November in pictures…
I ate my first mince pie of the season yesterday and I’ve seen the John Lewis and Coca-Cola adverts on TV, so it’s pretty much official; the festive season is on the way.
One of my favourite things about Christmas, other than of course celebrating the birth of Christ, is to give gifts to others. I have been super organised this year and have got most of the presents we planned on buying already, but having spoken to quite a few of my friends, I know not everyone is as prepared (which is fine by the way, I’m just super-planning-organised-queen haha).
If you are looking for some gift inspiration and looking for a good deal, have a look over at bespokeoffers.co.uk - this is a new service from Barclaycard which chooses the offers that are right for you based on where you shop and what people like you buy. It will be helping shoppers kick start their Christmas shopping and planning this year with an exclusive £10 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card for just £5 – BARGAIN!
The offer is available to everyone but will only be available from Monday 25th November to Monday 2ndDecember 2013 so get in there quick! To take up this great offer, customers will need to sign up for a bespoke offers account and then purchase the Gift Card. You will then be given a personal code redeemable on the Amazon website.
Everyone who signs up can purchase one Gift Card here http://po.st/AllAboutYouBlogAmazonOffer and the promotion will be available to purchase whilst stocks last, or until 2nd December. The code can be redeemed instantly and is valid for 10 years from date of issue, so if you have been organised this Christmas, you can keep for many years to come or use next year to put towards a birthday gift.
The offer is the first of four Christmas offers, which are all from major national retailers and can be used both on and offline. Each one will be available on bespoke offers for a week, with the second offer beginning on Monday 2nd December 2013, with the third and fourth in subsequent weeks, so keep a look out
You can buy pretty much anything from Amazon so perfect to get some ideal gifts for your loved ones. You could try:
For Her: Eleanor Catton’s Man Booker Prize-winning Luminaries
For Him: Alex Ferguson’s My Autobiography
For Kids: PlayStation 4 or Xbox One games and accessories
For Family: Christmas classics such as The Snowman on Blu-ray
For more information on the offer visit www.bespokeoffers.co.uk.
Images taken from www.Amazon.co.uk
I know I haven’t done a ‘Tried & Tested’ post for a while so thought I would let you all know of a recipe that I recently did just that with. For any new readers, these posts are where I actually do some of the pins I’ve pinned on Pinterest and let you know the link, if it works, what I thought to it and any changes I might make. As the title suggests, I tried a recipe for Quinoa Stuffed Peppers. The original recipe can be found HERE on Cooking with Quinoa.
I found that they really didn’t take long to make as the ingredients you ‘stuff’ with are mostly in cartons or tins, it’s just a case of cooking the quinoa before hand and preparing the peppers. You just mix up all the ingredients in a bowl and then spoon into the peppers that have had the top sliced off and the seeds removed. So simple! It really took no time at all.
As we don’t have cheese very often in our house (hubby despises the stuff), I made mine without the feta or cheddar but still found they tasted lovely. I’m sure they taste really good with the cheese too, just a few more calories. I also added half a tin of organic chickpeas for a little more protein (and because I just love them). This was a good addition to the recipe.
They don’t take long to cook which is great and you can have them as a vegetarian main course (that’s what we did by having two peppers each), or have one pepper each as a side to your preferred protein, like a grilled chicken breast. We are a little bit obsessed with balsamic vinegar in this house, to to serve, we drizzled some over the top of the peppers – so delicious and made it a little less ‘dry’. If you are adding the cheese to your recipe though, the vinegar is probably not needed as the cheese will provide a sauce, of sorts. I would definitely recommend this – the whole family loved it. I chopped Max’s pepper up and then he could just help himself to it all. Yummy!
I am currently pregnant with baby number two and so there are a lot of things I have been thinking about lately. I had to have an emergency c-section with Max (I wasn’t even in labour, long story) and so one of the main things on my mind is to VBAC or not to VBAC? I will be seeing a consultant soon and I will then be told if I can or can’t even try for a vbac, which having spoken to others, seems like the choice I am (currently) leaning towards. I have thought a lot though about having an elective caesarean. Why though does the thought make me feel guilty? Plenty of people have them, I’ve had one before and so will know what’s coming, and I certainly don’t see it as an ‘easy’ option (the pain and after-care are so much worse).
I think, it is the thought of the look on the mid-wife’s face when I say I am having an elective section. Or just the other mummy’s at the classes I go to, when they cast their judging glance. Firstly, I know I shouldn’t care. My body, my baby, my decision. But why do we all judge each other so much as parents, sometimes when the baby hasn’t even been born yet?!
Then, once you’ve decided how to actually have the baby, there is the choice of breastfeeding or not. I breastfed Max until he was 9 months old, mainly because I just thought ‘it’s what you do’, and of course it was mentioned at every ante-natal appointment. I wouldn’t exactly say I enjoyed it, the early stages were particularly hard and I found it pretty tough but I stuck with it and it became easier. One thing I did do though was express milk. Sometimes, if I knew we had a long journey coming up or just wanted to not breastfeed in public, I would express milk and then Max would be given it through a bottle.
I knew I was giving him breastmilk, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with getting them use to a bottle after a few months, so it didn’t phase me. Sometimes it was a welcome relief. I also think it looks completely different in a bottle to formula so I thought people would be able to tell the difference too. Not so. The amount of times I gave him expressed milk in a bottle and the comments I received or the looks I was given were awful. Why do people have to be so rude and judgemental? Especially as it was actually breast milk. If it wasn’t though, why does it matter to them? If someone chooses to formula feed it is their choice. Sometimes it isn’t even their choice. They may be heartbroken that they can’t breastfeed and the judging looks and comments aren’t going to make anyone else feel any better.
I guess the feeling guilty happens at all stages with a newborn and then it continues to being a toddler. We were recently visiting with a family and I had given Max half a chocolate biscuit. It’s not something he gets everyday, and lets face it, it was only half. He had had a healthy breakfast of porridge and banana, some grapes mid-morning and then roast beef and steamed veg for his lunch. So I didn’t see anything wrong with half a chocolate biscui in the afternoon. Anyway, I digress. The mum of the family said to Max ‘Oh, that is so bad for you’.
Thanks for that.
What was expected that a nearly two year would do? Agree and say ‘Yes, you’re right, I better throw it away’?? I couldn’t believe it. If I make a decision for my child, such as giving him a chocolate biscuit, it is my decision. Why do we feel the need to comment on other mothers decisions, even when they are in the same room?
The list, or should I say guilt, goes on and on. Do I return to work full time? maybe just part time? Become a stay-at-home Mum? Work random hours around the kids so there isn’t the cost of day care? On and on.
And just because others may make a different decision than we have made, lets not comment or judge their choice. Good parents feel guilty pretty much constantly I think, so lets not make each other feel worse.
Who is with me??