Monday, 7 April 2014

Spring Bucket List Update

Hi everyone so the past two week we have been having lots of fun! You may of read my Spring bucket list post a few weeks ago, located here . Well this (and last) week we've manage to tick off some of those activities. 

1. learning all about buoyancy (well trying to)  

We did the activity about 2 weeks ago.  I laid out a towel and filled the washing up bowl with luck warm water.  I then got some tin foil and wrapped it in the shape of a boat as well as getting some stones and mega blocks to show David what would float and what would sink. It didn't work that well as athough he was interested at first he soon then had the idea to get his tea cup from his kitchen and started to transfer the water to his kitchen sink.  In a way when I think about it it's quite clever him realising that water needs to be in the sink.  It was however a bit of a pain to clean up thank god I have wooden floors eh?

happy chappy
After a while after that he decided to do something that I never thought he would do......sit in it.  Yep you heard me right....sit in it.  Thank god I put luke warm water in.  He then tried to get ME to sit in.  Nu-uh ain't happening, even if I was skinny as hell that I just had skin and bones I still wouldn't fit in there.

got to love how relaxed he looks lol
2. Feeding the birds

Now sadly I don't have a picture as I forgot to take one but we now have a bird feeder in the garden!  David actually found it one day and I checked it over and it was still in working order (aka it hadn't broken) I gave it a wash and it was good as new, yay recycling!  So after David found it I decided to get some bird seed balls for my local Asda.  I also picked up some Sunflower seeds but we can't plant them in the ground until end of April so I can't wait for that!

3. Making David his own garden

So one day it was really nice weather and I got my green fingers on.  There was a patch in the corner of my garden that the old tenants tried to do something with, it had large stones in it I really don't know what they were trying to achieve.  I decided to make this David's own garden,  I replaced the logs that were the barrier as I brought some last year which was handy.  I threw the old ones out and started to remove the big stones.  I then took out (nearly some are tiny and not worth pulling out just yet) weeds.

After that I dug out a small trench to semi burry the big stones that were already there.  The idea was then it would separate it against the patio. then after a bit more arrange of the hard soil it was finished.

On Thursday I brought David a welcome sign and a windmill for his garden.  I thought he'd pull the windmill out but actually he's just been spinning it which is good :D

4. Nature/bug hunt

During that same day we looked around our garden at nature.  David decided to pick the flower heads off of the yellow headed dandelions joy!  I didn't mind so much as they were weeds but once we've got proper flowers I'll make sure he understands the difference. We also blew a seed head dandelion together which was very cute.  We saw all different types of creatures, ants, spiders, woodlice, worms and a snail.  I only managed to take a picture of the snail as that's the only thing that would stay still for long enough haha.  I gave the snail to David on a leaf he picked it up looked at it then dropped it (poor thing).  He didn't seem that bothered but he seems to LOVE spiders and chasing after them just like mummy.

We've also been painting this week but no pictures of that and it's just a normal activity we do just like play dough nothing to do with our Spring wishlist.  Soon I'll be ordering David a birdhouse we can paint together as well as planting our sunflower seeds soon and baking flower pot cupcakes.  I can't wait!  We also still need to go on our nature collecting day out but we've either been busy or it's been raining.  We'll do it one day though still got lots of time left!

Until next week!  What have you been getting up to with your child during the weeks of Spring?

Monday, 31 March 2014

Review | Upbeat Protein drink

Hello my lovelies!  Today I am reviewing the upbeat protein drinks!  The lovely guys over at upbeat sent me a massive parcel of goodies along with 2 vouchers for free drinks.  Here is what I received below.  I am so grateful and a lot has come in very handy, even if it did take me and my friends a while to figure out what the "egg" thing was ;D (It's a MP3 player by the way)

We've already used the bag for our lunch when we visited a park in a different town!  Now I'm not going to lie I wouldn't normally buy these,  there just not something that comes to mind.  If I'm low on energy I normally buy a snack bar or something similar.  With high protein and low fat though maybe I should be thinking of these more often?  However it does come along side the problem of actually remembering and of course finding them in the shop successfully (I'll come to that later on).

Before I was given this chance I had never heard of upbeat.  Anyone else or just me kept out of the loop again?  Upbeat is own by the company Good Whey, yet again I've never heard of them (opps). They have a website located here. Which I had to use as I couldn't find the drink in my local stores.  I advice everyone else using the site as well to find out where there nearest is sold.  

That's the number on problem I found with this site.  Even after using the site to find where my nearest store was it still wasn't available even after looking in where it was supposed to be sold.  Eventually I did find it sold in a Holland and Barrett store in Chelmsford.  First I tried the Mango and Passion fruit.  The texture was much like yoghurt so it didn't offer anything new to the department of healthy protein.  The taste was bitter I was not a fan of the Mango club.

However when I tried the strawberry it was much nicer on my tongue pallet.  It went down like a dream. I'm still not a big yogurt fan though so I doubt I would be in a rush to buy these again unless maybe I was on a diet.  However I have told myself not to diet this year.  Instead I am focusing on my teeth (which is going REALLY well bring on September!) 

I do however feel like this is a good product for mums to have if they have the convenience of a shop providing these on their doorstep or near their children's school.  I mean how many mums out there skip breakfast?  Come on own up I bet it's quite a lot right?  Also how many of you go through out the day snacking more then having a proper lunch as your to busy doing housework or work related stuff.  Like this companies aim is it's to "fuel the gap" and I think this will benefit ALOT of mums.

So all in all this drink is not for me but would be very helpful to mums out their that skip breakfast or need more energy throughout the day. Until next week!

*I was sent this product to review and asked to give my opinion about not only the product but the company too.  ALL opinions are unbiased and my own.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Hello Spring/ Spring bucket list fun

Hi everyone so finally Spring is officially upon us however it doesn't men that the rain will stop sadly.  There will still be plenty of Spring showers we can't have sun all the time eh?  So David's now at 22 months and it's getting harder and harder to keep his attention on one thing.  He is distracted very easily so even messy play doesn't keep him entertained for long.  Hopefully this is just a phase which I'm pretty sure it is.  So to try and help keep me sane whilst trying to entertain my son I came across this "Spring bucket list" I thought it was such a great idea!  Some of the ideas are aimed more at girls/older children so I won't be doing all of them but I'm sure I will come up with my own version.  So what have we been getting up to this week well let me show you.

So on Monday I decide to literally paint the windows. I placed some paper infront of David so he could paint.  He didn't show much interest....that was until granddad came round.  Ah the magic of grandparents where a child changes their attitude and becomes a little angel ha ha. Whilst David was painting I painted the window.  I used normal poster paint as I already asked lots of people and they said it just comes out with warm soapy water yay!  On Tuesday after the picture David had made dried I cut out flower shapes and blue-tac them to the stalks. Now even on a rainy day I have a lovely Spring window!

Later on that day we did some play dough he's got quite good with it but still every now and then he will go to put it in his mouth. He'll learn the more we play with it.  I put this in his stocking at Christmas (I mean santa did) and this is only his third time playing with it so he'll get there.  At the moment we stamp numbers as he's learning numbers at the moment.  We do phonics in the bath.  I've started introducing colours slowly too saying for example "where's the blue playdough" he doesn't quite understand yet but I'm not going to push him into just teach him through play how it should be done.  Well that's how I feel anyway. Too many mums out there think it's a race to get their child to do this or that first but it really isn't and if you think like that well I believe your child will think like that too and it's unhealthy.  Which reminds me here is quote I found on Facebook which I think says a lot.

We also had some fun with magnets.  I normally have them in the easel board tray with the pens but I decided to get a baking tray and sit on the sofa with David.  We put them in number order from 0 - 9 and also put them in groups of colours explaining what colour each group was.  David noticed straight away and joined in with grouping them which I was very proud of.  He also pointed out numbers two being his favourite of course ha ha.

From Thursday morning to Saturday afternoon David his round his fathers but this means I have him on Sunday which means family time as it's Matthew's day off yay! I decided to tick off one of the Spring Bucket list ideas and go bird watching with David.  I needed to go out shopping anyway to get some crafty bits to make a mothers day present.  We headed to Hanningfield reservoir it's a great place to go for nature and it doesn't cost a penny not even parking yay!  I took some bread so we could feed the ducks.  

A pair of greylag and Canada Geese.
The ducks were on the green near the parking as it was really windy on the lake.  There were plenty of geese and we only saw two ducks which was a shame.  It was still lots of fun though and I kept pointing to them saying "Look David Geese" "look David ducks"  He didn't care much for talking he was far too intrigued in just looking at them.  He got a bit upset though when he threw the bread and it didn't go far so the geese wouldn't eat it ha ha.  We got quite close to them but not too close they seemed to be surprisingly friendly though which was good. 

After we were done I headed to Chelmer Village to go to Hobby Craft to pick up a few bits whilst we were inside it chucked it down with hailstones when we came out it looked like everyone had chucked slush puppies on the floor or something.  Was quite remarkable and very rare.  That didn't put us off though (well Matthew maybe a little bit) and we headed to Pets at Home.  We look at a few pets and David was really intrigued by these small rodents called Degu's.  I am thinking now of getting him 2 females (they have to be in pairs or groups to stay happy) after his birthday but it all depends.  I'd get them a tall standing cage much similar to what a bird or ferret has as they love lots of space and I can give them clean plain sticks (baking them after cleaning you also have to make sure you know what tree it's from) and give them hay for bedding and food.  I've researched it a lot and talked to one of my friends about it who actually knew someone who owned some.  She said I've done very good research and that I know a lot which makes me confident. That's for a different blog though hey.

Degu's!  Ironically Pets At Home didn't give them a lot
of space I wasn't impressed!

Well that's it for this weeks blog,  do you have any pets?  What are your children's favourite?  Until next time byeeeee

Monday, 17 March 2014

Positive thinking leads to organised cleaning

Hi everyone, so recently I've done a lot of new cleaning.  I'm not going to lie for a while I've been on the lazy side of cleaning.  Obviously I would still clean the living room, David's bedroom, do the washing, wash the dishes.  I never really thought about doing other stuff though because I was so busy and well I didn't really know what to do as odd as that sounds.  I know this blog post will probably get attack by a certain OCD girl but I don't care as this is ME and I am my own person.  

When growing up I didn't have any chores, heck I was the normal teenager who thought a mess was an organised mess.  I never helped my parents clean anything we never had to do any jobs around the house. We never had pocket money we would just ask for money when we wanted it.  Obviously this made me very lazy but my parents probably didn't realise the effect it would have.  Having my own house now I obviously want to keep the house to a good clean standard.  With David now being a toddler this has become even more difficult.  He's having tantrums everyday especially when he doesn't get his own way. He's started to throw things too, this results me taking whatever he has thrown and not giving it back to him for the rest of the day. If he repeats this a number of times he then gets sent to his bedroom for 2 minutes. I do a minute for how old he is and well he is nearly 2 years old. For months I've tried to tidy whilst he is downstairs but you know what apart from the kitchen and the laundry sometimes (he likes to "help" me by putting all the dry stuff in the bucket back on the airer =_=) oh and vacuuming I can't do much else. 

I don't mind some of his toys being on the floor but for some reason it really bugs me when he's got EVERY toy out on the floor.  I'm learning to let go now as well it's now impossible to tidy up his toys as he'll get the toy out again as soon as I'm done putting that toy away. I now leave it to the end of the day and sometimes Matthew will even help me which is nice.  To remind myself of tasks that aren't so obvious to me that need doing I found a great website with a Cleaning Calendar 2014.  Not only does it have monthly tasks but it also has weekly and even DAILY tasks.  Some of these are obvious but to someone like me not all of them are.

I've been using this for just under a week now and I've seen improvements in my routine and cleanliness of the house and my mindset.  I mean I'm sorry but who actually enjoys cleaning? Maybe some people find it relaxing but I bloody well don't.  I mean yes the out come is obviously nice but then I've just got the mindset usually of "what's the point it's just going to get messy again".  With this calendar though it has motivated me more. I think organisation just motivates me in general I love organising things.

If your interested in this calendar and want to say more then feel free to go to here.  Obviously some of them are in American language so Automobile, obviously stands for car and  baseboards means skirting boards. I hope you find this useful and if not well I hope you at least enjoyed reading my blog.  Do you have difficulty with getting in the mindset of cleaning?  How has your childhood effected the way you clean?  Has anything changed?

Monday, 10 March 2014

Sunny park fun!

So everyone, I'm pretty sure a lot of you have noticed that it's be quite a successful sunny week here in England!  Especially over here is Essex. Heck yesterday I got to put the suncream on and dress David in shorts it was THAT hot where I live.  We decided to make the most out of the sun this week and spend it outdoors in parks that are all around us.  Even though it was sunny and warm it was still muddy in some areas so we were covered in mud a few times (woops) but it's all in the aid of fun so I didn't care that much. We didn't go too far from home BUT we didn't need to, to have fun for free.

Now I will admit I didn't get photos of all the parks we went to as well, we were having far too much fun.  The first park we went to was Compass Garden in my local town centre.  It's a really nice park and you really get a sense of community from it.  It's got an outdoor gym which is very popular which actually surprises me.  It also has two parks one for older children and the second for toddlers as well as a new and improved skatepark and long fields. For some reason it didn't cross my mind that even though it was sunny it would still be muddy.  I was probably far too busy thinking sun, sun, sun, sun.  David still had lots of fun though walking along the paths and running around in circles chasing after the other children.  He makes friends so easily always has from birth which I'm pleased about.  

The next park we went to during the week was the park literally round the corner.  No seriously it's right around the corner.  We always have lots of fun here and what's even better is that there is no mud :P.  ha ha yay! 

Sunday was the best day of them all though! It was soooo bright and hot.  I got to put David in shorts for the first time this year yay!  We visited the park in Maldon and took David's trike as well.  As expected though it was VERY busy.  We played in the pirate park until lunch time.  Below is a stock photo of the park without people ha ha.  I was far too busy playing with David as well as making sure he was safe.

We then sat down and obviously had lunch, David had rice crackers and raisins.  He was going to have fruit until I noticed it had gone off!  I noticed the sale by date was the 8th of March! I brought it on that day! Shouldn't of even been on the shelves naughty Asda, thankfully I ate one first before David ate any phew!  It was such a nice day and the park was so busy me and Matthew decided it would be a good idea to walk along the seawall to Tesco (we could buy some more fruit for David) where there is another park there.  It was such a beautiful view walking along and we saw lots of great places.  One being a tea room on a boat!  How cool is that!

The views whilst we were walking were so nice.  A few people were riding their bikes and I don't blame them.  It was such a nice day. It took us a while but it was worth it and it was a beautiful walk.  We popped to Tesco and then headed to the park next to it.  David made some new friends and it was less crowded which was good.  Only problem though is that it was rather muddy.  Next time I'll be taking David's wellys ha ha.  I don't mind us getting muddy though it's all done in great fun.  Plus there is always the washing machine.  Until next week everyone!

Monday, 3 March 2014

A week full of fun [warning very long post]

Hey everyone,  So today's post was supposed to be a cooking week and whilst we did cook together we only did it for 2 days.  The rest of the time we were out!  This week has just been sooooo busy it's unreal.  You know what though? I have loved it, even got a few lay-ins because we wore David out so much woho.  Another thing that has been nice to see is how much my boyfriend has started to bond more with my son.  He's always been good with children considering his family is quite big so naturally there are lots of them.  However starting a new relationship with someone who has a toddler is slightly different and although Matthew was fine with this he obviously found it a bit hard to adapt as we all know toddlers aren't always little angels, as much as we'd love them to be of course.  Over the past week though I have seen a step up, if you want to call it of their bond.  Matthew will now come home from work and David is so excited to see him.  He turns into a ball of hyperness it's unreal.  Most of the time David will be in his highchair when Matthew arrives home so, Matthew will play peekaboo hiding behind him.  Obviously there are still things Matthew needs to get used to like understanding the way David thinks.  For example when David empties his plate and hands it over, Matthew thought this was bad, but infact it's David's way of saying "I'm done mummy".  So I explained this to Matthew and now when David does this, he takes the plate from David but asks David to put the food that he doesn't want back on the plate then takes it out to the kitchen.  I've seen David want to play with Matthew more too but I shall explain that later.

So what have we been up to?  Well on Wednesday evening I thought it would be a perfect time to make our very own pizza's for dinner.  As you can see from the picture above David helped me with the toppings we started off with cheese and you can probably notice in the background plenty of vegetables (olives for me ;)) this is what we ended up with before it went in the oven.  I was a bit nervous and it looked massive but thank god it shrunk in the oven ha ha.

The next day (Thursday) we painted David's nan's plant pot.  I decided to use the tray that the mushrooms came in as a paint tray.  I only had yellow, red (it actually looks more pink) and blue.  So it kind of looked like a hippy decorated it.  Nanny didn't care though she was just happy that we decorated it. David had lots of fun painting it and afterwards he did some finger prints on some paper.

That night we also made hot dogs on spaghetti.  I had only seen pictures of this so I just guessed really on how to do it as it didn't look like rocket science.  Only thing I will do differently next time, is only put one chunk of hot dog on one bit of spaghetti, so it doesn't weigh it down so much.  David tried to help bless him but each time he tried to do it.  The pasta snapped, I felt so sorry for him so I helped him a tad bit.  Cheeky little sod kept eating the hot dogs too!  Oh and with me watching very closing he even wanted to help me cut the hot dogs up (with a blunt knife of course).....though the hot dogs went flying because of the technique he was using. Still little man A+ for effort.

On Friday we went out in the evening for nanny's birthday.  We went to Grand Central in Basildon and the food was amazing.  It's made me want to go again for my birthday to be honest.  The kids meals were quite a good selection...even if the fish fingers were obviously just from Asda that is opposite though.  Sadly David didn't eat much and was in a terrible mood.  Due to him being tired though as it was late.  He loved seeing his grandparents though and we walked around the restaurant for a bit and there were other children there dressed as tinkerbell.  It made me giggle when they went "hey look it's Spiderman" due to David wearing his Spiderman attire. I don't have any pictures as nanny took them all that night.

Saturday we went to nannys again too see Matthew's auntie, uncle and children.  They are all so lovely and I'm so glad I have invited them to the party.  Malina absolutely adores David and is always playing with him and picking him up.  I have no idea where she gets the strength from she's only 11! Matthew showed off his flips on the trampoline which is always a joy to watch..not going to lie.

On Sunday we went swimming. We went to Maldon leisure centre as the swimming pool in my town is too cold.  Sod's law decided to play a part of Maldon have now got a separate baby pool (they used to just have a separate area in the main pool which was warmer) but it was under maintenance.  I thought it would be fine but the water in the main pool was really cold even in the shallow bit that beforehand was especially for children.  David even started to shiver.  So even though he was having a good time splashing everywhere, chasing after Matthew, trying to even swim, we didn't stay in there for long.  Which was obviously a shame,  me and Matthew both agreed to come back when the baby pool was re-opened.

So as you can see me and David have had a realllly packed week.  It's been great fun though and I don't regret anything.  Sorry that this blog was so long but it was hard to keep it short.  Fingers crossed it didn't bore you too much. How has your week been?  Any activities you've been up to?  Or just a lazy week in?

Monday, 24 February 2014

Review | McCain ready baked jackets

Hello everyone.  So today I'm going to be talking to you about these bad boys.  That's right McCains new microwavable jackets!  I'm not going to lie I was a bit unconvinced at first.  I mean I've had microwaved meals in the past and they are never as good as the real thing.  With these my first thoughts were that the potato was going to be dry and not very satisfying.  Was that true? Well let's find out.

So I popped these in the microwave for the suggested time it had on the back of the box which was for about 5 minutes.  Longer if I re-call if you were doing more than one potato.  I decided to cook one each for me and David for dinner that night.  Obviously this was a big dinner for David so no surprise he didn't each much of it.  He still enjoyed it though but he left about 3/4.  I'm not surprised though as these were quite filling and normally I eat a whole jacket no problem.  

Obviously the skin wasn't crispy cooking them via the microwave BUT you also have the option of cooking them in the oven if you wish.  To my delight these jackets were not more dry as any other normal potato I would of cooked from scratch.  I always add butter before I add my topping anyway, but I was expecting to add more then usual but I didn't have to which was nice.

The only bad thing I would say though is I had to bung them back in the microwave for a few minutes longer as they got quite cold quickly.  Maybe it's because they were done in the microwave?  I've never had that problem when baking potatoes in the oven.  I think these jackets are a good source of healthy eating in just minutes if your running late on dinner for your family if say you've been out for the day.  Or if your a student these would be a good thing to buy having one per night.  They are on sale at Asda for £2.50 for 4, Which is about 62p per jacket.  There is however the Asda own range which is basically the same (though I have not tried these) for just £2 which sets it at 50p per jacket.  Still quite expensive so I would wait until they went on offer. 

Obviously there is always buying potatoes and baking them from scratch but like I said previously these are good when you're short on time.  When putting all the factors together I'd give this a rating of 3.5/5.  There good quality potatoes and a healthy way of filling your tummy.  They are also a great quick meal for four BUT the price is quite expensive and they got cold quickly.  I hope you enjoyed my review and found it useful,  until next week folks!

What is your favourite jacket filling?