The Crazy Kitchen: January 2012

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Easter Cupcakes Creme Egg Brownies Carrot Cake Easter Nests Cookies Cookies

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

31st January 2012 - 31/366

I've been struggling the last few days not knowing what to photograph, so today I went out in the car & was determined to find something interesting to photograph on my phone. I came across this phone box which I don't recall noticing before, yet it's only a mile from my home, in the next village. If you can read the notice in the door you will see that it's no longer in use and is now a book exchange - filled inside with books. I didn't go and investigate as my car was warm and the outside temperature was 1 degree above freezing so I'll leave that until another day.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Monday, 30 January 2012

The Trash Pack

The Trash Pack 'Trashies' are set to be a top collectible boys pocket money toy for 2012. Each character in the range of over 170 represents a piece of garbage. There are 6 different groups of characters with names such as Putrid Pizza, Chicky Pox, Off Cheese and Smelly Sock - all guaranteed to be loved by boys.
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We were sent a blister pack containing 5 small plastic trash cans with a Trashie in each, as well as a Garbage Truck including 2 trash cans and 2 Trashies.

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The Trashies are small squishy rubber figures with gruesome features, but Jack seems to like them even though they're not quite as pretty as his sister's Squinkies although they are very similar. The doors on the Garbage Truck open up to reveal a compartment that can hold up to 12 garbage cans. There is a driver and passenger seat with a small peg on each where a Trashie can be fixed. The side panels of the truck also have pegs on where the Trashies can be displayed. There is a removable wheelie bin on the back which, when tipped up, opens to dispose of it's contents into the back of the Garbage Truck.



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The wheelie bin can be detached from the truck and used as a launcher to fire the Trashies at a pile of garbage cans.


Although Jack is well below the recommended age of 5+ (he's nearly 3) he really enjoyed playing with them and they kept his attention for a good hour or more...wheeling the truck around, filling up the wheelie bin & emptying it out into the truck, as well as putting the Trashies in and taking them out of their trash cans.


You can find the Trash Pack range in Argos , or Amazon

Competition - win £1000 of outdoor equipment for your school.
There is currently a competition running for kids to win £1000 of outdoor equipment for their school. First News, the children's newspaper, are asking pupils to design a Trash Pack recycling poster. Why not get your school involved in this great competition. More details can be found here on the First News website.

30th January 2012 - 30/366

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Getting the hang of his scooter






Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Sunday, 29 January 2012

29th January 2012 - 29/366

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It's been a busy weekend of clearing out, painting, moving and building.....but the backache is worth the look on Jack's face when he came home from a party to his new Playroom....or as he calls it his 'area'.

Favourite 366 Photo - Week 4

My favourite photo this week was chosen by Sam.....little brother JJ the DJ listening to big Brother's music on the ipad


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TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky

Saturday, 28 January 2012

28th January 2012 - 28/366

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Taken just before his swimming lesson...we have Red (the monkey in Jack's hand) for the weekend from Pre-school and I was hoping to get a nice shot of the two of them at swimming to go in Red's book...unfortunately Jack was not too happy about the impending lesson!

Friday, 27 January 2012

Get FIT with Davina and NEXT - Week 3







Another week in on the Get Fit with Davina & NEXT challenge and not a great week to report. I managed to do Zumba on the Wii just once this week and have been forgetting my early morning press-ups and late night crunches - however I did make it to Zumba class on Wednesday morning despite my friends not going for one reason or another. It would've been easy to not bother going too but I didn't want to start down that slippery slope and not go back again. I went, I enjoyed it and then when I got home I did a half hour session of crunches, squats, press-ups & bicep/tricep curls to make up for the ones I had been forgetting about. I think I'm going to try and do this every week now as I'm already in my workout gear so it would be silly not to.


I'm also pleased to report that, despite not wearing any socks with my Davina trainers they are neither rubbing nor stinking. I love them so much that I often slip my feet into them quickly when I go on the school run and they don't look out of place being worn with my jeans.
If you want to have a look at some of the other items of shoes and clothing in the Davina range at NEXT just click on the images below.


davina pumps




davina trainers




workout with davina gym wear

mp3 Shuffle Game

I was tagged by Clare from Seasider In The City in the 'Very Quick mp3 Shuffle Game'. I must admit I groaned when I read the word 'tagged', but she assured me that it was a quick one so I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt and click on the link......and I was pleasantly surprised.


Here's the brief :
Stick your mp3 player on shuffle and then list the first 5 songs it plays. NO CHEATING! Then tag some people to do the same – any number you like.
Couldn't be easier.


In hindsight I should've used 11 year old Sam's ipod touch so that I could look cool reeling off a string of up to date tunes from Now 79 & 80......but oh no, I switched on the docking station that housed our ipod classic containing our complete collection of music that we have collected between us since the '90's.......most of the music has been downloaded from CD albums, except number 4 which I shamelessly admit to purchasing on itunes not that long ago!


1. How Will You Go - Crowded House



2. Good Vibrations - Beach Boys


3. House of Love - East 17


4. Fascination - Alphabeat


5. Five Get Overexcited - The Housemartins


Cooking With Your Toddler - Rock Cakes

Rock cakes is a good old fashioned recipe that can be found in most kids recipe books but when I was looking for an easy recipe to make with Jack I came across quite a few variations. Some use self raising flour some use plain flour with baking powder, some cream the butter and sugar together whereas some rub the butter into the flour before adding the sugar and wet ingredients.


I combined a couple of recipes and came up with the following that seemed to work out really well. I couldn't remember what consistency it was supposed to be but I think I got it right - not quite as runny as a cake batter but looser than a dough.


You will need:


100g Butter
200g Self Raising Flour
75g Caster Sugar
tsp cinnamon
150g Sultanas
1 egg
3-4 tbsp Milk



  • Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs (or whizz up in a food processor or food mixer)



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  • Mix in the sugar, cinnamon, sultanas and beaten egg



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  • Add enough of (or all) the milk to make a stiff (but not dry) mixture
  • Spoon onto a greased or lined baking sheet (I use silicone mats on mine) and bake in a 200 degree(C) oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned

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  • Allow to cool on a wire rack

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If you're wondering what the red creature is, that's 'Red', he came home from Pre-school for the weekend as Jack was 'Super Special Helper' this week and his reward is a certificate and chance to spend the weekend having fun with Red.


27th January 2012 - 27/366

Jack's just gone to bed...time to relax!

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The Great Blogaversary Giveaway Day 5 - Part 3 - Rosebud London Changing Bag

Day 5 Part 3


Rosebud London


In the final Blogaversary competition we have a gorgeous Rosebud London Messenger Bag to give away. The bag is their Family Tree messenger bag

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The bag has well thought out features including: -
  • Wipe clean outer body fabric with exclusive print design
  • 2 x external elasticised pockets
  • 2 x internal elasticised nappy pockets
  • 2 x internal insulated bottle pockets
  • 1 x internal zip pocket for valuables
  • Signature Rosebud London printed water resistant wipe clean lining and padded changing mat
  • Adjustable shoulder/buggy strap (22 inches shortest & 41 inches longest)
  • All bags include – mobile/blackberry pocket, key/dummy fob and pen loop
The exclusively designed fabrics are wipe clean and water resistant.


Rosebud London can also be found on Facebook and Twitter
To be in with a chance of winning just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter form below

The Great Blogaversary Giveaway Day 5 - Part 2 - Yoomi

Day 5 Part 2


For this competition the lovely people at Yoomi have offered to give away  an 8oz yoomi bottle and warmer featuring the exclusive red collar - worth £23.50.
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yoomi was created by Farah and Jim, a mum and dad whose experiences of bottle warming (stumbling around a kitchen in the early hours and begging waiters for hot water when out and about) inspired them to look for a better solution. The combination of Farah’s inspiration and Jim’s engineering skills, together with expert advice and help from friends and family, has created yoomi, the bottle that warms your baby’s feed in just 60 seconds. Feeding on-the-go, in the middle of the night or getting feed to perfect breast milk temperature just became a great deal easier.

To be in with a chance of winning just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter form below

Thursday, 26 January 2012

The Great Blogaversary Giveaway Day 4 - Part 3 - Book 'What Every Mom Should Know'

Day 4 Part 3


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In today's third & final competition I have a copy of 'What Every Mom Should Know'


Priceless, practical wisdom for mothers of all ages!
Another in the widely popular range of Stuff Every…takes Mothers through everything they will ever need to know, in a handy-sized, portable, invaluable, useful, funny, informative book. From potty-training, to how to entertain during long waits or car journeys, baby-proofing like an expert, Important Paperwork, the value of a security blanket (and what to do when this treasured possession is lost!), making baby food, dealing with unsolicited parenting advice, introducing children to solids for the first time, why you need a mother’s night out.........and many many more!
To be in with a chance of winning just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter form below 



a Rafflecopter giveaway



(please note that there may be a small delay with the dispatch of this book - please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery)

The Great Blogaversary Giveaway Day 4 - Part 2 - Nailene Red Studio Nails

Day 4 Part 2


In this second competition of the day we are giving away 5 sets of Nailene Studio nails in red - 1 set each to 5 lucky winners
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You can see a review of the Nailene nails here.

To be in with a chance of winning just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter form below

Organix Goodies Veg & Oat Bars

The Organix Goodies brand are popular in our house, particularly the Organic Gingerbread Men. I have also posted before about their Mighty Meals and Oaty Bites, as well as some other products that we were sent to review.

I love the Organix products as you know without looking at the ingredients on the box that there will be nothing but good stuff in there - nothing added, and nothing important taken away. They are all made with organic, tasty and natural ingredients and there is a wide range available from weaning to snacks for toddlers.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
We were sent a pack of the new Veg & Oat Bars from the Organix savouries range so I offered one to Jack for his post pre-school snack.

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Jack took a bit, said yum, chewed it, swallowed it and then took another bite....and in true Jack fashion decided that he didn't like it and spat it out into my hand!

I offered the other 2 children a bite, and then the husband when he came home from work but was met with pretty much the same reaction...apart from the spitting in the hand part.

I decided to give it a go myself to see what all the fuss was about and I must admit that whilst you expect a sweeter taste from something that looks like a flapjack the taste wasn't unpleasant....in fact it was very nice with a scraping of butter & a slice of cheese on!

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I tried Jack with one again the next day and unfortunately got the same reaction, this time with tears so I'm guessing he really doesn't like them...which is a shame as they're made with really healthy organic ingredients:

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I was sent a box of Veg & Oat Bars for the purpose of this review

26th January 2012 - 26/366

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DJ Jack listening to Now 79 in bed this morning

My Blogaversary

Today is the 1 year anniversary of my blog. I don't know where the year has gone, it's flown by and it's hard to believe that I've been doing this for a whole year. Six months ago I wrote a post about why I blog and nothing has really changed since then...apart from meeting lots more great bloggers at various events that I've been lucky enough to attend.


I enjoy blogging and I'm loving that I have learnt so much through doing it. I now have somewhere to keep all of my recipes, rather than on scraps of paper that get lost, and since starting the 366 Photo challenge I'm also taking more photos.


In this past year I have worked with some great brands, something that I could never have foreseen, reviewing a wide variety of products and I hope that these relationships continue into my second year.


I have been offered some great prizes to give away to my readers to show my appreciation and you can find them all by clicking on the Blogaversary banner below. 




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Thank you all for your continued support over the past year and all your kind words.

Helen
x





The Great Blogaversary Giveaway Day 4 - Part 1 - Beaba Babycook Kitchen Scales

Day 4 Part 1


In today's first competition I have a set of Beaba Bebecook Kitchen Scales from VUPbaby

Pastel blue scales baby
These attractive Kitchen Scales from Beaba make a great accessory to the BabyCook.

Helps with weighing ingredients whilst weaning and beyond.
It can be reset to zero and has an automatic switch off button. Compact for easy storage.

Battery supplied. 

VUPbaby  is dedicated to providing a one stop shop of the best non toxic baby products from around the World, which are free from BPA, PVC & Phthalates

To be in with a chance of winning  the scales just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter form below

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

25th January 2012 - 25/366

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

My lovely new picture, made for me by the husband of a very lovely friend. Unfortunately a photo of the kids lost out to the cupcakes until I get another frame

The Great Blogaversary Giveaway Day 3 - Part 2 - Freezeframe

Day 3 Part 2


In our 2nd competition of the day we are giving away one syringe of Freezeframe - to instantly reduce the appearance of wrinkles - worth £49.99





In a skincare first, Freezeframe™ combines some of today’s most clinically proven and powerful anti-ageing ingredients to offer a reliable, no-needle alternative to muscle relaxing and filler injections.
It features:The exclusive ‘INHIBOX’ to literally freeze, tighten and smooth expression wrinkles in 5 minutes (results last up to 8 hours).
Powerful wrinkle relaxing Octapeptide, ‘Snap-8’ to relax skin tension and minimize muscle movement to reduce the onset of wrinkles. ‘Snap-8’ is clinically proven to reduce wrinkles by 63.23% in just 28 days.
The cumulative effects of using freezeframe™ are both instant and continual results that become more noticeable every day.


To be in with a chance of winning just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter form below


The Great Blogaversary Giveaway Day 3 - Part 1 - Gumigem Teething Necklace


Day 3 Part 1


In today's first competition I have a Gumigem teething necklace of your choice to give away. 


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Candy Confusion
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Nebula

GUMIGEM® is a UK based family run business who produce teething jewellery, aimed to provide mummy with a stylish accessory that baby can chomp on to his heart's content. With four stylish designs, and a full range of colours to choose from, your certain to find a GUMIGEM®  to suit you These teething necklaces are made from a similar material to that of most baby teethers. Our silicone meets FDA standards and is BPA, PVC, Lead, Latex and Phthalate free. 

To be in with a chance of winning just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter form below

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Time for Elevenses - Bananaberry Muffins

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Whatever happened to Elevenses? When I was a kid we always had elevenses, be it a biscuit or a cake, muffin or a crumpet we had something.


Here's what Wikipedia have to say about Elevenses :
In the United KingdomIreland and some Commonwealth realmselevenses is a snack that is similar to afternoon tea, but eaten in the morning. It is generally less savoury than brunch, and might consist of some cake or biscuits with a cup of coffee or tea. The name refers to the time of day that it is taken: around 11 am.
Winnie the Pooh had Elevenses :
For elevenses, Winnie-the-Pooh preferred honey on bread with condensed milk 

and so did Paddington :
Paddington Bear often took elevenses at the antique shop on Portobello Road run by his friend Mr. Gruber
To be honest I'm lucky if I get breakfast by 11 o'clock usually, I tend to put it off and have a brunch instead, but the kids are different, they usually have breakfast before 8 o'clock so by 11 they're more than ready for a snack.
As Anchor are campaigning to Bring Back Elevenses Jack and I thought we'd use this as an excuse to make some fruity muffins to enjoy as a mid morning snack. Muffins are great to make with kids as they're very quick to make and require very little mixing, unlike cakes.


Bananaberry Muffins


1 egg
120ml milk
50g butter, melted
tsp vanilla extract
2 medium bananas, mashed
100g caster sugar
200g plain flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
60g dried cranberries
tsp cinnamon



  • Beat the banana, egg, milk, melted butter, sugar and vanilla together

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  • Add the flour, baking powder, cranberries and cinnamon and stir until combined

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  • Spoon into muffin cases and bake in a 200 degree (C) oven for 20-25 minutes
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  • Cool on a wire rack



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    24th January 2012 - 24/366

    I've been having a clear out today and came across this photo of Hanna which reminded me of the photo that I posted yesterday of Jack. Technically I didn't take the photo today...but I did take this photo of the photo & applied the same effect to it as I did with the photo of Jack yesterday so I think that qualifies.......I hope!

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    The Great Blogaversary Giveaway Day 2 - Part 2 - Fade Out Eye Cream


    Day 2  Part 2
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    In today's second competition I have 5 prizes of  Fade Out White Brightening Eye Cream

    Constant partying over the Christmas season can leave you looking a little worse for wear, banish those tired eyes and treat them with the Fade Out White Anti Shadow Brightening Eye Cream

    To be in with a chance of winning just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter form below


    Monday, 23 January 2012

    Roasted Vegetable Pasta Bake

    I have this Aunt, I've mentioned her before on here. She occasionally helps me out with a spot of cooking when I'm in a hurry. This Christmas she helped me out with the sprouts and swede & carrot mash as she knows that I prefer to be drinking fizz enjoying time with the children on Christmas morning rather than peeling and mashing. From time to time she also makes us a lovely lemon meringue pie.


    Today my dear Aunt Bessie made a lovely Roasted Vegetable stuffing, which I decided to use in an easy peasy pasta bake. The kids (except Jack) loved it, Sam asked for seconds & wants it again tomorrow. 


    You will need:


    Aunt Bessies Roasted Vegetable Stuffing Mix
    tbsp olive oil
    Chopped onions - did you know you can buy these ready chopped & frozen..genius idea!
    Sliced Mushrooms - ready sliced & frozen too!
    tin of chopped tomatoes
    2 tbsp tomato puree
    100ml water from the cooked pasta
    grated cheese



    • Make the stuffing up as per directions on the box

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    • Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions & mushrooms gently



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    • Add the stuffing and cook for 1 minute


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    • Add the tinned tomatoes, water and tomato puree, stir until combined



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    • Mix with the cooked pasta and pour into a large baking dish and cover with grated cheese
    • Bake in a 190 degree (C) oven for 15-20 minutes until browned



    Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

    Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App



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