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Baileys rocky road recipe

One of the things I really love about Christmas is the food and drink that you only ever seem to have at this time of year.

For me, it’s tins of Roses and Quality Streets, the biscuits from Marks and Spencer that are more chocolate than biscuit (it actually says that on the box which I think is brilliant!), my chocolate ginger bites, bacon-wrapped-cheese, mulled wine, and Baileys.

Oh I do love Baileys.  I’ve got 3 different types in the fridge at the moment. Don’t judge me!

And possibly even better than drinking it, is adding it to recipes.

Here’s one of my favourites – Baileys rocky road.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 200g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 100g condensed milk
  • 50ml Baileys
  • 25g butter
  • 75g chocolate (white, milk or dark, whatever you fancy), chopped
  • 75g digestive biscuits
  • 100g mini marshmallows
  • 50g raisins

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And here’s what you do:

  1. Prepare a tin by lining it with greaseproof paper.
  2. Crush up your digestive biscuits.  Either by putting them in a bag and bashing them with a rolling pin, or by putting them in a bowl and crushing them with the end of a rolling pin.
  3. Melt the chocolate, condensed milk, Baileys and butter together.  You can do this in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, or do what I do and just gently heat it all together in a pan until it melts.  Just make sure you keep stirring it while it melts.
  4. Take the pan off the heat and let the mix cool a little bit.
  5. Stir in the crushed biscuits, chopped white chocolate, marshmallows and raisins.
  6. Press the mixture into your prepared tin.
  7. Leave it to set.
  8. Cut up and enjoy.
  9. If you want to you can melt some more white chocolate and drizzle it over the top, or dust the rocky road pieces with icing sugar to make it a bit more festive!

I made a little video showing how to make this yummy treat, if you want to check it out:

How easy is that?

And it tastes so nice.  I find it really hard to stop after just one piece of this stuff.

But that’s fine, it’s Christmas after all!

 

 

Mr and Mrs T Plus Three
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
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Enjoying bathtime with Radox for kids

Bathtime is a big part of our bedtime routine.

We’re quite lucky I think, in that our children have pretty much always liked being in the bath.  I mean, look at that happy face!  That’s the face of a little boy enjoying bathtime!

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These days what we do is pop a load of bath toys in with them and they have a splash and a play together.  I just think it’s a lovely way to end the day.

And with Rhys often coming home from school covered in mud, a bath before bed is pretty necessary!

So when we were asked to try out some new bath products from Radox we were all quite excited.  Especially when the children saw that they were special Frozen products.

We’re still pretty big Frozen fans in this house!

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We were sent some shampoo and conditioner, bath and body wash and some handwash to try out.  All from the new range from Radox kids.  There are also Star Wars items available, if your children are more into that than Frozen.

The shampoo and the body wash that we’ve been trying out both have a really lovely soft rose scent.  The children both smell so nice and clean after we’ve used it, and the smell lingers on Nerys’ hair which I really like.

The products are all super gentle on children’s skin too which is fab.

radox-kids-frozen-elsa-anna-bath-body-wash-shampoo

All the products in the range come in these bottles with pump action tops which I think is just brilliant.  As silly as it sounds, it really does make life so much easier, rather than messing around picking bottles up and taking tops off.

What I really like though, is the fact that the pump action is nice and smooth.  You know how on some bottles they can be a bit stiff to use?  These work so well that Nerys can do it herself.

Which is especially good when it comes to the handwash.

See, she loves to wash her hands.

And before I would have to help her every 30 seconds to put more soap on her hands.  Now, she can just do it herself.  Although now I have to keep watching to make sure she doesn’t just use the whole bottle up!

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We’re really enjoying using the Radox products at bathtime.  They all smell amazing, and with them being by Radox I really feel like I can trust that they’re good for my children’s skin.

And the children themselves love seeing their favourite Frozen characters every evening!

You can find out more about the full range of Radox Kids products on their website.

Disclosure – we were sent the shower gel, shampoo and hand wash for the purposes of this review, but all words and opinions are my own.

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Christmas crafts – button snowman gift tag and Christmas tree card #Bostikbloggers

With it being so close to the big day, this month’s theme for the #bostikbloggers craft project is Christmas.

I was sent a lovely box full of crafty bits and pieces to create something festive with.  After a little dig around I decided to make a gift tag and a Christmas card, decorated with coloured buttons.

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They’re both really cute and fun, and surprisingly easy to make.  So here’s how you do it if you fancy making some of your own.

Button snowman gift tag.

You’ll need a blank gift tag (you can buy these, or simply make your own by cutting out a piece of card), 3 buttons (one big, one medium sized and one small), glue and a black marker pen.

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Making the snowman is really easy.

Simply glue down the three buttons, with the biggest at the bottom of the gift tag, then the medium sized button above it and the small button at the top.  So basically you’re using the buttons to make a snowman shape on the card.

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Next you just need to grab your black marker pen and draw on a little hat and some stick arms to finish off your snowman.

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Pretty cute don’t you think!

Button Christmas tree card.

For this you’ll need a card blank (or a piece of card folded to in half), some glue and a selection of buttons.

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Making this fun little card is also really simple.

Get your buttons and arrange them in a rough Christmas tree shape.  You might want to spend a few minutes playing around with them at this stage, to get the look you want.  I used 2 orange buttons for the trunk of my tree, then random coloured ones for the tree itself.

Once you’re happy with the layout just grab your glue and stick the buttons down.

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I also added two square buttons to my card, that are meant to be presents underneath the tree!

So there you have it.  2 really simple, really fun crafts to make for Christmas.

Do you like to make your own cards and gift tags at Christmas?  Do you have any craft activities that you do every year, as part of your Christmas traditions?

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I was sent a box of craft materials to create this post, but all words, opinions and creations are my own.

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Wise words from the book of everyone – review

It was my niece’s birthday last week.  And while I’d managed to get her a nice present that my sister had suggested, I wanted to get a little something more to make it all a bit special.  Then the lovely people at the book of everyone came along with a wonderful suggestion.

They asked if I would like to review one of their brand new books, the book of wise words.

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I popped over to their website to have a look, then very quickly told them that I would absolutely love to review one for them.  Having already reviewed a book of everyone for them I knew the quality would be fab.  And after checking out what this new book was all about I knew it would make the perfect present for my niece.

The book is aimed at children aged 8-12, although you can adapt it to make it suitable for any age really.

It’s a fun, brightly coloured book that you fill with quotes, sayings and wise words of advice that you want to pass on to the child you’re making it for.

Like all the books from the book of everyone, this one is really nice and simple to create.

To get started you just put in who the book is for and who it’s from.

Then you simply go through all the pages that are automatically generated and edit them as much or as little as you like.

One thing I love is that you have 2 main options with this book.

On every page you can choose between 2 quotes that are pre-written for you, or you can write your own.

So if you’re in a hurry you can just quickly scroll through and chose the text that you like the best each time.

Or you can make the book truly personal and write your own quotes and bits of advice each time.

Although you might actually choose secret option number 3, which is what I did. This is where you take the mix and match approach, using the pre-written text on some pages and writing your own advice on other pages.

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Once you’re happy with all the pages then you simple complete your order and wait for it to be printed.

What’s great actually is the amount of communication there is from the company. You get an email to confirm that your order has been placed, and another one to let you know when it’s been reviewed and is being printed.  So you’re not left in the dark until it turns up at your house one day; you’re kept informed about the book’s progress along the way.

When the book arrived in the post I obviously had to check it out before handing it over to my niece!

I was really pleasantly surprised to see it came already wrapped, in brightly coloured paper that I think any young person would like.

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It’s little touches like that which make the book of everyone stand out to me.

I also love that tucked inside the book are a few stickers with quotes and sayings printed on them.

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I chose to create a paperback version of my book of wise words and I’m really pleased with it.  It feels lovely to hold and to look through; it really is lovely quality.  If you want to though, you can get a hardback version, or even just a digital version if the child you’re buying for prefers reading things online!

I was so pleased with how my book of wise words came out, and really do hope that it’s something that my niece will keep coming back to.  Now, I’m not claiming to be particularly wisdomous, but I would like to think that I’ve chosen some quotes and messages in this book that might help Amélie in some way as she gets older.  Even if they just make her smile or pick her up a bit on a bad day.

That feels like a pretty special present to be able to give to her.

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You can create a book of wise words of your own on the book of everyone website.

And whilst you’re there you can check out the other books they have on offer, like the original book of everyone and their special Christmas edition book of everyone.

 

I was given credit to buy a book of wise words, but all words and opinions are my own.

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Phoenixfix 3 car seat review

A few months ago we noticed that Nerys’ car seat was looking, how do I put this, a little tired.  We had used it for a long time with Rhys before he moved up to the next size and so, while it was still safe, it was just really past its best.

So we started looking around for a new seat for Nerys.  And we were thrilled when Kiddy UK asked us if we wanted to test out their new Phoenixfix 3 group 1 car seat.

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The phoenixfix 3 is a group 1 car seat, which means it’s suitable for children who weigh between 9 and 19 kilos.  Or who are aged from about 9 months to 4 years.  This was perfect for us because Nerys is 2, but is quite big for her age.  So it was good to know that we still had a good few kilos to go before she was too big for the seat!  I’m not sure she’ll still be in it when she’s 4 though, I think she’ll have outgrown it by then.

There are quite a few colours to chose from with the Phoenixfix 3.  And after a fair bit of deliberation we decided on the shanghai seat, which is a gorgeous bright pink.  We weren’t sure to start with about going with a colour that was potentially too girly, but we’re really happy with the shanghai.  It’s pink, but it’s also bright and vibrant, and the grey and black does tone it down a little bit.

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The main thing that won me over with the Phoenixfix 3 is how safe it is.

I hadn’t seen a seat like it before.  All the group 1 seats I’d seen in the past were fitted with a standard 5-way harness to secure the child.  The Phoenixfix 3 on the other hand has the Kiddy impact shield.  So you sit your child in the seat, then place the impact shield in front of them and slide it towards their torso, so the shield’s arms fit underneath the seat’s armrests.  Then you secure the seat by feeding the car’s seatbelt through the guides on the impact shield, before fastening the seatbelt.

The impact shield has been designed so that, if the car is in a front-end collision, the child’s upper body will curl over the shield.  What this means is that the loads on the child’s cervical spine are significantly reduced compared to 5 point harness systems.

And on a far more superficial note, the impact shield gives Nerys a nice little surface in front of her.  Perfect for playing with her toys on, and for covering in crumbs from her snacks!

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When the seat first arrived we were both a little concerned that it would be too small for Nerys.  She is so big for her age, it just didn’t look like she would be comfortable in it.  But as soon as we fitted it in the car and sat her in it we realised we were completely wrong.

The seat is absolutely big enough for her.  And she seems really comfy in it.

We recently drove from Swansea to Leamington Spa, which takes around 3 hours each way.  And Nerys was really happy in her seat the whole time.  She fell asleep both ways and looked really comfortable snoozing away.

Along with the design of the seat, the fabric that Kiddy have used really helps with the comfort factor.  They’ve used a breathable 3D mesh fabric, which helps to keep the child nice and cool.  This is really great for Nerys because she does tend to run a bit hot, especially when she sleeps.

And a plus for parents, the seat covers can be removed and washed at 30 degrees too.
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The Phoenixfix 3 is fitted with the Kiddy K-fix+ system, which you can use to secure the seat if your car has the isofix mounting system.  This system is really great, as the K-fix+ connectors are now longer, which makes them really easy to fit the seat and make a rigid connection to the car.  They also move sideways if the car is in a side-on collision, pushing the child away from the impact.

If your car doesn’t have isofix, then the k-fix connectors can be easily retracted so you can fit the seat with just the car’s seat belt.

We’ve been in the unexpected position of being able to test out both methods of fitting the seat.  When we first got it we had a car with isofix.  So we used the Kiddy K-fix+ connectors and were really impressed with how easy they made fitting the seat.  It did feel really nice and secure when it was fitted that way too.

Then at the start of the summer our car was hit and written off.  And our new car doesn’t have isofix.  So for the past few months we’ve been using it by simply securing it with the seatbelt each time.  And I’ve been really pleased with how steady and secure it still seems to be when fitted this way.

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We’ve been using the Phoenixfix 3 for several months now, and couldn’t be happier with it.

It’s lovely and comfortable for Nerys on longer car journeys.  And it’s also great for nipping out on the school run every day.  It did take a few days to get the hang of fastening the seatbelt with the impact shield, but now I’m used to it I find it really quick and easy to do.

So if you’re looking for a new seat for your little one, the Phoenixfix 3 is definitely worth checking out.

It’s a lovely looking seat, very user-friendly and extremely safe.  I’ll be really quite sad when Nerys gets too big for it!

 

You can find out more about the Phoenixfix 3 on the Kiddy UK website.

Disclosure – I was sent the Phonixfix 3 for the purpose of this review, but all words and opinions are my own.

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S+ sleep tracker from ResMed – review

I’ve always been really fascinated by sleep.  And have often wondered how well I’m actually sleeping.

I know that I’m not getting the best sleep of my life at the moment, because I have children who often still wake in the night, and early in the morning.

But I’ve been really interested to know if the sleep I am getting is actually quality sleep or not.

So I jumped at the chance to review a brilliant sleep tracker recently.

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The S+ by ResMed tracks your sleep at night to help you in several ways.

  • It helps you create the right environment for a good night’s sleep.  The tracker measures the light levels and temperature in  your room and lets you know if either of these should be adjusted for optimum sleep conditions.
  • It relaxes you.  You can use the soothing sounds option on the S+ app to listen to relaxing sounds that sync up with your breathing to help you fall asleep.
  • It clears you mind.  There’s a memo recorder built in to the app so you can record a voice message or type a quick text memo to yourself with the things you need to get done the next day.  So they’re out of your head, allowing you to relax more and get to sleep.
  • It wakes you gently.  The S+ has a ‘smart alarm’ option to wake you up in a window of light sleep, which makes you feel much more refreshed than waking up from deep sleep or rem sleep.
  • It helps you understand your sleep.  This is a big one for me.  The feedback from the tracker lets you really understand how well you are (or aren’t) sleeping.  Then it offers you advice to help improve things.

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The S+ is the world’s first non-contact sleep tracker, and that’s one of the things I love about it.

With other trackers you have to wear something, or have something in the bed with you, to get accurate results.

The S+ though, sits nicely on your bedside table and tracks your sleep from there.

In the box you get the S+ device (the pod), the frame that holds the pod in the best position (it needs to be at a certain level above your mattress), a power supply unit and a usb power cable.

It’s really easy to set up the S+.  You just need to download the S+ app to your phone, then plug the device in and sync it up to your phone.  What’s great is that the power supply unit that’s provided has 2 usb sockets on it, so as long as you have the right cable, you can charge your phone and the S+ at the same time with it.  This is quite important as you do need to keep your phone charged through the night to keep it synced up with the pod.

Every night before you go to sleep you enter a few bits of information about your day into the app.  Things like how much exercise you’ve done, if you’ve drunk any alcohol and how much caffeine you’ve consumed.

Then you can choose to clear your mind, set a smart alarm and/or listen to the soothing sounds to help you drift off to sleep.

While you’re sleeping the S+ monitors your breathing (by tracking how your chest rises and falls) and your overall movements to record how long you were in each stage of sleep, and how much you were disturbed in the night.

Then in the morning, after you stop recording, it feeds the information back to you.

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Most days I’ve been getting at least two bits of feedback about my sleep the previous night.

I’ve been finding this feedback really interesting.  I know that on the day I got the feedback above I woke up still feeling quite tired.  So it was fascinating to be told that I didn’t get that much deep sleep the night before.

One slight issue I have is that, obviously, the S+ doesn’t take into account the fact that I have children.  So it offers advice like that above, to try and help me get more deep sleep.  When I think the issue is most likely that I’m not going into a real deep sleep because I’m half listening out for my children all night.  This is an area I really want to look into more, but I do think it must be a big factor.

On the plus side though, the app does let you feedback to the feedback!

So I can let it know that the advice to get some more exercise isn’t that relevant to me, and then it will start to provide other bits of advice for me that might be more relevant and helpful.

As well as the daily feedback, the S+ app also creates a chart each day to breakdown how you slept the night before.  And this is all kept in a ‘history’ tab so you can look back through all the previous nights and see if there’s a pattern to your sleep.

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This feature in particular is really useful, because you can start to pick out patterns in your sleep.

That combined with the helpful suggestions from the app can really help you to work out what action you can take to improve your sleep.

You might find, for example, that your sleep is being disturbed every night when your partner comes to bed.  It might be that they make a lot of noise, or that they turn a light on as they get ready for bed.  Both of these things can interfere with your sleep.  And when you know that’s a factor, then you can have a chat with them and ask them to keep it down, or keep it dark!

I’ve been finding the S+ really helpful in helping me understand my sleep patterns, and to work out why I so often wake up not feeling particularly well rested.

It seems that, for me, it’s a combination of not getting enough deep sleep and often being woken up from REM sleep (thanks kids!).  So, knowing that, I can start to take action to improve things.  Like setting a smart alarm to wake me gently from light sleep, a little before the children generally start shouting.

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My overall feelings about the S+ sleep tracker are really positive.

I think it looks really nice, and feels good quality too.  I like that you can take the pod out of the frame if you want to take it with you when you’re away from home.  But I like the way the pod in its frame looks sitting on my bedside table!

It’s really easy to set up, with clear instructions to follow.  And it’s quite a nice bedtime routine now to answer the questions about my day, clear any thoughts from my head with the memo recorder, and set the smart alarm for the next day.

If you have trouble sleeping, or find that you don’t really feel rested in the mornings then I would definitely recommend the S+ to help you track your sleep and work out what your big problems are.

Their studies found that 80% of people who initially had a low sleep score of about 30-40 saw an improvement in their sleep quality, and quantity, in just a week.

Often we just need some information to go on, to make changes to our routines and our environment, to help improve our sleep.

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If only it could train my children not to wake me in the middle of the night, or too early in the morning!

It’s not designed to teach children to sleep better though I’m afraid.  But what it does do for parents is help you maximise the sleep that you do get, so you can feel as rested as possible.

 

You can find out all the details of the S+, or just go straight ahead and buy one, on their website – splus.resmed.com

I was sent the S+ sleep tracker for the purposes of this review, but all words and opinions are my own.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
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A little bit of silver and gold

I’m in my mid-thirties now, and starting to notice the changes in my skin that come with getting older.

So I’ve been thinking more about the products I use, and have started looking at the various lotions and potions out there for different skin types.  Trying to find the right product for me.

I was really intrigued when I was sent an email about 2 new products from noble naturals.  L’or des pharaons and nano silver.

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L’Or des pharoans is an anti-aging face and body mist.  It’s a mix of purified water and ‘monatomic, diatomic and nanoclusters’ of gold, platinum and zinc.  Now, that sounds a bit like jargon to me!  But basically it’s purified water and gold, platinum and zinc particles of a particular size that allows them to be easily absorbed by the skin.

The mist doesn’t contain any allergens or chemicals, and it claims to fight visible signs of aging at a cellular level. As well as rejuvenating your skin.

I’ve not been using it for long enough to notice a difference yet, but can say that it does feel nice on my skin and my moisturiser does seem to sink in nicely after using it.  Time will tell if the gold of the pharaohs will keep me looking youthful!

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The other product I’ve been trying out is the nano silver spray.

This is more of a multi-purpose, first aid box type of spray rather than a beauty one.  And it really interested me.

I’ve seen silver pop up in the past in things like plasters, as it’s reported to help with healing.  And that’s the thinking behind the nano silver spray.

The spray is made up of tiny silver particles that are dissolved in pure water.  You spray it directly onto cuts and sores and it then helps with healing.  It’s also meant to reduce the risk of infection, and scarring.

I’ve used it a couple of times on little cuts and have been really impressed with how well it’s helped them to heal.

I’ll be keeping this little bottle on hand for the next time one of the children falls down and scrams their knee.  They don’t really like creams being put on their cuts so a spray like this might be the answer.

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You can find out more information on these products from the health factory.

I was sent these products to review, but all words and opinions are my own.