Weaning Lyrical – Organic baby food

pouches

Little B has developed a new skill.  The Tantrum.  Yes if I suggest shoes over her beloved red wellies – tantrum.  If I suggest we use the buggy when she would like to walk – tantrum.  Recently it has been over food and I am trying to smile through the yoghurt and general food flinging but I also realise that sometimes I have not helped the situation by being late to get the lunch onto the table.  To be fair to her, she usually has to wait until Little A returns from nursery so I have started to give her pudding first…on the go.  Obviously Little B would not deign herself to actually bite an apple but she sure does still love a puree.  One thing that has been bugging me though is that for all the ‘no added sugar’ chat, the brands I have been buying still do have a fair bit of ‘natural sugar’.  I have tracked down one brand though whose purees are quite a bit lower in the natural sugar stakes than the usual brands filling my cupboards; take a look at Goodness Gracious.  They are 100% organic, dairy and gluten free and Little B wolfed the Pear puree and the Mango, Coconut Milk and Brown Rice one with gusto.  They are available at Planet Organic and some other independents but I box buy online and get mine direct to the door (8 pouches in one box).

All in the detail:

Organic food pouches by Goodness Gracious 
Ranges for 4mths plus and another from 8mths plus
Free shipping when you order 4 or more boxes 
Little B loves the simple Pear one and Mango, Coconute Milk and Brown Rice puree
Click here to buy

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Party Bag Swag – Audio books for kids

audio books
As Mylene Klass recently found out, the protocol behind the giving and receiving of presents at children’s birthday parties can be a something of a minefield.  Hosting a birthday party also throws up some valid dilemmas too and living in London means that we get invited to all sorts of parties for Little Ones.  For Little A’s fourth birthday party I was slightly resigned to my annual trip to Poundland to pick up some plastic fantastic toys for the party bags but when I stopped and thought about how often I am throwing out similar fare at home I decided to do something different.  Inspired by a friend who had gifted books for children to take home, I got online to the Book People and snapped up a collection of audio books.  The Julia Donaldson Audio Collection is 10 CDs for under a tenner and make for great party bag fillers.  They come in individual slipcases so are easy to divvy up and yes I popped in a mini bag of Haribo to maintain the sugar high for the ride home from the party (as if cake wasn’t enough).  We had a few CDs left over and they are great for the car when the traffic jams get too much and the Little Ones need appeasing.

All in the detail:

Books and Audio Books, by TheBookPeople.co.uk
Click here to view
Julia Donaldson Audio Collection, 10 Cds, £9.99
For Books try the Alfie Collection, 10 books, £9.99
or the Richard Scarry Collection, 10 books, £9.99

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Snap it up – Square Snaps Reader offer

pics
I for one am guilty of keeping hundreds of pics on my phone and Mac without ever printing them off.  My slight addiction to Instagram means I have a whole host of photo gems, documenting Little A and Little B’s adventures, which needed rescuing from a virtual life and drum roll please… I have finally got them printed.  Square Snaps is definitely a website worth sharing as it really was the simplest to use.

Gone are the days of trotting off to the print shop and debating between a 1 hr or 5 day service, with Square Snaps and a click of your mouse, your pics are ordered and then delivered pronto to your door.  I am a sucker for nice packaging and this has it in spades. I opted for the Polaroid style snaps and they are now covering my American fridge door and decorating Little A’s pinboard in his room.  I also ordered some Mini Snaps which, with the aid of a trusty hole punch, make really sweet gift tags.  Far easier to use than other printing websites, they use lovely thick paper (350gsm for those in the know) and there are lots of different sizes to choose from.  With Mother’s Day round the corner it is the perfect time to release your photos from your phone.  Either upload using your Instagram account or direct from your photo library on your computer and what’s more the Lovely People at Square Snaps have very kindly offered Princess and the Pram Readers a fabulous discount of 25% off so get ordering yours now.

Reader Offer: 25% off for readers using the code princess25 
Valid on all products until March 31st 2015
Click here to get started 

 

All in the detail:

Prints by Square Snaps
We love the…
Mini Snaps – an order of 24 is only £4.32
Polaroid Style Snaps
£9.99 for 27
Have a look at the different sizes here
FREE delivery within the UK
Look out for the special edition Pink Pola Snaps

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Winter Warmers – Time to Fill the Freezer

fed by ned

One of the NY resolutions I am determined to keep this year is to get a bit more organised.  In everything.  To remember to pack the goggles for the swimming lessons, leave extra time to get places, to find half an hour once a week to sit down and call friends afar and to clear my inbox of 138 emails that have been patiently waiting for my attention.  Rather than haul Little A and Little B round the supermarket I have also been trying to do the majority of my food shopping online.  Coming back to an empty fridge and freezer after a weekend away is not the most welcoming.  My freezer, however, is currently stocked with a rather nice little stash of scrumptious kids food which means I haven’t had to resort to the usual fish fingers and waffles recently.

Just before Christmas I had a delivery from a kind of elf.  Well the perfect elf if you have run out of time to batch cook for the freezer and want to give your Little Ones a change of scene from the usual frozen food aisle culprits.  Welcome Fed by Ned.  Organic, seasonal and homemade food aimed at the Littler market is just the ticket.  There are purees for teeny tots, and rougher textures for those over 7 months.  I rather tentatively put the Mild Salmon Curry in front of Little B and she wolfed the lot.  Certainly proved to me that I need to be more adventurous with her diet.  Fed by Ned is perfect to have in your freezer for when you forget that weekly shop and also a dream to pop in a cool bag to take with you for weekends away.

All in the detail:

Fed by Ned, click here for menu
Delivery is to your door and is free on orders over £50
Makes a wonderful present for anyone weaning their Little One
They deliver to: Islington, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham, Wandsworth, Lambeth and the City of London.

Not in London then check out Kiddie Cubes for something similar but in cube form.

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Dive in – best in boys’ swimwear

trotters
So Little A starts ‘big boy school’ this September which means a whole new chapter will begin.  I can’t believe that he will trot out of the door clad in a uniform and be gone until half three.  As we will soon be having to take our holidays inline with the school holidays we have decided to do one last trip abroad ‘termtime’ with the Grandparents in tow.  March is the month and as we didn’t fancy Little B’s enthusiasm for running around on a long haul flight we have opted for Dubai in the hope that the easygoing time difference, sunshine and promise of swimming pools and beaches will be the perfect holiday for all.  Rather cleverly my parents are flying out separately from us (!) and so will arrive somewhat less frazzled than Team N.  Little A is beyond excited by the thought of a hot holiday with the Gramps and he has already been running around dictating what we should be packing.  One item going straight in the suitcase are his new swimmers.  Fresh in the shops for the season are these fab Lobster trunks.  They have a nice grown up look (like Daddy’s) and are quick drying from our swim test in the pool.  Little A is wearing age 4-5 and they are very roomy so should do for a couple of years.  I have also bought him a navy rash rest from Boden to go with it.  If you fancy something a bit lighter they also do a cool baby blue short with Flamingo print.

 

For Daddies…
As Mr N is not a fan of the matching father/son swimming trunk combo he is going to be picking up a new pair from Frescobol Carioca.  Their refreshing colour palate of prints and bold tones offers a refreshing alternative from the usual Vilbrequin fare.

All in the detail:

Boys Swim Shorts at Trotters, £29
Click here to view
They have a fully elasticated waist great for growing tummies

Boden rash vest, £16
Frescobol Carioca Swim Shorts, from £125

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On the road – best pitstops with kids

best service station on m6
So half term is upon us and for once we are staying put.  Mr N is in hospital this afternoon for a hernia op and so Little A and Little B will get to play doctors and nurses with a real patient all next week.  (It must be a testament to how tired I am that I am secretly hoping I will be able to have a nap on Mr N’s hospital bed this afternoon whilst he is in theatre!).  For those of you who are getting away from the Big Smoke and if any of you are Northbound and planning on taking in the sights (and traffic jams) on the M6 then there is a little secret stop-off you need to know about.  Travelling with children in the car is no picnic, even with todays gadgets and gizmos there are times when you need to stop and turf them out for some fresh air and about 2 mins off the M6 – junction 40 – lies the wonder that is Rheged.  For starters it looks like it has been dreamt up by children.  Part Hobbit warren mixed with Tellytubby Land, Rheged has a grass covered roof and an excellent outdoor Turrets and Tunnels playground.  Inside lies a soft play area, a pottery painting workshop, cafes, a restaurant, a great bookshop, gift shops and an excellent children’s toy shop (the buyer deserves a medal) stocking everything from Le Toy Van, Djeco, Janod through to clothes and shoes.  If that wasn’t quite enough Rheged also houses a IMAX style 3D cinema screen – currently showing wildlife documentaries and a host of kids films (Toy Story/Winnie the Pooh).  An excellent place to stop for lunch and a run around and there is a service station on site to fill up the motor too.


For those wanting more of a brief pitstop then it is also worth checking out Tebay Services, a mile north of Junction 38 on the M6.  Owned by the same family it has a similar vibe to Rheged but on a smaller scale.  There is a good restaurant serving local sourced and seasonal food that goes way beyond average motorway fare, a lovely Farm Shop perfect to pick up some nice bits for your trip, dedicated family loos, a kids play area and a sweet duck pond to visit.  Overall if you are headed far North then this the place to factor in a stop.

For other bits and pieces that make car journeys just a fraction easier read this blog post.

All in the detail:

Rheged Centre is in Cumbria and is a 2 minute drive off Junction 40,
on the M6

Postcode: CA11 0DQ
They have a good website with full cinema listings 
Definitely don’t miss out on the toy shop – perfect for all ages
Tebay Services (also signposted as Westmorland I think) is just a bit past Junction 38 on the M6.
Postcode: CA10 3SB
The same family behind Rheged and Tebay have also set up in Gloucester on the M5 so although I haven’t been, if you are passing I am sure it would be worth the stop.

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The Big Freeze – get your little ones wrapped up

jacket
I don’t know why but I always feel a little guilty putting the heating on at home during the day.  Back in my office days I am sure I would have complained if the office had been an icebox so I don’t really know why I try to soldier on through the chilly days of January with only early morning and late evening blasts of central heating.  Little A seems to run off an entirely different thermostat and throws off any socks and jumpers the moment he steps over the threshold, whilst I wrap myself and Little B up in layer upon layer. Leaving the house at the moment takes a good ten minutes longer as I try to wrestle various limbs into jumpers, coats, gloves and wellies.  One item that is worth shouting about is Little B’s new jacket by fab Danish brand Mini A Ture.  With only much older cousins and one younger, hand-me-downs can be rare in our household so I was really touched when a mum from the nursery gates offered us this little gem of a coat.  Its totally ingenious selling point is that it does up with a simple zip at the back.  Yes it might seem a little straightjacket-like to some but really it is much easier to get Little B in and out of and I don’t have to worry about her neck/chest getting cold.  When teamed with her trusty Olivier Baby & Kids bonnet she is toasty as can be.
back zip

All in the detail:

Baby Wen Jacket by Mini A Ture
They are Waterproof, windproof and use breathable materials and have a cosy fleece lining
Retails at £95 but lots can be found in online sales now for around £45
Sizes: from 9mths up to 3yrs
Machine Washable
We have the Misty Rose colour way which is a soft pink
Stockists:
Igloo Kids, click here to view
Natural baby Shower, click here to view

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In full bloom – a look ahead to S/S maternity wear

Juno

Happy New Year everyone! I cannot believe we are half way through January already. We had a great Christmas catching up with family and friends, and I was thrilled to hear news from friends who are expecting their own little ones this year.  If you are newly pregnant then you might be already panicking on how best to dress your bump for the year ahead. When I was pregnant with Little A we went to six weddings over the summer and it was a real struggle to find anything special to wear that didn’t look cheap and clingy.  If only Madderson London had been around then.  Their new Spring Summer Lookbook is the perfect escapism to leaf through on a dreary January afternoon and is full of fresh florals and detailed botanical prints, perfect to see you through the British summer season.  However, if procreation is not your agenda anytime soon then take a look at their chic Womenswear collection too.

All in the detail:

All by Madderson London
S/S collection available from 20th February
Click here to view

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Princess and the Pram Christmas Gift Guide

the girls

 

So you may well be organised and already have your presents wrapped under the tree, but just in case you are in need of some last minute inspiration have a look at my top picks for boys and girls this Christmas.

For the girls:

1. These pretty mouse slippers are perfect for little feet, Funky Feet Fashions, £18.50
2. Tea for four, Melamine pink heart tea set, Emma Bridgewater, £32.95
3. Great for Godchildren pressies, Hatley umbrella, £13
4. Love anything Maileg and a sweet gift to post, Baby Girl Matchbox Mouse, £10.95
5. Little B has this classic pram, Little White Company, £80
6. Perfect for toy storage, Cath Kidston suitcase, £25

boys

For the Boys:

1. This Spaceship was a big success for Little A’s birthday, by Hape, £62.99
2. Smartest Pjs around, by Royal Collection Trust, £14.95
3. Fun first watch with snap strap, Penguin Anisnap Watch, £10
4. Little A is mad about dragons so these Funky Feet slippers are perfect, £18.50
5. Chic toy for chic interiors, Vilac white car ride-on, £95
6. A wheely suitcase just like mummy and daddy, Robot case, £30

Gruesome but good:

If you have a 4yr old with a severe appreciation of toilet humour then these games are gross but worth the giggle:

Doggie Do Do, £17
Gooey Louie, £23
Shark Attack, £9.95

xxx

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Pretty Pottery – ramekins, pasta bowls & expresso cups

ibbi

If you are stuck for ideas for the ladies in your life this Christmas then have a look a my latest discovery, Ibbi and their gorgeous ceramics and textiles.  The two stylish ladies behind the brand, take great care in sourcing unusual and eclectic pieces that look just at home in both traditional and more contemporary settings.  Their pretty ramekins are great for dips this Christmas and are a very easy pressie to take to someone’s house that would certainly outlast flowers or a bottle of wine.  Also love their expresso cups (see main pic) and they sell fab baby playmats too that channel a sweet, boho vibe.

All in the detail:
All ceramics available at Ibbi
Click here to view
Ramekins from £11
Expresso Cup, £24
Most items are dishwasher/microwave safe
Baby playmates, £45

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