Laura & Ted’s Top Picks – February 2019

pink blossom on tree

Before we start, I’d like to clarify that I haven’t taken to referring to myself in the third person. Fear not.

(Thought I’d clear that up, on the off-chance you were worried that I’d decided to refer to myself only as ‘Laura’ – and not ‘me’ or ‘I’ – from now on.)

This post is actually called ‘Laura & Ted’s Top Picks’ because ‘Mine & Ted’s Top Picks’ sounded grammatically incorrect – is it? – and I would rather walk around all day with my skirt tucked into my pants than commit a grammatical sin.

So, Laura & Ted’s Top Picks it is then, and it’s all quite self-explanatory from this point.

I’m going to do a little round-up each month of things that I like and things that Ted likes, in the hope of unearthing some little gems that you might not know about and that might be of interest.

This month it’s a mix of TV, toys, books, Ted clothes and a few beauty things but it will probably be different next time.


  1. Numberblocks – TV show & magazine (I think the magazine is sold out now, sorry…)

Ted loves the CBeebies show Numberblocks, and is obsessed with numbers, actually. He seems quite advanced with how quickly he’s picked up being able to say and recognise numbers 1 – 10.

(And I promise I’m not saying that in a braggy mum way, because I am really not a braggy mum and he still doesn’t wave or say ‘mum’ or ‘dad’ and he’s almost 21 months. HOWEVER, he can count to past 10 – although it all gets a bit indecipherable past 10 – and shouts out numbers whenever he sees them, which seems pretty smart to me.)

And I think he’s learned it all from Numberblocks! Seriously. I would hang my head in shame at having a telly-addicted toddler if I wasn’t so impressed.

Anyway, I thought I’d mention this show and also its accompanying magazine – of which Ted has thumbed his copy approx. 187 times – in case you’re not familiar with it and have a little one who might love them as much as Ted does.

 can of colab dry shampoo

  1. Colab Dry Shampoo, £3.49 (although currently half price – a snip at £1.74! – at Boots)

This one’s for me, not for Ted, obviously.

Like many mums, I ought to take out shares in dry shampoo, and have worshipped unconditionally at the altar of Batiste for a very long time.

I picked up Colab instead last weekend mainly because it was on offer in Boots and cheaper than Batiste, and I’d heard of it on Instagram via its co-founder, model/writer/blogger Ruth Crilly, who I think is brilliant. As is this dry shampoo!

I don’t think I’ll ever go back to my old love Batiste now. This is Big News – it’s essentially the same as me ending a 15-year affair with a beau who always leaves a white powdery trail behind him and smells like cheap sun tan lotion.

The Colab one smells lovely – I got the tropical one – and there is no powdery residue. At all! It seems to work like magic, and it means I can go even longer (about 5 days…yes, what of it?!) without washing my hair.

This stuff really is the bees’ knees.


  1. Wilko wooden toys, various prices

We were in Wilko a couple of weekends ago, and Ted was in a right old grump. (What’s not to love about Wilko, Ted?)

Anyway, I spied that Wilko have started selling their own brand wooden toys which look fab and are pretty cheap too – they had a little ‘food’ set of ketchup bottles and the like (£6), plus various other wooden items, if you’re in the market for that kind of thing.

A thumbs up for a non-pricey alternative to the usual plastic tat.


  1. Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara (black), £3.30

Another Wilko buy coming right up. My mum told me about this mega-cheap mascara which is actually tons better than so many expensive brands I’ve tried. And I’ve tried a few – Lancome, IT Cosmetics, YSL. Highly recommended.


  1. TK Maxx books, from £2.99

I must remember to go to TK Maxx more often whenever I want to buy Ted a new book. They have so many kids’ books, and they’re amazingly inexpensive in my opinion.

I was all set to buy Ted a new numbers book I’d picked up in Waterstones the other day, for about £6 or £7, until the fire alarm went off in the shop and we all had to evacuate before I could pay. True story.

I remembered then about TK Maxx’s book range, and ended up with two for £2.99 each. Winner. 


  1. Superdrug Optimum Phytocalm Bedtime Cleansing Balm, £9.99 (but currently £4.89!)

A really quick mention for this cleanser before I start sounding like a below-par beauty blogger.

My favourite night cleanser is probably the Emma Hardie Moringa Balm one but it’s silly expensive. I’ve recently been using Lush Ultrabland, which I love, although I do find that it sometimes has a bit of a strange smell – this could just be me with weird preggers aversions though.

I was running out of Ultrabland, and because I’m lazy and Superdrug is closer to get to than Lush, I picked this one up instead (I wrote about my problem Superdrug habit in my spending diary here, if you’re interested.)

jar of cleansing cream

And it’s really quite good. It’s one of those greasy balms, a bit like Clinique Take The Day Off which everyone raves about – I’d actually say this is better. It smells nice and leaves your skin feeling soft but not oily.

And there lies the end of my beauty reviews for this week – phew! I’m sure Sali Hughes and Caroline Hirons will sleep soundly tonight.


  1. Leggings – Asda, M&S, Belle And Benjamin, various prices

I’ve written about my love of leggings – for Ted, not for me – before, in this post all about the difficulties of buying boys’ clothing.

Buying gender-neutral leggings and trousers in Asda used to be impossible (it was dinosaurs and diggers or nowt) but they’ve had a few gems in recently.

cat print trousers

I bought the ace cat print trousers above from Asda a few weeks ago (still in stock – they’re described as ‘printed skinny joggers’ in the baby boy section) and they also have some Easter-themed trews (‘bunny detail leggings’ in the baby section) which manage the impossible, in my opinion, by featuring the Easter Bunny without being girly.

(I will be very upset once Ted’s out of 18-24 months because then he can ONLY wear jogging pants with dinosaurs on, according to Boys’ Clothing Law. *Rolls eyes.*

ADDITIONAL NOTE: Marks & Spencer have got a few different gender-neutral leggings / thinner-material joggers in at the moment, which go up to age 2-3 in the ‘baby boy’ section.

ALSO, a lovely shop called Belle And Benjamin recently opened near me and they do GORGEOUS HANDMADE leggings for a very-reasonable-for-indie-handmade £10 each. Available online now, up to size 3-4 years, hurrah!

Bye for now x

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Hello, I'm Laura. I write about parenting, life, style, building a business and finding success on your own terms.

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