Tuesday, 31 October 2017

HOLIDAY IN NORFOLK // A DAY OUT IN WELLS


I was just going through photos on my laptop and I seem to have taken so many when we were away in Norfolk that I thought I really should do another blog post! I uploaded a tour of our cottage whilst we were away here, and also photos from an autumnal day at Blickling Hall here, but there's still lots of days out to share with you!


On the saturday, we met up with some friends who live in Norfolk and went to our favourite beach, Wells (actually called Wells-Next-The-Sea but the locals said they call it just 'Wells'). It's a bit of an odd town actually. It kind of has two halves; one half it has a stunning beach, fronted with the most gorgeous beach huts, a few lovely pubs and even a joules shop, and then the other is really tacky with arcade games and cheap shops! Don't let that put you off though, you can skip all that and drive straight to the beach car park. 

I've never seen a beach like it, well in England anyway.  You have to walk through a wood of pine trees and then you come to the opening of the beach, and you can just see miles and miles of sea, sky and sand.  We did the same thing a few years ago, post here, but this time we had a little bubba. She was so good though! As soon as we got to the beach we put her in her carrier and she drifted off. Babies love being carried don't they! 

You know those friends that you don't see for ages and then when you do it's like you were never apart? Yeah...that
No I didn't apply false lashes before a day on the beach, nobody has time for that! Well, mums don't. These are tahitian lashes from The Beauty Boutique  which are the softest, most natural and fluttery lashes ever! In love with them...
Must admit, we were pretty excited for her to wake up for cuddles! Look how sleepy and confused she looks hah

Walking back through the woods!

Have you visited Wells? Where else is good in Norfolk?
Lots of love 
Morgan Alice
x

Thursday, 26 October 2017

BABY MASSAGE


As you may have seen last week on my stories I had a teacher at my house giving me, and a few friends with their babies, a lesson on baby massage. This was in collaboration with a brand who we have used everyday since the moment Alice was born - WaterWipes. Wipes are undoubtably an essential in any baby bag, and i'm sure if you're a parent you never leave the house without a pack. The thing that people don't realise is that so many wipes available in the shops are full of nasties, like sulphates and parabens, to list a few. We've always been keen to use the most natural products on Alice even down to her nappies and clothes! The thing any parent uses the most though is wipes, so when I was pregnant we researched which were the most natural, and while there were many 'organic' varieties, by far the most simple were WaterWipes. 


They're made up of 99.9% water and just a drop of fruit extract.....and that's it! They are the closest thing to cotton wool and water, so pure. After we found this out we were hooked and so stocked up before she was born and have only used them since. Our little girl is now five months old (where has that time gone?!) and has never had even a hint of nappy rash. When she was a tiny newborn and hadn't even had her first bath, we used WaterWipes to clean under her chin or arms and even used them to clear up milky bits from our leather sofa...worked a treat! As you can see above, now she is beginning to wean I also use them to clean her up if she gets a bit messy, and she always likes to take them out of the packet and put them straight in her mouth. I don't really mind though as I know that none of the ingredients will harm her. As we're such fans, when WaterWipes asked me to be a part of their #PureLove campaign I had to say yes!

The campaign is all about instinctive parenting which is something I definitely want to get behind. Nowadays mums are bombarded with so much advice, 'shoulds' and even mum guilt or shaming. But what it's really all about is going with your instinct, no one knows your baby more than you and therefore only you know what's best. So just trust your instinct and go with it! To spread this message I invited 4 mum friends, and one mum-to-be, to my house for coffee, cake and a massage session with a baby massage teacher.

Homemade rocky road and brownies! Mum fuel...

Alice all ready for her massage!

Baby Teddy spreading the 'Pure Love'!


Massage goes hand in hand with instinctive parenting. There's a misconception that massage should be done only after bath, and at the same time everyday...But we learnt from the lovely Carly that baby massage is also instinctive. It can be done anywhere and at anytime! It shouldn't become just another thing on the 'to do list' to stress mothers out, but a lovely time for special bonding. The most important thing is the time spent with your baby not when in the day. Carly said you could even do it on top of your baby's clothes when you're out and about, as long as they are ready.

So really it's all about when your baby is ready, and you can tell this by certain cues; if they have relaxed limbs, are doing relaxed belly breathing, are making 'happy sounds' or positive chatting and if there is eye contact between you both. I've been giving Alice a massage after bath but she can be very tired and fidgety then. I've learnt it can be done whenever she's ready!

Baby massage has so many benefits too! It can help with bonding, soothing, helping them to sleep, improve weight gain, help with circulation, constipation and even with teething. I love that it is so good for bonding and it's one on one time with your bubba with no distractions. As soon as we started Alice was staring straight into my eyes and it felt lovely! Massage stimulates the release of the body's natural feel good chemical (or love hormone) oxytocin, which is what helps with bonding, and this can also help with post-natal depression. My friend's were all saying how much they enjoyed having an intimate lesson at mine with their babies and we all agreed that we would do baby massage more regularly instead of trying to fit it into a strict routine. I'm all for this instinctive parenting!


Carly had little pots of sunflower oil for the massage, which I was surprised about, but she explained that the skin recognises it as food and so it sinks in whereas non-natural oils sit on the skin. We first put a twenty pence sized piece on our hand and warmed it up by rubbing our hands together and asking baby for permission. She said she knows this sounds kind of crazy but it's mainly a way to prepare them for what's coming, and gave the example that we wouldn't be too happy if we were all cosy and then was suddenly stripped and dunked in the bath. They need some preparation just like we do. We started on the legs doing massage techniques such as Indian and Swedish milking, and then moved onto feet where we massaged the pads with our thumbs and wiggled their tiny toes in circles. Many of the massage moves had little rhymes you can sing like 'Tommy thumb' and 'Jelly on a plate' and 'This little piggy'...I think this was Alice's favourite bit!

Baby Teds was so stimulated after his massage that he stood up for the first time! So glad I caught it on camera. 

It's safe to say the massage tuckered them all out. Alice fell asleep straight away in her cot after everyone left, the boys immediately fell asleep in their car seats and little Freya couldn't even wait until then!

It's so exhausting being a baby! She loves to snuggle her bunny and comforter on her face when she falls asleep it's adorable.

Have you tried baby massage? Let me know in the comments if you've found it helpful with anything.
Morgan Alice 
x

Thank you to WaterWipes for kindly sponsoring this post as part of their #PureLove campaign #ad. As always, I would only promote a brand product that I truly believe in.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

AUTUMNAL EVENING PICNIC + MINI APPLE PIE RECIPE


So who's a hardcore follower and remember when we did this back in 2015? (see the post here) We loved it so much we wanted to make it an annual tradition, however autumn 2016 was basically a write off because I was so sicky and pregnant, but THIS year we started it up again. And with a 5 month old bubba! Other changes involved a full size bottle of wine instead of a mini (because you know, parent life requires it) and some homemade apple pies. But not just any apple pies, the mini-cinnamon-salted caramel variety! Recipe below. The day we decided to do this picnic happened to be the day of storm Ophelia, so the sandy sky made everything look orange and dark, which actually made it look even more autumnal, but also darker so apologies for that! Anyway who else is loving this october? So many beautiful and crisp days! 

She's at the 'obsessed with adult food' phase!
Her outfit is from next, sooo cute. She did have little booties on but kicked them off and it was strangely warm anyway
Still only interested in our food! Haha
This photo sums up motherhood pretty well, I'm pouring the wine while she is putting random things in her mouth...this time it was a leaf. She is obsessed with leaves! 
Getting her to sleep...well trying to.
 My friend joined us so I used the opportunity to get a snap as a family!

Mini Apple Pie recipe (makes about 5/6 pies)
1 roll of ready roll puff pastry
1 cooking apple
1/2 lemon
Sprinkle of cinnamon
1 tbsp of golden caster sugar
1 egg
Jar of salted caramel sauce 
(or you can use plain caramel sauce and flakes of seasalt)

Preheat oven to 180. Unroll the pastry onto a floured surface, and use a circular cutter or the bottom of a glass to cut out your circles. Peel and chop up apple into small cubes, squeeze over the lemon and sprinkle with cinnamon (more depending on how much flavour you'd like) and the sugar. Place the pastry discs onto a grease proof baking sheet and put a spoonful of the apple mix onto each one. Top the apple mixture with a spoonful of the salted caramel sauce (or caramel sauce and a sprinkle of sea salt flakes). Place the other pastry disc onto each one and use a fork to close up the pie. I also like to prod the fork into the top as it looks pretty. Brush with a whisked egg and sprinkle some more sugar on top of each. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until nice and golden. Place on a wire rack to cool and serve with warm custard or on their own with a coffee. Mmmmmmmmm


Any other autumnal recipes I need to try?
Morgan Alice 
x