Can I just start this last post of Blogtober by saying I hope you’ve all had a great Halloween.
We’ve had such a great day today we started out going to Llanciach Fawr where we took part in various activities and we watched a magic show. Aria got over her fear of bouncy castles.
We got to see some fascinating animals including a possum, meerkats, a lizard and some sort of bug. I’m not quite sure what bug it was his name was Vinnie but he was part of the arachnid family but also looked a little like a scorpion, I actually held Vinnie and I was quite surprised at myself, I wasn’t scared at all and you couldn’t even feel him on your hand. I also held the lizard which was beautiful. I have to say I was gutted though because the day before they had snakes and an armadillo, I absolutely love snakes!
We also played outside on the slide and with footballs, hoops and bean bags which both the kids absolutely loved. Not as much as Aria loved the bouncy castle though I actually had to drag her off there kicking and screaming when we had to leave. We finished off with a puppet show before we headed home for some dinner and then trick or treating. Aria loved the fact she got sweets for knocking on peoples doors and I can already imagine what she will be like tomorrow asking for some. Finley on the other hand, we decided to take him on his reins, BIG MISTAKE! He dropped to the floor about 100 times which meant he was soaking wet from head to toe. He wouldn’t stay still so I just looked like a greedy adult asking for sweets while Finley was nowhere to be seen. He finally got the hang of knocking doors when we were nearly home, maybe next year he will be a bit more into it. Fingers crossed.
Only one more day till Halloween and it will be one whole month of blogging! I honestly can’t believe I’ve stuck to it. I usually start 30-day challenges, do well for the first week and a half then miss one day for one reason or another and think fuck it what’s the point, I’ve already missed a day what’s another, then I never start it again.
To be honest sticking to Blogtober has been challenging at times to think of post ideas, to keep on track and to fit in the time to write posts up. Some posts have been good, some have been bad but I’ve almost done it.
I think next year, if I take part in Blogtober or if I take part in Blogmas this year I will definitely plan ahead more to take the pressure off a bit. I’ve found myself panicking and staying up late when I should go to bed just to write posts so that I don’t miss a day. I’m so glad I stuck to it!
Now that Blogtober is drawing to an end I’m slowly going to start focusing on my Instagram again and go back to sharing other parents birth stories, parenting hacks/tips/advice. I plan on reverting back to my niche! I will still have a few random posts and I plan on posting more regularly than I was before Blogtober but maybe not daily.
What are your aims for after Blogtober?
The first day of half term and we’ve had a pretty chilled day, we’ve watched one of Arias (and my favourite) Disney film; the princess and the frog. We’ve also carved our pumpkins, no need to guess which one is mine.
Today is the only day we haven’t got any plans throughout half term. Tomorrow Arias going shopping with her Nannie. Wednesday we are going on a trip with the other mums from creche to Llanciach Fawr. I remember going there as a child with the school but can’t for the life of me remember what’s there. I’m really looking forward to it though it will be so nice to take the kids out somewhere new, to let them explore and have some fun. Then when we come home we’re going trick or treating. (we’re dressing as the Addams family) Thursday we are having a play date with cousins and I’m having a catch up with my auntie so we’ve got a fun-filled week ahead!
What’s everyone else doing to keep the kids entertained over half term?
If you saw yesterdays post you will know me and Dan had a little date night. It was actually a surprise birthday meal for one of my closest friends so obviously I couldn’t write about it then but it was so lovely to have an adult conversation, good (hot) food and time as a couple.
Tomorrow we will be pumpkin carving with the kids so here are some ideas on what to do with your pumpkins.
- Harry Potter (my favourite)
2. Jack Skeleton
3. Mike Wazowski
4. Cheshire Cat
5. Skull with brains
6. Bats and Stars
8. Oogie Boogie Man
As parents we often forget how important it is to not be parents for a bit, of course, we are still parents but finding time to just be Dan and Charlotte is equally as important as spending time with your kids.
When you become a parent you often lose yourself (not like Eminem) but you lose your identity, you forget who you were before you were “mum” and “dad” as much as you love those little darlings with all your heart and cherish the moments you have with them (some more than others) it can get you down just doing the same thing day in day out and not getting any “me” time or any time as a couple. Children are made out of love (mostly) so don’t forget to love your partner just as much as you did before. Make the effort to have date nights or play a board game at home when the kids are asleep. Keep working on your relationship, children don’t always bring people together, sometimes children tear couples apart. Nothing to do with the child itself but due to stress, lack of time as a couple and little effort with each other.
Today’s post is a little shorter than usual because I’m practising what I preach and we are going for a date night.
We all make time for what we feel is important in our lives
I can’t believe that it was two months yesterday till Christmas!! I know I’m supposed to be doing posts autumn/ Halloween related but I’m so excited and nervous for Christmas this year. I can’t wait because the kids are finally getting excited (okay well Aria is) but then, on the other hand, this year we are struggling majorly with money, with the wedding to pay for, both of us learning to drive, a car to buy and Christmas approaching rapidly it scares the shit out of me.
So I’m going to lighten the mood a little and do 10 facts about me post.
- I’m a qualified hairdresser and beauty therapist but I don’t do anything with it other than cutting Finley’s hair. I’d love to get back into the beauty side but more down the massage/spa route.
- I have 5 tattoos. A yellow rose on my hip with the date my mother passed away, a Pheonix on my lower back/side holding the deathly hallows sign with “mischief managed” wrote underneath. I have a small “D” on my foot for Dan, a mother cradling a baby with Aria and Finley’s names underneath on my arm and above that, a portrait of my mother with “love always” wrote underneath in her handwriting. I eventually want a full sleeve, an underboob tattoo and a thigh tattoo.
- I only have one piercing (well two) my ears but I did have my belly button and both my nipples pierced. My body just seems to reject piercings though.
- I once electrocuted myself by putting my tongue on a plug socket, a toy microwave. I was devastated when my dad took it off me it made real cupcakes. Can’t say I blame him mind.
- My biggest dream is to become an author, I love writing and am currently in the process of writing my own book so watch this space.
- I’m getting married in 6 months! How has it come around so quick it seems like only yesterday we booked our wedding, after a night of new years celebrations we woke up and decided to book.
- I was scared to ride a bike until about two months ago when we decided we wanted more family days out so we both got bikes.
- My latest fascinations are healing crystals, palmistry and tarot cards. Healing crystals I started getting into because its something I remember my mother loved and I guess I want to feel close to her in some strange way. It also fascinates me to see all the beautiful colours and all the different uses/meanings behind them. I got into palmistry and tarot cards just because I saw an app that scans your hands to read them and then you have to join/pay to find out your answers so I thought I’d just learn it myself.
- I’ve also started learning Welsh on the duolingo app. It’s silly really but I can barely speak any Welsh yet I live in Wales, I was born in Wales, I’m Welsh!
- I suffer from anxiety.
I’ve saved the best till last of course, I’ve got a big sweet tooth just looking at these photos make my mouth water. For more ideas check out www.pinchofnom.com
Low Syn Apple & Blackberry Crumble
- 150 grams Blackberries (For 1.5 Syns, as cooked)
- 50 grams Cooking Apples Peeled and Cored (For 1 syn, as cooked)
- 25 grams Oats (For 4.5 Syns)
- 19 grams Self Raising Flour (for 3 Syns)
- 2 tsp Reduced Fat Spread (For 2 Syns)
- 3 tbsp Granulated Sweetener
- Preheat the oven to 160ºC. Cut the apple into small dice and place into the bottom of 4 individual, ovenproof dishes. Distribute the blackberries evenly among the 4 dishes. Sprinkle half of the sweetener over the fruit.
- In a mixing bowl, add the flour, oats, reduced fat spread and the remaining half the sweetener. Rub between your fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs.
- Top the fruit with the crumble mixture and spray with Frylight.
- Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until golden and the fruit is soft. Serve whilst hot with your choice of topping or sauce.
Low Syn Chocolate Brownies
- 100 grams Self Raising Flour (For 16 Syns)
- 50 grams Flora Light (For 7 Syns)
- 2 tbsp Cocoa Powder (For 5 Syns)
- 4 Eggs
- 1 tsp Baking Powder (For 0.5 Syns)
- 4 tsp Choc Shot (For 2 Syns)
- 4 tbsp Granulated Sweetener
- 25 grams Dark Chocolate Chips (For 6.5 Syns)
- Preheat the oven to 170°C. Spray a baking tin (approx 8×8 inches) with Frylight and line the bottom with baking parchment.
- Place the Flora Light, granulated sweetener, baking powder, self-raising flour, eggs, cocoa and choc shot into a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Pour into the lined baking tin and sprinkle over the dark chocolate chips. Place in the oven for 17 minutes.
- Once cooked, turn out onto a wire rack and remove the baking parchment. Cut into 16 squares and serve warm or cold!
Low Syn Cinnamon Drizzle Cake
For the cakes:
- 100 grams Self Raising Flour (For 16 Syns)
- 50 grams Flora Light (For 9 Syns)
- 5 tbsp Granulated Sweetener
- 3 Eggs
- 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
For the drizzle:
- 5 tsp Icing Sugar (For 5 Syns)
- 0.5 tsp Cinnamon
- Water A few drops at a time
- Preheat the oven to 170°C. Spray a baking tin (approx. 24 x 18cm) with Frylight and line the bottom with baking parchment.
- Place the Flora Light, granulated sweetener and eggs into a large mixing bowl and whisk with an electric hand whisk until light and frothy.
- Sift in the flour and cinnamon and fold into the mixture. Pour into the lined baking tin and place in the oven for 25 minutes.
- Once cooked, turn out onto a wire rack and remove the baking parchment. Leave to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the drizzle – it should be a loose icing, but not so runny that it falls straight off the cakes. Add just a few drops of water at a time until it has reached the right consistency.
- When the cakes have cooled, cut into 12 squares and drizzle over the cinnamon icing. Serve on its own, or as part of a dessert!
Low Syn Victoria Sponge Cakes
- 3 large Eggs
- 2 tbsp Granulated Sweetener
- 25 grams Sukrin Almond Flour (For 3.5 syns)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp Baking Powder (For 0.5 syns)
- 1 tbsp Reduced Sugar Raspberry Jam (For 1 syn)
- 11 Raspberries
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. In a jug, whisk the eggs and granulated sweetener until fluffy. Add the Sukrin Almond Flour, baking powder and vanilla extract to the mixture and whisk well. Leave to stand for 1 minute to thicken.
- Pour the mixture into 22 cups of the silicone mini muffin tray and bake for 20 minutes until golden. Leave in the tray for 5 minutes to cool and then turn out onto a wire rack.
- When the cakes are completely cool, put the jam in a microwaveable tub and heat in the microwave for 10 seconds to loosen. Sandwich the cakes together and place a small amount of jam on top.
- Pop a fresh raspberry onto the top of each cake and dust with Sukrin Icing sugar to serve.
Low Syn Banana and Chocolate Pancakes
- 40 g Oats for your HEB or 7 syns
- 2 medium Eggs
- 50 ml Milk part of your HEA or 1 syn (for skimmed milk)
- 1/2 tbsp Granulated Sweetener or other sweeteners
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 large Banana sliced
- 3 tsp Chocolate Spread for 1.5 syns. We used Sweet Freedom Choc Pot for 0.5 syn per tsp
- 1 tsp Choc Shot for 0.5 syns
- 1 Strawberry for garnishing
- Blitz the oats in a food processor until fine
- Mix the blitzed oats, eggs, milk, vanilla and sweetener together well
- Spray a frying pan with some Sunflower Frylight and allow to heat
- Pour in small amounts of the mix to make 2 pancakes. Allow to cook through until brown underneath, then turn and cook for a few more minutes.
- Repeat until all the mix is used (you should get 4 pancakes from the mix)
- Place one pancake on a plate spread it with some of the chocolate spread, then a layer of sliced banana.
- Repeat until you have stacked all the pancakes and banana, making sure the top has a thin layer of chocolate spread and a few banana slices. Top with a strawberry then drizzle with the chocolate shot
1.5 Syn Gingerbread Bites
- 200 g Plain Flour for 32 syns
- 60 g Flora Light for 8 syns
- 60 g Granulated Sweetener
- 1 large Egg or 2 small – beaten
- 4 tsp Ground Ginger
- 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
- Granulated Sweetener optional
- Preheat the oven to 180°C
- Mix all the dry ingredients (except the Sukrin Gold) together, then rub in the Flora Light until you reach the breadcrumb stage
- Stir in the Sukrin Gold
- Mix in the beaten egg, and stir to form a dough
- Tip out the dough onto a clean lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes until it’s smooth
- Roll out the dough (approx 1/4″ or 5mm thick) then use a 1.5 inch round cutter to cut out 28 – 30 shapes
- Place them on a non-stick baking tray, sprayed with a fine mist of Frylight, and bake for 10 – 15 minutes until golden brown
- Allow to cool, then either ice with some Sukrin Icing or just dust them with some Sukrin Icing sugar, it’s up to you.
1 Syn Churros
- For the Churros
- 100 grams Self Raising Flour (For 18 syns)
- 100 grams Flora Light (For 14 syns)
- 200 ml Water
- 2 tbs Granulated Sweetener
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 large Egg
- For the cinnamon sugar
- 1 tbs Granulated Sweetener
- 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper. In a saucepan on a medium high heat, melt the Flora light, granulated sweetener, salt and water together until boiling.
- Take the pan off the heat and beat in the flour until the mixture forms a ball – this can take about 5 minutes and is hard work on the arms! Mix in the egg until the mixture is glossy.
- Add the mixture into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe 32 churros. Bake for 40 minutes until risen and crisp.
- When cooked, turn the churros over on the baking tray. Put back into the warm oven for 10 minutes with the door ajar to dry them out and help them to crisp up.
- In a bowl, mix together the granulated sweetener and cinnamon for the sugar coating.
- Whilst still warm, spray lightly with Frylight and toss in the sugar coating. Enjoy warm!
Low Syn Banana Bread Pudding
- 50 grams Self Raising Flour (For 8 syns)
- 4 Eggs
- 30 grams Granulated Sweetener
- 200 grams Mashed banana (For 8 syns)
- 25 grams Sultanas (For 4 syns)
- 2 teaspoons Mixed Spice
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and line the bottom of a bread tin. Into a bowl add the mashed banana, flour, mixed spice, Sukrin gold and 2 eggs and mix well.
- Separate the remaining 2 eggs. Add the egg yolks to the mixture and in a clean bowl whisk the egg whites to firm peaks.
- Fold the egg whites carefully into the mixture. Stir in the sultanas. Pour into the bread tin and bake for 35 minutes until just cooked.
1 Syn Each Jaffa Cakes
- 2 Eggs
- 4 tbsp Granulated Sweetener
- 50 g Self Raising Flour for 8 syns
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Sugar-Free Orange Jelly Crystals for 1 syn – we use Hartleys as it’s 1.5 syns for the whole sachet. Please check the brand on the app for exact values
- 10 g Dark Chocolate for 3 syns
- Makeup half the Orange Jelly using 1/4 pint of water
- Pour the jelly equally into 12 round silicone moulds, then put them in the fridge to set
- While you’re waiting for the jelly to set put the eggs and Sukrin Gold into a clean bowl and whisk until the ‘ribbon stage’ is reached. This is when the mixture has thickened so that when you lift the whisk out it leaves a trail on the surface for a couple of seconds. You should probably use an electric whisk for this!
- Fold in the sifted flour and vanilla extract
- Spray 12 muffin moulds with some Frylight and divide the sponge mix equally between them
- Bake at 180°C for 10 minutes, until the sponges are a light golden colour
- When they are cool place the set jelly on top of the sponges
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave (it doesn’t take long so keep checking on it) then put it into a disposable piping bag and snip a small hole in the end
- Drizzle the chocolate evenly over the Jaffa Cakes and allow to set
Low Syn Chocolate & Orange Waffles
- 40 g Porridge Oats HEB or 7 Syns
- 2 Eggs
- 3/4 tbsp Granulated Sweetener
- 175 g Low Fat Natural Yoghurt
- 1 Orange zested and segmented (for serving) only
- 2 tsp Chocolate and Orange Choc Shot for 1 syn. You can add more, but don’t forget to syn it
- Blitz the oats in a food processor, until they are quite fine
- Mix all the ingredients together, apart from 1 tsp of Choc Shot, and stir until smooth
- Pour the mixture into a waffle mould. There should be enough for 2 waffles
- Bake at 180°C for 15 – 20 minutes or until the waffles are firm to the touch
- Turn them out onto a baking tray and cook for a further 4 or 5 minutes
- Drizzle the remaining tsp of Choc Shot over the top and serve with fresh orange segments