Family favourites – recipes you keep coming back to!

Since I wrote about weaning it’s made me think about what recipes we always go back to as my little girl grows up. And I must first confess I have a bit of an addiction to favouring recipes I can happily freeze and then have ready soon as we walk through the door on nursery nights.



As I said in my weaning post, I never really went in for really super smooth purees. I think lumps make things interesting for them. So it’s not just the taste and colour – it’s the texture too that they can engage with. The three purees that my wee one would cross a room to get to were (once I started mixing flavours):

  • pear and parsnip
  • peas and fresh mint
  • sweet potato and broccoli

Parental advisory warning – health visitors don’t tell you this but sweet potato (and banana and avacado come to think of it) all stain like you wouldn’t believe. Just a bit of advance warning…

There’s a great book and blog of one mum who worked her way through the alphabet of vegetables with her toddler that I found quite inspiring. But no, I hadn’t heard of a fair number of them – will be good when I get bored though!

Stews and soups

In my recipe book, I’ve noticed a bit of a trend around the time DD started moving onto solid(ish) foods. I started using sweet veggies to tempt her into going for savoury things. These are a few easy (read lazy) recipes:

  • Tomato and red pepper soup – basically just roast red onion and peppers together and throw in tomatoes for the last bit (can leave out tabasco)
  • Fish stew – this one calls itself a moroccan tagine but basically what I love is how quick it is, as it’s simply a tomato sauce with olives in that you poach the fish in at the end
  • Veggie paella – a good excuse to use up veg in your fridge that doesn’t look too beautiful. Great colours and textures, and you can use frozen veg just as easily.


Meatballs – there is a lovely meatball recipe from the hairy bikers diet recipe book of all places! It uses grated carrots where the italian meatballs recipe was very cinnamony and wrapped each meatball in a piece of bacon. So I started with the hairy meatballs(!) as the carrot made them more moist without much sauce, then moved onto the others when I thought she could enjoy playing with bits of bacon a bit more.
Sweet potato wedges – with a bit of rosemary (dried or fresh) and olive oil roasted up these are a great staple.

Breakfasts and snacks

Here’s one tip – if you buy frozen fruit that’s all frozen up individually you can just grab a handful the night before and use them either as:

  • flavouring for yogurt or porridge, or
  • heated a bit with a small amount of water as a non-sugary jam so it reduces down a bit.

Found this lovely raisin and bran breakfast muffin recipe from Annabel Karmel if you struggle to get breakfast accepted!

Malt loaf – sticky but oh so tasty! Have you got any recipes for toddlers you’d recommend? Would love to hear what worked best for your little one!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Baby led weaning vs “Feeding baby”

Hands up if you’ve ever tried a diet and given up after a few weeks? I know I have!

My oddest diet was pureed ice cubes of things like sweet potato and broccoli. Yep – that was when I decided that I’d help my daughter learn to eat by eating what she was eating.

One of the biggest weaning trends in the last few years has been baby-led weaning. You are guided by your baby:
what they can hold, and
foods they can eat by themselves.
I did do a bit of this. I guess I’d say my weaning was a mixture of baby-led and pureed mush.

For the mush, I never made it completely smooth as I thought that was too boring (and created far too much washing up!) And my golden rule was – never feed her something I wouldn’t eat…

From the mums I spoke to who’d been giving this a try, the main advantage seems to be you can eat while your baby’s eating. Which might mean you get some (whisper it) hot food for once.

Traditionalists lean more towards starting with baby rice to thicken up their milk as the first step. You’d follow that up with pureed foods, ground down with something mysterious called a moulinere.

The main advantages seem to be:
you can introduce a wider range of tastes and foods
But if you’re breastfeeding and don’t want little one to have any milk other than yours you’ll find you need to express some just to mix in with the baby rice, which could mean some of your milk doesn’t get into your baby. Potentially a bit frustrating I guess.

The NHS stresses weaning is a gradual process, so your baby should still be offered 500ml full fat milk (amounts differ for other sorts of milk) from 1 year until they’re 2. They suggest not giving your baby cow’s milk until they’re 1. Timewise, the official NHS line is that its safest to wait until your baby is 6 months old. This is to do with allergies and what is safe for their little tummies to handle – basically it could cause problems later.

Which method did you use to wean your baby, and if you could do it all again, would you do it differently?

We loved Annabel Karmel’s recipes, especially the minestrone soup! (blended at first, then half blended with baby pasta shapes and finally with everything chopped fairly chunky)

Of course, there’s always chocolate ice-cream…

mmm... yummy!!

mmm… yummy!!

…and save your fabulous memories in their memory box!

Find more helpful info here:

Whichever method you choose, enjoy it!!

Amy x

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Childcare: Childminders/Nannies/Grandparents?

This week I thought i would write about childcare – whether you are a full-time/part-time or home working parent, most of us need help with childcare at some point.

So, who looks after your children when you can’t be there?

Do you have a childminder? Someone who is licensed and checked by the authorities, who looks after your child/children at their house, often along with their own child/children?

Or perhaps you have a Nanny? Again checked and trusted, but this time they look after your children in your home, sometimes they even live with you, for part of the week at least. Your children have the Nanny to themselves, they become a part of your family.

More and more recently it is the Grandparents who look after the children while the parents are at work – they are generally a free resource, sometimes on an adhoc basis, sometimes a regular one, do you ask your parents to help with your childcare?


Whoever you entrust with your precious children, what do they DO with them when you’re not there – do they fill in a journal, send you an email or picture messages, or do you find out on Facebook (as has been the case with some friends of ours!)

Using Treasured (first 250Mb of storage is free), you can set up a box for each child, and you can allow their childcarer to submit entries (photos and written memories) into that memory box. They don’t need to be able to see the other entries in the box, unless you would like them to (i.e. grandparents or family members), and you can also require each entry to be approved by you.


Each child then has a central memory box, where all their childhood memories are kept, and they can eventually have access to it themselves, and add their special moments!

Nannys glasses Jan 2013

Most importantly perhaps, you stay in control of the images and memories, and can decide when and how to share them.

Have a great week!

Amy x



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The guilt of a second time mum

Today’s blog is a guest post by our lovely friend Kerry Haynes from Inspire Me Media, thank you Kerry!

Kerry writes:
As a busy working mum, I have to admit, the things I did when my first son was born, have not been repeated with the second.   I was that mum who first time around, filled in every milestone into the memory book I was bought as a gift to celebrate Jacob’s birth.  I sat on an evening sticking in photos, making a note of all the first events, including his first poo on the toilet (really!?!).  If I do say so myself, the book looks beautiful.

Then along came number 2.  Archie.  By this time, I was running my own business, so took minimal maternity leave, and I have to confess to this day, the memory book, which was bought by my mum for him, lays empty gathering dust.  Yes, I know, I feel the pangs of guilt and hear the cries of ‘terrible parent’ echoing around, but I just don’t have the same amount of time and motivation to note every single memory and stick photos in like I did before.

Kerry with her boys

Kerry with her boys

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love both my children equally and devotedly, and in every other aspect of life try my hardest to make things equal (not always succeeding I hasten to add).  This is why, when I heard about Treasured, I thought what an amazing idea, and so gave it a go.  Treasured is essentially like a memory book, but an app which you can use on your computer or phone to record all those memories as they happen, which works for me, as I note them before I forget.  It is so easy to use and what’s even better is I can share each box with friends and family so they can add their memories too.

With Jacob at school and Archie starting in September, there are many milestones, which have recently happened or are about to happen.  I have been using Treasured for a year now, and it is so easy and great to have to hand.  I have a box for Jacob and one for Archie, as well as boxes for holidays and for the hen do’s I have been on recently. 

Kerry's Treasured boxes

Kerry’s Treasured boxes

Writing this blog, I am looking back through on what I have recorded, and its lovely.  Jacob as writer of the week, first football trophy, Star reader, and first trip to Wembley.  Yes –  I have lots in there for Archie too… The funny things he has said, his graduation from pre-school and even his trip to A&E with a hole in his head – he is a clumsy one!  I won’t tell you what’s in the hen night boxes – what goes on tour stays on tour, I believe they say!

I can honestly say, this is a great little tool and my friends who I have told about it love it too.  Try it and see what you think – would love to hear how you get on.  Oh and what’s more its free to download – bonus.  You can visit or see it in the App store

Good Luck and happy snapping!

Kerry x



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do you know the meaning of…

Do you connect with other people online?
Are you an “FTP”? (First Time Parent)? An “SAHP” (Stay at Home Parent) or a “WAHM” (Work at Home Parent)?
Do you find all these acronyms hard to understand?

When I was pregnant (PG) with my dear daughter (DD), a friend of mine suggested I should register on the babycentre (BBC) website to get information on my growing baby so I did so, and signed up to receive weekly updates – it was really cool!

10 weeks pg pic

Also on the website there was the opportunity to participate in a “birth club” of ladies who had an estimated due date (EDD) the same month as me, which I did.

Birth Club

I am amazed and astounded to realise that it has been nearly seven years since I “met” these ladies, who I still speak to on a daily basis, after all these years!

And we don’t only discuss the children – far from it! While they are obviously the common theme that ties us together, across race, religion and geographic location, they are a long way from being the main topic of conversation.

Birth Club 2

These days there are so many ways for women to join discussion groups online, from & to,,, Facebook groups etc etc, the list goes on and on.

I think it’s fantastic that we have this ability to talk and discuss our issues, questions, problems and find a sympathetic ear, someone who has been through it and come out the other side, who can perhaps give some advice on how to get past this problem, so we can all move onto the next!

IMHO (In my humble opinion) It’s a particular strength of women to ask for advice, to admit that we are not experts, that maybe from time to time we need a bit of help!

And maybe, on this journey together, we make real, lasting friendships in real life (IRL). I have met some of the friends I have made through this group in real life, and it seems odd to think that some of them I haven’t met (yet!)

My group of online friends have been with me throughout my journey in setting up and starting Treasured, they have been some of my strongest supporters and I’d like to Thank them all right now!
Thank you ladies. I couldn’t have got this far without you all.

Have you met a new group of friends online? Has it helped you get through a particular issue or situation that you needed some support for? If not, why not? What is your perception of these kinds of sites/groups?

And do you find these acronyms confusing? Here’s a little cheat sheet:

Remember to always stay safe online – don’t give out personal information! See my previous post about internet safety here:

Amy x

CEO & Founder of Treasured Ltd is an online digital memory box & scrapbooking solution provided by website and mobile app, to keep your memories safe, organised and private.




Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Mother’s Day!!

Happy Mother’s Day to all our international Mummies!

Here in the UK, Mother’s Day is traditionally just before Easter, so we’ve already had it, but all over the world Mums are being celebrated today – Sunday 11th May 2014.

So, I thought I’d write my blog today about Mother’s Day, and Mums in general, and my Mum in particular.

Aren’t Mums fab? I am a Mum, I have a Mum, my sister is a Mum and a lot of my friends are Mums, so I think I speak from experience when I say that being a Mum is the best job in the world (possibly also the hardest job in the world) and that Mums are the most wonderful people in the world.

Alice Mothers Day cake


I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my Mum (I know she’ll read this!) for being a wonderful Mum and Grandma, and just being such a supportive and enthusiastic influence on my life.
(See the guest blog post she wrote for my blog here: )

Me and my Mum!

Me and my Mum!

My Mum gave up work when my older brother was born, and stayed at home until my little sister went to school. When my sister was 3 or 4 years old my Mum started her own business(es) – she went to night-school, she started a “Zafra” make-up distribution business and she started a sandwich making and delivery business with a friend.
My point is that she had the entrepreneurial spirit that I think she has passed onto me and my sister. We saw her doing those things, trying and failing, but trying again and enjoying the process. What a great lesson to learn before you have even hit secondary school!

Amy & Mum 1977

My parents moved to the south coast when I was 7, away from their family and friends, and they chose an area which had grammar schools – they hoped their children would pass the entrance exams and get a great education (which fortunately we all did!)
We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, but our parents did everything they could to make sure that we had what we needed. Mum worked part-time and Dad worked full-time, in “computers” – I think that might have contributed to my career choice!

I remember my Mum often said to me that she wished she had had the opportunities that I had – that we as a generation had – to go to grammar school, to go to university, to be whatever I wanted to be. What a great childhood, what a great gift to be given – the belief and support to be literally WHATEVER you wanted to be.

Amy & Mum

I hope my Mum (and Dad) are proud of what I have achieved so far in my life, and I hope they continue to be so. I am very proud of them, and I only hope that I can follow their example and be the kind of parent they were to me.


Thank you Mums everywhere! Have a great day!

Amy xxx

CEO & Founder,


Twitter: @TreasuredOnline


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why is Treasured unique?

People often ask me “But how is Treasured different to….<insert another service name here>…?”

I decided to write this blog post to explain why I believe Treasured is unique!

Firstly, Treasured offers a safe and private online memory box service, that is totally flexible – YOU create the boxes that make sense in YOUR life – we’re not going to tell you that you can only create boxes for your kids, or that your pet shouldn’t be just as loved (or photographed!), or that you can’t create a box for yourself, your step-child, grand-child, your parent, a special event or a hobby!
With Treasured, you can make a box for anything you like – or three or four, or a hundred – it’s your memory box, you do what you like with it!


The second difference is that unlike other file storage and sharing services, Treasured is very visual – showing you your memories in a thumbnail timeline, and enabling you to quickly page through a larger view of your memories in date order (backwards)..
It’s like paging through your digital photo albums – the kids love it!


The third difference is that each entry in Treasured (whether it might be a photo or a text note) is accompanied by a title, caption, who you were with, where you were and the date it happened.
This way, years in the future, when we’re grandmothers and grandfathers ourselves (hopefully) we can show our memory box or our children’s memory box to someone and not have to say “Who is that on the right? Oh, I can’t remember” or “What year was that?”, “Where were we?”, “What was the occasion?” – the details are recorded there for you to see.


The fourth difference is that you can allow other friends or family members to see AND add their own memories into any one of your Treasured memory boxes (if you choose to do so). Each box can have a different audience, and you are notified when anyone else adds a memory to your memory box.
An example would be Grandma adding a photo or memory to one of your children’s memory boxes, or a family member overseas allowing you to see and add to their memory box.


And the fifth difference is that our business has a sustainable plan – we are not offering a free service which can’t be maintained, or risking it all on the hope that FaceBook will buy us for $1bn+. We offer a free storage of 250Mb, after which the majority of our customers will probably never use more than our 2Gb for £2 per month storage band.
We upload the full original file size – if you are paying for your storage its not in our interest to compress your image to hold it (and its not in your interest if you want to have it copied securely somewhere away from your home and devices, in case of loss or damage!) was started by a Mum, who wanted somewhere safe, private and secure online to backup, organise and share the memories of her child’s childhood, to enjoy later.

It has evolved into the online memory box service we have today, and will continue to evolve.

Please do leave us a comment, and check out the website at, or download the Treasured app from the iPhone App Store and get started!

Have a nice week!

Amy x


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment