Monday, 14 September 2015

Easy Birthday Party Ideas

I sort of took the easy option for the girls birthday party this year. Summer was so crazy with SO much work and general busy-ness that I just didn't feel I had the time to make a big cake or go all out on party bags, so as the party was gym themed. I bought these party bag skipping ropes.

Then I made chocolate bar covers to say thank you and gave them out in white paper bags with sweets and cake.

The cake was my biggest cheat. I bought a beautiful plain iced chocolate cake from Waitrose and just added the decorations. The Playmobil gymnast is the javelin thrower and the bars are from our school set.

I made the bunting from straws and patterned card.

I thought it came out quite well.

What do you think?

Contains affilate links.

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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Summer Recipes with Lindeman's Wine

I've been a bit lost for food inspiration recently, lack of time and energy has seen us eating the same meals on a weekly basis, but this week I decided to make more of an effort, dusted off my slow cooker and created some easy meals we can all enjoy.

I do love a nice cold glass of white wine on summer evenings and Lindeman's Sauvignon Blanc goes perfectly with my first dish.

Lovely lemon chicken thighs

I'm not usually a fan of chicken thighs, but the meat fell of these and the hint of lemon and white white in the sauce was just lovely.


6 chicken thighs
3 carrots diced
2 small onions
2 cloves of garlic
Several sprigs of thyme
Zest of 1 lemon
1 glass of Lindeman's Bin 95 Sauvignon Blanc
Salt and Pepper
Juice of half a lemon
300ml vegetable/chicken stock


Saute the chicken and the onions for a 5 minutes.

Add the carrots, lemon zest, thyme and the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes, empty into a large stock pot or slow cooker.

Add the stock, season to taste then cook over a low heat (or on fast setting in the slow cooker) for approximately 2hrs before adding the new potatoes.  Cook for a further hour until the chicken falls apart and the potatoes are cooked.

Squeeze the lemon juice and serve with Lindeman's Bin 95 Sauvignon Blanc. 

Gorgeous Beef Stew with Red Wine


500g of diced stewing steak or similar
1 glass of Lindeman's Bin 50 Shiraz
300ml of beef stock
3 carrots diced
2 red onions sliced
Handful of finely chopped rosemary
Handful of thyme leaves
Teaspoon of cornflour
Salt and Pepper


Brown the beef and fry with the onions and garlic.

Add the carrots and fry for a further 2 minutes.

Transfer to a slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients, season to taste.

Slow cook (on fast setting) for approx. 4hrs until the beef is tender.

At the end mix a teaspoon of cornflour with water until you have a fine paste and add to the stock to thicken.

Serve with rice and Lindeman's Bin 50 Shiraz

This is my entry into the Lindeman's Wine competition with Tots100 #CapturetheSummer

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Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Easy Cauldron Cakes

These are just basic rocky road mixture with a twizzler on top, super simple, but delicious.

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Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The secrets of adding fresh flowers to cakes

The secrets of adding fresh flowers to cakes

Do you just love making your own cakes, especially during the school holidays with your kids? Well, whether you are baking a cake with the kids or for a wedding; the perfect addition to any stunning cake is a fresh flower. However, there are a few hidden secrets behind choosing the right fresh flower for your cake, so keep your ears open!

Whether you choose flowers from Serenata or you pick them from your garden there are a number of things that you need to take into consideration:

Know what you can eat

There are a number of blooms which are perfectly edible, so be sure that you know what those are! Roses, pansies and marigolds are popular choices for cakes; especially with kids due to their range of colours to choose from.
However, there are a number of flowers that are deadly if eaten such as; daffodils and calla lilies. Whilst the flowers on your cake do not need to be edible, you must ensure that you remove them before the cake is served – and keep your kids away from them in case of any minor mishaps.
You should also note that most fresh flowers will wilt when placed on the top of moist butter cream, so keep this in mind if you are preparing to serve your cake to guests.

Keep an eye on scent and taste

When choosing which bloom you would like to add to your cake, you should keep in mind the scent and taste of the flower to ensure it complements your cake. If the flower has a really strong scent, it will seep into the cake – and this may not necessarily be a good thing!

Be on trend

Believe it or not, the most ‘fashionable’ way to decorate your cakes with flowers in 2015 is to use just one flower to provide a huge visual impact. Orchids are thought to be great when used alone on the top or side of a cake.
Fresh flowers can be used in a number of different ways when it comes to cake making, from a delicate garnish to a huge flower arrangement on the top of the cake.
If you are making a tiered cake, flowers are also the perfect way to divide each tier for maximum impact and a fantastic modern design guaranteed to impress. 
With these small tips in mind, you are set to create the very best cake!

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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Great Day Trips for Half Term

I can't quite believe it's almost half term already, Im still in my post Christmas haze. As much as I LOVE having the kids home and not having to rush around quite so much, it is quite a daunting prospect having to keep everyone entertained for a week, especially when as soon as schools finish soft play centres become rammed and everyone heads out to the same places making them a lot less fun than in term time. 

The cost of taking three children out for the day even if you take your own food and drink can be astronomical, so I'm always on the look out for money saving offers and deals so we can have a fun day out without completely breaking the bank.

Great day trips for half term

National Trust

National Trust sites are located across the country, are reasonably priced and often offer special events in school holidays such as den building or pond dipping. We love the huge outdoor space and lovely coffee shops.

Forestry Commission Parks

The Forestry Commission has has sites located countrywide and is a great fun day outdoors where you usually just pay a reasonable fee for parking. Our nearest is Alice Holt Forest in Farnham which has huge play areas and trails suitable for kids of all ages.

Take a trip to London

Even London doesn't have to be hugely expensive, book your train tickets early, and visit the FREE museums and parks. Our favourite is the Science Museum.

Theme Parks

Definitely one you need a voucher or special offer for, but there are usually lots around. Our favourite local-ish theme park is LEGOland.

Half term fun at home

We often find ourselves spending hours building LEGO, making indoor dens, baking cakes, playing games and just generally enjoying the calm time after the busy school term.

I do try and get us out somewhere every day though, even if it's just a trip to the park around the corner.

What's your favourite day out in the school holidays? Do you chill out at home or head out on an adventure?

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Friday, 30 January 2015

Chorizo, Look and Oregano Omelette

This omelette was super easy to make and tasted delicious.


1/2 a leek - finely chopped
5 eggs 
A small piece of butter
A sprinkling of Oregano
Sliced chorizo


Melt the butter in the pan and add the whisked up eggs, sprinkle the leek and oregano and stir.

Heat for a couple of minutes and add the chorizo.

Once the egg starts to cook through fold in half and flip.

Leave on the heat until all the egg is cooked through.


Happy Egg kindly sent us a voucher for some eggs for the purpose of this post.

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Thursday, 15 January 2015

On getting organised

I've been trying to organise my house for the last 6 months, but the mess seems to build up faster than I can clear it. The kitchen is a huge problem area as it tends to collect paperwork and kids craft supplies as well as the usual gadgets that never get used, lunch bags and never ending washing up.  In an effort to really sort it out we cleared out the whole room and painted it just before Christmas, but slowly the clutter has started to build up again, especially around the craft area.

I like to have craft supplies on hand for the kids to use whenever they want, but inevitably that does lead to a degree of mess and disorganisation.

I really want to keep our craft supplies accessible as my girls do love to 'make'. Just last weekend my 6 year old made herself some skis from a cardboard box, which I thought were genius and I'd really miss their little creations if they stopped making them.

Even my little boy gets involved, although his projects generally involve either a big stick or some kind of shooting device like this catapult.

My aim for the next few weeks is to sort out our craft supply area once and for all. There are some AMAZING ideas on Pinterest and I am totally in awe of the organisational skills some people have. I would LOVE the craft corner of my kitchen to look like one of these. I especially adore the one with the blackboard and the roll of paper.

Do you have a problem area in your house? What would your dream solution be? How do you organise your craft supplies?

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