another day, another snow storm

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This morning we awoke to another severe snowstorm, you couldn’t even see the bridges or Manhattan from our apartment. It’s days like today when I’m grateful to be able to stay home, snuggled in with my beautiful boys. Rory and I used it as an excuse to do some Valentine’s preparation. We used an apple cut in the shape of a heart (we didn’t have a potato big enough) and poster paint to do some printing. Rory loved it and discovered about mixing red and white paint to create pink.

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Vitamix

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We are loving our new Vitamix. Today we made a peach and ginger smoothie for breakfast, a kale and blueberry smoothie for afternoon snack and a burrito bowl for supper. Rory can’t get enough of it and because he’s helping to make the smoothies, he’s also enjoying drinking them. Who knew a whole bunch of kale would taste so good to a toddler?

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An early birthday present

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A combination of being ill, being sleep deprived and getting older has made O and I want to be more mindful of being healthy and looking after ourselves. As part of the plan we treated ourselves to an early birthday present (we both have birthdays coming up) of a Vitamix. Inspired by my health guru, Christine, we took out a second mortgage and took the plunge and got this bad boy. It is brilliant. Today we made fresh cashew milk for breakfast which Rory loved. Later on we all went for a long walk to our local organic supermarket to stock up on healthy food to keep up our good work.

Play dough

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Since having a newborn and enduring the winter weather, we’ve been spending a lot of times indoors which can sometimes be tricky with a toddler. I’ve got around this by having little projects and activities, especially in the afternoon when we’re all a little exhausted. I ordered this kit to make play dough a little more fun and Rory loves it. He uses this and his little cars in the dough and happily plays for an hour independently.

cookies and play dough

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Brrr, it’s suddenly turned very, very cold. After a leisurely morning at home we met up with Marji, Gray and Luke for a stroll and trip to the park. The boys loved swinging “to the moon” but unfortunately Rory had a little ‘wee wee’ accident and because it was so cold felt very uncomfortable. We rushed home as fast as I could with my big pregnant belly, but he was in a miserable mood by the time we got in. We had a lovely warm bath, cranked up the heating, massage and new comfy clothes before ringing Daddy, who always makes us feel better. After lunch Rory had a massive nap. In the afternoon we continued our catch up with Marji, Gray and Luke, but this time stayed safely inside. We holed up in One Girl Cookies where we all enjoyed warm milk and the boys played with play dough and cars. It was all genius as Marji and I finally got to catch up! This evening I have been making up some soothing ‘pads’ for postpartum, inspired by this post.

Postpartum Care Pads

Witch hazel is your best friend for the postpartum healing period. Witch hazel can be used on swollen body parts (birth gives your body quite the beating), varicose veins and makes a wonderful treatment for two obnoxious new mama problems – a sore perineum and hemorrhoids. These soothing pads do wonders for soreness and swelling after vaginal birth. Prepare 18-24 ahead of time.

Overnight/Jumbo maxi pads
1/4 cup Witch hazel
2-3 drops Lavender oil
1 Tbsp Pure Aloe Vera gel
Aluminum foil

Combine witch hazel, lavender essential oil, and aloe vera gel in a small bowl and mix till thoroughly combined. Transfer to a small spray bottle. Unfold each pad, and spray each pad with the healing mixture till the pad is damp, but not soaked. Wrap each pad in foil and store them in the freezer. Witch hazel and lavender are natural astringents, so they’ll help reduce swelling, and the aloe and the cold are very soothing.

Mountain climbing

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After all of the excitement of yesterday’s party we decided we needed a quieter, family day to counterbalance. We headed to Central Park (at Rory’s request) where he enjoyed a spot of ‘mountain climbing’ before heading the the sand, slide and swing park. Feeling hungry we stopped off at The Smith for a delicious brunch before heading to Whole Foods to stock up on healthy goodies for the week. O is flying to the UK tonight, so we had a restful afternoon doing a few jobs to help the week go smoothly. Rory was very busy building with Fiddlestix, a brilliant gift he’d been given at the party. It was an early night for me, feeling slightly blue without my boy.

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A (very early) Autumnal picnic party for Rory’s 3rd birthday

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Although Rorykins doesn’t turn three until 17th December, we wanted to throw him a birthday party in advance of Baby E’s arrival so we could all relax and enjoy ourselves. The nice thing about doing it so early was that we could take advantage of the weather and have it outside, which we’ve never previously been able to do. We decided on a cub scout/ moonrise kingdom camping/ forest school/ autumnal picnic theme. The invites set the scene with ‘how to build a camp fire’ and O and I designed a logo for all of the little party bits that used scouting badges. We set up ‘camp’ in Brooklyn Bridge park with a lovely photo banner that O designed and made depicting some favourite photos of Rory throughout the year and throwing down a large picnic blanket. Soon all of Rory’s friends arrived. The first thing that the children did was complete a little treasure hunt where they had to find given things and collect them in their little buckets. This kept them busy (and tired from running around) and got them in the mood to eat. Feeling hungry they all collected their little personalized picnic baskets which were hanging from the trees. Inside I had made a gingham linen napkin and they enjoyed jam sandwiches, raisins, fruit drops and cheddar bunnies along with our ‘stay cool’ waters. After singing happy birthday and blowing out the ‘R’ candle on his little cake, we served mini cupcakes (vanilla and chocolate and spiced pumpkin and cream cheese) from One Girl and Jacques Torres were kind enough to come and serve their delicious hot chocolate (mini versions) with a choice of cream, marshmallows and rum for the grown ups. Everyone left full and tired with their bag of ‘swag’ which included some cub scout memorabilia and a make your own wooden tractor. It was a truly special day. We can’t tell our beautiful friends how much we love them.

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Crown making

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We’re all slowly on the mend, but we still decided to have a relaxing day. We caught up with the gorgeous Cath this morning who had brilliant news about a new job (so proud of you) before a little fresh air at the park. After lunch Rory enjoyed a mammoth and much needed nap before we headed out to a crown making class with friends. Rory had to select his material, which were then ironed together by Katie, the teacher, then choose ribbons and thread them through the holes, and lastly bedazzle his crown with jewels. He chose a star print and I think it turned out pretty well. He enjoyed a run around with Teddy before heading home for an early supper with daddy who came home from work early. A lovely start to the weekend.

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A farewell gift that finally arrived

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So as you know the gorgeous Appleby family left for London a few weeks ago. Being the special family that they are I wanted to do something special and unique as a reminder of our wonderful time together in New York. I used this brilliant site and created two gifts for Mia. The first one was this memory game of her and Rory showing photos of when they were newborns up until they left. The second gift was these A-Z flashcards which I persoanlised with photos of friends and shots of around our neighbourhood. For example, The ‘E’ became the ‘Egan family’ with a photo of us. Well, they FINALLY arrived in London and Mel sent me the sweetest thank you email, with the above photo of Mia, who is apparently thrilled with them. Gosh, we miss you! I spent the morning doing yoga at this brilliant studio before stocking up on healthy goodies at Whole Foods. I caught up with mum on Skype before heading out to Sahadis with Lucy and Teddy to get more food goodies for the weekend. O is away on business tonight so snuggling in to girly TV and Mac ‘n’ Cheese.

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