Sunday, 29 June 2014

Competition: Guess Baby D no.2's Birth Date and Weight!

Just for a bit of fun I thought I'd do a quick competition where one lucky person can win a £10 Amazon voucher by guessing 'Baby D no.2's' arrival date correctly along with having the closest correct guess to his actual birth weight!

How to enter

Compulsory option:
  1. Leave your name and e-mail address and/or Twitter name at the bottom of this blog post along with the date when you think 'Baby D no.2' will arrive and how much you think he will weigh.
  2. Share this blog post by clicking on any of the 'Share This' buttons at the bottom of this post.
None compulsory options (but you'll be one of the first to know when I run another competition or giveaway if you do these!):
  1. Like me on Facebook.
  2. Follow me on Twitter.
The competition is open from 29 June 2014 and will run until midnight on 9 July 2014 or until when 'Baby D no.2' is born, which ever date comes first.

The person who guesses the birth date correctly and gets the closest figure to the actual birth weight, wins!  If there are two people with the exact same winning date and weight, the person(s) who has liked All-in-One Mum on either Facebook or Twitter (or both!) will win.  If both or neither of these options has been selected by the entrants, the identical names will be put into a hat and a Winner picked at random.


Happy guessing and l'm looking forward to seeing your guesses!

Ally x


TERMS AND CONDITIONS


Participants can leave only one compulsory answer entry in the comments section of the All-in-)ne Mum competition Blog post. The competition is open to UK residents only. Entrants must be over 18 to enter. The competition will commence on 29 June 2014 and will close on 9 July 2014 or when 'Baby D' is born, whichever date comes first.  The winner will be picked at random by All-in-One Mum based on a correct arrival date answer and the Winner giving providing the closest guess to the actual birth weight of 'Baby D'.   If there are two people with the exact same winning date and weight, the person(s) who has liked All-in-One Mum on either Facebook or Twitter (or both!) will win.  If both or neither of these options has been selected by the entrants, the identical names will be put into a hat and a Winner picked at random.  The winner will be notified by e-mail and/or Twitter once picked at random and announced shortly thereafter by All-in-One Mum.  An e-mail or Twitter reply is required from the winner within 72 hours of being notified of their winnings in order to claim their prize.  If no reply is received within this time frame, a new Winner will be chosen at random based on the next correct arrival date answer and closest guess to the actual birth weight of 'Baby D'. The prize is one £10 Amazon voucher from All-in-One Mum and is in no way affiliated to Amazon or any of its Partners.  Prize will be dispatched as soon as a valid postal address is provided. No cash alternatives.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

What would you make and create from the May Degustabox?

Yay!  The May 2014 Degustabox has arrived!  I'm always like a kid at Christmas when the monthly box lands at my door.   This month's box includes these great products:

  1. Elizabeth Shaw Dark Chocoloate Cocoa Crunch Flutes
  2. Crawston Press cloudy apple juice (delicious, by the way!)
  3. Taylors of Harrogate Blackberry and Elderflower tea
  4. Sweet Potato Kettle Chips
  5. Hornsby's crisp apple cider and strawberry and lime cider
  6. Garofolo Elicoidali pasta
  7. Raw energy sugar free gum
  8. Finn Crisp original crisp bread
  9. Dr. Oetker cake release spray
  10. Cirio La Classica Passata
  11. Cirio tomato puree
For just £12.99 a month (including delivery) you can have your very own Degustabox delivered to you.  Each box contains 10 to 15 fabulous new food products on the market from new and well known brands.  Great as a gift or just as a treat for yourself, this great value food subscription box doesn't tie you into any lengthy contracts so you can unsubscribe at anytime, although I highly doubt anyone would want to use this option!

Use discount coupon code 9VVWV when you register with Degustabox for a £3.00 discount.


I'd love to hear what you would make from this months wonderful selection of food items!  Leave a comment below.


Ally x


Find Degustabox here...

Website: https://www.degustabox.com/en/


Note: I was sent this food box to sample.  All views are my own and not bias.


Thursday, 29 May 2014

Baby Bundle Giveway from Argos

Are you pregnant or do you know someone that is?  I've just come across a great giveaway from Argos where one lucky person stands the chance of winning a great bundle containing the following 7 must have baby items:
  • BabyDan Danchair Natural Wooden Highchair
  • Apramo Gaia Group 0+ Car Seat Infant Carrier
  • Angelcare AC1100 Digital Video, Movement and Sound Monitor
  • Onaroo Ok To Wake! Portable Owl Nightlight and Sleep Trainer 
  • Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Newborn Starter Kit
  • BabyBj√∂rn babysitter Balance Bouncer
  • Mamas and Papas Apple Bobbin 4 Piece Nursery Bedding Set 
  • Clair de Lune Waffle Moses Basket with Pine Stand
  • Baby bath time support from Angelcare

Click here to enter.  The closing date is 3 June 2014.

Good luck!

Ally x

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Chocolate Hot Cross Bun Pudding



I actually meant to post this last week but got distracted with an attempted nesting clean of my lounge.  I did actually succeed to a degree.  If you saw it this week you may not agree...

Before said spring clean I found three packets of hot cross buns in my cupboard.  I had bought too many after a trip to the shops where they were clearly pumping their hot and spicy scent through the air vents, rendering poor pregnant women helpless but to buy them.

As I didn't want the buns to go to waste and I felt like have pudding after my dinner, I decided to make them into my version of bread and butter pudding, layered with Nutella and spices.  I had to make a rather large custard mix to coat the buns as best as I could.  It wasn't full to the brim but about 2/3 of the way but the buns still soaked it all up beautifully.

The finished product was absolutely delicious especially with the generous lashings of custard and general sounds of quiet and contentedness from hubby and daughter.  So, here is the recipe.  One to save for next Easter!

Ingredients
  • Butter for greasing (plus about 25g extra if you want to use butter on the buns)
  • 50g Nutella (use more if you want it be more chocolaty)
  • 8 hot cross buns (I used 10 which was just too many)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 700 ml/12fl oz whole milk
  • 100 ml/2fl oz double cream
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 50 g/1oz granulated sugar
  • nutmeg, grated, to taste

Preheat the oven to 180C/355F/Gas 4.

Preparation method
  1. Grease a 1 litre/2 pint pie dish with butter.
  2. Cut the hot cross buns in half lengthways.  Spread each slice with a generous helping of Nutella on one side.  Add a layer of butter first if feeling extra decadent!  Cut into triangles if you need slices to fit into any of the four corners of the dish.
  3. Arrange a layer of buns, chocolate-side up, in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon, then repeat the layers of buns and cinnamon until all the buns are used.
  4. Gently warm the milk and cream in a pan over a low heat to scalding point being careful to not let it boil.
  5. Crack the eggs into a bowl, add three quarters of the sugar and lightly whisk until pale.
  6. Add the warm milk and cream mixture to the eggs and stir well, then strain the custard into a bowl.
  7. Pour the custard evenly over the prepared bun layers and sprinkle with a dusting of nutmeg and the remaining sugar and leave to stand for 30 minutes. 

Place the dish into the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the custard has set and the top is golden-brown.  My oven cooks quite quickly so ovens may vary.

Eat warm and enjoy!

Ally x

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Blissful Pregnancy Massage with Helen Brown

After I had my daughter in 2010 I swore blind that if I had any aches or pains, SPD or sciatica in my next pregnancy that I would get them seen to instead of suffering in relative silence.

In this pregnancy I'd put on quite a bit of weight in a short space of time and I was still running a few times a week up until about four and a half months.  The combination of these two had sent my lower back into mini spasms which desperately needed to be seen to by someone who knew exactly how pregnant women should be massaged during their pregnancy.

I had my first treatment session with Helen Brown of Helen Brown Pregnancy Massage Therapy when I was five months pregnant and believe you me, it couldn't have been at a better time.  Helen, an ITEC Holistic Massage Therapist who works from the comfort of her home in St Albans, Hertfordshire, is specially trained and qualified in Pregnancy Massage Therapy and a member of the Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT). 

Helen's treatment room is was blissful.   It was warm and comforting with calming music in the background which made me feel completely at ease.  After an initial consultation and brief medical history I was given time to set myself up on the massage table, propping myself up with the necessary pillows under head and between knees, covering up with soft, fluffy towels.  The bed was warm from a heated blanket (it was cold and wintery then) and if I had closed my eyes for too long I could very well have had a long nap!

The treatment focused not only on the problem areas around my lower back but on my back as a whole as well as arms, legs, feet and face giving me the relief that I so desperately needed as well as some longed for relaxation and pampering time.

My subsequent sessions take place at four week intervals and focus on maintenance of the problem areas but also giving me an hour to myself where I was able to stop and take a break from my normal routine; a must for all mums to be I feel.  I may even increase this in the final month or so as I have an incredibly active baby who tends to

Treatments last for either a half hour or hour, dependant on personal needs.

Contact Helen for further information on prices and availability.

Ally x

Further details on Helen Brown ITEC, MFHT

web: http://www.helenbrownmt.com
e-mail: helenbrownmt@gmail.com
tel: 07908 517 522


Note: My first session was complementary but all subsequent sessions have been fully paid for, and very happily at that!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

11 more weeks and counting...

Either the baby brain is really kicking in or this is just the longest pregnancy in the world.  With my first I was clearly excited for her to be born but with this pregnancy, I just can't wait for it to be over!!

I keep reminding myself that this will be the last time that I carry a child inside me and that I need to enjoy every second, but the constant wriggling around leaves me feeling battered and bruised and topping that with simply delightful heartburn/acid reflux, I'm just not really feeling the love at the moment.  Love for baby of course but no love for mommy.  I feel a bit pathetic actually.  I naively thought that the worst thing that could happen to me second time around was that the morning sickness would be worse and having had SPD and sciatica, I knew I could deal with that if I got it again.  Clearly slightly delusional in that regard.  

I didn't even get morning sickness this time but instead I am getting to spend the majority of my time trying not to bend over so that I can avoid that sickly feeling in my throat.  I sleep sitting up and have a stash of Gaviscon (note to self...buy shares in Reckitt Benckiser/Gaviscon) in my office, at my bed and in my handbag.  I'm also five years older, with a four year old and a different job and working for myself which just leaves me feeling rather shattered at the end of the day, hence the lack of blogging and general creativeness.

The past week sent me into a bit of a free fall when a friend of mine who is just over a month ahead of me went into false labour.  There was the sudden realisation that 'oh, shit, I'm going to have a baby!'.  Yes, I wanted a second child and now I'm going to actually, physically have one.  We aren't talking about it anymore and there isn't any reversing of the process!

It's a reality where we are going to have sleepless nights and dirty nappies and baby sick and crying in the house once more...but do I really remember how to deal with all of that?!  I hold newborns now so gingerly as I feel like I am going to break them because of their tiny size and the fact that they are so 'new'.  It must be like riding a bike where once you've done it, you never forget how to do it even years later.  It is like that, isn't it?

So all of this prompted me to go to the library and take out a few books on things like being a mom to boys and being pregnant with your second child.  It was also to calm myself a bit because I'm actually a bit nervous about the birth this time whereas last time I didn't know what to expect so had nothing to compare it to.  The only book I had with my first was 'What to Expect When you are Expecting' which I gave to my sister.  I didn't think that I needed to read about something that was just so natural.

Now that I'm contemplating and possibly thinking about a hospital bag it could be a good time to see who will look after my daughter when the time eventually comes.  I've had offers from friends but need something more concrete which is hard when you only have one set of family (in-laws) living in the same country who work full time and don't drive a car.  It's times like these when I really miss having my mom around to share these things with me and also to rely on her to just be there for everything and anything.  She doesn't taken any nonsense, is great in a crisis and would literally sort out my whole house blind folded leaving me just to concentrate on what I need to do.

Oh well, hopefully I'll get my act together some time in the next few weeks.  I know you can only plan so much of it and that things don't always go according to plan anyway but it could be a very interesting event if I don't have some of the basics covered!

Ally x

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Silent Sunday 23 March 2014

Fabulous Foodie Degustabox

If you are a foodie or simply love trying new and exciting products, Degustabox is just what you have been looking for.

Now into it's third month in the UK, Degustabox is a monthly subscription service that offers subscribers the chance to sample 10 to 15 exciting new food products on a monthly basis.  Some of the products in the food box are new to the market and the joy of having a food delivery put together like this is that all the food products work out to be less than their advertised retail price.

The service is £12.99 per month which includes postage with no commitment necessary as long as you cancel before the 10th of the month.

One of the most recent boxes contained some delicious times from Dorset Cereals, Zico, Jules Destrooper, Amy's Kitchen, Alice and Oscar's, Go! Kombucha, Goody Good Stuff, Maggi.  What I loved about this selection is that there isn't anything in there that I wouldn't eat or give to my family.

I love that the majority of the products in this food box are focused on a healthy diet.  The Goody Good Stuff treats are perfect for vegetarians as they are gluten free and my daughter loved them.  Also having seen the Maggi SoTender cooking range advertised on TV I was intrigued and really wanted to give them a go and had the chance to do this (very yummy by the way!) because of the sample in my food box.  Fabulous!

Included in the box was a lovely card giving two delicious recipes using products in the food box itself.  The back of the card gives information about the products at a glance which is really handy when you are unfamiliar with a product and trying it for the first time.

The money off vouchers are a great touch too as they are relevant to products within the box as opposed to being for items which are completely unrelated which I often find a bit senseless.

Degustabox makes a wonderful gift, especially for those who have everything or for friends and family who just love their food.  It's also a great monthly treat for yourself.  Food boxes arrive at the end of the month if you purchase before the 20th or before the 8th of the following month if purchased on or after the 21st.

Happy discovering, eating, cooking and sharing!

Ally x

Web: https://www.degustabox.com/en/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DegustaboxUK
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DegustaboxUK

note: I was sent this box to review with all views being my own.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

What's your perfect day?

A friend of mine posted a link to a short film on Facebook recently featuring an acclaimed photographer, Jerry Ghionis.

Jerry poses the following question to a room full of photographers.  "What is your perfect day?".  A simple enough question to answer you'd think but if you actually took the time to mull it over, it's more than just spa days or track days, an extra few hours in bed or an hour to yourself in the day.  It comes right down to the root of who you are, what your needs are as a human being, what you want from life and what you want to achieve from it.

So after watching the video and then discussing it with a few friends over the weekend and telling them what I thought was my perfect day I actually stopped talking and started listening.  The day that I had described simply wasn't true to myself and was something that I could honestly do on any given day of the week if I wanted to.

I spent the best part of midnight to 2.00 a.m. having a debate with myself and then realising that as I was creating a story in my mind, seeing it laid out on the page, that the only person I was kidding was myself.  My perfect day isn't one where I'm being pampered and having a story book day with my family but one where I am by myself, where it is warm and the sun is streaming in through a window and I have my computer.

These three key factors all lead to one thing.  Writing.  I love to write, plain and simple.  It's a time where I can really be me with every thought being released out into the open through my blog.  How I choose to express myself is up to me and if people read and enjoy what I've composed that is an added extra but not the sole purpose of this creative outlet.  I find it cathartic with my blog being a small sanctuary; something that is completely mine that no one can take from me, that is never right or wrong and lets me be exactly who I am.

The big question that you are probably wondering is why then, if this is my nirvana, have I stopped writing for the past few months?  The simple facts are as follows:

  1. I'm now 23 weeks pregnant with my second child.  I've been kidding myself that my tiredness has taken over and actually stopped me from writing.  It just isn't physically possible be a working mum to one, a wife and be pregnant at the same time and then still have a life, or so I told myself.
  2. I think I should be doing vast amounts of housework as a spotless house (which will only look like a disaster area in a few hours) is the answer to all my prayers.  My husband knows all to well that this is one of the biggest lies I tell myself each day.
  3. For some irrational reason I've become afraid to write.  I see other blogs with people spurting out new and fresh ideas on a near daily basis which threatened me.  To be honest, I'm not trying to compete with anyone or win any awards so why should this bother me?
  4. I think that I'm being selfish by taking out a few hours at night or even on a Sunday morning like I am doing now.  I don't want to not spend time with my husband and feel even more guilty for shipping my daughter off to my in-laws just so that mommy can spend time on the computer, writing random and seemingly meaningless articles, putting them up on to her blog.  
  5. I felt uninspired; like I couldn't create with the pressure from some completely unknown source making me feel like anything I wrote would be worthless and not worth the time taken to push the publish button.  I was aiming to please a completely unknown audience but scared of the my posts being ridiculed or having some sort of bizarre backlash at what I'd composed.  This contradicted my views at every turn.
After thinking about all these seemingly stupid excuses (because that is all that they are) I stopped to ponder them again...   
  • If this is what makes me happy then surely I must be a better person to be around when I'm writing and being creative?  
  • Why should I feel guilty for taking time out from my family?  Before I was a wife and mother I was me, plain and simple.  Losing sight of that is probably one of the biggest makes I could be making.  
  • How can my daughter and husband respect me as an individual if I just give up on doing something that makes me feel alive?  I don't believe in doing things that are at the cost of others but out of the 168 hours we are given each and every week, taking 8 of those or less to spend time doing something you love is hardly a hardship.
  • Do I honestly care about competing with other people.  Do I want to be the same as all the other 'mommy bloggers' out there.  A simple answer to this is 'no'.
Well, here I am.  I'm writing and it has probably been the best 30 minutes of time spent so far this week.  Just me and my thoughts being poured out into my blog. 

I also often say that I'd love to write a novel but then push the idea aside thinking that there isn't much point as it will probably be a load of rubbish and no one would want to publish it anyway.  I've basically kicked the idea to the curb before I've given it a chance, making excuse after excuse after excuse to persuade myself not to do something that I've always dreamt of doing purely based on the fact that I think I'll fail before I've even started.   I'm not saying I'm going to start putting all the cogs in motion tomorrow but the time for excuses is now over.

Watch this video and take from it what you want.  It made me realise that I was the only person stopping me from having my perfect day was me and no on else.  No more excuses for why I can't allow myself to do what I love and allow myself the chance to be this person too.

Ally x

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

New App Review for Pre-Schoolers: Jonty - The Dinosaur Who Could Not Go to Sleep


My daughter has been testing out a beautiful new App called “Jonty – The DinosaurWho Could Not Go to Sleep”.  When I first saw the title I felt like replacing ‘Jonty’ with her name, to be honest!

This is a very cute story about a lively young dinosaur that has trouble getting to sleep at bedtime.  The story is fully interactive so your child can help to get Jonty to sleep, encouraging ‘invisible learning’ while having fun at the same time. 
My little one, who is 3 ½, loved that she could get involved in the story and make the characters move and interact with other items on the page.  I can’t really count the times that we’ve played it but the fact that she goes back to it over and over again, finding new things to do each time is wonderful.  She loves me to read it her as well as have it read to her by the narrator.  For her, getting to interact with the characters on the page really brings the story to life.
You can interact with the app in these four ways:

  1. Choose to have the story read to you by a narrator.
  2. Read it yourself.  If your child gets stuck on reading a word you can tap on individual words to have them read out by the narrator. 
  3. If you would prefer to not interact with the story at all then you can select the ‘Auto Play’ option.
  4. In the creative ‘Add To Story’ mode, you can drag and drop additional items onto the page, such as a rainbow or a robot.  For each page, you can also record your own audio in this mode.


We used the app on an iPad Mini and my daughter finds it very easy to use and interact with.  I like that even in the ‘read to me’ mode, you can press on the words which are highlighted briefly and then read back to you.  This means my daughter can say the word out aloud and learn to recognise it too.
The animated images are lovely and perfect for both goys and girls.  The interaction throughout the story also helps your child with problem solving skills as they actively help Jonty to get to sleep.
No personal information is collected via the app and it contains no ads or in-app purchases.  This really appeals to me because I don’t like the idea of my personal information being shared with 3rd parties and in-app purchases really ruin game play.  The fear in the back of my mind that she will somehow learn my iTunes password and download apps and ring up a huge bill is also put to rest.

I would highly recommend this App for little ones who are just learning to read.  It is especially good for children who don’t like to read as it encourages them to interact in a very different way whilst still learning new words and holding their attention at the same time.  I really hope that there are a few more of these to come as they are really lovely and are a great way of introducing the skill of being able to read to a pre-schooler.

The App costs £2.99 and is available via the Apple App Store.  An eBook version, for Kindle fire and Apple devices is also available.

Ally x

Find out more here:



Note: We were sent the App free of charge for my little one to put through it’s paces and give her views on.  All opinions are our own.
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