Sunday, 31 May 2015

A car overhead is #MySundayPhoto

It's been a lovely half term week, and we've done lots of things.  One of the highlights was taking our son to London for the day.  He loved everything about it - the trains, the underground and especially visiting the Science Museum.

He was especially taken by this car which was suspended from the roof.  The purpose was to demonstrate how much of a car could be recycled at the end of its life.  Our son, just spent ages looking at it though!


Thursday, 28 May 2015

Family life is...

Giving your six year old some jobs to do around the house and asking him to make his bed everyday.  He really enjoys the responsibility, and although it isn't the most well made bed ever I love how he tucks his teddy in so nicely.

And yes, family life is also a Christmas duvet in May - our son specifically asked for it because he loves Mr Men!

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Easy syn free Slimming World turkey chilli

The recipe I use for chilli is really versatile, and for the first time this week I used it to make a really tasty turkey chilli.  Inspired by Slimming World, this recipe is syn free and really easy to throw together and cook.

I always make more than I need a freeze a few portions for an easy tea on another night.  Alternatively, chill any leftovers well and reheat them the day after making it - it tastes even better on day two.

Tasty filling syn free turkey chilli
Serves 4-6 hungry people


One onion, diced
500g turkey mince (less than 3% fat)
Two x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
Tblspn tomato puree (not pictured)

One vegetable stock cube
Tblspn ground cumin
Tblspn ground coriander
1/2 teaspn cinnamon
Splosh of Worcestershire sauce
Tblspn chilli flakes for a medium heat (not pictured)
400g tin kidney beans
400g tin chick peas


In a large saucepan, fry off the onion for 3-4 minutes until just starting to soften and then add the turkey mince.  Cook it all off for another 3-4 minutes until the turkey is just cooked.

Stir in the tinned tomatoes and then add the tomato puree, crumbled stock cube, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, chilli flakes and Worcester sauce.  Give it all a really good stir, cover and leave to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After 20 minutes, it should be nicely cooked through with a slightly thicken tomato sauce.  Turn off the heat.  Rinse, drain and add the kidney beans and chickpeas to the chilli and stir through.  Cover again and leave for a couple of minutes before serving.

Enjoy with a fresh crunchy salad and rice or jacket potato.  Let me know how you get on if you make it!

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Driving a bus is #MySundayPhoto

We spent the afternoon in Leicester yesterday, and the kids were so well behaved.  Toddler girl was so fast, running everywhere - she really kept us on our toes!  I think her buggy days are very limited, she hates being strapped in anywhere these days.

Anyways, this campervan was on the way into to carpark, and toddler girl spotted it a mile away.  She ran into it and immediately started 'driving'.  Our son loved being  passenger in the back.  I love to see them playing together and this made my day.


Saturday, 23 May 2015

Thank you #MadBlogAwards

When I started this blog two years ago, I didn't really know where it would go, or what I hoped it would achieve.

I definitely had no idea that people would read it, or even come back more than once.  I guess I just hoped it would be an outlet for writing and a space for the kids and I to look back on.

Tots100 MAD Blog Awards

So I couldn't believe it when I heard this weekend that my blog had been nominated in two MAD blog award categories, 'family fun' and 'best pre-school blog'.

The Mum and Dad (MAD) blog awards are run by Tots100, and I see them as the biggest parenting blogger awards out there.

I am so touched and genuinely feel honoured that someone has taken the time to nominate Me add three for the awards.  There are so many wonderful blogs out there, that I can't believe this small hobby of mine has led to anyone doing such a nice thing.

So if you're reading this, thank you so much.  It really means a huge amount.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Thinking about Christmas (yes, really)

When does Christmas start for you?

I think about it all year round and I can't be the only one, because Sainsbury's sent me a mail shot which heavily featured Christmas today - in May!

It got me wondering just how organised I am for Christmas, and whether I was alone?  I'd love to hear if you hide from Christmas until December, or if you embrace it in May too.


I have quite a few gifts already, I couldn't help myself in the post-Christmas sales.  The kids have a few stocking fillers like jigsaws, AirFix models, cars and crayons.  We always have a present for each person at the Christmas dinner table - and I'm lucky enough to have won half of these so far this year.  I'd definitely like to win all of them, it would be a real talking point!


Having family near and far means Christmas is usually done at our house.  It's central enough and big enough for a decent sized crowd.  I haven't really talked about it to anyone yet, but I'm assuming like the last few years that we will 'do' Christmas day again.  I wonder if we will?


I'm definitely going to try and buy less this year - we always end up with so much food!  I might try and make some recipes in advance too, freezing food where I can.  Do you know of any good make-ahead recipes?  Obviously I won't do this until much later in the year!


In previous years, we've been to the local Hatton Farm World, and not so local Lapland UK.  The kids enjoyed both!  I'd love to know if you have any festive places you always visit.

Merry Christmas :-)

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Strawberries are #MySundayPhoto

I just love the spring time, and I especially love the look of the strawberry bed in our garden at the moment.  All the sun and rain we've had over the last month or two have made it a mass of leaves, white flowers and small green strawberries.

If we have a bit of sunshine in the next week or two I should be able to start harvesting all the strawberries, and there will be loads!  I might make some jam, or just share them out when they come.  Yum.


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Family meal time at Frankie and Benny's at The Fort - a review

On Sunday we all went to try out Frankie and Benny's new kids' menu at its restaurant at The Fort shopping park in Birmingham, and oh dear, I just had to fit some shopping in before lunch too - it's a tough job being a blogger!

Frankie and Benny's recently launched a new children's menu which our kids were lucky enough to try, and we got to taste a couple of meals off the specials menu too.

First up though, the kids loved their Frankie and Benny's activity packs which featured a jigsaw, press out and build farmyard animals, puzzles and of course our son's favourite - crayons for colouring in.

We were impressed with the kids' menu, there was a good choice for babies, toddlers and bigger kids.  I really appreciated the different portion sizes and variety of choice, so often toddler girl ends up with a meal the same size as our six year old!  It's great value too.

Our son opted for the Sketch's Hot Dog from the junior menu, and toddler girl chose the Chicken Bites from the lighter bite kids' menu.  Alongside the main item, both kids had a choice of chips or mashed potato with a side of either vegetables, salad or baked beans.  Although mine went for chips and beans, I do think having other choices is great (sadly I couldn't persuade either of them to try the vegetables!).  

Both meals arrived hot and freshly cooked, and with generous portions would suit older kids too.

Toddler girl wasted no time tucking into her chicken bites, and polished off most of her meal.  Our son demolished most of his hot dog too and declared it "very yummy".

Husband and I opted for meals off the specials menu.  Being in a New York Italian restaurant husband went for the New York burger - a tasty combination of 6oz beef burger with BBQ and jalapeno cheese sauce and salad.  It must've been nice because he said it reminded him a of New York holiday we had about 10 years ago!

I went for the Cajun Chicken Melt - chicken with cajun spices, bacon and Monterey Jack cheese all smothered in BBQ sauce.  It was too big a portion for me to finish, but it was very tasty.

And the best bit about the meal from our kids' point of view?  As our son said: "whoa Mum, look at the Candy Shop pudding!".

He was definitey on to something.  Two scoops from a choice of ice cream flavours, three different bottles of sweets, popping candy, warm chocolate sauce and marshmallows.  What's not to love about this when you're a kid?  I can't believe any kid chooses any of the other sundae or fruit options - this looked so good. 

Toddler girl had it too and didn't come close to finishing it - happily for our son we came away with loads of sweets as a result!

I opted for the Chocolate Brownies and Mint ice cream, while husband had Blueberry Eton Mess Sundae (he opted for it without fresh cream).  Both were a great way to end the meal.

We really enjoyed our meal and it was great that it was so handy for shopping at The Fort too.  The service we received was good and the atmosphere in the restaurant was friendly and laid back. Two courses from the specials menu was £11.95.  Toddler girl's kids' menu meal and dessert was £4.25 and our son's junior meal and dessert £7.75 - both included unlimited squash for them.   I think this is great value for a such a convenient and tasty family lunch.

Frankie and Benny's gets a thumbs up from us, and next time we visit The Fort in Birmingham, we will be back!

Disclaimer: we received a free meal and gift voucher for Frankie and Benny's in return for this review.  All words and thoughts are my own, or those of my family.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

A sporting look - #MySundayPhoto

We had a lovely blogger lunch today at Frankie and Benny's at The Fort shopping centre in Birmingham.  We all went along, and met a few other bloggers and tasted the lovely specials and kids' menu at the restaurant.

Much to my husband and son's delight, there was football on the TV behind our table.  I turned round for a minute, and looked back to see them all checking out the results on the screen.  Honestly!

Check back for our review later in the week :)


Saturday, 9 May 2015

Saturday six - things to love about spring

Don't you think that spring is one of the best times of year?  So much promise, daylight and freshness around.  Every year I just love it, and thought I'd capture the great things about our season that I've heard people comment on.

"I put my washing on the line"

Not exactly glamourous this one, but isn't there something wonderful about line dried sheets?  Don't they smell so fresh and feel so clean and crisp?  I love clothes that have been dried outside, they're so much fresher.

Lunchtime walks without a coat

In the office the other day, I walked to the local Pret for lunch.  I didn't put my coat on - and was actually warm.  Not hot and sweaty like in summer, but comfortably warm.  Hoorah!

Lighter evenings

I just love not feeling like a zombie who is ready for bed the second the kids are asleep, and I'm sure the light evening help.  I love to go to the supermarket without the kids in the evening, just because I can.


Isn't it just lovely when everywhere starts to spring to life again?  Buds appear everywhere, the colours of green and bright daffodils, primroses and tulips are everywhere.  It's like freshness for your eyes.

Planning the summer holidays

We have seven weeks of school holidays this year, and I've loved planning them out.  We've booked a week away and I have loads of activities up my sleeve for the kids.  I can't wait!

Seeing robins everywhere

Robins are one of my favourite birds and this year they seem to be everywhere!  I think we have a nest close by our garden, because whenever I look at I always seems to see one sitting on our fence looking at me.  I love the shrill 'chip chipping' of their song too.

I'd love to know what you love about spring - please leave a comment.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Win a £25 voucher to spend on organic kids' clothes at KyNa Boutique

KyNa Boutique has the best kids' clothes, they're all organic and are so brightly coloured and funky they're great for boys and girls aged 0-6.
Toddler girl has loads of tops from KyNa, we love Maxomorra, No Sweet and JNY Designs.Her wardrobe is full!

Here's your chance to win a £25 voucher to spend online at KyNa Boutique.  You could spend it on the latest gorgeous T shirts from JNY Designs, or stock up on Slugs and Snails tights, or some new summer clothes for your little one. 

I wish I could win, I would definitely get one of these gorgeous JNY Designs t shirts for toddler girl.  She loves fish!

You can enter via the Rafflecopter below, good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • You must be resident in the UK to enter. Prize will be emailed to a UK address.
  • Competition runs from 4 May until 23:59 on 19 May 2015.
  • Entry is via one and/or more of the methods in Rafflecopter widget.
  • Winner(s) will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter.  Winning entries will be checked and must be current at time of checking.
  • There is one prize.  The prize is a £25 KyNa Boutique gift voucher.  There is no cash alternative.
  • The winner(s) will be contacted by email or on Twitter (if appropriate) by 19th May and asked to confirm their delivery address within 48 hours.  If no reply is received, a new winner may be chosen.
  • Winner's details will be passed to KyNa Boutique, so the prize can be emailed.
  • The winner's name, as registered when logged into Rafflecopter will be displayed after the end of the competition.
  • Me add three’s decision is final.
Win competitions at  Also listed on Loquax.

Slimming World - My Sunday Photo

There's no getting away from it, my clothes are all tighter than I'd like, and the treat cupboard has been raided a bit too frequently.

I'm back at Slimming World and feeling determined.  I'd love to hear if you have any favourite Slimming World extra easy recipes!