As Cute As A Button Clock Frame: Review

We received one of the As Cute As A Button Clock Frames from one of BattleKid’s aunts last year and we were blown away by it. I had never before seen such a beautiful baby gift that was utterly unique and I loved it from the minute I saw it. From the design, to the colours and layout, it was just a perfect gift for BattleKid from his aunt.

The As Cute As A Button Clock Frame is a beautifully personalised frame that contains a clock inside the frame indicating the time of birth. Around the clock are other details like name of the baby, date of birth, hospital name and the baby’s weight. The frame is white and the design is decorated with buttons and stars.

as cute as a button 1

2014-11-20 13.20.34As Cute As A Button is run by a lovely woman called Siobhan from Co. Kildare in Ireland and her small business started as a Facebook page and has grown so much she has recently started her own website. She designed and made her first frame as a gift and from there the orders started rolling in.

As Cute As A Button not only does the Clock Frame we have but also a range of frames for all manner of occasions from new baby to wedding frames, to family trees and personalised frames for any occasion. If you want something not offered in the product range, Siobhan is open to working with you regarding your personalisation requests. Check out her range of products here.

Each frame measures 25 x 25 x 4.5cm and prices start from €30. I was so impressed with mine that when friends of ours had their baby last November I ordered one via the Facebook page and had it delivered to my parents house for my Dad to bring over with him. Unfortunately delivery is currently limited to within Ireland due to risk of damaging the frame. That said, if you know someone living in Ireland who could receive it for you, then that could be an option for you. And for all you lucky readers living in Ireland, have you checked out As Cute As A Button yet?

Each frame is white and designed to a high standard. The design inside is beautiful, bold and stunning with various buttons included in the design. Bespoke designs are also available if something from the product line isn’t quite right. Each frame is personalised making it a unique gift for you or your recipient. I certainly have not come across anything as lovely or as well made as these frames!

Your frame also comes with a complimentary gift sleeve and gift card, ideal if the frame is a gift for someone else.2014-11-20 13.20.49

What I love about the As Cute As A Button Clock Frame:

  • Unique.
  • Bespoke.
  • Handmade.
  • High quality.
  • Beautiful design.
  • Personalised.
  • Value for money.

What I don’t like about the As Cute As A Button Clock Frame:

  • Nothing!

The only thing I will say is this gift option is currently limited to delivery within Ireland. Hopefully delivery outside of Ireland will become an option in the future.

I really do love our As Cute As A Button Clock Frame for BattleKid and think it was one of the best baby presents we received for him. Should anyone else I know have a baby in the future I’ll be buying one for them (using my parents address for delivery).

Precious Moments with Ty Hafan – Cwtch

Last week I wrote my first post in support of the Precious Moments campaign being run by Ty Hafan this festive season, which was associated with the word Exciting. This weeks word is Cwtch.

Now before BattleDad and I moved to Wales we had never come across the word cwtch before but it is now as second nature to us as craic is to Irish people (they DO NOT have the same meaning, I’ll just point that out now). Cwtch has actually made it into the Oxford English Dictionary and it has two meanings:

  1. A cupboard or cubbyhole, or
  2. A cuddle or hug.

Cwtch can be used to describe a place you can go to be safe, warm and secure, in other words Ty Hafan, if you are a family with a child who has a life-limiting illness. As mentioned last week they don’t only offer paediatric palliative care, they also offer support and comfort to parents and carers; and that can be as simple as a cwtch for parents, carers and siblings in need of a hug. Children with life-limiting illnesses are often the ones showered with cwtches, as in the case of Ieuan, but Ty Hafan makes sure everyone gets them if they need them, children, siblings and carers alike.

Source: Ty Hafan
Source: Ty Hafan

My precious moments for this week again comes from our son Alexander, aka BattleKid. Although we have been giving him cwtchs since he was born it was only during this summer that he has started looking for them of his own accord. The first time it happened he came up to me (I was sitting on the floor in our aptly named cwtch room) and he put his head in the crook of my neck and fell into my body, and stayed there for what felt like ages. It took me completely by surprise and it totally melted my heart. My boy had actually looked for a hug from me. Once I realised what was happening I held onto him tightly for as long as I could, tears of joy in my eyes. This doesn’t happen too often but I cherish these cwtchs with my boy when they do. Even my son’s monkey gets cwtchs!20150806_182447

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Us parents of well children often take these cwtchs for granted. Imagine your child being too ill to volunteer a hug or cwtch to you. I can’t. But that’s where Ty Hafan come in, to cwtch those people in need of a hug, day or night. And that is part of the reason why they are running their Precious Moments campaign this November and December.

If you have a picture or story to share that ties in with the word “Cwtch”, why not share it and tag @tyhafan and use the #preciousmoments hashtag. Alternatively you could write a post about it if you are a fellow blogger and use the same tag and hashtag when broadcasting to your social media accounts. This way lots more people can hear about the campaign.

If you’d like to know more about Ty Hafan, you can visit their website (www.tyhafan.org) or their social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) for more information about the ‘Precious Moments’ campaign. And if you’d like to help by making a donation to Ty Hafan, you can do so via their donations page (www.tyhafan.org/precious).

 

Gruffalo Party Pack Bundle: Review

In October I was contacted by the guys at Party Bags & Supplies to see if I’d be interested in reviewing one of their Party Pack Bundles. With BattleKid’s birthday coming up soon I jumped at the chance to check out what came in the pack! They sent me a link to a list of available packs and, after being torn between two, I decided to choose The Gruffalo Party Pack Bundle. Who doesn’t love The Gruffalo?

About a week later it arrived but unfortunately I’ve only had a chance to review it now as we’ve been away back home for my sister’s wedding.

The Gruffalo Party Pack Bundle consists of party pieces for 8 which includes 8 cups, 8 plates, 1 table cover, 20 napkins and 8 pre-filled party bags, all centered around one theme/character.gruffalo party pack bundle It costs £28 and there is a large range of themes or characters to choose from including The Gruffalo, Frozen, The Avengers, Minions, Thomas the Tank Engine and many more. There are also other related party products available in many of the themes/characters including things like balloons, candles and invitations if you fancy going all out!

When I opened our box, and then the packages for the cups, plates, napkins and table cover, the first thing that struck me was the quality feel to everything. The cups and plates, while being paper, feel strong and robust and have a nice finish to them. The napkins are nice and thick and the table cover feels strong too, not a flimsy paper cover that you might expect. I will admit I haven’t put it through a serious road test yet but the initial look and feel make me confident it’ll hold up quite well!

gruffalo party pack bundle gruffalo party pack bundle gruffalo party pack bundle

The cups and plates have a nice glossy finish to them and the BIG surprise was discovering that there are 4 designs of plates, not just 8 of the same design like the cups. This was a great surprise and a big plus in my books.

gruffalo party pack bundle

The napkins, as mentioned, feel strong and have a lovely design. The design on the table cover is lovely too, “cool” as a work colleague said when I showed her the pictures this week! The table cover just about fit my table and measures 180cm x 120cm. Our table seats 6 as the pictures show.

gruffalo party pack bundle

gruffalo party pack bundle

The pre-filled party bags are a nice extra touch for children’s birthday parties and these ones will certainly appeal to children. Each paper bag is designed with your theme of choice and contains:

  • Monster jump-up
  • Sneaky snake
  • Frog clapper
  • Finger fright puppet
  • Cadbury’s Freddo Caramel bar.gruffalo party pack bundle

The contents of the party bags come in an assortment of colours so should satisfy your attendees. To be honest the contents aren’t to my taste but children will love them. There’s no reason why you can’t add/subtract from them to suit your tastes/needs.

These Party Pack Bundles from Party Bags & Supplies represent value-for-money too. They retail at £28 and to buy the contents separately would cost you £30.08, so that’s a no-brainer for me! These bundles are ideal if you are planning or thinking of planning a themed birthday party (or a “just because” party) for your little ones. There are lots of themes/characters to choose from and there are other added extras available in the theme of your choice on the website as mentioned already.

One word of warning though, the contents of the party bags are not suitable for those under 3 years of age due to potential choking hazards and this is outlined on both the website and the safety labels on the toys themselves. So unfortunately I’ll be putting this bundle up until 2017 when BattleKid will turn 3. An improvement suggestion would be to create bags suitable for under 3’s as well and allow parents to choose the appropriate age group at the “add to basket” stage. But this is a minor suggestion and to be fair most parties giving party bags out will be held for the over 3’s.

What I love about the Party Bags & Supplies Gruffalo Party Pack Bundle:

  • Great party bundle with great contents.
  • Good quality products that don’t feel cheap or flimsy.
  • Lovely designs on all products included in the bundle.
  • Ideal party bags to give to those aged 3+.
  • Great value-for-money.
  • Lots of designs and themes to choose from with added extras available on the website for all your party needs.
  • Looks great all set out on the table!

What I don’t like about the Party Bags & Supplies Gruffalo Party Pack Bundle:

  • Nothing!

Overall I think these Party Pack Bundles represent great value-for-money and will make any party table look fabulous. Kids will love the themed party and the party bags to go with it.

If you fancy picking one up for a forthcoming birthday party, I have a discount code which entitles you to 10% off everything on the Party Bags & Supplies website. Feel free to share it with your family and friends. Please note that I receive commission for purchases made using this discount code. The code is:

BATT15

* We were kindly sent The Gruffalo Party Pack Bundle from Party Bags & Supplies for the purpose of this review. However, all opinions about the product are my own and come from my own personal experience of this product.

The Perfect Steak Dinner

I love nothing more than a good steak and it’s taken me time to perfect my cooking of them, and also to get used to eating a medium cooked steak.

This method is for cooking a medium sirloin steak measuring approximately 1 inches thick.2015-09-25 19.43.50

What you’ll need to make it:
Sirloin steak
1 tbsp Vegetable oil and butter, or fry lite if dieting
A pinch of salt and pepper
1 clove of garlic peeled
1 rosemary sprig
Mushrooms, sliced
Onions, sliced

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  2. Season your steak with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat your oil or fry lite in a nonstick frying pan until hot, almost smoking.
  4. Fry your steak on one side for 3 minutes over a medium heat with the garlic and rosemary in the pan alongside your steak. I use an egg timer for these time intervals.2015-09-25 19.51.55
  5. Turn your steak over and fry for 3 minutes, adding one knob of butter (or coat the steak in fry lite) and glaze the steak with the butter while frying to help prevent the steak from drying out.
  6. Place the steak into an ovenproof dish, cover with tin foil and place in your oven for 3 minutes.2015-09-25 19.58.27
  7. Add some more oil or fry lite to the pan and cook the mushrooms and onions until softened.2015-09-25 19.51.48
  8. After the steak has been in the oven for 3 minutes, remove and pour the steak juices into the pan with the mushrooms and onions. This helps to deglaze the pan and adds flavour to the vegetables.
    Add this juice from the meat into the pan with your onions and mushrooms for really tasty vegetables!
    Add this juice from the meat into the pan with your onions and mushrooms for really tasty vegetables!

    2015-09-25 19.55.44 2015-09-25 19.56.59

  9. Set the steak aside to rest while you gently fry the vegetables for a further 3 minutes.
  10. Serve with baked potato or homemade chips, a side salad and good French mustard.2015-09-25 20.00.292015-09-25 20.01.41

BattleDad was in Belgium for work last month and managed to pick up our favourite French mustard in the airport. Every time we’ve been to Paris we’ve brought it home with us but we had long run out. This little present meant a steak dinner was most definitely on the cards the weekend of its arrival!

Perfect medium sirloin steak
Perfect medium sirloin steak

*For a rare Sirloin steak reduce each cooking time by 1 minute.
*For a well done steak increase each cooking time by 1-2 minutes.

Please note that these times are guidelines and may change if your steak is thicker or thinner than 1 inches.

Pink Lining Mini Yummy Mummy Bag: Review

After lugging my Storksak change bag, which I’ve loved since I got it, and an additional bag on board for BattleKid when we went to Lanzarote in May, I decided enough was enough. I didn’t need or use half the things in the change bag and I wasn’t going to have a repeat episode when we went to Slovenia in August.

So in July I went on the hunt for a much smaller change bag which could carry the essentials and wouldn’t be as cumbersome as my Storksak. It was time for that to retire!

I searched the Internet and saw many bags labelled as “small changing bag” but none of them fit the bill, until I happened upon the Mini Yummy Mummy Bag from Pink Lining. My search was over. I had found the perfect bag.

I had bought my sister a Pink Lining change bag when she was expecting my niece and she loved it, so I had no hesitation in ordering the Mini Yummy Mummy Bag. As stated on their website, the Mini Yummy Mummy Bag was designed in response to a growing demand from mums, of toddlers especially, for a smaller change bag than normal sizes. Being a mum to a now 22 month old toddler I knew exactly what they were talking about. You find you just don’t need a big one as they grow older, and yet you still have the need for a change bag of sorts unless you stick everything in your handbag. I’m afraid that’s not my bag, if you’ll pardon the pun!

Mini Yummy Mummy Bag

When my Mini Yummy Mummy Sunflowers Bag arrived just before our holiday to Slovenia I was over the moon. I had been a bit apprehensive after reading mixed reviews on Amazon but need not have worried. It was just perfect.

mini yummy mummy bag 2

It measures 27 x 6 x 18cm and I’ve managed to fit in it:

  • 5 size 5 nappies
  • 1 packet of wipes
  • Nappy bags
  • A small bag of snacks
  • 1 drinks beaker
  • 1 tube of Bepanthen cream/suncream lotion
  • My phone, keys, cards and cash.

mini yummy mummy bag 2

mini yummy mummy bag 4It has an adjustable strap and can be worn over the shoulder or hung over the back of a buggy as shown. It can also be worn across the body. It is small enough that it could also be left in the car with the essentials inside it.

The Mini Yummy Mummy Bag is currently available in 3 designs from Pink Lining: Sunflowers, Cottage Garden or Sam the Dalmatian. It retails at £45, and, although this is a little expensive, in my opinion it is worth every penny. It comes with a handy fold-up, water-resistant change mat. It has a front zip pocket and a back button pocket. It has an internal zip pocket, handy for cash and cards, and has two internal dividing pouches in which I store a muslin and my nappy bags. So lots of space and storage, despite its small size.

The Mini Yummy Mummy Bag is great for when you are out and about and is also the perfect size for on board a plane if you are flying away somewhere nice. It’s also small enough to fit in the luggage basket of my Maclaren buggy, or hung on the back. BattleKid had fun dragging it around the apartment in Slovenia too.

mini yummy mummy bag 6

mini yummy mummy bag 5

I use this bag all the time now and have retired my Storksak. It’s so perfect, as soon as my sister saw it, she fell in love with it, so I sent her one. Here’s what she has to say about it:

I particularly like this smaller Yummy Mummy Bag as a transition from the larger one when all you really need to carry are wipes, nappies, snacks and a drink. It also fits my phone and a small wallet, so it’s really handy if out doing a spot of shopping. Everyone who has seen the Mini Yummy Mummy Bag loves it and asks where they can get it!”

What I love about the Mini Yummy Mummy Bag:

  • Great size when a big change bag is no longer needed.
  • Lots of pockets and storage, despite what some people might say.
  • Adjustable strap for carrying over the shoulder/body or hanging off your buggy.
  • Fits the bill in my opinion.
  • 3 great designs to choose from.
  • Good quality, well-made product.
  • Water-resistant change mat included.
  • Great for mums with toddlers.

What I don’t like about the Mini Yummy Mummy Bag:

  • Nothing. That said with a full size Yummy Mummy Bag retailing at £79 I do feel the £45 price tag will put some people off. Perhaps it might be better priced at £39, half the price of a full bag. But that’s just my opinion.

Although it’s an expensive small change bag, I love my Mini Yummy Mummy Bag. It’s a perfect size for carrying the essentials I need for BattleKid these days, while not being weighed down with unnecessary extras that find their way into a full-sized change bag. It’s also stylish and I can’t see me giving this up for a long time! It is available from the Pink Lining website and also from Amazon and other major retailers.

On tour in Slovenia. Picture credit goes to BattleDad.
On tour in Slovenia. Picture credit goes to BattleDad.