I have really fallen for this super stylish kids clothing boutique, Greenberry Kids.
The boutique is owned by Joo, a super stylish mama who was totally fed up with the lack of cool clothes for kids at her finger tips, and had to go further afield to find the wonderful styles of her home country, South Korea. So after making all the other mums super jealous with her daughter’s gorgeous outfits,she decided to set up her own online boutique and share those delightful brands with a wider audience.
Featuring the best picks from Korean brands such as Amber, Annika, Peach and Cream, Ae-hem and Chatton, the clothes are fresh, with fun designs and unique shapes. There is a real vintage Scandinavian style and feel to the boutiques, with a funky twist that combines Asian style prints.
You can visit the boutique here for some really unique finds!
This new spring line is so much fun – as are all of Toosa Macginty’s ranges! The one thing that I think makes this brand so special is that it is centred around fun and inspiring children to explore and enjoy their clothing. You might remember my post and the brand here, where you can see Roo wearing some of his favourite jumpers for autumn and winter.
Anyhoo, back to the spring clothes, this range has been inspired by some incredibly fun stuff like animals, vivid colours and Africa prints and textiles. What more could you want to make a child want to spring into spring!
You can find and shop the new spring clothes range here, plus Tootsa Macginty are currently running a great competition and have some fab bargains from their sale section.
Ever since one of the biggest trade fairs in children’s retail, Playtime Paris, I have been seeing these super fun socks popping up on all of my favourite style blogs.
The socks are designed for babies and toddlers, though you can buy a full family pack which adds to the fun. Each ‘pair’ is designed to be mixed and matched – so no more wondering why the washing machine has eaten one of your socks, or if your kids deliberately hide the one you know you just took out of the drawer to prolong the school run.
The socks are also designed with another purpose than just keeping your toes warm, they are designed with fun in mind!Each sock is playful and has a unique twist that seems to be driving all the fashion conscious bloggers wild!
You can find their baby socks here, and soon everywhere I’d imagine!
I love my breastvest! I have to say one of the things I dislike the most about nursing in public isn’t having my breast exposed because what I am doing is nurturing and feeding my child in a perfectly natural way, but I hate having my belly on show – especially at the moment while it is in no fit state to be seen!
The idea behind breastvest is that it is worn as well as your nursing bra and covers your postnatal tummy so you can breastfeed your baby without the nerves and the discomfort of being exposed. What I love the most is that the vest doesn’t roll up or have exposed sides, it is streamline and covers your front and back midriff, meaning that all the tops you have in your wardrobe are suddenly nursing tops! Hooray!
The vest sits perfectly and comfortably just under your nursing bra and is held in place by shoulder straps, specially designed not to interfere with the nursing bra’s straps (and they actually work!).
You can find breastvest vest here – and you need to be quick because they have a special offer on for all of their limited edition colours!
I really love these beds. At first when I saw ‘montessori beds’ I will confess I rolled my eyes a bit, as a mother whose son attends montessori preschool I am a fan of that way of learning, but really, beds?! Once you read that the ‘montessori’ part is just to describe the way the bed has been designed to allow a very young child to get on and off by themselves, you realise it is (like a lot of montessori/waldorf inspired stuff) ingenious!
The beds are designed so that they are 19cm off the floor, making it easy for even the youngest children to roll in and out, learning how to get on and off a bed for themselves. Made from ethically sourced, wood and hand finished with non toxic shellac, wax and water based dyes these bed look super stylish and minimal, while allowing your child to learn how to independently get in and out of bed.
Recently, I’ve been watching a TV series on Sky catch up called The Walking Dead. It’s become a bit of an obsession to be honest (and that has NOTHING to do with Daryl, nothing, and any suggestions otherwise are slanderous…), I don’t really get to watch much TV, unless of course you count endless reruns of disney movies and tv shows, then I’m officially square eyed. This started when I was permanently strapped to the sofa because Edith is a cluster feeder and would sit and feed for hours and hours, long after the kids had gone to bed or preschool and my husband had wandered off to bed or work. I’m too tired to read my book, my eyes start to burn and I can only stomach so much late night tv before I feel like screaming, so I took up the chance to use our very expensive Sky feature and watch some ‘On Demand’ tv. That is when I came across this show and decided this was the series that me and Edie were going to get into while we burnt the midnight oil… then I started to notice a few things (worryingly) about the show that reminded me of my home life… in fact, it reminded me so much that I felt compelled to see if anyone else agrees – Does parenting resemble surviving a zombie apocalypse to anyone else? Here’s my reasoning:
1. It doesn’t matter how cute your baby is, when they root for a nipple (or teat) they look like a zombie trying to devour anything in it’s path. And they will devour that milk.
Is it just my kids? It doesn’t matter how sweet and innocent Edie looks, how adorable she is or how recently she has been fed, if you get a boob near her face it’s game on. She starts to root and wriggle like a zombie in a rave, even her noises can be quite similar, that ‘I must feed now” grunt. Couple that with the fact that a really hungry baby will latch onto anything, and I mean anything that is put in there mouth – I’m just saying, it’s kind of disturbing and you can see where I’m getting this parallel, right?
2. Your house is in a permanent state of post-zombie-attack-post-looting trauma.
If you have young kids your house will look like a whole herd of zombies has trampled through, fought with a few stray survivors, wandered off again and then other survivors have come in to loot supplies. It is going to be messy. Permanently. If you think for one second that cleaning up the toys, biscuit crumbs, half eaten bits of toast and random clothes strewn over the floor is going to make any difference, then you my friend, are wrong. By the time you have done that, another room has been vandalised by your little clan and this time they probably had sharpies to the wall too…
3. You will suddenly have a startling resemblance to a zombie.
Honestly, between having zero time to myself – really, I can’t even pee on my own, I’ve no time for make up! – and having absolutely no sleep, this was one of the things that struck me the most as a parenting and zombie survivor similarity. I look like part of the cast of The Walking Dead, I’m not talking about the woeful survivors who still manage to have perfectly curled ‘on the run’ hair, I’m talking about the zombies. The only consolation is that I look like one of the zombies that is relatively well kept and fresh. Most days. Yay for me.
4. Gore? Pfftt I gave birth, zombie feasts don’t phase me.
There are some uber gory moments in The Walking Dead, I mean, those zombies can feast, but I can honestly say that that stuff doesn’t bother me. I’m well prepared for it. In the last month I’ve had a small human squeeze out of my vagina, been pooped on, vomited on, snotted on and peed on countless times, not to mention, I’ve survived my first post birth poo. Literally nothing phases me. In the same way that a survivor becomes numb to the horrors around them, so have I!
5. You will look back at your life before kids in the same way survivors look back at the pre-apocalyse world… what’s a cinema again?
Whenever you watch a movie or tv programme about zombies, the main characters are always prone to a bit of pre-apocalyse reminiscing aren’t they? Do you remember when…? Wasn’t doing …. so much fun?
Does that sound familiar to you, because I have to tell you, it’s familiar to me! Countless times I will turn to my husband and say, ‘ Do you remember when we used to go out, like really out, without the kids, without it taking weeks of planning?’ Yeah, kids come into the world and like a little zombie herd, they take over and suddenly all those things you used to do are no more. The only thing I can see that is different between parents and the survivors of a zombie apocalypse in this scenario is that, most of the time, you don’t mind and wouldn’t change it.
6. Once the sun goes down, your house is suddenly a zone of silence. Anyone making a noise outside will be met with hostility.
The sun goes down, the kids go to bed, and everything becomes a zone of silence. Lights are switched out, you lead the way with your phone’s torch so that you don’t have to cause a potential disturbance. Any little creek of the floor boards is met with the same wince that you see on the face of every survivor in every zombie programme ever. Do. Not. Wake. The Sleepers.
7. A ‘supply’ run requires planning. Lots and lots of planning.
Going to the supermarket is something that most people just do, you might write a list of what you need, but you don’t have to plan like a parent or a zombie apocalypse survivor does. Oh no, we have to take changes of clothes, drinks, snacks… the list goes on to prepare for whatever could take place on this perilous run. And when you get to the supermarket, collecting the supplies takes work. You will have to get your young brood into the trolley, placate them with aforementioned snacks and drinks, prepare for unforeseen potty accidents… you get the picture. Not unlike a survivor, any ‘supply’ run is going to take up a good part of your day planning, and in the same way that they always forget their trust zombie killing gun for the moment they really need it, you will no doubt forget your purse.
8. Zombies always seem angry, but they don’t have shit on a toddler.
Does anyone else get the impression that zombies seem angry all the time, I mean, you can’t blame them – their situation is pretty abysmal. Let’s be fair, how do you make lemonade out of that particular lemon? The same thing can be said of a toddler whose favourite tv programme just finished or whose been told not to climb on the fire guard for the millionth time, getting them to see the good in something that has angered them is like trying to Nick Clegg to find his balls. It’s unlikely to happen. At least until they get to a reasonable age… or move out. Anger is an emotion that both parents and survivors have to endure.
9. No matter what, no matter how much you want to kill them yourself at times, you would always die for them.
This struck me, especially in the moments when I have been all touched out, not lowered my voice below a 10 point decibel all day and I just want some me time. No matter how much my kids drive me mad, I would die for them without a second thought. In the movies, the tv shows, the main characters often have to make a choice between themselves and their loved ones and they never, ever leave their children behind. They die for them, they run into unmentionable danger for them. That’s something we all have in common with the survivors of a zombie apocalypse.
Did you enjoy this Pancake day? We certainly did, but we love pancakes in this house and we don’t save them for that special day, in fact, we often make them on a weekend (either that or sausage sandwiches or ‘butties’ as we call them where I live!) to enjoy as a family. The boy’s get mini pancakes which they usually laden into the pan themselves – after they have made a great mess helping to make the mixture of course!
I really love this recipe from LaNoire (and the blueberries with it look perfect – much better than my standard maple syrup stand alone!), it gives you a really thick pancake that is to die for, plus 100% vegan! Give them a try – we will be having them for breakfast this saturday!
Pancakes! Super tastey, fluffy, thick, vegan pancakes.
I could just eat these forever!
420g self-raising flour
1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar.
1 1/2 tablespoons custard powder.
1 pint soy milk.
1 tablespoon vanilla extract.
Vegan butter or Oil for the pan.
Mix all the dry ingredients together, then slowly add the milk and whisk. Once everything is nice a smooth, add the vanilla and whisk again.
Then on a nice hot pan, use a soup ladle to get just the right amount, pour the mixture and wait about 15 seconds (or until the edges start to bubble) and give it a flip!
Add your favourite toppings, and enjoy!!
Laikonik are a fantastic company from Sydney who make these beautiful Once a year memory photo books. Each book comes with beautiful binding and textile printed front covers, not to mention their adorable chatter book which allows you to record all of your child’s adorable sayings and musings.
I’m especially captivated by their 10 year anniversary special edition baby journal. Not only have they teamed up with artist Laura Blythman to create this stunning book, which is a perfect gift for any new baby and their parents.
The baby journal includes a special wooden gift box with a gorgeous letter press tag, so no need to gift wrap, a chatter book with special stitched binding and an extra 50 pages to record all your child’s special moments, gorgeous letter pressed covers for the fold out book which you can add your own photos to and a special gift tag.
This is the ultimate way to memorise your child’s first year, and the best gift you could give to new parents!
Everyone I know loves creme eggs, they are synonymous with Easter and are always added to recipes around this time of year, but these were so easy to make and went down a treat with everyone in the house – so I had to add them to the blog and share the recipe! For more fun recipes, visit my pinterest board here.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose/plain flour
- 1 cup white, milk or dark chocolate chips (or a mix of all 3!)
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 5 creme eggs
Put your creme eggs in the fridge because that makes them easier to cut when the time comes.
Set your oven at 375/GM5.
Line an 8 x 8 tin with greaseproof baking paper to make your cookie bars easier to get out once they are cooked. Set the tin aside.
Mix your butter and sugar together until it is smooth and paler, add 1-2 tablespoons of the flour and your egg (this stops the mixture from splitting). Add the rest of the flour and vanilla essence. Finally add your chocolate chips.
Place the mixture into the tray and push down into the corners. Bake for 30mins, meanwhile take your creme eggs out of the fridge and cut them in half, take the cookie bars out of the oven and while the cookie mix is still hot push half an egg into the mixture at inch apart intervals. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
Once removed from the oven, allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes, lift out of the pan and cut into single egg squares.
Devour with a cup of tea or coffee!
Oh the new spring/summer 2015 collection from ultra cool maternity design label Keungzai is just so awesome! I love the fresh blues, sharp crisp whites and the forever stylish cuts. My favourite piece from this collection is the Mirror Wave Bodycon dress, it’s stylish for daywear and can be dressed up with heels and some jewellery for the evening.
I’ve written about Keungzai before (you can read the post here) so I won’t bore you with the details again but I think that if you are looking for pieces to add to your maternity wardrobe then this is the perfect brand, after all, the pieces can all be worn during and after pregnancy. Perfect!
I’ve mentioned before (here and here) that after I had Edith I was really unlucky and developed Mastitis, 10 days post partum. This wasn’t something that I had any experience with, I never had it with Toby and it certainly wasn’t an issue with Reuben (who was bottle fed due to complications).
“Mastitis is a condition that causes a woman’s breast tissue to become painful and inflamed, it’s usually happens within the first three months of breastfeeding and can be caused by missed feeds, poor latch or problems sucking.
Symptoms of mastitis can include:
- a red, swollen area on your breast that may feel hot and painful to touch
- a breast lump or area of hardness on your breast
- a burning pain in your breast that may be continuous, or may only occur when you are breastfeeding
- nipple discharge, which may be white or contain streaks of blood
You may also experience flu-like symptoms, such as aches, a high temperature (fever), chills and tiredness.” – taken from www.NHS.uk
Just to be clear, I’m no doctor or midwife so this post certainly isn’t about any medical side of dealing with mastitis, but rather what I did to cope and manage the pain and complications that go with it, AFTER I had been to the doctor and got myself some antibiotics.
Yes, I know, this drove me to distraction too! I was so frustrated with everybody keep telling me to rest, I just wanted to scream. Unfortunately, the truth is: you have to rest. You have to. Like it or not, mastitis is one of those things (not unlike flu) that will not improve if you don’t rest. So just do it, cry about it, whinge about it, but put your feet up – either on the sofa or, if it’s an option, in bed. I was really lucky that my mastitis happened while my husband was able to be at home, it meant I could take Edith to bed with me and leave the entertaining of the boys downstairs with Daddy! If that isn’t an option, things like ordering take outs instead of cooking dinner, letting the kids have an extra long bath so that you can sit and chill out and putting a movie on so that you can sit on the sofa for a time are perfect options and something that you need to do.
Continue to feed, and if you can’t pump.
Whatever you do, DON’T stop feeding. This is something that the midwife really impressed upon me. With mastitis it’s often so painful because there is such a build up of milk or a blocked duct, so the best thing to do is to keep encouraging let down. I found that getting into the bath and feeding Edith made a huge difference as the heat encourages let down. If you are finding it too painful to feed baby yourself, then try to pump. During mastitis I would recommend (from my own experience) a manual pump as opposed to an electric – simply because you have more control over the tempo and pressure. I use the Medela Harmony manual pump, which you can find here.
Use soothing aromatherapy oils and heat/cool therapy
I was advised to use heat pads to try and let down the build up of milk in my breast, and to use a cold compress to ease the burning pain. I’m also a huge fan of aromatherapy oils as a natural method of treating the symptoms of a variety of ailments. Combining the two is the wonderful Bosom Buddies kit from The Natural Birthing Company. This has been a life saver for me, and it isn’t just for during times of mastitis or when suffering with engorged breasts, there is an oil for soothing sore nipples and one for increasing milk supply. This should be in every breastfeeders arsenal, and it makes the most wonderful gift for a new mum. You can get one here.
However much water you think you should drink, double it.
It really doesn’t matter how much water you think you need, you need more. The fastest way to kick an infection (obviously once using the appropriate antibiotics) is to keep hydrated. Breastfeeding requires you to drink additional water as well, so if you add in an infection you really should be knocking back the H2O like it’s mojitos on a saturday!
I hope you don’t get mastitis, I really do, but if you are struggling and you have been to the GP/Midwife and sort the proper medication, then these tips should help you with coping with mastitis! Good luck and big (not tight because that will hurt your sore boobs!) hugs!
Introducing a new sibling to our family is something I was so worried about, especially as Reuben, who is nearly 4 years old and very aware of what is taking place around him, seemed to be really anxious about baby’s arrival. He was very excited, don’t get me wrong, but he was also very clingy, possessive and nervous of being left anywhere – even though he’d been to preschool, Grandma’s house, wherever so many times before. Toby, on the other hand, seemed to be in sweet oblivion, he’s only just 2 years old so doesn’t really have much of a concept, we felt like maybe he would feel pushed out or like he wasn’t the ‘special’ baby anymore. I was unsure what he would make of me breast-feeding baby, especially as he was breast fed… would he be jealous? We spent a tonne of time before baby was due, planning out what to do to help everything go smoothly and make sure that no one feels pushed out.
I thought it might be helpful to put together a little list of things that we did to help introduce older siblings to the new arrival, so here goes, good luck!
Talk, talk and talk some more
Talking is possibly the most important thing you can do for helping to prepare your children for the new changes they are about to face, and I found it was just as important for after baby is here. During my pregnancy I talked to the boys about everything, in fact I wrote about that here , and it seemed natural to me to continue after my baby was born. Question’s like ‘How did baby get out of your belly?’, ‘Why is baby eating your boobie?’, ‘Why can’t I come with you and Edie?’ are a few of the ones we have had so far and I can honestly say, for us, they have been a blessing – the boy’s (Reuben mostly) feel more involved if their questions are answered. I have also found that honesty is the best policy – ‘Baby was born when mummy went to the hospital, she moved down what’s called a birth canal and then arrived into the world’, ‘Baby doesn’t eat Mummy’s boobie, she is drinking milk that comes from mummy’s boobie’ and ‘Baby has to stay with Mummy at all times because she can only drink from Mummy’s boobie, no one else has her special milk, so she has to stay with me. When she is a big girl like you, she will be able to stay with Daddy or Maw Maw’ are just some of the answers we have chosen to give. Honest, but without too much detail! Basically what I’m saying is, no matter how tired you are, how touched out or fed up you’re feeling, don’t deflect the many, many questions that will come your way. Answer them, as best you can, and that will help.
Ask for help, not just from Daddy or other adults
I’m really surprised by how much I have found this to be helpful in integrating Edith into our family and making the boys feel really happy and special in themselves. I ask both the boys to help me with little things like fetching me a nappy, picking up a packet of wipes or passing me muslin squares while I’m feeding. This has been especially helpful with Toby – Reuben is at the age where he is super helpful when he wants but if not, he won’t bother – but Toby loves to pick up little bits and bobs, it makes him feel really useful and helpful (which he of course is!) but, most importantly, it makes him feel involved.
Ask visitors to be thoughtful
Imagine every time your extended family members come to visit you there are cuddles and kisses, often toys or treats and then suddenly this new thing, this usurper, comes in, and you aren’t even the first person they say hello to anymore, the gifts aren’t for you, the treats aren’t for you and the kisses and cuddles are being showered on someone else. That would piss you off, right? You would probably feel like acting out for attention, but you wouldn’t, because you’re an adult and can control your emotions, but your child might not be able to. Before family members and friends come over to meet baby for the first time, make sure they know that you need them to think of your other children first. Things like making sure that they say hi to your kids first (this is actually the most common ‘mistake’ people don’t say hi, it’s surplus to requirements and they forget), then any kisses and cuddles that would normally happen should still go ahead, and finally, ask the children to show off their new sibling, ask their permission to hold the new sibling etc etc – involve them as much as possible. I know the temptation to just default to the new parents, ask about the labour, ask questions, congratulate etc is really strong, but make sure visitors know that the most important thing is to involve the kids and treat them as normal.
Bring the kids something they have been really desperate for from baby
We did this both times we had have had a baby, and each time it has been really effective and something that has had the desired effect. For weeks (maybe even longer!) Reuben has been begging us for a special toy that he was in love with, we have been telling him that he has to wait until his birthday, however the day that we brought Edith home, we brought him his special toy and told him that his new baby sister brought it for him because she loves him and wanted to bring him something special. We obviously did the same for Toby, he doesn’t quite get it so much, however it still put a big smile on his face!
It’s the most simple one to say, but the hardest one to actually do. This is something that requires work and is going to be a learning curve for everyone – you, Daddy, the kids and the baby. I find that bath times are a really good way to spend some time as a family. I get in the bath tub (or sometimes shower) with Edith and the boys come in with us, Daddy helps by getting everyone dry and sorting out pjs. It’s a way to make ‘family time’ everyday. On top of that, when the baby is sleeping, you can do simple things like read a book with the kids, bake or even set them up to paint. It’s the only way to enjoy time together, but don’t push yourself too hard!
So there you have it, this is how we have integrated our new arrival into the home, I’d love to know if you have anything to add, we could get a lot of ?
After re designing the boy’s bedroom and then designing Edith’s nursery, I have come across some really awesome finds for kid’s rooms and I feel like these handmade cushions from Roxy Makes Things are certainly one of those finds! These handmade cushions are made from repurposed fabrics, from vintage clothing, and handmade felts – so no two are ever the same.
One thing I really love is, if like Toby, your child has a real affection for a particular animal or even a beloved pet, then you can ask designer Roxy to make one for you. I’m seriously considering sending over a picture of our siamese cat Mushu, who Toby terrorises daily with his extreme affection and ‘cuddles’… basically he sits on her, squeezes her and carries her from room to room!
If you would like to make a custom order, or you want to add a touch of whimsical fun to your children’s bedrooms, then you can contact Roxy here.
Obviously spring is on the horizon now (in theory at least eh?!), and the weather seems to be getting a little bit warmer, but still has enough of a chill to require hats and cosy jumpers, especially on the morning!
That is one of the reasons I have fallen head over heels for these adorable baby bonnets from Stella & Wilbur, they are just so sweet with a beautiful traditional bonnet look, made from modern fabrics for that extra twist! Each bonnet is handmade to order so your child isn’t going to get something mass produced, it’s made especially for them. I also love their instagram page, which is full of awesome giveaways and all their latest styles!
You can check out their shop here.
Oh I said I would do it, I know I did. But I’m going to. Sorry not sorry. Not. Even. A. Bit.
I have always maintained that it is NOT cool to dress yourself and your kids in matching clothes, however I can’t honestly see how it can be anything but cool when the matching dresses in question are as fabulous as this. Handmade, design led vintage pieces like this don’t come around too often, so I’m already a huge fan. Designed by family members Simona and Paulius when they decided to utilise their talents and make their own hand cut and sewn vintage clothing for women, and later little girls.
One of the things I love most about this brand is that, though the fabrics are matching, the clothing is tailored perfectly to whoever is going to wear it, so mama’s dress is a different style to the daughter’s ensuring that you don’t get that awful look where your daughter is dressed in an outfit that is unsuitable, or you look like mutton dressed as lamb!
If you are just looking for a special dress for your daughter or for you, then you can buy separate dresses too!
I will be investing heavily in a few dress for me and Edie this summer, especially as she gets bigger and can toddle around after me! How exciting! You can find all OffOn products here.
I am most certainly a confident breastfeeder, and I have no issue with plonking myself down pretty much anywhere to feed my baby if she needs it, after all, it is a natural thing to do and if a baby is hungry then woe betide the person who stands in the way of their food!
That being said, sometimes I find that both myself and Edith could use some quiet time – us time… something that I can’t give her (or myself) at a kiddies play centre with two boys to monitor! I also find that my husband can be quite nervous sometimes if I am feeding, often if it is in busy areas or if I don’t have a top that gives me easy access – he worries that other’s might stare or be offensive, simple because he feels the need to protect us.
That is why I am IN LOVE with my Loveyush breastfeeding scarf.
It gives me and Edith the privacy that we sometimes want, that quiet time where she can feel my skin and hear my heartbeat without being subjected to lots of movement around her or loud noises. I feel that I don’t always have to worry about whether this top is up or down, the nipple is on show if she has fallen off… or anything else for that matter. The cover is so functional because it looks like a normal poncho or scarf, can be worn as a scarf when you aren’t in need of it (or simply don’t need to use it for that feed because baby is wide awake and wants to look around!) and can even be used to cover baby’s car seat while giving you access to the handle – perfect for those windy school runs!
Loveyush feeding scarves come in a wide range of styles and colours to suit everyone, I love my simple black scarf because it goes with everything and keeps things dark for Edie when she needs it.
You can find Loveyush here and you can also find their Facebook page here.
I love Avocado. One a day and I’m a happy girl.
This meal was packed full of flavour. It’s amazing how the taste changes when you grill an avocado. I didn’t measure anything out, I usually go by taste!
1 avocado, olives, pine nuts, rocket, spinach, quinoa, lime, oil, tinned tomatoes, chilli, red onion, basil, garlic, black pepper.
For the salsa. Just chop the onion, garlic, and chilli, throw in a pan with some oil and sauté untill soft. Then add the tinned tomatoes and basil. Heat up then put to one side.
Put some quinoa in boiling water and cook as normal. Once cooked, drain off the water, add a little lime, and mix in the pine nuts, rocket, spinach, and olives. Then put onto your plate.
Make sure the oiled and hot grill pan is waiting for you before you put the avocado on. Cut that tasty avocado in half and remove the stone, leave the skin on.
Put the two avocado halves skin side up in the pan and press down with a wooden spoon/spatula for about 2mins, then rorate them to get the lovely cross hatch look and to give it an extra smokey flavour.
Hold down for another 2mins and remove from the grill. Place on top of your quinoa salad and put a generous dollop of salsa into each avocado.
Add some black pepper and another drizzle of lime.
LaNoire’s Vegan kitchen can be found on Facebook here, and is chocablock full of divine vegan meals and recipes for your family to devour!
Ok, I’ll admit it, since having Edith – who, by the way, HATES to be put down when she is awake and isn’t so keen on being put down once asleep either – I have been really, really bad at feeding my family. Before I had Edith I was quite consistent at making sure that my family were getting all of the nutritious food they needed for their meals, but after my mum bought me some ‘freezer supplies’ such as chicken nuggets and oven chips (said chips are something I have never cooked before and still can’t cook properly!), pre cooked veg and I stocked up on bread and tins of beans, let’s just say the family hasn’t exactly been on a nutritional high. I hate that. I’m very conscious of wanting my kids to eat well, and have filling, healthy meals where they are going to get nutritional value from eat bite.
In one of the mummy groups I am a member of I started to notice that one of the other mamas, LaNoire, frequently posted pictures of her divine looking meals, all of which she made herself for her whole family to enjoy and that set my tummy rumbling! The best part was, the meals are vegan! As a staunch chicken lover and someone who adds a cottage pie to the winter menus at least once a fortnight, I was surprised to find I was drooling over these recipes. I had to try them out! So, I got in touch with LaNoire and asked her if she would be interested in having a series on the blog to share her delicious recipes with us all and to bust some of the myths about vegan food not being nutritious enough. LaNoire has kindly agreed and I can’t wait to try out her first recipe, which will be shared on the blog tomorrow. As she shares her recipes you will see that incorporating a few vegan meals into your family’s weekly food diet will not only boost you nutritionally but also will give you a whole host of new flavours to enjoy and try out!
So without anymore excited wittering from me, I’ll let LaNoire tell you about herself and give you some myth busting facts about the vegan lifestyle!
I’m LaNoire, a 27 year old wife, and a mother to three amazing children. I love to cook, and I love food. I’ve always loved the strong flavours most of all. Mustard, Garlic, Chilli..
But my love of cooking didn’t develope until I made the choice to become vegan.
Now wait a second, I hear you! ARGHH VEGAN, WHAT ABOUT BACON?!
But it’s been one of the most amazing choices I could of made. I had always been an on and off again vegetarian, but I haven’t looked back since making my choice. We started with just a few vegan meals a week, to familiarise ourselves with the foods and meal planning. People ask questions and I answer with a smile because I love my choice, but what really gets the questions rolling is when they find out my 3 children are vegan too.
They are 5, 4, and 2. They are healthy, energetic, and intelligent.
It’s all about eating the right foods. So here are our favourites which will give you everything you need. ♡
Iron: Quinoa, Spinach, Black Molasses, and Lentils.
Calcium: Broccoli, Kale, Almonds, and Figs.
Protein: Mushrooms, Cauliflower, Peanut Butter, and Sundried Tomatoes.
These are just our favourites, but the list of food choice for these three essentials is endless.
I know lots of people can find the idea of becoming vegan daunting because it’s ‘normal’ to add milk, eggs, and other animal products to nearly all manufactured and even home prepared foods.
Flax seeds, oil, and even cream soda makes great egg replacements, and plant milks will work just like animal milks.
Most, if not all of your favourite meals can be made without the use of animal products with ease. It’s not just lettuce sandwiches and tomato soup, I promise.
I’m hoping to share a few of my recipes, and I hope you’ll love them just as much as we do!
You might not be able to wait to find out some of LaNoire’s vegan recipes after reading that, so if you can’t you can head over and like her brilliant Facebook page here.
I wanted to talk about my breastfeeding journey so far, as I think it is often something that we don’t discuss terribly often. Especially in the first few weeks breastfeeding is really hard work, and even if you are already a seasoned breastfeeder, your baby isn’t. I know it is all natural, I know it is what your baby wants to do, but that doesn’t mean that they are going to ‘get it’ straight away. As this is the second child I have breastfed, I wanted to talk about what I have struggled with and how I have felt breastfeeding in the first few weeks.
First thing first, I can honestly say that breastfeeding the second time around, though emotionally easier for me, certainly isn’t any easier when it comes to the physical side of things!
Edith is now two weeks old and has been such a wonderful little lady, right from the start. As soon as she was born I latched her straight onto the nipple and away she went, no problems with her latch and no struggling to get milk… in fact, all she wanted for the next 4-5 hours was constant feeding. She then had an hour of sleeping (in my arms I might add!) and was back to boob for another 4-5 hours of tiny feeds, tiny sleeps, tiny feeds, tiny sleeps. As you can imagine, this was pretty exhausting for me – it’s not easy being constantly awake, especially after labour, all you want to do is have a jolly good sleep! Still, I can’t complain too much, it is a blessing that her latch is so perfect and she was a little natural at feeding… until… I fell asleep with her in my arms, latched on to the boob. Twice. Once on one boob, then on the other. You know who else fell asleep? Edith.
Que blood blistered nipples! Although it is a blessing that Edie has such a good latch, she also has a really powerful suck and, unfortunately for me, she continued to suckle after she had slipped off the nipple slightly, which meant she pulled blood blisters, something that is oh so painful and really only heals over time. The best way I found to handle this was lots and lots of nipple cream (I used purelan 100 from Medela, though you can use any lanolin based cream, just be sure it doesn’t need to be washed off before baby feeds like some do) and really soft breast pads. At that particular time, the breast pads weren’t so much for leaking but to stop the nipple rubbing against the fabric of my bras. I used a combination of Lansinoh and Medela pads, both are really soft and (later on) really absorbent. Eventually the blood blisters popped and came away, which again leaves such soreness, at which point I can only honestly recommend paracetamol! I will say that thought this was really painful, breasts are amazing and were healed within days, despite Edith’s constant feeding.
After that my milk came in properly and everything seemed to be pretty smooth sailing… until day 9 when mastitis hit! In my experience, mastitis was diagnosed really early, however I went downhill really quickly, with a soaring temperature, racing pulse and nausea/headaches, so I honestly can’t stress how important it is if your breasts are suddenly feeling overly tender, or you feel a lump, get to the GP. I was really lucky to be given antibiotics so quickly, otherwise I would have suffered a lot more. I was also fortunate enough to have a couple of amazing products in my arsenal to help me cope with breastfeeding through to mastitis, one of which was definitely the Medela hydrogel pads to try and sooth the patch that was really hot, and I used the Natural Birthing Company Bosom Buddies kit, especially their hot flannels. I will be writing about mastitis and how to cope later on in the week, but for now if you need some advice you can visit the medela page for engorgement and mastitis here.
On the flip side, emotionally, I have found breastfeeding so much less stressful this time around, despite the additional problems I’ve faced. I feel confident in my experience as a breastfeeder and I’m not second guessing how much milk Edie is getting, or whether she is full enough – even though she is a cluster feeder, just like Toby was! I find that in the night, when everyone else is asleep, despite the tiredness I treasure the bonding moments I’m having with her, the way that she looks at me while I feed her and I can feel that real connection with her. She quiets as soon as I pick her up because she knows I’m the one that can give her what she needs… she also quiets for Daddy, but I suspect that is because she is a Daddy’s girl!
I’d love to know your experiences with breastfeeding so far, whether you are a new mum or not, please share them!
Did you do this as a child? I’m pretty sure I remember giving it a go at school when I as little and being totally in awe of how the flower changed colour… I mean, come on, it’s pretty cool – especially when you are 3 years old.
Since it’s creeping up to Valentine’s Day I thought I would give this a go with the boys (more Reuben to be honest) to see what they made of it. We talked a lot about the science side of the activity (or should I say experiment?) and Roo was captivated – he even took a good long time explaining to Daddy why the plant was changing colour! Too cute! If you do do Valentine’s Day gifts for teachers, classmates, little friends, grandparents or whoever then these are perfect because you can be pretty sure they won’t come from anyone else!
::The science behind the experiment::
You don’t have to explain this to your child, but if you want to this is why the flower gets coloured petals: It’s done by the use of the transportation system of vascular plants. The xylem tubes of the roses stem suck up water and send it up the stem to the leaves and the petals of the flowers. When the stem is submerged in coloured water, it will pump the coloured water to the flower. From the petals the water is evaporated but the colour particles remain and the colours will be stored in the petals. As the outer layer of the petals of a white rose are transparent, it will show whatever colour it has been ‘fed’.
You will need:
- White roses (If you want to avoid roses at this time of year then you can use any other flower, just make sure it’s white.)
- Three/Four different food colourings – we used green, red, yellow but had no blue so skipped that out. You can use more of less colours, if you wanted to make a red and blue rose then just use two etc.
- Three/Four glasses or jars
- A sharp knife
Take the leaves off your rose so it is just stem and flower. You do need quite a long stem if you are going to do four food colours, however if you are doing less you might not need so much. Go by your own judgement.
CAREFULLY (probably best you do this bit) split the stem equally into three/four sections, so you essentially have four stems. Fill your glasses with water and add your food colouring, you want enough to turn the water totally opaque, so I used quite a bit in each. Put the stems into the glasses.
Within a matter of a few hours you will be able to see the colour coming into the tips of the roses, in some instances you can see if within a matter of 10-15minutes. To have the rose fully coloured though you need to wait overnight. We kept checking on our roses to see how far the colourings were moving and go over what was happening (again and again haha!) but when the boy’s went off to bed we told them that the roses would be ready to the next morning when they woke up. It was one of the first things that Roo wanted to check, and so sweet!
If you want to keep the roses around the house then you can bind the split stem with some florist’s tape and put them in a bouquet for someone. If not, you can do what we did which was to press them and dry them. This was done by clipping off the stem completely and putting the flower between two pieces of baking or parchment paper. You then put the flower between two heavy books (or a few heavy books) and leave it for a few days. Once it’s pressed flat you can either put it in the oven on 1/2GM to dry out, or leave it in a warm dry place.
This is an activity that you can do at anytime, it’s a bit of a lengthy one so it was more entertaining for Reuben that it was for Toby, so it’s worth giving it a go when you have other things to do and the kiddos don’t expect immediate results.