Friday, 31 July 2015

Is He Ready For Potty Training??


As the title suggests I am thinking about potty training. I am a huge believer of being led by your toddler when it comes to potty training and not pushing them.

Just after Finley had turned two my Nan started on at me about potty training. She said things like 'its about time you started potty training isn't it', 'he should be out of nappies now' and 'look he wants to go on the potty'. But in my mind he wasn't ready and I always told her he would tell me when he is ready. I don't mean that he would one day say to me 'Mummy I am know ready to use a potty', I mean that he would show me signs and then we could give it a go.

Well it happened when my youngest was only a few months old. We had had the potty around the house, so he could get familiar with it, for a while. He used to sit on it fully clothed but he wouldn't go near it with no nappy on. And I didn't push as didn't want to scare him. But then all of a sudden he said 'wee' so I got the potty and he sat on it an wee'd. So I followed his lead. It was a long road with lots of accidents but it happened and I was so glad I had waited for his signs to tell me that he was ready.

Now with Noah just turned two, potty training is at the back of my mind. Niggling away as I 'think' he is showing signs. He tells me before he is going, sometimes after and he will sit on the potty. He will also sit on the toilet before bath time and do a wee. So is he ready?

I don't want to push it and I think he is too young. But he isn't too young really and I think because he is my second the whole potty training thing would be the last of nappies, which is great but that's like the last baby stage isn't it.

He wants to do what Finley is doing and he is very interested when Finley uses the toilet. So I think this will help us.

But am I giving myself excuses because lets me honest potty training is a NIGHTMARE! Wee on the floor, 20 pairs of pants a day, carrying a potty with us wherever we go and the constant nag of 'do you need a wee'.

In all honesty I don't know if he is ready so I was thinking when the sun shines, if it shines this summer, to go in the garden naked (Noah not me) and give it a go. Because what have I got to lose apart from my sanity and my nice wee free decking?

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Thursday, 30 July 2015

My Captured Moment #27


I'm linking up with Heledd at Running in Lavender for this week My Captured Moment.

This week is a very special one to me. I took this photo on Saturday while visiting my Nan. This is so special because this is how I used to be with my Nan.

I love my Nan so much and she has done so much for me. I have written previously about how she and my Mum made me the person I am today and this is still true. You can read that post here The Ladies That Made Me Who I Am Today.

We had just been to the park and the boys had asked to watch Peppa Pig. They were both tired and Noah had taken residence in my Nan's 'chair' - every grandparent has one don't they?! Finley got onto my Nan's lap and curled up to her. And he stayed there for a good 15 minutes.

Throughout my childhood I saw my Nan nearly everyday and to now see her love and cherish my boys is an amazing thing.


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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Homemade Thank You Cards - A Personal Touch

Noah turned 2 last week and he had a party on Sunday. And with a party comes presents, lots of them! I have always been old fashioned and sent thank you cards. I think this may be due to the fact I love to receive them to know people liked what we have got them and I also think its a lovely way to say an extra special thank you.

I have found the shop bought ones are quite expensive so I thought this time I would make homemade ones. With Noah only being two his input into what we actually did was minimal but I wanted it to be something he had done and I was pretty pleased with how they turned out.

I was going to do a hand print card but the amount of cards I needed to make this would have been pretty stressful. So I decided I would fold some card and get him to paint the front. I was planning on using A4 card and cutting it in half to make them A5 but luckily while going through the craft box I found some ready made cards left over from making his initiations last year. All I needed to do was fold them.

What I did was literally put a painting apron on Noah, fold the card, give him the paint brush and the paints in a bowl then put the card in front of him. I used 4 colours to begin with - red, blue, yellow and green - just because these were the colours we had. I also added in some white at the end, because after all the colours had been mixed they looked a bit mucky.

I then handed him card by card and got him to paint on them. Some of them have more paint on than others, as being 2 he refused to put much paint on some of them. We also went from paint brush to using hands which I thought made some of them look great.

When they were all dry I then wrote on any space I could find 'Thank You' in a metallic pen that we had. We had envelopes for the cards too which was a great help.

To me these are more personal and I am hoping all our friends and family love the personal touch of these thank you cards.





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Monday, 27 July 2015

A Toddlers Imagination Is Incredible

The imagination of a toddler is amazing. I find myself at least once a day just sitting and watching my two playing. They aren't at an age that they play together properly but they do play independently and its fascinating to watch.

Their imaginations are both at different stages so when they play, they play very differently and I think that is because of their ages. Noah is 2 and Finley is 3, nearly 4.

I was sat watching Noah the other day playing with his Peppa Pig figures. As I walked in he had Peppa and George talking to each other. Peppa was saying 'Sorry' to George and George was replying with 'That's ok'. I have to be honest I was very surprised at how Noah's imagination has come on recently. I then sat there and watched him play with various different figures, with him making them talk to each other and having different conversations. A lot of the things he was saying and doing were things he has picked up from us or his big brother.

My heart could have burst watching him play like this. 

He spends a lot of time playing with the little figures that we have. He puts them in and out of the different vehicles and he is very happy to play by himself.

Finley is very different to Noah. He wants someone to play with him a lot of the time. Even if he is just building a tower he wants to have someone help him, sometime we don't actually help him we just sit with him and watch.

Finley has started to play a lot of imagination games with crocodiles and things chasing him. I think he has picked this up from nursery. He will run from one side of the house to the other saying something is chasing him. He sometimes says a monster, I do my best to tell him here isn't such things as monsters as I would hate for this monster thing to turn into something he is scared of.

The other game he plays is jumping from sofa to sofa saying there are crocodiles. He tries to get Noah to join in, which he tries, but his little legs don't quite get him between each gap which ends up with him in a heap on the floor.

The imagination of children is amazing and I love the fact that they don't have any inhibitions about it. Because as an adult we do don't we, we will play with them and pretend along side them but when in public we tend to feel a bit silly. And look around to see who is watching us. But I think we need to take a leaf out of our children's books and just be ourselves and have fun.

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Sunday, 26 July 2015

Recipe - Oreo Cupcakes With Buttercream And Glitter Sprinkles

It was Noah's joint 2nd Birthday party with his friend on Sunday and I decided to make some cupcakes. I planned to make about 60 as that was how many people we had confirmed coming but somehow I managed to make 84!!

I made a selection of vanilla, chocolate and marble cupcakes with vanilla buttercream icing, glitter sprinkles then topped with an Oreo. These went down pretty well at the party and I was impressed with how they had turned out, considering the amount I had made.

So I thought I'd share it with you all as we all love cake and I especially love Oreos! So here it is.

Ingredients to make roughly 24 cupcakes

For the sponge

8oz margarine
8oz caster Sugar
8oz self raising flour for the vanilla cakes or 7 oz self raising flour for the chocolate cakes
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1oz coco powder (for the chocolate cakes)

Buttercream icing

250g unsalted butter that has been left at room temperature while you make the sponge
Icing sugar (I wing just how much I need, sorry!)

Topping

24 Oreos
Glitter sprinkles (you can get them in most supermarkets in the baking section)

Baking Equipment you will need

Large bowl
2 x cupcake baking trays with 12 holes
24 cupcake cases
Piping bag
Piping nozzle

Method

Put 24 cupcake cases into 2 cupcake baking trays and preheat the oven to 180 degrees. I have a fan oven so the temperature may vary.

Start by mixing the margarine and caster sugar together until they are light and fluffy. Add in an egg and sieve a quarter of the flour mixture into the fluffy mixture and beat together. Do this 4 times until all the flour and eggs have been used. Add in the vanilla essence if you are making vanilla ones or add in the coco powder for the chocolate cakes. Make sure its beaten well and all combined.

Put about 1 tablespoon of mixture into each cake case. Any left over distribute between the cases. Then bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until they are a golden colour and a thin pricker comes out clean when tested.

Place them onto a cooling rack and leave to cool for about 30 minutes.

To make the buttercream, put the butter into a large bowl and mix to make it fluffy. This makes it easier to mix in the icing sugar. Then sieve in a little bit of icing sugar at a time. I do it until the buttercream takes like icing and not butter. Add in a little vanilla essence if you would like.

Once the cakes are cool pipe on the mixture. I got some disposable piping bags from Asda and the piping nozzles from the pound shop, and they are amazing!
When the icing has been piped on, sprinkle on some glitter and then top with your Oreo. If you put the Oreo on straight away it will stay on the cake but the only thing is after a few days they do go soft. So its fine to put them on if its the day before or a general batch but if your making them for an occasion and a few days in advance maybe wait until the night before to add on the Oreos. You could maybe use some normal icing to help the Oreos stick.




For the marble cupcakes I just made up a vanilla mixture then put one teaspoon of mixture into each cake case. Then I added 1/2 oz of coco powder to the remainder of the mixture, mixed well and then spooned into the cases. Once all the mixture had been distributed I used a baking pricker and lightly swirled the mixture. I then baked them on the same heat and time as the others.

Enjoy!

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Saturday, 25 July 2015

My Week At A Glance 19/07 - 25/07


It's that time again to have a look at the week just past.

It was the first week of the holidays and we didn't have much planned apart from lots of park visits. With the school holidays it makes soft play and other places very busy so we tend to spend our holidays chilling at home.

Sunday saw Noah's 2nd birthday party that he was hosting with his best friend. It was a pirate and princess theme so the boys dressed up as pirates. We all had the best time eating cake and stuffing our faces with sweets. 

Monday we met some friends at the park. I think we spent a good 2 hours there, the boys loved it and managed to run off some steam.

We did the same on Tuesday but we met a different set of friends. This time Finley got to have a splash about in the splash pad. Noah didn't like it so he stayed in the main park. I didn't get a photo of the splash pad as there is no photography allowed which I can totally understand.

Wednesday saw a morning chilling at home followed by a walk around Westonbirt Arboretum. This was my stress day as things just didn't go to plan and the boys were a tad bit stroppy. You can read about it here. Which then made me stroppy. But it has to be said that we had a lovely walk and picnic in between the drama.

We made some thank you cards on Thursday to send out to friends and family that kindly got Noah birthday presents.

Then the rest of the week we spent at home, mooching about in our pj's in the mornings and generally spending some much needed cuddle time on the sofa.

But still out of all the stress and strops there have been some lovely moments that we have spent together.

I'm hoping the weather will brighten up next week which would mean we can get out more. And I'm hoping the week unfolds better than this week did.



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Friday, 24 July 2015

Who Knew Selling A House Was So Stressful?!

Who knew selling a house would be so stressful? Well I expect everyone does apart from me. Little na├»ve me thought putting it on the market would be a breeze. We would get the for sale sign up, get it on rightmove, have a few viewings and hope it would sell. Little did I know lol!!

So since we put the house on the market on Friday I have been stressed. Since that first phone call to arrange a viewing I my hair has been going grey, because I want the house to be perfect and spotless. But this is a hard task to do with two toddlers that like to take every toy out and trash the house on a daily basis.

I need to remember we have children. And people looking around the house will know we have children and will expect toys. We have decluttered the house to a point you can hardly see toys. They are hidden in fabulous Ikea storage units dotted around the house and we have removed all clutter from window sills and the mantelpiece.

Everyday that we have a viewer due I will hide the toothpaste, shower gel and shampoo. Why?

I put away the place mats on the table, I hide things in the cupboard under the stairs that if a viewer opens it, which they will, they will see our clutter. Just in one place though lol!

I clean the bathroom everyday, I clean the glass on the shower after every use and I hoover a ridiculous amount of times.

I even run around the house like a loon when we are popping to the park, even if there is no viewers due, just in case they call me and say can someone come and see the house. This I expect will not happen.

Because I am so desperate to sell and start our next chapter. In the town that will make us all so much happier and the place we will stay, make memories and that the boys will grow up there.

And my washing pile. Don't get me started. I didn't want to do a load of washing and have it hanging around the house so I stock piled it until Sunday. Then my 2 week old, brand new washing machine broke, so today when I needed to wash and dry it all in a day as we had a day of no viewers I couldn't.

Stress levels are rising. And the fact I love this house makes it all that bit more harder but we need to do this for us as a family.
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Recipe - Salmon With Sweet Chilli Vegetable Noodles

This has got to be one of my all time favourite dinners, so I had to share. I don't get to have it that often as my husband doesn't like salmon so when he isn't home until after tea this is my go to food. Its so simple to make and takes about 20 minutes.

You can add into the noodles what you like but here is what I use.

Ingredients

Aldi Infusions salmon fillet infused with ginger, chilli & lime marinade
Sainsburys thin egg noodles (you can use whatever noodles you prefer)
Frozen onions
Frozen peppers
Frozen peas
Frozen sweetcorn
1 tsp paprika
Salt & pepper
Worcester sauce
Tomato puree
Sweet chilli sauce

Method

You start by putting the salmon onto cook. There are many ways you can cook the salmon - microwave, grill or oven - and the instructions on how to do so are on the back of the packet but I chose to do it in the oven. All you have to do is remove the salmon from its packaging, wrap it in tin foil and place it on a baking tray then into the oven. It takes about 18 minutes to cook.

While that is cooking put on a saucepan of water and bring it to the boil for the noodles.
In a frying pan fry the onions, peppers, peas and sweetcorn. The ingredients I use are all frozen so very easy to just get from the packet and throw into the frying pan.

Put the noodles into the boiling water and boil until they are cooked, about 10 minutes.
Once the vegetables are cooked add in some Worcester sauce, salt & pepper, the paprika and tomato puree. (I use the tomato puree as it adds some flavour and also thickens up the fluid from the frozen vegetable) The amounts of these I just guessed, use as much or as little as you think and like.

When the noodles are done put them in with the vegetables and mix it all up. Add in some sweet chilli sauce, again however much you would like. Leave for a few minutes and then when the salmon is done, transfer the noodles & vegetable to a plate and just add the salmon on top.

And its ready to eat. I didn't have any poppadoms but I think they would be rather tasty with this dish.

Enjoy!


I'd love to hear if you make this dish and what you think.

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Thursday, 23 July 2015

My Captured Moment #26


I missed a week of My Captured Moment as last week was manic with Noah's birthday celebrations. I took a step back from blogging for a few days to enjoy the celebrations and soak up my baby turning 2 without me having my phone in my hand constantly taking pictures. But I'm back this week and linking up with Heledd at Running in Lavender.

This weeks moment was from Noah's birthday last Tuesday. We all went to Peppa Pig World and we had the best day! This picture just captures his pure excitement of being there and all the rides he got to go on.

Also in his hand is the park map. This was one of his highlights of the day and he didn't put it down all day.

This picture to me also represents my baby now being a toddler. He has over the last few weeks turned into a proper toddler. His babiness seems to have vanished to my sadness but he is growing into such a caring and lovable little boy which is a joy to watch.

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