An autumn walk in the park – Country kids

Last saturday we went to visit family. It was a cold, grey and drizzling day. The kind of day that before kids we would have stayed inside but with an active, almost four year old who likes to be outside (our nephew) and our baby who will only sleep in her cot, pram or a moving car (we were away from home so no cot) we took a trip to the park.

IMG_6277We enjoyed kicking autumn leaves.

IMG_6262Hunting for conkers.

IMG_6285Snoozing in our pram.

IMG_6279Spotting and photographing nature.

IMG_6270 IMG_6276And of course playing in the play park. Our baby had her first go on the swings too since she is getting pretty good at sitting up with some support. She seemed to quiet like it. Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Friday finds – 18th October 2013

After missing last week I’m back with my favorite blog posts from the last two weeks. It’s been a busy week on the blog. I blogged about starting weaning my baby, our current favorite book to read snuggled in bed each morning and I shared my favorite kids’ wellies. Hopefully Friday finds will be back next Friday with a special Halloween selection of Friday finds. Have a great weekend.18-10-13

1. I’ve shared my love of Wild thing dresses before but I couldn’t resist sharing this beautiful bear cape with you.

2. Early learning center currently have 50% off selected toys, including this fabulous fun fair happyland set (down to £30 from £60). Next Christmas happyland will definitely be on my little ones Christmas list.

3. In my post about Hairy Maclary on Tuesday I mentioned purchasing a 15 book collection of further books from the series. Well Hairy Mclary’s hat tricks is one of them and it was mentioned in a great post by Edspire about autumn story books for children. Whilst you are over at Edspire have a look at the details for the Matilda Mae welly walk taking place on 2nd November.

4. Last weekend my parents brought over a few toys for my baby. Not just any toys but toys that were mine and my sisters 30 years ago. I’ve been asking them to search this fisher price happy apple out for ages. It easily rocks on the floor when you touch it, making a lovely chime sound. My baby seems captivated by it and I love that she is enjoying playing with something I played with 32 years ago.

5. Another thing I have mentioned before on here is bento boxes. This week I was pleased to see an online shop selling a selection of supplies in the UK. I love this selection of fruit and vegetable silicone cups.

You might have noticed that I’m a big believer in the importance of children spending time outdoors (see my the great outdoors series). This week I enjoyed reading posts including Autumn love and connected to nature. If you are expecting your second child you might be wondering if you need a buggy board or double buggy? to help you get out and about. Sometimes though it’s nice just to spend time at home (that’s what we’ll be doing this weekend).

This week I have started looking for a nursery for my little girl for when I go back to work (not for another 6 months thankfully but it still feels like it is coming round too fast). I’m sure as it gets nearer I’ll go through the 5 stages of the end of maternity leave. I want to remember to read this post again nearer the time, it’s positive and full of really useful tips – tips for life after maternity leave. Another useful tips post for mums is 21 breastfeeding lessons learned. If you are a mum yourself, I’m guessing you won’t need this next post but you might know someone who does – 11 helpful things to do for someone who has just had a baby.

Have you heard of slow toys or slow play? I hadn’t until this week when I read about it on Edspire where Jeannie explains what it is and shares a great slow play activity using pom poms and paper cups. If your looking for craft activities how cute is this horse chestnut snake?

I love to cook and bake. This week these recipes for aubergine, tomato and mozzarella bake, Toffee apple muffins, lentil, sweet potato and chilli soup and chicken pot pie caught my eye. One for the kids, perfect for the weather we’ve been enjoying this week – a rainy day bento box.

Team Honk is back and bigger than ever! Read about how you can join in with a blogger to blogger relay from John O’ Groats to Land’s end.

I can relate to so many of the items in this final blog post & the ones I can’t I know it’s only a matter of time – you know you’re a mummy when ..

Winter essentials – kids wellies

It rained all day yesterday which means it’s the perfect weather for wellies. There is no such thing as bad weather only inappropriate clothing. What child doesn’t love jumping in puddles? Obviously at 5 months my little one doesn’t need wellies just yet but here are my favorites that I have seen on the internet for older children.

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Top to bottom, moving from left to right

John Lewis girls floral wellington boot , £12-£14

Woodland hike, blue synthetic, Clarks, £16

Printed wellies, Muddy puddles, £16. Available in four designs

Little bird by Jools rainbow stripe wellies, Mothercare, £12

Hunter red boots, £35, other colours available

Crocs kids’ handle it rain boots, £19.99, other colours available

Rain splats, £38. Other colours available

JNR seafarer unisex kids plain wellie yellow, Joules £29.95. Also available in red and blue

Poco Nido wellies, £20. Two designs available

Hairy Maclary – what we’re reading

IMG_6246  I picked this board book up whilst I was pregnant, as another mum had recommended it to me. I’m not really a dog lover so I probably wouldn’t have looked twice at it if it wasn’t for the recommendation. However this has turned out to be one of my favorite books to read to my baby (and yes I do pretty much know it off by heart already). IMG_6247

I love the flow of the rhymes in this short story about a dog and all his friends who go for a walk until they come across a scary cat. My baby seems to enjoy this book too probably due to the repetition and rhythm of the poem. She looks at the pictures and reaches out for the book and often gets so excited she hits the book as she waves her arms with excitement. It’s become such a firm favorite with both me, my husband and our baby that we have bought a set of 15 Hairy Maclary and friends books by Lynley Dodd (£15 from the book people) for christmas.

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Joining in with what we’re reading over on Dear beautiful.

Starting the weaning adventures

Saturday morning we gave our baby her first solids. She is 24 weeks and showing all the signs of readiness for solids. Last week she had started to drop milk feeds and several afternoons she would go 6-7 hours between feeds. I know with breastfeeding it is hard to tell if she is taking less milk or simply making up for the missed feeds at the next one but being a typical first time mum I am a little worried about her milk in take. I am also struggling to feed her anywhere where there is any kind of distraction which is making going out difficult and stressful. If someone so much as coughs whilst she is feeding she pulls off, so no more feeding her in noisy cafes etc. I’ve never her got her to take milk from a bottle either. She pretty much sleeps through most of the time (until 6am and then goes back for an hour or so after a feed) so I haven’t started early to try to get her to sleep better. I know that I am very lucky she is such a good sleeper, especially for a breastfed baby.

I’ve read a few books on weaning including baby led weaning. Although I liked the idea of baby led weaning, I never felt completely sure that I could commit to never feeding her puree on a spoon. Then when I felt she was taking less milk last week I felt sure I wanted to know she was getting some food (by spoon feeding her puree) but I couldn’t give up on the idea of baby led either. A few friends recommended weaning made easy to me and as soon as I started reading it I started to feel much more confident about weaning. The book talks about the pros and cons of both baby led and traditional weaning and then recommends a combination of both types. Having read Gill Rapley’s book, I know that it is not really possible to combine baby led weaning with spoon feeding and call it baby led but this is the way I feel most comfortable starting weaning my baby.

So far she has had 2 days of a few teaspoons of baby rice which she has eagerly eaten. I’ve also made and frozen ice cubes of puree pear, carrot, sweet potato, butternut squash and parsnip to feed her over the next few weeks. I had planned to move on from baby rice to one of these puree today but I gave her a tiny amount of carrot puree yesterday tea and 20 minutes later she brought it back so I think I will go back to rice for a day or two.

I plan to take it relatively slowly over the next few weeks but once she hits 6 months I know that I need to start giving her finger foods, a wider variety of foods and increasing the thickness and texture of puree. I am keen to include lots of finger foods and ideally would like to be more baby led than traditional but to start with I want to know that she is getting some food.

Friday finds – 4th October 2013

Another week has flown by and yet again I find myself writting my weekly friday finds post on a thursday evening. I really enjoy putting these posts together but every week I plan to start writting them as I come across things but it never happens.This week on the blog I shared one of my favorite places in the UK, I wrote a letter to my baby at 5 months and I shared another UK handmade artist, The fabric phoenix. I hope you enjoy reading this collection of links. Have a good weekend.

template-friday-finds1 – We currently have a mamas and papas sola pushchair that I love but I can see me getting fed up with the size and weight of it once my baby is older (it takes up most of our boot). I love the look of their new pushchair, armadillo which comes in a range of modern colours/designs. I would love to here your recommendations though for lightweight/compact pushchairs.

2 – Is it too early to mention chirstmas? This year I plan to bake christmas cakes for the first time which means starting soon so that has got me thinking about christmas. I have made a gingerbread house before and I remember that the templates in the recipe I used were not correct and we had to play around to get it right. This week I spotted this set of cookie cutters from lakeland designed to make baking gingerbread houses easy. I plan to get this set as I would love to make gingerbread house with my little girl in the future. I might bake one this year anyway.

3 – I spotted these cute ceramic jars with wooden lids on etsy. They come in a wide range of designs.

4 – We’ve had a mixture of sunny days and rainy days here this week. My baby has no need for wellies this autumn winter but if you have a little one who loves to splash in the puddles you’ll need a good pair of wellies for them. I love these bright yellow ones from Hunter.

I love making homemade soup in autumn & winter. This week UK parent blogs were full of delicious soup recipes including this one for sweet potato, butternut squash and chilli soup. Mummy pink wellies shared not one but three simple soup recipes this week that you could easily make this weekend. Or how do you like the sound of harvest vegetable soup with smokey bacon? Prefer baking to cooking? then you’ll love this recipe for blackberry crumble. If you are looking for lunch box ideas for your little ones, then you love this recipe for ham and cheese muffins. I’ve mentioned before how much I love the idea of bento boxes and this week I discovered another mum who has started making fabulous bento boxes for her little girl (and husband). My little one is nowhere near ready for packed lunches, in fact she is still exclusively breastfed. However we are soon to start on our weaning adventure so I read with interest mummy daddy and me’s post on weaning the second time round.

How is it October already? If you are starting to think about Halloween you might find this post from tots100 handy – 20 spooktacular ideas for Halloween. I love the idea of making a pumpkin house from nurture store, so cute. Looking for more autumn craft ideas? Have a look on red ted art where you’ll find an autumn nature tree craft idea.

I mentioned last week that my husband had been ill and I was fighting off a cold. Since then we have both recovered but not surprisingly our baby developed a bit of a cough and cold. She has been doing well though as doesn’t seem to be bothered by it. Another blogger struggling with her little girl having a cold is my pretty mummy. She shared a post with some tips that might help others for surviving the chaos of the common cold. If your little one is unwell or you’ve simply had a day where nothing seems to have gone right this lovely post is a beautiful reminder of just how important our jobs as parents are, putting the world to rights. Another beautiful post and reminder to us mums is from Hollybobb’s on body image – are you beautiful?.

Emily from The startup wife shared this fun, quick update to her little boy’s bedroom by adding washi tape, in her post on making a happy home. Two of everything shared a great sensory play activity for toddlers – Lavender gloop. Find 5 great ideas for easy after school play activities here. Help your child to learn spelling using ginger and cinnamon salt trays.

UK handmade spotlight – The fabric phoenix

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All photos taken by The fabric phoenix and used with permission

The fabric phonex produces beautiful memory softies. Not familiar with memory softies? Basically you send a collection of your babies clothes (for example their first sleepsuits) and they are used to create a beautiful keepsake softie. Memory sofies currently available are bear, lion, dragon, dinosaur, elephant, rabbit, cat and monkey. They can be personallised with your childs name and date of birth to create a truely unique keepsake. These softies are designed as keepsakes and are not suitable to be used as a toy. You can find out more on their facebook page, website or etsy shop. Prices do see to vary across these 3 sites but the latest update on facebook (25th September) is that all memory pets are £30 plus post and packaging.

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