Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Baby-Led Weaning: A Year in Review

I can't believe she's 18 months old. That means she's been eating solid foods for a full year. A year of real food! Baby-led weaning, if you're not familiar with it, is simply allowing babies to feed themselves from the get-go with solid foods, once they are able to sit up properly at about 6 months old. (It's also sometimes called infant self-feeding, because of the confusion over the word 'weaning'. In Britain, weaning means to add supplementary foods to a baby's milk diet. In the US it refers to cessation of breastfeeding. We're using the British meaning here.) No purees, no jars, no stages of lumpiness. You provide a variety of healthy options, and they explore them at their own pace.
People who do baby-led weaning are sometimes evangelical about it, as seems to be the case with so many parenting approaches. However, everyone seems to agree that it doesn't matter nutritionally which way you go - so it's just a question of what works for you and your family. My health visitor is really into it, and as it was 'invented' by a UK health visitor, I suspect the NHS is widely supportive of the practice. I would definitely do it again, but it isn't without downsides. I won't go through all the ins and outs of HOW you do it (for one thing, I'm not qualified - read the book!), rather our experience:

Monday, 27 April 2015

Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan)

I'm the mom at playgroup who won't let my kid have biscuits, and brings fruit instead. Other parents sort-of roll their eyes, and go, 'yeah, I used to be like that, with my first'. Point taken, I am an uptight, health-nut, first-time mom, but I hope I don't ever get to the point where I don't at least try to provide a healthier option most of the time. That said, while I don't feel bad about 'depriving' my kid of junk food, I do believe in treats. I believe in dessert. I believe in cake, and pie, and ice-cream. Sometimes we just have to wait until we get home to have it.  

Although relatively-healthy vegan ice cream is easy to come by these days (I counted 5 different kinds at Waitrose this weekend, not counting sorbet), I still like to make it at home. It's so easy - only 5 ingredients in my simplified version. Sometimes I don't mind being precise with measurements, but other times I just want to use a packet of this, a bit of that - this recipe definitely falls into the latter category.

You will, however, need a blender and an ice cream maker. I'm very dubious about recipes for ice cream that don't require a normal ice cream maker - I once killed a food processor with frozen bananas. Anyway...

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Wine Box Planters

Check out my totally free, totally handsome, new/old planters! I got the idea from Alys Fowler's excellent 'The Thrifty Gardener' a few years ago. I don't actually have the book to reference because, thriftily enough, I checked it out from the library, but they are quite simple to make. I literally spent zero money making them, and now have nice big planters for herbs and lettuce. I happened to have all the materials on hand, but even if you didn't they would be a massive investment. They won't last forever, but then again, what does...
Here's how:

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Project Sourdough: Pain De Campagne Semi-Fail

We baked our first loaf of sourdough today, that was 3 days in the making, and it was, um, ok. Not a raging success, not a total failure. I can't say I'm disappointed exactly, as I didn't expect to be turning out perfect artisan loaves on day one - here's what happened, and where I think I'm going wrong:

Monday, 20 April 2015

Rashes and Dirt

I haven't been taking as many family photographs lately, and part of the reason is that F has a bit of a rash on her face. Also, our living room is in a state of flux, with cardboard boxes and mess. But today, I say, to hell with it - she's still cute, rashes and all, and our home may be messy but that's only because it's lived in.

Been busy around here, with the garden underway, sourdough fermenting (*right now*), and various home projects on the go, all within the framework of our normal routine. I feel like I haven't had time to write, or even think with all this DOING we're doing. It's great, and it's what I want our home life to be like, but there's a lot of firefighting as my projects and her activities all sort of merge into one - don't eat raw dough, don't put dirt down your top, please, just let me hang the washing up! I don't mind cleaning up dirt and flour, in fact I'm quite proud of how much she enjoys 'helping', but it's busy. Communication-wise, she's still going like gangbusters - it's a brave new world when you can ask them what happened and they can say 'knee', or whatever.
So that's what we're up to! 
Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Friday, 17 April 2015

Scenes from Our Table

More pictures of our table. Now, it's finally light in the evenings, hurray! I love living in a place with seasons, but by the time spring really kicks into gear, man, am I ready for it.

Breakfast for dinner. Pudla and veggie sausages, avocado and tomato. I had Tapatio on mine.

We got her some little cutlery. Look at the little deer!

Setting up for brunch with friends.

Strawberries, to have with brunch.

A rare treat for me: real coffee.

That lovely new plant is living on the table for now.

A side of greens, because always. To go with our...

... random dinner of scrambled tofu burritos (tortillas in the basket) and roasted cauliflower.

French Toast. Does anybody else always think those two words (well, three words really, but I'll keep it PG) in Leslie Mann's voice, from 40 Year Old Virgin? FRENCH TOAST.

Little hands and those hotcakes. 

And finding these little things EVERYWHERE. I find it amusing until I step on one.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend! Enjoy the spring weather, Northern Hemisphere-ians!

Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Juicing For Kids

I've mentioned before that I make green juice at home regularly, and that it eases my mind a little bit about the fact that the babe is not super-keen on green vegetables (in that she won't eat them, at least not knowingly). I think that juicing seems a lot more complicated than it is, so here are my basic tips for juicing with the littles.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Current Obsessions

Just a little snapshot of what she's digging these days. Crazy kid.
She remains obsessed with her yellow boots, and insists on putting them on herself. As you can see, it doesn't always go well.

Beads. Mean muggin'.
Lining up her toys. Slightly creepy? God help us if she's making an audience.

Reading - still, always. Note the beads. And one sock.

Pretending to go 'night night'. She finds this hilarious. Yellow boots.

Walking everywhere. We *almost* walked home from here.

Climbing/giving me a heart attack.

Animals. Walking. This was at Mudchute Farm again.
Since we went last, she's learned animal noises. Lots of oinking and mooing this time. She especially likes the goats for some reason. I don't know what the goat says, either.

'Helping' me cook. Singing. I give her a little dough to play with (we were making pizza), and she sings 'do, do, do, do', from the Sound of Music.

Note the yellow boots.

Hummus. In a particularly vegan moment, she decided to hell with the bread and went at it with a spoon.

And a little reminder to vote for us! We're already number 3 in the Food and Drink category (is this a food blog? It seemed to fit more than other things), so please keep voting! Just one click on the link is a vote.

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Strawberry Buckwheat Hotcakes

I've mentioned that the babe is quite impatient for breakfast since she started sleeping through, so on the weekends, I like to sneak downstairs and get started on something nice while she plays with her Dad, gets changed, etc. It's a quiet moment for me, and when they do amble downstairs, there's a lovely hot breakfast for all of us. This is a weekend breakfast.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Buttons and Bussabyes

How about a picture post?

We are continuing to clear and clean the back garden in preparation for the warmer weather. Our plans are modest, but I am still really looking forward to having a nice little outdoor space this summer. She remains obsessed with her yellow boots, and insists on putting them on herself, with mixed results.

Cleaning, but I keep getting distracted by cuteness. 

Rye bread. Love for my mixer. 

A new friend in an old pot. 

These were for my course, and I got quite good feedback, which was nice. There were MANY others, but I shall spare you.

Morning light, this girl. In the mornings now, she chats to herself in bed for AGES. It's so sweet. She sounds like a little bell. I'm just astonished by how she's coming on verbally, although not without (adorable) mistakes. Lately she's been saying 'hummus' a lot, even when she means tortilla, and 'bussabyes' (butterflies), and trousers. I'm trying really hard not to say pants, because that means underwear over here and if I can spare her an embarrassing moment, I really ought to. I think we had our first proper two word phrase as well; she pointed out 'mama's button', my belly button. I died, and keep dying. They aren't kidding, are they? Kids grow up staggeringly, amazingly, heart-breakingly fast. I'm at once proud and devastated. 

One other new thing, we're on a blog directory now: Top Mommy Blogs. If you like what we're doing here, please give us a vote! One click on the link, either here or in the sidebar, is one vote, and you can only vote once every 24 hours (Mom). Thank you in advance!!

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory