Monthly Archives: March 2008

Homeward Bound

– Great DIY games for the house-bound

metm141.jpgStuck at home with a sick tot? Or not prepared to brave the (threat of) wet weather? Sometimes, home is just best.

But the day can be long. And there are only so many times you can listen to stories of small towns in the Hebrides, Inner or Outer. Turn off the telly and have some fun with three of our favourite, tried and tested suggestions for house-bound mums and sprogs.

  • Monkey See, Monkey Do – Mimic Me (3 months to toddlers and the rest – add sarcasm in the teenage years)

Repeat your child’s vocal sounds and the smile on his face when he realises that you are having a ‘conversation.’ If your little noise-maker is a bit older, make simple sounds for him to mimic.

  • Good Old-Fashioned Fun – Water play (aged 1 year plus)*

It seems to be a universal law of nature: All tots love playing in water. So fill a large bowl with cold or warm water and add small plastic toys, turkey basters, cups, boats, brushes and sponges, ice, baby dolls or plastic plates to wash, and items that will sink or float. We love the idea of minimising mess by using a slotted spoon or potato masher so the size of spills is limited. Water play is best suited to the kitchen or bathroom. (You could also draw a bath in the middle of the day and let her play to her heart’s content).

  • 21st Century Play (from 9 months and ideal for toddlers)

metm_311mar08.jpgIf your little techie has been watching you at the laptop, and can’t wait to get his hands on that keyboard, then turn to the Net to kill a little time. (We disclaim any responsibility if you nurture a life-long addiction to online gaming.) The Fisher-Price website has a lovely selection of online games which have been designed with children – and their capabilities – in mind. What’s so brilliant about games like Laugh and Learn Peek-a-Boo, Tap and Colour or the ABC Zoo is that it doesn’t matter which keys you press or how often, the game continues to work well. So the techie (or is that Luddite?) can bash away at the keyboard to his heart’s content.

What Mini says:
As they say in my hometown, my home is my castle.

Let us know how your favourite indoor (DIY) game with your tot by e-mailing us on mail@mini-et-moi.com. All responses will be entered into a draw to win Sorting Basket by Pintoy. The competition closes at midnight on 18 April 2008.

* Remember that children can drown in small amounts of water and you should never leave your child unattended.

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Confessions of the Compulsive

metm18.jpg– A Book for the Collector of Children’s Books

The bibliophile (read: compulsive librarian-type) in you loves nothing more than creating a comprehensive library for your little bookworm. As a well-rounded mum (read: neurotic, anxiety-ridden perfectionist), you’ll be excited to get your hands on The Ultimate First Book Guide.

metm_28mar.jpgA directory of children’s books sorted by age group, The Ultimate First Book Guide provides charming reviews of over 500 books for the under 7s, with explanations for the fun-loving mum (read: the ambitious go-getter) of what’s enjoyable for young readers (and what they may learn).

The layout makes for easy reading and you’ll be able to identify your old favourites quickly. And, sections on concept books or why nursery rhymes matter makes for interesting reading.

We loved learning why character books like Charlie and Lola are so great for developing strong readers. You see, not everything is about rampant consumerism. (Let that paranoia go …)

Stop obsessing and start reading, compulsively.

What Mini says:
This confession is just the beginning – her compulsion knows no bounds. (She’s actually been thinking about using the Dewey Decimal System for my books!)

Buy The Ultimate First Book Guide by Daniel Hahn, Leonie Flynn & Susan Reuben (ISBN: 9780713673319; RRP £12.99) online.

Mini-et-Moi.com is the ultimate review site for London mums, babies and toddlers. Click here to read more about our reviews of classes, activities and great things for Mum and baby or toddler. 

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Hairdresser Reviews – Goldilocks

The review will appear here.

This is a test only.

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Oil do it!

– The best stretch mark solution

metm202.jpg My mummy probably wouldn’t admit it, but the second – okay, maybe the third – thought after hearing that she was pregnant was ‘Eeekh! Stretch marks!’ It was a nagging worry that kept her up at night. (She can be a little neurotic in that way, my mummy.) So, early on in the pregnancy – at about 10 weeks, I would guess – she started massaging Bio Oil into her skin twice daily until the Big Day. And it worked. Not a single stretch mark in sight. Phew! What a relief. I couldn’t have lived with the guilt.

Some mummies don’t get their act together that quickly. Luckily for them, Bio Oil also has good results in lessening existing stretch marks. Start using it now and be ready for the Summer. You too can be a real oil painting (just like my mummy).

What Moi says:
Up at night worrying about stretch marks! Not at all … I was simply burning the midnight oil.

Bio-Oil® is a specialist skincare product that helps improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks and uneven skin tone. It’s now widely available across the UK including at Boots and Waitrose.

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Mini-Manual – Heart Health

– Spring Cleaning Tips for your Kitchen

They say the kitchen is the heart of the home. How’s your’s holding out? Try these simple tricks to avoid cardiac arrest and get your home in better working order.

metm17.jpg– Cut the Kitchen Clutter
Is everything in your kitchen where you need it most? Spend 15 minutes rethinking your kitchen – and another 15 minutes implementing the changes – and you’ll save plenty of time.

– Time to Regroup (Your Groceries)
The coffee is next to the baby cereal which is nowhere near the sugar (for the coffee, silly). It’s time to rethink your pantry shelves and regroup logically. The same goes for the fridge. Who knows, being able to find what you’re looking for may also inspire you to try out new recipes – and not just the puréed variety.

– Organise your Freezer
Try to keep control of the contents of your freezer. If you’re feeling eligible for the Little Miss Perfect award, you could make a list of its contents and tick off things as you use them. We know, in an ideal world … Or if you’re just like the rest of us make sure you clean out your freezer every few months. And get rid of that thing in the back corner.

– Stock Up (Your Pantry)
List all household items you use on a large scale, such as kitchen towels, rubbish bags, toilet paper, etc., and do one shop to stock up on them. Better yet, make a monthly list on an online shopping site and set yourself reminders. Buying in bulk saves you time and money.

– Multi-task
Use the minutes while waiting for pasta to boil to do small household tasks such as descaling the kettle or cleaning the filters of the dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer.

What Mini says:
Why does she keep trying to tidy my mess? Chaos rules!

Our Mini-Manuals are filled with tips for life avec bébé. Read the Mini-Manual on Green Living and Taking Great Baby Pics.

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Mummy’s Monday Mornings

– Whole Foods (W8)

Munch and mingle at Mummies Morning every Monday morning. Whole Foods Emporium on High Street Kensington host the events in their Room with a View:

  • metm5.jpgMunch on complimentary pastries while sipping tea and coffee (and fresh juice for the little ones)
  • Mingle with other mummies who share your love of all things natural and organic. Plus, dabble in a little bit of homeopathy and naturopathy.
  • Memorize all you’ve learned at their interesting topics and discussions.
  • March topics include Meet the Homeopath and Nutrition for Babies and Toddlers.
  • Monday mornings from 10am to 11 am.

What Mini says:
Mmm … Mmmust diarise!

Mummies Morning is held at Whole Food Market, The Barkers Building, 63–97 Kensington High Street, London W8 5SE Tel.   0207 368 4500  .

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Chocoholics Unite

– Chic chocolate creations

I’ve just found out that 66,000 Crème Eggs are produced every hour – that’s enough to satisfy even mymetm141.jpg mummy’s sweet tooth. She’s not the only cocoa nut. Brits eat 25% of all chocolate in Europe, making us the ultimate chocoholics. Our first chocolate factory opened in 1657 but Cadbury Brothers only produced their first bar in 1849 – a long time to wait for a Dairy Milk.

On average, we each eat 10 kilograms of chocolate a year – that’s roughly my body weight in chocolate. But my mummy’s in no way average – and she’s more sophisticated than she is sugary – so I’ve bought a gorgeous and exclusive Easter egg especially for her, a handmade egg by the award-winning chocolatier Paul A. Young. Inspired by his love of colour and glamour, Paul has created a range of fabulous eggs from the finest Valrhona chocolate. These eggs are an indulgent experience. The very best of British, with a chic twist.

What Moi says:
Until Mini’s budget stretches to a Fabergé, I’m delighted with one of Paul’s creations.

metm_142mar.jpgPaul A. Young Chocolates are available at 33 Camden Passage, Islington, London, N1 8EA. Tel:  020 7424 5750  or 20, Royal Exchange, Threadneedle St, London, EC3V 3LP Tel:  020 7929 7007 . See the website for more details.

To win a luxurious Paul A. Young Easter egg, send an e-mail to mail@mini-et-moi.com and include the word OEUF in the title*.

*As this delicate prize may not withstand handling in the postal system, the winner will need to arrange for collection in store. Competition closes at 5pm on 18 March 2008.

Mini-et-Moi.com is the ultimate review site for London mums, babies and toddlers. Click here to read more about our reviews of classes, activities and great things for Mum and baby or toddler.

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