Fool Proof Christmas Dinner?

Today I actually got to watch ‘This Morning’ which hasn’t happened in months! When I switched on they were talking about Tesco’s microwave Christmas Turkey? Luckily we go to my Mom’s for Christmas dinner because to be honest if it was left to me we would probably end up with beans on toast or something because even the thought of having to do a big dinner like that stresses me!

Anyway, this got me thinking of a fool proof (or Ellen proof) Christmas dinner, and if such thing exists. Alas the internet never let’s me down in suggesting some crazy Christmas dinner alternatives….tinner

A tin of dinner, or ‘tinner’ per person – who wouldn’t love to be served this on Christmas day?

 

canned chicken

I actually don’t eat turkey so for me how about this ‘canned whole chicken’? Beans on toast is starting to sound pretty great right now, eh?

 

canned bread

Clayton is a sucker for bread and butter with a roast dinner so as not to leave out one of his favourites I could pick up this brown bread in a can? 99% fat free & 100% weird!

 

candwich

Incase you didn’t know Clayton is actually from American so to keep with his traditions – a PBJ ‘candwich’ to enjoy with a cuppa in the evening. Includes a candy surprise inside. Could not be further from excited about that surprise!

 

I do promise if I ever invite anyone for dinner in my house I will not serve any of these ‘delights’ but I just thought they were too weird interesting not to share! Hope I haven’t turned you off your Christmas dinner. Just remember if it all goes wrong beans on toast is always a better option than ‘tinner’.

christmas-dinner

DeiseBloggers

Last weekend I attended the very first Waterford blogger event (aka #DeiseBloggers). It was such a great day and I am only recovering now to be honest! Meeting other bloggers is always great fun but I never expected to meet such lovely and beautiful girls.

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The event was free to attend but cost me a fortune because a room full of make up bloggers meant that I left with a list of products I ‘needed’ as long as my arm.

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The event was organised by Emma, Lisa, Rachael and Jodi who couldn’t have done any better. Everyone who attended left with two jam packed goody bags each and some won spot prizes too. It was honestly like Christmas had come early. Some fantastic brands got involved all of which I have linked over on my instagram picture. There are one or two products that I will be reviewing separately because I LOVE them already! Of course, I am not a beauty blogger but make up is something that I enjoy when I am not rocking a ‘mum bun’ and changing nappies while making the dinner and doing the laundry so getting to try so many new brands, that I never knew were Irish, was great.  PhotoGrid_1448744645240
I got to meet Emer from Penneys to Prada whose blog and snapchat (@penneystoprada) I love, and Laura Dempsey (@laudempmakeup – snapchat) who gives me so much make up envy! Along with so many others lovely ladies. I can’t wait for the next meet up already!

Winter Warmers*

With the winter weather truly upon us I am getting into the festive spirit and can’t wait to get our decorations up soon. At this time of the year I also like to create a warm, calm and cosy atmosphere in our bedrooms to helps us get a good nights rest – which is essential when 6 months pregnant and running after a toddler all day!

winter warmers

Heavy tog duvet
This goes without saying I think but a heavy duvet is a must for the bed when the winter months arrive. If I had my way I would have a duck feather and down duvet but Clayton isn’t a fan so we settle on a 13.5 tog regular duvet.

Soft, luxury bed linens
The softer the better. Last year I got some Egyptian cotton sheets for our bed and they are the best thing I ever slept on. They add warmth and comfort without being over bearing. I definitely need to pick up some new ones this year, like these from Yorkshire Linens.

Candles
The ultimate atmosphere setter! Lighting is such a huge element in setting the tone and atmosphere in a room, bright light immediately wakes me up but soft light is relaxing and cosy. Scented candles are great not only for mood lighting but also scents like lavender and jasmine are perfect for a bedroom. Midnight Jasmine from Yankee Candle is a favourite of mine for night time relaxing.

Blankets
A blanket thrown over the end of the bed adds and extra layer to your linens and can be pulled up for extra warmth during the night, I have fleece lined blankets in our bedroom, Aidan’s room and our living room – perfect for copying up during Christmas movies. Penneys (Primark) have a great selection to choose from and are so reasonable!

 

What do you do to create the perfect warm and cosy atmosphere at Christmas? Are bed linens and blankets essential to setting the mood in your bedroom?

*Collaboration post.

Top Tips for Saving on your Weekly Shopping

top tips saving

A few months ago I ended up comparing how much I spend on our weekly grocery shopping with some of my friends. There are 2 adults and one, fairly good eating toddler in our household but yet I was spending more than friends with several grown children as well as two adults! Using these 5 tips I managed to half our weekly shopping bill so I thought I would share it with you incase you were an excessive spender like me.

 

 

  • Meal Plan & Shopping list
    Fail to prepare, prepare to fail – this is true for grocery shopping too. I found I would buy lots of things ‘incase’ I needed them and they would end up going off before I would use them or I would need to run out midweek for things I needed but hadn’t picked up. This meant excessive waste and spending. Now I make a weekly meal plan on a Monday evening and from that I make the shopping list ready to go on Tuesday.
  • Freeze things not used in time & Freeze leftovers
    I love to made homemade soup but found that I would buy all the ingredients and not find the time to make it so one day I had a brainwave (dangerous I know!). I chopped up all the veg before it went off and froze it in a large freezer bag so I can just take it out and pop it into the pot or slow cooker when I want some. I  also started to freeze leftovers, like lasagne, curry and cottage pie. Not only does it cut down on waste it also means Aidan can have a proper dinner if we decide to get a take away or I don’t feel like making anything. He would eat cottage pie until it came out his ears so it is always handy to have one to hand on those fussy eating days.
  • Plan meals around super 6
    Aldi’s super 6 is your best friend when trying to cut down on food costs. I downloaded the Aldi app and I check out the weeks super 6 before I plan the weeks meals. I believe Lidl do one also but as we shop at Aldi I use theirs.
  • Do not shop hungry!
    We do our shopping on a Tuesday usually and unconsciously would do it before lunch, which meant that I was picking up things that weren’t needed simply because I was hungry at the time. We’ve started to do it now after breakfast and it definitely cuts down how many things get thrown in which aren’t on the list.
  • Use your smartphone
    There are so many apps and websites around now to help you find the best deals when shopping. They aren’t only for big purchases several have been released that help with weekly shopping. BabyDoc is great to find offers on nappies, wipes and other baby essentials. Aldi and Lidl also both have apps that tell their weekly offers as well as their ‘special buy’ products.

top tips saving

 

Do you meal plan or write a shopping list? What tips would you add?

Christmas Crafts for Toddlers





toddler christmas crafts

 

With the festive season approaching it is time to get creative – mainly because the weather keeps us pretty housebound. I have snooped around Pinterest and put together a list of crafts that I want to try (keyword being try!) with Aidan during the holidays.

Christmas Wreath Painting with Dish brush

Christmas crafts for toddlers


Toddler Christmas Tree cards

toddler christmas craft


Letter Ornaments

toddler christmas crafts


Snowman Letter

toddler christmas craft


Marble Art Christmas trees


Bedazzled Gingerbread men

toddler christmas crafts


Pasta Christmas Wreath

toddler christmas craft


Holly Jolly Christmas cards

toddler christmas craft

 

What crafts have you got planed for the winter months? Will you be trying any of these with your little one?




DIY Bath Paints

With the horrible weather and the lack of daylight being home with a toddler all day can be a terrifying task. I spend hours searching Pinterest for new ideas to try but find many things aren’t suitable for toddlers or contain products and ingredients from America. I should also point out that the least amount of clean up the better – as if we don’t have enough of that to do already!

So today I put Aidan in old clothes and made some bath paint. He took a while to really understand the concept but once he got going he made a right ole mess! The best part? It all washed down the drain with zero effort – I just rain the shower head over the bath and ta da it disappeared. Disclaimer: I did scrub my bath afterwards but I that may be due to my current nesting situation.

DIY bath paint

So here is how I made the paint:

  • 0.5 cups of flour (I used self raising but doubt it matters)
  • 0.5 cups of baby shampoo
  • 3/4 tablespoons of water
  • Food colouring

If your paint is too runny add more flour, or too think then add more water. Wait until you’ve added your food colouring though as mine became very runny after I added it.

Minimal effort preparing. Minimal effort cleaning up. Maximum fun for the toddler!

DIY bath paint

I Hacked the Toddler

Hacked the toddler


Last night the Toddler child did not want to go to sleep. Now he is known for kicking up when he is put to bed by his Dad so we just ignored his antics and after one or two “resettlings” he dozed off. At midnight he decided that sleep was in fact over rated and it was time for us all to get up (even though the rest of us had yet to actually go to sleep.) We went through a phase for a couple of nights, a while back, where he would wake in the middle of the night and want to play and we tried to settle him in his cot and not take him up like all those books tell you to do. In the end, after 3/4 hours we ended up taking him downstairs and rolling him in the pram until he dozed off – again something they tell you not to do but clearly they didn’t write these books at 4am with a toddler screaming ‘DAAAAAAADDDDD’ repeatedly.

Last night though I took him up and rocked him for a bit, singing to him (poor child!) because he looked genuinely upset – apparently another of his Oscar worthy preformances. He cuddled for a while before deciding enough singing lets play – so we did.

I took him into our room, took off his gro bag and we messed about for an hour, all 3 of us. As much as he faught it he yawned the entire time and his little body couldn’t deny its fatigue. So when 1 o clock rolled around I began our nighttime routine all over again.

‘Do you want to go to bed?’
Carried him downstairs, changed his nappy and his shirt (to mimic getting into his PJs)
Got him another bottle and gave it to him in his room with the lights off – as we do every night.
And it worked!
He got into his cot and lay down, I kissed his head and said ‘Night chicken, I love you’ left the room and got into bed.

He slept until the following morning – success!!
So this might be a tip worth remembering in the future – if you have a good night time routine in place then maybe going back to basics during these night time parties is the way to go. Let them have their ‘awake’ time before starting the routine, could save hours of stress, tears and sleeplessness.

Hacked the toddler

Weird Baby Products

Preparing for the arrival of our second baby next year has me googling all sorts of things that I will want and need for him. Luckily I have a lot of things that I got when Aidan was born that I can reuse but somehow I still have a list as long as my arm of things I still need to get! As always the internet is a great resource for searching for the highest rated, best bargains and ‘must haves’. It does however sometimes offer up some suggestions that are a little bit strange…

 

 

 

weird baby products

If you were on the fence about whether a baby or a hamster would better suit your current lifestyle then fret no more! With this crib dribbler feeding system you can get a cute, cuddly baby without having to worry about preparing bottles or ‘infant energy drinks’ (what child needs energy drinks?!) for them – simply attach the crib dribbler to the side of their cot and let them roam freely.

 

weird baby products

If you decide that formula feeding is the way to go then why stop at the simple ‘milk’ based products? Treat your little one with bacon baby formula (and probably childhood obesity). As you tuck into your Saturday morning fry up why not prepare a bacon flavoured bottle for the baby to enjoy too.

 

weird baby products

With baby spa treatments on the rise this baby butt fan offers an at home alternative. The cool breeze provided will not only result in an instant pee stream directed straight at your face but apparently also prevents diaper rash. I can’t wait to suggest this the next time someone asks if I need anything for the new baby.. I can only imagine my Nan’s reaction to this for the ‘google baby‘.

 

weird baby products

Should you manage to finally reach the potty training stage, with the help of the butt fan of course, then here is the answer to all your prayers. The ‘iPeed’ as I have named it is great for preparing your son for the many hours they will spend in the bathroom (or ‘office’ as it is referred to here) as an adult.

 

weird baby products

The debate is ever ongoing about when to introduce chores to children. How much is too much at certain ages. Well now your little one can play on their ride on vacuum from a very young age! Combining the fun of playtime with the task of cleaning and giving parents the best outcome. (Sadly this is not a real product and just a college assignment because I would totally buy one – or two!)

 

weird baby products

If like me you still have a few months to go before you will be using these things then why not throw yourself a baby shower? Everyone loves cake, right?

 

What are some of the strangest baby products you have come across on the internet? I am sure there are even crazier things than I have mentioned here.

My Bloggers Christmas Wishlist

gift guide
Canon EOS 700D
I’ve been wanting a DSLR camera for a while both for blogging and vlogging and the Canon 700D has a flip out screen which is a must for me! Definitely high on the wish list.

LED free standing light
With the winter setting in quickly and daylight almost non existent after 3pm an LED light would be great for all blog pics. Mainly for the size during storage I would prefer an LED over a normal lightbox – but hey I wouldn’t say no to one of those either!

Planner
This was my present to myself this year. I got this lovely planner from TheNest.ie and I cannot wait to use it as soon as it arrives!

A blog PA
As you may have noticed (at least I hope you have by now) I recently moved blogs and although 99% of things are as I wanted there are one or two little weeks I would like to make but I cannot afford to risk anymore grey hairs by looking at HTML or CSS anytime soon. I would love to hire someone to make me some new social media buttons, advise me on some plug ins and give me general WordPress wisdom.

For Facebook to show my posts to people
Dear Santa, this year I would love if you could tell Facebook that people ‘like’ my page because they want to see my posts – stop hiding them! Twitter is my go-to social media but it seems like no matter how much effort I put into Facebook the results remain the same.

To never have writers block again 
This summer I suffered severe writer’s block – lasting about 3 months! I am terrible for drawing up blogging blanks for days, maybe weeks at a time. An endless mind of creative genius would be ideal!

TIME, more hours in the day would be great! 
Ok this one is a bit of a moot point because I am sure no matter how many hours were in the day it still wouldn’t be enough but surely and extra hour during nap time would be appreciated all round?

Toddler Tantrums

At the end of the month Aidan will be one and a half (or 18 months if that’s your thing) which means he is definitely a ‘toddler’. Toddlers are tough work – they can walk, or in his case run, they can climb and reach things that once towered above them. They are uncooperative and very independent, but they are amazing. Everyday I can see Aidan explore new avenues of life and understand things he wouldn’t have a few months back. These moments are fascinating but more importantly they are essential because toddlers change moods like the Irish weather and those little moments are all you have to remind you why you’re not just abandoning them on the floor of the toy aisle in Tesco.

Toddler tantrums

Aidan has become the master of tantrums, pulling them out at perfectly calculated times and executing them with admirable dedication. They are very unpredictable as they can occur for almost any reason, such as;

  • his inability to lift the kitchen table 
  • not being allowed to spill his water down his top (for the second time that day)
  • dropping his biscuit
  • being asked to say ‘please’, ‘thank you’ or really anything for that matter
  • being refused freshly made, extremely hot tea

… to name but a few. These have resulted in his full body being flung to floor, arms flapping and piercing screams – Oscar worthy stuff. After about 15 seconds he will pause to have a peek and see if anyone has noticed him and taken pity. If not, then he throws his body in a different direction and the screams get louder. Usually I ignore him but today was just too funny so I went to get a photograph, which I did…

Toddler tantrum

.. but what you don’t see is that after I got this photo, while I laughed at his stroppy face, he walked over and slapped the phone out of my hand! Like a celebrity with an annoying paparazzi. It is possibly one of the funniest tantrums I have ever been privileged to witness.

So, next time you’re in Costa and your toddler decides he wants his straw cup to work upside down and has a melt down when it doesn’t, try and remember those funny little moments – or put on Disney, it’s like wine for children!

Toddler tantrums