Silent Sunday – 19/04/15

baby robin



A hot day by the pool

No, this is not a holiday post if that’s what you’re thinking…. this was how we spent the hottest day of the year so far this week.

My friend has recently moved into a new house that has an outdoor pool, so there was only one place to be on Wednesday when the weather was going to be good!

We packed our swimming things and headed over. My friend was doing a picnic by the pool and had invited a couple of other friends over too.

The pool was actually rather cold as the heater hadn’t been on as long as needed, but that didn’t stop the kids jumping straight in!

outdoor pool

outdoor pool

hot day summer outdoor pool


It felt wonderful being in the sun, it really was hot! The kids were smothered in sun cream and had so much fun all day long. The house is in beautiful surroundings in the countryside, although not too far from where we live…. it seems like it could be in the middle of nowhere!

The gardens here are beautiful and quite extensive, plenty of space for the kids to run about! There’s also a riding school at the bottom. The horses come up to the fence and the children can touch them!

It really is gorgeous, I can see ourselves spending lots of time here this summer ;)


Mermaids and Pirates

This is my daughter dressed up as Ariel from The Little Mermaid!

Ah bless her! Ha! She used to love Ariel and was obsessed with mermaids in general back then!

Ariel costumeMy beautiful girl dressed up as her favourite mermaid, Ariel

This photo was taken on the day of her 6th birthday party (nearly 4 years ago) where the theme was Mermaids and Pirates. She was in year 1 at school and I’d decided to hire a function room so we could invite her whole class, something I thought we’d probably only do one year because for her subsequent parties she pretty much only invited girls!

pirates partyMy gorgeous twins in their pirates costumes – how cute?

mermaid and pirate partyJust a few snaps from the party!

mermaid birthday cakeHer gorgeous cake.

mermaid partyAriel the mermaid on a rock!

It was a great party. I hired an entertainer who was amazing, the kids loved her AND she brought an inflatable pirate ship too! I’d also hired a caterer to do the food so I didn’t have to worry about feeding so many kids… seems extravagant but it was actually very good value and I don’t think I would’ve spent much less buying everything myself! Plus it was a one off it and was worth it, saved me a lot of time and stress!

My little girl will be 10 this year… she doesn’t actually seem that much different than she did when these photo’s were taken! She’s definitely not grown very much ;)

I’m linking up this post with What’s The Story again over at PodCastDove with another trip down memory lane.  And also with Magic Moments at The Olivers Madhouse.
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Project 365 Week 15 – 2015

First week of the school holidays and it began with Easter Sunday! The weather was pretty good too this week wasn’t it?

On Wednesday I drove up North to visit my Dad. We stayed a few days but had to be back so that Teen can attend some GCSE revision classes that are on at school during our second week of the holidays. We had a lovely time though and caught up with other family members and friends.

Day 95 Sunday 5th April – Easter Sunday. We organised a little Easter egg hunt in the garden. Here O and H are hunting in their PJ’s!

goatsDay 96 – Easter Monday. We had a day out to Willows Farm which is fab but was very busy, as I knew it would be! We saw lots of baby animals, including this gorgeous little baby goat sitting on the hay here!

Day 97 – Very busy today but we found time to make the Butternut squash Muffins that I wrote about last week.

sindy dollDay 98 – Packed the car up and set off on the long drive oop north! We all love visiting my Dad and staying with him in his lovely, cosy home. I have quite a few things there from childhood that my Dad has kept, or that I’ve told him not to get rid of. I have a few dolls, including this Sindy. There are lots of clothes too and my daughter loves playing with them when we visit. I’ve allowed her to bring this particular one, her favourite, home with us this time.

Day 99 – It was a beautiful day in Lancashire where we met up with friends for a picnic. We then went for a walk around this lovely area. It was amazing to feel the sun on my face again!

Day 100 – Another lovely day. Not as warm as yesterday but still too good to waste. We went to the park and walked by the river. My children and my nephew here were throwing stones in. Or ‘skimming’ …. as Teen was trying to demonstrate!

Day 101 – A quieter day today. We popped out for lunch to Pizza Express. Here are my beautiful boys sharing a yummy (plain) pizza! They even picked at this after H almost choked on some stringy cheese that hadn’t gone down properly! Scary for a moment but all was ok :)

We are back home now and looking forward to another week off school!

Hope you all had a great week :)

Baking fun with Jamie Oliver and Moshi Monsters

TV Chef teams up with Moshi Monsters to inspire kids to get cooking!

Mon-stars everywhere are in for a feast of scrumptious treats, as television chef Jamie Oliver is the latest celebrity to receive a monster make-over.

Jamie has teamed up with everyone’s favourite Moshi Monster character Furi, and together they want to inspire young budding chefs around the world to get in the kitchen to learn how to cook. They believe food education is a human right for every child and the more children know about what they are eating, the healthier they will be.

So this week I was set a special challenge to bake some muffins with my own children using the fabulous Jamie Oliver’s recipe, which he is showcasing for the first time exclusively on his You Tube channel ‘Food Tube’ today!

I covered a teeny bit of this story the other day when I set up my competition to win one of the Jamie Oliver hampers, exactly the same one that I received! It was filled with all the ingredients that were needed for the recipe, as well as a lovely Jamie Oliver apron and oven glove. Oh and not forgetting the special Moshi Monsters in there too – this was, of course, a massive hit with my kids and it did entice them to want to join in!

jamie oliver hamper

I have to admit, when I saw the butternut squash in the basket I was confused. Who puts butternut squash in cakes? …was my initial reaction! But then yes, ok…… being as this is a recipe by a world first class top chef, it was never going to be a plain old boring recipe was it?

Oh no!

This was to be an exciting, Moshi Monster bake with the kids, Butternut Squash Muffin kinda recipe!

My children were all eager to started…….

moshifoodtubeThe cheeky Moshi Moshlings that came with the hamper were everywhere…. trying to sneak into the muffin cases and hiding in my daughter’s apron! 

Here is the recipe card that we used and that you will need to re-create the muffins at home….. I have deliberately left out the method so you can have fun with your little ones working it out… or you can watch the video below :)

jamie oliver recipe card

You will notice that this recipe requires a food processor, something which we don’t have at home. Ours broke and I didn’t replace it because well, I haven’t needed to. I panicked somewhat initially, thinking I must rush out and buy a new one but really, I thought there was no need. And if you don’t have one, let me assure you that you don’t need one, everything you can do with a food processor, you can do by hand. Yes it may take longer and it’s obviously more work but it can be done…. and it’s more fun :) Besides, food processors didn’t exist years ago and people still made cakes!

moshi food tubeAs you can see, we managed to chop the butternut squash into very small pieces, first with a knife then we used a fork to mash it up smaller.

jamie oliver food tube

The kids had fun adding all the ingredients to the squash then giving it a good mix. We divided the mixture into the twelve muffin cases then popped into the oven to bake for around 25-30 minutes!

Once they were out of the oven looking beautifully cooked and yummy, we made a start on the icing.

butternut squash muffins

mosh4The finished product did look a bit messy I admit, but the kids made them all by themselves and that’s what makes it fun! Baking with kids isn’t going to be a neat, clinical affair and if you try to make it that way, you’ll take away their pleasure. Let them get messy!

jamie oliver butternut squash muffins

We had lots of fun creating the butternut squash muffins, and it was great to for the children to use a vegetable that we haven’t used before. I’m quite a fussy eater myself and have never fancied trying butternut squash before, thinking it was like pumpkin which is another vegetable I wouldn’t consider eating. I don’t like the smell! And it was the exact same smell as pumpkin!

But the muffins were absolutely delicious I’m not going to lie! They were baked to perfection, moist and so very tasty.

You can see Jamie Oliver’s fab video on his Food Tube channel, where he regularly welcomes fellow YouTubers and chefs to join him in the kitchen. Furi is the latest guest and with expert tutorials and easy to follow recipes, Jamie and Furi are aiming to excite a new generation of chefs to get creative!

The Moshi make-over that Jamie Oliver himself received was a transformation into Jammie Olive Oil, a ‘fang-tastic’ Moshling character, with the chef’s signature quiff and plaid shirt.

jammie olive oil


I hope we have inspired you to get cooking with your own kids too…. but if you want some more inspiration then head over to Jamie Olivers Food Tube channel, it’s absolutely brilliant!

And don’t forget I have a competition running to win the same Jamie Oliver hamper you see here, so pop over and enter now :)

Win a Jamie Oliver & Moshi Monster Hamper

I was contacted recently to take part in a special promotion to celebrate the launch of a new collaboration on Jamie Oliver’s You Tube Channel, Food Tube – between him and the Moshi Monsters!

Jamie, together with everyone’s favourite character Furi, wants to inspire young budding chefs around the world to get into the kitchen and learn how to cook. They believe food education is a human right for every child and the more children know about what they are eating, the healthier they will be.

Food Tube


Mon-stars everywhere are in for a feast of scrumptious treats, as television chef Jamie Oliver is the latest celebrity to receive a monster makeover.

The duo have been cooking up a storm in Jamie’s kitchen to create a delicious Butternut Squash Muffin. The one off video revealed on Jamie’s Food Tube channel results in the chef receiving a bowl of Gloop Soup over his head! Jamie has even been transformed into Jammie Olive Oil, a ‘fang-tastic’ Moshling character, with the chef’s signature quiff and plaid shirt.

jammie olive oil

We will be joining in the fun by baking our very own Butternut Squash cupcakes (watch this space!) as part of the campaign but am offering one lucky person the chance to win an exclusive hamper packed full of Jamie Oliver and Moshi Monster goodies along with everything you will need to take part and join in the baking fun!

jamie oliver hamper

For your chance to win answer this very simple question:

What is the name of Jamie Oliver’s Moshling Character?

  1. Jammie Oliver
  2. Jammie Olive Oil
  3. Jam Olive Boil
  4. Jammie Olive Roll

Leave your answer in the comments section and fill out the Rafflecopter Widget below….
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Project 365 Week 14 – 2015

‘Project 365′ – A weekly link up with The Boy and Me. A challenge whereby we take a photo a day, every single day for a whole year. I completed 2014 and enjoyed it so much I’m taking part again!

Week 14 already and it was the last week before the Easter holidays. School was winding down and I for one was counting down the days. Love the holidays, as I always say when a school holiday is approaching, but I do. Just nice to relax a little and enjoy the kids’ company. They are my favourite people after all :)

Day 88 Sunday 29th March – My twins had a party but they weren’t in the mood. We got there and they didn’t want to join in. They’re shy and do this regularly and normally I have the patience to deal with it but this day I didn’t. I had rushed around finding last minute presents for the birthday boy (a classmate) so I was less than amused to have my boys hiding behind my legs, literally trying to drag me out! I decided to leave, hoping this would make them change their mind but no. They were actually happy which annoyed me! I told them off. Then I felt guilty so I decided to take them to this particular branch of McDonalds on the way home which has a play area inside. They like it here and played for ages. They were ever so happy bless them.

Day 89 – Monday morning and two very tired children. Loving H’s bed head!

Day 90 – A Hotel Chocolat praline! Beyond delicious!

Day 91 – Exhausted after school on the way home. The upcoming holidays are needed!

Day 92 – A special delivery today. A hamper full of goodies to make a special recipe…. in association with Jamie Oliver and Moshi Monsters to celebrate the launch of Jamie Olivers new You Tube Channel. Post coming soon……

Day 93 – Good Friday and the first day of the Easter holidays for us. We were having a lazy day doing nothing! This made me chuckle seeing all four of my children having a joint game of Minecraft!

Day 94 – It was a bit of a disaster today. We were supposed to be seeing a kids show at the theatre in Greenwich to review but the trains were so severely disrupted we got there too late. Fed up we headed to Pizza Express before stopping off on the way home here in Leicester Square. This is the pop up Cinderella Exhibition which I really wanted to go to. Online tickets were sold out but I knew we could queue. Which we did for about an hour. The kids actually had fun in the queue with other children and the time went quickly. It was worth it, a fabulous exhibition with all the props and costumes from the new movie.

That’s it, hope you’re having a lovely Easter. See you next week!


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