Thursday, 31 October 2013

Our Pumpkins - Happy Halloween!

Ok I have bought the pumpkins and now it's time to let the children loose and design their own faces (this should be interesting)!  You may have noticed that there are three pumpkins that is because I wanted to do one too!

Here are our Pumpkins (mine's the one in the middle in case your wondering):

Looking at this picture it seems we've been a little creative this year - I hope you like them!  I have also tried to be a domestic goddess and have kept all of the edible pumpkin flesh which I have steamed and puréed ready to make some pumpkin cakes and soup etc. I will try and post the recipes soon.  

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you to Super Busy Mum for nominating me as one of her Versatile Bloggers! What a pleasant surprise to be nominated by a fellow UK blogger especially as I'm fairly new to all this!

So the rules are that I have to write seven random facts about myself and to nominate seven fellow bloggers - here goes:

1) I am surprisingly small at 5" 1 1/2" Yes that's right - five foot, one and a half inches!

2) I love tattoos and have five of my own and another in the planning stages.

3) I'm not very keen on water even though I am the water sign Pisces.

4) I love leopard print in fact its a bit of an addiction for me.

5) I love American TV - my absolute favourite is The Middle!

6) I'm rather partial to pizza and chocolate - Actually I'll even go as far to say its LOVE.

7) I have had laser eye surgery and cannot believe the results it is literally a miracle!

Here are my seven nominees:

The rules of the Versatile Blogger Award are:

You must put the Versatile Blogger Award pic on your blogspot.
* Make sure to thank the blogger that nomiated you, in your post.
* Finally write 7 random facts about yourself and nominate 7 other bloggers.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Halloween Tasty Treats

This Halloween my girls have a few friends coming over for a Halloween tea before we go out on our annual Trick Or Treat trip around the crescent we live in.

Here are some Fab ideas I will be using to create a fabulous spooky treat for my little guests:

1) Ghostly Banana Pops:

Cut bananas in half and insert a lollipop stick into the cut side. Dip into melted white chocolate and cover. Place in fridge to set and apply face using melted milk chocolate or raisins. 

2) Orange Pumpkins:

Cut the top off of an orange and scoop out the flesh. Wash and dry oranges and using a sharp knife cut out the pumpkin face. Fill with small sweets.

3) Mummy Hotdogs:

Roll out puff pastry approx 3mm thick and cut into thin strips. Wrap the pastry strips around the hotdogs in a mummy-like manner and place on baking sheet.  Bake in oven set to 200C for 15-18 mins.  Add eyes using a dot of mayonnaise, mustard or ketchup.

4) Eyeball Spaghetti:

Cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions.  Meanwhile cut a small hole into mini mozzarella balls and push in half an olive.  Drain spaghetti and stir through some pesto.  Top with splodges of tomato ketchup and mozzarella eyeballs.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Girls Hairstyles - Ribbon Braid

This is a really easy braid to achieve (I think they call it a looney braid in America).  You can use any colour ribbon just make sure it is long enough to get to the end of your braid.  I've used just over a metre of ribbon in this photo.

1) Create a low pony tail and tie using an elastic band.  

2) Tuck your ribbon under the elastic band and pull through half the ribbon so you have two ribbon lengths of an equal size. Wrap the ribbon around the elastic band to hide and tie in place.

3) Divide the ponytail in to two sections and using the ribbon as you would the third section of hair normally, plait the hair but not too tightly.

4) When you reach the end of the braid tie the hair using the remaining ribbon and create a bow.

5) Holding the end of the braid where the bow is, pull out each side of the braided hair from the top down, to create a wriggly/wavy effect. 

Friday, 25 October 2013

My Six Year Old Teenager?!

"Ugh what have you bought that for!?" exclaims my six year old daughter Brooke pointing at my three year old's pushchair in the playground the other day. "Because we are walking home today" I reply with a smile...I am then treated to my daughter running off to the other side of the playground shouting "I hate walking!".  So it's going to be one of those I think as I mentally psyche myself up to have the patience of a saint.  

We finally manage to leave the school and my eldest daughter scoots down the road as fast as she can to get away from me and my youngest.  Every time I suggest we cross over the road she refuses and I walk on (counting to ten) with a smile.  We finally cross the road but she will not cross next to me and then we turn a corner literally and metaphorically!  Brooke turns to me and says "Mummy you are the person I love most in this world".  Blimey where did that come from?  "I love you too darling" I say "More than the stars and the moon".  

Ok my patience was starting to wear thin despite my best efforts but I had held it together wearing a serene smile on my face and luckily for me I did as I was then treated to this declaration of love.  Still I am confused by my daughters outbursts and they have been happening rather a lot lately.  Take last Friday for instance..

My daughter's school reward children when they excel and every Friday one or two children from each class are chosen to receive a 'rainbow sticker' handed out by the head teacher.  This is a very proud moment for us parents and we had promised Brooke that when she got one we would treat her to a trip to a pizza restaurant.  So the school bell rang and out came Brooke wearing her rainbow sticker for all to see.  "Well done you are brilliant" I exclaimed! "So can we go tonight then?" was her response. "Um not tonight darling as you have a play date but we WILL go this weekend" I replied.   This was apparently not good she ran shouting over her shoulder about how much she hated me and how this was her worse day ever (we've heard that one before)!  After I had admitted a large sigh we went home and had her best friends over for the pre-arranged play date.  

So you have read about the most recent scenarios (two of many) and I am sure there will be many, many more.  I'm not sure how my daughter has become a teenager at the age of six but after Googling these exact words I find I am not the only one! Phew! I find it is a hard one to deal with but although she may act like a teenager she is not, and I must remember this (my daily mantra).  Being patient and taking the outbursts on the chin is definitely the best route in my case but sometimes this can be hard especially if your not having the best day yourself!  I hope this defiant moody behaviour will pass...although I doubt it...and I am sat here nervously pondering what she will be like when she is actually a teenager!  God help me! 

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Chicken Pesto Pasta Bake

Enough of the sweet treats this week, here is something to try for dinner and it's absolutely gorgeous even if I do say so myself! :-) Please excuse the rough Ingredients and method on this one as it was created by myself and I just made it up using the ingredients from my kitchen.


350g Jar Tomato Pasta Sauce
500g Fresh Penne Pasta 
Handful Baby Tomatoes
2 Chicken Breasts
80g Bacon
125g Mozzarella
Green Pesto
Croutons (home made or shop bought)


1) Add fresh pasta and jar of sauce into oven proof dish and stir to combine.

2) Cook chicken breasts and bacon and add to pasta stirring to combine. 

3) Slice or tear mozzarella and place on top of pasta along with baby tomatoes sliced in half.

4) Bake your own croutons made from stale bread or use shop bought and add to top of pasta along with a few teaspoons of green pesto drizzled over the top.

5) Bake in oven for 25 to 30 mins at 200C and serve!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Halloween Dress Up Ideas

I have been scanning Pinterest for Halloween inspiration on the internet this week and found these great photos of Halloween Fancy Dress ideas! Check these bad boys out - so funny!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

What A Difference A Day Makes!

Let me paint you a picture..The sky is grey, the wind is howling and it is pouring with rain, oh yeah and it's 08.30 on a Wednesday which means only one thing...The School Run! Aagghh!  I wish I had time to stop and photograph this moment for you but as I had on the most inappropriate shoes and we all looked like drowned rats its probably best I didn't! You've been there, you know what it's like doing the school run in bad weather and it is not fun!  The rain is creating a slick lake covered pavement, there is twice as much traffic as usual and everyone is stressed.  By the time I had done the school run, dropped off my three year old and got to work I leaned back in my chair with a cup of tea and let out a sigh of relief!

...Switch to today and it is a complete contrast.  It's my day off, the sun is shining and it is actually a warm October day. I have walked into my local town Christchurch to visit the shops, picked up a take-away latte and collected Sasha from nursery.  Bliss! I have a smile on my face and a happy heart as I walk home watching Sasha pull some stunts on her scooter! What a great day!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Girls Hairstyles - Triple Side Topsy Tail

This is a really simple hair style to achieve and is great for keeping the hair away from the face.  If you have a topsy tail this will make the hair style really quick and easy to create - See picture below: 

Topsy Tail
1) Make a side parting and create another parting parallel to it.  Clip the leftover hair underneath out of the  way from the section of hair you want to work with.

2) Using your comb create the first square section of hair nearest to the face and tie with a small hair tie.

3) Continue this process two more times heading towards the back of the head.

4) Using a small topsy tail thread it through from the top of each pony tail behind the hair tie and under.  Pull the pony tail through the topsy tail in a downwards motion.  Follow this step for all three pony tails.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Halloween - Love It Or Hate It...?!

Personally we love Halloween in our house! - Don't get me wrong we don't go completely over the top (we're English after all) but we do enjoy partaking in a bit of pumpkin carving and my girls who are 6 and 3 love dressing up and 'trick or treating' around the close we live in.

I speak with many people who groan at the mention of Halloween as they really cannot stand it.  I always ask "Why Not"?  It's harmless fun in my mind - young children taking part in a small celebration and really enjoying themselves is great and I personally love to be involved.  However, I know in the past Halloween has gained a stigma in this country due to innocent people being bothered by over grown teenagers threatening to vandalise their properties if money is not being handed over under the proviso of Trick Or Treat!  This is unacceptable by anybody's standards and thank goodness in my experience this kind of bullying seems to have stopped.

There are always treats for any genuine Trick Or Treaters at our door and we love to see all the costumes. All I can say is please, please try and lighten your spirits when young children knock on your door with their sweet expectant faces merrily chorusing "Happy Halloween" and join in the fun. Halloween makes them so happy and it shows great community spirit if you can let your guard down and join in with the festivities!  So this year I urge you to give it a go! :-)

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Banana Flapjacks

I found this recipe on NetMums  and it was really easy to make., These flapjacks are especially great for using up over ripe bananas and also fab for sticking in the freezer and will thaw in around 15mins so really useful for adding to lunch boxes!


80g Butter
120g Brown Sugar
2tbsp Golden Syrup
450g Porridge Oats
100g Raisins
2/3 Ripe Bananas


1) Melt butter, sugar and golden syrup in a pan or in the microwave.

2) Mash bananas and add to melted ingredients with raisins and oats and mix.

3) Spread mix into a baking tray lined with baking paper and flatten using the back of a spoon.

4) Bake at 200C/Gas 6 for 15-20 mins until golden.


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The Tooth Fairy

The time has finally come for my six year old Brooke to loose her first tooth and we have finally had a visit from the Tooth Fairy!  My daughter has been waiting for this day since her first year in school when some of the other children started to lose their baby teeth...and don't we know about it!  We have the same conversation almost every week wondering when she will lose her first baby tooth and if it will be soon. Well, now the time has come for Brooke and Operation Tooth Fairy has come into affect.  

After listening to the other parent's experiences in the playground I have heard children being left money in the value of 50p to £10.00!  Well as you will probably agree £10 is ridiculous so we decided that £1 is quite adequate for my daughter's baby tooth.  I also decided to leave Brooke a teeny tiny note from her Fairy courtesy of a friend of mine's recommendation and it went a little something like this:

Hi Brooke,

My name is Violet, I heard you ask for me in the school playground and now I am  your very own tooth fairy!
I want to thank you so much for letting me have your first tooth, in return I have left you a coin! 
I must say your tooth will be one of the best in my collection and I want to remind you to brush your teeth twice a day to keep all of your old and new teeth healthy!

See you soon...Love From

Around midnight I nominated my darling hubby to become the Tooth Fairy and sneak into the bedroom which he did seamlessly and all went to plan. Needless to say this went down a treat the following morning and Brooke was very happy with her shiny coin and communication from her very own fairy Violet!  Phew only another 19 times to go, let's hope the rest of Violet's visits go just a smoothly!  Please feel free to let me know what the Tooth Fairy does in your house - Id love to hear from you!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Books For Christmas From The Book People

I was flicking through the latest offering from The Book People the other day and have spotted various bargains to be had - with many free delivery offers to be had they are definitely on my shopping list! Here's what I have found:

For The Kids:

Father Christmas Needs A Wee! By Nicholas Allan - £4.99. Father Christmas Needs a Wee is a funny and festive counting book...This is a hilarious Yuletide book for preschool children that features rhyming text, a memorable story and a charming Father Christmas finger puppet to help little ones count along.

100 Christmas Things To Make And Do by Usbourne - £2.99.  Learn how to make Snowball Truffles, Bouncing Snowmen Christmas Tree decorations and a castle-themed advent calendar in 100 Christmas Things to Make and Do. Ideal for the whole family, this is a book packed with ideas for things to make and will happily keep excited children (and more than a few grown-ups!) occupied in the run-up to the big day!       

Mr Men & Little Miss Glitter Box Collection By Roger Hargreaves - £19.99. The Mr. Men and Little Miss characters are extremely popular and have been delighting children for generations with their incredible adventures. The likes of Mr. Happy, Mr. Nosey, Little Miss Naughty and Little Miss Sunshine all feature in this amazing 18-book collection which finds them encountering all manner of wizards, dragons, ogres and unicorns.         

For The Adults:             

4 Ingredients: Christmas By Kim McCosker - £2.99. The easiest Christmas cookbook you will ever own, Kim McCosker's 4 Ingredients Christmas contains over 80 stylish festive recipes that use just four or fewer ingredients and require minimal preparation. The clever little book will help make cooking at Christmas less stressful, and all the recipes featured are designed to help you create the easiest, most elegant food you can. With minimal preparation, the book covers everything from classic to contemporary meals, and even includes starters, sides, sauces, mains, desserts and drinks.

Save With Jamie By Jamie Oliver - £9.99. One of the nation's most popular and influential chefs, Jamie Oliver follows up the success of his 15-Minute and 30-Minute Meals cookbooks with Save with Jamie, an accompanying cookbook to his latest Channel 4 television series. Fully aware that many of his fans are coming under increasing financial pressure, the hardback cookbook provides a selection of tasty and nutritious recipes for food that, while bought on a budget, remains big on flavour

1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die - £9.99. Always a book to instigate discussion amongst friends and family, this new revised 10th anniversary edition of of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die has been updated with a list of titles and is an essential guide for any movie lover. Surveying the complete history of film-making and chronicling over a century of film production, this book features classics such as Gone With The Wind and recent blockbusters including Life of Pi and Skyfall. Spanning all film genres, each title featured has still shots and actors' photos and is accompanied by a brief synopsis and critique, and lists other noteworthy information about the film, its director, and its stars.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Girls Hairstyles - Wrap-Around French Braid Into Hair Rose

So this is my take on a Wrap-Around French Braid which ends in a very pretty hair rose! This hairstyle looks complicated and intricate but in fact it was quite easy to achieve!


1) Create a side parting and starting from the side with the largest section of hair begin a French plait/braid.

2) Continue to French braid around the back of the head trying to stay in the middle of the head as you go and aim for just above the top of the ear.

3) When you have reached the other side of the head finish off the French braid by creating a standard plait and tie off to hold in place.

4) Twist the braided end into a neat circle creating the 'rose' and pin in place using bobby pins.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Gorgeous Coats From Joe Browns

Wow check out these great coats and jackets from the new Joe Browns range for winter 2013 and if you're quick you can get Free Delivery using this code XB1312x until 16th October - Happy Shopping!  


Here are my top five:

  1. Moscow Ultimate Coat £79.95

    2.  Amazing Applique Jacket £59.95

    3. Vintage Lace Trim Jacket £69.95

    4. Our Favourite Jacket £69.95

     5. Cheeky Check Duffle £59.95

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Doughnut Muffins

Wow these are really good and they went down a storm in my house! Try these Doughnut Muffins out for size courtesy of BBCGoodFood!


140g Golden Caster Sugar
200g Plain Flour
1tsp Bicarbonate Of Soda
100ml Natural Yoghurt
2 Large Eggs Beaten
1tsp Vanilla Extract
140g Butter Melted
12tsp Seedless Raspberry Jam


1) Heat oven to 190C/Gas 5 and lightly grease 12 hole muffin tin or use a silicone one.

2) Add sugar, flour and bicarbonate of soda to a bowl and mix together.

3) In a jug whisk together yoghurt, eggs and vanilla extract.

4) Add whisked ingredients with melted butter to dry ingredients and fold quickly using a metal spoon.

5) Divide two thirds of mixture between 12 muffin holes and carefully place a teaspoon of jam on top of each one. Then cover jam with remaining mixture.

6) Bake for 16-20 mins until golden and springy to touch. Leave muffins to cool then brush with some melted butter and roll the tops into more golden caster sugar for a great crunchy topping!

Enjoy, I certainly did! ;-)

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

US Highschool Does Katy Perry's Roar!

I love this video on it is so uplfting and I must admit after I had watched the Lakewood Highschool in Colorado I had a huge smile on my face!  Not only do I love Katy Perry's Roar right now but this fabulous video was filmed in one take while the whole school takes part. 

Why are American Highschools so cool?!  It makes the local comp seems a little boring, doesn't it? 

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Oh No! The Vacuum Cleaner Has Blown Up!

It's a sad day when you look forward to getting your hoover back! 

I thought this to myself the other day whilst crawling around on my hands and knees using a dustpan and brush to sweep up the kids food, cat litter and various other bits of debris which was currently taking over our dining room! 

Let me take you back a week - I had been using our hoover to vacuum our house on one of my 'cleaning' days and all of a sudden the engine slowed down making a terrible noise and smell.  I obviously stopped vacuuming at this point and reported this terrible (yeah right) occurrence to my husband.  My first thought was great what am I going to do now?  But then I thought, look on the bright side maybe I could have a new hoover (sad I know, but this is the stuff you appreciate when your 30 lol). Unfortunately being the very helpful clever husband he is, he took one look at the hoover and devised a new motor was needed which he ordered for around £30.  He ordered the new motor to save on  a couple of hundred quid which a new hoover would cost (there goes the new one) and I patiently waited for it to arrive.  

I must admit that although I do take pride in having a clean(ish) home it was quite nice not having to vacuum for a whole week - in fact it was bliss! This takes me back to the part where I was crawling around on my hands and knees wishing I had my hoover back!  Well it is all fixed now (thank you hubby) and I am back to adding the hoovering into my household chores (at least the carpets are clean now).

So is a clean house a happy house or  is a clean house a sign of a wasted life? After reading my post back to myself I find it hard to decide which camp to join - do I enjoy having a tidy house where I can see the walls and furniture I carefully chose or would I prefer to sit back amidst a tidal wave of paperwork, toys and dust bunnies and watch a bit of day time TV? What t-shirt are you wearing?

Monday, 7 October 2013

Girls Hairstyles - French Braid Into Pony Tail

For something a little different try this take on the staple ponytail.  This style is perfect for keeping a fringe/bangs off your face and also gives a great twist to your up do!

1) Make a side parting in hair and French braid/plait down one side incorporating any short sections of hair.

2) Once you have reached the back of the head tie off the braid to keep it from coming undone.

3) Comb the rest of the hair into a neat pony tail and using a second hair tie make the pony tail making sure you include the braided section.

4) Take a small piece of the tied ponytail around 1-1.5cm wide and wrap around the hair band to hide, pin the wrapped around hair in place using a bobby pin.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Motivational Workout Tips!

As you may already know I am a big fan of Jillian Michaels, I workout around four times a week and admittedly some weeks I find it hard to spur myself on but by thinking about my goals and what I want to achieve I carry on.

Get motivated with these great words of wisdom from my favourite trainer Jillian Michaels:

Stick With It

Sticking with a new exercise routine is not easy — and anyone who tries to tell you it's simple is full of it. As I've said before, I'm not one of those people who naturally love working out, so getting up and doing my workout every day is an act of will. If you're having trouble staying motivated, jump-start yourself with these tips and then wait for your endorphins to kick in and work their magic.
Take it easy. It takes 21 days to form a new habit. If you push too hard too early, you'll end up losing steam and wanting to quit. Instead, commit yourself to advancing at a steady pace.
Listen to music. Get yourself a music player and put together some cool tunes to inspire you while you work out. Sometimes music makes all the difference.
Enlist a partner in crime. Invite your spouse or a friend, family member, co-worker, or even one of your online fitness buddies to pair up and work out with you. Exercising together will give you both more incentive to do it.
Get real. Remember that sometimes life will get in the way of your workout. Don't give up just because you had to take time off. There's nothing stopping you from getting right back on track
Get some fun fitness DVDs. If working out on your own is getting a little old, pick up some fun DVDs. I have a few you can try including Killer Abs and Kickbox FastFix. My latest DVD, Yoga Inferno, focuses on vigorous yoga sequences that will transform your physique. The DVD workouts are actually very similar to those of my online program. The exercises are a little different, but the methodology is the same. And the bonus is that you get to hear me pushing you through an awesome workout!
Reward yourself. By now you probably know my philosophy on this. I'm big on rewards — both for long-term and for short-term goals — so come up with some appropriate (non-food) rewards and enjoy them each time you achieve a new goal. You rock, so you deserve it!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Rainbow Rice Krispie Cakes

Here is another weekend recipe I created for my family - it is really quick and easy to prepare and delicious too!


3tbsp Butter/Margarine
200g Marshamllows
250g Rice Crispies
150g Smarties


1) Place Butter/Margarine and Marshmallows in saucepan or microwave until melted.

2) Add Rice Crispies and Smarties and stir until coated.

3) Pour mixture into tin lined with baking paper and put in fridge until set.

4) Turn out set mixture and cut into squares with knife.  

Quick Tip: Eat Quickly, ideally within 24hrs for best results. Yum!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Me & My Mini Me By H&M

Check out these great coordinating prints for mummies and their little girls from H&M.  I love them, they are so cute and at such great prices a total bargain too! (Dress £14.99 & Cardigan £9.99)

There are more great finds for your Mini Me's online at H&M and here are some of my favourites:

Patterned Dress £5.99

Jacket £14.99

Wool Hat £5.99

Lined Boots £14.99

My Favourites for the Boys:

Cotton Shirt £9.99
Baseball Jacket £14.99
Boots £14.99