Friday, 28 February 2014

Love Hearts at 60!! 1954 to NOW

By far the best selling products for Swizzels Matlow are their Love Hearts. And they are 60 years old this year!!  

Just how did Swizzels Matlow Ltd develop their famous product over these years?  
Lets take a look shall we........


Launched in 1954, Love Hearts were initially put as gifts in Christmas Crackers with the simple phrase, "I love you".  In these early days the packaging was all painted by hand, they proved so popular that the range was produced as an ongoing product.

With new technology always being produced it was in the late 1950's that the first 3-dimensional messages started being produced on the sweets.

Swizzels Matlow Sweets 1928 -

Swizzels Matlow Sweets

Double Lollies, Love Hearts, Drumstick lollies, parma violets, navy mints, snap and crackle, rainbow drops, fizzers, stinger chew, bettabar, refreshers, golf hints, hippy bits, fun gums, lucky strike mints, double dip, lipsticks and whistles, soccer shields, jibes, monkey bars.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Lets Talk ..... Chalk....

In particular Hair Chalk from The Body Shop.

Now I'm not a beauty blogger, far from it.  If you knew me 16 years ago you'd be surprised how times change.  16 years ago I was a beauty consultant working on the make up and perfume counters in a large chain store, I completed my training and, when I went to uni, moved to a smaller branch as their "expert" in this field.  I loved it, I ordered the make up, the stands were MY babies, I made sure they were tidy and full of testers.  I enjoyed the buzz of assisting customers select colours that matched their skin tones or advising men on February 13th of the nicest perfume for their partner.
I went to work everyday with a full face of make up (you had to) and owned pretty much every colour nail varnish you can imagine.

Then 5 years Ben was born and my make up case was consigned to live under the bed.  There wasn't time in the mornings to make up my face, I no longer had a social life so there was no need to 'tart myself up' for a night out.  I can count on one hand the amount of times my lashes have seen any mascara since 1998.
So last year, when we moved house, I figured it was time to bin the stash.  I treated myself to a lovely new mascara, eye shadow, lipstick and nail varnish and they eventually got their first outing on Saturday to the Midlands Blogger Meet.  I was glad they did as I felt severely underdressed for the occasion and at least resembled a human being with the confidence boost make up gives me.

Anyways I digress ..... the reason for this post all comes from the delightful Sophie and Autumn from The Body Shop who paid us a visit on Saturday with some of their products.... me and the boys were very taken in by the Hair Chalk and had to go home via The Body Shop to purchase one of each colour.

Falling for Blue and Tickle Me Pink

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Midlands Blogger Meet Up (or #midsblogmeet as it became affectionately known)

After months of talking about it and more months of Kelly (@ToBecomeMum) and Emma (@LivePeachy) planning it the first ever Midlands Blogger Meet Up was yesterday at the Malt Cross in Nottingham.

I will make my excuses now for my appalling photography.  And like most people I WILL blame my technology!  My digital camera is fantastic, it takes the most amazing firework pictures and has plenty of settings on it.  Like most non-photographers I normally leave it on 'automatic scene detect' with disastrous consequences as it typically doesn't recognise the scene!  I reallly need a photography course!!

Anyway excuses over I will head back to yesterday ..... lets start at the beginning..... well actually when I say the beginning I mean Friday tea time!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Microwave Chocolate Brownie recipe

We needed a quick chocolate fix and these Microwave Chocolate Brownies really fitted the bill

What you will need:

150g butter
65g unsweetened cocoa powder
200g sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g plain flour

A microwave tray - we used a silicone one as the flexibility also made it easy to remove the cooked brownies.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Ursula Michael's "Lets Trick or Treat" - finished 15.2.14

can be bought from
My Progress update:  15th February 2014 - Completed

I did it, 4 months, and a lot of artistic license (ok mistakes) it's done, and thankfully Ben who claimed it as his own last year loves it.  Read about my Halloween Progress History here.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Valentines Day Card - Ursula Michael

After hunting for a word cloud valentines picture to stitch I was reminded that there was one by one of my favourite designers in Cross Stitch Card Shop.

I love the effect the variegated threads had on it to get the range of colours.

And here it is finished.  A nice quick stitch.

Flashback Friday - Puddle Lane

Puddle Lane

We are into Puddle Lane in a BIGGGG way at the moment this week.

From not being interested in the books at all Ben now wants one every night, when we have time I look on youtube and we watch the episode of the story we have just read.

Puddle Lane started life as a TV series in the late1980s before develoing into a series of 5 staged books.
It was about the life of the residents (human and animal) of Puddle Lane where they lived.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Winter Warming Recipe - Deconstructed Shepherds Pie

It's soo cold outside, we had snow this morning.  So as much as my post-Christmas body is crying out for salad and fruit my head is screaming junk food and fatty warm hearty meals.

After shopping in my local supermarket the other night I was drawn to some lamb mince.  So as part of the The Co-operative Electrical's competition for the chance to win  £750 worth of electrical goods here's tonight's very simple recipe for deconstructed shepherds pie..... ok mince, veg and mash.

I'll admit it, I am a little bit of a cheat, but I'm a full time working mum, there isn't time when I get in at 6 o'clock to make mash potato from scratch, especially when it is soo cheap to buy frozen.  I also don't 'do' quantities (as you'll know if you read my sweeter posts, such as Rocky Road) if I have it I throw it in.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Malteser Traybake

With Maltesers at around £1 a box in many supermarkets at the moment I felt the urge to make a maltesers traybake.

Although we didn't expect it to need quite as many maltesers as it took our version ended up very much like a rocky road with maltesers in. :) It still tasted fantastic.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Flashback Friday - Granny's Garden

Granny's Garden

Did you go to school in the late 80's/ early 90's? 

Did your school own one of these?

A BBC Micro??

Then chances are you played Granny's Garden too.

Released by 4Mation in 1983, Granny's Garden was written by Mike Matson. Granny's Garden was first released for the BBC Micro, and then later ported to the ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC Home computer. A few years later, an enhanced version of Granny's Garden was released for the PC and Mac, with a Windows 95 version also being released.
The game was set in the magical Kingdom of the Mountains, where six children, sons and daughters of the King and Queen have gone missing. Using a variety of logic puzzles, spelling games, and maths quizzes, Granny's Garden was instantly engaging.

Monday, 3 February 2014

300 Picture Book Challenge - January progress

We missed the first 10 days of January (tho that doesn't mean we've not been reading books!), just forgotten what they are and not recorded.

10th January

We're a little late starting this challenge .
Last night we read Ben's special book he got for Christmas... Spiderman.  But not just any old Spiderman this one was special.  It featured him and his friends.  He loved it!

We got in from taking Ben to school today and the postman called. he bought with him Walking Through The Jungle - our prize from Mummy's Little Stars Barefoot Book competition.   Noah was engrossed in it ... (review to follow, keep an eye out).

Whilst writing my 'flashback friday' I shared the Poddington Peas story with the boys.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Wordle - February

I am LOVING ..... here's the february one featured in my blog header .... why not make your own .... don't forget to share the link.