Monday, 20 October 2014

Meal Planning Monday

The last week has flown past. We did pretty well with our meal plan apart from having a Chinese one evening we stuck to it. Beef fajitas were yummy and made a nice change from our usual chicken ones. The steak we had was lovely and even I(not a huge steak fan) really enjoyed it. 
This week we're eating in no particular order

Spicy sausage pasta
Cheesy potato chowder with cheese and onion bread
Pork and apple burgers, curly fries and onion rings
Steak with sweet potato and veg
Pasta with pesto
Freezer dinner

Linking up with meal planning Monday, why not join in over at At Home With Mrs M 

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Spooky pumpkin decorations

This week we've been doing lots of pumpkin based activities.
These cute decorations are perfect to brighten up the house for Halloween and are super simple to make. Apples make a great pumpkin print and are much easier for little ones to handle!

I poured out orange paint and chopped an apple in half. I stuck a fork into each apple half(thank you pintrest for that idea) for easy grip and got the boys printing. Seb was a dab hand at this but most of Alex's came out smudged(he isn't even 2 yet) so we gave him a helping hand to make sure we had a few usable prints. We used fingertips in green paint to add stalks on to our prints. 

Once dry I cut out the prints and we got to work on adding faces. I cut out shapes from black card to stick on. It was a good chance to talk about different emotions and facial expressions and we showed our own happy,  sad and scary faces to each other. Once these were done I attached them to some string and attached these to some Halloween straws I picked up in the pound shop. You could also use lollipop sticks to attatch them to.

Ours are stuck up in the kitchen with some washi tape for bow but I'll be putting them in the window come Halloween! 

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Salt Dough Candle Holders for Diwali

Next week is Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.
I saw these fab candle holders over on Jennifer's Little World blog and thought they would ideal for us to make as we love salt dough.  I am keen for the boys to learn about religion and different cultures and one of the easiest ways to introduce them in my mind is by looking at celebrations.

We made the dough using a cup of plain flour, 1/2 cup of salt and 1/2 cup of water mixed together, moulded it into our candle holder shape and then popped in the oven on it's lowest setting for a few hours.
Once totally dry and hard, I popped out some paints and loose glitter and let the boys decorate. They went for lovely bright colours and then added the glitter on top of the wet paint. Once dry we added our tea lights.
Seb and I also watched this and this episode of Let's Celebrate to learn more about Diwali. This series is great for younger children to learn about different festivals. Seb was really interested in the rangoli and the sweeties! 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Lush Butterbear bath bomb

Hurrah Lush have new products out! Of course I have been buying some to enjoy and review on here.
I have been reviewing Lush products on blogs since 2009(eek) and have been buying them since I was a young teen so for over 15 years, and now I also use them on the boys so I like to think I know what I am talking about!
Butterbear is a Christmas product, a cute little bear containing cocoa butter and smelling of vanilla. If you are familiar with Lush you will probably recognise that this is the same as a Butterball Bath Bomb(a classic) just in a sweeter shape.

I used the bomb for the boys bath as I know that it is kind to their skin and they love throwing a bath bomb in and seeing it fizz. This isn't the most exciting bath bomb visually, it fizzes and leaves the bath a plain milky colour but it has a lovely scent and the water is lovely and silky.
After the bath the scent stays on the skin and my boys smelt delicious for bedtime cuddles.

This would make a very cute stocking filler for little ones(or big ones) and at just £1.95 it won't break the bank!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Degustabox September

It's Degustabox review time! 
If you haven't heard of Degustabox before, it is a monthly subscription box containing foodie items so you can discover new flavours every month. 
We have been receiving the boxes for several months now(see my August review here)  and I still find them just as exciting. The whole idea that you don't know what to expect is a real selling point for me and i am always impressed with the contents.

As usual the box was bursting with goodies, well packaged and protected from any damage with lots of bubble wrap. Again this month there were 2 versions of the box one containing alcohol and one not containing alcohol, i received the contents of both boxes for the purpose of the review.

First up the drinks
Little Miracles Organic Tea. There were 2 bottles of this in the box, a green tea and a lemongrass tea. These drinks are a blend of orgaic tea and fruit juice sweetened with agave and are designed to give you a pick me up. They are free from artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners and come in at less than 90 calories. I surprised myself and really enjoyed these especially the lemongrass version and will definately be picking that one up again for a refreshing drink. 

Crabbies Fruits, Zesty Lemon. A new alcoholic range from Crabbies containing upto 10% natural fruit juice. There are 3 flavours, Black Cherry, Raspberry and Rhubarb and the one we received Zesty Lemon. I shared this with Phil and it was really tasty and refreshing and no overly alcoholic tasting. 
Crabbies Ginger Beer, Traditional Ginger. This is a non alcoholic cloudy ginger beer, established in 1801 Crabbies use a secret recipe of spices, fruit and ginger to create a refreshing drink.Phil drank this and enjoyed it.

Onto the food items!
Carnation Cook with it! This is probably my favourite thing from this months box. Cook with it, is a cooking creme that can be used a huge number of dishes. It contains 68% less fat than single cream .I have used this to make macaroni cheese, a creamy coconut curry(see my recipe here) , chicken and chorizo pasta and added it into mash instead of milk. I really like this product and can see it having a place in my kitchen cupboards. 
Elizabeth Shaw Dark Chocolate Mint Thins. Having tried Elizabeth Shaw treats from previous Degustaboxes we were both eager to try these. Made of 55% dark chocolate with a mint flavour and decorated with crunchy mint sprinkles, these thins are a real treat. They are sooo good! I had to stop myself eating too many in one sitting. A perfect after dinner treat. 

Righteous Salad Dressings. These interesting salad dressings are all natural. The flavours are a bit different, we received 3 varieties; Lemon and Mustard Seed, Raspberry and Sweet Basil and Mild English Blue Cheese and Cider. I've not tried these yet, i;m saving them for a day when we have a picky lunch off the table and will go perfectly alongside that. 

La Vieja Fabrica Marmalade. This marmalade is produced in Seville using a recipe that is over 170 years old. It is packaged beautifully, it reminds me of a product you would receive in a nice hamper. I'm not a marmalade fan but Phil and the boys are and have been enjoying this on toast.

Jordans Simply Granola. We are already big fans of Jordans, so i was pleased to see this in the box. This simple granola with a hint of honey hits the spot. We mix ours up with some yoghurt and fruit for a yummy breakfast. 
Burts Lentil Waves. These were probably the most interesting product for me this month. I am always looking for healthier alternatives to crisps and thats exactly what these are. We received 3 flavours; Lightly Salted, Thai Sweet Chilli and Sour Cream and Chive. Flash cooked in Devon these chips are crunchy and full of flavour. They are currently available at Waitrose, hopefully they will be more widely available soon as i would definately buy them.

Bahlsan Pick Up. Those who follow me on twitter may have seen me raving about this biscuits! We received 2 packets of these biscuits, Milk Chocolate and Black N White. They have a slab of chocolate between 2 crunchy biscuits and are totally delicious and perfect with a cuppa. My mum even got in on the action and has been buying these after trying one at my house.

Yet again another great box this month we have thoroughly enjoyed trying everything and there are several products that i will definately be buying again!

The lovely folks over at Degustabox are offering you all £3 off when you register with them. Simply go to their website and use the code AD9EM

You can also follow Degustabox on Facebook and Twitter

**I was sent this box to review but all opinions are my own**