Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Monsoon Pick of the Week

This week we give you a very cute outfit from the Monsoon Spring Summer 2011 Range

I can just imagine Belle wearing this around Provence next month

Baby Girl Charlotte Gingham Playsuit

Price: £16.00

Beautiful Denim Patchwork Flower Purse

Price: £8.00

Spot Corsage Fabric Sandals

Price: £16.00

Belle has already tried this on and she loved the Playsuit!  It is 100% cotton, lightweight and very comfortable.  It can be teamed with a little top underneath for those cooler Spring days (see the White Billie Top) or worn on it's own for those lovely warm summer days.

As promised we will be bringing you another 'favourite outfit' next week!

Monday, 28 March 2011

My baby is nearly 2!

It has been a weekend of celebrations for Belle in the run up to her 2nd birthday! It still isn't over as her actual birthday is on Wednesday, where we will have yet another cake :-)

Thanks to Grams (Mum) and also Sal (The Little Cakery) for these adorable creations...

Sweetie Table!!

Teddy Bear's Picnic Theme!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Hotel Chocolat: Mother's Day Giveaway

You really can't go far wrong with chocolates on Mother's Day but you do want them to be that little bit special!  After all your mum only stretched her tummy for 9 months, looked after you for a couple decades and probably had very little sleep and a lot of worry in all that time too!

SO with that in mind look no further than Hotel Chocolat, luxurious British Chocolate at it's finest! The perfect Mother's Day Gift!

I was very lucky to be sent The Sleekster All About Mum Selection to try (see image above) and boy were they good!  The chocolates are in beautiful shapes from hearts and lips to shells and they taste devine. My favourite one from the selection was definitely the 'Mother of Pearl' which is shaped like an Oyster Shell full of hazelnut praline! mmmmm!

What's more the lovely people at Hotel Chocolat are giving another box away to one of you readers.

To enter (NOW CLOSED)

1) Follow Mummys Shoes Blog
2) Leave a comment below with a way to contact you eg tweeter ID or email
3) For an extra entry tweet about the competition and/or link to it on facebook

Terms and Conditions:

  • This competition will run from 25th March to the 28th of March
  • The winner will be chosen at random from all entrants and announced on this page 
  • Competition is open to residents of the UK and Ireland only
  • Prize is non-refundable and no cash alternative is available

You can Visit Hotel Chocolat here
You can find Hotel Chocolat on Facebook here
You can find Hotel Chocolat on Twitter here

Winner Is (Using RANDOM.ORG)

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

My body is WOW by Hollie McNish

I heard this poem read out on Radio 4's Woman's Hour the other week and it brought a tear to my eye.  A must listen for any mum's or women out there.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Monsoon Children Spring/Summer 2011

What a blessing it is to be bringing you a touch of Spring and Summer!

Goodbye winter hues, hats and gloves! Hello signature florals, vintage feminine dresses and handcrafted sandals! Monsoon's Spring/Summer collection has finally arrived in store!

Throughout the next couple weeks we will be showing you some of our favourite pieces in the Girls range from cute casual playsuits to beautiful sun and party dresses. 

There may even be a giveaway!

Transition from Cot to Bed

At the weekend we decided to move Belle into her 'Big Girls Bed'.  Over a year and a half ago I wrote this post about doing up her nursery, she looks so little! Next Wednesday she will be 2 years old!

Belle at 6 Months moving into her nursery and cot

So whilst hubby and Belle were out at SaturDads Group I decided to convert the cot into a sleigh bed

She was so excited when she saw it and climbed right in.  Hubby was also quite impressed when he walked in to find me with the screwdrivers out and I saved him a weekend job! It did take me over an hour to do though!

It has been a major success.  Belle has slept in it for 3 nights now, as well as her daytime naps, and we have not heard a peep from her, nor has she tried to get out when it was sleep time.  I really think that having a cotbed was a great idea as she was already familiar with the bed.

It is also very low to the ground so I have not had to worry about her falling out, although I have left a quilt on the floor anyway just in case as she has been used to lying up against the cot bars.

She looks so grown up in her bed, we can't believe our little girl is growing up so quickly! On Saturday night hubby and I stood at her door admiring her in her new bed and feeling 'wow where did that time go'...does that feeling ever stop? I'm guessing not!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Simple Nutella Cupcakes Video

I remember The Whimsical Wife talking about Nutella Cupcakes a while ago on twitter so yesterday Belle and I decided to make some as we had half a jar of nutella left.

They are so simple!

We made a little video for you and the full recipe can be found below.

Nutella Cupcakes
taken from Baking Bites

10 tbsp (140 grams) butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla essense
1 3/4 cups (200 grams) sifted all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
Nutella, 12 teaspoons. (1 teaspoon for each cupcakes)

Preheat oven to 325F. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy,about 2 minutes. Add in eggs one at a time, until fully incorporated. Don’t worry if the batter doesn’t look smooth. Add vanilla. Stir in flour, salt and baking powder until batter is uniform and no flour remains.

Using an ice cream scoop or spoon , fill each muffin liner with batter. They should be 3/4 full, if you’re not using a scoop. Top each cake with 1 heaping teaspoon of Nutella. Swirl Nutella in with a toothpick, making sure to fold a bit of batter up over the nutella.

Bake for 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 12 delicious cupcakes.

Thumbs up from Belle and Hubby!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

My First Peppa Pig ReadyBed Review

When I was contacted and asked if we would like to review the My First ReadyBed® by the lovely people at Worlds Apart I wasn't too sure if it would be suitable because Belle is still in a cot.  But she loves Peppa Pig and we are off on holiday in May so I thought it was worth a shot.

It arrived in a lovely box and as soon as Belle saw Peppa Pig on it she was excited.  It comes with a foot pump so we were able to inflate it straight away for her. Seeing as she has never used a proper bed I was amazed at how she climbed in and snuggled down in it right away.

That night after PJs and teeth Belle asked to have her bedtime stories in her Peppa Bed so we said OK, she climbed in and we read her a couple of books.

After story time she asked for 5 more minutes and she fell asleep!!!

This really is unheard of for Belle, she very rarely falls asleep in anything other than her cot at home or her cot at Grams house! Obviously we are not making a habit of it as she is so good at bedtime and always goes straight to sleep in her cot.  But it is so nice to know we have something we can take with us when we go away that is light and folds up small.

What I love about the ReadyBed:

1) When deflated it folds up small and has a little carry bag
2) Lightweight for travel/taking on holiday
3) Foot pump included
4) Very comfortable - The head board end blows up, the edges are curved so it feels secure for the little one and the duvet is attached like a sleeping bag so your little one stays put.
5) Very reasonable pricing - Costs around £35
6) It is available in 3 sizes- My First ReadBed (perfect for Belle!), Junior ReadyBed (suitable for 3+) and the Tween ReadyBed (great for sleepovers)
7) There are many different designs and characters to choose from!

I am genuinely over the moon to have found this, it is so perfect for Belle when we go away and I highly recommend it to anyone with toddlers.

My First ReadyBed can be bought from many retailers, including Tesco, Littlewoods, Argos and The Great Little Trading Co.

My First ReadyBed = A Huge Success!

Friday, 11 March 2011

YOU cheered us up...

It started as a bit of a tough week as I have been a bit poorly and then Belle came down with a cold so I was all prepared for a week of broken sleep/restless nights.

So it has been lovely receiving some little surprises in the post this last week to cheer us up. So thank you and here are a few of them:

1) We woke to find the lovely people from Innocent had left our family a wonderful breakfast treat outside our front door.

It was packed with lots of yummy things, muesli, apples and of course some of their famous and highly moreish juices.

Our favourite was definitely the apple juice which I believe is part a new range (I certainly hadn't come across it until now anyway) and very good for families as it comes in a 900ml carton.

So thank you Innocent, a lovely surprise!

2) Another package arrived, this time from Procter and Gamble with a big supply of household items, from washing powder and shampoo to a lovely compact mirror and earrings. It came at just the right time as we were due to do a shop so I was able to rest and relax with Belle.

We then got a second package with lots of fantastic 1930's items, look at that fantastic wash board, and a fab Flip Camera (obviously post 1930's).

I will be spending the day as a 1930's housewife very soon, as Proctor and Gamble realised I did not appreciate their products enough :-)  So I shall be living without using any modern appliances or household cleaning products for a day.  I shall do some blog posts and videos to show you how I get on!

3) Something which Belle really loved was receiving her first Readybed in the post.

In fact she loved it so much she fell asleep in it the first time she tried it out!

It has been great whilst she has been poorly because she has been able to snuggle up downstairs during the day and rest.  I will be doing a review on this later for you as it really is fantastic.

So thank you Worlds Apart for this fantastic bed, it couldn't have come at a better time!

4) Finally I had a visit from the Fairy Hob Mother from Appliances Online who sent me an AMAZING book...

...The Encyclopedia of Crafts endorsed by non-other than Martha Stewart! I can not wait to get stuck into it.

Now this arrived because I left a comment on Cheshire Mum's blog post here, who also had a visit from The Fairy Hob Mother (because she left a message on another blog post) you get the picture?

So now The Fairy Hob Mother has cast her wand over Mummy's Shoes and if you leave a comment below you could be picked and by magic receive a wish too!

So go ahead and leave a comment below. It can be anything at all! And wait to see if you are contacted :-)

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

International Women's Day: A plea to my readers

Last year as part of International Women's Day I shared one of my favourite recipes to raise awareness of the White Ribbon Alliance Global Dinner Party Campaign

This year I am going to urge you all to read a book which I have been meaning to do a blog post about for a while now, I know a lot of people will have read it but if not then please, I am down on my knees begging you to read it!

Half the Sky will take you on a frightening journey into the lives thousands of women are subjected to day in and day out, from rapes, beatings, ostracism, and sex slavery.  It is the unreported world and it is happening on a bigger scale then you can ever imagine.  You will get a glimpse into the terrible oppression women (from babies to adults) face in the world, it is heartbreaking and will make you want to help in any way you can.
Consider some of the facts the authors bring up in the book:
“More girls have been killed in the last fifty years, precisely because thye were girls, than men were killed in all the battles of the twentieth century.  More girls are killed in this routine ‘gendercide’ in any one decade than people were slaughtered in all the genocides of the twentieth century.”
“All told, girls in India from one to five are 50 percent more likely to die than boys the same age. The best estimate is that a little Indian girl dies from discrimination every four minutes.”
There are one million to two million women currently enslaved as prostitutes in India alone — women who are raped for hours on end, living in cells, for no pay.
Women aged fifteen to forty-four worldwide “are more likely to be maimed or die from male violence than from cancer, malaria, traffic accidents, and war combined

(Facts taken from the book and quoted from The Harvard Political Review, Half The Sky by Max Novendstern)
The authors of Half The Sky, a married couple, and pulitzer prize winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn researched the plight of women all over the world, they witnessed these things first hand by going undercover and risking their own lives.  They believe education is the key.  Educating girls and women leads to higher wages; a greater likelihood of working outside the home; lower fertility; reduced maternal and child mortality; and better health and education. The impact is felt not only in women’s lifetimes, but also in the health, education and productivity of future generations.
So please go and Buy Half The Sky, these stories need to be heard!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Bloggers and Brands: Are you selling your soul?

A recent discussion on the Blogger.Ed Forums really made me think and question the brands I work with and help promote here on Mummy's Shoes. I had never heard about The NestlĂ© Boycott until today and I very nearly took up an offer from them, without doing any proper research into the brand. I didn't as it happens, simply because the offer wasn't that attractive or interesting to me. But it has made me realise I must, for ethical reasons, look into the brands I am helping in future in much more depth.

I have seen a massive rise in PR emails and requests coming into my inbox daily now, offering items to review, campaigns to promote and requesting advertising rates etc. It means I am starting to get very particular about what I take up and what I don't, I simply haven't time to take up all the offers and I don't want to either. I am happy with what I have here.

Do you research the brands you work with? Would you sell your soul for a freebie?

The Gallery: Simple Pleasures

This weeks theme is Simple Pleasures. 

We all have those simple pleasures that make life that little bit richer.  Like dancing to 'Angel' by the Corrs with Belle or belting out your favourite song whilst driving, only to realise the car next to you at the traffic lights is rather amused!  So this week I give you some of our simple pleasures....

Kisses and Cuddles



and my favourite one...
Falling asleep where you're not supposed to