22nd November 2017

Currently Loving – November 2017

Another month – and another ‘Currently Loving’ collage! And I’ve really enjoyed putting this one together, because there’s lots of things I am really coveting for myself and my own little people. It really is the very best time of the year – and I’ve been in online retail heaven picking my selection! Happy shopping!

1. Fable Heart Crown. I’ve been coveting this sequin crown for my three kiddies since I saw it on my friend Coral’s Instagram feed. It’s so beautifully crafted – and would look amazing sat on a shelf until they were ready to play. £27 at Not on the Highstreet – shop here.

2. Boden Reindeer Booties. I bought these reindeer booties (or very similar ones) from Boden last year for baby Mabel (just three months old then – squeal) and they are bringing back all kinds of memories. I’m tempted to treat her to them again as slippers… Too cute. £18 at Boden. Shop here.

3. La Redoute Watermelon Rug. I’ve just bought this watermelon rug for Mabel’s new nursery (it’s only taken 14 months to get her into her own room, but we’ve had a few obstacles in our way!) It’s going to add a splash of colour, plus bring back memories of weaning her on chunks of fresh watermelon in Dubai. Happy memories. £20 at La Redoute. Shop here.

4. La Redoute Velour Dunagrees. And while we’re on the subject of La Redoute, which I’ve just rediscovered after about a 10-year hiatus, I have also fallen in love with these pink velour dungarees for Mabel. So chic. £21 at La Redoute. Shop here.

5. Oliver Bonas Storage Suitcases. How gorgeous are these storage suitcases by Boden, which have just hit stores? They come in a range of sizes, each with a pastel trim. I am definitely coveting a set for my new house when we move in a few weeks. From £45 at Oliver Bonas. Shop here.

6. Wolf & Badger Origami Necklace. A few people have asked me recently what is on my personal Christmas list – and this Swan Origami Necklace is top of the list. It’s got a long chain, with a choice of gold, rose gold, or silver finishes. You can choose from a range of different animals – from dinosaurs, to rabbits, to elephants – but I love the simplicity of the classic swan. £120 at Wolf & Badger. Shop here.

7. Joy The Store Salt & Pepper Shakers. These cactus salt and pepper shakers are also on my Christmas list and will look fab in the middle of the dining table. £9 at Joy the Store. Shop here.

8. Parrots Don’t Live in the City Book. My boys are loving reading this story every evening at the moment – and with the most beautiful rhyming prose and stunning illustrations, I’m really enjoying reading it to them. If you are looking to add a book or two to a stocking or Christmas present, I highly recommend it. £7.99 at Amazon. Shop here.

9. Aayami Grandparents Photo Book. I’ve ordered lots of photo books from this company in the past and always been so impressed with the quality and service. I can’t wait to see the Grandparents Books I’ve ordered as presents for this year. I love the fact you can send over photos and get the team to design the book to save time too. From £27 at Ayaami. Shop here.

10. TR-Q Multivitamins. Since I’ve been telling you about these vitamins, which will shortly be available in pharmacies across Dubai, I’ve been asked about whether they really do taste as good as Ive described… And they really do. In fact, it’s kind of hard to remember you are taking a vitamin.  They contain nine essential vitamins and minerals, all of which are 100% of the Recommended Daily Value. And they are allergen free too, free of wheat (gluten), milk, eggs, soy, peanuts, artificial flavors, animal derivatives and preservatives. For more information, click here.

 

Written in collaboration with TR-Q

Contains affiliate links



4th May 2017

Capturing memories with Pretty Paper Studio UAE

18280860_10158663916535607_2110324407_nRewind to the 80’s and 90’s. Remember that feeling of excitement as you picked up a thick wallet of photographs from the printer? The fun of ripping it open and flicking through those photos for the first time? And then the joy of choosing which photos went into albums, taking time to stick them in, and then spending time looking through the pages to remember every moment?

I remember all that – and as much as I love the convenience of the digital age, I miss it. I miss the physical photos and the albums to flick through. I miss grabbing a cup of coffee, choosing an album, and taking a trip down memory lane. So when the lovely team at Pretty Paper Studio UAE(an online store packed full of amazing craft supplies, paper, and stationary) asked if I’d like help creating a photo album of Mabel’s first days in this world, I jumped at the chance.

Fast-forward to yesterday, when I arranged to meet Pretty Paper Studio for a crafty morning. I’d prepared in advance, by choosing the photos I wanted to include in my album – and I decided on capturing those first two precious weeks of Mabel’s life. I really enjoyed the process of sorting through the photos and what I’d like to include – and I definitely enjoyed the moment of being handed the wallet of photos from the printer and flicking through. Even the smell of the photos took me back to my childhood and teenage years!

I met Neelu at Pretty Paper Studio over coffee at Fortnum & Mason (very civilised I know!) – and when she arrived, she came armed with the most exciting crafty bits. I’m a creative person by nature, but I simply never have time anymore to do it – so this was a real treat.

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Most of the items came from a company called ‘Project Life’ – I had never heard of it before, but since posting on my Insta-Stories yesterday, I have found out it has a big fan base (several of my followers were very excited to hear it is now available in the UAE). The premise is really simple too.. You buy an album with clear pockets – and then you choose your accessories. From printed cards that fit into the different pocket sizes, to stickers printed with phrases and motifs, to cardboard inserts that you can write on or use to decorate. It’s like scrap-booking, but a lot easier.

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So then it was time to get crafty – and I had a lovely morning slotting in photographs, embellishing them, and adding hand-written details (with the odd sip of coffee too!) Below are some photos of what I created on the morning – and make sure that you scroll to the bottom for a link through to the online store, where you will find all of this (and a lot, lot more) to start getting crafty and capture your own memories.

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Thank you Pretty Paper Studio for helping me to do this! It was just the prompt I needed to get creative and capture some memories of those precious early days!

Visit www.ppsuae.com to shop  the ‘Project Life’ range yourself.

In collaboration with Pretty Paper Studio UAE



26th April 2017

My Top 10 Buys from Linen Obsession

Have you heard about the amazing online linen store LinenObsession.ae? Owned by an expat Mummy like us, you can expect to find bed linen, towels, and accessories for every price point – but with everything very suitable for Dubai lifestyles, especially Mummies.

So when founder Pamela asked me if I wanted to offer my readers a 10% discount on the website (code Mabel10), I jumped at the chance – and to help inspire you, I have pulled together the 10 buys that are currently on my wish list (with links to click through and buy).

Happy shopping – and I really can vouch for the quality of this company. Visit www.linenobsession.ae for a browse.

1. The Hotel Quality Set 

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Linen Obsession “Real Hotel” Bed Linen 300 Thread Count Cotton Sateen – from 50 AED

You know when you climb into bed in a hotel room and you dream about your own bed being just as comfortable? According to the experts, it can be – you just need to buy the right bed linen. This affordable set boasts a fantastic thread count and has been personally selected by the Linen Obsession team to be just like a hotel bed. It’s on my wish list.

Buy online here (use code Mabel10 for 10% off)

2. The Pretty Set

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Christy “Victoria” Bed Linen – from 624 AED

I adore the pastel colours of this floral duvet cover and bedspread – and with 200 Thread Count Cotton Percale, it would feel amazing climbing into bed too.

Buy online here (use code Mabel10 for 10% off)

3. The Kids Set

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Humming Bird Ice Lollies Kids Bed Linen – from 295 AED

My boys love ice cream and I am very tempted to add this fun print to their collection (ice lollies on one side, colourful sprinkles on the other). It’s great quality too (which is important for little people), with 180 thread count and 100% cotton.

Buy online here (use code Mabel10 for 10% off)

4. The Luxury White Set

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Henry Christy ‘Luxury Supima’ 500TC Sateen Bed Linen – from 375 AED

I have the bottom sheet in the range on my bed right now – and oh my goodness, it feels incredible! So simple and stylish in its design, with an incredible 625 threads per 10 square cm. I’m not surprised this is one of the company’s best-sellers!

Buy online here (use code Mabel10 for 10% off)

5. The Statement Set

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Christy ‘Kashvi’ Bed Linen – from 1,250 AED

There’s something I adore about this set by Christy, with its quirky pattern and bold hues. And another 200 Thread Count makes it very high quality too.

Buy online here (use code Mabel10 for 10% off)

6. The Luxury Towels

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Christy ‘Supreme’ Towel and Bath Mat Collection – from 75 AED

Need some new towels in your life? You won’t beat these beauties, which are 650 grams per square metre, making them the fluffiest, thickest, and softest towels you’ll ever have the pleasure of owning. I want one in every size!

Buy online here (use code Mabel10 for 10% off)

7. The Stylish Set

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Christy “Sofia” Bed Linen – from 624 AED

The blues and greens of this floral bed spread are super stylish and on trend – and with the signature Christy 200 Thread Count Cotton Percale, you can guarantee the high quality and comfort too.

Buy online here (use code Mabel10 for 10% off)

8. The Chic White Set

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Christy ‘Penny’ Bed Linen – from 249 AED

There is something incredibly chic about plain white bed linen – and when it’s this amazing set from Christy, complete with a delicate lace trim, it pretty much wins on the style front. That’s not all, as you are getting 300 thread count too.

Buy online here (use code Mabel10 for 10% off)

9. The Colourful Set

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Esprit Modern Ethno Bed Linen – from 94 AED

This affordable set from Esprit features the most beautiful colours and on-trend geometric print. Perfect for your bed – or for a spare set. And with 300 thread count per 10cm2, you are getting seriously good value for money too.

Buy online here (use code Mabel10 for 10% off)

10. The Decorative Touches

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Christy ‘Vibe’ Quilted Pillowsham and Throw – from 150 AED

I have this throw on my own bed and I love it. It’s thick, heavy, beautifully textured, and very affordable – and it can transform your bed in seconds.

Buy online here (use code Mabel10 for 10% off)

For a browse of the whole website, visit www.linenobsession.ae – and make sure you use code MABEL10 to snap up your 10% discount across the whole website! Happy shopping!

Written in collaboration with Linen Obsession



20th February 2017

We test: Anti Grabbity Balcony Safety Strips

16831632_10158303930435607_303171762_nWhat’s our biggest priority as parents? Our children’s safety, of course – and that’s why living on the 21st floor with an accessible balcony has been a big worry for me for the past 5 years. In fact, I was so terrified that the boys would somehow topple over the balcony, that I completely blocked it off – quite literally, with a large plank of wood that made it impossible to slide open the door. The door stayed locked and they simply weren’t allowed out there, which meant we never got to enjoy the balcony either – and whilst that was well worth it for peace of mind, I often wondered if there was another way.

And in November last year, I found it.

Let me introduce Anti Grabbity; a prickly, textured strip that fits along the top of your balcony railing to prevent hands from grabbing hold.

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Totally ingenious.

After ordering the strips and receiving them to my door a week or so later (the company use a courier company), I tested them by trying to put my whole weight on them. It’s pretty much impossible – it doesn’t hurt when you touch them lightly (so no little hands will be damaged if they reach up to investigate), but they will dig painfully into hands if any weight is applied, meaning they would find it very, very hard to heave themselves up. This – as you can imagine – is very, very reassuring.

For so many families in Dubai living in apartments, they offer the perfect solution to making a balcony safe. The transparent strips are virtually invisible to the eye, meaning your view is never obstructed and the aesthetics of the building aren’t altered – yet the ingenious spikey design will mean little people stay firmly behind the rails.

In fact, the strips are so effective that the company recommend them to hotels too, to prevent accidents on balconies, and to cruise liners, to prevent anyone going overboard – and also recommend them for use inside the home, placing on the top of chest of drawers to prevent little climbers. Now I’m living in a villa, I have quite a dangerous shelf that the boys could climb on over the stairs, so I am going to put a strip on there to stop them pulling themselves up.

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The strips come in three types – curved, semi-curved, and flat, so they will work on any type balcony. And the clever inter-locking design means it will fit any size of balcony (you simply measure the length before ordering) and fixed by either ties (if you have space under the rail to loop it through) or through glue dots (if there is no space underneath). When you receive the strips, instructions to affix them onto the balcony are included – and it’s very, very easy.

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Balconies terrify me – and whilst the boys still weren’t allowed out on the balcony without me, having these strips gave me peace of mind that if they did work out how to open the door to get out there, they wouldn’t come to harm.  And wow – you really can’t put a price on that.

Special Offer – Free Delivery to the UAE for a limited time, for orders over $100.

Head to www.antigrabbity.com to buy online (prices are in Australian Dollars, with prices starting at just $19.95 (about 56 AED).



9th February 2017

On My Wishlist: Pumpuli Baby-proofing Magnetic Lock Set

16683289_10158247864445607_451898443_nMabel has learnt to roll – and whilst I know it’s still a while until she’s bombing around the house like her brothers, the step from lying flat on her back when I pop her down to being somewhere else when I return is enough of a reminder about what is to come.

Her brothers were quite good at home as toddlers, but there were always quite inquisitive about the kitchen cupboard. I bought packs of  ‘baby proofing’ sets, but they could still break into the cupboards. I remember fixing one triumphantly one day, before Stanley crawled straight in and yanked it open again. They were ugly, annoying when I needed to get inside, and really not that efficient. So when Wilfred was a baby, we just didn’t bother as we’d already rearranged the cupboards.

And now I have a matter of months before Mabel is into those cupboards soon – and with he boys past the age of exploring, we’ve got a bit complacent with breakables in easy-to-reach places. This is why I absolutely love the sound of Pumpuli Magnetic Lock Sets. Basically, baby proofing has got clever – and they are definitely on my wish-list to make sure she stays out of our kitchen cupboards.

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And here’s why I love the sound of them:

1) They are easy to install. Being a bit of a DIY-phobe, I love the idea that you simply affix the adhesive to the drawers or cupboard – no drilling or holes required.

2) They are very strong. The company promises that the locks will keep even the most curious children out and away from harm. You hear that Stanley? We needed this when you were a baby.

3) There is an off switch. I vividly remember how annoying it was when I wanted to get into a cupboard and I forgot the clasps were on there – so the fact you can instantly change them to unlocked when you want to get inside is a big plus point.

4) They are invisible. Praise be – a big bonus after the ugly white locks that I’ve used in the past.

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So where did the idea come from for Pumpuli Magnetic Lock Sets? Ali and Anko – founders of Pumpuli – and originally from Finland, and the idea for the company was born from the unique approach to family care in the country. The duo seeks out clever products that will ensure a healthy environment for children to grow – and the first is this ingenious baby proofing solution.

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Pumpuli Magnetic Lock Sets are £19.99 each and include 4 locks, 4 catches, 2 keys and 2 key holders. They can be used on cupboards and drawers up to 25mm thick. 

For more information or to buy online, visit www.pumpuli.co.uk

 In collaboration with Pumpuli 



10th January 2017

My top 10 ultimate buys for new babies…

Third baby in – and I think I’ve finally nailed the mum kit. And by that, I mean that I’ve gathered together the things that really do make motherhood easier. Those clever inventions that cut corners so you can spend more time enjoying your baby. And whilst these aren’t necessarily budget buys (I see another post in that), I can promise you won’t regret investing in any of them. So without further ado, here are my top 10 buys for new mums and mums-to-be – and I’ve included a UK and UAE link for shopping for all of them, so mummies in both countries can make use of my list….

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1. Sleepyhead

In a nutshell: A portable bed for your baby, which you place inside their cot.  

I reviewed this incredible invention here – but it’s essentially a snug bed that you place inside a cot, bed, or other flat surface for your baby to sleep. I don’t know how exactly it works, but babies just seem to love it. It’s like they are being hugged I guess, but whatever the science behind it, Mabel happily self-settles and sleeps like a dream.

UK – John Lewis – http://bit.ly/2j0o0ok #aff

UAE – Sleepyhead GCC –  http://sleepyheadgcc.com

2. Snuzpod

In a nutshell: A bedside cot that allows you to sleep safely next to your baby.

We ended up co-sleeping a lot with Wilfred, as he was just one of those babies that didn’t settle well – so I knew from the beginning of my pregnancy with Mabel that I wanted a bedside cot. I enjoyed co-sleeping with Wilfred, but I always worried about the safety of it – so this would allow me to sleep alongside my baby and get to them quickly when they woke in the night, but they’d have their own space too. Out of all the cots on the market, this was my favourite as it’s big (it should last Mabel until at least 6 months) and it looks really lovely as a piece of furniture. Expensive yes, but I’m pretty sure they will sell on well second hand.

UK – John Lewis – http://bit.ly/2j0m13k #aff

UAE – Mumzworld – www.mumzworld.com

3. Mamaroo

In a nutshell – A baby chair that bounces and sways, just like parents

This chair is quite simply amazing. You plug it in, choose the setting (including car ride, tree swing, kangaroo, rock-a-bye and ocean), and choose the speed. It isn’t cheap admittedly, but I would have palpitations if anyone took it away from me (my babies have never been able to resist sleep when on ‘car ride’ on the fastest setting, which I’ve resorted to more than few times). We used a voucher given to us by work colleagues to buys ours when Wilfred was born and have passed it onto friends when they have had little ones. It’s definitely one of my top baby buys.

UK – John Lewis – http://bit.ly/2j0liis #aff

UAE –  The Baby Boutique – www.thebabyboutique.com

4. The Ergo

In a nutshell – A baby carrier that can be used comfortably as your baby grows

I’m not really a baby wearer as I like pushing my babies in buggies, but a carrier is a necessity when you fly as often as we do – and after trial and error, the Ergo is definitely my favourite. The weight is carried around the hips (rather than shoulders), which means you can use it for longer as baby gets heavier. We had a different carrier when Stanley was a baby and I couldn’t carry him past 4 months without pain in my shoulders – but I carried Wilfred very happily in the Ergo until he was 18 months. Highly recommended.

UK – www.ergobaby.co.uk

UAE – Mumzworld – www.mumzworld.com/en/ergo-baby/

5. Snuza Hero

In a nutshell – A breathing monitor that clips to your baby’s nappy when they are sleeping

I know there is some controversy about breathing monitors, as they can make mothers even more anxious – but the peace of mind I feel when I clip this little monitor onto Mabel’s nappy is definitely worth it. Without it, I’m one of those mothers that wakes up in a cold sweat to check their baby is breathing every 10 minutes – but with it, I can go to sleep knowing this little device is monitoring that she’s breathing at least 8 times in a minute. If she doesn’t, it vibrates gently to rouse her. And if there is still no movement, an alarm would go off to wake us. I’ve used one with all three of my babies from the moment they are born, right up until them being old enough to yank it off (I’ve stopped at around 8 months in the past).

UK – Amazon  – http://amzn.to/2jcv925 #aff

UAE – Just Kidding – www.justkidding-me.com

6. Milkies Milk Saver

In a nutshell – A silicon device you pop in your bra to catch milk when you are feeding the other side.

What exactly is a milk saver? Well it’s a simple silicone device that you pop on the other boob when feeding and it collects all the milk that would usually be wasted in your breast-pad (it’s amazing how much you get, which can then be saved in the fridge or freezer for when you need to do a bottle feed). I’ve used it with Mabel since she was born – and this simple thing has saved me pumping and has therefore been a lifesaver (I hate pumping). Midwives and lactation consultants have all been amazed by it – and I never knew I could love a strange milk catcher thing quite so much.

UK – Amazon – http://amzn.to/2id7Oiq #aff

UAE – Order via Amazon and Shop & Ship (as above).

7. Boppy Pillow

In a nutshell – A cushion to help support your baby during breastfeeding

Talking of breastfeeding, I have been totally reliant on my Boppy Pillow with all my babies. I’ve tried smaller, more compact cushions, but none of them have compared to the Boppy – and I’ve even carried it onto flights (great way to comfortably cuddle a small baby on a long-haul by the way!) I got a really gorgeous cover for mine at Pottery Barn Kids in Dubai, but that’s just a luxury extra that you don’t really need if you are on a budget.

UK – Argos – www.argos.co.uk

UAE – Pottery Barn Kids

8. Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets

In a nutshell – Giant muslin cloths that can be used for all kinds of different things at home and when you head out.

My first two babies loved to be swaddled as newborns, but not Mabel – oh no, she wasn’t having any of it. She cried and struggled and fought her arms out – and when we finally gave up, boom, she started sleeping through the night at a week old. So as great as these swaddles are for actually swaddling (and they are the best), that’s not actually why I’m recommending them. I’m recommending them as giant muslin cloths, which have so many different uses with newborn babies around the house. Lightweight blankets for warm weather, sick moppers, bottom sheets for the pram basinet, window drapes to block the sun in the car… The list goes on. Basically they are brilliant – and worth the extra money to get the big ones!

UK – John Lewis – http://bit.ly/2j2AdbX  #aff

UAE – Baby Souk – www.babysouk.com/

9. Cuddle Dry Apron Towel

In a nutshell – The best towel for newborns, allowing you to scoop them out the bath and cuddle them without getting soaked.

When I was first sent this to try (thanks Cuddle Dry!) I must admit that I thought it was a bit pointless – but then I started using it, and wow! It’s amazing. You pop it over your head, scoop your newborn out of the bath, and pull them into you in a cuddle. There’s a pocket at the bottom that you fit over their head as a hood to keep them warm – and the towel between you stops your clothes getting soaked (and having two boys that splash a lot in the bath, anything that stops it happening with the baby too is a real bonus!) Highly recommended!

UK – Amazon – http://amzn.to/2idn0vZ #aff

UAE – Baby Souk – www.babysouk.com/

10. Water Wipes

In a nutshell – Baby wipes made from 99.9% purified water for easy nappy changes and healthy bottoms! 

With my first baby, I used cotton wool and water for weeks – and then gave up and started using pure wipes, which made life so much easier. With my second baby, I decided not to take on the meconium and start with the pure baby wipes – cue a horrible weeping nappy rash that made me sob every nappy change. So I wasn’t going to make that mistake again with Mabel and decided to invest in 12 packs of Water Wipes for my hospital bag and early days at home. They are made with 99.9% purified water and 0.01% fruit extracts, making them the world’s purest baby wipes. I love them so much that I have restocked my supplies and will definitely be continuing to use them for Mabel as long as possible.

UK – 12 packs at Amazon – http://amzn.to/2iXfIuK #aff

UAE – Deliver 2 Mum – www.deliver2mum.com



1st November 2016

7 reasons we loved the 7-seater Chevrolet Captiva…

14494857_1099293233440437_5179997213266301871_nFor the past month, we have been test driving the 7-seater Chevrolet Captiva to see how it works for families with three children (or more). We love this car – so today is a very sad day, as we are handing it back. And that’s not only because life been really easy as a two-car family, but also because we just love the car. It suits us, our lifestyle in Dubai, and our family size so perfectly – and here is why…

1. It fits all our children – and a buggy!

This is the most important thing, of course! There are different ways you can work it, but we chose to put Stanley in the very back (with the seat next to him collapsed down, so that we could fit the buggy alongside him), then Wilfred and Mabel in the middle row. We usually do up Stanley’s car seat by sitting on the boot ledge – but you could access from middle row and lean over if you prefer. When he reaches the age when he can do up his seatbelt, it will be even easier. All the children have plenty of room, lots of leg space, and there is room for buggy, luggage, handbags, and shopping. Impressive stuff!

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2. But it’s not too big

It fits all of us – but it’s still quite a small SUV (when measured against the Tahoe, for example). This suits me, as I want to feel high and safe in my car, but I like it being easy to park and swing in/out of spots.

3. It drives really nicely

I know NOTHING about cars – I mean, seriously (my first question is usually ‘what colour is it?’) – but I have to admit that this car is really lovely to drive. It’s smooth, powerful, and accelerates quickly. The power is down to a 2.4L engine – and that’s always a good thing when you are driving on Sheikh Zayed Road at least  twice a day!

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4. It’s safe

It feels very safe – but more importantly, it is very safe. In fact, it has a 5-star standard in safety tests, with features including Hill Descent Control, Side Blind Zone Alert and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system. Furthermore, there are 6 airbags fitted to protect driver, front and rear passengers in the event of a collision.

5. It’s easy to park

I loved the fact there is a rear parking camera, with guides to help you swing the middle of a spot. I was driving our car this morning (which doesn’t have them) and I really missed the camera – it’s amazing how quickly you get used to it! The parking sensors are also really useful and make life easier.

6. You can leave the AC on when you lock it

This is a big bonus for me during the school pick-ups – as it means I can leave the engine on, lock the car, head into school, and come back to a cool car. It’s a small thing (and my husband tells me a fair few cars are fitted with this feature) but it’s made a big difference during the warm days of late September and October (especially when you have a newborn baby to put in and out the car).

7. It looks great

OK I know this isn’t hugely important in the grand scheme of things, so I’ve left it until last – but let’s be honest, we all want nice looking cars. And the Captiva is seriously good looking. I often walked back to it in the school carpark and admired it for a while before climbing in.

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So thank you Chevrolet for letting us be your guinnea pigs for the last month. I’m just off to convince the husband that we do really need another car – and if he agrees, it’s definitely going to be the Chevrolet Captiva…

For more information, visit http://ae-en.chevroletarabia.com



21st October 2016

Mabel tests: Sleepyhead Deluxe

14813613_10157669099185607_1688948676_nI’ve got a lot of reviews to write for the new baby items we purchased before Mabel arrived (from strollers, to cots, to monitors) – but I want to properly test every single one before I give my verdict, which is why it’s taken me this long to get going.

But now I feel vaguely human again and we have the very early stages of what feels like a (*whispers*) routine, I have decided to get started – and I have to begin by telling you about the Sleepyhead Deluxe BECAUSE IT’S AMAZING!

Let me start by saying that it’s very hard to review baby items with confidence – as you simply don’t know what life would be like if you didn’t use it. Would they sleep better / worse? Would they be calmer / easier? You just don’t know. But this is my third baby and so I do have some idea about how the average newborn behaves and sleeps, so I feel qualified to talk about how the things we have purchased have transformed life for the better (or worse, in some cases).

And Sleepyhead has definitely transformed life for the better.

But let’s start at the beginning. What exactly is it? Sleepyhead Deluxe is the first size of Sleepyhead – and it is essentially a safe, cosy dock for babies aged 0-8 months. Or put simply by the brand; “the Sleepyhead offers a safe and comfy spot that lets baby sleep, rest, lounge, play, cuddle, do tummy time and get nappy changes.”

Mabel sleeps in her Sleepyhead every night (which we place inside her Snuzpod, which attaches to our bed – review on that coming soon!) I feed her, pass her to Daddy to be burped and have cuddles, and then we place her inside. And since she was one week old, it’s been as simple as that. She never grumbles or cries – she just goes to sleep.

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I vividly remember both Stanley and Wilfred waking up as soon as we placed them in their Moses Baskets at night. I’d try and rock it with one hand, as I dozed in bed – but it rarely worked and we’d have to start the whole cuddle to sleep / transport to basket process again. I remember feeling so exhausted and exasperated.

But there’s something about the Sleepyhead that Mabel just loves. She feels so snug and secure that I think it’s a bit like being cuddled by her bed. Probably a bit like being in the womb. She’s warm, she’s cosy, and she’s happy.

She sleeps like a dream and has done since the beginning. In fact, most nights (and I’m scared to type this in case I jinx it), she sleeps from midnight to 5.30am straight at just 4 weeks old. She is a very chilled and good little baby – so I am not promising that your baby will suddenly start sleeping through the night if you buy this, but I honestly think it helps in Mabel’s case.

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We use it during the day too. I often dress her while she lies in it – and when she falls asleep on me during the day after a feed, I pop her down in her Sleepyhead in the lounge.

I love the fact it’s so light and easy to transport. In fact, when I fly back to the UK in 10 days with Mabel for a wedding (the boys are staying in Dubai with their Dad), I’m packing it in my suitcase and she will sleep alongside me in the Sleepyhead in my bed.

The safety aspect is one of the most important things for me – and it’s good to know that the Sleepyhead has been rigorously tested and complies with safety standards in the US, Canada and EU. In fact, the Swedish entrepreneur that developed Sleepyhead (one clever, clever lady that I would like to hug) designed Sleepyhead when she wanted to find a safe co-sleeping solution after her first baby was born in 2006. The materials are breathable, the mattress is firm, and the design supports safe sleeping. It’s really very clever.

When she gets bigger, she can graduate to the Sleepyhead Grand (for tots between 8 and 36 months) – and both designs have a range of washable covers to keep the Sleepyhead clean, but also look pretty cool too. Mabel’s grey design is called Silver Lining.

So what do I really think of the Sleepyhead? I LOVE IT – and I just wish I’d had it when my boys were little too.

Buy in the Middle East at Sleepyhead GCCclick here >> http://sleepyheadgcc.com/buy.php

(Sleepyhead Deluxe, from 749 AED. Sleepyhead Grand, from 1099 AED).

Buy in the UK at John Lewisclick here >> http://bit.ly/2eqsuzk

(Sleepyhead Deluxe, from £110. Sleepyhead Grand, from £165).

 

 

 

 



11th August 2016

My Dubai Back-to-School Shopping List…

Is it the end of August yet? But seriously – I’m more than ready for the school gates to open again now. My boys have been off school and nursery now for 6 weeks, with another 3 and a bit to go. It’s a long time – especially when you are carrying around a gigantic beach ball of a belly and the temperature outside in the high 40’s.

But I digress… The point of this post is to talk about the ways I have been getting ready for the new school term (hurrah) – and the places we have been shopping for bits and pieces for the boys. So without further ado, here are the places I have been shopping to get my boys ready for the new term…

1 – Shoe Shopping

Where I go: Pairs Middle East

When it comes to shopping for the boy’s school and nursery shoes, my first port of call is the footwear store Pairs. With stores all over the UAE, the shelves are full to the brim with the coolest casual sports brands, including Converse, Skechers, Keds, Ralph Lauren, and Adidas – and the shop assistants are very helpful when it comes to finding sizes and picking styles (a breath of fresh air in Dubai, especially when you have kids in tow). Also excitingly for back to school this August, the company are giving away a complimentary school bag (personalised with your child’s name embroidered on it) with the purchase of any pair of school shoes (black and white) – I got these for the boys (see below) and they couldn’t have been happier! I really recommend heading into store yourself.

For more information, visit the Pairs Middle East Facebook Page or head straight into store at Deira City Center, Dubai Festival City, The Dubai Mall, Mall of Emirates, IBN Battuta, Al Ghurair, Marina Mall Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Mall, Yas Mall, Sahara Center and Mushrif Mall. You can also now shop online at their new website at www.sportlanduae.com/brands/pairs

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2. Name Label Ordering

Where I buy: Ladybug Labels

School uniform isn’t cheap – which is why everything I send to school is labelled to within an inch of its life. That means my name label sticker stash is running short, so I’ve just re-ordered from UAE-based Ladybug Labels. I’ve just ordered the ‘Back to School Pack, which has a selection of classic stickers, large sticker labels, pencil labels, spot labels, and iron-on labels. The sticky labels are all dishwasher safe (and they honestly do last) and I like the fact you can design the labels online too.

Order online at www.ladybuglabels.com

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3. Lunchbox Buying

Where I buy: Mumzworld

My two have had the same lunch boxes for the last few years and they are showing the signs of daily use, with grubby marks and dodgy zips – so I am treating them to new ones this year from Mumzworld. The online store (which has just been redesigned and looks amazing!) has a large selection of different lunchboxes – from spacious zip-up boxes by Beatrix (I love these ones!) to hard protective boxes with colourful designs by Yubo, to bento-style boxes from Bentology. All at good prices too, with delivery to our doors (whoop!)

Buy online at www.mumzworld.com 

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4. Swimwear Buying

Where I buy: COEGA

My two seem to have shot up over the summer – and as a consequence, their UV swim tops look like crop tops and swim shorts look like hot pants (not the best look admittedly). I need to get them some new swimming things for their lessons at school and nursery – and I am sticking to a brand I know and trust with COEGA. There are stores all over Dubai where you can browse and buy the brand – and you can trust that little ones are protected even when in the bright sunshine.

For more information and stockists, visit www.coegawear.com/mobile/locations/

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5. Haircuts

Where I go: Orlando, JLT

My boys had their very first haircuts at Favourite Things in Marina Mall, which has now sadly shut its doors – so I was very happy to hear that employee Orlando (who everyone raved about when it came to haircutting) had set up on his own in JLT. I will definitely be taking the boys here for their pre-school and nursery haircuts in the last week of the holidays and can personally vouch for the service (there are toys aplenty to keep them happy while their siblings are having their turn too).

Kids Salon, JBC1, Cluster G, UB 12, Lake Level JTL. Timings 9am-9pm. Call or Whatsapp 05560 72563 for appointments

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3rd August 2016

5 new investments for baby number three…

This is my third baby, so I’ve already got everything I need already right?

Well yes, I guess so. We certainly didn’t need to make any big investments. We could’ve re-used what we used with the boys and have stored away.

But now I’m onto my third baby, I have got to the point where I know how I like to parent and what makes life easier at home, so there are certain things I have coveted for our third baby that we have decided to invest in.

So without further ado, here are the five new things I have purchased this time round – and if you’re expecting too, it might come in handy…

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1. Stokke XPlory Stroller

This is the biggy – and to be honest, I have wanted this stroller since my first pregnancy with Stanley, but never felt I could justify investing in it. But as this is almost certainly my last baby (last chance saloon!), coupled with the fact the boys will be at school and nursery most mornings, so I will be spending a fair bit of time with my little lady alone – I decided I wanted a new single for the days it is just the two of us.

When Wilfred was a newborn, I had a much smaller gap (21 months) and used our colossal (but brilliant) double buggy every day. We still have it and will definitely be using it when we have all three children together (Wilfred still loves a buggy ride at 2.5 years old), but this lighter, slimmer stroller will be perfect for the days when I have her alone – especially because the double buggy doesn’t fit through the doors to our carpark without a hefty push, which makes it a little trickier when I don’t have my husband around!

What I have always loved specifically about this stroller is that she is high up so I can keep an eye on her at all times. It’s also the most beautiful buggy I have set eyes on… I went for the beige colour purely for my husband’s benefit – I was coveting the purple, but I’m not sure he would have agreed…

UAE Stockist: Just Kidding UAE

2. Water Wipes

When we had Stanley, I did the newborn nappy changing ‘by the book’ with cotton wool and water. Until we got that first meconium poo and realised cotton wool wasn’t going to cut it, so reverted to sensitive wipes. It worked perfectly and his bottom was fine – so we did the same with Wilfred in hospital. This time round, however, my beautiful newborn ended up with a severe, weeping nappy rash that lasted for weeks – so I knew I couldn’t risk using regular wipes on another baby of mine.

Step forward Water Wipes. Essentially, they are thick, pillowy wipes that are 99.9% water (and the rest just fruit extracts). Simply put, they are the next best thing to cotton wool and water (but a lot, lot easier on those yucky newborn poos!)

I had to bring these over in my suitcase from the UK (possibly not one for your Shop + Ship account if you live in Dubai, as they are the heaviest wipes in the world!) but I knew I needed them this time round, so it was worth blowing the luggage allowance!

Stockist: Buy online at Amazon.co.uk or in Boots in the UK

3. Snuzpod

I love co-sleeping with my babies. I like to feel them close to me, to hear them breathing, and to have the convenience of rolling over and feeding them. However, I have always worried about the safety implications, which is why I decided we needed a bedside crib this time around. I was coveting the Chicco Next2Me Cot – until I spotted the Snuzpod, that is… It’s just so beautiful and so convenient – and I love the fact you can take the top part off, so baby can snooze wherever you are in the house.

The way it works is that the side comes down and you physically attach it to your bed, so it’s an extension of where you are sleeping (whilst being a lot safer as you couldn’t roll inside). People have told me that their babies slept in them until they were 6 months, which sounds perfect to me, as then she can move into her cot in her own bedroom (well, the spare room actually, poor third baby!)

UAE Stockist: Mumzworld

4. Sleepyhead

This is the one I wasn’t sure about, but after hearing so many amazing reviews of babies sleeping so well in their Sleepyheads, I’ve decided to go ahead with it. Essentially a  nest for your baby, you place them inside it to sleep – and they apparently feel safe, snug and secure instantly, making them far more likely to sleep well inside it (or so the theory goes). I’ll put my Sleepyhead inside the Snuzpod (above) for her to sleep at home – but when we travel, I’ll use it in travel cots, or move it into the lounge, or if I am in bed alone, I can place it right next to me (as long as the bed is firm) and sleep safely next to her. I can’t wait to see if it’s as good as the reviews suggest!

UAE Stockist: Sleepyhead GCC

5. Rainforest Jumperoo

I am jumping (boom, boom) forward a little bit with this one, as she wont be able to use it until she’s a little older (I’m guessing early next year) – but it is definitely something I’ve mulled over with each new baby before deciding we a) didn’t need it and b) didn’t really have enough space. Well this time round, we do have the space – and with two older brothers to entertain at home, anything I can get my hands on that she might enjoy for a few minutes while I cook dinner / spend some time with her brothers will be worth its weight in gold. So this time, I am finally investing in it – what a lucky girl she is!

UAE Stockist:  Mumzworld