Sunday, 29 June 2014

Crunchie Cheesecake

As you know, my Sister arrived home from her travels last week. A few days before her arrival she asked if I would make her a Crunchie cheesecake when she got home. I had never made a cheesecake before, so was a little hesitant and first. But then I thought, well it's for a special occasion so why not! 

So, who would like to know how to make it?! I promise it is very easy, you just need to have a little patience as it takes a couple of days including the chilling time. 

Ingredients:



For the base...

2 Crunchie bars 
150g digestive biscuits
50g chocolate chips
100g butter 
for the cheesecake...
400g cream cheese
175ml double cream
100g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
for the chocolate sauce...
50g milk chocolate
40g butter
40ml double cream
to decorate... 
2 Crunchie bars 
Method: 
Line a 23cm springform tin with greaseproof paper. Put the Digestive biscuits into a mixer and blend until fine crumb consistency. Tip into a bowl, add the chocolate chips and stir. Roughly chop the Crunchie into medium, small and crumb pieces. Stir into your digestive mix. In a saucepan, melt the butter, then pour into your digestive mix and stir until it has covered all of the mix. 
Press the mix into the springform tin, pressing down with the back of a spoon. Place in the fridge to set for a couple of hours. 
Next mix together the cream cheese, vanilla extract and the icing sugar until smooth. Add the cream and mix again until all incorporated. Place the cream cheese mix on top of your digestive base, smooth with a spatula and leave to set in the fridge overnight.

Release from the pan, and gently move onto a serving plate/cake stand.

To make your chocolate sauce, put the chocolate and butter into a pan and gently heat until melted together, stirring constantly. Take off of the heat and add the cream. Pour over the cheesecake.
Lastly roughly chop you Crunchie bars and sprinkle them over the top. 
Leave to set in the fridge for about an hour and serve! 

OH. MY. GOSH. I can confirm that this cheesecake is seriously scrummy! My Sister loved it and was very happy that I made it!  
I am linking this recipe up to A Mummy Too's recipe of the week, click on the picture below to pop over and see what other scrummy recipes are up this week! 
Link up your recipe of the week


Saturday, 28 June 2014

The childrens BEST surprise ever!

I have been keeping a secret. For 2 months, I have been keeping the secret that my Sister and her boyfriend were coming back from their travels a month early!

They wanted to surprise a few people, including Chester and Millie. So I had to keep it a secret.

I was so excited, and couldn't wait to see the reactions from the children.

Chester and Millie totally adore their Auntie and Uncle. They ask to FaceTime them all the time, sometimes that has not been possible, there have been weeks where Sarah (my Sister) was simply not contactable. It was hard enough to explain to them, that they simply could not pop round their house for playtime and cuddles, let alone having to explain they could not even speak to them!

During the last few weeks, Chester especially, has been asking to facetime them daily. Thankfully, most of the time that has been possible as the last part of their trip was in America. Chester would just want to speak to them about the most random of things, sometimes it was about what level of Skylanders he had played that day, and other times it was to show them a new trick on the trampoline. He was seriously missing them by the end!

What about me... Well, when my Sister left for her travels, things were a bit tense between us. We didn't see eye to eye on a lot of things. We both have had lots of time to reflect and I think Sarah will agree with me when I say that the break did us both some good. I am looking forward to catching up properly and hearing all about their travels!

So Thursday was the day that they were due to fly in. The original plan was that I would pick them up from the airport. But as I needed to pick Chester up from School we decided that time would be too tight and my Aunt and Uncle stepped up and offered to pick them up. Thank goodness they did, because their flight was delayed by an hour and a half! Nothing is ever straightforward where my Sister is concerned!

Whilst my Aunt and Uncle were at the airport Millie and I decorated the house with balloons and banners. Luckily Millie can not read, she asked me what the balloons were for. I told her they were for something special later, she next spent the next half an hour or so singing 'Happy Birthday to me'!! So cute!

                            

I had our curtains shut so that Millie could not see when they arrived. The plan was for her to open the door and be shocked! The plan totally worked, and Millie was very shocked! I think what must of been going through her head was.. aren't you are normally on Mummy's Ipad?!! She didn't know what to do! She did eventually go in for cuddles with Auntie Sarah, but saved her cuddles for Luke until later in the day!


The next surprise was the big one, the one we had been waiting for since the day they went away! Even when they had given their original return date we were never going to tell the children, it was always going to be a surprise for them. I had told Chester's teacher in the morning that he was to be surprised at School pick up and she was really excited for him. Luckily, they made it back just in the nick of time for the School run.

We didn't really know how he would react, he may be a very excitable 5 year old, but he is a sensitive soul too.

This is the reaction Sarah got....



And this is the reaction Luke got....

      


He gave Sarah the biggest squeeze that seemed to go on for ages, he didn't utter a word. I think the smile on his face says it all. He jumped up for a cuddle with Luke and then punched him round the head! Now that may seem a little violent for a 5 year old, but Chester and Luke love to play fight, they get on so well, so this reaction was perfect for them!

Sarah and Luke then came back to ours and stayed the night, catching up with Chester and Millie. Then chatting about their trip with Craig and I when the children had gone to bed. It was a really fab day. Including the eating of a totally awesome Cheesecake I made, I will be posting the recipe up soon!


I wasn't allowed to post anything on social media or tell anyone, as Sarah wanted to surprise our 90 year old Nan too. The reaction from our Nan on the Friday was very possibly better than the reaction from Chester! I made sure she was sitting down first and then brought them in! It was just amazing!

Then late on Friday evening, after Sarah and Luke had travelled down to my parents, I got the nod that we were allowed to tell everyone that they were back!

The relief was amazing!! Finally! No more secrets!!

So thats it, its like they never left!

Chester has planned his whole summer and 90% of it involves Sarah and Luke! So cute!

Have you been traveling? We haven't but we plan to visit lots of different countries when the children are grown up!



Wednesday, 25 June 2014

A double trip to the seaside!

Last week, I asked Millie what she wanted to do for the day. She said she would like to go to the beach. I agreed that it was a good idea so started getting ready to go. But after a long pause, she started questioning if Nannie and Grandad were coming. I had to explain to her that they now live over 2 hours away and it was just not possible to go to the beach with them at the drop of a hat! That didn't go down too well with Millie and she decided she didn't want to go to the beach after all.  

I have to say I felt pretty sad for her. She asks almost daily to talk to them on Facetime and she was gutted that she couldn't just go to their local beach with them! 

So last Saturday I decided we would go our local beach. I grabbed us some picnic food, the kids swim stuff and their buckets and spades, and off we went. Chester was really excited, so thankfully that meant that Millie was excited too. 

The seaside nearest to us has a splash pool area and a sand play area set back slightly from the seafront. So we headed for the splash pool area. Which turned out to be a great move. Chester quickly made friends with some other children and they occupied themselves with a big water fight. Whilst Millie was more than happy to fill her bucket up with water and pour it back in the pool! They both kept coming over to snack on picnic food and warm up in their towels, they were having a great time. We ended up staying in the splash area for nearly 2 hours! 



We then spent some time on the beach. Much to Chester's delight it is mainly a pebble beach. He loves nothing more than throwing pebbles into the sea! Millie wanted to find shells, she got a bit confused between pebbles and shells at first, but by the end I think she just about got it! We were also lucky enough to see some little crabs!



It was a really great day. When we got home, Chester and Millie told Daddy all about it (he had been at work). They were so excited that we decided we would take them back the next day! We thought why not, its a cheap, local day out. 

So on the Sunday, we set off with our picnic ready for round 2 at the beach! This time we stopped off at the arcades to spend a few 2p's, and then a play in the sand play area. 

We were soon at the splash water area though, Chester and Millie couldn't resist it anymore! The really do love that area. Sadly Chester was a bit of a pickle (putting it politely) which put a bit of a downer on that part of the day. 

We finished off our day by walking along the beach. Where we found lots of lovely shells, and a crab claw. Craig even managed to put two small crabs into Chesters bucket for the children to look at. It was the highlight of Chester and Millie's day! 

So that was our weekend, 2 days spent at the beach! I am pleased that Millie liked it, it was good for her to see that she could still have fun at the seaside without Nannie and Grandad! 



Sunday, 22 June 2014

Bahlsen Family Bake Off!

We recently took part in the Bahlsen Family Bake Off and it was so much fun! I haven't been asked to blog about this but it was so much fun that I feel it would be a shame for you to miss out on seeing our funny video!

When I was first contacted, I can honestly say that I was unsure exactly who Bahlsen were. That was until I looked them up and realised they made my Dad's most favourite biscuits... HIT Biscuits!

Yes, I knew exactly who they were and 100% yes I would love to take part please! Cant beat a bit of biscuit yumminess!

I was sent a gorgeous box of goodies and set a challenge.



The challenge was to video my family recreating a recipe from one of the two lovely recipe books! The prize is a fabulous stay at the Legoland Windsor resort and entry to the park. As I type this, I do not know if we have been lucky enough to win or not. But either way, I am happy to of taken part in such a fun Bake Off!

So here is our entry, a snippet into life in the One Blue One Pink household.  Its fun, cheeky and hectic. Sums up our Family life perfectly to be honest!




What do you think?! You can view all of the other fabulous entries on the Bahlsen Family Bake Off YouTube Channel, I highly recommend you do so, some fab baking to be seen!

How time flies...

I took this picture of Chester the other day.....

                      

I then spent a lot of time staring at it and wondering where the hell my little boy has gone?!

He is only 5, but actually I guess he is more nearing 6 now, and it's really starting to show. Not only is he looking more grown up, he is acting more grown up too. The things he is saying, the way he thinks and the way he communicates with people, especially people his only age has changed so much.

As much as I love everything he is achieving and am super proud of the boy he is (most of the time). I have to say, I am a little sad at how fast time seems to be going! 

I mean how can it be that he has almost finished his first School year?! 

They say time flies when your having fun, and that certainly is the case here!! 


Friday, 20 June 2014

Potty training update!


Potty training started off really well for Millie, we then had a bit of a set back for a few days, where she was happy to just go to the toilet in her pull ups. It was a pretty stressful few days, but I tried my best to stay calm and focus on the positives as I knew that would be the best thing for Millie.

Things seemed to iron themselves out and we were back on track. That was until we had a busy few days and had to leave the house more. When we went to Colchester Zoo last weekend for example, We had Millie's potty with us, we asked her numerous times if she needed her potty but she kept saying no. Instead she had several accidents in her pull ups. 

So after that I decided it was definitely a mix of not wanting to use the potty outside of home and the pull ups making her a little bit lazy when we are out. 

On Tuesday I decided to take the plunge and put her in knickers during the day. We didn't have anywhere to go apart from the School run so I thought it would be a good time to start. She was really good, telling me when she wanted to go and sitting on her potty when she needed to. 

By Thursday I decided it would be a good idea to take her out in her knickers, and what better place to go than the Supermarket to let her choose some new knickers?! She has a few pairs but needed more, especially for potty training accidents. 

On the way there we spoke about choosing some knickers and how she was a big girl now. Whilst we were choosing I bumped into a friend, we were chatting away for sometime, when I noticed Millie had sat down. I asked her if she needed her potty, she said yes. Luckily we were very near the toilets, so it was a quick dash  (typically I had left the potty in the car), and thankfully Millie had done the tiniest accident in her knickers and managed to hold the rest until I put her on the toilet! Phew! 

Afterwards, she was so happy that she had used a big girls toilet, and asked to use it once more before we left the supermarket. 

Today, I took her to a soft play centre. Armed with her potty and lots of spare clothes and underwear! We were there almost 4 hours and had no accidents! She didn't want to use her potty, opting for the toilet instead! I am so proud of her. Then she fell asleep on the way to picking Chester up from School, I was certain she would have an accident. But she proved me wrong! 

So I think hope,  this has been a turning point for Millie. She responded well to using the toilet so maybe when we are out and about I should encourage the toilet rather than the potty where I can? 

It's still stressful times here but I am pleased at how the potty training is progressing! 

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Penwizard personalised children's books

I was recently asked if I would like to review a personalised childrens book by Penwizard. Chester is 5 and his reading is coming along really well. He is the sort of child though, that needs the book to be exciting enough for him to want to read it. If its not, he will muck about and not want to read it. Which is understandable really, as adults we wouldn't read a book that we found boring would we?!

As you know, the World Cup is on at the moment. Chester has really got in to it. Asking me about the matches everyday! When he saw the highlights of England's match against Italy at the weekend he was not happy! He told me that when he was older, he was going to play for England in the World Cup and he would be in charge, he would gather up all of his friends and they would win! It was so sweet, he was so passionate about it all! At School at the moment they have a football coach come in once a week to teach them some basic skills and Chester is really loving it, so much so that I am thinking about putting him into a training course in the summer!

One of the books that you can choose to personalise is a football book. So because of Chester's recent interest in football I chose that. You can choose a selection of premiership teams and England. Our team is Crystal Palace and they are not on the list (boo). I was already intending on choosing England because of the World Cup so this was not a problem. However, if I had wanted Crystal Palace I could of chose to customise my own team so it would of been very easy to do!

Its a very easy process you simply fill in your team name, you childs name, pick a hair colour, skin tone and you can even choose glasses too. Chester doesn't wear glasses, but I understand how important this feature is to children who do.

You can choose to add a personalised message on the first page, which I chose to do...


 You then get to choose which stadium they play at, I decided to choose one in Brazil so it was fitting with the current World Cup. You name a manager and two players who will appear alongside your child in the story, and customise their looks as well.

Its as easy as that! It takes 5 minutes to create, just make sure you double check all of your spellings as Penwizard are obviously not responsible for those.

The book arrived fairly quickly, I couldn't wait to open it! The story was great, it was about how Chester went to watch an England match as a fan. He then got picked as the days prize winner. The prize was to meet the players and join in with training practise! As the story goes on, in a twist of events, Chester ends up playing for England and the ends up scoring the winning goal in the final!



When Chester got home from School I could not wait to read it with him! He was so excited when he read his name on the book! Needless to say the book has been a huge success, Chester has even asked if he can take it into School next time it is his turn for show and tell!


The book is a really good quality paper back, it has a glossy cover and lovely thick pages. Its usual price is £14.99 which I think, for what you get, is a great price. BUT at the moment the football book is on offer for only £9.99, absolute bargain! Its a great book, a really lovely keepsake!

So, come on then, what football team would you choose for your childs book?!

World Cup Widow!

The World Cup is well and truly in full swing, so far there have been some pretty unpredictable results! But that is what makes it so exciting!

I am really into football, and have so far looked forward to watching every match I can. So the title of this blog post 'World Cup Widow' may be confusing you!

Who I am actually talking about when I say World Cup Widow is my husband. So perhaps my title should be World Cup Widower?! Craig is not interested in Football in the slightest! He has, so far, spent every day moaning that the football is on the TV! Which I am finding quite funny! Its not your stereotypical scenario in our house, in fact it is the total opposite!

When Chester is asking about the football or certain players, Craig is unable to answer him as he doesn't know the slightest thing about The World Cup matches, teams or players! But I am loving the fact that Chester is asking ME the questions and I can finally have a conversation about football without having to ring my Dad! Millie is only two but she is getting into the spirit too, not quite old enough to stay up to watch the 2 late matches every day but old enough to have fun making these England flags with me!


Whilst the matches have been on, Craig has either been sitting next to us sulking whilst scrolling through his phone. Or he has been out on the weights in his garage. But whatever he chooses to do, not a day goes by without him moaning about the football being on!

I have found this fun Ladbrokes Bingo World Cup Widows card, which has made me really chuckle. I am not a beer drinker, but I have been nodding my head and laughing at lots of the other things, especially the kids are dressed in full replica kits one!

World Cup Widows
How about you, are you a football widow (or widower like Craig) or do you LOVE the football like me?!

*This post is in collaboration with Ladbrokes

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Stainless Steel Earth Pan by Ozeri - Review

I love my kitchen, I love to cook. My pots and pans are well used. So its important to me to make sure that I invest in good quality kitchen equipment. 

I was recently asked if I would like to review this Stainless Steel Earth Pan by Ozeri....


The pan (a frying pan) is 26cm (10"), so its a good size. Its made of the highest quality stainless steel, with a heat resistant stainless steel handle. I was worried that it would be too heavy for me, but I was pleasantly surprised, of course it is heavy, but its not overly heavy, just right for me. 

It has a 100% PFOA-free coating, which apparently is the worlds longest lasting PFOA-free nonstick coating. If like me, you are unaware of PFOA, PerFluoroOctanoic Acid, it is a harmful chemical which can be found in traditional cookware. Apparently, once ingested, it can stay in a person for a very long time. After reading about it, I am very relieved that this pan is PFOA-free! 

I couldn't wait to test out this pan. The first meal I cooked in it was a bolognese, well actually thats a lie, it was a lazy quick deconstructed lasagne! Ok, to be honest I don't know what to call it! It is mince, pasta and white sauce! Either way, it tasted yummy! 




The pan was a joy to use, it certainly lived up to its non stick claim, the handle didn't get hot at all and best of all it was easy to clean! Although its dishwasher safe, for the purpose of this review I hand washed the pan and it was very easy to clean. 

That was around 3 weeks ago, since then I have used the pan lots! One thing that has clearly stood out for me, was how much oil I was NOT using! I found that a little oil was going a lot further when comparing to my usual frying pan. I have used it to make pancakes, fry onions, cook a stir fry, fry mince (again), fajitas, and of course to fry bacon! 

I can honestly say, it is the best frying pan I have owned! It even comes with its own pan protector, to protect the surface of the pan from scratches whilst in storage!! The quality of the pan is amazing, especially when you consider the price. Its currently on offer on Amazon for £29.99, normal price of £44.99. What a bargain! 

If you are looking for a durable, easy to clean, non stick pan. This is the one for you! I can see it lasting for many years to come! 

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Little Dish - some exciting new additions to the range!



I was recently invited to London to spend the morning with Little Dish and top childrens Nutritionist Lucy Jones (you may remember her from The Food Hospital on Channel 4).

Hillary Graves, who is the Co-Founder and CEO of Little Dish, the first and only range of fresh, natural food for toddlers and young children made with 100% natural ingredients and no added salt or sugar. Was also going to be there!

I have to admit that when I think of nutritionally balanced meals for my children, ready meals are not something that comes to mind. This is was exactly the reason I accepted my invite. In my experience, you should never judge a book by its cover, so I went in with an open mind and was looking forward to finding our more!

I wasn't disappointed, we were given lots of facts and information, followed by a blind taste test!


I want to share with you some interesting facts about children's nutrition....

Research of over 1,000 parents with children aged one to three, found that three quarters (76 per cent) of parents worry about whether their child is getting all the nutrition he or she needs in their meals.

79 per cent of parents are unsure on the recommended salt intake for children
40 per cent are confused by nutritional guidelines on packaging
20 per cent worry about what their other half feeds their children

I have to say I would have ticked 'agree' to all of the above! I feel that children's nutrition is a very grey area. As a parent, I do worry about what my children are eating. Dont get me wrong, they are allowed a treat or a meal from a certain golden arches company from time to time. But on the whole I try to feed them meals that I deem to be healthy and balanced. This normally involves cooking from scratch, as that is a sure fire way to know exactly what is going into your child's meals. But realistically this is not something that I have time for every day, I work 3 evenings a week so those days are very rushed at dinner time. This is when I allow them something unhealthy and beat myself up about it afterwards!

Lucy Jones, expert in children’s nutrition and Little Dish ambassador, says: “It’s clear from the research that many parents are lacking confidence on the nutritional guidelines for feeding their little ones and it’s an issue that’s at the forefront of their minds. I've been working with Little Dish to further develop the brand’s nutritional profile in its chilled meals and ensuring each meal provides nutritional balance, in addition to great tastes and textures. This helps the Little Dish range to nurture young palates whilst providing peace of mind for mum and dad on days when they need a helping hand with feeding their children".

After listening to what Lucy had to say about Little Dish, I was pleasantly surprised. But of course I still had that little niggle in the back of my mind, can a microwave meal really be that good for you?!

Well, I was about to find out as we were going to be treated to a taste test of some Little Dish meals. Infact it was a blind taste test, so we were testing Little Dish against competitors meals.

Let me tell you, I was shocked. Shocked at the lack of taste, texture and quality of the competitors dishes. But even more shocked at how yummy the Little Dish meals were! They were truly delicious, packed with flavour, not mushy in any way, and certainly something I would be happy to eat myself. In fact I think I should admit that since meeting with Little Dish I have enjoyed the Mini Cheese Ravioli in Tomato and Veg sauce for MY lunch more than once!



Of course, the meals are aimed at 1-3 year olds, so the real test would come when I presented these meals to Millie, and I decided that Chester at age 5 would make a pretty good taste tester too! So last week I served them the Pork and Apple bites with Beans!


Chester wolfed it down, telling me it was delicious! Millie was a little more cautious, and only wanted to try the Pork and Apple bites, not the sauce and beans. But I took Lucy's advice and praised her on her efforts. Millie told me they were yummy! The packaging has an activity/colouring page on the inside, so that received a big thumbs up too! All in all I would say that Little Dish as a success here, and I am sure it will now be on our shopping list!

If you are interested in trying out the Little Dish meals for yourself, here is a little more information...

There are 13 Little Dish meals to choose from:

o Fish Pie with Salmon & Pollock
o Mini Cheese Ravioli in a Tomato & Veg Sauce
o Classic Beef Lasagne
o Alphabet Pasta Bolognese
o Cottage Pie with Seven Veg
o Spaghetti with Mini Meatballs
o Mild Chicken Curry with Rice
o Chicken & Butternut Squash Pie
o Chicken & Veg Risotto





And four brand new recipes, fresh from the Little Dish kitchen:

o Creamy Tomato & Mascarpone Pasta
o Pork & Apple Bites with Beans
o British Lamb Hotpot
o Limited Edition Fruity Lamb Tagine with Couscous

The British Lamb Hotpot is currently in stores with a special celebratory sleeve in anticipation of HRH Prince George’s first birthday on July 22nd , when he’ll be old enough to enjoy his first Little Dish

Little Dish is available from the chilled aisles of Tesco, Asda, Waitrose and online at Ocado, RRP £2.50

For more information, healthy recipes and fun for kids with our zoo crew, visit www.littledish.co.uk


How do you find a balance between a busy lifestyle and healthy eating for mealtimes in your house? I would love to know.



Monday, 16 June 2014

Fathers Day AND Birthday celebrations!

As you all know it was Fathers Day on Sunday. But in this house, it was a double celebration as it was Craig's Birthday too! 

                                 


Craig works very hard for us, and he is a great Daddy to Chester and Millie, so I wanted to make sure we gave him a day to remember. 

We had decided a few weeks back that we would use our Tesco Clubcard vouchers and go to Colchester Zoo. We LOVE Colchester Zoo and think it's the best Zoo we have visited in this country. But as it's about 2 hours away from us we haven't been for a couple of years. 

So Craig already knew that we would be going to the Zoo, but last week I decided he deserved an extra treat whilst we were there. So I booked him a keeper shadowing experience! I originally chose a lion experience, but I soon got a phone call to tell me that experience had sold out so I opted for Rhino instead! 

We told him the night before about his keeper shadowing experience, he was really surprised and very happy about it! His keeper shadowing would include a chat with the keeper about Rhinos and then a chance to feed and stroke the Rhinos! It would last around 30 minutes. We stayed at his parents house as it was slightly closer and it meant that they could come with us too.

We set off early for our day at the Zoo and arrived in time for opening at 9.30am. Chester and Millie were very excited! Craig's experience was at 10am, so it was decided that we would all follow Craig down to his experience and wait for him. Then afterwards we would work our way backwards around the Zoo. 


We were lucky that we could look down on some of Craig's experience from the balcony, the children were very excited for him and couldn't believe he was stroking a Rhino! I suppose people think that Rhinos are pretty angry and dangerous creatures, but infact they are the total opposite, gentle giants. We also learnt that Rhinos have no natural predators in the wild, yer they are threatened with extinction. Their only threat is poachers. Very sad.




We spent the rest of the day strolling around, looking at all of the other animals, having snack breaks, playing in the play areas and riding the land train. There is so much to see and do at Colchester Zoo, we were there until about 5pm. So over 7 hours, and we didn't quite manage to do/see everything! 

Some highlights from our day..... 

Craig's favourite part of the day was definitly his Rhino keeper shadowing experience! 




Chester says that his favourite part of the day was playing in the play areas AND seeing the tigers take a nap! 




Millie says that her favourite part of the day was seeing the Giraffes and hanging like a monkey! 


It will come as no surprise that my favourite part of the day was watching everyone's excitement, especially seeing Chester and Millie's faces when they saw a different animal! 





We had the most fantastic day, how about you, what did you get upto on Fathers Day? 











Thursday, 12 June 2014

Messy play - getting into the World Cup spirit!

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you will know that the World Cup begins today!

I am so excited about it!

This will be Chester's second World Cup, and Millie's first. I want them to enjoy all of the fun and excitement, some of the matches are on a bit late for them, but it doesn't mean they have to miss out! 

Today, Millie and I got the paint out and decided to make our own England Flags! 


Things got a little messy! 


We decided to use hands and feet to create the flags! We also got the glue out (at Millie's request) and made a flag using scrunched up crepe paper. 

Millie really loved it, I explained to her why we were making them. She got all excited when I mentioned football, as Chester is just getting into football, so anything he likes she does too! The flags were really easy for toddler Millie to make, so it kept her interest. 


What do you think?!








Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Potty training help!

So After me saying last week how well potty training is going, it would appear that this week it is going REALLY badly! The last 3 days have been an utter disaster!

Millie was doing so well, she was telling us when she needed her potty, she was dry through the night, and last week she had a few days with no accidents!

But the last couple of days she has done her business in her pull ups, told me, and then laughed about it. I dont want to tell her off as I think that will make her worse, but at the same time I don't want her to think she can do that!


I really do not know where to go from here?!

I have been looking at the potty training tips on the huggies website for some tips and I cant decide if she has got potty training regression or if she has simply decided she is not ready.

Last week, we pretty much stayed at home aside from the School run, this week has been a bit more mixed. We went to London on Saturday (more on that later in the week) and she asked to use her potty on the train, I let her and she was really proud (good job we were right by the toilets). But for the rest of the day she wouldnt go in her potty, just her pull ups.

Its really difficult, yesterday for instance, she started off well, when she got out of bed she asked to use her potty, but then she had 4 accidents before deciding she would rather be on her potty. She had another accident and then used her potty again?

She knows what her potty is for, she knows when she wants to go, but I feel that she just can't be bothered to use her potty sometimes. Yesterday we specifically stayed in, because I wanted to see if it was a problem because we were going out more. But I think she proved that was not the case!

Does anyone have any answers for me, or any tips?

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

A fun guide - Football Dads!

I don't know about you, but I am super excited about the World Cup starting on Thursday! I have fond childhood memories of football. I am one of 2 girls and my Dad loves football. So I think he was pretty pleased when I turned out to be, well, a bit of a tomboy. 

From quite a young age, I guess around 6, I had a season ticket for Crystal Palace. I remember traveling up to Selhurst Park in the car most weeks with my Dad and Uncle. I remember being at that match, you know, the one where Eric Cantona kicked out at a Crystal Palace fan in 1995. We were a few rows back! I remember queuing around the Sainsburys car park for HOURS to get tickets to see them play at Wembley against Sheffield United in 1997. We were lucky enough to get tickets, I remember the 90th minute goal that got us the place in the premiership very well! 

Nowadays, I wish I had a season ticket for Crystal Palace, Most matches are shown on Sky Sports, which we do not have, and I have a husband who doesn't like football! Chester is just starting to show interest in football, so this world cup will be a great opportunity to get him to enjoy the game a bit more!

Hallmark have created this fun infographic just in time for Father's Day (this Sunday,15th June)......

’Football Dad

I had lots of fun going through the checklists and working out which type of fan my Dad is. 

Well, he is certainly not The Executive, the only time you will see him wearing a suit is on a Cruise ship! 

Back in the day, he could of probably passed as The Fanatic, always had the new kit and hung around with my Uncle and older cousin! 

He is not a Chanter, although he is known to occasionally break into (made up) song at any moment! 

He is not a glory supporter, he is a Crystal Palace fan through and through. 

So that leaves only two. The Traditionalist and The Know it all! Well I have to say I have heard my Dad say 'in my day' and he does THINK that he knows it all! In fact it's such a tough call that I am going to have to call him The Traditional know it all!!

What type of fan would your Dad be?!

In the run up to Fathers Day, Hallmark have also got a great competition running, which would be perfect for any football loving Dad! Its a chance to win two tickets to tour your Dads favourite sports stadium. 

How amazing is that?!

Its very easy to enter, all you need to do is fill out the form on the Hallmark website here. There are of course terms and conditions, which can be found on the form. 

You need to be quick as entries close on Thursday 12th June!

Hands up who's Dad would love this perfect Fathers Day prize?! I know my Dad would. 

*This post was written in collaboration with Hallmark, all words and thoughts are my own.

Fathers Day - some gift inspiration!

I don't know about you, but I find buying gifts for Men really hard. I mean, my Dad for instance, if he wants something, he buys it. So that leaves no ideas for when it comes to buying him a present! 

Craig is very tricky to buy for, he is one of these people that goes through different fad's quite often. 

This Sunday is Fathers Day, but for us, its also Craig's Birthday. So this makes it doubly hard for us! I have actually got something planned for Craig's Birthday, but I can not reveal it until Sunday as Craig may read this!  

So, what do you get the Man who doesn't really need anything? Well, I have been researching into this, and I think I may well of just cracked it this year! Craig (as I am sure most husbands do) works really hard, sometimes, he just wants to come home and relax. But that is very hard in this house, what with two cheeky monkeys wanting to pounce on him as soon as he walks through the door! 

So what if the present was something to help them relax, encourage them to chill out. Just for one day of course, the lawn won't mow itself you know!

What if you brought them toiletries?! Now bare with me Ladies, hear me out. I know you think toiletries are just for women, but why can't they be for men too? 

Craig has been busy trying out this lot....

Craig has a manual job, for those of you who don't know, he is a mechanic. So he can come home in a pretty scruffy state! He actually changed jobs a little while back and now carries out MOT's, so although he can still come home looking a bit scruffy, things have improved!
The other evening he had a rare, relaxing bath, and tried out the Radox Muscle Therapy. He loved the scent and said he felt lovely and relaxed afterwards! Apparently it was nice to shake it up a bit and have a bath (he usually has a shower), he can see this happening more often! With an RRP of £2.31 its an affordable treat.
Craig is not one to cleanse, tone and moisturise normally. But I made him, for the purpose of my research of course! He said 'I was reluctant to give the Dove Men+Care products a go, but I am pleased that I did. My skin feels so much better after using the face wash, and the moisturiser has done wonders on my rough skin! 
At £8.99 for the moisturiser and only £2.99 for the face wash I say these are great Father's Day gifts!


Craig said, now that he has tried the products, he would be really happy if he received them as a gift! (HINT HINT to Family and Friends if you are reading!)

Another Father's Day gift that would go down really well in this house is Childrens books! I know that may sound silly, seeing as its Fathers Day. But actually, Craig really loves reading to the Children, and they love it when he does read to them. 


Little Tiger Press have brought out a really lovely carry case of books. It includes 4 paperback books, a card and some stickers. Stickers always go down a real treat with my two, so I can imagine that the card is going to be stickertastic (is that even a word) by Saturday evening! The books included are Before We Go To Bed, My Daddy and Me, Oops-a-Daisy, and The Very Happy Hippo. The stories are perfect length for bedtime stories, they are aimed at Children aged 3-6 and have an RRP of £9.99.


Another book idea, this one from Caterpillar books and is called, Sorry Dad! This book actually made me laugh out loud, it is actually the perfect book for Chester and Craig! It is about a cat and his son. They are the best of friends, but the son is always getting over excited, he means well, and is only playing, but one day it was all a bit too much for the Dad! A great book priced at only £5.99!



So there you have it, a few ideas in the run up to Fathers Day! Whatever you choose to give as a gift, I hope all the Dad's out there have a fantastic day! 




Easy ways to improve your car's fuel consumption.

Nowadays most people need/have a car to get around. 

We are lucky enough to have two cars. I say lucky enough, but sometimes running a car costs more money than we have! Its a necessity for us, Craig works half an hour away from home and I need the car to get Chester to School. I could of chosen a School within walking distance to us, but as you all know, I chose his School because I thought it was perfect for Chester, and it turns out that it is. So going down to one car was not an option for us. 

Debt Free Direct have made this fun infographic for you, it highlights ways in which you can improve your cars fuel consumption. 




I am sure, that if you are like me, you will find it very useful. I am always looking for ways that I can save costs on my car. I already implement tip 5 and make sure I am getting the best deal for my fuel prices. The tip that helped me the most was number 8. Keeping your tyres properly inflated.

I have to admit that I am not very good at remembering to do this, the faff of having to find a 20p to pop in the machine at the garage, means by the time I have got a 20p I have forgotten what I needed it for!

Debt Free Direct kindly sent me a money saving car kit to help me on my quest to save on my cars fuel consumption and other car costs!


As you can see, it contained a dustbuster, a universal bulb kit, some jump leads and a digital tyre inflator!

Craig laughed at me when he saw the dustbuster as my car is a TIP!! That is of course all thanks to the kiddies and the fact I let them eat in the car (naughty Mummy). The bulb kit also contained fuses too, which was handy because my fuse had blown ages ago in my cigarette lighter (is that even what they are called nowadays?!). Craig kindly replaced it for me and then I was able to use the dustbuster!

The jump leads are always very handy to have in the car. Craig is a mechanic by trade so really they are something we should already have in the car, but we don't. Calling out roadside recovery can be costly, but if it was a case of simply jumping the car until I could get it to Craig to fix that would save us money.

Craig helped me with the tyre pressures on my car, the digital machine is great, you set it to the pressure you need and away you go! So quick and easy!


Whilst Craig had the machine out, we cheekily asked him to pump up the childrens mini paddling pools too! Millie was of course delighted because they are perfect size for her and her dolly! Chester was a unimpressed to say the least!


I have got all the items from my money saving kit in the boot of my car, stored neatly in a plastic box. So now I have no excuse, I have to keep my tyres pumped up! It will save on fuel consumption so hopefully start saving us money!

Do you or would you use any of the tips on the infographic? Do you have any tips you would like to share with me?


*Please note this post was written by myself, the infographic was supplied by Debt Free Direct, and I was sent the money saving kit for my time.