Monday, 28 October 2013

Meal Planning Monday - 28 October 2013

Right, confession time. This post should have actually been for last Monday but although I meal planned, I never got around to writing about it. This is what we had:

Chicken curry with spinach and naan
toad in the hole with gravy
Pizza tortillas
chicken crepes
slow cooked lamb shanks in red wine

We also went out for dinner as a midweek "mum can't be bothered cooking" treat. 

This week I have a Halloween party for 20-30 six-year-olds so sweets will be on the menu. It's also half term so I haven't meal planned for this week as I plan to use up a lot of what I have languishing in the freezer and pantry.

Remember to check out Mrs M's for more Meal Planning Monday inspiration. 

Friday, 25 October 2013

Bargain Christmas Presents for LEGO mad kids

I know I post a lot about LEGO but that's because my kids adore it. Here are some fab LEGO bargains which will make great Christmas presents for your LEGO mad kids

£4.99 from The Book People. Normally £16.99

£3.99 from Home Bargains (online only). RRP £10. Also comes in pink and I got some in red last week, but there are none on the website.

£4.99 from Home Bargains (RRP £9.99)

Not sure when this finishes, but probably within the next fortnight
£2.99 from The Book People (RRP £16.99) 

LEGO Superheroes 6860 The Batcave £52.49 +free delivery at Amazon (RRP £69.99)

Lego City Airport Cargo Terminal 60022 £52 at Tesco normally £69.99

And for big kids... cufflinks £12.50 at Amazon (were £35)

Sainsbury's also have an up to 50% off toy sale on in store until 29 Oct, but be quick because the good stuff always goes fast.

If you have seen any other LEGO bargains please post in the comments and share the LEGO love.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Cheap and Easy LEGO Storage Solution

Way back in May last year I posted about our LEGO storage solution. At the time I mentioned that I was working on LEGO storage for my younger son. I finally got around to taking pictures and this is what it looks like:

The bookcase was £5 from eBay. It's on castors so he can swing it out to get to the other side. I've also painted one end with blackboard paint. This bit is a littler fuller, but essentially the same.

This is the other side. The containers are £2.50 each from Asda, or 3 for £7 and we used 15 of them. I discarded the lids and the scoops because we decided they were rubbish for LEGO purposes. As with my older son's, the LEGO is sorted by size and shape and not by colour because it's so much more practical for building.

As an added bonus I will throw in some pictures of their recent projects such as this marble maze

And the clock my oldest made. Sorry for the poor pic but I didn't want to move it in case I broke it (my hands and LEGO models do not go well together!)

Saturday, 19 October 2013

25 of the Best 2013 Advent Calendars

1. Lego City £19.99 at Argos

2. Lego Star Wars £24.99 at Argos

3. Adventivity - 25 days of Christmas Crafts £3.99 from The Book People - WIN THIS HERE

4. DIY sweetie bunting calendar £19.90 from (includes sweets)
5. 1950s Christmas House £15 at 

6. Online educational calendar (learn a new Christmas fact every day) at Project Britain
7. 3D pop up £12.99 from Traditional Advent Calendars

8. Hot Wheels currently £6.99 at Amazon

9. Sew an heirloom with Lakeland for £14.99
10. Wooden Sleigh £19.99 at Ocado/Waitrose

11. Villeroy and Boch £200 at John Lewis (hmm... maybe not for that price!)

12. Mini Mani Month £42 Pre-order at Ciate

13. Selfridges Beauty Advent Calendar £84

14. Hanging cubes £12 at John Lewis

15. Fill your own Advent crackers £10 at Marks and Spencer

16. Colour your own Nativity Advent Calendar £1.95 for a pack of 3 at Baker Ross
17. Imaginext now £6.99 at Smyths
18. Only for those with strong willpower! 30g chocolate bar advent calendar £2.59 at Selfridges
19. Asda stocking garland calendar £5
20. Yuletide Carolers retro pop up £7.99 at The Book People
21. Meerkats from the RSPCA £2
22. Large Reindeer Head with jute bags £16.50 from The Christmas Boutique
23. Traditional Victorian Christmas Scene £4.15 from Richard Sellmer Verlag (lots of pretty styles on this site)
24. Whisky Calendar £149.95 from Master of Malt
25. And in case whisky isn't your thing, here's the Ginvent gin advent calendar £99.99 at Firebox

Try your luck and enter my giveaway where you could win a copy of Adventivity. Entry is simple, fast and free! Good luck.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Christmas at John Lewis 2013

The life of a freelancer can be a little isolated so it was a real treat to find myself in the land of actual people on Tuesday at the John Lewis Cardiff Christmas press event. I had already been starting to think about Christmas and seeing all their gorgeous Christmas items was like receiving great visual dollops of festive spirit. The new catalogue is out now and you can see a lot of the items on the John Lewis Christmas website, but these were a few of my favourites.

There were lots of robins in various guises

Scandi-chic 45cm high robin £40

A small robin (£12) on a shelf, guarding the sweeties   

Origami owl and robin appliqued stocking £18

Embroidered felt zipped pouch with sweeties.

Glittering, colourful baubles

Woodland Wonder range £2 - £4 each

Odyssey Range £2.50 - £4 each
Pom Pom bauble from the Forest Festival Range £2.50

In fact I love the whole Forest Festival theme

There was also a great assortment of delicious goodies (and plenty of tasters... thanks JL)

If you find yourself lacking in Christmas cheer a few minutes browsing in John Lewis will soon sort you out.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Meal Planning Monday - 14 October 2013

I'm writing this Meal Planning blog post whilst eating Nutella from a spoon (no bread) and drinking black coffee (no milk) and wondering where the plague of hungry hoards which clean my pantry out on a regular basis are hiding, for surely it can't be the two skinny kids sitting in front of me. There's no way they could put away two bowls a cereal (each) for breakfast, is there?

This week's dinners are pretty easy as my freezer is fairly full of leftovers. I'm doing
Beef Stew with Herb Dumplings
Slow Cooker Pork in Cider with potatoes and veg
 Fish in Batter with peas and chips
Breakfast for dinner
Chicken and Mushroom Pie
Leftovers/eggs/fish fingers/whatever

I am going to give these Brownie Cookies a go if I get time. They're from Pure and Yummy 

... otherwise I'll just bake my standard chocolate cake or ANZAC biscuits because they take virtually no effort and are always eaten. I used wholemeal SR flour in my chocolate cake the other day and no one noticed, so I'll be doing that again. 

Remember to link up with Mrs M's linky for lots of fab Meal Planning Monday inspiration.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Giveaway! Cute Girls Stationery

Hey, get me with a competition! I've never run one before so welcome to my inaugural giveaway. There will be a few more of them coming up of the next few weeks as I work diligently to clear my stash of girlie things. Given that I have no girls, don't really know many girls, and therefore have no need for girl-type presents, I would prefer them to go to someone who can enjoy them for all their gorgeous cuteness.

NB: I know that boys can enjoy cute stationery as much as girls, and my gender specific reference may seem hypocritical given the pop I took at at Hasbro earlier this week over the Nerf Rebelle, but my boys would rather scratch their letters with a thumbnail dipped in Marmite than use this stationery, hence my description.

So here it is. Ideal to replace that pencil case that has already been lost before half term, or as the perfect stocking filler.

How to Enter
It's easy! Just answer the question on the Rafflecopter form in the comments field at the bottom of this post. You can also gain extra entries to increase your chances of winning. The competition ends at 12.00am on Sunday 20 October 2013. The winner will be drawn then and the prize posted ASAP. If you win I'll need your name and address by 8am on Wednesday 23 October 2013, otherwise another name may be drawn.

a Rafflecopter giveaway