Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Lego Ninjago magazine review and giveaway!

If you have read the 'Our Family' tab at the top of this blog, you will see that one of Chester's favourite things is Lego. He also loves watching the Lego TV series, Ninjago. The theme tune is so catchy I often have it stuck in my head! 

Today is the Launch of a new Lego Ninjago magazine. 


Chester was lucky enough to receive a copy to review and he was very excited about it! The first thing that caught his eye were the 'freebies' on the front of the magazine. A big sheet of Ninjago stickers, lets face it, stickers are always going to go down well with kids! Plus an actual lego figure of Kai, the Red Ninja! Well that was just the best magazine freebie ever to Chester! Perfect to add to his already large collection of Lego! 



Then it was time to explore the magazine. I have to say it is crammed full of lots of fun things to read and do! Lots of comic style stories to read. some posters, puzzles, competitions, fan pages and information pages. Chester's favourite page in this first issue is the Which Ninja are you? Page. He took the quiz and it turns out he is like the black Ninja, Cole. 'You like working in a team, but you are always telling the others what to do! You are popular at School and everyone wishes they could be like you!' Yep, that is Chester alright! 




The magazine is priced at £3.25, at first I thought that was a bit steep, but then I realised that the magazine is not a monthly its actually a 6 weekly. So I would be happy to pay that price, especially when you consider the amount of content that is included. 

Do you have a child who loves Lego Ninjago as much as Chester?! If so I have a giveaway to win a copy of the new Lego Ninjago Magazine (5 of the lucky entrants will each win a copy!) over on my twitter page! 

All you need to do is RT this tweet making sure you include the answer to the question! If you have been paying attention on this post you will already know the answer! You have until 4pm on the 4th of February 2015, promoter is Immediate Media Co London;UK entrants only 16yrs+;5 winners picked at random from @Oneblueonepink followers with correct answer.

Good luck! 




Saving time with Bernard Matthews Turkey Chunks!

I would say that 90% of the time we lead a hectic life here. I am pretty sure we are not the only ones. When you have a School aged child/children, you do tend to be on the go all of the time. Whether its running them to a club or running them to a friends party, there is always something to keep you busy!

Now, I am not really moaning, as I love that both of my Children get to do some lovely things. However, it can sometimes stretch my stress levels, when on top of all of these things I have to think about dinner!

I have said it many times before, I really love my family to eat as fresh and healthily as possible. But I think we have all been guilty of popping through the drive through on the way home, or just bunging something in the oven for convenience rather than thinking about what is actually going into their tummies.

So this is where Bernard Matthews come in. They challenged me to swap the meat in one of our favourite  family meals to Bernard Matthews Turkey Chunks. We have Fajitas 2 or 3 times a month. Its my go to healthy meal in a hurry, its something that we all love, and more importantly its something we can all sit down and eat together, as a family.

So I swapped our usual frying steak for the Bernard Matthews Turkey Chunks, and the whole meal took just 20 minutes to prep and cook!

Ingredients:

220g Bernard Matthews Roast Turkey Breast Chunks
2 tbsp oil
1 red pepper, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
4 spring onions, sliced
4 tortillas

Optional:
4 tbsp Tomato Salsa
4 tbsp Sour Cream
100g Grated cheddar cheese

Method:


Heat your oil in a deep frying pan or wok. Once hot add your red and yellow pepper slices, and your sliced spring onions. Leave these cooking on a medium heat for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the peppers start to slightly soften.


Then add the Bernard Matthews Roast Turkey Breast Chunks (if the chunks are generously big I cut them in half). Again, stir occasionally for around 5 minutes.


All that is left to do now is to heat the tortillas as per the instructions on the pack and serve with your salsa, sour cream and cheese (if you choose to include those).





Ok so you may have noticed that we had carrot sticks to serve with ours too, thats because Chester and Millie both love to munch on those whilst they are waiting! But that is the beauty about this dish. It is so adaptable to cater for everyones tastes. The fact it is served family style at the table means that everyone can take what they like and leave out what they dont. Meaning full tummies and a happy Mummy!

Do you have a favourite 'goto' family meal?

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Exploring Bodiam Castle

In my first post this year, I told you that we were intending on making full use of some of our annual membership passes. So on Sunday, having looked out of the window and seen the mild yet sunny weather, we decided to head to Bodiam Castle. A National Trust property just under an hour from us.

It originally caught my eye for two reasons. One, because it was a castle and both children really love the adventure of exploring castles. Two, because it had a moat, something that I thought the children would be fascinated with. 

The Children were very excited when we arrived in the car park, to see the castle was not too far from us! So we popped on our Wellington boots, put some snacks and drinks into our backpack and set off to explore! 

When we got closer, Chester spotted the moat and questioned how we were going to get into the Castle. Which is exactly the reaction I expected. Craig and I told him it looked like the only option was to swim across! His face was a mixture of fear and confusion, so very funny! 


We soon spotted the bridge across to the castle though, so all turned out ok! 


We spent a good amount of time exploring, there was lots to see, and even some stocks to leave your children in..... 





Whilst we were walking round we noticed some other children had a horn that was telling a story when it was swiped on a button. We found out that they were available to borrow, so that's what we did, a good excuse to go round the castle again! 



We had a really great afternoon at Bodiam Castle, it's certainly somewhere we would like to visit again! 

Do you have any National Trust favourites that you would recommend?


Teaching Chester the importance of budgeting.

I think it's very important to teach children about budgeting and the value of money. I often think, had I been better educated in the subject I wouldn't of made so many money mistakes when I left home.

I have learnt the hard way and we are still paying off unnecessary debts, most of them from before the Children were even born! But one good thing has come out of all of this. I am now very good at budgeting, very aware of where our money is going, and very good at spotting a bargain. In fact, several times in the last year friends have messaged me to ask advice on money saving, mostly on holidays to Florida, but also for general everyday things too. I take this as a compliment and am happy to give my opinion and advice. 

So you see, for this very reason, I want my children to have a real understanding of Money. I feel at age 3, Millie is probably a little too young to really understand. So for now my concentration is on Chester, at age 6 he has a keen interest in money, you may remember last year when we made a Skylanders money box so that he could save for some new figures, ever since then he has been obsessed with counting money.

I was recently asked if I would like to take part in a childrens savings challenge by Family Investments. I decided to say yes as after researching, they seemed to have set up a fun way to get children interested in talking about money. They even have a fun, easy to use Pocket Money Calculator on their website. 

Chester was sent an easy to use child savings planner, along with some pens to write on it and a piggy bank that helps him count up his savings.




We discussed what Chester is saving for, apparently he is saving for gems and dollars for the games on his tablet! The savings planner has got allocation for 5 weeks so after a big discussion we decided it would be a good idea to aim for savings of £10. He worked out that he needs to save £2 a week. Given that we do not give our children pocket money at the moment (as they get treated to lots of things throughout each month) this could prove to be quite a challenge for Chester. I have explained that he can earn money by helping with jobs around the house, or perhaps rather than asking for sweets, to ask for the equivalent in cash instead.

We have just finished week 1 and he managed to save £2.41! Around 91p was found around the house and the rest was earnt. He has set the table for dinner all week without a fuss, he has helped me with with the dishwasher and even helped me comfort Millie when she got upset. He was very happy when he realised he was above budget in week 1, I think this have given him lots of motivation for week two!


Do you think its important to teach your children the value of money?

I will be keeping you updated on Chester's saving progress so keep a look out on my blog!







Saturday, 24 January 2015

A refreshing change on the soft drinks market!

I am not a big alcoholic drinker. I do enjoy the occasional glass of wine or Archers and Lemonade, but I am a take it or leave it kinda girl.

This means that I am always on the look out for something 'different' when it comes to soft drinks, something slightly unusual to make a change from what I am used to.

I was recently made aware of a range of soft drinks, Heartsease Farm. They are all natural drinks made from the best ingredients and expertly blended with their own spring water on their farm in Wales.

They are available in 6 flavours, which are:


Elderflower Pressè
Traditional Lemonade
St Clements Pressè
Fiery Ginger Beer
Raspberry Lemonade
Blackcurrant Crush

Now, I was most looking forward to trying the Raspberry Lemonade, as that is certainly a flavour I have loved in the past. However I was sent Blackcurrant Crush and Fiery Ginger Beer, which was good in a way because the Ginger Beer is something I would not normally go for, so it enabled me to try something completely different!


If I am honest, I was half expecting them to taste the same as other fruity soft drinks on the market, but I was wrong! The depth of flavour, especially in the Blackcurrant Crush was delightful. I really refreshing change, and totally unexpected! My only negative was that I wasn't expecting the sparkling to be as sparkling as it was. I do enjoy fizzy drinks, but I prefer them when they have just a hint of fizz. But thats just personal choice!

I like the fact that the bottles are perfect picnic size. We love our picnics, and enjoy them in 3 of the 4 seasons. I will be nice to be able to add something new to our picnic favourites this year! I enjoyed the Fiery Ginger Beer with a Sunday Roast Dinner so even in these colder months they can be enjoyed!

A great alternative soft drink, be it if you are taking part in dry January, are pregnant, or simply fancy a different kind of soft drink, I would recommend you give Heartsease Farm a try!

Do you have a favourite flavour of soft drink?

Thursday, 22 January 2015

The New Year Declutter has commenced!

Yesterday I decided it would be a good idea to make a few changes to my Kitchen/Dining room and my understairs cupboard.

Today, at around midday, I seriously regretted that decision.

Basically, what I wanted, was to make the dining area and the understairs cupboard look less cluttered. I could see lots of things that needed to either be thrown away or given to the charity shop!

Yesterday afternoon, with Craig's help, I decluttered the understairs cupboard. It hadn't long been done so it didn't take too long and I managed to find new homes for most things. Then in the evening I decided to take everything off of our large kitchen cupboard/display unit, as it was cluttering up my dining area. This didn't take too long, but by the end my kitchen looked a complete tip! I knew that everything had a place, but that wouldn't be until the morning.

I realise now, that the morning was a very unrealistic time frame to give myself. I don't think I really thought that what I wanted to do, would take so long. In my head it was a simple shuffle around. In reality it was an all day nightmare!

Lots of things have been packed up ready to take to the Charity shops, and 6, yes SIX, black sacks of rubbish have been thrown out, how did I let this toot pile up for so long?! But equally, lots of things needed to find a new home, such as my cookbooks, and all of the childrens games that were stored in the cupboard, not to mention half of our Blu Ray collection and lots of play doh!  I also moved and decluttered our craft unit and moved it under the stairs.

So it was really the re-jigging that took the time. I started at 9.15am this morning, only stopping to pick up Millie from Nursery and Chester from School. and finally finished at 6 this evening! Madness!

I have a few finishing touches to do tomorrow but all in all its done, and I am so happy with the way it looks. No more everyone having to squash between the table and the unit and I can even put the table at an angle with lots of room to spare!



Of course I had to make sure I had my own little Disney area!



I really want to declutter as much as I can this year, we have outgrown our 2 bedroom house and will eventually sell and buy a 3 bedroom, but in the mean time I really want to prove (to myself) that, not only can we live without clutter, but also that its ok to get rid of things that you haven't looked at for the past 9 years!

Anyone else started a New Year declutter? How are you getting on?


Tuesday, 20 January 2015

A little breakfast treat for me!

I had lots of things planned for this morning, blog posts to draft, photos to take. Yet so far all I have managed to do is cook and eat this....


Looks yummy doesn't it?! Well let me tell you, it was indeed very yummy. It was just what was needed on this really cold day!

It was minus 2 on the School run this morning and now its snowing! So I think I deserve this little treat to warm me up! I mean who could resist bacon and Mickey shaped egg?!

Maybe now I can get back on track and go back to what I am meant to be doing. Maybe!