LITTLE GHERKINS: 15 Top Items To Get You Through The 1st 6 Months Of Being A Twin Parent

I’m now 8 months into this twin parenting business so thought now would be a good time to do this post, these are my list of purchases which I have found most helpful in the first 6 months of twin parenthood. There are a fair few items which I bought which weren’t that helpful along the way and some of these are based on specifics like how my babies feed, but all in all I hope you find this post a useful guide, one which I wish I had had myself, to survive the first 6 months with the whirlwind of twins, best of luck! And as ever I would love to know your thoughts below. 

  1. Z Pillow – this was one I found when looking into twin feeding pillows just before I had the boys and I have to say is still one of my absolute favourite and most useful purchases to date. The only twin pillow in the UK was the Peanut & Piglet one which whilst it looks good for dual breastfeeding doesn’t really have any other purpose and for £80+ seems an awful lot. What I loved and still love about the Z Pillow as an option is that whether you breastfeed a little or a lot or move on to bottles or not if has lots of purposes, it can be used for breastfeeding, bottle feeding, as a seating aid, for supported tummy time or even as a pregnancy pillow too. It’s super soft and comfy and has a lovely soft washable cover too and handy carrier bag. We even have found it useful for padding out the perfect prep and steriliser in the roof box when we went away. So you’re probably sold, but there is a little downside, the new ones are not currently available in the UK, however the link given does ship to the UK from America if you do want to buy one new then this is so worth it, alternatively do what I do and get it second-hand from your local twin group on Facebook – most of which have a sales page, or post to ask if someone has one they no longer need, this is brilliant for so many things and can save you so much.  
  2. Bouncy chairs (two sets) – this is one which I predicted would be very useful whilst I was still pregnant and so put these ones on my baby shower list and my two best friends very kindly bought them for me as one of my gifts and they have been fab. We didn’t bother replacing the batteries once the vibration function ran out as we concluded it wasn’t necessary. They definitely have been so so good time and time again, in fact I bought another set of basic bouncers off another twin Mum to keep downstairs and I keep these upstairs. They are excellent as they are a safe and secure to pop your babies pretty much any time you need to go and get the other. Mine nap, feed, have story time, play and chill in these and they love the toys which hang down too, one of the hearts makes a lovely crackly sound and one squeaks. 🙂   
  3. Mountain Buggy – picked as it is the only double buggy which fits through a single doorway and have to say we have only been impressed with it so far. The standard seats are fine from new-born to 4 years on. It is a little heavy to lift in and out of the car, but I’m not sure there is really a way round that with a twin buggy. It really is fantastic, easy to use and to steer once up both on paths and off-road too, I would recommend it highly to anyone with twins or two children age 0-4 years. Definitely worth the investment. Mountain buggy started as a single New Zealand brand but has since been bought out by British brand Phil & Teds. 
  4. Sheepskin Buggy Liners  – I couldn’t afford the expensive type (linked in case you are lucky enough to be able to) but I have to say I have I have been so so impressed with these universal sheepskin blend liners which I sourced on eBay and which also come with a foot muff for colder weather, we have used them since the boys were born and it just makes the pram so much more snuggly and the liners in the summer are fab too – as they are wool they don’t overheat. 
  5. Puj Bath insert – I saw this insert on the Girls with Glasses Baby Essentials video, again it is an American brand but it is now available in the UK, I sourced mine 2nd hand again on eBay, but love it and have used it since the boys first bath. Even now, at 8 months, I bath the boys, in the kitchen sink using the insert, I just love the one on one time and the height of doing it in the kitchen sink, admittedly made easier by us having a butler sink. I also love how easy it is to store as it just folds right in half, so great to take away with you too. 🙂 – as a side issue whilst I’m talking about baths, my fave baby toiletries are: Palmers Baby Butter 
  6. Cheeky wipes – Once I found out I was having twins I had to give up a fair few green mothering ideas… practicality really does come first with twins, I am a green minded at heart though and am a big believer in doing something is better than doing nothing. Cheeky wipes really is a fab system which I love and I just use whenever I have them washed (keeping on top of washing really is an ongoing and constant battle) and then have normal wipes as a back up and when I’m out of the house. They are microfiber wipes with a clean bucket (plastic box with lid), which you fill with water and lavender oil and mucky bucket which you fill with water and tea tree oil, yes you can make your own version of this if you are organised but I decided to get it after birth and so went for the easy option of just buying a set and I have been very impressed with them and think they do a far better job at cleaning your baby with far less wipes then traditional throw away ones.  
  7. Changing mats upstairs and downstairs – This is a tip I picked up from a fellow twin mum before I had the boys, they don’t have to be fancy ones, in fact I encourage you to just get basic ones like the ones linked, but it is mighty handy having a changing station both upstairs and downstairs. 
  8. Sunluxy baby cams – when it came to picking out baby monitors we saw some video ones round a friend’s house and really liked the idea of being able to see them, without lots of other monitor options and cot mats etc, which for me personally I think would only serve to make me paranoid. So then we simply looked for the best rated ones on Amazon and these are they. We have generally been very happy with them, other than a bit of feedback. I also don’t know if I would go for one linked to my phone next time perhaps, but these do what they say on the tin and should last us until the boys are toddlers and it just gives you that extra peace of mind, they’re also very easy to unhook if you want to take them away with you. 
  9. Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep and Complete Feeding Bundle – this really is worth while getting to get you all set up for bottle feeding, it has everything you need and we use it all day every day. 
  10. Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix – Car seat & Maxi-Cosi Isofix twoway bases – again this is an essential which we couldn’t live without and gives us the freedom to take the boys out safely and securely. I really love the design of these seats and they are relatively light weight too and the boys definitely find them comfy as they more often than not fall asleep in them. I knew I wanted to use isofix as soon I was going to be a Mum, I was working at VW group when it first came in. I just love how the traffic light system on these seats make sure than you fit them correctly and you can travel with your baby safe and securely – that to me is priceless. These are the latest bases so they are usable for the next seats you need which last your child up to 4 yrs I believe. 100% worth the investment in my book. 
  11. Twins On Board Sign & Baby Car Mirrors – two little things which make a big difference. We both have the twins on board sign on our cars, which is two-fold, I think people behave differently on the road with you when they know you have a little one (or two little ones) on board, and in the situation where there is any sort of an accident (heaven forbid) the emergency services will hopefully be even more vigilante to check your car. The mirrors are amazing, I always do them as baby shower gifts now as they are inexpensive but it is so nice to see what your baby is doing when they are in a rear facing seat and to see that they are OK.   
  12. Scrabble letter coasters – This is a fun but really useful thing I thought of and I have a set upstairs and downstairs so that I don’t get the bottles muddled when I put them down
  13. Mummy clips – Can’t actually remember how I found out about these but they really are brilliant when you are using a pushchair, so strong and means you can go hands-free with your changing bag.
  14. Bednest – these I found out about through a targeted Facebook ad but I couldn’t recommend them highly enough. You have the option to buy them from the company linked but they are also available to rent for £95, you get a new mattress and sides and you save yourself around £50 on the cost of a Moses basket without the hassle of trying to sell once no longer needed and they’re so much better and more adaptable than a Moses basket and they just collect when you’re finished with them all as part of the price. They are a little larger than a traditional Moses basket and they can be used as a co-sleeper and be attached to your bed or they can stand on their own, they were similar size to the hospital crib which they boys were in together so they went into the bednest when they were first home, babies can stay in it until they are up to 20lbs. My littles were only 10lbs together when they were born so these were just perfect and we had one upstairs and one downstairs which was so handy for a safe place to nap. Once the boys were bigger and we’d moved them into the cot in the nursery upstairs we just had these set up together downstairs for nap time which again was really handy and so comfy for them. They also tilt to help with reflux and digestion and they’re so lovely and neutral they go with any scheme. To be honest now I’ve used them I’m only surprised they’re not more commonly used and they are just so good 🙂
  15. Dylon Machine Dye – you might think this is a bit random but I swear by it. When baby clothes get stains on or if I get a donation of clothes but I’m not keen on the colour (eg. baby blues are not my cup of tea, I prefer navy) then they go on my dying pile and when I have enough I will do a load and get a whole new array of clothes (this works for my own clothes too), it really is one of the best things ever to have in your back pocket of tricks as a thrifty Mum and you can pick up a packet for around £6.50 online. 

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LITTLE GHERKINS:Eclectic Woodland Twin Nursery Reveal!

This post I know has been a long time coming, suffice to say the illusions of the amount of time I would have to blog on maternity leave was somewhat unrealistic to say the least. In fact often getting anything other than the basics of feeding, washing and clothing myself and my twins is a major achievement! Oh well, best laid plans and all, as ever 😉

This is a room which I am really proud of and is currently (I’d go as far to say) my favourite room in the house. It will adapt as the boys grow but I’m pretty much there with it and so thought now is as good a time as any for the big reveal! Hope you love it too! I’d love to hear what you think in comments below….

LITTLE GHERKINS: Eclectic Woodland Twin Nursery Reveal!

LITTLE GHERKINS: Eclectic Woodland Twin Nursery Reveal!

LITTLE GHERKINS: Eclectic Woodland Twin Nursery Reveal!

LITTLE GHERKINS: Eclectic Woodland Twin Nursery Reveal!

LITTLE GHERKINS: Eclectic Woodland Twin Nursery Reveal!

LITTLE GHERKINS: Eclectic Woodland Twin Nursery Reveal!

LITTLE GHERKINS: Eclectic Woodland Twin Nursery Reveal!

LITTLE GHERKINS: Eclectic Woodland Twin Nursery Reveal!

LITTLE GHERKINS: Eclectic Woodland Twin Nursery Reveal!

LITTLE GHERKINS: Eclectic Woodland Twin Nursery Reveal!

LITTLE GHERKINS: Eclectic Woodland Twin Nursery Reveal!

LITTLE GHERKINS: Eclectic Woodland Twin Nursery Reveal!

LITTLE GHERKINS: Eclectic Woodland Twin Nursery Reveal!

LITTLE GHERKINS: Eclectic Woodland Twin Nursery Reveal!

LITTLE GHERKINS: Eclectic Woodland Twin Nursery Reveal!

LITTLE GHERKINS: Eclectic Woodland Twin Nursery Reveal!

LITTLE GHERKINS: Eclectic Woodland Twin Nursery Reveal!

LITTLE GHERKINS: Eclectic Woodland Twin Nursery Reveal!

LITTLE GHERKINS: Eclectic Woodland Twin Nursery Reveal!

LITTLE GHERKINS: Eclectic Woodland Twin Nursery Reveal!

LITTLE GHERKINS: Eclectic Woodland Twin Nursery Reveal!

LITTLE GHERKINS: Eclectic Woodland Twin Nursery Reveal!

Supplier List:

(I have linked the same items where I can and where they are no longer available have linked similar)

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LITTLE GHERKINS: Birth Plan

I want to start by addressing all those birth plan cynics out there, as indeed it was the case that my birth plan didn’t leave my bag during birth as many, I’m sure don’t, especially when baby/babies decide for themselves (as they inevitably do) when to enter the world. My point is this is not the point, and I really do believe this, as a forever planner who has learnt the hard way that plans don’t tend to turn out exactly as, well, planned, this doesn’t stop me planning, as planning is a very important and valid process which I need to go through to feel more in control, more prepared for what is to come in life.

Secondly I would like to thank my wonderful community midwife Abbie, for her time and patience in working through my plan with me and answering all my endless questions, I will forever be grateful for her kindness and support to a heavily pregnant and for want of a better way of saying it, scared shitless, first time mother-to-be of twins.

This post – I hope will help you with planning your birth, planning to get your head round the humongous life event which is about to occur.

For those of you who have been through it already – RESPECT! you are a superhero no matter what your birth story is.

And as for you Mamas-to-be…the absolute best advice I would give you is go into it with this mantra in your head…regardless of ideal plans… “I will do what I need to do to get my baby/babies safely into the world and me to stay safe with them” – cos frankly nothing else matters.

I did a lot of searching around online for a birth plan template before creating this one – I hope that you find it helpful and an interesting read…

And if you are lucky enough, and calm enough to hand your birth plan to your hospital midwife at the start of your birth it is well worth doing, they are your person (on the uniform side at least) and their priority is making sure that you are ok throughout your birth.

The other person who it is worth going through your plan with and making sure he or she knows your wishes is your significant other/birth partner…they really are your cheerleader and your voice during birth when you can’t say anything you need someone there who will do it on your behalf and it is therefore crucial that they know your wishes and can guide you through.

As I say, my birth didn’t go exactly as planned, as my waters ended up breaking and I went into labour at 35wks 1day, 2 weeks before the elected c-section which I had fought so hard for, so I ended up with an emergency c-section after a more than adequate taste of labour followed by an 8 day hospital stay before going home and our TV breaking 15 mins after we got in! But honestly non of it matters now and it all feels like a rather crazy dream which gave us our beautiful, perfect, healthy boys – and we know that we are blessed beyond words and in love with them beyond life.

1st Mummy Selfie

1st Mummy Selfie

 

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FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Nursery Planning {Pinspiration}

Once we knew we were having twins we fast forward our plans for the bedrooms, we live in a 3 bed semi with two doubles and a reasonable single and when we started planning for a family we thought we would make the single our Nursery in the first instance and the double our joint office and guest room -bye bye man cave hubby ;). And then as and when we went on to have another we would do a joint bedroom in the 2nd double, move the office to the single room until we could afford our dream future back extension (for which we would put a master suite, with walk in wardrobe and en suite, over an open plan kitchen diner overlooking our back garden). It now seems logical to just skip step 1 of this plan and go straight to step 2, twin Nursery in the 2nd double and office in the single until we can afford the back extension. 🙂 

I toyed with two possible themes for the nursery “Out of Africa” – with a focus on my two favourite animals Giraffes and Elephants, and “Woodland”… Both of which I liked as they aren’t particularly gender specific and they both will happily grow with our future offspring until they are pre-teen without having to completely change the theme. In the end I decided to go with woodland as we live in the countryside and I liked the idea of introducing wildlife to the boys through their nursery theme and there were just so many beautiful things to pick from. Overall I want it to be a modern eclectic version of the woodland theme. You can find my full Pinterest board of  ideas at the following link: https://www.pinterest.com/jamjargill/future-little-gherkins-twin-nursery/,  but below you can find a summary of some of my favourite bits and pieces which I have found whilst looking for ideas… 

  1. Mamas & Papas Gingerbread blanket – Whilst these blankets aren’t officially part of the Woodland theme I fell in love with them as soon as I saw them and then quickly found out that Mamas and Papas had stopped stocking them! Calamity! Luckily enough I managed to source two individually on eBay 2nd hand and they are just perfect – so I have provided a link to an eBay search for this blanket if you wish to do the same 🙂 
  2. Sloan Mustard Rug – I knew I needed a nice big rug which was hoverable in the nursery as we have exposed wooden floor which we will more than likely not be able to sand and treat before the boys arrive for both financial and practical reasons. I did a google search for big rugs and found this absolute gem. I have always loved this moorish style pattern but I think with these colours I can link with the woodland scheme as it kind of looks like a tree cut open and the different rings inside, if you squint and tilt your head to the side anyway ;), I was also impressed by the value for money for the size too.
  3. Dream Big Wall Art – I definitely want to do a picture wall in the nursery with quotes and photos and art alike. I absolutely love the style of this one though it is from the states and so I need to try to source a solution in the UK as ever there is so much more variety stateside. 
  4. C.S.Lewis Quote – I saw this quote on pinterest and loved it instantly. The link provided takes you an Etsy shop where you can buy a downloadable PDF of it and the font here is just divine too 🙂
  5. Personalised Heart Keepsake – I have loved these ever since I first saw them quite a few years ago on Etsy again and have actually bought a fair few as ‘welcome to the world’ gifts for friends and family. They can be hung pretty much anywhere and are great value too – I think I will hang one on each of the cots.
  6. Sheepskin Rug – I love the idea of this natural rug to make a cosy feeding and reading snug in the corner of the nursery and something soft for them to lay on too 🙂
  7. Woodland Wall Stickers – A lot of wall stickers have had their day and are rapidly looking dated and over used…however the way to avoid this is, I believe, to go super simple (for example basic silhouettes) or fancy and basically like art. These fall into the latter category and I fell in love with the design as soon as I saw them. I love that they actually look like animals and so the boys will know what these animals looks like rather than their equivalent cartoons, they’re not too cheap – around £60-£80 (depending on what option you go for) for the set but they really are beautiful and will, I believe last the test of time too, and not date either. 
  8. Layout – I have pinned this simply because I like the layout – and whilst I plan to keep the boys in the same cot as long as possible, I like the idea of having them parallel once they are separated so that they can still see each other really easily. I really do want to do whatever we can to encourage and develop a brotherly bond between them 🙂  
  9. Drawer organisation – KonMari Style – Again this is just a pin for an idea rather than a product, but I love the idea of being super organised with the boys clothes to prevent it all getting out of control. I plan to do a drawer per size and to catagorise the clothes using boxes/drawer dividers within the drawers to keep everything in order. I figure with sleep deprivation and just the hectic life of mothering twins I will need as much organisation and simplicity in my life as possible.
  10. Jellycat Fox Toy –  from what I can see the Jellycat brand definitely does some of the cutest cuddly toys out there, I just love this one to go with our woodland theme. 
  11. Mr Fox Blind – I love this Mr Fox Print from Sandersons, its modern and ageless and classy and definitely on the wish list for the nursery.
  12. Wrendale Designs Owl Print – This is my final one, though – as I say I could happily go on forever! I’m a big fan of all of the Wrendale artwork – the beautiful illustrations which capture animals movement so beautifully are apparently created by painting with a feather! I fell for this owl print as soon as I saw it as I love how it could in theory be twins and goes beautifully with my woodland theme too.

What theme are you planning in/ did you plan in your own nursery? I’d love to hear about it 🙂 I hope you love this selection and you have found this post inspiring. Happy Bank Holiday weekend! 

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FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Packing My Hospital Bag(s)

My goodness there is so much advice out there on how to pack your hospital bag(s)! From other mama’s to be, from relatives, from friends, from mama’s who have been there and then there’s the internet… I hope that this version helps and doesn’t hinder your process, I am yet to have my baby boys but am now very close to finishing packing all my bags, and the ones which I haven’t completed I have a plan for, so I figured now was as good a time as any to write this post… I’ll let you know on the other side whether I have any more advice 🙂

Please bear in mind the list and suggested items below are based around the fact I’m having twins and also that I’m going for an elected c-section (at 37 wks), so if either of those points are different for you then some of my advice may not apply, but hopefully you’ll still find this an interesting read.

I have, as with everything in life, not just in parenting prep, cherry picked from the advice which I have been given and from what I have read and used a good dose of gut instinct too in order to put this together. I am openly a first time Mummy and a massive planner, but I don’t think an unrealistic one, as I know that my plans don’t always come to fruition but it always makes me feel calmer to plan anyway in spite of this and be as organised as possible. 

When I first got started with my packing I found this pin to a blog post by fellow blogger Stefanie Gass, which I did find particularly helpful; Packing Your Hospital Bag (C-Section Edition), so thought I would also link for you, in case it helps you too…

Another piece of sound advice which I got off an existing twin Mama is to pack for the first 2-3 days and then if you need more after that, i.e. you have a longer hospital stay in reality for one of a million possible reasons, then you cross that bridge when you come to it, so that is what I have tried to do, and send your hubby/partner/family/friend member off to get fresh supplies when needed. Bare in mind you’re not having a baby on the moon and it is very likely that there is some big supermarket or another round the corner from the hospital and perfectly suited for this purpose if, God forbid you forget something. Also in all likelihood home won’t be much more than half an hour away either, so my point here is panic not, your visitors can bring addition supplies if needed 🙂

Another point worth mentioning at the beginning of this post is that in the UK, with the NHS, one luxury we don’t often have is to have the ability for our partners to stay with us, but on the plus side, at least that’s one less bag to pack! 🙂 

OK here is goes….

For starters, what bags do you need…Here’s my choice…

JamJarGill: FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Packing My Hospital Bag(s)

  1. Main (my) Bag
  2. Sponge Bag
  3. Baby Bag
  4. Entertainment (hand luggage) Bag
  5. Pillow Bag

For the Main & Baby Bags I have opted for our standard weekend cases, wheelie suitcases which we got on our wedding list and have been the perfect size for weekends away ever since, from a random and well rated German Brand of suitcases which I found on Amazon called HAUPTSTADTKOFFER, but I have to say they really do come highly recommended over 3 years down the line and still going strong and they have been all over the world with us! 

hauptstadtkoffer-suitcase-set-on-amazon

hauptstadtkoffer-suitcase-set-on-amazon

For my sponge bag, which I again always use the same one because I love it so much and it is both practical and beautiful, is actually a Ted Baker one which they no longer produce (or seemingly anything like it)…

However I have found you a similar style one on Amazon by a lovely looking company called Bella & Bear and I would say that from experience this style that opens right up, has the ability to hang up and separate out our toiletries, in pockets which you can see into, is very handy indeed in any travel situation:

bella-bear-sponge-bag

bella-bear-sponge-bag

For Entertainment/Hand Luggage Bag I have just opted for a rucksack which we already had. I am linking a QuickSilver One as this is the brand we have but any rucksack you have for this purpose would do…

quicksilver-rucksack

quicksilver-rucksack

For my pillow bag I have just used a large reusable bag which I got when I purchased a vase from Brissi years ago but it is such a handy size and really sturdy too so I usually use it whenever going to a friends for the weekend where I need to take some or all of my own bed linen. Any similar large reusable bag would work for this purpose, but nice little bonus to know they give them away for free with purchases if you ever do shop there, even if in the sale like me, and their stuff is beyond gorgeous!

OK – I hear you – enough  about which bags – now what to put in them, which of course is kind of the point of this whole post! Please find below my check list for each bag, with links to similar if not the same items in each case, and some photos of my packing as I went :): 

Main (my) Bag
[ ]Maternity pads (2 packs)
[ ]Breast pads (1 pack)
[ ]Always pads (1 pack)
[ ]Slippers
[ ]Shower flip-flops (2 pairs) – I’m using towelling ones I picked up free at a spa day
[ ]Eye mask
[ ]Bath towel
[ ]Hand towel
[ ]Flannel
[ ]Manicure set
[ ]Travel hair dryer
[ ]Granny/Bridget Jones pants (5 pairs)
[ ]Dark towelling dressing gown
[ ]Maternity nightie & cropped maternity leggings
[ ]Lavender oil + pillow gift set
[ ]Slipper socks (3 pairs)
[ ]Normal socks (3 pairs)
[ ]Bra crop top (linked the best value ones I have found and bought online from Peacocks and they are so comfy)
[ ]2 maternity bras
[ ]2 full length maternity leggings
[ ]2 maternity/nursing vests
[ ]2 maternity long sleeve tops
[ ]1 maternity tunic shirt (for coming home)
[ ]1 cable knit cardi
[ ]Ballet pumps
[ ]Make-up bag (mascara, bb cream, powder, blush, brush, eye liner) – just the basics to make you feel more human again 🙂
[ ]Cosmetic mirror
[ ]Litter picker
[ ]Postpartum belt

JamJarGill: FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Packing My Hospital Bag(s)

JamJarGill: FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Packing My Hospital Bag(s)

Sponge bag
[ ]Cotton wool pads
[ ]Roll on deodorant
[ ]Hair clips/bobbles
[ ]Shower scrunchy
[ ]Nursing butter
[ ]Lanolin
[ ]Antibacterial gel
[ ]Mouth wash
[ ]Toner
[ ]Intimate cleaning spray
[ ]Shampoo
[ ]Conditioner
[ ]Shower gel
[ ]Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
[ ]Vaseline
[ ]Mini spray deodorant
[ ]Hand cream
[ ]Cooling leg and foot gel (Mum-to-be)
[ ]Stretch mark oil (Mum-to-be)
[ ]Bounce back body butter (Mum-to-be)
[ ]Madam Glamour perfume
[ ]Tummy butter
[ ]Heat protection spray
[ ]Face wash
[ ]Face cream
[ ]Disposable razor
[ ]E45

Baby bag
[ ]2 packs of size 1 nappies 
Though I want to go with Naty biodegradable when possible, or equivalent, I figure it’s going to be a wasted effort in hospital as all waste like this is probably incinerated anyway and I have heard only good things about these Aldi nappies, and these are probably going to be the ones we go for when we can’t justify the cost of the biodegradable ones. With all issues, charity, environmental, fair trade etc I am a big believer in doing what you can, when you can and can afford to, and that it’s always worth doing something than nothing at all.
[ ]1 pack of normal baby wipes
[ ]1 pack of nappy bags
[ ]1 pack of water wipes
[ ]1 pack of cotton wool balls
[ ]Burt’s Bees Baby bath set (I’ve now been told we won’t bath the babies at hospital, but have left this in for my use as have been told as well that I will shower in hospital after the c-section and will want something mild which won’t sting on my wound)

Each of the baby sets of clothes listed below I’ve packed in labelled zip lock bags so it is nice and easy for the hospital staff to work out what’s what as they are likely to be dressing and changing the boys whilst I’m in hospital:

JamJarGill: FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Packing My Hospital Bag(s)

JamJarGill: FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Packing My Hospital Bag(s)

[ ]2 special sleep suits (for going home in) – these two beautiful sleepsuits (with scratch mittens and feet included) were baby shower gifts from my sister in America, and are from Carters.com, baby wear which I am finding I am pinning so much from as it’s all so gorgeous! Along with 2 vests and two hats.
[ ]2 car seat blankets (made by a local entrepreneur and fellow twin Mum 🙂 )
[ ]4 tiny baby additional sleepsuit and vest onesies (2 each)
[ ]4 new-born additional sleepsuit and vest onesies (2 each)
[ ] 4 additional hats, 4 pairs of scratch mitts, 4 pairs of socks
[ ]Muslin cloths (x8)
[ ]Dummies (x4)
[ ] Carrier bags (x2) – for dirty washing etc 
[ ] Bepanthen nappy cream
[ ] Swaddling Blankets (x2)
[ ] Baby Blankets (x2)

JamJarGill: FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Packing My Hospital Bag(s)

JamJarGill: FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Packing My Hospital Bag(s)

Entertainment bag (hand luggage)
[ ]3 interior magazines
[ ]Kindle Fire
[ ]Phone charger (the longest cable one you own)
[ ]Camera (fully charged and with space on the memory card 😉 )
[ ]NCT magazine
[ ]Straws (x3)
[ ]Squash (Vimto)
[ ]Water bottle
[ ]Ginger biscuits
[ ]Haribo
[ ]Headphones
[ ]Chewing gum
[ ]2 apples
[ ]2 clementines
[ ]Box of tissues
[ ]Pack of moist toilet tissues
[ ] Teabags (pick a few of your favorites to take with you, it’s these little luxuries which make a hospital stay so much happier, nothing worse than a bad cup of tea after all!)
[ ] Super camping charger (in case they are funny about you charging your electricals when they haven’t been safety tested, this is an excellent idea thought up at our NCT group)
[ ] Set honey (to go in my tea)

 

Pillow bag (yet to pack as still use these)
[ ]1 feather pillow
[ ]Dreamgenii pillow
[ ]Small cushion
[ ]Z Pillow

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FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Bump Photoshoot {Oct-Nov 2016}

Considering I only plan to be pregnant once I wanted to capture this special time and get some proper Bump to Baby photos done. I posted on a Facebook status to see if anyone had any recommendations and a lovely lady from my yoga class and my village, Kate Levesley, offered to do a Bump, Newborn, 6 month package for us which I then asked my lovely hubby for for my Birthday this year. Here is the result of the first photoshoot, “The Bump” – taken partly at my baby shower a couple of weeks ago and partly yesterday in the beautifully autumnal Ampthill Park nearby…

 

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FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: A note to my readers….

3.

As I reach the end of the first 3rd of my 3rd trimester I am needing to listen to my body again and re-evaluate  my commitments.

I love to blog and I have blogging ideas coming out of my ears, honestly, but realistically as my body is taken over my twin boys and for my 3rd and 4th trimester I am going to stop committing to weekly posts during this time and just blog when I feel up to it. I will carry on eating meat free on a Monday – at least wherever possible, and when I get back on my feet get back to KonMari‘ing our house, and all the other lovely things which I have had and talked about in this blog. I hope that you guys understand and I promise I will see you on the other side as 2017 I hope to grow my blog more and more whilst off on maternity leave. 

In terms of guest posts I might ask for a pause on those as well during this time as I don’t want to commit to promises I can’t keep in general which is why I’m writing you all this brief note.

So wish us luck, please do check all historic material out if you find something of interest here and you land on this page. And I shall see you on the other side of the twin tidal wave in early 2017, if not before. 

Much love

Gill x

(twin Mama to be)

PS. Hope to see you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest whilst I’m not managing to regularly blog xxx 

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RECIPE JOURNAL: Meatless Monday {1 year 10 weeks}

So we’re into 1 year 10 weeks of Meatless Monday… Into my 21st week of pregnancy – scan week! 

Here’s my  week in 4:
      1.  This week was taken over by our 20 week scan in the middle of the week, it’s always nerve-wracking before a scan to make sure that the babies are ok, but also this was the one where we would finally find out the sexes of our babies to be. I’m pleased to report that they were just perfect in every way and was very shocked (initially anyway) to discover that they are both twin boys! This news sunk in over the following couple of days, much as with the news of having twins in the first place, and now it just feels like our exciting new reality. 🙂 We can really start planning properly now, discussing names and starting to buy equipment, it’s all very exciting and mind-blowing again in equal measure! 
      2. Saw this fitness quote this week on pinterest and thought it was just a lovely way to look at doing exercise, and I was happily back to yoga this week after few weeks break due to my yoga teacher being in Thailand on an intense training course. Very happy to get back to it 🙂
      3. These are our new internal doors which we are getting fitted this week – so happily, as the previous owners unfortunately decided to remove the original 1950s quality doors for shitty (excuse my french but best description I can think of) cheap and nasty hollow ones, which never closed properly and wobbled in the frames, for this reason it was essential to get this sorted before babies come as with being cat parents too we need secure closing doors with babies in the house. I will post the final result next week – but very happy indeed to tick this one-off the list 😀
      4. I have been so impressed with the baby gift list website I have found to make a list for both us and others of all the things we need, so much so that I have written a blog post all about it, it’s a completely free website which can be used to store and share all different types of gift lists (Christmas, Birthdays, Kids, Christening, and so on) all in one place and then you can share it to your heart’s content with friends and family 🙂
 
Right onto food…

This week was bank holiday Monday so I was home based for the day 🙂

Breakfast:

Fruit toast with butter, a mug of lady grey tea with milk and honey, a yogurt, a pineapple juice and my pregnancy vitamins.

Lunch:

Dairylea dunker, a glass of vimto, a can of Amy’s kitchen organics tomato soup, a bagel with butter and a packet of crinklys.

 

Dinner:

Double baked jacket potatoes with cheese, chives and cracked black pepper, salad and a glass of pineapple juice.

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday {1 year 10 weeks}: Dinner

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday {1 year 10 weeks}: Dinner

Please check out my Pinterest meatless inspiration board: #MeatlessMonday  to gather some pinspiration:

pinterest board

Along with the official Meatless Monday board which I am also now sharing on:

Meatless Monday Bloggers - Official Board

Find out how I got on to Meatless Mondays in the first place by watching this video:

And check out #meatlessmondays on this blog to see all my Meatless Monday posts and recipes. Hope you have a lovely week 🙂

 

 

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FOODIE FOOD: Chicken Superfood Salad {guest post by Ben Smith}

JamJarGill: FOODIE FOOD: Chicken Superfood Salad {guest post by Ben Smith}

JamJarGill: FOODIE FOOD: Chicken Superfood Salad {guest post by Ben Smith}

I am very pleased to welcome a new guest author here at JamJarGill: Ben Smith from The Online Grill

He emailed me directly, recently, to submit a blog post and share this Chicken Superfood Salad, probably an excellent Christmas leftover dish too, just exchange the Chicken for leftover Turkey. It looks fresh and delicious, just what we need with so much stodgy food around at this time of year to perk us all up!

You can find out more about Ben at the following links:

Hope this article inspires you too…

JamJarGill: FOODIE FOOD: Chicken Superfood Salad {guest post by Ben Smith}

JamJarGill: FOODIE FOOD: Chicken Superfood Salad {guest post by Ben Smith}

Chicken Superfood Salad

Let me start this off by stating the obvious: I love food. I love eating it, I love cooking it, I even love reading about it. If I don’t cycle everywhere then I would without doubt be twice the size I am. In fact, I cycle so much that I actually need to eat constantly. This soon becomes a bit of a chore more than you’d think.

I can be lazy when it comes to cooking, but there’s something about quick and easy meals that makes me feel guilty. However there are times when that is exactly what you need (the ease, not the guilt!).

That’s where this dish is just perfect: It takes minimal time, minimal fuss, and it’s filling enough to qualify as a meal!

Quick and easy has for a lot of people become a synonym for ‘unhealthy’, but with this it just isn’t the case. I call it ‘superfood salad’ mainly because I am terrible at coming up with names, but also because it’s packed full of healthy ingredients… oh, and i love alliteration.

It’s a great blend of flavors and textures; its sharp crunch of the pomegranate mixes beautifully with the warm, soft sweet potato and chicken, and… rats, I think I’m just going to have to go make this right now.

Let me know what you think of this recipe! Also be sure to let me know what you’d add or change about it. I am always looking to try new things.

Anyway, let’s make this thing!

Chicken Superfood Salad
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 250g chicken breast
  2. 1 stalk broccoli, chopped
  3. 2 sweet potatoes, cubed
  4. 125g bag baby spinach, washed
  5. 1 lemon
  6. 4 heaped tbsp pomegranate seeds
  7. 2 heaped tbsp pine nuts
  8. Balsamic glaze
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Once ready, put your chicken in for 30 minutes.
  2. While the chicken cooks, bring a saucepan of water to the boil and put the sweet potato cubes in. Once boiling, lower the temperature to medium-hot. Leave for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped broccoli, and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and drain the potato and broccoli. Put to one side to allow it to cool.
  5. Once ready, take the chicken out the oven. With a knife, cut the meat into fine strips.
  6. Combine and heap the sweet potato, broccoli and chicken into two servings. Add spinach, pomegranate and pine nuts. Dress with a squeeze of lemon and a generous serving of balsamic glaze. Serve and enjoy!
So they call me Jam Jar Gill... http://www.jamjargill.com/
Please do drop me a line at jamjargill@gmail.com if you too are interested in writing a guest post… I am always interested in collaborating with my blogging community 🙂 {N.B. due to twin pregnancy, now in 3rd trimester, I am unable to guarantee a fast turn around on publishing guest posts currently, but I promise I will publish as soon as I am able to, thank you in advance for your understanding}

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FOODIE FOOD: Making a great meal out of salmon fillets {guest post by Paterson Riley}

I am very pleased to welcome a new guest author here at JamJarGill: Paterson Riley from Fishing like a boss.

Paterson Riley

Paterson Riley from Fishing like a boss.

She emailed me directly, recently, to submit a blog post on making the most of cooking with salmon, we all should be trying to have at least one fish supper a week to keep up all those lovely fish oils in our diets, which have so many health benefits and to help reduce our meat consumption too. It is of course important to get your fish from a sustainable source too, always question that.  

Here is a bit about Patterson:

The owner of website: fishinglikeboss.com. I have a strong passion for fishing. I always provide you with fishing tips and help you choose fishing tackle yourself such as spinning rods, spinning reels, spincast reels

Hope this article inspires you too…

Balsamic Glaze Salmon Fillets

Cooking is an art. For you to leave a mark and have people yearning for more of your cooking, you have to bring in uniqueness and perfection to your meal. Salmon is a well-renowned source of proteins, fats, omega-3 oils as well as vitamins B and D. The salmon blends perfectly with Balsamic vinegar, mustard, honey and fresh herbs. There are many ways to prepare your salmon fillets but perhaps glazing them with balsamic vinegar will give you an upper hand in the cooking arena. The Balsamic-glazed salmon fillets recipe is simple and will give you an opportunity to try out a bunch of flavors to experiment with.

Please do drop me a line at jamjargill@gmail.com if you too are interested in writing a guest post… I am always interested in collaborating with my blogging community 🙂 {N.B. due to twin pregnancy, now in 3rd trimester, I am unable to guarantee a fast turn around on publishing guest posts currently, but I promise I will publish as soon as I am able to, thank you in advance for your understanding}

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FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Style that Bump (part 3)

This is my 3rd in the series of posts about styling my bump, you can check them all out by clicking #stylethatbump

Can I just take a moment to appreciate the wonder which is the tube skirt! How on earth did I live my life up until this point without knowing about these or using them is actually now beyond me! But as part of your maternity wardrobe they really are amazing, flattering and so so adaptable. If you haven’t got one yet – get one now! They are like the skirt answer to leggings, both of mine (one full length and one just below the knee) were purchased on eBay but were from New Look and George at ASDA. So thank you Girls with Glasses for telling me what I was missing – I officially love them! 

1st Outfit

 

JamJarGill: Style That Bump: Part 3: 1st Outfit

JamJarGill: Style That Bump: Part 3: 1st Outfit

Where I got it from:

Headscarf: Clothes Swapping Party, Orange Cardi: T K Maxx, Glitter Stripy T-Shirt: Clothes Swapping Party, Tube Skirt: eBay (George at ASDA)

Get the Look (similar items): 

  1. Retro headband rockabilly self tie hair scarf 50’s headband bandana head scarf (eBay – kristine19862011
  2. Mamalicious Isabella Maternity Top In Sequin Stripe (ASOS)
  3. Seasalt Pigeon Cove Ladies Cardigan (Country House Outdoor)
  4. Skirt As Tube Skirt (Noppies)

2nd Outfit

JamJarGill: Style That Bump: Part 3: 2nd Outfit

JamJarGill: Style That Bump: Part 3: 2nd Outfit

Where I got it from:

Headscarf: Clothes Swapping Party, Denim Jacket: eBay (years ago!), Belt: My Mum’s from the 60s!, Turquoise T-shirt: Primark, Tube Skirt: eBay (George at ASDA), Sandals: Clarks 

Get the Look (similar items): 

  1. Retro headband rockabilly self tie hair scarf 50’s headband bandana head scarf (eBay – kristine19862011
  2. Noisy May Denim Jacket (ASOS)
  3. Red Leather Waist Belt (Yoins
  4. Purpless 100% Cotton Maternity And Pregnancy T-shirt (eBay)
  5. Skirt As Tube Skirt (Noppies)
  6. CLARKS ORIGINALS Dusty Soul – Black Leather Sandals (Bells Shoes)

3rd Outfit:

 

JamJarGill: Style That Bump: Part 3: 3rd Outfit

JamJarGill: Style That Bump: Part 3: 3rd Outfit

Where I got it from:

Polka Dot Maternity Dress: eBay, Orange Cardi: T K Maxx, Maternity Tights: eBay, Black Ballet Pumps: Clarks

Get the Look (similar items): 

  1. Happy Mama Womens Maternity Pregnancy Polka Dot Dress 3/4 Sleeve Spot Dress (eBay)
  2. Seasalt Pigeon Cove Ladies Cardigan (Country House Outdoor)
  3. 40 Denier Black Over-Bump Maternity Tights (Seraphine)
  4. CLARKS Discovery Ritz – Black Leather (Bells Shoes)

4th Outfit 

JamJarGill: Style That Bump: Part 3: 4th Outfit

JamJarGill: Style That Bump: Part 3: 4th Outfit

 

Where I got it from:

Grey Drape Cardi: Ralph Lauren, Bloomingdales NYC (circ 2008 and still going strong!), Kimono Top: Clothes Swapping Party, Grey Maternity Vest: Gift from My lovely Mum-in-law, Black Full Length Skirt: Clothes Swapping Party, Flip-Flops: Target

Get the Look (similar items): 

 

  1. TWIN-SET draped cardigan (Farfetch) – N.B. I have deliberately linked an investment piece actual wool cardigan here as the one which I am wearing is Ralph Lauren and I’ve had it since 2008 and it’s still going strong and one of my favourite cardigans, I would say it is worth investing in a fully wool drape cardi like this much as it is worth investing in a quality winter coat, in my experience anyway
  2. Feather Print Kimono Top (Tesco)
  3. Maternity Grey Vest (New Look)
  4. Black Maternity Maxi Skirt (Elizabeth Brown Maternity)
  5. Birkenstock MADRID Ladies Birko-Flor Black (Shuperb)

And that is it! Hope you have found this third insight into my maternity wardrobe both interesting and inspiring. Would, as ever, love to know what you think and if you have any tips yourself about maternity fashion…Until next time, happy thrifting and celebrate that gorgeous bump of yours every day that you have it, it is a privilege that you can 🙂 

 

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