Monday, 29 August 2016

Win a pair of tickets to The Baby and Toddler show, Manchester

This year I shall be attending The Baby and Toddler Show in Manchester and I am so excited! I am also giving one lucky person the chance to win a pair of tickets to The Baby and Toddler Show, Manchester. So if you are currently pregnant or have a baby, this one is perfect for you!

The UK's biggest Baby and Toddler Show is returning to Event City in Manchester on 7-9 October 2016. Supported by Emma's Diary the show has a great mixture of big name brands, unique innovative products, local companies and services and experts all lined up and ready to give you a helping hand. I am really looking forward to hearing the expert speakers and brushing up on my first aid with British Red Cross.

With all the big name brands under one roof including Bugaboo, Britax, Quinny, Silver Cross and many others you can give the products a good test, compare, talk to the experts and buy with the guaranteed best prices on car seats, prams please,  buggies and furniture.

Tickets for the show are available now priced at £13 per adult(children under 16 do not need a ticket), however there is currently a fab discount code giving you 1/3 off the price making then just £8, add the code BTN31.
Pop over to The Baby and Toddler Show to buy tickets and for more information including a full list of brands who will be there.

If you would like to enter to win a pair of tickets to The Baby and Toddler show at Event City in Manchester on 7-9 October, simply fill in the Rafflecopter below. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1. Open to UK residents only.
2. Entrants must be over 18.
3. All entries will be checked.
4. Please make sure i have a way to contact you if you win.
5. The prize is a pair iof tickets to The Baby and Toddler Show in Manchester. No cash alternative.
6. If I am unable to make contact with the winner within a reasonable time a new winner will be drawn.
7. Winner will be given a code to redeem their tickets online and will need to print them out.

Our weekly meal plan 29/8

Happy Bank Holiday Monday Meal Planners! I hope everyone has had a good one. Ours has been quiet as Phil was working so we spent a day at my parents and some time chilling at home. Working the weekend means that a tonight's shift Phil is off for most of this week so I am hoping for dry weather so we can have some fun days.

We had a good week meal wise last week, we ate everything planned. We popped to Tesco midweek for a fruit top up and I picked up a really well sized gammon joint from their special range for less than half price, I am also taking part in an Orchard campaign for Tesco at the moment and had a voucher for a chicken so I picked that up too. Talking about bargains, Phil popped to Asda one evening and came home with a nice loaf of bread and some hot dog buns for 3p each! I have taught him well!

Monday Freezer dinner!
Tuesday Salmon fishcakes with new potatoes and green beans
Wednesday Slow cooked gammon with cheesy potato dauphinoise and veg
Thursday Creamy gammon pasta bake (recipe)
Friday Homemade burgers with halloumi, sweet potato fries and salad
Saturday Homemade ham and cheese pasties with beans
Sunday Roast Chicken Dinner

If you love meal planning, join in with our Meal Planning Blog Hop. Why not check out our weekly meal plans for more inspiration?

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Books and toys for fire engine obsessed boys (and girls)

My middle boy Alex has been obsessed with all things fire engine related for the last couple of years and his enthusiasm shows no sign of waning, his dream is to be a fire engine driver. I have become accustomed to browsing for books and toys for fire engine obsessed boys (and girls) so thought I would do a round up of my favourites.

Wooden toys 

Last year I was on the hunt for a large wooden fire engine for Alex birthday,  I love wooden toys and find they stand up really well to boisterous play. I found the Tidlo Fire Engine and ordered it alongside some Firefighters and they are such great quality and a really good size too.
The fire engine was such a hit that I ended up buying the matching Tidlo Fire Station too, the engine can drive and park inside it and there is a room upstairs for the firefighters. Of course over the last few months it has also been used as a shop, garage and so on, I do love imagination.
I absolutely adore the Janod story sets, they are really sweet and a reat size for small hands. This firefighters set may be winging it's way to our house soon as birthdays and Christmas are coming up.


There are ALOT of books out there featuring fire engines and firefighters and we seem to have quite a few of them!
First is Alexs favourite book Emergency by Margaret Mayo this book features a whole range of emergency vehicles. It is beautifully bright and has rhyming get text making is nice to read as well.
Big Red Fire Engine by Ken Wilson-Max is a great interactive book with flaps, ladders to raise and a fire engine to drive along. Alex received this for his birthday last year and loves it.
I recommend the Playtown range of books to anyone with small children,  they are fantastic interactive books full of detailed pictures and little nuggets of information that my boys love and this Emergency one is definitely on our wishlist.
Earlier in the yesr we reviewed the awesome Miles Kelly convertible submarine and the range also has a convertible fire engine book. These are fun playing,  quirky and make a great gift.

The rest

A firefighter dress up outfit is a must have, I love the look of this fireman dress up from George, it comes complete with a plastic hat which is great as some seem to come without a hat and the one we have has a fabric hat which is pretty rubbish if I am honest. To go with the outfit this case of fire fighter accessories by ELC is highly recommended by me, Alex was given one for his last birthday and it is used all the time!
Once kitted up of course your firefighter needs their own engine and this Fire engine play tent from Smyths looks perfect. It can be put up in seconds and folded back down quickly after use, great if you have limited space.
Finally everyone loves a Trunki and Frank the Fire Engine is so cool! Perfect for travelling or keeping all your firefighting kit inside.

If you are near to Sheffield, why not visit the Emergency Services Museum, we visited last year and it was a fantastic trip out and of course Alex was in heaven!

Friday, 26 August 2016

Classic Lemon Drizzle Cake

It is no secret that I absolutely love to bake and naturally I am a massive fan of Great British Bake Off which returned to our screens this week. As usual it inspired me to bake and after this week's cakes episode, I had to make a classic lemon drizzle cake.

Lemon Drizzle is one of my favourite cakes and I love to make the simple loaf cake for the family. Although I love baking my decorating skills are somewhat lacking so I err on the side of simplicity where I can and this all in one cake is as easy as they come.
Classic lemon drizzle cake, great British bake off

Classic lemon drizzle cake, recipe,  great British bake off

For the sponge

3 medium eggs
200g self raising flour
200g caster sugar
200g butter
1tsp  baking powder
Rind of 1 lemon, finely grated

For the glaze

Juice of 1 lemon
225g  icing sugar

Grease and line a loaf tin. Preheat the oven to to 180°. Combine all of the sponge ingredients in a large mixing bowl, beat together until you have a smooth batter. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for around 40 minutes.
While the cake is cooling slightly make the glaze by combining the lemon juice and icing sugar, pour over the cake while it is still warm.

I am hoping to bake along with this year's Great Blogger Bake Off over at Mummy Mishaps, why not pop over and check out what everyone has been making?

Mummy Mishaps

A Home Education Notebook by Ross Mountney

I recently blogged about two books for home educated children and how the fantastic publisher Birds Nest Books are committed to publishing books for those who are under represented in society.

As well as books aimed at children, Birds Nest books have also published A Home Education Notebook by Ross Mountney. This book is a collection of popular articles and blog posts written by Ross over the years which have been updated and organised into 52 chapters (handily one for every week of the year).

A home education notebook,  by Ross Mountney

I have read a few different books about home education since we decided it was the path we were going to take but i feel that this one has been the most easily accessible for me.
The book is easy to read, you can easily dip in and out of it and it is funny in places. It addresses those worries and wobble moments that so many home educators have such as curriculums, too much screen time, exams and social isolation among many other subjects. I really enjoyed reading about what Ross' home educated children and their peers are doing now, it is so inspiring to me. I think I will be using this book regularly over the next few years!

A home education notebook, screen time

The book aims to inspire and encourage and I do feel that it does that. I would really recommend A Home Education Notebook to anyone seriously considering home education, anyone currently home education or if you simply want to learn a little more about it. I get asked about home ed alot and think this is the perfect book to refer people too.

A Home Education Notebook by Ross Moutney is available to buy now with an RRP of £11.99

** I was sent a copy of this book for the purpose of this post, all opinions are my own**