Love The Little Thing Week #18

Good morning and happy Halloween everyone! I’m delighted to be back taking part in Little Loves after not participating for the last three weeks…..time just flys by without realising.

So without further ado, let’s get on with this weeks #littleloves. This linky is hosted by Morgana over at butwhymummywhy,and if you enjoy this read,be sure to check out all the other fabulous mummies taking part too!

READ

I have stopped reading blogs and the checking the internet in General when I go to bed at night and have started to read again, and my nights sleep has improved so much. I’m sure I read about the book I’m reading at the moment on another bloggers #littleloves.

The Light Between Oceans

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Jools Pregnant Pasta

This recipe has been taken from
My Jamie Oliver: 30 Minute Meals.So Jamie Oliver calls this “Pregnant Jool’s Pasta”. Seems that this is the pasta that his wife often craved when she was pregnant.I was intrigued by his use of sausages in the sauce and how it would work. He really stresses that good quality sausages are imperative on getting this recipe right. This dish didn’t last long in our house, and tasted just as delicious the next day when reheated.

INGREDIENTS

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•Serves: 6
•Preparation Time: 10 minutes
•Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes

4 spring onions
1 carrot
1 stick of celery
1-2 fresh red chillies
1 x 6-pack of good-quality sausages (approx. 400g)
1 heaped tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp dried oregano
500g dried penne
4 cloves of garlic
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
A few sprigs of Greek basil, or regular basil

METHOD

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1. Get all your ingredients and equipment ready. Turn your oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Fill and boil the kettle. Put a large frying pan on a high heat. Put the standard blade attachment into the food processor.
2. Trim the spring onions, carrot and celery. Roughly chop all the vegetables, then blitz in the food processor with the chillies (stalks removed). Add the sausages, a heaped teaspoon of fennel seeds and one teaspoon of oregano. Keep pulsing until well mixed, then spoon this mixture into the hot frying pan with a lug of olive oil, breaking it up and stirring as you go. Keep checking on it and stirring while you get on with other jobs.
3. Put a large deep saucepan on a low heat and fill with boiled water. Fill and re-boil the kettle. Top up the saucepan with more boiled water if needed. Season well, then add the penne and cook according to packet instructions, with the lid askew. Drain the pasta, reserving about a wine glass worth of the cooking water.
4. Crush the cloves of garlic into the sausage mixture and stir in the balsamic vinegar and tinned tomatoes. Add a little of the starchy cooking water from the pasta to loosen if needed.
5. Tip the pasta into the pan of sauce and give it a gentle stir, adding enough of the cooking water to bring it to a silky consistency. Taste, correct the seasoning, then tip into a large serving bowl and take straight to the table with the rest of the Parmesan for grating over. Scatter over a few basil leaves.

*Review* STOKKE Storm Grey Tripp Trapp

When STOKKE got in touch a few months ago, to review their new addition to the TRIPP TRAPP family – Storm Grey, I jumped at the chance. I have always loved the TRIPP TRAPPS, but could never justify spending the money on one! Now I realise it would have been worth every penny and more! We were sent the highchair along with the harness, gliders,Baby Set and the Newborn Set , which we will use when the new baby comes.

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The Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair is still one of the most stylish highchairs on the market, with a great lifespan taking your child supposedly from baby up to teenage, but it comes with a hefty price tag.

The Tripp Trapp was brought to market in 1972, making it the oldest highchair still in production today. The Tripp Trapp comes in a range of different colours ranging from natural wood to bright green. Price range starts around €180/£150. It was created by Peter Opsvig in Norway because his 2 year old son could not sit comfortably on an adult chair as his legs were left dangling.

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Stokke believe that children should interact with the family at meal times hence the lack of tray on the seat. The original design has been adapted to include a ‘baby set’ which allows the chair to be used from six months old.

The highchair took about 30 minutes to assemble, we did not attach the baby seat, but it says about another 30 minutes to attach this. There’s a few safety steps to follow when assembling the Tripp Trapp for a child, like attaching the extended gliders on the feet, which prevents tipping. MAKE SURE YOU PUT THESE ON. It doesn’t take long to do, but it’s a really important step, especially if you have a mover and shaker like Amelia. Also, you need to ensure your Tripp Trapp will be on a level (not carpeted) surface. The Tripp Trapp feels solid – it’s made of high quality, sustainable, durable beech wood and as long as the product is purchased from an approved seller, Stokke offers a 7-year warranty.

The lines on this high chair are really beautiful – You can tell that it’s a high-quality product, and we never had issue with grooves sticking to the plates or the footplate sliding out of the grooves. It requires a firm tug to pull out a plate and reposition it; but this only happens with intentional movement. So the plates aren’t sliding about.

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The seat cushions come in a range of different styles and colours. I chose this soft peach and grey stripe cushion. The cushions are machine washable and easy to take on and off. Amelia has seemed comfortable from the beginning and there is no attempts to get out of this chair unlike others. She does not like to be strapped into her highchair, so this chair is ideal in that she is trapped in by the baby set.

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Pulling a high chair up to the table might be a bit messier than containing your baby’s weaning mess to a tray, but it’s great to get your kids used to sitting at the table for family meals and children love it. And it’s a nice idea that the chair will grow with your child.

REASONS WHY WE LOVE OUR TRIPP TRAPP:

•It easy to clean.

•It’s tiny for a highchair, takes up the same amount of space as a normal chair, and can be tucked under the table when the baby set is not in use.

•It can be used for much longer than a standard highchair. It adapts for an older child, a desk chair, and even works as an adult seat.

•It aids good posture

NEGATIVES

•Expensive

•Add on’s are costly- such as the tray, baby seat and cushions

The Stokke Tripp Trapp has won a ton of awards in the juvenile space, and it’s the best looking highchair that I’ve ever seen. Overall, we’ve been extremely happy with our Stokke Tripp Trapp and plan on using it for a very long time. They’re beautiful, functional, safe when assembled and used correctly, and made for years of enjoyment around the family table.

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T & A

*DISCLAIMER: We were sent the Stokke Tripp Trapp as a gift for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% my own.

A Family of Four

We are back! I’ve taken over a week off  from blogging,as it was much needed! I was starting to put myself under such pressure to write posts, pack up the house,work and spend quality time with Amelia. Now I’m ready to get writing again!

If you follow us on Instagram,Facebook and Twitter (if not follow is in the right top corner), you will know that we have some exciting news! Im expecting baby #2 in April, around the same time as Kate Middleton, so no doubt I’ll be comparing bumps and lusting after her style, while trying to replicate it using an ASOS budget!We are all very excited,although Amelia is completely oblivious to what’s going on,and probably won’t know anything about the baby until we bring her/him home. Here is how we told everyone of news!

Though I love reading other pregnant bloggers weekly bump/pregnancy updates, this isn’t for me. Im sure I’ll be mentioning how I’m feeling as we progress in the pregnancy, but some things I like to keep private. I kept a pregnancy journal when pregnant with Amelia, and I’m trying to do the same this time round, but failing miserably! Every night I promise myself I’ll write in it, maybe I will tonight!I bought the weekly pregnancy journal My Bump Book, pictured below.Pregnancy second time round is so very different, especially with a toddler….there is no time to think and I’m hoping this continues and we will be in April before we know it!

 

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I’m feeling ok, despite waves of nausea sporadically and the tiredness is pretty harsh. I had neither with Amelia, so I’m putting the tiredness down to being pregnant with a toddler,and the tiredness causing the nausea, or else it’s quite simply a very different pregnancy!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend and to those in Ireland, hope you are still enjoying the bank holiday. We spent ours at the Kilkenny Food Festival,eating our way through the city.It’s allowed…… I am eating for two after all!

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T & A xxxxx

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