bump update

26 Weeks Pregnant

Thursday, May 29, 2014

I am now 26 weeks pregnant. Just 13 weeks to go! After seeing the midwife last Wednesday I now know what is causing me so much pain and understand why it seems to come in a pattern. When I work on a Thursday I spend 7.5 hours of my 9 hour shift sitting on a computer chair. The position it puts me in makes the baby move around to a position that is very uncomfortable for me and causes me pain. As soon as the midwife suggested it, it made perfect sense. Thursday is my longest working day and after five hours I'm in agony. I then go home in pain and end up in bed early curled up with my pregnancy pillow ready for my next shift early Friday morning. 


My midwife was slightly concerned about my sugar levels, luckily I was already booked in for a GTT ( Glucose Tolerance Test) thanks to my tendency to have huge babies, which is next week as she thinks I could possibly have gestational diabetes (just as I have a few symptoms which could be indicators) She has also booked me a growth scan as my consultants decided not to see me through this pregnancy or do any tests to see how big baby will be. I have to say I have a pretty awesome midwife who really goes out of her way to make sure everything is ok. Will be nice to see baby again and I am curious to see what size she is measuring so far.

The kids have been really cute this week. They are noticing my growing bump and although I know Gracie understands what is happening and has been excited for a while, Zach seems to be learning too. He is calling my belly 'Baba' and keeps pulling my top up and kissing and gently striking my belly. He can be so cute when he wants to be and I think he will be an amazing big brother!

I'm getting really excited now. Since sorting through the spare wardrobe ready for baby stuff at the beginning of the week, I've been adding quite a few little bits to her wardrobe and treated her to some new clothes in the Tesco sale the other day. The baby stash is certainly building up. I will have to do a stash post soon and show you what I've got so far and what I'm excited to use!

I'm getting more and more nervous about not having the big things ready yet though! I still need a cot and a pushchair, because every new baby needs a new pushchair...right?! Oh and not forgetting the small issue of needing a car big enough for three car seats!! 

Suddenly 13 weeks seems so close!


Blog On MOSI

Blog On Mosi

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A few weeks ago I spent a day at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester (MOSI) with lots of other bloggers for a day of learning about blogging and meeting up with other bloggers and brands at the same time. 


The day before me and Hannah (A New Addition) travelled from Coventry to Manchester so that we could explore Manchester and meet up with some other bloggers before the big day. We went on a little shopping spree in Primark and on the Big Wheel with Clare (Ninja Killer Cat) where we saw the sites of Manchester from up high. We had dinner at Wagamama, if you've read my 23 weeks pregnant post you will see how that went a bit wrong for me!


Early Sunday morning we were picked up from McDonalds after a yummy breakfast by Colette from We're Going On An Adventure (who was the best chauffeur all weekend!) and headed to MOSI. The venue itself was a spectacular place to hold any kind of conference. We got there just in time for the first Keynote speech with Brad from cbias followed by the first session of the day. 

In the first session I learnt all about cbias and their plans for the future before joining in a discussion on how to make the most of Facebook pages for your blog with Jennifer Dixon at My Mummy's Pennies. I didn't realise until I got home and put things into action just how much I learnt at the Facebook session. Unfortunately I didn't have time to also learn more about Pinterest and Google+ as they are two platforms I really need to improve on. 

The next session was creative copy. Now this one I enjoyed but also was happy to realise that I didn't care much about changing the way I blog. Sometimes I blog a lot, others I take time away. Sometimes I do really creative posts and others I write just because I want to share something and that has always been my intention with my blog. I think it is important to enjoy what you are writing in order to keep motivated. I loved hearing about their blogs and their advice and was happy to come out of the session feeling proud about my little blog!

The final session was photography. I was intrigued before even entering the session to find out more about mobile photography as I use my mobile for all photos on my blog at the moment. I missed most of the talk but came home with an awesome print off with hpmcq's favourite apps for taking photos and photo editing. I also sat in with Emily A Mummy Too's photoshop session which was awesome! It was amazing looking at the finished product and what you can do with just a few of photoshops tools. I'm aiming to save up for a decent camera for me sometime soon so was great to see what I can do with my photos once I've got one. I was gutted this session wasn't longer because I really wanted to see what Capture by Lucy had to show off seeing the huge selection of props she took with her! I always worry my photos look rubbish as I don't set much of a scene around them. Although I missed her I did get a copy of the colour chart she brought with her which she explained to me how to use on Twitter which was lovely! 

The day ended with another keynote before we picked up our massive collection of goody bags! Put it this way it was a good job I took a huge suitcase with me to get it home on the train. 

I had a lovely weekend and met lots of lovely people but I was so glad to get home to my little monsters! I got home to find two cheeky faces still awake way past bedtime waiting to give me huge cuddles. A great end to a great weekend!


competitions

Hotel Chocolat Father's Day Competition

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The lovely team at Hotel Chocolat gave me the option of reviewing some chocolate for Father's Day or giving some away to a lucky reader. As I was feeling generous and thought you guys deserve a chance of winning a special treat I decided to run the competition. If you haven't tried Hotel Chocolat before you can read or review of some of their Christmas Chocolates here. They are a firm favourite for me now!

Right so the prize is this rather fabby Hotel Chocolat Father's Day Collection set worth £15.

All you have to do is follow the instructions on the rafflecopter form below. 

Good Luck!

Terms and conditions.
Open to UK only. The competition will end 07/06/2014 at 12am.  All entrants must complete the mandatory entry on the rafflecopter form. Those who don't will have all entries removed. The blog owner will choose the winner through the rafflecopter form (which uses random.org) The winner will be notified by email and displayed on the widgetOne winner will receive a Father's Day Collection box. No alternative prize will be offered. Please allow up to 28 days for delivery of prize. We can't guarantee delivery in time for Father's Day but will do our best to get it to you in time.

beach

Our 2014 Family Holiday: Haven Riviere Sands

Saturday, May 24, 2014

As you may know already, thanks to all the photos I have shared over the last week, we were on our family holiday Monday to Friday last week. We booked up to go using the Sun Holiday scheme so it cost us less than £100 for the four of us overall (minus spending money). For the past four/five years we have been going to Haven on our holidays and this year we chose to try another of their sites that we hadn't been to before. As we love Cornwall we chose Riviere Sands Holiday Park. You can read about our last Haven Holiday at Burnham On Sea here

Our first evening on the on site beach

We got to the park late on Monday at around 6.30pm after a nightmare 5.5 hour journey with the kids so weren't in the best of moods. We checked in, the lady who helped me check in was lovely and very helpful explaining all I needed to know about the park. We decided to throw most of the stuff straight in the caravan and take a stroll to look at the beach. It was the best decision we had made all day. In all honesty the on site beach is THE most beautiful I have seen in the UK. We spent a good hour watching the sea and climbing the rocks and the kids loved it. We then went back for fish and chips at the on site chip shop. I did find that this was massively overpriced for the portion size and quality of food. After food we spent a bit of time in the arcade and watching the nights entertainment. We all really liked the size of the entertainment hall and arcades.
Sandcastles in St.Ives Harbour
St.Ives Harbour after the tide came in
Gracie with Lifeguard Polly and Rory the Tiger

On our first full day we visited St Ives which is just a short car journey away. I've been to St Ives before and wanted to show the kids how lovely it is. As soon as we parked up we bought the kids some buckets and spades and actually sat in the Harbour as the tide was out. It is pretty amazing that people can just sit in the harbour on the sand like any old beach while the tide is out. We spent an hour or so building sandcastles in the glorious sunshine before heading off to find food. We stopped at a beach front restaurant which I think was called The Hub? which made the best burger I had ever eaten! The food was all completely fresh, hand cut chips, battered onion rings and the meat was just amazing. The prices were great for a beach front restaurant too. Once we had eaten and had a walk around the harbour we noticed the tide had come in and where we had been sat just an hour earlier was now full of water. That evening we managed to make the character FunTime show. Gracie loved the show and then insisted we went every night.

Piglets at Roskilly's Farm



On Wednesday we had another day out this time to Roskilly's farm in Helston, Cornwall. We decided to visit after a recommendation from Jen at My Mummy's Pennies. The farm is a brilliant place to visit whether you have children or not. There are lovely trails to walk and explore. You can see the animals in the fields. They have a big range of animals on the farm we loved the piglets and the chickens. We had a lovely spot of lunch in the cafe' garden followed by some lovely fresh Cornish Ice Cream made on site. (Roskilly's is one of the most popular makers of Ice Cream in Cornwall). I would definitely recommend a visit if you are ever local as it is completely free to visit and you can easily spend all day there. After the farm we went for dinner at Bluff Inn which is a pub just offsite but is used for character breakfasts etc. by Haven. The Bluff Inn has very friendly staff and a beautiful sea view. It was lovely eating dinner with a view out to sea. Of course we went back to the FunTime show once we had eaten for the nights entertainment. Although after the kids shows we walked to the other side of the park to find the other beach access and managed to see the sun setting over the sea which was beautiful.



Thursday was our last full day and we drove to Falmouth to visit my younger brother who is at University there. We hadn't seen him since Christmas so was nice to catch up. We spent the day on one of his local beaches, making sandcastles and paddling in the sea before going into town for a nice meal. We very narrowly made it back for the FunTime show that evening where they had a special show for all of us who would be leaving the following day. The kids had so much fun as all their favourite characters were together and even got a photo with them. We were actually all sad that it was our last night as it was such a lovely place. The service was fantastic from all the staff. Even the security guy who let us in and out every night made friends with the kids and they always looked out for him to give him high fives! 


So Friday was our last day and we were packed up and out before 9am (a record for us!) so we popped our keys in the postage box and headed to the Bluff Inn for breakfast. I had forgotten that they hold character breakfasts there so the kids were pleasantly surprised to have both Rory the Tiger and Greedy the Monkey come and see them at the breakfast table. The breakfast was yummy too and the lovely guys there substituted the items on the kids breakfast for Zach as he couldn't have a few of the items due to his allergies meaning he still had a big filling breakfast with no extra charge. We then spent an hour on the beach before making the long journey home.

 Of all the Haven sites we have ever stayed at this is my favourite (Close behind Perren Sands). I was a bit sad it didn't have a Papa Johns like most of the others but the amazing beach made up for that! We have all said it has been our favourite family holiday so far and would definitely return. It's just a shame we didn't have a few more days to enjoy it and try out the on site activities as there was so much to offer both on site and the surrounding areas.  You could find something to do or somewhere to go whatever the weather.

Have you been to Haven before? I'd love to hear your thoughts on any of the parks! You might help us choose where to try next time.

25 weeks pregnant

25 Weeks Pregnant

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Have you ever felt like you are going through a pregnancy completely alone? It seems like the novelty of having a baby wore off a long time ago for everyone but me. Is this just normal when you have more than one already? It's certainly a different feeling to a first baby when it's all people want to talk about! I've found the last week or so a struggle especially since last weekends stress of packing for the holiday. I feel like I'm doing everything alone with no help or support. I don't know if it's my hormones or whether it's something I just need to get used to. Our trip to the Baby Show this weekend was lovely, for a whole day I felt like we were making plans for the baby altogether for once but things soon went back to normality when we got home. It is making me feel very stressed I have so much to do to prepare for this baby and I just don't know how to start or what I am actually doing most of the time.



The pains have been pretty bad again lately. At times I've had trouble even standing straight or walking. Not sure if this is normal for a third pregnancy? My midwife has reassured me it's just baby moving into awkward positions and nothing to worry about. I don't think we will ever know what is 'normal' no matter how many pregnancies we have, every pregnancy seems so completely different plus after the first time you also have others to run about after and care for so looking after yourself and resting is out of the question! 

Things are not all bad though, baby has been kicking and moving a lot which is such a reassuring feeling whenever I feel down. In fact she's sending lots of big kicks my way while I'm writing this! The Sunshine has also been very nice I'm glad we've got a bit of sun nice and early this year as I'm sure I won't enjoy it half as much when I'm huge and uncomfortable. I've spent a lot of time playing in the Garden with the kids this week which has been lovely, it'll be the first summer in our new house and with the new arrival coming late summer I know all the pain will be more than worth it.

This next week my plan is to do lots more organising and decluttering to get my room ready for baby and so I can decide what else I need to buy in advance as I know I have so much stuff already! I'm hoping this will help me de-stress a bit and stop worrying about everything. 

I would love some tips on baby essentials to buy before baby arrives? What were your must-haves?


beachwear

Review: Tatty Tot Children's Clothing

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I love having a little girl, especially when it comes to buying summer clothing! We were offered a beautiful Tea Party Dress to review from Tatty Tot Clothing and I couldn't wait to try it out. We received the 'Daisy On Blue' Tea Party dress. The dress came lovingly packaged as you can see below.

 
Gracie tried on her new dress straight away and spent the day out in the garden with me. That day I taught Gracie all about gardening you can read my post on making gardening fun with kids here to see what we got up to as well as some action shots of the dress. Obviously by the end of the day in the garden the dress was covered in mud and grass marks. The label in the dress says to handwash only but Andy put it in the machine as I hadn't told him not to and it came out perfectly fine after a quick wash cycle and has been in a fair few times since. 
 

I have to say this is such an unusual style of dress these days, quite old fashioned but a massive ead turner. Every time she wears it we get people asking about it and whenever I Instagram a photo where she is wearing it, you can guarantee a 'what a lovely dress' comment. We took it on holiday last week and Gracie wore it on the beach and I was amazed at how quickly it dried after paddling in the sea. She didn't need to change into the spare clothes I had taken.
 
 
The only downside we found to the outfit was the matching headband we also received was too small for Gracie's head so I had to untie the pretty bow to tie it around her head but even now it doesn't take long to fall off her head. which is a shame as it looks lovely together! I think she probably needed a larger size headband. 
 
The dress is priced at £49.50 which does sound expensive and was honestly my first thought before I tried it. The quality of materials used making the dress so long lasting make it a worthwhile investment. They also do a collection baby and boys clothes too so it is definitely worth checking out the website.
 
I'm linking up to Tried & Tested. You can click the image below to find all the other posts in the Tried & Tested linky.

Disclaimer
We were sent the items featured free of charge for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

Blooming Lovely Jewellery

Review: Blooming Lovely Jewellery: Mexican Bola Pendant

Monday, May 19, 2014


I have always been interested in the way Mexican Bola pendants work. I have been a fan of the Blooming Lovely Jewellery Facebook page for a long time now and was thrilled to be given the chance to review an item from their range this pregnancy. Blooming Lovely Jewellery actually sell a range of different beautiful styles of jewellery with the Mexican Bola being the one that started it all. I knew I wanted to try one of the bola necklaces but choosing which design was the hard part! After lots of umming and arring I finally went for the Simple Pebble Bola necklace with silver chain. 




When the necklace arrived it came in a lovely little gift bag with a personalised tag congratulating me on my pregnancy which I thought was a lovely touch. Along with the necklace came a small card telling the story behind the necklace.

About your chiming pregnancy necklace... 
This beautiful silver chiming necklace is a wonderful way of bonding with your unborn baby. Traditionally called 'Bola' and worn by pregnant women in Mexico, the chime is worn low over your growing bump allowing the soft tinkling chimes to serenade and soothe your little one as you go about your daily life. When the baby arrives, gently shake your pendant while together and the same beautiful relaxing chimes are said to soothe and calm.
I genuinely love my necklace. It sits beautifully against my bump, looks pretty over any outfit and it seems to be a baby magnet! Not only do my own kids find themselves fascinated by it, but my friends one year old can be found grabbing at it whenever I see her. I have also found it is great for sibling bonding as well as mother/baby bonding. Both Gracie and Zach love to roll it over my bump and shake it for 'baba' to hear as their way of playing with her which is really cute! I find I wear it most days now and have really grown fond of the chiming sound it makes! I did get the feeling I sounded like a cat with a bell collar at first until I realised I wasn't stared at for it when I went out so it is obviously quieter than you think it is!

I think that the Mexican Bola would make THE best gift for a baby shower or if you have a pregnant friends birthday and can no longer buy the staple bottle of wine gift! It would make a very special and personal gift that she can then treasure and make her feel extra special herself. 

The Mexican Bola comes in five different designs and you can choose from four different neck cords. I opted for the simple silver chain but the (material ones) are lovely and unique. The choices make it easier to choose one that suits your personality and style so that it is perfect for you. I have to add I also love the Mama-to-Bee collection too the bracelets are beautiful! Definitely worth checking out.

The necklaces are available to buy at www.blooming-lovely-jewellery.co.uk and don't forget to follow their social media pages (They are lovely so feel free to go over and say Hi!)


Disclaimer
I was sent the Mexican bola necklace free of charge for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

The Baby Show 2014

Saturday, May 17, 2014

We've spent the day today at the NEC Birmingham for The Baby Show 2014. The Baby Show is the UK's number one pregnancy and parenting event attended by hundreds of the most reputable names in the baby business and of course showcases lots of great new innovative products every year.


What I love about The Baby Show is that for me I get to meet the faces behind emails and Twitter accounts. I follow many of these companies on their social media accounts and love to see what they are up to. It's nice to get demonstrations on their new products. It is also great for meeting new people and finding products I didn't know much about. With us expecting baby number three in a few months I was interested in looking at the different pushchairs on the market at the moment. I'd been eyeing up the Stokke Xplory, which isn't new, but it is one I've always wanted a play with. I got a great demonstration on the stand and they even let me try Zach in the seat so I could see the size and comfort of the seat unit.

I also had to stop off at the Cosatto stand as I'm a huge fan and we've bought many Cosatto items in the past. On the Cosatto stand the two main attractions are the Giggle and the Ooba travel systems. I love the Giggle in 'Pixelate' and 'Red Bubble' the patterns are so eye catching and I love to have a pushchair that stands out. I also love and recommend the Ooba! We were lucky enough to be loaned the Ooba for a few hours to see what we thought and surprisingly we all loved it. Andy doesn't usually feel pushchair love but he was really impressed by the Ooba. Here is Zach road testing it, as you can see he definitely approved!
If you love a good gadget you must visit the Foppapedretti stand and ask for a demo of the MYO Tronic. It is an electronic pushchair which is compatible with carrycot, seat unit or car seat and features a battery powered electric motor that propels at an adjustable speed, eliminating the effort of pushing and it is all operated from the adjustable handle bar. I was in awe of this pushchair, it is just so clever and I was amazed when I got to push it myself. Definitely worth a look! They do have a non electric version which is massively cheaper and the only difference is the missing motor so if you are looking for a more reasonably priced pushchair you could also take a look at that too.

Of course The Baby Show is about more than just pushchairs! A few other products that caught my eye were the new Fisher Price Step & Play Jumperoo, I actually saw a baby playing in this so saw it in all it's glory and it is fantastic as well as entertaining a small child with stimulating colours and the ability to bounce, the new jumperoo can also move forwards and backwards to help baby with their first steps. I also got to see the new glass bottles from MAM which I had been curious to see. Like all MAM bottles they look fab and they are not how I expected them to be at all. When you think of glass bottles you think of flimsy glass and wonder if they are safe but these seemed very strong and are half price for the duration of the show.

The play areas at the show are fab. I took both kids with me (Gracie is 3.5yrs and Zach 18 months) and they both loved playing in the Fisher Price and Vtech play stations. Both have toys set out in a small area with seats for adults to supervise their children. I loved how Fisher Price had thrown in one or two retro toys for the kids to enjoy too! Vtech had a giant teddy on hand to give kids cuddles and high fives which my two took full advantage of. 


Don't forget to pick up a Prima Baby & Pregnancy goody bag while you are there for just £2. As usual they have filled it with lots of fab little bits for pregnant women as well as young children. There were a few little toys and a sticker book my two claimed, a few bits like nappies/cream I've put away for baby number 3 and a lovely Cusson's Mum and Me set for me to enjoy along with some Breastfeeding bits and a small MAM self-sterilising bottle.

We also went to have pictures taken of the kids at the Bumpkins 'Face of the Baby Show' competition area. I wasn't keen on the kids single photos, they don't like strangers taking their photos but we got a lovely photo of the four of us which is very rare! Definitely worth a stop as there is no obligation to buy pics you don't like! 


guest post

Guest Post: Emmy's Mummy talks Mud Pies

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Today we have another wonderful guest post. This time from Clare at Emmy's Mummy. Clare is mum to Emmy, 4 and Harry, 1 and she wants to tell us all about the fun they've been having making mud pies in the garden. What a fun idea!
Letting kids determine play!
Over the bank holiday weekend it was very warm here.  We had a family BBQ planned and if I'm honest I was completely worn out after a busy week.
BBQ's are the hubby's domain, well it is the only type of cooking he will ever do sadly.
We have recently reviewed a Step2 kitchen from Activity Toys.

The kids both love it.  It has been in my kitchen ever since however I had plans for this when the weather was finally nice enough to spend time outside.


I was planning to put it inside the kids playhouse, sadly their playhouse is too small so instead I've put it in the kitchen and turned into a mud pie station.
I filled a large flower pot up with soil and left an old water table filled with water nearby.
Found some old flower pots, plastic cups and spoons and left the children to explore.
It didn't need explaining or demonstrating, that's the joyous thing about children.


They both got stuck in and loved it. 
I won't lie, it was messy, very messy but they had so much fun.
In fact at the end of the afternoon,  Harry had not slept and not once had they fought or argued.
They played contentedly with handfuls of mud, bucketfuls of water and make everyone drinks and cakes happily all day long.
I'm keeping the kitchen in the garden for them to explore as they like, I'm thinking of filling the toy wheelbarrow full of leaves and grass cuttings next week to see what they make of that.
Do you just let kids explore and get messy?
Do remember it's only mud and there is nothing a nice hot bath won't clean - I even added the kids clothes to the bath.



If you've enjoyed this post you can find lots more on www.emmysmummy.com

bump

24 weeks pregnant

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Today I am 24 weeks pregnant. I am also on my happy holidays! The weekend was quite emotional. I had an awful day at work Thursday leaving me in a lot of pain and feeling very poorly Friday. I then got so stressed about not being ready for holiday that I had my biggest hormonal breakdown yet on Saturday. The kids had been playing up and I hadn't even started the task of packing yet. Andy was busy all weekend so of course it was left up to me. Of course I feel silly now for getting so upset over it all as it took an hour or two Sunday evening and now we are relaxing in the sunshine and all the stress is a distant memory (until we get home and the unpacking starts!).



The holiday is definitely doing me good it's been a long time since we've had so much family time. The sun is shining and we've spent a fair bit of time just playing or walking along the beach. It's a shame we are only here for four days because I would love a few extra days. Although I've been walking a lot more than at home I haven't been in as much pain, baby is so far behaving no more moving into awkward positions *touches wood*. It's amazing how much better you feel when away from the stresses that come with being at home. 

We did however have a bit of a nightmare journey with the kids who were extremely bored for the whole almost 5 hours in the car! Which is making me wonder if we will manage to get away next year with three of them! I didn't have enough for them to do in the car obviously (any tips for next time greatly appreciated).

So this week has ended on a high. Hopefully next week will be just as good!

Guest Post: Homemade Raspberry Lemonade

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Today we have a brilliant guest post from the lovely Kate at Family Fever, Kate is sharing her recipe for home made Raspberry Lemonade which sounds perfect for Summer. I will definitely be giving it a go! 



Raspberry Lemonade

With summer approaching, many of us will be thinking about picnics in the park and balmy evening BBQ’s. The perfect accompaniment for these is a raspberry lemonade – something we absolutely love to make.

Ingredients
* 2 lemons
* 75g caster sugar
* 175g raspberries
* 200ml cold water
* 500ml sparkling water

Recipe
* Cut the lemons, and add to a blender along with the raspberries and 200ml cold water. Blend until fairly smooth.
* Pour the mixture through a sieve into a jug to remove any lumps
* Top up the mixture with the sparkling water and serve with ice cubes.
It is such a delicious and refreshing drink, and it keeps well for a couple of days in a bottle. Just give it a good shake before serving.


If you enjoyed this post you can read more from Kate on her blog www.myfamilyfever.co.uk

family

Our Family in Gracie's eyes

Saturday, May 10, 2014

It's been a while since I left a simple photo post but I thought this was so cute and wanted to share! Gracie has not long learnt how to draw people. Mainly being the typical circle with eyes, mouth, arms and legs and she loves to associate her pictures with her family telling us she has drawn mummy or Daddy etc. A few days ago I gave her a little notepad I received at Blog On Mosi and she amazed me by drawing a picture of 'Gracie's family' this picture is apparently Mummy, Daddy, Gracie and Zach. I love it and have photographed it so we always have the photo to look back on. 



She did follow this up with a picture of her, Daddy, Zach and 'baba' though with no mummy as I wasn't allowed in the picture! Not so cute!

What do you think? Do I have a budding artist in the household?!

#morrisonsmum

British Beef Steak and Sweet Potato chips #MorrisonsMum

Friday, May 09, 2014

Over the bank holiday weekend we were challenged to do our weekly shop at Morrisons. That weekend the great new lower prices were announced at Morrisons so I was intrigued to see how much we could get for our money. Armed with our vouchers the four of us popped in on Monday to do our shop. We were asked to share a recipe from our bank holiday celebrations and I had planned to attempt a cheesecake for the first time! As we had planned a picnic at the park we were also in search of tasty picnic treats for the day.




The shop was quite quiet for a bank holiday so nice and easy for us to get around. I was very impressed by the salad bar so picked up a salad for the picnic. We managed to find lots of other reasonably priced snacks for our picnic. They didn't have all the ingredients I needed for my cheesecake so I picked up a big piece of British Beef Topside Steak and some sweet potatoes to attempt sweet potato chips (which I had wanted to try for so long).  As well as my recipe ingredients I got lots of fruit, meat, washing supplies and frozen food as the prices were great! You could really notice the price cuts, we spotted lots of 'I'm cheaper' signs dotted around the store. I even picked up a nice colourful jug to make some homemade cool drinks in the summer and a large glass bowl for desserts. Our trolley was full and came to £94.27 which although is about £30 more than I would usually spend, I had enough food to last for two weeks instead of one (so a saving in the long-run) and stocked up on a few household essentials which I now won't have to buy for a while.






Here is a selection of items from our picnic. Along with yummy sandwiches and crisps for Andy and the kids, we spent less than £10 and had lots to eat and plenty left over to bring home.


Now for my recipe!

British Beef Steak and Sweet Potato Chips:



What you will need:
  • British Beef Steak: We chose one big steak we could cut into smaller pieces to share between four of us. (This steak cost us £5.49)
  • Sweet Potatoes: We used two large sweet potatoes between four of us but if you are cooking for adults I would recommend one potato per person. (These cost us 86 pence)
  • Vegetable Oil: (We already had this in our cupboard so cost us nothing but you can pick a small bottle up for around £1)
  • Seasoning: I actually forgot to pick up some seasoning! So it is not in my recipe but if using seasoning you can mix it in with the chopped potato before putting in the oven.
What to do




Preheat the oven to around 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7

Wash and peel your sweet potatoes before chopping them into chip like shape, you can make them thin or chunky, however you like.

Once chopped how you like, you can season your chips by adding them to a bowl and mixing in oil and the seasoning of your choice.

Pop your chips onto a baking tray and stick in the oven for approximately 30-35 minutes. 

I waited 20 minutes before starting the meat.

Chop the meat into smaller portions if you need to. I cooked the meat for 3-4 minutes on each side so that the meat was well cooked but still nice and pink on the inside.

If you would like vegetables on the side you can cook these whilst cooking the meat. 




I was very happy with the dish and everyone enjoyed it! What is best is the cost per serving was a mere £1.58!! I will definitely be making it again but next time I will attempt spicy wedges with the sweet potatoes.

Disclaimer
We were given vouchers for morrisons in exchange for this post as part of the #morrisonsmums challenge in cooperation with Britmums.

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23 Weeks Pregnant

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

I have had such a busy week and spent this weekend in Manchester for Blogs Up North conference 'Blog On Mosi'. It was an eventful to say the least. I'll tell all about the conference itself in another post but what I will say is that little miss was determined to remind me that she was there on my 'child free weekend'.



Saturday night I had a meal at Wagamama with a few other bloggers. I popped out after dinner to speak to Andy on the phone when I suddenly had awful pains near my ribs making it difficult to even stand. I decided to go back and join the girls for dessert and take some paracetamol for the pain. Afterwards the pain still hadn't eased and we went next door to join others in The Hard Rock Cafe and sat down for a lovely mocktail. After a while I was quite worried wondering what I had done to hurt myself when someone pointed out the size of my belly! Turns out she must have turned right round so her feet were causing me pain and I suddenly looked ready to pop. I had gone from receiving comments earlier about how small my bump was to everyone staring in shock and couldn't wait to curl up in bed at the hotel with a million cushions wrapped around me!

Luckily after lying on my side all night and having a warm bath very early the next morning I felt perfectly fine. Although over the last three days the pains and movement keep repeating which is no fun at all. One minute I'm fine the next I'm in awful pain barely able to move. I'm hoping this is a stage that will ease once she gets a bit bigger. Funny as I've never had this with the other two. 

I'm finding I have a much healthier appetite at the moment. I can't get enough fruit and have been ensuring (almost) every meal is full of vegetables. I craved chocolate and sweets with the other two so this is a pleasant surprise. It's not like me to choose a salad over pizza like ever!

Did you have any unusual cravings during pregnancy at all? 

Gifts for a New Baby

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

You can pretty much guarantee that new parents, especially first time parents, have so much baby equipment and accessories they wouldn't be able to think of what they still need if they tried. That's where buying something personalised, sentimental or even slightly sensible comes in handy. A few suggestions for some great baby buys are: 


Personalised Gifts 

You can personalise pretty much anything these days, from bibs to clothes. Then there's the personalised gifts such as a beautiful canvas print of the new addition with his or her parents, or a commemorative plaque for baby's nursery showing their name, date and time of birth and their weight. Maybe even an item of jewellery made just for them for when they're older, or a special silver engraved piggy bank.  

Another great gift is a baby record book. Most new parents have them, but do check as they are a lovely way to record baby's first year, or in some cases first few years. Everything from baby's date of birth, first lock of hair, first words, favourite foods, details of their favourite toys, their birthday parties and their first friends can go in there to create a really personalised and detailed record of their young life. A wonderful present for any new parents. 

Sentimental Gifts 

Perhaps you have a family heirloom to pass on to the baby. Or maybe you want to start a new tradition and give the little one an item that can be passed down through his or her family. A beautiful soft baby blanket is a great gift to start such a tradition with because it can be used for both boys and girls. Baby blankets can also be used again and again without much wear and tear, unlike clothing which tends to wear out more.  

Sensible Gifts 

Some of the best baby gifts ever given are ones from other parents who know what it's like to be a new parent and instantly seem to know what will come in useful and what won't. A basket full of nappies, nappy cream, baby shampoo, baby bath, cotton wool balls, wipes, baby vests, muslins and a tub of baby milk if mum has decided not to breastfeed, is something that will always be appreciated. The basket can even double for storage in the baby's room once everything has been used.  


Another great gift of course is baby clothes. Although not tiny baby clothes because everyone buys baby clothes in newborn or 0 – 3 month sizes and, lets face it, babies don't stay tiny for very long. Consider buying clothes for a bit later on. With clothing in shops for the next season a few months in advance it will be easy to buy some lovely baby clothes perfectly suited for a few months down the line. There's nothing worse than receiving a beautiful outfit for your baby to find they already weigh too much to fit into it or they'll grow out of it before it's warm enough to wear it.  

Buying for a new baby is such a joy. By making sure we take into consideration what the new parents are likely to already have at home we can easily save duplicating or buying something beautiful that will never be used.  

*This post was sponsored by ASDA

cloth nappies

Real Nappy Week 2014

Friday, May 02, 2014

Seems as this week is Real Nappy Week I felt I should write a quick post. I planned to use cloth nappies full time with Zach whilst pregnant, collecting lots of different brands and types of nappies ready to try out when he arrived. Nappies have certainly changed since the old days of terry towelling nappies held together with a pin! You can get all sorts of colours and styles and all for different price ranges. I found Real Nappy Week 2012 very important as it was a great time to find out all I could to prepare myself and I even won a fair few nappies to add to my collection!




When it came to Real Nappy Week 2013 Zach was about 6 months old and we had been using our cloth nappies for almost three months. I was still very new to it when I guest posted on My Mummy's Pennies blog here telling people about my experience of starting out with cloth nappies.

Now another year on and with moving house in September and having so much work to do on the house I slipped and have been using mostly disposables, just switching to cloth whenever he had nappy rash or the weather was nice enough for me to stick nappies on the line. The last month or so though I have started using them much more and have been stocking up on small cloth nappies for baby no3. I always find myself going back to them as I much prefer them now to disposable nappies and I can't wait to have another little baby showing off their cloth bum!


Have you ever used cloth nappies? 

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