Handmade gifts

I love making things as gifts for special occasions. A few years ago I made my friends little girl a cushion for her christening and last month I had the perfect motivation to get back behind my sewing machine. I’ve made two lovely friends since having Joshua. Mr B and I just did the NHS antenatal class, we decided against nct in the end, so it was only a day session but out of a big mix of people I’ve met two fab ladies who also both had baby boys. One of them had a naming day and to mark the occasion I decided to make him a cushion which he’ll be able to keep as he grows up. Making them for boys always seems harder as thereare so many pretty girlie fabrics (and my studio is full of them!) but I opted for blue linen with a spot fabric and then sewed vintage buttons on in his initial. A week later it was our good friends twins first birthday, again I wanted to get them something that they could keep as they got older. They have such different personalities so I made two different designs but used the same vintage fabric so they work together if they share a room as they get older. I’m sure none of them at this stage are impressed with a cushion but hopefully they’ll appreciate them in years to come. 

Getting crafty

Last weekend I tackled my much neglected studio. Since the little arrival it’s become a dumping ground for all sorts of stuff. I’d not used my sewing machine in months – probably nearer a year truth be told. I lost a bit of motivation and the desire to sell any bits. But I had some little projects I needed to get underway for the forthcoming weekend. I’ve had a good sort through of all my older stock and am now selling this off at reduced prices. I also uncovered about six projects I’d started but never finished! Anyone else do that?? It was a few hours well spent, and a little bit of me time whilst Mr B entertained the little man. I absolutely love being a mum but it is nice to just have a moment to yourself every now and then. And it’s reminded me how much I love my little craft projects, so I’ve now some fresh motivation to sort out my studio once and for all (and yes I’ve started a new Pinterest board for storage ideas!).


Date night

We finally plucked up the courage to leave the little man for a few hours last Friday night. Well I say we – I decided to take Mr B out to celebrate his birthday as a surprise, and I say a few hours but it was actually only 2.5!

It’s amazing how life changes and how used to being three we are. We both said on the drive into Cambridge that it was strange him not being with us. He’s only 19 weeks but we’re now so used to him being part of our family it felt very odd leaving him behind. We used to go out for dinner all the time, we’re big foodies so I thought it would do us good to get out for a bit of a treat. The last time we went out for dinner I was overdue so couldn’t get near the table or fit a lot in!

Mr B declared after two hours and three courses at our favourite Turkish restaurant he was missing his little man so we best get home for cuddles. He’d been as good as gold and hadn’t made a peep for Grandma and Grumps (much to their disappointment I’m sure!). It felt good to get out if only for a short while and have a chance to spend some time together, although I imagine we spent the entire evening talking about Joshua but it did give us a chance to enjoy each other’s company.

Foolproof cooking & getting lean

I seem to have gone through another phase of buying lots of cookery books (getting a chance to read them all properly is another matter!). I’ve been justifying it by stopping buying food magazines. Instead I download and read them for free on the IPad using Cambridgeshire Libraries emagazine service, which is brilliant. I think this is a service that lots of local authorities run – it’s definitely worth finding out about.

So here’s a couple of short reviews on some new additions…

Mary Berry’s Foolproof Cooking
I love Mary Berry. When I grow up I want to be just like her. This book accompanied her most recent TV series, it’s full of really simple crowd pleasing recipes. I love it, so much so I had to buy another copy to give to my bestie for her birthday (we’re definitely getting old). I’ve made lots from the baking section, which is really bad as none of my clothes fit me as it is (I’m not sure how much longer I can use the ‘but I’m breastfeeding’ excuse and get away with it). It’s well laid out with simple easy to follow recipes that cater for a range of occasions. Definitely another time proof classic.

Lean in 15
I put off buying this book for as long as possible as I’m always skeptical when something’s so talked about. We’re now obsessed by it and for the last three weeks or so have been cooking most of our mid week meals from it. The guy’s a little bit too enthusiastic for my liking on his social media sites but he’s got to be applauded for what he’s doing and the amount of people he’s inspiring to make lifestyle changes. His workouts are really easy to follow too. I can honestly say of all the recipes we’ve tried (and it’s a lot of them) we have yet to come across something we don’t like. The hubby quite enjoys cooking from it too – bonus. So far our favourites are curry fried rice in a hurry, the McLeanie Burger and the chicken pie. All yummy.

I’ve also had delivered Sirocco by Sabrina Ghayour (I adore her first book), I’m yet to cook from it but I’ll report back as soon as I do, oh and a new Paul Hollywood book.



As I write this it’s 3.45am and I’ve not yet gone to bed so apologies for any mistakes. The little man had his third lot of jabs today, well yesterday. I was already dreading it as after the first lot he had a raging fever bought on from the Meningitis B vaccine and we sat up all night with him whilst he cried in discomfort and feeling like a hot water bottle. After the first one his temperature started to rise 6-7 hours afterwards, but after three doses of calpol it started to come down. Tonight’s been a different story, he had the jabs at 9.30am (this time I took my calpol with me to give to him as soon as the nurse had finished) but he was absolutely fine until about 5pm, it just climbed and climbed after that.

Four doses of calpol later it was still up, spiking at 39.4. A call to 111 and a mad 1am dash to Tesco later we’ve now got some baby nurofen down him (I wish I had known I may need that before hand!) and touch wood it seems to be coming down. We managed to get him into his cot at about 2am, but I’m far too worried to leave his side at the moment.

I’m desperately trying not to be an overly anxious first time mum but it’s so hard. Everything is such a steep learning curve and you feel such an indescribable sense of responsibility for this tiny little person that when something like this happens it’s hard not to panic. I’m so thankful though that he’s received the immunisation, especially with all the media attention around it at the moment, luckily we were better prepared for his reaction this time round. Although I think he seems to suffer with it more than some have it seems? No more jabs until he is a year old though. I sense a lot of caffeine will be required tomorrow.


What a difference a year makes

Exactly a year ago today we found out we were pregnant (for the third time). I never let myself imagine that we would get to where we are today, I still can’t quite believe it sometimes. Things can change so much in such a short space of time. And life can be so different. Joshua’s now 15 weeks old and we’ve had a fun evening tonight of planning our first family holiday (a week away in May to the Lake District) and planning a Spanish getaway for later in the summer. We’ve booked a lovely cottage in the Lakes for our May break so we’ll be self catering, and taking advantage of their ‘miles with out stiles’ – which has made so many walking routes accessible to people. We’ll still be taking the baby bjorn though for some proper walking and showing him the sorts of holidays we love.

Boob juice

I’ll be honest with you (and no doubt many will be appalled) but before I fell pregnant, actually even through pregnancy, I wasn’t sure I wanted to breastfeed, truth be told the whole idea of it freaked me out. But my mantra in life is that you should always give something a go, so off I totted to the hospitals breastfeeding workshop. I spared my hubby from this one as I honestly thought there’d be no other men on it, how wrong I was. Ten minutes in and we’ve been asked to draw a baby on a piece of paper (mine showed a strong resemblance to a melon, how ironic…) then show the teacher with the piece of paper how we’d feed. I’m still none the wiser as to how that’s meant to help people.

Luckily I have a lot of friends who bf so I’ve seen a lot of baby on boob action so I got off to a reasonably good start with the teacher. Saying that by the end of it I was less than impressed. Their main selling point (which I do now realise is true) was about how it helps you quickly loose the ‘baby weight’. Personally, I felt this was a bit wrong – there’s already so much pressure on young girls to be slim and new mums to ping back into shape (thanks celeb magazines for that one, I swear if I see one more picture of Coleen Rooney in her bikini this week after recently giving birth I’ll scream, and then eat some more chocolate of course), I just didn’t feel that it should be used as a selling tool. It’s personal choice how you want to feed your baby, bf isn’t for everyone, and not everyone finds it that easy to do, even if they want to. What’s important is that whether it’s by boob or bottle your baby is fed, full stop.

I’ve been doing it exclusively for 14 weeks now and I honestly never thought I’d get this far with it. It’s TOUGH, and I mean that sincerely.

What’s kept me going has definitely been seeing how the little man is piling on the pounds and developing into such a little character. I’m not one of these super pro breastfeeding earth mothery sorts who ram it down every other mums throats but it is a lovely feeling knowing that’s all down to me.

There are some funny sides to it though. We can look back and laugh now at my pathetic attempts to express colostrum in hospital, Mr B dutifully stood over me with a teeny 1ml syringe in hand waiting to collect a drop of the stuff. Or the day my milk finally came in, I’ll try and paint the scene…a few days of constantly attaching the little man to my boobs I couldn’t even muster the energy to put them away, Mr B bought Joshua through to me on the sofa where I was drugged up on pain relief in a world of my own and all I hear is ‘oh babe I think your milks come in’ yup, it was dripping everywhere….who said romance is dead.

I followed all the health visitor advice and waited for 6 weeks before trying to introduce a bottle (*inserts some profanities aimed at that piece of advice*) and 8 weeks later we’re still bloody battling without making much progress. Everyone goes on about this magic window for introducing it, but no one told me that point blank refusal could happen. Don’t get me wrong I’m really proud of myself for bf but if I knew he would at least take one it would make my life a little easier as it would mean we could share the odd night time feed when I’m beyond exhausted. Though things are now starting to get easier and he has started to do longer stretches at night between feeds.

So, if anyone’s interested I thought I’d share some things I’ve learnt and I’d pass on to people…
1. Follow your instincts with when is the best time to introduce a bottle if you want to be able to express and have some help.

2. Buy lansinoh lanolin nipple cream and use it after every feed in the first couple of weeks. It’s expensive but I found it was worth every penny and touch wood, I’ve not had any problems.

3. Never quit on a bad day – still the best piece of advice I’ve been given.

4. Invest in decent bras and buy some pretty ones (completely pointless but they’ll make you feel better).

5. Keep your a sense of humour (it’s not glamourous and I’ve lost count of how many people have seen my huge boobs).

6. Enjoy it, it’s hard but it’s so rewarding. Before we know it they’ll be ready for weaning and I already know I’ll miss the lovecuddles we have when its feed time.