Bella Italia – how it stands up as a family friendly restaurant

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We decided to treat ourselves to a meal out this bank holiday weekend along with my Mum and brothers and visited Bella Italia the Silverlink restaurant. I’ve always been a big fan of Bella Italia restaurants, the food is always delicious but a little on the pricey side so it would usually be reserved for special occasions, but as I had received a third off voucher via email, and husband had a gift voucher left over from his birthday – this was the restaurant of choice!

Since there were 6 of us, and it was a bank holiday weekend, I booked in advance and needn’t have had as the place was surprisingly very quiet when we arrived at 2:30. The staff were very friendly, were waiting for our arrival and we got sat down straight away in a booth with fully adequate high chair for the little guy. We were handed our menus and I for one was starving having come straight from work so was more than ready to get stuck in! Read more

From crawling to walking! A survival guide

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My son is just starting to walk. To be honest, I didn’t really actively encourage this, as crawling is a nightmare enough, let alone having to actually run after him! But a few days before his first birthday he did it! His first, very shaky, step. He’s 12 and a bit months now and still isn’t walking confidently, but he definitely has it in his head now, every now and then he’ll warn us he’s ‘going for it’ by making a Chewbacca type noise, a huge toothy grin and stagger like a drunken zombie in our general direction! And then everyone in the room must stop what they’re doing to clap and marvel at his achievement. Read more

Preparing for a Centre Parcs holiday with a 1 year old! Tips and how I am preparing for the trip.

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So, in 3 weeks time we’re off for our first threesome family holiday…and to say I’m excited is an understatement! We’re playing it safe and not venturing abroad just yet, I literally can’t imagine anything worse than attempting a flight with Jacob who literally can’t stop still, ever, instead we’re heading to our local Centre Parcs! What could possible go wrong….

We’ve visited Centre Parcs before and we’re big fans, the past few times we’ve been to the Sherwood Forest location and really loved it, but this time we’re staying closer to home and visiting Whinfell Forest in Cumbria, a short but sweet Friday – Monday break. A few friends have said that this one is probably the better for smaller kids as it doesn’t get as manic in the pool etc. Let’s hope the little one agrees!

Heres my tips and how I’m preparing… Read more

Our rainy day soft play!

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Today was a hideous day. Grey, cold, teaming rain – that horrid fine rain that wisps in all directions so no matter what you’re going to get wet. With that, plus half term next week (when all the big ones take over), plus the fact my son has been waking up at 6am each morning. I decided to do, admittedly not my favourite activity with the rugrat, give the cats a break, and try to tire him out with a trip to the soft play.

We eventually arrived around midday after nap time and the place was fairly quiet which was nice. In my rush to get off I didn’t think my sock choice through and realised when I got there I was sporting very unseasonal, bright red Rudolph socks… Read more

Birthday Boys’ Celebrations!

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So, my son, my firstborn baby, is one year old. One whole year old! There’s a bittersweet poignancy to this – on one hand I can’t believe it, the time has gone so fast, he has grown so quick and I literally can’t remember him being a tiny baby. But on the other hand, I’m so incredibly proud of all he’s achieved, I just can’t imagine my life before he existed and can’t wait for him to grow more and learn more and all the other ‘firsts’. Sentimentality behind, this momentous occasion needed big celebrations – and celebrate we did!

We decided early on that we were going to have a joint first birthday and christening party, being born in May surely the weather would be nice and as my other half is from Lincolnshire is meant his family only had one journey to make. I’m not particularly religious but I still wanted felt I wanted him to be christened and whatever he believes religion wise when he’s older is entirely up to him. We bought little man a very smart trouser, shirt and waistcoat combo with little bow tie from Next and he looked very dapper indeed! Unlike me who 20 minutes before we had to leave pulled my only pair of tights on and low and behold my nail-less fingers managed to rip a huge ladder in them! Great – scabby legs on show then! The service was lovely and he was extremely well behaved, it was a double christening and when the first baby (a teeny little girl) got pretty soaked my heart sank, there’s no way he’s going to be having this I thought, but actually he wasn’t bothered at all and just extremely perplexed by the whole situation!

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Baby immunisations – what you need to know

Baby immunisations although unpleasant are extremely important help your baby avoid the opportunity of getting particularly nasty and fatal diseases. Some of the immunisations come in injection form, usually into the thighs, and some are given orally by a non tasting solution by syringe.

Here’s the breakdown of what to expect and when. Read more

Why Sunday afternoons are my favourite part of the week

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Before having a baby I worked the bog standard 9-5. I used to work alternative  weekends but in general I still got that ‘Friday feeling’ and loved Saturday’s shopping, cinema, meals out etc. Sunday’s we’d normally go around to my Mums for Sunday lunch, or out to the local carvery and Sunday afternoons those Sunday blues would sink in. I’d spent a lot of the evening pretty miserable, for no real reason – I didn’t mind my job, but would still have than sunken feeling. Looking back I was wasting a large proportion of my weekend feeling down about the upcoming week, which I now definitely regret.

When you’re on maternity leave there are no Sunday’s, everyday is the weekend and, although you have many challenges, life is great! Now I’ve returned to work weekend mornings only, it was a difficult decision and isn’t perfect, but at the moment it works for our family. I can look after our son Monday – Friday and he can have valuable daddy time at the weekends. It also saves money on expensive childcare arrangements so whatever I do earn can go straight into the families pot.

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Celebrity Babies and Social Media

You can’t buy any glossy mag at the moment without another celebrity with a new baby or pregnancy announcement – there seems to be a constant baby boom amongst the rich and famous! Little do these little bundles of joy know they are going to be spoilt beyond their wildest dream and treat to all the best toys their hearts desire!

Attitudes towards celebrity babies differ, I personally don’t follow celebrity culture, and I’m not particularly bothered about paying good money to see their Mini Me faces plastered all over the latest OK magazine. Yet some people strive on being up to date with the latest A-listers news! Attitudes within the celebrity world differ too, some celebs are more than happy to keep their baby secret and be paid a high price (I imagine) to release the first photos to the highest glossy page bidder, Katy Price for instance, her children are very much a part of her brand, she isn’t shy about including them in photo-shoots, or her TV programme. Others are the opposite and will take injunctions against anyone who dares ‘pap’ their child, Adele is a prime example, she asserts her son is not ‘public property’ and won a high court case against paparazzi who sold photos of her boys ‘milestone moments’. Then there’s those inbetweeners, those who don’t hide their offspring away but will involve them if its appropriate to do so, celeb chefs are a prime example of this, Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey and Nigella have all had their children feature in their shows.

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Has my child got oral thrush? How? And what can I do about it?

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Oral thrush sounds very unpleasant and can be rather unsightly- but rest assured it is extremely common in babies and toddlers, and only causes mild discomfort if caught early.

How do I know if my baby has oral thrush? 

Because the thrush is in babies mouth its sometimes difficult to spot straight away, you might notice when your baby cries or laughs their tongue, inside lips and mouth is tinged white. This could just be milk residue, but if it’s unusual for your baby, persists or gets worse, or is accompanied by white spots then its best to get checked out.

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