Monday, 5 December 2016

Our weekly meal plan 5/12

Happy Monday! Less than 3 weeks until Christmas Day! I am going to be super organised and attempt to sort out my meal plans until the new year this week, so I don't have to do any planning over the festive period. Wish me luck!

Last week we did well, we missed one meal but we are having it this week instead. On Sebastians birthday we ate SO much, wehad pancakes for breakfast, lunch at Frankie and Bennys then some food at the German Market and then a curry in the evening from local restaurant The Cinnamon Lounge. I actually managed to fill my children up and they turned down birthday cake! I was so pleased with how the cake turned out, he asked for a chocolate cake and I think I delivered what he wanted!

Chocolate birthday cake

This week I am trying a Gousto Box, as I had an offer to try for £9.99. I am really looking forward to trying the meals and I will attempt to blog about it if I get the chance. I am going to tidy my freezer a bit too, everything is shoved in at the moment so I want to get it organised.

Monday Cheesy Fish Pie

Tuesday Tomato, mozzarella and basil risotto

Wednesday Herby Pancetta Carbonara with Chives

Thursday Ikea meatballs with homemade gravy and chips

Friday Easy homemade pizza with salad and garlic bread

Saturday Pork Noodles and Thai Sauce

Sunday Pasta with pork meatballs in tomato sauce


What is on your meal plan this week? Join in with the meal planning linky.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

What to put in a Christmas Eve Box?

We have been giving a Christmas Eve box for five years now since Sebastian was one. That first year we just kept it simple with some new pyjamas and a book, and as our family has grown we have added to those basic items. I see lots of people asking what to put in a Christmas Eve box so I thought I would share what I put into ours.
Christmas Eve is probably my favourite day of the festive period. I love the build up and excitement to Christmas, it is so magical. In the evening our Christmas Eve Box arrives. I keep our box pretty basic, some of the items are the same each year.

What to put in a Christmas eve box


New pyjamas I try to get the boys matching Christmas pyjamas each year and this year I managed to get some of the Matalan striped pyjamas for the big two plus a matching sleepsuit for Barney. I am so excited for them to wear these!

Hot chocolate and treats We like to watch something festive on Christmas Eve (usually The Snowman) with some hot chocolate and Christmas chocolate or biscuits all snuggled up underneath a cosy blanket. 

Christmas book A new Christmas book to read before bed along with the traditional The Night Before Christmas story which we read every year. This year Penwizard have sent us a gorgeous personalised copy of The Snowman and the Snowdog* to read. You can add your child's name, hair colour and style and even choose the colour of pyjamas.  This is a perfect addition to any Christmas Eve Box and you can receive 20% off all personalised books with the discount code SOQUICK20 until 18th December. There is a great range available including some well loved childrens characters including Peppa Pig.

Personalised Snowman and Snowdog book, Penwizard

What to put in a Christmas eve box

I picked up this Santa treat plate from Wilkinsons a couple of years ago and it now goes into our box each Christmas Eve ready to leave out with a mince pie, carrots and a glass of milk for the big man.

Reindeer food and Santa's key, each year I mix a bag of oats and glitter to sprinkle outside on Christmas Eve and as we have no chimney we leave Santa a special key so he can get in. The boys absolutely love sprinkling the food before they head up to bed.

I also include the boys Christmas Stockings in the box each year so they can hang them up when they go to bed.

Of course everybody does their Christmas Eve Box differently, here are some more ideas that you could include.

  • Bath Bomb
  • Christmas Game
  • Christmas Fuzzy Felt
  • Nativity puzzle
  • Christmas DVD
  • Christmas craft kits 
  • Sticker or activity book
  • Gold coins
  • Letter from Father Christmas
  • Cosy socks
  • Special tree decorations
  • Selection boxes
  • New toothbrush
  • Gingerbread house kit
  • Some salt dough and cutters to make decorations
  • Christmas Lego
  • Santa stop here sign
  • Colouring sheets and crayon
Do you make a Christmas Eve Box? What do you put into yours?

 *PR sample

Friday, 2 December 2016

Baby's First Christmas Gift Ideas

I am so excited for Christmas this year. There is something magical about your baby's first Christmas. Barney will be nearly 9 months when it is Christmas so I have created this post of babys first Christmas gift ideas with some ideas for tiny tots.

Personalised

Baby's first Christmas gift ideas

1 &2 Christmas ornaments come in all shapes and sizes these days, a personalised ornament is extra special and makes a lovely keepsake for years to come. I love this rustic 1st Christmas decoration personalised with your babies name. If you prefer a more traditional bauble this classic decoration can be personalised with your baby's name and the year. Both of these are from Personalised Gift Shop,

3 Books are always fantastic gifts and the Lost My Name personalised books are beautiful, tell a lovely story spelling get out your childs name and make a really special keepsake.

4 We always have new pyjamas on Christmas Eve and with Dollymix Boutiques personalised pyjamas even the tiniest members of the household can join in. I love these Good List pyjamas.

5 All of my boys have loved pull along toys and this Personalised Pull Along Caterpillar from My 1st Years is so sweet and I love the rainbow coloured wheels.

Stocking fillers

Stocking fillers for babys

1. Every baby needs a rubber duck and the Cuddledry Cuddleduck* is made of natural rubber and with child safe paints. Designed to be easy to hold the duck is perfect for bathtime fun and he can also be used as a teething toy.

2. Everyone knows my love for Funky Giraffe bibs (we have so many!) and along with the normal range they also have some lovely Christmas designs available too. So cute with a festive outfit! Why not enter my Christmas Funky Giraffe giveaway,

3. If your baby is weaning, Ellas Kitchen have a fun limited edition Chrsitmas Dinner pouch available. Perfect to pop into the stocking.

4. I always put a bath bomb into the boys stockings and Lush Ickle Baby Bot is ideal to include in a babies stocking. We have been using these since Sebastian was born 6 years ago!

5. We reviewed a Nibbling Teether earlier in the year and even now several months on Barney still uses this super stylish teething ring every day.

Gifts

Baby's first Christmas gift ideas

1. Grimm toys are beautiful and amazing quality. The wooden rainbows are gorgeous gifts for a baby look pretty on display aswell as being suitable for all sorts of open ended play,

2. I love traditional baby toys and this wooden stacking ring set by Melissa and Doug is as traditional as you can get. Lovely bright colours and a total bargain too.

3. Wooden blocks are of course another traditional toy and one I recommend to everyone. Seb received a basic set when he a turned 1 and since then our collections has grown and they are used every day still. I love these Alphabet blocks from John Lewis, the texture detailing is gorgeous.

4. Noisy toys are on my wishlist for Barney and this Lamaze Octopus is very cute and each tentacle plays a different note. He is even vanilla scented!

5. Activity cubes are a great way of getting a section of toys in one. I love this wooden cube from Smyths Toy Store, it will definitely grow with your baby as they become a toddler.


*Pr Sample

Funky Giraffe Christmas Giveaway

I love Funky Giraffe Bibs, Barney is rarely seen without one and they featured in my top baby buys post. As well as the fab year round designs Funky Giraffe also have a Christmas range with festive design bibs and personalised stockings.
Funky Giraffe bibs Christmas design bib


This year the Funky Giraffe team have also developed a fab new product, the winter dribble scarf or scood. They have the usual funky fabrics available in a cosy scarf style bib. Available on the Funky Giraffe site now, these are perfect stocking filler items. 

Funky Giraffe bibs scood

The lovely team at Funky Giraffe are offering one of my readers the chance for a reader to win two of their fab Christmas design bibs AND one of the brand new dribble scarves. All you need to do is fill in the rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1. Open to UK residents only.

2. Entrants must be over 18.

3. All entries will be checked.

4. Please make sure i have a way to contact you if you win.

5. Prize will be sent by PR.. 

6. The prize is 2 Christmas bibs and one Scood for one winner. No cash alternative. 

7. If I am unable to make contact with the winner within a reasonable time a new winner will be drawn.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

For Aisha Stage 3 Baby Food Review and Giveaway

Barney is absolutely loving weaning and like his brothers is enjoying those first tastes of a range of flavours. For Aisha recently got in touch and asked if he fancied trying their brand new Stage 3 pouches and I accepted on his behalf.

Research shows that 69% of parents wanting to expand their babies' palates and to be able to buy meals that they perhaps could not make at home themselves easily. For Aisha brings exotic tastes from around the globe to your baby. The award winning range of baby food is halal and made using natural ingredients. All of the meat used is premium British Halal meat and it is combined with pulses, herbs, gentle spices, fruit and veg. Importantly the products contain no added sugar or salt.

For Aisha stage 3 baby food

For Aisha stage 3 baby food

For Aisha Stage 3 pouches are for babies aged around 10 months+ this means that the texture is thick, with small chunks of food to explore. There are three flavours available at the moment; Chicken Rainbow Quinoa, Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry and Green Bean and Lamb Curry. Each resealable pouch is a generous 190g size. 

Barney has tried all three of the pouches and I have to be honest he ate them all up with no complaint! He is younger than the 10 month age guideline but is already happily eating chunkier foods and so that was no issue for us. I did split the pouch and gave him half a pouch at a time which was enough for him at this age but of course he will eat more as he gets older.
As someone who is passionate about introducing my children to a wide range of tastes I am really impressed with For Aisha.  This brand proves that baby food doesn't have to be bland and boring. I also love that I recognise every single ingredient included in the pouches. It is important to me to feed my boys well and I feel these pouches are a great alternative to a home cooked meal on days where I am low on time or we are eating something that may not be suitable for Barney.

For Aisha stage 3 baby food

Baby in ikea highchair

Baby in ie a anti lop highchair, for Aisha bib

The brand new For Aisha Stage 3 pouches are out now and are available at Asda. I will definitely be picking some up.

The lovely team at For Aisha are giving one lucky reader the chance to win 3 For Aisha stage 3 pouches (one of each flavour) and a For Aisha bib. Simply fill in the rafflecopter below. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1. Open to UK residents only.

2. Entrants must be over 18.

3. All entries will be checked.

4. Please make sure i have a way to contact you if you win.

5. Prize will be sent by PR.. 

6. The prize is 3 pouches of Stage 3 For Aisha baby food(one of each flavour) plus a For Aisha bib for one winner. No cash alternative. 

7. If I am unable to make contact with the winner within a reasonable time a new winner will be drawn.

Family Fever
**I received these samples for the purpose of this post, all opinions expressed are my own**