I feel the need to blog about my regular pizza hangout; Rossopomodoro on Fulham Road. The reason being Little Man’s second birthday which he had in the upstairs part of the restaurant last month. As a result I’ve gone from being a fan of this place to being a HUGE fan, especially of the staff.

Rossopomodoro is generally kid-friendly so it’s a great place to go for lunch or an early supper. Alternatively, later in the evening, it’s a good spot to hang out with friends too.

Rossopomodoro Chelsea on Fulham Road

When we popped in over the weekend, I started our early supper with an Aperol Spritz. When folks say they haven’t tried this cocktail, I describe it as a savoury Pimm’s. If you love Dirty Martinis, I think you might like it. Think olives.

Rossopomodoro Chelsea on Fulham Road

And when I chose Little Man’s birthday venue, I wanted the focus to be on good food as well as a fun space. There are no bouncy castles or soft play areas upstairs but there is a huge room with a great sound system and a screen to play a film in the background. We had Thomas The Tank Engine on, which went down a treat. The kids didn’t really stop to watch (thankfully) but it was good for them to see Thomas chugging away when they looked round.Rossopomodoro Chelsea on Fulham Road

As for the food, I love the pizzas here. All the kids loved the pizzas here, apparently so did the fussy ones, which made Little Man’s birthday a huge success.Rossopomodoro Chelsea on Fulham Road

This was the pizza (below) that I had on Sunday. It was the Salsiccia Friarelli with pork sausage, friarielli, smoked mozzarella and basil, which I really enjoyed.
Rossopomodoro Chelsea on Fulham Road

As well as kids’ parties upstairs, the space also has other events including Rosso Cinema and live football in Italian.Rossopomodoro Chelsea on Fulham Road

Unfortunately I don’t have any photos from the birthday party to post. But if you are looking for an event space, this place is definitely worth considering.

As for the rest of the time, maybe I’ll see you in around. As I’ve said, I love it in here.
Chelsea Girl

The Kensington Mums blog has been on my radar for quite some time now, especially since giving birth to baby boy. Dina, who runs Kensington Mums, arranges morning coffees once a month for local mummies and has also been responsible for the successful Motherhood Exhibition which I have one more chance to check out (details here).

So when I learned about the Christmas Dinner which Dina was arranging, I knew I had to go along. After all, not only was I a new mummy keen to meet likeminded local mummies but I love Lebanese food and I had never been to Randa Restaurant on Kensington High Street where the dinner was being held.

Kensington Mums Christmas DinnerSo eventually I got round to booking my place and on a blustery evening, headed to the Kensington Mums Christmas event.

There, I met inspiring women and enjoyed a laugh with Dina and the other mummies who came along for the evening. They included Deborah aka Metropolitan Mum and Amber who has an exciting project planned for 2014, which we were all so excited to hear about.

As for the food, we enjoyed an abundance of dishes from cold and hot mezzes to mains and desserts. Here are a selection of foodie photos which I took when I remembered to: It was so easy to dive in with the next dish, which we waited with excited anticipation.

Kensington Mums - Randa Restaurant

Kensington Mums - Randa Restaurant

Kensington Mums - Randa Restaurant

Kensington Mums - Randa Restaurant

Kensington Mums - Randa Restaurant

Kensington Mums - Randa RestaurantDina is planning the next Kensington Mums event for January, which I can’t wait for. From what I hear, it’s exactly something every mummy will need and want to do. Maybe see you there!

A couple of weeks ago, I returned to Mermaid Maternity Retreat for a workshop on routine. Now, routine isn’t something I personally ascribe to: I prefer there to be an element of surprise in my day.

But for a baby, a growing person, routine is a good thing. Routine establishes a rhythm to the baby’s day. It gives mummy a chance to plan. And for both, it establishes structure and the possibility that baby boy or girl will sleep through the night.

In other words, routine is the Holy Grail of being a new mummy. Hence the workshop …

Mermaid Maternity RetreatTrue, there are books – numerous books on the subject. I’ve read the odd chapter in one of them. But for me, they read like an instructions manual. And I guess that works for a lot of people. The OH (formerly the bf) can be spotted regularly perusing a certain how-to-baby-manual, to calm his ‘what do I do next?’ concerns. And I followed suit, motivated by his enthusiasm for the book which I had rushed to buy one evening in Foyles on Charing Cross Road.

But the whole routine thing didn’t sit well with me. Baby boy wasn’t having any of it and I was struggling with the idea of nurture over nature.

So when I went along to Mermaid’s workshop, I went along excited at the idea of discovering the secret to a happy baby and also somewhat cautious that a baby cannot be programmed like a cyborg in the latest sci-fi.

Stepping into the the calm and reassuring environment of Mermaid, I made my way into the glass-ceilinged room where the workshop was being held. And for the time I sat in the room, it all started to make sense: the truth about the baby’s daily rhythm; what a routine actually means; and how to help your baby stay jolly during the day.

By the time I left the workshop, I felt somewhat wiser but I’m not sure if I actually felt confident.

*flash forward to the next day*

I followed the advice from the workshop and I promise you it felt like baby boy’s routine had fallen into place over night. Suddenly, he napped when he was ‘supposed to’ and he actually started sleeping through the night. There have been a couple of middle of the night hungry cries but let’s just put those down to growing pains or appetite.

The workshop gave me the confidence to listen to my mummy instincts. It also taught me about the cycles in a baby’s day. And most of all, it reassured me that I needed to listen to baby boy to keep him happy.

To find out more about Mermaid Maternity Retreat’s workshops, see their website.

Since I gave birth in July, life has been pretty busy. When you’re your own boss, there isn’t such thing as maternity leave and each day with a newborn is a steep albeit very rewarding learning curve. People say nap when the baby naps but that theory goes out the window as a working mother; a term that feels all grown up as I write it.

So when I was invited to review the treatments at Mermaid Maternity Retreat which is located on the King’s Road, just opposite the Town Hall, I leapt at the chance. I had been invited to their press day a couple of months back but that was also the day when baby boy decided to come into the world. The irony of the retreat’s opening on the King’s Road and baby boy’s arrival at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital wasn’t lost on me. It all seemed like perfect timing! And how zeitgeist with the royal birth and a few other celebrity announcements.

On the page, the Mermaid Maternity Retreat seems like a good idea. But in reality it is a godsend. The concept for this centre is to help new mothers in their first few months with their baby. Services include picking up the mother from hospital and taking her with baby as well as partner to the retreat. The retreat offers rooms for mothers to stay in with their babies where there is round-the-clock expert care on hand. Imagine a health spa for new mothers. Sounds blissful, doesn’t it?

Mermaid Maternity Retreat

There are also drop-in services at the retreat: from beauty treatments to post-natal (as well as pre-natal) workshops on offer, which I am planning to write more about in future posts. But for now, I’ll focus on the post-natal massage which I can confidently say was one of the best massages I’ve ever had.

The purpose of the post-natal massage is to help the body along in its post-natal recovery, mostly in the name of drainage. Needless to say during pregnancy and birth, my body took quite a battering and now it needs a little assistance to get working like it used to. But aside from the technical benefits, this massage was also pure magic when it came to relaxation. Priscilla was amazing! By the time I walked out of the retreat I actually felt like the last several months hadn’t happened. I felt that good, as I wheeled baby boy in his pram along the King’s Road. I felt like I had gone on holiday and was now arriving back.

It also helped that during my massage, baby boy was left in the expert hands of the Baby Room where a wonderful midwife seemed to have cast her spell on him. I had turned up to the retreat with a grisly and hungry baby who probably didn’t fancy being parked elsewhere whilst his mummy went off for some pampering, or that’s how I saw it when I reluctantly left him behind. But when I returned to pick him up, I found a very content baby in his cot. He looked so happy that I had to ask the midwife, ‘what did you do to him?’

It was at that point that I completely understood Mermaid Maternity Retreat. Whilst baby boy comes first in all that I now do, what I was reminded of is that mummy has to look after herself too. And guess what? The world isn’t going to fall apart if mummy takes an hour out of her day for some pampering. In other words, that old adage ‘a happy mummy is a happy baby’ can be true.

I’ll be returning to the retreat a few more times over the next month when I will be reviewing the retreat’s nutrition, exercise and routine workshops, because not only does this mummy want to get back to feeling yummy but as I’ve discovered, the key to a healthy work/life balance is routine.

See Mermaid Maternity Retreat’s website for more information on their services.

So my pregnancy posts didn’t last too long because the new arrival decided to make an early appearance into the world – and what an amazing joy he is!

Two and a half weeks early and I’ve had to have a crash course in being a new mummy. I still had so much preparation to do and even whilst I was in hospital, the cot was being delivered by Peter Jones.

What I’ve really appreciated are the gifts we’ve received. They range from clothing to toys for the little bubba and a particular gift bag, which this post is about and which was ideal in helping me along into my new role as a mother.

This gift bag was from The Kensington Hotel …

The Kensington Hotel present And it included a teddy bear: a baby can never have too many toys!

Teddy BearIt also included a Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Getting Started Kit, which includes nourishing lotion, shampoo & wash, diaper ointment, nursing baby oil and buttermilk soap. With so much to think about, navigating oneself through the baby grooming products can be yet another minefield for a mummy-to-be. So I was very grateful for this starter pack as it has introduced me to a range of baby products I hadn’t had a chance to consider.

Burts Bees -  Getting Starter KitThe gift bag also included Baby Bee Bundle of Joy Gift Set, which includes larger bottles of shampoo & wash, diaper ointment, fragrance free shampoo and wash as well as nourishing baby oil – which means the little bubba is all sorted for bath time and after.

I’ve yet to try Burt’s Bees products so please ignore my naivety when I wax lyrical about the richness of these goodies and their delectable honey scent.

Burt Bees - Bundle of Gift SetAlso in the gift bag were body suits with long sleeves, which I’ve learned you can never have too many of.

Body Suits - Long SleevedSeriously, it has only been several days and the amount of change of clothes a newborn requires is quite amazing. For such a little body, you wonder how it can make so much mess. But they do and body suits make for very very useful presents.

As do body suits with long legs …

Baby Grow Of course, there are other types of presents to consider giving a baby or their mother. But for a new mummy, this gift bag had it all. So thank you The Kensington Hotel for such a considerate present.

Disclaimer: Whilst The Kensington Hotel are a social media client, this post is both unsponsored and unpaid for. This piece is simply a token of my appreciation.

 

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