Thursday, 31 July 2014

Me&Mine July 2014 | The Family Portrait Project

In July we celebrated another birthday. In June it was Charles' and this month our "baby" turned 3. My husband was working on Harry's birthday so we went out with my mum instead and then went out for a meal in the evening.
We had a couple of nice days out, one of which just included a lovely walk down marshland and down a country lane.
Charles learnt how to ride his bike without stablilisers which was amazing as we'd set this as his goal in the Summer holidays but....boom! He's done it already.
My husband also had laser eye surgery so we wanted to still be able to go out but be close to home. So far he has had no problems at all so we are delighted.

I can't believe how much I am still enjoying this project. I'm hoping that next months will be photo heavy with some very special photos.

Head over to another of the Me&Mine hosts, Capture By Lucy, to see what fun her family have been up to this month.

Monday, 28 July 2014

My Wall Stickers | Review

Wall stickers have always intrigued me. I love the idea of them being easy to apply, and easy to remove. After a bad experience with a cheap pack I bought at a local garden centre I have stayed away but when the opportunity came up recently to review some from My Wall Stickers I thought it would be good to give them a second go.

Harry's room has always been unfinished. I had great plans to fill this wall with photos of him and Charles, and other family photos but as it is an outdoor wall it is an absolute nightmare to hang photos and therefore it has been left blank (other than the frame you can see at the top of the photos). 

This was the wall I wanted to focus on and I was open to the idea of either filling it with a quote or with anything Harry is into. 
The site is full of a wide selection to choose from, with wall stickers for children or nurseries, to tiles stickers, personalised stickers and chalkboard stickers (which really appeal to me but I know my boys may then use it as an excuse to chalk anywhere).
It was when looking on the childrens wall stickers section that I spotted the perfect one for Harry's room.

Harry is a big Mickey Mouse fan and before Christmas last year we were able to take him and Charles to Disneyland Paris, which they loved. At that time I happened to find lots of Walt Disney quotes on Pinterest which I absolutely loved, and seeing one of them on the My Wall Stickers site I knew this was the one I had to go for.

With 20 colours to choose from I was stuck and didn't know whether or not to go for black, which I decided would be a bit too harsh for the soft colours we've chosen for Harry's room, and I was really tempted by Sky Blue. I worried it may be too harsh or maybe look a bit cheap but I went for it anyway....and I was glad I did.
The colour is beautiful, and I think the brightness of it is perfect for a child's room and also suits the quote perfectly.

The quote is quite large, 50cm tall x 120cm wide, but works really well on a blank wall in a small bedroom as it creates a beautiful feature. The text is beautiful classic Disney too, which Harry noticed straight away and this, as well as him recognising the word 'Disney' made him excited straight away. 

The wall sticker was super easy to apply and took me around 15-20 minutes to put up. If you make a mistake and get an air bubble on one of the letters it is easy to peel off and reapply. Once the stickers were applied I went over each one carefully again to make sure they were firmly stuck to the wall so they either didn't fall off and weren't easy for one of the boys to pick off. 

The Walt Disney 'If You Can Dream It' wall stickers cost £19.99 which for such a big feature I think is a fantastic price. 
Both boys were amazed at the wall stickers and I am over the moon with them. I really feel like they've made Harry's room complete.

We were sent this wall sticker for the purpose of this review.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Happy Sunday | Week Nineteen

Whether or not you think Sunday is the end of the week, or the beginning of a new one, I thought it would be a nice idea to look back on the week that has just past and to look at the things that have made me happy and made me smile.
I think it can be easy to look back on a hard week and miss out on those things. A week of bad weather for example can really make it seem as though the whole week was a complete fail. But it probably wasn't. We must all smile at least once a day. I know I do, even if I forget it.

Things that made me happy this week:

Like Mother, Like Son

I took a photo of Harry, Charles and Charles' girlfriend outside the school on the last day this week. It wasn't until I looked back at the photos that I noticed that Harry has clearly been paying more attention than I thought when I take my in-the-mirror-selfies.

Teddy Bears Picnic

On Tuesday parents were invited to Charles' school to celebrate their wonderful year. We were treated to a slideshow which was quite emotional to watch, especially as the children called out each childs name as they appeared on the screen and then all sang along to 'Let It Go' at it was played towards the end of the slideshow.
We were then ushered through to the other classroom where the teachers held an Oscars Ceremony. Each child recieved an Oscar. Some were funny like 'Most Likely to Marry Harry Styles' 'Longest Plaits' and others were sweet like 'Most Fantastic Friend' and 'Best Manners'.
Charles won 'Most Likely to Sail Around the World'. They had a little red carpet to walk down and then stood proudly on top of a box to smile for a photo, at which point I also stood and told him to smile as he looked so nervous and took my own photos.
We were then able to stay and join the children for a teddy bears picnic. It was such a fantastic end to a wonderful year.

Iced Espresso

We had to go to Norwich this week for my husband to have his weekly check up at Optical Express following his Laser Eye Surgery. I walked around Norwich with the boys whilst we waited for him to finish and then he treated us to a Starbucks. I went for a Espresso Frappucino which was AMAZING. I knew I wouldn't be able to recreate this at home, and usually make a fantastic (if I do say so myself) Frappucino but you know, on a diet now, so I went for an Iced Espresso instead, which was really quite tasty and refreshing.

Daisy Chain

We popped down to the boat this week briefly just to check a few things over. The bank is covered in daisies which the boys always insist on picking for me. This time I couldn't resist but to try and make a daisy chain. The boys were so impressed with me and although it didn't work as the headband I hoped it would, it was perfect as a necklace.
We are meeting up with some friends soon and we will be making daisy chains and flower crowns which I am super excited about.

End of School Year Beach Time

On Wednesday we headed to the beach straight after school. Armed with lots of bags of toys, towels, a change of clothes, swimwear and a picnic we made our way onto the sand and in no time at all the sandwiches were covered in sand accidently kicked on them and the blanket to sit on was wet due to feet which had been paddling in the sea.
The boys can be nervous of the sea but I've always found the best way to get them to be brave and to get over that initial fear is to force them in. I know, it sounds mean, but it works for us. One minute Harry is saying 'no mummy' and the moment I put his legs in the water and swing him so his legs crash into the waves he is laughing, giggling and screaming for more.
It made me so happy to see them enjoying themselves. I just regret not doing it sooner but....I have a summer to fill so more beach time is definitely on the cards.

What made you happy this week?

Linking up to:
The Ordinary Moments: Mummy Daddy Me
My Week That Was: Make, Do and Push
Magic Moments: The Oliver's Madhouse

Saturday, 26 July 2014

My #RealMumsAllBran Challenge Experience

I grew up with All-Bran 'Original' and Bran Flakes always being a regular item in our food cupboard. I would eat them occasionally but never for the help with digestion, but more for the fact that I love the taste of it, particularly the Original if served with milk, apples chopped in and a teeny tiny sprinkling of sugar.
Now as an adult myself I do tend to buy All Bran occasionally, just simply because I like it or if I am taking any kind of medication which can affect digestion and bowels.

I was really quite excited when I saw that All Bran had released 3 new products which I was sent to try out as part of their 'All-Bran 5 Day Challenge'.
Confession: I don't eat breakfast, and at the moment I fast until 12 at which point I will have a light lunch followed by a heavier (but not too heavy) dinner at around 6 or 7 o clock. OR, again I will fast until 12, have a heavier lunch and then at around 6 or 7 o clock I will have a light dinner.

So using the All-Bran products as my lighter option has been perfect.
Everyday I measured out a 45g serving of my chosen cereal and decided to eat them without adding milk. This was for 2 reasons: 1, I am cutting milk down in my diet so only have it when really necessary and 2, I actually think that milk would ruin them as they are really tasty without it.

First up is the All-Bran Chocolate Crunch. I'm not usually a fan of chocolatey cereals but these are delicious.
All-Bran Chocolate Crunch is a light and crunchy multi-grain cereal made with wheat bran, oven baked into delicious clusters with chocolate pieces, so it’s not only good for your digestive health, but tastes great too!
Perfect to be served as a cereal at breakfast (with or without milk) these are also great to eat 'dry' as a healthy snack.

Second is the All-Bran Red Berry Crunch. I have to be perfectly honest. I didn't like this, but it is just a personal thing because I don't really like freeze dried fruit. However, I did at least try some and could see that this would definitely appeal to people who do like freeze dried fruit. In  fact this box will be heading home to my mums house as I know she will love this flavour.
And thirdly is the All-Bran Golden Crunch. This was another hit! As with the Chocolate Crunch I don't feel it is necessary to serve with milk and I liked this as a cereal for lunch or dinner but also as a picky snack.
Golden Crunch is a deliciously light multi-grain cluster, oven-baked to perfection for a golden crunch. Great for your digestive health, fantastic on the taste buds.
Since being on my healthy eating mission I think my digestive system and tolerance for particular foods has changed dramatically so I'm not sure I really noticed much of a change with the 5-Day Challenge.
What I can say though is that I did prefer this cereal to others on the market as they didn't make me feel at all bloated, or uncomfortably full. I also found that after eating each 45g portion, which was served alongside a black coffee and pint of water, I wasn't left feeling hungry or like I needed to grab a second helping.
I also tend to like adding sugar to my cereal but I didn't feel the need to at all with these at all.

My husband has also enjoyed these cereals and we are already on our second boxes of the Chocolate Crunch and Golden Crunch with I purchased in our grocery delivery this week.
I can see All-Bran becoming a regular staple in our kitchen cupboards now, just as it is in my mums.

This post is an entry for the “Real Mums of All-Bran” Linky Challenge, sponsored by Kelloggs

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Banana Pancakes | Recipe

Lets get something out in the open right now.
Bananas are evil.
They smell, they have a horrid texture, they smell, they are messy, they smell, the taste funny and they smell. But.....I ate one...and enjoyed it. I feel like I have cheated myself through doing this. How could I?! I adore pancakes and would eat them until I burst. Earlier this year I ate them almost everyday for a week, covered in chocolate and marshmallows and a healthier savoury option although this probably would have been covered in cheese and mayo.

I regularly watch Vivianna Does Make Up on Youtube. If you are not aware of her then go and seek her out immediately. Although predominantly about make up and fashion her weekly Vlogs are my favourite, and this is where I first saw "banana pancakes".
A healthy version of can it be?!
The recipe is super simple but also really quite adaptable so you can make up your two main ingredients and then throw in whatever else you like. I wanted raisins but didn't have any in so opted for desiccated coconut instead.
What you need:
A tiny bit of oil
1 banana
2 eggs
Other bits you may like to add. For example...I added 2 teaspoons of coconut and then included a sliced apple to the side of the bowl once the pancakes were made.
If you feel naughty you can always add some Nutella or (as I used but only as a taste test of course) ice cream sauce.

Simply mash your banana, whisk up your eggs, combine the two together, then either dry fry in a non-stick pan, or add a tiny amount of oil to a pan, and pour as much as you'd like into the pan (depending on the side of the pancake you want!) and flip once it looks like the pancake is done on the bottom side. It does take longer than other pancakes I find and if you flip too soon it will just end up looking like a banana-ery scrambled egg.

Once cooked both sides, serve. And enjoy.