Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Me and Mine Project - August 2016

I have been desperate for it to be the end of the month so that I can show you the beautiful family pictures that we had taken this month. 

We were lucky enough to have a photo shoot with Donna at Sweet Whimsy Photography. We went to a local field and Donna captured us playing together. They are the most beautiful collection of photographs. I cried when I saw them all. She has managed capture the true essence of our family. There are so many to choose from our house will be filled with stunning shots of us.











I will be doing a full blog post about all the photos which will be live over the next few days, so make sure you pop back to see them.

As a family this month we've tried to focus on just enjoying ourselves before Eva starts nursery in school next week. It'll be so strange to have her in school everyday even if it's only for half a day.

We've been out for dinner a couple of times. We went to one of our local pubs which has sweeping views of Cardiff for dinner one evening and enjoyed a gorgeous sunset. It was a spontaneous decision to go which worked out perfectly as the food was lovely and we relaxed and enjoyed each others company. 



Over the bank holiday weekend we went camping in Tenby with some of our friends. Again this was a last minute decision but I think sometimes the best decisions are on the spot ones. It was the first time we've been away with another family and we loved it. It's something we will be doing more of as Eva had a fantastic time. She played with her friend and even slept in the same tent as her which blew her mind. 

We've honestly had a great month. The simple things in life have brought us together as a family and we have really enjoyed it.

Together this month we've loved:
The great outdoors
Walks
Camping
The Sun
Teaching Ophelia to clap hands and give a high five
The Beach 
The Sun
BBQ Food

Next month will be very different for us with our new routine. Make sure you pop back to see how we get on.


The Me and Mine Project
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Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Mixed Berry Smoothie Bowl

I'm trying to eat a lot healthier and enjoy more nutritious meals which need to start at breakfast time. I tend to stick to the same breakfast which is either poached eggs and salmon or greek yogurt so I decided to have a go at making a smoothie bowl.



I made a mixed berry smoothie bowl with bananas, blueberries and seeds on the top. It was super quick to make in my Babymoov Nutribaby as it was literally just throwing everything in and mixing it up. 

I was so surprised at how filling it actually was. So much so that I only managed half the bowl and my daughter ate the other half. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of mixed frozen berries
  • 1/2 cup of avocado 
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 2 table spoons of plain greek yogurt
  • Half a banana
  • Handful of blueberries
  • Handful of mixed seeds
Recipe:

1) Add your mixed berries, avocado, milk and yogurt to a blender/food processor and blitz into a thick consistency. You could substitute the milk for coconut or almond milk or even coconut water.



2) Spoon the smoothie mix into a bowl. Add a line of blueberries, bananas and seeds and that's it. Then marvel at how pretty it looks!



How easy is that?! You can play about with flavours to your liking. Maybe try adding a little bit of honey to taste during the blending process.






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Monday, 22 August 2016

Mama Style - Look 1

You may or may not now that before I started this blog I wrote a fashion blog. That's where my passion for blogging began. Since having children, it was left in the shadows. I'm not really sure why but I think the fact that any money I now have, I seem to spend on clothes for the kids and that I haven't really felt very body and mentally confident.

I'm slowly starting to feel mentally better and i'm trying to do things for myself again. Top of my list is exercise. I've decided to resurrect my passion for fashion and fashion blogging and bring it to this blog in a series called Mama Style. 

My first look is very representative of myself and style right now. It shows my mama personality and is very cute.




The tee is from the amazing FMLY STORE which is the Selfish Mother shop. I'd been lusting after something from here for a long time and seeing as I was starting to feel happy, strong and in control again, it seemed like the perfect treat. 



I chose the black Mother supersoft tee which was the very first one they designed. £10 from the sale of this top goes to the charity Women for Women International which help women in 8 war torn countries by helping them rebuild their lives. I love the fact that every purchase from the store donates some money to charity. It's a treat for you whilst helping others.




This tee is exactly what is says on the tin, supersoft. It's very comfortable to wear and provides a relaxed, loose fit. I've worn vests underneath for breastfeeding and not felt too hot at all. If you follow me on social media you will notice that I don't take this off. Its become my favourite thing to wear. It's so versatile that I can wear it with anything. I honestly have a very long wishlist from the FMLY STORE so i'm hoping santa is going to help me out with that one.


Here i've teamed it with a skirt I bought from Tu Clothing at Sainsbury's. I spotted this whilst on a recent food shop. The colour is a beautiful pastel pink. There are lots of these style skirts about at the moment and they are perfect for transitioning from summer to winter. This one can be worn with flip flops or sandals to see in the end of our so called summer and then with boots for the upcoming winter.


It's a lovely fit and hides all my mama tum area which is always a bonus. The colour contrasts lovely against greys, black and white so the mother tee was a great pairing for it. 

I've tried to find it online but it doesn't appear to be on there so you'll have to check your local store to see if they stock it.

I'm also wearing my stunning Olivia Burton watch. I was never a watch person until I had kids but if i don't have one on, I am lost. They have the most beautiful collection of watches. I genuinely could have every single one on the website. They are so pretty and feminine. You can also get some of them personalised making them unique and extra special.


So there you have it. My first mama style look. I'm looking forward to showing you more of this side of me very soon.

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Saturday, 20 August 2016

Why we're embracing mess is best whilst weaning

I'll be completely honest with you and say that when I weaned my eldest daughter I hated it. I found the whole thing completely stressful. All the hours spent batch cooking things to find she didn't like what i'd made or the endless cleaning up from all the mess.

I was also one of those mums that cleaned up as soon as there was one ounce of mess on her face, the highchair or the floor. I was always feeding armed with a wet wipe. She'd take a few spoonfuls and i'd be there cleaning it up. I would totally freak out. It didn't make for an enjoyable experience for either of us. 

Ophelia is now 9 months old so we have been weaning for a while. She loves her food. With the help of my Babymoov weaning team, we are having a much better experience than the first time.


This time around we are embracing mess is best. We are allowing Ophelia to get as messy as she likes. We are encouraging her to hold her own food and play about with it. This is also great for sensory development. Eating with her fingers allows her to discover the different textures. She seems to be really enjoying how relaxed we are about everything and how we are all giggling around mealtimes.

I've surprised myself at how relaxed I am. Whenever there is food on the floor or bits of spaghetti in her hair, I am not rushing to clean it up. Instead I am waiting until the end of mealtime to deal with it. This is a new me. Even my hubby is surprised at how chilled out I am. 

I'm not saying my house now has pasta sauce climbing the kitchen walls or bits of food all over the floor. I of course try and maintain mess is best with the help of a few products to keep the weaning journey stress free.

My Babymoov High Chair is fab as it's very easy to clean. We used to have the Ikea high chair which was good but when it came to pasta sauce or a curry sauce, it left a horrible stain which we were never able to bring up sparkling. Our new high chair cleans so easily. 




We also use a Messy Me Splash Mat. It is designed to be placed underneath your high chair to catch all the food mess dropped on the floor. It's ideal as it's wipe clean. Once again making my parenting duties super easy. We've used this mat for so many other things as-well such as indoor and outdoor picnics and for painting. 




One thing that has been very helpful during weaning is our Bibetta Bib. I can't tell you how many clothes I lost to Spaghetti Bolognese before we got this. It actually covers almost all of Ophelia except the bottom of her legs. It also doesn't seem to allow any of the food to sneak through under the neck like lots of other bibs. 



The bib has a fold out pocket which most of the time catches any food that she drops. She can then retrieve these herself. 




What tips have you got for embracing messy weaning? 

If you are on instagram and twitter keep an eye out for the hashtag #messisbest to see some fab weaning pics and ideas



*As part of our weaning ambassador role for Babymoov, we have been gifted with the highchair, mat and bib featured in this post. All views and opinions are my own*
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A trip to London to see Scooby-Doo Live Musical Mysteries

You may have read my post earlier on this week about how Eva and I were going to see a new Scooby-Doo musical, my post. It was a trip that just the two of us were taking so I wanted to make the most of our alone time together. I booked for us to stay in a hotel the night before.

We travelled up on the Wednesday night. Unfortunately, we arrived quite late so we didn't get to make the most of having a sleepover together which I was a bit gutted about. I had envisaged us getting into our pjs and singing and dancing and painting our nails etc. All things she would have loved. Instead, it was into our pjs and straight to bed as it was so late.

We woke up and decided to head for breakfast and then visit Harrods. Eva had been given some money by her Grampy to buy herself and Ophelia a present. We must have spent at least 2 hours in the toy, teddy and book section at Harrods. She was loving life. After much deliberation she settled on a Disney make up box and cars set for herself and a Harrods teddy and a book for Ophelia. 

Next we headed off for the main event, Scooby-Doo Live Musical Mysteries at the London Palladium theatre. Eva was so excited. She had talked about it all day. We stepped out of the taxi to lots of paparazzi taking pictures. This added to the excitement and anticipation. We collected our tickets and headed in.

We spotted a fantastic lego Scooby-Doo which was perfect for a photo opportunity.



We then took our seats for the show and it began. It opened up to the well known song Scooby-Doo where are you? The audience all joined in.


The gang had to solve the mystery of the theatre ghost. To do this they decided to disguise themselves as a band. The audience were encouraged to join in by singing, dancing and shouting out whenever we saw the ghost. 



Eva and I really enjoyed it. She's 3.5 and didn't find it particularly scary. She was worried whenever the ghost came on stage but not enough to cover her eyes. 



After the show we were treated to a VIP meet and greet with Daphne and Scooby-Doo. This is available after every performance. Daphne invited the children onto the stage to learn some of the dance moves. Eva loved all of this until the music started. She then ran off the stage as she thought the theatre ghost was coming. 


Overall we had a fab time. Eva has been talking about it ever since. I loved the fact that at 3.5 years old she is able to say she danced on stage at the London Palladium.

Don't miss your chance to see the show as it's only on for a limited time. Get your tickets here, book.

Seeing as we had such a lovely time, what show do you suggest we watch next?

*We were given free tickets to the show in exchange for a blog review. All opinions are truthful and our own*
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Wednesday, 17 August 2016

The Siblings Project - August

It's been a little while since I updated you on the siblings relationship between my two girls. The last update I did was in June and you may remember that I said their bond has taken a while to form. You can read the post here if you missed it, The Siblings Project June

Ophelia has always been amazed by her big sister but the feeling wasn't quite reciprocated. Fortunately, in the last couple of months we have seen a huge improvement.



Eva now seems to include her sister in playing. She quite regularly talks to her and is now concerned if she is crying or upset. I'm probably making it sound like Eva hated Ophelia. That's not the case at all, she just genuinely wasn't that bothered interacting with her.



At the end of last month we went on holiday to Turkey. It was a lovely holiday. The girls swam together in the pool and sea. They played on the beach together and they really enjoyed each other's company. The evenings were sometimes difficult as Ophelia was desperate to play with her sister and seeing as she's not on the move yet, she couldn't chase her around the restaurants. 




Ophelia recently went on a swing for the very first time, which she did with her big sister next to her. She was loving life. It was so adorable to see. You could tell she thought she was chocolate being able to do the same things Eva was doing. Eva also enjoyed it too, especially being able to push her.


We've had lots of nice weather recently which means the girls have spent a lot of time in the garden. One area they love is in their teepee. Well, that was until I broke it. It's a plastic one so it's easily done!! They've sat in it and read lots of books together. 



They've also eaten outside quite a few times for bbq's, picnics and I recently prepared them an afternoon tea. I made sandwiches, cakes and some savoury muffins. The savoury muffins were a big hit so i'll have to share the recipe on here.



They love singing together. One of their favourite songs is 'Girls Like' by Tinie Tempah. Both of them dance and sing. It's so funny to watch.

Next month will be a huge change for both the girls. It will see Eva starting preschool for 2.5 hours a day and Ophelia will also be going to a nursery one day a week. Big sob fest coming up for me.





The Me and Mine Project
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Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Deciding which Disney park to choose for our holiday

If you know us then you will know we are a Disney mad family. My obsession started when I was a little girl, watching the movies constantly and wishing I could be princess Jasmine (my favourite). Luckily for me, hubby was also a sucker for Disney. It was inevitable that our children were going to grow up as Disney lovers.




Hubby and I have each been to Disneyworld in Florida but a very long time ago when we were kids. Together we have been to Disneyland Paris and we have also taken our girls there.


We have decided that our 2017 family holiday is going to be a Disney one. The only thing we couldn't decide on was, which place to go to. There is either Florida, Paris, Tokyo, California, Hong Kong or Shanghai. We found an infographic by My Voucher Codes which has lots of interesting facts about each park. You can read the full article here, Which Disney Park is the one for you?.



Neither of us fancied any of the ones in Asia. I think it's because we wanted something big and they seem to be smaller than the others.

We have been to Disneyland Paris about 4 times now so we thought we'd give that a miss next year. I did love reading the fact about the Aerosmith ride featured on the infographic as that's my favourite ride there. I had no idea that Aerosmith re-recorded all the vocals and guitar riffs just for the ride.


So it was between California and Florida. The California resort is smaller than the Florida one. Can you believe it was the first one to be built? 

After reading up, we made a choice and it has to be Florida. If we're going to spend 2 weeks away with Mickey Mouse and friends then this was the best place to go. It has the most amount of theme parks and water parks. With 343 restaurants, 27 hotels and 144 attractions, we will be entertained the entire time.

Watch this space for more details of our upcoming holiday. 

**This is a collaborative post**









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Thursday, 11 August 2016

Summer outdoor dining experiences for all the family

I'm really hoping summer is going to show its face soon for a long stint. There are so many lovely ways to get the family together and enjoy dining al fresco. In our house food brings family together and creates memories so here are some of our favourite ways to dine outdoors.

1) Picnic
We adore picnics in our house. We always tend to have eyes too big for our bellies but isn't that what most of the fun is all about, preparing lots of food and nibbling as you please. We've enjoyed plenty of picnics in the garden this year and we have even had some in our living room as typically the great British weather doesn't always do what we want. 



I bought a fab picnic rucksack this year which has been invaluable for when the 4 of us are having a picnic away from home. It comes complete with plates, glasses and cutlery. I always pack a picnic rug to snuggle in to and our Messy Me Mat to sit on. It's ideal for picnics and outdoor use as it's wipeable meaning it's super easy to clean.


We like to make lots of different things for picnics such as sandwiches, veggie sticks, fruit, quiches etc. I use my Babymoov Babybowls for storing a lot of the food. They are so handy as they have lids, can be stacked and you can also write on them (which then washes off). Eva loves them and tends to fill them and pack them herself.




2) BBQ
Nothing says summer dining better than a BBQ. I'll admit, we haven't used ours as much as we'd have liked but again I think that's been down to the weather. Whenever we have had one it's something that all of us have enjoyed, even Ophelia. 
Luckily Ophelia loves finger food so she always seems to want whatever we have. She's tucked into hotdogs, burgers, meat and fish skewers and she is a huge fan of potato salad. If you're babies aren't onto a finger food stage you can simply make them a puree of whatever meat and salad/veg you are cooking.

3) Afternoon Tea
Afternoon tea's are a tradition in our house. We really enjoy them. One thing we haven't done yet is an afternoon tea party at our house. We always have them at a hotel or restaurant. Fortunately, it is afternoon tea week so I am planning to do a surprise one for the girls in the garden on the weekend. 
Eva will love it. She loves anything that resembles a party so she will love having sandwiches and cakes in the garden. 
I'm thinking of doing soft cheese, cucumber and egg for the sandwich fillings and i'm even going to attempt to bake. I think i'll try and make some savoury muffins for Ophelia to eat. 
I'll just have to make sure she is wearing her Bibetta Bib to catch all her mess and protect her clothes. She loves to touch and feel everything and of course squish it everywhere, which we encourage.

4) Breakfast
We've had breakfast out in the garden a few times. I always find we have a better day if we start it outdoors and in the sun. It's a great way of waking yourself up. We've had French breakfasts with croissants, pastries, coffees and juice and we've also had American breakfasts with lots of pancakes. Both the girls love pancakes.

5) Camp Fire
One thing we are yet to try but is on our bucket list is to have a camp fire at night and toast some marshmallows and have hot chocolate. If the weather stays nice we are planning to camp in our garden at the weekend so we'll hopefully get a chance to do this over our fire pit.

6) Movie Night
Last on the list is to have an outdoor movie night. We have wooden sofas as our garden furniture and they are very comfy. We have snuggled under blankets and watched a movie on our iPad with popcorn and treats. The dream is to get a projector so that we can project a film onto one of the walls or fences. 
You can also try this if you have a big trampoline. Get yourself some sleeping bags, cushions and blankets and snuggle up together under the stars whilst watching your favourite family film. 

Do you do anything off our list of ideas? Have you got any other suggestions?

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