Month: August 2016

Party Time with Party Bags & Supplies

Usually when it comes to G’s birthday I always go for the same theme of Wales as he’s a very proud and patriotic Welshman. I always go for Wales flag bunting, napkins, table cover, red, white and green balloons and have even made my own Wales flag birthday cake for him one year! So when I was asked by the guys at Party Bags & Supplies if I’d like to review one of their party kits I thought I’d go for it and try a different theme altogether.

The choice is amazing, there’s so many to choose from and something for everyone. G’s a massive Avengers fan, especially the Hulk so I was hoping they had something like that, which they did but unfortunately it was out of stock at the time so I had a look for something else. I then came across TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) which were also one of his favourites growing up so I rather quickly made my decision and chose that pack.


Everything arrived a few days later all packed neatly into a box- thankfully you couldn’t tell what was inside or my surprise party plan would have been ruined. It contained 8 paper plates, 8 napkins, 8 cups, a tablecover and 8 party bags which were already packed with goodies! How brilliant is that? Okay so this was for G’s 30th birthday so I wasn’t too concerned about the party bags or their contents but they were great and for kids parties it’s a genius idea! No more having to run around buying numerous amounts of bits and pieces to fill up the bags- it’s already done for you! The TMNT theme was carried on within the contents, they contained stickers, spinners, mini frisbee’s, wristband, a little puzzle, some sweets and a little toy. I think if I was using these for my childs party I’d probably only add some bubbles and then a bit of the birthday cake to take home so they’re perfect.


I was really impressed with the items I received and G was over the moon! I even found a TMNT cake in our local supermarket which matched the theme perfectly and our daughter had hours of fun with her party bag 🙂


This pack which I received is £28.00 which I think is a bargain considering you’re getting the pre-filled party bags! You can also add on extras such as balloons, banners, invitations and so much more to complete your party. Of course it’s not just birthday parties either, they have things for practically any occasion and you can find the full range on their website here.

Which theme do you like the look of?

Mother Hermit xx

 

I was kindly sent this party pack in return for an honest review. All views and opinions are that of my own.

Dear Billy, 6 Months Have Passed…

I honestly cannot believe that I’m sat writing this, my son Billy is now 6 months old exactly. You know when you’re pregnant and people always say things like “Make the most of every second” and “They’ll be teenagers before you know it”, those comments that have you giving them a sneaky eye roll because you’re simply sick of hearing it. Yeah well I now know that they only say it because it’s true! Billy is my second child so I’ve experienced it all before, having a newborn and then what feels like a few weeks later they’re in a walker feeding themselves and blowing raspberries at you (that’s what Billy is doing right now LOL), but this time everything seems to have gone by even quicker!


Billy was a water baby, born in a pool in the Birthing Centre on 20th February 2016. (I’m yet to write a post of my birth experiences but that will be coming soon so i’ll not go into it here) As he was born in the water and gulped quite a bit before the last push, he was very mucusy and spent the first week or so bringing up every single drop of his milk and all of the excess water he had taken from the pool. This sent us into a bit of a worrying phase as we really thought he had reflux. Fortunately though after the first week, maybe week and a half, everything settled down and by 4 weeks old he was having 8oz bottles of formula per feed and only waking once during the night.
By the time we got to around 10/11 weeks we quickly found that the formula just wasn’t enough for my growing boy. His sister was exactly the same at this age. We tried him on 9oz bottles but after 8oz he wouldn’t take any more milk but would still give us his hungry cry. I managed to hang on until around 12/13 weeks and then introduced baby rice twice per day. I was making the usual 8oz bottles but using 1oz to mix with a few scoops of baby rice in a bowl and spoon feeding him that once in the morning and once in the afternoon. This worked a treat and he took to the spoon straight away, and the rice obviously which after two weeks was changed to baby porridge as the rice was no longer enough by this point!


Now his feeding routine is usually something like; An 8oz bottle of formula with a slice of toast and some fruit in the morning, another 8oz at snack, a full pot of savoury food, and full pot of sweet and an 8oz at lunch time, another 8oz at dinner time, another 8oz after his bath with 2 fromage frais and some snacks (fruit & veg sticks, fruit puffs, crisps etc) in between all of this. I couldn’t tell you what he weighs, I haven’t taken him in a while as as you can probably tell, I’m not worried about him in that way at all! I appreciate that people might be reading this thinking I did the whole weaning thing far too early but I knew what was right for my baby- every baby is totally different and what worked for mine won’t necessarily work for another.
Sleeping wise he’s perfect. I don’t know whether it’s because I’m so calm and laid back with the kids that they’ve both been excellent sleepers, or I’m just really lucky. He goes down between 8/9pm and wakes between 7/8am and doesn’t get up at all during the night. Although this might change soon as we’ll be moving him into his own room next week! Quite a scary thought as I love being able to hear him breathing and see him through those little bars on his cot during the night, but it has to be done- I need to be able to put the light on at bedtime!


Development wise he’s getting there. He loves lying on his playgym and rolling around all over the living room floor but isn’t keen on tummy time and pushes himself straight back over. He uses his feet to push himself backwards in some weird launching pattern and actually manages to get quite far- but this is on his back LOL. He loves being in his Jumperoo and if you’re following me on Instagram you’ll have recently seen him practically taking off in it! He’s also just started going in his walker and although we’ve had no movement yet he’s trying his best to get it going! He’s now in his highchair at mealtimes which makes the whole feeding mixed with baby led weaning so much easier and he sat up on his own for the first time while we were at a picnic with my fellow North East Bloggers a few weeks ago!


Billy is such a happy and placid little boy who is always giving you smiles and giggling away at his big sister. Everyone often comments that you forget he’s there because he’s not a pick of bother and never makes a noise unless he’s really hungry or blowing raspberries at you. Or his new one of “Ba ba ba ba ba ba….”. He’s recently started teething properly though which is an absolute nightmare because I hate that I can’t help him with the pain. I’ve started filling his dummies with water and freezing them which seems to be working a treat as he can bite down on the teat which is full of ice! Hopefully he’ll cut his first one soon and the rest will swiftly follow.


So that’s my boy in his first 6 months. A beautiful little boy who is fast building his own cheeky character and developing his own little personality which I am utterly besotted with. The bond he has with his sister already is incredible and I cannot wait to see what happens within the next 6 months!


Mother Hermit xx

 

 

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Bibetta Lunch Bag- A Review

We love to take our own snacks for the kids when we go out and about and are always looking for alternatives to our usual tupperware in a carrier bag so when I was asked to review the Bibetta Lunch Bags I couldn’t refuse.


The lunch bags are made from neoprene which ensures that the contents stay at the right temperature and they’re also stretchy so you can fit allsorts in. They come in four different colours and patterns, Turquoise Birds, Pink Butterflies, Green Owls and Blue Fish. I chose the pink one for Violet- she loves testing out products for me! The bag is much bigger than I was expecting and Violet has been testing it to the max by filling it with every toy she can find- it passed! The colour is beautiful, bright and bold and the butterfly pattern is really cute. There’s also a little butterfly name tag attached which makes it perfect if you’re going to take it anywhere it might get lost or mixed up with other bags. They can even be put in the washing machine which is an absolute bonus-well for me it is, Violet loves to be messy!


These lunch bags are usually £9.99 each however they are currently on sale for £4.99 which is a bargain. You can purchase them from the Bibetta website here and you can also like them on Facebook.

Mother Hermit xx

I was sent this lunch bag in exchange for this review. All views and opinions are that of my own.

Wicked Uncle Challenge

On one of my usual daily perusals of Twitter I came across a company called Wicked Uncle- Brilliant Children’s Presents. I noticed that they were looking for bloggers to participate in a challenge- The Wicked Uncle Challenge- and thought I’d have a look into it.

The challenge is to find a Wicked Grown Up to pass a voucher code to (provided by the guys at Wicked Uncle) so they can then spend it on buying gifts for your children on their website. They then report back to me on how they found the website and it’s then up to me to report on how well they did with their choice of gifts. Obviously I opted to take part and passed the details and voucher code straight onto my younger sister, who is yet to have little darlings of her own. This is her experience;

What if today we were just grateful for everything-

So yeah, at the time I gave her the challenge she was sunning it up in the Dominican and she’d probably had a cocktail or two by this point so it shows just how easy the website is to use. Once she’d ordered the gifts she challenged me to have a look at the site myself and see if I could guess what she’d picked. I couldn’t. All of the gifts on the site are put into categories of gender and age range which makes it so easy to pick something for the child you’re shopping for. Ok, well maybe it doesn’t as there’s so much to choose from, but you could do an ‘eeny meeny’ type riddle or rhyme to help you finally decide I guess!

What did she choose? Well we obviously had to wait for the Wicked Auntie to get back from her jolly holidays to find out but when she returned we weren’t disappointed!

Violet’s was gift wrapped which made it even more exciting for her- what child doesn’t love tearing paper off presents- or for that matter what adult doesn’t like to?! It was opened pretty quickly to reveal the Baking Set! Perfect! I’ve recently started baking myself and Violet loves to help out. It has a whisk, rolling pin, cookie cutters and a book of recipes and it even comes with the cutest little apron for her to wear! Wicked Auntie did good on this one so I sent her a text to come over and help us test it out 🙂

Billy’s wasn’t gift wrapped- he’s only 6 month and I don’t think he was too bothered by it 😉 He got a Monkey! Marvin the Monkey to be precise. I should have known really as our Nicola is pretty obsessed with them herself. The big grin on his face when we showed it to him said it all. It was quickly out of the box and Marvin joined Billy in his jumperoo. Marvin comes with a little battery pack which slots inside of his back and it plays music. There’s a little volume button and four different buttons to play different types of music to suit what your child is doing like playing or sleeping. Sayings as Billy was due his nap I decided to give the sleep music a go. As you can see by the photo’s below it worked a treat and didn’t take him long to drift off to sleep whilst giving Marvin a snuggle. He now takes Marvin everywhere he goes and if you attempt to take it off him you’ll have a screaming baby to deal with- just don’t take it away!

Well done Wicked Auntie, you can now have him overnight- just pick a day yeah?! 😉

So there you have it. The Wicked Uncle Challenge was accepted and The Wicked Auntie absolutely nailed it with utter success! I have a feeling she’ll now be using the Wicked Uncle website for the kids presents on all occasions- I’m happy with that 🙂

If you want to have a look at what they have to offer yourself head on over to their website. You can also find them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Mother Hermit xx

As stated in the post, we were provided with a £40.00 voucher code for the purpose of this challenge and review. All views and opinions are that of my own unless otherwise stated.

Just us Box- Getting Prepared for a Stargazing Date

It’s definitely true in my experience that after having kids date nights with your other half become a thing of the past. By the time it gets to the end of the day we’re both so tired I end up curling up with a glass of wine in front of a good box set and G sits on his PS4- that’s just our way of relaxing! We do try to make time for dates but as we’re so tired our planning doesn’t go very far and we end up sitting in front of the telly and most likely falling asleep. It’s nice when we do get to go out for a date but as our one babysitter is my younger sister we don’t like to ask her loads. So when I came across Just Us Box I had to see what it was all about.

“We are on a mission to help you disconnect from your screens and re-connect with your partner with a monthly date night subscription box so you can spend some quality time together… just us!”

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Ok, how amazing does that sound?! So basically you get a ‘date night’ box sent to you monthly which includes everything you need to have the perfect date night with your special someone. And it really does include everything you need. I received the July box with the theme of ‘Let’s Go Stargazing’ which is the perfect date, especially for us busy parents, being able to have a nice date in your own home or back garden once the little ones are (finally!) in bed is just what we need.

The July box contains a large selection of things to make your date amazing- you can see everything in the photo below, hot chocolate with disposable cups, Haribo sweets, a small torch, UV nail polish, a creative pack to make ‘The Kepler Telescope’ and a picnic blanket. It also includes a ‘date plan’, a list of activities, an envelope of ‘Stargazing Challenges’ and a list of conversation starters. You’d think that the conversation starter list would only be useful for first dates and such but to be honest when G and I are alone without the kids these days we tend to really struggle to have any kind of conversation which isn’t about the kids- until we’re a wee bit tipsy that is! There’s even some suggestions of stargazing themed music for you to play whilst having your date.

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We haven’t actually managed to use our Stargazing box yet as I want to be able to use it properly outside in the garden one night and the weather has been terrible with wind and rain recently so we’re saving it. But I think this is honestly an amazing idea and is totally perfect for me & G as now that we have two kids we’ve lost all sense of making time for ‘Just Us’ and it really is an important thing to do.

So Just Us Box is a monthly subscription and each month you will receive your date night box with a different theme. Each box then contains everything you need to create the perfect date and everything relates to the theme chosen. If you like the sound of it but you’re unsure of whether it’s something you would use every month, head on over to their website where you also have the option of ordering a ‘trial box’. This is exactly what you think, a one off box, which is smaller than a usual monthly one, for you to try out to see whether you like it or not and this costs just £18. I have a code for you to get 10% off at the checkout too which you’ll find below and the August box is ‘Indian Summer’ which you can order up until tomorrow- so get in quick!ESTABLISHED1856You can keep up with the Just Us team on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram– keep an eye out for hints for the themes for the boxes in the coming months!

Mother Hermit xx

Have you tried something like this before? What do you think of it?

 

I was kindly sent this trial box for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions are that of my own.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Wild On Meats- A Review

Food. I absolutely love food and grew up with the family nickname of ‘dustbin’ because I would literally eat anything, try anything, have seconds and then happily finish everyone else’s leftovers. And meat. I could never, ever even attempt to try a diet which didn’t contain meat- it just doesn’t appeal to me at all. Over the past couple of years I’ve even started getting a bit more adventurous when it comes to meat by trying something exotic everytime we head to a local food festival and a favourite of mine is Kangaroo.

A couple of month ago a fellow North East blogger posted in a blog group that a new local business was launching and they were looking for people to review and the business is called Wild On Meats- clearly I offered to review without question!

I received a sample selection of some of the meat products they have available; Camel Sausages, Kangaroo Burgers, Crocodile Burgers and Ostrich Burgers. I’ve already tried Kangaroo and Ostrich before and know how incredible they both are so was very interested to try the other two.

First we tried the Camel Sausages which I grilled and dished up with some Cajun Rice, Stir-fry Veg and a chunky Tomato & Garlic sauce. The whole thing was incredible but the Camel Sausages were a million times nicer than I was expecting! They looked quite dry once I’d cooked them in the grill but they weren’t at all, they were deliciously succulent (without all the grease) and the flavour was amazing. I’m not going to compare them to pork- they don’t taste like that and were miles better than some pork sausages I’ve had. It did say on the pack that they go really well on a breakfast and I wouldn’t hesitate to throw them on my fry-up!

The following week we decided to try out the Crocodile Burgers. Again I threw these under the grill but you have to be careful with them as they can fall apart quite easily. Like the sausages though, there was no excess fat dripping out like you’d get from a regular beef burger!


Now I have to admit I didn’t enjoy the burger 🙁 This is totally unheard of for me but the texture just wasn’t for me. They’re so juicy that they are really soft and quite mushy- but the flavour was gorgeous so I think next time I might try a cut of Crocodile Tail rather than the burger. G was extremely impressed though and demolished all of his plus the half I left- typical bloke- and Violet had a few bites and enjoyed it.

Wild, exotic meats seem to be becoming more and more popular because they are high in protein and very low in fat and can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet. They’re also low in cholesterol which is a bonus because all I seem to hear these days is advertisements about how we need to be watching our cholesterol and brands coming up with lowering alternatives. In fact my Dad has just been told he needs to watch his cholesterol so I might get him on the Camel Sausages for breakfast!

Wild On Meats offer a large selection of wild, exotic meats to try and they even have BBQ, Student, Fitness and Steak Packs if you want to try a good selection, check out their website here. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Mother Hermit xx

I received this sample selection of products in return for an honest review. All views and opinions are that of my own.

Mudpie Fridays

Heavenly Marshmallows Review

Recently my sweet tooth has been on top form, anything sweet I see I need to have. So when I came across Heavenly Marshmallows on Twitter I just had to try them and was over the moon when the lovely Sarah offered to send me some to try!

What makes Sarah’s Marshmallows so unique? In her own words; I use natural ingredients to give you the burst of true flavour. Because of this our marshmallows have soft delicate colours. Another unique point about Heavenly Marshmallows is that I can mix the flavour choices in your bag (at a market) or in our gift box (online).
My silky smooth marshmallows contain little or no colourings, preservatives, artificial flavourings, wheat, gluten or nuts, depending on what flavour you choose.”

The four different flavours I tried were Chocolate, Classic Vanilla, Lemon Meringue and Mango & Passionfruit. They’re all absolutely divine, super soft and gooey exactly like Marshmallows should be and packed full of incredible flavour. My favourite has to be the Lemon Meringue- I could eat a full box of those!

I didn’t share these with the kids, I was naughty and kept them for myself and enjoyed them with a glass of wine. They’re the perfect little treat for that I must say and you can buy a mixed flavour box for £10.00. If you want something bigger, you can get a mixed party box for £35.99 and Sarah can cater for your events such as Christenings, Wedding Favours, Children’s and Adult Birthday Parties and Baby Showers!

You can follow Heavenly Marshmallows on Facebook, Twitter and of course check out their website.