Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Christmas Leftover Rocky Road Recipe!!

This is a great recipe for using up all those Christmas leftovers including broken biscuits, Christmas pudding, Christmas cake and the selection box chocolates nobody wants!!
 
 Ingredients:

• 250g leftover Christmas pudding or Christmas cake
• 250g milk chocolate
• 225g digestive biscuits
• 100g glacĂ© cherries
• 100g butter
• 150g mini marshmallows
• 4 tbsp golden syrup
• Icing sugar

Method:

1. Line an 18 X 28cms baking tin with greaseproof paper.

2. First crumble or chop the Christmas pudding or Christmas cake into small pieces and place in a large mixing bowl.

3. Next, break the digestive biscuits into 1cm pieces making sure not to crush them completely and place in the mixing bowl.

4. Chop the glacé cherries into quarters and add to the cake and biscuit mixture along with the mini marshmallows.

5. Place the chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a large heatproof bowl and melt slowly over a pan of boiling water ensuring the bowl doesn’t touch the water.

6. Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the cake mixture and stir thoroughly until everything is coated in chocolate.

7. Next, pour into the baking tin and leave to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours or until completely solid.

8. Finally, dust the rocky road with icing sugar for a festive touch, cut into squares and enjoy!

YUM!!

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

The New Year tag!

Thank you Louise for Little Hearts, Big Love for tagging me in the New Year Tag!...I do love these sort of things...


What was your highlight of 2014?

The whole summer holidays were brilliant but the fantastic day we had out at Alnwick Garden was amazing....Proper family time and the sun shone all day.....Oh and going to see One Direction with Becky....As much as I can't stand the boys I do sort of like their music and it was lovely to spend some time alone with Becky.....


What are you excited for in 2015?

Getting a new laptop....This one is just about dead....It's had 4 new motherboards, a new keyboard, it overheats and now the screen keeps flickering.....I've had it about 7 years so it's served me well! January I will start saving for a new one....Oh and spending some more time with Becky when we go and see One Direction again....lol

Any new year resolutions?

Try and be more confident in real life and online.....

Blogging high?


In December two years ago I entered the Tots 100 rankings at 1295....This month I actually made it into the top 100 at 98!! It took two years but I made it.....Hooray!! I've worked with some great brands, ran my first giveaway and celebrating two years blogging! What a year!

Picture of the year?

So many to choose from but I have chosen this one....My three favourite people on the best day out of the year....


 I tag you all to take part....

Monday, 29 December 2014

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday


Last weeks meal plan went great....We ate turkey and leftovers and lots of picky, party food.....Apart from Saturday...We were supposed to have stir fry but neither Stu or I could be bothered to cook so we got takeaway.....hehehe

Monday - Chicken stir fry....
Tuesday - Sausage, mash & beans....
Wednesday (New Years Eve) - A party tea!
Thursday (New Years Day) - Gammon, chips, fried egg & pineapple.....
Friday - Chinese takeaway....
Saturday - Homemade pizza....
Sunday - Pie & mash....

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

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Christmas 2014! #MySundayPhoto

I have found it impossible to pick just one photo for this week....I am cheating and are sharing several! You have been warned....hehehe

We had a lovely Christmas day....The kids actually slept until gone half eight.....Hooray! All down to the fact that Ellie wouldn't go to sleep on Christmas eve.....It was well after 11 when she finally went to did.....

Our Christmas was so relaxed....We stayed in our PJ's and didn't get the big table out....It took some of the stress out of the day which is always welcome....We played games, watched tv and of course Frozen again....hehehe

The girls were spoiled and got everything they wanted and more....


I hope you all had a lovely day too....

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Goodbye Elizabeth the Elf...

Elizabeth our Elf On The Shelf has gone back to the North Pole to be with Santa....I was really sad to see her leave....The girls were too....They were convinced that she may have stayed for Christmas morning too....It was not to be :(

The kids have really been aware of her and I would say they have been on their best behavior....Well apart from the day when Elizabeth hid upstairs and Ellie was having a bit of a paddy and said she can't see me it doesn't matter if I'm naughty.....I said she can hear you though....She soon calmed herself down....hehehe

This last week I have really struggled to come up with anything adventurous....It seems like Elizabeth has had a bit of hide and seek going on....Saturday morning she was a bit camouflaged....hehehe and Sunday she may have ate the rest of the Quality street which was left....Naughty Elf!

 

Monday Elizabeth was hidden away on the snow on the cupboard door and on Tuesday she found her way upstairs and hung on the pull up bar outside our bedroom door.....The girls took ages to find her....I told them he was checking if their rooms were tidy.....hehehe The soon tidied them.

On Wednesday she left a subtle hint from Santa.....hehehe


On Christmas eve she went.....So sad! I would often catch Ellie whispering things to her...So sweet....Becky even got caught up in the magic forgetting she doesn't believe in things like this anymore.....

I'm sure Elizabeth will be back next year.....

Friday, 26 December 2014

Christmas - A time for Family....

The last Word of the Week of the year....It would be rude not to take part! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas day....

My word of the week is....

Family is very important to me....
This week for me has been all about family....

My dad, his partner (who I class as family) my great Aunt and a surprise guest came to visit....The surprise guest was my dad's cousin who was a great part of my life when I was younger....I hadn't seen her in about 12 years....It was the first time she met the kids and they loved her....

It was some lovely family time....Lots of laughs, chatter and seeing my dad is always a treat....My dad lives in Scunthorpe so I don't see him very often.....We speak on the phone but it isn't the same as seeing him....

Stu, the girls and my self has had some lovely family time this week despite the long hours he has been working.....I've spent less time online....Spent plenty of time with the kids and it has been the best....

We had a lovely family Christmas.....Just the 4 of us....We stayed in our PJ's....played games....with toys....watched tv and ate far too much....It was perfect!

The Reading Residence

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas!




I'm wishing you a Merry Christmas
 Full of laughter, love and light,
 With delicious yummy foods
 To excite your appetite.

I'm hoping you receive
 Delightful gifts to make you smile,
 With family and friends
To love you all the while.

I wish you a Merry Christmas;
 May all your Christmas dreams come true,
 And when Christmas is over,
 Happy New Year, too!
 

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

A Parent's Night Before Christmas!

 

Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house
I searched for the tools to hand to my spouse.
Instructions were studied and we were inspired,
In hopes we could manage "Some Assembly Required.


The children were quiet (not asleep) in their beds,
While Dad and I faced the evening with dread.
A kitchen, two bikes, Barbie's town house to boot!
And, thanks to Grandpa, a train with a toot!

We opened the boxes, my heart skipped a beat.
Let no parts be missing or parts incomplete!
Too late for last-minute returns or replacement;
If we can't get it right, it goes in the basement!

When what to my worrying eyes should appear,
But 50 sheets of directions, concise, but not clear,
With each part numbered and every slot named,
So if we failed, only we could be blamed.

More rapid than eagles the parts then fell out,
All over the carpet they were scattered about.
"Now bolt it! Now twist it! Attach it right there!
Slide on the seats, and staple the stair!
Hammer the shelves, and nail to the stand.
"Honey," said hubby, "you just glued my hand.

And then in a twinkling, I knew for a fact
That all the toy dealers had indeed made a pact
To keep parents busy all Christmas Eve night
With "assembly required" till morning's first light.

We spoke not a word, but kept bent at our work,
Till our eyes, they went bleary; our fingers all hurt.
The coffee went cold and the night, it wore thin
Before we attached the last rod and last pin.

Then laying the tools away in the chest,
We fell into bed for a well-deserved rest.
But I said to my husband just before I passed out,
"This will be the best Christmas, without any doubt.

Tomorrow we'll cheer, let the holiday ring,
And not have to run to the store for a thing!
We did it! We did it! The toys are all set
For the perfect, most perfect, Christmas, I bet!"

Then off to dreamland and sweet repose I gratefully went,
Though I suppose there's something to say for those self-deluded...
I'd forgotten that batteries are never included!

Merry Christmas Eve...

 
Christmas Eve is such a magical day....Well it will be after I have been to Asda and had a bit of trolley rage....hehehe Yesterday I was sat here thinking about the shopping trip and I could feel my anger levels rising....I don't know what it is about my local Asda is but I hate it....I blame the fact it's huge and above a car park and if you stand still you can feel it shaking.....You can! lol

 In an ideal world I would have liked to have gone yesterday but we couldn't fit it in around Stu working....I didn't fancy going too early in the morning or too late at night....I have my lists written and I must find a new outfit for myself....Ugh! I hate shopping.....

After we've been shopping I will go and hand the last of the presents out to friends and make a start preparing the veg & cook the turkey while the girls will watch some Christmas films....

The Grinch is on at 2.45pm & Muppets Christmas Carol at 4.50pm both on Channel 4...Then at 6.25pm Toy Story 3 is on BBC1!! I love that film...Yes I will probably cry at the end.

For tea we will have a Prawn Cocktail with lovely fresh brown bread buns....My girls love prawns and we don't have it very often....It's a tradition we have....

The girls of course will have a bath....You have to be clean for Santa....hehehe and get their new PJ's on....We all have to have new PJ's it's the law....

Hot chocolate will be drunk and Christmas stories read then the kids will go upstairs to bed and be asleep by about 9pm.....In reality Ellie will still probably be awake at about 11pm being nosy and stopping us from wrapping the last of the presents....lol She's done it every year....I have most of the presents wrapped there is just a few which were late deliveries and no doubt I will buy something extra in Asda for them.....

When Ellie eventually does go to sleep the presents will be put out downstairs.....One girls presents on the sofa and the others on the Fireplace.....It changes every year depending on who has the bulkiest presents....

One last thing that has nothing to do with Christmas eve but I found out yesterday.... I'm going to brag a little....I made it into the actual top hundred on the Tots 100!! I took a screen cap in case they re-jiggle the chart but I was there!! What an honor! Definitely a Christmas surprise that money can't buy....

I understand sort of how the rankings are worked out but I still for the life of me can't understand how I am up there with the best blogs.....Wow! I'm still in shock! At least in January when I drop back out of the 100 I can always say I've been there once....hehehe Thank you!

Have a wonderful day and a Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Stay Safe This Christmas!


 Hospitals reported 4 broken arms last year after cracker pulling accidents.

Three people die each year testing if a 9v battery works on their tongue.

Five people were injured last year in accidents involving out of control Scalextric cars.

Eight people cracked their skull in 1997 after falling asleep while throwing up into the toilet.

Eighteen people had serious burns in 1998 trying on a new jumper with a lit cigarette in their mouth.

Nineteen people have died in the last 3 years believing that Christmas decorations were chocolate.

Thirty one people have died since 1996 by watering their Christmas tree while the fairy lights were plugged in.

Fifty eight people are injured each year by using sharp knives instead of screwdrivers. 

One hundred and one people since 1997 have had to have broken parts of plastic toys pulled out of the soles of their feet.

Five hundred and forty three people were admitted to A&E in the last two years after opening bottles of beer with their teeth.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! Christmas!! - #mealplanningmonday


It's Christmas week! Probably my favorite week of the year....I will still be meal planning (sort of) but a lot of our meals will be picky, buffet type meals....

This week on the menu we have: 
 
Monday - My dad, his partner and my great Aunty Jean are visiting so by the time they leave I won't feel like cooking so we'll probably get a takeaway of some sort...
 
Tuesday - Corned beef pie, chips and beans....
 
Christmas Eve - A huge Prawn cocktail with lovely soft brown bread rolls....
 
Christmas Day.
Breakfast - Croissants & Pain au Chocolat....I'm the mean mam who makes the kids eat breakfast before they start opening their presents
Dinner - Turkey, pork, mashed potato, roast potatoes, mashed swede, roast parsnips, pigs in blankets, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, sprouts, peas and 3 different stuffing's....
Tea - Leftovers and Christmas pudding....

 Boxing Day - I'll be having leftovers (I love Christmas dinner...lol)....The kids will probably be munching on picky food like sausage rolls, mini pizza's and sweets....
 
Saturday - A stir fry of some sort.... 
 
Sunday - Something with chips....
 
 As always I've joined in with the wonderful Mrs M's #mealplanningmonday linky....

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Elizabeth the lovely elf!! #ElfOnTheShelf

Elizabeth our Elf on the Shelf has been somewhat better behaved this week.....

Last week she was a bit of a terror! This week she has been a pleasure to have.....

Saturday Elizabeth was found reading a book and on Sunday she had been for a ride on Pinky-pie and ended up under the Christmas tree.....


On Monday she had climbed up into one of the lamps.....It's ok we made sure not to switch the lamp on...hehehe

Tuesday she was found hanging by tinsel off the curtains.....The girls actually walked past her about 3 times before they found her.....lol

Wednesday she was in the bathtub with some treats for Becky and Ellie....We do love Crazy soap products here.....


On Thursday I think Elizabeth was a bit peckish....She ended up in the tub with the eggs....

Friday she was found with a couple of craft sets.....What a kind elf she is.....


Who knows what she'll have in store for us next week.....I will be sad to see her leave....

Friday, 19 December 2014

Christmas!!! #WotW

This week my Word of the Week has to be.....


I've held off using Christmas as my word for weeks....lol but this week has been full on Christmas preparation and events.....

Monday Becky had her Christmas disco and had a brilliant time.....It was her first after school disco and she said she felt so grown up....She looked it too! Ellie's Christmas party was on Thursday and she came out of school high as a kite....I think far too much sugar was consumed....hehehe

Wednesday Stu and I went along to the carol service to see the whole of Ellie's school sing....They were fantastic! I do love Christmas carols.....

Yesterday I ended up going shopping with a friend....We ended up in M&S and I got the stuffing for the Christmas dinner! I love their stuffing.....So fancy...hehehe I also picked up some extra presents for the girls in some of the other shops....I know I had said I had finished but I can't help myself! The bargain of the day was the Frozen Pj's for Ellie. They were only £3.99!!

We had a look around Currys and I have seen the most gorgeous tv....A Smart 3D 4k Ultra HD 55 inch Curved TV.....I had seen them on shows like the gadget show and though meh! They can't be any better then normal tv's but they are amazing! Now if Santa could leave one of those under my tree it would be fantastic as I don't think I could stretch to the two thousand and odd pound it costs....lol

Most of the wrapping has been done....Anything that isn't wrapped will be getting wrapped on Christmas eve when the girls are in bed.... 

All week I have been tweaking my Tesco food order which is coming tomorrow which I am very excited about.....

My dad, his girlfriend and my great Aunt are coming visiting on Monday.....I didn't expect to see them until after Christmas and at half past one today the girls finish school.....

Maybe my Word of the week should have been excited....hehehe

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!!

The Reading Residence

Thursday, 18 December 2014

My girl is growing up....

Becky is 12 and has been at secondary school since September....It's only the last month or so I've noticed a change in her.....She isn't my little girl anymore....She's growing up fast....I may not like it but she does make me proud....

 
Gone are the days of her wanting to watch The Disney Channel so much....She want's to watch Gogglebox, The Simpsons, Friends and she loves YouTubers like Zoella, Miranda Sings and Sprinkle of Glitter....

But it's not all bad....It means we can watch more TV shows together....Every Sunday afternoon we watch Gogglebox and we both find it hilarious! She loves Scarlett and Sandy & Sandra....hehehe

Playing on the the laptop has taken over playing with toys....It's all about Minecraft now! She is apparently too old now to play schools or doctors with her sister but I do catch her playing with Ellie's Lego now and again....hehehe

They eye rolling, glaring at me and tutting is out of control.... Heaven forbid I ask her for help to do something like get her school uniform ready.....If looks could kill! I could understand if I had asked her to clean the whole house but no I am only asking her to do things she can and should be doing for herself....I keep telling myself it's just a phase....

Becky is turning into quite the cook.....Every other week she comes home with something she has made at school and at home she can make basic meals like scrambled egg, beans on toast and most things which need microwaving....

 
There has been talk of boys and Becky has her first boyfriend. He's in the same year as her at school and they've not kissed yet (I should think not)....There will be no hanky panky until she is at least 21....hehehe 

He brought Christmas cards in to school and gave everyone in the class one (Becky included) then the next day brought a special one in that he had made for Becky.....As much as I hate to say it....It is so sweet!! Oh and he is a You Tube vlogger....lol He looks ok....Only worry I have about him is he's obsessed with Minecraft....hehehe

Becky is such a good judge of character.....She knows when someone is a wrong 'un and is starting to be more picky about who she has in her life and is friends with....

On Monday Becky was at her first proper after school disco....

She had a fantastic time....Her boyfriend said to her she looked beautiful in her party clothes, bought her a drink and gave her, her Christmas present.....A One Direction keyring! So cute!! The dirty stop out didn't get home until after 7pm....hehehe

I dread to think of it but it won't be long until she is getting ready for proper nights out and not just school disco....

I'm so proud of my girl and the young lady she is turning into!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

What a face! #wickedwednesdays

Ellie has been full of cold and around her lips were getting sore so I covered the sore bits in cream to stop her licking them....She was less than impressed!


brummymummyof2

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

I'm dreaming of a Christmas Hamper.....

I love hampers at Christmas....I like to torture my self by browsing websites looking at really fancy, expensive one's which are way out of my price range.....Dreaming one day I would be able to afford one of my own!!

These are on my wishlist! A girl can dream....

The Windsor Hamper
Fortnum & Mason - £1,000

 Lift the lid of this luxurious hamper to find a fabulously extravagant feast which will last the entire festive season. Begin the celebrations with a magnum of vintage Champagne, our traditionally fruity King George Christmas Pudding and an indulgent frosted Christmas cake. Savoury pleasures include a triple-smoked ham and wild salmon, plus jars of Damson & Claret Preserve, Orange & Champagne Marmalade and the all-important Christmas Piccadilly Piccalilli. Add wine, whisky, tea and coffee and the result is a banquet fit for a king.

 The Decadence Hamper
Harrods - £20,000 (WOW)


A hand-picked selection of the highest quality produce from Harrods Food Halls and Wine Rooms, presented in two leather trunks. Some of the finest wines from the world’s top names are accompanied by an unparalleled culinary line-up. Luxury Harrods table decorations and Christmas crackers are included for a festive finish.

 King's Family Hamper
Baskets Galore - £504.99

 
A sumptiously fresh Christmas hamper filled with a fabulous selection of exquisitely fresh, gourmet food fit for Royalty. Incorporating a succulent baked ham, a half side of gold taste winning Irish organic smoked salmon, venison and dry cured lamb, farm made cheeses, champagne, a selection of wines, and a plethora of great taste award winning sweet and savoury seasonal delicacies with highlights including the freshly baked sweet mince pies, rich fruit pudding, and award winning speciality chocolate truffles.

 Ultimate Christmas Hamper
Marks and Spencer - £999.99
 


A truly indulgent gift that will delight any recipient. It contains a specially selected range of fine wines, champagne, spirits, fine chocolates, rich cakes, sweet and savouries delights. A wonderful gift presented in three stylish wicker storage trunks. 

The Ultimate Christmas Hamper
Liz Earle - £199.50

 This unforgettably gorgeous gift is brimming with layer upon layer of lovingly wrapped botanical treats, from sumptuous skincare to radiance-boosting treatments and beautifying hair and bodycare. A wonderful surprise for a truly lucky loved one.

Do you like a good hamper at Christmas?

Me add three

Monday, 15 December 2014

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday


Monday again! These weeks are flying over.....This time next week I'll be writing the Christmas meal plan! Exciting! I already have a turkey crown, joint of pork and 36 pigs in blankets in the freezer....hehehe 

Most of this week it's just the kids and me eating....Stu is working till 9pm most nights....The joys of working in a shop at this time of year and on Monday it will be just Ellie and I as Becky is at a disco after school.....She is popping home for something to eat but it will have to be something quick as she's wanting her hair and make up done....Essh! Where did my little girl go?

This week on the menu we have: 
 
Monday - Whatever Ellie fancies....Probably a toastie, scrambled eggs on toast or a pot noodle....hehehe
Tuesday - Chicken and ham pie with mash & veg....
Wednesday - Soup and crusty bread (again. lol)....
Thursday - 
Burgers in buns....
Friday - Fish & chips....
Saturday - Pizza.... 
Sunday - Sausage, bacon, hash browns, mushrooms, tomatoes, beans, scrambled eggs & toast....
 
 As always I've joined in with the wonderful Mrs M's #mealplanningmonday linky....

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Nibnibs Review & Giveaway!

I'm quite a cheese lover now. I didn't used to be. As a teenager whenever I ate any cheese I had terrible migraines. It was only a couple of years ago I discovered I could eat cheese again! Hooray! I love finding new cheesy treats to try and over the last few months I have read reviews for Nibnibs the premium baked British nibbles for the most discerning connoisseur and I have been interested about them....When I had the chance to review some I jumped at the chance.....

 
At the Craft Bakery in Ripon, North Yorkshire exceptionally delicious snacks are created using oodles of quality British ingredients...

Using only the finest quality ingredients in a 175g pack these are currently available in four delicious flavours: 

Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper....
West Country Cheddar....
West Country Cheddar and Cheeky Onion....
West Country Cheddar & Spicy Chilli....

The new Mininibs are currently available in an ideal carry size can of 65g in and their flavours are:
 
 Exceptional Chedder Cheese....
Chedder & Spicy Chilli....
 Cheddar & Cheeky Onion Straws....


Packed in handy re-sealable tubs they are handy to have on the go....I know they would be fantastic in the summer for picnics but at this time of year I think they will be great to have in to nibble on....It's a fact everyone always likes to munch and snack over Christmas but to be honest I don't think they are going to see tonight out....I had planned to have a little taste now for the purpose of this review then save them to have during the X-Factor final but I can't stop going back for more.....

They really are tasty! My favourite by far is the Chedder & Spicy Chilli snacks closely followed Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper Jumbo peanuts.....

I am giving you the chance to win a selection of Nibnibs....

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


a Rafflecopter giveaway
  • The Giveaway starts now on the 13th of December and ends at midnight on the 5th of January 
  • There will be ONE winner..... 
  • The prize is a selection of Nibnibs.... 
  • This giveaway is open to all UK & RoI residents only.... 
  • Any non delivery is unfortunately not my responsibility as I am only hosting the giveaway, not picking the winner or sending the prize out.....I will however try to help with any issues you have!!
Do comment below to let me know you have entered!

GOOD LUCK!
Family Fever
I was sent a selection of Nibnibs in exchange for this review and sharing this competition.....All thoughts and opinions are of course my own..... 

Elizabeth the naughty Elf....

This week our Elf on the Shelf Elizabeth has been quite a cheeky little thing.....Last week she was a pleasure to have in our home this week she has been quite different....It has caused much amusement....

On Saturday morning the girls found that Elizabeth had got creative with some chalk......


What a naughty elf! Ellie took the moral high ground and said we're not allowed to use chalk in the house especially not on the kitchen cupboards!

On Sunday our elf scaled the walls and found a comfy place on one of the Christmas decorations.....hehehe


Monday morning Elizabeth had got crazy with a white board pen....Doodling on photographs! Ellie gave her a good telling off....hehehe and Tuesday she was found in a vase covered in stickers.....This caused a lot of giggles....


Wednesday Elizabeth was found under the Christmas tree in a little fort she had built out of Mega Bloks and on Thursday she had found herself in the bathroom going wild with the toothpaste. This made Ellie's week I think...She's not keen on the toothpaste and was glad that she has less of it to use.....

Friday Elizabeth the elf brought had some very cute friends with her....hehehe


I hope next week Elizabeth is back on her best behavior!!

ElfTakeover