Friday, 24 October 2014

Don't Forget the Discount!

That was the subject heading on an email I received today :) You may remember I posted about Picstick photo magnets about a month ago?
Well, the discount code WEATHER25 is only valid until November 5th 2014. Don't forget to use it to get 25% off at the checkout at Picstick

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Autumn Sale at Currclick - Extra Discount Here :)

Get an EXTRA 10% off CURRCLICK SALE prices at the checkout with this code LEAVES

Monday, 13 October 2014

Round Up the Week

It was a very busy week last week, and seemed to involve lots of film related stuff. Strange that, cos it's not even the Into Film Festival for another month :)

We started Monday by going to see Ten Pieces at the cinema. It's a BBC film aimed at KS2, designed to get them to engage with classical music. My children very much enjoyed it and we had some debate over whether or not the final modern piece was really music at all, with Boykin being of the opinion  that it was really dance. In the afternoon we came home and played Agricola for a couple of hours before they had to get ready for cubs and drama.

Tuesday we went to see some filming that was happening in our area. The film is a full-length feature with stars like Liam Neeson and Sigourney Weaver in it. (Not that we saw either of them). It was really interesting to see how many people were involved and how many times the same scene had to be filmed from different angles. It's made us all watch films in a different way now. One of the other onlookers likened it to Groundhog Day. Consequently, we came home, lit a fire, made big mugs of hot chocolate and sat down to watch Groundhog Day. I'd forgotten how much I liked that film and it lead to more interesting discussions as to why the main character had to keep repeating the same day; what changed within him; what would it be like to get so many chances to achieve the perfect day; and which day would you change.

Unfortunately amongst all that, I forgot that we were supposed to be at book group. Sad to say, we missed it. Sorry folks :(

Wednesday was our local themed group. The theme this month was Time & Clocks. The activities on offer were: make a paper plate clock; make a lemon clock; make a water clock; make a timeline of time and clocks; play some time related games; estimate a minute; design a time machine and write a story about it.

Thursday Boykin went to Parkour and they both went to Ninjas. In the afternoon, we delivered the Harvest festival donations to the local food bank before The Girl had a singing lesson. Boykin then went to dancing whilst The Girl went to choir and we all spent the rest of the evening visiting my eldest son and his girlfriend :) That was a busy day, that was!

Friday was a pyjama day :) We did stuff at home. All day. They did maths, biology, handwriting, made chocolate croissants and drank hot chocolate. And I read to them. A lovely relaxed HE day at home :) Until The Girl went to scouts that is.

Saturday we went to play in the woods with my brother and his children where they climbed trees and swung from ropes while we drank tea brewed in a Kelly Kettle. I love Kelly Kettles :) And then The Girl went litter picking with scouts at a local music festival.

Sunday was church, a bit more of the music festival, games with friends and hot baths, warm fires and a film.  

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Panda Drinks Review

We were offered the opportunity to review a  range of still drinks from Panda, a brand I associate with brightly coloured fizzy pop and blue tongues. I had no idea that they produced anything else and was curious. My kids were pleased to receive the drinks and very much enjoyed testing and reviewing them :)

The bottles are a handy size, small enough to fit in a lunch bag, handbag or the little side mesh pocket on a child's rucksack. We do quite a bit of walking and I like my children to carry their own drinks, so the small sized bottles make this easier for them. I also quite like the flip tops rather than the push-up-and-down tops, which invariably lose their plastic lids and are, I think, a little less hygienic.

We received two samples from each of the two different ranges - the juice drink range and the Panda Splash range, which is flavoured water. Both ranges are made with only natural fruit flavours and they contain no added sugar and no artificial colours.

My children really enjoyed the drinks. Words they used to describe the Panda Juice drinks were sticky, sweet, syruppy and yummy. The Girl preferred the Raspberry flavour and Boykin preferred the Blackcurrant flavour. Personally, I preferred the Raspberry flavour because it did actually taste of raspberries (not that the blackcurrant didn't taste of blackcurrants though). However, I was put off by the very obvious taste of sweeteners which I really don't like. When I buy bottles of dilute juice, I usually go for the 'sugar' version rather than the 'no sugar' version because of this.

In the Panda Splash range, we were given Blackcurrant and Orange & Pineapple flavoured waters to try. Again, my children liked them, with Boykin preferring the blackcurrant and The Girl preferring the Orange & Pineapple :) Words they used to describe theses drinks were very sweet, quite nice, tastes of orange and sweeteners. Apparently they like the taste of sweeteners and so this doesn't put them off at all. I found the flavoured waters much more refreshing than the juice drinks, although overall the Raspberry juice drink was my favourite - despite the sweeteners.

Oh, and I'm very sorry for not being able to show you the actual product. The package got returned to the Post Office, so we had to go and pick it up and we drank them on the way home :)

You can follow Panda Drinks on Twitter and on Facebook

Disclaimer: I received 4 bottles of Panda drinks at no cost so that I could give you an honest review. No money changed hands for these opinions, which are entirely my own....and my children's.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Frugal Food

Both children are out on Thursday teatime, one at choir and one at dancing. Consequently, there's only me to feed. I really look forward to it. Not because I'm going to eat some fancy dinner or unhealthy junk food, but because I get to eat leftovers :)

 That sounds a bit crazy, doesn't it? Not if you saw me cooking normally. The Girl is now vegetarian. Me and Boykin are not. Neither child seems to have inherited my taste buds - or at least not for the same dish at the same time. Consequently mealtimes here can look a bit like variations on a theme. Veggie vs meat sausages. Potatoes vs rice. Garden peas vs processed peas.

I've now developed a bit of a routine with Wednesday's tea being something and mash potatoes. I always make way too much mash because in my previous life (i.e. the one with only one child who ate everything) they were a favourite staple in our house. Now, my two youngest eat next to nowt when it comes to spuds :(

As well as loving mashed potatoes, I also loathe chucking food in the bin. It feels a bit like a sin - especially if meat and fish are involved. So on Thursdays, not only do I redeem my foodsoul, I also get to eat my favourite all-time potato dish - fried mash potatoes :) I usually chuck in all the leftover veg from the previous evening and make a bit of a fancy bubble-and-squeak. However, yesterday, they ate all the veg. Hooray!!

So tonight's delicacy consisted of all the left over spuds fried in butter (yes, I know it's bad for me - but it's so yummy); a large dollop of cream cheese spread; an egg; some fresh spinach and rocket from the garden. I mixed them all up together and fried them until they went brown and crispy. Then I slid the whole lot onto a warm plate and sprinkled it with black pepper. Lovely!

Now I'm going to enjoy eating the left over random fruit crumble served with evaporated milk. Can you tell I was a child in the 70s? ;)

What's your favourite left-over potato recipe? Maybe you will come up with something that will tempt even my spudless children :)