Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Indoor Herb Garden Tutorial

Hands up who is looking forward to Summer? How about preparing for those long hazy days by making your own herb garden? Surely, it can’t be too long now before we can shed some layers, tuck into some delicious salads and sip a cooling Pimms or two?

Indoor Herb Garden Tutorial by Sprout's House

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*Not sure what an affiliate link is? – If you click on any of the links in this post and make a purchase I will earn a small percentage of what you have spent, however it will cost you no more than normal! Thanks for your support!*

Ingredients/Equipment:
5x different herbs either potted or packets of seeds – I used coriander, basil, flat-leaf parsley, thyme and rosemary
1x wicker herb wheel
1x small bag of soil or just use some from your garden!
Time: 20 minutes

Indoor Herb Garden Tutorial by Sprout's House

Option 1 – Instant Herb Garden

Take the herb wheel and arrange your herb pots around the outside. As you arrange the pots think about how your herb garden will eventually look – take into account the height, texture, density and leaf shape of each of the plants. Once you’re happy, start with largest herb, remove its pot and very gently tease the roots out a little bit to encourage them to spread out once they are planted. Then place the plant into the herb wheel. Repeat with the other 4 plants ensuring that they are evenly spaced out. Fill in the gaps with the extra soil and gently pat down. Water the plants and leave to bed in for a day.

Indoor Herb Garden Tutorial by Sprout's House

Option 2 – Less Instant Herb Garden (4-6 weeks)

Fill the herb wheel about three quarters full with soil. Taking each packet in turn sprinkle a small handful of seeds in the soil. Again ensure your plants are evenly spaced. Once all the seeds are sown, top up the herb wheel with some more soil to cover the seeds and gently press down. Water and cover with cling film so the soil retains its moisture. Place in a sunny spot and water if needed. When the seedlings start to emerge remove the cling film and continue to water as needed. Although this option takes longer to produce results, it would be a great project to do with kids. They could be in charge of watering and measuring the plants growth, as well as keeping a log of which herb is growing the fastest.

Indoor Herb Garden Tutorial by Sprout's House


We enjoyed the first taste of our herbs for Easter lunch. I cut a small selection from each plant, finely chopped them and forked them into some couscous along with a drizzle of olive oil. Delicious!



Who's got some great salad recipes? Drop me a line below and let me know how you get on with making your own Herb Gardens!

Sprout’s House
  xox

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Thursday, 17 April 2014

Mom Lovin Hop no. 44

Morning All! As you may have noticed, I’m doing something very exciting and a little bit different today…. I’m co-hosting the Mom Lovin Hop along with all these lovely ladies – Hannah, Lena and Amy!! So dive in, link up and make some new friends!!


Guest Co-Host this week, V from Sprout's House


V is a teacher, wife and mother to a very girly little four year old! She blogs about restoring their victorian cottage to its former glory, DIY, recipes and the moments of life! Thanks for co-hosting this week V! 

If you are interested in co-hosting FOR FREE shoot Hannah an email at hannahsjoyfullife (at) gmail.com to get on the list, growing your followers couldn't be easier! 

Our featured mama this week is Meg from Me With the Three


First off, I just want to hop in and live in Megs' blog, so chic! She is mama to two boys and married to her best friend. She blogs about the essentials- photography, food, crafts, family and Jesus. She loves photography and you can see that in her space, looking through her photos makes your feel like you're living those moments right along side her family.

Here we go! Don't forget to... 
**grab out button and display it proud for other mama's to get in on this action! 
**read the rules, link up and socialize!

Joyful Life



Please, if you are new to the hop or have been here but haven't left a comment, please let us know on our own respected blogs that you are a new follower (be sure to say HOW you are following) so we can follow you back! 







Sprout’s House
xox

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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Chocolate Easter Egg Baskets

Are you entertaining family and friends over the Easter weekend? Do you need a quick recipe that will feed the masses, taste delicious and even better the kids can make it?!....


Chocolate Easter Egg Baskets

This post contains affiliate links.
*Not sure what an affiliate link is? – If you click on any of the links in this post and make a purchase I will earn a small percentage of what you have spent, however it will cost you no more than normal! Thanks for your support!*

Ingredients:
400g milk chocolate
160g shredded wheat
1 bag of mini eggs
plus a selection of pretty cupcake/muffin cases
Makes 14-16 nests

Break up the chocolate and place in a pyrex bowl. Place this bowl over a pan of simmering water – make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl or the chocolate may seize.


Chocolate Easter Egg Baskets

While the chocolate is melting, crush the shredded wheat by putting it into a plastic food bag. Seal and hit with a rolling pin until all the ‘pillows’ are completely destroyed!!


Chocolate Easter Egg Baskets

Add the shredded wheat to the melted chocolate and stir well so that the shredded wheat is completely covered! Spoon this mixture into cake cases and then press the back of a teaspoon into each case to create the basket shape.


Chocolate Easter Egg Baskets

Add 3 mini eggs to each nest plus any other decorations that take your fancy! (For UK readers, our decorations are from Waitrose!) Place in the fridge for 1-2 hours to harden. Take out 15 minutes before eating. Enjoy!


What are you cooking over Easter? Share your ideas in the comments below.

Sprout’s House
xox

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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Strawberry, Blueberry and Raspberry Ice Lollies

Are you wishing away the cold weather and embracing the sunshine that has been peeking through the clouds? What better way to get in the mood for a hot Summer than with some homemade ice lollies!!

Strawberry, Blueberry and Raspberry Ice Lollies

This post contains affiliate links!!

Sprout has been quite ill recently not only with the chicken pox, but also with a rather nasty chest/ear infection. With the infection she didn’t eat for nearly a week, so I have been trying to get as many vitamins into her as possible to give her depleted system a little boost. These lollies have proved to be the perfect solution for several reasons - Sprout loves whizzing the ingredients, they are full of vitamins and best of all - for Sprout - they are pink!!

Ingredients -
1 banana
1 cup of frozen raspberries
1 cup of frozen strawberries and blueberries
A splash of coconut water – if you haven’t used coconut water before it is definitely worth trying. It is made using the clear liquid from the centre of young, green coconuts. Full of potassium and electrolytes, low in calories and fat free it makes a really hydrating drink.

Strawberry, Blueberry and Raspberry Ice Lollies

Put all the ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth. I used a stick/hand held blender similar to this one which I love as it's quick to wash up, and comes with a few accessories including a whisk, 1 litre beaker and a compact chopper. I used the compact chopper for this recipe.

Next, spoon the mixture into the lolly moulds and freeze for at least four hours. When you’re ready to eat the lollies simply pour boiling water over the outside of the moulds and the lollies should be easy to release.

Strawberry, Blueberry and Raspberry Ice Lollies

We had a couple play dates at the beginning of the week and these went down a storm on both occasions!


Sprout’s House
 xox

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Linking up at

It's So Very Cheri

KitchenFun

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

How to achieve Night Time Dryness!

Are you tackling potty training with your little one, but haven’t quite conjured up the energy to conquer night time dryness?
Or are you fed up with changing your child’s sheets in the middle of the night?


Achieve Night time Dryness in seven easy steps

This post contains affiliate links!

Sprout’s potty training journey began in August 2012 when I tried to potty train her over the summer holidays. It soon became clear from the numerous puddles around the house that she simply wasn’t ready for this step! Her second attempt took place towards the end of October just as we had moved house and were about to get married. Luckily, it turned out to be fairly painless.

We didn’t tackle nighttime dryness until mid-August 2013 and I think it took us about 3 or 4 weeks to crack, however compared to daytime potty training it proved to be fairly painful!!


So I have compiled 7 simple steps for you to follow in the hope that you have an easier time that we did!!

1.   Invest in a really good waterproof mattress protector!! The last thing you want to be doing is trying to dry out a urine soaked mattress in the middle of the night! We bought a cot bed mattress protector from Little Green Sheep.

Achieve Night time Dryness in seven easy steps

   It is made from layers of super soft organic cotton between which there is a layer of food grade polyurethane. The sheet is flat rather than fitted to encourage breathability and help create a barrier against dust mites. This also means that you can position the protector wherever you need to! Sprout has used hers ever she started sleeping in her cot and now uses it on her full sized single bed. Neither her cot bed mattress nor her single bed mattress have any marks or stains on them!

2.  Buy a couple of packets of these Pampers Bed Mats.

Achieve Night time Dryness in seven easy steps

  These are literally worth their weight in gold as they help cut down the amount of laundry you have to do. As a working Mummy, I found it hard to keep up with washing all the sheets especially ensuring that the mattress protector was dry and ready for the following night. We started off by laying one of these sheets across the top of Sprout’s bed sheet so that if she had an accident it would just be a case of changing her pjs and possibly the duvet cover. The only thing about the Pampers Bed Mats is that they are a bit ‘plasticky’ so as Sprout began to have more dry nights we moved the pampers sheet to underneath her bed sheet and since then have just removed it altogether!

3.   One of the most important things you can do is give your little one the chance to empty their bladder by hopping on the potty or loo just before you tuck them in and say goodnight.

4.  Even more important is to give them the opportunity to wee just before YOU go to bed! This will give them a great chance of remaining dry through the entire night! Sprout has been dry over night for about 8 months and we still pop her on the potty each night as we make our way to bed. Generally, she snoozes right through this night time wee and we usually have her potty right next to her bed so it doesn’t tend to disturb her too much.

5.  We also leave the potty in the same place in her room each night so that she can use it if she needs to.  

6. Leave out spare pyjamas, bed sheets, duvet covers and even towels just in case you need them for those middle of the night changes! The last thing you want to be doing is riffling through your cupboards at ‘silly’ o’clock in the morning.

7.   If you find that your child is continually wetting the bed in the night then it might be worth limiting the amount they drink after 4 or 5pm so that their bladder is not too full.


One of my friends has recently used these tips to help her daughter stay dry through the night and has reported back that it only took them a week achieve night time dryness!!

Have you got any night time dryness tips?
Pop your ideas in the comments section!


 Sprout’s House
      xox