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When we started talking about having kids, we had discussed that we would both ideally like to have one each, but planned on Sarah going first as she definitely wanted to carry (I was on the fence about it!) and she is 5 years older than me. We decided after initially wanting to try IUI, to do IVF mostly due to Sarah travelling a lot for work – we found IVF much easier to plan our lives around, whereas with IUI twice Sarah ovulated on the day she was heading to an important meeting or away was for work!
I didn’t feel at all concerned about not having a biological connection to my child – I think maybe it was because from early on we knew that if we were to have kids that it would be likely the case for one of us (whether it was through one of us having the child, or if we’d adopted), it wasn’t something I spent much time thinking about. Also, I love Sarah with all my heart so I knew it would be incredible to have a mini-her running around!

We knew the time would come for Annabelle to have her first haircut but neither of us were looking forward to it. There were a few reasons; Firstly her hair had reached a perfect length to put in pigtails/bunches. Secondly we weren’t sure how she would react to the whole experience. Thirdly what if she wriggled at the wrong point and she ended up with a wonky hair style.

Okay, okay, all but one of those reasons is vanity related but I’ve always feared a haircut in case something goes wrong.

Thankfully Annabelle’s first hair cut was plain sailing. Here is what we did to prepare her:

Having an energetic toddler means we are always looking for ways to wear her out. When we were invited to check out our local trampoline park – Rush – we jumped at the chance (pun intended!). Checking out their website we noted the closet site to us was less than 10 minutes away. With a rainy weekend forecast we booked ourselves on to the toddler open jump session that started at 10am.

Trampoline parks seem to have been springing up over the last few years around Birmingham but we never had the opportunity to visit one. Then along came pregnancy, Annabelle and having a small baby and it didn’t make sense to check out what the parks had to offer. In all honesty this was probably a mistake.

2020 certainly started in an unexpected way.

So when the opportunity to head to Gran Canaria as a family presented itself, courtesy of my parents, we jumped at the chance. It was an opportunity to get some sun and most importantly get some time as a family away from life demands. To get there it meant taking a 4 hour flight from Birmingham Airport to Las Palmas then a 40 minute drive to Taurito – our destination.

This post contains an ad for Deliveroo. However, all words and opinions remain honest and our own.
Being busy full-time working Mums, we often end up eating ‘easy’ meals that lack creativity. When we were given the opportunity to work with Deliveroo, we wanted to use the chance to mix things up and enjoy something different -without the hassle of cooking!

With Laura finishing work at 4pm, picking up Annabelle by 4.30pm and getting home for 4.45pm, it gives us two options. Laura trying to cook dinner one-handed while entertaining Annabelle (who always wants to be heavily involved in dinner prep!) or waiting for me to finish work at 5.30/6pm before trying to whip up something by 6.30pm latest in order to feed Annabelle before bedtime.

It means we rely heavily on making the same rota of easy meals that are as healthy as possible. Salmon with sweet potato and veg, roast chicken with veg, spaghetti bolognese or Quorn chicken nuggets. There’s nothing wrong with the meals, but week in, week out, they start to lack excitement.

With Deliveroo we are able to easily search for restaurants and takeaways that deliver in our area by entering our postcode. We have 22 food options available to us, offering everything from sushi to pizza, healthy options and gluten free options, Chinese to Indian. There are filters available to help us narrow down our options, which is a really useful feature.

You can also search by fastest delivery time, top rated, top rated in our area, offers, favourite brands (we could get KFC, Subway, Frankie and Benny’s). Or one we thought was useful – new to Deliveroo – a feature for when you want to try something new!

After 20 minutes of heated debate over the options, we decided to go with Yakinori. The menu was jam packed with sushi and Japanese options.  It looked like a place we would go out to eat and definitely not the kind of food we would usually be able to make and eat at home. Sushi is something Laura loves but doesn’t get to eat often, so she was so excited that we had the option to have it delivered.

With a 30 – 45 minute delivery window, it was just enough time to get the table set and sit Annabelle in her high chair. Sure enough, at 41 minutes the Deliveroo driver knocked on our door, and handed it over quickly as Bisbee (our excitable Cockapoo) was very intent on getting her share of the food! Dinner was unpacked and on the table in less than 5 minutes – what more could you want?

We went for:

When Deliveroo say ‘Life is too short for average food,’ they are right. Our meal ticked all our boxes:

  • We got to enjoy food we wouldn’t usually, in the comfort of our home
  • There was very little clean up and no cooking hassle
  • We got to enjoy a healthy meal as a family without any stress
  • We had received, eaten and cleared away dinner by 6.15pm – so we had a full evening to enjoy with Annabelle

Looks like we aren’t the only Mum’s who feel that way – 89% of 130 Mumsnet testers would recommend Deliveroo to friends or family, qualifying them to win the Mumsnet Rated badge.

Whether you’re kick-starting your healthy eating, looking to try new things in the new year or want to treat yourself (you deserve it!) you can check out what Deliveroo options you have available at https://deliveroo.co.uk/

*Where we are paid to produce content for a brand, this will be plainly declared with ‘ad’ or ‘sponsored’. We only work with brands that we truly want to and do not post pre-written content on thesmithstory.com for any company. All content is created by us unless it is a guest post, which also will be declared as such.

We were lucky enough to be invited for a cider talk and tasting, as well as making pizzas (!!!) with some fellow Brum bloggers, at The Stable in Birmingham. We were really excited as we’ve visited The Stable before, for their pre-opening celebration as well as a few more recent delicious dinners out, and also because making our own pizzas sounded so much fun!

The Stable started in Cornwall, using fresh and locally sourced ingredients and forming relationships with lots of cider makers. This combination was such a success that they are now opening up plenty more in locations across the country!We headed to the restaurant’s Birmingham location, which is very well located between New Street station and the Mailbox, and found it immediately.

As Christmas is fast approaching we are getting in the festive spirit. December is always jam-packed but this year is our first taking Annabelle into consideration and making sure that some of the activities are ones she will enjoy.

So when we received an invite to Santa and Steam at Churnet Valley Railway we were SO EXCITED. It was a last minute invite but we agreed to switch around previously arranged plans so we could make it. The invite explained that we would meet the Santa Express at Kingsley & Froghall station in Staffordshire. What the invite didn’t mention was that the experience would be a wonderful, Hogwarts style journey jam-packed with memorable moments.

If you are looking for a festive, family experience that will start the Christmas period of in the perfect way check out the details for Santa and Steam here.

Seeing your baby sick is horrible. Our hearts go out to anyone with a child with a serious illness – you are heroes!

Our Annabelle came home from nursery on Tuesday and I naturally checked her back. Sometimes she gets eczema there and the previous week I had noticed a small rash. That rash had eased and almost disappeared over the weekend so we didn’t consider it was anything more.

As the evening continued the spots had got worse. And  stretched further down her back. Annabelle then started to itch her head (well paw at it like some cute animal trying to get a fly). It seemed that in the space of a few hours our girl had gone from energetic to lethargic. Something definitely wasn’t right.