Christmas Countdown

Yes. I dared to say the C word. 

I cannot wait for Christmas this year. I mentioned Christmas to Amelia this morning and she said ‘presents?’and raised both eyebrows at me to emphasise the importance of the question. 

Apparently she has her priorities set for Christmas already. (Puzzles are her new favourite toy so she is very hopeful that Father Christmas leaves her some new ones.)

I’m surprisingly organised this year. I thought it would be less stressful if I started shopping early. I’ve already finished off buying all the gifts for the little ones in the family/friend group and I’ve actually wrapped them this morning. (The bags were overflowing and I couldn’t handle the disorder of it.)

I’m very lucky to work for a company that are closing for 2 weeks over Christmas. Completely unexpected, given that I would have been working Christmas Day if I had stayed in my previous job. 

I’m trying to plan days out and activities to do with Amelia throughout December. Christmas markets. Baking. Going to see Santa. Looking at all the Christmas lights. Costa Christmas drinks are always lovely and little lady likes coffee almost as much as I do so no doubt we will do a few Costa trips. 

She’s been given quite a few Christmas jumpers and T-shirt’s by family and friends so her wardrobe is all set for the festive period. She really likes dinosaurs on her clothes at the moment so if anyone sees a dinosaur themed Christmas jumper then send me the link. Amelia will be very appreciative! 

Just to scare you all a bit there is 108 days til December 25th.

(And no, before anyone asks. My tree is not up. The photo is one from a previous Christmas.)

Shopping for the Princess

For anyone who knows me, you’ll know that I wear a lot of clothing that is dark coloured, or a bit ‘alternative’ (not a word I’m personally a fan of but it seems that a lot of clothing websites use this word.)

Adult clothing that’s ‘alternative’ is quite easy to come by. Kids and toddler clothing, not so much.

I picked up a particularly cute shirt for Amelia at the tattoo convention at Detling, earlier this year.  If you haven’t been before, I really recommend popping along next year. Here is the link if you want to take a look at the website.) I’ve also found a few nice bits in places like H&M, Zara, Next ect.

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But I am always looking for new places to shop for my little lady.

I , like a lot of people these days, spend a lot of time on Instagram. A lot of businesses now use it too and there are a fair few handmade clothing companies that advertise through the site.

One site I particularly like at the moment is ‘Mini Mosher’. It is run by a lovely lady called Clare who makes dresses, skirts, scratch mits, bibs and other bits, all in more alternative prints. I got Amelia the most adorable traditional tattoo style skirt. It’s got an elasticated waist and washes really well so perfect for my crazy toddler. If you want to have a little look you can find the Instagram page here

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I am always looking for more cute kids clothes so if anyone has any recommendations I’d be happy to have them.

***this is not an ad – these are two items I really like and the Instagram page is one I love***

Quick and Tasty Squash and Sweet Potato Soup

Butternut squash and potato soup
350 grams butternut squash and sweet potato (if you want to cheat a bit tesco sell a bag this size of them ready prepared)
2 garlic cloves
1 large onion
Salt and pepper
1 tsp of nutmeg
Splash of milk
2 stock cubes mixed with 500 ml of boiling water
A third of a celery stick

 

1. Cook the sweet potatoes and squash. I steamed mine but roasting would work fine too. They usually take about 40 minutes in the oven.
2. Dice the onion and the celery. Cut up the garlic finely or crush it.
3. Heat a little oil in the bottom of a large pan or pot. Add the onion and garlic and some salt and pepper. Add the celery. Sprinkle the nutmeg in. When the onions are mostly cooked, pour in the stock.
4. Bring to the boil and add the potatoes and squash. To make it easier to blend I mashed the vegetables up a bit with a fork.
5. Using a hand blender, blitz the vegetables and stock so it starts to thicken. (I kept the soup on the heat to do this but you can take it off if you prefer)
6. When the soup is smooth add a splash of milk to thicken. Taste to check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed. If it is too thick add a bit more water.
7. Either eat immediately or cool and store in the fridge and heat up within 2 days.

Easter or the New Christmas?

Easter or the New Christmas?

It’s Amelia’s first Easter and there is certainly the temptation to go over board and buy her a bucket load of chocolate. But one she wouldn’t eat it and two I don’t want to spoil her.

I have seen many memes and posts calling Easter the new Christmas. In our family that is definitely not the case. Easter is not Christmas and for us does not mean a pile of presents. Emphasis on the PILE part. (Her nanny and great nanny have each used the money they would have spent on chocolate on clothes as the little lady is nearly in the next size up.)

So what are we getting the titchy princess for her first Easter weekend?
I’ve had an adorable little skirt and hair bow set made for her by a lovely Instagram business called ‘stitchlings creations’. She also has a pair of bunny ears and an Easter bonnet which we are going to decorate later with Pom poms and fluffy Easter chicks.

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As far as chocolate goes she has a small hamper with little chocolates in it: kinder eggs, kinder bars, a small Cadbury’s egg and some caramel mini eggs. We also treated her to some gold Easter bunny’s this morning in the lindt shop at bluewater.

As it’s raining and horrible out today we are going to make some Easter biscuits and some chocolate nest cakes. Recipes to follow.

Have a good easter everyone

First shoes with Golden Boot

First shoes: the facts

Where did we go for Amelia’s first shoes?
We went to Golden Boot a lovely independent store in Maidstone town centre. It has been there years and is where my Mum purchased my first shoes.

When did we go?
A few days after Amelia turned 10 months. My little brother was walking by 10 months and Amelia is very nearly there too. We have a family of early walkers!

What shoes did we get?
An adorable pinky corrally coloured pair with a t-bar strap.

What size is the little princess?
3G – pretty average for a baby her size.

Why golden boot?
They offer a little book with their picture in at a first shoe fitting so I have a lovely picture book and photo for Amelia’s memory box. They also offer shoes at lower prices than other shoe shops and their staff are wonderful. Amelia tried on 4 or 5 pairs in three different sizes. They don’t sell the shoes until they are completely happy with the fit.

Does Amelia like her shoes?
The honest answer to that is no! She likes having her tootsies free and always pulls her socks off. But she is getting used to the shoes. To start with she went back to tip toe walking but is now flat footed again.

I couldn’t recommend golden boot enough for baby and children’s shoes. If you live locally then pop in with your little ones. This post wouldn’t be complete without a picture of Amelia’s new shoes. Getting pictures of her sitting still is becoming a serious challenge so apologies for the quality.

Titchyprincess Amelia Skye first shoes

 

First shoes, Golden boot, titchy princess

Lunch with Appy kids co

Lunch with Appy kids co

Now that Amelia is nearly walking and always talking, packing lunch for trips out is a must. She’s a growing little lady and enjoys her food.

Trips to the park and days at nanny’s mean Amelia’s lunch box comes out. Something I always put in there is a juice pouch from Appy kids co.

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Why Appy kids co?
Appy kids co pouches are decorated with popular cartoon characters – Amelia’s current stash are peppa pig and paw patrol themed. They come in a variety of flavours and contain no added sugar, no GMOs and no gluten. They are also vegan certified. This makes them perfect for little ones with special dietary needs.

What flavours do they come in?
Amelia’s favourite is tropical but they also come in orange juice, apple juice and mixed berry juice and summer berry juice.

Where can I buy them?
Appy juice co drinks are stocked in a variety of places, online and in stores. Tesco, Spar, b & m, poundworld, toys r us and whole foods all stock the juice drinks. Online they can be purchased from amazon and Ocado.

Will they break the bank?
Definitely not! Depending which pouches and where you purchase them from, Appy kids co drinks are no more than £2. (The cartons come in packs of 3 and the pouches come in cartons of 5)

So next time you’re going out for a picnic don’t forget to pack these tasty drinks

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

‘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.

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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.

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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.

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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  ❤️

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*** 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:

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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 ***