Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Bouncy Babies - 268/365

It was such a lovely sunny day today the twins spent a lot of it outside in the garden. Zachary insisted they have a bounce on the trampoline but first he made sure he cleaned off all leaves with a brush. Such a clever little boy, he really does watch the things we do and takes everything in before trying to copy and do them himself. 

The #Afterschoolchefs Challenge with Birds Eye

Making healthy, nutritious and interesting family meals daily can be quite a challenge for many reasons including time constraints, inspiration and budget to name but a few. As much as I would like to make meals from scratch everyday it's not always possible due to lots of things such as after school activities, my demanding twin babies who often make meal preparation difficult, work commitments and well, there never feels like there are enough hours in the day to do everything so sometimes I just run out of time. Thankfully Birds Eye are there to help with a fantastic range of products from well loved fish fingers, chicken dippers, waffles, a range of rice infusions and steam vegetables to out current favourites Mas#tags.


#Afterschoolchefs Recipe Inspiration

This September Birds Eye provided busy families with a helping hand that ensures clean plates and happy kids and we were lucky enough to have been chosen as one of these families and received some vouchers to spend on products. To help give some inspiration Birds Eye have also put together some great videos, with mini #Afterschoolchefs showing off 6 recipes perfect for a tasty teatime parents and kids will both love and these can be found here. Two of my favourite recipes are Waffle Nachos and Chicken Dipper Fajitas.

Waffly Versatile

We are big fans of waffles in this house, as they say they are waffly versatile and we are always trying out new topping combinations for them. Our favourite waffle creations are pizza waffles which we top with gammon cut in strips and melted cheese and a simple fried egg on waffle combo. 

Pizza Waffles ready to go under the grill

Waffle topped with a yummy soft egg and another Pizza Waffle ready to eat

Other Favourites

A special treat tea for us has to be fish fingers, chips and peas. I can pretty much guarantee there will be clean plates all round when I serve this and it is one of those meals that reminds me of being a kid, it was one tea I always loved back then too - I guess there are some things you never grow out of. 

Some of our favourite Birds Eye products

Mas#tags are another big hit in our house. They may be gimmicky but the geekiness of them definitely appeals to me while Ben loves the shapes especially the smileys. I get to hashtag our food, how could you not love that? 

Our Verdict

We loved being involved in the Birds Eye #Afterschoolchefs challenge. I've found some great meal options that my family love so it's safe to say there are smiles all round. Thank you Birds Eye for the opportunity to take part, it's been fun. 

* Disclaimer: This post is an entry for #Afterschoolchefs Challenge, sponsored by Birds Eye. Learn more on the Birds Eye Facebook Page.

Happy Camping with the POD Tent Maxi

Camping with kids is a whole different experience, especially when your little tribe consists of a four year old and one year old twins. There are lots of things that make the experience more enjoyable and less stress, the big one being the tent you choose. The important factors for me are ease of set up, comfort, space and warmth, not forgetting the all important ease of dismantling at the end of your trip. The POD Tent Maxi is a perfect choice. It is so well designed, it definitely is in a league of it's own when it comes to tents.


Before we went camping we watched the POD Tent's instructional video on how to erect the tent which made it look almost too easy.

I have to admit I had my doubts that it could actually be that straightforward but it pretty much was a case of unwrapping the tent, lying it flat, straightening out and assembling all eight posts, threading them into the center fingered hub, one person holding it up inside while the other popped the posts in the ground and then securing all the guide ropes before fitting the interior sleeping cell.

Assembling the POD Tent Maxi

It's the kind of thing that I reckon once you've done once, becomes quicker next time. The site claims, "in fact 2 people can easily erect this tent within 10 – 15 minutes", it took us a bit longer but not considerably so and we did have three kids to juggle while doing so.

Awesome-est tent ever! Chris is 6ft 4" which puts how high it is in context

Taking the tent down at the end seemed even easier which, let's face it after camping, is just what you want when you are eager to head home especially when you have three impatient children watching you. We were really impressed with the design and how cleverly and easy everything fitted together.

Time to dismantle the POD

The POD in Use

One thing is for sure, if you are looking for a tent that makes a statement and stands out from the rest, look no further than the POD tent. It stands above all other tents and it's black and yellow colours make a very welcome change in a sea of boring blue and green tents.

The space inside is fantastic, the outer POD is a huge 5 meters in diameter and 2.7 meters to the top and will sleep eight people in an open communal living arrangement or you also have the option to add the internal cell or sleeping pods which separates it into two bedrooms and a living space. This makes for a very practical and enjoyable camping experience especially if you have young kids that you want to put to bed early or require naps while still allowing you to sit, relax, chat and even enjoy a drink or two in the living area. 

We really loved the sense of space, it makes for a much more comfortable and enjoyable experience especially if some of your party are tall, my 6ft 4" husband had no problem standing up in it with plenty of headroom which was a first for when it came to camping in a tent.

TL - our beast of a double buggy even fit through the door; TR - loving the windows; BL - Inner cell hanging from center; BR - the twins loved the view from inside

I loved the fact the inner cell even had details like pouches to store shoes or valuables you don't want to lose like mobile phones, torches, wallets etc. The windows were also a lovely feature and the inner netted door came in really handy to stop the twins from escaping while still allowing light. There was also plenty ventilation to stop it from getting too stuffy which happens all too often when you have a number of people together in one tent.

The POD Maxi tent has all the features that are on my tent wish list such as in-built groundsheet to keep creepy crawlies and bugs to a minimum, vents, windows and a great feeling of inner space and light which makes camping far more enjoyable.

Social Camping Experience

The very cool thing about the POD tent is that it allows your tent to grow and become a social hub through the option to interconnect and add POD Tunnels and POD Tent Minis or even another Maxi - how cool is that for camping with large extended families and friends? It allows you to have the best of both worlds, a shared social space and a separate private quiet zone. A refreshing fun approach to camping for families, festival goers and groups of friends.

Our Verdict

The POD Tent Maxi is by far the best tent I have come across. It made for a very enjoyable family camping experience. I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone wanting to invest in a tent that can accommodate a family or group. We were really impressed with the quality, design and experience we had while using it. If you are thinking of buying a tent head over to the POD Tent site to check them out for yourself - you won't be disappointed.

*Disclaimer: We received a POD Tent Maxi for the purpose of this review. All views and opions are my own and unbiased.

Monday, 29 September 2014

My Scooter Babies - 267/365

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Zoey idolises Ben. She always wants to do what he does and both her and Zachary light up when I mention we are going to collect Ben from school.

Ben's latest obsession is his scooter, he loves riding it from the car to school and back so there is no surprise that it is Zoey's as well. She insists on having a go on it whenever she sees it. I have a feeling both the twins will be scooting a lot younger than Ben started as they have him to copy. 

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Ben the Entertainer - 266/365

Ben was at a party today and a few of the children were asked by the entertainer to sing a song. They sang various nursery rhymes such as Baa Baa Black Sheep and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star so when it came to Ben's turn I have to admit I was a little nervous as to what he would come out with. I needn't have been though, as he totally impressed everyone by launching into a very tuneful "Everything is Awesome" through massive fits of giggles. I was very proud of my little man.