Monday, 28 December 2015

Slowcooker Butternut Squash Soup Recipe


I made this super simple Butternut Squash soup a few weeks ago and have been meaning to share it!
You literally put everything in a slow cooker and leave it for the day, just a little bit of prep involved and thats it!

Ingredients-
1-2 Squash any type will do.
1 onion.
1-2 cloves of garlic ( optional ).
1 chicken or veg stock cube.
1.5 ltrs boiling water.
Salt & Pepper to season.


Dice, chop and crush all ingredients and pop in to the slowcooker. I like to crumble over the stock cube. Add your salt and pepper seasonings as well as the boiling water and stir.



Leave on low heat for 5-9 hours depending on how long you have. 
Once all vegetables are soft either use a Hand blender or large blender to puree into a soup.
I like to add a dollop of sour cream to richen the soup and its ready to serve.





I didn't have an end fancy pretty photo of the soup sadly as i couldn't wait to eat it! 




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Friday, 25 December 2015

My Week in Pictures 30th November - 6th December


A few pictures to share over the last couple of weeks its getting all festive and lovely. I do love this time of year curling up by the fire.



I love Medjool dates especially this tim elf year these ones from Waitrose are amazing.

Violet being ' mummy' is the sweetest thing she's growing more and more like me everyday which is a pleasure to watch apart from the stubbornness!

The kids experienced a magical message from Santa through PNP feel free to check that out its free!

Me and Violet had Brunch The Boston Tea Party which we haven't done in a while. i love spending time with her she's such a gorgeous little thing to talk to. And not too long now and she'll be off to school :(

Wreath Making the other day i try and do this once a year although I'm tempted to make some easter wreaths next year and experiment! Heres and easy how to- Wreath Making.


Hurray we finally got a tree and we all decorated it. For some reason getting in the 'Chrsitmasy' spirit this year has been hard for me, i think it might be the fact that the weather is still so mild! 

Look at that sun beaming on the sheep!

I finished the kids Christmas Eve Basket I'm so pleased with how its turned out. Check it out here- Christmas Eve Basket.

I did a little 'photo shoot' on a autumnal outfit i love. all details are here- Raglan, Berry, Bobble i love the berry shades right now!

Porridge and Biona Organic Hazelnut spread has been my absolute favourite breakfast as of lately! i can't get enough.

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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Snoopy & Charlie Brown - The Peanut Movie Book Review & Giveaway!






The children have recently received a new book Snoopy & Charlie Brown - The Peanut Movie.




We have been really enjoying the story of Charlie Brown and how he meets a new girl in school and falls instantly in love with her. The little girl has red hair. Charlie Brown really wants to impress her so he gets given 'The Book of Winners' and enters the Talent contest with Snoopy.

Sadly he doesn't get to share his act as he has to help out his sister on stage. He then finds out that the little girl with red hair loves to dance and there is a dance contest at school. So he enters the dance contest and gets Snoopy to teach him some moves!

Charlie Brown gets his turn on the dance floor and really tries his best but he ends up flicking off his shoe which hits the fire alarm and sets off the sprinklers. Poor Charlie Brown is so embarrassed.
Luckily the little girl with red hair thinks Charlie Brown is so kind for helping his sister and also very funny and brave for getting on the dance floor!

The book is a great read for all ages, Alister has also enjoyed reading it to himself and us as the font is lovely and bold. The pictures are great, colourful and from the movie which is already out.


We will definitely be going to watch the film over the holidays since the book was so good.

If you'd like to get your hands on this book for your child or even a family member all you have to do is enter the rafflecopter below.

                                                         a Rafflecopter giveaway                                                    
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Monday, 21 December 2015

Christmas Hamper Gift Idea | DECEMBER 2015




I love making up hampers whether it be for Christmas, Birthdays or Easter! I thought id share a couple of Hampers I've made for two couples in my family. I honestly had no idea what to get them this year so thought a 'treat' hamper would be ideal.

I put in some tasty luxury Christmas items from them both to share of the course of Christmas.
Of course hampers can be filled with whatever you choose to put in them, a family sized hamper would be great or even theme it for a 'tea lover' or 'Wine  drinker'.

I purchased a couple of baskets from Homebase, i was casually looking around and spotted these two for half price at only £4.99 each! I thought about the couples home and try to pin point which baskets would suit them. Just so they can reuse the baskets again.

These Hampers cost me no more than £25 each, i personally feel thats a lot cheaper than spending out on two people! What can you really buy for £12.50 these days?!







Hamper Contents-
Turkey & stuffing Crisps.
Procsecco.
Cheese flavoured Pretzels.
Local Homemade Fudge.
Hot Chocolate & Marshmallows for two.
Fox's Brandy Snaps.
Lebkuchen Stars.
After Eight Mints.
Couple of Crackers & Candy Canes.






I hope this post has given you some last minute inspiration.. Only 4 sleeps to go!



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Sunday, 20 December 2015

Floral, Electric Blue & Rain | OUTFIT #3




I couldn't help but share my love of shirts & huge necklaces, I've grown quite a collection over the years! 

This beautiful shirt is currently half price on the Joules website, i love the 'pop over' style which means is buttoned only half way down. its a really comfortable fit and soft cotton.
The floral colours are beautiful very autumnal and vibrant.


Well the weather has been super mild and wet so i pulled out my Joules waterproof jacket to brighten the mood and it perfect for those days that aren't too cold. a good length and a snazzy hood!!! Sadly this is no longer available however Joules bring out new floral prints far too often and i want them all!






I was eyeing up this Necklace  for weeks and it finally went on sale, not a cheap as i though but still a discount! I love the different textures of blue and they also have it in a couple of other shades.






My Jeggings are black/blue from H&M only £14.99 and ever so comfy! 
I have only worn these wedge shoes from Clarks 2 or 3 times i brought them last yeah in the sale. they are so comfy and kind of smart casual and thought it dressed the outfit up a bit just slightly.





Hope you've enjoyed this post let me know if you did! 


Claire x

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Friday, 18 December 2015

Meal Plan for the Week 18th December






This time next week it will be Christmas!! So excited this since the kids are so aware of Father Christmas and how the whole magic works. Alisters last day at school today which is also an extra bonus, no school runs for 2 weeks absolute bliss!

This meal plan is a 'find whatever is in the freezer' type meals! Starting a fresh for the New Year and emptying everything out which i love doing!


FRIDAY-
Fish & Home-made Chips and HM mushy Peas!


SATURDAY-
OUT ( last of the xmas meals!)


SUNDAY-
Roast beef with all the trimmings.


MONDAY-
Salmon Encroute with veggies.


TUESDAY-
Homemade Cottage Pie & Veggies.


WEDNESDAY-
Steak & Homemade Macaroni Cheese & Broccoli.


THURSDAY-
Tradition of ours on Christmas Eve is to have lots of different cheese's , crackers, meats & olives delicious!!





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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Lechuza Planter Review



A few months ago i was given a Lechuza Planter to review. The planters are one of a kind and are self watering! i honestly have never come across such a genius product! I am definitely someone who loves all things green, gardening and flowers... however i definitely have a tendency to forget to water my plants and often, too often shall i say they die.

Lechuza Planters are here to help! They are designed for easy planting with a special liner inside the coloured container which are also changeable in many shades, the liner gives you easy lift handles and a tube attached with filtering system which feeds and waters your plants in a slow yet effective way to keep your flowers healthy and even betters the growth of plants. A drain plug is also attached to the liner for outdoor planters incase of excessive amounts of rain water.

The planters come in all different shapes, sizes and colours and are also for indoors & outdoors.
The planters can also be attached to drains and walls around the home.


The planter i have is the BALCONERA which is in the beautiful 'Caribbean Blue' Shade. It retails at £29.99 and 50x80 in size. Its a be a great window seal size, shatterproof, ultra light, UV resistant & i made from high quality plastic.

To be perfectly honest when i opened the box i did feel slightly over whelmed with the different parts and components to put together, however the picture & writing instructions made it rather simple and was done in under 10 minutes.



So far I've really been loving using the planter i definitely need more than one in my life!
Im still waiting for the bulbs to bloom but they have popped through! however the less frequent watering has made planting this time of year a doddle because honestly i usually hold on till spring before i bother with plants.

The Lechuza Planters have definitely changed that for sure!

The simple water Measurer in the corner of the planter tells me when i need to top up the water which makes it a breeze and i rarely have to do it.

These planters are great for the green fingered person out there whole love a pretty stunning plant pot as well as the novice like me who really needs a little help with keeping flowers alive and well.

I would highly recommend giving the Lechuza Planters ago, they'd make a great gift for someone.



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Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Mango Barbie Kids Top Review



Violet was lucky enough to receive a cute little Barbie Top from the new Mango chic line which has recently been launched around the Europe. The pop art style Barbie tops are RRP £!2.99 and come in the 'Barbie' slogan as well as the Barbie portrait herself.

My first thought on the top is that the cotton and quality felt super soft and the detail of Barbie on the shirt was really nice and vibrant.

Violet was overjoyed when i gave her this top to wear, she has never had a Barbie top before and couldn't wait to wear it! I paired it with a cute bright pink bow and jeans.

So far after wearing and washing it at least 3 times it still looks as good as new and the Transfer still looks perfect.






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Sunday, 13 December 2015

Raglan, Berry & Bobble | Autumnal OUTFIT #2


I do love a simple T i found this shirt in the Mens section in Primark, theres something about the mens wear i get drawn to.. i think its the no frills simplicity of it! Size XS is like an 8-10 which is amazing! Im slightly obsessed with the Raglan style tshirts for Alister and when i spotted this one i couldn't help but get it for myself for only £6!

Ive paired the top with my berry coloured bobble hat, this is also from Primark a few years ago now! 







I put on a simple yet pretty side ways gold cross necklace on from a store on Etsy, this is a few years old now but i just love it!


Call this a Primark outfit if you like my skinny dark denim jeans and leopard print desert boots are also from Primark! 


My coat is an old staple from ASOS i love the quilted design with the contrast of tartan lining. Its lovely and long to so it really keeps me warm!


Cant forget my berry lip which ties everything together, such a wearable colour from Rimmel called 'One of a kind' . Its a gorgeous purple/ berry toned lipstick which is super moisturising and long lasting.



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Friday, 11 December 2015

Meal Plan for the Week 11th December




Our meal plan for the week consists of a couple of favourites with some help from Violet as well as some recipes i haven't made in ages! Trying to pack in some more veggies as I've been slacking on that the last few weeks!


FRIDAY-Spring Chicken with mash



SATURDAY-OUT



SUNDAY-Homemade Cottage Pie / Veggies



MONDAY-Smoked Salmon & cream cheese bagels/ Sweet potato fries.



TUESDAY- Slowcooker Sausage Casserole.



WEDNESDAY- Spaghetti & Meatballs/ broccoli.



THURSDAY- Salmon & Spinach Curry/ Brown Rice.


Feel free to check out my grocery haul here-Waitrose Haul
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Thursday, 10 December 2015

Portable North Pole Review




The kids have recently experienced a delightful Video from Santa using PNP.com. The magical moment when you child starts to become aware of Christmas and Santa is amazing.

Portable North Pole is a website designed to make the magic really come alive by helping children keep the spirit of Christmas and the belief of Santa by having an interactive message sent to your child. The messages can be personalised for each child by entering their name, age and a photo.
Santa Clause speaks to the children by video call and tells them what they should do to improve their behaviour or encourage them to be kind etc... theres lots of different ideas which you can pick and choose to use depending on your child.

There are a few different types of calls you can make, from the free version which is a basic yet lovely video call from Santa or theres the Gold Pass option which you can choose from many of different calls and videos which are unlimited.




I personalised a video each for the children to watch, they absolutely loved it and was so amazed to see Santa talk about them and what they do in real life! Alister couldn't quite believe it!

I really loved the video for how magical and real it seemed, from the very real looking Santa and cute elves. The background of the north pole and his home just made the whole video so warming and really feel like Christmas is upon us.

I would definitely recommend creating your own video for the child/ children through PNP it will really bring Christmas Alive for all the family!





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Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Christmas Eve Basket 2015




Like last year i have made another Christmas Eve Basket and i wanted to share what i put inside it for the children. Many people have Traditions and having my own family i really wanted to set some in place for us. This basket will hopefully grow with the children over the years until they no longer need it although thats a sad thought for me for sure...

This year like the last I've put in some Christmasy books for the children to read throughout this festive season along with the usual fun Christmasy Pj's! I actually found it really hard to find some cute ones this year, some were too over priced or just not for me. I managed to find these ones in Mothercare. I think it could possibly be the last year i can buy clothes for Alister in this shop now as he's just growing up too fast!


I searched high and low for some Christmasy mugs for the children to enjoy hot chocolate in, i managed to find a couple of white mugs with their initials on from Matalan for only £2 each.  They are very basic but i spruced them up using my metallic Sharpie pens just for an added touch. I think they turned out well. Heres last years DIY gift ideas on how to do the mugs- DIY gifts.

The kids love to draw and colour, i found these festive activity books from The Range for only a £1 each as well as the foil christmas stickers, what child doesn't love stickers?!

Every year i always get the children a FUN Bar to share this year Lush brought out a new festive glittery bar so i had to have it! the fun bars are like playdoh, however the children can use them as shampoo, bubble bath and just general fun in the bath whats not to love!

As a little treat i made the kids up a bag full of marshmallows and chocolate coins to enjoy over the christmas season although I'm sure they weren't last long!


Its definitely a must to add some more 'themed' books in to their book collection, i found a handful of fun and christmasy ones on amazon that looked great. 



Christmas Crafts are loved in this house! I picked these up from Home bargains a few weeks ago they were so cheap!



I really hope you enjoyed this post and its given you some inspiration on what to put in your childs basket this year! Check out last years here- Xmas Eve Basket.

Feel free to leave your links below of your baskets for the children i would love to take a look!

Claire x









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