Thursday, 30 September 2010

Agent Quinny: Target Located


ASSIGNED AGENT: Second Time Mummy


DETAILS: Agent Quinny has spotted the target hiding in various locations, trying to evade capture..

Advertising and our Children

As you've probably noticed over the past few weeks, there are lots of toy adverts finding there way on to our TV screens. We are now well in to what is known by the advertising peeps as 'the golden quarter.' Obviously it's the busiest time of year for retailers, and as we start to approach Christmas there's Ben 10, Thomas the Tank Engine, Baby Annabel - all sorts of delightful goodies to entice our little ones.

Imagine my surprise then, when mister A just came running in and said "Mummy, mummy, we've got Ariel haven't we. I've just seen it on the TV - it's Ariel Actilift."

What the hell is going on? Why is my son more interested in what we are using to wash our clothes with than what he wants for Christmas!?

It's not the first time this has happened either. Last week he stunned me when that Actimel laughing baby ad came on - "Mummy", he said "Healthy babies are happy babies." I looked to the TV and one minute later that was the strap line being delivered by the narrator. I just looked at him.

Now I can assure you, Mister A does not spend hours perched in front of the TV. It seems though that the little time he is watching, he is completely absorbed by the ads aimed at the parents rather than those toy ads that we all hate at this time of year!

So what's going on? Should I see this as a good thing - my son clearly has some kind of photographic memory or is this just a sign of the times? Like many other 3 and a half year olds, he knows all the major brand logos by sight, Tesco's, McDonalds, Lego and obviously now Ariel(?!) but he is really clever with everthing else too. He can count higher than 50 and he knows the alphabet - so is this just another form of learning? What do you think?

I shouldn't really complain, after all the sooner he learns to wash his own clothes, the better!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

New Blog Pimp!

Please, please, please come and join me on my new blog too...

I guarantee it'll be fun! Come follow my journey of trying to take control of my body again after having 2 children! I'll be posting the highs and lows, the sneaky cream cakes, the attempts at exercise as well as low calorie recipes! Join me - I need your support - FORCE ME TO GET THIN!!!

London does Fashion Week - A guest post by The Very Simon G

As you all know last week was London Fashion Week and as a new mum it was impossible to get down there and find out what's going to be hot for next season. Nevertheless, I couldn't let my fashion followers down, so I sent my good friend, The Very Simon G, off on a mission to report back to us on the up and coming trends. If you're wondering where you've heard his name before, you may have seen him in such places as InStyle Magazine or even The Times Style Guide - very posh - but you can mostly find him over at his own fabulous blog


The fashion world descended on our lovely Capital last week with another dose of amazing seasonal wares, this time for spring summer next year. So after months of preparation from the PR companies and fashion houses, and weeks of organising my own schedule (praying I didn't overlap on any shows), it was time for some serious catwalk strutting.

As the models got their final touch ups and us lot, the fashion followers, editors and bloggers, took our seats, it was time to do a bit of trend spotting. And boy what a season it's going to be! Colour wise ladies it's a bit of a mish mash - but that's by no means a negative.

Yellow is everywhere - from Christopher Kane and Holly Fulton's fun shorter length dresses to Matthew Williamson's amazing floaty numbers - canary, banana or sunshine.

Holly Fulton

Monday, 27 September 2010

The Honey Monster's Back!

*This is a sponsored post*

In our house, there's nothing we like more than a big bowl of cereal. In fact we love cereal so much that we have a special 'cereal shelf'! We tend to mix and match in the mornings but we all have our own favourites.

Last week we were sent some NEW cereal to try and you'll never believe it - the Honey Monster's back!! It's like being back in the 80s - with the big yellow monster and the old Milky Way advert back on our screens I keep thinking the Delorean has been to collect me in the night and taken me back to my childhood! No such luck though.

Anyway, as I said, the Honey Monster is back and this week he's launched a brand new cereal called Honey Waffles and this morning chief taste tester Mister A sat down to sample them.

Unfortunately for me, he loves them which means I need a bigger shelf!

You can go back to your younger days too, check out the new ad...

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Singapore Grand Prix - and an amazing month long holiday!

This time last year, before I became a blogger and before I got pregnant with baby number 2 - we all headed to Singapore for a month long, holiday of a lifetime. Chris's dad kindly got us THE BEST tickets for all 3 days of the Singapore Grand Prix night race. As it's the anniversary of 'the big race' I thought I'd post some pics and relive some of our holiday memories...

On the podium

If you have ever tried to take a picture of a car driving past at 200 mph then you'll appreciate this one...

Yummy Mummy Morning - Molton Brown Giveaway

I saw a post in the British Mummy Bloggers forums about a month ago - it was in the Northwest Mums (and Dads) group - inviting us to a Yummy Mummy Morning at the Lowry Outlet Mall in Manchester.

Curious, I read the post and as soon as I the words 'MOLTON BROWN' and 'GOODY BAG' I immediately responded!

To me Molton Brown is a bit like Brad Pitt - gorgeous, rich and a little bit out of my league. Being a mummy on a budget, I have never been able to treat myself to such wonderful luxuries, so this was an opportunity that I could not afford to miss.

I booked a place for me and my mum to go and on Wednesday this week, 3 generations of our family (that's my mum, me and Ellissia) tackled the M58, the M6 and the M62 in search of pampering and goodies!

We had to arrive between 11am and 2pm but being a new mummy we only actually managed to arrive at ten minutes to two - you know how it is!

We were treated to tea and biscuits and I was given a choice of 4 different ranges to choose from for my hand and arm massage - inspiring, relaxing, blissful or nurturing. I opted for Relaxing Yuan Zi and it was amazing - it chilled me out and gave me some much deserved pampering - even if I do say so myself!

When we were leaving we were handed a goody bag each.

I was like a child at Christmas and couldn't wait to see what was inside...

I wasn't disappointed - 5 gorgeous mini Molton's!! And guess what? My mum has kindly donated her goody bag so I can give it away to one of you lucky peeps!

Want to win? There are lots of ways to enter, you get one entry for each..

and RT the message: "RT Ive entered the Molton Brown Giveaway at #SecondTimeMummy - you should too"

Comment below telling me what you do to relax with your family.

To confirm your entry you must leave a comment below to tell me how you are entering or send an email to with a list of what you have done.

Good Luck Everyone!

This competition will close at midnight on Saturday 9th October (mums birthday!) and a winner will be randomly selected.

Find more prizes at ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Fashion Friday: 10 Maternity Jeans Under £20

Last weeks Fashion Friday proved very popular so this week I've found you a selection of bargain maternity jeans. Be quick though, some of them are likely to sell out fast!

Make sure you all check out Mamas & Papas - they have an up to 50% off sale on a selection of maternity wear starting today as well as a massive denim sale. I've picked the best jeans for you. I'm still wearing my M&P maternity jeans even now!

Mamas and Papas Authentic Jeans was £50.00 NOW £10.00

Mamas and Papas Slouch Jeans was £40.00 NOW £10.00

I love because as a mum on a budget it's easy to pay in installments - not that you'll need to with these bargains!

South Under Bump Skinny Jeans £20.00

South Little Bump Jeans £16.00

I've been rooting around in the ASOS clearance bin again! Think I've found a couple of good 'uns...

ASOS Iggy Sardinian Blue Skinny WAS £30.00 NOW £14.00

ASOS Side Adjusting Boyfriend Jeans was £35.00 NOW £16.00

New Look are well known for there low cost but great quality jeans and there maternity range is no exception...
New Look Boot Cut Jeans (3 lengths available) £16.00

New Look Jersey Jeggings £10

As usual ASDA never lets us ladies down heres 2 great pairs of fashion jeans that you can buy with your big shop - your other half will never know!!

George Over Bump Skinny Jeans £16.00

George Maternity Fashion Jeans £16.00

So ladies you've got no excuses for looking like a frump with your bump with this fabulous selection of jeans - go get 'em!!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Agent Quinny: Reporting For Duty *TOP SECRET*

The jury is out, the news has broken... the 25 QuinnyCasters have been announced and out of over 3000 applications I am pleased to say that I, Second Time Mummy, have been named as an official QuinnyCaster.

So word is out, I'm about to move up in the mum rankings and gain some much needed credibility in the pram stakes. No longer will I mooch around the shops envying the other 'posh pram' mums - I will have one of my very own.

I am 'a chosen one', I am on a Quinny Mission. A mission that will see undercover reporting on the latest addition to the Quinny range.

I have attached the Top Secret Mission document and highlighted the important information...



ASSIGNED AGENT: Second Time Mummy

START DATE: September 2010

: Acquire 'Target' (photographic intelligence attached), test drive full capabilities, reporting to the masses via social networking sites.

The Quinny Zapp Xtra has been known to use a number of coloured disguises. 
Photographic evidence attached. 

So there you have it, my first mission is now underway. I am about to acquire 'the Target' - I'll report back to you shortly.
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

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Beauty21 Prize Draw - Mums Beauty Survival Kit

If like me, your beauty regime is almost non existent these days due to new babies, school runs, cooking, shopping and the likes, then this competition is definitely for you.

I've teamed up with to give you the chance to win what I am calling the "Mum's Beauty Survival Kit" consisting of these 3 must haves...

Bio Oil 60ml

Bio Oil is a wonder product as far as I'm concerned. We use it for so many different things in our house. It's great for stretchmarks, scars, dry skin - anything really!

We're even using it on Alex face at the moment as he has 'war wound' from nursery that we are trying to fade!

Garnier Caffine Eye Roll On

This was recommended to be by someone at work and I was a bit sceptical to be honest but now I'm a convert!

You just massage around your eyes and the special ingredients somehow manage to reduce any dark circles or bags under your eyes.

I find using it even wakes me up a little!

Stila Lip Glaze

These glosses are great for a mum on the run, just one click and your ready to go. It's amazing what a difference a little lip gloss can to do make you look and feel better.

They're available in lots of fruity flavours and they smell great too!

For your chance to win just click here and enter your details. Simples!

Good luck peeps x

Find more prizes at ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions.

Review: Introducing the fabulous BabyDam!!

I was lucky enough to get to test drive the BabyDam before todays big launch and I have to say I'm very impressed. It's definetely going to be big!

This fabulous invention turns your regular bath in to a baby bath in a matter of seconds - saving time, water and most importantly for me - money! And because you're not wasting water - that makes it great for the environment too!

It's great for babies through to toddlers and I love the fact that it's a lot less bulky than your normal baby baths.

You just slot the BabyDam in to your bath and you're ready to fill...

E is really starting to enjoy her baths and this makes everything a lot easier.

It fits all standard straight sided baths and at only £24.00, I think it's a great buy that I will use for many years to come. To find out more or to purchase just visit the BabyDam website.

Follow BabyDam on Twitter @BabyDam and on Facebook for your chance to win your very own BabyDam Bathwater Barrier - they'll be running lots of competitions over the next few weeks.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Ladybird Books - A Gurgle Girls Review

We recently received an email from Gurgle telling us that we would be receiving a parcel of books from Ladybird for Mister A and Little Miss E. Mister A was really excited and asked about them every single day until the postman arrived with the big brown parcel.

He ripped off the packaging to a jute bag filled with goodies....

For Mister A...

Emergency! Ladybird BIG NOISY Book

As you can imagine this was A's favourite book from the bag.
It's a big board book with detailed pictures of each emergency vehicle. Mister A loves pressing the sound effect buttons as we read through. The pictures of the vehicles are quite detailed so we play a game of "spot" where he has to try and find, for instance, the ladder on the fire engine. Great fun!

Even if I can't read this book to him, A will happily sit and make up his own version!

Mister A thought this book was hilarious and loved guessing which animal each 'bottom' belonged to!

I liked it because it rhymes - all mums love a rhyming book don't they!

It's another board book which is great because A is at that age where he accidentally bends the pages and I have book OCD - I can't bear a folded page or a torn corner!

Spot's Bumper Collection - DVD

We sometimes sit down and watch this to unwind in the evening before Mister A goes off to bed. It's a 1.5 hour DVD with all the best episodes of Spot on one disc to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Spot the Dog.

I can't believe that Spot is 2 years older than me!!

It's a lovely DVD and I have to say I much prefer this to A's latest interest - Ben 10!

For Little Miss E...

Baby Touch: First Focus Cot Book

This is a great cloth book that we put inside E's crib. She loves starting at her reflection in the mirror.

It's specially designed to stimulate your new babies eyesight. Research has shown that babies respond best to bold and high contract colours.

It's double sided and folds down in to a square and the best bit about it is that even with the mirror - it's fully hand washable! Hooray!

Baby Touch: Tickly Tiger Rattle Book

Although she's only a month old we still all sit together and read books and Little Miss E seems fascinated by the colours in this one. She is always alerted too by the sound of the rattle.

MisterA likes to sit read this to Little E when she's in her chair and make up his own story. He'll help her to touch the different textures of the book too!
There's 'something to touch' on each page so it's great for toddlers too!

My lovely children would like to say a big thank you to Ladybird Books and Gurgle for such a lovely goody bag which also included this cute little Spot the Dog toy, a little cuddly Ladybird, a camera and a sticker! And Mummy would like to say thank you for her new Ladybird shopping bag!

E's new cot book and Spot toy

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Breast Feeding: My Story

Breast feeding can be quite a controversial subject: some people love it, some people can't do it and some people choose not to do it at all. The important thing to remember is - it's your decision and no one elses.

For me, I knew from the moment that I found out I was pregnant, that I wanted to breastfeed but I was slightly naive in the fact that I thought it would be easy and I'd instinctively know what to do.

I can feed discreetly in public with specialist nursing wear

When Mister A was born in 2007, I had a few problems getting started. I couldn't get him to latch on properly and I ended up with very, very sore nipples. Not one to give up, I talked things through with my midwife and I found a great lying down position that worked for me and baby. Luckily, once I had mastered 'latching on' in that position that I was soon up and running and knew exactly what I was doing.

Yes it was sore for the first few weeks, especially on day 3 when my milk came through -I actually thought that my chest was going to explode! I managed to persevere and with the help of plenty of nipple cream and lots of support from other breastfeeding mums, I ended up breastfeeding A exclusively for the first six months. I would have carried on for longer but I had to go back to work and so I took the decision to move him on to formula.

For me, my mistake was that I never introduced Mister A properly to a bottle. I only ever expressed milk on a couple of occasions but he never took to it so we gave up. When I came to go back to work when he was 6 months old he would not drink anything from a bottle. Whether he was with Grandma or at the nursery he would not adapt and they ended up having to use a cup and let him sip from it when I wasn't there.

Second time around I found breastfeeding so much easier - purely because I knew what to expect. I knew what had worked for me the first time around and Ellissia and I managed to get in to the swing of things straight away.

I do seem to have a lot more milk this time around and that isn't necessarily a good thing - I'm finding it difficult to get through the day without flooding through my clothes. I'm going to start expressing my milk now and freezing it so hopefully that will mean less embarrassing 'wet patch' moments!

Little E is 4 weeks old today and I'm loving every minute of it - except maybe those 4am feeds - I won't miss those once she starts sleeping through!

My advice to other mums...

If anyone ever asks for breastfeeding advice, I always say - express your milk - that way Daddy will have a chance to feed your little one, you'll have a little time to yourself and baby won't have any problems if you are ever apart.

Expressing milk can mean you get some 'me time'

I think the thing to remember is, we are all different, what works for some people, won't work for others. There are plenty of online support groups available if you're struggling or want to find out more about breast feeding and if you can't do it or it's not for you then you shouldn't be made to feel guilty.

I really enjoyed feeding time and although sometimes I felt tired and that I never had any time to myself, I really feel that you bond with your baby during feeding times and that makes me a very happy mummy.

Here's my Breast Feeding Checklist for all you new mummies...

Good quality nursing bras
- make sure you get measured every few weeks to make sure you're well supported
Breast pads 
- the last think you need is 2 wet patches on your top when you're doing your shopping
Nipple Cream
- I found that Lansinoh was the only cream that worked for me and you don't have to wipe it off to feed your baby
- for discreet feeding when you're out and about
Muslin/Burping Cloths
- protect your clothes and mop up and baby mess
Feeding Pillow
- I find a pillow helps me to get a better feeding position and helps prevent a sore back
Bottles and Breast Pump
- make sure there's milk around if you're not there (or give Dad a turn at those 4am feeds!)

Good luck! x

Friday, 17 September 2010

Fashion Friday: Maternity Dresses under £25.00

This is my first ever 'Fashion Friday' feature and today I'm looking at all the fab maternity dresses out there for you lucky bump rockers on a budget...

ASOS currently have a great clearance sale going on and it's packed full of lovelies that you can't afford to miss. I've picked out a couple of dresses that have taken my fancy too but unfortunately I no longer have a bump!

Mama.licious for ASOS Jersey Tunic Dress  was £23.00  NOW £10.00

Mama.licious for ASOS Dean Silky Dress was £45.00 NOW £10.00

As always ASDA have some great quality low priced maternity wear and I think these two dresses would be perfect for work or play. Dress them up with chunky knits and over bump tights to keep you warm through the Winter months.

George Printed Spotted Jersey Tunic Dress £12.50

George Ditsy Print Dress £14.00

Very have a good selection of maternity wear including some lush pieces from the DVO Maternity range (that's Denise Van Outen for those of you that don't know!) they even stock maternity fancy dress outfits! But I just love this South dress it's perfect for any occasion!

South Jersey Drape Dress £25.00

DVO Jersey Dress £25.00

New Look have a few maternity sale items like this fab maxi dress but they have some great new pieces too in their Autumn Winter Collection, the Lace Trim Dress is divine!

New Look Tee Maxi Dress was £16.00 NOW £10.00

New Look Lace Trim Dress £22.00

Dorothy Perkins have an excellent range of maternity wear - my local high street store is only small and doesn't have much in the maternity range but it's well worth a look online.

Black Fan Print Dress £25.00

Navy Cross Over Dress was £28.00 NOW £15.00

Finally Topshop have another great collection with a couple of them just falling within our £25 budget...

TopShop Lace Detail Dress £25.00

TopShop Navy T-Shirt Drape Maxi Dress £25.00