Treasures nappies: review a giveaway

Since Alexander was born, we have only ever used Huggies nappies. That's mostly because it was the brand our hospital uses and because it works well, it never occurred to me to change brands. So when Treasures sent me a pack of their nappies to try, I have to admit I did so with some skepticism, thinking they can't be as good.
Alexander is newly mobile and loves nothing more than rolling and crawling all over the place, so it is important that his nappies fit well so as to prevent leakage. Treasures nappies have a stretchy waistband and soft leg cuffs that seemed to do the trick.
The real test, however, was whether it would last through the night with no leaks. Now that bub is sleeping through the night, the last thing I want is for him to wake up in the wee hours because of a wet nappy. To my delight and relief, he sleeps through for 11 hours with Treasures and still no leaks!

The nappies are slim, quite soft and easy to use. The designs features characters from Hairy Maclary which is a picture book series that I was, coincidentally, gifted recently (my favourite character is Schnitzel von Krum, the dachshund). They are very well priced and I would be more then happy to continue to use them.
It's giveaway time! Treasures is giving one lucky readers the chance to win $75 worth of nappies!

For your chance to win, tell me as a comment on this post a personal tip on how to keep children sleeping throughout the night. You must include the hashtag #SleepingTreasures within the comment.

Each person is allowed up to 5 entries, simply by:

1. Liking my Facebook page 

2. Sharing my Facebook page or this post with your friends (use #sleepingtreasures)

3. Following me with Google Friend Connect

4. Following me on BlogLovin 

5. Reposting this giveaway on IG. Visit my Instagram page for details (username: trishielockandkey)

Giveaway ends Tuesday 22nd April, 5pm AEST and is open to Australian readers only. Good luck!

These products were supplied to me for trial and review however all opinions are my own.

Seven months and sitting

I know, we're a bit surprised by it too.
And did I mention he's started crawling too? And by crawling, I refer to his strange way of shuffling, sticking his bum up and launching himself forwards to get from point A to B. Pretty effective, mind you and extremely entertaining to watch. He first started doing that to get to Frankie's tail which she good-naturedly lets him pull and munch on.

And because he's getting mobile, he is starting to thin out a little. Not as chunky but still enough of a chub to retain a few rolls (which I absolutely love). Stay chubby, my love!
Next week, we're heading to Singapore so he can get to connect with his Asian side of the family. Pretty exciting huh? I'm looking forward to it but at the same time a bit nervous about the nine hour flight there so wish me luck and if you have any tips to share, it will be appreciated!

Blueberry lavender tart + some cooking shortcuts!

A tiny amount of lavender sugar lends a flowery twist to this blueberry tart; it gently lifts the flavour of the frangipane filling but is almost imperceptible. Try it! You'll be pleasantly surprised at how lovely this blueberry and lavender combination tastes.
Blueberry lavender tart (makes four 10-cm tarts or one 24-cm tart)

Ingredients

1 sheet store bought short crust pastry
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
100g butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lavender
1 egg
1 cup almond meal
1/4 cup plain flour

Method

1. Grease and line fluted tart tin(s) with pastry. Trim excess pastry. lightly prick bases with a fork. Preheat oven to 180°C (360°F) and blind bake for 10 minutes or until pastry is cooked. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

2.  Place lavender in food processor to chop for around 15 seconds. Add sugar to processor and pulse until mixed. Set aside.

3. To make the frangipane, beat butter and lavender sugar with an electric mixer until creamy. Add egg and beat until just combined. Add almond meal and stir with wooden spoon to combine.

4. Spoon frangipane mix onto the prepared pastry and smooth surface with back of sppon. Arrange the blueberries over the top.

5. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until frangipane is set. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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In other food related business, a couple of my friends asked me recently how I manage to cook up such delicious meals and treats despite being a busy mum to such a little baby. The truth is, I use a lot of cooking shortcuts that I am more than happy to share with you. Here's my little cheatsheet:

1. Store-bought pastry. As much as I like to make my own pastry from scratch, time is a luxury I simply do not have. So store bought pastry is my friend. This blueberry lavender tart is just one of many delicious sweet treats I have made using store bought pastry.

2. Flavoured butter. In this post, I share my recipe for a couple of my favourite flavoured butters, made using herbs from my garden. They are a breeze to make and can be frozen and sliced whenever seasoning is required.

3. Frozen vegetables and fruits. I use a lot of frozen vegetables and fruits in my cooking. They are full of vitamins, minerals, and other goodness as they are frozen shortly after they're harvested. It also means I have access to seasonal fruits all year round, plus it saves me having to chop and dice.

4. Ready made sauces and recipe bases. After a long day of chasing after a newly mobile baby, I find nothing simpler than reaching out for ready made sauces and bases to make dinner. When combined with fresh meat and lots of vegetables, they make as nutritious as meal as any, I reckon. I've been using these simple continental recipes which are really tasty.

5. Slow cooking. Now that the weather is starting to cool down, I have happily dusted off my slow cooker and am making delicious soups, stews and braised meats in it. I love how it fills the house with delicious smells of cooking throughout the day and even more so, I love how meats cooked this way simply falls off the bone. A winner in my books!
CHANTILLE FLEUR
Linking up with Chantille-Fleur for Tea Party Tuesdays!

Floral Friday - Flower as art

I've always thought of flowers as one of nature's best work of art, I love them almost to obsession. So when my friend from OtherMix blog suggested "flower as art" for April's theme, I said yes, yes, yes!

As you may well know, I love a bit of crafting myself and I tend to find ways to incorporate flowers into my art and craft projects. Today I would like to share with you some of my favourite flower art projects to date (click on link for step by step tutorial):

1. DIY botanical print
 2. Tie dye roses
 3. Dip dye daisies
 4. DIY daisies frame
 5. Crystallised edible flowers (as cake topper)
Tell me, which of the above is your favourite? If you like to participate in this month's Floral Friday, simply add the link to your flower as art post below. And be sure to check out everyone else's links too! 
Floral Friday is a monthly photography project with different themes each month. This series is about fun and taking time out to smell the flowers. To play along next time, please email me for next month's theme.
http://www.underlockandkeyblog.com/search/label/floral%20friday

Motherhood series: to work or to stay at home? Pt 2

Thank you for being so empathetic about my having to make the difficult decision about whether I should return to work or stay at home in part 1 of this motherhood series. I loved reading all your comments; it touches me to know that you are so supportive and non-judgmental.

While I understand that the decision for any mum to stay at home or return to work is a very personal one that each family has to evaluate and decide for themselves based on their own circumstances, I wanted to hear from individual mothers about their personal story. It was an honour to share Julie's story last month. Today, Melinda shares her experience as a part time working mum of 20 month old Millie.

***
Melinda and Millie
I'm a working Mum. Not by choice, but by need. 
That's not to say I don't love my job, but if I had my way I would much rather be a stay-at-home Mum. I'm grateful that I have the flexibility of working part-time. Five days a fortnight. Just enough to assist with our mortgage and 'keep my foot in the door' so to speak. We considered many things upon my return to work, the main things being our financial security, my career options and most importantly Millie's care and well being. Financially, me returning to work after having Millie was the best decision for our family. 
I'm grateful that I only have to work part-time but it still requires a great deal of planning and organising. Currently, Millie attends daycare one day a week and spends the other days with either my husband or my Mum. We have a good work/life balance and I honestly think Millie's attendance at daycare has done her a world of good, socially. 

I try to be as organised as possible on the days that I work in order to reduce the stress and mayhem that often accompanies those days. I prepare lunches and pack bags the night before. I make and freeze meals on the weekend for use on work nights and I get up early to organise myself before Millie rises. It definitely takes some getting use too - some days are still a struggle - but I manage it the best that I can. 
I really do admire those wonderful women who can juggle a full-time job and a family. Me, I just couldn't do it, and I hope I never have too. 

Motherhood is.....one of life's greatest challenges and greatest joys, all rolled into one.

***
Thanks Melinda for your input and for being so open and honest about it all. I think you're doing a great job of juggling work and home life. Sweet Millie is so lucky to have a great mama like you!