Eat, Play, Love : The Sunday Post

November 23, 2014

Howdy Pardners! It has been a Pixar kind of week…can you tell? This week we have managed a few park trips, a couple of movie dates and an adventure to Seaford on the train, which to my faked surprise looked nothing like Thomas the tank engine. Can you imagine? Our version of the ‘Fat Controller’ could have been re-named the ‘moody controller’. I forgot how everyone on the train is miserable, like they all somehow got tricked on to entering a carriage with both Poirot and Jessica Fletcher! Unlike Max and I who looked as though we were off on the Hogwarts Express, but once those doors locked us in Max turned into an extra from the Planet of the Apes movie. Luckily the ride and screaming was brief. I hope your week had an easier journey to this weekend.

cookieproblemsEat

I have a cookie problem…I cannot make them! Sure, I made these, but you did not see the other five attempts…no matter how far they are spaced apart, how tiny the ball of cookie dough is, my cookies merge into each other and fail. These oaty numbers were filled with desiccated coconut and raisins, not my best. I attempted some doughy chocolate chip ones this week for a playdate and followed the Nigella recipe exactly. You can not go wrong with nigella right? Wrong. I ended up with a tray of flat slab cookie. Will I ever conquer the cookie? Please send help, advice or cookies.

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Max has decided that even though he has more toys than Hamleys, the kitchen cupboards and contents of said cupboards are much more entertaining to play with. This week he has managed to empty and line up every stock cube, spice jar and raisin box he could find. He is so, so happy whilst doing it and it actually means I can get lots done in the kitchen at the same time. Max has always been so busy lining up his cars and trains…I can’t believe I had never thought of putting his organising skills to good use and to my advantage.

love my canon s120 for vloggingLove

I have just purchased the Canon Powershot S120 camera to vlog with, which is a huge deal for me and a step further in my YouTube, vlogging journey. Up until this point I have been using my iPhone 5s to film all my weekly videos for my YouTube channel and again, up until this point I was happy with the quality and the ease of whipping out my smart phone to get a shot. 42 videos later I have realised that YouTube has become much more than a ‘thing’ to compliment my blog, it is my favourite thing. I love making videos from capturing moments, to story telling, to the editing process. I have been watching other vloggers for over 5 years, always wishing I was on the other side of the camera sharing my corner and I am so glad I started. I have found a fantastic community via YouTube and I love that I have managed to capture moments with Max on film that I will look back on forever. I have invested in this camera to invest in my YouTube channel and I can only hope that the quality matches the memories.

Eat, Play, Love : The Sunday Post

November 16, 2014

jamie oliver comfort foodEat

Usually… a good Sunday, for us needs to contain a hearty roast dinner, but today we went outside the Sunday box and we made Shepherds Pie. I know, I know…big whoop, but this wasn’t any Shepherds Pie…this was the Jamie Oliver Comfort Food Shepherd Pie recipe which equals pure un-adulterated filth for your tastebuds and tummy. We began our Sunday meal on Saturday, it was that epic. We roasted a shoulder of lamb for over 4 hours on Saturday and then made the pie today. 24 hours in the making this pie was to die for. Im already very excited by the leftovers sitting in the kitchen that I will no doubt have for dinner with some red wine this evening, watching some Attenborough. Living the Sunday dream, folks.

play sunday postPlay

What a wet week, wet and miserable. Seriously, what is the plan for winter Mama’s? If you let me come in on yours, I will totally share the deets on my zombie apocalypse plan…tempting? This week involved wellington boots and lots of puddles. Yesterday, Max decided 10 minute per puddle was sufficient enough time to be at one with each and every wet hole in Preston Park. We had to extract him several times. Lots of tears, but mainly lots of fun and play.


Love

It’s that time of year…Christmas is fast approaching and it has now been confirmed by the arrival of the John Lewis advert (which made me cry) that we can get excited, play the crimbo choons and start shopping for our loved ones. Tis the season to be jolly and it is my absolute favourite time of the year. I really do wish it could be Christmas every day. I cannot wait for this one especially, because it is the first year we will be celebrating in our new house and Max is far more aware of Christmas than this time last year. A year ago he was just a drooling mess sat in front of a blinking xmas tree, sucking on a bauble, but this year is the year we can start our very own family Christmas traditions.

What did you guys eat, play or love this week? Have you got any family traditions for the festive season that you want to encourage your bambino to enjoy?

Big Love and Happy Sunday, ya filthy animals!

Make ‘Em Laugh

November 12, 2014

life-is-better-when-youre-laughing-laughter-quote-3I have no idea why my brain has held onto this one nugget of advice/wisdom, but alas it has and forever it will stay and now I am sharing it with you….it is simply ‘make ‘em laugh’. My Dad could see that I was incredibly nervous on my first day of secondary school and I remember asking him the secret to getting people to like you and he replied ‘Tash, make em laugh’. So I did.

Unfortunately I spent most of my childhood in fear, fear of disappointing, fear of abandonment, but when I was not feeling like that I was laughing. Laughing so hard my tummy hurt, my eyes stung from the tears rolling down my cheeks and more often than not hiccups would occur from all the air I was sucking up. Laughing was a huge release for me and I love to laugh. Fear doesn’t automatically get associated with laughter, but it worked for me for 18 years.

I blame my love of laughing for my bad A-level results, whilst others studied, I found my soul mate and she was and is hilarious. She made life silly and that was exactly what I needed. To be silly. If it wasn’t for my humour I might not of hooked Mr.B on my line so easily and of course I have days where I don’t giggle, but those are some seriously rubbish days.

I recently had a playdate with some of my mama buddies and we were discussing motherhood and finding mum friends and we all agreed that it can often feel like school, which made me think of that line my Dad told me many years ago. ‘Make em laugh”. The irony that we are in the playground is not lost on me.

Motherhood is challenging, some days it can be filled with laughter and others can feel like you’ve just completed a tough mudder obstacle course, but if you can’t laugh about it with your friends than when can you?

It has taken me 30 years to realise that I need laughers with me. Friends who make me pee my pants and hold my sides. Laughing really is the best medicine and life is too short not to enjoy a good chuckle. I hope whoever you are and wherever you find yourself, that you find time to be silly and enjoy the best free gift your face has given you. Smile.

Visiting Washbrooks Farm

November 10, 2014

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This past weekend we ventured to Washbrooks Farm in West Sussex after everyone we know told us to get ourselves there pronto. It is officially the best place on earth for a toddler, it has soft play, giant trampolines, ride along tractors and diggers, farm animals, a sandpit, a playground, climbing frames and the most amazing views of Sussex! Oh and did I mention reindeer and a free tractor ride around the farm? It was such a treat to spend an afternoon here and we will definitely be going again and again….apparently Father Christmas is there next week, which is strange, because surely the big guy is about to hit his busy period! Need I say more…Washbrooks have everything and they have a Santa connection too.

Eat, Play, Love : The Sunday Post

November 9, 2014

Happy Sunday you guys! Here is a mini round up of our week….eat baked oatmealEat

If you have read any previous post of mine you will probably know that I am a big Deliciously Ella fan and this baked oatmeal recipe is just another awesome tasting dish to add to my rolling ‘favourite recipe’ list. Basically Last Thursday marked the start of winter 2014, freezing winds, pants on the radiator, coats, scarves, hats and gloves and porridge! It is officially that time of the year and I was after an update on my usual brekkie options so here you are. My new favourite breakfast!

play the sunday postPlay

After 3 days of rain and Pixar movies, lego building and digger driving we had a day of sunshine, which meant park, parks, all the parks. Slides, swings, climbing frames, tunnels….oh my. This week Max decided it was time to go it alone on the slide….I was more scared than he was. He went for it and didn’t stop at just one whee, whoosh, drop. Ten nail biting rounds on the slide later we took a break for the roundabout aka the circle spinner of death! This dude is fearless and growing up before my own eyeballs.

wash brook farm Love

Home. Our house is finally coming together, we are getting ready for hibernation as probably previously mentioned and even if I do say so myself…it’s feeling darn cosy. Not only that, but since moving back here and having Max we have gone out of our way to find fun places to visit and cool things to do in Sussex with kids. It has been eye opening, we often wonder why we never knew about these places before bambino, but that is what happens when you have a mini you to entertain. This afternoon we visited Washbrook Farm, which is about a 15 minute drive out of Brighton and it has everything that you could possibly want for a toddler. Soft play, farm animals, tractor rides, giant trampolines, a lovely cafe with yummy cakes, a playground, a sandpit, ride on tractors and diggers and reindeer! I mean, even writing this I am wondering if I am exaggerating….nope, nada, nein…this was/is the place of parent and toddler dreams. If all that was not enough, check out this beyond beautiful sunset over the downs. I always find the countryside here so peaceful and calming. I am falling in love with Sussex all over again and love sharing it with Max.

Eat, Play, Love : The Sunday Post…on a Tuesday.

November 4, 2014

Whoops! Life got in the way and I couldn’t quite make it on Sunday and so here is the Sunday post on a Tuesday. Wild. Apologies. I hope you all had a Happy Halloween and a got to light a sparkler or three.

eatEat

Damn Jamie Oliver and his delicious #recipeoftheday tweets and Instagram…this past week I eye spied his warming vegetarian chilli recipe and I had to have it, we all had it. With the weather being like a Katy Perry song, this was necessary!

halloweenPlay

This was our first Halloween in our new neighbourhood and woah, they take it seriously…the costumes and house decorations were amazing and put our one pumpkin to shame. Gulp. Realising we were not prepared for the onslaught of local youths dressed as witches, goblins and ghouls we took the easy route – we headed to our local park who put on a huge Halloween party. Complete with carving competitions, hot dogs, mulled wine and apple bobbing. It was brilliant. Max was confused by all the ghostly commotion, but he thought it was hilarious with all the kids running around high on sugar. I am looking forward to next year already!

autumn lightLove

I know, the chair has already had its own post, but the light! This incredibly long Summer and gorgeous Autumn feel me with all the feels. It has been breathtaking and I am so glad that I can capture the beauty via my videos as well as my blog. It has rained for the past 2 days and so this might be the last of our lucky light.

Mum & Toddler: October Favourites!

October 31, 2014

mumandtoddlerovtoberfavouritesHappy Halloween! It is that time again….another monthly favourites. Here is everything that both Max and I have been enjoying throughout the month of October. Every mama needs some tricks up her sleeve and I hope you find this post helpful if you need or want ideas on how to entertain little ones on rainy days or if you simply need inspiration on how to set up your home for hibernation.

Thomas the Tank Engine

We purchased a ‘Thomas, a Percy and a Diesel’ model trains a few months ago when Max was starting to take an interest in trains and engines, but he never touched them again until this month! I showed him a couple of Thomas the Tank Engine episodes and he was/is hooked and now Max is Thomas mad and so very happy to chuff, puff and choo, choo around the house.

Eau Rose by Diptyque

I think it might be fair to say that there are no words left to say about this sensational scent as I have dedicated an entire blog post to it below. An ode to an odour! I like it.

Neom Comforting Candle

Talking of heavenly scents….I was lucky enough to be sent one of the Neom Autumn Collection candles this month and my entire house smells like it is inviting you in to hibernate for the winter. Lock the doors, I will be here till Spring! I chose the Comforting candle which is exactly what it is. An earthy and warming candle with hints of orange and cloves. Think Mulled Wine and reading by the fire as dusk becomes night. Heavenly.

Clipper Sleep Easy Tea

I don’t know where to start, but I have a confession…I am an English Rose who hates the ole fashioned “English Cuppa”. It is quite simply (pun intended) not my bag baby. I prefer coffee and green tea. Occasionally I have been known to sip on a peppermint tea, but mainly I live off water. As it has started to get cosier earlier and the light outside begins to dim I have found myself seeking comfort in warm drinks of an evening, but I didn’t want to have caffeine before bed so I discovered this ‘sleep’ tea that promises to relax you and encourage tired eyes. A cup of this before bed and I don’t even need to read a book. I am out like a light. I don’t have trouble sleeping, but I do sleep lightly now I am with child. Having the tea relaxes me so much that I feel like I have a much better and deeper sleep because of it.

Cosmo & Max by Ian Bailie

I have already dedicated quite a few posts to Ian’s Book, but what’s another amongst friends? If this is the first post you are seeing then the story goes….Ian is Max’s ‘dada’ and my lobster and he has written a children’s book all about our crazy shih tzu, Cosmo and our bambino, Max. It arrived this month and is very personal to us and something we started when Max arrived. Best of all Max loves this book and we have to read it unto 3 times before bed! It is now available on Amazon to buy xxx

Ladybird WheelyBug

Confession: We actually picked up our wheely bug from a secondhand shop because I think they are overpriced, but the link above will take you to Amazon. Apologies, but if you can find a cheaper one – go for it! The wheely bug is simply a ride along toy for your mini munchkin and they come in an array of animals and insect shapes. You can get a small version or a large bug. We found a small one and Max rides on his comfortably. Max has wheeled himself around the house every day since the wheelybug arrived. Success and now a new firm favourite. Wheeeeee.

Mega Bloks by Amazon

A couple of weeks ago, it rained. Shocker. It did more than rain, it rained solidly for a week and we were trapped indoors. Max has just stopped getting frustrated and started to enjoy lego and building so I purchased these mega bloks from Amazon in the hope that I could trick him into an afternoon with Ma, in the house, building towers and bridges. It worked! Huzzah.

John Lewis Goose Down Mattress Topper

I feel like this is a very ‘grown up’ favourite, but if it did not make the list then I would be a liar for it is my favourite of all my favourite things. My favourite thing about hotels are the beds, I am obsessed with cotton counts and pillow menus and I am constantly asking the age old question “how do they make their beds so god damn soft?”. My goal in life is to make my personal bed just as good if not better than a hotel bed. This is where the mattress topper comes in. We purchased the best that we could find and OH MY GAHD my bed is heaven. It is like sleeping on a cloud, being hugged by pure love and as soon as you get in, you simply sigh ‘ahhhhhhh’. I wish I was in it right now.

Essie Button Protein Power Soup

Soup, I love soup. As soon as it gets colder, soup becomes my go to meal. I am always cold in the winter, my husband refers to me as The Walking Dead because I am simply corpse cold so I need soup to survive. Nothing beats a warming, root vegetable soup so when I was catching up with one of my fave blogs ‘Essie Button’ I discovered her protein packed power soup recipe full of beans and roasted vegetables. I have had it for lunch and dinner on more than 2 occasions. It is so incredibly delicious and warming. Best of all it is super healthy and packed full of vitamins, nutrients and fibre to keep you going throughout the day.