I’ve recently had the feeling that Miss Mess was feeling a little starved of attention, so to make it up to her I planned a mummy/daughter shopping day in Nottingham to spend her birthday money and have some quality time together.
Miss Mess absolutely loves to travel on the tram network, which luckily is also my new favourite method of travel into Nottingham. It certainly beats the stress and hassle of driving through city centre traffic and finding (and paying for) a parking space.
As we were buying our tickets, one of the staff members kindly pointed out that we could save money by getting a group day pass for just £5. Considering it was £4 for me alone, this was an amazing deal and definitely one I plan to take advantage of again over the summer holidays.
Our first priority when we arrived in Nottingham was food! As it was Miss Mess’ special day, she got to choose where we ate. Unsurprisingly, she chose Ed’s Easy Diner which is one of her all-time favourite restaurants. She was instantly impressed when she was given a kid’s goody bag with her own menu, colouring pencils and photobooth props!
Despite all my resolutions to be reserved in my food choices, I picked the classic hot dog on an Ed’s plate which comes with fries, onion rings and chunky coleslaw. I was also very cheeky and ordered a Pepsi Max Cherry ice cream float to wash it all down! Yum!
Miss Mess ordered the kiddies version of the above, with a puppy dog (love the name), fries and a Pepsi Max. She very rarely gets to have fizzy drinks so I think she was excited by the novelty of it all. She also cleared the entire plate so I can only assume it met with her satisfaction.
After we had refuelled it was time to get down to some serious shopping. Most of our destinations for the day were in Intu Nottingham, which conveniently has so many great shops and places to eat that you can find almost anything you want under one roof. Our first stop:
I tried to talk Miss Mess out of going in here, I really did, as I know it’s easy to get carried away and spend an absolute fortune. Still, she was really insistent, so in we went and I tried to be the voice of reason. I managed to talk her into picking one of the cheaper bears on offer, and persuade her to have a sound, but not a smell. I went along with the cute workout outfit for the bear, and couldn’t dissuade her from buying a yoga mat that the bear had to have.
The whole order came to £40, which was a big chunk of the birthday money gone, but Miss Mess had so much fun building, dressing and designing her bear (originally called Louise, but now known as JoJo) that I think the cost was worth it in the end.
The Disney Store
We actually had to make two trips to The Disney Store, as her majesty couldn’t decide what she wanted the first time so had to go away to think about it and come back later. She finally made her mind up and picked up a cute Monsters Inc. playset with Boo, her door, teddy and Mike. At £15.99, I thought she was really quite restrained as I saw at least 10 things I wanted to buy (but didn’t, cos I’m being good.)
As Miss Mess is starting to get a little older, she’s getting less and less obsessed with toys and more drawn to other interests such as makeup, accessories and gadget. I suggested we pop into Claire’s so that she could look at cute hair and beauty things that she might like. I have to admit, I completely hadn’t realised how expensive Claire’s has got! She picked up two little plastic items, a mini makeup palette and a kids nail polish set and it came to £15! I really wish I’d taken her straight to Primark instead.
Miss Mess had talked about buying some new DVDs so I decided to take her to HMV to see what she could find. She was a little overwhelmed by the choice, but she eventually picked The Descendents (which I need to return as the disk skips) and The Witches (she’s just finished reading the book and wants to watch the movie)
If there is one thing our family unanimously loves, it’s Lush bath products. Although we both wanted to pop in to the shop, I knew it was going to be a case of “get in and get out”, before I spent my entire life savings on bath bombs. Luckily Miss Mess showed a lot more self control than her mummy and walked out with just one bubble bar.
Mr Mess had generously given us a book token (which reminds me, I’m supposed to be paying him back!) so I took Miss Mess for her first visit to Waterstones. She was like a kid in a sweet shop when she saw the top floor filled with children’s books and activities. It took quite a long time to get her to pick just a couple of books, but we finally narrowed it down to David Walliam’s Gansta Granny and a couple of books about abandoned pets, which she assures me turn out happily in the end!
Miss Mess is developing her own sense of style, so I thought it might be nice to let her have a look around Primark and pick herself a new outfit. She found a really cute t-shirt with a slogan (that I can’t remember off the top of my head) and a rainbow coloured JoJo bow but was especially excited to find one of those Chip purses.
Ever since I first sampled the Doughnotts merchandise at the Lush Nottingham event, I have been dying to get into the store myself and pick up some tasty treats. As we hadn’t brought Mini Mess with us on our shopping trip we decided to take her a little something back.
There were so many delicious options to choose from and I was really pleasantly surprised at how good value the doughnuts were, especially considering the size. We eventually agreed on a Salted Caramel, Cookies and Cream (pictured below) and a Plain Jane for Mini Mess. I can confirm, they taste even better than they look!
By now, we were completely exhausted and in desperate need of a sit down and a drink. I have always wanted the try the Pudding Pantry, so I decided to take Miss Mess there for a post-shopping treat. It’s such a cute place and my mouth was watering just reading the menu. Miss Mess chose a chocolate milkshake with a piece of rocky road.
I, again throwing moderation out of the window, opted for a fully loaded Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate (picture above), with a chocolate brownie ON TOP! I mean, there is just no excuse for this, but it was so damn delicious and I don’t regret a thing!
By now, we’d officially spent up, so it was time to head home. (Not a moment too soon in my mind – I’d forgotten how tiring shopping can be.) We hopped back on the tram and travelled back to to Grandma’s to meet Mr Mess and Mini Mess, have a cup of tea (and a doughnut!) and let Miss Mess show everybody her birthday haul.
We had such a lovely day together that Miss Mess is already happily planning the next one. I’d better get saving up!