Tuesday, 31 March 2015

In the garden

Today I spent some time in the garden. It's been a bit neglected over the last few months and I don't really appreciate that little space enough so thought I'd get my camera out and take a few snaps of the bursts of colour. The sun was shining and everything is coming out to bloom in true Spring fashion. Here's some of the photos from earlier today. Aren't they pretty?











Last weekend we went on a little trip to see family. Toddler caught up with all of his cousins which he absolutely adores and was in a permanent state of excitement. For me, it was a nice chance to relax and watch the children play - I'm starting to sound like an old woman haha! I also met up with an old school friend who's heavily pregnant and about to pop! 

I didn't use the internet at all from Friday afternoon until Monday afternoon and it was a much needed break! I had been spending too much time online so thought it would be a good opportunity to turn everything off and just enjoy life for a while, which is exactly what I did.

How was your weekend? Do you have a garden? What's in it?
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Thursday, 26 March 2015

Interview with Chloe Hoole, founder of new ethical brand Darlo

Chloe and Jim, Founders of Darlo 

The first brand I ever worked with on my blogging journey was Darlo, an ethical baby wear company that stands out from the rest for a very good reason. Darlo produces beautiful baby clothes made from 100% cotton. What's amazing is that for every single item that is sold, Darlo donates a whole week's worth of meals to an Indian child! My Dad was from India, I'm half-Indian so this company plays an important role close to my heart. I decided to interview Darlo founder, Chloe Hoole to find out more about the story behind the company, their work in collaboration with an India charity and their plans and hopes for the future. 

Hello Chloe! Lovely to interview you. Please tell me more about Darlo.

Darlo is a new ethical babywear brand with a difference. For every item we sell from our 100% organic cotton range we will donate a whole week's worth of meals to a child in India. Working in collaboration with Mumbai based charity Project Crayons, we have created the A Little Giving Food programme. 1 in 3 of the worlds malnourished children live in India according to Unicef. We are motivated by this serious social mission and strive to make a difference by placing giving at the heart of the purchasing decision. While there are a number of brands who donate a percentage of profits to charity we are currently the only baby wear brand with such a tangible charitable element.


How did the idea for Darlo come about?

In 2012 I spent time in various developing countries such as India, Cambodia & even had the opportunity to volunteer at an orphanage in Bolivia. This was incredibly eye opening and I was particularly affected by the lack of support structures for children in these developing countries. Basic rights that are often taken for granted such as food, shelter, and clothing are so often being denied to these children. This was something that stayed with me when I returned and I simply could not ignore the obvious truth that a relatively marginal financial contribution here in the UK could go a long way to making a big difference there. When I met my boyfriend Jim we talked at length about my experiences and what we could do to help. We both felt that the attitude of ‘what difference can I make on my own’ is ridiculous and defeatist!  Financially the contribution really doesn't have to be a lot to make a profound difference if enough people are involved. So with his encouragement and from the living room of our East London flat I set out on launching Darlo, an ethical babywear brand with’ a little giving’ at the core. With Darlo you are not only buying beautiful super soft organic cotton baby wear but you are helping the environment by buying organic and you are also feeding a child in India for a whole week. 

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Monday, 23 March 2015

Win an original Toot the Tiny Tugboat Print by Sebastien Braun


I'm excited to offer my lovely readers a chance to win a beautiful hand-painted print of Toot by children's author and illustrator Sebastien Braun, the creator of the Toot and Pop picture books. This amazing piece of original artwork would look gorgeous framed in a nursery, on a little one’s bedroom wall or make a wonderfully unique present to someone special! 

For your chance to win simply fill in your details below. Good luck!

For an additional chance to win please visit the Toot the Tiny Tugboat website

Open to UK participants only
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Sunday, 22 March 2015

Silent Sunday: Low Tide


#CheckOutThatView
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Saturday, 21 March 2015

Six months of blogging

It’s my half a year blogiversary, yay! My very first blog post was back in September about our ‘seaside baby’. It was short but sweet and shows how much my posts have lengthened over time haha! After one month I wrote about my blogging experiences and I remember the first couple of months going quite slowly as I was getting to grips with everything connected to this new and exciting world of blogging! Then months flew by and before you know it here I am at the six month mark. I thought I’d document a few things about where I am right now.



Writing

I’ve mentioned before that I have always loved writing and, of course, all bloggers do. It’s great to write about whatever I want and I have so many ideas for future posts. They include child development, travelling with babies, breastfeeding, working in a refugee camp, many more toddler related posts (books, play, activities), days out, additional recipes, the list goes on and on! It’s just finding the time. But these will all come eventually I hope. Watch this space! ;)

Feedback

When a post goes live I can see how many page views it gets but feedback is crucial to see what other people think and if anyone can relate to what I’ve written. Thankfully, I’ve had some lovely comments on this blog. I have some regular readers and others who drop by now and again and want to say thanks so much to all of you for reading & commenting. You make such a big difference to each post and blogging in general!

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Monday, 16 March 2015

What subjects do you blog about?


Last Sunday night I hosted by first twitter chat, through the Parent Bloggers Network #pbloggers. It’s a weekly chat for parent bloggers, lasting an hour between 9-10pm and each week a different topic is set for discussion. I chose to focus on blogging subjects. It’s quite an insightful area to know what other bloggers write about, how they choose their subjects, how much people reveal on their blogs and which, if any, subjects are avoided.

On a personal level I have been blogging for nearly six months now. This is my first and only blog. It’s been a wonderful experience so far. I’m still learning a lot but blogging has opened lots of doors and I hope it continues to open many more. I write about a variety of subjects that include bringing up my 21 month baby boy, days out, recipes, reviews, photography and opinion pieces such as whether to blog anonymously. I don’t really plan what topics to focus on but I have lots of different interests and ideas in my mind and I suppose, to a certain extent, that is reflected in this blog. However, I have noticed that some subjects which I am passionate about haven’t been covered in detail such as breastfeeding and political views. I don’t think I’m necessarily avoiding these subjects, I hope to get round to writing about them at some point, I just seem to be able to put toddler related posts together quickly. Or maybe these posts are just easier to write, without the knowledge that someone might disagree or take offence. I was keen to see what other bloggers thought. 

In the #pbloggers chat my first question was :

How do you decide what to write/blog about? Do you focus on particular subjects or do you write about everything?

Here are some of the replies:


My next question was: Are there any subjects you avoid blogging about? For example, personal stories or strong political views? 


It was great to see a real mix of opinions. Some bloggers choose to treat their blog like a diary and write about anything whereas others will steer clear of politics because, for example, of implications from work or family. Some bloggers want to focus on certain subjects, they might be therapeutic to write about and share whereas others stay away from sensitive issues. Of course, this doesn't apply to just the blogging world. Every day in our conversations we choose what to reveal, what we want to share with people, how much we want to talk about particular areas and how there are certain things we might want to keep to ourselves. Each blog reflects the personality of the writer, their creatively, their passions or their feelings or thoughts on certain subjects. That's the wonderful thing about blogging, there are no rules, we write what we choose to write about.

Just writing this post has actually made me eager to write about lots of areas I haven't previously discussed or have been meaning to but never find the time! If you're a blogger what do you write about? Is there anything you avoid? Or have you benefited from sharing certain stories? Do you share these things in 'real life' too or only on your blog? I'd love to hear your views. Please comment below, on my Facebook page or tweet me.


Thanks for reading 

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

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Sunday, 15 March 2015

Silent Sunday: Handprint



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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

A letter to my 20 month old



Dear baby boy,

You are 20 months now and you are growing and changing by the day. You have suddenly increased in size again. You look huge! You must be going through another growth spurt. You are still a baby but at the same time you are a little boy! I can’t quite get around the fact that you’re going to be two soon, two years old, gulp! I am just getting used to having a one year old and now you’ll be two? This is difficult to comprehend. Your birth does feel like years ago but then again I could probably go through the exact details as if it were yesterday. I’m not sure how I feel about you turning two, I’m in between sadness and happiness. Sadness that you’re growing up and aren’t a little baby and that those days went by far too quickly but then happiness that you’re growing and doing all these wonderful things like running & talking and developing your own very cheeky sense of humour. 
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Sunday, 8 March 2015

Silent Sunday: Spring

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Saturday, 7 March 2015

Spring is in the air

The weather has been so sunny this week and on Thursday it was a gorgeous day. I met up with a mummy friend and we went for a stroll to the seaside, the babies running up and down the promenade and having so much fun. Once they fell asleep we sat in the sunshine on the seafront. It was lovely, I had nearly forgotten what heat feels like! It felt like Spring but once the sun went in it was chilly again.



Spring official starts on 20th March and I am so looking forward to the warmer weather, more trips to the seaside and up to the South Downs. Baby is at the age where he just wants to run around. So being outdoors is so important and crucial. We spent some time at a new park yesterday and he loved running up and down the slopes, exploring the woodland and going which ever way he fancied! We go out a lot but I’ve become so bored of the miserable weather. At the moment the weather can have such an impact to how the day goes especially with being a stay at home mum to an active toddler. It’s amazing how the sunshine makes such a difference to mood too. Bring on the warmer weather I say! 



I’m sharing some photos from this week out and about around Brighton, including some of the beautiful flowers that are popping out. 


What have you been up to this week?

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays CornwallYou Baby Me Mummy
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Friday, 6 March 2015

Hosting Parent Bloggers Chat on Twitter


On Sunday evening I’ll be hosting the #pbloggers chat on twitter. The chat is part of the Parent Bloggers Network and is a regular & popular discussion for all parents out there. It is usually run by Laura from Max and Mummy and is held every Sunday between 9-10pm.

I joined this chat for the first time myself just a couple of months ago and really like getting involved. It’s nice to hear from other bloggers, realise you’re a part of a big blogging community, relate on so many issues (like having no time to do anything!), hear how others juggle work/life/kids and simply chat and socialise with bloggers, old and new alike.

If you have no idea how it works the host usually starts the conversation by asking a question and those participating can respond. In this instance any tweet should include the hashtag #pbloggers so discussions can easily be followed or even found later on twitter. There is one main topic every week. Last week it was food, the previous week was time management and organisation in relation to blogging.

My topic is blogging subjects. This will include how we choose what to write about and if there are any subjects we avoid. I don’t want to give too much away but I think this will be a really interesting discussion. So, if you’re a parenting blogger (although not essential with this week’s topic) and want to take part in the discussion come and join in on my twitter page Our Seaside Baby on Sunday night at 9pm.

Look forward to seeing you there! 



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Monday, 2 March 2015

Sugar free banana, coconut & raisin flapjacks


These flapjacks are absolutely delicious and I highly recommend this recipe. I had been meaning to make these for ages and so glad I finally got round to it. I occasionally buy baby fruit bars and toddler loves them! But making them myself saves so much money and this recipe couldn’t be simpler! I don’t add sugar or salt to toddler’s food and wanted to make something sugarless and healthy but still sweet. I adapted other recipes and think these ingredients work really well together. These flapjacks are so scrumptious and they leave the kitchen with that lovely sweet baking aroma. They end up being very soft in the middle and a little crunchy on the edges. They are suitable for babies of 12 months plus and adults alike! :)


Preparation time = 10 minutes
Cooking time = 30 minutes

Ingredients
200g rolled oats
100g butter
3tbsp honey
1 ripe banana mashed
Handful of raisins
30g desiccated coconut flakes


Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 160 C

2. Melt butter and honey in pan. Turn off heat. 

3. Add the mashed banana, coconut and raisins and stir.

4. Add the oats and mix thoroughly.

5. Put ingredients in an oven dish (20 x 30 cm). Use spoon or fingers to level mixture.

6. Cook for 30 minutes until golden. 

7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool (although delicious still warm too)!

8. Once cool cut into squares. Store in a cake tin or wrap in cling film and freeze. 


Enjoy!

What have you been baking this week?


Link up your recipe of the week

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com
Mums' Days
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Sunday, 1 March 2015

Silent Sunday: Looking out to sea


#CheckOutThatView
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