Sunday, 9 July 2017

Ted's Before I Start School Bucket List

Ted starts school in September and with that comes lots of exciting opportunities to do new things. Before he gets stuck into the school days I wanted to teach him more about the world and have some fun along the way. I hope that by ticking some items off of his 'Before I Start School Bucket List' he will start school with a smile on his face and some exciting stories to tell his new school friends. 

He added some of the items in, see if you can guess which ones were his and which were mine! 
  1. Eat lots of Mini Eggs
  2. Jump in muddle puddles
  3. Ride a roller coaster
  4. Make his own pizza
  5. Go to the cinema
  6. Slide down a huge slide
  7. Go camping
  8. Toast marshmallows
  9. Skim stones on the beach
  10. Fly a kite
  11. Visit a castle
  12. Meet a celebrity
  13. Milk a cow
  14. Be on stage
  15. Blow bubbles
  16. Visit a museum
  17. Watch a football game
  18. Go on a bug hunt
  19. Drive a car (or go kart)
  20. Go to Africa
Keep an eye on Instagram for the #schoolbucketlist updates and we would love to invite you to write your own list and share with us! 


Friday, 30 June 2017

Callie at 8 Months

My goodness the last few months have flown by. Each week seems to whizz past before I have even had a chance to think! Callie is now 34 weeks old, on Wednesday that makes her 8 months. It is so hard to believe that soon she will have been in the world for as long as she was growing in my tummy. 


Callie started at nursery last month, she is on solids 3 times a day now and enjoying finger food. She has 3 x 7oz bottles a day and is sleeping through most nights. She now shares a room with Ted and much to my surprise it is going really well. She goes up to bed at about 6.30/7pm and once she is settled we pop Ted down. They are both great sleepers so we are very fortunate. 


She is wearing 6-9 month clothes although to get my moneys worth I do pop her in 9-12 and roll the sleeves/legs up. I love dressing her and Ted in matching clothes too as it looks super cute but bless her she still has very little hair so gets called a boy unless dressed head to toe in pink! 

Our CalliePops is such a bubbly child, full of smiles and super sociable. She has made friends at nursery and adores the bigger children. I think she would get up and run around with them if she could but as you will see below she is not quite there yet! So as with her 1-3 months and 4-5 months updates I have borrowed the Babycentre milestone chart to show where we are at. Things Pops can do now are in bold! 

6 Months

  • Turns towards sounds and voices
  • Imitates sounds, blows bubbles
  • Rolls in both directions
  • Reaches for objects and mouths them
  • Sits without support
  • May lunge forward or start crawling
  • May jabber or combine syllables
  • May drag object towards herself


7 Months


  • Sits without support
  • Reaches for things with a sweeping motion
  • Imitates speech sounds (babbles)
  • Combines syllables into word-like sounds
  • Begins to crawl or lunges forward
  • Picks up objects with one hand and passes to the other hand
  • Bangs objects together
  • Stands while holding on to something
  • Waves goodbye


8 Months

  • Says "dada" and "mama" to both parents (isn't specific)
  • Begins to crawl
  • Passes object from hand to hand
  • Stands while holding on to something
  • Crawls well
  • Points at objects
  • Pulls self to standing position, cruises around furniture while holding on
  • Picks things up with thumb-and-finger pincer grasp
  • Indicates wants with gestures



As you can see she is pretty much on track for most things with a few skills to work on. She has said Dada a few times but we aren't sure if that was a fluke and this week she said Buhbuh as she waved goodbye at nursery...again perhaps a fluke. She also shuffled on her bottom about 2 metres at nursery last week and has been trying to pull herself up on her activity cube. Bless her, she is so close to crawling but her body just goes into autopilot and she rolls the second she is up on her knees.

We did have an exciting development this month though...she cut her first tooth! 


Image may contain: one or more people and close-up

I cannot wait to see what the next few months hold for her, will she be walking by her birthday like her brother? We will see!



Monday, 26 June 2017

A Present Day Throwback - Remember the 2010's?

2010's trends were social media driven. Following the huge rise of internet stars, bloggers and YouTube sensations it was difficult to avoid the latest must haves (and must not haves!). Monthly favourite vlogs, reviews and hidden advertorials swamped our news feeds and with Paypal taking over from old style banking we could purchase these products in seconds!

2010 Trends from instagram.com/lateforrealityblog

What were these must haves though?

Well you may have had one if not all of these items somewhere in your home. We had stores like Oliver Bonas and Homesense to thank for a lot of the interiors trends and it was easy to replicate high end designs on a budget with the likes of Primark and Aldi creating affordable dupes.

Rose Gold or Copper accessories



Fruit Themed Everything 



Gallery Walls
Gallery Wall - instagram.com/lateforrealityblog
Woodland Animal accessories
Succulents - instagram.com/messybloguk
Marble print
GarlandsMonochrome accessories


Shelfie from instagram.com/_mummylala

Fashion Trends

2010's fashion consisted of throwbacks from every other decade. That meant anything from the 40's through to the 90's worked. From lindybop dresses to chokers and platform trainers...it all came out of the closet this decade! Some of my favourite (and least favourite) new trends though were...

Slogan Tees/Sweatshirts
Slogan Tee worn by instagram.com/quitefranklyshesaid

Matte Lipstick, Contouring and HD Brows





Mermaid/Unicorn Hair, nails, clothing  (pretty much anything rainbow coloured)


Manbuns/Glitter beards



This little also guy caused chaos amongst Primark shoppers! 
Lifestyle Trends

The likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime also appeared in the 2010's opening up a world of box sets and 'chilling'. Blankets, fancy mugs and pyjama sales went through the roof as we all opted for quiet nights in over wild nights out.


Happiness Planner and Geometric Prints from chellemccann.com 
We discovered new words like Hygge and Shelfie. Embracing wellness, good mental health and celebrating happiness and gratitude. We lived off diets of avocado on toast, kale crisps, monster shakes and buddha bowls. Creating Pinterest ready dinners which often went cold while we snapped away then filtered the crap out of them before uploading to our ever expanding social media feeds.


Becoming a Mum in 2012 meant I spent most of my 2010's in serious Mombie mode. Mumbuns, high-waisted stretchy jeans and oversized tees were my chosen wardrobe essentials. I had at least one corner of each room Instagram ready at all times while the rest of the house looked like an explosion in Babies R Us!

We had a Royal Wedding followed by a Prince and Princess being born, Horse Meat Scandals, the world showing its darkest side then its brightest as people came together following a whole host of tragedies, Brexit, Ed Sheeran and Snapchat filters. 

So there are just a few things that stood out to me from those 10 years. Which 2010's trends do you remember?










*stock images from freepik.com

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Tommee Tippee Steamer Blender Review and Instant Frozen Yogurt Recipe

Long time no speak! Honestly it has been a fair while since I blogged and this is mostly because life has been so busy. I have settled well into my new job and it has been a huge learning curve. Balancing one child with 3 days of work was relatively easy but with two to juggle and working a tad further away from home than I was I have struggled to get into my stride. 

That said I am now relatively comfortable with our routine and feel a bit less chaotic. I will write up a full post soon about how I have managed with returning to work/our family routine but for now I wanted to share a review that has been long overdue. Callie has been eating solids for around 4 months and is doing really well, you can read more about why and how we weaned her early here



During her weaning journey we have discovered lots of new products but one I was sent to try out has stood out above the rest. I did a few Facebook live videos when it arrived which I have inserted below but will talk you through our first impressions.

The Tommee Tippee Steamer Blender does what its name would imply, it steams and blends food making it a perfect way to cook baby food in minutes without all of the pots and pans. It is relatively small so takes up minimal room on the worktop and is surprisingly quiet to use (ideal when you don't want to wake a sleeping baby!).


 


The instructions are simple to follow...when baby brain allows (as you will see from the testing video below) and it comes with a little book of recipes and a weaning guide which I found really helpful. The first recipe I tried was Sweet Potato Puree (I skipped carrots as I am a rebel) and it went in a strange direction when I chucked iron water everywhere but turned out well in the end! 



We have made some great recipes in the Steamer Blender since we have had it and also used it to whizz up our baby friendly meals too for Callie to enjoy lump free. I even made an instant berry frozen yogurt which I will share at the end of this post for those hotter days (we have had a fair few this week!).


I love how simple this gadget is to use compared to a lot of other blenders. There aren't lots of fiddly parts to wash up and it comes with two handy pots with lids to store the food in which we use all the time. I actually use the steamer setting to cook food for both the kids dinners and even made Ted some soup in it last week which he loved.

Overall very impressed and if you are looking to wean your little one in the next few months do pop over to the Tommee Tippee website as the Wean Together area has not only a huge list of simple recipes but the chance to win your very own Steamer Blender! 

Finally here is our recipe for Instant Berry Frozen Yogurt

- 1 cup of mixed frozen berries
- 1/2 cup of natural yogurt
- 1 teaspoon of honey


  • Pop it all in the Steam Blender, programme for 30 seconds and hit the blend button. 
  • Blend in 10 second intervals until you get the texture you need.
  • Pop into a bowl and serve! 
*This can be stored in the freezer but remember to take it out 10 minutes before you need it so it is spoon-able. 

I would love to see some pictures of your little ones weaning journeys so please do tag me @lateforrealityblog on Instagram and click that follow button to see more of the foods we are loving for our tiny troublemakers! 



P.s here are the Facebook live videos of me taking the steam blender for a test drive.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

I went to Blog On 2017!


Last weekend I attended a blog conference for the first time in ages and it was great! I say great as I totally bypass puking on the train from MK to Manchester, turning up an hour late to the launch party after two 19 year old boys helped me find my way to the venue and then leaving 30 minutes later because I missed all the food and good drinks. Of course all of that made 100% better by missing my train on the way home and sobbing to a stranger who helped me find an alternative train home. 

Yep the rest was great though!

All jokes aside I had a fair few hiccups that weekend but I made it home from Manchester  in one piece and after the horrific events of the past week I count myself extremely fortunate.


So, Blog On MoSI. My first of the Blog On conferences and it was a great event. Held at the brilliant Museum of Science and Industry, the one day event was really sociable as well as having a great range of sessions. I sat in on Youtube Planning with the lovely Colette Burgess from We're Going on an Adventure, Photographing People with Hayley Willis from Shutterflies Photography and Facebook with Ciara from My Fussy Eater.


I met up with some of my best blogging buddies some of whom I have known for 6 or 7 years and others I met when I was pregnant with Callie and have supported me through the past year or so. It was so good to catch up with them all and meet some of them face to face for the first time. That is what I love most about blog conferences and I actually skipped one of the sessions just to allow myself some time to talk to the brands and my friends.




The brands at the event were great, super friendly and really wanted to get to know me as a blogger. Often at larger events it is all about sales but they weren't there to make sales they were there to build relationships so that we can collaborate in the future. I got to meet a few PR's I have been working with in the past and exchanged details with some new ones which will hopefully mean new products to share with you guys!





I learnt a lot, laughed a lot and came home with more gifts in my goodie bag than I know what to do with. I may not be braving the 2.5 hour train journey there next time but I certainly will be going back. 

Thank you for having me Blog On!



Monday, 1 May 2017

Dear Boy At The Park...

Dear Boy At The Park,

Yesterday we had a lovely afternoon at Wicksteed Park with our friends. Ted decided to play on the climbing frames and despite being a bit wary (they were big climbing frames) we let him go off to play.

He was feeling brave, braver than I have seen him before and I have noticed his confidence is growing in spades. He decided to go down the 'big dark slide' and his pride when he mastered it was wonderful to see. He was having so much fun.

Feeling braver still he attempted the rope tunnel, the one with lots of square holes in and his little foot slipped through. He giggled as his shoe fell off and I watched him struggle for a few seconds before I stepped in to help. Putting his foot back through the hole and his shoe on I looked up to see a queue of children behind him. One of which was you. A child of 8 or 9 standing patiently. Watching me. Watching Ted and smiling. "Sorry his shoe fell off!" I said, letting you know we wouldn't be long.

Much to my surprise instead of turning and going to play on something else or clambering past him as I would have expected, you smiled again. "It is ok, I still do that sometimes too". You reassured Ted that it was ok, even bigger boys struggle sometimes.

I popped Teddy's shoe back on and was shocked again to hear such kind words from another child "Would you like me to help him?". Of course I told you that would be a lovely thing to do, it made me less anxious knowing he had some assistance up on those big frames and I took a step back and watched you both play.

I watched as Ted looked up to you, taking in each step you made and copying to keep himself on track. As you cheered him on from the side and clapped as he came down the "big dark slide" again and again. As you led him to another frame I followed to see how he tackled it and when he couldn't manage it because of his small legs you moved to a different one, despite clearly wanting to play on that one yourself.

You showed him how to climb down the tyre ladder and accepted when he wasn't brave enough to try himself. You listened when I used his name and called him it too building his trust. You were a leader and he listened. "Mummy, he knows my name!" Ted whispered to me. An beautiful smile filling his face.

When it was time for you to go you waited for him at the bottom of the slide to say goodbye and off you ran. I couldn't see your parents until you were out of the park but I wish I had seen them. I wish I could have told them what a special child you are. Because yesterday you helped Ted, you helped him see kindness in the world.

My son that often is hurt by other children, smacked or pushed in parks and soft plays but never hits back. The boy who cries to me rather than retaliates and questions "why do my friends always hurt me when they play?".

You showed him that not all children are boisterous, not all children are hurtful or aggressive. Some children are kind and it is cool to be kind.

I hope your parents know how special you are and may you continue to be kind-hearted.

Thank you,

This Grateful Mumma

X


Monday, 24 April 2017

Siblings - April 2017

This month I have have seen the relationship between my two grow. Callie watches Ted's every move, laughing if he does something silly and taking in all he has to teach her. Ted is so helpful and kind to his little sister, giving her toys and singing to her when she is upset. 

I catch him playing with her so sweetly sometimes and it melts my heart. I picked up these matching Cool Like Mama tops from Next last weekend as I do love a bit of Twinning. Ted was so happy to be wearing the same outfit as his sister and I think she looks pretty chuffed too! 

I can't wait to see how their relationship develops as Callie grows. They start nursery together in a few weeks and I really hope they will enjoy spending a few days a week there together before Ted starts school in September. 

I love my little Siblings!

 






The Me and Mine Project