Elliott’s 18 Month Update – Part 3: Eating

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Myself and Hubby are both known as the foodies of the family. Not in the sense that we will only eat the finest grass-fed foie gras, more because we just love our blooming food and lots of it – it’s a good job we have fast metabolisms! Obviously everyone expected Elliott to follow suit and he pretty much has, although being a toddler he swings from being a gannet, to being off his food faster than the Octonauts can dive to the bottom of the ocean.

A typical day at home will look like this…

7:15am – 70z bottle of cows milk

8am – Breakfast, usually cereal or porridge with fruit and toast. Elliott’s favourite cereals are Weetabix and Rice Krispies.

10:30am – Morning snack, this tends to be a banana, or a slice of fruit toast. If we’re out and about it might be an Organix-y style toddler snack (Elliott is particularly into these gingerbread men at the moment).

12pm – Lunch, normally an omelette, or a sandwich or wrap with a side salad and some toddler crisps. Followed by fruit, a jelly or a yoghurt.

3:30pm – Afternoon snack, this might be fruit, a packaged toddler snack, Dairylea on crackers, or Almond butter on rice cakes.

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6pm – Dinner (or ‘TEA’ as Elliott likes to screech as he runs excitedly towards his high chair (that’s what us Black Country types refer to dinner as)),  very occasionally Elliott will have a pre-packaged Hipp meal (generally if mummy and daddy want to eat something grown-up (like take out, or steak and chips) for dinner later.) Normally it’s just a smaller version of what we’re having for dinner, so maybe stir fry, stew, sausages and mash with vegetables, pasta… Elliott loves lasagne and seems quite partial to a chicken korma too. He also loves tofu! If it’s a work night it has to be something quick, so it’s often pasta, microwave jacket potatoes, or vegetable topped pizza. This is generally followed by fruit, jelly, a yoghurt, banana (or cake) and custard, or this healthy chocolate mousse.

7:30pm – 7 or 8 ounce bottle of whole cows milk.

Elliott eats well when he’s at nursery. The portions they give there are huge and Elliott frequently polishes them off, sometimes having seconds! I’ve also noticed he will eat certain foods (especially fruits) at nursery which he won’t eat at home! Sneaky thing!

At home Elliott eats with us at the table, we strap him in his Ikea high chair. We used to be able to just pop him in, but his middle name may as well be Houdini at the moment so he has to be restrained to prevent him from escaping! He eats really well with either a spoon or fork. He does have a tendency to throw food if he’s tired, or if he’s had enough and we haven’t noticed. Although, thankfully, this does seem to be a phase that is starting to pass. There’s only so many times you can cope with having a flying banana land in your lap part way through breakfast. At nursery he sits on a little chair at a little table surrounded by his other older toddler friends – so cute!

We use the plastic cutlery and plates and bowls from Ikea. You know, the ones that everyone has and an assortment of bibs from Tommee Tippee, Ikea and elsewhere. We find these ones from Tommee Tippee to be the best.

In terms of drinking Elliott goes through phases, both in terms of how much water he will drink and which cup he wants to drink out of. I’ll do a blog post about the various cups we’ve been through another time – that’s an epic blog post in itself!

I do find it hard to come up with inspiration for new meals for Elliott and it can be disheartening when I do try something new and he doesn’t like it, so if anyone has any fool proof toddler recipes to recommend, please leave your links in the comments below.

You can read part one of Elliott’s 18-month (routine) here and part two (sleep) here.

 

Book Review: The Body Book by Cameron Diaz

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So it seems my goal to read 12 books this year and my goal to boost my immunity intertwined with my latest read, as I decided to revisit The Body Book by Cameron DiazThe Body Book by Cameron Diaz.

I originally read this book whilst laying on a sun lounger in Sri Lanka. You can read my original review here. Needless to say A LOT has changed since then!

At first read I loved the book and Cameron’s bubbly tone. This time? It grated a bit. There were too many words – maybe it’s because I’m time poor (or just because I’ve read it before) – but I did think cut the waffle and get to the bloody point woman!

Also, now my body is post-baby and a little (OK, a lot) more squishy I didn’t feel like Diaz was talking to me. This might be my paranoia, or the fact that my life isn’t all about grabbing morning lattes nowadays (these days I drink my coffee black and out of a machine in the kitchen).

You can read my original review here.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links

Toddler Morning Routine – 20 months

A while back I wrote about Elliott’s routine and mentioned I would try to make a video to accompany it. Well, it’s taken a while (and this is only his morning routine) but here it is…

This video also goes by the name of ‘why it takes so long to get to the park’. Seriously toddler procrastination is something else. I had to edit loads out and yet there’s still plenty that remains.

Hope you enjoy.

What’s your morning routine?

Also – any tips for capturing toddlers at nappy change time?

Elliott’s Favourite Toddler Books – 20 months

Elliott loves books and, as a (sadly lapsed) bookworm myself I am so pleased! Find out what books he’s loving at the moment in this video…

Apologies it gets a bit garbled towards the end, I’d had a migrainey week so was still a bit fuzzy! Thanks for watching 🙂

You can find the books here:

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Old MacDonald Had a Farm

Incy Wincy Spider

How to catch a star by Oliver Jeffers

Sometimes by Emma Dodd

Stepping out Together Road Safety Book

Information about Bookstart

Rabbit’s Nap – Tales from Acorn Wood by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Postman Bear – Tales from Acorn Wood by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Star Wars: Epic Yarns – A New Hope by Wang

Huckleberry Finn by Wang

Rocket Racers by Steve Webb

What books should we add to our collection?

Post contains affiliate links.

 

Mother’s Day Gift Guide for Dad’s and Babies or Toddlers

ALERT! ALERT! It’s Mothering Sunday on 26th March this year (in the UK), so if you haven’t purchased a gift for the mother of your beautiful baby, or crazy toddler yet, here’s some inspiration…

GET CRAFTY

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Why not get creative? Teeny tiny tots have teeny tiny hands and feet – just perfect for prints! So whether you head to your local craft centre to get some prints put onto a nice mug or plate, head to Not On The High Street for a fingerprint pendant, or just create a cute Mother’s day card using hand or footprints, you’re sure to be onto a heart-melting winner. Hint! If your tot really is tiny – opt for footprints rather than hand prints as they will be easier to capture.

Cost: Free – £85
Personalised Fingerprint Charm Necklace by Button & Bean, Not on the High Street, £85

GET SPARKLY

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Jewellery doesn’t need to be diamond encrusted to be special. In fact, with babies and toddler in tow it’s probably best that it’s not. I adore my Mama necklace from Anna Lou of London. My husband gave it to me as an anniversary gift last year as I wanted something to wear to work to remind me of Elliott (soppy I know). The necklaces are really customisable, enabling you to have any word, a choice of metal finishes (I have rose gold because I’m a blogger cliche) and a choice of chain length.

Personalised handmade name necklace by Anna Lou of London, Not on the High Street, £55

AN EVERYDAY ESSENTIAL THAT SHE’LL TREASURE

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What do mum’s love? Tea, coffee, gin, prosecco… all of which can be drunk out of this beautiful personalised Emma Bridgewater mug. Available in a choice of finishes and sizes, and fully customised with the word of your choice (so it doesn’t matter if you’re a mum, mummy, mom or mama). I’m hoping for one of these for my mother’s day gift. I’m also hoping I get to drink a hot cup of tea out of it on Mother’s Day…and maybe some gin…

Pink Hearts 1/2 Pint Mug Boxed, Emma Bridgewater, £19.95

PERFUME

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Maybe not the most original but after years of not knowing what to buy my own mum for Mother’s Day I told Mr H that I wanted to keep it simple for him and Elliott. So I created a list of perfumes that I like, at a range of price points. Each year they can choose a different perfume from the list. Easy for them and means I get to boost my perfume collection too. Last year I got Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker and wearing it just makes me think of fun days out with Elliott – bliss!

Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker, Eau de Parfum, 100ml, £14.99, Amazon.co.uk

CHOCOLATES

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Again, not the most original but let’s face it who can resist chocolate! My mum loves the Lily O’Brien ones.

BREAKFAST IN BED

It doesn’t cost a thing, but will mean so much. If you can get your crazy toddler to sit still whilst mummy eats breakfast in bed, even better. If not maybe have an iPad and the Cbeebies app on standby too! Even better, a lay in and then breakfast in bed. Now that really is the stuff of dreams.

A PICNIC

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If the weather’s good why not pack up a picnic (don’t forget the prosecco and strawberries) and head to a National Trust property or the local park for a spot of al fresco dining. Be prepared to entertain your crazy toddler so mum can enjoy a bit of downtime. If the weather’s not good, the lounge is as good a place for a picnic as any where!

A BATH

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Another, oft overlooked, treat for a mother. We love a good bath, but seldom do we get the chance to indulge and even if we do, sometimes fighting through the sea of bath toys makes the whole experience far from relaxing. Dim the lights, move the toys, get a Lush bath bomb (or bubble bar) and run a nice hot, deep, bath. Add a glass of Prosecco and a trashy magazine and… bliss!

MOTHER SWEATSHIRT

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These are EVERYWHERE so I’m not going to dwell on them for too long. But they’re everywhere for a reason because they’re gorgeous and comfy and easy to throw on when you have little ones. Plus any ‘MOTHER’ I know is pretty proud to wear that status emblazoned upon her (now sadly deflated) chest. I also love these.

Mother Boyfriend Sweatshirt, £50, Selfish Mother

BOOZE

If you have a toddler, chances are you enjoy a nightly tipple – just to take the edge off. Whatever her tipple of choice is – Prosecco, Gin, Baileys – it’s sure to go down a treat!

FLOWERS

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Mother’s Day cliche alert – but you can’t beat a nice bunch of blooms for saying thanks mum. Buy flowers that you know she’ll like rather than trendy ones – it might not be trendy but I think carnations are cute, whereas minimal all-white bouquets do nothing for me. Others will disagree.

A PHOTO OF ALL THE FAMILY TOGETHER

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Take a look through your wife’s Facebook feed. How many photos are there of you all as a family? In fact, how many photos are there of your wife and your child/children? Probably very few as mum is generally behind the camera/phone. If you can stretch to a professional family photo shoot, great. If not, set the self timer on the camera and get some candid, fun, photos of all the family together. Bonus points if everyone is looking at the camera at the same time!

BUT REMEMBER

Whatever you get this mother’s day, the whole point of the day is to make mum feel special and to say thank you for all that she does. You don’t need a gift for that. Just to hear the words ‘thank you for everything you do’ means a lot. Us Mum’s do a lot and when we’re not doing we’re silently thinking about the doing – it’s very tiring and to know it’s appreciated means a lot.

 

 

Sunday Digest: 12th March 2017

This week we…

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Took a moment to appreciate the fact that things do get easier.

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Boosted our part-time income with some free groceries, thanks to Shopmium.

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Looked back on how we spent our Christmas money.

Remembered what was so fab about February.

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Looked forward to my upcoming birthday!

Flashback to Tuesday when I took all the drugs & was off my face 💊😬 but had to be due to horrible hurty ears.

A post shared by Samantha Heathcock (@samheathcock) on

Took ALL the drugs. Bloomin’ blocked eustachian tubes!

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Panicked that Elliott had Chicken Pox, he didn’t, thankfully!

Played football in our communal gardens, who say’s there aren’t advantages to apartment living with a toddler?

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Had a rock and roll Friday night in.

Got hooked on Celebs Go Dating.

Enjoyed having curly hair. One of the advantages of my post-pregnancy hair loss is that I can curl my hair more easily. Every cloud and all that…

How was your week?

Follow me on Twitter @samheathcock for daily brain farts and on insta @samheathcock for #toddlerspam

February Favourites

Here’s what I’ve been loving during the month of February…

In video form…

Or if you’d rather read all about it…

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Getting chance to paint my nails TWICE with these brilliant nail polishes.

Rimmell, 60 Seconds Super Shine Nail Polish in Berries & Cream, £2.99, Boots
Rimmell, 60 Seconds Super Shine Nail Polish in Etheral, £2.99, Boots

Long-lasting, with a super big brush for easy application and a fast drying formulation. Love it!

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La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I. Targeted Breakout Corrector, 15ml, £9.50, Boots

Great at reducing redness and helping to settle acne prone skin.

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Urban Decay De Slick Setting Spray, £23.50, Debenhams

I have a little rant about the packaging on my video, but upon clicking through to the Debenhams website, I see they’ve changed it – yay! This is invaluable in keeping make-up on my super-oily skin!

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Berol Fineliner pens, £5.62 for 12, Amazon.co.uk

I just love the way these write.

Going to see Trainspotting on date night!

Watching ALL the trash, especially Keeping Up With The Kardashians on Hay U.

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Listening to sweary music (and Keeping Up With the Kardashians) on my wireless headphones I had for Christmas.

Sony Extra Bass XB65oBT Wireless Over Ear Headphones in Blue, £84.08, Amazon.co.uk

My lovely mom helping us out by cleaning our apartment, thank you mom.

Light mornings and nights – spring is on its way!

Watching Parents for Idiots – a must see for all parents of toddlers!

Watching GIRLS – super-weird, super-compelling, super-sad it’s the last season.

Being well – at last! 

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Elliott being super chatty – he now says ‘yeah, no, bowl, spoon, baa, moo, oink, sss, crispies, sit down, there it is, mummy, daddy, nanny, tea, biscuits, bib, cat, car, woof’ and a host of other words and phrases. So cute.

Elliott amazing us all the time – I wrote more about that here.

What were you loving in February?

 

My Birthday Wishlist

It’s my birthday soon. On the one hand – woo hoo! A day of eating cake and celebrating me. On the other hand – fuck me – I’m going to be 37, how the fook did that happen?

Anyway, every year I pull together a birthday wish list to assist those close to me in purchasing gifts for me. It’s not an arrogant you must buy me gifts thing, more of a you’re going to buy me gifts so you may as well get me something I’ll like thing. Here’s what’s made the 2017 wish list…

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Mother Boyfriend Sweatshirt, grey and neon orange, size small, £50

Jar candle for kitchen windowsill – something musky, sweet or spicy (not fruity or floral)

£ towards spa treatments

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Thornton’s Viennese truffles, £3

Little Penguin Shiraz (red wine), 75cl, £6.50, Sainsbury’s

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Camomile sumptuous cleansing butter, 90ml, The Body Shop, £10.00

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Karma Bubble Bar, Lush, £4.50

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Emma Hardie Moringa Cleasning Balm, 100ml, £38

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Teal Hydrate M8 Water Bottle, £13.99

 

 

 

Haul: How we spent our Christmas money

Is it just me, or is Christmas money still a bit of a taboo topic? Everyone gives it; everyone receives it – yet very few seem to talk about it. Strange…

Anyway, here’s how we spent ours this year…

Or at least some of ours. Making this video highlighted the joyous fact that we actually still have some Chrimble money left. Woo-and-bloody-hoo!

If you’d rather read all about it than watch the video, keep scrolling…

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Planner stickers – yes, me, a 36-year-old mum, decided to spend around £27 on stickers from Etsy. Will they have the desired effect and make me uber organised? We’ll see…

Money flag stickers, £2.35, Etsy
Gold sparkly heart stickers, Etsy
You Tube video planning stickers, £1.70, Etsy
Blog tracker stickers, £1.70, Etsy
Bathroom duck stickers, £1.50. Etsy
Hydration tracker stickers, £1.99, Etsy
To buy stickers, £1.99, Etsy
To do stickers, £1.99, Etsy
Balloons stickers, £1.99, Etsy
Telephone stickers, £1.99, Etsy
Cupcake stickers, £1.99, Etsy

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Sticking (see what I did there!) with the theme of stationery I purchased these gorgeous washi tapes from Paperchase. I’ve used them to decorate my desk calendar at work and think they will come in useful for various toddler boy craft projects too.

Anchors Washi tape, £3.00, Paperchase
Blue Gingham Washi tape, £3.00, Paperchase

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I’m a bit obsessed with these Berol Fineline pens – they’re great for writing and doodling with.

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Eyelash curlers, lip balm and a new Venus razor – I really know how to treat myself don’t I?

Eyelash curlers, Asda, £4.50 (at time of writing they’re on promotion for £4)
Norwegian formula lip balm, £2.89
Venus Razor, £8.55

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A replacement Brita water bottle, which they’ve changed and I’m not keen on the new version – watch the video to find out why!

Brita Fill & Go Water Bottle, £9.99

Want to find out what we’ve spent our joint money and Elliott’s Christmas money on so far? You’ll have to watch the video! 

What did you buy with your Christmas money? Do you have any left?

Post contains affiliate links.

MummyNomics: FREE Groceries

The combination of returning to work part-time and having another human to clothe, feed and entertain means money is tight, which means I’m constantly on the look out for savvy savings and mummy money making schemes – my MummyNomics (Mummy Economics). 

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Groceries are a weird one, right? Food is one of life’s necessities. Food is also delicious and makes us feel great. But shopping for food? Not so much fun. Paying for food? Eek! It’s probably our second biggest expense after our mortgage each month. So anything that makes grocery shopping more fun and more affordable is good for me (and you!)…

Ladies and gentlemen I introduce to you the Shopmium app. In the past 12 months I have enjoyed over thirty pounds worth of free shopping by using this app – everything from baby food, toddler meals, snacks, flavoured water, hair products, frozen roast potatoes. The app is super-easy to use and makes shopping fun too!

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So, Shopmium basically gives you the opportunity to trial products for free or with substantial discounts. You download the app to your phone, register your details (don’t forget to use my referral code of KHKFUEFQ to get your FREE Lindt chocolate bar too!) and then check the app before you go shopping (or, if you’re disorganised, like me, when you’re in store).

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Offers are arranged in easy to navigate categories, which vary depending on the offers available at that time, at present I have – ‘All offers’, ‘Featured’ and ‘Baby & Toddler’. Browse the offers and click for more details. Sometimes you’re invited to watch a short commercial for the product, but I always skip these – sorry advertisers!

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Shopmium works on a cashback basis. So you buy the product first and then get cashback paid once you’ve shown Shopmium your proof of purchase.

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Once you’ve accessed the details of the offer you can see whether the item is free, or discounted and also check out where the offer is available (some are exclusive to certain retailers).

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Once you’ve found an offer that’s for you, you just need to find the product in your supermarket. This has led to some very amusing scavenger hunts for me and Elliott (free shopping and free entertainment for a toddler – surely a win, win – right?). Then use the handy barcode checker to make sure the item is included.

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Then, pay for your item as normal with the rest of your groceries but make sure you keep hold of the receipt.

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When you get home access the app again and select ‘request my cashback’ on the offer then scan the product bar code again and take a photo of the receipt to upload to the app. This will then send this information off to Shopmium to be verified and as soon as they have done this (this generally takes 24-48 hours in total) your cashback claim will be accepted and the money will be credited back to your bank account details that you input when you signed up for your account. Simples!

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Granted, as these are product trials they are likely to be things in addition to your normal shop, so you will probably still have to fork out the same amount for your weekly shop. But Shopmium does mean you can have some lovely luxuries on top of your normal shop for nothing! There are regularly reduced offers for beer and wine if that’s your thing. The free snacks are amazing and there were even some Little Dish toddler meals up for grabs a few weeks back.

I really love the Shopmium app. It makes me feel like I’m treating myself when I’m not really spending anything and adds some fun to the dreaded Friday top-up shop.

You can download Shopmium from the AppStore here and from Google Play here. Remember to use referral code KHKFUEFQ to get your FREE Lindt chocolate bar.