Eating out as a family of four for less than £20?! Yes please!

We were invited to Base and Barley by Attention Media to try out their new fab Kids eat for £1 offer.

All day, Every Tuesday- Sunday  Kids eat for £1 with every adult main course that is bought. IMG_1533

We’ve never been to Base and Barley so were super excited to go and try it out.  They specialize in Sourdough (the base part) pizzas and  craft (the barley part) beers, so both the kids and Mummy and Daddy were pleased! IMG_1541
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The verdict- We loved it! The staff were super friendly with both us and the girls. There is plenty of space inside so when Evelyn decided to dance her way back from the toilet, no one got hurt! There’s crayons and colouring sheets for the kids and Evelyn also enjoyed the fairy lights.

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So whats the deal? We pay for 1 pizza each for  the adults and both of our girls get  dough sticks, carrots and cucumber for a starter followed by a pizza (bigger than Thea’s face!)

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followed by a choice of ice cream or Brownies and ice cream, all for £1 each! Amazing.

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Not only does it mean that we could eat out (without drinks) for less than £20, but it’s good food, it’s all fresh AND it’s super tasty! We (the adults) also tried a beer and a cider, both were also fab and so Mummy and Daddy were happy too.

If you’ve not heard of Base and Barley before we throughly recommend checking them out, they are in central Exeter (Longbrook Street) and you can find their website here: http://www.baseandbarley.com/

We will definitely be back!

With thanks to Attention Media and Base and Barley for the invitation and our meals.

Evelyn’s ideas for presents for Grandma.

A nearly 4 year old’s  ideas for Birthday  presents for her Grandma:

 

1) Carton juices, so that when we go to visit she will have some for me to drink.

2) A Framed photo of me and Thea

3) Dinosaur toys, so that I can play with them when we go to visit.

4) Elsa and Anna crowns, because ‘everyone loves Frozen mummy’

 

 

Resurrecting this blog!

Right I’m going to have a go at resurrecting this blog.

 

A LOT has changed since I last posted regularly, we’ve had a second daughter- Thea. She’s almost two. (yes that’s how long it has been) She arrived into the world prematurely (I’ll save that blog post for another day), but is now a wonderful, loving full on cheeky almost 2 year old.  Evelyn is 4 next week and starts school in a few weeks(!) She’s survived preschool, I’ve survived PTSD and Post-natal anxiety after Thea’s birth, Chris quit his job and now runs his own business.

A LOT has happened!

 

I’ll try and catch up on important parts, or maybe Ill just start a fresh, who knows! but I definitely want to get blogging again.

 

 

Crying in coffee shops.

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Returning to work from maternity leave has been a different experience to how I used to work.  Back then I used to “fit” my 16 hours a week in, when Evelyn was napping, in the evenings, at the weekends. Now my husband, Chris has quit his job and is self employed so he has the girls while I work, no more fitting in, just full glorious days to work in.

I’ve been working in coffee shops. So far this has been a very pleasant experience, nice tea, the odd hot chocolate, definitely a bit of cake. I’ve been happy to beaver away, writing emails, planning newsletters and reminding people to send me stats. I like the feeling of being in a busy place, the noise, feeling like I’m with people.

Until last Thursday when I got an email from a kitchen with stats and stories from Easter and it had these quotes in it:

One girl said that coming along was “better than Christmas.”

 

Another girl had a sore stomach after her meal, when asked why she said: “because I don’t get to eat like that at home” (in a positive way!)

 

One mum said that her children seemed like different children from dropping them off to picking them up.

I sit for a few minutes and as the quotes sink in, I realize my eyes are full of tears and they are starting to fall. I’m in a coffee shop and I’m crying. It only took 3 days of being back at work and I’m crying. It’s not unusual for me to cry about MakeLunch. You should probably know that about me,

MakeLunch makes me cry.

I cried in my interview to get the job (it wasn’t  even going that badly, honest!) I cry when I speak publicly about it. There is something within me that just can’t cope with the truth, the fact that for some children in this country, for children that live just down the road from me, this is the truth, The reality. Not just for a week when they decide to raise money, or for a short amount of time while their parents are between jobs (though that is the truth for some). For 3.5 million children in this country  (3.5 million! I can’t even comprehend what 3.5 million children looks like, can you?) this is the truth, the reality, the way they have to live. A life that isn’t going to change anytime soon.

I don’t know about you, but for me that is heartbreaking. I’m not willing to settle for that being the truth. I am not down with that. I will not sit by and let that be ok.

I am a tiny cog in a massive machine, but if I can inspire one more person to open a kitchen, that will feed just one more child. If I can convince one more person that, you know what, yes children in this country really are hungry. If I can help fill one more hungry belly, then I will happily cry in any public space available until this is no longer the truth.

 

Find out more about MakeLunch here.

 

Learning to walk.

Evelyn started crawling at 7 months. Everyone went on about how early this was. Quite quickly she was pulling herself up to standing and cruising around the furniture and everyone kept saying “oh she’ll be walking soon”

But it’s been 5 months and she’s still not walking. I’ve tried not to wish away the milestones but my back is really hurting now from being constantly bent over as she walks around holding on to my fingers!  I would totally love her to be tottering around.

The problem is as soon as we let go of her fingers she panics and drops to the floor. It’s like she doesn’t have the confidence or belief that she can stand without us holding her up.

 

However the last few weeks we have been managing to trick her into standing alone. This works by giving Evelyn two seperate things to hold- normally her wooden envelopes or  bricks.  To start with she was lasting  a few seconds and then dropping to the floor.

It’s gradually been getting better and then today we have managed to get her to stand alone without tricking her, just by letting go of her hands, and she has been lasting a good 30 seconds or so. It’s incredible to watch and I love watching her realise what she is doing.

I wonder how long it will be until the standing becomes walking alone.

 

standing alone

Winning and changes.

It feels like Evelyn is constantly changing at the moment, like everyday she does/says something new or looks different or grows. It’s hard to keep up with, but she is becoming more more grown up. Today she has been very chirpy and chattered the day away with various sounds and noises. I love it when she is like this. I try and work out what she is saying by what she is looking at or her expression, I probably get it wrong 90% of the time and she’s probably massively frustrated inside!

I’ve mentioned previously that I carry Evelyn in a sling sometimes, now this is a whole crazy world of parenting in which I feel I maybe getting sucked in a little bit!  There are various facebook groups and websites to get involved in and a whole new language to learn!

When Evelyn was first born we quickly realised she didn’t really like being put down and quite often to get anything done we were trying to do it one handed or just gave up. I researched a bit and  found out a bit about using wraps and slings and we bought what is called a stretchy wrap. – a long piece of material that you tie around you in different ways.

Evelyn fairly soon became to big for this style of wrap though and after more research, we decided that the woven wraps (similar to teh stretchy wraps, but woven!) were a)far to expensive and out of our price range and b) that a carrier called a soft structured carrier (SSC)  was probably better suited to both of us.

So after a couple of buys and trades (I told you it’s addictive!) we’ve ended up with this very pretty Connecta:

 

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It’s great and it makes it much easier to get out the house than with the pushchair.

However I recently found a facebook group called “dip in babywearing” it’s a great group where you can basically buy a raffle ticket and be entered into a draw to win a specified prize of a wrap/ringsling/carrier. I entered one and won!!  which is incredible, for the mere payment of £2.50  I have ended up with a gorgeous woven wrap that costs somewhere (I think) in the region of £150!

Here’s my first attempt at wrapping Evelyn in it, it was super comfy and Evelyn seemed to enjoy it. This is the most basic carry and there is a whole load of other carries I could master, though I think I’ll just get used to this one for a while first!

first wrap

SOLD OUT!!

I totally sold out of all my cupcakes today! so pleased, and lots of people said lots of lovely things. I’ve also got the promise of  emails to get quotes for a couple of weddings which is exciting.

 

Now for a takeaway and games with friends.

Setting up shop.

 

Well not an actual real shop, but a business! Eek a real business. It’s going to be called Steph Bakes and I will make cupcakes and all sorts of other cakes and treats.

I’m very excited. My first official selling will be at the St Thomas festival this weekend. I’m going to make 200 cupcakes to sell of varying flavours.

Chris has helped me by designing some little business cards for me.

 business cards

 

I think they are so cute.

 

I’m pretty excited but also pretty scared, what if no one buys my cakes? What if they taste horrible, or I inadvertently make someone ill. I keep coming up with excuses why I shouldn’t do it, I think Chris along with some friends will make sure I don’t.

Camping with a baby.

Those of you that have known me for a few years will know that I used to totally be against camping, it was not my idea of a holiday! However we went on holiday in 2011 for a week camping. Me, Chris and the dog – in a 12 man tent! Sounds excessive I know, but I needed all that space. It was great and I was converted.

We went to a great campsite in North Devon called  Caffyns Farm. It’s great: cheap, dogs and open fires allowed. 

So this year we decided to attempt it with a baby for 3 nights.

I had my doubts, I just wasn’t sure how Evelyn would cope, if she would sleep well or how we would feed her. But once again I was wrong, it was a massive success, Evelyn appears to love the outside, settled really well in the tent and slept through each night we were there.

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