Wednesday 30 November 2016

She's coming back. #ElfOnTheShelf

For the last couple of years throughout December we have had a house guest.....This year she is coming back! It is of course our little Elf on the shelf Elizabeth.

We have had great fun with her over the last couple of years....Some people find these elves creepy but we love ours....My girls are at an age now where they don't believe in Santa....Becky is a none believer but Ellie still partly believes. I want to keep the magic going for as long as possible and if it means messing about with a elf so be it....

The first year that Elizabeth was with us she was quite a naughty elf.....She got up to such mischief. Writing on the kitchen cupboard doors in chalk, writing on photos, pinching sweets, making a mess with toothpaste and generally being cheeky! The girls of course thought it was hilarious and it actually helped with them getting up on a morning because they were so keen to see what she had done.....

Last year Elizabeth was much nicer....It was more a big game of hide and seek.....The best hiding place was her wrapped in toilet roll on the fireplace....It took the girls a long time to find her.....hehehe

  Last year on Christmas eve she was very kind and left the girls a box of treats....Their Christmas PJ's, a bath set, chocolates and some hot chocolate....The girls had to work to find it though.....I set up a little treasure hunt....

When the girls woke up Stu & I sent them downstairs and they went hunting....We were laid in bed laughing at their screeches and running about....hehehe We had hidden the prize box in our bedroom....They had the best time and were very happy with their reward....

This year I am going to have to come up with some new ideas....I have some things already planned which I am very excited about....

Do you have a elf visiting you in December?

Tuesday 29 November 2016

PLYT! The best numeracy game out there!

As a family we all love board games so when I saw PLYT and I was interested......PLYT is a numeracy game which the while family can enjoy....Ellie is being pushed at school to learn her times tables and this game sounded perfect to help her with that.....

The name PLYT came from a family brainstorming session - we liked the names "play it" and "multiply it" so we decided to combine them and came up with the name PLYT (pronounced Plight) 

Whether you're counting, adding, learning times tables or multiplying up to 6 dice all ages and abilities can enjoy PLYT!

Proven by independent research and endorsed by leading maths consultants and National Numeracy as one of the most effective and enjoyable maths games available

Answering correctly is one thing but can you challenge yourself to take a risk as you race to the top of PLYT Mountain? Who will you help and who will you push back with the PLYT cards? The result is never certain until the very last throw and as players become immersed in the competitive battle and forget they're learning.

Saturday afternoon seemed a great time for a board game....I had read through the instructions and to be honest I didn't get them straight away.....Reading them, the game seemed so complicated but I knew the the gist of it but as soon as we started playing it all seemed to made sense......It was one of those ahhh, I get it moments....

We have played it a couple of ways....There is 5 red and 1 black dice which is the master dice that determines how many spaces you move....Firstly we played by throwing the black and one red dice and multiplying the numbers which was a challenge even for me. I am rubbish with my 6, 8 and 9 times tables.....If we got the correct answer we got to move the amount shown on the black dice. Then the second way we played was throwing all the dice and adding all the numbers together then moving if the answer was correct.....

There are certain squares on the board which mean you have to pick up a card which can change the whole game......Move forward or back spaces and move an opponent down or up a level which means the person who is in the lead can end up losing in the roll of a dice.....

The game can be adapted to play how you want to play which is fantastic. The girls are using their brains and are improving their number skills and so am I.

Like I said we played this on Saturday afternoon just the girls and I and we had a great time....Ellie who is reluctant to sit and learn her times tables usually was learning without even realising.....On Saturday evening the girls asked to play again so we did as a family. Stu my fell got involved....He thought it was a great game too.....It got him using his brain and it will be a game we get out to play again and again.....

On Sunday afternoon the girls got PLYT out again. They decided to play it themselves....They played a couple of games with no instruction from me which proves it is easy to pick up the rules....I can't remember the last time my girls have been so keen to play a board game before.....

You can buy this game from the PLYT website or Amazon for £24.67 and I would say it is well worth the money....It would be a fab game to play over Christmas. It is one of those games where everyone can be involved and play unlike many games that are aimed at one age or ability and are quickly outgrown this allows the whole family to progress and lasts a lifetime.....

We were sent this game free of charge in exchange for our honest review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Monday 28 November 2016

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday

Last weeks meal plan all went to plan! We ate everything! Hooray! I love it when we have weeks like that....

This week is the week where Tesco release their Christmas delivery slots. Eek! I really hope I get one. Last year I managed to get one for the 22nd. I did stay up and try to get one for the 23rd but they were all gone by 10 seconds past I hate going to the supermarket and shopping normally but shopping at Christmas just stresses me out....

When I did the shopping this week I didn't actually buy much....I am trying to empty the freezer a bit so I can start buying Christmas things.....Next year I'm thinking of buying a chest freezer so I won't have this problem again....

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Spaghetti bolognese and garlic bread....
Tuesday - Battered chicken and rice....
Wednesday - Pie & mash....
Thursday - Breakfast burritos....
Friday - Pizza
Saturday - Sausage sandwiches. I seem to have 3 bags of 20 sausages in the
Sunday - Toad in the hole, mash and veg....

What are you eating this week?

Sunday 27 November 2016

Cake! #MySundayPhoto

You can keep your fancy birthday cakes....I'm all for home made! It was carrot cake in case you were wondering....

Saturday 26 November 2016

A photo everyday for a year! #Project366 - Week 47

Another week another Project 366 post. A photo every day!

324/366 19th November
Playing nicely...

325/366 20th November
So much washing to put away. Ugh!

326/366 21st November
I had a lazy afternoon on my birthday. Pj's and a DVD.

327/366 22nd November
Becky my teen.

328/366 23rd November
Becky has been rearranging her shelf.....She's gone for a Minecraft theme.

329/366 24th November
Finally a school book Ellie is keen to read....

330/366 25th November
Coffee Baileys! So good!

Friday 25 November 2016

I feel so special. #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is 

That's how I was made to feel this week....

My birthday celebrations started early. Last weekend I had a few presents early, a long soak in the bath and a Chinese takeaway....It was so lovely. 

It was my birthday on Monday and I had such an amazing day. I went out for breakfast with friends, I had a lot of presents, a lazy afternoon in my pj's watching a DVD and I now have enough bottles of wine to keep me going for weeks....hehehe

The lovely Jayne who blogs over at Sticky Mud & Belly Laughs made me cry.....She sent me a card and that was all I was expecting but on Monday afternoon a beautiful bunch of flowers arrived....I cried and can't thank her enough. I have had flowers bought for me before and I've bought my self them but never had a proper unexpected delivery. It was so thoughtful and I am so thankful.... 

Even though I didn't do anything fancy it was a special few days. The best birthday I have had for years....I was spoilt rotten and I am so grateful to my family and my wonderful friends. All the birthday wishes blew me away. Thank you!

In other news

I have been banned from Christmas shopping...hehehe I think I have got a bit carried away with spoiling the girls but they are only young once....It's Black Friday today and if I see a bargain I cannot be held responsible for more spending....

I did get a fantastic present for Becky this week....It's a bit of a joke one but I know she will love it. 

Since Becky was about 4 years old she has always wanted a foot spa....This is the year is the year that her dreams will come I can't wait to see her face....I have a feeling she will roll her eyes and laugh but absolutely love it...

Ellie has had a great week at school....She got to hold a pigs heart in a science lesson, went to see James and the giant peach at the theatre and found out she is some sort of bird in the school play....I think she's going to be a Turkey but she says no. hehehe I have to make a birds costume which will be a bit of a challenge....Eek! 

It has been a great week....Next week the Christmas preparation and fun is going to start properly for the kids. We have crafts to do, gingerbread houses to make and a certain little elf is coming to stay throughout December!

Thursday 24 November 2016

A Walking Dead Wishlist.

My fella and I both love The Walking Dead....The new series has been brilliant. I want to hate Negan but I can't....I hate him but at the same time he makes me laugh so much. He is such a fantastic villain....Anyway I digress. Every year my fella and I always see so much to do with The Walking Dead that we want....We never get around to getting it but I can dream....

Daryl Dixon - We Are The Walking Dead pajama set - £41.99 - EMP
Negan Pop! Vinyl Figure - £9.99 - My Geek Box
Walking Dead Monopoly - £29.99 - Argos
Little Miss Michonne Mug - £7.40 - Amazon
The Walking Dead 2017 Official Calendar - £8.99 - HMV

The Walking Dead: The Complete Season 1-6 - £49.99 - HMV
Daryl Dixon Vinyl Sugar Idolz Action Figure - £18.99 - IWOOT
Eeny Meeny Miny Moe t-shirt - £15.29 - EMP
Crossbow A5 Notebook - £5.99 - The Calendar Club

The Walking Dead Upper And Lower Prison Cells Construction Set - £24.99 - Zavvi
The Walking Dead Banner Mug - £7.99 - My Geek Box
The Walking Dead Dead Already Belt - £12.99 - Grindstore
The Walking Dead - Charlie Billfold Wallet - £19.99 - Forbidden Planet
The Walking Dead Fleece Blanket - £15.99 - Price Right Home

Are you a fan of The Walking Dead? Is there anything here that you would fancy?

Wednesday 23 November 2016

I have never - Part 2.

Way, way back in 2014 I wrote a blog post called I have never....All about the things that I have never done that a lot of people have....It wasn't out of the ordinary things like swimming with sharks or bungee jumping it was things like eating a having Nando's or Domino's

I have tried so may things over the last couple of years so thought I would update the list. 

As well as never having Nando's or Domino's.....I've never had a Subway, been to Starbucks, had a Big Mac or been to Costa!

I have tried quite a few new things food wise. I tried a Domino's early in 2015 and now if we get pizza delivered we only ever get it from Domino's....

I tried to try our local Subway for the first time and the person serving me had such an attitude...I walked out. It put me right off. A few months later we were in Newcastle and I tried again. How did I live without Subway! lol Their sandwiches are amazing!

I still have never been in a Nando's, Starbucks or Costa or tried a Big Mac....

I have never been abroad, flown on a plan or even had a passport....

Same! It's just so expensive, even to just get a passport.

I have never voted....

I have. Twice! Go me!

I have never boiled an egg to perfection...

Same! lol I always end up over or under cooking them. Stu is the egg boiler in this house!

I have never played on an X-Box at all....

I have now, sort of.....I haven't sat and played for more than about 10 minutes but we now have one and I do use it to watch You Tube videos.

I have never eaten anything Quorn....

I have now eaten Quorn sausages, mince and bacon. It is not the same as meat. I could not be a vegetarian.

I have never tried Sushi....

I have quite a few times! We love Sushi here now. The girls especially! I think given the chance Ellie would live off it.

I have never seen Star Wars or any of the Twilight films....

I still haven't seen any Star Wars films but I did watch all of the Twilight films in about 3 days. lol I now get what all the hype was about.....I am totally team Jacob!

I have been thinking again and came up with some seemingly normal things which I have never done which so many people have!

I have never been to a blogging conference.
I have never eaten steak. (the type you ask for rare, medium or well done)
I have never been to Ikea.
I have never drank real champagne.
I have never watched Orange is the new black or Downton Abbey.
I have never cleaned an oven (Stu has. We're not that dirty)
I have never tried Marmite.
I have never owned or even touched an iPhone.

What have you never done?

Tuesday 22 November 2016

I do love a bath bomb....

I was really late at discovering bath bombs....I only discovered them about a year and a half ago. Now I won't have a bath without one....I feel such a bath snob now. lol

I got my first bath bomb from Poundland of all places. It was a Gingerbread one and that was the one that made me think "Oh bath bombs are all that"! 

Every time I visited Newcastle we would walk past the Lush store and take in the smell....One day we ventured in and I was in heaven.....Now every time we visit Newcastle I buy a few bath bombs from Lush.....The rest of the products are probably lovely but bath bombs are my weakness! 

I receive them for birthdays and Christmases....Now Becky my teen loves them too....I really wish I hadn't introduced her to them.....If she gets a sniff of one she will beg for On her last birthday I actually bought her quite a few and she was so happy.....At the moment Ellie isn't too fussed but if there is one going spare she will use it....

I think our favourite bath bomb from Lush has to be The Experimenter! It is pretty amazing when you put it in the bath. I've just looked at the ingredients and one of them is Popping Candy! No wonder it goes off with such a fizz!

Recently I was sent a Wake Me Lemon Sherbet Bath Bomb from the Beauty Kitchen.

For a sweet way to kick start your day! This energising bath bomb will awaken your senses with our citric ingredients which will tone and soften the skin for a real bath time treat.

They are £4.49 which are only a little bit more expensive than the Lush bath bombs but the great thing about these are is that they are split in half so you can get two uses from them instead of just the one...They are freshly made in the UK with no parabens, no sulphates, no synthetic fragrance, no this, no that, no the other...

If you handed me this with no packaging I would have just assumed that it was from Lush....It smells so good! The girls said like lemonade. It does but there is also the sweet sherbet smell too....I think I may be shying away from Lush for a while and using the Beauty Kitchen for something different.....All their products are 100% natural and 100% effective!

I was sent a bath bomb free of charge but I was not asked to blog about it. I just thought it fitted with a blog post about bath bombs which I had been wanting to write for a while.

Monday 21 November 2016

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday

Last weeks meal plan didn't go too badly....We missed a couple of meals but they were just things which would have came out of the freezer so it's no great loss....

It's my birthday today but my birthday celebrations started on Saturday night. hehehe.....We still didn't have the Chinese fakeaway. lol I had Tesco Finest 10 Frozen Breaded Satay Skewers, Banana Fritters And Honey Dip and a bottle of Asti. lol Last night we were going to have a roast chicken dinner but we felt lazy so we ended up getting a Chinese takeaway.

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Stu is making me a party tea. I have no idea what we'll have but it will involve birthday cake....hehehe
Tuesday - Roast chicken dinner....
Wednesday - Corned beef pie, mash & veg....
Thursday - Sausages chips and beans....
Friday - Pizza
Saturday - Pork stir fry....
Sunday - A fry up....

What are you eating this week?

Saturday 19 November 2016

A photo everyday for a year! #Project366 - Week 46

What a week! I haven't been on top form this week. I went out Saturday night and suffered with a 3 day hangover. lol I did manage to get some good photos though.

317/366 12th November
Pretty drinks. In case you were wondering they contained Cherry sours, Sambuca and lemonade. 

318/366 13th November
This is a bit of a cheat photo BUT it technically was taken on Sunday. It was after midnight and I was still out. (Toilet Selfie. hehehe) I spent my Sunday mostly laid on the sofa I don't even think I picked my phone up. Taking a photo was the last thing on my

319/366 14th November
I wrote the review for a fantastic book full of Wise Words for kids....

320/366 15th November
Ellie made a little cushion at school....

321/366 16th November
A fantastic delivery. A bath bomb! It smells amazing! I have not got around to using it yet!

322/366 17th November
Another delivery....This time for the kids! Christmas crafts from Baker Ross.

323/366 18th November
Stu was out finishing my birthday shopping and spotted these Irish cream liqueur cupcakes. Generously filled is a bit of an exaggeration. I could only slightly taste Irish liqueur and that was after I had finished the cupcake.

Friday 18 November 2016

I'm celebrating. #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:

On Saturday night I went out with a couple of friends....It been ages since we had been out together and it was such a fantastic evening. We had a few drinks. Well more than a few and gosh I was ill....I didn't get to bed until late and spent most of Sunday on the sofa with a sore head....It has taken me all week to recover. Years ago I would have recovered by lunchtime Sunday.... Not now. I am too old for late nights on the drink. lol 

This week saw my blog turn 4 years old....Thank you for all your kind messages. It means a lot. My girls were very disappointed I didn't buy a cake for the occasion but there will be cake over the weekend....hehehe It is cliche but it doesn't seem that long since I started blogging....As the saying goes, time flies when you're having fun!

Over the weekend I will be celebrating my birthday. My birthday isn't until Monday but Monday's are just rubbish for anything. My fella Stu is working a stupid shift at work means we can't do anything during the day like we usually would without the kids and by the time the kids get in from their after school clubs and do everything they need to from school it will be too late to do much. Ellie wants me to have a party tea so that is probably what is going to happen....Stu will be making it....hehehe

I am apparently getting some of my presents early because they will be more useful to me on the weekend. I'm guessing PJ's, bath bombs and wine and I think I might treat myself to a takeaway. An Indians sounds good!

I am done with the Christmas shopping. Almost. Hooray! I have the sweets and a few stocking fillers to buy then I can relax until I have to start thinking about the food shopping.....I did think about starting on the wrapping but I think back to the year where I wrapped all the girls presents, put no labels on and then got them mixed up....Doh! 

I have had a couple of exciting deliveries this week which will be appearing on my blog soon....Crafts and gift ideas. 

Thursday 17 November 2016

Our top games for Christmas.

We always get a few games to play over Christmas....My girls have written a few lists to Santa and one of them just includes games.....Eek!

My girls have see various You Tubers play Wet Head and they have it on their Christmas list. They have actually wanted it for a good few months but I thought it was more of a Christmas present rather than a birthday one....

Take your chances with the Wet Head Game, it's water roulette. Fill the top with water, strap on the helmet, and spin the pegs! One of them will cause the water to fall, just hope it's not you! Pass the Wet Head around the circle and watch the anticipation grow! Will you be the next Wet Head?

Although this involves water and may seem like a summer game I know my girls would still love it in the winter months....

Every year for the last good few years Becky has received one of the Bop It! games this year is no different! I already have the new game hidden away....

The hit action game Bop It! has been updated for a new generation! Twist it! Bop it! Answer it? Selfie it? Hammer it? It's been enhanced with new action-oriented Bop It! moves for today's modern gamer. Bop It! game uses motion technology to test players and see if they've got the skills to master the moves. It's also portable and features three solo and social play options: Classic, Beat Box, and Pass It. Bop It! is for solo or group play and ages eight and up.

Last year we had fantastic fun with the Pie face game.....It was so messy and when I heard there was a new game out I couldn't resist buying it.

This year there is a new game: Pie Face Showdown.

The hilarious Pie Face Showdown game brings friends and family together for lots of laugh-out-loud fun. First, players load the arm with whipped cream (not included) or the included sponge. Then each player places their chin on one of the chin rests and at the count of 3, rapidly mashes the button nearest to them, which activates the hand on the throwing arm. 

The suspense builds as players try to get the arm to move toward their opponent, and when it gets too close to the pie thrower, it'll spring up, and that player will get creamed! The player who doesn't get "pie-faced" wins.

Pie Face was brilliant and the Showdown version sounds just as good, if not better. My girls are so competitive with each other. I can't wait for Chrsitmas day to play this...

Scrabble is something I think about getting every year but never get around to buying......This year I have. Ellie could do with help with her spelling and playing a game would be a great way to help her.....

This year Stu and I are getting a pick of a game of our own....Over the last year or so I have seen Cards Against Humanity.

Cards Against Humanity is a party game for horrible people. Unlike most of the party games you've played before, Cards Against Humanity is as despicable and awkward as you and your friends.

The game is simple. Each round, one player asks a question from a black card, and everyone else answers with their funniest white card.

This game seems so naughty and wrong but so, so much fun! It's not one for the kids! 

Are you planning to buy any games for Christmas? Which one's?