A great, easy to use, leak proof cup

Munchkin Click Lock Flip Straw Cup

munchkin_click_lock_flip_straw_cups_9oz_-_2_pack_orange_pink_2When I won a straw cup on a competition on Facebook hosted by Munchkin I was a bit apprehensive as M is a bit fussy when it comes to what she uses to drink out of. I was right to be a bit worried as she did not take to this at first.

One of the problems with this was that when she did try it (something that she wouldn’t normally do) she couldn’t get water up the straw. I tried and I also couldn’t get anything out either. After a bit of jiggery pokery I eventually got water out, with ease, but sadly for M she had decided that she didn’t want it any more.

I tried again a few days later but she was having none of it so I left it for a few months before trying again earlier this week and this time she took it instantly!

Although at home M will drink from a cup without a straw or spout I like to have a straw cup when out and about so that I know I have water with me and it can be produced wherever and whenever. It is something that we will use for as long as it lasts.

Munchkin advertise the cup as being:

A leak-proof cup with a straw that tucks away to stay clean throughout the day

This is true and something that draws me to the cup. It even comes with a 100% leak proof guarantee so they definitely believe in their product.

IMG_3455What I love about this is that when you put the top on after filling it up you hear it click and know that it is on right. It is so simple. Yes I know putting a lid on a bottle is not hard but this really is great. You can’t put it on wrong, which I have done before with another bottle and found the change bag to be full of water.

I love the bright colours of this bottle, with the striking yellow top contrasting the pink of the bottle. It also have a narrow “waist” that means the smallest of hands can hold it.

I am also a fan of the flip straw which means the straw stays clean when you it into your bag. Again this is something that our other bottle doesn’t feature and we often have fluff stuck to the straw.

We won this in a competition but were not required to write or give a review on the item. I chose to review this as I like it so much.

Weekend Book Club

Share your book loves (and hates) in the Weekend Book Club

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It is another week, which signals the start of another #weekendbookclub which is hosted by myself as well as Suz over at Beauisblue and Sarah over at Letthembesmall.

The reason for the Weekend Book Club is so that you can let us know what you have been reading, or what your children has been reading. Do you have a book you love? Loathe? Think was okay? Then share your reviews with us here.

You may be looking for ideas on what to read yourself or what to get your child so all book reviews and book related posts are encouraged.

Since I started this linky I have come across so many book ideas for M or I to read and I can’t wait to find more and more books to add to our “to-read” list.

So welcome to the Weekend Book Club. Join in sharing what you have been reading with us each Saturday to Monday.

If you share your links on Twitter use #weekendbookclub or tweet @trainingmummy, @beauisblue or @MsSBurns and we will do our best to retweet your posts.

Rules:

  • You can share as many links as you want, old or new.
  • Books can be for anyone from babies to pensioners.
  • Grab the badge below and post it on your posts.
  • Comment on at least two other posts.
  • A linky isn’t a linky unless you visit other people’s links, please do.

The linky will open each Saturday and will close on a Monday.

weekendbookclub
Weekend Book Club

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Slow cooking – a handy guide

You don’t need new recipes to slow cook food

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One of the things I have found to be the most helpful in the kitchen since having M is the Slow Cooker. I love it. We get tasty, healthy meals that are ready for when we need them using little to no effort.

I have recommended many a parent to use a slow cooker and I would say that of those who have bought one there has been nothing but joy.

One thing that people do seems to ask for a lot is slow cooker recipes but there really is no need to get fancy slow cooker recipes. You can cook anything you would in a pan in a slow cooker without special cook books.

How much liquid to add?

One thing to remember is that when cooking on a slow cooker liquid does not boil away so you may end up with more liquid in a meal than you would if you cooked on the hob.

If you use a recipe for hob cooking you will need to add less. Some people say to add about half the liquid from the recipe. I sometimes take the lid off half an hour before dishing, turn to HIGH and let it steam a bit to get rid of liquid of I have too much.

How long to cook in a slow cooker?

If you have a recipe that says to cook for 15-30 minutes on a hob put this in a slow cooker for 4-6 hours on LOW or 1.5-2 hours on HIGH

If you recipes is to cook for 35-45 minutes on the hob cook for 6 to 10 hours on LOW or 3-4 hours on HIGH.

For 50 minutes to 3 hour recipes put on for 8-10 hours on LOW or 4-6 hours on HIGH.

I would recommend that if you are cooking on LOW that you give all uncooked meat around 8 hours to cook, more if possible.

Can you cook frozen meat in a slow cooker?

This depends on your machine but generally you can. Always check the manual that comes with your machine. If it says not to cook frozen meat then don’t but our machine allows it.

I have a crockpot which takes in the book that frozen vegetables and prawns can be used as part of the recipe with no special procedures.

If you want to use frozen meat it is stated that you must first add 250ml of warm liquid to the pot before adding the frozen meat. This is to act as a cushion to prevent sudden changes in temperature. You then add 4 hours to LOW instructions and 2 to HIGH.

This is great as the best thing about slow cooking is you can buy the big bags of frozen meat from the supermarket and just keep in the freezer and cook when needed. I used to think you had to thaw and would normally forget to take out the meat and hence have to rethink my meal ideas, now I can get a great meal with meat by putting the frozen meat to the pot.

Do you have to prep food before adding to the slow cooker?

With meat I never bother browning it first. You can but it is not necessary. If you want to brown to remove some of the fat then go ahead but we never bother. We do trim fat off cuts of meat when there is lots but normally it just gets thrown in.

Vegetables do not need any special prep but they do take a little longer than meat to cook so you can either cut them thinner than usual or put near the edges if you want to cut down on cooking time. I just bung them in cut in cubes and put them on in the morning and have them at night.

Rice can be added to the pot and cooked with the meal. It saves you cooking it nearer serving but make sure you add a cup of water for each cup of rice that you add.

For Pasta it is best to pre-cook the pasta first until they are just slightly done.

Recipes

You may have a favourite recipe that you love to make in the slow cooker. Why not add a link to the recipe in the comments.

Why not try this baby friendly slow cooked Nando Tuna Tagliatelli recipe.

 

Thank You – A first book of manners

thankyou2As M gets older and her vocabulary builds I am keen to teach her some basic manners, so when I got the opportunity to review the book Thank You – A first book of manners, part of the My Little World series published by Little Tiger Kids, I jumped at the chance.

Thank you is Illustrated by Fhiona Galloway and written by Patricia Hegarty is aimed at children aged from 0-3 years and at one year old M loved it.

The book features a puppy finger puppet that teaches your child the importance of good manners, in this case saying thank you to his friends for making his birthday special.

The finger puppet really kept M’s attention which is something that M needs when she is having a book read to her as she is always too keen to turn the pages before the story has been read.

thankyou4She took to the puppy instantly and actually kept going down give it kisses and cuddles. There may have been a good few squeals of excitement whenever i wiggled my finger and the puppy moved.

After reading the book I left her to play with it and it went everywhere with her. Getting kissed and cuddles and, it could be coincidence, but she has started saying ta so much more than she used to.

We like to have books lying about the house a lot so M can play with them and get interested with what they are and Thank You has currently become her go to book which I think is mainly down to the finger puppet. It is one she will happily sit and have read which is a rarity as she normally wants to be the one who “reads” the book to you.

thankyou3I can’t wait to get the book Please which also features a finger puppet as she enjoys reading this book so much.

Thank you is released on April 6, 2015 for the RRP of £6.99 along with three other titles (Please, Animal Jigsaw and Sticker Book for 3-5 years olds RRP £8.99, Farm Jigsaw and Sticker Book for 3-5 year olds RRP £8.99).



I was sent Thank You free of charge but all opinions are mine and mine alone.

 

Weekend Book Club

 

Loving getting time off but never take it!

 

How do I enjoy time by myself?

IMG_3089As a stay at home mum I am with M all day everyday so I get excited about the days that my hubby has off from work so that I can get a rest for a while.

It is so exciting to think about having “me” time but when they day comes I just can’t seem to let go and relax. Yes I will maybe have 10 more minutes in bed whilst M gets her breakfast and nappy changed but in that 10 minutes I am itching to get down and enjoy time with M.

Since having M I have barely had any times away from M. I spent one day when I went to the Commonwealth Games, an afternoon and early evening when we celebrated our first wedding anniversary and maybe three times I have popped to the shop with hubby without M.

Yesterday M’s grandpa was down to visit and M was getting tired so he said he would take her for a walk to get her to sleep and me and hubby stayed at home. I think this is the very first time I have ever been in the house without M since she was born and I will confess I did not like it!

What worries me about this situation is that when I first found out I was pregnant I cried, not with joy though obviously I was joyed, but because I dread leaving M at home when I go to the hospital to have Button. What if I have to stay in hospital for four days with Button like I did with M? The idea of being away from her makes me so upset. I will confess there have been tears on a number of occasions because of this and I have been finding it hard to sleep because I dread this.

Even next week we are going to Glasgow to see Mrs Brown’s Boys Live and although I am dead excited about seeing this I am also sad that we will be leaving M at home and not taking her with us. I know she will have a fab afternoon and evening with her Nan but I just know I will spend much of the afternoon and night missing her.

Before having M I was perfectly happy in my own company, in fact I loved it, now I feel like i have lost a limb if I have not got my side kick with me. I need to learn to be happy when M is away from me as well as when she is with me otherwise I will be enrolling myself into primary one when she starts in 3.5 years.

 

Pretend play

Using her imagination to pretend play

M got a market stall for her  birthday from family members and I thought it would be a while until she worked out what to do with it but she instantly got the idea that the wooden vegetables that she sells in the stall are for eating.

Now she will give you a vegetable, take it back and then pretend to eat it with added sound effects for how delicious they are.  It is just so darn cute!

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She will also pretend to drink from her tea cups and cake set, as well as eating the cakes! It was actually watching her pretend to drink from the cup from her tea set that made me think about giving her water in a beaker rather than her straw cup at meals times and it was an instant hit.

She loves to use our mobile phones to “talk” to daddy. This is something she has done for a while and also whenever a text comes in she always tells me it is daddy.

She is turning into a little toddler so quickly and this just makes me so excited about the future and what games we will end up playing and what pretend roles I will be roped into playing. It also makes excited about getting to buy dress up costumes so she can pretend to be that person or character.

She is developing into such a wonderful human being and I can just hope that baby two turns into half the person M is.

It makes me curious about how baby two will develop. With he/she roll, bum shuffle or crawl? Will he/she walk early or late, talk lots of little (could I cope with two loud little chatter boxes lol – of course I could), will they be smiley or serious? I can’t wait to see them develop their own individual character and learn about their likes and dislikes.

Carrying into the future with two under two

Two under two – how will I transport them?

beach2I am a parent who loves her pram but who also loves baby-wearing. I love cloth nappies but also use disposables.

For me there is no wrong or right but as I think ahead towards baby number 2 I think babywearing and cloth nappies, both things I got into once M was a few months old, are two things that will be one even more prevalent in our lives.

I will admit that the shallow part of me loves both baby wearing and cloth largely because of the designs of the items (much like why we buy most things). Now I can totally see the benefits of both beyond the beauty of it all.

With cloth it is obvious. It has saved us a fortune and will continue to save us more and more money the longer we use them.

As for baby wearing, beyond the bonding benefits, it will allow me to do so much more than I could of I didn’t wear one child. Our local supermarkets, LIDL and TESCO, have trollies that only have one seat! This would mean that if I had both children with me Id have to have M walking round with me. She will only be 19 months and tbh for my sanity and that of the other shoppers having her in the trolly rather than running amok makes far more sense. Of hubby was with me it would be fine as we could take buggy for one but not the other. I do tend to nip to the shop when hubby is not here and so is need this.

Also I’ve looked at double pram options. We have a phil and teds that we will probably get a second seat for big I love my Cosatto Giggle which can’t be converted into a double. If we carried this wouldn’t be a problem but if we never we would have to reconsider the pram which is a waste. I had looked at buggy boards but they ruin warrenty and by the sounds of it make it harder to push. Also I’m not sure just how long M would want to stand on a board for before her legs tired of that too. I have also read that the vibrations on the board can make a poor toots legs a it shaky.

I also can’t afford to buy another pram, one I can use with a new born and a toddler. I am not working so we just can not justify a huge purchase like this, as much as I may want to buy one. I do worry that I miss the long walks that I had with M, will I be able to go as far or for as long when I am carrying M?

So I have decided that I will be carrying M a lot more when we have baby number two. It would make sense to carry the little one but I found M was a great sleeper and that she loved sleeping in her cot in the pram. I also love the idea of walking for miles with the baby in the cot whilst chatting to M who will run or be carried. Of course I will carry the littlest one too and let M have a shot in the pram. On the days that hubby is off we will go out with both prams and go for long walks that way.

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I am excited about having two but I had not realised that having two under two would be so complex, especially when I go to the supermarket – please TESCO sort this out!