I'm SARAH. Welcome to Roseyhome, A Modern Homemaker's Guide. The place where I share the life and loves of my family. I'm a Wife and Mama to 2 daughters, Rosalie and Maeve You'll find parenting tips, family recipes with the odd interiors and style post thrown in.
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Ever wondered how to grow a wildflower? If you’ve heard about the various wildflower-planting movements that are gaining ground in the UK, you might be wondering what it’s all about and what’s in it for you.
Let me tell you there’s lots in it for you! You’ll be presented with beautiful flowers that will bring colour and life to your garden year after year. The kids will love helping you with the gardening, but the main reason for bringing wildflowers into your garden is for the environment.
They’re wild, but they still need TLC
Having a patch of wildflowers can bring life and wildness to a garden, but although they’re called WILDflowers, they still need some care to get started. You can’t just scatter the seeds and sit back.
You need to plan your wildflowers
You should take some time to decide what sort of wildflowers you want. You might want a random selection from here, or you might have some sort of order in mind. The location of the wildflower patch is important as well. They’ll probably need sun and they’ll need to be kept safe from children, dogs and other pets until they’re established.
Why plant wildflowers anyway?
The numbers of wildflowers in the UK are declining and this decline is closely related to the fall in the number of pollinating insects and other animals.
Wildflowers and pollinators depend upon each other and this symbiosis is essential to the food chain. As well as to the other animals that also depend on plants and food crops.
Many plants and flowers that we buy from garden centres have been cultivated specially to be low-maintenance. They’re not that great for insects and other small animals as a result.
What other benefits do wildflowers offer?
They look amazing for a start. Plus, once they’re established, they’re very tough and hardy and after a couple of years you don’t need to do much with them.
They bring a lot of wildlife into your garden, not just pollinating insects. They’re also good on the compost heap once they’re done for the year. Wildflowers also tend to have a more complex root system, which is great for maintaining soil quality and drainage.
Wildflower seeds are actually better off if you scatter them in an area of your lawn that tends to be dry and less fertile. Once they’ve decided to settle and flourish, you can leave it to them to provide colour and coverage so that your grass doesn’t have to.
These flowers probably won’t do much in the first year, unless you have some poppies or cornflowers. You will need to wait for another year or so, otherwise.
How to maintain them
Once your meadow is up-and-running, then you mustn’t cut the flowers until they’ve ripened and dropped seeds. Wait until August at the earliest before cutting them, then cut them again in October or November.
Variety really matters
Bring as many species of wildflower into your garden as possible, as this will encourage greater wildlife diversity, as well as more colours and sizes, which is one of the main reasons for planting them!
The weather has definitely taken a turn here in England. Today was the first morning I had to put on my gloves to protect my pram hands. Before you know it the icy mornings and snow will be here. So now is the time to make sure the whole family is kitted out for winter. Today I am sharing how to get your family prepared for winter.
On a cold day, jeans like these are a good go-to option. If your husband works outside, or your kids enjoy spending hours in the garden, then jeans are an ideal choice.
Denim is especially good at keeping the cold wind at bay. It is heavy enough to hold the warm air produced by the body against the skin. Plus, provided you choose a relatively loose fit, you can easily slip another layer of clothing on underneath.
Boots all round
I love Boots. Every year I pick out a new pair (or three!) for myself and the girls. When it’s really cold, they are the best footwear option. Most boots have relatively thick soles, they keep your feet warm by insulating them from the cold. Boots encase your foot completely, meaning you can go out on a very cold day without your ankles freezing and your lower legs feeling cold.
When choosing winter boots, it is a good idea to choose a pair that has non-slip soles. You can also waterproof them. This article explains how to quickly get that task done.
A warm coat is a winter essential. What style you buy is very much a question of personal taste. But, any winter coat you choose needs to be well-made, showerproof and thick enough to keep the wind out.
In all likelihood, at some point, you are going to want to wear a jumper under your coat. So, you need to bear that in mind when choosing which size you buy. If you want a bit more advice about buying the right winter coat, just click here, to read a post I wrote about that very subject.
Practical hats and gloves
Buying hats, gloves and scarves for everyone is a good idea. They make a huge difference when it comes to keeping the cold out.
You can even buy gloves that allow you to use your touchscreen devices. Generally speaking, Wooly hats are the most practical. Bonnets are perfect for kids as they hug the head closely and will not blow off if it gets windy.
Numerous studies have shown that wearing several layers of clothing is the best way to stay warm. So, it makes sense to plan your family’s winter wardrobes with this in mind.
This does not mean that you have to buy thermal underwear for everyone. If nobody in your family is going to be spending all day outside, thermal underwear is not necessary.
For most people, wearing a pair of leggings and a t-shirt under their ordinary clothes is enough to keep them warm. It does not necessarily have to be leggings and t-shirts. A pair of lightweight training bottoms or tights will also work for the bottom half. For the top half, a vest or a lightweight shirt can be a good alternative to a t-shirt.
So, there you have it. A list of the basic clothes you need to ensure that your family is ready to enjoy being outdoors, regardless of how cold the weather is this winter. Wrap up and have fun!
Does your bathroom need a facelift? Try these quick and easy makeover tips.
It’s no secret that the bathroom is the busiest room in the house. Everyone uses it, including guests and it works harder than any other room in your home. From the amount of time my husband spends in there, to bath time with the girls and sopping wet floors. Then there is steaming hot showers, toothpaste splashes, the never ending pile of toiletries, bath toys and the empty loo roll tubes that seem to multiply by the second. It’s no wonder that the bathroom gets so neglected when it comes to decorating…so what can we do to freshen things up a bit?
Read on for 5 quick and easy bathroom makeover tips
Dank and dingy lighting in a bathroom is a no go. Having low lighting might be favourable if you’re hoping to achieve a relaxed, spa-like atmosphere so installing dimmer switches might be a good idea. However, if you really want to give your bathroom an instant lift, try installing some LED lighting instead. LED lighting is bright, modern, long lasting and will also save you money in the long term – it’s a win, win! You can check out more information about LED lighting on this website.
Still using that old mirror above the sink? Mirrors are a crucial factor in any bathroom; they create the illusion of light therefore making the room look bigger, they’re practical and look stylish at the same time. Glittery, tiled or framed bathroom mirrors or something themed to suit your bathrooms overall look. If you’re hoping to get something a little more budget friendly, then head to a charity shop or keep an eye out for sale items in your favourite shops. Ikea have some great reasonably priced mirrors.
Bathrooms need to be practical so many of them end up being quite plain. You know me I LOVE white walls, but if colour is more your thing adding a splash of colour here and there can really help brighten a space. If you want to add something permanent then you can always pick up a paintbrush and update your walls within an afternoon, or if you want something a little more changeable then try updating your towels for little pops of colour. You can also match your accessories to your new colour scheme!
Steam, grime, condensation and general wear and tear, window dressings get a bit of a hard time in the bathroom. You need something that will not only look good but will withstand everything you and your family can throw at it. You could add something bright, bold and colourful, something stylish and modern, or something traditional and more fitting in your spa like retreat. We have plastic venetian blinds in our bathroom. They look stylish but are also very practical.
No more carpet
If you have carpet in your bathroom, now is the time to get rid of it! Bad flooring can really let a room down, so if you’re hoping for a quick uplift then try installing a new floor. Switching from carpet to hardwood or laminate will give your bathroom a modern, stylish feel and it is so much easier to keep clean. Just remember to update your bath mat too!
So it’s that time. Your baby is ready to try their first tastes of food and you are wondering How to start weaning your baby. Weaning is a big step and it can be daunting. You’ve only just got your head around night feeds and nap time! But it is also exciting. If you follow your natural instincts and your baby’s lead, it will be lots of fun and you’ll soon feel HiPP.
What is feeling HiPP? It’s finding fun in the little things. Doing things your way. Letting your baby lead the way with new tastes, because feeling good on the inside means feeling great on the outside. HiPP Organic want to give Mums and Dads the confidence to do things their way, to follow their instincts. To have fun and be confident in their choices. HiPP Organic have always followed their instincts, working with nature to produce nutritious, organic ingredients.
The department of health recommends you wait until your baby is six months old before weaning, but some babies are ready a little earlier than that. Today I am sharing with you how I weaned my baby, Maeve. This is OUR weaning journey. Every baby is different. You don’t need to follow this to the letter. You will soon see what works for you and your baby. The most important thing is to RELAX, go at your baby’s pace, take your time and enjoy it together.
Where to start?
I started to wean Maeve at 5 months old. Up until that point she had been exclusively breast fed, because she was breast fed I didn’t know exactly how much milk she was having. I only knew that she took as much as she needed, there was peace of mind in that at least! This made it easier to wean her as I knew that no matter how much ‘proper food’ she ate she would just drink more or less breast milk to compensate.
There are so many ways to wean your baby but I started by feeding Maeve purees. I made my own purees by cooking and blending fresh vegetables which I would then freeze to use later on. I liked to keep my puree recipes really simple. A few favourites were sweet potato, pea and spinach, butter bean, carrot and parsnip. I have shared recipes for some of the purees I have made here. I found it really easy to make purees, especially as I could batch cook and freeze them for Maeve to eat later. I liked knowing exactly what went into the purees and what my baby was eating.
I started by feeding Maeve puree at dinner time, for us this is 5pm. I found this a good time to start weaning as it meant we all sat down together to eat. Rosalie was 2 and a half at the time and I felt it was really important for us all to be eating together as a family as soon as possible. It also meant that Maeve had a long breast feed not long after at 7pm before bed. This helped as I was never really sure how much puree Maeve actually ate. It meant I didn’t need to worry as she would shortly be having a breast feed. Dinner was always followed by bath time which was ideal as weaning gets very messy!!
If you don’t have the time to make purees yourself there are lots of ready made purees on the market. I always made sure I had a stash of HiPP Organic pouches for when I needed to feed Maeve quickly. I ALWAYS took puree pouches or jars with us when out and about. They make weaning on the go so much easier. They are far easier to transport and there is no risk of leakage in the changing bag. It also means less mess as you can dispose of the empty packaging when baby has finished. I am all about making life as easy as possible.
I love HiPP Organic, and in my opinion they are the next best thing to homemade. They have such a fabulous ethos, something very similar to my own. They believe Green is good, Organic is better, and that Pesticides are pesky. They believe that babies deserve food made out of the very best ingredients, that tastes great to make them feel HiPP inside and out.
How to start weaning your baby?
After a few weeks I introduced breakfast which was usually porridge and then a puree at lunchtime too. You want to gradually increase the amount of food baby is having. As a rough guide I would say to feed baby dinner for 1/2 weeks, breakfast and dinner for 1/2 weeks and the breakfast, lunch and dinner for 1/2 weeks. The most important thing is to follow your baby’s lead. They will soon start to let you know if they want more food or have had enough.
Once Maeve was eating three meals a day I started to offer her a pudding after dinner. Usually either a fruit puree or Yogurt. By this time Maeve was over 6 months old and I felt she was ready for more solid foods. I started to substitute her lunch puree for ‘soft’ foods that she could manage with no teeth. I would give her a cream cheese sandwich, a banana, all cut into fingers so they were easy to pick up. She ate rice cakes, cheese puffs, boiled carrot batons and omelette fingers amongst other things.
Once Maeve had got used to eating solid food I started to substitute her dinner time puree for whatever meal we were having. As long as it was baby friendly of course! I would give her spaghetti bolognese, sweet potato mash, soft cooked vegetables, chicken. Gradually I tried her with more and more different foods until eventually she was eating everything that we ate.
Maeve is 16 months old now and eats exactly the same dinners that we do. Last night we had lamb Tagine and couscous and she ate the lot. There is the odd occasion where we will have say steak or a take away. These are meals that I know she will find hard to chew or too spicy. On those times Maeve will have a quick dinner like jacket potato with tuna or an an omelette.
I also like to keep some of the HiPP Organic’s tasty toddler meals in the cupboard for those times when Maeve is HANGRY and needs food immediately. They have so many delicious meals to choose from like sweetcorn, chicken and ham pie, vegetable risotto, spinach and chicken pasta bake. Even typing those out is making me hungry. I love HiPP as I know their meals are full of goodness. They go above and beyond EU Organic Standards. They choose less acidic apples to lower nitrate spinach, carefully selecting produce that is naturally gentler on tiny tums. My girls love them, sometimes I think even more so than my cooking!
I am running a giveaway with HiPP over on my instagram where you can win a fabulous hamper to help you on your weaning journey. HiPP have included everything you will need. Spoons, bib, Baby and Toddler meals as well as some gorgeous bath products to help with the after meal time clean up operation! Click here to enter.
I hope you have enjoyed hearing about how I weaned Maeve and that it helps you if you are wondering how to start weaning your baby. Don’t forget to check out the amazing competition to win the weaning hamper pictured above over on my instagram.
She looks like butter wouldn’t melt. I could just eat her up. This gorgeous pink check pattern with smocking detail is so pretty. The cotton material is super cool in this hot weather. It fits her perfectly and can be dressed up or down. I just LOVE La Coqueta Girls Dresses.
Rosalie’s leather sandals are from Next but I havn’t been able to find them online so I have linked a similar pair.
We have holidayed in the Costa Del Sol many times over the years now. In fact Marbella was the first holiday spot Nick and I went to as a couple almost 10 years ago! We have been on our own, when I was pregnant, with our children. It’s a place we come back to over and over again because it really does cater for everyone. Here are 5 reasons why we love the Costa Del Sol.
1. Beautiful Beaches
There are so many beautiful beaches on the Costa Del Sol. Marbella, has the famous golden mile which runs from Marbella Old town right up until Puerto Banus. Every beach is clean, and has great facilities including play areas for children and beach showers, most have the option to hire sunbeds and parasols.
The busier beaches have parasailing and kayaking opportunities as well as pedalos and jet skis available to hire. During the summer season visitors can also play beach volleyball and various other sports along the fine and sandy beaches.
2. Lots of Family Friendly Activities
There are so many activities and day trips to do in the Costa Del Sol. You can visit the Zoo and Sea Life Aquarium. They are perfect for families with young children. Keeping the kids entertained during a holiday can be tough but with so many great attractions available you family will be catered for.
3. There are so many places to explore!
If you rent a car you will be able to travel to some of the beautiful towns along the Costa Del Sol. Mijas for the gorgeous views, Marbella Old Town for its traditional charm, Peurto Banus to see the Yachts. If exploring Nature is more your thing the caves of Nerja are a fascinating place to visit. At certain times of the year you can even drive up to the mountains and ski.
4. Water park is close by
If you love Water parks like we do Aqualand, Torremolinos is one of the largest in Spain and has everything you could ever dream of when it comes to waterparks! It has a selection of chutes and slides, water rides and splash pools. There is something for kids of all ages but also super fun for adults too.
5. Why not visit Gibralter
If you fancy a change of scene you can always visit Gibralter. Take a cable car to the top of the rock, go sightseeing or even indulge in some tax free shopping. It is always nice to have a taste of home whilst on holiday and Gibraltar doesn’t disappoint.
If you havn’t visited the Costa Del Sol already you will want to now. Click here for a great deal on your next holiday.
Maeve turned 11 months old on the 8th of April 2017.
Maeve had her 12 month check up with the health visitor on 17th of April and she weighed 22lbs. To give you an idea that is right in the middle of the 75th percentile.
Maeve wakes up at around 6.30am. If she wakes a little earlier I tend to leave her until 6.30am before I go in and get her. I do want to encourage her to sleep in a little. She doesn’t wake up crying or upset, she just shouts to let me know she is awake. Maeve shouts ‘mam, mam, mam, mam, mam,’ until I go in and get her and when I do she normally beams at me. This girl wakes up happy!
I then bring her into my bedroom where I’ll feed her. It doesn’t take long to feed her at all these days so afterwards we have some cuddles in bed before I get up at around 6.45am. I do my make up and clean me teeth etc before Rosalie wakes up. I have a few toys in our bedroom that Maeve gets out to play with. Rosalie usually comes in about 7/7.30am and she is so good at occupying Maeve whilst I finish off getting dressed. Once I’m ready I get both girls dressed before heading downstairs for breakfast.
Maeve has toast with peanut butter on for breakfast. I just find this so much easier as she can easily help herself to this and I can busy myself tidying the kitchen whilst she feeds herself. After breakfast it’s time to take Rosalie to Preschool so I put Maeve in the pram and we all walk to school. After drop off, we normally get home from school at about 9.05am I feed Maeve and put her down for a nap. She normally sleeps all the way through until 11.30am when its time to go and collect Rosalie. We then head out again in the pram to collect her.
Once we are home we start preparing lunch. We normally have a picnic style snacky lunch as this is what Rosalie always asks for. Maeve likes this too so it works quite well. It is usually made up of half a sandwich, a few crisps, fruit and yogurt.
We then have some playtime. I try and put Maeve down for a nap at around 3pm. I breast feed her first and then put her down. This isn’t always successful these days but I’m clinging on to those naps!
We have dinner together at around 5.30pm when Daddy comes home. Maeve will eat whatever we are having for dinner. She no longer has purees or any special dinners.
Then it’s time for bath and bed. We normally start the bedtime routine at about 6pm/6.15pm. Rosalie and Maeve have a bath together and then I breastfeed Maeve before putting her down in her cot for the night around 7pm.
Maeve is into everything at the moment. It’s hard to pick a favourite toy. She likes climbing on things and is constantly cruising around the furniture these days. Her favourite toy is probably the coffee table. I’ve got her a little play table for her birthday so I’m hoping she’ll enjoy standing up to that to play. She likes to walk around with her walker like a big girl.
I always try and put Maeve to bed at 7pm. Most days we manage it but if she is a little later going to bed one day I don’t worry about it.
Maeve has a bath and then I get her dry and dressed in her pyjama’s before breast feeding her before bed. She no longer falls asleep on the boob so some days she isn’t happy about going down but she always settles herself within 5 or 10 minutes. She still has a dummy at bedtime.
Maeve eats everything! and ALOT. She eats rice, curry, chicken, potatoes, fruit, pasta. I make all our meals from scratch and I only add minimal seasoning so it is fine for us all to have the same.
Maeve hasn’t had any cows milk yet except mixed into foods so I am going to start to give her that now she is nearing 12 months old.
I still breast feed Maeve in the morning and at night and before naps. If we are are out and about I don’t bother feeding Maeve during the day but if we are at home and I think she needs a sleep I will.
I am dressing Maeve in a mixture of 9-12 month and 12-18 month clothing. Maeve has little legs. She isn’t very long but is quite wide.
Maeve is in size 5 nappies.
Clapping and Waving– Maeve claps and waves
Crawling – Maeve crawls everywhere now. She doesn’t crawl very fast though.
Feeding herself – Maeve can hold a spoon and feed herself. She drinks out of a sippy cup and with a straw.
Cruising – Maeve cruises around the furniture moving from one item to the next. She wont walk unless she is holding onto something. She walks in her walker or with a trolley or if she is holding your hands but she hasn’t taken her first steps on her own.
Gives Kisses – Maeve loves to give kisses. I’m trying to teach her to give cuddles now too.
Gives you things– Maeve will pass you things if you hold out your hand and say ta.
Speech – She makes a few noises that sound like words. ‘Mama’ ‘Dada’ ‘Hello’
Teeth – Maeve has 4 teeth. All 4 front ones but I don’t think any of them are all the way through.
Maevie Mouse, 11 months old. Where has the last year gone! I can’t believe it. It’s been wonderful getting to know you and watch you grow. You are loving learning new things and catching up with your big sister.
Maeve’s 1st Birthday cake smash was short and sweet. I asked my friend Rey if she could take some photograph’s of Maeve and I to celebrate her birthday a few weeks before she turned 1. We have very few photographs of the two of us and I thought it would be a lovely way to mark the occasion. Maeve’s 1st birthday party was woodland themed and I loved the idea of having some romantic, floral themed photographs in keeping with that.
Despite Maeve’s birthday being in May the British weather took a turn and in the weeks leading up to her birthday winter returned, it was freezing! After a few postponed sessions, due to bad weather, we finally managed to get together and shoot the day before Maeve’s birthday. The sun shone and it all came together perfectly.
This was our first cake smash session as I didn’t do one when Rosalie turned one. It was something I’d always regretted so I knew I had to have a cake smash with Maeve.
Maeve’s outfit, the floral wreath and floral crowns were all from Ebay. I made the three tier semi naked cake myself. I was really reluctant to do this, I didn’t know if my baking skills were up to the task. In the end I told myself the cake was only going to be smashed up by Maeve and so it really didn’t matter. I went for it and I am so pleased with how it came out. The gorgeous floral cake topper was made by a friend.
Maeve was such a cutie tasting the cake.
I expected her to go all in but she was so reserved. She dipped one little finger in to the frosting at a time. It was adorable. With a little help from mama she soon got the hang of it and was enjoying some hearty cake chunks. I think she’d like cake for breakfast every day.
We have a very awkward space in our living room. It used to be a door way through to our dining room but when we renovated our kitchen/dining room we knocked them through into one. Once the dining room was made part of our kitchen we really didn’t need a 2nd door so we blocked it in.
Since then, almost 4 years ago, I have wondered what to do with the space. The alcove is quite narrow only 120cm in width. At first I didn’t do anything with it and just kept it clear which was ok but it did seem a waste. I thought about getting a carpenter to build some inbuilt shelving but I couldn’t decide on the style or design. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on some bespoke furniture to not like the finished result. I did consider adding a tall open shelf unit but with kids around I knew this wouldn’t be practical.
In the end a settled on a free standing side board. This was the most practical option as I could also use it as toy storage. However, it still left this bare space above which I didn’t know what to do with. I thought about installing some floating shelves but in the end I decided to turn the area into a gallery wall by adding some prints from Desenio. The posters I choose were LIFE IS, WHITE FEATHER, LET THE LIGHT IN and PALM.
With the help of Desenio I have transformed the space.
Prints are SUCH an easy way to bring life to a space. They instantly make an area look stylish and put together. As I would be adding so many prints in a relatively narrow space I kept the print designs quite simple to avoid overwhelm. I am really happy with the results. I love the look of the black and white prints with a touch of green. I think they finish off the space perfectly.
Another rather neglected area is our next to our TV. Our television definitely overpowers the space but the addition of this MONSTERA ONE POSTER just makes the space look more thought out and put together.
Finally I am sharing with you may favourite poster of all. The LIFE IS TOUGH MY DARLING Poster. I just love it. It’s moved around alot in the time since it arrived and its because I just love to see it wherever I go. I can’t explain it but thi print and the sentiment just speaks to me. Its currently residing in my kitchen next to my dining room and I am really enjoying having it there at the moment. Will it stay there forever? I just can’t say!
Which Poster is your favourite?
If you have an area in your home that needs updating Desenio have kindly offered Roseyhome readers a discount code. The code ‘roseyhome25’ gives 25% off posters* between the 6th and 8th March *except for hand picked-/collaboration posters and frames.