Best of 2018

#Best of 2018

A lot has happened in 2018, both at Mimi’s Bow also, for me personally. I wanted to reflect on year we are leaving behind: including the highlight of our year, which was welcoming my son George in July. He is growing fast and has been such a beautiful baby and a shining light for our family. Having a second child (and feeling more relaxed about the process second time around) has bought us all so much joy.

I had no idea when I started Mimi’s Bowl that it would grow into this great community: amongst us are parents, foodies and inspiring people. I get so many ideas and also great tips from the messages, DMs and chats that the feed generates. I hope you feel the same when you read back through posts (and their comments). In 2018, we have discussed everything from starting solids, baby led weaning, to pregnancy, breast feeding (possibly the most controversial and divisive topics), to seasonal menu planning and parenting hacks and tips, there’s been plenty of new recipes too.

One of my goals in 2019 is to expand the range of parenting topics, beyond the scope of food. I have felt strongly this year that we have many like minded causes: from plastic free living, to optimising nutrition, decluttering our homes, to simplifying the way we live. In January I am launching a new series called #MimisFriends: where I will invite experts and contemporaries to share their knowledge and top tips for us all. I am really excited about broadening the scope of Mimi’s Bowl to issues that parents feel passionately about. I hope in following on Instagram, or the blog, you feel that you can engage with all the issues we discuss: from baby and children’s eating, to parenting. If you do anything in 2019, please feel free to join in the conversation at Mimi’s Bowl, this is our community.

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some of my favourite memories of 2018 (In no particular order)

  • Announcing my pregnancy at the beginning of this year: we were also excited to discover it was a boy!

  • Working with some great brands: collaborating on recipes, giveaways and content. I loved these fun Wholemeal Mimi’s Bowl Breakfast Waffles, which I wrote for the lovely team at Babease.

  • Taking George to Kent to stay with his grandparents: here he is in my father’s 1950s silver cross, sitting in their veggie patch ( a huge source of inspiration, for the seasonal content I write for Mimi’s Bowl)

  • Hot Chocolate Porridge ~ one of your favourite posts and one of my daughter’s favourite recipes

  • George arrived in July, he fitted into our family right away and we couldn’t remember life without him. I was beyond proud of my daughter Mima and her instant love for him.

  • Homemade Oat Bars: one of the recipes which has become a Mimi’s Bowl classic. So many of you tried making these too and the pictures and feedback were just great.

  • Finger Foods: one of the hot topics earlier this year: many of you felt passionate about baby led weaning and I learnt a lot.

  • Broccoli pesto: the most popular recipe of the winter months. Another family favourite at my table.

  • One of our favourite photo shoot’s: I am about 5 months pregnant and it just reminds me of happy times

    May there be many more special memories in 2019

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the 1st half of the year, in Mimi’s bowl kitchen

January

Last January, I hadn’t yet announced my pregnancy, my energy levels weren’t brilliant but behind the scenes I was working away. There was a host of new recipes on the feed: mostly health conscious and budget friendly. Apple & Spelt Flour Biscuits were a success and used apple juice instead of refined sugar to slightly sweeten them. Lots of you had a go at making these and enjoyed cooking them with your little one’s too, making them all the more special. I wrote a piece for Pret a Parent on how to make mealtimes fun with kids. There was also Herb Crusted Salmon Fillets, Stuffed Peppers, Bean and Sweet Potato Stew, also a Homemade “fake-away” with my version of Egg Fried Rice (I still need to write up a recipe for this… it is so easy to cook, you simply chuck everything in a frying pan). There were also blackberry smoothies and frozen yogurt bark (great for teething). We did our first giveaway of the year with the fabulous Lucy and Belle too.

February

I cooked a lot of pancakes… from Sweet Potato Pancakes, to Wholemeal Pancakes and Ricotta Hotcakes (light fluffy and very more-ish). There were savoury pancakes with crepes; filled and rolled into pinwheels (easier for little hands to grab onto). We shared all the best pancake recipes with the brilliant blog Kensington Mums. We were also excited to be featured in My Baba’s Spring Guide, with an easy Egg Muffin Recipe. I revisited two of the first recipes I blogged about at Mimi’s Bowl: Homemade Vegetable Stock and Homemade Chicken Stock. I made these for my daughter when she started solids: I found them incredibly useful for upping flavour in her purees and also nutrition. They have stood the test of time in my cooking. I also made Quick Frozen Pea Risotto, Spiced Baby Porridge and Rainbow Veggie Pizzas. On Valentines Day I joined Fifi and Friends in writing a letter to my little girl, about what she means to me. I collaborated with Albert Eats, who interviewed me for their blog: read more here. Finally, I hit 20 weeks and announced my second pregnancy: the response was unbelievably supportive and incredible, for which I am very thankful.

March

This proved to be one of the busiest months of the year: the timing couldn’t have been better, as during my second trimester my energy levels returned. I filmed an insta-live Q&A with Maggie, Founder of Maggie and Rose, and Dina, Founder of Kensington Mum’s. We talked about being building our businesses and juggling it all. I wrote our first Mimi Loves Gift Guide in time for Mother’s Day and these little product edits became a feature for the rest of the year. I wrote recipes for World Book Day inspired by favourite children’s books, which was really fun to do: Twits Spaghetti and Hungry Caterpillar Fruit Crumble. I spent a day at Babease cooking up Carrot and Apple Waffles and filming with their in house dietician. I worked with Baby Mori and wrote about How What we Eat Can Impact Our Sleep. There were lots go healthy recipes and ideas: Sunshine Coconut Curry and Red Lentil Spaghetti Sauce. Also a Creamy Coconut Rice Pudding: which my daughter loved. Kensington Mum’s published our Spiced Carrot Muffin Recipe and My Baba shared my ideas for Steamed Fish Parcels. I also launched our “In Focus Nutrition” series with paediatric dietician Bianca Parau with a new blog on Vitamin D and Foods to Avoid in Weaning. There was plenty going on!

April

Two key ingredients were in focus during April: oats and eggs. The egg recipes continued over the Easter break with Oven Baked Eggs, Family Style Kedgeree, Egg Noodle Chicken Soup and Avocado Stuffed Eggs. I went on holiday and storied about our break by the sea, the last family holiday as a family of three. I also made really easy Falafel Bites, a light Spring recipe packed with nutrition. We ran a giveaway with Eeny Meeny Kids Boutique (sadly now closed). There was a new series of parent hack videos: How to Make Instant Baby Porridge, Adding more Veg into your Sauces and Cooking, Freezing Purees without an Ice Cube Tray and more… All shot at home in my kitchen in West London. In our In Focus series we talked about Fish and the benefits of eating more fish: sharing portion and intake guidelines, for you and your family. A quick tuna dip made a great snack, also store cupboard tuna patties.

May

I started shopping for baby number two! I was definitely less prepared second time around. I wrote a blog about all my favourite nursery and baby picks: Mimi Loves New Baby. We also ran some great giveaways, starting with Ergo Baby UK ~ the winner received one of their fantastic baby carriers. They also shared my views on “babyfood panic” and why starting solids can be so stressful for parents. This was closely followed by another giveaway with the super cute Folpetto Swimwear, just in time for the bank holiday weekend. Then another giveaway with Little Aurelia, for one of their new baby essential kits. I contributed to their blog sharing my ideas for Cooking for Kids. On the main feed, I blogged about finger foods and baby led weaning, which saw lots of you join in the debate about purees Vs baby led weaning. There was also Hot Chocolate Porridge, one of the best liked recipes of the year. Lots of recipes with veg too: Beetroot Burgers, Roasted Veggie Penne Pasta and Homemade Sweet Potato Crisps. I tried my hand at making Gnocchi and also Soda Bread. We revisited some classic Mimi’s Bowl recipes: Beef Ragu and Apple Oat Bars. Our In Focus Nutrition Series discussed Constipation and Diet, one of the questions I get asked about most often.

June

Saw one of my favourite collaborations of the year with the White Company: Healthy Summer Ice Lollies ( just in time for the heat wave). I also blended some no cook fruit purees, which work for the whole family. I wrote a piece on Signs Your Baby is Ready to Start Weaning with our partner dietician Bianca Parau. We did a giveaway with Aden + Anais: up for grabs were their classic swaddles, sleeping bag and snap bibs. I shared lots of my favourite Summer recipes: Tomato Risotto, Fruit Kebabs, Chilled Gzapacho Soup and Thyme Lemon Roasted Chicken. Aden + Anais published my favourite Pregnancy Recipes. There were Healthy Snack Ideas and inspiration for Staying Cool as the heat wave ramped up. B Baby Magazine published a piece on my first birth experience with my daughter, as I started to prepare for the arrival of our little boy.

 
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the 2nd half of the year, in the mimi’s bowl kitchen

july

The best month of the whole year for me, as I gave birth to our little boy, at the beginning of July. It was so exciting sharing news of our New Baby George with everyone. We began to settle into life as a family of four and took a small maternity leave break from social media, to enjoy the arrival of George.

 

august

Saw #NationalBreastFeedingWeek discussed in the media, I shared my own experiences and welcomed everyone to join the discussion. Fifi and Friends published a piece on How I want to Approach Weaning Second Time Around and I was interviewed for Bonne Nuit Baby about life as a mum-blogger. Giveaways with Baby Bjorn and Wean Green followed. I took baby George to stay with my parents in Kent. There were recipes: Easy Sweet Potato Curry, Kale Mac N Cheese, Alphabet Veggie Soup, Potato and Sweetcorn Cakes and Mini Granola Pots.

September

In September I started posting again more regularly as little George hit 2 months. It proved to be a lovely outlet for me! I do genuinely love working on the feed and although it can be really hard juggling everything I am lucky to have lots of support. We were lucky to be featured by Tiny Table and Sheer Luxe. I worked on a new blog post about Convenience Foods I rely on. This was pretty relevant and one of the best received blog posts of the year. I always need to find cooking shortcuts, with so much going on: lots of you could relate to this and I would love to write more about convenience cooking, as I do often rely on good pre-prepped ingredients to get healthy meals on the table. I would encourage all parents to the same, to save themselves time and make family cooking realistic. I also shared lots of breakfast ideas: Overnight Oats, Sweet Potato Pancakes, Granola Yogurt Pots (& How to make your own Granola), Homemade Healthy Baked Beans and Natural Fruity Yogurts.

october

For the October Half Term I wrote about Food and Travel with Kids, for Baby Mori. For our In Focus Nutrition series I talked about Healthy Fats and Immune Boosting Foods. We shared lots of ideas for Halloween, focusing on healthy treats and snacks, at a time of year when children can be bombarded with sugary foods. Recipes included Chicken Meatballs, Easy Pea Orzo Pasta, Mini Tortilla Pies and Winter Fruit Crumble.

november

I wrote about When to Buy Organic which can be hard to navigate for parents and also expensive. I began to share my experiences of starting solid foods with baby George: from My Basic Weaning Kit to all the first foods/ purees we have been trying on insta-stories. In 2019 there will be lots more content on weaning: how to make the whole baby eating adventure as easy as possible and even enjoyable. May approach second time round has been so different and I am really looking forward to sharing my experiences and ideas with other parents. Recipes included Winter veg Mash, Broccoli Pesto, Spiced Pear Porridge and Apple & Blueberry Muffins.

december

For the final month of the year we kicked off our Holiday Campaign #festivefeels with new holiday recipes, Friday Gift Guides and an epic 12 days of giveaways. It was worth all the hard work and planning: one of my absolute highlights the year was watching the lucky winners of all the giveaways receive their gifts in time for Christmas! A big thank you to all the brands who celebrated giving:

I held a Christmas takeover at Baby Mori sharing all my favourite Holiday recipes and ideas on their insta-stories: Mini Turkey Burgers, Red Lentil Pies, Banana & Cinnamon Hot Chocolate, Winter Veg Oven Baked Crisps and so many more. We published Mimi Loves Gift Guides every Friday: these were such fun to do. There was one for Tired Mamas, Terrific Toddlers, First Holidays and Foodie Favourites. I hope to do plenty more of these in 2019 as the response was so positive. I was also really excited to be featured by the brilliant Lux Mumma: I also filmed with founder Kerstin, to round off the year. We drank coffee and talked about all about family food and cooking for out little ones, which was a great way to round off 2019.

It has been quite a year!

A huge thank you for all your support

and encouragement

I am really looking forward to seeing what 2019

has in store for Mimi’s Bowl. xx

Miriam Cooper