‘Young mums’

‘Young mums’

I don’t like the term young Mum. It has a few connotations that are insulting and I’ve heard it used in derogatory ways. ‘Oh another young mum’ ‘young mums always take up all the room on the bus’ ‘young mums shouldn’t be having babies in the first place’ ‘young mums are always on benefits’.
The latter implies that only ‘young’ mums claim benefits and that they are neither deserving nor entitled to them.

I personally am not on benefits and have not been previously. I’ve managed to balance working and being a mum with relative ease. Benefits are there for those who need them and I haven’t needed them.

But I have encountered a lot of people who have assumed that I don’t work and claim benefits. Sure start vouchers are vouchers available for those on benefits to buy fresh fruit and milk and formula for their little ones (if you are reading this in the UK and think you qualify for them and don’t get them then definitely have a look at applying for them.) Today I went to my local supermarket and was informed at the checkout that they could accept my milk vouchers. This was surprising to me as I hadn’t asked and I hadn’t handed over any vouchers. When I told the lady that I didn’t get them she looked equally surprised.

Now I know she meant well and was very polite but if I was older would she have made the same assumption?

I’ve encountered similar assumptions elsewhere. When I’ve taken Amelia to the Doctors quite often my age is brought up. Being a parent is a learning curve the first time round whether you are 16 or 32. Yes the 32 year old may have more life experience but that doesn’t mean they will be a better parent or find it easier. The 16 year old may have been looking after young siblings, the 32 year old may never have held a new born.

If you’ve had any experiences you’d like to share then please comment below or send me a message on my ‘contact us’ page.

Here is a picture of Amelia eyeing up the other little ones when we did the food shop this morning.

26E820E9-71A4-4A9B-8321-D3A10C63DAC7.jpeg

Noisy, nosey and 9 months old

9 month update

Amelia’s first tooth
A week ago today the little monkey bit me with her first tooth where it had started poking through. She now uses it to chomp on everything: fingers, noses, chocolate buttons, toes. All the tasty things right?
931A86C2-EC42-4635-A845-31E7DAD3BA50

Amelia’s first pancake day
Yesterday was a day to enjoy lots of sugary chocolatey pancakes. I confess, Amelia has had them before, but she had one with Nutella and mini marshmallows. The little monster loved it.

3BA0E04B-64AD-41A7-B542-72DA32FE6258

And today is Amelias first Valentine’s Day so
I thought I’d be extra cute and get her a vest that says ‘daddy’s valentine’. I put her in it at 9:30 and it is currently (an hour later) in the washing machine. As her daddy put it: she did her business and it went all up her back and so the vest isn’t as cute now.

Thankfully I snapped a few photos before this happened. They aren’t the best but they are adorable and the best I’m going to get. I didn’t even get chance to put her matching red leggings and red hoodie on. But there we are.
E9F64581-7EB0-4D5B-B7DA-D81A2CD89AE9

Other nine month achievements:
Walking when holding someone’s hands.
Climbing up stairs.
Opening her snack cupboard and helping herself.
Trying to climb in the toilet.

Having a nearly-toddler is frustrating, funny and full of surprises. (The valentines vest is proof of the frustrating. Try and do something cute and it lasts an hour.)

Peppa Pig Muddy Puddle Cakes

With the weather cold and icy it’s not always easy to keep the little ones entertained in doors. Amelia is crawling and trying to walk now and the little monster doesn’t like being confined to the living room. She likes being a free titch and it’s hard work trying to keep her distracted – she’d much rather be emptying the drawers in our bedroom or tipping over the bin in the bathroom.

One thing that is brilliant for distraction the little mess making tornado is chocolate. Chocolate cake. Chocolate buttons. Hot chocolate. Chocolate ice cream. Amelia is not fussy.

So one of the activities we did together last week was making these peppa pig muddy puddle cakes.

0EB187F1-9C83-46DF-9F51-5F87898710A3

Amelia helped with the mixing, although her favourite part was decorating them with the chocolate icing. Most of it ended up in her mouth and on the floor but for half an hour she was happily entertained. Amelia loves being the diddy chef.

They weren’t beautifully decorated but Amelia had fun and she thought that were delicious. The mix cost me £1.25 in Tesco and there’s even a competition the little ones can enter on the side. Cheap and messy fun. Between the making and the eating Amelia was entertained for most of the morning.

45087FB0-98E0-47E2-90D2-2777C0A9DB06

To a Lecturer From an Anxious Student

To a Lecturer From an Anxious Student

One thing I have learned from being at uni that isn’t to do with my subject is that not everyone is as kind as they could be. Some of my lecturers, particularly the guest speakers, seem to forget that we all have our own thoughts and feelings.

To a Lecturer From an Anxious Student

Announcing to your students at the beginning of the lecture that you like to pick on the student you think will be most uncomfortable isn’t funny. Telling your students that there is no such thing as a stupid answer and then making the brave student who raised their hand feel silly for getting the answer wrong isn’t fair. (Yes, he was as you correctly guessed a rugby player but that doesn’t mean speaking in a room of 150 students is easier.)

To the lecturer who said ‘I’ll stare at whoever doesn’t maintain eye contact and make them answer’ that’s not building confidence the way you hope. After you said that I saw at least two quiet students sneak out and several more who didn’t return after the break. You justified this by saying ‘you must build confidence now before going out into the real world and working’ as if all employees are forced to speak in front of hundreds of people daily. Please tell me when a sales assistant or a barista or a hairdresser has to stand up in a lecture hall and speak to 150 colleagues on a regular basis. If you can show me that it is the case then by all means expect each and every student to do the same.

To the lecturer who locked the door at exactly 1pm, meaning any student even a minute late had to knock and draw the attention of the entire room to get in, how did you think a student already having a bad day because they missed their bus or had lost their keys was going to feel? Yes, we all know it is not appropriate to be late but we are all human and have days that don’t go as well as we would have liked. Instead of leaving the door unlocked for a few minutes for the students having bad days to slip in without interrupting I would bet you scared off several.

Most people get nervous for one reason or another. Some people get nervous more than most and find daily life particularly daunting. There are the fears of avoidable things like snakes and big spiders. But not everyone’s fears are so obvious or easily dodged.

Please consider the students who found it hard to leave the safety of their student house where they are surrounded by friends. Please consider the student who may be caring for a sick relative and be a bit late because they had to make them lunch before they could leave for classes. Please consider the student who is terrified of public speaking and picked their modules so that they didn’t need to do presentations. Please consider that not everyone will be as comfortable in your lecture hall as you are.

Valentines Day with YouSaidItCards

Valentines Day with YouSaidItCards

Every year at the end of January the shops beginning overwhelming us with red roses, heart shaped chocolates and very cute cards in preparation for Valentines Day.

But why do we celebrate it?

It is actually Saint Valentines Day. Many denominations of Christianity celebrate it as a feast day and over the centuries it has had numerous Valentine men associated with it, most of them priests.

Thanks to the times of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century it became romanticised and associated with courting a potential lover. By the 18th century this day became one to court your would be partner and spoil them with flowers, sweet foods and letters or cards.

Now the history of Valentine’s Day is not so well known. It is a very commercial holiday. But who doesn’t love an excuse to shop?

You Said It Cards have an array of both rude, funny and somewhat sweet valentines cards. I selected a polite one as I appreciate that my audience is made up of carers and parents of young children and I didn’t want tiny eyes to learn rude words. However when the tiny tots are in bed I suggest you go and have a look as they are very funny!

Most of the cards are £2.99 and a lot of them can be personalised. They offer first or second class delivery and can be sent directly to your Valentine if you want to remain anonymous. The one I picked is in the image below.

For 15% off enter ‘bloggerv18’ at the checkout  ❤️

yousaiditcards valentines

*** I was sent this card for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own ***

Cooking with Yutaka

I’ve posted before about stir fry’s. They are quick and so easy to make and the ingredients are very cheap. They are also really healthy.

When Yutaka sent me a bundle of their ingredients I couldn’t wait to try them. The new edamame bean noodles and soya bean noodles both looked delicious. The bright green of the edamame bean noodles makes them fun for little ones and a healthier alternative to egg noodles.

There are loads of different recipes you can follow; the black roasted sesame seeds are perfect for rolling sushi in, the white sesame seeds make a tasty topping for a stir fry and the soya sauce is an excellent addition to any kitchen.

I of course had to try a stir fry first. With the addition of the edamame bean noodles, the soy sauce and the white roasted sesame seeds it turned a sometimes boring meal into a tart colourful one. Amelia had her own portion and tucked in happily. Here are some pictures of the meal I made:

667CDC78-6537-4E07-8A84-2957F653B43F8992FB46-15E0-4F1C-9F90-2DF40CCF02C4

The Yutaka products can be found in most supermarkets and they have an array of recipes on their website you can try out. The products are between 1 and 3 pounds – a complete bargain. I’m looking forward to having a go at making the noodle soup next.

*** I was sent these products for the purpose of this post. All opinions are my own ***

Changing Bag Essentials

Changing Bag Essentials

Nappies
No changing bag would be functional without them. At the moment we are using peppa pig little angels pants from asda. I am a big fan of kit and kin nappies but with all of Amelia’s climbing and crawling the tabs on nappies just aren’t staying done up. So the pants are brilliant.

Johnson’s moisturiser
This moisturiser smells wonderful and is currently on sale for £1.25 in the asda baby event. It’s worked wonders on Amelia’s dry patches of skin and the scent of it is appealing yet subtle.

Kit and kin magic salve
This nappy cream is a must have. With all natural ingredients and an almost herbal smell it is extra kind to baby skin and works like a dream. If Amelia is looking a bit red then a little of this magic salve and by the next nappy change there’s a noteable improvement.

Baby wipes
Not to be forgotten – although I have done in the past and ended up having to buy them whilst out – baby wipes are an essential I couldn’t imagine not having. Kit and kin wipes are lovely, as are asda fragrance free ones. At the moment we are using the boots fragrance free wipes. (Boots baby club means you get 10 points per pound instead of the normal 4.)

As Amelia gets older I’ve been packing lighter. Her reflux doesn’t necessitate three changes of clothes and six Muslims anymore so it’s not such a mission every time we go out. Trying to take a nice photo for this post didn’t go so well. As you can see below Amelia decided she wanted the magic salve.

8D3317AD-FB40-425B-B999-245BDD5DF49F.jpeg

Best Brownies Recipe

Recipe for the best sticky chocolate brownies

Ingredients:
75 grams of butter
100 grams of light brown sugar
2 eggs
100 grams self raising flour
100 grams chocolate caramel spread
200 grams nutella
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
100 grams white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 180 and grease a square tin with butter and dust with flour.
Cream together the butter and sugar and add in one of the eggs and the flour. Add the other egg and vanilla extract. Mix in the two spreads and the salt. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Bake for 20-25 mins until firm around the outside and slightly soft in the middle. Leave to cool before cutting into squares.

FFCFEEBE-D480-4285-8A91-606E47D1F86B.jpeg

Family Favourites

Family Favourites

I am always looking for new things to use on Amelia. Recently she’s developed some really dry patches on her back. I found this cream in the asda baby event for £1.25! Even after two applications there’s a noticeable difference. It smells divine and I’m tempted to buy the other products in the range.

0387D3B9-52AF-4DF6-B0DD-E9AE2EDBD62E

Another favourite at the moment are the asda little angels peppa pig first pants. We’ve had a few ‘incidents’ – read Amelia weed on the carpet – because all her crawling, climbing and rolling was undoing her nappies. These are perfect as she can’t undo them and they have an adorable peppa pig design on them. At £3.87 for a pack of 30 they are a reasonable price and we’ve had no leaks, Day or night.

487E22DB-B959-4CA0-AB38-DDDFC5B7C0C8

Organix apple and orange oat bars are now a regular on the shopping list too. Amelia makes a mess crumbling them up but as she scoops up the little bits and eats them it’s not so bad. (In the Aldi baby event they have boxes of 6 organix bars for £1.99)

14810299-C858-4170-90A0-D817758C3102

I’m sure the shopping list gets longer as Amelia grows. She is 9 months in a couple of weeks and her first birthday is coming round so quickly. What did you do for your little ones first birthdays?

Quick and Easy Tasty Dinners

Easy dinners

1. Stir fry. The easiest has got to be a stir fry. for the one below I used a garlic and hoisin sauce from Aldi, a Chinese stir fry mix from Tesco, mushrooms and dried egg noodles. It’s super easy to boil the noodles and stir fry the vegetables.

E72DF9AA-D39F-4697-A220-C4F0CA4F1979
2. At home Indian. For this one I shopped at Asda. I bought a saag aloo side for me, a chicken tikka masala for rob and a pack of 8 mini vegetable samosas and onion Bhajis. Boiling rice and warming up naan breads was simple enough and the other bits were microwaveable

A877FFD9-457E-4F88-B262-D16CDCE0BFFC
3. Shepherds pie. To make this one easier I use frozen mashed potato. Frying the meat and your choice of vegetables and adding gravy is quick and this can be prepared in advance and warmed in the oven before serving. I usually top mine with grated cheese

FE6A8445-9CD2-4B87-B068-84DF5521CE27
4. Of course there has to be easy to make and delicious puddings too. One of my favourite is these double chocolate cookies. These are good for little fingers too. Find the recipe – one of my cookie in a jar gift ideas – here.

D536265D-7D61-4127-B14C-062F7BBA5674