Natural ice lollies for babies with Nuby Fruitsicles

Nuby Garden Fresh

Nuby’s new Garden Fresh range gets a big thumbs up for promoting home cooking, designed for less waste so that home prepared food can be stored and frozen it prides itself on supporting Mummy Made Goodness.

We try to avoid processed foods where possible and I’ve always made home cooked meals for Joss so this range has big appeal taking you from preparing and storing through to serving up foods for your little one. New products like the Fruitsicles for making fresh ice lollies at home join old favourites like the Nibbler and weaning spoons, the range is really versatile and comes in lovely bright appealing colours for kids.

We often meet with friends we met through the baby led weaning group I co-run, we get together once a month or so to share food with our little ones, we sometimes get joined by new mums who are interested in baby led weaning and share recipes and ideas for home cooking that the whole family can enjoy (it’s where the idea for these potato pancakes came from, saving leftovers to make something totally different!).

Natural ice lollies for babies

As we’ve been having a spell of good weather I prepped a big batch of Fruitsicles for our meeting last week, as well as our famous fruity pack a punch toddler flapjacks! In keeping with the all natural theme we had bowls of blueberries and raspberries, yogurt smoothies and homemade houmous, yum!

The fruitsicles I prepared were jam-packed with fresh strawberries and two oranges that I had whizzed up in my blender, I kept it to a fairly thick pulpy consistency and then popped spoons of the mixture into the moulds. Each Fruitsicle is filled with two teaspoons of pureed fruit and so they’re great for portion control for babies and toddlers, and the soft grip handles are perfect for little hands.


We met in the park and started with the Fruitsicles before they melted, they were a big hit, I had one too (for taste test purposes of course!) and these all natural ice lollies were really fruity and naturally sweet! I later made up a batch using some of the leftover yogurt smoothies but they were so popular they were gone before I could get the camera out (natural yogurt, banana and raspberry if you’re wondering how they were made!)

fruitsicles 2

Giveaway time!

Nuby have kindly given me a bundle of Garden Fresh products to give away including:

  • Fruitsicles

  • Nibbler

  • Suction Bowls

  • Coverall Bib

  • Grip N Sip Cup

win a nuby weaning bundle

If you’d like to get your hands on this huge bundle of goodies simply enter via the Rafflecopter widget and leave a comment on this post


T&Cs – UK entries only, there is no cash alternative, winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter and informed within 24 hours of competition close

Fabric transfer paper gift ideas

These 5 fabric transfer paper gift ideas were inspired by some great tutorials over at Wolves in London, Sabrina’s blog is a great resource and so I have to start this post by thanking her for introducing me to a great new craft addition! If you’re of the crafty ilk I urge you to check out her tutorials

I have been beavering away with making gifts for a while now, part of my moneysaving plan for birthdays and ahead of this Christmas I have been trying to make as many cards, gifts and wrapping as possible. I sort of hit on a slow period this Summer and decided to look around. When I saw Sabrina’s lovely fabric transfer projects I had to have a go and made a list of fabric transfer paper gift ideas. As I was going for a low cost base I picked up transfer paper in Poundland. Two sheets for a quid made all of these projects plus I have made a further ten tags, five mini cards and countless fabric drawstring bags! Essentially I pasted all the images I wanted to print into a Word document and adjusted the sizes til they fitted on two pages, then I printed them and cut out the images ironing them onto my projects as and when needed.

I sourced my images from a range of places, including by searching for ‘free vintage printables’ on Pinterest.

Here’s my rundown of 5 fabric transfer paper gift ideas

Five fabric transfer paper gift ideas

1 – Vintage sweetheart print gift tag with lace and pearl embellishment

Ironed onto some plain calico and then cut out and layered onto fabric this sweet tag was then embellished with a piece of lace from my stash and some pearl braid which I use for so many projects but picked up from my local fabric store for a bargain 5p a metre in their fantastic sale. I have since made oodles of these little tags, they make simple presents look really special!

2 – Children’s party favours or travel storage bags

I made this little calico bag in about ten minutes to store Joss’ farm puzzle pieces which kept getting lost. She loves this simple pig print and I think it would look great on a tea towel too! These would make cute party bags filled with sweeties or a little colouring book and crayons

3 – Fabric cards

This does what it says on the tin, I have loads of fabric samples and often stitch them freehand onto card but don’t always have complementary Happy Birthday stickers, instead I typed and printed up some Happy Birthday motifs to add to my cards!

4 - An Axolotl’y Fabulous Tee

Joss’ favourite word is axolotl, for those not in the know an axolotl is a ‘walking fish’ and there is one at our local museum. Joss loves them, she also loves printed tees but the chances of me ever finding an axolotl tee were pretty slim, now she has one! I know this won’t be for everyone but it’s made a Mama and her Girl very happy!

5 – Fabric drawstring storage bags for shoes, undies, you name it!

These become an altogether nicer gift for the addition of a little ironed on motif, this beachcomber print is perfect for my seaside loving girl and stores her precious cuddly toys, I made myself one with a print of a pair of special shoes and another to give as a gift with the recipient’s name printed on.

I hope you like these fabric transfer paper gift ideas, if you have a go yourself do let me know what you make!

Toddler pinwheels for picky eaters

Real Life

I’ve been re-blogging this post about how to handle not being able to breastfeed for World Breastfeeding Week 2014 which comes to an end this weekend.

Joss has been a bit off colour lately and consequently has eaten very little. My toddler pinwheels for picky eaters are great for lunches and Joss usually plays with them, then eats a bit. If she is involved in making them and sprinkling the cheese then even better, she’ll be more interested in eating them as she had a hand in making them!

toddler pinwheel fussy eaters


Sheet puff pastry
Grated cheddar
Tomato puree or two tablespoons of passatta

I cut my puff pastry sheet in two and freeze half, the other half makes eight pinwheels. Unroll the pastry and spread the tomato onto the base, then top with slices of ham and then with grated cheese, my trusty cheese sprinkler Joss likes this bit!

Don’t overfill as the next stage is to roooool the sheet of pastry like a swiss roll, then slice into eight chunks, lay each out on a greaseproof papered baking sheet.

Bake at 180 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes then cool and serve, or store for the next day or two for packed lunches.

Blog life

I had tea with Beth from Betty and the Bumps and Hannah from Mums Days yesterday and they got me thinking about where my blog is going. I have a new list of questions and some things I am working on, like my blog traffic. In the short term I have posts coming up on handling toddler fears and a competition coming up too.


I have been reading some inspiring ideas on writing as posted by Beautiful Misbehaviour and giving some thought to a challenging post I’d like to draft

– See more at:

Rain rain go away!

Real Life

What miserable weather! Rain rain go away! Nothing for it but to pull your wellies on and puddle suit and take a dinosaur for a walk!

Here are our top five rainy day activities and not a colouring book in sight!

  1. Grab your waterproofs and hunt for the biggest puddle in your neighhbourhood and jump in it!

  2. Try to find a secret shelter from the rain! Is there a tunnel, underpass or spot under the trees near you? Who knows what you’ll find! P.S. I find cafes make rather good shelters (and rather good cakes come to think of it!)

  3. Make mud pies, yum!

  4. Grab a brolly and sing in the rain – incy wincy spider or rain rain go away should do it

  5. Go on a wiggly worm hunt!


Blog life

I’m running a small giveaway on Facebook to try to drum up more page likes, will let you know how it goes next week!

I have some lovely review posts and a blog competition coming up soon which I’m really excited about.


I have returned to crochet, I can only dream of making something as good as this crochet tweed iPad case by Gemma Garner, it’s so blooming perfect I could cry, but seeing it inspired me to pick up my hook again!

And if this isn’t the gosh darned nicest big girl’s room I have ever seen don’t know what is! I am thinking of a bedroom re-do for Joss so this is my inspiration!

- See more at:

The Canvas Prints Review

I was delighted to review a canvas from The Canvas Prints as this was to be the first canvas we’ve ever owned! We have a lot of art on the walls at home but I really like mixing up textures so a canvas was a way of adding a different scale and texture to our current displays.

I sent this photo of Joss holding Daddy’s hand to The Canvas Prints, it’s a fave of mine and was taken after a special family meal.


Less than a week later an exciting parcel arrived!

The Canvas Prints Review

I had been fretting a bit about being new to canvas as I really had no idea whether or not the canvas stretching process would distort the image, or how appropriate for canvas the photo I had chosen was. I looked at the FAQs on the website and felt reassured, the image was the right pixel size and was good quality.

The canvas was beautifully wrapped for the post and if sending as a gift I’d have no worries about postal damage as the bubble wrap and box were a great fit.

The canvas is sturdy, the print detail is exactly what I hoped for, it looks really nice on the wall and the corner wrapping is really crisp and smooth and the final seal well executed. I was pleasantly surprised to see a hook for hanging as I know other brands don’t do this!

I chose a picture wrap where the photo is continuously wrapped around the frame, I think it looks great on the wall like this, but they also do colour wraps where you choose the edging too.

The range and options available gave me food for thought, I like the idea of these split canvases and displays too

Canvas print wall displays - 5x12x30 Split canvas prints - 3x16x20

Our introduction to canvas is a big hit and I would definately consider buying more!

Disclaimer: I received a free canvas to review, all views are my own.

Our Lemon and Lime Theme Wedding

We just celebrated three years of marriage and I had a good old reminisce about it by poring over our photos.

I haven’t really blogged about our day but used to love looking at 100 Layer Cake and Rock n Roll Bride so it seems appropriate to copy (ahem, take inspiration from their style spreads)!

Here’s our lemon and lime theme wedding!

wedding collage

The flowers

I obsessed about craspedia flowers in the year run up to the big day, they’re my fave flower in my fave colour and so once I found a florist that could source them I planned the whole day around them and devoted a page of my wedding planner for craspedia inspiration!

Wedding inspiration scrapbook

My bouquet had temarisou, craspedia and white chrysanthemums with lime centres

Temarisou and craspedia wedding bouquet

The decoration

I made our invites and a few other touches like the postbox and the wishing tree and then ran out of time so we didn’t have the giant pompoms or bunting I wanted but otherwise it felt like there were lots of personal touches!

We had vibrant floating candle centre pieces and bright yellow sashes on the chairs

bright yellow floating candle table centres Bright yellow chair covers

The insert invites appealed to my stationery obsession!


The cake

Handmade by my lovely and super talented cousin I wanted something delicate and lacy, the brooch and ribbon now adorn our wedding photo album. It was a rich and yummy fruit cake, one of my fave memories was taking a break from honeymoon packing to look at our cards and eat more cake the following day!

Lace and brooch wedding cake

Wedding Brooch Photo album

The dress

The first I tried on and I just knew it was the one, I tried just five dresses and this one, Meryl by Romantica was everything I hoped for, light silk, beaded lace detailing, swags and with a Grecian drape to it; I loved how lightweight it was for a summer wedding


out the church


The car

A lovely vintage ride!

5 car

The bride

I had my makeup done by my fave artist from my local MAC counter in rich plum tones and hair by Helen Church who did these fab sculpted curls. The tiara detail matched the loops of silk on my dress and I wore my favourite Chanel perfume. My garter was made from vintage silk and pearls and is now stored in a Laduree box from our honeymoon it was my old and new and my Mam sewed a tiny blue stitch into my dress lining for something blue, I borrowed a little button from a friend that was stitched onto my bouquet handle.

plum tone wedding makeup

vintage garter

The groom

He wore a hire suit, no top and tails, it would have been too formal, he had a craspedia button hole and I gave him some new cufflinks too

Just Married

The big day

We married at the church I was Christened in and Joss was later Christened in too, I was so very nervous that I had to catch myself and really focus on the service! Walking out hand in hand with my new husband felt like a dream and I couldn’t stop grinning; after a few photos we headed to Saltwell Towers for afternoon tea followed by a wedding breakfast, the sun shone and it was a magical day.

We partied into the night and got some lovely night shots too!

saltwell towers night wedding

The story wouldn’t be complete without our wedding album, keeping to theme I had one photo enlarged and we chose a vintage frame from Re in our wedding colour to display our favourite photo.

saltwell park wedding

bright yellow wedding frame

And finally…

Joss came along and my dress was chopped into a gown fit for an eight month old princess, nerve wracking to see it chopped up but totally the right thing to do, this heirloom gown will stay in the family for generations to come!

wedding dress christening dress gown

Blogging these pics was a small thing that made me smile a lot!

Making willow plant supports

Inspired by a recent trip to a garden centre I decided to have a bash at making willow plant supports saving myself five to ten quid a pop and using some of the willow I gathered on a recent walk with Joss. I think they look really rustic and I wanted to recreate this look in our own space.

Source unknown

We followed this tutorial and I have to say it was an enjoyable hours work while little miss played with her sandpit and water table.

diy willow plant support

This one is holding my lavender plant that took a bit of a battering with the recent heavy rain.

willow plant support

If I make more I’ll soak the withies (the long bendy flimsy willow branches) for a bit longer to make them more malleable, but hey, handmade never looks perfect, it’s knowing you made them for free and enjoyed the process that counts!


Entertaining a two year old with endless energy

Real Life

Toddler routine

If you have a toddler that literally runs headlong into life from 7am to 8pm you have to be prepared to run off A LOT of energy! Entertaining a two year old is easy in many respects, just get them out in all weathers, but challenging too, especially as they haven’t developed their listening skills and are adept at running off, hair-raising stuff!

Our local park and farm are godsends, she’s learned to monkey her way up ropes lately tackling some pretty challenging climbs in a way that’s so fearless I’m really impressed!

An average day now looks like this, makes me wish we had a PJ day occasionally but generally we like the routine!

7am – up and breakfast, bit of Sarah and Duck on Cbeebies

7:30am – we shower together

8am – we get ready to hit the park

8:10 – climbing frame and swings for half an hour then walk home

9am – play with toys at home

10am – snack whilst I wash up

11am – quiet time with books or head out to see friends/go to a group

12pm – lunch

12:30 – walk up to local shops home via Farm

1pm – Joss naps I work/blog/craft/study

3pm – I prep dinner whilst she plays

3:30 – park/library/go crazy running around

4pm – quiet play or reading whilst I cook, sometimes she ‘helps’

5pm/6pm – family meal, Cbeebies for 30 minutes, chat/listen to music

7pm – last trip to the climbing frame!

8pm – supper, night time nappy and bed

Crazy stuff seeing it written out but it makes for a tantrum-free, happy, healthy tot and by that extension a happy mama!

Blog Life

I really enjoyed crowd-sourcing this post with some fellow bloggers, it’s about visiting art galleries with kids and features the Daniel Buren exhibition at Baltic

catch as catch can buren baltic


This week I was really inspired by the parents I’ve been speaking to about the postnatal depression support group I’m getting off the ground, and also in some chats with fellow bloggers including Mums Day’s Hannah.

Life is really busy but in a good way!

I’m currently seeking inspiration for my next tattoo, this quote caught my eye so I drew up this little poster, haters gonna hate!

Nice girls get tattoos too

- See more at:

Daniel Buren – The Function of The Studio? What about the Gallery?

This post is partly about a brilliant new exhibition, but also asks about Art Galleries as family spaces.

Daniel Buren at Baltic

‘Catch as catch can: works in situ’ by Daniel Buren is currently in installation at the Baltic in Gateshead, OK so we should have waited for the sunniest of sunny days to really see the light captured in this work but I was too excited after seeing the gallery front facade with its 20 diamonds on my way to work most days, even on a slightly dull Sunday it was like being in a kaleidoscope with mirrors and tinted windows there’s something sunny and joyful about standing on Level 4 bathed in coloured light.


Photo souvenir : Daniel Buren 20 Diamonds for the Façade: work in situ 2014 BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art Transparent vinyl, white opaque (blue, green, red, yellow) Photo: John McKenzie. © DB-ADAGP Paris

catch as catch can buren baltic

As a self confessed numbers geek I really enjoyed reading more about Buren’s work, his 8.7cm wide signature stripe features in many of his works and pops up at Baltic in the form of a border around the mirrors on Level 4, in an interview with The Journal he said“that was the dimension of the first linen I used when I did printing. I had some left and kept it for other things but it has a rhythm to it, one white stripe and then a coloured one, and it has become a visual tool.”

catch as catch can buren baltic 3

catch as catch can buren baltic 2

Daniel Buren – The Function of The Studio?

Having written about the function of the studio in an essay in 1971 I was interested to learn that he is an artist without a studio, working instead in a range of spaces including galleries like the Baltic itself. Concerned with the idea that a work of art conceived in a studio is compromised as once moved to a gallery we are seeing it out of place I understood the nature of this work ‘in situ’ better, and seeing how he has worked with the architecture of the Baltic to design the facade and window gels I feel really lucky to live where we do and get to see so many innovative projects.

Family art gallery visits

I’m not an art expert and am nervous about speaking up about what I understand of and like about works, but I do love design and having the chance to immerse myself in new experiences is something I really enjoy.

I wondered whether all this would stop once Joss arrived, but actually I probably visit Baltic more now than I did before.

So what of the function of the gallery? The preserve of artists and academics? Of adults alone? Or a family space to be enjoyed by all?

With a play space on Level 2 and an education strand to their work programme Baltic welcomes children and families. I took the time to read some of the literature in the education space and thought about whether there had been exhibitions I would avoid with a toddler. There have been exhibitions that have been very open and accessible and probably too tempting for tots, but I would still have taken Joss in the sling and been respectful of the space, if she is too noisy or too boisterous then we would play in the kids area and try the exhibition another day.

catch as catch can buren baltic 6

Developing creativity in children

Something I really liked was this life cycle of creativity development in children, it really made me think about getting the most out of our visits and convinced me of their value in Joss’ development; however under confident I feel in my own ‘understanding’ of the pieces we see, that ‘knowledge building’ happens without my intervention

catch as catch can buren baltic 5

So are art galleries generally family spaces?

I was interested to know whether we are alone in trying to get out to see new exhibitions as often as we can with a tot in tow, and so I asked fellow bloggers how they feel about taking little ones into gallery spaces, I think we’ve concluded that it has to be the right kind of space and the right kind of exhibit, but that where possible interaction with art is to be welcomed:

  • Louise from My Gorgeous Boys (and they are really gorgeous!) said “I take my boys aged 5 and 7, and have taken them since they were babies, generally to family orientated events at galleries. Always been successful – they love it and I think it does provoke them to think about things that perhaps wouldn’t come under their radar in everyday life though sometimes I think it does go bit over their heads. Good fun though!”
  • Gillian blogs at A Baby on Board and shared a brilliant post about her visit to Tate Modern with her little girl, though she agreed “some art galleries are probably more suitable than others” she has taken Eliza into art spaces since she was really little
  • Vai from Rambling Through Parenthood is looking forward to taking her three year old on his first gallery visit; “we are taking our 3 year old son to the National Art Gallery this year. Will be his first time at one. He has loved museums, so I remain hopeful. We shall see. “
  • Anne from Raisie Bay also shared a post with me, about a visit to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery seeing her children interacting with the work and drawing their own interpretations links to this top tip from her – “We love visiting the art gallery and generally take some art books and pencils so the kids can recreate some art” – a great idea to take materials with you so you can create as you go!
  • I love this post that Rachel from The Little Pip shared with me, Paul Klee’s work cropped up in my year 9 art classes at school and her description of Pip’s interactions really brought the pieces to life for me again, in a different way, I’m in full agreement with her that “it’s never too young to start thinking of different ways of expressing and also different ways of interpreting emotion / perspective”
  • Becky from The Mummy Adventure made me realise how lucky we are to have an interactive space just 30 minutes from home “I will take mine to a more interactive or hands on gallery but I do find that taking my nearly 18 month old and nearly 3 year old is like torture at the moment. We attempted it but they were not interested unless they could experience it and this gallery was not like that. Maybe they are just the wrong age?
  • And Faded Seaside Mama agreed “I’ve tried talking mine to a local one that is apparently uber family-friendly. The looks I got from staff when my two tried to ‘interact’ with the art has confirmed everything I ever thought about art galleries. We are not that sort of family it would seem. Beach it is then!

I agree, it has to be a welcoming space and appropriate for children too, that’s not to say that there shouldn’t be places and spaces that are not open to children, a friend of mine pointed out that some parents do have a sense of entitlement that all places should be family friendly but generally people are sensible; the art gallery world has responded to this demand with ‘family open days’ so families are increasingly being welcomed into these spaces and most people respect the spaces and the works.

We’ll continue in our Baltic visits being flexible about what we see and do when we are there!

Catch as catch can: works in situ, is at Baltic until October 12.

Eco-parenting: cloth bum birthdays and alternatives for new parents

Two things on my mind today, potty training Joss, and thinking about how new parents are introduced to eco alternatives.

Potty training is something we’re taking really slowly and it’s definitely easier now the nicer weather is here; we had a lovely day with the paddling pool out yesterday and she pootled in and out to use the potty and announced loudly all her movements, followed by “clever girl” and clapping herself!

I’d guess we’re not going to be using our cloth nappies for too much longer so what I’m about to share is lovely, but we won’t be indulging in more nappies anytime soon!

So, Happy First Birthday George! In honour of Prince George turning one Totsbots have released a super-duper new unlimited easyfit V4 print, Birthday! I don’t have one but I have seen one today, and it’s a beauty, here’s a sneak peek!

totsbots george birthday nappy

When I wrote this post about eco-parenting I guess it was aimed at folks who are already interested in the green and ethical route. It got me thinking about the information parents get in the early days and I suppose for most parents the Bounty Pack will have been one of their first experiences of marketing aimed at new parents. Given out at my first antenatal appointment I gratefully accepted my pack as a way to carry my hospital notes, by the time I got the forms for my last pack I didn’t collect it. The cynic in me finds the idea of this marketing route really interesting, especially as most mums I’ve spoken to have stories to tell about receiving theirs and a survey by Mumsnet last year of more than 1,000 mothers who gave birth since May 2012 found that over half – 56 per cent – thought that the Bounty rep invaded their privacy.

My own story is that I heard I wouldn’t be taking my baby home on the fourth day from the Bounty rep who said, “oh we’ll see you tomorrow as you’re staying another day or two” – it just felt like this person on the hospital wards had access to more information than I’d have liked.

Aside from my experiences, the contents of the Bounty Pack are highly commercial and in some ways a bit scary. As an anxious new parent all the antibacterial sprays, washes and stain removers fed my fears about cleanliness and most of the contents were highly chemical, stuff we just didn’t and don’t use.

This week I’ve reviewed a Mama Pack and I think it’s a brilliant alternative. A much nicer, less wasteful sample pack this is the pack I’d have liked to receive when Joss was born. I’ve seen some of the variations of these packs, priced at £1 (sometimes free with larger orders) and available from many cloth nappy or eco retailers they are a good introduction to eco and ethical alternatives and one I’d like to see rolled out locally including good quality local information for new parents.

The Mama Pack is a breath of fresh air in this respect, packed with goodies that get you thinking about green issues.

Mama pack

Water Wipes are a good crossover for parents who might be unsure about making the move to washable wipes but who want to avoid chemical nasties. They are a cotton wipe which contains 99.9% water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract; I use these for long days out and they’re great for sensitive skin too.

Palmers is a brand I didn’t know as much about but I do like cocoa butter and they are a member of the World Cocoa Foundation so care about the origins and sustainability of their raw materials, I try to avoid parabens so it’s good to know this is paraben-free and is a nice treat alongside the Pregnacare cream for Mums and there’s a treat in here for new Dads too which is sweet!

Gin Gin sweeties were a godsend to me during pregnancy, both for morning sickness easing properties as the ginger kick is lovely, and later to pep me up when I was tired! A lovely addition to Mama Pack!

Caffeine free Tea Pigs are a real treat for mums, great if avoiding tea and coffee during pregnancy a good cuppa and feet up is definately a treat! I got green tea and berries which were really refreshing, good for those long night feeds, these are a really great quality tea and I was impressed to see them in here!

Pregnacare is a welcome addition too alongside Wellkid, it’s important to take care of yourself during pregnancy and as a busy working parent during pregnancy I found supplements gave me peace of mind. I’d also welcome more information on taking care of yourself in Mama Pack, great to see some health info in the form of this meningitis card but friends were asking whether there’s information on mental wellbeing in here for example, and that could be a great addition too

You can get yourself or a friend a Mama Pack (contents may vary) from Grow Up Green who kindly provided me with this Mama Pack sample – thanks Aggie! – (and you can also get yourself the lovely Totsbots Birthday print from Grow Up Green too!)