Wednesday, 28 January 2015

A tasty healthy snack platter

I have a terrible habit of grazing in the evenings, usually on chocolate, crisps or sweets. This is fine at the weekends but when you're doing it most evenings you begin to feel like crap! So in an effort to stave off the sweet treats I bought lots of extra vegetables and some nice dips when I did the shopping and put together a vegetable snack platter.

How colourful does that look? I tried to fancy it up a bit so I got 3 peppers, cut the top and bottom off, then sliced them into rings. It was a little bit fiddly but quick enough to do.

I scooped out the seeds and kept the bottom to fill with the dips, it looked fancy and also saved using more dishes, great for me as I really didn't want to do anymore washing up! I filled them with guacamole, hummus and some cream cheese.

Then I chopped up some carrots, celery and washed some grapes for a bit of sweetness. I had this lovely colourful plate that I usually use for summer BBQ's I thought it would be perfect. All the colours together made it feel really summery and made it easy to ignore the cold outside.

It was all so quick and easy to put together and quite tasty. I had never had hummus before, the texture was a bit funny for me but the taste was nice, I think I would like to try ones with more flavour and next time I will give making my own hummus a go. I love guacamole  I could eat a tonne of it.

I had some dips and vegetables left over so I put together a mini snack platter for Ella when she got home from school. I gave her breadsticks and some lightly salted nachos as well. She loves food that she can pick up with her hands and try different things so she was delighted.

What snacks do you like to have? Is there any family favourites in your house?

Monday, 26 January 2015

Meal Planning Monday 26th January

How do you do your shopping? Do you go in and just pick up what you fancy or do you write a list and have some idea what you will cook? I usually just arrive at the shop and get the same things every week but I was not in the humour for going to the shops all weekend so I decided to order in from Tesco online. The problem with this is I can get sucked in with all the deals. So I decided to put a meal plan in place.

Once I had the plan all I had to do was write down my list of ingredients and stick with my list. Not only does this cut down on wastage but it also helps me stay within my budget.

I have already diverted off the original plan a little bit as Owen has declared Friday treat day so I won't have to cook hooray, but this is the plan I hope to follow..

Monday : Roast Chicken, baby potatoes and steamed vegetables.

Tuesday : Creamy Chicken Bake (using chicken leftover fromMonday) with pasta.

Wednesday : Ragu (like bolognese but with stewing beef instead of mince).

Thursday : Toad in the Hole with baby potatoes and steamed vegetables.

Friday : Treat Day so probably a take away or nachos or something yummy.

Saturday : Pizza, garlic balls and salad.

Sunday : Anything goes!

My shopping arrived this morning so I am all set to go!

Here's hoping I can stick to it this week and if I do then there will be more meal planning in the future.

Do you use a meal plan?

Oh and I have to say a big hooray to myself as this will be my 100th published post!! I never thought I would get this far so this has made my day, thanks for reading, commenting and all your support xx

Sunday, 25 January 2015

2015 Week 3

This month seems to be going by really quickly but at the same time it feels like it's dragging, it's an odd feeling. All I really know is we are just over 3 weeks into this year and I feel like I have already got loads done!

I went to the cinema with my friend this week. It was really good to get some chill out time and catch up with my friend and have a laugh, and oh how we laughed. We went to see Into The Woods and it was brilliant. I had no idea going in that it was a musical, if you're not a fan of musicals then it may not be your cup of tea but I thoroughly enjoyed it. We were the only ones in the cinema and its a good thing to as we were bursting ourselves laughing and giggling throughout.

We were busy with appointments for Abigail this week and I must admit we were all a bit stressed out in anticipation as we didn't know what to expect. First she was back at the dental hospital which meant another trip up to Dublin, which Abigail was very happy with as she loves going on the train, she wasn't too happy about going to the hospital but thankfully we were seen very quickly. Even better we found out that her mouth is healing well and the medicine in her tooth is doing its job so she didn't need to get any work done. They will see her again in 3 months and hopefully the situation will be the same. We were back home in no time.

The next morning she had a follow up at the audiology clinic, I wrote before how her hearing in her left ear was failing and would need to be monitored, well great news she cleared the hearing test and the fluid seems to have evened out for now. We still need to monitor it but she doesn't need any more appointments for that. A big sigh of relief all round after those couple of days. I feel like we can relax a little bit now.

I spent much of the weekend in my pjs curled up watching TV while the house has fallen apart around me as I have been feeling like utter crap. I think once you relax a bit and let yourself breathe your body decides this is the moment I'll hit you with the physical side of your stress you've been holding in! Feeling a bit more human this evening, a shower and decent dinner helped fix me up. I'm planning loads at the moment to keep me occupied, dinners, home improvement, it's fun to make lists!

How has your week been? 

Monday, 19 January 2015

2015 Week 2

This week was a busy one. Monday I spent a lot of time pouring over dresses on and wondering if any of them would actually fit me well and suit me. You might remember my over excited post last year about me wearing a dress, I don't buy that many of them. In the end I decided on one I liked bit the bullet and bought it and prayed it would arrive on time. You see I received an invite to attend a launch for at the end of the week and as is typical of any woman who rarely gets out of the house I realised rather dramatically that I had no clothes! Yes the full wardrobe and over flowing drawers where in fact void of any clothing deemed suitable to wear out for tea and cake.. At least that was my excuse..

So as you can imagine most of my week was consumed with planning my morning out in Dublin.

On Wednesday as we were running out the door to get to school the postman arrived with my boohoo package. I was surprised and delighted that it arrived so quickly and even better it fit!!
Abigail started Science club after school. She was so looking forward to it and had been buzzing about it for weeks. Can you imagine her delight when their experiment involved marshmallows, and they were allowed to eat them after. I think we may have a budding scientist slash fashion designer slash makeup artist on our hands. Maybe she will do a study on how no matter how many pairs of shoes and handbags women own we always need more?

Thursday I was meant to spend the day getting myself ready for my trip up to but instead I ended up elbow and knee deep in a monstrous pile of clothes that needed sorting. You see this is what happens when I start using the washing machine, piles of clothes crop up everywhere no longer nicely hidden away in the wash baskets!!

Nightmare! The worst part is that wasn't even half of it and I still have more to get through!!

Friday morning I was up stupidly early got my makeup and hair done and dress on. It was freezing so I went for leggings instead of tights. I think I scrubbed up alright.

I made it up to a Dublin and met the lovely Tric from My thoughts on a page and we had an adventure jumping on and off buses before we found our way to the headquarters.

We were warmly welcomed in by all the ladies and immediately given coffee and cake, exactly what we needed after our journey. We chatted about #PractialPositiveParenting and I look forward to seeing how their site progresses.

I managed to get myself lost on my way back into town so I was so glad when I made it home!

We had a very lazy pyjama day on Saturday, the girls gave their dolls makeovers and spent lots of time colouring and creating before we settled down and watched Postman Pat the movie on Netflix which they loved. I enjoyed it myself.

I wonder what this week will hold for us, how was your week?

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Have you heard of Lottie Dolls?

Lottie the award winning childlike dolls from Irish based start-up company Arklu are the brainchild of business partners Lucie Follett and Ian Harkin. Lottie Dolls empower young minds and nurture individuality through play and are available in 30 countries worldwide.

What makes Lottie so special?

Lottie encourages children to be themselves and not to grow up to quickly. Lottie's body is proportionate to that of a nine year old girl, she doesn't wear make-up or jewellery, has age appropriate clothes to play in and has the ability to stand on her own two feet.

Lottie has fun doing activities kids her age enjoy, like taking part in horse riding, karate, ballet and science as well as using her imagination at her home on Branksea Island.

Be bold, be brave, be you..

My girls were very lucky to get the chance to try out Lottie Dolls and review them. Abigail who loves science and experiments received Robot Girl and a Busy Lizzy the Robot accessory set.

The day we received the dolls was the day Abigail ended up in hospital for her teeth, so I packed up the doll and accessory set and brought it in with her. She loved putting together the robot and even though she was in pain and unwell the Lottie Doll provided a good distraction and comfort for her. She loved her outfit as it was similar to her own clothes, pants, a t-shirt and runners. Abigail liked that she had glasses, "So she can see her science work better", and the other little girls in the waiting room had fun playing with her too.

Ella received the Spring Celebration Ballet Lottie doll which suited her perfectly as she can be very girly. Also with this she received the Biscuit the Beagle accessory set which she said was the cutest thing ever.

Ella adored her doll, she loved that she had long dark hair like hers and it was easy to brush and tie up. Lottie's hair is made from Saran, which has a wax component and a silky texture which means it does not tangle or knot. She found the clothes easy to take off and put back on again, we all know how 4 year olds love to change their dolls. Lottie's clothing is composed of tactile fabric and has Velcro fastenings making them easy to dress and undress.

Another great thing we liked about the Lottie Dolls is their size, at 18cm tall they fit comfortably in the girls hands and are great for popping into their backpacks when they are off on adventures.

Ella thought Spring Ballet Lottie would look good in Robot Girls glasses.

Lottie Dolls have bendable knees and ball socket hips and arms. Lottie's head can move from side to side and Lottie can do the splits, all of which help for gymnastics, karate and playing with friends.

Biscuit the Beagle is all set to go on an adventure.

Hooray for Lottie Doll!

The girls have had the Lottie Dolls a good while now, I was delayed in writing this review as after Abigail was in hospital I took a break from writing, but they haven't lost interest in them and have both asked if they can get another doll and new clothes for them to try on so I definitely consider them a big hit.

On the Lottie Doll website you will find different activities, competitions and more information on the different dolls available and where you can buy them. In Ireland you can find the dolls in Debenhams and on the Mykidstime Store. They are very reasonably priced (Doll €19.99 and accessory set €8.99 on the mykidstime store) and there are lots of dolls and sets to choose from.

Lottie Dolls get a big thumbs up from us.

You can keep up to date with Lottie and her adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

(Disclosure : I received the Lottie Dolls and accessory sets for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own and I am not paid to give them.)

Saturday, 10 January 2015

2015 Week 1

We're already 1 week into 2015 and after a nice break from blogging and a lot of social media I'm feeling ready to get back on the blogging boat and see what adventures this year has in store. I know I haven't had much success with completing challenges before (100 days of happiness) and I realise I never posted the final piece of my 21 series and honestly I don't know if I will anytime soon. It was something I found very emotionally challenging and it surprised me how much it took out of me but I would like to take this time to thank everyone for the support and words of encouragement I received while I was writing them.

This time I want to take a different challenge, I see my blog as a bit of a diary that I like to read back on so this year each week I will do a round up post, so even if I don't get a chance to post anything else in the week I will at least have this to look forward to and it will keep me writing.

So this last week we were kept busy, we welcomed in the new year in our pj's and had a lazy day. We celebrated the other half's 30th birthday with chocolate cake and the girls went back to school. The school part was brilliant.. The girls were very happy to see all their friends and I was very happy to go to the coffee shop and have some quiet time and catch up with my friend over a nice mug of cappuccino.

Of course I had a muffin to go with it I mean how could you not?

Before Christmas I took part in two Secret Santa's with some lovely bloggers and I received really nice presents my favourite of which were a little owl diary and a Mummy's Desk Planner. I have no excuses now for not being organised!

I know the reality is once I get organised it will last about 2 weeks before I return to my normal state of headless chicken can't find arse from elbow half asleep looking like I have been dragged through a bush backwardsness but sure I will give it a go!

I didn't make any New Years resolutions but I suppose keeping this blog going is a resolution in itself.

Did you make any resolutions?

What are your plans for 2015?

Share in the comments I would love to know, or you can find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram,and Pinterest

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Hello December

Well December has arrived and the Christmas countdown is in full swing! We kicked off the festivities on Friday by getting the tree up for the Late Late Toy Show. For the first time I let the girls have full control over the decorating. They really got stuck in and managed to get half way up the tree. (It's still waiting for me to finish it off!!)

Once the tree decorating was complete I gave the girls some activity books to pass the time while they waited for the Toy Show to start. It didn't start til half 9 so you can imagine how restless they were getting. Just as they were about to give up I produced a bowl of goodies and a hot chocolate each (which Ella promptly spilt all over the place)..

It was their first year staying up and they loved it, Abigail's main ambition in life now is to be a toy tester on the Toy Show, I still want to do that!!

Saturday was spent recovering from chocolate hangover and Sunday was spent recovering from actual hangover while trying to navigate my way through all the crazy people in Smyths while we finally got the Christmas shopping done. Some people where shopping like the world was going to end tomorrow, others where losing the will to live over the lack of Elsa dolls! We avoided the Frozen section as best as we could except to pick up a Spinning Olaf for Ella *whispers* we got the last one on the shelf!!! As it was Olaf and not Elsa we didn't think there would be any problems until someone spotted it in our trolley and loudly asked "Oh where did you get that, I didn't see any of them, haha I might just have to take that on you..", at this point we laughed and then hid Olaf before quickly finishing up!!

Have you had any Frozen fan encounters?

So this week will be spent finishing off the decorating, trying to get my house under control and catch up on blogging! I have a few reviews ready to go out so keep your eyes open, but right now all I'm going to do is sit and drink coffee because everything else on my list involves moving..