Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Jack N Jill Kids Review and Giveaway

Teeth are a hot topic in this house at the moment. Sebastian has just started to lose his baby teeth and Barney has recently had his first tooth come through. Jack N Jill recently sent us a lovely box of their products for Barney to put to the test with his new tooth.

Jack N Jill is natural toothpaste brand made in Australia. As well as toothpaste they also produce a whole range of dental products for children. We received a beautifully packaged gift set and also a silicone toothbrush to try.

Jack N Jill kids

Monday, 27 February 2017

Weekly Meal Plan #9

Good morning! Monday already. We stuck to our meal plan 100% last week, I love it when that happens! The sticky sausages were so nice and of course the carbrienara.

Weekly meal plan, feeding a family of five

This week we are going away to London for a couple of nights, the boys are so excited! I saw pulled pork on a meal plan a couple of weeks ago and realised we had not had it in ages so it had to go on the meal plan.  Seb requested pizza and Phil fancied lasagne so our meal plan was made pretty easy this week.  I am really looking forward to pancakes on Tuesday too. I think we will be having them throughout the day!

Monday Pulled Pork in brioche buns with sweet potato fries and corn on the cob

Tuesday Pulled Pork Macaroni Cheese

Wednesday away

Thursday away

Friday Pasta in tomato sauce

Saturday Easy homemade pizza, garlic bread and salad

Sunday Lasagne

If you are looking for meal planning inspiration, take a look and some other fabulous meal plans in the Meal Planning Monday link up.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Asda Little Angels Day and Night Pants Review

I was contacted recently about the new Asda Little Angels Day and Night Pants. These super absorbant pants are designed especially for older children aged 4 to 12 for use during the daytime and overnight.

Asda little angels day and night pants

Alex has been potty trained for quite some time now but like many, at night he does need some protection. Overnight we use a disposable pull up pant on him. This week we have been putting Asda Little Angels Day and Night Pants through their paces.

The pants are available in two size ranges. Medium for children 4-7 years old (38-66lb) and Large for children 8-12 years (38-66lb).  We have been using the medium size and Alex is at the lower end of the weight range for this size. The pants fit him well with lots of growing room both heightwise and around the elasticated waist. The sides of the pants are soft and flexible for comfort and are also easy tear to make removal quick and easy. Alex is able to put on himself and he likes the football design on the pants.
Asda little angels day and night pants

Asda little angels day and night pants

Alex sleeps overnight for around 12 hours. The day and night pants are soft and gentle against his sensitive skin which can be easily irritated. We have found them to be very absorbant and we haven't had any overnight leaks while using them. I am really impressed with this as so many brands we have tried simply are not able to cope with overnight use. I think these pants will be useful for many parents of older children who are not quite confident with potty training, have overnight accidents and those with incontinence issues.

ASDA Little Angels Day and Night Pants are available to buy now in larger ASDA stores and online RRP £3.87

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

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Super Spring Crafts from Baker Ross

It might not feel like it at the moment but Spring is just around the corner. We have been busy with some spring crafts from Baker Ross and today I am sharing what we have been upto.
The boys always love it when a Baker Ross parcel arrives. They get so excited and want to get busy making everything immediately. The new range of spring crafts from Baker Ross are fantastic as always. I love that there is so much choice available.

Baker Ross Sticker scene

Stickers are always a huge hit here snd the boys pounced straight onto the Pond Pal Sticker Scenes(£3.49 for 4). These are very simple for children of all ages, you have a sheet of stickers to peel and place on a card background to create a scene. There  are more than enough stickers provided to create a bustling scene. The animals make a great talking point with small children and it did lead to discussions about animal habitats.

Baker Ross colour in flower wreath

When I saw the Creative Colouring Flower Wreaths(£2.50 for 6) I have to admit I was looking forward to a bit of quiet time with my Sharpies. These are as much fun for adults as the kids. Simply colour them in and one of the included ribbons to make a pretty hanging wreath. These would make a really nice mindfulness activity. I added a little bell to mine too.

Baker Ross Mothers Day crafts

Baker Ross Mothers Day Crafts

Mothers Day will soon be here (March 26th) and Baker Ross have a whole host of crafts for the little ones to make.
The Handprint Poem Decoration Ki(£3.50 for 4) was simple to put together with a little bit of help from me. I helped to draw and cut out their hand shape from the foam. The poem is really sweet and the boys decided to make them for nanny and Grandma(the cheeky monkeys forgot me though!). I like that they can be personalised. Such a sweet gift and my mum loved hers.

They may have forgotten to make me a Handprint poem but they were both eager to make me a magnet from the Superhero Mum Magnet Mix and Match Magnet kit(£3.95 for 6). These are really fun and again are simple to put together (Baker Ross provide very clear instructions in the kits). The boys really enjoyed the mix and match element.

Baker Ross Easter train

Shortly after Mothers Day is Easter. And Baker Ross have a huge range of Easter items available. I certainly have my eye on a few bits. We received an Easter Train(£1.99) made of foam. You follow the instructions to slot the pieces together and decorate using the stickers. The train is suprisingly sturdy when complete and the boys really enjoyed adding the decorations to it. I am pleased with the end result. This would make a a nice addition to an Easter basket.

We also received some Bug Pom Pom Decoration Kits (£3.75 for 3). I haven't had the chance to make these yet but if you pop over to my Instagram page, I will add a photo once they are complete.

Are you looking forward to the new season? Why not pop over and take a look at more of the spring crafts from Baker Ross?

Family Fever
**Items received for the purpose of this post** 

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Babease Vegetable Led Weaning

Weaning is well established for us now. Barney is 10 months old and like his big brothers has taken to food really well. Usually he has the same meals as us but of course there are times when what we are having is not suitable. For these times I either have a portion of something in the freezer or I will use a pouch of ready made food. Babease is an organic vegetable led range of food for babies made in the UK.

Barney has been sent some food from Babease Stage 2 range which is aimed at 7 months onwards. These pouches are a completely nutritionally balanced meal.
Babies have a natural tendency to prefer sweet tastes and tend to love fruit. It is important to introduce vegetables at the start of weaning journey while they most receptive to new flavours. This is why Babease have made their products vegetable led. The food itself is pretty smooth textured but with a thick consistency. Often baby food is a plain brown colour but in Babease food you can actually see the ingredients and the meals vary in colour depending on the flavour.

The current Stage 2 range has 5 meals available
  • Sweet Potato, Tomato, Carrot and Quinoa with Chickpeas and Cumin
  • Butternut Squash, Quinoa and Beetroot with Onion and Sage
  • Chickpea, Pumpkin, Tomato and Coconut Cream with Herbs and Mild Masala
  • Broccoli, Parsnip, Green and Puy Lentils with Onion, Fennel, Tomato and Herbs
  • Brown Rice, Swede, Courgette and Kale with Onion, Garlic and Thyme

As a mum I think the range of ingredients used in Babease baby food is really interesting. The flavours are different from what you tend to find in other well known baby brands. I also like that they aren't sweetened with fruit.  The packaging is really clear, with each pouch having the ingredients listed on the front of the packaging. On the back there is an ingredient wheel showing a break down of the recipe and it is reassuring to note that there are minimal ingredients used. Most importantly of all Barney has enjoyed eating them. Being 10 months old and having quite a big appetite he will happily eat a whole pouch plus some pasta extra, fresh fruit, raw veg or a couple of rice cakes alongside it.

I am impressed with Babease Stage 2 food. The vegetable led weaning approach makes sense to me. I would love to see Babease extend their range to include vegetable based food and snacks for older babies and toddlers.

The Babease range is available now from a variety of retailers including Boots and Ocado.

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

Monday, 20 February 2017

Meal Planning Monday #8

Happy Monday! Is it just me or is 2017 whizzing by?
Last week we did well with our meal plan, we just didn't have the chilli but the extra mince went into our bolognese and I froze it to use tonight instead. I thought last week was half term everywhere but it seems half the schools had last week off and the rest this week,  so have a great half term if it is this week for you. For us it means two weeks of taking advantage of activities that are only on during the holidays. Last week we went to the Rhubarb Festival which is always great fun, the boys had a ball trying all the free samples and we picked up some lovely locally made goodies including those rhubarb scones topped with some local curd.

This week's meal plan was inspired by other people's plans last week. So you might see something you had on here! I am really looking forward to our burgers with some Yorkshire Halloumi and also the Car Brie Nara which we haven't eaten in forever.

Feeding a family of five,  meal plan

Monday Leftover bolognese from the freezer

Tuesday Jacket potatoes with various toppings

Wednesday Homemade Pork and apple burgers with wedges and veg

Thursday Car brie nara

Friday Sticky apple sausages and bacon with mash

Saturday Takeaway

Sunday Tuna pasta bake

If you are looking for meal planning inspiration or want to share your own meal plan. Join in with the meal planning linky below.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Win tickets to The Baby and Toddler Show! Plus discount code

Last year I headed over to Manchester for The Baby and Toddler Show. Supported by Emma's Diary The Baby and Toddler Show is a huge event for parents to be and new parent alike. 

Win tickets to the baby and toddler show

The show is back for 2017 and will be taking place over three venues. Manchesters Event City (10-12 March), Sandown Park in Surrey (7-9 April) and the SEC in Glasgow (5-7 May). 

With all the big name brands under one roof including Bugaboo, Chicco, Britax, Quinny, Silver Cross, Cossato, I-Candy and many many more you can give the products a test drive, compare your favourites, talk to brand experts and buy with the guaranteed best prices. There is also information on feeding, weaning, first aid and lots more plus many of the brand have lovely samples for you to take away.It was a fun day and I really enjoyed it.

Tickets are availble online now priced at £13 for an adult ticket (children under 16 do not need a ticket). However there is currently a fab discount code giving you 1/3 off the price making an adult ticket just £8, add the code BM16 when ordering to receive the discount.

I am also giving one lucky person the chance to win a pair of tickets to The Baby and Toddler Show. Simply fill in the Rafflecopter below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1. Open to UK residents only. 
2. Entrants must be over 18.
3. All entries will be verified.
4. Please make sure i have a way to contact you if you win.
5. The prize is a pair of tickets to The Baby and Toddler Show. Winner to choose which show they would like to attend. 

6. No cash alternative.
7. If I am unable to make contact with the winner within a reasonable time a new winner will be drawn.
7. Winner will be given a code to redeem their tickets online and will need to print them out.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Home Education in January

January is a funny month we are all recovering from Christmas and the weather is cold and grey. Home education in January was  a mixed bag. In the middle of January we were all pretty much wiped out for two weeks with a horrible bug and that meant we were stuck at home and watched more TV than we ever would usually. While I am not anti TV I don't tend to have it on much particularly during the day so it was quite unusual for us. I am glad that home ed means that the boys were able to recover fully at home without having to worry about attendance percentages.

I pad home education

The boys had been very lucky at Christmas with lots of lovely gifts which we are making use of. Kinetic sand and play doh sets have been out as well as new games, both boys are enjoying Pipeline and some new Orchard Toys games. They also received iPads, this is the first time they have had anything like this and it amazing how quickly they pick it up. Seb has been enjoying the Lego apps and also some basic coding and Alex has been enjoying Duplo and Fireman Sam apps. To be honest we haven't fully explored them yet but will be doing over coming months. Seb received a watch for Christmas and within a couple of days he was confidently telling the time.  We had already dabbled with it and he knew the basics but now he is a pro and is never without his watch.

Play doh cookies

The boys started at a Lego club this month which they absolutely loved. They built moving models and it was really enjoyable for them and they are both excited to go again. We have had a couple of play dates in January around our illness and have also visited soft play, the library been bowling and of course outside to parks including Cannon Hall Gardens and Middleton Park.  We have started planning what places we would like to visit this year and have booked a trip to London and a break at Center Parcs.

Cannon hall gardens

Seb is still loving times tables and he was so excited when I printed out the Twinkl Times Table Challenge for him. He has also loved the times tables cut and paste pages from Twinkl. Alex likes to have worksheets printed too but still tends to get bored halfway through them, it is definitely not his learning style! Reading wise as usual we read daily from our vast collection at home. Seb has also devoured an Enid Blyton book called Are We There Yet? which he has really enjoyed. I also ordered a magazine each, Whizz Pop Bang for Seb and Dot for Alex. I am thinking of subscribing So wanted to try single issues first.

Whizz pop bang

We always have some fun for Chinese New Year, it always perks us up, coming a few weeks after the excitement of Christmas has faded. This year I had some cool sticker resources picked up from Crafty Crocodiles and I paired them up with our favourite book about Chinese New Year. We had fun looking up which animal represent our birth year and the characteristics related to them.We of course made lanterns,  I also printed some resources from Twinkl and we ate Chinese food with chopsticks and had fortune cookies. I also used chop sticks in a fine motor skills craft where the boys picked up craft Pom poms with them dipped them in paint and made pictures.

Home education January,  Chinese new year

Home education January,  Chinese new year

I want to get the boys back into cooking with me more, they always used too but recently it had slipped a little apart from the usual baking. This month I taught Seb to make a cheese sauce, he did it all himself wth me supervising and was so proud that he had helped to make our lasagne. I am hoping to teach both boys lots of basics as they grow up because cooking is such an important lifeskill to have and also teaches about nutrition, measuring and science.

Home education in January, season wheel

One of our favourite crafts this month was making a season wheel. We split paper plates into four sections and painted. I then printed out season resources from Twinkl(where else?!) and we cut and stuck them onto our wheel. It was a good reminder of the order of the seasons and corresponding months and how they go in a cycle.

So that is how home education in January looked for us. I would love to know what other home edders have nene upto recently. I am also taking good part in #100daysofhomeed pop over to Instagram to see what we get upto day to day.

Weekly Meal Plan #7

Monday again! It has been so grey and cold the last few days. Last week we ate all of our planned meals despite a midweek stay in hospital for Alex. We also made some white chocolate krispie cakes and banana pancakes for breakfast one day.

Weekly meal plan, family of five

This week we have a nice busy week planned, we are taking advantage of the extra activities on for half term. I am also planning on making some banana bread and we are making some wholemeal bread today to go with tonights soup.

Monday Homemade soup and bread
Tuesday Italian Chicken and rice
Wednesday Pork and apple sausages, mash and peas and onion gravy
Thursday Slow cooked pasta bolognese
Friday Slow cooked chilli with rice
Saturday Pasta Pesto
Sunday Pizza, wedges and corn on the cob

Why not join in with the meal planning Monday linky, just add your blog post below.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

White Chocolate Rice Krispie Cakes

We have all made rice krispie cakes at some point. Gooey chocolaty cakes with a crunch, what's not to love? These white chocolate krispie cakes have a touch of food colouring in them to make them pink. Finished off with a heart shaped marshmallow on top they are perfect for Valentines Day! These are so simple that Alex(4) pretty much made them by himself(with supervision of course!).

50g Butter
3tbsp Golden syrup
100g White Chocolate
100g Rice krispies 
Red food colouring
Heart Marshmallows

Prepare cake cases on a tray. In a pan melt the butter, golden syrup and chocolate over a low heat until combined. Turn off the heat, add a little food colouring and stir through. Add your rice krispies stirring until they are well coated in the chocolate mixture. Add more if needed. Spoon the mixture into the cake cases and top with a heart marshmallow. Leave to set. 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Monday, 6 February 2017

Weekly Meal Plan #6

Happy Monday! It's for this weeks meal plan. Last week went well apart from Friday when the boys ended up having dinner at their grandparents. Phil and I had a takeaway instead of making mess in the kitchen I had spent the afternoon cleaning. The fish and chips went down really well with everyone as did the pasta dishes as usual.

This weeks plan is super simple. Things I know everyone will eat and don't take too much prep. Barney is going through a really impatient phase where he is not happy sat in his highchair while I cook no matter how many toys I bribe him with.

Monday Pasta with meatballs in a tomato sauce (slow cooker)
Tuesday Easy homemade pizza with garlic bread and salad
Wednesday Slow cooked chinese curry with noodles
Thursday Hot Dogs in brioche buns with corn on the cob
Friday Chicken kievs, chips and veg
Saturday Cheese and tomato pasta bake with garlic bread
Sunday Fish Finger Sandwiches and alphabetti spaghetti

Friday, 3 February 2017

Barney is 10 months old

So it is February and Barney is 10 months old. I am starting to think about his first birthday and that seems kind of unreal, the last year has been so fast.

Barney 10 months old

He has come on so much in the last month, he suddenly seems less of a baby now. He has spent this month getting much more physical. The biggie is that he is crawling. He started a couple of weeks ago and now there is no stopping him. As soon as he started crawling he also started pulling himself up to standing on anything he can find, attempting to cruise along furniture and climbing. The baby gates have now come back out! Along the way he has also learnt to sit himself up from pretty much any position. I forgot how fast they can move and the moving everything up out of reach stage. All of this also means he is having tumbles and I am constantly waiting to catch him.

Barney 10 months old, modern burlap muslin, little cubs sleepsuit

His separation anxiety is so much better now. Although I still haven't left him with anyone else, he is happier to go to others. He is really interacting with others, smiling at strangers and chattering. He adores his brothers and follows them everywhere and really wants to be involved in their play. He shouts at them if they leave the room.
He loves noisy books and toys and anything with flashing lights is a hit. He also absolutely loves music. He has started to join in with certain songs, clapping and pointing and attempting to say certain sounds.

Barney, 10 months old

He is a fantastic eater. He happily tucks into meals with us, we still haven't found anything he doesn't like. He is also still having 4 or 5 bottles of milk a day and showing no sign of dropping them as yet.
Sleep is still hit and miss. He goes to bed at 7 and settles easily. Some nights he sleeps right through until morning, other nights he will be up once or twice. We have tried cosleeping but he isn't really keen on it and just gets more upset. His cot is still next to our bed so I am right next to him, he just seems to like his own space. During the day his naps also vary from a 15 minute nap to a couple of hours.

Nursery rhymes
Noisy books
Pulling hair!

Thursday, 2 February 2017

10 Valentines Activities for Kids

There is less less than two weeks until Valentines day and the shops are brimming with heart shaped goodies. Today I am sharing 10 cute valentines crafts for kids so you can get your little ones involved. From baking to potato printing,  there is something for everyone.

  1. Last year we made Heart suncatchers and these still hang in the boys windows now.
  2. These Heart shaped bird feeders over at Toby and Roo are fab for encouraging birds into your garden. 
  3. If you fancy a bit of baking why not give my Heart sugar cookies a try?
  4. Valentines Rose Lollies from Chloe Me Just Me look fun to make and are a clever way to give sweet gifts out to friends.
  5. These Valentines Love Bugs from Whimsical Mumblings are so cute!
  6. Potato printing is always fun and these printed valentine's cards look great from Play and Learn Everyday.
  7.  I adore these Love Heart Wands also from Play and Learn Everyday, you could play cupid.
  8. Twinkl have some fab ideas as usual, I love this printable paper hand card for a simple Valentines craft. 
  9. These heart colouring sheets are a great mindfulness activity, perfect for older children and adults. 
  10. If your children like their food to be pretty why not try making Fruit flowers and hearts from Me and B Make Tea? 
What are your favourite valentines activities for kids? 

Popular this week