Thursday, 8 December 2016

Five things under £5 December 2016

Hello!! I am back joining in with Rainbeaubelles lovely five things under £5 linky after managing to miss last month (by the time I realised it was nearly the end of November. Here are my Five things under £5 December 2016, can't wait to see what everyone else has been buying!

I have actually been buying so many little bargains recently that I could easily do this post several times over with different items.

I always seem to include a candle in these posts but this amazing Gingerbread candle had to be included. I picked up this huge jar candle for just £2.99 in Home Bargains and the scent throw is amazing, it makes the house smell like baking gingerbread. I need to go get another one.

Home bargains gingerbread candle

These days i don't often have the need for a clutch bag, I have far too much to carry around with me but I couldn't resist this £5 bargain in Primark. It is glittery but instead of being sparkly in your face glitter that gets everywhere it is more of a matt glitter. I just need a chance to use it now.

Primark glitter clutch bag

I have been buying load sof Chrsitmas decorations this month, Our tree decorations are a very traditional green, red and gold. But when i saw this rainbow swirl bauble in John Lewis I grabbed it (along get with some others), I absolutely love John Lewis Christmas decorations and now we have one in Leeds I can go whenever I fancy.

John lewis rainbow swirl bauble

This year i have gone a bit ott and i am going to be the mum who dresses her baby in all the festive clothes. Barney has hand me downs from his brothers plus i keep seeing really cute bits and picking them up. This little printed vest was only £2 from Tesco, and you can never have too many long sleeved vests at this time of year.
Santa print vest Tesco

My final buy this month is some vintage children's books. There is a fab charity shop not too far from us which always seems to be getting vintage books in and I have a bit of a thing for them. We have quite a collection from charity shops plus books from mine and Phils childhoods. These books were 25p each, I picked up a few different ones.

Vintage ladybird books

Why not pop over to Rainbeaubelle and check out what everyone else has been buying this month?

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Teacher Boards Review: Make your mark

Home educating means that we often have things that we would like to display, from special pieces of writing, artwork or just our plans for the week. Teacher Boards recently sent us an amazing bright orange noticeboard to use at home and i must say we love it!

Teacher Boards are the biggest board manufacturer in the UK. They manufacture and distribute their boards from their Yorkshire based factory and have been doing this for over 30 years so they know a thing or two about making good quality boards suitable for classrooms, offices and home use.

The noticeboard we were sent is an amazing bright orange rainbow felt noticeboard with aluminium frame. I absolutely love the colour, it is so vibrant! There are 20 colours to choose from when ordering this type of board from classic colour to rainbow brights which is pretty impressive.
The noticeboard itself is fab quality. It is sturdy but lightweight at the same time and it is well made. It comes compkeye with wall fixings We are currently using this board in our playroom and have found it a really good size for home use(0.6m X 0.9m) . The boys are enjoying seeing what we have planned and having their work up on display to be admired. The felt boards are also velcro friendly which means that it is child friendly, the boys are able to add and remove things themselves.

Teacher Boards offer a huge range of products including whiteboards,  glassboards and chalkboards as well as noticeboards. There is a great choice of colours, sizes and frames so whatever your needs are, they will have the right board for you. I am particularly loving the rainbow coloured white boards and the outdoor chalkboards.

**We received this item for the purpose of this post, all opinions are my own**

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Lemon Curd Muffins with Scarlett & Mustard

I love discovering new companies, particularly ones who make delicious food! Scarlett & Mustard is a small award winning company based in Suffolk making dressings, condiments, oils and curds. They use the freshest ingredients and their products contain no additives, colourings or flavourings.

I recently received a lovely parcel containing jars of Scarlett & Mustard Lemon and Orange curds. Straight away I toasted some crumpets and slathered them in curd (so good!) for the whole family. Even little Barney got in on the curd action.

I also decided to bake some Lemon Curd Muffins for snacks. My boys(and husband) have hollow legs so having a supply of snacks is essential and these muffins didn't hang around for long. This recipe made 8 large muffins.

250g plain flour
3tsp baking powder
100g caster sugar
1 large egg
175ml milk
75ml vegetable oil
150g lemon curd

Preheat the oven to 200°C and prepare your muffin tray with paper cases.In a large mixing bowl mix your dry ingredients together and then add the milk, oil and egg. Combine them together and until the dry ingredients are wet, don't overmix, the batter should be lumpy for muffins even if it doesn't look that pretty! 
Fill your muffin cases around 2/3 of the way, add a helping of lemon curd and cover with a little more batter. Bake in the oven for around 10 minutes before turning the oven down slightly (180°C) and bake for another 10 minutes until cooked through. These are lovely still warm from the oven. 

Scarlett & Mustard have some amazing productsin their range, I have my eye on the Rhubarb and Vanilla curd (Yorkshire is the home of rhubarb after all!) and garlic oil which I think would be amazing with pasta. These products are crying out to be included in Christmas hampers and Scarlett & Mustard also have their own foodie gift sets for Christmas.

**We received these samples for the purpose of this post, all opinions are my own**

Monday, 5 December 2016

Our weekly meal plan 5/12

Happy Monday! Less than 3 weeks until Christmas Day! I am going to be super organised and attempt to sort out my meal plans until the new year this week, so I don't have to do any planning over the festive period. Wish me luck!

Last week we did well, we missed one meal but we are having it this week instead. On Sebastians birthday we ate SO much, wehad pancakes for breakfast, lunch at Frankie and Bennys then some food at the German Market and then a curry in the evening from local restaurant The Cinnamon Lounge. I actually managed to fill my children up and they turned down birthday cake! I was so pleased with how the cake turned out, he asked for a chocolate cake and I think I delivered what he wanted!

Chocolate birthday cake

This week I am trying a Gousto Box, as I had an offer to try for £9.99. I am really looking forward to trying the meals and I will attempt to blog about it if I get the chance. I am going to tidy my freezer a bit too, everything is shoved in at the moment so I want to get it organised.

Monday Cheesy Fish Pie

Tuesday Tomato, mozzarella and basil risotto

Wednesday Herby Pancetta Carbonara with Chives

Thursday Ikea meatballs with homemade gravy and chips

Friday Easy homemade pizza with salad and garlic bread

Saturday Pork Noodles and Thai Sauce

Sunday Pasta with pork meatballs in tomato sauce

What is on your meal plan this week? Join in with the meal planning linky.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

What to put in a Christmas Eve Box?

We have been giving a Christmas Eve box for five years now since Sebastian was one. That first year we just kept it simple with some new pyjamas and a book, and as our family has grown we have added to those basic items. I see lots of people asking what to put in a Christmas Eve box so I thought I would share what I put into ours.
Christmas Eve is probably my favourite day of the festive period. I love the build up and excitement to Christmas, it is so magical. In the evening our Christmas Eve Box arrives. I keep our box pretty basic, some of the items are the same each year.

What to put in a Christmas eve box

New pyjamas I try to get the boys matching Christmas pyjamas each year and this year I managed to get some of the Matalan striped pyjamas for the big two plus a matching sleepsuit for Barney. I am so excited for them to wear these!

Hot chocolate and treats We like to watch something festive on Christmas Eve (usually The Snowman) with some hot chocolate and Christmas chocolate or biscuits all snuggled up underneath a cosy blanket. 

Christmas book A new Christmas book to read before bed along with the traditional The Night Before Christmas story which we read every year. This year Penwizard have sent us a gorgeous personalised copy of The Snowman and the Snowdog* to read. You can add your child's name, hair colour and style and even choose the colour of pyjamas.  This is a perfect addition to any Christmas Eve Box and you can receive 20% off all personalised books with the discount code SOQUICK20 until 18th December. There is a great range available including some well loved childrens characters including Peppa Pig.

Personalised Snowman and Snowdog book, Penwizard

What to put in a Christmas eve box

I picked up this Santa treat plate from Wilkinsons a couple of years ago and it now goes into our box each Christmas Eve ready to leave out with a mince pie, carrots and a glass of milk for the big man.

Reindeer food and Santa's key, each year I mix a bag of oats and glitter to sprinkle outside on Christmas Eve and as we have no chimney we leave Santa a special key so he can get in. The boys absolutely love sprinkling the food before they head up to bed.

I also include the boys Christmas Stockings in the box each year so they can hang them up when they go to bed.

Of course everybody does their Christmas Eve Box differently, here are some more ideas that you could include.

  • Bath Bomb
  • Christmas Game
  • Christmas Fuzzy Felt
  • Nativity puzzle
  • Christmas DVD
  • Christmas craft kits 
  • Sticker or activity book
  • Gold coins
  • Letter from Father Christmas
  • Cosy socks
  • Special tree decorations
  • Selection boxes
  • New toothbrush
  • Gingerbread house kit
  • Some salt dough and cutters to make decorations
  • Christmas Lego
  • Santa stop here sign
  • Colouring sheets and crayon
Do you make a Christmas Eve Box? What do you put into yours?

 *PR sample