Thursday, 27 February 2014

Canvas Design Review and competition

I was given the opportunity to review a canvas from Canvas Design. I couldn't refuse, particularly after moving to a new house with much more space and so many bare walls. I chose a photo of my three Littlies taken on a day trip to a local attraction last summer. I love the fact it's a lovely sunny day and the tree bench is lovely, of course the kids poses could have been better, but I'm lucky to get a photo of them all together so I'm not complaining.

My parcel took only five days to arrive and that was including the weekend. I was so excited to open it. The canvas measures 22 inches by 14 and looks lovely on my wall above the settee. It's lovely and sturdy and comes with a complete hanging kit so you can put it up straight away. Maybe the hanging kit should come with a little instruction sheet as it took OH a few minutes to work it out, but then again, he's a man, he'd have probably ignored instructions anyway.

Canvas design have been around for twelve years now and have perfected the art of putting your favourite photos onto canvas. The frames start from as small as six inches and go all the way up to forty inches. (OH wants a forty inch canvas of his guitar!) Prices start from as little as £7.99 and delivery is free.

The website is easy to use, you upload your photo, choose your size and then you can even view what it would look like on a wall above a sofa. It really helps to give you some perspective. You can even change the colour of the background to see what the canvas would look like on a coloured wall. If you can't decide what photo to choose you can even go for a montage with anything from three to twenty photos.

If you fancy trying Canvas Design for yourself you can get a 15% discount with the code BLOG15 at the checkout. (I've just ordered one for grandma's birthday) could try and win one in my fabulous competition. The prize is a canvas of your choice in any size, with free delivery. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway Competition guidelines: Uk only competition (sorry) winner will be required to e-mail photo of their choice to Canvas Design to attain their prize canvas Competition prize will be supplied by a third party, Raisiebay cannot be held responsible for the receipt of this prize. Disclaimer: I was given a canvas of my choice for the purpose of this review and competition. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Disclaimer:

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Very Grown Up Pancakes

With Shrove Tuesday approaching I was happy to review some Princes fruit filling for our pancakes. Of course I'm a firm believer that pancakes are not only for Shrove Tuesday, you can have them anytime. We love them.

Now my family is big and we all have different tastes. I like pancakes with lemon and sugar and so does Star, but Daddy likes banana and chocolate sauce in his. Eldest Daughter likes nutella on hers and Boo and the little man like melted chocolate. No1 son was never fussy, he'd eat his with anything, but he now has a new favourite......chocolate pancakes with cream and black cherries.

Ingredients (serves 4)

125g self-raising flour
10g cocoa powder
2tsp caster sugar
1 egg
150ml milk 
few drops of vegetable oil
150ml double cream
1 x 410g can Princes Black Cherry Fruit Filling


sift the flour and cocoa powder into a large bowl and stir in the caster sugar

the egg and milk and then use a hand whisk to beat the mixture together to make a smooth batter.
Heat 2-3 drops of vegestable oil in a large non-stick frying pan.
Use the batter to make 8 small pancakes, cooking them in batches. To cook, add small ladlefuls of batter to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface. Turn over and cook for 1-2 more minutes until set. Set aside on kitchen paper until all the pancakes are cooked.
Whip the cream in a chilled bowl until it holds its shape. Sandwich two pancakes together per person with half the whipped cream and Princes Black Cherry Fruit Filling. Top with the rest of the cream and cherries.
If you like you can sprinkle them with a little more cocoa powder.

According to No1 Son, they taste even better when chilled. (personally, I couldn't wait)

You can find this recipe along with many others on the Princes website

A tasty alternative to traditional sugar and lemon, the canned Fruit Fillings come in a range of delicious flavours to suit the whole family including Apple; Summer Fruits; Red Cherry; Black Cherry; Strawberry; Blackcurrant and Apple & Blackberry. Princes Fruit Fillings can also be used as a quick and easy addition to a variety of home baking recipes – from tarts to trifles and cheesecakes to crumbles. Princes Fruit Fillings are available for £1.29 RRP (395g / 410g) at a range of supermarkets.

I also have a can of apple and blackberry which I'm thinking of using in a recipe with the littlies later this week, so look out for that, I'm sure it will be just as delicious.

I was sent some products from Princes for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Kids in The Kitchen - Chocolate Cake

Welcome to this weeks Kids in the Kitchen. It's been half term for us and we've had plenty of chances to help out in the kitchen so we've lots to share. It was also Daddy's birthday so, of course, there was birthday cake. Silly Daddy wanted a cake with big hard nuts which Mummy made for him, but don't worry, the kids didn't miss out because they made their very own chocolate birthday cake and decorated it all by themselves.

More of that in a bit, first I'd like to say thank you to last weeks linkers. Mummy Zen and her son linked up their yummy Apple and Cinnamon Muffins. EatsAmazing cooked up some delicious looking Chicken Kebabs with Small Child, we are so going to try these! Miss T from the Beesley Buzz cooked up a favourite of ours, Toad in the Hole. And Baked Potato Mummy and little Potato treated us to Yoghurt Pot Muffins, with all ingredients measured in a yoghurt pot, how clever is that?

If you'd like to join in this week, it's easy. Just cook with your kids and link up your post. Kids in the Kitchen has it's own special page with further details, if you want to know more.

Half Term Cooking:

We had lots of time in the kitchen this week. The littlies love sandwiches so I thought it was about time they learnt how to make their own. Buttering bread is a great task to learn and the littlies loved making their own lunch.

kids in the kitchen

The Little Man loves to measure out his pasta for his lunch, he could live on pasta, I swear he's addicted. Then every time I had something to mix together there was at least one willing pair of hands to help out.

Then there was the birthday cake. I decided to let them make a basic chocolate cake.

Chocolate Cake


175 grams butter
175 grams caster sugar
2 eggs
160 grams self raising flour
15 grams of cocoa powder

for the filling:

60 grams butter
110 grams icing sugar
10 grams cocoa powder

To decorate:

500grams ready to roll icing
a little blue food colouring
star stampers


Put butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat until smooth and creamy. We like to use a wooden spoon because it's good fun.
beat the eggs in another bowl then add half at at time to the butter and sugar mixture.
(Boo always says the mixture looks like baby food)
The we sift in the flour and the cocoa powder, trying very hard to get most of it in the bowl and not all over the work top, or our clothes. ( We rarely succeed!)
Then we slowly mix in the flour to make our cake batter.

For this cake we split the mixture between two 7" cake tins and baked for 30 mins at Gas mark 4 or 180C

When I had removed the cake from the oven and allowed it to cool, we began the filling.

We put the butter, icing sugar and cocoa powder in the food mixer and the Little Man was the proud switcher on. When the mixture was smooth we split it into two. half we put in the middle of the cake and the other half we covered the outside of the cake.

The decorating was most fun. I let the littlies take turns in rolling out the icing, then I helped them place it on the cake and smooth it out.

The left over bits we dyed blue with a little food colouring. Then we rolled it out again and the littlies cut out lots of little stars with my star stampers. You can use cutters, but the littlies enjoyed stamping the icing and then pressing the button to release the stars. When we had lots and lots of stars Boo decorated the cake with them.
To finish off I made them some icing in a piping bag and helped them pipe Happy Birthday Daddy around the edge of the cake.

kids in the kitchen

Please come and join in your posts for this weeks linky.

I'd also be mighty grateful if you included my badge in your post so others can see it and come along and join in. 

If you like Kids in The Kitchen, and the rest of my blog, I'd be so pleased if you could spare a moment to vote for us in the MAD Blog awards. We'd really like a nomination in the Family Fun category.
Thank you so much.

The MAD Blog Awards

Feeling the Boost with Ilumi

I don't think I have IBS or any specific allergies, but I do get a lot of bloating and upset stomachs. I always say I have a good diet, but I do feel I'm kidding myself sometimes, I can be a bit of a junk food junkie at times and I have a passion for biscuits and cake. When I'm trying to lose weight I generally just cut out the junk, sugar and full fat milk and I can lose a few pounds easily. I do however, feel hungry and deprived when I miss out on my 'treats'

I decided to give Ilumi a go because I wanted to see if changes in my diet would really help me, both from the bloating and stomach problems and the craving for unhealthy food. I was sent a box of food for one for one week. This was the Boost Your Energy box and included 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 main dishes and snacks for every day. The plan also comes with a handy tip sheet and menu to follow.

Ilumi produce nut-, gluten and milk free food and use no uneccessary additives. They are perfect for people with allergies, or diet related conditions like IBS. The meals are cooked in pouches and then
 sealed so they stay fresh for when you open them. They do not need to be stored in the fridge. The most amazing thing about them is that they are full of flavour!

I've tried ready meals before, those well known brand boxes that you pop in your microwave for a quick and easy meal, and I've never been impressed. The last one I tried, when I needed a quick and easy lunch for one, tasted purely of sugar and salt and had tiny rock hard prawns that were inedible. So, I'm not a big fan. In fact, I find ready meals a bit of a cheat, I love cooking and putting everything together. In my kitchen food is made with love, not microwaves. However, I was prepared to give this box of food a chance, particularly as I would be eating differently to my family for a week, the convenience of popping my dinner in the microwave at the last minute made the task doable. I guess this is one of the reasons why I find dieting so difficult, how can I prepare my meals seperately when I have another six people to feed, and a couple of them are incredibly fussy eaters.

On unpacking my box I was pleased with the amount of food, all this just for me! There was also a couple of bottles of gluten free beer popped in. I stashed it all in the cupboard and read the tips sheet to see if I would need anything else.

ilumi’s Recommended Shopping List
Semi-skimmed milk
Gluten Free Bread Rolls
Gluten Free Pasta
Fruit portions
Selection of Vegetables
Side Salad

I always buy fruit and vegetables anyway and I didn't bother with the side salad. I did buy gluten free bread rolls and hated them, yuk! I also bought gluten free pasta which was nice and actually cooks quicker than regular pasta so I'm going to buy it regular for my Little Man who is a pasta addict and finds 11 minutes too long to wait for his fix.

The snacks included in the box were oat cakes and oat and syrup biscuits. I had a feeling I might get a little chocolate craving so I added some gluten free chocolaty type fruit bar thingies to my shopping list, just in case.

I also bought some gluten free breakfast cereal in case I didn't have time to make up the porridge.

So the first day came and I began my energy boosting diet. 
Remember, that microwave meal I talked about earlier? Well it was no comparison to these meals. The flavours exploded in your mouth. They were really easy to prepare, just a few minuts in the microwave and put on the plate, but you would not believe that they hadn't come straight from a couple of hours slaving over a hot stove. They were fresh and delicious. The rice dishes were fluffy and perfect, and I always thought MY rice was perfect! 

I didn't like everything, well that would be too much to expect, but the ones I didn't enjoy were purely down to my personal tastes, there was nothing wrong with them. 

I do believe that if my family were taking part too they'd be very happy...then I had a brainwave, these would be perfect for self catering breaks away. You know the ones where you have to give up your beach or fun time to go back to the caravan or chalet to feed the brood before the next lot of entertainment. Well, with a few Illumi products packed in your suitcase you could whip up a totally delicous meal, worthy of a restaurant, in just  a few minutes!

Within a couple of days I noticed that my 'looking like I'm six months pregnant tum, when I'm not pregnant at all' had reduced quite a lot...yay, the bloating was improving already. I also found at the end of the week I'd lost 2lb. Although this is not a weight loss diet, I believe I lost weight purely through not eating junk and retaining water. I never felt hungry, the meals were satisfying and I rarely had to add any more veg or salad, they were fine on their own. I didn't finish all the snacks in the week, not even the chocolate ones. I didn't snack on anything naughty either, I just didn't feel the need.

As for the energy boost, well, I didn't feel that usual 'don't want to get up I've just eaten' feeling after the meals. Yes I was full, but not bloated. I also felt a little less tired, I do have three little ones that I have to run around after and often get deprived of sleep, so every little bit of extra energy helps. 

On the Ilumi website you can purchase the full weeks supply of the energy boost diet for just £40, that's including delivery. You can also purchase meals individually and if you like the taste but want to add your own meat or vegetable you can even buy pouches of just the sauce. Meals start from £2.75 and sauces from £1.50 with packets of rice for one for just £1. I think these are great value, especially considering how tasty they are.


Disclaimer: I was sent a box of food to trial from Ilumi. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Linking up to Well Being Wednesday over on Autism Mumma.

Wellbeing Wednesday

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Meet Our Foodimals - The Breadgehogs

This is our entry to the Tots100 Competition to celebrate the release of Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs2 on Blu Ray and DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

In the film, Flint's invention is turning animals into food, or foodimals and we would like to introduce our very own foodimals....The Breadgehogs!

The Breadgehog first appeared in Star's lunch box a couple of years ago. He felt really at home on his bed of lettuce with a wall of cucumber, some grapes and two cheesnails for company.

We called him Harry the Breadgehog and loved him so much he made a further appearance at a picnic the following summer along with some other family members.

We thought they would be happy with some lettuce and cucumber to snack on, but oh no, Harry got a bit cheeky and went after the treats instead.

We forgave him though, and he still makes regular appearances in our kitchen. Only a few weeks ago he was made again but this time by the littlies.

We hope you love the breadgehogs as much as we do.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Amazing Star!

I haven't done a post for Ethan's Escapades Small Steps Amazing Acheivements for a while, so I thought I would write about how proud I am of my little girl.

If you are a regular reader you will know that Star suffered (in laymans terms) a slipped disc at the very top of her spine. This happened six months ago and treatment is still on-going. For the last 12 weeks she has been wearing a halo.
Just in case you don't know what a halo is:
 This picture was taken shortly after surgery. The halo is a type of traction, it keeps her head, neck and shoulders perfectly still and aligned. The halo around her head is screwed into her skull. the vest comes down to her waist and is bolted on, it can only be removed by a doctor.

But that picture is horrid. I only showed it to you so you could see how horrible the halo is.
This picture is my Star, taken just over a week later.

She really is amazing. She has carried on regardless, always smiling, never complaining. Even when she is in pain she doesn't complain much. And to wear that horrid contraption for 12 weeks is a real acheivement in my eyes.

So I dedicate this post to my shining Star. Just one more week honey and we'll have you out of there and back into my arms for that long awaited cuddle. You are amazing sweetheart.

Ethans Escapades

Monday, 17 February 2014

Kids in The Kitchen - Chocolate Shortbread

Welcome to this weeks kids in the kitchen. Ours almost went pear shaped this week when I had two very naughty children get a little over excited while making chocolate shortbread. More about that later.

First I'd like to say thank you to the Beesley Buzz' Little Miss T who made some glorious Valentines Day cookies. and also to Broody Me for linking up their amazing American Cheesecake. Double yum!

If you'd like to know more about Kids in the Kitchen it has it's very own page here. The rules are simple though, just do some cooking with your kids, post about it and link it up. Short or long, old or new, I really don't mind.

Chocolate Shortbread Hearts.

I'm a big fan of shortbread but I've not tried making chocolate shortbread before. I'll definitely be making it again though. Because it was Valentines Day we decided to make our shortbread into little heart shapes using a chocolate mould.


260g plain flour
100g caster sugar
40g cocoa powder
200g butter


We put the the flour, sugar and cocoa powder in a large bowl and mixed it around.
We chopped the butter into cubes and then rubbed it into the flour until it became a sticky dough

We pressed the mixture into the mould to bake in the oven at 180C or gas mark 4 for 15 minutes.

Everything was going well but then my little monkeys got a little over excited and began making a terrible mess all over the table with the mixture, which then spread to the floor. I stopped them and sent them to wash their hands and on return I got them helping to clean up their mess. I don't know what got into them but once they had calmed down and cleaned up they were happy to enjoy the finished biscuits. They are usually quite co-operative in the kitchen, but I guess we all have our 'off'' days. Maybe I'll still keep cooking with them.

Please come and join in your posts for this weeks linky.

I'd also be mighty grateful if you included my badge in your post so others can see it and come along and join in. 

Friday, 14 February 2014

Cancellations, Goodbyes, and Black Eyes

Yesterday was one of those mad days, busy from beginning to end.
It was the day that ED went to America!
Now, it's not the first time she's been abroad alone, she has been to visit her Dad in the South of France a few times now. It is however, the first time she's gone so far, and the first time she's not been met by her Dad at the other side.

The day started at 6am. The little ones were still in bed while me and Ed were rushing around getting showered and dressed. Then I switched on my phone and the notifications scrolled before me...what was that I saw...Your Flight Has Been Cancelled...WHAT!
So, on goes the laptop and Ed grabs the phone and I leave her desperately trying to sort something out while I tend to the little ones who have finally woken up. Then, just ten minutes before we catch the bus to get to train station she has something sorted, a new flight which will get her there around the same time but to a different airport. It's ok though, she called her American friend who is meeting her (yes, at 2am, but it's ok because she was up baking brownies) and she's still able to meet her.

7.30am and we are on the bus into the City Centre. 8.50am and we are on the train to London. 10.30 and we are on the tube to Heathrow.

I've not been to Heathrow before. Yet another airport to add to my list, but I've still not flown on a plane. One day I will!

We had lunch together before saying Goodbye. She was getting so nervous, and I was starting to stress too, so she just went for it and after a hug she went off through security, leaving me behind. Off to fly so far away. I thought about a friend of mine who waved her son off when he was about the same age, he went to Australia to live. At least I know that Ed is coming back. I hung around for about half an hour just in case something went wrong, and then I started my journey home, tube, train, bus.

On the train I saw a plane leaving Heathrow. I don't know if Ed was on it, but I waved anyway.

I was home in time to start cooking dinner. Lucky me. The little ones had missed me terribly even though in reality I'd not been gone long. It felt like a long time, nine hours long, and all but one and a half hours of that was spent travelling.

At bedtime the Little Man was choosing his book for his bedtime story and in he's excitement of choosing one he decided to throw it at me. It was a hardback book. It had sharp corners. It caught me just short of my eye, tearing my skin and making it bleed. At the time I was thankful that he actually missed my eye ball. This morning I woke up looking like this!


Today is Valentines Day. I don't really celebrate, it's just another one of those days when I watch other women getting showered with gifts and cards and I try my best not to feel bitter at receiving nothing. This morning however, I was surprised to find a lovely card that my other half had made while I was sleeping. He made several heart shapes and wrote some lovely words on each one before sticking them all together. So thoughtful. I'm glad I made him a card now, although to be honest, his is much better.

I spent some time with the kids making things for our activity wall. We enjoyed doing word searching and making up a poem using the letters V.A.L.E.N.T.I.N.E and then glued some cut out pieces of magazines onto cardboard heart shapes. They had lots of  fun, and now we have a pretty wall. Big thanks to Twinkl for the inspiration and resources.

Happy Valentines Day xx

The MAD Blog Awards

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

The Pain of Grocery Shopping Online

I have been doing online grocery shopping for many years and I've tried most of them. I rely on them a lot at the moment as I don't have a car and we don't live in walking distance of a supermarket. I've always loved the convenience of shopping online, filling your trolly without the leg work, working out how much you've spent at every step, not being tempted by that huge bar of chocolate that has fifty pence off (you don't need it, honestly!) Then it's all dropped off on your doorstep and all you have to do is pack it away.

I have a big family, there are seven of us, and that means a lot of shopping. I tend to shop around so I know I'm getting the best deals, and this is so much easier online, it's not legwork, it's fingerwork.

However, lately things have just been going wrong. I got fed up with Sainsbury's subsitutions. Some of them were ridiculous and they often ended up costing me money. If I choose three things for £10 then that's what I want to pay, if one of those items is not available then the offer doesn't stand and you can end up sorely out of pocket. At Christmas I ordered a Christmas pudding that was £3.50, only two of us eat it, but they sent one that was £6.50 as a substitution, enough to feed six people. Now, you can refuse your substitutions, but then you end up without the item and have the extra hassle of more shopping.

Sainsbury's let me down in the past by not delivering my Christmas shopping which had been booked and ordered three weeks in advance. It had been snowing and the van couldn't finish it's round. I was horrified at the thought of Christmas without food, but it wasn't the end of the world because I still had a car at this point. Four hours later, a panic attack, and almost heart attack (I really hate driving in snow) we had food. Such a stressful day stays in the memory. Apart from costing me silly with their substitutions though, they've never let me down since.

Another supermarket I use is Asda. I like Asda because they have so much to choose from and they are reasonably priced, but they also like to substitute a lot, but they don't charge you any extra if the substituted item is more expensive.

I will never shop at Asda again! Last week I did a shop and it arrived missing an item. There was no substitution so my shop was £4 cheaper than I'd originally paid for. BUT, Asda took both amounts from my bank account.They did refund the original amount straight away but it took seven days to clear. It was lucky that I had just been paid, had it been the end of the month I don't think my bank account would have liked being short of nearly £200. According to my bank, who I called when I found my payments being rejected, this happens quite frequently with Asda. Well, I'm sorry but I can't afford for this to happen again, even if I did get the money back.

I also shop at Ocado, I like their vans, especially the Strawberry one. That really is not a good reason to shop with them though. They do have fewer substitutions than Sainsburys though, and if they do subsitute something they don't change the price. They claim to be cheaper, but I'm not always convinced.

Then this week I shopped with Ocado and waited patiently for the Lemon van to arrive between 1 and 2pm. When it hadn't arrived by 2.30pm I gave them a call, only to be told my shopping had been delivered to me and I'd signed for it. So where was it? The van driver had finished for the day and the van was back at the depot. Customer services rang me back and promised me that my shopping would be here the next day. Fair enough, quick trip to the shops for loo roll!
Next day the shopping arrived as promised. One bag was full of washing up liquid as the bottle had leaked. Luckily nothing was damaged, and although I ended up with less than half a bottle of washing up liquid I didn't bother complaining.
Then I had an e-mail to say that my orignal shop cost was being refunded to me and would take 7 - 10 days to reach my account. They had taken the money for the second delivery from my account. So once again I'm left with a poorly bank account for a week.

Maybe it's time to try somewhere else? Any suggestions? Is there anywhere out there that offers a better service?

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

MAD Blog Awards 2014

It's that time of year again, the nominations for the MAD blog awards are now open. I was so thrilled to be nominated last year and couldn't believe it when I made it to the finals. It really made my year and I'd so love to do it all again. This is where I have to ask my readers for a nomination. Last year I was nominated in the Schooldays category, but this year I'd like to be considered for the Family Fun category. I've made a little photo book of some of the family fun we've had over the past year, so if you would take a look and then decide if I'm worth your nomination I'd be really smiling, and if I made it through to the finals again, I'd be grinning like a loon.

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I'm making up my list of who to nominate and it's really difficult, there are so many lovely blogs out there it's so hard to choose.

In case you are having trouble choosing too, I'd like to list a few of my favourites. If I listed them all then you'd be stuck for choice too.

If there was a Special Needs category (which I really do think there should be) then these would get my vote for sure:

The photography blogs are always really difficult to choose from (and make me so jealous) but here are a few I love;

I'm not going to give you my favourites for all categories, but I will give you a few more that really deserve a look at.

Please take a look around and nominate some blogs, it really means a lot to us bloggers to feel that our hard work is appreciated.

If you are a blogger and I've not listed you, it's not because I don't love you, I was trying to keep my list short xx

To make your nominations please go to the MAD blog awards site and first choose your blog for the blog of the year award. You will then be given the chance to nominate in all or any of the other 16 categories. Remember to have the URLs of the blogs you wish to nominate handy. You can only fill in the form one time, so try to be prepared before you start. You have until 14/03/14 to make your nominations.

So go vote! 

And good luck to all my fellow bloggers x

Monday, 10 February 2014

Kids In The Kitchen - Apple Crumble

Welcome back to Kids in the Kitchen. We are really loving our cooking together sessions, although this week we are one member missing as Star wasn't feeling too well. The Little Man and Boo were keen and eager to get cooking though and really enjoyed making this weeks apple crumble.

If you've not seen kids in the kitchen you can read all about it on it's own special page, but it really is simple. I want to encourage my children to learn how to cook, and have fun while doing so. I also want to encourage others to share their experiences, and recipes, so please do join in with my linky. You can add any post, old or new, just so long as it involves kids in the kitchen.

Last week I was visited by the talented Daniel from The Brilliant Chef and his delicious choccy walnut brownies. Daniel wants to be a chef when he grows up, maybe I should introduce him to my Boo who wants to be a 'cooker' /(her own words!)

Apple Crumble

Ingredients for the crumble:

300g of plain flour
175g brown sugar
200g butter or Stork

Ingredients for the filling

500g bramley apples
50g brown sugar
1 tbs of lemon juice
1 tbs plain flour


To make the crumble, mix the flour and sugar together and add the butter cut into cubes.
Then use a rubbing method to make largish breadcrumbs with the mixture.

kids in the kitchen
rubbing the mixture to make the crumble topping

To make the  filling I pealed and cored the apples, then Boo chopped them into cubes. We then put them in a large bowl with the other ingredients, sugar, lemon and flour and the Little Man gave them a stir with a big wooden spoon.

kids int he kitchen

Then we assemble the crumble by spreading the apples in the tin and then sprinkling over the crumble topping. We cooked in the oven for 30 minutes on gas mark 4 or 180C

kids int he kitchen
assembling the apple crumble

Once cooked the only thing left to do was to decide whether to eat with custard or cream?

kids int he kitchen
custard or cream?

Now it's your turn, please join in and share your posts using my linky below. I'd also be very happy if you included my badge to let others know about Kids in the Kitchen.

kids in the kitchen

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Still Waiting For a Cuddle

Monday marks the tenth week of halo wearing for Star. Ten weeks without a proper cuddle, it's not good for either of us. We have adapted so much that we barely notice the halo now, but I am getting so fed up, I just want her back to normal. She's coping better than me, it doesn't seem to bother her at all. She doesn't like having the pins cleaned and she's not keen on going out, but otherwise she's happy. She's sleeping better and can even get in and out of bed by herself now.

Bathing is still a big issue, it takes forever to get her wrapped up in plastic before we can go anywhere near the water. but once in the bath she likes to give her feet a soak. She can't bend her head back while I wash her hair so the water goes all over her face, but she's ok if I give her a flannel to hold over her eyes.

I'm frustrated with the hospital. The last appointment went well but we seem to have been forgotten about as soon as we left. The CT scanner broke and all appointments were pushed back six weeks, including Stars. This means while we were waiting for them to call us to go in last week, they were not expecting us until mid March!!! I'm so glad I called to find out what was going on, the Dr had no idea. Three hassling calls later and we finally got a scan last Wednesday afternoon.

We went along and there was little waiting around. It was Lucy's first scan since having the halo and she said it was good because before it hurt to lie on her back, but now the halo supports her. After the scan we went straight home, there was no doctor to speak to. So now we are waiting again. I did think they may have called on Thursday or Friday, but no. I left a message. I'm hassling again, I hate it, it should be up to them to let me know what's going on, I shouldn't have to keep calling and begging for information.

I complained last Monday that Star had not been seen by a doctor for over two weeks, well it's over three now and she's still not been given an appointment. It looks like the halo won't be removed any time soon.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Kids In The Kitchen - Cheese Straws

Welcome back to Kids In The Kitchen, my weekly linky that is encouraging me, and hopefully you, to get the kids cooking more. You can see the full details of the idea on my Kids In the Kitchen page, I hope you will join in.

This week I had my little ones cooking cheese straws, they were easy to make and they disappeared very quickly once made.

Last week we enjoyed a lovely post from Twin Life Online when the twins cooked a coffee cake and a beautiful picture from All About A Mummy of her baking buddies decorating some cupcakes.

I'd love to see your posts about your kids cooking up a storm. The rules for sharing are simple, just let the kids cook and share your blog post about it. You can also share older posts if you wish.

Cheese Straws


  • 150g cheddar cheese
  • 200g plain flour
  • 100g butter
  • 1 egg


  • Put flour into a large bowl
  • chop the butter into chunks and put in the bowl, then rub into the flour with fingers
  • lightly whisk the egg and add to the flour
  • add the cheese
  • bind all the indregients together to make a firm dough.
  • roll out dough then cut into long strips
  • bake in oven at 229C/gas mark 7 for about 8 minutes
  • cool and eat

rubbing the butter in the flour

rolling the dough

leave to cool


NB. we don't always eat while sitting ON the kitchen table!

kids in the kitchen

Monday, 3 February 2014

These Shoes Were Made For Walking

I'd love to be able to run, I'd practice every day and enter marathons when I could. What a great way to keep fit and healthy. However, running is not for me, and a lot of other exercise are ruled out too, but there is one thing that I do really well and that is walk. I recently decided to increase my walking to make sure I was doing 10,000 steps every day and I'm pretty much there five days a week. You can see my tips for walking in my post, I Would Walk 10000 Steps.

It's important to have the right footware when walking (or running if you are lucky enough to be able to.) There is nothing worse than painful feet, and bad footwear is sure to hamper your efforts. 

Fila Prompt

These are running shoes, but they are great for walking too. I love the spongy soul which is great for combating foot fatigue. I love the neon pink too, I think they look great.

I love walking as exercise. Of course I do a lot of my daily walking doing the school run, but it's after I've dropped the kids off at school that I can get down to some serious walking. I like to spend around 30 minutes walking each day, it has so many benefits.
  • Walking is a cardio-vascular exercise that keeps you fit and can also help you lose weight.
  • Walking is low impact so it doesn't carry the same potential risk of injury as running.
  • It strengthens bones and helps maintains healthy joints.
  • It energises you by boosting your circulation and increasing oxygen in your cells, stopping you feeling sluggish.
  • Walking releasing endorphins which help to keep you happy and reduce stress and anxiety.
  • If done properly, thinking about your posture while walking you can also help slim your waist and arms, so it's a good all round exercise.

Whether you are a walker or a runner you can find a wide range of trainers at JD Sports, with a great range of style and brands to choose from there is something to suit everyone. 

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I've also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I've loved. If I don't love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It's always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I'll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.
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