Monday, 30 September 2013

Blog A Day - 30th September 2013 - my most memorable September memory

Day 30 My Most Memorable September Memory

What will you remember most about September?

September has simply flown.........

I met some lovely new Tweeps.
Entered some exciting competitions and received a few wonderful products to test and review.
I have updated my blog far too often and lost too much time of Twitter/ Facebook.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Product Review - Thames and Kosmos Solar Boat

Thames and Kosmos
Solar Boat

We were sent this product free of charge to review, however all opinions expressed are entirely my own (or that of my kids).

Blog A Day - 29th September 2013 - my goals for October

Day 29 - My goals for October

What do you hope to achieve?
do you want to master a skill?  go somewhere?  finish a UFO?  make something creative?  Cook something new? Blog about something in particular?


I'm going to try and set a goal for each aspect of my life for October.

Silent Sunday - 29th September 2013

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Twitter Chats

I am absolutely loving the twitter community (there's something I never thought I'd say).

Through Twitter I have formed bonds with brands and companies I may never have heard off and have enjoyed working with all of them.

Blog A Day - 28th September 2013 - my 5 rules to live by

Day 28 - Your 5 rules to live by

I stumbled accross while I was trying to think of ideas for the Blog A Day.   Whilst Procrastinating one day (who doesn't) she came up with 100 rules to live by.

I'm not asking you to come up with that many - just share 5...........


1) Spend quality time with my children.   Even if it means making sure I take a break from mummy jobs to give them a kiss/ cuddle.

Friday, 27 September 2013

2 adults, 2 children, 4 weeks and £200 for food ...........week 2 update.............

This week we did really well eating out the freezer/ cupboards - there was no takeaway and I took my own lunch to work everyday (except 1)

Blog A Day - 27th September 2013 - forget me not

Day 27- Forget Me Not

The Birth flower for september is the forget me not............

use this heading to be as creative as you wish..........


This day has fallen perfecty....... I was trying to remember how to change my blog font as it had reverted back to something boring.

So todays 'Forget Me Not' is - How to change your page font to something a bit more pretty in Blogger.

Lucie Heaton Christmas fairies

I liked the Lucie Heaton Fairy designs but they didn't leave a lot of room for text, so I decided to split them and make 2 cards from 1 design.


This weekends to-do list

I have got sooo much to do this weekend, thought I'd make a list to motivate myself.

Unfortunately I am one of these people who if I have a paper list think .... "ahhh that can wait till next weekend", whereas if I write it electronically it's as if I think people will judge me and tell me off (and feel free to do so) if I don't accomplish what I lay out (or have a very good reason not too).

Thursday, 26 September 2013

A Blog A Day - 26th September 2013 - poetry corner

Day 26- Poetry Corner

Have you got a favourite poem to share?
Perhaps you have written your own poem?

share it here.


I simply love this basic but brilliant poem by Spike Milligan that my mum used to tell me.......

A baby sardine saw her first submarine:
She was scared and watched through a peephole.
"Oh, come, come, come," Said the sardine's mum,
"It's only a tin full of people."


A sneak peak at Day 27- Forget Me Not

The Birth flower for september is the forget me not............

use this heading to be as creative as you wish..........

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Blog A Day - 25th September 2013 - 3 months till Christmas

Day 25- 3 months till Christmas

In case you can't guess it's a pretty big event in our house....... do you celebrate? how? have you any childhood traditions you are continuing with your children?


If you have been following my blog you will know I am rather a Christmas addict. But Christmas for me has changed soo much since I was little.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Blog a Day - 24th September 2013 - my toy memories

Day 24 - My Toy Memories

What was your favourite toy as a child?  Do your children have a favourite toy?  
Have you ever bought your child a toy because you enjoyed playing with it when you were small?


My childhood toy memories are of a big yellow teapot, weebles, sylvanian families and my brio train set.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Book review - Just Another Manic Mum-Day by Mink Elliott.

Just Another Manic Mum-Day
 by: Mink Elliott

Roxy, Jack and daughter Joey, three, are building a new life for themselves in sunny Sydney, Australia, but Roxy's finding it hard to settle down. When she discovers she's pregnant again, things become even more complicated - how will she cope with a second child?

Frustrated at the lack of places for stressed-out mums to go, Roxy and her new friend, Shoshanna, set up Just Another Manic Mum-Day - a café catering exclusively for parents. But when an opportunity arises for Roxy to return to England, she realises just how much she's missed home...

A Blog A Day - 23rd September 2013 - my favourite place

Day 23- My favourite place

Where's your favourite place??  This could be a holiday destination, your favourite kids play centre, a recommendation  for a pub/ restaurant you enjoy going to..........


Our favourite place is "The Park in Wadsley Bridge" - it is part of the Sizzling Pubs chain and is dangerously close to our house.........

Sunday, 22 September 2013

White Chocolate and Raspberry Flapjacks

sorry peeps - the plan WAS to make Rocky Road but the boys are addicted to raspberries and also have no cereal (bad mummy) so I thought I'd try my hand at raspberry flapjacks, then found an amazing recipe here that incorporates white choc too (has some white choc drops left over from the last time I made a rocky road variation) ........... and of course the boys had major objections to finishing up the remaining 30g!!

A Blog a day - September 22nd - Autumn Days

Day 22- Autumn Days

It's officially the first day of Autumn today - eeek bye bye Summer, Hello Winter

have you dug out the big coats yet?
Have you put the heating on?

What's the best thing about Autumn?  Is there any tell tale sign that says "Hi, It's Autumn".......


Firework night, crisp, crunchy fallen leaves and cbeebies all help me to tell it is autumn

Silent Sunday - 22nd September 2013


Saturday, 21 September 2013

2 adults, 2 children, 4 weeks and £200 for food ...........week 1 update.............

This week we did really well eating out the freezer/ cupboards although I did treat us to a meal out at the local Sizzling Pub on Thursday.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Blog a day - 20th September 2013 - share a recipie (rocky road)

Day 20- Share a recipe

ermmm - do I need to explain this one???

Savoury or sweet - which recipe can be guaranteed success in your house?


Our favourite recipe in this house is Nigella Lawson's Rocky Road crunch Bars........... although I adapt her recipe...... here's my version.

  • 125 grams soft butter
  • 150 grams supermarket value dark/ plain chocolate broken into pieces
  • 150 grams supermarket value milk chocolate broken into pieces
  • tablespoons golden syrup
  • 200 grams rich tea biscuits
  • 100 grams mini marshmallows
  • teaspoons icing sugar (for dusting)


  1. Melt the butter, chocolate and golden syrup in the microwave. Scoop out about 125ml / ½ cup of this melted mixture and put to one side.
  2. Put the biscuits into a freezer bag and then bash them with a rolling pin. You are aiming for both crumbs and pieces of biscuits.
  3. Fold the biscuit pieces and crumbs into the melted chocolate mixture, and then add the marshmallows.
  4. Tip into a foil tray (24cm / 9 inch square); flatten as best you can with a spatula. Pour the reserved 125ml / ½ cup of melted chocolate mixture over the marshmallow mixture and smooth the top.
  5. Refrigerate for about 2 hours or overnight.
  6. Cut into 24 fingers and dust with icing sugar by pushing it gently through a tea strainer or small sieve  

So simple quick and easy to make...... but they don't last very long.

typically I cannot find any pictures from the hundreds of times I have made this so I will just HAVE to make some at the weekend won't I :)

A sneak preview of Day 21- Creative Kids

make and share...........

Blog a day - 19th September 2013 - talk like a pirate day

Day 19 - Talk like a pirate day

Seriously - it reallllly does exist,  tomorrow IS Talk Like a Pirate Day.
check it out here and blog to show how you have celebrated it.

........... did you know you can even set facebook to Pirate?  


Yes I admit it - I did have my facebook on Pirate UK for a few hours lol.
Apart from that tho we didn't manage to do any Pirate craft as we went to the pub for tea :)  (review to follow).

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Blog A Day - 18th September 2013 - my quiet place

Day 18 - My Quiet Place

Where do you go to get away and relax?


I have 2 quiet havens in my house.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Blog A Day - 17th September 2013 - favourite paintiing

Day 17 - My Favourite Painting

What's your favourite painting and why?


Lowry's "The Seaside"

Monday, 16 September 2013

Debenhams Dream Bedroom competition

The other night hubby and myself were laid in bed watching TV when we got thinking, wouldn't it be lovely to win some money and be able to makeover our bedroom.......

Blog a Day - 16th September 2013 - superheroes

Day 16 - September 16th........ National Heroes Day (Saint Kitts and Nevis)

Heroes - real or not..........

- Who is your hero? Why?
- Which superhero would you be and why?
.......use some imagination - there's no rules.


ARGGG Superheroes are the bain of my life at the moment.  I have a 4 years old and 2 year old who (depending which day of the week it is) think they are either Superman, Batman or Ironman.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Enjoy Cross Stitch at Christmas ............ My Review

Continuing a habit I got into on the MSE Cross Stitch Cafe here's my review of what I think.
Please note that I got this magazine from a UK stockist so free gifts/ charts may differ from those in the shop/ overseas subscribers

**apologies for the picture quality - my camera battery went and I had to make do with my phone**

A blog a day in september - 15th September 2013 - make a hat day

 Day 15 - September 15th........ Make a hat day

Choose a hat, make a hat, wear your hat........

and share your pictures here.


let me just start by saying we have NOT had a good day ........ it did NOT go according to plan and now 2 grumpy boys are refusing to make hats!!!!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

A blog a day in september - 14th September 2013 - cakes, cakes and more cakes (blackberry muffins)

Day 14 - September 14th........ Cakes....cakes and more cakes

Mix a Cake, make a cake, bake a cake, eat a cake.

and share your pictures and recipes here.


I promised the boys a blackberry picking session this weekend before the season finished (I only found out it started last weekend!)

The Toadstool - Beautiful Toys to love, ethically made....... blogging competition entry

I love toys, my kids love toys in fact my house somewhat resembles a toy shop.  In particular we love wooden toys.  They are so durable and long lasting.  They look so natural and clean.  I am forever buying bits not because my little ones NEED them, no child needs more toys but because mummy wants them :)

Here's their current train collection........
  so no we don't really Need any more but when I found The Toadstools website with their amazing collection of train playsets (among other things) I think I may have lost more than 1 afternoon looking through their collection and writing a wish list.

The Toadstool stock far more than just wooden train set tho, they also have 
1.     Wooden Ball Track
11.   Wooden Puzzles AND 

ohhhh how I wish one of my boys was a girl the Plan Toys Terrace Doll House is any little girls dream (and no sadly I never had a wooden dolls house and my husband won't let his sons have one).  At £135 I am sure it will make another little girl very very happy for Santa to bring it to them on Christmas morning.

They also stock a wide range of puzzles, games and jigsaws of a fantastic quality.

I can see my children having endless fun with the Haba Arranging Puzzle (Corner to Corner) .......... okok I can see mummy and daddy having endless fun as we try to beat each other's time putting it back together.
It's also very reasonably priced at £13.50 (reduced from £22)


There are of course soft toys for the younger children Haba doll: Little Scamps Mette and Michael would make the perfect companions for your children and at £25 each you know they will last a long time.


Last year I hunted high and low for a durable Nativity Scene at a good price that my children could get out year on year and play and learn at the same time.
I found...............Nothing, nada, zilch.   All the wooden ones were either extortionately priced (£40+) or just tack.
The Toadstool have won me over again!!!!!!

Currently on pre-order (expected October) at an amazingly reasonable £25.40 the Haba First Nativity Playset  is amazing - I am getting my order in now as its limited edition and I need this product.

They also have nativity cookie cutters .... these will be going on my wish list as I'm not allowed to buy them (yet)

And NOW the lovely people at Toadstool have got a competition running to find some a new Toy Tester for next year and all I have to do...... is write a wish list (5-10 items) from their website.   Now this could be mummy's wish list or the children's wish list ............ ohhhh who deserves the lovely toys most???

         Our Wish List  

So being the lovely mummy that I am I set us a mission of finding 3 items each with a £100 limit  
Here they are..............

My choice 
A 30 something mummy with a passion for wooden toys and baking.

So Obviously the nativity playset should be here, but I can't risk not winning it so I'm going to buy it ..... now what else did I like ........

1) Haba Baking Set Nativity Cookie Cutters. 
£16.90 buys you: 15 pastry cutters made of stainless tin plate (dishwasher proof),  3 plastic templates (dishwasher proof),  1 booklet with recipes.


and of course you don't have to use the cutters for making edible cookies, they can be used with salt dough and painted to make tree decorations.

2) Haba My Very First Games - Evening in the Stable
I love playing games with my children but at 2 years old Noah is a bit small for instructions and lots of rules.  This is designed for ages 3+ and encourages you to Play with your child and talk about life on a farm and the animals living there. Think about the farm animals and imitate the sounds they make - even Noah can manage that.

This is priced at £8.50 which is a good price for a game.

3) Mummy big buy ....... at £69 is the Janod Maxi Cooker Kitchen (Brown).

The boys are always wanting to be in the kitchen with me and with this playset they can use their love of baking in a safe environment.   Being brown it is also ideal for 2 boys.

The kitchen features a magnetic fork, spoon and spatula this helps to ensure they're kept tidy and in one place (every mothers dream).  
·         Comes with 8 accessories: pot, pan , spatulas, fork, spoon.
·         Includes an oven, double cooker, sink with tab, cupboards, clock, magnetic board for hand utensils.
·         Kitchen Dimensions: 60.5 x 30 x 85 cm
·         Kitchen and accessories of solid wood: Rubberwood + MDF + Birch.

ok ok NOT JUST for the boys ............ MUMMY wants to play with it.

Ben's choice 
An almost 5 years old superhero with a passion for noise, trains and mess.

1) So Ben's big purchase at £69 - and this took a lot of thinking about on his part - would be the Janod Giant Circus Train Set and Playworld.

This train set has loads of action that you don't find anywhere else (such as acrobats) and will fit as an addition to their current set.
2) In at number 2 he chose the Balance Animal Upon Animal Haba game (£15) as he said it looked "really bright and funny". 

3) Finally he chose the Captain Charlie Pirate hat and beard (£15) to "go with my sword I got on holiday"  

Noah's choice 
A 2 and a half year old (going on 13) with a passion for even more noise and even more mess then his brother.

Ok so at 2 and a half trying to get his attention long enough to look through the website (this is why we love paper catalogues) was a mission so  I have picked out the things I think he would like.

1) Wonderworld Mini Tower Crane - at £24.50 this would be a lovely add on to their wooden wonderland.

2) The Haba Arranging Puzzle (Corner to Corner)  - £13.50 - that I mentioned earlier has to go on his list as it is bright and colourful with so many possibilities.

and last - but certainly not least .......... 

3) The BIG SPEND item .......... Haba Building Blocks Sevilla at £44.30

25 Stunning sensory beech wood building blocks with different shapes and effects including different textures and a rattle, bell, mirror, magnifier, peep hole and prism.

Although babies would get a lot out of these I think Noah would love them as he's into his colours and shapes at the moment - not to mention taking his brothers Lego to build with.

..............Why not check out the website yourself and make your own wish list.........
And if you liked my post ....... please let them know I sent you over.

13/12/13 - Competition now closed, sadly after 3 months of working with them I was not one of the chosen 5 winners.

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And on Pinterest here

Friday, 13 September 2013

A blog a day in september - 13th September 2013 - positive thinking day

Day 13 - September 13th........ Positive Thinking Day

Think positive!!!!!

2 adults, 2 children, 4 weeks and £200 for food ........... the challenge is on..............

We spend tooo much on grocery shopping in this house..... we've cut down considerably but the last couple of months I've let things slip and now spend FAR tooooo much.

So with the cupboards and freezer looking a bit like Mother Hubbards House and hubby having just been paid I decided now was as good a time as any to start the food challange again.

For the purpose of this challange I am only counting actual FOOD and DRINK costs!  Not household essentials, not toys, games, books just plain  and simple Food and Drink.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

A blog a day in september - 12th September 2013 - desert island dreams

Day 12 - September 12th........ desert island dreams

If you could be anywhere, with anyone, doing anything.................what would it be?


My perfect desert island getaway would be a nice quiet cove with the sea lapping the beach and a wi-fi connecion (a power point would be handy too lol).

Alternatives to Chocolate Advent Calenders

So this year I was intrigued by The House of Craft featured in Cross Stitch Crazy and was all set to make a nice 'treat' advent calender.  Unfortunately so was the rest of the UK and, come payday........... it has sold out and no indication when it will be back in stock.   I have found it in a couple of other places but it is more expensive.

HOWEVER after a bit of searching I found this one and I LOVE it even more.  it is from Glitterwitch, a gorgeous plain advent calendar box with drawers that are fully removable between lockable doors.  Being wooden it will be a lot more robust then the original MDF one.

Last year the boys had the Lego City Advent calender, this is pretty good value at £15+ for the city one (Star Wars one is £24+, Friends one is also £15+) but it's really expensive to buy the boys 1 each and they get bored when models are spread out over 2 or 3 days.

Then I got googling............UH OH there are SOO many lovely ideas out there. ........ and I will post some of my finds in the next few days.   If you have any you would like to feature please let me know, or let me know what YOU do!

Here is one by Red Ted Art for a papercup calender.  check out their page for full instructions.