Easter bakes with Cadbury’s

My children just love sweets; I remember when my first son was born, I attempted to convince him that raisins were sweets; it worked for a little while anyway. Now I have four older children they certainly know what they like – when I saw The Pink Whisk asking for Easter inspired bakes we had to have a go!

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Here are my three youngest enjoying an Easter trip to Cadbury’s World.

Recently I saw an idea circulating about Facebook – someone had made crème egg muffins, which looked superb. In our house we prefer brownies; all the children go mad for them as they are lovely and moist. We used our normal chocolate brownie recipe (listed below) and then part way through the cooking dropped the halved frozen mini crème eggs into each section of the mix.

Ingredients for our standard chocolate brownies + buy one packet of mini crème eggs (freeze the night before)

  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 100g milk chololate
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 95g plain flour
  • 45g cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 275g sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 160C and grease a brownie baking tin (if you have one) or a normal tin if you haven’t.
  2. Melt the butter and dark chocolate together in the microwave.
  3. Break the eggs into a bowl and tip in 275g sugar. Beat until the mix has become thick and creamy.
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture over the eggy mixture, then fold together.
  5. Sieve the cocoa and flour mixture over the combined mixtures. Gently fold in and pour into the baking tin.
  6. Bake the mixture for 15 minutes then press the Cadbury’s Crème egg halves into the mix. Put back in the over for another 5-10 minutes.

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My daughter (aged 10) loved making them, and we loved eating them! They were really straightforward to make and are the perfect Easter themed chocolate dessert. The result looks much more complicated than it is and it’s a really lovely tasty treat for the children too (and not too big either!)

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A new twist on pancake day #Cloudy2Competition

Tots100 are running a great ‘Show Us Your Foodimals’ competition in conjunction with Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, so we just had to have a go, my children just love pancake day and as it’s just round the corner it seemed like a perfect excuse to dust down the frying pan and get the children involved in some basic cooking – it’s great fun making strange shapes and finding new and interesting ingredients to add. This year we decided to have some fun, so I bought a copy of OMG Pancakes by Jim Belosic and then topped up on food colourings and some chocolate drops for some experimentation in the kitchen.

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I let the children have a few attempts with the batter, our technique was to make up lots of batter and then add a few drops of colour to each small quantity once it was in the bottle. Here is William holding one of the most successful foodimals we did, he loves dinosaurs so it seemed like quite a good one to have a go at. He loved making it and enjoyed eating it even more!

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This is my entry to Make Your Food Fun and Win a £500 Home Cinema System!

Seabrooks sarnies

I’m all on for making quick meals – life is way too short to spend it slaving away in the kitchen only to have the children turning their noses up at what is presented. So when I saw TOTS100 were celebrating crisp sarnie week with Seabrook Crisps I just had to enter the competition with a favourite sandwich of mine. If you want to enter you need to do so by the 1st September – you can find out more about the competiton here.

 

Apple, mayo and Seabrooks Canadian ham crisp sandwich

So to make my quick and easy apple, mayo and Canadian ham crisp sandwich all I did was I used mayonaise, grated apple and Seabrooks Canadian Ham flavoured crisps…here is some instructions

IMG_4654 (Large)1. Get your ingredients together, I used apple as it goes with Ham crisps really well and some mayo to bind the apple together – it stops it being too messy.

2. Grate the apple with a standard grater and combine with the mayo.

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3. Arrange the bread, and spread on the apple and mayo. Then tip on the full packet of Seabrook Canadian Ham crisps. Arrange it so all the slice is covered.

4. Crush the two slices together to break the crisps up a little and press them into the bread and apple.

5. Slice your sandwich in half, eat and enjoy . . . fabulous, quick and easy!

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“This recipe is an entry into the National Crisp Sarnie Week competition with Seabrook crisps”

 

#TigercubHideout – keeping the children busy

Our children love the outdoors, they have a trampoline, swings and slides but would simply love what I would call a ‘wendy house’ to call their own. Our garden is always in a constant state of chaos so it might actually give us a shove in the right direction to sort it out!

Below is Eleanor (age 6), William (age 9) and Charlotte (age 11) with their entries.

aAnyway, it is a great competition, all you need to do is get the children to use their imagination to come up with a picture of their dream house. Ours were very excited at the prospect of incorporating a phone to call into school and tell them you are sick, slides from one level to another and projectors and hot tubs. They certainly got into the swing of what they would like in a dream house – no homework or housework was mentioned as well! If you want to enter too, the link is here.

Below is Charlotte’s (age 11) entry for her dream house – my favourite feature is the automatic dressing machine, it reminds me of Wallace and Gromit!

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Below is William’s (age 9) entry – my favourite feature is the telephone that calls into the school on your behalf – very Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

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Below is Eleanor’s (age 6) entry to the competiton – I love the automatic dishwashing and washing line she has in one room and three chimneys for some reason!

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The children had great fun doing this competition, it always amazes me with what they come up with!

 I hope it is ok to enter all three on the one blog as they all wanted to be part of the competition. Please take this as Slummy Mummy’s entry to the Summer blogger competition: Win a Tigercub Hideout House!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t smoke, don’t drink, what do you do!

I’m just loving the new competition I have found from Bobatoo – its all about bad habits. Bobatoo offer insurances of all kinds which are so important when the unexpected happens.

When I saw the post it reminded me of my 1980′s youth, and Adam Ant’s song, I was well behaved; in fact too well behaved. I came from a nice part of the village, had well mannered friends and was an only child. I wasn’t a wild child under anyone’s terms. I now kind of regret my ‘misspent youth’; while my friends were partying I was having early nights with a book, while my friends went to university I was working. On the upside and as a consequence of my virtuous youth I didn’t gain the usual bad habits of drinking or smoking, I wouldn’t know a drug if I saw it or smelt it (although I am currently being educated by season 2 of ‘breaking bad’) – so when this competition mentioned habits the usual ones didn’t come to my mind. I don’t even go to Costa for expensive coffee or hanker after expensive shoes like most girls!

Bad habit #1 – diet cola

photoDespite everyone telling me its bad for me I am still hooked, I don’t drink masses of the stuff but I do like a can (ok, pint) if I am out. I guess it’s not as bad as most habits but I would say it is my downfall and my only source of caffeine as I don’t like coffee, I reason it through that as I don’t have coffee it’s not so bad. However, I have rubbish teeth; I mean they look good but are just not very strong. I always end up with having fillings done when everyone else gets a ‘see you in 6 months’. I have tried to cut down but just love the stuff, I have even alternated with water when I go out, I have found this is by far the best method of reducing my intake! But honestly when I see my friends getting drunk I am quite glad that I never found my alcoholic poison but found diet cola instead!

 

 

 

 

Bad habit #2 – dresses

With me it’s not shoes; it’s dresses. I took up dancing almost a year ago and have finally found my thing. I love doing circuits at the local gym, but I have to admit wearing ‘sportswear’ isn’t my thing. I love to dress up in 1940′s wear, I love all things swing. I love being glamorous (well, trying anyway) so I buy dresses. I have a wardrobe busting at the seams, I cleared it out about a year ago with a friend and its now back to the same state, I don’t spend a lot of money on them, I tend to buy second hand, eBay or from charity shops. I haven’t tried to curtail my habit but instead have tried to sell some of my old stuff, and the children’s old stuff to fund my addiction. I currently have a healthy balance on eBay so yesterday I bought myself a couple of dresses from China.

IMG_2872aLeft – My latest dress purchase – a Betty Page dress second hand from America, I got loads of great comments about it! IMG_1527 (Large)

Right – Me and my children at one of my first 1940′s events

 

 

 

 

 

Bad habit #3 – always carrying a camera

It might not sound like a bad habit but when it means that you carry a camera instead of something important it probably is pretty bad. I was known at baby group for always having my camera; usually in place of a spare change of clothing for my child or even a nappy. In fact quite a few times I have had to buy emergency packs of nappies when I have gone to the park as I have been without any. I never had a changing bag in the conventional sense, just a camera bag! This has been solved by the children getting older and not needing changes of clothes – good solution; I still have my camera but no longer need anything else!

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Bad habit #4 – loosing stuff

This one is a biggie. I am always losing my purse, keys and my phone, well, not loosing just misplacing (maybe I need insurance!). With a busy household with 6 of us coming and going, often stuff gets put on top of them. I have recently bought a bag (I don’t really like handbags) that I keep my bits together in and for dancing I actually have a small carryon suitcase to keep everything together. I think the solution is to be more organised with my things, I think as the children get older they will help me look too, maybe not the best solution but as good as it gets at the moment!

 

 

This post is my entry into the Bobatoo.co.uk Bad Habits blog competition.

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#getyourskillson with Robinsons Fruit Shoots

We all love a challenge and something to entertain the children over the summer holidays so when I saw Tots100 were teaming up with Robinsons Fruit Shoot to challenge our children to keep busy by doing a list of challenges I thought I had to join. If you also want to enter the details are here, but hurry it closes on the 18th August and you have to do at least 10 of the activities listed!

Meet my children, I have four…my eldest has now hit teeanage years so he seems to live in a different time zone to the rest of the family. Matthew is 13, Charlotte is 11, William is 9 and Eleanor is 6. The three that took part are seen holding Fruit Shoots for their time and effort!

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We began the challenges on the first day, The younger children were especially willing to have a go at them.

Challenge 1 - Show us your best skateboard moves (twitter)

We entered via twitter – two wheels William spent the last few days at school attempting tricks on his board. He has managed to stay upright on it now which is big progress from lots of accidents to start with. He is now mastering trying to go down kerbs with it and jumping back on afterwards!

 

Challenge 2 – Can you put a biscuit on your face and eat it ? (instagram)

William just loved the challenge (well, who wouldn’t!) Here is our entry! I think the outtakes are funnier than when he actually managed it – I would say no biscuits were harmed in the making but we managed to get through 3 jammie dodgers in the process! Brilliant fun and a great way, to slow them down eating the biscuits! I think this challenge was the most fun of all of them!

Challenge 3 – Roll down a hill (twitter)

The children love rolling down hills so were quite keen on this challenge ‘roll down a hill’ sent via Twitter. They rolled and rolled some more – I always say if they don’t come home tired and dirty it’s not been a good day out!

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Challenge 4 – Do a head stand (twitter)

headWilliam was also keen on the task ‘Do a head stand’, he chose the safety of his bedroom and the comfort of a pillow, gone are the days of doing this outside like I used to! Photo entered via twitter.

 

Challenge 5- Hula hoop for 15 seconds (vine)

Eleanor loves the hula hoop so was keen when she saw this challenge, we entered via Vine which I have only used a couple of times but it did a great job. Eleanor loves hula hooping and managed to keep it going for almost a minute without dropping it!

Challenge 6 – Climb a tree (twitter)

William and Eleanor love trees so didn’t need asking twice when we went to Pecorama in Lyme Regis. They saw a tree, I mentioned it and they climbed it, Eleanor is always more cautious than William! Entered via Twitter.

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Challenge 7 - Swing as high as you can (twitter)

My daughter Eleanor at the park, she loves it! Enteredswing via Twitter.

Challenge 8 – Can you do a handstand and drop into a crab? (instagram)

Charlotte loves gymnastics and has been trying to do this for a while, she can just manage it on the trampoline but is hoping to be able to do it on the flat soon too.

Challenge 9 – Show us a new street dance move? (instagram)

I think the answer is no to the cc, but we had great fun trying it out, and William did some other cool moves in the process! William chose the safety of the trampoline to attempt a baby freeze and cc and general street moves.

Challenge 10 – Build a sandcastle (twitter)

This is Eleanor building a sandcastle on the beach in Clacton, she had a lovely day. The sandcastle didn’t stay up long but she enjoyed making it!

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Challenge 11 – Knock down some pins or skittles (twitter)

We booked bowling for over the holidays so it was perfect timing to catch a celebratory pose of Eleanor when she managed to knock quite a few pins down in one go! She did really well this time and even did a few bowls without using the children’s frame to help. missymoo_2014-07-13 (Large)

This is my entry to the Robinsons/Fruit Shoot Tots100 competition.

BritMums and McVitie’s BN biscuits are running another fabulous competiton to win £100 worth of shopping vouchers, and all us bloggers need to do is eat biscuits (very hard work) and share our tips for surviving the holidays with the children.

Well, aphoto (4)s you might know I have four children under 13. Matthew is 13, Charlotte is 11, William is 9 and Eleanor is 6, I would say it becomes harphotoder once the eldest reaches those teenage years, as they no longer find the fun in going to ball pits and having picnics in the park as there is always one saying they don’t want to go. My top tip is at the very beginning of the holidays give your children a sheet of paper and get them to write down what they want to achieve over the school holidays, these can be as different as learn a new skill to going to a certain event. Charlotte’s (age 11) list this year included having a waterfight, going to a water park, having a sleepover, going roller skating, swimming in an open air pool, walking to the park with friends, getting the cats lion cut, and going to a trampoline park. William (age 9) wrote down several similar things but also included learning how to do some basic programming before he begins middle school, flying a kite on the heath, and reading some of his new books. Eleanor (age 6) wanted to spend time in the garden, get the outdoor paddling pool set up and to learn her times tables.

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Above – My daughter spent an hour taking the photos for this collage, which she loved doing – a brilliant rainy day activity which meant she needed to eat the biscuit too!

Below – Here are some images we have taken so far this summer popped into a flipogram. When we go out for our days out we nearly always pack up a picnic as buying food out always works out expensive for a large family. We have been taking the BN’s with us as the children just love them. In fact we have now discovered the mini’s which are very handy to pop in your bag as a handy sized treat instead of buying sweets. The children tried both flavours (and shush, so did I) and all of us agree that the chocolate is just yummy. We have since then had to add them to the weekly shopping list! So thanks McVities for giving us the opportunity to try your biscuits, learning how to use flipogram and potentially win some money in a competition!

This post is an entry for 42 Days of Summer Linky Challenge sponsored by McVities BN

I’m now addicted #RealMumsAllBran

We love breakfast in our house, even the children say it is the most important meal. We all sit at the table together and talk and eat, it is a great opportunity to catch up with each other too as we are a large family.

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So when I saw BritMums and Kellogs were asking for volunteers to take the #RealMumsAllBran 5 day challenge I jumped at the chance and got the bonus of three boxes of the cereal to begin with, these were Golden Crunch (a caramely flavour), Red Berry Crunch (nice and fruity) & Chocolate Wheats (awesome and chocolately).

So… how did I get on?

Day 1

I weighed myself first thing in the morning, naked before breakfast 9stone 4lbs – got dressed and tried the Red Berry Crunch (very fruity), I weighed out a portion which looks tiny in our large Ikea bowls, and tucked in. Yum!

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Day 2

I weighed in the same but my tummy looked a little flatter than normal, after 4 children making it flat is always a challenge in itself! Today, I tried the Chocolate wheats, the children are giving me some serious competition on these as they now say these are their favourite cereal (they best last the challenge!) I love the chocolate wheats – they are seriously delish. I did my Tesco online order and attempted to order more – but they don’t do them – Help!

Day 3

My weighin was a pound down today, as well as the #realmumsallbran I am also trying to drink more water which I think is helping me to not eat when I am simply thirsty. I am feeling great!

Day 4

Weigh is the same as yesterday but looking smaller and more toned, I will one day rediscover my abbs! Today I tried the Golden crunch cereal, I’m not as keen as I am a chocolate girl really. So I had a bowl of chocolate wheats instead of lunch, maybe a bit naughty but I just love them.

Day 5

I have noticed a difference and I am 2lbs down on 5 days ago, which is superb. Again I had the chocolate wheats, the box is now empty and my local store don’t sell them!

Day 5 and beyond

I loved the challenge and feel slimmer since, at the weekend I wore my new red dress to dancing, it fitted really well and I got loads of comments on how nice it looked. I smiled to myself as I know it fits better since I have been doing this challenge. Thanks for the opportunity to take part!

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This post is an entry for the Real Mums of All-Bran Linky Challenge, sponsored by Kellogs

Tell some #KitchenTales – and hopefully win John Lewis vouchers

This is a great bloggers competition – BritMums & Fairy Platinum have teamed together for a #KitchenTales challenge. All you need to do to take part is write a post about their kitchen (featuring Fairy Platinum). Ten lucky winners receive a £100 john Lewis voucher to buy whatever they like – I fancy putting it towards a new food processor! The first bloggers to take part also received a free pack of Fairy Platinum dishwasher tablets, and I was one of the lucky ones! (just post before 30th June 2014 to take part)

I just love bright colours and when Mr gave me free range with the colour palette I chose black and red for the kitchen, the walls are postbox red and the tiles are black. Most of the appliances are stainless steel which looks great when they are freshly cleaned but not so great when they are not. A dishwasher is a must, every house should have one – I remember one Christmas when ours broke and we were without it, doing the dishes seemed like some kind of torture, I think now we have lived with one we wouldn’t be without! The dishwasher tables were ace, we used them all quite quickly as with a busy household of 6 – our dishwasher gets major use.

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I love my kitchen, we last decorated about 10 years ago but it still looks pretty good. I do need to touch a few bits here and there with a paintbrush when I get the opportunity but other than that I am very happy with it. Below is some wall decor – two prints from my photography A level, I chose to do the horoscopes in food and drink so a couple of these printed up suited the ‘foodie’ theme I wanted for the kitchen.IMG_5717 IMG_5723 IMG_5721 IMG_9351 IMG_0770a

Above are some details from my kitchen, I love all things moustache so the mugs were a must, and if its black or red then it will fit in our kitchen. Our children love baking too, so the kitchen doesn’t stay clean for long, thats for sure!

This post is an entry for the “My Kitchen Story” Linky Challenge, sponsored by Fairy Platinum.

Restyle me dad – pretty please!

Here is another great competition I felt I had to enter – The guys over at Mainline Menswear are giving all bloggers the chance to win a £250 towards an outfit for Dad to smarten him up and give him the most stylish Father’s Day ever! All you have to do is dig out an old piccie of you and your dad from the archives. After a few hours of searching I found this photo of me and my dad, in true late 1970′s fashion, I would have been about 8. My dad is tall, or at least he seemed like the only tall person around when I was young but these days its not uncommon to be 6ft 4″.

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I so remember this cardigan of his, he always wore it with baggy bell bottom jeans which almost made him look taller than he was! He still has problems getting items that fit properly so I would just love to give him this voucher to choose some superb items from your collection.

The outfit I’ve chosen from Mainline Menswear falls into the smart/casual, category – hopefully perfect for a stylish 63 year old man. My parents love going dancing so these items would get lots of wear as they have a better social life than me!

 

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I have chosen a Pretty Green Wiggins Military Shirt Blue which would look superb on a night out, along with the Armani Jeans P15 Slim Chinos Stone Beige and

Pretty Green Desert Boots Brown. This comes to £298 but I would happily make up the difference as it is such a cool present to give!0000 ss pics 003 019

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So what would you choose? Just choose a photo and some clothes that would suit your dad from the website here.

Run away!

Ok, I admit it – all of us really dislike football in this house. In fact sport in general is a no no, I mean we are quite happy to take part in sports, Matthew and William are keen BMX’ers, and William also enjoys boxing. Both the girls love gymnastics and Charlotte loves her majorettes. But mainstream sports are just quite tedious to watch on telly, I have never understood people who watch a game and get so worked up about it. I assumed that something in the football world is fast approaching as all the shops and supermarkets seem to be filled with England merchandise. I asked a friend the other day who was also as clueless, then I saw this competition and realised we are about to be hit with world cup mania!

All of us however love Italy, we have been a few times and we are in fact booked to go to Rome this August. The sun, the sand, the food, the friendly people and the architecture…I could go on, we just love it, it is such a beautiful country to visit so we would jump at the chance of going again.

I have written a small poem for my entry!

Please choose us to avoid the world cup

Watching it on telly makes me want to throw up

Its so boring watching grown men kick a ball

Throwing themselves on the ground pretending to crawl

Injuries, fights, red cards

and offside rules

Instead let me fly to Italy,

food culture and lots of photography

kids playing in the pool, and some time out of school

nice weather, people and no world cup

means things are really looking up

Please choose us for an al fresco holiday

Its our way of choosing to runaway

For a lovely relaxing time with family

Thanks to tots100 we can avoid the insanity!

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This is me and my four children the last time we went to Italy.

We would love to win a holiday with Tots100 blogs. The prize is only available in World Cup week, but I am willing to plead with the head teacher that we really need this break.

This is my entry to the Al Fresco Holidays and Tots100 World Cup challenge

#Shelfie!

What photoa fun competition – TOTS100 and Victoria Plum are asking us bloggers to take a photo of a favourite shelf around your home, and share the picture on Instagram or Twitter using the #shelfie hashtag, and tagging @tots100 and @victoriaplumb. I immediately went up to my daughters bedroom and took a photo of her shelf, she chose all the items in the bedroom herself, and it is zebra print on one wall and hot pink on all the others, the bedding is pink leopard print. It kinda goes! Anyway my two daughters just adore their bedroom – my daughter uses her shelf for her favourite toys, you have a zebra (to match the room) her furbys and a meerkat – quite why she wants a meerkat, I’m not sure why as we booked a petting session at the local zoo and one of the animals bit Charlotte quite badly, but she obviously doesn’t hold a grudge!

Why not enter your own ‘Shelfie’ and have a go at their quiz too (click here) and potentially be the winner of £250 I did the quiz and funnily enough I got ‘You are Mr or Mrs Glamorous’ – Your style is most like Joey Essex or Sam Faiers from TOWIE, very funny!

This is my youngest daughter showing off her room!

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