Ho! Ho! Ho!……Santa Wishlist

We are in the middle of packing up our house and getting ready to move house again, so things on the blogging front have been quite over the last few days!

As we are moving, I decided to be extra organised this year,and pick Amelia’s Christmas presents. I have bought a few of the small toys and books,and will be purchasing the rest of the bits in the next few weeks.

We have decided her main present this year will be a wooden kitchen- hopefully a toy that will last her a few years. We are still undecided between these two beautiful kitchens from Kiddicraft. What do you think?

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Kitchen Utensils and table wear are from thrifty Ikea and Pots & Pans are from Amazon.

I love the versatility of these Ikea table & chairs, I’ve been scouring Pinterest to see what other crafty mums have done with them! I have a big tin of blackboard paint, so I may paint it like this one below and cover the seat with fabric. A friend of mine painted hers in pastel colours and covered the seats in Cath Kidston oilcloth, with a matching oilcloth splashmat, another great idea!

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And lastly I picked up a Mr.Potato Head (a childhood favourite of mine), Wooden Animal Skittles and a few Christmas Books.

Have you started to make your Christmas lists yet?

T & A xxxx

Italian Meatballs

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There is a cookery programme on here in Ireland at the moment called ‘Angelines Homecooks’. They take members of the public who are good or actually great at cooking to help teach those who are not so good, or in other words terrible!

A few weeks ago they had a lady cook these amazing Italian Meatballs. My mouth was watering while watching the programme,so guess what was on the menu for dinner here on Monday night? We all lived them,they are quite large, so very filling. Perfect served with garlic bread and a side salad.

SERVES: 4 – 6

Suitable For Freezing

PREP TIME: 40 mins

COOKING TIME: 50 mins
TOTAL TIME REQ: 1hr 30 mins

INGREDIENTS

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•500g round steak mince
•4 good quality pork sausages
•1 red onion finely diced
•1 clove garlic finely chopped
•10 pitted black olives finely chopped
•100g breadcrumbs
•1 egg
•70g finely grated parmesan cheese
•2 tbsp tomato ketchup
•1 tbsp tomato puree
•3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
•1 heaped tbsp oregano
•¼ tsp chilli flakes

Sauce

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•1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
•1 red onion finely diced
•1 clove garlic finely chopped
•4 rindless streaky rashers chopped
•10 pitted black olives sliced into rings
•1 heaped tbsp oregano
•½ tsp chilli flakes
•2 tins plum tomatoes roughly chopped
•2 tbsp tomato ketchup
•200ml chicken stock
•1 tbsp tomato puree
•130g finely grated parmesan cheese

Garlic bread
•1 French stick (or small baton) cut in to slices
•1 clove of garlic peeled
•1 tbsp of olive oil

METHOD

1.To make the meatballs, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté the onions until almost transparent. Add the garlic, oregano, chilli flakes, and olives and continue to cook for a further minute. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

2.Prepare your sausage meat by cutting the sausage skin at one end and squeezing the meat into a large bowl (discard the skin). Add the mince, breadcrumbs, tomato ketchup, tomato purée, parmesan cheese, and the egg into the bowl. Finally add the cooled onion mixture and, using clean hands, mix until well combined.

3.Preheat the oven to 200c. Lightly oil a clean chopping board or large plate and set to one side. Oil your hands and form the mixture into medium sized balls, (an ice cream scoop is the perfect size). Place each meatball on to the oiled board or plate as you go. If time permits, set the meatballs aside in a refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes to firm up (this is not essential).

4.In the same pan that you used for step one, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and gently brown the meatballs on all sides. Take care when turning, as they may be quite delicate. Cook the meatballs in batches if your pan does not fit them all at once.

5.Put the browned meatballs into an ovenproof dish and set aside.

6.To make the sauce, use the same frying pan as before to heat the olive oil. Add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes on a medium heat. Add the garlic and rashers, and continue to cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the oregano, chilli flakes, olives and cook for a further minute.

7.Add the chopped plum tomatoes, chicken stock, tomato ketchup, tomato purée, and parmesan cheese, stir until combined. Simmer for 2 minutes.

8.Carefully pour or ladle the sauce over the meatballs and place in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes.

9.When the meatballs are cooked, remove from the oven and set aside to rest while you make the garlic bread. Place the bread in a toaster or under the grill until browned. Lightly rub the peeled garlic across the surface of one side of the bread. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle light with salt.

 

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These are without doubt the best meatballs I have ever tasted, it’s all down to the ingredients in the recipe.

Enjoy,

T & A xxxx

Autumn/Halloween Toddler Books

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I have just recently done a big amazon book haul.Autumn/Halloween, Christmas and Easter (Easter books are on sale!). Amelia gets read two bedtime stories every night with her bottle before bed, and we encourage her to look at books throughout the day also. I find books a great distraction when trying to feed her meals on her fussy days. We point at the pictures and describe what we see.

I thought it would be nice to share with you all our book choices for this Halloween.

LET IT FALL

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•Let It Fall ~ The leaves turn red, brown, and orange, then drift down from the trees. It is time to go apple picking and on hayrides at the county fair. Fall is finally here! With soft colored art, adorable children, and colorful outdoor scenes, LET IT FALL celebrates all the seasonal awe of autumn.

PUMPKIN SOUP

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•Pumpkin Soup ~ Three friends, Duck, Squirrel and Cat, join together every evening to make pumpkin soup. Each has their own very important part to play in the process and the soup is always delicious. Then, one day, Duck decides he wants to stir the soup instead of adding the salt. This leads to a tremendous quarrel which ends with Duck leaving in a huff. This is a witty, observant and highly original tale about the ups and downs of friendship.

MILLIE MAE IN AUTUMN

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•Millie Mae in Autumn ~ Explore Autumn with Millie-Mae and watch the playful wind blowing golden leaves around. This book is a celebration of weather, with gorgeous artwork and a textured cover that make it a really special book.

YOU ARE MY PUMPKIN

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•You Are My Pumpkin ~ A beautifully illustrated bedtime story to tell your own little pumpkins you love them. Also, a fun way to get children excited for Halloween with adorable characters, colorful scenes and a sweet story.

WHO’S THERE,LITTLE HOO?

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•Who’s There,Little Hoo? ~ Whoooo’s There? Halloween doesn’t have to be scary, but Little Hoo is a little bit nervous when there’s a knock at the door. For toddlers and preschoolers. Your little ones will love Little Hoo in this Halloween picture book.

What are your kids favourite Autumn/Halloween books?

T & A xxxx

Sleep Tips: How To Sleep Better

SLEEP, a word I use every day, how little or much I got, how much Amelia got, how was her sleep…good, bad, long, short? Like every other parent I know sleeping habits and routine is an important topic of conversation every day.

Whether you are a parent or not, being able to just switch off and get a good nights sleep isn’t that simple for everyone. I have always had problems getting back to sleep if I wake in the middle of the night, while others find it hard to drop off regardless of how tired they are.

Feather and Black who specialise in the best quality beds, mattresses and linens have a passion for helping you get the best night’s sleep all night, every night. They are so committed to their customers getting a good nights sleep that they have brought out an Ebook free to download on: How to Sleep Better: Sleep Tips & Advice, following their Annual Sleep Survey, 15 questions designed to peel back the covers on the nation’s sleep quality, and unearth just what it is that impacts upon our sleeping habits.

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Love The Little Things Week #17

Happy Friday! Welcome to my favourite post of the week, Love The Little Things, a linky hosted by Morgana over at Butwhymummywhy. It’s a great way at looking at what we have been up to this past week.Dont forget to check out all the other lovely blogs that take part in this linky.

The week has flown by for me. Amelia and I were away until Monday afternoon,so I feel like we were a day behind all week.We have viewed a house that we are going to move into in November,and hopefully this is our very last move before we eventually build/buy or own place in Ireland.
I have found a lovely nursery for Amelia,it’s right by our new house,and she will go there two mornings a week.

READ

I have been following a few different bloggers who have been posting recipes for “eat clean” and paleo diets. I love cooking with fresh ingredients,so I’m planning on trying some of these recipes . Laura from Liparazzi blog is great for posting recipes each week.

•Other than the above, I have been following the UK news all week.A young girl went missing from the borough we lived in, in London over four weeks ago and she has now been found. Unfortunately it is now a murder enquiry.The community where we lived have been incredibly supportive in the #FindAlice campaign, and makes me miss the place more even under these tragic circumstances.

WATCHED

•Downton Abbey ~ another season of being gripped, I just love this show. If you havnt seen it you are really missing out.

 

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•Damo & Ivor ~ an Irish satirical comedy,it’s about the lives of two identical twin brothers separated not long after birth. When their troubled mother, unable to look after both of them, sells one of her children to a couple from the more affluent side of Dublin city, what results is a hilarious collision of class and culture which also looks at how each side perceives the other. Sometimes I’m nearly sick from laughing at this, it’s so funny.You do need to understand the Irish sense of humour & the gap between North & South Co.Dublin to get this show.

WORE

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*Review* Ren Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial

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From time to time I get sent some beauty treats to try out. While this blog could not be further from a “beauty blog”,I do love trying new products that I might not know about. This ‘Flash 1 Minute Facial’ is worth a mention. Like so many other mums, gone are the days where I can treat myself to a monthly facial,due to money and time, so anything that works as a quick fix gets the thumbs up from me.

Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial is what it says on the pack.An exfoliating formula containing water activated stabilised Vitamin C. You apply the slightly gritty, mint coloured, toothpaste looking formula to skin after cleansing, and then wet your hands and massage it in further before leaving it to sit on the skin for one minute then washing it off. Afterwards my skin looks polished and shiny (not in a greasy way).I’m using it every three days as recommended. It claims to remove oxidised darkened sebum, a.k.a) blackheads!!I have a few on my nose and chin and things have definitely looked clearer in the last few weeks since using this product. I love that it’s an exfoliant that can be used in the morning,without leaving your face red and blotchy. This is one product that I will most definitely be repurchasing and adding to my Skincare routine for the foreseeable future.

For more information on REN Skincare products see here. RRP:£32/€37

Cheesy Egg Tortilla with Chickpea & Tomato Salad

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This tasty vegetarian dish is packed with iron which is important for your toddlers brain development. It’s quick and easy and you can add your own favourite extras to this dish.

•Serves 4
•Suitable from 12 months +
•Family Friendly Recipe

INGREDIENTS

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•2 potatoes or a couple of baby potatoes-boiled and chopped into bite size pieces
•1 onion- chopped finely
•1 tbsp oil for frying
•4 eggs,whisked
•25g (1 oz) hard cheese such as cheddar,Edam or Gouda,grated
•5 cherry tomatoes
•60g Spinach

Chickpea & Tomato Salad:

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•80g of cherry tomatoes quartered
•200g chickpeas
•1/2 small red onion
•1 tbsp olive oil
•Black ground pepper to season

METHOD

1.Gently cook the onion and potatoes in the oil in a frying pan.
2.Add the eggs,tomatoes and spinach and sprinkle with the cheese.
3.Cover with a lid until the eggs are fully cooked (firm to touch).
4.Place under the grill until golden.
5.To make the salad,mix the ingredients together in a bowl,drizzle over the olive oil and season with black pepper.
6.Serve the tortilla warm with the salad on the side.

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Enjoy,

T & A xxxxx

When Can I Give My Baby/Toddler A Pilliow

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Thinking your baby would be better off with a pillow and blanket in her bed? Think again. Even though you probably wouldn’t dream of sleeping without either, your baby, who’s slept flat and uncovered on the mattress since birth, doesn’t know what she’s missing. And keeping her in the dark about fluffy bed accessories is a good thing: Pillows put your baby at risk for suffocation and SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), particularly during the first four months of life. Even after the high-risk period for SIDS has passed, most experts advise not handing out a pillow until your baby moves to a bed — somewhere between 18 and 24 months.

I’ve been thinking recently about when I can give Amelia a pillow and would she maybe sleep better with one. Over the weekend I have read an extensive amount of research and spoke with friends who have children around Amelia’s she, and I have come to the decision that really until she is in her “big girl bed” there is no need for a pillow and she is better lying flat in her cot.

Many leading child developmental experts agree that it’s best to allow young children to sleep on a flat surface. When you do introduce a pillow, choose one that is firm, yet flat. Pick a small pillow that is the right proportions for a child – a standard size is a 12 x 16 toddler pillow. Older children usually choose the type and size they prefer. The type of filling does not matter unless there is an allergy problem.

So what is the perfect age for a child to start using a pillow? Many children are ready to start using a pillow around 1½-3 years of age but educate yourself on the current safety recommendations and pros and cons. According to the HSE and NHS “parents can safely start using pillows for children who are 1½ years old,about the same age at which parents can safely move children out of a cot and into a bed.”

Amelia is 18 months and I probably won’t move her into a bed until she is around 2 1/2. So this is when I will start using a pillow.From reading the research and guidelines they all say the same thing, though research studies change a lot,it seems that the ideal time to introduce your child to sleeping on a pillow is when they move from cot to bed,provided they are 18 months or over.

When did you give your baby/toddler a pillow? Did it make any difference to their comfort and sleeping?

T & A xxxx

Love The Little Things Week #16

Hello, happy Friday everyone! Hope you all have had a good week. Ours has been relatively quiet. The crazy weather has had me take summer clothes back out of the vaccume bags and we even ended up paddling in the sea on Thursday.Sunday we went for a long walk literally up a mountain with the buggy in tow to see a waterfall.Amelia loves throwing stones into water,so we spent most of our time doing that once we reached the water.

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Onto this weeks “Little Loves”,hosted by the ever lovely Morgana over at Butwhymummywhy. If you enjoy this linky,make sure to take a look at all the other brilliant bloggers taking part.

READ 

•Blog posts I really enjoyed reading this week were by Emma from Little Wood Life, her post Marriage is….Hot Buttered Toast is really worth a read. It makes you think about the person you married and how the comfort of coming home or hearing that key in the front door is like the comfort of…..Hot Buttered Toast.

•Fiona from DollyDowsie wrote a really heartfelt post on how she chooses to raise her son, “Dear Everyone Who Has a Problem with How I Raise My Son”. This was written after she recieved an onslaught of abuse from online readers about how she dresses her son,that he has a kitchen and a pram.Well worth a read!

WATCHED

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I’m sure the common dominator in Watched this week will be Downton Abbey amongst us bloggers,along with most of the UK & Ireland. It’s what Sunday nights are made for.

WORE

I got to wear my new boots from River Island!I will be wearing this a lot I think over the winter.

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And as always an OOTW from Miss Amelia ~ Blue Polka Dot Dress~Zara

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HEARD

I’m teaching Amelia a new nursery rhyme this week; ‘Oranges & Lemons’

 

MADE

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Chicken Dippers & Sweet Potato Fries (Both Baked). These went down so well, they will have to be made again next week!

AND LASTLY……..

Amelia turned 18 months this week,so I officially have a toddler! Amelia and I are going home to my parents for the weekend,so we are liking forward to catching up with family & friends.

Have a lovely weekend

T & A xxxx

Amelia at 18 Months Monthly Update

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Happy Half Birthday Amelia! A Year & a Half! This time 18 months ago I was sat in a London hospital, scared to take you home! Well we have managed, and not killed you and you are still in one piece!

I really have a toddler now. Amelia has started to walk using her wooden walker,she gets frustrated with this sometimes,as she has yet to master turning corners.She has developed the two year old tantrums, which as testing as they can be,I can’t help laugh at her sometimes,which drives her mad!

TEETH: 12

WALKING: Almost there. Cruising/gliding around the furniture, using her walker with caution. Still bum shuffling when she needs to get there in a hurry!

WORDS: New words this month; Paul (her daddy), Oh No,Balamory,

NEW LOVES: Broccoli, Oranges, Watermelon, Balamory, Cows (in the fields by our house), standing up in her highchair

NAPPIES: 4+ Pampers

CLOTHING:18-24 months.

SLEEPING/EATING:She has a bath every night,hair now is washed every second night,a story and a bottle.
BEDTIME ~ 7pm to 6:30
BREAKFAST ~ 8am
NAP ~ 9:30am to 11:00
Snack~11:15
Lunch~1pm
NAP ~ 2:30-4pm
Snack~3:30pm
Dinner~5pm

Swimming is every Wednesday, we meet up with friends or try some activities at home.

So that’s it at 18 months!We are a bit behind with walking….but hey!She will get there!

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T & A xxx