Review: Birds Eye Inspirations

Birds Eye Inspirations Sunblushed tomato

I love my food and I love to cook from scratch, but it’s not always practical to do so as by the time I’ve got home, fed, bathed and got the children to bed, it’s gone 8pm and I need to eat, so I do like to keep something, either batch cooked or ready made in the freezer for those nights were I need to slam something in the oven and eat it. We have recently tried a number of these types of things. The picture above is of the new Birds Eye Inspirations range. This is the sunblushed tomato, basil & oregano ones. To me, they are a bit like adult fish fingers, except instead of breadcrumbs they have a lovely tasting sauce. We had them with a fresh salad and chips on this particular night and they were very good. We both thought that for £2 it was rather a good buy!

I grew up in the 80s and during this time the chicken kiev was born. As a youngster, this used to be a staple of an evening. So when I was looking at the Birds Eye range in Tesco, I saw the Inspirations Chicken with garlic & herb sauce and the picture looked so good, but I couldn’t help being a little sceptical, all those dinners where you cut in to the chicken and all of the butter (promised on the pack) had disappeared. I needn’t have worried! This had a beautiful sauce and the chicken was cooked to perfection

Inspirations chicken with garlic & herb sauce

This will definitely feature in my freezer from now on. Easy, tasty meal that was the best chicken kiev (sorry Birds Eye, can’t help myself, cause that’s what it is) that I have ever had.

Disclaimer: We were sent some money off vouchers from Birds Eye to purchase these items. All views in this review are our own.

letting your children out to play on their own

So the time has come when Buddy is starting to watch the other children out in the street and asking is he can go out to play. In our old house, there was green space and a park in front of the house, but the new one is up a hill away from where the children play and I have had a reservation about letting him out.

On Sunday he saw the children playing half way down our street and said he wanted to go out. Now we’ve just got some really cool walkie talkies so I said he could go as long as he took this so at least he could shout me if he needed me. Within an hour, he was half way up the next street which I asked him not to do. So we brought him in for half an hour to get a drink and understand that it’s all about trust. He can go out, but we need to know where he is.

He went out again, but by this time everyone had gone in or gone elsewhere, so bless him, he didn’t have anyone to play with.

We got home from holiday club yesterday and the moment we got in, he was jumping on his bike,grabbing the walkie talkie and was back out. I know I have to give him freedom, but I am nervous. Bless him, last night he came on the walkie talkie and said, the others are away to the park, so I’m coming home. He is a really good kid, I just want him to be safe.

How do you deal with letting your children out to play on their own? What age were they when you let them out on their own?

Meal Planning Monday – 21st July 2014

Meal Planning Monday

I was going to do a diet my Mom used to do as I was a kid. It was called the St Michael’s Diet and I have found it very effective, but apparently it ‘a a con. Not only did the British Heart Foundation not do it, it is not proven. So I’ll need to rethink this week now.

This week as our meal plan for part of the Meal Planning Monday linky, here is our plan:

chicken supreme using up all the left over chicken from our roast on Sunday
Frankfurters in buns with some chips. The boys love this!
Homemade pizza, another favourite of the boys!

Grim is fishing, so I’m just eating with the boys. The rest of the week is a mystery cause I’ve ordered a Hello Fresh box, so I don’t know what the box will hold until it get’s here, but it’s not annoying at all, cause everything, including the herbs and spices are all measured out in the box, so I don’t need to think about it. Yippee!!

And that’s us for this week. If you have any suggestions on other things we should try, comment below and let us know, I love hearing what other people have it gives me real inspiration.


Words can be so destructive

I was reading another post this am by a fellow blogger Helpful Mum, she was called stupid by a teacher when she was 13 and if affected everything she did from there on in, here is a link to her heartfelt post. I am immensely proud of this lady despite never actually having met her. We’ve chatted on twitter, I’ve followed her ups and downs as she obtained her ultimate goal (for now, I’m sure she will find another one)

I’m guessing for the same reasons that the letter from the teacher to pupils to say that it’s not all about the results going viral, there is something in our education system today that encourages us all to strive to get good results, but what if you are not being taught in the right way, or you are not the brightest cookie, what happens then?

The blog I read this am really touched a nerve with me, firstly when I was choosing my subjects for Higher, the teachers in our school would not let me do Chemistry, despite having near perfect marks in my last exam (my grades weren’t consistent enough, they thought it was a fluke!!) it wasn’t! I was bullied in first and second year at high school and it made me make choices to stick in with the crowd, rather than work, then when I started to work for my grades, the teachers and my family didn’t believe I could do it.

I recall I was 15 and had a meeting with the teacher who was in charge of careers advice, he told me I’d be better off leaving school and getting a job. Wow, really?!

I stayed on despite this ‘meeting’ I was determined to do well, and no he didn’t just say it to spur me on, our school was one of the best attainment levels of state schools in Scotland at the time and they didn’t want anyone not taking 5 highers to stay on and affect that!

I survived, and so proud of myself to get a degree and all the other academic achievements, but also my life achievements. We need to remember that our words can be so destructive and that we should nurture and love children to make sure that they are the best they can be, whatever that may be. I was determined to succeed, to show the teachers and my doubting family that I was worth it, but others may not be and believe me I’ve seen it happen to a lot of people I’ve come across in my life.

Always have a dream to follow :)


Meal Planning Monday – 14th July 2014

Meal Planning Monday

Some new recipes on the menu this week, we’ll blog any good recipes that we like. Here’s the meal planner for this week.

This week as our meal plan for part of the Meal Planning Monday linky, here is our plan:

Chicken Korma
Haddock with lentil ragu
Chicken Fajitas
Macaroni Cheese

And that’s us for this week. If you have any suggestions on other things we should try, comment below and let us know, I love hearing what other people have it gives me real inspiration.


Five delicious summer sharing platter ideas

Five delicious summer sharing platter ideas

Summer Platter - Pineapple

When the sun is shinning and the evenings are warm, there’s nothing better than getting your friends and family over for some summer fun and a spot of al fresco dining.

Though cooking for guests can be great fun, when it’s hot outside the last thing you’ll want is to be stuck in the kitchen! So, here are some easy, fun and delicious sharing platter ideas that you can knock up in moments and enjoy at your leisure without sweating over a hot stove all night.

 1. Chips and dips

To put a little twist on the old classic, replace the crisps with actual French fries for a sharing platter that everyone will love. For a bit of variety, combine French fries with McCain potato wedges and if you’re feeling especially energetic, have a go at making your own guacamole to accompany your potato platter. Cool dips like sour cream and guacamole are the best options in hot weather as they make you feel cooler.

2. Homemade pizza

For delicious homemade pizzas, simply roll out your base (shop bought is fine) or get the packet and add some water to make a dough, spread some passata on top and add a few of your favourite toppings. Finish off with a hand full of cheese and pop in the oven until golden brown. If you’re keeping a close eye on calories, there are plenty of healthy pizza recipes out there from sites like so why not give them a go?

 3. Nachos

One of the easiest and tastiest sharing platter ideas, a plate of nachos can be thrown together at a moment’s notice. All you need is a big bag of crunchy tortillas, some grated cheese, a few chillies and dips. Sprinkle the cheese and chillies over the nachos, pop under the grill until it turns golden brown and serve piping hot.

4. BBQ treats

As it’s the summer, no sharing platter would be complete without a few BBQ treats!

Spare ribs, kebabs, sausages and chicken wings are all great for sharing and will add a distinctive summery feel to your gathering so why not cook a combo and serve with traditional smoky BBQ sauce?

5. Antipasto platter

If you don’t have the time to do any cooking or want to stay as far away from the kitchen as possible, an antipasto platter could be the perfect solution. Just place a few slices of good quality bread, some chourico, olives, cheese and anything else you have in the fridge on a large plate and voila.

By getting some good quality ingredients and putting a bit of effort into the presentation, you can quickly and easily create delicious platter for all your friends and family to enjoy.

Disclaimer: This post is a featured post.

Celebrate 25 year of ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ Here

Can you believe it’s been 25 year since Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury launched ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’. It’s one of those classic books, Buddy will tell you that’s his favourite book at nursery and I know friends read it, only the other day my friend posted a video of her family going on a bear hunt locally (so cute!)

To celebrate 25 years of this amazing story, Walker Books and Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) are attempting to break the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the Largest reading lesson, to raise money for Read for RNIB Day.

At 10am on TUESDAY 15TH JULY 2014 there will be a giant interactive reading lesson starring Michael Rosen! You either need to come back here and join in below

Or you can bookmark this link and watch it here

I hope you will be able to join in, it’s a really good cause and such an amazing book to celebrate.

Disclaimer: We are part of the Markettiers4dc Broadcast Blogger Network and this post is to support one of their campaigns, we have not been paid for this post.

Review: SunSense Products

Having just been for a week in the sun and a heat wave apparently on our doorstep, we needed to get ourselves some decent sun cream, our children don’t have an issue getting sun cream on as it’s an every day occurrence at nursery, before they are allowed out in the garden in summer months. I also think that if you put sun cream on yourselves and the children see you doing it as part of your routine, it becomes second nature doesn’t it.

DId you know you should put on sun cream even when it’s cloudy outside, this didn’t even occur to me! But I do know it’s important to look for high factors for children with UVA and UVB protection. It’s also no enough to just apply once a day, most of them need to be reapplied up to every 3/4 hours, so you should bear this in mind. SunSense have a campaign to raise awareness and get schools to become a Sun Sensible School, I think this is a really good idea. At the moment they even have a competition.

We tried the Toddler Milk, SunSense Ultra and the Lip Balm, here is what we thought:

Toddler Milk

SunSense Toddler MilkThis product was really nice and easy to put on, it was much thinner than usual 50+ so it was really easy to apply and easily absorbed.

SunSense Ultra

SunSense UltraThe SunSense Ultra was thicker, but just as easy to apply, we really liked the product. I used this too and we didn’t have any issues with burning. It’s water resistant for up to 4 hours too which is great. Not many creams actually tell you this, they just say they are water resistant, so I found that really helpful.

Lip Balm

SunSense Lip Balm

Lovely product, not too greasy which is what I normally find with these things. I used this all the time on holiday and the boys liked it too.

To order SunSense got to their website. For more information, follow them on Twitter.

Disclaimer: We were sent some products for testing, all opinions are our own.

Book Review: The Judas Scar

The-Judas-Scar-CoverI don’t know about you, but since I’ve had children, I’ve barely managed to read any books. I am always so tired once it get’s to the end of the day. If I have managed to start a book, I either lose interest in it or I can’t remember the start. But this book was something else. Years ago I used to read thrillers and really enjoyed them, but for some reason moved away from them. The Judas Scar was a move back in that direction.

Amanda, the author, has written this in such a way that it captivated me from the start, I couldn’t put it down! I was there with the characters, with enough descriptions to keep me visualising the story as I read. The relationships between the characters seemed simple to start with, then as the book continued, the complexness of each of them and how their past had affected them came to the fore and influenced their lives in the present.

The story tackles lots of issues from love to bullying to desire to miscarriage to infidelity to betrayal and revenge, all of them sensitively tackled without losing any of the emotion. It’s so real, you could almost imagine the people at your next dinner party having suffered similar situations but they never talk about it. Wow!!

I finished the book less than 24 hours after I started it, it had me gripped right from the start. I recommend this for those who like a thriller or a compelling book.

Once you’ve read it, you must watch the video on Amanda Jennings website, just brings the story even more to life.

Disclaimer: I received this book to read as part of the Britmums Book Club, The review is completely my own.