The Teddy Bears Tea Party

Watching Violet grow and learn has got to be one of the best things about being a parent. Every time she reaches a new milestone or learns a new skill, I just burst with pride. This morning, I went into her room to collect her from her cot, I could see she was awake on the monitor but she was playing and singing to herself, patiently waiting for her day to start. When I came into the room she greeted me with a huge smile and clapped her hands! She’s been trying so hard to clap for ages but seems to have suddenly mastered it overnight! It must have been the first thing she wanted to show me when she woke up. You never know what each day will bring with their development, it feels like she’s changing every day at the moment!

One of her very favourite things to do is imaginary play with her teddies. As Violet is my first baby, I didn’t really know when babies would start imaginary play, I assumed it would be slightly older but Violet seems to be starting now so I want to encourage her every step of the way.

Her favourite game at the moment is the ‘Teddy Bears Tea Party’. She recently got this beautiful personalised wooden toy pram, which she’s filled with a selection of her favourite cuddly toys. During the day, she will just disappear off into her bedroom on her own (obviously I’m close behind her, but I let her explore). I will usually find her sitting on the floor with her pram, surrounded by teddies. She will hold each one up to eye level and has a full ‘conversation’ with each one. She can’t talk yet but she babbles away. She even waves at them and strokes them. Honestly, it’s the cutest thing you’ve ever seen!

When the teddies have had enough tea and a catch up with Violet, she’ll pop them all back into her pram and take them for a walk around the house. The pram has been such a perfect toy for her age as it’s sturdy enough for her to pull up on and steady herself, she also uses it as a walker, pushing it about with all her teddies on board. It’s the sort of classic toy that will grow with her over time, when she’s a bit bigger I’m sure we’ll get her a doll to look after and push around too.

They say that encouraging your little ones to take part in imaginary play helps them to create new connections in their brain, it helps them to think and learn, improve communication skills and build on their physical development too, so it’s best to start as early as possible!

Our wooden pram was ordered online from Babyuniquecorn  – they specialise in beautiful and unique baby clothes and toys. The wooden prams are handmade with so much care and attention to detail. Plus, it’s classic and chic appearance looks gorgeous in Violet’s nursery too! Check them out on Facebook and Instagram for more inspiration from their fabulous range!

Review: Cosatto Noodle Supa Highchair

Whilst we are on the subject of weaning (did you see my las post, is Violet a FUSSY EATER?!) – I thought it would be fitting to write a little review of our super cute highchair as I’m always getting people asking me where it’s from and I am a little bit in love with it. Do they do this in my size? I’d love a unicorn chair, wouldn’t you? If you are thinking of getting a highchair for your little one –  this post will be the the complete low-down and all you need to know on our Magical Unicorn Throne, which is actually a Cosatto Noodle Supa Highchair, and never fear – if unicorns aren’t your thing, it does come in lots of lovely other designs too, so do keep reading!

As a first time Mum – I didn’t really know what to look for in a highchair, so I was going into this a little blind. I’d love to say I chose this highchair for the functionality, but I’d be lying. I admit – the gorgeous pink unicorn print, glitter tray and mint green detail were the main draw, although being a huge fan of Cosatto after having such a great experience with our Giggle 2 Travel System meant I knew they were a brand I could trust, so this gave me confidence to try one of their highchairs too.

So, although I’ve only actually tried one highchair at home, Violet’s been weaning nearly 5 months, which has given us lots of time to try using various highchairs in restaurants, cafes and at friends houses too, so hopefully I’ll have enough ‘highchair experience’ to give this a well rounded review.

IMPORTANT FACTS:

  • Suitable from 6 months to around 3 years – so plenty of time to get the most use out of it!
  • Grows with your little one – 6 height position adjustable seat
  • Adjustable calf support
  • 2 single-hand removable, washable trays with cup holder
  • Slide up-to-table mode so little one can join you for dinner
  • 3 position seat recline
  • Easy to use compact fold
  • Wipe clean seat which is removable for deep cleans
  • 5 point safety harness

ASSEMBLY

When our highchair arrived, I was at home on my own with Violet but being too impatient to wait for V to get home, I decided to give putting it together a go. I’ll tell you now, I am NOT technical and I have a track record for failing at putting together Ikea flatpack furniture, so I didn’t know how it was going to go, but I managed to get it together in about 20 minutes, thats whilst looking after an inquisitive baby who wanted to ‘help’ too. I’m sure a technical person could do it in 5 minutes, that was pretty good going for me.

USING THE HIGHCHAIR

We started using this highchair from when Violet had only just turned 6 months, so at that point although she was sitting up okay, she still needed a bit of support, so having the different height settings as well as three recline settings and leg support was perfect to keep her nice and snug. The 5 point harness is the same sort of buckle as her travel system has so luckily we were all practiced in getting those done up. If you aren’t familiar, they can be a little fiddly but you’ll get used to it! The tray table also has three different settings so you can have it closer or further away to your little one. I love how many different variables in height and seating positions there are as it really does suit babies of all sizes (over 6 months) and abilities and will grow with them over time.

Once Violet is in, she feels safe and secure, when I bring her lunch over she squeals with excitement and thrashes her arms and legs about – but her seat doesn’t budge and she certainly couldn’t wriggle free. We use it on the highest setting, mainly to keep her dinner away from a greedy black lab, but it’s also perfect height for sitting with us at the dining room table.

Now Violet is 10 months, I’ve reclined the seat slightly and lowered the leg rest to give her a bit more room as she’s able to support herself well now.

CLEANING UP

Weaning is mucky business, especially just recently as Violet has started to refuse the spoon, so will literally fling food round her table, across her face – even at the walls! Luckily, I have the floor clean-up covered as Robbie doesn’t miss a crumb (handy) but getting the highchair cleaned is down to me. With three meals a day, cleaning a highchair over and over can get a bit wearing but the Noodle Supa has a fully wipe-clean surface which makes it so much easier! The only downside I’d say for the clean up is that there are SO many nooks and crannies and the straps can get a bit grubby. It’s hard to find every last bit of food unless you take the cover off and give it a really good scrub. I tend to give it a wipe over for each meal then a proper clean after dinner, that tends to save a bit of time on the cleaning front.

STORAGE

As beautiful as the Noodle Supa Highchair is, I wouldn’t say it’s the smallest highchair. This isn’t too much of a problem for us, as it does fold up and tuck into a corner by our dining room table, but I’d say if you lived in a very small space, you might find it a bit larger than other highchairs out there. It’s also a bit clunky if you are trying to set it up one-handed, holding a baby, but I don’t find this too much of an issue when I’m at home on my own with Violet as usually I’ll get it set up way before her meal times so I don’t have a baby/highchair battle on my hands! I think personally, even though it’s slightly bigger, I prefer that as it feels nice and secure so this isn’t an issue for us.

PRICING

The Cosatto Noodle Supa is priced at £119.00, which means it’s certainly not the cheapest highchair on the market, but I think it’s worth that price and a good investment to have a safe, secure highchair that will grow with your child until they are around 3 years old. That is a LOT of meal times so you’ll certainly get your moneys worth, when cheaper models may not last the long run. I also love, love, LOVE the designs of Cosatto products. They pride themselves on being unique, vibrant and different and this highchair certainly stands out, this made it also worth it for us.

Overall, I would 100% recommend the Cosatto Noodle Supa highchair. It’s safe, secure, grows with your little one and relatively easy to clean up, but most importantly – it’s pink, it’s sparkly and it’s covered in UNICORNS, yes that is the best bit, I’m not ashamed to admit. Don’t worry, if unicorns aren’t your thing it also comes in other vibrant patterns like Poppidelic, Kokeshi Smile, Egg and Spoon, Monster Arcade, Melondrop, Mini Mermaids, Retro Stars – just to name a few! There is a design for everyone! Highly recommended.

For more information or to buy, see the Cosatto website here.

Weaning: Uh Oh – have we got a fussy eater?!

It’s time for a WELL overdue weaning update! Violet is now 10 months and well on the road to eating solids, but I have to say it’s been a much trickier journey than I ever imagined. As Violet reaches 10 months, she is becoming a really fussy, picky eater which I really didn’t expect as I love my food, especially vegetables, spicy foods and curries. So, I thought Violet might take after me (not that I feed her curry!) and like broad range of flavours, but it’s been slow progress to introduce different tastes recently. She’s grown a little personality and will close her mouth tight shut and shake her head if she doesn’t like something – it’s so funny to watch, but can be mega frustrating too. I do think teething and the endless stream of colds, bugs and now a chest infection (!) she’s had over the winter has a big role to play in this too, it’s that time of year – there is always something!

So with Violet being fussier than ever, I decided to try and make all her food from scratch. However, I’ve since learned that it appears with babies, the more effort you go to making their food, the less likely they are going to like it! I think I’ve scraped more than one of my ‘creations’ off the floor and when you’ve gone to the effort of cooking, cleaning and feeding your baby to then cleaning it off the floor, it can be somewhat soul destroying! Honestly, at one point last month – I was ready to tear my hair out with it all!

Just as things were reaching a peak and I thought maybe Violet was never going to enjoy eating anything but fruit and grated cheese – one of Violet’s favourite baby food brands, HiPP Organic sent us this lovely hamper of goodies to try and help me with introducing new tastes to Violet. Perfect timing!

The little hamper has been perfect for us as the savoury range has lots of different tastes and textures to try, along with these handy whiteboards for marking favourite flavours and newly tried ingredients to keep track on our progress.

HiPP Organic jars are just fabulous because….

  • All recipes are made with the finest organic ingredients which are gently steamed to lock in all the nutrients and flavour
  • Deliciously homely and hearty flavours – tastes like vegetable lasagne and cheesy pasta bake are firm favourites in our house
  • So easy to experiment with flavours – try different tastes and textures with your little one without having to make a huge mess cooking and cleaning!
  • HiPP Organic jars have no hidden fruit content – this is an important one for us as Violet has such a sweet tooth and loves her fruit, it’s hard to introduce savoury flavours when you find out the food is padded out with fruit content as many baby foods are!
  • Lots of different textures – the savoury jar range is suitable for weaning stages 2 & 3 so practicing with different textures has been really helpful
  • The jars have a wider opening, meaning much easier feeding (and less cleaning the floors!)
  • Jars are also 100% recyclable so no waste! They are also really handy to reuse for different things like spoon holders in your cupboards, little planters for seeds, I’ve even seen them being used as little gifts at a party – filled with sweets!

These jars have really helped us ride through the fussy times, the days of teething, feeling poorly and just generally difficult days. Along the way, I’ve been introducing lots of finger foods too, to practice hand-eye coordination, chewing and even more tastes and textures, but having a collection of HiPP jars in the cupboard means I know there is food Violet is guaranteed to like and actually eat!

If you fancy giving HiPP Organic a go, you can download a handy money off coupon here! 😘

Thanks to HiPP Organic for helping us when times were rough!

 

Violet’s First Christmas

They say that when you have children, Christmas becomes all about them, and I can safely confirm after our first Christmas together as a family that this is true, but it is also totally magical experience too. It’s like that childhood magic returns and you see it in their faces, I’m sure Violet is too small to understand fully, but she was so taken by the lights, the presents (of course) and even tried some Christmas foods too. I sat watching Christmas movies with Violet by the tree and had to pinch myself, I couldn’t believe I have my own little girl to celebrate with this year and as she grows older it will only get even more exciting too!

We have never really been much of a festive family, we’ve been away on holiday over Christmas a couple of years and for the last 3 years we haven’t had a tree, but with now Violet here we wanted to go all out with the Christmas traditions and I think we did pretty well!

So, our celebrations started on Christmas eve, which luckily fell over the weekend meaning V had a little bit more time off then she usually would. It was also Violet’s 10 month birthday, so we had to get this cute snap in her elf outfit with the Christmas Tree, of course! At 10 months old she’s SO close to walking, I think she’ll have mastered her first steps within a couple of weeks for sure. She stands unaided all the time, she just needs to take the plunge and put one foot forward, it’ll happen!

We had a lovely family day together and a bit of last minute Christmas shopping (as part of the One4All Giftcard challenge, where I was challenged to kit our house for Christmas – read about this here!). We picked up some fresh vegetables for our roast dinner and fresh ingredients like delicious puddings in Marks and Spencer. I managed to bag some last minute Christmas decorations for the tree which were 50% off already, great time to get everything. I used our One4All Giftcard for all of my Christmas shopping this year which has been SO handy they are totally flexible to use in different shops, meaning you can do all your shopping with one card. An ideal gift as well for someone if you don’t know which shop they would normally buy from.

In the evening, we attended the Family Crib Service at our local church. It was a refreshingly light-hearted service, where there were children and adults all dressed as parts from the nativity scene, it was like something from the Vicar of Dibley. I also enjoyed singing some carols and getting into the spirit of Christmas! Next year, we will be totally dressing up for the service, watch this space!

We got home just in time for Violet to open her Christmas Eve Box and lay down a carrot and mince pie for Father Christmas.

A few last minute decorations added to the tree in M&S thanks to my One4All Giftcard!

Christmas morning came after a rather disturbed nights sleep from Violet- maybe she was just too excited to see what Santa had brought her, or maybe she just didn’t want to give me the only thing on my Christmas list (a good nights sleep!) So, we felt rather jaded in the morning and after a very slow start, we eventually opened presents at midday (the perks of having a little one who doesn’t want to open everything first thing!). We started off with Robbie as let’s face it, he’s the only one of us that can sniff out which presents are for him – from a mile off! He had a stocking full of treats which included doggy friendly wrapping paper, which meant he could take his presents and rip them to his hearts content! That kept him busy whilst Violet got to work on the rest of the pile!

Of course, Violet was thoroughly spoiled – we just bought her a few little wooden toys and books as we didn’t want to go mad, but having a whole hoard of lovely aunties and uncles surrounding her, she was one lucky little girl with all the exciting things she got!  I’m not actually sure she knew what to do with all the presents as it was all a bit overwhelming so we did it in stages so she could actually enjoy and appreciate each gift and spend some time playing with it. She loved ripping open the wrapping paper and seeing what was inside, her face was a picture! By the end of the unwrapping session, you couldn’t see the floor for paper, ribbons, building blocks, toys and games.

It was clearly all a bit too much Violet then got extremely tired so we put her down for a nap, whilst the Christmas lunch cooked away in the oven. As we are vegetarian, we had a Quorn Roast and all the normal roast veg and trimmings, mince pies and Christmas pudding! The only thing we missed out this year was Brandy Butter, a favourite of mine. Doh! Also, following our tradition – Robbie had a full roast dinner for his lunch too. 

It was then time for the Queen’s Speech, so we all sat together on the sofa by the open fire (including Robbie) to tune in. We waded through snacks galore (isn’t that what Christmas Day is about!?)  – a good old fashioned tin of Quality Streets (Strawberry and Orange Creams for the win!), M&S honey cashew nuts and Fairfield Farm Heat & Eat Crisps (warm crisps with dips!) were some of the definite favourite snacks this year! We also had a gorgeous M&S Salted Caramel Pudding, which although it didn’t look exactly like it did on the box, it was so delicious, with a centre of swirls of sparkling salted caramel sauce inside a molten chocolate cake. SO GOOD! 

Our first family Christmas was relatively low-key, relaxed and a quiet day but it was just perfect for us. Violet was so excited by all the new toys, the lights, the movies on the TV and most importantly, spending time together as a family. I enjoyed just having a day to relax on the sofa, eating WAY to much and I even managed to squeeze in an hour of gaming time as I got the new Pokemon Ultra Sun game for the Nintendo DS – I haven’t played a computer game since way before Violet arrived so this was a lovely break and I realised how much I missed escaping into the world of games, just for a short while! I hope to make a little bit more time for it in 2018 as a way to relax, but we shall see if that pans out! 

Boxing Day was a restful day, time to play with Violet’s new toys! We had lunch with some friends in the village which was lovely. They just got a new black kitten, which was so cute.

And just like that Christmas was over. Life went back to normal on 27th, although I clung onto as much festive spirit as possible, keeping the tree up and eating our way through the endless Christmas food (we still have some now!) until a couple of days later when Christmas ended with a large crash and a bang…..

At 6:30am when I was at home on my own, Violet decided to ‘drive’ her car into the side of the tree, causing the entire thing to fall over. That certainly woke me up! She then stood back and casually waved the bauble she snagged on the way at me as I tried to heave it off the floor, the decorations falling off, the lights tangled in the dangling tinsel – basically a giant mess. I tried to put it all back into place but it just didn’t look the same and feeling paranoid Violet would pull it down again, the tree had to go. We packed it up and took the rest of the decorations down. Until next year, tree!

Our NYE was a very relaxed affair, we only just made it to midnight and watched the fireworks on the iPad in bed, before promptly falling asleep as soon as they were over – rock and roll!

So, that’s Violet’s first Christmas in a nutshell, it was a quiet, sweet and magical first Christmas as a family together, just right. I’m looking forward to next year as I’m sure she’ll have more of an idea of what is going on and it’ll be just chaos I’m sure! 🙂 Hope you had a good one too!

 

 

Blogging Goals for 2018

I don’t normally write posts like this but as it’s new years day of course, like we all are, I’m feeling reflective. I feel excited to say my blog has stepped up a gear this year in 2017, I had so much more time to work on it being on maternity leave, plus having a baby that loves being photographed is a bonus too! So, as I’m hoping to continue on this roll, it would be good to set some goals to look back on next year and see how I did. One day I wonder if I could make this my career, that would be my ultimate goal and it’s looking more and more possible. This year I took my blog from a hobby to a small business, which makes me feel amazingly proud. I worked on some big campaigns with brands like American Express, Marks & Spencer and Aviva, just to name a few, as well as documenting life becoming a mother and Violet’s progress so far. I know that a lot of bloggers and ‘insta-mums’ have been slammed in 2017 for their participation in sponsored posts, ads and such like this year. I also realise I’m not anywhere near their league but I have included more content like that too this year too in between my personal posts. So, I just wanted to highlight other side of the coin to these posts – as by doing this I have also managed to fund my way through my maternity leave and support my family over the past year. Every post has still been as honest and genuine as before, trust me, I’ve also said NO to a lot of paid posts too, if they don’t fit my blog or I don’t like the product! So i hope when readers see ‘#ad’ on mine or other bloggers posts, they know they are still as down to earth and honest as before but like all people in the world, we have to put food on the table for our little ones (and me, mama gotta eat!), so it’s something to be proud of, rather than a negative.

Anyway, I slightly digress! My blogging goals this year are all with taking my blog to the next level over 2018. I will be returning to work in March but only part time and funding childcare too and oh-my-goodness if you’ve seen the rates of nurseries, you’ll understand why a girl needs to hustle hard this year. It’s going to be a tough year,  returning to work, looking after Violet and blogging, but I’m determined to make it work!

Here are my goals for 2018:

 

    •  Write more personal posts – I started my blog as a journal of my life and its easy to loose track of why I started it in the first place! I want to document all those little moments to create something I’ll look back on over the years and treasure. Look out for my new fortnightly ‘Life is Peachy’ post which will be a big round up of all our news, plus lots more opinions and personal moments.
    • Share more experiences  – I’m always chatting to people on Instagram about parenting topics like weaning, sleep regressions and such like. I’m not an expert but I want to share more of my experiences as hopefully it’ll help new mums, or even if I can’t help, maybe it’ll be something you can relate to. It’s good to talk.
    • Sort my finances – bit of a boring one but I’ve just finished my second tax return and I always leave it until the last minute, then have to cobble everything together right before the deadline. This year I’m going to get on top of everything as we go along, keeping track of my invoices, payments and expenses before the mad January rush. I’m not doing it in a panic again!
    • Grow my Instagram – isn’t this every bloggers goal? I’ll keep plodding on and hoping for the best! I really want to make my insta Stories more creative and vlog-style this year too, so watch out for that.
    • Pinterest – as my largest social media following and the biggest driver of traffic to my blog I really don’t spend enough time on Pinterest. I really need to get back into the habit of using Tailwind and Tailwind tribes. I need to remember to make a pinnable image for all my posts too.
    • Accept I don’t have much time and write on the hop! I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to blogging, I always try to sit down with my laptop in perfect silence, I don’t think in 2018 with a one year old (!!) running about that is going to happen. I’ve got myself a diary, notepad to scribble notes on the run and downloaded an app to turn speech to text. Just gotta get those ideas down there and then if I want to continue at the pace I’m currently at.
    • Make more videos! This goes hand in hand with the one above. I think I get put off making videos as I’m always feeling self conscious, like my hair or make up isn’t perfect or it’s not light enough, etc. This year I’ve just got to grab the camera and get on with it, let’s see what I can come up with!
    • Continue to work on my photography and finally learn to use Lightroom. I edit my photos (poorly) by muddling through the settings, I have no idea what I’m doing I just try and make them look nice. So to be sure I’m not missing a trick I’m going to sit and teach myself (via YouTube I’m sure!) and see how my photography evolves in 2018.

Wow, it looks like it’s going to be a busy year, but I hope my goals are something I can aim for and hopefully make a difference! So, as a final thought for 2017, I just wanted to say I really appreciate everyone who reads my blog, follows me on social media and supports the little world of Fizzy Peaches. It sounds cheesy but none of these goals would be possible without you, so a massive thank you for all your support in 2017, it does mean the world to me and I hope you continue to enjoy our adventures into 2018!

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL!