Friday 30 November 2012

Leafy Soup...

When I was a child we would do cookery about once a month if we were lucky...We had to take the ingredients in and make lovely fairy cakes or chocolate crispie cakes...I remember spending weeks preparing to make the Crispie cakes...Planning out what we needed, how we would make them...It was a long drawn out process...That's probably why we only cooked once a month...

Becky goes and does technology at the high school once a week...She's been doing electronics for the previous term but now this term it is her classes go at cooking!!!

Today she cooked vegetable soup....

Came out with a container which would be better suited for rice from the chinese shop...Not soup!! We dripped and spilled it all the way home...This is what was left...

Yummy right!?! Leafy was my description!! Smells lovely but I have not been brave enough to taste it...

Reminds me of being a child cooking nettle soup for fun...No intention of eating it just the fun in making it...

From the expressions on Becky & Ellie's faces I don't think it will be soup for tea...Not Becky's soup...Maybe a tin of Heinz...

Thursday 29 November 2012

Things to do in and around Northumberland....Christmas Fun - Part 1!

Here are a few idea's if you are in or around Northumberland in the run up to Christmas....

Santa's Christmas Cracker at Whitehouse Farm Centre
Whitehouse Farm Centre, Morpeth NE61 6AW
 Date: Sat 17th Nov 12 to Mon 24th Dec 12

Santa has arrived at the Farm . Every child who visits Santa will receive a  bag of magic hay & lolly (presents are an optional extra). You can write a letter to Santa, post it and receive your personalised reply from Mrs Claus in her toyshop before you go home. Make a wish with the Christmas Fairy & wander through Santa’s magical Winter Wonderland. ----
Adults £7.99, Children 2 -16 yrs £6.99, under 2yrs Free, Family ticket £26.50

Space to Play's Christmas Party-Festive Friday
Unit 15, Stephenson Court, Barrington Industrial Estate, Bedlington  NE22 7DQ
Date: Fri 21st Dec 4pm until 6pm and Monday 24th December 10am until 12noon

2 hours of play...Festive Food Bag...Crafts...Party Games... Treat for grown ups...Meet Santa Claus with prize for all the boys and girls on his 'good' list & Sing-a-long fun
All this for just £10! Tickets MUST be paid for on booking, don't delay!!! Call into the unit or give us a ring to secure your little ones place, 01670 824433 

Polar Express Santa ride!
Weardale railway, Stanhope county durham
Date: Fri 16th Nov 12 to Sun 30th Dec 12
pm and 7.30pm departures.

Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, pyjama-clad passengers will relive the magic of the story and see their favourite characters come to life as they are whisked away aboard The Polar Express on a magical round trip to the North Pole. During the journey, the Conductor will punch tickets and Chefs will serve hot chocolate, just like in the film. Passengers will also enjoy a sing song and a special reading of the Van Allsburg classic. At the North Pole, Santa will board the train to greet the children and will be giving a special sleigh bell to all those who believe.Prices start from £20 per adult and £15 per child (ages 2 – 12). 

Mother Goose Panto
Warkworth Memorial Hall, Warkworth Northumberland
Date: Thu 13th Dec 12 to Sat 15th Dec 12 -- At 7.30pm & Saturday Matinee 2:30pm

Mother Goose is packed with heroes and villains, booing and cheering and plenty of panto mischief, not to mention one very magical goose. Don't miss out on a great panto. Tickets: £6 adults £4 children...(10% discount for groups of 10 people or more... 

Woodhorn Christmas Fayre
Woodhorn mining museum, Ashington NE63 9YF
Telephone: 01670 624455
Date: Sunday 2nd December -- 11pm till 4pm

Traditional local and handmade crafts for sale....Stock up before the Christmas rush!!

Christmas Piggly Market
Mayfield Community Centre, Brownrigg Drive, Cramlington NE23 6TQ 
Date: Saturday 1st December

Its our Christmas sale as Piggly Markets returns to our regular venue for a fantastic sale of nearly new baby & childrens toys, clothes, books and equipment. Sellers tables are £12 in advance. Please email or call to book a table. FREE ADMISSION for buyers! Local car parking and festive refreshments available to buy.

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Bon Jovi tickets paid for! Finally!

I'm a HUGE Bon Jovi fan!! 

Jon Bon Jovi is the man....He gets better with age....Not many men do!!

A few weeks ago tickets for his 2013 tour went on sale....My friend 'N' bought 5 of them...I have been paying her back for a few weeks....Christmas is coming, money is tight....But today they are paid for!! 

I can relax and be happy in fact on the 13th of June 2013 I will be seeing the man again!! 

I saw him in concert in 2011 in  Edinburgh at Murrayfield Stadium & it was the first ever concert I had been to and I can say it was absolutely AMAZING!! Only let down was he didn't sing my favorite song 'Always' the reason why was because it was his and his wife's song and he missed her too much while on tour!! Awwww!!

Not bad....I got ushered in with a few of my friends to the standing area....I was supposed to be in the cheap seats....hahaha

Monday 26 November 2012

REVIEW! Mams been to Iceland for party food!!

Saturday is treat night....We either get a takeaway or have what we called 'a picky party tea' which the kids absolutely love....

I had seen the new Iceland advert on t.v a few times and thought....Yes! That's what we're having for tea!! Off we went to Iceland and the first aisle was full of all the usual yummy treats!! 

We decided on....

A 50 PIECE ITALIAN PLATTER for £5 which had 14 mozzarella sticks, 9 mozzarella & tomato pizzas, 15 lasagne bites and 12 garlic dough balls...

I had never seen anything like the Lasagne bites before and thought they were going to be so messy as every time I've cooked Lasagne it's rather sloppy....These were o.k!! Yes they stuck a bit on the tray while cooking and a couple stuck together but they tasted lovely!!! Just like you expect a good lasagne to taste like....10 out of 10!! 

The Mozzarella sticks cooked well but that's all we found good about them...As daft as it sounds they tasted fishy!! Not nice at all...They were all thrown into the bin....

The Mozzarella & tomato pizzas...Oh my....They were lovely!! I expected them to be really crunchy with too much crust but...They were perfect....Could easily be overcooked though...So be careful!! 

The Garlic dough balls were perfect!! The softest dough balls I'v ever had...Usually these tend to go really crispy on the outside and soft in the middle but these from Iceland stayed soft all the way through....They were really Garlicky too but that was not a problem...We were fighting over the last one....

Definitely worth £5 as long as you like the Mozzarella sticks!! You can buy everything in the platter separately which I think we will be doing in future as you can get 3 of the things for £5 which suits us fine as we didn't eat the Mozzarella sticks...

A 60 PIECE CHOCOHOLICS PLATTER for £5 which had 12 mini double chocolate eclairs, 12 mini Belgian chocolate brownies, 16 chocolate coated strawberries, 20 chocolate topped doughnuts and chocolate dipping sauce...Eclairs were perfect....Brownies were perfect.....Strawberries to me tasted bitter but my girls loved them & the doughnuts were nice but you could tell they had been frozen....They were not springy & soft like doughnuts should be!!

9 LUXURY MINI STEAK BURGERS IN BUNS for £3 - Mini succulent steak burgers in soft bread buns served with a tangy tomato relish...

These are so easy to cook....Put the burgers in the microwave for 2 minutes then back in their buns for another couple of minutes....Get them out add the relish and voila! Done!! These are scrumptious!!! The buns were soft and the burger was really meaty & not too chewy. These went down really well...

 12 STICKY CHICKEN SKEWERS for £2 - Pieces of chicken on skewers glazed in an Oriental style sauce!! 

These were also delicious!! They did need a little longer in the oven than what was instructed on the box but it wasn't a problem!! The chicken was fine...Not as dry as I'd expected....The sauce is yummy and really does make these Sticky Chicken Skewers sticky....Very messy but that's all the fun of foods like this! They are extremely moreish and my girls and I devoured all twelve very quickly!


Considering this pizza was only £1 it is well worth it...The toppings went right to the edge and there was alot of ham & pineapple....The pineapple did taste a bit watery but for £1 you cannot complain...

16 VEGETABLE SPRING ROLLS for £1 - Crispy filo pastry filled with vegetables in soy sauce...

25 CHICKEN DIPPERS for £1.50...


28 CRABSTICK'S for £1

I love shopping at Iceland for party food....Not only cheap but also of great quality!! No doubt we will be back before christmas for another 'picky party tea'!

Friday 23 November 2012

Why I Love Fridays!!

 I think everyone loves Friday's.....Me especially!! For lot's of reasons but here's a few...

I order the shopping.....I love ordering treats for the weekend!
Friday is Coffee morning day....It used to be a group of us mum's getting together at the school and having a cuppa and a chat....The school got fussy about us being there....Now we have coffee at my friends house....It's so relaxed now no asking permission to use the toilet....It's a great way to start the day/weekend!! 

I wake up on a Friday morning and realise that I potentially could get 2 lie in's past 7am....Well as long as the kids stay in bed.....The thing with Becky & Ellie during the week I have to drag them out of bed for school at 7.30am on a weekend they will quite happily get up Ohh before 6am!! When I was a teenager I classed anything after dinner time a lie in....Now I'll settle for anything after 8am!!

Stu always has a Friday off work so it is such a relaxing day for me. hehehe I get help with the housework and he comes on the school run which Ellie loves.

It's the best night on TV! For me it is anyway! All the soaps....Hollyoaks, Emmerdale, Corrie, Eastenders Corrie again then usually something good on CH4 at 9pm

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Happy Birthday to me!!

Happy Birthday to me.....
Happy Birthday to me.....
Happy Birthday to meeeee.....
Happy Birthday to me!!  

Tuesday 20 November 2012

REVIEW!! Chicago Town New Yorker Pizza!!

Having totted up how much my family spends on takeaways over the course of a year I felt I needed to find a cheaper alternative to our weekend treat....So frozen Pizza it was!!
The Chicago Town New Yorker Pizza

The Chicago Town New Yorker claims on its box to be better than Domino's and Pizza Hut...Both those brands produce pretty great pizzas, so that's quite a claim for the product to live up to...I was dubious at first but at £2.50 from Asda they were cheap enough for the size they were...

I got 2 of the Chicago Town New Yorker's...We had tried the just cheese one a while ago and to be honest I didn't like all the cheese..Yes there is supposed to be cheese on a pizza but I don't like it all gooey and Eeeww

On the Chicago Town New Yorker there is enough cheese but enough of the other toppings too to even it out!! There is Cheese, mushrooms, pepperoni, bacon, smoke flavoured ham and a crust stuffed with lovely BBQ sauce!!

It's easy to cook...just take it out of the wrapper and put it in the oven on the 'bake and serve' tray that comes with it....It only takes about 20 minutes and its ready!!

My girls and I loved it....The thing I did notice was when the middle was cool enough to eat the stuffed crust was still too hot....A tip for you....Eat the middle and leave the crusts until last....

It is definitely one of the best frozen pizzas I've eaten and will be buying again!! I'm not sure they're too good for the waistline though....I haven't dared look at the calorie content!
Next time we get one I will be sure to take some pictures as I totally forgot as we were so hungry!

Holidays are coming....Well next month they are!

When I see this advert it means Christmas is coming....

It seems to be shown earlier and earlier each year....Was a couple of weeks ago that I saw it for the first time....It the middle of an episode of Jeremy Kyle...I'm guessing that was not the first showing this year....Jeremy Kyle not exactly 'prime time' viewing....I must of missed it but it was the first time for me....

Last year the music channels started playing Christmas music on and around the 1st of December....This year they started on the 15th of November...Really?! It was just one channel though for a few days anyway...Now more and more of the channels are sneaking the odd programme....Only half and hour at first but it's like a virus....Christmas songs spread....Soon they will be on every channel.....

I'm not complaining though....Really I'm not......I love christmas music...Well apart from Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas...It is so overplayed and she is just too cheesy!! She even corrupted Justin Bieber even more than he already is and dragged him into her christmas shenanigans!!

My favourite christmas song has to be Fairytale Of New York by The Pogues & Kirsty McColl...I'm not even sure why it's not the most jolly or catchy song....It is like an anti christmas song...Everything that shouldn't be right about a christmas song makes it right...My christmas is not complete until I've heard this song at least 30 times. 

At least this year it won't be the X-factor winner trying for the Christmas number one honor...As the X-Factor final is coming up in a few weeks they are releasing the single then and could potentially go to number well before christmas...

From what I've heard there is a song being released in memory of the people who died at the
1989 Hillsborough tragedy....The Hollies' classic He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother......Robbie Williams, Beverley Knight, Paloma Faith, Mel C, The Zutons' Dave McCabe and Paul Heaton, and X Factor star Rebecca Ferguson, are among the artists who will be dedicating their time for free to record the track and it will be produced by acclaimed songwriter Guy Chambers....The cover version will be released on 17 December 2012. which will be joining the challengers for the coveted Christmas number one spot.

All profits from the sale of the CD will go towards assisting the victims' families in their continued fight for justice.....

Monday 19 November 2012

What the girls are getting for christmas.....

Christmas is coming and my 2 girls are writing their lists for Santa...We have had various different lists depending on what mood they are in and what adverts they have seen on tv....The lists change daily but there is always some things which stay the same which they have decided on...They may get some of the things they have asked for but it would be impossible to buy everything unless we win the lottery...Fingers crossed I do keep trying!!.

A the top of Ellie's list is the talking Woody. He has always been top of the list along with Buzz Lightyear....You can read about how come on Christmas day she will have 2 Buzz's...I think the thing about 'Toy Story' stuff which is great is the fact it can be for boys or girls and the fact it's been on the go since 1995 is pretty amazing.....We have bought her Woody from the Disney Store for £25 which is really good value considering the size of him...

The Sweet 1600 Doll - Clawdeen Wolf dollTop of Becky's list was anything to do with MONSTER HIGH! Easy you would say...But there is so much choice...Dolls, Playset's, games...The list goes on....We decided on buying her a doll....The Sweet 1600 Doll - Clawdeen Wolf the freaky little thing is called....She's definitely no Barbie...We paid £24.73 from but prices do vary I have seen them selling for over £35 which I think is way overpriced for a doll!!...

Bop It: Smash gameLast year Becky got the game Bop it and we all loved it....She has played on it for hours...So has Ellie and even I have been known to have a go....Never beating Becky's high score though....After the success of it last year I have bought the Bop It: Smash game...So far we have not had it out of the box but from what I can gather you Hold the two end pieces, wait for the lights to reach the center, and then smash them together to stop the light...Easy!! Can't wait till christmas morning to get all competitive

I had a shop on the website for the high street shop HOME BARGAINS where I managed to get alot of toys, books & games at really cheap prices...

The one present both my girls have asked for is a Furby! We will have to see what the finances are like nearer christmas as the price for one ranges anywhere between £45 & £60 that I'v seen....

Breastfeeding doll goes on sale....

The world's first breast feeding doll has gone on sale in time for Christmas. 

The world's first breast feeding doll

The Breast Milk Baby comes with a bib with flower nipples. When placed on the nipples the doll makes suckling sounds. It is retailing at £60. The doll then demands to be winded and cries if the girl doesn't do this.

The website says.

"The Breast Milk Baby lets young girls express their love and affection in the most natural way possible, just like mommy! The Breast Milk Baby represents a revolution in design by teaching children the nurturing skills they’ll need to raise their own healthy babies. Just put on the fashionable top included with each Breast Milk Baby, bring the baby’s mouth up to the pretty flower, and enjoy the closeness, the loving bond between mother and child."

I never breast fed my children. Cue the shock & horror but it was because of medical reasons. Breastfeeding is normal and natural and I am not anti breastfeeding. Feed your child how you want, it was just not for me. 

Seeing a young girl with "flower nipples" pretending to breastfeed makes me feel a little uncomfortable. Why can't we just let children be children with child like toys. Why do we feel the need to bring them into the adult world so early.

It won't be under our Christmas tree this year. Especially not at £60!

Sunday 18 November 2012

Quick, Easy Sunday dinner from Asda!!

On a Sunday I like to do as little as possible....

This is where Asda and their great 'meal deals' come in handy!!

Asda's Chicken Casserole & Dumplings

Chicken Casserole & Dumplings
Tender pieces of roast chicken with swede, carrots and leeks in rich gravy, topped with baked dumplings

Takes about an hour in the oven....Stick it in there & let it cook....After about 40 minutes I take the plastic off give it a mix & put it back in.....

A photo of New potatoes and Cheesecake from Asda

New Potatoes Butter & Herbs  

New potatoes coated in mint flavoured rapeseed oil, with butter and dried herbs.....Stick them in the microwave and wait for the delicious smell!!

 Vanilla Cheesecake

Rich and creamy vanilla flavour cheesecake on a crumbly biscuit base...

If you add it all together it comes up to costing a whopping £9.36!!


With the 'meal deal' from Asda you get all that for £6.50!!

I think that is a bargain!! Saves hours of slaving in the kitchen and it's a lovely hearty meal for this time of year!!

Saturday 17 November 2012

Rylan Clark - My guilty pleasure.

I love X-Factor. I have watched it every year but this year it has become a bit of a joke.

Rylan Clark crying

The joke being RYLAN CLARK

He can't really sing, he is an OK dancer sort of but he entertains me. He is the only contestant that does. Each week he is the only one who I look forward to seeing what he's singing. Nothing can beat him singing Gangnam Style.

At the beginning, the auditions and boot camp he annoyed me. I wanted to slap him all the way back to Essex but now it's just funny he's lasted so long!!

He won't win it but how funny would it be if he did. Simon would have a fit. 

Every Sunday night when the results are announced my newsfeed on Facebook goes crazy. People screaming FIX! OMG! I HATE RYLAN! and so on. It annoys the bejesus out of me. Did they phone up and vote for their favourite? Probably not. Why moan that Rylan is still in if you did nothing to save your favourite!! 

There are only I'd say 3 good singers. Ella, James and Jahmene who I think will win.

Friday 16 November 2012

They shouldn't have bring and buy sales so close to Christmas!

The day started great. The kids were excited. A non uniform day and taking old toys in for the bring and buy sale.We went to pick them up expecting them to come out with something old and tatty! Noooo!! 

Becky had bought her sister a present. She was so proud of herself and was sure Ellie would love it. She whipped the surprise out of her bag. It was BUZZ 'bliddy' LIGHTYEAR!! 

The same one I'd spent weeks umming and ahhhing about buying Ellie for Christmas. Yes Becky had bought her sister Ellie the same toy as we had bought her as her main Christmas present!! 

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

When we had a look at it, it seemed it didn't work. We thought phew! It wasn't lighting up or talking. We had been saved. Nope, 2 minutes of fiddling from Ellie and she had it working!

For now she can have Buzz her loving sister bought her and the other at Christmas.

I'm a bit sad. It has taken some of the magic away from Christmas morning. Ellie has wanted a Buzz Lightyear for so long.

It has made her day! Just a shame it wasn't Christmas day! Becky is the best big sister ever!!

My youngest with her Buzz Lightyear