Saturday, 28 February 2015

Our Adventures This Week #17

This week has not been as busy as the last few. We have had more time to spend together learning,  playing games and be generally together.

This week we spent Monday playing games,  dancing, cooking together and talking about our colours and numbers. It was definitely a day of much needed family time together!


Tuesday was mostly spent watching a few films that we like. After we had dinner we all helped tidy up downstairs with D playing his tidy up games and helping in all the ways he knows how to.

On Wednesday we baked our doughnut biscuits which was a LOT of fun! You can find our post in our Lets Get Baking category. We very much enjoyed the tasting part of baking. After a quick tidy up. We sat down and planned what we will be baking for D's birthday party. Which we are very excited about!

Thursday we visited Granda and had a little browse around some shops before we came home and made dinner together and relaxed before bed.

Yesterday we finally got D's toys sorted out (That took a while! ) and moved some toys around with more ending up in the living room.  However D already knows what toys go where when we put them away!

How has your week been? Did you have any adventures? Tell us about them in the comments,  we love hearing from you.
Thursday, 26 February 2015

Lets Get Baking - Doughnut Biscuits

Yesterday we attempted to make doughnuts, I wanted to try making them so we could make them again for D's Birthday. As you can tell from the title of our post it didn't go well. However it was rather fun to make and true to our usual baking we hadst followed the recipe correctly (whoops!). I have noticed a trend in our baking, we are very good at making mistakes that are quite yummy! Although our doughnuts did not turn out as doughnuts, we did end up with biscuits that taste and look like doughnuts but they have a nice crunch and a biscuit texture to them.

It wasn't our intention to make the mistake and we had started by following the recipe exactly. The only problem was I forgot the last part and we used too much butter so we had tried to balance out the other ingredients to match. Once we had balanced the ingredients out we had a dough and had forgotten about the recipe. If however you would like to make doughnuts the recipe we where using can be found here.

If you would like to make out doughnut biscuits then simply follow our steps below.

Firstly you will need:

  • 1 cup/ 200g of Granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup/ 120g of butter or margarine

  • 2 eggs

  • 3 cups/ 360g self-raising flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg



Now to make the biscuits you will need to;

Turn the oven on to 180  and line 2 tins with Greaseproof paper.

Add your butter and sugar to a bowl where you will need to 'cream' them (mix together thoroughly by pushing the butter and sugar to the side of the bowl with a spoon until completely mixed). This can be quite hard to do but it is easier if you use softened butter.

Next (The part I hate!) you will need to add two eggs that have already been cracked and whisked separately. Thoroughly mix the eggs into the mixture, don't worry it's supposed to look like that! (I know it horrible, hence why I hate it.)

Time to add in the flour, salt and nutmeg. once they have all been added you will need to stir it well until it starts to form a dough. You may need a little more flour to get a good dough. (It isn't sticking to your hands.) D loves this part he gets to watch and help make a liquid become a solid and simply watches the bowl and mixture in amazement. (When he's not too busy helping me mix it.)

Now for the fun bit! You will need to separate the dough into small balls made by rolling the dough in your hands. I suggest you test the size of the doughnut shape before rolling the whole mixture. (Don't make them too big.) Once you have the mixture divided into balls, take them one at a time and slightly press between your hands before pushing a finger or round tool through the middle. Do make your middle bigger than ours in the pictures as it will otherwise disappear during baking. It is great to get the kids to help with this as they love playing with dough's. D as I am sure many of you know loves poking dough, so this was perfect for him I simply made a dent in the middle of the dough and he made a hole though either side. He was very proud of himself!



Once you have all your biscuits shaped you will need to arrange them on your trays. Do not add too many to one tray or put them close together they will merge during baking if you do. Pop them in the oven for around 20 - 30 minutes or until golden brown.

After baking allow to cool completely before decorating.



You can decorate your biscuits with anything you like. We used some icing sugar and water to make a bit of icing that we put on our biscuits. D really loved putting icing on the biscuits.



We had lots of fun making our biscuits, we just hope that you do too.

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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Review - Vanish Gold

As a parent I quickly realised during weaning that D's lovely clothes where going to get stained. During weaning many of them ended up with big orange stains anywhere he could get them. Before we moved on to homemade foods I was throwing clothing away because I just couldn't get the stains out. Now that D is a toddler stains on clothes have become an everyday day occurrence, many times I can't even tell you what the stain is. Although I must admit D has developed a knack for stains that are next to impossible to get out! Anything white he owns will manage to get stained by chocolate,  orange sauces, strawberries or gravy. What I find most interesting is many of the stains happen after he has worn the clothing!

It's frustrating when clothes get stains we just can't get out, I spend more time removing the stains than it does in the washing machine. I am sure by now we have all seen the adverts for Vanish Gold, you know the one I am talking about with the big gold timer and the white pieces of fabric that are stained then magically they're not.  I too was very sceptical. I mean come on who really believes that wasn't just new fabric placed during filming?

D got this lovely top below for Christmas.
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3 hours into the day D managed to stain the top with chocolate,  I wasn't worried as chocolate is an easy stain to remove. Once D had gone to bed I gave it a good scrub and popped it in the washing machine.
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It should have worked,  but it didn't remove any part of the stain it was slightly lighter,  nothing else changed. Chocolate usually comes off but this time it just refused to! I stuck to it trying and trying to remove the stain. The top was washed around 10 times in a month and a half. The stain however never changed. I had thought about throwing it out, but he had only wore it once and I couldn't find the top again. So I tried every way I could find online, asking family and pure elbow grease.

In the end we seen Vanish Gold while shopping a few weeks ago and decided to try it (it had to do something to the stain, right?). It took a few days to get round to cleaning the top again.  I followed all the directions, I put 1/4 powder into the cup, I added 3/4 of warm water and stirred with my finger (not on the instructions) and poured over the stain. I counted to thirty and expected to do this all again for longer. After 30 seconds I rinsed the top under warm water and looked at the stains. The advert didn't lie! They had vanished. (No pun intended) I actually remember just staring in shock at the top over the sink, I really hadn't expected it to work at all never mind in 30 seconds! I had spent over a month trying to remove the stain and it happened in 30 seconds. I did also add a half scoop to the wash for all other clothing I was washing. Vanish Gold removes everything, I have started adding it to all of our washes and all of our clothes look new. Not only are we stain free on all our clothing,  they're brighter and softer (not sure how that works).
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Do you have a stubborn stain? Try Vanish Gold and you really will be amazed at how fast the stain disappears.
Sunday, 22 February 2015

Our Adventures This Week #16

I said last week I wanted to get back into our posting routine, however it has been a busy week and I have not had time to sit down and write our Thursday post to my satisfaction. 

Monday was a day of washing and sorting toys out into what needs to go to a charity shop. With D's birthday coming up we need to clear a few toys that he isn't playing with out.  It didn't go well. D knows that putting things into a bag means they are going to a bin or out of the house.

The process of putting toys in the bag worked out to be we put a toy in, D took the toy out and put it back in the toy box. Eventually we gave up. I will have to go up next week and do it myself then sneak the toys out!

On Tuesday we had to go shopping which went amazingly well considering D usually just runs around the shops. He got in the trolly and happily helped put shopping in behind him. D is becoming more opinionated now. There where a few items he was desperately trying to get out of the trolly that he didn't want, such as cheese. I'm not sure why he didn't want to get cheese as he loves it.  After shopping Daddy had a trip to the dentist which was postponed after half an hour of waiting.

Daddy did go to the dentist again on Wednesday and will be going back next week to hopefully get his crowns put on (fingers crossed!). Wednesday evening we spent making dinner together and reading some books to D before bath and bed time.

It was an early start on Thursday we had to meet D's aunt who walked with us to Granny's house where we stayed for around an hour before setting off to see Granda and the toys at his work (I am still convinced this is why D gets excited, to see the toys! ). After a short stay we made our long walk to Nannies house where we stay for a few hours before heading home to have dinner and get ready for bed. ( All of us went to bed early!)

Friday morning was early for us too, we had to go meet D's aunt to help her go shopping for bits she needed for her house which she has moved into! (Yay!) I must admit when I agreed to the shopping I didn't think there was as much as there was needed. After a good few hours shopping we helped her get it all back to the house and headed to nanny's again to collect the shopping we forgot on Thursday. By the time we got home it was again dinner, bath then bed.

We slept in on Saturday and had to rush around to get ready to meet D's other aunt before going to his other nannies for the day.
Tuesday, 17 February 2015

What We're Reading - Bing Bedtime by Ted Dewan

This month D has been finally getting into and staying in his own bed at night, he has started reading Bing Bedtime every night and will always choose the book for his bedtime story.

wpid-20150217_115407.jpg

The book is all about bedtime and the routines children have when going to bed. Bing like any of our children doesn't want to get ready for bed yet, he still wants to play with many of his toys and activities. However once bedtime begins Bing really loves to follow his routine and takes you and your child through his very own routine and order of doing his bedtime activities.

bing book turn

Bing has Flop his bunny who is always there to help when he needs anything. Bing completes tasks before bed such as bath time, brushing his teeth and going to the potty among other tasks. The book teaches children about getting ready for bed. As we are reading the story we ask D if he has completed each task before he got into bed. I love the bedtime interaction this story brings with it, there are so many things we can talk about during the story.

The book itself is very beautifully illustrated with only one to two short sentences per page which means that D enjoys following along the words we are reading with his finger and that he will not get bored during the story. (Although D has decided when reading on his own he prefers to sit with one of my books and look at the words!)

There are a good collection of Bing books available, we will certainly be looking out for other Bing stories we might enjoy. Bing Bedtime is available in many book stores in the UK and is available on Amazon for around £6.99.

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Saturday, 14 February 2015

Our Adventures This Week #15

This week has been a lot of ups and downs, with a lot happening in our extended families. I firstly want to apologise for our erratic posting the last two weeks, it couldn't be helped. We had a lot going on last week (My forgetting to schedule last Thursdays post didn't help) after which I felt posting on Friday, always a busy day for us wasn't what I wanted to do. This pushed back our posting to Tuesday and Tuesday's post for Thursday. On Wednesday I remembered about Thursday's post being time sensitive in the donations ended yesterday. Things will go back to normal next week with our posting being on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

This week really started on Monday when we had a trip into town to pick up a few bits and pieces we would need this week, D was more than pleased when we had finished and got home so he could run around and play.

Tuesday wasn't that busy with most of the day spent tiding and doing some cleaning along with playing with D and cooking dinner together as a family (something we try to do as much as we can. D helps make sandwiches and anything else that isn't cooked with the oven.

Wednesday came with Daddy having a 2 hour appointment in the dentist, where he was getting his top teeth prepared to get crowns put on them (ouch!) he then spent the day in and out of sleep as the freezing agent used always makes daddy very drowsy once it wears off. He will be going back on Monday to get his crowns.

Thursday was an exciting day beginning with going with D's aunt to get her new house! (Yay) We will be helping her move in as best we can next week. D is very excited about this as her spare room (I have been told) is for D so he can go stay with her. Once we had finished that we met with D's other aunt and cousin to go see a house for them. By the time we had finished it was dinner time and we had spent the day looking at/ for houses.

Friday day time wasn't much different then our house days spent playing together, Building with Mega Blocs and watching a family film. However on Friday night D went into his own room, (He does this every few days but usually wont stay in his room or just refuses to go to sleep) after he got to grips with he can't play with his toys until morning he just lay down with Baby and George and went to sleep. It was around 10 pm by the time we got him to sleep. At 11:30 - 12 D woke up but after I told him I was going outside and that I was still there he simply accepted it and went to sleep all by himself!

Today is Nannies 70th Birthday so we are going over to spend the day with her and will spend tonight watching soppy romantic films on TV. We hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's day!
Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Dettol Baby Blanket Donation Campaign

Did you know there is an amazing campaign going on at the minute with Dettol?

DBBD logo

Although many of us don't realize it our baby blankets for our children help us to create and nurture a bond with our children. They are a way for us to protect them and to make sure our children are warm. Every minute around 50 babies are born into poverty in the world, a shocking statistic to all us mum's and dad's. These babies don't have what ours do with some not even having a blanket while those that do are riddled with bacteria. Their parents do not have the means to provide them with many basic essentials especially with hygienic baby blankets. Dettol are working to change that and are asking for our help to do so.


High Res Dettol Blanket

Dettol are receiving backing from the S Club star Rachel Stevens, who donated the campaign their first blanket. This campaign is not just to help those born into poverty, Dettol have joined up with Sparks who are a leading children's medical research charity. Sparks works to fund research in the UK which is currently sitting at a spend of less than £10 per child each year on research. However one in every thirty babies are born with a condition that will affect them for the rest of their lives. Dettol will donate £1 for every blanket received up to 5,000 to aid this research in the UK.

Dettol themselves have done their own bit of research, they have found that bacteria on our babies blankets is not being washed away. Blankets washed at  40° are carrying bacteria of many kinds but most importantly may be carrying a bacteria group called coliforms which is directly associated with faeces. All is not lost however as Dettol have an additive that we can add to our laundry which will kill 99.9% of bacteria even at temperatures below 30°. Dettol will be washing each and every blanket they receive with their laundry cleanser to ensure our blankets are as germ free as possible when they are given to those who need them.

Dettol's slogan for the campaign couldn't be more important in my opinion.
'keep the memories, not the bacteria'

This says it all, the whole campaign is about the quote. Dettol are standing behind their word and will be helping thousands of families around the world with our help.

Dettol have thought of not just you and me as parents but they have thought of those who don't have the privilege of clean blankets for their children. Mother's around the world need our donations to Dettol's baby blanket donation campaign. I urge any of our readers with baby blankets they don't use anymore to support this campaign and donate their baby blankets. It is free to post your blanket and they WILL make a difference to both mum's and dad's abroad as well as here in the UK. You can donate you blanket by following the information on Dettol's Donate page. Help us get as many donations as possible before the closing date Friday 13th  February

Here is the campaigns video for a bit more information.

We will soon be reviewing one of Dettols products to support this post.
Tuesday, 10 February 2015

The Origins of Valentine's Day

I have always been curious, I suppose you could say I have a thirst for knowledge. Before D I would spend hours search Google for random things that popped into my head. Now they tend to just stay there until 1) I forget about it or 2) I get some free time to look into it. Valentines day is fast approaching and with it we find we hear more and more people view it as a 'commercial holiday' made up by shops to make us spend money. This year I really started to wonder about it and wanted to find out where it comes from, I thought it would be nice to share my findings with you.

Valentines day and its origins are actually a bit of a mystery, meaning we cannot pin point that particular time or fully understand the origins. However we do know that it stems from the 5th century, there is a deep connection in the christian and roman religion. The bible mentions or talks about at least three saints named Valentine or Valentinus. One of the myths or legends states that Valentine was a priest in the Rome during the 3rd century. At the time the emperor (Emperor Claudius II) had decided to outlaw young marriage as he believe single men made better solders however Valentine  kept marrying young couple in secret, once his emperor found out he was ordered he be put to death. According to one of the myths or legends St Valentine was the one to send the first Valentine while he was imprisoned and had fallen in love. He is said to have written her a letter signed 'from your Valentine'. we don't have any evidence tied to the origins of valentines day however we do know that all of the myths or legends out there have the same underlying facts he was a sympathetic, heroic and romantic figure.
 
The 14th of February itself is a romantic for us in the 21st century, the month of February has long-held much importance for being a month of romance ( could you imagine celebrating a whole month worth of romance?). The date itself is for one of two reasons;
1. It is the day to celebrate the anniversary of St Valentines death or burial which happened around A.D. 270.
2. It was the christian church who choose the date so as to bring a christian meaning to the day which is also shared by the pagan celebration of  Lupercalia.
Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, it was celebrated on the 15th of February. The festival was began by an order of roman priests called Luperi would come to a sacred cave which was believed to be the home of thelupa (she-wolf) who cared for Romulus and Remus who are the founders of Rome. They would perform a ritual involving the sacrifice of a goat for fertility and a dog for purification. After which they would then strip the goats hide into strips before dipping them in sacrificial blood. They would then take to streets slapping woman and crop fields with the hides of the goat.In A.D. 496 The pope declared that the 14th of February was to be St Valentines day which was to be a christian feast day.

It wasn't until the 5th century that the 14th of February was deemed Valentine's Day. (it's no wonder we don't know where it came from if it was 2 century's after it was thought to have it origins.) It took much longer before Valentine's Day was connected with love. In the middle ages the English and French thought that February 14th was the beginning of birds mating season (Is it just me or do English people always like to be odd in history?).

A written valentine only appeared after 1400. the oldest valentine we have today is from 1415 which is written by Charles, Duke of Orleans, it is to his wife. (How cool is that?) It wasn't until the 18th century that valentines cards became popular with the start of the 19th century being the beginning of mass-produced cards for valentine's day. In 1913 Hallmark produced their very first valentines card, marking the end of true romance on Valentines Day. It quickly became the holiday we know it as today with a creation of commercialism and a large range of items deemed 'Acceptable' to give on Valentines Day.

All in all up until 102 years ago Valentines Day was very much so about love, companion, feasts, fertility and religion, I suppose the opinion is now of your own. before 1913 Valentine's day was that of a celebration of love by showing those you love how much you care from handmade cards and gifts along with time together to feast. (we won't mention the wiping with blood and goats hide, maybe 50 Shades Of Gray is perfect for early representation on Valentines day?)


Saturday, 7 February 2015

Our Adventures This Week #14

It's been a long week, containing a good amount of adventures and lots of shopping!  It all really started on Monday with getting the downstairs decluttering started. We are still working on our wishes, which I have to say is a great change from last year when we had already given up on the resolutions! We cleared out the bathroom of all the bath and shower items that we don't use or got the previous Christmas that I forgot I had put away (we always end up with a LOT of them). We had time to do the living room too.  Which now leaves the kitchen and D's room so we are getting there and hopefully will have soon completed our first new years wish. (It's rather exciting! ) speaking of new year wishes I have now lost another stone and can comfortably fit in a size 16 bottoms and 14 tops! Walking is becoming easier and easier plus I am finding I have more energy than I did before.

Tuesday was a trip to the dentist where we found out that D has 12 teeth and is currently getting another 4! It came as a bit of a shock because D has been so good and has only been finding it had to stay awake without a nap during the day which is then pushing bed time back. After the dentist we did our grocery shopping before a lovely family film after dinner.

On Wednesday we went swimming with one of D's aunt's and his cousin along with her friend and their little girl. I was really apprehensive about swimming, the last time we went D cried for 20 minutes until we left the pool. I was pleasantly surprised when D got in ready to go with his new arm bands and away he went trying to swim around the baby pool with his feet on the floor. He even enjoyed being in the bigger pool and was able to allow me to let go (so long as he didn't see both my hands at the same time). It didn't take long before he learnt that to move he had to kick his legs. The only problem came when it was time to leave and he wouldn't accept that the pool was closed! We will definitely be making swimming a regular thing now.

Thursday morning was the earliest this week (D was not pleased!). We had to go shopping, with the first item being a new pram which is arriving today! Then clothes shopping, I have to say I have never met a child who loves clothes shopping as much as D. We are not allowed to buy anything D has not given a 'hug test' which he gets very excited about! We must look a bit strange with D being shown any clothes for his or us and he sits very happily hugging each then either holding it up to us or putting it behind him! But whatever keeps him happy and occupied from crying or wanting to run around is definitely a plus! We will be sharing some of our finds next week.

Yesterday was spent visiting granda and a lovely walk to get a few things I forgot about on Thursday (oops! ) we also seen D's aunt who played with D for a while before work then another film for us all before bed time.

How has your week been?
Tuesday, 3 February 2015

D at... 23 Months

I can't quite figure out what happened to January! It just disappeared and seems to have took with it the snow we experienced at the end.

Tomorrow D will be 23 months, the past month has been a learning experience for myself and Daddy. D has grown,  learnt and developed some new habits.

D can now put his own t-shirts on, meaning that the only part of getting himself dressed D can't do is putting his socks on. However he is really trying and will sit on the floor taking his socks off to try to put them back on. D loves to get dressed now and even has an opinion as to what he wears! If we put on something he doesn't like (even socks!) He will take them off and go find something else to put on or give to us to put on. Apparently my clothing choices for D are not all that loved by D.

D has started to use actions to explain things this month.  The only problem is the action usually has nothing to with the words he is saying!  It probably looks very strange to everyone we see! He has decided that the appropriate action to words should be;
Yes - to point up and then look up
No - to point at you
Why - to roll his eyes at you (Yes really! )
Some actions do make sense and are appropriate.
Rawr - he puts his arms up like a dinosaur
Bed time - he pretends to sleep and snore
Getting dressed - he will put his arms straight up until you take his top off.
I am pretty sure D knows that the actions don't match what he wants as I occasionally find him giggling as daddy is getting what he wants!

D is starting to love dinosaurs and cars. He will regularly be found playing with both, especially the dinosaurs. They have very long conversations with the word Rawr,  watching D's expressions during his playing gives you a good indication of what he is thinking and will range from happy to angry to sad. Along with enjoying dinosaur play D has started to play with other children and seems to make friends anywhere and everywhere he can. He has made friends in the doctors waiting room,  in shops, restaurants and especially while we are walking. He will play any game so long as the other children show him how and seems to become somewhat attached when it's time to say bye to them. With his aunt and cousin he seems to want to play with them and not beside them. This seems to be a problem as they don't want to play with him just beside him, he is starting to adjust to this though.

The final change in D this month is his eating.  He has started to be fussy about what he will eat, things he loved a few weeks ago are not being touched. Our menu has gone from almost everything to a limited amount however fruit and veg are still top of the eating list along with meats and dairy products such as yogurt and cheese. However he will only eat one of the food groups at any given meal I have started to set everything separately at dinner time but he still only chooses one to eat. I really hope this is just a phase we will grow out of!

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