Monday, 29 September 2014

Chester: Another year has gone by so quickly.

It seems to come round so quickly.

It didn't seem that long ago that I was writing this post about his 5th Birthday. Yet its been a whole year!

Tomorrow my little Chester Boo will be 6 years old! How is that possible?!! I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday, yet 6 whole years have passed us by!

This little bear is going to be 6!!

Chester has had a really good year, he really enjoys School, and has made some lovely friends. He is always full of smiles and has such a character! A typical boy, he loves to run around, he has loads of energy. I really have no idea where it comes from!

Over the year his love for football has grown, which I love. Its so sweet listening to him telling me all about what's been going on in the world of football. I would so love for him to start at a football club soon, he is on the waiting list for a local one. So hopefully the wait will not be too long.

Chester takes his role as big Brother very seriously. It is super cute to watch him 'teach' Millie everything he knows. This can sometimes be a disaster as they work as a tag team to be little mischiefs!

I just wish that time would slow down! It seems to go so quickly, especially now that he is at School!

Over the weekend my Parents came to stay (at Chester's request) to help celebrate Chester's Birthday. It was a great weekend. On Sunday we took 9 of Chester's friends to the cinema and then to Mcdonalds for Lunch.

I won't lie, I was dreading it! But I needn't of been so worried they were all so well behaved and I think they really loved feeling grown up by being allowed to all sit together! It was super cute!

Chester loved his Dinosaur Birthday cake, his face just lit up when he saw it!

He woke up this morning a little later than usual (hardly surprising) and very excited about turning 6 tomorrow! He is going to have to wait for his main present as he has asked for Skylanders Trap Team, which is not released until next week! Typical! But he knows that, and I think its just the excitement of being another year older that is such a big deal for him!

I am incredibly proud of Chester, he is such a kind and caring little boy. He seems to of grown up so much more during this year, mostly due to being at School. Yes, he does have his moments, but don't all 6 year olds?!

How about you, do you find the years go bigger now that your child/children are at School?

Our week in Pictures 21st -27th September 2014

Ok, ok, I know. Its a day late! But all should be forgiven because we did have Chester's Birthday Party yesterday so the weekend was a bit hectic to say the least!

Here is our week in pictures 21st-27th September 2014....

Over the week Millie has become attached to this V Tech doll, which she has named Gracie!

Chester was being a bit of a pickle about reading his School books, so we got out one of his own books and he really enjoyed reading it. I would really love for him to love reading and books like I do, but I think it will only ever be on his own terms!

As you will know if you read my post during the week, I made this Dinosaur cake on Chester's request for his Birthday party. It took me 2 days to do it, I am so pleased with it!

A trip to Bluewater to catch up with a friend and have some lunch! Millie taking the lead as usual!

Finally, the week ended with my Parents coming to stay. My Mum decided to sleep on Chester's top bunk, which I found hilarious! I think we need a bigger house, thank goodness for ReadyBeds!

How has your week been?

Friday, 26 September 2014

I made a Dinosaur themed Birthday cake!

Oh my gosh! I can't believe I did this! I love baking, but I am by no means an expert! I like to experiment and challenge myself all the time and this is probably the most technical thing I have done. It was stressful (because it's for Chester's 6th Birthday), but it was easier than I thought. I know it's not perfect, but I am so happy with it!
It took 2 days in total. I baked two chocolate cakes the day before and then chilled them in the fridge overnight. The reason for this is so that when I put the buttercream icing on there would be no crumbs. I sliced the tops of the cakes to make them flat, but let's face it they are not perfectly flat, I must of been looking at an angle?! Then I put buttercream in the middle and then all round the outside.

I put this back into the fridge to chill whilst I was making the fondant icing. I say make, what I mean is get it out of the packet and use food colouring gel to make it green! Looking back I should've probably then put that in the fridge for half an hour to chill as I had handled it loads. Nether the less I still managed to get it on the cake fairly well!

I then made a start on the decorations. I put some more green food colouring gel into my left over green icing to make some leaves. I used black food colouring in the icing to create different shades of grey for rocks. I made some dinosaur eggs with plain white fondant, and used blue food colouring gel in the icing to make letters for Chester's name.

Next on the to do list was to cover the outside of the cake with chocolate fingers, to make a 'fence'.

I then started to assemble all of the decorations on the top. I made a nest for the eggs using cake crumb and butter icing.

I used Chester's toy dinosaurs to place on and around the cake, and to stamp footprints into the icing. 

Then I used some bone candies (which I got in America last year) to shape he number 6, which I stuck to the large rock.

Here is the finished cake, what do you think?!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Birdseye #AfterSchoolChefs challenge

I dont know about you, but the after School routine is something that a year on I am still trying to get used to! This is because we have so much going on! Chester has after School clubs, Millie has ballet, and then 3 evenings a week I have to go to work just as Craig is coming through the door. So you could say our 'routine' is a little bit hectic!

Before Chester was at School, thinking about what to have for dinner wasn't so much of an issue, nothing needed to be planned or well thought out as we had lots more time back then! I used to say, 'the children will always have homemade meals'. But since Chester started School, I have had to be a bit more realistic! Sometimes there is just no time to lovingly prepare and cook meals!

Birdseye have got a great frozen range, from the fun Space themed Chicken to the practical mixed veg in ziplock bags. Over the last couple of weeks the range from Birdseye has been helping me make the after school routine easier.

The Children's time between after School and bed is very hectic, we  have a schedule to stick to, and it means that the children are often wiped out by the time it comes to dinner, which means they are not in the best of moods. So I need meals that are quick and easy to make.

We like to sit around the dining room table for dinner, so that we can all catch up on what one another has been upto. One of the meals that was fun for the children and perfect for the family to eat together (ok, fair enough, not the whole family at once as Daddy was at work for the most part). was the Birds Eye Chicken wraps with Birds Eye Golden Vegetable Rice. It was quick to make, and I layed it all out on the table so it was a serve yourself tea. Obviously this went down a treat for the children, Chester declared it 'a buffet for kings'!

Of course the other thing that went down a treat was the Birds Eye Chicken quarter pounders. I served them with Birdseye vegetable nuggets and sweet potato chips. We are big brioche fans here, I had managed to source some brioche buns, which Chester was very happy about as it reminded him of our holiday to America last year!

Now I know I said we do not always have time for homemade meals, but if I am super organised in the mornings. Which, lets face it, is very rare! I like to make use of our slow cooker. Today being the first day of Autumn, I decided it would be nice to make a hearty sausage casserole, and low and behold, without me even realising, Birds Eye to the rescue again! This time with the select mixed vegetables in their great ziplock bag!

Something to note about all of this, is that each time, Millie has cleared her plate. This is unheard of! Unlike her Brother, she is extremely fussy, I thought it was just a phase, but its been going on for so long, I am not so sure! I am much happier when I go to work knowing that my children have been well fed.

But lets be honest, at the end of the day, there is nothing quite like  Fish Fingers, Mas#Tags and peas is there?! We are all kids at heart!

What is your after School routine like, is it hectic like mine or are you lucky enough to have a calm and relaxed evening?

This post is an entry for #Afterschoolchefs Challenge, sponsored by Birds Eye. Learn more on the Birds Eye Facebook Page.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

The very first: Our week in Pictures 13th-20th September 2014

So I have decided it would be a great idea to do a 'our week in pictures' post every Sunday. I takes some great pictures (if I do say so myself) and they do not make it all onto my blog. They are all snapshots of our family life. If you follow me on Instagram you will probably have seen a fair few!

So here goes, our week in Pictures 13th-20th September 2014.....

Chester played a game called dinosaur army. He used Millie's play food to feed them lunch, but couldn't quite decide if the herbivores ate fish or not!

Millie and I spotted this fantastic chalk drawing in our local High Street. Millie is a massive Jack Skellington fan! 

Cheeky Millie and I made these yummy cookies. In fact, they were so yummy Millie would only part with 1 for Chester and kept the rest for herself!

On Saturday, aside from our Pancake day, we also made homemade pizzas, which went down a treat!

Finally the week ended with cuddles on the sofa, although I didn't get a look in, Daddy appeared to be flavour of the day! 

So there you go, a fun week, which consisted mostly of baking with a bit of imaginative play thrown in for good measure! 

What have you been up to this week?! 

Saturday, 20 September 2014

I now declare Saturdays Pancake day!

Yes, thats right. I am declaring Saturdays as Pancake day! Well in our house at least!

Craig aside, as he has to work, Saturday's are a day where we do not have to rush. We don't have a set time to get out of bed.

Since Chester started back at School after the summer holidays and now in Year 1, by the end of the week, he is exhausted. So I try to make Saturday's as least hectic as possible, but I also wanted it to be a day to look forward too!

So I came up with the idea that Saturday's should be Pancake day! Both of the children love pancakes, they love choosing toppings and get very excited about their creations!

So for the last two Saturdays we have not rushed to get out of bed, we have made pancakes in our PJ's and then sat around the table and had lots of fun and giggles eating them! This week we even added ice cream to the toppings list! 

Its been a great success, so I am going to carry it on.

Do you have a day like this? I would love to hear all about them!

Take the most magical journey of them all, and visit Father Christmas World!

Have you seen the shiny new badge, proudly placed on my blog?! This one here....

I am so excited about our new ambassador role! Christmas is my favourite time of year, its just such a magical time. I love reading the children the Christmas Stories and snuggling up with hot chocolate and watching Christmas Films. So when I heard about Father Christmas World I just had to find out more!

Father Christmas World is set to be the UK's biggest attraction. Imagine a wonderful, magical, icy world where Father Christmas and his elves live and work. With snow covering the ground and giant polar bears to snuggle up to, this is the stuff children’s dreams are made of. Except it isn't a dream.

Set in the grounds of a beautiful country estate just outside Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Father Christmas World is a brand new experience for children and adults alike. Opening its doors from mid-November until the end of December, families will have the chance to experience this very special and unique adventure.

Starting with a ride on the Tinsel Train, the journey through Father Christmas World begins at the Welcome Show, a chance to meet Grumpy the Elf and Charlie the Dog, who might teach you a word or two of Elvish if you're lucky. Then it’s on to the Giant Igloo, with 60 snowmen to decorate using our special dressing up boxes.  Your next stop is the Adelfie Theatre where you'll help Adelf find her lost presents.  Now it’s into the Ice Cave to meet the lifelike polar bear and cubs. Then there’s a chance to head into the giant Snow Globe for festive family pictures and a Snow Dome with real snow. The journey ends meeting Father Christmas himself!

Sounds amazing doesn't it?! So much to see and do. I can imagine Chester and Millie will be very excited to immerse themselves in such a place, and lets face it, Craig and I will too!

Father Christmas World will be open daily from November 15th- December 24th between the hours of 10am-6pm.  You can buy your tickets online via, by calling  0800 0850020 or, if you live in Kent like us, you can even book tickets in person at the official Father Christmas World shop near The Pantiles in Neville Street, Tunbridge Wells. The shop is fitted out like a fairy-tale travel agent, complete with a miniature scale model of the attraction.