And the winner is….. Cheryl Hastie!

I’m really pleased to announce that Cheryl Hastie has won the £25 Sainsbury’s voucher! Thanks to all who entered and stay tuned for more competitions!

Em x

Win £1000 to Spend at AlexandAlexa

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Hello All!

To celebrate a month of global fashion AlexandAlexa are giving you the chance to update your child’s wardrobe with some of the gorgeous new season collections. AlexandAlexa are an online retailer specialising in luxury children’s clothing, toys and nursery furniture and have been dubbed the Net-A-Porter for children’s fashion. They have asked me to make my readers aware of their latest promotion, which is a competition offering you the chance to win £1000 to spend at AlexandAlexa. Customers who shop there will automatically be entered into the competition from now until 30th September. Alternatively you can just click here to enter by leaving your details.

Good luck!

Motherem

Tasty Roast Chicken Rice

This is a great, tasty recipe that uses left over roast chicken. It’s ideal for tinys who are weaning, although you’ll probably want to use reduced salt versions of the stock and gravy granules. I just want to confess that my older kids wouldn’t eat this meal unless blindfolded but my nearly 2 year old wolfs it down. It’s worth noting that when the oldest 2 are blindfolded they love it…

Ingredients
A splash of sunflower oil (or whatever oil you use apart from olive oil)
Left over chunks or strips of dark and white chicken
Two sticks of celery chopped
An onion chopped
Chantaney carrots halved up into stock
Half a tin of sweet corn
A crushed clove of garlic
One chicken stock cube made
A desert spoon of gravy granules three quarters of a kids cup of rice.

Fry your onions in a stewing pot or saucepan, once translucent add the chicken, celery, carrots and sweet corn. Add about half of the stock, bring to the boil and let simmer on a low heat. Keep checking to see the stock hasn’t evaporated about every 10 mins and then after 30 mins add the rest of the stock and gravy granules for thickness. Then leave to simmer for another 30 mins and put the rice on to boil 15 mins before your 30 minutes are up. Once the rice is cooked just drain and stir into the meal. If your kids don’t like the look of this you can always blend it to make a yummy soup. Delicious. The good thing about this meal is that if the children don’t like it the adults will!

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A review of the party offering at Cheeky Monkeys Play Barn in Fulbourn

I’ve been meaning to write this up for ages. Maisie celebrated her 4th birthday at Cheeky Monkeys and we had such a fantastic time that I wanted to shout about it!

We’ve been going to Cheeky Monkeys for nearly seven years now and one of the things I love is that at least 2 of the key staff have been there for at least as long as we’ve been going. The lady who looked after us during the party even knew my children’s names which was above and beyond in terms of good customer service.

There are 2 offerings, exclusive use, which is £10 per child (Mondays only) and shared use where you share with the public. This costs £7.50 for weekday parties and £8.50 for weekend parties. Included in the price is 90 minutes in the Playbarn or outside and 30 minutes for the party tea. The party tea includes a selection of sandwiches, mini sausages, crisps, cheese cubes, grapes, cherry tomatoes, cakes, biscuits, raisins and unlimited jugs of squash. All parents have to do is to bring a cake and the party bags.

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There are 2 venues for the party tea, one is in a little barn just outside of the main Playbarn. This is decked out with twinkly lights and party decorations and is a lovely cosy room for a party. Ours was in the extension on the right hand side of the Playbarn and was perfect as it was large enough for our group and nice and bright so we could enjoy the sunshine and the view of the fields.

The day of Maisie’s party was beautifully sunny so we were all able to make use of the fabulous outside space. There are climbing frames galore, tractors, roundabouts and slides so the kids certainly didn’t struggle for entertainment. Inside is ideal for smaller kids as it’s not huge like some of the other local play barns. This means you can easily find and/or control the children and they don’t tend to get overwhelmed.

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The party tea was stress free, I just sat back nattering to other mums while the team served food and drink to the children. The food itself was fine, just what you would expect for a party and with enough fruit and veg to help you feel you’re at least tipping your cap to healthy eating.

They’ve got the whole party thing down to a fine art. There’s a box for presents when you arrive and all the staff are keen to help and make the party run as smoothly as possible.

I would definitely recommend Cheeky Monkeys as a party venue and it’s not just ideal for the tiny ones. In fact Sam’s going to a friends 7th birthday party there next week and I’m sure they’ll have a blast.

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One of the best things about it is that I trust the staff. I know that if I leave one of my children there for a party they’ll be absolutely fine, because the ladies who run it are quietly authoritative and don’t put up with any dangerous play or nonsense.

Thanks Cheeky Monkeys, Maisie had a fantastic time and so did we!

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Win a £25 Sainsburys Voucher!

Hi All!

I’m running this competition as a member of the Family Blogger Network. You could be in with a chance of winning a £25 voucher, thanks to Sainsbury’s Bank Car Insurance.

How do readers enter my giveaway?

· Log into Rafflecopter by clicking on the link below and either entering your email address or logging in via Facebook. To enter the draw you have to leave a blog post comment on your worst car breakdown experience. You can also enter by tweeting about the giveaway.

· The more times you enter, the better your chance of winning the £25 Sainsbury’s voucher!

· Whether or not you’re our prize winner, your worst car breakdown experience could also potentially appear in a future Money Matters Blog post.

· The winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter (which uses random.org) and announced on this page.

· The deadline for entering the giveaway is Friday 27th September.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How to make an easy R2D2 Cake.

I want to start off by saying that I am NOT a baking queen. Cooking generally horrifies me, but now and again I fancy a challenge and when Sam mentioned he wanted a Star Wars themed birthday cake, I decided to trawl Pinterest to get some ideas. Initially I was horrified, most of the cakes on Pinterest aren’t even flat! They’re properly 3D, standing up replicas of the little chap – I kid you not. Thankfully though there were some flat ones that looked pretty good, so I looked up some actual images of R2D2 and came up with my own version.

So, I bundled the kids in the car, nipped off to Sainsbury’s and bought the ingredients. Here’s what I bought;

2 Packs of Sainsbury’s basic sponge mix
A pack of Sainsbury’s soft white ready to roll icing
A pack of Dr Oetker colour pack of rolled icing
A pack of icing pens

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To make the body of the cake, I used a round tin and a rectangular tin, one pack of mix in each. When they had cooked and cooled, I cut the top of the rectangle off (the cut off bit will become an arm) and cut the top off the circle. I then stuck the top of the circle onto the top of the cake with some icing sugar mixed with water.

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I then used the cut-off piece of cake as a template for R2D2’s other arm and stuck both the arms to the main body of cake with icing sugar. Once the arms were stuck on I just cut out the feet from the remainder of the circle cake. At this point when you have the true shape of the cake you can roll out the blue and white icing and cut out the blue shapes (I just did it freestyle with a sharpe knife) It’s important to sprinkle some icing sugar on the table so that the rolled icing doesn’t stick. I also used a long flat metal thing (what’s it called?!) to help unstick it from the table.

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After that it was time to lift the rolled white icing off the table, onto the cake and gently press down all around, cutting off the excess icing.

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Once I was satisfied that it looked alright I just stuck on all my cut out bits with some icing and added a few details with the icing pen.

Ta Dah!

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