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11/19/2017

Advice For New Mums | Just Add Ginger


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I went into parenthood knowing very little about babies. Nevermind changing a nappy, my experience   just holding a newborn was very limited. When it came to becoming a mother, I didn't know what to expect. And when you leave the hospital, there's no manual they give you. You walk out, baby on arm, and are just expected to get on with it. And if your experiences with little ones is incredibly minimal, this can be icredibly frightening. 

Now I'm no expert, and I would never tell you how to be a parent, but in the seven (nearly eight) months that Baby Ginger has been on the planet, there are some pieces of wisdom I've learnt and want to pass on. 

Take Your Time

Giving birth is tough work. It puts a big strain on your body and it takes a while afterwards for everything to settle and get back to normal. During this time it's important to rest and really listen to your body and what it needs. If you need to sleep, then sleep. If you need everyone to leave you alone, then ask friends and family to hold off on visits. It's important not to rush yourself into doing things you are just not ready to do. 

Trust Your Instincts

I didn't believe this when I first heard it, but it is true. You really do get to know your own baby. You get to learn their little quirks, their likes and dislikes, and how to gauge what they need. It may not click at once, but give it a few months and with every coo, cry or gurgle you will instantly be able to decode what you need to do to keep your baby happy. And honing in on these cues is really important, because it means that you will know when something is off. Even if to everybody else your little one seems normal, if you sense something isn't quite the way it should be, then really pay attention and listen to your baby. 

"Mummy" In Your Own Way 

There will be so many people in your life who are ready to give you advice about how you should look after your baby, but ultimately it is up to you what you do and how you do it. And this goes hand in hand with trusting your instincts in the point I made above. In that time you've had that time to get to know your baby, you will know him/her better than anybody else. So take any advice you get with a pinch of salt. Take heed if you like, but if you don't really agree, take it on board, say thank you, then feel free to ignore it. When you're spending 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with your baby, you'll understand what works for you and what doesn't

Eric, for example, needs his sleep. If he's had a bad night or misses a naptime he is an absolute nightmare and really hard to keep happy. So if he needs to sleep, I'll let him sleep, even if this means missing out on a class or not going out. Some may think this is not the way to go about things, but I know Eric enough to know how to manage him. Because if I just keep him awake, then I'll be paying for it later. And personally, I value my sleep (and my sanity) way too much.

Stay Social

Being on maternity leave can be incredibly isolating. You're at home looking after your baby day in day out with nobody to really talk to. It can be really hard. Which is why I think it is so important to get out there and get social (when you're ready to of course.) 

I'm a big fan of baby groups and classes. It gives Baby Ginger a change of scenerey that is safe, exciting and stimulating, whilst giving me some precious "grown up time" where I can interact with parents/carers and have proper conversations. Having that time is something I truly value, and Eric is learning so much from watching and socialising with other babies. He's really happy around new people and isn't clingy, and I really think this is because he has been exposed to new spaces and faces from quite a young age. 

I also use a few apps to connect with other mums in my local area. Mush, Peanut & Mummy Social are great platforms to find activity and class recommendations, find mummy friends (even if they are just online) and plan potential playdates. Having moved to a new area of Liverpool during maternity leave, I'm still trying to work out where there are classes I can take Baby Ginger and where the best soft play areas are, so talking to other mums who know and use the area is really handy (it also helps me not feel lonely too.)

Aside from connecting with new friends, it's also really important to stay in touch with your non-new -mummy friends. Because when it comes down to it, being a new parent is only just one part of who you are. I thought when we brought Eric home I would feel something overtake me that meant I was suddenly this grown up person so far removed from the person I used to be that I would feel entirely different. But in reality I feel exactly the same....only now I have a child to look after so am a little bit  more responsible than before. 

Are you a new parent too? What pearls of wisdom would you pass on?



11/15/2017

Pizza Parties & Krombacher Pils* | Just Add Ginger


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When it comes to the end of the week and when Eric is snuggled in bed, there is nothing I love more than to curl up on the sofa and crack open a bottle of beer. It's something I really look forward to. And now more than ever, I am always really careful about the beer choices I make - it has to be something I'm really going to savour!

I first discovered Krombacher Pils in the summer and it has been up there with one of the best I have tried. It's a perfectly-balanced beer with a unpretentious taste that is crisp and refreshing. It's a beer that is ideal for both those who have an appreciation for real ale and for those who enjoy less hoppy options. With a flavour that is ideal for both sunny days and chilly evenings, no matter what the weather is like, it's a beer you can always turn to with a guarantee it won't let you down.

And now - just in time for the festive season - Krombacher is now available in 66cl bottles across 400 Morrison stores nationwide. With the release of this new size, Ryan and I headed down to our local branch of Morrisons to investigate, and plan the perfect meal to accompany the flavours of this delicious German beer. 

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In order to not stifle Krombacher's crisp and fresh finish, we did not want to opt for a dish that carried too rich or intense a flavour. With a well-rounded flavour that cleanses the palate, foods that I was instantly drawn to were seafood, fish or pasta as well as American classics such as burgers or hot dogs. However, because we wanted to make this as fun and fuss-free as possible, we both decided that we would flex our dough-tossing muscles and have a try at making our own pizzas.

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Deciding to go for a classic, I piled my pizza high with mountains of torn mozzarella, tomato puree, drizzles of pesto and basil leaves. The mellow ingredients and well-balanced flavours of the Krombacher were a match made in heaven. 

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Ryan on the other hand, decided to go for an all-out American BBQ inspired pizza, with Morrison's best smoked streaky bacon layered on top of diced woodland mushrooms, pine nuts, chilli cheddar, mozzarella and pesto with a light dusting of hot smoked paprika. A rich tomato-barbecue sauce made the perfect base, marrying all the ingredients and going hand-in-hand with the refreshing qualities of the beer. 

A beer that transcends the seasons to give a full-bodied yet perfectly balanced taste and is ideal to enjoy all year round, Krombacher Pils doesn't pretend to be something it's not. It delivers on flavour whilst still being accessible to all, whether you are a German beer fanatic, or someone who simply enjoys a refreshing tipple at the end of a hard day. And now available at Morrisons in the new 66cl size, it would be a great addition to your dinner table this festive season, whether it's to accompany the roast potatoes or share amongst friends as you cosy up by the fireside. 

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* This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Hungry Communications