Pop Party 10 – the one party you won’t want to miss! (…and you can win a copy here)

Okay, so my daughter is six and loves music – particularly Justin Bieber and One Direction, but she is also partial to Jessie J, JLS and many more. Her older brother (11) , is also music mad and can name almost any current tune in approximately 10 seconds! We listen to KISS FM, and in the mornings my son has his TV on and set to the music channel. My daughter on the other hand is usually found listening to her songs on the Ipad or plugged into her Ipod before she goes to bed!

So, as you can see, we are a musical house, and although Dad listens to classics from the 80’s (no comment), we all prefer music from the 21st century and can often be found bopping (old word I know but what is the current one……street dancing? Bustin’ some moves?) in the living room with the music on loud so that we can’t hear ourselves sing (that’s a good thing by the way……best to drown out my voice!).

This week, we have been listening to Pop Party 10. Now, I am always cautious of albums with titles like these, but on this occasion I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did both of my kids loves the tunes on here, but I did too! Dad even liked a few of them and there was even a couple that Nan had “heard of!”.

Pop Party 9 sold a fantastic 322k in 2011 getting to #1 in the compilations chart.

To start with it had an impressive line up……not only was there Justin Bieber (Boyfriend), One Direction (What makes you beautiful), Jessie J (Domino), JLS (Proud), Rizzlekicks (Mama do the Hump), but there was also PSY (Gangnam Style) which resulted in fits of laughter and all of us bouncing around the living room like a bunch of lunatics!

Both of my kids loved all of the songs on the CD – and with 22 of them to listen too, they have chosen a fantastic collection! There were one or two that they were not as familiar with as some of the others, but none that they wanted to skip because they didn’t know them!

The retail price varies quite a lot for this, but I found that it was only £6.99 in Sainsburys………. a fantastic price for a great combination of songs! The fact that it comes with a bonus DVD and the lyrics to the songs, makes it an even more attractive buy……. My daughter loves it and it is well worth the money! I know when her friends come over she will be wanting to listen to it with them, and this is just the job for a birthday party (…..and her’s is coming up soon!)

Competition:

If you like the sound of this CD, why not take the opportunity to win one for yourself?

I am lucky enough to be able to offer one of these as a competition prize……….in order to win, just comment below telling me about your most embarrassing singing/dancing moment – perhaps you were caught singing Chesney Hawks at the traffic lights, or were pulled onto stage to sing along with your child doing Big Fish, Little Fish! The entry that makes me laugh the most will be sent a copy of the CD…….

Ends Friday 9th November 2012
My decision is final and no cash alternative will be offered!

We were lucky enough to be sent this CD for the purpose of this review. All opinions offered are my own and I will always offer a frank and honest review of the product. If you would like us to review a product on your behalf, then please get in touch at mumsmoments@yahoo.co.uk

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The Great Outdoors!

We love the outdoors! My kids are happy when over the park, walking on the beach, trekking through woods or camping in a field. We get out and about as often as we can, but it really isn’t often enough!
We’re really lucky and have great facilities at our parks, so have been making the most of the mild weather this week!

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Princess Recorder……she’ll love it (you might want some earplugs!)

We received this item from Music For Kids and my daughter loved it before she had even opened the box! Although we have the Princess version there is also a Pirate one too, and lots of other fun and interesting ways to learn music!

Pirate Recorder Set

The item arrived very quickly and well packaged. The fact that it had Princesses on the front and was pink instantly won my daughters’ approval! Once she had opened it and seen all of the stickers inside, she was showing off the fact that she had her very own case for it and a book and CD!!!!!

Also inside the box is an A4 sheet that shows the finger positions. Although my daughter liked this sheet, if it had been laminated I think it would have been even better as it is already quite crumpled where she has taken everything in and out of the box several times, but this is a minor point really.

   

It also comes with a great little book that helps you to learn the different notes……my daughter has already completed the first page (she is 6) and can now play Twinkle Twinkle all in one note – she was really proud with her accomplishment,  I am really pleased that we can now move onto another song!!!!!

There is also a CD that accompanies the recorder. This is an audio CD and allows your child to play along. My daughter thought this was brilliant as she could copy the songs and the notes, but she did say that it would be good if there was someone or something to watch at the same time.

This is what my daughter had to say:

“I love it because it is fun. I love the  colour because it is my favourite – pink! I like the stickers and the singing book has helped me to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”

At just £9.99, I think this is great value for money. We have had to buy one from school before that also came with a book, but my daughter was not the slightest bit interested in learning to play that one! Needless to say, she has hardly put this one down……..now, where’s my ear plugs???????

http://www.music-for-kids.co.uk/products/

This product was sent to us for the purpose of this review, however all of my opinions are my own (and in this instance my daughters!). Whenever I am asked to review a product, I will always give an honest and frank opinion, discussing both the positives and the need for improvement (if necessary) as I think that this makes it beneficial to all parties.

 

The Oldies are the Goodies – My Great Granddad’s Bread Pudding!

As a child, one of my earliest memories was going to my Great Granddad’s on a Saturday lunchtime. My Great Gran and Granddad lived in a ground floor flat, and as soon as we walked up the path, you could smell the lovely aroma of freshly cooked bread pudding…usually still warm as we walked through the door! Sometimes we would have it on it’s own, sometimes it would be served with warm custard. We were always given some to take home to eat cold too.

Now when you look at bread pudding, you might think that it looks like a stodgy fruit cake, and you would be forgiven! But don’t let it’s appearance put you off! I don’t like fruit cake, but I LOVE bread pudding.

Traditionally, this was a wartime  recipe that used up old bread to save it being wasted, and although sometimes I buy bread, I would much rather make it using stale bread as it gives a much better outcome.

For several years I have tried to find a recipe that could replicate the one of my great granddads – some used suet, some used egg and milk, others used water but none of them could compare to the taste of the one that I was used to as a child. So you can imagine how happy I was, when talking to another family member one day, who told me that they had a copy of the original recipe! My copy of the recipe is one from a note book where only the key ingredients and main points of the method are written down, so I will try and give a little more detail.

So here it is…….in my opinion THE best bread pudding recipe ever! It is a very dark coloured pudding infused with warm spices and plenty of fruit!

6-8 slices of bread (preferably stale)

100g margarine

100g sugar (I prefer light brown)

1 egg

200g mixed fruit

2 tsp mixed spice

Soak the bread in water. Once soggy, squeeze the water out – I do this by hand as i find that it helps to break the bread up.

Cream together the fat and sugar.

Add the egg a little at a time to avoid curdling and mix.

Put in al lof the mixed fruit and spice, and mix well.

Add in the bread and mix until smooth.

Place into a greased and lined tin (this is the difficult bit, it took me ages to find the right size tin, but I found that a 24cm by 20 cm tin that is approx 4cm deep worked best).

Put into the oven at 160c (take down to 150c for a fan oven) or Gas Mark 2, and cook for approximately one and a half hours. It will be firm on top, but still soft. The pudding will not firm up until it has called!

Once it has cooled, transfer to a cooling rack (if it lasts that long – my family are already cutting chunks out of it while it is still warm!)  and leave to cool completely. Then slice into portions and store in an airtight container  I like to keep mine in the fridge!

If you fancy a change, I also add glace cherries and dried apricots for a luxurious fruity taste!

Why not have a go yourself and et me know what you think?

Ginger Bangs!!!

This has to be THE best biscuit recipe EVER! This is a superb recipe with ginger, a perfect all time favourite suitable for both the young and old. Make mini ones for the kids and larger ones for dunking in your tea…. Once you have had these, you will want them on a regular basis!

20121027-081458.jpg These were ginger bangs with chocolate smarties!
This recipe definitely makes the perfect ginger biscuit, but can also be adapted to make lots of other flavours…. Leave out the ginger and you have a biscuits that is like a butter crunch, add chocolate chips and it’s like a crunchy Millie’s cookie! Add some cocoa with your chocolate chips and you have your very own double chocolate chip…. I’ve tried loads of flavours- smarties, oats and raisins, white chocolate and raspberry, whatever you fancy!!!
I make these at work, and they are gone before they’ve even had a chance to cool down…so many people have asked me for the recipe, that I thought I might as well blog it and share this amazing recipe with you all!

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My kids love making them at the weekends, and they keep really well in an airtight container. One batch of biscuit dough usually makes 12 big biscuits or 18 smaller ones. This is not a recipe that you can roll out and cut into shapes, it is much better if you roll the mixture into little balls and allow them to spread. And the best bit??? When they come out of the oven, you have to BANG the tray on the work top to knock out all of the air and make them crinkly….. Great if you’ve had a stressful day!!!
Why not try this recipe for yourself, I’d love to hear how you’ve got on. Or, maybe you have a perfect recipe of your own that you would like to share?

Busy Day…. Lots of Cake!

I’ve had a really busy day today and I’m glad that Half Term is here! I have not stopped……
I finished off and published a blog post this morning, then dropped my daughter off at my friends (she takes her to school) only to come back again because I had forgotten it was mufti day!!!! So after a quick change we went back again and then I was on my way to work.
Due to my little oversight, I arrived at work just in time to walk into an important meeting…..I’d been up two and a half hours and not a single drop of coffee had passed my lips – it would be another two hours before I got my first coffee of the day. I can tell you, I was not the happiest person to be around during this time!
After teaching two lessons, both with boys cooking, it was time for coffee and cake and another meeting! I gulped down the coffee and scoffed my cake ( I didn’t talk much at the meeting…. I didn’t have time) and then I was off again with another twenty five boys cooking biscuits!!
After a full on day of teaching, I came home to pick my daughter up from school, only for her to be invited to tea at a friends house! Making the most of my free time, my son and I popped down to the shops. On my return, I finished off cake number 1……

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Then it was onto cake number two. This was a tricky one, and I knew it was going to take some time to get it right. I had modelled the dolphin last week, but I had to put the filling in, ice and decorate the cake….. This was going to be the most difficult part! Anyway, half way through, I realised I needed more royal icing so I was off again to the shop to stock up on supplies. I eventually finished the cake at about quarter to ten, then had to clean up all the mess. Here is the finished cake:

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This was the first time that I had used royal icing for anything apart from fine detail and writing, and I’m really quite pleased with the end result!
I am also totally and utterly knackered and cannot tell you how pleased I am that it is Half Term…… A whole week to relax and enjoy myself,mark three sets of books, and two kids to look after and my OH that has man flu….. And did I tell you we are looking after our neighbours puppie for seven days????? Oh well, looks like it is going to be another busy week….. I’m off to hibernate!

Giant Draughts!

We love board games – snakes and ladders, draughts, chess, Monopoly……you name it we like to play it! As the winter nights are drawing in, and the evenings are cold and miserable, there is nothing better than a good game to occupy the kids!

This week, we have been playing Giant Draughts which we ordered from the Big Game Hunters website. The service from this company has been second to none. From the moment that we had placed the order, we received email notifications telling us how our order was progressing. From the order being placed, to it being received at the warehouse, despatched, arriving with the courier… you get my drift! The whole process from start to finish took just five days…and that was with a weekend in between! I was really impressed with the service that they provided.

So what is inside the box? Well, there is information on the website itself, but let me tell you briefly – there is a large plastic mat that is obviously the playing board and 24 counters – 12 black and 12 white. There are also 6 rods that are used to double up your pieces when you get a Queen! I would’ve liked to see some eyelets in the playing mat and some pegs so that it could be pegged down into the grass- a little gust of wind and you might find yourself rearranging your pieces, but this could easily be done yourself, or you could make up some little sands bags to weight the corners down when playing outside! I think I would’ve liked a box that is a little more robust too, as I cannot see this one lasting very long with it being used as regularly as it is at the moment.

The pieces are light and easy to move, and the kids found it a good size to play with!

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It is priced at £39.99, which I think is perhaps a little more than the average parent would pay for an outdoor toy unless they knew it was something that their children were going to use regularly. For me, it is probably worth the investment as we all love playing draughts and we can take it on holiday too!
All in all, a great quality item and a fantastic delivery service……they offer a good range of products and I would certainly use the company again! (I’m thinking chess for Christmas!)

Although I was sent this product for the purpose of this review, my opinions are my own and I will always post what I believe to be an honest and frank review of the products that I receive.