Sunday, 11 May 2014

Being a Morrisons Mum.......

Since we moved to the house on the hill we had already started shopping at Morrisons. Firstly because we found that it was much cheaper than it's rivals and also we're now close to a HUGE Morrisons that sells everything. Morrisons have also recently launched a campaign to cut prices even further with their 'I'm Cheaper' products. It's a whole range of  over 1,000 products across the store that have had their prices permanently cut. Look for these signs across the store:

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be chosen as a Morrisons Mum thanks to BritMums who then sent me £80 in vouchers to go and spend on anything that I wanted to at Morrisons. For me this was a huge bonus as like I say I already do my shopping at Morrisons. My local store has several counters which include butchery, hot chicken, pizza and the bakery. I'm not sure if mine is unusual or not that in addition to a normal bakery they have the most fantastic cake counter:

They also have a range of Nutmeg clothing which I actually discovered last year. I bought a lot of Chick's school uniform from there and it has been fantastic. The clothes have worn really well and even the cardigans are still in shape and looking great when she only has 8 weeks of the school year left.

I spent over the £80 of vouchers and in the end my total was around £100 but looking through the cupboards today writing this weeks' shopping list I actually only need to buy bread and milk so I'm definitely happy with that!! As you can imagine after spending all of that money, we've had some amazing meals this week. I suppose I should say at this juncture that judging by my food pictures I'll never make it to being a food blogger ;-)

The first lovely meal that we had (that looks very beige on the picture) was rump steak with wedges and mushrooms:

Steak isn't something that I think we can afford to eat very often but actually this meal was only £2.48 each. I don't think that's bad for a treat of a meal.

Last weekend we had a fabulous bar-b-q with plenty of meat!! We had sausages, beef grillsteaks and burgers. The sausage and grill steaks I got on the 3 for £10 meat section. I like this selection at Morrisons as there is always a bit of variety and we got shish kebabs to go with these. The burgers were lovely and juicy and we also had enough food left over to make dinner for everyone the next day:

My favourite recipe is one of 'The Man's' called Summer Chicken which we normally have with rice. Again the pictures look beige and I'd eaten a few mouthfuls before I remembered to take a picture but yum!!!

I think that buying everything for the recipe from scratch is would work out at about £2 each but as we'd already got some of the store cupboard items it was around £1.44 each based on 6 people sharing. The recipe needs:

6 Chicken breasts, skin removed
1 Large onion, chopped
  2 Eating apples, peeled, cored and chopped
½tsp Paprika
2tsp Mild curry powder
2tbsp Margarine
28g  Plain flour
225g Mushrooms, sliced
300ml Chicken stock
225ml Double cream
Salt & Pepper

It's a fairly simple recipe and takes about an hour to cook:

Oven                     180°c fan assisted / Gas 4

      ·       Melt margarine in saucepan or large frying pan and add the onion and apple.

·         Cook gently for 2 minutes and the add curry powder and paprika.

·         Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.

·         Add stock and mushrooms.

·         When sauce has thickened remove from heat and stir in cream.

·         Grease a shallow oven proof dish and lay in the chicken in on one layer.

·         Season chicken and pour over the sauce.

·         Bake uncovered for 1 hour.

·         Serve with rice.

·         Serves 6.

Do let me know what you think if you manage to try it :-)

  Thanks to BritMums and Morrisons for the opportunity. As already stated I received vouchers worth £80 to buy the food used in this post. All choices were mine and all opinions are mine too!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Fathers Day Ideas for under £10

This is a bit of a strange post for me to write. For the last 19 years since my Dad died we haven't really bothered with Fathers fact I've positively tried to ignore it. The last couple of years since Chick has been in touch with her Dad I've mainly let her choose something from Tesco and I've not really had to put much thought into it!

This year however Chick decided that as well as buying something for her Dad, her and the boys also wanted to buy something for The Man. With the kids being 10, 6 & 4 we've ended up with a range of cute presents that I thought I'd share with you in case you're stuck for ideas, the best thing being that they are all under £10.

As most of you probably know we are massive readers in this house and that's the same for the boys too so we were hugely excited when Little Tiger Press sent us two books as presents for The Man. The first one is by the award-winning Steve Smallman, author of Smelly Peter the Great Pea Eater and Dragon Stew and is called 'My Dad':

‘Some dads can cheer you up when you are crying
And hold you so high that you feel like you’re flying’

It's a really lovely book with rhyming text and will be great for all of the boys to read together. It is also full of fabulous illustrations:

We were also lucky enough to be sent a more grown up book which Chick will give to him. This is 'To Dad, You're a Star' by Jill Latter. It has a really cute front cover with a fabric polka dot star and again lovely illustrations which will hopefully tell him how much he means to her:

'My Dad' retails at £5.99 and 'Dad, You're a Star' at £6.99.

We are big fans of the 99p shop (yes, I'm cheap!!) and so have also picked up a couple of bargains from there:

I was happy with all of the above as I think that makes a pretty good Fathers Day but Chick had seen a Vistaprint advert on TV and wanted to make him a t-shirt. Our piece de la resistance to wow The Man on Fathers Day is this:

The best thing about it about from the personalisation, that Chick chose herself, is that it only cost about £8! I shall let you know on Sunday if he's happy with it or not!

Do you have any cheap and cheerful ideas for Fathers Day??

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Printer pix - Wooden Photo Blocks

As most of you probably know, I'm a bit of a hoarder. The things that I have the most of are photos, shoes and books so when someone offers me the chance to review one of these items especially one that is slightly different then I normally jump at the chance.

Printer pix gave me a choice of products and upon browsing through I decided that I loved the wooden blocks. I am running out of wall space unfortunately so I thought that this was a great idea as it can be free standing as well as mounted on a wall. I generally go back and forth with which pictures to transform into an art keepsake but luckily The Man and I recently had our engagement photo shoot so I knew straight away which picture I would use.

The online service was simple and easy to use and my order came within a couple of days. It was really well packaged too so that there was no damage. On really close inspection the picture wasn't quite flush with the block but when I mentioned this to Printer pix they immediately sent out a replacement block.

So this is what the block looks like:

I love this picture as it's so colourful and bright and the trees and sky look amazing. The block has managed to capture everything that I love about the picture and it has pride of place on my fire:

The block is sturdy and well made, which is always a bonus when you are clumsy and so is your daughter. 

The block that we chose was sized at 12" by 8" and is priced at £40 however because it looks so amazing I really wish that I'd been brave and ordered the biggest 20" by 16" size. I'm also eyeing up their hard cover photo books as they would be a great keepsake. 

Check out their website for some great deals on lovely gifts for Fathers Day too!

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Cheeky Shoes

As most of you probably know, I'm a huge fan of shoes. I have rather a large collection for all manner of events.....birthday party shoes, wedding shoes, everyday shoes, restaurant know the type that are so high that you can only wear them from the house to the car and from the car to the restaurant table??!

 Imagine how thrilled I was then to get an email from Cheeky Shoes co-creator Macin asking if I would like to review a pair of flat, bright, happy shoes. With Summer just around the corner I could hardly say no! I was directed to the website to pick the shoes that I wanted and was met by a gorgeous array of bright colours:

I ummed and aahed for ages over which pair I might pick as to be honest I liked all of the colours. Taking into account that the majority of my wardrobe is black with some purple thrown in, I decided that I would go with Sumptuous Cerise.

With the colour decided I headed to the next step which was picking a size. I have to say that I did find the sizing on the site confusing. In my experience an English size 8 is normally a European 42 and an American 11 which isn't what is listed on the site. They do have a size guide that you can print off and measure your foot against but in typical lazy fashion I just went with an English size 8 and hoped for the best.

The shoes arrived in the post a couple of days later and because they are flat and compact were able to be posted through the letterbox. This is a real bonus for me as usually I'm knocking on neighbours doors or stuck at the sorting office for hours trying to pick things up!

So the shoes look like this:

I had LOADS of comments on the first days of wearing them asking where they were from, commenting on the colour and asking how comfortable they were. So you know where they are from, the colour is amazing and I'm definitely going to have to try out more colours.

How comfortable are they? To be honest they feel like slippers. They are uber comfortable! There is a proper sole and because the fabric is so soft there was no rubbing at all,even on the first full day of wearing them when I thought I would test them properly during a nine hour work day!

Size wise they are ok. I have mahoosive feet so if I honest then another half a centimetre of fabric and sole would've genuinely meant that I could never be parted from them. As it is the top of back of the heel starts feeling tight after a full day at work but that would be my only complaint!

For a cheery, lightweight Summer shoes I would say that you could do much worse than spending £19.99 on a pair of these. Now which colour to choose next........................

Thursday, 17 January 2013

A Tasty Valentine Idea....

I always love to receive emails offering me fab products to try and what better product to be offered than cake!! Baker Days sell personalised 'letterbox' that can be delivered by post to your door. They offered to send me the Valentine version for my gorgeous boy which comes in a plain white box so you can keep it a surprise. The cake comes in it's own funky tin and the Valentine version comes complete with a small pack of love hearts too:

I was able to choose the design that I wanted for my cake and also to personalise it. I was worried that it may look too 'girlie' when it came but actually it was really cute and the boy liked it too:

I (surprisingly!!) opted for double chocolate chip cake but you can also go for sponge, carrot, fruit or gluten and wheat free so all tastes are definitely covered. The cake was so soft and lovely and delightfully rich.

They come in different sizes according to your occasion:

More information can be found on the Baker Days website or by following them on Twitter.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Win a family pass to see MIRROR MIRROR at a special event!

To celebrate the release of MIRROR MIRROR on DVD & Blu-ray from 30th July, I am giving away a family pass for 4 to see an exclusive preview screening of the film in Central London on 23rd July. The event will have drinks, nibbles and activities for the kids from with a free giveaway for every child!

One of the most beloved stories of all time gets a modern make over and comes to life, in this spectacular motion picture event starring Oscar®-winner Julia Roberts as the evil Queen and Lily Collins (The Blind Side) as Snow White. A fresh and funny retelling of the classic fairy tale, the film also stars Armie Hammer (The Social Network) as the Prince, Sean Bean (“Game of Thrones”) as the King, and Nathan Lane (The Birdcage) as the Queen’s hapless and bungling servant, Brighton.

MIRROR MIRROR is released on DVD & Blu-ray 30th July 2012 courtesy of StudioCanal UK 


Open to UK residents only.To enter please leave a comment below. This competition will close at 5pm on Wednesday 18th July.

Please note the winner will need to be able to get into London on Monday 23rd July at 11am.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Little Learners Books

For as long as I can remember I’ve always been an avid reader. I guess it started way back when I was little and my Mum used to read to me every night although my Dad loved reading too. We always had plenty of books around and so to me it’s a completely normal thing. When Chick came along one of the first things that I bought for her was a book called 'Guess how much I love you?'.

In the initial e-mail there was a statistic that six million adults in the UK are unable to read. A statistic that completely blows my mind!! Another alarming stat as the National Literacy Trust’s recent poll indicating that one in three children in the UK don’t own a book, Parragon aims to ensure that these fun books will ignite a passion for reading and a familiarity with books at the earliest stages of a child’s life.

The Little Learners collection has been developed in conjunction with educational experts and tested by mums to stimulate and educate children and come in seven different formats including cloth, finger puppets and foam.

Parragon books asked me to review these gorgeous children's books:

What I love about these books is that they are simple, fun, bright and a fabulous way to get kids into books. I love the graphics:

Night, Night and Yum Yum are foam books and really light.......therefore they don't hurt when dropped on little fingers and toes!! We had my almost 2 year old Niece take a look at them and she loves them. 

'I can share' is an almost perfect book for that age range. It's chunky and easy to handle, has bright pictures again and is brilliant for speech development and behaviours. The pull out tabs make it interactive and more exciting. I'm saving this one for her birthday as it's just so cool:

When there are great, simple books around like these, that are a very reasonable price it make you wonder why one in three children doesn't own a single book?!!

The full range is available at all major retailers including Tesco, WH Smith, Sainsbury’s, Amazon and Early Learning Centre with books ranging from £2.99 to £6.99.