Sunday, 30 June 2013

Recipe & Review: What's For Dinner Tonight? #Schwartz2in1

So cooking dinner isn't one of my strong points. Don't get me wrong, I quite like cooking, but Hoff likes cooking more and so I just let him get on with it most of the time, depending on what we are having. We do however always encourage Kyd to help out with the cooking as it will aid his independence as he grows and it is one less battle to go through at a later date. He loves it... however he does get bored quite quickly if there isn't a bowl to lick or if the recipe takes too long.

When I read that BritMums was looking for people to try out the new Schwartz 2in1 sachets I thought 'ooohhh they look Kyd proof  lets try it'...
'Тhe new 2in1 range offers easy to use recipe mix sachets in one handy pack: one sachet flavours the main dish whilst the other contains а seasoning for a complementary side dish or topping. With 5 different varieties to choose from, and an easy recipe on the back of each pack, it’s a great way to try out new dishes or transform an existing family favourite.'

Sounds good hey!!...

So we received a little packet through the post with these 2 sachets in it -
  • Schwartz 2 in 1 Mediterranean Chicken Pasta and Cheesy Crumb Topping: A blend of herbs and spices for chicken pasta with a cheesy topping.
  • Schwartz 2 in 1 Garlic & Thyme Roast Chicken + Crispy Roast Potatoes: Roast chicken seasoning, with garlic and thyme, accompanied by a special seasoning to create perfect Crispy Roast Potatoes.
Sounds Yummyyyy to me!! 

So where do we begin?! It is a Sunday night and getting on a bit, we thought we'd go for the Mediterranean Chicken Pasta and Cheesy Crumb base as it is both quick and easy.

For the RECIPE you will need …

1 sachet Schwartz 2in1 Mediterranean Chicken Pasta + Cheesy Crumb Topping Recipe Mixes
1 tbs oil
450g (1lb) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced
1 yellow pepper, chopped
150ml (5fl oz) water
400g tin chopped tomatoes
200g (7oz) pasta, cooked and drained
75g (3oz) Cheddar cheese, grated

Directions …
1. Pre-heat grill to a medium-high heat.
2. Heat oil and fry chicken for 6-7 minutes, until browned. Add pepper and cook for a further 2 minutes.
3. Mix Mediterranean Chicken Pasta Recipe Mix with water and add to the pan with the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, then stir in the pasta and heat through for 1-2 mins.
4. Transfer to a baking dish and sprinkle with the Garlic & Herb Crumb Topping, then the cheese.
5. Place under the grill for 4-5 mins until golden.

Oh this was so easy. Kyd was able to do most of it himself. 

He put on his Panasonic Apron we got from Britmums Live and got started. I did/helped with all the hot bits obviously but he did the rest.
He carefully chopped up the chicken and the pepper... with scissors, as this is much safer and just how we roll... then placed the pasta in the already boiling water (carefully and with my help).
He then shoved the chicken in the pan (his words not mine) and added the pepper in too.
He measured out the water and added the tomatoes and the Mediterranean Chicken Pasta Recipe Mix to it whilst he stirred it well.
In went the mix to the pan with the chicken and pepper (once the chicken was cooked through and browned... but not brown... that would just mean it was burnt apparently... thanks for that bit of knowledge Kyd)
We drained the pasta carefully at the sink and added that too whilst stirring.
He then poured the mixture into the oven proof dish and levelled it out... (a little bit messy this bit, as most of it went on the kitchen side... luckily it was clean so it was scooped up and put back in... don't tell Hoff!)
On went the Cheese and crumb part of the sachet and under the grill it went.

TA DA...
A weekday tea cooked by a 10 year old with Down Syndrome! Easy as that!

Q: Was it easy to do?
A: See above... If 10 year old Kyd can do it, you can too!

Q: Was it quick?
A: The whole thing took about 20 minutes... what with Kyd being slower than us, I reckon it would be quicker for us too. Which for a school night is like HEAVEN for a busy mum with a list of Blog posts to do!

Q: Is it expensive?
A: NOPE! 65p on their website... now that is a tasty bargain!

Q: Was it yummy?? 
A: HELL YES!!! Honestly, it went down like a tramp on chips (I'm probably being a little politically incorrect there but you get the point)

Q: Would we buy it again? 
A: YES! We are now looking forward to cooking the Roast Chicken one.... mmmm roast chicken!

Some final Hints & Tips …
  • Try replacing the sliced chicken and pepper with 180g tin tuna, drained and 200g tin sweetcorn, drained.  Skip step 2 of directions and add to the pan with the pasta, then follow remaining instructions.
  • Or add some chilli flakes to the mix and make it spicy (maybe not for the kids though ay!)
Wuhhhhhhoooooo now you go and have a try and tell me what you think! The Linky below shows you all the ones other bloggers have done... have a read see what they thought...

This post is an entry for BritMums ‘What’s for Dinner Tonight?’ sponsored by Schwartz. Find out more about the new 2in1 mixes here

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Britmums Live - The Comfortable Feeling of Content

I often portray an odd array of confidence when with large groups of people. Like there is a switch I press as I walk into a room. People have said I ooze it. Like I'm content with who and what I am and love it. 

I have news for you...

I am not...
I am quite good at the act, so I don't blame people for falling for it, in fact, I deserve an Oscar for it I think... or maybe a BiB?... *winks*

Alas, this is somewhat a front.

A story I act out, often daily.

A lie, if you like.

The inside me is cowering in the big toe of my 6ft body, scared that nobody likes me, that nobody wants to listen to what I say and that I might mess up getting my point across and upset somebody...

In real life this is more apparent, I often upset people with what I do and say it seems.


In my 'Blog Life'... 

It seems it is actually not so apparent and I actually have a very content and comfortable feeling around the people I interact with... both online and off AND if somebody doesn't like me and someone's actions worry me, I just distance myself quietly yet stay friends with everyone, take myself away from the drama or situation so not to make it worse or to make it a drama at all. But to be honest there aren't many of them so it doesn't matter. 

I surround myself with people I want to be around.

These people I call my

Bloggy Friends!

They're bloody EPIC!

 They are different from my 'Real Life' friends because I actually have never met some of them, like EVER, but I care for them just as much.
However much non bloggers and 'real life' friends find that strange, that a bunch of people who have hardly ever met are such good friends, it is true.

It seems I can be myself, I can be both scared and confident all at once, with no issue and no come back. A few wobbles and a few rants here and there but no over whelming feeling of panic and self confidence melt down, just that Comfortable and Content Feeling so many, including me, crave.

It's a new feeling for me and I quite like it, in fact I bloody love it.

It's smooth and it's calm.

It's almost zen like.

Like someone has turned the light on in a dark room.

It's like sitting in a cottage in the country with just the sound of the fire flickering.

Like walking on the beach with the waves crashing at your feet.

Like the butterflies you get in a new relationship.

It's like that bit after an orgasm when you take your first deep breath and you smile.

Yeah OK that is going a bit far BUT you get my point, it's a nice feeling.

I know I am a sarcastic bitch at times, I take the mick out of people in light humour (always in a nice way not in a mean way) and I do say odd things that often I wish I hadn't. My brain and my mouth often don't communicate and people look at me like 'why have you just said that?' and 'that isn't even relevant' 'why has she just said the word Toilet in the middle of a sentence about flowers?'. This doesn't matter to them, they smile and they laugh, obviously non Bloggy Friends do this too but it seems very few sometimes.

The best thing is...

When you are FRIENDS with the right people...

The right people could be absolutely anyone too. We might even disagree on who the right people are. I might get on with someone you don't click with and visa versa but that shouldn't matter, that shouldn't get in the way of who you are and who you are friends with. Most importantly that shouldn't get in the way of you being friends with anyone at all. You are you and you should do as you please and speak to who you like. It makes me sad that people don't realise this until it is too late. You don't have to agree on everything or with everyone, you don't even have to have much in common to be 'friends'. You just need to be courteous and patient, stay calm and discuss things sensibly and realise others have opinions on things that you don't like and that sometimes you will disagree. 
This is just life. 
This is just the manner of friendship.
If you find people who disagree with this... run! Run as fast as you can!

The good thing about people who think this way is that there is no specific group or clique, people are open to join in conversations, sit with these people for dinner and laugh along with them. They will let people in on jokes, share knowledge and wealth the best they can, even if they don't know you. They are warm and friendly and smile even when they forget your name or you forget theirs. They are decent human beings and they are always there to help when you need them... even when you are a stranger.

If we have learnt anything from losing Kerry we have learnt that life is too short, anything can happen, we should remember all that Kerry is missing out on we actually have, WE are the lucky ones. Don't worry about who likes you, who doesn't, who you might upset with your decisions and whose opinion to listen to and whose not to. These things will just fester in the background and eventually fizzle out. People might hold grudges but that is their problem not yours. 
Smile through it. 
Love life!
Just be YOU and let them be them... and all will be fine. 

This is what makes friendships that matter and THIS, this above here, that feeling that I described, that is what happens when you find the right people to spend your time with. 

And that is why I love my Bloggy friends.

THIS, all this above... this is what made BritMums Live so Epic for me!

So Thank You, 
All of You
For being just you

And Thank You Look Again for sponsoring me to go to this years BML too.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Time to book a Holiday... where to start?


Not THE holiday season... that would be Christmas!

I mean like THE HOT HOLIDAY kind... or cold depending on where you go and what you like.

I know most organised people have booked their holidays ages ago and have no doubt done their research into where they can change their currency over for the cheapest rate and so on...

But for people like me, and others I know, they may have left it until the sun came out here in blighty before the pull of a hot peaceful/non peaceful holiday tempted them online to look at the deals.

There are so many places to look though, so where do you start?

Do you traipse around the Travel Agents like in the 1990's or do you look online?

I do both... but I always start online!

If you type Holiday deal companies into the search engine, get ready to be bombarded with crap companies shouting about 'WE are the lowest the others are lying' scary amounts of 'come to us and we'll throw in this' type things too. So which do you trust?

I always read the reviews on the company first. That way I can tell if they are Amazing, Good, So So or *alarm bells *Steer clear *alarm bells*... Bit of a tip... always read the reviews further down than the fifth... companies tend to bump the 'we loved it' ones up to the top.

We have recently had dealings with ourselves and several friends have too... (the reason behind so many of my friends having had them I can't disclose just yet, it will be revealed soon enough though be patient *wink*) and I have to say they have been brilliant and some of my friends are actually in Antigua on a holiday booked with IceLolly as I type this post and I've seen pictures... it is HOT... and beautiful and everything that she was told it would be by IceLolly. This makes me very happy as ours is booked with them for this time next year, we wanted it sooner but we have a mild case of 'our diary is too full this year' itus.

I am often worried about these websites offering the lowest possible rate... often for the lowest possible quality areas and hotels, sporting pictures taken over 10 years ago when it was first built, but actually is now falling down.

The way I see it is, you can be sensible and do your research and read the reviews or you can be a div and book it and risk it... but if you have children this is riskier than introducing Katie Price to your husband!

I'll leave you with that thought...

This post was brought to you by but written in my own words and about my own story and is all true - Click here for more information on my disclosure policy

Monday, 10 June 2013

Why Our Dad is Great - By Kyd and Rocky

This is Our Daddy!

Our Daddy is called Hoff.
Our Daddy goes to work in a tie.
Our Daddy thinks he's funny.
Our Daddy is quite funny... sometimes.
Our Daddy has no hair.
Our Daddy likes football.
Our Daddy takes us to football.
Our Daddy likes his bike.
Our Daddy is going to teach us how to ride our bikes when I'm better.
Our Daddy likes gadgets.
Our Daddy likes Music.
Our Daddy sings badly.
Our Daddy dances like a silly man.
Our Daddy drinks beer.
Our Daddy drinks Diet Coke.
Our Daddy plays computer games with us.
Our Daddy plays Peek-a-Boo with us.
Our Daddy doesn't like big rides.
I like Big Rides.
Our Daddy is marrying our Mum next Month.
Our Daddy says he's mad.
Our Daddy also says we are all mad in this house.
Mum thinks Our Daddy is the worst out of us all.
Our Daddy smells funny.
Our Daddy blames that smell on us... a lot!
Our Daddy gives good cuddles
Our Daddy loves us... even the cats.
But most importantly...

Today I got an email from John Lewis telling us about a blogging competition they are holding for Fathers Day.

To enter I had to write a post about why My Dad is Great, now I would happily do one about my Dad but I have promised him I wouldn't mention him on my blog... at all... this is why he is nicknamed Grumps.

So I thought I'd get Kyd to enter this comp on behalf of Rocky and himself and to tell you all why The Hoff is so great and why he deserves the Osiris Chrono watch they are offering as a prize.

This post is a huge step for Kyd. Hoff isn't Kyd's biological father, as most of you will know, but he has been more of a Dad to him over the years than his biological father. He doesn't often call Hoff Daddy but recently he has been slipping up and doing so because of Rocky, which for us is a huge change but a great one.
Anyway... It is lovely for us this year. This is Hoff's first proper Fathers Day and Rocky and Kyd would like to really spoil him. We've had a hard year, we've had illnesses, hospital stays and constant issues but he deserves to know how much we love him and appreciate him and we might actually laugh at his jokes one day. *winks very theatrically*

Here is to many Happy Fathers Days ahead!
Love You 

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

PICCY - Rocky does Nirvana - Nevermind

We got creative with Rocky's Water Babies photoshoot this week. Well when I say WE... I mean Uncle Tom...