run out of womb

... learning how to be a mum from scratch

Sunday 29 January 2017

Easy, freezable, make-ahead toddler meals

I love cooking, but coming up with endless ideas plus juggling busy-at-work weeks with tiny man's voracious appetite means I've come to be one of those freezer-obsessives. We don't have a big one - but it's Jenga-style filled with ickle tupperwares that I can pull out in the morning and be 40-heat-up-seconds ready for supper that evening.

I'm freezer-lazy: where's the benefit of bulk-cooking bolognese/tomato/cheese sauce etc, if you've still got to boil up some pasta that's another 15 minutes.. So I prefer stews, pies, bakes: I like all-in-ones. Luckily, so does tiny man.

So here are 10 of our favourite easy, big-batchable recipes for toddler meals - and how to freeze them. Enjoy!


Monday 9 January 2017

Luxury London family hotel review: The Berkeley

 Lie ins, unmarked cream carpet, and luxury hotels: three things I was pretty sure we'd have to give up when we became parents. And the first two, pretty much - bar those amazing mornings when Mr ROOW does the early shift. But the latter? No way. 

Hotels have got savvy and know that families aren't all looking for Crayola-coloured furniture and a children's menu when they book a holiday. I was a total luxury-lover who'd save for a splurge-hotel before I became a mama... And I still am now. 

Which is why we just had the best weekend at The Berkeley, in Knightsbridge, a super-lovely hotel which you might think is too designer/relaxing/foodie for families - but which doubles over backwards to make you feel welcome.

It started at check-in: my shoe-less toddler (long story..) was greeted like a celebrity, not with the snooty look some hotels hand out. Three Golden Key-totting concierges were competing to get a smile or a wave out of tiny man, whilst someone else dug through a toy box to hand him a fab musical paintbrush gift. 

Thursday 5 January 2017


“After hearing nothing from our youngest for too long, I discovered a kitchen covered in turmeric..” A friend’s Facebook admission inspired me to ask mamas and papas of babies, toddlers and kids about their #thatswhatquietlookslike experiences. Do they sound familiar...?!

“I was stuck on the phone fielding three emergencies related to work and our house - and my 18-month-year-old was happily playing on his own. He had disappeared into the kitchen. So after dealing with all the hassle I became suspicious and checked on him. He had gotten hold of the dishwashing liquid, and poured it over four baskets of freshly washed and folded summer laundry ready to be put away for winter. He even made sure that every single piece of clothing had some on it… #thatswhatquietlookslike 

“Quiet looks like a little boy eating coal from the fireplace! He won't eat what I cook him, but he will eat coal..” #thatswhatquietlookslike 

“Once found the boy at 20 months, licking wrappers. He had found the stash of chocolate in the kitchen and eaten it. All of it.” #thatswhatquietlookslike 


Monday 2 January 2017

Christmas at Kew: top tips for family visits

Christmas at Kew has become an annual highlight for many families - one of those rare London festive events that is great for all ages, not super-commercialised, and makes you go 'wow'. 

It's not cheap - £16 per adult, £10 for kids, under 4s are free, or a family of four costs £52 (these are advanced prices) - but having just unwrapped our scarves, hats and gloves from our New Year's Eve trip to Christmas at Kew, we can definitely say it's worth it.

So here's our top tips and FAQs for anyone planning a trip.

What is it?

Without wanting to give away the magic - plus the actual attractions change every year - it's a lit-up trail with attractions (some set to music) ranging from multicoloured lights in trees, to the 12 days of Christmas in models and fire rings, to giant candles and light tunnels. There are lit-up sculptures too, a Santa, elves and a short show, plus - my personal favourite - marshmallow toasting fire pits. You can buy marshmallows (£1.50) which seemed miraculous types - always caramalisingly toasting and never burning. We bought one each and kept having to restock... The finale is a laser light show outside the lake outside the Palm House.
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