Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Giveaway Winner and Pancakes

Hello! Did you all enjoy some pancakes yesterday? I had them twice! First we had traditional crepes with lemon and sugar for breakfast…

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Next time I need to make a double batch as both children loved these so much that I only ended up getting one pancake for myself! I made up for it this morning though by making pancakes for the 2nd day running…once Izzy had gone to school so there were more pancakes for me!! Winking smile

Tuesdays are always a bit of a funny day meal time wise – the children go to Liam’s at 4.30pm and eat dinner/stay the night there, and I have spinning at 7pm. Normally I’d eat when I get home but I had a gym review booked for 8.30pm and wasn’t sure how long it would take - so at 5pm I ate an early dinner of more pancakes. This time inspired by Maria’s chocolate peanut pancakes with caramelised banana…although I managed to slightly burn mine, whoops, they tasted nicer than they looked!!

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Topped with caramelised banana and Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter, delicious!

And now to announce the popchips giveaway winner…

popchips giveaway

(there were 14 comments but the first two were the same entry)

Congratulations Laura @ A Daisy Chain Dream!


If you could email me your address at then I’ll make sure your popchips are on their way to you asap!

Thanks to everyone that took the time to enter! Smile

Monday, 4 February 2013

Popchips Review and Giveaway

Before Christmas, I was contacted to see if I’d be interested in trying some popchips in the New Year – a perfect healthier alternative to fried crisps after all the heavy seasonal food! Yes please! Sure enough, a couple of weeks ago a huge box arrived full of share bags of Popchips. They also sent me some information about healthy snack ideas…slightly out of date as we’ve somehow snuck into February already but here you go!

Azmina Govindji RD MBDA, Consultant Nutritionist & Registered Dietitian - Healthy Snacking Tips 
1. Got the January blues? Then eat better! Regular meals and healthy snacks help you to stay energised and avoid binge eating.
2. A cup of hot soup or diet hot choc works wonders - great, filling comfort food!
3. When you’re on the go, make sure you have lower fat treats in the car or in your bag. Planning ahead can reduce those unhealthy impulse buys. Pack some popchips, a packet of nuts and raisins or some dried fruit the night before…
4. A colourful array of fruits and veggies gives you essential nutrients that help your energy levels and immune system.
5. Sometimes you’re not hungry but just need something to crunch. Keep a snack attack box in your fridge – e.g. carrot sticks, olives, cucumber sticks, cherry tomatoes, radishes, pickled onions.
Alternatively, try distracting yourself by doing something completely different like making a phone call or going for a walk – taking your mind off food will help to curb your craving.

I had plans to show you lots of photos of the Popchips I enjoyed, but in reality most of them were just eaten by the handful as I was passing an open bag in the kitchen…definitely still as snack-attack inducing as regular crisps!! I did enjoy some of the sweet chilli Popchips with mashed avocado though, these were possibly my favourite flavour and a great alternative to nachos:
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And of course I had to make some into a crisp sandwich, haha, just because something claims to be healthy doesn’t mean you have to eat it in a healthy way right?! Winking smile

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I was also offered the opportunity to run a giveaway, so one of you can try Popchips for yourself.

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One winner will be sent a box of 12 share bags – a mixture of flavours including original, barbeque, sour cream & onion, salt & pepper, sea salt & vinegar, and thai sweet chilli.

To enter the competition, leave a comment below sharing your favourite savoury snack. I usually gravitate towards sweet things so would like some new ideas! You can have extra entries by following me on Twitter, and tweeting about the giveaway including @PorridgeParsnip and @popchips in the tweet. Leave a separate comment for each entry so that I don’t miss any!

The giveaway will end at midnight on Sunday 10th February, and I’ll announce a winner the following day. Only open to UK residents, sorry to my international readers.

Good luck everyone!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Flowers, Nail Polish and No Snow!

Aka a list of random things! The longer I leave it between blog posts, the more I have to say but the harder it is to actually sit down and write a coherent post. So I decided to just list a few “catch up” things today – I usually find that once I get back into the swing of writing a couple of posts it becomes more natural again, we’ll see!

1. Toby started pre-school a couple of weeks ago, and he loves it! He goes two afternoons a week, so I use one of those afternoons to go to the gym, and the other to catch up on sleep housework…I’d like to start helping out in Izzy’s school on one of the afternoons, but at the moment I am still enjoying the novelty of having a couple of hours to myself during the day!!

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He’s wearing Izzy’s old age 5-6 jumper in these photos, cutie! Although the jumpers must run small as Izzy only went to the pre-school age 3-4.

2. Have any of you tried the new body pump release yet? What do you think about it? I’ve only done it once so far, and I’m not convinced – the music isn’t as catchy as the previous release. I’m hoping it’ll grow on me though, they usually do after a couple of classes!

3. Speaking of exercise, my routine is still going well. Like most, my gym is packed with new joiners this month but the classes haven’t been that much busier. I currently go spinning twice a week, body pump twice a week, and then I try to fit in a few gym sessions depending on childcare. I want to do a more detailed post on my exercise, hopefully soon!

4. Another post I’m planning to write soon is about nail polish…those of you who follow me on Instagram will realise I have a slight addiction!! I’ve started ordering indie nail polishes recently too – these arrived in the last few days, love the ones I’ve tried so far!

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My stash has definitely grown since I last showed it!!

5. I bought myself some flowers for the first time in ages on Saturday! Definitely a benefit of being single, haha, Liam didn’t used to like me buying flowers for myself as he liked to buy them for me, so I made the most of it when I was in Tesco at the weekend – purple tulips are my favourite!

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I thought tulips got droopier as the went on, but the above photo was taken on Saturday and this is how they look now…

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I love them both ways luckily, so pretty!

6. While I was at Tesco I also treated myself to a Costa lunch before doing the shopping – there have got to be some benefits of spending my child-free day in a supermarket right?! Winking smile I had a gingerbread latte and a cheese & mushroom toastie, my favourites!

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7. If you’re wondering why there is no mention of the snow that everyone’s talking about, that’s because we have none! It did start snowing this morning…

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It only snowed for an hour and only settled on the roof tops and the cars as the ground was too wet, yet that was still enough for the school to close at lunchtime, haha, seems so silly! A lot of the teachers live in the surrounding towns/villages which did have slightly worse snow though, but it was a shame that even on a “snow day” there was still no snow for the children to play in.

For those of you who have blogs, do you find it easier to blog every day/couple of days, or do you just blog as and when you feel like it? Those of you without blogs, do you prefer reading any particular style? I prefer it when I’m writing regularly as I find too many things build up that I want to say otherwise and I never know where to start! At the moment I’m struggling to find the time to actually sit down and write though – trying to persuade Toby it’s way past bedtime, housework and sleep have been demanding my attention too much!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Toby’s 3rd Birthday

On Saturday, my baby boy turned 3.


The children spend Saturdays with Liam, but I did get to quickly open some presents with them before he picked them up…


I’m not sure if it was a clever or self-punishing idea to buy him a CD player, but he & Izzy seem to love it so far!


They then went to spend the day with Liam – swimming followed by a pirate party with all his family – and I went to Exeter for shopping, Yo Sushi and Fro Yo (I will do a post on that another time!) with my Mum and little sister.

On Sunday, we had a smaller party for my family. Lemon and “slime” fairy cakes…


More presents (Toby now has lots of clothes that actually fit, yey!)


Plus a huge digger truck from his Auntie Livvy…Toby’s favourite present for sure! Smile

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As Toby had already had a proper birthday cake the day before (Liam stayed up til 3am Friday night/Saturday morning making an amazing pirate ship shaped cake!) I just recycled a chocolate orange cheesecake that I’d made for Christmas, but had been put in the freezer as no one had any room for it on Christmas Day! Still tasted really good after 10 days in the freezer Smile


And, as with most family gatherings, there were a few family photos taken at the end…


I can’t believe how big my baby is getting! He starts pre-school tomorrow and is so excited! He doesn’t get funding until Easter (as the cut off is January 1st and his birthday is January 5th, annoying!) and the pre-school didn’t have anymore spaces anyway, so he is only going one afternoon a week for now. I’m hoping that by paying for that one session for this term, he will then be in the right place to get first dibs on any other sessions that come up in the future – from Easter he is entitled to 15 hours funded by the government, but at the moment the pre-school doesn’t have any more spaces until September! I’m crossing my fingers that he loves pre-school as much as we all think he will. It is the same one that Izzy went to, but whereas she had already been to nursery and a child minder by this age, he hasn’t really spent much time away from me before. Haha, worried “Mummy” ramble over…I’ll try not to cry tomorrow!! Winking smile

I’ve just realised this is my first post of 2013…don’t know where that time’s gone! I hope you’re all having a great start to the New Year!

Monday, 31 December 2012

Christmas 2012

Can you believe 2012 is nearly over? The last few weeks seem to have flown by, but I am really looking forward to 2013…it’s kind of exciting having absolutely no idea where your life is going to take you in the next year!!!

I wanted to show you some photos from our Christmas, and figured today was the last possible day to write this post before January’s fresh start, so here is our Christmas…

Liam had the children during the day on Christmas Eve and I spent most of it at the gym – our usual Saturday spin instructor put on 9am & 10am classes on Christmas Eve as well, so I went to the 9am class with my Mum and youngest sister, and then I went to the gym afterwards. Burn off some calories before the Christmas eating started!! Late afternoon I picked up the children and Liam also joined us for our traditional DVD night. Baked Camemberts with all the sides (there were baguettes, cranberry sauce etc too!)…


Plus new Christmas PJs and Polar Express DVD…


There are never normally any photos taken of me (as I’m usually behind the camera) so I made the most of Liam being there to get some nice photos of me with the children…

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The red mark on my cheek is from walking into the changing room door at the gym earlier, ha, so embarrassing – I had to fill in an accident report and stand with an ice pack on my cheek for half an hour after spin class before they’d let me use the gym!!!

I forgot to buy/make any mince pies, so Santa got a brownie and a cranberry white chocolate cookie this year…


Christmas Day and two very excited children…

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Liam spent the morning with us to see the children opening their gifts (bikes being the main presents this year, although Toby’s was second hand from my friend’s son) and then he went to his Mum’s for lunch and I took the children round to see my family.

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For more present opening…


Funny outfit wearing (Thanks Auntie Livvy!!)


And food…

Cauliflower cheese, red cabbage, parsnips & roast potatoes, yum!

I was too full after this (and all the nibbles I’d eaten earlier) to have any of the traditional Christmas pudding, but I did have some fried with brunch on Friday which is my favourite way to eat it anyway!!


This is a steamed Irish Christmas pudding and the recipe has been passed down through my Grandma’s family for generations. I was nearly tasked with making it this year but with Liam moving out etc Mum took pity on me and made it again this year, haha, I think the recipe will be winging my way before Christmas 2013!! Winking smile

By the time we finished eating, the children were a little past it, so we headed home for a bit of peace and quiet before another busy day on Boxing Day! In the morning we headed down to the seafront to watch lots of crazy people go for a swim in the sea, in fancy dress! We then went to my Mum’s for fried egg/bacon sandwiches, and then we headed over to see my Grandparents in the afternoon.
Toby with his new hat (thanks Auntie Vicki!)…


More present opening…


A buffet (my Grandma makes good egg sandwiches!)…


A puppet show…


And charades…!!


Whew! I have to admit I was kind of glad to get back to the gym normality on Thursday!!

Just a few more photos – a couple of gifts that deserve honourable mentions! The children and I were all really lucky to receive so many lovely gifts from lots of people. I think I worked out the children had 4 separate “Christmases”/present opening days…they loved it! I could go on about lots of gifts for ages, but this post is already super long so I thought I would just focus on two of my favourites – food and nail polish. This isn’t, of course, my only foodie present – lots of people know me well enough to know I love anything edible!! (In particular, thanks to Dad, Olivia, Maria and Sarah W!) This food basket, however, is all from my lovely Mum. She also surprised me by picking out a Republic checked shirt (above somewhere) and also the perfect (fake) leather jacket for me! I had been searching for one for ages with no luck as I didn’t like the collars/fit of all the ones I tried, but the one she bought is perfect! Anyway, back to the food… Mum still gives my little sisters stockings, so I think this was my alternative…amazing!



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The chocolate covered butterscotch pecans are all gone already, divine! I’m planning to open the gingerbread truffles with my Mum this evening as she really wants to try them too. And non-chocolatey things…


More Joe&Seph’s popcorn! I’d been resisting ordering some more of this so I was especially happy to see some in my basket! Thanks Mum! Smile

I also received lots of nail polishes, yey! Those of you who follow me on Instagram will probably realise I love painting my nails!!!

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Nails Inc Emerald glitter from my sister Olivia, the two Nails Inc Sprinkles from the children (thanks Liam!) and the magnetic and chameleon effect polishes from one of my friends. I’m currently wearing Nails Inc Sweets Way (the milky polish with pink blue & white glitter) but I think I am going to try out the magnetic polish today – I’ve never used magnetic polish before but one of my friends raves about them!

Did you all have a great Christmas? Any favourite moments/gifts?
I loved the children’s excitement on Christmas morning. This was the first year that Toby has really understood so it was fun to see them both excited by what “Ho Ho Ho” (aka Santa in Toby language!!) had brought them Smile I took them out on their new bikes yesterday with my Dad, that was fun too, albeit super muddy!! I’ll try to write another post up soon with some other photos from the Christmas holidays, I can’t believe how long this post already is just from Christmas Eve/Christmas Day/Boxing Day!

In the meantime, I hope you've all had a lovely Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!
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