I’m Moving – Come With Me


Well since I started this blog just over three months ago it has been a whirlwind.

I have shared a lot of thoughts, some well written (I hope) some rubbish (I’m learning). I have had comments from lots of lovely people, learnt what people seem to enjoy reading and made lots of lovely new followers.

I also seem to have veered wildly off my original path of talking about parenting which is why I’m moving!

Don’t worry you’ll still see all our family frolics, our arts & crafts and baking successes and disasters as well as tips for the best days out or products to try. Hopefully though there’ll be a bit more adult content (no, not 50 shades type), my outlook on current affairs, and anything else that happens to pop into my mind.

I really hope you’ll join me and let me know what you want to read and thank you for following me so far.

My new site is My Life In Type

Facebook and twitter will remain the same as will my bloglovin account.

Oh and don’t worry, anyone who is waiting to hear who wins the macarons, the competition will continue to run on here and all entrants and comments have been counted and will remain valid, entry is also available on my new site and on here till the end date 15/05/2015.

Thomas Tucker Popcorn Review

Popcorn – what’s not to love, tasty, filling and low in calories. So imagine how excited I was to open my review box of popcorn from Tommy Tucker and discover all these goodies.

001This is Tommy Tuckers new Thomas Tucker Flavoured range. Already well established for their popcorn and candy floss in cinemas throughout the UK. Tommy Tucker have recently launched this range of more grown up flavours which will be hitting supermarkets very soon.

As a family we have tended to veer towards the salty side of popcorn but we were intrigued by the new flavours and couldn’t wait to get started, first choice was the Caramel Summer Fruits. I think we went for this first because it sounded so different to anything we had tried before and looked it too…pink popcorn!

It was really tasty and you could actually taste the fruits, Mr B went so far as to be able to tell me without looking at the pack that it was strawberry and cherry that made up the flavours – he was right. This was quite sweet and a small portion was enough but great for sharing, though I did keep going back for more.

Smoked Cheddar Cheese – this I have to say was my least favourite, being too much like a cheesy crisp for me. My daughter though loved it and went off with it as her school snack to share with her friends who all seemed to love it too. So definitely worth considering as a playground alternative to crisps.

Luxury Toffee – Oh so tasty. I took a large 200g bag of this into a work meeting and within 20 minutes the bag was empty. Even those who started off by claiming they weren’t popcorn fans were soon converted. The toffee really does seem different to other toffee popcorns I’ve tried, lighter, less chewy and prone to stick in the teeth, and very, very moreish.

This is before and after!

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Chilli & Lemon – I served this up as a girls night in and it was the perfect savoury accompaniment to a glass of prosecco. Everyone commented on the subtle flavouring and the bowl was soon emptied. A nice (and less calorific) alternative to a bowl of nuts.

Coconut Toffee – We saved this one till last as we had a feeling it might be our favourite and we weren’t disappointed. Mr B is a huge fan of all things coconut anyway but this was a massive hit with both of us (sorry kids they didn’t get a look in). It’s hard to describe but the taste is not overpowering just a pleasantly sweet toffee and then you get the coconut, oh heck just try it yourself, you won’t be sorry.

The new Thomas Tucker Range is available in Cineworld, Vue, City Screen and Empire cinemas throughout the UK now if you can’t wait for it’s release in supermarkets and will also be available at http://www.tommytucker.co.uk very soon.

There’s Been A Murder! – MurderMysteryGames.co.uk Review

This Saturday my home was transformed from it’s normal semi detached self into Felthorpe Manor for the Reading Of The Will of the late Duke of Felthrope. The Duke had been discovered dead in his bath, electrocuted by his own electric fire in a freak accident…or was it?

The Butler

Murder Mystery Games is a website where you can buy the plots to 7 different whodunnit style party games and I was lucky enough to get the chance to review one for them. What better excuse to get the girls round for some food, drink and intrigue. The games cover various plots and are suited for different group sizes, ranging from 6 – 200. You can read all the introductions on the site and once you’ve selected the game you fancy, you make your payment (by credit or debit card) and a password will be issued to you to allow you to access the full game.

You will then be able to download character notes for everyone, a running order and various exhibits and clues which are required throughout the night. Be warned you will need a lot of paper and access to a printer (or preferably your works photocopier) as it does take a lot of printing.

I must confess I was slightly over whelmed with the amount of instructions and paperwork but as I discovered on the night, just follow the running order and it all comes together. Everything you need (except pens and paper for note taking) is in the pack.

The Lawyer

Invites were sent out the week before advising my guests which character they would be playing and suggesting they dress appropriately.

This is not compulsory but does add to the fun and helps you get into the spirit of it.

It is also suggested the game be run over the course of a meal with certain sections being timed around courses. However I am a lazy host and we found it worked just as well over drinks and nibbles.

Once everyone arrives and are given their name badges and notes the fun begins. Secrets are drawn out, clues are revealed and the mystery really begins.

Posh but dim!

Who was blackmailing who? Who knew each others dirty secrets? And who stood to gain from the Duke’s Death? Everyone has there own little story and you have to keep your wits about you to take it all in and work it all out.

Everyone agreed this was a great evening and something totally different. The plot managed to include everyone and had twists and turns a plenty.

They are also cleverly written to take into account a couple of last minute cancellations (there’s always someone!) Even the hostess doesn’t know till the end who committed the crime which means I was as confused as everyone else (nothing new there).

A great night was had by all and I even managed to guess the murderer (no I didn’t cheat). We did feel that some characters had quite a lot of reading to take on and one guest did suggest the possibility of  a DVD or online character to read certain bits out during the proceedings? (though this would obviously make it more expensive and may not be an option depending on location.) On the whole though it was a fab night, which left everyone in tears of laughter, well all except the maid who still isn’t speaking to the nurse, oops!

Visit www.murdermysterygames.co.uk to find out more.

Family Fever

Growing Up – The 5 Things I Miss Most Now My kids Are getting Older

Like every year when my kids birthdays roll around I find myself wallowing in nostalgia and asking myself, where has the time gone? As they turn 9 and 11 this week the scary reality is hitting, that although not quite teenagers they are definitely not my babies anymore.

While there are certain bits of their younger days I definitely don’t miss; changing nappies, sleepless nights, potty training and weaning for starters, here are the 5 things I miss the most.

1. Holding Hands – when the kids were toddlers I was usually fighting with them to get them to hold my hand, to protect from busy roads or getting lost in a crowd. Sometimes though they would willingly slip their hand into mine for the walk from nursery or round the park and we would swing our arms together. Just this week I was up the town with my son while my daughter was at choir practise and I suddenly felt the urge to take his hand, surprisingly he obliged (for a while).  It made me realise just how much I miss the feeling of that warm little hand in mine.


2. Bathtime Fun  These days the door is firmly locked when my son and daughter are finally bullied into taking a shower and woe bedite anyone wanting in the bathroom. Long gone are the days of me sitting on the toilet while they shared a bath, sporting bubble bath beards and playing with rubber ducks. No more nursery rhymes about dogs/frogs or any other suitable bathtime creatures and certainly no scooping them up in hooded towels to rub them dry. Now the only thing I scoop up is the damp towels left abandoned on bedroom floors.

3. Bedtime Stories – Much as there was many a night when I thought I would be really happy if I never, ever had to read another Charlie and Lola story, or that I prayed for a short story to be picked so I could get downstairs to my telly and wine, now it’s gone I miss it the nightly ritual. Every evening we would cuddle up on one childs bed (alternating in the manner of all things fair) and read our one or two (depending on how long a day I’d had) stories. Funny voices were my speciality while the kids took turns in acting out the story, before being tucked in and kissed goodnight. As they learnt to read for themselves and moved on to Jacqueline Wilson and Derek landy instead of Shirley Hughes I have become redundant and merely receive a yelled “NIGHT” before lights are turned out. Still it’s not all bad at least I get peace to watch Masterchef.

4. Morning Cuddles – I have always liked my bed to myself and listen in horror to stories of people who choose to share their bed’s with the kids. I like my sleep and my space and apart from when the kids are sick or have bad dreams they tend not to disturb their sleeping mum, a little like people have learnt not to poke angry bears! But I do miss morning cuddles. Most mornings when they were younger the kids would rush through and jump into my bed for a cuddle and a tickle, there is nothing like cosy little pyjama clad children to provide a feel good cuddle. These occasions are now few and far between and tend to be limited to birthdays and Christmas when we gather to open presents in bed before a good old group hug.

5. Tooth Fairies and Easter Bunnies – Santa Claus is still hanging on by a thread in our house but sadly the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy have both had their day. I was devastated when I missed my daughter losing her first tooth because she was at her dad’s house but delighted to see her face the next time the tooth fairy visited leaving her £1 and a personalised note. Often my daughter would leave presents or notes for the tooth fairy who would duly respond to them. On one occasion when the tooth was dropped down the plug hole my daughter went to tooth-fairybed in tears. The tooth fairy still left a coin and a note explaining she had heard what happened and managed to don her scuba suit and retrieve the tooth from the waste pipe. Some people may argue that this is lying to your kids and of course it is, but when else can we believe in fairies and magic if not when we are children.

So these things are mostly gone, along with the nursery rhymes and annoying talking v-tech toys, but I think I’ve still got a few years of them being children left and I intend to enjoy it (and no more carrying extra vests and wet wipes so it’s not all bad).

What do you miss most about when your kids were younger? I’d love to hear your comments below.

I’m No Supermum – Whatever Facebook Says

Ok I have a confession to make… I will never make mum of the year. This will come to no shock to my close family and friends but it may be something of a surprise to my facebook friends and colleagues.

I have something of a reputation at work and through facebook of being “the arty one” or “the creative one” because of what I get up to with my kids. This reputation comes from the endless and no doubt irritating pictures I like to post. Pictures of costumes I just cobbled together with a pair of tights and a bit of sticky backed plastic  or the pancakes I just whipped up for breakfast.

Just yesterday at work my boss told me she had been discussing me helping out with a local charity and had told the charity organiser, “Heather will be great, she’s one of those mum’s who make other mums sick she does so much with the kids.” It was meant as a compliment, I think.

Ha, if only she knew. Yes I like to get stuck in about homework projects or arts and craft and baking when the mood takes me but I also spend far too much time with my head stuck in my computer while the kids are glued to their respective tablets or TV’s.

And when we do start these projects it is far from plain sailing. Mr B has a favourite saying, “with you Heather, it’s all about the journey.” What could he possibly mean? Could he mean the flour strewn kitchen, the regular smell of burnt food or my latest disaster the smashed casserole dish (full of lovingly made curry) . Could he mean my paint splattered hair, face and clothes when I take on a decorating project, or the cat paw prints left everywhere when I carelessly leave paint tins lying around? Or could it possibly be the arts and craft projects which look so easy on Youtube but result in, a sticky, paper and paint mess, a screaming mum and terrified children cowering in their rooms in reality?


The answer? All of the above. Will you ever see this on Facebook or my blog? Probably not. You will not see the first batch of burnt to a crisp Aberdeen Butteries or the Banana loaf that wasn’t baked enough and remained half in and half out the tin on tipping out. You won’t see the three failed attempts at a Cinderella birthday cake, the paper mache balls that never set or the face paint attempt at a tiger which ended up looking like a badly bruised orange instead.

I will however show you our attempt at wicker work style Christmas decorations, this was one of those occasions that resulted in a fraught mother snapping at her children to just get out and wash their pva covered hands before I burst into frustrated tears.

Here’s what they should have looked like, and what they did look like.

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Last night I made homemade pizza, something I have been meaning to do for ages. I had seen friends do it, I had the dough recipe, easy peasy. Em no, the dough was fine, the first pizza went in the oven ok, and came out, and went in, and came out, it may have been crispy around the outside but it was raw in the middle despite following instructions to the letter.

The second pizza was rolled and loaded with topping… and stuck completely to the table. Instead of making it up on the pizza stone I did it directly on the table rendering it impossible to remove and ending up with a tomatoey, cheesy dough ball which was fit only for the bin. During this process children were banished in screaming banshee style from the kitchen, cheese, sauce and topping crashed to the floor as I threw the dough in disgust at the table and Mr B cowered in the living room, only piping up to timidly suggest he pour me a glass of wine.

The third and final attempt was ok, still a little crispy on the outside and soggy in the middle but edible, even if we had to resort to crisps afterwards to fill us up. Now I got a decent picture of pizza number 3 and it looks pretty tasty, I could have put it on here or on facebook and boasted about my prowess in the kitchen but I decided to come clean. But hey the picture looks good.


So there it is, the truth is out there, the title of Mum of the Year is safe for another year. So when you see my next Facebook baking or creative success story, just remember the camera sometimes lies!

Binky Linky

Win a Gift Box of 12 Delicious French Macarons From Cake Cetera

I love baking with my kids (sometimes with mixed results), but I am delighted that one of my foolproof recipes for banana loaf features today over on Cake Cetera’s blog.

Set up in 2011 Cake Cetera are a wonderful cake company based in Hamilton, Scotland. The company was founded after discovering a lot of hospitals no longer allow flowers in the wards, instead Cake Cetera invented cupcake bouquets as a mouth watering alternative.

They have gone from strength to strength and now also specialise in cake push pops and french macarons which they deliver throughout the UK.


And here’s the best bit, they have given me a box of their delicious 12 French Macarons to give away to one lucky reader.

Just enter via the rafflecopter link below (open to UK residents only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Aberdeen Butteries – So Bad But So good

It must be a couple of years ago now that I attended a bread making course at the wonderful Lets Cook Scotland. On the day we made many breads including soda breads and foccacia, the host on the day also made some Aberdeen Butteries for us to take home.

For anyone who has not had an Aberdeen Buttery before I found this description which I think sums them up quite well, “The best way to describe their look and taste is a saltier, flatter and greasier Croissant.”

Doesn’t sound particularly appealing? Well they are, but they are also sooo bad for you, being as the name suggests full of butter and lard. However my daughter loved them and has been begging me to make them ever since so this weekend I gave in. Strangely she left me and my son to do the work and returned just in time to have one fresh out of the oven.

So if you’re not afraid of a carb and fat filled treat, here’s how it’s done.


450g strong bread flour

2 level tsps salt

175g of lard

175g of butter

10g of fast action yeast

285ml warm water

1 level tsp caster sugar

Your first step is sieving the flour and salt into a bowl.

Then with a knife mix the butter and lard together until softened.

Next add about a third of the butter/lard mixture to the flour and mix with your fingertips until it has a fine crumb like consistency.

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Once mixed add the fast action yeast. make a well in the centre of the mixture and pour in the warm water and mix to a rough dough.

Turn out onto an unfloured surface (yes unfloured it shouldn’t have to be floured if you keep the dough moving it won’t stick), and onto my favourite bit the kneading.

006Kneading takes a long time and you can use a mixer but I prefer to do it by hand, it’s very therapeutic (especially after a bad day at work). You know your doughs ready when it doesn’t tear on stretching and also if the dough springs back when you make a finger mark in it.

Next roll out the dough to form an oblong and mark it into thirds. On the middle and right thirds place dots of the butter/lard mixture then fold the left third (without the butter) over the middle and then the right third on top. Seal the edges by pressing the dough together and turn over on a baking tray then leave to rest for 10 minutes in the fridge.

007009Remove from the fridge, roll out your dough into an oblong then repeat the process and chill the dough until you are ready to use it.

When ready roll though dough into an oblong about 1 cm thick and cut out into about 12 -16 squares depending how big you want your butteries. The dough then needs to be placed on a baking tray somewhere warm till it becomes puffy (I use my cupboard with the hot water tank). Then all thats left to do is pop them in the oven for about 12 minutes at 220 oc (200 for fan assisted), take them out, sprinkle with caster sugar and eat while warm (you don’t have to but I think they taste best that way.


And if you don’t want to eat them all at once, you can freeze the cut squares and just take them out to defrost as and when you want to use them. now i’m off to run round the park and try and burn of all that fat!