Monday, 24 October 2016

Doing our #FrubesMoves with Angry Birds

When it comes to fun family films, The Angry Birds Movie was such an absolute unexpected gem. We saw it at the cinema, knowing that 7 year old Angry Birds fan Freddy was going to love it, but were totally delighted when we were just as enthralled! We all agreed that they did a great job of creating some hilarious characters and an exciting storyline from the iconic game.

Frubes, the squeezy tubes of yummy yogurt, have partnered up with Angry Birds, with each tube featuring a favourite character from the movie. Red, Chuck, Bomb, Terrence, Mighty Eagle, Matilda and the Pigs add some extra fun to each tube. In strawberry, red berry, peach and banana flavours, they contain added calcium and vitamin D, both essential for strong, healthy bone growth in children and are suitable for vegetarians. Frubes are offering families the chance to win a holiday in the Bahamas to celebrate their partnership with The Angry Birds Movie. Hurry though, the promotion ends on October 31st. Just buy a promotional pack and enter the unique code online for your chance to win a holiday in the sun for your brood.

Angry Birds, Frubes

As well as entering the competition, you can take part in a crazy online dance off game. You can pick the characters, the stage, the moves and the music, and then egg on the birds or the pigs in the ultimate dance battle. Only one side can win. Can you pick the winner? Will it be a case of Strictly Ham Dancing or Dancing in the Tweets? I particularly enjoy the pigs' dancing, they really know how to hog the dance floor! Some funky and funny moves certainly go down on both sides of the dance off, inspiring kids to get up and boogie along, busting their own Frubes Moves.

Britmums have challenged bloggers to share their own family's Frubes Moves, seeing whether our style is more Angry Bird or naughty Pig. My Freddy has always loved dancing. Ever since he was a baby, the sound of music just gets into his soul and he can't resist the urge to move to the beat. From snake hip wiggles to street dance jiggles, I love watching him strut his stuff. However, as he gets older, the insecurity of performing in front of other people means he is a little less free with his spontaneous public dance routines. But you can still catch him re-enacting the dance scenes from Teen Beach Movie or grooving along to the latest YouTube sensation (Pen Pineapple Apple Pen is his current favourite!) Dancing is such great exercise for kids and it gives them the freedom to express themselves through movement.

As a family, we often put on a record from our vinyl collection, switch on our mini disco ball (yes we do actually have one!) and have an old school family disco. I think it's important that we can all get together, throw out our inhibitions and do some crazy dance moves to some 80's compilation LPs, old Disney collections or to my own personal favourite, Bat Out of Hell. It is stress relieving, it boosts confidence and gets us all up and moving.

I asked Freddy to create his own Frubes Moves dance. He used some Frubes as props, put on his Angry Birds T-shirt and rocked out some super funky moves!

Angry Birds, kids dance, Frubes

There were some shimmies, dabs, whips, nae naes and some old skool moving and grooving - but most impressive of all was the Tail Feather Shaking! Very appropriate for The Angry Birds Movie! I think that Freddy would definitely win a dance off against both the pigs and the birds using these moves!

Angry Birds, Frubes

Frubes are available to purchase in leading supermarkets for £2 RRP. Find details of the competition and play the Dance Off game at

This post is an entry for BritMums’ #FrubesMoves Linky Challenge, sponsored by Frubes.

Celebrate The World of Eric Carle and The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is an iconic children's book that has enthralled little ones since its first release in 1969. Over the years the beautiful classic, designed, written and illustrated by the  amazing Eric Carle, has become a firm favourite in many households. The Very Hungry Caterpillar was the first book that Freddy developed an attachment to. Whenever I'd pick him up from nursery he'd be lying on a rug in the book corner, listening to the audio book while following the story on the colourful pages. He could recite all the words and knew all the food that the caterpillar gobbled up on his journey to become a butterfly. It's a very special book to us.

The World of Eric Carle is a range of new, exciting products based on the books and artwork of the man himself. Created by a number of companies, the range includes plush toys, puzzles, games, homeware, ceramics, clothing and partyware. I have received a selection of wonderful items based on The Very Hungry Caterpillar to review, and can honestly say that they are all so gorgeous! They have all the charm, nostalgia and magic of the classic book, embracing the gentle illustrations and original style, whilst staying modern, fresh and relevant to kids of today.

The range includes greeting cards. The birthday boy and girl designs are colourful and come in a sunshine yellow envelope, guaranteed to brighten up the birthday boy or girl's day.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Carrying on from the birthday theme, the range includes partyware for themed party clebrations, perfect for little ones. The 3m long paper garland comes with sixteen motifs, such as the caterpillar, his food and a rainbow, pre-strung with green cord. The table napkins feature strawberries and the caterpillar and come in a pack of 20 x 3 ply paper napkins.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

I absolutely love this Nature Walk Scrapbook, which comes with 70 stickers. It encourages children out into the outdoors where they can try to spot all the wonderful plants and animals around them. The pages invite children to record their findings by drawing pictures or sticking things in or even by leaving a muddy welly print on the page. It is beautifully illustrated, with engaging words and interactive activities for little nature hunters to enjoy.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

My Natural Trail Adventure is a 2 in 1 jigsaw puzzle and counting fun set. It contains a big 36 piece 40 x 40cm puzzle. It is double sided, with one side featuring insects that can be coloured in once the puzzle is completed. The activity book features lots of full colour, simple counting picture puzzles for little children. The chunky box has a velcro fastener to keep everything safe inside.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The 4-in-1 Games Box includes Matching Bingo, 4 Shapes-in-a-Row, Snap and Twisted Pairs  games. The chunky playing pieces teach shape recognition, picture matching, memory and turn taking skills. Everything fits into the cube box and has a cord handle for carrying it around. It is aimed at children aged 3+ due to having small pieces.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This activity set comes in a beautiful, reusable metal tin. Inside there are 3 fun pads filled with colouring in pages and activity puzzles, 4 felt tip pens, 50 stickers and a double sided poster that has one side for colouring in. There is plenty here to keep children occupied and entertained on rainy days.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

My absolutely favourite piece is this beautiful Caterpillar Shaped Party Plate from Portmeirion. It has four sections across the body of the caterpillar, perfect for holding small snacks such as pieces of fruit. It would be lovely on a themed party table, but is equally good for using all year round. Children would be encouraged to eat their fruit knowing how much The Very Hungry Caterpillar enjoys eating his! It is a high quality item, made with attention to detail and  true to the illustrations of Eric Carle. It would make a lovely collectible piece for Portmeirion collectors with fond memories of the book. Portmeirion also do a range of other ceramic gifts such as figurines, moneybox, mugs and bookends, all featuring The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This duvet cover and pillowcase set is suitable for cot bed sized duvets, so is perfect for a toddler's nursery. It has a gentle design featuring the caterpillar and his food. The pillowcase is reversible so you can choose between the same design as is on the duvet cover, or go for a big caterpillar with the wording "The Very Hungry Caterpillar". If this book is a child's favourite bedtime story, just imagine how comforting it would be for them to immerse themselves in the familiar illustrations as they snuggle down to sleep.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The World of Eric Carle products promote the joy of playful learning and discovery, inspiring children to explore and grow. There are products for play, for wearing, for cuddling, for bedtime, for parties and for being out and about. The Very Hungry Caterpillar can accompany little ones through many aspects of their lives, bringing familiarity, comfort, fun and inspiration.

You can find information on the products from the World of Eric Carle on the official World of Eric Carle Facebook Page. They make wonderful Christmas presents for children, with products suitable for all ages.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Warwick Castle becomes The Haunted Castle this Halloween

Until October 31st, Warwick Castle is hosting six all new spooky attractions turning it into The Haunted Castle in the week leading up to Halloween. We were invited along to join in the fun and experience the family thrills and scares. Warwick Castle stays open until 9 pm everyday of The Haunted Castle event, giving some after dark excitement to the bravest visitors.


During the day, families can get lost in time and enjoy the all new Horrible Histories Maze. Children can explore gruesome eras in history from the Terrible Tudors to the Stomin' Normans to the Vicious Vikings, as they attempt to re-order history and escape the maze. Along the way, you stamp a passport and once completed, it can be exchanged for a treat in the castle shop. There is so much to learn and Freddy really enjoyed it.

Warwick Castle

The Haunted Hollows walk-through is a magical trail filled with spooky secrets where fairy tales become scary tales. You encounter a friendly washerwoman, a grumpy gargoyle and a mysterious scarecrow as you make your way to the Witch's garden where golden vegetables grow. There are bats, spiders, skeletons and crows to spot as you explore the haunted hollows. As darkness falls, things get more eerie!

Warwick castle

The Warwick Castle courtyard is decorated with hay bails and pumpkins giving it a seasonal makeover. There are spooky stories brought to life by resident storytellers and little wizards and witches can help the witches of Warwick conjure up spells in The Witches Tower. Eagles, Owls and Vultures take to the skies in the Flight of the Eagles show. The birds are utterly magnificent!


Included in your ticket price, is a brand new live action horror mazes Tormented, which has a 5 pumpkin scare rating! It tells the story of a woman tormented by the malevolent spirit of a man excused of murdering her family. With creepy dolls, unnerving special effects and doctors trying to cure the poor tormented woman of her 'condition', this is not for the faint hearted. Don't take the kids into these mazes. (Somebody in my group did and the poor girl had hysterics and had to be escorted out in tears.) You have to collect a free timed ticket for Tormented, returning at a set time to enter. Tormented opens at 12 pm.

Outbreak 1349, which is a free-flow attraction, opens at 5 pm. You come face to face with the plague ridden residents of Warwick Castle. Can you escape the Black Death?

After dark, the action hots up as fearless knights take part in a thrilling fire joust and the trebuchet catapults a fireball in an exciting demonstration. 

With the spectacular state rooms and Great Hall, Kingmaker, the towers and ramparts, the mound, the mill, the gaol and the Time Tower to explore, there is so much to see and do. We took an autumnal walk in the landscaped gardens and enjoyed a coffee in the conservatory overlooking the Peacock Garden watching the birds proudly strutting about. It is a lovely place for wandering about in the beautiful grounds, getting some fresh air and exercise and of course making leaf angels!


The Castle Dungeon (extra charge applies) completes the scary attractions on offer this Halloween. You can make a short break out of your visit by arranging a sleepover in the new Knight's Village.

We had a really good day and enjoyed learning about the history of the castle in such an interactive way. The Halloween attractions certainly added some spooky fun and make Warwick Castle a great choice this half term.

Find out more and book tickets at

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Halloween Themed Snacks with Primula

I really love Halloween. It is a great excuse to have some family fun with a spooky twist. I love dressing up, watching scary movies and eating Halloween themed food. It's a monstrously good time of year!

As part of the Primula Blogger Club, I have been creating some seasonal snacks using Primula Cheese, which have been a great hit with the family. Here are three quick and easy recipes to feed your little monsters this Halloween.

Cobweb Muffin Pizzas

Primula, Halloween, recipe

Ingredients (per 2 muffin pizzas)

1 muffin
tomato paste
Primula Original cheese
1 cherry tomato, sweetcorn kernels and slices of red pepper for garnish


Slice the muffin and spread with tomato paste.
Pop into the oven at 200 degrees for about 6-8 minutes.
Use Primula squeezy cheese to draw a cobweb on each half.
Using a half tomato, two sweetcorn kernels and eight strips of red pepper, make a spider to garnish the muffin pizza.

Primula, Halloween, recipe, vegetarian

Handy hint - transfer Primula to an icing syringe for finer lines.

Smoky Primula Dip served in a pumpkin

Halloween, Primula

Nothing says Halloween like a gorgeous, orange pumpkin. They make such a lovely centrepiece for an autumnal table or a Halloween party. I have used one as a holder for a dip, and surrounded it with tasty things to dip in it! Instead of attempting to hollow out the whole pumpkin and filling it completely with dip, I've simply taken off the top and scooped out enough flesh to pop in a glass ramekin dish. It looks really effective, is more hygienic and means you can re-use the pumpkin afterwards.

Halloween, pumpkin, Primula


Half a tube of Primula Original Cheese
1 teaspoon of tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon of smoky paprika


Simply mix the ingredients together and sprinkle a little paprika on top.
Serve with carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, radishes, celery, crackers or crisps.

Halloween, Primula, pumpkin

Cheesy Sausage Roll Mummies

Halloween, Primula, recipe


5 veggie sausages (I used defrosted Quorn sausages)
1/2 sheet of ready rolled shortcrust pastry
Primula Original Cheese
a little milk for glazing
tomato paste for making eyeballs


Cut the sheet of ready roll pastry in half lengthways.
Cut the pastry into five strips.
Spread a thin layer of Primula onto the pastry strips.
Wrap each sausage with the pastry, with the cheesy side facing inwards!
Leave a 2cm piece of sausage showing at the top.
Pop into the oven on a prepared baking sheet at 200 degrees.
Cook for 15 - 20 minutes until golden.
Don't worry if the cheese oozes out - it adds to the effect!
Use tomato paste to make red eyeballs on the top of the sausage to complete the mummy.

Halloween, Primula, recipe

These tasty, cheesy little sausage roll mummies are perfect for buffet food or for an after school snack for the kids. The Primula layer adds a lovely cheesy twist to this classic savoury treat.

However you celebrate Halloween this year, I hope you enjoy some family fun and make some wonderful memories!

The Primula Blogger Club is a paid for partnership.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Creating a #brightFuture for our children

Ever since the birth of my firstborn son back in 1988, I have tried to be the best person that I can possibly be (not always a successful mission, but I do my best). Children have a way of making you want to be the best version of yourself, providing a good role model for their future aspirations and leading them towards adulthood by example. Now, 28 years on, I have three, very successful grown-up children who make me proud everyday; two wonderful little ones who fill my heart with joy;  an adorable little grandson who has given me the most treasured gift of being a grandparent and a new baby granddaughter, who is due in a few weeks time. Over these years, I have endeavoured to do my best, hoping to make my little corner of the universe as happy, positive and productive as I possibly can. Life isn't always easy, and there have been plenty of ups and downs, but I know in my heart that I have always put my family first and foremost in every decision that I have ever made.


Becoming a parent and grandparent has also made me look at the world differently, seeing the bigger picture of how my choices impact our world. Things that we do now, can have a huge effect on the lives of future generations. How we choose to live our lives today can affect our children's tomorrows. This is a huge responsibility and something that I don't take lightly.

In a recent survey sponsored by Unilever, 90% of parents believed that if everyone takes a few small steps to improve the environment, then we can make the world a better place. Each and everyone of us is capable of changing a few aspects of our lives for the better to make a brighter future for our children. Trying to make environmentally friendly choices in everyday tasks, being mindful of our actions, looking at more sustainable ways of doing things and trying to help others are all positive steps.

As a family, we consider ourselves to be pretty green. We are all passionate vegetarians and eat a meat-free diet, which greatly reduces our impact on the environment. I make menu plans and shop for the week, ensuring that no food is thrown away. We are strong believers in recycling and re-using our waste where possible. We keep a close eye on our household's water and energy consumption, and make sure that we are not wasteful with resources.  The children have all been brought up to be respectful of what we have and from a young age have made positive steps such as turning off lights when leaving a room; turning the tap off when brushing teeth; putting plastic, glass and paper into the recycling containers and donating unwanted toys and clothes to charity shops. Every little positive step helps and you are never too young or too old to make a positive difference. 60% of parents surveyed said they were trying to live in a greener way at home, let's hope that one day everyone gets on board and does their bit for the environment.

Unilever have recently launched their #brightFuture initiative. Their new advert on TV is really moving, showing the things that the brand are doing to take positive steps towards making the future a better place. Domestos is helping children in developing countries get access to proper toilets with a commitment to help 25 million people by 2020. Persil has joined with UNICEF and helped 10 million children into education and Dove has made a positive impact on 19 million young people through its Self-Esteem Project. All incredibly worthy projects and a way for them to give something back to the global community. 482 million lives have been improved with projects positively impacting on health and hygiene in the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.

Unilever and Britmums sent me some products from the brand to try, keeping in mind how they relate to the #brightFuture initiative and how they can contribute to a better way of living for my family.


We are so lucky in the UK to have clean running water, good sanitation and hygienic living conditions. Domestos helps maintain clean spaces for our children, preventing the spread of disease and improving the quality of their lives. Domestos bleach is also a great product for upcycling old clothes! Tie dying tops or adding funky bleach streaks to jeans gives a new lease of life to old tired clothing and is a great way of re-using things that may otherwise end up in landfill.

Persil Non-Bio allows us to wash clothing using a low temperature, economy wash setting. This saves water and electricity, yet we can still be confident that our clothing will be clean. Persil encourages children to get outside to explore, play and learn, giving them a love and understanding of the great outdoors. Getting muddy is just part of the fun and something we don't need to stress about. Giving children freedom is so important to their wellbeing.

The Dove Self Esteem Project is helping young people to grow in confidence and builds self-esteem. 8 out of 10 girls have admitted to opting out of activities over concern for their body image. As a mum of three daughters, this is something that matters to me considerably. Self-image can limit a young person's potential. Dove believes that it is who you are that defines you, where confidence is the real source of beauty. Workshops, activities and online resources are encouraging girls to enjoy a positive relationship with how they look. My 14 year old daughter suffers with dry skin, so the Dove Derma Spa Goodness body lotion and nourishing shower wash is really good for her. If it makes her skin look and feel better, it can really help boost her body confidence. It is little things like using the right products that can make a big difference.

My wish for the future is that everyone accepts their own personal responsibility and tries their best to do things for the good of our planet and for each other. If we all come together, there is hope for our tomorrow. I want my own five children to contribute to their #brightFuture by doing the best they can and by being the best that they can. If we all do what we can and believe in the power of change, then maybe our future and our children's futures will be bright.

This post is an entry for BritMums #brightFuture Challenge, sponsored by Unilever.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

We Brits Love Our Curry! Celebrating National Curry Week with Sainsbury's

In celebration of National Curry Week (10th – 16th October), Sainsbury’s have commissioned a survey to reveal how the nation’s love of Indian cuisine has evolved since its introduction to the UK.

Curry first came to Britain in the 18th century, and over the years our nation has fully embraced Indian cuisine establishing it as a firm national favourite. Up until the 1980s, many of the options on offer were just anglicised versions of a select few Indian dishes, but a demand for more authentic, flavoursome, diverse and exotic cuisine has developed over the decades. Sainsbury's has been meeting this demand, reviewing and testing recipes and ideas to create authentic products with passion.

When it comes to grocery shopping, our choice of spices has evolved too. Alongside store cupboard favourites such as chilli, ginger, paprika and cumin, we are now opting for more exotic ingredients when it comes to cooking curry. Sainsbury’s has reported that sales of garam masala are up by nearly a quarter (24%) whilst cumin and coriander seed are dramatically increasing in popularity. Sales of turmeric are up 9%. 37% of Brits are also willing to spend up to three hours in the kitchen perfecting the mix of spices for the best possible flavour for a home cooked curry.

Indian food, vegetarian


•             The nation selected Tikka Masala and Korma as their favourite dishes
•             The Welsh opted for hot Madras as their favourite dish
•             The UK chose naan breads over rice as their favourite side dish
•             The majority of the UK like hot curry but Londoners prefer milder recipes
•             Brits will spend a huge £30,331 on curry in their lifetime
•             43% of Brits would opt for a ready meal over a takeaway for convenience and value 
•             Nearly half of us say we would eat curry any night of the week - it's not just a weekend meal

Sainsbury’s first introduced classic Indian ingredients, such as curry powder and mango chutney, in 1920, representing a revolutionary addition to supermarket shopping for the time. Their first Indian ready meals were introduced to customers in 1989. Over 20 years on, Sainsbury’s stocks a range of 50 prepared Indian dishes and accompaniments, selling more than £61m of Indian food per annum. 

The Sainsbury's range of Indian ready meals is continually evolved to suit the changing preferences of their customers. They have recently enhanced their range of vegetarian side dishes including By Sainsbury's Sweet Potato and Red Onion Bhajis, By Sainsbury's Tadka Daal and Taste the Difference Crispy Beetroot and Chilli Samosas.

To find out more about Sainsbury’s variety of spices and new Indian inspired ready meals or to see the full list of ready meals, visit

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Halloween 2016 review round-up - featuring Poundland and HARIBO

The days are getting shorter, the temperature is dropping and the shops are stocked with spooky, seasonal goodies. Yes, it's nearly Halloween, one of my favourite times of the year!  We enjoy celebrating the season and having some family fun with a scary twist.

If you want to enjoy Halloween, but want to keep to a budget, check out Poundland for some great items at just £1 each. From decorations to fancy dress to sweeties to tableware, you will find loads of fabulously themed things to keep the kids happy. We were sent a selection from their range.

Halloween, Poundland

This year's designs include a rather cute family of monsters, who appear on everything from paper plates to trick or treat bags. They also feature on the cupcake set that contains cake cases and toppers. Perfect for making some spooky cupcakes.  The tableware is excellent value and makes entertaining easy. Plates come in packs of 20, napkins in a pack of 30 and cups in a pack of 40, so there will be plenty to cater for a Halloween party. You can dress the house with Halloween decorations including character lights and bunting.

Poundland also has some good dressing up accessories, Freddy picked out a Freddy Krueger style bladed glove so he can dress like his namesake this year. Don't forget to stock up on some sweets for Trick or Treaters, which you can hand out from Poundland's Trick or Treat bowl.


HARIBO always do some great seasonal limited edition sweet packs, which are perfect for parties or for handing out to the little monsters who come knocking on Halloween night. Haribo kindly sent us a selection in a spooky package, which we will enjoy distributing to our local Trick or Treaters.


This year, Haribo have a Halloween Duo pumpkin pack, Trick or Treat mini bags, TangfasTricks and Scaremix ready to please the kids and the young at heart grown-ups!

scaremix, sweets, Halloween

The Duo pack comes in a lidded pumpkin shaped container, which looks great on a table laid with Halloween goodies. Inside the tub is two large bags of Haribo Halloween sweets (Scaremix and TangfasTricks) which can be poured into each of the divided halves of the bowl. It makes a lovely colourful display.

Halloween sweets

Haribo Scaremix comes in an assortment of spooky designs and flavours: Dracula Rings in Blood Orange & Apple, Apple & Blackcurrant and Blackcurrant & Blueberry; Boo Bears in Cherry, Lime and Blood Orange; Witches' Brew in Blood Orange; Vampire Heart in Blackcurrant & Bubblegum and Monster's Eyeball in Toffee Apple. They come in funky colours too, adding a Halloween twist to some old classics.

The TangfasTricks offer an opportunity for daring sweet eaters to dive in and take a gamble on which sweet they're going to eat! They look normal enough, but not all the sweets are tangy - some of them are super sour and some are HOT! Will the one you choose be a treat or a trick?  It will definitely make for a fun game this Halloween.


I hope they will do a veggie friendly range one day so I too can indulge in the happy world of Haribo!


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