Friday, 29 April 2011

And the bride wore...

...a white lace and satin Alexander McQueen gown designed by Sarah Burton

Yes I cried, Belle shouted princess (although she was more interested in the horses), I ate too many Royal Wedding Cupcakes and it was a beautiful fairytale wedding


A fantastic exit...


Congratulation Kate & William!
29th of April 2011

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The Baby Show: Win A Fisher-Price Highchair!

Having a baby is such an exciting time, with so many new things to discover.  I know when I was pregnant with Belle I read anything I could get my hands on regarding what I needed being a mum for the first time and had I known about The Baby Show I would have been there in a shot!  The Baby Show is an essential one-stop shop for all new mums and mums-to-be. 

As headline sponsors of the NEC Birmingham show 20th - 22nd May, Fisher-Price are offering us the lowest ticket prices around. 

To take advantage of this special offer, quote code 'FP02' when booking. Tickets will cost just £11!  visit - www.thebabyshow.co.uk

Fisher-Price will be unveiling their newest and most innovative products at the Baby Show in their 'Playing with Design' pod. Come along and be the first to see some very exciting new baby gear and hear the story behind how real mums have helped with the design, from start to finish, in the Fisher-Price Play Lab.

Fisher-Price's innovative new Easy Clean Highchair will be one of the products on show and we've got our hands on one of them to give away!

As you begin to wean your baby, it can be so exciting watching their little faces taking in new tastes and textures. But it can be a messy business too!  This clever high chair from Fisher-Price is the ultimate in convenience. 

With a sleek, crevice free, stain resistant seat pad and smooth coated straps, it simply wipes down, with no more tiny crevices for food to get stuck. Just pop the tray into the dishwasher for safe, hygienic mealtimes! 

The buckles are conveniently placed too, to avoid gaps where food can hide and the grow-with-me design provides the perfect pew for babies from newborn to toddler.

Priced around £100

Suitable from newborn



To enter:

1) Simply leave a comment below with your name and a way to contact you (eg twitter ID, or email) and a winner will be drawn using Random.Org on Friday the 27th of May.

2) For an extra entry you can Tweet about this competition making sure you mention @MummysShoes  (so I can record your extra entry) or mention it on Facebook

Terms and Conditions:
• This competition will run from 27th April to the 26th of May
• The winners will be chosen at random
• Competition is open to residents of the UK and Ireland only
• Prize is non-refundable and no cash alternative is available



Now Closed...Winner is @iheartmuthahood

Friday, 15 April 2011

State vs Private School Dilemma

We have been discussing Belle's future recently, specifically...the big bad world of schooling! Oh it scares me so much, my little pure and perfect girly untouched by the world venturing out.  I won't be there to make sure her every word is heard and counted.

Belle is only 2 but with reception classes starting at 3.5 we thought it was high time we started making plans. Or perhaps it pays to delay the start of your child's schooling? (The Times)

I am a big fan of the Montessori method of learning (self-directed learning where the teacher lets the child lead the way and allows the child's true normal nature to shine and grow) but these schools are few and far between. And then even if we did manage to move house closer to one I worry about Belle going from a Montessori primary and having to adapt to an average Secondary school.

Then of course we have the classic State vs Private debate.

We have had advice left, right and centre about how we MUST get Belle into a private school because of the way state schools are heading.  Teacher friends confirm this and articles in the news like this suggest it.  We have the brochures for the local private school(s) and at £12-15k a year it is not cheap, and then of course you have all the extra's that come with a private school (more expensive uniform, activities, trips etc) We can afford to put Belle in a private school (just) but we also know we want more children. Can we afford to put two or even 3 in private? We're just not sure at the moment.

Perhaps it is better to move house so we are in the catchment area of a very good local primary?

Perhaps I am worrying too much and I just need to make sure I give her good home schooling too.

We are really in two minds on what to do.

What are your thoughts and/or experiences?

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Being a 1930s Housewife


A few weeks ago I was approached by super-brand Procter and Gamble to see if I would like to take part in a campaign on the 'Changing Face of Motherhood'.

Essentially this meant giving up all my modern day products and appliances and going back to basics to live a day like a 1930s housewife would have.
Straight away I knew I wanted to have a go and so a welcome pack showed up on my door with lots of their amazing products, from deodorant and washing up liquid to razors and fabric softener.

Then came a 2nd package full of carbolic soap, cold cream, a wash board and wooden toys (oh and a Flip Camera to film the experience)
So without further ado I give to you some snipits from my day...




Beauty Regime


Cup of Tea?


Washing Clothes





Washing the Dishes


P&G have undertaken a lot of research into the roles of mums and how they've changed since the 30s, mostly in terms of how the perception of women in those roles has changed.  Doing these challenges really made me realise how easy we have it today and that I am fortunate to have a lot of time to do other things like spend quality time with Belle instead. The thing I would have found the most time consuming is definitely the washing of clothes. I put a load in my 9kg washing machine and hey presto it is done, crispy clean and smelling divine! Although I do try my best not to use the tumble dryer.

What is scary is how things have changed so much in 80 years.  Like I mentioned we try not to use the tumble dryer and are constantly trying to be better in terms of being a bit more eco friendly with packaging etc.  I am very wary of using too many chemicals in cleaning products too. What is in store for our children's generation?

Thanks to P&G for providing me with lots of products and a great challenge, it has been really good fun and an eye opener.  The ladies back then, like my nanny, were amazing and deserve a medal.  They kept a clean and tidy house the hardest way possible! It makes me feel awful for ever moaning about how the washing seems to pile up!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

ilovegorgeous... beautiful clothes for gorgeous girls

Never before have I come across a brand which makes you feel you have been transported to a magical land.  As a child I loved the Flower Fairies books and ilovegorgeous takes me back into that secret world again.  This is a brand which has obviously had a lot of love put into it and it shines through in every way in these beautiful pieces.

From the flowing fabrics which move with your child, the adorable trim details, the pretty prints, to the fit of the clothes, nothing has gone unnoticed. The attention to detail is out of this world. ilovegorgeous offer an array of clothing and accessories for young girls from 6months - 15 years.

Belle was lucky enough to receive a package from ilovegorgeous last week and what fabulous timing too as we had a wonderful long weekend of sunshine, she practically lived in her Dorothy Dress


Blue and Green Leaf Print Dorothy Dress


click here to view this dress in store

This dress is so beautiful and on a trip out at the weekend Belle must have got over 20 comments on how adorable it looked and questions on where it was from! It swayed with her as she walked and it is lovely and lightweight.  The shirred bodice meant it had a beautiful fit to it too. The frill edging and the tie back ribbon add an elegant and timeless touch to this piece. 

This dress is also available in Vintage Rose colour and Pink

Belle in her Dorothy Dress


Blue Clover Carmen Dress
Click here to view this dress in store

This dress has a bohemian feel to it with its smocked detailing, very much my style and so comfy for a little one. The loose fit means it looks very cute and casual on. Again as with all their pieces ilovegorgeous have managed to make it look timeless and elegant and the print is just beautiful! 

Belle in her Carmen Dress

As well as beautiful party dresses, casual dresses, skirts and tops, ilovegorgeous also do the most beautiful bridesmaids dresses and accessories for little girls too. I can not tell you how happy I am to have found them, especially with our wedding reception approaching!



A bit of background....
ilovegorgeous was founded by Lucy & Sophie, both mothers themselves, born out of a love of textiles, colour, fashion, their favourite country India, and of course having their own children.
Their first collection was put together in 2006 following an inspirational trip to India where they sourced hand blocked prints, wonderful silks and cottons, and pretty trims.
They launched ilovegorgeous as a brand in AW07. Their first collection was snapped up by Selfridges and many other wonderful boutiques across the UK and Europe. Since then they have launched the ilovegorgeous website and opened their flagship shop in Notting Hill gate as well as now being stocked in Le Bon Marche Paris and Barney’s New York.
They are quite an inspiration!

Visit the ilovegorgeous Website here
Follow ilovegorgeous on Twitter here
Follow ilovegorgeous on Facebook here


Monday, 11 April 2011

Protecting our children from the sun: NEW NIVEA SUN Kids

We had our first weekend of real sunshine here in the UK and it was glorious! We picnicked, paddled, walked, lounged, BBQ'd and did lots of gardening. However I am always keen to ensure Belle is protected from the sun. With skin cancer rates at an all time high I am not prepared to take risks and it makes me so sad to see young children with red skin.  


Analysis by Cancer Research UK suggests that more than 900 young Brits are being diagnosed each year.  The charity says people aged between 15 and 34 are being most affected by the disease.  That is so young!


I think it is important to teach our children at a young age that they should be protected from the sun.

Trust NIVEA SUN® to help keep sensitive souls protected in the sun...the latest innovation from the experts at NIVEA is 100% free from perfume, colourants and preservatives helping to reduce the risk of skin allergies and especially developed for kids’ sensitive skin.  Parents can rest assured as the formula is dermatologically approved and hypo-allergenic.


Produced only in the very high protection of SPF 50+ and offering immediate protection this extra gentle formula helps keep the most sensitive skin safer in the sun,  With the highest quality UVA and UVB protection system it helps protect immediately against sunburn and long-term skin damage while the very water resistant formula helps keep kids sensitive skin protected on land and sea! 


Available in both lotion and spray


NEW NIVEA SUN Kids Pure & Sensitive keeping precious skin protected in the purest way possible


NIVEA SUN Kids Pure & Sensitive Sun Lotion and Sun Spray SPF 50


Boots exclusive click here to buy


For more information you can visit www.nivea.co.uk


Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post 

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Cake Balls from Cake Shop Corner

A fellow blogger and Twitter friend recently sent the Mummy's Shoes household some cake balls as a midweek treat and I had to write a little post about them as they were delicious!

Amy is the baker and decorator behind cake shop corner which offers custom cakes for all occasions.  Giant cupcakes, birthday cakes, cupcake towers and of course Cake Balls which I can definitely recommend.

The packaging was beautiful and hubby and I demolished all of these whilst watching a film...



Thanks Amy!

You can visit Cake Shop Corner Here
You can Follow Cake Shop Corners Blog Here

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

This Week Carly Loves...Floppy Hats

Our summer holiday is booked, a luxury villa in the South of France, and I am in full on 'packing checklist' mode for Belle and I.  Hubby only ever takes a couple things so he is easy to pack for!

3 years ago I lost my favourite floppy hat ever!  Hubby and I were on holiday and I left my hat on the top deck of a boat and I watched it fly off from the lower deck.  Ever since I have never found one to replace it, until last week when this arrived in the post...



It is just like my long lost hat and I actually bought two in case it goes AWOL again!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Hotel Chocolat: Easter Giveaway

After testing Hotel Chocolat's Mother's Day Chocolates they only went and offered me an Easter Egg to try too! On top of that they will be sending one to 1 of you too.

Never one to say no to chocolate and for the love of my readers I, of course, said yes.

Check out this amazing egg which you could win

You Crack Me Up™ Extra Thick Easter Egg





One shell is pure 40% milk chocolate and the other in mellow milk with a dash of white.
Then inside are lots of cheery smiley faces filled with chocolate brownie, pralines with orange and cookies, fried eggs with melt away hazelnut paste, bunnies and chicks cast in solid milk chocolate and more.

I can tell you they are as delicious as they look, the hubby and bro-in-law can vouch for that too as I was feeling very generous and shared a 'little' with them.

Hotel Chocolat do a wonderful children's range of Easter Gifts so if you are looking for something a little more special than your standard supermarket egg you really should check them out!

Want to Win the 'You Crack me Up' Egg?

To enter NOW CLOSED

1) Leave a comment below with a way to contact you eg twitter ID or email
2) For an extra entry tweet about the competition and/or link to it on facebook (be sure to mention you did this below for your extra entry and add @mummysshoes in your tweet)

Terms and Conditions:

  • This competition will run from the 4th April to the 18th of April
  • 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...
(via Random.Org) Preseli Mags (@preselimags on Twitter)

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Happy Mother's Day Mummy aka Grams

Some of you will already know my lovely mum as she blogs over at Candlelight Cottage.

Last year I wrote this post about her and my nanny, both amazing ladies that I hope I can be even a little bit like one day.

There is no doubting my mum and I have an amazing relationship, I could talk to her for hours on end. It is only now I am a mummy myself that I really appreciate what she did for me over the years, gave me opportunities some never have and an amazing family unit I knew would always be there. Not to mention all the car journeys to take me to dance, late nights when I was performing in the Nutcracker Ballet in America, gymnastics club, netball matches, athletics club, she was always there cheering me on in everything I did. The pack lunches, the sleepovers, the parties, the shopping trips, the holidays, the birthdays, the Christmases, the homework help, the hairbraiding lessons, the advice and of course all the worry I must have put her through in my adolescent years.  My friends all love her, hubby loves her, she is such a caring soul.  Everywhere she goes people end up telling her their life story, she is just that sort of person.

This last year however there is another relationship that I have seen blossom and I think should be celebrated on this Mother's Day too, it has blossomed into such an amazing thing and it is all because of the time mum has put in.  She has been there from the word go.  It is that between Belle and her (Grams). That between a smitted Grandmother and a Granddaughter that thinks the world of her.

Mum knows all Belle's little quirky ways, her favourite songs, dance moves, books and foods.  Belle feels so at home with her and it makes life so easy.  At playgroup the teacher asks Belle who she is drawing/painting a picture for and it is always Grams, she fills her world with so much happiness, and mine. Here is an early video of them together.

video

Mum we love you so much and thank God for having you in our life

Carly, Hubby and Belle x