Monday, 27 October 2014

A new baby competition

My blog is now 2 years old! Time certainly has flown.  I wanted to celebrate with a little giveaway and as several of my close friends have had babies recently I thought we could have a little baby giveaway.

I have three prize bundles to giveaway:

First Prize
  • Mamia new born 4-pack nappies
  • MAM Baby's first cutlery
  • MAM original soother - moustache
  • Lansinoh 2 ultra thin nursing pads
  • Kick counter from count the kicks
  • The little Nappy Bag hook
  • Voucher for 50p off any Plum product
  • Pregnacare vitamins
Second Prize bundle
Third Prize bundle
  • MAM original soother moustache
  • Voucher for 50p off any Plum product
Entry is open to UK residents only.  Entry is via the Rafflecopter which displays the full t&c.  Winner drawn at random, giveaway closes 8th November midnight GMT

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 26 October 2014

October recipe with a2 milk

I decided to try something new for our October recipe.  I wanted something nice and simple and with the cold weather also nice and comforting.  I settled on slow cooked pork in Milk.

After browning the pork tenderloin in a pan, the quantity of pork is entirely dependant on how many you are feeding, I used 800g to feed 4, I placed the browned pork in the slow cooker.  I sprinkled the pork with salt and pepper and added some mixed herbs.  Finally I added the milk.  The milk should come about half way up the sides of the pork.

Cover and cook on a low heat for about 6 hours until it is fork tender.  Leave to rest on a plate for 10 minutes prior to serving.

The milk in the slow cooker needs to be blitzed with a food processor after cooking in order to create a nice creamy sauce which can be poured over the pork.  Alternatively if you do not want the sauce just serve the pork as is.

The pork is really tender and the milk adds a nice flavour.  We had some left overs so I made a pork sandwich for lunch the day after.

This post is written in collaboration with a2 milk. 

Birthday bashes

As a parent I will admit to feeling the pressure to throw a good birthday party.  I am not alone though with 42% also feeling the pressure.  It is no surprise really when we look in the media and see the lavish parties celebrities throw their children.  Without the high price tag is it still possible to throw such amazing parties?  Steven Duggen Party planner to the stars shares his top tips:

·       There are many ways to achieve a stunning look at home for your toddler's party. It is important to decorate smart, for example, using recyclable products from your home and making interesting hanging features! When hanging, make sure your craft pieces are out of reach of little fingers
·       The classic blue for a boy and pink for a girl has now developed into pale greens, yellows and other pastel tones to set a certain theme or 'look'
·       Popular hired entertainment includes clay making, balloon modellers and face painting but something you can do at home is to have colouring competitions, cupcake decorating and decoration-making
·       For the more lavish or elegant settings you wish to create, the use of a few fun props to hire, coloured wall up-lighting and even tall jungle trees will help to get a great atmosphere within the space. Themes are also impactful. You can choose anything from Alice in Wonderland, to Aladdin, to a Circus party and still be able to create the setting for less by being a little more creative 
·       The idea is to create a theme that is fun, as busy and detailed as possible, while using art supplies and items from around the house
·       Soft play areas and mini ball pits are also very popular for the younger ones. Again you can have an entire floor of soft play and soft shapes to ensure they are safe.'

Like 70% of parents we celebrated our daughters first birthdays with close family.  

The spend for first birthdays also varies between locations

London £146.58
North West £119.59
North East £119.29
Scotland £107.77
West Midlands £105.23
South West £101.29
South East £98.63
Wales £96.07
Northern Ireland £90.63
East Midlands £89.93
Yorkshire & The Humber £88.50
East Anglia £70.84

I would love to know your top tips for celebrating birthdays and keeping down the spend.  The survey was conducted by   where you can find a wealth of information on toddler specific nutrition.

I have not received payment for this post. 

Spooky Halloween cupcakes

My daughter came home from school and wanted to do some baking.  We decided to make it Halloween themed.  We made a basic sponge recipe 


225g (8 oz) self-raising flour
225g (8 oz) butter, at room temperature
225g (8 oz) caster sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder

After pre heating the oven to 180C we mixed all the ingredients together in a bowl.  My eldest then put them into bun cases and we baked in the oven for 18 minutes. 

My eldest placed a handful of Oreos into a freezer bag and had a lot of fun crushing them with a rolling pin.  We made some chocolate icing and covered the top of the buns, before coating in our crushed Oreo.

Our final step was to add our spooky eyes.  We used Smarties cut in half.

What do you think of our Spooky eye Halloween cakes?

This day I love Spooky Halloween cupcakes 

Saturday, 25 October 2014

A rainy day at the farm

It was a rainy day today but my youngest wanted to see some animals.  We decided to visit the farm, and thought we would try a new one.  Matlock farm park is a new farm for us, but the site looked amazing and one I wanted to take my daughter to.

We arrived and was immediately greeted by the farm cat, my youngest was so excited by this and seemed to want to stay and play with the cat.

We headed inside [or outside as the case maybe] and began to explore.  There was a beautiful wooden pirate ship themed play ground but it was a little wet so we headed over to the meerkats.  My youngest had arrived just in time as it was feeding time.  She was given an egg and some meal worms to throw in, which she took great pride in doing.

We began to explore more of the farm following the trail, which is pushchair friendly.  I came across this beautiful face peering over the fence

My daughter loved that she could feed the animals and was allowed to interact with them.  The alpacas were normally too scared to come over to be fed but they came over for the first time to my youngest.  Even the baby, Poppy, came over and took food.

My youngest wanted to stroke all the animals, even the pigs!

I was impressed by Freddie, I don't think I have ever seen a red deer before.  He was very handsome

Of course you cannot visit the farm without seeing some cheeky goats.

Or in this case some cheeky Donkeys

There was even time to feed the ducks

and give carrots to the horse

Before we headed over to the small animal centre.  My youngest held a Rabbit, Guinea Pig and a chicken

 Before meeting a very cute Leopold Gecko

We had a wonderful day exploring the farm even in the rain and are looking to go back next week with her sister for the Halloween activities. 

This day I love a rainy day at the farm,

Won't cost the earth

This week marks Big energy saving week and I would love to know your tips for saving energy.  I came across the following and would love to know your thoughts

Won't Cost the Earth - An infographic by LightBulbs-Direct to promote the Benefits of LED Bulbs for ‘Big Energy Saving Week’.  To view the full image click here.

I have not been paid to post this, I simply felt it worth sharing

Linked : Linky for Linky week 4

Welcome to week 4 of Linked.  

Apologies for the delay in getting live, this week has seen the dreaded flu take over the household.  Achy, poorly and a lack of sleep has meant everyone is tired and ill.  Hopefully this will pass soon and we can return to normal.

For those new to Linked, Linked is a weekly directory of Linky.  Come and add your Linky below or any Linky or blog hop you know about.  I will comment on all that are added and share on my twitter page.  It would be great if you could add my badge, so that more people know about Linked creating a more in depth directory.

This day I love - Linked

Linked also works in a reverse order, this means the latest to be added is first in the list.  If your Linky ends just as Linked starts feel free to add both your previous and current Linky to the list.

Last week I was really inspired by #Xmasclutterclear, I have been up into the attic and tidied up.  I have found a lot of things that need to be listed onto ebay and quite a few for the charity shop.  Which is part of my task for the half term.

Look forward to your Linky and blog hops again this week and thanks for joining Linked!