Illustrated Teacup

Family | Lifestyle | Motherhood | Travel

Thursday, 19 July 2018

How our playroom is organised to stay as tidy as possible

I know that we're pretty lucky to even have a playroom.
And to be honest it wasn't in the initial plan for our home until Henry arrived. In fact our playroom started life upstairs in what is now Henry's bedroom (you can read my first playroom post here, and how it's been transformed into Henry's room here) and moved to our conservatory late last year.

Being able to have a playroom means we can keep some of the toddler mess in one manageable space, and create more adult space in other rooms. Our living room does still get completely trashed with toys, but in stages, and in the evenings, we can tidy everything away into the playroom and our space is child-free. It's a nice feeling.


Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Our home water birth experience with Dexter

If you'd asked me six months ago what my birth plan was for our second baby, all I could commit to was a water birth, most likely at our local midwife led unit.

However at 34 ish weeks we made the decision to go for a home birth. And this post is probably one of the happiest posts I've written as I got pretty much the perfect birth story, at home, and with that water birth I've wanted since having Henry in 2016. You can read how we planned our home birth here.

We knew we wanted a water birth from the start as it was the one thing I missed with Henry. I had a good water labour but actually gave birth on dry land. So our first step was getting a pool.
We were very generously gifted a mini pool from the Gentle Birth Birthing Pool Hire* and honestly I can't thank Ceri enough for helping make my dreams come true.

So Dexter's home water birth story...

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Farmers Market exploring - The Ordinary Moments

There's something about finding new local things to do that just makes me really happy. Filling our weekends with new experiences and visiting different places is one of my favourite things to do, and more so with Henry. I just want him to experience as much as possible, and integrating it with our normal life is so important to me.

So when I saw a new Farmer's Market for Southampton, I decided it was the perfect excuse for a Saturday morning trip out.

I love a good Farmer's Market anyway, I think it's because it remind me of home and little town life. Plus there's something very satisfying about supporting small local businesses and finding really great food and products.

So a couple of Saturday's ago we went along to the Oxford Street Farmer's Market for a bit of a look around and a little shop.


Thursday, 12 July 2018

Our favourite ice lolly smoothie recipes

Review post*
Being the parent of a fussy eater can be a pretty stressful experience.
Luckily though, smoothies are one thing that Henry will drink and eat (in the form of ice lollies) and it's a real saviour for the mum guilt!

With us hitting peak summer, and needing all the nutrients and vitamins we can get, smoothies are one of our go-to's for some extra goodness, that also tastes great! Not only are they great for an afternoon thirst-quencher, they freeze really well so are perfect for a healthy ice lolly. Plus we have a Pick Your Own Farm just up the road from us so need lots of recipes to use up all the fruit we pick.

Making ice lolly smoothies is also a great thing to do with kids. Getting them involved keeps them best entertained, helps educate them, and lets them feel a part of what they're eating which is only ever going to be a good thing. Henry loves adding all the fruit to the blender and "holding down" the lid whilst it's on.

We've been making these up in the recent heatwave (let's face it yes it is Summer, but us Brits don't function too well in extreme heat!) in our new moulds from Steamer Trading Cookshop*, the Zoku fish moulds* and the Zoku Pop Moulds*. Both are so easy to use, and I've become weirdly obsessed with the kids fish moulds as because they are silicone, they are SO EASY to get the ice lollies out of. No running under a tap, no tapping on the kitchen counter. They literally pull out. Plus they're the perfect size for Henry, and as they're relatively small in height, he has no problems with the stick! Also, how awesome do they look?

So what's our favourite go to ice lolly smoothie recipes at home? 

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Using up PYO fruit - rhubarb and strawberry crumble

We're big fans of pick your own fruit and veg farms. They make for a great family trip out, everyone can get involved, and you can stock the fridge up with lots of healthy food. You can see the blog post and video we made last year from our first strawberry picking trip. And tips on taking kids to a Pick Your Own Farm here.

Of course, you inevitably end up with way too much food, or at least we always do, and then you need to eat it as fast as possible, or make something with it all.

And one of my go-to recipes is my Rhubarb and Strawberry Crumble.
I adore rhubarb crumble anyway, it's probably my favourite kind of crumble, and with strawberries, it has a but of extra sweetness to it. Plus if you're experience of PYO is anything like ours, Henry enjoyed moving the strawberries from basket to basket, meaning we ended up with quite a lot of bruised fruit. Unfortunately bruised strawberries just don't go so well with cream, so cooking them into a crumble is the perfect way to get them used up.

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