Starting them young – Casdon Hetty mop and bucket set

Archie and Frankie are two and three but I believe in giving them little jobs to do and starting them young. They love to put their clothes away , help mummy dust and tidy.

We were recently sent the Casdon Hetty bucket and mop set , this was perfect for getting them involved with helping mummy.

Frankie was so excited to open this as she already has her own Casdon Henry Hoover like mummy which she adores.

This is aimed at age 36 months to 8 years . Frankie is two next week , this was perfect for her age as she loves helping and pottering around the house.

This is a fantastic product for promoting imaginative play – Frankie knew exactly what to do with it as she sees mummy mop the floor more than once a day ha ha.

She was thrilled that she could join in and even asked for some water in her bucket. Whenever She sees me get the mop and bucket she gets hers out and joins in.


This was such a fab addition to our Henry/ Hetty range and we will definitely be looking out for some more Henry/ Hetty products as they are always a massive hit with the ankle biters.

We were sent the Hetty mop and bucket in return for an honest review , all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Teletubbies clip on pram toys

We were recently sent some lovely Teletubbies clip on pram toys by Character Toys . The Teletubbies we were sent were Po and Dipsy. Both the ankle biters are obsessed with Teletubbies so they were thrilled to open the package.

The toys are bright , super soft and really cuddly , they were fab for clipping to the pram or putting in the changing bag to take out and about. Frankie wanted to take Po everywhere with her. The toys are suitable for ages 18 months plus.

These are the 4 designs available

Frankie is teething pretty badly at the moment and so she used hers for comfort and to chew on. She actually fell asleep in the car seat with the ring in her mouth!

The Teletubbies have been coming on all of our adventures they have fast become the ankle biters favourite toys to take out and about. They have now requested La-La and Tinky Winky so I’ve told them we can buy them as a treat if they eat all their veggies this week.

I was sent Dipsy and Po clip on pram toys in return for an honest review , all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I see you Daddy – an open letter to my love

To my love ,

I really could not have dreamt for a better Daddy to the ankle biters , nothing is too much for you. The phrase hands on Daddy was created for you.

Daddy I see you getting up at 3.46am to give our youngest a bottle even though your alarm is due to go off in 2 hours for a 12 hour shift , you don’t sigh or moan you just get on with it.

You can tell that mummy is frazzled when you get in so you take over the minute you walk through the door. You cook , tackle the washing mountain , entertain the ankle biters , bath them – whatever it takes for me to have that hour of relaxation.

I see you taking the tots to soft play for the afternoon so mummy can sleep , shop or just chill with my own thoughts. You get that I need this to keep a float and function.

When you come home and see we have had “one of those days” and you mutter those words “let’s go out for dinner” you will never know how grateful I am to not have to cook , then wash dishes. You give that break from routine that is oh so needed.

I see you calming me down and helping me rationalise thoughts and worries when my anxiety is high. You break down my thoughts , give me solutions and tell me it will be ok , it always is.

I see you working hard to provide for us and give us the best. You do a physical job , your out in all weathers. I never hear you moan you just get on with it. Without your strong work ethic I would not have been able to stay at home with our babies and watch every milestone as it happens.

I see you teaching the ankle biters about life and bringing them up to be the well-rounded happy tots they are. You don’t mind getting the craft box out and playing frozen or my little pony. I just know you love building pillow forts and rockets out of building blocks.

I see you always wanting the best for me. Whether its pushing me to make those plans with friends or encouraging me to go and treat myself to a haircut or outfit. You can see I’m burnt out and you want to help me re-charge.

I see how our babies absolutely adore and idolise you. They hang off your every word , the excitement on their faces when you get home from work is priceless.

I see you loving me even more than before the ankle biters despite all of my flaws and the changes that motherhood has brought.

Thank you my darling for being the man you are , I could not have chosen a better father for  our children.

All of my love

Lianne xx

Folly Tower adventures with Schleich Farm World Toys

 

Today we decided to go for a walk up to the Folly tower and see the cows and take in the beautiful views. The ankle biters love going on adventures to the mountain. This was the perfect opportunity for them to take the Schleich Farm World toys we were asked to review.

We were sent the new starter set which includes a donkey, cow, rooster and a lamb. Archie and Frankie were so excited to play with these. They both knew exactly what the animals were when we got them out of the box. The animals were of really high quality and solidly made , they are definitely made to last.

We had a little play at home and built a barn with some blocks for the animals to shelter in. Archie and Frankie were so excited to put the animals in to the barn and were happy playing and using role play skills and their imagination which kept them entertained long enough for mummy to have a hot cup of tea.

                       

They really enjoyed taking the animals up to the mountain and creating memories with them. Frankie set them up on a pedestal and was doing her best animal noises. Archie then took them for an explore on to the grass and found some fab mole holes for the farm friends to play in and get muddy. He told me they would need a bath when we got home.

         

Archie wanted to show the real cows his toy cow , he said it was a “baby cow” Both Archie and Frankie really enjoyed playing with these and it really helped their imaginative role play skills. We are so excited to get some more of the Schleich Farm World toys to add to our collection. The ankle biters have already been telling me which ones they want next when we took a look at the full collection on the Schleich website.

I was sent a Schleich Farm World starter pack in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

 

 

 

Easter mini egg chocolate tray bake

Easter Tray Bake

I love a tray bake recipe they are so simple and easy to make , especially when you have two toddlers “helping” I decided to make a chocolate one with mini eggs to get some practice in for Easter.  I loved how colourful this cake was.

Ingredients

  • 6oz/170g of butter unsalted
  • 6oz /170g caster sugar
  • 4oz/115g self-raising flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2oz/ 55g cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt

For the frosting

  • 3oz/85g of butter unsalted
  • 6.5oz/185g icing sugar
  • 2oz/55g milk chocolate

For decoration –

  • Melted white chocolate
  • Micro mini eggs
  • Chocolate sprinkles

Method

Preheat the oven to 190c/170c fan or gas mark 5. Grease  a square baking tin.

Put the butter and sugar into a bowl and mix until creamy.

Sieve the cocoa, flour and salt into a bowl and add the eggs. Stirring all the time you should have a smooth thick batter.

Put the mixture into the tins and spread using a knife. Put into the oven and bake for 25 mins. Take out and leave to cool.

Now to make the buttercream melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a bowl over simmering water on the stove. Leave to cool but make sure the chocolate stays in liquid form. Put the butter into a bowl and add the icing sugar and mix.

When the cake has totally cooled spread the buttercream on.

Melt the white chocolate again in the microwave or on the stove.  I just used a spoon and quickly splattered it over the cake in a diagonal motion.

Sprinkle the chocolate sprinkles on and micro mini eggs.

Grab a cuppa and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Old school sprinkles cake – Dairy free recipe

Old school sprinkles cake

I love this cake , my mum used to take me to the bakery in the village after school and I would always choose this. It is the absolute best comfort food served with hot custard.

I love to re-create this with the ankle biters. We make it dairy free so Frankie can enjoy it too.

Ingredients

225g/80z of Self – raising flour

225g/8oz Vitalite spread (at room temperature) or you can use butter if you prefer

225g/8oz Caster sugar

4 Eggs

1 Tea spoon of baking powder

225g/80z Icing sugar

2-3 Tablespoons of cold water

Sprinkles of your choice

Method – so simple

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / gas mark 4
  2. Measure all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl
  3. Mix all of the ingredients using an electric whisk or wooden spoon
  4. Pour the mixture into either a square tin or loaf tin
  5. Place them in the oven till golden brown 15-25 minutes
  6. Cool before icing
  7. Mix the icing sugar and water together , when the cake is cooled smother on top of the cake and cover in sprinkles
  8. Wait until the kids are napping , grab a cuppa and LARGE slice of cake

Loneliness in motherhood , because yes it is a thing

When I first moved back home to Wales we lived in Abergavenny. I was in a brand new town and was also a brand new Mum. Even though I had my beautiful boy and was also pregnant with Frankie by the time he was 6 months old it was probably the loneliest time of my life.

Some may say how can you feel lonely when you have a baby as all of your focus should be on them. Or you shouldn’t feel lonely , it’s selfish as you have your baby and that should be enough to stop you feeling lonely. But feeling lonely as a mum is a thing. Yes you love the bones of your baby and they are the centre of your universe , but you still exist too and need other human interaction and friends.

When we moved to Abergavenny I literally didn’t know one single person there. Archie was 10 weeks old and I was a first time mum still trying to find my feet. I was desperate to meet some other mummy friends and fantasised about going for coffee and play dates and chatting to loads of other Mums at playgroups. Isn’t this what being a stay at home mum involved? Yes in a perfect idealistic world it probably did.

Archie basically hated sleep so I was very sleep deprived and always up at the crack of dawn. Most days James would leave the house by 6.30 am and would not be home until around 6pm. This was such a long time to go without talking or interacting with another adult , some days I would literally see no one. I did start to feel really isolated and lonely.

I decided to join a local baby group. I was so excited and off I went with high expectations. It was awful I hated it!  I had never felt so awkward in my whole life. I’m a really sociable and outgoing person and always have been , not afraid to chat and say hello.

There were a few Mums at the group they all seemed to know each other so I sat myself down amongst them in the circle. I attempted to start a conversation with the woman next to me but she near on blanked me , just nodded and literally put her back to me and started chatting to the other Mums. I will never forget that it made me feel so low , I actually cried when I got out of there.

I continued to go to this group because it was good for Archie and seeing him smile and enjoy the music was enough to keep me going back. I will never forget how long those days were. Looking back I think I was definitely low and not myself in those early days. Being alone most days , sleep deprivation not having anyone to relate to really did contribute to that. I was never diagnosed with post natal depression but only now can I admit that I probably was suffering with it but thankfully managed to pull myself out of it.

I was so lucky that when we moved I found the most beautiful mother and tots group and have definitely made friends for life. Could not have asked for a more down to earth group of mummies. They make me laugh daily and never get bored with talking about tantrums , poo and sick.

I love my babies so much and they are my world , but they can’t chat about fashion and have a glass of vino with me. You do need friends when you are a mum and people you can relate to and count on to keep you going . When you are having a really crappy day its amazing even to just pop a text to your friend who just gets it. Being able to share with them that you’ve just stepped in shit because you’re trying to potty train your two-year old but he isn’t quite getting the grasp of it.

Whenever I see that mum who was me 3 years ago wanting to have a coffee and chat I always make time and be as welcoming as I can. Because loneliness as a mum is most definitely a thing.

 

 

Dairy Free Valentines baking with Auntie Mo’s

I was recently asked if I would like to try a new range of dairy and egg free cookie and brownie mixes by a new business called Auntie Mo’s. We love to get our bake on so I gladly agreed.

Auntie Mo’s are a Sunderland based business who produce dairy and egg free cookie mixes , brownie mixes and pancake mixes which are also suitable for vegans. Maria (Auntie Mo) makes these mixes dairy free as her nephew Alex had a severe milk and egg allergy.

I was so excited about this as we find it really hard to find cookie or cake mixes that are dairy free for Frankie as she has cows milk protein allergy and lactose intolerance. We were sent a lovely package with soft and gooey double chocolate brownie mix , chocolate chip cookie mix and oat and raisin cookie mix.

The packaging is so classy and perfect for a gift , you can either get a jar with the mix in which makes a fab gift ,  or the other option is a brown kraft pouch.

We decided to bake the mixes for Valentines day as a surprise for Daddy and so we could all have a taste of course.

Gooey double chocolate chip brownies –

                               

These were actually amazing , so easy to make too. We just had to mix 125ml water and 125ml of oil and whisk until it emulsified then add to the brownie mix and cook at 180 degrees for 25-30 mins. The house smelt so good whilst these were cooking.

So time was up ,  the brownies were cooled and they definitely got our seal of approval. They had a lovely gooey centre with a perfectly crisp top.  You would never think they didn’t contain dairy or eggs , they had a beautifully rich taste.  We all enjoyed these and what a treat they were.

     

Chocolate chip cookies / oat and raisin cookies

These were a massive hit with the ankle biters. It was the first time Frankie had ever tried a cookie. With her being cows milk protein allergic and lactose intolerant there are no cookies / mixes out there you can buy from the supermarket that she can actually have. Being a busy mum of two toddlers its fab to have the mixes already made up. Such a fantastic rainy day activity or when we just fancy treat to open the cupboard and have freshly baked cookies within 20 minutes.

Again super easy to make just add vegetable spread (we used Vitalite) and water and mix until it was emulsified. We then stired in the mix until it formed a dough . We used a table-spoon and scooped out balls of the mix on to greaseproof paper. We made sure we left a big enough gap between them to have room to grow as they cooked.

        

Within 15 minutes we had cookies. The ankle biters were so excited they could hardly wait for them to cool down! These definitely have our seal of approval. Frankie kept saying mmm delicious after every mouthful. James and I loved the oat and raisin and the tots loved the chocolate being the choco addicts they are, both mixes were equally yum. Now Frankie keeps asking me for “more cookies mummy”

            

The website has a wide variety of cookie and brownie mixes and have now introduced pancakes mixes which we will definitely be purchasing in time for pancake day. You can also find Aunite Mo’s on Facebook and Twitter. They are now our go to cookie mix fav’s.

I was sent these cookie and brownie mixes in return for an honest review , all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

 

 

 

My online mummy squad

Over three and a half years ago I joined a baby centre January 2014 birth group. Little did I know the ladies I met on this group would be such a huge and influential part of my life. These ladies are my motherhood sisters. I have been through two pregnancies , births and every developmental milestone that my babies have gone through. We have celebrated three years of our gorgeous babies birthdays together and the younger siblings that have followed.

I speak to these ladies every day in some shape or form. We share our highs and lows without judgement.  They are my go to ladies with just about everything. There is always one of us there day or night to help celebrate or a shoulder to cry on or talk things over.

If one of us is hurt or upset we all are and we are on the hunt for who has caused it , a big group of angry mummies on the warpath – scary. We never get bored of listening to each others problems and someone always has a solution to almost every problem shared. I have learnt so much about being a mum from these women and they have made me the mummy I am today. These special ladies always rally around when someone is in need or going through a mummy meltdown.

We are all going through the same thing whether it be terrible twos ,  the threenager stage , potty training , sleep deprivation – you name it we’ve been there.

I always feel any negatives I have about being a mummy are made normal by these gorgeous women.  I love this as if I didn’t have them to talk things over I would just sit here thinking what an awful mum I was for not enjoying weaning or feel pathetic for crying because my three year old wont stop screaming at me every time I say no to something. Instead one of you will say yeah my little one is being a complete demon child today or man I hate potty training.

You ladies were there with me during my labour step by step with both babies from the moment my waters went. Some of us were in labour together , spurring each other on and had babies born just hours apart. You were number one on Facebook to see the precious first pictures of my babies. I came to you as soon as I got that positive test with Frankie ,  of course everyone else had to wait till the 12 week scan to find out but you knew as soon as I did.

We share everything , no such thing as over sharing in this group. We know each other inside out and can read each other like a book. If someone is down we know , if someone is pregnant we know. Nothing gets past us.

During the early days of motherhood the mummies kept me going through night feeds , winding and poonamis. Always there for a chat at 3am , 4,30 am and to share a coffee with at 8am. Some days when I was finding it impossible to get through on 2 hours sleep I had my own personal cheerleaders cheering me on to get to that finish line called bedtime and wine.

You will always be a part of my life no matter how big our babies get. I know I can always be 100 percent raw and honest with you ladies , with no judgement just kindness. You are and always will be my first port of call for support and encouragement. Thank you for being my motherhood sisters ,  always and loving me and my babies the way you do my online mummy squad.

Lianne xx

 

Organyc – Organic cotton mother and baby range

Organyc Mother and Baby organic range

I was asked to review the Organyc mother and baby range which included baby wipes , organic cotton squares and menstrual pads. As me and the tots all have eczema prone and sensitive skin I’m always on the look our for organic and natural products for us all to try and see if they agree with us.

Organyc is a range of organic and natural feminine and baby care from sanitary and maternity wear to beauty and baby care. All products are made using organic cotton wool to give softness, comfort and breathable products. Organyc products do not contain parabens, synthetic ingredients, perfumes, or SAP.

Organyc baby cotton wipes

Organyc baby cotton wipes these were a pack of 60 organic baby wipes. They are dermatologically tested , Ethyl and Alcohol free and free of chlorine , parabens and SLS. This was fab as we all have sensitive skin and tend to have an eczema flare up with some baby wipes. I used the wipes on both tots and also myself to remove make up , there was no skin irritation or flare up. The wipes were soft but also durable enough to give the tots hands a good scrub after eating. I would defiantly use these in the future.

Organyc baby organic cotton squares

The Organyc baby organic cotton squares were a fab size and really soft. I tend to still use cotton wool squares to give the tots a face wash in the morning and to get the sleepy dust out of their eyes. They had a cute teddy and hippo embossed design which they loved. I also used some to take my make up off and found them so soft and loved the size , as some cotton wool pads can be small and you end up using loads.

Organyc menstrual pads

The Organyc menstrual pads are made with organic cotton. You can really feel the difference they are really soft. They were also well packaged. They didn’t have any plastic or synthetic materials in them which I find myself allergic to usually. They were still very absorbent and ultra thin. I will be switching to this brand as I really could feel a difference with the 100 percent organic cotton.

I received these products in return for an honest review all thoughts and opinions are my own.