Friday 31 March 2017

This Little Big Life - Autumn and Winter Doings

Last summer Sarah and Louise started a little link-up series called This Little Big Life, showcasing highlights from the weekend. Needless to say, none of us managed to keep up with posting on a weekly basis; as often happens, life just simply gets in the way.

I can, however do an almighty round-up of what we got up to over the autumn and winter :-)

September was spent enjoying the last of the summer weather with a holiday down to Brixham, a trip to a local lido and a sunny day trip to the beach at Weymouth. We also saw a couple of local small carnivals (in preparation for the big ones in November) and had a bit of work done on the house, in the form of a lovely shiny new wood-burning stove. We had some trips out to the playground, a visit to Bridgwater Fair and started some new baby classes: The Creation Station's Baby Discover (arts and crafts) and a Mum & Baby Yoga course.

October saw more carnivals, more playgrounds and a chance to dress as a novelty pumpkin (Lily, not myself). There was a local lantern parade which we joined in with and a trip to The Egg Theatre in Bath to see a show aimed at babies (about spongy things!). We spent too much money at an NCT Nearly New Sale and I had my first evening out with the little one (all us mums in our NCT group went out for a meal). I ended up being interviewed by BBC Radio Bristol all about National Fertility Awareness Week and we also met Kipper at the Bath Children's Literature Festival!

November was all about carnival season here in Somerset. Lily went to her first Bridgwater carnival and spent half of it asleep and half of it wide-eyed and open-mouthed at the lights, music and dancing. We also watched a couple of firework displays and visited the theatre in Bristol to see 'The Grinning Man' (which was A.MAZING). I also helped out at our local NCT Sale (which was great fun) and then ended up joining the local branch as a volunteer. We went back to visit all the staff at the fertility clinic to say hello and Lily ended up being on Twitter for a while. She also celebrated reaching double figures in months by spending the day asleep during Glastonbury Frost Fayre and a visit to Glastonbury Abbey.

December saw theatre shows, Father Christmas, reindeer and presents. Lily went to her very first classical music concert - a group called Music for Miniatures who run regular events locally in Bath and Frome - it was excellent and a really Christmassy start to the month. We had a mini holiday to the New Forest for my birthday and Lily met Father Christmas for the first time. We had day trips to Longleat for the Festival of Light and to a local garden centre for their Christmas displays. Me and Andrew even managed to have our first evening out on our own since before Lily was born! (We went to the Bristol Old Vic to see 'The Snow Queen' - which was quite spectacular) We had a real wreath on our front door for Christmas too - handmade by my own fair hands under the expert tuition of the lovely Gemma from Dora Flora Flowers. We made sure Lily had her fill of Christmas theatre too with four shows and one concert watched: 'Reindeer on the Roof'; 'Jack Frost'; 'The Christmassy Christmas Show of Christmassy Christmasness' (highly recommended); Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain'; and 'The Snowman' performed by Bath Philharmonia. We also had some settling in sessions at Lily's nursery!

It was the end of maternity leave this month, having had the full 12 months away from the office. My role was made into a job share with me doing the Monday and Tuesday. Lily also started at her nursery (a fabulous forest school set on a farm) and we settled into a routine of two days at nursery followed by three days of baby groups. Lily's social life is better than mine with regular classes of music, painting, messy play, toddler groups and swimming lessons! We also went to the theatre to see 'Snow Mouse' (which will be at the Barbican in London this Christmas) and me and Andrew managed an afternoon to ourselves seeing 'The Play That Goes Wrong' at Bath Theatre Royal - both shows highly recommended. We went to a friend's fancy dress 'heroes & villains' party as the Little Red Riding Hood story and then the little one turned one whole year old! I embellished a vest for her to wear on the day and then a few days later we had one big birthday party with all her friends and lots of inflatable and soft play stuff. It was good!

So how's life with you?

Tuesday 28 March 2017

Blondes Vegan Creme Eggs

If you're vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free or simply just fancy an incredibly tasty Easter treat, you need to get yourself to this Facebook page pretty sharpish.
So there I was browsing one of the cow's milk allergy 'mum groups' I'm a member of on Facebook and someone links to a post from Blondes Coffee Shop near Hull.

It looks nice enough, you think; it specialises in vegetarian and vegan food so you know they'll have dairy-free cakes...and then you notice... they've only gone and started making vegan creme eggs!

 And they deliver across the UK. I repeat - they deliver creme eggs TO YOUR DOOR.

Well, needless to say, I bought some. It's 3 eggs for £6 (plus £3.50 postage) and if you buy 12 (which obviously I did) they send you a free edible gift. They do creme eggs, caramel eggs and raspberry creme eggs and you can mix and match however you like. All vegan and free from eggs, dairy, soya and gluten.


Send them a message on Facebook, pay by Paypal or over the phone and then a few days later, they'll be in your face hands.
My free gift was a very chocolately slice of rocky road. That's been eaten, along with one of the raspberry creme eggs.


THEY. WERE. DELICIOUS. (and yep, they were that good they do deserve capitals)
I'd like to say they'll last til Easter and won't get devoured before but you know, it might be a case of needs must... 

Disclaimer: All the eggs were bought with my own money and I haven't received anything for writing this post - I just thought they were so tasty I'd share the crème egg love!

Sunday 26 March 2017

A Year of Firsts

On 26th January, two months ago now, this little thing turned 1 whole year old.

A year that's not been without its problems but equally not been without its happy moments too. do you measure a year? (apart from the obvious answer of 525,600 minutes)*

  • In 1 music festival rocked out at (I wonder how many babies can say they'd seen Adele and Muse live by 5 months old)

  • In 1 lido sunbathed at
  • In 1 professional photo shoot attended
  • In 1 balloon fiesta stared at

  • In 1 publicity press pack featured in (scroll to page 10 for our story)
  • In 1 funeral attended
  • In 1 fancy dress party dressed up for (it was a 'heroes & villains' theme - we went as Little Red Riding Hood, the Woodcutter and the Big Bad Wolf!)

  • In 1 dairy allergy diagnosed
  • In 1 hen do gate-crashed
  • In 1 modern train rode on

  • In 2 steam trains rode on
  • In 2 weddings attended
  • In 2 cinema films watched
  • In 3 classical music concerts enjoyed
  • In 3 Father Christmas' met

  • In 3 late night trips to A&E
  • In 4 firework displays admired
  • In 4 fairground rides rode on

  • In 4 levels of swimming lessons completed
  • In 5 soft play centres bounced up and down in
  • In 5 steam rallies enjoyed
  • In 6 holidays taken

  • In 9 carnivals watched open-mouthed
  • In 11 theatre shows enjoyed

  • In 20 different baby groups visited

  • In 1 big birthday party

  • In numerous friends made
  • And in thousands of naps taken!

*Bonus points to you if you recognised the 'Rent' musical reference!

Thursday 23 March 2017

A Photo Every Hour - Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th January

January's photo an hour ended up being a bit different. I originally chose Sunday 29th - mainly for selfish reasons as it would be Lily's first birthday party - but Jane's email reminder said Saturday 28th.

So, we gave everyone the choice: Saturday, Sunday or even (as I decided to do), both days!

Here's what the bumper photo an hour weekend looked like...

Saturday 28th January

9am - Morning smiles.

10am - Packing things for a birthday day trip.

11am - On the move.

12pm - Still on the move.

1pm - Picking up some birthday party bits.

2pm - More party prep.

3pm - Sweet potato fries while Andrew was off with Lily at a soft play centre.

4pm - It seems someone rather likes going down slides headfirst!

5pm - Last bit of food shopping for the birthday party.

6pm - On the way home.

7pm - Back home and clearly not worn out just yet.

8pm - Missed 8pm as too busy with party prepping!

9pm - Everything packed and ready for the morning..

Sunday 29th January

9am - Early morning playtime.

10am - Breakfast sizzling away.

11am - Breakfast turned into brunch.

12pm - Quick shower for both me and Lily.

1pm - Setting up things for the party.

2pm - People arriving and starting to enjoy the inflatables and toys.

3pm - When she can't see mum, she's happy to play...

4pm - Party time's over.

5pm - On the way home.

6pm - Lots of birthday presents to open.

7pm - Testing out the birthday cake.

8pm - Cleaning up in the kitchen sink after lots of cake-eating.

9pm - And amazingly she still has energy to play.

10pm - She's finally asleep so we get to catch up on 'Call the Midwife'

Head on over to Jane's blog for a look at what she was up to in January.

Also, check out what I was up to in...
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