UK handmade spotlight – Minnie’s Macaroon, Mrs Mouse hat review

Disclosure – I was kindly sent this Mrs Mouse, baby crochet hat to review by Minnie’s Macaroon. All thoughts, opinions and photos are my own. For further details see my disclosure policy.

Today I have a special UK handmade spotlight post for you. Regular readers will know how much I love handmade items and how much I enjoy showcasing the talented makers we have here in the UK. You may also remember that I have made a few crochet items for my baby. So it will come as no surprise that when I saw a message on twitter asking for bloggers to review handmade crochet children’s hats I added my name to the list. The following day I discovered that I had been chosen by Minnie’s Macaroon to review one of their hats. I picked their Mrs Mouse crochet beanie hat in baby size. It was a difficult decision to make since they have so many other gorgeous designs (you can find them all here).

IMG_6667Minnie’s Macaroon is based in West Yorkshire and they have been making and selling hand made items for babies, children and adults since 2009. As well as hats (available in adult, child and baby sizes) they also hand make and sell toys, such as this adorable gingerbread man rattle. All items are made using lovely soft Icelandic yarn.

I received my babies hat on Wednesday morning and I was really pleased with it. I love the design and the yarn is indeed very soft and it also looks like it will be warm and snuggly. I have had many compliments already from other mums and my own mum over how cute the hat is and I couldn’t agree more. The hat is £11 and available in baby (0-24 months) and child (2-9 years) sizes. There is also a Mr Mouse design available in the same sizes. My little girl is almost 7 months and at present the hat is a little too big for her but I have found this with many 6-12 month hats. The only thing missing is perhaps some washing instructions. Minnie’s Macaroons aim to supply high quality, unique and fun gifts not available on the high street at affordable prices. After reviewing this hat I would say that they definitely do just that.

Thank you Minnie’s Macaroon for sending me and my daughter this beautiful hat for review.

100th post, Personal planner giveaway – Now closed

***This giveaway is now closed***

This is my 100th post on the blog and to celebrate I have a little giveaway for you. The lovely people at Personal-planner.co.uk contacted me to ask if I would be interest in hosting a giveaway of one of their planners and writing a post on Christmas present suggestions. In exchange they have sent me my very own personalised planner.

First up here are a few christmas present suggestions for mums. Scroll down to the bottom of the page if you want to find out how you could be in with a chance of winning a personal planner of any value from Personal-planner.co.uk.

planner-giveaway Continue reading

Peter rabbit – what we’re reading

IMG_6537A while ago I saw a review of a cloth Peter Rabbit book on Dear beautiful and I added it to the list I have in my head of books I want for my daughter. Last week we were in the Lake District and every other shop has Beatrix Potter books and gifts so it won’t come as any surprise that we came away with a Peter Rabbit book for our daughter.

IMG_6539 IMG_6541The book we chose was Peter Rabbit my first board book. It’s a lovely little book with beautiful illustrations, lots of colour and each page has a tab that you pull to make part of the picture move. It’s really short (5 double page spreads) but it is a lovely introduction to Peter Rabbit for babies. My favorite page has to be the last one where you tuck Peter Rabbit up in bed for the night.Fotor1103215547Maggie Stone

In my kitchen – 4th November 2013

Fotor1103202851 The kitchen really is the heart of the family home and in this new series I want to share with you what goes on in our kitchen. I love to cook and bake, both sweet and savory food. When I bake I’m very accurate and stick to following the recipe exactly. With cooking though I’m much more likely to be seen tweaking recipes to suit our tastes or what’s in the cupboards/fridge. I also like to try creating my own recipes which I think are very family friendly so you can expect a few of these to make it to the blog. I also started weaning my little girl 3 weeks ago so expect more on that here too.IMG_6571This week I’ve not been in my kitchen that much as we were away in the Lake District most of the week. I’ve made up for it this weekend though by baking my first ever Christmas cake. Not content with making one cake I’ve made two over two days. I plan to cut these square cakes in to smaller ones and give them as presents to family this Christmas. I used a recipe from the pink whisk which I have had no problems with (obviously I can’t tell you what it tastes until Christmas but I have no worries). Now I just need to feed them, divide them and possibly ice and decorate them.IMG_6565

IMG_6603IMG_6597Saturday night we had planned to go out and watch our local firework display. We were planning to wrap our baby up well, put her in her pram and go for a walk to watch them whilst she slept. However the weather was wet, cold and very windy so we decided to forget that plan. Bonfires and firework displays make me want to cook and eat warming food. Think stews, casseroles and baked potatoes. Saturday night I cooked a sausage and bean casserole which I served with baked potatoes. There was one portion left over so I thinned it down and we had it as a soup with crusty bread for Sunday lunch. It was delicious and I’ll share the recipe with you later in the week. I wanted to bake parkin as well but I thought I had enough on with 2 Christmas cakes so perhaps that will happen next week.

IMG_6588Weaning my little girl is going fairly well. I started with baby rice at lunch times moving on to pear after a few days. Soon she was eating a variety of home made puree such as carrot, sweet potato, apple, banana, broccoli and butternut squash. She just seemed to know exactly what to do and eagerly ate anything I gave her. Since it was going so well I added in a second meal and by the end of second week she was on three meals a day. I gradually increased the number of ice cubes worth of puree that she was eating but even when she was on three at lunch and tea she was still eating enthusiastically at the end, as if she would have had more if I offered them. She seemed to be having less breastfeeds as well and at one point I wondered if she was having too much solids and not enough milk. The health visitors/books all seemed to stress the point that food is fun until one and that milk is where they get most of their nutrition.

This past week (her third week of solids) I’ve started giving her more variety than plain fruit and veg puree. I’ve started mixing them together, adding grated cheese, lentils and giving her finger foods. She no longer eats as enthusiastically (unless it’s pear, apple, banana or baby cereal) and doesn’t always finish even 2 ice cubes worth. Consequently she seems to be breastfeeding more again. Since she is six months I’ve also tried mashing her food but she simply spits any lumpy bits back out so I’ve gone back to blending everything for now. Finger food isn’t going that well either. The only finger food I have found that she will really try to eat is strips of pita bread. She will suck on them a lot and if any bits come off in her mouth she will try to eat them. Sometimes she is successful but more often than not she ends up spitting it out. I’ve been dipping them in her puree and soft cheese and she will suck most of it from the bread. The next step is to start introducing meat and fish so that is my plan for this week. I know that at the moment food is fun so I’m trying not to worry about how much she eats and hoping that she’ll get the hang of finger foods/lumps with time and that she’ll start to enjoy foods that aren’t naturally sweet again soon.

We love the Lake District

IMG_6496IMG_6419We are just back from spending a lovely few days in the Lake District. The weather was pretty wet but we still got out a lot considering we have a six month old baby in tow (seriously between weaning and milk feeds I feel like I do very little else at the moment).We love the Lake District and Ambleside in particular and have visited most autumns for the past 5 years or so (we missed last autumn since I was pregnant and feeling pretty sick and tired most of the time). My husband even proposed whilst we were in the lakes several years ago. The area is stunning all year round but I love it there in the autumn. It’s less busy than I imagine it would be in the summer and I love all the colours of the leaves. IMG_6486IMG_6533 My parents rented an apartment in Ambleside for the week and we joined them from Sunday to Wednesday. My sister and her boyfriend were also there until Monday so we had plenty of time with my family. It was lovely for them all to spend so much time with our baby as I know that they do not see as much of her as they would like (they’re all in Yorkshire and we are an hour and a half away in Cheshire). We wrapped up warm and tried to stay dry in waterproofs and made the best of the weather. We wandered around the shops in Ambleside, took strolls down to Waterside and Ambleside pier and explored further a field too such as Windermere, Coniston and Hawkshead. We even found a very nice buggy friendly walk which I will share more details with you in another post. IMG_6530IMG_6505When the rain and wind got too much we spent some time indoors too. There was a garden center right across the road from where we were staying and they had a massive Christmas display up. It still feels too early for christmas things to me but I knew my little girl would love the lights. As predicted she was mesmerised by all the twinkling lights. We also had free access to The Langdale spa as part of our accommodation so we took our little one swimming one morning and I even sneaked in some time in the jacuzzi whilst my mum dried and dressed her after swim. IMG_6492 IMG_6491 We also made the most of having my parents to babysit and went out for a meal on our own for the first time in 6 months. We had a delicious meal at Lucy’s on a plate, a lovely restaurant in the heart of Ambleside, serving delicious food. I enjoyed a lamb tagine before struggling to choose from one of the 26 desserts on offer! We enjoyed another fantastic meal at Chesters by the river one lunch time. You really need to arrive early to get a table as it got very busy and consequently there was a bit of a wait for food too. It really was worth the wait though and actually waiting worked for us as I was able to feed my baby before our food arrived. Both Lucy’s and Chesters serve great quality food, using the fantastic produce available in the lake district and change their menus frequently. I hope we get to go back to both of these places next time we are in the lakes.IMG_6481IMG_6477IMG_6439 Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall