Brelfie Craze


There is a new craze doing the rounds at the moment – The Tree of Life Brelfie. For those of you who don’t know what a brelfie is, it is a breastfeeding selfie. These pictures use an app called PicsArt to superimpose a tree with roots onto a breastfeeding picture before using different art styles to add an effect to the picture. 

They are incredible pictures to look at but I have to admit that I was dubious at first. I was worried that despite being visually stunning and despite being a symbol of a proud mother, they would soon just become the latest fuel on the fire of the whole breast vs formula feeding debate. Usually calm and centred women would once again become enraged because they perceived a beautiful picture to be slighting their choice of feeding. Now due to a number of issues I formula fed my children exclusively after the first few weeks and I was at times shamed for this. However, I really do not see the need for any such debate or  ill feeling. Babies need to be fed and as long as they are fed then end of story!

I will happily say that I have so far been wrong in my prediction. All of the pictures that I have seen have been viewed as the beautiful, life affirming, proud mummy moments that they were meant to be. And so do you know what, I decided to do my own. Even though it didn’t work out for me, I did try. I am proud that I tried. I never got a picture of me feeding baby boy but I did get one of me feeding baby girl and so I am celebrating that fact! I am a proud mother!

Share your brelfies proudly ladies!

Mother in Law or Monster in Law?


We’ve all heard the Mother in Law jokes. You know the ones:

What is the difference between outlaws and in-laws? Outlaws are wanted. 

What’s the punishment for bigamy? Two mothers-in-law.

I used to think that Mother in Law jokes were just a bit of a cliche. That they didn’t really have a grounding but were the result of too much stereotypical daytime TV. Endora from Bewitched for example is the ultimate stereotypical Mother in Law. I mean you have to ignore the magical background but looking past that she pretty much sums up the whole Mother in Law image portrayed by many a spouse. Now I am quite an active participant on online parenting groups and forums and I cannot believe some of the stories I hear about Mother in Laws. From interfering in parenting decisions to openly telling their child to get a divorce, the sheer audacity of these women is mindblowing. One woman who posted was seriously contemplating a divorce if her Mother in Law didn’t stop calling her ‘the barren one’ and telling her husband that he should leave her for someone fertile (they weren’t even trying for a baby!).

It is whilst reading these comments, written by sometimes desperate women, that I realise just how lucky I am! My Mother in Law is amazing! I’m sorry if you were expecting, or wanting, me to rant about her, to moan about the awful things she does and says or tell you how terrible she is to be around. I’m afraid that I can’t do that. I can’t do that because my Mother in Law is actually lovely. She does not fit the stereotypical Mother in Law image at all. 

So here are 10 reasons why I love my Mother in Law:

1. She is kind, fun and caring. 

2. She treats me like a daughter.

3. She lets me moan to her when life is rubbish. 

4. She is a godsend when I need a few hours break from the children.

5. She never interferes in my parenting decisions (although I’m sure she would like to sometimes when i’m doing an awful job of it). 

6. She never tells me off about my messy house.

7. She doesn’t tell me that I don’t look after her son well enough.

8. She is a fabulous baker (and doesn’t judge when I eat more than 1 slice of cake).

9. She loves my children unconditionally.

10. She is the reason I have my husband!

This Sunday, 23rd October, is National Mother in Law Day (fairly sure this might just be in America but as we usually end up stealing most of their traditions anyway, let’s just go with it) and so as we sit down to our Sunday roast let’s raise a glass to all of the amazing Mother in Laws. Here’s to you fabulous women who have defied the stereotypical image and who treat your child’s spouse like the family they are. You are great! And to my Mother in Law, a great big thank you. Thank you for raising the man I married and thank you for welcoming me to your family. I appreciate you more than you will ever know.

Image credit – https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/245401881/in-law-card-funny-mother-in-law-card?ref=shop_home_active_74

Car Seats – know the law!


There are certain topics that are always sure to start a debate (or argument) amongst parents. Forward facing car seats is one of those hot topics. Now I am a keen advocate of extended rear facing car seats (my first post on the subject). Baby boy has a car seat that will keep him rear facing until roughly the age of 5 and baby girl will have the same. These car seats have been shown to be 5x safer in the event of an accident and the crash test footage, for me, just confirms my choice. That being said, if a parent chooses to move their child to a forward facing seat at a younger age then that is up to them. No one should judge or condemn them as it is a valid parenting choice – AS LONG AS IT IS LEGAL!

Over the past year I have heard so many parents say that they don’t understand which car seat to use. There are countless posts on social media and parenting forums asking for car seat advice and twice as many answers giving bad advice! I am shocked at how many parents don’t know the law with regards to car seats!

On 1st April 2015, i-Size (a European safety standard – ECE R129) became official UK legislation. I personally don’t feel that this law has been properly explained to parents and it certainly hasn’t had the media coverage that it needed. There are far too many people who either have no idea of its existence or just don’t fully understand it. The i-Size law means that children using a height based car seat (i-Size car seat) must stay rear facing in this seat until they are at least 15 months old. At the moment this only applies to i-Size car seats so don’t start to worry if your 12 month old is forward facing in a non i-Size seat. However, if you do have an i-Size car seat and your child is facing forward earlier than 15 months old then you are breaking the law.

Some i-size car seats:

Maxi Cosi Two Way Pearl, Maxi Cosi Axissfix, BeSafe iZi iSize, BeSafe Modular, Joie iAnchor, Nuna Rebl, Concord Reverso.

http://www.goodeggcarsafety.com

If you don’t have an i-Size car seat then the ECE R44/04 law still applies. This law allows your child to use a forward facing car seat once they weigh at least 9kg. If your child is in a forward facing car seat below this weight limit then you are breaking the law!

It really is that simple. If you have an i-Size seat your child stays rear facing until 15 months and if you don’t have an i-Size seat then they  must rear face until they weigh at 9kg.

Now as I said, I am a firm believer in children rear facing until at least age 4 and if you want your child to stay rear facing for longer that’s great. There are some fantastic extended rear facing car seats on the market now and they are becoming increasingly budget friendly! However, if you choose to have your child forward face that’s fine. It is completely your decision. Just know and follow the law!

Image credit – http://www.mylittlecar.fr/lhistoire-hallucinante-du-siege-bebe/

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/

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!