Friday, 30 November 2018

Tommee Tippee Steamer Blender {Review}

It's hard to believe that this time last year we started our weaning journey with Scarlet. A year later and there are still new tastes and food experiences we've yet to try. It has been an exciting journey for everyone and there is plenty more to come. We're still home cooking most meals for everyone and Scarlet is no exception. When Tommee Tippee got in touch with me to try their Steamer Blender out I knew it would be perfect for those meals Scarlet has that are adjusted for spice and for quick lunches through this winter.

The Tommee Tippee Steamer Blender will take the stress out of cooking fresh recipes for you baby through their weaning journey. Not to mention taking half the time. Designed to be quick and easy to use the Tommee Tippee Steamer Blender is perfect for busy parents who want to give their baby or toddler healthy home cooked meals and tastes. By using steam to cook meals for your little one you won't loose any of those vitamins, minerals and all round goodness the food contains. Which makes the Tommee Tippee Steamer Blender perfect for weaning from the start.

Inside the box the Tommee Tippee Steamer Blender is already assembled and only requires you to remove the packaging and give everything a wash before it's ready to use. The box contains the care instructions on how to wash and use your Tommee Tippee Steamer Blender, a recipe idea book for all stages of weaning, the Tommee Tippee Steamer Blender machine, a spatula and two Tommee Tippee pop up freezer pots. 

To get started on using your Tommee Tippee Steamer Blender it needs to have 450ml of water added into the water container. This is located at the top of the machine and can be opened by turning the smaller black circle to the unlock position and lifting up. Just fill it up with your water and close. The second larger dial is what locks the food jug in place for steaming and blending. 

Once your filled up and ready to go you need to choose a recipe you want to make. With various selections in the recipe book inside the box for every stage you'll not be short on ideas! There is everything from super smooth first tastes right up to chunky recipes perfect for toddlers over the age of one. You can make any recipe you can think up in the Tommee Tippee Steamer Blender too.

 I started with the Mexican Red Meat Mash Up which is basically Chilli Con Carne. A favourite of Scarlet's. To get started I got all our ingredients together. 
You'll need: 50g lean beef mince, 25g Onion, 25g red pepper, 25g red kidney beans (tinned), 50g chopped tomatoes (I used 4 baby plum tomatoes) and a pinch of chilli powder.

Chop up all the ingredients and in the Tommee Tippee Steamer Blender jug add the mince, onion and pepper. Pop onto the machine and you just need to set the time you want to steam it for. This recipe calls for a 10 minute steaming period to start. 

Once steamed remove the excess liquid you can see above before adding in the other ingredients. Pop it back on the steamer and set it to steam for another 15 minutes. I do recommend keeping the Tommee Tippee Steamer Blender in an open and ventilated area since it does push out a lot of steam. You don't want to use it while it is under a kitchen unit or shelves. The final two steps are to drain out the liquid again and then to blend using the blender setting. Since Scarlet is almost 18 months I used the recommended on the recipe which was 4-10 seconds. This made a nice consistency for Scarlet without big chunks. I do think by blending for longer you could make a smoother consistency. 

All that is left is to add in some basmati rice and enjoy! I did find that this recipe made enough for two potions when the rice is added which is perfect for a lunch and dinner over two days. Great since all you need to do is keep the extra mix to heat up and add rice. As you can see Scarlet wolfed the lot down! She loved this recipe and I love just how easy it was to make. I used the extra time when this cooked to get us both dressed after a a lazy morning at home.

During the earlier stages of weaning you want recipes that are simple, taste good but that also contain one or two flavours to allow your baby to adjust. The recipe book has some great ideas to use the Tommee Tippee Steamer Blender to whip up something for every taste. I love that even now these make for great dipping sauces for finger food as well as being great to add extra to some yoghurt for snacks too. 

I made Scarlet some pear and blueberry puree for a snack using the Tommee Tippee Steamer Blender. Just as before you need to chop up the pear after you've washed, peeled and removed the core. Pop it in the Tommee Tippee Steamer Blender with the 25g of blueberries and steam for 15 minutes. Drain the liquid out and blend it up for 20-30 seconds. I did ours for 30 seconds although 20 would be plenty for more texture when your baby is 7 months or over. 

I added ours to a pot and allowed it to cool down ready to add to some yogurt for dessert later that day. Although it can be used on it's own, add some crumbled up biscuit or fresh baked crumble mix while still warm for the perfect toddler dessert. You can even remove half of the mix before blending to add some chunks back in for toddlers if your making a quick crumble dessert. The possibilities are almost endless! 

What I loved about the Tommee Tippee Steamer Blender was that even at the end it was super easy to clean all the components. The blade comes off the blender pot by twisting the bottom and holding the blade in place with your finger. simply wash and dry everything before reassembling and your ready to go!

I can't recommend the Tommee Tippee Steamer Blender enough. I actually wish we'd had one from the start of weaning journey. I made as much of Scarlet's food myself as I could and I still do. I know that even though she's 18 months we will be using the Tommee Tippee Steamer Blender for many more months to come. It's perfect for quick easy cooking for babies and toddlers. Just what every parent needs through the weaning journey. 

You can purchase your own Tommee Tippee Steamer blender (RRP £117.49)  from Amazon (click the link), Argos, Dunelm, George, Very and Boots.

Disclaimer: The product featured above have been sent to us for this review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. 
Thursday, 22 November 2018

Visit Santa at Belfast's Continental Christmas Market & Help Pretty 'n' Pink

Christmas is well and truly under way with last weekend marking the start of the season with Belfast's Christmas lights officially switched on. This week all around the country lights switch on and Christmas markets open to the masses. The infamous Belfast Continental Christmas Market is already here and is open right through to 22nd December. 

Inside the market you'll find an array of food, drinks and all manor of unique items. You'll also find Santa himself! Each year Santa is a unique part of Belfast's Continental Christmas Market. What you might not know is that each year the Lord Mayor's Charity of the year is responsible for all things Santa related and it's the chosen charity who will be hosting Santa and his elves for everyone who visits.

This year that charity is one that is close to my own heart and one which we ensure to support throughout the entire year when we can. A unique charity here since they are the only registered Breast Cancer charity in Northern Ireland! Pretty 'n' Pink started over a decade ago in 2006 by the founder Noleen Adair. An inspirational woman who despite battling cancer herself still campaigned and fund-raised with her small team of volunteers for Pretty 'n' Pink. The charity helps women diagnosed with breast cancer and their families through the funds raised. These funds can be used to help take the financial strain that breast cancer diagnosis can put on people and their families. It can provide home heating, travel expenses, clothing, mortgage or rent payments, specialist bra's or swimwear and even for adapting homes to meet their new needs. The funds can also be used to provide additional therapies for patients too. 

Pretty 'n' Pink is the Lord Mayors charity of the year and this year they've helped Santa to embrace all things pink as well as red. Santa's hut is decorated in a style that is festive, fun and very Pink. Which is only fitting since we are talking about Pretty 'n' Pink. 

Santa, his elves and his helpers from Pretty 'n' Pink are going to be working hard the whole way through the end of November and into December. They will be on hand to ensure Santa is available for all the children and families who will visit Belfast's Continental Christmas Market this year by opening every day. 

You will be able to visit Santa and his team during these opening hours:

Monday - 3pm to 6pm
Tuesday - 3pm to 6pm
Wednesday - 3pm to 6pm
Thursday - 12pm - 7pm
Friday - 12pm - 7pm
Saturday - 10am - 7pm
Sunday - 12pm - 6pm

Visiting Santa includes going inside his grotto, A gift from Santa along with a photograph for just £10. For two children you will pay £15 and each will receive a gift. 
Additional Photos cost £5.

The whole experience will stand out and be remembered by all I'm sure.

*The photographs featured belong to Pretty 'n' Pink. I have permission to share them.*

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Christmas Gift Ideas for the Food lovers in your life

Christmas is creeping up on us again and as we pass the middle of November my thoughts have turned to gifts. Finding that great gift for everyone is hard work. I'm hoping to take some of that hard work away for you this year with our gift ideas. Today I'm sharing the first which is for all the food lovers in your life. 

We all know a tea lover or two and the new Aduna Super Teas would make the perfect gift for them. With five different tea flavours to choose from each is boosted with African superfoods. Yep, tea that makes you feel good! They have everything from tea to help you relax (How good does cinnamon spiced cacao tea sound?) right through to a cleansing tea (great for that after Christmas detox we all need!) Plus the Aduna Super Tea are all organic and natural. 
You can purchase all five flavours in the Aduna Super Tea range including Relax (the box featured above), Vitality, Cleanse, Radiance and Detox in single tea bags(£0.99), a box (£4.99) and three boxes (£13.99).

Another foodie I am sure we all need to think about is the one who loves spices! Yes you know that one family member or friend who adores to make great dishes filled with amazing flavours and spices from all over. We've got you covered there or I should say The Spice Pioneer has you covered. A subscription box which delivers spice kits for every spice you need to create a wonderful meal from somewhere around the world. What is even better is every month there is a new kit with a new recipe to try. This is the gift your spice lover will look forward to even after Christmas has past. 
Above you can see two different kits which create 
You can purchase The Spice Pioneer kits in a gift bundle which is perfect for Christmas time. With three options of a three month (£27), six month (£52.50) and twelve month (£99) subscription to choose from there is something to suit everyone and all different budgets too. 

For us one of the ultimate food gifts at Christmas is fudge. It's not really an event without some in our house! Christmas is no different. However we do try to go for something a little different at Christmas time. This year we will be indulging in some of Iceland's Luxury Fudge range which has just hit the shelves. With a variety of choice in the range that includes clotted cream, salted caramel and Belgium chocolate you can't really go wrong. 
You can purchase the Luxury Fudge Range from Iceland in store and online for just £1.50 per box or they also have a large tree shaped set which includes the whole range for £8

I say it every year but we cannot forget the chocolate lovers! Every year we enjoy of chocolates with friends and family across the UK. This year will be no different and my own personal favourite is Nestle Dairy Box. Filled with delicious,flavour filled chocolate treats to enjoy over the festive period this is the only gift I insist Simon must buy me every year. 
You can Purchase Nestle Dairy Box from Tesco and most other major supermarkets for around £3.

I'm not sure Christmas would be complete without some shortbread. I love to include shortbread as a little filler gift each year. The smaller tins are perfect for slotting into hampers nicely or simply wrapping on it's own as a little filler gift. They are delicious to enjoy with a hot cup of tea or coffee when you find a minute on Christmas day and in the week that follows. 
This little tin of Scottish shortbread is available in Poundland at just £1 so it's a real bargain to include as a little extra.

Hopefully I have helped you to find that gift you've been looking to find for the foodie in your life. Be sure to check back if your still in need of gifts for everyone else as I will be sharing more gift ideas over the coming weeks as we drive closer to the big day!

*This is collaborative post*

Monday, 12 November 2018

What We're Reading - Hey! What's That Nasty Whiff?

We've been busy the last month with preparing for the time Christmas would come around. We'd planned to do up the bedrooms ready for Scarlet to join Dylan and for me to get my bed back. So far it hasn't happened. We did make a start but there is still so much to do. It did mean I hadn't changed the books in October and for the last two months Dylan has been enjoying just a few books from the selection. 

There has been a very clear favourite and it was actually a new book we'd picked up. Hey! What's That Nasty Whiff? by Julia Jarman is a sweet but very important story about pollution. 

Based in a Savannah you follow the story of Hyena who was a cleaner. She keeps all the Savannah clean and tidy. She recycles, has a compost heap and grows her own food for the animals. The problem is that nobody notices all the hard work she does and she feels quite down about it all. 

Hyena discovers that she's not the only one, a Vulture cleans up in the trees and has done for many years. Both feel unappreciated and decide they deserve a holiday which should teach the other animals about all their work. With nobody around to clean up all the waste and to look after the Savannah things get quite dirty and smelly. The other animals start to notice a very nasty pong. They must find a way to convince Hyena to come home! But it might not be so easy.

Accompanying the story are lovely bright pictures that bring the story to life. All the animals are friendly and have a unique but recognisable look that clearly shows their emotions as well as the animals own characteristics. Gary Parsons has done a fantastic job with his illustrations. 

The story is one which I can connect to on a very personal level both at home and when it comes to the way we view the whole world and the problem of pollution. I love how Julia Jarman has really brought the reality of how bad pollution is and how important it is that we all as a collective people worry as well as take steps to protect our world. She expresses all of it in a fun and entertaining way that children will love. Dylan is aware of the plant and the reasons we need to look after it, We recycle together and we use reusable cups, Scarlet wears cloth nappies and Dylan helps us to do some of this but he can always know more. 

Through reading Hey! What's That Nasty Whiff? Dylan has learnt about why it is important that we do look after the world and we do all we can to reuse or recycle. Finding out what happens if we don't clean, tidy and look after the world has shown him that things will change and they won't be for the better. 

 We try to involve Dylan in keeping our house tidy and we always have. It's important that he knows it takes some work and time to clean and tidy but it is something we must do. I am usually the one who cleans and tidies up after everyone and as much as I know it has to be done I do sometimes feel it goes unappreciated and expected for the most part. Reading Hey! What's That Nasty Whiff? has also shown Dylan that everyone needs to help at home too. 

Friday, 9 November 2018

Ready 2 Robots the Build-able battling Collectables {Review}

For years now Dylan has loved collecting toys, it started with toy cars and progressed on to include a large selection of little collectibles. We've had gross, cute, weird and so much more but a new collectible that has recently came out is Ready 2 Robots from MGA Entertainment. Collectible figures that you build up, swap out some parts and battle them off. A collectible toy made for playing and exchanging. 

With a large selection of packs to choose from there is something to suit everyone and for every budget. There are options for little gifts for Christmas or Birthday's right through to something for a bigger present that wouldn't break the bank. We received three different packs to try out from Ready 2 Robots including a Ready 2 Robots Bot Brawlers (RRP £9.99), Ready 2 Robots Bot Blasters Pack (£14.99) and Ready 2 Robots Tag-Team Battle Pack (RRP £19.99). Dylan was really excited when we brought out the Ready 2 Robots. He's seen the advertisement on TV and declared that these are on his Santa list. 

We started with the smaller Ready 2 Robots Bot Brawler pack we got and unwrapped the grey capsule that contained our Mechbot. With the capsule containing four compartments which slide off in order to reveal a selection of coloured blind bags. The Mechbots come in parts starting with a body, arms, legs and their battle tools on each Mechbots back. Each blind bag in the capsule contains a part for your robot. As you can see Dylan was just delighted to find all the blind bags! I must say I was really impressed with the mechanics of opening up the capsule. Often collectibles don't have a whole lot of fun in the opening process but with the Ready 2 Robots it felt more like a fun game. 

The last section of the capsule contains a hidden pot of slime which is hiding the pilot for your Mechbot. To get at your Pilot and the slime you need to push down on the top of the pot. By pushing down you will pop off the bottom cover so be sure not to do this while it's on a flat surface as Dylan tried to. Once your pot is popped off you can see a little pot with a lid and a peal away plastic film that needs removed. To get your pilot free from the slime you'll need to pull him out. Dylan really loved the slime. We took a little break while he had a play after freeing his pilot and building his robot. Once he'd finished we popped the slime back in the container and close the lid ready for more play later. 

Inside the second pack the Ready 2 Robots Blasters Pack we received an extra mini bot weapon accessory. There are four different Blasters packs in the Ready 2 Robots selection and each contains a different mini bot weapon accessory which you can see through the right hand window in the pack. We have pack number two which contains a little mini bot that launches a spinner into the air by pressing on his nose. This mini bot is already assembled however you can take off it's legs and swap them out with ones from other robots if you want to add to the fun. Inside this pack you'll also receive a capsule just like the Ready 2 Robots Bot Brawler pack however inside these Blasters packs you will get the matching Mechbot for the mini bot weapon accessory. I love that this means there won't be any need to buy this pack again and you will get a new Mechbot with each Blasters Pack. The capsule as you can see is a lighter grey and inside it contains a different coloured slime too. Dylan liked the surprise that the slime can be different colours too. 

The final pack was of course the biggest of the three, the Ready 2 Robots Tag Team Battle Pack. Inside this pack you can see a whole already built Mechbot alongside a weapon to build up for some even bigger battling. Just like the previous pack it also has it's own capsule to unpack and discover. 

This capsule was a black colour and inside it contained the matching Mechbot for this Tag-Team Pack. In the capsule was another coloured pot of slime that hid away the pilot. Again this was also a new colour. All together we got three different coloured slime capsules. Each also had it's own texture and consistency. Which I think does add to the play experience too. 

The Ready 2 Robots Tag-Team Battle Pack is part of the selection of four packs that each contain two Mechbots and an extra weapon. Each pack in this selection will contain two Mechbots that are a matching pair. Adding onto your collection with the safety that this will contain new Mechbots. I think this element is fantastic when it comes to giving Ready 2 Robots as gifts. You can safely point a friend or family member to the right set and know your getting new Mechbots.

Dylan now has a great starting point in his collection with just these three packs. He's really excited about adding to it too. You can see all the Mechbots above. 

Ready 2 Robots will be sure to be a huge hit this Christmas and I am sure are already on so many Christmas Lists. I know for one that they are staying firmly on Dylan's He's already announced that Santa will bring him more if he is really good. I really do think these are great and with 18 Mechbots to collect outside the Bot Blasters and Battle Packs there will be plenty to collect even after Christmas has come around. 

You can purchase Ready 2 Robots from most major toy stores such as Smyths who currently (at the date of publishing this) have Ready 2 Robots on sale. 

Disclaimer: We received the products featured. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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