Friday 29 June 2012

There's no smoke without fire ! (Super Salad Linky)

There's no smoke without fire well thats exactly how it is at my house. My oven blew up it fused the house while I was cooking salmon. I really can do without the expense of having to buy a new cooker but needs must.  I have to admit I don't have  great track record with cookers. When we lived at the old house the boiler blew, then the cooker blew which resulted in the glass blowing out.

So you see I am jinxed and as I have just come back from a blogging the timing is not the best. i am sobbing into my salad awwh bring on the balsamic dressing. I really don't want to subscribe to a living to ping to win ! Mircowave meals really aren't my thing long term. yes I have a hob but I really don't think I can survive much more than a week.

Tonight we had my sons macaroni cheese he made a school and it was rather good, my husband decided to cook some sausages and bacon to go with it. The bacon flavoured sausages were a taste I can ony describe as unique but perhaps my tatse buds have gone on strike? So I am in need of a new oven I really don't want the previous models that I owned.

So I think I am going to turn into a (SMEG )head a Red Dwarf referance there! I really fancy going for an item of good quality and I am hoping it will be a good decision. So A SMEG oven it is I look forward to many happy years of baking and I may even cook My first ever cake. I can see the look of shock on your face from here.

Or I can go hunt something (not really) and cook it round the fire and sing

I could cook round a camp fire!

So join me in my Super Salad Blog hop and save me from my tedium in my weeks or so without a cooker.

Thursday 28 June 2012

Waitrose Summer Cup Cake Kits review

New Summer Cup Cake Kits from Waitrose

Make your neighbours green with envy at your summer celebrations by presenting perfectly turned out cup cakes thanks to Waitrose.

New from Waitrose the Eton Mess Cup Cake Kit and the Buck’s Fizz Cup Cake Kit come with almost everything you need to make the perfect cupcakes. Simply add butter, egg and cream and produce the most deliciously different cakes for any occasion.

The Eton Mess Cup Cake Kit makes six delightfully rich vanilla and strawberry sponge cakes with raspberry jam and meringue pieces to decorate. Perfect for munching while watching Wimbledon or for serving at your very own garden party.

Alternatively, the Buck’s Fizz Cup Cake Kit makes six intensely zesty orange cakes with real fruit pieces and a buttercream and popping candy topping. Perfect for a Jubilee street party or summer celebration.

The cakes worked perfectly when I had my Jubilee party I found the instructions very easy to follow. The only thing  I would like to see is the price come down as at £3.99 I feel they are quite expensive. But they are one of the best out of the packet cup cake mixes I have ever used.
Eatons Mess Cup cakes perfect for  Wimbledon.

( I was sent the cake kits for review and my opinions are entirely my own )

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Lying to your kids .. would you ? should you ? linky

We perhaps all lie in some form of other to our children after all they are only kids once be it from the  tooth fairy to Father Christmas. Though such things as Father Christmas there is an element truth to it I am not going to go into the history of Father Christmas but there is truth to him  of course!

The real Father Christmas in  Lapland.

Mums aren't supposed to lie  -- ever. But, of course, we routinely do. Our fibs can be damaging  -- or not. It all depends on how and when we tell them.

Little white lies

I suppose its a case of how you justify them ?

I remember my son was younger was watching the Simpsons ( I know don't go there!) And there was one particular sketch that involved itchy and scratchy and they basically killed the three bear behind the door cartoon style and the blood seeped underneath the door. So as a result of this my son asked me what was going on! So I replied to my son telling him that itchy and Scratchy had hit the door too hard and made the 3 bears spill their pot of jam So basically I was telling him a white lie to protect him as at the time he suffered from night terrors.

Honesty is really dependant on your child's age, but don't lie about something that will come to haunt you in years to come.

.Another example of me lying *white lie * to my son is when it came to sponsorship for a charity run at school where the money is going to help an Orphanage in Uganda and Sixth former s from my sons school going out for four weeks to help and embark on new projects etc. So I sold a phone that I no longer required  and invented lots of people that wanted to help with the sponsorship of course there was real people on there. But the majority were invented I did this not becuase there was a competition going on to raise the most sponsership ( as there wasn't ) but of out parental love to give my son a boast of confidence after being bullied at school. So all I know that in this instance this *white lie * has helped him with his confidence *

I have set a linky up which I hope you will take part if if you so wish. It would be super if you could link back to me but its not law ( except in Narnia ). Bare with me as this is my first linky I thought I would do it about lying, bit of an odd topic to do on a linky but thats me ! I would like to keep the lies linky within the realms of childhood as interesting a your blog post is likely to be about your *white lies * to your husband/partner etc about where that pair of Jimmy Choos came from in your wardrobe !

So it could be  a white lie you were told as a child, or one you tell to your grand children etc. So I hope you will link up. When I figure it out I will think about a badge ! 

Thursday 21 June 2012

Rainy day giveaway

Awwh the British weather is fabulous isn't it  so just in case your children are driving you to distraction I thought I would treat you all to a little giveaway ! There is something for all ages in this givway I bough these items out of my own pocket  because I am kind like that!.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

White Chocolate and Strawberry Cheesecake


175g shortbread biscuits for extra flavour try using lemon or ginger shortbread biscuits
50 unsalted butter, softened
200g melted white chocolate
300g full fat or medium fat soft cream cheese
200 fromage frais
225g strawberries, roughly chopped

A lush Strawberry

1. Put the shortbread in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin until they resemble breadcrumbs. mix the biscuits crumbs together with softened butter and press firmly onto the base and sides of a 20cm springform tin. Refridgerate until needed. melt the white chocolate in a bowl in the microwave and set aside until needed.

2. beat together the cream cheese and froamge frais until smooth and thick. Add the strawberries to the cheese mixture with the melted white chocolate and mix. Spoon the cheesecake filling into the biscuit case. level the top and chill for about 4 hours until set.

(Strawberry photo of Mark Willis )

Tuesday 19 June 2012

The world around you

People often ignore the world around them when they become common place  you just brush it aside. You see it every day so why should you notice ? . I am guilty of ignoring the village where I live I say village it has become a suburban sprawl , but to me it has the best of both worlds. I am on the edge of the countryside where believe it or not chickens do actually cross the road. I regularly herd them back towards the farm at the end of my road.

Its not your quintdissebtial village your don't have Miss Marple snooping around with people poping their clogs in suspicious manners.

Chellaston farm house

Chellaston was in 1009 when it was known as Ceoleardesbeorge (beorg meaning hill) [Place Names of Derbyshire by Cameron.] By 1086, the Domesday Survey named it as Celerdestune or Celardestune . Eventually, after various spellings through time it became known as Chellaston.Religion
St Peter’s Church probably dates from at least the 13th century when mention of “a gift by Alexander formerly Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield to Walter, Bishop of Karliol [Carlisle] of the church of Meleburn with its chapels of Chelardeston and Neuton” is made of it in a document in the Cumbrian County Record Office. The responsibility for the church at Chellaston stayed with Melbourne until the late 19th century when the Reverend Joseph Hughes became the first resident incumbent at St Peter’s, Chellaston, previously a curate had looked after the church. In 1840 a tower was built on the church.

Methodism probably came to Chellaston in about 1812 when a Mr W Astle asked that his house situated in Chellaston may be used for public worship by those dissenting from the Church of England, called Methodists. Eventually a new chapel was built in 1876 in the High Street.

In 1868 Chellaston Baptist Chapel was opened on Derby Road but this disappeared with the building of the Parkway estate in the late 1970s.

In the 1970s the St. Ralph Sherwin Roman Catholic Church on Swarkestone Road opened.

St Peters Church Chellaston

Hotels / Public Houses
There are, at the moment (June 2012), four public houses in Chellaston. The Rose and Crown, the Corner Pin (formerly the New Inn), The Bonnie Prince and The Lawns, which is also a hotel with accommodation. There is also the Chellaston club, previously the Royal British Legion.

The Red Lion has been turned into the local Tesco express well I never !. The original Red Lion dates from c1829. This was pulled down in August 1963 and the present derelict building was erected in the gardens of the first building.

The Corner Pin (New Inn) dates from about the same time as the original Red Lion (although it is attached to a cruck building which has been integrated into the main structure, this is of an earlier date) and is still a thriving public house today.

The Rose and Crown is almost certainly the oldest of Chellaston’s public houses. It was originally thatched and although much altered if you look closely it can be seen to be a far older building. It has recently (March 2010) been refurbished. Meals are served here.

The Lawns was converted from a Victorian villa (The Lawn) into a hotel/public house (The Lawns) in the mid to late 1900s. After a closure of approximately a year The Lawns reopened under new management in March 2010 and now has a smart restaurant area, a snug bar with television and a bar area in which snacks are served. There is also a function room which caters for weddings etc. Overnight accommodation can be found here.

The Bonnie Prince was converted in the late 1990s from a Victorian residence (Holme Leigh) and has also recently been refurbished. Meals are served here.

There is also the Chellaston Club, which has changed from a Royal British Legion social club to that of a general community social club, although it still retains an office for the R.B.L. Branch Committee to hold regular meetings. There is a function room upstairs. The aim of the club is to provide a wide based entertainment programme suitable for all tastes in a lively but safe venue away from the centre of town. This building was also a Victorian villa called The Hollies. The occupant in 1911 was Henry Fowler (later Sir Henry Fowler), Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Midland Railway..
In 1796 the Derby Canal opened, running through west Chellaston linking the Trent and Mersey Canal with Derby. The canal closed in the mid 20th century but there are now plans to re-open it..
The road through Chellaston became a turnpike (toll road) in 1856. The toll house stood at the roadside, approximately where the bus stop in front of the chemist’s shop is now..
The Midland Railway opened the Derby-Melbourne branch in 1868, eventually extending to Worthington, Weston on Trent and Stenson. There was a railway station at the bottom of Station Road which closed in 1930 and after that the branch line operated solely as a freight line, eventually this ceased about 1966.
Today Chellaston is a large suburban village within the City of Derby.

Monday 18 June 2012

Stop the blogging roundabout ..!

Stop the blogging/social roundabout  I want to get off .. I don't really but I want to slow it down take time out for me discover my roots go feral and all that. So what's this all about ?

  • I enjoy linkeys but they are several I enjoy on one day so what do I do is it a case of Harry Hill and both linkeys have to fight it out?

  • Also on this day there is a photo opportunity I like to take part it so all in all on this day I would be posting three times!

  • I don't like to be publicly corrected in a condescending manner if you wish to correct me have some tact about it!
  • You don't have to have to justify why you are not following me but don't make some goobly gook up about it *sigh* ( yes it is a free world )
  • If I tweet something out please don't reply to me in some French philosopher extronalist way. I did study Satre and Descartes.

(not my youtube video but by watching it you get the gist of my feeling )
  • I must understand I can not be friends with everyone life is not a Disney film and 'Mary Poppins is a minx'
I fear that I am drowning in a social in a sea of social media and need to reign it in I say as I have now joined foursquare and instagram * head explosion*. I can not live in a life of #hastagsthatsisall!
I however will be prompting this post on a number of social media platform ;-) aww c'est las vie...

Thursday 14 June 2012

Ecoforce giveaway

 EcoForce is range of practical and effective household products made from recycled materials, that are greener, more eco-friendly and more sustainable than any other alternatives on the market.
The range includes recycled sponges, scourers, cloths and dusters for all green cleaning requirements, recycled pegs, pegbasket and clothes line for eco-friendly laundry drying and recycled food bag grips for storing left overs. EcoForce’s award winning products do not compromise on quality or price and offer an ethical choice when it comes to buying household goods.
All products are made from at least 90% recycled waste here in the UK. The pegs are fab – they don’t rust, stain or break and they’re recycled! Tumble driers tend to be such a waste of money and and are bad for the environment So why not hang out your washing it's free.

We all need to clean so why not do it the green way and use recycled products that are just as good, if not better, than counterparts made from virgin materials yet don’t harm the environment!
 So here as promised is the giveaway.. cue the streamers , balloons and marching band...!

EcoForce is an everyday, practical range of household products  made from recycled materials and comprises recycled kitchen sponges, scourers, cloths and dusters for all your green cleaning requirements, recycled pegs,  peg basket and clothes line for eco-friendly laundry drying and recycled food bag grips for storing left overs.    

EcoForce's award winning products do
not  compromise on quality or price and offer an ethical choice when it comes to buying household goods.   All products are made from at least 90% recycled  waste here in the UK.
Recycled products are just as good, if not better, than alternatives made from virgin materials yet don't harm the

So make Ecoforce part of your spring cleaining home makeover

EcoForce is available in Sainsbury, Tesco, Morrisons, Oxfam, B and Q, Homebase and Ocado on line.

Please follow the rafflecopter below it is easy to follow and ends on the 16th July.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Lady Garden ... struggling with the inner monologue

Do you ever struggle with your inner monologue ? Do you ever think things and then just say them out loud? Have you well and truly put your foot in your mouth and then wished the earth would swallow you up? Now I am not a rude person I am really quiet friendly nice butter wouldn't melt and all that.   But every now and again  I put my foot in my mouth and make a fool of myself.  For example in one English lesson  way back in the mist of time when we used blackboards that requiered the use of chalk ,we were talking about crows feet. And I just chirped up and said to the teacher : "What like you sir ?"

Or again when I was in French and the teacher really hated me anyway said " You really haven't got a grip of French have you ?" To which I replied "Bit like you sir !" They were times when obviously my inner monologue didn't kick in *Shame that* Any way in the end I git a really high grade in French  so when ever you are sir " Eat my shorts"  damn I really wasn't meant to type that.

And as now I am a sensible adult  I think about what I say..  for example when I was a motorway service station heaving to the brim of football fans , innocent little grannies and the like . I noticed how nice the flora and fauna was and piped up to my husband whilst jumping up and down pointing like a woman possessed I screeched excitedly " LOOOOK that's how I want my bush trimming !" I was innocently pointing at a nicely trimmed bush..  its a sad state of affairs when topiary gives you such whispers this quietly * orgasmic pleasure*. My husband disappeared I found him vacantly staring at the sausage rolls in the shop.

So What have you said that you wished you hadn't ?

Mark making ( Learning through play )

Mark marking doesn't just had to be boring old  pencil and paper. A box of good quality chalk and the path in your garden is a whole new world. Here are some some ideas for mark making out side. After all it is the start of the journey of being able to write. mark making helps them develop imaginatively, creatively and physically. Mark making is important for many reasons. It is a visible way for children to tell stories and express feelings, record what they have to say, solve problems and discover solutions - and sometimes it is just an outlet for pure physical enjoyment

  • Water bottles just old washing up bottles will do.
  • and old clean paint brush a bucket of water and they can't faint their little hearts out.
  • and a little bit of play sand in a tray or if you have a sand bit that's brilliant.
  • Get some old wall paper and weigh it down. You can create hand prints, footprints and don't just let them limit themselves to that. let them use toys you don't mind getting paint on such as old cars, trucks. And perhaps things from nature such as pine cones , leaves etc!
  • Why not create a splat picture ?
  • Or perhaps why not have several pots of paints with marbles in and have a tray lined with white paper. let the children tip the marbles into the tray and then slide the marbles about in the tray.
 Any craft activity will encourage your child's fine motor skills - above all have fun as life is a journey !

Monday 11 June 2012

Meal Planning Monday 11/6/2012

I have never been one to plan my meals it was a case of smash and grab from the freezer and on the odd occasion it was the dreaded takeaways. But nowadays with food prices being what they are I can not simply keep on affording to buy food blindly so meal planning is called for. Not only will it help control the family budget , I am also hoping it will control the families waist line I have to watch what J eats at school because now he is at senior school there is less control on what he eats than there was when he was at Primary school. He is pretty sensible any way though he still has to be steered towards fruit and vegetables and his fussiness would haveAnnabel Karmel weeping in her pretty little sandwiches. Though he is a little big now to have his sandwiches crafted into a pretty little bunny *cough*

And Mr T I need to control his waist line as much as mine so I am on a diet though I have to admit my scales have no batteries.

When it was jubilee weekend, awe had a family Jubilee picnic As I won some voucher , bunting and paper plates  etc from the Co op. I have to admit I have never ever ever planned my meals like this before so its a first for me and the family. They are going to be shocked with my new found domestic goddess qualities!
So this is what my meal plan looks like for the week so far:
Monday: Fish and new potatoes, carrots sweet corn in front of the England game.
Wednesday: Sloppy Joes Burger with salad 

Thursday: Chicken Caesar Salad

Saturday: Probably eating out as I will be freaking out about Sunday!
Sunday:  Family picnic in my garden.
There will be the proverbial back up meals from the freezer to the cupboard as we are always having trot off to one of my sons many sporting commitments so a contingency plan is always needed.
You can find more Meal Planning Monday posts over at At Home with Mrs M - why not head over there and see what other people are eating this week?
You might have seen this before .. its a repost as my blog went a went mental as you say !

Friday 8 June 2012

Rainy Day fun with clean mud

This was something I made a few weeks ago for Foundation stage ( Early Years Foundation Stage) and its both an outside activity and a rainy day one * looks at weather * Yes more defiantly a rain day activity. You and child will have so much fun and this activity is great for their fine Motor Skills  and sensory and one that will promote also their hand writing skills.

  • warm water (warm enough to melt soap)
  • 1 bar of kind to hands soap
  • 1 roll white toilet paper
double up on this quantities as you so wish !


Get the children up you tear up the toilet paper into little bits (the smaller the better). Using a cheese grater, grate the bar of soap into a big bowl. Add the torn up toilet paper to the bowl.  Add the warm water a little bit at a time while mixing the toilet paper and the soap together. You have added enough water when the mixture  starts to feel like a thick milk shake!. Do not make the mixture too sloppy. The more you play with it the fluffier it becomes. The kids will have so much fun with it ( I know I did) 

Wednesday 6 June 2012

The Queens Knickers Nicholas Allan

 No No this is no a blog post about the Queens under garments but one that is about the brilliant rib tickling book that is the  ' The Queens Knickers by Nicholas Allan  I was luck enough to win a signed copy of this . I love doing such things for where I work .

It's a busy year for the Queen - she has lots of important events to attend. Meanwhile, a little girl is wondering what knickers Her Majesty will choose to wear on a school visit! Will they be her 'at home' knickers - adorned with corgis - or her 'garden party' knickers, or perhaps her woolly Balmoral ones...?

It is a utterly charming book with a title that is bound to promote giggles , I look  forward with great pleasure to reading this to the Reception class that i work with. This will tie in very well with my school as we had our own Diamond Jubilee picnic just before half term with over 360 pupils and over 250 parents , grandparents carers etc. What a fabulous event to bring the community together , we ate too much played games and planted a tree. Its an event I shall always remember with great fondness and how brilliant for the pupils of the school where I  work.

The Queens Knickers by Nicholas Allen

Signed by Nicholas Allan this book has very funny illustrations!
An assortment of The Queen Knickers!
My favourite illustration showing the Queens parachute knickers!

You can buy the The Queen Knickers for the bargain price of £3.47 

(I have not been directed to write this these are entirely my own views)

Wheels #snaphappybritmums

Monday 4 June 2012

Diamond Jubilee Party Royal knees up

The Diamond Jubilee is a perfect excuse for a right royal knees up. But there are a lot of preparation s to go with it though I am no Kirsty Allsop or Nigella Lawson I am willing to give it a go at hosting the prefect party which for me is all about having fun and creating memories which will last many generations to come. Last time it was the Silver Jubilee I was 4  *awwh factor* and when is was the golden Jubilee my own son was 3 . And now it is the Diamond Jubilee he is 13 , it was a time for a family get together. I was a rather worries about my party hosting skills and did I decorate enough or too much ! But as you will see from the pictures everyone had fun !

Diamond Jubilee food preperations

Diamond Jubilee best get the bunting put then !

Diamond Jubilee Flowers with Union Jack flags
My back garden ready for the Diamond Jubilee
Diamond Jubilee room decoration

These photos were taken on the Saturday  then in true British tradition it rained on the Sunday so we had to have the party inside. The age range was from 6  years old to 86  ! so a true age spread it was wonder to create Jubilee memories for everyone.
Loads of Diamond Jubilee food.
Eton Mess cupcakes
Turn a Diamond Jubilee hat into a salad bowl !

My Sister in Law and nieces and nephews

My nephews having fun at the party  descending into this point at flag sword fighting!

The youngest my nephew at 6 !

To the oldest  on the right at 86 my Father in Laws partner!

Cake #snaphappyBritmums

Friday 1 June 2012

Enoki Dream

Serves 2

Ingredients :

Enoki Mushrooms
Cucumber and other salad item  sliced 
Red Pepper Sliced
Sliced sausage

Put the Enoki mushroom on a baking tray and put in the oven for 25 mins around 180 c
Slice red pepper , sausage ,cucumbers etc to suit taste
Let them cool down
Add the red pepper cucumbers to them
Add the Feta cheese and if you wish you can add some ready made croutons
You can mix and match the salad items you wish to this dish , Enoki mushrooms are very meaty and very filling.