Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Alexander at Four years Old

With his fifth birthday fast approaching I wanted to write a little about Alexander at four years old.


This last year has seen Alex really grow up. Physically he has grown in height and he has become much leaner. He now weights 2 stone 12 and is over a metre tall, he wears age 3-4 clothes mostly.  He is still pretty small compare to others the same age but then I am only 5ft tall.  This year he decided to have his hair cut off, he went from shoulder length blonde hair to a real short cut and he looks so much older!

For around 3 years Alex suffered with dermatitis on his face but it has totally cleared up which has amazed us all! Unfortunately he does seem to catch every bug going and just simple colds seem to go straight to his chest which have resulted in two hospital stays in the last twelve months, We have an inhaler at home now to use when needed.

He is still a fidget, he is on the go from the moment he wakes until he falls asleep and chatters constantly however hehas definitely grown up a lot. He is interested in letters and numbers now and wants to know about everything. He loves to make things, draw and help with cooking and he enjoys watching and playing rugby. He is generally very easy going, very gentle and caring and happy but when tired he can be grumpy and emotional!


Loves Rugby, Fireman Sam, digging in the garden,  long baths, baking, lego, imaginary play, painting, drawing, easy peelers

Dislikes raw tomatoes,


Questions

Favourite colour? Red
Favourite food? Cucumber
Favourite song ? Don't know
Favourite animal? Tiger
What are you scared of? Crocodiles
What makes you happy? Mummy
Where is your favourite place go? In the garden
What do you want to be when you grow up? Nurse

Monday, 28 August 2017

Our Weekly Meal Plan #35

Happy Bank Holiday Monday!  I hope everybody has had a lovely long weekend. I am still in shock that we had sunshine on a bank holiday weekend!

Last week's meal plan went well until Sunday, I forgot to defrost the mince and it was hot to be standing cooking, so the boys had a random mix of bits from the cupboard and fridge and Phil and I ordered a takeaway. But the rest of the week was great, the sticky sausages were really delicious,  we will definitely we making them again. The garlic and herb pasta was also fab for a quick easy dinner although Phil wasnt keen. On a trip to Sainsburys I struck lucky as the reductions had just gone out. I picked up a lovely big joint of pork and a whole chicken which went straight into the freezer and we are having them both this week.

Bank Holiday Monday Pulled chicken, sweet potato chunks and corn on the cob

Tuesday Cajun chicken pasta

Wednesday Slow cooked chilli and jacket potatoes

Thursday Wrap calzones, potato smiles and salad

Friday Pasta in a tomato and bacon sauce

Saturday Cheese and ham kievs, mash and veg

Sunday Roast Pork


Why not check out my previous family meal plans.


Sunday, 27 August 2017

Beautiful Homewares From JD Williams

I often feel the need to update our home as seasons change, even small changes can update a room. Recently i have been sent some beautiful homeware from JD Williams which has given our bedroom and sofa a fresh look.  I have always known JD Williams as a fashion brand and have been pleasantly surprised to find that they also stock homeware.

Autumn is my favourite season and with September fast approaching it is time to start thinking about keeping cosy on chilly evenings. I had a good look at JD Williams range of sofa throws and picked two out.
The Yasmin Knitted Throw is my throw of dreams. The colours are just stunning, I love the contrast between the grey/purple and mustard. The chunky knit looks stylish on the sofa and the pom pom detailing is so quirky and cute. As well as looking fantastic it will be perfect to keep us toasty on the cooler nights.
The Cascade Home Waffle Throw is SO soft and cosy. It is the perfect throw to snuggle up in with a bowl a popcorn and watch a film on a rainy afternoon. It also looks fab on our bed our new divet set. As a mum I am pleased to note that I can simply pop the throw into the washing machine!





My favourite way to refresh our bedroom is with new bedding, it can totally change a room in a flash.  I spent a happy hour browsing the huge range of duvet cover sets on JD Williams, there is so much to choose from! I eventually decided on the Elsie Lace Embroidered Duvet Cover Set.  White bedding always looks so fresh and inviting and this set is no different. On the bed it looks stunning and the lace detailing is so delicate and pretty.  I think the set is perfect for our feminine shabby chic room.

I am so impressed with the huge range of homeware from JD Williams. There is something for all tastes and I have found that the product quality is excellent. They stock everything from curtains to cushions and much more, perfect if you are looking to update your home.

**Products received for the purpose of this post, all opinions are my own**

Saturday, 26 August 2017

An Afternoon at The Deep

Hull, the UK City of Culture 2017 and home to award winning aquariam The Deep. Last week we headed East for a visit to The Deep. We kept it a secret from the boys and they enjoyed guessing where we might be heading! We have been to The Deep before but it was a couple of years back now so we were well overdue another visit.


Once you are in Hull it is easy to find The Deep as it is well signposted.  We arrived at lunchtime and I had packed us a picnic which we ate on the picnic area outside overlooking the water. It is a really nice clean area to eat on a dry day and the benches even have parasols for shade.
Once we had eaten we headed in and luckily for us there was no queue. The way the building is laid out is you start at the top and work your way downwards. So you head up the stairs or lift and are greeted with gorgeous views across the Humber.


The first part of The Deep takes you through the history of the ocean, there is plenty to look at and lot  of interactive things for the children. It is pretty dark in this area and Barney wasn't too keen so we didn't linger too long which is a shame as it is there is so much to learn. Hopefully next time we will be able to explore more.


From there head to the Lagoon of Light. This is probably my favourite part of the aquarium. We arrived just as a touch pool session began which the older two enjoyed, Seb was able to touch a sea urchin and a starfish. The lagoon is full of beautiful fish and it is really child friendly. Barney was so excited by this and he just kept saying fish, fish, fish over and over.  It was lovely to see him so enthralled.



From here there is still much more to see. The penguins seem to draw everyone it with their antics. The ice wall is great fun, see how long you can keep your hand on it! See if you can spot the sharks, learn about slime, the cool seas and so much more. Enjoy the underwater tunnel as the fish swim over you.
















Sadly we didn't get to see one of the two loggerhead sea turtles now residing at The Deep during our visit, maybe next time!

Top Tips for visiting The Deep

  • Remember money for parking! £2 for a 4 hour stay. 
  • When buying your ticket, make sure to get your photo taken so you can come back for 12 months without having to pay again.
  • Check out the times for the touch pool sessions, penguin feeding and so on.
  • If you have a question,  ask a member of staff, they know their stuff!
  • If you want to explore Hull a little more I recommend visiting the museum quarter

Monday, 21 August 2017

Our Weekly Meal Plan #34

Happy Monday! The sun came out over the weekend and we are set to have a sunny start to the week, long may it continue.

Last weeks meal plan went well, we ate all our planned meals. We have a few plans already this week, the boys are going to the seaside with their grandparents on Tuesday so I am not sure if they will be home for dinner.  This week we are having a couple of new meals. I am really looking forward to the the sticky sausages at the weekend already! I also haven't made soup in ages so it will be nice to have that on Wednesday,  it is so filling.
As well as our main meals I am going to make a banana bread this week and maybe some chocolate orange cupcakes with the boys if I get the time.


Monday Chicken and Bacon Pasta
Tuesday Omlettes and homemade chips
Wednesday Leek and Potato Soup with mediterranean pittas
Thursday Fishcakes for the boys,  chicken and leek crispbake for me with sweet potato wedges
Friday Garlic and Herb Pasta
Saturday Sticky sausages with sweet potato mash 
Sunday Mince and potato casserole with veg

Why not check out my previous family meal plans.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Natural Oral Care with The Natural Family Co. Review and Giveaway

With so many of us looking to swap to more natural products and reduce our carbon footprints, The Natural Family Co.  (NFco) have launched a fantastic new Natural Oral Care range. The Australian based company was developed by the founders of Jack N' Jill Natural Care who have been a trusted leaders in childrens oral care for over 40 years, they certainly know a thing or two about natural oral care!


The Natural Family Co. range of natural oral care products is designed to be used by the whole family and features toothbrushes and toothpastes. Regular toothbrushes cannot be recycled so sit in landfill but the NFco range is biodegradable. 
Rachel Bernhaut, co-founder of NFco says “We are always looking for new ways to work with nature and use the best it has to offer to create great effective products.  We hope that our new range will get people to rethink their oral care habits and realize that this simple switch can be good for them, their families and their world!”


We received the range to try for ourselves.
The Bio Toothbrush has a handle made with non GMO corn starch and the bristles are nylon and BPA free. It comes in four colours and with it's own resin stand which will look super stylish in any bathroom.
The NFco toothpastes come in four varieties. Original, Sensitive, Whitening and Propolis and Myrrh. The gel formula gives cavity protection and a clean feeling mouth thanks to Australian Native River Mint. All ingredients are naturally sourced and not tested on animals. The toothpastes are vegan, free from fluoride, SLS, Parabens and harsh chemicals.
I was interested to see how the NFco Original toothpaste and bio toothbrushes we were sent would compare to our regular toothpaste. I am pleased to say my mouth feels lovely, clean and fresh thanks to the minty taste. The brush has lovely soft bristles which i really like. It is fantastic that we can even reduce our carbon footprint by making small changes in everyday tasks like brushing our teeth. Even the packaging is earth friendly!

The Natural Family Co. Natural Oral Care range is available online now.






Would you like to win a hamper full of The Natural Family Co. products? Of course you would!  Simply full in the rafflecopter below. The winner will receive 4 toothpastes and 4 bio toothbrushes with stands.  Don't forget to check out my other giveaways

a Rafflecopter giveaway


1. Open to UK residents only.

2. Entrants must be over 18.

3. All entries will be checked.

4. Please make sure i have a way to contact you if you win.

5. Prize will be sent by PR.. 

6. The prize is one hamper. No cash alternative. 

7. If I am unable to make contact with the winner within a reasonable time a new winner will be drawn.


**Products received for the purpose of the post, all opinions are my own**

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Jack N' Jill Natural Bathtime Review and Giveaway

I recently read about the new Jack N' Jill Natural Bathtime range and after being impressed with the Jack n' Jill childrens oral care range earlier this year, I was keen to try out the bath range with the boys.


Natural Bathtime is made up of three different plant based ranges; Sweetness, Simplicity and Serenity. Each range contains a bubble bath, shampoo and body wash and moisturiser.  All of the Bathtime products are free from parabens, sulfates, palm oil, synthetic fragrances and colours.  The range is made in Australia and is plant based, cruelty free and not tested on animals. They are packaged in 300ml pump bottles which are so convinient and also easy for older children to use themselves.
We were sent some products to try out and share our thoughts on. 


We love to have a bath full of bubbles and just a couple of pumps of this bubble bath gives a lovely long lasting foam. The Sweetness scent is absolutely gorgeous and contains Orange Pearl extract, Organic Coconut Oil,  Neroli oil, Palmarosa oil and Ylang Ylang oil.  Skin is left feeling soft and clean and the uplifing Sweetness scent lingers. 


At the grand old age of six Sebastian prefers the shower over a bath so the shampoo and body wash is the perfect product for him.  The Simplicity range is unscented and hypoallergenic, ideal for newborns or anyone with sensitive skin. Like all of the Jack n' Jill Natural Bathtime products this does contain Soap Bark as a natural soap and Quinoa to prevent dry skin.


The first thing I noticed about the moisturiser is how lovely and luxurious it feels so nourishing. It sinks in quickly(a must with wriggly children) and leaves skin feeling absolutely gorgeous and hydrated. Designed for childrens sensitive skin with non irritating ingredients.  The Serenity range smells absolutely lovely. It contains Australian White Cyprus extract, Lavender oil, Clary Sage oil and Chamomile oil  The lavender scent is so soothing and relaxing, making this perfect for using before bed.

The new Jack N' Jill Natural Bathtime range is available to purchase online now with prices from £9.99.


Would you like to win some Jack N' Jill Natural Bathtime products? Of course you would! Jack N' Jill are giving one of my readers the chance to win a hamper of Natural Bathtime products to try for yourself. To enter simply fill in the rafflecopter below! Don't forget to check out my other giveaways

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1. Open to UK residents only.

2. Entrants must be over 18.

3. All entries will be checked.

4. Please make sure i have a way to contact you if you win.

5. Prize will be sent by PR.. 

6. The prize is one Jack N Jill hamper. No cash alternative. 

7. If I am unable to make contact with the winner within a reasonable time a new winner will be drawn.

**Products received for the purpose of the post, all opinions are my own**


Monday, 14 August 2017

Our weekly meal plan #33

Happy Monday! This week sees us getting back to normal after three weeks of Phil being off work. I am really impressed with how well we managed to stick to our meal plans to be honest. The Yorkshire Balls were delicious so I will definitely be looking out for them again.

I am trying Sainsburys delivery this week, I usually use Morrisons but fancied a change. I spent more than usual but I did buy a few random items(paint your own russian dolls anyone?). So far this week is looking to be pretty quiet, even our weekly Lego club is having a break.  Hopefully I can find us a few fun activities to do.

Monday Fish Pie for the boys, Car Brie Nara for Phil and I after work

Tuesday Homemade scones, sandwiches and cakes. It is Afternoon Tea Week so I thought we would get busy in the kitchen.

Wednesday Chicken Korma

Thursday BBQ chicken pasta

Friday Pizza and puzzle night!

Saturday Phils Pork and Apple Burgers with chips and salad

Sunday Slow cooked gammon




Why not check out my previous weekly meal plans?

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Sebastian at Six Years Old

I don't write many update posts these days. Now the boys are getting older there aren't the huge milestones to write about. However I do like to use my blog for recording memories and I want to write a little about Sebastian at six years old before he goes and turns seven later in the year. 


Seb is now around 120cm tall and weighs 3 stone 2lb. He wears age 6 clothes although waists are often huge even when adjusted to the smallest setting! He has lost two baby teeth and is the proud owner of two teeth with another growing in. He amazes us by never getting ill, even when we all had a sickness bug a couple of months back he managed to avoid it, his immune system is amazing!

Generally he is pretty laid back about life. Although he has moments where is six going on sixteen and that can be very frustrating. His confidence in himself has soared in the last year or so which is lovely to see and he is wanting more and more independence. He knows his own mind and is happy to go against the grain.
Seb is very kind to others. He is endlessly patient with Barney and loves to play with him. This extends to others too, he stops to help smaller children at the park or soft play which makes me so proud. He apparently wants seven children when he grows up!

Loves scooting, Lego, adventure books, climbing, experiments, making circuits, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, Paw Patrol, Cars 3, pizza, board games, drawing,  wordsearches

Dislikes shopping, being stuck inside, tidying, early mornings 

Questions

  • What do you want to be when you grow up? A builder or architect
  • Favourite colour? Blue
  • Favourite food? Tomatoes 
  • Favourite song ? Galway Girl
  • Favourite animal? Sheep
  • Favourite place go? Lego Club
  • What makes you happy? You cuddling me

Friday, 11 August 2017

Family Fun at Kirklees Light Railway

Train rides are eternally popular with children and mine are no different. This week we paid a visit to Kirklees Light Railway and although the weather was a little chilly to start we had a lovely time.


Kirklees Light Railway is based at Clayton West near Huddersfield. The railway is well signposted and easy to find. Arriving at Clayton West there is a large free carpark for visitors to use,
We were booked on to the first train of the day so when we arrived we headed straight into the station to collect our family ticket and boarded the train which was pulled by Hawk the blue steam engine. The family rover means you can go back and forward on the trains as many times as you like on that day so you can make a real day of your visit.  Your ticket will be checked before setting off so make sure you don't lose it!


The journey from Clayton West to Shelley takes around 25 minutes and along the journey you get some lovely views along the way. If you live locally you will be familiar with Emley Moor mast which is visible for most of the journey and there are fields of cows, woodlands, bridges to cross and two stations. You can ask to get off at these stations before boarding if you wish to walk in the area. The trains are fully enclosed so even if it is cold or raining you are protected from the elements. Lucky for us as it was chilly and we did have a rain shower.
Most excitingly for the children is when the trains pass each other along the route and the tunnel! You will know it is coming because the spotlights in the carriages ping on just before you enter. My children absolutely love this part!



At Shelley there is a small childrens play area, a (free) bouncy castle, picnic areas and a tearooms. The views from Shelley are beautiful. We ate our picnic here with drinks from the tearooms which is cash only, drinks for four of us came to less than £4 (2 bottles of water, juice and a hot chocolate) which I think is really reasonable. We even made friends with a rather nosy horse.
There is also a mainline railway track at Shelley which you can see trains going along which the boys loved. You can stay at Shelley as long as you like before boarding  a train back to Clayton West.




Back at Clayton West there is a lovely sized play area for children (train themed of course!) with lots of picnic benches to sit on. There is also a minature train to ride on (50p per person).
There is a cafe and shop selling various train related items including lots of Thomas themed bits and wooden BigJigs track and trains (we love this brand).




We had a really lovely time at Kirklees LIght Railway. It can be difficult to find something to please all three boys at the same time but they all had a great time as you can see from the smiles. I was suprised how excited Barney got waving and choo chooing at the trains even at 16 months old.

Top Tips

  • If taking a baby or young toddler, use your carrier instead of the pushchair.
  • Pack a non messy snack for the train if you have a fidgety toddler to encourage them to sit still. 
  • Take cash along if you wish to use the tearooms at Shelley
  • Take some change for the minature train ride at Clayton West (50p per person)
  • Find the posters and work out the simple spotters sheet you get given with your ticket.  The boys received a lovely badge for their efforts. 
Check out my list of 60 things to do in West Yorkshire this summer for more family fun.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Easy Egg Box Boats For All Ages

So far this summer holidays has seen quite a bit of rain. In fact since the holidays started here we have had rain at some point every day. All that rain calls for simple rainy day activities!

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

For Aisha Baby Food Review and Hamper Giveaway

When weaning I feel it is very important to expose your children to a wide variety of flavours. For Aisha is a great range of baby foods that will help you do just that. Barney was recently sent a selection of products including the newly revamped Stage 3 range which I will be reviewing today. There is also the chance to win a lovely hamper of For Aisha products. 

Monday, 7 August 2017

Our weekly meal plan #32

Happy Monday!  I am a wee bit late this week with writing my meal plan, I usually have it all sorted before the weekend but with Phil being off work we have been out and about and I just haven't had the time.

On Friday Phil and I went into Leeds, we had a yummy lunch, then we headed for cocktails and then to a new dessert restaurant. I had this huge waffle that I couldn't manage even with a bit of help from Phil (he had a massive After Eight sundae) , it was lovely but far too much for me to eat.


This week I haven't done my usual online shop. Instead we did a small shop at the supermarket over the weekend and once werun out of food we will top up. I want to really eek out what we have already and hopefully save a bit of money.

Monday We are having a movie night with the boys so it is pizza, garlic bread and pick n mix

Tuesday Macaroni cheese and green

Wednesday Toad in the hole

Thursday We are out for the day so it will be something speedy

Friday Yorkshire Balls with yorkshire puds, mash, gravy and veg

Saturday Takeaway, probably Chinese. The boys will have something a bit healthier, maybe some chilli that I have in the freezer with rice.

Sunday unplanned as yet


Popular this week