Weaning the Mediterranean way with My Little Piccolo!

I am so excited to share this post with you – and I may have gone a little picture heavy but Isla was just too hilarious in these shots not to include them all so grab a cup of tea & get ready to dive in!

If you follow us on Instagram (go on, you know you want to!) you will know that we got a very special delivery this week, from Piccolo – a new organic baby food brand, inspired by the Mediterranean approach to health and wellbeing.

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Isla has always been very independent, especially when it comes to her food. We have mostly been trying Baby Led Weaning but with teething, it being so hot and travelling, I’ve been incorporating pouches to make sure Isla is getting what she needs!

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Piccolo’s founder, Cat Gazzoli, has spent her career campaigning for good, honest and natural food. As the CEO of the Slow Food Movement (in the UK) for 6 years, she certainly is an expert when it comes to food! Cat’s aim with Piccolo is to encourage healthy eating from 6 months and to introduce Mediterranean goodness in a delicious range of baby food. The range has been influenced by Cat’s Italian roots, her background in food education and passion for good, honest and natural food. The Mediterranean approach to nutrition and lifestyle is one that champions fresh ingredients and great flavours, lovingly prepared, shared with friends and family.

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They make six stage one blends (completely smooth, no lumps!), made with 100 percent natural, organic ingredients. With a range of adventurous and delicious flavours, each suitable for children from six months, little ones can discover new taste experiences such as Apple & Apricot with a pinch of cinnamon, Cherry & Yoghurt with wholegrain oats, and Spring Greens with a hint of mint.

The Cherry & Yoghurt is Isla’s favourite for breakfast & we usually have the spring greens to go along with her BLW lunch of cucumber, ham, tomatoes, & any cooked veg we can get our hands on!

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(Any excuse to get the light box out!)

This photo kills me… I think I might get it framed!

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She is just so thrilled that I finally let her play with the pouches! (If I let her play with them during meal times we both end up absolutely covered!!)

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‘Wanna share?’…

But the second you go to take it, she snatches it away and laughs in your face… I don’t know where she gets it from! Haha!

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Our combination of Piccolo pouches & chopped up… well… whatever I can find in the fridge… is working really well so Isla can explore textures, tastes and I know she’s eating well! I often mix it all together in a bowl and just let her grab what she wants which works perfectly but it does get seriously messy!

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Trying her very best to put it on the spoon herself… No help from Mummy please…

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Ok… maybe Mummy can help a little…

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The pouch was nearly empty so I thought she could handle holding it… 5 seconds later she squirted most of it up the wall… Rookie…

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All the flavours have been a huge success in our house, and will remain firmly on our shopping list! They are available from Waitrose, Ocado, Whole Foods & a range of other places that you can find here

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Oh and if you are feeling like Super Mum & have a spare second (apparently that happens once every few years…) you should check out their blog for some awesome recipes! I’m going to try the Courgette & feta fritters when I get a chance…

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A big thumbs up from us, good food with no added nasties & Isla absolutely loves them!

Have you tried Piccolo yet? Whats your LO’s favourite flavour? Send me your pictures of them enjoying on Instagram or Facebook and make sure you tag @MyLittlePiccolo too!

 

**This was a sponsored post but all the opinions are my own!

Little People, Big Dreams: Coco Chanel – Book Review!

If you follow us on Instagram you’ll know that Isla is obsessed with reading… We read 10+ books a day and she regularly becomes obsessed with certain books and makes me read them again and again… all… day…

I thought I’d start a monthly book review of our favourite new (or old!) titles for you to check out with your little one!

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Today’s new book came from the National Theatre Bookshop on the Southbank in London. It is ‘Coco Chanel’ from the ‘Little People, BIG DREAMS.’ series written by Isabel Sanchez Vegara with beautiful illustrations by Ana Albero.

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Isla & her friends are ready to dive in…

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In this new series, you can discover the lives of outstanding people from designers and artists to scientists. All of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. The first book follows Coco Chanel, from her early life in an orphanage – where she was a genius with needle and thread – to her time as a cabaret singer, hat maker and, eventually, international fashion designer. This inspiring and informative little biography comes with extra facts about Coco’s life at the back.

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The story encourages young girls (and boys!) to dare to be different, to be extraordinary and aim for the skies when it comes to their dreams. They introduce some incredible role models that I hope will inspire Isla for years to come.

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I don’t agree with limiting your child to the age limits that they put on toys & books – so I’d say you could enjoy this book with your little ones from birth to 10 years. The text is a great size for new readers to challenge themselves but not too much to feel daunting!

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Daddy helped Isla & her friends read the story a few times before letting her just explore the book, practise turning the pages (carefully!) and enjoy the illustrations!

These beautiful books would make a perfect gift and we will be adding the rest of the series to Isla’s first birthday wish list I’m sure! 🙂

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It definitely has Isla’s approval – a kiss for Coco!

You can find these books for £9.99 at The National Theatre BookshopWaterstones or at many independent book shops across the country!

Leave me a comment & let me know what you’ve been reading this week & what we should be reading next! We love anything independent, quirky or with great role models! 🙂

Or join in with our reading club over on Instagram using #BabyBookClub

 

 

Our Family ‘Staycation’ at St Moritz Hotel, Cornwall

Deciding where to go for our first family holiday was a mammoth task; we wanted somewhere luxury, beautiful and most of all happy for us to bring Isla… Easier said than done!! Travelling with a baby has it’s restrictions but that doesn’t mean you have to end up in a ‘kidz’ holiday park wishing you’d just stayed at home…

We found the St Moritz hotel in Rock, Cornwall and boy did we luck out! It was absolutely perfect. There’s a Cowshed spa, indoor and outdoor pool, gym, two buzzy restaurants and a bar. The finish is super-stylish and contemporary, the location’s unbeatable and the Guest Host is on hand to plan your stay from start to finish. You can book into a hotel room, penthouse apartment or child-friendly garden villa, all with everything you could need for travelling with kids! Cots & linen are provided (for a small fee) and if you book into a King/Twin room you even get your own sea view beach hut next to the outdoor pool – if you are planning a summer visit!

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Isla was just a little grumpy as we arrived… but that changed quickly!

Located in Trebetherick, with views across the stunning Camel Estuary and Atlantic Ocean, close to Rock and Padstow and within five minutes of the beaches at Daymer Bay and Polzeath, St Moritz is the destination for a relaxing beach break.

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Isla made herself at home on the giant marshmallow bed right away! It was such a comfortable nights sleep – we didn’t want to get out of it the next morning! Isla had a great sleep in her cot but jumped right in with us first thing for cuddles & cartoons.

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Ready to catch some waves!

After the long drive we decided to go for a swim, as it’s Isla’s favourite thing to do! The pool changing rooms were spacious & clean. They have amazing disabled access too.

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Just relaxing in her own private pool… Lucky girl!

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After our swim we decided to brave a coastal walk down to the beach… It was rather windy as you can see… But the breath taking views more than made up for it! You wouldn’t be able to take a pram – but I felt safer baby wearing Isla anyway.

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We made a quick pitstop for a hot chocolate to warm up… Isla was fascinated but had to settle for her milk! Onesie from Gap Kids.  The service we received everywhere was amazing – so accommodating & friendly.

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Baby carrier from Baby Bjorn & Bear Suit from The Little White Company.

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We had to improvise a little to get Isla into the high chair – but she found it hilarious, of course! Breakfast was included in the room price & was absolutely delicious – my eggs Benedict was a particular highlight.

That night we had a three course dinner in the main restaurant that was absolutely beautiful. The service was wonderful & the restaurant was incredible stylish. The menu is a little pricey – but you pay for what you get. The attention to detail was exceptional & it was great to watch the chefs at work in the open kitchen.

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The next morning we went for another swim before driving over to Padstow. You can get a boat/ferry over but as we were there out of season – the last one back was too early to fit in our special dinner plans!

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Padstow has some lovely little shops to explore and great walks along the cliffs. All paved & accessible with the pram. (Urbo2 in Camel from Mamas & Papas!) Isla had her eye on some fudge that we were bringing back as a souvenir for her big cousins!

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For dinner we went to Rick Stein’s Cafe… He also has a restaurant in Padstow but only allows children over the age of 3. The food was fantastic, as you would expect – but make sure you get a reservation well in advance as even on a midweek in January it was fully booked from the moment it opened! The cafe itself is very small so there really isn’t much room for a pram – leaving the pram in the car & baby wearing would be a great option.

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Full & happy, we headed back to the hotel. We spent the rest of the night watching movies in our spacious room & letting this cheeky monkey stay up after bedtime for some extra family time before our much needed mini break was over. After another great nights sleep we grabbed breakfast & headed home.

It was the perfect first family holiday, short but sweet! We can’t wait to come back to this beautiful hotel & see it really come to life in the summer. They have some amazing deals on their website for out of season – if you don’t have to fit in with the school holidays yet. We stayed on the Discounted Decadence package & thought it was amazing value for money.

Family Friendly – 10/10
Baby Change Facilities- 10/10
Hotel Room – 10/10
Food – 9/10 (Just a little too expensive!)

Swimming Pool – 10/10
Nearby Activities – 10/10

You get the picture… absolutely perfect!! Thank you so much to everyone at the St. Moritz for making our first family staycation such a success!

My Expressing Journey with Medela

In my last post for Medela I was right at the beginning of our Breastfeeding journey & if I’m honest, we were really struggling. I always thought of breastfeeding as the most natural thing in the world, so of course we would master it. I just didn’t think it could be so hard.

I was in hospital for the first few days after Isla was born & ended up being so overloaded with contrasting advice from all the midwives I just felt so frustrated and confused. Getting advice from a lactation specialist was exactly what we needed & I decided to ignore everyone else.

At first we were feeding really well & I thought it was plain sailing from there. I was so wrong… Aside from the bleeding nipples & toe curling pain, Isla started feeding for over 2 hours at a time & then still wanting more. I ended up dizzy, dehydrated and disheartened. Was I not producing enough milk? Am I ever going to be able to? Isla refused to stay latched on for more than a few seconds and only seemed to be satisfied after feeding from a bottle, so I started my expressing journey.

At first I tried the Avent single electric pump & would spend an hour attached to this deafening machine & only get a few sad ml’s of milk… I began to research pumps & found Medela! I started using the Freestyle Double Electric pump & within a few weeks I was able to get 200ml in just 15-30minutes. (Full review coming soon!) I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder of myself than the first time I fed her a full feed just from my milk!!

When I told any health visitor or nurse I was mostly expressing and feeding her (with Medela’s Calma teats to avoid nipple confusion) but still trying to keep breastfeeding, they all congratulated me and sounded impressed, like expressing was some great challenge. At first I just thought they were mad… but as the weeks went by I started to understand.

Exclusively expressing is a huge undertaking. Every 3-4 hours, day and night. If you haven’t eaten enough that day maybe you don’t make enough for the next feed & there really isn’t a worse feeling. Psychologically it can’t be good to put that amount of pressure on yourself. The second I finished expressing I had to feed Isla from that bottle as I could never make enough to get ahead to keep a stock in the freezer. By the time we got to month 3 I was struggling to keep going and felt so unbelievably guilty for wanting to quit. There are so many resources & support networks for breastfeeding mum’s but I struggled to find anything for expressing mum’s & I didn’t know anyone in the same situation to talk to. I finally opened up to my other half & told him how unhappy it was making me. A combination of hormones, lack of sleep and pressure led to me hating expressing when it had once made me feel so proud and happy.

We decided it would be ok to start mix feeding her to take off some of the pressure – what a relief I felt. I finally met a health visitor who made me feel like what I was doing was ok! Any breast milk is better than none – so whatever I could get would have to be enough and should be celebrated, and if it’s not enough – topping up with formula really isn’t the crime some people make you think that it is.

If you are reading this and struggling like I was, just know, you are amazing. Expressing can be hard and that’s ok. Even if you manage it for 1 week, 1 day or 1 year that is incredible and as long as you & your baby are happy then that’s all that matters.

If you are planning on exclusively expressing make sure you buy or rent the best pump you possibly can – without Medela I know I wouldn’t have been able to continue expressing for so long. I will write a full review soon but I can’t sing their praises enough – the Freestyle Double Electric Pump is easy to use, comfortable, and so efficient! Everything you could want!

Drink as much water as you can, don’t skip meals and try to sleep whenever you get a second. Most importantly, speak to someone about how you feel.

If you are expressing or are thinking about it & have questions or just want someone to talk to, tweet me, email me (poppy@adventureswithisla.com) or leave me a comment!

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