Baby-friendly places to eat: Leigh-on-Sea

Sonny Jim, Birdwood, Leigh-on-Sea

Little lunch date: Sonny Jim at Birdwood

Heading to Leigh-on-Sea with a little one in tow? These places will make stopping for a bite to eat worth your while!

  • TruLeigh Scrumptious, Broadway West. We held Sonny Jim’s post-Christening bash here. Which should give you some indication of how lovely I think it is. There is baby changing. High chairs. Friendly staff. Fizz to drink. And the tea room decor is just pretty lovely too.
  • Piggy Went To Market, Elm Road, has plenty of room to get the pram in and to park it next to the table while still leaving room for others to get by. And plenty of high chairs. It has an alcohol licence too. And a stash of daily newspapers. And staff who are friendly and have no interest in rushing you out. Which is always good. Downside? No changing facilities on-site (but the community centre is just a couple of doors away…)
  • Speaking of the community centre… Lorna and Lotties Cafe, on the ground floor of the centre, Elm Road. Soooo family friendly. And sooo reasonably priced. Me and Sonny Jim stop here for a hot chocolate (me) and milk (the boy) before our baby yoga class.

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I’m loving… SS17 Laura Ashley

Laura Ashley SS17, Spring Print Petticoat Pinafore

In store soon: Laura Ashley’s SS17 collection

I think all mummies have in their head an idea of the kind of mother they’ll be.

And the spring/summer 17 Laura Ashley collection (in stores nationwide on January 31st) basically brings to picture perfect life the look I’d love to live.

Seventies-inspired, its nostagic touches bring to mind a more innocent time.

A dash of hippy, and more than a bit milkmaid-esque, it’s Laura Ashley back to its mummy-at-kitchen-table-designed best.

Click here to take a look through the Laura Ashley archive

Previous seasons have drawn inspiration from the Fifties and Sixties, but this year, designers are positively revelling in the Seventies, and I honestly adore it. Continue reading

2016. An extraordinary year.

Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, mummy life

Sonny Jim: The reason 2016 was my best year ever

For many, 2016 hasn’t *exactly* been a great year. In fact, some are going as far as to dub it the worst year ever.

We had Brexit, the murder of MP Jo Cox, Trump and bombings in Brussels – along with tragedies in Nice and Berlin.

You could argue it was the year that music died, with Bowie, Prince, Glenn Frey, Leonard Cohen, Rick Parfitt and George Michael all passing away. And it wasn’t just in the music world that some of the brightest stars left us, acclaimed British actor Alan Rickman died of cancer, as did Terry Wogan, Victoria Wood and Carolina Aherne. Paul Daniels died of a brain tumour. Author Harper Lee died age 89, Ronnie Corbett died age 85, and Muhammad Ali died age 74 . Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds died only a day apart.

Doctors went on strike. A gorilla was shot dead. Brangelina split.

But amid all of this, as of March 22, this year became my best year ever. Continue reading

Radio station to help babies sleep? Yes please!

Katy Pearson, Sonny Jim, sleeping

Sounds to help babies like Sonny Jim snooze

When it comes to sleeping, we can’t *really* grumble about Sonny Jim.

He does sleep at night. In his cot, in the nursery. And he generally only wakes up once or twice between 7pm and 6am – and usually just needs a bit of reassurance to get back to sleep. Unless he’s teething. Or got a cold. Or a cough. Or is going through a growth spurt.

But anyway. While the hubby and me are rattling around of an evening, Ewan the sheep helps stop Sonny Jim for being disturbed. Annoyingly though, the white noise and womb sounds only play for 15-20mins. Which means one of us is constantly nipping upstairs to press it again. And again. And again.

Which is why news of Sleepyhead Radio, which plays soothing sounds from the home and nature, has more than caught my attention.

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A classic christening

Katy Pearson, Gary Pearson, Sonny Jim

St Clement’s church: Our boy’s christening day in Leigh-on-Sea

My mum is a priest, so it was inevitable, really, that my little boy would be baptised.

And it was rather lovely that Sonny Jim’s grandma was the one who could actually do the dunking on his christening day.

Contrary to what many may believe, christenings aren’t “going out of fashion”. My mum is booked up for most of next year with baptisms at her church on Canvey (sometimes as many as three per Sunday).

Oddly though, it wasn’t that easy to find some of classic christening staples we’d need on the day. Hence, having *eventually* found them, I thought it only fair to share…

Baby outfit. If you’ve got a little girl you can probably skip this bit. I’m sure you’re aware that Monsoon do the most gorgeous little dresses perfect for a baptism (or for flower girls at a wedding for that matter.) As do John Lewis. And Debenhams. And, well basically everywhere. If you’ve got a little lad though, and don’t fancy them looking like a mini 1980’s wedding singer (why so much satin? Why?!) then this is for you. Continue reading

#FedisBest

#FedisBest, Katy Pearson, Sonny Jim

#FedisBest as far as me and Sonny Jim are concerned

When I was pregnant with Sonny Jim there was absolutely no question in my mind that I would breastfeed my baby.

I was prepared for it to be painful, for cracked nipples, for leaking boobs, to deal with any tuts in public.

I was prepared for everything…except a baby that refused to be breastfed.

My little boy was what they call a reluctant feeder. He mastered latching on, but then totally refused to do anything more than four sucks.

This was the reason that despite a trouble-free labour (16 hours long, but just gas and air, and no stitches) we spent two nights in hospital. Continue reading

Picture imperfect – behind the cuteness

Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, baby pictures

The pictures behind a single snap: Getting nice photos of babies is actually not that easy!

Posting pictures of your baby online – along with posting pictures of your pregnancy scans – can be a bit of a divisive subject.

Some are vehemently anti it – look at their Facebook/Twitter/Instagram page and you’ll find little trace of their little folk. Others share *literally* everything. On a daily basis you’ll know what the little mite has had for breakfast, lunch, dinner, every single activity they’ve been involved in, and quite possibly their bowel movements too.

I make no apology for being a bit of a #babybore (though with the exception of my husband and my NCT mummy chums I have never felt the need to keep people updated on how many poops Sonny Jim has had – yet.)

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