31.10.13

675. Happy Halloween 2013.

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Happy Halloween! From my favourite little monsters!

We've had such a fantastic time the last few days, I've been off from work and we've been crazy busy making the most of our time together. Colin even managed to leave work a little early to come trick or treating, the boys looked crazily adorable & loved getting all the attention and sweets. Daniel actually walked up to the first house, and (despite two days of preparation and practicing "Trick or treat!") asked "Have you got any sweets?!" What a ham. Obviously, I have to document my boys' first ever time trick or treating with possibly-previously-seen pictures, including my friggin' awesome Jake pumpkin, which I'm clearly incredibly proud of!

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Lots of Love
Momma B
xxx

30.10.13

674. Halloween Cheesecake, two of my favourite words.

We had a little Halloween party this afternoon, with some of Daniel's friends from school. It was adorable, everyone running riot, playing pass the parcel & musical statues, and having a disco party with glow sticks! I made some super cute food, including this delicious cheesecake, the recipe is from Ella's Kitchen's Cookbook, which is definitely on my Christmas list!! Happy Hump Day & Halloween Eve!

SWIRLY WHIRLY CHEESECAKE
Serves 12; Prep = 10 minutes + chilling
This is definitely among Ella’s favourite dessert of all time – it’s a delicious sweet treat without any added sugar. Enjoy it when you have friends to tea.
What you need
• 50 g /1 ¾ oz roasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
• 100 g/3 ½ oz Scottish oatcakes, broken up
• 50 g/1 ¾ oz stoned dates
• 50 g/1 ¾ oz unsalted butter, melted
• 400 g/ 14 oz cream cheese
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 300 g/10 ½ oz strawberries, puréed, plus extra to serve (optional)
• 300 ml/ ½ pint double cream  
What to do
• Line the base of a 20 cm/8 inch loose-based cake tin with baking parchment. Put the hazelnuts and oatcakes in a food processor and blitz them for a few seconds until everything is finely chopped and looks like breadcrumbs. Add the dates and blitz again until the mixture is soft. Add the melted butter; mix well and press the mixture into the tin with the back of a spoon. Chill this in the fridge for 15 minutes.
• Meanwhile, make the topping. In a bowl mix together the cream cheese, vanilla extract and three-quarters of the puréed strawberries.
• Whisk the cream until it is stiff, but still soft. Fold it gently into the cream cheese mixture. Remove the base from the fridge and spoon over the topping.
• Drizzle over the remaining strawberry purée in an outward spiral from the centre and then run a skewer through the spiral to get a marbled effect. Chill the cheesecake in the fridge for at least 1 hour and then serve with strawberries on the side (if using)
Marble-ous
Try out your tot’s artistic talents by asking him or her to have a go at making the swirly whirly marbling pattern on the top of the cheesecake.
Ella’s Shortcut
You can sidestep making the strawberry purée by substituting 2 x 90g/3 ¼ oz pouches of Ella’s Kitchen Smoothie Fruits – The Red One.

29.10.13

673. Fall Sensory Activity.

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After a walk where we collected pockets full of acorns, leaves and conkers, I decided to make a fall sensory tray for the boys. I added orange lentils and chickpeas to go with the colour theme, and encouraged Daniel to add anything else he wanted. We put some animals in, I tried to give J some relevant animals (horse & dogs) but Daniel put them all in, and then out everything he could find in! They both spent time running their hands through the lentils, picking them up and letting me fall through their fingers. Joshua pretended to feed the animals, and then spent quite a while throwing the conkers on the floor and pushing the lentils off his tray. They hoovered up easily though so I didn't mind!

Lots of Love
Momma B
xxx

28.10.13

672. 3.5 years.

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He still loves cars, trains and diggers. Any vehicles actually. He often reenacts things he's seen on the TV while he plays, which is really cute!
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Daniel loves to help me bake, pouring the ingredients into the bowl and mix, mix, mixing!
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His memory is incredible, he can read entire books by heart & tell me about things that happened a year ago!
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He is much better at trying new foods, especially if we let him dip it in ketchup! He will now eat most meats, potatoes and even sandwiches!
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A growth spurt has happened recently, suddenly all his shirts are too short in the arms & I'm unrolling his trousers! Officially in 3-4 year clothing & size 8 shoes!
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He likes to take his socks off while he eats, anything on Disney Jr, laying the table for dinner & listening to music. He is very complimentary and is just the sweetest little soul.
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My parents got him a big boy bike for his Birthday & it took a little while but he's pretty good on it now! He's gaining confidence & can do small hills by himself, but tires easily going uphill. He's finally enjoying it though!
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The transition to Nursery this fall was seamless, which I was pleasantly surprised about! I think because he was already in the routine with pre-school & already knew the children he was much happier. He gets ready in the morning without much fuss & is always excited to go! I love getting home and asking about his day, seeing his pictures that he proudly pulls out of his book bag!
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The most wonderful big brother on the planet, we're still having some frustration issues but 95% of the time he is wonderful. Always giving Joshua toys, talking to him sweetly, and singing to him or bringing him things when he cries! Joshua's a lucky duck.
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I'm pretty thankful that he still loves to 'nuggle' his Mama, especially when I'm sad (he tells me, "I'm still here Mummy, it's okay!") & holds my hand too!

Lots of Love
Momma B
xxx

27.10.13

671. Our Week [105]

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001. We had a trip to A&E today, for Daniel Kyle. He was pushing open a metal gate at the park, and when it opened it sprung shut again, rebounding into his head! A big blue bruise & dent appeared immediately, then an egg popped out too. Even though he seemed totally fine, it was quite a whack, so I decided to get it looked at. The professionals we saw put me right at ease, they checked him over and reassured me he was fine. The bruise might fall slightly, and he could end up with a black eye, but that's the worst of it luckily. My brave little soldier!

002. Joshua's been a little under the weather this week too, not sleeping well & suffering with a runny nose. Friday I had a long training day at work & felt absolutely awful leaving him, he was all red eyed & tired looking, poor baby. I think we've got even more teeth coming through, kid can't catch a break, as he keeps moaning about his mouth and chewing his fingers! Calpol all round, really.

003. I'm thinking about taking a photography course, as there's one on Groupon at the moment. I really have no idea how to use my camera, and especially now when the lighting isn't as good it would be useful to know how to get the best shots. I don't really have time to teach myself entirely, but I wonder if I would be taking on too much? I guess it'll get me back in training, for my return to Uni next year, eeek!

004. I'm so psyched for Halloween! I've got a ton of crafts for us to do this week, and a little party for Daniel's friends to prep for! I've got the week off work too, so we're going to decorate tomorrow & start baking! I'm excited for some quality time with my boys too, I think my heart is really missing them at the moment!

005. An early night is on the cards tonight, I feel absolutely shattered. The time change didn't help, obviously, and Joshua's been waking all hours again. So I'm giving myself a 10pm bedtime until I feel better, I've got blog posts drafted so I'll have no excuse. I do have a book party tomorrow night, but I won't be out late. That's if i even make it there, with these hurricane wind threats! Stay safe everyone!

Lots of Love
Momma B
xxx

26.10.13

670. 43/52.

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"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Daniel, looking dapper for Grandad Ken's birthday celebrations this evening.
Joshua, catching up on lost sleep from the last few weeks.

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Inspired by the wonderful Jodi, from Che and Fidel

Lots of Love
Momma B
xxx

25.10.13

669. October showers



I went a little crazy on Polyvore this week, recreating my favourite outfits that I've worn recently. It's been tougher than ever to take outfit photos, with the light & the rush to get out every morning - getting Joshua to Nanny's, Daniel to nursery & to work myself by 8:45!
Today has been tough. With a hardcore training session at work after a looong night with a poorly babe, and a threenager testing his limits all afternoon, Colin came home late to find me in tears. I'm drowning my sorrows in salted caramel ice cream & feeling thankful for a new day tomorrow.

Lots of Love
Momma B
xxx

22.10.13

668. A Half-Birthday.

My creation

We celebrated Daniel Kyle's half-birthday last Saturday, three and a half already. We had a busy day, Colin's parents took the boys out to a soft play centre while we spent the morning shopping, then we rushed over to a baby shower. Daniel celebrated by eating half his body weight in crisps & cake at the shower, and barely napping. We bought him the H&M pirate hat as a special treat too. I think he had a pretty good day!

What's your name? "Daniel!"
How old are you? "THREE!" He also holds up three fingers.
What makes you happy? "This! All of the toys! And I like to juggle!" 'This' was a plate.
What's your favourite animal? "I like all the amnicals!"
What's your favourite food? "I don't know. Um, pasta. I like little pastas!" Aka, macaroni.
What's your favourite toy? "A car!" He hold up a little white car.
What's your favourite thing to watch on TV? "I like watchin' all the fings! I like Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Dinsoaur Train, and Peppa Pig, and Doc McStuffins, and The Hive, and Henry Hugglemonster, and Zoo, I like!" Damn, we've been watching way too much TV of late.
What's your favourite book? "I'm going to choose. This one!" The Fish who could wish.
What's your favourite thing to do outside? "Play in my car!"
Who is your best friend? "Umm, umm, Ellie Mai! And Lucas!"
What do you like to do with Daddy? "We play vroom vroom cars!"
What do you like to do with Mummy? "Muuuuusic"

Lots of Love
Momma B
xxx

21.10.13

667. Our Week [104]

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My creation

A good, tiring, happy week. One of my best friends is in labour right now, and has been having contractions since Friday. Prayers & good thoughts would be appreciated, I'm so excited to meet my Godson!

Lots of Love
Momma B
xxx

20.10.13

666. 42/52.

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"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Daniel, because I wanted to bottle this moment. I know, too soon, he won't want to 'nuggle anymore so I'm soaking it up!
Joshua, because everyone keeps insisting he needs a hair cut. I adore those little wisps at the back, especially when he gets a little sweaty when he sleeps & they start to curl!!

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Inspired by the wonderful Jodi, from Che and Fidel

Lots of Love
Momma B
xxx

18.10.13

665. Daniel-Kyle's Room Tour.


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When we bought our house it was freshly decorated, in neutral colours because the original plan was to rent it out, which is totally fine because that was what we were used to & I quite like the blank canvas. Daniel's room has a pirate theme, which I chose because it wasn't too babyish and could grow with him. It's a pretty big room (Joshua drew the short straw being the baby, and has the box room, I'm toying with the idea of having them share eventually but we'll see) so quite a few of his bigger toys are up there - puzzles, Larry the Ladybird and the activity table, for example - to keep downstairs looking a little tidier. The boys play up there quite a lot in the mornings, while I'm getting ready and sorting washing and things, and Daniel has recently taken to going up there by himself, to do puzzles or read books in peace I guess! I realised after uploading these pictures there isn't one of his bed, but that's just opposite the bookshelves, and it's just a pretty standard toddler bed with Pirate George bedding. His toys are kept in the cardboard 'boats' I made for his birthday party, to keep things tidy and in with the theme (plus they're huge so they fit a lot in!) We have a reading corner, with rocking chairs, a bean bag, and a completely full bookshelf - we love to read! On top of his wardrobe are keepsakes, money boxes and Christening presents etc, to keep them out of reach of little toddler fingers! Bunting is strung around the walls, and I have a fishing net to put up too, somewhere!

Lots of Love
Momma B
xxx

17.10.13

664. Monster Playdough!



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I'd seen this idea on Pinterest & decided to crack on with our Halloween activities before we run out of time! Colin did this with the boys while I made dinner & sorted a book order, I kept hearing them giggle from the kitchen! Daniel kept calling me in to look at his creations, and I think Joshua just had fun ripping them apart! Just playdough, google-y eyes and pipe clearness kept all three amused for nearly an hour. A fun way for them to be creative & do something fun with monsters (Daniel's still a little afraid of the dark & monsters) - he's already asked to do it again!

Lots of Love
Momma B
xxx