Friday, 17 April 2015

Are the Easter holiday's #Betterwithcake

  Are the Easter Holiday's better with cake? I'd say YES! With four children the holidays could become crazy if we didn't plan enough activities. Bored children = whinny children! However it just isn't possible to fill ever waking moment with an activity, I'm just not a super woman.


This is when I find cake comes into play perfectly. There is no better way to get five minutes peace then to hand the children some cake. It is a light saver for those moments where you just need a cuppa tea and to catch your breathe after a hectic morning at the park.

Not only is cake great for peace and quiet but it's perfect at our picnic's. It just wouldn't be a picnic without cake now would it?!




Or is cake even better at Nanny's while playing in the garden? It just wouldn't be Nanny's house without cake now would it?!



Tantrum bribing is always better with cake! It just wouldn't be a good bribe without cake now would it?!



Wait cake is also great at the beach, watching the sea roll in while the children build castles! It just wouldn't be a beach day without cake now would it?!



The holiday's are always better with cake! HOWEVER Slimming World weigh in group is definitely NOT better with cake! But it's worth the angry faces!

This post is an entry for #betterwithcake Linky Challenge   sponsored by Mr Kipling. Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/mrkiplingcakes.

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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

How to save money on your weekly food shop

As a big family, doing the weekly food shop can get extremely expensive. If I'm not careful it could easily reach £100-£200! I can however feed a family of six on £60-80 a week and so I thought I'd shared a few little tips on how I achieve this.


Plan
I hate wasting food. I plan a weeks worth of meals before I shop and this helps me not to buy things I don't actually need. I simply plan 7 meals, lunches and breakfasts for the week and just buy the ingredients we need.

Make everything from scratch.
This is the best way to get your shopping bills cheaper. Don't take the short cut and buy the already prepared burgers, make them from scratch, it'll end up cheaper and you'll also make more than you need. Popping the extras in the freezer will also help cut cost on the following weeks shop because you could use the frozen leftovers for another meal.

Making everything yourself can be more time consuming so to help me when I know I have a busier day, I make everything on a Saturday or Sunday when I have more free time. Once prepared I bag the meals up and pop them in the freezer. I then just let them defrost the night before then either pop them in the slow cooker or cook them that night. Simple!

Budget
This is pretty important. Set yourself an amount you are happy to spend each week. When we go shopping without a budget things can run away from you pretty quickly. Then you end up stood at the check out with your mouth wide open.

£80 is more than enough to get us everything we need each week, including nappies and baby wipes some times it's even less because I try to buy nappies when they are on offer.

When making a budget try and remember everything you need to buy each week, and make a list of all the essentials to help make sure you don't miss anything out.

Where to shop?
Picking where you shop will also help save you money. A lot of supermarkets have money saving schemes now offering to save you money but it isn't always true. Sadly where I live I don't have an aldi, or a really cheap supermarket so I am stuck with a choice between Morrisons or Tesco's. Out of the two I do find Tesco saves me more money.

Switch Brands
Switching brands is one of the most noticeable ways of saving money. Switching big names for supermarket own brands will most likely cut the price in half. I've also never noticed much of a taste change either!

So there we have it. Pretty simple but really effective!


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Monday, 13 April 2015

Slimming World Sunday.... On a Monday.

I know it isn't Sunday but the post I wrote on my phone just completely deleted itself! Anyone else find the Blogger App completely useless??! Anyway thank you to Debi for doing it alone yesterday but I'm here now!

The post I wrote on Friday was all about how good I had been all week and how I had hoped I would have a big loss this next week. HOWEVER after the amazing weekend I've had I'm just hoping I can stay the same this weekend. You see I've been at the in laws this weekend and I've been truly pampered. While out for lunch I ordered the Gnocchi in a creamy garlic sauce and no matter what I put on at the next weigh in it'll always be worth it! Now I'm home though I'm completely back on track and I think this is one of the great things about Slimming World. It's a life style I want to keep!

So this past week I didn't make it to group due to having a sickness bug so I weighed myself at home. I won't share my results until next week as I think my scales could be different to the ones at group so I don't want to officially say I lost/stayed/gained X amount and then go to group and I haven't!


Like Debi I also grabbed some new books from Slimming World. I picked up these two because they both looked so great! I'm hoping over the next week I'll be making some yummy meals from them so I'll be sharing with you all next week!

If you link up please do pay your hosts a visit, both myself & Debs would love to hear from you. You can also link up TWO POSTS each, both OLD & NEW posts are welcome also. Everything from weekly weigh ins, recipes and more!

This Linky goes live at 0600hrs every Sunday morning & will remain open until the following Friday. So you’ve plenty of time to link up each week. I hope you’ve all had a good week on SW and even if you haven’t we’re here on hand to make you smile and think positively again!!

Also feel free to GRAB OUR BUTTON and add it to your post!! xx

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Friday, 10 April 2015

Harry Potter, Bargain buys & Boyce Avenue. #Littleloves

Today I'm joining in with Butwhymummywhy's Littleloves linky. I've been terrible for writing this Easter half term. We've been out most days and when I do get time to write I'm too tired to even think of anything. Yesterday however I had a terrible sickness bug and was able to sit down and get some posts written while I was recovering. My lovely Mum and Brother took the little ones for the day so I didn't have to worry and anything but getting better!

Read
Lots and lots of Slimming World recipe books. I bought two new ones from group last week and some of the food looks amazing! I've been busy meal planning and the food sounds more exciting then before the diet!


Watched
Every evening this week I've watched every one of the Harry Potter movies. Ben has only recently discovered his love for HP at the age of 28! So we've had a movie marathon watching all 8 movies! Last night we watched the last movies and although Ben's been around while I've watched it before it all had new meanings for him this time and I'm not surprised to say he loved it all! I love how HP is so adaptable to ages, I loved growing up with it in my teens and I can't wait to introduce the children to it. Morgan and I have already started reading the first book together.
Heard
I've been in love with Boyce Avenue for a while now but recently I went looking for more of their covers to add to my Spotify playlist and found their cover of Demons. I loved the song already but I LOVE this version. It's feels so emotional and honestly when I watched it on Youtube I got tears in my eyes! Maybe I'm just one of those people that gets teary at everything, but I could listen to it all day long.



Made
With all the lovely sun we've been having I got in a BBQ kinda mood and although it hasn't been as hot as it has looked we had a little indoor picnic with BBQ style food! It was delicious!



Worn
The brightest shoes ever! I stopped off at Sports Direct to see if they had some black P.E shorts for the boys and I got distracted by the warehouse liquidation. I managed to buy these pink shoes for £8! I did regret the colour afterwards as I think they are a little to bright for me but for £8 they are perfect for our walks and pottering around!
 



and Lastly...

I've been loving planning Morgan's birthday. He'll be 8 on the 29th, I've been super organised and all his presents have been bought and now I just have his cake to plan! He's always been a huge Pokemon fan so I'm making a Pikachu cake! It's pretty likely it won't look like the picture below but I'm enjoying planning and the thought of making it.


Found on Pinterest

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Monday, 6 April 2015

How To Choose the Right Tyres for a Long Drive

Hi! I’m Ross Miller, a writer with great interest in cars and everything related to them – from parts to repair to safety – it all intrigues me equally! We all enjoy taking road trips, so I thought of sharing some important safety measures that can help you save money as well as remain completely safe while driving.

Before going on a longer than usual journey, it is always a good idea to check your tyres before setting off. Even for trips of a few hundred miles, you should confirm that they are correctly inflated. But for longer journeys, additional considerations come into play.

Read the Dot Code
On the outer rim of a tyre there are some numbers that follow the word 'DOT'. This four number code tells prospective buyers when the tyre was manufactured so you can make sure you get up-to-date ones, best for a long trip. The last two numbers correspond to the year of manufacture, for example '15' means made in 2015.

Consider the Tyre Manufacturer
Buying cheaper tyres can seem like the most cost effective thing to do, but they simply wear out more quickly, especially on long drives where they might come into contact with roads which are not very well maintained. The internet has made it easier to browse through and compare tyres as well – you can log on to point-s.co.uk which is one the leading tyre dealer networks, to book tyres online without any initial payment. Point S sells the likes of Nankang, Michelin, Bridgestone and Uniroyal.

Look at the Tyre Compound
When tyres are made, they have differing combinations of rubber, carbon, zinc oxide and oil. Some softer compounds are great for everyday use and some are better for racing, but they don't stand up to mile after mile of road use. Opt for a harder compound on a long trip.

Buy New Tyres
Buying old tyres that are part worn is not necessarily illegal so long as they have sufficient tread but don't go for these because they will not stand up to the rigours of a very long journey. Always make sure that your tyre supplier is fitting brand new products to your car.

Winter Tyres
If your trip will take you into the northern parts of Scandinavia or anywhere else where snow and ice are likely, then it is a good idea to buy winter tyres. These tyres' surfaces are covered in sipes – small protuberances – and they have a compound which makes them ideal for use in lower temperatures.

Remember the Spare
When choosing tyres for a long trip on the road, perhaps one that will take several days or even weeks, do not overlook the spare. If you do end up with a puncture, a proper spare wheel with a good quality tyre will mean that you can get back on the road immediately without having to limp on to the nearest mechanic.

*Guest post by Ross Miller

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Sunday, 5 April 2015

My Sunday Photo



OneDad3Girls
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Slimming World Sunday: Keeping active!

This week I had my first weigh in and I was so nervous! I really couldn't tell how I had done. Thankfully I had lost 2 and a half pounds and although it's not as many as I hoped I was over the moon. I'm hoping this week goes well but with Abby's birthday I'm not so sure. I couldn't help but have a slice of chocolate cake! Ooops!

Weeks loss - 2.5lbs
Total lost - 2.5lbs
Still to lose - 53lbs

Like mentioned above I did give in and eat cake. I've been struggling my first week as I've really been craving chocolate. I blame Easter, where ever I look there's Easter Eggs and I really really want one! I won't though, especially after the Slimming World class where I learnt that they were something like 40 syns for a small egg! Yikes!

This week instead of sharing something food related I thought I'd share what I'm doing to keep active! Being a Mum of four I would say I was on the go non-stop but I know that isn't enough to help with the weigh loss. Again with having four children it is hard to find the time to go out of my way to exercise and I've been doing little extra bits to help.

This week I treated myself to a Fitbit. I had wanted one for quite a while. I've always been a techy person and so it's design and all the things it does really lured me in. I went with the Fitbit Flex as it was one of the cheaper models and I managed to get it while it was on offer for £54.99.

It is great for tracking how many steps you have walked. The recommended is to walk 10,000 steps a day and I'm surprise that when I started I was only doing around 5,000. It also tells you how many miles your steps add up to and also monitors if you have any active periods. I've found it so fascinating and I've also found I'd walk to the shops rather than drive just so I can add to my steps!



It also tells you how many calories you have burnt that day and once you've added in your food for the day it shows you of you are over/under/just right. It's has been a great way for me to keep track of what I eat and then at night I add it all over to my Slimming World menu diary ready to hand in for the next weigh in. Sadly the app doesn't understand Free meals and so will quite often tell me I'm over the amount of calories I should have for the day.





Debs over at Superbusymum has shared her weigh in and how her week has gone so remember to pop over and have a read too!

I look forward to reading all that link up and good luck to you all resisting those Easter eggs!

We'd love it if you could grab our badge too!

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Friday, 3 April 2015

Happy 2nd Birthday Abby!



Today is Abby's second birthday and I honestly can't believe how quickly these two years have gone. I know I go on about time flying often but seriously, it needs to slow down!

We've not had much planned for the day and it's actually been lovely that way. This morning was spent planning with the birthday girl and this afternoon I had my sister and her two sons over for a little tea party.

Abby at 2!

How she sleeps
We moved Abby into her toddler bed just over a week ago and she has coped amazingly well with the change. She loves her bed and it's so adorable watching her climb in and pull her blanket up over her, ready for me to tuck her in. Abby doesn't last up later than 6pm most days and sleeps until 6-6:30am Sadly she still wakes a couple of times a night which I hope is something she'll start growing out of.

How she eats.
Abby is now a brilliant eater. It's taken a while to get here but she'll eat everything and anything. Since we've been given the all clear to start giving her dairy she has developed a love for cheese! She would eat it all day long if we let her! I've noticed she doesn't even have a sweet tooth and isn't really interested in cakes and biscuits.

She loves dinner and as soon as she see it's ready she'll go and sit herself at the table and sits waiting for it to be served!

How she communicates.
Abby can say a few words but I wouldn't say she's talking yet. She'll say "Hi" and a few other words and will bark, meow and moo. She's more interested in learning the sounds of animals then she is to learn more words. That doesn't mean she doesn't know how to communicate with us though. She very big on pointing making a "ahh" sound!

Although she doesn't share well with her brothers while we were out at a soft play area she was very keen on making friends with other little ones and kept offering toys to them.

How she spends her time.
Abby's favourite toys are the moment are her Disney Princess bath toys. Although they are meant for the bath they go everywhere with her. She could play with them for hours. She loves little figures and so for her birthday I bought her some sets from ELC's range Happyland. So far they've been a big hit! Ourselves and family also bought her some Disney Princess Soft dolls. She's now got Anna, Elsa, Merida, Belle and Rapunzal. And they've all gone to bed with her this evening.

Her love for Disney isn't just for her dolls she loves watching Disney movies. Her brothers have always popped one on while she's been around and so over the last year she's become a huge fan. Lately she's in love with Hercules and points for it to be put on daily!

If she isn't playing or watching anything Disney you can normally find her pretending to be a dog! She loves this game and you have to pat her head and throw the ball for her. I swear she thinks she is one some times!


(Abby panting like a dog!)

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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Me and Mine - March


We managed to snap this months photo while we were on holiday in Wales. We were heading back to the car after having a lovely lunch out and it was a beautiful day. Tenby has quickly become one of my favourite places as it was all just so beautiful.

Mummy is loving...
Gogglebox. (Only recently discovered it!)
Planning and baking all the kids birthday's and cakes.
Going swimming

Daddy is loving...
His computer

Morgan is loving...
Paddington Bear
Eating all the melon!
Making Birthday wishlists.

Ewan is loving...
Riding his new bike.
Building Lego Animals.
Drawing on all the left over boxes from his birthday.

Rhys is loving...
Also loving his new bike.
Building Lego space ships.
Singing all the time.

Abby is loving...
Her big girl bed.
Having early birthday presents of her Uncle.
Little toy figures. She plays with them for hours!

dear beautiful
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