My Family

My Family

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

1 Tesco Delivery + 1 Jar of #Dolmio = A Tasty Mid-Week Family Meal! #ThankGoodness

1 Tesco Delivery + 1 Jar of Dolmio =
A Tasty Mid-Week Family Meal!

Take 1 Tesco delivery + 1 jar of Dolmio Bolognese Original Sauce + Mix it up with 3 hungry children on a school night and what do you get? ... A quick thinking Mummy with an idea!
We all love Spaghetti Bolognese in our house BUT my I have two fussy eaters who, for some strange unknown reason don't like Mince meat but do like Meatballs, go figure!
So, when I was challenged by Britmums and Dolmio to create a 'balanced mid-week family meal that results in clean plates' I knew just what I was going to make. My very own version of home made Spaghetti and Meatballs is always my 'go too' recipe when I don't have much time but want to make a good old fashioned, healthy meal for all the family to enjoy.
My Spaghetti and Meatballs can be made in less than 30 minutes and tastes great.
Spaghetti and Meatballs Ingredients:
  • 500g of Mince Meat
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Jar of Dolmio Bolognese Sauce
  • 2 Mushrooms
  • 1 Cloves of Garlic
  • Mature Cheese
  • 1 Packet of Wholemeal Spaghetti

 Chop the vegetables up really small so that the fussy little people don't notice them and grate some cheese for later on. I do all my prep at the beginning so that once I get cooking everything is ready to throw in quickly and then I can tidy away ready to serve when ready.
Pull off small portions of the Mince meat and roll it up using the palms of your hands, pressing it quite firmly to help it stick together. I didn't add anything to them so they're still just Mince meat but now in the form of meatballs and not itty bitty bits of meat like before.
Now that your meatballs are all ready to go, pop a frying pan on to the hob to heat up adding just a little bit of oil to shall fry them. Whilst you are doing that, fill a large sauce pan with boiling water and add a little salt ready to add the spaghetti into in a few minutes time.
Pop the meatballs into the frying pan and cook for around 10 minutes or until they're cooked all the way through. I the took them out of the pan for a moment and poured the oil away so that we didn't have a greasy sauce. Return the meatballs to the pan and pour over the Dolmio sauce. Add in the finely chopped vegetables and garlic and stir. Leave to warm through and finish off cooking for another 5 minutes of so or until the pasta has finished cooking so that it can all be served up together. The idea is that the pasta cooks at the same times as the meatballs are in the sauce so they get time to soak up the flavours.
 Once everything is ready you simply pop your spaghetti onto a plate and place a few meatballs on the top. You then add a spoon or two of the sauce and sprinkle a little cheese to finish off. We also added a small piece of garlic bread on the side of the plate too, yum.
There you have it, our Spaghetti and Meatballs Dolmio Special:
Mmm, Yum. What a delicious, mouth watering family meal. I had 4 clean plates that night and lots of lovely full tummies. The picture shown above was my portion, the kids did have smaller ones but it was a great meal, everyone had plenty to eat and left the table full up.
It's so simple to make and takes less than half and hour and it's healthy too!
Dolmio Bolognese Original 500g sauce is 100% natural. In each jar, you’ll find at least 10 juicy diced tomatoes, a dollop of tomato puree, half an onion, a tablespoon of sunflower oil, a couple of cloves of garlic, a handful of herbs including basil, a teaspoon of cornflour, a teaspoon of salt, a pinch of pepper, two teaspoons of added beet sugar for taste, a squeeze of lemon juice, a splash of water and nothing more. In fact, a jar provides a family of four with one of their 5-a-day each and that’s before you add any further veg to the meal!
This post is my entry for the #Dolmio #ThankGoodness Challenge, sponsored by Dolmio.

Our Rusty Rivets Twitter Party! #RustyRivetsUK

Our Rusty Rivets Twitter Party!
Last Thursday (March 16th) we hosted our very own Rusty Rivets Party. A huge box filled with lots of fun craft materials, activities and goody bags arrived to set us up for a fantastic fun filled party. As well as partying at home, we also joined in on Twitter to share our fun and thoughts on the two brand new episodes that we were all watching together, it was all very exciting. It was a little manic as always but also lots of fun too, the children loved it.
Our first game to play was a Memory Game involving cards with pictures of the characters on. We had great fun playing this as it's a nice simple game to play. We've been playing pairs since they were little so this one was perfect for them. We did have a few tears from the loser but lots of smiles from the winner, oops. Aw well, we can't all win every time.
Our next activity was to Create a Robot using some of the craft materials we had been sent. We had cardboard boxes in different sizes, lots of pipe cleaners, cups, plates and all sorts. They had great fun creating their Robot who they named Robert (no surprises there).
He's quite small but they didn't want a big robot apparently, they wanted a robot who could get into small places so he could hide from the bad guys when he needed too easily.
Next up was a little quiet time for me, the children got to Colour Activity Sheets for ten minutes whilst I set up the next activity. Colouring is great fun as everyone can join in no matter their age. It did get quite serious as they wanted to have a Best Picture competition but it was just for fun as I didn't have any prizes toward them but they didn't mind.
Once they'd finished their pictures it was Treasure Hunt time! I hid six numbered Rusty Rivets picture cards throughout the house for them to find. One was in front of the TV whilst another was in the kitchen, they had lots of fun working together to solve the clues to find them them all. Treasure Hunts are very exciting and sure got them all excited here.
We had a few things left over from our craft supplies so the kids wanted to make some other things. They had a go at building some 3D shapes and came up with this sweet constructed tower which I thought was pretty good. It stood up on it's own and everything - awesome.
Finally, we gave our guests their rather cool Goody Bags and said our goodbye's.
We all had a wonderful afternoon and loved watching the show together. Rusty Rivets is a fun show that the kids really enjoyed watching. It's really inspired the kids to be more creative and get involved with building things. It's been a pleasure to take part. My kids love the show so I'm sure they'll continue to watch it from now on quite happily, hooray!
Visit Nick Jr for more Rusty Rivets activities, fun and games.
Disclosure: We were Rusty Rivets Party Hosts in Association with UKMumsTV and Nick JR.

Monday, 20 March 2017

1580 - There's a New Contemporary Indian Dining Restaurant in Town. #Review

1580 - There's a New Contemporary
Indian Dining Restaurant in Town.
Last week I was invited along to a brand new Indian in Sutton Coldfield called 1580 Restaurant along side lots of other great Birmingham Bloggers for our annual meet. It's a great little place located on Chester Road and right around the corner from my house. From the outside it looks very posh, it's lit very well and has a great authentic theme of black and gold. Inside there's a continuing theme of good lighting, comfy seating with a touch of fine dining. You feel very welcomed, the staff are all lovely and very friendly. Everyone is welcomed in with open arms. I was made to feel at ease very quickly and settled in just fab.
The name, 1580 comes from the year Sir Francis Drake brought Spice to the UK. You can see this inside as there are several beautiful paintings of ships on the walls and also lots of other little nautical touches throughout. The d├ęcor inside is all very charming and fresh.
As there was a large group of us we didn't get to try the full menu but we did get to try lots of lovely dishes from a set menu that was served on sharing platters for us to share with our new friends. It was a great way to break the ice and really made for an interesting evening.
The Starters for me were the real show stoppers as the Masala Cone Poppadoms were amazing! I'd never seen Poppadoms served in cones before but wow, were they great. They were served alongside three accompaniments: onion, tomato and chaat masala. Each one was delicious and really tasty. I could have quite easily eaten lots more of these.
Next up we tried some of the other Starters:  
For our Mains we were served up a selection of curries including:
  • Bater Curry (Quail Railway Curry)
  • Murgh Tikka Masala (Chicken Tikka Masala)
  • Pot Pepper Lamb Curry
Each dish was lovely and tasted really good. I was happy with everything that I tasted. I would like to go back for a whole meal to see what it's all served like when you dine in as a paying customer. The taste and flavours were all there, I just though the presentation of the mains wasn't as pretty as the Starters had been but being served them to share may have been the cause of that so that's nothing major to worry about really. The food was good!
At the end of the meal there was one more little show stopper. Your waiter brings over a little dish with a white towel in and pours water over it making it expand before your very eyes until it grows into a full sized hand towel to clean your hands which was pretty cool.
Overall, I had a really lovely night and enjoyed the meeting lots of new people. The service was very friendly and the food was delicious. What more could you ask for when dining out?
As I live so local, I am planning a return visit real soon, so I'll let you know how I get on.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Jakks Nintendo Plushes are just the Cutest! #Review

 Jakks Nintendo Plushes are just the Cutest! 

Just look at him, isn't he just adorable? Just a few weeks ago the world went crazy with the Nintendo Switch launch which brought the much loved Mario characters back into the limelight. I grew up playing Super Mario on the original NES, boy did I love that game.

Just a few months ago we bought a Nintendo Classic Mini so that we could show the kids the kind of games we used to play. It's been a great success too as the kids are now loving the old retro classics that we used to love. It's been great fun playing them together.

Mario and Luigi have always been popular in our house but when the kids saw the this adorable new Luigi plush from Jakks Pacific they went a little crazy but not as crazy as me. The kids get so many wonderful treats through the post but this one's mine - all mine!

He's an adorable 7.5 inches tall and oh so soft and cuddly and cost £9.99. 
There are three in the set to collect Mario, Luigi and Yoshi too. 

Luigi is here to stay, by my side for ever and ever (or at least until one of the kids gets hold of him and steals him) but I love him. He's so soft and he looks just the like character on screen does. The details are fantastic, his outfit is spot on and his little hat is just too cute. 

Who was your favourite Super Mario character?

Disclosure: I received my Luigi Plush sample for free in return for an honest review.

Have you ever wanted a Cupcake with your face on? We did!.. #Review

Have you ever wanted a Cupcake 
with your face on?  We did!.

This morning, we received a lovely little delivery of personalised cupcakes from Caketoppers. The kids were so excited when they saw the cupcake with their faces on whereas I was much more excited about seeing my Blog name on mine - Yum!

Caketoppers specialise in cakes, cupcakes and printed icing edible toppers for delivery all across the UK. You can personalised a cupcake or cake with your own photo, logo or message. They're perfect for those who want something a little more fancy or for getting that 'personal' touch. What ever the reason, Caketoppers have the perfect cake for you.

We got to try one of their Personalised Cupcakes and one of their Photo Cupcakes.
Both of which turned out fantastic. I love the cake toppers, they're so clear and the colours are great too. They look so good, you'd never have guessed that they'd just came through the post. The box was well packaged so that everything arrived in perfect condition.

The cupcakes are really delicious, they're so moist and light on the inside with a thick topping on the outside. They are available in two flavours: classic sponge with white icing in silver foil cases and chocolate sponge with chocolate icing in gold foil cases. Both were amazing, we only got half a cake each as we had to share the two cakes between four.

I have to say that these cupcakes were really good. I wasn't expecting cakes that came through the post to taste that good so I was to admit, I pleasantly surprised, we all were.

The cake was soft and fluffy and moist. The top was thick and creamy and good. It was (almost) a shame to eat them but we were so glad that we did as they were fantastic!

If you're looking for something different, quirky or just personal to you then why not pop over and check them out. There's lots of ideas there so there really is something for everyone.

Disclosure: We received our Cupcake Samples free for the purpose of this review.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

#Win A Cadbury Easter Egg Eggstravaganza!

Win A Cadbury Easter Egg Eggstravaganza!

The sun is shinning and Spring is on it's way - Hooray!

I'm in a good mood today so it's time for another chocolate competition. This month I'm giving away an amazing Cadbury Easter Egg Eggstravaganza gift filled with a whole host of Creme Eggs, Mini Eggs and Caramel Eggs. This fantastic chocolate Easter gift is perfect for for sharing with the family or eating all by yourself, whatever you fancy is OK with me.

To WIN: Simply enter using the Rafflecopter Form below:  

Please feel free to do as many or as few of the entries as you like.

Terms & Conditions: Giveaway is open to the UK Only. One winner will be drawn at random from all the correctly made entries using the app on Sunday April 9th - Good Luck x