Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Soreen Lunchbox Loaves - Review!

Soreen is something which has always been in my life....I remember eating malt loaf as a child, covered with Lurpak butter with my Grandad.....As the years have gone by my girls started to eat it too....They are huge fans of it but now there is more to the range apart from the original malt loaf....Last year we were sent the Squidgy Cake Minis to try this time we are trying out the Lunchbox Loaves. The original and the banana one's.


Lunchbox Loaves are such a great idea especially for families. Each packet contains 5 individually wrapped bite size treats....They are great as a snack on the go or can be used in a packed lunch for school without the worry of them being confiscated for being unhealthy.

They are only 95 calories each and less than 0.3g saturated fat, meet the Government’s Nutritional Standards for Schools and are suitable for vegetarians....


We got these last week and they are already all gone.....I didn't get a look in with them, especially the banana one's. They were a big hit with my girls. They were eaten as a snack after breakfast and after school....My girls asked me to add them shopping list and I happily obliged....


Instead of reaching for chocolate or cakes I have had one of these on an afternoon with a cuppa....They are a great alternative to what I usually go for....Healthier and more satisfying....As they are individually wrapped there is no fear of them drying out and going hard. They are the perfect snack.

Lunchbox loaves are available from all major supermarkets including Asda, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, The Co-operative, Tesco, Morrison’s and Ocado.com at an RRP of £1.35.

Do you like Soreen products?

We were sent these free of charge to review....All thoughts and opinions are my own.



Monday, 30 January 2017

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday


Last weeks meal plan didn't go well....We were all full of cold....Becky sent home from school sick and then Ellie had a day off school too. She was so full of cold. I didn't feel like cooking so much & the kids didn't feel like eating until the end of the week....

The Co-op messaged me on Monday and sent me a box of ingredients to make roasted vegetable couscous....I made that on Friday and have a blog post about it later this week...It was a huge success! 

The roast chicken dinner which was planned for yesterday ended up being scrapped....We ate the left over pizza from Saturday night and then had sandwiches and cakes for tea...I'm not too bothered that the meal plan didn't go to plan....There wasn't much wasted. Some weeks just don't work out.

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Chicken wrapped in bacon, roast potatoes and veg....
Tuesday - A fry up. Bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, beans, hash browns, fried egg, black pudding and toast....
Wednesday - Tuna rice salad....
Thursday - Sausage Carbonara....
Friday - Pizza....
Sunday - Mince and dumplings...

What are you eating this week?

Saturday, 28 January 2017

A photo everyday for a year! #Project365 - Week 4

Ahh! Week 4 of the year which means January is nearly over....This week has been a week of sickness. Both my girls have had time off school and Stu and I are full of cold as well....Ugh! He was at the doctors yesterday as his ear was sore and it was bleeding....He has an ear infection and antibiotics to take.

It didn't stop me taking photos though....I still managed one every day!


21/365 - 21st January
Our Saturday night....All of us on some sort of electronic device.

22/365 - 22nd January
Me! Ready for a night out....I went to see Lorraine Crosby singing in our local pub....She is the female vocalist in Meat Loaf's song "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)". She was brilliant and it was such a good night. 

23/365 - 23rd January
My teen had cookery at school and cooked cheesy muffins. They were so good. I had never thought of putting cheese in a muffin. Doh!

24/365 - 24th January
Ellie's reading book from school....She loves it. It is full of craft, cooking and fun ideas. I keep taking photos of pages because they could be ideas for blog posts. hehehe

25/365 - 25th January
Becky got sent home from school after being sick....She's fine now and went back to school yesterday.

26/365 - 26th January
I was sent a recipe box from the Co-op to make Roasted Vegetable CousCous...

27/365 - 27th January
Ellie took Becky's place on the sicky sofa....She is full of cold and made herself sick from coughing so much....She feels fine in herself though....She's just full of snot and coughs.


Friday, 27 January 2017

Not the best but better. #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:


It could have easily been Ugh, cold or sick but I thought I would go with the positive from the week! 

Both my girls have done well at school this week and I couldn't be prouder of them.....They are both doing better than I thought they were....

Ellie came home from school with spellings to learn at the weekend and they were ridiculous. Ball, fall, call, small, etc. They were far too easy for her....We wrote a note in her planner and on Monday she came home with new spellings.....She got moved up a group in them. I am trying not to think about how long she would have been stuck on the easy one's if we hadn't have said anything.....The one's she has to learn now are much better and she has been doing really well at learning them....I may have been bribing her though. For every one she gets right she's got a M&M sweet. hehehe

Early in the week we got a letter from Becky's school to say what levels she is at. The work it out by saying she should be at a level 3+ at the end of year 9....I was quite surprised to see she is already reaching these targets in a few subjects. French, Science, Spanish, Maths, ICT and Music! Music really surprised her and me....She is not musical at all but the theory and writing part is bumping her grades up....She is expected to be on target for all of her subjects apart from PE at the end of year 9 which doesn't bother me at all....She hates PE and it's not like she will be taking it for GCSE's....

Over the next few months Becky will be choosing the subjects she will take GCSE's in and in her head she was going to choose the subjects she was doing well in so this report has really confused her and me and put a stop to that idea. Now she doesn't know what to choose....I guess we will cross that bridge when we come to it....

We're still all full of cold....I got rid of mine that I had a couple of weeks ago quickly but it has came back....Yesterday I had such a sore throat but a couple of Lemsip drinks helped me feel better.....Ellie has been chockablock full of cold too and has almost lost her voice. I wouldn't normally keep her off school just for a cold but this is a full blown one. The rest will do her good....Stu has came down with it too....He can't hear out of one of his ears. It feels blocked. Ugh! Becky is the only one without a full blown cold.....She had a sicky bug though and was sent home from school on Wednesday. By tea time she was OK but due to the 24 hour rule she had to stay off yesterday which she thought was brilliant....She is back to school today! Hooray!

All in all it hasn't been a bad week.....I am hoping with a weekend of rest we all feel better and finally shake this cold!!


Thursday, 26 January 2017

My favourite YouTube videos....

I watch a lot of You Tube....Probably more than a person should....lol but I have never been one for uploading videos regularly. Last week I discovered the Creator Studio where you can see the Analytics of your videos....lol That was a real eye opener....As I have never been serious about You Tube I haven't really cared but now I know I am taking more of an interest.....

I have uploaded 112 videos as of writing this and my first was uploaded on the 31st of December 2012. It was Ellie dancing to Gangnam Style and the video quality was terrible and of course it included copyrighted content.....I knew nothing back then. lol

I was going to share my top most viewed videos but when I started looking back at all my old videos I thought I would just share my favourite....The one's that make me smile, laugh and hold special memories for me.....

Ellie telling the We're going on a bear hunt story....



Again the video quality is rubbish but this really makes me smile....Ellie looks so small and young. She was only about 3 years old and obsessed with We're Going On a Bear hunt....

Frozen sing along!



This was filmed at Christmas in 2014. I think. Both of my girls loved Frozen and for Christmas they got it on DVD. They had to sing along.

Life Science Centre in Newcastle.



We had a fantastic day at the Life Centre in Newcastle....We went to see the Animal Inside Out exhibition but spent time exploring the rest of the Life Centre too....Without even realising the girls learned so much through playing....

We had fun with the Pie Face Game! 



This was from Christmas 2015....The girls had the best time with Pie Face....My fella even got dragged into playing. lol

This was our summer. 2016 



Ahh! Summer seems such a long time ago.....This was the best bits from the summer of 2016. Days out, fun times, singing, a couple of things we reviewed, we made ice cream, went to the park and made some fantastic memories....

You can follow me on YouTube. It would make my day if you would.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

The Bedtime Tag....

The lovely Naomi from Me Becoming Mum recently tagged me in this, The Bedtime Tag....I do love a tag and I love my bed so this was perfect for me....


Describe your usual bedtime routine?
I always have to go to the loo before bed, brush my teeth, turn the tv off and head upstairs.....I first go to check on my teen. I always have to put her duvet back on and set her alarm clock....I check she has her school uniform ready which she usually does....Then I check on my youngest. I usually have to remove toys from her bed and again check she has school uniform for the next day. She usually doesn't so I get that ready.....I make it to my bedroom and sort clothes out for the next day. I usually have my pj's on before bedtime so there's nothing to change....I get into bed and set my alarm for the morning and then watch a bit of YouTube.....

What are your favourite pyjamas?
These....They were my Christmas Eve pj's from last year. Becky my teen and I got matching one's....

Twinning is winning!

What is your current bedtime reading?
Facebook groups. I read them on my phone....lol I don't really read books so read the messages in blogging groups....

What would I find on your bedside table?
I don't have one....Mine and my fella's bedroom is such a stupid shape. If I had a bedside table you wouldn't get through the door.....On the floor just under my bed I have a box of tissues, my phone charger and probably a hair bobble.
What scent makes you sleepy?
I don't really have a scent that makes me sleepy.....Lavender the one that is supposed to make me sleepy always makes me feel sick....

What is your usual bedtime and wakeup time?
I usually go to bed at about half past ten on a school night and goodness knows on a weekend.....I am writing this on a Saturday night at ten past one in the morning....Eek! On a school morning I set my alarm for 7am but always get up at ten past....On a weekend I get up when the kids do. Usually at about 9am.

What are your top three bedtime products? 
1. My memory foam memory foam mattress topper....It has changed my life....I have such a better nights sleep with it.
2. My little pillow....I have a little square pillow as well as my normal pillow which I need to sleep with.
3. I don't have a number three....

What is your most common sleeping position?
On my right hand side....My arm under my head and my knees slightly bent....

Do you have anything you like to take to bed with you?
My phone. Eek!

What is your worst bedtime habit?
Getting caught up watching YouTube videos and not realising the time...

I'm supposed to nominate other people to answer these questions but I will leave it open and I nominate you all to answer these questions too....

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Pretty Suds Bath Bombs - Review.

Earlier this month I was reading blogs and came across one from The July Journal reviewing a Pokemon bath bomb from Pretty Suds and decided to place an order of my own!


Pretty Suds sell a variety of products including bath bombs, shower jelly, bath soaks, soap, home scents and lots more....Everything is handmade and is a vegetarian company....A lot of products are vegan but it is advised to check the product ingredients.....

I ordered five bath bombs and I wish I had bought more!


Zinger Colour Bomb - £2.95


Awaken your senses and refresh your body with citrus infusions.....

This was the only one I wasn't too keen on....I did use it and it was fine but it smelled too citrussy. It is all down to personal preference though. Some people might like the smell...My fella did.

Strawberry Milkshake Bath Bomb - £2.95


Whip yourself up a pink tub with a frothy top just like those American milkshakes in the movies! With strawberries, raspberries and a hint of blueberry, you'll sure feel indulged by this sweet milkshake treat.

This was my favourite.....It smelled amazing and made my skin feel amazing....

Katch Em Ball - £3.95


Contains one Pokemon from all generations. Which one will you get? Gotta catch 'em all! Complete with a black band to lock in and keep in your wild one....

Becky my teen claimed this one....I didn't tell her about the Pokemon inside....She got a nice surprise.

Rhubarb and Custard - £2.95


A great British pudding melting with warm custard and a sweet kick of rhubarb.

The smell from is was delicious....It smells exactly like rhubard and custard. I still have this one to use.

The Beast - £3.45


Nestled beneath a bundle of blueberries is a little beast waiting to be unleashed! 

This one was for Ellie....She thought it was brilliant! It did turn the water a very dark red colour, almost black but she didn't mind....

In the past we have had bath bombs which didn't really bomb and whoosh in the bath but all of these did....They were so satisfying to watch.....I was very impressed with them.....They are all the size of a juicy orange but may differ in design as they are all handmade and completely unique!

Comparing them to other companies which sell bath bombs.....Yes, I'm talking about Lush. I would say these are just as good....They are cheaper which means you get more bath bombs for your money.....

Royal Mail second class is used for standard delivery at a cost of £3.95 no matter how much you order...Orders made before 11am will be processed the same day! The whole service can take 2-5 days depending on the postal service.

While browsing their website when writing this review I saw a page which I missed when I was making my order... The Perfectly Imperfect Sale Items. They say "If you're unsure about buying a product in our shop, you could adopt it's imperfect friend to try? Pretty Suds hate to waste products that are imperfect because all products are perfect on the inside! Damage includes: Misshaped items, wrong/different colours and a damaged exterior...

Pretty Suds is going to be a company which I go back to again and again. My girls love bath bombs and these are of a fantastic quality and are priced so well......

I was not asked to write this and paid for the items myself....It was a company that I thought you all should know about.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday


Another week another meal plan.....Happy Monday! 

Last weeks meal plan didn't go too badly....We had a change when it got to the weekend.....I made a sausage casserole which we had on Saturday and we had the leftovers yesterday. The toad in the hole was scrapped.....

I remembered I had this post to write at 10 past midnight last night....Oops. It's a good job I had the meal plan mostly written in my drafts. I had a lovely evening seeing a bit of a celebrity. I saw Lorraine Crosby the female vocalist in Meat Loaf's 1993 hit single "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)".....She's been on The Voice and the X-factor too....She was brilliant. We had an evening of 80's/early 90's rock, power ballads! Cocktails at the end of the night were not a good idea and neither was the steak and kidney pie....Eww! I am going to regret that. lol Be gentle with me today.....I may be slightly hungover....

This week Stu is back at work so I am back to doing all the cooking which I am not too happy about....Having him home last week made my left a whole lot easier....

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Spaghetti bolognese & garlic bread....
Tuesday - Leftover bolognese in Old El Paso Stand And Stuff Tortillas....
Wednesday - Chicken stir fry....
Thursday - Beans on toast....
Friday - Fish finger sandwiches....
Saturday - Pizza....
Sunday - Roast chicken dinner....

What are you eating this week?

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Handwriter of the week. #MySundayPhoto

Ellie is a reluctant writer....I would go to far as say she hates writing so it was a big deal when she was awarded this in the weekly assembly at school....


Saturday, 21 January 2017

A photo everyday for a year! #Project365 - Week 3

Why is January lasting so long?....This month is really dragging.

It's not been a bad week for us....Stu my fella has been on holiday from work and has been decorating. The girls have had a great week at school and I was full of cold for a day or so but I seemed to have got over it quickly. Phew.

Now on to a photo every day.....


14/365 - 14th January
A delivery of bath bombs arrived...I have a review next week! The Pokemon ball one was a big hit....

15/365 - 15th January
My 9 year olds homework....I am hopeless when it comes to maths....Becky my teen was happy to help. Phew!

16/365 - 16th January
I drank a lot of Lemsip on Monday....Probably too much but it worked and by Tuesday afternoon I felt much better!

17/365 - 17th January
Just a photo of mu girls...Looking at something on You Tube...

18/365 - 18th January
Sitting there like they had all the time in the world....It was about quarter past eight. Ellie leaves for school at 25 past. lol Amazingly she wasn't late...

19/365 - 19th January
Before Stu started painting the wall under the banister was a really dark brown colour....It took a few coats of white to cover it....Now it is a biscuit colour....

20/365 - 20th January
I went shopping for clothes...


Friday, 20 January 2017

A little holiday. #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:


Stu my fella has been off work this week.....I don't know how but he has ended up with 3 weeks of holidays to take before the end of March so he is taking a week a month until they are used up....It's been a nice break for him. He works in retail so over Christmas things for him were quite busy it's been good for him to relax a bit....

I woke up on Monday full of cold. I felt rotten. Stu was there to do the school run, cook and tidy up....I had a day resting, drinking Lemsip and taking flu tablets and by Tuesday afternoon I felt just about back to normal....If Stu had been at work I would have had to power through and I doubt I would have felt so better so quickly.

Stu has spent the week painting the hallway.....It has actually taken a week.As well as Stu being an expert at procrastinating the hall needed 3 coats of white paint over the dark brown we had.....Eek! We have learned a lesson. Never paint anything in dark colours.....lol It is now a nice biscuit colour. 

It has been a little holiday for both of us.....Him from work and me from doing all the housework and cooking! 

The next holiday he has from work is the week the kids are off in February so we are hoping to have a couple of days out....I don't know where though as I can't imagine the weather being nice...Eek! I'm sure we will come up with something.

In other news:

Becky was at the dentist on Monday getting her braces tightened....She saw the head guy and he said when she goes back in March she will most likely be getting the braces taken off because they have worked their magic! She is very happy about this....She is already planning what she is going to eat as soon as they are off. Corn on the cob, popcorn, whole apples and popping candy. lol All the things she has been banned from eating.

I was picking Ellie up from school on Wednesday and her teacher said can you pop in and see the headteacher. Eek! I am so glad Stu was with me.....I was worried. My first thought was what has she done now?.... It turns out the head just wanted to let us know how well Ellie is doing....Twice a week there has been a group of children from year 4, 5 & 6 taken off to work on their confidence and talking skills. This seems to be really helping. It also give us chance to talk through a few concerns we had. It was a good chat and it left me feeling very proud of Ellie and reassured. 


Thursday, 19 January 2017

Tiny Tickers Heart Week 2017. #CHD

Next month from the 12th to the 17th of February it is Heart week and the charity Tiny Tickers is again encouraging you to raise awareness and funds to help babies babies ensuring they are given a fighting chance to beat their condition.....


One in every 125 babies is born with a heart problem – that’s more than 5,000 newborns each year in the UK. Heart conditions are the most common and deadly birth defect in babies – responsible for 1 in every 13 infant deaths.

Last year over 1,000 newborns were discharged from UK hospitals with no one realising they had a life-threatening heart condition.

Babies with undetected heart defects will often fall into the early stages of heart failure significantly impacting their long term quality of life and associated risks of heart failure including brain damage.

Both of my girls were discharged from hospital when they were babies with heart problems....No one knew, including me. It was only down to a freak accident of Ellie jamming her fingers in a door that their conditions were found.....In 2009 both of my girls had open heart, life saving surgery. Without the surgery they would have died in their teenage years.....The teenage years seemed a long way away then but Becky is 14 now. Without the freak accident and the surgery she may have been dead by now....

You can read our story....Part one and Part two....

Tiny Tickers want to increase early detection rates of cardiac conditions....Rates for heart problems being detected during pregnancy have doubled since they launched! They train sonographers to spot defects during routine pregnancy scans, support families with a diagnosis, campaign to improve service standards and generally raise awareness!

Just £1,000 is enough to provide training for up to 10 sonographers. If they can raise £10,000 though Heart Week 2017 they will be able to help more babies and their parents this year.

Here is how Tiny Tickers can use the money you raise:

£100 - Provides specialist on-site training for a sonographer to be able to detect heart problems during a pregnancy scan.

£500 - Lets us put information materials about heart conditions in 850 baby clinics and GP surgeries.

£2,500 - Produces a training video into one of the most common forms of heart defect for sonographers to refer to during scans.

You can sign up for a FREE Heart Week fundraising kit full of tips, advice, ideas, games and your very own collecting box...

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Life on the farm....

In October I took part in Blogtober16 writing a post every day with a prompt....I wrote a post about My favourite type of animal and it got me thinking about my childhood....I think I had a pretty awesome one and this is the first of a few posts I have to write about it and living on a farm.....I have so many stories to tell I can't fit them all in one post......hehehe


Before I was born my parents bought some land.....3 huge fields.....They had a dream of building a house and living in it with a family....They did!

Before we moved to the farm every Sunday as a child my mam would pack a huge picnic and we would go to the farm....It wasn't much of a farm then....More a building site with a few horses and ponies and the big shed....My dad had a milk round and half the people he employed were tradesmen of some sort.....Bricklayers, joiners, plasterers....They came in very handy building the house.....


When I was about 8 or 9 we moved into the farmhouse which was wasn't finished but fine to live in....Going from a small 3 bedroom terraced house in the center of a busy town to a 4 bedroom house in-between two tiny villages was such a big change but my brother and I loved it....We had the freedom to be outside all day....

When we moved in there were no carpets (which made it excellent for rollerskating), no kitchen units and no proper heating until we got the Aga stove installed which we used to cook toast on the top of....It was rough for the first few months but it was all part of the adventure....

There was also no electricity for about three years. There was some sort of dispute about who should supply it. I don't know. I was 9. lol.....The power was run on generators and was only switched on when it started to get dark.....It used to need refilling with petrol every couple of hours....My mam and dad had that job. Not much fun when it was blowing a gale or snowing....

We woke up in the morning to candle light.....Yes my parents let my brother and I loose with candles and we never burnt the house down....My dad ran a skip hire business and ended up finding a TV in one of the skips which ran off a car battery.....It was a Black and White one but who cares I could watch Saturday morning TV which was quite a novelty....lol 

I didn't feel deprived or hard done to....It was fun, an adventure....We were fed, warm enough, clothed, schooled and happy....Electricity is a luxury really.....lol Just don't ask me to go without it now....

I was in secondary school and came home one summers day and my mother was doing something which needed electricity....Watching TV or using the microwave.... Something like that....Something I wasn't used to seeing during the day....I didn't hear the generator and I just couldn't fathom what was going on...lol

I can't remember ever being bored while living on the farm....I have so many wonderful memories which I will be sharing with you over the next few weeks/months....

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Our Playmobil Hospital.

My youngest is crazy about anything medical.....She loves visiting the hospital, doctors or dentists. She loves watching all the medical shows her favourite is 24 hours in A&E. For Christmas she got the Playmobil Ambulance and that seems to have set off her love for Playmobil....

Over Christmas Ellie got some money and decided she wanted to buy the Playmobil Hospital. At nearly £67 we made sure she was sure and she was....Last weekend it arrived.

Playmobil City Life Furnished Children's Hospital has a working elevator which has space for the patient's bed, an adjustable operating table, a patient bed which rolls on wheels, a reception, a children's and baby section as well as an operating room. It has a lot of medical equipment including moveable surgical light, respirator and defibrillator.

It includes:5 Playmobil figures, 1 baby incubator, 1 toilet, 1 child's hospital bed, 1 reception desk, 1 childs growth chart, 1 scales, 1 operating room and lots of accessories. 


Ellie couldn't wait to get it opened and start building it.....It came needed assembling which I guessed it would. When she opened the box she kept pulling out bags and bags of things....Eek!


Stu and Ellie started putting it together....He got the base and one of the sides on before he had to go to work then I took over...

Oh my goodness. What a job. All in all it took about 3 hours to put together. I really feel for those parents who bought a few of these sets for Christmas and set about putting them together on Christmas Eve night.....


There was the main wall and floor parts then about 15 bags.....I followed the instructions step by step and it was take one part out of one bag, one out of another then spend 5 minutes looking for something else in another bag.....There was no logic to how they were packaged....It would have made sense to have each things parts in one bag. For example all the parts of the hospital bed in one bag instead of spread over at least 3....

I sent the kids upstairs when I was half way through so I could curse and swear at the half build hospital....Oops.



When it was built all the stress was worth it...When Ellie saw it she was amazed and instantly fell in love with it....


She has played for hours and hours with it....I am not exaggerating....She played with nothing but the Playmobil hospital and her tablet for the whole of last week.....

With a lift on the outside of the building you can transport patients and the bed between floors....It works really well.

I think it is fantastic too. There are so many little extras that are not listed on the box. Surgical instruments, drip lines, casts, baby bottles, a laptop, plates, cups and blankets....

Even Becky my teenager has been playing with it with Ellie.....It is fantastic fun. Ellie plays and there is an accident then the little people get rushed to hospital in her ambulance and are treated.....There has been car crash emergencies, heart surgery, broken bones and dog bites all treated in the hospital....

I really can't imagine Ellie getting sick of it anytime soon.....It was well worth the money we paid for it. 

We have already been looking for more Playmobil to buy and have found a few little sets which would go great with the hospital.....


X-Ray Room - £8.99
Dentist with Patient - £8.49
Maternity Room - £8.99
Doctor with Child - £8.99
Emergency Motorcycle - £9.99
Flying Ambulance Playset - £26.99

**Since writing this the lovely Louise who blogs over at Little Hearts Big Love has said that it would be a brilliant toy to help prepare children for hospital....I hadn't thought of it in this way. She is so right. It seems it is one more reason to love this Playmobil set!

Do your children like Playmobil?