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Saturday is Caption Day – IT came for tea

Saturday IT came round for tea

 

Don’t worry, I haven’t taken over Mammasaurus’ blog and messed up her pretty design. The Saturday is Caption Day linky is just having a slumber party with me. While Annie is drinking gin, ehm I mean doing serious BlogFest business in London, I am kind of babysitting for her.

You know, stuffing the Linky will lots of sweets (links) for her and hyping it up for her return! Make sure to join the fun: Link up a funny picture, old or new, and visit the other entrants to caption their pics. 

Mammasaurus

Here’s the linky code:


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Win a wooden baby walker from Galt Toys

wooden baby walker Galt Toys

Galt Toys has introduced a new Baby Walker toy to its popular Dr Miriam range to support young children when taking their first steps and we have one of them to give away in this weeks competition.

The push-along truck is one of a range of seven wooden developmental toys created by the brand alongside leading parenting expert Dr Miriam Stoppard. Suitable for children from 12 months, the wooden truck comes with 30 bright and colourful bricks to put in and take out of the truck, to aid manual dexterity and hand eye coordination.

The Baby Walker promotes balance by encouraging young children to use their muscles to stay upright, while developing coordination as they take each step and learn to walk independently. The sturdy and stable wooden truck is made from quality hardwood and has rubber tread wheels to prevent sideward slipping.

The toy comes with a play guide written by Dr Miriam with tips on how parents can play with the toy to encourage a child’s development all while having fun. The guide shows parents how to build their child’s confidence in making the transition from sitting to standing and from standing to taking their first steps.

Suitable from 12 months, the Dr Miriam @ Galt Baby Walker retails at £39.99 and is available from www.galttoys.com

If you want to win a wooden baby walker from Galt Toys, fill in the Rafflecopter form below. Please don’t cheat, I do double check all entries. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Wednesday Wishlist: Reindeer Style

Reindeer style
1 Ugly Town / 2 The Vulpeculiar / 3 Gardens 2 You Direct / 4 Crate & Barrel / 5 Topshop / 6 Cretiate

If you enjoy these sort of lists, why not create one yourself. From next Wednesday onwards, I will host a Wednesday Wishlist linky that you can link your wishlist up to. I’ll share all entries on Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest, so if you are after some inspiration or enjoy playing around with Polyvore, then do get involved.

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A ghoolish night – our Halloween party

happy halloween party decoration

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client. #shop #cbias

I have never made a secret about the fact that I am not a massive Halloween fan, but this year I thought I’d make an effort – for Amy. She loves dressing up and so do her cousins, so I got in touch with Ben’s sister (she’s got the bigger house) and asked her what she thought of a little Halloween party for the kids. She instantly agreed and so we started planning the afternoon. We needed some decorations, sweet treats for us and potential trick or treaters and of course costumes. Charlotte got outfits for her little ones and Amy and I started our shopping marathon at Morrisons and Tesco. You can find out all about it in our photo album on Google+.

Amy as a witch ready for our Halloween party

We got Amy this adorable little witches outfit in black and gold for just £6 and some black tights with a golden star print. Her costume proved to be a real hit with Amy. She literally didn’t want to take it off and it had to sleep with her the night of the party. Dressed up to get started, we made our way to Ben’s sister on the day of the actual party. She only lives a 15 minute drive away from us, so we quickly popped everything in the boot and got into Halloween mode by listening to Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell on full blast. Yes, I’m not ashamed to admit this, I love this song!

halloween cupcakes

In the morning Amy and I had made scary Halloween cupcakes with cupcake toppers that we had found at Morrisons plus Halloween cake pops that looked like skeletons and pumpkins. They did not turn as glam as I had hoped for, they were my very first attempt at cake pops, but the kids loved them and kept snacking on them in between our party games.

scary halloween spider decoration

We played musical statues, danced at our little monster disco and had a go at find the spider, my absolutely hilarious version of hide and seek! I simply got two of these giant spiders and hid them around the house. Whoever found them sitting on a cupboard or hanging from the shower curtain, had to act like they were really really scared and run away screaming. Best idea I’ve ever had, you wouldn’t believe how much we laughed. We were literally wetting ourselves at the kids’ scared impressions. There’s some potential for one or two Academy Awards in our family, I tell you that! little witch gracie

After two hours of fun and games, it was time for a round of trick or treating. We didn’t take Amy last year as she was only 1.5 years old and didn’t really get what was going on, but her cousins are a little older than her, so we thought she might enjoy it this time and enjoy it they did. They split up in two groups, the older ones and Amy and her cousin Grace.halloween party trick or treating

Amy was a little shy at the first door, but as soon as she noticed that she’d be getting sweets, she raced from door to door and even took a short cut across someone’s front lawn. She loves sweets – don’t ask me where she gets that from – and I think trick or treating was a wonderful experience for her. It really helped her come out of her shell. The only exception was the house above. The owner of it was Irish and opened the door dressed in a long white dress and a floor long veil – creepy or what?

halloween sweets

All in all, they were rather successful and we could top up our sweetie jar with lots more ghoolish and not so ghoolish treats for ehm Amy. God knows what we’ll do with all of them as for some reason there were no trick or treaters at Charlotte’s house whatsoever. Guess we could always save them for next year, haha!

Haunted house Halloween Pumpkin Kitten Halloween Pumpkin

Our pumpkins won’t last that long, so we put a candle in them every night since Thursday. We carved them for a pumpkin challenge and I thought they’d make the perfect decoration for our Hallowen party. What do you think? The kitten seems to be everyone’s favourite, so do let me know, which one you like best.

Also, did you have a Halloween party or are you a bit of a Halloween grinch? I’d love to here about your Halloween antics. I could do with some inspiration for next year.

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This is my allotment, there’s such a lot to see…

Amy on her balance bike on her way to my grandparents' allotment

A couple of days before we made our way back to England, we decided to pop to my grandparents’ house to spend the afternoon with them. We usually go for long country walks with them, so we took Amy’s balance bike with us, but the weather wasn’t on our side, so we decided to spend time in the garden to not be too far away in case it started raining.

autumn flowers allotment

Amy loved my grandparents’ garden as much as I did when I was younger. She walked around the flower bets admiring the different petal shapes and colours, trying to sneakily pick some of them when my Nan wasn’t looking – she’s a brave one this girl.
colourful flowers allotment

I never dared to go anywhere near my Nan’s flower beds when I was little. I knew from quite an early age that they are somewhat sacred to her, so I stuck to digging up potatoes while my sister liked collecting dead leaves with my nan, making sure that everything looked pretty.pink flower allotment

And pretty it is still now, almost 15 years later. My grandparents are 83 and 79 now and so passionate about their gardens that you won’t ever find a weed there or anything overgrowing. And yes, I said gardens. They have a big garden at the back of their house and another one in an allotment about 10 minutes walk away. It has a bungalow with a big living space and a bathroom in it and when we were little we spent all day there playing in our sandpit, enjoying BBQs or helping out.

fresh tomatoes

When Amy saw that there were tomatoes to be picked, she instantly got into little helper mode. She carefully lifted my grandad’s individual mini-greenhouses off each tomato plant and started picking the fruits that my Nan pointed out to her. Her little face was priceless! She was so proud that she was allowed to help and even prouder when she placed the fruits into my grandad’s hands.
freshly picked tomatoes

Amy now loves her tippies even more (that’s her word for tomatoes, don’t ask me why or where it came from) and I think my grandparents were just incredibly happy that they could pass some of their love for gardening onto their great-grandaughter. Amy running around in the allotment

Amy definitely had a ball and enjoyed spending a day in the country. She chased my grandad’s chickens, collected eggs and brought in her first harvest of fresh tomatoes – what more could you ask for?

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Halloween treats from Marks & Spencer

Halloween with Marks & SpencerIt’s close to midnight and something evil’s lurking in the dark
Under the moonlight you see a sight that almost stops your heart
You try to scream but terror takes the sound before you make it
You start to freeze as horror looks you right between the eyes,
You’re paralyzed

Don’t worry, I’ll save my rendition of Michael Jackson classics for later, but I thought that the opening verse of Thriller would get us in the mood for tomorrow because it’s Halloween! Now, let’s be honest, I am usually not a massive fan of Halloween. I hate fancy dress, it just makes me feel like an idiot, and the whole trick or treating thing, well that is just as awkward for me, but with Amy getting older I thought it might be nice to ehm get a little more into it.

I’m not going to push the boat out and spend five hours on my outfit for a Halloween party, but I got Amy a little costume and we’ll be having a little Halloween party with her cousins tomorrow. They’ll all get to dress up and have fun together and I’m escaping teenagers trying to raid my well hidden sweet stash. I might scare them with some of the scary treats from Marks & Spencer’s Halloween range though. We were kindly sent a big box full of goodies (see above) and they’ll really add a great touch to our little ghostly get together. With prices between £1 and £2, they are super affordable too, so make sure to top up on them in the morning or ready for your party at the weekend. I can’t wait to try them all out – shh don’t tell anyone that I’ve had some sneaky witches hair!

Disclosure: Marks & Spencer kindly send us some treats to try, but they didn’t ask us to write about them.

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Blogger Pumpkin Challenge for Halloween

Haunted house Halloween Pumpkin Kitten Halloween Pumpkin

Halloween is a challenge in itself to me. I’m no natural when it comes to dressing up or in fact begging for sweets, but I am making an exception for Amy this year as I do know that she will like the whole spectacle – I mean which child doesn’t?

Also, I do like a good challenge. A challenge you ask? Well, the lovely people from Family Investments got in touch a couple of weeks ago and asked us, if we would like to take part in their Blogger Pumpkin Carving Challenge and here we are, presenting two of our three pumpkin designs to you. We got three pumpkins altogether, one for each of us, and I decided to go with a haunted house design while Ben went for a traditional Jack O’Lantern and Amy asked for a kitten. She’s obsessed with our new cat Betty, so I wasn’t really surprised by her wish.

Amy and I got to work early and emptied all the pumpkins ready for our little carving session. For some reason, she really loved picking out the seeds and trying them while they were still raw – don’t ask me who she gets that from, I have no idea! We quickly finished the slimy part of the job, so that we could go over to the fun bit, deciding on a design for our pumpkin. And what greater source of inspiration for bloggers is there than Pinterest? On a quick search, I found dozens of designs and even templates to print out, but I thought that would be cheating, so I drew a free-hand design onto my pumpkin – makes it look even more haunted, don’t you think?

We had great fun designing and carving our pumpkins and the fact that we had a pumpkin carving set this year made things so much easier. Why has nobody told me about pumpkin saws before? They are amazing and not once did I get close to chopping of my fingers – that’s a great improvement compared to last year! Oh and look at our box of sweet treats! Don’t they look yummy?

halloween sweets

Anyway, I’ll leave it at that for now, but keep your eyes peeled for some more Halloween post over the next couple of days. We’ll be having a Halloween party tonight and I can’t wait to see what Amy will think about the whole trick or treating shebang.

All I want to know now is, what do you think of our pumpkins? Thumbs ups or thumbs down and also, did you get creative yourself?

I’d love to hear about your pumpkin design, so leave me a comment below. I do read them all.

Disclosure: We received £5 to purchase some pumpkins for the Family Investments blogger challenge

 

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Review: JUST EAT Takeaway Bristol

just eat takeaway websiteAbout a week before we went on holiday, the people from JUST EAT got in touch to ask, if we would like to test their service and what better time is there to have takeaways than the week before you jet off into the sunset – or drive to Germany in our case?

To us, the timing was absolutely perfect. We were on a mission to empty the fridge without buying any new food before our holiday and with the £50 takeaway gift card that we were provided with, it couldn’t have been easier. The order process and handling of the JUST EAT website was really simple. We typed our postcode into the search bar and a list of over 60 different restaurants delivering to our doorstep unfolded right in front of us. With cuisines reaching from traditional English and Chinese over kebab houses, Japanese restaurants or Indian and Bangladeshi food, we were well and truly spoiled for choice, but in the end we decided to order an Indian and a kebab and pizza mix.

just eat takeaway review bristol Spice Bazaar

We are usually a little picky when it comes to Indian food. We either make it from scratch using authentic Indian recipes or we are going with the same curry house every single time. When I saw the extensive menu of Spice Bazaar (based in Brislington) though, I knew that we would have to give it a try. It took us a while to decide what to order, with over 200 mains and starters there really was something for everyone on the menu, but in the end I went for my favourite chicken badhonia, while Ben chose a lamb biryani. We also ordered mushroom badjhi, some mixed vegetables as well as pilau rice, poppadoms and pershwari naan as sides and I have to say that I was really impressed when we promptly received our order after only 30 minutes.

The food was absolutely delicious and could easily compete with our usual Indian restaurant. The sauce of my badhonia was thick and flavoursome and Ben really enjoyed the tender lamb of his biryani. Amy kept coming back for more from both our plates and seems to be following me in her love for naan bread with a nutty and fruity filling. I knew that this girl’s got taste! All in all, we were more than pleased with our order from Spice Bazaar. The flavours of our meals were restaurant worthy, the delivery was quick and friendly and all in all we got a ridiculous amount of food for only £25 – we will definitely be back for more.

just eat takeaway review bristol pizza and kebab

Our second order came from Bedminster Kebab House. Not the most creative name for a restaurant and the menu wasn’t terribly exciting either, but it was perfectly fine for a kebab and pizza order. Surprisingly we even received a second complimentary pizza on the house – so what’s not to like? The pizza topping was a little greasy, but the dough was really light and fluffy and nice enough to tuck into the day after. I personally wasn’t keen on the kebab meat, but the salad was by far the best I’ve ever had in a kebab – so yes, maybe I’ll try out the chicken kebab next time!

Overall, this was great value for money, if you can ever say that about a takeaway. We came away with a second big pizza that we didn’t have to pay for and discovered a restaurant that might be an alternative for Pizza Hut, if we fancy a change.

Will we be using JUST EAT again? Definitely! It saves you so much time when trying to find out which restaurant is delivering to your house and I really liked that you can book your delivery early in the day for a set slot in the evening. It also gives you correct information at all times, so you always know that you have the correct menu at hand and or a valid telephone number, if you’ve messed up your order or have any questions. We’re very impressed with the website and also the fact that you can buy gift cards for friends and family – perfect moving in present for students or new homeowners, don’t you think?

Disclosure: We were provided with a gift card for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own.