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Showing posts from 2011

This was 2011, well sort of.

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I first created this blog post in January. I have a draft open all year and as something happens that I want to remember for the end of the year I add it in. Normally I do that on the 25th of the month when I am doing some preparation for Christmas, I look to see which blog post I was most proud of or which one I thought wasn't read by as many people as I had hoped. This year I wanted to do something a little different, but I didn't know what. So for your amusement, here is 2011... sort of.

Once upon a time there lived a Mummy who was very smug. You see she had magic that allowed her to be super organised all of the time but mostly it was smoke and mirrors that hid the real chaos and most people realised this.

This particular Mummy was also very lucky that people sent her challenges via her email and to prove that she was a magic Mummy she would often let these lovely people see her making things at her super speed with her super little theme tune.


The Mummy was lucky because …

Middle of the Night DVD Watching

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It's currently 5am. I've been awake for two hours since Big Boy called out "Anyone? Help!" which is three year old speak for "I appear to have been sick in my bed, could someone come and clean it up and at the same time comfort me?". With Big Boys room out of action until everything smells better we have decamped to the living room where cuddling up on the sofa is mandatory and watching cartoons together is a necessity.


Even in this Modern Day World of 24hour Children's TV you can't guarantee that there is something suitable for a sick three year old to watch and so you normally have to turn to your pile of DVD's which lucky for me has recently been restocked with a pile of DVD's kindly sent by Warner Brothers. The DVD's feature some of my favourite characters from my childhood and Big Boy and I are making our way through a box set of Scooby Doo.


Now if you don't mind whilst Big Boy is wrapped up in working out just which of the susp…

Making Chores Fun - Doing the Hoovering

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I've already talked about having fun doing some hoovering tasks such as cleaning the stairs, (which in our house we do whilst pretending to be Mountain climbers), but hoovering in general is something that we love to make fun in our house and as it is something that we have to do as part of cleaning other rooms, such as when we clean our bedrooms, we know that this one chore has to be really good fun. There are two ways that we try to have fun when we are hoovering and the first is a game that my Mum used to play, but I'm sure has caused untold psychological damage to all the children she ever played this game with...

The game is Hoover Chase.

The idea is simple, whilst hoovering the floor you simple tell all children to "tease" the hoover by jumping in front of it and having to jump back out of the way before the hoover sucks them up. You can remain safe by staying on the sofa, dinning table, toy chest or anything else that the hoover can't climb up (it's li…

This was 2011 - Wordless Wednesday

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In January we had fun making Shampoo Sculptures and gave ourselves a brand new look!

In February we created a four eye monster

It's All Over For Another Year

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Well it is all over for another year and as much as I love Christmas I have to say...

Thank goodness for that!

Home Made Christmas Luminaries

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Every Christmas I have wanted to make Luminaries to light up the drive way on Christmas Eve and this year we have made them! I have always loved the idea of Luminaries and think that Christmas is a great time of year to have them decorating the outside of the house, not just because there are lots of lights decorating homes at this time of year or because Jesus is the light of the world and it's his birthday but because they would make a great landing strip for Santa!

I had brought some paper sandwich bags from a discount store a few weeks back in anticipation of creating Luminaries (well them or some fun lunch bags for Top Ender!) and I explained what we were going to make to Top Ender and Big Boy and asked them what design they thought we should draw on the bags to cut out. Top Ender came up with a Star, Snowflake and Holly design (Far right third photo) whilst Big Boy decided that the best design for his was a Dinosaur wearing a Christmas Hat (middle photo) and the other design…

Things to do at Christmas - Christmas Traditions

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I want to thank everyone who has taken part in my Christmas Traditions guest posts over this month, it has been lovely finding out all the things families do at Christmas. The common theme was that Christmas is a time for friends and family to come together, to forget the day to day tasks and to enjoy their time together.

I think that is what we have to remember, that Christmas for all of us when you take away the glitter is about love and sharing that love. There are so many of us who pin too much to Christmas Day, it is a day where everything is expected to be perfect and just like in the movies. Many think of Christmas to just be the 25th December and come the next day there is bitterness over an argument that spoilt the day, sadness that a family member wasn't there to celebrate with you, disappointment over a dry Turkey.


Christmas isn't just the 25th of December though. Christmas is a feeling, it is advent and going to the panto and everything you do as a family, decorati…

The Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar - Day Twenty-Four

Can you believe it? It's Christmas Eve already! Today is the last door on the Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar and I hope that you enjoyed the posts as much as we have enjoyed creating them. There isn't an Advent Calendar door to open tomorrow, but there is a little treat for those who have a few minutes to check it out...

What to do with Christmas Leftovers - Freeze Them!

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So tomorrow is the day that I cook my Christmas Turkey (and I will prepare some of the vegetables for our big Christmas meal too) and this is the last idea that I had about what to do with Christmas Leftovers and it was something which I am sure we all wonder about, but aren't sure how to do safely. I decided that what we should do with our overly large Turkey was to freeze the Leftovers in portions suitable for what they were being used for and for my family.

The Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar - Day Twenty-Three

There aren't many sleeps left now until we will all be listening out for the sound of sleigh bells and then opening up our stockings having had them filled by Santa Claus! I'm hoping this year I will have my Christmas wish of a fat bank account and a slim body unlike last year where Santa Claus got the two confused...

What to do with Christmas Leftovers - Roast Dinner Soup

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Roast Dinner Soup is something that is so simple to make and so tasty that you will wonder why you don't make it all the time and not just with your Christmas Leftovers! This thick soup is great for filling you up and making you feel fuller for longer and is quite good for your budget too... Team it with Crusty Rolls for a more filling meal or sprinkle croutons and sprinkled cheese on top to make it special or try adding a swirl of cream to make the soup more indulgent!


The first thing to do is to gather up the leftovers that you are going to use. The soup in this photo was made from leftover Peas, Carrots, Roast Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, a bit of Gravy and some of the Turkey. I added the vegetables into a pan covered with a small amount of stock, the vegetables were only just covered. I then added the gravy and a saucepan lid and simmered for around 15 minutes. After the vegetables and Turkey had been simmered together I used my hand blender to make a smooth and thick soup.


If …

The Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar - Day Twenty-Two

We have been making it a requirement that we have to watch one film together every morning during the School holidays and it has been great fun sitting together eating treats and watching a Christmas themed film! It's almost as fun as opening up an advent calendar to see what is behind the days door...

What to do with Christmas Leftovers - Turkey Curry

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The thing that most of us are guilty of at Christmas is buying more food than we need and having mountains of leftovers. This is mostly because we are wanting to prepare a great big feast to feed our family and we over estimate how much we will actually need and partly because we don't cook large meals like this all that often. This week I have a few suggestions of what to do with the Christmas Leftovers so that by the time Boxing Day rolls round everyone can have a plan of action and a meal plan for the next few days too. One of the most commonly prepared meals is Turkey Curry and this is just my take on it!


The Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar - Day Twenty-One

I have decided that come Christmas Day I have to have finished all the books that I got from the Library set at Christmas. Which means over the next four days I have six books to finish. I'm sure that I will do it... now where are those New Year stories I put to one side?

Painting Christmas Decorations - Wordless Wednesday

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What to do with Christmas Leftovers - Turkey Salad

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At Christmas I always buy a bag (or two) of Salad. This is normally for an accompaniment to something like a starter or for lunch on Boxing Day (when I am all cooked out) or even just to make Sandwiches more interesting  as there is only so much you can take of a Turkey and Stuffing Sandwich! What is good though is to use this with the Turkey to make a Turkey Salad.

Now I am guessing that you know how to make a Turkey Salad using up what you have in your fridge and my photo of a Turkey Salad with French Dressing is just the start of ideas for you... but just in case here are some more ideas!

*Add Croutons
*Add Feta Cheese or lumps of any Cheese from the Cheese Board!
*Add Cubed potato (Leftover from Christmas Dinner?)
*Eat with a Jacket Potato
*Add a Crusty Roll

The Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar - Day Twenty

With all the jobs that we have going on at the moment to make sure that our home is ready for Christmas I am starting to wish that there wasn't just five more sleeps until Christmas! You had better make the most of the guilt free advent calendar whilst it lasts...

What to do with Christmas Leftovers - Turkey Sandwich

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I know that there is still a few days until most people will be cooking the Christmas Turkey and thinking about what to do with the Leftovers, but last year I decided that I was fed up of just picking at the Turkey carcass and decided this year would be different and I would have a plan. Every time I was thinking about what I could make with my Christmas leftovers an episode of Friends kept coming to mind. It was the episode where Ross loses his temper because a co-worker steals his sandwich. I know it sounds silly, but it is true that the best thing about that sandwich is that there is a middle layer of bread which has been soaked in gravy and so here is my perfect Turkey Sandwich recipe.

For each Sandwich that is required you need three slices of bread. This will make the sandwich rather indulgent, but if you can't indulge a little at Christmas then when can you?! Spread two slices of the bread with the spread of your choice leaving the third slice. Pour a little Gravy on one si…

The Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar - Day Nineteen

There have been some brilliant traditions shared by the guest posters in the Christmas Traditions series and one of the best traditions in my opinion is opening a door each day on an advent calendar... which is lucky seeing as that is what you get to do in this post!

What to do with Christmas Leftovers - Pasta Bake

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We love Pasta here at A Mothers Ramblings, and at Christmas when I am tired from all the family visits, making a quick Pasta Bake is a great way to feed us all and to also use up some leftovers of the Turkey variety! I have a tendency to make more food than is strictly needed at most meals and so when I make a Pasta Bake I will often make two, one for eating now and one for freezing for eating in the near future. When I made this I made two different flavoured Pasta Bakes, a cheese one and a tomato one. The steps needed to make both are the same up a point so that is where I have separated the two out!

The Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar - Day Eighteen

One of the things that I love the most about the run up to Christmas is the growing excitement that seems to fill up everybody with good cheer. I am hoping that these jokes behind each calendar door are helping with the good cheer in your house too!

The Cathedral City Chedds Range

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I was sent a voucher to buy some of the new range from Cathedral City, called Chedds. They are three different cheese snacks aimed at children, although when my Mum was shopping the other day she picked some up for herself. I was pleased to be able to try them out as even though Top Ender and Big Boy love Cathedral City cheese they are quite fussy when it comes to cheese snacks preferring one particular snack sized brand.

As Top Ender, Big Boy and I were heading off to see the Christmas Panto in London I knew that we were going to need some snacks and so I grabbed from the fridge three packets of Cheese and Toasties that I had picked up from the Supermarket the night before. I hadn't actually paid much attention to what they were, but I had figured that if the children were hungry enough they would eat what they were given. It's a parenting 101 that is. As we sat in the theatre I opened up two of the packets for Big Boy and Top Ender and I was surprised to see that the toast w…

What to do with Christmas Leftovers - Turkey Pie

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In a few days time (if any Christmas past is to go by) there is going to be a glut of Christmas leftovers in kitchens up and down the country. Just in case you have no idea about what to do with these leftovers here is a suggestion for a Turkey Pie which can use up leftover vegetables, some of that leftover Turkey and even your leftover Roast potatoes! Don't worry if you don't have individual pie pots like I am using, you can easily make a big pie in a pyrex dish or anything else that you normally make similar things in (like Lasagne or Shepherds Pie). This was a meal that I made last Christmas with my leftovers.
First things first you need to work out what you are going to put in your pie. I decide that we had a lot of peas and a lot of Turkey so I added a serving of each to each pie pot and then added a little more turkey. It looked quite full and I was quite pleased as it was effectively going to be a "free" meal seeing as it is mostly made from leftovers.

The Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar - Day Seventeen

With School having finished yesterday, we have got a few days to get our Christmas on! We have some salt dough ornaments to paint, some biscuit trees to make, bedrooms to tidy and we still have a few Christmas gifts left to wrap!

The UDraw for the Wii

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We were sent a UDraw and some games to review.

In our house there is normally fighting over who gets to play what Wii game with who. I have become very proficient at racing games and games where I have to shoot the baddies cheered on by Big Boy who normally likes to play my side kick (ie I do all the work and he gets to pretend he helped win) and the strategy games that Top Ender enjoys are second nature these days. Over the last week there has been an eerie quiet from the children and instead of constant "Mum can you play on the Wii with me?" Top Ender and Big Boy have worked together playing on the UDraw.


How to get the Cindy Lou Who Look

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One of the most popular search terms every Christmas here at AMR is Cindy Lou Who. I believe that the pictures of Top Ender dressed up in our version of Cindy Lou Who is the reason as to why so many people look here, so I thought I would offer a quick tutorial on how to get the Cindy Lou Who look.

The Cindy Lou Who dress is easy, any dress that looks vaguely like it is for Christmas will do. Every year I buy from a discount store a Mrs Christmas costume for Top Ender to wear to Christmas events. This dress cost £2 from a bargain basement type store. It was too big and itchy but Top Ender wore it over her ordinary clothes and found it kept her really warm, which is handy seeing as it is normally cold here at this time of year!


The best part of our Cindy Lou Who costume is Top Ender's hair, which as you can see rises out from her scalp at an odd angle. This is the easiest thing to do ever. Take two pipe cleaners and plait into your hair, leave the end a little away from your scalp o…

What to do with Christmas Leftovers - Turkey Soup or Scottish Broth!

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When you think about using up the Christmas Leftovers do you think about using the bones and fat of the turkey carcass? To be honest I don't always think about using up every last bit of meat despite thinking of myself as frugal. Using the Turkey carcass to make soup or broth means that you are going to use every last bit of flavour and meat from the leftovers and get some tasty food too! Making Turkey Soup this way was taught to me by my Mum. My Sister and I always called this Scottish Soup even though it was more of a broth as it was only made by the Scottish side of our family (my Mum, her Sisters and our Gran) but it is really simple to make!


The Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar - Day Sixteen

For a lot of Schools it is the last day of term today, which means that the next few days are going to be even busier for some! I'm very excited about what is going on in our house, not only do we have Christmas treats planned but we also have snow forecast for today and great news for nearly every family member! Oh and I just remembered... I really, really, really, apologise for this one.

The Best Hot Chocolate In The World

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There is a threat of snow tomorrow for here in Milton Keynes and walking to collect Top Ender from her School Disco this evening there was a definite nip in the air. The promise of a mug of The Best Hot Chocolate In The World when we got back had Top Ender and Big Boy hurrying home.

The secret to the best Hot Chocolate is the toppings. I used ordinary hot chocolate powder (although I do love making it with proper chocolate but that is a post for another day) made up with milk in the microwave. I then add Whipped Cream, Marshmallows, Chocolate Sprinkles, and a Rice Paper Flower. Everything melts together, the cream gets frothy at the edges and the marshmallows start to plump up and turn into a gooey sticky treat.

Right now Top Ender and Big Boy are finishing off their drinks before they go to brush their teeth and head off to bed... I think I might sit here with the Christmas lights on and drink some more Hot Chocolate.

Why Big Boy isn't getting the toy he wants for Christmas thanks to The Hut

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Over a month ago I placed an order with The Hut for an Imaginext Dinosaur. This was the toy that Big Boy had desperately wanted, had found and sat happily playing with when we went to the Fisher Price Baby Show Party and was so sure that Father Christmas would get it for him that he has cleared a space in his bedroom for where this T-Rex will live.

I had ordered it with a retailer online the night before the Fisher Price Baby Show Party and they wrote to me via email to me to let me know they were really sorry but they didn't have it in stock and they didn't think they were going to get any more before Christmas and so I should probably look else where. By really quickly I mean when they got into work the next morning they emailed me straight away.

Annoyed? Well yes, but Christmas was still a good month and a bit away and so I knew I could afford the time to look for another retailer selling what looks to be one of the most popular toys this Christmas. This is when I found The…

What to do with Christmas Leftovers?

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I know, I know, I know! You haven't even thought about Christmas Dinner in all that much detail let alone what you are going to do with the Christmas Leftovers! The thing is that this one meal (The Christmas Day Roast) is probably one of the most expensive meals that you are going to make all year and making sure that you get your moneys worth means that you do have to start planning now about how to use the leftovers. Maximise the number of meals that you get from the leftovers and suddenly the extravagance doesn't seem that bad. Hopefully my suggestions of a few recipes will help you decide what to do with your Christmas Leftovers!

The Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar - Day Fifteen

There are a lot of Christmas things that I still need to do, I realised last night that I haven't made the Christmas Cake and neither have I finished off a scarf I was knitting! I think that the next few days are going to be a mad rush for a lot of people making sure that they have everything ready for Christmas Day, so let me know if there is something you haven't done to make me feel better!

The Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar - Day Fourteen

I don't know about you, but I'm starting to get really excited about Christmas. Yesterday I saw the Coca Cola Lorry, it snowed and I circled all the programmes I wanted to watch in the TV Times, other listings are available (I've always wanted to say that!), over the Christmas period. And then I realised there are only ten days left on the guilt free chocolate advent calendar!

Bananagrams Blogger Challenge - Christmas!

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Earlier this evening Daddy disappeared into the kitchen, which I thought was strange seeing as how our kitchen is freezing. He came back into the living room half an hour later claiming that it was my turn. I had no idea what he was going on about but when he told me he had been working on the Bananagrams challenge for the week and expanding on what Top Ender and I had already done I was really excited. We spent another half an hour adding the last few letters so that this final challenge like our first used all the letters! Some of the words are a bit of a stretch, but we could link them all to Christmas with a simple explanation.

Now I have to explain a couple of words because we are aware that not everyone thinks quite like us...
Jab is because every Christmas someone gets the flu and so they need to have a jab!New Year is because you always wish a Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year!Rio is because sometimes you have to get away on holiday at Christmas!OJ is because there are a lo…

Vimto Limited Edition Hot Mulled Berry Punch

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I received a bottle of the Vimto Berry Punch.

Today has taught me many things, mainly that if I want something to happen bad enough then I'm stubborn enough to make it happen. So when I was watching yet another Christmas film which had a young couple joyfully drinking some mulled wine after having been ice skating and before going home to a sumptuous Christmas feast and I felt that I was missing out again, I knew I had to come up with a plan. I don't really want to start drinking alcohol (and I was never really interested in red wine when I did drink alcohol) and the last mulled wine alternative I didn't like, so I was going to have to find an alternative to try. Then I remembered that Vimto had sent me a Limited Edition Hot Mulled Berry Punch earlier in the month and I could try that!
"...Vimto’s much-loved original flavor has been blended with an enticing concoction of aromatic cloves, warming cinnamon and sweet nutmeg to pack a seasonal punch. Just add hot water for…

A Family Fun Night Out at Panto

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We were given a family ticket to go to the Panto at Milton Keynes Theatre.

One of my favourite family Christmas traditions is going to the Panto. When I was younger the company my Dad worked for would take a coach to the nearest local panto. The coach would be full of employees and their families and it was just a lot of fun. I'm pleased that this tradition is something that Daddy and I have been able to keep going with our family and last night found us at Milton Keynes Theatre ready to watch Aladdin, which is this years panto. At least I didn't turn up a week early...


This year in the Milton Keynes panto we have Gareth Gates (Yes, Gareth Gates) as Aladdin, Paul Burling (Yes, him from Britain's got Talent) as Aladdin's brother Wishee Washee and Nicola Brazil as Princess Jasmine along with the Genie of the lamp being played by either Russell Grant, Anita Dobson or Camilla Dallerup depending on when you go. Gareth Gates has an amazing voice and whilst I have never reall…

The Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar - Day Thirteen

With a trip to the panto last night, you would think that Daddy and I might have found some new jokes to share with you... we haven't though!

Coppella Winter Warmer

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I was sent two vouchers for the Coppella Winter Warmer.

As you might have guessed I love Christmas. Being a non drinker though I always feel like I am missing out when Mulled Wine is handed out in snowy street scenes in films as I have never seen a non alcoholic version. Copella must have been thinking about me when they made the new Copella Winter Warmer as it is in their words
"...a delicious spiced apple juice blended with clove, cinnamon, cassia, nutmeg, bay, allspice, and juniper berry. You can heat it up in the microwave or on the hob - the perfect drink to keep you cosy this winter and a nice alternative to mulled wine..."
Sounds like perfect stuff for these cold evenings and I get to try a mulled wine alternative that smells delicious. I heated a small mug of the juice in the microwave and tentatively sipped it. Well, I could smell the cinnamon and I could taste the clove but I wasn't quite sure. 

The Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar - Day Twelve

Just think in 12 days time we will be on the final chocolate of our guilt free chocolate advent calendar. I'd like to think that the standard of our jokes has gone up in this time, but if I did say that then I wouldn't get any gifts from Santa as he doesn't think good little girls should tell lies!

The Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar - Day Eleven

Are you still getting ready for Christmas or are you all done with your preparation? Don't worry if you aren't done yet, there is no reason to stress as a quick count of the doors left to open on the guilt free chocolate advent calendar shows 13 more days to go and that isn't even including today!

The Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar - Day Ten

I think that with all the Christmas movies I have been watching and with all the Christmas jokes Daddy and I have been making that this advent is quite possibly the funniest yet. Don't forget to enjoy this little guilt free treat everyday between now and Christmas Eve and we will continue our Family Fun all next year too!

The Parenting Blogger Calender Plea (Bargain?)

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When I was at Cybermummy earlier this year I posed with a few other amazing women for a picture or two for the Parenting Blog Calender which Jay and Tara foolishly cleverly came up with. Anyway in order to get one (for the small £1.99 post and packaging fee) the lovely ladies want to see a picture that is the reason behind my blog.

Darn it.

This blog is really a "spin off" from several blogs that I had where I wanted to bring everything together. I guess though that AMR has taken on a life of it's own now and it is about the fun that we have as a family and so I think that this picture sums it up.


Can't take them anywhere can you?

The Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar - Day Nine

One of the best bits of doing the little videos behind each set of doors is the out takes of us telling our jokes, I'm pretty certain that everyone has cottoned on to the fact that if they do it wrong they get to eat a second chocolate!

Tumblekins Fire Station and Fire Engine

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We were sent the Tumblekins Fire Engine and Fire Station to review.

There are some toys that I don't think some children will ever grow out of. Top Ender for example is never going to grow out of playing with dolls and soft toys. Big Boy is never going to grow out of playing with toy cars or vehicles and there are some such as the wooden Fire Engine Tumblekins by Great Gizmo that we were sent to review that I think will be as fun to play with in the future as they have been now.


Big Boy has been cracking up with laughter over the Tumblekins Fire Engine and Station. You start the little figure off at the top of the Fire Station and then much like me when walking in the snow he tumbles head over heels until he lands in the Fire Engine which is then driven off to Big Boy's imagined emergency. Big Boy loves getting the man to land so that when the wheels move along the little man ends up rolling around in the back of the Fire Engine too.

I do love the squeals of delight that we ge…

The Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar - Day Eight

We have been having a great advent so far and we all hope that our guilt free chocolate advent calendar has been helping you to have a lot of fun too. Make sure that before you open door number eight today that you have opened up doors Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two and One and that  you come on back and open door number nine tomorrow and the rest of the doors this month!

The Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar - Day Seven

Daddy, the children and I are taking a lot of care to make sure that you don't get any guilt with the chocolate treats behind the Advent Calendar doors. Every time we eat a chocolate for you we make sure we bury the guilt deep down inside too...

Christmas Card Photo 2011 - Wordless Wednesday

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Bananagrams - Things that are Yellow

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The challenge this week for the Bananagrams Bloggers was things that are yellow. Top Ender was cheating and using Z's as N's (She wrote blonde) so we were forced to beat her with a stick and Daddy insisted on adding Mucus and Coldplay because as he keeps singing this week "It was all Yellow"!

What other words can you think of that you associate with yellow?

The Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar - Day Six

I don't know about you, but December seems to be hurrying past at an alarming speed! I've nearly finished all the Christmas themed fiction books I got out of the library but I'm not running out of Christmas jokes!

Sylvanian Families Review

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Recently Top Ender and Big Boy were sent some dolls from the Sylvanian Families Collection to have a play with. They were sent The Celebration Wedding Set featuring Katherine and William Balmoral and the iconic Motorcycle and sidecar. I thought that it was going to be a case of Top Ender wanting to play with the Wedding set and Big Boy favouring the Motorcycle and Sidecar, but nothing ever works out like you think does it!

Top Ender and Big Boy loved The Celebration Wedding Set. They remembered earlier this year when The Royal wedding took place, and we all dressed up to be part of the fun and this toy set allows both children to act out weddings as they think they should happen with plenty of last minute objections from jilted lovers and people who think that the couple should marry them instead of each other. It's been great fun and has allowed both Children to let their imaginations take the lead.


The Motorcycle and sidecar have been used for almost everything since it arrived,…

The Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar - Day Five

We are having a lot of fun with creating our advent calendar and in order not to let you have the guilt of eating chocolate we are taking on board quite a few extra calories... It's okay though as we know this is all in the name of Christmas!

Making A Gingerbread House - A New Family Tradition!

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Last year my sister and I both wanted to start a new tradition in our homes, we wanted to make Gingerbread Houses with our children and have a bit of a competition about it. You know the sort of thing "My Gingerbread House is better than your Gingerbread House because..." normal sisterly competition nothing OTT about it at all. We decided to go with the Gingerbread Houses that you can buy from Ikea, they are normally on offer of buy two for x amount of £'s at this time of year and with Ikea being a few moments away from our homes it would be a time saver to buy the pre-made sides rather than making them ourselves. The Gingerbread House on the box looks fantastic, I mean how hard could it be to top this?

Turns out really hard.

The pieces are impossible to stick together with boiled sugar so do yourself a favour and if you are going to make one buy a tube of three of writing icing like the ones Silverspoon make and I use a lot as this will allow you a sturdier "glue&…

The Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar - Day Four

In the spirit of Christmas, the jokes that we tell every day in our advent calendar are the sort of thing that wouldn't be out of place in a Christmas Cracker. If you have any Christmas themed jokes that you think would be suitable for us to tell, then let us know in the comments!

The Great Father Christmas Hunt

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There are a lot of things that you can do at Christmas that are cheap or frugal and that mean that you have fun as a family or group of friends. I talked about Christmas Light Hunts last year, but there is also The Father Christmas Hunts that you can go on too. When my sister and I were small we would go in the car at Christmas in the late evening to go and find Father Christmas. At the time we didn't realise that my parents knew where Father Christmas was going to be checking up on Children and practising his route for Christmas Eve because it was a magical time (they knew as the Round Table had a bit in the local paper saying where they would be and when) and we were far more interested in spotting Father Christmas than trying to dissect the magic and children today are the same!


The Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar - Day Three

I have really loved the comments that we have been getting here, on Twitter and on our Facebook page about the Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar. In case you have missed our posts you can still go back and open Day One with me and Day Two with Daddy before opening today's door or you can just jump right on in here!

Top Ten Family Christmas Movies

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One of the best things about Christmas is that you get to spend a lot more time with your family. It's sort of expected at this time of year and so more families are ready to embrace spending time together and because it is generally a bit colder here in the Northern Hemisphere at this time of year they are looking for things to do indoors. There are a lot of Family Christmas Movies and although some might be a bit soppy we have a lot of favourites here, so here are our ultimate Top Ten Family Christmas Movies to watch with your family!

Muppets Christmas Carol

This is Daddy's favourite Christmas film and it wouldn't be Christmas if we didn't watch it at least once during the Holiday period! The story is of course the classic Christmas Carol story with the Muppets twist, there is a fantastic performance from Michael Cain as Scrooge and if you haven't seen it before (which is unlikely!) then you are in for a real treat.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Any version of thi…

How To Create Fun Christmas Traditions For Your Family

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I had been writing this blog post last year before jumping into a conversation with Jay and Sandy and Heather on Twitter. All three of them were looking forward to Christmas taking on a slightly different meaning for them now that they have children who are aware of what is going on around them and they are the grown ups in charge of creating special Christmas memories.

We are all lucky then we can create fun Christmas traditions that will be passed down to our children and to our children's children and to countless generations after too!


I was talking with my sister about Christmas and about why it is such an important event for us. We decided that it was partly to do with having had our family around us and partly because of the traditions and rituals associated with the season too. I knew exactly what was going to happen at Christmas as it seemed as if every Christmas we did the same things.

We ate the same food, we drank the same drinks, we watched the same TV, we made the sa…

The Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar - Day Two

I hope that you enjoyed the first day of The A Mothers Ramblings Guilt Free Chocolate Advent Calendar and I'm guessing that you are back here because you would like to see what is behind door two, so without further ado here it is!

Fish is the Dish Posh Fish fingers

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I'm so bad, I should have blogged about this the other week but I forgot. 

The other week I made fish fingers with the haddock and cod fillets that Fish is the Dish had asked Delish Fish to send to me. The recipe that I was given was for posh fish fingers using breadcrumbs and whilst that is delicious I much prefer battered fish fingers and so Daddy and I had a cook off with me making the breaded fish fingers and him making the battered fish fingers. Then because he needed to eat his fish fingers whilst they were hot and I am a much better cook (no really I am!) I took over making the battered fish fingers!

The cook off was won by me but with Daddy's battered fish fingers. I found the breadcrumb ones to be too dry (even though the fish was moist the crumb just didn't do it for me) and even the battered ones didn't work that well. The fish was nice, but I think it would have been nicer making something else, or even just eating the fish without a coating.

The whole poin…