Monday, 31 March 2014

'spiderman' cake

I was informed by my boys on Sunday that we were going to be "making a Spiderman cake today"....... reallly??!!

So we did .... and here is how we did in in case you want to try. It was the best recipe I've ever used soo moist, sweet and sugary with a beautiful flavour.
  It is taken from the "Chocolate Box" book, which has the scrummiest recipes in.  I liked this one because it used real chocolate instead of cocoa (which I refuse to pay over £2 a tub for!).
It does tell you the recipe for chocolate butter icing but we just used normal icing sugar and coloured it.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Silent Sunday - 30th March 2014

Happy Mothers Day

It's only this year that I have realised just what a controversial statement that is.

I don't think I've ever really known WHY we celebrate Mothers Day.  Of course I've always done/ received the card and present bit but it's not like Christmas.... my teacher never sat us down and told us a story about why we were making our mummy's a card or why it was never the same date/ day...... same goes for Fathers Day.  So lets start by taking a few minutes to think about the background to the 'celebration' then I'll let you know where I sit and you can leave your comments to give me your opinion.

Mothers Day (or Mothering Sunday)'s roots are not really set in stone.  It seems that different Countries celebrate the occasion on different days for different reasons.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

How to be a bad mummy - part 2b - feed them the wrong breakfasts.

After last weeks Bad Mummy moment when I found out I feed my kids the wrong dinners (see here), lets see how I fare when it comes to breakfast.  You can't go wrong there can you?  I mean there aren't THAT many options to fail at ..... right?

spring is here ........ again ....... possibly??

yay we have sunshine and a little bit of warmth and for the first time this year ....... I've put the washing out on the line :)

Is this a sign of things to come?

Friday, 28 March 2014

Flashback Friday - Keypers

Not to be confused with those hideous new Secret Creepers that have been released the 80s version was far prettier and girly.

Your Keyper was where you hid your pennies and treasures from prying brothers and sisters.    Is it just me that always thought these were actually called Secret Keypers?

Modelled on animals, including snails, kangaroos, swans, horses, rabbits and turtles (to name a few) Keypers were marketed in the 80s as part toy, part treasure chest and something every little girl needed!   The secret compartment was hidden in their bellies and could only be opened by its own key.   They also came with a brush and combable hair making them part toy/ part secret box.    Each toy also had a mini toy inside it.


Following the success of Keypers Tonka Toys released a range for younger children (as keys and small mouths don't go well together).  The Baby Keypers came with a snappable inner compartment rather than a lockable one.

Not surprisingly Keypers came with their own range of additional murchandise such as annuals, and apparently some cartoons and a board game.

Here's a youtube of the advert from 1986.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

weird connections 1

Do you get those moments when something really little will trigger a memory?  songs are a big one for me, I can instantly be transported to my Auntie's old farmhouse if I hear "I saw the sign" or eat chocolate wheetos, play me "build me up buttercup" and I am in Sporties (my university 'club'), whilst "Sk8er Boi" reminds me of working in Boots.  Walking through crisp autumn leaves remind me of walking to the local November 5th firework display as a child.  Balls of wool .... well they remind me of the time I was very sick while in year 4 at primary school.

This weeks strange moment ...... cold roast potatoes.  I opened the fridge and there they were, right were I
left them after dinner, and wow.  I was transported straight back to Christmas/ Boxing Day.  Weird right?  I mean I must eat cold roasties all the time why should they remind me of Christmas?

Do you have any strange connections?

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Would you stop to help?

In a social experiment recorded for channel 5 two children pretended to be lost in a London shopping centre to see who helped them.

In the programme, Little Girl Lost, sisters  five year old Maya and seven-year-old Uma stood for an hour in a busy shopping centre in the UK on their own looking lost and worried, with their mum keeping watch from a hiding place nearby.  Out of 617 people who walked by only 1, a grandmother, stopped to check if the younger of the two girls was ok.

Part of me can see entirely why people wouldn't have stopped, we are such a blame culture.  10 years or so ago it was a completely different era, you could stop and make sure a child was ok without being accused of who-knows-what.
   As a mum I know I would be wary of approaching the girls on my own, however if I had one of the kids with me I would feel a lot more happy.   I am soo disappointed and angry that the mum with a pushchair ignore their plight and am sure she will take to social media soon enough with the reasons why she did it... perhaps like me she was shopping in a trance - so concerned with where you are trying to go and getting everything done before heading back for school pick up that I wouldn't notice if my best friend was stood in front of me let alone a small child who can become easily invisible in the crowds.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Tuneful Tuesday - Kool and The Gang: Celebration

Happy Birthday To Me!!

I thought "Happy Birthday" was a bit too original for todays Tuneful Tuesday .... so how about a bit of Kool and The Gang's Celebration?

Here's the lyrics, and a you tube video incase you need a reminder .....

Monday, 24 March 2014

Amazing Roast Dinner

I wouldn't normally blog about my Sunday dinner but yesterday I came across a couple of really great ways of cooking foods or tips that I thought I'd share.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Silent Sunday 23rd March 2014

How to be a bad mummy.... part 2 .... feed them completely the wrong foods!!

I love those random links you find popping up on feeds on Twitter or Facebook, you know the type - the ones that take you to pages of things you always knew or random funny photos.

Well the one I found the other day was for "10 Worst Dinners to Feed Your Children!", yes this woman actually posted on a site called the 10 worst dinners for a child to be fed.   I am guessing she has children and lives on a tight budget as well as working full time and therefore her advise should be well headed ........ how do you fare?!

Lets take a look at her helpful suggestions shall we.......

Friday, 21 March 2014

Flashback Friday - Playdays, Playbus, Playschool

Playdays (Playbus, Play School)

Where does it go? Where does it stop? Watch for the sign on the lollipop.....

I grew up with Playdays, but those a bit older will have known it as Playbus or Play School.   There was a slightly different format between Play School and Playdays/ Playbus but the overall aim was the same.... to create a fun educational pre-school programme for BBC.

My wish list

As it's nearly my birthday (and mothers day) hubby has asked what I want ... so here's my list, organised by shop of course to make it easier for him.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

#nomakeupselfie can you help #beat breast cancer

I don't do photo's.... I don't do them WITH make up or without.  In fact if you see a picture of me you should really take note of whatever I'm saying.

But saying that I am all up for a challenge ...

Like many others I have participated in the #nomakeupselfie to help #breastcancerawareness.  Please support this fantastic cause with their research by texting "BEAT" to 70099 to donate £3.

To find out more you can visit  @BCCare or

Have you posted a selfie?  post a link to it in the comments.

Superhero Afghan - update March 2014

My 2 boys love their superheroes so I bought lots of little pixel people from Pixel Power which I am gradually stitching onto an Afghan for them.  If they are lucky it will be finished before they are 16 lol.
The biggest reason I keep putting it down is because it is SOO bulky.  Hubby has bought me a HUGE frame to stitch it in but it's just not comfortable and I don't really like floor frames.

When I put it down, back in *cough* October, I had only 5 people stitched, all have their name stitched with them.

I picked it up again last week and since then have managed:


and a square with Noahs name and date of birth on.

Monday, 17 March 2014

A lighthearted look at Parenthood

We all think it ....... and if you don't - please swap kids with me.

Slow Cooked Lasagne

An easy favourite in our house, especially with picky "that bits too hard" boys and a mum who will do anything for am easy tea.  Ok so it may not look as nice as when you make it in the oven but the taste is lovely.

Not just that but it's pretty cheap to make too.  We got a large pack (900g of mince conveniently already split into 2 halves) for half price as short dated.  The Dolmio Lasagne packs (5 family) are less than £2 in Home Bargains which is considerably cheaper then supermarkets.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

How good are your school meals?

Ben's a fussy eater, when I say fussy he's your typical 5 years old.  One day he eats pasta the next he won't, one week all he wants are cheese sandwiches but next week cries if he doesn't have ham in them, I've lost count of how many times noodles are gone in and out of fashion in the last month.

Friday night MVD Daddy raised a point about free school dinners and we got onto the topic of September when they will be free for all YR - Y2 children.  He said the same thing others I've spoken to did the "picky eater" won't touch them.   I always think "yes kids are fussy but if they are taking sandwiches it'll still save a few quid for them to get them free" ....... but no ..... his LEA do not offer a sandwich option.  In fact i was astonished at the lack of choice available for the kids (and not surprised a picky eater wouldn't touch it, my boys wouldn't).

Friday, 14 March 2014

Flashback Friday - Stoppit and Tidyup

Stoppit and Tidyup 

Stoppit and Tidyup is a children's animated cartoon series that was made in Britain and originally broadcast by the BBC in 1988. Each episode was five minutes in length and each was based around a different character.

Do the pictures look familiar?  It was created by Charles Mills and Terry Brain, the duo behind The Trap Door (I'll cover that at a later date). There were lots of very lovable characters who lived  in the Land of Do As You're Told.    The names all stemed from things parents say every day. None of the characters actually speak real words instead they gabble, grunt, squeak, and hum whilst narrator, Terry Wogan, tell the tale.

magic number

Not for another year - but here's the heads up!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Review: "The Week" Magazine

I was a little wary when I saw a request for people to review "The Week" magazine.  I'm not a big follower
of the news, I rarely watch it on TV and I cannot remember the last time I picked up a newspaper.  I follow BBC/ ITV/ SKY news channels on social media and figure if I miss a headline on them someone else will tweet it or facebook it and I'll look at it on the relevant website.

The Week is different,  it is a round up of the previous weeks important, and not as important news stories giving you everything in bite sized chunks.  for £3.10 a week, which - lets face it, is cheaper then buying a newspaper every day and in a handy A4 sized format makes it a lot easier to read on public transport then a large tabloid/ broadsheet newspaper.

For those who prefer their Kindle to a paper product The Week is also available online and electronically, you can also receive daily briefing updates.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Blogging Presentation

I've been undergoing an Apprenticeship qualification (equivalent of an NVQ level 3) to prove I am qualified to do the job I've been doing for (eek 8 years!)

Today was my Speaking and Listening exam.  One part of this was to do a presentation on a familiar subject - I chose ....... blogging!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

ITV news request #sheffield

I got this in my inbox today ...... can you help Gaby?

"my name is Gabrielle, I am a producer at ITV News. We are looking for a Mum/Dad & their family to film with in Sheffield next Wednesday (19th March) to talk about the cost of living. My mobile is 07919210704."

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Meal Plan - w/c 8.3.14

This weeks meal plan.

I'll add the shopping list to it for this week at some point.

The lasagne is smelling yummy which must mean it's time for tea.

To-Do list w/c 8th March

Wow I can't believe it's been over 4 months since I last sat down and seriously planned what I had to get done.  With moving and Christmas and blogging the housework has really been left to my husband to do ( he gets 4 days off with 1 child at home, I get 3 days off - 1 with 1 child, 1 with both) so makes sense that he should do the bulk of the 'boring' stuff.  needless to say he doesn't ...... I've just spent the morning doing washing up that hasn't been touched since at least Wednesday but probably Tuesday.
  As for real planning, booking holidays, sorting things out, listing things for sale, keeping tabs on finances and food - well that's MY job!
    And if you read my bad mum post you'll realise I'm not very good at it!!

I'm really annoyed because right at the beginning of the year (I'm not exaggerating it was New Years Day) I wrote a blog plan.  I picked a theme for particular days and covered them (e.g. I knew what song  #tunefultuesday was going to be for every week, I knew what order my retro #flashbackfriday's would go in.  Yes I can change it as I go along if I wanted to but the format was there incase I had a 'dry' week and needed a prompt for something to post about.  Do you think I can find it???  no no I wasn't sensible enough to type it up!!

Friday, 7 March 2014

Congratulations to us........

....a new baby ........ and we didn't even know it.

ok not quite..... no, this isn't going to be one of those "I gave birth in a toilet without knowing I was pregnant" stories that fill the papers.  This is the story of how the NHS need to check their facts a little more carefully.

When I was at work on Thursday I got a phone call, I couldn't answer it so it went to voicemail.  It was a message from the local health visiting team about my visit, "tomorrow at 2.30".  REALLY, nice to have some notice.  We assumed it would be to carry out Noah's 3-year checks (eek my baby is 3 next month!) so I asked hubby (who was at home) to give them a call and re-arrange as that clashes with school run.  He rang and left a message giving them his number to call back.

Flashback Friday - Greenclaws

"In the Greenhouse
Greenclaws' Greenhouse
Greenclaws grows them ............
........... amazing plants"

You had to be quick to catch this series as it only ran for 1 year, 1988-1989.  During this time CBBC made 26, 15 minute episodes. Aimed at pre-schoolers it was usually shown around lunchtime on BBC2.  It has been repeated since but the last time I remember was 2000.

Swizzels Matlow Squashies Giveaway

if you've seen my #FlashbackFriday post about the history of Swizzels and considered entering the Love Hearts competition you will be aware of the new great tasting sweet from Swizzels Matlow "Squashies".

Squashies feature the great taste of your retro favourites; Love Hearts, Drumsticks, Refreshers and Double Lollies in a new gummy format.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

You Know You’re A Member Of "Bad Mums Club" When…

On probably the worst day, as a mummy, in my life I discovered the "Bad Mums Club" and knew it was a calling that I had to sign up for.

What made me such a bad mum I hear you ask?
Welll - you know those letters you get home from school just before half term, the sort you read and digest and put to one side, the sort you know will be etched in your brain so there is no point in looking at it again.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Choccydreamalicious megachewy sundae

We love going to Sizzling Pubs and eating their absolutely amazing Supercurlycrunchielistic Choccaberry Sundae's.... unfortunately the last time we went we were a tight budget and arrived 30 mins too early for the
'grill night' so had to watch the boys eat their ice creams with none for us.

Armed with a microwave brownie recipe, some mini eggs, flumps, chocolate buttons, home made chocolates, squirty cream, butterscotch sauce, sprinkles and neapolitan ice cream i set about creating our own.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Ursula Michael's -"Let's Go To Grandmas"

As you will know I am normally a huge Ursula Michael fan so was soo pleased to find this one.  Sadly I am disappointed.  I hate the mix of upper and lower case in words - all upper or all lower, or capitalise the first letter by all means but "gRandkids", "gaRDEN" and "Another WORD for Love" is just not acceptable.  I have had to alter it as i go along which has knocked my count out and meant a lot of other alterations had to be made.   This is one stitch I will be happy to finish.

I am also trying to use up colours I have rather than buying any at the moment so am using an assortment of purples and rainbow variegated threads.

Completed  2.3.14

Teddy Bear Hospital

It's not very often you can say you spent 2 hours at the hospital and enjoyed every minute of it .... except of course when you are at the Teddy Bears Hospital (TBH).

The TBH is a free annual event run by Medical Student volunteers from the University of Sheffield. They are a public health project aimed at children between the ages of 3 and 8 years old, but welcome children of any age to their event. They hope to reduce the anxiety that young children may feel when seeing doctors or other health professionals, or going to the hospital, it also gives the students hands on valuable experience with Children. I think after meeting my 2 a couple may be considering a different career :)

The student doctors teemed up with the ophthalmology students (that's eyes to you and me) and the dentistry school to promote healthy eating, eyes and teeth.

This years event was held at a museum local to both the the Children's Hospital and us, Weston Park Museum. readers of my blog will know we love the museum here's what happened last time we went.

Silent Sunday 2.3.14

Saturday, 1 March 2014

300 Picture Book Challenge - February progress


We are loving the 300 picture book challenge and with the total at 66 books by the end of this February we are staying on target for the end goal.

So what did we read this month??

Happy March