I love these muffins! Please note I have adapted this recipe for baking for my children and converted it to UK metric measurements for ease.
These are perfect as an on-the-go snack as well as for breakfast. They are easy to make with your little ones as you only need a spoon and two bowls! And best of all they are healthy, using honey as a sweetener (you could switch to maple syrup for under 1s). The muffins have an addition of flaxseed meal to replace one egg whilst adding extra omega-3s, and uses less fat compared to conventional muffins thanks to the addition of greek yoghurt (which also keeps it moist). You can use fresh or frozen raspberries and switch it for blueberries if you wanted!
I have written the ingredients for 6 muffins only. This is because so many times I want to bake but with it only being me, my husband and one toddler eating plus limited freezer space, we end up with excess and eat too many! Of course if you want to feed more mouths or for sharing, you can double or triple etc the recipe.
Another thing to note is that we normally don’t cook with much salt but it is quite essential in baking to bring out the flavours. I would omit the salt for under 1s and just a tiny pinch of it for toddlers.
How To Make Yummy Muffins
Makes 6 muffins
– 150g Plain Flour (or white wholewheat flour) – 1.5 tbsp Milled Linseed (or milled flaxseed) – 3/4 tsp Baking Powder – 1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda – tiny pinch of Salt (can omit for small babies) – 30g Butter (room temperature) – 55g Honey (or maple syrup for under 1s) – 1 Egg – 60g Greek Yoghurt (room temperature) – 1 tsp Vanilla Extract – zest of 1 Lemon – 2 tbsp Lemon Juice – 100g Raspberries (fresh or frozen direct from freezer) – 3 tbsp Turbinado sugar for topping (or demerara sugar/ omit)
Preheat oven to 190 degrees. Put 6 paper cupcake cases into cupcake tray. 1) Get one small sized bowl and add plain flour, milled linseed, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt (if using); mix with wooden spoon. 2) Get one medium sized bowl and add butter and honey. Mix until combined. Add egg, mix. Add Greek yoghurt, vanilla extract, lemon zest, lemon juice; mix. May look curdled at this stage. 3) Add dry ingredients to wet, mix until no more dry bits. 4) Gently fold in raspberries. 5) Scoop into cupcake cases (around 72g each). Sprinkle demerara sugar/ turbinado on top for crunch/ extra sweetness. 6) Bake for 20-24 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into centre.
Place onto wire baking rack after about 5 minutes to prevent tough cakes. Wait until cool and enjoy on their own or spread with nut butter on top.
Our bedroom and ensuite was renovated from scratch when we moved into our house one and a half years ago, but we are still adding pieces to it to make it ours! I’ve written about what changes we’ve made and my favourite features. Also I wanted to share the lessons I have learnt in the…
This activity cost me 20p and kept my child entertained for over 2 hours. It was so simple and fun that I thought I would share about it! I had seen an activity involving building towers our of toast somewhere, so I decided to pick up some cheap white bread the next time I was…
So I went to paint my nails which had grown pretty long the last couple of months (did you know that nails grow faster in the sunshine due to more exposure to vitamin D?) when of course, one of my nails split… right down the middle… to the nail bed! Why does one nail always…
Our bedroom and ensuite was renovated from scratch when we moved into our house one and a half years ago, but we are still adding pieces to it to make it ours! I’ve written about what changes we’ve made and my favourite features. Also I wanted to share the lessons I have learnt in the process since it’s the first time we’ve designed our own place. Firstly, a before and after, because I love a before and after shot!
I would like to point out that our bedroom looked nothing like that original photo when we moved in! The actual state of the house was pretty poor and we’ve had to do a lot more to it than we wanted, just to enable us to live a comfortable life. For example, all 3 toilets needed replacing, which we did not expect… we soon came to realise that your house becomes a never ending project!
When we got our keys (yay!) and took a proper look around the house, we realised what we had gotten ourselves into (can you believe that one of the most expensive things you will ever buy is based around a 10 minute look around?! We only visited it once before confirming!). At the same time, it meant that we were able to transform the house how we liked, and it’s been a really fun process, albeit a tiny bit stressful! We ended up ripping out the kitchen, bathroom, downstairs toilet and garden, and fixed up all the rest (all with pretty much zero childcare help!). I will write up about all of these rooms in due course.
Back to the bedroom, we were utterly shocked at the state of the skirting boards… what on earth happened to get them into that state I have no idea. Boards of different heights, bits of board missing, weird cut out plug socket shapes to fit into the existing boards. I did not take a proper photo so below is a screenshot from a video I had taken… a skirting board horror show. Luckily we had found our builders already and they seemed to know the solution to all of our problems! The first thing they did was reposition our plug sockets for us and add on some lovely new skirting boards. We had already painted the wall but it was not a problem to re-paint the exposed parts. We put on temporary plug socket covers and the room instantly felt much better! Lesson learnt: skirting boards are a big deal and totally transform the look and feel of a room!
We decided to go for teal walls and copper accents as these warmed up our ongoing grey theme throughout the house. We are definitely not interior designers and know nothing about it so I won’t pretend to know everything but here are some favourite features I loved choosing for our room!
Jonny made one of these copper lamps using copper pipes and an edison bulb when were in Hong Kong. The guys who fitted in our new boiler kindly gave us some more piping so that we could make a second one to match it. I love them so much!
I love our copper lampshade. It was from IKEA. Our photo frame was from NEXT and features a photo taken during our bump shoot in Hong Kong.
Copper light switch covers and plug sockets really made our room come together with the copper theme. I love them so much and it was so worth the extra cost and search finding it online. We bought ours from a website called TLC (click for the link) and the brand was Varilight.
I love homemade pieces and this quilt was made by my mother-in-law featuring special place names Jonny and I have lived in and family members. It was our moving-in gift and is so special (plus goes perfectly in our room with its bluey features!). Oscar and Felix love playing with the different buttons on it (which were collected from trips around the UK).
The Standout Piece
This light up mirror from LUXFURNI has absolutely transformed our room into something even more special*! I was using a temporary one for ages before which was too small, and I was so happy to find this. As well as finally having a decent sized mirror for doing my makeup, this also doubles up as a lamp in the evenings. There are 4 different brightness levels as well as the ‘temperature’ ranging from cold to warm, powered via USB cable and activated by the touchscreen. You can get an idea of how it works in my video below:
It’s my first Youtube video so I am a bit nervous but would love to do more in the future- suggestions welcome! I love the warm glow option on the lamp and it is a total standout piece. I’m so in love with it and I really think it would make any room stand out! Also I just wanted to add that it only took a few minutes to put up which is perfect for someone like me 🙂 LUXFURNI also have an amazing jewellery organiser mirror in their range but unfortunately I do not own much jewellery! You can find the same mirror I received on Amazon.
How did we live without an ensuite before… we love it! We ripped out everything and started again because everything was very dated and it felt like showering in a hostel…! I love patterned tile floors but you don’t want it in every room. So we opted for this to make our small space a bit more lively. We would also love to get some cool tiles for our hallway one day!
When I showed our builder the tiles that we wanted, he basically said ‘no’ and instead, managed to find tiles the EXACT same colour to the paint in our bedroom. I was so happy! We wanted an in-built shelf because I hate those plastic things attached to the shower or the suction shelves you get. We absolutely love the job they did in here! We could have asked for a bigger shelf but thought this would probably encourage us to have too much out. We really wanted a minimalist look (or basically so we can hide all the junk into cupboards so that it’s not all on show!).
Sometimes I do wish we had invested in a copper radiator, and taps to match the bedroom… but this would also have meant having to have copper finishings in the shower etc and those kinds of personalised touches could soon escalate and make everything out of budget. So we have chrome finishings to match the features in the rest of our house. We also have the same sink and toilet set in our main bathroom now too.
Lessons Learnt from designing our own bedroom and ensuite
Skirting boards matter! They totally transform a room.
Light switch and plug socket covers can really finish off a room according to its mood (chrome/ copper/ gold).
Don’t choose small tiles for your ensuite shower… although I love our shower, I do not love cleaning the grouting in there!
Lamps and lampshades can make a big difference to the overall effect, especially if you want to go for a simple look for the rest of the room.
Certainly not.. you may have noticed that our drawers got damaged during our move, Our wardrobe, drawers + bedside table set was an inexpensive one from Wayfair and it is terrible quality (took forever to put up due to bad instructions too- we will not be buying from them again). One day we cannot wait to get fitted wardrobes with mirrored fronts and have the matching sets to it! I also would love a new bed that I wouldn’t keep walking into and bruising myself (hubby loves it though!). I will also be putting more plants in there soon (most likely artificial ones as I kept killing the real ones we had in there before)! I will update here if we do manage to get these changed! What are your favourite bedroom vibes? Do you have a ‘calm corner’ like my sister? And is anyone else not a big fan of a TV in the bedroom? Let me know your thoughts!
*I received the LUXFURNI makeup mirror to test as a gift in exchange for my review. All views are my own.
This activity cost me 20p and kept my child entertained for over 2 hours. It was so simple and fun that I thought I would share about it!
I had seen an activity involving building towers our of toast somewhere, so I decided to pick up some cheap white bread the next time I was at the supermarket. I found a reduced loaf for 20p so I bought it and used it a few days later when we had a free morning (okay, most mornings are free during lockdown!).
Playing with bread offered: – Simplicity (most people have bread at home or can buy it for cheap) – Creativity (the ideas are endless for what you can do with it!) – SensoryPlay (Oscar loves sensory play and this included a lot of squishing, crumbling, crushing etc)
What you need to play
A loaf of bread
A Toaster or oven
Up to you! (knives, cookie cutters, cocktail sticks, paint)
Toast The Bread (Or Not!)
At first I had intended to toast all of the bread, cut the toast into shapes such as squares, rectangles and triangles, and have Oscar build towers out of them. I had hoped to stick the toast together using golden syrup. I toasted about 2/3 of the loaf and decided to first use that, and I’m glad I did because our play then took different directions and plus my first plan did not work!
Let the experimenting commence…
I had hoped to spend the morning building cute toast buildings and towers with Oscar but this didn’t work. The golden syrup did nothing to stick the toast together. Another idea would have been to use cocktail sticks but 1) I didn’t have any and 2) it may have been a bit tricky for Oscar to put together himself. After my ‘glue’ idea failed, we moved onto other things.
Bring on the cookie cutters
I’m not sure about your child but my son LOVES cookie cutters. Lucky for him I have about 100 cutters in my growing collection… and when he sees them it’s like Christmas. He loves baking with me and loves his play doh cutters, I totally understand because I love them too.
I got out the cookie cutters and we began experimenting with them, I realised that most of the cutters I had did not work well with the toast at all! Maybe it was the shape or perhaps due to the amount of toastedness my toast was… but the cutters did not work well with the toast at all! Luckily, we then took out the slices of bread I hadn’t toasted yet (phew, I was glad I had saved a few!) and used the cookie cutters on those and we managed to get some shapes so he was pleased. It was fun to experiment and discuss why it worked with the bread and not with the toast. We talked about the texture change from bread to toast, using vocabulary such as: crispy, soft, flexible, crunchy, burnt, spongy, crumbly. I love any activity where we can talk a lot about what we are doing and I love hearing Oscar using new words or think of his own to describe what we are doing.
time for bread art with The humble knife
I took out the knife (Oscar loves knives, perhaps because his daddy is a butcher or because he likes to cut things up; probably both). I cut out random shapes (he helped cut some too with me watching over) and asked Oscar to make something with it. He is into drawing and making faces at the moment so he immediately put together some eyes, ears and nose with a body. I then helped a bit of the way by adding a mouth and other shapes which he used for arms and legs. He took one of the slices and ripped them up to make ‘fingers’. I held back from being anal about the shapes not having straight edges and ripped some more for fingers on the other hand of the man. He loved his creation and was so happy with it! Please excuse the below photo of him with no shorts on- there’s no time for bottoms when you’re busy playing :)!
Sand and Snow bread
As most toddlers do love creating a mess, I let him have some messy play next. I showed him how to make ‘sand’ from the toast by rubbing two pieces together. We laughed at the scratchy noises it made and he loved watching the ‘sand’ fall down. We practiced writing some letters and numbers in the ‘sand’. Next, to my surprise, Oscar got some bread and began ripping it up and then rubbing it in between his hands to make ‘snow’! I loved how he had seen my idea and used it to try out something with the leftover bread. He had so much fun ripping it up, and me not shouting at the mess he was making!
Hedgehogs, magic tricks and cleaning up
Occasionally I am pretty good at stretching out an activity to use up time and to let Oscar concentrate more on what was in front of him rather than going from toy to toy giving each one 30 seconds of attention each (which he does all too often). Also I find sitting him in his chair definitely helps with his concentration! We stuck small rectangles of toast into bread to make ‘hedgehogs’, and also cut holes in toast and poked other strips of toast in. We then discovered that if you folded a piece of toast it would slowly unfold itself into its original shape (before it breaks!) so we pretended to do magic shows with it. Then finally, we used the longer pieces of toast to scrape up all the little crumbs which was oddly satisfying. It was an easy clear up- I just scooped it all into the bin and hoovered the rest. If we weren’t in lockdown I would have saved some to feed some ducks!
So there we have it, I always knew that bread is life. Bread is the reason I became a baker in the first place (I used to not care about cakes at all *shock!*). But discovering the joys we can have with something as simple as bread/ toast was brilliant time spent with my little one (we have of course baked bread a few times before too which I will also have to document at some point!).
Some other ideas you could do with bread/ toast: – Paint it (I’ve seen people do this with food colouring) – Use as stamps (Cut out shapes and dip them into paint to create pictures) – Make funny faces with it for breakfast and eat it!
I hope you can have fun with bread and toast with your little ones using some of these ideas as another little way to pass time during these hard lockdown days! Aren’t we all running out of activities?!
So I went to paint my nails which had grown pretty long the last couple of months (did you know that nails grow faster in the sunshine due to more exposure to vitamin D?) when of course, one of my nails split… right down the middle… to the nail bed! Why does one nail always have to do this once they’ve all gotten to a good length? Well I was determined to find a solution without lobbing it all off and having an odd short nail as I wanted to paint my nails, and so I turned to Google. Use a teabag it said… so I had to try it!
No Glue Method
I don’t own any nail glue or gel as most of the posts on Google suggested so I decided to just use plain nail polish to see if it would work. Here is what I used:
– A teabag (Yorkshire Tea incase you were interested!) – Scissors – Emery board (not shown in photo) – Nail Buffer – Clear nail polish (I used a strengthening one underneath and a clear one on top of my coloured nail polish – Coloured nail polish of choice
Cut Your Teabag
I cut a rectangle piece out of the teabag and just held it over my nail to get a rough size and cut it by eye to fit my entire nail. Some videos I’d seen had just used a small piece to cover the split only but I thought this would be more strengthening. I put a layer of the ‘nail nurse’ clear nail polish I had and laid the teabag piece on top. I then covered it with more nail polish and waited until it was fully dry.
Paint Your Nails
I would definitely paint the rest of the nails as it’s quite obvious there is a layer of something on your nail (though I wonder who would guess it was a teabag!). You will need to file the edge of the nail first to make sure the nail is seamless/ not bumpy. I also used the nail buffer on top just slightly so that there were minimal lumps.
Well my split nail was definitely disguised, you wouldn’t notice it unless you went right up close to my nail so at least all my nails looked a similar length! I would say that I was very conscious of the fact it was split still and so kept playing with it to ‘test’ if it would break, which probably caused it to break faster than it should have done! I wasn’t careful enough/ played with it too much so that the teabag seal broke and the split became greater. I lasted a day and a half before I did actually cut the nail shorter.
All in all, I would say this is a great tip for mending a nail short term for example for a night out if you don’t want to ruin your look and don’t want to cut off your entire nail! If I try it again with nail glue/ gel I will be sure to let you know if it was much stronger compared to nail polish only. Let me know if you try it out! Also if anyone has gone from weak nails to strong nails, please share what you used as my nails have always been prone to breaking easily!
I love these muffins! Please note I have adapted this recipe for baking for my children and converted it to UK metric measurements for ease. These are perfect as an on-the-go snack as well as for breakfast. They are easy to make with your little ones as you only need a spoon and two bowls! …
I’ve finally been able to write up about making our own beeswax food wraps… over a year since we made them! Where does the time go? We’ve attempted making beeswax wraps twice now and while this post comes late, at least I can let you know how successful they’ve been and how they have been…
I couldn’t wait to try* the Ring Spotlight Security Camera because although we have the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, we wanted both the back and front of our house to feel protected from unwanted intruders. Having two Ring devices also meant we could easily view the displays using one app! Here are my thoughts after…
I’ve finally been able to write up about making our own beeswax food wraps… over a year since we made them! Where does the time go? We’ve attempted making beeswax wraps twice now and while this post comes late, at least I can let you know how successful they’ve been and how they have been well used and lasted for well over a year.
For those who don’t know what beeswax wraps are: beeswax-covered material allow for a waterproof yet breathable solution used for many applications in the kitchen. We use them predominantly in place of cling film- for covering bowls of food, wrapping up sandwiches/ snacks for food on the go, and covering the ends of cut vegetables/ fruit that are stored in the fridge. They are reusable so can be washed with warm soapy water each time but since you shouldn’t use very hot water on them due to the wax, these should not to be used for covering raw meat items.
Here are my experiences and my thoughts 🙂
Firstly, why bother making beeswax wraps?
Clingfilm cannot be recycled, it is not biodegradable and will never break down. It is horrible but having worked in kitchens, I know how essential it can be for hygiene in the commercial kitchen. If we can make small steps at home to reduce our plastic usage, we should try our best.
Beeswax wraps are SO convenient, sustainable and look lovely! Choose a design/ colour to match your kitchen 🙂 Worn-off wax can be re-waxed easily so you shouldn’t really have to make more ever again after one batch (but you will probably want to for gifting!). You will not look back after using these. We are very conscious of how much plastic we use in the home and kitchen and since using these we have cut down a hell of a lot.
Before I go into the process of how to make them, I’d better let you know what I would do differently next time! Learn from my mistakes please, to save you less stress!
Use an old glass jar/ jug for melting your wax into. I ruined our lovely Pyrex jug so it is now my ‘craft jug’. Your brush will be ruined too- hold onto it for when you next make it again!
The material matters a lot… do NOT use white!! I used white because I had some scraps, but it turned yellow because of the yellow beeswax pellets (in retrospect this seems pretty obvious…!). You can buy white beeswax pellets so I shall try these next time although I heard that the heat may still cause a yellowness to the material. The second time, I tried patterned thinner material but the pattern design didn’t show up as clear as I wanted. I have since researched that you should choose 100% cotton, with no stretch. Colourfast material and darker colours are also best!
I didn’t really know what sizes I may need. I tried 3 different sizes to begin with- ones to cover the largest bowls we had, the medium bowls we would likely put leftover food in, and ones for our smaller ramekins. Next time I would consider some extra large ones, big enough to cover vegetables such as leeks and green leafy vegetables to keep in the fridge. Also ones big enough to cover mugs as I sometimes will chuck something leftover into a mug to keep in the fridge.
So how do you make your own? There are many different methods you will find online. Here is the method that I used and worked for me:
1 cup Beeswax Pellets 1/4 cup Pine Resin 2 tbsp Jojoba Oil Fabric – recycle or buy 🙂 Remember to wash and dry it first. Then measure and cut to size. Glass jug/ bowl – I think you can also use metal but I have not tried this Parchment Paper Brush – an old one you do not mind ruining Scissors Ruler Tongs
Preheat oven to 150 degrees.
Melt the beeswax pellets, pine resin and jojoba oil into an old glass jar via a double boiler method (see below) until homogenous. This took me around 10-15 minutes; the time it takes will depend on how large your beeswax and pine resin pieces are.
Lay your pre-cut material onto parchment paper, laid upon a cookie tray.
Use an old brush to cover the material in the melted goo.
Place tray into oven so that the wax can distribute evenly and spread into the fibres. This will only take a couple of minutes.
When you have made sure there are no dry patches (just use your brush to go over any), use a tong to remove the piece of cloth from the oven and hang onto a clothes horse. It will dry very quickly once out of the oven. I worked one at a time but depends on the sizes you use/ the size of your oven.
I can’t tell you how many wraps the above quantity will cover exactly as it depends on the sizes you cut but I was able to make enough for our household plus a few to give as gifts. To use the wraps, simply use the heat of your hands to shape the fabric around food/ bowls. Wash with warm soapy water and do not use it with hot food/ raw meat.
Some people use only beeswax for their wraps, which will wrap the cloth around food, but without pine resin and jojoba oil, there will be no tackiness to wrap the food well. Therefore I wanted to use all 3 ingredients in my wraps. You can adjust the levels of pine resin and jojoba oil accordingly. I found that the white thicker cotton material I used kept the tackiness a lot longer than the thinner material, but the thinner material is much more flexible. I think experimenting is key!
The initial cost may seem high but you can make a lot with it and so it is well worth the money in the long run and much cheaper to make yourself than to buy. Also it is much more fun choosing your own material and they make lovely gifts.
It can be sticky and messy to make. Make sure you have all the things you need ready and in close proximity so you can work quickly and avoid splattery messes.
Other ways to reduce the use of cling film:
Simply putting a plate on top of bowls of leftover food. You can stack different bowls of food and use one plate on the top bowl if you have more items to save.
Using glass jars- I save all old jars and take off labels using boiling water, then reuse them for all sorts: storing nuts/ sauces/ using as a salad dressing shaker/ paint pots.
Use tupperware- I do love a good tupperware box.
Have fun making them and do let me know what you think about beeswax wraps if you have tried using them yourself or are thinking of using them!
Having recently moved into our new home (yay!), home security has become one of the top of our list of priorities. Over Christmas we saw many adverts for the Ring Video Doorbell Pro on TV and thought it was a fantastic idea to be able to see who was coming by our front door when […]
The reason for this post is because I could not find much help on this topic on Google for parents in the UK… I hope that sharing my experiences may help some other mummy who goes crazy over MC…! Of course it came from a playgroup… I had been taking Oscar to a few play…
Being a stay at home mum I do always appreciate a freebie especially for my baby! Here is a page where I will update whenever I find a freebie around town or online, hope it will help others not to miss out too 🙂 Free Fruit in Tescos Our local Tescos has a section where…
I couldn’t wait to try* the Ring Spotlight Security Camera because although we have the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, we wanted both the back and front of our house to feel protected from unwanted intruders. Having two Ring devices also meant we could easily view the displays using one app! Here are my thoughts after 4 weeks of testing!
Installing the camera
The camera was very easy to install compared to the Ring Video Doorbell Pro… with visual instructions being enough to figure out what was going on. After charging the battery up overnight, it was inserted into the back and we were able to add the device to our already installed Ring app without any problems (ok so Jonny did this side but he said it was easy!). The wall mount and camera was fixed to our back wall without a problem apart from requiring a big drill, also done by my personal handy man aka husband; and the camera was good to go! So simple!
The Ring Spotlight Security Camera: Pros
Installation was so easy. As I said above, it was really easy to get going, especially because we have another Ring device and so the app is installed onto our phones already. The app can be logged into using multiple devices so my husband can see everything going on at home from his phone too.
It looks good – like the Ring video doorbell pro, it looks sleek and cool and not menacing like some home security cameras. I feel that friends can come round and enjoy being in the garden and not feel intimidated by the fact there is a camera.
The quality of the images and sound is great both night and day. I haven’t had any problems with the video playback (to review any motion detected at any point of the day) or live views at all (live view enables you to see what is going on at any time of the day). I have read other reviews about there being problems after it has rained as apparently it is weather-resistant but not rain proof! It has rained a few times this month and so far so good… fingers crossed! The spotlight is also great to see what is going on outside at nighttime and could be used to scare any potential intruders. It is very bright but unlike a floodlight it doesn’t reach a great distance (there is the Ring Floodlight Camera for that though).
Ring spotlight security camera in the daytime
Ring spotlight security camera at night
Ring spotlight security camera at night with spotlight on
You can alert intruders with a loud siren if needed. I really really hope I will never have to use this. But I am glad there is a siren for if I do. Actually I haven’t yet tested how loud the siren is because I am worried about scaring the neighbours! But when I am brave enough to try it I will update this to let you know how loud it goes.
The two-way talk is great. You can hear and talk through the camera, which can be helpful for many reasons! Apart from the obvious of alerting intruders, me and my husband find it funny to talk to Oscar via the camera when he is in the garden. We find it amusing watching him trying to figure out where daddy’s voice is coming from! It is clear and we have not experienced any issues with this.
You can access the device from your phone, computer or tablet and you can connect it with Alexa-enabled devices. Like with the Ring video doorbell pro I tend to just use it on the app on our phone but it’s good to know that you can check what’s going on using most devices.
The Ring Spotlight Security Camera: Cons
The batteries need to be recharged. I did not get the wired-in device which saves a lot of hassle, but it does mean that the batteries will need to be charged when they run out. I don’t know yet how long this battery will last but I need to expect it to be out of action while it is charging. There is the option to buy an additional battery (around £20) and there is space for it in the camera itself. Alternatively you can buy a solar panel to save you having to keep recharging (£49) which we may consider for the future.
The range of motion is stuck to 140 degrees. You cannot control the camera by moving it left and right etc, as it is set in position. In the event that you do catch an intruder, you cannot follow their actions. This would make the camera much more attractive to me but it does still show an excellent range of vision.
The video is not always recording. The recording starts with detected motions and so if the wifi connection is poor, there is the chance that it will not start recording the actions until too late. Obviously if your wifi connection is not terribly strong then you may experience issues with this. So far we have not experienced any problems and I can only hope that in the event of something serious happening then we would be able to catch it in time.
You need to pay for a subscription to view your videos. It costs an additional £2.50/month to save your videos (this is on top of our other device with Ring, although if you have more devices you can pay £8/month for an unlimited number of devices). The Protect Plan allows you to access your recorded videos of every motion and live view event for up to 30 days, which you can download to your device to view later. Although it is annoying having to pay even more money to view your videos it is worth it to know that your home is protected.
I would give the Ring Spotlight Security Camera 4 out of 5 stars because it does a brilliant job for our needs. A main worry is that due to the camera recording being activated by motion, the recording may not start until an intruder has already left/ done some damage. However due to our location and experience with our wifi so far I hope that this would not be a problem for us. I would only recommend this product to those with a strong wifi connection for this reason. The Ring Spotlight Security Camera has provided us with extra protection for our home, and I love being able to view the recordings on the same app as our doorbell. It is nice that I am ‘Always Home’ even when I am away.
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I found out about The Baby Box from my midwife at my first appointment in the UK. I had no idea what she was talking about to be honest- a box for my baby to sleep in?? But she told me to go online and do a quiz and that it would be sent to…
Being value-for-money for me means that the product is of good enough quality to either be used for a long while or have multiple uses, and so buying baby things has been so hard for me knowing that it’ll only be used for a few months! My favourite ‘buy once and use it often’ items…
Having recently moved into our new home (yay!), home security has become one of the top of our list of priorities. Over Christmas we saw many adverts for the Ring Video Doorbell Pro on TV and thought it was a fantastic idea to be able to see who was coming by our front door when we weren’t in and so decided to give it a go. Here is what I think so far after using it for 2 months!
The reason for this post is because I could not find much help on this topic on Google for parents in the UK… I hope that sharing my experiences may help some other mummy who goes crazy over MC…!
Of course it came from a playgroup…
I had been taking Oscar to a few play groups a week ever since he was little. I had heard about how babies would have high chances of catching something, but I will never forget how much I freaked out when I first saw babies sucking on toys, throwing them back into the pile ready for another baby to come by and slobber on. And then freaking out more when I saw Oscar heading towards those toys and doing the same thing. I honestly did not know babies explored the world so much via their mouth before Oscar! So I’m sure you can imagine how grossed out and shocked I was. I knew it would be good for his developing immune system though and this in part helped me to overcome my fear of germ spreading. (Everyone of course has their own levels of germophobia and I didn’t realise until becoming a mum how high my level was!).
One day when Oscar was around 7 months old I was changing his clothes when I noticed a couple of weird bumps on his arms. They didn’t look threatening at all though- normal skin colour, but quite raised looking almost like a white head (like it had something inside, but not hard and not quite pus-like). I kept check on it and to my dismay these spots just kept increasing in number in clusters until it spread to all around his arms and torso, chest and back. I took him to see a GP to discuss that along with his eczema (Oscar had been getting eczema since around 4 months old, coming and going along with the weather changes) as soon as I could.
What is Molluscum Contagiosum??
When the GP told me this thing was a virus with a horrible sounding name – Molluscum Contagiosum, I was horrified and upset. I could also pretty much pin point which play group he must have got it at (a not particularly clean set up, and many babies were grabbing Oscar that day- and vice versa). It turns out that MC is actually a very common skin virus and will clear by itself. Since Oscar’s bumps were not itchy or painful to him and didn’t really affect him, there would be no treatment and the doctor said it should go away by itself in up to 2 years time…. Come again?! 2 years! This made me very upset, especially as the weeks went by and more bumps kept appearing and we didn’t know when it was going to end. I was so glad he got this while young as he wasn’t very aware of it. It was unsightly to look at (although it seems nothing compared to eczema and other skin conditions) but it didn’t affect his quality of life and for that I am so grateful for.
Molluscum Contagiosum on Torso
Molluscum Contagiosum on Arms and Body
Well the weeks went by and between his MC and eczema and another virus he caught during our move which left his whole body covered in bumps (a virus similar to hand, foot and mouth but much more severe we were told), we were constantly putting creams on him and trying new ones out. I wanted to do a post about which creams worked for us and which didn’t because I could not find any help for this myself online. I did find other posts where some mums used quite strong medicated creams to essentially burst the spots then treated them with tea tree oil etc. I didn’t want to do anything so invasive but I wanted to alleviate his itching (after a few months they did start bothering him and caused him to scratch at them). So here are some of the tips I thought I’d share:
How We Managed MC
We kept him in long sleeve tops all the time to prevent infecting others. We were careful around pregnant ladies and those with weaker immune systems.
We tried Aveeno. We normally love this brand so much for dry skin, we use the Aveeno Baby Daily Care Gentle Wash and Soothing Relief Baby Emolient Cream normally, but during this time it didn’t seem to help with neither the eczema or his MC so we stopped using it.
The MC would not look so bad one day and then the next day it would look angry and I would be worried again. This went on for so long then after some time I decided to switch his bath products to Oilatum brand. I felt his skin felt more moisturised after this and we are currently still using the Junior Bath Additive and Head to Toe Wash. We go through the Bath Additive quite fast!
When Oscar’s eczema got really bad (along with worsening MC), I made oat flour by simply blending oats, and added a cupful each time to his baths. I felt his skin retained moisture better after his baths with oat flour in and I do think it helps to calm his skin.
Lastly I tried a new cream recommended by a local pharmacist called isomol gel along with calamine lotion and… I don’t know if the MC was just finishing running its course… but by golly it worked. The bumps turned red but a different red (see photos below) then eventually disappeared after a few days. I couldn’t believe it! (By the way you should be able get these items at any pharmacy in the UK pretty easily).
So of course I have no proof which helped in all of this: if it was the Isomol Gel, the calamine lotion, switching to the Oilatum brand bath products or the adding of oat flour to his baths? It could also have just been time for MC to leave Oscar’s body and give him his lovely baby smooth skin back. All I know is that it left after 5 months and not 2 years like the doctor said so I’m really happy with that.
It got bad before it got good
Molluscum Contagiosum Leaving his Arms and Body
Molluscum Contagiosum Leaving
Molluscum Contagiosum on Torso
These are just some images to show the MC a few days before they eventually went down and then faded away. It turned a different kind of red and we knew there was a change happening. Then within a week it was gone! Hurray!
I hope that if your child gets this that you can try some of these methods and see if they work. I would love to hear any results because I actually have not met any other babies with it yet although it is apparently very common. Wishing happy healthy skin to all bubbas! They go through so much!
Being a stay at home mum I do always appreciate a freebie especially for my baby! Here is a page where I will update whenever I find a freebie around town or online, hope it will help others not to miss out too 🙂
Free Fruit in Tescos
Our local Tescos has a section where children can take a piece fruit for free while you shop! We don’t always shop at Tescos as I generally shop around but I always appreciate this because it a) keeps my Oscar from getting really bored, b) keeps his hands busy, c) fills his tummy up with something good. Thank you Tescos!!
Free Ella’s Kitchen Pouches at IKEA
We are currently in the process of buying a house and that means many trips to IKEA. Who doesn’t love an IKEA meal?! When I was young this was SUCH a big deal (also because we never ate out!) and for now it is still a nice break from the norm even when my husband is an amazing chef 🙂 The extra bonus now is that you get a free Ella’s Kitchen pouch with every adult meal purchased! 2 adult meals means 2 pouches. One for during the meal (along with other food we bring along for Oscar), and one for when he throws a tantrum during the shop… perfect! Thanks IKEA 🙂
Free NUTELLA and other goodies using Shopmium
I heard about this from another mum so I am just passing it on. Shopmium has saved me nearly £32 so far in free foods ranging from baby food pouches (Babease and Piccolo), baby snacks (Kiddylicious and Fruit Bowl), baby porridge (Nestle) to other foods like crisps, cat food, chocolate bars, drinks, biscuits, ginger beer, frozen veg and fish, oat bars etc. There are loads of potential things you can get for either free or for a really good discount like 50% off. It just depends if you are near the right supermarket stocking that item. The items are sometimes new products that have just been released so it’s exciting being the first to try it.
You simply find the product in the store, send a photo of your receipt using the app, scan the barcode of the product, then get cash paid into your Paypal/ bank account within a couple of days. Just make sure you do it before throwing away the receipt… which has happened to me a couple of times… doh!
You need to download the app and if you use my Referral Code: w3yw5 you will get a free tub of 200g Nutella (obviously for YOU and not for baby)! I hope you UK shoppers take advantage of this as it really is one of my favourite apps :)!
I will keep updating this if I find some more brilliant freebies 🙂 Enjoy!
Right, this year has been emotional. No doubt the most emotional year ever. Everyone told us how time would go by so fast that first year… it’s a cliché but also SO true! Some moments that have made me cry this year:
I cried when he cried
Those fists and the red nose and the bottom lip… newborn cries at their best.
At the beginning my chest would hurt so hard with his cries. Especially when I was alone or in the night, it felt a bit like anxiety. I guess it’s the maternal instinct wanting to end any suffering of your offspring at all costs. I will never forget that feeling of wanting to stop it so badly and sometimes just not knowing how to. I found out later the solution was always boob…
I cried when I put away his clothes
This kid has way more accessories than I’ve ever owned.
I packed away his 0-3 months clothes into a box, then before long I was packing his 3-6 months, and then his 6-9 months… I never realised how wardrobe management would be such a big part of this year. I get sad that it’s going so fast yet happy he’s growing big and healthy. And mostly I’m shocked at how much more clothes he owns and wears than me!
I cried when he got his first tooth
The only photo I could get of his teeth was when he was crying!
Oscar got his first tooth at 6.5 months. It made me realise he was no longer a baby and his smile would never be the same. I thought I would hate seeing his teeth because I wanted gummy smiles, but then I started falling in love with his cute toothy pegs and I love how his smile is changing all the time.
I cried when he kissed me
Kisses for me, save all your kisses for me.
Oscar kisses with an open mouth and duck lips. I began realising it wasn’t accidental as he would give me eye contact before slowly bringing his head closer, lip-to-lip before planting his whole open mouth on my lips. It’s the cutest thing ever (despite the slobber!) . He is being trained up on kisses and cuddles and I think it’s going well so far :). My favourite thing is when he takes a break from playing to give me a kiss and then carries on with his toys.
I cried when he first crawled away from me
Oscar on his usual rage against the Dewey Decimal System on our library trips 🙂
We were at the library for our weekly Baby Bounce class. He used to sit on my lap during all the songs (our favourite song being: ‘Who’s this sitting on my lap?’). Then one day at around 7 months, he was able to crawl off and play with the toys in the centre and not even go by me once. I cried inside- if I did it publicly I’m sure I would’ve got a lot of eye rolling. But it was another sign of his development and independence… and the fact that he will not always need his mummy.
And then there’s the usual TV about children with illnesses, super talented children and just babies in general that just make me think of Oscar and realise there can never be enough photos, never enough cuddles, he is a miracle and so special and the days will and do go by so fast. It’s also so important to capture those cute things he does because after a few days he will probably stop doing it and move onto something else. Is there anything that made you cry during those first months that probably seem ridiculous to anyone who isn’t a first time mum? Do share :)!
I think that most people with tattoos have probably heard of using Bepanthen as a repairing aftercare cream. So I kind of chuckled at having to use the product for its actual purpose: a nappy rash ointment. I happily received my samples of Bepanthen from The Insiders a couple of weeks ago and I was happy to try it out because I had been using another brand of nappy rash cream (Sudocrem) ever since Oscar’s birth. While I was happy with Sudocrem, I hadn’t used any other brands so I thought it would be interesting to see the differences.
When Oscar was about 2 months old he started getting nappy rash. I had no idea it was nappy rash for about a week! It looked nothing like what a ‘rash’ in my mind looked like to be honest, there were small white bumps (slightly like white heads) around the bum, but it wasn’t red and I didn’t think it looked sore. After a few days without going away, I asked my GP who confirmed it was nappy rash afterall. I honestly felt like a failure of a parent letting my little boy end up with these horrible spots on his super soft and sensitive newborn skin!
I was using Sudocrem at the time but never really knew how much I should be applying to be honest. After increasing the amount used with permission by the GP it did go away after a week. I hadn’t thought to switch brands either at the time as I had bought such a gigantic tub of it too so I’m glad it did do the trick in the end and when I think back now I think I wasn’t applying enough of it at nappy changes. That is my only experience with nappy rash so far and it has not returned since then, luckily!
Now since I can only compare Bepanthen with what I have been using this whole time, I have made a short list of differences I discovered:
At home we use the tub of Sudocrem and after trying the tube with flip-top cap of Bepanthen I did feel it was more hygienic using a tube. However I do prefer a big pot of 400g over many tubes of plastic of 30g each (though these are perfect for the changing bag). I have since found that there are also tubes of Sudocrem 30g at a pricy £4.19 (Boots) compared to Bepanthen 30g at £3.36. The biggest available tube of Sudocrem is 100g for £9.99 (yikes) compared to Bepanthen100g at £7.29 (best price I found is on Amazon here.) However there is the 400g Sudocrem tub available at £5.99 (great value!)- why the tube costs so much more I do wonder! (best prices on Amazon here.)
Sudocrem is a lot thicker to apply on, and feels ‘drier’ compared to Bepanthen which is slightly stickier but goes on thin.
Sudocrem has a distinctive smell to it (perhaps a tiny bit medicinal but nothing bad), whereas Bepanthan is scentless but pleasant.
Both creams are pretty thick. But Sudocrem does kind of go into my nails and I have to wipe at it to get it off. Sudocrem is more likely to stain clothing but it comes off in the wash of course.
Sudocrem can be used to dry out spots (we have tested this before at home with success!). We also were recommended by our GP to use it to prevent eczema rashes getting infected. According to Google, Sudocrem is also good as a face mask, insect stings, chaffing, makeup primer and sunburn amongst other uses. When I looked up other uses for Bepanthen, it said that the antibacterial properties are good for general healing and as a general moisturiser. I also found out that it is not so good for tattoo healing any more (for a few years now maybe) due to the change in ingredients, so it is better to use specific tattoo healing products instead (we like Tattoo Goo).
The mini samples we received of Bepanthen did not have a very child friendly cap, I was terrified Oscar would grab it and eat it as he puts most things into his mouth!
It was tricky because there are pros and cons with both products. We enjoyed Bepanthen and Oscar did not experience any nappy rash the past two weeks having switched products. I think maybe his bum did appear slightly more moisturised at nappy changes with Bepanthen, as in, it appeared to stay more ‘wet’ for longer. I liked the tube which is perfect for the changing bag as I said. And while the Sudocrem tub doesn’t seem that hygienic (if you keep double dipping into the tub), this can be avoided once you start working out how much you need to be applying (thicker than I thought was needed!). The tub is convenient to open with one hand and have one hand on a wriggly baby. I like the multiple uses of Sudocrem (you can read here about other baby products I love that serve multiple uses).
I would say I might like Bepanthen slightly less due to the stickiness but I do not hate it. I also have since experienced a tube I’d forgotten about and it turned into a hard paste which made it more difficult to apply. Sudocrem tube-version is more expensive than the Bepanthen tube (30g) but the big tub of Sudocrem is a lot more value over the 100g tube of Bepanthen. You could say Bepanthen needs less product for each application but I think it still works out that Sudocrem is better value for money if you are buying the big tub and using it for the other things it is good for as I listed above.
All in all, I think I will be keeping a tub of Sudocrem on my changing station at home and a tube of either Sudocrem or Bepanthen in my nappy changing bag from now on (probably dependent on what deals are on at the time!)!! 🙂
I would love to know what nappy rash products you use and what you like about them? I have also used the Aveeno barrier cream before and quite liked that too!
I was invited to review Arm & Hammer’s Charcoal White toothpaste recently. The goal was to brush my teeth exclusively using the chosen toothpaste twice a day for 5 days and report my findings. Arm & Hammer also sent some mini samples of their other flavours for me to give out to friends and family. Oscar…
We whipped up a yummy collab meal tonight which was totally scrumptious for a quick food night. We had wanted to do a big dinner since Mondays are now the only day off together, but life happens and we ended up eating at 9pm again, doh >_< Anyway, so the highlight was Jonny’s porkchop which…
I found out about The Baby Box from my midwife at my first appointment in the UK. I had no idea what she was talking about to be honest- a box for my baby to sleep in?? But she told me to go online and do a quiz and that it would be sent to me for free so I thought why not.
What is a Baby Box?
The Baby Box idea is a Finnish tradition that was started by the government with the aim of reducing SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). It was proved highly effective, with Finland going from having one of the highest infant mortality rates in Europe to being the 5th lowest in the world. It has been in practice now for over 80 years and The Baby Box Co. have been introducing a similar scheme with an emphasis on safe sleep education to the UK since 2017 I believe, plus 51 other countries around the globe.
The box is intended to provide a safe sleeping place for your baby’s first six months of life. It is quite literally a box made of durable cardboard with a foam mattress, to be used in the same way as a Moses basket. Unlike a Moses basket, it is placed on the floor as it has no stand, but this also makes it more easily transportable.
In order to receive the box you need to first pass some questions online to do with safe sleep practice. Jonny and I set aside some time to watch the educational videos and answer the quizzes at the end of each section together. It was quite horrible to learn how SIDS, or ‘cot death’, affects 200 babies a year in the UK, but at the same time, we were grateful to be provided with these resources so that we could be more well-informed on the matter. In addition to information about safe sleep practice there is also lots of other content available on the website regarding the safe care of infants, breastfeeding resources, tips and advice for new parents in general etc.
My London-themed Box
Looking especially tiny but not especially happy!
My baby box arrived quite quickly, just a few days after we’d completed the test (it didn’t take long to complete everything, around twenty minutes). The designs are all different and randomly selected so I was delighted to find my box had a London theme print with iconic places such as Big Ben, Tower Bridge and the London Eye (I am a Londoner after all!). Inside the box was a zipper bag with a cotton muslin cloth and information, then there was a mattress with mattress sheet. The box seemed well made and sturdy and there are warnings for you to always put it on a flat surface on the ground.
I was eager to try to use it after Oscar was born and thought it would be a perfect solution for having a place for him to sleep downstairs as our Moses basket was not so easy to move around. It would be a dream if Oscar could sleep in it while I got on with housework or cooking, and then I wouldn’t need to keep running up to check on him.
I was worried the cats would jump in it, which they did sometimes (not when Oscar was inside luckily!) And being on the floor, I just made sure it was away from doorways incase somebody came by and fell on him or something! I never left the room alone with him in it and if I did need to run to get a drink I would close the door incase the cats came in.
Did it work?
I think for any other baby, the Baby Box would have been a great place for them to stay in for daytime naps. Unfortunately our Oscar was not a napper from day one (unless it was on me). Where I would hear stories of mums having to wake their babies up for feeds, it felt like my baby was always up, refusing to nap and demanding endless feeds (he only really started napping from 8 months…!). So in total, I think Oscar really slept in it only a handful of times, but for those times where he was able to settle and sleep, it was perfect and I was so grateful for this box! I did hear comments from others who thought it was ugly and weird to have a cardboard box and they just threw it out which saddened me as other families would have found it useful.
After it became apparent he wouldn’t nap in the day (I did of course spend many hours of many many days trying to get him to nap in his Moses basket or bouncer too), I did eventually give up trying and we re-purposed the box into a toy box which we are still happily using. Even though Oscar rummages through the box quite often the sides are still pretty intact. I would probably consider using a Baby Box again if we were to have a baby number 2 but I’m not sure how clean I would be able to get this one by reusing it again, considering it is made of cardboard. I was lucky for Oscar to never have had a leaky nappy in it because I’m not sure it would hold very well if it were to go through the thin mattress onto the box!
I think we were very fortunate to have this initiative rolled out to Ipswich Hospital because I don’t think it is available in every area in the country yet; you can check on the website if it is available from your hospital or not. You can also buy one if they are not available and some options have many useful things inside for a newborn so it could make a nice gift for someone expecting. I think it was a brilliant money saver for us not having to buy a downstairs cot and we are still using it months on for his toys. I especially like that the cardboard can be recycled afterwards too!
Did you use a baby box for your baby? I’d love to hear how you got on with it and what you made of the scheme!
Being value-for-money for me means that the product is of good enough quality to either be used for a long while or have multiple uses, and so buying baby things has been so hard for me knowing that it’ll only be used for a few months! My favourite ‘buy once and use it often’ items so far have been:
When I was researching baby bouncers I found that some only lasted til the baby was 9kg. There are soooo many types, ones that bounce on their own, have music, toys attached etc. I found this one and just fell in love with the simple design (I mean his toys around it are bright enough already); it was easy to clean, and it lasts from birth- 2 years old.
I have loved watching Oscar grow into it and learn how to bounce it on his own.
At the beginning it was so handy having a light seat to carry around the house to put him in when I was attempting a shower or wee (although some days I just went without either for too long a period at a time!). Even now it’s a safe place to put him in while I change otherwise he will be climbing/ crawling around everywhere giving me stress!
At the beginning it became a place for him to nap for brief periods, used on the more reclined setting, although we did try to use the Baby Box too which was a better flatter surface for napping… not that he did much napping >_<
There is an attachment bar toy available and you can buy additional seat covers which I think would be great to get a new style for baby number 2 one day 🙂 I found the best deal here for this bouncer on Amazon.
4 days old
8 months old
Oil Diffuser Lamp
This was actually a gift sent from the States by my amazing friend Annie, along with other goodies including 6 essential oils to use it with. It has been one of my most used items EVER since, and I’d recommend it to anyone (thanks so much, Annie Pie!).
During the birth, I used it to diffuse lavender oil in the delivery room as it’s supposed to help with bringing on contractions as well as being calming. The colour changing lights also gave me something to focus on during those tough hours.
After Oscar was born it was used in our room as a night light while he was still in his Moses basket, and it is now is in his room so I can see where I’m going when I go in for the night feeds.
When I do yoga I move it to whichever room I want and put on some oils to give myself a spa experience, and sometimes I put some oils on to diffuse before guests are to arrive so the house smells more fresh and inviting.
I can basically see myself using this for years and years and love that it also purifies the air. I just wouldn’t put oils on when the baby is in the room because I read some articles about it being too much for the little ‘uns liver to process. You can find this one here on Amazon.
Fisher-Price Kick ‘n’ Play Piano Gym
There are a gazillion play mats out there, ones that do so many things and loads of designs so it can be hard to decide what to go for. We went for this one because it seemed to have a fair amount for baby to look at without taking up loads of space:
The piano is a lovely feature and those tunes still get played to this day and I don’t think we’ll ever get them out of our head! I loved it when Oscar worked out how to kick with his feet to get music. The piano can be removed so he could play it somewhere else when he was done with the mat.
The dangly bits still provide entertainment for Oscar. There’s a mirror which you can take off, a see-through hippo, elephant with fabric ears and spinny wheels, a crab with a spinny ball and a crinkly zebra.
You can remove the arch and attach the toys around the edge of the mat for tummy time.
This play gym has definitely been one of the most used items and I’ve loved watching him go from hating it to discovering the little details as the weeks went by. Although he doesn’t stay under it anymore as he’d much rather be tottering about, I sometimes just leave it out and he will pass by and play with one of the toys which is sweet. A play gym is a great buy and I think he will still get some use out of it for a few more months at least. This one was from Argos.
These are basically one of the best baby inventions ever. I’m not sure about your baby but given the chance, Oscar has been proven to escape any and every sock wearing situation. This has been especially annoying if he has managed to kick them off his tootsies while we were out and about in the pram. So long sock, never to be seen again. These sock-ons go around your babies socks and make sure they stay on all day; definitely a wardrobe essential which will save you money in the long run from not having to buy lots and lots of socks like we did at the start, and you can find them here.
Before moving from Hong Kong back to England, we decided to take advantage of the fact it’s a tax-free port and bought an iPad Pro. We have never needed one before as we have our iPhones, MacBooks etc. But Jonny described a romantic scene in his head of him reading the morning paper on it over breakfast, and said he could read stories to Oscar on it with him on his lap, and that I could draw on it using the Apple Pencil when I was relaxing, we could use it for travel to watch shows and look up things in hotels… it wasn’t a hard sell. Although we’ve not really used it for many of those purposes yet, we have used it for the following:
It was our White Noise Saviour! We didn’t have to buy a ‘Shaun the Sheep’ or other teddies with weird heart beat sounds because we could just download an App and leave that running those first few weeks when getting him to sleep was just not fun.
Crying/Distraction techniques: playing ‘Five Little Ducks’ on Youtube over and over again gives him a break from crying much! I have listened to this SO many times… my fave version is the first song here. I prop it in front of wherever he is and I get a moment to calm myself down. He’s also incredibly cute when watching the little ducks.
Family-Sharing Apps: Jonny and I obviously have our own separate accounts for most things on our own devices. Having a shared iPad got us to start signing up to shared accounts to make keeping track of things easier as a family. So we view our shared email account on there, track our spendings, put in important dates for the family calendar which sync to our phones, and we had some baby apps on there too to look at together during pregnancy. It’s become like our portable ‘Family Computer’ and helps to organise our family life a bit better.
Games: this will apply more when he’s a bit older but we have tried a few apps where he has to press down and stars will trail his movements or there are fish swimming about where he presses which he finds quite fascinating.
I LOVE using it for drawings (whenever I get the chance) and I have used it for simple messages for Oscar to pose with for pictures! No need for paper and pen… we are helping the environment, right?!?
I would love to hear of any other items you guys have used from baby’s birth to older months, and ones that have been multi-functional! Drop it in the comments 🙂
I was invited to review Arm & Hammer’s Charcoal White toothpaste recently. The goal was to brush my teeth exclusively using the chosen toothpaste twice a day for 5 days and report my findings. Arm & Hammer also sent some mini samples of their other flavours for me to give out to friends and family. Oscar loved playing with all the boxes!
What is the difference with Arm & Hammer™ toothpastes compared to others?
To be honest, I had never tried this toothpaste brand before. I grew up using soley Colgate- the bog standard one with nothing fancy. When I made my own toothpaste buying decisions I always tended then to either stick with Colgate or pick up Macleans or Aquafresh, depending what deals were on. What makes Arm & Hammer toothpastes different is their unique baking soda formulation that claims to deliver the ultimate deep clean. Baking soda is a natural, less abrasive cleaner compared to other whitening toothpastes; its particles are able to dissolve deep down into the microscopic crevices on the tooth surface, resulting in a deep clean. The Charcoal White toothpaste has a bold claim on the box saying it removes 100% more surface stains compared to other whitening toothpastes, so I was keen to put it to the test!
“Arm & Hammer™ Charcoal White™ removes 100% more surface stains than a non-baking soda toothpaste (when used twice a day as directed).”
I will try to get a better photo when the room is a bit brighter, but there is definitely a difference!
So my first impression was that I could definitely taste the baking soda, but this was not a bad thing, it was just different compared to every toothpaste I’d tried before. My teeth also looked grey during brushing due to the charcoal!
Honestly, after the first brush, I noticed the deep clean effects and my teeth seemed brighter and I was sure some stains were removed already. After 5 days I definitely noticed whiter, somehow shinier gnashers and my teeth felt like they would feel and stay fresher for longer after brushing.
I went into the challenge with an open mind, thinking I might or might not like it. What I did not expect was that I would LOVE it and that I would tell all my friends and family about it and now here I am blogging about it!
I have tried many teeth whitening toothpastes in the past and NEVER noticed any difference, in fact I would often ask myself why I bother choosing the ‘whitening’ ones when they would cost more and my teeth would stay the same.
I can honestly say that I have switched brands for good now (this is not an ad!) and I have already convinced some friends and family to do the same!
So thank you Arm & Hammer and also The Insiders for the opportunity 🙂
Another way to make your teeth look whiter is to get a tan 😉
We whipped up a yummy collab meal tonight which was totally scrumptious for a quick food night. We had wanted to do a big dinner since Mondays are now the only day off together, but life happens and we ended up eating at 9pm again, doh >_<
Anyway, so the highlight was Jonny’s porkchop which had been marinated in apple, fennel and mint for 3 days. Fried and chopped, we put it on top of a bed of simple salad with olive oil and lime.
I made some spelt flatbreads, drizzled olive oil and topped it with zaa’tar (toasted sesame seeds, sumac, thyme, oregano and salt) before grilling for a few minutes.
Then with a leftover potato and yoghurt, Jonny made a quick potato salad with coriander and lemon juice.
Well del! (this means it was rather delicious)
Also this has been a rather busy week of hand foods! Wraps and foods you can build with your hands are the best.
You may (or may not) have noticed that we are eating meatballs for the second time this week. But that meat mix Butcher Farrell made last night was just too good to freeze for later..!
So using the same meat mix for our koftas, we made a courgetti/ zoodles bowl for dinner. Our healthgetti consisted of raw julienned courgette, our raw tomato sauce similar to the one we had on Friday night for our meatball night, with meatballs & a sprinkle of parmigianno-reggiano. Served with a balso/ olive oil/ lemon simple salad. As usual, Jonny dealt with the meat and sauce, and I had an easy night of sorting out the veg and salad (it took about 2 minutes!).
Verdict – tasty!! I wanted a light dinner after binging on palmiers and puff pastry twists all day at work (#bakerlife), plus we just got back late from an after-work couples gym session, so this hit the spot :)!
So, at work I’ve started using this new spice merchant and going through his list is like reading something from a Roald Dahl book. Last week’s delivery came and since then all my stuff has at least one of the spices.
Dried whole limes,
Super sichuan pepper
At work I made some sausages with beef, beetroot, hibiscus and rose, with a little bit of horseradish! But me and Ames have wanted to do a collab using them at home. Both of us are off the booze right now, so what better way than a cheeky kebab at home on a Friday; healthier than one on a night out and a damn site cheaper!
So Ames made the flatbread with white flour, whole wheat flour, yoghurt, salt and pepper. After some kneading and a little rest, they baked on the frying pan. She also made some sumac, olive oil and lemon dressing for the salad with chunky hummous (aka lazy hummous made by smashing chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice & salt together with a fork). I made a hibiscus and yoghurt sauce, we love the floralness and tanginess of the hibiscus.
Koftas were a mix of beef chuck/brisket mince and lamb shoulder mince. I added the hibiscus, sumac, lime salt, cumin and fennel seeds, a touch of honey and shit load of garlic, some diced onion and parsley, some roasted pine nuts and a few grates of nutmeg.
We’re both aiming to get super fit for a trip to Vietnam, so are on a health spree and trying to eat healthily. I’m going to file this bang tasty meal under
Wahey it’s our first post! And this is Amy by the way!
So it was one of those nights where Jonny fancied some hand food (food you eat with your hands…) and I wanted to try a spelt focaccia, so this meal happened.
I began by preparing the focaccia. I used my sourdough starter to leaven the bread and 100% wholegrain spelt flour. Here’s the bread in its final proof with fresh rosemary, olive oil, and black pepper. I added salt before baking.
Jonny prepared the mix for the meatballs. All kinds of amazingness in this bowl: pork and beef, Italian style, packed with herbs, mozzarella and sweet peppers.
We paired the meatballs with a cold tomato based sauce and mozzarella, dipped the spelt focaccia in balso & oil… tada a yummy dinner!
The tomato sauce was simply grated tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, delicious and light.
We also built meatball sandwiches like you do with dairy lee lunchables at school… SO good!