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Happy 2016!

  

Happy new year all! Hope you’ve all had a great Christmas/New Year holiday, and if you were lucky enough to have that time off, I hope today’s “back to normal” routines haven’t been too harsh!

As is almost compulsory with the New Year, I’ve been thinking about New Years resolutions. Firstly how most of them are negatives….and generally failures! Having a brief look over the ones I made last year, it was mostly the obvious lose weight; which I broke down into handy monthly goals. I achieved the first one. Then failed, failed, failed.
I also remember wanting to “be more organised”. Pretty sure that’s been on the list for a few years too. Pretty sure I can say that’s been a fail too.

So even though I still want/need to lose weight, and I certainly need to get more organised, I’ve decided to come up with a few resolutions that are less negative, and that are probably a bit more important too.

1. Smile more! I’m sure I’ve read that it’s a scientific fact that if you smile, even if you don’t feel like smiling, that it triggers something in your body and you end up feeling happier anyway. And it’s contagious, so other people will smile too. A simple way to spread a little more happiness.

2. Get outdoors more. I’m a bit of an indoor girl, cosy and warm in front of the telly. But it’s not always so good for the health, mentally and physically. And the chance for Toddler G to burn off some extra energy can’t be a bad thing. Of course living in Wales means this comes with a few weather challenges. But there are plenty of families who are making the most of outdoor time in spite of the weather, so I’ll be looking out for inspiration.

3. Put down the technology. Its ironic I know, as I’m sat here writing this on my iPad, and keeping an eye on my phone for social media. However I know that I spent far too much of the day attached to my phone, just in a general checking things out kind of way. So I’d like to introduce “screen free time” for myself! Schedule posts or tweets etc if I need to, and then catch up later, then put it down again! More quality time with my family.

I think that’s enough to start with for January. Maybe I’ll add things throughout the year. Resolutions shouldn’t be kept to once a year.

Have you made any resolutions for 2016?

Mrs H xxx

Nom Nom Pouches – Improved!

   

Still the cutest design out there
  
 

I reviewed the Nom Nom pouches a little while ago, complete with a fruit smoothie recipe.

Recently the lovely people at Nom Nom got in touch again, to let me know that they’ve tweaked their (already fab pouches) to improve them even more! The seal was already pretty strong (I had it toddler tested and it passed with flying colours) but now it has a double seal to make it even safer for toddler use or chuck in a change bag and forget about…not that I’ve ever done that…obviously.

Now these pouches are clearly a fantastic accessory if weaning with purees is your thing. It was our thing, and I’m gutted that we never found these pouches until it was too late for G. That does not mean, however, that these pouches are restricted to just weaning! Oh no my friends it certainly doesn’t! It doesn’t even stop at toddler snacks, although it is perfect for smoothies and yogurts.

I’ve been on a little mission to see how I can include the pouches into our lives a little more, making breakfast, lunch, tea or snacks a little easier.
 
 

Breakfast with no spills!
 

Breakfast: I’ll admit, mornings aren’t my strong point! So I like breakfasts to be quick and easy. Toast is a favourite, I also try to have a stash of French toast, pancakes or waffles in the freezer ready to pop in the toaster and have ready in a few minutes. But I do want to vary it a bit, and porridge is a great choice. Healthy and filling, you can change it up with loads of fruits and flavourings.

Lately though all of G’s food needs to be finger food or he’s not interested. Porridge is definitely not a finger food. Until now…sort of…putting it in a pouch is working wonders! You do have to make sure it’s thinned out a little and quite smooth but that’s easy enough, we usually use ready oats anyway which are quite smooth (and quicker than normal oats!)

Another bonus of porridge in a pouch is that any early mornings where you need to be out the door quickly breakfast is portable. No more battling to get him to finish faster (and not choke!) he can take the pouch with him and take as long as he wants to…like he normally does.
 
 

Taking them to work
 

Lunch: there are a ton of choices for lunch and tea that can be put straight into a pouch such a soups and stews. But this is a slightly different idea. Not so much eaten straight from the pouch, but a great idea for a packed lunch or picnic. Not just for the kids either! 

Flavoured hummus is a great as a main feature with veg crudités or pita breads. For adults it’s great as an alternative to a salad dressing. I’d be happy to take a pouch to work; it would certainly cheer up lunch hour!
 
 

Tea at the grandparents…have pouch, will travel!
 

Dinner: the pouches are perfect for pasta sauce, and pasta sauce is perfect for hiding a ton of extra goodness and veggies into! Make a big batch and freeze portions ready for a quick and easy (but nutritious) meal. If you have an evening outing that you can plan for, boil and cool some pasta shapes that you can pack up and take along with a pouch. Both can be warmed through whenever needed. 

If taking a seperate pot of pre cooked pasta isn’t convenient, add little pasta stars to the sauce for a complete meal in the pouch. They’re small enough to pass through the spout easily and bulk up a meal. G has even been happy to eat this cold. Pasta salad in a pouch!?
 
These pouches have survived picnics, trips at the bottom of the changing bag, toddler excited squeezing, many stays in the freezer, and they’re all still here to tell the tale!

The large side opening means that not only are they incredibly easy to fill (no need for funnels) but it also means they are easy to wash. Even easier when you bung them in the dishwasher! I know that I’ve mentioned before my detest for washing up, so this makes them a dream.
 

Do your toddlers have a favourite on the go snacks or meals? How do you keep up with busy toddler schedules?
 

Mrs H xxx
 

*Disclaimer: I was sent a pack of the newly improved Nom Nom Pouches to test, all views and opinions are my own.

Autumn Fun at St Fagans

 
  

 
Autumn has well and truly arrived. I don’t mind the cold so much, but I’d rather it wouldn’t rain (wouldn’t we all!?) because then it means we get to enjoy lovely days out like this!
If you grew up in South Wales I can guarantee you’ve been to St Fagan’s Welsh History Museum at least three times, but even as grownups myself and Mr H love it there!
It’s a fab day out for all the family and is free too! You have to pay £3 for parking, but that’s all day, and then that’s it, no entry fees.

  
For those who don’t know, or have never visited, the museum has many examples of life in Wales. From the Celtic village, to the majestic castle, right through the farm houses and 60’s pre fab home, they are set up exactly how life was during that era. My personal favourite is the row of terraced houses, complete with gardens. I’d love to go back to the 40’s/50’s and have veg growing in the garden, making bread everyday and generally being a traditional housewife, not for everyone I know! I’d love a 50’s dress, hair style too, but I’d have to sneak a pair of converse back in time with me.

  
Sticking with the retro theme, my second favourite places to visit are the Bake house and shop and the Gwalia stores. All conveniently located in the same “village” area. I love imagining life in a village like that, visiting the post office and making small talk with all the shop keepers! You can shop ‘for real’ in the Bake house and Gwalia stores. I could easily kit out my kitchen with the retro tins and bake ware from the shop. And no visit is complete without a loaf of bread and a sugar mouse to take home!

   
 G is at a great age to start enjoying places like this. Appropriately attired in his wellies he threw himself into the proper autumn activity that is leaf diving! He had an absolutely fab time running through them, throwing them and crunching them. It completely cemented for me that we can enjoy some outdoor fun whatever time of year it is. Next step is to buy G a decent waterproof suit, and me some wellies and we’ll be good for the rest of Autumn and Winter!

   
    
   
I was slow collecting some dry leaves for Autumn crafts; we were too busy jumping through them. By the time I thought of it, it had (has) been raining for days. Unless someone has a good craft that requires leaf mush, I’m out of ideas!

Where are your favourite places to visit locally? Do you get to enjoy the outdoors in Autumn?

Mrs H xxx

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 16th-22nd November 2015

 
 
What can’t you smell, see or taste but is highly dangerous!? Carbon monoxide can kill swiftly without any warning and around 40 people every year die from poisoning caused by faulty, poorly maintained or poorly insulated gas appliances and chimneys. Serious damage can be done to your health even if levels aren’t high enough to kill. More than 200 people every year are admitted to hospital with suspected poisoning. Prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide can cause brain damage or even paralysis.

The 16th-22nd November is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week and we’re hoping that by increasing public knowledge and understanding of this deadly gas, we can all start to take better precautions to help reduce the risk of suffering at its silent hands.

Any appliance that can burn fossil fuels, including oil, wood, coal, gas, please make sure it is maintained and serviced regularly. If you have a chimney please make sure it is well swept.

Other signs to look out for: pilot lights that regularly blow out, soot or yellow/brown staining around or on appliances, increased condensation inside windows.

Carbon monoxide detectors can be bought easily and are not very expensive. Small children and the elderly are the most at risk, but it can affect everyone. They really should be as important in every household as a smoke detector. In fact id go as far as to say they slightly more important, because carbon monoxide has no tell tale signs such as a smell, or visual signs.

CORGI HomePlan is campaigning for every home to have a carbon monoxide detector to help keep their family safe. Please visit the CORGI HomePlan blog to find out more about Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, signs and symptoms and prevention and safety tips. There’s also a chance to win your own carbon monoxide detector.

 
Do you already have a detector? Will you be getting one?
 

Mrs H xxx

 
*Disclaimer – I may be sent a detector for participating in Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week. Content is my own.