Project 365 – Week 38 (days 257 – 263)

Day 257 / September 14th
N enjoying his breakfast – mini shredded wheats!

Day 258 / September 15th
Another new Christmas decoration! This time from one of my clever crafty friends, Mama Tigerlily.

Day 259 / September 16th
I found N’s first curl today! I hope his hair ends up like his brother’s.

Day 260 / September 17th
N’s first time on one of these things. J originally wanted to go on but when it started moving he jumped off! We weren’t wasting it so I told hubby to hold N on there, and he was loving it. Needless to say J had to be back in the action too!

Day 261 / September 18th
Love the outfit J has been wearing today, with his first pair of Converse.

Day 262 / September 19th
My Belvita biscuits for the #MorningWin challenge arrived today so I had to tuck into the chocolate chip one first…

Day 263 / September 20th
I finally collected one of my most recent wins, from another clever crafty friend Under Electric Candlelight. I love it!
TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Recipe – Black forest cupcakes

One of my favourite cakes has to be black forest cake. Chocolaty, creamy, and fruity – is there a much better combination? Using actual cream for these makes a delightful change from using butter cream. And you can’t have a black forest cake without cream, can you? They are absolutely perfect for afternoon tea with friends.

Ingredients (makes 12)

  • 150 g butter
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 120 g self raising flour
  • 30 g cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 300 ml double cream, whipped
  • 12 black cherries
Method
  • Preheat oven to gas 4/350F/180C. Place cupcake cases into a 12 hole muffin tin.
  • Cream together the butter & sugar until light & creamy.
  • Beat in the eggs, adding a little flour each time. Beat in the remaining flour and cocoa powder until mixture is well combined, smooth & creamy.
  • Divide the mixture between the cases.
  • Bake for 15-20 mins, until a skewer or cocktail stick inserted comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Whilst cooling, whip the cream so it’s thick enough to pipe.
  • When cool, pipe a swirl onto each cupcake (I use a Wilton 1M or 2D nozzle).
  • Add a cherry to the top of each cake.
  • (If you wish, you can also add grated chocolate on top).
  • Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 2 days.
  • Enjoy!

Review – Surcare laundry sachets

As a parent to a baby & toddler with sensitive skin, using a non-bio detergent is important to me so as not to irritate their skin any more. I usually switch between brands depending what’s on offer and/or where I shop, though I do have my favourites.

I was recently invited to try one of Surcare‘s laundry products, the Surcare Sensitive capsules. All products are non-bio and sensitive. The capsules I received are:

  • suitable for sensitive skin
  • fragrance free
  • outstanding cleaning performance at 30c
  • non biological
  • dermatologically tested & approved
I decided to try the capsules in a variety of ways to test them to their full potential. As I own a baby who has just started weaning, and a toddler who is still a messy eater, then a detergent that brings clothes up nice & clean is an absolute must. 
Only one capsule is required for most washes, unless you are in a hard water area and have heavy soiling, then the packet suggests to use two capsules.

First, I did a colour 30c wash, with no stain remover or fabric conditioner, and one capsule. J had recently been at a party and spilled squash down a yellow top with white detail (and obviously it had to catch that part!). Surcare did a great job and all clothes came out lovely & clean. The only fragrance I noticed was the usual washing machine smell, so I can say that they definitely are fragrance free. I also tried them on this wash but with fabric conditioner, and with J’s nursery clothes which were dirty. I had the same results but obviously with a fragrance this time.

I also tried the capsules on a white 30c wash, though this time I added some non bio fabric conditioner as I have to admit I do like our clothes to smell nice and feel extra soft (though I noticed Surcare do a fragrance free fabric conditioner too). I usually put a scoop of stain remover in with this wash as with a messy toddler and a baby who poops a lot, I usually need it! This time though, I left it out as I wanted to test the outstanding cleaning performance claim. Most stains did come out, other than one on a vest which had a major poo(nami) stain from N. I had put the vest on a rinse wash too immediately after the incident to get the excess out (as I usually do). The stain didn’t come out completely as it usually does when I add stain remover, though it was only a light stain that was left.

Overall, I am very impressed with these capsules. Although, in future if I had any stained (white) clothes then I would add my usual stain remover just to get that little bit extra out. Also, I tend to do around 3 washes a week meaning these would last me 3 weeks; my usual purchase lasts twice as long , costs around the same and works just as well, so whilst I may purchase it again I don’t think I would do regularly.

Surcare non bio laundry capsules are available to purchase for £3.50 from here.


My rating- 3.5/5


Disclosure
I was sent this product free of charge to review. All thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.


Surcare are currently recruiting people for their testing panel. The panel will be sent products to test & review, as well as giving feedback on new product development. If you would like to be part of the panel, just email surcare@smokinggunpr.co.uk.

We are (baby led) weaning!

It’s come that time again, one of the most fun parts of being a baby – weaning! I mentioned in N’s 6 month update that we had started. I tried him with some food a month or so ago but he wasn’t really interested, so I left a while. When he actually started grabbing for our food, I knew he was completely ready.

I was adamant this time that I was going to be baby led weaning, as with J we went the traditional weaning route before letting him feed himself (maybe that’s why he’s a bit lot fussy nowadays, or maybe it’s just a toddler stage! Nonetheless, this is one of the reasons for BLW this time). N hasn’t had anything fed to him by us yet, other than a yogurt and ice cream on holiday as I didn’t want him getting it all over the boat! But other than that, everything he has had, he has fed to himself.

His grip wasn’t too good to start with, but even in the last week it has really come on and he is even managing to hold slippery pear really well. He’s still working on his pincer grip though. Anything he picks up will go straight to his mouth, no hesitating! He had a lot of gag reflex-ing at first but we seem to have mainly passed that now, and he does a proper chewing motion rather than just sucking.

He hasn’t really disliked anything we have given him so far, nothing gets spat out, but he doesn’t try everything that’s in front of him. Obviously I’m not too worried as he is still having plenty of milk and it’s all about exploration at this stage. With J I hated the mess and would put a bib on and a muslin around him, but with N I don’t bother with either sometimes and just let him get on with it – it’s all part of the fun of BLW after all!

So what has he tried so far?

  • porridge fingers
  • cream cheese on toast/toasted sandwich thins
  • mini shredded wheats soaked in a little milk
  • pear
  • rusk
  • mini bread sticks (he just sucks on this and doesn’t really get much from it!)
  • yoghurt
  • cheese triangles
  • broccoli
  • carrot
  • sweetcorn
  • mini carrot & potato waffles
  • cake (a tiny piece as he was trying to grab it from me!)
  • ice cream!
We’re both really enjoying his journey so far and I’m excited for all of the different flavours he has yet to try – and the messy photos of course!
When did you start weaning? Did you go the traditional route or BLW route? What is your baby’s favourite food?

Family Friday

Weight loss – week 5

After a major gain last week, I have to be honest, it didn’t really give me a kick up the bum. I hadn’t done a meal plan so that didn’t help, but I don’t think I even logged into MFP last week either. Nevertheless, I tried my hardest not to eat rubbish and I managed quite well. Now we have our fruit & veg box again after our little break, that’s helping too.

I wasn’t really expecting any more of a gain this week as I hadn’t been eating anywhere near as much as the previous week, but I wasn’t expecting a huge loss either. I’ve started this week fresh with meal planning and logging my food, and I must continue this time, I just needed something to spur me on a little bit!

My week 5 stats are:

  • start weight – 203.6 lbs
  • target weight – 132 lbs
  • previous weight – 191 lbs
  • current weight – 184.4 lbs
  • weight loss this week – 6.6 lbs 
  • weight loss to date – 19.2 lbs
  • weight loss to go – 52.4 lbs
So I had nearly a half stone loss again – but again I’m not expecting anywhere near that much next week!

We Will Do It! Support Linky on The Purple Pumpkin Blog