Saturday, 1 October 2016

Lush Autumn Leaf Bath Bomb

It has been six whole months since I last indulged in Lush products, thanks to my complicated c section and a lack of time for long indulgent baths.  I think that is the longest I have gone without them in around 15 years!

Last week the new Lush Autumn and Halloween products came out and I was ready to pounce on them. I placed an online order which came super quickly. With Autumn being my favourite season I had to get the Autumn Leaf Bath Bomb and I am so glad I did.
Autumn Leaf Bath Bomb is a large flat bath bomb in the shape of a leaf, it has several autumnal colours layer through it. loved the scent, which comes from Neroli, Sandalwood and Bergamot Oils. To me it smelt sweet and uplifting.

Once put into the run bath it takes its time to fizz, leaving a very pretty trail of Autumn colours in its wake. Once finished fizzing the water is left a golden colour and the scent lingers, in fact the whole upstairs of my house smelt lovely. The bath was pleasant and I found the scent lingered on my skin too.






For me this bath bomb with its uplifting scent is ideal for those grey days where you want a long soak in the bath and to get straight into your pyjamas afterwards.

Autumn Leaf bath bomb is available now with an RRP of £3.75.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Slow Cooked Hearty Bean Soup

In this months Degustabox we received three small tins of Cirio Borlotti Beans. With it being autumn I figured I would use them to make my first soup of the season. This Slow Cooked Hearty Bean Soup made my kitchen small divine and made for a lovely filling and healthy lunch. I usually blend my soups but left this one nice and chunky, luckily my boys are happy to eat visible veg!



Borlotti beans are a variety of kidney bean with a sweetish flavour and they are often used in Italian cooking. They are a good source of protein and iron among many other things.  I am going to try some burgers with my remaining tin, I think they will be really popular!

To serve 4

2 tins of Cirio Borlotti Beans
2 stalks of Celery
2 spring onions
2 carrots
2 cloves of garlic
450ml vegetable stock(I use low salt ones as I am cooking for little ones)
40g Tomato Puree
Chilli flakes

Drain and rinse the beans and chop the vegetables. Place all ingredients into the slow cooker, add the stock and tomato puree, giving them a stir to combine. Sprinkle over the chilli flakes, how much you use will depend on how much of a kick you want, I kept ours mild.
Cook on low for around 6 hours and serve.

**We received these beans as part of a Degustabox review box, all opinions are my own **

Thursday, 29 September 2016

5 things to do in West Yorkshire this weekend 29/9

The first weekend of October is here, blink and you will have kissed September!  Here are 5 things to do in West Yorkshire this weekend.

5 things to do in West Yorkshire this weekemd

On Friday and Saturday you can go to see Snow White at Laurence Batley Threatre in Huddersfield. This looks set to be a beautiful ballet perfect for adults and children. 

Wakefield Lit Fest has been running recently and this Saturday the festival is taking over Lightwaves for Lit Fest In a Day, a family friendly event with loads to keep you busy.

Why not head to the Thackray Medical Museum in Leeds for their family Saturdays. This month you can learn about Doctor Mary Seacole as part of Black History Month. We have never visited the Thackray but it is on my to do list!

A bit further out than West Yorkshire i knlw, but why not head south to Sheffield to visit the Herd of Sheffield on their last weekend on display? We recently visited and it was brilliant, my boys adored it.

Finally, why not head outside to one of our beautiful green spaces and appreciate the beauty of Autumn, we hit the conker jackpot at Roundhay park this week!

Whatever you get upto this weekend,  have a good one.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Banana and Date Bread

I mentioned back in June that I was excited to bake with the Date Syrup I had received my May Degustabox and I finally got around to it and made banana and date bread. It's free from refined  so fab for weaning and Barney really enjoyed having a good munch on this aswell as the big two. It is also egg free so fab for anyone out there with an allergy. 

This is based on the recipe for vegan banana bread in the A Girl Called Jack book (I can't find the original recipe on her site), though I used coconut oil and replaced the sugar with date syrup. Oh and a0i skipped the cinnamon. Check out the original recipe if you want to make it the usual way it's a great store cupboard recipe and always turns out well.

Banana and date bread, recipe

Banana and date bread

3 ripe bananas, the riper the better!
75ml Coconut Oil
225g self raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
30ml Date syrup

Preheat the oven to 160°(fan oven) and prepare a 1lb loaf tin.
Mash the bananas with a fork in a large mixing bowl. Add the coconut oil and date syrup and combine before adding the self raising flour and baking powder. Fill the tin with the batter and bake for around 40 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean and it is golden on top. Leave to cool before serving.

This will make your house smell amazing, and you will want to dig in before it is cool enough! My boys love this bread toasted with peanut butter on although it is lovely plain too which is how Barney had his.

Weaning banana and date bread

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Weaning baby number three, my essentials

Weaning baby number three is just as exciting as the first time. I absolutely love this stage of babyhood, introducing them to the world of food and seeing them enjoy new tastes and textures. We are two weeks into weaning now and it has gone really well so far and he is already having three small meals a day. I think because we are at the table eating meals it is natural for him to be joining in with us.

My boys were given a mixture of homemade puree(with the odd pouch for convenience) and finger foods and it worked well for us, neither have ever gone through a fussy stage, they eat healthily, happily try new things and love fruit and veg, homemade meals as well as the odd chocolate bar and chicken nugget dinner.
At the moment baby led weaning is all the rage but my best advice is to wean the way that feels right for you and your baby, be it pure baby led weaning, spoon fed only or a combination of puree and finger foods. Anecdotally purely from my own experiences it doesn't make much difference long term.

Weaning baby number three,  weaning essentials,  weaning baby eating cucumber

I have started Barney off along the same vein, he has had homemade purees(butternut squash is a favourite) along with finger foods like cheese on toast, crumpets and veg sticks.
As with most babies the first few days if weaning led to some interesting faces. I absolutely love the expressions babies pull when you start weaning them, the what on earth are you giving me faces are so cute.It is such a big change from milk that it's no surprise that they start off a bit confused.

At the start of weaning there are a few essentials and I thought I would share mine.

My weaning essentials

IKEA Antilop Highchair

Literally the most practical highchair out there. It is just £13, it is lightweight, the legs can be removed for storage and most importantly it is easy to clean. The design has no nooks and crannies for smooshed food to get into, you can even hose it down outside if needed or chuck it in the shower. We have one at home and one at each set of grandparents houses, I love it and i know I am not alone, this highchair is the one I see recommended time and time again.

Weaning essentials,  IKEA Antilop highchair

Silicone muffin tray

When I was pregnant with Seb, 6 years ago I popped into Poundland one day and picked up some silicone muffin trays. Little did I know that they would become my best Pound land buts ever! These trays are perfect for freezing small portions of food, either purees, mash or little portions of pasta sauce. Ice Cube trays are often raved about for this but I find the muffin trays a far better size as appetites quickly grow. I also use them for muffin tray meals where I fill each section with a little something different.

Weaning essentials,  muffin tray meal

Tommee Tippee Weaning Set *

This fab set contains all the tableware you need to start weaning, two soft weaning spoons, a cup, 2 weaning containers and a cool and mash bowl. Perfect if you don't want to spend a fortune on things you don't need. This set along with Tommee Tippee basic feeding bowls are what we are using this time,  all finger his foods just go straight on the tray for now.

Weaning essentials, Tommee Tippee howl and spoon

Bibs!

Weaning can get pretty messy and you can't always strip your baby down to their nappy to eat so invest in some good bibs that wash well. The ones with arms are great as are the soft plastic ones that have a lip to catch falling food!

Stain remover

No matter how hard you try there will always be a point where you and your baby will end up with food stains on clothes. Be organised and have some stain remover to hand. I swear by the Vanish bar remover, it has got rid of many food stains.

First aid knowledge

It is natural to worry about choking while weaning, I always sit with my baby and keep a very close eye on them.  It is worth either taking a first aid course or at least reading up on what to do if your baby should choke, St John's Ambulance have a really easy to understand guide for parents. There are also some simple things you can do reduce risks such as cutting grapes length

Patience 

Remember a baby has lived on milk alone for the first few months of their life and moving onto solid food is a skill. They may not eat much at first, some days they may eat loads and others they may not want anything and they may take a while to warm to some foods, just be patient and keep on trying. Like us sometimes there are things your baby genuinely doesn't like, Seb for example has never liked parsnips.  It is worth remembering that baby still gets their nutrients from their milk at this stage.



*We received these items from the lovely team at Tommee Tippee