My New Pet Hate . . . . . People Abusing Parent & Child Parking Spaces!!!

So, since becoming a mummy almost a year ago I’ve developed a new pet hate – people abusing Parent & Child parking spaces.   By abusing I mean (people without children in their car) using the space because it’s closer to the shops (yes, that 10 yards makes all the difference to the lazy buggers), it’s a lovely wide space so there’s less chance of people hitting your car door with their car door, it’s closer to the Pay & Display machine (at Asda), it’s closer to the outdoor plant display (at Lidl),  it’s closer to the trolley park (at Morrisons) etc. etc. etc!!!

It probably sounds fairly trivial but when you’re trying to squeeze a car seat in through your door which you can barely open wide enough to get your head through, or you’re having to climb in through the passenger door with the car seat and baby in tow, well enough is enough!

I’ve seen myself drive round my local supermarket car park burning diesel by the gallon, hunting for a Parent & Child space just to prevent the potential contortionist act of getting back into my car after I’ve done my shopping.

I came across this article earlier today and I have to say, I think what Claire done was hilarious and quite bloody right too!  As I’ve mentioned, it can be so difficult trying to get your car seat and baby into your car when drivers ignore your ‘Baby on Board’ signs or fail to see the car seat in the car and park inches from your door.  Would I have been so brave to have done it?  Probably not – I’d be too worried that the owner of the car I’d blocked in would damage my car, but don’t get me wrong, there are days when I’d love to do it . . . . so watch out! ha ha

Fuming mum-of-two blocks in motorist who parked in the last family space

Article courtesy of  Netmums Website:

First published on Friday 30 September 2016 13:22 BST

Claire Ramscar, who had her two young children with her at the time, asked the lone driver what he was doing, but she claims he told her to ‘to shut up and walked off.’ Understandably upset, Claire admits she’s not proud of what she did next …

She blocked his car in for approximately 20 minutes and went inside the supermarket to report his actions to a member of staff, before continuing with her shopping.

She said: “I just left the car where it was. He clearly didn’t have any kids so I just sat behind him. I had two young children with me and I wasn’t blocking anyone else. ”

But that wasn’t the end of the matter.

Once the supermarket had investigated the situation, rather than reprimanding the male driver, they simply asked Claire to move her car.

“The next I heard from them was over the speakers asking me to move. I couldn’t believe it. They were making the whole thing out to be my fault.”

A spokesmans for Sainsburys explains:

“Customers are invited to contact a colleague if they notice that someone has parked incorrectly, which Claire did, and our colleagues investigated. We do not advise that any customer handle any dispute themselves.

In this instance a call for Claire’s registration was put out on the tannoy as she had left to continue her shop and her vehicle was blocking access to the car park for other customers.”

Was Claire in the wrong for her actions? Or should the supermarket have done more to help her resolve the issue? Join the Coffee house chat.




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Scotland’s Baby Boxes

2 months ago I shared a fantastic Independent News article about the Scottish Government following the 80 year Finnish tradition of giving all babies born (from 1st January 2017 onwards) in Scotland a ‘Baby Box’.

As a first time mum, I thought this was a fantastic idea.  Yes, the 3 ‘Bounty Bags’ are great and full of useful products, vouchers and booklets but the ‘Baby Box’ is more than a material incentive – Finland, once an impoverished nation of poor health is now known for having one of the best maternity care systems in the world.

So, you could imagine my pessimism about the future of Scotland’s ‘Baby Boxes’ when I read yesterday’s STV news report . . . .
Read more here: https://stv.tv/news/politics/1380619-baby-boxes-may-be-vastly-more-expensive-than-first-thought/



Cupcakes With A Difference

I’d been looking for a gift for a friend who has recently given birth to a beautiful wee girl.  I wanted something different, useful, stylish and unique.  As a new mummy, I follow lots of Baby Boutique style shops on Instagram and Facebook, so I was delighted when I came across the page ‘Mum and Me Baby Gifts’.

‘Mum and Me Baby Gifts’ are a mother and daughter duo, based in Glasgow, who appreciate how special and important the imminent arrival of a new baby can be.  They aim to create a stunning and memorable item for you to gift at this special time.

Their range of nappy cakes, baby bouquets, cutie cupcakes make the perfect gift for a new mum or mum to be and certainly make a stunning centre piece for any baby shower.  All of their newborn and yummy mummy gifts are hand crafted and each creation is completely unique so whether pink, blue, unisex or themed they put a lot of time and effort into creating this very special gift for a very special new arrival.

I decided to treat my friend to the stylish ‘Cutie Cupcakes’.  They’re going to be a real sweet treat for her special little bundle.  They’re baked with love and care using a variety of baby clothing.  They came presented in a beautiful cupcake box, decorated with embellishments and beautifully gift wrapped with ribbon and a rattle keepsake charm.

The ‘Cutie Cupcakes’ are cleverly crafted by Mum and Me and will go down a treat as they contain clothing essentials that every new mum needs for her little princess as well as having the luxurious, velvety plush, traditional Beatrix Potter character Flopsy Bunny comforter incorporated within each box.

The ‘Cutie Cupcake’ box includes:

 1 x Luxury Flopsy Bunny comforter
2 x Pairs of socks (0-6 months)
1 x Short sleeved bodysuit (3-6 months or 0-3)
1 x Pair of mitts
1 x Muslin square

To see more of the fantastic gifts available from ‘Mum and Me Baby Gifts’, please visit:




To receive an exclusive ‘The Secret Shopaholic Mummy’ discount of 10%, please quote ‘MUMMY10’ at the checkout.

The ladies from Mum and Me Baby Gifts will be in The Centre, Livingston on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th February – Why not pop in to see them and their wonderful gifts.



Daddy Milestone Cards

Mummy’s aren’t the only ones that need a giggle when it comes to looking after our new little bundles of joy!  Dios Designs have ‘Daddy Milestone Cards’ which look at the funny side of being a Daddy. 

From ‘Today the baby didn’t cry when I held them’ to ‘First taste of Daddy’s beer’, there are plenty cards in the pack to capture those special moments, making fun photographs for the family album.

As well as capturing those special ‘Daddy’ milestones, Dios Designs also specialise in ‘Alternative Milestone Cards’, ‘Mummy Milestone Cards’, ‘Toddler Milestone Cards’, ‘Alternative Pregnancy & Reality Cards’ and ‘Premature Baby Milestone Cards’.

At £8.99p, these are excellent value for money!

To see the full Dios Design’s range, please visit:






‘Every child is equal’: How Finland’s baby boxes changed childhood

During my pregnancy I read a fantastic article about ‘Baby Boxes’ which are given to every expectant parent in Finland . . . .

It was only once sat on the living room floor with his wife Sara, surrounded by the contents of their new ‘baby box’, that it suddenly hit home for Heikki Tiitanen he was about to become a father.

“We were both in tears,” he says fondly, “going through all the baby items was the moment when I truly understood that we were going to have a baby in the house. As a first-time father, it made everything more concrete.”

Like more than 95 per cent of all expectant parents in Finland, the Tiitanens had just collected the iconic cardboard package from their local maternity and child health clinic, gifted from the government to help prepare them for family life.

“It really helped us as first-time parents to prepare for the baby both mentally and materially as we knew most essentials were already waiting for the baby,” explains Tiitanen. “I’m not ashamed to say it was a relief to know we were that little bit more ready.”

A Finnish tradition for nearly 80 years, the infamous ‘baby box’ is given to all families regardless of income and contains around 50 of the most vital products needed for the first year of a baby’s life.


Most parents choose the box over cash, for sentimental reasons.  In gender neutral patterns, the products  vary from year-to-year depending on fashion and demand, but the necessities always include an infant snowsuit for cold Finnish winters, indoor and outdoor clothing, an extra insulated sleeping-bag for outdoor naps – a favourite in Scandinavia – as well as eco-friendly nappies, breast pads and condoms.

The items are beautifully packaged inside a cardboard box that will double up as a bed for the baby’s first few weeks.

It’s a phenomenon that has made headlines across the world, sometimes unfairly branding Finns as somewhat whacky or eccentric, but the concept is undeniably successful.


A Moomin-branded Finnish baby box

Infant mortality rates have reduced dramatically in Finland since the care package was first brought in, for which medical professionals thank the accompanying health-checks and counselling sessions families are asked to attend in order to receive the products.

But the baby box is more than a material incentive – once an impoverished nation of poor health, Finland is now known for having one of the best maternity care systems in the world.

Talking to two friends who had also become fathers around the same time, Tiitanen realised they had all had shared “eureka” moments upon opening up their maternity boxes.

“We started to ask around and heard over and over again how receiving the box had made parents feel better prepared and how memorable the moment of opening the box had been.

“It struck me how lucky we were to have a state that provided this care, and that we could bring the same joy to families elsewhere.”

The FANTASTIC news is that Nicola Sturgeon has announced that EVERY baby born in Scotland, from New Years Day 2017 will be gifted a (free) ‘Baby Box’.  She said the Nordic-style Policy, which was first announced in April, would be a “symbol of belief in a level playing field” for all children.  Finland has been giving out care packages to all expectant mothers for 80 years. The boxes, which include around 80 items useful for babies, have been credited with cutting infant mortality and raising life chances.

Read the full article from the Independent here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/scotland-baby-boxes-nicola-sturgeon-speech-live-snp-conference-a7363256.html?cmpid=facebook-post



The Joiner and the Ralph Lauren Delivery

A few weeks ago I was online having  a browse through the Ralph Lauren website, putting things which I liked into the shopping basket but with no real intention of buying at that time.  As my basket filled up, my excuses, sorry, my justification for buying our 5 month old baby designer clothes began to come to the forefront of my mind.  The ‘justifications’ were ridiculous!  ‘Grace will love having a pony on her clothes’ was the best I could come up with and if I’m being honest, really wouldn’t cut it!  So, as I did a quick recky of what I’d put in the basket, changing the sizes so the clothes would be suitable for the seasons, it came to me, I’ll use the ‘she’s had them for ages, they were a present from . . . ‘ story – Technically, this was the truth.  Grace is 5 months old, I’m buying 9, 12 & 18 month old clothes, so in theory by the time she fits into them, she’d of had them for ages and they’re all presents from me! 😉  Ta da!!!  Debit Card details entered, now just  to wait on delivery of the gorgeous new outfits.

Fast forward a few days.  The Joiner arrived to build our new garden fence.  After checking that he had everything he needed (tea, electricity etc), Grace and I headed out to our Parent & Baby Group.  A few hours later we came home, had a quick chat with the Joiner, then went indoors.  Not long after, my husband arrived home from work. Whilst having a chat about our day, we heard a big thud, followed by a muffled scream.  We ran outside to check what had happened but the Joiner was nowhere to be seen (strange as our garden isn’t that big)?  Seconds later, we heard a muffled ‘help’ coming from behind the shed – Whilst putting up the dividing fence, the joiner lost his footing, slipped and managed to get wedged between the fence and the shed!  I took one look and had to run indoors as I couldn’t stop laughing!  (And with what I now call my ‘pregnancy bladder’, I knew this wouldn’t end well if I stayed to watch him try to get out).  Eventually, after watching some of the antics from the window, my husband managed to help the flustered Joiner out from behind the shed.  I went back out to try to ask if he was okay.  I say ‘try’ – I couldn’t control my laughter when speaking to him!  After we’d all calmed down and I’d managed to stop laughing, the Joiner announced that he’d forgotten to tell me that whilst I was out he’d signed for a delivery for me.  As he reached for the parcel, he announced ‘it’s from Ralph Lauren, look at the fancy packaging’.  ‘Noooooooooooo’ I screamed inside my head, this is my secret shopping!!!  Just then, my husband looked at me, giving me that ‘oh no, you’ve been shopping again’ look, asking ‘is it for you or Grace?’, knowing fine well that it was for Grace.  I gave him my best smile and said ‘it’s a surprise, for you’ and quickly walked back into the house, thinking about where I was going to hide this lot for the next 4 months 🙂

The moral of this ‘shopping experience’ . . . . . Never laugh at the Joiner wedged between your fence and shed, as he’ll land you right in it!!!

PS. I ended up showing my husband a couple of things and he loves them  🙂