Ok, just me then!
Its a no-knead bread made in Pyrex. And its another reason for all us Pyrex hoarders to justify our numerous mixing bowls!!!
Plus the bread is really tasty, so give it a go!
Ok, just me then!
Its a no-knead bread made in Pyrex. And its another reason for all us Pyrex hoarders to justify our numerous mixing bowls!!!
Plus the bread is really tasty, so give it a go!
2017 flew by, didn’t it? (Sorry for the cliché there!)
Another year is over and, believe it or not, I think that I might have even learnt a thing or two in 2017!
I shall list some of the things that I learnt below (again, sorry for the clichéd blog post. If you want to read a much, much better post on this topic here is a link to the awesome Cup of Jo’s version!).
I mean, obviously I had a kid late 2016, so some of the stuff that I have learnt is boring Mum stuff. I will list the boring baby stuff separately so its easy to skip, if thats not your jam!
Life Lessons in 2017
Boring Baby Stuff learnt in 2017
Holla, newly renamed blog that I have not pinned to the new domain name and done other technical stuff to!
Meh, it will get done eventually!
In the mean time, lets have a quick catch up on all the happenings (or rather non happenings) going on lately….
I have been thinking about changing my blog name for a while now, but I hadn’t figured out the right domain to suit it.
You know, its because I am such an influencer/Instamum/world famous lifestyle blogger who has #madeit and because all my posts are #ad and sponsored, I needed a better fit.
Nah, as if!!!
I want to change the name because I am worried that people might accidentally Google their cockney ryhming slang wrong and find my silly little personal blog!
I have said it before, and its daft but true, but I like that I have a small readership and my stoopid thoughts are hidden in the deepest darkest depths of the internet! I always try to think of the most SEO un-friendly blog post titles and I have deleted some posts that seem to get Google hits! What a weirdo, eh?!
But there is always room for improvement, and its time to bury things even deeper in the murky internet!
My new blog name is….Drumroll please……
Yep, its a bit shit, but its the best that I could come up with. Hels Tales might have been better, but nah.
And no one really calls me Hels in real life, except for Rob and a few mates. Nevermind!
Its still going to be the same round here – a bit of vintage and retro, a bit of Pyrex, a bit of food, a bit of decorating, a bit of my personal thoughts and all the usual random life stuff. But sometimes with *all new added extra bonus* content – boring baby shit™! So if you want to keep following me I guess that you will have to check that your feed reader is still getting my posts etc. I hope you do continue to follow Hels Tells. If you don’t thats cool – I don’t blame you really, as I do drone on a bit!!
See you on the otherside! xox
*4.15pm Update* I accidentally published this post instead of saving it as a draft! The change will be done in the next week or so! Oop! I will be as professional as ever in my new rebranded blog!!!
People have a lot to say when you have a baby. Especially about feeding them. Just when you think that all the
unasked for, over-opinionated well meaning advice about whether you should breastfeed, pump, combination feed, formula feed or do all of the above is behind you, you then have to start weaning your baby. And then the whole blooming saga starts all over again!
It turns out that people have strong feelings about how you should wean your baby. And then weaning is a right mine field! Do you do baby led weaning or purees? How much food do you give them? What should you give them? When should you feed them? And will my little darling be a picky little bastard, refuse to eat and make my life hell?
Anyway, this is not going to be a how to/advice type of baby weaning blog post. Nope, not from me. Dylan is 8.5 months old and has only been eating solids for about 2 months, so I still have my L plates on. And to be honest, I am not really sure what I am doing!
I just want to share what Rob’s and my parents fed us when we were babies and some of the weaning advice that we have been given. I hope that this is not too dull and that this post does not have the same effect on you as Dylan pictured below! But somethings we have been told made me chuckle, so I feel the need to share them here while my blogging mojo lasts!
So its all coming out of the woodwork now! What we have learnt is that my Mum used to feed me mashed up bread in a little marmite gravy (salt content alert!), lots of liver and then honey sandwiches (back in the days before they told you not to give it to babies under one years old) all the time, as I refused to eat anything else.
This is explains why I am such a bloody carb queen and I love my bread and stodge! But my Mum tried her best, as she did not know what else to give me and I was a nightmare fussy eater. Poor Mum!
Rob’s Mum has told us that when she needed a break, and Rob would not stop crying, that she used to put him in his pram and leave him in it at the bottom of the garden! But we mustn’t judge, this was the norm in the 70’s! Its just that Rob was born at the end of June, so the poor love must have been outside in the middle of winter! She also used to feed him mashed up baby rusks (which apparently have more sugar in them than a doughnut!) pretty much every meal.
This explains why Rob is such a biscuit monster!!! The man craves sugar 24/7 and cannot eat just one biscuit, he has to demolish the whole packet in one sitting! Another story that made us laugh was how when Rob was a toddler, he used to wake up in the night and come in his parents bedroom. So to stop him from coming in and waking them, they used to leave a plate of biscuits out in his room. Again, this kind of explains a lot really!
So yeah, you think that the parents would accept that times have changed and the official parenting advice is a lot different now. But no, not really! Here is what we have been adviced to do by family members when it comes to weaning Dylan –
Give him a chip.
He can have some fishfingers for tea.*
He should be eating what you eat.*
You don’t wanna do that baby led weaning malarky.*
You don’t wanna listen to her (Annabel Karmel).*
Give him a rusk.
Can he have some (raw) celery?
Give him more food and less milk.*
He should only be having three bottles a day.*
You’re horrible, you are feeding him gruel.*
So and so’s baby eats the same as what they have for dinner.*
You are forcing him to be a vegetarian.*
Ah well, they mean well at least! (Those marked with a star are my mother’s pearls of wisdom!)
TBH from what I can gather, like most things in life, with weaning there is no right or wrong way. All babies are different and you just have to do what works best for them. Some babies prefer the BLW approach and some like to have purees shovelled down their throats. Some parents make everything from scratch and some parents nearly bankrupt themselves buying Ella’s Kitchen squeezy sachets and pre-made snacks etc. You gotta do what you gotta do really. But whatever you do, it will always be wrong in the eyes of some people…. especially over opinionated granmothers!
I think I have my blogging mojo back again…. by back again I mean that I have the urge to share my mundane thoughts and life happenings in the form of bullet points! Whoop!
I have been wanting to share my current feelings about our move to Devon for a while now, but it has felt inappropriate to voice my stupid, minor, first world privilege problems when so many people in the world are displaced, live in war zones, have lost their homes or live in poor conditions in substandard housing. After reading this I don’t expect (or want) anyone to sympathise with me – TBH I expect that you will more likely want to punch me in the face!!!
The fact is that I am not loving where I live. In fact, I kind of hate it here.
Firstly I must point out that I am aware that I am extremely lucky. I have a lovely house, that is warm, spacious and secure in a nice part of a first world country. I am very, very fortunate. Very lucky and very fortunate.
But I am just not liking the quiet life in the countryside. I miss living in a town and I miss Kent. And I really miss having my family close by.
So yeah, I feel shitty about this. I wish that I didn’t feel this way, but I do. Sorry again.
Its tough because Rob loves it here, but I don’t. Its such a shame because we have wanted to move house for a long time and I had high hopes that I would be happy here and that this was the right area for me. But its not.
Its funny, because moving to a nice village in the countryside is supposed to be what you aspire to. A nuclear family in a nice house, in a nice middle class village, with good schools, a church hall with a toddler club and a nice cafe where all the yummy mummys can meet up to
show off chat about how their little darlings are doing.
We have all that here. But its so safe and boring and so dull that it bores me to tears.
The pace of life here is too slow for me. Don’t get me wrong, it is nice here and we could be really happy and have a good, fun, wholesome, outdoorsy life for Dylan growing up. But its just not for me.
I miss our old estate (which I never thought I would!) And I hate saying this, but I miss the supermarkets and shops of our old town. Its not so much about the shopping, but more about having somewhere to walk to and employment oppotunities (minimum-wage-unskilled-retail-work-4-lyf-4-me!!)
I guess I could learn to drive to get out the village more and eventually find a crappy job to drive to, but I am not that keen on the surrounding towns and having a car would mean that I would not get any exersize and wellbeing warm fuzzies and be skint(er) etc.
We both wanted to move here and have the fresh start that we so desperately needed. We wanted to live in a better area, which we have achieved, but we had to move to the otherside of the country to do so!
I love the beaches and countryside and our house here in Devon, but its not enough to keep me here.
The main things that I don’t like about living here are –
The isolation – it feels like we live at the end of the world here with no motorways and major rail connections.
The lack of diversity – Nuff said. In the village, its very white middle class here. Its not much better in the surrounding towns. I like people who are rough and ready from all walks of life and from different cultures and backgrounds. I do not want Dylan to grow up in a bubble.
The little differences – I miss the Kent accent and sence of humour. I miss seeing foxes go through the bins (there are weirdly none here in the countryside) and hearing areoplanes fly overhead and the hum of the motorway and the Eurostar link train in the distant background. Silly little things, I know, but things that I am used to.
My family – I miss them so bad. Its too long a journey traveling 7+ hours in the van to Kent and the Isle of Wight. I want to reduce this travel time by half and be able to catch a train on my own with D when he is older to visit them.
So yeah, I have made a bit of a major life choice mistake moving here (again, Rob loves it here but I do not). But nothing is a mistake if you learn from it. I feel daft because I really thought that this was what I wanted, but it turns out its not. I guess that you don’t know these things until you try them, eh!
So yeah, after a few tears (from me) and heart to heart discussions, we have decided to move again in a year or two. Moving and relocating is hard. And I am dreading doing it again. But unfortunately I cannot make things work here, or rather, I do not want to make things work for me here. Rob understands this and is being brilliant, agreeing that we should move, so that we can find somewhere that works for all three of us. Even though we will probably need to borrow a shitload more money and extend the mortgage further so we will finally pay it off in our eighties or something! I have properly fucked up our #lifegoals of a quieter life and paying off the mortgage early now! Feel free to punch me now – I would!!!
The next house that we move to will be in a town or small city. It will be nearer to the Isle of Wight with good transport links to London and beyond. It will have a museum, budget supermarkets, lots of traffic, shops, a Nandos, a park and good schools. All the things that 16 months ago I thought that I could live without! We are still trying to figure out where that will be ATM. Will it be Exeter (I love it there but its still a bit too far away from the fam), Southampton, Bournemouth, somewhere on the Isle of Wight (my family are emotionally blackmailing me to join them there ATM, its hard because we could significantly reduce our mortgage and be near them etc, but I am not sure its the right place for D to grow up or for me) or back in Kent in our hometown of Maidstone again?
Since we moved I have hardly bought any vintage. I have been very good and even left Pyrex behind! I am trying to operate a “one in one out” policy with any new bits. Because I like all my current stuff, I am not rushing to replace it any time soon.
However there is alway room for a few small
bits of tat cute vintage pieces. Here is what I have required in the last 15 months –First up is the seven Babycham glasses which I went to a huge effort to style for this photo in the cupboard! They used to belong to my grandparents, and when my parents moved Mum gave me them to Ebay. I seem to have kept them. Oopsy.Next is this Hornsea tea storage jar. I wanted one to go with my new kitchen colour scheme. I hunted for one in the local charity shops for a while, but then I got impatient and cheated and bought one cheap on Ebay! Next are the two Staffordshire Pottery Kilncraft bowls which I found for £1.50 in an Isle of Wight charity shop. I actually left them behind, but then got the regret big time, so I sent mother back to buy them much to Rob’s dismay! He hates them! Currently being used to store eggs and for teabags and compost scraps (thats a bit of avocado skin in there in case you were wondering!)And finally this 1980’s National Dairy Council tea towel. It was 50p down the market. It has a few stains on it, but for that price it would have been rude to have left it behind!
Todays post is a summary of my feelings about motherhood and why I changed my mind about having a kid (a post that I said aaaaages ago to Janet I would write!)
Remember when I said that I would not talk about baby stuff on my blog?
Oops! Oh well, shit happens (a lot in our household, since Dylan came along!) Oh dear, I really have turned into a baby bore!
Let me start by saying that I am enjoying being a Mum. More than I thought I would. I know that its still early days and things will get tougher, but even the fifth shitty nappy of the day doesn’t bother me.
Ok, it kind of does, ‘cos they stink to high heaven. But thats what babies do, isn’t it? They just shit themselves and cry all the time? Well, thats what I used to think anyway. And that was one of the many reasons why I didn’t want a kid.
Some of my other reasons were environmental, because lets face it, the ever growing population is the biggest threat to our planet, what with our increasing needs for food, housing, fuel and consumables etc. Some were emotional – I felt that I was not up for the job, that it wasn’t fair for a kid to have me as its Mum, plus Rob and I had our relationship problems over the years. Some were practical – we couldn’t afford it, we were living in shitty areas where I wouldn’t want to grow up in let alone any poor future kid of mine, and the world is pretty fucked up and not a nice place these days and things are getting worse with the current austerity etc. And some were pretty minor reasons, but still valid reasons non the less – like I wanted to go out clubbing without worrying about finding a babysitter, I prefered animals to humans (still do TBH) and would rather loads of pets than kids, the amount of work involved in looking after them, and just because everyone else was having kids it didn’t mean that I should as well.
Basically there were far more reasons not to have a kid, than to have one. And I was quite happy as I was, thank you.
But over time, in my thirties, I did come to change my mind and I ended up wanting a kid. So why did that happen you ask?
TBH there is no one reason why I changed my mind. I wish there was, because it would make this post a hell of a lot easier to write and a lot more interesting! It was more the case that, gradually over time, there were shifts in my outlook and thinking, and motherhood started to feel like something that would make me happy and maybe I did want it to feature in my future.
Maybe I grew up? Maybe I finally felt ready for one? Who knows? I just kind of knew that I was in a good place, life was good and having a kid would not be game over like it would have been in my twenties, it would enhance things and make life more fun.
Maybe my three nephews also helped me change my mind? Spending time with them was (and still is) the best thing ever and I love them all so fiercely. Athough it is nice to give them back at times – Aunty privileges and all that!
Our journey to parenthood was not the easiest. Is anything in life easy though? But other people go through a lot worse than us and I am eternally grateful that we have Dylan.
So yeah, things are all good. Dylan does cry and shit himself a lot. But he also has the dirtiest laugh ever, a great sense of humour, is starting to cuddle us, is cute AF and is growing and learning so rapidly that no two days are the same. Plus at the moment he is so sweet and innocent, he doesn’t realise what dickheads his parents are!* Its great!
For years we have listened to our friends talking about their lack of sleep (yet another reason why I didn’t want kids. I like my beauty sleep!) and how their kids do not as they are told and have epic meltdowns etc. These days its kind of in our culture for parents to complain and grumble about what a little bastard their kid is etc. Heck, some people have even made a lot of money from it!
I dunno, I don’t feel hard done by. I feel just lucky. Yes, its hard and challenging at times, but so many people cannot have kids and have lost babies and children, that to me it seems a bit disrespectful to bitch and moan about mundane stuff on Facebook etc.
Maybe I will not be saying this when D is a toddler and a threenager though!!!
I recently saw a meme on FB or Pinterest that said “To the world you are just a mum. To them you are their world” or something along those lines, and that statement kind of sums up the ‘hood for me. You are just one of many. No one really gives a shit if you have kids or not, about how you parent them, if you breastfeed or not, work or not and if your kid is being an arsehole, the perfect angel or is the next Einstien. There is no right or wrong. You just have to get on with the job, do best you can and enjoy it for what it is.
I fully intend to parent the shit out of life and enjoy the next 17.5 odd years of Dylan (as they move out when they are 18, don’t they? Right??!!!)
*Bring on the teen years! Rob said speak for yourself here.
Last weekend Rob, Dylan and I went on our first mini break together as a threesome.
We stayed in a questionable hotel (more on that soon) for one night in Bournemouth, Dorset. It was my treat to Rob as a joint B.day and fathers day present, and my last big spending blow out before my maternity pay ends soon (whaaa!)*
I last visited the Bournemouth as a kid with my family around 25-30 years ago, and all I can remember about the town was that it had lots of trees and it was sunny!
To be fair, I do like trees. And lots of trees are more than enough reason for me to visit somewhere again!
We lucked out with the weather as it was just at the begining of this heatwave with pleasant, managable sunshine right before things became unbearable like they have done in the last few days with the melting tarmac and stupid 30+ temperatures. We enjoyed walking around the gardens and beachfront, dodging the drunk students (there were lots, Bournemouth is a bit of a party town) and sniggering at them constantly taking selfies,** beers on the pier, browsing round the shops, a Nandos meal (my first in over a year!), our first ever Five Guys (what can I say, I am a sucker for a hyped up chain resturant!) and we took Dylan for his first ever swim in the hotel pool.
Ah yes, the hotel. Shall we talk about the hotel now?
Rob is not letting me live it down, but I managed to book us into one of the grottiest hotels in England!
I am kind of notorious for not doing my research properly and once again I came up trumps!*** I blame booking.com. Its a kind of twisted, evil Ebay type of site with too many hotels, and they keep telling you that so many people have booked rooms in the last 10 minutes, that there is only one room left and the prices keep going up and down etc. So you end up making a snap decicion based on price rather than the star rating of the hotel and its reviews! Or at least I do anyway.
I booked us a twin room in the cheapest hotel that I could find online. It had dated, broken 80’s furniture, a tatty grey bathroom suite with broken, cracked floor tiles, windows with broken handles, watermarks on the ceiling and bit of a funny smell. But the worst thing was that the wardrobe was really wonky. It was propped up by a piece of wood, it wobbled when you walked past and it looked like it was going to topple over at any given moment! In all seriousness though, I really don’t know how they can get away with furniture like that in this day and age with all the health and safety rules and the tragic lawsuits in America against Ikea.
At first we were being terribly British, unsure whether to complain and not wanting to make a fuss etc. But we had D to think about and even if the wardrobe was fine while we stayed there, what if something happened to the guests after us and we ignored it and said nothing?
So we reported it and got upgraded to a much larger family room (with three large beds! One each!) This room was slightly less grotty and had more sturdy furniture thank goodness! In the end the hotel redeemed itself to us, as all the staff were so friendly and helpful and we had fun using the pool (and there were only a few dead flies floating in it! Win!)
It could have been worse – I could have booked us into this hotel that I spotted and posted on Instagram!
Where shall we go for our next holiday then? Maybe one of these hotels??!! As I said, I am never going to live this down!
*Even though they do want me back again where I worked last year, I want to stay at home with Dylan for the time being. We will tighten our belts and manage just fine. Maybe I will return to work in 2018? But for now I will be a SAHM.
**I am showing my age here, but as someone who hates having their photo taken and who got their first camera phone in their late twenties (when my partying days were long over) it never fails to suprise and amuse me how often some peeps take selfies!
***It feels so wrong to use that expression now thanks to a certain person in America! I cant think of another, sorry!