Time to pack a hospital bag

I am now coming upto 35 weeks pregnant and with my c-section scheduled for in a couple of weeks time, I’ve made a start on packing my hospital bags. I’ve tried not to over pack and keep it simple with essential and practical items, some of which I’ve used in the past. I was recommended badedas bath gelee by a midwife after the birth of my first born and have used it after the birth of each baby….I use it for it’s recommended healing properties but also for the nostalgic smell! Listed are items I would use in hospital and would continue to use after.

Mama

Maternity notes

A wash bag including, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, facial cleansing wipes, badedas bath gelee, brush & hair-tie

Small make-up bag with basic make-up (bb cream, concealer, powder, lipstick, mascara)

Lansinoh Lanolin, nipple shields, maternity pads, breast pads (I have some re-usable ones)

Front buttoned night dress’s

Feeding vests and feeding bras

Pj bottoms

Dark coloured briefs/maternity briefs (full briefs so they don’t rub on scar)

Feeding jumpsuit

Socks

Slippers/flip flops

Phone charger (pack on day)

Money/change

Comfy outfit for traveling home (leggings/front buttoned shirt)

Feeding vests/underwear is from H&M

Baby

front fastening Sleepsuits (including some mothercare white terry towelling)

Front fastening bodysuits (vests)

Hat & Scratch mitts

Cellular blanket

Muslin blanket

Dummy

Nappies & wipes

Snowsuit for travelling home

Car seat

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Peanut butter chocolate flapjack

A few weeks ago we were at a birthday party and tried some homemade peanut butter flapjack which were so yummy. This week a friend forwarded on a recipe they had tried and said they turned out really good, so yesterday we made some and we all loved them. We followed this quick and easy recipe:

Ingredients

125g Sugar (I used brown)

2 tbsp golden syrup

2 tbsp peanut butter

250g oats

125g butter

200g milk or plain chocolate, depending on preference

Method

Pre-heat the over to approx 175 degrees c.

Melt the butter, sugar, golden syrup, peanut butter in a pan over a low heat.

Turn off the heat and stir in the oats.

Pour the mixture into a greased/lined tin (I used a silicone square cake mound, approx 5cm deep, 20cm square and lined it with greaseproof paper)

Bake for around 20mins or until golden around the edges.

Leave to cool.

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of water or in the microwave and then pour evenly over the cooled flapjack, leave it to set then cut into squares.

Enjoy!

Tips:

This amount of oats makes a crunchier flapjack, if you’d prefer it less crunchy, try adding only 200g oats.

If you’d prefer to drizzle the chocolate, only 100g melted chocolate is needed.

‘Bonfire Night’ Toffee Apple’s

Today we made some sticky crunchy toffee apples for bonfire night, which went down well! We used the following recipe which made approx 7 toffee apples.

Ingredients

7 apples

200g caster sugar

175ml water

7 tbsp golden syrup

Knob of butter

Lolly sticks

Method

Lay out some greaseproof paper ready to place the toffee apples onto later and insert lolly sticks into the stalk end of your washed apples (we twisted off the stalks first)

In a saucepan over a medium heat combine sugar, golden syrup, water and a knob of butter until dissolved. Bring to the boil without stirring until the toffee reaches approx 150 degrees C (10-20 minutes – if you drop a small amount of toffee into cold water and it forms brittle threads which break when removed from the water, it’s ready. If it’s still squishy continue to boil for longer)

Once ready, remove from the heat and working quickly hold the apple by the stick, dip into the toffee and turn to coat it evenly (you may need to tilt the pan while doing this) let any excess toffee drip off, then place the apple onto the greaseproof paper to set. You may have to heat the toffee a little again if the temperature drops and it starts to feel too thick to work with.

You could also add sprinkles to your toffee apples to decorate.

Apple Muffins

Last weekend we baked some apple muffins. I was looking for some healthier baking options, to use up some of the cooking apples we have and came across this apple muffin recipe. We ate them for desert with custard & everyone enjoyed them! I used half the mix below to bake 6 muffins, then with the other half of the mix I added a couple of handfuls of frozen blueberries. We used this apple sauce recipe.

Makes approx 12 muffins.

Ingredients

245g plain wholemeal flour

1½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

150g grated apple

120g apple diced into small cubes

5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

8 tbsp honey

2 eggs

115g plain Greek yogurt

125g apple sauce

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp sugar for sprinkling on top

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C, grease your muffin tray with butter or a cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt, then stir in the grated and chopped apple.

In another mixing bowl, combine the oil and honey and beat together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well, then mix in the yogurt, applesauce and vanilla.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with a big spoon, until combined (the batter will be thick) divide the mixture equally into your muffin tray & sprinkle the tops with sugar.

Bake muffins for 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean.

Place them on a cooling rack.

Apple Sauce

A friend gave us lots of cooking apples from her garden last week, so at the weekend we made apple sauce & also some apple muffins. We used the following recipe which made a lovely tangy apple sauce & is really quick & easy. There’s so many things you can do with this & add it too. We finished a bit of ours off mixed with some Greek yoghurt which the kids enjoyed. 🍏

Ingredients

225g/8oz cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped

The zest of ½ lemon

2tbsp water

15g/½oz butter

1 tsp caster sugar

Method

Put the apples in a saucepan with the lemon zest and water.

Cover and cook over a low heat until they are soft and mushy.

Take off the heat and stir in the butter and the sugar.

Leave to cool.

Refrigerate or Freeze.

Pregnancy after loss | Trying to stay positive

I knew pregnancy after our loss last year would be very hard, you know how things can suddenly go terribly wrong and have everything taken away from you & I wont reach a time during this where I feel more relaxed or ‘safe’. It’s been full of worry, anxiety & hope, times wishing I could feel like a normal pregnant person, but not remembering what that feels like anymore. Feeling like I’ve lost trust in my body to do the right thing and having no control over it. I’ve found it hard to see past what happened last time when things went wrong, there’s no medical explanation or answers to what happened so there’s nothing I could really do any differently for prevention apart from more monitoring and an earlier delivery as planned. I feel very happy and grateful to have this chance to be pregnant again but I’ve found it hard to have a positive outlook, especially in the beginning & because of some scares along the way, my thoughts seemed so worrisome & negative.

25 weeks

At first I didn’t intend on preparing or buying any baby things, but as time has gone on I’ve realised that wouldn’t be very practical, so we’ll get essential items down from the loft & I’ll buy a few baby girl clothes in first size, as I don’t have any in storage…we got rid of all the girl clothing last year when we were having a boy & thought he was our last. I’d mix & match them with some neutral items I bought for Quinn last year. I couldn’t wear the same maternity clothes this time around, I tried them but it didn’t feel right.

Hello baby girl

I didn’t announce the news to many people for quite a while, I felt like keeping it to myself in my own bubble, hoping to reach some milestones first after having some potential complications along the way which thankfully resolved. I was also worried about it making me open to comments, which might upset me. During the summer we told the kids the news while on holiday in Scotland. We’d had a genetic blood test (harmony test) earlier in the pregnancy & had the baby’s gender posted in a letter which we hadn’t opened. We showed the kids the scan pictures, then all opened the letter together & found out it’s a girl! They were all very excited, even the little one who was upset last time at the realisation of not being the baby anymore.

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20 weeks

During the up’s & down’s along the way I decided I didn’t want to have ‘no’ positive’s from this pregnancy & look back later & regret that, so decided to buy some milestone cards & stickers from Etsy to document the weeks & also ordered a pregnancy diary which I thought would help get the thoughts out of my head & down on paper. It’s nice to be able to look back through the pages & realise how far I’ve come! I can’t think too far ahead, so I began by giving myself just weekly milestones to reach, my next milestone will be 28 weeks…which will be my next scan. I keep trying to be thankful for today that I am pregnant rather than concentrating all my energy on the future & ‘what if’s’, although this doesn’t work everyday. If I can get through a couple more milestones I’m planning on having a ‘baby girl celebration’ (sandwiches & cake) with friends to celebrate this baby being here today.

Busy B pregnancy journal

Sgroppino (Lemon Sorbet Cocktail)

I found this drinks recipe in my draft folder from September 2015 & thought I’d re-ignite the abandoned blog & hit publish 🙂 I won’t be drinking them at the moment 😉

When we eat out at an Italian restaurant, sometimes I like to order a sgroppino (or two!) a Lemon Sorbet alcoholic cocktail. I find them easy to drink & refreshing. This week it was my partner’s Birthday, so I decided to make some at home for us both and used the following recipe:

SgroppinoServes 2

Ingredients:

1 cups (500 ml) lemon sorbet

1 cups (500 ml) Prosecco

2 tablespoons of vodka

Method:

Remove the Lemon sorbet from freezer about 10 minutes before you begin making the cocktail to let it soften.

Place the sorbet in a bowl and whisk by hand until creamy and soft (like the texture of Icing).

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Add the Vodka and then the Prosecco a little at a time, whisking until fully incorporated.

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Pour into glasses and serve, add a little fresh mint if desired.

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Enjoy! x