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Our new addition – don’t worry, it’s just a kitten

our new cute kitten Betty

If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, you might have already seen our new furry little friend. If not, where have you been? You’ve missed all the fun!

To fill you in either way, here’s our new addition, our new kitten. This little cutie listens to the name Betty, is 7 weeks old and has been with us for a week today. She is absolutely adorable and Amy already loves her dearly. I actually can’t believe how quickly she has become a part of our family. She’s so confident and so so good with Amy. In fact, she’s the only cat or kitten that voluntarily comes to Amy and cuddles up on her lap. You can see why Amy is so in love with her.

Honey, our other cat, initially wasn’t overly keen on Betty, but she is getting used to the idea of having to share our attention now and is a little friendlier to her than last week. I’m sure they’ll get on fine once they have gotten to know each other a little better.

So yes, I guess that’s is all there is to say for now. I really just wanted to introduce her to you. I haven’t introduced Penny our tarantula yet, anyone fancy seeing her leave me a comment.

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Cheese buns – a quick and easy recipe (#GBBO Week 2)

quick and easy recipe for cheese buns

When my lovely blogging friends Jenny and Helen announced that they’ll run an online version of The Great British Bake Off – the Great Bloggers Bake Off – I knew that I wanted to get involved. I’m no master baker, in fact I’m not even a regular hobby baker, but I thought that this would be THE chance to get a little more confident in terms of baking. My nan is an avid baker and creates the most beautiful cakes and I’d really love to follow in her footsteps and be able to bake cakes that friends and family enjoy and maybe even want to recreate at home.

The Great Bloggers Bake Off is running for the second week now (I missed week one as I was on holiday, but more on that soon) and this week’s theme was bread. On the show, bakers made bread sticks, English muffins (crumpets) and wowed the judges with their bready showstoppers, but if I am honest, I panicked at the idea of making crumpets and bread sticks seemed a little boring – they’re probably not, if you really can bake, but hey ho. In the end, I decided to go for cheese buns.

When I formed the little bread roll shapes, I thought I had seriously messed them up, but after 12 minutes in the oven, they turned out lovely. Amy liked them so much, that she had two of them before I could even write this post, but try them yourself. Here’s the recipe

Ingredients for 12 small or 6 big cheese buns:

2tbsp dry yeast
1/2 pint warm water
2tbsp sugar
2tbsp garlic powder
50g melted butter
50ml olive oil
dry parsley to taste
375g self-raising flour
1tsp salt
250g grated cheese of your choice

Method:

1. Mix yeast and warm water in a bowl and set aside for a couple of minutes. Then add sugar and garlic powder as well as the melted butter, olive oil and parsley. Slowly fold in a little flower at a time and season with salt

2. Cover the dough with a wet cloth and leave to rise in a warm place, approximately 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 190ºC.

3. Form 12 small rolls or 6 big rolls, sprinkle with cheese and place on a greased baking tray.

4. Bake at 190ºC for about 12-15 minutes or until the bread is golden brown. You want the cheese to be bubbly, they’re cheese buns after all!

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Saturday is Caption Day – The swimsuit edition

Saturday is caption Day - the swimsuit edition

We were on a short break in Norfolk last week and had a fabulous pool right opposite of our bungalow, so of course we had to get our swimsuits out and have a splash about. Amy was so in love with her new swimming costume (it took us 7 attempts to get one as everyone in Great Yarmouth had sold out) that she ran around in it for ages. She also seems to know everything about the basic swimming rules: Always have a light snack before you hit the water!

For more #satcap pic, head over to Annie’s blog. I can’t promise more swimsuits, but I’m sure you’ll find a bunch of pics that will give you the giggles.

Saturday is caption day

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Sponsored Video: Domestos & UNICEF for improved sanitation

domestos and unicef campaignI love bubble baths. I am a massive fan of having an hour-long soak in the bath, reading a good book and relaxing. You ask how being a mum and hour-long baths go together? Not at all is my answer. When I first became a mum, I quickly learnt that with a baby around, there was no chance I’d enjoy my bubbly bliss anytime soon. You won’t believe how much I missed being able to escape to my little oasis.

Then I saw this video and felt incredibly selfish:

Every day there are billions of people around the world, who don’t even have running water. People, who don’t have a toilet. People who live in conditions that we can’t even imagine. Statistics say that 37% of the global population, that is an estimated 2.5 billion people, don’t have access to improved sanitation, yet it is regarded as a basic human right.

UNICEF runs a programme called CATS, which stands for Community Approaches to Total Sanitation, to make a difference. CATS promotes good hygiene practices, raises awareness of the sanitation crisis and the need for access to toilets to reduce disease transmission. So far it has improved the lives of around 13.5 million people in 50 countries.

Now Domestos and the Unilever Foundation have teamed up to help UNICEF improve access to basic sanitation through their CATS programme and this is how:

Whenever you buy a specially marked bottle of Domestos, the company will be contributing 5% of its average sales proceeds to UNICEF’s CATS programmes in the Philppines, South Sudan and Vietnam and will also help improving sanitation in India, Indonesia and Brazil.

To find out more about the partnership and how you can help visit the official campaign website. You can also check out videos about the progress of the campaign on YouTube or help spreading the word on Twitter using the hash tag #mumsfortoilets.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Domestos. 

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Warburton tells you their Krazy Kitchen secrets

Remember when I told you about Warburton’s Krazy Kitchen challenge last week? Well, this week you get an exclusive look behind the scenes and get to know both families a little better. Check out the video below to see what the McDermots and Griffiths got up to during the last couple of weeks, who won the overall challenge and even how Warburton’s made their Krazy Kitchen wobble:

If you could create a Krazy Kitchen challenge what would it look like? Think fun, disruptive and a little cheeky and don’t forget to tell me about it in the comments below.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Spreaditfast. 

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5 Dangers of Letting Kids Go Online Unsupervised

5 Dangers of letting kids go online unsupervisedThe internet is not called the World Wide Web for nothing. It allows us to gain access to a vast amount of information with the simple click of a mouse button. With social media taking the world by storm and making connections online all part of today’s generation, it has also made the internet an incredibly scary place, what with the amount of real life information we now store online, including credit card information as well as our addresses.

This has opened children up to a new kind of threat in many regards, and without supervision, children can uncover some ghastly things as well as leave themselves open to threats. Below are 5 Dangers of Letting Kids Go Online Unsupervised

1. Bullying

Facebook, Twitter, text message and email are the standard ways of communication for children nowadays. With this comes instantaneous gratification regarding being able to be in touch with someone.

Sadly it also allows for instant virtual bullying, as culprits of online bullying can be just one friend request or follow away from virtually abusing your child. It has made it a lot easier now for this to be done, so the best bet is to ensure your child doesn’t spend too much time on social networks, and only find and add their real friends; certainly not little Johnnie, who they don’t really like for the promise of a free chocolate, cause that is probably going to end in little Johnnie making that offer for the wrong reasons – and could end up with a tirade of unnecessary and unwarranted bullying.

2. Stalking

Sadly the internet has also become a stomping ground for predators, so ensuring your child isn’t surfing the internet and engaging with complete strangers will allow for them to be safe.

As mentioned it is very easy for people to find your information online depending on your privacy settings, so make sure you and your family are protected and privacy settings are on as high a possible level when your child is surfing. It is not a sure fire way of stopping these kind of people, but it should offer you some breather from worry about your child’s every click.

5_Dangers_of_Letting_Kids_Go_Online_Unsupervised_01

3. Viruses

Accessing the deepest and darkest corners of the internet may also bring on the threat of viruses and Trojans on your computer, which you should take steps to guard against. We as adults know clicking on the very dubious ad that says “You have a friend request on Facebook” is a bad idea, however your child may not feel the same way. So ensure you are protected to the hilt, as getting Trojans which may track your every keystroke and mouse click would not be ideal.

At the end of the day, spending time with your child whilst they use the internet can be a good bonding experience, as you can learn common interests and help educate them on the ways of the WWW. But should you wish to offer them some independence, and ensuring your computer has fail safes to ensure they don’t come across unwanted content is certainly the way to go.

You will never be able to protect your child from seeing or doing things online that they shouldn’t, but teaching them from an early age what they should and shouldn’t be doing will definitely help with their usage, and also help to keep them that little bit safer.

4. Mature content

The world wide web is full of content meant for a mature audience, from movie trailers which are banned in cinemas for their adult nature (being violent, strong language and nudity) to music, which has crude and non-PC lyrics, to pornography.

With highly graphic content only being a Google search away, it is incredibly easy for your child to stumble onto content of an adult nature. Helping your child with their homework or surfing is a good way to help monitor what they are looking for, and safety tools should be implemented on your computer, just to ensure that there aren’t any unwanted surprises awaiting your child when they do search for something online.

5. Crime

As most adults now shop online and mostly store their credit card details with their favourite suppliers, this leaves your money in the hands of your child. Should they log in to a site you frequent which has your details stored, don’t be surprised when a new 50 inch plasma TV rocks up on your doorstep. This also could open the door for scammers who send mail requests for personal information to get to your child as they spam just about everyone.

Sadly applications like Twitter as well as Foursquare could leave your house under threat, what with children feeling the urge to write things such as “Home alone for the next few hours as the parents are watching a movie”, and then checking in to “My House” on Foursquare could leave anyone interested online from finding your home and possibly invading it.

Highly improbable, maybe, but stranger things have happened especially if your child has been approached on Foursquare by someone they don’t know (or someone they think they may know).

Disclosure: This post was brought to you by AVG and I hope that being aware of these 5 Dangers of Letting Kids Go Online Unsupervised will help you keep your kids safe. 

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Win a Toddlers Wooden Bead Maze Cube

I absolutely adore wooden toys, so when the lovely people from Wooden Toys Direct got in touch and asked, if I would like to host a competition and therewith give you the chance to win one of their toys, I jumped at the chance to get involved.

The Toddlers Wooden Bead Maze Cube has dozens of fun features and will keep little ones entertained for hours. Amy has a similar toy and it was great for her shape sorting and problem solving skills. She can sort shapes like no other and enjoyed lining up the colourful beads and leading them through the maze.

The Toddlers Wooden Bead Maze Cube has an adorable farm theme, complete with tractors, trees and a big farmhouse, which give you even more opportunities to explore and have fun. Copy animal sounds when, learn about colours and look at the things that grow on the farm.

The Bead maze allows little fingers to practise their motor skills and the shape sorter toy will be great to help children with their spacial awareness. Other fun and educational features are the colourful rotating gears and the movable tiles with numbers on one side and colourful shapes on the other. Check out the video below to find out more about all the features:

If you want to be in with a chance to win this Toddlers Wooden Bead Maze Cube from Wooden Toys Direct, fill in the Rafflecopter below and make sure to follow the instructions carefully. Incomplete and faulty entries won’t be counted and entered into the prize draw. Good luck! 

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Win a range cooker for perfect GBBO cakes

Great British Bake Off win a range cooker for perfect baking results

The Great British Bake Off is back on our TV screens and two of my favourite bloggers, Mummy Mishaps and The Crazy Kitchen or Jenny Berry and Helen Hollywood, are setting us a little challenge. Every week, they’ll be hosting the Great Bloggers Bake Off, inviting us to link up recipes that go along with the theme shown the evening before.

I can’t wait to get involved. I know I’m not the best baker in the world, in fact I wouldn’t even get as far as saying that I’m a baker, but I will give it a shot. As the famous Helen Hollywood says: ‘I believe that if you can follow instructions and you have the right equipment, you can bake a cake.’

There are baking tins, scales, electric whisks and hundreds of different gadget that can make the job easier, but something that is just as important as a well-greased baking tin is a good range cooker with an oven that provides an even level of temperature. If you want to get involved and need a new cooker or think that your old oven needs to be replaced, check out the fantastic selection of range cookers from Argos.

You will find something for every budget and if you would rather let fate decide, then why not enter the competition below. You can win a fabulous Flavel FSBG51K Single Gas Cooker in black – worth £309. How amazing is that?

All you have to do is fill in the Rafflecopter below, but make sure to follow the instructions correctly as faulty and and incomplete entrants won’t be counted and entered into the prize draw. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway