31.8.13

35/52


'A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2013'

Your daddy has had the week off work and we have been having all sorts of adventures in our city. On Thursday we took you blackberry picking for the first time in the nature reserve just minutes walk from our home. You ran ahead stopping to pick the juiciest ones at your height and pop them in your mouth. You called 'come on daddy! when he dawdled behind (trying to get the best blackberries in the hardest to reach places). You asked to climb the tree and was so proud of yourself, look at that cheeky smile!

29.8.13

DIY Soap


DIY Soap

You will need:

Glycerine 

Oats, honey, ginger (one teaspoon of honey to 2 teaspoons of oats and ginger)

Camomile tea (one teaspoon)

Cinnamon (ground) and cloves (two teaspoons of cinnamon and a sprinkle of cloves)

Honey and ginger (one teaspoon honey to two teaspoons of ginger)

I actually used Manuka honey in mine (although super pricey!) I thought would make it an extra special treat for your skin!

I had no idea soap making was so easy or so much fun! I tried to attempt soap making back when I saw a pin on Pinterest about it. Foolishly I took 'glycerine' to mean the little bottles of it you get in the baking aisle of the supermarket, very wrong! In fact you need a whole different type of glycerine which you can buy here.

The method could not be more easy, simply find some old containers (a cream cheese pot or yogurt tub) or if you have them to hand some small tupperware (mine is from IKEA).


Line your containers with petroleum jelly (Vaseline)

Melt the glycerine in the microwave stopping and stirring every 15-30 seconds until completely melted. Pour glycerine into the container one at a time and mix with whichever flavour soap you are trying to make!


Leave for two hours until set. loosen edges with a knife, turn upside down and pop out!


I was really impressed with how they turned out for a first attempted and am already thinking up some different flavours.  I love the fact that they are all made of natural ingredients and think they would make the cutest gifts too!

What are your favourite soap flavours? Would you attempt to make your own?

27.8.13

Tigerlilly Quinn the shop!


I'm not entirely sure what has taken me so long to announce this on my blog but my online shop is now open!

Over the past six months or so pretty much any money this blog has created has gone straight into purchasing stock for the shop. I have taken my time (something that is very hard for an impulsive and impatient person such as myself!) buying a little each month so create this small collection.

I was totally blown away with the support from the online community (twitter, facebook, instagram) when I launched and can not tell you how grateful I am for every person that has tweeted, shared, liked, blogged (and of course purchased!) already. The Internet can be such a supportive and welcoming space, I'm so thankful for the friends I have made in my little corner of the web.

It has always been my dream to own my own shop and business and although this is just a small start it is a start in the right direction! Thank you for helping me make that possible xxx

26.8.13

We like to read


Whatever by William Bee

A lot of the books I have featured in this series have been from my childhood, printed in the eighties (like the Helen Oxbury and Usborne books) or even from the sixties and seventies like this John Hurford book. This book however is from 2006 so one of the more recent ones in our collection. I remember reading it to my younger brother (who would have been five at the time) and it making me laugh back then. It was lovely to see Tom reading it to Wilf for the first time and smiling at the unexpected ending. The illustrations are fab too, simple colour and lots of lovely lines, yum.

Last fortnight my favourite book from your picks was 'Transport by Alain Gree' that the lovely Lori from Wild and Grizzly has been reading. I actually picked Wilf up a copy as soon as I saw her post, those illustrations are just too fantastic not to.

Can't wait to see what you are reading this week! Thanks as always for joining in! x




25.8.13

chocolate brownie recipe


Here's the the thing, when I dreamt up and romanticised being a mum I was always the one baking the cakes, cooking three delicious homemade meals from scratch and sewing the costumes for the school play. My SIL bought me a couple of baking books for my 25th birthday (two weeks before Wilf's arrival) and I flicked though them thinking about the delicious treats I would whip up daily in my 1950's kitchen whilst I gleefully played with the baby and made sure there was a chilled beer waiting for my boyfriend on his arrival from work...ha! ;) only part of that is true.. 

In real life the books were used for the first time to make Wilf's first birthday cake and I felt I had accomplished something at least having made at least one cake that year...


Anyway, I digress! 


I've never made brownies before so when I was sent some baking extracts and flavours from Nielsen Massey I thought it would be a good opportunity to give making brownies a go.




Chocolate Brownies

You will need:


150g plain flour

50g  cocoa powder (I use the Green and Blacks one as it is in my opinion the nicest!)
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
one crushed vanilla pod
1/4 teaspoon of salt
250g dark brown sugar
3 free range eggs
2 teaspoons of Nielsen Massey chocolate extract
150g butter

preheat the oven to 180c


Sift flour, cocoa, baking power and salt and set aside


mix butter, sugar and vanilla pod in a mixing bowl and whisk. 


Add eggs one at a time, stir in chocolate extract. 


Sift in dry ingredients and beat well.


line a 9inch (or so) baking tray with non stick paper and spoon over with spatula. 


Bake for 30mins! 



(I actually made these again later in the week and added a little rum to the mix, it was a great addition!) We served it with greek yogurt but ice cream would be a another good accompaniment. 

enjoy!


(we were sent some extracts to try, all words and thoughts are my own)
Link up your recipe of the week

24.8.13

34/52


'A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2013'

Wilf you have so much fun with this spinning top, you can balance it perfectly now and we sit and watch it spin round and round. Sometimes we dare each other to touch it as it spins and change it's direction without it stopping. You squeal with delight each time as I mock gasp when we play the game. 


22.8.13

Wilf's new bed (and a little room tour)

Following on from this post on Wilf's sleep, Tom and I decided that we needed a change. Wilf has always resisted sleeping in the cot and for the past twenty months has really spent most nights either in our bed or the spare bed in his room (with one of us in it too).

It was clear he was used to sleeping on a mattress so it stood to reason that maybe we should ditch any attempts at a cot altogether and take the plunge and move him into his own 'big boy' bed. 


We were very kindly offered this bed from Kiddicare. We knew the height wouldn't be an issue as he is used to sleeping in our high bed and he can scale the upright ladders at the playground pretty well too. The only think we were worried about was climbing down in the night so we got a little two step ladder from IKEA and he is able to wizz up and down brilliantly! 


The 'Wilfryd bunting' was made by my friend Kimberly for my babyshower all that time ago, isn't it pretty! The canvas is something I painted back when I had just left uni, funny to think I am now using it for my son's bedroom! 



The bed comes with the amazing den which now houses Wilf's treasure chest of toys, a couple of books and a few teddies. We have been playing 'knock knock, come in!!' and pretend tea parties too! It's really funny, pre-motherhood whenever I romanticised parenting it was always things like this, tucking him in his big bed, playing games in dens. I never really envisioned the 'baby' bit and am very much enjoying toddlerhood!

I feel like Wilf's room is finished now he has his own bed, it feels like such a light and colourful space! We still need to get him some sort of night light I think. I've been toying with the idea of a grow clock, anyone had any luck with that? I mean he still wakes up at 5am so anything that could push it forward a little would be ace!


 The tree I painted Wilf in pregnancy, some of the leaves are letters I wrote him each week!


The play kitchen Tom made Wilf for his first birthday!


(yep the Y has mysteriously gone missing from that train set..)

It has been around five days since we moved him to the bed and although I don't want to jinx anything (touch wood!) it's been a great improvement! After his routine we now tuck him up with Panda and little ted and leave the room and..he just goes to sleep! It's a bit bonkers really the difference it's made but he LOVES the process of climbing up snuggling in his duvet and gathering up his softies. He still wakes through the night (of course!) but generally not until around 10.30 where Tom will go in stroke his head and tuck him in again. After this he will wake again a couple of times and we will take it in turns to cuddle up with him (why we needed a single bed not a toddler bed!) and he will be fine until around 5.30-6am when he gets up for the day.

I think from next week we are going to try and turn those 12-2am wake ups to just comforting him to settle without us getting in but for the first week I think we have had major improvements.

Wish us luck!

this is a sponsored post but all words and thoughts are my own

21.8.13

What Wilf Wore


What Wilf Wore:
Racoon Top - c/o Frugi 
Cords - birthday gift from a kind neighbour!
Trainers - c/o Vans 

Frugi have a big sale on their summer items at the moment!

20.8.13

Holidays

Maybe you've noticed that I've talking about them a lot lately? I want one so bad!

Tom and I both knew that in me not going back to my old job after maternity leave that our budget would be tight. Even now with my part time freelancing a holiday abroad is out of the question. We have been lucky enough to take a few UK trips over the past couple of years and I do love all the UK has to offer but sometimes I do daydream about a proper trip away.

Our last trip abroad was before I was even pregnant with Wilf, it was valentines weekend in 2011 and Tom and I went to Barcelona for a long weekend. I had booked it almost a year beforehand after having to change a previous flight for a holiday with girlfriends that was cancelled. When it came to booking the hotel my brother and SIL mentioned that we should say we were on our honeymoon in case we could get a better room or a bottle of wine, so I wrote it in the notes upon booking and promptly forgot about it.

Fast forward ten months later, Tom and I had left the airport, sat on a hot bus, got a little lost on the way to the hotel and by now were so mad at each other were not talking. It was a surprise to us then when the receptionist congratulated up on our wedding! We were not wearing rings and we were in terrible moods so I was sure they would be having a good laugh at us and our silly lie. If anything it brought us out of our stupid argument if only for me to say over and over 'I'm so embarrassed!!' 'They must think I'm such a bad person!'

We went out that night for falafel at Moaz (if you go to Barcelona you have to go there, we went twice in one weekend!). When we got back in we found champagne, chocolate and a fruit basket in our room!

Here are some camera phone shots of our time away (before I invested in a proper camera!)


I feel quite nostalgic now! Now if we could only win a holiday that would be just perfect thanks!

Wilf and sleep

SO
if you have been following my blog for a while (at least since Wilf's birth) you may know that Wilf is a sleep hater. He will fight it with every bone in his body.
I last wrote about our sleep issues here and just reading though that post again brought tears to my eyes. It reminded me of that dark place we were at when that post was written, how utterly exhausted we had become, there were so many tears, deep sighs and tense words spoken. It also brought a lump to my through just reading all your kind comments. I am constantly amazed at how supportive this blogging community is.

I suppose the best place to start it an update from where we left of. As a recap after a year of waking every 45mins Tom and I had given all we could. We desperately believed in gentle parenting and sheer stubborness made me brush away any suggestions that any sleep encouragment would involves tears. At that time I took a break from home, Wilf and I headed back to my hometown to give Tom and I some space and for my siblings to amuse Wilf whilst I tried not to have a breakdown.

I did kinda have a breakdown, I cried and cried and then I realised that running away from our terrible sleep rut/nightmare we found ourselves in was not helping anyone. I returned home with an open mind to tackle this together and even to look at 'sleep training' options.

Tom and I agreed that leaving him to cry himself to sleep would never be for us (although I only have empathy for anyone having to use this method, I understand just how awful sleep deprivation is!). Instead we tried soothing him in his cot (he cried and cried and stood up in his cot and tried to reach out to us, it broke our hearts) we tried it for three days and it did not work for us. We tried gradually retreating and this did work a little better for us, although it took a good few weeks to see any results. Still him going to sleep in the first place was only one part of the battle, the main issue being him waking up every 45 minute sleep cycle and being unable to put himself back down.

Eventually over the Christmas holidays (Tom had two weeks off) we decided to crack it once and for all, we did his routine (boob, bath, book, bed) and then Tom would sooth him and leave the room. He would cry, not out of fear this time but annoyance, he wanted us with him. Part of me screamed 'why not? we can just got to bed at 7pm for the next few years can't we? if it means him not shedding a tear?' The other part of me knew we had to do something, for our own mental health and that of our relationship which we agreed might not last another year under such strain.

So we left him for 5 minutes on the dot. Went back in, soothed his tears, tucked him back in and repeated, if it got to round three we would stop completely. We never left him for longer than 5 minutes and we never left the room with him in distress. It was a gradual process although funny this made me feel more secure in that it was the right one for us. After two weeks we started seeing stretches of two and three hour sleep cycles! That may still sound awful for some but for us it was like seeing the world again out of this utter sleep deprived haze!

We realised a little after this that Wilf was not a fan (nor never had been) of the cot. We moved him onto the double mattress that had been beside his cot in the spare room ever since we had tried to move him there and failed. He would now sleep until around 10pm when he would wake and one of us would sooth him or if unsuccessful get it and sleep on that mattress until the next wake up when we would swap!

At twenty months Wilf now wakes maybe four times a night and will sleep for two/three hour stretches on his own. For us this is a huge achievement but of course we are quite far away from the holy grail that is 'sleeping through the night'! We'll get there eventually of course. Our next step is moving him into his own bed which I am going to fill you in on over the next few days. Wish us luck!

Wilf at a year and a half

Wilf, you have been 18 months for about three months now. It started off when you turned 17 months and I started rounding up to what I felt a more substantial number. Now at 19 months I feel like I may as well just say 'a year and a half' when do we stop counting in months? I remember being pregnant and a friend telling me her daughter was 20 months, working out that that was nearly two and wondering why on earth she didn't just say that rather than make me do mental arithmetic.

So a year and a half you are.


Where to start? Your last update was at a year so there is a lot that has happened in between. You started walking properly, unaided and for more than 5 steps (my weird grading system that made me feel I could officially call you a toddler) at 13 months. You run and climb now and there really is no stopping you, you are fearless. I caught you having climbed up the slide the wrong way the other day, turn around and go down on your front, fearless!


Talking came not soon after you turned one and by 16 months I would guess you had more than a hundred words. Not long after that you started threading words together and can now say little sentences of say three words or so such as 'garden Mummy please?' 'ahh tanks, treat please? Dora?' (the shame, I swear he loves Dora like a third parent) and 'my cats, mo mo, geeeentle, ahh lovely..no mo mo messy cat! go away!'. You started nursery at 17 months and after the initial teary few weeks have really settled into it fantastically. Your nursery teacher is amazed at your vocabulary and not to blow your horn too much (toot toot!) but she did say she hadn't come across a child of your age that can speak quite so well. Ok I'll stop now but if I mother can't be proud of her kiddo right??

You sing songs, my heart melts away into a little puddle


You are kind, and helpful. The other day I was murmuring to myself that I couldn't find my hair brush and suddenly you pop to my side with it 'here yugo mummy!' you say and proceed to try and comb my hair for me. You wake up beside us and prise our eyes open with your hands saying 'mummy mummy come! open! mooorning!' These are things I never want to forget.


You like drawing, you demand we draw you cat after cat, 'more cats! more cats!' what do you say Wilfy? 'more cats please mummy/daddy!'. You like puzzles and have been able to complete six piece ones for quite some time now (what can I say genius child ;)). You also love trains and cars and reading books. Let's be honest too, you also enjoy the apps on my phone and have become fairly close to a talking cat called 'ginger' that repeats what you say and blows raspberries. That's ok, whatever floats your boat.


You have said 'love you' twice now. You repeat almost anything we tell you but you just wont repeat that phrase to us unless at your own will. It's amazing, I love that you know that it is special and you are not going to give it up so easily!

You like wildlife, you are mad about monkeys, closely followed by 'pinguins' and 'hippuus' and you call all insects 'bimbles' apart from snails who are called 'Neil'.

What else? You can count all the way to ten, you draw on the walls, you love pasta and rice and strawberries, you eat eat eat. You pulled out all the flaps in your Moomin book but instead play 'peepuu' with the 'hippuus' by placing your hands over your eyes as you turn the page.

You still resist sleep, with every bone in your body. Although lately you have been getting up at 6am (with a lot of wake ups in-between of course) which is such an improvement! People tell me two is the magical age of sleep, although people say that at 6m, 12m, 18m.. we'll get their eventually!

Three days a week now you attend Nursery and when I pick you up tell me all the things you did that day. You say 'hmmm cars, sand, pasta, drawing, running' you say 'played with afeee and kiiiiva!' I look at your day sheet and that is exactly what you did. The other day you started singing a song about fireflies and asked me join in, only I had never heard that song before, I had to get you to teach it to me! It's funny to think of you having your own little life away from me at these times, but I feel good about you sharing your wonderful personality with others. You are not mine, you are your own person, I am just grateful and honoured to be able to be your mum. xxx

19.8.13

Win! A pair of Moheda Betty clogs


It is no surprise that I am a MASSIVE Moheda fan. I have worn them in many 'what mama wore' posts and own these Betty clogs in both tan and red, they are just that lovely. I own clogs by a few brands and can honestly say Moheda win in terms of price, comfort and design.

To win your own pair of these Betty clogs in tan just enter some/all of the below to enter. The competition will run for two weeks ending on the 2nd of September and open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

17.8.13

33/52

'A portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2013'

It' so rare to see this one sleep (he resists it with every bone in his body). When he does it's a pretty beautiful sight ;)

I've been so busy this week with the launch of my shop (eeek!) that I thought I might have forgotten to take Wilf's portrait. Luckily I had my trusty Iphone ready for a quick snap before I managed to sneak out the room

16.8.13

Story of mum

I'm taking part in Pippa at Story of Mum's virtual tour today. I first 'met' Pippa on twitter shortly after Wilf's birth and found her site a wonderful and inspiring place to visit. We met in real life recently at Britmums Live and I can confirm that she is one of the loveliest people ever.

I choose this picture from the 'i'm a mum and i'm a...' gallery as I love the idea of this continuing cycle of mothering, developing into nurturing your children's children and even your children's children's children! Wilf's great granny (my granny) is still alive (you can see them first meeting in this post). My granny had my mum at 26, my mum had me at 26 and I became a mum at..you guess it, 26! We are 27, 54, 80. I love thinking about my granny and mum going through motherhood at the same age as I did/am.

I decided for my part of the exhibition I would create 'my mum story'. I can't play this back to myself more than once as I find listening to myself talk a very weird and embarrassing experience. Also please excuse the noise of Tom giving Wilf his bath in the background, true life hey!

story of mum exhibition

14.8.13

Sailing away..


We are so lucky in the city we live in, filled with open spaces, parks and forests. Our neighbourhood boasts a huge park with fields a lake (that is home to ducks, swans and a heron) a woodland walk, down by the stream and over a wooden bridge you will find a kingfisher too.

My little family and I made paper boats on saturday morning to sail in the stream. Wilf was pretty excited about the prospect and ran nearly the whole way there. I'm not entirely sure what he thought of actually sailing the boats in the end, he liked placing them in the water but got a little worried at watching them sail away. Of course we didn't let them go far and Tom ran after each one to retrieve them.

Tom and I had a lot of fun anyway!

video shot and edited with my Iphone


Nurturing Soul


A little while ago Bec a lovely blog reader contacted me to tell me about her shop Nurturing Soul. She was kind enough to send a little gift to both Tom, Wilf and I, aren't her picks the sweetest? I am going to get Tom to try that beard tonic ASAP, I love a man with a beard but it isn't half prickly sometimes!

I can honestly say the solid perfume has been a daily wear, it smells delicious!

Nurturing Soul products are 100% natural, free from nasty parabens, sis and synthetic fragrances. They are even Vegan friendly. All the good stuff!

Nurturing Soul have 15% off using the code 'Tigerlilly'

13.8.13

A couple of hours


The other day whilst visiting Wilf's granny, Tom and I got to spend a couple of hours by ourselves. We worked out that the last time this had happened was well over a year ago and so I guess it was well due!

We went to the vintage quarter in Bridport which is such a treat, I wrote about it earlier in the year here. We even stopped for breakfast at the Red Brick cafe and sat in the sun marvelling that we didn't have a toddler to distract. Undoubtedly off course we did end up talking about said toddler a fair bit (he is our favourite subject).

It's hard as a parents sometimes to find the time for time as couple, especially when your family don't live close. In fact Tom and I have only had three 'dates' in the past 19 months! Luckily our lovely neighbour and owner of one adorable 7m old has recently suggested babysitting swaps which I'm really keen to start going!

I always feel all the more excited to see Wilf when I've been away from him for a few hours too, I think time apart is good sometimes and time together as a couple is so important also. Here's to more couple time in the future!

Do you find time out for 'date nights' how do you work it around children if you have them? I'd love to know! 
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