My Family

My Family

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Something's Got To Change so Today's The Day!

Something's Got To Change so Today's The Day! 

With each meal I find myself saying "I really shouldn't be eating this" but yet I eat it. With each glass of wine I drink, find myself saying "I really shouldn't be drinking this" yet I do. 

Every day I find myself saying "I'll start tomorrow - I'll change then" But tomorrow never comes so TODAY I am going to make a change. TODAY I am going to go into the kitchen and throw out all of the fizzy pop and the bottles of wine and the packets of sweets and I won't be buying any more of them from now on. Today's the day, Something's gotta change.

I've never really had a problem with my weight, I've always thought of myself as 'one of the lucky ones' as my weight was always pretty stable. I've weighed around 9 stone for the past 10 years give or take a few pounds but not any more. Upon standing on the scales last week I felt pretty disappointed in myself for the first time ever as I'd almost hit 10 stone.

I've always been a fussy eater or a lazy eater as most would call it. Working unsociable hours means I often grab something on the go meaning I eat a lot of fast food. This have never really effected me before but lately I've been drinking an awful lot of fizzy pop and drinking a fair bit of alcohol. That one glass of wine a night starts to add up.

I know if I'm completely honest with myself I cannot change the food I eat altogether a there's so much food I just won't eat or don't like but I am going to change everything that I can. I can swap the fizzy drinks for squash or water and I can cut out the wine at night. 

There are lots of small changes to my diet that I can make and I am going to try. Today I've made the decision to change and this time I am determined to try hard and succeed.

No more crisps or cakes when I'm hungry or 'bored' in the evenings and no more chocolate for breakfast. No more wine before bed and no more fizzy pop all day long. Summer is on it's way and this time, I will be ready for it. I will get rid of this extra stone of weight and I will feel good about myself in doing so. Today's the day I am going to do it. It all starts now!

I'll try and keep you updated with how I get on but until then - Wish me Luck x

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Going Meat Free with Hooba Foods #Review

Going Meat Free with Hooba Foods: Review

2017 for me is all about trying to eat better and feel a little healthier so this week I went Meat Free with the help of Hooba Foods. Hooba Foods believe that eating too much processed meat isn’t very good for us so it’s a good idea to cut-down on the amount you eat. Hooba Foods make it so easy for you to cut out a little or cut-out the lot. Hooba Foods use protein-rich mushrooms to reduce or replace the meat we eat. I'm not a fan of mushrooms but I was determined to give them a try so when our delivery arrived, I have to admit, I was a little nervous. I never eat mushrooms, they're normally the item on my plate that gets left behind.

Our delivery included: Hooba No Meat Burgers, No Meat Sausages, No Meat Sausage Rolls and No Meat Mince. All of them contain the main ingredient: Selected Mushrooms. They have lots of other seasonings in them to give them flavours other than just mushroom.

Tonight we cooked the No Meat Sausages and Burgers for our Tea. They're easy to cook as they only take 15 minutes in the oven. You can shallow fry them but we did ours in the oven.

First off, they look great. They're a nice size, good shape and lovely colour. They don't look much different than our normal meaty sausages or burgers. Unfortunately for me, all I could taste was mushroom. I was hoping that some of the other flavours may have disguised them but sadly I was out of luck. The mushroom flavour is very strong which for me was a bad thing but for mushroom lovers, that's a great thing as not only will you get the goodness but you'll love the taste too. I am happy to try anything once but once was enough for me on this occasion. Daddy does eat mushroom so I got him to try them too, he was happy enough to eat them saying they were a little plain on their own but tasted much better with sauce.

Chloe, my 14 year old, took a few bites and thought they were OK texture wise but again she's not a mushroom fan so wouldn't choose to eat more than a bite or two. My youngest two wouldn't even try them after they heard that they were made from mushrooms. I should have kept it quiet until after they had tried them but, oops, it was too late by that point. 

I've not tried the No Meat Mince yet but I'm planning on turning it into a mince dinner for Daddy tomorrow. I'm sure it will taste great with served on a mountain of fluffy mash with a smothering of gravy. I think I might give it a miss but that's only because I really don't like mushrooms, again, I really don't think I'd thought this all through properly, did I?

Hooba Foods are a good quality meat free alternative perfect for all the mushroom lovers out there but if you're like me and don't like mushrooms then maybe these are not for you.

On the other hand, if you're like me and will try anything once, fell free to give them a try and see what you think for yourself. Who knows, you might like them. 

Disclosure: We received our Hooba Meat Free samples in return for an honest review.

Monday, 16 January 2017

A Poem to my 14 year old daughter .. Put Down Your Phone ..

A Poem to my 14 year old daughter .. 
Put Down Your Phone

Dearest child. Please:

Put down your phone 
Let me see your beautiful face.

Put down your phone
And re-join the Human Race.

Put down your phone
Play a game with us or two.

Put down your phone
See what stress you put me through.

Put down your phone
You're wasting your days away.

Put down your phone
Go outside and play.

Put down your phone
Talk to us, be our friend.

Put down your phone
It's worrying, I won't pretend.

Put down your phone
You won't crumble and die.

Put down your phone
The World won't stop or cry.

Put down your phone
Stop it now, Stop it Please.

Put down your phone
Step back and breathe.

Put down your phone
I'm your Mum and I ask.

Put down your phone
Protecting you is my task!

Monday, 9 January 2017

January Specials at Pizza Express - Comfort Food at It's Best! #Review

January Specials at Pizza Express.
 Comfort Food at It's Best! 

This Sunday we spent our weekly 'Family Time' enjoying some delicious food at our local Pizza Express restaurant in Sutton Coldfield in Birmingham. I love our local restaurant as everyone there is just so friendly and helpful, the staff there really are fantastic, nothing's too much trouble for them. If you have a problem, you only have to say and they will fix it.

The main reason behind our visit this weekend was to try out their new January Specials Menu. There's several new additions plus some old favourites that have been added to it. 

We all choose different things from the Menu so that we could try a little of everything. There is one new starter which is the Pennette Formaggi which is their take on the classic Mac & Cheese which I love. We didn't have this as a starter but only because my eldest daughter Chloe wanted it as her main, they do it as a main as well as a starter which is awesome.

There are two new 'After Dinner Delights' (Cocktails) on offer, both looked delicious in their own right but as a Prosecco lover I had to go for the Sloe Prosecco which was very nice.

I'm going to try an focus our review on the new things that we tried as not to bore you with all the things we have every time we go like the Dough Balls which are always good.

Our starters included the Classic Italian Antipasto, Adult Dough Balls and Kids Dough Balls. Everything was delicious and well presented on the plates. We are a huge Dough Ball loving family so everyone except Daddy had to have Dough Balls. Daddy is a real meat lover so the Classic Italian Antipasto (meat selection) was the perfect choice for him and he loved it.

For our mains I went for the New Barbacoa Romana which was delicious. The pulled Barbacoa beef was just amazing! If I could have had extra of it, I sure would have. The Romana is very big so I did struggle to eat all of it but I thoroughly enjoyed what I did eat. I ordered it as it came to show you a true picture of what it would look like if you order it as it comes straight from the menu. Please note that you can swap and change any toppings that you may not like or want. If I was to personalise my pizza I would have asked for no tomato or onion as I don't like these but I was happy enough to pick them off this time. 

Chloe had the New Pennette Formaggi for her main which she really liked but did find that the cheese taste was a little over powered by the mustard taste. Her portion was again quite big so she didn't manage to eat all of it but she did enjoy what she did manage to eat. 

I did get to try a little bit of it to see what it was like for myself and have to say that I really liked it. It was served up really hot and tasted really nice. I love Mac & Cheese so this for me was just perfect. It's everything a good Mac & Cheese should be and so much more.

 The kids choose their pizza's from the Kids Piccolo Menu, Lily had the La Reine but asked for the mushroom and olives to be left off so it was basically just a ham pizza but the staff were happy to do this for her. Ryan had the Margherita as he's just a plain pizza kinda guy.

Daddy had the American which he upgraded to a Romana and had the added finish of cured Italian meats on top too. He was in meat heaven with his and did manage to finish it all off.

We accompanied our mains with some Polenta Chips which I absolutely love. They are my favourite restaurant chips ever! I could eat these all day long, I really could - Yum!

The kids pizzas are much smaller than the adult ones but they were the perfect size for my two as by the time they've eaten their starter, pizza and desert, they're pretty much all filled up and happy. The Piccolo Menu lets you have a starter, main and desert for £6.95.

By this time we were all feeling pretty full up but there was a new desert that we had to try.

The New Chocolate Fondant: A rich and intense warm chocolate cake with a soft
melting centre, served with vanilla gelato ice cream, a fresh mint garnish and a sprinkling of icing sugar. We let Lily order this one as she was so excited about trying it but I did get a small bite to try it and have to say it was very nice. Out of the four deserts that we ordered it was the only one that was served warm which made it taste that little bit better. It was a good sized portion and tasted like a little piece of chocolate heaven, it was that good.

I opted for something a bit smaller as I was felling really full,I went for the Salted Caramel Profiteroles which came served with a cup of English Tea which was more than lovely and the perfect way to end my meal. Chloe had the Chocolate Fudge Cake which was lovely but did come served cold which disappointed her slightly as she likes it warmed up so that it melts a little. Ryan had the Chocolate Brownie from the kids menu which again came served cold but he was more than happy with his, it also came served with a Bambinoccino on the side which was a drink of frothed milk with a sprinkle of chocolate powder on the top. He wasn't too keen on this but he did give it a try at least. He doesn't really drink warm drinks.

Overall we had a lovely time and really enjoyed our food. Our favourites from the new menu would have to be the Pennette Formaggi which you can have as a starter or a main depending on the size of the portion you would like. Chloe had it as her main but I think that next time I'd like to have it as my starter so that I could still have a pizza as a main and get the best of both worlds with pasta and pizza for dinner. The New Chocolate Fondant desert was another great dish as it's warm chocolate melting centre mixed with that cold ice cream was just delicious. I think next time it will be Chocolate Fondant's all round - Yay!

If you enjoy your comfort foods in Winter or love Mac & Cheese like I do then I would recommend trying out the new January Specials at your local Pizza Express.

Disclosure: We were invited to try the new menu and received a complimentary meal for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are my own and 100% honest and true.

Monday, 2 January 2017

This week we've been playing with Dinotrux Toys .. #Review

This week we've been playing with Dinotrux Toys.

Ty, Revvit, and the rest of your kids' favorite Dinotrux team return to solve tough new challenges in an all-new epic super-sized season of Dreamworks Dintotrux

Faced with even bigger threats, they'll need to recruit Drillasaurs, Cementaurs, and even Hydrodons to help defeat D-structs and his minions. Let your little reptools experience the power of teamwork and friendship with Dinotrux, now streaming on Netflix! How Exciting!

This week we've been playing with three new Dinotrux toys. Ryan has been my chief toy tester on this occasion as these toys were just perfect for him as he loves dinosaurs.

The  Dinotrux Skya's Tall Tail Slide Playset features a large-scale Skya from the Mechazoic Era. The kind-hearted half-dinosaur, half-construction vehicle is made for large-scale fun. Six different points on the playset set feature kid-powered mechanisms to activate vehicle motion on the track, send Reptools to different levels or aim for Scraptor targets. A die-cast Revvit Reptool figure is included for fun right out of the box. Lift Skya's tail to move the body and send Revvit rolling onto the path of your choice. You can switch it up again by manually setting a platform to different levels. The aim of the game is to place the Scraptor figures onto the track and aim to knock them down. It's a simple game but lots of fun.

The first good point about this toy is that everything is ready to play with straight out of the box. You don't need to put anything together or make anything up, it's all ready built and set up. You can move the pieces around as you play to create different scenes and scenarios. Ryan loves sending the Revvit Reptool figure zooming down the track. He sets it up so that the tower is at the bottom in the perfect position so that it hits the button and releases the yellow boulder which then falls down into his other toy. He loves the fact that he can mover everything around and swap and change what he's aiming for. It's lots of fun and great to watch. He's been playing with it quite happily for hours, making dinosaur roars as he plays.

The Dinotrux Reptool Character toy is Reptool Revvit from the Mechazoic Era. He comes ready to roll into fun on his wheels that mimic his movement on the animated show. He says several unique Reptool sounds and phrases and even features a tail-activated spinning drill head with interchangeable bits that can be stored on his back when they're not in use. Reptool also has a secret real measuring tape as a tongue which is hidden inside his mouth.

Ryan loves the noises he makes when he pulls his tail but loves the hidden tape measure the most. He's often found measuring his other toys with it which is really cute to watch too. He loves changing the drill bits over as and when he chooses and I really love the fact that the pieced you're not suing can be stored on his back making them look like he's spiky. It's a cute toy that any fan of Dinotrux would love but saying that we've not yet seen the show and Ryan still loves him and all of his new Dinotrux toys as they all fit perfectly to play with together. Ryan uses his Reptool to fix his Skya's Tall Tail Slide Playset when it needs fixing.

The Dinotrux Ton-Ton Die-Cast Character is one of the smaller toys in the collection but it comes in just as handy and adds to the fun when played with, with the playsets. Ryan uses it to catch the falling yellow boulder mostly which gives him a very important job in his games. All together, Ryan has loved playing with his new Dinotrux friends and toys.

The thrill-seeking Ton-Ton is featured in mid-sized scale with movements and abilities that are unique to his on-screen personality, like a mighty truck bed. With a body built like a dump truck, Ton-Ton is no stranger to hauling big loads or little loads like falling boulders. He has rolling wheels which make it easy to push him around. The Mechazoic Era characters are very collectable and help to build your own perfect out this world empire of Dinotrux!

There are lots of different toys available in the Dinotrux range. You can buy them now in all good toy stores like Argos, Toys R Us and Smyths (just to mention a few) We've had lots of fun with them here and would happily recommend them to any Dinitrux or dinosaur fans

Disclosure: We received our toys for free in return for an honest, unbiased review.