Fun at The Pantry…

If you’ve not been to The Pantry in Stockbridge for a while or indeed ever, you should check it out. Especially if you have a playdate to organise  – it’s only gone and got an incredible play space with toys-a-plenty.

Ah, the things that make you happy when you’re busy being mum.

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Little Miss M and I were catching up with a friend and her wee one. And, I’m not going to lie, we were all super-excited to find this new addition. It’s been well designed and thought out. The gated play area is located at the side of the main eating space. This means it gives those without babes the privacy and distance they need to enjoy their food / drinks. There’s also two tables with plenty of chairs right beside the area and enough space for two buggies.

We were coffee and caking. They have a fab selection of sweet treats at the counter so we opted for a sharey-selection of lovely macaroons and a (wow) salted caramel millionaire’s shortbread. Really flippin’ good.

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The kids had a ball in the play space and there are plenty of highchairs so, they were able to join us for post-fun refreshments.

It’s a farm shop too. And the daily menu is really appealing with things like the Breakfast Burrito and the Pulled Pork Sub. They also have ‘Toastie Tuesdays’, which basically means the kitchen has a day off and the staff serve up toasties all day.

I love toasties. And I’m lovin’ The Pantry…

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They actually run some classes too. Things like baking and pizza making classes for wee ones and cooking courses for adults. These appear to be at various locations though….

If you haven’t been lately then definitely go for food or, a coffee and cake stop. And don’t be put off by the new kid area, if you’re looking for some peace, as it’s hidden enough.

All in all, the best of both worlds.

Any more coffee catch-up / playdate recommendations?

This time a year ago…

This time last year, I was just finishing up work for maternity leave. It had been a hectic, (as always) final few months at work and I remember feeling a mix of nerves and excitement re what lay ahead. I also had the F.E.A.R, like most expecting, working mums probably do, that baby would arrive like, the very next day. I mean this was a huge (and probably the last) opportunity for the next two weeks to be ALL ABOUT ME.

Here I am ready to pop, looking forward to me time.

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Thankfully Little Miss M let me enjoy my two weeks, (and two days) pre-due date as she was quite punctual. And I’m not going to lie, I had the best time.

Sleep, long-lies and more sleep. Coffees and lunches with friends. Reading blogs, magazines and baby-prep books. Manicure, pedicure and massages. Shopped for last-minute baby things (and ridiculous stuff for my hospital overnight bag that I really didn’t need). Ah, the list went on….

But one of the best things I got up to on my last two weeks of freedom (and those early baby months) was unashamedly overdosing (and losing days) on this…

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I know, I know, some people would call this pure TV trash. But it felt like pure TV gold to me all that time ago. It was just the light-hearted, silly and funTV I needed. And like I do about lots of things in life, I got completely OBSESSED. You just need to check out my old twitter feed to see it was going down well.

I never watched it in its heyday for two reasons.

  1. I was just sooo busy working.
  2. I actually felt really envious of their fresh-faced youth.

I mean, let’s take Sex and the City as an example. I could totally relate to these girlfriends and their life dramas, hilarious anecdotes and of course, THE fashion. And I always loved that no matter what, they were ALWAYS going to be older than me. But these young, gorgeous and ridiculously rich and smarmy teens had me seething in my biker boots. At the time, watching it would have been like a constant reminder of times-winged chariot hurrying near.

I. Just. Couldn’t. Cope.

But let’s face it once you get to a certain, more accepting age, some things just don’t seem to matter as much. I guess that’s why I could sit back and suddenly fall in love with all these pretty young things, acting out storylines crazier than Bobby Ewing’s coming back from the dead.

It rocked! But, so did Bobby Ewing…

Seriously, if you haven’t ever watched GG, DO IT! Especially if you’re getting ready to pop.

XOXO

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Happy Mother’s Day…

I’m not going to lie, I’m loving that it’s my first Mother’s Day as a mama. It’s strange to think that this time last year, I was just getting ready for Little Miss M’s arrival. And, that I didn’t even know I’d have a daughter by now as we decided not to find out the sex beforehand. We both wanted a surprise and knew we would be over the moon with our little bundle regardless. It’s funny how some people need to know, or just want to know. While others need, or just want the surprise. Don’tcha think?

Anyway, getting a girl has been like the BEST surprise ever. I’m lucky enough to have an amazing mum, who is also like, an amazing friend. Even though I probably drove her crazy over the (younger) years, she has always supported me and been there for me one-hundred-million percent. Thanks mom.

I’m now looking forward to lots of mama days to come with my newest and best friend. I just hope I can live up to my teacher.

Happy Mother’s Day y’all.

Nadine XO

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Me and M by the harbour. And I love these two pics of Madonna all earth mother and Lady Di and Wills #firstborn

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Here’s some #mamalove links. Enjoy!

Stylist’s reader’s letters

Emergency Mother’s Day cards from Innocent

Watch these films with mom

A literary tribute to Mother’s Day

Hope you have a great day. I’d love to hear about your mum?

An initial close to my heart..

I’ve got a thing about fashion accessories. I just can’t get enough of them. It’s been a style obsession of mine for as long as I can remember. And I still get excited by how much a simple bit of decoration here or there can take your outfit up like, a whole new level. From glasses to hats, sports visors to head bands, watches to clocks, ribbons to key chains, chokers to pussy bows and MORE. You name it, I’ve found some way to rock it with my outfit.

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Chunky jewellery is one of my day-to-day staples though. So, lately I’ve been struggling with feeling a little bit naked.

It’s not so easy to wear BIG statement pieces every day when you’re busy being mum.

I mean, for starters, your little one might hurt themselves as they reach out to try and shove your spiked, studded belt in their mouth. And, heaven forbid, they might actually destroy your chunky chain-rope necklace as the attempt to Rip. It. Off. your neck.

So recently I’ve gone all, a little bit subtle and thought I’d share with you my fave new statement necklace.necklace M2

It’s an understated, silver Links of London pendant I got from Mr T for Christmas engraved with Little Miss M’s initial. How sweeeeeet is that?!

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I absolutely adore it. And, it’s great because you can still wear it when with babe but safely tuck it away from grabbing paws as and when required.

It’s simple but stylish and, it’s a good size because there’s still an element of CHUNK .

It looks great with every outfit and is even tapping into the current 70s vibe. I also quite like that I have M so close to my heart..but don’t tell anyone I said that.

What jewellery are you wearing just now? Any special pieces?

What every mama needs…

Why, a freeeeakin’ Sophie la Girafe safety harness, of course!

Ok, listen up mamas. Are you tired of Sophie being launched into danger on a daily basis? Bored of picking her up like, one hundred times a day, when out walking? Over, having to fork out for a new one when yet another giraffe bites the dust?!

Well worry no more! All you need is a little safety harness like this one and your Sophie mini-dramas will be over.

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Check it out – your little one’s Sophie can travel in style (it’s giraffe print too y’know), comfort…

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..and safety!

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I got this one from Amazon but you can also get them here in a range of oh-so-stylish, giraffe print colours.

Sophie is sorted! What’s not to love?!

Oh, how I wish I’d invented le rubber giraffe. M has loved her since day one and her face still lights up (and mouth opens wide) every time she sees her.

#bestbabyinventionever

Has your little one got a Sophie? Or, what’s their favourite toy? I’d love to hear about it.

Being (a New) Mum

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Last year was a big year for me. In April, I became a mum. It’s been an exciting, tiring, happy, roller-coaster nine months and I’ve learned a lot too. So, with 2015 here already, I thought I’d share with you some of what I now know about being mum…

  • Babies cry. A lot! M didn’t find her lungs until around three weeks in so, I spent the first two thinking I had one of those great babies that just sleep all the time. Erm, turned out that was just a touch of jaundice. M started to cry…and cry…and cry. Pretty soon, I was crying and crying too. WTF was wrong with her?! I was convinced she had colic and frantically googled what this meant, which made me want to cry even more…I would NEVER be able to leave the house for months and months because what would I do if she was crying like that in public?! HELP!! Thank goodness for my mum. ‘that’s what babies do’ she said; ‘they cry’. Stop googling and just take each day as it comes – you’ll get her settled’. So, I did and she was right…luckily for us M did settle after just a few weeks and…we were able to leave the house and enjoy mat leave. Hurrah!
  • Breastfeeding is pretty special. It’s not easy at first but the perseverance is worth it. I actually got off lightly compared to some of my mom friends, who had a not so lovely experience. It took me a few days to get the latch right and then…we were off. But once Little Miss M got going, she didn’t want to stop. In those early weeks it felt like all I did was feed her and that my boobs were the only thing that would settle her. It was quite stressful and hugely draining. At the time, people would ask me if I was enjoying breastfeeding and I’d think to myself ‘enjoy?!’ ‘are they kidding?!’ As for the thought of feeding her in public, I was panicked to the core. Little did I know, however, that in just a few weeks’ time it would be like second nature and so incredibly special. M loved feeding and I loved nursing her. She would get so excited before a feed and it was amazing to to be able to comfort her in seconds. It was also lovely to watch her wee ‘I’m in heaven’ face when she was drunk on my milk. I’ll cherish the memories forever. It’s also been like… the best diet ever!
  • It’s great (and important) to have new mum pals. I wasn’t going to bother doing an NCT class but so many other mums kept saying that I should, that they convinced me. So I dragged Mr. T to a weekly class (including one all day Sunday session!!!) so we would learn everything we would need to know about being mum and dad. It was a bit weird but it was a bit of a laugh too and, I was lucky enough to get a great bunch. All the mums have been there for one another (thank gawd for our WhatsApp group) and we’ve hung out together with our babes. It’s so cute watching them all get bigger and have fun together. I’ve also had a few colleagues on mat leave at the same time, which has been great.
  • Your ‘mum instinct’ IS incredibly strong. I didn’t believe it would be but it’s true that ‘mum knows best’. Don’t get me wrong, some days I wonder what the hell am I doing and it’s so frustrating when I don’t know what’s wrong with her. But you have to do what you feel is right, or best for you. You get so much unasked for advice every single day from people everywhere about what you should and shouldn’t be doing with your little one but you quickly learn to take the good bits and ignore the bad.  You do get some lovely advice and tips too though!
  • The words ‘You’re Doing Great’ mean so much. As a new mum you are, at times, literally like a wee rabbit in the headlights. I took great comfort from my amazing mum and friends (particularly second or third time mums) who told me how great I was doing in those early months. Thanks girls! That SMA advert makes me smile too with their strapline ‘Take it from us you’re doing great’. Nailed it!
  • I’m actually quite good at this. I was freeeeeaked out when I found out I was pregnant and, I really wanted to be a mum. It was so daunting though. I can be a bit of a worrier at times and this new chapter opened up a whole new worry list. It was also a bit scary to be saying goodbye to my child-free existence. My life, my body, my relationship, my work bla bla… would never be the same again. And what if I was a crap mom?! It’s funny when I look back now at how I felt. Things aren’t the same but they’re brilliantly different and, as for being mum….I’m loving it! You do miss your ‘me’ life too though so, when the time comes it will be great to get stuck back into work.
  • Turning into sporty spice really helps you rock the pram look. Long live sports luxe! Great trainers, great jeans, sweater-style top things…and not forgetting rockin’ vests and hats. Check, check, check. You’re mama and pram ready.
  • Weaning is stressful. Some days M eats food. Some days it’s a NO. Annabel Karmel’s recipes are fab and like most uber-enthusiastic, first-time mums I’ve been busy trying her weaning stages. But… it’s just so frustrating when that spoon gets swiped away. FFS! Oh well…maybe tomorrow she’ll enjoy my ‘salmon with tomato and sweet potato sauce’.

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What’s your experience of being mum? How was breastfeeding for you? I’d love to hear.