Thursday, 5 May 2016

Five under £5 May 2016

This last month has been a bit of a whirlwind with the arrival of a Barney, a slow recovery from birth and now an infection so I actually haven't been buying too much until the last week or so but I have still managed to bag a few little buys under £5 so I am linking up with the Five Under £5 linky once again.

First up some hits for myself, a couple of items I had seen recommended on beauty blogs. The Make Up Revolution Iconic 3 palette has been cited as a dupe for Urban Decays Naked 3 palette and with the bargain price tag of £4.99 I figured it was worth a try. I have to say I am so impressed with it, the shadow colours are so wearable and seem to last the day really well. The double ended brush was just £1 from Primark, they have a whole range of brushes now, i love the rose gold and I can never have enough eyeshadow brushes so I grabbed a couple of these.

Next up is this gold chevron patterned notebook from Home Bargains,  I can't remember exactly how much but it was definitely less than £1. I can never have too many notebooks, I use them for jotting down everything from blog post ideas, meal plan or for planning home ed activities. For me paper and pen just can't be replaced by technology.

My last two buys are baby items. This fabric storage tub was picked up in TK Maxx(I just love that shop) for just £3.99, it is the perfect size for keeping all the bits I might need during middle of the night wake ups, nappies, wipes, muslin etc and saves me hunting around in the dark for things.
The satin edged cellular blanket was just £2.49 from Aldi in their recent baby event because I loved the colour. I have a couple of cellular blankets from a previous baby event and they have washed so nicely, I can't believe how little they cost!

Why not head over to  Rainbeaubelle to check out what everyone else has been buying this month and maybe even join in yourself?

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

First Smiles

I only wrote Barneys one month update at the weekend but yesterday was a special day. At 4 weeks and 5 days old Barney woke up and decided that today would be the day he would smile for the first time and I wanted to document it on here.

Gorgeous huge gummy smiles for all of the family along with little screechy happy noises while kicking around on his playmat, Phil was off work so he was lucky enough to experience the firsts too.  Of course it is impossible to get him to smile on cue for photos but I managed a single smiley snap.

I always think that mother nature is incredibly clever. First smiles seem to come along when the reality of a new baby is setting in.  It's like a reward for all the hard work you have put in so far.

I forgot how it makes you feel, the rush of love, the pride and then the little bit of sadness when you realise your baby is coming out of the fuzzy newborn stage.

Painting with Worms!

We are currently learning about minibeasts, one of those topics that is endlessly appealing to young children! Worms were first up and along with learning some facts about them we have also been painting with them! Before you get worried, no worms were harmed in the making of this post. Our worms were made of spaghetti.

This craft was so much fun and the boys got really stuck in and ended up covered in paint. It is most definitely process art enjoying the sensory aspect of the spaghetti and working with it in different ways.

I used ordinary dried spaghetti  partly cooked for around 3 minutes so it was soft and pliable but didn't break too easily when handled. I asked the boys to choose a couple of colours to use and they opted for pink and yellow.

At first the boys used one piece of spaghetti at a time, picking an individual strand and dragging it across the paper leaving a wormy trail. Then they got more daring and picked up whole handfuls of spaghetti using it to print on the paper and layering the colours together.

They realised mixing the colours together to make orangecontact proceeded to do just that and we were left with some very bright paintings.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Spring baking with Tate and Lyle

Just before Barney arrived I received a lovely package full of sugars from Tate and Lyle for us to use in our Spring baking. All of a sudden things got busy with a new baby and recovering from my c section meant I wasn't able to stand and bake. However i have started to get back onto some simple baking again and so got to try out some of the sugars we were sent.

I was very curious about the Tate and Lyle Sugar with Stevia that we received. This is the UK's first blend of cane sugar and natural Stevia leaf extract offering great the same sweet taste but with half the calories. It can be used in hot drinks, on cereal, baking, basically anywhere you would usually use sugar.
I wanted to know if using the Sugar with Stevia in place of my normal sugar would change my results when baking so I used it to make a basic sponge cake(the 4,4,4,2 method), something I make all of the time just to see how it would turn out. Well my sponge came out just as I would normally expect and tasted delicious and light, I didn't mention the ingredient change to Phil and he didn't notice. As you can see I let the boys loose with some spring themed decorations!

Sebastian requested to make some chocolate chip cookies last week and I figured it gave us the perfect chance to try out one of the brown sugars we were sent. 
Tate and Lyle have a whole range of speciality brown sugars delivering the ultimate taste experience to cooking and beverages. Brown sugars have varying uses for example demerara is great for biscuits and crumbles and i personally love using dark muscovado sugar to glaze gammon when I cook it.
For our cookies we used light soft brown sugar and we ended up with delicious buttery cookies full of flavour. They didn't last too long in this house!

Take a look at the Tate and Lyle website for more information on their ranges of sugars, they even have some fab recipe ideas on there, the French Onion Soup is definitely on my to make list!

**I received the above products for the purpose of this post, all opinions are my own**
Family Fever

Monday, 2 May 2016

Meal Planning Monday 2/5

Happy Bank Holiday Monday meal planners! I hope you are all enjoying an extra day off. It hasn't felt like a Bank Holiday for us really, as Phil has been at work. Today however we are going to a Lego event so I have 2 excited boys.

Last weeks meal plan went a bit wrong midweek when we opted for a naughty Pizza Hut takeaway instead of Fish Pie and then the next day Phil and I went to Frankie and Benny's for a late lunch which meant we were far too full in the evening time for our planned meal. Oops! Then at the weekend the big boys spent an unplanned night at their grandparents so I could get some rest (I have developed an infection in my c section wound) so that was another uneaten meal.

This week I am determined to eat all of our planned meals. Our shopping is arriving this morning and I have kept it nice and simple.

Monday Salmon fillets with sweet chilli butter, mash and green beans
Tuesday Chicken breast, cheesy pesto dauphinoise and veg
Wednesday Crispbakes, sweet potato fries and veg
Thursday Sausages, mash, peas and gravy
Friday Cheese and tomato pasta bake
Saturday Pizza night!
Sunday Pasta with pesto and peas

As usual I am linking up with Meal Planning Monday over on At Home With Mrs M.

If you are looking for inspiration why check out my previous meal planning posts?