Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Me & Mine March

What a busy month! We've had lots going on here this month and the one month I had my picture sorted a couple of weeks ago, I failed to make sure the actual post was ready to go first thing, ah well I do try!
March saw us celebrating Mother's Day, my second one as a Mama to my gorgeous boy, I received some lovely flowers and a beautiful garden that even Luke signed himself.
This month was also time to celebrate St Patricks Day which thankfully for once the weather was on our side and this is when we captured our family portrait for March.
The night before St Partricks Day our dog, Murphy was struck by a car and was in such shock that he ran away, the driver didn't stop to help either. After a very stressful night spent looking for him he was found the next morning thanks to the help from our local animal rescue group and some friends who went out searching for him. Luckily he was ok.
I cooked my second roast dinner in my house for myself and 8 others in the family on Sunday just gone, it was nice to have everyone here and cook for them but I think I'll leave the regular roast dinners to my Mum and sister and I'll do one once a year, there's a lot to them!
The OH and I had a week off from work together so we really got in some quality family time, as always it went too fast though.
I really feel like March was a positive month for our little family (knocked down dog aside of course). We are gearing up for a busy April which sees us heading off to the very first Irish Parenting Blog Awards in Dublin so looking forward to updating you all on them next month.

Here we are in March:


This month Luke loves:
  • Sleeping a couple of hours longer in the morning
  • Fixing things in the shed with Grandad
  • Building blocks
This month Dad loves:
  • Having a cinema date with his first born
  • Helping Luke with his building
  • Curly Wurly's
This month Mum loves:
  • Luke sleeping in longer in the mornings, 6am wake calls are less frequent
  • Starting a photography course
  • Starbars


Monday, 30 March 2015

Claudi & Fin Frozen Yoghurt Lollies

We received a wonderful and generous package the other day on the shape of some delicious frozen yoghurt lollies for the lovely people over at Claudi & Fin. They were an instant hit in both the office with the adults as well as at home with the kiddies. I'm hooked on the delicious and refreshing mango flavour.
Luke has a huge appetite for all kinds of food but of course he loves his treats too and I'm always on the look out for the healthier option. So I was delighted to see that these lollies were 100% natural ingredients and filled with real fruit. The greek yoghurt aspect is a winner in my eyes too, they are so creamy!


Claudi & Fin lollies come in two yummy flavours – Mango and Strawberry in boxes of 4. They can be found in your local Super Valu and Centra stores for €3.50 each.

These lollies contain a range of healthy and wholesome ingredients including:

 Real fruit

 Whole milk

 Greek style yoghurt containing calcium, potassium and zinc

 30% of your child's recommend daily intake of Vitamin D

 Zero nasties!


This is Luke's version of a thumbs up, he loves the strawberry flavour! He was looking for more after this one.

Perfect sweet treat after the Sunday roast

It passed the 12 year old's taste test too

*We were sent the Claudi & Fin Frozen Yoghurt Lollies for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own*

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Luke @ 21 Months

The final update for my boy before he turns the big 2! How weird will it be to say I have a 2 year old eh?!
The last 2 months have been a bit up and down, Luke has suffered with his skin a bit, eczema and he was also hit by a sore throat and blocked sinuses which seemed to take ages to clear up. The stuffiness he had only cleared when we switched him to lactose free milk about 2 weeks ago, funnily enough his appetite is back in full swing since then too so maybe the ordinary full fat milk just wasn't agreeing with him.
He still hasn't been sleeping great either, goes to bed fine, like a dream in fact, but at the moment he could wake 2 or 3 times before we just end up bringing him in with us. I remember back to this time last year and he was exactly the same until around the middle of April so maybe it's just the time of year or something in the air, I don't know but we are really hoping he goes back to his awesome sleeping pattern he had before! He's started waking earlier too and every morning I am met by his face right up in mine asking for "Sam", y'know Fireman Sam who we watch at least 20 times a day because he is obsessed with him! Even if we think he's not paying attention to the program and we switch it off, he notices and asks for "Sam" again, it's beginning to wear thin!
As I said his appetite is back to normal and he's well able to finish all of his meals using his own spoon and fork and with no help from us. Last night he cleared his bowl of mash potato all by himself, I was convinced the OH had eaten some but he didn't. He current favourite food at the moment is cereal or "ey aye" as he calls it and raisins and crisps. I'd give him the Organix ones but everytime he goes to his Nanny and Grandad's, he knows exactly where Grandad keeps his Tayto's so when he gets there he goes to the drawer and get's his bowl and then takes off into the utility room to the cupboard where Grandad gets him some "isps" and he then happily sits up at the kitchen table to eat them while looking out the window into the garden.
He loves fixing things at the moment, he has his very own screwdriver and hammer in Grandad's shed and was fierce busy up there the other day fixing things.
I really feel like he's going through the terrible 2's early too, he's challenging everything and does not like to be told "No" a lot of the time. If we are telling him he can't do something we explain why, be that it's dangerous or whatever and most of the time he understands but other times he screams bloody murder, honestly, he's a total diva sometimes!
He's very clingy to me at the moment, he could be totally fine all day with whoever is looking after him but as soon as I come in it's tears and calling me, although yesterday was the first time he didn't do that and was busy telling me about his day instead so hopefully that's a phase that's passed.

This age, while it's hard and challenging and downright frustrating for us and Luke, it's also wonderful at the same time. He's such great company at the moment and he can communicate with his words so much better, rather than throwing his building blocks everywhere, he'll now sit down and help you build them, instead of ripping through the pages of a book, he'll sit down and point out things in them and try and tell us what they are. Small things like that make a huge difference and really bring home the fact that he's growing up so fast.



*For these pictures Luke actually took my camera out and asked me to take a picture of him, such a poser, just like his Daddy!*



Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Lemon Swirl Cupcakes

These cupcakes are delicious, yes I know I'm biased because I made them myself  but they turned out so much better than I expected. They make for the perfect Easter treat, mainly because I made them yellow and I always associate lemon with Easter. 
Here's what I did:

Ingredients:

8oz SR Flour
8oz Caster Sugar
8oz Cooking Butter
4 Eggs
1x Tsp Lemon Essence 

Filling:

Lemon Curd

Topping:

4oz Cooking Butter
2x Tblsp Caster Sugar
150g Cream Cheese
Lemon Essence
Yellow Colouring

*Of course you can make you lemon curd from scratch as well as you lemon flavouring but it was a last minute idea and I used what was in the cupboard!*


Method:
  • Cream butter and sugar
  • Sieve flour and add in with the eggs, alternating an egg and some flour at a time
  • Add in lemon essence, leave to whir around in the mixer for a while while you get your trays and cake cases ready
  • Spoon a generous amount of cake mixture into each case, this amount made 18 decent sized cup cakes.
  • Add roughly 3/4 teaspoon of lemon curd to each cake case and then swirl the mixture together using a knife
  • Bake in the oven for approximately 25mins on 170 degrees, fan oven
  • For the topping cream sugar and butter before adding in the cream cheese and lemon essence and ice the cakes once they are cooled. I topped mine off with some lemon meringue pieces.
They were really light and fluffy and I love how the lemon curd was running all through each cake rather than a dollop in the middle.




Monday, 23 March 2015

An Afternoon In Fota Gardens

I've just had a week, well 10 days in fact off work and it's been wonderful. While the time flew like always, it also felt like a really long time and we got loads in on those days as the OH was off as well. We had lots of quality time as a family which was the aim of the holidays really. The good weather was such a nice bonus for our time off too.
So yesterday, on the last day of our holidays we took off to Fota House & Gardens for a Sunday stroll. This place is ideal if you are trying to wear off some of that relentless toddler energy that L seems to have so much of! Although when he stood at the edge of the pond, taking off his coat and saying "swimming" we weren't long picking him up to be carried away from any kind of water where he thought he could go swimming! 
There was some beautiful splashes of colour from the cherry trees and daffodils in amongst the greenery. We brought a ball with us for L to have a little kick around and he was all about climbing on any kind of surface he could find. 
I can't wait for the weather to get warmer so that we can have a picnic afternoon here and let L run loose in the big massive green just behind Fota house.

















Friday, 20 March 2015

St Patricks Day 2015

Here what our St Patricks Day looked like:

Dressed in green for the day that was in it. (Just woken up from a nap too so wasn't impressed with the camera at that moment!)


Up on Grandad's shoulders to see the parade passing by


Up the Rebels!


Here comes Thomas!


Nanny dancing to some Andre Rieu being played


Vintage cars making their way through the town


ARC - Animal Rescue Cobh, another post about these guys to come soon


Luke and Dad


Smile!


St Colmans Cathedral, a local landmark


Yes our car was parked at the top of this very steep hill!


How did you celebrate St Patricks Day this year?











Thursday, 5 March 2015

Rainbow Sandwich Cake

I wanted to make a cake recently for family occasion but had left it rather late in the evening, about 9pm to start so I went with my reliable sponge cake recipe and jazzed it up a little bit.


Ingrediants:

8oz Self Raising Flour
8oz Caster Sugar
8oz Baking Butter
4x Eggs
Teaspoon of Madagascan Vanilla
Food Colouring
Jam
Butter Cream Icing

Method:


  • Cream your sugar and baking butter together until smooth
  • Add an egg and a quarter of the flour at a time, allowing them to mix thoroughly
  • Add in the madagascan vanilla and leave in the food mixer for a couple of minutes while you get your tins ready. Everyone always comments on how light my sponge is and I can't think of any particular reason why other than I leave the mixture spinning around in the mixer for a while and it gets nice and fluffy
  • Divide your mixture into 4 separate bowls and add food colouring of your choice, I used red, blue, orange and yellow
  • Put a dollop of each colour into either baking tin and smooth
  • Bake in a pre heated oven on about 160degrees for approximately 30 minutes
  • After they have cooled spread a thin layer of jam over the base of each sponge and sandwich them together
  • Finish it off with some creamy butter icing and a few sprinkles of your choice 




Yay the first ever Irish Parenting Blog Awards are taking place this April! 
If you like reading my posts then I would really appreciate if you could nominate me or my fellow bloggers on the list by clicking on the badge below. Drinks on me the next time I see you ;) 

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Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Just The 2 Of Us


I came across this linky hosted by Don't Call Me Step Mummy and decided to join in as this past weekend was a weekend where my little guy and I really got some quality time together.

The poor guy was so unwell this weekend, he had a trip to the doctor and a course of antibiotics and he was really only fit for the couch. He managed a walk to see the horse with his Grandad and a short shopping trip with me but mostly we were curled up on the couch where he would nap. Those few days he only wanted his Mum, usually he's all over his Dad, messing and chasing each other and just generally being boys together. He would only nap if he slept on me and as much as I usually love nap time to give me a bit of time to get things done around the house, this weekend just gone I really cherished those few days where we had a couple of hours curled up together. If he felt me moving away, he would snuggle in closer, at night time when I was putting him to bed, he would wraps his arms right around me for another hug, he was coming into to our bed at all hours but as soon as he came in he would snuggle down under the duvet and tuck in under my chin. I loved it, not him being sick obviously but I loved that he needed me so much and wanted cuddles all of the time. He's such an active little boy that usually he's pulling all of toys out or trying to climb on everything or wanting to be out in the garden exploring. I am delighted to report that he feeling much better as of today after a full nights sleep but it was nice to just sit back and take him all in over the last few days and cherish those baby days that are slipping away from me far too quickly.




Don't Call Me Step Mummy




Yay the first ever Irish Parenting Blog Awards are taking place this April! 
If you like reading my posts then I would really appreciate if you could nominate me or my fellow bloggers on the list by clicking on the badge below. Drinks on me the next time I see you ;) 



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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Crustless Quiche

One of my favourite quick, go to recipes from Slimming World is their crustless quiche. I made it by their recipe the first time but soon realised I could mix it up myself and it really is a case of just throwing it all together. It's so handy to cut up and wrap for lunches for the week at work and super tasty and syn free (if you use the cheese as your healthy extra). This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

5x Large Eggs
250g Low Fat Cottage Cheese
Handful of mushrooms (peppers are good here too)
4x Bacon Medallions
Garlic Granules
Onion Powder (Or actual onions if you like them, I hate them!)
80g Low Fat Cheese
Handful of Chives

Method:


  • Start by chopping up your mushrooms and bacon and frying them in some fry light, I add my garlic granules and onion powder here too
  • Beat eggs and cottage cheese together
  • Add low fat cheese and chives and mix well
  • Layer the bacon and miushroom mix at the bottom of your dish
  • Pour egg and cheese mixture over it and even out
  • Cook in the oven on 170degrees for about 20 minutes or until it's begining to brown on top



Yay the first ever Irish Parenting Blog Awards are taking place this April! 
If you like reading my posts then I would really appreciate if you could nominate me or my fellow bloggers on the list by clicking on the badge below. Drinks on me the next time I see you ;) 

Nominate Me 

Monday, 2 March 2015

The Day I Realised: I've Turned Into My Mother

It's inevitable really isn't it? One day I'm going to turn into my mother. My Dad always says it, "As long as you're around, your mother will never be gone!". The OH will look at the mother in law at some point and think, yeah this is a glimpse into the future of what I'll be like in years to come. Years away though, when I'm older with grown up children, not now, not at the ripe young age of 29! Alas it happened, I said something the other day and it stopped me in my tracks, I actually had to do a quick scan of the room to make sure that it was indeed me who had spoken and not my mother, it was easy to figure out because my mother wasn't there...and it was scary! Not that there's anything wrong with my mother, I love her, we are friends as well as mother and daughter but it was frightening just how much I sounded like her and then I began to think and realised that it had slowly been happening over the past while, I'm not sure how long this has been going on but here are a few examples:


  • I'm frequently heard saying "If I want something done properly I may as well do it myself" - a favourite of my mother's many phrases
  • I bulk buy fabric softener when it's on offer, she has stacks of it in the utility room, always has done along with many other bulk bought products, I don't know why, maybe in preparation for some apocalypse or something.
  • I worry when the OH is out and I know he is driving and he's later than usual or the weather is pretty bad, I begin to panic that maybe something has happened. You can be guaranteed that when there's any kind of weather conditions that may affect driving ability my mother will text me to let me know and ask that I text her once I get to work, I now do this too.
  • I always make my bed and in a specific way and no one else can make the bed the right way except for me...this is definitely my mother's influence.
  • I write out where my money has to go each week. I always remember her doing this in my earlier years, making sure she had all of her bills and the amounts written out in her notebook. I do this now, every week in my diary I write out what needs to be paid and tick it off as I go.
  •  I'm constantly rushing, although I rush to work because I'm late, she rushes because she likes to be super early, early enough to have a cup tea early y'know?! 
  • I panic, a lot, over small things, she's brutal for that, especially when she's rushing to be early for work and can't find her car keys anywhere, she's been known to practically turn the house upside down only to find them somewhere really obvious that she would've seen sooner had she just not got in to a panic about it...this is now me too. Cue lots of eye rolling from my Dad and the OH.
  • If you want to know about your rights at work or consumer rights or your entitlements, she's your person, she just knows this stuff which I know because of her so now I seem to be the go to person in my group of friends for these kind of things.
  • I can't be fobbed off with a short answer, I kind of need to know all of the details, I'm not satisfied unless I feel like I fully understand something. She's like this too, which made it very hard to try and pull a fast one on her during the teenage years. The OH is delighted I'm sure that a question can sometimes turn into a full blown interrogation! 
  • And the moment of realisation was when I said, "Pack it in!" I've only ever heard my mother say this, she would say it when we were being bold or annoying and Luke was banging the table the other day in temper and I told him to "Pack it in!", that's when I knew....I was now my mother.

She's still a super awesome Mum and Nanny though so I suppose turning into her isn't all that bad :) 

Yay the first ever Irish Parenting Blog Awards are taking place this April! 
If you like reading my posts then I would really appreciate if you could nominate me or my fellow bloggers on the list by clicking on the badge below. Drinks on me the next time I see you ;) 


Sunday, 1 March 2015

Me & Mine February

I didn't think I'd get a chance to photograph us this month, February always runs away from me with it being a shorter month. Luke has been sick this week too and he was in no mood for photographs. We had a trip to the doctor and a round of antibiotics but he finally perked up tonight so I managed to get a few quick photo's just before bath time. He always uses this time to jump on our bed and mess around in our room so that's pretty much the theme of our pictures for February. You'll have to excuse our dishevelled appearance and Luke's lack of clothing except for his vest, it really was a last minute capture. I do love how relaxed Luke is in these pictures though and just look at those chunky toddler legs, I love them!

We were delighted to see the arrival of a very slight improvement in the weather that came with the new season of Spring. Things here have been busy as usual, we had a child free trip away to Dublin which was nice and Luke had a couple of birthday parties, he definitely has a better social life than us! We are looking forward to another busy month in March.

Here we are:



This month Lukes loves
  • Feeding the birdies with Nanna
  • Going for a spin in Grandad's truck
  • Crispies
This month Dad loves
  • Getting some better shifts at work 
  • Playing cards and monopoly
  • Al Porter, a comedian we saw in Dublin, he was very funny
This month Mum loves
  • Walking around Dublin, exploring
  • Valentines surprises
  • Baking cakes

Yay the first ever Irish Parenting Blog Awards are taking place this April! 
If you like reading my posts then I would really appreciate if you could nominate me or my fellow bloggers on the list by clicking on the badge below. Drinks on me the next time I see you ;)