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.

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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.

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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)

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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?

Raspberry and white chocolate tray bake

Raspberry and white chocolate tray bake

2 eggs
4 ounces of self raising flour
4 ounces of sugar
4 ounces of butter
3 and a half ounces of white chocolate chips
3 and a half ounces of fresh raspberries

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Grease a small square baking tin by rubbing with butter and dusting with flour.

Cream the sugar and butter together. Add an egg and half the flour. Mix well and add the remaining egg and the rest of the flour. Fold in the white chocolate chips, adding the raspberries last so they don’t get to squashed.

Pour the batter into the tin and gently spread the mixture out so that the pan is evenly filled.

Cook the cake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes or until the top is golden and springy to touch.

Allow to cool and cut into pieces – I made mine into 9 good sized squares.

This recipe would also work with strawberries and milk chocolate or could be used to fill cupcake cases.

I served mine with squirty cream and extra raspberries

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(This recipe is my own and so are my pictures.)

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

Treasure the Little Things

These days people are so quick to wish their lives away; can’t wait for the weekend, can’t wait to finish school, can’t wait for my holiday, can’t wait for my baby to sleep through the night.

The Earth has been here for more years than any of us can begin to fathom. We are here for so little time in comparison.

I am making a conscious effort not to wish Amelia’s childhood away. Every time she wakes in the night I don’t think of it as an annoyance or an inconvenience. It’s what baby’s do. Instead I let her snuggle into bed next to me and am grateful that I am that comfort for her.

Every time she smiles I treasure it, equally when she cries I love cuddling her to make it better.

My titchy princess is growing up so quickly already. She’s sitting, eating proper food, trying to crawl, jumping in her jumperoo. As I write this she is asleep on my lap.

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So take the time to cuddle them a bit longer, give them that attention they are craving. Because they won’t be small forever.

Babies Diary

When I was contacted about ‘diaryzapp’ the app I was excited. I am always on Instagram and Twitter and love sharing things about Amelia. I hadn’t heard of this app before but when I started reading about it I couldn’t wait to download it. It’s aimed at little ones and their families, meaning it’s very colourful and easy to use. The app was designed by a family for other family’s , largely thanks to an idea their son Noah came up with.

Diaryzapp is a kind of online diary. You can write, draw and include pictures on each page. When the pages are complete you can share them with your buddies. These are people you invite via email who can then view what your little ones have been up to. It is all password protected so very safe and this prevents strangers from being able to look at the diary. Our first invite was to my mum. Amelia’s nanny loves seeing what she’s been up to.

When you open the app you get to design a cartoon monster type character, one of the ‘zappicons’ and give them a name. You can choose from a variety of body parts, picking the arms, the eyes, the torso shape and a number of other add ons. You can also change the colour of each body part you add. Below is an image of Amelia’s zappicon. ( please excuse the quality of the image, it was taken on my phone from the iPad screen so is not of the best quality, but wanted to include an image of Amelia’s character)

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Obviously I did this for Amelia – although she did touch the screen enough to draw a picture, read scribble – but if your children are older they could do this themselves with your help. You can have up to five different ‘zappers’ so if you have more than one child they can all take a turn. The character sits at the bottom of the screen and helps you through the app with little speech bubbles containing instructions and tips. After a number of days you unlock a new feature, the first one we unlocked was a photo icon.

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We have been using the app for nearly two weeks now and I am delighted with it. It’s so easy to use and brightly coloured. At only £1.99 it’s very affordable too. (For apple users it is available from the App Store and android users can find it in their store too)

My only complaint is that I wish I had had it sooner! As Amelia gets bigger she will be able to use it herself and I am so excited to see what she will add to her diary. The app is linked with photobox so it is really easy to have the diary printed or turned into a variety of other photo products. The mugs and photo cushions would make wonderful gifts for relatives and friends, nanny’s, grandads, aunties and uncles. Definitely worth considering as Christmas gifts. If you are stuck for ideas for baby’s first Christmas, have a look at my post here.

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Overall I was very impressed with this app. Online safety is something we need to be increasingly aware of and diaryzapp is one way in which we can know our children are safe online, thanks to the passwords and buddy systems.

***I was sent this app to review. Images, unless otherwise stated, were provided by the company ***

Mum Excitement

Anyone who has had children will know exactly what I mean when I say completely different things excite you once you’ve had a baby. The first month of their life you are just delighted if you get five minutes to shower and as they get bigger you are just as happy when you realise you remember to put the extra nappies in the changing bag.

Now Amelia is bigger and we have our own flat there are bigger but more ‘boring’ things that excite me. Take today for example. Me and Amelia went out on our usual walk to the shops and I found a piece of kitchen equipment I had wanted for ages. A steamer.

I know. It’s funny. I’m 21 and excited about buying myself a steamer. But I love cooking for my little family. I walked back with it balanced on Amelia’s pushchair with a smile on my face. No doubt when Rob sees it he will laugh.

When I was little my Nan always made bacon pudding in her steamer, bacon and stuffing wrapped in a suet pastry. I can’t wait to try and make my own vegetarian version this evening.

What ‘mum’ things have you got excited about?

All Things Autumnal

Autumnal

I reread that word a few times wondering if I had spelt it correctly.

There’s so many lovely things to see and do in Autumn. There’s all the beautiful colours; green grass, red and brown fallen leaves, early sunsets, orange pumpkins, red skies in the morning.

As I’ve mentioned previously I try and take Amelia for a walk everyday so that she can get some fresh air. I love wrapping her up in her little coat and hat, tucking the blankets round her in her pram.

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She is so alert now and loves looking around. There are so many trees around our area and with the leaves falling off they look a little different everyday. It makes it so interesting for Amelia, giving her something new to look at every day.

Aside from the gorgeous autumnal colours of the outdoors there are also some beautiful coloured clothes about for the season. Amelia hasn’t got many clothes for the winter and all the cosy little jumpers and woolly tights that are now in shops are perfect for making her look cute and keeping her warm. I may even be able to find us matching jumpers.

I would love to take Amelia pumpkin picking. I know she’s not big enough to understand yet but she really likes people watching and the bright colour of the pumpkins would really catch her attention.

 

 

Birthday Planning

I am 21 in 3 days and this birthday is nothing like I expected it to be when I was imagining it a few years back.

I had imagined a big party or a night out in London. But now I have Amelia that couldn’t sound less appealing. Why on earth would I want to spend loads of money on getting drunk and stay out all night when I could spend that time and money on my daughter?

I do have a few things planned though. I got my hair done yesterday as a little treat to myself which I’m still feeling a little bad about as I could have spent the money on Amelia. But I hadn’t had a hair cut in over a year and Amelia has everything she needs.

Friday my mum is taking Amelia and I shopping so I can pick some new clothes – since pregnancy nothing I own fits quite right as I I now weigh less than I did before I got pregnant. (On a side not if anyone ever tells you to throw away all your smaller sized clothes when you’re pregnant because they will never fit again don’t listen to them. 2 weeks after Amelia was born I was back in all my prepregnancy clothes and would have had to spend a fortune on new ones. Even if you don’t fit in them that quick, you may do eventually so may as well keep them just in case.) We will most likely make a day of it and get some lunch too. Lakeside shopping centre is a bit of a drive from us so we intend to make the most of the trip.

Saturday Rob, Amelia and I are planning to go out for breakfast just the 3 of us and Saturday evening I am going for a drink with two girl friends, which we have planned early so that I can be back for my baby girl.

On my actual birthday we are going out for a meal with my mum and her partner and my brother and his girlfriend. But before that I intend to spend the day in my pyjamas with my little princess whilst we wait for her daddy to get home from work.

What do you do for your birthdays now you have little ones?

Afternoon Tea

Day 11 and so far I have managed to post everyday, granted one of those was a guest post so I might have cheated slightly.

Before having Amelia and during my pregnancy I baked a lot. Some people spend money on makeup or jewellery. I spent my money on ingredients for brownies, flapjacks, birthday cakes ect.

I made these cupcakes in little teacup cases to use as part of an afternoon tea. (I actually made 18 cupcakes but the other cases weren’t as cute.) They were easy to make and I used the same recipe as this one, only I swapped the blueberries for the rind and juice of two lemons.

Amelia tried to help me which mainly consisted of trying to take the whisk out of the bowl and chew on it. They turned out looking rather pretty!

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Meal Time Fun Halloween Style

So I was sitting on the floor trying to coax an unhappy, tired titchy princess into having a nap, wondering what to write about for todays post when I found this months issue of the free magazine Tesco give out in stores. How did it end up on the floor, I am sure you are wondering? Well for some unknown reason, probably because I was half asleep, yesterday I decided to unpack the shopping onto the floor in our room and when Rob helped me put it away the magazine had got left on the floor.

This months the magazines theme is, unsurprisingly, Halloween. I’ll be honest, the doughnuts pictured on the front were what made me open it. I flicked through it, hoping to reach the doughnut page quickly, and instead found myself reading all the other recipes. If you are planning a Halloween party then definitely go and find yourself a copy of the magazine as there are loads of really good ideas for buffet food and cakes in there.

Whoever wrote this months issue must have done so with me in mind, as there is an entire segment dedicated to vegetarian food and a recipe for ‘mini brain fondue’ – and who doesn’t love a big pot of melted cheese to dip their food in?

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I will definitely be trying out the recipe, my one attempt at Halloween themed cooking. If you have older babies this would also be a good way to get them to eat their veggies!