Friday, 13 December 2013

Have Yourself an Eco-Friendly Christmas

Having just moved house and discovered that the boiler was on its last legs , we decided to have a new boiler fitted.

As Christmas approaches, families across the country will be making plans and preparations for the extra requirements of the festive season. From coping with a household filled with children and relatives, to the military precision one requires for getting the whole Christmas dinner cooked on time, one of the last things on your mind is likely to be energy efficiency. But with both the colder weather, and the ceaseless rise of energy costs for the consumer, this winter may come with a few nasty surprises on the energy bill.

there are all kinds of ways to lower your electric and heating costs, including looking for cheap energy providers. From clever cooking to smart shopping, every part of your seasonal preparations can be a source of energy savings.
Power Shopping

Before you can sit down to Christmas dinner, before tearing open your presents, you must first of all do the dreaded Christmas shopping. Although it will mainly be your own energy that you are looking to conserve at this point, there are tips to consider that will help you throughout the year with your energy bills. Think about alternatives to those perennial but power-hungry popular gifts: hair driers, beard trimmers, foot spas are always top sellers, but can create added consumption in the household. Try to find energy efficient brands. Though often slightly more expensive to begin with, they recoup their cost in no time.
Let There Be (Energy Efficient) Light

Similarly, much of the magic of Yuletide is the glittering warmth given off by a well decorated house. Whether you go all-out, or keep it simple, always look for the most energy efficient lighting alternatives. Fairy lights might seem like a minor consideration, but when they are left on at all times of the day for an entire month, it soon adds up.

On that note, if you are one of those people who loves to indulge and covers the outside of their house in floodlit dioramas of the nativity scene, maybe give it a rest this year? Not only will your energy bill be smaller, but your neighbours will be a lot happier too!
Log On

Heating is a number one concern over winter time, especially if you have a household full of children and elderly relatives. Keeping every guest room and living space up to temperature over the holidays can see your electricity meter whirring like never before. But if you are fortunate enough to live in a home with a fireplace and chimney, now is the time to get that fire roaring. There is nothing more festive than an open fire at Christmas. And, although it may not be the most carbon-neutral alternative to the environment as a whole, it will certainly be one way for a stretched household to lower its heating bills until the New Year.
Log Off

Christmas is a time for family, so enjoy spending time in the company of others, and switch off those external distractions. The modern household today might have fewer television sets than twenty years ago, but the number of computers, smart phones, music players and other digital gadgets running at any time has increased exponentially. And, of course, all of these need either direct mains power, or require charging.

Save energy and close down any unused devices, be they laptops, gaming systems or Hi-Fis. Remember, your online friends will be just as likely to be offline for the time being and spending the day with their family too. Get together with the folks and you can find a classic film on the TV. Without the need for other DVD or Blu-ray players, you can make more savings or, if you are really going green, why not break open a board game?

Command the Kitchen

Christmas dinner is the highpoint of the festive season for anybody who has grown out of the phase of rushing downstairs at 6am to rip open their presents. But it is also one of the most chaotic, and potentially traumatising parts of the Christmas periods, for the person in charge of the food. But by spending time beforehand, making a few simple calculations, you will find that saving money will also create the best dinnertime schedule, too. Get all your pieces in the oven and cooking so they are ready together, and you will save money by not having the cooker going for longer than needed. Choose a turkey crown over a full bird to reduce the amount of roasting it will require. And don't load up the dishwasher afterwards, either: everybody should take turns doing their bit for the washing and drying, and it will be done in no time. Don't leave it all up to mum!

An energy efficient Christmas is not an impossible task. And once you have started with these suggestions, you will soon start to find your own savings both at home, and when out and about, throughout the festive period.


Thursday, 12 December 2013

A New year to look forward to !

We have taken a very brave move and were putting G in to pre school for a couple of morning a week in the new year and well I'm dreading it - the school its self is about 400 meters away, but it could be a million miles away as far as I'm concerned.

We are at the moment going to a playgroup one day a week - at the pre school. He loves it there but when he wonders off to play he comes back in the room looking all lost , confused and upset.

Me and G have only spent a handful of days apart and I going to miss him so much & I think hope he will miss me too.
My G has got so many problems and my biggest worry is his speech , he's 3 in February and still only has about 50 words to his vocabulary.We are hoping that pre school will improve his speech., but I'm worried he will want something and they wont understand him. He gets so upset.

Then there is his falling over, G has been diagnosed with lax ligaments and so he's prone to falling over. I know they will look after my little G but I just cant help but worry.... is this normal ?

But on the other hand I'm looking forward to having time for a cuppa tea in peace and quite, been able to blog on a regular basis , watch This Morning and not Peppa Pig ........

I know he will enjoy making new friends and I will enjoy the free time but I will miss my time with G. 3 years is a long time of spending tie with just one person.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Ingham Fire Station - by Plum Products

We received the Ingham fire station am fire station from Plum products for review and well it sat in ts box for a few weeks while we moved house. Poor G kept looking at the box and going nee narrrr bless.

When H finally got round to putting it up , it took a little longer than it stated on the instructions they said it would take 45 minutes, it was more like 2 and half hours - maybe that's because we didn't have an electrical screwdriver. The instructions were clear and easy to understand. Just one bit baffled H that was how to put on the fire station sign - that took a long time to work out and some of his dads old tools - you needed a bendy screwdriver. Once we got past that it was plain sailing , the bits are all labelled with tiny numbers, so you just follow through the instruction book.

Once complete H was exhausted but very proud of his achievements. And G has spent many hours playing with this toy, he is a little bit rough with his toys and the hinge to the fire engine storage came off after 2 weeks - but with the help f some self tapping nails ( 4 which cost about 20p ) this was easily fixed. H said they provided the wrong type of screws but I think it
was G been too rough. If I had the choice I would have put this on a small table. As the back room was full of boxes we had no choice but to put it on the lounge floor. But since the repairs have been made it seems so much stronger, we have one very happy little boy again.

Hear you can see a selection of the 19 the little figures that came with the fire station which include stop signs, bunk beds, 2 fire men and many more little items which make this perfect for little fingers to play with. You can see from the photos this is a 3 story building which is very bright and colourful. We also liked the fact that its made from ethically sourced wood. 

G has some bigger fire engines which you can see in the other photos, he loves his nee narrrs .

The rrp on this fire station is £119 and if you shop around you can get it cheaper

Its fantastic value for money as it provides hours of imaginative and role  play and this will become a treasured piece in our home. Once G has gone to bed it folds up and tucks away down the side of the sofa.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Oven pride event :

I was invited to a cooking event by Ovenpride at the The Cheshire Cookery School and well I cant cook to save my life. I burn oven pizzas , I undercook fish and chips.
Cooking is such an important skill that has just passed me by and well its just not fair on G . I want him to be proud of his mum ( me) and the meals I cook. 

We have just moved house and now have a big new kitchen well I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to learn some skills.

The master class was taught by Kurt Thomas who has had 35 years experience in the cooking industry so if he could not teach me how to cook - there really was no hope for me. 
first we were shown the amazing power of oven pride - which reminds me we need to clean the oven in our old house !
  I was amazed how easy it was to use :)

The meal we were given as our task - should we chose to accept ( think mission impossible ) was Kurt's chicken and Tuscan bean stew ( with chorizo ) and a quick sour dough bread.
We arrived promptly at 6.30 had a quick cuppa and a chat from Kurt who explained the meal would be easy to make and prepare - this helped to put my mind at rest - just a little.

He then gave a demonstration on how to make the soda bread which we all had a taste of and it was amazing not what I expected


Kurt then started on the Tuscan bean strew and then I started to panic big time - we had to chop onion - now having had two strokes my co-ordination isn't the best and I usually end up with plasters all over my fingers so I was really worried.

this was his finished dishes
Then it was our turn and every one else worked in pairs and just like high school I was all on my own - I looked around for my other mummy blogger friends but they had all paired up .
So I had twice the work and so this was going  to be more fun than I thought :(
 We were given a recipe card to follow to make it a bit easier.
I was that busy baking bread, preparing veg I forgot to take photos of me pounding my dough lol
so i took a photo of the bread in the oven.
 This is my finished soda bread and it was really yummy.
So the peeling and chopping began and well i still have both hands and all my fingers and still attached and not one cut in site - that's a good sign :)

don't know if you can see from my photos but we used one of these new fangled induction hob which was very space age :)
 Hear it is my finished dish :)
I was so proud of my dish especially as i had cooked it all by my self.
 Hear are some of the other bloggers enjoying there meals.
All that was left to do was the washing up, which the lovely people at the cookery school did for us.
We were provided with a goody bag for attending this event my review of the items will be coming to my blog soon.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Linen loft

what is linen loft I hear you cry !
think luxurious bedding and towels think  boutique think high end products at affordable prices.

linen loft is a small company which do in home parities  parties and online - for the parties think Tupperware and Ann Summers Jamie at home and you will get the idea . they also sell online at   and now sold in a delightful small shop just outside Knutsford Cheshire. Which is just 10 miles down the road from our new home so me and G were delighted to be asked to attend the store opening a few weeks ago.

When we arrived it was not what I expected at all
but when I walked in I was amazed

As we have just moved house I really enjoyed looking at every thing they had to offer. New bedding towels. We have just gone up to a king size bed and I loved this grey colour and it would work so well in our bedroom. If I had an unlimited budged I would have gone nuts and brought out the whole shop.

Not only do they do amazing bed linen they also have fantastic lounge ideas.

The quality is high but with prices which are more affordable than similar high street shops. Joanne Napier who founded the company explained that she tries to find smaller local or family suppliers to give her products that something special.

One of Joanne's new lines includes a stunning children's range which I think G approved of. Lots of gingham strips with beautiful throws

I could have spent a fortune in hear but with paying two mortgages I don't think H would have been best pleased so I got 2 items

A beautiful owl door stop and a Christmas tree candle holder both can be found at

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

todays the day ......

Todays the day we sold our house :)
Its been on the market since December 2012 , 6 weeks after we got married.

We have been in our new home exactly a month. So on this day we have sold our old house I feel relief because paying two mortgages was a little bit tricky to say the least. Cash flow has been a real issue of late and with the new house boiler on its last legs we were really starting to feel the per strings pulling.

On the other had I feel quite sad as it was my first home apart from my parents , the first Home G has know bringing G home for the first time , our first married home - its where H struggled to carry me over the threshold.  We fed G his first meal , G took his first steps in the lounge.

What we have now is a lot better and we are happy hear. G has even started a regular playgroup.
Our old house is now a distant memory and we have to look forward but there is just a slight hint of sadness that comes with it.
G's granddaddy peter helped to do a lot of the decorating and so it H feels a slight attachment to it.
Onwards and upwards .


Sunday, 3 November 2013

What did you get up to this Halloween ?

Halloween for us this year for us was a little different as we had just moved house and not really knowing anyone we didn't think it was right to take G trick or treating.

So instead we stayed in brought a tone of sweets and waited for the trick or treaters to arrive and boy they arrived . We did try to watch a film a new Scooby doo movie but we kept getting disturbed so that's one for this week.

We must have had about 30 familys knock on the door which was really nice. Everyone in the new area is so nice and the children are so polite - they all said thank you.

Swizzles mellow would really like know what you got up to this year .
Please could you fill in this short survey, which takes only 3 minuets to fill in and you get the chance to win a prize - this amazing Christmas bundle could be yours.