Monthly Archives:

August 2013

Photo Challenge – August 16th to 23rd

17th – I used the plants I’d been sent for review and made two of these displays in some stone pots I had. I love them 🙂
18th – Kaycee’s started wearing an eye mask to bed that she got in a gift set. She keeps complaining that it’s not worth wearing it because it falls off in the middle in the night!
19th – Kaycee, Ella and I went to the park with some friends and they had a picnic lunch. It was nice to get out of the house for a while. The girls enjoyed playing with their friend and I enjoyed having a natter with her mum 🙂
20th – Settling down for a story after bath time 🙂
21st – I got my 7 stone award at Slimming World today 😀 I updated my other blog with my before and current photos if you’d like to take a look
22nd – Ella made the dessert today, it was flapjack, banana, ice cream and chocolate sauce and it was delicious. Kaycee had made dinner for us which was also yummy (I helped with the hot oven). She made chicken pizza which had the chicken as the base and a topping of tomato sauce, mushrooms, sweetcorn and cheese. I’m going to get her to make it again because we really enjoyed it 🙂
23rd – The kids have gone to Aiden’s dad’s for the week so I made a lovely meal for Ant and I. We had mashed potatoes and steak served with tomatoes and mushrooms roasted in garlic, balsamic vinegar, basil and thyme. For the sauce, I fried some onions and mushrooms, added a little stock then put it in the pan that I’d cooked the tomatoes in so all the balsamic and garlic mingled with the onions and mushrooms.
It would have been syn free but I decided to add some butter to the mash. It was well worth the 4 syns!

Walkers Mighty Lights – Review

Walker’s crisps are always a favourite in our house; we like nearly all the flavours but we do tend to argue over who gets the cheese and onion ones!

The day Walker’s sent us some new Mighty Lights to try, the girls and I were just off out for a picnic in the park with some friends so we grabbed one of the multi packs and took them with us.

 

At 30% less fat than regular crisps they were a good option for the girls and because of the reduced fat I was able to have a packet, using only 5.5 syns from my daily Slimming World syn allowance.
I love crisps and wouldn’t be able to cut them out of my diet so being able to have a proper packet of crisps that are delightfully crunchy while not using too many of my precious syns makes me very happy!
I usually have to have corn or maize snacks to keep the syns low but they just don’t feel as indulgent as ridged crisps and I’ll be telling the people at my Slimming World group about these 🙂

Mighty Lights have been a big hit with everyone here, so much so that I didn’t manage to get to them quickly enough to take the photo before they’d opened all three packets!

 

The crisps come in Cheese & Onion, Roast Chicken and Lightly Salted.
I’m not usually a fan of salted crisps, always thinking them to be the ‘boring’ option out of the multi-packs when I was younger but these Lightly Salted ones are really lovely. Both Ant and I said that they were nicer than regular salted crisps; in fact, we believe the same to be true of all three flavours. I don’t know if it’s the flavour of the ridged crisps mingling with the added flavours but there’s something in them that makes them tastier than regular crisps while at the same, seeming lighter in flavour.
I hate when you can still taste the cheese and onion flavour in your mouth hours later when you’re trying to enjoy your next meal but these crisps didn’t leave that after-taste which is a big plus in my book!

I’d be quite happy giving them a packet of these crisps in their lunchbox occasionally, not only because of the lower fat content but because they’re made from real potatoes, they don’t contain any artificial colours or preservatives and they’re a source of fibre.

The kids love them as much as Ant and I but this time, instead of fighting over the cheese & onion ones, they’ve been fighting over the roast chicken flavour! I can safely say that Walker’s Mighty Lights get a big thumb up from all of us and the children will find them in their school lunchboxes from time to time, that is if Ant and I don’t get to them first!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

How does your garden grow? August 22nd

I’ve been cleaning and re-organising the house this week and while doing so I also had to clean out the garden shed. I’ve been putting it off all summer because it was a mammoth task but I needed the space so with Aiden’s help I knuckled down and got it done.

Now the garden looks like a rubbish tip but at least the house and shed are clean and organised! We only have to put up with it a few more days, until the real rubbish tip is open then I’m going to spend time cleaning the garden, emptying pots of old displays and cleaning everything that’s going to be stored over Autumn and Winter.

I’m not going to share pictures of the mess because quite frankly it’s boring and you don’t need to see it! I will, however, share with the new plants I’ve been sent to review, (post to follow with full details).
I emptied two stone pots, one which contained coriander that I never cooked with because I don’t like it and the other had my miniature rose in that Ant bought me for Valentine’s Day a few years ago. I’ve re-potted it in to a smaller pot and filled the stone pots with plants that will give colour through Autumn and Winter 🙂

 

Mammasaurus - How Does Your Garden Grow?

What’s the story? – Kaycee’s bed!

I’ve been re-organising the house, a project that started about a week ago and which will probably take another 2-3 days to complete.
During this time the house has looked like a bomb site and it’s been a little stressful, to say the least!

I did my bedroom first then moved on to Kaycee and Ella’s room. It had been an absolute tip for about a week and I’d put off doing it because I knew it was going to take most of the day.

I finally managed to get it clean and re-organised with only Kaycee’s top bunk left to sort. I don’t go up there but could see she had a few things at the bottom of her bed so I asked her to clear her bed off for me.

The following photos show the amount of stuff she had on her bed and I swear I had no idea there was this much stuff. I also had no idea how she managed to fit in there, let alone get any sleep!

I bet my face was a picture when I saw the amount of stuff she took off of her bed!

 

A bit of bedtime reading….for the next year?!

 

Enough cuddly toys and dolls to never feel alone!

 

Taking a trip to dreamland maybe? 🙂
In her defense, she didn’t put the suitcase up there, I put it up there the day I started cleaning their room and I forgot to take it down. She, however, didn’t move it for 3 days!

 

I have no idea why she needed 2 hot water bottles in the middle of the hottest summer we’ve had for years! Maybe the fan was to counteract the effect of the hot water bottles?!

Of course, you have to keep your Moshi Monsters safe from your little sister who’s also collecting them so I can see the logic in that but the post it notes and big wooden Crayola crayon box?

She likes to craft and is always saving cardboard from the recycling!

 

Spare pajamas, nighties, a flannel, handkerchief and….. a piece of material!

 

Finally, lots of paper in case she has to write down all the ideas that come to her for the many stories she likes to write 🙂
Tell me truthfully, have you ever seen this amount of stuff on one 8 year olds bed?!


Photo challenge – August 10th to 16th

10th – Ella’s got another wobbly tooth and is starting to get fed up with it and wanting it to hurry up and fall out!
11th – We took the girls to Belper River Gardens in Derbyshire so they could celebrate their birthdays with my side of the family. We had 9 children in total (6 nieces and nephews as well as Kaycee, Ella and Aiden) and it was a really lovely afternoon 🙂
12th – Ella’s tooth finally fell out! Unfortunately, she lost her tooth before bedtime and was very upset. The tooth fairy took pity on her though and left her a little note that said, ‘Dear Ella, please don’t worry about losing your tooth, just leave it for me when you find it. I’ve left you some money any way because I know how well you look after your teeth. Love the Tooth Fairy xx
P.S. I like your butterfly paper.’ (She’d borrowed a piece of our butterfly notepaper to write her letter!)
Ella was very excited when she read the note 🙂
13th – Here’s daddy having a bit of fun at the dinner table. He turned the napkin holder upside down and balanced a jar of chocolate spread, a bottle of brown sauce, a bottle of tomato Worcester sauce and the salt pot on top of each other. The kids thought it was hilarious!
14th – I’ve been re-organising the whole house this week and it took me 2 days to do the girls room. I told Kaycee to clear off her bed because she’s on the top bunk and I couldn’t reach properly. I was astounded by the amount of stuff she had on there and I’ll be doing a post in the next couple of days that will show exactly what she was sharing her bed with and I’m sure you’ll be as amazed as I was that she could even fit in there!
15th – Excitement city as my S.W.H. (super wonderful husband) would say! I’ve been asked to review a gardening website and they sent me these plants so I could make up some containers for winter colour. I’m so excited and can’t wait to get them planted up. They want me to be a regular reviewer and I’ll be very happy to oblige, especially as all the plants have arrived in the best condition I’ve ever had when buying plants through the post 🙂
16th – Ella found a vampire cape that hadn’t been taken out of the packet since we bought it last Halloween. She’s been pretending to be a vampire all morning and kept scowling at me!

Flying Fairies by Flutterby – Review

Our fairy arrived wrapped in pink tissue paper from which gold glitter floated down when it was ripped off. The girls thought it was wonderful and couldn’t wait to get her out of the box.

 

 

She’s very pretty and the girls were eager to get her flying so we put in the batteries and sat her on the base to charge her up.

It didn’t take too long and Kaycee was the first to try her out. You’re supposed to be able to control where she flies by placing your hand under her feet so she’s just hovering above it and moving your hand around.

I’m sad to say that she didn’t have any luck at all in controlling her because as soon as she left the base she shot straight up to the ceiling.
We tried getting her to start spinning then holding her by the head and placing her above our hands rather than letting her rise off of the base but that still didn’t work.

 

Sorry about the angle…I’m better at taking photos than video!

After various tries by Kaycee, me, her dad and Ella we gave up.

I must admit, we had a lot of fun seeing her shoot up to the ceiling and trying to get her down but after a while the girls got frustrated with not being to make her do what she was supposed to.

The girls did keep trying over the next couple of days but unfortunately, a little later in the week, Ella was playing with her in her room and somehow the metal piece in her foot that connects to the base to enable her to get charged up, fell out. We couldn’t find it so once her battery loses power we won’t be able to charge her anymore.

So all in all, we’ve not had a very good experience with Flying Fairy Flutterby and I’m not quite sure what to do with her once her power has gone.

*EDIT AUGUST 25th 2013*
We were sent another doll to try and I’m very pleased to report that this fairy is very well behaved, unlike the first one! She doesn’t fly off to the ceiling straight away and stay there; she goes up but then comes back down a little and she’s not too fast to catch! We were also told to press the button on the base unit if she did go too high and that brought her back down a little again. I’d have probably found this out if I’d read the instructions properly!
The girls are away at the moment but I know that when they get back they’re going to be very excited to play with her now that she does as she’s told 🙂
I’ve checked a lot of other reviews and I’ve come to the conclusion that we just got a naughty fairy who flew too fast and high because no one else seems to have the problems we’ve had.

*EDIT DECEMBER 27th 2013*
I’m sad to say our second fairy stopped working again. I’m not sure when exactly she stopped working; the girls hadn’t played with her for ages and when I saw the comments below, I asked them why they hadn’t played with her and was told she no longer works. The piece in her foot that allows her to be charged fell out and got lost. I’ve now thrown her away and won’t be bothering getting a new one.


Please note: We were sent the doll to review and this is my honest and accurate opinion.

How does your garden grow – August 15th

I’ve had a week off from Nanny’s garden as the kids are home and Nanny was busy getting moved into her new home, finally! Moving is stressful and she didn’t need two rowdy girls getting under her feet.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had much chance to get in our garden as I decided to start a major re-organising of the house. After starting at the weekend, it still looks like a bomb has hit but I have to stop focusing on that and just work my through it!

Anyway, I have taken a few pictures of the garden so here they are…

Those yellow lilies totally confused me because I had photos of white ones with a light yellow streak on each petal and I had a memory of pink lilies but then yellow ones came.
The yellow ones have now dropped their petals and the pink and white ones have taken their place 🙂
I reckon that the yellow ones must have refused to flower last year because as I said, I don’t remember them at all!

 

Pink is my favourite colour but I have to say that I adore these white ones too 🙂

 

I was so excited to see a frog in the waterfall but got so sad later in the day when I went out to check on it and found that it was still in the same place and looked like it was injured. It turned out that it had died and Kaycee shed a few tears.
We did get another one a day or so later; we keep catching glimpses of him/her and he/she seems to be very healthy so we’re keeping our fingers crossed it stays that way!

 

Finally, the girls had a joint birthday picnic at Belper River Gardens at the weekend. I’m originally from Belper and used to love going to the river gardens when I was younger so it was lovely to take my girls there for their birthday celebrations.
I forgot to get more photos, what with having 9 kids to keep an eye on and stop them falling in the river while feeding the ducks but I’m glad I got this photo because I love the bandstand and little pond in front of it.
It’s a very relaxing place to go…. well it is when you haven’t got 9 screaming kids in tow!

To take a wander round more gardens, click the picture below 🙂

The Gallery – Relax

Even though the first couple of nights were absolutely freezing, I have to admit that the week we spent on holiday at a Featherdown Farm last October was really relaxing for us all.

We loved playing board games by candlelight!

Sitting in front of the log burning fire was very relaxing…..

and reading by torchlight became something to look forward to each night.

Aiden, who didn’t really read for pleasure before this holiday borrowed The Hunger Games from the honesty shop and read the whole book in less than a week, snuggled up in the cupboard bed!
When we got home I had to buy him the next books and he read them just as fast 🙂
He’s now reading the Department 19 series and the Gone series. The holiday gave him a new found love of reading and he keeps disappearing to his room to read a few more chapters!

 

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

The forever whale by Sarah Lean – Review

Kaycee’s a huge book lover. She was very excited to receive a collection of books by Sarah Lean and chose to read The Forever Whale first.

Here are her thoughts on the story:

“This story is about a girl named Hannah and her Granddad. They used to go out sailing together but the Granddad got Alzheimer’s and it got too bad that he had to go in a care home.
Hannah was looking forward to the 13th of August because her Granddad was going to tell her a story about a dolphin but she realised he couldn’t remember it.

I haven’t read the ending yet but I’m really enjoying it and can’t wait to find out what happens. Sometimes the book makes me feel very emotional.”

Kaycee has been reading the story out loud at bedtime and both Ella and I are enjoying along with her. We all think Sarah Lean is an excellent writer and we’re looking forward to reading the other books we were sent 🙂

 

Macro Monday August 12th

 

 

 

 

 

Our girls have each turned a year older since August began and yesterday marked the official end to their birthday celebrations! They’ve had two parties, 3 birthday cakes and lovely presents 🙂
This Macro Monday is in celebration of our gorgeous girls and I’m sure Ant will be shocked that it’s not a macro post featuring flowers!

Shine the Divine

 

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