Month: October 2016

Halloween Krispie Treats

As it’s Halloween soon, this week I’ve been in the kitchen with the little one creating some Pumpkin Krispie Treats! They’re super quick and easy to make and the kids absolutely love them! I got the idea from pictures I have seen on Pinterest but didn’t use a particular recipe and just made my own up 🙂

Halloween7

I’ll be honest, I’m not the best at measuring out ingredients when baking, I tend to just wing it, so I’ve given my best approximates below 🙂

Halloween1

You will need;

7 Giant Marshmallows

2 tsp of butter or marg

Orange or Yellow and Red Food Colouring

Rice Krispies

Green Smarties or M&M’s

Wispa Bites or something similar

First start by melting the marshmallows and butter in a bowl. I used the microwave for this and kept putting it in for 30second bursts, it took around 2 minutes for everything to be totally melted. Then you can add the food colouring to the marshmallow mix. I used red and yellow, first adding the red followed by a few drops of yellow until I had a really bold orange. Next you add the Krispies; I added a handful at a time and after about 5 handfuls I had a stiff mixture and all of the Krispies were completely coated in the marshmallow mix.

Halloween2

Halloween3

For this bit you will need to oil your hands as the mixture is super super sticky. I coated my hands with olive oil and took and handful at a time and rolled each bit into a ball. Pop each ball onto a greaseproof paper sheet until you’ve used the whole of the mixture.

Halloween4

Next you can add the toppings! I had Wispa bites which I cut in half and pushed them into the middle, squashing each krispie treat slightly to make it look a bit more like a pumpkin. I then had green peanut M&M’s which I cut in half (watch your fingers!) and added to the side of the Wispa bite to make it look like a little leaf! I then put them into the fridge for half an hour so they didn’t fall apart in the heat. And that’s it!

Halloween5

Halloween6

Happy Halloween!

Mother Hermit xx

 

Mummy in a Tutu

Gel-A-Peel Review

As it’s coming up to Christmas I’ve recently been sent quite a few different products to try out and feature in my Christmas Gift Guides- watch out for them coming early November!

Gelapeel2

This one is called Gel-A-Peel and it’s aimed at ages 8 and above. I was supposed to be keeping this one as a gift for my niece but hey, I’m over 8 and quite frankly couldn’t resist trying it out!

Gelapeel1

I was sent a Neon accessory kit which contains everything you need to design your own funky creations; 3 Neon Gel tubes, a good selection of templates, 5 designer tips and some extra pieces to make earrings and such.

“Add a pop of color to your wardrobe with this Gel-a-Peel Accessory Kit. Design and create your own fashionable accessories. So easy to get started, just trace the templates, peel the gel design, and it’s ready to wear and share! If you’re into bright colors, the Gel-a-Peel Neon Accessory Kit will certainly gel with your style!”

Gelapeel6

Before you get started you need to put the plastic sheet you get within the pack, under warm water, so you can straighten it out as this is what you use to draw your designs onto. Then you can get going! It really is as simple as it sounds; Choose which tip to use and attach it to the gel tube and get creative. After around 15-20 minutes your design will then be dry enough for you to peel off the plastic and wear as you wish! I’m really impressed with the kit, it’s so easy to use and there’s no mess involved at all.

Gelapeel5

The templates included are really easy to follow and even tell you which direction to work in to help avoid the gel being smudged. They also include tips and ideas on different ways you can use the gel, like dotting it for a different effect.

Gelapeel3

I had a bit of an experiment with the different tips and colours and could have played with it for hours so I know this is a great one for my niece. Only thing is, now I need to buy a whole new pack for her Christmas present as I can’t part with this one, I have loads of ideas I want to try haha!

Gelapeel7

Check out their website here to find out more about the different packs available and where you can buy them 🙂

Mother Hermit xx

I was very kindly sent this product in exchange for this review. All views and opinions are that of my own.

 

Britax Affinity 2 Travel System Review

Let me introduce to you Billy’s new wheels- the Britax Affinity 2. Well, I say new, but we’ve been testing this beaut out for the past couple of month and I can officially say that I am in LOVE! It’s suitable from 6 months to 3 years (17kg) and can be both rear and forward facing. You can also clip compatible Britax car seats and a hard carrycot (sold separately) directly onto the frame so the system can be used from newborn.

Now I’ll admit that when the system arrived I didn’t actually build it- I passed it straight to my other half G- he likes to build things! I think he was quite disappointed in a way though as he said it was ridiculously easy to put together and it only took him five minutes. Can’t complain with that at all as I’m a bit impatient and was ready to take Billy out for a stroll 🙂

Britax4

“The BRITAX AFFINITY 2 travel system has been designed to give parents the best of both worlds. Sleek style and colour customisation. Along with dual suspension performance for city and country terrain. So you’re free to take every day in your stride.”

The colours. You can choose from Black, White or Silver for the frame and there are six colours to choose from for the fabric; Lagoon Green, Cosmos Black, Flame Red, Wood Brown, Ocean Blue or Mineral Lilac. As you can probably tell, I chose the white frame with the Lagoon Green fabric which is so bold and bright- it’s absolutely gorgeous! The fabric colour packs can also be bought separately which will come in handy for when you need to give them a wash due to the messy toddlers or just to mix and match- I’m quite tempted to buy the Ocean Blue next!

The colour pack fabric is really easy to fit, everything basically pops into place including the apron which I think is much better than a cosy toes as it doesn’t slip down whilst you’re trying to strap the little one in- you can simply pop it on when they’re strapped in. The seat cushion is thickly padded and looks super comfy and again, stays in place perfectly so doesn’t move around and the harness straps simply slide on. There’s even a bit to fit into the basket on the bottom so the whole system has a touch of colour.

Britax5

The seat can be switched to either forward facing or rear facing really easily- there’s a button either side which you push at the same time and the seat clips off- you can then put it which way you like and click it into place. There’s even a little ventilation window or ‘spy pocket’ as I like to call it, on the back of the hood, (which is also adjustable and UPF 50+ sun protection), so you can peek on little one whilst they’re forward facing. The handle is adjustable too which is a huge bonus for us with G being so tall he likes to have it as high as possible and I like to have it in the middle. It also comes in handy when Billy wants to sit right up as you can lower it so it’s out of the way. The whole system is very light and so easy to push- whilst it looks quite big it’s a rather impressive, nippy pushchair and the front wheels move with ease making it simple to manoeuvre.

Britax6

Both the seat and footrest are multi-recline which makes the system comfortable for little one whether they’re awake or sleeping. You can tip it right back for when they’re sleeping and sit it right up for when they’re wide awake and want to see what’s going on. Same with the footrest, you can adjust that to whatever is more comfortable.

Britax7

When it comes to folding you need to take the seat off to do so. Once the seat is off you simply push the two buttons on either side of the frame and the frame will collapse smoothly and automatically lock into place once it’s folded as far as it will go. I was highly surprised at how compact it is once folded and pretty impressed that it’s also free standing when locked (not in my picture though as I hadn’t adjusted the handle). It will fit into pretty much any boot it’s so compact however you need to remember that you’ve also got the seat to fit in there too!

Britax2

The day after we received the Affinity 2 we were going on holiday and decided to take it with us so we could test it out properly as we knew we’d be having quite a few days out and using it to the max. Our holiday was in the UK so we took the raincover too. (which is fitted and doesn’t flap around might I add!) We really did use the pushchair A LOT and I’m surprised it came back in one piece! We took it on a hill walk, along the beach, to the sea life centre, on a train at a miniature railway, to soft play, shopping, we basically used it everyday, wherever we went and it was even used inside the caravan for Billy to take his naps!

Overall, as you can probably tell, I’m highly impressed with the Britax Affinity 2! I can’t fault it in any way and honestly cannot find one negative about the system. G’s even impressed- he keeps making comments on how amazing the suspension is- I have no idea, I just know it’s totally lightweight and easy to push/steer and is now the pushchair we use everyday. As you can see by the picture below Billy is perfectly happy and approves massively!

IMG_5048

You can find the Affinity 2 and all of the other Britax products on their website here.

Which colours would you choose?

Mother Hermit xx

We were very kindly sent the Britax Affinity 2 Travel System for the purpose of this honest review. All views and opinions are my own. All photo’s are my own.

Neo Child Friendly Lava Lamp Review

Mathmos are the original inventors of the lava lamp (invented in 1963!) and they have just released an exciting new product design- Neo.

Neo5

“Neo is designed by lighting designer Jonathan Coles and is the only lava lamp in the world that has been completely tested and verified for customers of all ages. Every detail has been designed with safety and quality at its core.
Neo is made from precision cast metal and is low voltage; powered by long lasting halogen capsules for extended use. Its internal diffuser ensures that the heat and light are directed into the bottle ensuring the best view of Mathmos’ unique lava lamp formulation. The shatterproof bottle is made in Britain and filled in the Mathmos’ factory in Poole Dorset.”

This all means that the Neo lava lamp is completely child friendly. Amazing right? I remember when I was growing up, my parents would never let me have one out of fear. The horror stories they had heard about the next door neighbours cousins brother, who had fallen asleep and left his lava lamp on all night, which had they overheated; probably something like that anyway, I just know I wasn’t allowed one!

We were lucky enough to be sent one to review for Violet’s room. I have to admit that I was a little worried as there must have been a good reason as to why I wasn’t allowed to have one; so I keep telling myself. However, as usual there was nothing to worry about- I’m super impressed!

Neo2

The Neo took all of five minutes to set up and we put it straight into Violet’s room. The one I chose is absolutely perfect for her room too as I have recently decorated it using bright pink and bold purple. We did make a mistake though… Clearly we should have turned it on for the first time whilst she was in nursery as the first night we switched it on, whilst she was pretty impressed with the lighting and colours, within fifteen minutes she was declaring she was bored as the lava wasn’t moving! Bad Mammy didn’t realise that the first few uses would take between 1-3 hours for it to warm up properly to disperse the lava- whoops!

Neo3

A few days later, having switched the Neo on every night for an hour or so, Violet became amazed once again seeing the lava ‘bubbles’ dancing around the lamp! She’s hooked now, every night before her bath it has to be turned on so it’s ready for when she has her bedtime story. It really doesn’t overheat either and isn’t hot to the touch. Obviously we tell her not to touch it, more that we don’t want her to knock it over or anything and we never leave it on very long, usually just until she’s had her story. I kind of want one for my bedroom now!

Neo4

The Neo comes in four different colour combinations and is available in both chrome and copper finishes.You can find out more about Mathmos and buy your lava lamps here.

Did you ever have a lava lamp? Let me know your thoughts below!

Mother Hermit xx

*We were kindly sent a Neo Lava Lamp in return for this post. All views and opinions are that of my own*

Num Noms Mini Chef Creations

Myself and Violet were invited to take part in a #MiniChefs challenge by Num Noms! Of course I said yes straight away, before realising that I had absolutely no idea what Num Noms were! I know, how on earth have I missed them?! It didn’t take me long to find them and wow- they’re oh so cute!

For those of you that, like me, may not have heard of these little beauties, Num Noms are cute little collectibles which all come with their own scent. You can then create your own creations, flavour fusions and recipes with them.

NumNoms2

We were set the challenge to create our own recipe using the Num Nom’s packs we were sent; Series 2 Diner and Brunch. We couldn’t just settle on one though so we decided to create two courses using both packs, with the help of Daddy!

NumNoms1

For the main course we mixed Frenchie Fries, Haley Hot Dog and Cheesy Go-Go;

NumNoms3

This really is as simple as it looks, sliced hot dogs, french fries and melted cheese and it was oh so good! Huge thumbs up from Violet so it could be on her menu a lot from now on 🙂

For dessert we mixed Berry Cakes and Jammin’ Razzy Go-Go;

NumNoms5

NumNoms4

We got super creative and messy with this one! Myself and Violet both absolutely love Raspberry flavoured anything so we took full advantage. Thick maple syrup pancakes topped with a generous amount of raspberry jam, topped with squirty cream, raspberry sauce, repeated and finally topped with sprinkles! As you can tell by her face on the photo above, Violet adored this one and it was pretty hard to get a photo before she got stuck in!

Not only are we huge fans of Num Noms now, Violet is also enjoying creating different scents and flavours with the toys so watch this space for more recipes!

Have you heard of Num Noms before? Have you tried anything like this with them?

Mother Hermit xx

*We were very kindly sent both packs of Num Noms in return for this post. All views and opinions are that of my own*

 

The 2-Year-Old Sleep Regression

Okay, I’ll admit, I’m one of those annoying mother’s who’s always boasted about how well my kids sleep. How they sleep all night through, until 8am, taking naps everyday etc. etc. That is until recently…

The 2-year-old sleep regression- it’s not really a thing right? Well to me it’s never been something I was worried about because my daughter has always been an amazing sleeper. I really do mean sleeping through from a few weeks old, from 8pm until 8am as well as taking 2-3 hour naps per day- only rarely having bad nights when she was unwell or struggling with teething. But now? Well now I know exactly how annoying I must have sounded to other parents! Those evil dagger looks were well deserved fellow parentals!

So my darling toddler (born January 2014) decided that around four months ago she was going to give up her daily naps. No heads up from her, she just stopped and refused to sleep during the day at all. My reaction? Gahhhhhh, noooooooo! Those two hours on an afternoon were my time to get some chores done, prep the dinner and occasionally write, although since having our baby boy in February it was pretty much guaranteed he would wake up for a feed and those two hours of attention as soon as his sister went down.

With the naps stopped completely it seemed like the perfect opportunity to start the bedtime routine earlier because some nights she wasn’t going to bed until 8.30/9pm. She took to it pretty well and the new routine was in full force; Bath at 6pm, in bed and story at 7pm and she’d be asleep within minutes. However- you knew that was coming right?!- after a couple of days, maybe a week, she started waking at 2.30am EVERY night. Guaranteed at 2.30am she would be up and we would hear the pitter patter of her feet running across her floor and after a few attempts she figured out how to open the baby gate on her bedroom door. The first few nights she would make a bit of a fuss, ask for some milk, make any excuse to get you out of bed and refuse to go back to sleep for a few hours, often waking her baby brother in the process. She just wouldn’t go back to sleep until she literally passed out with exhaustion and would still be up again around 6am in a bad mood and you just knew that the day was going to be filled with hellish toddler tantrums.

After a few more days she appeared to be getting better at sleeping longer but became very sneaky- our very own night ninja! She would wake up around 4am (I didn’t realise this for the first few nights) and sneak out of her bedroom, head downstairs for her tablet or a toy, bring it back upstairs and lie on the end of our bed. She wouldn’t wake us and would happily lie there but we’d wake up at 6am and she’d be sat glued to Netflix looking like a teenager who’d pulled an all-nighter! That phase didn’t last long as we started hiding her tablet on a night time when we headed to bed but that still didn’t stop her waking up.

She continued with the 4am wake ups but every morning we could hear her putting herself on the toilet then grab a book and just chill in our bed. Super proud of her using the toilet by herself as it’s not something she’d even attempted to do during the day! However, coming into our bed at that time in the morning, reading a story to me to wake me up, prodding me to get up and get her some milk, anything she could possibly think of as an excuse to wake us up really, just didn’t help the sleep matters at all and we’d all be in a bad mood the next day due to the lack of sleep. Apart from baby boy that is, he’s in his own room in his cot, although his sister would sometimes wake him by sitting on the floor in his room and reading a story to him!

This all lasted for around four months- guaranteed to happen every single night with no explanation and no reason whatsoever for her waking. Once she was awake that was it. I’m pleased to say that this appears to have now come to an end altogether and she’s still going to sleep between 7-7.30pm and sleeping through once again until around 6.30/7am. She’ll be coming up 3 in January and it appears she’s now beginning to realise how amazing sleep is! If she’s tired she’ll let you know and will have a quiet hour rather than throwing a storm of a tantrum. Fingers crossed she’ll stick to this!

So yeah, the 2-year-old sleep regression really does exist, and it’s total hell.

Good luck fellow parentals!

Mother Hermit xx

This post was first featured on MeetOtherMums.com

Death By Chocolate Challenge- Dipping Sauce Recipe

So this week (10th-16th October) it’s National Chocolate Week! I wasn’t aware of this until I was asked if I’d like to partner up with the Dorset-based bakery T.J.Fudge’s, which involved taking on a challenge of creating a chocolate dipping sauce to accompany their divine Florentines! Couldn’t really say no to that now could I?!

Choc

It took me a while to come up with an idea for my creation and I kept coming back to Salted Caramel, but this is used for EVERYTHING now so I wanted to try something a little different. I decided to opt for the citrus approach and ended up making two very simple but gorgeous dipping sauces!

Choc2

          For the dipping sauce you will need;

  • 100g Bar of Dark or Milk Chocolate (broken into chunks)
  • 50ml Double Cream
  • 50ml Whole or Semi Skimmed Milk
  • 1drop of Vanilla Essence
  • 2tbsp of Golden Syrup

The method is easy peasy; you throw everything into a pan and melt on a low/medium heat, stirring continuously until you get a smooth sauce.

I then split the sauce into two ramekins and with the first, created a Lime and Sea Salt flavour dip by adding the juice of half of a lime, 1-2tsp of Coarse Sea Salt and finishing it off with the lime zest. I realise this sounds like a strange concoction but it’s absolutely incredible!

Choc3

In the other half of the chocolate sauce I literally added 3tsp of Orange Extract- that’s it! I absolutely love chocolate and orange together, it’s the perfect combination.

Choc5

Whilst the Florentines were perfect on their own, I enjoyed dipping them in both sauces along with some fresh fruit!

Mother Hermit xx

*I was kindly sent the Thomas J Fudge’s Florentines and Chocolate for the purpose of this post. I was also gifted a voucher to buy any additional ingredients I required*

 

Caketoppers Ltd Review & Discount Code

Regular readers will know how much I LOVE cake. It’s certainly a favourite of mine, along with wine. (I just typed wine instead of mine, guess I have something on the brain?!)

Anyway, I was recently sent two gorgeous cupcakes from the lovely Sam at Caketoppers Ltd. What made them even more perfect was the fact that they were personalised and topped with a photo of my choosing. I chose to have my blog logo on both and was super impressed with how clear the images were when they arrived and how easy the process was. I simply chose and image and didn’t have to worry about resizing or cropping bits to fit, Caketoppers do it all for you.


I was sent one chocolate cupcake and one vanilla cupcake which were both individually wrapped- perfect for gifting, parties or even a cheeky treat in your lunch box! They even guarantee that they stay fresh for at least 5 days after delivery as the foil cases and iced topping help keep in the moisture. I can confirm this, I didn’t actually eat my vanilla one until 1.5weeks after receiving them and it tasted just as delicious and fresh as the chocolate one did the day after arrival.

Usually I’m a plain old vanilla girl and tend to give G anything chocolatey, but on this occasion I kept the whole thing to myself. The cake is seriously moist (I hate that word too!) and the generous topping of sticky icing is the perfect amount for the cake (the more the better I say!)- absolutely gorgeous and a great size!

The topper itself was fantastic, the image remained clear and the colours were just as bold and bright as the image I emailed to the guys at Caketoppers.


It’s not just cupcakes that they can personalise for you though, there are also full size cakes for any occasion and preprinted toppers and cakes. Have a look for yourself at the Caketoppers website here. I also have a code for you to get 10% off your order;


I just have one complaint though, there weren’t enough cupcakes in the box! 😉

Mother Hermit xx