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Mess free painting with Paint Sticks

Do you like painting with your kids but dread the mess it can create? Every time Harry and I ‘get the paints out’ it turns into a complete nightmare to clean up! He does tend to lose interest quite rapidly which often makes me question how worthwhile it is!

I received a brilliant product this week which really solves the mess of painting with young children. ‘Paint Sticks’ from Little Brian are absolutely perfect for painting with toddlers. Convenient, easy to use and quick to set up and pack away, I have found myself getting them out regularly for Harry, without all the fuss that painting normally involves.

Paint Sticks are a bit like glue sticks, but they contain solid colourful paint that you can just twist up and down, and paint straight onto various surfaces. The colours are so vibrant and dry within 60 seconds. They can be mixed together easily and also be blended with water to create ‘wash’ effect artwork.

The selection of colours in the 12 pack is excellent, and they are so strong and bold and really easy to use. Harry loved using them and how easy it was to choose the colour he wanted without having to use brushes or water. He also didn’t have me hovering over him for damage limitation!

mess free painting for toddlers

mess free painting for toddlers

I would describe Paint Sticks as a cross between a crayon and paint.  They come out much bolder than crayons, and dry as the consistency of paint, making them very appealing to toddlers. They are washable and wipe off furniture and wash out of clothing very easily.

I genuinely highly recommend this product, which is very reasonably priced at just £7.99 for 12, and available from Amazon, Asda, Toys R Us and Toymaster.

Love, Laurel

 

Harry’s Kingdom of You

A bedtime story, like most toddlers, is crucial to Harry winding down before going to sleep. Recently however, I have noticed him becoming a bit tired of some of his books, or some of them becoming too ‘babyish’ for him. At 2 years 4 months, he can really grasp a story and his imagination is amazing. We were sent a lovely personalised book, ‘Kingdom of You‘ by Wonderbly, and I knew as soon as I received it, Harry would love it for years to come.

Kingdom of You personalised book

We are expecting baby number two, a little girl, in January, so there are lots of changes ahead for our little Harry. I feel like it’s so important right now to use this time to make Harry feel so special whilst also preparing him for becoming a big brother!

Kingdom of You is a beautifully illustrated, extensively personalised book for toddlers aged 2 – 5. It centres around a main character, i.e. your little one, who is fed up of tidying his/her bedroom and is more interested in fun and adventure. Suddenly the ‘laundry genie’ appears from his washing basket and grants Harry 3 wishes. He wishes to be King Harry with his very own kingdom!

Kingdom of You personalised book

I was able to choose two of Harry’s favourite things to base the story on; dinosaurs and ice cream. The illustration is absolutely beautiful and so detailed and personalised. Harry’s name appears continually throughout the book, and the little character I chose has blonde hair just like him. He loved the story and was fascinated by all of the pictures and the fact the book was all about him!

The quality of the book is excellent and the ordering process was very quick and easy and arrived within a week. This book would make a beautiful gift and is a perfect way to make your little boy or girl feel special and involve them in a magical story that will capture their imagination.  You get to see a preview of each page as you place your order and can write a dedication at the end.

I would thoroughly recommend this book as a lovely gift for toddlers. Thank you so much Wonderbly for sending Harry this book and making him feel special!

Love, Laurel

Homemade Chicken Fried Rice

For our wedding anniversary recently, we went out for some lovely Asian food in Belfast. The fried rice we had that night made me crave it so badly afterwards that I decided to give it a go myself. It turned out really good, and I’m so pleased I can now make this at home!

Homemade chicken fried rice

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 250g basmati rice, cooked
  • Whole bunch of spring onions, chopped finely
  • Stick of celery, diced
  • Red pepper, diced
  • Handful of Frozen peas
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 chicken breasts, diced
  • Chopped chunks of ham (optional)
  • Sesame oil – approx 3 tbsp
  • Soy Sauce – approx 50ml
  • Clove of garlic
  • Pinch of chili flakes
  • Tsp Ginger
  • 2 Sundried tomatoes, finely chopped

Method

  • Heat some sesame oil in a wok. Add your chicken, garlic, chili and ginger. Stir fry until cooked through and transfer to a bowl.
  • Add more oil, the red pepper, celery, peas, ham and most of the chopped spring onions and stir fry for a few minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  • In your wok, add your egg and let it cook like an omelette briefly. Then use your spatula to chop it up into small pieces.
  • Add more oil, and the cooked rice, and stir fry for a few minutes.
  • Add all of your other ingredients, some soy sauce and keep stirring until the rice has been coated well and is slightly golden.
  • Serve immediately topped with some chill flakes, finely chopped sun dried tomatoes and spring onions.

When I was making this, I went through a stage where I thought it had gone wrong, and the rice was too sticky. But once it started to come together and all the other ingredients were added back to the wok, it turned out great and tasted so good. The sun dried tomatoes sound a bit odd, and the idea is stolen from the Belfast restaurant we went to, but they add something really nice to this version. I would highly recommend you give it a try!

Love, Laurel

 

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