Saturday, 29 November 2014

Ellie's Frozen Wishlist....

Ellie my youngest like many other girls around the world loves the film Frozen....She's already written many lists to send to Santa and of course a lot of the things are Frozen related.....


are our top picks....She of course won't be getting everything mentioned as I haven't won the lottery just yet....lol


Elsa Frozen Deluxe Costume Dress For Kids - £60 - The Disney Store
Frozen Make Up Bag - £9.99 - Smyths Toys
Olaf Summer Tea Set - £14.99 - ToyzPlus
Frozen Stamper Set - £3 - The Entertainer
Anna and Elsa Fleece - £7 - Tesco 
Backpack and Umbrella Set - £19.99 - Argos


Art Kit Tin - £15.00 - The Disney Store
Olaf Dining Set - £6.00 - Asda
Olaf Snow Cone Maker - £19.99 - Smyths Toys 
 Disney Frozen Magical Lights Castle Playset - £44.99 - Toys R Us
Loom Kit and Storage Case - £6.00 - The Entertainer
Elsa Styling Head - £14.99 - Smyths Toys 


Frozen 250 piece puzzle - £8.99 - Argos 
Frozen Pyjamas - £9.00 - Asda 
Disney Frozen Keyboard - £26.99 - Smyths Toys
Frozen Ice Skating Anna Doll - £28.99 - Toys R Us
Elsa and Olaf Duvet Set - £18.00 - Tesco 
T-Shirt and Tutu Set - £24.00 - The Disney Store 


Do you have a Frozen Fan in your house?

Win 1 of 5 Spirograph Optical 3D Studio Sets - Giveaway!!

 Can you remember Spirograph? I had one in the 80's and loved it.....Well its back and better than ever!!


Get creative with Spirograph in 3D
 
Kids of all ages can draw cool, geometric creations in bright colour. The new 21st century Spirograph now comes with eye-popping 3D technology so kids can watch the drawings jump out from the page in an amazing display.....Sets are available from £4.99 to £24.99rrp.

With it's geometric and swirling patterns, Spirograph has helped kids big and small to create beautiful art, stunning designs and wonderful memories for generations....


Spirograph continues this tradition in 21st century style with all new sets. The Spirograph Optical 3D Studio Set also comes with cool 3D glasses that enable you to watch the different colours in your design pop out from the page in cool 3D. 

Which Includes:

 
12 Drawing Wheels and 4 Templates.
3D Effect Dual Colour Pen, 2 Florescent Markers, 3 Colour Pens and a Rainbow Pencil..
Optical 3D Glasses - includes 3 LR44 Batteries
Spirograph Design Book.
10 Drawing Papers and 1 Spirograph Sticker.
Sealable Storage Bag.
For ages 5 years and over



I am offering five winners the chance to win their very own Spirograph Optical 3D Studio Set worth £24.99!!

Use the Rafflecopter thingamabob below to enter.....
(Give it a few seconds to load as it can be a bit slow at busy times)


a Rafflecopter giveaway
  Rules.....We have to have them!!
  • The Giveaway runs from 12am - 29th of November until 12am on the 6th of December.....That is one week! Which gives enough time to hopefully receive it before Christmas...
  • The prize is 1 of 5 Spirograph Optical 3D Studio Sets....
  • Entrants must log in via Rafflecopter and answer the question in the widget this is the ONLY mandatory task....You can gain extra entries though by following me on social media, tweeting, etc...
  • There will be FIVE winners picked at random via Rafflecopter..... 
  • This giveaway is open to all UK residents only.... 
  • I will contact the winners within 24 hours of the competition ending....The winners must respond within 48 hours of the notification e-mail or a new winner will be redrawn.
  • The prize is as stated, no alternative or cash value will be offered.
  • It is the responsibility of the Company to despatch the prize directly to the winner I will however try to help with any issues you have!!
Good Luck!!

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky


Friday, 28 November 2014

A little bit of company....

This week has been so long.....It has really dragged....I think it's been because the kids and I are waiting for December to start......Advent calendars, Elf on the shelf, things going on at school and the build up to Christmas!

On the upside Stu has had the whole week off work! It's been lovely having the....


I don't mind the time alone when he is at work but it's nice to have him here.....We've shared the housework and cooking which has been lovely for me....He's done a few DIY jobs that needed doing and came along on the school run....It's been nice to have someone to chat to on the way there.....

Stu and the kids took over the kitchen the other night baking cakes.....Two hours they faffed about in the kitchen....lol They did have a great time though and the cakes were delicious!! They sure made the most of having him off work.....


We've taken stock of the Christmas presents......Every year I try to get my girls the same amount of presents.....This year I thought I was struggling to buy for Becky.....She's at that age...Too old for toys and to young for adult things but not I have over bought for her and her pile is twice the size of Ellie's....Today that is being sorted thanks to Smyths toys and their two toys for £15 offer....hehehe

It's been a lovely week! Tonight though the TV, Twitter, Facebook and blogs will be my company....Stu is off out for a few drinks with some friends.....He doesn't go out very often.....Last time he staggered in at about 3am and spent the night in the bathroom....He was in my bad books....I would never come in that late....hehehe

The Reading Residence

Thursday, 27 November 2014

We're getting a house guest.....

Last year was the first year I heard and read about the craze that is Elf on the shelf I wanted to join in with the fun but I had left it a bit too late....This year I'm ready!


 The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition is an activity the entire family will enjoy.....Based on the tradition Carol Aebersold began with her family in the 1970s, this cleverly rhymed children's book explains that Santa knows who is naughty and/or nice because he sends a scout elf to every home......During the holiday season, the elf watches children by day and reports to Santa each night. When children awake, the elf has returned from the North Pole and can be found hiding in a different location.....This activity allows The Elf on the Shelf to become a delightful hide-and-seek game. 

A few weeks ago I ordered the The Elf on the Shelf Girl Doll with the Book from the Book Depository....I can't wait to start this tradition with my girls....I know for a fact Ellie will especially love this.....She is really into the magic of Christmas.....Becky does not believe now! Last year she was 50/50 about Santa.....This year she knows :( Hopefully this will bring back some of that lost magic for her.....

I have been browsing online for inspiration and have came across some fantastic ideas....

 
Will you be having an elf visiting this year?

Me add three

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

I blame Gogglebox......

I'm pretty set in my ways when it comes to what I watch on TV....The soaps, XFactor, The Apprentice, Geordie Shore and documentaries which include medical shows like 24 hours in A&E and Miracle babies.....

I watch Gogglebox every Friday on CH4.....
Every week they seem to be showing clips of TV shows I wouldn't normally watch....Crime drama's and shows about animals....I seem to be seeing clips of these shows and getting hooked on them....

My girls and I have been watching David Attenborough's Life Story....It all started with the clip on Gogglebox of the baby Barnacle gosling making a giant leap from it's clifftop nest falling over 400ft in order to reach the ground below.... Amazing! I was cheering them on....


I also saw a clip of the BBC drama The Missing....I don't usually like crime drama's.....It took me a couple of weeks to get around to watching it and I watched 4 episodes in one afternoon.....

I watched it for the first time last night in real time along with everyone else! It was nice to know what people were talking about on Twitter and Facebook.....


 The Missing" follows Tony played by James Nesbitt as a man devastated by the abduction of his young son Oliver during a family holiday in France.....He becomes obsessed, unable to accept that his child may be dead and spends years searching for him......Tony's exhaustive search fractures his marriage to Emily, played by Frances O' Connor and threatens to destroy his life......Tcheky Karyo plays Julien, the French police detective who launched the initial search for the child. Even though he is retired in present day he too cannot shake the small belief that the child may still be alive....It is told simultaneously over multiple time frames and set in France and London....

I'm hooked.....I have my suspects but I am probably completely wrong.....

I was talking to someone about The Missing and they said I should watch Broadchurch which is similar.....I keep seeing adverts on TV for the new series of it so thought why not....I remember when it was on TV that people were talking about it so much on Twitter....



 Aided by local Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller, the newly arrived, out-of-town Detective Inspector Alec Hardy investigates the mysterious death of an 11-year-old boy on a beach at the foot of a cliff at the seaside community of Broadchurch. The investigation takes in the boy's parents and the residents of the town who come under the media spotlight - threatening to reveal secrets and betrayals. The seaside town of Broadchurch becomes the centre of a major police investigation and a national media frenzy.

As I'm typing this I've just started watching the 3rd episode.....Surely the father cannot be the killer? The shopkeeper, her off birds of a feather....I don't know....lol No I don't want to know! Nobody tell me..... I know nothing about it only what I've seen so far....I understand now why people raved about it.....I remember people being shocked when the killer was revealed but don't remember who it was....

*Please don't spoil it for me!!*

I did think it was all on catch up on Sky but no......There was only 2 episodes.....It's been shown on ITV Encore and I have to wait to watch it every week....Grr!

So I'm blaming/thanking Gogglebox for getting me interested in TV shows I wouldn't normally watch.....lol It has kept me busy and makes a change from watching Jeremy Kyle and This Morning....hehehe

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Christmas Jumpers - Review!!

I love Christmas and the last couple of weeks I've been busy starting to prepare things.....Buying presents and more decorations....Helping with the school PTA organising when and how Santa is going to visit and most recently looking at kids Christmas jumpers ....My girls have been lucky enough to be sent one each to review...

They were sent the Kids Reindeer Jumper each......


These are such cute jumpers.....Very festive!! They are available in 3 colours Navy, Cream and Red.....They are unisex although to me the cream one does look more for girls but that's just my opinion. 

These jumpers are available in sizes from age 3 to 12 years and the sizing is accurate....I ordered bigger for Ellie as she is between sizes at the moment....It is a little large but it may come in for next year too.

The jumpers are very well made and are a lot thicker then I was expecting....It is ridiculous but they are better quality than Becky's school jumpers! Not only are they cute to look at they will keep my girls warm too....

Prices do depend on the size you are buying but for Becky's the more expensive of the two it was only £12.97 which I think is a great price for something like this.....

Both Becky and Ellie were keen to get them on and show them off......


 We got these at exactly the right time....Not only is Christmas coming up but Christmas Jumper Day is coming too on the 12th of December!!


Save the Childrens Christmas Jumper Day is now in it's third year and so far have raised £1.6 million!! They're asking people to make the world better with a sweater by wearing a Christmas jumper for the day and donating to Save the Children....A suggested donation is £2 for adults and £1 for children....

My girls school is taking part and for £1 they can wear their Christmas jumpers to school.....Ellie is going to have such an exciting day because Santa will be visiting that day too!!

http://myfamilyfever.co.uk/2014/01/tried-and-tested-tuesday-3/http://meaddthree.blogspot.co.uk

 We were sent these jumpers free of charge....This is my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are of course our own...

Monday, 24 November 2014

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday

http://www.athomewithmrsm.com/meal-planning-monday

Last weeks meal plan went OK until the weekend.....On Friday I didn't have my birthday takeaway as planned.....I was too full from having lunch out....So we ended up having the takeaway on Saturday and on Sunday we had the pulled pork sandwiches...The roast chicken dinner has been bumped to this week.....
This week on the menu we have:
Monday - Pork Stir fry and noodles....
Tuesday - Roast chicken dinner...
Wednesday - Cheesy chicken and tomato bake
.... 
Thursday - Sausage and bean rolls with chips....
Friday - Pizza....
Saturday - Burgers in buns with corn on the cob.... 
Sunday - Corned beef pie and mash....

 
 As always I've joined in with the wonderful Mrs M's #mealplanningmonday linky....

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Best Birthday Ever!


Yesterday was my Birthday.....I had such a brilliant day!

The last few years have been great birthdays but this one has been the best! The last 3 years I haven't had presents.....Well I have but nothing I could open on the day.....3 years ago and last year it was tickets to see Bon Jovi and last year we were paying off some debts so I got flowers and a bottle of wine....

This year I was spoilt rotten.....The kids were so excited to give my my presents and I had present galore! Lots of cards, bath stuff, sweets, clothes, the warmest pj's, wine, socks, knickers (I needed them...lol) candles and lots more....Oh and the Zoella stuff! My fella did get the hint! Bless him....

I met up with friends for coffee and they bought me a cake...So sweet of them! I had a candle on it and everything! Thank you!


As planned my fella and I went out for lunch! I wanted a Christmas lunch at JD Weatherspoons but they haven't started doing them yet....We had a look at their menu! It's been a while since we went in there and it's changed! They used to do proper pub food....Now it all seems to be burgers (at least 12 of them), ribs, Steak and Curries! Ugh!

We ended up going to a local restaurant called Amaretto's....We've been before and loved it. The didn't fail to impress this time! I had a Prawn cocktail and Hawaiian pizza! Delicious! Stu took advantage of the lunchtime £3.95 special and got potato skins & dips, a chicken pasta dish and a coffee for the great price of £3.95!



When we got home I had the best soak in the bath.....I was in for an hour and a half.....lol Officially the best bath ever! hehehe. I then did what I had been dying to do all day....I put my new pj's on! They are the snuggliest, cutest things! I lasted a couple of hours until I had to take the top off.....I was sweating! lol I can see this set getting a lot of use over the winter months.....

Tonight I will get my Indian takeaway.....Last night after the huge lunch I just didn't fancy it.....Tonight is the night....heheheh

I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who made my birthday so great! I felt so special with all the birthday wishes on Twitter and Facebook! Thank you! xxx

Friday, 21 November 2014

Happy Birthday to Me!

I have known for ages what this weeks Word of the Week is going to be.....


The week started on Sunday with my blogs 2nd birthday.... Thank you for all your kind messages....It really doesn't seem like I've been blogging for two years! Time really does fly when you're having fun!

And today it's my birthday!! Hooray!! 

Stu and the girls have spent the week preparing.....There has been sneaky shopping trips and deliveries which I haven't been allowed to open.....There was one from Superdrug so I'm hoping all my hinting has worked and my fella has got me some of the Zoella Range.....Wednesday night I got banned from going upstairs as they were wrapping my presents.....I really am so lucky!! 

I'm writing this Thursday evening so I haven't a clue what they have planned for me....I hate not knowing! lol

It would make more sense for me to write this post today after I've opened my presents but I know I won't have time.....I will be having coffee with friends like I do every Friday morning and then Stu and I are going out for a meal for lunch....Then it will be time to get the girls from school and I am having an Indians for tea....Usually when we get a takeaway we never get Indians because my fella and the kids always prefer Pizza or Chinese....It's my birthday so it's my choice.....hehehe

35 today and I am betting when I go into Asda to get a bottle of something I will still get asked for I.D....hehehe

The Reading Residence

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Tips for Christmas Shopping Online...

Many retailers offer you bigger and better deals when you shop online rather than in their stores.....Including free delivery, exclusive products and money off......You can browse a wider variety of products and search for suggestions instead of pacing the aisles.....


Online Auction Sites

Using an online auction site like eBay is a great way to find that one-of-a-kind gift at a low price....You bid what you are willing to spend and enjoy the excitement of winning an auction and getting the best deal possible....You can find items from all over the world to bid on and purchase items that you wouldn't find locally. Just make sure to order early if the item is coming from abroad....You can also become sellers to earn some extra cash for Christmas....

One-Stop Shop

If you create a shopping list chances are you will find almost everything you need at a one-stop shop site like Amazon....You can browse and purchase a wide variety of items from electronics to books, music, home products, toys, clothing, beauty products all in one place....You can take advantage of the online deals and even free delivery....

Know Your Shipping Deadlines.

There's nothing worse than realizing you've missed the deadline to ship Christmas gifts. Try to get those gifts ordered by December 10th to avoid paying extra charges...

Choose Gifts with No Delivery Charge

A thoughtful and personal gift that you won't need to deliver is a subscription or membership. Some examples are Netflix for the movie lover, newspapers and magazines for the reader and an iTunes account with credit for the music buff. There are even sites like Match.com that offer gift memberships for finding love or cleaning services are great for grandparents....


Sign Up for Newsletters

If you are a loyal customer of certain online retailers be sure to sign up for their newsletters....By adding yourself to the mailing list you will be alerted to take advantage of early deals and online discounts....


Use Discount Codes
 

Christmas can be about saving as well as giving. Discount codes are a great way to save money on your online purchases, get free shipping or free samples....Just enter the appropriate code during the checkout process. You can find a retailer's current codes by searching "voucher/discount codes" plus the name of the retailer. Some online shops may even allow you to enter more than one code for extra savings....

Stay Safe

Online shoppers can be at risk for identity theft, unless they know how to shop online safely. Follow these tips to protect your identity when shopping:

  • Never give out personal information in a pop-up window, which may not be related to the website you are visiting.
  • Don't make online credit card charges unless they are handled through a secure site or in an encrypted mode. You'll know it's secure if the page you are on has a URL beginning with https instead of http.
  • Always read the privacy policy of the website you are purchasing from to make sure your information stays private and won't be sold to third parties.
  • Make sure your computer's security software is up-to-date before shopping online.

Check out the company you are buying from.

Make sure the company has a geographical address, as well as one in cyberspace and a land line telephone number, and keep a record of these details – especially if the firm is based abroad. Do not assume that an internet company is based in Britain just because its web address has "UK" in it....


Keep a Paper Trail

When you purchase products online, be sure to print out records of your transactions....Save information such as the product description, price, online receipt, and copies of email exchanges....Be sure to read and understand the return policies of the retailer too....


Happy Shopping!!

Me add three

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

A floor of clothes..... #wickedwednesdays

This appeared on my Timehop from 3 years ago....I laughed out loud....It was one of those photos I'd forgotten about....

Every night we would put Ellie to bed and she wouldn't sleep....She would play.....Some things never change....She still hates to go to bed to sleep....

This time she was playing farms...
ALL her clothes was the grass...
One of those too funny to shout moments...


http://www.brummymummyof2.co.uk/p/wicked-wednesday.html

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Iceland I'm a Celebrity Bushtucker Trial Game - Review!!

You may remember me posting my Silent Sunday photo a couple of weeks ago it was the Iceland I'm a Celebrity Bushtucker Trial Game.....

I decided to buy it....It was only £5 and I knew it was going to give us a fun time so on Saturday night before X-Factor we decided to give it a go! The girls have been so excited about it....The crazy things!!

It is just snakes and ladders.....If you go up a ladder you get a treat.....Either a chocolate brownie or a marshmallow...... When you go down a snake you have to take a Forfeit.....

Witchetty Grubs - Which are actually cooked pasta, dumplings and Spinach....
Wriggly worms - Which are actually textured White Fish coloured with Squid ink......
Snot balls - Which are actually Profiteroles with a sour green filling....
The jungle nasty dips....Which include Ant agonise - A cola and citrus flavoured sauce, Monkey vomit - Carrot and parsley sauce and Toad spawn - Made out of dried green peppers..... 

You just defrost everything....No cooking involved.
We picked our counters and we started playing.....We all got treats....Hooray!
 
 
It was all fun until we started to all hit the snakes.....Becky was the first person to have to take a forfeit! Ellie and I decided she was going to eat some wriggly worms....They were by far the worst smelling....They smelt like old fish! Becky was a trooper and wolfed them down....The didn't actually taste too bad....


I was next and the kids decided I was to eat a Witchetty Grub.....Oh my word! They were rank! I think they have got the consistency exactly right of these....They are so chewy and take forever to eat....This was exactly what I imagined a Witchetty grub to taste like...Yes I nearly puked!! lol 

Ellie got through the whole game without a Forfeit.....Lucky so and so.....Becky and I ate more nasties....The snot balls were not too bad....They just tasted like pastry with sweets in....Ellie did actually end up eating the Ant agonise after we had finished the game....She dipped crisps in.....lol

Becky's last forfeit was to eat a Witchetty Grub! She didn't finish it and spat it down the toilet...hehehe You can see her attempting it on the video with Stu who was happy enough to give his advice but not brave enough to play along with us...


We had a lot of fun with this game.....The forfeits are nasty but imagine eating real live creatures and other nasties from the real jungle.....This is all a bit of fun....It's not something I would buy again but it's one of those things you need to try just to say you have....hehehe

These games are still available in Iceland for £5.
Family Fever

Monday, 17 November 2014

Two years blogging!!


 It is two years yesterday since I posted my first blog post and I'm proud to say since then I have posted every day since....I don't want to blow my own trumpet but I think that's a pretty big achievement!! I'm not going to win any awards with my blog but this is my space on the interweb and a love it....

Some of my most popular posts over this last year have been:

I'm the worst mother in the world....All about how Becky hated me for not letting her have a Facebook account....

My experience of The Contraceptive Implant and getting it replaced....I'm guessing people found it informative as people still keep looking at it all the time...

My Silent Sunday photo which I'm really thinking about getting put onto a canvas....I'm rubbish at taking photos but I think this one was a good one....

Ellie's make up antics have got people laughing....

Our wonderful day at The Alnwick Garden....Where I could of easily posted hundreds of photos...

I could of listed about 20 posts which I really love but thought I would stick with 5.....lol

I've worked with some great brands and had the opportunity to try out some wonderful products....My favourite being The Lottie Dolls, Science 4 You sets and gamesBee Good products and the Poo-Pourri which really did work!! Thank you to everyone who sends myself and my girls things to review.....We have such a fantastic time with everything and appreciate it so much.

I've enjoyed taking part in linkies....I have been keeping up with Meal Planning Monday.....Tried and Tested is great for sharing my reviews of products......Wicked Wednesdays always has me chuckling...Even thought I don't link up every week I do go and read and look at the hilarious photos....Word of the Week has been a great way to sum up what's happened during the week and of course on a Friday there is #SoFoLo & PoCoLo over on Verily Victoria Vocalises and of course this post will be linked up to Magic Moments over on The Oliver's Madhouse

Over this last year I have learned:

How to put a header on my blog......I thought it was something you needed a professional to do....It may have took me several hours and a lot of swearing but I did it eventually....


Pic Monkey is amazing.....I only used to use it to make photo collages but it helped with making my banners and is fantastic for adding text to images!  

Scheduling posts takes some of the pressure off.....

Bloggers are amazing people......Well I knew that but when you're in trouble they really help....When I had my Twitter troubles a little while ago people re-tweeted and shared my new account.....Thank you! The blog groups on Facebook are a fantastic help too and I never get laughed at for asking stupid questions....

There are lots of lovely PR people and brands who are a absolute pleasure to work and are so generous.....For example recently instead of sending one product out for my girls to try and share they sent hem one each of the product.....Something they didn't have to do but did....Lovely!! Thank you!

I am slowly learning how to edit videos on YouTube.....I put some music on a video a while ago and thought it was the best thing ever....I will never be a vlogger but I am getting quite addicted to videoing the kids trying out things we get sent to review....

As much as I'd like to I can't link up to every linky going....

Running competitions are not that scary.....I have been so nervous about running them wondering will people enter? Will the Rafflecopter work and I have always turned them down....A couple of weeks ago I took the plunge and started a giveaway to win The Princess Twins of Legendale on DVD....There is still a few days left to enter.....So far it has gone well....Phew!


If you are going to put tags on your blog posts do it when you first start blogging....Not when you have been blogging over a year and a half.....That is about 4 hours of my life I will never get back.....lol

There just isn't enough hours in the day to do every thing I want to on my blog, commenting on other blogs and chatting on Twitter.

The girls think whenever a parcel arrives it's something for them to review.....Very tricky this time of year when I'm ordering Christmas presents....

Whenever something out of the ordinary happens I have to take photos and think could this be a blog post....hehehe

I still love blogging......There are probably another hundred things I have learned over the last year but I just can't think of them right now! Doh!

I have met some lovely, amazing, inspirational people through blogging and I have had some amazing opportunities and chances to review some wonderful things!! Thank you so much for reading, commenting, sharing and supporting me over the last two years.....It means so much!! Here's to many more years.....

http://theoliversmadhouse.co.uk/magic-moments/