Oblumi Digital Thermometer

For any parents out there, you’ll know a thermometer is a must-have. (We all worry about whether our child has a fever!)

I recently received a thermometer from Oblumi, part of the BubbleBum family (the company which makes inflatable booster seats and is headquartered right here in Northern Ireland.)

Now this isn’t a normal thermometer but one which converts into an infrared digital thermometer when the small device is connected to your very own smartphone! Technology, hey!

So, I download the Oblumi app, connected the device into the headphone jack and it was good to go!

The thermometer takes a recording by either placing the device into the ear or rubbing it on the forehead.

I tried it out on me first and within seconds, the reading had appeared- a normal 37°. I then tried it out on my five month old daughter, Niamh.

At first she was a little wary of the device going into her ear but, having tried thermometers on her before, this was something I expected.

After a second or two, she was back to her smiling self (as you can see!) Her reading was 36.5°, so again a normal temperature.

I thought the device was quick and easy to use, especially because I would always have my phone on me.

I felt taking the temperature in the ear was easier than the forehead, as you couldn’t go wrong. (I think I wasn’t placing it close enough to the temple when doing it on the forehead at first!)

The app allows you to save profiles, so you can have different readings recorded for different members of the family.

The smart technology also allows you to set alarms so you know when to give your child medication if they have a fever and can also check the temperature of liquids such as a bath!

I thought the Oblumi thermometer was a great, handy device and thankfully Niamh liked it! Check out https://www.bubblebum.co/product/oblumi-tapp/ for more!

Handy size for carrying in baby bag

Fits into your smartphone

Trying it out on Niamh

Reading appeared in seconds

Temperature can be saved to ‘profiles’ of family members

 

 

 

 

Tesco NI- National BBQ Week

As I write this, it is threatening to rain! (Typical!)

We all love a BBQ but of course, it’s hard to plan because you never know what the weather might do. However, it’s National BBQ Week so at least one BBQ had to be on the cards!

I was delighted to receive a BBQ pack from Tesco Northern Ireland, championing local produce. So, as  soon as the sun shone on Wednesday we fired up the coals!

In the pack we had:

  • 4 Beef steak burgers and 4 chilli flavoured beef steak burgers (from Ballymena-based meat company Doherty and Gray)
  • Hull’s of Ballymena smokey BBQ pork sausages
  • Irwins white finger rolls (Portadown bakery)
  • Country Kitchen reduced fat coleslaw (from Craigavon-based Avondale Foods)
  • Sweet Chilli and Cranberry coleslaw (Newtownards company Provenance Salads)
  • Nightingale Farms lettuce (grown in Northern Ireland)
  • Dromona mature cheddar cheese slices (part of the Dale Farm group)
  • “Really Good” floury baps (made in Armagh)

We were also treated to a selection of local beers and ciders:

  • Belfast Blonde (Hilden Brewery in Lisburn)
  • Madden’s Meadow Cider (from Armagh Cider Company)
  • Horny Bull Stout (Hillstown Brewery in Randalstown)
  • Yardsman Lager (Hercules Brewing Company in Belfast)
  • Belfast Ale (Whitewater Brewery in Castlewellan)
  • Carson’s Crisp cider (Armagh Cider company)

So, burgers, hotdogs and a few drinks was the order of the day this week! We loved it, especially since everything is made right here! Thanks Tesco!

Northern Ireland BBQ pack from Tesco NI

Local craft beers and ciders

Chilli steak burgers with Sweet Chilli and Cranberry coleslaw, Nightingale Farms lettuce and Dromona mature cheddar cheese

 


Hulls of Ballymena BBQ pork sausages with Irwin’s finger rolls

M&S Spirit of Summer BBQ

How amazing has the weather been in Northern Ireland the last few days? 6 days in a row and due to last another 3 or 4!

Of course, it can only mean one thing…a BBQ!

I was very lucky to receive a package from Marks & Spencer on Friday containing products from its new Spirit of Summer range.

The range is described as “an adventure to explore the flavours of the Med” and is a mix of:

  • cold picnic items such as chorizo and chickpea tortilla, or calamari with seasoned rice
  • meats for the grill/BBQ including Pork Rib rack, and lamb grill steaks
  • drinks such as Blood Orange wheat beer or Olive Vodka
  • dressings and sauces including Sicilian Lemon and Basil vinaigrette, and Truffle Pesto
  • ready-to-cook meals which include Linguine with scallops, pancetta and peas or Paprika Beef Bake
  • food on the move such as Ham and Italian Smoked Cheese Piadina or Butternut Squash tabbouleh
  • bakery goods including Orange and almond cupcake, and Morello cherry and pistachio tart
  • snacks and treats such as Harissa sweet potato handcooked crisps or Prosecco Jellies
  • and desserts including Honey and Ricotta cheesecake or Greek Peach Roulade

Salivating yet?!

Included in my Spirit of Summer pack was all the goodies I needed to make a fantastic BBQ picnic and I couldn’t wait to get tucked in.

So on Saturday we fired up the BBQ and indulged in:

  • Tomato and feta chicken sliders
  • Chicken Souvlaki kebabs
  • Smoky spiced new potatoes with garlic aioli
  • Mixed slider grill (chorizo style pork sliders and Moroccan spiced lamb sliders)
  • Skinny Pork Sausages (a new part of the M&S low fat/’skinny’ range of meat products)

The BBQ was amazing- particularly the Tomato and feta chicken sliders! They tasted so good! The Chorizo pork sliders were also battling it out for my favourite product! Check out the pictures below.

The Spirit of Summer range is showcasing at this year’s Balmoral Show (10th-13th May) which I am going to, so I’ll be sure to pick up a few more of the products to try out if that taster pack was anything to go by!

M&S Spirit of Summer taster pack

Barry tending to the BBQ

BBQ on the go

Finished product- totally delicious!

BBQ a success- enjoying the sunshine!

Niamh’s first BBQ!

 

 

Castle Espie

I recently saw an Instagram post about Castle Espie in Comber and it looked lovely! I realised I had never been and I’m always looking for somewhere new to visit, particularly on maternity leave.

Castle Espie is part of the WWT (Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust) and is one of ten wetland centres the charity has in the UK.

Castle Espie prides itself on allowing visitors to get up close to Ireland’s “largest collection of native and exotic waterbirds, bats and migrant birds.”

I had a look on the website and saw that a Giant LEGO trail is currently on at the attraction. Visitors are able to follow the trail of nine individually-designed LEGO brick animals, some inspired by real species at Castle Espie.

As you follow the path you can read just how many bricks went into each animal. In fact, it took 75,000 bricks to make just one of them- Fred the Frog!

The brick animal trail is running until Sunday 2 April so there are still a few weeks to see the sculptures, as well as the real life wildlife of course! Prices are just £7.68 (without Gift Aid) for adults and £3.73 for children!

We spent a few hours here, having a picnic at one of the picnic tables dotted around the centre, feeding the ducks with the corn we purchased at reception and enjoying a cup of tea in the café once we arrived back at the visitors centre.

The sunny weather made the day even more enjoyable so hopefully we get some more of that coming into spring!

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Musgrave Healthy Twitter Tasting!

Tonight I was invited by Musgrave Marketplace to try and make some healthy snacks in real time, following the recipes live on Twitter!

I’d never done something like this before and I’m pretty slow when cooking and baking, (checking and double checking the recipe books that I’m doing it right) so I was looking forward to trying it out as quickly as the 140 character Tweets were flowing.

I was sent the ingredients (and the hat!) from Musgrave and the blender from Kenwood and at 6pm I was ready to go!

On the Twitter menu…? A Nutty Banana Smoothie, Hummus and Protein Bounty Balls, all recipes from three time Olympian and cookbook author, Derval O’Rourke!

So how did I get on? Well here are the pics and recipes! It was a thumbs up from the family!

Thanks again to Musgrave- what a interesting way to learn!

Nutty Banana Smoothie

INGREDIENTS

1 banana, peeled
1 tbsp nut butter
3 tbsp porridge oats
1 tbsp milled flax seeds
200 ml almond milk
1 scoop Kinetica chocolate protein powder

Makes one tall glass.

METHOD

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

Pour into a tall glass and serve, or pour into a BPA-free travel cup and take on the go.

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Hummus

INGREDIENTS

1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tsp tahini
1-2 tsp tabasco sauce
salt and pepper

Makes four large portions.

METHOD

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until you have a smooth consistency.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with crackers.

Store any leftover hummus in an airtight container and keep in the fridge.

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Bounty Bar

INGREDIENTS

3 scoops Kinetica chocolate protein powder
25g raw cacao powder
1tbsp agave/honey
40g porridge oats
40g unsweetened desiccated coconut, plus some for rolling
75ml almond milk
pinch of salt

Makes seven to eight bars.

METHOD

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

Scoop out onto parchment paper and form into a flat (about 2cm tall) square. Cut into squares or rectangles, roll in remaining desiccated coconut, and enjoy.

Best stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator

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IMG_7864And relax and enjoy!

 

North Belfast Lantern Parade

I often head to Waterworks in north Belfast but this Thursday the park will play host to a special Halloween event.

Up to 4,000 people are set to head to the Waterworks on 29th October to take part in one of Northern Ireland’s biggest cross-community events- the North Belfast Lantern Parade and Magical Festival.

Organised by New Lodge Arts, attendees to the parade- which sets off from Crumlin Road Gaol at 6.45pm- can expect street theatre, interactive performers, live music and dance arts.

Also on display will be silt walkers, traditional Indian DHOL drummers and food stalls, all culminating with a firework finale at 8.45pm in Waterworks Park.

Hundreds of local children from over 30 schools and community groups are taking part in the lantern parade so it should be brilliant to see! Tickets are just £1 each and are available from The Aston Centre. Gather at Crumlin Road Goal from 6pm this Thursday.

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Local school kids preparing for the Lantern Parade