Saturday, 25 April 2015

Recipe | Oreo Cheesecake Cookies

Happy Saturday!
Last week, I found a pretty yummy looking recipe online which I needed to try straight away! Combining two of my favourite things, cookies and oreo's, I figured how hard could it be? But these aren't just any regular Oreo cookies, oh no, they're Oreo Cheesecake Cookies! I'll admit, the idea of cream cheese in a sweet treat or dessert always makes me feel a bit weird, I love cheesecake but as soon as I remember it's actually made with cheese, it puts me off a little. But I decided as I had some free time, I would give it a good old bash!

The recipe I found said I needed an electric whisk, I don't have one, so I just used brute force and strength, and they came out just lovely so don't ever believe those recipes that tell you you NEED one, they're just being lazy ;)

Here's what you will need;

110g Cream Cheese (I used Philadelphia, the full fat one)
125g Plain Flour
90g Sugar (just the usual sugar you put in tea or coffee)
110g Unsalted Butter
12 x Oreos (I used the double stuff ones because they were on offer, but its up to you!)

Pop your oven on to 190 degrees

Add your cream cheese into a bowl and whisk/stir until softened

Now add in your butter and cream them both together, it doesn't have to look perfect, just do the best you can!

Now mix in your sugar and gradually add in your flour too, combine together until it looks something like this...

The people online said it should look soft and fluffy, mine looked more like scrambled egg, but hey, we work with what we've got..

Break up your oreos into whatever size you fancy (don't try cutting them, it takes bloody ages and makes a big mess...)

Next you need to pop some foil/cling film over the bowl and pop in the fridge for an hour (or best overnight)

Once chilled, roll them into 1 1/2 - 2 inch balls onto a baking tray, obviously make them smaller if you'd like more cookies or bigger if you want less, you could even just make one GIANT Oreo Cookie!! Yum! This batch made 11 cookies! Place them onto baking trays lined with baking sheets!

The recipe said they take 13-14 minutes, but I checked on mine after 10 and they looked like this, so a little overdone, I'd say they take about 8 minutes, but keep checking on them any way just to be sure, you want the edges to just be turning golden brown!

As you can see, the inside was creamy and moist (god I hate that word), but that's exactly how they were, the perfect texture for cookies, a little crisp on the outside but smooth in the centre, with an oreo piece in every bite and balanced perfectly with sugar and the cream cheese! A yummy, easy and quick recipe you can whip up in no time!


Summer Holiday Essentials!

In December we had our first family holiday, it wasn't abroad, in fact it was only a few hours away but it was an experience that made me super anxious beforehand, knowing what to pack and what not to, what will fit in the car and what can go in the boot, all whilst trying to work around Abbie's nap time and a very anxious me..

I'm one of those people who has to have everything organised weeks before, I am planning now with checklists galore for our next trip in just under 2 months, I have a bit of experience now so hopefully I can stay relaxed this time. I've shared a few things from my checklist below with  some extra little bits from other articles online too, it is just about everything you need to have a relaxing holiday together, be it on the beach or maybe a day or two exploring in the countryside!

For the journey
It's only a 2 hour journey for us so we're gonna try and get it all done in one go, which means no stopping! Abbie has been getting better in the car for long periods recently, however she refuses to sleep in her car seat so it can mean a grumpy toddler for the second half of the journey, plus she gets travel sick too, so it's always a little stressful, but we have thought hard about what kinda things we would take to keep her entertained! 

- Lunch & Snacks
- Cbeebies CD
- Sticker books
- iPad

Probably at the top of my list (apart from clothes and Abbie's stuff of course), I don't go anywhere without my camera, you never know what opportunities you could miss! I think I took almost a thousand on our last Butlins trip, no seriously, I get super snap happy! Disposable camera's are also a good idea, perfect for the little ones to take their own photos too, and it doesn't matter too much if they drop it either! When you get home, help them make their own little scrapbook of the holiday with their very own photos too! We will be taking some underwater ones with us this time!

Obviously, we know clothes are essential, but I'm talking about packing for every type of weather, the weatherman might say it's going to be lovely and sunny, but you could end up in showers for a good few days and have nothing to wear but a pretty summer outfit and sandals! Just some cardigans, some trainers and an umbrella should have you covered!

Guide Books 

I've always found these super helpful, growing up my family had them on our day trips and holidays, they can pinpoint the best places to go, from food to amusements, hotels to fun things for the little ones, most shops or tourist information stops have a guidebook to suit your chosen destination! We get given ours when we check-in so we know where everything is during our stay!

Sun Lotion 
Now the weather's warming up, it's essential you take sun lotion with you, even if it's overcast and cloudy, there are still harmful UV rays! Anyone remember the Baz Luhrman song? It's always what pops into my head when I hear the word 'sunscreen', so random! Ha ha. We use the Green People's Organic Children for Abbie, it's natural, water repellant and perfect for sensitive skin! (oh and smells divine too!)

Insect Repellent 
Itchy mosquito bites can see to it that you do not get a wink of sleep throughout your holiday. Insect repellent is a must, especially if like Ben, they seem to be drawn to your skin! You can actually get toddler friendly ones too so your little ones don't get bitten either!

A pair of flip flops you can pop on and kick off are absolutely essential. I've been eyeing a few pairs up on tReds recently, these ones especially, we will be doing a lot of walking so they look nice and cushiony for that! Take a few pairs each and be prepared for all weathers!

Whether you're heading off abroad or staying in country, holiday insurance is definitely a must, we have it included in our Butlins package, just in case! You never know what could happen whilst you're away from home and the last thing you want to do is paying ridiculous money when you can be covered for just the fraction of the price! It's unlikely anything will happen but its nice to know its there!



Thursday, 23 April 2015

Longleat | Day One

What an amazing few days we've just had, Ben has the week off so we thought we'd start things off in style and head over to Longleat for an afternoon! We are so lucky to have it just 10 minutes from us, it has so many amazing things and when the sun shines, it makes it 10 times more amazing! Because it was off peak it was lovely and quiet too which makes it so much more enjoyable, no queues, no crowds and time to actually enjoy everything!

We actually now have annual passes, which means we can go as often as we like for a whole year, seeing as we've already been twice in the two days we've had it, it's safe to say it'll be very well used! We had to have our photos taken for our passes, which I always hate but they didn't turn out too bad so phew! 

So for the first day we decided to explore the Animal Kingdom, Postman Pat Village, Penguin Island, Stingray Bay & the Adventure Castle! All of which Abbie absolutely loved! She was so bloody well behaved on both days, I was so proud of her, not a single tantrum was had and she was just happy to walk around and play, so yay for that too!

I took so many photos, literally, almost 800, I get a bit snap happy sometimes ha ha.


Look out for Day Two at the weekend! :)


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Things That Make Me Happy

There's a lot of things that really make me happy, obviously there are the obvious things like Ben & Abbie, health and all that jazz, but for me I really think it's the little things that really make a person happy, the things we don't really think about but give us that little boost in happiness, there's so much negativity out there, things we all want, things we wish we had, but at the end of the day, as much as it would be nice to have those things, would they really make us that much happier in the long run, or would the feeling fade after a while? 

I thought about the things that really make me feel warm and fuzzy, make my belly rumble or just generally improve my day, it's funny how many of those things don't involve buying anything or spending money..

So here is a bloody long list of the little things that make me happy...

A good nights sleep (hint hint Abbie)

Warm weather & sunshine

Treat day

A happy toddler


Taking photos


The beach

M&S food


Hot baths


Positive People




Galaxy Chocolate


Watching Abbie fall asleep


Blog comments


Family time


Party food

The smell of freshly baked bread

Having full battery on my phone


Quiet time


Chinese food


A clean house

I'm really trying not to just talk about food right now...


Pick n mix


Charity shop bargains

Greggs sausage rolls

Toddler giggles


Crappy TV


Board Games







Baby animals



Getting emails

Full battery on my phone

What are some of your favourite things?


When The Kids Go To Sleep: Friends Night In

Us parents all know that feeling, once the kids are in bed, you are free to do what the hell you want/tidy up downstairs, sort out everything for the next day, clean up after dinner and catch up on some crappy tv eventually! Well, that's usually the plan, the reality is usually more, kids are in bed, i'll just rest my head down on the pillow for 5 minutes, next thing you know its 7am the next morning and you've slept your evening away! But still, we all need those times to step away from being a parent, whether it's just 10 minutes away or the whole evening, sometimes having your closest friends around for that is so much better! 

So text your friends, arrange an evening when you are all free, and just have some adult time, you're not mummy or Daddy for now, you're you, enjoy yourselves, let your hair down and stuff your face with as much food as you like, have a laugh and just chill out! Doing this just once a month will really give you that pick me up, especially if you've had a crappy day, i've popped a little list of things below that can help you have a fab night if you needed some ideas! 

The Food
Obviously you could cook everyone a delicious meal, but lets face it, it's a great excuse not to, instead order in a pizza, with all the sides, all the desserts, pop to the shop and buy ice cream, pick n mix sweets and crisps with dips, go all out, you might not eat everything but it's a good way to get all your cravings out the way, get each person to bring something different with them so it's not just you spending the money, and when it comes to going to someone else's house, change the cuisine of the takeaway and return the favour by taking some yummy treats with you too!

I am such a sucker for quizzes, Ben & I actually use Sporcle pretty much every evening and challenge each other to quizzes (I know I know, old before our time), but they are such good fun and there's literally a quiz for every out there! Some of my favourites are actually Music quizzes on YouTube, a great way to get everyone singing, getting involved and laughing, guessing the intros to songs through the decades and even tv shows too! 

There's alway something in Netflix everyone can watch, have a flick through the movies and you'll probably find something you all have seen for ages, whether it's a hilarious comedy, eerie scary movie or something more soft and romantic, Netflix have you covered with whatever you need! I've just finished watching Dexter actually and bloody loved it, before that I was addicted to Prison Break and may have got a little bit too excited at the fact White Chicks was back on there, it's one of those films that we love to hate, but gets everyone laughing along!

Who doesn't love a good games night in? Be it something on the PS4 or going classic with a good old board game? Ever since I was very young I've loved playing them, obviously back then it was more snakes and ladders than monopoly but they are classic fun none the less! Trivial Pursuit is one of the top family favourites, along with Scrabble, Monopoly and Articulate, such a good laugh and you might even learn a thing or two as well! Ben & I actually have the Countdown game and can honestly say it's just as nerve-wracking as if you were on it ha ha, I may have even thrown the cards around the room on one occasion...whoops.

Another fun group game is bingo, it's such good fun if theres a good group of you, obviously the more competitive you are, the better it will be too! Whether you buy it as an actual board game, or decide to play along online with someone like Paddy Power, you are guaranteed to have everyone on their toes and the competitiveness will come to life! 

How much do you know about bingo? Check out this awesome little info graphic below, can you believe it stems back to 1530!


Monday, 20 April 2015

Expecting a New Baby: The Ultimate Shopping List

If you’re expecting the pitter-patter of tiny feet you’re probably busy getting everything ready for the big day and beyond. There’s so much to think about, you've probably forgotten things you've already done and other things that need to be done NOW. I'm one of those people who loves making lists, whether it's for shopping, cleaning or meal plans, I feel so much more relaxed knowing what's happening and what needs to happen, soo if you’re feeling a tad worried about missing something essential, take a look at this ultimate shopping list, which hopefully will help you out, or even give you that reminder to relax, you've already sorted it all! :)

Baby clothes 
Probably everyone's favourite thing to buy when it comes to babies, they're all so darn cute and tiny, it's so easy to go overboard! Babies need changing, well, ALOT, so make sure you have at least eight vests, eight baby grows and a selection of soft t-shirts, bottoms, jumpers and cardigans, there are some lovely baby clothes deals at LamaLoLi at the moment, all with fab deals too, so don't worry about spending lots of money! 

Pick out comfortable, practical garments for your little one and make sure you have a couple of sizes ready, they grow before your eyes! A selection of newborn and 0-3 outfits is ideal but if you see a bargain in a bigger size, don’t hesitate to buy it as children grow quickly. 

Baby changing equipment 
As well as a good stock of nappies you’ll also need wipes, nappy rash cream, a changing mat, towels -to put on the changing mat in case it’s a bit cold - and scented nappy sacks to disguise bad smells (these are particularly handy if you’re out and about). A baby-changing bag is also essential and you might also want to purchase a baby-changing table, although this isn’t absolutely essential if you’re watching the pennies or have set yourself a strict budget. 

Nursery furniture 
Whether you want to equip your nursery with brand new furniture or are happy with high-quality hand-me-downs, there are certain items you’ll definitely need including somewhere safe for your baby to sleep. Moses baskets are ideal for the early days but your baby will then need to move into a crib or cot eventually (and quicker than you think!)

If you do opt for a second hand mattress it’s a good idea to buy a new mattress without any dents or stains, here’s what to look out for when making a purchase, incase you were feeling a bit nervy about it! You’ll also need sheets and blankets but make sure whatever you use is well tucked in and does not rise above your baby’s shoulders. You could also try swaddling your little bundle, or using a sleeping bag instead!

As you’ll quickly accumulate lots of tiny clothes, it’s also a good idea to buy a miniature wardrobe and a chest of draws, as this will help you to stay as organised as possible. I actually moved all my own clothes out of my wardrobe and put them in the chest of drawers, Abbie has far more clothes than me so seemed only right she had the wardrobe, spoilt bum! :)

Bouncy chair 
It’s amazing how quickly babies grow and how fast they start exploring the world around them. Many newborns like to sit up and watch the world go by, Abbie was one of those, so popping her into a bouncy chair was ideal for us! Not only can you move them from room to room but you can also watch them wriggle around and play while you get on with making the dinner, dusting the living room or doing a spot of hoovering (yes, life does go on). It also means you don’t have to carry them on your hip all the time which is a great relief for you, the one we had for Abbie actually vibrated and played music which even put Abbie to sleep on one occasion!

Feeding essentials 
Planning to breastfeed? Then I can't recommend buying an electric breast pump, there were so many times when I was so engorged, it hurt so badly even to get dressed, pumps are a great way to release that pain and you can just store the milk in the freezer if you ever need it! You’ll find plenty of advice about this new world of pumping and feeding online, it's definitely a learning curve and something different to get used to, but can be a life saver if you need to go out and have to leave the little one with a friend!

 If breastfeeding doesn’t come easily or you choose to use formula from the start, you should also make sure there’s enough formula in the house to get you through those first tiring weeks – and don’t forget to take some to the hospital in case it’s not provided. 

So there you have it, a list of things you certainly can’t do without when your new bundle of joy arrives, just be sure to enjoy those early precious moments because they grow fast! Seriously, it flies by!

What are your top tips?


Saturday, 18 April 2015

10 Yummy Drinks for Spring/Summer

Afternoon all!
As the weather has been warming up recently, I've been drinking a lot lot more, i'm one of those people who struggles just to drink water by itself so am always thinking of new ways to spruce it up or to bring some flavour into them!

So I set off scouring Pinterest for some easy and delicious drinks for you and your family to make this spring/summer, just make sure you have yourself a good blender or even one of those fancy Nutri Bullets and get creating! You could even make up your own with different fruits and seasonings too, there's something that can be made for everyone!

Which is your favourite?

by BakingDom

Averie Cooks

by Jessica in the Kitchen

by Domesticate Me

by Domesticate Me

by Yummy Healthy Easy

by A Spicy Perspective

by Damn Delicious

by iheartnaptime

And a bit of a naughty one to finish it off, things were looking far too healthy up there! Ha ha
Oreo Milkshake

© OurBabyBlog. All rights reserved.