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

Sunday, 5 March 2017

#SilentSunday 05/03/2017

Silent Sunday 05/03/2017

Silent Sunday with MummyConstant

You're Never too old for a Minion Birthday Party - Party Bags & Supplies #Review

You're Never too old for a Minion Birthday Party
Party Bags & Supplies 

Last week I celebrated my 35th birthday with a Minions Birthday Party.

You're never too old for a Minions Party. we love those lovable little yellow dudes here so when the lovely Party Bags & Supplies offered me one of their Party Packs to review, I just knew which one we had to have. The Despicable Me Minions Party Pack For 8 includes tableware and 8 filled party bags. It costs £28 but has everything you need for your party.

Your Party Pack includes: 8 Cups, 8 Plates, 20 Napkins & 1 Table cover plus 8 Minions pre-filled party bags each containing - 1 Minions Blowout 1 Minions Sticker Strip, 1 mini touchable bubbles 1 Vimto Popping Candy. Please note that the contents of the Party Bags may vary according to availability. The kids loved the party bags, they were great.

I set out our table using our party pack and have to say that it did look pretty awesome. The Minions design is nice and bright and colourful and comes covered in the fun characters that we all know and love from he film, Kevin, Stuart and Bob (we all love Bob here).

My Birthday party table looked great and really set the mood for our afternoon or fun and food. The set really does have everything you'll need for a great party in it for you.

The party bags were the best part, according to my kids as they loved getting a treat for my birthday. The touchable bubbles were great fun and the stickers were also a huge hit, I mean what kid doesn't love stickers! The party blowers were not my favourite part as the kids enjoyed blowing them very loudly all afternoon, but they had lots of fun with them.

I had a wonderful birthday right here at home with my family which is all I could have hoped for. Party Bags & Supplies have lots of themed party sets to choose from so why not check them out the next time you're having a party. They can make it a whole lot easier for you!

Disclosure: We received our party samples in return for an honest review.

Chill Factor Frozen Brain Slushy Maker #Review

Chill Factor Frozen Brain Slushy Maker

The Chill Factor Frozen Brain Slushy Maker from Character is pretty cool in more ways than one. It's just like the Original Slushy Maker they do but only cooler as it has a new spooky Frozen Brain design to make it even more fun. My little man Ryan has been using this over the past week as he loves slushies's and everything spooky, gory or strange.

The Chill Factor Frozen Brain Slushy Maker lets you to make delicious slushies' in seconds!  There's no need for any ice, no blenders and no mess! They're easy to use, you just put it in the freezer for a few hours, or overnight like we did and then add your preferred chilled drink and squeeze! It takes a bit of squeezing but eventually you'll see your slushy appear. With it's fun and colourful monster design, watch the slushy swirl around the monsters brain for super cool effect! Once you have made your slushy, you can take it anywhere with you. 

Ryan had great fun squeezing his Frozen Brain cup to make his slushy and love drinking it afterwards even more. Not only do you get a nice cold drink but you get lots of lovely ice to eat too. The straw has a spoon on the end so you get the best of both worlds with it.

They cost around £12.99 and are aimed at children aged 4 years and over.

The Chill Factor Frozen Brain Slushy Maker is fun and useful. It makes great tasting slushie's without mess and is really simple to do, even the kids can do it all by themselves. 

Ryan loved his new Frozen Brain slushy and will enjoy many more to come, I'm sure!

Disclosure: We received our sample in return for an honest review.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Cirque du Soleil Varekai has come to Birmingham. #Review

Cirque du Soleil Varekai has come to Birmingham.

Last night was the big opening night for Cirque du Soleil Varekai at the Genting Arena, Birmingham and it was amazing! I was lucky enough to attend with a friend last night to check out the show and I have to say it was a real spectacular of a show to watch. 

Set deep within a forest, at the summit of a volcano, exists an extraordinary world - a world where something else is possible. A world called Varekai. The show takes you on a magical journey of a young man who falls from the sky into their world. He was like a fallen angel, this scene was one of my favourites as he flew around on just a net. It was so beautifully done. Through the use of live music, spectacular dancing and lots of amazing stunts, we watched in amazement as his story unfolded into a beautiful love story. It was magical.

The word Varekai means "wherever" in the Romany language of the gypsies the universal wanderers. This production pays tribute to the nomadic soul, to the spirit and art of the circus tradition, and to the infinite passion of those whose quest takes them along the path that leads to Varekai. I was expecting a very serious show but was pleasantly surprised by the comedy elements that had been included. Every Circus has it's clowns and this one is no different. You won't see funny looking men with big shoes and red noses though, these clowns are a little different and much more modern but just as funny and sure to make you laugh out loud from start to finish. The blend of comedy, music and entertainment is spot on.

The stage is continuously filled with movement and colour. There are moments in the show where so much is happening all around you that you don't quite know where to look but the effects are amazing. The costumes are so bright and colourful and bring every dance to life.

The Acrobatic part of the Circus has always been my favourite part for as long as I can remember so this show was the perfect choice for me as this show is packed full of it. 

I didn't take any photographs as there's no flash photography allowed for the safety of the performers who are doing amazing stunts without safety nets or harnesses throughout.

For the whole show, I sat wide eyed and totally smitten. It's a wonderful show suitable for the whole family. It really does have everything. Music, dancing, comedy and stunts.

Cirque du Soleil Varekai is at the Genting Arena for the next few days up until March 5th. 

Disclosure: I attended the show complimentary for the purpose of this review.

Want hand baked cakes, made just for you in Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield?

Want hand baked cakes, made just for you in Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield?

It was my birthday yesterday, I'm now a totally grown up 35! 

I wasn't going to have a birthday cake this year as I'm bored of the average supermarket store bought cake as they're pretty much all the same underneath a differently decorated top. I don't cake that often but when I do like some, it's got to be good. I don't want no dry cupcakes or no soggy bottoms. I want fluffy cupcakes with sweet tasting frosting!

This is where Togri Bakery comes in, Togri Bakery is a small local run bakery that produces the most delicious cakes. Run by a gentleman named Tom Grimmett, who's on a mission to bring the joy and taste of home-baked cakes to you, at a time and date that suits you too.

Togri Bakery make a wide variety of cakes, from Loaf Cakes to Cupcakes, Tray Bakes to Round Cakes. There's something to suit every taste. Each cake is made with locally sourced ingredients and made with real love and care. There's so many wonderful flavours to choose from, the toughest choice was picking just one. I choose the pretty Strawberry Sweetness Cupcakes which are sold in batches of 4, 8 or 12 depending on how many you would like. Orders are only needed up to 3 days in advance which is pretty good really as lots of bakeries and companies often require a much longer notice period before hand.

The Strawberry Sweetness Cupcakes are a light, fluffy sponge, infused with sugar syrup and topped with strawberry buttercream. I had added Pink Sugar Sprinkles on the top of mine to give them an extra girly touch which I thought was very pretty. Now that you know how pretty they are, I bet you're wondering how good they taste? I'm happy to tell you that they taste even better than they look if that is at all possible, seeing as they look so good.

They're so light and fluffy and moist. They're sweet and delicious but not too sweet.

My boy Ryan who's 6 loves cupcakes but is always moaning about something or other and very rarely ever finishes a whole cake. He ate ALL of his cupcake! That in itself is the perfect recommendation as he's so fussy when it comes to his cake and he loved every bite.

Would we order from Togri Bakery again? Oh YES!

If you live in Birmingham or Sutton Coldfield you might want to check them out!

Disclosure: I received my cupcakes for free in return for an honest review.

We had a Blast at our #PJMasksToys Party - Thank you for coming!

We had a Blast at our #PJMasksToys Party
Thank you for coming! 

So, yesterday we hosted a fun filled PJ Masks Toys Party along side lots of other lovely Mummy Bloggers across the UK with @UKMumsTV on Twitter. It was a little manic but lots of fun at the same time. We took part in several fun activities, played games and ate cake.

We coloured in PJ Masks Pictures and made PJ Masks characters masks to wear.

One of the most popular games was the Pass the Parcel which was filled with all kinds of treats. There was bendy pencils, PJ Masks figures and lots of yummy sweets. All of the children had a great time playing and took it in turns to get their treats from within it.

Whilst all the games and fun was taking place around me, I was also busy Tweeting away on Twitter at the same time. There was lots of prizes being given out, one every ten minutes or so, it was crazy. It was great to see all the different parties happening at the same time. 

We love hosting Twitter Parties as they're always so much fun and everyone involved has such a great time. The kids got to play games, have fun and take a goody bag home too.

You can check out more about PJ Masks at UKMumsTV now.