Friday, 30 August 2013

Picky Eating

Over the past couple of weeks I have noticed Calleigh is becoming a bit of a picky eater. Picky eating is something most toddlers and young children go through so I have been expecting it. I was quite the picky eater myself when I was younger. If I didn't want to eat something because it looked funny, or smelled funny or even just because my friends didn't eat it, then I didn't eat it. In fact it was only this past year that I started eating steak and even then I order it pretty much burnt to a crisp (I don't like blood in my food) and refuse to eat it if it's a little bit pink (I know, that is like the worst think to steak connoisseurs). So I can definitely see where this phase of picky eating has come from. 

Daddy on the other hand will pretty much eat whatever you put in front of him apart from coconut and liver (don't blame him there). So I'm hoping Calleigh will follow in Daddy's footsteps instead of mine, don't think I could handle two of us being so fussy. 

As a baby Calleigh was really good and happy to try new foods and different flavours but I did notice that, while she liked most of what we gave her, she knew straight away if she didn't like something and would refuse to eat it even if offered again and again. 

One of these things was broccoli, she would not eat it, even when I tried to hide it in her mashed potato she knew and checked every spoonful before it went anywhere near her mouth. She loved mashed potato, she would eat it until it was coming out her eyeballs. 
She also loved sandwiches when she was younger, especially with cheese spread and always finished her lunch. 

Now I am beginning to find it hard to put things on her plate that she will eat. She no longer eats mashed potato and no matter how many time I put it on the plate, it is always still there when she has finished. 
She doesn't eat her fish fingers anymore and will only eat chicken nuggets bathed in tomato ketchup. 
And no matter what fillings I put in her sandwich she doesn't eat them. 

It's not all bad though, she still loves her vegetables, especially peas (and even Broccoli) and she adores her bananas. 

I tend to find myself just sticking with the things I know she eats as I get worried she will not eat enough if I try her with new things. Hopefully it will pass soon and I will be able to try out some new and interesting recipes and take her out to restaurants again. 

Eating her peas (I don't know why the play icon won't go away???) 

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Monday, 26 August 2013

More Vaccines for Calleigh

At the moment we are in the process of getting everything ready for our green card application. This means if it's approved we will be able to stay here for as long as we please once our visa expires. It will also make us official residents of the United States and it will make things like buying a house and a car a hell of a lot easier for us. 

The early stages of this process involve all of us getting full medical checks and making sure we are all up to date on vaccinations. Daddy and I both require a booster for MMR and Tetanus, which we are going for today. 
It turns out Calleigh was also in need of more vaccinations, and although both the ones she needed are optional, for our green card application they are not and she needed to get them done. 

The two she needed are Hepatitis A and B. As these, once again, are not offered as part of the normal immunisation schedule on the NHS I was unsure about what they actually protect against and why she needed them. I also needed to know about all the possible side effects and if there were any possible serious ones involved with getting them done. 

Both Hepatitis A and B are diseases that affect the liver. Hepatitis A is an acute liver disease, it comes on quickly and runs a short course that doesn't linger. It is the most easily spread of the two and is commonly spread by close personal contact with someone who has it or via contaminated food or water. Hepatitis B on the other hand may start out as an acute disease causing mild symptoms but has the ability to develop into a lifelong illness that can cause long term liver problems such as liver cancer. Hepatitis B is spread through blood or other bodily fluids.

So they both sound like pretty serious diseases and I was convinced that it was a good idea to get her vaccinated against them. After talking to the nurse she confirmed that both are completely safe and recommended and that there are no real concerns when it comes to side effects and I shouldn't see more than a bruise around the injection site. 

She had her injections on Friday and once again, like the trooper that she is, she did little more than flinch during and was completely fine afterwards. The injection site is pretty bruised, which is horrible to see but I know it was for a good cause. Other than that she has been completely healthy and not shown any signs of having side effects, just like the nurse said. 

I am really glad she had them done and once we have ours done we will have everything we need for the green card process to go ahead. 

I do worry over here sometimes that I am not as clued up as I felt I was back in England. I found out the other day that Calleigh is also overdue for her Pneumonia Vaccination- another thing I didn't even know she needed. 
In England I knew all of her Immunisation schedule and when she was due check ups. Over here I feel like I am just failing terribly at keeping her healthy. I think I need to spend some time looking into it over here so I can be sure I am doing what is best for Calleigh. 

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Sunday, 25 August 2013

And Then She Turned On Us

So we were all hanging out on the drive the other day, Calleigh and I were doing some artwork on the drive when Daddy decided he should really water the grass (not that it would help at all, it died whilst we were in Florida. Who knew you had to water it so often out here). 

As soon as he got out the hose pipe and pulled it past Calleigh her eyes lit up. 
"Ooooh" She shouted and quickly got up and ran over to Daddy. 

Water really amazes her at the moment, she loves playing in it and really enjoyed running through the mist of water. She was having so much fun and then for some reason Daddy decided to show her how to use it. She caught on quick and before we knew it she was holding it in her hand and squeezing the trigger, laughing uncontrollably every time water squirted out of the hose. 

And that's when she turned on us. 

She quickly turned and aimed the hose, first at Daddy and then at me. Once again laughing as we both ran off in all directions to avoid the jets of water. 

Luckily we could run faster than she could so we managed to remain relatively dry. 

Little monkey! 

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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Pink Butterfly Cupcakes

Pink Butterfly Cupcakes

Pink Butterfly Cupcakes


For the cupcakes:
  • 3/4 cup of self-rising flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup margarine, softened
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the Butter cream:
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar 
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) soft unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • red food colouring


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a 12-hole muffin pan with cupcake cases. 
  2. Put all the cupcake ingredients into a mixer (or a big bowl) and mix really well until the batter is light and fluffy (I did it by hand and it took some time so if you do have one, use an electric whisk).
  3. Put heaped teaspoons of the batter into the cupcake cases and bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden on top. 
  4. Let the cupcakes cool while you prepare the butter cream. 
  5. To make the butter cream beat everything together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Should take a few minutes. 
  6. Add the colour to the mixture to get your desired colour and make sure it's well blended. 
  7. Once the cakes have cooled use a spoon to cut out a circular section from the top of the cake. Cut that section in half, these are your wings. Do this for all twelve. 
  8. Spoon the butter cream mixture into the hole on the cake and press in the wings.
And the verdict is:



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Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Outfit of the Month: August


Best Photo Ever!

White T-shirt- Cherokee 
Leggings- Cherokee
Cardigan- Cherokee

All from Target.

With Autumn (Fall) just around the corner I thought it was time to get some new clothes that are both suitable for the last days of summer as well as the much cooler nights we are getting. This simple but cute white t-shirt and grey legging combo has a really nice matching pattern and is perfect for the day. Add in the light grey spotted cardigan for when it cools down in the evening and it's perfect. 

I love the combination of white and grey in this outfit. It's not as pink and girly as her other outfits but still looks super cute on her. 

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Sunday, 18 August 2013

At the Park

Calleigh loves going to the park! Her favourite thing at the park is definitely the slide. She has become much more independent, where I used to have to put her at the top of the slide so she can just go down she now enjoys climbing up to it as well. 
She has also become much less bothered by the other children at the park. She used to keep her distance and just stay near Mummy and Daddy but now she's happy to run off on her own. It's great to see her finally relax a bit around other kids. 

The other great thing about taking her to the park is that her speech is coming on really well too. She can say slide, she also says "goooooo" as she slides down it and "weeeee" on the swings. 

Today we are planning on taking her for a picnic at the park and then afterwards going to buy her a slide of her very own so she can have fun in the backyard. 

Unfortunately not every slide down goes to plan. That last photo was taken seconds before she turned to going head first down and subsequently face planting into the sand below. We all ran as we saw it unfold but couldn't get there in time. She was fine and it didn't seem to bother her much but I can't imagine the mouthful of sand was the nicest experience. 

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Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Spending Time with Family

Since moving to St Louis in April Calleigh has pretty much only had Mummy and Daddy to play with, which isn't so bad as we are pretty cool if I do say so myself. But I do feel that sometimes she needs a bit more,that maybe she gets a little bored of us at times. 
Back in England we could pop her round to Mee-Maws to have a play with Auntie Lana or take her to spend the night with Nanna and Grandad or even the weekend. She would have so much fun and do so much, and I would feel happy knowing that she is completely safe and having a blast with family. 

We don't have that luxury here, we are alone and Calleigh only has Mummy and Daddy around. She goes to daycare one day a week which I feel is important for her to be around other children as well as adults to help her grow as a person and be okay around other people. She has come on leaps and bounds since she started there and has even made some new friends (which is more than I can say for us). 

I feel a lot of guilt coming out here. One for taking Calleigh away from the people that love and adore her and two for Calleigh. What about when she is older and the other kids are going to see their families during the summer and Calleigh asks "Why can't I go see Nanna? Why are they not here with us?" What do I say to that? Maybe it won't be a problem but I still can't help but feel extremely guilty that I have taken her away from such things as spending the night with Granny (like I used to when I was a kid and loved it) or going to the park with fun Auntie Lana.

As you know my mum and sister are visiting us at the moment and I don't think I have seen Calleigh this happy since we got here. She loves the attention she is getting and laughs her head off when playing with Auntie Lana. She even calls her Wa Wa and runs around the house shouting her when she wants to play. I am slightly worried about how she will react when they have to leave this Friday. 

Moving to America has been such a massive move for us and I am really happy here. We have a big house, the weather is great and there is so much more to do with Calleigh. But I still feel my heart lies back in England. I miss my family, I miss my friends but most of all I miss having someone to dote on Calleigh as much as I do, she deserves to have a Granny to spoil her with kisses and cookies!

Sorry if this post is a bit all over the place, I just wanted to get my feelings out. 

On a much less depressing note I got a caricature done of Calleigh today on our trip to the Zoo. 
It's Awesome!

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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Hello Mee-Maw and Auntie Lana

Last Friday my mum and sister arrived in St Louis to visit us. They will be here for the next two weeks and I couldn't be happier! It's really nice having family around and Calleigh is definitely enjoying the extra attention. 

One of the first things they wanted to do with Calleigh was take her down to the pool, having seen how much fun she had in Florida
This was also the first time we had visited the neighbourhood pool too. They had a small wading pool at the back which we decided would be perfect to build up Calleigh's confidence in the water. At first she wasn't sure and stayed close to us, but after seeing other kids in the pool she got a little braver and by the end of it was walking around in the water all by herself. 

We also decided to take them for a walk around my favourite nature place- Rockwoods Reservation. It was a lot easier this time not having to carry around the massive pushchair and Calleigh did most of the walk herself.

We have lots more planned for Mee Maw and Auntie Lana! 

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Saturday, 3 August 2013

Simple Stroller Rental Review

If you are like me then the last thing you want to be worrying about when going on vacation is fitting the stroller in the car or even remembering to take it along (been there once, it was a nightmare!). So for our trip to Florida I decided to go with renting a stroller for our trip. 
After comparing a few Florida based rental sites, including Disney, I decided on a company called Simple Stroller Rental. 

Simple Stroller Rental

Simple Stroller Rental is a family owned business in Central Florida that was born out of an unfortunate bad experience with another rental company. Because of this they started up their own stroller rental business offering higher quality rentals and better customer service. 

When it came to ordering my stroller online I found it super easy to navigate. There is no need for account registration you just need to fill out a reservation form with your travel dates, hotel address and payment information. Piece of cake. 
I ordered the City Micro Single as that was plenty enough to cart Calleigh in for a week but they also offer a full range of single and double strollers to fit your needs as well as accessories such as a rain cover for a little extra. 

The price of a stroller I had is an initial charge of $15, the rain cover for $10 and the daily fee of only $5 per day. To rent a stroller in a Disney park is $15 per day and they are no where near as comfortable. The great thing about Simple Stroller Rental is that they charge by the day whereas other companies tend to charge on a weekly basis meaning if you only want it for 4 days you still have to pay for the week. 

As you can expect I had my fears- What if the pushchair wasn't there? What if I had to carry Calleigh around for the week? Did I put the hotel address in correctly? All of these thoughts ran through my head but I was pleasantly reassured when, on the morning of our arrival at the hotel, I received a text message confirming that our stroller had been delivered and was waiting for us at the hotel.

When we arrived at the hotel the stroller was indeed waiting for us at reception. Calleigh couldn't wait to get in it and try it out (she has to try everything out, every time we are in Toys R Us she has to do test naps on the cots). The stroller was in perfect condition and very clean, it almost looked brand new. 

Simple Stroller Rental

It was very easy to manoeuvre, perfect for wheeling around people in a busy park and getting it up and down was simple too with a one pull system. Calleigh gave it her full approval the first time we went out in it, she fell straight to sleep! 

Simple Stroller Rental

The rain cover came in extremely useful. One minute it was nice and the sunny, next minute the heavens opened above us. It was really quick to attach and covered the whole pushchair perfectly with no gaps or struggle to pull it over the bottom. Suffice to say we got very wet but Calleigh remained nice and dry. 

After our holiday was over we left the pushchair at the hotel reception for it to be picked up, there was nothing else I needed to do. 
Overall I was extremely happy with the stroller and the service we received and will definitely be using them again come our next trip to Florida. 

For more information visit the Simple Stroller Rental website or connect with them via the 
or find them on Twitter.

A huge thank you to Simple Stroller Rental for providing us with the stroller for this review. If any of my readers are planning a trip to Central Florida for a vacation and would like the peace of mind I had they are offering a 10% discount if you use the code "calleighemma". 

Disclosure: I am participating in a blogger campaign and received this rental free of charge for the purpose of this review. My thoughts are completely my own and are in no way influenced by the brand. I was not compensated in any other way for this post. 

Friday, 2 August 2013

Eating Out with a Toddler

When Calleigh was a baby it was really easy for us to go out for a meal. Most of the time Calleigh would remain asleep in the pushchair and if she did wake up a bit of milk would normally keep her happy. She was very good as a baby.
Even when she grew a bit older and was big enough to be put in a high chair she would sit there and look around quite happy. I never purchased any kid's meals when she was that young and normally brought some kind of bowl or packet food with me  for her to have. 

Now though, it is a completely different story. 
Calleigh is older, more curious and much more of a fidget bum. Because of this we tend not to go out very much anymore. 
On our recent trip to Florida we didn't have much choice and had to eat out. 

Our preferred sort of place to eat with Calleigh is somewhere that offers a buffet and the option for kids to eat free. That way we are not restricted to a less than exciting kids menu and don't have to pay for something Calleigh is not going to eat. 
Seating wise we try to get a booth if we can, that was Calleigh can sit next to us on a booster seat instead of in a high chair. Calleigh doesn't stay sat in the high chair very long now and tries her best to climb out of them unless we can keep her entertained. Restaurants that offer crayons for kids are great!

On my birthday we went for a meal at TGI Fridays and I was very happy to see a more exciting kids menu, with more than just chicken nuggets or burgers. We brought Calleigh the spaghetti with marinara sauce. She loves spaghetti! When the meal arrived it was huge! 

That was a pretty successful experience. 
Others have not been so good. We went to one restaurant and Calleigh would just not sit still. Everything was thrown on the floor, she kept shouting and was generally just a nightmare. Although some bloke sitting across from us found her hilarious. I partly blame him Calleighs behaviour, his laughing made her think it was okay to carry on what she was doing and she acted up for the crowd.

We plan to try and go out more often as if we don't get her used to the environment and how to act then she will just carry on. Don't get me wrong I want it to be a fun experience for her too so I don't plan to just have her sit there in silence, only able to move her hands but I would prefer a little less animal behaviour.

It seems to be hit and miss with Calleigh. Sometimes she will be an angel and eat all her food and really enjoy herself playing with the crayons. Other times, well let's just say we sometimes want to walk out mid way through our meal. 

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