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Showing posts from October, 2013

Wii Karaoke U - #Review

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I like to think that if I had put my mind to it more, that I could have been a singer. Occasionally when I add videos to my youtube channel of me singing Karaoke I get the odd comment that I have a lovely voice and I like to think that this means I'm better than average... but what it probably means is that someone somewhere has too much time on their hands and watches videos of me singing Karaoke! From my love of Karaoke though I knew that when we were given a code to be able to sing Karaoke on the Wii U, that it would be a brilliant Half Term Activity.


I wasn't wrong. So far we've sung/played Karaoke on the Wii U every single day of the half term. I predicted that it would be a game that families can giggle over together and there has certainly been plenty of that! With our little Mii's (that we've all created to look like us), it's almost like we're the ones performing on a brilliant little stage instead of standing in our living room in front of the TV.

Christmas Pringles - #Review

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If you follow me on Instagram (if you don't why not? And also have you seen that Top Ender has an account too?) then you might have seen when I got these fab looking packs of Limited Edition Pringles.


I was very excited by the tubs, and not just because my blog is on them (it's only on my ones if you buy some in the supermarket you'll have to print out a picture of my blog and stick it to your tub if you want the same theme) but because of the flavours. Sweet cinnamon Pringles are perfect for Christmas, or breakfast, or possibly when I'm sitting on the sofa under a blanket trying to warm up after a nice long walk!

The children and I sampled the pringles, one rainy evening. I gave them one of each and let them decide what they thought. Top Ender was rather taken with the Sweet Cinnamon Pringles, declaring them to taste "like that swirly cake you make" (that'll be Cinnamon Buns then) and Big Boy said he "Loved it!".

The Mint Choc didn't go dow…

37 Halloween Films For The Family

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Whilst the Children are off School this week, we've been making an effort to sit together at some point during the day and watch a film together. As it's Halloween this week, we're watching Halloween themed films, some from my childhood, some from the last few years and because I know that sometimes it's hard to think about films that are suitable for the whole family I thought I'd create a list for a future reference!


The Witches
Ghostbusters
The Addams Family
Hocus Pocus
Casper
The Corpse Bride
Monster House
Wallace And Gromit - The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit
ParaNorman
Frankenweenie
Monsters Inc
The Worst Witch
Harry Potter - Any of them
The Haunted Mansion
Spirited Away
Coraline
Beetlejuice
Halloween Town
Bedknobs and Broomsicks
Young Frankenstein
Labyrinth
The Black Cauldron
Halloween is Grinch Night
Scooby Doo
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Daddy I'm a Zombie
Hotel Transylvania
Teen Witch
Bewitched
Monsters Verses Aliens
Monsters Verses Aliens Mutant Pumpkins From Out Of Space
Spooky Buddies
Clu…

Trunk or Treat #Review

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This Thursday night, we'll not be trick or treating round our local neighbourhood, instead we'll be at Church, more specifically in the car park participating in a Trunk or Treat.


We're actually quite excited about it. I'm excited because I know that the Children will be with friends and able to walk around the various cars of my friends in relative safety and with the added benefit of not having to have their Mum trudge around with them as apparently I'm uncool. I'm excited about seeing the children that I see in my Church Primary Class in a social setting too, mainly so that they can see that I am actually as weird as they think I am.

I'm also quite excited as Haribo have sent us a selection of their rather yummy sweets to give out on Halloween although I'm not that sure that Big Boy is going to be able to restrain himself from eating them all by then!


Haribo have sent us the new Trick or Treat Box, featuring 50 mini bags of Horror Mix, the Trick or T…

Halloween Themed Lunches

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One of the great things about having Half term in the last week of October, is that the lunches that I make for Halloween don't have to be transported to School, so they can have lots of fiddly little details and they can also take longer than my normal five minutes to make them (honestly most of the fun lunches I make only take a few minutes).

I have some fun lunches planned for this week, but I thought that I'd do a quick round up of the designs I've done in the past so that if you're looking to do something fun, I might hopefully inspire you.









As you can see for most of the lunches, all that is needed are Shaped Cookie Cutters (or a steady hand), some stickers (for labels and eyes etc), some food colouring (either pens or find a new paint brush) and a little bit of creativity! If you'd like some tutorials on any of the lunches, just let me know and I'll post step by step instructions for you.

Meal Plan W/C 26/10

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I had planned nice warm meals for last week, ones that caused the kitchen (and therefore the house) to heat up and would also allow us to warm up from the inside out. I don't know if it was the same for you, but for us it was a very mild week and having so much warmth in the house and our bodies was not a good thing! I'm making everything for dinner this week spooky in honour of Halloween this Thursday!

Saturday - Nando's
When Top Ender went on a Brownie trip to Nando's she was given a letter which gave her a free meal at Nando's in the not too distant future. I had originally planned to take her and BB on my own one night when Daddy was still commuting home, but as we like our weekends to have a focal point we thought that a trip to Nando's tonight would be fun for the whole family.

Sunday - Zombie Arm with Shrunken Heads and Eyeballs (Roast Lamb and Trimmings)
I decided that I wanted lamb today, so one roasted Zombie arm later, along with roasted potatoes, ve…

Morphy Richards Intellichef Multicooker - #Review #Giveaway

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As you know, I cook. I cook everyday for my family (well sometimes not on Sundays) and sometimes I like to cook something for my family that takes very little effort, but still tastes delicious. The guys and gals at Morphy Richards thought I'd like to try their new Intellichef Multicooker, as with it's multiple uses it's a great space saving kitchen gadget and as you can do everything in one pot, it saves on the dishes too. So, I read through the booklet that comes with the Multicooker and discovered a few recipes that were nice sounding but really I used it as a starting point for coming up with my own ideas of what to cook in the Multicooker.


Sandwich Balls

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For lunch on Monday this week, I made the Children little Sandwich ball ghosts. A few questions were asked, over what they were and how they were made, so I thought I'd make a little blog post of how I made them.


So, just in case you missed it this week, here is a picture of Top Ender's friendly little Sandwich Ball Ghost. They are really easy to make, deceptively simple and if you're wanting something quick to make to liven up a lunch, this is the sandwich for you! 
If you've ever made rice balls (I have and I luckily have Teflon hands), then you'll probably have the idea of what to do already but just in case, here is my little vine on what to do.

Yes, it really is that simple. You take a slice of bread, cut off the crusts, add your filling, put it on some cling film, pull the bread into a bowl, use the cling film to tighten the bowl into a ball, firm it up and then decorate before serving.
How would you decorate a sandwich ball?

Mornings

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We've got used to our new routine of Daddy not being here in the mornings during the week. When he leaves, I sit in bed and read my Scriptures and get ready for the day before the children are awake. You can always tell if my day is going well if I instagram a picture of my socks...


After I wake up the children, we sit and eat breakfast together. Sometimes I read to them, sometimes we listen to the Radio, or watch a cartoon or Youtube video together. After breakfast and the inevitable last minute rush to find a missing school shoe, coat or school bag we take a picture outside of the house to send to Daddy, because he doesn't see the house in daylight five days out of seven, and then start the walk to school.


We talk about what is coming up that day, what is happening that evening, if we are going to let Top Ender walk home alone, if we have something important to do that day. We test each other on spellings and give simple math calculations for each other to work out.

We say g…

Santa's Rooftop Scramble - #Review

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I know that Halloween hasn't yet happened, but already we're thinking of Christmas and how we can get more into the Christmas mood. Luckily for us Ravensburger sent us Santa's Rooftop Scramble which has had us in fits of giggles, singing Christmas tunes and thinking about our Christmas lists.


Big Boy was the one that was most interested in the board game, begging us to open the game from the second it was delivered. It took us a couple of hours to get our chores done, but when we did sit down to play I was a little frightened by the amount of rules and instructions the game came with. Luckily Daddy read through them and discovered that the game was surprisingly simple, it just came with rather detailed instructions.

The general idea of the game is that you are Santa and in charge of delivering some gifts to children. First of all you have to spin a spinner to collect all the gifts you need, this can take multiple turns, or as Big Boy found on his first go, it can take just…

Barbie and her Sisters in a Pony Tail #Review

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When Top Ender was sent Barbie and Her Sisters in A Pony Tale to review, the usual noise from Big Boy was heard. A sort of groan that told Top Ender and I that if Big Boy was to watch this film, we'd all suffer later. So Top Ender decided to watch the film in her room. Which, was okay but did mean that I didn't get to watch the film and so this review is based on what Top Ender has told me.
I apologise in advance.

Barbie and her sisters are off to visit with their aunt who runs a Horse academy in the Swiss Alps for a month. Whilst they are there Barbie is going to enter an equestrian competition, which Barbie wants to win the Steeplechase in, but first she has to find the right horse for her.

Barbie finds that she can't choose a horse from the ones at the stables, but when she is out riding she sees a magic horse, or rather one that shouldn't exist as everyone says they don't exist and are just a myth from a story from long ago. Barbie however, finds that these ho…

Evening Meal Plans - W/C 19/10

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We had an appointment this last week with Big Boy's Diabetic Care Team and I managed to get a few minutes with the Dietician too. I explained that I had been experimenting with low carb meals for Big Boy and were basically of the understanding now that it really doesn't work and can I have some advice please. Well, as expected the answer is just to eat as normal, eat a balanced diet and a little controversial (IMHO) that BB doesn't need snacks if he eats three meals a day... not sure how that one will go down! Anyway here is this weeks meal plan.

Saturday - Chinese Takeaway
I was joking about having a Chinese Takeaway with Daddy after smacking myself in the face with the car door, somehow this turned into having Chinese tonight. I love having a proper Chinese every once in a while where I get to use chopsticks and laugh at my really bad fortune cookie sayings. Let's just say I'm normally going to have a brilliant Thursday, although I'm never sure why.

Sunday - …

Asda's Spooktacular Halloween - #Review

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I love an excuse to dress up or to be silly for a while, so when Asda asked if I'd like to pop down to my local Asda and take a look at the Halloween items they had in store (and they'd give me a giftcard so I could buy what I liked), they didn't have to ask me twice. I took the children down to the store, and despite managing to hit myself in the face with the car door (it's so sore!) we had a great time looking through the aisles full of Halloween related items.


The children had a good look through the costumes, there wasn't anything that they particularly wanted and despite us having a good laugh over the various clown masks (some were quite scary!) we spent more time looking at the decorations, various food treats and other things.
I decided that I didn't need a brain jelly mould (if I could have made a cake in it then I would have brought it) and the skull mugs and wine glasses were see through, so if they had been white (you know like bones) then I probab…

A Romantic Meal Of Haggis For Two - #Review

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It's been a while since Daddy and I purposely set out to have a date night and when some Haggis was delivered, I thought I'd take the opportunity to create a special romantic meal for two.


Daddy has never had Haggis before and I only remember eating it a few times as a child and a couple of times as an adult when I've been at fancy restaurants. With the Macsween Haggis that I was sent I didn't have to worry about cooking it in a fancy way, as all you have to do is put the packet in the microwave for 60 seconds, and that is really simple and the kind of cooking I can handle!
I had a lot of ideas of how to serve the Haggis, but decided to stack the Haggis on Potato Rosti's and top the meat Haggis with Scallops and the Vegetarian Rosti's with Grilled Mushrooms. I knew that Daddy would like this, and it was using the mushrooms that we were supposed to have for dinner as burgers, so I wasn't wasting food.

It was delicious. Honestly, it was. I know that most peop…

Make It In A Jar - #Review

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When I first got this book, as part of the reviewing programme with Parragon Books, I was ready to be inspired. It's the perfect sort of thing to make you think about Christmas and what gifts you can make for friends and family, especially if like me, you like to give loved ones a home made gift. I read it before bed, sent out a quick instagram of the cover and started a conversation on nearly every social media account that I have over different ideas of gifts in a jar.


Some of the ideas look great and I'm going to try them out on various family members and friends before giving them as gifts this Christmas. The first one that I had to make was the S'mores Cakes in a jar, because S'mores are something we make on a semi-regular basis in our house.

Now, comes my little admission.

I had intended to make these for the children to have one lunchtime as a treat, but erm, well the thing is I may only have made two little ones for them and a HUGE one for me and Daddy to share…

Pancakes For Breakfast

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Big Boy decided that he'd like Pancakes for breakfast. Not any old pancakes though, he wanted the pancakes that we had for breakfast when we were in DisneyLand. So I mixed up a batter and calculated the carbs and Top Ender, Big Boy and I sat together eating pancakes for breakfast.


It was a lovely way to start the morning and one which I think we'll have again over the next few Autumn and Winter months, especially if the smiles I get from the children as I serve them are still forthcoming!

Evening Meals - W/C 12/10

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I've got a lot going on for the family this week, but we're still trying to stick with the low carbs and for the most part it's not working. This week at least we'll be seeing BB's Diabetes care team and hopefully I can grab some time with the Dietician and speak to her!

Saturday - Cauliflower Cheese and Hot Dogs
I may have forgotten to make this during the week and just had Hot Dogs with the Children, so we will 100% have it tonight.



Sunday - Sausage Roast
I'm not sure that I'm up for a sausage roast, but it's what we do on Sundays!

Monday - Salmon and Pea Frittata
Top Ender is like my Mum (and I guess me and Daddy to a certain extent) in that she LOVES Salmon. Big Boy will eat it, but he seems to be of the persuasion that if he can get away without eating it then that is better. To combat this I thought that for the children I'd make a Salmon and Pea Frittata for their evening meal as BB does love egg!

I'll make Daddy a Salmon and Rice dish (w…

Fantastic 4orce Movie #Review

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One of the things that the Children and I love to do now that the nights are drawing in, is to watch a movie together, all cuddle together on the sofa, and so when we were asked if we'd like to see the new Fantastic 4orce (Force) Movie we said Yes please!


The film is about four children who have been purposely picked to travel through time and the fictional worlds of Jules Verne on a mission to save the world.
My two loved the film, it's given Tops an introduction to the worlds of Jules Verne and she has started reading some of his works (which she is enjoying) and as you can see from the trailer below there are a few fart jokes that has kept Big Boy amused.

There are a few scenes of mild peril, but overall the film which is out on the 14th October and with a PG rating perfect for family viewing!
We were sent a copy of the DVD to review.

Wearing Plus Size Hot Pants - #Review

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It's no secret that I'm overweight and that I'm trying to do a lot to lose weight. I regularly work out, I follow a restricted calorie diet and I try to fidget as much as possible as I read that it burns a lot of calories.

Anyway.

The girls at Zaggora asked if I'd like to try their new Hot Pants. I had tried a set before and I wasn't sure if I had lost weight because of wearing the Hot Pants, or just because I was exercising in general. The idea of the pants is that there is a multi-layer fabric which harnesses the body's natural heat during exercise to help burn more calories. I've been wearing them during exercise and well I've been wearing them quite a lot under my clothes.


I've noticed that I have lost weight whilst wearing them, again I can't say that it is just down to the Hot Pants or if it is just that I've been exercising BUT I can confirm that I'm losing weight at a faster rate now than I had been.

The problem with these longer…

A Visit To Cadbury World - #Review

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You know a few weeks back I got to review Cadbury's Pebbles? Well, as well as a couple of bags of pebbles we were also given a family ticket to visit Cadbury's World and this past weekend was the first chance that the four of us had to visit the famous factory together.

We got lost.

No, seriously despite having looked at a map, having a map in the car AND having a the satnav on we got lost. This is why.


See that brown Cadbury World tourist attraction sign thing to the right of the picture? See how it points down this road to the left here?

Yeah, what that actually means is carry on a few more meters and then turn left. Daddy and I thought that the sign should have looked like this, but you know in brown.


Apparently Daddy and I are wrong.

I had called to book our time slot a couple of weeks before, and had arranged to go in at 12:40, that way, we'd have had lunch and if the memories Daddy and I had of Cadbury's World from back in the early 90's was right we wouldn&#…

What Did You See Today?

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So what did you see today?

I know, it's an odd question right? A few weeks ago was National Eye Health Week (started 16th September) and it's something that I'm paying more attention to now than normal. Why? Well, there a few things in life that if I lost I'd be a different person and my eyesight is one of those things and after the last few weeks that we've had as a family, trust me when I say it's important to pay attention to eye health. Do you remember when Big Boy had a Corneal Abrasion? We were lucky, that it healed and his Eyesight was fine, but thinking back on it it shows me how lucky we all are to have our eyesight.



Boots, as well as offering half price eye checks, challenged me to let the children loose with a camera on the School run. I shan't be showing you the video that they took, as it mostly features my right breast as Big Boy was determined that I should feature in the video... however there were a few pictures taken of different things tha…

The Family Tree

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Top Ender's homework, was to do her family tree.

The homework said that she should go back as far as she could and see if any stories about family members existed that were exciting or interesting. Unlike her best friend, Top's family tree doesn't link up to anyone historically famous or featured in wikipedia, or someone who invented a sport, or even the basis of a film (Seriously this is all in one family tree).

We won't of course be mentioning the criminal,who was once described as the most dangerous man in Britain and who is Top Enders First Cousin two times removed. There are some things that whilst I'll be happy to share with you dear internet, it might be better if School are unaware of. Saying that, he does have a really cool criminal name that I'm not sharing with you, as you'll google him and look at me differently...

Anyhoo.

We sorted out a few generations of the family tree for Top Ender to print out (It's rather hard for her to do any resear…

Meal Plans - W/C 5/10

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The menus this week are still following the low carb diet that we're trying out. BB is still getting complex carbs earlier in the day, but we're finding that he's maintaining a better blood sugar over night, with this diet.

Saturday - Pork Chops with Creamy Sauce and Mash
I really fancied Pork Chops, so decided to make a simple sauce with the Total Greek Yoghurt, some chives, some mushrooms and whatever else I already have in the cupboard. The favourite way in this house to have pork chops is to have apple sauce and cheese, so I'm hoping that this will knock it off the top the top spot!



Sunday - Sandwiches. Just Sandwiches
I'm being very naughty today, that's all I'm saying ;)

Monday - Salmon Chowder
We didn't get our Salmon last week, there was a little issue with dates and this week I've decided I'm going to make Salmon Chowder. Please nobody tell Daddy that the Chowder I'm making is going to have sweetcorn in it!

Tuesday - Garlic Mushroom…

Actimel Move Funding - #Review

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Last year when I started my weight loss journey (it's a lot harder to lose now, but thanks for asking) the fitness bug also got Daddy and spending the vouchers I had won at The MAD blog awards on a bike for him seemed the logical thing to do... the problem was competition soon broke out over who was getting fitter fastest and so one sunny afternoon leaving my Mum in charge of the children Daddy and I went for a bike ride together. To cut a long story short, he was fitter but I LOVED cycling out in the open, especially because Milton Keynes has a myriad of cycle paths so I would be safe whilst cycling.


Top Ender learnt to ride a bike without stabilisers that summer, and she loved cycling too. Memories of my childhood came back, where my parents would take my sister and I and our four bikes to various villages around the UK and we'd cycle a route from a Readers Digest book that someone had brought my parents. Daddy and I knew that we could do this, we could cycle as a family, bu…

Furby Boom - #Review

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I had a Furby when they were popular the first time round. Top Ender had one when they were popular a few years ago and now? Now, we have the revamped Furby Boom thanks to the Toys at Asda Direct team who sent us one to review.


When it arrived, the children spent ages agonising over what to call it. I spent what felt like hours agonising over getting the darn thing open to put it's batteries in. It called for a Phillips Head Screwdriver, but the three that I had easy access to were all too big (circumference wise) and so after thinking for a moment or two I went out to the car to find the car toolbox. Every family has a car toolbox right? Eventually I managed to get the battery compartment opened, I put in the 4 AA batteries and closed the Furby Boom's bottom, and hoped that when it eventually ran out of battery that Daddy would be the one that had to change the batteries.


It was by this point that the children had realised they could download an app on to their tablets to con…