Thursday, 29 October 2015

The Jucee Crew Blogger Challenge

We are always up for a challenge, so when Jucee invited us to take part in a fun craft activity, recreating some of the Jucee Crew characters from fresh fruit, we jumped at the chance. Supplied with an assortment of fruit, art materials and some Jucee sugar free drinks to quench our thirsts while we worked, we set about making our own Ozzie Orange, Archie Apple, Lizzie Lemon, Peggy Pineapple, Luigi Lime and Maisie Mango!

fruit, drinks

Jucee juice drinks, Jucee squash and Jucee 100% pure fruit juices all contain no added sugar. They make up a great tasting, great value range of drinks, made extra fun because of the cute, fruity characters on each bottle or carton. The individual juice boxes and sports top bottles are perfect for when on the go with the kids. They contain no artificial flavourings or colours, and like the rest of the range, are 100% sugar free.

The fruity characters that make up the Jucee Crew are a super cute way of introducing fruits to young children, making drinking juice drinks even more appealing. My crew of Freddy along with his cousins Addy and Dyl were very excited about getting creative to make their own Jucee Crew fruity friends.

Jucee, sugar free drinks

Armed with a selection of fruits, some googly eyes, Sharpie markers, glue and other arts and crafts bits and bobs, they made some lovely characters. (they also enjoyed eating the fruits afterwards so nothing went to waste!)

fruit, art, crafts

According to the kids, Ozzie Orange is a fruitastic character who loves playing football with his little kicking legs. Archie Apple loves Kung-Fu and Lizzie Lemon wears a pretty blue hat and always smiles. Peggy Pineapple is a crazy character who looks after the little ones! I loved the kids' imagination when it came to making the characters and playing with them, giving them their own personalities and voices.

sugar free squash

Find out more about the range and meet the Jucee Crew at

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Spooky Halloween Recipes - Melon Monster Face and Eyeball Spaghetti

Aldi has some great Specialbuys for Halloween this year. They also have some fantastic Halloween recipes that will make some devilishly delicious meals, snacks, drinks and desserts for your little monsters! All the ingredients are available in store at Aldi's great prices, so you can impress your guests for less.

Here are my favourite two recipes from the collection that I have made. Both recipes were pretty straightforward and the family loved them. The end results were quite impressive and the Melon Monster Face would make a fantastic centre piece for a Halloween party table.

I've included the prices for the ingredients bought from Aldi (prices correct as of 28/10/2015).

Melon Monster Face

Aldi, halloween


1 Watermelon £1.99
4 ripe Plums 59p pack
4 Satsumas 99p pack
4 Funsize Eating Apples 59p pack


Cut the top off the watermelon.
Carefully scoop out all the flesh, cut into small chunks and remove the pips.
Cut a large mouth and some eyes into the side of the watermelon.
Core and chop the apples.
Peel and segment the satsumas.
Halve the plums, remove the stones and chop.
Mix the watermelon chunks, plums, apples and satsumas together – put into the watermelon, with some pouring out of the mouth onto a plate.

Aldi, Halloween

Eyeball Spaghetti 

Halloween, Aldi


400g Cucina Italian Spaghetti 49p
1 x 500g Jar Cucina Pasta Sauce 69p
1 x pack mixed peppers 89p
1 x 200g pack Lyttos Greek Feta  99p
1 x pack cherry tomatoes 99p
A few basil leaves 29p pack


Cut a thin slice off the top of each tomato, with a small teaspoon scoop out some of the centre, push a cube of feta cheese into the hole shaping into a round – repeat with the rest of the tomatoes.
Make pupils using basil.
Cook the spaghetti as per the instructions on the packet.
Chop the peppers into small pieces, add them to the pasta sauce in a saucepan and heat through.
Drain the pasta, serve with the sauce.
Divide between 4 bowls and pop a pair of tomato eyes on top.

My Netflix Picks this Halloween #streamteam

I love Halloween. All that spooky and scary stuff is right up my street, which is why I enjoy tailoring my TV viewing to suit the season. Netflix has some fantastic films and series that are just perfect for this time of year when you want a bit of horror in your life.

Netflix, George Fairbairn
Watching scary movies Inside the Wendy House - by George Fairbairn

Here are my top picks:

Scream - the series

The Scream movie franchise is one of the big horror hits of the late 90s, featuring the horror obsessed killer in a Scream mask. The new Netflix series is a TV adaptation of the slasher genre featuring teens living in Lakewood, a small town with a horrific crime spree in its past.

After a cyber-bullying incident, a popular high school student Nina is brutally murdered, beginning a new wave of violence in Lakewood. A group of teens is drawn into the killer's game, and they use their wits to try and stay alive, unmask the perpetrator and stop him for good.

The cast is full of upcoming young actors with the role of Nina being played by Bella Thorne. It's a great teen drama, fast paced, very modern and infused with iconic slasher horror.


This movie is not your typical action packed horror film, instead it is shot in real time with just one setting for the majority of the action. Fifty people find themselves in a room standing in a circle around a central glowing device that fires out a bolt of energy every two minutes that kills whoever it hits. The people soon realise they can control who is killed and so enter into a fraught dialogue trying to decide who deserves to live or die. Alliances are made and tempers rage as the group battles to survive, knowing only one person can leave with their life. Who will walk out of the circle? The pregnant lady? The child? The cancer survivor? The soldier? Or someone else?

Circle is a bold film that doesn't rely on conventional thinking to shock and surprise its audience. It is quite slow paced, but very compelling. It doesn't give you any back story nor does it explain why they are in their predicament, instead it is what it is, and you go along with the confusion, frustration and fear of the people in the circle.

American Horror Story

AHS has mastered the art of mashing up horror genres and creating visually stunning, utterly shocking and beautifully crafted masterpieces with incredible storytelling and great acting. The series has been groundbreaking with each season taking the actors into a whole new world of horror. Murder House, Asylum, Coven and Freak Show are all available on Netflix. Each series is completely different and exquisitely enjoyable. I can't praise this series enough and I absolutely adore Evan Peters who stars in all the seasons in various roles.

Netflix, scary clown
Ella as Twisty the Clown from AHS Freakshow

For the kids, Netflix has the excellent spooky show Goosebumps to provide the Halloween thrills. My older children used to watch the TV show and read the books when they were younger. Now thanks to Netflix, my younger kids can enjoy the creepy stories too. Other picks for children include Wallace and Gromit - the Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Monsters University, Tweeny Witches and Monster vs Aliens.

Netflix has a huge range of great horror films available to view on Netflix this Halloween including Carrie, World War Z, Saw, Zombieland, The Omen, My Bloody Valentine, Friday the 13th and Babadook which are all worth a watch.

It is easy to find horror films on Netflix by clicking through the genre selection. There are loads to choose from that will let you enjoy a scary movie marathon over Halloween. Have fun and enjoy!!

Growing Better Plants with Lechuza Self-Watering Planters

Lechuza is a great new concept in planters for growing your own plants and flowers in the home or outdoors. The self-watering planters come with their own built in sub-irrigation system to ensure the plants receive an optimal water supply at all times. This takes all the guesswork out of watering and allows the plants to achieve optimal growth. Each planter has a removable liner which holds the soil and plants. This allows for easy cultivation and means the plants can be moved between interchangeable models of planter. Lechuza planters are a great way to grow beautiful plants to add colour to your home or garden.

The Lechuza planters come in three finishes: hi gloss premium, matte and wicker-style cottage and in a variety of colours and designs. They are made in Germany using 100% recyclable plastic and are UV safe, frost proof and shatterproof. The sub-irrigation system is very clever and means that even the least green-fingered gardeners can grow beautiful plants and flowers. There is no need to water every day - in fact, once the plant is established, you only need to water every 12 weeks. You can't over water either, even in plants kept outdoors, a drainage system allows excess water to drain away without depleting the reservoir. A water level indicator allows you to keep a close eye on water levels.

gardening, planters

We were sent a Lechuza Balconera 50 planter in Caribbean Blue so we could have a go at planting some flowers ourselves. Growing plants is such a lovely activity to do with the family. Children learn so much through getting their hands dirty, planting seedlings and nurturing flowers. And now, with the Lechuza planter, we don't even have to worry about forgetting to water our plants in the long term. It makes gardening a much lower maintenance activity and gives better results.

The colouful, balcony planter is such a fun and appealing design. Children will absolutely love growing plants in it and they will get good results thanks to the ingenious self-watering system. Achieving success helps build a child's confidence and encourages them to try new things, so knowing that the watering is taken care of, means there is a good chance of them growing a plant to be proud of and developing green fingers along the way.

The planter comes with a removable inner section that is easily removed using the retractable handles. The water level indicator pushes together and slots into position easily. A bag of substrate is included, which goes into the planter before the soil, to help control the water supply. For outdoor use, you remove the screw-in drainage plug, which is simple to do. It is all very straightforward to assemble ready for planting.

gardening, sub-irrigation

We were sent an amaryllis bulb for our planter. Personally, I would have preferred to plant one in a more upright, deeper pot for indoors, but it will be happy in the balcony planter and it is a good flower to grow for the season. To plant it up, I enlisted my little helpers and their green fingered grandad!

gardening, Balconera

Once planted, you conventionally water the bulb for 3 weeks to help establish the growth of the roots. After the growing in phase you fill the reservoir via the shaft until the water level indicator reads max. The plant will then get its water through the irrigation system allowing it to achieve optimum growth.

I hope the milder weather continues, giving our amaryllis the best chance to grow into a beautiful flower. The Balconera planter is perfect for balconies but can also be used on a windowsill for growing herbs. You can get brackets to mount the planter on railings or walls to create a lovely colourful display. The Balconera comes in a range of colours to suit your style. They cost £29.99 and come complete with the plant liner, substrate and sub-irrigation system.

Find out more and see the whole range at

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Have a Colourful Halloween with Dylon

With a wonderful range of colours and products to choose from, Dylon fabric dyes are a great starting point for getting creative with costumes this Halloween. From the darkest blacks to the brightest reds, Dylon can help you make a bespoke and unique outfit that will make your kids stand out from the crowd at their Halloween parties this year.

Dylon sent us some of their products so we could have a go at making our own fiendish fancy dress, putting our own spin on things.

This year, the colour palette identified by Dylon for Halloween 2015 includes Emerald Green, Velvet Black and Intense Violet for creating wickedly wonderful witchy coloured fabrics. Tropical Green is the perfect shade for Halloween, reminiscent of rotting zombies or Frankenstein's monster himself. Tulip Red brings to mind blood splatter or devils while Goldfish Orange is the colour of Jack O'Lantern pumpkins. And any little ones looking to step out as their favourite Minions this year, will look fabulous in Sunflower Yellow and Ocean Blue coloured costumes. The palette is really inspiring when it comes to planning Halloween outfits. I love the violet colour, which is a great hue for the season and the inspiration for Kezia's fancy dress outfit this year.

Halloween, Dylon

Kezia, at 13, is looking for a more grown up and subtle look for Halloween this year. Using Intense Violet fabric dye for hand dying, you can make a funky, soft grunge tie-dyed effect outfit, perfect for a pastel witch or zombie when combined with face paints and accessories. Searching charity shops is a good way to find old clothing that can be made into something new. Transforming an old white summer dress or oversized t-shirt is easy using Dylon products.

Tie-dying is simple to do using the hand use fabric dye made up according to the instructions. You simply tie knots in the garment and secure with string before plunging into the dye. Once the garment has taken on the colour, take it out of the dye and untie. It creates a lovely effect.

Dylon, tie-dye

For a solid colour, the Dylon Machine Dyes now contain added salt so are all ready to use in the washing machine. You just run a wash programme with the product in the machine, then run a second wash programme afterwards. It's easy to transform garments, giving them a new colourful lease of life for Halloween and beyond.

Freddy has chosen an Evil Doctor fancy dress outfit this year, which has been created using Dylon Fabric Paint in red. Using an old toothbrush to flick the paint onto an old two piece white doctor's fancy dress outfit, creates a great blood spatter effect. Smearing the paint and using it to make a bloody hand print on the fabric, adds to the look. (Just be sure to wash it off the skin immediately!) Ironing sets the paint onto the garment. This is also great to do to an old white sheet to create a spooky backdrop or a tablecover for Halloween decorating.

Halloween, fancy dress

I love the blood splattered and smeared mad scientist/ evil doctor outfit that we created. This bloody special effect can also be used on any old clothing to make a zombie costume. Freddy thinks his costume is 'absolutely fabulous' and it is totally unique to him. He enjoyed helping to make it.

Dylon, blood splatter, Halloween

With their Halloween outfits ready for the big night of Halloween parties and Trick or Treating, both Kezia and Freddy are going to look fantastic. It is fun to make your own Halloween costumes and the Dylon products are great for the job. Find out more about the range at

witch, zombie, mad doctor

Cadbury will be resurrecting a favourite chocolate bar this Halloween

This Halloween, Cadbury have plans to conjure up a spooky resurrection of one of their long dead favourite chocolate bars. The Cadbury Crave-yard is stirring, preparing for one of the bars to claw its way back from the afterlife. Which bar gets to return from the dead is decided by a public vote - will it be Cadbury Marble or Cadbury Fuse - only one can return and that’s up to you to choose!

Cadbury is brewing up its magical cauldron ready to conjure up one of the delicious bars. The votes will be thrown into the potion, and  the bar which receives the highest number of votes will then be resurrected with a run of special edition bars ready to be given away to select lucky winners chosen from those who vote in this fun Halloween campaign. Winning is the only way to get your hands on one of the bars as they won't be available in the shops.

chocolate, Halloween

Remember there can be only one resurrection so pick wisely!

 Which bar from the past do you mourn the most…?

·         Cadbury Fuse packed with raisins, nuts and fudge for a texture sensation

·         Cadbury Marble which is a perfect blend of praline, milk and white chocolate

You can vote for your favourite, by tweeting @CadburyUK using the hashtag #CadburyCraveyard with which of the two Craveyard bars you want to bring back this Halloween. Or visit the Cadbury UK Facebook page and leave a comment under one of the dedicated Craveyard posts. 

The winning bar will be revealed on the CadburyUK social media channels this Halloween.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Once Upon a Zombie #bookreview

The Once Upon A Zombie series of children's books is already hugely popular in America, spawning a franchise of fabulous zombie princess related merchandise. Now, Book One: The Colour of Fear is available in the UK - just in time for Halloween.

The first book in the series features a young girl, 14 year old Caitlin, an American girl in London who suffers from social anxiety and panic attacks. When investigating mysterious sightings in graveyards where famous authors are buried, Caitlin is tricked into going to Lewis Carroll's grave alone on Halloween night. Caitlin ends up sliding into a strange hole that turns out to be an interdimensional wormhole taking her to a fairytale universe. However, this universe is not the fairytale world that we all remember from our childhood, it is a rotting and decaying wasteland crawling with zombies - and the zombies want Caitlin's help! 

zombies, princesses, YA

The book is really well written with an astute message on empowerment and overcoming difficulties that children can face when growing up, such as loss, moving home, making friends and anxiety. The characters and the settings are beautifully conjured up through the rich descriptions in this fast paced narrative filled with unexpected twists.  It's a new way for children to enjoy traditional fairy stories, made a little darker and cooler with the addition of zombies. It is filled with humour, is engaging, exciting and fun, combining high school drama with zombie action.

Written by Billy Phillips, the Once Upon A Zombie Book One; The Colour of Fear is available now priced at £10.99 on Amazon for readers aged 9 - 12 and the YA market.


Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Winter Sleeping Bags for Kids from Slumbersac

Slumbersac sleeping bags have been keeping babies sleeping safely for years. They have ensured that our little ones can sleep, free from the danger of overheating, maintaining a constant temperature during the night and keeping babies safe from wriggling their heads under covers. Slumbersacs are also convenient to use, comfortable, made from 100% cotton and are easy to care for. They have a great range of styles, colours and designs to choose from.

Slumbersac sleeping bags are perfect for babies and toddlers, but they are also great for older children up to the age of ten. Freddy, who is six years old, has been sent one to try out.

He received a camouflage print 3.5 Tog winter Slumbersac complete with long sleeves. It has a full length zip-up front and bottom and is warmly padded. There are some great design features on the slumbersac such as the double zip that runs up and down the front of the bag with the fabric protector at the top to stop the child's neck from being irritated. The separate zip up bottom is a great idea if the child wants to walk somewhere while inside the bag, or give their feet an airing! The elasticated cuffs on the long sleeves stop them from riding up. The Slumbersac is spacious without swamping the child and has plenty of growing room, being 150cm long from the shoulder to the bottom of the bag. I love the fabric with the grown-up camo design, which is perfect for older kids. Freddy loves it!

slumbersac, sleeping bag

The Slumbersac allows children to sleep comfortably through the night. Freddy is a night time wriggler and often kicks off a conventional duvet, then wakes up later on when he gets chilly. The sleeping bag keeps him cosy all night through and is ideal for room temperatures of below eighteen degrees. The Slumbersac is perfect for travelling, staying at a grandparents' house or for sleepovers with friends, providing familiarity and comfort at nighttime. It is also brilliant for snuggling up on the sofa to watch a movie on a chilly day or for watching TV before bedtime. This Slumbersac would be an excellent investment for the winter months.

It is great that the Slumbersac is fully machine washable and can also be tumble dried. This will keep it looking good for years of use.

The winter 3.5 tog camouflage Slumbersac is £32.99 and is available in sizes 3-6 and 6-10 years.

slumbersac, sleeping bag

Find the full range of Slumbersac sleeping bags, available from birth to 10 years, online at

Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment

Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment is coming to Birmingham on October 21st to November 1st, as part of its current autumn UK tour.  Taking families on an exciting adventure through four magical worlds, featuring characters from Toy Story, Cars, Frozen and The Little Mermaid alongside Disney favourites Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy, it promises to be an action packed, fun-filled musical extravaganza! 

Disney on Ice, Disney

The Cars section features state of the art, custom animatronics for some high octane, freewheeling excitement. Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater and the crew twist, turn and spin on the frozen freeway of Radiator Springs.

Lightning McQueen, Disney, ice skating

Anna and Elsa are the stars of the frosty kingdom of Arendelle, as they bring to life the wonderful award winning animation Frozen. Anna, helped by Kristoff and Olaf, embarks on an epic journey to find Elsa whose icy powers have trapped Arendelle in an eternal winter in this heartfelt, emotional story of true love.

Frozen, Disney

Buzz, Woody and Jessie will be going to Infinity and Beyond, bringing the world of Toy Story to life and The Little Mermaid will welcome us to her undersea world to meet her friends.

The worlds of water, ice, wheels and toys come together to create an unforgettable experience for young and old Disney fans alike.

disney, ice skating

The characters, the costumes, the humour and the music add magic to the show while the incredibly talented cast skate with sheer perfection in perfectly choreographed routines. It is thrilling, enchanting and emotionally charged.

We'll be going to see the show at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham and cannot wait to experience the wonder of the Worlds of Enchantment!

Book tickets for Birmingham and see the other venues at

Friday, 16 October 2015

Pumpkin Pie Recipe for Halloween from Holland and Barrett

It's just a couple of weeks until Halloween and the supermarkets are stocking pumpkins in readiness for when we carve our Jack O'Lanterns. But pumpkins aren't just for creating spooky seasonal decorations, they are also good for eating. Not only do they taste good, they also are packed with nutrients. They are rich in beta-carotene, which helps good vision, skin health and the function of the immune system. Pumpkins are also a good source of fibre and contain potassium. Pumpkin is also packed with zeaxanthin, an antioxidant that helps to protect the eyes from age-related degeneration. The seeds are nutrient dense, high in protein and contain unsaturated fat. The seeds also contain phytosterols for heart health and trypothan, which the body uses to produce serotonin in the body to help maintain normal mood.

The traditional way of enjoying pumpkin is in a pie. This is a recipe by Natasha Corrett, created in collaboration with Holland and Barrett's free-from range. This healthy take on the traditional pumpkin pie is perfect for Halloween.


halloween, recipe

Serves  6–8

For the crust:

50g (1¾oz) dates, pitted
65ml (2½fl oz/¼ cup) hot water 
1 tbsp sunflower oil
200g (7oz/2¼ cups) ground almonds
¹⁄8 tsp ground nutmeg

For the filling:

600g (1lb 5oz) pumpkin, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tbsp sunflower oil
3 eggs
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp mixed spice 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp coconut flour 
2 tbsp agave syrup


Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3, and line a 15cm (6in) tart tin with baking parchment.

Soak the dates for 10 minutes in the measured water, then drain.

Put all the crust ingredients into a food processor and pulse until they come together to form a ball. Carefully tip the ball into the tin and press the ‘dough’ evenly all around.

Prick the dough and bake for 15–20 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before adding the filling.

Roast the pumpkin with the sunflower oil for
20 minutes until it is soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Transfer the roasted pumpkin to a blender and whizz until smooth. Then add the eggs, spices, vanilla extract, coconut flour and agave syrup and blend again until you get a super-smooth mixture. Scoop the mixture up and transfer into the crust and bake for 30–40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.


If pumpkin pie isn't your thing, Holland and Barrett stock a range of pumpkin products that are nutritious and perfect for this time of year. Great for healthy snacking!

Meridian Organic Pumpkin Seed Butter 170g £3.29
Freed Gluten Free Crispbread with Cheddar and Pumpkin Seed 160g £2.89
Biona Organic Spiced Pumpkin Soup 680g £2.69
Neal's Yard Wholefoods Pumpkin Seeds 400g £7.99
9 Bar Pumpkin Mixed Seed 50g 99p
Rude Health The Pumpkin Bar 35g 99p

Find these in store or online at

Holland and Barrett also stock a great range of Free From treats for children for Halloween. Perfect for vegetarian and vegan children or children with food allergies or intolerances. No one needs to miss out on Trick or Treating with goodies such as Orgran Outback Animals Chocolate Cookies Multipack £3.37, Goody Good Stuff Cola Breeze sweets £1.49 and Moo Free Bar Crunchy Banana £2.70.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Vampire Blood Mocktails for Halloween with Cherry Good

With Cherry Good juice you can treat the family to some blood thirsty mocktails this Halloween. The rich, blood red juice drink totally looks the part and combines with lemonade or ginger ale to make some ghoulishly good, fruity drinks. For the grown ups, you can use sparkling white wine to make some frightening fizz to get the party going! Served in your spookiest glassware and decorated with Halloween jelly sweets, pieces of fresh fruit or frozen cherries, the drinks look very impressive.

Halloween, mocktails

Cherry Good is the right blend of sweetness and tartness combined in a super fruity and refreshing drink for all the family
Here is a recipe for Vampire Blood Fizz that the kids will love!


1 carton of Cherry Good
1 bottle of lemonade
Crushed Ice
Halloween Jelly Sweets or fresh fruit


Put some crushed ice into a punch bowl.
Add the juice and lemonade.
Serve in glasses decorated with jelly worms or peeled grape eyeballs!

Halloween, fruit juice drink

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Ghost Hunt Evolution - the perfect game for Halloween

Turn down the lights, put on your special multivision glasses and get ready to shoot ghosts and bats in this exciting game from Megableu. Billy Bones, the fun skeleton at the heart of the Ghost Hunt games, moves his head and projects images of bats and ghosts through his magic eye. The aim of the game is to blast them using the infra-red gun as they appear on the walls, floor and ceiling around the room. The bats are super quick and are worth 3 points when hit, while ghosts are easier targets and score you a point for each hit. Highest score wins!

Megableu, family games

The game is made even spookier with the ghostly sound effects that accompany the fast paced action. There are lots of screeches and wailing, which create a creepy atmosphere when playing the game. There are three different difficulty levels making it suitable for all the family. The gun records the scores and after each go, you can check to see how many points each player has got.

The multivision glasses add a new dimension to the game allowing you to see multiple images of the bats and ghosts, making it seem like the room is being invaded by loads of creepy creatures, but you can still play without them on. Freddy prefers it without the glasses as he wears specs himself, but playong without them does not detract from the gameplay at all.

We have been trying out this game, as an idea for fun family activities in the run up to Halloween. It is a lot of fun and gets everybody up as they take turns at harnessing their inner ghostbuster and blasting the targets as they appear all around the room. It is a great game for the kids to enjoy and would go down a storm at a Halloween party, especially with the spooky sounds that are emitted as you play. 


Obviously, as the targets are projected around the room, it needs to be dark and the game works best when there is clear space on the walls so the images can be clearly seen. Sometimes, the projections get broken up if something is in the way between the wall and  Billy Bones, making it harder to get a clean shot. The game has to be played in turns, but extra guns can be purchased to make it suitable for multiple players at the same time. Everyone can enjoy Ghost Hunt, and it gets quite competitive as players all try to beat the high score by blasting the most targets in the time limit. It definitely offers hours of after dark gaming action for all the family.

Halloween, games

This is definitely a great game to keep little monsters entertained over Halloween, but it can be played and enjoyed all year round. Billy Bones is a very cute little skeleton and the gameplay is like bringing a spooky shoot 'em up video game to life in your own home. 

Game includes 1 electronic projector (Billy Bones),1 electronic gun and multivision glasses.
Suitability 5+.
RRP £29.99
Batteries required: 4 x AA and 3 x AAA (not included).
Available in major toy stores and from Amazon.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Halloween Costumes from Sainsbury's - Safer and Spookier than Ever!

This year, Sainsbury's are proud to confirm that all their children's dressing up outfits meet the British nightwear flammability standard, which has the highest level of testing available. This is an industry leading decision, ensuring that costumes are regarded as clothing and not as toys when it comes to fire safety. As parents, we can be confident that our little trick or treaters are safer in their costumes this Halloween. Although everyone should still obviously take care around naked flames, knowing that the Halloween costumes are so much safer this year is very reassuring.

As well as being safer, the Sainsbury's costumes are super spooky and include outfits for all the family, including the dog! From zombies, to witches to vampires, there is a great range to choose from. Whether your little monsters want to be a spine-tingling skeleton or an enchanted witch, there is a costume that will be just the thing for parties, discos and trick or treating.

Sainsbury's sent Freddy a Mummified Monster Zombie Costume complete with top, trousers and mask. The comfortably cut, long sleeved suit has jagged cut hems and added pieces of fabric to give a spooky mummified look to the costume. A cut out section on the front of the top reveals a gruesome lenticular panel featuring a 3D image of dripping blood, ribs, bugs, eyeballs and guts and the fabric design includes oozing goo, seeping blood and bugs printed onto a bandage effect background. The hooded mask has a skeleton style face with cut out eye holes and bandage detail. The top has velcro fastenings down the back, making it easy to put on and take off. It is a really creepy and very effective design.

zombie outfit, Halloween

Freddy absolutely loved his new zombie outfit. He particularly loved the front panel with the spooky open rib effect. Gruesome but great! The attention to detail is excellent and Freddy looked like an extra from a horror film, jumping around trying to scare us. He will look fantastic at his school Halloween disco this year.

The costume is good quality made from 100% polyester fabric, which has a nice sheen finish, and it also has the plastic panel insert and additional fabric detailing. The sizing is good and the fit is comfy.

It is available in ages 3 to 12, priced from £10 and available in store or online. It is hand wash only.

Sainsbury's also suggest that to keep children extra safe this year, that we use LED tealights instead of candles for our Jack O' Lanterns and Halloween decorations.

Find the Tu Clothing Halloween Fancy Dress range online or in store at Sainsbury's.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Oozing Brain Cupcakes Recipe for Halloween

These cupcakes are easy to make and look effective with the oozing Cottage Delight Strawberry Extra Jam centre and brain effect icing!

Halloween, cupcakes, recipe


For the cakes:
140g softened butter
3 medium eggs
140g golden caster sugar
100g self-raising flour

For the filling
6tbsp 340g Jar of Cottage Delight Strawberry Extra Jam
For the icing:
600g icing sugar, sifted
6 tbsp. water
1 tsp. pink food colouring


Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5.
Arrange paper cases in the cake tin.
Add all the cake ingredients into a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk for about 3 minutes until you get a smooth batter.
Divide the mixture between each cake case.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until risen and golden.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Cut out a small hole in the top of each cake and fill with 1 tsp. of Cottage Delight Strawberry Extra Jam.
Mix the icing sugar, 1 tsp. of pink food colouring and water, until stiff, to the mix. Place the icing mixture into a piping bag and decorate the cupcakes with a squiggly pattern to look like brains.
Leave to set.
These will keep for up to 2-3 days stored in a cool place, in an airtight container. 


Find more seasonal recipes like this one and buy the Strawberry Extra Jam (£3.45 for 340g jar) at (I received a jar to try out this recipe.)

Friday, 9 October 2015

Egyptian Mummy Sausage Roll Recipe for Halloween

Mummy Vegetarian Sausage Rolls

These savoury snacks look fantastic and taste yummy served with Cottage Delight Roast Red Pepper Ketchup and Spicy English Mustard Sauce. A great Halloween teatime treat.

vegetarian, Halloween


Pack of 6 frozen Vegetarian Sausages
Pack of short-crust pre rolled pastry 
Cottage Delight Roast Red Pepper Ketchup
Cottage Delight Spicy English Mustard Sauce

vegetarian, Halloween


On a lightly floured surface, roll out the sheet of short-crust pastry.
Using a pastry cutter or sharp knife slice the dough into 1cm wide strips.
Wrap a strip of pastry around each sausage as you get near the top of the sausage; leave a gap in the pastry strips to make room for the mummy's eyes. You may need to use more than one strip for each sausage.
Repeat steps above until you've made all the mummies.

vegetarian,  party food

Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 180 degrees.
Once cooked take out of the oven.
Add a little blob of ketchup for each eye.
Serve with Cottage Delight Roast Red Pepper Ketchup and Cottage Delight Spicy English Mustard Sauce – perfect for dipping.

sauces, ketchup, mustard

This is also a great idea to get fussy eaters tucking in to their dinner. Who could resist a veggie Mummy Sausage Roll with a bowl of beans? Freddy loved it. 

vegetarian, Halloween party food

You can buy the Cottage Delight sauces and find other seasonal recipe ideas, like this one, on their website at:

The Red Pepper Ketchup is £3.85 and the Spicy English Mustard Sauce is £3.45. Both are vegetarian and gluten free. 

*I received the condiments to try out with this recipe.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

How can my oldest child be 27?

Twenty seven years ago I had my first child. Twenty seven years? How is that even possible?

I remember being 27 myself. It doesn't seem that long ago and yet now my son Joe is that age. 27? That is nearly 30. If my baby boy is nearly 30 then I must be pushing 50! Half a century! How has that come around so fast? Surely 1988 wasn't that long ago?

I remember becoming a mum to Joe like it was yesterday. A terrified teenager. A baby that changed everything for the better. We embarked on an adventure together. Just me and him. The two of us. Mother and son against the world. We did OK!

Time kept creeping on. Birthdays were celebrated, years passed by.

Along the way, our lives were blessed with the arrival of our knight in shining armour, Ian who made everything complete, safe, secure and happier than we could ever have imagined, and with four further beautiful babies to add to the brood. Our little tiny family of two swelled to become a family of seven. A fabulous, loud, proud, chaotic, slightly bonkers and absolutely perfect family.

Tick tock. Time continued to pass. My babies grew up under my watchful eye, surrounded by my constant love. Little boys grow into men. They get tall, they start to shave, they get a job, they spread their wings.

Now my son has his own life. A life he has created for himself. A life that makes me so proud of him. He is a wonderful daddy to my gorgeous grandson Ted. I'm not just mum anymore - I'm Nana Wendy now too. Joe gave me that gift.

We've grown older alongside each other for 27 years. Things have changed but the love I felt for that tiny baby I delivered all those years ago has not diminished one little bit. He's always my baby boy - but my baby boy is now a man. A 27 year old man. I'm a much older woman than I was 27 years ago, but my life has been made richer every single day since becoming a mother. 27 years of unconditional love has made me who I am today. Shaped me into someone I am proud to be. And it all started with the birth of my son. My son who is 27 today.

family, son

 Happy birthday son xxx

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Up & Go - a new concept in breakfasting on the go

Mornings can be such a rush that sometimes my breakfast is forgotten in a melee of misplaced reading folders, lost shoes and general pre-school run chaos. I'm not alone in this; 60% of Brits admit to skipping breakfast at least once a week. My teenage daughter definitely ends up too rushed for breakfast some mornings. Not great when she has a whole morning of lessons to sit through before the chance of eating something wholesome.

When you find yourself in one of these chaotic morning rushes, Up & Go may be just the answer. It's Australia's no.1 breakfast, that is now available in the UK. It provides a nutritious breakfast drink in a single serving carton (complete with straw) that can be enjoyed on the go. Each carton is made with wholegrain oats and contains as much fibre, protein and calcium as your average bowl of cereal and milk. It's a proper nutritious breakfast - only much more portable!  

breakfast, aussiessuck

I received some to try, in each of the three latest flavours. Banana & Honey combines ripe banana with a hint of sweetness. Iced Coffee is the perfect option if you can't start the day without a coffee fix, made with an essence of Arabica and Robusta roasted beans. Mixed Berries offers a refreshing blueberry, raspberry and strawberry hit in a smooth fruity blend. They are also available in chocolate, strawberry and vanilla flavours. 

They are great to grab and go on those mornings when you don't manage to have a 'real breakfast', and can be enjoyed on the school run, in the bus or at the office, providing a wholesome breakfast on even the busiest of mornings. I feel much happier knowing I can pop one in my daughter's schoolbag, knowing she can have something nutritious to start the day if necessary. Up & Go is a convenient, fun and time saving way to have a good breakfast on those days when time slips away.

Up & Go is available at Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Tesco, Asda or Ocado at £1.39 for a 250ml carton.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Add a Gothic Edge to your Decor with a Vintage Bronze Skull

Smithers of Stamford is a family run business selling a wonderful range of vintage, quirky and retro products, including bespoke furniture, gifts, antiques and ornaments. With a penchant for sourcing interesting items and a flair for interior design, their passion for the unique and the curious is reflected in every piece available across their eclectic range.

With Halloween approaching, I was delighted to receive a beautiful piece from the Smithers of Stamford collection - an amazing bronze effect human skull. As a fan of gothic and vintage items, and having a penchant for horror, I absolutely adore this ornament. It's really quite beautiful, in a slightly macabre way, with a high end antique feel.

Halloween, gothic

Standing 15cm tall and weighing 1.4kg, it is an impressive ornamental piece. It is most definitely not a novelty item, it is stunning and beautifully crafted with great attention to detail. It has an antique style finish and will add a quirky edge to any home or office decor.

In addition to being a stunning ornamental piece, the bronze effect skull would make a fantastic centrepiece at a horror or gothic inspired dinner party and will add a touch of class to any Halloween celebration. I have mine on display in my living room and have received lots of compliments from guests on my quite unique and unusual ornament. It is definitely a great talking point.

smithers of stamford

The Smithers of Stamford website is a wonderful place to browse with so many amazing items. There are some great gift ideas that will definitely delight with their themed vintage designer styles. You can also source unusual items and bespoke pieces for the home or office, including some fantastic furniture. If you are looking for something a bit different and very special, definitely take a look at the Smithers of Stamford range.

The bronze effect skull costs £34.00. It is also available in white for a more clinical effect. And be sure to remember - skulls aren't just for Halloween!

Monday, 5 October 2015

Nutribix - a new cereal to revolutionise breakfast

Nutribix is the latest cereal to hit the breakfast aisle in major supermarkets, offering something fresh and new to health conscious consumers and people who want a gluten free cereal for breakfast. Containing the ancient grain and newly hailed superfood Sorghum, Nutribix is naturally high in fibre, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. We were sent some to try out.

Gluten-free, cereal

Available in two variants, the Gluten Free Nutribix is suitable for those with Coeliac Disease or those on gluten free diets. It is made in a 100% gluten free factory so there is no compromise on safety. It is 96% wholegrain Sorghum, low in sugar and fortified with nutrients. The Gluten Free Nutribix are rectangular breakfast biscuits with a light texture, which can be served with milk and fruit. Alternatively they can be blended into a breakfast smoothie for a wholesome and filling start to the day. It is great to see such a tasty breakfast cereal available that is naturally gluten free, bringing more choice to the market.


The Gold and Grains Nutribix is a delicious combination of Sorghum, Oats, Wheat and Rye wholegrains with added rice, a touch of coconut and honey. They have a chunky, crunchy texture full of delicious grains and are fortified with vitamins and iron. I have been eating my way through the box of Gold and Grain Nutribix, served with almond milk and I can honestly say they are fantastic. They are so filling and it feels like they are doing you good. The biscuits look very rustic and natural, they aren't too sweet and are very flavoursome. Serving with colourful fruits and your choice of milk, they make a great breakfast, kick starting the day with wholegrain goodness and nutrients. Nutribix has definitely brought something new and different to the breakfast table.

sorghum, cereals

Each box contains 24 of the Nutribix cereal biscuits, with two being the recommended portion size. You can find them in Tesco, Sainsbury's and Ocado. Look out for the colourful boxes - I love the branding, which makes Nutribix stand out from the other cereals.

Find out more at or follow Nutribix on Twitter @Nutribix, on Instagram @Nutribix or on the Nutribix Facebook page.


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