Confessions of a Reader

'Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.' – Mason Cooley


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Baby Rice, Apple Porridge & Mess! #WeaningWednesday

Hello!

So, last Wednesday I shared my weaning equipment here on the blog. I have since then tried Parker on two different foods.

Firstly, Aptamil Organic Baby Rice.

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The first day we tried this he seemed to enjoy it and couldn’t wait to get it off the spoon. I thought it had a strange consistency, and worried that I actually didn’t make it properly although I followed the instructions. Nevertheless, he ate it.

Day Two – he wouldn’t touch the stuff! Was not interested at all, closed mouth and looked away – totally unimpressed. I decided that maybe he wasn’t quite ready, so left it a couple of days before we tried again. I also now think that he just didn’t like the taste – it is very bland.


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The next time we tried – after his lunchtime milk feed (as we had done the previous times) – Organix Fruity Apple Porridge. This seemed to have a much better consistency, it looked like a very smooth porridge (I added a little more milk after I took the photo above). Parker loved it! He kept wanting more off the spoon each time I offered it, in the end I had to take the bowl away and distract him with Sophie the Giraffe.

I am going to try one more day of the porridge, and then (all being well) move on to veggie first tastes from the Ella’s Kitchen First Tastes book.

I am looking into what veggies can actually be frozen, and still taste nice – does any one have any tips or advice?

 

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The Weaning Journey of a First Time Mum!

Hello!

As a first time mum I am constantly learning – and worrying! – when it comes to bringing up Parker. There is SO much information out there that at times it can feel overwhelming. I wanted to do some different posts here on the blog, so I am intending to document Parker’s weaning journey.

Parker is currently 5 months old and very independent. Although here in the UK our Health Visitors tell us that weaning doesn’t need to take place before 6 months, I feel that he is completely ready for it.

For today I thought I would simply share with you the equipment I have purchased over the last few months. I aim to give Parker homemade baby food – obviously we will use the pouches when convenient, probably the Ella’s Kitchen ones.

I’ve tried to find links to each product for you. I haven’t been sponsored in any way for this post. Of course, I’m not saying that you need all of these items, these are just things I have purchased.

 

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1. Nuby Fruitsicles
I saw these on Mrs Meldrum’s YouTube channel and had to get them. I thought these would be perfect for Parker in the Summer, to make fruity/yogurt ice lollies. Great for small hands!

2. Tommee Tippee Weaning Cups
The blue one was a bargain at 99p from Aldi, again in a baby event. I thought it would be good to have two, incase one is being sterilised etc.

3. Oogaa – Silicone Baby Spoon
This is quite gimmicky really, but I loved it! A train spoon 🙂 I got it in the sale from Mothercare, I wouldn’t have paid full price for it.

4. Nuby ‘The Nibbler’
A friend actually recommended this to me, as she used one with her little girl. I’ve bought one for my mum’s house too, from Asda.

5. Tommee Tippee Explora Spoons
Just some simple, basic, silicone feeding spoons.

6. Nuby Feeding Bowls
Again, from an Aldi baby event (my mum got these so not sure on price). Simple, basic bowls.

7. Disney Bib – Tigger
From George @ Asda, £3. It is like a jacket at the front, with no back. I’m hoping this will save some clothes…here’s hoping! Ha.

8. Griptight Bib
Another Aldi bargain. Silicone, easy to roll and store – has a food catcher bit. I can’t find a link for this one, but I’m sure you can get them from other places – Boots, Mothercare, Tesco, Asda.

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1. Munchkin Mini Blender
I picked this up during one of Aldi’s Baby Events earlier in the year, for £8.99. We do have a food processor, but as this is smaller (and was pretty cheap) I thought I’d give it a go.

2. Tesco Freezer Weaning Tray
A really simple freezer tray, slightly bigger portion sizes. I probably won’t use this straight away.

3. Tommee Tippee Weaning Pots
I got these on eBay for 99p! (with a little dunk in some Milton, they will be fine!) Again, they have a silicone base to make them easy to pop out – I could also carry these in my changing bag with some snacks in.

4. Nuby Wash ‘n’ Toss pots.
Another Aldi bargain (honestly Aldi’s baby event is fantastic for saving money on branded products!). These are re-useable or disposable. Simple little pots – again great for travelling and storing snacks.

5. 2 x Silicone Ice Cube Trays
These are from B&M Bargains for £1.49 each. I got these to freeze purees – these have silicone bases so I can pop them out and store them in bags to save space.

6. Ikea Storage Bags
I LOVE these Ikea food bags. I use them for everything in our house, they are great and so cheap! I aim to freeze purees in the ice cube trays, pop out and store in these bags – labelled and dated with a sharpie (I like to be super organised!). You can re-use these really well too, as they are completely resealable.

Ella’s Kitchen First Foods Cook Book – £4.99
I pre-ordered this as I love the look of Ella’s Kitchen products and feel that the popular Annabel Karmel can be a little dated. After briefly flicking through it I can tell Parker is going to love some of the meals (I think mummy and daddy might too!). The recipes look fab, and super easy to do!

Have you used any of these products? Do you have any words of wisdom when it comes to weaning? Or are there any products that you couldn’t have lived without?


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February Wrap-Up

FebWrapUpI cannot believe that we are heading into March already. This makes me a little sad because it means that my maternity leave is getting shorter and shorter, I can’t bear to think about leaving my Little P yet. I’m taking each day as it comes and thinking positive, also hoping to cut down my hours so that I only work 3 days per week when I do go back.

Books Read in February

I managed to read 7 books this month, which is great for me and I am really chuffed. I finished one right at the last minute – The Ship by Antonia Honeywell – my review will be on the blog in March.

FebWrapUpThe Ship

Vendetta by Catherine Doyle // The Apothecary by Maile Meloy // Poison by Sarah Pinborough
Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson // A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond
Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill // The Ship by Antonia Honeywell

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Book of the Month
Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

Reading Challenge 2015:

  • A book with a one-word title
  • A book with magic
  • A book by an author with the same initials
  • A book that made you cry
  • A book by a female author

British Books Challenge:

I linked up two reviews to this challenge during the month of January.

  1. Poison by Sarah Pinborough
  2. A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond

 

Bought, Borrowed, Received:

I have done a couple of library hauls here, here and here. I also did one teeny, tiny book haul here. I’m still proud of myself for not going overboard.

What I’ve been watching and enjoying this month:

I loved watching The Jump, am loving The Great British Sewing Bee and the new series of The Walking Dead. I haven’t watched many films, there are a few I’d like to watch in March though.

Other things that happened on the blog in February:
I participated in the #LittleLoves linky hosted over at But Why Mummy Why. It has been lovely to reflect on my week and focus on the positives. I posted a mini review of the Literary Listography book here and cannot wait to start filling it in. I kept up with my Top Ten Tuesday posts and both reading challenges – British Books and the PopSugar 2015 reading challenge.

I also did a little update on Parker here, and a small charity shop haul.

Looking forward to March:
These are the things I want to achieve/have a go at in March.

  1. Continue with both of my reading challenges.
  2. Read some books off of my NetGalley TBR pile.
  3. Complete a series (or two).
  4. Go to a baby group!
  5. Take P swimming for the first time.
  6. Try out some new recipes and have a go at some baking!

 

I am so close to 250 followers on Twitter now, so I hope to do a giveaway when I reach that milestone. I have discovered some great new blogs this month, as well as some awesome new booktubers.

Thanks for all of your comments, I absolutely love reading every single one. Here’s to March!

 


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Library Haulin’ #3

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Hello!

I have slipped a little with my book buying ban – but I’m not too cut up about it. I’m still loving the library – here are my recent finds.

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Charm by Sarah Pinborough
Charm is a beautifully illustrated re-telling of the Cinderella story which takes all the much-loved elements of the classic fairytale (the handsome prince, the fairy godmother, the enchanted mouse, the beautiful girl and, of course, the iconic balls) and puts a modern spin on the characters, their motives and their desires. This is fun, contemporary, sexy, and perfect for fans of ONCE UPON A TIME, GRIMM, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN and more.This edition contains 15 original pen and ink illustrations by Les Edwards.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
This is the diary of Cassandra Mortmain, which tells of her extraordinary family and their crumbling castle home. Cassandra’s father was once a famous writer, but now he mainly reads detective novels while his family slide into genteel poverty. Her sister Rose is bored and beautiful, and desperate to marry riches. Their step-mother Topaz has habit of striding through the countryside wearing only her wellington boots. But all their lives will be soon be transformed by the arrival of new neighbours from America, and Cassandra finds herself falling in love.

IMG_2046Baby Play for Every Day – 365 activities for the first year
I got this one obviously for Little P. After quickly flicking through it is a great little book, with tonnes of fun ideas and activities for less boring play with your baby.

Banish boredom, encourage your baby’s development and have fun being a parent with this treasure trove of ideas

This irresistible book contains an inspiring, age-appropriate activity for every single day of your baby’s first year, with baby games and beneficial activities for babies from newborn to 12 months.

Don’t buy expensive toys which are soon forgotten, use everyday objects to stimulate your baby’s growing imagination. No matter your budget, there are activities ranging from indoor and outdoor, to craft and messy play, to nutrition and pampering, to memory making and music. Follow it through day-by-day or dip in and out when the mood takes you. Featuring great advice and creative ideas for mums and dads.

With creative ideas and fun colours, Baby Play for Every Day is the perfect companion for parents and child carers with a new baby.

IMG_2045Half a King (Shattered Sea #1) by Joe Abercrombie
“I swore an oath to be avenged on the killers of my father. I may be half a man, but I swore a whole oath”

Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself. And he must do it all with only one good hand.

The deceived will become the deceiver

Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge.

The betrayed will become the betrayer

Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could.

Will the usurped become the usurper?

But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi’s path may end as it began – in twists, and traps and tragedy.


I’m loving the sound of all of these books – I picked up Charm for my 2015 Reading Challenge, to finish a trilogy. You can read my review of Poison here.

Have you read any of these? What did you think?

 

 

 


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Charity Shop Haul

Hello!

I love buying clothes for Parker – as you already know – and came across a lovely new charity shop in town. All the proceeds go towards Oasis, a charity that provides emergency accommodation and support for women and children who are victims of domestic abuse.

I spend a grand total of £4 and got 5 lovely items, all in excellent condition.

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Mamas and Papas Check Shirt – £1

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Boots Miniclub sleepsuit – £1

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Kermit the Frog Jumper – £1

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Long Sleeved Dog Top – Sainsburys – 50p
Mickey Mouse T-Shirt – 50p

I was so chuffed with my finds and will definitely go back and browse again. It is great to know that the money is going to a great cause, whilst saving me pennies too!

Do you have any nice charity shops in your town? Do you rummage in them often? What has been your best find?

See ya!

Stacie and Grant


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Dear Parker – 12 week update

ParkerUpdateDear Parker,

I cannot believe that you are 12 weeks old today. It really does seem like only yesterday that you were a tiny, fragile newborn that mummy didn’t have a clue what to do with. When people say time flies they really aren’t kidding.

You are such a happy little boy. You smile all day long, showing off your lovely dimples. You are enjoying ‘tummy time’ now – after screaming the house down the first few times we tried it. Holding up your head and neck is easy for you. Your personality is definitely starting to shine through, I love how happy and content you are.

You have also rolled over from your belly to your back (I think this is so that you can avoid ‘tummy time’ at all costs.) We play lots. You enjoy your naps and sleep well in the evenings. It won’t be long before you are in your big boy cot, you are getting too long for your moses basket. Where did my little newborn go?

Puppy has become your best friend. You lay together and he protects you. Daddy loves giving you baths and you have the most fun splashing and kicking in the water. I have got used to having you with me all the time – and wouldn’t change it for the world (although sometimes just 5 minutes would be wonderful).

Mummy was a complete wimp and couldn’t take you for your jabs on your own, Daddy had to hold you. You screamed and screamed, the first time that my heart truly realised how much I love you.

I cannot remember what life was like before you arrived. You have turned my world completely upside down – who knew babies needed so much?

All of our family adore you. You have brought so much happiness to everyone. You are a very lucky boy to have a family that will always love, adore and cherish you.

I am looking forward to seeing you develop and grow in the next month, to see what milestones you achieve. I cannot wait to take you places and teach you things as you grow up. I only wish that you will be kind, brave and smart – always try your best and smile.

I love you to the moon and back,

Mummy
xoxo

 


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January Wrap-Up

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I have never done a wrap-up post before but thought it would be interesting to look back at the month. So , here goes..firstly, where did January go? I cannot believe we are heading into February, my Little P is getting bigger every minute it seems!

Books Read in January

I feel like I had quite a good reading month during January, considering I have a baby that needs my full attention. I am really loving reading again now that Parker is getting into more of a routine. I didn’t review one of the books because I didn’t feel like I had enough to say about it.

The Selection by Kiera Cass (Review)
Summer with my Sister by Lucy Diamond (Review)
The Enemy by Charlie Higson (Review)
Apocalypse Bow Wow by James Proimos III
The Fault in our Stars by John Green (Review)
Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell (Review)

                               The Selection SummerWithMySister  TheEnemy  FrozenCharlotte TFioS ApocalypseBowWow

Book of the Month:
Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell – I absolutely loved this book and totally gushed about it here. Really got me in the mood to read more YA horror  – recommendations welcome.

Reading Challenge 2015:

I read three books towards my 2015 reading challenge.

  1. A book turned into a movie
  2. A book that scared me
  3. A book by an author I’ve never read before

 

British Books Challenge:

I linked up three reviews to this challenge during the month of January.

  1. Summer with my Sister by Lucy Diamond
  2. The Enemy by Charlie Higson
  3. Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell

 

Bought, Borrowed, Received:
I have been so good this month and haven’t purchased ANY new books. GO ME! Although, I have reserved some books at the library and will be picking these up in the next few days. Look out for a library haul next month.

What I’ve been watching and enjoying this month:
I actually haven’t been watching a lot this month. I am loving Hollyoaks  – don’t hate me, it’s my guilty pleasure! I’ve also discovered Silent Witness, I had forgotten how much I love programmes like this. I am also looking for a new series – or two – to start. We have Amazon Prime, any recommendations? I’m liking the look of Under the Dome, Grimm and Revenge.

Other things that happened on the blog in January:
I hauled some clothes for Parker here and here – I have a slight problem with buying him things, I just cannot resist. I went to a local charity shop and got some great little items, I will share those next month. I also reviewed our Tranquil Turtle here. We love this product and highly recommend it. This was my first product review too.

Looking forward to February:
These are the things I want to achieve/have a go at in February.

  1. Start writing monthly posts about Parker and his development. These will be lovely to look back on in years to come.
  2. Improve photography – and take more photos!
  3. Use my library – reserving, browsing and baby groups!
  4. Go to some baby groups in the local area.

 

I have really enjoyed getting back into blogging this month and participating in challenges. I have quickly learnt to blog about what I want, when I want – not to worry about views, comments and stats so much. If you have any wrap-up posts please leave a comment with the link below – I love reading them!

Love,

Stacie and Grant