Previous Posts: August 2015

Summer Update

 

So it’s been a bit quiet around these parts! Apologies as I have been extremely busy working on a side project over the Summer Months!
I thought I would catch you up with everything #TeamSmith

Summer Update

  • At the start of Summer it was one of Nathanael’s friends 1st Birthday! We had a great time having a Teddy Bears Picnic although in typical Nate fashion he was less than impressed that his Teddy was out and about and didn’t care much for the games – he was extremely happy with the food! He loves picnics.
  • Our Church at the start of Summer had a Big Bike Ride, an event that happens each year and is great fun. In the years I have gone I haven’t biked once! It’s just nice to spend more time with a group of people I love. Nate again enjoyed the picnic part and went to pretty much every plate hoping that people would share, needless to say he had quite a small tea that night considering he had stuffed himself at lunch!
  • We were so blessed to have some friends over a few weeks back, we serve on team together and with all of us having busy family and work lives it’s quite tricky to arrange – so glad we could though!
  • As you will have seen in previous posts Nate is becoming quite the proficient baker I am teaching him the recipe to my famous Chocolate Brownies next!
  • Every afternoon, once Luke has finished work we take ourselves to the park so Nate can play with his ball. I have explained before how much he loves his ball but he has taken it to a whole new level.In shops, in church, while out and about, Nate will greet those around him with the word “ball” now he knows “Hi” so it’s not a substitute word, he genuinely thinks that Mummy is being evil by not giving him the ball so he needs to ask someone else.
  • Our Life Time English Heritage passes have been put to good use, with many a trip had to Brodsworth Hall – I am also really looking forward to the Medieval Joust at Bolsover Castle coming up soon!
  • I have begun a loose “home school” with Nate, I have pretty much being doing things off the cuff and teaching him things we come across day to day but last week I found a great resource for preschool starting at age 2. Nathanael really seems to be enjoying it he loves the crafts, books and I can really see how his language will grow with a more structured plan.

So I have caught you up with a few things that we have been up to this Summer – I would love to know how you have been spending your “lazy” Summer days – let me know in the comments below!

Toddler Learning Tower Ikea Hack

Nathanael is growing up so fast he is now a fully fledged toddler, very cute one second and testing the boundaries another. I have loved every stage that Nate has been, and I do miss those first few months where only Mummy would do, but now it is so wonderful watching Nathanael learn something new everyday.

Nate has always been curious to the world around him and has always wanted to be a part of what Mummy and Daddy are doing, some of these include making the bed, dusting, vacuuming, and every little boys dream – building.

I wanted to capture Nate’s enthusiasm for helping and have eagerly awaited the day when he could help me bake. I remember many an afternoon as a little girl helping my Nanna bake and now Nate is interested he can help me too!

My eagerness for Nathanael helping in the kitchen however was slightly dulled at what to use to help him reach the counter tops. There was no way he was going to stand on a chair – Nate is fearless he would jump off and blame me if he hurt himself! I wasn’t too keen on those open stools either – he could easily unbalance them or again try to jump off.

Having googled my problem I discovered the Toddler Learning Tower, a fully enclosed step stool! Success! – except the small matter of the cost $200! so could you imagine the tax and the shipping for that thing – I love Nate but seriously!

So Luke being the ever capable DIY man that he is took to creating one for a £13!! There are variations of this Ikea hack online but I must say that this gate function that Luke created is a winner.

First thing’s first put your step stool together, why not let your toddler join in to? Nate is really good at putting the screws in the holes and it helps with his fine motor skills too!

Nate helping

Then of course have a celebratory picture of their achievement!

Nearly there

It was then a trip to get some wood to build the tower frame to go on top of the tower. This was a job for Luke to sort out and he was tasked with creating an opening or ‘access door’ at the back – This is what he came up with.

wood

Cutting out a base for the top of the stool to attach four corners pieces and then the slats for the sides and front. At the back Luke made a lever that fitted in to a slot that could then have a removable bolt through it to stop Nate lifting it up, which inevitably he now tries to do – This is the finished article.

stool

One of the first things we did when the stool was finished was let help Nathanael help with making his lunch! He seemed astonished that he could finally see the counter top

Nate astonished

And of course if you can now reach and have helped make lunch you can sneak some food too!

Nate sneaking eats

Nathanael Learns–Poundland Haul

Over the past year I have discovered a new found love for PoundLand, don’t get me wrong there are things I would chose to purchase elsewhere but for some items PoundLand is great.

One of the main items I love buying at PoundLand are educational or craft type items that I can use with Nathanael, like any toddler he is learning to be gentle with things but his excitement at discovering something new can get the better of him.
The joy of PoundLand is should Nate damage anything I don’t grieve over it breaking or prevent him from exploring because I am trying to save the item.
Here are a few things I picked up recently

Poundland haul

These Wall Charts can start from £3.99 per item in most stores and I got 4 for that price.
I purchased an ABC chart – this is great for matching items up that are on the chart with the letter.
The My Body Chart is great to use with Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. Nate has been singing along to this for a while and can say head and nose already. (although nose is nee which sounds a lot like knee)
Farm Animals is perfect for using with Nate’s book “Oh Dear” book, for a while now he has known that a cow goes moo and a sheep goes baa so we will see if we can encourage him to learn some more animal sounds.
Finally I thought the Transporting Vehicles Wall Chart would be good to match some toys up with that we already have in our home.

Also on our shopping trip I spotted the Alphabet and Number Stencils which will be great to help Nathanael learn his letter and numbers, there are so many things we can do with them and I am sure he will enjoy painting and colouring with them.

Now when you spot some travel sized packet raisins with your toddler you can’t help but grabbing a pack, again great value and a little treat for being good while we were in a boring shop!

Do you shop at PoundLand? What are some of your favourite purchases? Let me know in the comments below!

Raspberry Thumb Print Cookies

With the gloomy summer we have been having lately what better way to entertain a 21 month old than a spot of baking! I am so excited now thanks to Nathanael’s toddler stool we can bake together and he loved it.
It was so cute to watch him scraping down the sides of the bowl and copying what Mummy does, and our success was made even greater as Nathanael is yet to discover the joys of licking the spoon (I am sure it won’t be long!)
I chose to make some cookies with him and they were delicious! So like the good blogger I am here is the recipe;

Raspberry Cookies

Ingredients

Biscuits

  • 225g unsalted softened butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 280g plain flour
  • Raspberry Jam

Icing

  • 140g Icing Sugar
  • 3-4 teaspoons of water
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract

1.  To make the biscuits beat the soften butter, sugar and almond extract together in a bowl until the mixture turns pale and fluffy. Then gradually add your flour mixing as you go, you may need to beat the remaining flour in with a spoon. Cover and chill for at least an hour until the dough is easy to handle.

2. Preheat the oven top 180C shape into 2cm balls. Place on an unlined, ungreased baking trays keeping them quite far apart as they will spread. (Next time I make this I will put them in the freezer to chill so they are more puffed up)

3. Next make an indentation with your thumb, and fill the hole with jam! Bake for 8-10 minutes keep an eye on them because they will catch quite quickly. After baking leave on the tray for a few minutes to harden and then cool on a wire rack

4. For the Icing mix all ingredients together until your icing is runny enough to create a pattern on your cookie. Swirl the icing as desired, it is the icing sugar that gives the biscuit it’s wonderful almond taste!

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Let me know in the comments what are some recipes Nathanael and I should try together!