Monday, 30 January 2017

Weekly Meal Planner

Being a big family, hiccups are expected but our weekend was absolutely horrendous. Despite everything going wrong, the one thing that didn't was our meals. Helping to keep us on track is this weeks meal planner.

Beef nachos 

Pork casserole

Pizza, garlic bread and salad 

Spaghetti bolognese

Steak and chips

Cottage pie and mixed veg

Roast chicken dinner

What's on your menu this week?

                                          M xx

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Ikea Kids Kitchen Makeover

If you are the parent, carer, guardian or other of a small person then there is a 50/50 chance that you are the owner of an IKEA Duktig kitchen.
Every playgroup that I have visited with Sofia or play date she has had she has spent most of the time there ignoring all forms of company and playing with the toy kitchen so for us it was a no brainier that we would get her one for Christmas.
Despite the IKEA kitchen being value for money, sturdy and popular, I just knew that the standard kitchen was never going to do. With that in mind I set about gathering some ideas and armed with my mood board off I went to B&Q. Find out how I transformed Sofia's bog standard IKEA play kitchen into a kitchen prettier than mine!
I started off my removing all of the items from the box that I wanted to spray gold(handles, feet, cooker, washing up bowl, hanging hooks and pole. I laid them out on cardboard and gave them each an even coat of gold spray paint. Once dry this had to be repeated a couple of times to get an even finish.

Next I removed the oven, microwave and cupboard doors from the packaging and sanded each one down on both sides. Not a full on sanding but enough to take the sheen off the wood and give the paint a better base. Once done, we covered the edges of the windows on the microwave and oven doors with masking tape to avoid paint ending up on the Perspex. Now the bit I was dreading, paint one side of each door and leave to dry, repeat another 2 times and then do the same for the other sides so that both sides of each door have had 3 coats and you are happy with the finish. Don't forget the edges too!

I found covering the 'work surface' quite therapeutic. We opted for a wood effect sticky back vinyl. I measured how much roughly I would need(don't forget to allow for the overlap) and laid the work surface down. Slowly peel back a little of the backing paper and align with the wooden work surface. Once happy, slowly start to smooth the vinyl over the wood using a clean tea towel until the top is completely covered. Now turn the work surface over and where the holes for the washing up bowl and cooker are, you should see the sticky side of the vinyl. Carefully cut a 'x' through the exposed vinyl, towards the edges and then fold over so it adheres to the underside of the work surface. Once completed, it should look a little something like this...

Now the easy part, following the instructions in the box put the kitchen together!

I had a piece of foam board which I covered with a white washed exposed brickwork wallpaper sample and then attached that to the back of the kitchen using tacks. To finish of the look I purchased 3 battery operated push on lights and using the adhesive pads they come with, attached them to the underside of the microwave and hey presto....a kitchen fit for a princess!

All of the links to or info on products I used are below.
If you have up cycled a children's IKEA kitchen, I'd love to see it!

M xx

Monday, 23 January 2017

Weekly Meal Planner

So here we are, nearing the end of January already and we are trying as a family to be as organised as possible. Helping to keep us on track is this weeks meal planner.

Sausage, mash and beans

Jerk pork, rice, plantain and salad 

Lasagne, chips and mixed veg

Chicken noodles, egg fried rice and spring rolls.

Jacket potatoes

Chicken fajitas, spiced wedges and corn on the cob

Shepherds pie, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and peas

What's on your menu this week?

                                                                            M xx

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Rambling Mummy Loves...Scented Candles

Christmas is over, all the naughty food is out of the cupboard but it's still freezing cold outside and it's still pitch black by 6pm. I find myself in a desperate hurry in the evenings to get dinner and dishes out of the way, throw on some pjs and fluffy slippers and light some candles.
Along with the warmth and lovely glow, I love the scent that a beautifully fragranced candle gives off.
Here are my top 3 candles that currently grace my hallway, bedroom and lounge.

Any self respecting candle lover will admit having a Yankee or two around the house, car, office etc and I am no exception to the rule. Currently gracing the side in my lounge is this beautiful fresh cut roses scented jar candle. In a practical and pretty large glass jar, the smell is exactly what is promised; the gorgeous smell of fresh flowers.


This candle and pretty much everything else in this shop is absolutely amazing. Created and hand poured by the owner of the shop, Maryann every single candle in this shop smells like what it says. I've had a few different scented ones over time but this gingerbread men scented candle is absolutely amazing and in a contemporary tin to boot! Providing you can resist the temptation to try and eat this one, it would be a welcome addition to any room.


The relaxing scent of lavender and zesty lime are combined for a twist on a classic fragrance. This candle comes in a pretty lidded glass jar, it will make a wonderful addition to any home or a welcome gift to candle loving receipient.

What are some of your favourite scented candles?

                                                                        M xx

Friday, 13 January 2017

Rambling Mummy Loves....Slow Cookers

In this fast paced world time has unfortunately become one of our most precious luxuries. Whether it's, family life, work, education etc we seem to be trying to cram so much in to our waking day that we merely exist instead of actually living. As a mum of 4 time is extremely valuable so anything that can free up some of it has to be a bonus right??
After months of people raving about slow cookers, I finally bit the bullet and bought one and do you know what I haven't looked back once. So this weeks rambling mummy loves is all about one of the smallest and most cost efficient kitchen appliances...the slow cooker.

Slow cookers are a convenient and easy way to make a meal. Some boast 'amazing' features such as a bowl that can be used on the hob. Expensive models often have digital controls, more timer options and even have an auto stir function but like anything, all you need is something that does the job you need it to.

Swan SF17020N 3.5Litre Slow Cooker
I have had many a tasty meal straight from my mums slow cooker before. Whether she is cooking for just her and my dad or is preparing for a visit from me and my brood her slow cooker always has the capacity to cope. With its easy to clean bowl, simple timer and pretty cleanline design, you'd have no issues with this sitting atop your work surface.
Before rushing out to buy a pricey slow cooker I thought it best to start simple and get a basic one which meant if I didn't get on with it I hadn't broken the back. I did some quick research and reserved myself this little bad boy from Argos.
Value for money and basic, I thought even this slow cooker virgin could handle this one.
Whilst it's not the biggest of slow cookers, it was able to cook most meals for my family of six with its simple hi and lo and fab keep warm features. Although a great product, I'm not sure of this would have stood the time of daily usage for 6 in our household but nonetheless a great product for a great price.
Once we realised that this would actually be a good investment we did(and by we I mean me because let's face it, nobody else in this house cooks!) a bit more research and finally settled on this as the new addition to our family. At 6.5 litres capacity we certainly don't struggle to fit meals into it. The toughened glass lid is great for checking on our food without having to remove it and the removable ceramic bowl is great to use as a serving dish. There are 3 heat settings which are easy to choose from using the dial. At the moment I've only had chance to use this for functional family meals, however, I have a huge list of fun recipes compiled that I can't wait to try out.

If you have a slow cooker or plan on buying one, let me know how you get on with it.

M xx

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Rambling Mummy Loves....Fruit Infusion Water Bottles

Out with the old and in with new. One of the most common phrases as the clock strikes on New Year's Day. Resolutions of weight loss, stopping smoking and getting fit are in the top 5 New Years resolutions made annually but how many of us actually are still dedicated once February arrives?
Not a resolution as such but more of a need I have vowed to drink more water but we all know how boring that can be, soooo, I have purchased a fan dabby dosey fruit infusion water bottle which I love and is making water drinking so much easier.
This rambling mummy had a great choice to choose from and here are my top 3.

If you're going to drink water why not do it in style? This gold finished water bottle with infusion chamber is a must for anyone wanting functionality and style. It's not a humungous bottle so realistically could fit in most bags but with its 682ml capacity you're sure to be on your way to increasing your water intake.

If your after something that's a bit more funky and a little lower in price then this bottle is the one for you. With a choice of 7 colours and with a one year replacement warranty this bottle is sure to see you in good stead.

If you are after a no frills bottle that 'does the job!' Then here it is. A steal at just £5 and with a 750ml water capacity, this is an ideal, everyday on the go item.

Until next time

Emma xx