Month: March 2015

Yogurt chocolate chip cupcakes

The instagram pic of these cupcakes seemed to get everyone’s sweet tooth excited. This is the first time I used yogurt while baking cupcakes but it will definitely be my go to recipe in the future. They were so moist, not too sweet and a little gooey inside – amazing! So get a cuppa and enjoy these yogurt chocolate chip cupcakes…

Ingredients:

  • 1¾ cup plain flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup castor sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup Glenisk low fat organic vanilla yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 100g milk chocolate chips
  • 100g white chocolate chips

 

Method:

  1. Line 12 cupcake tin with liners. Preheat oven to 150 degrees.
  2. Mix flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and salt together.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and yogurt together.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, slowly and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  5. fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Fill each cupcake case ¾ full.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes
  8. Cool for 15 minutes
  9. Dust with icing sugar, for decoration.

 

 

And it’s just as easy as that! The hardest part is allowing them to cool – but if you don’t they will all stick to the cases so the longer you wait the easier it is to eat them! Aidan also gave them a little try…

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If you do give them a try be sure to tag me on instagram (@_ellenokeeffe) or twitter (@_ellenokeeffe) I would love to see how they turn out. Enjoy!

 

Why I hate co-sleeping

Last night we had a very cranky, moody teething baby. Like c’mon already Aidan it’s been like 7 months just grown one already! Anyway, after an hour or so of whining and whimpering we decided to take him into our bed to try and get some sleep. Immediately I thought back to Kellie’s post I had read earlier this week and I began to get excited to have my baby boy for cuddles and quality time. What actually happened was a lot different.

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I imagine this is what it feels like to be in a street fight or pub brawl. Having someone swinging fists and throwing head butts. I endured more physical abuse that night then I had known possible. He head butted his dad while kicking me into the ribs. We both woke with several bruises.

Also twice hourly we would be awoken by Aidan who, we learned, is a sleep crawler. While still in a deep sleep Aidan will get to his hands and knees have a little wander around the bed before collapsing back down as if nothing happened. This meant that both of us were on edge acting like some sort of human cot bumper system.

As if that wasn’t enough, like I mentioned in my ways to prepare for a new baby post, it was like sleeping with a stray cat on speed. He has claws, not nails – claws! And they seem to move independent to his body, and only in the direction of my face!

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That hair says it all – I couldn’t get the ‘alfalfa’ down all day!

 

So after a night of about 7 minutes sleep Aidan decided that 6:30am was time enough to start the day – seriously?! After all of us enduring the night from hell the day that followed wasn’t much better. It was a series of tantrums, constant grunting and bad moods all round. If I so much as said ‘Aidan’ there was an outburst stronger than that girl finding out about Zayn leaving 1D!

Those are the reasons I hate co-sleeping. I would love to snuggle up to Aidan every night and wake up to his bright, beaming smile in the morning but that is not what happens in our house. It’s like sleeping with a switch blade and waking up to a hormonal teen – far from a cuddly scene.

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Mango Yogurt Cake & Crème Fraîche icing

This mango yogurt cake with creme fraiche icing is light, moist and absolutely delicious! If you follow me on instagram you will have seen that the evening I baked it I ate so much I got a tummy ache, it’s that good. It didn’t even last 24 hours in our house. Here’s the recipe if you feel like getting your apron out..

YOGURT CAKE:

Ingredients:

  • 450g of Glenisk pure original mango organic yogurt
  • ²/3 cup olive oil
  • 1¼ cup castor sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2½ cups plain flour
  • 2½ teaspoons of baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoons of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon of salt

Method:

  1. Whisk yogurt, olive oil, sugar and eggs together in one bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until smooth.
  4. Pour into a pre-greased cake tin and bake for 1 hour at 150 degrees
  5. Allow to cool fully before icing.

 

CRÈME FRAÎCHE ICING:

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of icing sugar
  • ²/3 cup of Glenisk organic crème fraîche
  • ²/3 cup of unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Sieve sugar into a bowl (I didn’t sieve and ended up with lumpy icing – doesn’t look as nice!)
  2. In a separate bowl which the butter and crème fraîche.
  3. Add the salt and vanilla to the butter and crème fraîche.
  4. Add the sugar and mix until the icing can hold it’s shape.
  5. Spoon onto completely cooled cake.

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And it’s that easy! I let Aidan have some for his lunch too…

It definitely went down a treat in this house and I will definitely be making it again soon. Glenisk also have the pure original yogurt (no added sugar) in blueberry so maybe it will be blueberry yogurt cake next week?

5 reasons babies are like teenagers

Over the last 10 months since Aidan’s arrival I have noticed that babies share similarities with many other things, one of which teenagers… Yes, you heard me babies are like teenagers and here’s how…

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Every small inconvenience results in a reaction more intense than labour. If you take something from a baby they will scream and throw themselves on the floor in a wave of hysterical tears.

If you punish a teenager the will slam their door, say they hate you and drown in a wave of hysterical tears.
Let’s not even mention the unpredictable mood swings from both!

What is in today is out tomorrow. Today Baby thinks Mickey Mouse is the best thing since sliced bread, and demands you carry him and Mickey everywhere – Tomorrow Mickey is flung across the room while Baby throws you a ‘don’t be so stupid’ look while crawling towards some Mega Blocks.

Today Teenager is all about One Direction with a room covered in posters and her name changed to Mrs Harry Styles on all her school books – Tomorrow One Direction are stupid and all new school labels are demanded for Mrs Ed Sheeran.

You are always embarrassing them. Nudey pictures in the bath. Smelling their butt in public – parents main aim is to embarrass babies.

Just breathing makes you an embarrassing parent to a teenager.

They speak their own language. When a baby finally starts to talk they will come and tell you an entire story in what I can only describe as varying tones of grunting and then look at you as if you’re the stupid one when you don’t respond accurately.

Teenagers use grunts and similar sounds to communicate messages to each other usually resulting in an eruption of hyena type laughter – totes lol bae (Oh god I feel wrong even typing that)

New clothes are a weekly requirement. Babies grow faster than Kim Kardashians arse bank account meaning almost each week you are guarenteed to need something new for babies wardrobe – if not you will probably buy something anyway because it’s so cute.

Similar to point 2, teenagers love black this week but next week you couldn’t possibly be seen in black because neon green is the new black. ”On Wednesdays we wear any colour other than the ones in our wardrobe!”

 

Also both babies and teenagers are available in nocturnal editions.

Apart from size there is no difference between a baby and a teenager – I know I don’t parent a teenager but I was one not so long ago and I can say now that I was a cow. Like my Mom used to say ”I love you, but teenagers are not nice people.” I swear I was awkward just to be awkward! Luckily babies are tiny and cute so it does make all the tantrums, mood swings and vast spending a little easier.

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Vogue 73 Questions

I saw Mrs H’s favourite things had done the famous Vogue 73 questions (which I totally knew about already – not) and thought it was a really fun way to get to know more about her (like her very interesting autobiography title!). So I decided to challenge myself to the 73 question tag…

 

1. What’s your favourite movie?

Calamity Jane (The Doris Day version)

2. Favourite movie in the past five years?

Dallas Buyers Club

3. Favourite Hitchcock film?

Eh….

4. A book you plan on reading?

The Goldfinch by Donna Tarte

5. A book that you read in school that positively shaped you?

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime? It’s the only one I remember

6. Favourite TV show that’s currently on?

How To Get Away With Murder (although the season just ended so not sure if that counts as ”currently”) or 19 kids and counting (no thank you!).

7. On a scale of one to ten how excited are you about life right now?

Eight.

8. iPhone or Android?

Android

9. Twitter or Instagram?

Ahh this is hard.. twitter?

10. Who should EVERYONE be following right now?

You Baby Me Mummy – This lady literally has a helpful post for everything your blogging self requires!

11. What’s your favourite food?

Spring rolls

12. Least favourite food?

Fish.

13. What do you love on your pizza?

Ham, mushrooms & peppers.

14. Favourite drink?

Tea!

15. Favourite dessert?

All of them! Cheesecake?

16. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

Milk chocolate

17. Coffee or tea?

Tea. Hate the taste of coffee, love the smell.

18. What’s the hardest part about being a mum?

The unknowing – unknown wake up time, unknown reason for tantrum, etc.

19. What’s your favourite band?

Thriving Ivory (now Midnight Cinema)

20. Favourite solo artist?

Ron Pope

21. Favourite song?

”Angels on the Moon” – Thriving Ivory or ”A Drop in the Ocean” – Ron Pope

22. If you could sing a duet with anyone, who would it be?

Beyonce

23. If you could master one instrument, what would it be?

Violin or Piano

24. If you had a tattoo, where would it be?

I have 5 already, but my next will either be on my arm or top of my spine

25. To be or not to be?

That is the question

26. Dogs or cats?

Dogs. I hate cats!

27. Bird-watching or whale-watching?

Whales – I can see birds in my garden.

28. Best gift you’ve ever received?

Trip to Disneyland when I was 8

29. Best gift you’ve ever given?

Apparently, my mother’s day gift to my Mom this year is the best present she ever got – so that!

30. Last gift you gave a friend?

Clothes.

31. What’s your favourite board game?

Cluedo. I can always call the killer in movies – it’s a gift!

32. What’s your favourite country to visit?

Portugal.

33. What’s the last country you visited?

Wales

34. What country do you wish to visit?

Bora Bora

35. What’s your favourite colour?

White

36. Least favourite colour?

Black.

37. Diamonds or pearls?

Diamonds.

38. Heels or flats?

Flats – converse to be specific.

39. Pilates or yoga?

Pilates.

40. Jogging or swimming?

Swimming

41. Best way to de-stress?

Colouring – it used to help me when I suffered with headaches too. Or cleaning is good too.

42. If you had one superpower, what would it be?

Invisability.

43. What’s the weirdest word in the English language?

Womb.

44. What’s your favourite flower?

Tulips in bright colours, like yellow!

45. When was the last time you cried?

Monday when I fell down the stairs holding A

46. Do you like your handwriting?

Yes, most of the time.

47. Do you bake?

Yes but I would love to get back into doing it more often.

48. What is your least favourite thing about yourself?

My skin!

49. What is your most favourite thing about yourself?

My willpower.

50. Who do you miss most?

My friends who have moved away and I don’t get to see as often.

51. What are you listening to right now?

Alan Carr Chatty Man

52. Favourite smell?

Flash Bathroom cleaning spray – honestly makes me so happy.

53. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?

My Dad.

54. Who was the last person you sent a text to?

Clayton

55. A sport you wish you could play?

None of them – not interested in sports. Gymnastics would be my thing.

56. Hair colour?

Brown.

57. Eye colour?

Brown but have apparently been seen as green too – ooo spooky!

58. Scary film or happy endings?

I don’t like chick flicks with happy endings but also don’t find any movies scary. I would rather a gripping thriller any day.

59. Favourite season?

Summer – all three days of it.

60. Three people alive or dead that you would like to have dinner with?

Katie Hopkins, Kim Kardashian & Perez Hilton – Oh could you imagine the drama. It would be CBB but so much worse!

61. Hugs or kisses?

Hugs although I don’t usually do either – I’m not a very affectionate person

62. Rolling Stones or the Beatles?

Neither.

63. Where were you born?

Who knows?

64. What is the farthest you have been from home?

Not very – Portugal?

65. Sweet or savoury?

Sweet, of course!

66. Lipstick or lip gloss?

Lipstick.

67. What book have you read again and again?

The Storyteller – Jodi Picoult

68. Favourite bedtime story?

The Disney 365 stories for boys book

69. What would be the title of your autobiography?

If you could see me now…

70. Favourite sound?

Aidan’s laugh

71. Favourite animal?

Red pandas!

72. Who is your girl crush?

Angelica Kathleen!!

73. Last photograph you took?

Aidan & his Dad at his first hurling match.

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Wow some of those are really hard. I learned that I cannot keep answers short and simple, can I? haha.. I tag anyone who fancies it. Be sure to send me your links if you do I would love to read them all!

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Welcome Claudi & Fin to Ireland | Review

A few weeks ago I was asked if I would like to sample some of the Claudi & Fin frozen yogurt lollies, obviously I jumped at the chance. I had read about Claudi & Fin on You Baby Me Mummy and found the girls back story truly inspiring, and now they were offering me free treats? These girls are clearly angels!

Claudi & Fin are greek style frozen yogurt lollies. They contain 100% natural ingredients, with 30% of your child’s recommended daily intake of Vitamin D in each lolly – something most of us pale skinned folk are lacking in. The are low in sugar and each one contains less than 60 calories, meaning us adults don’t need to feel guilty about indulging in them either.

The packaging is fantastic. I love everything about the design; bright colours on white background, clear but attractive font and lots of helpful information on display. My favourite part is the ‘disclaimer’ on the bottom stating that: the lollies inside do not have eyes – I don’t know why but I really liked this . Each box contains 4 lollies which are individually wrapped; in paper displaying the lollies pulling several funny faces.

C&Fbox
”Hide me in the freezer where only you know where to find me”

 

C&Findipackages
”ATTENTION! The lollies inside do not have eyes”

 

So far they sound great and look great – well, hat trick because they taste great too! They are creamy, with the perfect balance of fruit flavour in each. I have tried both the mango and the strawberry and can’t decide which is my favourite. Aidan is currently (and seemingly pointlessly) teething so these have been giving him taste relief on his gums. As Claudi & Fin are made with no nasties I am more than happy to give them to Aidan as a snack.

C&Faidan
Really Mom over 10% fruit?

 

I think Claudi & Fin will make the perfect treat, especially with the summer months ahead. They will be available in Supervalu & Centra nationwide from March 21st, costing €3.50 a box and will definitely be a staple in our freezer this summer!

 

Oh! Also, be sure to check out their website as it’s packed with activities pages and games for you to print off and play with you little ones.

 

 

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*Disclosure: We were sent some Claudi & Fin Lollies in return for an honest review.

 

 

5 things I learned on my first St Patrick’s Day | Aidan

On Tuesday I celebrated my first St Patrick’s Day. I don’t really know what it means but I think he was some fella who didn’t like snakes. I went in and watched the parade and then walked through the town. I noticed that on St. Patrick’s Day Ireland acts a bit backwards. Here are things I noticed on my first St. Patrick’s Day…

My St Patrick’s Day selfie

 

1. People walk on the road. There were rows and rows of people wearing colourful clothing and walking on the street and cars weren’t allowed on them. Parent’s are always telling their children to stay on the footpath and suddenly it is March 17th so it’s ok to walk on the road.

2. Everyone love the same colour – green. Don’t get me wrong it’s not that I don’t like green just I’m more of a blue and red kind of guy, but on St. Patrick’s Day everyone loves green and everyone wears green – some people even had green hair! Some buildings even change to green and people drink green drinks. The world changed to 50 shades of green for this Patrick dude.

3. Children wear make up. Any other time of the year children in make up is a controversial topic but not on SPD, it is ok for kids to wear make up because it is called ”face paint”. Daddy wanted to put face paint on me but luckily Mommy said no – I don’t think I would have liked to have a flag painted on my entire face, like he was suggesting.

4. Everyone likes the same type of music. I can guarantee that for the other 364 days of 2015 hardly anyone listens to di-didley-eye while cleaning their bathroom. Alas, on the 17th all adults seem to have the same taste in music and ‘sing’ along on the top of their lungs. They hug each other while singing it too – it’s all a bit strange really.

5. It’s ok to take candy from strangers. Probably the most confusing of all. A child’s entire life parents tell them not to take sweets from strangers – it’s dangerous. They don’t tell you that if that stranger is part of a parade, dressed as a giant flower on March 17th then it’s ok, take as much as you want.

No Mickey I better not – Oh it’s St Patrick’s Day g’wan so!

 

And parents wonder why us kids need to be told things 100 times – it’s because you change the rules so often. Don’t get me started on Christmas!

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””linklist”

Baby boy clothing haul

For the last week I have been a bit MIA on the blogging & social media scene, which isn’t like my twitter-addict self. All last week Clay had been working stupid hours through the night meaning he was sleeping in the day, thus I was flying solo parent all week. By the time Aidan went to sleep every night my brain was in no state to write posts or even tweets – I seriously have a new respect for single parents. They rock!! My other addiction came out in force last week though, internet shopping!! What girl doesn’t want to spend their evenings with tea (or wine), chocolate and a lovely little plastic card?

Aidan has moved up to 12-18 months clothes – I know, heartbreaking! So, any clothes we got as presents for this size are very summery as they were intended for summer weather (if we get any). Not that I am complaining about having to buy him more clothes 😉

First stop, Zara. We don’t have Zara in Waterford which sucks! This is actually the first time I got Aidan clothes from Zara so I went for 18-24 months incase they were a small fit. I am glad I did because they are only about an inch longer than the 12-18 month leggings he is in now!

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Next I popped into Mothercare to pick up this lovely, bright jumper. The green is a lot more neon than it looks in this picture. He wore this yesterday and everyone loved it. I found a Mickey Mouse dribble bib with the same blue and green colours – they look great together!

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Aidan got a voucher for Lifestyle Sports at Christmas which I still hadn’t used so I popped in and got him this tracksuit. It was so cute I got a pink one for my god-daughter too.

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You may or may not know that tomorrow (March 17th) it St Patrick’s Day (NOT St Patty’s Day!!!). All the novelty baby clothes for ”My first St Patrick’s day” seem to stop at 9-12 months meaning A will be going in normal attire (which I am slightly pleased about if I’m honest!) but when I saw these cute little handmade hats from Huggable Home I thought it would be lovely for tomorrow.

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And while we’re on the subject of hats – this was actually a present A got a few weeks back but it is too adorable not to share! I can’t wait to put it on his this summer as it’s still a little big.

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And last but not least, my newest addiction of all. A few weeks back I won a dribble bib from the lovely Cat over at Max and the Star, the minute I opened the package I knew I had to have more. That same day I ordered 7 more bibs. The prints and quality are better than any I’ve found in shops. Also, Cat sent me an infinity scarf which are new to Max and the Star – I think this is the most complimented thing Aidan has ever worn. He must have been told he was adorable/ cute/ stylish by everyone he met while wearing it.

MATS

 

Apart from clothes, I also ordered some things for Aidan’s playroom, which I am finally getting around to finishing. I am waiting on a few more deliveries but I will be sure to share it with you once they’re here. All photos above have links to where you can get the items, if anything tickles your fancy.

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The Knott Bump & Us

Choosing your children | My view on her decision | Adoption

Earlier today an article popped up on my Facebook feed from the Daily Mail about a woman who gave back her adopted child. After reading the post I was shocked at what I had just read. As you may have seen from my Adoption Series I am adopted, my Mom said she would be told regularly ”what a great thing she had done” by taking me in, at which point she corrected them, she hadn’t give me a chance she had begged and pleaded for the chance. My entire life growing up she would say that your mother gives birth to you but your Mom is the one who cares for you when you’re sick and tucks you in at night. Some women , like my Mom, are destined for motherhood, the good, the bad and the ugly of it all.

Don’t get me wrong I understand being a single parent is hard, let alone a single parent to a child needing special care but would you turn your back on your biological child if he or she had a disability? If you did, would you be allowed to adopt another in 6 months? Parenting isn’t a pic and mix sweet stand, you don’t pick and choose what does and doesn’t suit your lifestyle. I, and I am sure most mothers, would not change a single thing about my child including any future medical issues he may have. That doesn’t make me super woman, it just makes me a Mom.

‘Sometimes it just doesn’t work out and parents have no choice but to return their children, whether they are babies or teenagers,’ Claire said.

That little boy isn’t a dress that doesn’t suit or a new job that hasn’t worked out. He is a little boy who could only call Mummy. A little boy who didn’t chose to become ‘too stressful’. A little boy who needed someone. A little boy who was put back into the system through no fault of is own.

In my opinion, Claire has chosen to ”give back” her baby which unfortunately is her right but therefore I don’t think she should have the right to adopt another child, where would it end? After 2? 4?

This story really makes me wonder if the children’s best interests are always at heart in these cases. I strongly believe that when handled in the right way adoption is the best gift a child can get but for a child to constantly pass hands because ”it didn’t work out” blackens the entire thing.

 

What are your thoughts on this? Do you agree with the decision to let Claire adopt again?

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My day in court | My Adoption Story

Be sure to start from the beginning:
Part 1: The beginning
Part 2: Meeting the birth mother


After my arrival everyone came to visit and I began to get settled in. Eating well, sleeping 12 hours at night, I was very content.

In 1992 the rules for adoption were a little different to what they are now. Even though mine was a closed adoption it didn’t mean all ties were cut once I was taken from my birth mother. For the first 8 months my Mom had to take photos of me which a social worker would collect and pass on to my birth mother. My Mom didn’t get to choose what photos to give, the social worker would just take whichever ones she wanted. If at anytime in those 8 months J decided she changed her mind and wanted her baby back she had that right. My Mom would cry to my Nan & my Dad ”How could she not take her back? She’s beautiful”, She says now that if it had come to that she probably would have run away with me. At that point, I was her baby, we were a family already, even if the state didn’t see it that way.

Fast forward 8 months to December. My day in court.  All papers were signed, i’s dotted and t’s crossed. ”She’s ours” Mom cried down the phone to my Nan. We made the journey back to Waterford, our first as an ”official family”.

Waiting in the hallway when we got home was a card for me. ”Welcome home, Ellen”. To this day that part still make my Mom well up. It was final, they couldn’t take her baby away now.

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