Simple Spring Suppers


The weather is getting warmer and its makes us crave lighter suppers. Stews and casseroles are great in the winter but when spring comes it’s time to switch it up.

Here are a few of our favourite spring suppers:

Pesto Pasta

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Nothing beats a good pesto pasta, it’s so easy to make and you can customise it with whatever you want.  Eat it hot or cold.

Currently we are loving wholewheat spaghetti, pesto, peas, cooked chicken and a few shavings of parmesan.  You can any vegetables you like or keep it simple. It’s a great base for any leftover meats.

It works with any pasta and if you want to cut out the carb then try courgette spaghetti or butternut squash noodles.

Add a side salad and you are good to go!

Tortilla Pizza

This is a great one for the kids as well as adults. Instead of a thick stodgy pizza base use a flour tortilla. Spread a little tomato base and add your toppings. It will take 5-10 minutes to cook.

Quick, easy and yummy.

Turkey Burgers

One of favourite meals at the moment is turkey burgers; they are low in fat and high in taste and are not as heavy as beef burgers.

For 4 burgers you will need:

500g Turkey Mince

Tablespoon of mix herbs

Salt & Pepper

Spray of oil if frying

4 rolls or thins

Toppings of your choice

Mix the dried herbs, salt and pepper in to the turkey meat.  Get your hands in and squish it together (we do this in the turkey packing saves on bowls).

Spilt the turkey in to 4 and shape into burger patties. We cook ours on our George foreman grill but you can cook in the oven or frying in a little oil.

Once they are cooked through pop them in a bun or a sandwich thin if you want to keep the carbs low and add toppings of your choice.

Serve with a side salad and/or sweet potato wedges.

Stir Fry

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The great thing about stir fries is that you can pack them full of veg and lots of flavour. The world is your oyster with stir fries, choose your meat or fish or even tofu, add veggies of your choice, add soy sauce or fish sauce or black bean sauce, 5 spice or chilli the list goes on. You can serve with rice or noodles or veggie noodles.

Our top tips are to make sure your wok or frying pan is super-hot before adding oil, cook meat first and then remove to rest before cooking the veg. Keep the veg cut small so it cooks quickly and keeps it crunch.

What are your favourite simple spring suppers?

 

42 Fun Family Things to Do This Spring.


42 Fun Family Things to Do This Spring

Spring is almost here, that sun keeps peeking out behind the clouds and the flowers are starting to bloom.

Warmer weather means it’s time to throw the kids outside and get some fresh air and vitamin D.

There are lots of fun things you can all do this spring that won’t cost the earth. We have a few ideas to start you off.

In The Garden

Go on a bug hunt.
Make a den.
Camp out in your garden.
Make a fairy garden.
Make a bug hotel.
Get them weeding!
Plant a mini vegetable or herb garden.
Plant a flower garden or sunflowers and have a sunflower competition.
Make a welly boot planer. Perfect way to reuse those old welly boots. Fill with compost and plant seeds or bedding plants.
Build a mud kitchen out of recycled wood.  
Paving slab chalk art. Get artist on the pavement with chalk and it will wash away when it rains. Or paint chalk board paint on one your fences and let create on there.
Bird watching.
Obstacle course. Create your obstacle course and have a race.
Make a weather station.
Blow bubbles.
 
Further Afield 

Go to the park.
Go on a bike or scooter ride.
Go on a nature trail.
Visit your local forest and do the Stick Man trail.
Feed the ducks.
Fly a kite.
Go fishing.
Go to the beach and collect shells and stones for your fairy garden.
Play football or tennis.
Have a picnic.
Go to a car boot sale. Sell your old stuff and make money for days out.
Take a walk to the library and then sit outside and read.
Visit your local garden centre for inspiration.

Rainy Day Activities

Play Animal pairs.
Make cress heads.
Get baking.
Get Crafty.
Listen to an audiobook together. You can get a free months trail at Audible.
Make up a story together.
Have a big spring clean.
Go puddle jumping.
Go swimming.
Learn a new skill via YouTube. Try yoga, a new language or even how to crochet.
Make a spring wreath.
Face painting.
Have a dance party.
Make salt dough.

For more spring ideas visit our Pinterest board

Follow Wendy’s board Spring on Pinterest.

How Will The New Budget Impact on Families?


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Yesterday the chancellor announced the 2016 Spring budget. They main changes which will affect families are changes in education.

Here are the main points:

All schools to become academies by 2022. This mean they will be independent, state funded schools. They will no longer receive their funding from a local authority but from central government. The head teacher will be responsible for the day to day running of the school and will overseen by academy trusts.

End of the 3.30pm bell. The government want Secondary schools to bid for extra funding to run after school classes in sport, art etc. There will be a fund of £285m to cover this.

A sugar tax on fizzy and high sugar drinks will be introduced in 2018 and will add 24p to a litre. This will raise £520m a year which will be spent on funding for sports in primary schools. The government hope that this will have an impact on childhood obesity.

The 40% threshold tax rate will rise from £42,385 to £45,000 in April 2017.

The Tax Free Personal Allowance will rise to £11,500 in April 2017.

Insurance premiums (house, car etc) will rise from 9.5% to 10%.

NI Class 2 contributions are to be abolished. Good news for some self-employed parents.

The Fuel duty is to be frozen for the 6 year.

Duty on beer, cider and spirits are to be frozen but will rise on wine and other alcohol.

ISA limit is rising from £15,240 a year to £20,000. Which means you can save you can save up to £20,000 a year tax free.

The government are introducing two new saving schemes:

  1. Flexible Lifetime ISA – This is for under 40’s and they can save up to 4,000 a year to be used to but a first home or retirement up to the age of 50. The government will give them a 25% bonus  each year.

  2. Help to Save Scheme – This is for low earners. They will get a 50% bonus for every month they save £50. You could receive up to £1,200 over 4 years.

You can use this calculator to see how the budget will affect you and your family.

Meal Planning Monday: 7th March 2016


Did you have a good Mother’s Day? We hope you at least had a lie in or a hot cup of coffee!

The sun is shinning but its still so cold. Meal this week are comforting and filling.

This is what we are having:

Meal Planning 7th March v2

What are you having?

For more inspiration pop on over to At Home With Mrs M and checkout the other meal planning Monday posts.

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10 Mother’s Day Colouring Sheets


Mother’s day is around the corner and we have found 10 great colouring sheets that not only keep the children entertained (hooray) but they double as a mother’s day gift (win, win). You could even frame them if you wanted to or provide some cute magnets so they can go on the fridge.

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Happy Mothers Day from Coloring Cafe 

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Mother’s Day Flowers and Heart by Coloring Online

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Happy Mothers’ day Cake from Mothers Day Info 

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Mother’s Day Quote from Doodle Art Alley 

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Happy Mother’s Day Flower and Vase from Education.com 

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I Love You Coloring Page from Activity Village 

Printable Happy Mothers Day Coloring in sheet

Happy Mothers Day from Fast SEO Guy (click print not download)

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Happy Mother’s Day Heart by Holidays Galore 

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You Are So Very Loved by Dawn Nicole 

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Mother’s Day Colouring Card from Mum in the Mad House 

Follow Wendy’s board Mothers day on Pinterest.

5 Ways to Switch and Save


We are two months in to the New Year and let’s face it with the energy bills and Christmas not long over money can be a little tight, especially with half term around the corner.

We have a few ideas how you can switch and save money.

Switch Energy Suppliers

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When was the last time you switch energy suppliers? On average you could save £301!

There are many sites you can use to compare energy tariffs and it’s really easy to switch.

Which

Moneysupermarket

USwitch

Go Compare

Compare The Market

Just fill in your details and see what the best offer for your home is.

Switch Your Lightbulbs

Have you switched your light bulbs yet? Have you switched them to LED bulbs? LED cost a fraction of the price to run and last for years. Depending on the wattage you use and how many you have, you save hundred each year. They are more expensive but will pay for themselves very quickly. You could replace them slowly.

To work out how much you could save fill in the form at London Electric Design.

Switch Supermarket

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If you haven’t converted to one of the discounter supermarkets you may want to consider giving Aldi or Lidl a try. There prices are much lower and the quality is really good, you can save quite a bit from your weekly shop.

Switch from Branded to Shop Own

If you are loyal to your supermarket then try switching from branded to shop own products or even giving some of the basic/everyday brands a try. We now use Sainsbury’s basic pasta as its only 33p a bag and tastes just like their standard pasta. Try something new each week, you’ll be surprised but what you will like and save.

Switch TV Supplier

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It’s great to have a choice when you watch TV but Sky TV or Virgin Media is really expensive. We realised that we weren’t really watching many of the Sky channels and actually watched the freeview channels the most.  There were a few sky channels we couldn’t live without so we switched to NowTV so we still have Sky1, Sky Living etc. We also get all the sky boxsets and catch up TV and the entertainment package is £6.99 a month and you cancel anytime. We also have the movies for £8.99 a month and we get all the live sky movie channels and movies on demand.

We invested in a recordable freesat box and we save £168 a year and we only had the basic Sky package.

If you are not bothered about the sky channels then try Netflix or Amazon Prime for your boxset fixes. We also use the iplayer a lot, including the children who can watch their favourite programmes on demand.

What have you switched that saved you money?

5 Ways to Switch and Save

Meal Planning Monday: 25th January 2016


Last week was so busy we forgot to post our Meal Planning Monday plan! We are on the ball this week.

The stuffed butternut squash on our last meal plan when down a treat. We made a ragu using quorn mince and loads of veg. The butternut squash was cut in half and roasted for about 35 m minutes and then stuffed and cooked for a further 10 minutes. It was so good like a big jacket potato. We shall be making it again!

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This is what we are having this week:

Meal Planning 25th January

What are you having?

For more inspiration pop on over to At Home With Mrs M and checkout the other meal planning Monday posts.

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Meal Planning Monday: 11th January 2016


Happy New Year! Did you have a good Christmas?

We are all rested and raring to go.

Meal planning went out of the window during the holidays but we are back on it this week.  This is what we are having:

 

Meal Planning 11th January

The stuffed butternut squash is a new recipe for us so we will let you know next week how it went.

What are you having?

For more inspiration pop on over to At Home With Mrs M and checkout the other meal planning Monday posts.

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Introducing SquidKids


SquidKids, a London design brand established since 2008, create fully waterproof rainwear with a twist – when wet, white sections of the design magically transform into brightly coloured pictures.

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SquidKids use only the softest cotton and Oeko-Tex 100 dyes are hand printed onto the material. The company founders, Viviane (Swiss) and Emma-Jayne (British) studied product design at the London College of Fashion and have previously worked for fashion houses such as Chloé, so quality and functionality is taken extremely seriously.

They are often asked where they get their inspiration from. The answer is simple, they were fed up by the rainy weather in England and wanted to bring a bit of fun and colour into little lives.

Since then the brand has gone from strength to strength. In 2015 they have won the best ‘Baby and child product of the year’ award in the United Kingdom.

The design-duo hope you love the collection of rain jackets, wellies, brollies and drawstring bags as much as they do!

You can find their amazing range at Kids One Stop Shop.