Sunday, 30 November 2014

Christmas Planning Week 14: Decorations

Don't know about you but this week is defiantly the kick start week for decorating our house.

We spent Saturday putting up our tree, no tinsel this year, I can never get it to look as good as my mum used too and this year it looked even worse.  However we've put the addition of sweeties strung up with ribbon instead.

I'm not happy with it tho, it looks really bare and naff... going to look out for a nice 6ft bushy one when they get reduced for next year I think.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Our first visit from the toothfairy

It was a very big day in our house today, Ben's tooth that's been wobbly for the last 4 months (seriously I'm not kidding!!) eventually fell out today .... well Ben pulled it out but still........

Now the trouble is Ben has a cabin bed .... these things are HUGE.  Mummy cannot reach over the side of it let alone root around under a pillow for a tooth. Fortunately Ben is a wriggle in bed so I was able to persuade him to leave the tooth in a tub on the table in his room   But uh oh how will the tooth fairy know it's there?  we don't want her looking under the pillow and giving up do we?   Tada mummy found special fairy note paper and Ben wrote her a letter.
   This is another achievement in itself - he hates writing anything and kicks off if you ask him to write his name on a card.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Christmas Planning - Week 13: Dining Room

4 weeks left.... where has the time gone?  

This week has been a bit quieter on the Christmas front, mainly because I had an interview (didn't get the job.... pfft ... their loss - wasn't my dream job so not all that bothered.).  

Still got 2 pressies to get and about to get an Albelli voucher to make my grandparents their photobook.... that's this afternoons job so I can get it ordered.  I did make one in Photobox but it was expensive and rubbish compared to this type.  

We have at least decided on Morrisons for our Christmas crockery and I'm going to make sure it is packed away safely so it can come out year on year and become traditional.   (post to follow soon)

Tree is due to go up next weekend and at the moment I still cannot get in the cellar to get to any of the decorations and stuff so that's on the list for this week.  

I also really want to get the playroom finished so we can use it as storage over December. It still needs prepping, papering and painting. 

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Frozen Family Fun Day - 22nd November 2014

With something Frozen themed so close to home how can we not support it?  Me and the boys will be there ........... will you?

Local enterprise raises money for The Children's Hospital with Frozen family Fun Day

Saturday November 22nd sees Frozen Princess Elsa bringing an extra touch of sparkle to Wadsley as she offers her support to a grand afternoon of Frozen themed fun and games all raising money for the care of babies and children at Sheffield's Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) and The Children's Hospital.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Christmas Sweets

It's so almost here..... 33 days!!!!  I don't know about you but from the day the tree goes up (next Saturday for us) the goodies come out.   And what a selection of goodies I've got in the house this year... so many in fact the treat box is overflowing and the lid no longer fits!!

I'll be showing you my choice of nibbles later on but this post is all about the sweets!  We love a good selection of sweets to nibble over December and nothing says Christmas more then .... Selection tubs.

These are generally priced around £5 at the moment (I'm sure I read  somewhere the RRP is £11!!) but the size is getting smaller every year.  They were around 1kg in weight in 2011 and now they are only about 700g (yet the same price on average).

But we still buy them :)  and this year we have 3.  None of us are fans of Roses or Quality Street (I only like Strawberry and Orange ones) so the first in this years selection is:

Monday, 17 November 2014

Tesco Finest* Spaghetti Carbonara - a review

We're rather a picky family, none of us like onions so we have to steer away from any ready meals as they always seem to contain them.  Tesco's finest* range is no different and when we were asked if we would like to try one of their chilled ready meals I was a little wary and almost said no.

I looked online and discovered their is a huge selection.....

The Lasagne sounded really nice with it's "rich ragu of tender beef and outdeeor bred pork, Italian tomatoes and white wine. Layered between fresh, hand ruffled pasta and finished with tangy Northern Italian Grana Padano cheese" but yup, take a look at the ingredients ....... onion.

Aberdeen Angus Cottage Pie, "Minced beef in a vegetable gravy topped with fresh King Edward mashed potato and a shredded potato & parsley crumb".... mouth watering. ... but .... onions.

I can't go wrong with Meatball Pasta tho... oh no, of course, they'll have onion in won't they.

But I did find 2 dishes without onion.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Christmas Planning - Week 12: Attic Storage

Eeekkk - it's only 5 weeks until Christmas.  I've had a very very productive morning sorting out all the Christmas stuff and making room for it all.   OK so I emptied the cr4p out the airing cupboard/ wardrobe (in my room) and threw it on the bed then put the Christmas things in santa sacks (see this post) and put them into the empty space.
As for the things that are on the bed, well I'm hoping the magic faries will find them a home if I leave them long enough .......... what do you mean they won't ........ bugger.

Whilst sorting through the Christmas stuff I made one bag pressies and one bag Christmas Eve hamper/ things I may need before Christmas (such as festive jumpers and t-shirts).  I also listed them all on an excel spreadsheet with cost and savings.

Christmas bags from ...... B&M Stores

I love the giant Santa Sack I got from Izabela Peters but now the boxes of pressies are overflowing and I'm running out of room to hide them, lets face it those supermarket bags aren't exactly discreat are they?

I can't bring myself to wrap them up yet... that's got to be saved for December with chocolates and vodka.  So i thought what better way to hide them then right under their noses, in Santa sacks in my room in full view .... with penelty of death if they even considered ratching through them.

Now the Izabela Peters one is currently full of the advent books (more on that in another post) and as gorgeous as it is the bank manager wouldn't let me buy another couple so I nipped into my local B&M Stores to see what they had.

I came out with these lovely slogan sacks.  They are larger then the other at (80cm x 50cm) and made of soft felt.   They also come with a plain drawstring.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Mince and Chips

It sounds a strange combination doesn't it, but when you have a fussy 6yr old when it comes to meat you will try anything to get them to eat cheaper meals.

Once he'd turned his nose up at it and I explained it was just broken up beefbuger and he'd worked out that by squishing it together he could make meatballs he soon ate it up.

Here's my recipe for quick n easy mince and chips.

1) Put some chips in the oven (if using a fryer then cook when appropriate)
2) Brown some mince. then drain off any fat.

The Christmas Tag

Please join in with this fun Christmas game that Leanne put on her blog.(

Here are my answers....

1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie/s?

My favourite Christmas Movie of all time is Muppets Christmas Carol.  Personally, and I remember causing great controversy over this earlier in the year, I loved the "When Love is Gone" song and disapointed it has been removed from the DVD release I bought to replace my video.
  The scene seems far too short without it.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Yankee Candle Advent Calendar

With Christmas fast approaching (44 days and counting) I've decided to start telling you about some of my purchases, these are things I have chosen to buy as opposed to sponsored posts.  My first is something I have been eager to get.... the Yankee Candle Advent Calendar.

I am a HUGE candle fan but only get Yankee ones on special occasions as I just cannot justify their prices, from the moment I saw this one tho I knew I had to get it.  Again tho the £21.99 price tag put me off a little (don't be sucked in by those selling for £25 or £49.99) until I did the maths and it worked out at less then £1 a candle (tealight) and when you think that day 24 holds a secret extra treat  (hint:  there are really 25 tealights) it's actually a good buy.
THEN I got handed an early Christmas Treat ... a 25% off voucher for Clinton Cards taking it down to a bargain £16.50!!!  You have never seen me run to a shop after work any quicker in my life.  Not only did I get great service but the bag they put it in was shiny and thick and really made me feel like a New York'er on a Christmas Shopping Spree.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Christmas Planning - Week 11: Garage/ Storage

Payday has been so I'll be heading to B&M to get the lovely Christmas Crockery and towels I saw, and of course will feed back to you.

I treated myself to the Yankee Candle Advent Calender while it was a bargain at £16 in Clinton Cards (used a 25% off voucher) and again there'll be a post about that coming up too.

So this week on Organised Christmas is Garage/ Storage week.  As I don't have a garage I'll be tackling the cellar and digging out the Christmas things ....... then trying to work out where to re-store it in time for the big day - queue boxes everywhere lol.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Flashback Friday - The Jetsons

Meet George Jetson
His boy, Elroy
Daughter Judy
Jane, his wife

The Jetsons originally aired way before I was born in 1962/3 before repeating with additional new episodes from 1984-87.  It has been repeated recently on Boomerang.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Giant Santa Sacks from Izabela Peters

It's only 6 weeks until Christmas and time to be really thinking about not just what to buy people but how to decorate the house and present the gifts.  Which is why I was very excited to be approached by Izabela Peters and invited to look at their range of lovely Christmas goodies.

Every year I buy cheap santa sacks to fill with those goodies that don't fit into a stocking and every year I end up getting cross and throwing them away by Boxing Day because they have stretched and ripped. Which is why I asked to review the Personalised Christmas Sack in Red Gingham.

This sack is huge (and I got the middle sized one at 65x50cm (25"x19").  It's so robust, really thick and strong and made from 100% cotton.  Even better, when you have kids around, it's machine washable.    Plus they are all made in their own UK workshop.

One of the drawbacks I find with drawstring bags is the ends frey and we end up burring them with a lighter (a great trick if you didn't know it already) to melt the threads back together.  Izabela Peters has obviously come across this problem many times as well as they sew tags around the ends of theirs to stop the problem.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Exploring Nottingham - Gotham and the castle.

From the moment we went to Nottingham for the Midlands Bloggers Meet Up the boys have been desperate to return and go to Gotham in search of Batman (did you know it's actually pronounced Goat-am?)

Not wanting to disappoint, and finding out that Nottingham Castle had a freebie open day (another place on their wish list)  we decided to make a day of it.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Made in Sheffield: Out Of This World 2014

We have just got in from the most fantastic time in town at Out Of This World.  A relatively free event run by Sheffield City Council with input from loads of places.

As far as I gather the events we saw today differed slightly from yesterdays but we had so much fun,

We started the morning down the Moor watch the Hype Dance Company (with some kids as young as 5 or 6) showing off the dances they had been practicing.   I know Ben would love to do something like this but like most things I'm worried I'd pay a lot and have him give up after a few sessions like he did at football.

Following on from Hype came Titan The Robot.  WOW this guy sure could bust some moves - the boys were hypnotised, must admit mummy was pretty impressed.
  Ben and Noah loved his rendition of Gagnam Style and his crying.

Christmas Planning - Week 10: Kitchen

Woops, anyone trying to follow my planning along with Organized Christmas may have noticed the elves creped in last week and covered the wrong rooms.  So the next few weeks may not be in quite the same order.

This week is Kitchen Week (for me anyway).

Saturday, 1 November 2014

300 picture book challenge - October Update


We are still plowing through The Enchanted Wood trilogy, book 3 now.  

92 days left in 2014 and 49 books to read.  After a few rocky periods am beginning to think we CAN do this.... in fact we may even excel...
  • The Folk of The Faraway Tree - 77-82 (book 3 in trilogy)  - complete :)
  • Twas The Night Before Christmas
  • Little Miss Neat
  • Georges Marvellous Medicine (15 chapters)
23 chapters/ books in October so new total:  274/300

300 Picture Book Challenge


The aim of this challenge is to read 300 picture books with my boys in 2014.  Although Ben is now 5 and likes slightly longer books so some of them may be thrown in too.

We must have 300 easily in our collection so this will be a great way of seeing what they do and don't enjoy (personally I Loved Puddle Lane and Julia Donaldson..... but do they?)
I'm not counting unique books but any book, so you may see favourites appearing more than one.

Check out our Pinterest Board and follow our progress below.

When you work it out thats 25 books a month, easily doable.... right.

January Progress - 25/ 300 :)  - check out what we read here
February Progress - 66/ 300  - check out what we read here
March Progress - 97/300 :) - way over target - what did we read... look here.
April - total: 117/300 - I was a really naughty mummy this month - see why here
May - 149/300 :)  - a FARR more respectable month - here's our list.
June - now up to 183/300 - really on track.  here's what we read.
July - a bad month - only reached 206/300.
August - a busy month... just not where books were concerned.  Only made it to 219/300
September - a really good month ... back on track 251/300
October - we loved George's Marvellous Medicine this month - 274/ 300

Face Paint Fun

This half term has been all about facepainting in our house.  I bought a set of Snazaroo assorted colours for Ben's birthday and we've experimented quite a few times, must admit I'm quite enjoying it.

We started off with a cheap selection of facepaints last year but you can really tell the difference in quality.  Trouble is with the selection being only 1 and 2 ml some are running out so we are saving the pennies and waiting for a good offer (like 3 for 2) so we can buy the larger 18ml ones.

Here's a selection of what we've done so far - I'll be updating the album as we do more.

Elmo and Cookie Monster