Testing Testing… A note from the Editor

Happy New Year to all our readers, thank you for all your support and lovely messages so far and glad you like the site as much as we do.

Just to let you know, we’ll be doing lots more product testing over the next few months – we have a gang of fab mums with kids ranging from 3 months to 12 years in age – and we test in lots of rigorous and Mummy-relevant ways.

So – a note to PRs to say please stop by to say hello and also to would-be-tester mums to drop us a line at slickmummy@journalist.com

We hope you enjoy reading our regular features: School Run Superheroes (testing make up that can be applied in the car), Quick Change (our testers put changing bags and store changing rooms through their paces) and our Buggy Olympics (self-explanatory… ) – plus of course our #GinFriday Cocktail of the Week.

 

#GinFriday

Today’s tipple is the delicious Hendrick’s hot gin punch

  • Three teacups of Hendrick’s Gin
  • Three teacups of Madeira wine
  • Three cloves
  • A pinch of grated nutmeg
  • A large teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • Two teaspoons of brown sugar
  • Six large lemons and 2 orange twists
  • A small slice of orange
  • One fresh pineapple
  • Four large spoons of honey
  • Juice of two lemons

1. Mix all the ingredients in saucepan and place on the heat. Let the mixture simmer without boiling for 20 -30 minutes.

2. While it cooks balance the sweet/sour taste with honey and lemon to your taste. You can also re-warm the mix; the punch arguably gets better and better the longer it simmers.

Serving suggestion: Serve in teacups accompanied with some homemade gingerbread. The above serves 6.

Twelve Xmas Wishes

Lords a Leaping, take note. Here’s the Christmas Lust List:

  • Bouquets from The Wild Flower Company: part of the British Flower Collective, these posies of seasonal blooms and grasses add panache to a rustic kitchen or a channel your inner Eliza Doolittle to add romantic w whim to an urban apartment. Order them for fortnightly, monthly or one off delivery (check out their Pregnancy packages also!)   
  • Helicopter Flying Lessons from Regal Helicopters: begin your pilot training of just take a pleasure flight over England’s green plesantness…Take the controls and indulge some serious childhood fantasies!
  • The Pacapod Toy Pod: for little ones who like to be self sufficient, this cute rucksack is comfortable for them to carry and just the right size for the essentials (or as one of our Mums said ‘it’s like portion control: Dolly can come, trainset needs to stay at home!’) We’d suggest stuffing them seasonally with Lindt Bears or a set of personalised Thank You notecards from Tinyprints.  
  • The Victoria Beckham nail polish duo from Nails Inc: In Victoria’s world her perfect talons are luxe bone ‘Bamboo White’ or vibrant ‘Judo Red’. Made with stretch to fit technology (‘non gloopiness’ to you and me) and available in a limited edition venetian glass bottle.                                                           
  • A Man-Lair from Tetra Shed: whoever said sheds weren’t sexy haven’t seen this customisable pod which can be turned into anything from a home office to amazing playhouse to a spare room – or even stacked together to create an entire home! Coverable extras include zinc or copper finishes, underfloor heating and built in speakers – design your dream with their 3D visualiser.   
  • Holiday PJs from The Gap: keep starry eyed kids cosy on Xmas morn with these lovely festive flannels…  
  • Disney Frozen Princess Ice and Inline skates: got the dress? Now you need the super nifty ice skates, which easily transform into inlines when the terrain melts or, you know, all the other kids are doing it…
  • The Carved Angel Xmas Pudding: made to the traditional Victorial recipe and wrapped in a snowy white cloth, this pudding is sumptuously rich but vegetarian friendly. Try it with Crabbie’s Green Ginger wine for a winter warmer.   
  • Magic Sakura Tree: there’s still something thrilling about this classic toy-cum-science experiment: adding the water and watching in realtime as the cute pink blossom starts to grow. Then Instagram the hell out of it…  
  • Tea Party Biscuits from Little Ella James: a timeless classic for little ladies who lunch. And then snack.  Great for teaching counting and stacking, tea party ettiquette and sharing.  
  • A Night in the 210th Suite at MyHotels: 210th is an elegant adult range and they have partnered with boutique MyHotels to create a sophisticated and sexy suite – complete with 25 erotic ‘assignments’ in little envelopes for you and your partner to complete, bath bubbles and massage oils from their collection and your own personal ‘box of tricks’.
  • R2D2 Woodburning Stove: cleverly constructed from an old gas bottle, this sees takes upcycling into a new dimension. Powerful enough to heat a room or summerhouse, R2 is made to order and makes an unusual – and very cool – focal point. Call 07955479449 for enquiries and orders.  

 

#GinFriday

Today’s Gin O’Clock comes courtesy of Blackwoods Gin and is the gorgeously seasonal Norse Daisy… Blackwoods is made from Shetland botanicals including Wild Water Mint, Meadowsweet and Pink Sea flowers.

Norse Daisy

37.5ml Blackwoods

12.5ml Calvados

25ml Fresh Lemon

15ml Damson and Rosemary Syrup

1 Egg White

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Add all ingredients to a shaker, dry shake (without ice) then wet shake (with ice) before double straining into a coupette. Garnish with rosemary sprig.

What’s it like to give birth at The Portland?

 

Famous for delivering the offspring of rockstars and Royals, suffice to say a birth at The Portland will set you back the best part of ten grand (13K for a C-section)

But what do you really get for your money? According to their spokesperson ‘We are one of the most highly equipped hospitals in Europe and have an international reputation for our standards in medical care…’ But does that justify the pricetag?

Here’s what we found out…

PANTS AND PANDAS: The Portland provides ‘everything you can think of’ said one Mum: knickers, nappies, towels, babygrows, Molton Brown toiletries. After the baby is born they are enrolled in the Portly Panda Club (with a panda toy) and the proud parents get a bottle of champers, plus an announcement in The Times and a fancy meal.

PRIVACY: Round the clock security keeps out paparazzi (or overbearing Mother In Laws). Says the Daily Mail ‘The hospital prides itself on security. The paparazzi might camp outside the doors – but they never make it inside. If you think a stay at the Portland means a chance to rub shoulders with A-list mums – you’ll be disappointed. The airtight environment and private en-suite rooms means it’s possible to stay a week without seeing another mum’

PICTURES: one nice perk is a complimentary photoshoot each year til your child is 18 from Imagethirst. 3D scans are also available at the hospital.

PINK: pink seems to be the order of the day when it comes to wall decor. ‘The only things about the Portland I didn’t like are trivial: the lifts (incredibly, pointlessly slow); the fact that my room was either too hot or too cold; and the revolting pink wallpaper in there. (For some reason I’d imagined it would look like a very modern boutique hotel inside, with Prada hospital gowns)’ (Mumsnet)

PAIN RELIEF: Lots of it, if that’s what you want… ‘I was smacked off my head on morphine, which was lovely! ‘ (Mumsnet)

“You get painkillers galore and you are definitely not forced to breast feed like you are in the public hospitals,” says one mother, “If you want a c-section, that’s no problem. They have a full night nursery for new babies, so if you are tired you give your baby to a nurse for the whole night and they bring it back to you all washed and scrubbed first thing in the morning. You are not forced to ‘bond’ with your child.” (Daily Beast)

PERSONAL SHOPPING: The Portland Hospital has links with Babylist who provide consultations from experienced advisers on what to buy for your baby. For Portland Hospital patients they offer a complimentary consultation.

Intrigued? Find out more by booking a tour: http://www.theportlandhospital.com/maternity/book-a-tour/

Take the hassle out of Xmas Shopping

Just to preface, we’re not offering to do your shopping for you, but if you do find yourself trekking up and down the High St (or to the North Pole and back) with little ones in tow, the following might make the whole experience a bit more joyful…

  • Snowjoggers: we love these cute, sporty little booties and whilst Slick Mummies mostly only wear trainers to the gym, we think these have just the right balance of style and comfort. Get them in festive silver or snowflake pattern and put a spring in your step.                                     
  • Pacapod Changing Bag: we nearly fainted when we saw these gorgeous and super practical changing bags, with separate ‘pods’ for botties and for bottles. Step out in style knowing that everything is neatly packed and never have to rummage around for wet wipes whilst negotiating a department store changing table ever again. So clever, so sleek… Go for the Snow Queen look with the Sequoia bag in Linen or the uber-opulent Firenze bag in Putty.                           
  • Molskine Notebook: in this modern day and age, we still love scribbling a good list. Grab one of these large page Moleskine pads in festive red and jot down who had made it onto Santa’s ‘good’ and ‘naughty’ lists this year…   
  • Seasalt Stripe Mittens: warm, colourful and leave one’s fingers free for wiping noses, swiping credit cards and dialing a Taxi home…                                                            
  • The Quinny Yezz Stroller: super lightweight and deliciously colourful, this stroller is easy to fold and can be carried over the shoulder if your offspring decides to walk (or rummage the rails!).  We adore the Green Curve colourway – for a bit of ‘xmas tree chic’ …  
  • Lavolio tinned sweets: decadent candy for adults, in a handbag friendly ‘sticky proof’  and super-girlie tin,perfect  for a little sugar fix along the way. We love the Arabian Nights selection, with roses, violets, lemons and almonds coated in a sugar shell.  

Victoria’s Secret Wishlist

We saw the Dream Angels rocking the $2m bra at the London Show last night and lovely as Adriana and Allesandra looked, we think those rubies would probably get lost down the back of the sofa or stuck in the hoover.

Here’s our pick of the most beautiful alternatives from one of Slick Mummy’s hero brands

  • Sexy Little Things Bustle Back Slip: if your daughter’s party dress is making you green (or pink) with envy, get the grown up version and turn your back on the world…  
  • The lace and chiffon slip from the Designer Collection: with just the right amount of cleavage and at just the right ‘grown up’ length, wear this one under your work suit and give yourself a  little mid-afternoon flash …               
  • The satin kimono: pictured here in ivory, we are loving the apricot and candy stripe colourways too…
  • The Secret Bare Hiphugger panties: everyday understated chic to keep all the right junk in all the right places…
  • The Sherpa Blanket from the Pink Collection: channel your inner Minnie Mouse with this one – great for the beach, the sofa, outdoor concerts/picnics, or even wear it as an oversized wrap…   

Floral Ice Lollies

This one comes courtesy of Serenta Flowers and Chewtown and we think they look adorable. This version uses elderflower cordial, but we’d be up for making them with mint leaves and mojito mix, or a frozen G&T with some cucumber slices…

Makes 10

4 cups water
Various edible flowers (petals retained)
1 tablespoon elderflower cordial

Place petals inside the lolly moulds being sure to layer them on top of each other and not compact them.

Mix water and elderflower cordial in a large jug and stir well to combine.

Gently pour the cordial mixture into the lolly moulds trying not to unseat the petals too much. Insert lolly sticks and place in the freezer until frozen solid.

To remove from the moulds gently place bottom of moulds in warm water until the lollies pull free.

Note: lolly moulds are available from Lakeland

 

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