Monday, 31 December 2012

Today we are two

Bod for tea is two years old
Peanut is seven weeks old

...and in two weeks time 
I will be *gasp* forty years old.

Time to take stock.

And what better way to start than with a review of 2012? (Prepare to duck, low flying annual round-up on the way).

In January I promised I'd , , and while Curly Girl napped (remember those days?) I penned a post old school style that was .

In February I sent out a plea in a guest post over at A Party of Five, had an with the postman, launched the , shared my (which I really must update now) and .

In March I joined in with some fun linkys including the 100 word challenge over at Julia's Place (), the  and  and shared some great tips for in a great guest post.

April I handed Bod for tea over to my Mother who talked about , decided wasn't for us, had a particularly moment and realised that, despite my early protestations to the contrary, I had .

In May I realised when I announced our second pregnancy, hit a , , got some and pondered what my  would be.

In June I said ', shared some , supported , looked forward to  and revealed my .

In July the bumplog continued with  and some , we , found a new way for  and ran over something with my car in a .

In August we looked forward to OH coming home after a , continued getting with some new purchases for the nursery, had , and shared some .

In September I reopened the Fussy Eaters Support Club to talk about Curly Girl's at school and wrote to Mother Nature about .

In October we had another which turned out to be nothing to worry about, shared , outlined some  and wondered about .

In November we started the , I wrote a to our baby and then finally shared .

December saw the start of my newborn product reviews with the , and , I shared a lovely poem in , OH reviewed a rather remarkable mouthwash and shared some  and told you about .


(Ok, you can get up again, it's over.)

Writing this blog has brought me many gifts, but reflecting back on this second anniversary it's the  realisations that come from reading back over a year of scribbles, seeing our path in scenes from the journey and understanding just how far we've come that sees me looking forward to the future.

Thank you for sharing this journey with us. Here's to 2013 y'all. Let's make it another good one.

Image courtesy of nuchylee /

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Friday, 21 December 2012

The lady who's living my life

Peanut will be six weeks old on Christmas Day. My, time flies when you're sleep deprived. I've been meaning to write about being a new Mum with a toddler in tow. I've been meaning to tell you all about the night feeds that seem to go on and on, the craziness that is the bath/bedtime routine, the It's A Knockout style obstacle course to get us all out the door for pre-school in the morning... but I just haven't been able to find the brain space or the time to put finger to keyboard beyond my review obligations. *Sigh*

Luckily one of my favourite new blogger finds of the year, the lovely Mummy Plum has written this beautifully articulate post - . Clearly she was looking over my shoulder when she penned it as this is entirely my life at the moment. Do pop over and have a read, you can pretend you're reading it about me if you like, but make sure you subscribe while you're there - this lady's awesomeness cannot be overstated.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Giveaway: The Essential Newborn List Part 2 - Swaddling wraps

See this? It may look like just a piece of fabric but it's actually a new Mum's secret weapon.

It's a swaddle wrap. For countless generations Mothers have swaddled their children to give them comfort and help them sleep. But wait, there's more. This wrap isn't just a swaddle wrap. It's also a scarf, a beach throw, a late night mid-feed shoulder warmer, a milk mopper-upper, a baby blanket, a school-run baby warmer and a makeshift sarong. Phew! Talk about multi-tasking.

But don't be fooled, not all swaddle wraps are created equal. This particular wrap is super-charged. It's a Great Swandoodle from Cuski and it's made of 100% bamboo muslin from organically grown bamboo which makes it super-super-soft and warm without being bulky.

Every night I wrap Peanut in his Swandoodle after a feed, pop him into his basinet alongside our bed and cross my fingers that he'll settle himself to sleep. So far he's been pretty good and is stretching himself out to between 3-4 hours which can give me a good 2 hours sleep between feeds if I'm lucky, safe in the knowledge that he's snug and secure. Doesn't sound like a lot but I'm a new woman because of it. And I put it down to swaddling. I know he won't put up with being swaddled for ever, but in my opinion having such a good quality wrap makes all the difference.

When he's feeding in the early hours of the morning I often get quite chilly, boobs exposed (as you do) so I drape the Swandoodle around my shoulders to take the chill off and there's extra fabric left over to drape around Peanut so that he's parcelled up on my chest. The Swandoodle traps my body heat and keeps us both warm.

Unfortunately I use the Swandoodle every day and as such it gets quite grubby and it's in the wash and tumble dryer a couple of times a week. So far it's coped really well with this, retained it's shape and colour and hasn't lost any of it's softness. While it's having a bath I'm lucky enough to be able to replace it with another Cuski wrap - the Sweet DreameezZ (great names eh?).

This is the first jet black swaddle cloth that I've come across and it's prettily decorated with silver stars. It's made from natural breathable anti-bacterial muslin and is fully machine washable at 30°C. "But wait, black?" I hear you ask with your eyebrows raised? Yep, and here's why. When Peanut is a bit bigger I'll be using it to block out light from the pram at nap time or shade him from the sun in the summer. And black is the new black of course so it's tres a la mode and a perfect gift for new Dads too.

For colder days the aden + anais Cozy collection is perfect as the swaddles are made with two, rather than one layer of muslin. These wraps are made of 100% cotton muslin and the fabrics light, open weave allows a babys body temperature to regulate itself naturally which helps to prevent overheating. The double layer of muslin helps make baby comfortably warm on cold nights, winter school runs and brisk walks through the park. As well as swaddling with it I use this wrap over the top of the Cuski Great Swandoodle as a blanket for an extra layer of warmth. The other great thing about aden + anais wraps is that they are extra large, measuring 47" x 47" and just like the Cuski wraps they can also be used as burp cloths, nursing and stroller covers, portable crib sheets, stroller and car seat liners, tummy time blankets, change table covers, and more.

The Cuski Swandoodle and The Cuski Sweet DreameezZ cost £21.99 and they are available from & Fenwick department stores and

The Jungle Jam Giraffe wrap from Aden + Anais is £29.95 and is available from

Woo hoo! I can't recommend these wraps enough so I'm delighted that the lovely folks at Cuski and aden + anais have kindly given me some of their wraps to give away to some lucky readers. I have 3 Cuski Sweet DreameezZ (1 of each colour), 2 Cuski Great Swandoodles (in Lucky Fish and Angel Heart designs) and 1 aden + anais Cozy Collection Muslin all up for grabs. It's easy to enter using the Rafflecopter widgety thing below. The winners will each receive one of the wraps. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer, terms and conditions and the all-important small print: We were sent a Great Swandoodle, Sweet DreameezZ and Cozy Collection wrap to review. We received no other compensation and all opinions are my own. Cuski and aden + anais have also offered me some of their swaddle wraps to be used as a giveaway prize. I received no other compensation. This giveaway is open to UK residents aged 18 or over, one entry per household. There is no cash alternative. The winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter. The winner will have 48 hours to claim the prize or another winner will be chosen, again at random using Rafflecopter. You DO NOT have to subscribe to Bod for tea or like my or follow me on as part of your entry.

ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions

Could a mouthwash help improve your health?

You've probably noticed that I've been rather conspicuous by my absence recently. I've had all sorts of plans for posts and would dearly love to be updating you on Peanut's fab progress but with my daughter staking an 'I was hear first' claim to my lap and Peanut taking up almost permanent residence on my boobs those plans have been somewhat tardy coming to fruition. Frustrating? Yes, but at times like these family really does just have to come first. 

So today I'm handing over to OH who's been reviewing a new mouthwash from Dentyl Active. Why did I ask him to review it rather than doing it myself? Because we have a little difference in opinion about flossing - I do it, he doesn't. Or rather, he didn't...

Hullo, OH here. For the past month I've been trialling the new Enamel Restore Icy Fresh Mint mouthwash from Dentyl Active. Its makers claim it's superior to other mouthwashes because it contains double the level of fluoride when compared to several other major brands. This means it can help to strengthen your tooth enamel by replacing lost minerals, protect it and help it to become more resistant to acid erosion and lift off 99.9% of oral bacteria and debris in the mouth. (Debris. Urgh.) As it's also alcohol free, children over the age of seven can use it too.

Acid Erosion is apparently on the increase, thanks to our eating and drinking habits. Acid, which is primarily found in soft drinks like cola (yep, my favourite tipple, ahem) can cause enamel to erode and research has shown that carbonated drinks can in some cases triple the incidence of tooth decay. So anything that can help prevent this sounds good to me.

Dental Active is a two part solution - a water based part with an antibacterial agent and an oil based part with essential oils. It needs a good shake before use to mix the two parts together  and activate the ingredients - then simply swig and rinse with half a cap full. Easy enough. I found it tastes fresh without leaving a sharp aftertaste.

But what is most impressive - and quite satisfying in a blokey kinda way - is the way you can see the particles it has lifted after rinsing as little blue lumps in the sink. Not only can you see the mouthwash working, but I've found I'm now brushing more to reduce the number of lumps. I know I should floss - I just never do - but competitive rinsing is something I can get behind!

The only real negative is the price. At £4.07 for 500ml (available from supermarkets and pharmacies nationwide) Dental Active Enamel Restore it is almost twice the price of other mouthwashes. In my opinion it's a bit too expensive to use daily.

Dentyl Active also sent me some research by the Simplyhealth Advisory Research Panel. A study of 2000 people found that 1 in 20 men went up to four days between brushing their teeth, whereas women were much more hygienic, with just 1% not brushing for four days. Four days?! Scary.

But importantly less than half of those surveyed did not realise that gum disease can be linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, poor pregnancy outcomes and stroke. Now that IS scary.

So now I know what my New Years' Resolution will be - keep on brushing twice a day, rinse with a good mouthwash like Dentyl Active and get back to flossing - for a fresh mouth and healthy body.

Disclosure: We were sent a bottle of Dentyl Active Enamel Restore to review. We received no other compensation and all opinions are our own.

Man cleaning his teeth image courtesy of imagerymajestic /

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Night Feed

The small noises begin. The snufflings, the
mumblings, the lip-smackings. Perhaps it is a 
dream. Perhaps the sounds will all drift away to
silence. Perhaps... A thin insistent wail. Ah well.
A parent stumbles out of bed.
Fed, changed.
The little head slips sideways, the eyelids flutter and
close, there is a hint of blissful snoring.
Lift it gently now. Gently, gently.
Softly asleep it lies, back in its crib.
And the blue eyes open.
And there is a smile.
How very good it is to see you, it says. Time for a
cuddle. Time for a talk. Time for a song.
Three o'clock in the morning?
What's time to friends?


From 'Welcome to the New Baby', by Pam Brown.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Sunday, 2 December 2012

The Essential Newborn List part one

It's been almost three weeks since our organised family of three became a chaotic family of four. Life is ticking along nicely so far, sans sleep unfortunately but hey you can't have everything, right?  And I'm learning lots about life with two under four years old...
  • it's almost impossible to bash out blog posts with a newborn clamped to your boob and a 3 year old hanging off your knee (sorry blog)
  • breastfeeding all hours of the day and night is not making me 'snap' back to my pre-baby shape (grrrrr)
  • babies CAN sleep through anything when they have no choice
  • feeding on demand is so less stressful than clock watching
  • hindsight really is 20/20 or having a second child is the best example of a learning curve there is
  • having some good quality products to hand makes life with a newborn so much easier welcome to the Essential Newborn List, the first of several reviews of some of the products that have made my life easier these past few weeks.

Part One - baby clothes from The Essential One

Regardless of whether it's your first, second or tenth baby *gulp* good quality baby clothes that wash well, are super soft and good value for money are essential for the first few weeks. We were lucky enough to be sent a range of sleepsuits and body suits from The Essential One just before Peanut was born and I can honestly say they're all he's worn so far.

How gorgeous is this packaging? 
The Essential One is quite unique in that they concentrate on quality clothing for babies from newborn to 18 month old. With pram suits, sleep suits, body suits and vests plus scratch mitts, soft jersey hats, cardigans and blankets, there's a unisex range, a girls range and a boys range, all of which are beautifully designed in 100% super fine cotton, which is whisper soft on baby's skin.  There are lots of features that mark these clothes out from other brands including turn back cuffs to stop baby's sharp little nails from scratching himself; fully poppered easy access leg openings which really ARE easy access, even with the back opening sleep suits; soft satin edges on all the inner labels; and delicate embroidery with soft inner backing fabric; but they are still really good value for money. 

Sleepsuits and short sleeve body suits - gorgeous colours and great designs
I was actually very surprised how cheap they were - so much so that I've since bought two girlfriends one of their newborn gift sets and bought two extra outfits for Peanut too including this three piece I'm the Boss set for just £15.

Yep, he certainly is - I'm the boss 3 piece set
And how adorable is this new Little Pudding all-in-one, £15 with a matching hat, all ready for Christmas?

Needless to say all the outfits have been washed, washed and washed again and with the weather taking a turn for the worst they've been in the tumble dryer too. So far everything has retained it's shape and colour beautifully, a mark of quality in my book. When Curly Girl was a baby I found baby gros often shrank after a couple of washes, useful for us as she was so tiny, but I'd have been annoyed this time around.

I love the philosophy of this brand too -
"We focus our baby clothing around only those things which are essential to you and your baby, making life much simpler and shopping and baby changing stress free! We will guide you through those newborn essential baby clothing products so that you are only buying what you truly need."
Errr... a brand that wants you to only buy what you need? Unusual perhaps, great marketing certainly, but a breath of fresh air nevertheless.

I'd thoroughly recommend The Essential One for newborn clothes. Seriously, when everything else is in chaos around you, it's reassuring to know that even if you can't get out of your PJs before lunchtime, at least your baby is the best dressed one in the house.

Disclosure: We were sent a range of The Essential One's baby clothing for the purposes of this review. No other compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own.

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday
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