Eat, Play, Love : The Sunday Post

December 14, 2014

bailiesausagerollsEat

It is officially Christmas, some might say that it is when you first hear Mariah on the radio or once the tree is decorated and the wreath is hanging on the door, but in our house – it is when Mr.B makes his famous sausage rolls. It is and has become quite a Bailie tradition and the man does not believe in portion control, so we have about 80 that we are currently ‘testing’ before the big day.  It is a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it!

max and thomas fisherpricePlay

Max has discovered Thomas the tank engine and it is all we can watch, play with, stack and say. “Choo, choo” is a common daily phrase. This week, we received a Thomas from Fisherprice that talks, races and encourages toddlers to interact by using waving motions to control how fast Thomas goes and which direction. Max loves his Thomas and seems concerned that none of his other Thomas trains are half as exciting.

love the milk standLove

This Friday I finally got to see my beloved pal from Singapore, it has almost been a year to the day since we parted and so a catch up was long overdue and luckily for me she had space in her visiting schedule for the Christmas Holidays. It honestly felt like no time had passed and that is not because we are great on Facebook or email (quite the opposite), but because our friendship  can stand the distance. I am incredibly grateful and feel very lucky to have such a terrific friend in my life who can make me belly laugh till it hurts, who puts up with my potty mouth and who shared the incredibly mental journey that we call “Max’s first year”. I love you TL. Please come home.

Tomorrow holds a New Lesson

December 10, 2014

As I am getting older (and possibly wiser) I find myself reflecting on my past more and more. I don’t dwell on things I cannot change, but I try to ensure that I do learn from the mistakes I have made so I can make better choices for my future.

I always imagined turning 30 years old and having “it figured” out, but as the number got closer and closer I said to myself that perhaps turning 40 is ACTUALLY when “it” is figured out. The “It” I refer to is my own goals and ideals, but I keep discovering that tomorrow holds a new lesson for me and so, will I ever figure “it” out or will I always want to move the goal post?

The last few years have been huge for us. Our two became three, we travelled Asia and lived there, we came home, bought a home and have “started again”. Seeking new friendships, new routines and comforts can really take it out of you and you can either embrace it or fight the system. We chose to embrace it with two arms and we have been changed for good.

At 30 years old I may not have figured “it” out, but when I was 20 years old, I would never have imagined I would have my own loving family, be given opportunities to travel the globe and that I would live in another country. I would never have imagined that I would say YES to any of it, but I did and I am so grateful for the experiences and mistakes I made along the way, because they all lead me to NOW.

NOW is nice. I am raising a human being and it is my full time job. I don’t crave office hours or after works drinks. I crave family time, making memories and creating them.

I think, (myself included) that we are all in too much of a hurry to get “there”, to the place or ideal that we want to be, that more often than not, we forget to enjoy how we actually get there. The friendships we make, cherish and then lose. The times of doubt and fear. The times of laughter and tears. This is our life and this is my life. For 2015 I am going to stop worrying about my destination and enjoy the incredible journey with all of it’s bumps, roundabouts and forks in the road.

Reflection is healthy and I always get reflective over the festive season as it marks the end of one year and the hope of another, it forces you to look at your achievements and wrong turns, but as long as you can recognise them and keep marching forward, then you’ll be fine.

itsthejourney

 

 

Eat, Play, Love : The Sunday Post

December 7, 2014

IMG_1122Eat

Hello and slurp, slurp….have I got cream on me? This weekend has been all about homemade hot chocolate drinks, complete with whipped cream, marshmallows and dustings of cocoa powder. We have been out and about in the hours of darkness (so after 3pm) and the temperatures have dropped significantly, so as soon as we get back inside, the milk pan beckons. Best of all the recipe is super simple and easy to make. Recipe: Almond Milk (3/4 of a cup), 1 tbsp of cocoa powder, dash of vanilla essence. Warm in the pan, pour into a festive mug of your choice and add all your favourite treats on top. Yummy.

IMG_1099Play

We have been plagued with cancelled play dates and a cold from hell this week, so Max has been bouncing off the walls. I needed a new plan. This week I emergency purchased (good ole Amazon Prime) this mega etch a sketch. Max hates mess so the idea of painting or using play dough is out for us at this moment in time, but the etch a sketch has saved my week and Max loves it. He has spent most of his time on it and encourages us to draw with him, which has been adorable and so basically, the etch a sketch has become a family activity.

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Love

Bills. No, not the ones which pop into your inbox or demand your immediate attention, but the restaurant. We have a lovely Bills in Brighton and I have often frequented the joint for a breakfast in my time, but as of last week I have had a baby shower there, a play date there and a hangover cure brekkie. I think the staff have started to recognise me. We apparently love it there. Honestly, it is just so easy with a toddler or more, the decor is so bright and colourful, it is always so busy and so there is always lots to look at. The menu is creative and delicious for both adults and kids. Need I say more? See you next week Bills.

I hope you are all having a dreamy Sunday. I am off to watch Love Actually and sip on some mulled wine. Cheers x

Mum & Toddler : November Favourites

December 5, 2014

the milk stand november favesEvery single month I think to myself “my gosh, I have so many favourite things to share” and then the end of the month rolls round and I am left looking at my feet and biting my nails whilst trying to think about what I really liked, enjoyed, loved and even hated through the past 30 days. You will be pleased to know that this month was no exception, but it was not hard to think of this months shortlist as I either tripped over it, ate it or was starting to get clammy hands, wondering where said item was…

So this is everything that both Max (22months) and I (don’t ask) have been head over heels for throughout the month of November:

Quality Street Chocolates

Do I need to even explain? I find wrappers everywhere, under the sofa, in the dogs bed, but mainly, always mainly… my pockets. 2015 will be about eating air for me.

Melissa & Doug Christmas Tree Advent Calendar

I was on the hunt for an advent calendar that was not full of sugar (as we have quite enough in the house – with it being the Xmas season) and then I discovered that one of my favourite toy brands also produced an advent calendar! This Christmas Tree is made of wood and will last Max for years to come, it has magnetic baubles to either take off or decorate the tree with for the build up to Christmas Day. It is such a lovely product and Max enjoys lining up the baubles and decorating the tree on a daily basis. It sits in pride of place, on our mantel piece and has become one of our Xmas decorations. I hope this will be in our family for many years and become a Bailie Christmas tradition.

Bobble Hat

It is officially bobble hat weather. After too many park trips holding my hands over my ears trying to warm them I purchased this gorgeous burgundy shade knitted hat from ASOS. Best part of it all, is that Max will happily keep his hat on if Mama has hers. Phew.

JCB Digger

Max is obsessed with cars and diggers, he “vrooms” them all a round the house, he loves lining them up and picking up lego man who are hitching a lift from the lounge to kitchen. This JCB digger basically blew his mind, it is big and bulky, but fits in with his growing collection quite nicely. Beep, beep.

Canon Powershot S120

So I am 44 videos in to YouTube, which is nuts! So far I have got by, using just my iPhone 5S and iMovie, which has been all I needed…up to now. I am longing for better quality, better shots, better editing, better sound and higher definition in my videos. There are some fabulous vloggers out there who are producing such quality content that I have decided I want better for my channel. I love making my diary videos, so I invested in a camera. A camera that is just for my channel on YouTube. Other vloggers that I admire all recommend the Canon Powershot S120 so I dived in and made a sneaky purchase on Amazon. So far, I am over-joyed at the quality and it is easy to use and navigate, even for a novice like me. I feel like this also marks an important step in my YouTube journey. (I hope).

Gone Girl

I did not know whether or not to include this as you have read the book Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, as I am years behind most readers since having Max, but I was also heavily disappointed by the ending. No spoilers. Do not worry. My husband just finished it and disagreed so you may or may not like it?! Wow. I should write book reviews right? Even though I was not thrilled with the last chapter, I loved the book. I found myself going to bed earlier and earlier, just so I could read 5 chapters before Mr.Sandman arrived. It is highly addictive and there are some brilliant twists and turns. I really want to see the movie now.

I hope you enjoyed our November favourites and do let me know what you have been loving this past month or is there anything you are looking forward to sampling in December? Leave me a comment below and I will grab the Quality Street! Happy December darlings x

Make the World Better with a Sweater!

November 30, 2014

savethechildrenchristmasjumperThis year, Save the Children’s annual Christmas Jumper Day is taking place on Friday 12th December. Now in its third year, the charity is asking even more people across the UK to join the woolly revolution to help ‘make the world better with a sweater’. It is super easy, all YOU have to do is buy a Christmas Jumper. The jumpers will raise funds for Save the Children’s vital work in the UK and will are available to buy in Asda stores nationwide and online at George.com

Asda_FB_Christmas-jumper-day

Eat, Play Love : The Sunday Post

November 30, 2014

Heyooooo! This weekend has been awesome. I got to take my BFF who is about to drop her second bambino, out for an un-interrupted meal, child free and then we indulged in a manicure, pedicure and even a festive red cup from Starbucks. It was bliss. If that was not exciting enough to a full time, stay at home mama, we then had our first fake Christmas today. You read that right – a fake Christmas. A day that replicates Xmas day, but is not the actual day. It is becoming an annual tradition in the Bailie house and we have another 2 before the 25th. Bring it on December. IMG_1046

Eat

It really is the most wonderful time of the year….Quality Street time. Our first tin just arrived and a ‘no throwing in the empty wrapper’ rule has been set. We are ready for December.

IMG_1047Play

Max’s nap time has changed and thrown me for a loop, throw in the dark afternoon and we basically have the toddler, mama equivalent of jet lag. Mornings are now ‘our time’, our time to go about our business and this is also when we need to squeeze in groups, playdates and park time! Today Max and I toddled over to our local playground for some slide action.

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Love

If my Facebook feed is anything to go by, then no one is very impressed with my Christmas tree being proudly on display by November 29th, but I promise it is for the greater good. My best pal is in the ‘family way’ with bambino number 2 and the little man is due on Xmas day and so in the chance that HE is right on schedule we arranged a ‘fake Christmas’. Complete with mince pies, mulled wine, cheese, crackers and presents, so you see, the tree was very necessary. We have a few fake crimbo occasions coming up and it is something that we have done every year with various friends and family members and it makes the whole of December very special and basically a party! Cheers x

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.

playPlay

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.