Weaning - The Essentials, Favourite Snacks and Q&A

Hello!

I can't believe I am sat here writing a 'weaning' post, it seems like only a few weeks ago I was writing my post introducing you all to Maci but that was actually just over 7 whole months ago. We started weaning Maci at around four/five months ago due to the fact she was a large baby and we as her parent felt it was the right time. She absolutely loves her food although she isn't a big fan of purees. She prefers 'finger foods' and is obsessed with Cucumber at the moment. This is my guide to starting weaning, my favourite items and my top recipes. All babies are different so what may work for us may not work for everyone.


Weaning for us started with what highchair/seat to purchase, we looked around and couldn't find one small enough to fit in our current home but we finally purchased the 'Ingenuity Baby Booster Feeding Seat' which you can either put on the floor or strap it onto a chair if needed, it also has a detachable tray which is very easy to wipe down and clean. The lining on the chair is also dishwasher proof so is easily cleaned also. This chair is perfect for what we need and it doesn't take up a lot of room like usual highchairs. 


Being a first time parent I wasn't confident in the temperature of foods so when I discovered the Munchkin White Hot Bowls  in Boots I had to have them! I use the Nuby Weaning Spoons to feed Maci, we do a combination of baby led weaning and spoonfed.


Pureeing food is a messy business and can be very time consuming if you don't have very good items to help you, the blender which we use is the Tommee Tippee Baby Food Blender and its incredible. It has two different speed settings and it is easy to wash! It is also not too large so if you need to you can put it away in a cupboard if you don't want it in sight all the time. The blender also has measurements on the side so you're aware of how much puree you are blending.



How to Puree - Before blending I chop the sweet potato, carrot and mixed veg into small pieces, boil it until its 'soft', allow it to cool and put it into the blender. Once I have blended it and i'm happy with the texture of the puree I then pour each puree combination into containers with the date and ingredients in it.

Our top puree combinations are; Sweet potato and carrot, banana and mixed veg.

Another aspect of weaning is attempting to get Maci to use a 'sippy cup' - I shopped around and discovered that there are in fact hundreds of different designs and brands (who knew!) The Cup I decided to purchase was the Munchkin Miracle 360 cup which is still a working progress but it is very easy to use and I would definitely recommend.



Snacks are a big part of weaning for us, Maci enjoys 'finger foods/snacks' a lot more than she does puree at the moment. Due to the fact of her only being seven months old there is a small amount of 'store bought' snacks she can eat although we have managed to find a few which she loves. Always check the age on every snack!

Ella's Kitchen - Tomato and Leek Melty Puffs
Ella's Kitchen - Sweet Corn and Carrot Melty Sticks 
Ella's Kitchen - Carrot and Parsnip Melty Puffs
Kiddylicious - Banana Wafers 
Kiddylicious - Blueberry Wafer
Farley's Rusks Original


I asked for some 'weaning related' questions on my Instagram that some of you are wanting to know.

'What was the first thing you gave Maci?'  
The first thing I gave her was just plain 'Baby Rice' which you just mix with milk formula or water. I remember reading that you aren't supposed to introduce 'sweet' flavoured things for a while so I barely give Maci anything sweet apart from fruit even now at seven months old.

How did you work up the confidence to begin weaning?

Weaning never really made me nervous as such, occasionally Maci will struggle to eat something but I never leave her side when she is eating meaning I am able to help her when this happens. Also Maci has eight teeth so she doesn't tend to struggle eating many things. I know some people are very wary of weaning so I would definitely advise speaking to a Health Visitor to get reassurance. There's no harm at all in asking for help, most of us are experiencing this for the first time!

How do you know when Maci likes something?

This is a very good question and I must be honest sometimes I can't tell! Although you can usually tell by her facial expressions although I heard it can take a baby almost thirty times trying a flavor before they actually decide if they like it or not. When I feed Maci I always make a big deal when she eats her Puree (she probably thinks i'm crazy!) but I have found this makes a difference in the amount of puree she is eating. So how do I know when she likes something? I guess, I don't!


I hope this post may of helped some of you out who have either began weaning or are thinking about it soon, I am not a professional just a mum who is doing this for the first time and this is my experience so far. 

Until next time,
Storm
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2018 A Year In Review - Pregnancy & Birth

Now let's all give ourselves a 'pat on the back' yes, we made it successfully to 2019. 

I have never written a year review before but after the tremendous life-changing year that 2018 was, I simply couldn't not write about it again.

Where to start? 2018 began with me being about 15-20 weeks pregnant being very ill (yes physically vomiting) and quite honestly not enjoying pregnancy at all. By this stage I had been told I was 'too ill' to work so I now didn't have a job either and that was an extremely daunting feeling. January brought my 19th birthday which we celebrated in our local pub with some family which was a lovely evening. It was also in January that we found out Maci was in fact a girl (I was convinced she was a boy) 

2018 was a year of counting down the days and im aware you should never really do that but that's what I think of when someone mentions 'last year'. At the time it seemed like the longest year ever, the days seemed to drag on being taken up with constant puking, doctors appointments and so on. Pregnancy is suppose to be an enjoyable time but the practicality of it is that sometimes it isn't and it can truly feel like you're dying.

As the year progressed it became more and more apparent that come June we would be bringing a little human into the world and that's a very scary thought when you struggle to look after yourself. I remember standing in front of the calendar (Yes we still have a 'wall calendar') and counting how many 'pages' it was until June 18th 2018 which was Maci's due date, little did we know she would in fact come slightly early and was born on June 13th at 8:05am weighing 8lbs 11oz.

For me the highlight of last year and one of the biggest ones of my life was giving birth to Maci and bringing our little girl into the world. Pregnancy was not an enjoyable experience but it was worth the struggle when I look at our little girl. 

2018 taught me many things about myself... I realised I can cope with a lot more physically and mentally than I ever thought was possible. I've realised that I can in fact survive pregnancy and birth despite how scary and daunting it seems at the time. 

I will always treasure the year 2018 as it brought me my best friend and my mini me.

Until next time,
Storm


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The dog owners dream! - Furbo #Ad

Im sure im not the only dog owner out there who would love to know what our furry friends are up to whilst we're out. And how great would it be to be able to speak to them and throw them treats too... all from your mobile phone?


This is where the Furbo comes in! The furbo is a camera which you place in your home so that whilst you're away you can speak, feed and interact with your pets! The Furbo also has a 'barking' alert, so for whatever reason when your pet starts barking you get a notification on your phone so you are able to check on them, genius right?

Not only is the Furbo brilliant at training your pets but it is also stylish and modern! This means it doesn't stand out in your home environment and it would suit any room, kitchen or lounge.

I can't imagine not having my Furbo now, being able to check on what my two dogs are doing whilst I am not with them is so comforting.

And if you purchase your Furbo now you also save 30% off the retail price making it only £129.00 instead of £249.00... everyone loves a bargain right? 

Some details about the Furbo

Size: 5.91x4.72x8.86 inches (15x12x22.5cm)

Weight: 2.1 pounds (950g)
Camera: 1080p HD, 160° wide-angle lens, 4x digital zoom, automatic night vision.
Audio: Built-in speaker, high quality microphone
Treat capacity: 100 pieces
Recommended treat: Round shaped treats with a diameter around 0.4 inches; (1cm)
Power: 100-240V, 5V2A
Connectivity: 2.4GHz Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)


Disclaimer - This is a paid advertisement by Furbo on behalf of Stormsblog.co.uk all opinions are my own, the images used on this post are property of Furbo.com
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Maci's toybox DIY - Upcycling


First of all I want to state that I have never done anything like this before, this was a big first for me!

Ever since I found out I was pregnant with Maci I knew that I wanted her to have a beautiful toy box for all of her treasures but little did I know how expensive they are! 

So I decided to upcycle one!

I found this toybox on gumtree.com and it was in my local area so I went and collected it and started to plan what I was doing to add to this box. It was perfect for what I envisioned.



The first thing I did was paint the originally white box, grey. Of course you can paint the main box whatever colour you wish, I chose grey to go with the theme of our home. 



Once I chose the colour of the box I decided I wanted the letters to be a 'blush pink' colour. I brought the wooden letters from Ebay and before purchasing I measured the front side of the box to get an idea of the size of letter I wanted.



Once I had painted the wooden letters, I finally completed them with Pink flower details from The Range. I stuck the flowers and letters on with a hot glue gun to be make sure that they wouldn't come off and become a choking hazard.




To complete the Toybox I added 'slow close' hinges to the lid which were from my local DIY store although you can purchase these online. Overall I am very happy with how this DIY project turned out. In total it cost around £35 for the materials (including the second hand toybox!) which was a big saving compared to the £120 toybox I initially wanted to buy Maci. 

I hope this may of inspired you to give upcycling a try... if you do, please tag me in your creations over on Instagram!


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Christmas at Beaulieu - Illuminated Light Trail Review


I can't believe it's almost December which of course means it time to do Festive things! 

Lat weekend I was invited to the launch of the illuminated Christmas Trail at Beaulieu and it was truly magnificent. This Christmas is Maci's first meaning we are trying to do as many Christmas themed things as possible so this was a perfect opportunity to show her lots of lights.


The Illuminated light trail at Beaulieu consists of 11 individual installations and over 437 theatrical lighting units. 

As you enter the Light trail you are met with a small 'vintage' style carousel and ferris wheel. There are also a few small stalls selling; alcohol, hot chocolate, marshmallows and more! 

To enter the first part of the Light trail you enter through the 200 ft long Cathedral of Light which is a tunnel that consists of 30,000 bud lights and the Canopy of Lights with over 20,000 twinkling pea-lights. Whilst being in awe of this specticle the beautiful tune 'The Twelve Days Of Christmas' will play enhancing the festivities.



As you continue through the trail you come to the Abbey which is lit up by a spectacular Fire display. By Christmas day this display would of used 5,132 individually crafted candles.


The next section of the Light Trail is the 'Icicle Walk' which is composed of enormous shards which guide you towards the next section which is the Meadow of Light. The Mill Pond is lit up with thousands of Fibre Optic lights creating a 'mythical' feel. Throughout this section there are hidden surprises, see if you can spot the frosty snowflakes and the beautiful fairy perched on the tree.



The finale was definitely one of my favourite parts because it was truly breathtaking. As you walk round the corner there is a beautiful, enormous Christmas tree which reminds you why you are here - To celebrate Christmas.

I highly recommend this experience, it is a lovely family evening out and it is truly memorable. Another special feature of this Light Trail is that Beaulieu have even considered 'Photo Opportunities' throughout the walk you will spot 'Photo frames' which are perfectly lit to take stunning photographs to save forever.


Until next time,

Storm
IG/stormydoos
Twitter @stormydoos

Christmas at Beaulieu is on from the 23rd November - 24th December
Admission - Advanced from: Adult £14.50, Child £8.00, Family £40.00, Under 5's and carers free.
You can book tickets here - www.beaulieu.co.uk/christmas

Thank you to Southampton Bloggers & New Forest Bloggers for allowing me to have this #gifted experience.
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Christmas Gift Guide!

 I can't believe I am sat here writing my Christmas gift guide already... and it isn't just a normal Christmas either because it is Maci's first ever one. 

For those of you who may of been following me for a while you will know that I love nothing more than an independent business so I try my hardest to feature some in this annual post. I am aware some of these 'gifts' may not be to everyone's taste due to the fact many of them are 'baby related' so for that I am sorry but for those of you who have children or are expecting this may be perfect for you!

The first gift comes from a lovely independent brand called 'Nanny Pinks' - You can choose the colour material that you would like and of course the name. These garlands are perfect to hang on a wall or on the side of a cot. They are made of very good quality material and feel very sturdy.




The second gift comes from another independent brand known as 'Bloomsbury Mill' who make beautiful baby items. Bloomsbury Mill kindly sent me a range of their items in the pattern 'Patchwork' - they also have many other patterns! They create beautiful bedding, muslin cloths, swaddles cloths and lots more (would make a perfect baby shower gift also!)



My next gift is from the 'Star Name Registry' - I collaborated with this company a few months ago on a giveaway in which they kindly gifted me a star for Maci... yes you read that right! You can name a star after someone (or yourself if you like!) It comes beautifully packaged and the authenticity certificate is also framed meaning its ready to be hung on display, what a lovely unique gift!





Another incredibly unique gift would be some Letterbox Flowers from 'Bloombox Flowers' - This is also a small independently ran business. Letterbox Flowers are basically what it says on the box (huh, get it!) It's a bouquet of flowers which is able to be posted through your letterbox! Bloombox also do big bouquets of flowers if you're in the local area to them (Southampton, UK) 



Now who doesn't love a snuggly blanket?! The Tartan Blanket Company are based in Edinburgh and create 100% wool items. This company also have recently started selling smaller blankets (74cm x 90cm) perfect for babies! 

he blanket shown in the image is the 'New Wool Baby Blanket In Pink Diamond Herringbone' 



And finally, this gift comes from The Baby Hamper Co.  they kindly sent me a beautiful bauble which you can have personalised with any name! It's Maci's first christmas decoration and I am so very excited to hang it up soon!

(Image from Personalised Bauble )

I would like to say a massive thank you to all of these companies who have kindly gifted me these items to be featured in this post. 

I hope you feel somewhat inspired by my Christmas Gift Guide 2018! 

Until next time,
Storm










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Las Iguanas Bournemouth - Review

Hello!

I was recently invited to Las Iguanas in Bournemouth to sample their menu. The images I took throughout the evening aren't the best quality due to the dark lighting in the Restaurant so despite this I will be using some images of the website.
For starters I had the Pato Taquito - Which is a Roast duck & caramelised onion rolled in a char-grilled flour tortilla, with spicy cranberry salsa. This was definitely my favourite dish of the evening, I never usually order duck but I am so glad I did. It was cook to perfection and I could not fault this starter.

(not my image)

For mains I had the 'Blazing Bird' which is a 24 hour marinated jerk-chicken, served with slaw and a choice of fries or salad. I chose to have sweet potato fries, which i'm sorry to say were a little bit burnt. The chicken itself was very moist and delicious, I would definitely recommend this meal apart from the sweet potato fries. Also when you order this you can choose the 'hotness' of the chicken. 
For desert myself and Emma shared the churros which were perfect after eating the large starter and main. The churros were cooked perfectly and were complimented by the Chocolate ganache and/or Dulce de leche which came with them. 

Three Churros £4.95
Six Churros £7.95 
(When you order six you get both 'sauces')

Now you can't go out without enjoying a Cocktail, right? We both had the Malibu Swizzle which was incredible...


I had a very lovely evening with Emma (make sure to check our her blog!) thank you for inviting me along - also a massive thank you to the staff at Las Iguanas Bournemouth.

Until next time,
Storm


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