Baby Buys – Weaning Essentials

I started weaning Baby T onto solids the day he turned six months, and he’s since moved on from purees to finger foods and chunky, fork-mashed dishes and every day becoming more independent! Here are the essentials I’ve been using, mostly on a daily basis, through each stage of weaning;

Weaning Essentials

(1) The Bloom Fresco high chair was one of those items that we just fell in love with once we saw it. We considered other options but kept going back to the Fresco for its original, sleek and modern design. And actually I wish I found it earlier because the Fresco can be used from birth as a recliner and up to 36 months. I bought the white version with a snakeskin grey seat pad at Lula Sapphire, which was a quick and easy transaction and in a couple of days the high chair was delivered. It was fairly easy to put together. It comes with two seat pads, one to go with the booster seat and the regular one that can be used up to 36 months. At 6 months and tall for his age, Baby T was sitting too low in the high chair without the comfort nest. Now at 10 months, he’s beginning to outgrow it and is ready to switch to the regular seat pad. I feed Baby T in the kitchen where we have a breakfast bar – with bar stools that we bought in white to match the high chair! It’s easy to adjust the height if I want to move the chair next to the dining table, and I love that the seat swivels 360 degrees, so I can turn him to look outside or to watch me if I head over to the other part of the kitchen. The only drawback, besides being pricey, is that food tends to get stuck in the strap seams, and you need to give the seat a very good scrub to clean off all the food. [Bloom Fresco Chrome High Chair, £370.00]

(2) I use this steamer and blender on an almost daily basis – now that Baby T is 10 months and I have been fork mashing most of his food, I use this mostly to steam vegetables, although I do puree some of his breakfasts (banana and prune with yogurt, for example). While I already own a steamer (a Tefal three-in-one slow cooker/steamer/rice cooker) and a blender, both of those appliances take up a lot more counter space and are more time consuming to clean than this one small machine. I also just wanted an appliance that would only be used for preparing baby food. The fruit or vegetables always come out just right when they’re steamed, and it makes things easier for me to let it steam then cool down when I’m doing other things. For some recipes, it is too small for me to use it as a blender, and in those cases I just use an immersion blender, which is also useful to get it to the right texture I need now that I’m not whipping everything into a puree anymore. [Philips AVENT Combined Baby Food Steamer and Blender, £99.00, reduced to £63.97]

(3) A simple, healthy and tasty breakfast I like to make for Baby T is mashing together avocado and half a banana. The masher also comes in handy when I make Weetabix with mashed banana and milk. I regularly use the bowl for other meals.  [Annabel Karmel Food Masher and Bowl, £6.99, reduced to £4.59]

(4) I bought a couple of plastic bibs but Baby T seems much more comfortable wearing this waterproof neoprene bib by MAM. It’s flexible and soft to wear and easily rolls up to go into your changing bag. I found it very useful to bring two of them while we were away in Italy for two weeks. I alternated between the two, hand-washing them a few times before putting them through the washing machine. The bib can be worn flat or with the bottom pocket rolled up to catch any stray food. [MAM Bibetta Ultra Bib, 4+ months, £4.50]

(5) These stack-able storage cups are perfect for storing Baby T’s meals and chopped vegetable snacks (cucumber, sweet potato fries, broccoli etc) in the fridge or freezer. I also use them for storing various amounts of chicken stock for his recipes, e.g. 200ml or 150ml, so I can just defrost the right amount. When we’re traveling, I bring three or four with me, so I can simply seal them shut after they’re used. [Philips AVENT Baby Food Storage Set, £13.50]

(6) Baby T loves snacking with the Mebby feeder! It comes especially handy when I need something to keep him busy while I finish preparing his food or tidying up – it’s also helpful while travelling! I bought this after I ruined a mesh feeder with my silly mistake of trying it with banana which as it turns out is impossible to clean out of mesh! I find this feeder easy to clean, whether by hand or in the dishwasher, and Baby T loves the independence of feeding himself with this fun object. So far I’ve been using it for fruit and vegetables, but you can use it with any solid food, including meat or chicken etc. [Mebby Genius Fresh Food Weaning Feeder, £6.99]

(7) I’ve made a lot of the recipes in these two cookbooks! Tyler Florence’s infant, baby and toddler cookbook is full of delicious recipes that are healthy and easy to make, and I often eat the same meal with Baby T, just fork mashing or blending his portion. Annabel Karmel’s cookbook is very useful for preparing and cooking the basics and baby-friendly versions of typical favorite family meals (e.g. bolognese, cottage pie), with plenty of recipes to choose from for each stage of weaning. I have purchased a couple of other cookbooks but these are the two I keeping going back to time and time again to prepare Baby T’s meals. [Start Fresh by Tyler Florence, £11.88] and [Annabel Karmel's New Complete Baby & Toddler Meal Planner, £14.99, reduced to £8.00]

What We’re Loving Lately

OK… I can’t help but laugh looking at the previous post. Almost four months have past and I’m finally getting around to posting again!

One post that’s been on my mind for months now is sharing my latest finds and what we’ve been enjoying lately! Baby T turned eight months old this week and how things have changed. He has three solid meals a day and has been mobile for a few weeks now. He’s crawling everywhere and starting to pull himself up to cruise along furniture. We moved in Chiswick in April, and since we were away in Italy for the second half of that month, I feel like we’ve only just begun to settle into our new house now. I’m still getting to know the neighborhood – which I love by the way, it’s a wonderful area for families!

More on that on another post… for now, I’d like to share a few things we’re loving lately…

Tyler Florence Start Fresh cookbook

Start Fresh: Your Child’s Jump Start to Lifelong Healthy Eating by Tyler Florence [Amazon UK]

I started weaning Baby T on solids the day he turned six months. His first food was pureed carrots and it was adorable seeing his reaction! He started off excited to be sitting in his brand new high chair with a bowl of orange stuff on his tray, then became somewhat perplexed to see said orange stuff coming at him on a spoon, and then he lit up with interest when he tasted and swallowed this new food. It’s been a fun experience for us both ever since!

Since moving on from his first tastes of single ingredient purees, Start Fresh has become my favorite baby cookbook for delicious, inventive recipes. I feel encouraged to move away from the typical baby food ingredients to incorporate other fruits and vegetables into Baby T’s diet such as kale, plums and summer squash. I also keep sneaking a peek at the next stage: Foods with Textures for 9-12 month olds, and simply can’t wait to try those recipes that I know we’d enjoy alongside him: “Roast Turkey with Sweet Potato, Brown Rice and Cranberries”, “Ginger Chicken with Coconut,” “Chicken and Kale Risotto with Pine Nuts and Bacon”… They look so good!

Roasted Bananas and Blueberries

Going back to the stage we’re currently on, our current favorites are “Roasted Bananas and Blueberries” (pic above) – which I’ve made several times because it’s absolutely delicious and is so easy to make! – and “Spinach and Roasted Pears with Parmesan”. It’s a pleasure trying out these recipes and we haven’t been let down – Baby T has liked each one and I’m thrilled that he’s trying out these unique combinations. Each recipe I’ve tried so far makes enough for three to four meals.

Drift Living Storage Bags

Drift Living Storage Bags

With our shared love for the beach and ocean, there wasn’t any doubt that my husband and I would choose a nautical theme for our baby’s nursery. I love these blue striped storage bags from Drift Living, which are perfect for organising Baby T’s diapers, wet wipes, toiletries and various other items on his changing table. I also bought a large bucket bag, which is a great size for storing away his soft toys! They’re made of a good, thick material and I’m so happy with how they look. Now that Baby T is mobile and rolls around whenever he’s being changed, I use one of the small storage bags to keep the essentials together with the changing mat which I sometimes move from room to room to change him on the floor.

Italian Nursery Books

Building a Bilingual Library

We’ve been visiting Italy every two or three months to visit my in-laws and I’m making a point to pick up books each time to keep a good mix of English and Italian in his growing library as he learns both languages. I also love watching Baby T become more interactive with his books, touching the fuzzy parts or moving the tabs to see what’s hidden underneath. These are some of the books that I’ve brought back – my favorite is the Ninnananna Ninna-O nursery rhyme book which is beautifully illustrated.

Home CrossFit Gym

Back to CrossFit

When I started this blog in late 2012, I was a beginner to CrossFit… and now I’m back to square one! Our new home in Chiswick has a studio in the backyard, which my husband set up as a home CrossFit gym. It’s really impressive how he’s made use of the space! Having the gym in our backyard, and a Samsung baby monitor to keep tabs on the little one, I’ve been able to squeeze in a workout or two while Baby T’s napping. Today I took on 7 minutes AMRAP of burpees… ouch…

White Company White Jeans

Shopping at The White Company

First, hopefully you catch this in time – The White Company is having a 20% off sale that ends tomorrow, Sunday 25th May, at midnight. I started shopping at The Little White Company before Baby T was born and love their cellular blankets (I have four) and baby clothes. Everything I’ve purchased is great quality at a good price and it’s become one of my go to brands for baby clothes. Recently I received their catalogue in the post and went through it, folding down the corner of each page I found something I liked, which turned out to be most of the pages! So I decided to shop around for myself and home, in addition to buying baby clothes and ended up purchasing the 7/8th cropped white jeans pictured above. I normally have a hard time shopping for jeans and hesitate buying them online, but these turned out to be so comfortable and they fit well. I’ve been thinking about getting white jeans for ages, they’re just perfect for summer and I’m glad I got them!

The White Company

I’m also very happy with my other purchases: Amberley hand towels – very soft and look great, baby chambray trousers – easy and comfortable for Baby T to wear with a lovely light fabric, also looks cute rolled up, and baby printed swim shorts – simply adorable, love the design and material. I just placed another order today – yes, I’m obsessed! – so will share those items on another post.

A few more things we’ve loving lately coming soon!

And… I’m Back!

Over four months later, and I’m back after a much longer hiatus than expected. Those days spent mulling over what to pack in my hospital bag, carefully ironing each item of baby clothing and taking the time to prepare healthy, delicious home-cooked meals are long gone! Nowadays the changing bag is topped up with essentials in record time, the iron rarely makes an appearance and it’s ridiculous how often my husband and I have been ordering from Deliverance. And I’m doing my best to enjoy every moment because it all has just flown right by! This past month especially – it truly feels like I blinked and Baby T turned four months old, growing out of most brands’ 3-6 month clothing, every day more curious about what’s going on around him and revealing more and more of his lively personality and sense of humor.

I’ll be updating the blog soon with more product reviews, recaps on what I thought of my Baby Buys, plus our latest Mommy & Baby faves and some new recipes. It’ll be great to get back into the routine of updating the blog – I’ve missed it and have a lot I’m looking forward to sharing!

LoveLula – September Beauty Box

Love Lula - September Beauty Box

As mentioned last month, Amarya has merged with LoveLula and my monthly Beauty Box subscription has carried over to LoveLula. This is the first month I’m receiving the new LoveLula Beauty Box, and as they offer an even larger selection of natural and organic beauty products – working with over 100 global brands – I’m excited to see what the monthly box of samples, trial sizes or full size products from their leading brands will offer.

Besides Oxygen, the brands included in this month’s box are new to me, and I’m looking forward to trying out their products. I have oily combination skin, so I’m particularly interested in trying out the S5 Purity Serum for Blemish Prone Skin and Evolve Perfect Radiance Facial Polish. The ila body lotion and bath soak, along with the Oxygen Purifying Honey Masque, all smell lovely and come in good sizes to test them out. All in all, I’m happy with the variety of products to try in this month’s box!

Love Lula - September Beauty Box Ila

ila, which means “Earth” in Sanskrit, is a range of luxury organic skincare, spa products and treatments. Ila use only the finest natural plant and mineral ingredients, wild-harvested in remote, untainted regions by artisan producers who value traditional, sustainable practices.

ila Body Lotion for Nurturing Skin£9.60 for 150ml

ila’s organic, heavenly scented and super effective Nurturing Body Lotion is made with the purest natural oils including deeply softening apricot oil from the Hunza region of Northern Pakistan and rose geranium to nurture, regenerate and smooth all skin types.

Product Page – https://www.lovelula.com/products/ila-body-lotion-for-nurturing-skin-150ml

ila Bath Soak for Pure Relaxation£9.60 for 150ml

A super-pure bath soak that allows you to enjoy the luxury of ila’s organic spa treatments at home, blended with the purest oils of calming vetivert and petitgrain and deeply softening apricot to nourish and soothe body and mind, resulting in feelings of deepest calm.

Product Page – https://www.lovelula.com/products/ila-bath-soak-for-pure-relaxation-150ml

Love Lula - September Beauty Box S5 Skincare

S5 skincare is the first range of organic cosmeceuticals, developed by a specialist team of natural dermotologists and cosmetic scientists, and specifically designed to reverse the visible signs of problem and ageing skin using 100% natural, highly effective organic bioactives.

S5 Purity Serum£44.00 for 30ml or £9.00 for 10ml (as shown)

The S5 Purity Serum provides targeted breakout control treatment for blemish prone skin with rainforest bioactives to reduce the appearance of blemishes and pores for a clearer complexion. Its 100% natural ingredients include Amazonian Bioactives – which have an irritation-free synergistic effect on blemish prone skin and have been found to reduce the appearance of blemishes by 43% in clinical tests – and Alpine Bioactives – which reduce oil production by 55%, the appearance of pores by 18% and the acne inflammatory mechanism production by 66%.

Product Page – https://www.lovelula.com/products/s5-purity-serum-30ml

Love Lula - September Beauty Box Evolve

evolve offer natural skincare products that are packed full of safe, highly effective superfoods, which contain powerful nutrients and phytochemicals and absolutely no nasties. All products are 99.5% natural and have been certified organic by Ecocert, the international organic standards body.

Evolve Perfect Radiance Facial Polish£12.99 for 100ml*

Suitable for all skin types, this deliciously creamy facial scrub polishes and perfects, leaving skin smooth, radiant and visibly hydrated. It is made with organic superfood Acai kernels, which gently buff away imperfections, and Brazilian Acerola, one of nature’s richest sources of Vitamin C, which brightens and moisturises for a flawless finish.

Product Page – https://www.lovelula.com/products/evolve-perfect-radiance-facial-polish-100ml

* LoveLula are currently offering a free 100ml Evolve Facial Polish with any Evolve purchase over £20

Love Lula - September Beauty Box Oxygen

Oxygen is a natural skincare line based in New Zealand. Their skincare products contain only natural ingredients found in plants and essential oils that benefit your inner health as well as your outer beauty as the aromas of essential oils are therapeutic and emotionally rebalancing.

Oxygen Purifying Honey Masque£19.95 for 200ml

This light, soothing mask uses Oxygen’s local Nelson active manuka honey to hydrate and repair, while soothing and healing botanicals absorb into the skin and help to combat moisture loss.

Product Page – https://www.lovelula.com/products/purifying-honey-masque-by-oxygen

I’m looking forward to trying out these products! Having gone through each brand’s range on LoveLula, I already have my eye on a couple of products I’d like to purchase using this month’s Beauty Box discount of 20% off ila, Oxygen, Evolve and S5 Skincare. Learn more about the LoveLula Beauty Box here.

Are you subscribed to a monthly beauty box? Have you tried any of these products or other products by these natural and organic skincare brands?

Bookmarked Recipes – Soups & Stews

I haven’t done a Bookmarked Recipes post in a while, although I’m always saving new recipes to try, mostly on my Pinterest board, and the latest recipes I’ve been looking at are for freezer meals – mostly soups and stews. I’ve whipped up a few freezer meals to store away for the first weeks with our newborn when cooking a fresh, healthy meal will be the last thing on our minds, focusing on my favorite soup recipes that freeze well. And especially now that we’re heading into autumn, a warm bowl of soup always makes for a delicious, comforting meal. Here’s a roundup of the recipes I’m looking forward to trying soon!

Tried & Tasted Favorites

Winter Minestrone

1. Winter Minestrone – [Giada De Laurentiis, Food Network]

Roasted Vegetable Soup

2. Roasted Vegetable Soup – [Barefoot Contessa, Food Network]

Recently Bookmarked Recipes

Crock Pot Italian Fagioli Soup

1. Crock Pot Italian Fagioli Soup [Against All Grain]

Spicy Southwestern Black Bean Chili

2. Spicy Southwestern Black Bean Chili [Health]

Carne Adobada

3. Carne Adobada [Saveur]

Moroccan Pumpkin Almond Beef Tagine

4. Moroccan Pumpkin and Almonds Beef Tagine [Taste.com.au]

Hungarian Goulash

5. Hungarian Goulash [Health]

Fire Roasted Tomato and Mushroom Soup

6. Fire Roasted Tomato and Mushroom Soup [JustinLovewithBerni]

Lamb Stew

7. Lamb Stew [Saveur]

Savory Fall Stew

8. Savory Fall Stew [Martha Stewart]

Roasted Pumpkin and Pancetta Soup

9. Roasted Pumpkin and Pancetta Soup [Closet Cooking]

Thai chicken laksa mildly spiced noodle squash broth

10. Thai Chicken Laksa Noodle Squash Broth [Jamie Oliver]

What’s in Baby’s Hospital Bag

Baby Hospital Bag

Following yesterday’s post on What’s in My Hospital Bag, here’s what I have packed and ready to go the hospital for Baby T.

Mima Changing Bag

I am using the Mima changing bag that I received with the Mima Xari pushchair, which comes with a changing mat, bottle holder and dirty nappy bag. I left the bottle holder out for now and will be bringing the changing mat and plastic bag (for Baby T’s dirty laundry) along to the hospital.

Mima Xari Changing Bag

I’m very happy with the Mima Xari changing bag – it’s great quality, very practical and roomy inside with plenty of pockets.

What’s in Baby T’s Hospital Bag

Packing Baby Hospital Bag

So here’s what’s been packed away – I’ve included a couple of extra outfits for Baby T to be on the safe side! I love the Frugi newborn kimono bodies – the fabric is super soft and the style looks so easy to put on and comfortable to wear. The rest of the baby clothes I’ve packed away are mostly from The Little White Company and John Lewis. I stocked up on a bunch of basics from the John Lewis Baby range – including muslin cloths, scratch mitts and basic bodysuits.

Baby Hospital Bag Clothes

Clothing

Baby Hospital Bag Clothes

Miscellaneous

Baby Hospital Bag

All packed and ready to go!

On the next Baby Buys post, I’ll go through where I’ve been shopping – online and in person – for the rest of Baby T’s wardrobe. We’ve been buying a mix of newborn size and 0-3 months to start off with. I’ll also post my favorite picks from the latest collections – I’ve really been looking forward for the Autumn/Winter collections to come out so we can start shopping around for some knitwear and outerwear!

What’s in My Hospital Bag

Hospital Bag for Labor

I’ve had our hospital bags completely packed for a couple of weeks now, since I was 36 weeks along, although I’ve been collecting items along the way in a drawer over the previous weeks so it was mostly a matter of moving what was in the drawer into the carry-on sized bag. To pack our bags, I followed recommendations from my NCT antenatal class and pregnancy books, as well as these websites – NHS – Pack your bag for labor and BabyCentre – What to pack in your hospital bag.

I packed with the idea of staying two nights, just to be safe, although hopefully we’ll be right back home after one night. We live about 5 minutes away from the hospital, so if we end up staying longer, my husband will head home to pick up a fresh change of clothes and whatever else we may need, in addition to topping up the cats’ food and water. For food and drink, I’m packing quite a few light snacks for while I’m in labor – biscuits, fruit, cereal bars etc – and some to have for breakfast the next day. Other items, like the MamaTENS and iPod, I’ll most likely be using at home when contractions start, so we’ll be packing those in the bag right before leaving to the hospital.

What’s in My Hospital Bag

Hospital Bag Clothing

Clothing

Hospital Bag Toiletries

Toiletries

Hospital Bag Food and Drink

Food & Drink

  • Sports Drinks
  • Bobble Bottle (for water)
  • Straws
  • Belvita Biscuits
  • Nakd Bars
  • Eat Natural Cereal Bars
  • Bananas and Apples*
  • Mixed Nuts
  • Dried Fruit

Hospital Bag Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous

* Items that will be packed right before leaving to the hospital

Each of our hospital bags (mine, my husband’s, our baby’s) plus any miscellaneous items that I might need to use before going to the hospital (MamaTENS, Paracetamol) are being kept together on the changing table, ready to go at any moment. I still use the camera and iPod now and then but I make sure to put them back (ideally fully charged) so we aren’t running around the flat looking for them when it’s time to go.

Next up is what I’ve packed in our baby’s hospital bag!

AngelSounds Fetal Heart Detector

Product Review - AngelSounds Fetal Heart Detector

This week I used the AngelSounds Fetal Heart Detector for the last time, to record my baby’s heartbeat onto the supplied CD, something I’ve been meaning to do for weeks now!

I purchased this doppler during the first trimester for about £20 on Amazon UK and have enjoyed using it, especially for those first months. You can start to hear the baby’s heartbeat from about 12 to 14 weeks. I was able to hear the heartbeat from 11 weeks, although it took some time and a very full bladder to finally hear anything. And it was a wonderful, reassuring feeling that I couldn’t wait to share with my husband! Definitely well worth the £20! From then on, we listened to the heartbeat every week or so, using the stopwatch on iPhone to calculate the beats per minute to make sure we weren’t confusing his heartbeat with mine.

AngelSounds Fetal Heart Detector

The AngelSounds Fetal Heart Detector came with headphones, a small tube of ultrasound gel, a recording cable, a blank CD and a USB driver disk. It’s very straightforward to use – just plug in the headphones, turn it on, rub some ultrasound gel on your belly and roll the doppler around until you can hear the heartbeat. After a couple of tries, you’ll figure out where are the best spots to track down your baby’s heartbeat. For me, it was below the belly button, near the bikini line. The sound isn’t always very clear on the doppler – there’s a lot of static – and especially when you’re searching for the heartbeat, be careful to keep the volume down or your ears will be ringing for about an hour from the sudden loud bursts of crackling noise. The small tube of ultrasound gel didn’t last long and I ended up buying a bottle from Amazon for about £3.

AngelSounds Fetal Heart Detector

What wasn’t very straightforward was the process of making a recording of the heartbeat – a reason why I left it for so long to investigate further! The instructions aren’t very helpful:

When you hear the fetal heartbeat sound, you can connect one socket with a headset, and another can connect with computer. You can replay the recorded sound files anytime, and you can send them whoever you want.

I assumed the USB driver CD was included to help me record the heartbeat – but when I inserted it into my PC, all I could see was a bunch of Japanese instrumental songs.

AngelSounds Fetal Heartbeat

I downloaded the free trial of MP3 Recorder Studio, which is very easy to use. The only issue I had was with the ever-present crackling noise that cropped up the moment I plugged the doppler into my PC’s Audio Input jack. I could not find a way around it, so I carried on until I found the right spot to hear the heartbeat loud and clear and recorded a couple of 60 second long files (the maximum time per file allowed with the software’s free trial) onto the blank CD, which is now kept in my Bump to Birthday journal. Not the best sound quality, but a nice memory nonetheless of those reassuring moments we could listen in on our baby’s heartbeat at home.

At only £20, I do recommend using the AngelSounds Fetal Heart Detector, especially for the beginning part of the second trimester. Once I was feeling our baby’s strong kicks and movements on a regular basis, we weren’t using the doppler anymore, but we did make good use out of it over several weeks and it always brought us peace of mind to listen in on our baby. The sound quality isn’t fantastic, and it took some time for me to figure out how to make a recording – and I’m not 100% happy with the results – but it was always wonderful to hear our baby’s heartbeat and those moments we shared are some of our favorite memories from these past months.

Find the AngelSounds Fetal Heart Detector Bundle Pack here on Amazon UK.

Paleo Recipe – Chocolate Banana Bread

Paleo Chocolate Banana Bread

I’ve been collecting overripe bananas in my freezer for a couple of weeks now, just waiting to make a new batch of Paleo Banana Bread. Using thawed frozen bananas is my favorite way to make moist, flavorful banana bread. We always have a bunch of bananas on the counter, and whenever one goes brown, I take off the peel, put it into a Ziploc bag and store it in the freezer. I carry on collecting up to four bananas this way, all the ones I need for the recipe in the same bag, which makes it easier when it comes time to thaw them all out. Some people just toss the unpeeled bananas into the freezer on their own, but I’ve just found it so messy to peel them afterwards, when they’ve thawed out, the banana skin is very rubbery and they’re letting out a slimy juice. Instead, I put the Ziploc bag on a plate (just in case) and let the bananas thaw out in the fridge overnight. Once thawed, I scoop each one out of the bag, leaving the slimy juice behind, as I need them for the recipe.

When I make banana bread, I’ve just been adapting the method used in Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations’s recipe, which is a great foundation also to incorporate additional ingredients for different tastes. This time, I also added 1/2 cup of cocoa powder for an indulgent treat that we’ve been enjoying for breakfast or dessert.

Chocolate Paleo Banana Bread – adapted from Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations’s Paleo Banana Bread recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 thawed frozen bananas, mashed (3 for batter, 1 to fold in)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 4 tablespoons grass-fed butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F / 176 C
  • Combine 3 bananas, eggs, almond butter and butter or coconut oil in a food processor and mix well until blended
  • Add coconut flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla and sea salt and mix well
  • Fold in remaining banana chunks
  • Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan with butter
  • Pour batter into pan and spread evenly throughout
  • Place pan in preheated oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. For a glass loaf pan, this is approximately 55-60 minutes. For a metal pan, approximately 35-45 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and carefully flip your bread out onto a cooling rack
  • Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes then slice and enjoy!

* UPDATE – Just wanted to add one more photo of when I made this banana bread without the cocoa powder, but folded in dark baking chocolate chunks at the end with the 1 mashed banana. Another great way to enjoy banana bread! Check out the original recipe for more variations that don’t involve chocolate – I know I’ll be making the pumpkin pecan one soon!

Paleo Banana Bread

Baby Buys – Nappy Changing

I’ve been receiving deliveries almost daily over the past couple of weeks of baby furniture and accessories, along with miscellaneous items for our hospital bags. We now have all the essentials ready for our baby’s arrival! Since coming down with a bad cold last week, I am especially grateful for online shopping to carry on with our purchases from the comfort of my home. There were a few days when I barely had the energy to perform the simplest of tasks, however, I’ve been slowly starting to feel better over the past couple of days and getting all caught up. I’m very excited that we received the Stokke crib and Mima Xari stroller just in time to put those together over the bank holiday weekend! With that, a couple loads of baby laundry and finishing to pack our hospital bags, we will be all ready for our baby’s arrival!

This past weekend, my husband put together the changing table we ordered on Amazon, the Geuther Clarissa table (shown on the bottom part of this webpage), and we’re very happy with how it looks! It is very sturdy and fairly compact (for a changing table – one of the smallest I could find) with plenty of space across three shelves, plus castors so we can move it around the flat if we so desire. I hope to stop by The Holding Company over the long weekend to pick up some baskets for the two lower shelves to store diapers, wet wipes, toiletries, towels, bodysuits etc. Overall, it was a great purchase at just over £80 for a convenient storage unit that we can continue to use when our baby has outgrown it.

Here’s what else we bought for our diaper changing duties!

Baby Buys for Nappy Changing

(1) This thoroughly mobile wooden changing trolley on castors slots in exactly where it’s needed. It has two spacious storage shelves that are fitted with braces on three sides, which prevent items from slipping off the trolley, even when on the move. Made with high quality FSC certified beechwood, to the highest and strictest European Safety Standards. Measurements: W 56 x H 90.5 x L 74.5 cm [Geuther Clarissa Changing Table, £83.31]

(2) This changing mat by bébé-jou is made with high quality elastic PU comfort foam to provide a long-lasting product with additional head and neck support and raised sides that keep your baby safe in the middle. The Oxo-Tek and Toxproof certified cover and ventilated foam are made of environmentally friendly and safe materials, without any harmful substances. [Bébé-jou Changing Mat Bibi and Bobo, RRP £27.50, now £22.80]

(3) Nature Babycare disposable nappies are made with renewable and natural materials, based on GM-free corn, which provide a naturally breathable product that can minimise nappy rash and other irritations, while stretchy front fastening tabs along with the comfortable leg gathering enable your baby to move freely. Nature Babycare nappies are 100 per cent chlorine-free and fragrance-free, and over 60 per cent biodegradable, meaning there is less need for landfill or polluting incineration.  [Naty by Nature Babycare, Newborn Size 1, RRP £8.18 - now £5.72 for 52 nappies]

(4) Suitable from birth, WaterWipes are made with 99.9% pure water, 0.1% fruit extract and provide the mild, gentle care required to clean a newborn baby’s delicate skin, with the absolute purity and efficacy of cotton wool and water. With a clean, fresh non-greasy feel, they leave no residue or unwanted chemicals on the skin, and are free of alcohol, perfume, chlorine, formaldehyde, parabens, phenols, phthalates, quaternary ammonium compounds, SLS & SLES, lanolin & unnecessary additives. [WaterWipes Super Value Box - Total 540 Wipes, RRP £19.99, now £15.99]

(5) This came highly recommended by a new mom visiting our NCT class! The Organic Pharmacy’s best selling nappy balm is made with soothing and disinfecting oils for areas of dry and sensitive skin. Propolis, marigold and neem protect and soothe, while jojoba and sunflower nourish the skin. You can find Organic Pharmacy shops on Kensington High Street and King’s Road. [The Organic Pharmacy Nappy Balm, £19.96]

(6) Lastly, after reading great reviews, I picked up this nappy bin (which is on sale at Sainsbury’s and over half off on Amazon at only £10) to seal away any germs and dirty nappy odours. The system works by individually wrapping every nappy in an antibacterial, odour-control film that kills 99% of germs on contact. The tub holds up to 28 nappies and each film cassette wraps up to 84 nappies, lasting about a month. [Tommee Tippee Sangenic Nappy Disposal Tub, RRP £24.99, now £10.00]

I’ll be sure to post reviews of these products once we put them to good use! For the next Baby Buys post, I’ll be going through what I’m packing in our hospital bags.

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