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.

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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!

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

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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;

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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?!

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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!

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          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!

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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.

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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

Laughing and Learning with LeapFrog

I love a good toy- (even the noisy ones!) and was recently asked if I would like to try out some new LeapFrog ones with the kids. Now with Billy being only 7 months, we hadn’t really thought about buying him any toys just yet as I remember going slightly overboard when Violet was that age and can still picture the confused look on her little face as if to say “What on earth am I supposed to do with these woman?!” I really went THAT overboard and was clearly buying the wrong ones for her because Billy hasn’t stopped playing with this one toy since the day it arrived!

Scout

Scout’s Count & Colours Band

This is the one I was sent for Billy. How cute is the little dog Scout?! It’s aimed at ages 6-24 months and the curriculum taught from the toy is counting, as you can see by the numbers on each instrument. Obviously Billy is a little bit young to be learning to count yet but I love that he will grow up playing with this toy, not even realising that he’ll be learning and most likely counting to 5 in no time!

“Rock out with piano-pup Scout, and get jamming on skills like cause and effect, counting, colours and more.”

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As soon as Billy saw the toy he grabbed for it, obviously those bright colours were all too tempting for him. As soon as I switched it on and the music began to play that was it, he was hooked. He couldn’t sit up on his own quite steady enough then so liked to have it on his lap in the bouncy chair and constantly played with all of the buttons to try to figure out what to do to make the music start again- don’t worry though as theirs a button to turn the volume down! You can also choose between three different modes, music, colours or numbers. On the music one you can press the different instruments to find out what they are and what they sound like as well as playing along to different tunes. On the colour mode it tells you the colour of each instrument depending on the one you press and on the number mode it tells you which number is written on the top of each instrument depending on which one you press. I think this is fantastic as the toy will last years and will help Billy to learn his colours and numbers whilst he is playing. We’ve had this for around 4 weeks now and it’s the first toy he grabs, especially as he’s now sitting up on his own. Violet enjoys sitting playing with it too when Billy’s not looking!

Melody The Musical Turtle

Melody the Musical Turtle™

This is the one we were sent for Violet. It’s aimed at ages 2-5 years and again the curriculum taught from the toy is counting. It’s also a fantastic one to help your little one learn the colours.

“Race the music to find numbers and colours, repeat patterns and create turtle-rific tunes in 10 snappy, light-up activities.”

This one is absolutely perfect for Violet. She may only be two but she already knows her numbers and colours and can often get a bit bored of the usual games played to help her remember these. Melody however is totally different; again there are 3 different settings to choose from and the first is music. You can choose how many players are taking part and then you have to follow the colours by pressing each one which lights up as quickly as possible to find out the song behind the pattern. It will then play the song and finish by your little one having to press all of the lit up buttons as quickly as possible to switch them all off. The next one is a challenge setting in which you again select the number of players and then play a memory game by following the pattern of lights and remembering which number was lit up. This one’s a bit tricky for Violet just yet but this means the toy will last her a long time! The last setting is numbers. Again you choose the number of players and then find the number or colour Melody tells you to find and press it as quickly as possible. It’s very exciting for a toddler!

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I really do think that both of these toys from LeapFrog are fantastic and perfect for my two. I love that they will grow with these toys are learn more and more from them as they get older. Now I need to have a look at the rest of the range for Christmas!! 🙂

Have you tried any LeapFrog products for your children before? What do you think of them?

Mother Hermit xx

I was very kindly sent these two toys for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions are that of my own.

Heading Back to Work

When I went on maternity leave with my daughter I had every intention of returning to work part time after I’d spent a good nine to twelve months off with my baby. Having spent those first few months together, practically just my daughter and I alone every day, the idea of going back to work just didn’t appeal to me at all and quite honestly started to get me really down. I decided to forget all about it for a couple more months and told work that I’d be taking the full twelve months leave I was entitled to. As I spent more and more time with my daughter, watching her grow into the beautiful little character she was becoming, work became even further from my mind.

After having a good conversation with my partner and working out our finances, both if I returned part time and if I didn’t return at all, it turned out that after travel and childcare costs, working at that time just wouldn’t be worth it. The thought of working to pay for childcare, someone else spending all of that time with my child and the thought that I might miss important milestones in her life, just didn’t sit well with me at all. So the decision was made and although we would probably struggle financially some months, I handed my notice in to terminate my working contract altogether.

Now, I don’t think in any way at all deciding to be a full time, stay at home mother is an easy option. I’ve seen a lot of people spout their opinions on social media that being a stay at home parent is ‘lazy’ and how people just do it for benefits. I understand that sometimes this can be the case but not always and it’s unfair to be judged like that. We weren’t entitled to any benefits at all because my partner had a wage which was ‘adequate’ in the eyes of the benefit system, to cover the three of us. Lazy though? Really? Whenever anyone has the audacity to ask me “What do you do all day?!” I like to answer by simply sticking two fingers up in their face. They’ve clearly not spent an hour with a toddler in full tantrum mode, never mind a day! Some days are harder than others and when I think of my old job sometimes I’d prefer to be back there in the office talking to angry customers than feeling the wrath of my toddler in said full tantrum mode!

By the time my daughter was sixteen months old I began toying with the idea of looking for part time work to enable me to have a few hours out of the house child free, having something for myself and to help contribute to the household income to take a little pressure off my partner. Typically, when I had decided to go for it and apply, I found out that I was pregnant again with baby number two, our son, and work was once again the last thing on my mind as I focussed on raising my daughter, preparing her for being a big sister and enjoying my pregnancy!

Now my son is six months old and my partner has the flexibility to work from home, it made sense to start looking again, especially to get some pennies in for, dare I say it, Christmas! On a usual weekly trip to our local supermarket a couple of weeks ago I noticed a sign advertising numerous part time opportunities and I decided to go for it! Being called for an interview was a bit of a shock if I’m honest, even though I’d applied I wasn’t expecting to be asked in, but the interview itself was a bit of a breeze. I’ve never been so relaxed for a job interview and the hour of adult conversation without my kids being involved was amazing and I actually enjoyed it- even though I was being interviewed for a job! I walked home afterwards and didn’t get very far before I received a phone call offering me the job- hurrah indeed!

I haven’t started yet and have a few more days before training but I’m excited, which kind of makes me feel a bit bad. It’s not that I’m looking forward to having the time away from my kids- okay well maybe a little- but the feeling of having something for me, being able to do four 4 hour shifts each week where I’m known as Vanessa and not Mama is quite appealing to me. I’m sure my kids won’t mind too much when it comes to the bit of extra money I’ll have to spend on them anyway!

Mother Hermit xx

This post first appeared on www.meetothermums.com

My Autumn Kitchen Wishlist

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ve probably realised by now that I’m a massive lover of cooking and eating food. I’m also a huge fan of gadgets and as my kitchen is my favourite room in the house I love to buy new bits and pieces and gadgets for it and being a busy mammy I want things that will make the food-prep routine just that bit easier! Recently I’ve found loads of new things I’d like to try and as the dark nights are drawing in and the casserole and soup season is creeping up I thought I’d put together a wishlist of what I’m after- well wishing for! (Massive hints if the other half is reading this!)

Joseph Joseph Dot Water Bottle

Joseph Joseph Dot Hydration-Tracking Water Bottle, 600 ml - Green
Image Taken from Joseph Joseph website

Okay so this first one isn’t exactly a ‘cooking gadget’ but it is an amazing gadget. I’m in love with all things Joseph Joseph so it’s difficult to choose just one thing but when I noticed this one I fell in love all over again! As I’ve just returned from my holidays (about 3stone heavier) I’m wanting to get back into the healthy lifestyle, eating better, exercising more and the all important making sure I drink enough water each day. I’m totally rubbish at this part. I always lose track of how much I’ve drank and usually don’t drink enough. This Dot Water Bottle has a hydration counting lid which enables you to keep track of your daily hydration goals as it displays a new dot every time you refill so you can keep track of how much you’ve drank. Pretty amazing right? And what’s even better is that is comes in 4 gorgeous colours and only costs £10.00! I NEED one! You can grab yours here.

Kitchen Craft Cast Iron Book Stand (Lakeland)

Kitchen Craft Cast Iron Book Stand
Image Taken from http://www.lakeland.co.uk/

I’ve been looking for a kitchen book stand for months and haven’t actually found one that I knew for sure I wanted until I came across this gorgeous cast iron one in Lakeland last week. I absolutely love to cook but I don’t usually follow recipes, I alter everything- except my Mam’s recipes. This would be perfect in my kitchen so I could stand all of my Mam’s old recipe books on whilst I’m cooking. As all of her recipes were handwritten I’m usually too scared to have them out incase I ruin them by splashing ingredients all over them. This one is £24.99 too which I think is a total bargain- you can find it here.

Panasonic Combination Microwave

Microwave Oven NN-DS596B
Image Taken from Panasonic Website

Okay, why do I not already have one of these?! These little beauties really are the future. As I mentioned before I’ll be starting my healthy eating from next week and these combination microwaves would be absolutely perfect to accompany me on that journey!

“Experience fresh gourmet meals with minimal effort thanks to the Panasonic Steam Combination Oven. The oven boasts Turbo Steam, a healthy way to cook food while preserving vitamins, and Panacrunch which evenly cooks food to perfection, making it perfect for low-fat grilling. Cooking fresh and healthy food has never been so simple.”

You can understand from this quote taken from the Panasonic website why I need one of these, yes? It sounds amazing and they look gorgeous, it would fit in my kitchen perfectly. The turbo steam technology sounds fantastic as I always steam my vegetables but can sometimes forget about them and steam them just a bit too much. Not only does that result in me eating mushy veg for me dinner (great for the baby who’s currently weaning, not so great for me- I have teeth), but it also worries me that all of the goodness has been sucked out of it by that point. I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard of Panacrunch but it sounds good doesn’t it? Obviously you don’t have to be on any kind of diet to have one of these beauts in your kitchen but knowing that you can cook a meal without all of the usual unhealthy cooking methods being involved is brilliant, especially as a mother, it would give me that bit extra peace of mind knowing how healthily (and quickly!) their dinner has been prepared. You can find all of the Panasonic Combination Microwaves here.

Morphy Richards (48280) Fastbake Breadmaker

Image Taken from Amazon.co.uk

Now I had a breadmaker years and years ago when I was around 18 or 19 and moved out for the first time. Obviously making bread wasn’t really what I had on my mind at that time so it never got used and eventually got thrown away. I try not to eat too much bread these days as it all sits around my middle- but I’m just too addicted and have to give in to a slice or two every now and again. My Mam has always been amazing at making bread and bread loaves and I’m now starting to get the itch for it. Memories of waking up in the morning to the smell of fresh bread, I want those memories for my kids too. This one came up on my recommended items whilst I was browsing on Amazon.co.uk. I was surprised to see that it can bake a loaf of bread in under 1 hour which is a bonus for busy parents and it’s only £59.28 on Amazon at the moment instead of £119.99! You can find it here.

Tefal Easy Soup Maker (Lakeland)

Tefal® Easy Soup Maker
Image Taken from Lakeland Website

Another one I found on Lakeland is the Tefal Easy Soup Maker. I have an addiction to soup, honestly, it can be the hottest day of the year and at the end of the day all I’ll want to do is snuggle in front of the television with a mug of hot soup- homemade is best. Which is why I totally NEED this soup maker. I love to make soup from scratch but I always end up making a huge pan of it and no one else eats it so I have to freeze it all then eventually throw it away when Gareth buys a pizza which is the size of the moon and we need to make more room in the freezer! That’s why this one is totally perfect as all you need to do is chop your ingredients, fill the maker, choose the settings you wish (chunky, smooth etc) and then set it away. You then have soup and according to the reviews I’ve read this will make about 2 decent sized mug fulls- couldn’t be more perfect for me, especially with the autumn coming. Another bonus is it’s only £52.39 and you can find it on Lakeland here.

So there you have it, that’s my kitchen wishlist for autumn- I could go on forever but I’ll leave it at those 5 for now 🙂

Mother Hermit xx

 

*This is a collaborative post*

 

 

 

 

 

GroCycle; GroKids Pack Review

Getting your kids to eat vegetables can be rather impossible sometimes- for some anyway. I appear to have a rather strange toddler who would choose veg and salad over sweets and chips any day; can’t complain really though! I eat loads of fruit and vegetables so this helps massively- your kids like to eat what you eat- but I also think that having an allotment, seeing everything grow from scratch and having Grandad pop in every week with bags and bags of fresh produce from said allotment helps massively in encouraging Violet to eat these kinds of things. Obviously not everyone has an allotment or has the room to grow their own fruit and veg in their gardens at home though, and this is exactly why I thought that the GroCycle GroKids pack sounded like an amazing idea and I just had to try it out!

The GroCycle Grokids pack is a full kit which enables you and your little ones to grow your own Oyster Mushrooms on your kitchen windowsill! The grow kit contains the coffee waste of 100 cups of coffee which is the food to help your mushrooms grow- how amazing is that?! The booklet included has full instructions on how to get started, fun facts and puzzles and a recipe for you to try with the pack of dried mushrooms which are enclosed for you to get cooking straight away.

Violet was happy enough to do the colouring and puzzles within the booklet but as she’s only two, she had no idea why I was trying to encourage her to look in ‘a bag of mud’ as she put it LOL, so I got to the growing on my own! First I had to cut out the panel on the front of the box, cut a cross in the front of the plastic bag and then leave it to soak in a bowl of water overnight. As you can see by the photo I had to weigh it down as it was floating around at the top.

The next day I took the bag out of the water, left it for a few minutes to drain and then returned it to the box and stood it on our kitchen windowsill. Now for the waiting. I have no patience at all and Violet’s is even worse- they didn’t automatically shoot out as she’d expected so apart from the twice daily water spray they needed, the mushrooms were forgotten about.

You don’t really need much patience for this grow kit though! Every morning it became a daily thing to check on the mushrooms and how well they had grown overnight. Violet was amazed to see the changes everyday and after a few days you could see the growth taking place. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen by day 7 the mushrooms had started to stage a takeover!

Day 7

After day 7 it all got a bit crazy! Everytime we went into the kitchen they had grown even more. There seemed to be more mushrooms coming and they were just getting bigger and bigger. After a few days they were massive and it looked like the box was about to topple over- that was it- time to harvest! Violet couldn’t wait to eat some and we ended up using them all pretty quickly by putting them into all our meals- her favourite was definitely the bolognese we made with them.

Hang on though, that’s not the end, as once you’ve harvested your first crop, you can leave the kit for 2 weeks and then soak the bag overnight and start again for another mushroom load! Have a look on their Facebook and Twitter and you can see how others have been getting on with their packs!

You can now purchase a GroKids pack from the GroCycle website here. They are £19 each which in all honesty I feel is a bit on the expensive side for my little one as she is only two and didn’t really understand it, although she did enjoy watching them grow. However for older children (and adults- I loved it!) I feel that this is definitely worth the money as they can learn so much from it and get around 2-3 harvests from the kit.

Happy Growing!

Mother Hermit xx

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
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