Kid Friendly holidays at Gladwins Farm

We can’t help thinking that if there was a marketing agency brainstorm run by kids to design a perfect holiday it might well include the following items on the blue sky wish list: blue skies, cute little houses, a swimming pool, somewhere to ride one’s bike, pigs, a climbing frame… and maybe Mummy, Daddy and the dogs can come too…

Well bundle that all up and give it to the fairy who grants wishes and what you get is Gladwins Farm. An award winning holiday retreat in gorgeous Suffolk countryside which consists of nine delightful self catering cottages to rent (which come with hot tubs, Egyptian cotton linens and some with four poster beds – big tick on the Mum and Dad list!), are dog friendly, eco-concious and cost on average £30 pppn off peak season.  Walk in the woods, get a facial at the spa, feed the farm animals and swim in the heated pool, it’s all created with little ones in mind (if not by the little creatures themselves…)

Editor’s tip: pre-order one of Gladwins Farm’s hampers stocked with cheese, pate and fizz…



Is good sex making us conceive more boys?

One of our SM team said the other day ‘Is it just me or does everyone seem to be having boys at the moment..?’

I’m sure the big pendulum maintaining ‘the grand scheme of things’ is still dressed more or less to the 50/50 centre – but we do seem to be buying more blue baby shower gift baskets these days… hmmmm.

Rewind a few years (4 to be precise) when uber-SM Victoria Beckham finally delivered a daughter – there was much talk at dinner parties of the 1940s Shettles Method for ‘choosing’ the gender of one’s children. Essentially this suggests that diet, sexual position and timing of sex had a quantifiable effect in terms of gender prediction. And this leads us to wonder (and banter) – if there is any truth in his theory – whether ‘modern women’ are just more likely to conceive boys.

Shettles’ basic principles included:

For a girl; have sex in the missionary position (or another shallow penetration one) and female orgasms are a huge no-no. One Big-O and the vagina releases ‘sperm friendly’ fluid which would allow the Y (male) sperm to swim faster to the egg.  So if you’ve tried out something from Cosmo or lived out your Mr Grey fantasy you’ll be having a son.

Avoid caffeine: no lattes or perk-me-up energy drinks (with or without vodka!) for girlmaking – Starbucks junkies will be making boys.

Keep the vagina acidic for a girl and alkaline for a boy (yep, we weren’t sure how you measure this either, apparently you can get a kit in Boots or on Amazon). Berries, kale, almonds, tofu are all alkaline – as too are steak and chips. Dairy and wheat are acidic  so if you’ve cut these out you’ll be growing a little gent, says the theory. Food for thought, maybe…

Editor’s tip: if none of the above sounds like you, but you still ended up with a blue baby boo then maybe it’s because you married a billionaire. A study by Forbes showed more male heirs born to those who inherited fortune *yet not to self made billionaires, randomly…



How to banish the smell of wee

We have all been there. On the receiving end, the comforting end or post-light-jog after childbirth, sometimes the embarrassing end of life’s little accidents.

We don’t judge; but we know a few tricks to get the smell out of the laundry, mattress, carseat etc…

When they’ve wet the bed: ‘Sprinkle baking soda on the mattress’ recommends ‘this will blot up the liquid, then you can vacuum it away’ They also recommend making a cleaning solution for anything that can’t go in the washing machine, as follows: In a small bowl mix a couple squirts of liquid dish soap, one tablespoon of vinegar, and two cups of cool water. Take a clean white rag or wash cloth and dip the cloth into the water. Using the dampen cloth start to work on the mattress. Try to apply a blotting motion with the damp cloth against the mattress. If you press to hard you will be pressing the urine into the mattress instead of removing it. Keep blotting until the liquid is absorbed. Keep working with the blotter until the stain disappears.

For soiled clothes: soak in vinegar, or add half a cup to the wash cycle. You could also use non-chlorine bleach, baking soda – or we are loving the sound of Wellness Mama’s homemade laundry detergent.

Our SM tip: ‘if a little one has wee-d on you, once you’ve cleaned them up try a bath in Matey Bubble Bath, honestly, it’s even better than any more expensive scented body wash when it comes to getting rid of the smell of wee!’

Editor’s Tip: Get some old fashioned lavender bags and pop them in your children’s bedroom drawers. We’re loving these Liberty Print ones…

How to massage a baby

There’s many a SM who might hold the view that baby massage (along with singalongs, Baby Bach, TinyTalk etc) might be an activity suggested by the do-gooder likes of NCT or Health Visitors to prevent us from boredom, daytime telly and generally going bonkers.

But not so, say the experts at the International Association of Infant Massage – benefits include reducing colic, constipation, aiding crying, promoting sleep and developing coordination and motor skills.

‘Choose a time when baby is neither hungry nor too full’ say Johnson’s Baby. ‘Set the scene in a warm bright room and relax yourself by taking deep breaths…’

‘Start with the legs and feet for a not-yet-crawling infant,’ suggest Baby Centre ‘working gently round the toes, then fingers, arms and chest. Use both hands to open out the chest, then turn baby over onto the back…’ (read more)

Infacol suggest the ‘Tiger in the Tree’ massage technique for babies suffering from colic.

Make the whole experience a little slicker with the following:

  • Gentle Baby Massage oil from -TEN-: this mother and baby beauty range includes a super luxe massage product containing softening sweet almond oil which not only feels delicious but also comes in a bottle with a practical non-slip pump dispenser – great for when you’ve got slippery hands. The soothing scent makes this one perfect for a pre-bedtime massage and a little goes a long way!                                              9TUAJVDU
  • Wrap up afterwards in a Cocooi blanket from Merino Kids: maximise the chilled factor and keep out the chills with these award winning wraps (and sleeping bags for older children) designed to be warm in winter and allow skin to breathe in summer. We love the colour range too – which includes Mint, Raspberry and Turtle Dove grey.

Ed’s Tip: read what blogger and masseuse Ivy Hultquist has to say about music for massage here… (No Enya!)



Get in the Valentine’s mood with the Tanqueray Rouge, made rosy pink with pomegranate juice.


1.25 oz. gin (recommended: Tanqueray London Dry)
1 oz. simple syrup
.75 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 oz. pomegranate juice
1 spiral lemon peel


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the gin, simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, and pomegranate juice.
  2. Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass.
  3. Garnish with lemon peel spiral.

Makes 1 drink.

Valentine’s Lust List

He loves me, he loves me not. He got me cheap carnations, or even worse forgot…

We’re lusting after the following tokens of esteem:

  • Jo Malone Red Roses cologne: simple, chic, the best way to receive a bouquet…                                         
  • Wrap her up in rouge with a pashmina from Isla Rule Cashmere in Rio Red                                                      
  • Make like Prince Charming with this lovely leather charm bracelet from Lily Belle at Not On the High St    
  • Go for subtle red slashes that mean business with the enviable nude Pigalle heels from Louboutin                 
  • Just started dating? Keep it simple and fun with a box of Godiva’s – we love this ‘You Have My Heart’ kitsch and colourful one…

Retreat to France with your newborn? Oui, bien sur!

You’ve spent 36 hours in labour, lost all your feminine mystique as your lady parts are manhandled by an army of midwives and the bits of you that aren’t swaddled in some sort of bodily-fluid-soaking padding are covered in dribble. Possibly yours.

Frankly, at this point swanning around in an 18th century French manor house for ten days sounds pretty damn good – and that’s what the Post Natal Retreat at La Jugie in Limousin offers – with meals prepared, baby paraphernalia provided, a luxe pool, massages and twice daily fitness classes designed to restore a bit of tone to your wobbly bits. And ooh-la-la, the best bit, you can bring your husband (whom, let’s face it, you’d probably completely forgotten existed by now!) and he can bond with the bubba whilst you get your butt blasted at the hands of Caroline Bragg – personal trainer and pilates expert from Frame, Shoreditch.

Find out more at

Playtime: The Capital Play Trampoline

If you have a big enough garden, we all know nothing beats a trampoline for tiring the kids out.

Capital Play have made trampoline owners’ lives a little easier, safer and more aesthetically pleasing by creating an In-Ground model, which is designed to be sunk into the lawn; not just preventing falls but apparently also providing a better quality bounce too.

(And we’d say it’s pretty good fun after a grown up dinner party too!)

Starting at £775 for an 8ft trampoline, the kit comes with the frame, mat, springs, safety pads and retaining wall – find out more at

Stroller Days Out: The Baby Show 20-22nd Feb London ExCel

Got a bump? Well you have a bonafide excuse to shop – and where better than a huge fiesta of all things baby; with hundreds of products from leading brands all under one roof.

Browse the likes of iCandy, Cosatto, Joie, Mothercare, Stokke and many, many more – plus some lovely boutique brands and cult products.

Advice is on hand by way of talks from baby experts such as Annabel Karmel, Jo Tantum and breast feeding guru Clare Byam-Cook, plus fashion shows and entertainment for little ones including play areas.

Get tickets now from

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