3 essential vitamins and nutrients to be a healthy mum: (and where to get them)

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Health, Health & Fitness, Uncategorized

While many of us may not have given a second thought to filling up on fast food once upon a time, when you’re eating for two you’ll look at food in a different way. The culinary world can be confusing when you’re expecting, but luckily there is plenty of advice available. Here are some of the essential nutrients that should make it into your diet.

Folic acid

This B vitamin can help to prevent your baby from developing certain defects such as spina bifida, which can lead to partial paralysis; limb defects; and cleft palate. But as well as helping your baby to develop healthily, folic acid will help to boost your own healthy red blood cells, and help to avoid a certain type of anaemia.

folic acid foods iStock 000011557346Small615x409 thumb 3 essential vitamins and nutrients to be a healthy mum: (and where to get them)

Sponsored Video: Samsung Dream the Blues

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Uncategorized

Every child has big dreams, it can be anything from future aspiring careers to meeting their idols. At that age the world is their oyster and anything is possible. For me the one thing that I wanted most was to be a member of the Planeteers, you know of the TV show Captain Planet. My dreams and ambitions changed as I grew but being a Planeteer is the first thing that I can really remember truly wanting, I even fashioned my own Planeteer ring out of tin foil. Being the realistic adult that I am now, that dream would never really have happened as it was a cartoon but nobody ever discouraged me and I am glad that they didn’t. For a child it’s important to have dreams and goals, I even go along with Isabelle’s current career choices of superhero or pirate, although I do hope she doesn’t follow through with any of them but let’s be honest, she’s 3 and last week she wanted to be a cowboy.

Why don’t we move in together?

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Money Saving, Uncategorized

The Mr and I became a couple when I was still a young and spritely student, living in a house share with a couple of friends. Eight months into the relationship  we realised that he was practically living with me anyway, so we took the step and moved in together and it turned out to be the easiest decision we ever made.

couple thumb Why don’t we move in together?

Weekly snippets

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Weekly Snippets

balancebike thumb Weekly snippets

Isabelle has discovered her singing voice, it’s loud, its repetitive and it makes me giggle. My goal this week is to capture her musical renditions to share with you lovely lot. 

She has also discovered her flair for interpretive dance and Jazz hands, particularly in supermarket checkout queues.

This week has seen the the ground breaking discovery of the number twelveteen, it also happens to be her new favourite number.

We discovered this week that Isabelle is exceptionally fast on a bike with pedals and stabilisers, the staff at Decathlon were also witness to the record speeds. Perhaps we’ll stick with the balance bike for a little while longer

Safety measures must be met during bath times, swimming goggles are a requirement. Must improve method of cleaning hair whilst wearing goggles.

Last week saw the unwelcome strike of mystery virus causing Isabelle to miss a few days of preschool, everything is back to normal now so we can leave the house before cabin fever set in.

Finally, Isabelle’s current career ambitions are that of the late Evel Knievel, I’m hoping she grows out of it but she informs me that she needs a cape anyway. If she starts to construct ramps out of duplo then I’m in trouble.

swing thumb Weekly snippets

Introducing Carte Noire for Nespresso Machines

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Food & Drink Reviews, Reviews

Early mornings have become the norm since becoming parents, my daughter has no concept of the term lie in. More often than not we need that energy boost to get us through the day and nothing is more welcome than a hot barista style coffee or espresso in the morning. I don’t really have the time or the luxury to head out to the local coffee shop during our school run or busy morning work schedule so this is where our Nespresso* machine really shines. Being able to make our own quality espresso’s and Lattes at home with the push of a button and ready to go in minutes really is one of our simple pleasures. Our machine has become one of our favourite appliances and we would now be lost without it.

We have used other machines in the past but nothing has every really come close to our Nespresso Lattissima+ but the only downside we have discovered is the availability of the coffee pods. They can only be purchased from Nespresso retailers or online when you have to order large batches to meet the minimum order.

IMG 20140304 124100 thumb Introducing Carte Noire for Nespresso Machines

 IMG 20140304 124344 thumb Introducing Carte Noire for Nespresso Machines


Recently the lovely lot at Carte Noire sent us a rather lovely gift box containing their newest products, the Carte Noire Espresso Capsules. It’s safe to say that we were excited to give them a try. Carte Noire Collection Espresso, is a range of espresso capsules compatible with most Nespresso* machines. Each box contains 10 capsules in the Espresso collection. DSC03397 thumb Introducing Carte Noire for Nespresso Machines

They can be purchased easily from supermarkets so no faffing around buying them in bulk or trying to locate your nearest Nespresso store.Simply being able to pop the in your shopping trolley alleviates the stress and often forgetfulness when it comes to ordering our capsules online and waiting for deliveries.

DSC03409 thumb Introducing Carte Noire for Nespresso Machines The capsules are used in the exact same way as standard Nespresso* capsules, they just come individually wrapped in foil packets. Simply pop you capsule in the machine, press the button and viola you have your coffee of choice in seconds.DSC03410 thumb Introducing Carte Noire for Nespresso Machines

I’ve recently become appreciative of a good coffee and the Mr considers himself to be somewhat of a coffee connoisseur nowadays. I really am not a huge fan of instant granulated coffees and I can really taste the difference, for me the Nespresso machine makes the perfect coffee every time.

  cartenoireespresso thumb Introducing Carte Noire for Nespresso Machines

We were sent 4 varieties of capsules to taste, all with different intensities, along with a set of Bodum Espresso glasses, so this past week we have been working our way through the range. Each coffee has it’s own aroma and flavour but our favourite had to be the N°5, although they were all extremely pleasant and produced the perfect and delicious crema on top.

  • N°3 Élégant is an exceptional pure Arabica coffee with a smooth and subtle taste enhanced by cereal notes.
  • N°5 Délicat is a pure Arabica coffee with fruity notes and a silky texture
  • N°7 Aromatique is an aromatic pure Arabica coffee with delicate hints of cocoa
  • N°9 Intense is a rich, intense blend of pure, darkly roasted Arabica coffee

N°5 worked out to be the perfect coffee for the morning to give us the boost that we needed for the day whereas N°9 really was intense and was packed full of strong flavours. I personally favoured the N°7 for after meals, when I put my feet up to relax. After the little one was tucked up in bed, I could enjoy a hot coffee with my book for the evening and a bar of dark chocolate to accompany me.cartenoire thumb Introducing Carte Noire for Nespresso Machines

I do love the Nespresso capsules but since they are not stocked in the supermarkets, the Carte Noire capsules really do give them a run for their money and there was no lacking in quality. I’d have no problems replacing my Nespresso capsules with Carte Noire in the future.

My only issue would be the excessive packaging but that really is me nit-picking for faults.

In the mornings, I might be covered in breakfast, I may have forgotten to comb my hair, I might be a little late with a dawdling preschooler but after taking those few minutes to actually enjoy my morning coffee, there’s still a bounce in my step and I feel ready to face the day. There’s nothing more delicious in the morning than the aroma of a good coffee.

I’ll certainly be making sure that our cupboards are fully stocked with the Carte Noire Capsules and I’ll be interested to see if they come up more capsules to add to the range.

DSC03413 thumb Introducing Carte Noire for Nespresso Machines DSC03412 thumb Introducing Carte Noire for Nespresso Machines


*Nespresso® is a registered trademark of a third party without any link with Mondelez International group. Compatible with all Nespresso®* machines bought before July 1, 2013. After that date, compatible with most Nespresso®* machines bought. For additional information regarding compatibility, please see UK: www.cartenoire.co.uk/compatibility

This post is an entry in the Foodies100 Espresso Collective Challenge, sponsored by Carte Noire. Each box of Carte Noire Espresso capsules contain 10 single servings and are available in supermarkets at an RRP of £2.79 and are available in four intensities. To find out more about the new Carte Noire Collection Espresso click here .

This is a sponsored post

Isabelle Says: Preschool Logic

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Isabelle Says, Memes

Isabellesays thumb Isabelle Says: Preschool LogicToday we were discussing the difference between wild and domesticated animals. Isabelle proceeded to bring in our cat Jasper, he’s not a fan on being picked up but he goes along with it.

I had to say “Isabelle I don’t want to see you picking the cat up again” to which she replied “OK mummy, you close your eyes”

I wasn’t quite sure how to respond…

Jasper thumb Isabelle Says: Preschool Logic

We’ve cracked it! – Toilet training update

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Milestones, Toilet Training, Toilet Training

It’s taken 12 months of persistence but this past week has brought us success, toilet training success. You may remember my toilet training woes last year but for those that don’t, Isabelle is a stubborn little lady and a creature of routine, she hates change. At home Isabelle has been perfectly toilet trained with no accidents and we owe our success to a rewards chart. It turns out Isabelle will do anything for a sticker and the chance of a reward at the end of the day but that was a whole different story every time we left the house and couldn’t take our chart with us. 2014031110.10.48 thumb We’ve cracked it! – Toilet training update

It got to the point where we put off leaving the house unless we really had to, to avoid accidents in public because no matter how hard we tried Isabelle still refused to use a toilet in public unless we were very persistent. We often had success and we praised her for it but then other times she became too distracted and had little accidents, even when we repeatedly asked her if she needed to go and physically took her to the bathroom. This resulted in tears from the little lady, we weren’t getting anywhere and we were all frustrated. Since starting preschool in January, something has changed, these past few weeks have been amazing. No more accidents!

To tell you I am relieved would be cutting it short, our 12 month battle is over, I don’t think I will ever tire of hearing those words “mummy, I need the toilet”

Winter is the time for belt tightening

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Budget, Money Saving

When it comes to rising gas and electricity prices, you can start to despair at the idea of ever being able to keep your costs in check. Keeping the little ones clothed and fed can be enough of a financial worry without having to choose between heating and eating. Luckily, there are a few ways to take matters into your own hands and tighten your belt this winter, which this post looks at in more detail below.

wintersocks thumb Winter is the time for belt tightening


Family Cars That Are Good For Storage

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Travel, Travelling With Children

Storage is a vital ingredient when deciding which family car to buy. Whether it’s space to fit in prams, pushchairs or the usual baby paraphernalia that’s required in the early years to plenty of room for family holiday luggage, it’s a key factor. This article takes a look at a handful of family cars and vehicles and looks specifically at their storage facilities and boot space.

Top 3 Attractions for Families in Edinburgh

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Uncategorized

Edinburgh is a great place to visit with children. Full of parks and open spaces, historic buildings to explore, theatres and animal parks, children of all ages will love taking a holiday here. So book your family into a Travelodge hotel in Edinburgh and find out what this lively city has instore for you. Here are 3 of the most unmissable family friendly attractions that deserve a spot on any holiday itinerary:

EdinburghCastle thumb Top 3 Attractions for Families in Edinburgh




Copyright © 2012 Karina Davies

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