Showing posts from 2013

New Gluten Free Cookie Recipe by Daddy

Gluten free cookie recipes come, and gluten free cookie recipes go, but this recipe may provide the closest gluten-free cookie yet to the "real thing"...


115g Slightly Salted Butter
30g Caster Sugar
140g Light Brown Sugar
1 Egg (although we used 4 heaped teaspoons of Orgran No Egg mixed with 2 tablespoons of water instead)
1 tbsp Milk
1 tsb Vanilla Essence
180g Plain Flour (we use, as usual, Dove's Farm)
1/2 tsb Salt
1/2 tsb Baking Soda
1/2 tsb Xantham Gum
150g Chocolate Chips


Melt the Butter in the Microwave, and then mix in the two Sugars with a hand blender. Add the Egg (or Egg substitute), Milk and Vanilla and blend for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.

Add the Flour, Salt, Baking Soda, Xantham Gum and stir well by hand.

Finally, add the Chocolate Chips and make sure they are well stirred into the mixture.

Now, a very important stage - refrigerate the mixture for 1 hour. Any less, and it will "run" on your baking trays!

After the hour is ne…

An Unexpected Christmas Gift

Daddy and I always plan to make each other a Christmas gift as our gift to each other, then occasionally if budget allows we end up buying a present for each other too. Last year it was our Google Nexus tablets (best gift ever) and this year it was a car.

Yup, a car.

For the last few weeks we've been talking about buying a new car. Our current car, whilst the best car  we've ever owned (apart from the Rover which drank petrol), is getting on a bit and it's starting to cost more and more to have it repaired and we figured that this year would be the year that it would finally cost more to repair than it was worth/cost to buy a new one.

The children and I were out doing a few last minute pre Christmas Eve chores and the clutch on the car went. I don't think I have ever prayed harder than I did when I realised we were a couple of miles from home and the car probably wasn't going to make it. Through prayer, some nifty driving and a lot of luck we made it home, where a …

Main Meals W/C 28th December

The meal plan for this week is a simple one, mainly because I keep forgetting what day it is and what days Daddy will be home with us. I've also gone for easy meals, as until the children are back to School I like to be spending my time with them not with the cooker!

Saturday - Chicken Nuggets/Curry
The children are going to have home made chicken nuggets and Daddy and I are going to have a curry.

Sunday - Roast Ham
We're having a roast in the evening, using the ham that is leftover from Christmas. I think that the ham will do well cooked in Orange juice and Cranberry sauce.

Monday - Tomato Soup and Cheesy Nachos
I love my soup maker so much, that's all I'm going to say on this matter.

Tuesday - Fish Lasagne
I was thinking during the week about making a fish lasagne, or rather making a fish pie that was a little different from normal and came up with the idea of a fish lasagne. I have no idea how it will taste or if it has ever been done before! Knowing how Daddy isn&#…

Part Two of our Makie Doll #Review

Introducing Stella!
This is Stella, our Makie doll who arrived today in the post. Top Ender has been beside herself with excitement, since she designed the doll knowing that she was on her way thanks to some cleverly timed emails from the guys at Makie (it happens for everyone who designs and orders a doll, not just us) and has been on the website almost constantly creating new outfits for Stella.
As you can see Top Ender was thrilled with her creation, and as soon as she had Stella out of the tube, she sat on her bed and was playing various games with her.

Tops loves that she made Stella, that she was the one who got to decide what she looked like and is basically her Mother. I just love that Top Ender is happy.

We were given the doll to review.

Main Meal Plans (W/C 21/12)

I can't believe how quickly this weeks has come round, I read something recently which said that the way we perceive time as we get older means it really does speed up, which must mean it's constantly this time of year for The Doctor or possibly Easter as they are the main times he's on the TV. Anyway this is our meal plan and general plans for this week.

Saturday - Fish and Chips
Daddy hasn't had this for a while, so we're having it tonight.

Sunday - Toad in the Hole
Last year we were supposed to have a Lasagne on the Sunday before Christmas Day. I can't remember if we did or not because I was ill with the Winter vomiting bug aka Novovirus, and Daddy was just about to come down with the same (the children had already had it) and it was one of those surreal few days. Top Ender decided that we should have Toad in the hole.

Monday - Sleepy Joe Pizza Bread
The Children mishead me say sloppy Joe Pizza Bread and I decided that from now on Sloppy Joes are called Slee…

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie

Gluten free cookie recipes come, and gluten free cookie recipes go, but this recipe may provide the closest gluten-free cookie yet to the "real thing"..


115g Slightly Salted Butter
30g Caster Sugar
140g Light Brown Sugar
1 Egg (although we used 4 heaped teaspoons of Orgran No Egg mixed with 2 tablespoons of water instead)
1 tbsp Milk
1 tsb Vanilla Essence
180g Plain Flour (we use, as usual, Dove's Farm)
1/2 tsb Salt
1/2 tsb Baking Soda
1/2 tsb Xantham Gum
150g Chocolate Chips


Melt the Butter in the Microwave, and then mix in the two Sugars with a hand blender. Add the Egg (or Egg substitute), Milk and Vanilla and blend for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.

Add the Flour, Salt, Baking Soda, Xantham Gum and stir well by hand.

Finally, add the Chocolate Chips and make sure they are well stirred into the mixture.

Now, a very important stage - refrigerate the mixture for 1 hour. Any less, and it will "run" on your baking trays!

After the hour is nea…

Meal Plan W/C 14/12

After the crazy that was last week, we have a much more sedate week planned, but we're making sure that we keep the fun going and that we are all still very much in the Christmas Spirit.

Saturday - BBQ Chicken Burgers
We should be attending our Church Christmas Party today, I'm making a Winter Coleslaw and after our party (where Santa will be coming) we're popping to a local Old Folks home, (which has become a ward tradition now) to perform our Nativity (Wish us luck we are so going to need it) and sing some Christmas Carols with the residents.

I love that we do this as a ward/community as it makes us feel so much closer together.

I'm going to do a light evening meal of Chicken Burgers because the children may have eaten strictly more than necessary at the Christmas Party!

Sunday - Casserole
I've gone with a Casserole for today as I don't want to overdo the roast this close to Christmas!

Monday - At Nanny's House
Tops, BB and I are going to my MIL's hom…

Missing - One Fairy Door

Do you remember in the summer, when I started sorting out the garden that the Children found a fairy door at the bottom of our Pear Tree?

Well, when it started getting a bit colder and wetter, I thought that it might be smart to let the Fairies know that it was okay to move their door to somewhere a little easier to access. You know somewhere that you wouldn't have to cross the wet grass and mud to get to. The fairies thought this was a great idea and enlisted my help to help them find a suitable place to move to.

I know that I told them a good place to move to, and that they indeed did move there... the only problem is I can't remember where I they moved the door to...

Don't suppose anyone remembers me tweeting about it do they?

Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs Milton Keynes Theatre #Review

Tonight saw Daddy racing home from work in Birmingham to join us in our traditional visit to the Panto each Christmas. We were off to Milton Keynes Theatre to see this year's production of Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs and we knew that we were going to have a good time.

Kringl Magic #Review

As most of you know, Big Boy is off School sick at the moment. I decided to do something special for him, to take his mind off his ear ache. This is the story of how it went.

Whilst I went upstairs to do a few chores, I checked in on Big Boy using the CCTV in our living room and saw this.

That's right Santa came to our house, and checked his list whilst Big Boy was watching a video on Youtube and oblivious to the fact that Santa was standing just a few feet away. Big Boy is thrilled that I managed to capture it on my phone though, and has told everyone about how he didn't realise Santa was so close to him.

If you fancy making sure you're aware when Santa comes to your house, check out the Kringl website for details.

This wasn't paid for, I just happened to really like this app.

Frozen #Review

Top Ender, Big Boy, Daddy and I were lucky enough to be invited down to a premier of Frozen Disney's newest animated film. We'd seen the trailer for it months ago, a snowman sneezed his nose into the middle of a frozen lake, where a reindeer (who acted more like a dog) tried to get at it presumably to eat it and we were excited. We were even more excited to know that they were taking inspiration for the film from one of my favourite Hans Christian Anderson stories, The Snow Queen.

We LOVED the film.

I know, I know. Every time I see a Disney film I fall in love with it, and I claim that the latest one is the best so far and that this one is magical. You need to remember though that I am a true Disney fan (I've even seen films that some of the people at Disney I sometimes talk with haven't) and I'm also someone who appreciates a good story and Frozen is that.

The musical score is fantastic, the children and I haven't stopped singing Let It Go, or Do You Want To B…

My Boy Is Sick

My boy is sick.

I can tell he's ill as he hasn't asked to use the consoles.

He doesn't want me to sit and hold him.

He doesn't want to get out of his school clothes into something more comfortable.

He just wants to sit (well lay) and feel sorry for himself.

So I'm just sitting here watching him and wishing I could make him feel better.

Tea with Father Christmas

I mentioned in our traditions post that we have tea or breakfast with Santa each Christmas and we went for tea with him yesterday. When Santa came to our table I took a picture on my phone (it's my Google Nexus, I didn't want to drop the Nokia whilst out) and somehow managed to capture the magic around Santa. Can you see it? Can you see the magic sparkles?

Before that though, we had arrived at the restaurant, we were shown to our table, which had been reserved for us with our names and dressed with festive tablecloths and colouring in mats and crackers for the children.

We were served some food and drink and a friendly Elf came by to make sure we had everything that we needed and wanted and to let us know that Santa would arrive after we had eaten and decorated our Gingerbread cookies.

Daddy was most impressed that his meal was Gluten free and that it tasted lovely. The staff were quite knowledgeable about other products they had, including fish and chips and one lady apologis…

Wishing You A Haribo Christmas! #Review

One of the reasons that the children love December is because our normal rules are relaxed a little. We have a few more treats than normal, we have a few more late nights and if we see anything that is new or related to Christmas then we normally have to buy it or if we are really lucky it gets sent to us.

When a large box of Haribo Christmas goodies arrived, Big Boy was over the moon and couldn't wait until he was talking to Daddy on Skype so he could show him all the different sorts of Haribo that had been sent.

I happen to know that Santa has been buying Haribo to put into our families stockings this Christmas Eve, which is rather lovely of him seeing as this lot of goodies, probably won't last until Christmas Eve!

You'll have to go to a few different supermarkets if you want to buy all the range as some of the Haribo range are exclusive to various stores, but full details can be found on the Haribo website.

We were sent the Haribo to review.

Meals for the Family (W/C 7/12)

This week is an almost back to normal week, as Daddy will be home with us almost every night this week... but it's also a REALLY busy week with a lot of family stuff going on.

Saturday - Tea with Santa
I am so EXCITED! We're off to have tea with Santa tonight, before I head off to do the shopping with my Mum. Daddy and I are just having a bit of cake, but we're going to have a late supper of Curried Rice Noodles with something from my new Recipes from an Indian Kitchen.

Sunday - Sausage Roast
We're really looking forward to this. Well I am.

Monday - Poached Egg and Haddock
I'm loving poached eggs again at the minute, especially when with some Haddock. Hopefully the children will agree, Daddy won't care because he's staying in some posh hotel tonight!

Tuesday - Early Tea Before Panto
We're off to see the Panto tonight, so we're having an early tea. I think that we're just going to go for something simple like a Hot Dog or Cheese, Tomato and Onion…

The Andrex Puppy Comes To Visit

The other week when my Mum was buying Toilet paper, she asked Top Ender to chose which type of Andrex paper to have. Top Ender immediately chose the rolls covered in puppies and every time Tops and BB go to my Mums house, they disappear to the bathroom to look at the toilet paper. Do I have strange children, or is this something all Children do when faced with toilet paper covered in puppies?

Then today the postman brought some goodies for the children as an early Christmas gift from Andrex.

And just in case you can't read the notes there;

Are you an Andrex fan? I must admit like the children I have a fondness for the Andrex puppy but I just wish they were doing a Christmas themed toilet paper!

Windows Nokia Lumia and an #AppyXmas #Review

My last phone, well now it's my one before last phone, was a Nokia Lumia. I was in love with it, as for a social media addict like me, it was perfect. When I dropped it outside of School and smashed the screen I was heartbroken, but I eventually found a new phone that I liked and could afford and only showed minor jealousy to the adverts on TV for the new Nokia Lumia 1020, with its 41MP camera and familiarity of a Nokia. And then I was asked if I'd like to have a Nokia Lumia 1020. Unsurprisingly, given my love for my old Nokia I said Yes.

Super Mario 3D World For The Wii U

Last weekend, a little bit due to guilt from having been away all week and a little bit of a reward because the children had been so good, Daddy disappeared to a well known Toy shop and purchased a copy of a game that the Children had been obsessing over, since November 22nd when some of their favourite US gamers on Youtube had been uploading videos of them playing the game. The game of course was Super Mario 3D World, and whilst I love my children I was not getting drawn into playing this game because I get so frustrated when I die and the children are just easily jumping their characters around and killing all the baddies with super ground pounds (PUSH THE BUTTON MUMMY!) and jumping into water pipes.

Daddy played with them for a while over the weekend and I only had to threaten the three of them with me turning the Wii U off twice, which in our house is some kind of super record for being nice to each other whilst playing a multi-gamer platform game. (It's a bit like, so I'v…

VTech InnoTab 3 #Review

Daddy and I both think that there are a lot of educational benefits to children having easy access to their own Technology. There is a lot of research that proves this too, of course it means that you have to make sure that the children are using technology for educational purposes and not for just entertainment, but there is no reason why entertainment can't be educational remember! The way that we look at it is that the world we live in is changing (and has already changed from the one that we grew up in), and all children (and adults) are going to have to master new technology as it develops and learn how to use it in their every day lives. Allowing children to become familiar with using items such as tablets, gives them a good foundation to build on.

With this in mind, when we were asked if we'd like to review the VTech InnoTab 3, we said yes!

The VTech InnoTab 3 has a 4.3-inch LCD touch screen, which means that compared to a lot of other tablets in the same price range an…

Clinton's Christmas Decorations #Review

Clinton's asked if they could send me some Christmas goodies which they are stocking in their stores this year to review. Being a complete and utter pushover for Christmas items, I said "Yes please!" And eagerly awaited their arrival. They arrived just before Halloween, and I had plenty of strange looks from visitors to my house, wondering why I had Christmas decorations hanging around the fireplace and plenty of comments on photographs I put on to Facebook and Instagram asking if I had started decorating super early this year!

Normally, I would have taken a few photographs of the items and then gone and put them with the other Christmas Decorations in the loft ready for getting out for the first Sunday of Advent, but Big Boy and Top Ender and I fell in love with them and so we couldn't hide them away!

Big Boy decided that one of the Fair Isle Collection Crochet Ball, (£3) was his and he wanted to put it up in his room. It was a little too big to put it on his tree, …

Makie Doll #Review

Top Ender, unsurprisingly seeing who her parents are, is rather fond of modern technology. Top Ender is also Nine years old and rather fond of Dolls. Normally these two passions don't mix but the new Makie Dolls do combine these passions, which aren't just particular to Top Ender. Makie Dolls make use of the new 3D Printer Technology, by printing a doll that you've created using the Makie app or on their website.

Creating the Doll, was just like creating a Sim according to Top Ender, the only difference being that at the end of it, once it's been sent to the printers it'll be turned into a 10" poseable action doll. Here's a little video of Top Ender first opening her box and then Top Ender and I creating the Doll on the website.

The gift box that Top Ender got to maker her Makie doll is £69, and is actually rather cool. You can't see in the video above just how cool it is, but it's on a spring, which means it wobbles and I think that's rather c…

John Lewis Christmas Decorations #Review

Every year I buy a couple of new decorations for one of my Christmas Trees (you know I have more than one right?) as I'm planning on being able to give Big Boy and Top Ender a few decorations when they move out that mean something to them and show a history of their lives too. John Lewis asked if they could send me a few decorations from their Vintage Market Bauble range and seeing the glass birds I had to say yes!

The decorations arrived after School and Big Boy helped me to unpack them, examine them to see which ones we loved the most and then Big Boy sorted them into groups of similar styles before letting me put them on the tree.

A lot of the decorations reminded me of the ones that my Gran had when I was young, and being glass they seemed as if they really could be the ones that she had. Later when I was playing around with my phone I discovered I could make a clever little video of some photographs I'd taken, so this is my video of my baubles, I hope you like it!

The dec…

Our Christmas Traditions

I have a lot of traditions that I keep up at Christmas time, some are from my childhood, some are from Daddy's, some are ones that we've developed as a family, stolen from other famlies and some we have no idea where they came from, but we love them all the same.

We traditionally put up our Christmas decorations at the start of December, as close to the 1st as possible, which sometimes means putting them up in November! This year with the 1st December being a Sunday we were able to put them up on the 1st. We do this as we like to have our decorations up for all the Sundays of Advent, to help us to focus our thoughts on the reason for the season and because December gets really busy for us so having a free day to do the decorating is rare! Plus, with the number of trees we I like to put up, we need to start early.

A tradition I magpied from another culture happens on the 5th December, unless I forget in which case it happens as soon as I remember! After the children and I have …

Christmas Movie Magic #Review

On Monday morning, after dropping Daddy off to the train station I noticed that something wasn't quite right with Big Boy. He wasn't his normal early morning self and with him having a higher than expected blood sugar I decided to keep him off School. It was a good call, he spent most of the day slobbed on the sofa cuddling into me and even the promise of a McDonalds didn't raise his spirits for long. We watched a Christmas movie together, which I was hoping would allow him to sleep a little so I could do a little tidying up, but the magic of the film had us both engrossed and there was no nap (or afternoon tidying session).

On the Tuesday morning I knew that Big Boy wouldn't be going to school. He'd been up most the night coughing and spluttering and generally feeling sorry for himself, and so had Top Ender. Both children were tired, feeling low and badly in need of a day where they could blow their noses, drink plenty of fluids and just rest. We did sneak up the …

Kettler Daytona Pedal Go-Kart #Review


Why Big Boy isn't allowed in the Kitchen
Big Boy hasn't been allowed in the kitchen for a few days. Nothing unusual there you might think, but seeing as both the children normally have free reign over the house it is unusual for us. The problem is that a gift has arrived, a large gift that I can't put in any other room. Our garage is still drying out after being accidentally flooded by next doors burst water pipe, it's too big to put in the boot of the car, or the loft, or my bedroom and everywhere else would be really hard to keep Big Boy out of!

The gift is a Kettler Daytona Pedal Go-Kart, something that we were asked if we'd like to review and something which Daddy and I knew would be a great Christmas gift for Big Boy who would go nuts for it. We knew if we let him have it before Christmas, that it wouldn't matter what else we did, no matter what we did with regards to Nativity's and visiting Santa, going on Christmas light hunts, the go-kart would b…

Top Cashback Christmas #Review

I've long been aware of cashback sites, the idea of getting money back after having paid out for something I was intending to buy anyway appeals to me, but I've never really utilised them, like Daddy does. Daddy is the master of using Cashback sites, in our family. He's had cash back on insurance, a mobile phone contract, breakdown insurance and probably much more that I've forgotten. I'm the occasional user, sometimes I think about using the sites and more often than not I forget.

When Top Cashback asked if I'd like to see what I could save, by using their website to do my Christmas Shopping and as an added bonus they'd give me some money to get me started I thought I'd be best to give it a whirl!

So I signed up, put in all my information and got ready to start shopping.

After having signed up the very first thing I did was clear the cookies on my computer. I know that the cashback sites work by using the cookies to track where I'm going, so by cle…

What Do You Serve When Friends Come Round After School? #Review

Absolutely months ago, Top Ender and Big Boy invited some friends round after School to play and then to have a bite to eat together. This has happened of course ever since Top Ender first went to School and made friends, some weeks we have friends round and some weeks Top Ender will go to her friends houses. Big Boy is slightly unlucky as until he has his Diabetic Insulin Pump fitted, he can't go round to friends houses (unless Top Ender and I go too) as I wouldn't ever ask one of his Friends Mums to administer his insulin as that just isn't fair on them!


The reason we were having friends round was partly because Birds Eye had asked if we'd like to try out their new Chicken Space Shapes (RRP £2.69) and also because who doesn't like friends coming round?

Everyone really liked the Chicken Space Shapes, the three different designs of a Crescent Moon, Stars and Rockets allowed for different designs to be made on the plates (The ones from the night were a bit b…

Things I Discovered This Week #Review

This week with Daddy being away, I've had a lot more time on my own to do nothing.

And by nothing I of course mean the usual running around after the Children, cooking, cleaning, exercising, reading cookery books, coming up with meal plans, shopping, wrapping gifts, sorting out bills, dealing with the Insurance people, feeding the cats, doing the dishes, studying, playing Candy Crush... you know the usual nothing that fills my days.

This week I've discovered that grated cinnamon, isn't just good for baking Cinnamon Buns but is also great for adding to Hot Chocolate. I was sent a Cinnamon Grater from Cinnamon Hill and despite some initial problems with one of my neighbours forgetting they'd taken it in for me I am so pleased it was sent for me to review!

I discovered that I shouldn't eat Cinnamon Buns whilst reading through the Daylesford Sampler Cookbook (that was sent to me by Harper Collins), as the book contains Recipes and Notes for Cooking and Eating Well as I…