Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Win a Bundle of Goodies For The Perfect Girlie Night In

All you ladies out there needing a fun time, this is the perfect prize for you - it's time for a girlie night in with a friend or two or more, and you can do that with the prize packed full with goodies.  Thanks to Paddy Power Bingo, Cash Generator and Qwekity, they have put this fantastic girlie night in bundle together for one of my readers to win.  Included is your romantic films, some bingo fun, chocolate heavan, a face mask and a supermarket voucher so you can buy a bottle or snacks.

This prize is everything a girl needs to have the ultimate girlie night in because let’s face it, every woman needs some quality time with her friends.

This fantastic prize includes:

  • A bingo board game;
  • 4 x face masks;
  • A £15 supermarket voucher for a shop of your choice (so you can buy a bottle and some snacks) all from http://bingo.paddypower.com/

Also included in the bundle:

  • Brand new copies of Blended and the Other Woman on DVD from Cash Generator.
  • A 7” gourmet chocolate pizza from Qwerkity, yes you read that right, a CHOCOLATE pizza!

For your chance to win please follow the instructions on how to enter, in the below Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Project 365 #8

Half term week, our week was a bit up and down, the sickness bug went through most of us and we celebrated a birthday. I love having my kids around me, thus I love half term.

Monday - A busy day, I took the kids to Pirate Petes in the afternoon, and then when hubby got home from work we popped round to see my brother-in-law forhis birthday.

Tuesday - For Shrove Tuesday we cooked pancakes.

Wednesday - Liam was going out with his mates, he always does his hair in the living room mirror. Summer got up in front of the mirror, so he had to do her hair for her as well.

Thursday - Summer was poorly and had the sick bug, so Jacob kept himself amused by dressing up and playing with his Nerf guns.

Friday - My 2 nephews came around for the afternoon, the boys played outside on the penny boards. Hubby came home from work, the sickness had caught up with him.

Saturday - We cleaned the carpets today, the boys took advantage of the moved sofas using them as defence walls and they had a Nerf gun battle.

Sunday - Liam had his weekly Sunday football match, their team won and they are still top of the league. I spent most of the day on the couch feeling not so good, Summer sang me songs and played her harmonica.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

The Wild Flowers Company

Aren't these flowers beautiful? I love how unique they look and wouldn't they make the perfect mother's day gift? 

If you are like me, you love flowers, they bring much joy and love, so why wait until your other half comes home with a bouquet of flowers. If I'm lucky I maybe get 3 or 4 bunches a year from hubby, but mostly for special occasions. I'm not complaining, I love and appreciate each and every time he gets me flowers, but maybe I could start buying some for myself to enjoy more often. The benefits of adorning your abode with flowers are worth splashing on the blossoms for yourself. 

I love the idea of the Wild Flowers company subscription service, where you can sign up, sit back and enjoy, new, fresh, beautiful flowers that are delivered straight to your door- And what is so great about these are they're not any same old, same old, supermarket flowers, no, these Wildflowers are unique, different, distinctive and simply stunning. 

My flowers arrived in a beautiful presented box  and they were in perfect condition. In the box are instructions on how best to maintain your flowers and also a little sachet of plant food.  My flowers stood on my living room windowsill for 3 weeks.

Whilst most flowers on the market today are imported, mass produced and chemical-laden, the Wild Flowers company offers arrangements sourced only from British producers aimed at those seeking quality without harming the environment and they deliver them directly to your home on a weekly or monthly basis.

Subscription options:

  • A three posies a week package costs £24 p/w
  • A weekly package costs £28 p/w
  • A monthly package costs £32 p/m
  • A seasonal package costs £128 p/a and delivers four seasonal bunches a year
  • A pregnancy packages costs £168 p/a and delivers 6 seasonal arrangements over 6 months.
  • One-off arrangement.
Subscriptions can be one-off, for a specific period (usually for gifts purposes) or on open-ended basis (when buying flowers for oneself).

You can also choose a fixed term subscription, so for instance if you decide you want it for 3months, perfect if you would like to send a gift subscription to someone special, like for Mothers Day.
The Wild Flowers company curate the arrangements depending on seasonal and market availability. Each bunch are prepared, laid and wrapped in the delivery boxes in Kentish Town, north London, before being delivered to your door. By buying and preparing flowers upon orders, shelf time is reduced and the flowers last longer than if purchased from other classic companies.
If you would like to order some special flowers for either yourself or someone special, then make sure to use this discount code specifically for my readers: 20% off any order with the code CNSE20 - valid until 31st March 2015.

Day one and not yet bloomed.
They flowers have started to bloom.


Below is how the flowers arrive. Securely boxed up, with the flowers wrapped in brown paper and tied. The base of the stems come wrapped in a little pouch bag that keeps your flowers moist throughout its journey to your home.

Sooty ABC DVD Giveaway

How would you like to win the new Sooty ABC DVD?

Join Sooty, Sweep, Soo and Richard in their Alphabet Adventure, a perfect way to introduce little ones to the alphabet.  This special direct-to-DVD programme, produced by Redan Publishing’s Fun To Learn brand, Tvoli Entertainment and Abbey Home Media who are also distributing the title, features all the fun, mayhem and slapstick capers fans have come to know and love from Sooty and his pals, while engaging children and helping them develop early literacy skills.

Sooty remains one of Britain’s best-loved children’s characters, and this special episode, which sees the gang visit Wookey Hole, near Wells in Somerset, for a letter learning adventure, is sure to appeal to his fans everywhere.

Studies show that children respond well to early education programmes when presented in a fun way and featuring familiar favourite characters. Sooty ABC – Learn the Alphabet DVD supports the Early Years Curriculum andSooty, Sweep, Soo and Richard are all on hand to take young viewers all the way from ‘A is for Apple’ to ‘Z is for Zoo’, with lots of laugh-out-loud comedy and humour along the way.

A perfect Easter gift the DVD is packaged with a printed A-Z poster and also features three classic episodes from the hit CITV series: The Swimming Lesson, The Farm and Beach Patrol and includes printable worksheets to enhance the learning experience.”

You can follow Sooty on Facebook at facebook.com/sootyshowofficial

We have one Sooty ABC DVD, which is due to be released on the 2nd March up for grabs. All you have to do for your chance to win this fantastic DVD is follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Silent Sunday


When You End Up Fighting with Your Teenager

I hate arguing with my boys, I hate upsetting them, I worry when they are upset. But sometimes, just sometimes with high emotions, my pigheadedness, plus tiredness, it can't always be avoided - I am not the perfect mother, I love the boys with all my heart, I would do anything for them, I try my hardest to be a good mother, but I am me, I am far from perfect and well, sometimes I just don't have the willpower to raise above it.

We hardly ever argue, my teenage son is a good boy, he's respectable, honest, and overall a decent lad, but he is a teenager, and with teenagers comes a lot of roller-coaster emotions, 99% of the time it isn't an issue, he handles his emotions well, but the odd and rare times, he is so tired he gets angry and says not so nice things.

It began 5 minutes before the boys got home from school, we got a text to say Liam had 4 warnings today in one lesson, thus was given a one-hour detention which will be organised for another day.  A little shocked to receive the text as it is so unlike him, I wanted to find out what happened. When he got home, I gave him a few minutes to hang his coat, and start making something to eat, and then I asked him what happened.  He didn't take me seriously and made a joke out of it and started to be silly, I wasn't angry with him, I was frustrated, and I was overreacting. I said OK, please try not to make this a habit and get anymore detentions.  Unfortunately, his silliness quickly turned into an annoyed and snappy attitude and he made a few cocky comments. The second outburst I asked him to leave it alone and not to carry on, I should have left it there, but instead I threatened to remove his phone - it escalated into a full blown argument. 

After 15 minutes of shouting and me repeatedly demanding his phone, him challenging my authority, things got a little out of hand. I knew I could have handled it better, but in that moment I 'wrongly' felt there was no turning back, I couldn't walk out of his room and let him get away with him speaking to me like that and not giving me is mobile - but looking back at it, I should've walked away and dealt with it differently. But, I had dug my heels in the ground so to speak, and I stood repeating for him to hand his mobile phone over. 

My two younger boys were stood in the doorway watching, I asked them to leave, and to my shock Lewis started shouting at me to leave his brother alone and I was called me a bad mother for not leaving him alone, it was very upsetting for me, but at the same time I was proud that he was standing up for his brother.

Anyhow I got the phone in the end but did I feel triumphant? no, I was mentally exhausted, upset, defeated, and I felt ashamed. I should have handled it better, I should have, it wasn't fair for Liam or his brothers. After banishing them in their rooms, I immediately ran downstairs, hid in the corner of the kitchen, slid on the floor and silently cried my eyes out; a hundred whirlwind thoughts going through my head, and at that point I really felt like the worst parent in the world, my heart was heavy, my head buried in my hands on my knees. 

Then I heard the boys come in, one by one, they slide down on the kitchen floor with me, and Liam put his hand on my arm and told me in a calm loving tone, not to be upset, he said he was sorry, he and Lewis didn't mean what they said, it was just an argument, and things got out of control. His, their actions spoke louder than words, it made my heart swell.

I realised I wasn't the worst parent in the world, all the 'I am a bad parent' melted away. I told them I was sorry and I told them how much I loved them.  - I always will, I love my boys more than anything in the world.

I learnt a lot from this fight, and I believe we all did. For one, I should set a better example, not to escalate disagreements, I need to be a little more patient with him and to have a bit more faith in him. Teenagers are notoriously grumpy, and they find it hard, and they say things without thought; so whilst he journeys through this difficult stage in his life - I will try to be a better mother all around, it's my constant daily instinct. 

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Fillet Steak with Red Wine Sauce, Parsnip Mustard Mash and Asparagus

We celebrated our 18th Valentine's day together this year and it was the first-time I've cooked for hubby on Valentine's, normally hubby cooks, but not this year.

If we don't go out for a meal, hubby will cook us a nice sirloin steak with peppercorn sauce, but this year I wanted to do something different, but something simple as I am still learning how to cook.  So I decided to stick to steak, but fillet as we've never had that at home before, along with parsnip and mustard mash (I've done this once before which tastes amazing), and Asparagus fried with sesame seeds. I cheated with the stuffed mushroom, as that was Tesco brought, but the rest, I made from scratch.


Fillet Steak:
2 fillet steaks.
Bunch of Asparagus
2 teaspoons Sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon of dark soy sauce
750g of Parsnips.
1 tablespoon of honey mustard
2 tablespoons of
Wholegrain mustard
85g butter
Red Wine Sauce:
Half a cup of Merlot red wine
Quarter cup of balsamic

Should take appox. 20 minutes.

First get the parsnips chopped in half and sliced. Boil the kettle and pour into the saucepan, add some salt and bring to boil. Add the sliced parsnips, and leave to boil for 10-15 minutes, until tender.

In the meantime, spread olive oil, salt and pepper over both sides of the steaks.  Heat your frying pan on a medium-high heat, and place the steaks into the hot frying pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until preferred choice.

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes; transfer to a dish and set aside to cool.

Remove the steaks from the frying pan and place them onto a warmed plate.  Then using the same frying pan, reduce the heat to medium-low and then add the red wine and balsamic and cook until the sauce is reduced down.

Whilst the red wine sauce is reducing down, heat the sesame oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus to the skillet, season with salt and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; toss with the dark soy sauce and sesame seeds to serve.

Drain your parsnip, transfer into a bowl, along with the Dijon mustard, honey mustard, butter and a bit of seasoning, then mix and mash.

Plate the fillet steak, the parsnip mash and the asparagus and pour over the red wine sauce over your steak. Enjoy.