My One Pot Easy Stew and Dumplings


So now the days are cooler it’s time to start eating more warming foods and this one is my absolute favourite dish to have. I would happily have it every week through autumn and winter.


  1. Start with a large casserole/stock pot and add vegetables, I add….
  • Potatoes (I cut medium ones in half but Tom prefers them quite small so it’s up to you)
  • 4 large carrots (peeled and sliced)
  • 2 parsnips (peeled and sliced)
  • Half a large swede (peeled and cut into small chunks)
  • 1 large onion (chopped into small chunks)
  • occasionally I add a leak


This is just how I do it but it really is about preference.

2. Add 2 tins of stewing steak. Princes is the best but you can get cheaper versions and they’re sold at all major supermarkets. Or you can use chunks of beef but cooking time will be about 30 mins longer.

3. Fill with water until you cover all the vegetables, usually just over half the pot.

4. Cook on the stove on gas mark 5 for 30 mins.

5. Add the dumpling and cook for a further 15 mins.

6. Make a large thick gravy, add and mix till its all gravy based. This will usually fill it almost to the top.

7. Cook on low until all veg and dumplings are cooked (usually another 5 mins) and serve.



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BBC Children in Need Charity DVD Review


The nation’s favourite bear Pudsey is bringing you a very special DVD compilation featuring 15 episodes from CBeebies’ best loved shows, providing over 3 hours of top entertainment in Pudsey and Friends, released by Abbey Home Media on Monday 10th October, raising valuable funds for this year’s BBC Children in Need appeal.

For the very first time BBC Children in Need, and Abbey Home Media are bringing together all your favourite CBeebies shows on DVD to help disadvantaged children and young people throughout the UK. A minimum of £2 from the sale of every DVD will go towards, helping children and young people across the UK have a safe, happy and secure childhood and the chance to reach their potential. This donation has been made possible through the generosity of the many companies and individuals involved who have either contributed their shows or services to this unique project with no charge.

This very special DVD compilation is a great way of entertaining young children with its familiar, well-loved characters and diverse range of fun and engaging programming whilst also helping raise funds for a fantastic cause.

The collection features all of Harry’s favourites including :-

TwirlywoosTurning; Peter RabbitThe Tale of Old Rusty; Something SpecialFishing; BingHearts; TeletubbiesNew; In The Night Garden -. Cough
Charlie & Lola I Can Train Your Dog; Timmy TimeTimmy’s Picnic; Sarah and DuckSarah, Duck and The Penguins; Chugginton – Trainee CampThe Furchester HotelPeckity Woodpecker; OctonautsPorcupine Puffer; CloudbabiesRainbows Orchestra; Q Pootle 5Pootle’s New Spaceship.

Harry has loved watching this and hasn’t actually watched actual TV for ages, he’s just enjoyed this DVD.

Title: Pudsey and Friends

Release date: Monday 10th October

Distributor: Abbey Home Media

Format: DVD

Certificate: U

Available from all leading DVD stockists

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A day with my daughter and Mcfly


On the 23rd September myself and teen daughter made our way to Birmingham to finally see Mcfly in concert. Our original date was 22nd June but it had been postponed due to an injury. We were gutted at the time but the date finally came around.

The doors opened at 6pm but we thought it best to go early because we figured there would be a big que. We arrived in Birmingham at 12pm so decided to have a good lunch because we wouldn’t be able to have much food later on so we decided to try Five Guys for the first time.


It was really yummy but VERY expensive! It’s definitely a place for a treat.

We did a little window before walking to the venue. We soon regretted the window shopping when we got there at 3pm (3 hours before doors opened) and there was already a good sized que


It doesn’t look very long but behind the people standing it wasn’t just a small que, it was one of those lines that gathered around the entrance (I can’t explain it very well but I hope you know what I mean) Anyway there wasn’t just the que we were in, there was also a massive que that were early entry (I had no idea you could book these or I would have done that) And then when they went in they made a second long que for o2 priority so by the time we got in there was no chance we were getting near the front!

We got in and were roughly in the centre of the room so fairly good. I managed to see quite a lot of the band but poor teen only being 4″9 didn’t see a huge amount but regardless we still had the most amazing night!


McFly are amazing live and sound exactly like they do on radio. We got half way through the night and things got really cramped but we switched places and we had more room again strangely.


It was such a long day (on our feet) and by the end of the night we were so exhausted, I couldn’t wait to get in my bed! I hurt like mad the next day too (talk about making me feel old) but I will definitely do it again. We’re already looking at the next concert we’d like to see 🙂

I have you been to any concerts? Or would you like to?


*This is not a sponsored post. I bought our tickets but am just documenting it on my blog.

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Silent Sunday


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Saturday is Caption Day




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The many faces of Jack

As a baby Harry was always happy and Jack is exactly the same as his brother but with added extras. He has such an expressive face. He loves to smile with his mouth closed and open, he is always sticking his tongue out and he has an expression that we call his silly face, its hilarious! He makes us smile and laugh on a daily basis. Here are a few of his faces for you….







He is just the cutest!

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Molly Maybe and the Ghost Train Book Review


The Blurb

Molly Maybe has a marvellous secret – she and her faithful sidekick, Waggy Burns, are the only ones who can travel to an amazing monster world which mirrors our own. Take a ride in the incredible mundervator with Molly and help her solve a crisis in Undermunder.
There’s a terrible smell in Smallsbury but Molly knows that it’s not the drains! She ventures down into Undermunder and discovers three little monsters, who can’t stop pumping out pony smells in fear. They’ve lost their kite and too scared of the ghastly ghost, the Ghoulie Gumpus to get it back. Will Molly be able to show them there’s nothing to be scared of? Or is the Ghoulie Gumpus just too ghastly?

Our Thoughts

Harry and I love getting a new book to read. We love to read a book or two each night while cuddling in bed. We were recently sent Molly Maybe and the Ghost Train and because it’s almost Halloween and this has a ghostly theme, we thought we would start reading this one, we have read it every night since, Harry loves it!

The book is about ghosts and monsters but it’s not a scary book which I love. Harry is only 4 so enjoys Halloween but not if it’s too scary.

The story is very fun and the book is too because it has one page where you have to read it one way and then turn it around to read the other side and towards the end there is a pull out to make a four page book.


I recommend this book for your little one.  It’s full of fun and adventure. I think we’re going to read this one nightly ready for Halloween. Harry really enjoys it and has started reciting some parts. Which I think always helps with learning to read because they recognise certain words.

You can buy this book on Amazon from £4.99.


*We were sent this book for the purposes of review but all opinions are my own.


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Top 10 Movies for Children at Halloween

Autumn is my favourite season by far. I love the colours, the warming foods, jumpers & jeans, cuddling under a blanket with a hot drink and watching a movie and of course Halloween! And two of those combined is our most favourite, cuddling under a blanket and watching a Halloween film. Our top 10 films (for children because I am not one for horrors) are……..


  1. 1 The Witches
  2. 2 The Addams Family
  3. 3 Casper
  4. 4 Hocus Pocus
  5. 5 Monsters, INC
  6. 7 Hotel Transylvania
  7. 6 Hotel Transylvania
  8. 8 Frankenweenie
  9. 9 Toy Story of Terrror
  10. 10 Coraline

Harry’s favourites are Hotel Transylvania and Toy Story of Terror, he hasn’t seen the others because he’s been too young, so this year I’m really excited to try a few more of these out with him. What are your favourites?

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Silent Sunday


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The Working Parents’ Guide to Raising Happy and Confident Children

Realeased 4th October 2016

• A unique guide specifically for busy working parents by a reformed Tiger Dad

• Includes a 5-week program and fast, troubleshooting guide for the Top 20 parenting challenges.

• Explains how leadership skills acquired at work can also transform family life

In almost 50% of two-parent families in Britain, both parents now work*. All working parents want the time they spend with their children to really count, but the juggling act of work and childcare can put huge pressure on family life and result in parents feeling confused and even in conflict with each other about the best way to raise their children. The Working Parents Guide to Raising Happy and Confident Children addresses these issues by showing parents how the common-sense skills they already use at work – such as teamwork, effective communication and forward-planning – can also radically improve their family lives.

Based on the latest research in child psychology and neuroscience, The Working Parents’ Guide is a short manual with fast, practical tools to overcome the most common parenting challenges including how to get out of the house in the morning without arguments or bribes, how to address back-talking and how to make the most of quality time together. Two invaluable appendices for busy working parents include a 5-week program to transform family life and a quick troubleshooting guide for the Top 20 parenting challenges. Nadim’s philosophy of ‘strategic, conscious parenting’ also helps parents to focus on the bigger picture in times of stress. He sees parenting as equipping the future generation with the emotional intelligence and leadership skills to be successful, world citizens. As Nadim says, “My strong belief is that if we endeavour to raise children who are better prepared for the world, then we can also help to make the world become a better place.”

This is a great book for working parents that may have that guilt and worry that we all get. A great practical guide full of easy to apply tips!

There is also a free download of his previous book, Raising Confident Kids which was number one on Amazon. 

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