Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The Baker Boys - Apple and Cinnamon Cake

It has to be said that this is one of moors-daddy's favourites and so because we hadn't really thought much about Father's Day back in June and also because he was on early that day we decided we would make it for him.
It's my kind of recipe. 
Chuck it all in and mix it up and cook it!
So to start with measure out 8oz of self raising flour

4oz of butter.

4oz of castor sugar

2 eggs and a splash of milk, if required.

2 large cooking apples, skinned and cored.

and then put it all in the mixer and mix it up.

add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon,

and mix it altogether again.
Grease a take tin.

and cook at 150 degrees C for 80 minutes 
or until the knife comes out clean from the middle of the cake.

Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of it at the end, but it was wrapped in tin foil and left out for moors-daddy with his Fathers Day cards from the boys. He took it to work and it was never seen again. I know it didn't last the day!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

One for the Dad's - Book Reviews

Quirk Publishing recently asked if I would be interested in reviewing two books for them, which I said I would happily do. Both books are aimed at Dads and seemed very interesting.

The first one is a great little information book on everything a dad needs to know about having kids. It is called 'Every Stuff a Dad Should Know' and is by Brett Cohen.

The book is split into different chapters starting with 'Baby Stuff', and I love the fact that the first section in this chapter is 'How to start saving for College'. It also gives basic information on how to change a nappy, how to burp a baby, introducing solid food and much more. The book follows the child from birth up to meeting your future in-laws!

Some of my favourite bits are 'How to rid a bedroom of monsters, the truths about cats and dogs, and what to do when your child gets their first parking ticket!
It is a lovely little book. It measures approximately 6 inches by 4 inches and would fit into a pocket! It is not the kind of book that you would read from cover to cover but one that you would delve into as and when you needed it! It is the kind of book that would sit next to your bed and you would flick through before going to sleep. I like the fact that it is small and the pages are quite thick so it would last a long time. I actually think this book would be perfect for a present for a first time dad. Everyone buys the new baby and the mother a gift but many dads are forgotten and I think this would prove to be a thoughtful gift!

The second book they sent me was 'The Art of Roughhousing' by Anthony DeBenedet and Lawrence Cohen.

 You may ask what is roughhousing, well in our house it's called Rough and Tumble. (ie throwing the kids around). I guess we take this for granted, it is something we have always done with our boys. Their favourite at the moment is for daddy to pick them up by their wrist and ankle and swing them around in a circle. Some people are cautious about doing these sort of things but in our house we believe as long as they are safe then this is a way of interacting, building confidence and having fun during physical, active, play!  Quirk Publishing say that "The Art of Roughhousing teaches parents how rough-and-tumble play can nurture close connections, solve behavior problems, boost confidence, and more. Drawing from gymnastics, martial arts, ballet, traditional sports, and even animal behavior, the authors present fifty illustrated activities for children and parents to enjoy together – everything from the “Sumo Deadlift” to the “Rogue Dumbo.”
I guess seeing this book shocked me a bit, that there is a need for something like this to be written. A book that tells you what type of things you can do with your children and picture diagrams showing you how to do it!

But I guess there are many children out there who will never experience this type of interaction with their parents/caregivers.

The book is well laid out, and is again split into different sections. It starts off with basic play, things you probably do already without realising and then goes onto more difficult techniques, through sections on contact, flight, games, imagination and then 'extreme roughhousing'! Each activity has a difficulty rating and the age range of the child they are aimed at, along with some essential skills!
The book is very users friendly and gives you plenty of ideas to try out.
The boys have great fun doing this and at times we just need a bigger house, more space and more parents to swing them and throw them around!

Stuff Every Day Should Know is published by Quirk Publishing and retails at £4.63
The Art of Roughhousing is published by Quirk Publishing and retails at £7.01. Both are available from 
The Book Depository

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Review - Sudocrem Sunscreen Mousse


I was recently sent a canister of the new Sudocrem Sunscreen Mousse (Factor 50) from the people at Sudocrem and  Blog-Match to review.

It arrived just as the sun went in and the rain began to fall!

I love Sudocrem and always carry some on me. In my handbag I have the little tubs that I got free in my Bounty bag when I was in hospital, I regularly refill them from a bigger container. We use Sudocrem for a variety of things in our house, nappy rash, eczema, sunburn and as a moisturiser, and as I love Sudocrem so much I knew I would love the mousse too.
The Sunscreen mousse comes in a 150ml canister, a perfect size for handbags and changing bags.

The Sudocrem team state that this mousse is...

A revolutionary factor 50 sun protection mousse for babies & children

  • Using Proderm Technology®, designed for young children and babies
  • Hypoallergenic, paraben/preservative/perfume/additive free
  • Four-star UVA protection
  • Easy and quick to apply, even to impatient little ones
  • Leaves skin feeling soft and smooth
  • More effective than many existing cosmetic sunscreens
  • Absorbed into the skin to give long-lasting protection from UVA and UVB radiation
  • Broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection
  • Also protects against irritation from salt, chlorine, sand and wind burn
  • Rapidly absorbed and does not leave a greasy residue on the skin
  • More resistant to water and towel-drying than conventional sunscreens
  • Does not block the pores of the skin, allowing it to breath naturally
The mousse itself is slightly thicker than I was expecting, but this is a good thing as it makes it easy to apply, as it doesn't run like conventional creams/lotions do. It doesn't have the normal Sudocrem smell to it either, it smells like sun lotion, a smell I love! It is easy to squirt the mousse out and the mousse is easy for young children to self apply, which is a real bonus as at both school and nursery the children are expected to do this themselves. The mousse itself, is not sticky and does not leave any residue as many lotions do. It is also water resistant, so would be perfect for those of us with water babies. (Maybe I should have tested it in the rain after all!)
I like the fact that it also a high sun factor (50) as we always use at least a factor 30 but this would offer a bit more protection for when (if) the sun does start to shine.
It retails at £15 at Boots but is currently on offer for £10 and was sent to me free of charge to review from the Sudocrem team.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Whiskas Review for Monster Pet Supplies

Pet Supplies - Monster Pet Supplies

The lovely people at Monster Pet Supplies, enlisted the help of my beautiful boys to help review some products from Whiskas.
When I say my "beautiful boys" I am obviously talking about the three furry ones and not my kids!
They sent me a gorgeous package, in a beautiful box, that consisted of four different items.

  • Two packets of Whiskas Adult Bite and Chew Cat Food - Chicken Flavour.
  • Two packets of Whiskas Adult Cat Food - 1x Salmon and 1x Prawn Flavour.
  • Two bottles of Cat Milk.
  • One packet of Dreamies Cat treats.
All of the Whiskas products can be found on their website here.

Our cats all eat together, out of the same bowl. In this sense they are not fussy, they all get along and rarely eat at the same time, so it works for us, though I know many cats wouldn't and would insist on their own bowls.

Ours are however fussy about what they eat.

We do not usually buy the sachets of cat food as with three cats this works out very expensive and we tend to go for own brand products or branded products that are on offer. So the sachets were something different for our three.

Indy was the first cat to try the sachets and is probably the least fussy of the three. I gave him one of the Bite and Chew Chicken flavour sachets and he devoured it instantly. The food itself had big chunks of meat in jelly, but the chunks were quite mushy, and compared to the tin food they normally have, had a better quantity of meat to jelly ratio. Indy loved it and when Albert came in for his food, I gave him the second sachet, which again was eaten readily (with help from Indy!)

I had also put down a bowl of the cat milk. Indy sniffed it, turned his nose up and walked away. Albert on the other hand went straight to it and started lapping it up. He has drunk a whole bottle to himself. Max our older cat also turned his nose up to this, both he and Indy prefer to drink the water in the dogs bowl! Bert, however was definitely impressed with it!

Max is our fussy cat. He won't eat meat flavoured food and much prefers fish, so I kept the adult salmon and prawn back for him! This had finer chunks of meat and more jelly (which Max likes!) and Max ate this straight away. The whole sachet went in one go! A definite hit with Max.

As for the Dreamies, these have been shared out between the three of them and each of the cats has loved them. These are great as treats or sprinkled on top of their meat or biscuits. If they are on the biscuits that they have they seem to be able to sniff these out and eat them first!

I would buy them the Bite and Chew sachets as a treat once in a while, but couldn't afford to make this their main meat source, at £3.89 per box of 12 for the fish selection, it just wouldn't be cost effective with three cats. A box would only last a couple of days but if it came in canned form we would definitely get it. I can see the sachets working as a treat once in a while. I will definitely be buying Albert the cat milk again as he did really enjoy this, but again I would do this as a treat rather than every week. The Dreamies will be on our shopping list next week, having looked at the Monster Pet Supplies website, I see they come in a variety of different flavours, so we may have to try a few and see who prefers what!

Monster Pet Supplies sent me my cats the above items free of charge for them to review. All reviews are their honest opinion! They really did love all of them, though the cat milk was not favoured by Max or Indy!

Monday, 9 April 2012

The Baker Boys - Gingerbread Flowers

Written last Tuesday!
The little two had gone to Granny and Grandads. They always go every Tuesday, whether I am working or not. It gives me time to sleep and spend some one on one time with Beanie in the holidays.

Beanie had asked me if we could do some more baking, so I got down the Children's cookbook that they got last Christmas and told him to decide what he wanted to make before we did our Tesco trip so that we could get any ingredients we needed. The book is a great little kids cookbook from Usborne with some fab recipes in, a few that I was secretly hoping he would choose, but he settled on The Gingerbread Flowers. We did our Tesco trip and we bought everything we thought we needed. Then home, ready to bake the next morning.

When we started to get things organised for baking we looked through the ingredients, making sure we had everything - alas no plain flour-so a quick trip to our local shop/post office and then we were ready to start.
Firstly we had to add all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Beanie liked sieving the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon, and making a mess!

Then we had to add butter, chopped into small pieces and this had to be rubbed in. A new experience for Beanie, but as you can see from his face he loved it!

We then had to beat one egg and add this to the mix.

We mixed in the egg, but the dough mixture was really dry,
and it wouldn't combine to a dough ball,
so we added another egg!
Then we rolled out the dough until it was about 5mm thick and started to cut out our shapes.
Like we have a flower cutter in a house full of boys!
We found a heart and a star, and we used the sandwich cutters to make some dinosaurs and jigsaw pieces for the little ones!
They then had to be baked in the oven at 180 C for about 12-15 minutes.

First batch out of the oven!
I did ice them for the boys but I do at as they eat them, in case they go a bit soggy.
They have enjoyed them, but I think I would stick to my old gingerbread recipe in future!

Friday, 13 January 2012

Giant Fire Engines! (Melissa and Doug)

I thought I would share this with you. It was one of Monkey's Christmas presents from Father Christmas and it is great. I would recommend this to any fire engine obsessed child, like Monkey.

Father Christmas purchased this from The Wooden Toy Shop and it is the Melissa and Doug Giant Fire Engine Jigsaw puzzle. It is made from very large pieces of thick reinforced card that seem pretty indestructable. The pieces are very irregular and monkey did require a bit of help to put it together.

And when they say giant, they mean giant. In length, it is over a metre long as you can see from the picture below.

(I apologise for the photo, I have tried everything to rotate it and I can't do it!!)