Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Do Children Benefit From Pets?

Every child dreams of their perfect pet, a dog or a cat are normally one of the ones that they ask for. I always wanted a dog the cats, rabbits and hamsters just weren't good enough for me. Jared always asks for a pony, something I would love to get for him but I just can't afford the up keep. I think that having a pet is a great benefit for children and an even greater benefit if it is an animal of their choice.

Educational Benefit's
Animals are a great way for children to learn, after all one of the first things we teach our children is animal noises! There have been various studies involving children and dogs, one of the studies had shown that children had lower stress levels when around the dog rather than the adults. I know that Jared would rather read a story to the dog then to anyone else. A wide range of animals are also used to aid teaching children with learning difficulties, near to where I live there is a farm where you can visit and they have many helpers who have a disability. Every time we have been the helpers have been very hands on with the animals and they love to tell you all about the animals.

Any pet comes with responsibility from cleaning the cage to feeding the fish there is always something. When I used to ask for pets I was always told that I would be responsible for either the feeding or cleaning it depended on what I was getting. I think having a pet is a great way to get children of all ages to have some responsibility, in our home Jared is responsible for feeding Rosie (our dog) I fill the cup up and he puts it in her bowl and checks to make sure she has enough water. Soon we are getting fish which he will also be in charge of feeding.

Health Benefits
There are so many ways a pet can improve anyone's health. If you have a pet that needs walking or riding then the obvious benefit is that your child will be getting more exercise. In the eyes of my son taking the dog for a walk is seen as exciting because she runs about and plays with him, if I just said shall we go for a walk there would be a grumble or two. Other health benefits include calming anxiety, stress and even lowering the chances of developing certain allergies. Some studies have even suggested that babies and young children who live in a home with cats and dogs could have a lower chance of having asthma.

Although this could fall into the same category as educational I felt it needed a section of it's own. As we grow older there is so much that we need to learn and develop, relationships, emotions, social skills etc. The relationship we often tend to build with our pets is friendship, we see them as a friend that we care for and in return they will just listen to us. They can also help with building new friendships, if Jared is playing ball with Rosie we will often get other children wanting to play too. Dogs aren't the only pets to spark a friendship an old neighbour once had a snake and instantly conversation started. When it comes to our emotions if we have a cuddly pet we are more likely to confide in them, I know my dog has licked away many of my tears.

There are so many more benefits but I don't want to ramble on instead have a look at all these super cute children with there pets.

 With thanks to the following for sharing their pictures: Hollie from www.thriftymum.com, Sarah from www.amundanelife.co.uk, Jen Mellor, Jaymee Heaton, Kate from www.modernmum.net, Jessica Harvey, Emma Jane, Jamie Speed, Sam from www.myminimonkeys.blog, Jo Dunlop.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Weekly Meal Plan: 27/03/2017

The past week has been a busy one, I'm sure each week is getting busier. The meal plan went to plan last week which is great!! Eryn is really enjoying the food too (if it blends she eats it). This morning I had a Doctors appointment and it was great results looks like I have another medical issue to add to the list, meaning joining a Gym and getting as fit as possible is now top priority. So what are we eating this week:

Monday: Slow cooked beef with mash, carrots and peas.
Tuesday: Feta cheese pasta with jerk chicken.
Wednesday: Meatballs in a homemade sauce with spaghetti.
Thursday: Healthy fry up (yes it is possible).
Friday: Turkey skewers with homemade chips.
Saturday: Chilli with rice.
Sunday: Beef and bean hotpot.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Weekly Meal Plan: 20/03/2017

So I missed last weeks meal plan due to Eryn-Rose having really bad chicken pox, we were referred to hospital. Thankfully all was well and she is now fine and chicken pox free! Last week was a nightmare food wise anyway as I couldn't go shopping I couldn't do a lot if I'm honest, however I still managed a loss at Slimming World (I've no idea how). This week I plan to get back on Slimming World and eat myself slim so here is what we are eating this week.

Monday: Meatballs with spaghetti 
Tuesday: Steak with chips, corn on the cob and homemade coleslaw
Wednesday: Curry with rice
Thursday: Jacket Potato
Friday: BBQ chicken wings with egg fried rice
Saturday: Chicken Kievs with pasta 
Sunday: Roast dinner

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Temple Spa My Beginning

I have recently stepped (big step) out of my comfort zone and joined Temple Spa as a consultant. I'm not one of those people who would normally do anything like this but a lot has changed for me recently, I want more time with my children and I want the anxiety of going to work to leave me alone. Now I know this will not be easy and my aim is to continue working my full time job and slowly reduce my hours as my Temple Spa journey grows. 

The first time I had ever heard of Temple Spa was when I went to my first ever class, I had a browse online before I went. At the class we got to try the luxury products and have a really lovely night pampering ourselves. I can't afford to go for facials but I did worry about my skin ending up looking crap in the years to come, with two kids I'm always last on the list when it comes to caring. That night was the night I fell in love with a few products and the idea of being able to give myself something lovely and relaxing and not break my bank. The consultant asked if anyone would be interested in joining Temple Spa as a consultant, of course I was interested. I wanted to give people the knowledge of Temple Spa and there products and love them, I know what you are thinking all I want to do is sell it. No! I want people to try it experience it and love the products then buy them because they want them not because they feel they have to. 

If you have never heard of Temple Spa then in brief they are a British company formed by a married couple, Mark and Liz. They had both worked in the skincare industry for 35 years with brands like Virgin Vie and Body Shop Colourings. They had been renewing their vows in the Mediterranean and noticed that the Mediterranean people had really good skin, when they arrived back home they worked with a team of dermatologists to find out how their skin was so good. Long story short they found that the diet of the Mediterranean people contained so much fresh fruit and veg and they found a way to bottle that up and deliver it to you in beautifully smelling skin care products. 
Your body is a living temple. 
Honour it, enjoy your life, and live it to the full. 

Healthy Glow & Velvelutto part of the Red Carpet Collection
Aside from the actual products another thing I love about Temple Spa is that it is Cruelty Free which is a huge plus. There is a product suitable for everyone and many are vegan friendly so I have been telling my vegan friends about this. If you live in the Yorkshire area then I'd be happy to come and teach you and a group of friends a class, if you live further away I can send a sample out to you do an online consultation and recommend the best products for your skin or I can get in touch with your local consultant for you to book your class in with them. You can visit my Temple Spa Facebook Page which I update with product information and exclusive offers which are not on the generic website, or you can visit my Temple Spa website and place an order through there. 

Friday, 10 March 2017

George The Orphan Crow and the Creature's Of Blossom Valley

After his parents are killed, George, the Orphan Crow, starts a new life among the lively creatures of Blossom Valley and the enchanting butterflies that live there. But all is not as it seems...
an evil ladybird, envious of the butterflies beauty lures them to a remote place with a wicked plan in mind. George becomes suspicious and flies out looking for them. But is he too late? Has the wicked ladybird already put her plan into action? This Original, intriguing story is mainly told by the colourful characters that make up the community and will fascinate readers of all ages. 

Author: Helen Fox
Audience: ages 9+

The start of this story begins with George losing his mum and dad. The way his parents die fits well with the setting of the story which I feel gives a connection. When I'm reading I always like to feel some connection of truth or feeling of yeah that could happen. As with all woodland based stories there is an owl who is always there to help (will there ever be a villain owl) and he tells George of Blossom Valley. George arrives at Blossom Valley and everything is amazing but then there is this ladybird who is the bad guy. When I write these reviews I never like to say to much about the story as what is the point of me telling you about it if you want to read it? 

The story is short and I finished it in two days, I would have finished it in one but I have kids and barely any spare time so this was a reading in bed mission for me. I feel this could of been two stories if I'm honest, the story of George becoming an Orphan and then the story of George going to Blossom Valley. I found because George became an Orphan so quickly and I hadn't read about his life with his family that it didn't feel like he was an Orphan (I hope that make's sense to you). I wanted to know about his life with his mum and dad and have some kind of emotional connection with him. The story of Blossom Valley I though was good.

My sister also read this she is 11 and here is what she had to say about it. I wouldn't of picked this book up because the front cover looked to adult and like something I wouldn't like. I think it would of been nice to have a drawn cover (she did draw one but I can't share that because it was rubbish). I did like the book but some of the names I didn't know how to pronounce so I just gave them different names, George was easy though. I liked how I could picture what everything looked liked and I wish that I could visit Blossom Valley because I think it would be a nice place to go. I liked how all the animals and insects were sort of a family.  

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Oh My Blog March

Oh My Blog is a monthly interview series, where fellow bloggers come together to answer a series of questions on a specific theme. This is a chance to get acquainted with a whole range of bloggers, some of whom you may not have heard of before, and learn a little more about them! You can read lasts month's here which featured the lovely Jade from mummies waiting. 

This month the theme is mum's (Mother's Day is coming 26th March) and we're hosting Gem from Life is Knutts.

1. Introduce us to your mum. What’s her name? What does she do? Reveal her age if you dare!
My mum is a Supermum. I would literally be lost without her. Her name is Janet and she is (shhhh) 60. Age is but a number.

2. What’s the one thing your mum always used to say to you?
“Three. More. Mouthfuls”.
Urgh, I hated eating as a kid and I can vividly recall my mum saying this to me almost every mealtime. Now I am a parent, I can completely understand how annoying it is when one of your kids won’t eat so I sympathise with her completely. That said, at the time I just wanted to launch my plate at the wall...

3. Someone’s playing your mum in a film. Who is it and why?
Julie Walters. I love Julie Walters anyway but my cousin is also adamant my mum looks like her so it would have to be lovely Jules.

4. She’s won the lottery. What’s the first thing your mum buys for herself?
Goodness me. That is a tough one. I would say a holiday. Life is all about experiences, not things, so I am pretty sure she would get on the computer and book herself a nice holiday somewhere like the Maldives.

5. What embarrassing story about you does she always tell when you meet new people?
She doesn’t do that to me, thank goodness! Honestly, she is an utter legend my mum and hasn’t ever said anything to make me feel awkward in front of people. I told you she is ace...

6. What are your plans for Mother’s Day this year?
Probably a family dinner where my husband cooks and me and mum clean it all up. Standard. We might manage a walk somewhere if the weather is ok.

7. What’s her favourite TV show at the moment?
Call the Midwife. She really loves it.

8. What’s the biggest or most important thing that your mum inspired you to do?
Be kind, thoughtful and work hard. My mum genuinely is a lovely person, and I like to think that some of her personality has rubbed off on me. She is such a
wonderful mum and Nanny to my kids - if I can end up being half as wonderful as she is I’ll be very happy.

9. Your round at the bar! What’s your mum drinking?
Mum has a newfound love for cocktails. She would probably be sipping on a Pornstar Martini (passionfruit and vodka...yummers!) given half the chance. Failing that Prosecco or Champagne, but nothing too dry.

10. What’s the biggest different between you and your mum?
Hmmm. I’m not sure! We are really alike in a lot of ways. I would say I am more creative than mum in that I like playing instruments, crafting, baking. Mum seems to think she isn’t creative but I beg to differ.

11. Most important question of the lot. What is your mum’s stance on 50 Shades of Grey? Does she love it? Hate it? Not even know what it is?
Hahahaha!!! She knows what it is, but I am 99% sure she hasn’t read it or watched it. She isn’t a prude but isn’t really into books and films like that. I think they’re a bit crap too as it goes (sorry 50 Shades lovers!)

12. What’s your favourite memory of your mum?
Seeing her face when she met her first Grandchild. I have loads of lovely memories of my mum but I can vividly recall her holding Luke for the first time and seeing the emotion on her face. It’s so lovely and something I will never forget.

13. What do you think your mum was like as a kid?
Quiet. Shy. Nervous. My mum had a very tough start in life and was estranged from her parents from a young age. They weren’t very nice people sadly and she deserved a hell of a lot better. Thankfully she has an amazing Auntie and Uncle who treated her like their own and she met my Dad when she was 16 and he then looked after her. She has done incredibly well despite an awful start in life and I am very proud of her.

14. Cast your mind back a bit; what was the thing you did as a child or teenager that made your mum the angriest she has ever been with you?
I recall trying to get a fountain pen to work in my newly decorated bedroom by shaking it...with the lid off. Needless to say the ink had, unbeknownst to me, splattered all over my new wallpaper and curtains. She was really not impressed but knew my Dad would be even madder so allowed me to stick some posters on the wall. I am pretty sure he doesn’t know about that until this day. Let’s hope he doesn’t read this eh?! Hahahaha!!

15. Finally, what’s the BEST piece of advice your mum ever gave to you?
Have a go. She has always encouraged me to try things, never said no to me attempting something new and has always been supportive. What more could you ask for?! I am truly a very lucky girl to have a mum like Janet. Love you lots like Jelly Tots Mum.xxx

If you enjoyed getting to know Gem and her Mum, you should definitely head over to her blog and social media to find out even more!

Blog: http://lifeisknutts.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/lifeisknutts
Facebook: www.facebook.com/lifeisknutts
Instagram: www.instagram.com/lifeisknutts
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/lifeisknutts
Youtube: www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fwnFZdEesP-fg3VbTNiWg
Oh My Blog!

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Nutribullet Baby Food Processor

Babies are so expensive! You spend money on nice clothes for them and they either drop food down the front (because even a bib doesn't catch it all) which leaves a stain or just when you think all is fine they decide to be sick. I've found that a lot of baby food that you purchase in jars stain, in fact I'm half tempted to dye clothes with it as they change colour that well.

One way that I can keep from the bright orange foods is to make them myself. I toyed with the idea and looked for all sorts of blenders then looked at storage pots that needed to be freezable. I nearly gave up and just stuck with jar foods and stain removers (which don't always work) then we were sent the Nutribullet baby food processor. I must admit I never knew this existed and I googled baby food processors for hours. 

When the processor arrived I was like a child on Christmas Day I wanted to just start blending everything and anything. I managed to control my urge and thought it would be best to look at the manual first then have a look through the recipe book that comes with it. As Eryn-Rose had already started eating jar foods I knew that she liked strong flavoured foods and opted to make her cauliflower cheese, I placed one portion into one the super cute jars and then placed some in the freezing storage tray. I now wanted to blend more. I dashed out to the shops and bought some fruit, after all she needed a pudding. We chose something simple strawberries and banana again I placed one portion into a jar and the rest into the freezable tray. 

On the happy little jars there is a dial where you can put the date that you have made up that batch or defrosted, which is really handy because I can never remember and end up wasting loads of food. The tray where you place your food that you want to store is also great, there are two that come with it both have lids which is brilliant if you batch make your food. When using the food processor I would advise that you cook all your food thoroughly, make sure veg are soft as it is easier to blend I find with some foods it's best to add a bit of liquid. For example I made Eryn-Rose potatoes, vegetable's and a Yorkshire pudding and added a bit of gravy not just for taste but to help with blending. With fruit it is a bit different as they are soft and have their own juices to help them whizz round. Eryn-Rose is still on smooth puree's and this processor creates puree's as smooth as silk, there is a pulsing setting that can create textured foods. I have tried this out and I think it is going to take some time to master but I will get there. Another really good point that I would like to mention is that I've found it great for when we are going out for the day, most of the baby food jars are glass and I always fear that it will smash so we take extra in an extra bag (I'm a cautious person). With this I pop the lightweight happy jars into her changing bag and pack a spoon, when it comes to heating her food whilst out I try and avoid microwaves and use hot water and a cup/jug. 

I really love that I'm making Eryn-Rose's food, I feel happy knowing that she is enjoying food that I know is free from lots of added extras. I've found it easier to find out what foods she enjoys and also cheaper to keep her belly full. As she grows I will make her smoothies (something her brother currently wants). I would love it if you could share with me some of your babies fav foods. 

Monday, 6 March 2017

Weekly Meal Plan: 06/03/2017

Is it just me that thinks the months are flying by?
This month I have been a bit lazy with my blog and haven't got as many posts up as I had planned. To be honest I've been having a bit of a crappy time lately. The car has decided it wants to have an oil leak again and stop the back window wiper from working. Our washing machine broke on us, I had a disagreement with my manager and we are having on going problems with our ex landlord. Plus both kids were ill last week. I have a few posts planned for this month, two reviews an update on Eryn-Rose plus a Oh My Blog post you can read last months here.

Monday: Grilled chicken with slimming world chips, salad and corn on the cob. 
Tuesday: Gammon with new potatoes
Wednesday: Beef stew
Thursday: Burrito's 
Friday: Turkey skewers with chips and salad
Saturday: Pasta bake
Sunday: Roast beef with everything. 

What are you eating this week? leave me a comment or link below.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Chicken Pox

Chicken pox seems to be everywhere at the minute. A friend's baby has had chicken pox then one of her twins now the other twin has caught them and suspected so has her four year old who is in the same class as Jared. We had a letter just before half term telling us chicken pox was doing the rounds now I might sound like an awful mother but I was glad it was going around. The sooner they get it the sooner it is done with, Jared has them just waiting for Eryn to get them. On facebook I have seen friends up and down the country also battling with the chicken pox. So I thought I would write a little post about what to look out for, what to expect and a few do's and don'ts.

What To Look Out For
Chickenpox has an incubation period which can last up to three weeks. Aside from the obvious sign which is the spots (see picture above). There are a few other symptoms 
  • A temperature of 38C of higher
  • Feeling sick 
  • Headache and Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
Many of these symptoms are symptoms common with many other illnesses. When it comes to older children and adults these symptoms can be a lot worse than for younger children. 

What To Expect
The spots will come and when they do they might be itchy and or sore. It's best to not scratch them as hard as that may be (I guess you could strap oven mitts to your kids hands). To ease with the itching you can bathe in lukewarm water, wear light and loose clothing we are rocking Pj's and onesies. There are various creams you can use to soothe the itching and I would suggest speaking to your pharmacist to make sure you get something that is suitable for you or your child. If your child is suffering with a headache and ache's and pains then it is safe for them to have paracetamol but again I would advise you speaking to a pharmacist first. Doctor's can give antiviral medication's for newborn's, pregnant women and those who have a weak immune system. 

Do's And Don'ts
Do make sure you keep them hydrated, they may also get the spots in their mouth which can become painful and uncomfortable so the cold drink may soothe this, you could also give them ice lollies (I'm sure there won't be many objections to that). 

Do keep your child off from Nursery or School. Each nursery and school will have a time scale for how long they should stay off school, Jared's school is 5 days after they rash has come out. 

A Bit Of Do And Don't A lot of people battle with the do I go to the shops do I stay at home. I personally wouldn't see it as a problem after all you have to eat right? I wouldn't take them to soft play and parks though which I think is pretty much common sense but I have seen people who have. 

Don't and please I mean don't give your child any aspirin based medicine.

Do try and get some fresh air.

I think most of the don'ts are pretty much common sense. I think it's best to keep your child at home with lots of movie's and plenty of good healthy food and drinks.