Saturday, 22 October 2016

Morning Pops Subscription Box

The market for subscription boxes has exploded over the last few years and there seems to be a box to suit everyone. I am a big fan of them, particularly foodie boxes and today I am writing about the newest box on the block, Morning Pops Subscription Box.

Morning Pops,  cereal subscription box

Morning Pops deliver cereals from around the world to your doorstep each month. Each box contains 3 large servings of world cereals plus a large serving of an exclusive cereal created by the Morning Pops team, there is also a little treat in the box from a little something sweet to a collectible toy. If you are lucky you may even find a special troll inside.

Morning Pops, cereal subscription box

We were lucky enough to receive the first ever Morning Pops box to try for ourselves. It was such a treat!
Inside the box were generous portions of Fruit Loops, Hersheys Cookies n Creme, Chocapic Duo and the Morning Pops creation which was a yummy mixture of chocolate cereal and marshmallows. The portion was more than big enough for me, and I was able to share the Fruit Loops portion equally between Sebastian and Alexander.

Morning Pops cereal

Morning pops, fruit loops in a bowl

Hersheys Cookies n Creme cereal, morning pops

The cereals were lovely and it is always fun to try foods from around the world, things that aren't always easy to find in the UK. I love that if you enjoy a particular cereal they are available to purchase on the Morning Pops.  We really enjoyed this box, it would make a fantastic gift idea for a foodie or someone who is simply hard to buy for!

Morning Pops Subscription Box is priced at £8.95 a month. Why not sign up and try for yourself.

**We received this for the purpose of the post, all opinions expressed here are my own**

Friday, 21 October 2016

Cheesy Fish Pie

Fish pie is a classic family meal that always guarantees empty plates in this house. I have been meaning to post my cheesy fish pie recipe for a while now and a recent delivery of yummy Wyke cheese gave me the chance to make this family favourite.

Easy cheesy fish pie

When i make fish pie I do tend to buy the fresh fish pie mixes from supermarket, they tend to be the right portion size to make a fish pie for a family meal. I like to make a cheese sauce for our fish pie and making it always brings back memories of home economics at school.

Wyke Farms is the UK's largest independent cheese producer and their cheese is one you will pretty much always find in our fridge. They make various cheddars from mature to smoked. I am a cheese fiend and my boys are following in my footsteps, for us vintage cheddars are always a winner for both cooking and snacking.

Wyke farms cheese

4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
25g butter
25g plain flour
300ml milk (plus extra for the mash)
150ml cream
100g cheddar cheese, grated (plus extra to top the pie)
Fish pie mix
2 handfuls of frozen peas

Preheat oven to 180°. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add your potatoes and leave to boil for around 20 minutes before draining get and mashing with a little milk.

In a separate pan melt the butter over a low heat before adding the flour and mixing the two into a paste. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly to keep the sauce smooth. Once all the milk is in add the cream and keep stirring while adding the cheese. Increase the heat and bring to a gentle boil and turn back down to the lowest heat stirring until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and  add the fish pieces and the frozen peas to the sauce. Spoon the mixture into an ovenproof dish and top with the mash and sprinkle over the extra cheese.

Bake in the oven for around 25-30 minutes and serve. 

Cheesy fish pie

**PR Sample**

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Twistshake Baby Bottle

I have been admiring the Twistshake baby bottle for quite a while now and recently I was sent one to try out with Barney.  I am a sucker for funky design and was so excited to find that they are as awesome in real life as they are in the pictures I had seen.

Twistshake bottles come in 3 sizes and 10 amazing colours. I picked the yellow 9oz bottle and it is SO bright and vibrant and really stands out from the crowd. I absolutely love it.

Of course it needs to work well as a bottle too and I am pleased to say it does. The design is different to other bottles, you have the body of the bottle, with the screw on anti colic teat and the lid but there is also a mixer which sits in the bottle and prevents any lumps of formula or clogging. There is also a powder storage tub which can also be used as a snack tub. The whole design is really clever and unlike any other bottle I have seen and all parts are BPA  free. You can even buy a few colours and mix and match them.
Barney isn't fussy over bottles and took to this bottle happily enough. He happily guzzles his milk from it.

I just love these bottles. They are available at Twistshake where you can buy individual bottles or multipacks. I am keeping my eyes peeled for new products from this fab brand. If you fancy saving 20% on your order use my discount code sebsmummy20 at the checkout.

**I received this bottle for the purpose of review, all opinions are my own**

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Making the World a Better Place #brightFuture

As parents we all want the world to be a better place for our children and make changes to our own lives to try and make that happen. Unilevers brightFuture initiative focuses on making small changes that can make big differences.

83% of British parents feel that having children made them want to change an aspect of their lives for the better and a whopping 9 out of 10 parents (along with 8 out of 10 children) agree that if everyone did something small to improve the environment the world could be a better place. So what can we do day to day in our family lives to make a difference?
There are various things we do as a family to help the environment, recycling is a simple and obvious one, even the children love to involved in making sure card and paper go into the correct bin and helping to wash out yogurt pots to be reused for glue and paints. We try to keep food waste to minimum by meal planning and using up any leftovers. We also have a huge stash of cloth nappies which of course reduces the amount of disposable nappies going to landfill. I also use public transport, we are fortunate to live in an area with good transport links. All of these things benefit the environment and as an added bonus our bank account too.

There are other ways to help ensure a brighter future for our children. Like most children my boys are little bundles of energy and we try to make sure they go outside for a good play every day. There are countless studies stating the long term benefits of outdoor play and it really does improve futures.
Of course that outdoor fun inevitably means we end up with wet muddy clothes from jumping in puddles, grass stains from hill rolling and pockets with leaves and other gifts from nature inside. Persil encourages all of this outdoor play and is suitable for washing those mucky clothes at 30°, which goes back to small steps for helping the environment, add to that a quick wash cycle and you are using less water, yet another small step to make the world a world a better place.

Unilever brightFuture, persil

Unilever are working to improve lives with the brightFuture initiative with its range of products. For example Domestos has commuted to helping 25 million people gain improved access to a toilet by 2020, that is pretty awesome., we take toilets so much for granted that it can be easy to forget those that don't have access. Persil has backed a global initiative 'Learning for Tomorrow' partnering with UNICEF to help children in some of the world's toughest areas the chance to access quality education. Again in the UK we take education for granted and have options available to us. And then there is the Dove Self-Esteem Project which many of us will have seen. Working with leading psychologists, academics and expert to create resources and materials to help young people develop a positive relationship with the way they look. This project has reached over 19 million young lives. Those are pretty amazing numbers.

Unilever products

Have you taken any small steps to help make a #brightFuture?

This post is an entry for BritMums #brightFuture Challenge, sponsored by Unilever

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Am I a horrible person? Gender Disapointment

I am proud mum to three beautiful, happy, healthy boys and right now, i can't imagine my life any other way. However I have been open on here about gender disappointment in the past, I wrote a post on the eve of my gender scan with Barney about my feelings.

Gender preferences are far more common than people like to admit. As soon as I announced my pregnancy, there were comments about hoping for a girl after two boys. As soon as Barney was born, people even total strangers asked if we would be trying again for a girl. I have had people tell me that they have two children of the same gender and didn't want to try again in case they had a third girl or boy. Online birth groups are full of people sharing scan pictures and desperately looking up theories to find out which gender they are carrying. Gender seems to matter to an awful lot of people.

Gender dissapointment, brothers

When we had our gender scan at 16 weeks I was so excited to be seeing my baby and knowing all was well, I was also nervous, I always get nervous for scans, more with each baby. We had booked the scan for several reasons, Phil wasn't able to come to our 20 week scan, we wanted to take the boys with us to see the baby and of course we wanted to find out the gender.
I laid there and there was our baby on the screen, the boys were so excited to see the baby moving around and the sonographer said he couldn't be more sure that it was a boy. I am going to be honest and say I felt numb at this point, we finished up the scan collected our pictures and headed to the car and I was quiet, listening to the boys chattering excitedly about what they had seen. I cried in the car, my tears were a combination of sadness and guilt. We had planned to go shopping after our scan to buy the baby a little something but I didn't want to go, I just wanted go home.
No mum wants to feel this way, I didn't know how I would react. All I knew was that I had always imagined having a little girl and now that would never happen and so I was sad to be saying goodbye to what I had always imagined. That's why I was crying. Underneath that I was still excited to be carrying a healthy baby boy and loved him fiercely already. Being dissapointed doesn't mean you love your baby any less. Feelings are complex, we can feel more than one emotion at a time. My sadness lasted a few days and passed, I was lucky, for some it does carry on longer.

I don't know why I imagined having a girl, I love having little boys and I am not the type to bow down to traditional gender stereotypes. For me a daughter wouldn't have meant pink clothes and toys or princesses just as having boys doesn't mean life is all cars and trains and baby blue.

Am I horrible person? I know some will probably think that i am, they cant understand it, they will say I should have been grateful for what I was given, that some people sadly struggle to have children or suffer loss.
But no i don't think I am, I love my boys, am incredibly grateful for them. I just had a feeling, something I couldn't control at that moment. Gender disapointment is now recognised as a real issue and it is being talked about more, it can happen to anybody no matter if it is your first baby, if you have suffered loss or struggled to conceive.

Babycentre now have a group for people feeling gender disapointment where you are able to talk about your feelings anonymously. If you have found my post because you feel this way, please click on the link and talk to others in the same situation,