Busy Busy Busy

Amelia and I have been so busy I haven’t had chance to post in a long time. Between work, uni exams and the little lady turning one there’s just been no time to sit down and write.

Our little baby is turning into her own person. She’s got such a caring nature and always shares her food – even if you don’t want her chewed up raisins!
She runs around everywhere scaring the life out of my mum – her Nan- on a regular basis.
It wouldn’t be a post about Amelia if it didn’t involve food. Our princess is ruled by food! I can’t identify her favourite snack because she will eat everything and anything. She loves beans at the moment and picks out the kidney beans and butter beans in her dinners first.
We let her lose at nanny’s with an ice cream the other day. Below is the aftermath!

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The weather has been lovely the last few weeks and Amelia has thoroughly enjoyed spending time outside. She is particularly pale like me so sun cream is a must but seeing her little smiling face as she runs round is worth the tantrum she has when I’m trying to cover her in lotion.

We’ve made more cakes than I can include photos of – Amelia’s favourite pet is stealing a melted chocolate covered spoon and running away. Below is the latest one:

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We’ve gone to soft play, to the park, to the zoo and to lots of places I’ve probably forgotten to mention.

(the featured image is off our comfy area where we spent one Saturday snuggled up with snacks and watching movies – obviously Amelia was more interested in the snack part but we tried)
I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone!
There isn’t really a specific point to this post. More just to say that it’s okay to prioritise different things for a while. And for me enjoying my time with my baby girl has been more important than writing.

Balancing Baby, Uni and Work

Balancing Baby, Uni and Work

Not so long ago, when our parents were younger, when our grandparents were having babies it was the normal thing to have the Mum stay at home and look after the babies.

Now that’s not so common. People are having babies younger and money is a lot tighter. Our parents were buying houses in their twenties, my generation will be lucky if they can ever leave rented properties. Whatever the reason a lot of mums and dads are now balancing family life with work and studying.

I am a full time student and will be returning to work part time very soon. It’s important to be organised to make this work. What do I do to try and make it easier?

1- pack Amelia’s changing bag and lay out her clothes the night before
2- check my timetable for the week and save the dates on my phone
3- take advantage of any help offered. My mum said when I was pregnant that she’d be happy to look after Amelia if needed so we have a standing arrangement that she has Amelia one morning a week whilst I’m at uni.
4- my university has a policy for extending dead lines. If you need an extension and your uni will allow it then ask! It is not a weakness to ask for extra time.
5- I always cook too much. Instead of throwing it away I make up extra meals and freeze them. When I’m late back from uni we can just stick them in the microwave which makes life a lot easier.
6- keep a text book in each room – this way if Amelia falls asleep on me I have a book I can reach and can catchup on reading whilst she naps.
7- make time for a five minute break even if all you do is sit and have a mug of hot chocolate!

I’m always looking for other ways to make student Mum and work life easier so if you have any tips please comment!

Lucy XX

traditional Christmas dinner or something else?

Traditional Christmas Dinner or Something Else?

Christmas dinner. Most people imagine turkey with all the trimmings. Roast potatoes. Stuffing. Red cabbage. Brussels sprouts. Roast parsnips. Cauliflower cheese. Pigs in blankets. Gravy.

But are you a family that chooses something else?

Over the years my family have had a variety of meats for dinner; turkey, chicken, gammon, lamb, beef, duck. (Not that it really affects me as I don’t eat the meat part.)
But regardless of the protein the rest of the dinner is pretty much the same.

Some ideas I’ve heard recently:

Fry up
A surprising number of people have a huge cooked breakfast for their Christmas dinner. This isn’t my favourite choice but it’s definitely an option for dealing with a Boxing Day morning hangover. (I’m sure plenty of people have a fry up for breakfast and then a roast turkey dinner on Christmas Day. It doesn’t need to be one or the other.)

Curry
This gives you a variety of meat options, just like roast dinner. It also means you can all pick your own spice strength and type of rice. Poppadoms and naan bread are easily ordered or bought from the supermarket. In fact you could easily buy a variety of curry dishes from Tesco or Sainsbury’s and heat them up. Much simpler than roasting an entire turkey.

Fish and chips
The old English favourite is another popular choice. I’m sure we will have a takeaway at some point over the festive period but for me it’s a roast dinner all the way.

Here’s a picture of Christmas dinner last year, cooked by me and my mum. Last year I was over 20 weeks pregnant. This year I have a 7 and a half month old little monkey.

Christmas dinner 2016

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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December first, advent calendars and costa

 

What have we done to mark the first day of December?
We have put our tree up. Ours is green with red and gold decorations. I’ve been collecting pretty decorations, the sparklier the better. We also have a snow filled one with ‘Amelia Skye’ written on it, to mark Amelia’s first Christmas.

We have opened our advent calendars – Amelia has a chocolate peppa pig one, her favourite cartoon. I thought about getting her the toot toot advent calendar with the toys in but decided it was a bit expensive for her first Christmas when she doesn’t understand what’s going on yet. I’ll get her one next year when she’s bigger.

Amelia and I walked up to see the big Christmas tree in Aylesford retail park. We also stopped in costa so that I could get my favourite Black Forest hot chocolate – Amelia had a little bit on her dummy, which she loved. It snowed for a while yesterday and is still really cold so I’m hoping for more snow in the lead up to Christmas.

Amelia’s Daddy is 26

It’s Titchyprincess’s daddy’s birthday today. In previous years I’ve gone for pretty big presents (a trip to Poland, a day at Harry Potter studio tour) but this year we went for smaller, cuter presents. As this is the first of his birthdays that we have spent together in our own home we put up banners and balloons and Amelia helped me bake a cake yesterday. I know, it is not perfect but it tastes nice and is covered in chocolate and butter cream so rob isn’t complaining.

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Amelia’s present to her daddy was this cushion. The case is a personalised one from studio and the cushion itself I found in dunelm mill – what good is a cushion without a middle?

Moustache yah ion from studio

One of the sillier presents I bought Rob:

Monster socks from primark

Monster socks! They are from Primark and Amelia is mesmerised by them thanks to all the bright colours. I never seem to get out as many socks as I put in the washing so I’m sure I will loose at least one of these socks in the near future. But they are fun while they last.

 

Amelia’s daddy really loves hot chocolate so I made him up a box of different instant hot chocolates (this translates to me going in Sainsbury’s and filling a basket with a dozen different sachets). Rob has already tried the wispa gold hot chocolate and Amelia is fascinated with the box I wrapped them all in.

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There always has to be a joke present! I found this man apron at littlewoods . The funniest part of it is that rob will probably use it to avoid getting his clothes wet when he does the washing up.

 

We’ve spent the morning having breakfast – sausages and eggy bread – and watching the snow!!! out the window. It’s been a very relaxed morning and Rob liked all his presents. Yes he had more than the ones I’ve mentioned, but trying to take multiple photos with Amelia grabbing at everything is impossible.

It’s the first of December tomorrow and the birthday banners will be replaced with tinsel and baubles. I can’t wait.

Halloween Feast

This week seems to have flown by. I had intended to write about my mini Halloween feast the day after Halloween but it just didn’t happen.

We had so many pumpkins from our little pumpkin picking outing that I decided to try and make pumpkin soup. Essentially all I did was chop up the pumpkin and an onion, cook them in butter and add stock. Obviously I added salt and pepper and blended it but it was otherwise really simple. And it was actually really nice. I also used the pumpkin seeds and roasted them with chilli.

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My mini Halloween feast included a bowl of pumpkin soup, devil dog courtesy of Tesco (black coloured hot dogs with green coloured ketchup), soldiers (sticks of toast), sweet potato fries and witches fingers (mozzarella sticks in a green bread crumb coating with tomato relish). It looked really good and Halloweeny and tasted really nice too.

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I still have a few pumpkins left so may do some pumpkin spaghetti or a pumpkin pie. Halloween this year was so much fun and Amelia looked adorable in her little pumpkin vest and green cardigan.

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Last Minute Halloween Prep

The day before Halloween and I realised Amelia didn’t have a trick or treat bucket and that I hadn’t bought any little sweet treats for any potential trick or treaters. (Unlikely as I live in a block of flats with a buzzer system but there are little ones living in the other 5 flats in my block so you never know).

I go to university in Canterbury so I was able to pop into the high street after my lecture. I walked in and out of a few shops and all the Halloween shelves were a mess with people rummaging through the remaining items. Finally I went in Poundland and found that they still had an entire aisle of Halloween fancy dress items, banners, decorations, paper plates and bags.

Does anyone else find that they go in a ship for one thing and come out with three? I’m really bad for doing that. I tried to be sensible this time as we really didn’t need anything else but I still came out with a little extra halloween treat for Amelia.

How cute is this halloween themed peppa pig sticker set? Amelia, like most little ones, adores peppa pig and sits giggling in her chair watching it most mornings. She will probably try and eat the sticker book but I couldn’t resist getting it anyway.

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Proud Mumma

Mum and I took Amelia shopping yesterday afternoon. By the end of our trip we were all hungry so decided to stop in Poppyfields pub and rotisserie on the way home. When we got there Amelia was asleep in her car seat so we carried her inside in it. The mother at the table across from us had my sympathy immediately. Her little girl was having a major tantrum, chucking anything in reach of her high chair on the floor. Menus, cutlery, napkins, sauce, chips, everything.

Mum ordered a hunters chicken and I ordered macaroni cheese – a pleasant surprise as on my last visit the main vegetarian option was a beetroot curry.

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By the time our food came out Amelia was awake and I prepared for a tantrum like the Mum on the other table had had to deal with. But Amelia was an angel. She sat in her high chair and happily ate her Ella’s kitchen sweet potato and parsnip purée. I was so proud of her. My tiny baby all grown up eating her dinner in her high chair.

Day 26

Today’s post is a late one as Amelia and I have been out all day. She has spent most of the day aggravating her birthday twin Lily. Even in the trolley next to each other Amelia somehow managed to kick her in the back of the head which Lily actually seemed to find amusing. I’m sure when they are older they will be best friends.

Halloween is in a few days and we have already done the pumpkin picking and I have found Amelia a little Halloween outfit. To make Halloween a bit more of an event I was looking for something special to do for dinner and I came across these in tescos. Amelia isn’t quite big enough to eat them yet but I’ve no doubt little ones would love these.