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How to win the Thumb War – finger guards for kids

So every so often a true unsung hero of a product comes along that deserves its time in the spotlight.  It may not be flashy, it may not be expensive but if it does what it says on the tin then it is definitely a purchase worth making.  Say hello to the Thumbsie.

Rewinding a little to when Little B was a teeny baby.  I was beyond thrilled when, rather than rely on a dummy like her bro, she sought out her two fingers and self soothed in an instant.  She slept through the night quicker and car rides were a dream.  In fact I felt like we were winning at life even if the sound of her sucking her fingers was akin to Maggie from the Simpsons.  Roll on a few years and in her fourth year it wasn’t quite so sweet.  Whereas I became the ‘finger police’ at home, at school I heard she was doing it more and more.  This Easter holidays I had had enough when I caught her sucking her fingers almost 80% of the day.  Our dentist was also not such a fan and so the midnight googling began.  Yes there was the revolting nail varnish stuff that I remembered from my thumb sucking youth but I was a prime example that it never truly worked.  Then I stumbled across the Thumbsie.  Created by a mum, who like me was looking for an alternative solution, she designed a soft cotton glove that covered her daughter’s thumb. When worn consecutively over 3-5 weeks it breaks the habit and voila the days of thumb or finger sucking are behind you.  Although part of me was sceptical I thought it was worth a shot and I am so pleased we did.

I ordered the finger guard version and chose a couple of fabrics that would appeal to Little B (a unicorn one and a purple pony one).  In hindsight I should have ordered 3 as they come home from school filthy, you need a new one for night-time and then I sometimes wasn’t quick enough at washing the school one.  On arrival I would best describe them as a little pillowcase for the 2 fingers that velcros around the wrist.  The accompanying reward sheet was also worth it and once back from school and when I made sure she wasn’t ‘hangry’ I did the grand unveiling.  Little B loved the prints, thought the reward chart was ‘cool’ and was quite delighted to have something her brother didn’t.  Night 1 was a huge novelty and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I checked on her and saw it was still in place and she had nodded off to sleep.  School thankfully was another triumph as there was much fanfare from her friends about the unicorns although a few people mistook it for a bandage and kept asking her how she had hurt her fingers!

Long and short of it is that 5 weeks later we are in the clear and I am just so happy it was achieved in such a positive and kind solution.

Big literal ‘Thumbs Up’ to Jo for making her finger guards and no doubt Little B will get a high 5 when we next visit Mr Dentist too.

All in the detail:

Thumb and Finger guards, £9.95 each
Come in variety of fun prints – you choose
Bundle options available and measuring guide online too
For more info and to buy click here

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Doctor Who? Doctor on Demand

So we have all been there when you are packing your bags for holiday and your Little One comes down with a sore throat/rash/ailment and the phone line to your GP seems permanently engaged.  Help is at hand in the form of a handy little app – Qure.

Currently operating in and around Zone 1 and SW postcodes, but will soon be expanding to other areas, it really is worth knowing about.  I put it to practice last weekend when after a period of feeling run down I discovered that the rash on my face might just be the dreaded shingles.  It was a Sunday and as the rash was near my eye I knew I needed to see someone asap.  I downloaded Qure and within 2 hours Dr Dewan arrived at my door. Diagnosis confirmed I had my prescription and was able to start a course of medicine the same day.

Brilliant for those times when travel is problematic with poorly Little Ones as a GP will come directly to you. Prices start at £70 and include a 20 minute consultation.

All in the detail:

Download Qure from your App Store
Currently Zone 1 London and SW postcodes
Prices £70 weekdays per appointment
Weekends £90
For more info click here

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Let’s Talk Teeth – Invisalign

So as the years go by and the fine lines on my face are making themselves known, one thing I think can still make a difference the older I get, is good teethypegs.  Whilst holidaying with my mother she mentioned that my front tooth was starting to push forward and shock horror she was right.  A swift trip to the dentist confirmed that your teeth do shift with age and although I had joined the train-track brace gang in my teens, I would indeed benefit from a little straightening out.  Vanity got the better of me and I opted for Invisalign.  In short the dentist takes a mould of your teeth and attaches little ‘buttons’ to your teeth that then fit a series of bespoke clear aligners.  You have a course of treatment which includes a number of aligners and come away with nice straight teeth at the end.

Invisalign is a financial investment so you are best to have a consultation and see how you feel.  I go to Pure Smiles in Fulham and so far my treatment has been a lot easier than the old train track variety.

Some things worth noting though –
– Invisalign is a commitment, for results you have to wear your aligner 20 to 22 hrs a day even if it is a special day like attending a wedding etc.
– You can’t eat with your aligner in which means no more snacking (I consider this a mega plus as it has stopped me hoovering up the kid’s leftovers!)
– Sadly it is goodbye to Shellac nail varnish – it chips as you remove your aligners.
– Even worse it’s goodbye to lipstick too.   I had a disastrous first outing trying to wear my beloved Mac Lady Danger and it smeared all over the front my new aligner.
– It is likely that at the end of your treatment you will need a retainer of sorts to stop them moving again.

I have also upped my dental hygiene armoury to include the Oral-B Pro 2500 Toothbrush. It comes in either black or pink and includes a handy travel case so no excuses when on holiday.  My dentist also recommended Tepe flossing brushes which I find a whole lot easier than the old dental floss type.

Will keep you posted on my quest for the perfect smile.

All in the detail:

I go to Pure Smiles in Fulham for my Invisalign Treatment – 0203 613 3343 
They have practices on Fulham Road and New King’s Road 
Oral-B Pro 2500 Toothbrush available on Amazon

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Perfect Party Prep – Aromatherapy Associates

If you are already suffering from Christmas party fatigue, I may have the perfect little pick-me-up for you.  Recommended by a somewhat ‘spiritual’ friend of mine, this Aromatherapy Associates bath/shower oil is the perfect tonic to combat the post war-zone/kids tea slump after 5pm.  If your hair smells of fish fingers and you would rather slob on the sofa than don your glad rags for the night ahead, then add a couple of drops of this to your bath or shower and you will raring to go again.  The perfect recharge for the evening ahead… you just might have to fish the bath toys out of the way first.

All in the detail:

Revive Evening Bath and Shower Oil, £45
Click here to view
Also available at John Lewis
I have the Evening version but there is also a Morning one too
Would make a great stocking filler 

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Tidy Talons – nice nails for new mums


If you are in the sleep deprived, early days of life with a newborn and in desperate need of a pick-me-up, or simply low on the childcare front but would love to get out for a mani pedi then there is a little App you need to download now.  At the click of a button you can order your manicure and pedicure on the go and instead of traipsing to and from a salon, an expert technician will magically appear at your door.  You can continue to watch your kids or keep working, all in the comfort of your own home, whilst your hands and feet get some much needed TLC.  You pay via the app too so perfect if you have been too busy to get out the cash.  Most of LeSalon’s expert technicians are mums too so LeSalon works well for women ‘on both sides of the polish pot’ as they say.
With a couple of clicks on your mobile and your chipped, tired, hands and toesies can be given a new lease of life. Get downloading.

All in the detail:
They use ESSIE nail varnish
Express mani & pedi – £40 (20mins)
Classic mani – £25
Classic pedi – £35
Classic mani & pedi – £50 
They also offer Shellac too
CND Shellac mani – £35
CND Shellac pedi – £45
CND Shellac mani & pedi – £70 
Find LeSalon at the AppStore 
Currently covering Zone 1&2 in London



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Soft as a baby’s bottom – Sudocrem’s new cream

No nursery seems complete without a pot of the good old Sudocrem, but if your pot is looking a bit icky then check out their new Care and Protect ointment for nappy rash. Not only a barrier cream, this little gem also conditions the skin and fights infection too. Love the tube design as it is great to pop in the changing bag and a lot more user friendly. A good all rounder I say.

All in the detail:

Sudocrem Care and Protect
Available at most pharmacies/supermarkets


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Things that go with a Bump – London Antenatal Classes

bcI cannot believe that Little B has hit the 6 month mark already.  Time has flown and I am already cooing over friends’ newborns and eagerly awaiting my niece to be born so I can get my teeny person fix.  For those out there expecting babes – 2014 is going to be a life changer.

Before Christmas, I had time to have a coffee with a couple of ladies who very much play a part in preparing the ladies of London for the arrival of their wee ones – the girls behind The Bump Class.  Sisters Dr Chiara Hunt and Marina Fogle, inspired by their own prenatal experiences, launched their very own version of practical antenatal classes to prepare parents for the ‘birth and beyond’.  Aided by their team of experts, which include a breastfeeding specialist, a physiotherapist and working midwife, The Bump Class offers non judgemental and unbiased advice covering all aspects leading up to childbirth but also crucially they focus on life at home once your baby has arrived. I totally subscribe to their ethos that the more knowledge you are armed with, the more informed decision you will be able to make. Their classes inspire that precious confidence so needed for any mummy-in-waiting.  The support network and friendships built at the Bump Class far outlast the 8 weeks of the ante-natal course and a Father’s Evening should ensure no comedy fainting come delivery. So if you are excitedly expecting a new arrival this year then take a look and get involved.

M and C

Bump Class founders Marina and Chiara with their Little Ones


Princess asked Marina…



What are your 3 favourite things in life?
Running around Hyde Park at sunrise on a frosty morning with my dog Maggi.
Taking the children for a ride around the fields in our ancient Land Rover with no roof, lovingly called Neville.
Snuggling up by the fire with the children in their pyjamas for a story before bed.

London’s best kept secret for kids?
On a sunny weekend, Brunch at The Drawing Room Café at Fulham Palace – there’s seating outside and wonderfully large lawn surrounded by ancient trees – a natural playground to keep your children entertained while adults have a relaxed brunch.

Best tip for impending motherhood?
Above all trust your instinct, that is what it’s there for.


All in the detail:
The Bump Class
Click here for website
8 week Course: £450 (small classes and each session is 1.5hrs)
Father’s Evening: £120 per couple for the 2 hr class
Paediatric First Aid: £75 per person
POA for Private Courses in the comfort of your own home
29 South Terrace
Nearest Tube: South Ken
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The milk police – breathalyser for your boobs

MilkscreenSo most of my friends reach for that celebratory glass of champers once their babes have been born and after 9 months of abstinence it is only natural to fancy a glass or two in those early weeks. If you are breastfeeding and are concerned about the effects then have a gander at this.  My American galpal trotted round with these Milkscreen strips in my first week home with Little B, and I have to admit it did make me giggle.  The Milkscreen kit is essentially a home test for alcohol in breast milk.  You simply dip the strips in your bottles of expressed milk and it will detect the presence of any alcohol. Good for peace of mind, it also might mean you carry on breastfeeding for longer. An amusing addition to any Baby Shower pressie.

All in the detail:
Milkscreen available at Amazon, click here to view
£28.99 for a pack of 20 strips
You don’t need me to tell you that is product is aimed at responsible mothers and not prolific drinkers etc etc.
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Princess ♥ Water Wipes – super gentle baby wipes


One thing I remember being a little tedious when Little A was a tiny wee thing was the endless ‘cotton wool balls dipped into water’ that I used during nappy changes as recommended in any mummy-to-be manual.  This time round I was very pleased to be introduced to Water Wipes.  Suitable from birth and a whole lot easier to use, Water Wipes contain none of the nasties found in other wipes and so you can rest assure you won’t be aggravating your little one’s new skin (which incidentally is a whole 5 times thinner than adult skin).  Even certain brands of ‘sensitive’ or ‘pure’ wipes contain a number of chemicals which when you could be wiping bottoms up to 10 times a day is not the nicest of thoughts.  I have been ploughing through my stash of Water Wipes and Little B has no complaints so far.

All in the detail:

Kiddicare currently have 25 % off so you can get a pack of 4 for £6.74
Click here to buy
Also available on amazon


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Happy Feet – mobile reflexologist in London

Another entry for your address book is the fabulous Georgie of Retreat 4 Your Feet.  My feet certainly took the brunt of it this pregnancy and an hour of Maternity Reflexology with Georgie certainly sorted them out.  You can either have her visit you at home (London only) or book into her Putney studio.  I opted for a post 7pm (kiddiwinks in bed) slot so I could slope off to bed in my relaxed zen-like state afterwards.  She also offers a type of Facial Massage which I will be trying out next.

All in the detail:
For prices click here to view
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