Review: Brother Max weaning pots

Taylor has been eyeing up our food for a while now, so when she hit 17 weeks I decided we were ready to embark of the great adventure that is weaning. Admittedly, the foodie in me was also quite excited about the prospect of offering her something other than milk, and so I set about the task of chopping, steaming, mashing and blending with zealous enthusiasm.

Brother Max Weaning Pots review

I’m not usually one to fall for the endless gadgets and gizmos which are aimed at us parents, but since I was quite excited about this chapter in Taylor’s development, I found myself in Babies R Us with more weaning supplies than I could carry in my one free hand. Alongside some Tommee Tippee bowls, weaning spoons and a ‘my first cup’,  I also picked up these Brother Max weaning pots for £4.99 – which I chose over the other brands on the shelf thanks to the inclusion of a handy marker pen for writing contents/date on the pots before freezing (fickle, I know).
Continue reading

What did a girl do before Primark?

Twelve years ago when I went on my fist girls’ holiday at 18, I saved my Saturday earnings for weeks so that I could afford a Topshop wardrobe cool enough for Ibiza.

primark summer holiday clothes

Twelve years on it’s hard to remember our high streets without the notorious ‘Primania’ beckoning us in with its cheap price tags, ever-changing fashion lines and £1 accessories. Oh Primark, if only I had you back then!

So, when I popped into my local shopping centre for a few last minute items for my holiday to Dubai, I ended up buying an entire holiday wardrobe instead. Primark has that effect on me. This is everything I got for the grand total of…£43!

  1. Pink floral top – £4
  2. Beach towels – £4 each
  3. Casual shorts – £3
  4. Denim shorts – £5
  5. Playsuit – £5
  6. Print top – £4
  7. Laser cut peep toe shoes – £6
  8. Skater dress – £5
  9. Casual shorts – £3

I’m not even convinced that the clothes are any lesser in quality than the likes of the other high street stores. The only downfall of Primark clothes (as we all know) is that you yourself know that they are from Primark. And because you know that you only paid a fiver for those shorts, their shelf life is much shorter than if you’d paid £35 – silly, but sadly true.

However, it’s not like I wear shorts and use beach towels every day in England, so it really doesn’t matter. By the time my next summer holiday comes around I’ll want a whole new wardrobe anyway.

And I know where I’ll be shopping.

 

Review: Afternoon tea at the Catwalk Café in Knowle

One of the perks of being on maternity leave is being able to go out for lunch during the week without being limited to a one-hour lunch break. The novelty of this still hasn’t worn off for me and I intend to carry on taking full advantage.

Catwalk cafe review

However, finding local places that do a lunch worth spending money on is not always easy and trips into town centres are not that appealing when you have a little one in tow and a needy dog waiting at home.

So I was delighted when a friend suggested that we meet at the Catwalk Café in Knowle, Solihull for afternoon tea. I’d never been here before and I had no idea that they did afternoon tea. Nothing makes me more content than scones, clotted cream and copious amounts of tea; I take great delight in realising that the sandwich layer is finished and it’s time to move onto the cakes, and I love pouring my own tea from my own tea pot. It makes me feel Royal. Or at least a little bit spoilt.Gillian Wesley Catwalk cafe Knowle

And the Catwalk Café didn’t disappoint. The interior of the fashion themed café takes on a Parisian style with vintage furniture, black and white floor tiles and an exposed shop front that give the impression that you’re dining al Fresco on a street in Paris. The attention to detail continues at your table with lace table cloths, silver tea pots, sugar bowls and china tea cups. The staff all wear traditional black and white uniforms, all adding to the feel of a traditional tea house.

afternoon tea catwalk café

We booked in advance so our afternoon tea was brought straight out to us on arrival. The dainty sandwiches were lovely with typical fillings including salmon and cream cheese, cucumber, cheese and pickle, and there was a great selection of cakes. Not to mention the scones which came with ample amounts of clotted cream and jam – a must since I hate it when you have to start scraping around the bottom of the jar and eyeing up how much the other person at the table is having (is that just me??)

Despite the pride that has clearly gone into this place, the atmosphere is very relaxed and informal. We stayed for three hours and didn’t at all feel like we’d outstayed our welcome, despite our babies crying from time to time. The staff were very friendly and attentive and provided us with unlimited amounts of tea.

The afternoon tea costs £25 for two people and is worth every penny. A definite must-do for those living in and around Solihull.

25% off Debenhams Mother’s Day flowers – she won’t be disappointed!

Mr M is the type of husband who wake’s up on Valentine’s Day/ our anniversary/ my birthday and declares that he’s planning to take me shopping. This actually means that he completely forgot to get me anything and results in a day of me stomping around Birmingham as “I’m not just buying something for the bloody sake of it!” I’m not sure how many times I need to say it…

“I JUST WANTED SOME FLOWERS!!!”

Mother's Day flowers

Lucky for me (not so lucky for Mr M), the lovely team at Debenhams Flowers have beaten him to it in time for Mother’s Day. This year will be my first Mother’s Day being a mum, so when I got an email from them offering to send me a flower delivery from their Mother’s Day range it made me feel all mushy inside.Debenhams flower delivery

As a daughter I’ve had many a bouquet delivered to my mum on Mother’s Day. Unfortunately a lot of those bouquets weren’t quite as large, or the flowers as fresh as I’d imagined, which has left me feeling a little disappointed. So I was looking forward to seeing how Debenhams’ Mother’s Day flowers would compare.

I received their Pink Rose and White Freesia bouquet which is available to buy online for £34.99. The bouquet was delivered boxed by my postman who seemed very pleased with himself to be delivering them: “hopefully I’ve made your day”, he grinned. I didn’t have the heart to tell him they weren’t a surprise from my husband or my super advanced 11 week-old daughter.

Nevertheless, they did make my day. Inside the box was a bouquet wrapped in pretty green paper and red ribbons. The fuchsia roses had blossomed on arrival and smelt divine. Instead of a cellophane bag, the flowers were kept moist with a foamy wet paper which meant that I didn’t  have to worry about getting water everywhere (I can be rather haphazard!) and flower food was included which I always appreciate.

The flowers look lovely in my lounge and are still so fresh as I write this four days after delivery (they actually offer a money-back guarantee that their flowers will stay fresh for 7 days).

Debenhams Flowers have kindly offered an exclusive 25% discount on their bouquets to readers of my blog.  Simply enter the code DFBLOG25 at the checkout. Only the Flowers by Post range is exempt from the offer. The bouquets can also be ordered for next day delivery which is ideal if, like me, you are a bit of a last-minute person (is it really that time of year again??).

Perhaps my lovely husband might even read this post and think to surprise me for Mother’s Day. Or more likely he’s waiting for Taylor to leap out of her bouncer and walk to the florist…

Have a fantastic Mother’s Day all of you lovely mums – you deserve it x

Debenhams Flowers

Disclosure: Debenhams Flowers sent me these flowers in return for an honest review

Review: The Club & Spa at The Cube, Birmingham

Birmingham Club & Spa, the Cube

To celebrate turning the big 30 this year, two of my close friends from school and I decided to treat each other to a spa day, rather than buying presents. With my due date looming ever closer, Sal and Paula were lovely enough to make the trips from Manchester and Nottingham to come see me in brilliant Brum.

The Cube, Birmingham

The Cube, Birmingham

We decided on the Club & Spa at The Cube. I haven’t had a pamper since being pregnant (and never had too many before that!), so I was really looking forward to it and spending some rare quality time with the girls.

I chose the Mother to Be Day Spa Package for £115 which included:

  • Full access to the spa facilities
  • Light lunch
  • Mother to Be Full Body Massage
  • Robe, towels and slippers for the day

The spa is really easy to get to, just off the A38 with convenient parking (I parked at the Mailbox which is just next to the Cube) so makes a great place to meet.

We arrived at 10am and were given a tour of the facilities which include a fully equipped gym, a champagne nail bar, canal side lounge (for lunch), a vitality pool (with saunas and steam room) treatment rooms and a relaxation area.

On arrival you’re provided with the lunch menu options to choose from which has something for every appetite – from fish finger sandwiches, baked potatoes and pepperoni pizza, to chicken caesar salad and deli sandwiches. The deserts are even more tempting with options including New York vanilla cheesecake, maple syrup pancakes and hot chocolate pudding. As I’m on a health kick I of course opted for the healthier choices of pepperoni pizza and maple syrup pancakes…

After choosing our lunch options and touring the facilities it was time for my Mother to Be Full Body Massage. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, since every other massage I’ve ever had has involved me lying on my front! If I’m honest I was also yet to have a great massage in the UK so I didn’t have high expectations for this one (not that I didn’t think they existed, but like I say I don’t get pampered that often and whenever I have, it’s been a little underwhelming).

IMG_1760

If only every day was this easy…

Well, I have to say that this massage definitely exceeded my expectations and was worth every penny! My therapist, Charlotte, went through everything in detail beforehand and really helped me to relax and understand how it would be beneficial. Instead of lying on my front, I lay on one side first when she massaged my back, shoulders, and legs and then turned over for the other side before shifting onto my back so that she could focus on my feet, arms, hands, neck, scalp and face. I had ample blankets and cushions all around me to keep me warm and relieve any pressure so felt super comfortable and cosy throughout. The entire 1hour and 15mins was pure bliss. I’ve been having trouble relaxing in the third trimester of my pregnancy being eternally restless and (I admit) rather irritable, so this was exactly what I needed!

After the massage, we relaxed around the vitality pool and I took the opportunity to swim some lengths whilst the girls enjoyed the saunas and steam room.

Relaxation area - avoid sitting down in these when pregnant, you won't get back up!

Relaxation area – avoid sitting down in these when pregnant, you won’t get back up!

Our lunch was booked for 12.30pm, when we made our way up to the lounge area which overlooks the canal. The lounge has a relaxed and contemporary feel to it, perfect for eating lunch in your robe. As the chefs already had our order, we didn’t have to wait long at all for our food to come out. My pepperoni pizza was just what I fancied – big and filling with ample topping! I put it down to too much talking, rather than food defeat, but I actually couldn’t finish it all. Paula chose the fish finger sandwich, whilst Sal opted for the Penne pasta – both of which looked yummy and were polished off.

Lunch at The Club and Spa Birmingham the Cube

No caption necessary…

My appetite miraculously returned once the maple syrup pancakes were placed in front of me – served with fresh fruit and toffee sauce they were absolutely divine!! The girls selfishly enjoyed some Prosecco with their desserts whilst I stuck to my beloved English Breakfast tea (only four more weeks...)

After lunch we relaxed some more in the pool area before making full use of the changing facilities. The changing rooms are equipped with ample mirrors, hairdryers and hair straighteners so (if not pregnant) you could get yourself ready to hit the town straight afterwards if on a weekend break, hen do etc.

All in all, we had a fantastic day and left feeling totally relaxed and pampered 🙂 Now let’s plan the next visit!

Club-and-Spa-Entrance