Get the kids cooking with Ben’s Beginners™

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Baking a three course meal with the Tefal Cuisine Companion

The other evening as I cooked dinner I was simultaneously sending out instructions to my eldest, Lewis, who was cooking my version of sausage pasta for his friend (who’s a girl, so he was a tad nervous). Now he was, of course, trying to impress and had called me a couple of times in a hushed voice, just to double check that he was getting it right.

Turns out Lewis makes a mean sausage pasta, just like his mama taught him.

One of the things I’ve always made sure of is that my eldest two felt comfortable helping out in the kitchen and would be able to cook at least 4 basic meals, by themselves (even if they do have to call me to ask something!)

Being able to cook for yourself is obviously a very necessary life skill and research has shown that families that cook and eat together will enjoy significant health benefits. From experience, I’ve learnt that if you encourage children to help out in the preparation of meals they are far more likely to eat what’s put in front of them.

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A dressing room makeover with Valspar stir in glitter paint

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A dressing room make over with Valspar paint

Since we moved into our house a year ago it feels like we’ve been non-stop renovating. The upstairs needed so much work done, including complete rewiring in the main bedroom, en-suite and adjoining room as well as the whole lot being replastered. We actually slept in our dining room for 6 long months whilst all this work was going on and I could not wait to get to the fun part of decorating and getting some paint on the walls.

Both Justin and I are fairly minimalist when it comes to decoration, we love the Scandinavian look of fresh white walls and so when Valspar got in touch via Mumsnet and offered us a room makeover I wanted to take the opportunity to add a bit of interest to my dressing room, and opted for bright white with just a hint of grown-up glitter.

We painted the room with Valspar paint and primer in one in a bright white mid sheen. We only needed one coat which is testament to Valspar’s brilliant coverage. I’ve never used a paint and primer in one so it was great to give it a try, when you have lots of walls to cover the fun of decorating can get old quite quickly but it really took the hard work and effort out of painting. The Valspar rollers and paintbrushes are really good too, I’m the sort of person that buys a new roller every time we decorate but the old saying ‘you buy cheap, you pay twice’ is really apt here. It is well worth spending a few extra pounds on quality tools to decorate with. Lesson well and truly learned!

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Three course dinner using Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Plus your chance to win Coca-Cola Zero Sugar prizes!

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Coca-Cola Zero Sugar in crate

This week I’ve been busy getting creative in the kitchen with Coca-Cola Zero Sugar*. For those that don’t already know, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar launched this year to replace Coca-Cola Zero. The new and improved Coca-Cola Zero Sugar looks and tastes more like the classic version, but without the sugar.

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar in crate

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar challenged me to come up with a three-course dinner party menu incorporating Coca-Cola Zero Sugar into the recipes. I went all out and decided to add a Coca-Cola Zero Sugar twist to every course. We do, of course, indulge in sugary treats now and then but for my family, I really try and keep an eye on our sugar intake. Finding alternative ingredients to add to meals is brilliant, especially when it’s exciting ones like Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. My family were certainly looking forward to a cake for dessert that had Coca-Cola Zero Sugar as its star ingredient!

Watch the video below to see how I got on, and read on for the recipes in detail and your chance to win Coca-Cola Zero Sugar goodies!

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WIN 4 tickets to Thorpe Park’s Fright Nights!

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Thorpe Park Fright Nights

This October Thorpe Park Resort’s, Fright Nights, returns for the premiere Halloween event’s 15th Birthday celebrations on selected dates from 7 October – 31 October with an all-new scare maze, Platform 15.

Platform 15 is set in the Park’s woodlands; it is the largest scare maze to date covering 450 metres. Guests will depart on a one way ticket along an overgrown railway line which is the last known route of the Sleeper Express, a locomotive that disappeared into thin air with all passengers still on board.

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Renovating a teen girl’s bedroom

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bedroom

Since moving into our forever home we’ve been slowly working our way around renovating, making good and decorating. We started with Rose’s bedroom in the hopes that a beautifully decorated space all of her own would encourage her to sleep in there as opposed to wedged in between myself and Justin. It partially worked, by the way, she now sleeps most of her time in her own bed…

Next up was the master suite complete with en-suite bathroom and adjoining bedroom that is used as a dressing room. I am so pleased with the way it’s turned out and will be sharing it in a vlog very soon. We’ve now begun the very slow process of stripping the wallpaper in the hallway stairs and landing and Holly’s room is next. Hooray! She’s been waiting very patiently for over a year and now she’s 16 and at college, I want to give her a space that she’s proud of, one that is functional and will encourage her to study but also a place of relaxation too.

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The List #105

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Profile pic holding a pen!

Welcome to The List-thank you so much to everyone who links up each week and makes this such an amazing linky to be part of. We salute you!

For those of you who don’t know,  ‘The List’ is run by Aby and I and is THE place to link up all your list posts :)

The idea of The List is super simple, link up any post that is in list/bullet point format (a couple of bullet points in a post is fine too!). I link up my weekly blog/life round-up and quite often a recipe or a how-to. Yours could be a ‘top ten’ list or anything else you fancy.

Posts can be old or new, and all are most welcome.

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Bridget, New Borns and Baby Daddies

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Bridget Jone’s Baby Infographic

Hands up who hasn’t heard about the new Bridget Jones film?

None of you? Good. BRIDGET JONES IS BACK PEOPLE and I hear the film is totally unmissable.

In the latest installment Bridget Jone’s Baby, Bridget’s focus on single life and her career is interrupted when she finds herself pregnant, but with one hitch … she can only be fifty percent sure of the identity of her baby’s father.

I’m sharing this fun infographic from the lovely folk over at Very.co.uk if you scroll to the bottom you’ll be able to see some of my musings on babies, growing up and the best part of being a mum.

(I am Team Darcey all the way FYI…)

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