Thursday, 30 July 2015

Recipe: super easy, quick baby cookies

This morning I decided to try making some sweet snacks for Baby D. I only had a small amount of time as she would only amuse herself for a few minutes before wanting mummy or milk.

She's only just turned 1 and hasn't really had refined sugar yet, I'm trying to delay it for as long as possible and she gets eczema that is aggravated by dairy so trying to avoid that too. So, here's what I came up with. It took about 5 minutes to prepare, 15 to cook plus 5 to cool. That's pretty quick in my book.

Recipe makes approx 16 cookies
2 tbps coconut oil
1 mashed banana (the more over ripe the better)
1 rolled oats - not quite sure in what method.

So I mashed the banana and coconut oil together until they were a sloppy paste then stirred in rolled oats until the mixture became stiff. I'd guess 1 cup oats but do a little at a time until the mixture feels right.
I then rolled little balls slightly smaller than ping pong balls and flattened to little patties. Put on a greased baking tray and popped in the preheated oven on 160C fan or 180C for 15 mins or until they went golden brown.
I put onto cooling tray and let cool for 5 minutes.

Perfect little healthy snacks for baby led weaners!

Baby D gave her seal of approval by polishing off two in quick succession.

Let me know if you try this and if your babbers like them.

Dawn x

Here's a little update :)
I just made another batch but added a couple of strawberries to add a bit of interest and they came out great.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Affordable clothes part one: Nursing clothes

I'm one of these people who always has trouble finding clothes to fit me. I am small. Really small. I'm just about 5 foot tall, have a slight physique, small boobies and narrow shoulders but wide hips. Take a look at my post about self image and boobs. And to cut a long story short I get really frustrated with the clothing industry.
My latest annoyance had been with nursing clothes. Firstly they are expensive and nearly always double up as maternity wear which means they have a big space for a bump...and if you breastfeed past 9 months chances of your bump having disappeared are rather high. Having a big baggy bit of fabric under ones boobs is not the most flattering of things. Also their designs seem to be a bit boring and certainly not the kind of style that I feel myself in (of course there are always exceptions like Mama Feels Good: I LOVE their nursing tops). And lastly being such a small person they are nearly always too big for me - my experience is that they smallest size is size 10 which is just too big for a scrawny wee one like me (I'm roughly the size of an average 12 year old except I have boobs and bum), so I look like I'm wearing a sack. Not to mention the hidden slits that you're meant to pop your booby out of sometimes being in the wrong place.

So, what on earth do I wear? My pre-baby clothes are mostly high necked so totally unsuitable for breastfeeding and I'm quite a fan of tea dresses (again high necked) which of course are again totally unsuitable for nursing. Having a baby is pretty expensive as we know so replacing an entire wardrobe is just unrealistic when you've got about £16 left to your name.

Nearly everything I now wear is secondhand, predominantly from charity shops but also from table top sales, car boot sales, hand me downs and eBay, Gumtree and Facebook. Then there is the odd occasion I buy a new item off the high street when I'm feeling flush having saved so much money buying secondhand.
I get compliments very often and people asking me where I got my nursing clothes. I can proudly say "it's a charity shop special!"
So what do I look out for? Generally wraparound/crossover tops and dresses that allow you to slip one side down or button down tops. I personally prefer jersey fabric as there is so much more 'give' than cotton or whatnot. 
Underneath I wear a stretchy strappy top that can easily be pulled down on one side or if it's very warm just a crop top style nursing bra like this one:
I'm more of a 'pull the top down' type of breastfeeder than a 'pull the top up' type...I'm still quite self conscious about my wobbly, stretch marked belly and would prefer to keep it covered. Although I quite often wear a tight strappy top with a loose top over the top which I pull up then pull down the strappy if you get what I mean.
If I'm wearing a button down or pull down/across type top sometimes it feels like I'm flashing too much flesh - sort of boob to shoulder area exposed - so I wear a small scarf or something or if I'm wearing a card over the top that hides a bit of skin. A nursing cover would never work as it'd be ripped off by Baby D within seconds plus I don't want to hide away, I'm proud of feeding my baby.

Here's a selection of some of my bargains...(please excuse my strange face pulling and funny angles, selfies are quite tricky!)
Charity shop purchases, the most spent is £6 on the zigzag dress (that I look miserable wearing in this pic!)
I'm actually in the process of setting up a little affordable nursing clothes this space!

Happy bargain hunting.

Dawn x

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Less mess with Baby Led Weaning when you're out and about

There's no getting away from it, Baby Led Weaning is extremely messy (and fun!) Having dogs is very helpful as they munch on all the bits and bobs Baby D throws onto the floor but what do you do when you're out at a friend's house, a cafe or restaurant? I'm not comfortable with leaving a great mess for others to tidy up - I'll end up on my hands and knees under the table picking up crumbs and things: not great in a restaurant setting. At the beginning of weaning I used to just breastfeed Baby D instead of giving her solids when we were out and about but now she's a year old she wants solids and won't be fobbed off with boob! Don't get me wrong, she still breastfeeds pretty often but in addition to solids not instead of any more. Here's some of my tried and tested ideas for less mess when you're away from home.

Ready made foods:

Kiddilicious make brilliant little wafers, they come in banana, blueberry or carrot and handy little packets of two. They make hardly any mess at all. 

Mini rice cakes. There are loads of different makes of these on the market but the ones. I buy are the Boot's own brand organic ones. They have less sugar and salt than the others and come in plain, orange, apple flavours. 

Bread sticks. I buy the mini ones from whichever supermarket I'm in. They can be a bit salty though so I only let Baby D have one or two.

Homemade foods:

- Frittata - I'll make a 2 egg frittata using whatever vegetables I have in the fridge, cook it really thoroughly then chop up into bit sized pieces. Although bits will inevitably fall on the floor they are easy to pick/sweep up. Here's a recipe for Baby D 's favourite frittata.

- Raw vegetable batons - carrot, cucumber, courgette, peppers.

- Pancakes, better still breastmilk pancakes. Recipe.

- Tortellini without any sauce added.

- Cheesy/vegetable breadsticks. Recipe coming soon...

- Eggybread.

Bits and bobs:

I'll always have a few bits in the changing bag for food on the go:

- A Munchkin To-Go Bib (can buy from Amazon, Asda or Tesco). It's specifically designed for when you're out and about. It's made from wipe clean (or stick under the tap) plastic with a pocket at the bottom for catching bits. Then when you're done it all tucks in neatly and sealed with Velcro into the pocket so any sticky or mucky messes are tidied away when you're finished to pop back in your bag without getting the contents of your bag dirty or you can use the attached loop to dangle from your bag. They have cute designs too.

A Tommee Tippee Weaning Straw Cup. Nice and compact with little handles for little hands. We chose to go with a straw cup instead of a sippee cup so that Baby D can learn to use a straw. So, in an emergency we can use a normal straw in a normal cup.

OXO Tot Baby Blocks storage containers. They are meant for storing puréed foods in the freezer but as we are doing Baby Led Weaning there is no purées involved so I use them as useful sized containers for travel. They seal nicely and don't leak plus they come with a tray to put them in.

- Handysitt High Chair. This is the same as the ones they have in Starbucks and other eateries and folds down flat so you can pop in the back of the car. It simply hooks over and attaches to a dining chair (except the really high backed leather/fabric ones). Baby D loves hers and feels like part of things sat up at the table with everyone.

Well hopefully that might help if your little one is starting on solids! Happy weaning.

Dawn x

Baby Led Weaning frittata recipe

This is Baby D's favourite flavour frittata but you can easily substitute any of the vegetables for others and add whatever you like.

Half tsp any oil - I like rapeseed or olive oil
Half a small courgette (zucchini) grated
1 medium carrot grated
6 cherry tomatoes quartered
1 tbsp frozen peas
2 eggs beaten

Warm the oil in a small frying pan and add the courgette and carrot. Stir on a medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and peas, stir and heat for a further minute or so.
Add the eggs and cook slowly until the eggs are firm - about 5 minutes or so depending on the size of your pan (smaller pan makes frittata thicker so takes longer). If you're in a hurry you can pop under the grill to finish cooking the top.
Leave to cool then cut into bite sized chunks.

Other things we put in sometimes are onion, peppers, sweetcorn, boiled potato, broccoli, kale or spinach (chopped into tiny pieces), grated cheese, chicken, turkey, tuna, salmon, sardines, anything you like really.

Dawn x

Saturday, 4 July 2015

My favourite app - Day One

So when I did my post about my favourite apps I stupidly forgot my absolute favourite! What a wally. Anyhoo, that means it gets a whole post devoted to it.

It's called Day One and is basically a photo journal on your iPhone or iPad.

I've been using it for around 3 years now but it really came into its own through my pregnancy and with the arrival of Baby D. I ensure I take at least one photo a day (more often than not of Baby D) add tags and a short description and that's it. It records where the photo was taken and at what time plus what the weather was like and sorts them into chronological order. 
photo view option
It's a really lovely and easy way of looking back through what you've been up to etc. I can look back at my bump growing and looking through the ones of Baby D are ace, seeing her change. One of my favourite tags that I use is 'firsts', I've got her first bath, first giggle, first roll over, first tooth and the list goes on. All the photos are stored online so don't take up space on your device and if you lose your phone or whatnot they are not gone forever but can be restored.

It costs £3.99 through the App Store and to me is worth every penny!

Let me know if you have it or get it and what you think of it.

Dawn x