|GIVEAWAY|Baby Annabell learns to walk doll

I'm very excited by this giveaway we have for you!  We have one Baby Annabell learns to walk doll up for grabs!  All you have to do is enter using the rafflecopter widget below!

Baby Annabell® Learns to Walk loves to hold onto your hands as she walks along with you. She will also begin to cry when she has had enough of sitting down. And when she gets tired, you can lie her down and watch as she closes her eyes. 

Giveaway closes 21 February at 23.55

Good luck xxx

a Rafflecopter giveaway

|COOK|frugal family meals - puff pastry tart

Serves 8 portions
Price per portion (Sainsburys own brand) 72p
Price per portion (Sainsburys basics brand) 56p
(Purcashing items in bulk or from other shops will reduce down even more!)

Ready roll puff pastry
1 pack cream cheese
Leftover veg or meat, like ham, bacon tomatoes, mushrooms etc
100g mature cheddar grated
Bag of salad
750g new potatoes

1. Roll out pastry and spread cheese to about 5cm from the edges (I only had half a pack of soft cheese, I really needed more!)
2. Add chosen topping
3. Drop a few spoons of the oil from pesto onto the tart
4. Sprinkle with cheddar
5. Bake at 180oC for 20mins (keep checking, your oven may cook quicker!)
6. Meanwhile boil new potatoes
7. When cooked, cut tart into 8 portions and serve

|FAMILY FUN|polar bear and global warming study

* This post contains an affiliate link, if you use them I receive a small commission from Amazon.
This was really the first focuses 'study' that I've done with T, I didn't really plan for it to go that way, it just kind of happened as he was enjoying talking about polar bears after reading LolaClare the polar bear . So I spent a bit more time extending the learning whilst I had his enthusiasm!  We've been loving our environment month so much, we've actually decided to continue throughout the year as it can fit in with any other theme we have. 

I thought that a polar bear study would be a good idea during winter as hopefully we would get some frost and snow, which would extend our study.

I love how engrossed T gets when he finds a subject which really enjoys.  This study started off with us talking about polar bears and Captain Barnacles from Octonauts (his favourite non-superhero/TMNT show!) T remembered that he had a polar bear teddy which he got from Father Christmas so he went off to get that and his smaller WWF one from his sponsor kit They sat with us whilst we read the story of Lola Clare.

We then took a look at his new globe to find where polar bears live, T struggled to understand from our globe as it just shows the Arctic as sea which confused him a bit after seeing Lola Clare walking on the snow.

I went online and found this fab picture, which helped answer his questions, we talked about the ice and snow and that it must be really cold to remain frozen all year.  T explained that he'd love to live there so he could have snowball fights every day!  I hasten to add, when we had this conversation he had never had a snowball fight! 

I found this great global warming video on YouTube, which we watched together (I actually watched it first so I could prepare myself for any questions I might not know!) it's a really great video which e plains global warming in a simple way, putting its message across without being too over dramatic.  

The film shows ways you can help global warming, including more recycling and energy saving.  For some reason 5 really picked up on this and keeps asking if he can help sort the rubbish, turning off lights he doesn't need and helping to sort out toys he no longer uses to give away.

We saw this video of a polar bear and cubs in the recommendations after watching the global warming video, T really enjoyed watching this one too.

We then watched the Arctic episode of Octonauts which we re-created and will be showing you soon! 

You can see some more of our polar bear posts here.

|SHOP|boys clothes haul (primark/Debenhams/bhs)

I keep forgetting to share clothes haul's when I get things for T, so after I went shopping yesterday I decided that I'd share this haul with you straight away.

This haul is from Primark, BHS and Debenhams.

Let me just say, this was my first visit to Primark - wow!  What an amazing place, nothing like the Primark I remember from my youth!  I have just realised that the joggers in this photo were actually from BHS so I'll put details below.

T chose this hat for himself, he doesn't really need a cap bright now but will need one in the spring/summer for nursery so at £3.50 we put this in our basket!

We've needed some vests for ages but I can never get any in T's size with a character he likes or plain, so I picked up 2 packs at an unbelievable £2.80 each.  The first thing I noticed about them was how long they are, brilliant for tucking into trousers.

I let T choose a couple of T's I must admit I really don't like the 'best kid in the world' one but he was drawn to the super hero design and at £1.40 I wasn't going to put up too much of a fight, it will be fine for nursery.  There are loads of different designs all for £1.40 so I'll be going back when I get T's Spring/summer clothes for nursery.

The long sleeve superman T was £5, the sizes come up really big too, so he'll get. Lot of wear from this.

I forgot to include some gloves that T picked up too, 2 packs for £1, now I can make sure we literally have a pair of gloves everywhere as T is always loosing them - particularly at nursery.

The next shop I visited was Debenhams, we had something to take back, so I got T these gorgeous slim fit chinos from the Jasper Conran Junior J collection.  They were £18 but really good quality, the sizes came up a little small, these are age 5 and apart from the waist (which is adjustable) fit perfectly, I think I'll roll them up towards the summer so they are more ankle length. But we'll see.

Our BHS haul was slightly more pricy, but we had a credit note and so I let T choose almost what he wanted! He went for 3 character T's at £9 each, they are really well made and great quality but I think a little bit expensive, I certainly wouldn't be sending him to nursery in these!  We also picked up 2 pairs of joggers for £12, I've wanted a couple of pairs for him for the weekend, these are lovely quality and came up quite big (much bigger than sainsbury's) so he'll get lots of wear from these.

I hope you liked my little clothing haul, I plan on doing more of these when we update T's wardrobe with the seasons.

Thanks for reading x

|#KMABC|junk aeroplanes

This week it’s our turn for the Kids Make and Bake Club video.  If you don’t yet follow the Kids Make and Bake Club channel, it’s a great little channel where each Monday we share a very quick tutuorial video from our kids for either a Bake or a Make.  We are always on the lookout for guest videos to publish on a Wednesday, so if you fancy your hand at doing a little video for us, please email kidsmakeandbakeclub@gmail.com

This week we have been making aeroplanes out of junk from around the house.  This project also fits really well with our theme month this month of Recycling & Enviroment, where we are starting off trying to Reduce, Reuse & Recycle as much as we can.

Here’s T’s video, it’s far from perfect and I really need to start getting out the handycam rather than keep trying to use my phone but I hope you like it.  And if you don’t subscribe, we’d love you to subscribe and support our little group.  You can also follow on our facebook page.

|FOOD|frugal family meals - spaghetti & meatballs

Serves 4
Price per portion (Sainsburys own brand) £1.74
Price per portion (Sainsburys basics brand) 99p

500g beef mince
1 tsp onion salt
1 tsp garlic granules
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp mixed herbs
Splash Worcestershire sauce

1 diced onion
2-3 minced garlic cloves
1 tbsp tomato puree
500g passata
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 dsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp mixed herbs


1. Mix, beef mince, onion salt, garlic granules, egg, herbs and worcestershire sauce, mix well with your hands.

2. Form to balls and chill for couple hours

3. Meanwhile - fry onion and garlic cloves, until soft.

4. Add passata, chopped tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, tomato puree and 1 tsp herbs, simmer gently.

5. Cook the spaghetti according to instructions.

6. Fry meatballs gently to cook through and brown, add to the sauce and simmer some more.

7. Drain spaghetti and serve.

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

|GIVEAWAY|Teletubbies toy review

The day is finally here!  I can finally reveal what was in our fabulous Teletubbies box!

First there was a Talking teletubbie soft toy RRP £9.99 as modelled by T in the main photo, they are a decent size for small hands, I'm sure a lot of these will become toddlers comforters this year!  Made from soft, plush fabric, they are quite a bargain at £9.99 I think. 

Next we opened the 4 figure family pack RRP £9.99 4 good sized character figures perfect for some small world play.  I've decided to give our set away, so enter our giveaway below if you'd like to win them.

Also inside our box was an individual Tinky Winky collectable figure RRP £3.99, slightly larger than the family pack, these cute little character figures would make perfect little rewards!

Hiding at the bottom of our box were 3 super soft collectables RRP £6.99 I love these, they are really cute and just perfect for little ones, I know T would have loved one when he was small, I'm sure he'd have carried it around with him all the time!  I can't decide which one I like the most.

The toys are in the shops now for your little teletubbie fans.  I hope they like them as much as we do! 

So do you fancy winning the 4 figure family pack?  Enter below.  Giveaway ends 11.59 25 January 2016 

1 1 set available for giveaway
2 giveaway not sponsored by Teletubbies
3 UK residents only I'm afraid
4 draw will take place 27 January
5 winner has 7 days to respond before the giveaway is re-drawn

|ACHIEVE|90 day goals progress - 11 January

This year I'm joining Vicky Charles with her goal setting for greatness 2016 linky.  This year Vicky is focusing on 90 day goals at a time.  As I come from a Finance background this resonates far better with me as I'm far more used to working in 'quarters'.  I'm hoping that for this reason, I will be successful at keeping this years resolutions and goals.

I'm recording 3 goals each for Personal, Blog, Home, Family and Work, making 15 goals, some are going to be difficult to measure so I need to work more on those, but as always I'm hoping that will evolve along the way.

So far I'm feeling really positive about the progress I've made, long may it continue!

By 1 April…

 Personal 90 day goals
·         Drink a nutriblast at least 5 times per week
Progress this week:5 (and loving them!)
Progress to date: Achieved

·         Lose 1lb per week (12lb total)
Progress this week: 3lb(!!!!)
Progress to date: 3lb

·         Make sure take 30 mins ‘me time’ every day
Progress this week:3 times this week
Progress to date: schedule in diary to see if that helps

Blog 90 day goals
·         Increase pageviews to average 400 page views per day
Progress this week: 512
Progress to date: 512, keep an eye on this and re-work the goal if necessary
·         Interact with more blogs, comments, re-tweets, shares etc
Progress this week: Joined in more on facebook groups and whatsap group, read more blogs but didn’t comment.  Shared a couple
Progress to date: Need to make some goals on this one to have something to measure.

·         Increase facebook to 600 followers
Progress this week: currently 405
Progress to date: Need a plan of action to hit this!

Home 90 day goals
·         30 min purge min 5 times per week
Progress this week: 3
Progress to date: 3/5

·         Create new house cleaning routines, so house is always ‘guest worthy
Progress this week: House tidy, but need maintenance routines to keep it so!
Progress to date: Starting in a good position with 7/9 rooms in a good state

·         Clear guest bedroom
Progress this week: Sorted out some boxes to corral like items together
Progress to date: Need a plan of attack for this!

 Family 90 day goals
·         Do at least 3 activities with T per week (including 1 family one)
Progress this week: T’s learning flower for Nursery, Cookery lesson & sleepover
Progress to date: 3/3

·         Remember T’s walkie talkie box and phonics letter photo each week
Progress this week: Photo printed and walkie talkie box remembered!
Progress to date: 1/1

·         Establish and carry through T’s bedtime routine
Progress this week: Hit and miss
Progress to date: Starting in earnest this week.

Work 90 day goals
·         Attend Agile Business Analyst workshop
Progress this week: None
Progress to date: None

·         Trello webinar/training
Progress this week: None
Progress to date: None

·         Attend Dynamics course
Progress this week: None
Progress to date: None

VickyCharles.com Goals for Greatness

|#familyfun|earth and recycling month

During 2014 I started to base T's activities and games around a particular theme each month, on the whole this turned out pretty well as it gave me focus and allowed me to plan in advance some of our trips, events and activities.  In 2015 I lost my way on this and for 2016 I am determined to start again, in fact we've already started.

This time round though there will be a few differences, the first is that I will have a monthly linky running from 1st of the month in which you can link up all your blogposts for that months theme.

Secondly, this is NOT just open to kids activities, I'd love to see the whole family joining in.  For instance, February is going to be 'under the sea' month, so if you and your husband went snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef I'd love to see that linked up, if your family is you and your dog and you collect driftwood on the beach, link it up!  Child has an octonauts party?  We'd love to see.  Every family is different, every family is welcome to this linky, as long as the post (loosely) fits the theme, please do join in!  

I'll post more about the linky next month but back to this months theme which is... Earth & recycling

I think it's really important to teach youngsters about recycling and the effects of environmental issues. So this month you will see:
- A home decor recycling project or two
- A few kids activities based around waste, the environment, carbon footprint and recycling
- Kids books and videos on recycling
- A round-up post of relevant blog articles published by some fabulous bloggers
- And food designed with waste in mind!

Keep an eye out from the end of this week for our first posts, I'm really looking forward to this months #familyfun, follow the hashtag to see all everything in one place and by all means use the hashtag yourself if you don't have a blog!

If you are looking for kids earth and recycling activities and games, have a look at our Pinterest board here.

Can't wait to see your posts!

|GROW|seed swap 2016

How much do your kids (or you!) like receiving a little parcel addressed just to them in the post?  I know mine does!

30th January is national seed swap day, for this I thought it would be nice for a group of families to get together to swap a single pack of seeds to be sent before 30th January. I'm thinking something simple kids could grow like peas or cress, salad, sunflowers, pansies etc, doesn't have to specifically be the 'kids' designed seed packs although of course they are very much oriented to appeal to kiddies. 

It would be lovely if you popped a little note in with your package too.

If you'd like to participate could you email me your name & address with a subject line of #lbukseedswap by 15th January, I'll then provide you with your seed swap partners details by 17th which gives you plenty of time to post second class for 30th January.  Of course you can buy your seeds now in anticipation!

I'd also love it if you could share some photos on social media eg when you are sending your package, when you recieve your package, when you sow, harvest and use, you get the gist!  I think it will be lovely to follow the hashtag and see everyone's 'seed story'.  It would also be nice if we could all show each other a little love and like, share, favourite and retweet and posts we come across.

The 'Rules' (if anyone has a better word than rules please do let me know, I hate this word!)
1. 1 packet of seeds are to be sent
2. The seeds must be in as new condition and with a date that can be used before September 2016
3. Please send your seeds in plenty of time to reach your swap buddy by 30th January
4. By using #lbukseedswap you agree that photos shared on social media may be used for a round-up blog post or may be shared/retweeted by me.
5. Open to UK residents only, sorry. 

There's no age restriction on this and heck, you don't even need to have kids, if you would like to join in you are very welcome.

I think that's it, if I get quite a lot of people I might open a facebook group to make communication a little easier, but I'll let you know if I decide to do that, also let me know how YOU feel about that, I want us to work together on this one! 

Thanks for reading xx

|FUN|teletubbies - are you ready?

Are you ready?  Since the Teletubbies made an appearance back on our screens in November, a new generation of tots have enjoyed watching Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po.  In mid January a whole new range of soft toys, figurines, play sets and novelty items will be available in toy shops nationwide!

Pop back next week for the big reveal of what's inside this box of delights!

We have been lucky enough to have a preview!  Our post next week will review a selection of toys from the brand new range and will contain a giveaway too!!

Make sure you check back next week xx

|REVIEW|lick my dip subscription box

If you're looking for a new subscription box this new year, why not consider this the super spicy 'lick my dip' box?  I thought that this would be great for my hubs but to be honest he couldn't handle the heat, although he really loved the idea of receiving a little package for him in the post every month. 

Our lick my dip box contained:-
Sidekick chilli sauce with recipe card
The twisted chilli Ltd to tindaloo curry mix
Lick my dip spicy hot sweets
Psycho corn popcorn

We mixed the chilli sauce with some mayo and it was delicious with chips and on chicken kebabs.

The sweets are lovely, I really enjoyed these. 

We've not yet tried the curry mix, but I am looking forward to using that when our friends next come round. 

Why not treat yourself or your partner to a subscription for the new year?  You may even find some great new products you wouldn't find in the shops!

All products are British and subscription boxes are priced from as little as £12.04.

You can order your subscription here.

Disclaimer: we were given a complimentary box in exchange for our honest review. 

|FAMILY|what was in T's stocking? '15

Ok so I know it's January and everyone is *SO* over Christmas, but I know I'll kick myself if I don't blog this as I can guarantee I'll forget!  Because we were both so ill before Christmas I missed literally loads of post so you might just see a few pop up during January, sorry about that but I hope you understand and just scroll on by if you are not interested!

I try not to spend too much on T for his stocking and in the past have collected gifts throughout the year, this year I didn't and his stocking was a bit of an after thought, I want to make sure this doesn't happen again.

On to the contents, I like to have 10 small fillers in T's stocking but as I left this too late I only had 8.

1. Hobbit Lego kit, free from the daily mail (well 60p as I don't usually buy it) I collect these whenever they come up and pop them in a box for rewards or little incentives throughout the year.  It was great to know I could turn to it to add this to my stocking fillers.

2. Fire engine fake Lego, I got these from a facebook local selling page, they were 4 for £2 I knew 2 'lego' items wouldn't be too much for him.

3. Lego soaps, these were £1.95 for 8 on eBay.  To be honest I was expecting them to be much bigger and thought I could give half to my nephew but 4 would have looked ridiculous so T got them all, they have been a bit hit though so I am tempted to make some with him sometime.

4. a whoopee cushion, £1.99 for 2, he *LOVES* his whooppee cushion, we gave one to my nephew too, best £1 stocking filler ever.  I'll be finding somewhere cheaper to get some for next year as I can imagine they won't last long, going by how he jumps on it!

5. Christmas paint your own suncatcher, I thought that he might do this over the Christmas break, but quite honestly he wasn't interested.  May re-think craft things in stocking next year as I don't think it's gimmicky enough, he's just to used to doing crafts, they are not really exciting enough for a stocking.  This was £1 on 3 for 2 so 66p!

6. Each year I get a personalised Christmas ornament for T's stocking, this year I left it too late so I added this one which I got in a secret Santa, I added his name with a sharpie, he loved it and it went on his tree with the others.  Free.

7. Stretchy hulk, £2.99 from tesco, quite expensive for a stocking filler in my opinion but he loves it and it was perfect.

8. A batman watch (not shown!) I got a watch from eBay from China £5.00 this wasn't going to be a stocking filler but as I didn't have much I added it in ;)

Along with the gifts, I like to put some chocolate and sweets in the stocking, when we were children we were allowed to open our stockings and eat anything in them as soon as we woke up, T also can do this although, being on his own, he came in to open it with us at about 7am, not bad at all!!

I also added a packet of pistachio nuts and a satsuma.

So that I can be nicely organised. We have a little tradition in our house, where one of daddy's socks gets put on the bed and Father Christmas replaces it with a nice jolly, filled one!  So far this is working perfectly and it makes life a lot easier!

Even though his stocking didn't go to plan this year, it still was one of his favourite things, next year I plan to include some personalised thank you notes so he can write his thank you's straight away.  I'm still pretty pleased even though my total spend was nearer to £20 than I'd have liked ;)

What did you put in your stockings?  Do you have any recommendations for cheap/free gifts I can start collecting now?

|FAMILY|'snowed in' date night ideas

The hubs and I have decided that we are going to have at least one at home date night a month in 2016 and so in early December we got started and had a date night planning session!  So this is actually an added bonus date night idea that I thought I'd share with you. 

Setting in the scene...
I wanted this date night to seem like we'd been snowed in and had no electricity!  So no tv, cooked food or lights! 

We piled cushions on the floor with faux fur throws, and lit lots of candles, I wanted to serve food and a drink that could be served and eaten on the floor whilst we were planning and playing scrabble. 

Although the idea was not to use electricity I couldn't resist putting on the twinkly lights in the hearth as it was far too warm to have a fire. You could even pop on a real fire video from YouTube and pretend you weren't using electricity! 

We both put on lounging clothes and thick socks so we were nice and comfy sitting on the floor.

For food I chose to cook fondue, we don't have a fondue set so I cooked it on the gas hob, we were going to do it on the little portable one but decided not to as we had enough going on with the Christmas tree and bits all around! 

I'd love to say that I concocted a delicious boozy, cheesey fondue but truth be told, I've tried 3 times and each were a complete disaster so I got a fondue cheese pack from sainsburys which was delicious!

We added some breadsticks, olive bread and some chorizo for The Hubs, I'll definitely do some veggies next time too, there was so much and it was quite delicious! 

We played scrabble for entertainment to add to the 'snowed in' theme. 

And drank our chocolate orange hot chocolate which is heavenly! 

Here's a little round-up for a 'snowed in' themed at home date night. 
- candlelight
- quick, easy finger food
- orange hot chocolate
- board games for entertainment
- floor cushions and fur rugs
- comfy clothes and cosy socks
- open fire, twinkly lights or crackling fire video on YouTube 

You Baby Me Mummy