Wednesday, 21 February 2018

A day out in Newcastle...

On Saturday we ventured to Newcastle for an afternoon of shopping....Usually we only go to Newcastle when we have hospital appointments so it was a bit of a novelty going just for us....There was no rushing about or worrying about what time it was.

We got the bus and arrived at Newcastle at lunchtime.....The kids had been dying for a McDonalds so off we went. It was packed but we found one of the screens to order on and a seat pretty quickly which was amazing. Usually we wander about for ages trying to find somewhere to sit.... 


The girls had their own money to spend....Left over from Christmas and some they had saved since....We said we would buy them food and drinks but anything else they would buy themselves and it made a huge difference to our day....

They weren't asking for toys and things all day. There was no "mam, can I have?" or tantrums because I wouldn't buy them something...They were actually really choosy about what they bought....

We spent a good 45 minutes in HMV. Becky had been after some posters for her bedroom and found about 20 that she wanted....She managed to narrow it down to 3. They were £3.99 each or three for £9.....Perfect!


We browsed in a lot more shops....A lot more. By the time we had walked through Eldon Square (the shopping centre) I was ready for a sit down and a drink. We stopped for a snack which was very much needed....

We then went to the Disney Store. Ellie's idea of heaven! I could easily buy one of everything in this shop. hehehe We spent a good half hour browsing. It took Ellie time to decide what she wanted....She went with the set of Disney Princesses for £24.99. I decided to treat myself too. I had a Chip mug but it got broken so I bought a replacement. This one will be treasured.....


I couldn't leave Newcastle without nipping into Lush and getting myself a few bath bombs and The Bodyshop and getting some lip balms....They are the best I have ever used and I do really need them at this time of year....


We didn't get home until about 6pm....Our legs were aching from all the walking we did but we had a great day....

I think in future we will be giving the girls their own money to spend on what they want. We had such a lovely day with them not asking for things and they really appreciate the things they bought themselves....


Vitamin D supplements from Vega Vitamins.

A few weeks ago we had the flu and we were all feeling pretty run down. It's that time of year isn't it...When we were on the mend I was contacted by Vega Vitamins and asked if we would like to try out some Vitamin D supplements...It came just at the right time. I know over the winter months we don't get enough sunshine on our skins....


The UK Government recommends that all members of the population supplement their Vitamin D intake throughout the Autumn and Winter months. Almost two thirds of the British public (64%) were found to be Vitamin-D deficient. With only 6% of British children supplementing their vitamin D intake...

Vitamin D is required for the absorption of calcium and promotes healthy bones, teeth and muscle growth as well as supporting our immune system. Recent studies have also found that vitamin D helps protect against colds, asthma and cardiovascular disease among other ailments.

We were sent a few products to try out as a family.....

RRP £5.95 for 100 tablets or £26.95 for 500 tablets


Vega EveryDay-D gives you an hour of vitamin D sunshine. Studies suggest that 400IU (10 micrograms) of vitamin D is equivalent to one hour's exposure of the face, neck and arms to sunshine during the autumn and winter months.

These easy to take blackcurrant flavoured chewable tablets and suitable for both adults and children from age 4 onwards. They are quite tasty and Becky has had no trouble in chewing them.....

RRP £7.95 for 60 tablets


Vega Urgent-D contains 2,000IU (50 micrograms). An intensive dose for adults wishing to supplement at a higher level offering the equivalent of four hours of sunshine exposure.

These are again the blackcurrant-flavoured chewable tablet and are designed specifically for adults and Stu and I have been taking these....They are tasty enough and it has became a routine to take one each morning....

RRP £5.95 for 200 sprays.


Vega EveryDay-D 400IU vitamin D3 spray is a hyper-absorbable orange flavoured spray designed for the whole family. It is very easy to use and can be sprayed inside the cheek or under the tongue for absorption directly into the bloodstream in less than four minutes.

For use by both adults and children from age 4 onwards this has been Ellie's choice of how to take Vitamin D. You simply spray it onto inside of the cheek or under the tongue then swallow after 30 seconds. It tastes like really strong orange juice 

I don't know if it's just in my head playing tricks with me but with taking the tablets I have been feeling brighter and like I have a little more energy. There has been no negative health effects that I have noticed....They seem to be keeping us well.

I think these are something I will have to take for a couple of more months to see the real results or until the sun starts shining again properly....

We were sent the Vitamin D supplements free of charge in exchange for this blog post.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Mothers Day craft ideas from Hobbycraft.

I love Hobbycraft. I only discovered them late last year. We don't have a store nearby so I was oblivious to them. I feel so ashamed, now they are my go to online store for craft supplies. I got the kids Halloween crafts and Christmas crafts last year and when I received an email about working with them on some Mother's day and Spring crafts a couple of weeks ago I jumped at the chance....

I chose a few things and it was only when the girls were busy creating their things I realised the items would be perfect gifts for Mothers day....I know I always prefer something the kids have made

The girls each got a colour in canvas. Becky chose the Love one and Ellie the Be Happy one....They both cost £4.50 each.


Take the current colouring trend to the next level with a Colour-In Canvas! With a beautiful, intricate outline printed onto a large canvas, you can add vibrant colouring and then display your works of art in your home when you're done!


I imagined these being a lot smaller but they are a fantastic size. The canvas is thick and perfect for using felt pens on....The girls spent an hour colouring these in over a couple of days and they are so proud of their creations. So proud they are now hanging in their bedrooms....


Our second craft activity was the Paint Your Own Flower Pot. As of writing this they are only £2.25 each which I think is a real bargain. They were £4.50.


The kit contains a ceramic flower pot, paint brush and six water based paints...

This is perfect for a gift especially if you buy a plant or something to go in it. With it being spring it would be the perfect time to grow something in it....


The girls had great fun painting these....I think the end results are brilliant. They are pretty solid and I can imagine these being around for years. We will be planting something in them very soon.



Hobbycraft have some fantastic ideas for Mother's Day....We still have the Kirstie Allsopp Fragrant Rose Soap Making Kit to try out....That will be in a blog post soon.


We were sent these products free of charge in exchange for this blog post.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday


Last weeks meal plan was pretty much a disaster....For those of you who think I am amazing at meal planning, last week was a plan that didn't go to plan at all....lol

Ellie was poorly on Monday so baking was off which actually worked out well because on Friday I received a fabulous stand mixer to review....Tuesday we ate the pancakes as planned. On Valentines day I had forgotten to checkout and pay for the meal deal from Tesco so we had takeaway pizza. On Thursday I don't know what we ate as we didn't go out like we had planned, we didn't get the Chinese takeaway. Stu did make a chicken stir fry so we still had Chinese sort of. On Saturday we had our day out to Newcastle and we stuffed ourselves with McDonalds at lunch we felt like nothing for tea and just picked and snacked....Yesterday we had a full on fry up. Sausage, bacon, eggs, black pudding, mushrooms, tomatoes and baked beans.....

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Mince & dumplings made in the slow cooker....
Tuesday - The leftover mince will be made into a cottage pie....
Wednesday - Fish nuggets, chips and beans....
Friday - Pizza....
Saturday - Meatball gravy subs.... 
Sunday - A roast dinner of some sort...

What will you be eating this week?


Sunday, 18 February 2018

The Fearne by Swan Stand Mixer - Review!

You may remember last year I was nominated by Jayne at Sticky Mud & Belly Laughs to take part in an AO.com gifting challenge.....I was sent the Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor & V6 Cord Free Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner Bundle to review. Well she has only went and nominated me again to work with AO.....

With it being Valentines day earlier in the week it’s a great time of year to treat someone and a fantastic excuse to say thanks to someone other than a partner or loved one. I have to agree! Jayne choose something for me and I chose something for her and you can read about what I chose for her one her blog....


I received the Fearne by Swan Stand Mixer....Wow! I was not expecting something like this. I watch the Great British bake off and I have always dreamed about owning one of these mixers! I am very grateful.... 


Whip up delicious treats with this peacock food mixer from Fearne By Swan. Its 1500 Watt output makes short work of combining ingredients, and with 4 accessories to choose from, you’ll always have the perfect tools for your culinary creations. The dough tool is specially designed to create the perfect loaf every time. You’ll always achieve the ideal consistency too, thanks to the pulse function, as it delivers short bursts of power until your mix is just right. It also has a direct drive motor which is really hardwearing and incredibly quiet, so you’ll have no trouble preparing heavier mixtures.

When the delivery driver handed me the box I nearly dropped it....It was heavy. Not too heavy for me to lift but heavier than I expected. 


There wasn't a box of things to put together. There was the bowl guard, whisker, beater and dough hook....It was just a case of giving it wash, attach the tool I needed and I was good to go.....Of course after I had read the instructions which were simple to understand. I could have actually have got away without reading them as it was so straightforward to use....

The tools were easy to put on and remove and it was easy to move up and down into the bowl....I am usually not good when it comes to using things like this but I managed everything myself without even asking my fella for help....

I decided to step out of my comfort zone and make something I wouldn't normally bake. I thought I would make something which needed kneading so I could really put the mixer through it's paces so I decided on the Hot Cross Bun loaf which I found on Tesco's website.

I rubbed the flour and butter together then added everything else to the bowl and set the mixer away mixing. I added the milk and I was jumping for joy seeing how quickly and well it all mixed together. 


I then changed the attachment and set it away kneading the mixture. It was amazing. You can see in the video below how it did. It certainly saved my arms....

There is 10 speed settings and I started off on the lowest speed and went up to about 4 while mixing and then when kneading I put it up to 5 which seemed enough.....

I would say it worked.....I have never made dough before but it did what it was supposed to do and the end result looked amazing and tasted even better.


I then went on to make carrot cakes and a Victoria sponge cake and I can honestly say they are the best I have ever made! They were so light and fluffy and I am putting that down to the stand mixer! 


I used the whisk tool to mix the cream and thicken it up. I worked my way up to the fastest speed and it took about 5 minutes to make the cream for in the middle of the Victoria sandwich cake.....

I would say it makes a little noise but no more than you would expect. When it whisked the cream at the top speed it did get loud but it wasn't deafening....

This stand mixer is fantastic. It makes baking effortless. I know I will be using it again and again....As well as it being brilliant it is also so pretty. The colour is gorgeous. Not too bright but bright enough to add some colour to my kitchen.



The The Fearne by Swan Stand Mixer costs £269. I think it is worth every penny. It is so strong and robust and I can see it lasting many, many years....It is one of those things I didn't know I needed until I got one.

I feel like I am now a star baker thanks to this stand mixer! Now I am on the hunt for more recipes....No more packet mixes for me! It really is a game changer when it comes to baking!

Thank you for Jayne for nominating me to take part and AO for sending it.


I was sent this stand mixer free of charge in exchange for my review. This is is! All thoughts and opinions are my own.