A Super Lunch at Jamie’s Italian!

We were recently invited along to Jamie’s Italian Guildford to try out their new Super Lunch menu.  We are huge Italian lovers in our house.  I think that if my husband had to cook forever, we would eat Italian food 75% of the time (and the rest of the time would be Mexican)!

I have been to Jamie’s Italian a few times before, and my experience once has only ever been a good one.  This is the first time I have been with Oliver in tow, and from what I had heard, I knew that they were a family friendly restaurant.  When we arrived we were greeted with big smiles from all of the staff.  They quickly showed us to our table, we had a booth by the window, and we were offered a highchair.  I love that they use Tripp Trapp highchairs, rather than your bog standard restaurant ones.

We started with some drinks, I opted for a mocktail which was absolutely delicious, as you can see Oliver enjoyed trying it too!  The menu was really easy to navigate, there are some delicious options and it’s a bargain at £11.95 for two courses or £13.95 for three.  We chose our starters and mains and Oliver’s main course.  They even offered to bring out his main with our starters which I think is a great touch, as I’m sure many of you have experienced a hangry toddler!!

As you can see, Oliver enjoyed his spaghetti and meatballs!  I opted for the Fritto Misto, fried fish and squid tossed in a fennel-spiced flour with an aioli dip, whilst Stu went for the Silky Pâté Bruschetta.  Both of our starters were delicious, and good sized.  I often find at restaurants, when you get a set menu, the portion sizes are noticeably smaller than their normal menu.  However, I felt that at Jamie’s Italian the portions were still a good size and plenty for lunch!

For main course I went for the Steak & Fries and Stu had the ‘Nduja Rigatoni (a spicy tomato pasta dish).  I can never say no to a steak, and even though it has a £3 supplement, it was totally worth it.  It’s a thin ‘minute’ steak and it was cooked to perfection, with a slight pink colour to it, my knife just slid through it.  Delicious!  Stu’s pasta looked pretty good too, he seemed to enjoy it, as it was gone very quickly!

Finally, for dessert, I went for the Mighty Mess Sundae and Stu had the Epic Brownie.  Mine was absolutely delicious, it was basically an Eton mess sundae, yum!  Stuart’s brownie was really nice too, and it was a really good size, as whenever I’ve had brownies at restaurants in the past they’ve been on the smaller size.  Oliver had a scoop of strawberry ice cream to finish too, which he absolutely loved (he’s a big ice cream lover like his daddy!)

We really enjoyed our meal at Jamie’s Italian, Guildford.  The staff were all very friendly and attentive.  I love that it had a real family friendly feel to it too.  It was really packed when we went, with lots of families with young children.  The staff were all very accommodating to all of the families and they provide children’s cutlery (something I have noticed a lot of restaurants don’t do)!  They also provide some crayons and an activity sheet to keep the children entertained whilst they wait.  There’s also plenty of space to park up your buggy, meaning you don’t have to try and squeeze it in next to you if you don’t want to.  And the best bit?  They had an offer for kids to eat free with every adult main purchased!  It’s a no brainer!

We most certainly will be back again soon to try out some more of Jamie’s delicious dishes!

Have you been to Jamie’s Italian before?  Did you enjoy it?

*I was invited to try out the super lunch menu in return for a review.  All words and opinions are my own.

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Review: Mama + Belle

Oliver has recently got to a bit of a biting stage.  Anything he can nibble on he will, and he spends a lot of his time chewing his toys.  If my finger goes near his mouth, I’m sure to get bitten!  I’m always on the hunt for something to help my teething toddler, whether it be a teething toy, medication or accessory.

When Mama + Belle contacted me to review their teething jewellery, I was more than happy to. I love teething necklaces, I would go as far to say that I have a bit of a soft spot for them.  I think they are becoming more and more popular, and there are so many different designers out there that there is one which could match any outfit!

Most companies that make teething jewellery are run by mums, and Mama + Belle is no exception.  Suzy set up Mama + Belle in 2014 when she saw a gap in the UK market for teething jewellery that was stylish and didn’t shout ‘I’m teething jewellery’.  And I’m pretty sure she has done that!

Mama + Belle’s jewellery is all made from high quality food grade silicone and is FDA approved.  The jewellery is all washable and to make our lives easier, it can even go in the dishwasher or in a steam steriliser!  To make the extra safe they knot the string between every bead.

After much deliberation I settled on the Isla Blossom necklace.  It’s a beautiful pastel and marble coloured necklace.  Their designs are all really beautiful and quite contemporary, it was difficult to pick one!  The cord feels nice and strong, and features a breakaway clasp.  I think this is such an important feature.  As I’m sure we all know how hard it can be to prise those little fingers off of our jewellery!

Oliver really loved the necklace.  He especially loves fiddling with the beads and having a chew on it.  I really liked it too, it goes with so many outfits.  It’s so versatile and I don’t feel like people are instantly looking at it and thinking it’s a teething necklace.  The necklace is quite long, so you have some room for them to pull it without it pulling on your neck.  If you don’t like it that long, it can easily be shortened too.

I really enjoyed testing out this necklace and if you want to try your own you can buy them here.

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Staying safe on the roads this summer

I think more and more of us are opting to holiday here in the UK nowadays.  I love holidaying in the UK, there are so many beautiful places to visit and explore.  But when we are making a long trip in the car the first thing I always make sure the car is safe to travel in.  It is something that is even more important now we have a little one.  I’m very fortunate to be married to a mechanic, so I never have to do any checks myself, but he always checks the car over before a long trip.

I thought I would share with you some of the checks that I make sure are carried out before a long trip.

Tyres

The legal limit for tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm.  An easy way to check your tread depth is the 20p test, if you can see the band of the coin then your tyres may be close to the legal limit.  Make sure you check the inside tread as well as the outside tread.  Sometimes the tyres won’t wear evenly, especially if your tracking/alignment is out or your tyre pressures are low.  There are plenty of places you can easily get your tyres checked or changed, have a look for a good local reasonably priced tyre supplier such as DAT tyres in Hertfordshire

Tyre pressures are also very important, especially if you have a heavy load!  The recommended tyre pressures for your car will be recorded somewhere in your car, or you can google the right ones for your car!  For my car they are on the inside of the fuel flavour, which makes it very easy when we pop by the petrol station to check the pressures.

Another thing to check is to check if you have a spare (a lot of cars nowadays aren’t sold with them as standard).  If you do then check the tread and pressure on this one too.

Oil

It’s always sensible to check your oil level correctly.  You need to have a warm engine (not running), parked on level ground, which has been turned off for at least 3 minutes.  Remove your dipstick, wipe with a piece of kitchen towel and then clip it back in, wait a moment and then remove the dipstick again.  You’ll be able to see the correct level .  If it is low, you can buy oil from your local supplier (i.e. garage or somewhere like Halfords) but make sure you check with staff it’s the right oil for your car if you’re unsure.

Screenwash

It’s always best to keep this topped up, I get so annoyed when I run out!  Use a mix of screen wash and water, don’t be tempted to use something out of your kitchen cupboard, quite often this will cause more damage than good!

Lights

We always have a walk around our car before we leave to check all of the lights work, indicators, brake lights, side lights and headlights.  We also make sure that we have a spare bulb kit in our glovebox.  Again, these can be picked up from a local garage.

Car seats

Before leaving, we always make sure that the car seat is correctly installed.  We use ISOfix, but if you have a belted seat, it’s good to check that it’s strapped in properly and there’s no damage to the belt.  Check that the straps in the car seat are correctly set up and the car seat is clean.

According to the In Car Safety Centre around 70% of car seats are incorrectly fitted or unsuitable for the car. Even 6% of ISOfix seats aren’t correctly installed!

Fuel

It seems like an obvious one, but check you have enough fuel before you leave!

Keep your car clean

Before we leave for a long journey, my husband ALWAYS cleans the car.  I mean he always cleans the car anyway (he’s obsessed with car cleaning), but when we go away he wants it to be clean.  Mainly because after a long road trip the car will usually be filthy, and if we don’t clean it before we go, things like the visibility will be really poor by the time we arrive.

Look after yourself

Take plenty of water with you, especially when it’s warm and snacks to keep everyone happy!  If you did break down it’s good to have some food and water as you might not be near a service station.  Make regular stops on your journey.  I know that I find it hard to concentrate for any more than 1.5-2 hours of driving and I know this is when I need to stop to refresh, take a break and if my husband is with me, change driver.

*This is a collaborative post.  All words and opinions are my own and I would recommend you seek a professional opinion if you are unsure how to maintain your vehicle.

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Summer Days Out with a Toddler in and Around Surrey

If you have been reading my blog a little while, you may remember that I did a post on what to do with a toddler in Spring. So now that the Summer holidays are upon us I thought I would write down my plans for the summer!

My aim is to get out in the sunshine this summer.  I’m sure we will have a few visits to the soft play in between, but my main aim is to be outside and enjoying the summer whilst it’s still here.  I try to have a ‘day out’ at least once a week.  Oliver gets so bored and restless on the days we spend at home.  He likes to be out and about, somewhere he will be worn out!

So here is my list of places I would like to visit this summer:

Wisley Gardens

I have membership for the RHS and Wisely is just down the road from us and it makes a great, cheap day out.  If you follow me on Instagram you will see that it’s one of my regular haunts (and a lot of other Surrey mummy bloggers too)!

The Farm

We live very close to Fishers Farm in Billingshurst, it’s a great farm and as well as having all the animals, a soft play and an outdoor play park, they also have a splash park which is great fun in the summer sun!  I remember going there as a child, although it’s all been redone since then, I want Oliver to have the same great memories I have of Fishers Farm!

Stoke Park Paddling Pool

Another place we visited last year when Oliver was tiny, and I would love to go again now he is bigger and can actually enjoy it! It’s perfect for little ones and is shallow enough to let them paddle in.  So great for a sunny day!

 

The Beach

I want to take Oliver on a trip to the beach.  We went on a trip last year and he seemed to love it, I’m sure now he’s bigger he will like it more!  He’s such a water baby that I’m sure he will love splashing about in the sea.

Wellington Country Park

This has been on my ‘to visit’ list for a while.  One of my friends has always said to me that it’s great, so I think now’s the time to visit!  It’s a bit further away (about an hour) but I’m willing to make the journey for us to have a great day out.  I think I will try and organise to go with my friend and her little boys, Oliver loves running around with older children, so he’ll be in his element!

West Green House

Another garden I really want to explore is West Green House.  I have only ever heard and seen about how beautiful it is, so it’s on the top of my list of places to visit.  What’s even better is that I can use my National Trust membership to get in for free!

What are your favourite things to do in the summer?  If you live nearby and have any good recommendations I would love to hear them!

Hot Pink Wellingtons
The Pramshed
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What My Kid Wore Wednesday

I thought I would join Hannah and Sarah for a week of What My Kid Wore Wednesday!  I picked this cute little number up in JoJo Maman Bebe’s sale the other week.  I’ve had my eye on it since it appeared in stores, but Oliver has so many clothes that I stopped myself buying it.  When the sale came along and there was only one in my local store, and it was Oliver’s size, well I just had to buy it didn’t I?

We took a trip out strawberry picking last week and Oliver managed to snooze in the pushchair the whole way round the strawberries!  But he woke up in time for me to get some snaps of him in amongst the sunflower patch.  He wasn’t too sure as you can see!

Romper: JoJo Maman Bebe, Shoes: Toms

This was the last outing for his Toms, I can no longer squeeze his little feet into them.  Although Dr Marten sandals are going to look great with this romper!! I think we will get plenty of wear out of this romper, it’s just too cute!

This Mama Life
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