User-agent: * Allow: /. Would Like To Be A Yummy Mummy: October 2011

Monday, 31 October 2011

Our Halloween Pumpkin

We had great fun carving a pumpkin this weekend and the girls loved it. Both of them like to get up very close to it and spend ages staring at it. We have used colour changing flameless candles which are great for children. No worries about them knocking it over or getting burnt.

Here's the result:

Karen x

I Am Thinking Myself Slimmer - MUMenTUM

I am so excited to report that I have lost another two pounds this week by just listening to my slimpods from Thinking Slimmer each night......its amazing!

Not only am I losing weight slowly and steadily but I am also looking and feeling better. I feel slimmer, look better in my clothes and have more confidence then I have had in a long time.

Most surprisingly of all is my relationship with chocolate.

Having previously been addicted to it, munching my way through bars of the stuff and craving it when I deprived myself all those times I was dieting. Nowadays, I can take it or leave it...yes you read that right. I can leave chocolate! 

Believe it or not, having not eaten it in weeks, Husband brought home 2 snickers (used to be my fave!) on Thursday afternoon and they were still there Saturday. He ate his and was eyeing mine up a few hours later so I said "have it". Really I did.  I did have a small bite but that was more than enough, I didn't want any more and didn't get that usual rush either. You know the one when you think "wow, chocolate, amazing"!. Honestly that's what I used to think anyway.

So I really am craved of my chocolate addiction and am instead eating 3 sensible meals a day. I don't tend to snack but if I do it is fruit.

Nowadays I am making lots of healthy choices and in my shopping trolley along with all the usual fruit and stuff you will find:

So there you have it, you really can Think Yourself Slimmer....I know I am.

Karen x

Give Britain A Break

Families that holiday together are happier and healthier

This is according to a new All Party Parliamentary Group report - Giving Britain a Break - launched today and supported by the Family Holiday Association and Thomson. 

What do you think? Is this a new realisation? It does make sense I agree!

As a family we are currently getting pretty excited about our first mini break at Christmas.  We have not had a family holiday since our youngest Rosie was born 15 months ago. There are a million reasons why not including financial reasons, husbands time off, worrying about how to manage a toddler and a baby on holiday etc..

Therefore I was really interested when I heard about this report.

New research by Thomson Holidays has shown that:
  • 42% of parents would like to spend more quality time with their children
  • 49% of working parents don’t use all of their holiday allowance
  • Half of 8-12 year old's say they would like to spend more time with Dad
  • 1 in 5 parents can’t take enough time off work to have a holiday
  • and a staggering 49% of workers don’t use all their holiday allowance

Pretty shocking really or is it? We all know that in this financial climate, parents are working longer and harder than ever before but apparently true quality time together is becoming alarmingly rare. This research showed that over a quarter (27%) of parents stated that in an average week they spend less than an hour a day together with  their children - despite almost half saying they wanted to spend more time. 

I am fortunate enough to be able to be a stay at home mum to my girls but during the week Husband only gets to see them for about an hour maybe two if they are lucky. We do however, make sure that weekends when he is not working, we do fun family things and have what we call family days.

Interestingly though:
"its not just the adults who struggle to find enough hours in the day. 2 in 5 reported that often they have set aside time, their children can be unwilling to reciprocate due to clubs, activities and playing with their friends".  

In support of this report, Thomson is creating a Family Charter to put quality time back at the heart of the family, both at home and on holiday. The charter will be developed with leading children’s champion Nicky Cox MBE and editor of award winning children’s newspaper First News, which is read by more than a million UK children every week and their families.

Nicky Cox says “Forget ’me time’ and ‘you time’, what we need now is ‘our time’, together as a family. We are inviting every reader of First News – children, teenagers and parents alike – to indentify the top promises they should make to create quality time together. The Thomson Family Charter will help us all ditch the distractions and dedicate more time to our families. We know it’s tough but let’s find a way of working together as families. It’s not just about parents offering more time, but kids making time too.”

Growing up we always had family holidays and as a young adult with no children or responsibilities, Husband and I gallivanted all over the place. Even with our first baby we managed to go on road trips and exciting holidays. However, since our second has come along we haven't been anywhere except to visit family around the country.

I think that time away from work and home is the perfect way to relax and enjoy each others company. Getting away from it all, spending quality time together and forgetting about your usual worries has got to be good for the family.  I know after reading this it has reminded me why I always used to think holidays were so important and made them a priority.  I am going to make an effort to make sure we get one from now on and am looking forward to our little break even more now.

You might be interested to know that following this research, The Government has identified tourism as one of the five key areas that are best placed to rebuild and rebalance the UK economy.

Karen x

The Thomson research was undertaken on a randomly selected sample of 471 families in the UK with children aged 8-12 years.  Part of the questionnaire required answers by children of respondents; agreement to child participation was given by all adult respondents.  The research was conducted by Kids Industries in October 2011.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Win A Le Toy Van Tea Set

You might have seen a few weeks ago my girls got the opportunity to review a Le Toy Van Tea Set from The Wooden Toy Shop.

It was a definite hit in this house, the girls absolutely loved it! We have enjoyed endless cups of pretend tea and strawberry tart ...delicious!

Fortunately for you guys, I have now been given the chance to give one away as a prize to one of my very lucky readers.

This really is a fantastic prize and would make an excellent Christmas present. Its a gorgeous bright red, white and aqua blue colour which makes it ideal for both little girls and boys too. Made to last, this tea set will bring hours of fun and encourage imaginative play in your little ones.

To Win:

Simply head over to the Wooden Toy Shop Facebook page and like it. While you are there just leave a quick message telling them you were sent by me and come back here to tell me you have done it. Don't forget to leave me a way of contacting you if you are the winner.

For extra entries you can:

1. Follow me by GFC or if you do already, try networked blog or twitter
2. Like my facebook page
3. Tweet the following "I really want to win a gorgeous Le Toy Van tea set with @wouldliketobe and @WoodenToyShopUK"

Just be sure to leave a separate comment for each thing you do.

This competition will run until 7pm Monday 7th November 2011.

Many thanks to the Wooden Toy Shop and good luck to you all.

Karen x

Make Me Yummy and a PR Request

At the start of the year I was a very tired looking Mummy. Run down and shattered, I was far from yummy!

Then I started blogging and a few months later started writing a link each Saturday about my mission to find beauty, fitness or fashion products that work. I called it Make Me Yummy.

These days, despite not being quite a yummy mummy, I am feeling  a million times better about myself. I am not a vain person and do not spend hours in the bathroom, I just do what I can to make myself feel human, a little bit girly and even a bit pretty at times rather than stressed out and worn out as I did before.

With my Pink Lining Yummy Mummy bag over my shoulder, I have a confidence I have not had in a long time. I am far from perfect but feel pretty good. Thanks to Thinking Slimmer and their slimpods, I am losing weight in a safe and healthy way and am starting to think differently about food and my appearance. I am actually starting to like the way I look and am enjoying buying clothes again.

Thanks to Liz Earle I take the time to cleanse, tone and moisturise twice a day now.  My skin has a glow to it it has not had since I was pregnant! 

My black eyes and wrinkles are also improving thanks to some fantastic products I am currently trialling (from Harrods no less), I cant wait to tell you about them very soon.  

My teeth are whiter and brighter too thanks to a new toothpaste and mouthwash by RetarDex 

I am also making time to relax and enjoying warm bubble baths again with lots of lush products (here, here, and here) and a good book!

Its nice to spend a bit of time on myself. I feel more like me again. These days I am looking better, feeling better and sleeping better.

Now for the PR Request!

I have been trialling and reviewing some fantastic products but am on the look out for more. Happy with the beauty products I am currently using on my face, I would be really interested in trialling either some:
  • Fashion products or accessories, 
  • Fitness/ toning products, or 
  • Hair and body products.  
To make the cut, they have to be things that will make us Mummy's feel a bit yummy!

If you are interested in working with me then please feel free to contact me via email. Details are on the PR/Contact form at the top of this page.

Many thanks

Karen x

Friday, 28 October 2011

Autumn Days

It is so easy to stay inside with the heating on and whine about being cold, but today the girls and I needed some fresh air. We wrapped up warm, grabbed the bike and Rosie's reins and headed out for some fun.

We jumped in leaves, ran around, climbed a hill and cycled down it.  It was great fun and we all came inside with flushed cheeks, cold hands and warm smiles. Rosie in particular had great fun, out and about in her new shoes.

Here's a very short video clip:

I love Autumn!

Karen x

Funny Friday

Children say and do the funniest things which is why I love joining in with Mummy Mummy Mum and her fantastic link-up Funny Friday:

This week Poppy has said and done a few funny things but this one really made me chuckle so I wanted to record it.

We were all sat on the sofa having a chat when Poppy announced "just going for a wee, back in a minute" and off she went.

A few minutes later all was quiet and no sign of Poppy

Daddy shouts "Poppy are you all right, what are you doing?"

Poppy shouts back "I'm okay Daddy Just pulling up my knickers"

Then she runs back in the living room whilst trying to pull up her knickers and says:

"These pretty knickers Daddy, want to see?"

Hee hee, only a 3 year old would do that!

Check out Funny Friday yourself for more entries to make you smile or even laugh out loud.

Karen x

Thursday, 27 October 2011

A Very Yummy But Easy Carrot Cake Even Toddlers Can Make

We have been baking again and this time it was a very delicious carrot cake...yummy! In fact as it was soo delicious, we have entered it into Working London Mummy's One Ingredient challenge as this months challenge is carrots.

The ingredients we used were:
  • 240mls vegetable oil
  • 6 medium eggs, lightly whisked
  • 4 medium carrots peeled & grated
  • 180g light brown sugar
  • 1 half tsp vanilla essence
  • 330g self raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon

First pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.

Lightly grease each tray and put them to the side for now.

Put the eggs in a large bowl, add the oil and sugar. Give a stir like so:

Next add in the grated carrot:

Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well:

It wil look something like this:

Divide between your two cake trays like so:

Bake in the oven for 30 - 40 minutes.

Once it is cooked and cooled you can prepare the filling. For this you will need:

  • 200g of cream cheese (we used Philadelphia Light)
  • 2tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Tip: it was pretty yummy but I think next time I would add either a little cinnamon or some orange juice to the mixture.

To make the filling, you just combine all the ingredients in a bowl and give it a good mix:

 You then just literally spread it on and smooth it out:

Very easy, even a three year old can do it as she demonstrates to her Sister:

 The result:


Apparently this was the most amazing cake we have ever baked:

Karen x

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Gallery - Faces

This weeks topic over at the gallery is faces.

Having been given two weeks to do this post I have been thinking long and hard about whose face to use but I kept coming back to my gorgeous little girls.

Their faces can change so much depending what mood they are in so I wanted to share a few of my favourite pics with you.

Sometimes they can be sweet:

Sometimes they can be giggly:

Sometimes they can be inquisitive:

Sometimes they can be cheeky:

Sometimes they can be grumpy:

Sometimes they can be dreamy:

Sometimes they can be adorable:

But most of all they are gorgeous....:

...and they are mine!

I have two gorgeous little girls who I love more than anything and hope that these innocent little faces, go on to lead happy, healthy lives.

Karen x

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Butlins Here We Come!

As a Mum Ambassador for Butlin's I am thrilled to report that we have just booked our first short break away. We will be off to Minehead for three nights in December and are all very excited about it.

When we booked it, we were looking at dates that would fit in with Husbands leave but we are even more excited to discover we are booked in for a Christmas Fantasy break. Poppy is beside herself because she is going to get to meet Father Christmas and his Reindeer too. Even little Rosie dances when I show her the video!

Armed with our flip video camera (courtesy of Butlins) we will be bringing you pictures and videos of Butlins and telling you what we think about it.  As always I will be very honest and will be filling you in on everything from accommodation to food and facilities, entertainment and of course the fun factor!

As a family, we are particularly looking forward to the Splash Waterworld, more so since we have been told that the girls are going to be supplied with their very own custom designed towelling beach robes to wear. Yes you read that properly...custom designed!!

The beach robes are being sent to us by Kids Gowns and Robes and are currently being designed and made especially for them by Giggle Giggle. We are very excited and feel very special as you can imagine. We have even had some input with the choice of material and have gone for a lovely white toweling with a bright pink and turquoise spot. I think the girls will be looking particularly gorgeous as well as nice and cosy when not in the pool. I can't wait to share pictures with you all.

As Husband has been away a lot and been working particularly long hours this year, we are really looking forward to some quality family time together. It might only be three nights but it will be a chance to unwind, relax and enjoy each others company away from home so we cant wait!

Karen x

Monday, 24 October 2011

Thinking Slimmer Has Made My Trousers Fall Down!

So its Monday again and time to report how I am doing with my weight loss.  I have ditched all diets and am purely listening to my Thinking Slimmer slimpods:

After a great a start where I lost 10 1/2 pounds in four weeks I haven't actually lost any this week but I can report that my body is changing shape to the extent that my jeans actually fall down. Not a good look but a very good feeling. I am very definitely back in my size 12s again and this time I am going to stay in them!

I have also noticed that my thinking around food is changing too, I am eating smaller portions, saying no to snacks and going for yoghurt's rather than puddings!  I even made a carrot cake rather than a gooey chocolate one, when Poppy wanted to do some baking this week.

I  am sure I will lose next week.

I have started think that I would like to get back into exercising again this week so watch this space. I am not going to set myself any unrealistic goals though, I am just going to see what happens.

I am feeling really good about losing weight this way. No diets, no excessive exercising, no restricting myself. I eat what I want, when I want but am finding that tends to be healthier meals at meal times. I really do not want my girls to grow up seeing me on a diet all the time so I am going to keep using my slimpods every evening and see what happens.

You will have to come back next week to see how I am doing.

Karen x

Sunday, 23 October 2011

In Search Of The Perfect Dolls House

I am in search of a pretty wooden dolls house, but not just any dolls little Miss has put in a Christmas request!

Poppy would like a pink wooden dolls house with blue windows and flowers above the door....aaaahh so specific!!

Nanny and Gramp's have a small carry one at their house that was brought almost two years ago and not sold any more. She loves it and now wants a bigger version at our house.

I have scanned the internet and not found one quite like this although there are some beautiful ones out there.

I have been on twitter and pointed in the direction of some lovely dolls houses but none have been quite right. Someone even suggested I buy one and paint it but I am really not that crafty and would hate to ruin something so expensive.

I am sure she would love any of them but I want it to be perfect!

Any help will be appreciated.

Karen x

Silent Sunday

Karen x

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Lush Bath Ballistics - Scary Or Yummy?

I was thrilled to arrive home today to a new bath ballistic sent to me by the lovely people at lush. This is a new one to celebrate Halloween and is called Skullduggery.

My regular readers will know that I am a huge fan of lush products so having been up last night with a teething baby, I couldn't wait to get in the bath tonight to test it out.

I must admit, if I had seen this in the shop I probably would have not picked it out because it is not pink and girly looking. However, I am so glad I got to try it and would definitely pick it out now.

It smells heavenly, pretty sweet and candy like. Perfect for this girly girl!  The smell lingers on your skin long after you get out of the bath whilst leaving it  feeling silky smooth to the touch....perfect!

I love Lush products and would recommend them to all Mummy's who want to feel a bit yummier. Once the little ones are in bed fill yourself a bath, drop in a bath ballistic and relax.....lovely. A great way to settle back and recharge the batteries.

There is nothing scary about the price either. At only £2.75 its a little treat that wont cost the earth.

Other products in the range include :

Calacas shower jelly (£2.95)

Lady Catrina Soap (£2.95)

The soap in particular looks gorgeous and I can't wait to try it.

So there you go, more great  products which will make us Mummy's feel a little bit yummier!

Karen x

I was sent one skullduggery bath ballistic for the purpose of this review, but all words and opinions are my own.

Barefoot Shoes - The Next Best Thing To Bare Feet

We all know that barefoot is best but at 15 months old with the Winter drawing in, Rosie needed a pair of shoes.

Bombarded with information on what we should and shouldn't buy I wrote a post. Following that and a bit more research, I found the perfect pair:

Rosie's first shoes

These are barefoot shoes by Livie and Luca and came from Happy Little Soles, a fantastic little company that have been amazingly helpful.

Rosie loves them. She couldn't wait to put them on and happily prances around in them. In fact she couldn't wait to get them on again today to go out and play.

I am really happy that Rosie has a gorgeous pair of shoes and even happier that are the next best thing to her having bare feet! 

Karen x

This is not a sponsored post, we brought these with our own hard earned money but love them so much we wanted to share!

Friday, 21 October 2011

My Daughter Sings Like Phoebe In Friends

Poppy has had me in hysterics the past few weeks. She has started to sing made up songs which are about as good as those of Phoebe in friends.  I decided to share with you a very quick video clip to give you an idea of what I mean:

I am linking this in with Funny Friday the linky over at Mummy Mummy Mum.  Head over there for more funny quotes and conversations people have had with thier little ones recently.

Karen x

We Won A Big Top Cookie Maker

Last week I was very excited to receive a prize I had won over at The Crazy Kitchen.  It was a Big Top Cookie maker.  

We decided to make one straight away to celebrate Daddy coming home for the weekend (after 5 long weeks away). Poppy and I poured over the recipes and decided on a very large but exciting carrot cake one and I wrote all the ingredients down to take to Sainbury's.

Unfortunately I forgot my shopping list and couldn't remember what we needed. I improvised and picked up a chocolate cookie mix.  Although it may not be as impressive as the one we planned, the girls had great fun using it for the first time.

You can see for yourselves how much fun they had in this short slideshow:

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We are going to make the carrot cake one this weekend.

I am linking this in with the linky over at The Crazy Kitchen. I feel a bit of a fraud as we cheated using a packet but for some great recipes or to join in yourself you should check it out:

Karen x

For the record this is not a sponsored post. We just happened to win the big top cookie maker and had great fun using it!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Sleep - Whose in Charge, You Or Your Child?

This week I had a conversation at a toddler group that I just cannot get out of my head.

I happened to mention that I should have thought more carefully about the days and times Poppy attends Preschool because I hadn't taken into account Rosie's change in nap time.  I wasn't really prepared for the responses I got.

I was bombarded with "well the second one just has to fit don't they?" and "some children need less sleep than others" and "after your first you realise that you have to be more flexible and fit naps in when you can" .....what a load of rubbish I couldn't help but think.

Sorry if I offend anyone but I really do believe you can train your children to sleep. Obviously there will be instances when they are unwell, teething, unsettled etc. that messes it up but I am big on routine. I also believe that children sleep better when they are more rested in the day and think it has more to do with parental style than children when they are all over the I said I hope I don't offend but this is what I believe!

Both my girls have been trained the Baby Whisperer way.  I got them in a routine from the very beginning and have never had sleep issues.  From 4 months both girls had two 2 hour long naps and slept 12 hours at night. Two naps then changed into one long 3 hour nap.  This is where we are at now with Rosie.  She currently sleeps from 9.30-11.30 and then goes back down 1.30pm-3pm.

She has been showing signs that she is ready to change to one nice long after noon nap but here comes the problem.

We have to pick up Poppy from Preschool at 3pm on Mon and Weds and at 12am Tues and Thurs.

This means going down for  a nap 12.30-3.30pm wont work and 10-1pm wont work either.  I hate to mix up days but am currently thinking it will be 12.30-3.30pm except on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I could put her down an hour earlier in order to get up in time to get her Sister. All so confusing! That doesn't take into account the afternoon we go to the toddler group.  I guess it is going to be a bit of trial and error.

I do recognise that the second child has to fit into your life and routine more in the beginning but don't think that they should always been the one to compromise as they are growing up.  If I had thought about it more in advance I might have put Poppy in Pre-School every morning, letting her Sister sleep every afternoon. This is all I was trying to say.

My gorgeous little girl sleeping

Karen x

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Review Of The Le Toy Van Honeybake Tea Set

The very lovely people at the Wooden Toy Shop have kindly sent us the Le Toy Van Honeybake Tea Set  to review.

Le Toy Van Honeybake Tea Set
My regular readers will know that we love all things pretty and girly in this house and this really is a beautiful tea set fit for a Princess (or Princesses in this case).

The set includes  2 cups and saucers, a spoon, tea pot and tea bag, a milk jug and cake all presented on a lovely tray. It really is gorgeous. The colours are pretty and vibrant and the pieces are well made and sturdy/ heavy compared to some of the plastic/ flimsy ones I have seen. Although we have only had it a few weeks I can tell it is going to last. 

Not only is it nice to look at, it has captured the imagination of my eldest (aged 3).  I could watch  her play with toys like this for hours. We have enjoyed dolls tea parties, teddy bear picnics and of course Mummy and Daddy have been made endless cups of tea and enjoyed fresh strawberry tart. Its wonderful.

Here are a few pictures of my girls playing with it:

Although is says for age 3+, Rosie is only 15 months and happily plays with it too. She enjoys copying her Sister and even plays along drinking a nice cup of pretend tea:

If they wanted to add anything it would be a sugar bowl but this may have been intentional to not encourage children to take sugar.

We love it and give it a huge 9/10. Another fantastic traditional wooden toy from Wooden Toy Shop.

Karen x