Saturday, 10 August 2013

Sorry it's been a while...

...I'm pregnant!!

Now that I am 12+3 weeks pregnant and we have had our first scan I now feel as though I can officially announce that baby number 2 is due on February 19, 2014! 
Here he/she is!! 
This isn't the best picture of the three but they are taking SO long to upload!

So with the horrific morning sickness, taking care of Bear and studying I haven't had a second to blog but now that I am feeling a little more human I am planning on getting back into the habit of blogging. From now on I plan on doing a week by week account of my pregnancy along with my other little bits and pieces that I enjoy writing about so for now here is a brief run through of the past few weeks. 

Sick, Sick and more Sick! Poor Bear has watched more TV in the past few weeks than he has in his entire 2 years! (This is something that I deeply regret and am planning on making up for in the upcoming months) My house is a MESS and I have had to ask for extensions on assignments (which I also hate having to do) Oh and I have been eating...A LOT! My real weaknesses are for salt and vinegar crisps, citrus fruits, and cheese and no ginger does not help to settle my stomach, quite the opposite (I swear if anyone else suggests this again I will cry). My moods have also been very up and down, this is something I didn't experience so much when pregnant with Bear...perhaps this is a sign of a girl??? 

Now there is some light at the end of the tunnel, I am now looking forward to catching up with the home improvements that I have been meaning to do and potty training, my goal is to have Bear out of nappy's, going to bed without a fuss and no more dummy by the time the baby is born...Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Robin Hoods Bay

With all this beautiful sunshine we have been having, I am reminded of summer holidays when I was a kid. I don't know if its just my selected memory but summers were HOT twenty years ago and I remember family camping holidays to Cornwall (my favourite place in the world). All of this has me really desperate to go on holiday this year and spend time with Bear and D building sandcastles on the beach, eating ice cream and paddling our feet in the cold Atlantic for two weeks. However this is not to be this year so instead I must be satisfied with day trips and outings so I was very excited when Uncle Phil asked if we could take Bear to the beach!! We decided on Robin Hoods Bay as I don't think either of us could be bothered with the hustle and bustle of busy Scarborough or Whitby and i am very glad we did as it turned out to be the perfect place to take Bear on his first real trip to the sea side! It wasn't too busy and there were a few nice shops and cafes to buy souvenirs and Ice Cream and it was beautiful!
This is me with my (not so little) little brother on our way

Picturesque fishing village of Robin Hoods Bay located just south of Whitby
Phil decided he wanted to buy a boat like this one with like a roof on it and stuff
Bears very own bucket and spade
See the father and son working hard to build the best sandcastle ever? Bear went and destroyed all their hard work not long after this picture was taken, the little boy was heart broken, I was mortified and Bear thought it was the funniest thing ever!
Picnic Time!!
This was my favourite part we love chasing the waves!
Not the best picture but there are very few of us together
Bear with his Uncle Phil
Couldn't go to the Seaside without getting an Ice Cream...YUM!!!
Our view of the Bay as we left.
Happy Tuesday x

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Zoom Balance Bike Review

In an attempt to encourage Bear to burn off some of his excess energy, D and I decided to buy him a bike for his 2nd birthday. At first we were torn between a balance bike and a trike, then when we were walking in the park one day a 3 year old sped past us on a little balance bike we decided then that we should buy one for Bear. The idea behind the Balance Bike is to teach children to ride a bike without the use of stabalisers. First they learn to walk with it between their legs, then they learn to control the steering, they then learn how to push themselves along and finally they are able to lift their feet off the ground and away they go. These bikes range in price from around £20-£120 we decided to try the Zoom bike which retails at £99. Although this is towards the top end of the price range, we felt that this was a good investment as the Zoom is made of metal which makes it a bit sturdier and its very well made. It isn't as light weight as I had hoped and this can be a challenge when your all the way at the park and your toddler decides they are bored and so you have to carry it home, however it is small enough to carry and takes up less space when storing. The bike also comes with an additional seat height bar...thing which means that it will last your toddler at least until 4 years of age and then hopefully will then move straight onto a real bike. Overall I think the Zoom balance bike was a great buy, Bear loves his bike and is always wanting to go out in the street and play with his friend who also has a Zoom, she is now 3 and has mastered it very well. Bear is still at the learning to control the steering stage but I am so excited to see him ride his Zoom bike like a pro!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

A Trip to The National Railway Museum

 The National Railway Museum is our favourite place to go when it's dull and rainy outside and Bear can't get enough of trains. This time we took along Aunty Han Jam (not real aunty) who also LOVES trains. The Museum is located in the former steam locomotive depot, it has a huge collection of steam trains and artifacts and is great for the whole family plus its FREE! I love to see all the carriages in the old station, Bear liked to look at the model railway and we all really enjoyed our ride on the miniature railway and it reminded me and Aunty Han Jam of when we were kids together.

Aunty Han Jam and Bear on the Miniature Railway

Station Hall

I can't recommend the National Railway Museum enough! Located just a walk away from York City Center and just round the corner from the train station it is ideally positioned and is brilliant for all ages. We are looking forward to going again this weekend to see the Mallard 75 event which will involve the gathering of all 6 remaining A4's or as Bear calls them 'Spencer'.

Happy Tuesday x

Friday, 28 June 2013

Living Local on a bad day

I enjoy shopping locally but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't hard at times and today was one of those times. I am beyond tired, I feel sick, i'm craving high fat carbs like pizza or chips, pies that sort of thing...and it is raining! What would have been ideal would be to load the boy into the car, drive to Sainsbury's, park in the very convenient parent and child spaces, have all the items I need in one place and be out in less than an hour or better yet sit at home on my sofa, in my PJ's, eating a bacon and egg sandwich and do all my ordering online and have it delivered to my door this afternoon. Instead Bear and I trundled out in our raincoats, wellies and pushchair and walked into town. Friday is the best day to go to the market as all the good stalls are there without the hustle and bustle of a Saturday. We firstly stopped at the cash machine because we can't pay with card, we then went to the greengrocers stall and bought our fruit and veg for the week and had a nice chat with the man about strawberries. Next we went to the dried food stall where we bought our porridge oats (bear and I love porridge in the morning and as he wasn't there last week we had to buy ready break from the isn't the same). Then we went to the biscuit stall and bought some cheesy crackers for snack, bear started to kick up a fuss because he wanted chocolate, I tried to tell him that we can only eat chocolate in moderation and he eats a lot of chocolate already then I thought, who am I kidding this is MY son! So I bought us a small packet of chocolate biscuits too. At this point I was drenched from top to toe and bear was getting tired of not being able to see out of the rain cover, so I thought it best that we just get the mince for dinner tonight and head home to dry off.

After all this I had to remind myself of why I am bothering to trapes around town in the rain when I could have made life so much easier for myself today. So I pulled up the shop online page of my local supermarket to compare the prices of the items I had bought and I did in fact save money. Today I learnt that strawberries last longer from Belgium than England and Scotland and I by shopping independently I am supporting my local businesses and putting money straight back into the local economy.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Elderflower Cordial

One of the many things I love about this time of year is Elderflower, a pretty white star shaped flower that is everywhere and free! You can make all kinds of things with it like this delicious elderflower cordial I made this week and it's a great family activity to go out and collect it. Here's the recipe...

Elderflower Cordial

30- 40 Elderflower heads 
1 kg Sugar
1.5 Litres of boiling water
4 Lemons
2 oz citric acid 
  • Place the sugar into a large saucepan. Pour the boiling water over and stir until all the sugar has dissolved and leave to cool.
  • Grate the rind of the lemons, add to the sugar water.
  • Slice the lemons and add to the water. Add the citric acid and stir, then finally add the flower heads to the water and stir again.
  • Cover with a clean cloth and leave to steep for 48 hours.
  • Strain through clean fine muslin cloth (I didn't have anything like this so i just used a sieve which is ok but you might just get a few bits) into a clean bowl and pour into bottles.

Once I made the cordial, I was then able to use some of that to make Elderflower Cupcakes.

75g butter
150g  caster sugar
1 egg
125ml whole milk
175g self-raising flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
5 tbsp Elderflower Cordial
1 tsp vanilla essence
  • Cream the sugar with the butter using a spoon and beat in the egg.
  •  Next sift the flour and baking powder, and fold the mixture until mixed then add the milk (but don’t over mix). 
  • Add the Elderflower cordial and vanilla. 
  • Divide into bun cases and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 18-20 minutes. 
Enjoy x 

Thursday, 20 June 2013

A visit to Farnley Hall

Each year our next door neighbour (the tree surgeon) helps a local bird of prey expert by climbing up trees to bring down baby birds of prey to have them tagged. This year he invited us to come and watch so we picked Bear up from nursery a little early, took snacks and met him at the gates of Farnley Hall.
Farnely Hall is a fascinating building made up of two parts, pictured above is a view of the Georgian addition to the house, the original Farnley Old Hall dates back to the 16th or early 17th Century. Since the 1780's the house has been occupied by the Fawkes Family (yes as in Guy Fawkes) and JMW Turner was a frequent visitor to the Hall which now boasts a collection of his work as well as a sizable collection of artifacts associated with Cromwell.

 So off we trekked across the grounds of Farnley Hall to a patch of woodland where a nest of baby red kites sat in a tree. Bear was very keen to follow our neighbour as he climbed most expertly up the tree (needless to say there was some holding back) and after a little fumbling around down came a bag with an 18 day old baby Red Kite
Look he's so fluffy and cute!!

Bear was absolutely fascinated!! 

Once all in the party had the opportunity to look at/hold/take pictures of the Kite a ring was placed on the ankle which contained a number so if the Kite was to be found, they can enter the number into the internet or whatever and they can trace it back to eh? What a wonderful opportunity for us to go and see this baby kite in the wild and so close up! A lovely way to spend a Thursday evening!

Happy Thursday x
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