was a good thing and obviously kept her entertained. 

It’s somewhere we’d return in future, even though it is a french Bistrot, there isn’t any weird things on the menu and it is EXTREMELY good for the price you pay. You couldn’t get that quality food from any other restaurant chain for that price! I’d love to return for their A la carte menu to see what the difference is. 

If you’re looking for somewhere different for lunch or dinner (or breakfast) I highly recommend checking out Bistro Pierre - they also have lots of other locations too so be sure to see if there’s one near you!
(This was a collaboration post with Bistrot Pierre and the meal was complimentary) 

Monday, 16 October 2017

Rent or Buy

I moved out when I was 20 years old, moving to university firstly and then moving in with Adam a year later when we fell pregnant with Millie and since then, we have lived in 3 different houses/flats, now in Number 3 and what we hope to be the last of them all. However, we’re in no rush to buy our own house or even start saving! We have a roof over our head, food on the table and we’re happy, isn’t that the main thing?! To be happy?! 

There are so many opinions around buying houses and renting as it’s seen to many as ‘wasted money’ but in our eyes, we’re paying for our own home, its what we wanted and unlike many, we’re not in a position in which we can save half our salary each month to be able to save for a ridiculous deposit to buy somewhere half decent just to get on the property ladder. So, do we carry on renting or do we buy our own house!?

Well... it’s safe to say that we are going to be renting for the foreseeable future. For us, it’s safer to know we have somewhere to live with neither of our wages being consistent at the moment and we actually really like the house we live in. We have more than enough room for all of us (all being Me, Adam, Millie, Mylo, 2 cats and a dog...) and our landlord is the nicest guy ever. We pay a reasonable amount for a 3 bed house which is 5 minutes walk from the local town and within 45 minutes of 4 major cities - Birmingham, Nottingham, Leicester and Derby. Show me a house that gives me all of that and I might re-think our renting situation. 

There has got to be a few rules though I think, when it comes to renting. We’ve luckily, had really good renting experiences over the 6 years we’ve lived together and HomeLet were keen to know our own #Rentingrules but it’s definitely important to:
- Respect the house as if it is your own, repair anything you can that isn’t major
- Make all payments on time 
- Leave the house as you found it when you moved in 
- Be honest with your landlord 

We haven’t really done much cosmetically to this house as we spent most of the time sorting the garden (take a look at the difference in my blog post here) but we do want to make it more homely and add some prints and art work over the next year or so, just to make it more us. But, for the time being, we’re really happy here and aren’t in any rush to own our own home. 

A wedding on the other hand... 

Friday, 13 October 2017

5 Frighteningly Fun ways to spend Halloween with Children

Halloween is a great holiday to spend with children! There are plenty of things that you can do that are family friendly, or you can wait until the children are in bed and celebrate in your own way (shots, shots, shots!). I wanted to share with you some of the things I think a family with young children can do to enjoy the halloween period as I often think families can get stuck in a rut with some of the non-traditional holidays and thought that now was a great opportunity to share with you some of the other ways you can enjoy Halloween without suggesting the usual trick or treating thing. We usually throw a party which kids come along to and then the adults hang around later on and dress up too!

Enjoy getting dressed up in spooky outfits as a family
You will mostly find children dressed up in spooky costumes come 31st October, knocking on doors and yelling “trick or treat!” But, why not do things a little differently this year and get involved in the costumes yourself. Many families now use this as an opportunity to have a theme for the halloween costumes and dressing up as a family. Think Addams Family as being a popular suggestion on Pinterest. But there are plenty more you can think of if you happen to be creative. I love this idea as I think children will enjoy doing something as family, even if it is just getting dressed up together. Take it one step further and organise a halloween party for families and encourage others to get involved as well. There certainly will be plenty of photo opportunities!

Carve a pumpkin
Pumpkin carving is a great family thing to do. From heading to the pumpkin farm and picking your own (we head to Cattows Farm in Leicestershire), to spending the time together carving a spooky face and creating a lantern for your front door. There are plenty of ways to make the most out of this as well. For example, use the pumpkin flesh to create a pumpkin themed meal like a soup or pie. You could also roast the seeds for a healthy snack.

Make something halloween themed for tea
On the subject of food why not use this as an opportunity to get creative in the kitchen!? You could decide to turn a normal family meal into a halloween themed spectacle. Thankfully, there are plenty of recipes online like this Halloween recipe from Parenting Pod if you find yourself lacking on the creativity side of things.

Watch a scary movie with snack 
Finally, while not all scary movies are family appropriate, there are things you can watch together thanks to Disney and other animation companies creating child appropriate halloween themed films. Get yourself some popcorn and jump on Netflix to see what is available. Maybe even let the children stay up a little later as an extra treat. It’s a nice way of having some quality family time without the need to step out your own front door.

Get Crafty
Millie loves anything to do with crafts at the moment so why not make some of your own decorations?! Use paper plates to make your very own Pumpkins, Bats and Frankensteins to stick round the house and you could even do a Halloween Hunt with them too - placing them around the house and garden with some treats alongside them. Its a great way to get little ones involved if you feel that they’re too young to go Trick or Treating! 

So there you have it, four suggestions to enjoy the halloween period with children. If you have any other suggestions then please leave me a comment. Enjoy the 31st!
(Guest contributed post)

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Gift Idea: Shimmer and Shine Magic Carpet

Kids. They become obsessed with so many different things over such a short space of time and I know Millie is no different. She goes through phases of loving her Princesses, Paw Patrol, at the moment she loves to draw and write (as she’s just started school!) but one thing that never seems to get old is her love for Dolls. She loves her Barbies and similar dolls and plays role play games with them constantly and Shimmer and Shine dolls have to be her favourites and so you can imagine the joy when she was kindly sent the new Fisher Price Shimmer and Shine Magic Carpet and I told her she would be on Mummy’s Blog to talk about it! 

The entire package comes with a moving magic carpet *it does not fly* and both dolls complete with outfits. The carpet has roller wheels on the bottom which mean it can glide across smooth surfaces and carpets and the back of the carpet has a wave like motion when this happens. Lift the carpet and pretend to fly Shimmer and Shine into a magical adventure with over 40 phrases and magical sounds from the TV series too, including the catchy theme tune! 

Millie absolutely loved playing with it and immediately ran upstairs to get changed into her Shimmer/Shine outfit too (she’s so cute!). Here’s her own thoughts on the toy:
“I really like how it moves on the floor, it makes Mylo laugh!”
“I can sing the songs when I press this *the gem shaped button in between their seats* button. I love the songs!”
“I can pretend they’re flying off to Zahramay and going to find Leah!”

All she wants now is the other dolls to add to her collection and she’ll have the entire group which she’ll play with for hours on end! It’s a perfect Christmas Gift Idea for boys and girls who love Shimmer and Shine! 

*Please note that batteries are NOT included and it will require 3 x AAA batteries to function. *
RRP £41.99 currently on offer at Smyths Toys for £36.99 

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Purple Beauty

I haven’t shared a Beauty post on here for quite a while so I thought I’d show off my latest look using some gorgeous Purple colours and some eyeshadows you probably wouldn’t believe when you see how good they are! 

I love playing with Makeup at the moment and creating some bold looks along with some more subtle daytime ones too, this one has to be one of the bolder looks using the amazing Airborne Unicorn Lipstick from Limecrime! Take a look below to find out what products I used to get this gorgeous, sparkling look! 

Purple makeup look

So, on my lips, as I mentioned, I used the most gorgeous Purple lipstick from Limecrime (currently no longer available) which worked amazingly with the colour combination that I used on my eyelids! I think the purple tone is bold and playful but not too much if you have a lot going on elsewhere. Its a smooth, semi-matte finish and I find it is quite long-lasting however, not as much as some of my liquid lipsticks or lip stains. 

On my eyes, I wanted to create a subtle browny toned look with the pop of Purple colour so I used 
1: Goal Digger (from the Freedom Makeup HD Foil Burnt Single eyeshadows) over my lid
2: Bad Behaviour (from the Freedom Makeup HD Foil Burnt Single eyeshadows) over my lid
3: Colourpop Pressed Shadow in 'Come and Get it’ in the centre of my lid and blended underneath my lash line
4: Sweet Life (from the Freedom Makeup HD Foil Burnt Single eyeshadows) over my lid towards the inner corners 
5: Makeup Geek Foiled Eyeshadow in ‘Blacklight’ right in the inner corners as a highlight
6: MAC Eyeshadow in ‘Brown down’ on the outer corners to blend the shadows out. 

I also used the Purple highlight from the SophxMakeuprevolution highlighter palette to make it pop just that little bit more. The pigmentation in these shadows is ridiculous so it didn’t take much blending to make them all work together.

purple makeup look

Friday, 29 September 2017

Surviving a Family + Dog Holiday

The family holiday, the one time of the year when you can all get away together for a calm and relaxing week away. That’s the ideology, anyway – the reality is far, far different and preparation should be taken...

As any parent will tell you, the most important thing is to make sure that the kids are happy and having fun. Any holiday simply must cater for our little ones and resorts should be baby friendly and have a children’s play area, ideally, allow the family dog to come along, too! If this is taken care of, then you are halfway there to surviving the week away!
Holiday activities are a must, because even though we all say that we aim to do nothing all week we, and the children, get bored very easily. Whether we are sunning it up in the Costa del Sol or sitting by the pool in the more humble surroundings of a domestic holiday park, our sense of adventure soon takes over. For example, close to the Midlands is Orchard Lodge, a small yet vibrant holiday park which is run by Allens Caravans. The park is located a short drive away from Stratford-upon-Avon, otherwise known as Shakespeare country as it is the birthplace of the famous playwright. Breaking up the trip by heading out and about will help all of your party to appreciate the time away together, as well as tiring out the children!
When at the resort, make full use of children’s areas and other amenities on offer – after all, they are there to be used. It would be a shame not to at least try the arcades and let loose your inner child.
 As much as we love the kids, it is important to make some time for yourself. A little quality adult time to do adult things is your right, and don’t feel guilty about doing so! Most parks or resorts will put on children’s clubs where parents can leave their kids for a couple of hours for a break/alone time. During this time you can enjoy a nice quiet meal together or some Netflix and chill without the Netflix. This also provides a good opportunity for your children to socialise with other kids their age who are staying at the same park or resort and make friends. It’s a win-win situation.
 It’s not a family holiday unless the dog comes as well, is it? We love our pets and they are just as much a part of the family as any of us, so why shouldn’t they get to come along (not the cats, of course!)
If you're seeking a holiday destination where you can bring the dog along, you will more than likely be looking domestically than overseas, mostly for logistical reasons. That’s okay as there are numerous places in the UK that are more than happy to welcome the family dog in – many hotel comparison sites offer ‘pet-friendly’ as an option when picking where to stay. Children will, of course, love having their best friend with them as they can play with the dog on holiday, and also provides an element of home which should help them to settle into their new surroundings that much better.
However you choose to spend your family holiday, remember that planning is essential. If you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail (in the way of getting the most out of your holiday, anyway).
*Guest written post

Monday, 25 September 2017

Elective Caesarean Section; My experience

You may have read a few months back my post on my choice of having a VBAC (Vaginal birth after Caesarean) or an elective section for Mylo’s birth, if you didn’t, you can catch up and read about it here but, the decision was made shortly after that and speaking to a few other people, that I was going to have an elective c-section. I wanted to share with you my experience of the entire thing, from start to finish, so grab a cuppa and take it all in...

When we found out I was pregnant, we announced it around this time last year (I think it was mid-october), and one of the thoughts that came into my head instantly was, “Oh, god. I’m going to have to decide if I want to do things naturally or not...” and that’s because Millie’s birth was such a traumatic one, I really didn’t want to end up going through the same thing again. So, quite early on, I started to do my research into VBAC’s and Elective sections so that I knew I had a good amount of time to decide on what I wanted to do. I took in all the options, all the reasons and by 20 weeks, I knew that I wanted another section, just because of the anxiety and uncertainty of things going the same way if I were to try naturally. Our midwife gave us some fab advice and was really supportive of my decision but the same can’t be said for my consultant, unfortunately.  

When we went to visit the consultant to book the date of the surgery, she was very negative and judgemental on my reasons as to why I wanted a section - she made me leave the room in tears. She had basically told me that I was taking the easy way out and that I wasn’t aware of all of the risks of having a section (obviously forgetting I had actually already had one...) and even was so rude to ‘remind’ me that I wouldn’t be able to drive for 6 weeks just before we left the room, like that would change my mind! She was very rude and abrupt and made me question myself and whether I was making the right decision, something that a health professional should never do, especially when dealing with pregnant women! I actually saw the midwife minutes after this and explained what had happened, she apologised and reassured me that it is 100% my decision and I have done it for the best reasons. But even after this, I left the hospital so deflated, even after being given the date for the surgery - I should have been excited however, I was far from it. I know that at some point in life, everyone will need the NHS and it’s definitely not something to be taken for granted, but with an experience like this, I can understand why people go ahead and claim for negligence or other reasons, even though mine is a different situation. I actually went through PALs which is the NHS’s Patient Advice and Liaison service for my problems with the consultant but if you’re looking at something more serious, you can contact Your Legal Friend who will help you through your situation step by step. 

Anyway, after all of this drama pre-section, things went super smoothly on the day...

3rd May 2017, we left our house at 6:30am, all ready and packed, we were told to be at the hospital for 7am so I wanted to make sure we were there right on time! We arrived and it was as if we were checking into a hotel! We were greeted by the nurses and taken straight to our waiting room where they gave Adam a cup of tea and asked for me to wait to be checked. A few doctors popped in, checked my details and that all was ok and left again. We stuck the telly on, I called my best friend and facetimed her for a while and then the midwife came in to give Adam his scrubs and we were told we’d be first in! 9am and I was in theatre, getting ready to meet this little one... Finally. 

I was so calm and relaxed, I wasn’t at all worried as it was just a smooth ride 100% of the way. The only time I got nervous was when they tried to pop my cannula in. I have super thin veins and it is a massive ball ache for anyone who tries to get blood from me and because they were trying so hard, I hadn’t eaten or drank, I went really faint and just had to lay down for a little while. They managed to get the cannula in and got the spinal done too and that was it. They prepped me, popped some music on an told me to relax. I lay back chatting to Adam and the midwife and then all of a sudden, I was congratulated and heard a baby cry! Ed Sheeran, Castles in the Sky was playing in the background too and I’ll always remember that! They asked if I wanted the curtain dropped but I said no and the midwife cut his cord whilst Adam went over to meet our son. I was lay on the table just watching everything and they bought him over to me. I held him, had some photos and sat with them for what felt like 10 seconds and they finished stitching me up whilst Adam was taken into the recovery room. This, for me, was the only ‘bad’ part of it all as I was suddenly on my own with all these doctors and nurses but they were so lovely, making conversation and talking to me about names etc. I remember everything as if it happened yesterday which is another lovely thing about it. With Millie’s birth, I can’t quite remember what happened as it was all so fast. 

We were in the recovery room for about 45 minutes, the nurse in there was making sure I was ok and Mylo had his first breastfeed, for a whole 30 minutes! We were then taken to ward and reassured that someone would be round to check my observations every 30 minutes and they did. The nurses and midwives on ward were lovely - they did all they could for us and made us feel at home. They helped with the breastfeeding as I was struggling, got me some toast, tea and fruit (as that’s all I wanted to eat) and just looked after us the whole time we were there. 

I knew that I wanted to be home the following day so as soon as I got the feeling back in my legs, I asked to be escorted to the shower and I washed myself down. You also have to do a certain amount of wee before you can do anything and so after the biggest wee of my life (700ml!!) I showered and felt myself again. We had a few visitors and then were left to be on our own for an hour or so. 

Adam could have stayed with me that evening but there wasn’t any point as Mylo was sleeping well, I just wanted to nap and there wasn’t anywhere comfy for him to stay so he headed home at 10pm and left us to it. That first night is always the best as it’s just you and baby. Again, the midwives were brilliant as they helped me when I needed it, watched him whilst I went to the loo a few times and also had him out there for an hour so that I could get some sleep. I couldn’t have asked for better care. 

Post-section was also a lot better, of course, it wasn’t amazing - I did just have my stomach cut open but, I was up and about 2 days after! We went for a slow walk through town and I was able to cope, I did have lots of pain killers though for a week afterwards just to take the edge off but because it was a lot more relaxed than an emergency section, like the first time, my body was able to heal itself better and my mindset was a lot more positive too! I didn’t feel like I had many post-baby blues either and I think because the whole situation was so relaxing, it helped with everything post-birth for me. 

In all, my whole elective section experience was fantastic and for anyone worried, I really wouldn’t be. It was so calm and relaxing, slightly strange as you feel like you’re going to pick up a parcel you missed, but at the same time, it’s nice to know when baby is going to arrive! If you’re prepping for a section, you can also check out my hospital bag checklist as I actually used all of it (minus the iPad) so you can take some hints from there. 

(Collaborative post) 

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Birds and the Bees: What to say to your children

There’s one moment that every parent is dreading from the moment their little one arrives... The moment when your child asks you about sex or anything to do with it! How are you supposed to explain something so complicated, and not always appropriate, in a way that they can understand without just fobbing it off using any old excuse!? It’s an absolute nightmare, but if you don’t teach them about sex properly, their only knowledge will be stuff they’ve picked up on the playground, and you don’t want teenage boys to be responsible for the ideas that your child has about sex because they aren’t going to be great!

It’s much harder these days as kids are going to be getting all sorts of conflicting ideas about sex when they’re online. Regardless of how well you protect them, you can’t avoid these influences completely so it’s up to us to teach them about sex properly and make sure that they aren’t influenced by anything else! I imagine we have a few years yet before Millie starts asking questions and it’s not going to be fun but we've just got to bite the bullet and get it over with. Here are a few tips to help ease things along...

Be Relaxed
The most important thing is to stay calm and relaxed throughout the conversation. If you are judgemental in any way, then your child is going to think that sex is something that they should be ashamed of and they won’t want to come to you in future with their problems. If you get it wrong the first time, they won’t feel comfortable talking to you and they might make some big mistakes when they’re a little older. Children are going to ask some pretty embarrassing questions but you just need to remain calm and try to answer all of them seriously.

Listen Properly
It’s tempting to rehearse your answers beforehand and reel off a long lecture about sex as soon as your kid mentions it, but if you do, you’re probably not answering their questions. When they start asking you about it, really listen to their questions. They might just want to know something fairly simple which doesn’t require a long explanation about the ins and outs of sex. If you come back at them with too much information that they weren’t ready for, you could scare them a bit. If you’re unclear about what they want to know, ask them a few more questions and really get to the bottom of what they are after.

Avoid having a knee jerk reaction to anything they say as well. Their questions are usually inspired by something that they’ve overheard or been told by somebody else. That means some of those questions might be inappropriate or they might express some pretty misguided views about sex. It’s important that you don’t get angry with them. It isn’t their fault that they don’t understand so you need to just explain to them why they were wrong without getting angry with them.

Be Age Appropriate
You need to think about what is appropriate for your children at their current age. If they aren’t very old, you should be careful about how detailed the information you give them is because they won’t be mature enough to understand it. Younger children are most likely to ask you where babies come from. You can tell them about the nuts and bolts of it all. Explain how the sperm and the egg combine to create a baby but it’s probably too early to get into detail about exactly what goes on under the sheets. They won’t understand it yet and it may confuse and worry them.

Teenagers are going to be a lot more difficult. They’ll already know about the science behind it, what they’re looking to find out is more about the relationship aspect. It’s crucial that you speak to them about this because they’ll be at the age when they’re starting to enter into relationships and think about having sex. It’s important that you teach them that they shouldn’t feel pressured into anything and should always respect their partners. With so much toxic information on the internet, it’s vital that you give your teenagers a healthy understanding of relationships and sex.

One of the most important areas to cover, especially with teenagers, is contraception. An accidental pregnancy is bottom of any parents wish list. Hopefully, they’ll be getting taught about contraception at school but it’s a good idea to go over it with them as well because they might want your help sorting out some contraception. Microgynon is a contraceptive pill that is used often so if your daughter is asking about contraception, it’s worth taking her to the doctor and asking about it. However, it’s also important to talk to them about the dangers of disease and infection as well as pregnancy. Taking your son or daughter to sort out contraception is the best way to be completely sure that they’re using some, and that they know what they’re doing with it. Talking to them about your own contraception needs is a good way to ease the embarrassment that they might be feeling.  

Encourage Them
The more they ask you about sex, the less likely it is that they’ll make mistakes in future. When they ask you those difficult questions, make sure you encourage them and let them know that it’s a good thing to be curious. That way, they’ll know that they can always come to you with questions about anything, not just sex. It’s a brilliant way to encourage openness between you and your child which is never a bad thing.

You can use this as an opportunity to teach your children about the importance of privacy. Make sure they understand that they need to respect the privacy of anybody that they may be having sex with in the future because teenagers love to boast about that sort of thing. It’s also the perfect time to teach them that you as parents need some privacy as well, it’ll help you to avoid any awkward encounters with them bursting into your room unannounced.

Talking to your kids about sex is always awkward, but it’s vital that you do it so just follow these simple tips and get on with it.
(Guest written post)

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Aldi Baby Milk Review (Aptamil comparison)

We regularly do our weekly shops in Aldi and have done for a while now but it’s been over the years that they have added more and more lines to their baby range, including the squeezy food pouches and even follow on milks, but, I was so surprised to see that they now have their own blend of Infant Formula, or 1st stage baby milk for just £6.99! 

Millie used Aldi nappies and Mylo does too and they’re actually one of the best nappies we’ve tried (we’ve tried them from pretty much everywhere!). She also had the food pouches and we use the baby wipes and have nothing but good stuff to say about it all, so I was intregued to know what the formula was like. The first time I spotted it in store, I didn’t buy it as, well lets say, I was a little too sceptical after only ever using the well-known, and well-priced Aptamil at £10.99+ a tub. So instead, I came home and took a look at the ingredients of both tubs to see if there was much difference and then I would go back and get a tub to try as at £6.99, if Mylo didn’t get on with it, I’d simply give it away or throw it away. 

Aldi Baby milk review

Making up bottles
So the Aldi formula comes in a tin rather than a cardboard container like the Aptamil one does. It has a smaller blue scoop compared to the yellow one in Aptamil but the formula looks very similar. The Aldi seems a little finer but one major difference we saw is that it doesn’t foam up like the Aptamil one does when its shook - the Aptamil gets so foamy that its a struggle to see how much you have left in the bottle, even after some has been drunk. The Aldi one is a thiner consistency so you don’t get the froth that you do with Aptamil. 

Mylo has never had a problem with his Milk so we’re quite lucky to be able to try a different formula with no problems. It didn’t effect him in anyway, he wasn’t bringing any bottles back up when we switched them and he was happy with the Aldi version over his usual Aptamil. I also noticed that it doesn’t have the overpowering baby milk smell either - you know the kind. 

Both containers also have 900g of formula so you’re getting the same amount for a much lower price. 
Aptamil (average) £10.99 vs. Aldi Mamia £6.99 

Ingredient comparison
Now, for the more technical comparison and probably the one that is going to be the most asked - the comparison of ingredients really shows that there isn’t much difference in the Aldi formula compared to the usual Aptamil formula we use (I can’t compare to any other formula as we’ve never used anything other than this). You can see from the images below what difference there is (if any) in the ingredients listing and the energy and nutritional information - there are exactly the same ingredients used in both formulas and nearly the exact same amount of minerals used in them too. Aldi baby milk vs. Aptamil ingredients
Aldi baby milk vs. Aptamil vitamins
Aldi baby milk vs. Aptamil minerals 
All baby formulas have to undergo checks to ensure they are suitable and are FDA-regulated to make sure they provide all the vitamins and nutrients babies need. Most women choose to provide formula rather than breastmilk for various reasons, you can read about my breastfeeding experience here and is why a lot of formulas state they are a ‘substitute for breastmilk’ as they try and get the ingredients as close as possible to that of natural breastmilk. Both of these formulas are milk based including Lactose (milk), a variety of natural oils (for fat calories), vitamins and minerals and both are completely fine to use for healthy, full-term babies. The only noticeable difference in the list of ingredients above is that Aldi use Whole Milk powder and Skimmed Milk powder where as Aptamil only use Skimmed milk powder - not sure what effect this has but I doubt it’s a huge one! 

You can also see the similarities in the vitamins and mineral components with Aldi actually having more of certain vitamins and minerals than Aptamil (Vitamin A, Vitamin K1, Vitamin B2, B2, B6, Iron, Sodium and Magnesium in particular). 

I do think that these two formula’s are very similar and we’ll happily continue to use the Aldi formula for the time being - with 2 tins being almost the same price as one of the Aptamil ones and because there is no effect on the change to Mylo, it means if we want to use the ready made bottles of Aptamil at any point, we can easily switch back and know it won’t effect him in anyway. 

Hopefully with the ingredient lists given, if you use another formula, you can do the comparisons yourself however, I have popped a breakdown photo of the ingredients in the formula that you can save and compare if you wanted to. 

Like I said, it hasn’t effected Mylo at all and the change of milks really hasn’t made a difference at all so we will be buying more and keeping them in stock at home - this is probably my only issue... Aldi isn’t open ALL the time whereas, if we ever run out of Aptamil, we know our 24/7 garage and Tesco expresses sell it but, failing that, we also know we can go back to Aptamil if we are ever out of Aldi formula without any problems. 

Have you tried the Aldi Formula or have you looked into it? 

Friday, 15 September 2017

Infant to Toddler Rocker Chair

Mylo is getting to the age now that he enjoys sitting up and playing with his toys. We pop him in his Bumbo for a short while but I don’t like how his head isn’t fully supported so rather than having him on the floor or in his bouncer all of the time, we now use this Infant to Toddler chair from Fisher Price! It’s a combination of a rocker, bouncer and chair all in one! 

With a combination of being a supporting chair which lays flat, a rocker and also for when Mylo is older, a chair he can comfortably and safely sit on, this Infant to Toddler Rocker has become our favourite thing in the house! It’s so strudy and supportive but also gives so much room for Mylo to kick his legs and sit and watch In the Night Garden (his favourite programme at the moment!) It’s a Bright, comfortable seat that has 2 positions - upright or lay flatter for naps or relaxation time. If your baby doesn’t nap in a crib or moses, this is fab as you can kick back the stand and turn on the vibrations to help soothe and relax your little one without worrying they will roll as they are securely fastened in! 

Having the entertainment bar means that Mylo can sit and play with the rattling animals which he often laughs and giggles at and will also help to strengthen his gross motor skills! This simply clicks in and out too - it comes off for us when its TV time! I think its amazing that the rocker will last right up into his toddler years as your usual bouncer only really sees them through until they’re sitting up and you end up getting rid of it! 

The cover is washable (a must when you have a messy baby like Mylo) and the plastic body is wipeable as we have tried anti-bac wipes on it to clean up sick and food splashes (why do they make baby food bright yellow!?) 

RRP £59.99 however, it is currently on offer in Smyths Toys for just £49.99 - for something that will last for over a year, it’s an amazing price to pay for something thats 2 in 1 and you will definitely use over and over again!