Saturday, 31 January 2015

Project 365 - Week 5

Week 5 of Project 365 already and nearly February....
The way the weathermen were going on I was expecting to post photos of snowy fun but no....Ashington where I live must be the only place to have hardly any snow at all....

 
24/365. 24th January 2015  

We had fun with the Chinese New Year themed Weekend Box....The dragon was my favourite creation...

 25/365. 25th January 2015

We made Minion cakes.....They didn't last long!
  

 26/365. 26rd January 2015

Becky had cookery at school and made Cowboy beans and sausages....It smelt better than it looked.

27/365. 27th January 2015

A beautiful blue morning sky.....So nice to see after the gloomy weather we'd been having! 

 
 28/365. 28th January 2015

You know those days when you realise just before bedtime you haven't taken a photo....Wednesday was one of those days....So I walked around the living room looking for something to use...The Lego came in useful....School photo time for them....hehehe


29/365. 29th January 2015

That was all the snow we had....Really!! Not even enough to make a snowball!

30/365. 30th January 2015

My Ellie looking very sorry for herself....She's full of cold....So much so yesterday she had a day off school....A duvet day with lots of Cbeebies really helped....

http://www.theboyandme.co.uk/category/365/

Friday, 30 January 2015

A bit boring and a bit blah!

This week has been quite.....


It's been a bit boring and just blah! I think it's because Stu has gone back to work....

We had a light dusting of snow yesterday.....Nothing like what the weathermen were predicting.....In the towns surrounding where I live...They have had snow....A good couple of inches but in Ashington there hasn't been enough to make a snowball never mind a snowman.....

Ellie is full of cold....She came in from school last night and laid on the settee and dozed off and on until it was bedtime.....It is not like her at all....Ice cream and Calpol was on the menu for her tea! She was up and down all night and just wouldn't settle....At the moment she's back on the settee, wrapped in a duvet watching Cbeebies....A sick day for her today....

Becky on the other hand has done really well for not being ill....We got a letter from the school saying she still has 100% attendence.....Hooray! I remember a time a few years ago when she would catch every bug & cold doing the rounds....

Can you remember me mentioning last week about Ellie not wanting to go to school because she didn't want to do dancing in PE....This week she was fine and went in with no worries....Phew!

It hasn't been a bad week.....Just a bit blah compared to the last few....

The Reading Residence

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Aquabot 2.0 - Review!!

Recently we were sent a a Hexbug Aquabot 2.0 to have a play with....


Part pet, part toy, the HEXBUG Aquabot 2.0 provides kids with the fun experience of having a pet fish, without all the messy clean-up. The portable fishbowl allows kids to bring their pet fish with them wherever they go! 

Building off the wildly popular HEXBUG Aquabot Shark and Clownfish, comes HEXBUG Aquabot 2.0, available in two styles, the Angelfish and Hammerhead Shark, and ten translucent colors. 

Powered by electro-magnetic propulsion and an automatic on and off sensor that activates when submerged in water, these aquatic fish propel around to explore their environment, swimming, diving and changing directions. After five minutes without activity, the Aquabot 2.0 will go into sleep mode and wake when activated. 

The first impressions were great....It looked very futuristic and we loved the colour....

The girls were keen to give it a go so we thought we would try it in Becky's Robofish bowl.....Just a circular plastic bowl....To be honest we weren't very impressed....It just swam around and around and only held my girls attention for at the most 5 minutes.....

 
 Ellie was in the bath on Sunday evening and I had a great idea of trying it in there with her.....A fantastic idea of mine actually! It worked brilliantly. It swam up and down, different directions and changed directions.....It just keeps going for about 5 minutes and if you want longer you pick it up and put back in for another 5.....Ellie played with it until the end of her bath which was a good half hour....She has since asked to go in the bath just so she can play with it again....


 After a bit of a shaky start with the Aquabot 2.0 I can thoroughly recommend it....These are a lot like other electronic fish such as Robofish but better.....They act like they have a mind of their own....

These are ideal bath toys for older children....Although you can buy a tank for it which I've read are rather good....On the Hexbug website they have a RRP of £9.99 which I think is reasonable for hours of fun it can provide.....
Family Fever
We were sent the Aquabot 2.0 free of charge to try...This is my honest review....All thoughts and opinions are our own...

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Sleepy head.... #wickedwednesdays


I really have no sympathy for her....We tell her to go to sleep on night....Some nights she does and is fine on a morning some nights she doesn't and this happens!! No motivation at all!!

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

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Our 2nd Weekend Box - Review!!

This time last year I reviewed a Weekend Box.....You can read the review here. When the lovely Andy contacted us again and asked if we would like another we of course said "yes please"......

Back in April 2013 Andy the creator of the Weekend box was looking for gift ideas for his nieces and nephews (who were all 4-6 at the time). He wanted to buy something educational (yet fun), something that would engage them and teach them about the world. He couldn't find anything that fit so he quit his job and started Weekend Box. 

Each box has 4 activities....

Something to EAT (a healthy recipe with accompanying secret ingredient) -- Something to MAKE (a craft kit with all the materials required) -- Something GREEN (some seasonal seeds to plant or something to make with recycling/rubbish material) -- Something to EXPLORE (sensory exploration games, for example).

The theme of our Weekend Box this time was Chinese New Year!


All the activities included in our box were fantastic.....We had Chinese Dragon, Chinese lanterns, A paper plate drum and Fortune cookies to make.....

We started off with the Paper plate drum.....The instructions were easy to follow but I don't think the blue tac worked well attaching the lolly sticks to the plate.....I also ended gluing the paper plates together so they were held in place....Ellie had a lot of fun making this and got right into it....She didn't need much help from me.....She of course had to stick everything on the plate....She doesn't believe in the theory that less is more.....hehehe


Next up we made the Chinese Dragon....This again was straightforward and Ellie completed most of it herself with a little help from me....She said this was her favourite activity. We didn't use the paint as Ellie wanted to use pens to colour the dragons head and tail in herself with a lot of different colours....It was down to personal preference! I did like the fact there was little blobs of glue supplied to hold the lolly sticks in place....These worked much better than the blue tac in the previous activity.....


Then we got onto making the Chinese lanterns.....Ellie actually squealed with excitement when she saw the paint! It had actual glitter in.....This made her day!  We made 6 of them....Yes I had 6 toilet roll tubes in my bathroom....hehehe Everything again was supplied in the box apart from the water to mix the paint (obviously)....There was even a paint brush but we used our own which was a bit larger or we would have been there all day....hehehe


The only activity we never fitted in over the weekend was making the fortune cookies.....We easily could have if we hadn't been busy doing other things.....We will be making them tonight though! I am a little confused....On the ingredient list it says honey is needed but in the instructions I can't see where it's used....I'm sure we'll figure it out!!

All in all we again loved The Weekend Box.....The activities were well thought out with the Chinese New Year theme, age appropriate and lots of fun....These are perfect for this time of year when the weather isn't too good and you need something different to do indoors....
 

The boxes are sent out using Royal Mail Second Class on Tuesdays and you should receive your box by Friday in time for the weekend and can be sent out fortnightly or monthly! 

Each box costs £7.50 (billed monthly as £15.00 for fortnightly boxes or £7.50 for monthly boxes)....I think they are well worth it....

BUT If you are a new customer I am giving you the chance to try your first box for FREE by using the code NMAM when you sign up!
Family Fever
We were sent the Weekend Box free of charge....This is our honest review....All thoughts and opinions are our own...

Monday, 26 January 2015

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday

http://www.athomewithmrsm.com/

Last weeks meal plan went ok....I swapped a couple of days around and we never had a Chinese takeaway on Saturday evening we just had pizza out of the freezer.....We had totally lost track of time and didn't want to wait an hour for our tea....The Apple and Pork Casserole was delicious and we will be having it again....

 This week on the menu we have: 

Monday - Turkey burgers and Memphis Barbecue Style Sweet Potatoes....
Tuesday -
Chicken pasta bake....
Wednesday - Ham and cheese toasties....
Thursday -
Baked Bean Curry.... 
Friday - Fish & chips....
Sunday - Sausages, mash, veg & onion gravy....

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

Seven Seas Perfect7 - Review!!

This time of year I always feel quite rubbish.....Not ill....Just a bit run down and tired. I'm 35 and I don't consider myself old but at the same time I am not a spring chicken anymore....When I was offered some Seven Seas Perfect7 Woman to try I was keen to give it a go.....

Seven Seas has researched the beneficial impact of marine oils for more than 70 years.

Our experts have identified 7 key needs for women and developed those into Perfect7 Woman, a combination specifically designed to support you from the inside.

Perfect7 is a blend of Natural Source Marine Oil with Omega-3 plus essential multivitamins and minerals. The special formula provides effective absorption of nutrients into your body’s cells to support you from the inside as you get older.

Perfect7 Woman has been scientifically designed to support:

1. Skin & Nails – Zinc contributes to the maintenance of normal skin and nails.
2. Hair – Biotin contributes to the maintenance of normal hair.
3. Energy – Magnesium contributes to energy yielding metabolism.
4. Brain – DHA contributes to normal brain function.
5. Vision – Vitamin B2 contributes to maintenance of normal vision.
6. Heart – EPA & DHA contribute to the normal function of the heart.
7. Hormonal Activity – Vitamin B6 helps to regulate hormonal activity.

Each box contains 30 days worth of tablets and capsule's.....You take one of each every day from the two different blister packs with a cold drink.....


I have been taking these for just over a week now and I don't know what happened but last Monday morning my alarm went off and I didn't press snooze once....I did feel like I had more energy....Throughout the week I have found it easier to get out of bed on a morning....It may all be in my head but they seem to be working in that aspect....I do have more energy.

I will update when I have finished the 30 days.....

For the man in your life they are also Perfect7 Man!

These can be bought from all leading supermarkets as we as Superdrug and Boots...

It is not recommend to take these supplements while pregnant or breast feeding and to always consult your doctor before doing so...
Family Fever
I was sent the Seven Seas Perfect7 tablets free of charge to try...This is my honest review....All thoughts and opinions are my own...

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Project 365 - Week 4

Eesh....Week 4! Already this year seems to be flying over....It's been a good week this week....Absolutely freezing but we've still not had any proper snow.....

17/365. 17th January 2015

Frozen Mojito's....The making of a good Saturday night!

18/365. 18th January 2015

I saw this Hog roast sandwich filler while doing my online shopping and had to try it.....That was Sunday brunch sorted....It was delicious!


19/365. 19th January 2015 

I've been taking vitamin tablets and they seem to be working....I woke up full of energy on Monday morning! That never happens.

20/365. 20th January 2015

I think Ellie is missing our Elf on the Shelf....She was drawing pictures of her on Tuesday.... 

21/365. 21st January 2015 

On our walk to school every day we go over the bouncy floor as we call it....Each day Ellie jumps in each of the lily pads.... 


22/365. 22nd January 2015

This happened to my laptop when I switched it on.....No idea why but it scared me....It went through the scan and was fine....Phew! It must be a sign I definitely need a new laptop....hehehe

23/365. 23rd January 2015

Yesterday we unboxed the Weekend box we have been sent to review....Ellie is rather excited about it....All themed around the Chinese new year....Great timing...We're having Chinese for tea.



Friday, 23 January 2015

A Nice Week....

This last week has been a good one....Stu has been off work (he had holidays to use up) and helped a lot around the house and cooked meals....It's been lovely. It's nice to have him home....The company has been great.....I even had a soak in the bath while he did the school run earlier in the week.....

I have found most of the week very.....


 Thursday wasn't nice though.....Ellie usually she loves school....She will complain for a few minutes after waking up that she wants to stay in bed...Who doesn't? She has never once cried at the thought of going to school.....Yesterday she did....In P.E they were told last week they were doing dancing and she didn't want to do that....She was sobbing and quite distressed about the whole thing and my heart broke for her but she has to go to school....She wouldn't eat breakfast and by the time she got to school her eyes were all red and she looked in such a sorry state....She had really chewed herself up over it and it's so not like her at all....

We went straight in and saw her teacher and happened to catch the PE teacher too.....They said she can put her PE kit on and just sit at the side if she really doesn't want to take part....They said it was not like her to be like this....I felt awful leaving her in such a sad mood but the teachers were really nice about it....When she came out of school she was back to her normal self....The PE teacher told us that she had joined in a little bit but he wasn't going to push her....They're doing a performance with a few other schools in a couple of weeks and we actually think this is what's worrying her.....The teachers were so nice and said she can just go and watch if she doesn't want to take part.....

Becky is going to her boyfriends house tomorrow which she of course can't wait for....We have been reassured they will be supervised at all times.....They're just planning on playing MineCraft anyway....lol It will be unusual Becky not being here on a Saturday but Ellie and I have plans.....We have been sent another Weekend Box to review so we can busy ourselves with that....

In fact I have had quite a few nice parcels this week.....Even one off my dad....He runs an auction business and they sell household things and I mentioned to him our Sky remote was not working properly and he sent me one....Bless him, it was nice of him to think of me and send it...Usually I mention something and he forgets....hehehe

I hope you all have a nice weekend!


National Pie Day & Birds Eye!

We do like a pie!!.....Especially with a bit of mash and covered in gravy! 

Today is....

I hold my hands up and say I don't make my own home made pies all the time but I do always have some Birds Eye pies in the freezer....They have a great range which we enjoy....In the colder months we have them at least once every couple of weeks!


Puff Pastry Chicken & Ham Pies - Shortcrust Creamy Chicken Pies - Shortcrust Chicken Pies - Shortcrust Meat & Potato Pies - Puff Pastry British Steak Pies - Shortcrust Steak Pie

I think at some point over the last year we have tried all of these pies....

Our favourite is by far the Puff Pastry Chicken & Ham Pies but our local Asda don't always have them in and our Tesco online don't stock them....Boo!!

Last night we had some of the Shortcrust Chicken Pies with mash, carrots & sweetcorn and of course covered it in gravy.....Pie & Mash has to have gravy....

 
When they say they are filled with pieces of chicken breast they really are...Some pies are a bit stingy with their chicken. These are not....There is also plenty of vegetables in there too....We also love the crispy pastry....Very tasty!  

I think Birds Eye really do make the best pies....They are perfect for this time of year....

With it being National Pie Day will you be having any pie today?

I was sent some Birds Eye vouchers in exchange for writing this post....However these are my own thoughts and opinions....

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Homework: Too much or not enough?

 
School pupils in the UK get more homework than many other countries in Europe including Finland, Germany, Sweden and Austria but countries like Finland and South Korea have the shortest homework hours but are top performers in international tests....

    In the research by OECD it was found that UK pupils had on average 5 hours of homework per week....


Ellie who is 7 each week has spellings to learn, reading to do, some numeracy and literacy homework to complete...She gets it on a Friday and it has to be completed by the following Wednesday.....All in all I would say she has about a two hours worth if you count the reading and I think it is the right amount for her being only 7 years old....

There was a letter sent home from school a couple of weeks ago saying any child not completing their homework will have a detention on a Thursday after school which I actually agree with after speaking to one of the teachers....

There was a homework club on a Friday lunchtime where the children not completing their homework would go to do it.....Now it's got to the point where there are so many children not doing their homework it's over crowded.... Parents were supposedly not bothered about making their children do their homework and took homework club as the easy option.....Now I'm guessing there are some unhappy parents who've had to make their kids do their homework to stop them getting a detention after school....Especially those who have to pick up more than one child...

Becky on the other hand who's in Year 7 at Secondary school does not get enough homework in my opinion.....You may remember my post about the "Unfair Summer Homework" where before even starting in Year 7 she had a huge list of homework to do....

Since starting secondary school in September she has had barely any to do....A couple of numeracy tests, a little written work, a few drawings to do and that's about it....Nothing compared to what she had over the summer holidays.... Obviously I wouldn't wish for that amount again all at once but some extra would be nice...Even if it's just for me to see what she is learning about.

When I was at secondary school I would have homework most nights to complete....I think my girls have it easy but nowhere near the 5 hours a week that some children get.

Do you children get much homework from school?

http://www.vevivos.com/2015/01/23/post-comment-love-newbie-showcase-23rd-25th-january-2014/

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

How to be late for school....

Leave the house at the normal time not realising that there is so much ice outisde....
Walk like slow, fat penguins trying not to slip on the ice....
Scream "Oh my god" every time you see a frozen puddle....
Stamp on every puddle and break the mentioned ice....
Get that excited you nearly pull your dad enough for him to slip....
Don't walk on the grass that isn't so slippy...Where's the fun in that....
Get your dad to drag you along so you're sliding all over the place....


So stressful!! I hate the ice!! Ellie of course loves it and had a wonderful time walking to school!!

http://www.brummymummyof2.co.uk/p/wicked-wednesday.htmlhttp://www.coombemill.com/blog/category/Country-Kids

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

90:10 Hoodie - Review!

Stu my fella sometimes feels a bit left out when it comes to my blogging....The kids and I get sent things to review but him....Not so much. So when the chance to review something for him came along I jumped at the chance....

 90:10 is a new brand.....Selling stylishly designed, great quality clothing for men who think of themselves as 90% grown up & 10% not....I know my fella can relate to that!....

Over on their website you can read the story about how the the founder of the company Dan came up with the idea of this brand over a conversation in the pub....(I always say you have the best ideas over a few drinks....hehehe)

We were sent the 90:10 "Headphone" Hoodie to have a look at....

90 Description: Our embroidered pullover hoodie with a feature affixing headphone loop on left side of hood as standard.This long sleeved garment is made from 85% pure organic cotton and 15% Polyester and features two pockets in side seams,two tone embroidered signature branding to left breast (small) and a double layer hood.

10 Description: To my friend who conceeded that he really liked the headphone loop but then dismissed it a "pointless gimmick"......this gimmick clearly isn't pointless!

When I got the hoodie out of the packaging I thought it was huge....It was an extra, extra large which I had ordered...I was a little worried thinking I should have ordered a smaller size....I loved the colour and you can tell by the feel it was well made and would last.....I think this may be a top I borrow from Stu now and again....hehehe

I had to wait for Stu to get in from work to give his opinion and get him to do a bit of modeling for me and Ellie had to get in on the action too...


Stu said - The colour is ace. It isn't one I would normally choose for myself but a bit of different is always good. - The size is great and I'm pleased Kim ordered larger as I prefer the baggier fit rather than the tight fit. - The "gimmick" of the headphone loop certainly isn't pointless. I think it's a great addition which I will definitely use as I like my music. - The logo isn't in your face like some other brands which I think is great. - This is a good quality hoodie which I will sure get a lot of use out of and I can see myself getting attached to this brand. - The story behind it, the name describes me. I can relate. Who wants to be all grown up anyway. - I actually already have a couple of items picked out that I want from this brand.....

So yes! He likes it....So much so he has worn it everyday since he got it....lol I think I'm going to have to peel it off his back to wash it.....hehehe

We were sent this hoodie free of charge....This is our honest review....All thoughts and opinions are my own...

Monday, 19 January 2015

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday


Last weeks meal plan sort of went to plan.....It was changed around a bit but we ate everything.....I was feeling sickly on Tuesday I didn't feel like cooking or eating Parmesan Chicken so we had soup instead....

Stu is off work this week (he had holidays to use up) so he will be helping with the cooking! Hooray!

This week on the menu we have: 

Monday - Chicken curry & rice....
Tuesday -
Bean & sausage hotpot....
Wednesday -
Pie, mash & veg....
Thursday -
Lasagne and garlic bread....  
Friday - Fish finger sandwiches....
Saturday - A Chinese takeaway.... 
Sunday - Apple and Pork Casserole....


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

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Project 365 - Week 3

Here I am again linking up to Project 365
All is going well....I have found myself taking a lot more photos than I usually do. It's great!

It's been a weird week this last week....We haven't been up to much but there was plenty of time for photos!

10/365. 10th January 2015

Ellie came downstairs with one of those faces like she had been up to something naughty with something behind her back....I feared the worst! Turns out she had dressed her toy hamster in dolls clothes and jewellery....Phew! It did make me giggle....

11/365. 11th January 2015

I put all the clean washing away!! Hooray! It's a job nobody in this house likes to do....I thought I would shame myself on here so the pile might never get as big again!

 
12/365. 12th January 2015

Becky had cookery at school.....I do love it when she does as she usually brings home yummy treats! This week it was biscuits! They were delicious! She really is a better baker than I am.

13/365. 13th January 2015

It snowed!! It didn't stay though...It was gone by morning which we were gutted about....We wanted to build a snowman :(

14/365. 14th January 2015 

I had a delivery....A mystery prize...I'd won a home bar....lol It has since found a new owner....We just didn't have the room to keep it!


15/365. 15th January 2015

Every time I look something else in this house has been branded with One Direction tat....lol I am blaming Becky....hehehe

16/365. 16th January 2015

Becky and Stu having a daft moment....They have a lot of those...hehehe


TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky  

A home office in the loft.....I wish!

At the moment when I blog I do it sitting on my armchair with the laptop on my knee....I often dream of having my own office....A bit of space just for me where I can blog in peace and keep everything in order.....

We have 3 bedrooms and the girls don't want to share a room so the only place for an office would be the loft....That would do me. Work would obviously have to be done like boarding it all out, laying carpeting, getting some electric up there and of course some windows....


When I was a teen my dad ended up boarding out the loft of our family home and I claimed it as my bedroom....It was huge and I loved it but the only problem was there was no natural light....

My office room would have to be light and airy during the day and cosy and warm on a cold winters evening.....Some big windows on the back of the house where it gets the sun most of the day would be amazing.....

A blind from VELUX would be ideal....If the sun got too much I could always pull them down....They would be great in the winter as well, to hide away the grey, dismal sky and keep the heat in....


 

Can you see a theme here....Usually I don't go in for pink things but these items I picked are so cute....I must be going soft in my own age....

Ideally it would be out of bounds for the girls and it could come in handy hiding presents for Birthdays and Christmas....hehehe

I do have a feeling if I did have a office in the loft it would be taken over by Stu so he could play his PC games in peace....