|FUN|grow crystal icicles


Grow snowflakes was on our winter bucket list and turned out to be a huge pinterest fail.  We tried both borax solution and an Epsom salts solution, neither worked, we obviously didn't have enough chemical in each time for anything to grow, sadly I don't have a photo but all that happened was our pipe cleaner snowflakes went rusty!  Big flop!

I saw these awesome rock candy sticks when I'd just about given up and so it occurred to me that we should make icicles instead!  The same principle, just different ingredients.



The ratio I used was 3-1, I actually used half cups 3 half cups of sugar to one half cup of water.  

Method

1. On a medium heat I dissolved one half cup of sugar once thoroughly dissolved, I added the next and stirred until it became warm.
2. Add the third amount of sugar a little at a time, the water will start to reach saturation where no more  sugar can be dissolved.


3. Once sugar has been dissolved into the liquid, pour into a suitable container, the taller and thinner the better.

4. Dip a skewer or cocktail stick in water then in sugar before suspending in the solution.

After a few days crystals will start to form, it took a week for the icicles shown to form.

Here are some that are on the go at the moment.



LarabeeUK

|#todderapprovedtuesday|week 18 - 24 February


LarabeeUK

This week I have knocked something off of our #winterbucketlist due to a major pinterest fail we made a slight change and we grew crystal icicles!

Ok so got a bit of a moan! We've noticed that there are not always comments being left on other peoples posts and one or two missed badges, sorry to be a complete grinch but #toddlerapprovedtuesday is about being a little community and supporting one another so we really would appreciate it if you could show fellow linkers a bit more love.  Thanks so much, grinch gone now! ;)

We would love it if you would join us with your toddler activities, crafts, food, clothes, reviews and updates.

Linking opens every Tuesday morning and closes Thursday night at midnight which gives us a good few days to see what your little ones have approved! We will share your posts on Twitter, make sure you follow me @larabeeuk and Becky @3princess_1dude and every week we will each pick our favourite two for our #ToddlerApprovedTuesday Showcase!

Rules:


1. Link up as many posts as you like but please remember to paste the #ToddlerApprovedTuesday badge on each post you would like to link up (code in sidebar, paste it into the HTML option of your blogging platform) this helps us spread the word!

2. Pop by and comment on two or three other posts, more would be great if you can!
3. OPTIONAL: Share your post and the linky party (using the hashtag #ToddlerApprovedTuesday) on your social media, Becky and I will retweet all your posts via Twitter (make sure you mention us in your tweets @3princess_1dude/@larabeeuk) and we'll also share relevant links on our #ToddlerApprovedTuesday Pinterest board.  Even if you don't have a blog, please do join in by using the hashtag for your toddler approved tweets & Instagram posts, they will still be counted for the showcase!

Onto my showcase posts for this week.

image

My first showcase is this fab post favourite children's books from Kizzy, Izzy and baby, it has some of the books that I'd like to get for T and Going on a bear hunt, which is, of course a firm favourite!

4

I absolutely love this toddler graffiti from mama vs teacher I'm going to make The Hubs father's day card using this technique.

Clare from clareslittletots joined up by using #toddlerapprovedtuesday in Instagram this week with these lovely dragons the little tots made.

|ACHIEVE|meal management monday 23 February


This weekend I've had a mammoth food prep session for the weeks ahead!  I did a 'big shop' for meat & veggie alternatives on Friday, so hopefully I'll be able to stick within my budget of £40 per week until our next pay day.

I will try and get 'recipes' blogged soon, let me know if you'd like one in particular and I'll start on that first.

As one of our goals for this year is to reduce food waste, I had a look in the fridge/cupboards and found we had a few items which needed using up:-
1. half a swede
2. 3 rashers of bacon
3. salad leaves
4. 6 slices of bread
5. blueberries, kiwi & 2 oranges

I was already serving carrots with our roast chicken Sunday lunch, so decided that I'd use up the swede and make carrot & swede mash too, putting any leftovers in the freezer.

The bacon was cooked up and popped in a lunchbox to be mixed with leftover chicken, pasta and mayo for the hubs lunch.

The salad leaves were composted, if we had the chickens, they would eat this so I'm not too worried as I know this won't be wasted again soon.

The blueberries, kiwi and oranges were turned into a yummy juice for T and I.

I made lots of croutons from the leftover bread:-
 
 
Croutons
Garlic & herb
Chilli
Sea salt & black pepper 
 
I cooked these whilst the oven was on for the Sunday Roast.
 
 
In my quest to save money on our monthly shop, I decided to buy a mahoosive 12.5kg bag of unwashed potatoes for £2 from Morrisons this week.  They should have been £4 which I still think is a major bargain, I would usually pay £2 for a 1kg bag!  I'm ashamed to say that I have never purchased unwashed potatoes from the supermarket before, only from the farmers market or when I've got them direct from the garden!  The weekly prep I did for these was:
 
1. Prepared our roast potatoes for lunch
2. Washed and peeled enough potatoes to keep cut in water overnight for tonight's mash.
3. Washed some larger potatoes for jacket potatoes later in the week.


I cut up all of our leftover veg and made a large roast veg pan (see top picture) I cooked this whilst cooking the chicken and potatoes to save money!

I plan to serve the roast veg 3 ways:
1. Mixed with a cooked tomato and tomato puree and served with pasta for my lunch.
2. Mixed with harissa paste and served with cous cous for my lunch.
3. Pureed in the food processor and used as pizza topping.
 

T and The Hubs shared one chicken breast from the whole cooked chicken. 

1. The second chicken breast will be frozen then served with curry.
2. The rest of the meat will be made into mini pot pies tonight
3. The carcass was made into 4 pints of stock for the freezer.

In addition to the above I also peeled carrots and grated cheese for the foodsaver.

Tasks for this coming week:
Freezer inventory
Organising the snacks and sweets cupboard 
Sorting the cans/jars cupboard with any going out of date in the next 6 months towards the front.

So after all that onto this weeks meal plan.

Items in italics are from freezer.

LUNCH DINNER
MONDAY chilli & rice/roast chicken wrap sausage & mash
TUESDAY roast veg pasta/chicken & bacon pasta tomato, avocado & mozzarella salad (K out)
WEDNESDAY homemade soup/ham wrap Gammon, egg & chips
THURSDAY roast veg cous cous/bacon & lettuce wrap mushroom/chicken curry
FRIDAY jacket potato/beetroot salad stuffed mushrooms/steak slices & jamie oliver 30 min dauphinoise
SATURDAY out for lunch homemade pizza
SUNDAY courgetti with tomato & mozzarella

mpm different fonts.png

|#thelist|16 - 22 February

 
Blog
Highs
- 2 new review opportunity sealed this week
- 1 review post published - Mini-U bath products
- My favourite post this week is my 31 'me time' post
- My most popular post this week is my pancake flip game
- 6 posts published so far this week
- tried out Facebook promotions, gained a few more likers
- using hootsuite to schedule posts is really working
- monthly theme for T's activities not really worked out this month
 
Lows
- missed a favourite linky again
- missed 2 blog posts as I wasn't prepared when T was ill
 
Personal/family
Highs 
- making an effort to wear make-up & do my hair every day
- Using planners = achieving more!
- T had a party Saturday had to take him on my own, mixed with new parents, feeling brave!
- T's first cinema visit this morning
 
Lows
- T has been poorly, missed bouncy castle fun day
- Missed night out with friends due to the hubs having to work Saturday 
 
Household
Highs
- Very little food waste
 
Lows
- still need to work on packed lunches and preparing the night before
 
A quieter but still positive week.  Loving being a blogger.
 
The List

|BRAND NEW ME|31 self-care ideas

 

One of my goals for 2015 was to spend more time relaxing and making sure I take at least 30 mins 'me time' every day to practice self-care.  To achieve this I knew we had to get T into a better bedtime routine so it freed up some time in the evening for me or for us to have stay at home date nights.  I also need to work on LarabeeUK in the evenings instead of the wee hours and keep the house clean and tidy (The Hubs is involved in that one too!)

Read all about how we've managed to get T into a new bedtime routine here.

Here's a months worth of 'me time' ideas I've been doing, I've not managed to knock of everything from this list and some I've done lots more than once, manicures, bubble baths and reading are top on the list!  I'm also hoping to add to this list so that I can keep up momentum.  

Self-care ideas
1. Manicure
2. Pedicure
3. Hair mask
4. Face mask
5. Craft
6. Write to pen pal
7. Write in a journal
8. Pinterest/social media not for blog
9. Have a bubble bath
10. Foot spa
11. Read
12. Listen to a podcast
13. Watch a film
14. Play with make-up
15. Meditate
16. Print photos for an album
17. Bake a cake
18. Look up an old friend
19. Make yourself a cocktail
20. Scrapbook
21. Have a detox bath
22. Exfoliate hands
23. De fuzz/shave/wax
24. Go for a walk on your own
25. Do some yoga
26. Just sit and be
27. Listen to the sea (even if just from YouTube!)
28. Look at a cookery book
29. Savour a cup of your favourite tea
30. Look through old photos 
31. Spend time on your favourite hobby

I'm always looking for new ideas so if you can think of any please do leave me a note in comments and I'll add them to my list.

Thanks, have a fabulous, relaxing weekend!!! x

The List
The List
Mami 2 Five

|FUN|mini-u bath products review

 
We were fortunate enough to receive a bumper pack of goodies from mini-u to try and we've been having loads of fun at bathtime ever since. 
 
Bathtime was becoming a bit of a battle to be honest and all my old tricks were no longer working so this review came at just the right time for us!
 
 
In our parcel we received:-
Fizzy plops £1.95 each
 
 
First of all we tried the POW bath bomb, this was a gorgeous lilac colour and lived up to all claims of fizzing around the bath until... a tiny surprise is revealed.
 
 
This little capsule revealed a cute little sponge animal, T thought this was very cool although he liked the fizzing bomb just as much!
 

This fab green bath was using one of the Fizzy plops this is just one and you get 9 in a pack for £1.95, a real bargain!  T really liked these too, calling them his coloured bath 'tablets'.  They smell really lovely too, this green one is kiwi, the red is watermelon & the blue is blueberry.  A pack of these will certainly be going in T's stocking next Christmas.
 
 
This wonderful blue bath came from the Lovely Bubbly 'Ro Ro' blueberry bubble bath a fruity smelling bubbly delight which T loved pouring in and also shared with his Daddy, who liked it just as much!
 
 
 
We had lots of fun using the Dunk & Doodle bath paints and unlike similar bath paints we've tried T could actually use these himself as the bottles are really soft and the 'paint' is a great consistency.  I first applied them to the white tiles, but the colour did take a bit of scrubbing to get off the tiles, so after that we just used them on the sides of the bath.  The colours are fantastically vibrant and the smell is so strong and fruity you don't really need anything else in the bath.  T really liked drawing on himself and washing it off so it was a great product to encourage washing!
 
We absolutely loved the mini-u products we were sent which were great quality and reasonably priced.  We will definitely be purchasing more.
 
http://www.miniu.co.uk/
 
Starting on 20th February Mini-U have a 25% flash sale so now is a great time to stock up!
 
 
Disclaimer: we were sent these products in return for a full and honest review, all opinions are our own.


 


 


 


 









|FUN|pancake flip word matching game


T is doing a great job with word recognition so I've been thinking about a little game that I could play with him to help him recognise new words.


This was really simple to set up, I found a pancake picture on Google and printed out 12 copies, I made them quite small. But they could have been larger. I cut them into circles and then wrote words on the back. The words I used were:-
Thomas
Mummy
Daddy
Run
Jump
Ball


We just played like any pairs matching game but T has to match the words, we were amazed how quickly he picked this up and he managed to successfully match all 6 pairs.


I gave him a fish slice to flip over the 'pancakes' you could of course use a toy one or none at all, it just gave him a little added fine motor practice, he seems to struggle a bit with a flipping action!





LarabeeUK

|#toddlerapprovedtuesday|week 8 17 February

LarabeeUK

Thanks so much for another bumper week, it's great having so many diverse posts again, and some new faces.
We would absolutely love it if you would join us, linking will open every Tuesday morning through to Thursday night at midnight and give us a good few days to see what your little ones have approved! We will share your posts on Twitter (make sure you follow me (@larabeeuk and Becky @3princess_1dude) and every week we will each pick our favourite two for our #ToddlerAprrovedTuesday Showcase!


My post today is for a little pancake flip word matching game, you can see it here.



Becky's post this week is for these fab crowns

Rules:


1. Link as many posts as you like, but please remember to paste the #ToddlerApprovedTuesday badge on each post you would like to link up (code in sidebar, paste it into the HTML option of your blogging platform).

2. Pop by and comment on two or three other posts, more would be great if you can!

3. OPTIONAL: Share your post and the linky party (using the hashtag #ToddlerApprovedTuesday) on your social media, Becky and I will retweet all your posts via Twitter (make sure you mention us in your tweets @3princess_1dude/@larabeeuk) and also share on our #ToddlerApprovedTuesday Pinterest board.  Even if you don't have a blog, please do join in by using the hashtag for your toddler approved tweets & Instagram posts, they will still be counted for the showcase!

Onto my showcase posts for this week.

My first choice is this fab bubble painting post from monkeyandmouse.co.uk, welcome and thanks so much for linking this idea is really cute!

http://monkeyandmouse.co.uk/?p=143#comment-32

My second showcase post is from cookwithtoddlers and is this rather delicious looking German pancake recipe!  I can't wait to give this a try.

http://www.cookwithtoddlers.com/community/2015/2/11/a-pancake-for-toddler-chefs

That's it from me then, over to you.  Thanks so much!

|ACHIEVE|meal management Monday

 
Last week we stuck to our plan except for Valentines day, we didn't have H in the end so The Hubs and I got a M&S meal for 2 instead and we took the MIL out for lunch yesterday as we'll miss her birthday next week.
 
 
LUNCH
DINNER
MONDAY
Veg stew/chicken caesar wrap
leftover steak/moussaka, chunky chips & salad
TUESDAY
Mushroom & cheese pancakes K out
WEDNESDAY
roast veg pasta/tuna pasta
Sweet & sour sausage, veggie burger with salad
THURSDAY
T & I out/chicken salad wrap
Lamb/quorn crockpot Mediterranean stew with creamy polenta
FRIDAY
veg soup/out
Chinese takeaway (for Chinese New Year!)
SATURDAY
snack wraps & salad, veg sticks
Out
SUNDAY
soup & homemade bread
Roast chicken, roast potatoes & veg

 
Need to buy - budget £12
Chicken
Carrots
Potatoes
Mushrooms
Peppers
Pasta
Cucumber
Tomatoes
 
I'm going to try and take a look at sh*t corner (a term from a Facebook group I belong to!) and see if I can find any goodies, so the above list might change depending on what's there!
 
Plus takeaway £20
 

I'm joining in with Becky over at 3princesses1dude's Eat well spend less challenge.
 
Kitchen Cupboard Challenge
We've had next to no waste this week.  I've got a massive loaf of bread, I'm going to turn into different croutons tonight, chilli, basil, garlic, mixed herb, salt & pepper and plain.  Both The Hubs and T love crutons, T will happily much on a bowl as a snack, so thought this was be a good way to use up the bread.  Other than that, there were just a few salad leaves that were past their best.  There were a few mushrooms that we're starting to dry out a bit, but I fried them up with an egg yesterday and they were fine.
 
I kept the fruit and potatoes in the fridge and they have lasted loads better than not chilling them, I'll definitely continue to do that in the future to prolong the life!
 
This post gives a bit more detail about why I call my list Meal Management and not Meal Planning.
 
http://www.athomewithmrsm.com/category/meal-planning-monday-2

|ACHIEVE|Weekly focus w/c 16 February


Onto this weeks, weekly focus

Blog
Last weeks update
Plan! - yes planning more and more being done C/F
Use social media schedule - yes, on the days I schedule tweets this works so well, need to ensure I do it every day. C/F
Post at least 5 posts this week -yes
Respond to comments within 48 hours - ummm still struggling with this one C/F

This week (in addition to the above carry forward items)
Seal #kidsstickerswap sponsor deal
Apply for 5 new review opportunities

Personal
Last weeks update 
Plan! - yes far more efficient
30 minutes me time every day - yes, this is becoming almost routine now
Take photo's of work capsule wardrobe - still not done C/F
Use planner! - yes, C/F

This week (in addition to the above carry forward items)
Use new meeting planner

Household
Last weeks update 
Make packed lunches every work day - yes for me, no for The Hubs C/F
Create a weekend activity schedule C/F
Plan family activities/T's activities - yes, we are doing lots more by planning

This week (in addition to the above carry forward items)
Meal plan
Have 30 min declutter everyday

I'm linking in to #weeklywishes for this post.

The Nectar Collective