Bags, baths and buffing – shortcuts to a shiny life

I remember reading all the pregnancy and baby books and seeing the joyous occasion that is bath time. Bubbles, toys, infant giggles and time spent gazing at their perfect little faces splashing happily. Fast forward a year and I’m going to be honest – bath time is a big ole faff. If I have time I love it and I know Arthur does but I needed a way to wash him quickly without running a bath, coaxing him in and spending half an hour sitting at the side of the bath slightly damp and compiling a list of stuff to do.

Originals Strawberry and Vanilla shower gel is my ultimate toddler washing time saving tip. If Arthur could tell you what his favourite food was it was be strawberries. He would kick Winnie the cuddly Pooh Bear to the curb for a bowl of these fruity jewels. So image his glee when mummy introduced actually washing in them! I know it’s not strictly baby wash but it’s all natural and means I can take him in the shower with me easily (in fact if I don’t he’s often banging on the door to come in). Not only does it smell delicious but it produces a lovely soft lather which feels gorgeous on your skin.  Arthur’s strawberry high lasts right through drying time until he realises he hasn’t actually eaten one!

Like many new mums I spent months lugging around a bag the size of a small country. Shovelling more and more nappies, bibs and other random household items in until one day I came home and thought we’d been burgled – nope I just emptied the bag and found most of our valuables. So I decided to downsize and up style and started using a Babymel bag.

It’s lovely to have a bag that still holds everything I need but doesn’t look like I’m about to leave on a round the world tour. It’s a sleek design which  is still really practical with wipe clean surfaces inside and out and lots of little pockets for nappies etc. It also has a small but perfectly formed changing mat. I’ve also been known to use it as a handbag, granted this was because I picked up the wrong bag but I never could have done this with my last one . It appeals to my internal lazy girl, when I can’t be bothered to swap my stuff over from nappy to grown-up bag, I simply don’t and wander happily around with my new changing/handbag.Perfect!

When it comes to being a domestic goddess I’m afraid I struggle with the virtues involved in maintaining true deity status. So, my own take is to add a little domestic devilry. Am I the only one who gets a kick out of a little cheating? I hope not! I love feeding my family and cooking something that feels homely and wholesome but frankly spending hours cooking when I get in every night is not going to happen – but no one needs to know do they. Sainsbury’s ‘Just Cook’ range is perfect for earning brownie points while shaving hours of the whole culinary carnival. During the week I cooked (I use the term loosey) their sweet potato and rosemary chicken quarter. It was just so easy, you bung it in a hot oven! I served it with some steamed veg and sat back in the warm glow of domestic bliss. It was tasty, relatively healthy, quick and felt like a proper mean and at just £4 a real bargain.There were proper chunks of veg and the rosemary just made it feel a bit special.  Sainsburys have about 16 ‘Just Cook’ meals so I will definitley be buying them again,

Top tips: A simple one – always save your plastic carrier bags. But don’t just shove them in a cupboard, I use mine as nappy sacks. Granted they might not have the sweet smell of actual nappy sacks but  let’s face it, when filled with a particulary pungent offering, can you really smell the delicate talc aroma? I don’t think so! I always have loads of bags, they are then reused and it might not save loads of money but very penny counts!

Often I’ll be walking to work, look down at my shoes, and realise they look as if I’ve been sanding them down ready for a repaint. Now I know they can’t work miracles but I wipe over with a couple of baby wipes and they look more shiny, scuffs become muted and they look lovely and clean. So I always keep a small pack in my handbag and have a quick wipe before important meetings of if they’re looking a little dull.

I’m off camping this weekend so watch this space for tales of shower block shennanigans and how to get a toddler to sleep in a tent. Joy.

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