Sunday, 29 November 2015

Christmas Craft: Melted Snowman Biscuits

I saw these going around the internet on various sites and we had to have a go too.  I'm terrible at making dough - I've lost count of how many gingerbread men got binned as it wouldn't roll, I even burnt homemade playdough!!! So thought it best to buy some rich tea biscuits...... except I forgot and ended up hunting the internet for an easy recipe even I couldn't mess up, and it worked, the biscuits were perfect (well they could have done with more flavour but hey ho can't win 'em all).

These biscuits are perfect for cookie cutters as they do not get any bigger during the cooking process (yes I have also made GIANT cookies after forgetting this detail!)

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Christmas: Portable North Pole (PNP)

If you've never set foot in the Portable North Pole (and I cannot believe after raving about it every December I am still finding people I know who don't know about it!!) then get ready to step into Santa’s enchanted universe. A virtual gateway that reveals stories about the North Pole that now, thanks to the PNP Console and the power of the Internet, are available for all the world to share.

PNP is now in its 8th year and I've been using it for the last 7! Every year the videos get better and better with new scenarios year on year.  A few years ago you'd have never caught me spending money on a message from Santa but this is worth every penny when you see the look on your child's face.. there is a free version as well.

Friday, 27 November 2015

12 days of (Lush) Christmas

This year Lush have released their 12 Days of Christmas Advent Calender which looks amazing.  But I thought I'd create my own version of the song.......

On the twelfth day of Christmas Lush treated me to 12 Candy Mountains

Thursday, 26 November 2015

A Vintage Christmas Party for our Elderly in Sheffield

I stumbled across this lovely idea last week and contacted Sarah with an offer of help from me and my boys.  We'll be popping along to set up and support through the evening and the boys have a huge stack of cardboard ready to make some Christmas cards to take along.

Woking in the public, elderly, sector I come across those who are alone not just at Christmas but during the year. They love to talk and share their experiences, I can't contemplate how hard it must be to spend Christmas on your own with no family or friends.

If you are in Sheffield and free on the 13th December, please consider volunteering your time to help Sarah.

There are also limited spaces left for guests, so if you know of an elderly person who may be spending Christmas home alone who would like to attend please get in contact with Sarah,

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Recipe: MInce Meals

Gosh it is SOO cold.  My hands are going numb just typing this.  If you're anything like me money is getting tighter with Christmas presents, school events, Beaver events and work outings to pay for that the food shopping budget feels the cut.

I'm really lucky that the kids have discovered they like mince.  Normally I buy the stores value range but last month I found Aldi mince was better value and tasted so much nicer so whenever I'm near one of their stores I pop in and stock up.

Here's some cheap meals that can be rattled off using it that will keep everyone warm, full and the purse strings happy.  Do you have a favourite mince meal?

Shepherds/ Cottage pie.
Mince cooked up with any vegetable you like topped with mash potato.  We like to sprinkle with cheese before browning under the grill.

recipe here

Saturday, 21 November 2015

The Big Beaver (Scouts) Postcard Swap

2016 sees Beaver (Scouts) 30th anniversary - 30 years of being recognised as an official Scouting unit, they have in reality been running a lot longer then that.

To celebrate the Scouting movement  is doing .... nothing.  So a group of leaders called the 1st Facebook Beaver Colony have arranged a postcard swap.  The leaders have, between them, messaged 30 other colony leaders within the group who they will send a postcard too, getting one back in return.

Friday, 20 November 2015

The Body Shop at Christmas

Last week Sophie at The Body Shop in Meadowhall invited Sheffield Bloggers to a closed door event where we could try their newly launched make up range for Christmas as well as their everyday body products.

It was love at first sniff when I discovered their Glazed Apple range and even more excited when I found out the body mist and lotion had glitter in.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Only a Leader ..........

Someone brought this to my attention this week and I love it.

For all you Beaver/ Cub/ Scout/ Rainbow/ Brownie/ Guide etc leaders out there who sometimes feel unappreciated ......
          .... or when you are looking at the training manual going "I do that - I shouldn't have to prove it!  :)

Dont judge scouting til you read this....

We are only leaders - we are not experts – we are your next-door neighbours – we are not perfect we are parents just like you. We don’t have any more spare time or energy than you do, we all work full time and juggle out families and our schedules and try to keep it all together as best we can.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Christmas Craft: Paper Plate Trees

We're making this one at Beavers as part of our Christmas Craft night so thought I'd share it with you as it's so quick and easy but looks fab.

Take a paper plate and paint it green.
Tip: If you use sponges and some different shades of green then it looks more 'leafy'.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Event: The Cake and Bake Show

You may have already read my post about my trip to Manchester last week for the Ideal Home Show at Christmas, which this year had decided to co-locate with the Cake and Bake Show.   This post is all about the Cake and Bake Show element of the day, as my first visit to one of these I really enjoyed it, although it was a little smaller than I expected.

Here are my highlights.

The Great British Bake Off Live

We were lucky enough to see Flora Shedden from this years GBBO cook her Sugar Free Pistachio and Apple Cake.  She gave a brilliant demonstration and answered questions.    There were some TV's so you could see what was going on on the stage.


Sunday, 15 November 2015

Event: The Ideal Home Show at Christmas

Last week my mum babysat while myself and hubby took ourselves off to Manchester for the Ideal Home Show at Christmas, which this year had decided to co-locate with the Cake and Bake Show.   With hundreds of cooking at Christmas ideas to explore of course I had to go.



There was so much to see and do, 4 different stages of talks and demonstrations that fitting it all in was going to be tight, so I had to be selective.  Here's my favourite things that grabbed my attention from the Ideal Home Show at Christmas (I'll add another post for some top pics from the Cake and Bake Show).


If like me you get bored of looking at the same pictures on your wall Spacerframe have the solution - an innovative picture framing system which uses clear acrylic pockets.   The frames are fitted with a specially formulated re-positional self-adhesive tape, giving you the flexibility of being able to move and reposition your display.  They also have a spacing tool which means you can consistently space your frames with your choice of either a 10mm or 30mm gap and enables you to ensure that your frames are always level by using the spirit level incorporated in the tool.

Spacerframe's come in a variety of sizes too.

I wasn't allowed to buy any but have definitely added them to my Christmas wish list.

Check them out here:
Twitter: @Spacerframe1

Riverco Trading

I love furniture and this kids bench was soo cute (excuse the blurry picture).  At £199 it was a little out of our budget (and may have been interesting taking home on the train).

You can find them here:
Twitter: @RiverCoUk

sorry for the blurry picture, silly auto-focus/ broken screen camera

Bus Bar

The husband spotted this and told he to pick him up when I'd finished..... no chance .... who's carry my bags.

The Bus Bar Company own and operate two 1960’s Routemaster buses which have been converted to fully functional mobile bars.  They have a fully licensed mass serving bar on the lower deck and on the upper deck there is an open top hospitality seating area.  A great idea to book for a party as they are fully licensed, insured, come with all their own equipment and have hard working reliable staff on hand to take care of your event.

Their website is:
Twitter: @RoutemasterBar


The StudyBed is amazing.  I saw this in June and tried to explain it to the hubby, but this time he could see it with his own eyes.

The StudyBed combines a full-size bed with a very large desk and converts quickly and easily in just a few seconds without the need to remove any items off the desk nor any of the bedding.

The boys are in bunk beds at the moment but what a great idea for when they are older.

Twitter: @StudyBeds

Christmas Theatre - Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen

Laurence was back for the Christmas show to tell us how to decorate our trees and tables in a coordinating but nontraditional way using wallpaper as a starting point.
I was sceptical but the results really worked and I came away with loads of ideas to try from snow in baubles to home-made crackers and napkin rings.

A great day out and have promised my mum she can come along with me next year.

Disclaimer:  I was offered a pair of tickets to the Ideal Home Show, Manchester in return for writing a couple of posts,  All opinions are my own, the companies mentioned are my own selection and have not been consulted about this post.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Tesco 60-Minute Roast Challenge

I love a Roast Dinner, however it's not always been that way.  Sure when I lived at home my mum cooked one every weekend but when I moved away to uni they went by the way.  I worked on a Sunday and even if I didn't there was no point making a roast just for me.  The only Roast Dinner I remember having during my time there was Christmas Day in my second year when I worked at the pub my boyfriend (now husband) worked in, it was a great community experience and a fab roast.

Then I moved in with my husband and for some reason I forgot about Sunday Dinner, we would have just 'normal' food (mainly because he worked on a Sunday).  Fast forward a couple of years and I fell pregnant with Ben, by month 3 I was having the strongest cravings for chicken to the point where I bought one on my way home one night .... then realised I didn't know where to start with cooking it.

I soon learnt, and over the next 5 years added beef and pork to my repertoire.  Lamb will always remain my favourite but my husband doesn't like it so I can't cook it :(  .

Christmas Dinner

Over the Summer our Sunday Roasts have remained, but only once every 4 weekends, the rest have been filled with salad, pizza or other 'treat' nights.  But the nights are drawing in and my urge to spend Sundays in a warm kitchen cooking a roast are slowly returning.... but life takes hold and before I know it I have half a day and no inspiration  so need quick meals I can whip up in a hurry.

To help British families make the most of their roasts this autumn, Tesco has teamed up with a selection of chefs and foodies, including TV personality and home cook Nadia Sawalha, who will share their favourite recipes and tips for creating the perfect weekend showstopper, they have also asked bloggers to get involved and attempt the 60-Minute Roast Challenge.  I was a bit apprehensive when my invitation came through as normally my roasts take about 2 hours to cook.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Review: The Nonsense Show - Eric Carle

My boys talk gobbledegook on a daily basis, they are extremely creative and have fantastic imaginations and they both love to read. Noah was really excited therefore when a book arrived for him (normally the books are afrom Penguin Random House, The Nonsense Show.  This book really made the boys laugh out loud as they read it from cover to cover and then started again.