LITTLE GHERKIN TWINS: The Baby Book Journal product review

Here is my product review which was featured on the The Baby website:

Product Tested By Gill Perkins – Tiberius & Cody – When Pregnant


Monday, October 23, 2017 : This is different to other baby books that you buy to fill in for baby. You get hints and tips along the way through the book, what is needed for a newborn etc. I think a first time mum would like this, maybe as a baby shower gift. I am expecting twins so it may be a little more tricky for me to fill this in, space would be tight for 2 pictures, 2 sets of first smiles etc, maybe the author could make a twin version?! I like the fact it’s hardback and the bright blue would draw the eye in a shop. I would buy this as a gift for a first time mum.

 

 

You can buy the The Baby Book Journal: Hardcover – Illustrated, 21 Oct 2016 on Amazon using the following link:

 

 

 

 

I am open to doing product review posts, please contact me at jamjargill@gmail.com if you are interested in sending me a product free of charge to test and I will get back to you as soon as I can. 

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LITTLE GHERKIN TWINS: Xpanda Bra product review

Here is my product review which was featured on the BizzieBaby website:

Gill Awarded The Xpanda Bra 5/5

I love this bra – it is clearly very good quality and an excellent fit and very good idea how it expands as you grow – this is something which I haven’t ever seen in other bras and is genuinely something which is very useful during pregnancy and breastfeeding alike. Packaging cheap and cheerful – has all the details required. Love the style and the colour of the bra – I have now stopped breastfeeding but am going to continue to wear it as I like it so much. The opening of this bra is very easy to use – very logically put together. This is so comfortable to wear. Does make breastfeeding easier as has easy access for feeding. This does not look like a nursing bra and this is what I like so much about it – it’s so nice to have a maternity/nursing bra which is comfortable and beautiful too and really does not feel frumpy at all like so many of them do. I will definitely continue to wear this bra and certainly recommend. Very happy with this bra, its design and it’s function. Gill Perkins – Tiberius & Cody 3.5 Months

You can buy the Xpanda Bra on Amazon using the following link:

I am open to doing product review posts, please contact me at jamjargill@gmail.com if you are interested in sending me a product free of charge to test and I will get back to you as soon as I can. 

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LITTLE GHERKIN TWINS: Lulla Doll product review

Here is my product review which was featured on the BizzieBaby website:

Product Tested By Gill Perkins – Tiberius & Cody – 4 Months

Gill Awarded The Lulla Doll 4/5

When this arrived I thought it was sweet – though quite feminine. The doll is really good quality. Both boys seem to like it and cuddle it automatically. This doll did seem to comfort my boys as they both fell asleep within 5 mins of holding it. Helped both boys get to sleep at nap time​. I believe it comforted my boys and helped them nap longer. I do think this doll did help then settle better. Personally I do feel this item is quite expensive. I think the concept and design is really good as it is and could not suggest any improvements. If I saw this on offer I would consider purchasing. I would also recommend. Nice product and cute toy and sleep aid which genuinely does seem to comfort baby but seems very expensive for what it is.​ Gill Perkins – Tiberius & Cody – 4 Months

You can buy the Lulla Doll on Amazon using the following link:

 

I am open to doing product review posts, please contact me at jamjargill@gmail.com if you are interested in sending me a product free of charge to test and I will get back to you as soon as I can. 

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LITTLE GHERKIN TWINS: 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 GHERKIN TWINS: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 GHERKIN TWINS: 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: Think Vegetables Are Boring?

I am very pleased to welcome a new guest author here at JamJarGill: Rose Zellmer from Gimmie Tasty

Rose, is ultimate food buddy! She decided to create GimmeTasty.com to showcase what she knows, what she want you to know, and what she needs to learn more about the fantastic world of food. She will accompany you on your delicious adventure of discovering happiness through food.

She emailed me directly, recently, to submit this blog post. 

 Think Vegetables Are Boring? Then You Clearly Haven’t Oven Roasted Yours!

Vegetables are often cast to the side of a plate, considered a dull but essential component of a meal. This oven roasting technique will change that forever!

Oven roasting is one of the tastiest ways to prepare vegetables, and it’s a technique that I always use. This way, most of the vitamins and minerals remain within the ingredients and give you maximum benefit from your meal – without sacrificing any of the fantastic taste!

I like to toss the vegetables in a little olive oil too, as this prevents sticking and supplies offers a good dose of omega 3 at the same time. It’s not just me, however; this dish is hugely popular throughout the cities and towns of the Mediterranean Sea, and along with fish and meats such as chicken, it forms part of the extremely healthy Mediterranean Diet.

As you may know, this has long been publicized as one of the best for health. I find it simple to follow the principles of eating “Mediterranean” food, and so will you – which is great news for everybody’s health.

Fill your pantry with a rainbow of vegetables, wholegrains, beans, brown rice, oily fish (although any fish is good for you – just look for scales rather than breadcrumbs) and a little lean meat such as chicken or turkey. I also recommend nuts for their health benefits, but only in moderation.

One of the key health benefits of this diet is the inclusion of healthy fats, which along with the other vitamins and minerals, help to prevent diseases such as hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease.

I like to add cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower to my tray of healthy vegetables, as they add a little extra crunch and flavor. Use more or less any vegetable that you like, but remember to adjust cooking times to suit, as certain vegetables will need longer roasting time than others to maintain the right texture.

This is an all round, balanced healthy meal that is low in calories, with good amounts of healthy fats and carbohydrates. It is low in protein, but if served with fish or chicken, this will bring up the protein amount quite considerably.

Are you ready to get started? Trust me – one mouthful of this meal and you’ll understand my enthusiasm!

Oven Roasted Vegetables Recipe
Serves 6
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 medium-sized zucchini, cut into ¼ inch rings
  2. 1 small aubergine
  3. 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and diced into small chunks (you can use one or two sweet potatoes instead, or a few baby potatoes)
  4. 1 red pepper, core and seeds removed, cut into pieces
  5. 1 green pepper, core and seeds removed, cut into pieces
  6. 1 yellow pepper, core and seeds removed, cut into pieces
  7. 2 red onions, thickly sliced
  8. 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  9. 3 tbsp olive oil
  10. Salt and freshly ground pepper to season
  11. Optional – some fresh mixed herbs such as rosemary or thyme
Instructions
  1. Heat your oven to 220C/425F/Gas Mark 7.
  2. Tip all the vegetables into a roasting tray and spoon in the olive oil. Make sure that all the vegetables are well coated with the oil, then season to taste. (If you are using herbs, add them at this stage and make sure they are integrated with the vegetables).
  3. Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Turn the vegetables around after this time, to prevent them from burning. Repeat this a few times, always checking that the vegetables are not burning – If they start to show signs of doing so, cover the roasting tray with tin foil.
  4. Serve with your choice of meats or fish for a delicious meal.
Notes
  1. Tomatoes are also a lovely addition to this dish, particularly small, sweet ones. Scatter over a few 10 minutes before the end of cooking time so that they soften in with the vegetables – delicious!
  2. If you want to save on time and washing up, use fillets of fish that are not too thick. This way you can actually place them on top of the vegetables for the last 15 minutes, so that everything cooks together. The fish juices will seep through the vegetables and they become even tastier! Remember to squeeze a little lemon juice over the fish, and a bit more seasoning.
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 having a young family, 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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INTERIOR DESIGN: A Beginners Guide on Basic Interior Design and Decorations {guest post by Katie Jones}

I am very pleased to welcome a new guest author here at JamJarGill: Katie Jones from It’s Katie Jones

Katie Jones is a writer and content curator for home improvement blogs as well as plumbing. Do visit her site itskatiejones, to be updated with her latest tips! She emailed me directly, recently, to submit this blog post. 

 
When designing your home, some of you might want it to do it on your own to add a personal touch. Not only that, it is cheaper since you don’t have to hire a licensed interior designer. However, there are principles that you need to know and follow because if you want your designs to be a random mess. 

 

It may take you years to be a professional and licensed interior designer but the concepts we are going to present are basic. Keep in mind that even though these ideas are fundamental, they can give you a lot of options with your interior design!

   

What are the basic principles and fundamentals of interior designing?

 

Balance

 

Can be symmetrical, asymmetrical, and/or radial. Balance, as we all know, is the equal classification of the visual weight in a room. To design a room, balance it with objects that are heavy to look at or with multiple light objects that are visually equal. Objects that look bulky or large, bright, and/or complexly shaped.

 

Harmony and Unity

Means the common style and theme for your room or living space. To create harmony, use colours with varying shades, shapes, sizes, and textures. Also, you should use colour schemes to unify a collection of spaces.

Rhythm

This fundamental involves 4 aspects; the progression, transition, repetition and contrast. This basically comes from its meaning itself; in which rhythm is the visual interest through patterns of repetition and contrast.

 

Tips on how to create rhythm:

 

Progression- a creative way to create a progression in rhythm is a group of candles displayed in varying or increasing sizes.

Transition- having an arched doorway or a winding hallway/path that leads the eye is a unique trick for rhythm.

Repetition- using colours throughout the pillow cases, paintings and rugs can create a repetitive theme.

Contrast- You can also apply contrast with the use of pillows — may it be a throw pillow or a bedroom pillow. For example: having its cases coloured black and white can create a contrast.

 

Emphasis

The main focus or the focal point that directly draws anyone’s attention means emphasis. A sample of locations in your house that can serve as focal points is the fireplace and the windows. You can also group unusual and large objects as well as furniture to create a great focal point — most especially if you focus on highlighting them.

 

 

Proportion and Scale

Talking about the ratio and the size of the elements you will use is something that’s important in interior designing and decorating. Through the smart use of proportion and scale, you can make your rooms look more spacious and neat. For example: you can use large furniture to occupy a large space of the room and make the area tighter in perspective. Of course, if you have a small room then you should use furniture that has small stature for better space management.

A paint colour can also have a great impact in playing with proportion and scale. White paint can make your room look bigger while dark colours tend to absorb light and make an area look smaller.

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 having a young family, 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: Recipe For Saucy Pulled Pork Sandwiches {guest post by Jessica Blythe}

I am very pleased to welcome a new guest author here at JamJarGill: Jessica Blyth from SugaryKitchen

She emailed me directly, recently, to submit a blog post and share these pulled pork recipes. Jessica is the founder of SugaryKitchen, and she passionately enjoy cooking, she like meeting other people who take cooking as their hobby so that together can learn about the new cooking methods, techniques, and strategies. She is also a mother of two beautiful children where she balances between her passion and her biggest joy in life. 

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

 

When it comes to preparing a meal for your family, you will never want anything but the best for them. The spicy and yummy saucy pulled sandwiches should never go wrong in its preparation process. With the right recipe, you will make a great meal for your family. Read on and get to learn some recipes for making some saucy pulled pork sandwiches.

Pulled Pork Open Sandwich
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Ingredients
  1. • Eight dinner rolls
  2. • A finely chopped red onion
  3. • Barbeque sauce
  4. • Rum, half a cup
  5. • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  6. • A teaspoon of black pepper
  7. • Half a tablespoon of cayenne pepper
  8. • Salt, a tablespoon
  9. • Garlic powder, half a tablespoon
  10. • Boneless pork-two and a half pounds
  11. • Half a tablespoon of paprika
Instructions
  1. Mix the peppers, paprika, garlic powder and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Place your pork in the bowl with the mixed ingredients and rub the ingredients onto the pork until it gets completely coated
  3. Place your port that is coated on a plate and cover it using a dish. Marinate for about thirty minutes
  4. Into a slow cooker, put half of the finely chopped red onion. Put the other half in the bowl with the remaining spices.
  5. Into the red onion in the slow cooker, add barbeque sauce, only the right amount and stir the mixture until it is perfect
  6. Place the marinated pork into a crockpot and add to it the barbeque sauce mixture
  7. Cover the crockpot and let it cook for approximately five hours over low heat
  8. At this time, the pork will be ready. Shred it and spoon it onto your dinner rolls and serve it to your family as you desire
So they call me Jam Jar Gill... http://www.jamjargill.com/
 
Pulled Pork Sandwich
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Ingredients
  1. • Pork, 1 kg-2kgs
  2. • Hoisin sauce- quarter cup
  3. • Sweet chili sauce-quarter cup
  4. • Half a cup of water
  5. • Worcestershire sauce
  6. • 4Minced clove garlic
  7. • Tomato sauce-quarter cup
  8. • Soy sauce-quarter cup
  9. • Barbeque sauce - quarter cup
  10. *The salt and sauces can be added according to your liking to suit your needs.
Instructions
  1. Put your pork in a slow cooker bowl
  2. Mix up all other ingredients: the hoisin sauce, sweet chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, tomato sauce, barbeque sauce and soy sauce
  3. Pour the mixed ingredients over your pork in a slow cooker bowl
  4. Cover the cooker bowl and let it cook for up to six hours and eight hours if your pork is the large roast type piece
  5. Use two forks to shred the pork once it gets ready and mix it into the sauce before you serve
  6. For a roast piece type of pork, get rid of the fat just before you shred it to be ready for serving
  7. Serve it with bread rolls, mashed potatoes, and some steamed vegetables to make your diet balanced.
So they call me Jam Jar Gill... http://www.jamjargill.com/

From the recipes in this article, I hope that you can easily prepare some saucy pulled pork sandwiches. Follow the procedure step by step, but you can use varying amounts of ingredients such as sauces and salts to suit your specifications and taste.

Whichever time you make some saucy pulled pork sandwiches, whether during Thanksgiving or the family’s annual get together, every member of your family will appreciate the delicacy.

Leave a comment on the article and let us know what you like about saucy pulled pork sandwiches and the recipe you normally used when preparing it. If you love this article, feel free to give it a thumbs up. There is room for you to make inquiries if you need clarification.

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 having a young family, 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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