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121113-130226Hi guys! Hope you’ve all had a good day. It is the manly one’s day off so we’ve just been kicking back and relaxin’ today. I just thought I’d make a quick post to let you know that you should totally Follow my blog with Bloglovin if you have it – I’ve just made an account so make sure you hit me up on there so you don’t miss any of our posts!

Thanks!

 

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Getting grabby

Charlie has recently figured out grabbing, which is something DF and I just love watching. From time to time, he gets a little grumpface because he can’t quite co-ordinate his hands properly but we just encourage him to keep going and he usually gets it in the end! It’s so much fun watching him learn and discover new things, one of the many pleasures that come with raising a child. If you think about it, the amount of things babies have the ability to learn is just amazing and has definitely put things into perspective for me. Simple acts like holding your head up and being able to grab are all skills that you have to learn, and I think I now understand why babies cry so much! It must be frustrating (and tiring) having to learn how to express your needs and wants, especially if you know exactly what they are! Babies amaze me. Humans amaze me. But most of all, my child amazes me. He is so wonderful, it’s very hard to believe that DF and I were able to create such a beautiful person.

 

Pretty little Christmas – Paper lantern fairy lights

It’s probably way too early but last night we found ourselves putting up the first decorations of the season – in the form of these pretty little lanterns that we got for a steal from Cotton On’s home ware and stationary line, Typo. I like them because they’re bright and cheerful and something a bit different to the usual Christmas tinsel or crepe paper strewn across doorways and ceilings. Christmas in New Zealand is lovely as it occurs almost in the middle of our summer…and by coincidence or otherwise, we always seem to have beautiful weather on the big day. There are a lot of things I love about New Zealand Christmases – from the beautiful weather and long nights, the sun lingering a little later than usual to beach days and BBQ’s – but Christmas always seems a bit odd. Mostly because we try to follow northern traditions – Roasts, Christmas trees, reindeer and snowmen… it just doesn’t fit. So this year, our theme is to have a Pretty Little Christmas, filled with all things fresh and bright! This year, instead of going for the red and gold Christmas colour scheme that I usually adore, I’m going to try something different! And I feel like these beautiful paper lantern fairy lights are a great start!

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Delicious home-baked Croissants!

This morning our house was filled with that delicious aroma that is the smell of things baking in the oven! The other day I bought some croissants from the bakery at the supermarket. They were so tasty, I decided to see if I could make some myself! I told DF about it and we decided that we would embark on this pastry journey together! After several hours of rolling and refrigerating yesterday, we were so excited to finally be able to sample our delicious snacks for breakfast this morning! After fifteen minutes they were done and went straight from the oven onto our plates and into our hungry tummies! I was very pleased by the result and although they still need a little perfecting, I reckon that they were pretty good for a first attempt! Ils étaient très délicieux! Very yummy indeed! I love how they’re crispy on the outside, yet deliciously soft and buttery on the inside. I always have mine with butter and Nutella, though Chris prefers his with strawberry jam! I think this is definitely something I want to make a regular occurrence although not too regular – the amount of butter in this is atrocious! Surely not good for the waistline, but hey, the holiday season is upon us so I figure why not! Indulging in French food is something I enjoy, however don’t make nearly enough time for. I love it and I think everyone could do with a little bit of France in their day! If you want to try these tasty treats you can find the recipe here, although I will post it below. But first…

A few things about

Croissants are probably one of the most iconic french foods out there (and slightly more palatable than l’escargots..) but it might interest you to know that the decadent croissant is actually the baby cousin of the older Kipferl – A Viennese bread roll from Austria. Over the years, there have been many stories which tell of the croissant and it’s history. In one such story, they were invented in Europe to celebrate the defeat of the Umayyad forces at the Battle of ours by the Franks in 732. The shape is said to represent the Islamic crescent. In another story, they invented in Vienna in 1683 to celebrate the defeat of the ottomans by Christian forces and supposedly it’s shape is a reference to the crescents on the ottoman flags. To make a croissant the dough is layered with butter, rolled and folded several times in succession, then rolled into a sheet, in a technique called laminating. The process results in a layered, flaky texture, similar to a puff pastry and is very delicious!

How to make Croissants – recipe found on BBC Food

This is a lengthy process which requires a lot of rolling and chilling + it has to sit over night. Great to prepare if you’re bored on a rainy! The pastry can be frozen and thawed when you want to make more. We halved the mixture and got eight lovely croissants for breakfast this morning.

You will need:

  • 625g/1lb 5oz/ 2 and a half cups strong white flour, plus extra for rolling out
  • 12g/½oz/ 2tsp  salt
  • 75g/3oz/ 5tbsp sugar
  • 20g/¾oz/ 2 and a half sachets dried yeast
  • 500g/1lb 2oz butter, chilled
  • 8 sticks chocolate (optional)
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten

To prepare:

  1. Place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon, slowly mix in a little water until the mixture forms into a pliable dough.
  2. Place the dough on a floured surface and knead until it feels elastic.
  3. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
  4. Return the chilled dough to your floured work surface and roll it into a rectangle, around 60x30cm/24x12in.
  5. Roll out the chilled butter into a rectangle about 1cm/½in thick, around 20x30cm/8x12in.
  6. Place the butter rectangle in the centre of the dough rectangle, so it covers the middle third of the dough.
  7. Fold each side of the dough over the butter, so there is one layer of dough on the bottom, a layer of butter, then two layers of dough.
  8. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for another hour.
  9. Lightly flour the worktop and roll out the dough to a rectangle, around 60x30cm/24x12in. Repeat the folding process, folding the long sides into the middle, then return the dough to the fridge for a further hour.
  10. Repeat this process of folding and chilling two more times, then wrap the dough in cling film and set it aside to rest overnight
  11. Using a rolling pin, roll out the rested dough to 3mm/1/8in thick
  12. Either use a croissant cutter to cut triangles or cut the rolled out dough into squares, each 20cm/8in square
  13. Cut each square diagonally, making two triangles.
  14. Place the dough triangles on a lightly floured surface with the right angle away from you
  15. Roll the croissant towards the right angle point and curl the dough roll around into a traditional crescent shape. If using chocolate, add the chocolate across the widest part of the triangle, before rolling it up
  16. Place the shaped croissants on baking trays lined with baking parchment and leave to rise for 1½ hrs
  17. Preheat the oven to 200C/425F/Gas 6
  18. Lightly egg-wash the croissants and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

Enjoy!

Three months old!

Woweee, how did we get here already? I’m always surprised when I sit down and realise that he’s another month older… by golly, time surely does fly when you are having fun! My little kitten is growing up and don’t we know it!!! Charlie is so full of personality and spunk and just between you and me, he’s a little bit of a man-diva! Yes, that’s right – he’ll definitely tell you if you’re doing something he doesn’t like!

Sleep – Sleep is much better and I’m enjoying his longer stretches as night! He currently goes to sleep between 6pm and 7pm and we wake him around 11pm for a feed. Sometimes he’ll sleep through to 3am or 4am but if we’re lucky, he’ll carry on right through to mornin’… YUSS!

Eat – A sad time has fallen upon us. Charlie has started favoring his bottle over my breast because he’s a bit lazy and perfers the faster flow of the teat. Luckily for me though, I have a milk supply that could quite possibly rival a cow and  we still manage a couple of breastfeeds a day when he’s feeling lovely and snuggly. I had planned to breastfeed him til he’s six to eight months old, so fingers crossed we make it there, even if it’s not exclusively. It’s such a wonderful feeling to have him cuddled up next to me while I feed him, seeing his big blue eyes looking up at me. It’s just the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen. On another note, he also has started trying to feed himself but his fingers are still too little to hold onto his bottle, though he does have a good grip! So to help him along, we bought him a BA bottle holder from Babybanz. We only got it yesterday so he’s still getting used to it.. it’s very cute watching him try to figure it out! He’s also started watching us eat…. getting ready for solids!

Play – One of the best things about being a parent is getting down on the ground and playing with your little baby. We’ve been trying to get him on his tummy more as until about a week ago, he hated it and would screech like a banshee if I tried to get him to have some. But he doesn’t mind it so much now which is wonderful because he is getting so strong! At playtime Charlie likes… playing with bubbles, looking at his reflection, playing under his play gym/mobile, sitting up, singing, dancing, assisted rolling, flying through the air, playing/looking at leaves, trips to the supermarket, trips to the mall.

Clothes – Still wears some newborns! Especially pants, he’s a such a shorty! But getting into some 0-3’s now!

Milestones – Should…

Recognize face and scent
Hold head steady
Visually track moving object

Could….

Squeal, gurgle, coo
Blow bubbles
Recognize your voice
Do a mini-push up

Might….

Roll from tummy to back  {he actually went the other way! back to tummy!}
Turn toward loud sounds
Be able to bring hands together, bats at toys

Also this month… First roll!  – When he was about 10 or 11 weeks old he somehow managed to flip himself over from his back to his tummy, much to my surprise! I didn’t see it happen though, I was busy getting his bath ready and when I came back there he was, on his tummy! Crazy! It seems that he’s content with that now as he hasn’t done it again……

Other uses for breastmilk – Natures magic cure-all!

We all know the La Leche League approved slogan “Breast is Best” but did you know that human breast milk can be use in a variety of other ways, beneficial to not only your baby but for your whole family as well? I feel that there still exists a taboo around breast feeding but the more I learn about breast milk, the more I continue to be amazed by how wonderful the human body is. In short, although it’s first purpose is providing food for your baby, that is not it’s only use. In fact, there are so many uses for it, that it could probably replace quite a few lotions and potions you have up in your cupboard right now. As we all know, breast milk is full of immunity that can be passed on from mother to child but it also has antiseptic and antibacterial properties too. It’s not only the ideal food for your baby, but it is also ideal for healing wounds and clearing up irritations and infections. How cool is that??? You will be surprised at the variety of afflictions you can use breast milk on, I certainly was! After a bit of google searchin’ I found out that pparently, breastmilk (henceforth referred to as ‘BM’) can be used to heal:

  • Sore cracked nipples or lips – Just (gently!) rub some BM on the affected area and let dry in the air.
  • Nappy rash – Ditch the sudocream! If you’re breastfeeding, squirt some BM during a nappy change to prevent or cure a nasty rash.
  • Acne – Dab a little on your problem areas and let dry.
  • Ear infections – Squirt a little BM into the ear – this is said to help heal the infection AND provide pain relief.
  • Insect bites/Chicken Pox – Rubbing a small amount on the bite can relieve itching and help with healing
  • Cuts/scrapes/scratches or sun burn – BM can be used as a disinfectant – apply to open wound and let heal.
  • Eye infections – Such as pink eye, conjunctivitis and plugged tear ducts. Just squirt a little on the affected area and let dry in the air.
  • Stuffy or blocked nose – Use like you would a saline solution – squirt a few drops into your infants nose and  then suction or squeeze out (a nasal aspirator is ideal for this!)
  • Sore throat – BM can help ease a sore throat so you should continue to breastfeed your baby if he or she falls ill. It can also help adults – just gargle a little to fight of a froggy throat!
  • Warts – Dab a little one for a few days until the wart dries up and falls off
  • Cold sores/Fever blisters – Apply a cotton ball soaked in BM to the sore to relieve pain and help with the healing.

Breastmilk can be also used as-

  • A preventive to breast cancer – Some research suggests that breastfeeding provides some protection against cancers in the breast.
  • With contact lenses – BM is sterile and so can be used the same way you would use a solution for your dry contacts or to clean them.
  • An immunity boost (in children or adults) 
  • deodorant
  • Make up remover
  • And even, if you’re very keen… A sexual lubricant! 

How crazy is that! Look at all those things you can do with something a woman’s body naturally produces! That is insane, if you ask me! I definitely will be trying some of these out. I’ve already tried on out on DF – he had a couple of bug bites and I squirted a little BM and it helped relieve the itching! AMAZING.

Now, I should add as an aside, while home/natural remedies are a great alternative for minor irritations, there are times where modern medicine as prescribed by a doctor is absolutely necessary. If you have a serious affliction please do not hesitate to see a doctor or health care professional! They will be able to assess you properly and advice you on the best course of action! This post is mostly an interest article of bits and pieces I gathered during a google search – and of course is not intended to be used as professional medical advice! I am not a doctor or nurse – I am  simply a mother who is fascinated by all the things the human body can do.

Thanks for reading!