Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Girls toddler tantrums are different to boys!

Well this is probably very obvious to some people. But for me, every single day I am learning just how differently boys and girls behave! 

Over the last couple of months Millie's toddler tantrums have got worse. 

I have noticed that boys seem to have a small paddy over something but it is soon forgotten. Girls seem to have the tantrum and string it out for as long as possible. 

Millie seems to have tantrums of epic proportions. At first I thought they were over small things, but then I gave it some thought. 

The things that may seem small to me, are very big to Millie. She is only 2 years old, her only worries in the world are how many times in a day can she watch Frozen, or how many dollies she can sneak in the car with her! 

The other day she watched Bambi, when it got to the end she asked to watch it again, but I turned it back to the begining (like she asked) BEFORE she had finished dancing to the music! That of course was the wrong thing to do and what came next was a 10 minute meltdown! 

Then, one bedtime, she was stalling walking up the stairs, so I carried her. This was apparently the wrong thing to do as she tantrumed so much she pulled the stair gate off her door! It was like she has turned into The hulk! 

                           

I am finding it much harder to calm Millie down than I do with Chester.

She throws herself back, she kicks, hits out, and the newest addition is that she gets so angry that she bites herself. What do I do to stop that? 

Putting her on the step is hit and miss, sometimes she will calm down and say sorry, other times she will refuse point blank to sit on it at all. 

I have tried to leave her to it, but this just seems to fuel the tantrum further! 

So..... Who has got any advice for me?! 





Saturday, 24 May 2014

Chester's first (very) short story...

This morning Chester was in an arts and crafts mood. He got out the paints, pens, paper and got creative. I left him to it.

He asked me how you spell burger, 10 minutes later he brought this over to me....


Chester told me he had thought of a story and wanted to write it down. Yes, that right Chester WANTED to write it down! I am super proud of him! 

So apart from the one word, burger, he spelt (and wrote) it all himself! 

It reads; " cat and dog went too buy a coat and buyed a burger and a napee." 

Super effort from Chester don't you think?! 


Friday, 23 May 2014

Certificates from School, an achievement for Chester.

As you all know, Chester is in his first year of School. During the last term they have introduced Chester's class to the Schools docket system. To gain dockets you need to do good work, be polite, be kind, help tidy up, good reading, those kind of things. Once you have 5 dockets you can take them back into School and they will exchange them for a certificate. Then once you get 15 certificates you get a special prize.

Chester is a very head strong little boy. He is more than capable of doing all of the things above, when he wants to.

Over the last 2 weeks he has worked hard to get his dockets, some days he comes home with none, some days he comes home with 2 or 3. 

Today he came home with his first certificate! In fact, he came home with 2!! 



He was so happy, it's amazing how much an orange bit of paper can boost a child's confidence! I hope that now he has seen that he can do it, he will continue to work hard and be good at School. 

This was a huge milestone for Chester, I am so glad he has finally cracked it! 

Oven bake Churros!

Almost every week, I take part in recipe of the week linky, which is hosted by Emily on her blog A Mummy Too. Emily's blog is always on my reading list, I have cooked many a recipe thanks to her blog!

This week I linked up my Rhubarb cookies recipe. After submitting I always take time to read recipes that others have submitted. I even went back later in the week this week to catch up on any new links. I am so glad that I did because I found a fantastic Cinnamon and sugar oven baked Churros recipe on Claire's blog, What Claire Baked. 

Millie and I made some yesterday, following Claire's recipe. 



I was amazed, not only were they easy to make, they tasted amazing! Doughnuts that had not been fried, and they still tasted amazing! 

They were such a hit here, Chester loved them so much that he has requested we put them on our half term to do list for next week! I think I will make a chocolate sauce to go with them next time too! 

If you fancy making these yourself then please do pop over to What Claire Baked (link above) where you will find the recipe! 

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Chester's first May Day Celebrations!

Yesterday I got to experience something amazing.

Chester's School is one of the very few who still celebrate May Day with Maypole dancing. I remember it well from when I was at Primary School, it's such a great tradition and I am so pleased that I will have the pleasure of watching the performances for the next 10 years (providing Millie gets in too!) 

Only the year 6 children got to dance around the Maypole, which it totally understandable seeing the pace and complexity of the dances! They did a few different dances around the Maypole, causing the ribbon to have different patterns, it was lovely. The whole School joined together for 2 songs, including the dance at the beginning where they all walked around with their May sticks and posies. 

Each individual class got to do a dance too. As Chester is only in reception, their dance was quite simple, but they had to remember their moves and they all did so well. It was so cute to watch! They were all partnered up, they had to link arms, twirl around, hold hands, skipalong. Brought a tear to my eye, it really did. Chester looked so proud as he was doing it. All the way up until the day, he was telling me he didn't want to do it and it wasn't for boys. But at that moment, when he was dancing, I could see that actually he was enjoying it.


The teachers all did a fantastic job of teaching all of the children the dances and the songs. So a massive thank you to all of them, for making it such a fantastic afternoon!


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Ecover's first Ocean plastic bottle.

In an exclusive partnership with Tesco, ecological cleaning pioneer Ecover have launched the Ocean Bottle. The first ever bottle made from waste plastic, fished from the ocean. The limited edition bottle is made entirely from recycled plastic, with 10% of that plastic coming from the sea. 

                                           

Now, forgive me for being so ignorant. But until I read into this further, I really wasn't aware just how much plastic makes it's way into the ocean. If you are anything like me, these figures may shock you.... 

On average there are 46,000 pieces of plastic swirling around every single square mile of the ocean. EVERY SINGLE SQUARE MILE!!!! I am shocked. Don't get me wrong, I knew it was a problem, but I certainly had no idea it was to such a big scale. Of course, this mean that not only is it polluting the environment, but it is also harming the fish and the sea mammals. 

To try and reverse this trend, Ecover has joined forces with experts from Waste Free Oceans, as well as the European community of fisherman, in a joint bid to reduce the huge quantity of plastic in our oceans. The European fishing boats (using new technology) fish out between 1 and 8 tonnes of plastic waste per catch. Ecover has then transformed the waste caught into these limited (10,000) edition bottles. 

The washing up liquid has been created with a special sea lavender and eucalyptus fragrance, bringing the scent of the sea to your home! I was sent a bottle to try, and can honestly say the smell is amazing. It really does remind you of the sea, and it washes the dishes, and even my baking trays, really well.


So Tesco have decided to help raise awareness of this major issue of ocean plastic mess.  They will have the limited edition Ecover washing up liquid Ocean bottle on the shelves of their stores for 1 week. Starting from 21st May you will be able to grab your bottle for just £2. 

What do you think about the amount of plastic in the ocean? Were you as shocked as me? 

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Our day at the beach - Joss Bay

WOW, how nice has the weather been over the last few days?!

I was determined to make the most of it on Sunday, seeing as its our only day off altogether as a family.

For a few years now people have been telling me I must visit Joss Bay (Near Broadstairs in Kent), and for years I have been meaning to do just that.

So on Sunday we finally got round to visiting, and we weren't disappointed!

Joss Bay, is a lovely sandy bay. When researching on the internet, what attracted me even more, was the fact that its not very commercial. It has a small shop/cafe, toilets and beach equipment available to hire. Whilst I do love a seaside complete with fish and chip shop, and arcades. It is nice sometimes to just appreciate the little things.

We arrived quite early as I wanted to be able to get a parking space in the road opposite the beach (as that was free), we were lucky enough to get a space.

We set up 'camp' on the beach, along with our picnic, buckets, spades, towels and suncream. I hired a parasol for the day, which only cost £2 plus £1 deposit! Believe it or not I am not really a huge fan of the sun! I burn just by looking at it. I like the warmer weather, but not when the sun is beating down on you. I also worry about the kiddies getting burnt, but the parasol did a great job of shielding them during the hottest part of the day.

We spent almost 5 hours paddling in the sea, jumping over the waves, digging holes, building sandcastles, enjoying a picnic, playing football, eating ice creams, burying each other in the sand, and watching the world go by!


It was a really fantastic family day. I was amazed that we managed to keep the kiddies entertained for that long without any moans of im bored!! We all truly enjoyed it, I can see lots more days like this in this in the summer!

Did you make the most of the beautiful weather at the weekend? What did you get up to?

Making a Maystick ...

I don't know about you, but I have very fond memories of dancing around the maypole at Primary School.

When Chester started School, I happened to notice on the calendar we were given, that there would be maypole dancing. At that point I had no idea what would be involved, to some extent I still don't, as it's not until Tuesday. But we were told a little while ago that the girls would need poseys and the boys would need a  Maystick. 

After asking some of the Mums, it turns out that a Maystick is literally a stick with flowers ontop. When I first mentioned this to Chester he was very against carrying flowers, apparently they are for girls! 

But he needed to have one, and he will need one every year he is at Primary School, so over the last few days I have been busy gathering the materials together to make my own. 


I was originally going to get some red and blue flowers (Crystal Palace colours), but after looking around several shops couldn't find what I had in mind. So in the end I settled for blue with a little bit of white to break it up. I didn't want the Maystick to be too big as he is only five, so I got enough artificial flowers for two 'layers' rather than the three I was originally going to do. I picked up a cheap mop with a wooden handle, which Craig then chopped up to make the stick part of the Maystick. 

I left out the Oasis, I decided I could attach the flowers straight to the stick and if it didn't look right I would admit defeat and go get the oasis! 

After working out how I was arranging the flowers, I used parcel tape to stick on each flower, one at a time. I chopped the 'stems' off of the flowers and bent the heads into the correct position. 


To my surprise, the whole process was much easier than I thought! The last part of the process was to wrap some ribbon around the stick, I found this the hardest part. Very fiddly, especially trying to tie it up at the top! I finished it off with a different coloured ribbon as a bow and some spirals. Chester tells me I went too far with those though. So they may have to come off before Tuesday! 

What do you think.....


                   

Do your Children have Maypole dancing too? I would love to know! 



Friday, 16 May 2014

My first Bento

I have been admiring peoples Bento lunch pictures for ages. Not a day goes by where I don't see a beautiful and fun Bento lunch creation on instagram, twitter or facebook. Dont get me wrong, I am not complaining, I love them! But have never really had the time to make one, until now.

Millie especially, as become more and more fussy with her eating. She used to eat anything and everything, but now she is a little more choosy.

I found out the other week that cutting her sandwiches into various shapes made her think her sandwiches were now magical and low and behold, she ate them!

So I was already halfway there, when I decided that I should really give this Bento malarky a go for myself.

I managed to pick up some really lovely silicone cupcake cases in Dunelm Mill the other day, they were in the clearance section. I managed to get some butterflies and some frogs. As of yet I do not own any fancy Bento "props" but I am sure that is soon to change. So I simply made do with what I had.

I used a small container with two compartments as my base, I then wanting to carry on my garden theme (the cupcake cases) I used a small flower shaped cookie cutter to cut out some carrot and apple. I then used a larger flower shaped cookie cutter to make a flower shaped ham sandwich. Added some pringles, a Rhubarb cookie and a ladybird baby bel.

                        


Not bad for my first attempt I think. I am sure my creations will only get better as I go along. But for now Millie was really pleased with her fun Bento lunch. It really did turn a boring meal into a fun eating experience for my toddler!

Do you make Bento lunches? I would love to know.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Rhubarb Cookies

I dont know about you, but I really love Rhubarb. My summer months are filled with Rhubarb crumble making! But this year I have vowed to change my thinking, I want to challenge myself a bit more, think outside of the box. So today, I started small. I took a risk and experimented. I made Rhubarb cookies, and I am so pleased that I did. They are a bit rough round the edges BUT they are yummy!


Very easy to make and use very few ingredients, most of them store cupboard essentials.

Ingredients:


  • 100g softened butter
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 150g self raising flour
  • 75g porridge oats
  • 1 stick of Rhubarb (mine was just under 100g)
Method:

Cut your rhubarb into small chunks, I sliced mine into half centimeter rounds and then cut those into four. 

Cream together the butter and sugar, I used an electric whisk, but this is not essential. 

Add the egg and the flour and whisk/stir.

Next add the oats and the rhubarb and gently fold in. 

You should now have a very sticky mixture. 

Line 2 baking trays with baking paper and put small spoonfuls of the mixture onto the trays. Making sure you have a good spacing between each cookie, as they will spread. 


Place in a pre heated oven (180 degrees) for around 15 minutes until just starting to brown.

Leave to cool for a few minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

I managed to make 22 cookies from this mixture, but even that many didn't last long! 

They are so yummy and moorish, you really need to try them yourself to see how scrummy they really are! 

Do you like Rhubarb? Whats your favourite way to cook it? I would love to know. 

Link up your recipe of the week

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Saturday night = Family night in

For us, Saturday night is movie night. Its the only night that no one is working and the children are allowed to stay up a little later as its not a School night!

The children get very excited about it. We normally walk around to our local corner shop, where we can hire a blu ray for just £1 per night. Even new releases! They choose a film and a few 1p sweets (although they cost more than 1p nowadays!) and then we wait for Daddy to come home from work!

On movie night, we like to have a really easy dinner. Something we can enjoy whilst watching the film, rather than sitting at the table to eat. Sometimes that means ordering a takeaway and other times it can mean snacky food such as crisps, dips and popcorn.

I was recently made aware of a new range of Pizzas that Tesco have brought out.

Tesco Takeaway Pizzas are everything you'd want for a fun and indulgent night in at a fraction of the cost of a typical takeaway. Each pizza is packaged in a takeaway style box and served with one of four different dips to dunk the crispy, golden crusts.

They come in 10 different flavour combinations, and at £3.75 each or 2 for £6 I could not wait to give them a go!

We decided on Tesco Smokey New Yorker Hotdog Stuffed Crust Takeaway Pizza, and the Chilli Beef Nacho Takeaway Pizza, for our movie night last week. The children had chosen to rent out The Muppets and were very excited especially about the hotdog pizza!


The pizzas only take 11 minutes to cook, so by the time we had got the movie set up and arranged drinks for everyone, they were ready! The Hotdog pizza came with a BBQ dip and the Chilli Beef Nacho pizza came with a sour cream dip. We thought the dips were a nice little touch and really did add to that takeaway feel.


The Hotdog pizza went down really well with everyone. The children especially loved the hotdogs around the crust, and Craig and I loved the flavours and texture of the pizza, it really was like a takeaway pizza! The Chilli Beef Nacho one was nice too, however it was a little too spicy for the children. It was nice to have that added texture of the Nachos.


We really want to try the bacon cheeseburger pizza too, that is next on our list! Both that one and the hot dog pizza are limited edition and won't be around for ever, my advice would be to try them whilst you can!

Our family night in was a big success last week, the children really enjoyed the film and we all enjoyed the Pizzas. At a cost of under £10 for the whole night (including movie, sweets and pizzas) it was a really affordable way to spend some quality time together as a family!

How do you spend your Saturday evenings?

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Baby Panda Millie still going strong, 3 months on...

So we are now 3 months in, and Millie is just as obsessed with baby pandas now as she was then. You may remember my post about the panda obsession

She still introduces herself as baby panda, she still carries her beloved tiny baby panda figure around with her. 

My parents brought Millie her very own baby panda teddy. It cries when it wants attention or milk, and it snores when it is sleeping! Millie loves it so much that she even reads it bedtime stories. We could hear her over the monitor the other day, she was excitedly telling baby panda that was him in a book. 'Thats you baby panda, that's you, look'! It was so adorable! 

She even requested that my Aunt knit her a baby panda...

                                           

But today was the icing on the cake for Millie, we were getting movie night goodies, when she spotted these...

                           

She literally squealed at the top of her voice 'baby panda, look Mummy, look, baby panda bic bics, BABY PANDA'!! 

I am truly amazed that this obsession is still going, but I love her little imagination. Watching her play and make up baby panda stories is just amazing! 

Does your little one have any surprising obsessions?! 

Growing our own sunflower. Part 1

Recently we were asked to take part in a grow your own sunflower competition. To win, our sunflower needs to be the tallest. I am going to blog about how we get on as the weeks go by, so keep your eyes peeled if you want to see how we get on!

So part 1 of growing our own sunflower....

You may remember that recently we helped Chester and Millie to create their very own corner of the garden. Since then, they have been keen gardeners. They like to keep their flowers watered and LOVE using their stepping stone path.

I explained to them that we would be growing our own sunflowers, they were both excited. Chester helped me teach Millie what colour the sunflower would be and explained to her that we plant a seed and if we take care of it and water it, it will magically turn into a flower. He takes his role as a big brother very seriously and he loved telling her everything he knew, it was so sweet.

We gathered together everything we needed, sunflower seeds, soil, pots, and of course gardening tools. The tools we are using are a 3 piece Qualcast set, with a hand trowel, fork and rake. All 3 of them will come in handy during our growing process.


I opened a bag of compost and used the fork and the rake to break it down (it was compact due to being in the bag).


Chester then enjoyed showing Millie how she needed to use her trowel to fill a pot with soil. After filling the pots with soil, Chester and Millie pressed their finger into the soil and popped the sunflower seed in, making sure to cover with a little more soil.


I researched which way up we needed to plant the seed, and apparently it doesn't matter as the seed will correct itself once it starts growing. Lets hope so!

We have planted into small pots, and then once the Sunflower starts to grow we will transfer to a bigger pot.

Next job was to find a sunny spot to put them, Chester and Millies section of the garden seems to get the sun all afternoon and evening. So I agreed they could place them on the corners of their planter. They were very excited about this!

Last job on the list was to water them! Lesson learnt here was never let Millie water the plants without help! She pretty much drowned them haha!


We had a really fun afternoon in the garden planting the sunflowers, I love that both of the children are really interested. The first thing they did when they got up this morning was check on their sunflowers!

Has anyone else planted sunflowers this year?!

Friday, 9 May 2014

Make your own Skylanders money box.

Ever since the announcement of Skylanders Trap Team, Chester has been looking for money to save. Quite literally, he has turned our house upside down. Looking in every cupboard and drawer, under sofas and beds and even in our purses and wallets! Cheeky monkey! 

He is wanting to save money so that he can purchase the new game when it comes out in October.

He soon had quite a big collection of mainly 1p, 2p and 5p's, too many for his wallet. So we decided to make a Skylanders themed money box! 

It was really easy to make, we used a large butter tub (that had been washed out) and some Skylanders stickers. Most newsagents sell the sticker packs for around 50p a pack, we used stickers from 5 different packs plus some extra little ones we had lying around. 

      

We decided to use the small stickers on the top, creating a collage. We then used the bigger stickers around the sides and on the bottom. Lastly we used a Stanley knife to cut a coin sized slit in the top! 

What do you think.... 

     

Chester is very impressed with it. The only problem now is that he spends every waking moment thinking of ways to save more money! 

                         




Thursday, 8 May 2014

Mega Bloks - get out and play!

May is such a great month; winter is well and truly behind us and summer is on the horizon. So now is
the perfect time to really make the most of your outside space – whether it’s a garden, terrace, patio or 
park. For little ones, it’s all about fresh air – filling their lungs, being active and having lots of fun. 

As a family, we love being outdoors. We are lucky that both of our children seem to be little explorers and want to spend lots of time outside. Obviously in the winter months this can prove a little difficult. So when the sun does start to show its face we spend as much time as possible outside. Our summer will mostly consist of picnics in the park and trips to some local beaches!

Mega Bloks are calling on families to ‘Get Out and Play’ this May. Playing outdoors has lots of benefits and its a great opportunity to spend time together!

We were sent some Mega Bloks toys to help us with this!



So our plan was to have a picnic in the local country park on Bank Holiday Monday.

One lovely idea from Mega Bloks is to; 'Exercise their imaginations! Playing outside is the perfect opportunity for your children to develop their imaginations! Give them some props, such as First Builders blocks, and a theme, asking them to create a show for you to watch a little later. Be sure to praise their ideas and creativity afterwards. This is also a lovely way to get siblings working as a team towards a common goal – an invaluable skill that will come in handy once the summer holidays arrive!'

So that is exactly what we intended to do. Sadly, nothing seems to go to plan when you want it too! Millie became poorly on Sunday evening and by Monday morning her temperature was very high and she was very sleepy. So our plans when out of the window! It turns out she had a throat infection, ear infection AND cracking on the lungs. Poor child had three infections all at once!

By yesterday afternoon she was perking up a bit, not enough energy for a trip to the country park. But she needed some fresh air, so after Chester finished School we laid a picnic blanket on the decking and pretended we were at the country park!


Chester was happily playing with the Mega Bloks 3 in 1 ride on Jeep. It has 10 Mega bloks my first bricks hidden in the seat compartment, and the buttons on the steering wheel mimic real Jeep sounds! Its age recommendation is 1-3 years old. At 2 Millie in the middle of that age range and she loves it. She has been playing with it inside and is the perfect size to be scooting around on it. Chester at age 5 is over the age range BUT he is a typical boy who loves to construct. Seeing as you can build the bloks onto various points of the Jeep, he loves it too! He has even been using some bloks from the My first bricks bag to build bigger jeep constructions!

As we had the Picnic blanket out, I thought it would be a great idea to get the Mega Bloks Play 'n' Go Tea Party. Millie loves a tea party, she is always getting out her tea set and treating her teddies and dollies to a lovely cup of tea. She really likes this Mega Bloks version, because she can pull her 'tea and cake' around in the cart. In the picture above, Millie can be seen feeding tea to her beloved baby panda! We added the cake stickers to the blocs and now we can create all sorts of sweet treats by building them up! What I love about the Tea Party set, is that the wagon/cart handle folds underneath itself for compact storage! At £19.99 I think its a really lovely set, a real base builder for young childrens imaginations!


We were outside around 45 minutes, just enough for Millie as she is still a little under the weather. But they had so much fun, it certainly seemed to cheer her up and Chester was only to happy to lead the imaginative play! I can see our summer months being filled with afternoons like this!

Mega Bloks has a wealth of expert tips and advice for getting the most from play, so visit  parents.megabloks.com for inspiration. Plus during May, you’ll find a host of Mega Bloks toys on special offer in stores and online including Argos, The Entertainer, Toys R Us and Smyths Toy Stores so now really is the perfect time to Get out and Play!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Being a #MorrisonsMum

I dont know if you have heard, but Morrisons have cut the prices on over a thousand of your favourite products. Not temporary reductions or supermarket smoke and mirrors, new every day low prices on the things you buy every week. So you should notice the difference with every shop.

I was given £80 worth of Morrisons vouchers and challenged by Britmums to do my normal shop and see if Morrisons price cuts really do make a difference on the shopping bill.

I was only to happy to take on this challenge. Sadly food shopping is something I dread. I will be totally honest, the soaring prices on household bills (including the food shop) have stretched our outgoings to the absolute max. Meaning that I have to be very thrifty and creative with our food shopping. I normally do my main shop once a month and then top up about once a week on things like bread, milk and fruit. I have been known to do my months shopping at 3 separate supermarkets, to make the most of the offers at each one.

Thats just the way it has to be.

So my monthly spend, not including my weekly top ups is normally very close to £80, so as you can imagine, when I received the £80 worth of Morrisons vouchers I was very pleased!

When I arrived at our local Morrisons store I could see lots of bright yellow posters all giving the same message. Look out for the yellow markers, if it says I’m cheaper you know it’s staying cheaper.

So thats what I did, look out for the yellow markers. I found lots of them!


Some of the savings were minimal, but I have to say a fair few had quite big price cuts. For instance the 400g packs of wafer thin ham were £2.50, a price I would never of been able to afford, but the price cut means that they are now £1.69, an acceptable price I feel.

Squash was another relief for me, I do not drink it myself, I am more of a tap water girl. However Craig, Chester and Millie go through so much of it! The new cheaper price is £1.25 for 1.5l of double concentrate squash. OR 2 for £2!

The Beef Mince, now just £1.99 each or 2 for £3.50, the Butchers Choice Sausages 8 pack for just £1.55! I could go on all day, like I said their are over 1,000 price cuts!

I got to the till will my trolley full to the brim! Never before (since having Children) has my trolley been so full up! I was very nervous, I hadn't been adding up as I went round! The final spend was £102.33. So £22.33 OVER what I normally spend.


When I got home and broke the bill down, I had allowed for some treats in this shop as it was Bank Holiday weekend. So take off £15.19 for that and it is now only £7.14 over. The fact that I had managed to only spend £7.14 over what I normally do without having to shop around in 2 or 3 shops was good. I will add though, that on checking my receipt I had noticed that they had overcharged me 66p for some biscuits, which I was a bit miffed at.

My parents came down for the weekend and weather permitting I had planned to do a little BBQ on the Sunday. I wanted to go for something light, not too heavy, as my parents had a long drive back to Dorset later that evening.

After making the most of the 3 for £10 meat deals and the 3 for £1.50 fruit and veg deals at Morrisons, I decided to make Chicken, bacon and Pineapple BBQ skewers, served with beetroot salad and jacket potatoes. It serves 6 and works out at just £1.62 per person!

For the Skewers...


400g Morrisons Diced chicken
1 pack Morrisons Savers streaky bacon
1 fresh pineapple
A few tablespoons of BBQ sauce/marinade
6 wooden skewers

Soak the skewers in water over night. Cut the bacon in half and wrap around the diced chicken. Chop the pineapple into large chunks. Push the wrapped chicken and pineapple onto the skewers then generously brush on the BBQ sauce. I put the skewers into the oven and cooked for 10 minutes before finishing them off on the BBQ.

For the beetroot salad...


400g Fresh loose beetroot
1 pack of Morrisons pre packed salad (we used sweet and crunchy)
1 pack Feta Cheese
sprinkling of sesame seeds
dash of Olive oil

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Peel and chop the beetroot into small pieces, place in a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Roast for around 30 minutes, turning the beetroot over once or twice.

Tip your pre packed salad into a large serving bowl, chop your Feta cheese into cubes. Add the Feta and the beetroot into the salad and serve!


There was one problem with the meal I made, in that I forgot to put the jacket potatoes into the oven! By the time I had realised it was a bit late. Oops! We ended having the Jacket potatoes for our tea a little later on, so all was not lost!

The meal went down really well, we had a great bank holiday weekend with some really great food thanks to Morrisons! The new price cuts really will make a difference to our shop. It means I will use Morrisons for more than just their offers, I can now use them for everyday items as well.

How about you, will you be making the most of these new permanent price cuts?


Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Seeing the sights of London from a great height...

My Mum turned 50 last December (she will hate me for telling you all that), one of her birthday treats was a trip up to London. To visit view from The Shard, and then for a Jack the Ripper tour.

Seeing as December is usually cold, wet and busy due to Christmas. We decided to book those things for May. All week we were hoping the weather would improve and luckily for us, after a rainy few days, We woke up on Saturday to sunshine! Yay! 

So along with my parents and my Aunt, I set off for London. The Shard is situated just outside London Bridge station (not the 10 minute walk my Dad was telling me). If you pre book The Shard not only is it slightly cheaper but it also means that when your time comes you just walk straight in, no ques! 

Once you are in, you are welcome to spend as long as you like there. All I can say is the views are breathtaking and you really have to see it for yourself to appreciate it. We were lucky that the weather was so great, we could see for miles. We clearly saw Wembley Stadium in the distance! They have these great viewing computers that you can use for free, you point them at a point of interest and they tell you what it is!


Even though it was busy, it didn't feel over crowded, what ever window/angle you looked out from there was something amazing to see. 

One last thought on The Shard.... You really must use the toilets whilst you are there, I will leave you to figure that one out! 

We then had some time before our Jack the Ripper tour, and we were all getting a bit peckish. So my parents suggested Steak & Co, just off of Leicester Square. They had stumbled across it before and told us it was a great, good value steak restaurant. 

They weren't lying! The steaks are brought out on hot stones, so that you can finish off the cooking of your steak yourself!


This not only creates a great atmosphere and talking point but also means that each mouthful of steak is just as hot and melt in the mouth as the last! Genius! There are so many different steaks, butters and sauces to choose from! I chose from the lunch menu and at £7.95 for steak and chips I call that a bargain! It was just enough to leave a little room for pudding, I had the chocolate fondant and it was divine! Gooey in the middle and served with ice cream. Perfect!


After eating all of that yummy food, we were ready to walk it off! So headed to the Jack the Ripper tour. When I was younger I was interested in the Jack the Ripper mystery, and researched it a lot. So for me it was great to be shown the places where the events unfolded in the Autumn of 1888. The Ten Bells Public House is still open today, the tiles on the walls are the same ones that were on the walls back then!


The tour was 2 hours long, it was very informative, our guide was very good at telling us the information in a fun and upbeat way. He showed us photos, most of which I had already seen, but my parents and Aunt hadn't, I think some of them were a bit of a shock for them to see, especially the bodies of the victims. He managed to tell the 'story' in such a way that we could imagine exactly what the streets were like in those days. At only £9 per person it was a great way to spend an evening in London. We all agreed it was good and we now want to try a ghost walk too, in the Autumn maybe. 

We came home exhausted after a long day out, but we all had a great time, more importantly Mum had a great time. After all it was one of her birthday treats so it was most important that she did indeed have a great time! 

My parents have gone back home to Dorset now, and we are back to normality. Booooo! But I think it's safe to say we had a great weekend and made some more great memories! 






Thursday, 1 May 2014

Club Penguin - Review

As you will all know by now, we are HUGE Disney fans here! We were recently asked if we would like to review Club Penguin, I asked Chester and his reply was YESSSSSSSSSSS I DO I DO!!

Club Penguin is basically Disney's virtual world for kids. Chester is growing up in a digital world, very different to my childhood, but I am happy with that. He is a whizz with all things internet, and he was very excited to get started with his review!

We also received the club penguin magazine, which I suspect is aimed at slightly older children. However, Chester loved it, he was able to get some great hints and tips about the game before we had even signed up! The free stickers are currently plastered around our house!

                                                 


I helped Chester set up his Club Penguin account, it was all very straight forward, and I was very pleased to see they asked questions about parental control, you can even limit the time your child spends on Club Penguin. Its clear to see that they take internet safety for children very seriously. I feel happy to let Chester play this game, safe in the knowledge that Disney are doing all they can to keep this a safe, fun and friendly game for kids.

Our only gripe was that when naming our penguin, all the names Chester had chosen were already take. So that part of the process took a long time, we eventually came up with a combination of names to make a new name for the penguin!

As an adult, you would think that I would be able to find my way around a game. WRONG!! Chester had to show ME!! I am still laughing about this now, oh the shame!

Chester instantly wanted to buy some Puffles, he seemed to know what they were and where to find them. It turns out they are funny little fluffy pets for the penguin! You can name them too!


He needed to earn some coins to buy the Puffles, so we went and explored the games. The Pizza making one is VERY addictive, and I certainly did not play this after Chester had gone to bed.....



You can decorate your igloo....



and explore the island, which is full of adventures and games.



Club Penguin is free to play, however, you can also purchase membership to access further privileges. I was pleasantly surprised at the cost of membership, its only £3.95 a month. You can purchase online and get discounts depending on how many months you buy. OR you can buy subscription gift cards in most supermarkets. I thought this was a great idea, I mean what a fantastic birthday gift idea!

Chester has been playing Club Penguin for a few days now and he is really enjoying exploring the game and finding new objects and places.

As a parent, I am more than happy to let him continue playing this game. We have downloaded it onto my Ipad and also played it on the laptop. Both are easy to navigate and its free to download the app. It seems to me that it is a fun and safe game with educational aspects too! I have enjoyed playing it with Chester, but I would also be happy to let him play it by himself.

Have your children played Club Penguin? Would love to know what they think...