Monday, 23 May 2016

Six month baby update

Having a baby the first six months
It's been a while since I wrote about Noah (the last time was six weeks in, if you haven't read my first six weeks post have a look here). 

Where did the last six months go! I blinked and they flew by. One thing for sure is he's gotten very big (I now have biceps that a Grecian wrestler would be proud of from all the lugging around I do) and it's true what people say they grow in front of your eyes. Each day he can do something new, current talents, he can roll over, sit upright, has developed quite the little cheeky character and flirts with every lady he sees. He also has a penchant for stealing other babies toys that he has taken a liking too. 
Having a baby
His blue eyes are very characterful and give away exactly what he is thinking. He's a real socialite interacting, cooing and babbling with anyone who comes into view. 

He has also just started eating and as the child of a foodie has quite the appetite. Current favourites include carrot and parsnip, sweet potato, pea and broccoli and peaches, banana and strawberry. 
Baby weaning
He is however a very messy eater, so we will need to work on his table manners. 
Six month baby update
I can't wait to be able to cook more for him as he experiments with food. Who knows I might even do a weaning post with some recipes.  

I absolutely love being a mummy, the love I have for Noah is overwhelming, there really isn't anything I wouldn't do to make our little man happy. I won't lie it is bloody hard work and there have been many moments of self doubt and wondering if I'm cut out for what sometimes feels like the hardest job in the world. The hours are long, there isn't any free time for good behaviour and I get hardly any sleep. 

Noah had really bad reflux, so on a good night he slept about six hours maximum and this is in one hour fifty stints so my sleep was really broken. He wakes at five thirty and that's it, he wants to be up. I regularly go two nights a week with little to no sleep. You'll be amazed to learn that you can still function, and have a sense of humour with it.

You will meet parents who seem to have it all, the perfect birth, a baby that sleeps, is the first to do everything and you will feel sometimes like you have done something wrong. You haven't, babies are all different, will do things at different points and trust me they all have their moments.

Noah has quite the social life with lots of activities during the week, favourites have been Hartbeeps, which is a musical, singing and interactive play session.

Baby actiivties
Other highlights are sing and sign and swimming. There are wonderful sessions at local churches and libraries too. Unsure what your local area does get on google or join your local NCT

Finding any time for yourself as a mummy is impossible, my hair, nails and fitness have all gone to pot. I have however found Jelly Belly, a buggy fitness programme which for an hour each week means I can attempt to do some fitness and keep my sanity (that is if Noah doesn't try and play sabotage!).

I'm really looking forward to the next six months of exciting adventures that await us and watching my little man grow and develop. 

Thank you all for your love, support and interest during his first few months. 

Next week I will be sharing some tips on what I have learnt in the first six months of being a parent. If you have any advice or tips you would like to share do so in the comments below.  
Having a baby

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Monday, 2 May 2016

My Little Box - March

My Little Box
So far I've received five My Little Subscription Boxes, I've been really impressed with the variety of beauty and lifestyle surprises received. If you haven't read my earlier posts reviewing the first three boxes have a look here and here

Each month the My Little Box takes on a different theme. March's theme was that of bubbles, the box and all the items enclosed embraced all things big, bubbly and bright. 
My Little Box
The box design screams the eighties, retro roller-skates, pastel colours, backcombed hair and LA Gear trainers to me. 

Contained in the box was a sample size Givenchy's Noir Couture Volume Mascara. The full size comes in blue and black costing £25. 
Givenchy's Noir Couture Volume Mascara
The first thing I noticed on opening the mascara was the innovative brush shape, it might look a little odd but one thing is for sure it definitely adds volume and length. It really helped to plumb and define my lashes.
Givenchy's Noir Couture Volume Mascara
I loved this sample, it's the perfect size for travelling and has a lovely rich formula adding an intense shade of black. I have been faithful to my Yves Saint Laurent mascara for many years but I will definitely be buying the Givenchy when it runs out.

The next beauty offering you could easily mistake for the Beauty Blender but you would be wrong, this is produced by My Little Corner and will hopefully prove to be its better mini cousin (worth £7). 
Beauty Blender
Whilst this is the perfect size product for travelling, I personally found the density of the sponge too difficult to smoothly apply foundation, even when wet. But I'm sure with a bit of perseverance my technique will improve.   

Next up was Bubble Blush (worth £10), a lovely pink colour that can be used as both a lip and cheek tint. 
Liquid Blush

Now I'm not normally a fan of tints as the consistency is too runny, this however has a lovely creamy consistency and the perfect shade for summer. 

Next up a sample size of the cult soap free cleansing wash Garancia Pschitt Magic
Face wash
This year it celebrates ten years and I can easily see how this is a favourite product of many. As you know I like beauty products that are hassle free and this ticks those boxes, just wet your face pump the soft mouse and gently wash over your face. 

I have nearly used up the whole of this sample and it has done wonders to remove my dead skin and best of all is suitable for my sensitive skin. This is a definite repurchase. 
I can never have too many brushes round the house, as I am constantly loosing them. The inclusion of this pastel blue brush was very welcomed (worth £11).
hair brush
I doubt very much that it will help with the bad hair days but it looks lovely. 

Overall another wonderful box, next month will be the penultimate on the current subscription. The My Little Box is £11 a month plus £3.95 postage and packaging.

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Friday, 8 April 2016

Barbecoa restaurant

Barbecoa Restaurant
Many of you who have been reading this website for a while will know, I grew up watching Jamie Oliver on television. His love of food was infectious, it spilled out of the television screen and made me want to cook. His approach to cooking very much models my own, there are no rules, you use the best local produce and flavourings to create wonderfully uncomplicated food.  

Barbecoa restaurant, which Jamie opened in 2010 is very much founded on these principles, where the in-house butcher picks the very best British meats and uses traditional fire based cooking techniques from all over the world to create wonderful barbecued steaks. 

When I was invited to visit the restaurant I didn't have to think twice. Having a love of steak I was keen to visit and see if the restaurant could challenge some of its top steak restaurant counterparts

Trying to have a meal out with a small baby can be quite the logistical challenge. Everything has to be timed perfectly, feeds, nappie changes and sleep. Any delays and all hell breaks loose. Despite these challenges so far as a family we have had some great meals out with Noah.

On the day of visiting Barbecoa however the logistical challenges came from a different source, we were fraught with London underground travelling nightmares (lifts, escalators and lines not working), running late and arriving in the rain the restaurant was extremely gracious and had held the table. 
The first thing that you notice entering Barbecoa is the restaurants high volted ceilings with floor to ceiling glass windows. It has breathtaking views overlooking the magnificent  St Paul's Cathedral
Jamie Oliver restaurants
St Paul's
Perusing the drinks menu we begin to relax, watching the drizzle fall on the beautiful St Paul's cathedral and spying on the chefs in the open planned kitchen hard at work. 
Jamie Oliver
Having not had a drop of alcohol for many months, I opted for the Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve champagne (£11.50). The other half opts for a tawny Port and glass of La Rioja Alta 'Vina Alberdi' Reserva 2008 (£11).
From a quick glance at the menu I can already see that the restaurant has lots of starters and mains that I would happily like to eat. 

I decide to keep with the meat theme and choose the coal seared beef carpaccio fillet with Artichoke, salted Ricotta, lemon and thyme (£12). 
I love beef carpaccio and have finished off a fair few over the years. The addition of the roasted artichoke and salted Ricotta are very welcome. 

My dining companion opts for the Salmon and Tuna Ceviche with meat radish and citrus red chilli glaze (£14). 
I'm reliably informed that the citrus and red chilli glaze is a perfect accompaniment and very flavoursome. 

I found the picking of my main a challenge, as the restaurant had a number of things that I would happily have liked to try. But after considerable wavering and constant changing of my mind, I opt for the fillet steak with smoked béarnaise, herb salad and bone marrow (£35).

Jamie Oliver

My steak is perfectly cooked, medium rare and has a wonderful charcoal flavour, whilst still maintaining a lovely moist meat. The addition of béarnaise sauce and red pickled onions to the herb salad are delicious. 

There is something very primal about a T-Bone steak and my dining companions choice doesn't disappoint. 
Whilst for a steak it is expensively priced at £40, it is huge in size and packs a punch in flavour. 

To accompany my steak the choice of side is easy, it has to be beef dripping chips (£4). My dining companion found the choice slightly harder so opted for two sides, coal roasted sweet potato with sage and chilli (£4) and charred broccoli (£4).
I have to be honest that I found the chips rather disappointing they were rather bland, the vegetables on the other hand were superb. Broccoli has never tasted so good, the addition of miso and almonds were delicious.  

The service throughout diner is attentive without being intrusive and the spacing between courses was perfect. 

At this point in proceedings and given the quantity of food we have consumed I would normally begrudgingly leave the restaurant.   

Although stuffed, for the benefit of the blog I push through and order dessert. Noah however is simply too full and decides to lay this one out. 
My dining companion however really doesn't take much persuading, picking the lemon meringue (£8.50).
First thing to say is that the dessert is gorgeous looking. It has just the right amount of tartness and crunch from the meringues.  

I settle on a refreshing ice cream rhubarb crumble sundae. 
Jamie Oliver
Barbecoa offers really wonderful food, with great service and breathtaking views. The restaurant offers a superb lunch menu Monday-Saturday (12-5 pm), two courses £22 and three courses £27.

Embrace your inner cave man and pay a visit to Barbecoa you really won't be disappointed. 

One New Change, 
20 New Change, London, 
Square Meal Barbecoa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Other restaurants from Jamie Oliver:
Jamie's Italian Restaurant Review

Our meal was complimentary for the purposes of this review, but this is an honest and fair reflection of the restaurant and our meal. If you are in search of a wonderful steak then look no further.

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Friday, 18 March 2016

PostPartum Hair

During the second trimester of pregnancy my hair went through a wonderful rebirth, due to higher levels of oestrogen, its overall condition improved, it became thicker, grew quicker and looked much healthier. I presume this is what people mean when they say you look glowing in the later stages of pregnancy. 
Pregnancy hair
The glossy sheen on my locks was very much welcomed, but sadly didn't last long post birth. When Noah was around ten weeks my hair reverted back to looking rather sorry for itself, it looked dull and began to fall out in large amounts (this is the only time I have ever been thankful for thick locks!).  

I've always wanted to try the Philip Kingsley's Elasticizer (£30) based on its rave reviews, but was never really able to justify the price which is expensive for what is essentially a conditioner. How wrong I was though. When my hair started to look lifeless and fell out on mass every time I brushed it, I decided it was time to treat myself and purchased the Geranium and Neroli version of the elasticizer. 
Philip Kingsley
It came with a wonderful candle that smelt divine and made the room in which it was burning wonderfully floral. 

Philip Kingsley's Elasticizer
When applying the conditioner you have two choices, it can be used as a luxurious over night pre conditioning shampoo, in which you wet your hair and apply the elasticize to the mid lengths and ends of your hair. The other option is as a ten minute regenerator prior to washing your hair, applying in the same way. 

I wasn't that keen on having wet hair over night so I went for the ten minute application prior to washing my hair. The first thing to say is that the elasticize has a wonderful floral and citrus fragrance, with lavender, orange and rose oils. It almost smells too good to put on your hair. After applying and leaving for ten minutes I used my new Pureology shampoo and conditioner. 
Pureology has specifically been created to help coloured treated hair, it is sulfate free and 100% Vegan free. 
I opted for the hydrating shampoo and conditioner. The shampoo is a brilliant purple colour and feels wonderfully creamy, the conditioner on the other hand has a minty scent that made my hair feel very clean. 

Well what is there to say you really do get what you pay for, my hair with the use of all three products just once has never felt so good. 

I wanted to not like the Elasticizer because of the price but it really is a hair saviour, my hair after just one use was softer, bouncier and full of shine. 

Have you used either product? Any tips for bringing hair back to life?

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