Food: Easter treats with Aldi

A couple of weeks ago Aldi sent me a lovely hamper full of chocolate and alcohol, clearly the alcohol will need to wait a little while to be consumed (by me at least, Sam has been tucking in!) but the chocolate was a very welcome addition indeed! The idea was to try out some new alcohol and chocolate pairings, which Sam has been doing, and I will join him post-baby for a little tipple or two, if there’s any left!

First up is the 85% Cocoa Moser Roth chocolate paired with Fletchers Ruby Port. Now personally I am not a huge port fan, but dark chocolate is my absolute favourite, the darker the better! Sam however is a Port lover (he’s always been an old soul!) but generally has it with cheese and biscuits, so chocolate and port is a new idea for him!

He said he thinks it works well because the chocolate has such a high Cocoa content that it’s quite bitter, which works really well with the natural sweetness of the Port.

Secondly I baked some walnut brownies (using this recipe) with the milk chocolate and they turned out really nicely! Sam had a glass of the Shiraz with his and loved it! I must admit I had a little sip the next day when I was using the other half of the bottle in a Chilli con Carne dish I was making and it tasted great, nice and full bodied!

We were also sent a bottle of Vodka, and Sam (who used to create Cocktail menus at his old job) has promised to make me some Mint Choc Martini once I’ve had the baby! I asked him for the recipe in case anyone fancies  trying it themselves!

  • 45 ml vodka
  • 14 ml creme de cacao
  • 14 grams green creme de menthe
  • A splash of half & half (this is a mix of cream/milk in equal parts)
  • 1 sprig fresh mint for decoration
  • Dark chocolate shavings for decoration

Stick all the liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker, and shake! Decorate and devour.

Sounds divine right? From memory it’s a fairly bright green colour too! I’m looking forward to it already! You can find your nearest Aldi here, and check out their Easter range, including all their Chocolates, drinks, recipes and crafts! Athena loved all the packaging that everything came in, and has been playing with the little Easter eggs ever since!

 

Thank you to Aldi for the lovely hamper!

Finally a comfortable night…

Our bed and mattress are around 5 years old now, and have almost seen me through two pregnancies as well as accommodating a larger than average husband too. We do turn the mattress frequently but as it wasn’t a particularly pricey one the begin with it is definitely starting to get uncomfortable. Even though we have a mattress protector on under the sheet I can still feel those annoying little button things digging in to my hips if I stay in the same place for too long! When I got an opportunity to review a mattress topper from ‘mattress next day‘ I thanked the gods of blogging because it was something I had been thinking about looking into to try and extend the life of our mattress. With a new baby and all the associated costs sadly a new mattress isn’t top of the list!  After a phone call to confirm my address at about 4pm on Wednesday the mattress topper was delivered by courier around midday the next day, impressive!

memory-foam-mattress-topper

When the mattress topper arrived in a roll I was initially sceptical as it didn’t seem very thick, but once we had unrolled it and let it spring back to it’s normal size and popped it on the mattress underneath the protector and sheet I changed my mind. Not so thick that your sheet will ping off at the corners or edges it still gives enough depth to make a very noticeable difference to how the bed feels when you sit or lay on it. The topper is mad from memory foam, and is supplied ‘as is’ ie with no cover. The depth is 2.5cm which may not seem that thick but as I said makes a difference. The bodyheat you radiate when you sleep helps the foam mould to your body and supports it, so you get a more comfortable nights sleep.  A new baby does mean more time in bed (well, more time awake in bed doing night feeds etc!) so a bed that is more comfortable and helps us get a better nights sleep is definitely welcome!

I can’t feel the nobbly buttons on the mattress AT ALL, and even my tossing and turning all night trying to get comfortable with a gigantic bump is a lot more comfortable and I actually seem to be sleeping for longer between toilet trips which is a wonderful change from the last five months! The only issue I have is the smell, which faded after about 48 hours, it wasn’t unpleasant though, a sort of ‘new thing’ smell is all, plus this was mentioned on the website. I do find that I get a bit hotter than normal overnight but I’m sure that this is an adjustment period whilst my body gets used to sleeping on something a bit different!

Mattress Next Day sell a wide range of beds and mattresses as well as toppers too, all delivered (yep you guessed it!) the next day! The topper for our bed is King sized and is currently on offer at £34.99 instead of £69.99 and in my opinion is worth every penny, especially if it means you can prolong the life of your mattress and not buy a new one!

I was sent a mattress topper in exchange for a review, all opinions and words are my own.

What’s in the hospital bag for baby!

 

It’s much more fun packing the baby bag than the mama bag (but you can see what’s in my bag for a C section here) and I think I’ve re packed it about 3 times now! I’m using a lovely big Stokke nursing bag to fit it all in and am probably packing more than we’ll need but better to over than under pack!

Here’s what I’ve packed:

  • 7  vests (some long sleeved with fold over bits and some short sleeved)
  • 2 sleep suits with no feet (Athena had super long legs and we had to cut the feet off the first size sleepsuits!
  • 2 bundlers (like nighties with elasticated bottoms for easy changing
  • hats & scratch mitts (which I doubt will get worn, they didn’t with Athena!)
  • Pack of Muslins, a jersey blanket and a knitted blanket
  • 2 cardigans
  • Wipes, a Totsbots teenyfit in birthday print and some disposables for those first few poops (and so Sam doesn’t have to cart too many dirty nappies home with him whilst I’m staying in hospital
  • hand sanitiser, nappy bags & spare tote bags for dirty clothes (both mine and his!)

The navy star vests/hat/blanket are from M&S, and the panda sleep suit was from F&F but everything else was Athenas I think as we didn’t know she was a she so nothing was too girly in the first sizes!

The first vest/nappy/hat is in a separate little bag so we can just grab it easily to dress baby once we’re ready to, so we don’t have to have loads of bags open to dig around in all at once. I’ve put this ready together with a nighty and some big pants for me for when I can take off the hopsital gown and the ECG sticky pad things once I’m recovered!

Am I missing anything drastic? It’s not even been two years since I was doing all this for Athenas arrival but it seems like so long ago!