A weekend in Gotham *Review

A few weeks ago, Mr K and I celebrated 5 years of married bliss. After our, quite frankly, disastrous wedding, 3 house moves, 2 children and numerous other emotionally trying life events, we decided to splurge out and really treat ourselves. Let’s be honest, I would have been happy with a travelodge if it meant a whole weekend of uninterrupted sleep but Mr K was insistent that we be spoilt! My parents offered to have the children for a whole weekend and so we set about planning our luxury mini break.

Manchester was the decided destination. With cocktail bars galore, every cuisine imaginable and an overwhelming choice of decadent hotels, it was the perfect place for our celebratory getaway.   We narrowed down our accommodation choices to The Hilton and Hotel Gotham. It was a tough choice but after much deliberation, Hotel Gotham had the edge. Luxurious without being corporate, themed without being tacky, exclusive without being snobby.

Housed in a stunning stone, listed building on King Street, this former premises of The Midland Bank is perfectly situated in the city centre. Surrounded by celebrity restaurants and only a short walk to Deansgate, Spinningfields, The Arndale and Picadilly Station, it really does have a prime location. Upon arrival we were offered a complimentary welcome cocktail. I have no idea what was in it but it was delicious! Check in was pleasantly efficient and even though we were early, our room was ready for us.

seating area of Wilson Suite (excuse our mess)


We had gone to town and treated ourselves to a small suite and I’m pleased to say that it did not disappoint. Grey and black decor with hot pink accents is not the usual hotel standard but it really worked, setting a slightly gothic yet decadent ambience. Thoughtful touches such as a range of magazines, books and even ‘proper’ milk in the fridge were much appreciated. These may seem like small details but it is the small details that set a hotel apart from all the others.

extremely comfortable bed


The wide (yet strangely short) bed was probably one of the comfiest beds that I have ever slept in. In fact, if I could have taken that mattress home with me I would have! Unfortunately though it wouldn’t fit in the swag bag (a bag you can fill with momentos from the room and pay for at reception – anything from mini bar products to the throw on the bed). I had intended to treat myself to the espresso cups on departure but in our last minute packing rush I completely forgot. Maybe I can persuade Mr K to take me back so that I can ‘swag’ them.


The bathroom was large but, as much as I appreciated the extra large shower, I did miss a bath. There is just something about relaxing in a bubble bath in a posh hotel.

Breakfast was included in our package. We had the option of having it in our room at no extra charge but we decided to be social and go to the restaurant. A continental buffet alongside a choice of cooked breakfast meant that we left each morning rather full and not in need of any lunch. It also, most certainly, helped the hangover! Staff were friendly and service was quick but not rushed. This warm efficiency was evident throughout the hotel and in fact continued after our stay when my phone charger was returned to me a few days after we returned home (silly me having left it plugged in the room).

Mr K and I thoroughly enjoyed our anniversary weekend and we are very glad that we chose Hotel Gotham. When Mr K first suggested it as a destination I had visions of Batman and Joker motifs staring at me from the walls! It couldn’t be farther from that. The hotel is complete tasteful luxury. All in all I can honestly say that I would recommend it to anyone wanting a luxury stay. 

Our stay at Hotel Gotham was entirely paid for ourselves and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Image credit – http://www.hotelgotham.co.uk/

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Mummy Guilt


Where have the past 8 (nearly 9) months gone? Seriously, how have they passed so quickly? It honestly doesn’t seem that long ago since baby girl was born and now she is growing up with frightening speed!

Over the past month and a half she has started to pull herself up to standing and can now crawl at the speed of light. Come on now child, slow down! Please!

I love that she is learning new things and I am incredibly proud of her when she masters a hard practised skill. It just scares me if I am honest. It scares me that these days, when my children are young and need me, are flying by and I worry that I am not making the most of them. I am not making the most of the time I get to play with my children, or cuddle my children, or read with my children. Instead I get frustrated that baby boy wants me to do a jigsaw with him when I am trying (and failing) to clean the kitchen. I get annoyed when baby girl won’t stop crying and just wants to be held when I am trying (and failing) to hang the washing out. Instead of revelling in the time I have with my babies and making the most of every single second, new skill and milestone, I am stressing about things that need to be done and aren’t getting done. In short I am missing out on my gorgeous children.

The funny thing is that I haven’t even gone back to work yet. I am still at home full time and yet I feel like I am missing out! That obviously then sets off a new worry about being a full time working mum and missing out on even more things. My god, the guilt is everywhere!

The next few weeks before I start my job are going to be hectic but I really need to slow down and spend some quality time with my beautiful, perfect children. They deserve my time and full attention whilst we have the opportunity. Things are going to be very different soon and I can’t help but feel sad and slightly resentful that someone else is going to spend the majority of time with my babies.

Mummy guilt is hard!

Weeeeeeee in the potty


For over a week now we have been attempting to encourage baby boy to use the potty. We have had some success yet I am constantly feeling that it is a 1 step forward and 2 steps back process! I have reached the point now where I can honestly say that I hate potty training with a passion! Right now, at this point in time, I don’t care if he wears a nappy for the rest of his life (the very small still rational part of me is screaming ‘you don’t mean that’ but I am ignoring her).

We have had a degree of success, like I said though. Baby boy will happily use the potty as long as he is not wearing any pants. As long as his bottom half is naked he will sit himself down and then proudly tell all and sundry that he has done a big wee or poo. He then gets a little sweet (I am not above bribery). Brilliant! Put some underwear on him however and he doesn’t even try. He just goes in his pants. Arggggghhh! It’s great that we have made some progress but seriously, he can’t just walk around naked forever! We do actually have to leave the house.

One of the worst parts of this whole process is that baby boy has discovered that he can wee on purpose if he wants to and he finds it hilarious. I call it revenge weeing and it goes like this: ‘Stop hitting your sister’ = wee on the floor. ‘No, you can’t have the bricks out until the cars have been tidied away’ = wee on the floor. ‘Eat your lunch before you have a biscuit’ = wee on the floor. I am sick to death of cleaning up wee and poo!

It’s at times like these in your child’s life that everyone around you seems to have done a better job than you. ‘My child was potty trained by 12 months’ or ‘my child potty trained in 3 days’. Well good for you and your exceptional toileting child! I know that it will get easier and that one day it will just click but my god it feels like this hell will never end! 

How did you go about potty training your child? Any tips?

Ass into gear!

I am fat! There, I said it. I don’t like the fact that I am fat. In fact I hate it. But fat I am nonetheless.

I wasn’t always fat. I was actually a very healthy weight up until I went to university, not that I thought it. I had a terrible body image and throughout my teenage years I would go on all sorts of fad diets. I look back now and wonder what on earth I was thinking!

So anyway, I really am fat now and I need to get my ass into gear and do something about it. I joined slimming world a few months ago and lost just over a stone in a month. I then hit a wall! I just lost all motivation. I went back last week and although I have been good this week, my motivation is still awol.

Now people can tell me until they are blue in the face that it is easy to lose weight but do you know what, I don’t find it easy. I know that I have to eat less, eat better and do more exercise. I know that! It’s easier said than done though. I can go to bed with all the will in the world and the determination to get up half an hour earlier the next morning to work out before the children wake up. 2 night feeds, countless dummy trips and a screaming toddler later the workout is literally forgotten. I honestly mean that I have no recollection of my intention the previous evening. The eating is another big issue. Some days it goes well and I stick to my healthy meal plans and feel amazing. The next day, by the time I have made breakfast for baby boy, fed baby girl, made more breakfast for baby boy, cleared up the mess that baby girl threw all over the floor, stopped the tantrum that baby boy started over his toast being the wrong shape and then put baby girl down for a nap, I am either no longer hungry or I have to leave the house to go out. This pattern can carry on all day! I then get myself into a mad panic about the fact that if this is how things are now then how much worse will they be when I go back to work in September?! It sounds like I’m making excuses but I’m just telling it how it is.

I envy the women who have their sh*t together. The women who can fit in a run before the children wake up. The women who make healthy meals for the whole family (and those meals are actually eaten). The women who haven’t let life get the better of them! The women who are actually fit and healthy!

I envy them and salute them! I however am stuck in a rut with very little light at the end of the tunnel!

Image credit – http://www.someecards.com

Allergy Weaning

Weaning: it’s a marmite topic! Some parents love it yet some parents hate it. I am well and truly in the hate it camp (weaning that is, not marmite – I love marmite). Weaning baby boy was difficult and stressful but weaning baby girl has opened up a whole new world of torture.

Baby girl has cows milk protein allergy as well as a possible soya allergy. Until I started weaning this time around I had no idea just how many foods contained milk or milk products. Soya is even worse! These things hide themselves in the unlikeliest of places. I find myself checking the ingredients on product packaging like a mad woman. I must have checked every single loaf of bread in Morrisons last week before literally throwing the last one back on the shelf and stalking off, muttering obscenities under my breath. I eventually found one in Aldi. Now before anyone even thinks of saying the words ‘Free From’ to me, I refuse to pay over £2 for what is the equivalent of half a loaf of (foul tasting) bread.

Baby girl has mostly been consuming fruit and vegetables so far. You can’t go wrong with fruit and vegetables I thought. And then she reacted to peas! Peas! So now, not only am I checking labels for any trace of milk and soya but we have added peas to the list of ingredients to look out for as well. Also, did you know that some chickens are fed soya which can then lead to a reaction when the chicken is eaten? No? Neither did I! If I were at all organised I would just save myself the trouble and make everything from scratch. Unfortunately it is not often that I am in domestic goddess/supermum mode (I still need my mum to come and help me get my house in a presentable condition).

Some people moan about the mess when weaning. That part doesn’t bother me. In fact I quite like to watch my children have a play with their food, it is good for their development. I once tipped a pot of chocolate yogurt onto baby boy’s highchair tray and let him go wild. We both enjoyed that one. The bit about weaning that I don’t like is, well it’s just the weaning in general. The worrying over how much they are eating, whether it is healthy enough, whether there is too much salt, whether that particular food is going to cause an allergic reaction etc etc.

I try my best to make at least 1 family meal a day that we can all sit down and enjoy together. Catering for no milk and soya has its issues though and I am running out of ideas. If there are any chefs out there interested in a 7 day a week, unpaid position, please get in contact! Until then I will just muddle through and hope that my children, by some miracle, don’t grow up to be the world’s fussiest eaters.

Have you weaned children with allergies? Any tips?

Diary of an imperfect mum