Finding a routine – bathtime with HiPP

Oscar doesn’t spend much time in his nursery at the moment.  He sleeps in his moses basket downstairs during the day and in a little crib next to me in our bedroom at night.  He has the biggest room in the house as his nursery, and although not fully complete yet, (what room in our house actually is?!) we’ve been able to add some lovely touches with the gifts that friends and family have given him.  I love this hot air balloon and clouds mobile gift he received which hangs in the nursery over the spot where his cot will eventually be placed.Oscar at bathtimeNow that we’re past that magic six week mark I’ve felt the need to get Oscar into some sort of evening routine.  We’ve spent the last eight weeks listening out for his cry before then running through a mental list of nappy, food, burp, and cuddle – hoping that one of them is the magic answer to quieting him once more.  It’s not the best method and it has been accompanied by several sleepless nights when Oscar has been under the impression that 3am in the morning is the time to play!

Not having a clue where to start when it came to getting him into a routine, a friend recommended The New Contented Little Baby Book: The Secret to Calm and Confident Parenting*.  We’ve been roughly trying to follow the 6-8 week routine over the past few days, including the section about helping him to wind down with a bath, massage and dimmed light feeding before bed each night.

When HiPP first got in touch way back even before Oscar had arrived I was already aware of them as a company which produced baby food.  My only purchase of their products as a non-parent had been to test out baby food on ultra runs!  I had no idea that HiPP were also branching out into bathtime products though.

Their new free-from baby care range includes:

  • Goodnight Baby Bath
  • Foaming Hand Wash (and refill)
  • Head to Toe Baby Wash
  • Baby Shampoo

Hipp bathtime products

We were lucky enough to be given both a baby bath, and a baby bath newborn insert from friends and family.  Without the insert I would not be able to bath Oscar on my own as he is such a little squirmer in the water!  In the beginning I certainly wasn’t strong enough to hold him in place with one hand whilst cleaning him thoroughly with the other.  The insert helps to hold him in place so that I can concentrate on getting him clean without worrying about dropping him into the water or making him uncomfortable.Oscar at bathtimeThey say that bathwater for babies should be around the 38-39° mark.  This handy Tommee Tippee thermometer floats in the tub and flashes red if the temperature increases above that.  I like my baths to be boiling hot (something I really missed during pregnancy), so my awareness of temperature is probably a little off whack when it comes to testing the water before Oscar gets in.  Therefore, it’s very useful to have the starfish thermometer flashing away at me if I have slightly misjudged the temperature so that Oscar doesn’t end up getting burnt or uncomfortable in the bath.Oscar at bathtimeAs it’s early days we’re still getting used to what Oscar does and doesn’t like and his way of communicating with us.  Over the past few days we’ve discovered that he much prefers a fuller bath than one with just a couple of inches of water sitting in the bottom.  A friend suggested that perhaps having only a little water in the bottom made him feel uncomfortable and clammy, like when he had a wet nappy, which I guess would make sense.Oscar at bathtimeAs a first-time Mum, I was advised not to use anything other than cotton wool and water on Oscar’s soft baby skin for the first six weeks.  I stuck religiously to this advice, although it did then make me a little nervous that the first time I would be using products, they would be over his whole body.  The HiPP skincare range has been specifically developed to be free from anything sensitive skin doesn’t like though; and to minimise the risk of allergies. All of their new bath time items hold the ‘no tears’ stamp.
Hipp bathtime productsThe part about bathtime which Oscar dislikes the most is when I take my hands and attention away from him to squirt a product or grab his towel…check out that face…!Oscar at bathtimeIf Dan is around to help with bathtime, we usually operate as a tag team.  One of us takes the top half and covers Oscar’s head, neck and arms, whilst the other concentrates on belly, legs and bottom.

First up, we concentrate on washing all of his (very little!) body.  The HiPP body wash has a subtle, but lovely, clean smell, and the liquid easily glided over Oscar’s tummy and limbs, enabling me to gently massage his body as I went along.

I loved the ducky handwash.  Oscar is a little young at the minute to appreciate the novelty of having a duck head as the dispenser, but it definitely appealed to me!  Refill pouches are also available for the dispenser, to save having to purchase a new one each time you run out, which is a great idea.Hipp bathtime productsOscar’s hands are always filthy.  He went through a phase of having his fingers in his mouth all the time, although this seems to have died down now.  He still grips his hands into tight little fists though, and when they are covered in a mixture of milk and baby slobber they attract all the dust and dirt in the atmosphere.  He ends up with dark little lines across the palms of his hands where the creases lie and then these grubby little hands end up all over his visitor’s clothes when they come to meet him!

The HiPP handwash is dispensed as a foam, which makes it super easy to see which parts of his tiny hands I’ve missed during cleaning.  There is no need to rub firmly against his hands in order for a liquid to bubble or foam up, and the soft foam easily cleans all of those grubby black lines from his palms.  It’s then easy to dunk his hands in the tub next to him to rinse it all off afterwards.Oscar at bathtimeWe always place Oscar’s bath towel on the heated towel rail in our bathroom before beginning his bath so that we can wrap him up snuggly and warm as soon as we take him out.  There’s something really comforting, – even as an adult – about stepping from a bath into a nice warm towel before bed.  If only my towels all came with hoods too!
Oscar at bathtime

  • HiPP Organic’s free from baby care range is available exclusively at selected Tesco stores from 6th September
  • Head to the HiPP UK website for more information on their NEW baby care range.

* I received the above HiPP products, towel and thermometer in exchange for a blog post.  However, all opinions are mine and Oscar’s. *

Hipp BumpsWhat are your favourite memories of your night time routine from when you were younger?


Savse smoothies and Monty Bojangles truffles

I had gotten myself into such a regular posting routine over the Summer months that I was sure I would be able to continue once work started up again.  I completely underestimated just how much work I would have to do come September though, and posting has been very minimal once more.  Boo!

Because of my scheduled caesarean, I shall be beginning my maternity leave a week early, starting this Friday though and I’m hoping to get back into a better routine again.  I’m missing the blogging community!  I’ve got so many posts buzzing around in my head at the moment, including the Round Norfolk Relay I helped crew at this weekend, batch cooking, caesarean thoughts and marshaling at Northampton Half Marathon, as well as a review of some recent products I’ve been sent to try… This page talks about the topic in detail.

First up, I was sent a huge batch of Savse smoothies to try.Savse smoothiesIt has been so hot this Summer and they arrived at literally the best time – one of the hottest days of the year, so it didn’t take me long to pop the lid of one to try.  Obviously enjoyed best in the garden, straight from the bottle after having chilled in the fridge for a few hours first.

Savse smoothies - Super GreenI love that there is such a variety of fruit and veg in every bottle, all with no added sugar.  There are approximately six different fruits or vegetables crammed into every bottle.Savse smoothies - Super Red

Super Red was one of my favourite flavours (enjoyed whilst marking a big pile of year 11 coursework over the holidays!)  It was cool, fruity and satisfying.  Just the boost I needed to get me through another stack of papers!

Some of the flavours really don’t sound like they should be included in any sort of drink…broccoli, celery and kale in a red smoothie anybody?…!  But, mixed all together and chilled, the flavours compliment each other really well.

Now I like broccoli and celery and kale, they just don’t sound like they should be part of a drink, if you know what I mean?!  I like most fruits and vegetables to be honest, but two I’m not overly keen on are banana and coconut.  Even though these two aren’t my favourite flavours, there was the perfect mix in the banana and coconut blends without the flavours becoming overpowering and domineering and even though they wouldn’t be items I choose to consume normally, they tasted lovely in the smoothie bowls they featured in.

Savse smoothies - Protein PunchEach bottle contains approximately 100 calories, so is unlikely to tip you over your calorie allowance for the day (if you’re all about the calories, which I’m not particularly), and all of the drinks contain at least one of your recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables, with many of the drinks counting as two portions.

I’m not someone who usually tops up my fridge with smoothies, often preferring to sip on plain water (boring, I know!), but having one of these smoothies to look forward to over the past couple of weeks in the heat has been nice!  They’re the sort of drink you can look forward to after a long run too.  (I can’t wait to get back to heading out on long runs!)…

A few days after receiving my batch of smoothies, the postman knocked on the door once more.  This time to hand over a box of Monty Bojangles truffles.

Monty Bojangles truffles

The ‘Milky Mischief’ variety!Monty Bojangles truffles

I do love a good truffle (who doesn’t!)  Since falling pregnant though, (and I’ve mentioned this a few times on the blog now) I haven’t really gone crazy over sweet foods and, whereas in the past I might have wolfed down the whole box of these in one go, I was rather restrained and kept them in the fridge, opening the door just once each day to enjoy.

Monty Bojangles truffles

The truffles themselves definitely looked the part and were very much melt-in-mouth, the way all truffles should be!  Soft on the inside, with a slightly firmer coating on the outside, and then dusted in a layer of cocoa.

The packaging was really decorative and all of the truffles were contained inside a sealed silver bag to maintain freshness.  At just £4 from Tesco they would make a lovely, inexpensive gift for someone.

Monty Bojangles truffles

* I received the smoothies and truffles for review.  All opinions are my own. *

Are you a smoothie drinker?  What about a truffle muncher?!
Have you tried either of these products before?
How many different varieties of fruit and vegetables do you get each day?

January sale spending

Erm yep, I am aware that we are infact in March now, and will be entering April in just a few days.  This draft post has been sat on my computer since the start of the year though and I did make a few little purchases right back at the start of 2016 that I planned on sharing with the blog world.

I have never been a massive sale shopper, even when I was younger.  There might have been a few years as a teenager when I rummaged around the shops along the high street in Norwich, but I’ve never really been one for spending hours sliding top after top along the sale rail until I found something that worked out to be vaguely a bargain, and was something I would probably wear only the once.

Even if I did ‘waste’ my money on that one wear top, it would never have come to more than a few pounds at a time that I was throwing into the high street pocket.  Fast forward a few years to now and January sales shopping has suddenly become a whole lot more expensive as an adult.  You know all those boring couch adverts that pop up in-between the Christmas shows on Boxing Day morning?  (Or over the last few years seem to have even crept in on Christmas Day evening?!)  Well, turns out that adult-Mary sees those sales as much more interesting now since buying a larger house and still needing to kit out a large portion of it!

…January sale sofa shopping is way more expensive than January sale clothes shopping!

I treated myself a lot in the first month of 2016, and for somebody who often finds it hard to part with their cash, it was a little worrying how quickly a chunk of my savings pot disappeared during those first few weeks!

For the house:

A new bed for our back spare room

(This is an image of it in the shop, we’re yet to complete this room in our house, although the bed is up in the back of the room now, the room still needs a lot of work doing to it.)

Bed in the back spare roomThe ‘drawers’ under the bed are actually a pull-out single bed so that we can have more people stay over when it gets to Summer BBQ season.  Our back spare room is actually one of the largest in the house and we ummed and ahhhed for quite a while trying to decide between a double and a single or something different, before both falling in love with this solution.  We also got a large mirror to match which still needs to go up behind the bed in the room.

A new bed, bedside tables and chest of drawers for our bedroom

New bed and bedside tables in our bedroomDan and I spent a few days towards the end of the Christmas holidays painting out and putting up the furniture and curtains in our bedroom.  Eventually we will have carpet in our room, but we’re waiting until the rest of our house is complete before laying any new carpet down on the floors.  This is probably our most complete room in the house, despite still needing carpet, skirting, coving and the ceiling to be skimmed!


Ultimate Direction PB Vest

Ultimate Direction PB vestI’d been on the lookout for a new running vest for a while and this one came recommended to me by a friend following the Gower Marathon back in November.  Although pricey (just over £100) it has so far been worth every penny and I managed to get quite a bit of use out of it on long runs and at events at the start of the year.

Running in the snowMy main issue when running long distance had been that I always carried my water bottle by hand previously.  I’m not a big fan of using bladders in bags as I like to know how much water I have remaining at all times on a run.  The two front pockets which came with water bottles suit me perfectly in this vest and there is a multitude of different zip and tie pockets all around the vest in various sizes so that I can hide away my money, phone, waterproof and food essentials!  There are quite a few front facing pockets which is really handy for when I am in a race and don’t want to have to lug my back off my back every time I want a handful of pretzels!  The bag sits snugly on my back and is yet to move at all whilst out on a run so rubbing is not an issue.

Another pair of Asics Nimbus 16s

Brand new Asics Nimbus 16s

I got two emails over Christmas from Strava to say that two of the pairs of trainers I was running in had reached the 500 mile guideline of miles that means they should become everyday household trainers rather than ones used for running.
There is something about fresh new road shoes and I love the feeling of ‘springing’ along the road.  It often takes a new pair of road shoes to realise just how old and worn out my old trainers were and I’m very glad of my snug and super comfy Asics.  I am very much an Asics girl and I’m not sure I’d even look at another brand of trainer now following how well my feet seem to get on with my previous pairs of Asics shoes.


Pro Fitness barbell dumbbell set

One of the parts of running I always neglect is strength work.  Because Dan and I share lifts into work it means I arrive at my school rather early each morning (I leave home at 6:20 to arrive around 7am).  Although I currently spend this time working on school work I did look into the cost and practicality of using the attached gym before work in the mornings, but I felt that to be gymed, showered, changed and back in my form room by 8:15 might leave me in a bit of a panic so I decided against it for the time being.  Instead, purchasing a set of dumbbell weights for use at home.  I bought these just as I got sick so I haven’t made much use of them yet, although I already know that I shall get more use out of the money spent than one month of gym membership!

The terrible and wonderful reasons why I run long distances book

The terrible and wonderful reasons why I run long distance - The OatmealI spent half term continuing to go in to school as I had so much work to do before year 11 exam season began.  Annoyingly, the school was locked up at 3pm each day though, so each afternoon whilst I waited for Dan to pick me up at 5 I wandered into town, popped into Costa and browsed some of the (very few) shops in the town.  I did spot this book in a charity shop for £2 and it made me laugh quite a few of the afternoons whilst I was waiting for my lift!
Probably best read once you are already a runner though, otherwise you might be put off from our sport!


Nexus 5x phone

Nexus 5xI am awful at dropping my phone!  On our wedding anniversary last year my phone managed to launch itself from my dressing gown pocket and onto the hard tiles in our kitchen, smashing the front screen.  In February I was finally due an upgrade and so went with the Nexus 5x.  I love it and it does everything I need my phone to do.  Dan managed to swing me an amazing contract for £23 with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 2G of data which I never go over.  Before I was always going over my call and data allowance and ending up with charges on top of my monthly bill.  The few apps I had downloaded onto my last phone took up most of the space and meant that on a daily basis I was having to delete texts and photos just to try and fit everything on, but I’ve had no complaints at all in the last couple of months with my Nexus.

What big purchases have you made this year?  Find any bargains or cant-live-withouts?
Are you a sales shopper?

I will run 500 miles

Over the Christmas holidays I received an email from Strava to say that two of my pairs of running trainers had reached the 500 mile guideline for miles that I should run in them.500 miles in your trainers warning from Strava

I do track my runs pretty religiously on Strava as I think it is a great tool.  I also still use Garmin Connect, as I think the times and paces displayed there are closer to what I am actually running.  For some reason, Strava always assumes that I want just the time I am running to be calculated, not any time spent walking, moving slowly or any rests at aid stations in a race.  All of which frequently happen as a trail/ultra runner.  Strava appears to be much better with the social side of running and it is easy to follow, like and runs my friends make.  Strava shows up whether or not any of my runs have been with other Strava users, and on the fly-by part of the site it also displays whether or not any other runners ran close by whilst I was out on my run.  Whether I saw them or not!  This makes for finding out some great new routes in my area!  I also think the shoe miles which you are able to log for each run is a great feature to have.Shoe mileage on Strava

Unfortunately, both pairs of running trainers I purchased/had bought for me this time last year have topped the mileage I’m supposed to safely run in them without incurring injury.Nimbus 16s after 500 milesYou can really see in that photo just how much the tread has worn town across the ball of my foot.

Fortunately, this, combined with the birthday money I was given specifically to put towards new running trainers back in October, meant that I had a great excuse to buy some new shoes over Christmas.Brand new Asics Nimbus 16sJust look at how super shiny they are in comparison.  And how much tread is on the bottom of those shoes.  I am always very wary about overusing my shoes and ending up injured.  When I first put my new pair on last Winter, I can remember them making my feet feel so springy out on a run.  Not so much after 544 miles though!  At least, if I am getting through my trainers at round-a-bout the same time each year, it means I will always be able to stick them on my Christmas list!  😉

My new trainers are the exact same model of shoe, in the exact same size.  (If something works, why change it?!)  The Asics Nimbus 16s.  I don’t understand how my old shoes appear so much smaller though?…Any suggestions?!  Did they shrink to fit my feet?  I do wear massive flipper-feet-sized shoes.  *cough* size 10.5 *cough*

Brand new Asics Nimbus 16sI like to have a couple of pairs of trainers which I can rotate, especially during the wet Winter months.  There have been a few days I’ve had to head back out on a run in still-soggy trainers, even when I’m rotating two pairs, and that is never nice!

I’m less strict about sticking to the 500 mile guideline when it comes to trail shoes, as I think often it is the impact of the tarmac surface which causes trainers to wear down quite as quickly as they do.  I shall continue to rotate my two current pairs of trail shoes for a little longer, even though the trail shoe sale at Sportsshoes has been calling me just lately…

I shall relegate my old Nimbus 16s for gym/cross-trainer work.  No longer fit for running on the road.

How often do you buy new running shoes?
How many pairs do you own?