Tuesday 24 February 2015

Another Milestone!

Over the last few weeks Lottie has been hitting milestones at an incredibly fast pace, and whilst I'm happy and pleased for her, I also feel I am in a little bit of mourning. Lottie, being my second and last child, is my baby, I hold her very close to my heart and if I'm honest, I've tried to keep her as my baby, if you look at her I doubt you would think she is two and a half because she is dinky and has very little hair!

Getting ready to go into Preschool for the 1st Time

I recall when Ruby was a similar age to Lottie I used to encourage her to reach milestones and I was on the look out for the next milestones and eagerly awaited her to reach it. I feel completely different with Lottie; I don't look forward to her hitting milestones, I mourn when she reaches one and grieve for the time that has passed by as I know there is no going back. I don't look back on my girls life's and regret anything I look back with very fond memories that I really wish to cling onto so that I don't ever lose them.

As many readers may know I had a knee operation last month and my wonderful husband has had to take on so many roles and I am so incredibly grateful as I do not know how our girls or I would have managed without him. During the week after my operation my husband, off his own back, managed to successfully potty train Lottie, teach her to drink out of cups rather than beakers and she now only has a dummy at night. I was amazed at all my husband has achieved, it goes to show that fathers can do what us mums can do when they put their mind to it! 

This week was another big milestone for Lottie she started at the local preschool, it was a day I knew was coming but it's approached far too quickly for my liking; maybe it's because I've been so focused on my own recovery that I've lost track of time. 

I've been talking to Lottie about preschool and she's been getting more and more excited and each day this last week she's been asking if today was the day she can go to preschool. Today was that day, she walked into the preschool and without even asking she took off her coat and ran off to play! I knew Lottie was a confident child but I had hoped that she would look back and miss me a little; but from what the staff said she didn't miss me at all! 

Lottie told me she had a lovely day and that she had done a drawing, a painting, played outside, played with a doctors set, had a drink and a breadstick, and finally listened to a story and sang some songs! All of this was done in two hours, it's easy to see why she fell asleep so quickly this evening. Before she went to bed she asked if she could go to preschool tomorrow? 

It's safe to say she's settled in very easily at preschool and whilst I'm happy, I wish my baby would stay little for just a little bit longer. 

Monday 16 February 2015


I was recently approached by the lovely people behind the Heston Blumenthal Precision range of cookware and asked if I would like to review some of their products:

Heston Blumenthal Precision Kitchen Scale

Heston Blumenthal Precision Professional Whisk and Heston Blumenthal Multipurpose Spatulas

Given that it is Shrove Tuesday (a.k.a Pancake Day!) tomorrow, I thought it would be a great excuse to make some of my delicious pancakes.

Here is my recipe:

  • 100g Flour
  • 300ml Semi-skimmed Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Pinch of Salt
  • 25g Butter


1. Pour flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt

2. Make a "well" in the centre of the mix and crack the eggs into it

3. Add 100ml of milk and whisk until firm

4. Slowly whisk in the remaining milk

5. Melt the butter in a pan and pour into pancake mix


6. Put the pancake mix in the fridge to chill for half an hour

7. Fry and serve. 

They were a big hit in our house!

The slick and smart compact scale has a stainless steel load plate, large and clear backlit display and unit switching between weight and volume (both metric and imperial). The scale has a resolution of 5Kg x 0.5g which is perfectly adequate for cooking. I was very impressed with it, particularly when I used it to measure out the milk; it perfectly matched the guide on my measuring jug.

I was very impressed with the large professional spec whisk (7.5cm diameter balloon), it felt very nice to use and is solidly build compared to others that I have used. 

The dual ended, non stick and heat proof spatulas worked well for making the mix, but I found them a little too chunky for flipping the pancakes; I think they are better suited to baking.

Both the Whisk and Spatulas are dishwasher safe, which is an absolute must in our household! 

The precision range of kitchenware can be purchased from various retailers including www.selfridges.com and www.amazon.co.uk.

Overall I was very impressed with the range of cookware.

Ruby + Lottie Rating: 8/10

Disclaimer: I was given these items to review for free, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wednesday 11 February 2015

Guest Post: Can You Help?

I was recently approached by a student at Nottingham Trent university who needed some help promoting a survey that she has created to be used as part of her dissertation.

I know how difficult it can be getting a suitable number of responses, so I decided that it would be a good opportunity for Sarah to introduce herself and ask for your feedback on how you dress your children for different activities and occasions.

Can you help?

Hi everyone!

Kimberley has been ever so kind in letting me guest post for her!

I am a final year student at Nottingham Trent University, studying for my degree in Fashion and Textile Management.

Last year I was lucky enough to work for The Walt Disney Company in their Fashion and Home team for a year. This gave me a real insight and interest into childrenswear, and I wish to use all the knowledge I gained by writing my dissertation on the clothing choices which children and their parents make. I am particularly interested in children as consumers and parental shopping behaviour, and seeing what age children become aware of the clothing they are wearing. I am also paying special attention to the amount of physical activity children undertake, and seeing whether this is making a difference on clothing choices.

I have written a very short survey which I would be hugely appreciative if any of you would take a moment to complete this: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HMFWMSS

If anyone has any further comments on this which they would be willing to share, please feel free to leave your email at the end of the survey and I can contact you further :)

Have a wonderful day,


Saturday 7 February 2015

Review: Brother LS14 Sewing Machine Review

Over the last few years I have really enjoyed delving into various different arts and crafts, mainly knitting and a little crochet; however recently I have been undertaking more and more sewing projects as I think my confidence is starting to grow that I can actually make things that are of use!

I was recently asked by the lovely people at Hobby Craft if I would like to review a sewing machine; I already own a sewing machine, so I was a little hesitant at first. The sewing machine I currently have is all singing, all dancing, and if I am honest I am only scratching the surface as to what it can do! I eventually agreed to the review as I decided it would be interesting to test out a sewing machine that is aimed at the beginner to intermediate levels, and possibly better suited to my current needs and skill level.

Hobby Craft stock a wide range of different sewing machines and accessories; they also have lots of lovely craft items. It is a shop that I could literally spend all day; its my idea of heaven, however hubbies bank account would not agree!

Hobby craft kindly sent me the Brother LS14 Sewing machine, which currently retails at £69 and comes with all the necessary accessories for a beginner wanting to learn how to sew.

Included in the box you get:
  • The sewing machine
  • A Zigzag foot
  • A Button hole foot
  • 4 Bobbins
  • A Needle set
  • Screwdriver
  • Foot Controller
  • A Tutorial DVD

When the box arrived on my doorstep, I was pleasantly surprised at how compact and lightweight the machine was; there is, in my opinion, nothing worse than having a really heavy sewing machine as it becomes a chore to get it out and put it away. The tutorial DVD that comes with the sewing machine is great as it tells you in really easy step by step instructions how to set up the machine and everything works, I found it much easier than reading the manual.

My 1st task was to set up the sewing machine, I found it very easy to wind thread on the bobbin, all you do is place the thread spool onto the holder, maneuver the thread around the top of the machine as indicated by the various arrows, then place a bobbin onto the spinner and hit the pedal, and off you go.

I then threaded up the sewing machine its self ready to start sewing. Threading up is easy to do, all the sewing machines I have used follow a very similar principle, just follow the arrows; if you do struggle, I recommend consulting the DVD as it explains this in very easy steps.

There is one thing I love about Brother sewing machines, and that's how easy it is to place the bobbin into the machine (this is used for the bottom side stitches), all you do is drop the bobbin into tray and follow the arrows with the thread, and that's it, its all done! There really is no messing around like other machines that I have used. I think its great that Brother has incorporated this into its entry level sewing machines, as it is one feature that I love on my main machine.

The Brother LS14 has 14 different stitch options which is more than enough for any beginner or anyone who just need a simple sewing machine for every day use. The machine makes nice clean, straight stitches and the foot pedal is very response so you can go slowly if your a novice or faster as you become more confident. The machine maintains thread tension and you can set the tension to how you prefer it. All in all I have been really impressed with this machine and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it anyone who is considering taking up sewing, or for someone who would like an everyday sewing machine. The only slight negatives I can find with the machine is that it doesn't come with a thread helper (to help easily thread the needle), or extra wide table like my main machine has, however I would not expect these on an entry level model, and this shouldn't deter anyone from buying one.

You can buy various extra for the sewing machine including a soft carry case, a quilting foot and various other different types of feet. You may want to purchase some more bobbins as I like to load up my bobbins with colours beforehand so that I can get going on a project straight away.

Up until now I have really just been playing around with the machine to test out the various stitches, I now need to make up my mind what I am actually going to make, thankfully Hobby Craft have posted loads of great ideas on their blog .... so watch this space!

Ruby + Lottie 8/10

Disclaimer: I was given this Sewing Machine by Hobby Craft  for free to review, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wednesday 4 February 2015

Guest Blog - Househusband for the Week!

Hi, its Phil, Kimberley's husband and Ruby and Lottie's daddy. Many of you already know that Kimberley underwent major knee surgery a couple of weeks ago and I was tasked with the responsibility of looking after my 3 girls, Ruby, Lottie and Kimberley! The hardest person to deal with this last few weeks has been the oldest one! I now know where my daughters get their stubborn and strong willed traits from ;-)


I like to think that I'm a hands on dad, and always strive to do as much as I can to help bring up our daughters; this last couple of weeks have been very different for me, as I have had to take leave from work to become the main carer and "househusband", looking after the girls whilst keeping on top of the housework.

I have learned a few things this week:

  • There is always an endless supply of pots that need to be washed whether that be dinner pots, breakfast pots or snack post. It piles up as fast as you can get it down.

  • A washing basket is always full, I cant even remember how many times I had to put the washing machine on!

  • My youngest daughter Lottie is apparently always hungry in the morning, as she seems to come up to me every other minute asking for food!

  • Getting out of the door on time is easy, well it would be if you didn't have to remember to clean the girls' teeth, brush and put up their hair and try and work out what each of them should be wearing for the day!

  • I have witnessed Lottie's dreaded playground tantrums when taking Ruby to school; Kimberley had told me about them but I never actually thought they were as bad as this. How wrong was I?
  • I knew Ruby was competitive but I had never noticed just how competitive she is when it comes to beating her younger sister at things!

  • In the space of a couple of weeks, Ruby appears to have grown up right in front of me; she is growing into a wonderful and beautiful young lady.
  • I have potty trained Lottie; I think she was just ready for it, but I am happy to take all of the credit! 
  • I have loved having the opportunity to spend more time reading stories to both my girls. 
  • I don't often get to have one to one time with each of the girls separately; I have really enjoyed having this alone time with them.

I think Kimberley has been really surprised at how well I have coped; I have loved being at home with my girls but I cant wait to return to work for a rest!