Domestic Quest – BLW Cheesy Veggie Nuggets & Frozen Bananas

I’m on a roll! Cooked for Little Man again whilst he had his afternoon nap and this time it was appreciated much more than Thursdays Chickpea Patties.

On the menu tonight were Veggie Nuggets and Frozen Bananas for pudding. As mentioned before we are avoiding egg after a potential reaction a few weeks ago so I was happy to come across this egg free finger food recipe. This recipe is adapted from one in this incredible PDF which is available for free online, it is full of 100 recipes perfect for BLW. I adapted it slightly to include more veg, adding parsnip (little mans new fave) and carrot.

CHEESY VEGETABLE NUGGETS

4oz Fresh Brocolli

1 Parsnip Grated

1 carrot grated

6oz Cheddar Grated

4oz Dry Breadcrumbs (I used Panko as I had some left in the cupboard)

2 1/2 tbsp Water

2 1/2 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

METHOD

1 – Preheat the oven to 190 deg C – 170 deg C (fan) – 375 deg F

2 – Steam Broccoli until cooked (about 5-7mins). Chop well.

3 – Combine Broccoli along with other ingredients and mix.

4 – Form into nugget or sausage shape (whatever your little one can hold easiest) and place onto greaseproof paper on a baking tray.

5 – Bake for 20-25 mins. Serve Warm.

2014-04-05 20.19.06They came out really well and held their shape in LM’s hand. The sweetness of the parsnip was a really nice compliment to the Broccoli and Cheese, I think these will also be great for lunchboxes and picnics cold.

2014-04-05 20.19.36I served LM’s with some Cous Cous, and after his negative reaction to stronger flavours the other day, I mixed it with some greek yoghurt and cumin to try and get him used to stronger flavours, he loved the nuggets, but did not like the Cous Cous, must have been a new texture as I gave him some minus the dressing and he reacted the same way! I think next time I will try serving them with a tomato based dip and some chicken. In my bad mummy move of the day I had used all of the veg cooking so there was none to accompany his dinner, but he’d had fruit for breakfast, veg with his lunch, and he had fruit for dessert! Speaking of dessert….

2014-04-05 20.20.24He has bananas so much that I wanted to mix things up for him a little, and in the aforementioned PDF there is a very straight forward recipe for Frozen Bananas, cover fingers of Banana in Natural Yoghurt (can you tell I had some Yoghurt to shift!?) and then roll them in Wheatgerm, whack them in the freezer and a little while later you have some healthy Bluth Bananas fit for your little one. He loved them and devoured four bits, his reaction to the coldness was priceless but he really enjoyed them.

 

Domestic Quest – BLW Chickpea Patties

So as mentioned a few posts ago, I am on a quest to become more domesticated and part of that is cooking at least two new meals a week to try as a family, Hubs is working late this week, so that gives me the perfect opportunity to try out some of the recipes I have pinned.

We are also battling a potential egg intolerance, Little Man had some omelette a few weeks ago, he’d had egg many times before and been fine, but this time after about 3 hours he was very sick for an hour and then a little groggy but fine, this has made us think it was potentially the egg, so we are steering clear for now, but most of the recipes I have pinned contain egg, we’ve tried flax seed as a replacement but not had great success. However this recipe for Chickpea Patties had no egg, minimal ingredients and seemed pretty straightforward, which is my kind of cooking!

I found the recipe over at Simple Bites and it was originally adapted from the BLW Cookbook, I didn’t include the garlic or the parsley as I didn’t have any.

2014-04-03 20.11.12 2014-04-03 20.13.212014-04-03 20.12.28

They turned out great, I served them with Avocado (which went great with the lemon in the patties), Carrot and Cucumber, but Little Man wasn’t a big fan.

 

2014-04-03 20.12.45I think the onion, lemon and cumin were all new flavours and maybe a little overwhelming for him, but I will try again, maybe with slightly less lemon, as I really enjoyed them and they will make a great, low budget mid week meal with some cous cous and salad.

 

We finished the meal with Pear & Prune Fruit Preserve and Natural Yoghurt, he enjoyed that much more!2014-04-03 20.13.11

 

My Top 5 Natural Baby Products

products

My little man suffers with a mild case of Eczema, he gets a few red patches on his legs and belly, but the rest of the time his skin can get quite dry all over. One of my biggest regrets so far was not being more careful what I put on his skin from day one, but once I realised that most of the big brand names would aggravate even adult skin I immediately started looking for natural products to use on my precious little monkey.

1. Coconut Oil – I’m well and truly obsessed with Coconut Oil, it’s so good for you and your baby. We use it all around the house now, from using it on LM’s skin, to help banish my post pregnancy stretch marks and even to roast vegetables for LM’s lunch. It’s great on babies bums for bouts of nappy rash, I have mixed a few drops of lavender oil into a jar of coconut oil for his nightly massage and I’ve even rubbed coconut oil onto his gums whilst he’s teething. The best coconut oil to buy is unrefined, raw, virgin and organic.

2. Burt’s Bees Shampoo and Baby Wash – I received a Baby Bee gift set at my baby shower and instantly fell in love with the amazingly scented products. At present I just use the Shampoo and Baby Wash as a little goes a long way and it is better value than the Baby Bath in that respect. I love nothing more than snuggling my little man up in a towel and sniffing his hair after its been washed with this.

3. Weleda Calendula Baby Lotion – Until I discovered this product I was using prescription Doublebase cream on LM when he had a bad flare up of his eczema, and although it worked wonders I was reluctant to keep applying liquid paraffin onto his skin. This lotion is 100% natural and smells lovely and it works to moisturise his stubborn dry areas just as well as the prescription cream.

Calendula Body Lotion 200ml

4. Weleda Calendula Baby Bath Cream – I like putting something in LM’s bath but it became apparent that although some of the gentler bath products that were great at soothing him before bed, they also aggravated his dry skin. We tried using nothing for a while but I wanted to find a natural alternative that would also soothe him after an excitable day. This bath cream fits the bill, it feels quite oily so I know that it is moisturising him rather than drying him out. It sits on top of the water slightly, and turns the water cloudy rather than bubbles. The Calendula soothes his skin and the scent and other natural ingredients help to calm him down after exciting pre-bedtime jumperooing.

5. Waitrose Bottom Butter – This stuff smells incredible!!! And its really versatile, great for soothing and protecting from nappy rash. I’ve also used it on his dry knees and ankles and it softens them up a treat. Also many women seem to have found that it works wonders when used as a face cream, plus for under £3 its a bargain.

Which natural products do you use on your little ones? Are there any remedies that you swear by for eczema or sensitive skin?

Bubs My Neighbor Totoro Nursery

As mentioned in a previous post, it was decided very early on that regardless of bubs gender we wanted a My Neighbor Totoro themed nursery, its one of my favourite animated movies and I loved the idea of filling the room with Totoros, toadstools and other woodland wonders.

As we rent our house (and lack artistic ability) a full wall style murial like this amazing Ghibli themed room was out of the question

We decided to use something more like this as our inspiration, using wall decals that we can easily take with us should we move.

Even though we rent, I wanted the room to be colourful so we have painted it with Dulux Melon Sorbet, originally I wanted a pale sagey green for the walls and this is slightly brighter but I love it now as its much brighter for my little one and feels like more of a childs room.

After a lot of hard work and a few lengthy projects the outcome was this:

We brought the large colour Totoro wall decal on Etsy, I made the patchwork blanket using Totoro fabric found on Spoonflower, my Gran helped to make Bub’s one of a kind Totoro Amigurumi mobile, and we painted Ikea Spice Racks with satin paint to create forward facing bookshelves.

We made the Tree shelving ourselves.

We also made the shelving unit above the changer, and we printed soot sprites on to vinyl decal paper ourselves and stuck them up in the corner of the room.

We are so happy with the outcome, its perhaps not as Totoro heavy as I’d have liked but living in the UK options are limited without paying large shipping costs from Japan, but hopefully over time we can add a few more bits and bobs that come up on Ebay or Etsy.

All the room needs now is for its new resident to make his appearance, hurry up Bub, we are so ready to meet you!!!

You can see all of my posts about creating Bub’s Totoro Nursery here!

Pinspiration Post No.3 – DIY Nursery Shelves

With the nursery painted and furniture built, it is finally taking shape which is great, but we still have a lot of finishing touches to put on and I’m not going to be able to completely relax until it is done and all ready for our little guy.

One thing became clear once all the furniture was in place and that was that we needed some shelves above the changer, there’s loads of storage in the drawers but the changer top is just big enough to hold a changing mat so I thought somewhere to keep the lotion etc to hand would be great, as well as providing a bit more space for stuffed toys and photo frames and bits and bobs to go. So I hit Pinterest and found this beautiful nursery and some gorgeous shelves that I wanted all for my own.

My husband has recently got into DIY and after building a beautiful coat rack, upcycling an old dresser and making an amazing Tree Bookcase for the nursery, he has got the bug and has been waiting for me to let him know what his next nursery project is, so I showed him this picture, and he got to work….very quickly…which is unlike him 🙂

We had some MDF offcuts left over from the wood cut for the big nursery project, this bookcase, so he got to work cutting that all down to size, and then assembled it using screws.

As I wanted to use the shelves for practical items along with decorative ones, I asked if he could just make it with two larger sections rather than 4 basket sized ones, a look I would love for our dining room but one that in this case wasn’t so practical. Once it was all assembled he applied a coat of MDF Primer, and then headed off for a week of work.

With not much work or things to do around the house this week, I decided that although those lovely little wooden hooks look great in the photo, maybe I could do something that will fit in with the Totoro/Forest theme of Bub’s room, and that’s when I decided to make him some toadstool hooks, all by myself, with no help from Pinterest!

We found some 25mm wooden handles in Wilkinsons for a bargain £2.99, I then sanded them down a little, before priming them and giving them a coat of the white paint that the rest of the shelves will be painted with.

Then I brought a tester pot of Red paint, and painted the tops of the handles red, I gave them a couple coats of this until the red was nice and even, then armed with a tiny paintbrush, I blobbed (technical term!) on some white dots and was done.

So that is my contribution to this project, back to my better halves…

A few coats of paint later, my hooks were screwed onto the shelves, and the shelf was attached to the wall using two wooden blocks that were first attached to the wall and painted the same colour as the walls:

Add a few changing essentials, some fluffly toys and our DIY shelves are complete!

My Neighbor Totoro Patchwork Baby Blanket

As soon as we started trying to get pregnant, it was decided that whether Boy or GIrl, our Nursery theme would be My Neighbor Totoro. It’s one of my favourite animated films and I love the idea of nature being important to my little one, so the opportunity to make a nice foresty themed Totoro nursery where Totoro could possibly be joined by a range of woodland animals, seemed perfect.

As I planned and pinned away my inspirations for Bubs room, it became apparent that being in the UK, choosing a Japanese theme may not be the most convenient and cost effective choice…however, my Gran had already crocheted an amazing Totoro mobile for us (post coming soon) and I really did love the idea, so I decided I would just have to use some workarounds.

So when I found this amazing Totoro print fabric on Spoonflower and discovered that they only charge $2 for postage to the UK, it was decided, instead of spending a lot of money importing a blanket from Japan, I was going to make him a one of a kind, patchwork Totoro blanket with my own two hands…..once I found a way to cut the fabric to size and sew the blanket seeing as it had been 12 years since I last touched a sewing machine.

I checked out Pinterest for inspiration and tutorials suitable for a beginner, my post on my inspirations can be found here and as mentioned in that post the tutorial I ended up following is this one. And also sourced the rest of my fabric:

This cute one from frumble.co.uk

Aloe

and this plain fabric from plushaddict.co.uk

One of my best friends is an avid sewer so I recruited her, along with her rotary cutter, mat and ruler and we spent an afternoon cutting all the fabrics to 5”x5” squares, then I borrowed my Nan’s ”vintage” (read super old!) sewing machine, laid out my squares in the right order, took a picture to follow and got to work following the steps of the tutorial.

           Blanket LayoutPiecing the strips together

My blanket is 5 squares by 8 squares, so about 40”x25” give or take a bit due to my inexperience at sewing seams of the same width, my squares don’t line up perfectly and sewing the strips together got messy, but I don’t care as once it was all put together, it looked great and I was super chuffed with myself, it only took me a few hours and I was eager to find some backing material so that I could finish it off.

Fabric completed

I decided to get a fleece throw from Tesco for the backing material and found one that was the perfect colour, I cut it down to size, pinned it; right sides together, to my patchwork and got to work sewing a 1/4” (ish) seam, leaving one corner open so I could turn it right way out.

All backedThen after practicing my top stitch on a blanket of less importance, I pinned the corner opening, ironed the blanket and finished the blanket up with a top stitch.

I am so happy with the way this turned out as it was my first sewing project in years, and I have developed a new obsession with patchwork blankets and next plan on turning all my old gig shirts into a rag t-shirt quilt before starting work on another blanket for bub. I have my eye on this adorable Soot Sprite print fabric, just need to find some other fabrics to go with it.

We are starting the Nursery this weekend, so stay tuned for a before/after style post and also that post about the amazing crocheted mobile that my Gran made for us…here’s a sneak peek.

Totoro & Chibi-TotoroPattern sourced here.

Patchwork Pinspiration: 5 Patchwork Quilts on Pinterest that inspired me to give it a go!

Image

So that My Neighbor Totoro Patchwork Baby Blanket post is coming! But in preparation I thought I would share 5 of the Patchwork Quilts I came across on Pinterest that inspired me to give it a go as my first big sewing machine project.

1. One of many beautiful patchwork quilts made by Gemma and featured on her blog. Amazing that the first one was completed by hand, I don’t think I have the patience for that, but some of the lovely details added to her blankets make me wish I did.

http://gemmaslittlebubble.wordpress.com/patchwork/

2. This gorgeous Yellow & Grey Elephant Blanket from LittleNecessities on Etsy

ORGANIC modern patchwork baby blanket- elephants and dots- ready to ship

http://www.etsy.com/listing/106044772/organic-modern-patchwork-baby-blanket

3. This bright and cosy looking blanket from KBExquisites on Etsy.

Modern Owls Patchwork Baby Crib  Blanket 32 x 32 MADE TO ORDER

http://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/151285072/modern-owls-patchwork-baby-crib-blanket?

4. More Elephants from GiggleSixBaby on Etsy

Custom baby bedding - Grey and Aqua 4

http://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/117016303/custom-baby-bedding-grey-and-aqua-4?

5. And finally the tutorial I followed for my patchwork quilt. The steps were nice and clear and the only thing I changed was using fleece for my backing rather than Minky Dots fabric, although seeing how cosy the blankets above look when made with Minky Dots I think I will treat Bub once I’ve gathered enough patchwork fabric for the next blanket I make for him.

How to make an easy baby quilt

http://crazylittleprojects.com/2013/01/easy-baby-blanket.html

What has Pinterest inspired you to give a go?

Pinspiration Post no.2 – Pet Hair Removal

This one is less of a craft post and more of a home keeping one, but definitely one that fits  into my current preparing for bub obsession.

This is Logan:

This is Bella:

Aren’t they cute!

But their hair gets everywhere, hoovering does nothing, lint rollers do nothing and with bubs imminent arrival I have been getting anxious about the amount of cat hair lingering in our house even after numerous hoovering sessions and attempts at removal, so imagine my delight when my better half came across a tip on Pinterest about a window squeegee being the perfect pet hair removal tool. So we picked one up today and gave it a go.

ImageAnd it works a dream! One sofa down, one to go and then to make a start on the carpets, luckily downstairs is wood floors!

Here we go….

I’ve always been obsessive, it was probably the first personality trait I became really aware of at a young age. Back then it was boybands, movie stars and movies and its since moved on to tv shows, tv stars, man bands….only joking, it’s moved on to slightly more productive (though not much healthier) obsessions, like planning our perfect wedding and last year planning our dream road trip in the states. But one thing that has always been present within these desires to plan and perfect is creativity.

Whether it was learning Photoshop in my teen years to enable myself to make some pretty impressive Ewan McGregor screensavers and wallpapers, or teaching myself web design at 13 to create my own Friends fan page, right up to designing and making all of the stationary for my wedding, my sister in laws wedding and even designing graphics, scavenger hunt sheets and itineraries for our big US adventure, I love having the creativity my Granny taught me growing up, through card making and cake making to help me make the most of my ever present obsessions.

So in my latest obsession, preparing for the arrival of our first child, I have again turned to creativity, although this time most of it is taking the form of knitting, sewing, general ideas gathered from Pinterest and my ever faithful Photoshop skills. So I thought that I would start a blog to show off everything that I have been doing, and possibly some things from the past. Also expect the odd post about some of the wonderful things the MUCH more experienced people in my life have made for our impending bundle of joy.