Monday, 30 September 2013

And over on Instagram

If you don't already follow me on Instagram (which you can do here). I thought I'd share with you some of my latest snaps. I'm pretty addicted to say the least and love to capture the little moments in my day that I would otherwise miss.

Sunny walk/ Chester with friends/ Too many cocktails/ A tanned throwback/
Wedding countdown/ Lunch date/ Chilli cheese dog/ Ava's new trench coat/
Wedding dress shopping/ Another new outfit/ Sleepy girl/ Kisses for Ted

It's a weird view of my life in an array of random snapshots! Leave your Instagram name below and I'll be sure to follow you.

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Counting down to Christmas




I know, I'm sorry! It's the dreaded C word! But to me, the end of September marks the beginning of my Christmas countdown. Forget Halloween, for me it's all about mulled wine, wrapping paper, twinkling lights and maybe even snow. Oh and the food! You can't forget the food!

I never used to be a huge fan of Christmas, to be honest I used to think it was a big fuss over one day. But now that I'm a mother, the magic of Christmas just takes over! I can't wait to decorate the house and wrap Ava's presents with Love Actually or Elf on in the background (what's your favourite Christmas film?) I've started shopping for Ava's Christmas presents and thought I'd share some of the things on that we're hopefully going to get for her. Last Christmas Ava was poorly, you can read about it here, so I hope that things will be different this year.



As you can see I've been sucked in by the delights of the Great Little Trading Company again! Their stuff is just too darn cute! I love it! I've already bought her the stroller and some Play Doh and want to get her some bath crayons and books too. 

As for my own wishlist, I desperately need new gym clothes as I've started a new fitness regime (more on that soon) and some new trainers would be nice. I'm also in dire need of some new clothes!

What are you buying for your little one this Christmas or hoping for yourself?

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Saturday, 28 September 2013

OXO Review

I just want to start the post by apologising for the terrible quality of the pictures. I've tried to edit them the best I can but unfortunately our kitchen is very dark and Ava was throwing a wobbly at the time. It was only when looking back on them did I realise how awful they are!



Now I'm no Gordon Ramsey by any stretch of the imagination but I do love to cook! Ava will pretty much eat anything (unlike Nathan) so when I heard that OXO were looking for bloggers to share a recipe that included seasonal foods I knew that I just had to take part.

I was sent the Good Grips Garlic Press & Good Grips Pro Y Peeler to review. I decided to make a Butternut Squash lasagne which I have made before and it seemed to go down well.

For this recipe you will need (it serves 8 hungry tums)


  • Olive oil
  • 1 Onion (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 1 Butternut squash (peeled, sliced and cut into crescents)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (peeled and crushed)
  • 450g of spinach
  • Dried lasagne sheets
  • 1 Mozzarella ball
For the béchamel sauce:
  • 125g Butter
  • 125g Flour
  • 800-850ml Milk
  • 75g Grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 200 C/gas 6. Drizzle a little oil onto a baking tray add the butternut squash, onion and the garlic. Pop in the oven to roast for 15-20mins until soft.

Then start on the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour. Stir until you've made a paste and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the milk ,stir until smooth and mix in the Parmesan.

In a separate pan add a touch of oil, pop in the spinach and season. Cook until the spinach has wilted and squeeze out any excess water.

Put a layer of pasta sheets in the bottom of an ovenproof dish, top with a layer of butternut squash & onion, béchamel sauce and spinach. Repeat until you finish with a layer of pasta. Smooth over the remaining sauce rip up the mozzarella ball and scatter over the top.



Cook for 25-30 minutes until golden and bubbly.

Enjoy 

The Garlic Press and Y Peeler worked like a dream. I use a lot of garlic in my cooking but was having to slice the garlic. Which is not only extremely fiddly but leaves you with garlicky fingers for days, not a good look! The Garlic Press was so easy to use and has an in-built cleaner which you just flip over to remove any stuck garlic. It's very strong and well made.



The Y Peeler is also a great quality product, having only used cheap vegetable peelers before I could immediately tell the difference, it glides through the veg so smoothly! It has a comfortable non-slip handle and stainless steel blades. OXO provide great quality kitchenware, I'll definitely be recommending OXO and looking at their website next time I need new products.

You can find their great range here.

*We were sent the Garlic Press and Y Peeler free of change to review. As usual thoughts are 100% my own.

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

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Thursday, 26 September 2013

18 months already.

I remember when Ava was first born and 18 months seemed like a lifetime away. I'd look at the toys and clothes made for 18 month old toddlers and think that they looked so big and grown up.
Back then I could never imagine my tiny baby being 18 months old, I'd often daydream and wonder what she would be like at 18 months, who would she look like, what would she be doing at 18 months?



Well here we are my girl, you're 18 months old now. It's flown by, I can't believe my eyes. 18 months seemed so far away yet it was just around the corner. Next thing I know I'll be waving goodbye to you at the school gates (something that makes me feel a little teary-eyed)

You understand so much! I tried to bribe you last night (naughty mummy) thinking that you wouldn't fully understand. It was late and you wouldn't take your medicine. I said "If you take your medicine you can come downstairs for a little bit". And low & behold you took the medicine straight away and walked towards the door. You never cease to amaze me!

I love playing with you these days. We play with your dolls which you really enjoy and you like me to read to you or play outside. You even like to watch me cook. I can't wait until we can bake together.

I'm not going to lie it's hard sometimes, especially when daddy's not here, I think you like to play mummy up a bit! You've also started to make this horrendous screechy noise that sounds like a cross between a car alarm and a cat being strangled. It's truly awful but it's what I've started to call your "tired screech". It's almost like a fog horn going off letting us know you're tired, which is very kind of you...

Although I'm sad that you're no longer a baby I'm so excited for the next stage. You bring me such joy and love every day. And I suppose that you'll always be my baby.

On another note you may have noticed my blogs little facelift thanks to Jess at Diamond Doll Designs (link to her site is on the sidebar) what do you think?

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Friday, 20 September 2013

Silence is Golden



It feels like an age since I've written anything on my little blog. Truth is technology is seriously hating on me at the moment. Our laptop went down on me last week and is currently in computer rehab. I'm hoping they will be able to save it but it's not looking good. As long as they can retrieve my photos and videos I'll be happy. It also wouldn't let me add any photos to this post!

I've tried to revive my old Notebook but it's full of viruses and so dang slow! Hopefully we'll know by next week whether our laptop is salvageable. Excitingly I'm having my blog redesigned at the moment. I've seen the header and I love it. It's very Cath Kidston-esque. As I've always designed my blog myself I'm very excited about this. I need to put some sort of structure in place with my posts and I think this will be a perfect time to do so!

If you don't already you can follow me on Twitter or Instagram for daily updates.

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Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Sometimes being a mum is a bit hard...




Something has been on my mind and has been getting me down. Lately I've noticed a change in Ava, I'm not sure when it happened but for a couple of weeks she's been challenging me.

It seems to be a constant battle in our house. I seem to be forever telling her no or shouting and I don't like it. It's getting me down, although I keep telling myself it's just a phase. Then I imagine that this is what it will be like when she's a teenager! Minus the hitting, hopefully.

I feel like a horrible mother at the moment. I hate saying no, I hate raising my voice. I don't want her first childhood memories to be ones of me shouting "get out of the fridge". I don't want people to think I can't control my child. I don't want to be one of these people who has a naughty child but just brushes them off as being "hyper-intelligent". I don't want a naughty child end of.

But how do I nip this in the bud? I'm guessing it's something all babies go through? I'm just not sure how to tackle it so that it doesn't develop into naughtiness.

So I'm stuck, how do I tackle this? As a first time mum it's all new to me. My mum has given me some advice:

  • Don't tap her hand when she hits you, it shows her that it's okay. Say "No" firmly.
  • Never use the bedroom as punishment. This will create havoc at bedtime.
But what do you do with a child who won't listen?  Have you experienced this or have any tips for me?

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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

A catch up

Please excuse my absence over the last few days but I've been on a very important mission. I've been wedding dress shopping! If you didn't already know I am getting married in August 2014 and wedding preparations are in full swing.



On Thursday I travelled to my mums in Milton Keynes along with Ava and my Maid of Honor, Trudy. We had appointments at three bridal shops and I really didn't know what to expect. Although I had an idea of what I wanted I went with an open mind. I loved it! I think every woman should get to try on wedding dresses once in their life (even if you're not getting married). 

Although I'm yet to find "the one" there were two dresses that I loved, one of which was a complete curveball thrown by my mum, there are a couple of elements that I would change on both dresses for them to become the perfect dress. I think that our next port of call will be Chester as it's closer to home and would be easier for me to go for fittings. I honestly thought that I would try a dress on and it would be love at first fit (?), my mum and Trudy would weep and we'd leave a deposit. Job done. But it doesn't work like that unfortunately.

Hat- Topshop (Similar here)/ Bodysuit-Diesel (Similar here)/ Maxi Skirt- River Island (Similar here)/ Belt-Topshop (Similar here)

We were pretty weddinged-out by the end of it I have to say! Trudy and I indulged in some retail therapy (well I did, she didn't buy anything for once!), I took some outfit pictures for the first time, picked some pears and ate A LOT of food!



I'll be sharing some of my mums recipes with you guys soon because you're seriously missing out (especially on her choco-mallow pie).

Obvioulsy not Choco-Mallow pie but these are just as good!


So what did you get up to?

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Sunday, 1 September 2013

Ava's August

Well that's it. The end of the Summer. That went by in the blink of an eye! Ava will be 18 months old in a few days. Unbelievable.



One of the biggest changes I've noticed in Ava this past month is her wanting to push boundaries. She understands everything but doesn't take it on board yet. She taken a liking to opening the fridge, much to my annoyance (we can't put a lock on it as it's wedged under a unit) no matter how many times I tell her "no" and pull her away she goes back for more. Very frustrating.

Her understanding has improved so much, it's crazy what she understands now. Her speech has also improved, she counts to three and I can often hear her singing to herself (ridiculously cute).


We're also at the stage where we are thinking about things such as potty training and moving her into a toddler bed, although these things probably won't happen until around Christmas time. We've been trying for a while to wean her off her bottles and give her milk in a beaker instead but she won't have it. Another hurdle but she is happy at the moment so I don't want to rock the boat.

I'll be buying some Autumnal clothes for her soon (although it's me who needs a wardrobe makeover) so keep your eyes peeled for a post about that.


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