Thursday, 23 October 2014

Dress Up For Halloween With George At Asda


We totally love Halloween and we have always made a big effort to celebrate it. Over the years we have dressed up, thrown parties, attended spooky events, theme parks, gone trick or treating and basically had a blast. This year will be no different and we will all be dressing up and eagerly embracing the spooky fun.

I saw the new George at Asda Halloween TV advert the other day and loved it. The family turning up at their Friends front door wearing spooky fancy dress and all at the same time they blow up their 'wingflatables'. It made me giggle watching it, so much that I just couldn't wait to try them out for myself. My eldest Daughter has a Halloween party to go to and she loves her costume from George. The wings take 4 AA batteries and when you want them blown up you just hit the switch, then when you want them down they deflate quickly and effortlessly.


My fourteen year old Daughter picked a zombie costume from George and her favourite thing about it, is the 'Bloody Beating Heart' that she chose to go with it. Pop a couple of batteries in the back, strap it to your chest with the elastic provided, flick the switch and the heart lights up and beats. It looks really gross and the kids love it! It's pretty gruesome.

George at Asda have a great selection of Halloween products this year. We are really impressed, especially with the 'Wingflatables', they are such great value for money, ranging in price from £8 - £10 for kid & adult sizes. They really do give your costume a 'wow' factor. We love them! They also have loads of great decorations like a creepy light up crow, ghost lights and lots of other fun gory stuff.



*We were sent some Halloween products free of charge for the purpose of this review. Our opinions are entirely our own.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Things I Struggle To Leave Behind When I'm Going On Holiday



I'm quite a minimalist when it comes to packing and I often get comments on how well I pack my suitcase when I travel abroad. I always only travel with a carry on whenever I fly because I like the convenience of not having to flaff around at the airport with checking in and collecting our bags. The problem with this is that you never get to take everything that you really want to take on holiday with you. A big benefit of holidaying in the UK is that you can literally take whatever you like, well as much as you can squeeze in the car anyway. My must have items when going on holiday in the UK are:

1. My Own Pillows. Even when I stay somewhere with really comfortable bedding I still always sleep so much better with my own pillows. And if I can take my quilt too, then even better.
2. All My Beauty Products - I can take as much serum, foundation, perfume and body lotion as I like without even questioning it. No 100mls squeezed into a tiny clear plastic bag.
3. Electrical Stuff - My straighteners, hairdryer, tongs, heated rollers, laptops, games consoles, you name it I can squeeze it all in. Yeah Baby!
4. Games - Board games for the nights we fancy staying in. I know that sounds a bit boring but some of our most fun have been on stay in nights. Usually we have a Bingo night in and I take a big bag of prizes. Everyone loves to win a prize.
5. Extra shoes - Not sure why, but us girls always feel so much better with extra pairs of shoes or boots on holiday. Even if we don't wear them, just knowing they are there is a comfort.



What are the things that you struggle to holiday without?



This is my entry post into the holidaycottages.co.uk UK holiday must-haves competition

Monday, 13 October 2014

Walk To School And Have An Adventure With Regatta #itsmyadventure


I was totally amazed to discover that according to recent research carried out by British clothing brand Regatta over a million British school children have never walked to school.  And over half of the parents that were spoken to, readily admitted that their kids do try to persuade them to walk to school with them, but the car usually wins due to ease and convenience. 




All those parents, Grandparents and kids are really missing out because even on a rainy day walking to school can be a lot of fun, just make sure you organise yourself the night before and invest in good quality waterproof clothing so that the cold and wet will not be a problem.



Regatta Marketing Director, Jo Hawkins commented:  “It’s incredibly sad to see the huge decline in kids walking to school, particularly with the knowledge that most children are more eager than ever to get out in the fresh air. Thinking back to my own childhood, I struggle to remember a time when I went to school in the car, which really goes to show how much things have changed over the years. At Regatta, our hope is that we can help equip parents and their families to be able to embrace the outdoors, and walk to school more often.”



Regatta have created a Walk to School Adventure Guide, which is available to download via the Regatta website and contains tips on how to make the most of the walk to school, as well as some tricks on speeding up the journey time without compromising on the fun factor. I know walking to school instead of taking the car can be more time consuming, especially if you have to also get to work on time but even if you try to do it once a week you will appreciate the benefits and the memories made along the way.

Some of the adventures that Regatta suggest you try on your walk to school include:
  • Mind The Cracks
  • Take A Detour
  • Create a Poem
  • Spot The Flowers
  • How Many? (Count objects, people & animals)
  • Puddle Jump.

I have always walked my four kids to school and I must admit it was quite the rush most mornings especially after having a new baby. Our primary school was a good twenty minute walk from our house, and walking home would sometimes take up to forty five minutes as the kids chatted with friends, hid in the bushes, pretended to be Power Rangers, jumped in puddles and collected everything they found along the way like conkers, unusual stones, pennies and anything else that took their interest. Sometimes the pockets of their school coats would be bulging with treasure. 


We always had an adventure on our walks to and from school and not just adventures, it was also the ideal time to talk to one another, practise spellings and times tables too. The benefit was not only good for the kids, I benefited too by keeping fit and making friends with the other Mums who also walked to school. Now that my kids are grown I look back at our walks to school with fond memories. Before you know it your kids are grown and you are craving those precious times all over again.


We are now very blessed to be  Grandparents and we can re-live some of the magic moments of childhood with our Granddaughter. Walking to school is just as fun as I remember and wearing our Regatta coats, boots, hats and gloves we remained exceptionally dry and cosy. Our Granddaughter really enjoyed 'puddle jump', counting objects and collecting items that she found during our walk, She remarked "Nanny, I didn't even get a tiny bit wet from the rain!"



Do you walk to school, if so do you use the time to play games, chat or make friends? If you drive would you consider leaving the car at home from time to time to walk the kids to school?

*Thanks to Regatta Clothing for sending us all coats, boots, gloves and hats. Our opinions are entirely our own.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

My Autumn Garden

I love this time of year in the garden. The air has become fresh, yet still warm enough to work outside without my coat. My garden is full of autumnal colour, muted tones. The baskets and pots have all turned to seed and have made way for masses of Sedum, my Autumn Joy. My Himalayan honeysuckle has gone wild this year and has self seeded all over the place. I have potted them up ready to transplant next spring, into more appropriate corners of the garden. I love this plant, such good value and looks beautiful for most of the year.



Manneskjur

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

The Gallery - Eyes ‪#‎seethemiracle

This weeks Gallery theme 'Eyes' is in support of the ‪#‎seethemiracle‬ campaign, a new Sightsavers initiative called Million Miracles. Sightsavers want to totally eliminate avoidable blindness and support people who are irreversibly blind or disabled to live independently. A sight-saving operation costs just £30, which means  £30 million is needed to be raised over the next three years to treat a million people in the poorest of countries. Every £1 you give will transform someone’s life forever. Follow Sightsavers on Twitter and Facebook and Chris who is writing about the campaign and sharing posts written by bloggers across the UK. You can follow the campaign and donate here: www.millionmiracles.org 


I have blogged about this before but I just thought it so fitting for this weeks Gallery theme, my eight year old Granddaughter has different coloured eyes. Yes, just like David Bowie, Kate Bosworth, Jane Seymour and that gorgeous actor from Dallas Josh Henderson. Her eyes are so unique and they totally fascinate me. One dark and one light, she has the best of both worlds. What a lucky girl.


Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

Friday, 3 October 2014

The Ultimate #Bakeface Experience


The Bake Face is a funny side effect from baking with Billington's. When we eat cake our eyes bulge and we generally dribble, a lot. Yes we are a nation of dribblers. Well, Billington's are giving you the chance to put your funny #bakeface to good use and win 'The Ultimate Bake Face Experience', plus loads of other fab prizes. To enter the competition, simply follow the instructions on their website http://bakeface.billingtons.co.uk/ by uploading a photo of your #bakeface and you could be crowned Billington’s Best Bake Face. Don't forget to share your #bakeface on Twitter and Facebook @BillingtonsUK #bakeface .We entered our #bakeface after making some amazing Billington’s brownies using Billington's Unrefined Dark Muscovado Sugar and some of their natural glace cherries.Yummy!


Ingredients
  • 250g Billington's Unrefined Dark Muscovado Sugar
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 350g 70% dark chocolate, chopped into pieces
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 50g self-raising flour
  • 100g Billington's Natural Glacé Cherries (optional)


Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5, line a 20cm square tin with baking parchment.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.
  3. Whisk the eggs until pale and fluffy. Add the Dark Muscovado Sugar and whisk until thick. Gently fold in the chocolate.
  4. Sift in the flour and fold in until the mixture is smooth. Mix in the glacé cherries.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30-35 minutes, until you see a paper-like crust on top. There should still be some movement in the centre of the tin.
  6. Remove from the oven, leave to cool, then cut into squares. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The Gallery - Creative


We have just returned from a week in Spain and one of the things I noticed is what a creative bunch the Spanish are. There is interesting street art everywhere, my favourite being this cute matryoshka doll - (Russian doll) and many gorgeous sculptures like the one below which is located in cambrils along the Costa Dorada. The sculpture is a group of six that represent the centenary of the 'Year of the Misfortunes' when in 1911 a vicious storm along the Mediterranean coast, from Barcelona to Valencia took the lives of 140 fishermen.


I also love Spanish Architecture. So many beautiful buildings everywhere you look from the retro 1960's hotels to magnificent cathedrals to the elaborate Spanish home. I love it all. One house that really caught my eye was this stunning place in the centre of Salou. So much creative detail with its impressive ceramic staircase leading up to its decorative front door, so typically Spanish. I fell in love with it.





Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

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