Thursday, 14 December 2017

The girls Christmas eve boxes....

My girls have always got a few little presents on Christmas eve....Even before Christmas eve boxes were cool...They always get some new pj's, chocolate, a DVD and some crafty things to do...I give them these on the afternoon to keep them amused while I am preparing the vegetables for Christmas day....

This year while walking around our local Poundland I saw their Christmas Eve boxes...They are about the size of a shoe box and I thought they would be ideal for our Elf on the shelf to leave filled with goodies on Christmas eve....


The girls of course needed some chocolate and I got them a selection from Tesco. They both have a Lindt Teddy Bear, Kinder Joy Egg, Milk Chocolate Coins and a Cadbury Small Selection Box...


It is a sort of tradition that we all have a bath on Christmas eve so bath bombs are needed and I thought a selection from Lush and their Christmas range would be perfect....Becky has the Luxury Lush Pud bath bomb and the Man In The Moon Bubble Bar and Ellie has the Butterbear bath bomb and The Magic of Christmas reusable bubble bar

I always buy them a couple of DVD's and both of my girls are really into The Simpsons at the moment.....So I got The Simpsons: Christmas with the Simpsons & The Simpsons: Christmas 2 off Amazon for a couple of pounds each...


While I was shopping at Sports Direct I saw their mug cake set for £3.49 which I thought would be perfect for a treat after their tea....They of course will be having hot chocolate too before bed. hehehe



Lastly there is some crafty things I bought from Hobbycraft....A Penguin suncatcher kit & Reindeer pompom hanging decoration kits....They only cost a couple of pound per set and it will keep the girls amused for a little while....

Do your children have Christmas eve boxes? What goes in theirs?

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Making Gingerbread houses.

Every year the girls make gingerbread houses....It's a tradition we started a few years ago....We always have a lot off fun and this time was no different....


I always get the girls one each from Tesco....We know what we're getting. It's easy to put together and tastes good too. They cost £4.00 and I would say they're worth every penny!

In the kit you get everything you need to create a magical fairytale house. Six gingerbread house pieces, an easy build tray, squeezy white icing with nozzle and plenty of candy & jelly sweets to decorate the house....


Last year Ellie needed quite a bit of help and instruction but this year as soon as she opened the packet she was off and was telling Becky how to do things. lol....What a difference a year makes!


The girls and I was chatting while they were making the houses and have decided that even when they have left home they will still come back to make a gingerbread house which warmed my heart...They also said that I will still have to pay for them though which I'm not so keen on....lol 

Didn't they do well....Ellie's is on the left & Becky's on the right....


What you can't see is about 1 minute after I took the photos Becky's house collapsed....All 4 walls just fell. It was hilarious. She thought so too. It gave her the best excuse to start eating it....hehehe

Have you made a gingerbread house this year?



I was not asked by anyone to write this....I bought and paid for the gingerbread houses myself!!

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Baylis & Harding Christmas delights!

If you’re looking for some affordable Christmas gifts then Baylis & Harding have a fantastic festive range of festive treats for some Christmas Pampering.....


Baylis & Harding Bath Time Treats, Sweet Mandarin and Grapefruit.


A miniature vintage roll top bath containing 50 ml shower cream that leaves skin feeling gently cleansed and an indulgent 30 ml body butter to nourish and fragrance the body....This would be a delightful stocking filler or secret Santa gift....

Baylis & Harding Winter Spruce & Berries Festive Scented Candle Jar.


This smells amazing and also looks so pretty with it's stunning forest green-embossed jar with stunning mini Christmas tree decorative lid!! It really is a luxury candle....It has an impressive 38 hours burning time....

Baylis & Harding Midnight Fig & Pomegranate Luxury Body Wash.

The luxury body wash comes in a stunning ruby-red pyramid gift box with Christmas tree window that you can see the 500ml Luxury Body Wash contained within.....It has an An exquisite fragrance of rich dark fruits, berries and pomegranates to indulge the senses....


Baylis & Harding Limited Edition Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh Moisturising Hand Wash.

This is in our bathroom at the moment and it is lovely to use. It has been leaving my hands feeling soft and loved.

Baylis & Harding Beauticology Carnival Perfect Partners Gift Set.


This is by far my favourite set....It is bright and sounds good enough to eat...hehehe 300 ml of Candy apple body wash and 250 ml Sweet caramel popcorn body butter....I love the fabulous packaging....White candy stripe with a carousel horse theme...It captures all the fun of the fair!

Baylis & Harding La Maison - Creme Brulee & Cocoa Luxury Gift Basket


This gorgeous gift basket makes a super stylish gift that is bound to be a favourite this Christmas.....The beautiful lined wicker basket contains a trio of Baylis & Harding's most popular pampering essentials. The 300 ml Body Cleanser and Body Polisher gently cleanse skin and give an exfoliating boost while the 350 ml Body Butter locks in moisture to nourish and fragrance the skin.....Fragranced with Creme Brulee and Cocoa which is truly irresistible....

Baylis & Harding Sport Men's Wash Bag.


Essential grooming for him packed in a stylish wash bag. Men are notoriously difficult to buy for but this sporty denim wash bag with distressed design detailing keeps things simple offering the very best in male grooming. A hydrating 100ml hair & body wash and a 50ml refreshing and gently cleansing aftershave Balm....All products are fragranced with citrus, lime and mint, a truly refreshing scent of expertly blended woody base notes and energetic aromas of lime and bergamot....

You can find all of these goodies in various supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsburys and Ocado as well as online on Amazon....

I was sent these Baylis & Harding sets free of charge in exchange for this blog post.


Monday, 11 December 2017

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday


Last weeks meal plan went well...I forgot I was cooking the meatballs in the slow cooker on Wednesday and it got to lunchtime and it would have been too late to start so we swapped a couple of meals around but we ate everything planned....

The meatballs cooked in the slow cooker were amazing! The more I use the slow cooker the more I love it.....It will be getting a week of this week....We are doing "operation empty the freezer for Christmas!"....I am planning on buying the meat at the weekend for the Christmas dinner and it will have to go in the freezer. I already have some nice stuffing from Tesco in there. I can't wait to tuck into that....

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Pies (I think they are chicken & mushroom), mash & veg....
Tuesday - Bernard Matthews Cheese Hamwiches with sweetcorn and baked beans....
Wednesday - Leftover bolognese in wraps....
Thursday - Chicken nuggets and chips....
Friday - Battered fish and wedges....
Saturday - Pizza....
Sunday - My dad is visiting so I will put something in the slow cooker. I don't know what yet....

What are you eating this week?


Sunday, 10 December 2017

She's a star. #MySundayPhoto

Ellie doesn't always have the best days at school but sometimes she will come home with rewards. Wednesday was one of those days....She got a certificate for Scientist of the week and a sticker for her writing! 



Saturday, 9 December 2017

A photo everyday for a year - Week 49 #Project365

Another week of not taking many photos....On the days where I didn't I had the Elf on the shelf photo as a back up....

In two weeks time the kids will have finished school for Christmas and it can't come soon enough. My teen has been full of cold and my my youngest has had a bit of a cold too....We're struggling to get up on a morning with it being so dark and staying in bed is so more appealing....

Here's a photo for every day!


315/365 - 2nd December
One building with Lego and the other building on Minecraft...

316/365 - 3rd December
Our Elf hiding in one of the Christmas stockings....

317/365 - 4th December
My fella thinks I've lost the plot buying a toilet seat cover set for the bathroom....lol It was only £3 from The Works....

318/365 - 5th December
The Elf had been for a bath....hehehe

319/365 - 6th December
Ellie came home with a certificate for Scientist of the week....I was very proud of her!

320/365 - 7th December
Slow cooker meatballs for tea around the coffee table....

321/365 - 8th December
I've started on the Christmas food shopping....I love the stuffing on the Christmas dinner and always find some different flavours. I like the sound of these. They are in the freezer ready for the big day.


Friday, 8 December 2017

Feeling festive. #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:


I think every word for the next few weeks will be Christmas related....hehehe

Last Friday the Christmas decorations went up and everything is looking so pretty in here....Even our wonky tree. We went to see the lights been switched on in town and it has really put me in the Christmassy mood....


I sat down earlier in the week and added everything to the Tesco online grocery basket which we need for the Christmas week....I think I have remembered everything. I will probably be going back and adding and removing things as I expect some of the prices will change in the run up to Christmas. Thank goodness for the Clubcard vouchers my bill has been taken down from £241.40 to £169.30. There is plenty of treats, alcohol and things we don't usually buy so the price isn't too bad.....

My dad has given us a date for his Christmas visit....Eek! I can't wait to see him. The last time we did was round about this time last year and a lot has happened since I saw him. He isn't a huggy person but he will be getting one from me....

I jokingly mentioned to him that Ellie has said she wants a bike for Christmas....She hadn't mentioned it until the other day and has left it a little late for me to anything about it since I've already bought her main present....He has gone out and bought her a bike and Becky too....Becky wasn't bothered about a bike but he is the type of person that if he buys one child he has to buy the other the same too....For Stu and I he has bought a new oven....Ours is on it's last legs and I was dreading cooking Christmas lunch in it. My dad really is making Christmas special for us this year.....

I got all the girls Christmas presents out during the week to check what they had....I hope they are not disappointed. There piles will be smaller this year than previous years despite me spending more this year.....I know Becky understands that electronics cost more than toys....I just need to explain that to Ellie too....I did make one last order with Amazon to get some board games as I had totally forgotten about that part of Christmas. 

I ordered the Christmas cards to come with the shopping tomorrow and the girls Gingerbread houses that they will build soon....Hopefully over the weekend we will be making some mince pies....It seems years since we made our own.

Now all I have to buy is selection boxes.....I think I have everything else covered! I feel on top of things this year....Hooray!


Thursday, 7 December 2017

Christmas jumpers that I want....

Christmas Jumper Day is just over a week away on the 15th of December.....An annual event organised by Save the Children. Wear a Christmas jumper to work or school and donate to Save the Children. Simple. 

I do love a Christmas jumper and they have changed so much over the years....Now you can find cute and stylish one's not just garish and cheesy....

These are some of the jumpers which I have seen and I want....


Star 3D Xmas Knitted Jumper - Sports Direct - £15.00
Womens Red Reindeer Jumper - Peacocks - £16.00



Have you got yourself a Christmas jumper yet?

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

10 things my family argue about throughout December!

I love this time of year. We have so many giggles and happy moments but then there is the arguments....Every year we have the same silly arguments over the same daft things which is just stupid!


Every day the kids want to eat their chocolate out of their advent calendars as soon as they get up. That is never going to happen. They know the rules. Breakfast first but they still try their luck! It is even worse on Christmas morning with selection boxes....lol

Every year the kids argue over who puts the star on the top of the tree....We say they take turns but we always forget who did it last year....This year I did it. hehehe

Every year as soon as someone goes near the Elf Ellie shouts at them....Becky loves to wind her up by pretending to nearly touch it!

Every year I obsess about finding fancy stuffing....Stu just doesn't understand that yes I do need the apricot and pork balls or cranberry and stuffing shaped stars....I need at least 4 different stuffing's on my Christmas dinner....

Every year I get angry that Stu has to work Christmas eve then feels obliged to go out for drinks afterwards....We hardly see him on Christmas eve but thankfully this year he is not working Christmas Eve this year so can spend the day with us & go out for drinks with his workmates....

Every year we argue about wrapping presents....I hate wrapping with a passion and my fella does too. We always say we will get everything wrapped by mid-December but it never happens. Coming up to midnight on Christmas eve we will be found having heated words arguing over the one roll of sellotape we can find....

No one will help me in the kitchen.....When they do help they don't do what I have asked....lol 

Every year the kids will not want to sit and eat Christmas dinner....Playing with their presents is more important....I'm sure I was the same when I was their age but as parent I just want one perfect meal a year.

We all argue about what we want to watch on TV....Last year I think it was something like Frozen and The Lion King on at the same time....I wasn't bothered but Ellie wanted Frozen & Becky wanted The Lion King....Frozen won and therefor in Becky's eyes Ellie won...Ugh!

Monopoly! I have a family of cheaters!

Please tell me that my family and I are not the only ones to argue over silly things in December!


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Heritage pizza and wine from Nisa Local....

Most Friday nights we eat pizza for tea and then I go on to have a glass or two of wine....It is always a great ending to the week and when the people at Nisa Local offered some pizza and wine to try from their Heritage Range I couldn't really say no!


From essential products to gourmet treats and everything in between the Heritage line up gives shoppers a fantastic choice, whether you want to save money or spend a little more on something extra special.....

First up we were sent two pizzas to try.....

Spicy Chicken Pizza - Topped with tomato passata, mozzarella, chicken and red and yellow peppers....


This looked so tasty and it was. My fella and I shared it....It was just to my liking. It was spicy but not too spicy. My fella did say that it wasn't spicy enough for his liking but he added sweet chilli sauce to it....

Three Cheese Pizza - Topped with tomato passata, mozzarella, emmental and coloured cheddar cheese....

The kids ate this one and loved it...At first I didn't think there was much topping on it but once the cheese had melted it was fine and they wolfed it down...


The only complaint I have about these pizzas is the inch around the top with no topping on. By the time it's cooked the edge is rock solid and pretty uneatable. 

As you can see on the box these are on offer. Two for £5 which is a fair price for fresh pizzas....Usually the recommended retail price is £3.29 per pizza.

I was also sent Nisa Local's Heritage Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc wines to try....They are priced at £3.99 from 4th December to 31st December (down from usual price of £4.99) which I think is a fantastic price....


The Merlot is medium bodied and deep ruby red with hints of cherry and red fruits. It goes great with red meats, mature cheeses and pasta.

The Sauvignon Blanc is zingy and fresh with hints of gooseberry, citrus aromas and flavours. It goes well with chicken and salad dishes.

Usually I tend to stay away from own label wine. I tend to go for brands so I was interested to try these....I was impressed. I preferred the Sauvignon Blanc over the Merlot but that is just down to my personal taste. I have never been that keen on red wine but this is one of the nicest I've ever tried. I enjoyed both of these wines and would happily buy the Sauvignon Blanc in the future.

I was sent the pizza and the wine free of charge to try in exchange for this blog post.


Monday, 4 December 2017

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday


Last weeks meal plan went brilliant....We ate everything and the Pork & apple casserole was a huge hit....

I made the most delicious stir fry last Tuesday....No recipe, just adding and mixing things and I have been thinking about it since so we're having it again this week. I just hope I can recreate it!

When we went to see the lights been switched on, on Friday I got my hot pork & stuffing sandwich that I had been craving and some of the tasty dinky doughnuts! 

Yesterday I made things up and just put things in the slow cooker that I think would go together....Mince, carrots, onions, mushrooms & a Colman's shepherd's pie mix.....It sounds like it should be a recipe and it worked out well....We had it with mash and it was delicious!

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Shepherd's pie using yesterdays concoction which I made in the slow cooker. It looks like dog vomit at the moment but still smells so good. lol
Tuesday - Chicken stir fry (again)....
WednesdaySlow cooker meatballs....
Thursday - Soup and sandwiches....
Friday - Pizza....
Saturday - Burgers in buns, fries and corn on the cob....
Sunday - Sausages, mash & veg....

What are you eating this week?


Sunday, 3 December 2017

The Christmas decorations are up. #MySundayPhoto

I always buy a couple of new decorations each year for the tree....These came from Poundland and they are just adorable. Becky isn't too happy though as there was only a Rebecca not a Becky. Rebecca is her real name....She just doesn't like it. lol



Saturday, 2 December 2017

A photo everyday for a year - Week 48 #Project365

Another week done....It has been a strange week! I think we have had every type of weather here. On Thursday we awoke to a little snow. It snowed on and off all day but didn't settle....All I want to do is build a snow man with the kids but the world isn't playing fair! For the rest of the week it has been dark and wet....So rubbish for taking photos but I still managed one for every day.


308/365 - 25th November
Tea time.

309/365 - 26th November
Drawing and colouring. I wished she would draw more as she is so talented...

310/365 - 27th November
Taking a photo of a recipe on my phone is so much easier than trying to find it online on my phone. Pork & Apple casserole in the slow cooker. It was amazing!

311/365 - 28th November
I was watching the Phillip Schofield thing on ITV at 8pm about the top toys for Christmas...The kids stood in front of the TV for about half an hour...They were supposed to be going to bed but just couldn't drag themselves away...

312/365 - 29th November
Such a dark day!

313/365 - 30th November
Very late on Thursday night our Elf on the shelf arrived...

314/365 - 1st December
We went to see the Christmas lights been switched on....Ellie of course had to go on a couple of the funfair rides...


Popcorn Candy Cane Bars - Recipe

I love this time of year...My main reason for loving it is because of the food....hehehe

You may remember the Bonfire night recipe I shared using Metcalfe’s Skinny Popcorn.....Now they have came up with another great recipe perfect for this time of year!


To make the perfect edible gift or just a treat for yourself you need:

100g Metcalfe’s cinema sweet popcorn
4 crushed candy canes
100g Chocolate beans (Christmas colours)
450g white chocolate
100ml double cream mixed with 2 tsp peppermint flavouring
White chocolate and red gel colouring for decoration (optional)
Candy canes to decorate (4)

To make:

1. Line a 20 x 30cm brownie tin with parchment and set to one side.
2. Heat the cream & peppermint in the microwave but do not boil.
3. Pour this over the white chocolate and stir until everything has melted – if the mixture is too thick heat a little in the microwave to loosen.
4. In a bowl, combine the popcorn, crushed candy canes and half of the chocolate beans.
5. Pour the melted chocolate over the popcorn and fold with a spatula ensuring everything is coated.
6. Spoon the mixture into the lined tin and spread out evenly.
7. Top the bar with the remaining chocolate beans, whole or crushed candy canes and drizzle with the red coloured chocolate.
8. Allow to set in the fridge for an hour or two or overnight.
Once set, remove from the tin and wrap whole or divide into smaller bars and wrap, ribbon and tag!