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Maximus’ first beach trip| A photo diary.

Today we took Max to the beach for the first time. It felt incredible to get out of the house for the first time in weeks and spend time as a family outdoors since the government now allow it.

We decided that our first trip out would be the beach, so we visited duridge bay in Northumbland. Because:

A) Its only a half an hour away from our house and

B) it is a bit more rural than the beaches in north Tyneside so it makes it easier to socially distance ourselves. (In theory.)

Our theory was right because it was way quieter than I expected and super easy to distance ourselves from other family. Max had the best time and loved the sand, and he would have paddled in the water all day if we had of let him.

We dressed max in comfort rather than style but the pants he had on where particularly handy for a beach day. They are cotton roll ups from hnm so they are great for when the sun gets too strong as you can just loosen the buttoms and roll them down into pants to get cover from the sun.

So without me rambling too much here are some pictures of our day out.

A cold spring day | A baby look book, of sorts.

Today I thought I would do something a little bit different.
Me and Max have been spending a lot of time in the garden, and due to lockdown nobody sees any of his little outfits. So,I thought I would start to post ones I found extra cute. Like a kind – of – sort – of – lookbook.

Outfit details:
Hat: Next
T-shirt: Zara kids
Jeans: H&M
Shoes: Dr. Martens

As always let me know your thoughts, and if you want to see more ” baby outfit” content.

– Toots x

A quick life update | Returning to work in the middle of a pandemic and baby talk.

While I’m here, I thought I would give you guys a quick life update.

I did it! I went back to work, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Even if I did return slap bang in the middle of a pandemic (only me.). I missed Max like crazy but I knew he was safe at home and that helped me through it. I work in a Referral/Emergency Animal Hospital so I didn’t have much time to think about it if I’m completely honest. It was a bit strange with all the new no contact rules and a closed door policy but it’s a quick-paced environment so before I knew it, 12 hours was up and I was back with my little one again.

Talking about my little one. Max is now 10 months old, still no teeth and is trying hard to speak. We are currently getting very long chains of ‘ba’s, bee’s and bobs’.

He can coast around furniture and can let go and stand up on his own, so hopefully he will be off on his own before we know it! .

If you have read any of my posts before you will know Max has a CMPA (Cow’s Milk Protein Allery.) <br>We are currently on step 4 on the milk ladder but had a bit of a reaction. So, it’s setting us back a month. But I’m just glad we got so far in the first place. (Hopefully, we will see an improvement when we try again).

Max has also gone up a size in clothing, so we have had to buy a whole new wardrobe of clothes for his growing self. (Not that I am complaining I LOVE baby clothes shopping.)

Tracksuit from Zara kids, Denim from H&M.

(Question: Would any of you be interested in a baby clothing haul? I’m not sure if it’s something many people would be interested in so let me know as I’m really obsessed with some of the pieces I got this time round!)

We have just celebrated Max’s first Easter. It was spent in isolation but he got loads of dairy-free choccy (We will only give him a tiny bit, responsibly.) and some clothes. But my fav of all is this cute Jelly cat rabbit we bought. It’s becoming a tradition that we get him a Jelly cat for every occasion, as he got one for his first Christmas and has one ordered for his first birthday.

So that’s all today, Folks.
There is not really much you can update on when you can’t leave the house.

(Oh and PS. You can follow my everyday insta @tootsridley)

– Toots x

Pesticides effects on the bee population | Another bee blog.

I have already spoke about how bees are important to both our ecosystem and economic well being in the past, as well as the decline of the bee populations and how this is becoming more apparent to the public in the recent years.

But instead of talking about why we need bees and that they are declining. This time I would like to address a simple question; why?

and the answer is, drum roll please.


Image Source: bbc

Neonicotinoids insecticides is a relatively new pesticide regularly and widely used throughout the farming community and is highly toxic to the honey bee and other pollinators.

Penelope Whitehorn wrote a very interesting article on this and it shows that colonies of honey bees treated with neonicotinoids have a reduced rate of queens produced, up to 85%! which is a crazy.

Honey bees located close to agricultural fields usually forage crops daily for pollen that have been treated with pesticides which can heighten the risk of death and often leading to their mortality. which is a god dam shame if you ask me.

Colony Collapse Disorder is a syndrome that is effecting the honey bee populations a disease in which the worker bees and drones are disappearing from their hives leaving their queen behind and ultimately leading to the demise of that particular colony. This is a major threat to the survival of hives and its down to you guessed it neonicotinoids.

worker bees are becoming ‘insane’ and forgetting how to return home. exposing bee colonies to pesticide toxins is proven to increase the likelihood of colony collapse disorder and has the potential to be lethal to bee populations.

To round up this post here are some ways you can help the bees at home and some useful resources:

The wildlife trusts – save our bees 

Supporting tougher restrictions on bee harming pecticides 

six ways you can help the bees

Edit: just a disclaimer, I actually wrote this on a blog back in 2018 I forgot the password for so thought I would repost it on my current blog. Any thoughts or discussion on the bee population would be appreciated.

– Toots x

Grabease cutlery set| a review

I recently purchased the Grabease cutlery set for my 9-month-old son and thought I would share my thoughts on them.

This is not an add I just like the product and thought it could be helpful…

Max is a mix of BLW and spoon-fed but more recently he has been able to handle a lot more substantial food and I have wanted to start to incorporate cutlery into his food routine.

Now I know that using utensils is not something that is not going to happen overnight but when my partner came across the Grabease set and showed them to me, I had to give them a go.

Priced at £15.99 on Amazon, I would not say these where the cheaper side of baby utensils, however, Max has used them a lot more and managed a lot better with these than your regular weaning spoon.
Grabease’s short handles are ergonomically designed to fit the babies pincher grip and because of this, I have found I naturally gravitate toward using these over any of his other spoons or forks.

Although I wish they came at a cheaper price point, the Grabease fork and spoon set has given me confidence at mealtimes. They have an anti choke barrier and I feel comfortable giving Max them to use while eating and he is getting used to using them.

Other things you should know :
-They come with the cute, handy-dandy pouch you see above
-BPA free
-Dishwasher safe
– And each item you buy from Grabease contribes to feeding kids. One item = one meal to a child in need.

Have any of you used the Grabease cuterly and if so what did you think ?

– Toots x

Day 3: 10 likes and dislikes

10 likes and dislikes for the #toots30daychallenge.

I thought was going to be a pretty easy one. But then I agonized on how I was going to lay it out for about 20 minutes before realising it didn’t matter and it was just a good way to bullet point as a way to get to know me better. But I also realised 10 likes and 10 dislikes is hard to choose.
-Toots x


1- I love Swing Dancing. I have tried to get back into it as much as possible since giving birth. But I love all things Lindy and Collegiate Shag.

2- The Sims series – Yes, that’s right. I’m a slave to EA. I could seriously sit on sims for days at a time if life would allow it.

3- Cream Soda – Now here me out I know this is a weird one. But recently it’s all I want to drink and the nostalgia is just too real.

4- Cossato prams – I recently switched from my silver cross wayfarer to a cossato buggy as Max is getting bigger and my God it makes my life so much easier. They also come in SUPER funky designs. (Mine is a dinosaur and I love it) Not spon. Just really love there buggies.

5- Plants – I will be the first to admit I am a plant horder. I AM ADDICTED. I think they make any room look better and cuter. Orchids, monsteras, prayer-plants, aloe vera… you name it, It’s probably semi- dying on my kitchen window sill.

6- Bournville Chocolate – Now I was never a dark chocolate girl but since Max has a Dairy allergy and thus, I have had to cut out dairy I feel like Bournville has come to the rescue on many occasions for that chocolate fix.

7- The Sea – I interned in an aquarium for 2 years. and even till the day I left I was still facinated by every creature in there. If i think of the perfect day I think of being by the water.

8 – Caffine- If there are any mothers on here without being caffeinated up to there eyeballs please share with me your wisdom.

9- Disney – it might come as a suprise, I am a massive disney nerd and I could sit and watch movies all day if I could!

10- Brunch – A wide spectrum of things I’m sure but I cannot get enough the pancakes, the avo and the AM mimosas.


1- waking up – I am honestly the worst morning person. I mean I function but nearly. I am always a bit of a grumpy until I get my morning coffee.

2- The act of travelling- Now I love going to new destinations and would love to take max around the world. But I wish there was an easier more efficient way of getting there. Cars, planes and trains all make me squiffy.

3 – Soya milk – Now I will drink soya if I have too but my question is why would you choose it when there are so many other alternatives. Coconut is my current fav.

4 – My hair – my hair is a birds nest, putting it nicely. It is so super frizzy and takes so much time to do anything with that it just literally looks like an unbrushed mangled mess. Unless I spend like 3 hours doing something with it (which I don’t have time for)

5 – Being Late – I hate being late, I hate other people being late without reason. It’s just super annoying.

6 – Violife – Who is it kidding trying to be cheese. It’s so clagy and sticks to the roof of your mouth.

7 – Washing – Specifically clothes washing. And more so since Max was born. I can never seem to keep on top of it and putting it away is BORING.

8 – Wedding planning – I am super excited to marry my partner but my God I hate wedding planning. I got a package with my venue and they are amazing but I still have a lot to organise and I just would rather not. 😅

9 – Being Alone – Now, I am always with Max or with my partner. But even before Max was born I would make a point of being out the house or with friends. I could spend all my time with Dan if the world would allow it!

10 – Being Sick – I cannot stand being poorly. I hate feeling helpless and not being able to keep myself busy. And lying in bed all day seems like a waste and getting up feels like torture. There is just no winning.

Gro Snugs| a review

Part of having a baby I found terrifying was putting them to bed.

The thought of the blanket shifting over my newborns face or them getting cold as they kicked the blanket off themselves filled me with dread. To spite the fact I had a Snuzpod 2 co-sleeper and he would be by my side the whole time, it was still a scary thought as a new mother. I was also terrified of swaddling him wrong and I was going to cause him problems such as hip dysplasia. All very neurotic but feel that a lot of new mum’s go through.

A product that really helped me was baby sleeping bags, but specifically Grosnugs. (Not an AD, I just really loved them.)

New born max in his super cute gro snug. (they come in some really cute designs too !

A Grosnug is a 2 in 1 swaddle/ baby sleeping bag that is recommended by the Lullaby Trust and they gave me total peace of mind when Max was tiny.
They gave me the reassurance I needed and helped me to not panic about wrapping him wrong. I just zipped him in at bedtime and done, just like that.

They also come with a handy dandy temperature guide and in two weights- Light and Cosy. This so that you can keep your baby just the right temperature through the night time to give you peace of mind.

You can also choose to have the babies arms in, or out if it gets too hot, we used this feature some nights when max was first born in the middle summer.

little max used to wake up not lying straight but its the only photo i could find.

Honestly, I loved these and I will always recommend them to anyone worried about the same problems I was. The gro snug was a life saver in max’s first few weeks and they are so beautiful and soft. They are 100% a purchase I would recommend to another first time mum and something I will buy away if I have another little human. I currently still use Gro bags (they are pretty similar but do not have a swaddle feature.) and will until max is old enough to have a duvet and pillow.

Tell me about your must have baby essentials in the comments!

– Toots x

Day 2: something you regret not having done in the last year.

Regret is a big word.

Regret means you wish something didn’t happen in your life and in that sense, I don’t regret anything.
And to be completely honest I found it difficult to find something to write for this one!

One thing I probably do regret (After much deliberation.) Is not having an appreciation for sleep and time pre-baby.

Before I had little Maximus, I would spend the day in bed playing Sims and eating my body weight in Doritos but would still complain I didn’t have any time to myself.

Nowadays, I am lucky if I stay in bed past 7 am. (Which is pretty lucky as far as having an 8-month-old is concerned.) And having a bath on my own is a luxury.

I just wonder what I used to do with all that time and HOW my house was not immaculate. Because at the moment I feel like I don’t have enough hours in the day 🤣.

I think that is my only regret in life, that and the fact I haven’t posted in almost 2 weeks when I promised myself I would post one of these weekly and I am only on post number 2! Sorry about that, I promise to be ‘On it’ a lot more.

– Toots x

I’m going back to work…

“The 6th of April” my boss said on the phone.
The date we worked out and agreed on. But my heart still sank. One month until I have to leave my little boy.

Now, don’t get me wrong I know I am incredibly lucky to have spent this much time off with my little person as he will be 9 months once I go back to work. Also, I LOVE my job. I really do. I work in an animal referral centre that also doubles as an emergency vet. It is safe to say it keeps me on my toes and that is exactly what I need whilst working or quite frankly I would get bored. Plus, it is going to be good to have some adult company.

I am also lucky to have an amazing family support network around me so I don’t need to pay for daycare and I am INCREDIBLY, RIDICULOUSLY lucky I get to go back to work part-time instead of full, with the support of my partner. Not everyone has that luxury.

But, I can’t help but get this sinking feeling I am missing out on my little one. I am terrified I am going to miss his first steps or his first word. I know I’m just being silly and we have our whole lives together. But, has anyone else felt like this before going back to work? Or does anyone have any top tips on returning after a baby? Please leave a comment and let me know!

For now I’m just going to soak up every moment of the rest of my maternity leave with maxxie and make every second count!

Toots x

The Bee Decline| our fuzzy mates.

Note: This post I wrote a couple of year ago on a old blog of mine. I was reading it back and thought it was too interesting to not post and is still super relevant to this day. However, it is written in a different style to what I post in these days. Just a lil disclaimer.

The honey bee (Apis mellifera) plays a crucial role within our communities and in our world.

How? you might ask.

Well first of all, they assist in the sustenance of the Earth’s natural ecosystems and are an important within agricultural crop growth, so there’s that.

Bees pollinate up to 84% of crops  that are grown for human consumption every year including fruit, seeds and coffees. (basically all the nice things we enjoy and need…who could possibly live without a non-fat decaff soya latte?! )

The annual crop pollination of bees globally has a worth of about 170 billion  per annum, which is a lot of dam money and proves that bees are not only important to us on an Ecological level, but also on an economical one, making them pretty important to our environment.

A buff- tail bumble bee pollinating the crap out of a flower (via Country living)

The bee population has been declining for such a long time but has only recently come to the attention of the general public and many media sources. It is an important issue as many species of bees have fallen into the endangered category over the last year under the Endangered Species act according to the U.S Fish and Wildlife services including the Yellow-Face bee (Bombus vosnesenskii) and the Rusty Patched Bumblebee (Bombus affinis).

The importance of conserving the dwindling population of bees is becoming more apparent than ever, as not only are we at risk of losing plants, crops and food supplies that these beautiful little insects pollinate, but also the meadows and the animals that eat those plants causing a knock on effect through the food chain and ultimately the loss of other species within our biosphere and that is the last thing we want on our planet.

On the bright side of this topic, the more this subject matter is coming to light with the public and bee keepers alike worldwide. The more conservation efforts are being brought into local communities. such as volunteering at the bumblebee conservation trust and Supporting the British Bee Keeper Association.

With current conservation efforts put in place an becoming more known and education on the subject matter being more widespread than ever before.
And hopefully there is still time to save our fuzzy little bee mates from disaster and we can all pull together to put an end to the decline.

Support the bees.

-Toots x