Wednesday, 15 May 2013

C is for... {Alphabet Dating}

As I type this, the wind is howling and the rain is coming down hard.. a perfect opportunity to have a spontaneous 'C' date this evening!

Cosy Cinema... (hire a film from Sky to watch in bed!)

image source
image source
Cup of tea...

Dates don't have to be expensive; our alphabet dating is all about spending quality time together, no matter the cost of doing so.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Cadburys Chocolate Finger & Smarties Cake {Recipe}

170g unsalted butter or margarine
170g caster sugar
115g self raising flour
3 large eggs
55g cocoa powder
100g soft cheese
200g chocolate spread
3 packs of Cadburys Fingers
4 tubes of Smarties
Preheat oven to 190c
Grease and/or line two 7cm sandwich tins
Mix sugar and butter in a bowl until creamy and light in colour
Sieve a third of the flour and cocoa into the bowl with one egg
Mix well
Add another third and second egg
Mix well
Add the rest of the cocoa, flour and third eff
Mix well
Split the mix between the two tins and spread using a knife
Bake for 20 minutes or until 'springy' to touch
Leave to cool
In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese & chocolate spread
When the sponges are cool, sandwich with some of the cheese & chocolate spread mix
Use the remainder of the mix to cover the top and sides of the cake using a knife
Decorate with Fingers and Smarties

Friday, 10 May 2013

Hens {Flashback Friday}

Right about now, this time last year, this was happening:

... slightly different scenario as I sit at my desk on a cold Friday in May one year on!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Spring in Bloom

I don't claim to be a brilliant photographer - in fact I am far from one, but I do like to snap away at things to capture moments of our lives.
Last weekend we enjoyed a (very rare) sunny Bank Holiday weekend.
The sun has a great way of making the world a much more beautiful place.

I captured this photo in our garden and I love it - the simplicity of the flowers; the beautiful colours; and the way that the flowers are just doing their own thing.


Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Happy, Healthy Pregnancy - 50 Things You Really Need to Know {Review}

It will probably come as no surprise to my readers that we will be thinking about starting our family in the near future.

Being a complete 'worry wart', I am trying to read up on every thing I possibly can when it comes to pregnancy. Hand over a fresh new born baby to me and I think I could cope pretty well having grown up with baby cousins and since had three nephews to help out with. However, throw me in to a pregnancy situation (not to mention the actual birth), I would be terrified at the daunting prospect!

When I was asked if I would like to review the "Happy, Healthy Pregnancy - 50 Things You Really Need to Know" book by Ali Monaghan (an author who has a masters degree in midwifery, a young family and has delivered over 400 babies) I was intrigued. What would this book offer that those I had already seen wouldn't?

The book is condensed into 50 sections - covering everything from announcing your pregnancy to dealing with change in hormones, to safe guarding & baby proofing your home, to birth and everything in between.

There are tips from real life parents which I found really useful - rather than just the 'textbook' style of parenting.

I really like the way that the book has been split into easy to digest sections. I have been able to pick the book up and read a section at a time without having to take in lots of information filled with medical terms that are difficult to understand (and will probably make me worry even more!)

We were also sent the "Fantastic First-Time Father - 50 Things You Really Need to Know" by Tim Mungeam (the Chief Executive of Springboard for Children, Director of Dads Unlimited, Father of three sons and married to a midwife)

So I am told by my husband, this book is also written in 50 sections - digestible bite sized chunks. A book that can be picked up as and when, to be referred to when needed. With real life experience tips it is a great guide for first time Dads to help them feel prepared and helpful during the pregnancy.

After flicking through both of these books, I will definitely be reading through them in more detail as and when our time comes. I can see them being used as reference & reassurance guides quite a lot!

"Happy, Healthy Pregnancy - 50 Things You Really Need to Know" is currently available on Amazon for £6.89

"Fantastic First-Time Father - 50 Things You Really Need to Know" is currently available on Amazon for £7.99

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of both books for the purpose of this review. All words are honest and my own

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Tesco Italian Stir Through Sauces {Review}

99.9% of the time, all of our meals are cooked from scratch - I literally can't remember the last time we bought a pre-made sauce.

Over the winter we have been eating lots of soup for our week day lunches whilst trying to follow our "weightloss journey". As the sun starts to show it's face, the thought of a hot soup in the middle of the day is not quite so attractive.

One bonus of soup is that it takes very little, or no, preparation in the mornings - crucial when Matt is out of the door before 7am!

When I was asked if I would like to try Tescos new Italian Stir Through pasta sauces I thought they would make a good, tasty, quick alternative for our lunches.

Each pot serves 2 and is recommended to be stirred into 200g of cooked pasta. 

I was sent 'tomato & pancetta' and 'tomato & garlic'. They also do 'tomato & chilli' and 'sweet pepper'. 

I actually stirred one pack in to 400g of cooked pasta to make up a couple of days worth of lunch for both of us, and it worked well. I imagine if you stirred it into the recommended 200g, you would have lots more sauce to pasta than we did.

The sauce had a lovely tomato flavour with little chunks of pancetta.

If you wanted to be creative or 'fill out' the meal further, you could add whatever you wanted - I added a few chopped baby plum tomatos to mine - but having said that, the sauce is tasty on it's own.

I portioned the pasta into tubs and kept in the fridge over night, and then microwaved them for lunch the following day and they were very tasty!

As a pre-made sauce, I was pleasently surprised to read the fat, sugar and calorie content were reasonably low. Although we won't be having these sauces every day, I would certainly buy them again as a quick fix, tasty meal idea. We'll be tasting the tomato & garlic sauce next week!

At £1.29 for a 155g pot of sauce, they are great value too.  

Disclaimer: I was sent two stir through sauces for the purpose of this review. All words are honest and my own

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

B is for... {Alphabet Dating}

Last weekend we had planned to enjoy a 'B' date planned by Matt... however, we had such wonderful weather it would have been crazy not to make the most of it - it doesn't happen very often!

With no house work, laundry or garden work to do.. we literally enjoyed the sunshine and a delicious...