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Mimi Rose & Me

MOTHERHOOD | BEAUTY | LIFESTYLE

Remembering The Early Days Of Parenthood

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My daughter will be two and a half on Christmas day and it's hard to believe, even now, that I can remember every moment with her during the early days. After what seemed like forever we were finally holding our daughter in our arms and immediately fell in love, we were so happy that we had become a family of three. Those first few days as new parents was an emotional time for us, with exhaustion taking over one minute and then feeling total elation the next - and there was much that neither of us anticipated.

I guess we were feeling so over whelmed to really understand what we were actually going through in the early days of parenthood. Even though we were ridiculously prepared, nothing can quite prepare you for becoming a parent - the exhaustion, the black poos, understanding each others needs, and more importantly making sure that our daughter bonded with both my husband and I.  Our daughter came into the world and turned our life upside down and right side up again but we didn't mind, we were very thankful for her. So remembering the early days of parenthood...

 
Tiredness is relative.
 
Every new parent is sleep deprived. It was pretty much all we were told at our antennal classes, midwife appointments and by family. But I guess until you have actually been awake six days straight you cannot really understand the sheer exhaustion new parents feel in those first few days. I was actually that tired I thought I was going to die, I know it sounds a little melodramatic but dealing with that type of exhaustion is just awful. Being that exhausted does make me wonder how on earth did I manage to still function like a normal human being I think that there's just something that drives you, that and lots of coffee!!!
 
Everyone has an opinion.
 
On everything! Isn't she too hot? Is she cold? If you keep cuddling her you'll make a rod for your own back, it never ends! I quickly realised that it was best to smile, nod and accept unwanted advice, gracefully. For whatever reason, people love to offer their advice on babies - everyone has an opinion and everyone likes to share. Don't get me wrong I knew that most of the advice that was given was well intended, everyone wants you succeed in getting this parenting malarkey down - no one is out to get you. I spend nearly every waking minute with my daughter and majority of the time she was happy in the early days and when she wasn't she would soon tell me. We created our own ways and they have been working ever since.
 
I wanted it all.
 
Just because I became a mother doesn't mean I was going to completely give up on myself. I remember wanting to find a way where I can be a great hands on mother and also be happy with myself, my career and anything that gives me a fulfilling life. But life and situations change and after much thought I became a stay at home mum, but it has also lead to doors opening and leading me into directions that I never thought was possible. After all I need to be happy and my daughter deserves to have the best role model I can possibly be.
 
Reading blogs and exercise kept me sane.
 
All any new mother needs is a little time for themselves, my husband and my family made sure that I had a few hours off mum duty, and it made all the difference for me. It helped with my stress levels, helped me feel more refreshed, energised and more motivated which was the perfect combination to tackle the early days with a new born.
 
Baby giggles.
 
Aren't they the best sound in the world? Except at 3am, no noise is good at 3am!!!
 
Often quality was worth it.
 
Having a baby without a Moses basket and other such baby items is like building a house without a hammer or a drill. You will still find a way, but it's a lot more difficult. I found that by talking to other parents, family and asking them about what they couldn't do without and then going out to buy those items helped us prepare for her. Some baby items don't come cheap but they are so worth investing in. I can't put a price on our baby swing, slumber elephant or rocking chair! But even though there were items that we couldn't have managed without we still bought so many baby related items that we really didn't need - did we really need two different play mats? What about that special net that was a must have in Mothercare for the Moses basket? How about that gro egg room thermometer? No, No and No!
 
Supportive network.
 
Not everybody is blessed with a supportive family, but you do have control over the family and friends in which you surround yourself. It helps to have people around you that truly care about your happiness and the success in getting this parenting thing down. My family and friends did everything the could to enable me to be there for my baby, it's a great feeling knowing that you have people you can count on during these special moments in your life. I wouldn't be the mother to my daughter if it wasn't for them.
 
I actually liked my daughter.

Now I know what you may be thinking. Of course I love my daughter that's unconditional but I actually liked her during those early days, she was so much fun, and even though she would sleep during the day and be awake most the night she would always find a smile for me during feeds, nappy changes and the night time cuddles. This is pretty much the same now that she's two and a half years old, she makes me smile, she makes me laugh, she amazes me everyday.
 
I love being a mother.
 
Nothing can prepare you for being a mother. You can read all the books go to the antenatal classes but when it comes down to it you never know what it's really like to be a mother until you become one. There are loads of things that I would love to have done before my beautiful daughter came in our life, but you know what, I wouldn't trade places with anyone. I am so lucky to have an amazing little girl, to me she is perfect and I couldn't possibly imagine my life without her.

Can you remember the early days of parenthood? If so what stood out for you?

My Top 5 Christmas Films

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Happy Thursday everyone! Can you believe that we are already in December. Where did November go? Better still, where did Autumn go? All those gorgeous golden crisp autumn leaves have turned into mulch, and the days you could get away with a thick knit jumper have well and truly gone. There's a fresh, crisp, chill in the air for sure. Now I look forward to wrapping up with blankets, hot chocolates, candy canes and turning the heating up to full, it's December so we can!
 
 
With all this festive excitement I thought it would be a great idea to share our favourite Christmas films of all time, and there are so many fantastic ones to choose from. I have been asking all my family and friends about their favourite Christmas films and there seems to be quite a few popular ones in this list. So let's get to it...
 
The Muppet Christmas Carol
 
Ever since I can remember this has been a sort of, tradition in our family. My parents would settle us down with blankets, hot chocolate and sweets in preparation for our Christmas Eve film and this would always be our choice. The Muppet characters tell their version of the classic Charles Dickens novel, A Christmas Carol which is a tale of an old and bitter miser's redemption of Christmas Eve. A must see for all families especially because in this adaption there are some modern songs, who doesn't love a good sing-a-long?
 
The Polar Express
 
I actually watched this film for the first time with my Nan, a few years ago. I can always remember how much she adored this film and know that this would be the perfect film for families over Christmas. My daughter and I watched quite a few films during our Christmas Eve film marathon and this was by far her favourite one. This exciting adventure is based on a children's book by Christ Van Allsburg. The film takes a young boy on a magical train journey that shows him that wonder of life never fades, if you believe!
 
The Santa Clause
 
This was a film that my little sister loved when we were younger and because she watched it so many times, it became a favourite of mine, too. This film is about a Dad, Scott Calvin, who accidentally causes Santa Claus to fall from his roof on Christmas Eve. When he and his young son, Charlie, finish St. Nick's trip and deliveries, they go to the North Pole where Scott learns that he must become the new Santa and convince those he loves that he is indeed Father Christmas.

The Grinch
The Grinch is a film from the beloved children's tale by Dr. Seuss. We love Dr. Seuss in our household my daughter is obsessed with the Lorax, I can't even hazard a guess at how many times she has made me watch the Lorax. This year we are going to introduce her to The Grinch who is a grumpy ole bugger who hates everything  do with Christmas. So much so that he lives so far into the mountains with his dog so he can't be disturbed. But, one day he has an idea to steal Christmas. The Grinch then travels down to the village and tries stealing everything he could and meets a little girl, Cindy-Lou. Can she change his mind about Christmas?
 
Home Alone
 
A timeless favourite! In my opinion Home Alone 1&2 are the best films out of the sequels and they would always get me excited about Christmas. When Kevin McCallister acts out the night before a family trip to Paris, his mother makes him sleep in the attic. After the family mistakenly leave for the airport without Kevin, he wakes the find the house empty and assumes his wish to have no family has come true. But soon not all is what it seems as he realises two con men plan to rob the McCallister residence, and that he must protect the family home.
 
What are your favourite Christmas films?

WEEKLY ROUND UP #4

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Hello everyone,
 
Well it's been a while since we've been here folks, but if you do follow my blog, you'll know that I have been very poorly! But you'll be happy to know that I am feeling much better and just in time for preparation for Blogmas! Are you taking part?
 
 
So what have we been up to this week?
 
Well the week didn't have the best start. My daughter, like most two year old toddlers is inquisitive, but being inquisitive nosy led to her somehow burning her finger on the lamp on my mums sideboard. It was awful. I felt like the worst mother in the world and as everyone was trying to help I couldn't help but feel angry, not at my mum, the lamp, or my daughter, but myself. I couldn't believe she would even think about actually touching the lamp. But my mum, as they do, made me see sense. After twenty minutes and my mum putting plasters on all her fingers, even though she only needed one, she was singing and dancing again. The next day she was absolutely fine other than wanting me to kiss her finger every two minutes but we managed to get outside as the sun was out. We played with leaves, jumped in puddles and met Bonnie the dog who loved her tummy tickled.
 
 
We also started our Christmas shopping for the adults in our families and looking for inspiration for  our daughter and a main present, she hasn't really mentioned anything. But every time we think of an idea a family member has got there first, the buggers! I am leaning more towards a small wooden kitchen for her but again there are just so many to choose from, she's going to move into a bigger room in the new year so space wouldn't be a problem. Any recommendations for a wooden kitchen play set would be appreciated. Did anyone get any good deals during the black Friday sales? As my husband was working I decided to do a little online shopping and to be honest thought it was a bit pants - there wasn't any 'oh wow I must get this' deal! Maybe next year?
 
 
 
This weekend my husband's brother and nephew came down. It was so good to see them both and we had so much fun, it so lovely to see my daughter and nephew play together. The age gap between them is four months and you can already tell who is going to be the bossy one. I wonder who our daughter gets it from. We took the children for a walk around our area and the two little ones were seeking every opportunity imaginable to run away from us, in either direction, let's just say I hit my steps target for that day. Then we dropped by some relatives for some tea, cake and more fun. They both found a burst of energy from somewhere and went absolutely crazy and my daughter? Had to have two time outs in a day, I very rarely have to give her one.
 
 
How was your week?

BAKES | Salted Caramel Drip Cake With Caramac

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A delicious sweet and salty cake that everyone will enjoy.

I love baking and I'm always looking for an excuse to make cake but at the moment, I have been extremely poorly and not up to baking, yet I have somehow managed to find the time to bake my Dad a cake for his birthday. It never fails me that almost everyone I know has a birthday during the months leading up to Christmas which makes me a busy little baker. Now that I have rambled on a little bit, I want to give you all the recipe for my Salted Caramel Drip Cake with Caramac, which will sure be the perfect cake for any Caramac fans.

So what you'll need:
Cake
400g Unsalted Butter, softened
400g Light Brown Sugar
400g Eggs (6-7 eggs)
400g Self-Raising Flour
2tsp Baking Powder
4tbsp Whole Milk
Salted Caramel Buttercream
250g Unsalted Butter, softened
600g Icing Sugar
175g Carnations Caramel
Pinch of Sea Salt
Decoration
Carnations Caramel
Pinch of Sea Salt
Salted Caramel Buttercream
Caramac
First try and prepare all your ingredients into separate bowls so adding them together will be much easier. Heat your oven to 180c/160 for fan assisted ovens and line three 8inch cake tins with baking parchments and set aside.
In a mixer beat together the butter and light brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the flour, eggs and baking powder and beat until combined. As I have used this recipe for a few cakes I have found that if you add the ingredients into the mixer in parts prevents you from over beating the cake mixture. If the mixture is a little too thick now would be a great time to add some of your whole milk. Then divide your mixture between the three tins and smooth over, I have found that if you weigh each cake tins ensures that they rise to the same level when placed on the same shelf in the oven. Bake your cakes for about 25-30 minutes until the cakes are golden brown and the cake springs back, placing a skewer should come out clean too.
Once you have baked your cakes, set aside to cool in their tins for 10-minutes and then remove them from the tins to fully cool on a wire rack. Once they have cooled you can prepare them for decoration. Even when you weigh out the mixture evenly there may be a dome on the top of your cakes so cut off any excess with a knife or cake leveller, and brush the crumbs off with a crumb brush.
Next comes the exciting part, the decoration. In a stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth and beat in the icing sugar. But be careful, unless you want to look like a snowman! It's best to try and beat in the icing sugar a little bit at the time to prevent any lumps and looking like a snowman. The first time I done this recipe I put all the icing sugar into my mixer and it went everywhere, it look liked Santa's Grotto in my kitchen. Keep beating the buttercream for 5-minutes until fully combined. Add the carnations caramel and beat again with a pinch of sea salt for a further 5-minutes.
As the cakes are already prepared we can start adding the first layer of buttercream. Put the first cake onto the serving plate and some of the buttercream onto the top of the first layer, add the second cake on top, and then top again with some of the buttercream and add the final layer. Cover the sides and top with a thin layer of buttercream and set in the fridge for 10-minute. Repeat again with a thicker layer of buttercream until it's smooth.
Once you have finished set aside in the fridge again and pop the rest of the carnations caramel into a bowl and beat, microwave for 10-seconds and beat once more. Using a disposable piping bag, pipe it around the edge of the cake to create the drip, fill the top of the cake with more caramel so the top is covered completely. Pop back into the fridge for 15-minutes. Then pipe the rest of your Salted Caramel Buttercream around the top, add some Caramac pieces in your buttercream and grate any left over Caramac for the middle of your cake.

Enjoy!

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The Christmas Clean Up

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 We all look forward to the Christmas holidays - spending quality time with our nearest and dearest,  sharing a tub of Quality Street, and deciding what to watch after you have eaten your body weight in turkey. But where there's celebration, there's guests, there's mess so therefore a good clean up before Christmas is essential to ensure there's no rush two days before. We've all done it! Running around like a headless chicken on Christmas eve with the last minute wrapping, baking more mince pies as eating them all the night before was a good idea and the Christmas Clean Up. This year I thought that I would be a little more organised and actually have a plan to tackle the Christmas Clean Up before Christmas Eve arrives.
 
It's a good idea to get prepared by cleaning and tidying different areas of your home. I have found that is becomes easier if you divide each part of your home and perhaps get other family members involved, even children. After all they have to be good for Santa Claus.

 
 
Let's get started...
 
KITCHEN
Every year I always start my Christmas clean up in the kitchen, it's where the magic happens and where most people congregate. So with this in mind it needs to be spotless and look presentable, showroom style. First task would be to clean the oven so that it's ready to cook that turkey to perfection. I normally opt for a safe, natural and effective way to clean my oven - no harsh chemicals and no high heat auto-cleaning with smoke alarm funny business. All it takes is a little time and some good ole elbow grease along with some vinegar, baking soda and rubber gloves!
 
Next, is the fridge! Before you start to stock up on all that oh-so-naughty food for Christmas you need to have a clean fridge and clear out any out of date food. Then pull out all the left over food, shelves, draws and the bottle shelves and set aside for cleaning with warm water, soap, baking soda, and a cloth. I prefer the natural way to clean my fridge. The warm water helps the soap bubble up and is perfect for dissolving any stickiness and picking up crumbs. The baking soda helps naturally deodorizes any stinky corners or drawers, cutting a lemon in half will also help. Boom! A nice sparkling clean fridge. Now for the oh-so-naughty food shop...

BATHROOM
This is probably one of the most important rooms to clean as it's a room that most family and friends will visit. While you have visitors it's best to check that it has clean towels, toilet roll and top up the soap dispenser if it's needed. I have a toilet and a bathroom in my home so it can be quite the challenge to keep them both clean for any guests and as much as I hate cleaning the bathroom it needs to be spick and span for any guests over the festive period.
 
Begin with removing any items that don't belong in the bathroom such as clothes, cups, rubbish, toddler toys - take any removable units out of the bathroom while the clean up is in progress so you can clean under them. Then pour some bleach or another disinfectant into the toilet bowl, pop your toilet brush inside the bowl, after an hour or so clean around the exterior, lids and handle.
 
In general, when cleaning any room, start from the top down. So clean cobwebs in the corners of the bathroom, and brush other dust and dirt directly onto the floor to sweep up later no forgetting those skirting boards. Cleaning the shower can take some time, spray cleaning product on the shower walls, and the shower head and let it rest for a couple of minutes, then scrub and rinse. Then it's time for the bath! Spray cleaners that are especially designed to help get rid of soap scum around the bath, good ole scrub and then rinse away. Cleaning the sink any counter top should be the last task in the bathroom so start by scrubbing any soap scum and toothpaste off with cleaner, rinsing and wiping as you go along. Then sweep or vacuum the floors, spray air freshener and finish up by mopping the floors with some cleaning product, phew, glad that's done.

LIVING ROOM
This is the room where you are most likely to entertain your guests so a clean, clutter free living area is a must. In our old house we had carpets and would hire out a carpet cleaner but thankfully our new home has wood flooring so it's easier to keep on top of the floors clean. Vacuum to your hearts content, move any furniture where you think any dust bunnies are lurking and the dust everywhere - units, shelves, skirting boards, TV and ornaments. It would also been an idea to try and keep on top of the vacuuming so the last days leading up to Christmas won't be so stressful when you're already running around like a mad woman, because you forgot to buy some cranberry sauce!
 
Once the Christmas Clean Up is complete in the living room and you finally get all the Christmas decorations down there are a few things that you could do to help create that lovely Christmas smell in your home. The first and most obvious would be air fresheners and plug ins, winter spice smells are just the best. We buy Christmas scented candles by the truck load during the winter and then for the tree? You can buy a Scentsicles that are scented ornaments that emit a fresh smell over the Christmas period, you are able to attach them to your tree, wreath or garland.

BEDROOMS
When it's time to clean the bedrooms there are a few things you have to consider - the bed and bedding, wardrobes, carpets, windows, units, and mirrors. It's best to start with the beds by stripping the duvets, bedsheets and pillow cases, then bung them into the wash, while they are in the wash it gives the mattress a chance to breathe. Then just before you put cleaned sheets back on, vacuum the mattress and add fabric freshener to keep any odours at bay. Try and remove anything that is not supposed to be in the room, if you're cleaning the children rooms make some time to clear out their wardrobes and toys boxes to make room for their new ones from Santa Claus.
 
Next you will need to dust, dust, dust. The bedside units, chest of drawers and wardrobes. While you are cleaning the wardrobe it may be an idea to rearrange your clothes, if you're anything like me they can get messy. If there are clothes that you no longer want or need there are ways in which you can dispose of them, my post on what to do with old clothes may inspire you. When moving the furniture make sure you keep an eye out for those dust bunnies and suck them up into the vacuum and don't forget the ceiling and skirting boards. Check the windows, curtains and blinds usually I will take my curtains and nets down and add these to the ever growing washing pile, wipe down blinds with soapy water. Once a month I normally grab an old toothbrush and scrub around the inside of my window anyway, but during the Christmas Clean Up it will only take a wipe down and they are good to go. Once everything is cleaned, dusted and back in it's place vacuum the flooring and go outside to bash any rugs if need be.
 
Phew, that's a lot of cleaning. If you're looking at this list and thinking that's way too much on top of everything else I have to do for Christmas, you could always seek professional help with Sparkling Clean Apartment By Handy, who are more than happy to help with your Christmas Clean Up!

Do you ever do a Christmas Clean Up before the big day? What would your tips be?

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