Saturday, 30 October 2010

Our Pumpkin and Courgette Carvings...

Halloween is almost here, we've carved courgettes for fun this year
To give you all a great big fright, on tomorrow's spooky night!!

3 Marrowy Courgettey Type Things and a Pumpkin!

Group shot before the night out!

Jack Skellington (Nightmare Before Christmas)

Jack Skellington looks more scary in the light!

It looks scarier in the light this one! Can you guess what it is?..
Scream Mask Marrow!

Slightly shaky!

The Demon Courgette!

And finally... the Evil Courgette

Can't stand up on his own though!

Getting Excited About Halloween

When I was younger I used to LOVE Halloween. I would spend the entire week of half term making my witches hat.

My Grandma would take me to the local craft shop and buy me everything I needed and then then the 'build' would begin. Even now, just talking about it, gives me that feeling of excitement that I used to get all those years ago.

I used to love everything about it, and every year I would try and persuade my mum to have a Halloween party but we never did. Don't get me wrong, Mum would make every effort to make Halloween fun. She's paint our faces, bob apples with us and force my dad to take us trick or treating around our estate but I ALWAYS wanted a party.

I guess I saw Halloween as being a bit like Christmas but instead of presents you just get sweets - a chocoholics dream! I hated the fact that I grew up and eventually couldn't go trick or treating any more - although I did prolong it for a little while - after all someone had to take my brother out on Halloween!

Now I'm the grown up and I have children of my own. This year I am soooooooo excited! Mister A is finally old enough to go trick or treating so this is my chance to get all dressed up again and go out on the prowl!

I've been calving out giant marrows from the garden and the pumpkin is almost complete. Tesco Clothing sent us outfits for the kids and we're all set for tomorrow's big day - even down to my stripy green and black tights!

Here's a sneaky peak of what the children will be wearing. Head down to Tesco now and get yours!!

I can not wait!! *does a little wee*

Halloween Cocktails

It’s that time of year again, when the ghosts, witches and vampires come out to
play! When you’re out looking for that killer costume don’t forget to stock up on Midori. Its distinctive emerald green colour makes it the perfect choice for Halloween, and with its refreshing taste it’s easy to mix with spirits, juices and
mixers for some special spooky cocktails. Why not try Halloween Punch – perfect for parties, or Trick or Treat a ghoulishly good ‘shotail’?

Halloween Punch

1 part Midori
1 ½ parts Skyy Orange Vodka
1 ¼ parts Sweet and Sour Mix
15 squeezed Orange Wedges
Melon balls, red orange slices and kiwi slices to garnish

Pour ingredients in order listed into a pitcher filled with cubed ice. Shake and stir for about 5 seconds. Strain from pitcher into punch bowl. Garnish with melon balls, red oranges and kiwi for a frightfully fabulous Halloween party centrepiece!

Trick or Treat

1 part Passione Nera black sambuca
1 part Midori

To make this devilishly simple ‘shotail’ pour the ingredients carefully into a shot glass to keep the green and black layers separate, and enjoy the cauldron of liquorice and melon flavours!

Midori was conceived by the international award-winning Suntory group in 1978. Its premium production partners a honeydew melon liqueur base with a clear grain spirit. Midori is stocked by Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s and is available in 70cl and 50cl sizes. Guide retail price is £9.34 to £14.85.

Friday, 29 October 2010

A Spooky Prediction!

This time last year I was in work and all dressed up as a witch - I even had a stick-on nose and everything!

I'd booked myself in to see one of the visiting psychics that come in to work as part of the frivolity.

I'm always a bit dubious about things like that but it was all in the name of fun!

I sat down and shuffled the cards and then one by one they were turned over and the predictions began. Soon I was giggling away until...

"Are you trying to get pregnant at the moment?"
"Erm.. not really!"
"Well you'll be pregnant by Christmas and you'll have a baby girl in the Summer."

Cue hysterical laughing... "I'd better tell my boss then that she needs to get some maternity cover sorted then!"

At the end of the reading, I went back to work laughing it off with all of my friends. Another friend had been told that she would leave work, open up a fancy dress shop and then emigrate with a Dolph Lundgren look-a-like! Needless to say none of us imagined that any of this stuff would come true. But then after feeling a little 'under the weather' I decided to do a pregnancy test on 17th December and it was positive!

And the rest, as they say, is history - my beautiful little girl was born this Summer.
Now all I need to worry about is the prediction that I'd have 3 children by 2011 - wish me luck!!

Have you ever visited a psychic? Did any of the predictions come true?

The Next Baby Boutique Model Competition 2010

Have you entered your little one in the Next Baby Boutique Modelling Competition yet?

I've noticed a few friends popping up on Facebook with links to their gorgeous babas. Unfortunately Mister A is to old to enter this one (the age range is 0 - 36 months) but Little E is the perfect age.

Last week at the Baby Show we entered Little E in the 'Face of the Baby Show 2011' competition - we got to keep the pic - so why not! Little E was all smiles as soon as the camera was on her. There were so many beautiful shots that we even had trouble deciding which one to use for her entry.

This competition is different though because it's a 'most votes' competition. In my eyes this kind of competition isn't about the child or how gorgeous they are it's about how popular the parents are. I personally hate 'most votes' comps purely because I don't have enough friends to ever fend off the competition!

I know that this years model comp has sparked a lot of debate about child modelling and the ethics of it all but clearly Next are inundated with entries as they seem to have a backlog of entries on a daily basis!

I think due to time constraints I'll count Little E out of this one but I would love for either of my children to win something like this and if they made a little nest egg for themselves at the same time then why not? As long as they are having fun I would be completely happy for them to do a bit of modelling now and again.

Do you agree though? What are your thoughts on this 'hot topic'?

You can enter your child in the Next Baby Boutique Model Competition on Facebook until 12 noon on 16th December. Terms & Conditions apply.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

A long day out....The Baby Show Part 1

Last week I was lucky enough to be able to go to The Baby Show at Earls Court. I wasn't sure what to expect really - I went to the Clothes Show Live last year so I imagined it to be the baby version of that. Only this time, I knew I'd be able to get away with wearing flat shoes, rather than the stiletto heels that I stupidly wore for the Clothes Show. Don't even ask - I swear my toes are still bent from that very day. I had also been to a Christmas Show at the NEC when I was heavily pregnant with Mister A - I had worn a kitten heel to that one and ended up having to buy a pair of Crocs flip flops to wear with my lovely black tights! Anyway, I digress.

I knew it was going to be a long day so I tried to go to bed early but by the time I got to sleep it was well past 1am. The alarm woke me up at 4.30am and I had only just had time to jump in the shower, dry my hair and get dressed before feeding Little E, dressing her and getting to the train station for 5.45am.

When we arrived there were a couple of boys at the station (I was going to call them men but I don't consider a 21 year old to be a man these days - well not these ones anyway) They had been out all night, slept for a while at the station and were getting the first train home. I know this because I was with my mum and anyone that knows her will know that she likes to talk to waifs and strays! I'm pretty sure I used to think I was hardcore of I got the last train home but anyway...

After telling my mum off for talking to strangers we hopped on our first train of the day.

Quinny on the Train

And 4 hours and 3 trains later we made it to London.

I have to say it was a great day. As a Gurgle Girl, one of the first places I headed was the Gurgle and Mothercare stands and we timed our visit perfectly - Mylene Klass was making an appearance! Tor from Gurgle introduced us and I got to have a quick chat to Mylene - she even talked to me about my blog (she was one of the Gurgle Award judges) and her new baby bump. I think I have a lady crush on her - she's so nice and very pretty!

Me, Mylene and Little E

Feeling slightly star struck I decided to head over to the Cosatto stand to collect my goody bag. I have to admit I did feel slightly silly announcing "I'm a a Cosatto Mummy, now give me my goody bag!" but you know me - I'll do anything for a freebie!

We had a good old look around before heading to the Tommee Tippee feeding area. It was a special enclosed area with fancy gliding rocking chairs. Unfortunately it was too busy for me to fit in. I did notice that a few of the mums were bottle feeding in there which annoyed me slightly because there was plenty of room in the cafe's to do that and I'm still not great at feeding without exposing my whole boob. We decided to just grab a seat and I fed Little E at the cafe anyway. It was when we were sat there that we realised a horrible smell had been following us round - we had somehow managed to get dog muck on the wheel of the pram. This means that Mylene could clearly smell sh*t when we met her - sorry Mylene!

Poor mum spent the next 15 minutes cleaning the wheel with baby wipes - eeeuuurrrgghhhh! - then we headed to the Fisher Price Play Party.

[I'll tell you all about that later though - it's almost 1am and I need to go to bed - how very unprofessional of me!]

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

And the Winner is... (Mums Beauty Survival Kit with

I've just had an email to tell me that the winner has been randomly selected from over 1,000 entries and the lucky person is...

Mirka Moore

Congratulations! Jenny from will be in touch with you about your prize xx

Sunday, 24 October 2010

And The Winner Is... (£30 Tesco Clothing Voucher)

Congratulations to....

...'Cross the Pond!

You should be able to buy plenty of tights, pants, socks and tops with your winnings! I'll be in touch shortly about how to claim your prize x

Make Sure Your Child is Safe this Winter WIN a Morrck Baby Hoodie

Parents are being advised to double check the tension of car seat harnesses, particularly when their babies and toddlers wear thick coats or snowsuits this winter. The advice comes from baby company Morrck, who says many UK parents don’t realise the effect that thick outdoor clothing can have on the fit of car seat harness straps or the potential consequences of straps being too loose.

“Parents may be very surprised at the amount of slack a coat or snow suit can cause. For a car seat harness to work properly, the straps need to be tightly strapped against the child’s chest. When a child wears a snowsuit or thick coat, the straps are usually adjusted to the thickness of the coat, not the chest. If the car was in an accident, the coat could compress, making the straps too loose and reducing the level of protection for the child,” explains Isobel Thompson, mum of three and founder of Morrck, creator of the Baby Hoodie.

To test whether you have correct harness tension when using a coat or snowsuit, Morrck advises you do the two finger test:
  • Put the coat on the child.
  • Strap the child into the car seat and tighten to ensure a snug fit.
  • Remove the child from the car seat – without loosening the straps.
  • Take the coat off the child.
  • Strap the child back into the seat – but don’t adjust the straps.
  • Do the Two finger test. If you can fit more than two fingers underneath the harness at the child’s shoulder bone, the harness tension needs to be tightened or avoid using the coat in the car seat.

According to the UK Department of Transport, 60 to 80% of all car seats are used incorrectly, with harness tension being the single biggest failing. Getting the correct harness tension is even more difficult in winter as it is hard to tell whether you have a good harness fit if a child is wearing a thick coat.

“To get the correct harness tension over a puffy snowsuit or thick coat, a parent really has to tighten it substantially, which can make the child uncomfortable as their freedom of movement is restricted. Being tightly strapped in a thick coat can also lead to the child overheating once the car warms up,” explains Isobel.

She continues: “The safest bet is to strap the child into their seat wearing their indoor clothing so you can be assured of the correct harness tension. To keep them warm before the car has had a chance to heat up, parents can place a coat or blanket over the top of their child, or use a product like our Baby Hoodie, which is designed expressly for this purpose. The key is to ensure that whatever is used, still gives you easy access to the harness release button.”

Morrck’s Baby Hoodie helps keep babies both warm and safe as it fits into a car seat, with slots for the harness straps to pass through. The baby is then strapped in as normal with the straps tight against their chest. The hoodie is then wrapped around the baby, keeping them snug and warm, but is easy to fold open once the car heats up. As it has no fastenings, clips, zips or Velcro, it also offers easy access to the harness release button.

Morrck’s Baby Hoodie has been tested by an independent testing facility and it was certified as having passed the relevant elements of the ECE Reg R44.04 car seat safety test. Baby Hoodies cost from £32.95 and are available from

And we have one of these fabulous Morrck Baby Hoodies to giveaway - you can choose between the Rambler (the warmest one) or the All Season Hoodie!

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is comment below (or email with the subject line "I want to win a Baby Hoodie") and tell us which hoodie you would choose if you won (make sure you include the colour/pattern). 

For a bonus entry tweet "I've entered to win a @Morrck Baby Hoodie @second_time_mum's blog " but make sure you comment (or email) separately for your extra entry to count! 

Good luck!

Competition closes 7th November 2010. The winner will be selected using

Find more prizes at ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Quinny: Uncovered by Super Man


: Second Time Mummy


The Agent was unable to restrain and overturn the Zapp and specialist help was requested from a familiar super hero....


he was quick to get stuck in with the 'build'...


we knew that he could do it - he's 'wheely' good with prams...

we even have video evidence to prove it...

he's so strong and works so fast...

and soon the Zapp Xtra is ready to go...
Little E is very pleased...

and after a quick kiss Superman tidies up...

gets a little bit jealous... 

and after all that hard work...

the Super Hero sleeps!
The Zapp is secure and is now working for us.

Agent Quinny
aka Second Time Mummy

Follow me on Twitter @second_time_mum and look out for the #QuinnyCasters tag or check out my QuinnyCasters profile at

Fashion Friday: Maternity Colours

new look,This week you told me that you wanted some colour injecting in to your wardrobes. I've gone and done the hard work for you, so you bump rockers can just sit back and relax.

As usual ASOS make it to the top of the list just because of the sheer greatness of their maternity clearance section packed with amazing bargains to add to your maternity wardrobe. I've picked out some of my favourite bold colour pieces...

Exclusive Cap Sleeve Cross Dress £8.00
Exclusive Drop Waist Chiffon Top £8.00
Dobby Mesh Panel Dress £13.00

Exclusive Wrap Front Maxi Dress £12.00

This is new store that I discovered whilst on the hunt for some bright colours. They stock branded maternity wear and so aren't as cheap as ASOS but there is a sale on so why not take a look.

Noppies Kiana Maternity Jumper Dress NOW £44.96

Noppies Pestel Maternity Top NOW £14.98

Blind your friends in this M2b ruffle number...

Tie Front Top with Ruffle Detail was £24.00 NOW £15.00

Dorothy Perkins have a massive sale on at the moment so if you like the look of this checked number you'll have to be quick...

Red Check Shirt was £20.00 NOW £10.00 (plus you get 20% extra off at checkout)

Another checked number, I love this Peacocks ruffle top - it'd look great with a pair of maternity jeggings.

Red Check Top £14.00

Finally, because Jack Frost has decided to rear his ugly head, I've picked this New Look coat - guaranteed to keep you snug now that the weather has turned.

Double Breasted Swing Coat was £39.99 NOW £31.99

 So that's it for this week. I hope you can all find something that suits! Follow me on Facebook and let me know if there's anything specific you want to be featured next week!

You might also be interested in my previous Fashion Friday posts:

Fashion Friday: Maternity Party Dresses from £7.00!!
Fashion Friday: Maternity Work Wear

Fashion Friday: Maternity Coats from £20
Fashion Friday: 10 Maternity Jeans Under £20
Fashion Friday: 10 Maternity Jeans Under £20

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Review: Waterbabies DVD

I've been trying to remember at what age we first took Mister A to the pool. We never went to any lessons or classes and instead just took him swimming ourselves on the odd occasion.

When we headed off to Singapore last year for our month long trip, we were lucky that Mister A took to the water and, because we had 4 weeks of water, we were able to get him swimming by the end of the trip.

This time round and after watching the Water Babies DVD I've been inspired to get started with Little E straight away.

You don't head to the pool straight off, there are simple exercises to start with at home in the bath to help your baby gain confidence in the water.

When the DVD first arrived I sat down and watched it all the way through. But now I just watch one chapter  per week depending on the stage we have reached. Then we know exactly what exercises we should be doing for the week.

Because Little E is so young we are just concentrating on the first couple of chapters in the bath but I'm so excited about getting nher to the local swimming baths.

The programme is really simple and easy to understand and Little E is already giggling away every time she's in the water. I would definitely recommend this to other mums - it's really good and it will leave you excited about the end result. Little E is very much enjoying her first steps to becoming a water baby.

Further information...

Waterbabies DVD - Teaching Your Baby to Love the Water
So many parents believe that they are unable to introduce their baby to the water until they are at least six months old. Yet it is never too early to start! Every year, too many babies and young children drown in water related incidents - in the bath, at home or in the garden. Through teaching your baby basic water safety skills, you can give your child a fighting chance to survive in the event of an accident.

All babies have a natural affinity to water and can play and exercise in water safely and with confidence from birth. In fact, babies have no inherent fear of water, which is shown in the inspirational Waterbabies DVD. Based on the world-renowned Little Dippers program, developed by Lauren Heston, this DVD aims to build upon your baby’s natural ability by helping you to teach your baby not to panic should they fall into water.

This beautifully filmed DVD gives you a step-by-step guide showing you how to introduce your baby to the water and gives you everything you need to turn your baby into a confident and happy water baby. It will equip baby with vital life saving skills and give them the foundation for becoming a confident swimmer later in life.

Devised and presented by Little Dippers founder, Lauren Heston shows parents how swimming can be a wonderful shared experience will not only give parent and child a unique bonding opportunity but will also help introduce an active lifestyle and can help improve your baby’s eating and sleeping patterns.

Lauren Heston has been running the highly successful program across Britain for 20 years. However with so many parents unable to allocate specific time to classes, the Waterbabies DVD has been produced to give parents the benefit of Lauren’s knowledge and experience in the comfort of your own home, and so enable you to follow the program in your own time.

Once clearly understanding the full and detailed safety advice*** given both on the DVD, in the optional Workbook and on the website, the DVD will take you through a series of innovative yet easy-to-follow exercises enabling both you and your baby to develop skills and gain a confidence that will make bath and swim time fun for everyone.

The programme starts with simple bathtime exercises and progresses steadily through baby’s first visit to the pool and eventually towards the first underwater swim. Safety techniques such as holding onto the side, back floating and turning in the water are also covered.

On speaking about the Waterbabies DVD; Lauren said “ The DVD has been designed to give parents the confidence to take control, to provide them with the enthusiasm and safety techniques to take their baby to the swimming pool.” Lauren continued; “This is a very gradual series of exercises with a focus on safety*** and revision at every stage.”
The Waterbabies DVD is available online at and costs £18.99.

***Important Information to be read by all.

1. Never allow your baby to be alone or unsupervised near water. Although this program is designed to teach remarkable water skills, you baby is still far too young to appreciate the dangers of water. It is essential that babies are never left unattended and that you are familiar with basic resuscitation techniques.
2) It is important that the program of instruction must be followed as set out on the site both in terms of the order in which the exercises and as to the length of time babies are in the water.
3) Babies become cold very quickly and the pool temperature for practice must be at least 32 degrees C at all times. Babies should not be in the water for more than 30 minutes a day.
4) If attending a public swimming pool please make sure a lifeguard is in attendance and that they are aware of your activities.