Thursday 24 December 2015

Florence's Christmas Eve Box

Last year, Chris and I were useless at Christmas. Florence was just three weeks old and we didn't buy her a single gift, not even a card. We were still in that Newborn Dreamy stage and we didn't shower most days, let alone have time to think about Christmas. This year we wanted to do things a little differently. We wanted to start our own Family Christmas Traditions and make Christmas a really special time, even more so that we are both back in full time Work and Education so every second of time together is precious. 

I've seen a few people put together "Christmas Eve Boxes" and I really love the idea of making a box of goodies to kick start the Christmas festivities.

Here is what is inside Florence's 2015 Christmas Eve Box!

 Letter to Father Christmas

Chris and I bought this little letter pouch from The White Company last year before Florence was born. We completely forgot about it and found it at Chris's parent's house a couple of months ago. It is just beautiful!

Christmas Eve Plate

A friend of mine makes these personalised Christmas Eve Plates so we just had to have one. We can't wait to fill it up with Florence - although I am not sure that she'll want to leave a Mince Pie and a glass of Milk for someone else!

Reindeer Food

Florence made this bag of Reindeer Food at my School's Christmas Fayre. We will sprinkle it on our lawn after tracking Father Christmas on Norad and watching the International Space Station (Father Christmas's Sleigh!) fly over our house. 


Now that Father Christmas and his Reindeers are fed it is time for Florence to have a little treat. I found these Organix Gingerbread Men in Tesco and they are the perfect Christmassy alternative to chocolate treats. 


We have bought Florence two Christmas sleepsuits. One for Christmas Eve and the other for Christmas Night. I loved them both and couldn't decide on a favourite so of course, she just had to have both! 

Chris also chose these cute little Reindeer socks/booties from Asda! 



I just loved this Father Christmas Apron Bib from Tesco. We use this style of bib at meal times and the design is just perfect for Florence to eat her first Christmas Dinner in! The two smaller bibs were chosen by Chris who is a Disney fanatic and are great to use as dribble bibs during the day.


I had three or four Christmassy "Jelly Cat" teddies in my John Lewis basket but then we found this adorable cuddly Penguin in Tesco for just £7! We have also put in a small Reindeer from Early Learning Centre. Florence has a couple of toys from this range and she loves the clicky sound they make when you move the arms and legs. It will be perfect entertainment during our drive to Chris's parent's house on Christmas Day.


Florence has three books in her Christmas Eve Box - far too many but I simply couldn't resist! The first book is called "Santa's Sleigh Is On Its Way To Southend-On-Sea" and it is a beautiful story that features all the landmarks and towns near our Home. They do lots of different versions for different towns so I'd really recommend that you see whether the author has written a book about your hometown! 

The second book is called "Christmas Stories" and it encourages children to use their fine motor skills to follow the journey of Christmas. Florence's new favourite thing to do is point her finger so I think she'll love reading this story!

The last book is called "Dear Santa." We all love "Dear Zoo" in this household so we just had to buy the Christmassy version!

I thought that I had also bought "The Jolly Christmas Postman" but I can't seem to find it anywhere!

And that is Florence's Christmas Eve box!
What are your family Christmas traditions?

Wednesday 12 August 2015

Weaning Diaries // Portion Sizes At 8 Months

 I’m often asked on Social Media how much Florence eats at each meal so I thought that I would write a little Blog Post about her portion sizes.

When Florence first started weaning 15 weeks ago she’d only eat 1 little spoon of puree once a day. She has slowly built up how much she eats on a weekly basis. This Blog Post in based on what she’s currently eating at 8 months old. 


For Breakfast she’ll either have –

  • Half a Weetabix
  • Half of a Yeo Valley Natural Yoghurt (approximately 60g)
  • A portion of Ready Brek (approximately 15g)

 All mixed in with a little Organic Whole Milk and a 100g Fruit Pot 
  • One slice of Toast or a Crumpet with a little butter. She won’t eat all of the Toast or Crumpet but will eat around half, or until she’s full.


It’s harder to tell how much she eats at lunch time because she has Finger Foods. A lot of it ends up on the floor/in the dog’s mouth/up Florence’s nose but she gives it a good go!

Florence typically eats a mixture of the following for Lunch –

  • One slice of Bread sandwich. I usually cut the bread into quarters and make two little sandwich squares, using a variety of fillings from houmous to jam.
  • Half a Pitta Bread
  • Half a Mini Bagel
  • Three or Four Ricecakes
  • Two or Three Melba Toasts
  •  Two or Three Breadsticks
  •  One or two of the following Vegetables – Half of a ripe tomato, 1-2 sticks of steamed carrot/broccoli/mangetout/cauliflower, 3 inch de-skinned cucumber sticks
  • A slice of Ham
  • A piece of steamed Chicken breast
  • One egg as an omelette, scrambled, or hard boiled
  • Chunk of Cheese

    I also tend to offer Florence different flavoured Houmous, Boursin, Philadelphia etc to dip into.
    If she has fruit after Lunch then it’ll be a couple of Strawberries, Blueberries, Grapes, Raspberries, or fingers of Orange, Melon, Pineapple, Banana, Mango etc. Florence will stop eating once she is full!


For Dinner, Florence has 3 cubes of homemade food, approximately 60g which is half of a popular brand baby food pouch. Even though Florence is now eating larger portions, I still freeze her food in small ice cube trays as I love having the freedom of mix and matching her food without having to make lots of individual dishes.

After dinner she’ll have another 100g Fruit Pot for pudding. Occasionally she’ll have a few pieces of fresh fruit too

Sometimes I feel that Florence is constantly eating, whether it’s a bottle of milk or a main meal!

How much do your little ones eat?

Monday 10 August 2015

Weaning Diaries // Week 15

 We have been on our Weaning journey for 15 weeks now. Florence has gone from eating a tiny spoonful of baby rice to three meals a day plus pudding and snacks! She is doing so well and I feel so lucky to have a baby who will eat anything she is given, fingers crossed she'll stay like this. I am a very fussy eater so I was praying that she'll be different to me and enjoy all foods, she certainly takes after her Father in the eating department!

This will be my last Weaning Diary entry! As you all know, we are currently on Holiday so I won't be keeping a diary of what she is eating. When we return home we'll only have two weeks left together until I start my second Degree, meaning Florence will be with her new Childminder all day. Sob

I am so glad that I kept a diary during the first weeks of Weaning, and hopefully my Weaning Diaries have helped other parents out during their Weaning journeys. It can be very tough at times but I have thoroughly enjoyed the process. It has been wonderful watching Florence experience new tastes and textures, and discover her favorite foods.

Here is Florence's food diary for Week 15 - 

Week 15
Breakfast – 9.00am
Lunch – 1.00pm
Dinner – 4.00pm
Bedtime – 7.00pm

Weetabix with
Apple and Strawberry Fruit Pot


Pitta Bread with Red Pepper Houmous

Pasta Shells with Three Cheese Sauce and Garlic Bread

Apple and Mashed Mango Fruit Pot

Cheese Omelette and Baked Beans

Ham and Cheese Toasted Sandwich

Cod Fillet with Cheese Sauce and Vegetables

Apple and Banana Fruit Pot

Yoghurt with  Pear, Plum, and Blackberry Fruit Pot


Free Range Chicken Breast, Sweet Potato Wedges, and Tomatoes

Chicken Bolognese

Apple with Raspberry Pieces Fruit Pot

Ready Brek with Ella’s Kitchen “The Yellow One” Fruit Pouch

Roasted Pepper and Asparagus Egg Muffin


Pasta Stars with Veggie Sauce

Apple and Blueberry Fruit Pot

Weetabix with Apple and Mashed Mango Fruit Pot


Bread and Butter, Cheese, and Tomatoes

Sweet Potato and Lamb Casserole

Plain Yoghurt

  Ready Brek with Ella’s Kitchen “The Yellow One” Fruit Pouch

Rice Cakes with Boursin, Cucumber, and Carrot Sticks

Ella’s Kitchen Fishy Cakes

Ella’s Kitchen “The Green One” Fruit Pouch

  Ella’s Kitchen Peaches, Pear and Baby Rice Pouch

Ella’s Kitchen Creamy Chicken and Veg with Sweetcorn Mash Pouch

Ella’s Kitchen Veggie Lasagne

Ella’s Kitchen “The Red One” Fruit Pouch

While we were traveling we used the Ella's Kitchen savory and fruit pouches for ease. It would have been impossible to keep her homemade food frozen for two days! On Holiday Florence will just be eating the same as us alongside food pouches.
And that's a wrap - I hope that you've enjoyed reading Florence's weekly Weaning Diary.
I'll be posting a final Weaning Diary entry which will talk about Portion Sizes so keep your eyes peeled!