Questions about Frozen

5 questions I have about Frozen

I know, I know, we’re really late to the party with this one, but we’ve just introduced our children to Frozen and they absolutely love it.

I don’t want to think about how many times I’ve seen it in the last month.

But the thing is, the more you watch films like this the more questions you end up wanting answers to!  So, in the hopes that someone out there has some answers for me, here are 5 questions I have about Frozen:

5 questions I have about Frozen

 

1)  What’s the deal with Olaf’s song?  Am I the only one who just finds it all a bit strange, and like it doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the film?

There’s just something rather Mary Poppins about it!

 

2)  Why does Kristoff not realise that Anna is Anna?!

By which I mean, he watches her get healed by the trolls when they’re children, he must know who she is because she’s taken there by her parents, the King and Queen!  Yet when they meet as adults and she gets struck again by Elsa’s magic it’s like he just doesn’t make the link or think, “oh this is familiar” at all.

 

3)  Who are Kristoff’s parents?  What happened to them?  Was he basically being raised by Sven?!

 

4)  How can Elsa suddenly magic up things like her new dress and, oh I don’t know, life?!

At the start it seems like her magic basically allows her to produce ice and snow, and things made out of ice and snow.  Fair enough.  But then she goes on to create Olaf, and bring him to life!  And magic herself up a nice new outfit, and then at the end, ice skates for Anna.  Is there a limit to what she can create?  Is it just things that are somehow linked to ice and snow?!

All very strange if you ask me.

 

5)  Why are the songs so damn catchy?

Seriously, I don’t think an hour has gone by the last month without me catching myself singing one song or another from the film.  On the plus side, Nerys likes to sing the songs too and it’s brilliant because, bless her, she really can’t carry a tune yet but she likes to belt them out which is just pure entertainment.

I’m sure there are more questions that need answering, but those are the 5 that have been bugging me the most recently. 

And, yes,  I know,  all this really means is that I’ve seen this film too many times now, but please, if you can shed any light on any of these issues please do let me know!

Try this trick for a tidier house

Try this one little trick for a tidier house

Let me get one thing clear from the start, in case the title of this post has given you a false impression of me.

I am not a domestic goddess.  My home is nowhere near pristine.  I’m not sure if there is a single flat surface in the place that is completely clear.

But, I’m trying.  I’m trying various schedules and tricks to get on top of the tidying and cleaning.

And there’s one thing I’ve found so far that really does make a difference to the general state of my house:

Try this one little trick for a tidier house

Don’t leave a room empty handed.

It’s so simple, but it really does make a difference.

Every time you leave a room in your house, have a quick look around and see if there’s anything lying around that belongs in the room you’re going to.  If there is, grab it and take it with you and put it back where it belongs!

So, if you’re heading from the lounge to the kitchen, then pick up your dirty coffee mug and take it with you to put in the dishwasher (or to refill if you’re anything like me!).

It might not seem like much, but taking a few seconds to take something with you when you leave a room can save you having to do a big pick-up job at the end of the day, and if you’re heading to the kitchen anyway, why not take that mug with you?

And if you’re heading upstairs, then grab something from the pile that’s built up on the bottom steps (come on, I can’t be the only one who puts things on the stairs to take up later?!) and take it with you to the right bedroom!

Simple isn’t it?  When you go to leave a room, just give it a quick scan first and see what you can take with you – don’t leave a room empty handed!

Do you have any other simple tips for getting a tidier home?

This post has been linked up with KCACOLS and Blogger Club UK linkies.
Benefits of eating together as a family

5 benefits of eating together as a family

Quick question – how often do you sit down as a family and eat a meal?

I know we don’t do it anywhere near as much as we should.  Mainly due to the fact that my children are hungry and ready to eat their dinner by about 4.30 every day, and my husband is still at work at that time.  It just doesn’t work for us to all eat dinner together during the week.

But I know we need to make more of an effort to find a way to sit down together for more meals.  I’ve done a bit of digging around and found some really interesting points about the benefits of families eating meals together, and it’s definitely inspired me to make sure we do it more often.

Here are my top 5 benefits of eating together as a family on a regular basis: 

5 benefits of eating together as a family (4)

 

1) Your children will eat better
Various studies have shown that children who regularly eat meals with their families tend to eat a healthier, more varied diet.  One particular study carried out in 2000 found that the 9-14 year olds who ate dinner with their families had diets that were higher in loads of key nutrients like iron and calcium.If your children are fussy eaters then sitting and having dinner together regularly could help to increase the number of foods they eat and enjoy.  A study carried out in 2003 found that children who were offered sweet red pepper every day for 8 days said they liked it more (and were eating more of it) than children who were offered a reward for eating the pepper.  This research seems to suggest that constantly exposing our children to new foods, without pressure from threats or rewards, will help them learn to try, and like, different things, even if they don’t like them at first.So, eating dinner together, and offering our children new foods to try each time can gradually help them to start eating a more varied, healthy diet. 

2) They’ll improve their vocabulary
Assuming you don’t sit in stony silence at mealtimes, you can help increase your children’s vocabulary by eating dinner together.  Studies have found that chatting together over dinner results in children knowing, and using, more words than average.

Not only that, but they also know six times more rare words (by which they mean words that children don’t typically use) than children who don’t eat meals with their parents.

 

3) You can tackle bullying
Bullying is something that most children will be exposed to in one way or another while growing up, and now there’s also cyber-bullying to deal with.  It’s easier than ever for children to bully each other, and perhaps harder than ever for parents to prevent it.

What research has found, though, is that eating meals together as a family can actually be helpful in recognising that bullying is going on, and addressing it.

Regularly sitting down as a family gives parents a chance to pick up on warning signs that their child is being bullied, and to provide support to help get the situation resolved.

 

4) You’ll form closer family relationships
We all lead such busy lives, that taking time out to sit down together and share a meal and a chat can be a great way to deepen family relationships.  Studies have found that families who do often eat together are more honest and open with each other, and that the children are more likely to turn to their parents with any problems they might have.

 

5) The whole family will be happier
Research carried out with American teenagers found that those who regularly eat with their parents are more likely to be emotionally strong, and less likely to experience mental health problems.

They were also found to have good communication skills and manners, most likely through learning by their parents’ example.

Interestingly, the results don’t just apply to children.  Studies have also found that Mothers who eat with their families are happier and more relaxed than Mothers who don’t.

 

Those are my top 5 benefits of eating together as a family, but there are also a few other things that I think are worth noting to really get the best out of doing it:

 

It doesn’t have to be dinner.  If you find that your lifestyle really doesn’t allow you to sit down with your children for dinner every night, then it might be worth seeing if you can share another meal together instead, like breakfast.

 

Get everyone involved.  Get your children sitting at the table as early on as possible, so they’re exposed to all the benefits from a young age.  I find that booster seats that fit to kitchen chairs are a great alternative to high-chairs, as you can push them right up to the table so that even babies and toddlers can be part of the action.

 

Keep it light.  Family mealtimes should be relaxed and fun.  If you have young, fussy eaters you don’t want dinner to become a battleground, so try offering different foods with no pressure, alongside food they know and like.  And with older children keeping things light will encourage them to feel more comfortable opening up to you.

 

Limit distractions.  Most of the benefits of eating meals together comes from the conversations that occur during the meal, so having the tv blaring at the same time will have a negative impact.  So when you sit down for dinner, turn off the tv and keep phones and tablets away from the table.

 

Researching and writing this post has really made me think about how I do need to make more of an effort to plan our meals so that we can all sit and eat together as often as possible.  I know that on weekdays it just won’t work for us to try and eat dinner as a family, but, if I get a bit more organised, I can see how I could change our mornings a bit to make sure that I sit at the table with the children each day for breakfast.

And there really is no reason why we can’t eat lunch or dinner as a family at the weekends, I just need to get in the habit of doing it, but there are enough benefits to make it well worth it!

 

One thing I will say though, is that I don’t think parents should feel guilty if they aren’t able to sit down together for a meal every day.  A lot of the benefits I’ve found seem to be a result of time spent together, being relaxed and chatting openly with each other, and I think you can create a lot of that away from the table.  So maybe you spend a few minutes each night before bed, chatting with your child about their day, or take a little walk every day as a family and discuss what’s going on in everyone’s lives.

As long as you’re creating a space for open conversation then I think you can still reap a lot of the benefits.

 

But if you can find a way to have regular meals together, so much the better!

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Colourful and fun wellies – Trespass review

“I wish they made wellies like that for adults; all the ones I see are plain and boring”

The other day I was out walking with my children, and a lady walking past made that comment about Nerys’ wellies which, I have to admit, are very cute – dark blue with a lovely pink flower print all over and a pink trim at the top.

And I was so disappointed that I wasn’t wearing my new wellies so I could show her that actually you CAN get fun wellies for grown ups!

I’ve not had a pair of wellies for years, and so I was really pleased when Trespass contacted me to ask if I wanted to review a pair for them.  I chose the Candis women’s patterned wellies because I just loved the colour and design on them!

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Having not worn wellies for so long I really wasn’t sure how comfortable they would be, so I was pleasantly surprised to pull them on and find they were really comfy.

Of course, once I got them we had a run of lovely sunny days, not a rain cloud in sight!

So, rather than wait until the next potentially rain day, we decided to test them out on a trip to the beach.

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My kids love running down to the sea and chasing the tide as it comes in and out, and normally I keep back a few steps as my trainers are most definitely not waterproof.

This time though, I was able to get right in there with them, and am happy to report that my wellies did their job brilliantly and my feet were kept lovely and dry!  It felt a bit odd as the coldness of the water did reach my feet, but the wetness was well and truly kept out.

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We walked a fair distance down the beach; over sand, water and rocks, and the wellies felt nice and secure and were still as comfy at the end of our walk as they were when I first put them on.  I thought they might be a bit stiff and structured but they’re actually really flexible which I love, and which definitely adds to the comfort factor.
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Is it wrong that I’m almost looking forward to a rainy morning now, so that I can wear these to brighten up the school run?!

 

Disclosure – I was sent the wellies in exchange for an honest review.  All words and opinions are my own.

 

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Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Easy lemon fairy cake recipe lemon curd

Easy lemon fairy cakes (with a lemony surprise in the middle)

I’ve been having a bit of a lemon moment recently.

Normally I’ll reach for something chocolatey when I’m in the mood for something sweet, but lately I’ve been really fancying lemon.  Lemon cheesecake, lemon slices, lemon puff biscuits (these come with the added bonus of reminding me of my Nan!).  Anything goes really, as long as it’s lemon.

So after baking chocolate fairy cakes with the kids yesterday I took advantage of all the ingredients and equipment being out and whipped up a batch of lemon fairy cakes, with a yummy lemony surprise in the middle!

Easy lemon fairy cake recipe lemon curd 

The recipe is a basic fairy cake recipe that has never failed me, but with the addition of some lemon juice in the mixture for a bit of zing and a nice dollop of lemon curd in the middle which adds that little extra lemon-y-ness – yum!

So, here we go, my easy lemon fairy cake recipe, with a tasty lemon curd filling.

What you need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 4oz (110g) self raising flour
  • 4oz (110g) caster sugar
  • 4oz (110g) butter
  • Juice of two lemons
  • Some lemon curd

What you do:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
  • Pop about 13 cake cases onto a baking tray
  • Cream together the butter and sugar
  • Mix in the eggs and then stir in the flour
  • Stir in the lemon juice
  • Put about a teaspoonful of mixture in each cake case
  • Add about a third of a teaspoon of lemon curd
  • Cover the lemon curd with another teaspoon of cake mixture.
  • Bake the cakes for about 12-15 minutes, until they spring back slightly when you press them
  • Leave to cool and then sprinkle some icing sugar over the top to pretty them up!

Enjoy!

 

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Cheerz photo review

A really fun delivery  (Cheerz review)

Some days, the postman comes up to our front door and, to be honest, leaves me slightly disappointed when all he delivers is a few flyers and a bank statement.  Although, those days are better than the days I watch him walk right past our house without even dropping a pizza menu through the door!

Some days though, he delivers.  Figuratively and literally.  He’ll bring me a letter from my Mum, or a little something we’ve ordered from Amazon.  Or something really fun, like this parcel from Cheerz that arrived the other day.

I was pretty impressed that it arrived as quickly as it did, as the order was coming from France where they’re based.  And I had so much fun opening it up and discovering everything that was inside.

Cheerz photo review

Cheerz are a print company who offer a great range of products – so much more fun than your standard 7×6 prints!  I spent ages browsing their website before opting for la boîte à photos.

Ordering was really easy.  I used their website and it was as simple as uploading my photos, selecting the ones I wanted to use, adding a little white border, and then done!  They’ve got an app as well, which makes ordering from your phone really simple, and you can get your photos from Facebook etc which makes things even easier.

Inside la boîte a photos was my photos (of course!), some pretty blue string and teeny wooden pegs to hang up the photos, some lovely washi tape and some photo corners.  This gave me so many options and ideas for what to do with my prints!

The first thing I did was use the photo corners and some of the tape to make some thank you cards for Nerys’ birthday presents.  I love how they came out, and hope people will forgive me for taking so long to send them when they see how cute the cards look!

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Next I hung some of the string across our lounge window and used some of the cute little pegs to hang up some of the prints.  The kids loved this and Nerys spent ages pointing out who was in the photos!

My brain is now buzzing with ideas for displaying the rest of my prints (which are such good quality, I’m really impressed with them).  I’m thinking of hanging up a few lines of string on the landing maybe, and pegging up some more photos there so we can look at them on the way to bed each night, and I’m toying with the idea of creating a fun photo wall in the children’s room using the washi tape!

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If you’re like me and have hundreds (ok, thousands) of photos on your computer and are looking for something a little different to do with them, I highly recommend Cheerz.  The print quality is lovely, and the products are a mix of simply fun items like fridge magnets (which I’m seriously considering getting!) and keepsake items like photo albums.

You can find them at www.cheerz.com.

So, tell me, when did you last get any of your photos printed?

 

Disclosure – I was gifted my boîte à photos in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.
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Easter mini egg rocky road

Easter mini egg rocky road

I don’t know about you, but I love a good piece of rocky road!  For the last few years I’ve made a batch of Baileys rocky road at Christmas, which is so, so good, but is now linked with Christmas in my mind so I feel like I can’t make it at any other time.

So, to get a Spring time rocky road fix, I whipped up this batch of Easter mini/micro egg rocky road.  I can’t see it lasting the weekend, it’s that good!

It’s perfect if you’re like me and can’t resist popping a bag of mini eggs in your basket every time you go to the supermarket at this time of year.  And is a great way to use up any leftover Easter egg chocolate you might have after the long weekend.  Apparently that’s an issue for some people?!

This is a really easy recipe to make, and is fun for children to help with, what with the smashing up of biscuits and the chance to sneakily eat some mini marshmallows and chocolate eggs.

Easter mini egg rocky road

What you need:

  • 250g chocolate (I used a mix of dark and milk chocolate)
  • 3 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 130g butter
  • 200g digestive biscuits
  • 75g mini marshmallows
  • 100g micro chocolate eggs
  • Handful of mini eggs
  • 50g white chocolate

What you do:

  1. Grab a small/medium sized baking tin and line it with greaseproof paper.  You want the paper to hang over the edge of the tin so that it’s really easy to lift the rocky road out later!
  2. Crush the digestive biscuits.  You can either pop them in a freezer bag, secure the bag, and then bash the biscuits with a rolling pin.  Or, if you’re like me and don’t have any freezer bags handy, tip the biscuits into a big mixing bowl and crush them with the end of a rolling pin.
  3. Melt the chocolate, butter and golden syrup together.  You can do this in a microwave, or in a bain-marie, but personally, I like to just put all 3 ingredients in a saucepan and melt them over a really gentle heat on the hob, stirring pretty much constantly.  I’ve never had any problems doing it this way.
  4. Once all the chocolate and butter has melted, take the pan off the heat and stir in the crushed biscuits, the marshmallows and the micro eggs.
  5. Tip the mixture into the prepared tin, and press it down well with the back of a wooden spoon.
  6. Melt the 50g of white chocolate and drizzle it over the top, and then press in a handful of mini eggs.
  7. Put the tray in the fridge for an hour or two to set.
  8. Cut into squares and enjoy!

If you like the look of this, you’ll most likely also love my recipe for mini egg chocolate bark!

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