Friday, 28 February 2014

March idea list

Welcome to the March idea list. There is a different idea for each day of the month and then at the end of the month I will post a new list for April. Feel free to follow the list to the letter or just pick and choose the ones that best fit your life style. The whole idea of this list is basically to give you some 'ideas' to get more organised and have more fun in your life. I always love to hear from you so please do get in touch to let me know if your following the list, what you think about this months idea list or anything else on my blog or life in general.


March.


Saturday 1st - Make a tent or den in your living room with some sheets and chairs. It is such a simple idea, but the kids will love it.

Sunday 2nd - Spend some time today looking back at old photo albums and scrapbooks with your family. It's lovely to reminisce and children love to see pictures of themselves when they were younger.

Monday 3rd - Have an e-bay day where you finally list those things that have been waiting in a pile somewhere around your home. It feels good to de-clutter and it could bring in some extra pennies too!

Tuesday 4th - Organise the toiletries in your bathroom, discarding any used up items and noting down anything that needs to be replaced.

Wednesday 5th - Wash your front door so your home is welcoming to your visitors.

Thursday 6th - Organise your tinned and packet food storage area, making sure that the items with the shortest dates are at the front.

Friday 7th - Wash and clean all your child's bath toys as even through they are toys that get bathed they do seem to build up dirt on them!

Saturday 8th - Make a pizza with the kids. Much healthier then take out and the children will be much more inclined to eat them if they have made them.

Sunday 9th - Do something nice for yourself today. Anything from treating yourself to a new top to having an extra long soak in the bath. Whatever will make you smile.

Monday 10th - Organise all the family games, checking that they have all there pieces and discarding any that are no longer suitable.

Tuesday 11th - Clean and polish all the mirrors in your home.

Wednesday 12th - Find all of your families swimwear and check sizing. Make sure you know where it all is ready for family swimming, along with any arm bands and floats etc. and make a note of anything that needs replacing.

Thursday 13th - Take a broom and do a sweep under all the beds in the house. It's amazing what you can find under them! Put what you find away unless it is something that you store under your bed!

Friday 14th - Start a loose change tin if you do not already have one. They are great for saving some money for a rainy day and keeping your pockets and purses light.

Saturday 15th - Spend a few minutes doing a back garden survey making some notes of any projects you want to complete this year. Then give the garden a quick tidy, sweeping leafs, removing rubbish and getting rid of any weeds.

Sunday 16th - Set up a pretend shop with your kids today and have some educational fun together.

Monday 17th - Make today the day that you finally drop off any items you have in your home that you are going to donate to charity. Again, the de-cluttering will feel good and knowing that your helping a good cause will feel great too!

Tuesday 18th - Clean your windows on the outside or make an appointment with your local window cleaner.

Wednesday 19th - Organise your gift cupboard and take an inventory so you know what you have. If you haven't got one, why not start one this month. You can read about my gift cupboard here.

Thursday 20th - Pick one room in your home and take a damp cloth and remove any dirt or finger prints from the walls, door and light switches.

Friday 21st - Do a self breast check today and if you do not already do these regularly note down in your diary or on your mobile phone a monthly reminder.

Saturday 22nd - Have a teddies bear picnic either indoors or at the park if the weather is warm enough.

Sunday 23rd - Make a bird feeder with the kids to hang in the garden. Great for the birds and also great for the kids to watch which birds are coming into the garden to have a nibble.

Monday 24th - One week until mothers day! Make sure you are prepared for the day and you have gifts and cards for your own mothers.

Tuesday 25th - Organise and tidy under your sink.

Wednesday 26th - Clean your door mats, giving them a good beating or a hoover.

Thursday 27th - Sort through all your baking pans and saucepans and the area that you keep these in. Note down anything that needs replacing and get rid of any that have seen better days.

Friday 28th - Clean all the photo frames in your home.

Saturday 29th - Have a family movie day or afternoon.

Sunday 30th - Happy mothers day. Spend the day celebrating and enjoying the day!

Monday 31st - Clean your bathroom tiles and use a grout whitener if they are looking rather dull.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Little winter adventure with Barny bear


We decided to go on an adventure to a local playground which although is smaller then the local park it is perfect for winter time as there is no muddy grass anywhere. It was a sunny day but still quite cold so we made sure we had coats and jackets on.
We played on the slide, the see-saw and the swings and had great fun. We took our Barny bear snacks with us to keep hunger at bay and Faith took one for a slide but then decided she couldn't play with the bear any longer because she needed to eat it. Faith also practiced her photography skills by snapping a picture of mummy and daddy tucking into the cakes!

Barny's are cakes shaped like bears with yummy hidden fillings inside. Apple and strawberry are the two newest flavours and we took the apple flavoured on our adventure to the playground and then had the strawberry flavoured ones once we got home for desert after dinner. Each pack of Barny's come individually wrapped and there are five bears per pack. They retail at £1.69, although I have often seen them in various supermarkets on offer for just £1 which is great if you are feeding your family on a budget. The cakes have no artificial colours or preservatives and make great snacks to have in your bag to take with you when you are out and about, I personally find then really good for after swimming snacks as the kids are always really hungry once they have been for a swim.


We all liked the apple flavoured bears apart from Chloe who doesn't like anything apple flavoured and we all liked the strawberry ones apart from Faith. The cakes are light and fluffy in texture and the fillings are smooth and sweet, they are very nice. I have always been a fan of Barny and regularly buy the other two flavours that they make which are chocolate (my favourite!) and milk.

I will definitely be adding the two new flavours to my shopping list as I am really impressed with quality of the cakes and the fact that they are bear shaped goes down really well with younger children.





Faith enjoyed her cakes so much she soon tucked in to the last cake that we had left over and the above picture is Faith giving her approval!

This post is an entry for BritMums ‘Winter Little Adventures Challenge’ sponsored by Barny, individually wrapped bear-shaped sponges with a hidden filling. Find out more about Barny here.

We were sent the two packets of barney for the purpose of this review but all thoughts and opinions are my own.



Wednesday, 26 February 2014

My groovy update 20/02/14 - 26/02/14

This week has been a quiet week for us. I think I needed a calmer week after last weeks fun, so for me I have spent most of my week baking, working on the blog and doing things with the kids.

On Saturday it was the last part of Faith's birthday celebrations with a party at a local soft play centre for Faith and 9 of her friends. Only five friends actually came which was a shame although it didn't seem to bother Faith as she had a brilliant time.




Weight watchers is still not joined thanks to my hubby who has a habit of putting things off. He thinks it will be better to wait until after the weekend as I will be taking Lauren into London for her day of treats and visit to Wicked that I organised for her 16th birthday in January. I can see where he is coming form but at the same time I think that there will always be something to stop me from joining so I am determined to join up next Thursday no matter what he says!

Kate over at Kate on thin ice has set us another challenge, well three actually, but I am choosing to do the poem about myself. (Please be kind on my attempts at poetry!) This is an adaption of a poem that I wrote a very long time ago.

A poem about me.

Sometimes I hate me,
I just can't see one good quality,
But slowly that is improving,
Step by step I am getting my groove on!

I'm proud to be a good mum to my three wonderful girls,
 And I know that I'm raising them right,
Each time I look in their eyes,
 And see them smile as I kiss them goodnight.

I look after my family in a kind and caring way,
I always have time for them no matter how busy my day.
I always listen and I never judge,
I always try to remain true to myself.

I'm an honest person, I hate lies,
I'm quietly confident, but people think that I'm shy.
Life is full of laughter, I love to have fun,
I see the glass half full, I'm the positive one.

I try my hardest each and every day,
to keep moving and improving in every single way,
Deep down I know I owe it to myself,
So no matter what, I'll never give up.











Monday, 24 February 2014

Less food waste = more money!

Image courtesy of dreamstime.com
According to the love food hate waste website we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink every year and as a mum trying to feed a family on a budget I thought that it would be a good topic to cover.





It may sound silly to most but it was not until a year or so ago that I learnt what the differences between the dates on food actually meant. I use to think that they all meant that the food would not be safe to eat once the date had passed and I hate to think how much food we threw away that we didn't actually need to!



If you see a date that says 'use by' then that means that you must use the food by that date as it would be unsafe to eat. However, if you see a date that says 'best before' you can still consume the product. The date is simply to let you know that after that date the product will no longer be at it's best but it is still perfectly safe to eat.
More tips on less waste.



If you have meat that is going to be out of date before you can eat it, pop it into the freezer and then when you need it, just defrost it thoroughly and consume within 24 hours.



You can also freeze foods such as cheese and bananas. Bananas freeze well without there peels and if you have cheese that will run out of date just grate it and store in a zip lock bag.



Bread also freezes well and you can even keep it in the freezer just taking out slices as and when needed and put them straight into the toaster when making toast.



Survey your fridge and cupboards every week before going shopping and plan meals according to foods that need to be used up. There are some great recipes on the love food hate waste website. Also planning your meals really does help save time and money as well as help prevent food waste. For more tips on menu planning check out one of my earlier posts here.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Themed family fun.

Many of you have probably already seen or heard about me tweeting and trying to promote my new weekly linky entitled 'Themed family fun'. If you look at the top of my blog I now have a new page which details what it is all about and on my side bar I have added my badge.

It has come to my attention that I may be stepping on a few bloggers toes as others are doing similar and it may appear that I have copied them. I thought that I should write a post explaining a bit more about how I came up with the idea of the linky and why it is important to me.

I was talking to my daughter Chloe who is taking art as a GCSE about her 10 hour art exam that she has coming up and she was telling me that she has already agreed with her teacher what she will be doing and that she is really pleased as many of her class mates still do not know what they will be doing. I told her that I can understand how terrible it is to be staring at a blank sheet of paper with no clue of what to do and that made me think about the art and craft that I have done with the children over the years. You see, I always seem to be much more creative when there is a theme to follow such as Halloween or Christmas as if it is just general art and craft I seem to find it hard to get going.

I wondered if others may feel the same and then I thought that if I started a linky where we had a theme to follow each week then that may inspire others and myself to have more fun with the kids and as a family and as that is one of the main aims of my blog, it seemed like a great idea. I had a look online to check no one else was doing it and I couldn't see anything like it so I told my kids and they all thought that it was a great idea. They sat and helped me think of a years worth of themes and my youngest is so excited to get started.

Once I had planned everything and made a badge and so on it was time to get promoting and that is when I first heard that I may be upsetting fellow bloggers who are doing similar things. I really hope that I do not upset any one by going ahead with my linky. All I can do is promise that I have not intentionally copied anyone. I know that there are many different linkys out there and for example I could name three weight loss linkys off the top of my head which are of course all doing the same thing so I hope that my new linky will also be accepted in the same light.

If no one ever takes part I am still determined to do the whole year as my children are so excited and that is worth more then anything but of course it would be the icing on the cake if fellow bloggers did take the time to join in too.







Saturday, 22 February 2014

Beautiful wall art and a competition!

I have never been a huge fan of hanging paintings in my home to be honest as I can never find anything that I love enough to look at every day and that also matches the décor but when it comes to pictures of my children then that is a whole different story as of course I love to look at them every day!

When Canvas design gave me the opportunity to do a product review for them I jumped at the chance as I knew exactly which photograph I would be choosing.

Canvas design is a family run business based in Darwen, Lancashire. They can put any photograph of your choosing onto a canvas ranging from 6" all the way up to a 72" and prices start at just £7.99 and everything comes with free delivery.

I chose a photograph of my three girls sitting together that is one of my most favourite pictures and I already have it as a screen saver on my computer as I love to see it and every time I do my heart smiles.

The lady I dealt with was very helpful and although I did not have to order directly, I have been on the Canvas Design website and it looks really easy and simple to understand.

Within a few days my parcel arrived and I was so excited I forgot to take some photographs of how it was packaged but it was packaged really well to ensure that the canvas arrived in great condition.

The canvas is made from 100% cotton and framed with 100% pine and it arrived with the attachments so that it could be mounted to the wall straight away.




I was really impressed with the quality of the canvas and it is now taking pride of place in the centre of my living room wall. I am so pleased and every time I see the canvas my smile stretches from ear to ear.

If you would like to order your own canvas you can do so by visiting their website here. If you use the code BLOG15 you can receive 15% off your order.

                                      Competition.

If you would like to win a canvas of your own of any size from a 6" x 6" to 40" x 40" then all you need to do is enter via the raffle copter below.






a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 21 February 2014

The prompt - week 6.

mumturnedmomWelcome to week six of Sara's the prompt over at mum turned mom.

The Prompt for this week is a topic and it is:

Pink is for girls

Before I became a parent I would cringe if I ever heard anyone say this as I hate to put labels on people but I must admit that being a mum to three girls does change things somewhat.

I remember before I got pregnant with my oldest and how I would always moan about parents covering their baby girls head to toe in pink and then I gave birth to a baby girl and suddenly it seemed like a great idea and really cute too.

Each child I had, my obsession of pink seemed to grow and at one point during a time in my life that I was learning to drive I even brought myself a pink car!

If having to buy a toy for my kids and there was a choice of blue or pink I would always choose pink and I have even not brought a toy just because it was not sold in girl colours which in my head are pink, purple, red and anything sparkly!

I do not think that I personally would choose to dress my son if I had one in pink although I have no objections to anyone that does.

I guess that society in general has the concept that pink is for girls and as you grow older you are less rebellious so you comply more with the concept maybe?

Whatever it may be, I am a sucker for a baby girl dressed in pink and at the age of 33 years my favourite colours are pink and purple and anything sparkly!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

My groovy update 13/02/14 - 19/02/14

Wow what a week I've had! This week has been very busy but also packed full of fun so I'm not complaining at all.

On Thursday I was running out to all the shops to buy all the last bits and bobs that I needed for Faiths birthday and I also had to get some house work done and the weeks food shop too as I knew that once the children finished school on Friday I would not be getting much done.


Friday was of course Valentines day and it was a really lovely day. I blogged about what my lovely hubby got me in my post that I wrote for last weeks prompt that you can read here if you haven't already. We had a lovely day and the girls were all really pleased with their little packets of love and cards too. 


Friday evening we had our first date night of the year and we went out to dinner. I had a starter of leek, potato and bacon soup served with warmed baguette, my main was a burger served in a ciabatta roll and topped with pulled pork with chips and onion rings and for desert we shared a chocolate fondue which was meant for two and had strawberries, profiteroles, shortbread fingers and sticky toffee cake topped with Belgium waffle to dip in the warm chocolate sauce. 
Now normally we would just have two courses and at this particular restaurant we would normally only have one as they have such large portions but this was a set menu so as we had paid for the three courses we were determined to eat them! It was lovely to get out for the night and be child free as it is so rare for us to do so. Don't get me wrong, I love my children more then anything and I love spending time with them and being together as a family but I have come to realise that it is also important for us to take some time to focus on our marriage, something that we have neglected to do in the past so I really enjoyed the evening and we are going to make sure that at least once a month we go out somewhere child free for a date night and spend time enjoying each other.

On Saturday it was Faith's family birthday party and I spent the day making her birthday cake, which was another piñata cake, and I also cooked up some simple smartie buns that I know Faith loves. I made a pass the parcel for the family to do and decorated the house. 
Darren was a star and helped with a lot of the food too. Then at 4pm the family arrived for the party. 







We let Faith open her presents from the family even though it was not yet technically her birthday as the family like to see her open them and also because I think it would of been torture for Faith to see all the presents and not be able to open them until Wednesday! Faith did really well and was completely spoiled by my family as usual and she had a great time at the party and fell asleep with the biggest smile on her cute little face.







On Sunday we stayed home and did a lot of cleaning up from the party and playing with Faiths new toys. 

Monday was another day in and I spent a lot of time with Faith as both my older girls were out with their friends. My sister brought Faith a Barbie mega blocks set that I had not seen before and it is really lovely as you get an instruction book to make the set into a beauty salon and then once it is made there are little dolls that have hair and clothes that can be changed so that you can play with the salon you have made. 
We made half of it today and that took us quite a while as Faith has a really short attention span so it can be hard work to keep her concentrating for so long. She did really well though and I was really proud of her as some of the bits we did she worked out where bits were suppose to go before I had even turned the page to see. We also spent time in the kitchen making a chocolate and banana cake which was requested by daddy as he knows that once I start my diet my baking will be reduced so as to help me loose weight as my will power is terrible and I can not bake and not have a taste! We also did Faiths home work together so that it is now out of the way ready for when she goes back to school and we spent lots of time having cuddles and generally chatting too so it was a lovely day.

On Tuesday we ventured out to a local park, baked peanut butter and banana muffins and popped into town to get cards and wrapping paper that I had forgot to buy last Thursday! 


Finally, Wednesday was Faith's 6th birthday. We got up early so that she could open her presents. We got her a monster high dance mat, a bratz car, a bratz doll, a Disney princess activity book and a board game. 



After we had played some games with Faiths new toys we were off to the local swimming pool as Faith absolutely loves to go swimming. It was family float time as well which was great as Faith also really enjoys using all the inflatables that the pool provide for this session. Then it was off to McDonalds (Faiths favourite!) for some dinner. Once we were back home we spent the rest of the day playing with Faith and her new toys.

As always I am linking this post up to Kate's groovy mums linky and I think that this week I have been pretty groovy! 
Kate had a lovely list of reasons written from her son as to why he thinks that she is a groovy mum and when I mentioned this to my girls Lauren and Chloe my oldest two wanted to write their own lists too so here they are.

My mum is groovy because;
1. She is pretty.
2. She doesn't care what people think about her.
3. She lets us stay up late to watch TV.
4. She's always there to listen to me.
5. She's always wiling to sing with me.
6. She always tries her very best for us.
7. She always manages to make Christmas special despite struggles.
8. She has a cool sense of fashion.
9. She is such a good cook.
10. She is very creative.
From Lauren aged 16.

My mum is a groovy mum because;
1. All of the activities she does with us.
2. She is creative.
3. She is determined to make things better.
4. She is going to start her own business.
5. She is caring.
6. She is pretty.
7. She is a good cook.
8. She is good to have a laugh with/funny.
9. She doesn't care what people think.
10. She always makes a good Christmas and loves being a family.
By Chloe aged 14.

   

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Quote time - Nothing is impossibe....

Today I would like to talk about another of my favourite quotes.
'Nothing is impossible, the very word itself says I'm possible'
I love this quote as it is so positive and I must admit that I really annoy my oldest daughter with this quote as I am always telling her this. 


The thing is, Lauren has a very negative outlook on things (I guess she gets it from her dad) but it really frustrates me. I really believe that if you look at everything in a negative light and think that you can not do things then life becomes a self fulfilling prophecy and things will turn out bad and you will struggle in life.


In contrast to that, if you are positive and believe that you can achieve anything in life, nine times out of ten, you will. Of course you also need to work hard and be dedicated but believing you can achieve things really is half the battle.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The MAD blog awards.

Some of my regular readers may have noticed that about a week ago a new badge appeared on the side bar of my blog which says the MAD blog awards on it. It was not until I was reading another lovely ladies blog where she had a post talking about what this is that I realised that I had not said anything about this on my blog.

So for any readers that are not bloggers and have not heard of this before I shall explain. The MADs are an awards event for bloggers that takes place each year. Each person may only vote once and it only takes a minute or two to place your votes once you have decided who you would like to vote for. There are quite a few categories but you do not have to place a vote into each category unless you want to.

There is a category for best new blog which is for any blog that has been going for less then a year like my blog for example! There are also things like; best entertainment blog, best frugal blog, best writer to name a few.

If you are a fan of my blog and you enjoy reading it, then if you could take the time to click on the link in the side bar of my blog that will take you to the voting page and cast a vote for my blog in which ever category that you deem fit then I would be very grateful.

I have already placed my votes and I wish all my fellow bloggers lots of luck for the awards.

Monday, 17 February 2014

My favourite winter dinner

The winter is my favourite time of year for food as you get to eat lovely warm comforting food and it tastes so good! My absolute favourite meal to eat at this time of year is my home made Shepherds pie. It is such a great dish and so easy to make, it is low cost and it is also a really good dinner for hiding loads of vegetables in so your children eat them with out even realising it!





Here is my recipe to make it for your family.




Shepherds pie.

Ingredients.
  • 500g mince beef.
  • White potatoes.
  • 3 large carrots.
  • 2 Leeks.
  • A tin of baked beans.
  • A tin of chopped tomatoes.
  • A small chunk of cheese.
To make.




1. Peel and chop the potatoes and put them on to boil until tender.




2. Wash the leeks and chop into small slices and then wash and peel the carrots and chop into small chunks. The great thing about this recipe is that you can use different vegetables if you like, whatever you have in the fridge. This step is also great for little people to help too.




3. Using a large pan, dry fry the mince until brown on a high heat setting on your hob.


4. Drain out the excess fat and then return to the heat.


5. Add the carrots and leek and cook for another 4 or 5 minutes so that the vegetables are softened but not brown.


6. Add the tomatoes and baked beans and simmer on a medium heat for another 5 minutes.



7. Meanwhile drain the potatoes and mash them, adding some butter and milk to make smooth mashed potatoes.




8. Pour the mince mixture into a large casserole dish and then top with the mashed potatoes. I just love all the colours in the mixture!






9. Finally grate the cheese and sprinkle on top of the potatoes.






10. Bake in the centre of a preheated oven on 180 for one hour.

Serve with a selection of extra vegetables.


This is my entry into the co-op electrical competition to win £750 to spend with them. Details of this competition can be found on there website here if you would like to enter or find out more.





Sunday, 16 February 2014

Non-alcoholic cocktails

These are such good fun to make for a child's birthday party as they make them feel very grown up, but they are also good for any occasion for drivers or non drinkers such as Christmas parties and what not.

I got some lovely plastic cocktail glasses from pound land which were great value as you got 8 in a pack. They also had a pack of cocktail umbrellas in there too which I also used.

I coloured some sugar to put around the edge of the glasses and this was really easy. You just need to put some granulated sugar into a bowl and then add your desired colour in food colour a drop at a time. After one drop mix it up and keep mixing for quite a while and you will see that the sugar will gradually take on the colour. Then add another drop and mix again until you are happy with the colouring. You can then keep the sugar in an air tight container for up to two days in the fridge if you want to make it ahead of time.

You then simply wipe some water or lemon juice around the edge of the glasses and then dip the rims into the coloured sugar. I did find that this works much better on proper glasses as when using the plastic ones it didn't seem to stick very well but at a children's party they don't really care!

I made two different cocktails.

Appleenie
One part apple juice and one part lemonade. I then stuck a red grape onto the cocktail umbrellas and they were done.

Tropical bomb.
One part strawberry, grape and kiwi juice (or similar) and one part vimto. I then stuck a chunk of pineapple onto the end of a cocktail umbrella and again they were done.

So there you have it, two super easy to make non-alcoholic cocktails that were loved by everyone and that look great.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

The prompt - week 5

mumturnedmomThis weeks prompt from Mum turned mom is the following quote.

'Happiness is anyone and anything at all, that’s loved by you.' You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown



I very much agree with the above quote as I know that the biggest thing in the world that makes me the most happy is my husband and my three children who I love the most in the world. Sometimes when life gets hard I sometimes think to myself that if we had more money we would be happy or if we had more holidays aboard then we would be happy or if I had more clothes then I would be happy and so on, but when all is said and done, none of those things would mean anything without my family.

I am very lucky to have met my soul mate at the young age of 15 years. People said that we would never last as I was too young to know what love really was and I am not going to pretend that it has been easy as we have been through so much together, but 18 years later and we are still together and I think that says a lot. I have made no secret on my blog that we have been having problems but we are working through them and day by day things are getting better and deep down inside I know that I would be lost without him. He has been making a real effort since we sat down and talked about how things were just over a month ago and this Valentines it really showed.

Darren brought me a card, a box of chocolate hearts, a single red rose, a framed photograph of the two of us together, a note pad and pen set and a heart shaped box that he filled with rose petals. On each rose petal he wrote little messages like 'I will sit and brush your hair for you' (I love having my hair brushed!) and 'I will give you a foot massage'. Every thing was so thoughtful, I had tears of happiness in my eyes when I opened everything this morning.

I am also really lucky to have my three beautiful girls who also make me so happy each and every day. Lauren is beautiful, clever, doing so well at school, fun to spend time with, popular, and an excellent dancer. Chloe is also beautiful, clever, independent, funny, doing well at school and taking after myself with a love of acting. Faith is sweet, kind, beautiful, keen to learn, smart and loves to be the centre of attention. I am so proud to be their mum and I truly treasure each and every day that I spend with them.

They came down this morning and they were all so pleased and thankful for the little packets of love and cards that I made them. It really did make me smile to see them smiling. It was a lovely way to start the day.

So when asked what makes me happy the simple answer is; Darren, Lauren, Chloe and Faith.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

My groovy update 06/02/14 - 12/02/14


This week has been much better and I am pleased to say that I am still a non-smoker! I am still not feeling great but I am feeling much better then I was this time last week. Darren has managed to fix the car as well so that is another big weight off my mind.

I have spent my week having fun with the kids, doing puzzles and playing board games as the weather has been so bad and with my bug we have been stuck indoors. We made some mince pies over the weekend as well as even through most people associate them with Christmas we love them at any time of year so we make them whenever we fancy some to eat. The trouble is that they are so popular they do not last very long at all!





I have also spent the last couple of days finishing my Valentines preparations ready for Friday too. I have made the girls their little packets of love and I have got Darren a DVD, some men's moisturiser, some joke socks, a card and a big box of baileys truffles as he loves Baileys. We have a table booked at a local restaurant that we both like that are doing a special valentines menu which sounds delicious. It will be nice to have something to get dressed up for and also nice to have some rare alone time with Darren as well.


Last night I accompanied Lauren to the theatre to watch 'Brendan Cole - licence to thrill' which was really good. Lauren received two tickets as a birthday present from a male admirer and asked me to go with her which was really nice of her as I know that a lot of people probably wanted to go along and see the show. I am a huge strictly fan so I had a great evening.

For the week ahead I have quite a busy week planned as first it is Valentines day, then it is half term so all three children at home for the week and on February 19th it is Faiths 6th birthday so I am busy planning and buying for that.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Little packets of love.

I like to give my children a little packet of love every year on Valentines day which is basically a small present packed in a variety of different ways over the years with a card to let them know that they are loved and thought of on Valentines day. It is especially nice for my two older girls as they are at the age where they worry about boys and Valentines day makes them worry more then normal so it gives them a nice positive start to the day.



I thought I would share with you the ones that I have made for this year.



I have brought some plain card baskets in the shape of love hearts and I have coloured them in and decorated them with heart shaped buttons, stickers and gems.



I then put some red tissue paper inside and then I added a few little gifts. This year I have brought; heart shaped post-its, heart shaped rubbers, heart shaped chocolate lollies, nail varnish that has red hearts inside and then pink body spray for the older two girls and an 'I love you' snow globe for my little one.


I will set them out like in the photograph below for them to find on Valentines morning before they go to school.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Bath time fun!

My little one loves having a bath, she has always been a real water baby and her absolute favourite activity is to go swimming. When I had the opportunity to review the H&A finding Nemo bubble bath I jumped at the chance.



The bottle is beautiful featuring Nemo from the Disney film 'Finding Nemo' which went down really well with Faith as we had watched the film over Christmas so she knew who it was.



The bubble bath didn't really have a scent to it and it was a clear liquid. My only criticism was that it didn't make a huge amount of bubbles but that is down to Faith liking there to be loads. This was good in the fact that it was much easier to wash Faiths hair without there being so many bubbles which is the normal problem I have.



It is dermatologically tested, hypoallergenic, suitable from new born and tear free.





I think that having fun at bath time is really important as it ensures that your child will behave when having a bath and leads to them developing good hygiene as they grow. I have written a poem to go along with some photographs that I hope illustrates the fun we have at bath time.


Time for a bath which is always fun,
Trying H&A bubble bath with my mum.
We run the water and bubbles appear,
The bubble bath is gentle so there will be no tears.



   I love to splash as I giggle away,
It is so much fun to wash away the day.
I lather up and wash my hair,
Sometimes soaking my mum, if I dare!


I fill my bath with so many toys,
Each and every one brings me so much joy.
Mum always jokes 'there's no room for me',
But I don't care, I just laugh with glee.





I like to watch the water swirl as it leaves the plug,
I like to hear the sound it makes as it gurgles and glugs.
Then it is time to get ready for bed,
And I drift off to sleep with a smile on my head.




                    






I was sent the H&A bubble bath to review, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Buckets of popcorn cupcakes

Buckets of popcorn cupcakes.  












At my daughters 16th birthday party I made buckets of popcorn cakes for when they watched their movies. If you would like to make some the recipe is below.

Ingredients.
  • 100g stork or similar.
  • 100g caster sugar.
  • 100g self-raising flour.
  • 2 eggs.
  • 2-3 drops of vanilla essence.
  • 5g baking powder.
  • a splash of milk.
  • Chocolate fudge icing (I used Betty Crocker but you could make your own or even use different fillings such as chocolate spread, jams or toffee sauce.)
  • Vanilla frosting (again I used Betty Crocker but you can use whatever you like)
  • Toffee popcorn.
To make the buns.
  1. Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Mix in the eggs one at a time.
  3. Fold in the flour and baking powder.
  4. mix in the milk and vanilla essence, being careful not to mix too fast as you do not want to beat the air out of the batter)
  5. Spoon into 12 cases and bake in a preheated oven at 190 for 15 minutes on the middle shelve.
To decorate.

I used a red pen to colour in red stripes onto the cupcake cases as I was short on time and I did check that the pen ink wasn't seeping through onto the cakes but what I had planned to do if I had not been short on time was either to make some cardboard sleeves with red and white stripes to wrap around the cakes or cut the tops off some white paper cups and then colour in red stripes and place the cupcakes into these. However you decide to do it, the idea is that the outside of the cake looks like a popcorn bucket.

You then cut out a circle from the middle of each bun and fill with your choice of filling and then place the pieces of cake back into the cakes so you can not see that they have been filled.

Then use your vanilla frosting to ice the cupcakes and place the toffee popcorn on top.

*I made these the day before the party and I did find that the popcorn went a bit soggy so it would probably be better to make the cakes and fill them and then add the icing and popcorn just before you serve them if you want to avoid having soggy popcorn. Luckily no one minded and I thought that they still tasted great!*