No, no & thrice no!

There's been a discussion with my friends lately about saying no to our babies.  I had enough of the "no" word when I was a child.  It was more of a don't do this, don't do that, put that down, pick that up, no, no & thrice no!  I try to use more positive phrases instead of using negative ones where I can but there is a point sometimes where its just got to be a "no".   Turning a phrase round can keep the positive edge to it though & hopefully Baby Chick will take that in.  

I do try to distract Baby Chick where possible by engaging her in another task, but as I said in a previous post, she loves handing me things now so I can get anything dangerous she may procure, thankfully she hasn't had anything too bad yet as I've put shelves up high & all the stuff that she shouldn't have or I don't want chewed/ripped, etc are safe... for now!

I'm also hoping that her next new word won't be NO, its very cute to hear a toddler say no but only if the child is not yours, so cute then, but if you live with a child that perpetually says no because thats all they have heard I would think it would be hard work to get them to stop using it for everything!   The word I'm finding most effective is Stop! & she does, I think you do need a word that brings them up sharp if they are heading for danger.  I remember my dad telling me about one such time with me (I don't remember it) when I was about 3, we went for a few days at the seaside from London where we lived & so excited was I to see the sea, I ran out of the guest house & pelted straight for the main road so I could get to the beach.  He yelled STOP! & thankfully saved me from getting run over as I was just on the kerb!  Thanks Dad x

Please don't get me wrong, I never say never & have had to say no a few times (I draw the line at letting the dog lick her hand then letting her lick it too!), but I feel the negativeness is draining, saying no all the time must have some effect on one's psyche.  I know it would make my head ache if I had to keep saying it.    I need her to know good from bad, right from wrong, nice people from mean people, but I also want her to have a blissful childhood with as many positive experiences as I can squeeze in before she grows up in the blink of an eye.  I give her a lot of free rein at home, having scanned the place for non-baby stuff (e.g. my stuff!) on what seems an hourly basis & do a lot of clearing up after her but she enjoys herself so much & as long as she's safe I'm happy & if I'm happy everyone's happy :))  She is learning so much every day & I don't want to stifle her enthusiasm & joie de vivre!

As she gets older I know I will have to negotiate more with her as it can't be yes to everything, but for now its definitely not a no (ooo I do love a double negative!) - I hope I can keep it up!

How do you handle the no's?


Gluten Free Baking - Chocolate Cupcakes

I love baking this recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery for chocolate cupcakes, they are light & fluffy & so chocolatey.  I am a sort of recipe follower but have been adapting this recipe over time & now I have my own version with less sugar (I always adapt my recipes & the first adaption is always reducing the sugar content & guess what it makes no difference to the taste or texture usually). 

Today I have made the same recipe just swapping out the flour for gluten free flour, plain in this case from Marks & Spencer (I can't find it in their webstore to link to) & I used gluten-free baking powder too.

The cake batter looked exactly the same as usual, same consistency, etc

& baked just the same - I think I was thinking that the batter & cake consistency would possibly be drier but not so, the cupcakes came out just lovely!!  And they taste really chocolately & light, not as light as usual but the non-gluten free recipe is very light anyway.  The family gave them the thumbs up especially once they were topped with a lovely big squidge of extra chocolate icing!  Infact, my husband said if he didn't know they were gluten-free he would not have known.  So thumbs up all round!


National Food Allergy and Intolerance Week - Gluten Free Baking

National Food Allergy and Intolerance Week (23rd-29th January) is organised by Allergy UK every year to help raise awareness of allergies and intolerance in the UK.   To support the cause I'm going try to make some gluten free cakes (have I mentioned that I love cake??).

I am not gluten intolerant, although some commercial cakes do give me a tummy ache which is why I mostly bake my own,  but I do have a couple of friends who have coeliacs disease & I know how hard it is for them to find really good cakes sometimes.

I have a recipe for chocolate muffins & I'm going to try one of my tried & very well tested recipes for chocolate cupcakes but switch out the flour for gluten free flour, I already use gluten free baking powder so I'm hoping it will all turn out ok. 

I have my testers all chomping at the bit to try these out & in our house even the rejects will get eaten!

I'm starting with a little cheat tonight & have made some chocolate chip cookies from a ready mix - I know, shock horror, me, baking from a box!!!  (My only excuse is not enough time this evening, hence baking at 11pm, honest guv!).  These cookies aren't just gluten free, they are wheat & dairy free too.   As usual though, I had to add something of my own & that was linseeds, when I make my own I like nuts, seeds & dried fruit in them so every bite is packed with goodness.  

I used the Hale & Hearty brand, just add an egg & 50g butter (if you want to make them vegan you can replace the egg & butter with soya yogurt & dairy free margarine) to the cookie mix & combine, roll into small balls, press flat, then bake.

The cookies are lovely crunchy on the outside & chewy in the centre.  They took only 5 mins to prepare & 15 mins to bake. 

There were 4 more, but I ate them!

Are you gluten intolerant??  If you have any recipes you could share do let me know.


Review - Munchkin Stay Put Suction Bowls

I've never met a bowl Baby Chick can't yank off her high chair tray in about 2 seconds flat .... until now! 

Believe me we've tried a lot of bowls & anti-pull off mats & finally we have a lovely selection of bowls that really grip.  Hooray!   They come in a pack of 3 very useful sizes, small, medium & large & we will be taking them out with us so we can hopefully (I seem to use this word a lot!) learn to eat in public in a civilised manner lol!  I love colour & they are gorgeously colourful in blue, orange & green with equally colourful, textured lids for each bowl in mauve, lemon & blue.  Another good point is that they are quite deep, so Baby Chick seems to concentrate more on picking the food out of the bowl, well most of the time ;) she can, of course, get the bowls off eventually but I feel the harder they are to get off the more they concentrate on the job in hand so to speak!

They are BPA free & top rack dishwasher safe, but I wash all her stuff by hand anyway, not keen on plastics in the dishwasher, just my personal thang!

These bowls don't, of course, stop the food in the bowl from being flung at great speed across the room at times but hey the bowls are fab, for us they do what they say on the tin! 

We bought ours from Amazon for £7.99 & free postage as usual, bargain, anything that makes my life easier, double bargain!


Living in the Moment

I have glorious high sea views from my front windows & every morning especially, I can't help but gaze out & just take in all its fabulousness (yes, that is a word in my dictionary!).  Even on cloudy, grey days I can still find something out there to go wow! about.

Yesterday I was mesmerised again by the view, it was cloudy, but there was a horizontal chink through the clouds & the sunlight beamed through in long sheets into the sea, a truly heavenly sight.  I looked away to see what Baby Chick was up to then turned back in what seemed like just a moment & already the view had changed, had already moved on. 

This really made me think about living in the moment (& more importantly, enjoying the moment) & not worrying about the next moment & the moment after that, which is what I tend to do.  I am a list maker & scheduler of time which is how I get through each day/week.  I sometimes admire people who can glide through life, I'm just not one of them, how on earth do they get everything done :))

But its a nice thought & one to keep thinking about on my part.  How are you about living in the moment??  Try it, it's harder than you think ;)


Happy New Year - no resolutions, no promises....

A belated Happy New Year to you all!
I came across this quote the other day by Alexander Graham Bell, I knew the first part but not all of it & it really rang true for me.

When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.

I don't usually remember my dreams once I've put the kettle on in the morning but I had a dream before Baby Chick was born which has stayed with me, about a door in front of me that swung open as I approached it.  Beyond the door was a fabulous garden bathed in sunshine with beautiful flowers & birds it was truly like my idea of paradise.  Best of all was the feeling of intense happiness & peace that washed over me as I drank it all in.   You know the kind of dream where you wake up, realise its all a dream & try to doze back into it because it was so good.

With a pregnancy that was a worry from the day I found out until the day I gave birth, I saw the dream as a sign that all would be well, thankfully it was but I will always keep that dream in the forefront of my mind as a reminder to myself that life does go on & for me its time .....  for moving forward & embracing the past & the memories kept safely in my heart & mind, never forgetting, never forgiving but letting go... well a little, if I can ....... no resolutions, no promises..... :)

As I finish this post, the gales here have subsided & the sun has come out, another sign maybe??