Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Hands on

I love the hands on approach of my toddler. The spirit of 'I'm going to do everything and I'm going to do it right now' is amazing! She wants to touch and pick up everything, see what noise it makes, find out what it feel like and what it can do. You may have seen this photo before from my post about our trip to Italy so apologies for using it on the blog again, I'm not being lazy but for me it summed up this week's Sticky Fingers blog gallery theme 'hands' perfectly!

We were in Pompeii and had just spotted the first lizard of the holiday scuttling along a wall. She was so amazed! After he scurried off into hiding Squiggle announced she must make a stick lizard, (as if it was obvious and exactly what anyone else would do after seeing one). She gathered some sticks and using her very own little hands and big imagination, made her very own lizard on the path. She was very pleased with herself when he was done and skipped round it in delight! This is one of those occasions where her imagination really just caught me by surprise and is a memory I'm going to treasure.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Why why why?

My little girl hasn't quite reached the why stage yet, which is a stroke of luck, as I am not one of those people with a bank of general knowledge. I'm also not really a why person, I think as I was growing up the general theme was – well life's not always going to be fair so make the most of it – which is what I do, and enjoy it! There are somethings in life though which just shouldn't be and do deserve a massive, hands on head, "but WHY????"

Mummy Central started this great meme: after endless why's from her little ones, she's now bombarding them with some questions of her own for a change. It's our chance to join in, here are the rules:

1. Post your whys – as few or as many as you like
2. Link up your post to Mummy Central, and it would be great if you could leave a comment too
3. Tag 5 bloggers to keep this going
4. If you’re not a blogger, leave your whys as a comment below. We’d love to read them
5. Show your support by reading a few others and commenting on them

I was tagged by the lovely Debra at 'My Darlings and Me', you should really go and read her 'whys', they are fab and I could have just copied and pasted the lot as I agreed with them all! She may have noticed though, so here is my very own unplagiarised list:

For my daughter:
Why... do you take food off my plate when I have served you your own plate of the same dinner?

Why... did you tell me you didn't need a wee over and over when is soon became clear you did?

Why... is it funny to hit the telly with lego bricks / toy animals / fairy wands? You love the telly!

Why... do you love me so much when I'm always telling you what you must not do? (She is amazing, I'm such a lucky mummy)

For life in general:
Why.... after a rainy weekend is it always sunny on a Monday morning?

Why... are the baby / child sections in shops always upstairs?

Why... can I never find my keys? (I have caught my daughter playing 'I can't find my keys' a few times – that's how bad it is.)

Why... am I scared of spiders?

Why... is Piers Morgan on the television?

Too pass on the fun I tag:
Momma of Mojo
The Chaos Queen
A Mummy's View
Cupcake Mumma
Busy Bee

Why? Because I thought it might give you a giggle x

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Styling my tot from the gorgeous Next collection

This is my entry into the Next competition being hosted by the fantastic 'All Baby Advice' blog. The challenge? To style an outfit from this season's Next's maternity or childrenswear ranges. As I'm not pregnant I have chosen to style an outfit for my little girl – it was so had to narrow down my choices as the range is full of beautiful items!

This is my chosen outfit and it's ready for anything the British summer might throw at us! I've had so much fun doing this, I hope you can tell! x

Why I love this outfit

I fell in love with this playsuit as soon as I saw it, it is perfect for messing about in the garden or for a family day at the seaside. I love how it is all about fun and has a casual feel, but at the same time it is really stylish and super cute! It has gorgeous detailing around the buttons and looks like it would be really comfortable, which is very important when you're busy playing. As much as I love girly clothes it's nice to see something still really pretty that isn't necessarily bright pink. It's perfect for little adventurers like my gorgeous girl. Spot on Next!

Truthfully we're not great with keeping hats on but this one would definitely be worth the risk. It's amazingly cute isn't it? I can't think of a better way to keep the sun off in style!

Ah fun summer days and long lazy evenings... you know when you've been out and about all day at the beach playing and then you get back to the campsite in the evening and the sun is starting to go down? I just want something really soft and snuggly to put on my daughter and this cardigan would be perfect! It's made of 100% cotton so you know it is going to be great quality and lovely and soft. My little girl is pretty argumentative when it comes to coats but if you present her with a 'jacket' she's happy as anything, so this would work really for us. Am loving the cool nautical look it has going on too, it really has that summer feel!

I have been looking for some little runabout shoes that I can keep by the backdoor so that Squiggle can pop them on quickly when she wants to go out in the garden. These have Velcro straps which are perfect as she loves putting her shoes on by herself at the moment and these would be really easy to manage. The bow makes them very sweet too and I think they would go really well with any summer outfit, not just this one!


Yellow Duffle Coat
Well this is England and although we hope for sun, there's bound to be some rain and plenty of wind – this mean a coat is an essential item for any outfit. I wish I could have this coat for myself, I wouldn't mind putting it on when it's so sunny in yellow. It is simply gorgeous and would cheer up any dull day. It feels me with a nice sense of nostalgia – we were always dressed in little duffle coats when we were younger and I really love these timeless styles. Plus yellow just happens to be Squiggle's favourite colour and yet something that isn't in her wardrobe!

What's the up-side of rain? PUDDLES! Puddles bring lots of smiles and giggles to our family so we always have to have wellies on hand. These boots are perfect for getting in the spirit of things, what with the Jubilee and the Olympics I think it's time to splash the Union Jack a little. Perfect for all round fun!

I hope you like my choices, I've absolutely loved putting the post together. If you are a parent blogger you should really have a go too, there is an unbelievable £500 voucher up for grabs. No really! I find Next clothes great value so this would go such a long way. I'm off to have a look at t I've absolutely loved putting the post together. Iet some more inspiration.

I'd love to hear what you think of my dream shopping spree. x

Monday, 18 June 2012

Scummy Mummy

Hurrah my kind of meme... Miss Cisco at The Ramblings of a Formerly Rock 'n' Roll Mum is uniting us slightly more scummy than yummy mummies in her alternative meme. I just filled out the Yummy Mummy meme the other day which was great fun too but I couldn't help feeling my answers weren't too high up there in the glamorous stakes.

P.s. I too had no idea what a meme was when I entered the world of blogging... I guess I still don't, but look at me – I'm meme mad I tell you!

So here it is, don't judge me:

5 Things that make me a scummy mummy

1. You'll see me on the platform in the morning looking in awe at all the ladies with their straightened hair. I'm the one with the wet hair (or icicles in the winter) who doesn't even attempt to dry it before I leave the house. By the time I reach the office, I'm the one with the frizzy mop, which is then promptly swept up in a pony tail when I catch an 'eek' glimpse in the mirror.

2. I've always got a grotty hair band around my wrist 'just in case'. Have been thinking about upgrading it to a scrunchy so as to relive my eighties days.

3. Our ironing board has been broken for well over a year – should give you a rough idea of how often I iron my clothes.

4. I've left the house a few times without realising I either have stickers stuck to my bottom, or worse, a pink bunny rabbit clip still in my hair.

5. When other lovely ladies pay me a nice compliment and ask what make my top is, I usually reply "no idea, have a look" and then bend down so they can see the label. Pretty confident that's not the work of a yummy mummy!

I can't blame being a mummy though, I have always been like this... apart from the rabbit hair clips.

Does being a little bit too lazy to think of anyone to tag right now make me scummy too? I tag anyone who reads this post and is struggling to narrow it down to 5 like I was! x

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Food for thought

How do you feel about your children's food and nutrition?

Sorry if the title is misleading, sadly I am not offering cake in return for your comments, as much as I'd love too! But I would really love to hear your opinions. The Pineapple Lounge are conducting some research into this area and are really keen to hear the views of mum's like you. It would be great to get some discussion going so please go ahead and leave your opinions, experiences, success stories and of course your not so successful stories!

Here's mine...

Starting out and worrying a little too much
I think our children's nutrition is a really important issue for most patents, after all it is all down to us to give our little ones the best healthy start in life we can – this can often weigh heavy on our minds. I have suffered quite a few spouts dinner guilt in my time and have spent many a time worrying if my daughter is getting all she needs. I started motherhood with a host of preconceived ideas on how I would feed my child – no ready-made foods or jars – why would I do this when bananas or avocados are such a delicious healthy snack. I soon got a few wake up calls and my approach to feeding my daughter quickly became more laid back, but the worry that I'm doing the best for her in terms of nutrition is always there.

When I weaned my daughter I was really keen to make up the purees myself and the ice cube technique worked well for me. I used a great Annabel Karmel cookbook as I guide and tried to give her a good mix or fruit and vegetables. I tried not to worry if she didn't take to certain things as I didn't want to make meal times an issue. I remember at first she loved everything orange: pureed carrots, swede and butternut squash. Then I heard a story about a baby that ate so much orange food her skin turned that colour and I panicked! So funny looking back.

What are your worries when approaching your children's diet?

So I gave my baby a jar of food 
When away on holiday and completely stuck for food one day, shock horror, I brought my first jar of baby food after my mum told me it would do no harm (jars just always felt unnatural and I mistrusted what was in them). Squiggle loved it and I was pretty gutted after all the effort I had been putting in but it did mellow me and helped me realise there were other options out there designed to help. I didn't always have to do everything!

I soon fell in love with Ella's kitchen pouches for when I was out and about. I loved the variety in the flavours – from butternut squash, to spinach, to fruit. I felt they hit the nail on the head with the recipes as there was a great variety of ingredients across the range. This is my main concern when feeding my little one, that she is getting enough of all the different things and not just one food group. She loved the taste and they were very practical to carry round and re-seal.

Another product I loved were the 'organix steam cooked meal' pots. The 'no junk promise' is the simple reassurance you need and I found these great for emergency in the cupboard meals.

Have you discovered any life saving products?

My happy eater
Growing up and facing new challenges 
Now she's older, I fear I'm probably less wise! She is two going on three and I struggle to find inspiration now. I want her to get a good variety of flavours to set her up for a good varied diet later in life and don't want her to become bored with her dinners. I'm lucky that she loves her greens but she doesn't like potatoes so I struggle to find something filling that isn't always pasta! I do guiltily give her chips sometimes but she's not even that bothered about eating them. Sometimes I feel like she is on the Atkins diet does anyone have this problem and have any good carb alternatives?

My other worry is meat, she loves anything with mince and is pretty good with fish but won't touch chicken, this narrows our options and leaves me stuck for ideas! I am quite fussy with the meat I buy, I'll only buy good mince and free range chicken.

Are you a free-range person or does the budget take over?

I've never worried to much about buying organic produce for her, I wonder if most mums do? Budgets have to come into the equation on that one! 

Trolley dash 
We normally hit the supermarket together on the morning of my day off and my priority is too get variety on a budget. We normally choose a couple of different varieties of fruit – I prefer it when the shops do the offers on smaller packs, e.g. 3 for £4 so you can get a selection of fruit that won't go off before you get to eat it all! I always watch out for the offers in the fruit section in case there is a chance to try something new. We then pick up some salad things as these are a always a hit and a couple of greens. We are quite good with our vegetables but I rely a lot on the good old favourites of peas and sweetcorn and I worry I have become lazy food mummy!

The rest of the shop is a bit of a minefield of confusion and I usually go with good offers I find. Sometimes I come out with no clearer idea of what we are going to eat for the next few days and usually the worry that I haven't got enough balanced meals for my daughter. In a way the puree days were easier as I had a much better idea of what she was eating and had it all ready and under control. Saying that a big bonus is that in general she can now eat what we eat and that does make life easier and we love our family roasts together. If I can't face the big supermarket and I need a quick fix I have been known to pick up something from the M&S kids range for her tea, I know they will always go down well.

Do you leave you shop satisfied you have brought the right things for your child or do you leave with worry on your mind like me?!

Top treats
We always head to the toddler aisle and I stock up on a big bag of Organix raisins and cereal bars. She LOVES these and it's important for me to have some healthier snacks on hand at all times. My biggest gripe with these things is that you can only ever get one flavour in a pack, why not mix them up so they can get more variety?

My little girl loves the kids Innocent smoothies, these are only for a treat sadly as they are very pricey! Brand wise however, they have got it right. She loves pretending to read the packaging as the cartons have pictures of all the fruit included and she loves to tell me about them. I think this is a great touch! I struggle to get my daughter to drink so am always on the lookout for products which will help.

Do you go for healthy treats or treat treats?!

Brand bugs
Are there anything brands do or say that annoy you? 
For me there aren't especially – it's their job to sell products and I have a mind of my own and my own will power against them and my toddler. 

I do get a little bugged by those 'clear' fruit drinks which are supposed to be better for children but if you taste them they actually taste really fake and unnatural and not really a flavour I would like my daughter getting used to. 

I don't especially like it when I think brands TV adverts are trying to put nutritional worries into the minds of parents, we have enough to worry about!! I have been giving my daughter toddler milk at bedtime as I thought it provided peace of mind that she was getting nutrients until my sister pointed out that they contained sugar, cows milk is fine! 

I thought a great brand touch was when Sainsbury's used to send me recipe cards to give me ideas for children's meals. This gave me lots of inspiration and was just the sort of inspiration I needed.

Sweet tooth
We are far from perfect and I don't want to spend my life worrying or looking like a neurotic mum so we do have treats. In fact if you asked my daughter her favourite foods she would probably say:

Chocolate buttons,
Petits Filous,
Bars (organix),
Spaghetti Bolognese,

luckily she doesn't get to choose! She really loves her pudding but I do struggle to come up with new ideas. She has a lot of Petits Filous / yogurts, alternated with some fruit but there must be some more options out there? 

Does anyone else have any good pudding options?

We used to get the Heinz mini tins of rice puddings or custard when she was younger but I think she has grown out of them now. 

At dinner the other night Squiggle ate one pea then announced, "I'm finished, can I have my yogurt now?" You can't avoid sweet treats – even if you don't hand them out, others will, but I don't want her sweet tooth to get out of control! 

Crunch time
Do you give your children crisps?
I went for a long time not allowing her crisps as I was mainly worried about salt content. I loved the healthy baby packs of puffed carrot or puffed tomatos which made her feel she was eating the same thing as the grown ups. Having been slipped quite a few crisps in her time she's wise now and loves them so I've relented and have occasionally been buying the children's teddy shaped crisps. The ingredients don't look too bad but I always hand them out with a big pang of guilt!

Big eyes little tummy
She doesn't know much about nutrition or healthy eating herself and I don't want it to be an issue, just something she does naturally. She will often ask for a treat but I can normally fob her off with some blueberries and she does see fruit as a treat which is great. I have however been embarrassed on quite a few occasions round peoples houses when she asks them for a biscuit or some cake! 

Have I become too complacent? Greens don't actually cancel out fat and sugar do they?

Am I way off track? I have no idea!
How do you approach food with your children? 

Please share in the comments, I'd love to know!

Little note! I am receiving a small financial bonus for writing this post but it's all my own work and views!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Yummy Mummy Meme

Thank you Milk Teeth Mummy for tagging me in this one, created by BusyBee, sorry it has taken me so long to get round to it! Here are the simple meme rules I'm passing on for anyone who's joining in:

"When answering the questions, give as much detail as possible. It’s all about the finer details, people! Leave a comment on here (BusyBeeMummyBex BlogSpot.) Tag three or more people and link to them on your blog. Tweet #yummymummy when sharing on twitter."

What is the first thing you do when you wake up?: 
On a work day, as soon as the alarm buzzes I jump straight out of the bed (speedy speedy style) and into the shower... I get up at 6.20 am and have 25 minutes to get ready so there's no time for yawning or coffee!! 

On my day off however I get woken by my little girl and then go and bring her up to my bed for a lazy cuddle, which I think we both deserve. 

Do you Shower Daily? Are you a Early Morning Shower or evening Bath type? 
I have to have my morning shower. When I was pregnant I made myself a pact that no matter what I would always have a morning shower and get dressed... no pj days for me! I do love an evening bath but I just never seem to get the chance.

Do you wear Make Up Daily? 
I don't wear hugs amounts of make up but you'll rarely catch me without mascara and a bit of eyeliner... I feel tired without it on. I only wear foundation on special occasions like weddings! I was the same before I was a mummy though, I just had neater eyeliner.

What's in your make up bag? 
Most importantly – Mascara – why do men always get the long eyelashes? Mine are pretty non-existent so this is always my essential item. At the moment I have a Clinique mascara which was a free sample from facebook. I wish I had never been sent it because I love it so much and I'm not sure I'm ever going to be able to go back to my bargain brand... clever sneaky marketing Clinique.

Next up are...

black kohl eyeliner, some pinkish/nude eye shadows, a liquid eyeliner, some glitter eyeliner, some shimmer, my favourite Estée Lauder blusher and foundation, 5 or 6 lip glosses! 

When your having a slummy Mummy day what do you normally wear? 
What I am wearing now... a very 70s old hooded sweatshirt I stole from my Dad years ago!

Nails - how often do you get them done? 
I have had my nails done once, for my wedding. I got gel nails done and I loved them but it's just an over budget luxury. I painted my nails nicely for my Mum's 60th birthday and my Nana told me if I have time to do my nails then I'm not looking after my baby properly. My Nana is awesome, I could write a book of the funny things she has said to me!

Your top tip for Tired Eyes? 
A time machine?  

Are you a Starbucks or Costa Coffee kind of girl? 
Pret, sorry! I think it's the best value and they make and bake things there which I think makes them taste fresher. I have been known to build up a few loyalty points in Costa lotta though! Oh and I LOVE Starbucks fruit toast if I'm having a bad morning on the way to work. 

How many Children do you have/want & why? 
I have one at the moment but myself am a middle child of three. I love being one of three as I have a big sister and a little brother and feel so lucky to have them. Because of this I always imagined I would have three but as the practicalities of life kick in I can see this may not be the case. I will see how it goes and be happy with the family I have!

Where is your favourite place to shop for Babies/Children's clothes? 
If money weren't an option I'd be in John Lewis, I love their baby clothes. I used to love picking up baby bits from the GAP reduced rails and have got some great bargains in the past. I think M&S and Mothercare are great for the quality/price balance and H&M is great for bargains. Since potty training I have purchased some useless pants but the best ones I found were great value from H&M. I LOVE baby/kids clothes I wish I had an endless budget to buy all the gorgeous things I see! Oh Next is good too, and Vertbaudet... I could go on...

Flats or Heels Everyday shoes are? 
I am tall so my shoes are very flat! Now I'm a bit more grown up I don't mind being taller but have found I still can't wear heels. It's too late for me – I am now so out of practise I can't walk anywhere without twisting my ankle :(

Now you need to Tag 3 People to do this : 
I tag, amummysview, lovefrommummy and thecrumbymummy

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Happy Jubilee!

We have been out and about on the first day of our Jubilee mega weekend! We had a wonderful day in Norfolk where Squiggle was playing 'who can spot the most bunting', she was very good at it!

Thanks to our TinyTigs set we made our very own bunting the day before (with a few added beads for the girlie touch) and got the house looking ready to celebrate.

We also made our very own Jubilee cakes – Squiggle decided to go with a squiggly eel motif for her ones but I think she pulled it off?!

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend, happy Jubliee!!