With the wonderful taste of Summer we had last week, we found that going out was both easy and very exciting too. Now Alice is 10 months old, she eats almost anything and has a reliable schedule for her 3 meals a day. She also loves to snack like no other and often that part of life catches me out!

Whilst going out and making the most of the weather has been a wonderful thing, I have been caught out on far too many occasions with lack of snacks for her. I just forget with the mad dash of school runs and my fried brain, and I never thought I would say this, but I really do miss the days when we could go anywhere at anytime because my milk was all we needed.  Nowadays it is a mass of clothes, snacks and “stuff” and I am still getting used to needing to be a little more organised!

To make life a little simpler however, here are some things I have a discovered to ensure life is made somewhat easier when on-the-go with a baby this Summer!

A Spoon

I always make sure I have a spoon in my bag. It may seem a bit random but it has saved me on many occasions from a baby melt down, and has been super useful for the times when I have forgotten to pre pack meals or snacks. It is also helpful if we stay out longer than planned and need to grab a pouch or jar of baby food for dinner. I use the one from Oxo tots that I previously reviewed, as it is sturdy, easy to keep clean and Alice seems to love it the best. It stays in my bag and I feel way more relaxed knowing we have it!

Pots of snacks/Fruit Pouches

I used to just shove the pack of rice cakes or whatever into my bag, but realised my other kids were dipping in and by the next day the bag was split and they were a soggy mess all over the bottom of my bag! (Not fun and very gross!).

I was recently sent some snack pots from Oxo Tots that have become my new fave, and baby essential when out and about from day to day. Having them in my bag has made life so much easier and feeding Alice on-the-go more convenient. Firstly are the flip top snack pots… I love them in the Raspberry colour as they are easy to see and just look lovely. I also love that you can easily see what’s inside thanks to the clear sides. They are robust for a baby that likes to chuck stuff, and the tops are secure, yet easy to open when wrestling with said baby. I also like that if they aren’t eaten on that day, the pot keeps them fresh for the next.

We also have the Small and Large bowl set which has been great to transfer left overs to and from the fridge to going out. They are easy to store and clean, and I find the small one is great to make finger food lunches and the larger one main meals. The lids are secure and are easy to pop in the microwave and heat up too. I love that they are nifty little bowls instead of the random Tupperware I used to use and I really enjoy using them day to day. I usually dish up a portion of dinner into one of these for the next day.

Then we have the snacks…the market is huge with an array of snacks for on-the-go and we have tried many different brands over the years. We recently discovered “Heavenly Organic Superfoods” which combine wonderful flavours for tasty and healthy baby snacks. I really love the array of foods they produce, from fruit pouches to mini bread sticks and little “halo bites”. Their snacks are small enough to fit in pots and big enough for babies to grab and hold independently. Alice especially enjoyed the carrot and cumin waffles, the wafers and “Coconut Squishies” (fruit pouches made with coconut milk – yum). Their Rosemary bread sticks also came in very useful when I was out with my sister and her toddler twins the other week too, and went down an absolute treat!

Alice also loves the Apple & Sultana muffins from local company “Little Fingers” who also have tasty savoury snacks made from carrots and lentils, and courgettes. Again these are really convenient for quick on-the-go feeding solutions (if you remember to pre cook some of them in advance).

Nappies and Wipes

So I am very aware that this super obvious, but you wouldn’t believe the amount of times I have reached for the wipes and they either aren’t there, or its a trick and the pack is empty. Cleaning poo from a weaned baby in public with toilet roll and soap and water is pretty awkward and so embarrassing! Now not only do I keep nappies and wipes in a pouch in my main bag, but we also keep them in this handy wipes dispenser and nappy pouch from OXO tots that we were recently sent for review. I find it useful for the car, but honestly don’t feel it is something I would naturally buy myself and don’t use it day to day.

Nathan on the other hand LOVES it and uses it regularly. He prefers it to a big changing bag or back pack when taking the kids out solo, and finds the grey a little more manly! From a dad’s perspective it is the perfect baby accessory to hang on the pram, ensuring minimum “stuff” and super easy to access…it is now his thing and he thinks its great for on-the-go!

Water

Now the weather is mostly hotting warming up, it is so important to make sure baby stays hydrated. I am surprised how much water baby Alice goes through each day, but I am usually always good at making sure I have her a cup of water in my bag so she can enjoy little sips throughout the day.

A Hat

All my kids have been quite fair as babies and so whilst we love to be out and about enjoying the weather, we have to be aware of the dangers too. Remembering sun cream is often a downfall at this stage of the year, because everything is so unpredictable. Remembering a hat however seems easier (?!) And Alice is just about getting used to her little sun hat, which was only £1 in a local charity shop. I keep it in the bag and pop it on when the sun show’s its face!

Overall having a baby in any season and going anywhere is a lot of work with a heck of a lot of stuff to remember. I always think as long as I have food and water and a nappy and wipes we can make do and have a lovely day out -whether it is spontaneous or something planned. A hungry/grumpy baby certainly puts a damper on things and causes a lot of unnecessary stress, but snacks like those from Heavenly Organics and the pots from Oxo Tots, have certainly made it super easy to keep in my bag and know I’ll be okay!

*Thank you to OXO TOTS and Heavenly Foods for sending these products for review. All thoughts and pictures are my own. 

 

 

Family Fever
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I have avoided my blog this week as I have just felt utterly exhausted. It is a feeling that is all too familiar, and a tiredness that comes as a result of my heart being sad and my head trying to accept the news of loss. You see on Tuesday my dear Granddad passed away – he went home, and I’ve felt pretty numb and melancholy ever since.

I do not cope well with loss, I mean who does? But for me it resurfaces the pain and emotions I work hard to suppress and keep a lid on day in day out. I find that grief for new people takes me back to places I do not want to go and I end up having a mess of the sadness of them mixed in with the sadness of losing my baby and others. Therefore other than a sentiment on my social media, I have avoided talking about it with few people aside from my Mum, Dad, Nath, Sisters and Cousins, and have done well not be too emotional though I do feel so inside!

I now find it rather odd to now be writing about all of this under the heading of an “Ordinary Moment”. Everything about my granddad is far from ordinary; he was unique and one in a million, and his passing is far from an ordinary event or moment in life, but has been the main event of my life this week. To lose someone that was such a mighty presence in our family stands alone as a moment that is both incredibly sad and heartbreaking both in our family, and news that radiates to be sad to many that knew him.

I find that life is made up of moments that on the surface may be seemingly ordinary to others and yet are huge to us. We are a close family, he was a great example to us…a strength, friend and teacher to us all and this week has been full of moments that have been made better by my family, as we all share in the same love and appreciation for who he was in each of our lives. He was funny, and one of the greatest men we have been blessed to know. My sister summed it up perfectly when she said “To know granddad was to love him…our loss is heavens gain” – how very true!

I have felt sad but have enjoyed a week of laughing with my sisters, cousins and family all the same as we have shared our treasured memories and stories of this great man we were blessed to call “Granddad”. Reminiscing is good for the soul, as is being with the great family that have come as a result of 2 people falling in love (possibly around) sixty something years ago (?!).

I love my cousins; they are some of my closest friends and I have felt blessed that that relationship has meant we can lean on one another through messages, chats and long afternoons sat on the beach! Apparently I am not the only one that finds solace and comfort in the beach when my heart is aching as yesterday some of us gathered to the coast where we have fond childhood memories with family and grandparents and we had a beach day. Some went in the sea whilst others just sat with snacks and the kids looking out to sea and chatting and laughing about all sorts. We then ate dinner together and laughed some more.

How grateful I am for cousins, sisters, aunts, uncles, beaches and of course parents that can share in these memories of someone so special to us all. How grateful I am for great teachers and examples in my life in the form of Grandparents.

With loss on my mind and in my heart it is hard to find meaningful things to talk about on my blog right now, I have a few reviews I need to process this week and we are moving Thursday and Friday so it will be a really odd and busy week. But I will tell you that my Granddad was such a mighty presence in our family, and thus will be a great absence, and that is very sad news to accept. And whilst it has been a week of not sleeping properly and feeling out of sorts with this news, and knowing I must grieve at some point soon, thus resurfacing sadness already present, it has been a week of feeling incredibly grateful for the gift of such great grandparents, and friends in my sisters and cousins all of whom have given greatness to my life and are an example of the roots we share!

 

 

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Erm how exciting is buying a new house please? New beginnings, and opportunities to put your mark on it! Seriously I am so excited that in a couple of weeks it will be ours and as a result, thoughts of decor, layout, more space, countryside and village dwelling race around my mind on a daily basis and let me tell you- it is VERY exciting.

Our new house has a great garden that is nicely done, private and south facing, and I cant wait to finally have space to hang out in and entertain. Whilst we have a garden in our current home, it’s never really felt like a place to entertain or hang out. It’s been hours of fun for the kids but not so practical for all the needs we have. The new one we have however is going to be multi-functional with a decked area for us, and a lawn with a wendy house (shed) for the kids.

 

I have thought a lot about what I want in it and there are 3 things we have both agreed on are necessary – seating, a BBQ and a Chimenea!

1. Seating

The area at the back of the garage that the owners currently use as a seating area is the perfect place for some outdoor seating. It gets the sun all day, is secluded and decked out lovely. But rather than a “patio table” like they have had, I would really love a cool corner sofa or some comfy chairs. I want my garden to be chilled and relaxed and an easy spot to put your feet up and catch some rays! Whether that is on some rattan or homemade from pallets, I am not 100% sure yet.

I love the corner group and Hawaii sets from Fishpools, and this budget one from Ikea. Then on the opposite end of the budget, how cool is this pallet one – handmade from Esther at Inside, out and about?

2. BBQ

We are a nation that loves a good BBQ come rain or shine, and I look forward to being able to have them now at my house with our families and friends. Nathan and I like the idea of a built in one, but it might be just as easy to buy a beasty one and store it in our new garage. Either way we will be doing some good ol grilling in our garden this summer.

3. Chimenea

Nathan has dreamed of a chimenea in our garden since last summer when we sat around my sisters chatting all night and toasting marshmallows with the kids. It was a lovely few days and we both thought how nic eit would be this summer to do the same in our garden. With mocktails and feet up it seems a lovely dream to be together outdoors listening to nature whilst the kids sleep. It all seems so blissful and I can’t wait! This one is from Asda for £69 or this one from Homebase.

And finally a few little decor things to give it that personal touch – I love all of these and their tropical vibes. They are a mix from both H&M Home and Primark!

 

We are moving during the summer and I can’t help but dream of long days playing with the kids outside, and then warm summer evenings relaxing with my love. How lovely is it to have a garden? How exciting is it to move house? I can’t wait!

 

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As we headed down the M62 on Saturday Morning I witnessed a rare occasion between my oldest 2 of love, friendship and harmony. It began with a sweet little voice saying “Let me help you Megan”, and was far from the usual battles, screeches, crying and fist fights we experience on journeys any longer than 10 minutes!

“Let me help you with your reading, your sums and your writing” he said, and she agreed! They giggled, praised and even had brief moments of silence whilst they concentrated on the “tricky” words and sums and it was one of those moments where family life just feels wonderful and the universe is in harmony. It’s a moment you look at and wonder why everyday isn’t this lovely? And why are these moment feel so brief and rare? It was an ordinary moment, something easily overlooked but one that made us smile to see them being the best of friends! It was an ordinary moment you imagine when you dream of your family and soon realise it is very rarely this normal!

Theses two go through phases (as most siblings do) of either being little nutters and the best of friends, or winding each other up and fighting – there is rarely a middle ground and both extremes send me mad! Then there is the fact that Ethan is a school year older than Megan, and Megan being at the younger end of hers, obviously isn’t anywhere near Ethan’s level of understanding and ability. Ethan knows this and has a tendency to pick on her, laugh at her and shout the words out before she has a chance to decode them in her reading book. It makes me sad and snappy, whilst he finds it hilarious, and whilst she gets mad and upset. It so annoying and revenge is always just around the corner from Megs!

I laughed when the school suggested I get him to help bring her on at home with her reading, writing and numbers, because I knew what a mean big brother he could be to her and I thought it would be counterproductive and end in tears…but Saturday proved to be quite the opposite, and even more amazing was that it came from Ethan as a desire to help his little sister, and Megan was so chuffed with what she was doing!

Our Saturday was far from the action packed day we had originally planned due to a family emergency, but it was a day of great importance/necessity and family time all the same. Whilst I can’t wait for a 7 seater again (for longer journeys especially), to give them a little more space (because the scraps they have are painful to listen to). Looking over my shoulder and seeing their cute little smiles, and being a witness to the love and bond between them in that moment was just beautiful.

It so often seems that its all about the he said, she said, and it drives us mad! I forget how good these too get a long the majority of the time and it is always a lovely and heart warming moment in life to be reminded of that and see your kids getting along. It is a beautiful moment to see them helping one another, laughing together and praising each other. It’s lovely as a parent to hear the sweet and mighty words of “Let me help you”…

The Ordinary Moments
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