Giraffe's

 

When Giraffe's offered the ABZ bloggers a chance to try their new spring menu I jumped at the opportunity! I had only been to Giraffe's once before, in fact, it was the first restaurant, that G ever had his own kids meal!

As expected, the service was friendly and relatively quick, considering we were almost 20 people.

We were given the option to choose a cocktail (or mocktail), starter or dessert and a main. As I have a total sweet tooth, I of course opted to skip the starter and chose a dessert instead.

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My chosen drink was a 'Bramble Garden', which was a refreshing cocktail with berries, elderflower and gin. Perfect for summer and not too sweet either.

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For my main dish I ordered the Scandi Salmon, which was a mixture of poached salmon, new potatoes, fresh salad and dill. It was light yet filling and reminded me of the Finnish summer. (Because 90% of the summer we only eat new potatoes with dill and fish haha!)

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For dessert I chose the white chocolate cheesecake with passion fruit. I’m usually not the biggest cheesecake fan, but I found this super delicious. It wasn't too heavy or sweet and the combination with passion fruit was spot on.

All in all, I had yet another great experience at Giraffe's. Next time I would probably go for a different main course just to mix it up a little. The Chicken Milanese was a big success among our group as was the Bowl for the Soul.

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Have you tried their new spring menu and if so, how did you like it?

 

 

 

Back in business

Ever since we came back from our holidays, I've meant to update the blog. What kept me from it was exhaustion and technical problems after having my pc formatted.

We left Northeast Brazil at 3 am on saturday and spent the whole day in Sao Paulo, to take our connection to Paris in the evening. That was a total of two nights with nearly no sleep at all. Anyone who knows me, knows that I NEED my sleep! Lol

All in all we had a great vacay and we enjoyed our time! G had a lot of fun with his cousins and we managed to get some child free time (we went to eat sushi like 7 times!) thanks to the grandparents!

Here's some snaps for you guys to enjoy! I already miss the warmth and sun, especially with this crazy weather that we are experiencing here in Aberdeen!

 

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How to keep organized* with a toddler

I would have never thought that I'd be writing a "how to" on staying organized. My mom could tell you horror stories from back in the day when I lived at home with my parents. But luckily my OCD husband has changed me for the better regarding cleanliness and organizing.

G has obviously inherited his cleanliness from his dad, as he absolutely loves packing things away, sweeping the floor whenerver he sees a broom, throwing trash in the bin and putting his used spoons and forks back in the silverware drawer (yum!). But then again, he's an exploring toddler who absolutely loves to make a huge mess!

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Anyways, back to the actual topic: Anyone who has lived with a toddler, knows that it is
nearlyimpossible to keep the house tidy for long. Im sharing a few tricks that work for me and help me keep the house manageable and avoid having to have a complete cleaning of the house every night:

Have a couple of 10-15 min cleans during the day. Choose an area (example: bedroom) and just throw all socks into the laundry hamper, reorganize the makeup table quickly and go over the windowsill and nightstand with a cloth. Voilá

Choose 2-3 chores for the day and write them down. Chores could be organizing the tupperware drawer, cleaning the bathroom, organizing the fridge, washing make up brushes... Writing them down keeps you focused and striking it off the list just gives you a feeling of accomplishment.

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Include your child in your activities. G loves to help hoovering. When I wipe the table after luch, I'll give him a cloth or paper and let him wipe the chairs or floor (or the dog...). Keeps him occupied and distracted from the desinfectant bottle.

Make a laundry plan. Nothing messes up a clean home more than mountains of laundry. You can even fill up the machine on the night before and just turn it on in the morning. Fold away the dry clothes in the evening while watching TV.

This was the most important and life changing for me: Get good quality security locks on all drawers and cupboards! Although I didnt love the Idea of spending a good £100 on drawer locks, it was one of the best investments I've made recently. Gone are the days when all of my hair rollers and cotton wipes were spread all across the bedroom floor. It makes organizing so much easier and I dont have to fear that G will find someting potentially dangerous in the drawers.



What are your best cleaning/organizing hacks?

*please note that the term "organized" is used rather loosely throughout the post.

Forever Living review (body products)

Hi there!

What a week it's been! We've had the usual mid-week madness and this weekend has been full of action too. Ssaturday we were invited to a little princess's first birthday and today we had some friends over for subs and cake.

Last week I bought a new suitcase, now I'm officially ready for take off. Except of course i still need to plan what I'll take with me and pack.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a review about Forever Living Face products and today I'm writing about the body products:

Aloe Vera Gelly
Great for irritated skin and burns. A really handy thing to have around the house. I imagine this would be a great after sun lotion too. This gel can also be used on animals for irritated skin or healing wounds.

Aloe Heat lotion
I totally loved this product and will definitely consider getting a tube myself! Its supposed to be good for a stuffy nose (just rub it on your chest and toes). I used it to heal my headache and sore neck and it worked really well. You can just rub a little product on your temples or as I did on my jaw and neck hairline to easen the tension that causes the pain.

Aloe Moisturizing lotion
Great everyday moisturizer with a nice subtle scent. Leaves the skin feeling moisturized yet breathing.

Aloe msm gel
This gel is good for muscle and join pain. My husband tried it for his sore back and liked it a lot (and thats quite something as he is usually not very keen on having sticky lotions on him).

Aloe propolis creme
This is also a nice daily moisturizing lotion which feels a little bit more luxurious compared to the aloe moisturizing lotion. It can even be used as a primer for your foundation. A great versatile product to have!

 

I hope you all have had a relaxing weekend!
 

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Its been another quiet week on the blog, but I will try to get my act together next week :P I had big plans about writing something decent on the blog today, but after a long and enjoyable day with family, friends and wine (and food, too much food!) I now gave up on that.

This week my dear parents were visiting us and now the freezer is stocked with cinnamon rolls and meatballs! <3 We already miss you!

G is becoming more and more independent and today he was actually swinging his finger to me when I told him not to stand on the chair. I wonder where he learned that from!

This week we have also booked our annual family holiday to Brazil. Im already super excited and need to start planning as we want to make the most out of our trip. One of the plans is also to finally baptize baby G. I will need to look for a restaurant to host our small party and find suitable clothes for G and myself.

Now I'll poke my husband awake, blackmail my dog to curl up next to me and start watching American crime story! What an exciting first episode and a top notch cast. Some other series I want to watch are Narcos and Making a Murderer.

Have a great weekend y'all!

 

Pamper Hamper revealed

Last week I teamed up with lovely Patsy from Forever Living and tested some products that she generously let me have for a few days.

I have always liked Aloe Vera based products, as I find them very gentle on the skin so I was super excited to try these out.

The hamper had about 15-20 products in it and I'm writing a quick review* on the ones that I found most suitable for myself and which I would consider buying. I have split this review in two, featuring the face products in the first one and the ones for body in the second.

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Aloe Cleanser
This creamy cleanser had a nice subtle fragrance and removed makeup well from the skin. It left the skin feeling moisturized without being oily. A really nice product with a good price tag. RRP £11,99

Forever Aloe Scrub
I loved this Face&Body scrub! The grains are just big enough to not be too harsh on the face, but it still feels like a nice scrub on the body. Also it did not dry out the skin as opposed to some face scrubs from other brands. RRP £13,44

Forever Marine mask
A very -I'll say it again- gentle and moisturizing face mask. What I loved about it, was that it was light in color and it didnt really dry and crackle on the skin. You could use it during the day without scaring off your children or the delivery guy - my husband barely noticed that I was using a face mask. RRP £19,09

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Firming day lotion
I liked this face creme, but as I have extremely dry skin during winter time, I felt that it didnt give me enough moisture. I could imagine using it during summer time as a lighter daily moisturizer. RRP £18,72

Recovering Night Creme

This night creme was the perfect amount of moisture for the night. After doing the face cleaning routine, it felt pampering to finish it off with the night creme. A good product, but  RRP £26,26

Forever Alluring Eyes
I am quite the rookie when it comes to eye cremes. I have only started to use them nearly a year ago. So far I have been sticking with one brand only, but especially during winter I feel that it's not thick enough for me. This Forever Alluring eyes was very moisturizing yet light on the skin. Definitely a thumbs up for this product! RRP £20,71

Forever Aloe Lips 
Yes, Yes and Yes! I am probably the worst lip product addict there is! My friends used to laugh about me when I put on 7 different lip products within 20 minutes. Well.. I just needed all of them! And this Lip balm is no exception, it has a nice scent and is clear in colour. Nobody likes those white streaks of dried product in the corner of the mouth! Definitely one of my favourite lip balms. RRP £2,99

*All opinions are my own.

Valentine's day Oreo truffles

You need:

2packs of oreos

2 tbsp cream cheese

1bag of candy melts

Sprinkles (optional)

Mix oreos and cream cheese in a food processor until smooth. Spread mixture on a silicone mat about 2cm thick  and cut out heart shapes with a cookie cutter. Leave the hearts in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. Carefully melt the candy melts (instruction). Take the hearts out of the freezer one by one and dip them in the melted candy melt with the help of a fork. Carefully transfer the heart onto a cookie sheet and decorate! IMG_5222

Sunday thoughts...

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the pace of the universe, where everyone is going or coming from somewhere. Not just in the literal sense. Anyone who is or has been a stay at home parent, knows how suddenly time stops still, but everyone around you still keeps on going 110mph. And I must admit, at times I did get stressed out over it.
As I have previously written, one of my new years resolutions was to "live in the moment". I have knowingly tried to do so and appreciate the small things. I have tried to put the phone down more often just to cherish what is happening around me. I think we all should learn from children, who will stop to look at the same things over and over again. A little persons perception is such a wonderful thing.

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One of the main things that stressed me out was, if I had to leave the house early in the morning. All the packing and getting dressed sometimes took so long that I knew we were going to miss the first 5 minutes of music class. Something that I have changed to make the situation better is work on my time management. Getting G dressed straigt after breakfast, packing the bag early (as opposed to doing so right before having to leave the house and not being able to find object X) and planning ahead in general. But the most important change that I have made was changing my attitude; It really is not that bad if we actually miss the first few minutes of a class or if I have to take the next bus to town.

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Cherishing the moment is probably the most important thing to do in this stage of my life. Seeing G grow and change every day, I feel privileged to be experiencing it first hand. Of course there are days when I secretly (or not so secretly) envy the mothers who can drop their children off at daycare and wear white (or eat their lunch while its still hot or use the toilet without an audience) for the rest of the day.
A while ago I was talking to an old friend and thinking if I should go to work and how to balance work and family. My friends answer was something like "You should concentrate on your career while you are young and still can". At that point I realized, that I also had moved on, not neccesarily in the same direction as my working friends, but I wasnt in the same place as "pre baby". After our conversation I couldn't help but shrug and think "you obviously are not a parent".

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Chocolate Mousse Cupcakes

If one of your new years resolutions was to lose weight, eat less sweets or live a healthier life (mine were!), you have come to the wrong place. Do NOT scroll any further. Im kidding, this is too good (and easy!) to miss.

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I was looking for easy mousse recipes on pinterest, but didnt seem to be able to find any that I fully liked, so I ended putting together my own recipe. These choco mousse "cupcakes" are super easy and quick to make. All you need is:

(makes 6 servings)

6 silicone cupcake moulds (individual)

200g milk chocolate (I used Cadburys milk chocolate)
300ml double cream
50g 70% dark chocolate
5tbs espresso
Raspberries for garnish

Chocolate cups:                                                    
Chop 100g of milk chocolate into a (microwaveable) bowl . To melt it in the microwave, start with 30 seconds, stirring in between and continue microwaving for 10 seconds for as long as it takes. When part of the chocolate is melted, start stirring until it becomes even. (Patience is key! do not over-heat the chocolate or otherwise it will turn grainy and thick)

When the chocolate is melted, spoon a couple of tsp of chocolate into the silicone moulds and spread it up to the edges. Put chocolatey moulds into the fridge and let harden for 1-2 hours.

Mousse:
Put 5tbs of espresso to a small saucepan and heat on low heat. Put the rest of the chopped milk chocolate and dark chocolate into the saucepan and stir until chocolate is starting to melt. Turn off heat and stir until even. Set saucepanpan aside to cool.

Whisk 300ml of double cream in a large bowl (do not over-whip! The cream should be soft and fluffy). Take one tbsp of the whipped cream and mix it in the saucepan with the cooled chocolate paste. This way the chocolate paste becomes softer and is easier to work with. Now mix the chocolate paste and the whipped cream together in the large bowl by lifiting gently with a spoon to not lose the fluffines of the whipped cream.

When the mousse is even you can take out the cupcake moulds and carefully peel the mould off the chocolate. Try not to touch the chocolate to avoid melting and fingerprints. Spoon in a desired amount of mousse and garnish with a raspberry before serving. You can also prepare this ahead and leave it in the fridge.

Enjoy!

Nursery Details

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After
weeksdays of rain the sun finally made an appearance in Aberdeen!

My plan was to make the most out of it and take a couple of photos of the nursery (I keep typing "nursesy" for some reason. Dont you just hate when that happens?).

After luring G out of my way with crackers and some toys, I was finally ready to press the shutter button, when my camera decided it was time to kindly inform me, that the battery was dead! I couldn't help, but load the battery pack and attempt in at another time. Luckily I did manage to snap some pictures today, the second sunny day in a row!

We wanted to maintain a bright look within the nursery and add colour through G's toys and some pictures on the wall. The great thing is that it is easy to change the "theme" or let the room grow and change with the child. I personally enjoy a B&W monocrome look, but I feel that it is not how I would like to decorate my child's room. I think we managed to make a nice compromise between style and practicality.

We went for a Montessori-style nursery, where G could choose his toys and books himself (...and hopefully even learn to put them back where they belong). We took out his cotbed and only left the mattress of the floor and so far it has worked well for us.

There are still a few things we want to change, for example hang the bookshelves, change the curtains and possibly look for a small area rug and some cushions, but I find it is coming together quite nicely.

Wow, I didn't know that I had this much thoughts to share about a nursery. To not bore you out of your minds, I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves. Hope you like them.

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