Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Alex at 18 months

Alex is now 18 months old. 
The best way to describe him is as a little bundle of energy. He is quite small, weighing in at around 22lb, he still wears 9-12 month in about half of his clothes. He has tiny size 3 feet, we had to get him some little Converse for the nicer weather recently in a 3 as his size 4's(I buy in advance) are still huge.
He is constantly running, climbing, diving from the moment he wakes up until he goes to bed. He loves the park and soft play and running around the garden kicking a ball. His energy can be exhausting, he is not the type to sit and do a puzzle or look at a book for more than a minute or two, though he has started to enjoy helping with simple baking and crafts.
His sleeping habits have mostly been better recently. He sometimes will have a nap in the day , he will come and cuddle up to me and put my hand in his hair to stroke it and sleep on me for an hour or so.  He tends to get up at 7ish and go to bed at about 6.30ish. Some mornings he wakes up and will play in his cot for a while before letting us know he is awake, in the evenings he will sometimes go off to sleep without someone being in the room with him. He still wakes later in the night sometimes, he either settles with a little back patting or comes into bed with us, I think he wakes from banging himself on the sides of his cot and we have considered getting a bed for him.

In the last few weeks he has started trying with words, he says a handful now like car, bag and boobies (of course!). He understands everything we say and follows instructions(when he wants too!). He also knows when he has a dirty nappy and will get the changing mat, wipes etc out.

He likes his food and eats with gusto, especially foods like cottage pie, soups and pasta dishes. He feeds himself with a fork and spoon and he is pretty good(if messy!).

He is really sociable and is happy to approach people which is lovely, in this respect he is just like Seb, I love that they are confident and friendly. He adore his big brother and follows him around which Seb can get a bit cross with but equally they love to cause mischief together and Seb is forever encouraging him to run off and play.
He is a bit of a comic and loves to make people laugh, he has a huge range of facial expressions, and he thinks taking his trousers off is hilarious.
Alex is most definitely my boy, Phil won't mind me saying that he settles best for me and he loves my mummy cuddles, randomly coming to me throughout the day just for a kiss and a hug which is just adorable.


Sunday, 27 April 2014

Real Nappy Week 2014

It's the week us cloth bum mums have been waiting for!! 
Yes, Real Nappy Week 2014 is here. I will be honest and say that I've not seen nearly as much build up to the week this year, I don't particularly need any more nappies but I am hoping to get a couple of bargains, perhaps some Tots Bots V4's.

Here is my current stash!
 
Are you looking to buy anything in Real Nappy Week?

This weeks meal plan

This weeks meals were good, we stuck to plan and ate our meals. I also tried making the soda bread from my Girl Called Jack book, I couldn't believe how simple it was to make and it went down well with a little jam.

Pizza!
Lasagne
Fajitas with wedges
Macaroni cheese
Homemade chicken kiev's and wedges
Jacket potatoes with tuna and sweetcorm
Cheese and spring onion sausages with mash and veg

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Down at the bottom of the garden

Theres a gate that leads to a magical woodland.
Yesterday we went for a Spring walk into the woods. 
 Because they are behind our house we regularly walk there but I wanted Seb to see the changes that are taking place.
 There are now bluebells galore, carpeting the woodland, they look lovely even Seb commented that they were beautiful. With their arrival the daffodils are starting to peter out. 
Bluebells, woods  
Lots of the trees are also full of pink and white blossoms.
There were lots of slugs and snails out too. These two were just chilling out together, Seb was stroking them which was pretty sweet, he is into snails and mini beasts at the moment. 
Snails on a wall
I love that Seb is noticing the changes that happen through the seasons. I have plans to extend on this and his minibeast interests too :)

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

St George's Day

Today is St George's Day(and Shakespeare's birthday too, I'll have you know), so we have learnt about George today and made some simple collage dragons. 

I found this very cute video on You Tube, narrated by 4 year old Millie, it explains the story of St George at a perfect level for smaller children. We watched the video a couple of times and then went on to make some dragons of our own.

Simple collages using basic shapes cut from sugar paper, googly eyes and tissue paper fire. Easy but effective and Seb just loves getting the PVA glue out.
 
Are you celebrating today?

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Banana, honey and oat biscuits

This "recipe" is so simple that Seb made it with minimal help from me, don't let that fool you though, these chewy cookie type biscuits are lovely and we had to make another batch as the first went so quickly.
1 ripe banana
1 cup of oats
2 tsp honey

Preheat your oven to 180° and cover a baking tray with parchment.  Chop and mash the banana in a bowl and then stir in the oats and honey. Mix well then pop the mix onto the baking tray in small slightly flattened balls(I made 8). Cook for 15 minutes or until golden. 
You can change the honey for chocolate chips, peanut butter or maybe nutella. If you feel super virtuous you can just use the banana and oats :)

This weeks meal plan

We did well last week eating all the planned meals, the chilli went down well with all plates being scraped clean plus it made the house smell amazing.

This week we're eating 

Quiche and wedges with salad
Roast Pork
Steak, wedges and onion rings
Tomato pasta bake
Salmon with new potatoes and veg
Car Brie Nara
Pizza and garlic bread

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Coconut Playdough

I had some dessicated cocoat that needed using up but I didn't fancy cooking with it so I thought I'd try adding it into some playdough for the boys. The result was some lovely scented playdough, a fun multi sensory experience. 
 To make the dough I mixed 2 cups of plain flour, 3/4 cup of salt, 1/2 cup of dessicated coconut, 1 tbsp oil, blue gel colouring and then I gradually added a cup of hot water until I got a good dough. I kneaded it for several minutes adding in a little more dessicated coconut and then left to cool before playing. 

 Seb chose some cutters and I added some buttons and lolly sticks and a rolling pin of course! 
Seb likes using buttons with playdough, he uses them to make patterns and decorate cut out shapes
 
 Alex likes prodding the dough and pulling it apart. 
 
xxx

Monday, 14 April 2014

Parmesan Chicken

I made this Parmesan Chicken a couple of weeks ago now and it went down well with the whole family, definitely something I'll be making again. 

Skinless and boneless chicken breasts(I used 3 for us)
1tbsp oil
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
1/2 cup of grated parmesan
1tsp dried mixed herbs

Preheat the oven to 180°C. In a bowl combine the oil and garlic, in a separate bowl combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan and herbs. Dip each chicken breast into the oil mix until coated and then into the breadcrumb mix. Arrange into a baking dish and sprinkle any leftover breadcrumb mix over the top. Bake for 30 minutes until cooked through. 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Our Easter tree

 I decided this year that I wanted an Easter tree, I was originally going to make one but I saw this one on John Lewis and decided I would be lazy and buy one instead. I like it as I can easily store it way and it can be used at Christmas time or any time really. 
I had a few glittery egg decorations from last Easter but wanted it to be a little more personal so we made some salt dough decorations. 
Salt dough is so easy, just 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of salt and half a cup of water(added gradually until you get a good dough). 
Roll out on a lightly floured surface and cut out your shapes. At this point remember to make a hole in the decoration if you will be hanging them, I use a straw to poke a hole through, 

To dry them out I baked mine in the oven on the lowest setting all afternoon, turning them after a couple of hours. They were rock hard after a couple of hours. You can leave them to air dry but it will take quite a while(placing them on a radiator will speed this up). 

Once dried, it's time to decorate, we used kids poster paint, glitter, buttons and some lace trim I had in the craft cupboard and then you're done!

I have displayed it in our hallway on some 'grass'  along with some chicks and rabbits. I think I might try adding a little string of solar fairy lights too. 
Do you have an Easter tree? 

Cheese and herb muffins


Savoury muffins are lovely on their own or to serve with soup, these cheese and herbs ones are quick and easy to make and you will most likely already have all the ingredients. 
This recipe makes 6 muffins but can easily be adapted to make as many as you need. 

125g plain flour
75g grated strong cheddar cheese
2 tsp baking powder
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1/2 tsp mixed herbs
pinch of salt
1 egg
120ml milk
3 tablespoons oil

Preheat your oven to 180°C and line your muffin tin with 6 paper cases. In a bowl combine the dry ingrediants, keeping a small amount of cheese back for later. In a separate bowl beat your egg, add the milk and oil and then combine with the dry ingredients stirring until all dry ingredients are wet though the batter should be lumpy. 
Add the batter to the muffin cases and sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Pop into the oven to cook for 20 minutes. 

Friday, 11 April 2014

This weeks meal plan

We did well this week although last weekend we found out that Dominos now deliver to our area so we gave into temptation! 
The Car Brie Nara was gorgeous and so easy, we will definitely be making it again soon. 
 
This week Phil is working alot so I'm sticking with easy meals that we know. 

Spicy sausage pasta
Chilli con carne and rice
Creamy herb tagliatelle
Chicken kievs , curly fries and veg
Fish finger sandwiches and chips (the boys will have cottage pie)
Quesadillas with wedges and corn on the cob
Sausage, mash and beans


Monday, 7 April 2014

Peaches Geldof

This evening the news broke that Peaches Geldof has died at the age of just 25 leaving behind 2 sons both aged under 2.

I don't usually post about celebrities but this news has left me feeling numb tonight. This is the kind of thing that frightens me as a mother, leaving my children while they are still nothing more than babies. It is one of those things I have thought about in the middle of the night if I can't sleep.

Some of us will remember Peaches pre children, the fun loving party girl who like many of us(me included) settled down once small people came along,
Peaches was pretty open about her life as a mum, she was vocal about her parenting style, shared photos of her children and her life with us all via Instagram and Twitter, and of course there was her appearance on this morning debating with Katie Hopkins. It was like we knew her and we liked what we saw, she was easy to identify with and she clearly doted on her children.

Of course there has been speculation over the cause of her death but right now that shouldn't matter. Whatever happened 2 little boys will be going to bed without their mummy and that is tragic.

Rest in peace Peaches x


Sunday, 6 April 2014

Lush Golden Egg

I mentioned in my haul post that I had treated myself to a couple of bits from the Lush Easter range.

The product I had seen the most hype about was Golden Egg and it's easy to see why. A gorgeous egg shaped bath bomb and melt rolled into one, it is covered in golden glitter making it a really tempting treat. The scent is described by Lush as honey-toffee and I think that describes it accurately. 
As usual I ran my bath and popped the bath bomb in. This one is a slow burner, it took a while to dissolve, the outer layer melts and then the bath bomb centre dissolves leaving you with yellow toffee scented water, with a smattering of bubbles on top and golden glitter. Next time I would put it in while the bath is still running to get more bubbles. 
The water felt soft and silky giving the bath a pampering feel and it would be the perfect bath paired with a face mask. Once out I found I didn't need to moisturise as my skin felt lovely, I was also pleased not to coated in golden glitter, there was a little but nothing to worry about. 

Big thumbs up to Lush for creating this lovely treat. At £3.50 it would be a great non chocolate Easter gift for a teen or adult. 

Saturday, 5 April 2014

March Haulin

This month i'be been buying quite a few house items.
I got 2 of these fab mushroom plates from Cath Kidston, I love the pattern on these, it's so quirky. I already have floral dinner plates and side plates from Cath Kidston so these will be at home in my cupboard.
I got these ceramic sunade glasses from Sainsburys in the clearance section, the blue ones were 50p and the pink £1.20!
I love The Wizard of Oz so when I saw this cushion, I had to get it. I added some Yankee Candles onto my order for good luck. 
I didn't buy much clotheswise just some PJ's and a scarf but I have been buying some beauty goodies. I got this hair dye but needed to get my hair cut first, it was really long, down to my waist and I had quite a lot cut off! The dye is L'Oreal Feria Violet Vendetta. 
The colour didn't come out as purple as on the box but I like it and it covered my pesky greys up nicely. I imagine it would be more violet on lighter hair. 
I treated myself to a couple of the Lush Easter products, of course I got the Golden Egg bath ballistic and also this cute rabbit shaped bubble bar. 
I have also received a Superdrug parcel where I was replacing some skincare bits that I had run out of. 

I'm hoping to find some nice spring/summer dresses this month, apparently we're going to get some decent sunshine this year!

This weeks meal plan

We mostly stuck with our meal plan this week, despite ongoing illness. We did eat out Tuesday so ended up not having the cottage pie we had planned. The parmesan chucked was lovely and I'll post the recipe next week. 
I bought the Girl Called Jack cookbook this week and while it isn't all to my taste I will be trying some of the recipes out (firstly the Car brie Nara). 

This week we will be eating

Car brie nara
Sausage, mash and beans 
Pork and apple burgers, curly fries and onion rings
Lasagne
Cheesy cottage pie
Butter chicken with rice and naan
Pizza and dough balls

Friday, 4 April 2014

Trendy Thursday

It's been a while since I last joined in with Trendy Thursday so todays post is a combination of my favourite outfits from the last few weeks.

Seb wears.. Blazer-Tesco, Guns n Roses tee-Asda, Trousers-Primark
 
 Alex wears.. Jumper-Marks and Spencer, Tights-H&M
 Cardigan and leggings-H&M, Swallow print bib-Funky Giraffe
 Denim shirt-H&M, Antique Circus leggings- Handmade is Haute
 Both boys have had quite a lot of new clothes recently. I'm really impressed with Primark at the moment, they have lots of lovely kids clothes for the new season, of course I have been buying from my beloved H&M and there's a few bits I want from Zara too.

If you have a trendy tot then check out Alex over at Medicated Follower of Fashion and join in :)


Kiddylicious Fruity Puffs and Flying Saucers

I am always on the look out for new snack ideas for the boys, and I love it when new products come on the market for us to try. 

Kiddylicious recently sent us some of their newest products to enjoy. We already enjoy their smoothie melts so were excited to try the Fruity Puffs and Flying Saucers. 
Fruity Puffs come in 3 flavours; banana, blueberry and strawberry. They are light corn snacks with dissolve easily making them suitable from 7 months and make great finger foods but they are also lovely for older children(and parents). They're wheat and gluten free, contain no added salt, sugar, artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.
The boys gobbled these up(especially the banana), a bag is the perfect size for the 2 of them to share at snack time.
Flying Saucers come in 2 flavours; cheese and tomato. These crunchy rice snacks are also suitable from 7 months. They are wheat and gluten free and contain no added salt, sugar, artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.
I was excited to try these out and they were lovely and crispy, the boys enjoyed them too and again the bag is the perfect sharing size for the boys.
These snacks along with other Kiddylicious products are available to buy from Asda and Ocado. For more information check out the Kiddylicious website.

**We were sent these products to review but all opinions are my own**

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Schwartz Perfect Shake and Flavor Shots

Look in your cupboards and i bet you'll find some Schwartz products. They are certainly a staple in my house. 

Recently I was sent some of the newest Schwartz products to test out. 
New to the Perfect Shake range
  • Chips- a sweet and spicy blend of paprika, onion and garlic. Great for adding a delicious twist to classic chips or potato wedges.
  • Pasta- a delicious blend of tomato, oregano and basil. Ideal in tomato based pasta sauces and bolegnese for adding Italian flair.
  • Spanish- a tasty seasoning blend of smoked paprika and red and green bell peppers. Perfect used in a tomato sauce over potatas bravas or sprinkle into a Spanish omelette.
New to the Flavour Shots range
  • Italian Creamy Herb Tagliatelle- perfect for making a smooth and creamy classic Italian pasta dish.
  • Spanish Paella- ideal for making Spanish cooking simple and authentic tasting.
  • Indian Spicy Jalfrezi Curry- a winner for anyone who likes a spicy curry to get their taste buds tingling.

So far we've tried the Perfect Shake pasta in a homemade pasta sauce and the Perfect Shake Chips on some sweet and white potato cubes. I really like this range they save the hassle of buying and mixing together lots of herbs, ideal for midweek meals when you don't have endless amounts of time. 
 
Both ranges are available now from major supermarkets, for more information on any of the products check out the Schwartz website.

**I was sent these products to try but all opinions are my own**

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