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Saturday, 16 August 2014

Summer Weekends Of Fun.

I know we are half way through Summer, but I feel we are now in full force British Summer as the rain has arrived.

This year it seems like many a weekend 'food festivals' are happening, either that or I've not seen as many in previous years. One that's rather impressed me this year is The Manchester Picnic, which is basically three fun days of family food fun, now what could be better than that? Food, Family and Fun! This is taking place from Friday 29th - Sunday 31st August so for the very end part of August. 

The Manchester Picnic is now in its fifth year, as a much loved family food festival, its one I'm eager to try if we can get there. It will take place in Piccadilly Gardens daily from 11am - 6pm on the above dates. This year there is a theme of 'Play' to celebrate the recent opening of the children's playground near Victoria Memorial in Piccadilly Gardens, so you could visit two things in one go right?

Now for the children, on Sunday 31st August, the popular children's teddy bear's picnic shall be returning with a special appearance from Baby Ballet's Twinkle The Bear.
It sounds like a truly wonderful weekend of fun, and food.

If like us you would have a little travel to make, or maybe your local but fancy a night's break away from general life. There are hotels nearby such as The Crowne Plaza, Manchester Airport which is only a short drive away in a car. Which also means, you could possibly fly there from further away destinations to enjoy the event.

My other suggestion is, as it is summer in the UK its probably best to bring a lightweight rain coat just in case. 

This post is in Collabaration with Crowne Plaza

Friday, 15 August 2014

Experiencing Crime

Normally I would not write about super personal things, things that may get me discovered, pin-pointing my area. But I recently thought I began this blog for myself so why shouldn't I?
I've been a little quiet of recent due to taking on a new job, which I'll write about soon.
However, this past week even the few people I would still speak with on social media won't have heard from me. This is as we as a household have been a victim of crime, pinpointed crime. Its left me too scared to leave the house, but again too scared to even want to be in the house alone.
This week we have been unfortunate to have someone try to pop all the wheels on our cars, two of the cars in our household anyway. But we've also been the victim of graffiti on our house. 

Now, to some people this may seem like something that happens regularly within you area, unfortunately for us it isn't. We have lived here for 11 years now, we were and still are hoping to move within the next two years. However this is the first time we have seen or heard of any direct crime within our immediate area.
Of course, we are hoping this is the last, but you can never be too sure.
Now heres hoping we don't get anymore trouble.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Disney On Ice 100 Years Of Magic Is Coming To Birmingham

Disney On Ice 100 Years of  Magic is coming to Birmingham. 

This one of a kind skating spectacular features more than 60 loveable Disney characters.

Having wowed audiences all over the world in Disney On Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and their friends Mulan, The Lion King, Pinocchio, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Toy Story will be bring this on-ice spectacular to Birmingham this autumn.

Produced by Feld Entertainment, this fanfare production features more than 60 unforgettable Disney stars that span the decade, a sing-along score of award-winning Disney music, stunning choreography, elaborate sets and beautiful costumes.

With Mickey and Minnie leading the fun, the show includes breathtaking skating numbers, devised by an award-winning choreographer who created the skating segments for the Opening Ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics. 

Complementing the fabulous skate sequences are countless memorable Disney musical classics, such as 'A Whole New World', 'Beauty and the Beast', and 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight' which bring everyone's favourite memories of Disney to life on ice. 

Outfitting this cast was a huge challenge for the show's costume designer with dazzling designs raging from Mickey's Marching Band, to the 'Its A Small World' dolls, to the stars of Mulan and Finding Nemo. Bright colours and minimal structure in the Finding Nemo costumes allow the characters to move freely to mimic the natural movement in water, while a red sequined evening gown worn by Minnie is the star of the show!

The design team, who have worked on a numerous Broadway productions, have bought a magical, theatrical feel to the on-ice experience. Skaters weave around and bring to life the 'Its a Small World' sequence, amidst sparkling floats that turn into a radiant light parade and a blanket of snow and an avalance fall as Mulan battles the Huns. Another highlight is when a giant present is opened to reveal Buzz Lightyear, as he is first introduced to everyone's favourite toy cowboy, Woody and his pal Jessie.

Tickets are available now - booking fees apply. 
To discover more about Disney On Ice click here

Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years Of Magic will be appearing in Birmingham at the NIA between 22nd October and 2nd November 2014.
The show will also be at the following:
Braehead, Glasgow - 26th September - 5th October 2014
Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle - 7th - 12th October 2014
Phones4u Arena, Manchester - 15th - 19th October 2014
Motorpoint Area, Sheffield - 5th - 9th November 2014
The O2, London - 24th December 2014, 26th - 29th December 2014 and 3rd & 4th January 2015.

We are looking forward to taking Jack to see the show during its stay in Birmingham. 

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Summer Recipes with Appliance House & Competition

As a full time working mum, its hard to find time too cook meals freashly each evening for us to eat as a family as soon after we get home its bed time. I enjoy spending as much time as possibly with Jack and don't like this to be shortened by spending a lot of time over the cooker. 
Don't get me wrong, we still eat and enjoy lots of fresh meals, however we just do the preperation at an earlier stage and freeze. Appliance House have joined up with an ex Waitrose food editor who shares five fab recipes which are all suitable for home freezing. One of these is Chocolate and Cherry Brownies.

Chocolate and Cherry Brownies
Who doesn't like brownies? These have a crisp crust and a delicious gooey centre, best served warm with vanilla ice cream. If you've frozen them previously then just warm them briefly in a hot oven.

Preperation Time: 15 miniutes
Cooking Time: 35-40 miniutes
Makes: 18

200g butter, cubed
100g good quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped
4 eggs, beater
425g granulated sugar
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder, sifted
½ tsp sea salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
100g dried cherries

1. Preheat the oven to 180o, gas mark 4. Line a small roasting tin with baking parchment.
2. Place the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and allow the ingredients to melt either over a pan of barely simmering water or in a microwave on a low heat. Allow to cool slightly.
3. Place the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl and pour in the melted chocolate and butter mixture. Fold together lightly until throughly combined. Pour into the prepared tin and place in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until a crust forms. Remove from the over and allow to stand for 15-20 minutes. Cut into squares when cooled.

Cooks Tip.
Add alternative ingredients to the cherries according to what you have in your cupboard. Pecans and brazil nuts work well instead of cherries, or leave out as you prefer.
To freeze them wrap first in cling film and then in foil and freeze for up to 3 months. 

The lovely people at Appliance House have offered readers of my blog the opportunity to win a  Electrolux Rapido Wet and Dry Rechargeable Handheld Vacuum Cleaner.
Rechargeable and cordless, the Rapdio is a high performance cleaner with low noise levels suitable for wet or dry spills at home or in the car.

Moshi Monsters Arrive At Birmingham Sea Life

A couple of weeks ago we were invited to spend the day at Birmingham Sea Life Centre. We had been once before with Jack two years previous, Jack was a little young and probably didn't have a clue but still it was fun. However, this time it was for an exciting adventure, to seek out moshi monsters.

The Moshi Monsters are visiting Sea Life Birmingham until 31 August 2014 and there is plenty going on for your children to enjoy. Jack is obviously too young for moshi monsters, but enjoyed some of the fun activities, and Ashley and I enjoyed seeking out the tiny moshi monsters within the different tanks.

The tanks which had figurines within them were clearly marked with a large sticker so you know which specific tanks you would find a moshi monster in. As for the small quiz you are given to look for as you walk around, these were hidden within the facts of each tank. 

As you get half was around the Sea Life Centre there is a Moshi Monsters swap shop, this is located within the Otter Teaching Room. Here you can swap your spare Moshi Monsters for new and exciting ones, wheter common, rare or ultra rare. Unfortunately I never got any pictures of this as we zoomed past to look at the otters.

Just past the otters, there is a green screen area where you can get your photo taken and they will be placed onto a couple of various backgrounds, one being Moshi Monsters themed.

Jack really enjoyed looking at all the different sea creatures, but most of all loved the penguins! We couldn't get him away and it took some bribing for him to move. 

We had an absolutely fantastic time yet again at the sea life, finding all the moshi monsters and all the different sea creatures. As well as all the usual fun things to do at the sea life, there is also the moshi monsters event happening until the end of August so great fun for the school holidays. 

Please Note: We were given free entry to the Sea Life Centre for an honest review upon the blog. All photos and opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Wedding Reveal #4

8 months to go now until our wedding, its zooming it past. It doesn't seem that long ago I wrote our previous reveal post. In the past month I've not really sorted much extra, like I've previously mentioned we sorted so much early on in our planning. 

This month I thought I'd show you the car we have hired. We were undecided if to hire a car as we are having a civil ceremony. I was contemplating getting ready at the venue and just walking along or just using the golf buggy limousine that's included within our package. 
However, I then changed my mind to get ready at home and travel by car, although it will just be one journey on my own its still nice. 
Luckily, one of our friends is using his car to take the bridesmaids to the venue from our home so they are sorted going in their Jaguar. 
As for me, well I will be making my grand entrance in a 1936 Vintage Morris Eighteen Saloon from Platinum Wedding Cars
Photo Courtesy of Platinum Wedding Cars by Picture-Box Photography

 When we were visiting wedding fayres, we saw Platinum Wedding Cars at quite a few, and I read up a little about them and then we eventually decided to book. They have such a good reputation around by us so know we have gone with a good company.
Photo Courtesy of Platinum Wedding Cars by Barry James Photography.
At the moment Ashley isn't attending in a car of any specialty and we doubt he will be, he will just be travelling in our own car to the venue. Nothing spectacular - I  guess all could change but highly unlikely.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Real Mums All Bran Challenge.

Recently I took part in the #RealMumsAllBran challenge with Britmums and All-Bran.
Now I'm guessing a few of you may think like I once did, All-Bran is cardboard, yes? Tasting Bland, yes?
Well you may be interested in hearing All-Bran have three new exciting flavours out and actually they taste realllllly nice.

Now generally, I'm not one for eating breakfast at all, let alone All-Bran when I do, but when I received the email to try this I was rather intrigued.
'The All-Bran range has something for everyone-from classic flakes to indulgent clusters- which with the digestive health benefits to make you feel happy inside. And with the 5 Day Challenge, you could set tummy niggles aside and mark the start of a bran-new you in a truly delicious way.'
I get stomach pains quite regular, now I'm not entirely sure why but I do - not everyday but most. 

By getting involved in the challenge with Britmums, we were sent three boxes of All-Bran, one in each flavour. Golden Crunch, Berry Crunch and Chocolate Wheats, yes healthy chocolate cereal, winner!
My favourite out of all was the chocolate, not because its chocolate, its just the one I found most tasty. I found the golden crunch a little too sweet and the red berry would be second best. 

Not only has the All Bran helped keep my stomach pains and cramps at bay, its also helped with regularity. Yes a little too much information but you want all the information right?
At the beginning I felt no different, but I expected this although eating breakfast did make me hungrier a little quicker than usual this is normal for me. By day three I was feeling less bloated, beginning to get less cramps and pains throughout the day and becoming a little more regular in the bathroom department. By the end of day five I was definately less sluggish, less bloated, and less hungry. 
The only downside I found was portions, but I'm no good at portion control. 

This is my entry for the Real Mums of All-Bran Challenge, sponsored by Kelloggs.