1st birthday!! {The Ordinary Moments} #16

This week we celebrated Arthur’s 1st birthday, meaning that ‘ordinary’ moments were a little thin on the ground as we geared ourselves up for, and then celebrated the big day!

Arthur’s birthday was on Thursday. The day started off with a beach walk for Arthur and I. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get any photos as when we got there I realised the battery on my camera was flat :(. Then around 20mins in to our nice beach time the heavens opened so we had to head home anyway!
I did however, get a quick snap of our sandy toes when we got home to mark the occasion.

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When Mark came home from work it was time to have some presents!!! We were hugely disappointed by what was available here for Arthur, we decided not to stress about it as we know we will be spoiling him rotten in the UK next month!!!
Our parents had presents for Arthur as did my brother and Mark’s sister so there was A LOT of video skyping during the present opening!

After dinner we sang happy birthday and let Arthur have at the cake for his own cake smash!!

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The cake was a practice for the party we had planned on Saturday I was happy how it turned out, it had been years since I had baked a cake and despite it not being the prettiest cake ever it was tasty! Arthur enjoyed taking chunks out of it but I wouldn’t go as far to say he really ‘smashed it!’

On Saturday we had a little tea party for Arthur where we wanted to make a bit more of a fuss of him since Mark had to work on his actual birthday.
I made another cake, not much prettier but still tasty! We also had jelly and ice cream and cheese and pineapple sticks along with a few other things. Decoration was kept very basic, a few balloons, party hats and blowers! Arthur loved it, especially the balloons, he wasn’t even upset when inevitably some of them burst! To my delight he kept the hat on (he NEVER keeps hats on!). We just had a few of our friends round but it was a really lovely afternoon! Here are a few pictures.

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I think the best bit for Arthur has been all the naughty but nice food he has to eat, that boy ate cake at a very impressive speed (just like his dad!), the jelly and ice cream was a messy play dream….I will be using it in future for messy fun play for sure!!

It was lovely to have a few days of fun and fussing over our special guy, celebrating his 1st birthday

It’s amazing in some ways that Arthur is only 1, it feels like he has been in our lives forever, but equally a year has never gone by so fast, filled with extraordinary and ordinary moments. I am excited to see what this next year brings as our baby turns into a little boy

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Flashback to my favourite bump shots!!

As Arthur’s birthday is drawing nearer and nearer I have found myself feeling very nostalgic and looking back over lots of pictures, not only from the last year but also through some bump pictures! So, I thought i’d share some of my favourite bump shots!!

 

Photo on 01-01-2013 at 10.39IMG_0410P1040902P1010184P1010268P1010285P1010313P1010346   There is clearly a blue theme throughout and I have to say that it wasn’t deliberate, we did know we were having a boy so maybe that did influence me without me knowing it!  It’s not until I have just put these pictures together that I’m seeing it!!   This next picture is probably my favourite, the one the day before I had Arthur, so a year ago Wednesday!!!!  We found where the operating theatre was and so it seemed only right to get a quick snap!  The mixed feelings of fear, anticipation, excitement and everything else comes flooding back whenever I see it!!   P1010366   I will be keeping with the nostalgic theme by posting my favourite pictures of Arthur over the last 12 months shortly too, although it may take me a while to narrow down the choices!!

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Mama’s make up bag {the ordinary moments} #15

It’s time to link up with Katie for the ordinary moments.

Arthur is really into emptying bags and boxes and filling them back up again at the moment. The one that he enjoys the most, more than all his toys is my make up bag.

Since living here my make up bag is on the extreme minimal side (will be topped up this summer that’s for sure!) but even so, I can understand why it’s so interesting to him, lots of different shapes and colours, liquids, solids and all the inbetweens!

There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t find this scene

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I love watching the concentration on his little face as he goes about his very important task of emptying everything out, taking lids off everything and putting it all back in again (minus the lids).

As I don’t wear make up hardly ever here (the poor people of the Seychelles, I know!) he hasn’t yet started to copy and attempt to put any of it on which I am greatful for, not because he’s a boy but because it’s difficult to get anything decent here to replace it, no popping down to boots!

Another one of the ordinary moments that make up our day!

I’ve just right now realised as I was about to hit ‘publish’ that this is also the last  ‘the ordinary moments’ post I will do where Arthur is under 1, his birthday is on Thursday.  What a reality check of how fast things have gone, and how pleased I am that I join in on these posts!!!  The ordinary moments change so fast things that were once ordinary become replaced so incredibly quickly, I’m so happy I have these little moments recorded!

Happy Sunday

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First night with a babysitter-The Dinner Dance

Last weekend Arthur had his first night with a babysitter (that wasn’t my mum and dad!), we had a girl that Mark teaches over to watch him for us, a pretty big deal for us all!

Once a year the school puts on a dinner dance and auction to raise money for the PTA. It’s a pretty swanky affair and the one night of the year where you will see everyone all dressed up!!  It is always held at a lovely hotel with amazing food and drink!

Last year I was VERY pregnant, I somehow managed to squeeze my giant belly into a non maternity maxi dress! (Thanks mostly to very stretchy fabric!). Anyway here’s a pic from last year

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This year I wore the dress I had actually originally brought out for last year, but obviously at 8 months pregnant that was a no go!! I did promise myself I would fit into it for this years dinner dance, so I’m pleased with myself for that!!
So here we are this year!

The school makes a lot of money on the evening, the prizes for the raffles and auctions are insane….weekends at 5 star hotels, boat trips, spa treatments, dinners, wine, whiskey and chocolate hampers…all kinds of amazing things!  Unfortunately we didn’t win anything 🙁

Arthur was asleep when we left which was a huge weight off my mind. We got home just after midnight and Arthur had weirdly woken up a few minutes before (which he pretty much NEVER does) and then obviously wouldn’t go back to sleep as it wasn’t someone he really knows. He was however happy having a cuddle with her on the sofa (little monkey!!) As we walked through the door he looked very confused and got a bit upset, he then wouldn’t settle back down to sleep for around an hour. The upside of that was he slept until almost 7, this mama needed that let me tell you!!

The next day I nursed a medium sized hangover all day, which resulted in pretty rubbish mum’ing’, I of course felt pretty damn guilty about that as soon as he was in bed!!

I have to say though, despite Arthur being awake when we got home I feel really positive about the whole thing! I had a fantastic night, drank a little bit too much, ate some good food, chatted with some lovely friends and had some good quality time with Mark!  Arthur is obviously okay too, which means we can do this again some time hurrah for grown up time!!!

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Homemade chilli oil recipe

I thought I would share this simple homemade chilli oil recipe.

 

I have been meaning to make some chilli oil for a long time and as we are doing our best to save for the summer I figured that it would make a great present for Mark for Father’s Day!Delicious and easy homemade chilli oil

This was my first attempt at it but it seems to have come out nicely.  The strength of the spice will vary every time I’m sure, depending on the chillies used but also how long it has been infused for.  It will be nice for cooking but also yummy over a salad or some bread!

What you’ll need

1 empty bottle

olive oil

dried red chillies (I used about 15 but this can be varied to taste!)

 

Time needed

Prep time around 20 minutes (if not removing a label from the bottle)

40 minutes total (including cooling time for oil)

Store for a week before using, to allow for the spice to infuse into the oil.

How I did it

One empty bottle of rum! I love this bottle and have been saving it to use for something.  This bottle is 700cl.  Any bottle could be used, doesn’t need to be glass, this looks nice if its being used as a gift though.

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I read that a good way to remove a label from a bottle is to mix water with baking soda. So I left it soaking for around 20 minutes. It did loosen the label, but in the end I found the best way was with a good old Brillo pad!

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I then sterilised the bottle with boiling water, making sure the cork on the bottle was sterilised too!

In the meantime I started to prepare the oil. I tipped 700cl of olive oil into a pan and brought it to the boil for about 15minutes and then left to cool.  I used extra virgin olive oil, it was very dark.  It might be nicer to use a lighter oil, in terms of appearance however over time the oil will become darker anyway from being infused with the chillies.

Once the oil had cooled I poured into the sterilised rum bottle.

Then it was time to add the chillies.

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I used about 15 small dried red chillies, chopped. I’ve left the seeds in but to tone down the heat this could be removed. I also put one large whole chilli in as decoration but of course this will add to the heat too.

Then that’s it all done!

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I made this on Thursday, we will probably leave it until the end of this week to use it to allow the chillies to infuse a little bit more.

Store away from sunlight.  Give it a little shake to mix the chillies up and to ensure a good chilli infusion!

 

So that’s it, a nice quick and easy homemade chilli oil recipe!  I’d love to hear if you try it and how you got on!  Or if you have any tips, please share!!

 

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Introducing cow’s milk

Today marks the start of a new era! We are saying bye bye to formula (plus it’s awful smell and counting scoops) and introducing cow’s milk. 20140612-120143-43303094.jpg A couple of weeks ago when we were out on our food shop we were stocking up on formula and I decided that would be the last tin we buy.  We are close enough to Arthur’s first birthday, (2 weeks today!) in my opinion to get him started on it!  The one thing that is kind of a bummer about cow’s milk here is that we can’t get any fresh, only long life. He had his first cup of it today, I was pretty excited and the whole not having to make it up ahead of time is a pretty big win in my opinion!  Arthur seemed to notice no difference which is obviously a bonus! I’m hoping that we won’t be using bottles by the time we get to the UK in the Summer.  Currently we are giving Arthur 2 bottles a day (first in the morning and bed time) and he has a sipy cup of milk before his nap.  I guess the bed time one will be the last to go, he loves to ‘boing’ the teat of the bottle at bed time (we have to say boing every time he does it!), its kind of a ritual (introduced by my Dad over Easter!). So, I thought I’d write all this down while Arthur is having a nap and as I’m writing I realise that in a way it’s actually kind of a big milestone.  Introducing cow’s milk to Arthur is another step away from him being a baby.  He had 6 months of exclusive breast feeding, 2 months of slowly introducing formula followed by 4 months of formula and honestly it has gone by in a milky blur!!  Soon he will be drinking from proper cups and loving the milk moustaches that come with that, for now I will continue to enjoy our snuggly bottle time!!

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Family walk

 

Now Arthur is walking we were excited to take him to the Vallee de Mai for our first proper family walk together!

It’s an amazing place to go and we are so so lucky that we get to go there for free with our residents card.  The Vallee de Mai is a Unesco World Heritage Site and its a ten minute drive for us to get to!  Apparently when the first people arrived at Seychelles they thought they had discovered the real garden of eden and that the coco de mer tree (the tree that grows the worlds largest nut…..it looks like a bum, no really have a look )  was the tree of knowledge!

On Friday we went up to the Vallee and had our very first little walk!

We have been to the Vallee de Mai quite a few times before with Arthur but he has always been in the baby carrier. We took it with us this time expecting that after a short time Arthur wouldn’t want to walk any more but he was such a little champion. He walked with us for about 20 minutes holding our hands, stopping to look at lots of things along the way.

                                                                                                

We thought his little legs were looking a little tired so we attempted to put him in his carrier……well, let’s just say that didn’t go down to well!! We found a bench and let him chill out for a little bit. We decided to head back to the car and Arthur was happy to be carried (just not in his carrier!)

Mark and I couldn’t keep the smiles of our faces it was the most special little moment.  Our first real family walk, Arthur absolutely loved it too!  A new ordinary moment, one I can’t wait to do again really soon!

 

Happy Sunday

 

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