Monthly Archives: September 2014

Our Top 5 Autumn Recipes

Our Top

Autumn is officially here, which means it’s time to dust off those boots and dig out those warmer recipes.

Over the years we have shared many autumn recipes with you and here are some of our favourites:

Our Turkey, Bacon and Thyme Hotpot is a great autumn recipe which is not only totally yummy but low in fat as well!


Give our Slow Cooked Bolognaise a try. Perfect for those days when you are really busy just pop it all in the slowcooker.

2012-10-08 18.21.43

You will love My Minestrone Soup Recipe. It’s great for lunch and dinner and freezes really well.


Make our Chicken, Bacon & Mushroom Pasta Bake with your leftover roast chicken.


Get the children involved and make these scrummy Pork Meatballs.


What are your favourite autumn recipes?

Staying Dry in Style

The cooler weather is on its way and in the UK it’s normally accompanied by the rain. Don’t worry we have you covered! You can all stay dry and stylish at the same time with Kids One Stop Shop.

We have a gorgeous selection of Emma Bridgewater rain wear

Emma Bridgewater Rain Wear

Top Row

Emma Bridgewater Adult Spot Hat £15

Emma Bridgewater Adult Spots Raincoat £45

Emma Bridgewater Adult Spot Wellies £40

Middle Row

Men At Work Children’s Umbrella £12

Men At Work Children’s Rainmac £20

Men At Work Children’s Wellingtons £18

Bottom Row

Dancing Mice Children’s Umbrella £12

Dancing Mice Children’s Rainmac £20

Dancing Mice Children’s Wellingtons £18


Don’t let the rain get you down we have some rainy day activities for you to try out.

Thrifty Festival: Getting Ready For Autumn

Thrifty Festival

The Thrifty Festival had a nice summer holiday and now its back ready to help you be a little bit more thrifty.

Autumn is on its way so we thought we would kick off with a Autumn themed festival.

As the weather gets cooler and wetter it gets harder to keep the children entertained. Anna at In The Playroom as the perfect thrifty activity for you. Check out her post with 11 Recycled Junk Modelling Crafts.

11 recycled / upcycled crafts for kids. I love Junkmodelling - what cool ideas, and a great way to reuse old materials!

Everyone likes flowers and these are perfect to brighten up a room when its a bit grey outside. They also make great gifts and if you choose right and arrange them yourself they won’t cost the earth. Ellie at Family Style has this great little tutorial on how to make a Beautiful Boutique Florist Style Flowers on a Budget

As the weather gets colder you may find yourself using the car more and that means more fuel. A Thrifty Mum has 10 top tips on saving money on fuel.

Liz over at Me and My Shadow took part in Zero Waste week and her goal was to minimize lunch box packaging. She did a great job and her post is packed for of tips on how to minimize packaging and save money!

The Diary of a Frugal Family have the ultimate list of  70 Frugal and Fun Autumn Activities to do with the kids.

70 frugal and fun things to do with your family.

Looking for ways to use up those leftovers? Try our Chicken, Bacon & Mushroom Pasta Bake. 

Love Your Leftovers Recipe

Half term will be upon us soon we have some great ideas for having a great autumn half term on a budget. 

Lastly we have some great ways to save money this autumn

 Ways to Save Money This Autumn

Now its your turn. Share your Thrifty posts with us to read and share.

There is also a Pinterest Group board if you would like to be added please let us know and of course feel free to grab a badge.

Witches Finger Biscuits

Witches Fingers Biscuits

On Wednesday we shared our printable spooky garland for your Halloween party and today we have some great biscuits for you to make

These are really easy to make and look great.

You start with a basic biscuit recipe feel free to use your own but this is mine:

You will need:

  • 110g Butter

  • 110g Caster Sugar

  • 1 Beaten Egg

  • Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

  • 220g of Plain Flour

  • 50g Chocolate Chips

  • Strawberry jam to fill the finger nails

To make:

  • Beat the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy

  • Beat in the egg and vanilla

  • Add the chocolate chips and flour and combine to make dough

  • Wrap in cling film and chill for 30mins

  • Once its chilled pre heat your oven to 180oc/160 fan

  • Shape pieces of dough into long finger and make a little dip at one end

  • Place a blob of jam in each dip

  • Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown


Come back next week for some more spooky ideas!

Tasty Tuesdays on

Free Printable Spooky Garland

Free Printable Spooky Garland

The children are back at school and the next thing you know it will be half term and Halloween!

We thought we would help you get ahead this year and will be sharing free printables, party ideas and things to do to help keep the children entertained.

We are starting with this free printable spooky garland. Just print off, cut out and attached to string or ribbon to decorate your home for a spooky feel.

Spooky Garland

Download here 

Find more inspiration on our Pinterest Board

Follow Wendy’s board Halloween on Pinterest.

3 Things to Think about Before Starting a Blog

3 Things to Think about Before Starting

So you want to start a blog? Whether you want to start a personal or business blog there are a few things to think about before you write that first post.

What are you going to write about?

Is it a craft blog or a cycling blog?  Will you post only pictures or fill it with creative writing? Whatever you decide now is not set in stone but it will help shape your blog and guide you in in the next few decisions you have to make.

What are you going to call it?

This is one of the most important decisions you are going to make so think carefully. Bloggers often find they grow out of their blog names and then have the dilemma of whether to start a fresh or keep the name.

When I started my first blog over 5 years ago I called it New Mummy as at the time that’s what I was. Two years later I didn’t feel it represent me anymore and made the decision to start again but it was hard to leave behind a relatively successful blog.

Think about a name that represents you, if possible go with your name that way you can change the focus of your blog and keep the name.

Once you have a name in mind check online to see no one has the same as you or something very similar that can cause confusion. Don’t be tempted to change it slightly or add an s to the end to make it different as all you will do is confuse people with the similar names and annoy the original blogger.

Be original, be unique, be you!

Once you have the name. I would highly recommend you buy the domain for it. There are many domain buying sites such as 123 Reg or Go Daddy .

What platform are you going to use?

There are several blogging platforms to choose from. Most bloggers either use WordPress or Blogger. Both have their pros and cons.

If you are not very techy start with Blogger. Use your own domain name and then if later on you want to move you won’t lose all your links or you name as Blogger blogs end in and can’t use that on other platforms.

If you decide to go with WordPress I would recommend you go with the self-hosted platform.  You can buy monthly hosting really cheaply and you can use your domain name and you have more freedom on what you can do on you blog. TSOHost offers hosting from £1.25 a month.

Once you have answered those three questions you are ready to start you blog.

Blogging supposed to be fun, so go start your blog and enjoy it. If it becomes stressful you’re doing it wrong!

Love Your Leftovers Recipe: Chicken, Bacon & Mushroom Pasta Bake

Love Your Leftovers Recipe

This is a firm favourite in my house. It’s so easy to make and you can make ahead of time and just pop in the oven when you are ready to eat it.

I purposely buy a large chicken so we can get two meals of it. The recipe is great as you don’t need a lot of chicken; I normally have one leg and thigh left and some breast.



125g Bacon Lardons

125g Sliced Chestnut Mushroom

Up to a tablespoon of olive oil

1 Medium Carrot (grated)

200g of cooked chicken cut into chunks

500g Passata

Pinch of dried mixed herbs

4 Pellets of Frozen Spinach

250g Pasta

One Ball of Mozzarella (Sliced)

To Make

If you are going assemble and bake straight away pre heat the oven to 200, 180 fan or gas equivalent

Heat a large frying and then add the bacon lardons.  Frying until browned. If you find the lardons sticking to the pan add a drop of oil to stop them burning.

Add the mushrooms to the bacon lardons and cooked for 5 minutes. You will find the mushrooms stick to pan slightly to start with so add a little oil to stop this.

Add the grated carrot and cooked for a further 5 mins, giving it a good few stirs.

Next add the chicken and stir through.

Pour in the passata and add the mixed herbs and bring to a boil.

Turn it down to a simmer and add in the spinach pellets.

Leave to simmer for 10 minutes. Stirring occasionally

While the sauce is simmering cook the pasta as per the instructions on the pack.

Once the pasta is cooked take out about ½ a cup of the cooking liquid and then drain. Put the pasta into a large baking dish.

Pour over the chicken and sauce and mix until the pasta is fully coated. Add a little of the pasta water if the sauce is too thick.

Lay the pieces of mozzarella of the top of the pasta bake and cook for 10-15 mins or until the mozzarella is golden and bubbling.

If you are going to cook it later don’t add the cheese until its ready to go in the oven. Pre-heat the oven to 180 or 160 fan and cooked for 25 – 3 minutes.

I serve this with a side salad and ciabatta bread.

Checken pasta bake

Depending on what veg I have in, sometimes I add sweetcorn or you could add peppers or tomatoes. It’s up to you; it’s quite an adaptable recipe.

Don’t be put off by the spinach, its gives the sauce a richness and doesn’t taste spinachy.

Go on give it a go!

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