Making A Puppet Show : With Flora Butter..


We have been busy, busy over the last few days of the half term holidays. A unexpected visit from my son who is at uni, some fun days out and even a spot of gardening when the sun was out on Wednesday.

When we have been indoors we have not been short of things to do thanks to the boredom busting basket and family fun guide from Flora Buttery.


We had lots of fun making a puppet show. My daughter had lots of fun making a boy and a girl puppet. She named them after her 2 favourite teddy's, Alex (the lion) and Nelly (the elephant).

Credits : A Puppet Show : by Flora Butter.

We all have a pile of odd socks. Give them a new lease of life by making sock puppets.

Time : 10 minutes.

Age: 3+.


What you need :
  • Odd socks 
  • Buttons Glue 
  • Wool Cardboard or felt
What to do:
  1.  Find an old clean sock that’s long enough to go up your arm.
  2. Put your hand inside to make the basic mouth shape with your thumb and fingers.
  3. Sew on two buttons or glue on two circles for eyes.
  4. Now decide what other features to add; some wool hair, whiskers, eyelashes, a tongue? 
  5. Finally name your puppet and suggest the kids stage a puppet show.

We had lots of run playing with our sock puppets, fancy making some too?

About this post :

We kindly got sent this Flora’s Family Fun Guide hamper to have some recipe and crafty fun over the half term holidays. All thoughts are our own and I was not paid for this post...


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Traditional Pancakes : Flora Family Fun Guide...


Can you believe the first day of the February half term and it was pouring it down with rain yesterday! Typical! A perfect day to stay inside and try out some of the craft and recipe ideas from the Family Fun Guide that Flora kindle sent us. 

Flora’s Family Fun Guide is full of crafty ideas and easy, tasty recipes to try out. Written by parenting author, Tanith Carey, it’s designed for those days when you need a little bit of inspiration to stop restless kids from climbing the walls.

First up me and my daughter made some sock puppets and left the glue to dry (more on these another day). 

Then next a spot of cooking. My son came home from university over the weekend for a surprise visit and stayed for the night. It was perfect timing to try out the traditional pancake recipe before he went back home. He love pancakes, we all love pancakes.


Serves 8
Set up : 10 minutes 
Cooking time : 15-20 minutes

Ingredients
  • 115g (4 oz) plain flour 
  • 2 medium eggs
  •  300ml (½ pint) milk or milk and water 
  • Flora Buttery for frying
Any of your favourite toppings:
  • Caster sugar 
  • Lemon wedges
  • Strawberry jam
  • Nutella
  • Golden syrup
We timed all the ingredients by 2 to make a double quantity of pancake mix so we all got lots of pancakes each..


What to do: 
For the batter: 
  1. Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl and add the eggs, mixing well. 
  2. Gradually stir in half the milk and beat thoroughly. 
  3. Stir in remaining milk and beat lightly.
  4.  Heat a little Flora in a medium-sized pan over a low heat until fairly hot. 
  5. Slide it around to grease the pan then pour the excess into a jug, ready for the next pancake.
  6. Pour a little batter into the pan; tip pan to spread batter and make very thin coating. 
  7. Cook until the underside is golden brown and the top is covered with bubbles. 
  8. Toss or turn over and cook until the other side is golden brown.
  9. Place the pancake on a plate, sprinkle with lemon juice and caster sugar, 2 teaspoons of jam or your favourite topping. 
  10. Roll loosely and again sprinkle with sugar.
  11. Cover and keep hot under a very low grill, or in a preheated oven 140°C/120°C fan/ gas mark 1, until all your pancakes are ready. 
  12. Add more melted Flora to the pan each time to prevent sticking. 
  13. Serve with lemon wedges.

Having all 4 children and me all hoping the pancakes would hurry up and cook, it was hard work to get a picture of them! They smelt and tasted so yummy. They tasted perfect. I we will be making this recipe today for Pancake day, yeah. We are all looking forward to breakfast...


What is your favourite pancake toppings?

About this post :

We kindly got sent this Flora’s Family Fun Guide hamper to have some recipe and crafty fun over the half term holidays. All thoughts are our own and I was not paid for this post...

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Mix Up Your Run...


A few weeks ago I applied to be a part of the new Asics #MixUpYourRun campaign with The Running bug. On Friday I was over the moon on when I received the email to say I had been one of the lucky ones to be selected.It was like the icing on the cake when I got the email saying I was part of the campaign. What a lovely surprise I got on Tuesday when I opened my parcel.....

After only doing the occasional run throughout December I knew I had to get back training in the New Year. I have had flu and colds and then yet more colds. I still managed to have a great January. Building back up gently I ran 29 days out of the 31. Well pleased. Only a mile or two a day and it got me back into running again without over training or risking injury.

Now after getting out running everyday I need to mix up my training, longer slow runs, faster shorter runs and finally starting back up at the running club for proper organised training sessions.


There is a special feeling about getting new running gear, or any new clothes, shoes. I always want to wear them straight away and go out.  In the case of running gear at least it is healthy!


In my parcel :
  • A lovely pink running jacket. (I just love pink running clothes!)
  • A fitted blue short sleeved running t shirt.
  • Knee length running leggings.
  • Running socks.
  • Onyx hot pink and black trainers (Run Natural trainers with the lower heel drop, giving the runner a more natural running style and feel).
  • Gel-Glorify trainer for longer runs, built for road running, cushioned with extra protection. (these trainers are exclusive to Intersport)


As I said my parcel arrived Tuesday afternoon and I could not wait until my youngest son and new training partner came home from school so I could test out my new gear. We have upped our mileage to 2 a day now. Ideal then to try my light trainers, so I could keep up with him. On Wednesday I opted for the cushioned trainers and upped my mileage to 3. The last few days I have been mixing up my training with gym work and I am looking forward now to building up my running miles. So far so good in my new trainers. I have bedded them in nicely with short runs, now I need to go longer. Both pairs feel comfy, well cushioned and bouncy, I will be giving them further tests over the next few weeks.

About the MixUpYourRun Campaign:

The message of the campaign is centred around our Mix Up Your Run philosophy. The key behind this philosophy is in order to get the best out of your training you have to mix up the types of run; Run Long, Run Tough, Run Fast and Run Natural

To keep a eye on how I am mixing up my training and all of the other runners in the Mix Up Your Run campaign use any of the following hashtags on twitter.  #MixUpYourRun  #Asics @ASICSeurope .

I really appreciate any encouraging tweets too.!!!

I will update here soon on how my training is going and how I am finding my new Asics running gear..

About this post-

I have been sent the above running clothes and trainers for review and to be a part of the #MixUpYourRun campaign. I was not paid for this post and all thoughts are my own.

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Bop It Beats! From Hasbro Gaming : Review ...


Bop it!
Spin it!
Scratch it! 
Flip it!
Reverse it!

My daughter and I have been having lots of fun testing out the new Bop It Beats game this week, from Hasbro Gaming. How cool is this DJ style turntable? The principle is the same as the original games, with a whole new makeover and musical twist.





As you may have guessed from the picture above, we are big fans of all the Bop it games. Having 4 children ranging from 9 to 20 years old, they all have enjoyed fun bop it games over the years. Mum and dad always love joining in with the fun too!!

Everyone used to argue whose turn it was, my eldest son being the first to clear the original Bop it. We often ended up buying more than one of each model to save on tantrums!

The new Bop It 'Beats' is so much fun, think original Bop it crossed with a fun DJ style twist. The aim of the game is still the same, to see who can get the highest score by following the instruction being told. The music plays and you are the DJ.

Start the game by hitting the bop it button on the side. Nicki Minaj music ,'Pounds the alarm' starts to play. Then follow the instruction being shouted out.

Bop it!
Spin it!
Scratch it! 
Flip it!
Reverse it!

As the game goes on the difficult level increases. There are 5 game modes~Classic, Classic Party, DJ, DJ Party or Remix. To change the games, slowly turn the turntable before you start, to choose which one you want to play.

Classic game

Starts off nice and easy, then the speed increases and the reverse and repeat commands are added.

Classic Party game

Same as the classic game but you can have more players, simply pass it over to your friend when the command says so. Perfect for a party game!!

DJ game

This is a game of memory, follow the instructions he will tell you the moves and you don't start until he says go!! This is such a fun game on the memory!! Aww it gets harder as it goes on too..

DJ Party game 

The Dj game you can play with friends. Pass it over on command ...

 Remix game

Freestyle mode, have fun practising all the modes, flipping it and seeing the Bop it light up...

Me and my daughters favourite game is the classic and DJ party games, so we can play together. I ended up waiting for my 4th child to have one who just enjoys playing, not caring if they win or lose. Fun is the name of the game. If my boys are reading take note?! Hubby too...

To change the level simply press the bop it button to turn the turntable around slowly to pick a new game.


About Bop it beats
  • Bop It! Beats game combines the classic Bop It! game with songs by your favorite musical artists.
  • Spin the turntable to win in the all-new Bop It! 
  • Beats game. Bop It! Beats is just like the classic game you know and love but with a funky hip-hop twist. Choose from five game modes and move fast to keep up with the action. Spin the disc clockwise, scratch it up, or reverse and spin the turntable when the game commands it. Go solo or gather some friends to see who's the real musical master. You can also co-operate and try to beat a high score together! With music by famous artists in the mix, and lots of challenging difficulty levels, Bop It
  • Beats is rockin' fun from start to finish. 
  • 5 game modes.
  • Classic, Classic Party, DJ, DJ Party or Remix.
  • Difficulty levels increase as the Classic and DJ games progress.
  • For kids aged eight and up.
  • Not suitable for children under 3 years old.
  • 1 or more players.
  • 3 x AAA batteries are required.
  • Batteries included.
  • Price £21.99



About this post-

I got sent this Bop it Beats for review.

All thoughts are my own honest opinion and I did not get paid for this post ...


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Sunday~Runday~Funday...


"You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great"

"For me its Get Fit Or Eat Pie Trying "

You know when you really want to get fit?

But just can not get back into it?

Well that!!

I have had a really bad year for exercise so I have joined back up at my favourite gym. Oh my, how my body fat has gone up 4% over the last few year!! or the few months not running!?!

The Good

Getting back into fitness from Monday...


  • Monday- 45 minutes Zumba 1 hour yoga class
  • Tuesday- 45 minute spinning class
  • Wednesday- 1 hour gym
  • Thursday- 1 hour body pump weights class
  • Friday- (1 hour gym workout)~10 minutes ski machine, 10 minutes treadmill, 10 minutes rowing machine, 10 minutes treadmill, 10 minutes running machine, 10 minutes treadmill.
  • Saturday- 2 miles run, 45 minutes spinning.
  • Sunday- 2 miles run 45 minutes spinning.


Making me time...


Bike rides with mini me...

The Random


Trying to give up cakes and biscuits is hard work when you have a sweet tooth.

Well nobody is perfect!?!

Are they!?!


Craving meat after a hard workout.


Fun family walks...

The Fun


Strawberries being in season and know you can eat them without feeling guilty!!


making fruit smoothies...


Early morning runs..

Goals~

Getting body fat down from 25.91% to under 20%

Now how long would this take?

Getting back into fitness and a healthier lifestyle and sharing my post over at Tamar's blog hop on Monday~

Good Random Fun


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IKEA Table Cloth Pattern : Tried And Tested!!


Since shows like The Great British Sewing Bee have been on TV, Ikea have seen sales of fabric and sewing accessories soar. Sewing and crafts are making a come back, I am very happy to hear this.

My mum has a sewing shop, so it has always been a big part of my family life. I have dabbled in sewing over the years, normally asking mum for help when it goes wrong or I get stuck. Lately I have been doing a little sewing for myself by up-cycling old clothes to make something unique. My sewing machine was over 20 years old though with lots of things broken, so it did not make sewing much fun.

It has all changed now since I took on a IKEA challenge. See how easy it is to make a table cloth from one of their patterns. How exciting....


I had never undertaken anything big before just fixing or finishing, at first then this seemed a daunting challenge. I need not have worried though, sewing machines have improved alot in 20 years. It was instantly a pleasure using the Ikea machine, the tide had turned, watch out mum!! I got to try out the patterns that Ikea stock, which anyone can pick up for free in store.

The patterns that they have include the following:
  • Curtains
  • Tablecloth
  • Table runner
  • Napkins
Along with one of their sewing machines, some accessories and a choice of fabric to start me off. I chose EVALENA material, I was excited to try out the table cloth pattern out.


First up I set up the sewing machine. It was so straight forward to set up and only took me a few minutes to figure out how to sew, most things were similar to my old machine, just in slightly different positions.

5 minutes later I had a shuttle full of cotton and a sewing machine ready to use to try out the table cloth pattern.


You will also need
  • A tape measure
  •  Iron
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine.

How much fabric will I need?
  • To make a cloth to fit a table for 4–6 people you will need 225 cm of fabric.
  •  Most metre fabrics are now sold in 150 cm widths.


  • Fold over 1 cm of fabric on each long side. 
  • Then fold again so that you have a double hem of 1 cm. 
  • Press with an iron so that the hem stays in place.

  • Set the sewing machine to a simple straight stitch with a stitch length of 3 mm. 
  • Sew the double hem in place.
  • Now do exactly the same on the short sides of the tablecloth.



I was very pleased with my table cloth. From setting my sewing machine up to making the table cloth it took under an hour. I really liked the material I picked, loving how professional the table cloth turned out! Thanks again to the easy follow pattern...

When my youngest son can home from school, I asked him "do you like my new table cloth?" He said "yes, where did you buy this from?"

"I made it"

"No way" he replied "it looks great"!!

Aww "thanks son"!!

I think the material is fabulous and I still have some left over.

Now what shall I make next?

I cannot wait to visit IKEA this week with my birthday money, I have so many things planned to make with the great choice of material they stock.

About this post-

I got sent a sewing machine, accessories and some material to take part in this challenge. I was not paid for this post and all thoughts are my own honest opinion. 


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Leerdammer Cheese Toastie Challenge...


Over the weekend we have been having lots of fun making up some of our favourite cheese toasties.

We all love toasted sandwiches in our house, whether it is made in the special sandwich bags that you pop in a toaster or made in a toastie machine, we enjoy them all.

On Friday I received some packs of Leerdammer delicious cheese to share our favourite toastie recipes. We love this cheese and often buy it for the topping of our burgers but never though of making toasties with it too. The 6 sliced packs is the perfect cheese for toasting as the creamier cheese is better for melting.





Everyone enjoyed different topping so once the cafe was open!! here are the toasties we made.
  1. Plain cheese.
  2. Cheese and tomato.
  3. Cheese and onion.
  4. Cheese and tuna mayonnaise.
  5. Cheese and beans.
We also love ham and cheese too. but we had ran out of ham, luckily  I still have a few packs of cheese left for when I go shopping.

About Leerdammer Cheese Slicers

Leerdammer Toastie cheese slices are the perfect ingredient for creating the ultimate toasted sandwich – with a creamier recipe ideal for melting and a new square shape which fits neatly into your sandwich to promise no overspills. With the colder months upon us, this is the perfect time to indulge in the ultimate toastie to keep you warm and satisfied this winter!

About this post-

I got sent 4 packs of Leerdammer cheese for the purpose of this review/challenge . I was not paid for this post and all thoughts are my own honest opinion.



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Chicken Tonight Review...


A few weeks ago I was contacted by the lovely people at  Chicken Tonight as they have recently expanded their range with a brand new selection of Tonight sauces. A few days later they sent me this wonderful hamper full of goodies to let us try out the Tonight range and have some fun too.


 I was asked to share some of my fun meal creations and names each one as a themed night for each day of the working week.


Monday- Student Tonight

I name this meal with thoughts of my oldest son in mind who is off to University on Thursday. He love a good home cooked meal so what better meal to start? Along with the Cottage pie Tonight sauce, I  added mince beef to the sauce and cooked it, then added pre cooked and mashed potatoes, grated cheese and served with cooked vegetables. This is an easy to follow recipe that he can also try when he is away from home. After I added the creamy mash potatoes and grated cheese, popped it in the oven for 10 minutes to let the cheese brown. Yum everyone loved this meal.


Tuesday- Chilling Tonight

For a nice relaxing Tuesday night we all shared a spicy Mexican Chile con Carne. For a fun and very tasty mid week meal I cooked the Chile con Carne  Tonight sauce up with mince beef, served it up with cooked rice and sprinkled cheese on top. My children love this meal as they know I always add tortilla chips as side. Sides also included tortillas and cheese done in the microwave for a few seconds and me and my husband had a nice glass of wine. Perfect meal and not a bit wasted!!


Wednesday- Dads Tonight

My husband love sausages so I named Wednesdays meal, dads Tonight. I made the children's dad this, as he loves sausages. This is a easy recipe as you just have to fry the sausages and transfer into an oven proof bowl with the sauce then leave it, to let the oven cook it. Once cooked I left him to watch his favourite dvd whilst I caught up in blog land.



Thursday - Mums Tonight

Yes this one was one for me, one of my favourite meals as I love curries.  This Tonights sauce is Mild Curry. Another easy recipe where as once you have fried the chicken you can leave it to cook in the oven. So using some free time,  I had a nice soak in the bath with lots of lovely bubble waiting for the curry to cook.


Friday- Movie Tonight

Friday night is mostly always a meal and a movie. We all enjoy Fridays and what better than getting ready for the weekend with good food, a movie and a nice cold drink?  What better day to try out Spicy BBQ Tonight and bring look forward to the weekend.

About the new and improved Tonight range

The Tonight range includes six delicious new flavours, making it easy to conjure up a show stopping hearty meal in a matter of minutes. The new sauces are inspired by Britain’s favourite recipes - all you need to do is add meat and serve with your preferred accompaniment.

Each of the sauces will offer Brits a family meal favourite - with all of the flavour and none of the fuss.

Now includes-

  • Beef and Ale Casserole
  • Spicy BBQ
  • Chile con Carne
  • Mild Curry
  • Cottage Pie
  • Sausage Casserole


It is available in all major supermarkets now, RRP £1.99.

About this review-

 I was sent this hamper to make some fun meals, I was not paid for this post and all thoughts on the meals and Tonight sauces are my own honest opinion.

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