Coffee Lovers

Anyone who knows me knows that before I got pregnant with Amelia I was obsessed with costa. I pretty much lived off of vanilla soya lattes and the people working in our local costa knew my order without me asking.

However when I was pregnant just the smell of coffee sent me rushing from the room to throw up. My favourite drink quickly became a major no go. It probably saved me a fortune as Costa’s aren’t exactly the cheapest drinks to live off but still, I missed it.

Amelia is now 7 and a half months old and I still can’t drink my much loved vanilla lattes. But I’m hoping I can learn to love coffee again.

I found these delicious sounding instant coffees and bought a variety pack so I can try all the different flavours. I am hoping at least one of them tastes nice to me.

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The gingerbread one sounds particularly good in the run up to Christmas. Pregnancy makes you hate your favourite foods and love things you previously hated. One of the many interested results of growing a tiny human.

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Small Businesses

In the run up to Christmas when we are all doing our shopping it is important for us all to have a browse of the products available from small businesses. The family run Facebook shops and the little stalls at markets that are the income paying mortgages and putting food on the table.

Their is a lovely business I found on Instagram called ‘stitchlings’ Instagram handle @stitchlingscreations. They make a variety of items including skirts, pants, hair bows and blankets. I purchased a lovely little taggy blanket for Amelia from them and it is perfect. It arrived this morning and she is already so attached to it. It is fluffy on one side and penguin printed the other, with red tags and silver tags.

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The wonderful thing about buying items from small businesses is that they often help families afford dance lessons for their little ones, go towards christenings and weddings and allow families to have a delicious Christmas dinner. Not only is their the financial aspect their is also the joy of knowing that many of the products are made to order and are completely unique to you. No other person can have exactly the same one as they are hand made.

What small businesses have you found that you’d like others to know about?

Shopping Mad

December 15th

10 days til Christmas.

We have had a few snowy days now, all the decorations are up and most of the presents are wrapped.

I have seen so many people panicking and running round the shops like headless chickens. There is one thing I always try and avoid: panic buying.

You know that crazy moment when you buy your uncle who despises football the latest away shirt because you can’t think of anything else and it’s on the list of gift ideas for men? Or that mad rush to pick up the last chocolate snowman in Thornton’s for your Nan, even though she is diabetic and it’s full of sugar?

The closer it gets to Christmas the more people you see rushing round the shops and buying everything in sight. I absolutely dread the Christmas food shop because you always get that one person who thinks because the shops are shut one day they must buy 50 loaves of bread, 20 pints of milk and the entire aisle of tinned vegetables.

Panic buying. The most costly and pointless exercise. What exactly are you going to do with all those loaves of bread? Are you going to shower in the milk? The tiniest bit of snow and a similar shopping over load occurs. I try and avoid it and think I have managed it so far this winter.

What is the worst thing you have panic bought?

Kit and Kin: magic salve and baby wipes

I have written before about my love for kit and kin nappies. (You can read my last post here.) Recently kit and kin have expanded their range to include baby wipes and magic salve.

So first of all, the baby wipes. They are fragrance free, which for me is a must. Both Amelia’s dad and I have sensitive skin so unnaturally fragrances products are a big no no. They cost £2.70 and are wonderful. They are biodegradable and organic, so both good for the environment and babies skin. They have a similar, plain scent to other non fragranced wipes and are just as soft – some people think organic is going to mean papery and this isn’t the case. Yes, they are bit more expensive than market leading brands but they are the only biodegradable wipes I’ve come across and they are good for sensitive skin so definitely worth the extra pennies.

Now let’s talk about the magic salve. It is an organic nappy cream with all natural ingredients. It has a mild herbal smell, very pleasant and not at all overwhelming. This is £7.99, similar in price to other nappy creams. Unlike most others the salve is made entirely of natural ingredients. It is brilliant to prevent and soothe nappy rash and is easy to apply. I like trying new products and any that are good for Amelia and the environment are always on my to try list.

Both these products are available on the kit and kin website, along with their nappies and bath products. I would urge anyone to try these who is environmentally conscious or parent to a baby with sensitive skin. Some kit and kin products are available from Ocado and Spirit of Nature.

 

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

Must haves for a cosy Christmas

Making your home cosy at Christmas doesn’t have to cost the Earth. Just a few homely touches here and there and a few pounds will make the family warmer and comfier.

Candles
I found some gorgeous reindeer tea light holders from studio. Tea lights are really cheap and come in so many different scents so we can use these holders again and again. I also have a beautiful spiced orange candle from Aldi’s Christmas range. At £3.99 it was a bargain

Dressing gowns
I have a lovely fluffy pink one that my boyfriend got me for our second anniversary. It’s from primark and they stock so many different colours and styles

Slippers
I don’t actually have any at the moment but am hoping to get some for Christmas. I really like the look of the soft fluffy memory foam ones that are popular at the moment. There is a lovely pair in new look but as long as they are soft and comfy I’m not fussy. I’d particularly like a cream or pink pair. (Hint hint Rob if you are reading this.)

Hot chocolate
What better way to spend a cold evening that snuggled in a dressing gown and slippers with scented candles and a mug of hot chocolate. Options have a strawberry hot chocolate that sounds wonderful.

Teddies
This is more one for the little people than the adults. Amelia picked a cuddly penguin out in Aldi – literally she grabbed it from the shelf whilst sitting in the trolley. A soft toy is perfect for little ones to cuddle up with on the sofa whilst watching peppa pig. Amelia was not in a modelling mood and below is the best picture I could get.

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Advent Calendars

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?

Food Amelia Couldn’t Live Without

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!
3. Yoghurts
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?

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Fareshare

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.

Amelia’s First Snow Experience

 

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).

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Amelia’s First Word

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.

They are friends really!

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