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Monday, 20 February 2017

Baking | Living Arrows

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth” 


Kahlil Gibran




It is half-term for us and whilst Alexander was having a lie-in until 10 am and Freyja was happy, Lily made some gingerbread with minimal assistance from me. Lily even washed up afterwards and swept up the crumbs and flour from the floor too. Result! Great to have another little baker.


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Sunday, 19 February 2017

My Sunday Photo | Chocolate Fondant Pudding

chocolate melt in the middle pudding

The glorious creation I made for Valentine's Day; a dark chocolate with raspberry melt in the middle pudding.

I used Gordon Ramsay's recipe and substituted plain flour for spelt flour and butter for Lactofree spread.

The recipe yielded 4 puddings, two for me and my husband and I gave away the remaining two to my friends who had each had an interesting day following a trip to A & E and a phone interview. I hope they enjoyed the puds as much as we did.


Photalife
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Thursday, 16 February 2017

Chocolate Pudding | Little Loves

Another week has gone by and today is an inset day for Lily. It was a bit of a surprise for me as I got my dates muddled up, so I invited my parents over for the day. They live in Kent which is just finished it's half term break, so actually we have coincided quite nicely.

Read

I haven't picked up a book to read properly since I finished The Girl on the Train. However whilst at The New Forest Inn in Ashurst I found a cosy nook and settled down to feed Freyja with a hot chocolate and a novel Rob randomly chose for me from their book exchange. It was better than a walk in the forest when it was just above freezing!

book and hot chocolate


Watched

I watched some of Le Weekend which was shown on Film4 this week. From what I managed to watch, it seemed to be about a mature couple with a variety of different issues who had decided to live in Paris for a bit, many years after they honeymooned there. Not very informative, but it was a slow-burner and I will either watch the rest to see the outcome (did they or didn't they split up) or Google the plot.

Le Weekend


Heard

 She said, play that song / The one that makes me go all night long / The one that makes me think of you / That's all you gotta do

When I heard Play that Song by Train, I was in actual disbelief that the tinkly tune that most people can try to play as a duet on the piano had suddenly made it to the radio!


Heart and Soul on Piano



Made

For Valentine's Day, I made chocolate fondant puddings for dessert. I used Gordon Ramsay's recipe which is simple and the result is always scrumptious. I used two bars of Marks and Spencer dark chocolate with raspberry so it was a pretty decadent pud. So my gluten free and lactose free husband I used spelt flour and a combination of lactofree butter and baking block. Dove's gluten free plain flour would also work a treat too.

melt in the middle chocolate pudding


Wore

I'm cheating and just going to show off baby Freyja. She is growing so quickly and I'm trying to get as much wear out of this cat print tunic with leggings before she bursts its seams. I will be stuffing her into it haha!

Freyja in her cat print tunic top


And Lastly

Lily went to her friend's house for tea after school on Wednesday - for the first time ever! I had just Alexander and Freyja until 6:30 and briefly saw Rob briefly before he disappeared for a meeting. Lily was pretty tired when she got back but proudly showed off her jewelled crown she had made.

Lily the ballerina and her crown


Have a great week ahead everyone!



Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat
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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Summer Infant Babble Band Review

Wearable technology has another gadget in town, the Summer Infant Babble Band. We were kindly sent a Babble Band in return for our honest opinion, so I hope you enjoy reading this review.

What is it?



The Babble Band by Summer Infant is a wearable, digital audio monitor.
First Impressions:

It is unlike a baby monitor I have ever seen before. It has a discreet design featuring tones of white and soft grey with the Summer Infant logo. I wondered whether it would be complicated to use, but the buttons appear to be in plain sight and clear from what I can see through the clear section of the packaging. The box itself is fairly small with plenty of bright images of the product inside and its main unique selling points in several languages. I feel that the eye-catching box is the perfect size to reflect the innovative monitor inside, after all, Apple watches don't come in huge boxes do they?



What is in the box:

1 x portable nursery unit
1 x wearable wristband
1 x pair of mains adaptors
1 x mains cord and plug
1 x instructions manual




Assembly:

The assembly was pretty straightforward seeing as there is only one charger required but with the option of using a three-pin connection (UK) and two-pin connection (Europe). The individual plug pin panel simply slides into the main body of the plug. If there was an additional arrow to suggest which way to slide it in (i.e, towards the wire),that could be helpful. I did try to put it together the wrong way round, I blame baby brain! The wristband conveniently drapes over the top of the main unit and adheres using magnets. When plugged into the mains, the main unit's LED light turns red and blinks and once fully charged the red light is static. The instructions are clear and suggests that the charging time is 5-6 hours, however I found the main unit to have charged in less than two on my first use.


The Lowdown:

  • The Babble Band is one of the first wearable digital baby monitors on the market. Many monitor parent units have a clip to attach to a belt, but can ultimately be uncomfortable, whereas the adjustable Babble Band wristband has been designed to fit with comfort.
  • It has 3 monitoring modes; audio with volume control, vibration and sound lights only
  • The baby unit doubles up as the charging base for the wristband and a full charge will provide 8 hours of continuous use
  • The monitor has a range of up to 800 ft (243.84m)
  • The Babble Band has a low battery and out of range alert


How we got on:

As baby monitor newbies, I can only compare the Babble Band to our first ever monitor which is an static, bedside Angelcare sound and movement monitor. The conventional parent unit of most baby monitors has a clip, presumably designed for the unit to be attached to a belt. In my experience of this design, I have found the unit difficult to attach to my waistband, not to mention uncomfortable. It is no wonder Summer Infant saw a gap in the market and produced this clever wristband to make daytime naps easier.

I can simply set up the Babble Band monitor beside Freyja whilst she is napping and I can get on with my jobs around the house, my own work, and having some time with her big brother.

Whilst I have been vacuuming the sound-activated visual lights from the wrist monitor alert me to when she is stirring. I love the fact that in order to crack on with other activities I no longer have to flit my eyes from my chore to the standalone monitor positioned on a table. When the weather requires the lawn to be mowed and allows laundry to be dried outside, the 240m range will allow me to keep an eye and an ear out for her.



The Babble Band will definitely prove to be a useful tool to take on short-breaks and it is also simple enough for Freyja's grandparents to use as well. With three children our car can get pretty full when we stay away from home, so the lighter we travel the better. No additional chargers and cords are required with the Babble Band as the nursery unit doubles up as a charger for the wristband. Charging can occur overnight or at any spare moment when the monitor isn't in use.

Pros -  lightweight, sensitive, vibration mode is great if you are particularly busy and distracted, main unit can charge the wristband. 1 year warranty is an advantage too.

Improvements - the Babble Band could be improved further if the main unit was wireless in addition to the wristband, so the monitor can be used wherever the baby is sleeping, whether it be in a bouncer or a swing. As it is, the main unit needs to be plugged in and kept a metre away from the baby. Whilst the Angelcare movement monitor is particularly ideal since Freyja sleeps on her front during the night in her Bednest, but for naps out of the Bednest  a completely wireless, portable Babble Band would be very advantageous. As it is incredibly light (~100g) it is very little effort to move and plug in and position near to the baby due to the long cord.



Price and where to buy:

The Summer Infant Babble Band retails from £47.49 and you can purchase it directly from Summer Infant, Toys R us and Tesco Direct, to name a few store.

Would we recommend the Babble Band?

Absolutely! If you want to be able to monitor your baby from anywhere in the house or garden, no matter what you are doing - working out, hanging laundry, vacuuming, then the Babble Band wearable digital audio monitor is for you. No wonder it is in the shortlist for the Mother & Baby 2017 awards.




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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

First School Playdate | The Ordinary Moments

In my first post for The Ordinary Moments linkie run by  Katie, Mummy Daddy and Me and Donna who writes What the Redhead Said, I am remembering a day from last week. Lily had a friend round for tea after school for the first time and they had a whale of a time. 

It really gave me an insight into having three older children to look after, rather than my current 2 children and a baby standard.

I collected both girls from school and we headed home for Costa style hot chocolates, complete with three marshmallows on the side.
Lily and hot chocolate

They got out several toys including Buckaroo to play whilst they sipped their hot chocolates and watched The BFG (cartoon version which I also watched when I was little). No squabbling. No annoying each other, they were just so sisterly, even after a full on day at school. All the while Alexander napped in his pushchair...

Lily and Buckaroo

Before Alexander woke up and took an instant liking to Lily's school chum, they managed to spend a goodly amount of time creating some Aquabead designs to take into school the next day to proudly show their Year R teacher. I wonder if she managed to get a look at the flowers/dolphins they made the next day amongst the gaggle of children who swarm her as soon as school opens...

Lily and aquabeads

Following their tea and fuelled by ice cream I watched them dance very enthusiastically to Bruno Mars and play musical statues. They had so much fun together, even though they technically did very little. I didn't want to overwhelm them or try to hard to keep them occupied. Lily is such a great conversationalist but appreciates downtime too. It lulled me into thinking, yeah, I have this parenting malarky down to a fine art! Until Alexander woke up from his nap in an incredible hangry (hungry and disgruntled) mood!


The Ordinary Moments
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Monday, 13 February 2017

Aquabeads | Living Arrows


Lily has been thoroughly enjoying creating colourful designs using Aquabeads. She first became aware of them thanks to watching Milkshake on Channel 5 and their toy-filled adverts between Peppa Pig and Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom. I've always thought that the majority of toys advertised seemed quite overpriced and may not hold her attention for very long, but I bought her very first set of Aquabeads for Christmas. Thankfully it has proven to be a fantastic purchase, even if the bead pen isn't very reliable because it improves her dexterity. She has the jewel set, the sea-life refill set and for her 5th birthday her auntie and uncle bought her a case with loads more beads and templates. The case is an absolute must in my opinion as I was using an IKEA sandwich bag to store the beads. We have since had laminate fitted downstairs and now I cringe at the sound of each individual bead scittering across the floor, usually in quick succession!

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Sunday, 12 February 2017

My Sunday Photo

Lily, 5 years / Alexander 2.5 years / Freyja 6 weeks


Photalife
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