Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Imaginext Power Rangers Morphing Megazord Review

Alister was lucky enough to receive this awesome Imaginext Power Rangers Morphin Megazord recently. The huge Power Ranger is for ages 3-8 years and comes with 3 mini rangers as well as 6 power coins & 7 missiles.

Alister has had great fun playing with this very large Power Ranger i couldn't believe how big it actually was! Lots of different parts to play with and very well made as it is really sturdy and robust. Alister has enjoyed using the smaller figures in battle with the larger ranger.

The  Imaginext Power Rangers Morphin Megazord Features include-

• 4 activation Power Pads let kids control the action! 

• Turn Power Pad on left shoulder for awesome transformation: chest opens, eyes light up, and cannon pops out! 

• Turn another Power Pad in chest to fire Power Coins. 

• Turn 3rd Power Pad above left knee to raise projectile launcher and push button to fire! 

• Turn 4th Power Pad above right knee to activate chomping action.

• Back of playset features jail, meeting area, elevator and more – with multiple levels and platforms for added play! 

• Figure fits in back of Megazord’s head! 

• Includes Morphin Megazord, Red and Black Power Rangers figures, 6 Power Coins and 7 Power Missiles.

I personally feel the only downside to the Power Ranger is that it doesn't Morph or hardly move for that matter only the arms move slightly & 1 'shoe' flap which i think Alister was slightly disappointed about. Also it doesn't require any batteries so no sounds effects or buttons to play with apart from the eyes light up for a few seconds.

I think the general expectations were much higher for Alister when he saw this all packaged up. It still is a great toy to play with just needed a few added features i feel.

All in all he has throughly enjoyed playing with this fab Imaginext Power Rangers Morphin Megazord.


Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Meal Plan for the Week 28th Sept

Im pulling out all my hearty wintery dishes now since its getting so cold in the evenings!
The slow cooker is definitely going to be my best friend over the next few months which means ill her looking on pinterest for more slow cooker meal ideas!

D- Spring Chicken with mash potato.

D- King Prawn & Broccoli Spaghetti.

D- Slowcooker Lamb Curry with quinoa & Edamame.

D- Meatball Sub Casserole

D- Roast duck legs, Red wine & Shallot Sauce with mash & veggies.


D- Jacket potatoes with beans cheese & salad.

Don't forget to check out what i brought this week in our weekly food shop below!


Sunday, 27 September 2015

An Essentials Guide to Camping with kids!

We've been Camping/ Glamping with the children a good few times now over the past few years, it seems to be our favourite way to holiday.

Im sure some parents couldn't bare the thought of going back to basics with cooking and having no TV and could possibly think it would be more stress than a holiday with children! But honestly the children are the happiest when they are outdoors, reaping in the environment and fresh air. It all seems to calm them and keep them occupied for hours foraging, playing outdoors games or helping with the bbq.

I wanted to put together a helpful essentials guide of things i think are useful when camping with children.

Snacks are definitely a good choice when camping with children especially since I'm sure they are practically always hungry.. well at least my two seem to be! Some healthy yet high energy on the go snacks will definitely do the trick when either hiking or just generally out and about.
Here are a few id recommend great for mums & dads to!

Sanchi  Tamari brown rice crackers a lovely savoury snack quite Moorish.

Orgran itsy bitsy chocolate chip gluten free bears are super cute and taste amazing.

Orgran Vanilla animals cookies gluten free, nice handy packs for on the go!

CLIFF Bars are a great source of protein and full of yummy yet healthy ingredients with lots of different flavours to try from!

Jumble bee dried fruit comes in lots of different mixed varieties. A great sweet treat handy to have as they don't go off as quick as fruit!

If the weather is looking not that great while camping to keep nice and warm why not try a very cool and cosy and new for 2015 Starwalker Sleeping Bag from Vango.

These sleeping bags are great for sleeping obviously but also great for lounging around the fire, keeping busy but still being lovely and warm, the bag has zip off compartments to make your limbs easy accessible, the bottom half of the bag zips completely off so it gives your child movement to walk around but still stay warm as well as popping their arms through the zipper holes provided and a little hood to keep their head warm. RRP £35.

Extra Features include-


Single layer stitch through construction which maximisers lofting for extra warmth.

Two way Zipper.

Polair fabrics so lovely and breathable.

Max height 150cm & Weight 1.05kg.

Not only that they also come in adult size!

Hope this little guide has been helpful with deciding whether to take the kids on a camping trip!

   Claire x

Thursday, 24 September 2015

At Home Learning | Homemade Wipe Board Sheets

Violet is officially starting school in a year i am honestly so sad but relieved I've got her for an extra year since her birthday is in October..

Im really trying to encourage her to draw more not necessarily write but focussing on drawing as she just isn't that phased.. of course i wouldn't ever pressure her into something she doesn't want to do but i feel over this next year it would be good to give her a good head start into the world of schooling.

Since i know how they teach roughly now because of Alister at school. Also having the influence from Alister I'm hoping it will help. So far drawing & colouring is my main focus and moving on to tracing more.

This is where I've decided to make some home-made wipe board sheets and I'm also going to show you how cheap and easy they are to make!

As your aware I'm addicted to Pinterest feel free to follow me.. I came across so print out worksheets on a few pins and had the idea of laminating them so at least they will last and yo don't have to be constantly using ink on your printer!

At home learning Work sheet print outs.

So first off print out your work sheets.

Get some laminator sheets to use these are rather cheap and can be found in most supermarkets.
Also a Laminator would be useful unless you can lend one from a friend.

Laminating is so simple just pop you work sheet in the laminator film and feed gently through the machine its literally takes a minute or two.

And there you have it homemade work sheets that can be used over and over again.
Just make sure your children use normal felt tips and not permanent marker pens!

I hope you enjoy this little post let me know if you give them ago!

Claire x


Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Meal plan for the week 21st Sept

Starting off this week with Graham being at a Fishing Tournament in Cambridgeshire so he won't be home for dinner Monday fingers crossed all goes well! Ive been really feeling the cold coming in this week and have felt like pulling out all of the hearty autumnal dishes! I seem to go carb & gravy crazy through the winter ha!

B- Porridge with banana & peanut butter.

D- Homemade Pizza with corn.

B- Pouched egg on toast.

D- my dad over.

B- Chia breakfast with berries.

D- Homemade fish pie haven't had this in forever i may even record a recipe!

B- pouched egg, spinah & english muffin.

D- Toad in the hole with Broccoli & Gravy.

B- Porridge, blueberries & cinnamon.

D- Meatball sub casserole

B- Pancakes, maple & bacon!

D- Friends over for dinner I'm cooking steak!



Check out my grocery haul from Waitrose below.


Sunday, 20 September 2015

My week in Pictures... 13th-20th Sept

I love snapping our week through Instagram feel free to follow- Violetmae30.

To be honest I'm slightly addicted ha! So I'm going to try make this post regular were see if i stick to it.. But heres our week in pictures.

We had tasty lobster for dinner , it was a bit of an unplanned dinner as Graham brought it home from the farmers market... Absolutely delicious though kids really enjoyed it to!

My food shop on Monday i headed to Lidl and spent only £37!!

Theres my breakfast, porridge with peanut butter & banana total favourite lately.

Sundays roast was rolled beef our own reared angus. I do love a roast dinner!!

Last two pictures are of my office finally coming together slowly, i love having a 'working' space feels a lot more organised and comfortable!

Pickles before he went to the groomer.. god he was stinky!

My lunch really fancied crackers with cheese & pickle yum! 

Present wrapping for my little nephews. Would you believe i can't stand wrapping presents!!

Violet and i made playdoh!

Heres Violet enjoying her new cottage from dream town, such an amazing girly role play area.

Breakfast with my beautiful sunflowers. Cashew nut butter on toast so good, try it honestly!

Kids with their face painted at the local Carnival!

We had a morning at the park Saturday which was lovely!

My treat breakfast consisting of pancakes, bacon & maple has to be done at least once a week!

Violet helping Graham with the calves. She's definitely a budding Farmer.

One of our gorgeous Veal calves wanted his picture taken.

After school fun by the river has to be done when its not raining and the sun is shining.


Thursday, 17 September 2015

Princess Cruise's #ROYALLUNCHEON

A few Sunday's ago i was invited to attend a 3 course royal lunch and tour on the Princess Cruise's Royal Princess. I have been on a couple of cruises and couldn't wait to find out what they had to offer on this beautiful ship.

Christened by her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge back in june 2013 this is called one of the most popular ships at sea.

The Princess has 1,780 cabins, the largest top deck pool on the princess ships as well as the new Seawalk with views of 128 feet straight down!

We first were taken to one of the Galley's where they feed for up to 5000 people in one day.
The Galley was absolutely spotless and so organised, The executive Chef David McDonald talked to use about how they keep organised with orders using a simple number board as well as not over estimating on orders to keep waste down.

There are 6 main restaurants for Traditional dining if your someone who likes to book. as well as lots of other casual dining experiences to eat anytime including a Pastry shop, Pizzeria, Gelato & the Ocean terrace seafood bar. 

There are a couple of pools on the ship with the added extra of a huge TV above the terrace and bars so you can chill out in the sun with a cocktail in the jucuzzi and watch a film whats not to love!

There is a specific Adult area called The Sanctuary if your wanting to get away from any noise and just rest in a tranquil and peaceful environment at one end of the ship. There are comfy beds to relax on our if your looking to get pampered why not book in to use the private 'Spa' room for treatments.

The Lotus Spa is huge with many treatment rooms, we had a tour round the pool and steam rooms with were beautiful and so relaxing i didn't want to leave!

We had a look at the Kids clubs, they have so much to offer for children aged 3 years and above. Soft plays, TV & computer rooms, there own Dj booths and even hot tub! All rooms have qualified staff to supervise the children.

The Piazza-style Atrium. Now over 50 percent larger, with materials and finishes specifically chosen to give a sophisticated feel. The staircase was absolutely stunning definitely fit for a Princess Cruise!

We were lucky enough to have a special 3 course menu chosen by Chef David McDonald which was severed in Sabatini's a very elegant fine dining restaurant. 

For the Appetiser i had the Chilled Seafood Assiette Sampler which was a very delicate and fancy looking dish it consisted of Lobster Medallions, pickled cucumber, sour cream & caviar. Beet, Orange and Dill cured Salmon Gravla and Ali Tuna Poke with Avocado with Dressed baby Shrimps.

I am a huge seafood lover and this was absolutely delicious, definitely wasn't enough on the plate for me!

The main course was Rack of Lamb with a French Mustard crust, Seasonal baby vegetables and garlic potato tart with a red currant reduction.

Again my favourite meat if lamb and it was cooked to perfection, so tender and tasty and the accompaniments were all delicious to.

Saved the best till last we enjoyed the 50th Anniversary Chocolate Dessert which was a gorgeous light chocolate moose that had a creme brûlée layer and covered in dried raspberry. The heart dessert was balanced on a light biscuity shortbread it was all so beautiful presented and was delicious.

Thank you  Princess Cruises for having me on board your ship for the day i throughly enjoyed looking round and tasting the amazing food available. I hope to holiday on a cruise ship with my family sometime in the future for sure!


Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Meal plan for the week 14th Sept

Its another week so another meal plan! Didn't feel too inspired this week no idea why, I had Graham help me a bit and he did also come back from the farmers markets on Sunday with so yummy delicious local food so had to incorporate those but hey ho it turned out well!

B- Porridge with banana & peanut butter.

D- Lobster!!! Yes Graham brought hoke a fresh cooked Lobster from the market, he suggested baked camembert & crusty bread with it!

B- Smoothie- Frozen Mango, banana, fresh spinach & almond milk with tsp flaxseed.

D- MUD pies, these were also brought back from the market we've had them before, they are proper pies so in pastry. side of veggies & mash potato.

B- 3 Scrambled eggs with spinach & a cup of tea.

D- Oven baked salmon with courgette spaghetti and carrot.

B- Overnight chia breakfast ( just chia seeds soaked in almond milk is my favourite) and served with fresh berries.

D- Homemade Pizza with either Homemade chips or veggies.

B- Porridge with almond milk, blueberries & dash of cinnamon.

D- Spaghetti Bolognese.

B- Pancakes with bacon & maple syrup!!

B- Granola, yogurt & berries.

D- Slow roast Duck legs with roasted vegetables.

Check out my grocery haul below!


Saturday, 12 September 2015

ARK Skincare Hydration Injection Masque Review

Hi everyone I'm here to talk to you all about the amazing moisture mask i have recently been using from the company Ark Skincare. I was lucky enough to received a free tube of Hydration Injection Masque RRP £35 this mask is to quench the skin with its multivitamin hydration which is supposed to plump and restore vibrancy and youth in your skin. 

With only a few applications a week or when you get the time in my case its a great little pick me up and smells absolutely amazing! I call it the a 'spa' masque because the scent is lovely and calming, the consistency of the masque isn't too messy and thick it feels like a gel like cream once applied. 

The Hydration Injection Masque contains a blend of vitamins for maximum efficacy. 

* Vitamin A to regulate collagen.

* Vitamin B5 for smoothness.

* Vitamin C to fade pigmentation.

* Vitamin E to prevent UV damage.

Ive been using the masque once sometimes twice a week on the packaging it provides the amount of time to leave the masque on it age categories so its a great masque for all ages!

For example- 

Teens- twenties 5 minutes, Thirties and Forties 10 minutes and so on. 

Ive noticed my skincare looking a lot brighter, it hasn't irritated my skin in anyway as i do have quite sensitive and not the most clearest of skin but I've had great results and will continue to use. 

Ive heard this is also a great masque to sleep in if you have really dry and thirsty skin.


Friday, 11 September 2015

Oxford Foodies Festival | Our Day 30th Aug

I did a post last week about the Oxford Foodies Festival about how we were excited to be going so i thought id do a follow up post on how we got on at our first 'foodies festival'

Well what can i say the day was very very wet! Thank god I'm quite organised and i was tracking the weather before we left so i came very prepared with waterproofs & wellies for us and the children.

First impressions on the festival was that it was definitely a lot smaller then i thought i would be..
However we very much enjoyed ourselves despite the weather. 
The children had fun splashing in muddy puddles, me and Graham enjoyed the array of food there was on offer to eat. We had a mixture from slow roast duck, to local pork pasties and home-made fudge! 

The live bands on stage defiantly kept us all a bit more upbeat despite the dampness!

I have to admit because i wasn't driving i was eager to head to the cider tent!
I tried two very delicious flavoured local ciders. 

There were 2-3 tents which were cooking demonstrations which to be honest we didn't get a look in because it was so busy with everyone trying to get shelter! They did look quite interesting though, maybe next time!

I would definitely recommend heading there especially if the weather is good! 


Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Meal Plan for the week 8th Sept

A new week both kids back to school & nursery which means thinking ahead and taking control of whats best to cook which days with school runs & after school clubs etc.. Ive tried to include my slow cooker again this week it definitely makes my life so much easier knowing dinner will be done when i get home from a busy day and also gives me more time with the kids instead of slaving over a hot stove!

B- Granola , yoghurt & fruit
D- Smoked Cod, mash potato, greens & Homemade parsley sauce.

B- Pouched egg with slice wholemeal.
D- Slowcooker lamb curry with quinoa.

B- Porridge with bananas & tsp peanut butter.
D- Chicken stir fry with rice noodles.

B- Chia breakfast bowl with fruit.
D- Homemade lasagne with veggies.

B- scrambled eggs with spinach & 1/2 avocado.
D- BBQ marinated chicken wings with homemade chips & veggies.

B- Pear pancakes.
D- out at a friends for bbq.

B- Mango & spinach smoothie.
D- Rolled beef roast.

Check out my grocery Haul from Morrisons this week!


Saturday, 5 September 2015

Homemade Tomato & Basil Sauce

I had a bunch of tomatoes i really needed to use up so i decided to make this simple yet delicious sauce, you can literally use it for just about anything, from pasta dishes, casseroles or used on your pizza base anything really. Ill actually be using the sauce in a Slowcooker chicken casserole tomorrow!

What you'll need-
Tomatoes as many as you've got in any shape or size.
1 onion
1 courgette (this is totally optional you could just use tomatoes & onion).
olive oil
salt & pepper


Get yourself a large tray and slice your tomatoes, courgette & onion and place them on the tray nice and evenly.

 Now time to season! drizzle over some olive oil, season with salt & pepper and chop up some fresh basil, dried is fine.. you can even throw in a couple of garlic cloves if you'd like for extra flavour.

Roast in an 150c oven for 1hour, turn oven off after an hour and leave tray in there to cool.

Once cool scrape all ingredients from tray into your blender, i use the Ninja  food processor very similar to this one. The vegetables should look all yummy and caramelised.

This is optional but i quite like to add a heaped teaspoon of tomato puree it really makes the sauce lovely and rich.

Whiz it up in the blender and it should turn out something like this!
I pop mine in a sterilised jar and in the fridge. Should last a few days or you can cook a big batch and freeze it.

Hope you enjoyed this simple recipe let me know if you give it ago or if you'd like more!

Claire x

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