Monday, 30 April 2018

Mummy and Me { April 2018 }

Spring has arrived! At last we've seen ourselves getting out a lot more.
Mummy and Me April - At the spring fair
Mummy and Me April
April brought with it a little heatwave for the UK. We got out as much as possible with both D and Baby S. We made it to the Belfast Spring Fair which was full to bursting with family fun. I even managed to relinquish the camera for a while and Simon caught a few snaps of me and both children! It's such a rare occasion that I get photos with both that aren't just selfies so these will be treasured.
Mummy and Me April - Baby S and I
Simon managed to get this one of Baby S and I playing before we headed off for more fun. It's nice that we aren't posing, I kind of like that this was just a moment for us. You can't see Baby S's face but she loves being up in the air like this. I am usually found holding her up and making her laugh so I do love this one.
Mummy and Me April - D and I selfie
D and I managed to get our usual selfie too. This month it was just after an event over Easter when he got his face painted like a Gecko lizard.  We had taken ourselves up to his room and had a little read of a book, just us two. It's hard to find time for just the two of us when Baby S is awake. I try to do a little something with D after she has gone over for a nap. Which I think I should try to do more often!
It's so hard to believe that it's almost May! Lots will be happening for us over the next month and I hope that with this lovely weather we can get out for more days as a family as well as finding a good balance between school, homework, housework, actual work and family. I'm looking forward to the longer days that are ahead and to many more days together next month.
How has your April been?

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Project 365 - Week 17

22nd April {Day 111}
Project 365 - Day 111 - April 22nd
23rd April {Day 112}
Project 365 - Day 112 - April 23rd
24th April {Day 113}
Project 365 - Day 113 - April 24th
25th April {Day 114}
Project 365 - Day 114 - April 25th
26th April {Day 115}
Project 365 - Day 115 - April 26th
27th April {Day 116}
Project 365 - Day 116 - April 27th
28th April {Day 117} 
Project 365 - Day 117 - April 28th
It's not often I will say this but boy am I glad to see the end of this week. This past week started out great, we visited friends and spent some time at the park playing. A great Sunday!
Monday marked that start of Real Nappy Week and I got out our reusables to give them another go. It's going really well and we even did an overnight last night! Other than a quick trip out for a few bits we forgot while shopping. We managed a stop for coffee and a little look around some shops where D found a pretty great hat, shame it only came in adult sizes!
Thursday was a bit of drama with a trip to A&E after discovering some purple spots on Baby S's foot and leg. Cue panic stations! Luckily after some blood tests and being watched by Doctors we got the all clear and she just has a viral infection. D was super and so well behaved consider we had to be there for 5 hours. We've spent the rest of the week inside although as you can see Baby S quickly perked back up!
How was your week?

JimJams Chocolate Spread Review including Chocolate Swirl and Chocolate Cupcake Recipes

As a parent I have long since discovered that one of the most loved sandwich fillings is chocolate spread. Let's face it our children are going to want chocolate filled bread anytime it's offered. Well at least my children do anyway! Many of the leading brands in the chocolate spread isle are filled with sugar. That is where JimJams comes in, with their own healthier chocolate spreads.

Kellie Bath founded JimJams after she discovered the amount of sugar found in most chocolate spreads. Who can blame her with most leading brands containing the same as 57 cubes of sugar in each 400g jar! She wasn't happy with the healthier alternatives that meant you had to compromise on taste either. She decided to make her own chocolate spread with less sugar, (83% less!) while still tasting delicious. JimJams was her final result. A delicious chocolate spread which is available in hazelnut and milk chocolate with 83% less sugar than most leading brands and it's perfect for the whole family to enjoy.

JimJams Hazelnut Chocolate Spread Review

JimJams Hazelnut Chocolate spread allows you to remove the sugar without having to compromise on the taste! I was expecting JimJams Hazelnut Chocolate Spread to have a bit of compromise somewhere, in the taste, an odd after taste or a texture difference. I can honestly say I found not one single difference and it tastes great! JimJams Hazelnut Chocolate Spread has even won a Great Taste award! Perfect for adding to sandwiches and it's lovely on toast. D has been enjoying lots of delicious chocolate sandwiches. I love that JimJams Hazelnut Chocolate Spread has allowed us to enjoy a little treat like chocolate on toast more often. You can even add it into recipes for some tasty chocolate treats! We used ours in two recipes over the last few weeks.

Chocolate Swirls

Chocolate Rolls recipe - JimJams Hazelnut Chocolate Spread Review

The first recipe we used JimJams Chocolate Spread in was a super easy Chocolate Swirl. Much like a cinnamon swirl made with chocolate and just as delicious.

To make your own chocolate swirls you will need:

  • JimJams Hazelnut Chocolate Spread

  • 250g Puff Pastry (I did cheat a little and we used ready-made puff pastry)

  • A Rolling Pin

  • Baking paper

  • A spoon/ butter knife

  • Sharp knife

  • Baking tray

  • Spreading JimJams Hazelnut Chocolate Spread on Puff Pastry

    1. Preheat your oven to 180Âșc (Fan)

    2. Cover the baking tray in a sheet of baking paper, this will make it easier later on.

    3. Take your Puff pastry and roll out into a long rectangle.

    4. Make an even layer of JimJams Hazelnut Chocolate Spread over the puff pastry, I used a the back of a spoon but a butter knife would be fine.

    5. Starting at one of the shorter edges, roll the entire length. This will create the 'swirl' on the ends.

    6. Once the whole pastry is rolled take a sharp knife and cut into 2-3 cm sections. Ensure your cutting along so each section gets the 'swirl'.

    7. Place each chocolate swirl onto the baking tray which you previously covered with baking paper. Leave a good amount of space between each as they will expand a whole lot in the oven!

    8. Add the tray to the middle of the oven, bake for 20 minutes before removing and allowing to cool.

    9. All that is left is to enjoy them! These are perfect on a lazy family day, We made ours on a Sunday morning together, which is why D is in his PJ's.

      Chocolate Cupcakes and Chocolate Buttercream

      Our cupcakes madewith JimJams Hazelnut Chocolate Spread
      The second recipe we used JimJams Hazelnut Chocolate Spread in was chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream. Don't they look delicious?

      To make Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream you will need:

      • 80g butter or margarine (plus extra for the buttercream)

      • 40g JimJams Hazelnut Chocolate Spread

      • 2 large eggs

      • 120g caster sugar

      • 120g self-raising flour

      • icing sugar

      • Mixer (we used an electric stand mixer)

      • Bowl

      • Spoon

      • Spatula

      • Bun cases

      • baking tray

      • 100's and 1000's

      • D baking cupcakes with JimJams Hazelnut Chocolate Spread

        These chocolate cupcakes are super easy to make and perfect for baking with children!

        1. Preheat your oven to 180ÂșC  (Fan)

        2. Place 12 bun cases into the baking tray ready to use later. TIP: If you're using a normal flat baking tray double up the cases to help them keep their shape a little better while baking.

        3. Whisk together your butter and JimJams Hazelnut Chocolate Spread with the caster sugar.

        4. Add in one egg at a time, whisking in to the mixture completely.

        5. Slowly add in the flour, do this in stages to avoid a plume of flour in your face.

        6. Once the mixture has combined you can spoon it into the bun cases. I recommend adding two tablespoons to each case, once you've filled all 12 add the remaining mixture between them all.

        7. Place the tray in the middle of the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until completely cooked. Check by placing a butter knife through the centre, once pulled out it should be free of any mixture.

        8. While the cupcakes cool you can make the buttercream. add 1-2 spoonfuls of butter and the same amount of JimJams Hazelnut Chocolate Spread into the mixer with some icing sugar. Start with small amounts of icing sugar and add gradually.

        9. Continue adding icing sugar until you get the consistency you want, add in more JimJams Hazelnut Chocolate Spread and butter if you need more buttercream.

        10. Once your happy place the buttercream into a pipping bag and cut the end off.

        11. Add the buttercream to the cooled cupcakes. I added ours in a spirl before taking each cupcake and tapping the bottom on the table. This allows the buttercream to settle nicely in the case and cover the cupcake.

        12. Finally sprinkle on some 100's and 1000's before enjoying.

        13. Although both recipes added sugar or sugary products to the JimJams Hazelnut Chocolate Spread, there is still much less sugar inside than if we had used a different chocolate spread. Which I can admit we have done in the past.

          If chocolate spread is loved in your house, like it is in our house then JimJams Hazelnut Chocolate Spread is perfect for you. I know that we for one will be using JimJams Hazelnut Chocolate Spread from now on. It's perfect for toast, sandwiches, pancakes and drizzling over ice cream! Yum.

          JimJams Hazelnut Chocolate Spread is available for £2.80 per jar, you can get 3 jars for £8 or 6 for £15.

          We even have a discount code for our readers that allows you to get 20% off your first purchase of JimJams*. Our discount code is valid until the end of May. Enter the code TS20 at checkout.

          *Discount code is only valid for new customers and doesn't include postage.

          Disclaimer: We received the featured product in return for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own.
          Tuesday, 24 April 2018

          Infacare Baby Bath Review and Giveaway

          We've been using Infacare Night-Time Baby Bath for months now. It has helped us get both D and Baby S to sleep a little better. I was very impressed so when we got the chance to try the Infacare Baby Bath, I had to say yes.

          Infacare Baby Bath Review Infacre Baby Bath review
          Infacare is range of ultra mild baby bath products which are PH Balanced. The special formulation helps Infacare to keep babies skin soft while protecting it. It does so by creating the naturally occurring acid and alkaline levels which can be found on our skin and hair.

          Baby S playing discovering the bubbles - Infacare Baby Bath review.

          Much like the Infacare Night-time Baby Bath the Infacare Baby Bath creates a magnificent amount of foamy bubbles. The bubbles have a great texture which Baby S loves. The bubbles last for a long time too. We have been washing them down the drain after both D and Baby S get out!

          Infacare Baby Bath leaves Baby S and D's skin feeling soft and smooth. Which gives me confidence that it really is soft and gentle on their skin.

          Infacare Baby Bath is perfect for bath time both during the day or at night. It's kind on the skin and the bubbles are fantastic. Infacare Baby Bath will be perfect for adding bubble fun to much more than just bath time. Adding it to paddling pools and water play trays this summer can add more fun for your children.

          Infacare Baby Bath is available in 750ml from Asda (£3.00) , Boots, Co-op, Lloyds Pharmacy, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Wilkinson.

          We have also got a bottle of Infacare Baby Bath to giveaway to one of our lucky readers! You can enter using the Gleam widget below. Please take the time to read through the terms and conditions before entering.

          Terms and Conditions

          • Entrants must be aged 18 years or over.

          • Competition is open to UK residents only.

          • Entry into this competition confirms your acceptance of these Terms and Conditions

          • The winners will be selected at random from all the correct entries received before the closing date and time.

          • All prizes must be accepted as offered. There can be no alternative awards, cash or otherwise. 

          • There will be one winner who will receive a bottle of Infacare Baby Bath

          • The prize will be sent directly from the PR

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            My Little Piccolo Organic - New Baby Food Range {Review}

            Baby S has loved the My Little Piccolo Organic range. We first tried them back in February and she really enjoyed the exciting combinations. I had mentioned that I thought My Little Piccolo Organic could try a new range of thicker pouches with proper lumps in for the next stage in weaning. Well it would seem I hadn't been the only one with that thought, My Little Piccolo have brought out a whole new range for babies over 10 months! What is they say, great minds think alike?

            My Little Piccolo Organic Baby Food - Stage 3 Pots include.JPG

            The new stage 3 range has four new recipes for your little one to try. We have been trying out the Baby pasta with sweet potato bolognese, baby pasta with Vegetable and kale pesto and the quinoa with vegetable ratatouille which all have a pinch of basil in too. The final recipe available in the range is quinoa with pumpkin and sweet potato with a dash of goats cheese. How good do they all sound?

            My Little Piccolo Stage 3 indivual pots My Little Piccolo stage 3 pot Microwave instructions
            Each My Little Piccolo Stage 3 pot comes in a lovely little outer cardboard sleeve which holds two small plastic pots that contain the pasta/quinoa and the sauce. On the back of the sleeve you can find the microwave instructions to heat the pots up.It's quick and easy just shake the pots well and pour the pasta (or quinoa) into the sauce  and heat in the microwave. There's nothing to it! The great thing is they don't need to be heated up at all, so they are perfect for taking out and about with you for quick lunches or dinners.

            Inside the my little piccolo sleeve Inside the sleeve
            Inside each sleeve is some information on what My little Piccolo is all about, the Mediterranean balanced diet. As you can see above there is a chart for which food are consumed daily in the diet so that can include milk, vegetables and fruits while on a weekly basis it would have chicken, fish and other proteins while more forms of red meats are found at the top in the monthly section. I like that all the information is right there on the packaging to help you make informed decisions and to be aware of what your baby is really getting from their meal. Which leads me to another feature inside the sleeve. It shows you all the ingredients which are found inside your My Little Piccolo meals! I love that it not only tells you but each had their own picture to make it very clear. Perfect for a quick glance and knowing what you giving them.

            Baby S loved My Little Piccolo Stage 3 so much she had to feed herself! Baby S loved the stage 3 My little Piccolo Pasta
            Baby S couldn't wait to get stuck in, she took quite the interest in the lovely packaging but what she really loved was what it held inside. She watched (very impatiently, I might add) as I got the My Little Piccolo Baby pasta with sweet potato bolognese ready for her to try along with this adorable little wooden spoon. Within  seconds of me starting to feed her she was wanting more and more! As you can see above she wasn't even waiting to have an empty mouth for the next spoonful. At one point she gave up on me feeding her and started to take the food filled spoon. A huge first for Baby S, she got it in her mouth too!

            We did take the My Little Piccolo Baby Pasta with Vegetable and Kale Pesto when out visiting family. I must say this was my least favourite but only because the pesto green colour made it look a bit off putting. Although Baby S didn't seem to care very much about the appearance. It smelt lovely and she enjoyed the majority of the pot.

            Baby S simply couldn't wait to try My Little Piccolo Stage 3 Quinoa and Ratatouille
            By the time it came to trying out the My Little Piccolo Quinoa with Vegetable Ratatouille recipe she was becoming a little pro. Although I tried I couldn't get one photo of her not moving. As you can see she was rather determined to get the spoon and give it a try. I think this one has to be the favourite for her. She almost ate the entire bowl which is a little bigger than her usual portion.

            We have loved all of the My Little Piccolo range that we have tried, Baby S has not yet found one she doesn't like but I must say that this stage 3 range has to be at the top of our favourites. It's perfect for children moving onto lumpy food and even beyond, the lumps and chunks are perfect for toddlers learning to use a spoon too. If your at this stage in your weaning journey I would highly recommend you give them a try. The variety of new flavour combinations and textures is perfect for adding to your weaning journey.

            Piccolo Organic Baby Food Stage 3 range is available in Tesco (£2.20). My Little Piccolo Quinoa and Vegetable Ratatouille and My Little Piccolo Baby Pasta with Sweet Potato Bolognese are available online.


            Disclaimer: We received the products featured in this post in return for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own.
            Monday, 23 April 2018

            Our Family Photo shoot

            In January I was lucky enough to win a photo shoot session with a local studio, Little Fox Photography . I was so excited! We had been talking about wanting to book in and get some professional photos taken of both D and Baby S. We had a fantastic time despite my worries of it being awkward or the children just going crazy through the whole thing. Ricky, the owner and photographer of Little Fox Photography is so friendly and mostly let both D and Baby S do their own thing, they played, laughed, found some toys and played more. Baby S got a little fussy every now and then, we just let her come get a cuddle and D played around with Simon. It couldn't have gone any better!

            I was delighted with the photos which we decided to purchase after. They are all just so good! I've got a few favourites and I had planned to choose my top 10 favourites from the shoot but it was just too difficult, instead I have my top 12 which I wanted to share today.

            D's cute face - Little Fox Photography

            D's 'cute face' we see this face quite often but it is rarely caught on camera.

            Baby S looking to the right - little fox photography

            This has to be my favourite of Baby S, drool and all!  A friend recently told me that she loves how Baby S looks at me, like I am her whole world. Right here I can really see what she meant.

            D looking at the camera - Little Fox Photography
            I have a thing about D's eyes, I could spend hours taking photos with his big brown eyes gazing at me. They just draw you in.

            D smiling - Little Fox Photography

            You may have noticed that I do love a little black and white. Each of the shots came in both black and white as well as colour but this is one of my favourites in black and white.

            D's Star Wars & Batman pose - Little Fox Photography

            D is superhero obsessed. He particularly loves Batman, which he'd worn on the day. He'd recently started to love Star Wars too. Although they clash here, it's in a pretty epic way!

            D and Simon lightsabor fighting - Little Fox photography
            Light saber fight! Play fighting happens on a daily basis in our house so this is so natural for Simon and D.

            D - Little Fox Photography
            What's not to love about that little smile?

            D and Baby S with a unicorn toy - Little Fox Photography
            D and Baby S adore playing together. They both loved this little crocheted unicorn as you can see. Although neither is looking in this shot. I love how natural it is.

            D and Baby S up close together - Little Fox Photography
            Baby S and D look so similar, maybe not now but Baby S has so many features that D had as a baby. I love that right here their eyes are so contrasting. His brown beside her blue.

            Simon, D, Baby S and I - Little Fox Photography.jpg
            The final favourite is this shot of all 4 of us. I've said before about how I struggle to get a shot if us all looking at the camera. This is perfect.
            Sunday, 22 April 2018

            Project 365 - Week 16

            15th April {Day 104}

            Project 365 - Day 104 - April 15th

            16th April {Day 105}

            Project 365 - Day 105 - April 16th

            17th April {Day 106}

            Project 365 - Day 106 - April 17th

            18th April {Day 107}

            Project 365 - Day 107 - April 18th

            19th April {Day 108}

            Project 365 - Day 108 - April 19th

            20th April {Day 109}

            Project 365 - Day 109 - April 20th

            21st April {Day 110} 

            Project 365 - Day 110 - April 21st

            It's been parent and teachers meetings this past week at D's school, which meant he was getting out just over an hour early. He's doing great by the way. There will be a full school update coming soon for D.

            The timing was perfect with the beautiful weather we having been having. Most of the week has been spent out at parks, playing, visiting family, family walks and exploring. The days we did stay home we baked, played games and had fun together. The week was finished by a day at the Spring Fair.

            We are now set for the rain again, it's already started this morning but I am so looking forward to summer and all the fun we can get up to!

            Has your week been filled with fun in the sun too?


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