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Me & Mine | October 2016

Monday, 31 October 2016


Happy Halloween! Of course I had to use pictures from our trip to the pumpkin patch for this month's Me and Mine pictures. I know it's a bit of a blogger cliche, and I'm pretty sure my Instagram has been filled with nothing but pumpkins this month. But it was honestly SO much fun, and we picked up some fantastic pumpkins - waaay better than getting on at the supermarket.

October was another busy month, and we ended it with a family holiday in Norfolk. It was definitely what we needed, especially with Jack working such long hours these past few weeks. It really made me realise just how much I miss him during the week. I love nothing more than exploring and adventuring with my little family, and it's just not the same when he's not there!



I know my two are really going to miss him even more when he goes back to work today. Parker especially. He became daddy's little shadow this month; all I've heard shouted recently is 'daaaaaddddyyy'! It's so lovely to see them get such a close bond, especially with P being a mamas boy for so long.

I cannot wait to make more family memories in November. We've got birthdays, parties, fireworks and and more to look forward to - Indiana turns 3 on the 26th which still isn't sinking in for me. She's not allowed to grow up!

The Me and Mine Project

Easy Halloween Cupcakes!

Sunday, 30 October 2016


We got into the Halloween spirit this week, and baked up a storm in the kitchen! These halloween cupcakes were SO simple to make, and as most ingredients are ones you have in the cupboards anyway there's no reason not to give them a go.

We picked up this little cake kit from Homesense a few weeks ago. You could easily make the little picks yourself at home with some toothpicks and some artistic skills (the later I lack so a kit was definitely needed!)


You will need:
200g (8oz) caster sugar
200g (8oz) butter, softened
4 large eggs
200g (8oz) self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder - we actually didn't have this while away, but they turned out fine without it!
Chocolate chips - we used a mixture of milk and white chocolate (Optional)

This makes 24 cupcakes, however you can adjust the quantities to suit.


Process:

1. Preheat the oven to 190c and pop the cases in the muffin tray


2. Cream together the butter and sugar

3. Add the eggs


4. Slowly add the flour until all the ingredients are combined

5. Add the chocolate chips / dried fruit if necessary


6. Divide the mixture between the cases and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden



Decorate and enjoy!

As the recipe is so simple, there's no need to leave little ones out of the process. Indiana loved putting the cases in the tray - a great activity where you can teach counting too. She was a little over enthusiastic with the egg (it ended up the wall haha), but she did it! And both kids (aged 2 and 14 months) favourite bit was mixing the ingredients together.

Just remember... It will get messy. They won't be absolutely perfect. But you will have so much fun, and plenty of tasty treats to enjoy at the end! So give it a go, even if it isn't for Halloween.

Mummy & Me | October 2016

Thursday, 27 October 2016

It wasn't until I was writing up this post that I realised I haven't taken many pictures this month! I'm not sure if it's because we've all been ill, or that we've just been too busy at the weekends to capture any nice ones. But it's given me a push to try and get some better ones next month! 

When I look at these pictures though, I actually love them! Real moments quickly captured are sometimes much more special than posed shots.





Next month I'll be mama to a three year old, as Indiana's birthday is on the 26th November. It's so cliche, but the years really do fly by when you have little ones. I just wish I had Bernard's Watch (anyone else remember that programme?), so I could just cherish these moments a little longer!

Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

Weaning your Own Way | Guest Post

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

I absolutely love sharing my weaning posts on my blog. However I'm well aware it's very biased towards the baby led weaning route. Today I have Sarah from Toby Goes Bananas over on my blog, to share her weaning stories. Because everyone weans their own way...


I'm sure regular readers of Emily's blog will know she is a big advocate of baby led weaning. So when she asked me to write a post for her, I thought it would be a great idea to talk to you a little bit about some of the other options when it comes to weaning, and share my experiences with you. 

Weaning seems to be one of those things that can cause a huge amount of stress and worry for parents. Up to the point when you decide to start weaning your baby has survived on nothing but milk. If you're lucky your baby might have a regular routine, and I know with my eldest son Toby, when I first started weaning I couldn't work out where I supposed to fit solid food into his fairly rigid routine of bottles and naps. 

Current NHS guidelines suggest waiting until your baby is 6 months old before you begin weaning. Unless there is some medical reason why early weaning is recommended for your baby then it really does seem easiest to wait until 6 months (or thereabouts). 

So when you start, what are your options?

Traditional Weaning 
Traditional weaning for me conjures up images or puréed carrot and mushed up banana. To be honest if you are waiting until 6 months there is really no need for purée - at this age your baby should be able to cope with lumpy food straight away. If you do want to go down the purée route you can either make your own or buy them ready made. Having now weaned two children I have only made purée myself once and I decided life is just too short!

Baby Led Weaning
The idea behind baby led weaning is that your baby eats whatever you're eating (you just need to watch the salt and sugar content) and feeds themselves. If you are going for full on baby led weaning this means that you don't spoon feed them at all - some people give their babies loaded spoons, where you put the food on the spoon but give it to the baby to get in their mouth. 

Something Else...
When I first starting weaning Toby I had read about baby led weaning and I thought it sounded like a great idea, but when it came to it I just couldn't handle the mess! I was getting really stressed watching him put porridge in his hair, or smearing yogurt all over his high chair, so end the end we just took bits from the different weaning methods and we found our own way.

For us that meant that anything Toby could pick up without making too much mess (things like toast, veg sticks, fruit, pasta) he fed himself, and anything that was messy I fed him with a spoon. He still ate the same as us but without getting covered in food and we were all happy! From about 18 months, when he got better at using a fork and spoon himself, he took over the feeding and now he's a three year old who eats most things and is perfectly capable of feeding himself.

A mixture of different weaning methods worked well for us and so when it came to weaning my youngest son, Gabe, I thought we would do the same thing. But as everyone tells you, all babies are different and what works for one won't necessarily work for another. Gabe has had much more shop bought baby food than Toby ever had. I think this started because when we started weaning with Gabe, Toby was at nursery four afternoons a week and eating there, we would eat after the boys were in bed so it meant I had to find Gabe something to eat on his own. It soon became apparent that although Gabe would eat finger foods like breadsticks and rice cakes, he would just spit out anything more lumpy than stage 2 baby food.

It is only now at 14 months that Gabe is starting to eat the same foods as the rest of us and move away from baby food pouches. He did surprise us all a month or so ago though by picking up a fork and using it really well, even though he had mostly been fed by me up to that point.

My point is that it doesn't have to be a straight choice between purée or baby led weaning. You can mix and match and just find a way for weaning to work for you and your baby. And just remember they all end up in the same place eventually - there aren't many five year olds still being spoon fed purée!

I totally agree with Sarah - you've got to find what works for you and don't worry about what everyone else is doing! Thank you so much for popping over Sarah. You can find her blog here, where she shares posts about life as a busy mummy of two boys! Also make sure to follow her on Twitter and Facebook if you aren't already.

Surviving Pregnancy with Kids in Tow | Guest Post

Monday, 24 October 2016

Pregnancy is never easy. But pregnancy when you've already got a little person to look after? That's tough! How do you get through this though? Fellow mama Katy has popped over to share her top tips for surviving pregnancy with children in tow...


I am currently 22 weeks pregnant and have three children already ages 6, 5 and 3. When I gave birth to my 3 year old I actually had three children under the age of 3 - so I feel like I have perfected 'surviving' whilst pregnant with children! Here's some things I've learnt:

  • The most important one is do not feel guilty! If you children are happy, safe and fed really what else matters?! On the days you can't drag your head from the toilet long enough to do anything stimulating or educational (or even 'fun'), do not beat yourself up! That's okay! Fun mum will return I promise, I did and I kept my sanity which is way more important. 
  • If you are feeling good, whether its for an hour or a day try and get prepared for the next day, two days or week. Whether it's preparing slow cooker meals for the freezer, batch making sandwiches and freezing them or laying out their clothes for the week ahead. Every little helps and taking advantage of the times you are feeling good, will make the time you are crippled with sickness, etc so much easier to survive!
  • Choose your battles and choose your chores! If it's a difference between doing the dishes (those things everyone needs to eat) or doing the ironing... let's face it, kids make it look like you haven't ironed five minutes after putting something on! 
  • It's totally okay to ask for help! Give your husband a list of chores, ask your mother or mother in law, sister, best friend or anybody to give you a hand. Especially if they offer! We all naturally go to say no, but really will your friend stop being your friend if you say yes and ask her to whip the hoover around, or shove some washing in the dryer for you? If that would effect your friendship then they aren't true friends. Let's face it, you'd return the favour wouldn't you?
  • You don't need to be Jamie Oliver! Yes healthy balanced and nutritional meals are important, but you can provide that without all the faff and fuss that some fancier meals come with! One of my favourite meals to make in the early days when I was suffering with morning sickness with my daughter was chicken, rice and veg with a glass of milk. And you know what, my kids loved it. Win win! There were no strong smells while cooking and it was all easy to do! 
  • Take time for yourself as well. Whatever you need, whether it's a quiet bath in peace to ease achey joints, a quiet five minutes to sip some water and wish away nausea or an hour on the sofa enjoying a good book or TV programme. Take time to prepare things that make you feel happy, organised and in control. This was a big thing for me as I find organising makes me a happier momma. If I know that the lunches are done, the clothes are ready and I have everything I need in place and order I am a much happier person!

These are just a few of my top tips. But ultimately, know its okay to know your body's limits and to be a little selfish sometimes.

I think these are fantastic tips, and I think I did nearly every one of these myself - especially asking for help. Thank you to Katy for coming over and sharing. You can find Katy's blog here, and make sure to pop over to her Youtube channel as well, where she's documenting her current pregnancy!

Pumpkins, Blog Love & Dinosaur Leggings | #LittleLoves

Friday, 21 October 2016

Happy Fri-yay, at laaaaast!

Can you believe we've all been poorly again this week? I love Autumn but the change in season really does bring all the germs with it. Thankfully we're all on the mend, and just in time too as we're off on holiday tomorrow!

This week has been aaaaall about the pumpkins. I fear I'm a little obsessed (I apologise if you follow me on Instagram haha). We had the best time pumpkin picking, and I've got both of my two pumpkin costumes for the big day too.


Anyway, onto this week's #littleloves...

Read

Time for some more blog love!

First up is Fran (Whinge Whinge Wine). I absolutely loved this post about selling things online. It's so true that people will sell almost anything these days!

I absolutely adore Alice (New Young Mum) photography, so this post was another favourite this week. I love that you can see Autumn develop as you go through each photo - so beautiful!

Of course finally I have to mention Lucy (Dear Beautiful) and the Sibling Project. I adore this linky and love seeing all the littles every month. If you don't join in already it's definitely one I'd recommend - if only to make sure you capture your little ones every month!

Watched

We were over on The Parent Pod this week in our very first video! Myself and some fab fellow bloggers shared some easy halloween craft ideas. I actually got loads of inspiration myself - I especially loved the stained glass window decorations.

Heard

Parker is becoming more vocal every day, and actually never stops talking. I love hearing him and Indie chatting away to each other - and I'm really going to embrace it before the siblings squabbling comes along.

Made

Lots and lots of lists. Have I done any packing though? Nope!

Wore

I'm a huge fan of Lamb & Bear leggings, so of course when Alex advertised a sample sale I had to get my two matching pairs! These are Parker's 3rd pair now, and they're just as gorgeous as the previous designs. Keep an eye out, as I'll be doing a review of them very soon!


I also picked these gorgeous little hair grips up on our recent trip to Primark. The three pack came with this sweet little ghost, a pumpkin and a witches hat. They're perfect for Indiana and I don't think they'll be being packed away, even when Halloween is over!


And Lastly...
As I mentioned above, we're off on holiday tomorrow! A week away with no wi-fi, no work and hopefully no worries. Please just keep your fingers crossed it doesn't rain all week.

Have a lovely week!
LittleLoves

Wicked Wednesday {19.10.2016}

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Indiana turns three next month, and she is most definitely not my little baby anymore. She's sweet, she's sassy and my goodness is she a little madam! She's now deciding her own outfits (and doing a better job than Jack at it), and when I ask for a nice photo? I get this...





Where did my baby go? And where on earth did she learn those poses?!

brummymummyof2

Pumpkin Picking at Pick Your Own Pumpkins, Ashford

Monday, 17 October 2016


Like many others this weekend we wrapped up warm, and headed to our local pick your own pumpkin patch! From a quick bit of research I found two in the Kent area - one in Maidstone which has only just opened, and then one in Sevington, near Ashford. We opted for the Ashford farm after being recommend it by Harriet, and it really didn't disappoint!

Easily located (it's just off the M20 and well signposted), we parked up and got ready for our pumpkin picking adventure. This was our first year, as honestly I never even realised these kind of places existed in the UK!

Luckily it was dry so wellies weren't really a necessity, but I would definitely recommend them regardless - also brings gloves, as some tops of the pumpkins were a little on the prickly side.




From the second we arrived the kids were in their element. A HUGE field to explore, absolutely filled to the brim with bright orange pumpkins. Wheelbarrows were provided to help you with collecting (although these can get used up pretty quickly if it's busy).

Round ones, flat ones, white ones, bobbly ones - I don't think I've ever seen so many different pumpkins before. Much more exciting than the ones you can buy at the shops!

After 5 minutes we had collected nearly a full wheelbarrow load already. The kids were collecting every pumpkin they could manage - even Parker knew what to do! - and were just throwing them in.







Despite the car park being quite full, the field really didn't feel busy at all. With so many hidden gems to find as well, it's definitely worth exploring as far as you can! We eventually managed to reduce our wheelbarrow to just the pumpkins we wanted to actually buy - a very hard task with kids coming from all angles secretly throwing them in!

Even with all the extras you don't really need to worry about spending a lot of money though. Prices start at £1 (or as low as 50p for the extra little ones), and only go up to £4 for even the biggest 'Monsters'. We picked up two decent sized pumpkins for carving, and 3 little ones for a grand total of £7.50 - such a bargain!




If you're planning on visiting I'd definitely make it soon, as I can imagine it's only going to get busier! Entry and the car park are free, you just pay for what you pick. They also have reasonably priced hot drinks, a tombola and glitter tattoos on offer too. Just make sure you check out the Facebook Page for up to date information!

My Sunday Photo | Pumpkins {16.10.2016}

The Siblings Project | October

Saturday, 15 October 2016


Every morning when I go in to the littles bedroom, I'm greeted with the biggest squeezes and cheesy grins. Parker's are hardly ever aimed at me anymore though, they're all for Indiana! The second I put him down, he runs straight over to her bed and gives her the biggest snuggle and kiss. And every time it melts my heart.

We've been working more on getting these two to play together this month, and I definitely feel as if we're having progress. Indie will give Parker a toy now to let him join in, or will be a teeny bit happier to let it go if he steals ones of her toys - progress!



These two spend nearly every minute of every day together, which I definitely think plays a part in their behaviour. Parker expects Indie to be wherever he is, and when she's not he'a not happy about it. Especially if it means Indie gets to do something he can't, like get out of bed herself.

Overall it's been another lovely month with my little shadows, and I simply cannot wait for the upcoming festive season! Although has anyone got any tips to stop Indie playing so roughly? Or does everyone say 'if you sit on your brother I'll sit on you?'...


The Me and Mine Project

Top Weaning Cutlery and Dinnerware Products

Whether you plan on taking the traditional route, or want to dive into the world of baby led weaning, getting your child to understand and use cutlery and proper dinnerware can be a daunting task.

It will be messy. It may be frustrating.

But it's got to be done!

Luckily there are some fantastic products around now to make the process a whole lot easier!

1 - Divider plates are fantastic, and this one from Babymoov is extra special. It comes in a little gift box, complete with bowl, cutlery and cup! They allow you to give your child a selection of foods at the same time, so that they can decide what they want to eat - without it getting all mixed together.

2 - If you're baby led weaning you NEED an unbelieveabowl. The suction cup sticks to the table or highchair, and then you click the bowl into place. This means you can give your baby a bowl without worrying that they'll throw it across the room.

3 - When you first start weaning it's best to invest in some soft spoons. You can go for the long type if giving purees, but I prefer these ones. They're regular size (so easier for Parker to hold) but still soft for developing mouths.


4 - Once you think baby is ready to move on from bowls, these are ideal. The non-slip bottom holds the plate in place (or at least does a better job than plates without). Try sticking with plates with a rim, as these not only keep food in, but creates a little barrier which helps them with picking up food!

5 - When your baby hits 12 months you can introduce 'proper' metal cutlery.You'll find these are better at picking up food - Parker definitely gets on much better with these.

Disclosure - This post is part of my work as a Babymoov #stresslessweaning ambassador. I received certain products as part of this role.

Finding Dory, Birthday Planning & New Boots | #LittleLoves

Friday, 14 October 2016

I found this week pretty hard to write about. I'm not sure whether it's the colder weather or my anxiety playing up, but I've just not wanted to leave the house much.

We visited my sister Monday which was lovely, but that's about it. Of course we've kept busy at home, but I definitely think I need to make the most of this weekend - I just feel so much better about going out when Jack's around!

Anyway, onto this week's #littleloves...

Read

I've read a number of fab blog posts this week. I absolutely loved this one from Hannah - I wish I put more effort into my maternity wardrobe, and I soo wish I had a bump so I could enter this. So if you are expecting, make sure to go over and join in!

Watched

Indie and I had a little mummy daughter date Saturday morning at the cinema. Odeon have a fab children's movie morning at the weekend, and tickets are only £2.50 for adults and children. It's a bargain and we had loads of fun watching Finding Dory. I think I appreciated it more than she did!


I also watched Parker get his first haircut! I honestly couldn't believe he needed one already, especially as Indie was still practically bald at this age. He was such a good boy, but definitely didn't look impressed.

Heard

The most wonderful news from my sister! Okay so I've know she's pregnant for a while, but to hear about her 12 week scan, and see the little bean was so so lovely. Indiana has said she wants it to be a girl - but I don't think she really understands that that means she'll lose her place as Queen (she's currently the only girl cousin). Either way I cannot wait for squishy baby cuddles!

Made

We've been loving autumn crafts this week. Indiana made Jack a 'beautiful' card. I literally had to take the stickers out of her hand in the end, she was getting a bit too carried away haha.


We also 'made' plans for Indiana's 3rd birthday. This will be her first proper party and I'm so excited for her. Now to just think of a theme!

Wore

Boots, boots, boots! I finally got myself some new pairs, and have been living in them since. I also picked up these gorgeous Timberland style boots for P from Mothercare. 



I'm also in love with this mustard jumper I picked up in Primark too. Their Autumn range at the moment is fab - I filmed a little haul if you want to see what else I got on a recent trip.


And Lastly...
I am too excited for this weekend! We've planned to go pumpkin picking tomorrow, and fingers crossed we can capture this month's Me and Mine pictures while we're there too. Sunday will be a day of relaxing and probably getting together last minute holiday bits together... bliss!

Have a lovely week!
LittleLoves