I love a cute animal and I bet you do too. Why I know that? Well, according to a recent study by My Voucher Codes, the British public are massive fans of animal babies and their parents, especially when they pop up on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter. There are even people out there who set up social media accounts for their pets. A little over the top, if you ask me, but then I think Honey’s life isn’t that exciting really. Her tweets would probably look like this:
“They finally decided to get up at 6am. Imagine I was that lazy! Now get me some food.”
“Fridge door is open. Can I have some more food?”
“Oh Amy is coming into the kitchen, I better jump through the cat flap.”
“This Siamese cat from next door is such a bully. #justsaying
“Time for a snuggle on the sofa. I’ve been awake for too long already.”
“I swear there was someone in the kitchen. I could get some food, if I annoy them.”
“Time for some action: Let’s jump onto the freshly washed laundry.”
“Being a cat is so hard sometimes, I’ll better sleep now. No wait, I’ll check for food first.”
“They told me that I had enough food already #animalcruelty”
“It’s cold on the carpet; I’ll climb into their bed.”
“I’m really off now. Night!”
I told you it was going to be thrilling and although she is the cheekiest cat I know, I absolutely love her to bits. She is a little spoiled and always sleeps at the end of our bed as opposed to her cat basket. Normal cat biscuits aren’t enough for her either, it has to me some of the sliced turkey breast that Amy feeds her every morning, but I guess I shouldn’t complain, as we do save on pet care products and have a great insurance deal in place – you just won’t read about them on her very own Twitter profile, because I’m way to busy keeping mine updated or liking photos of cute puppies or dancing horses.
Check out the infographic below, it’s been influenced by exactly them!
Disclosure: This post was brought to you in association with My Voucher Codes.
I had this discussion with Ben last night and we both agreed that “Yes, online game are sometimes better than the real deal”, especially, if you play Monopoly as competitively as Ben’s family. But just think about online bingo sites. They are so much better than going to a bingo hall. At least that’s what we think and to convince you, we have collected 10 reasons why online bingo is better than the real deal. Let me know in the comments, if you agree:
1. You don’t have to leave your sofa.
2. You can play in your tracksuits bottoms or PJs.
3. You can have a good old natter on the phone without anyone moaning that they didn’t hear the numbers being called.
4. No quack, quack or fat ladies as far as the eye can see!
5. You can win everything from pennies to thousands of pounds or even gadgets or holidays.
6. You get more for your money, because your deposits are often doubled or even tripled.
7. There is no chance that you will meet your annoying neighbour.
8. You don’t have to wait for a set date. You can play whenever and wherever you want.
9. If you need the loo, you can just go. Automatic markers will make sure you don’t miss a number.
10. It doesn’t stop at online bingo. You can also play arcade games, quizzes or puzzles at the same time.
So now I ask you one question. When I said that online bingo is better than traditional bingo, was I right or was I right?
Disclosure: This is a featured post. Image Credit: Robert Banh
If you work with the internet, or even if you just like a bit of net surfing now and then, chances are you’ve seen The Harlem Shake. The Harlem Shake is basically a recent internet trend where a group of people act out a funny sketch which is then accompanied by the Harlem Shake music which was recorded by American DJ and producer Baauer back in 2012.
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last 6 months here’s what The Harlem Shake looks like.
Looks mad doesn’t it? Well if you’re thinking of unleashing your own Harlem Shake video along with your family and friends, there are a couple of things to consider.
Keep it insane
In the world of The Harlem Shake, anything goes. The more ridiculous, the better. If you want yours to stand out from the crowd (there’s literally hundreds of Harlem Shake videos on Youtube right now) go for something really, really out there. Like dressing up as a Rubix’s Cube, or something similar.
Don’t stick to the norm
So you’ve got an idea for what costume you’re going to wear. Now mix it up. Make sure it’s an obscure fancy dress costume like a Storm Trooper or maybe specific character like Bobba Fett, or go for something completely off the wall like dressing up as a slice of bacon. As they’re the dancers viewers of the videos remember the most.
Think of a theme
Harlem Shake vids tend to be an ‘edition’, leaving the content pretty self-explanatory. Fire-fighter Edition, Asian Grandma Edition, Gamer Edition – having a theme makes your video much more searchable. This Army Edition ended up being one of the more popular Harlem Shake videos.
There are literally hundreds of themes you could base your Harlem Shake video around, something like a video using Halloween themed costumes could look great too, if you’ve also got a few friends to help you out you could create a ‘Steampunk’ or a ‘Zombie’ edition however don’t be surprised, if it’s already been done though.
As I mentioned earlier a gaming themed Harlem Shake video is always good. Many Harlem Shakers have been slipping NIntendo’s very own Mario into their videos as it adds to the hilarity, for example:
Find a good space to set up the cam
It’s important you find somewhere that a camera can be set up on a tripod or placed on a solid surface; hand-held videos don’t look as good.
Now are you going to hold the Harlem Shake in the office? In the car park? Are you and some friends going to dance in a hallway or a bedroom? There’s really no limit there. As long as the shot is wide enough to capture all the action, you’re good to go.
Lastly, if you are going to include the kids in your own Harlem Shake you might want to explain what it is and how it works to them or they might end up reacting like these kids did:
Disclosure: This blog post was brought to you in association with Fancy Dress Ball.
250ml Growing Up Milk or any regular milk
100g tiny cuts of broccoli florets – use the dark green flowery non-stalk end – cut with
scissors or use a food processor to whizz it up. (Weight is after the broccoli has been cut)
1 medium onion
100g unsalted butter
250g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
150g mature Cheddar cheese
1 large egg, whisked
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C / fan 180 / Gas Mark 6. Place 24 miniature paper cases in two (or more) miniature muffin tins. Alternatively use 12 big cupcake cases.
2. Place the Growing Up Milk in a medium saucepan with the broccoli and butter. Heat up to just before boiling point and then gently simmer for 3 minutes.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the cheese, chopped onion, the egg and finally the broccoli with the melted butter and Growing Up Milk/milk
4. Stir firmly but gently to combine (don’t beat or mix too hard). Divide equally between the paper cases and bake for 10 minutes. Leave to cool down in their tins before serving.
NOTE: If you decide to make 12 larger muffins, bake for nearer 18 minutes, using full size muffin cases and muffin tin.
FIONA’S TIP: Add 100g of sundried tomatoes – chop finely with scissors – for added vitamins
Can you believe it? I can tick number 10 off my “100 things to do before I die” list, because I actually went on a mini cookery course yesterday and improved my cooking skills. Go me! I have neglected my list a little, although I have done or am still doing some of the things that I wanted to achieve, but when I started writing this post, I remembered that I wanted to learn some new cooking skills and thought I’d better start updating my list before you all think I just listed 100 random things for the sake of listing them. I will actually attempt ticking them all off, I promise!
Anyway, Growing Up Milk Info recently invited me along to a blogger event in Bristol’s ‘Food Square Foundation‘ (literally 10 minutes away from my front door) and yesterday was the day when I put on an apron and learned how to cook some fantastic home cooked meals for little and not so little ones. The team behind Cow & Gate’s Growing Up Milk, which we used in all of the recipes during the day, had invited kids food expert Fiona Faulkner to show us all the tips and tricks a mum needs to transform a meal into a healthy meal that is rich in Vitamin D – something a lot of our meals lack.I will post a separate blog post with lots of information over the weekend as I really find it important to know how much Vitamin D a child needs a how much it actually gets. Growing Up Milk Info have come up with some fabulous infographics and material to help parents and I can’t wait to share it with you.
At first, the big kitchen of the Square Food Foundation was a little intimidating for little old me, but our hosts and fellow blogger Penny from Being Mrs C were really lovely and helpful when I fought against the induction hob. My parents have one too and I swear these things go on strike just because they don’t like my fingerprint. Anyway, first of all, we made some absolutely delicious Baby Broccoli Muffins. They were so light and fluffy and just full of healthy and tasty things. I am absolutely in love with them! I shall post the recipe separately tomorrow as I don’t want to make this post too long, but I will definitely make them again as both Amy and Ben tried the muffins I brought home with me and asked for seconds and even thirds. The great thing about the Baby Broccoli Muffins is that they are not only a healthy and fun snack for toddlers, but also a perfect side dish for a BBQ or a nibble on an evening with friends. You can alter the recipe and add things such as sun-dried tomatoes or olives to give the recipe your very own twist. I added sun-dried tomatoes to mine!
The next dish we created was a Pancake Pizza. Yep, I also raised my eyebrows at the sound of it, because I only ever have sweet toppings on my pancakes, but this recipe is a really lovely and fun way of introducing savoury toppings to your children. We made our own tomato sauce with some hidden carrots and zucchini and then decorated our pancake pizza. Apparently, I won our little internal competition – the proof is on Twitter, so it must be right, yes? They were really light, but surprisingly filling. I took my second pancake home with me and still have some of the batter left to make them for Amy. The tomato sauce, I used in a pasta bake today and it went down a treat. I love it when you can take elements out of one recipe and use them in a different one.
The Macaroni Cheese with Salmon was really tasty too and that comes from someone who normally doesn’t even like fish – apart from tinned tuna. I have to say though that the meal wasn’t fishy fishy, if you know what I mean. The salmon gave the macaroni bake a bit of a different flavour. Fiona showed us how to rustle up a quick and easy Béchamel sauce that we added some grated cheese to. Once again, I will add the recipe separately as this post would just get ridiculously long and confusing, if I posted them all at the same time.
The Rice Pudding with Spiced Fruit was the only dish that I didn’t try and I hope you forgive me, but rice pudding is my personal idea of hell. I just cannot do it! Ben really liked it though and to be honest, I was quite surprised about it as he usually is not a fruity person at all. He can eat vegetables for England, but whenever I put fruit in front of him, he doesn’t even want to try it. The Rice Pudding with Spiced Fruit however went down a treat.
Disclosure: I was provided with a goodie bag and a lovely day, but all my words and opinions are my own. I was not asked to write about the day, but have done so, because I felt that I learned something new and left motivated to cook more. If you want to find out more about Cow & Gates Growing Up milk, you can do so here.
There are things in life that you don’t value enough until they are gone. My cooker was one of these things, but believe me after weeks and weeks of not being able to use the oven part of it, it is now my very best friend and I have promised myself that I won’t ever think about him (yes, he’s male) as just “another” kitchen appliance.
Our oven had always been a loyal companion to us. Ben is an avid hobby-chef and I do enjoy eating his home cooked meals. We use our oven a lot, preparing everything from cupcakes, pasta dishes, roast dinners or delicious desserts and cakes in it. Ben also cooks the most amazing tagines and curries in the big silver monster, so when one Sunday afternoon we pottered around in the kitchen after preparing a roast dinner and a big bang came from where the before mentioned was cooking, we all fell into a state of shock.
What was that?
Oh look, there’s smoke coming from the oven.
Damn, what about our roast dinner?
What about the roast dinner? What, if the oven is gone and we need to buy a new one?
Well, we can’t. We haven’t put any money aside for it.
Yes, that’s how our conversation went. Add panicky eyes, heads buried in our palms and grumbling bellies. I couldn’t believe it. Our oven had just died, our roast chicken was ruined and when Ben said our landlady would have to replace it, I remembered a clause in our tenancy agreement that clearly stated that we are responsible for the replacement of any appliances damaged or broken during our tenancy. The weekend couldn’t have ended any worse.
We discussed long and hard about what to do and in the end there were only three options. We could either get someone to come in and repair the oven, which would have probably cost a fortune and might not even have resulted in a working oven. We could go out and buy a new oven, which would have cost even more money or we could sit and wait and put some money aside each week until we had the money to get a replacement. Option 1 and 2 would have meant, we’d potentially have an oven, but no money for tasty food to go in it (okay, that might be exaggerated, but it would have messed up our monthly budget) and option 3 would have meant that we wouldn’t break the bank, but would have to make do without and oven for quite a while. There was no chance in the world, that I’d have allowed Ben to have a look at it. I’m fine to let him do the decorating, but playing around with electric equipment when you aren’t an electrician is just silly and something I would not allow under any circumstances.
In the end, we decided to go with option 3. We saved up small chunks of money until we had enough for a new oven and then our landlady agreed to pay half of it. Kind of win-win. The best option would have been to go with a service like Repair and Protect, but unfortunately I hadn’t heard anything about it back then. Repair and Protect allows you to get a quote for an electrician, book an appointment for them to come out and pick a payment-scheme that allows you to pay in instalments that won’t hurt your bank account – all online and with the guarantee that you won’t have to pay a pence, if your appliance doesn’t work. Quite impressive, isn’t it?
Disclosure: Written in collaboration with Repair and Protect, but believe me this post couldn’t be more true to my feelings. I really missed my roast dinners.
Do you know when you are all motivated and brace yourself to get crafty with your little one and then the result really isn’t what you had expected? Well yes, that’s exactly happened to us. We wanted to decorate some Easter eggs to hang them up on a bunch of twigs and thought that covering them in some pretty tissue paper and some paint would be a great idea. Unfortunately, didn’t funny agree and for some reason our Easter eggs became a little – ehm unpresentable (yes, that officially is a word since our dramatic Easter egg session).
If you feel brave or creative or even both of them at once, why not give Easter egg decorating a go yourself? We had lots of fun and if your eggs don’t want to hide in a bin bag you can even win a prize in Polarn O. Pyret‘s fabulous Easter egg competition on Facebook. There is a £50 shopping voucher up for grabs and 20 runner-ups will receive a Polarn O. Pyret Easter bunny.
All you have to do is upload a photo of your decorated Easter egg, fill in your entry form and keep your fingers crossed. We’ll give it another go tomorrow, so we can enter before 29 March 2013, when the competition ends. I’ll make sure to upload our masterpiece in a separate post then. Good luck to everyone!
Image Credit: http://www.brit.co