Gifts for a New Mum or Mum-to-be

I’m excited to announced I am the newest resident blogger over on

The site helps match you with other parents (mainly mums) online who share your interests, location and/or children’s ages. There is also a chat forum, but the main focus appears to be making connections one-to-one to find the mums you click with.

The site launched only eight months ago but already there’s a reach of 10,000 mums online. I’ve shared my unsuccessful Speed Mumming experience in the past and more recently celebrating the importance of Mum Friends – because who else understands why you crawl in the cot with your son at 3am?

So when founder Sally offered me the chance join her blogging team, I was more than happy to help support.

Below is my first blog post on the site that went live on Friday, Gifts For A New Mum.

You can view my blogger profile, here.

Gifts for a new mum, or mum-to-be

When you’re pregnant everyone remembers baby, but few think to buy Mama a gift. Despite the fact she feels like crap and is growing a second human.

So my mummy friends and I put our heads together to provide you with a list of great gifts for all budget sizes for new mums and Mamas-to-be.

1. Netflix subscription
content-mainimgEveryone in my mummy friend gang has Netflix. We are all completely and utterly addicted and don’t know how we’d have survived the last 18 months, never mind the early days, without it. And if nothing else, hopefully Mama will have some time to kill on Mat Leave before the baby makes an appearance. Help her relax and enjoy the last few days of freedom she has…

Netflix gift cards come in £15, £25 and £50 increments. from WH Smiths, Dixons, GAME, Argos, Morrisons and ASDA. Find a stockist near you here.

2. New Mama Hamper
dontbuyherflowers thermos box.pngI absolutely love Don’t Buy Her Flowers; a care package and gift box service set up by Mum of two Steph after she received eight bouquets celebrating the birth of her first child – just what every new mum wants, something else to look after and find space for!

The Some Like It Hot hamper is just £ 17.50 (for one) or £26.50 (for two). It includes Cartwright & Butler Shortbread biscuits, tea or hot chocolate and thermos mug – because sadly, it’s every mother’s truth, whether your child is six days or six years old, just as you pour the kettle, you hear, “Maaaaamaaaaaa!”. Make sure Mama’s tea stays warm while it waits for her to return.

3. Concealer3322_Clarins_concealer stickSad and sorry truth about new parenthood; the bags will come, the dark circles will be deep. There’s no escaping it. There’s not much time for make up in the early days (or later to be honest) but a lick of concealer under yours eyes can make you feel human again when you look in the mirror after only four hours sleep.

Why not try this Clarins Concealer Stick at £19.50 or Clinique Even Better Concealer cream at £19. Don’t forget to consider her skin tone before you buy.

4. A year’s supply of dry shampoo
Full range shot copy.jpgAs with the concealer, dry shampoo can be a lifesaver when time is in short supply and energy running low.

Twelve cans of Bastiste come in at a tidy £23.88.

5. OnesieUnknownI was given a onesie at my baby shower and I basically lived in it for the first three months (ok, maybe longer…) of Little Miss’ life. It needs no more explanation than that.

Get one that fits Mama’s usual size (or maybe one size up) so it fits after giving birth as well. The above example is £16 from F&F but you can also find them in Debenhams and on ASOS.COM. Or go all out and buy a bespoke, personalised onesie from The All In One Company (starting at £64.50).

6. Pregnancy Spa Treatment(s) 
dreamstime_xl_55130488.jpgMost of my mummy friends received a pregnancy spa treatment. And we were all really, really grateful for it! When you’re as big as a whale, as heavy as an ox and exhausted from it all, you just want a bit of pampering.

Most spas, big and small, will offer special pregnancy related treatments including facials and massages. It’s important to book pre-natal specific treatment(s) as massage releases toxins into the body and certain oils and products shouldn’t be used during pregnancy. Spas offering specific pre-natal treatments will be aware of the do’s and don’t’s and make sure Mama and baby are safe, sound and ultra relaxed.

Champneys (from £55), Luminis (£65), Clarins (£49) and Elemis (££) day spas all offer pregnancy treatments, but be sure to call your mum-to-be’s local salon as well to see if they offer anything. A manicure and pedicure would also do the trick.

7. Colouring book and colouring pencils/marker pens
9781909855793Colouring books for adults are all the rage at the moment, promoting relaxation and mindfulness. What better way to calm Mama’s mind ahead of the big day?

Try I Love You Mum (£4.99) or Mum’s Beautiful Colouring Book (£3.95), both available on Amazon.

In summary, if nothing here takes your fancy, imagine the worst hang over you’ve ever had. What did you want the afternoon after the night before? Now go buy that. Because it’s likely to be the same as what a new Mama wants.



My little fashionista {The Wonderful Ordinary 13}

Yesterday, Little Miss decided she would wear her party skirt. And nothing else. All day.

I did persuade her to put on some tights (pink, of course) and a hoodie around 4pm. But she took the hoodie off around 4:15pm.

I can’t believe Little Miss already shows such a preference for or sheer hatred of (in the case of her windproof/waterproof salopettes) certain items of clothing at such a young age. She makes it very clear if she doesn’t like what you’ve chosen, screaming and writhing until either you give up, or you’ve wrestled her into the item in question (usually a two man job). During the summer, I mainly let her choose what she wore, but now the cold weather has really set in, sometimes, you you just have to take charge – for instance, a topless toddler isn’t ideal on days you need to leave the house.

Apparently, Little Miss is quite the girlie girl. She loves her dolls, her tea set, poofy skirts, dressing up and anything pink.

I was a real tomboy. No pink, no skirts, no dresses, nothing remotely girly at all until my mid-teen years, so this is a bit alien to me. I lived in baggy t-shirts and cycling shorts (yes, really) until I was 10. (Even it being the 90s can’t excuse that disregard for style.)

Image 6-0

 I couldn’t get a photo of us both in our skirts – Little Miss wasn’t in a paparazzi mood. 

Compare that to Little Miss basically narrating me getting ready for Blogfest15 on Saturday; “Tights! Tights!” she cried as I pulled on my tights, calling for me to get her’s from the top drawer. I wore a slightly poofy bell shaped red tartan skirt (I’ve moved on from my tomboy years, as you can see). As soon as Little Miss saw it, she disappeared momentarily, before running back with a big smile and a little pink tartan skirt (her favourite).

As I applied my eyeliner, she managed to get her feet in the skirt herself but couldn’t pull it up past her diaper; “Mamiii!” she commanded, shuffling to me and tugging ferociously on my skirt.  I quickly whipped the skirt up over her pj bottoms and the smile on her face was utterly adorable. She stood next to me in the mirror as if to say, “look Mami, we’re the same.”

Bless. I wonder at what age she’ll recognise me as the really badly dressed kid in baseball caps and baggy Rugrats t-shirts in the photo albums and lose all respect for me…

See more Finding Our Feet photography on our Instagram feed, @findingourfeet.

See more Finding Our Feet The Wonderful Ordinary posts. 

This post is part of the My Captured Moment linky from Running In Lavender


The Wonder Weeks: Leap 10, AKA, the final frontier

Over the summer (while on my bloggy break), Little Miss completed her tenth and final Wonder Weeks Leap.

It felt so momentous. After sixteen months, we had finally come to the end of our Wonder Weeks journey.

What the hell was I going to do without the app!?

But before we get too caught up in the wasteland of leaplessness, let’s quickly cover off what went on in Leap 10.


Defiant in Italy: I will not go to bed. You can’t make me! Just let me master this step and then I can make my escape…

Sadly, Leap 10, ‘Systems’, hit the weekend Little Miss and I went to Italy to visit my dad, during the heatwave (38 degrees and counting), in a house with no air conditioning or pool……..

Having mastered ‘Principles’ in Leap 9, Leap 10 is all about your toddler’s choice. Choosing to be good, helpful, gentle or rough, patient… or not. And as you progress through Leap 10, your toddler basically learns (chooses) that the only system they fancy abiding by is “the system of me“.

In Leap 9 she realised Daddy and I were different people, different entities. In Leap 10, she masters the concept or ‘you’ and ‘me’, ‘us’ and ‘them’ and boy did Little Miss roll with it. The word, “mine,” came pretty quickly and she would actively exclude either the Other Half or me depending on the activity and her mood.

So how would I sum up Leap 10?

I’m pretty sure all Little Miss thought was, “I WANT POWER!”

But let me elaborate;

  1. Me and my body
    – I have control over my body and things around me.
    – I can do it myself (Little Miss made this clear at every opportunity – and still does).
    – I have my own will (I think Little Miss discovered this one a bit earlier than Leap 10).
    – I can decide for myself.
  2. Naughty at will, just for kicks (tick…)
  3. Your child can console (pleasant silver lining to this leap that actually shone through pretty early on as Little Miss ‘pat pat pat’ – even if aggressively – when we hurt ourselves or appeared sad).
  4. Understands the concept of the extended family and asks about Grandma/Grandpa (yep).
  5. Understands rules of what belongs to whom (and ignores them…..).
  6. Creates drawings that represent something in the real world (this has only just recently appeared at 20 months – they look nothing like Daddy, but she insists that’s what she’s drawing).
  7. Shows an impressive increase in language comprehension and starts to speak more (/ talk back).

And shock horror, but what does the app say? We must all know it by now… There’ll be more crying, more clinginess and more crankiness.


Interestingly, the app also notes that toddlers may have nightmares from this age. Depending on what you read, this could be disputed as apparently they don’t have the imagination until much later for nightmares. However, I disagree. I think Little Miss does indeed have nightmares and since around sixteen months. Whether it’s based on something she’s seen that or imagination is a different question, but we had many nights with Little Miss screaming like I’ve never heard before, gripping your clothes when you went through to her and then screaming again, tears streaming if you left her. That to me could only be explained by nightmares.

The app also warns;

The conflicts and arguments are more intense than ever during this fussy period.

Alas, I can confirm. Little Miss became more like Little Madam, and though on the whole her usual pleasant temperament has returned since then, there is a definite Little Madam streak to her now that wasn’t there prior to Leap 10.

And that’s it. We’re done! The Wonder Weeks is no more for us.

Since it ended, I have missed it. I’ve felt a bit lost at times if Little Miss is having a particularly bad day or week. I find myself reaching for my phone going to check if she’s started a leap then remembering that won’t be the case. She’s just being a toddler.

But we’re muddling through. She’s started nursery, which has helped use up most of her excess energy, meaning our time together is usually more enjoyable as she’s no longer bored with me.

But still, if anyone has any recommendations for books or guidance through the fast approaching Terrible Twos (a step by step guide like The Wonder Weeks would be preferable if possible), then please do let me know. I’m all ears!

See more Finding Our Feet The Wonder Weeks posts.



A family tradition close to our hearts (and our toes)

Six years ago, the Other Half and I went on our first proper holiday together. We’d already been together a year and we’d been on the Uni ski trip with our friends, but that didn’t really count.

So, we spent all the money we got for our 21st birthdays and splashed out on 12 amazing days in Mauritius (ignoring the part where I got salmonella on a yacht… I digress).

While on this holiday, we took a photo of our feet at sunset. And thus started the ‘Feet Photo’ tradition. Ever since, we’ve taken photos of our feet to remember the holiday.

And in 2014, a third little pair of toes was added to the collection.

These photos are incredibly special to us. When I was pregnant, one of the first things we thought of that started to bring excitement rather than shock and panic was the fact we’d be able to include the baby in our Feet Photos. One day, we’ll own our own place and be able to put these photos up in a frame, telling our family’s story. But for now, they remain in digital format only…

Surprisingly, when I was rebranding the blog over the summer, these photos didn’t inspire our new name. But they certainly helped make it feel like the perfect fit.

Mauritius - 0007

Mauritius, 2010


Courcheval, France, 2011


Val-D’isere, France, 2012


Provence, France, 2012


Megève, France, 2013


Provence, France, 2014


Umbria, Italy, 2014


Surrey, UK, 2015


Umbria, Italy, 2015


Provence, France, 2015


Whitstable, UK, 2015

See more of our photography projects here.

See more Finding Our Feet photography on our Instagram feed, @findingourfeet.

This post is part of the My Captured Moment linky from Running In Lavender

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease: not just for cows

On Tuesday, the Other Half picked Little Miss up from nursery to be told they’d had a confirmed case of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease and Little Miss was showing symptoms. We needed to book an emergency Doctor’s appointment and she needed to be quarantined for up to two weeks until her symptoms were completely gone as it’s highly contagious.

The OH then called me, relaying the message so I could get the doctor on the phone before they closed that evening. This all sounded very dramatic so naturally, I freaked out a little bit: “HFAM!? Isn’t that the cow disease!? Oh my god! My baby’s going to go insane like cattle!” …

In actual fact, the human strain of HFAM isn’t that bad (in most cases).

It is highly contagious amongst under 5s as they don’t have a strong immune system yet, hence why they need to stay away from people and animals until their symptoms are gone. The virus is passed through bodily fluids (i.e., spit and snot) or poo – all things under 5s simply can’t resist sharing amongst themselves.

The good news is it’s unusual for adults to catch it. The bad news is there’s an outbreak nationwide in the UK at the moment (Autumn 2015) and being a virus, doctors can’t do much; you just have to ride it out. Administer paracetamol for the fever, choose a good movie and hunker down.

Two weeks was a slight exaggeration; usually it’s about 5 days, though in severe cases it can be 7-10.

So what symptoms are you looking out for?

  1. Grey/pinkish spots on the hands, feet, bum/genitals and around the mouth, with ulcers in the mouth and on the tongue. The rash may also appear behind their knees. (But clearly ‘Hand, Foot, Mouth Bum and Behind the Knees Disease’ didn’t quite roll of the tongue the same way…)
  2. Moderate fever with cough and cold like symptoms
  3. Loss of appetite or not wanting to drink anything (the ulcers can be uncomfortable). This is the big watch out as under 5s can become dehydrated quickly if they won’t drink water.

The rash isn’t itchy, but some kids will pick at spots regardless (after all, they’re only human) and in severe cases, the spots can blister towards the end of the incubation period. If this is the case, there is a risk of it becoming impetigo, which needs antibiotics and more time off nursery or school.

For us, the mild fever only really lasted the first day though Tuesday night was tough as Little Miss would only sleep in our arms. We tried bringing her into bed with us but that just seemed a big game, so the OH and I took shifts in the armchair in her room instead through the night.

Despite the lack of fever since then, Little Miss clearly hasn’t been feeling herself. On day two, I took her for a walk to get some fresh air (and freedom – oh how I miss the outside world!) in the woods near our house and within five minutes she had hold of my hand and was marching me home saying, “hom. Mammy hom!”. (That’s ‘Home. Mummy, home.’ to you and I.)

Pretty much unheard of in the 19 months she’s been alive.

Quarantine Day 3: the captivity becomes too much for Little Miss and she turns to drink.*

So, we’re currently on day six of our quarantine – Little Miss still had just two spots on one foot so to be safe, she’s still off nursery. And I’m running out of ideas to keep indoor play interesting. Even if Little Miss isn’t bored of pushing dolly from room to room in the pram and feeding her infinite bottles, I sure as hell am!

I’ve exhausted all my sensory play ideas from ribbons to balloons; there is officially nothing else we can do with a large cardboard box; we’ve coloured, we’ve watched movies… Yesterday I even got her baking for the first time.

Note to self, Little Miss is still a bit young for baking…

If anyone has any ideas for what else we could do to keep indoor play interesting, please do let me know. We’ve still got at least one day to go…

If you think your child may have HFAM, see your GP as soon as possible and avoid contact with other humans or animals until it is confirmed. On behalf of the rest of the world, thank you. 

For more information about Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, visit the NHS website here.

For more information about Impetigo, visit the NHS website here.  

*NB: Little Miss is drinking milk (of the lactose free variety). Nothing more, nothing less.

“Bitch.” “Happy!”

I think last weekend was one of our best weekends ever.

We’ve been saying we’ll go to Whitstable on the Kent coast for ages and so last week, a bit spur of the moment, we booked our first ever Airbnb (bit ashamed it’s taken us this long really) and on Friday afternoon, we were off, buggy, suitcase and travel cot in tow.

Little Miss had never seen the “bitch” before (and rather unfortunately, it turns out she can’t say ‘beach…). Despite the weather, she was a fan almost immediately; tentatively at first tip toeing up to the tide as it lapped the shore then running head first in the direction of the waves as we chased her down. She was throwing rocks into the surf and searching for crabs in low tide regardless of the 15mph winds nearly knocking her over!

Though to be honest, we should have guessed we were onto a winner with anything that meant her wearing her wellies all weekend!

Being Bonfire weekend, it was also Little Miss’ first experience of fireworks. On Friday night we couldn’t tear her away from the window. She was completely taken with them, crying, “happy!” every time one went off. On Saturday we managed to blag our way into a locals’ bonfire celebration on the bitch, much to Little Miss’ delight. Ever since, every time she hears a bang she points asking, “happy?” very hopefully.

Whitstable is a renowned foodie destination, which suited us well. We’re usually casually strict (if that’s a thing) about Little Miss’ salt-free-very-minimal-sugar diet but as we were on our holidays, we were more relaxed than usual. She got to try raspberry sorbet, had jam on toast most mornings and chips galore. Though we learnt (the hard way) not to show her the chips until after she’s finished the rest of her plate. Whoops! We also discovered Little Miss loves octopus and squid, devouring a plateful on more than one occasion.

I couldn’t choose just one or two moments from this week as we’d had such a lovely time in Whitstable. So here’s a collection of moments from the weekend instead.




See more Finding Our Feet photography on our Instagram feed, @findingourfeet.

Find our reviews and recommendations for Whitstable with kids on Foursquare

This post is part of the My Captured Moment linky from Running In Lavender

Because who else understands why you might get in the cot with your son at 3am?

When I was pregnant, I knew no-one who had kids or was pregnant – in fact, I didn’t even know anyone who was remotely thinking about starting a family at any point in the near future. In truth, despite being surrounded by a group of incredibly supportive girlfriends, it felt very lonely at times.

The only people who really understood what I was going through was my mum and my mother-in-law, but that wasn’t really the same.

Blogging filled that void a bit. It introduced me to other mums online around the world at the same stage in life and pregnancy to me – some planned, some unplanned like us.

But it wasn’t until we went on an NCT course that things really started to change.

There were five couples on our course; the mums exchanged numbers and started meeting for decaffeinated coffees as we all gradually went on Mat Leave. Suddenly I had someone who was genuinely interested in my dilemma of whether we should get a Bugaboo Bee or Bugaboo Chameleon or to confide in about the latest pregnancy symptom without them squirming in their seats.

But after the babies were born, from around the three months mark, cracks started to show. As lovely as our little group was, we had been thrown together due to circumstance rather than genuinely finding each other because we clicked. One went back to work very early on, one moved to a different part of London, during the summer months we all went on holiday at different times and playgroups paused.

And so the loneliness started to kick in all over again.

But one woman – we’ll call her Van Dam (don’t ask) – and I did remain close despite this. We would walk and talk for hours, attend baby music classes together and sip endless cups of tea (the decaffeinated thing didn’t last long). We would send photos of our girls – who also became quite the partners in crime at times – doing their latest tricks, share articles on sleep regressions and teething tips and also ridiculous Buzzfeed links at 2am to keep each other sane. There was also a lot of poo jokes. She was a keeper.

Around the six month mark, I started Water Babies and met Digital Mum. We started walking to and from swimming together and slowly began meeting beyond the changing room. It turned out that Digital Mum had crossed paths with Van Dam at another class and so our little group began to grow again.

At music, we met another pair of NCT survivors; in between nursery rhymes and hand clapping, we got chatting to Bum (her son has created his own name for her… Which naturally we’ve all adopted too) and The Token Dad, who’s partner, The Illustrated Mum, had returned to work when their son was five months old while he finished his phD. After a few weeks, Van Dam and I got a bit brave and invited them to join us for a coffee after class. This became a treasured Wednesday ritual for many months to come and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Token Dad and Illustrated Mum have since swapped roles while she trains to become a childminder; Bum has now returned to work; Digital Mum fills her time with more volunteering projects than a non-parent could fit into any given week, let alone someone looking after a toddler full time; and Van Dam has moved to Jersey. Yet our Facebook thread is rarely quiet for more than an hour at a time and we’re there for each other through toddler tantrums, sick bugs, squirrel bites (yes, really) and beyond.

Everyone needs their friends.

In a mum’s case, this is to keep you sane through the sleepless nights, food fights and wrestling matches on the changing mat. There is a special bond between mum friends who have seen you in your PJ bottoms with greasy hair and vomit on your shoulder at two in the afternoon or to whom you confide your deepest fears or darkest moments of parenthood too. Who else would understand why you might crawl into the cot with your son at 3am and not judge?

The other week, Van Dam visited from Jersey and so we met for ‘Mummy Mondays’ – sadly not an official London night out but simply drinks on a Monday night for our little mummy gang at a local bar. Near the end of the evening, a good few cocktails in, Van Dam whips out a book of birds… As you do.

Image 8-0Before they moved, her daughter’s room was beautiful. Teal walls with huge dark trees filled with pastel coloured birds flying amongst the branches. (I was always not-so-secretly jealous as we were unable to make Little Miss’ room all that special being in a rented apartment with a double bed our landlord refused to move…)

We were each to pick one bird to stick in our littl’un’s rooms, as a little reminder of our’s and our bambinos’ friendship across the miles.

Image 19

I thought this was such a lovely idea that I couldn’t resist sharing our birds in their new homes.

Van Dam even left a bird for the new owners of the house as they’re looking to start a family. May their bird bring Mummy luck in finding mum friends she clicks with, not who just happen to have babies the same age.

Image 8-1


Little Miss learnt a new word this week. “Po-ppy.” (Which she says in this stagnated way every time. This might be my fault as I sounded it out in an exaggerated fashion to be sure she heard the difference between ‘poppy’ and ‘puppy’…)

On Monday en route to nursery, we stopped to buy a poppy from the elderly man selling them at our local tube station. He told us he was a child during the war and sells poppies every year.

Little Miss took a real shine to my poppy and wanted to wear it herself. I slipped it inside her scarf (pin removed) but it didn’t last long. Unfortunately she managed to take it apart and it never returned with her from nursery.

After dropping her off, however, I saw someone else selling poppies, but this time they had silicon bracelets and hair slides. Perfect for Little Miss.

Image 4

Little Miss is far to young to understand the importance of these poppies, but The OH and I think it’s important she knows when she is old enough.

This year, The British Legion have launched the #mypoppy campaign, asking why you wear your poppy.

The OH’s Grandad served in WWII, while his Grandma, pregnant with The OH’s Aunt tried to sleep under a mattress under the stairs through the London bombings before he returned home to her in 1945. Our family is lucky; we’re relatively unaffected by the war, with no one serving in the modern military.

But we still wear poppies because if someone chooses to serve in the military and is negatively effected by injury, loss or mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, they and their families need support to heal and regain normality in their lives. You may not agree with war or the military, but for now, they exist just the same. And service men, woman veterans and their families, often in their darkest hours, need the clinics, services and support The British Legion helps to offer.

So don’t just awkwardly pull out your phone to avoid eye contact with the man shaking a blue tin by the tube exit or pretend you have no change for the woman standing outside the store with a box of poppies. It’s only £1, which to someone out there, could mean getting their life back.

But most of all, when you buy your poppy this year, don’t forget to explain to your children why we wear them.

This post is part of the My Captured Moment linky from Running In Lavender

You can find out more about The Poppy Appeal on the The British Legion’s website, and share your #mypoppy story on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram now. 


FINDING OUR feet is not affiliated with the british legion in any way. THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED IN THIS post ARE INDEPENDENT AND MY OWN.170x30bwi