Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Ella's Kitchen New Snack Range For Bigger Kids - The Official Verdict By A Three And A Half Year Old....

A couple of years ago before I became a parent I remember visiting a close friend of mine's house where she had just started weaning her little boy. I opened one of her cupboards and to my shock and horror the cupboard was bursting with loads and I mean loads of colourful pouches with organic purees of weird and wonderful food combinations. I couldn't understand why an earth she wasn't making her own food for her son? Her response "you just wait". I dismissed this comment and shrugged it off. 

A year later I found myself at the beginning of my weaning journey with Charlie my eldest. Being the first time mum that I was I invested in an all singing all dancing baby steamer musher pureey thingy and £35 later having shopped for naturally all organic produce from Waitrose I went home and dug out my baby cookbooks freshly delivered from Amazon to make up some weird and wonderful purees for my little cherub to enjoy on his journey to culinary excellence. Now let me tell you this, there is nothing more soul destroying then spending all day and I mean ALL day making all these wonderful purees only for your little darling to spit out and reject every single one of your culinary delights. It was then that I discovered what is to this day one of my all time favourite baby brands. 

If you haven't come across Ella's Kitchen before let me introduce you. I firmly believe that you will get to know a lot about Ella's Kitchen over the next five years of your child's life. There is not a single child under the age of five that I know who has not experienced a pouch or two, or three, or ten. Three years on we still love a large number of their products and look forward to starting the weaning journey again with them when I start to wean Hector next month. It's also worth noting they do an awesome weaning guide which is free if you sign up here

What I love about Ella's Kitchen is the brand reliability that they've built up with me. I've never had a bad experience and it's a brand that I have come to trust implicitly. From their first taste pouches to their popular nibbly bars every product we've tried and every product we've loved. 

I was excited for Charlie to try the new range of snacks aimed at the bigger kids market from 3-5 years of age. A new range of fruit and vegetable smooshy pouches and fruity snack bars again all 100% organic. 

The smooshy snack pouches represent one of your little one's five a day and these four taste-tingling smoothie combos feature a mighty VEG ingredient to show big kids just how cool veggies can be!

-     mango + pumpkin 
-     orange + carrot
-     strawberry + beetroot
-     apple + cucumber

Charlie's favourite - remarkable given he "hates" mango and only associates pumpkins with Halloween! 

Next up were their fruity snack bars. With three exciting taste combos on offer, new Fruity Bars are completely unique an include tasty additions such as crisped rice, oats, flaxseeds and coconut. Ordinarily Charlie would unceremoniously reject these ingredients but because they are packed in brightly coloured packaging naturally he wolfed them down! Deeelicious!

-     briiilliant banana + raisin
-     pow powww pineapple + coconut
-     rrrocketing raspberry + mango

Charlie is notoriously picky. Like seriously picky and one thing I've always been able to rely on is Ella's Kitchen to get part of his five a day into him. They've outdone themselves with the fruit and veg pouch combos, he was totally fooled and the fruity bars were incredibly moorish even for us mummy's, obviously I had to quality control it by doing the official taste test! 

Ella’s Kitchen’s Kids’ Snacks range is available in Sainsbury’s with a RRP of £3.49 for Smooshy Snacks (4 x 100g) and £2.50 for Fruity Bars (5 x 20g).

Big thanks to the lovely people at Ella's Kitchen for sending Charlie a bundle to try. You've got the thumbs up from us here! 

Big love,

This Surrey Mummy... Oh and Charlie! 


Instagram: thissurreymummy
Twitter: missnathaliew


Tuesday, 29 September 2015

The Circle Of Neglect....

So, you've done the test. Two blue lines. You go to Boots and buy "the fancy one" you know the one I mean, the one that tells you how many weeks pregnant you are. 2-3 weeks pregnant it says. What's your first reaction? Cry? Laugh? Shock? Whatever you may be feeling at that specific moment in time you do not know what the nine months ahead of you let alone the next eighteen years plus will hold for you.

You may or may not spend the next three months hugging your current best friend, Mr Toilet or you might sail through it with that enviable glow that the people at Mac would pay millions to replicate in a bottle and charge you £30 for the privilege. I however, did neither but rather with both pregnancies spent the first three months utterly exhausted (pah! Exhaustion! Back then I didn't even know the meaning!) with a glow that more resembled the first onset of flu, you know, super clammy and red faced constantly stripping off as if you're sunning yourself on a Caribbean island but far less glamorous. Your three month scan comes and holy cow, what is that? OMG. Crap. That's a baby. A real life baby that's growing in me and it's coming in six months time.

Well, for me, the realisation that I had a teenie tiny human being coming to stay with us forever was daunting enough. That was until I went to John Lewis. Their beautiful baby department in Kingston Upon Thames is filled with the most beautiful baby items, from gorgeous clothing in itty bitty sizes that you can't ever imagine your baby being able to fit in to items like nasal aspirators. "I'm sorry what?". Nasal aspirators. Also known amongst professionals as bogie suckers, a product that sooner or later you'll be wondering how you ever lived without it! It was that very bogie sucker that got me thinking. With all these baby products on sale which are the must have items that if you had to recommend one product that you could not have lived without during your baby's first year what would it have been?

The internet is flooded with suggestions as to items that pretty much imply that if you do not purchase them you're baby will grow up with separation anxiety, socially backward with more issues than Vogue. It's pony. All of it.

I took to my Facebook account to ask this question....

Apart from the usual jokey suggestions there were some good suggestions and even some suggestions that that come at very reasonable prices. I then asked my NCT group. A close group of girlfriends that have come to be more like family since I met them nearly four years ago. They are the first people I turn to at times of stress, kiddy help or just a rant. The one thing came true was that a number of products had been mentioned numerous times so here I give you part one of my take on the must have items to survive your first year of parenthood. 

Ok here we go...

A sling or baby carrier and a good one at that. Whether you chose to go down the baby wearing route or just want a standard conventional baby carrier then there is bound to be one out the for you! 

Second time around I opted for two. One sling and a carrier. This is because last time around I got super fed up re-adjusting the carrier each time Tom had used it. My lovely NCT invested in an NCT Close Caboo Carrier which I adored using in the early weeks. I loved having Hector so close to me and there was something quite special about it.

Ok, so it's not the easiest thing to get on at first, and I will admit it took me numerous times following a youtube clip before I had truly mastered it. 

I also upgraded my Baby Bjorn to the newer version of my older carrier. This time around I went for Miracle Baby Carrier the which upon a bit of investigation decided would fit comfier for me and my giant babies and this was kindly given to me by one of my super mum friends Nicki. Super quick and easy to clip baby into and the dads love wearing it too! 

Tom modelling the Baby Bjorn Miracle Carrier

Second up, is a video monitor. I had the worst couple of weeks when I first put Charlie into his own room running in every time I heard a sqwark or movement, that was until I invested in a video baby monitor. This time around I've purchased a second monitor as I still use the other one with Charlie. During the Asda baby event I managed to bag a Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Video Monitor half price at just £90. These baby events are great as they usually discount loads of top end products and normally Amazon follow suit. 

Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Baby Video Monitor - £180.00

Next we have the new version of a good old faithful and one that I discovered this time around. Wet wipes. But not any old wet wipes. Water Wipes. Like traditional baby wipes these are made with 99.9% pure water and just a smidge of fruit extract which makes them just as good as the boiled water and cotton wool that we have previously been encouraged by midwives to use. These were even recommended to me in hospital by the midwives. They are not cheap at roughly at £2.20 per pack but trust me even if you buy just one pack you won't look back. 

Water Wipes, £2.20 approx per pack

Ah, one of my favourites and one that my friend Emily from Blog Me Beautiful renamed "the circle of neglect" and once you've owned one you'll know just where she is coming from. Mums and Dads I give you Fisher Price Rainforest Jumperoo. Trust me this circle will save your life and save you from the brink of insanity when it's too early and not socially acceptable to turn to wine at 3.30pm on a Tuesday.

My kids both love and loved it. Teamed with a horrific repetitive tune, hours and hours of happy baby hours will be spent in this circle of seriously hideous coloured plastic that will ruin your beautiful lounge interior by dominating a large area where your beautiful upholstered Laura Ashley arm chair with the delicate foot detail once lived. Honestly I hate it but genuinely I could not live without it and every single one of my friends who has one will agree.

Inevitably during your little munchkins first year they will come down with a bug of some sort, or if you're really unlucky the sodding rotavirus. That lovely bug struck our household twice in one month (never underestimate the strength of your wife when she's fighting you to the loo let me tell you!) Well, with sickness and generally teething and all the other fun and games that accompany your little ones first year you will have to take their temperature on more than one occasion and joking aside it is so important to have a good thermometer and one you can rely on. I opted for one that I my doctor and local A&E use. The Braun Thermoscan is not cheap at £79.99 but for me its a product I would be fearful not to have in my home. Super easy to use and really quick to pop in baby's ear when they are sleeping.

Braun Thermoscan - £79.99 from all good retailers

Part two coming soon, but in the meantime if there are any items that you simply could not have lived without and feel we need to add to the list, why not email me your suggestions at ! 


This Surrey Mummy x


Sunday, 27 September 2015

The Sunday Lust List

The beauty of feeding a four month is that you get a lot of time to browse the internet, and now with my super dooper iPhone 6 plus the bigger screen has revolutionised my internet browsing for the better. Hector now luckily sleeps through but unfortunately it seems that I need some sleep training and constantly find myself waking at 4am struggling to get back to sleep so I use that as an opportune time to have a wee browse for additions to what I am going to fondly name as "the lust list", a collection of items that I would love. 

This weeks list mostly consist of baby items as Hector, bless him, has been kitted out in a full hand me down wardrobe from his brother and I now feel that as he's getting a bit older I'm going to get him some new key pieces for his autumn/winter wardrobe, oh and a few items that I could not resist for moi!

First up is this adorable bear ears cardigan from those lovely people The White Company. I am a huge lover of the colour grey, after all grey is the new white! This soft knit would compliment the simplest of white babygro or soften a pair of denim jeans. Priced at £32.99 and is available in sizes tiny baby - 18-24 months. 

Look at those gorgeous little ears!

Baby leggings are huge this season with the High Street jumping all over this trend. Jools Oliver and her team Little Bird for Mothercare (of whom I am a huge fan!) have fashioned some seriously retro prints for the season ahead. Their website is amongst my favourites, super user friendly and well organised there isn't a week where there isn't one item or two which doesn't end up in my shopping basket. With retro "vintage details and colours" their unisex baby range is bound to brighten up any dreary winter day. 

Apple and stripe baby leggins, £4.00 Mothercare clearance sale

These arrived in the post this week and they are a total bargain at £4.00 for both pairs in the clearance sale so bag yourself a bargain whilst you can.  

Those delightful peeps at Joules have outdone themselves this season with some seriously delicious pieces. Amongst woodland animals and nature being a key theme, these baby leggings (see I'm addicted!) are simply irresistible .

Fox and Hound baby leggings, £14.95 for both

Now of course as well as shopping for my little cherubs I do always find time to browse for "me". Rather than online shopping I happened to be food shopping in my local Cobham Sainsburys which just so happens to have a rather marvellous clothing section. I happened to stumble across a couple items at the beginning of the week but it also coincided with a massive poonami by Hector which was highly inappropriate given I was running late from getting a few things anyways so I was unable to purchase. Well, I adore a bargain so you could imagine my delight when I went today to be met with 25% off the whole Tu clothing range, hoorah! So, a quick detour to the magazine department and armed with a £3.99 Mr Maker magazine I bought myself twenty moan free minutes to peruse as well as picking up two new pieces for this seasons wardrobe, I mean at 25% off they were just saying "buy me, buy me", so naturally I did! 

Camel and black cape, a bargain at £12.00 down from £16.00

Perfect for the "school run chic" - obviously not my legs! 

Since losing a few lbs I am pleased to say that the maternity jeans have been banished back to the loft and I was now in search of a new pair of signature skinny jeans (a must for every womans wardrobe) to tide me over before I lose the extra lbs and squeeze in to the 7 for All Mankind jeans and happened to come across these. I loved these particularly because they had a bit of stretch and given my weight goes up and down like a fiddlers elbow I do tend to lean towards a bit of denim with a bit of give. 
Indigo denim skinny jeans down from £28.00 to £21.00 by Gok at Tu

Perfect with heels or flats making them super versatile.

Right that's it for now 7pm - off to do bedtime with the rugrats with just time to spare for a bath before Downton! 

Big love, 

This Surrey Mummy x


Friday, 25 September 2015

Take photos. Take hundreds if need be...

Time flies by so quickly, and no more so than when you have a newborn baby. There is something quite incredible about newborns. Excusing the fact that the way that they grow and enter this world is beyond magical and baffling but more so the purity in which they enter this big world with. I was recently lucky enough to be gifted with a gorgeous new niece given to our family by Vicky, my sister in law, the incredibly perfect Lily-Anne and no doubt partner in crime to her older cousin Hector given they are only sixteen weeks apart from each other.

When visiting her in hospital my brother in law said something to me that really rung home. He said "It's incredible that these children are born with nothing but purity" and from that I could not help but think that I am so grateful that we had photographs taken that capture just that, the purity in our then newborn. 

A couple months before I gave birth I saw an advert for a newborn photo session with a local newborn and family photographer Suzi Bowles at Suzi Bowles Photography. We chatted and she said that she was looking to capture images of a seven to ten day old baby using as much natural light and natural shots as possible, it was at this point I knew that Suzi would be the photographer for us. 

After I gave her the news that I had given birth to Hector a photo session was scheduled in for the Saturday after we returned home. As soon as she stepped through our front door we knew that we had picked a good'un. She was so calm, quiet (which is always appreciated around a newborn!) and more importantly incredible with Charlie! She wanted to capture us in our natural environment, well quite naturally we wore our usual natural environment Saturday attire, jeans and white t-shirts as one does, inspiration totally taken from Hello magazine! There was no rushing with Suzi. As a first time breastfeeder by day seven I had no where nailed it, so what probably could have been a shoot that was done and dusted within an hour or two took near on three whilst I struggled to master the art breast feeding in between takes but never once did I feel rushed or under pressure to hurry up.

I wanted to capture Hector in his pure and new state and also in something that would always remind me of when he was so tiny and raw so I opted for a little number from my all time favourite baby brand Aden and Anais. The jungle jam print throws me back to happy times when I used the giant mussy with the same print that I still cherish with my first born Charlie. The beauty of this swaddle is that it takes all the faff out of swaddling for you by ingenious little poppers that keep our precious little bundles in a cosy warm position all night. I loved this particular swaddle so much that I insisted that my sister in law Vicky use ours for little Lily-Anne. Well at just three weeks old she sleeps through from 11pm - 7am - coincidence? I think not! 

Above: I never saw these pictures before the preview with Suzi, and I'll admit it, I fell in love with Tom even more after seeing this picture.

Above: Suzi managed to capture a smile from a boy who normally 
refuses to smile for any camera! 

So, in summary, take photos, whether you choose professional or amateur, take loads. These little people grow so so quickly and they do change daily so take too many, you can never have enough. We are so thankful to Suzi at Suzi Bowles Photography for capturing the early days of our complete little family. We will cherish these photos for ever more. 

Big love, 

This Surrey Mummy x 


F is for Friday!!

So the eve of the weekend is finally here! 

The autumn season is most definitely on its way. Extra layers are now needed for the school run and the evenings are getting darker earlier by the day. We are approaching four weeks into the school term and I have to admit that I am already over the school run. Constant battles with a three year old over what morning snack he's going to take, the fact that he never wants to brush his teeth which usually results in me pinning him down to sounds of screaming as I attempt to brush his nashers and then there is the daily breakfast battle. You know the usual, "I want weetabix", "not cold, hot", "What's that? I don't like it", blah blah blah. So I am very much on the countdown to two weeks off struggling to get out the door by 8am with a grumpy toddler and baby in tow. 

This year my family and I are heading south down to a place that's very close to our hearts, the beautiful St. Ives. This year we will also be introducing the town to Hector as well as another holiday guest, Buzz, the class mascot. Class mascots and I have never really gotten on and my track record is shady to say the least. The last class mascot we took home last term was a dragonfly. This dragonfly had had some rather active weekends with the other class mates however I thought it would be funny to take him to the pub and have some amusing photos of him quaffing Pinot Grigio and looking drunk slumped up against a pint. Don't get me wrong I never actually intended to use these pictures. "Funny", I hear you say, not so funny when we lost him, sparked a Facebook appeal to find the lost dragonfly (note for future do not friend request the headmistress and remember that you are friends with quite a few of the teachers!) and ended up sourcing a replacement from Amazon only for the original to turn up and be forever known in the school as "the mummy that lost the class mascot". This half term we will try harder!

So, the week has flown by, we started the week with my Slimming World weigh in, and after a week drinking and eating too much in Cannes (blog - My day in Cannes by my friend the beautiful Blog Me Beautiful) I was delighted with my half pound gain. As well as "Project Skinny Jeans" there have been my attempts at achieving "school run chic". 

This week I invested in three statement necklaces that I hoped would jazz up some plain tops and add a bit of chic to my daily school run wardrobe. 

First up at £25.00 is this gorgeous gem embellished statement necklace from  Marks and Spencer . I love the colour combinations and thought that it would team well with a number of colours and basic tops that are in my wardrobe. 

Above: teamed with a plain navy blue long sleeve t-shirt from Primark and it looked great with my new hairstyle from Jack Wallace at my 
favourite hair salon Clay Hair Salon in Oxshott.

Above: teamed with an old favourite of mine. This three quarter length grey strip with lemon and white spots from Boden two summer seasons back. 

Next up is another one from Marks and Spencer with their resin block floral necklace in white again at £25.00. I opted for a white necklace as lets be honest, white goes with anything and also adds both a casual and glam look to even a boring white t-shirt. 

Above: teamed with last seasons Marks and Spencer Collection neon pink knitted sweater - I am loving how the white really accelerates the pink. Also, this colour pink always makes peoples skin appear with a lovely healthy glow. 

Above: teamed with a plain white t-shirt from Primark and my favourite Crew Clothing classic cream knitted v neck jumper. 

And finally, this little number from the guys at New Look that I managed to bag in the sale for £7 - bargain!

Above: teamed with a three quarter length sleeved baseball t-shirt

So, I managed to achieve five different looks this week on the school run with three different necklaces. Charlie's teacher even commented on my looks this week by saying "Oh you look lovely" which just reaffirms my fears that before now I really did look truly crap on the school run. 

I've also had a manicure this week with the lovely Harriet at Clay Hair who updated my nails choosing a really gorgeous sparkly and glittery pink for my talons. 

Well, it's lunch time and I am off to kick start the weekend with lunch at Cote in Cobham with the gorgeous Mrs Blog - Me - Beautiful - mines a glass of vino Emily!

Big love, 

This Surrey Mummy x 


Monday, 21 September 2015

Juice Juice Baby - The Juice Smith, Cobham - What's all the fuss about?

In May of this year I gave birth to baby number two, Hector. When I had Charlie my first born, the days that followed his birth were filled with lazy mornings, silky hot chocolates and sumptuious home made cakes all of which were a delight on my lips but they did nothing for my waist line. I've never hidden the fact that I have always struggled with my weight and that I only need to gaze at a Toffee Crisp for me to instantly put two pounds on. However despite being far more careful this time round (with my first pregnancy I put on nearly four stone) this pregnancy I still ended up with a two stone gain and now find myself with wanting to lose two and a half stone to get back to my wedding weight. 

I have rejoined Slimming World and will keep you updated with my progress as I go along and given that I've tried all the diets, this is the only one that really is a lifestyle change. It works for me and my family and I love it. 

There have in the press been lots of new fad diets floating around from the Cambridge diet to the 5:2 diet all of which seem like far too much hard work, but what if there was a way in which I could supplement my new healthy lifestyle with minimal effort and abundant health benefits? Well I was intrigued so I visited The Juice Smith an upmarket new juice and lifestyle bar in Cobham. Here I met The Juice Smith himself Richard Smith. 

Above: The Juice Smith, Oakdene Parade, Cobham, Surrey

Above: Richard Smith, owner and founder of The Juice Smith

The Juice Smith launched in 2013 after Richard contracted gastritis after taking a work out supplement for training. He discovered juicing as a supplement to a more healthy and balanced diet and teamed with his background in health and fitness and the art of cold pressed juicing he launched 'The Juice Smith'. 

The juice bar has been fully renovated and immediately upon entering you can't help but feel instantly healthier. The clean lines, mirrored walls and immaculate white glossy surfaces all add to the clinical and health conscious feel about the place. Ample seating and a convenient grab and go fridge means that one can either sit in and enjoy a juice or equally grab one in-between errands. The Juice Smith also sells an array of salad and sweet treats to tempt you with too, the majority being raw and vegan.

Richard recommended that I take one of each of their signature juices. A relatively small selection of juices given the endless combinations that one could achieve at home with a Nutribullet or Jason Vale Juicer, however, it meant I was able to quickly establish which juice would be best suited to me. 

First up was the "Fountain of Youth",  combining cucumber, spinach, green apple, celery, romaine, mint and ginger. One of their more popular juices it claims to give me clear skin and bright eyes, something I am in desperate need for with a four month old! Despite its green colouring being off putting to me, the taste was refreshing and left my palate feeling clean, however, given my sweet tooth not sure it was quite THE one for me.

Above: The Fountain of Youth (cucumber, spinach, green apple, celery, romaine,
 mint and ginger)

Next up was the "purple one" as my Mum and I named it. The Ruby Remedy blends beets, apple, carrot, lime, cucumber and ginger. A strong smelling juice and it's obvious that cucumber is present and despite tasting mainly of beets there is an after taste of cucumber which is more pleasant than it is off-putting. The benefits claim to aid in the digestive system and help to protect your cells and enzymes from environmental stress. I wasn't a huge fan of this one but Mum seemed to guzzle away, but then she has a much more savoury palate then myself. 

Above: Ruby Remedy (beets, apple, carrot, lime, cucumber and ginger)

And finally my personal favourite! I was immediately drawn to its gorgeous sunshine colour glaring at me from the ice cold glass fronted double fridge doors. The California Sun is bright yellow in colour and contains green apple, lemon, ginger and turmeric. As soon as you open the bottle your hit with the warmth of the ginger and once a sip is taken the zing of the lemons comes through beautifully. It's claims of aiding digestion, detoxing and improving my complexion means that if I had to choose this would be the one for me hands down, that and the fact that I adore the sharpness of the flavour of lemon!

Above: California Sun (green apple, lemon, ginger and turmeric)

Ok, so here's the downside. Honestly, its not cheap. At £7.50 per 420ml bottle (yes you heard me right £7.50 a bottle) you have to really have to want to partake in the benefits of juicing to be splashing the cash on these everyday. That said, I really did love the California Sun a lot and as soon as the bottle had finished I wanted another one. I'm not saying that I could justify one ever day after all my cupboards are busting with numerous gadgets from mixers to smoothie makers, blenders to my Nutribullet. So given that I am an all or nothing kind of girl, if I was to want one daily instead of buying one at The Juice Smith I would insist on buying the best juicer and the most organic vegetables and fruit around and after I had done all of that and the initial outlay I think I would be likely to sack it all off as the fad would wear off. Therefore in conclusion, I love the concept. I love the way the shop and its interior instantly made me feel healthier, I literally skipped out the shop and down the High Street to my meeting and that was before I had even tried one. I won't say that I will be buying one daily, however, as a once a week treat I think that £7.50 is well worth it and I would highly recommend you putting that extra bottle of Sauvignon Blanc back on the shelf and head to The Juice Smith for a bottle of California Sun and all of its added health benefits. It's gonna be a huge hit in Cobham. Fact. 

Thanks to Richard and all of his team at The Juice Smith and I wish them the best of luck for this new venture. 

Big love, 

This Surrey Mummy x

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