Gyros-babs-glasgow
mum life, Mum's finds, Reviews

Baby friendly restaurants: Babs

The first time I took the little one to Glasgow it was to visit my workplace, and I packed up about half the house in the car to take with me. Nowadays, we seem to have nailed the organisation of the changing bag and feeds, so going to Glasgow for a shop or catch up with friends is becoming an easier and more regular occurrence.

That being said, there are still some considerations to be made, such as baby-friendly places to feed and change the wee one. For instance, having not being a frequenter of baby-change facilities until recently, I had no idea of what to look out for and/or expect. In most instances, baby-change is shoved into the disabled toilet, to maximise on space and possibly to avoid the presumption that only mums would be changing nappies. Some places offer this with a convenient route to the loos which can be navigated toward with a pram, others have thought the layout through a little less which can be a problem generally, not just in terms of nappy changing time!

So, I’ve decided to start making it my mission to take note of baby-friendly restaurants, coffee houses etc, mostly for my own reference as baby brain has rotted my short-term memory, but also in case others might find it useful. The first place I took notice of in Glasgow was Babs.

Babs is, as you can imagine, a kebab restaurant. Not to be confused with a kebab takeaway joint you’d find yourself slevering your order out at 2am, this place is fresh, quaint and focuses on more traditional Turkish and Greek kebabs. I was keen to give it a try, particularly for Gyros which I haven’t eaten since a holiday to Greece in about 2005.

Gyros-babs-glasgowAnyone into interior decor, or ambience of restaurants would be charmed by this place, with its painted tiles with blues and teracotta colour palettes, and choice Greek and Turkish style ornaments. But let’s be honest, that’s not why we were there. Even if the wee fella was obsessed with the intricate tile pattern on the wall. To cut an incredibly boring story short, the food was delicious. The chicken gyros was exactly as I hoped it would be – juicy chicken with crisp salad and refreshing tzaziki. I would definitely go back to this restaurant for food even without baby.

The staff couldn’t have been more accommodating when it came to finding us a suitable table and making sure we were ok. We ended up sitting right at the window (another plus for the wee man as he is the nosiest boy around), which is on ground level, as opposed to the booth areas which are all up a couple of steps. The changing facilities were also close to the entrance, and where we were sitting, so we didn’t have to go trekking with a pram or bumping into people with changing bags as I carried Travis to the loo. The waitresses were taken with the wee man, chatting away to him as he charmed them with smiles and flutters of those long eyelashes of his. They couldn’t do enough to help us, and happily helped when we needed a means of cooling down his bottle.

We visited Babs on a Thursday at lunchtime just as a walk-in, so I’m not sure if you’d need to book in advance for evenings or weekends. However I’d definitely recommend Babs as a nice lunch spot for those with little ones. It’s handy as it’s right in the city centre, not too far from any shops, and is conveniently placed between both Queen Street and Central stations so it’s not too far to trek with the pram.

 

lagom-lifestyle-inspiration
mum life, Mum time

Living a more conscious life – Lagom inspiration

I’m really into books that are all about creating the best lifestyle for you, and particularly loved the Little Book of Hygge I received as a Christmas present last year. The one book that really spoke to me though, was Lagom – the Swedish art of Balanced Living. Lagom is often referred to as the Swedish version of Hygge and is fast becoming the new lifestyle and cultural phenomenon us Brits are adopting.lagom-lifestyle-inspiration

As with the Danes and their Hygge, I related a lot to Lagom, as I think we Scots are not too dissimilar to our Scandinavian neighbours. A lot of what they promote, such as spending time in the great outdoors no matter the season, or offering to help out neighbours, are second nature here.

However as the title of the book suggests, Lagom is all about balance. For instance, you are encouraged to go out and explore the countryside, camp, climb, ski or whatever, so long as you don’t disturb or destroy anything. In essence, it’s all about taking a more conscious and balanced approach in all walks of life.

This is what really drew me into the book and the Lagom lifestyle as a whole. Now that I’m a parent, a whole lot of attitudes and priorities have changed for me. Any parent will tell you that they probably didn’t consider themselves selfish, until they had a child or children. Then you start to realise all the things you did or took for granted which either are no longer appropriate, or which you need or want to sacrifice for your little one(s).

For example, do I really need all those clothes? Or, more specifically, do I really need all those Saturday night clothes, when realistically I’ll get about one night out every couple of months, after a good few weeks of strenuous planning. Or do I really need like 8 pairs of black leggings when I only have one pair of legs?

Not only does Lagom preach about the importance of “just enough,” it helps keep your life organised, whether at home, work or at leisure. If I have just enough clothes for each occasion or eventuality, then I won’t need to buy unnecessary furniture, rooms won’t get clogged, and theoretically, I should always be able to find what I’m looking for. The same goes for paperwork, stationery, DVDs, books – heck, even pots and pans! If you don’t overdo it on the material possessions, you find that your home and your life suddenly become less cluttered.

As an organisational freak (to the point where every client at work has their own labelled folder and specific set of matching documents), I am very much a fan of anything which can keep my life in order (more so than it already is. Just ask Craig about the wee man’s wardrobe). So of course that side of Lagom appealed to me, but in doing this, or living a more practical life, you actually end up benefiting the environment. Think about it; if you’re not buying food you don’t need then you’re not wasting it, and if you’re not buying possessions you don’t need you are reducing your own carbon footprint. The Lagom life goes much deeper than this in terms of being an environmentally responsible person, but even by following just one or two of the practices (it feels weird calling it practices, like it’s some sort of set of cult commandments or something) you automatically start becoming more eco-friendly, and certainly more aware of the impact of your actions on the environment and wider world.

This then leads to more awareness in daily life. Now, when I’m doing things like picking new furniture, I don’t just go for the cheapest or most aesthetically pleasing item, I think about things like durability and longevity, and whether, in fact, it’s really necessary to replace the furniture item in the first place. Is it beyond repair, or could we just paint it/add a mirror/change handles etc to achieve the desired effect without wasting good furniture?

Upcycling and reusing things are part and parcel of the lifestyle, but so is a more conscious approach to even basic things like grocery shopping. Whether it’s changing your shopping habits to minimising food waste through better meal planning or ‘deal’ avoidance, or simply looking at products and choosing those with less packaging or which have travelled less miles before finding their way into your basket, we can all become a little more Lagom and help the planet at the same time.

It’s not all about being an eco-friendly warrior, though, as Lagom is also about balance and togetherness with friendships, family and work life. Their attitude to a work-life balance is something which massively appeals, specifically the Swedes attitude to childcare and spending time with your children as they grow up. Fun things like neighbourhood picnics/BBQs etc where everyone contributes something to the party are hugely appealing too.

Already I’ve found myself following many of the Lagom practices subconsciously, and with a little help and co-operation from friends and family, I’m looking forward to making life a little more Lagom each day.

mum life

Going for the Chop

So, I’ve been feeling a bit down lately because my body hasn’t been behaving quite the way I’d like it to. Part and parcel of having a baby, and one of the many joys of being a woman, is that our bodies can change on a whim. Between irregular periods (eww, gross, I said the p word!), knees that can take less impact than those of an obese 80 year old and both hair and skin that want to abandon the notion of any sort of regularity, I’ve been getting bloody fed up.
I know they aren’t the worst problems in the world but they have added more stress to my daily life than already exists with a 5 month old baby and builders constantly in and out of my house. One such stressor I decided to do something about was my hair.
Baby M's firsts

February Firsts

We were very fortunate to have another month full of firsts in the life of our little boy. Not all necessarily milestones you’d mark with a photo card, these firsts meant something to us and hopefully made memories for our little munchkin.

First seat in high chair
So in January we tried weaning, with the wee fella enjoying his first tastes of a variety of foods. Unfortunately, as he was weaned earlier than recommended, he wasn’t quite strong enough to sit upright in a high chair for the amount of time it took to feed him. So, we had to wait until he was a bit bigger, and on the day he turned 4 months old (6th February) we put him in his Chicco high chair for his breakfast (banana porridge since you asked) and haven’t looked back since. The Chicco high chair we chose has three different reclining points so it means Travis doesn’t need to sit absolutely straight, and it has proved a great help in terms of limiting mess when feeding and also encouraging the wee man to sit up on his own. This particular version is also designed for travel, folding neatly and with a useful handle which makes carrying easier. It will be very handy if we make road trips which involve staying over or for at least most of the day.

First Valentine’s Day
Of course he didn’t have a clue what was going on, but that didn’t stop me celebrating Valentine’s Day with my little cherub. Any old excuse to dress him up, I bought a lovely heart outfit from PitPat and got a rose for him to give his first Valentine, his gran. Rather than just describe how cute it was, you can see for yourself via my Instagram post:

 

First road trips
This leads on nicely to Travis’ first road trips. As he was born at a time where the nights were beginning to get longer and darker, we didn’t really plan too many road trips in the first few months of his life. Lovely autumnal walks in the park during the day or trips to the supermarket were just about all he saw of the outside world in 2017. With the exception of one trip to Glasgow to visit my work colleagues, he hadn’t been much further than 5 miles from home at any given time. So after the threat of winter weather was over (at least we thought so at the time) with milder, brighter days, we ventured further afield. Firstly we headed to Ayrshire on 15th February to visit his future wife, aka the new baby daughter of one of my friends. Nervously mum sat in the back of the car while dad drove, just in case the wee man got upset or needed fed/entertained at any point. I struggled to make a bottle on the potholed streets of Prestwick, but naturally he was fine and slept until we got there. So you would be forgiven for thinking that we would have gotten braver by the time the Dunoon adventure rolled around on 23rd February, but the same rules applied. Although this time he was much nosier, taking in the lovely scenery of Argyll and Bute on the way home.

First birthday party 
Part of the same weekend as his Dunoon adventure, Travis got to go to his first, first birthday party. My best friend’s little boy turned 1 on 24th February, and was having a Mickey Mouse themed party to celebrate. Of course I went and got the biggest Mickey balloon I could find, and a Mickey Mouse dress-up outfit for my little man to party in style. And of course the hat didn’t fit. Curse his huge head! He definitely enjoyed the party more than I thought he would for someone so young, though that might have something to do with the napping and the feeding mid-party. It’s worth noting that he’s been to a 2nd birthday party already, and went to a birthday dinner for an adult, but this time he was awake for long enough to at least smile at half the guests! It probably helped that it was a lovely day, and that Travis dotes on the birthday boy, but he was so well behaved that I’m now looking forward to his next party invite and him being awake for longer to take it all in.

First night out!
Hardly a big party or anything, but as we’d made a sort of unspoken rule that we wouldn’t take or keep Travis out past 7pm, this was a big step and exciting moment for us. The Botanic Gardens in Glasgow hosted a weekend of mystical magic at the end of the month, promising light displays, sounds and stories, not to mention plants too. Seeing as trees and lights are pretty much Travis favourite things after food, it was a no brainer to take him there. Along with his best pal, we took a trip up for the 6pm walk on Sunday 25th February. It was a fantastic end to a busy weekend for us, although it was blooming freezing! I would say that the wee ones were a bit agitated when the tales of the history of the Botanic Gardens were being told, probably because they don’t really understand ghost stories or tales of Brownies and things yet. Boy did they love the lights though. And the fire dancers. Travis was particularly amused by a lit up skeleton-come-scarecrow which already makes me terrified of what sort of stuff he’ll be into when he gets older.

First snow-in
Of course we weren’t over the winter by the end of February, this is Scotland we’re talking about! So, as the dreaded Beast from the East rolled in on 28th February, we were all a bit miffed but not surprised at this turn of weather so close to spring. However, nobody could have predicted just how much snow we would be left with – a whopping 49cm where we live (the largest snowfall from the storm in the whole of the UK, in case you were wondering). Naturally, as the wee man is only currently 20cm bigger than the height of the snow – also, comfortingly measured in Irn Bru cans here – we ended up pretty snowed in. I can’t remember snow so persistent in my lifetime, never mind the little fellas, but I’ll certainly remember how demented we became as we were stuck in the house for about 4 days. In fact, today is the first day we’ve actually been able to get a pram out (now 6 days post-initial snowfall), and even then it has been a struggle on some streets which have yet to be properly cleared or gritted. Thank goodness for air tyres!