My baby sleeps through the night…

And other myths…

How many times do you read or hear ‘my baby slept through the night?’, or ‘my baby eats everything on their plate?’ or ‘my baby took a bottle no problem? as well as many other phrases that to be honest, just make you feel like a pretty crap parent.

We’ve been so lucky with our little one (he’s now 9 months old) that despite having some challenges with feeding when he was born (he had a severe tongue tie that was divided on day 6), he’s a really happy and calm baby for the most part! We really can’t complain.


He doesn’t sleep through the night, he won’t take a bottle and weaning has been hard as he seemed to gag on most things we gave him at the start and then when he found his independence, hated being fed from a spoon as he wanted to do it himself! All of this is perfectly normal though and the important thing to remind yourself (and other very helpful well-wishers) is that EVERY baby is different, there is no one size fits all and it doesn’t mean your baby is broken!

The problem with social media is that sometimes, we don’t always see the full picture. I could tell you that last night, he went to bed at 5:30pm and he woke up at 6:30am this morning! That would sound like an incredible night wouldn’t it? This is true – however, he woke at 9:30pm grizzly (teething and a cold!) and needed a feed, then again at 11:30pm and then again until I brought him into bed with us at 1am and then we co-slept/fed most of the night until he was ready to ‘wake up’ properly at 6:30am.

So what has worked for us and stopped us from losing our sanity?

  • Stop comparing! This will absolutely be your undoing! The amount of times I’ve questioned things we’re doing because other peoples babies are doing it different or easier or earlier than our little boy. They are ALL different and they will do things at their own pace! Carl, my husband always reminds me that every time things have been tough, we then get through that phase. You will too! How many adults do you know that don’t sleep, eat or drink? I imagine its none! Every baby gets there in their own time!
  • Sleep: There are so many sleep books/consultants/blogs out there. Please do yourself one favour and do not stress about this! Read the advice, take the bits that work for you but don’t put yourself under enormous amounts of pressure! Sarah Ockwell-Smith wrote a book called The Gentle Sleep Book and this is such an amazing resource. One of my lovely NCT mum friends recommended this and I hope it may help you too. I recently attended a @BusyLizzy_Elmbridge workshop where Leigh Swanborough from Born To Sleep shared her tips for baby sleep. She had a different approach to other workshops i’d been to (cos lets face it, sleep deprived parents will go to every workshop and buy every book on the shelf in the hope it’ll be the magic cure needed to get your baby sleeping through the night!) as she was very gentle, realistic and also acknowledged how every baby is different. She shared a really useful graphic that demonstrated the ‘ideal’ sleep times/gaps your baby should be having. Again she reiterated that this was not a your baby ‘should’ be doing this! I’ll post the graphic below.
  • Bottles: I can’t tell you how many hours/days I’ve stressed about trying to get him to take a bottle as well as how many bottles we’ve tried – we’ve tried slow flow, fast flow, breast shaped bottles, bottles with teats like a boob – he just hasn’t been interested. It’s not that he can’t do it (although in the early months he did gag and splutter on every try) he just preferred breast feeding! Its been 9 months now and we’ve still not successfully managed to drop a feed in place of a bottle. The best advice I can give you is to be ok with this. I’ve been so upset and worked up that he wouldn’t take one but ultimately, it’s not forever and I know when he stops and doesn’t depend on me quite so much anymore, I’ll miss that time! I know it is much easier said than done. Unfortunately, my milk has a high level of lipase which means it doesn’t freeze well and we’ve only just started trying formula as we thought he might have a dairy allergy (thankfully he didn’t!) so this has been a bit of a learning curve too! The first one we tried, HIPP Organic he reacted to for some reason! So this morning, Ocado have delivered Cow & Gate and I’m pleased to report, he’s taken 1 oz (yep that’s it!) but no reaction. We’ll just keep trying little and often and eventually we’ll get there – he’ll take water in a sip cup and so we’ll try milk this way if the bottles don’t work out. If not, he’ll be 1 soon and then we can just give him cow’s milk.
  • Weaning: Everyone told me how fun weaning would be and honestly my stomach was in knots for a good couple of months when we started because he would gag and every time I’d panic. BUT….having attended another helpful @BusyLizzy_Elmbridge First Aid workshop with Mini First Aid, so long as he was only going red, watery eyed and making noise I managed to refrain from leaping across the table to tip him upside down and he would eventually spit out whatever he’d gagged on. That said, you do need to remember ‘If they go red, let them go ahead, if they go blue, they need you’ – always trust your instinct and if you’re not sure, tilt them forward and give them a pat on the back. The one other really important tip I learned at that workshop was that you should avoid sticking your fingers in their mouth to fish it out as you could end up pushing it further back – they need to develop their tongue muscles by pushing it forward. Now we’re almost up to 3 regular meals a day – he eats some of it, most of it gets chucked on the floor or mushed into the table/high chair – and I’m ok with that now and don’t stress. This is a time where the phrase ‘if he’s hungry, he’ll eat’ is actually true! Remember: Food before one is just for fun and most importantly they are learning new textures, flavours and techniques! Whats interesting, I thought we were behind on this but this week received an email from Bounty ‘Your 9 month old: they will now be moving from purees onto more chunky textures and will soon be up to 3 meals a day) – again, I’ve put myself under enormous pressure when I didn’t need to!
  • Parent guilt and feelings of inadequacy: Being a new mum is so incredible but it is also one of the toughest things i’ve ever done! Some days you feel like you’re literally winning at life and other days, its as much as you can do to put clean clothes on and have a shower whilst caring for this tiny human. I went to an event earlier in the week put on by the amazing Miriam from @parenttribedotcom with Zoe Blaskey @motherkind_zoe and Jessica Huie @jessica_huie_ said ‘I always try to remember myself as a little girl and to treat my inner little girl with kindness when I am feeling stressed’ – this is something I’m not very good at. I don’t accept help well, I don’t ask for help and I am, though i’ve never admitted it before, a bit of a control freak! I hate that feeling of helplessness but sometimes when the world around you is spinning out of control, you need to learn to let go and be at peace with the chaos – this is something my husband reminds me almost daily! I’m so lucky to have such a great support network around me and I would say this to you if you feel things are tough, surround yourself with people who lift you up; who make you a sandwich when you pop round for a coffee because even though you say you’re not hungry, they know you’ve probably not eaten anything that day; you need people in your corner that have your back and will check in just to say hey.
  • Returning to work: I don’t have any words of wisdom on this one other than to say, it will be tough, be kind to yourself. A few of my NCT friends have gone back already and they said it was hard having been solely with the baby all the time they were off BUT that seeing the pictures/updates from the childminder/nursery/husbands/ grandparents/other caregivers looking after their little ones whilst they work and seeing how happy and smily and content their babies are definitely made it easier. As things stand, I’m due back in January. I’m not in any way excited to go back but I do know that it will be so good for his development to be surrounded by other babies and to be socialising/mixing well and will make our time together as a family so much more precious – and on second thoughts, it will be good for my development to be surrounded by other adults and to be socialising/mixing well!

So in short, no two babies are the same! Trust your parenting instinct. Take the advice people give you with the well meaning that was intended but don’t take it to heart. And in case no one has told you lately, you’re doing an amazing job! ❤️

What other things have worked for you? What other things have you found tough? How do you balance the amazing times with the overwhelm? I’d love you to message me with other things you think would help other parents so I can share them!


Bshirt….free your wardrobe!

It’s now been 6 months since our little man arrived and there have been many challenges as well as some of the most incredible moments we’ve ever experienced!

One of the things I was worried about when baby arrived was if I would be able to breastfeed. We had quite a tough start as little man was 100% tongue-tied, and so 6 days in we had to have a little op to divide the tie. After that, feeding got easier, but the duration of his feeds stayed at around 40-50 mins!

As a first time mum, the thought of breastfeeding out in public concerned me a little, but I was adamant I wanted to do it. I’d read the tips about using a large muslin, bought strappy tops with clips and layered T-shirt’s/jumpers over the top but when feeding for that long with a little boy who loved to play with my overlaying top, it felt almost impossible to feed discretely! Now I know breastfeeding is natural, and you’re allowed to feed wherever you want, but I still didn’t want to be flashing my nips for the whole world to see!

To be honest, I’m sure no one was particularly paying me any attention, but I felt self-conscious and so at times, would find myself rushing what we were doing so I could either find somewhere out of sight, get home or disappear upstairs (if we had people over), to feed without worrying about flashing!

Then at one of our Mummas & Beans baby massage classes, one of my lovely NCT mum friends started feeding her little one without lifting a layer or unclipping tops and to look at her, you wouldn’t have even known she was feeding! She was wearing a Bshirt! This was the first time I’d ever heard of them. Such a simple concept, a top (vest, short sleeve or long sleeve) with a layered flap that lifts up just enough for you to be able to latch baby on without exposing your whole boob! I was instantly hooked and straight away ordered two – both black, one vest, one long sleeve!

As the months have gone on I’ve ordered a couple more vests (and with the heatwave we’re having at the moment, who’s wearing anything more than a vest to be honest?). These have been absolutely perfect for feeding in and keeping me and little man cool!

The lovely team at Bshirt then contacted me to ask me if would like to review their shirts and #gifted me two vests – tidal and bluebell.

I’ve bought a variety of cheap and more expensive nursing clothes over the last 6 months – my biggest regret is that as a first-time mum, I didn’t think to buy dual purpose maternity and nursing clothes as this would’ve saved me a lot of money! Secondly, I genuinely wish I’d known about Bshirts earlier! They’re so comfortable and super soft and definitely would have been versatile enough to see me through pregnancy and beyond!

At £20 a shirt (for the vest) they’re a tiny bit more expensive than some things you can get on the highstreet, in H&M or topshop for example, but for me the extra few pounds are worth it for the quality of the clothes and knowing that you’re supporting a company who are ethical, sustainable and do everything they can to support other mums!

The company was set up by two mums who met at a baby yoga class, who were frustrated at the lack of breastfeeding friendly clothes and so set up a business designing their own…..initially from their kitchen table! They are an ethical, British, made by mums for mums company and all their packaging is 100% eco-friendly! Part of the slow-fashion movement, their clothes allow you to adapt your current wardrobe rather than having to spend lots of your precious maternity pay (which lets face it is pants!!!) on a whole new wardrobe! They have won so many awards, including Gold from Made for Mums, and it’s easy to see why! They also donate a percentage of their annual profits to various charities and donate shirts to mums in need – last year, they donated 200 to Greek refugee camps and 20 to mothers in need in Exeter’s baby bank! 🙏🏼

I wear mine for everything! I’ve recently joined Busylizzy mum & baby classes and they offer a range of mummy fitness sessions – my Bshirt is perfect for these! The light organic cotton means I don’t ever get too hot in the class, but can feed little man at ease if he needs me too! (Coupled with my Latched nursing-sports bra) its a winning combination – even if I am practically passing out 2 minutes into the class from being so unfit!

I normally try to give a balanced view of pros and cons, but the only thing I could offer as constructive feedback for Bshirt is please make more styles – a breastfeeding dress with the same principle would be amazing!

I really can’t recommend these tops enough and if we’re lucky enough to have number 2 at some point in the future, I’ll be looking forward to wearing these throughout pregnancy too!

Thanks for reading!

The Surrey Mumma 🌸🌸

What have been your star buys for breastfeeding clothing? Have you tried Bshirt?

If you want to try them for yourself, you can use my code FRIEND-N7FDZMR to get 10% off.

Click here: http://bshirt.refr.cc/thesurreymumma

AD | gifted | This post is labelled as an ad as the lovely team at Bshirt contacted me after I’d shared some posts about how amazing I have found these tops to ask if I would like them to send me another shirt to review. All words are my own though and these are genuinely the best everyday-wear tops I have found.


First Aid for new parents

As a new mum my first thought was “how on earth do I do this?!!!”….and one of the things that crossed my mind was ‘what happens if something goes wrong?’ (that’s normal right??).  Last week I was lucky enough to attend a fabulous first aid course put on @busylizzy_elbmbridge and run by Helen Stafford of Mini First Aid. Helen talked the group through the topics she wanted to cover. These were:

  • Debunking some common ‘first aid’ myths
  • Ensuring we leave feeling competent and confident to handle first aid situations
  • Discussing key topics that would be useful for our babies, but also as they get older
  • Discussing general housekeeping tips to help with prevention

Helen explained she’s been doing first aid for 31 years in her “proper” job for a long-haul airline, and during that time has dealt with many of the things she was going to cover in her session.

Firstly, Helen explained the importance of having a first aid kit in your home, or even better if you pop it in the bottom of your changing bag, so it’s never far from your baby! Helen actually sells these and, at the bargain price of £12, I quickly snapped one up!

The mini First-Aid kit sold by Helen – £12

We covered a number of common first aid issues, which made me feel so much more confident in dealing with them should we ever be in the unfortunate situation to experience any of these.  Of course, I’m hoping I never need to use it!

Topics covered included:

  • Stings
  • CPR
  • Burns
  • Bleeds/cuts
  • Head wounds
  • Breaks/dislocations
  • Meningitis
  • Seizures/febrile convulsions
  • Choking/gagging

Some key messages from the course:

For anything life threatening, always call 999.

FYI: If an ambulance attends for a child under 1, their protocol is to take baby to hospital even if they are happy everything is fine and they have dealt with the emergency.

For anything urgent but non-life threatening, call 111 who will triage and refer you to the best possible place.

If having called 111, you are unhappy, Helen advised that you should go to nearest walk in centre.

Life-saving procedures – the Primary Survey:

A useful way to remember the steps to find out if someone has any injuries which may be life-threatening are – DRS ABC

  • Danger– is there any danger to you or the person you are trying to help?
  • Response– is the person unconscious or in a deep sleep or are they responding? Shake gently or tap on the shoulder for a child.
  • Shout– for help. Never leave a baby/child unattended. Use your mobile on speakerphone to call 999 if you are alone.
  • Airway– check their airway. If no life-threatening condition, tilt the head back to open the airway (child).
  • Breathing– listen and observe for normal breath (in/out). Open airway, don’t overextend – can you feel, hear and see breath
  • Circulation– are there any life-threatening circulation issues? If no, look for any other urgent issues requiring first aid / commence CPR if required (put person into the recovery position).

Helen talked us through the recovery positions for baby, child, adult and how to perform CPR. All the information is available in the Paediatric First Aid booklet you can purchase from Helen. 

Paediatric first-aid, Nigel Barraclough

Helen’s top tips:

  • Always trust your instinct
  • There are a number of health service routes for you – pharmacy, GP, walk-in centres, 111 and 999 – if you are concerned that something may be life-threatening – always call 999
  • With meningitis, time is of the essence. Act quickly if you’re concerned.
  • Photographing/videoing something to show to health professionals as this is always a useful reference point for what is happening/when it’s happening.


Over the past few years, I’ve done a couple of first-aid courses. Some at work for ‘basic life-saving skills’ and also two post-natal first aid courses.  However, Helen’s session was by far the best. Not only did she have first-hand experience of using the skills she was teaching us, but she was able to make it real for us….and without it feeling too scary. It’s a difficult task delivering life-saving training to new (and let’s face it, anxious!) parents, but Helen was reassuring and supportive and gave enough detail that would help us if we are ever faced with any of these scary situations.

Busylizzy Elmbridge’s owner, Kirsten, was also on hand to support us all not only with offering her own experiences of dealing first-hand with some of these situations, but also to ensure there was help for us throughout the session and with our own babies, so that we could all make sure we were really able to listen and concentrate on the information we were being given.


Busylizzy offer a range of mummy fitness, mummy & baby and mummy-to-be classes. Kirsten, the franchise owner, also organises a range of other informative workshops including weaning, first-aid and return to work.

For more information on Mini First-Aid:

Helen Stafford


You can also contact Helen if you want to buy the mini first-aid kit, any of the bump packs, paediatric first aid book and thermometer.

Interested in joining BusyLizzy?

If you want to join BusyLizzy, you can get £15 off your first month by mentioning my name ‘Natasha Davies’. You can also book a trial class by signing up here.

For more information about BusyLizzy Elmbridge, you can contact Kirsten via her instagram page: @busylizzy_elbmbridge

Gymfinity – ninja’s and gymnasts!

As parents, we all want our children to grow up healthy, strong, and confident. However, it can be challenging to find activities that not only promote these qualities, but also keep our little ones engaged and happy. That’s why we were thrilled to discover the ninja classes at Gymfinity for our 4-year-old son and pre-school gymnastics for our 2 1/2 year-old daughter.

Warm ups on the gym floor

We’ve only been attending classes for a month and our sons forest school background has definitely been a huge benefit for his strength and agility but what gymfinity has done is really help to build his strength and confidence. He is developing his skills around balance, coordination, and focus, all while having a blast with his classmates. We love seeing him so excited to go to class each week, and we’re amazed at how quickly he’s progressing. He even got star of the week at his first session – a proper proud mumma moment!!

Our daughter, who is a sassy, independent 2 1/2 year old toddler (going on threenager) has bags of confidence, but being a Covid baby hasn’t had the experience of kids classes like our son had – she has benefitted greatly from the pre-school gymnastics classes. She’s developing her strength and climbing and jumping with more confidence than when she started. She can even be found running off to walk the various high balance beams and swing on the high-bars. Her favourite thing to do though is to dive into the foam blocks always with a cheeky smile on her face! We’ve noticed that she’s become even more independent and self-assured since starting these classes, and we love watching her grow and develop. The coaches do have their work cut out with this age group as it truly is like herding cats trying to get these toddlers to follow instructions! The pre-school classes for under 3s require the parent to be on the gym floor with the child and so I’m even getting a work out – mainly chasing after my sassy 2 year old!!

One of the things we appreciate most about Gymfinity is the focus on teaching children to listen to and carry out instructions. This is such an important life skill, and it’s great to see our children learning it in a fun, supportive environment. The coaches are knowledgeable, patient, and always willing to offer individualised attention to each child acknowledging age limitations and when they might be fearful of new things, coaxing them to do it in a safe and fun way.

Of course, one of the best parts of these classes is the social aspect. Our children have made new friends whilst having lots of fun.

Overall, we can’t recommend the classes at Gymfinity highly enough. They’ve been such a positive influence on our children and a great addition to our weekend routine. We’re grateful for the opportunity to watch them grow and learn in such a supportive, fun environment. As well as the various level and ability classes which are on offer daily mon-sun, you can also book kids parties there and take advantage of the school holiday clubs. They are even opening a nursery very soon!

If you’re looking for a great activity for your little ones, we highly recommend giving Gymfinity a try! Why not book in for a free trial first, all details are available on their website which you can find at the link below.

Book your taster class here

*Classes have been gifted but all words are my own and I am under no obligation to post about our experience in this capacity, I am doing so to share how great we think it has been.

Love, Learn, Grow: Go green with Victoria Place, Woking

VP Woking | Green Week

Focusing on how we can make a difference to the planet and create a sustainable future for the next generation has never been more important.

This week is ‘Green Week’ at Victoria Place and they have some amazing installations and initiatives on offer for the whole family to enjoy.

We started our day attending one of their family workshops. For us it was ‘Grow together’.

A chance for the tiny humans to decorate their own plant pot before taking it home ready to hydrate the compost tablet and plant the carrot seeds. (Different workshops on all week, check the timetable on VP Woking FB page for more info)

After the workshop, we had a good wander around the shopping centre and were so impressed with how engaged the various businesses were. To see full details of everything going on, collect one of the helpful guides dotted around the centre.

After the workshop, the first request of ‘things to see’ from the kids was Wilma the Whale. Situated in Jubilee Square is helping you recycle. Made from bio-sourced GMO sugar cane and featuring a drop off point for you to recycle your plastic bottles.

We then wandered through to Central Square, you’ll find a relaxation deck chair area with books on the power of plants, and also a few children’s books if you need a moment to pause in your busy day with the kids.

In Mercia Walk you’ll see the stunning leaf installation, also made from biodegradable bio-sourced GMO-free sugar cane. Don’t forget to look up!

Across the centre, there are so many other examples of how businesses are getting involved with Green Week.

🧥 There’s a ‘swap shop’ recycling point outside the old Debenhams for you to leave any good condition costs you don’t want anymore so that they can be picked up and reused by others. Let’s help everyone stay warm this winter.

☕️ Fancy a coffee? Taylor’s in Market Square are offering 10% off when you take your own reusable cup. And why not ask them for used coffee grounds – they make a great fertiliser (costa and M&S care are also offering used grounds for free). In @HotelChocolat you can also buy their ‘Podster’ which helps make your used Nespresso capsules completely recyclable by pushing out the coffee (which you could save for fertiliser) and leaving the plastic/aluminium casing ready to be recycled.
👖 A number of the fashion outlets such as @fatface @newlook @superdry @marksandspencer have sustainable fashion ranges. And @tkmaxxuk @hm @marksandspencer @clarksshoes are also taking your unwanted clothes to be recycled/reused.
🧺 @bareandfair.co Zero Waste Shop can help you learn all about refillable home essentials and even stock the fab @weareneat home cleaning products! Talk to them to get started on your refillable/minimal waste journey.

With so many interesting events going on this week, it’s one you won’t want to miss out on. Plus, there are so many helpful tips for how you can do your bit to be more eco-friendly.

*PR Invite | My family and I were invited down to the centre to see their Green Week in action and to participate in their family workshop. I was paid to attend however, this review is in my own words as per The Surrey Mumma Recommends ethos.

A trip to the Panto

Who doesn’t love a good pantomime? For me, it always brings back memories of trips with my Nan (she worked at the Regent Arcade Shopping Centre in Cheltenham) and my Mum. Every Christmas, my Nan would get tickets and off we’d go to watch whatever pantomime was on offer that year.

It has been many, many years since I last went to a panto, so when the team at the Leatherhead Theatre got in touch to ask if we would like to go and see their production of Cinderella, all those childhood memories came rushing back! We were originally due to go on my son’s birthday which was the Tuesday of Christmas week, but unfortunately we had to change at last minute – the team were so accommodating and we moved our tickets to Xmas eve.

When we arrived, the staff checked our temperatures and then showed us to our seats. The Theatre is very deceptive and whilst it looks small from the outside, there is a whole tardis inside!

From the minute the show started, we were so impressed! It was a great show with lots of laughs! Not only did the cast throw in a few political jokes (‘we’ll throw a party, no let’s just invite people over for cheese and wine’) but Buttons’ improv with a trouser malfunction had us all in stitches – even my 3 year old!

Their love of acting, and their love of this theatre shone through – you could sense the passion and commitment they have not only for their craft but for making sure to support this independent theatre in what’s been an absolutely awful couple of years for the industry.

If you missed the panto, why not check out some of the wonderful shows on offer next year – starting with Aladdin from the 6th January 2022 (link below).

If you want to help keep the theatre running, you can also donate money to them, you can text LHD21 to 70970 to give £5

Leatherhead theatre ‘what’s on’ link: https://theleatherheadtheatre.com/whatson/ https://theleatherheadtheatre.com/whatson/

CuVée VIII: Modern British Dining in Surrey – A Review

The Restaurant

So, I don’t do this that often, but sometimes a place just deserves a full review!! In fact, last night’s visit has inspired us to create the “Surrey Mumma Recommendations” lists and CuVée VIII will certainly take a spot on the “Night Out” category!

Nestled in the heart of Esher, CuVée VIII is a modern British wine bar and restaurant with a stylish feel and welcoming atmosphere. Last week, the team at CuVée contacted me to ask if I would be interested in coming along to sample their menu with my family. They suggested the breakfast, Afternoon Tea or A La Carte menus would be the best choice with young children, so we opted for the A La Carte menu at 4:30pm (as most parents will attest, nights out are often now planned around bed-times).

With Elmbridge now being in Tier 2 due to Covid, restaurants have had to adapt to the new requirements and CuVée were happy to let us know their arrangements in advance – they are adhering to the rule of 6 and do not allow mixing of households indoors at present. They also ensure social distancing within the restaurant and when not seated at your table, masks must be worn. On arrival at the restaurant, there are hand sanitisers placed at the entrance and the front of house staff take your temperature before showing you to your table. All staff in the restaurant were also wearing face masks.

We were made to feel so welcome with our two young children – our toddler who is nearly 2 and our newborn who is 6 weeks old. They asked whether we would feel more comfortable in the restaurant (tables with individual chairs) or the lounge area, which was a little more casual. We went for the lounge and were shown to a corner table, where we were able to seat our toddler between us (so he couldn’t run off!!) and there was plenty of space for our daughter to stay in her pram beside us.

After we were seated, Vincent, the General Manager, came and introduced himself and provided us with the menus. He arranged some champagne and a bottle of sparkling water for us whilst we looked at the menu. As our table was booked for 4:30, they offered us a choice of their set menu, which runs 12noon-5pm (consisting of 2 or 3 courses) or their A La Carte menu. Whilst they don’t have a specific children’s menu, they advised we could order whatever we wished for our son and they would make a children’s portion (and should any food be left over, they would arrange a take-away box for us too!).

Starters: Goats cheese with red onion, baby beetroot and mille-faille and Home-cured salmon with cucumber and creme fraiche

Main Course: Fillet Steak for two with mushroom tart, tomato & peppercorn sauce; Fish and triple cooked chips

Sides: Summer truffle mash potato; Petit pois a la Française

Dessert: Rum Chocolate fondant and ice cream

The verdict

Since our son was born at the end of 2018 and with no family local, meals out to nice restaurants have been pretty much non-existent. We’ve had the odd date night here and then, but Covid and a number of other circumstances have seen us order a takeaway as a treat more often than dining out in a restaurant.

We were delighted to be invited to CuVée VIII and the fact we were able to take the children was such a bonus for us as we don’t have any grandparents/babysitters on hand to give us a ‘night off’ (and even if we did, the current Covid regulations in Elmbridge wouldn’t have allowed this).

The atmosphere was lovely and Vincent and Javier made sure we were well looked after and our glasses remained full – they even attempted to entertain our toddler at a social distance to allow these tired and hungry parents a few minutes to enjoy our meal and drinks. I can’t emphasise enough how welcome they all made us feel and this is always important to us…so a big, big tick on that front from us!

The food was outstanding. Having been pregnant for 18 months out of the last 3 years, there were many of my favourite foods on the ‘can’t eat’ list and so Goats Cheese, Smoked Salmon and Steak were the obvious choices for our starters and main courses. I’d not had a medium-rare steak in such a long time (due to pregnancy) and so this was such a welcome treat and was cooked to perfection – really tender and so full of flavour. The side dishes suggested by Vincent were the perfect accompaniment to our meals.

We almost passed on the dessert as it seemed our toddler was about to have an epic meltdown, but thanks to Disney+ and a well-timed gingerbread man, we managed to order and enjoy a delicious melt-in-the-middle chocolate creme.

Our verdict:

Food5/5Excellent menu choices and so much variety of food
Atmosphere5/5Wonderfully opulent and luxurious setting with soft background music and welcoming staff
Cost4/5This is always a hard one, because I definitely believe the quality of food and service is worth every penny. All I’d say is it would be a little pricey taking your tiny humans if having to order from the full menu.
Covid safety5/5Temperature checks on arrival, QR barcode test & trace on entry, face-masks worn by all staff, customers to wear facemasks when not seated, hand sanitiser available throughout the restaurant
Overall5/5We had a great visit and would definitely recommend if you’re looking for somewhere new to visit in Surrey – our advice would be, leave the tiny humans at home if you can! This definitely makes the top 5 of our new “Surrey Mumma Recommendation List”.

Bullet Journalling 101

Helping Me Find Inner Calm

What do you get if you cross someone who loves to be organised with grief, pregnancy and a pandemic – a disorganised, jelly legged version of me!

Right, cards on the table and as geeky as this makes me, a new diary has always brought me excitement! The problem is, as much as I love them and have good intentions, I wouldn’t really use them properly. I’d scribble things in there, keep my dates organised, but then mid-way through the year, I’d then realise I’d basically neglected it and so I’d buy a new mid-year one! Eat. Sleep. Rinse. Repeat.

Part of the problem is that I’ve never found one that does everything I want! (you see, it wasn’t me being a bit hopeless after all!! 😳). I like to feel organised and I enjoy planning things, but I also need something to make me feel accountable and to be able to note down things that I’m feeling/experiencing.

A couple of years ago, I came across something that almost did everything I wanted – it was a ‘Leaders in Heels’ Journal, but at £50 and only available to export from Australia, I just couldn’t justify spending this sort of money again. I did actually use it for an entire year though and so I wanted something that would do the job, but at a more affordable price.

Keep reading to access my exclusive discount.

2020 didn’t have the start we expected – I think that’s a fair statement for most of the world! For us personally, we knew we were awaiting the inevitable passing of my Mum who’s cancer had spread and gave her just 3 months to live. We also then found out that our second baby was busy growing in my tummy and then there was the threat of Coronavirus spreading in the East of the world and quickly making its way towards the West.

I like to be in control of my life and it makes me feel better when things are organised and planned, so the last few months have presented a challenge to say the least. I’ve spent the last few months getting used to being comfortable with the uncertainty (something my husband is super cool with) and with not being able to control or organise in the way I normally would.

With us being in lockdown, I’ve had no distraction from my emotions (well, except for trying to entertain my 18 month old every day) and I’ve been working on ways to dealing with this – thankfully hubby is trained in CBT and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) so I’ve got some great guidance on that and I’m trying hard to ‘stay present’. However, I wanted something that I could do to proactively plan and organise what little we did have that I could control. I was then talking to my sister about journaling and how I wanted to see if it might help me feel a little bit more organised and she mentioned Cate Hamilton and her ‘Bullet Journaling’ course and that it might be something I would enjoy. I spoke with Cate over instagram, and she kindly offered me free access to her Bullet Journal for Beginners online course.

I’ve had a Pinterest board for Bullet Journalling for as long as I can remember, but I’ve never quite plucked up the courage to start one. I loved the idea of being creative and designing something that completely met my needs, but starting one gave me the ‘fear’ as it would be a completely blank book that I needed to design myself, keep neat and hold myself accountable to keep going with it!

What is it all about?

Cate’s course is a brilliant approach to creating your own journal in a simple, effective and fun way and for me, this course has been an absolute game-changer. Cate’s course took the ‘fear’ away and gave me the confidence to start one that would meet my needs. Not only have I created some easy diary pages, I’ve also included doodling/colouring – the perfect opportunity to practice mindfulness – a habit tracker, To Do lists, space to note down positive affirmations and a weekly reflection box to encourage me to journal and reflect on how I’ve been feeling. Previously, I had a diary, a blank journal and a ‘To Do’ list book to do all of these things. A bullet journal is different though!

The thing that has taken my head the most time to get around is that you don’t design your entire years Bullet Journal right now, you plan a couple of weeks in advance. In a way, this in itself helps you cope with the uncertainty of the future and stay focused on what matters in the coming weeks. There are some fixed parts that you start with like a year planner and then I’ve also included a ‘Month to View’ plan in mine too – and whilst initially, this made me feel a bit concerned that I might not be able to plan as I wanted to, actually what it enables is the ability to change your design as you go. I’ve just drawn up the next three weeks of July and even my ‘week to view’ pages have changed from the first one I designed. The key and the biggest benefit of a Bullet Journal, aside from the complete personalisation, is that it helps you achieve what you need to do and keeps you focused on the why – enabling inner calm and you to be more mindful.

The course is around 1.5-2 hours, but you can dip in and out to the modules as and when you want to. Cate explains the theory behind it, created by Ryder Carroll who was a digital product designer, and provides the ability to Marie Kondo your brain! This was exactly what I needed! Cate starts her course with a full tutorial on how to set it up – including the journal she personally uses. Another great thing about Cate’s course is it’s online and you can work through it at your own pace.

In a nutshell:

1) Its great if you have so much in your head and can’t find a good way to organise it!

2) Don’t be put off by the fancy language – its really not as complicated as it sounds! I’ll put a quick blurb below.

3) Your bullet journal is whatever you want it to be! Don’t be put off by the ‘Pinterest/Insta’ perfect examples, use them for inspiration and then make it what you want it to be! It’s your journal.

4) It doesn’t have to be pretty! Your journal should be functional for you and your needs. Don’t overthink it.


Index: Your bespoke contents page for your bullet journal

Future Log: Your year-to-view – various different styles – Pinterest is a great source for ideas

Monthly Log: Your month-to-view – again Pinterest is a great source for designs. I’ve also added a monthly habit tracker

Daily or Weekly Log: Depending on your personal preference, this is your space for all the stuff you’ve got to do today or this week! I’ve gone for a weekly log for now and have also included my To Do list and a space to migrate stuff I forget to do to next week.

For more info:

I’m happy to share more on my own Bullet Journal if you want to message me on Instagram or alternatively, you can message Cate directly. You can also find out more about her fantastic course on her website


Cate has also given me a 20% off code to share with you, just use ‘SURREYMUMMA20‘ at the checkout to get the course for only £20. This is valid until the 12th July.

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