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Boys, boys, BOYS!

I had forgotten quite how difficult it is to buy nice baby boy clothes, in 14 years things have slightly improved, but I really think these shops could improve what they are selling for young boys much more than they have done! On a recent trip into our local Target I noticed that in the baby/toddler girls section of clothes there were lots of bright spring colors and clothes of all styles, dresses, skirts, leggings, shorts, the list is endless, but in the same section for boys it was very disappointing, the baby clothes were almost non existent and for toddlers you were faced with the choice of hoodies and sweat pants in dreary colors like dark blue and gray… Really, where were the nice bright spring clothes for little boys, do boys not want spring and summer clothes these days? The other thing I noticed was that most girls clothes are sold as separates, t-shirts to mix and match with skirts, shorts or leggings etc, but in the boys section most of the clothes were sold in sets, so there may have been a t-shirt I liked, but it was paired with pants and a sweater I did not like or want to buy… Crazy if you ask me!

Why, oh why do boys clothes have to be bottle green, dark blue, charcoal gray or black with huge ugly motifs placed all over them… I was at the pediatrician office the other day, Tate was wearing a bright yellow sweatshirt, gray and white star leggings with a matching striped yellow hat, he was not in the usual dreary colors that seem to be uniform for boys, the doctor just assumed he was a girl, he had Tate’s file in his hand but he repeatedly said she, I told my daughter it was because he wasn’t wearing the stereotypical boys clothes… It is time boys clothes became as much fun to buy as girls clothes!

I have found some good boy shops online, but in the stores I am limited to the Gap and H&M kids… and a few items everywhere else that I would actually buy my little Tate! My dream would be to write to Target and work with them on a trendy line of boys clothing, just like Jamie Oliver’s wife Jools has done in the UK with her beautiful clothing line ‘Little Bird’, I love buying clothes for Florence in Target and quite frequently find good bargains on the clearance rails, but I struggle looking at the boys clothes!

Here are a couple of links for excellent boys clothing stores online…
Zulily
Mini Boden USA
Little Hipsqueaks

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Clothes from the GAP baby!

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Tutu from Carter’s, hat by Florrie’s Attic on Etsy!

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Clothes all from Target!

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Sweater from OshKosh!

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A perfect Easter afternoon…

What do you do when your Spring break is cancelled? You pick a day over your three day weekend and go to the beach… The sun is shining, the temperatures are finally above freezing and we have food for a picnic, so we are going in search of a vacation, even if it’s only for one day!

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We had a wonderful time at the beach, it was windy when we got there but after a while the wind calmed down and it was a very pleasant sunny 66f, making it perfect for our April beach day… This is my favorite time of the year to visit the Jersey Shore, it’s not so busy, the water is cold, true, but the sand is clean and usually empty, there are no fees to get onto the beach or to park your cars… And the weather is cooler than summer but just nice to enjoy the the waves crashing in… Perfection!

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Our Easter Saturday Afternoon began with the perfect parking spot, sad I know, but it really made my day! We bought a small picnic of chicken and cheese rolls, a salad and fresh strawberries, we sat on a bench, on the boardwalk overlooking the beach eating our home made lunch, Tate was sleeping in his stroller and Florrie was talking so excitedly about the sand and sea shells! After lunch it was time to hit the sand, and this in my opinion was the BEST part of the day, because my little Florrie for the first time ever walked on the sand and wasn’t scared, in fact she loved it, she went down to the water with her Dad and paddled her feet… It was truly COLD, according to Paul, but they did it anyway, but not for long! Whilst Florrie searched for sea shells, Paul and Mabel kicked a ball around! I sat on the boardwalk with my camera and people watched for a while, my Mum took some photos and we just enjoyed the moment!

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Frozen yogurt and a spot of shopping strolling along the boardwalk shops, perfected our afternoon… Then a leisurely sit in the Corner Cafe drinking coffee and eating more ice cream, chatting and listening to Florrie sing Let it go from the movie Frozen, this made our afternoon purely wonderful!

The moral of this little story is… Whenever you think it’s not quite the right time of year for the beach… Remember anytime is perfect for the beach, the sea, the sand, the boardwalk, all make a perfect day out whatever the weather!

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My dream is to one day live by the beach and spend all year, whatever the weather loving living right there…

Happy Easter!

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To BBQ or not to BBQ… That is the question?

I have decided that change of seasons means changing up my menu plan, and I am not so good at doing that… After a long hard winter of cooking casseroles and hardy soups, it’s time to crack out that BBQ, throw together salads and think about side dishes for your burgers… Easy, peasy you would think, not for me though, I struggle with change in any situation, but thinking about cooking is even more difficult, my mind goes completely blank!

So this is how far I have got this week with menu planning and grocery shopping…
Burgers
Sausages
Risotto
Some kind of chicken dish
Lots of salad
A pasta bake of some kind

Pathetic really, but my mind is totally blank to what we normally cook when Spring arrives!

Of course breastfeeding a newborn restricts my choices, no tomatoes or onions, in fact absolutely no gas producing veggies at all, so that rules out favorites like kale and broccoli, not that my children are too upset about those being on the menu, but I am missing them!

My reduced dairy diet has been good for me, I had a non fat milk drink in Starbucks yesterday and it seemed to have had no affect on Tate, but I think for me a low dairy intake diet seems to have improved my digestive system, so this will be something that I will keep ongoing, I’m not saying no dairy just reducing my intake, hopefully this will keep the IBS at bay!

Now to try the gluten reduced diet, one diet at a time to see what helps me feel better! I have kind of reduced my gluten intake anyway… I always buy Trader Joes gluten free oatmeal and pasta now, of course things like rice and quinoa are naturally gluten free, but this week I actually looked for gluten free foods, cereals and flours, I was very surprised how easy it was to find lots of dairy and gluten free foods and how well they were priced!

After spending the afternoon cleaning the BBQ, of course when I say this I do mean Paul spent the afternoon cleaning our BBQ, it was time to light it up and cook the first outdoor grilled meal of the year… Yay, Spring is here! The weather was beautiful yesterday, 70f, sunny and just purely wonderful after a very long and very cold winter… Of course I did not get any photos as I had to take a nap, feeling very tired with waking every two hours throughout the night, but I did wake up just as the food was finished cooking!

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Here is the link for this recipe… Very easy gluten free waffles

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A true diary of photos…

My daughter often tells me I shouldn’t post more than one photo a day on Instagram… But I always tell her I don’t care what I should or shouldn’t do… Oh to be 12 again, and to worry what my friends might think… From the very first day I discovered Instagram it became a diary of photos for me, back then, oh all of 2 years ago, Instagram wasn’t a Facebook for teens and it wasn’t about advertising your business, it was truly about your photos… And that is how I see it…

After being woken up at 4.30am this morning, I sat looking back at photos on Instagram, my children, places, things that would have been forgotten are there for me to remember, sometimes fondly, sometimes with horror, but most of all just there to be savored again and again… Sometimes people are quick to criticize the social media, the fact that as bloggers we put our lives out there, but I think for me it is like an ongoing diary of events, people and places that I would have misplaced over time, lost into the forgetful memory that I have!

I may not be 12 anymore and look at Instagram as my everything social media, but I have always loved it from the first time I discovered the app, I didn’t know many people on there and it was all new and different… To all of my family and friends who are now on Instagram… Please, please, please keep the photos coming… I totally love seeing each and every one of them and do not worry, I think we as adults are allowed to post more than one photo one day if we want to!

So please forgive me for all of my ramblings and if you follow me on Instagram all the endless photos I continue to post… For me this is my life and I get to look back from time to time and think ‘oh yes I remember that day well…’ I also love to share these memories, and share in other people’s memories too, for me this is one of the best parts of social media as we know it… No more photos put away in dusty old closets that no one will ever see… Just lots of memories out there for family and friends to enjoy!

Happy Instagramming!

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A thirst for knowledge…

Being a new Mom again in my forties, makes me realize how much I’ve grown as a person, I realize how much more knowledge I have about myself, my body and my mind! When I first began breastfeeding 14 years ago I was totally green, I didn’t realize the things I did and ate could affect my newborn child… I blindly learnt to nourish my now teenage boy, did it do him any harm? I would say not, but as a newborn maybe he suffered the pain of gas in his newly developing tummy… This is something we will never know!

Now in this age of the internet, where our thirst for knowledge is answered almost immediately, we can learn about all sorts of things… Our bodies, the way we look after them and the best foods to eat to protect them! Sleep deprivation can be one of those things that drive us to question our diets and what we can do to prevent our tiny babies and their tender tummies from aching!

With all this in mind, I am setting out to try to reduce my gluten and dairy intake. The gluten is a personal thing, due to flare ups of irritable bowel syndrome, I don’t want to be completely obsessed with cutting out gluten, just try to reduce my intake where I can! I honestly believe my huge intake of dairy is affecting my baby boy, I didn’t realize how many things I consume contain dairy… My beloved Starbucks coffees, the cream cheese bagel I ate for lunch, the list goes on… So here is what I’ve done so far, I have replaced the non fat milk in my Starbucks drinks to soy milk, not actually as bad as I thought, at home I bought lactaid milk and low lactose cheese, I have even treated myself to a dairy free chocolate ice cream… Actually I was surprised how good this was and not too badly priced either! So far so good, I actually got a whole 3 hours sleep last night, which I haven’t had for a while and the red spots on my baby boys face seem to be fading a little bit… Of course all of this could be coincidence, but it’s worth trying!

As for the gluten, that is a work in progress, I’ve been researching making my own gluten free flour to replace all purpose flour in recipes, I have also been looking at where I can buy cheaper flours online to reduce the cost! I was surprised in the grocery store when I actually looked for gluten free items, how many of our day to day purchases were now gluten free and also a good price, a lot were on weekly special prices, making a diet change not only a lot easier than I thought but a lot cheaper too!

It’s hard in a large family to concentrate on a full diet change, so I’m aiming to just reduce my gluten intake, go dairy free for about a week and see if it helps my little boy… But of course we are what we eat so healthy eating continues with lots of salads, fruit and all things healthy and delicious… Not sure my older children love it… But that’s just how I roll these days!

Just incase anyone wants to try a gluten free diet I found a couple of links to help you get started…
Olive Garden style garlic breadsticks – gluten free
Gluten free all purpose flour blend
Classic gluten free waffles
Lemon, blueberry waffles – gluten free

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