Coffee House Stalker – but She’s Not ‘Sad’

A few weeks ago my mother made a rare visit to Birmingham. Now it takes a lot to get her to travel north of Watford so I wanted to make sure we had a good couple of days. Due to some unfortunate circumstances we found ourselves in town earlier than we had expected. This had obvious benefits like an empty car park, but the main draw back was the fact that nothing was yet open!

We crossed the car park chatting to ourselves before the reality of time hit us. As we approached T K Maxx I turned to my Mum and this is the conversation we had:

Me: ‘oh look we are so early its not open yet’

Mum: ‘ah’

Me: ‘I don’t think we need to stand outside and wait’

Mum: ‘oh no I don’t think we are sad enough to queue for T K Maxx to open’

Me: ‘shall we get a coffee’

Mum: ‘yeh sounds like a plan’

At this point we wandered off, carrying on chatting about stuff. I decided to take Mum to the new coffee place in town as their pastries are amazing (if you want to know more about this place check out the ‘Couch to Kitchen’ section).

We order our coffee and respective pastry and retreat into the back of the coffee house. Its pretty quiet in there, but there are a few people about. Leaning back in our chairs we carry on chatting, discussing the family and such. When out of know where this woman comes steaming up to the table:

Woman: ‘I think you are both very rude, I am not sad for queuing outside T K Maxx’

Cue totally non-plussed faces from me and my mother. 

Me: ‘errrr, what? what who are you?’

Woman: ‘you are both rude for saying I was sad for queuing outside T K Maxx’

(at this point she is waving her T K Maxx bag around and starting to draw quite a lot of attention)

Me: ‘sorry if you think we were rude but we weren’t talking about you, we didn’t even see you! We were talking amongst our selves’

Woman: ‘you are just very rude, I am not sad’

Mum: ‘oh love we weren’t talking about you’

The woman continues to rage at us, waving her T K Maxx bag in our faces before turning and storming from the coffee shop. Mum and I were agog and I think half the coffee shop were pretty shocked as well!

Being British Mum and I faced it off. We didn’t mention the outburst over the rest of our coffee. Not wanting other coffee-goers to think we were in the least bit perturbed. Once out of the coffee shop we both burst forth – ‘who was that woman?’ ‘how many coffee shops did she go round until she found us?’ 

Is it just me or is this an exceptionally bizarre set of events? If you have had a similar experience I would love to hear about it, because sometimes I feel these things only happen to me!

To The NICU Mum

Hello There, come on in. I know it’s bright in here and it’s loud. In fact I am sure it’s totally overwhelming for you. Most people don’t even know this place exists. It certainly wasn’t what you had in mind when you announced you were pregnant those few short months ago. 

It’s ok to be scared, to be shocked and too cry. But that tiny person in there is yours. Yours to touch and to talk to. Yours to love and to cherish. He is your baby, not ours. He knows your voice. We are just here to lend a hand, not to take away your early days with your baby. 

I know it’s hard when he seems so fragile. When there is a plastic box between you and so many wires in the way. But just hold his hand, you are the only person he truly knows. It’s going to be a tough journey for you both. A whirlwind of emotions, good days and bad. An uphill battle but you can do it. 

You don’t always have to be strong, it’s ok to say you are not ok. Don’t bottle it up. We want to support you, to help you be a family. Everything we do is to get you all home, together. We can tend to his medical needs, your only job is to love. That’s something we can never do. That is your baby, a tiny piece of you. 

Don’t be afraid to ask us anything. No question is silly, no feeling too small. Chances are we have answered them before but we never mind answering them again. I may never know exactly what you are going through but I won’t judge you. I am here to support you as much as your baby. Whether it’s a tissue and a kind word or a joint celebration of preemie milestone. 

5 Ways to Beat the New Year Blues

Oh my don’t you think Christmas flies by faster and faster each year? All the planning, preparation, wrapping and cooking; then before you know it, it’s gone. You are left sitting in your pyjamas on Boxing Day morning surrounded by bags of wrapping paper and enough leftovers to see you through to the end of January. If you are like me post-Christmas can leave you a little flat! So here are my top tips for picking yourself up in the New Year.

Top Tips for Beating New Year Blues
Lazare / Pixabay
  • Make a pledge to get active – yeh I know it’s a cliché and that January sees an influx of gym memberships (that are never used after February) But you don’t have to join the gym to get fit. Just a promise to take the dog out more often, or to walk to school on those cold bright mornings. Keep your goal achievable – you don’t need to set yourself up to fail!

    Snufkin / Pixabay
  • Clean out your wardrobe. Come on admit you are never going to wear that dress ever again. And those shoes? What were you thinking. Be ruthless – if you haven’t worn  it in 6 months get rid of it. Better still bundle the best bits together and get yourself on eBay. With all that extra cash you can hit the sales, buying things you actually want to wear!

    cocoparisienne / Pixabay
  • Book a holiday – I was doing this whilst cooking Christmas dinner! It doesn’t have to be the holiday of a life time (unless you got a Christmas bonus in which case go for it!) But just a weekend away later in the year will give you something to look forward too. Loads of places take a deposit these days so if you are strapped for cash you can book now and pay a little later in the year when your finances have recovered from Christmas.

    Pexels / Pixabay
  • Set a goal – what do you really want to do this year? Sky dive, feed a meerkat or something more simple like read a book or spend more time with family. Decide what 2017 is going to mean for you and set yourself a target. It doesn’t have to be life changing – but it does us good to have something to work towards. Pudding, for example, has decided that she is going to curb TV use at HQ by chewing the buttons off the remote. You have to have goals people!

    Ben_Kerckx / Pixabay
  • Appreciate what you have. It’s not always about striving towards the next thing. Sometimes it’s learning to enjoy what’s around you. Taking the time to really make the most of friends and family. Finding joy in the little things, is the beginning of true of happiness. So whilst the New Year is a time to look forward and plan, it’s also a time to reflect.

So there you go a few simple ideas to banish those New Year Blues. Have you got any others you would like to share?

New Year is Here! Are you ready for your New Arrival? 5 Beautiful Nursery Ideas from Murals Wallpaper

So Christmas is nearly here and before you know it January will be knocking on the door. Now that New Year is round the corner the birth of your little bundle of joy is suddenly looking a lot closer. You have dreamed about the pram, picked out a few sleep suits and got the all important first stuffed bear. But the nursery? Oh you have thought about it but nothing quite lives up to all you dream of. You want a perfect room, a beautifully neutral space to enjoy with your new arrival. Somewhere to sit and feed, cosy but uncluttered. A space for everything and everything in its place.

So for your planning pleasure I have teamed up with Murals Wallpaper to bring you 5 beautiful nursery ideas.

Starry Night

Gorgeously neutral and chic, this simple theme of grey and white creates the perfect place for your new arrival to catch those needed zzzzs. I love the mixture of stars and hearts. Teamed with simple white furniture the Mural Wallpaper creates a modern nursery that will grow with your baby.

Cloud Illusions

A pale pallet of soft pinks and blues, keeps this nursery beautifully neutral. Simplistic cloud patterns will brighten even those dull grey February days, leaving you calm and relaxed. Again crisp white furniture helps bring this Murals Wallpaper alive – keeping the room feeling fresh and inviting.

Tweet Dreams

Know you are expecting a special little lady? This stunning woodland design complete with birds and owls is perfect. Elegant and fun with lots of things for little ones to look at as they grow up. This paper creates a brilliant nursery and captures imaginations as babies grow. A few girly accessories and some cute bunting will set this Mural Wallpaper off wonderfully.

All the Leaves Are

Another more feminine idea with this stunning leaf drop paper. Beautifully colourful yet subtle. A quirky pattern that will remind you of all the seasons. This Murals Wallpaper is right on trend, but trendy doesn’t have to mean uncomfortable like those pre-pregnancy shoes you craved! This nursery gives off a warm glow, a cosy feeling of nights spent curled up with baby. The pattern has so much going on that a just a few accessories are all that is needed to complete the look.

Nordic Nuance

Ah have you been dreaming of those clear cut nordic lines in your nursery? Its understandable but sometimes minimalistic can feel a little cold. This paper from Murals Wallpaper brings the gorgeous nordic colours and prints with a twist of cute fun. Clean and bright this nursery is perfect for baby boys and growing boys.

Fallen in love with these ideas? Or perhaps you think you have some great designs of your own. Mural Wallpaper can create wallpaper from your own uploaded images. Does a nursery get any more personal than that? Have a look at the Mural Wallpaper website for further details.

*DISCLAIMER – This is a collaborative post with Mural Wallpaper. All thoughts and opinion are my own. All images are from Mural Wallpaper*

A Day in The Life of a NICU Nurse

No publisher ID given

‘Oh wow what a lovely job, cuddling babies all day’ says a Mum when I tell her that I am a NICU nurse. Well yes it is, a great job. A privilege and a huge responsibility. But it’s also an emotional roller coaster. Knowing the life of these delicate babies is often held in my hands.

The NICU can be a loud busy place. Walking through the door you are often met with a barrage of alarms and a flurry of activity. Not all mornings start like that, sometimes there is time to take a breath. But other days you hit the ground running. These little people have you on the hop before you even begin. Such fragile little things that even the most stable on the unit can take a turn for the worse in the blink of an eye. I watch them like a hawk, respond to their needs. Turn them, snuggle them into tiny nests. Providing comfort care when the outside world all becomes too much for their preemie brains to take.

I watch in wonderment as their tiny bodies fight to maintain themselves. Encouraging their parents, supporting them in this most trying of times. Comforting their families as we ride this roller coaster together. The ups and downs of being born to soon. I explain the technical interventions required to keep their precious baby breathing and growing.

I Spend time with Mum, enable her to hold even the sickest of babies. Calm her when her breast milk starts to dry up through the stress of being in the NICU. Feeding her baby is one of her most important roles, but it’s not easy. She is in the unit every day, keeping her vigil by the bedside, she won’t eat properly or sleep properly. Feeling guilty, desperate and alone – my support to her is almost as critical as that to her baby. Bonds are created with families, they are trusting you with the most precious thing in their lives.

The ward round comes and the doctors make their plans. Plans that effect the whole family. Mostly there is hope but sometimes there is none. Hard decisions are made. Babies and their families keep coming. Some have completed their journey and we are waving them out the door. Home to a normal life, after the longest of roads travelled. Others are moving elsewhere requiring treatments we cannot provide or stepping down to local units. Completing that final phase of feeding and growing.

Of course there are cuddles. A break from the routine of caring for the sickest babies. A quick snuggle with a feed whilst Mum gets some rest. It is short-lived. The page has gone another baby needs the team. We race down the corridor, emergency bag in hand. Sometimes we know what to expect when we arrive. We know that this is a premature baby that will require our support. Other times it’s a term baby who hasn’t delivered as expected. The adrenaline rushes through your veins, it’s not excitement, it is a fight or flight response. I am trained for this, technically I know what needs to be done. But I never feel relaxed, this young life deserves my all, the best of my abilities. This family is counting on us.

There are times when as a team we are shocked to the core after events. You can’t help but become emotionally involved with these tiny babies and their families. Whilst everyone maintains their professionalism, ultimately it is the compassion and empathy that we feel that makes us the doctors and nurses we are. In the hardest of circumstances we are there for each other, who else could understand what this job does to a person? Tea and coffee are drunk by the bucket load and biscuits are consumed in vast quantities.

Yes this job is a privilege. It can be both beautiful and terrifying in equal measure. Watching these babies grow, flourish and eventually go home with their parents is one of the most satisfying parts. The journey is hard, for everyone. As a nurse it is technically challenging and emotionally wearing. I can’t imagine doing it without the amazing team of doctors and nurses around me.

After 12 long hours the day is finished. Notes are written, babies are tucked into their beds. But the NICU doesn’t sleep. The next shift is here. Their turn to ride this train. Continually watching, responding, comforting and caring for the babies and their families. For me its time to return to my own family, to try to decompress from the events of the day. Do I spend the day cuddling babies? Sometimes; but there is a lot more to a day in the life of a NICU nurse.

No publisher ID given

#EatSleepBlogRT – Week 18

#EatSleepBlogRt is back! Apologies for late comments and tweets this week, I have been very poorly so blogging has not been top of my list…. I will make sure I am on it this week! I will catch up on all owed comments and tweets ASAP, can’t wait to see what you guys have written. In other news Pudding is one on Friday and I have no idea where this year has gone 😳 and Christmas is less than two weeks away. Don’t forget that next week will be the last #EatSleepBlogRT until the New Year.

Pop over to Catie’s page to see her top post. I will be updating my page in a while once I have completed my commenting – I will tweet my Top Post so the person doesn’t miss out on their badge.

Our amazing Top Tweeters this week were @heatherkeets, @buzymumsonia & @lisapomerantz – Grab yourself a badge each ladies you are a Tweeting Stars!

Petite Pudding

Get yourselves linked up and rest assured I will be getting to all those comments!

Big Loves

Petite Pudding

Linky Rules

      • You can link 2 post – all subjects welcome
      • Linky runs from 8pm Sunday until 8pm Tuesday.
      • Please put our lovely badge on so that we can show off its fabulous design!
      • Comment on the post before yours.
      • Retweet at least 5 posts on twitter using the #EatSleepBlogRT hashtag (including the hosts posts)
      • Hosts will retweet when you link up (if you tag us in your tweet) and when we comment.
      • We will pick one post each week as our featured post
      • A Host will comment on all posts linked up.

Simple right? Lets get out there and set the Twitter world alight with our blog sharing!

Puddings Gift Guide 2016: Misson Cookpossible! 

Are glorious memories of baking of kids. It’s one thing I still remember, licking the spoon, arguing over the bowl! At Pudding HQ cooking and baking only really happens if I am feeling particularly strong. This is for two reasons firstly my kitchen is tiny. Second I am a terrible cook. I mean really awful. So bad that Pie has started to ask me to try really hard not to burn the tea. What we needed was a few pointers for beginners. Enter Mission Cookpossible!

So this is more than just a cool cook book. Personalised with your child’s name and their own character. The whole book is written as a story. With some fab villains and a quirky plot this book can be read without having to do the recipes.
You can pick out the recipes for the book – which is great as you can tailor them to your child’s taste. Personally I chose the recipes that not only Pie would like but that sounded quite simple! There was a great selection to choose from as well so something for everyone.

I am really excited to give this to Pie for Christmas. I can’t wait to get in the kitchen with him and actually produce something edible. Watch out Deliah we are coming to get you!

If you want to get you and the kids one of these great books you can order them here. The ordering process is really simple and you get taken through each step. You can preview the book before you order and there is an option to add in your child’s best friend too.
Please be aware that if you want one of these brill books for Christmas you need to get ordering before the 2nd December.


DISCALIMER – We received Mission Cookpossible for free in order to complete this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

How Come I Feel Guilty That My Kids Sleep?!

Everywhere I look, whether its emblazoned on t-shirts or bemoaned on Twitter there are Mum’s making statements about how little their kids sleep. Every time I see one I just shrink into the corner! Even the BBC has jumped in now – talking about the pros and cons of sleep training. Some experts are quoting that it is usual for kids to be up during the night right round until they are two. I honestly can’t imagine that happening in my house.

Both of my kids have slept through the night since they were 12 weeks old. My son in fact started sleeping through when he was 8 weeks (I used to wake both of them at 11pm for a dream feed before there is outcry about malnourishment!) By sleeping through the night I mean they sleep from around 6.45pm through to 7.30am. Every. Night. We go through the same routine every night. Tea, play, bath, milk, story, bed. Without fail, we religiously stick to it.

irenegoeleven / Pixabay

There is never any complaint from our eldest – never the request for one more story, another drink, another wee; nothing. He climbs into his bed, his head hits the pillow and that  is the end of it. By 6.30pm Pudding is begging for her bed – she downs that milk, dons her sleeping bag and I lay her in her cot with her comforter. She is asleep within 5 minutes. Heaven forbid you should wake either of them before 7am. Very rarely do I reach the bottom of the stairs and either of them is still awake.

So are we evil parents? Have I trained them like Pavlov’s dog to sleep? I am starting to wonder. It certainly wasn’t a conscious thing. I always believed that kids need structure and routine. I never used sleep training methods, I don’t have any strong feelings either way about cry it out or people who keep their kids in bed with them until they are 8. Each to their own in my opinion.

For us the structure worked and I guess we have a certain confidence in our own parenting. I don’t charge up the stairs to every squeak I hear, I don’t rush in to soothe every slight moan in the night. Equally I know the difference between a partially awake self soothing moan and a cry that needs my attention. Watch and wait is the motto in our house. If either of the children wake in the night, I wait just a couple of minutes. Do they need me? Or will my presence prevent them from going back to sleep? Is that a cry of frustration because their sleep cycle has ended or have they had a bad dream and need a quick cuddle.

dagon_ / Pixabay

The other thing I hear from other parents so frequently is that their child gets up at 5am, every day. This totally baffles me. How can this be good for anyone? Children need sleep to grow, adults need sleep to function. On very rare occasions, one of the kids may wake before 7am. If they are unable to self soothe in a couple of minutes then I will go in and put them back to bed. Never in a million years would I take them out of their room and downstairs to play. Why would I reinforce behaviour that I don’t want?

We do appear to be in the minority. But I honestly can’t begin to imagine how other parents cope. My kids are on the go from the moment their eyes open and by 7pm they are not the only ones in need of a rest! I also feel that it is so important for parents to get some ‘together’ time. Even if that is just curled up on the sofa with the latest box set and a large glass of red!

The fact that my kids sleep is both a blessing and a curse. I know that this post will be met with a bombardment of unpleasant comments – probably along the lines of ‘well good for you love, why don’t you jeff off.’ But I am hoping that the hiding out there behind the wall of tired Mum’s is another bunch of Mum’s. Who believe like me that kids not only can sleep through the night, but that a good bedtime routine works and that the whole house benefits from a great nights sleep. (Alternatively I await the mob….)



#EatSleepBlogRT – Week 7

Welcome back to Week 7 of #EatSleepBlogRT, this was our best week ever with 49 posts! Don’t forget this is the retweet linky so make sure you are sharing all the other fabulous blog posts over Twitter! My lovely co-host has decided that due to family and work she will no longer be able to host 😔 so this week it is me and Becky from Sparkly Mummy!

I am still working my way through the commenting and retweeting, please accept my apologies if I have not got to you yet, I have been on a run of night shifts! Rachel has done a fantastic job of reading, commenting and retweeting. She has chosen Right Royal Mothers post about returning to work with her fantastic infographic. If you didn’t get chance to read this post you can have a look here. Grab yourself a featured badge lovely.

Petite Pudding


Our Top Retweeter this week was @katcandyfloss can anyone steal her retweeting crown??? Please grab the Top Tweeter badge and thank you for your amazing blog sharing!

Petite Pudding


This week I am linking up my post about how hard it is to admit to yourself and others that things are not going so great after the birth of your baby. I was very lucky to be front page on Mumsnet with this post earlier in the week and would love to hear what you think.

My run of night shifts continues until Monday (boo) so I won’t be so quick on the retweets this week but I promise I will retweet every thing that I have been tagged in. I would just like to say thanks to all that are making this such a great linky and am sorry my hosting skills are a bit hit and miss this week.

Love Zoe



Welcome to the #EatSleepBlogRT linky! We know there are loads of linky’s out there so we have designed this one to help drive more traffic to your blog by asking people to retweet posts on Twitter as well as to comment. As hosts we will retweet your blog when you link up and when we comment. So that is 4 retweets already! Sharing is caring so the more retweets you do the better. The person with the most shares on social media will also get a backlink the following week as well as our favourite post.

Linky Rules

    • You can link up to 2 posts – old or new of any subject. Please only link one review/giveaway each week.
    • Linky runs 8pm Sunday – Tuesday 8pm
    • Please put our lovely badge on so that we can show off its fabulous design!
    • Comment on at least two posts (they don’t have to be the hosts post but we always love it when you do!)
    • hosts will comment on all the posts linked up by the following week (if we are a bit slow some weeks, bare with us we are busy ladies, we will get there I promise!)
    • Please retweet at least 3 posts on twitter using the #EatSleepBlogRT hashtag (if you don’t use the tag we won’t know who was the most sharing caring person!)
    • Hosts will retweet when you link up and when we comment. We will also retweet if you tag us in the posts you retweet (crikey thats a lot of retweets!)
    • We will pick one post each week as our featured post
    • The person who retweets the most will also get featured with a back link
    • Tag @petite_pudding &  @sparkly_mummy when you link up

So their you have it – simple right? Lets get out there and set the Twitter world alight with our blog sharing!

Petite Pudding


Out of Date Mates: A Weaning Mum’s Essential

Come on we have all been there right? You open the fridge to find no food but an entire stack of half used baby food jars. Now the no food thing is a problem. (Easily solved by calling the local chinese) But the baby food jars? How an earth are you supposed to remember which one you opened when? Yes I know the little darling has probably sucked on the dogs tail and licked a shoe today. Still you don’t want to give them gone off mush do you!

Enter Out of Date Mates! When I heard about these I couldn’t believe that nobody had thought of this idea earlier. Well at least I hadn’t heard of it! So simple yet completely brilliant. This is what the folks over at Out of Date Mates has to say:

‘Feed your little one with confidence with these helpful friendly magnets. Out of Date Mates magnets enable you to easily keep track of when you put opened jars of baby food in the fridge giving you peace of mind that the food is safe for your child and reducing food waste.’

We though these magnets were such a good idea I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them! Luckily those lovely peeps over at Out of Date Mates were looking for a few people to review so they sent us a set 🙂

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First off I love the colours. I am a sucker for bright things. Like a magpie with a piece of foil.. Secondly I was really impressed that they also sent a big pile of stickers. Although we use jars we also use those new fangled pouch thingys. The stickers are perfect for that.

The Out of Date Mates are pretty self-explanatory to use. Pick the right magnet (or a sticker). Write the date on. Pop on jar/packet. Put in fridge. No more worries about when you opened that food and when it goes out of date!

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When you have finished with the magnets you can just wipe them over with a cloth and reuse them. See what I mean? Simple yet brilliant! Unfortunately it doesn’t solve my issue of where to put the baby food in the fridge… (Still a girl can’t have everything!)Out of Date Mates

We think these are a great idea and would certainly recommend them for your weaning journey. Less waste, less stress. A win win situation in my book 🙂

Want to get yourself a set of Out of Date Mates? You can order them here! You can also keep up with Out of Date Mates on Twitter and Facebook.