Thursday, 15 June 2017

The Back to Work Blues

Heading back to work has been tough.  I miss my girl. After spending a whole 365 days with her it was hard to adjust.  We've both cried (some more than others) but I know that she's having the best time at nursery and let me tell you, picking her up is the sweetest part of my day.  This, is just how it has to be right now. 
So, it was really lovely for the people over at Radley to send me this gorgeous little Cross Body Bag to make me feel better about it all.  Its perfect for the summer and I was really surprised at how much I love it and how much I've used it since I got it.  
Now that i'm back at work, it's so nice to be able to carry one small bag (and one small bag only) for a full day without lumbering around a rucksack or giant changing bag.  I feel like I can actually plan a full outfit just for myself.
The bag itself is really sweet, a gorgeous burgundy colour, gold hard wear, an inside zip pocket and adjusting long strap. I usually go for my APC Cross Body Bag, but this is a brilliant alternative.  
You can check the bag out online here.

So, back to the topic of work, how have all of you found going back to work?  Did you look forward to it? Did you dread it? How are you finding the work/life/baby balance?  I'm keen to hear as for myself I was dreading it, then yesterday for the first time since she was born, I looked forward to work.  I'm hesitating even writing this down as it makes the thoughts real and i felt like I almost wasn't allowed to have them.  Like, that made me a bad mother or something? Yesterday, we had such a testing day, she's growing and moving so quickly and gets so frustrated with herself, and in turn, me.  It's hard to know what she's trying to communicate to me at times and I wish in some ways she could just come out and say 'Mummy, will you hold my hands so I can walk please?' but in most ways, I want there to be so much time until then, so much time until she is independent and she doesn't need my hands to steady her whilst she walks.  It's bittersweet, a catch twenty two.  I guess that as she grows the single parenting gig I perform three weeks on, three weeks off, gets tougher... but boy do I love it.  

 Have a great day.


Sunday, 11 June 2017

Blooming and Growing

Hello Friends, Welcome back. It's been a while and I am keen to start posting again.  I mean, I give it two weeks before they begin to get sporadic but at least the intent is there, right?
 If you're a long time follower, or if you follow along over on Instagram and you've caught up with my stories you'll see that the blog has had a bit of a makeover.  Thanks to Pipdig I now have a lovely clean and simple page a new profile image and it all feels much better.

So, lets get stuck in.  For the last week or so, I've been taking part in Bloom & Grow.  An online course run my Sara Tasker of Me & Orla, Hashtag Authentic, @Theinstachat and that's only to name a few notches in her belt. 
The course is designed to inspire and give the student tools in order to grow and bloom their Instagram account.  week one was set up to challenge us to find a way of using flowers 'En Masse'.  Something I found really quite challenging.  My final image had around 14 predessors before I finally settled, and i'm pretty happy with it.  what do you think? 

I've already, really started to think more about my images, I'm scouring Pinterest and saving other Instagram posts for inspo'.  I'm buying so many flowers and my fridge is full of petals, poised and ready for my next burst of creativity.  Which surprisingly, i'm finding happening quite often; even with a mad, one year old, carpet baby!  
I can't explain how much i am enjoying doing this, it's something just for me.  Something i can really sink my teeth into and it's just an added bonus that my house now looks and smells awesome! Some of the other images i've created this week are below, or to see them in all their glory, just clock over to my Instagram in the side bar. 

I always feel like my followers and i have always had rocky relationship.  After I had my Daughter, my growth spiked, probably because everyone loves the new born squish, don't they?.  Then recently things went a bit stale.  I lost a lot of followers to fake accounts, to general spam and I just found that the content I was creating was a bit... meh.  Now, however, I feel like i'm finally starting to get over that hurdle and things are on the up again.  I'm creating images i'm happy with, I like the look of my gallery and it seems that others do too.  So, in short Bloom and Grow is working already and as true as the saying goes, flowers really do have power!

Have a great day

Sarah x


Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Nathalie Bond Organics

Well, it's been a while. I don't know how long or really for what reason i took such a long reprieve, but i miss my blog and writing posts so here i am in the fourth month of 2017 having missed three baby updates ready to shout about something new! 

I first featured Nathalie Bond Organics in my Christmas Gift Guide back in December last year.  I had picked up a soap bar after reading about how family friendly it was, and the smell was incredible.  Not long after i started using it,  I was hooked.  The soap was so gentle and brilliantly scented using lovely essential oils, it was perfect for using on Wren.  I was thrilled when the lovely folks over at Nathalie Bond HQ got in touch to ask if i wanted to try their new products.  

First up is their extra sensitive soap bar.  Incredibly gentle, safe for baby, smells lovely and it lathers up like your average bar of Dove.  I first used the soap myself, to take my make up off and it left my skin feeling really soft.  The next bath time i used it on Wren and it was a hit.  I always worry about what to put on her skin, as soap really can dry it out.  But, the essentials oils Nathalie and her team use help to keep skin soft and cared for. After all, the whole reason for Nathalie's business was to cater to her kids.  

How amazing is the packaging?  Ive filled the tins with dry pasta now and Wren uses them as percussion instruments haha! Multi use!!!

Each night, after bath time (so long as Wren isn't too tired) we have a massage.  I attended a few baby massage classes when Wren was tiny and we found them so invaluable we've continued on and are still going strong 10 months later.  Ive previously just used coconut oil but now i am converted.   This Geranium and Patchouli Skin Balm is perfect for oiling up post bath before slipping in to baby Pjs.  And that goes for Mummy too.  I rub this into my face before bed and not only does it smell lovely, my skin soaks it all in leaving it lovely and soft.  I've already emailed the guys and told them the jar needs to be bigger, or they need to offer a mother and baby package as this is too good not to use daily! Next on my list is the Lavender and Bergamot balm as we love that scent at bed time.

Lastly, this is just for mum! Lemongrass body scrub! A quick spa in a jar, leaving you feeling so fresh, like you've removed that top layer of skin... in a good way.  I love the smell of this too, smells like a proper spa weekend! I'd also love to try the Peppermint and Eucalyptus as i bet thats a good one to wake you up in the morning! 

Now as a little treat, as we all deserve it from time to time, I am giving my readers a code to get 15% off your own Nathalie Bond products! Use the code BRASSBUTTONS15 to get yourself a little saving, and trust me you'll just love the products.  

Hoping to be back to my blog more regularly now, posting recipes, recommendations and updates. So stay tuned! Have a great Evening. 

Sarah x 


Monday, 23 January 2017

Berlin, Any Tips?

Just a quickie post this morning.  But today we head to Berlin.  Do you have any recommendations of where we should go?  Any must see, must eat or must drink destinations?  

Let me know in the comments. 

Sarah x 

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Wren - The S E V E N month update

Hello, and i guess a very late Happy New Year! I've been taking some time out this month, post Christmas to work on a few projects, care for Wren and get ready for her Christening.  It's been super hectic, and i can't believe in a week or so we'll already be in February! Crazy! 

I've got Seven new things to share today, as Wren has been Seven months old for almost a month... where the time is going i'll never know! 

O N E - Wren has five teeth.  FIVE! Three along the bottom and two at the top.  I always thought it would be super bizarre seeing those gums filled with milky whites, but she just gets cuter and cheekier looking by the day.  She has been so great with them too, almost zero fuss made, and for now, she's resisting biting! Thank goodness! 

T W O - I don't think i was involved in the conception of Wren at all, she 100% resembles her Dad.  Which luckily, is great, he's pretty nice to look at. She has the widest eyes, exactly the same colour and shape as Calum and she is just every inch his daughter.  I am so lucky to have two of them! 

T H R E E - Wren is almost eight months old and is still exclusively breast fed.  This girl loves the boob and will not wean! We've tried a ton of different foods, form puree to Baby led, and she just doesn't seem interested.  She loves to play with the food, and explore the textures, but so far only with her hands but thats ok.  She is getting exactly what she needs from me.  

F O U R - We've had a few trips to the doctor lately as poor little bird hasn't been too well.  Turns out she's a bit deficient in Vitamin K, so we're on some medicine to top her back up.   I'm also taking lots of leafy greens and vitamins myself to make sure she really is getting all she can! 

F I V E - I have enrolled Wren on the list for our local nursery! Already?! Yep... already.  We live in a small town, so you gotta be fast or you're last.  it's still unclear if/when/how often she will have to go, but i'm excited for her to be with her friends, friends she will move up the ranks with and eventually attend school with.  Part of the reason i just love our small community. 

S I X - Although Wren can quite expertly sit, she isn't on the move yet.  She's quite content reaching for the things she needs from her perch.  And if she wants to get somewhere she'll wiggle her little legs and shuffle right along if the floor proves slippy enough. 

S E V E N - I am convinced, CONVINCED she can say Mama. It's maybe more a mumumamamumumamam... but there is a mum in there somewhere and being that she's with be 100% of the time it can only be directed at me, right? 

Motherhood is such a joy, and i truly believe that this was the job i was born to do.  This little person my husband and i created is the light of our lives, and so many others.  We have been truly blessed with a fantastic little girl and i am already excited for what her eighth month will hold. 

Sarah x 


Sunday, 11 December 2016

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

'Tis the season for hearty stews, red wine and great company! So with that said, here is a really easy slow cooker stew recipe perfect for Sunday lunch! 

Ingredients - 

1 lb Stewing beef, lean
1 Bay leaf bunch, tied. 
bunch of baby carrots (Larger ones chopped)
1/4 cup Flat parsley
2 cloves Garlic
2 Potatoes skin on, chopped.
1 Leek, chopped
2 Parsnips, chopped
2 tsp Thyme, dried
1 Yellow onion, medium

2 1/2 cups Beef Stock

3/4 tsp Black pepper
1/4 cup Flour
Sea salt
1/2 cup Red wine


60g Beef Suet
125 g Plain Flour
Pinch Salt 
2 tea spoons of Dried Parsley
1 tsp Baking Powder

Instructions - 

Flour all the pieces of beef lightly, and add to the pot with the chopped Onion, Garlic and Leek 

Stir together and add the beef stock, wine, remaining veg and herbs. 
Season with salt and pepper and turn on a low heat and cook for six hours. 

After five hours, you can add your dumplings to the top to cook for the remaining hour. 
Mix all dry ingredients including herbs to a large bowl and gradually add water.  Make sure not to make the mix too wet. Seperate 8-10 balls of dough and roll them in your hands before placing on top of the stew.  Cover and cook for the last hour.  

(Again, as always, if your gravy wont play ball... there is always Bisto powder you can add to thicken that guy up a little)

Have a great Sunday.
Sarah x 


Thursday, 1 December 2016

Wren - The S I X Month Update

So, it's here. Already.  Oh time, you cruel beast.  Wren turned six months old on November 25th, yes that may also have been black Friday, but quite frankly all i could think about on Friday was WHERE HAS ALL THE TIME GONE?  Thinking that i only have another six months of complete alone time with Wren before i go back to work gives me the worst anxiety i've ever had.  I just can't. 

 So that brings me to my baby girl today.  Six months old, beautiful, funny, cheeky and full of life! As i started at five months with 'five new things' Wren was up to, i thought i would do another feature each month.  More for me than anything, it's a good way to remember without forgetting to write it all down.

O N E - Still only two teeth (that i can see) however there has been a lot of Sophie (the giraffe) chewing! She slides the toy from left to right along her top gums, which leads me to believe that there may be some nasties about to poke through.  Here's hoping she copes like the trooper she was with the first set.

T W O - Wren has been sleeping in her own room since November 20th and it has been a total game changer.  We don't wake her up when we go to bed.  She sleeps uninterrupted till 5.30am where she ceremoniously fills her nappy to the point of needing immediate assistance. She does however go back to sleep until at least 7 and sometimes 8.  I'm forever thankful for her love of naps and sleep!

T H R E E - Weaning has Begun, i think the date was November 11th, making Wren slightly under 6 months.   We've decided to take a very, very, relaxed approach to weaning.  We are not doing one way or another way religiously, we're just going with Wren and what she wants.  Ultimately Wren is still getting all she needs from me through breast feeding and she will continue to do so until we, her and I see fit.  We have introduced a few foods to Wren at dinner time each night before her bath and she is having marvellous fun playing in it and smooshing it all with her hands.  Maybe next month some will have actually passed her lips!

F O U R - Babbling. Ba, bah, bah, baba, blah baaaaaah.  Over and over, and it's the sweetest sound i ever heard!

F I V E - We can sit up, well almost.  Wren isn't one for lying around these days.  She prefers to sit, reach and try to grab patterned carpet, her toys, books and then oops... she topples, but we'll always be there to catch her.  She's getting the hang of her balance super quick and i'm sure she'll be shuffling her bum along the carpet in no time.

S I X - The seeming dog pant from last month has graduated to a weird inhaling through her gums.  It's kinda like a laugh, but like an old lady laugh, an old lady with no teeth that sucks their bottom lip in at the bottom... oh a funny little bird, she is. 

I think that month 7 will be a real big shift.  There might be food consumed, there may be movement and i really R E A L L Y hope that the 5.30am poop explosions will have stopped. That, would be great! 

Have a great day 

Sarah x 
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