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The Best Black Friday Deal Around

It’s been a while and one day I will get back to sharing brilliant finds on The London Mummy but life has got busy with the shop so this has been put to one side. I did want to share my amazing deal with you for this weekend on TLM Edit as it’s too good not to tell you about!
Also, I am home schooling next week (!) and need to clear some space in my studio to school them as the house is a building site…. Don’t ask!
So get ahead of your Christmas shopping with this amazing site wide discount! Use BF40 at checkout for 40% off…
Here is a taster of the shop….
Gifts
Here are a few specific bits that will also find…. Click on image to be taken directly to it!
Handbag

Leopard Print Handbag

Fur trapper

Ear Muffs

Please do forward this post on and see you soon! xxx

Activities Family Life

14 Zoom Party & Stay Home Entertainment Ideas

This post has been in drafts but with the good news that has just been announced, I thought I better ping it off before Zoom meet ups are a thing of the past! IFollowing on from my how to keep the kids entertained during lockdown piece, I wanted to put something together for adults and families too. Here are some top-notch Zoom party ideas, online cocktail masterclasses, virtual wine tasting sessions, mind-bending challenges and delicious DIY meal kits to keep every occupied.

Jump to:

Virtual Cocktail Parties & Masterclasses

Cocktails By Lollipop

Throw a virtual cocktail party with Cocktails by Lollipop. The team do everything from preparing and sending the cocktails to organising your Zoom call. All you have to do is wait for your delivery, grab some glasses and open your laptop!

WeAreLollipop.co.uk 

zoom party

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Stir Crazy Drinks Online Masterclass

Want to master a new skill during lockdown? Perfect the art of cocktail making with Stir Crazy Drinks. The cocktail company deliver the ingredients to your door and then you join their live masterclass on Saturday night to pick up some new skills and discover your new favourite drink.

StirCrazyDrinks.co.uk

zoom party

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Cocktail Making

Hook up with boozy events for a virtual cocktail making class — ideal for birthday celebrations and alleviating Saturday night boredom! Boozy Events will send you a cocktail ingredient kit, metal and glass equipment and a cocktail maker to shake it all up. Once you’ve received your kit, a mixologist will join you on Zoom to guide you through the menu.

BoozyEvents.com

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Virtual Wine Tasting

Rebottling Wine Experience

Join a luxurious wine and chocolate experience with flavour alchemist Paul A Young. Order the wines, book your place on the rebottling experience and wait for a delivery and instructions on how to join the event. It’s certainly a place to indulge and learn a thing or two about fine wines.

Rebottling.com

zoom party

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The Fine Little Wine Online Tastings

Enjoy a guided online wine tasting session with The Little Fine Wine Co. Each month the team select a different wine region to travel through and work to share their knowledge about vineyards around the world. February is all about New Zealand and features three delicious white and one fabulous red. Private sessions and corporate bookings are also available.

TheFineLittleWineCompany.co.uk

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Unwined Private Wine Tasting

Host your own wine tasting party or sign up for a private session with Unwined. The DIY tasting kit takes you on a wine tasting journey where you can go at your own pace to level up your wine knowledge. Alternatively, let an Unwined sommelier take the reins and join you and your friends on a Zoom chat. Choose from a selection of four kits with three or six bottles or work your way through them all to become a true wine aficionado.

UnwinedBars.co.uk

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Virtual Family Games

Games Night In for Macmillan

Sign up to host a virtual Macmillan games night with friends and family. Let the attendees know that it’s a fundraiser so they’re able to donate a little to the charity too. Macmillan has a range of games to choose from including Whodunnit?, Trapped! An Escape Room, Horse Racing Night and Quiz Night.

GamesNight.Macmillian.org.uk

zoom party

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Looking to update your wardrobe, buy a gift or treat yourself?

You will find a gorgeous range of jewellery, accessories and clothes on TLM Edit, all hand-picked by The London Mummy.


Tulley’s World Domination Online Strategy Game

Keep the whole family occupied with this live action strategy and role-playing game. The aim of the game is world domination! For two hours, you’ll work to improve your designated country by making alliances, boosting the economy and increasing living standards… or causing the next world war. Book a private or public game and get involved.

World-Domination.co.uk

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Virtual Magic Time With Thomas Dixon

Planning a birthday party or a family Zoom event? A virtual magic show is just the ticket to keep everyone entertained. Book Tom Dixon to experience some mind-blowing magic. It’s certainly something you don’t do everyday!

ThomasDixonMagic.com

zoom party

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Ping Pong Fight Club’s Lockdown Challenge Show

For lots of laughs and great family entertainment, I highly recommend Ping Pong Fight Club. Log on for a 45-minute Zoom show and get involved in ping pong challenges and trivia rounds as you compete against friends and family to win the lockdown challenge.

TheBigSmokeEvents.com

zoom party

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Escape Hunt Adventure

Escape Hunt has taken its escape room games online so everyone can play along at home. You and your teammates (who can be from different households) can all come together to solve a variety of puzzle-solving games and challenges. Choose between the remote escape room challenge, print and play and digital games.

EscapeHunt.com

zoom party

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DIY Dinner Delivery Kits

A Taste Of France

Get stuck into a DIY food delivery kit from Cote At Home. The French bistro delivery company has a huge range of starts, mains, desserts and set menus to choose from — all made from the best, high-quality French ingredients. I’ve got my eye on the lobster frites and artisan cheese selection.

CoteAtHome.co.uk

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Pizza Kits At Home

Pizza making is a brilliant activity to get the whole family in the kitchen. Each kit comes with all the ingredients you need (dough balls, mozzarella, tomato sauce etc.) fresh from the pizzeria. There’s also an option to make garlic bread and a Nutella pizza! Mmm…

PeterInThePan.co.uk

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DIY Burger Kits from Patty&Bun

Missing Patty&Bun? Or want to learn how to make a top-notch burger from scratch? Order a DIY Patty&Bun burger kit to recreate the London burger chain’s signature smokey cheeseburger. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

PattyAndBun.co.uk

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You might also like: 

Take a peek at my ultimate directory for the best parent, style and business recommendations.

Family Life TLM Monthly Edit

What’s New: Lucinda’s Top Discoveries For January

A new feature I’m keen to introduce for 2021 is my monthly discoveries, a round-up of the best things I’ve come across in the past few weeks and wanted to share with you. Hopefully, you’ll find something that will inspire, entertain or simply brighten up your day.

Fresh baby food for busy parents, delivered

I am blown away by Sweet Pea Spoons. It’s a subscription service that parents can sign up to and receive handmade, fresh baby meals right to their door. The small business recently announced delivery is now possible nationwide! Sweet Pea Spoons recognised a gap in the market in wanting to support time-poor parents who want to feed their child nutritious and tasty meals but don’t want to resort to store-bought pouches. Every flavour has been expertly developed with a nutritionist using seasonal ingredients to familiarise your baby with diverse flavours from an early age. I’m sure we all know some new parents who could do with this helping hand!

Baby food subscription service, Sweet Pea Spoons

Find out more


Give a laptop

Pass on old laptops and computers to school children in need of them. Did your kids get a phone or tablet upgrade at Christmas? If you’ve got old devices lying around, it will make a huge difference if it’s possible to donate them. Many children shared learning devices during the last lockdown, so having their own computer or tablet this time would make the world of difference to their education. Charities across the UK are working to facilitate getting computers out to children, so check out the list by following the link below to find your nearest charity.

Find out more


Discover a hidden world with geocaching

Dive into the world of geocaching to discover new places around you. This is a brilliant app that the whole family can get involved with. It’s an excuse to get outside (when the restrictions are lifted) and let the app lead you to new places you would never have visited otherwise.

Find out more


Online mentoring sessions with Brain Labs

Oppidan Education is a fantastic online learning platform that connects children with mentors. The platform doesn’t offer tutors to help your kids through GCSEs and A-Levels but rather mentors who can help your child prepare for the world. As well as education, children need to be equipped with resilience, empathy and independence and these are precisely the skills in personal development Oppidan Education aims to teach.

Find out more


A tasty new tipple

New Town Lemon & Basil Gin, Wharf Distillery Gin

From £20

This lemon and basil gin is just delicious! If you’re a lover of flavoured gins or wanting to give a twist to your classic London dry gin, Wharf Distillery has a lovely selection to choose from – other flavours are Mango & Cucumber and Orange & Pomegranate. The independent distillery, located on a farm in South Northamptonshire, also offers a gin school where you can learn about making your own gin and the distillment process. (If you’re in the midst of Dry January, this is certainly one to earmark for later.)

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Ghosts, Dolly Alderton’s latest novel

I loved reading Dolly’s Everything I Know About Love, so was keen to pick up a copy of Ghosts which was released late last year. It tells the tale of Nina Dean as she enters her thirties, a time where friendships become more distant, ex-boyfriends have moved on and everyone is leaving the city. Similar to Everything I Know, Dolly examines the themes of relationships, friendships and family.

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Empowering activewear from Oliver Bonas

Say hello to OB Active, a wicked new collection that Oliver Bonas has launched, inspired by the first lockdown — a lifetime ago, right? We all know that sitting in our pyjamas all day isn’t good for us, so switching into some comfortable activewear at the starting of the WFH day makes a lot of sense. Plus, what could be better to inspire you to actually go for your morning jog (or brisk walk) than a lovely new sports top and leggings?

Shop Now


A hilarious guide to middle age

Amongst all of the rubbish that lands in my inbox, the Midult is a refreshing newsletter I love to read. Packed with anecdotes, conversations and useful tidbits, Midulthood, aimed at women from 35 to 55, is redefining the boundaries of middle age. Perhaps we’ve all been in the house too long but the Sounds of Madness article seemed to ring a little too true…

Find out more


100% vegan bath and body indulgences

I can’t get enough of Miss Patisserie’s bath slabs. Throw a couple of chunks into your bath for a decadent soak and watch them fizzle and shimmer in brilliant pinks and blues. Wash and unwind with a bath melt bar, a luxurious blend of cocoa and shea butter. Bath-time has never looked (or smelt) so good.

Nougat Bath Slab, Miss Patisserie

£7.50

Shop Now


Glam rock decor

Gold Lightning Bolt Mirror, Bride & Wolfe, Antipodream

£65

I always have my eye out for statement decor and this mirror makes a striking impression. It comes in a vibrant selection of colours and you can also pick up a rainbow-shaped one too!

Shop Now


Looking to update your wardrobe, buy a gift or treat yourself?

You will find a gorgeous range of jewellery, accessories and clothes on TLM Edit, all hand-picked by The London Mummy.

Family Life Services

How To Navigate The 11+ Exam & Admissions Process

For over 70 years, the 11+ exam has been a key staging post in many children’s lives. We all understand the pressure that children are under these days and so it’s important to prepare them properly for the 11+ exam without causing any unnecessary stress. I asked Arabella Northey, Headteacher at Meta Prep, to put together a piece about the 11+ and how to best navigate the school admissions process.

What is the 11+ exam?

The 11+ is an intelligence test taken during the last year of primary school (Year 6 in the UK). Since 1944, the exam for selective schools has tested the ability of a 10-year-old to solve a range of problems. The best way to fully prepare is to develop their thinking and learning using a metacognitive toolkit.

What are the different types of 11+ exams?

There are three 11+ exam boards and exam your child takes will depend on the region of the school. The exams your child may take are CEM, GL, ISEB Pre-test, ISEB 11+ and London Consortium.

  • CEM (Centre for Evaluation & Monitoring) – creates papers for some Grammar schools and the London Consortium schools
  • GL Assessment – creates papers for the Grammar schools and writes the Cognitive Ability Tests (CAT4) used by many schools
  • ISEB (Independent Schools Examination Board) – offers the online ISEB Common Pre-test and ISEB 11+, a long-form written test.

What is in the 11+ exam?

The exams involve the four different “disciplines” used for the 11+ tests – Maths, English, Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning.

The ISEB 11+ papers are an exception and cover a more traditional written exam: English comprehension; a creative writing task; a Maths paper without the use of a calculator and a Science paper.

What are the key dates for the 11+ exams?

Grammar school exams take place early in September.

The online ISEB Common Pre-Test is more flexible, most schools give a month’s window, closing in early December. The benefit of this exam is children applying to multiple schools which use the Common Pre-Test will only take one test in the academic year and their results shared with all participating schools.

The ISEB 11+ examination and the London Consortium paper are sat at the beginning of January.

How do I start selecting schools for my child?

For many parents, it can feel like the ‘chicken or the egg’ scenario. Should you start with your child’s current academic potential or look at the schools you like and have a good reputation?

Schools start registrations for applications when children are in Year 5, so it’s good to have a list of potential schools together by this point. Each school has its own DNA and needs to match your values and academic goals, so this will help you to decide what is right for you and your child.

Meta Prep can be alongside you in this process. As your partner for selective senior school entry, Meta Prep identifies your child’s motivators and the environment that enables them to flourish and thrive.

Each child starts by completing a ‘Youth Motivation Map’. This provides an insight into their motivational drivers and the ways in which they learn best and are most engaged. This is combined with a baseline diagnostic assessment to pinpoint their academic strengths and weaknesses.

With this information, we are able to start considering options and advise parents accordingly. We continue to provide advice throughout and create an individual road map for each child.

The next step is school admissions. Each school admissions system is different, so once you have a list of potential schools, you need to check their website carefully. Meta Prep is further able to help with this.

How can I prepare my child for the 11+ exam?

The 11+ process can be complex for parents and competitive for children. In most schools, 11+ topics are covered by the end of Year 5. Unfortunately, this means that you have no time to patch gaps in knowledge or misunderstandings. No one wants to put undue pressure on their child.

Research shows that we learn best when we are able to break information down into small manageable chunks; space it over time and learn to retrieve that information from our memory.

At Meta Prep we start very gently:

  • In Year 4, there is one lesson a week teaching children how to learn and use metacognitive tools; sharpen their thinking skills, and build their confidence.
  • In Year 5, we double the number of sessions. This year covers the 11+ topics in sequence, breaking them down and getting them fully set before they even start Year 6.

The curriculum is targeted and coherent and taught by subject specialist teachers. 

Regular access to our Digital Intelligence Platform provides familiarity with exam technique reducing anxiety and enhancing performance.   

Meta Prep’s Partners:

Meta Prep draws on the expertise of both Moxams and My Learning Accelerator.

Moxams is an 11+ focused provider of exam and interview familiarisation materials and experiences. Its large bank of 11+ questions ‘mimics’ the questions which schools use to assess pupils, regardless of the major examination boards (CEM, ISEB, GL, CAT4) they base their assessments on.

With access to those questions, Meta Prep also has access to the ‘intelligent’ learning platform developed by Moxams. The algorithms identify which specific topics pupils need to focus on.

My Learning Accelerator provides one-to-one 11+ tutors who are trained as cognitive coaches. We often recommend My Learning Accelerator tutors, if we feel there is a specific requirement for one-to-one provision.

Can Meta Prep help me and my children?

Meta Prep provides an affordable alternative through the 11+ maze. It partners with parents and children in years 4 and 5 to provide them with advice, baseline assessments, outstanding teachers, 11+ focused curriculum up to date technology under one roof.

With small groups and direct access to a headteacher, Meta Prep helps to take the stress out of selective senior school entry by weaving fun, instilling key skills and learning behaviours to lift exam scores. It prepares children for entrance exam success and enhances their love of learning in weekly small classes, after school, with subject specialist teachers.

Meta Prep provides the best offered by prep schools, primary schools, tutoring and technology platforms under one, affordable roof.

To find out more you can join Meta Prep for a free lesson this December.

Monday 14th – Thursday 17th at 16.30

Sign up using the link below.

Metapreponline.com/free-trial-lesson/


Article by Headteacher Arabella Northey

www.metaprep.co.uk | info@metaprep.co.uk 

Family Life Services Spotlight

Business Spotlight: Apparently Kids – Services & Support For New Parents

Apparently Kids is something I wish was around when I was a new parent. It’s a network of parenting professionals who can help you wherever you need support on your family journey. Of course, it’s easy enough to Google whatever service you’re looking for and get hundreds (even millions) of results but then you worry (1) can they be trusted?, (2) are they certified?, and (3) are they recommended by other parents? So, that’s where Apparently Kids steps in. I spoke to its founder, Lara Russell-Jones, to find out more.

What is your business and what makes it unique?

Apparently Kids is your new parent support system and we’re here to help you find the trusted, professional support you need from pregnancy through to the toddler years.

There are a huge and diverse range of services available from private midwives and breastfeeding support to pregnancy massage, mental health support and baby first aid. Now, parents can find them all in one place and book online support, or search by postcode for in-person professionals local to them.

We invest time to background check all our professionals to make sure they are:

  • Fully certified and accredited with relevant organisations
  • Experienced for advice you can trust
  • Recommended by other parents

How did it all begin?

I started Apparently after my own experience of becoming a mum. Like many new parents, my son and I had birth complications and, combined with a few weeks of sleep deprivation, it became a toxic mix physically, emotionally and mentally.

I looked for support but didn’t know where to turn and was overwhelmed by conflicting advice I read online. I was lucky to find some amazing women who helped me through stitches, tongue-ties, reflux and pelvic floor issues all through tears and lots of laughter.

On my maternity leave, I met so many new mums in the same position and realised that everyone had their own story. Many had not been so lucky and still hadn’t found help. It seemed deeply unfair to me that women, new parents and their babies were struggling just because they didn’t know help was out there or who to trust.

Read also: Business Spotlight: Slow Fashion With the seen collective

I knew that I wanted to help. New parents deserved a place where they could easily see and understand the full breadth of support available to them and find experienced and trusted professionals. I couldn’t find an online source that did this, so I decided to give it a go – Apparently was born!

What is the meaning behind the business name?

We’re starting as a website right now, however, we aim to be the go-to app for all parents….hence Apparently!

Who is your ideal client/customer?

All new parents or parents-to-be. I love meeting people who are recently pregnant and opening their eyes to this whole new world!

Which services do you strongly recommend?

Each family is unique in the services that they may need to best support them, however, I always recommend three things:

  • Baby First Aid Course. If you do one thing, this course could honestly save a very important little life.
  • Women’s Pelvic Health Physio. Incontinence and pelvic pain is not a normal part of giving birth. I can’t stress this enough and no woman should ever be dismissed if they suffer from it.
  • Lactation (breastfeeding) consultant. Breastfeeding can actually be quite challenging! Lactation consultants have done years of training and can support you in all of your feeding choices.

How do you manage a work/life balance?

Planning. I left a career in strategy consulting to start Apparently and now really value being able to control my own time. When you say you’re going to stop, stop.

 

What is your top parenting tip?

Stock up your freezer with as much food as possible before a new baby comes long. COOK parent bundles were the best present I ever received!

Interviewee’s favourites

Shop: The White Company. I always find the perfect gift in The White Company no matter who I’m shopping for.

Website: Etsy. We’re decorating our son’s room at the moment and getting all the most gorgeous and personal things from Etsy.

Holiday destination: In the UK, Salcombe in Devon. It’s the scene of all my favourite childhood memories and also where my husband proposed! Abroad, you can’t beat the coral reefs, wildlife and beaches of Indonesia.

Read also: New Business Spotlight: Sustainable Cleaning Essentials From Seep

Restaurant: Murano – a real treat and special occasion destination

Hotel: Whatley Manor in the Cotswolds. Gorgeous hotel, stunning countryside, lovely spa and one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had!

Anything else you’d like to add?

‘It takes a village to raise a child – we are your village’ – Apparently Kids

Visit ApparentlyKids.co.uk

And don’t forget to follow Apparently on social media:

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter


You might also like:

22 Christmas Decorations To Get Your House Ready For The Big Day

21 Christmas Gift Ideas For The Man Who’s Hard To Buy For

23 Christmas Gifts The Kids Would Love To Get From Santa This Year


Looking for something else? Take a peek at my ultimate directory for the best parent, style and business recommendations.

Content in partnership with Apparently Kids
Family Life

Winter Survival Kit: 4 Essential Nutrients Your Family Should Be Getting

At certain times of the year, or at times of increased pressure, our bodies can benefit from a boost from some additional nutrients. So, I enlisted Eight Food Nutritionist Jo to create a Winter Survival Kit to help keep your family fighting fit. As the nights draw in, temperatures drop and we head into the colder months, here is Jo’s pick of supplements for the whole family that really pack a nutritional punch.

Probiotics

An estimated 80% of our immune system is based in our gut, therefore ensuring a healthy tummy is key to supporting a strong immune system. Our balance of gut bacteria is affected by many factors, such as antibiotics, stress, medication, excessive modern hygiene and of course the food we eat. You may be familiar with the good bacteria available in small yoghurt drinks, and of course in live natural yoghurt itself. Unless your diet is rich in fermented foods (kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha) a course of probiotics (beneficial bacteria) may provide useful support over the winter months.

We love OptiBac For Babies and Children, a combination of well-researched pre and probiotics (prebiotics act as a food source for the friendly bacteria) which has been shown in studies to effectively reduce respiratory infections in children. They don’t need to be kept in the fridge, and the sachets can easily be opened and stirred into cooled drinks, porridge, stewed/pureed fruit or yoghurt, ideally with breakfast. Just try to ensure the food isn’t too hot as that may affect the bacteria. Proven Probiotics Fit For School is a great tasting chewable probiotic for older school-aged children.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is required by the body to help absorb calcium and phosphate and is also key for immune health. It is made by our bodies from sunlight which becomes more difficult over the winter months and can be relatively tricky to find from food in decent quantities. Some foods containing vitamin D include eggs, mushrooms and oily fish. Vitamin D deficiency is much more common than most people realise and is found in around 50% of adults.

You might also like: 10 New-In Hush Pieces I Couldn’t Resist

The UK Department of Health states that we should all be taking a daily vitamin D supplement between October and April, including pregnant & breastfeeding mothers to support their child’s health. We really like Better You DLux Infant Spray and find that children really enjoy the experience of squirting the spray into their mouth! It is also available in a Junior version for those aged over 5, as well as an adult option to ensure you are meeting your daily requirement.

Elderberry

Elderberries are a nutritious superhero, packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants to offer potential powerful immune and antiviral support. There may still some elderberries to be found on the hedgerows if you fancy making your own (you can also use dried elderberries) – we have our own Elderberry Syrup recipe which you can find here.

Otherwise, we love Pukka Elderberry Syrup which combines some key herbs such as thyme & black pepper with manuka honey for a lovely supportive combination. It is great to take preventatively over the winter, and you increase the dose if required. We also love Lizzie Loves Natural Remedies Be Well which can be mixed with water or juice, blended in smoothies or sprinkled on yoghurt. It tastes great!

Multivitamins

Children can, unfortunately, be notoriously picky eaters, and studies indicate that children may not receive adequate nutrients from their diet. As an insurance policy for parents that offers peace of mind, it can be helpful to give children a high-quality daily multivitamin. We love Wild Nutrition’s Food-Grown Daily Multinutrient (Children’s) which provides all the nutrients they need in an easily digestible form. 2 capsules a day are recommended for children aged between 3 and 12, and for younger children, these can easily be opened and sprinkled over food such as porridge or yoghurt.

You might also like: 13 Activewear Pieces That’ll Motivate You To Actually Get Active

We also like My Baba’s Multivitamin and Multibiotic, a berry flavoured combination of vitamins, minerals and good bacteria specifically formulated for children aged 12 months to 4 years. The recommended dose is once a day, mixed with water, milk or juice or sprinkled onto yoghurt or cereal.

All of the above supplements are available to buy at the ultimate family health online one-stop-shop, www.naturedoc.shop, founded by the hugely knowledgable Lucinda Miller.

About Eight Food

At Eight Food we believe wholly in the art of using food to nourish the body. Whole foods, including herbs and spices, offer us a wealth of nutrients to support the body to help keep us in good health. Our range of naturally boosted family-friendly freezer meals and recipes focus on optimising key nutrients to support specific health needs. We spend time designing our meals to be as nutritious, and delicious, as possible and include the most nutrient-dense goodies to complement our recipes. Our meals are flash-frozen after cooking (we batch cook much as you would like at home) so we don’t need to use any artificial preservatives and can keep the salt content to a minimum.

You can find our range of delicious naturally boosted freezer meals plus plenty of nourishing family recipes at Eightfood.co.uk

Enjoy 20% off your order with discount code TLM20.

Read next: 12 Beauty Advent Calendars To Grab Before They Sell Out


Looking for something else? Take a peek at my ultimate directory for the best parent, baby and business recommendations.

Family Life Fashion Little

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring… 16 Kids’ Essentials To Keep Them Dry This Season

It looks like we’re in for a rainy few weeks! Summer quickly turned in autumn, didn’t it? Keep your kids dry this season with some of these rainy day essentials. If they’ve outgrown their wellies since the last downpour, now’s the time to click express delivery on some of these brilliant boots. I’ve picked out some reliable macs, umbrellas and waterproof trousers too, so the kids can splash about as much as they like without getting soaked through!

Jump to…

Raincoats

I like Hatley raincoats because they’re well-lined, so they keep your kids cosy as well as dry.

Pretty Alpacas Raincoat, Hatley

£36

Yellow is the classic rain coat colour, so I had to include this one from Hatley too!

Yellow Splash Jacket, Hatley

£45

For something simple — waterproof and windproof — H&M can always be relied upon. This one comes with a practical detachable hood too.

Lined Hooded Rain Jacket, H&M

£18

Frugi always has the most fun and vibrant designs! Plus, their raincoats are made from recycled plastic bottles, ideal for us being more environment conscious.

Puddle Buster Coat, Frugi

From £39

Knights & Dragons is just one of the gorgeous rain coat designs from Powell Craft. I also love the unicorn and robot prints.

Knights & Dragons Raincoat, Powell Craft

£39

I wanted to include a coat with a thicker lining too and I think this White Stuff one is perfect for keeping them toasty and dry.

Rainy Day Mac, White Stuff

£33

You might also like: New Business Spotlight: Don’t Plan A Birthday Bash Without My Little Party

Umbrellas

3D umbrellas with wings, eyes, ears, (whatever they think of next!) are always lots of fun. Brollies Galore has a huge selection of characters to choose from.

Kids Umbrella, Sunnylife

£13

3D Monster Umbrella, Brollies Galore

£14

rain day essentials

I must admit I wouldn’t mind this Hunter one for myself! It’s nice to know that simple, monochrome umbrellas for kids exist. This is a good one for occasions too.

Kids Moustache Bubble Umbrella, Hunter

£28

rain day essentials

We all know it’s never going to look as neat as the one in the product shot but letting the kids decorate their own umbrellas is a nice way to add a personal touch to their rainy day outfits.

Paint Your Own Umbrella, KidMaker

£15

rain day essentials

You might also like: 13 People Who Can Help With Your Small Business

Wellies

You can guarantee that Muck Boot Company boots will be super comfortable as well as practical.

Kids Half Pull-On Wellington Boots, Muck Boot Company

£55

These wellies look pretty easy to slip-on and ankle height might be more comfortable for your little one to walk in.

Kids Ankle Wellies, JoJo Maman

£17

I love that these are fleece-lined and elasticated at the top — perfect for keeping toes cosy.

Red Slip-On Waterproof Boots, StartRite

£29

rain day essentials

These stylish wellies from Polarn O Pyret look super-durable.

Stripe Kids Wellies, Polarn O Pyret

£28

Other Essentials

A rain mac by itself doesn’t cut it on those autumn country walks. Pack some Puddle Buster trousers to keep them dry and your car seats mud-free  when you whip them off post walk!

Puddle Buster Trousers, Frugi

From £28

rain day essentials

Don’t give them chance to complain about cold (or wet!) fingers with these rain-proof mittens.

Fleece Lined Rain Mittens, H&M

£9

rain day essentials

Something for you too…

Navy Poncho 3.0, thepeoples.co

Reversible leopard print jacket, TLM Edit

£60


Looking for something else? Take a peek at my ultimate directory for the best parent, baby and business recommendations.

Family Life Interiors Products

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Useful Baby Items

There’s the baby stuff you’ll use once and put in the loft, the stuff you pass onto friends, and the bits that stick with you and you use time again with each baby. Having a good clear out is always an uber satisfying process. It also got me thinking if we were to buy again with the beauty of hindsight, what were the items did we use the most and couldn’t have done without?

Psst.. here are 50 things I wish I’d know before having babies

A cot bed

Classic Cot Bed, The White Company

£425

No point buying a normal cot as you will inevitably have to buy a cot bed. ‘What about if and when a sibling comes along?’ Buy another cot bed as the firstborn won’t be out of the original cot bed for a…. long… time.

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A travel system

Maclaren Techno XLR, Maclaren

£367

So you can’t tell a first-time mother to buy second-hand because they won’t. (Would you have bought second-hand for your precious firstborn?!) However, you can direct them towards a Maclaren. Maclaren works from the offset as it has a travel system and a newborn adapter so you really can use it from newborn. They are also pretty cool…

A high chair

Bjorn High Chair, BabyBjorn

£205

We were very kindly given this on long-term loan when our second was about 10 months and it lasted till he was about 2.5. Now my daughter is using it and you wouldn’t know that it has gone through 4 children (2 of my friend’s and 2 of mine) – it is still spotless. It is very supportive so you can use it from about 5 months old. The seat extends as your child gets bigger. What I love the most is the detachable tray that makes it easy to clean. We initially bought a vast padded monstrosity with straps that became so skanky and worn we binned it after number 1. Oh, if I had known.

A baby walker

Chicco Walky Talker Walker, Amazon

£85

We bought a static ring of neglect, I mean bouncer, first, but should have just gone straight to this one. You can even feed the baby in it as the activity tray detaches. I was quite sorry to see it go! (If you don’t have the space for anything on wheels, the Jumperoo is the best option for a static one).

A baby carrier

Baby Carrier One, BabyBjorn

£143

We have been the owners of an Ergo, a fabric sling and a backpack carrier (not all at once) but nothing compares to the trusty Bjorn which we always reverted back to. I still have a vivid memory of my husband carrying round my 3-year-old in it (as a joke obvs, but it shows you how sturdy and hard-wearing it is). It is also super snug for a newborn, easy to put on (once you master the technique) and most importantly comfortable. I carried a ‘refluxy’ baby around the kitchen in it for many months and we were both pretty happy for hours on end.

A Phil and Teds buggy

Sporty Inline Buggy, Phil and Teds

£399

After resisting the pressure from most mothers of 2 or more that the Phil and Teds was the only option (as I didn’t want little bean not to have a good view) after trying a number of bulky side by side buggies, with my tail wagging between my legs, we relented and bought the Sport version. Best decision ever.  Suits a new baby too with the cocoon. (Doubles up as a brilliant basket for footballs/scooters/buckets and spades when not in full use…)

Hours of entertainment

Playskool Explore N’ Grow Busy Ball Popper, Playskool, Amazon

£80

I posted an article this week on my Facebook Page about fewer toys being better for children. Wish I had read that a while back! One toy that has had all three children amused for hours is the Ball Popper. With a 5, 3 and 1-year-old, it is still a great toy. There are 5 balls, so no ‘mine’ and the music that accompanies it is less grating than most. The battery lasts longer than the average too.

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A nappy stacker

Nappy Stacker, The Nursery Window

£49

This is on the expensive side for a nappy stacker but it hasn’t dropped a thread in 5 years of everyday use and is still as pretty as the day we bought it.

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A black of blind

Gro Anywhere Blind Moon and Stars, Gro

£24.99

This is a saviour if you are staying with people and don’t want to inflict (lack of) sleep paranoia on your hosts, as it has suckers that stick to anything and the curtain blacks out the light very sufficiently.

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A spill-proof beaker

Anywayup Classic Beaker, Haberman

From £4

I have had many a soggy handbag situation from non-leak beakers but this really won’t leak. So much so they are quite hard to take the lid off but totally worth the struggle (and for the price). They also come in green/pink/cow print and with handles.

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Second-hand items

Some items you have to buy new (like the above obviously), but some are just as good second-hand. The Buying/Selling/Giving groups on Facebook in each postcode are a simple way to buy locally and a good way to save some £££ (to put towards a much-needed date night!). My house no longer looks like I am a Pantone colour tester for plastics but some of the contraptions will be missed (for a short time at least).

What items did you find useful?

Take a peek at my ultimate directory for the best places to pick up baby items.