Tuesday, 4 March 2014
Creamy Garlic Chicken & Mushroom PancakesIngredients
For the pancake mix:
Ooo-er *Cheat Alert* We just used Aunt Bessies!!
For the filling:
A handful of sliced mushrooms
25g nob of butter
3 tbsp plain flour
1 clove of garlic - finely chopped
1/2 tsp medium curry powder
Half an onion - chopped.
- Whether you are making your batter mix from scatch or cheating like us you will need to prepare the mixture first. You can make the batter a good few hours in advance if you like - just store it in the fridge.
- First, sautee the onion and the chicken in the pan and add the curry powder to taste.
- Once browned add the garlic and leave on the the hob for a further minute.
- Once cooked through, transfer the chicken, onions and garlic to a plate.
- Now add the milk, butter and flour to the pan and whisk the mixture as you bring it to the boil. A smooth sauce should begin to form.
- Simmer for 1 minute, then remove
from the heat and stir in your garlic, mushrooms and chicken.
Your filling is complete!
If you love Shrove Tuesday as much as us then make sure you check out the Tefal Pancake Day website and have a go of the Pancake Day selfies app - it’s also filled with tons of great inspiration if you’d like to create something a little more unusual! And if you need anymore inspiration after that then take a look at their Pancake Day Pinboard!
HAPPY SHROVE TUESDAY!!
Disclosure: I received a free pan to allow me to review and write this post. Pan review to follow.
Sunday, 2 March 2014
Wednesday, 26 February 2014
Desperate for some kind of prevention, I begged my doctor to help. He suggested that rather than trying to constantly treat the infection, I should take a daily dose of Otrivine Nasal Spray as a way of prevention. I wasn't convinced to be honest and felt a little cheated that he couldn't offer a more spectacular cure. However, since I started using the spray around 4 months ago, I have only suffered once with the infection. RESULT. Usually during the winter months I'm a constant mess of mucus - sorry TMI!
So already feeling a sense of trust with Otrivine, I was really interested to hear that there is an Otrivine Natural Nasal Spray - a really unique product made from completely natural ingredients that claims to give effective relief from nasal congestion in less than 3 minutes.
Now you might not suffer from sinusitis like me, but we all know what it's like when you're full of cold and all bunged up. It's not something parents can dwell on they just have to get on with it. Being blocked up can make everything feel that much more stressful and tiring so strangely I cant wait to try the natural version and se if it has the same effect! I'll certainly let you know how I get on but in the meantime here's a couple of really interesting facts that I bet you didn't nose (sorry - it's them not me!)
Find out more about Otrivine's full product range at www.otrivine.co.uk
Disclosure I was paid a fee to host this blog post however the content and opinions in this post are my own.
Monday, 24 February 2014
Last week we headed to London for the Nestlé Cereal #BreakfastSurvival blogger event. It was an early start but the children love train journeys so they were really excited. We arrived in to Euston and headed straight there to be greeted by the lovely Nestlé peeps.
Nestlé had a whole host of creepy crawlies for us to meet courtesy of The Wiggly Wild Show. To be honest, I'm a bit of a scaredy cat and I hate anything with more than 4 legs, so when I was offered the chance to hold a millipede it made my hairs stand on end! Not one to freak out, I decided to be brave and managed to hold him and eventually a hermit crab too!
Chris got involved as well - only he went one better and was brave enough to hold the cockroach, the hermit crab AND eat some bugs!!!
It was great fun, although Mister A and Little E decided against holding any of the 'live' creepy crawlies, instead they settled for dead ones in glass.
There was also a lovely lady called Annie who was face painting. Little E chose a lovely butterfly design where as Mister A went for an Angry Bird which Annie kindly copied from his trainers!
Finally we headed in to the cereal room where we got to try some of Nestlé's cereals. With over two dozen different Nestlé Cereals to choose from there was something for all of us. Each cereal is made with whole grain and is a great source of at least seven vitamins and minerals, what’s more, each serving of Nestlé Cereals only costs 26p per bowl and that’s including the price of the milk!
Ok, so what's it all about?
The event was launch Nestlé's new #BreakfastSurvival campaign. We heard about Nestlé's recent research in to school day mornings which confirmed that almost two thirds of parents (61%) juggle more than 10 tasks in the morning pre-school rush hour - with less than 6 minutes to complete each one! This gave way to the fact that us parents are always on the look out for nutritious speedy breakfasts for the whole family.
With so much to juggle, it can be hard for us to make sure our children are getting the best start to the day. There are so many cereals out there and I do find it tough to make food choices that are nutritional but tasty and affordable.
We met nutritionist Juliette Kellow and she explained: “Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. You haven’t eaten for about 12 hours so it’s vital your body gets the kick start it needs to help see you through the morning. By eating whole grain cereals with milk, you can ensure you get a mix of fibre, together with vitamins and minerals such as iron and calcium.”
I quizzed Juliette on the importance of calcium and iron and she answered so many questions that I had always wondered about.
We also met lovely celebrity mum of two, Marina Fogle who is supporting the campaign. She says: “Just like most families, sometimes we find it hard to navigate the jungle of the morning routine. But, however busy we are, making time for a nutritious breakfast is key. A bowl of cereal is not just quick and easy but a source of important nutrients my family needs to start the day in a nutritious balanced way.”
All in all it was a fabulous day out, the children loved it and we learned a lot too. Thank you Nestlé!
Wednesday, 19 February 2014
Back in October, Chris and I stayed at the Jurys Inn Hotel Birmingham. It was not a great experience. In fact it was so bad that we had to complain. The manager at the hotel offered us a complimentary stay at the Birmingham hotel by means of an apology.,,
As we had stayed at the hotel for a specific event I explained that the likelihood of us visiting Birmingham again in the near future was slim and that I would much prefer a full refund. The lady was nice but explained a refund wasn't an option...
We accepted the complimentary stay and I queried how we would eventually make our booking. The response was simple with no terms...
This week we tried to book our stay, choosing either Jurys Inn London Islington or London Chelsea as a back up. I checked online and there were plenty of rooms available so I called the number. Unfortunately, the original lady that I had been emailing had now left the company and I had to speak to various people about the booking.
Eventually I spoke to a lady called Erica who was passed all of the details and said she would contact Islington (our preferred hotel) and make the booking. She called me back to say she'd sent an email and would contact me the next day (today).
This morning I emailed, nothing, so I called. Erica didn't start until 14.30 so I was told to call back then. I called back, Erica wasn't about. So I waited. Eventually Erica called back, she hadn't had a reply to her email. I explained that our stay was for tomorrow and we needed to know! She said she'd call me back within half an hour. 2 hours later I had to call her back to ask for an update. She said Islington had replied and there was no availability. She was nice enough and said she'd now email Chelsea to book with them instead.
I was gutted about Islington, it was the ideal location for our stay and I knew that there had been rooms. I decided to go online and check that all the rooms had gone... guess what? There were rooms free!! In fact, even now at 11.30pm there are still rooms available (although they have increased in price)...
So I called Erica back, explained there were rooms and questioned the email she had received. She seemed confused to and offered to call and check why we couldn't stay.
A while later Erica called back. "Yes there are rooms, but the manager will not give one of those out as a complimentary stay." This made me really mad but I stayed calm and instead said ok, we'll stay in Chelsea instead. Erica explained that she hadn't actually had a reply from them yet but she'd keep chasing.
I tried to call for a definite confirmation a couple of times but the line rang out. So I waited.. and waited....
At 8.30pm this evening, Erica finally called back. The manager at the Jurys Inn Chelsea said they wouldn't accommodate our complimentary stay either... but they could offer us the room we needed for £111. Oh great thanks Jurys!!!
So the night before our stay we are left with no room because Jurys Inn won't allow us to use our stay that we were given for our first bad experience... we can still take it (after this, our second bad experience)... just that it has to be on their terms... presumably when the entire hotel has no guests. I think it's a disgrace. Customer service at it's worse.
Had we had stayed at Islington, they would have turned a negative customer experience in to a positive one - thus neutralising the original bad stay. But no, now we're left with no hotel, hours before we leave and guess what... all of the other hotels have shot up in price because we were left waiting so long to hear the big fat NO.
So I'm still out of pocket for the original stay.. the phone calls to Birmingham... and now an extortionate fee for a late room in London. EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE AT LEAST 3 ROOMS LEFT AT THE ISLINGTON HOTEL!!!! Why can I not take my complimentary stay as promised, there are rooms available... its not like the complimentary stay is a prize... something Ive won, with terms & conditions... this is a complimentary stay for a really bad customer experience!!! Your only chance to turn a negative in to a positive!!!
I just want to scream... but I won't.. instead I'll share my experience with you in the hope that you'll avoid them for future stays.... because they are pants and all they care about is money.
Tuesday, 18 February 2014
So Ive only gone and done it again - signed up for a charity sporting event without really thinking properly about it! Yes, again! This time I have officially signed up as a member of the 2014 Sport Relief #TeamHonkRelay
So what's the #TeamHonkRelay then?
Well, it's a person to person relay from Land’s End to John O’Groats with a route of nearly 3,000 miles that will involve nearly 200 bloggers, plus their family and friends!
The relay started back on 12th January in Cornwall... the baton is slowly making it's way up the country with the baton reaching me on Sunday 9th March via Ruth who's transporting the bike from Standish. Chris and I will give the baton a bed for the night. Then on Monday morning myself & my lovely husband will cycle around 15 miles to pass the baton on to Angela from This Is Life in Leyland.
But 15 miles on a bike... that's easy isn't it?
Well...those of you that know me will know that I'm rubbish on a bike... and that I'm not the smallest or fittest of peeps but I'm still willing to give it a go. Aside from the body issues the only bike I own is the one I got for my 15th birthday from my mum & dad!!
So if you want to see me ride 15 miles on a bike I got when I was at school... wearing a onesie... knowing that my seat is smaller than one bum cheek... then please please donate to our team fundraising page now>> http://my.sportrelief.com/sponsor/cheshireteamhonk!!
But what's it all for?
The aim of the Relay is to raise over £20,000 for Sport Relief. As one of the biggest fundraising events, Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active raise cash and change lives. The money raised by the public is spent by Comic Relief to help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people both at home in the UK and across the world.
How can you get involved?
It's not too late to do some fund raising of your own. Order your free fundraising pack here> http://www.sportrelief.com/order-stuff
The first ever Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games take place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March 2014. The public can join the fun and games by running, swimming or cycling their way to raising cash at over a thousand venues around the country, including the landmark events at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Good luck in whatever you do!!!
Sponsor us now... please???!!!
Monday, 17 February 2014
A couple of weeks ago Vue Cinemas invited us to a special blogger screening of Barbie: The Pearl Princess down in London. Unfortunately, like with most events, living 'ooop North' meant that we were unable to travel. Luckily for us Vue were kind enough to offer us tickets to see the film at our local cinema.
Little E was really excited but Daddy and Mister A didn't want to come because "It's for girls". That didn't bother us in the slightest, and it meant that I could invite my friend Mel and her daughter for a lovely girls day out.
In this film Barbie plays a mermaid called Lumina that has a special magic 'pearl powers'. Her and her best friend Kuda, a pink seahorse, spend lots of time playing together, dreaming of being princesses. One day, against her Aunt's wishes, they head out of thier reef and embark on an adventure to a majestic mer-kingdom. Once at the Royal Ball Lumina uses her special powers to save the day and unlocks the key to her dreams!
Whats the verdict?
Little E and her friend absolutely loved the film. We hadn't even made it home before she was asking whether there was a DVD!
Second Time Mummy Verdict...
The girls loved the film so it's a thumbs up from me - we'll definitely be looking out for the DVD version. The cinema itself was great too as they provide booster seats for the little ones so despite having people in front they could still see.
Check out Vue Cinemas this February half term there's lots of offers to be had:
Vue Kids AM every morning, in selected Vue cinemas, with tickets from just £1.75 for 2D films and from £3 for 3D films, for both children and accompanying adults;
Super Tuesday with up to a third off cinema tickets;
20% off all tickets this half term with special Vue Teen Tickets; and
2for1 tickets to see Moshi Monsters: The Movie.
Disclosure: We received free cinema tickets to allow us to write this review
Sunday, 5 January 2014
Saturday, 4 January 2014
ReadI've been rubbish with grown up books recently but one of my new years resolutions is the read more. This week though we've been mostly reading instruction booklets for all of the Christmas toys the children were lucky enough to get and we've been concentrating hard on our Lego building guides!
It's been great having time off and spending quality 'play' time with the children. We've loved every minute!
WatchedBirds of a Feather - I used to LOVE the programme when I was growing up (that, the Golden Girls and Nash Bridges!) and, although I'm sure I didn't really understand most of the jokes it still made me laugh so it had a lot to live up to when it returned to our screens this week!
The first episode was all about setting the scene so many years down the line but I wasn't disappointed. In fact I cant wait to tune in again next week!
Unfortunately this week after loving being back in these for the first time in 2014...
I've ended up on crutches with a bad sprain! I ran 7.5k on New Year's Day after a few
My brother and his girlfriend got me THE most amazing CD for Christmas...
This week I made a delicious Chilli Prawn Stir Fry to kick off our healthy eating plan. I love cooking from scratch and it saves so much money.
As much as I have really enjoyed not counting the calories for the last couple of weeks, I really can't wait to starting eating better and getting back out there and start running again!
So that's it, the little things that I love from this week!
Fancy joining in?
Just copy the headings and use them as prompts then link up here. Be sure to use the hashtag #littlelove too.
Wednesday, 1 January 2014
Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Today's amazing prize is a wonderful bath time bundle from the lovely people over at Munchkin - manufacturer of clever products designed to make parents’ lives easier and more exciting. Munchkin know it’s the little things that make the biggest difference which is why their products have made such an impact on parents and resulted in many industry awards.
Founded in 1991, Munchkin's big idea was to rid the world of tired and mundane products by developing clever, innovative solutions that excite and delight families - making parenting safer, easier and more fun. We've been a fan since Little E was born so we are so excited to offer such a lovely prize!
We have a Munchkin bath bundle up for grabs today... To enter, just use the rafflecopter entry form below...
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tuesday, 12 November 2013
We were first introduced to the brand back in 2010, the year Little E was born, and the year that -to my knowledge- OXO first launched in the UK. We ran a couple of reviews for them and since then we've become huge fans.
OXO, is an American housewares brand famed for its universal design philosophy and clever range of kitchen tools. The TOT range includes everything from weaning and feeding equipment in three vibrant shades of aqua, pink and green.
The collection also offers a sleek, space efficient highchair that grows with your child up to the age of 5, essential cleaning tools, bathroom accessories and soothing, energy efficient nightlights.
Items in the range are borne out of everyday issues OXO’s own designers encountered when raising their own tiny tots and have been designed to grow with a child through several stages of development. The sippy cups, for example, have angled handles that help reduce the strain on tot’s wrists and can be removed when tot becomes more conﬁdent. The grown up feeding equipment for tiny tots offers very real beneﬁts to babies and mums with products such as the training plate and training cup helping to teach tots the art of self-feeding, aiding the weaning process and increasing their sense of independence.
Fabulous!! So if you'd like to win a bundle of these beautiful baby products then enter using the Raffle copter entry form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Monday, 11 November 2013
You know the drill by now - just enter using the Rafflecopter entry form below...
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Sunday, 10 November 2013
The new Pabobo Super Nomade light is a clever little night light. There's no plug, no batteries - just a handy little USB charger and the best bit of all? It can last for up to a month from one single charge!
We've been testing it for nearly two weeks now and we've loved it. Little E has a slight phobia of the dark so bedtimes can be difficult but this has had a great effect on bedtimes... she absolutely loves it! We leave it on her bedside table but by the time we head up to bed she's always fast asleep with it in her hand. No need to worry though - the cold LED system means that the night light will never heat up - even under the covers - so it's completely safe.
If you're wondering how the charge lasts so long - the Pabobo Super Nomade has a special built in sensor so it can tell when it is light and dark, so it turns on and off by itself. And if you need a bit of extra light to check on your little one in the night then theres a little button on the back that doubles the light intensity too!
We think it's absolutely amazing and the great thing is it small enough to take with us when we're on our travels. It would have been great when we were camping in the Summer and will be definitely part of essential camping kit come Spring.
It's beautifully designed and comes in three cute designs. I can not rate this highly enough!!
|Little E in bed - loving her Pabobo Super Nomade Night Light|
Saturday, 9 November 2013
The T-Shirt's cost £9.99 each - with £2 from each purchase going to the charity partnered with the children's character you select for your Tee.
To order a T-Shirt, just download the free T-Shirt Booth App...
...choose the character you want...
and the colour and size of shirt....
Then either take a photo or upload an existing shot from your phone...
and then just type in their name...
Mister A and Little E LOVED designing their own T-Shirts and 5 days after they ordered...
look what arrived...
There are some great charities and characters available too:
• Moshi Monsters supporting Action for Children;
• Paddington Bear supporting Action Medical Research;
• Dinosaurus for Beat Bullying;
• Garfield supporting Cats Protection
• Cheeky Little Monsters for Children with Cancer;
• Silentnight for Dreams Come True;
• The Froobles for Heart UK;
• Rastamouse for Nordoff Robbins;
• Ben 10, LazyTown and Adventure Time (Cartoon Network Enterprises) supporting Plan;
• Forever Friends supporting Tommy’s;
• Bin Weevils supporting WellChild
And dozens more characters will be added over the next few weeks, just in time for Christmas, including The Snowman and The Snowdog and Santa’s Little Helpers for ITV Text Santa.
If you'd like to win one of these fabulous T-Shirts then enter now using the rafflecopter entry below...
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The T-Shirt Booth App was created by Digital Giving, is available via the Apple App Store, via Google Play for Android - and can be downloaded directly from the T-Shirt Booth website -
www.t-booth.net. Charity and character partnerships continue to be formed.
Friday, 8 November 2013
In case you didn't know, Flossy is steeped in over 25 years of cultural history, originating in the Rioja region of Spain and still to this day, remains a family run business. Originally worn by artists and sailors within Barcelona’s yachting clubs, twenty five years later, Flossy continues its growth into the European and worldwide market now supplying to everywhere from New York to Japan.
Flossys are no longer solely a Mediterranean footwear craze but a fast becoming the ‘must have’ item offering comfort, vibrance and simplicity with a fashion edge. And this autumn winter Flossy has added to their ever growing range going beyond the basics to offer two fun and wearable styles especially for kids with their slogan ‘Colour Your Life’ firmly in mind.
Zippy WarmersThese corded unisex booties come in a range of staple colourways for both boys and girls with zip sides for easy wear/slip-on. They are also ingeniously lined with faux fur making these the go-to footwear for keeping even the teeniest of tootsies warm this winter.
Toe-Cappers100% cotton with a sturdy sole and buckle fastening that provides increased support and comfort for those essential early stages. These adorable and functional shoes come in an excellent range of colours with a few neon tones for an added pop of fun.
Both styles are now available online at £15.95 a pair at
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thursday, 7 November 2013
Punky Princess is an online community with a unique identity that encourages girls to be themselves. Their store sells a range of protective covers in their signature hot-pink colour, available for tablets, smartphones and DS consoles that will not only make devices look stylish and unique but will also protect them from damage, making them a stocking filler that parents will be in favour of too!
Aimed at teen and tween girls, Punky Princess understands what these girls are looking for. Its safe and secure community, is a unique and fun place to make friends, have fun and check out the latest Punky Princess products to buy.
Punky Princess has also created its own unique and stylish charm bracelet with a choice of 10 individual charms to customise it. Charms can not only be attached to the bracelet, but can also be used to customise the range of device covers available too. Each charm in the range is aligned to its own personality traits, so whether a girl is more punky or more princess, there is a charm to suit her individual style and personality.
We were sent some of these perfect pink accesories and we really liked them. The phone charms and the charm bracelet were really cute and come in beautiful little pouches making them ideal stocking fillers for Christmas. The range of protective covers are fab too and will protect your tech from knocks. Overall we love the stylish design and would recommend the products for any fashionable tweens.
To enter to win some of these funky goodies just enter using the rafflecopter entry form below...
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Wednesday, 6 November 2013
Ever since I was a a little girl I've always been aware of the Simple skincare brand. It's a brand I've grown up with and completely trust so that's why I am very pleased that Day 5's Daily Blog Comp is to win a fabulous hamper of products from the new Simple Kind To Skin+ range.
"Simple Kind To Skin+ is more than everyday skincare. It’s a range of products that like all Simple products has no artificial perfume or colour and no harsh chemicals with the same Simple goodness and skin loving ingredients as the trusted Kind To Skin range but with added benefits. We’re talking illuminating, protecting, brightening, perfecting and moisture boosting skincare treats and as with all Simple products they are perfect for all skin types - even the most sensitive."
If like me though, your skincare regime is a lacking a little then there's something you need to do. Head over to the Simple website and get a free personalised plan. Answer questions about your lifestyle and skincare routine and they will suggest the best skincare and lifestyle routines that will help you personally. You should definitely check it out..
...in the meantime I am please to offer today's prize of a Simple Skincare Hamper containing the following:
Simple Kind to Skin+ Illuminating Radiance Cream (£8.99)
Simple Kind to Skin+ BB Cream (£8.99)
Simple Kind To Skin+ Protecting Moisture Cream SPF30 (RRP £6.99)
Simple Kind To Skin+ Radiance Brightening Wipes (RRP £3.99)
To enter use the rafflecopter entry form below
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tuesday, 5 November 2013
To enter just fill out the Rafflecopter entry form below...
a Rafflecopter giveaway