Traditionally advent calendars are a religious concept. Most people don’t buy advent candles anymore but not so long ago they were present in family homes and churches, not the chocolate advent calendars we have come to love today.
Then there were cardboard advent calendars, ones where you opened doors to reveal a depiction of a scene from the bible.
Now we have moved on from chocolate advent calendars to ones containing toys and make up. This year there have even be advent calendars produced that contain gin and cheese.
I found this lovely advent calendar from Avon. It contains a pair of earrings behind each door. At a bargain price of £10 for 25 pairs of earrings it is a wonderful alternative to the more expensive gift advent calendars. (I also have a chocolate one thanks to my mum.)
Next year when Amelia is a bit bigger I’d love to get her the toot toot advent calendar.
Which advent calendars have you found this year that you love?
1. Banana porridge
Amelia isn’t fussy if it’s cow and gate or aptamil as long as she gets her breakfast. She’ll eat other flavours if she has too but banana is her preference.
2. Fruity melty puffs
Amelia happily tucks into these as snacks or with her lunch (they are like baby wotsits). Her favourite ones are strawberry. Ella’s Kitchen strawberry and banana and kiddylicious strawberry puffs are two of Amelia’s favourites. If they aren’t available she’ll also tuck into carrot puffs from Aldi. She’s a growing girl and loves her food!
Amelia particularly likes Yeo Valley – little yeo ones. Like the puffs if there are only alternatives available she’ll eat those too. Any fromage frais make her happy.
4. Rice crispies
Probably the strangest one on the list, Amelia has really taken to these. To start with I was putting these in her high chair tray so she could play with them whilst rob and I have dinner. (Unlike some things they are easy to clean up) In the last few weeks she stopped playing with them and started shoving them in her mouth. She loves the pop noise they make when they touch her tongue.
On another note – anyone else go to the shops and end up buying things they don’t need? Went over to Aldi to get baby milk and Amelia fell in love with a fluffy penguin. She was heart broken when I took it off her to pay for it. Who could resist that smile though?
Fareshare is a charity that was established in 1994. In its 23 years it has expanded and helped thousands of people. As of this year it has 21 distribution centres. They collect surplus food and donations and redistribute it to those that need it.
In the lead up to Christmas it is hard not to think of those that won’t be in a warm home eating a huge roast on Christmas Day. It is easy to donate food as fareshare work with asda, Sainsbury’s, co-op and Tesco. I have made sure to put a few items in the collection point at my local Tesco when I have been doing my food shopping. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive; Tesco have an everyday value range and items are as little as 15p.
Kiddylicious also have a Christmas themed game on their website at the moment where you fill in your email address and name and can ‘shake’ a snow globe. You can play five times a day and the prizes range from hampers and trips to donations the company will make to fareshare on your behalf.
Fareshare are not the only company that you can donate food. Wherever you are in the country there are local food banks. Even if you can’t donate food they are always looking for volunteers. A simple google search will let you know what food banks operate in your local area.
It’s winter and everyone is hoping for snow. Amelia is seven months old now so you would assume that this winter will be her first experience of the pretty white stuff.
But actually she was present for extremely heavy snow in January. When I was over half way through my pregnancy we went to Krakow, Poland as a late birthday present for Robs 25th birthday. Unlike snow in the UK, Poland frequently gets snow to a level that would put the entire UK out of commission. However everyone in Poland handles it brilliantly and instead of cancelling trains and flights and buses and shutting schools and businesses, they simply plough the thick snow out of the way and carry on going. (Whilst we were there outside our hotel room it reached nearly knew depth, but when we woke up the next day the paths had been cleared.)
Whilst we were there it snowed very heavily and had we been in England our flight would have been cancelled. We were waiting at the air port, snow pouring down and were able to watch out the windows as the airport staff cleared the runways. It didn’t even delay our flight!
Poland is beautiful and if you like a holiday with intricately designed architecture and gorgeous landscapes then I would definitely recommend Poland. Flights are very affordable and short. As someone who doesn’t enjoy flying and gets travel sick the hour and a half flight was much more manageable. (I also had severe morning sickness to contend with when we went but the colder temperatures were much better for it than a scorching hot beach holiday would have been).
7 months old and my little lady has truly mastered her first word.
And of course it is ‘daddy’. If it wasn’t so cute I would be offended. She currently says three variations of it; Daddy, dad and dadda. Amelia knows what it means too. Now if you ask her ‘where is daddy’ she looks around for him and if she doesn’t see him her little face falls.
As it gets closer to Christmas I’m getting slightly worried that she’s going to be crawling by then. Which would be wonderful but as we are spending Christmas at my mums the poor dog will not find it fun. Amelia is obsessed with trying to pinch Sammy. If she can get hold of her ears or tail she is delighted.
Inbeteeen chatting away about daddy, Amelia was constantly on the look out for Sammy last time we were at my mums. Sammy is a really friendly jack Russel with long legs. But trying to teach amelia not to pinch her is a challenge. We did manage to get Amelia to stroke Sammy a couple of times so we are getting there.
When it’s cold and wet outside there’s nothing better than coming back to a nice home cooked meal.
When I’m at uni I tend to cheat with dinners and cook whatever is easiest straight from the freezer. I get home quite late and after six hours of lectures the last thing I feel like doing is spending ages cooking. So when I’m not at uni I try and make a bit more effort.
Last nights dinner – for Rob. I had a veggie option – was cottage pie. Cottage pie is a brilliant way to get extra vegetables into a meal. You can mix mashed parsnip in with the mashed potatoes and can put all sorts of vegetables in with the meat. If you chop them up small enough little mouthes won’t even realise.
Rob had his with green beans and spicy jalapeño and beef nacho bites – obviously you would not give those to a little person. They’d burn their little mouth. But otherwise a perfect meal for my titchy princess. She has four little ones frozen in the freezer for other nights.
Tomorrow Amelia is 7 months old. My tiny little baby – who went down to just over 5lbs after being poorly – is 7 months old!
So what has changed?
Then she was in micro nappies – the size below size 1 that are made specifically for premature babies. Now she is in size 3s.
Then she was in tiny baby clothes with the sleeves rolled up. Now she is 6-9 months and her legs are long enough that they are not going to fit much longer.
Then she was only drinking milk. Now, as I write this, she’s eating a carrot puff from Aldi. She has porridge for breakfast and a little meal with a pudding for lunch and dinner. Her favourites at the moment are rice crispies, banana porridge, Ella’s kitchen strawberry and banana puffs and cottage pie.
Then she couldn’t keep her eyes open. Now she can sit, bum shuffle, stand if holding something, giggle and say ‘dada’.
Then she was in hospital, very poorly, with four hourly blood tests and photo therapy. Now she has been discharged and just has to be weighed every 3 weeks, more often than other babies her age because of the initial struggles.
In the cot in the hospital at 2 weeks old
Watching her grow every day is so much fun. She’s such a smiley, happy baby and every time we go shopping someone says how beautiful she is.
We may have missed meat free Monday this week but little lady really enjoyed a vegetable lasagne for dinner this evening.
We’ve already decided we aren’t going to raise Amelia on a vegetarian diet but when I saw the range of Ella’s kitchen vegetable based meals I had to get some of them for Amelia to try. Amelia will eat anything and everything – at the moment she particularly likes paper – so her liking it wasn’t exactly surprising. She is a little piggy and loves her food. I can’t wait for Christmas when she can have her own little dinner.
20 days til Christmas today!
Things that are done:
All the presents have been paid for and most of them are wrapped
Our tree is up
Things still to do:
Write the Christmas cards
Take Amelia to see Father Christmas
This year, as it is our first Christmas in our own home, we had to buy all our decorations. My mum, Amelia’s nanny, bought our decorations as our Christmas gift. Our tree is stood on a little table by our front room window so we selected a five foot tree. We have gone quite traditional; green tree with red and gold decorations.
One of my favourites is our ‘Amelia Skye’ bauble which I mentioned in a previous post. I purchased it from a lady on Facebook but there are many companies offering personalised Christmas decorations.
We took Amelia to Newnham court shopping village – one of the trips on my things to do in Kent post – and I purchased this adorable reindeer bauble and a pretty gold sequin covered one.
The reindeers on the top of our tree also came from Nenham court shopping village.
We found this cute gingerbread man in tescos along with the sparkly bells.
If you are doing Christmas on a budget Poundland had some lovely bits, one of which is this gorgeous sparkly reindeer. They had them in a variety of colours, although I stuck with gold for our theme.
Christmas is the perfect excuse for lots of glitter and sparkles ✨
Today we went for a walk up to costa with Amelia’s daddy. I of course got a Black Forest hot chocolate and rob had a honeycomb latte. Amelia had her warm milk and was snuggled up in her pushchair in her gorgeous fluffy penguin suit from next.
With it being so cold outside it’s so important that your little ones are wrapped up warm. Here are five snowsuits I’m in love with this winter: