Monday 30 November 2015

Chocolate Orange Crunch Slice

I've been cleaning out the cupboards and making a list of things that need using up.
In this case half a jar of marmalade. For some reason we had two open at the same time!
So I tweaked a recent successful recipe and came up with the yummy treat in the title.
If you fancy trying it for yourself here is the recipe.

1/2 Jar of Marmalade 
1tbsp Cocoa
8oz Butter/Marj 
4oz Sugar
12oz Flour


Mix the butter, sugar and flour together in a large bowl until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Remove 2/3 of breadcrumb mix and spread evenly in a lined tin. Press down firmly with the back of a spoon (or potato masher!)

Spread all of the marmalade over the top of the base layer. Melting it slightly in the microwave may help you do this easier.

To the remaining 1/3 of breadcrumbs add the cocoa. Mix it well.

Sprinkle the chocolate breadcrumbs over the marmalade. Try and cover all the marmalade with an even layer of chocolate crumbs.

Bake at about 190 for 25-30 minutes.
Cut into squares or slices while warm.

Sunday 29 November 2015

Festive Fun is coming

A lot of people seem to be decorating their homes for Christmas today.
I'm not quite ready to bust out the Christmas tree yet, but I have cleared the bureau ready for the advent calenders, book calender and soon to arrive Christmas Elves.
I've also popped up a few of the decorations we've already made together. It's making me feel rather festive already.

X x X

Saturday 28 November 2015

Saturday - 5 Frugal Things

1; Free lunch today and tomorrow thanks to leftover party food from a family party. The girls are very happy!

2; Started some cress on the windowsill. Later in the week we will make some egg and cress sandwiches together.

3; Watching a new DVD (bought with survey vouchers) as a family reward for completing our kindness chart together.

4; I managed to snaffle the girls a costume jewellery bracelet each for their Christmas stocking. Sometimes there are perks to small people waking you in the early hours.

5; Keeping the central heating off and opting instead to snuggle under a pile of blankets and duvets together.

X x x

Thursday 26 November 2015

Eggs and Witches

I have a poorly DD1 off school today. Her poor throat is so sore she keeps asking me for  'soft foods'. For lunch she requested dippy eggs and soilders. 
We haven't had these in ages so it made for a nice warm lunch, and we enjoyed timing them on my phone together. 

Of course the best bit is smashing the eggs shells when we're finished. I don't think DD1 quite believes we're stopping the witches from making boats anymore but why take the risk! We smashed and smashed till the shells were in tiny pieces.

Did you have any childhood superstitions about smashing your egg shells? 

X X X 

Party Clothes Rescue.

I'm pretty useless at clothes. I'm a firm member of the "practical and fits" brigade rather than a fashionista type. So the idea of finding a nice outfit for a family do fills me with dread.
However the clothing gods have smiled upon me.

I was in Cancer Research looking rather baffled at the racks of ladies clothes, and holding random things against each other in a vague attempt to find something matching. After a few minutes I was ready to give up and trying to think up a good short notice excuse to not attend.
One of the ladies behind the till piped up "what's the event dear?" And boom we were off! 

Ten minutes later and I had this! A pretty floral blouse from Cotton Trader, a supersoft Peacocks jumper and a smart pair of  Marks and Spencer trousers. The entire outfit cost just £5!
I am reliably informed that this is the perfect outfit for a birthday party on a boat with your in laws.
I'd never of found any of this without their help. They both told me to pop in anytime on a Tuesday or Wednesday and they'd help me organise more outfits. I think I might just take them up on it as well.
And if this outfit goes down nicely at the weekend, I will also take them in a little chocolatey something to say thank you.

x X x

Monday 23 November 2015

A little prep for the times ahead.

I picked up a big bag of sweet potato's this morning in Aldi. I only popped on for a quick nappy run, but I was distracted as usual by the fruit and veg section.
As soon as I saw them I knew I fancied some sweet potato pie,,so I snapped them up and spent the afternoon in the kitchen.
 I had enough for two medium sized pies so I will freeze one down for Boxing day tea. The other will possibly last until Wednesday but it depends on how well i can hide it in the fridge. Mr.Random is always snooping for a snack hen he gets in from work late.

 I've saved a few offcuts to try and grow on the windowsill. According to Pinterest I could grow my own bucketful of sweet potatoes from the ends of each tuber. If it works, I'll be a very happy bunny.
Watch this space!

X x X

Sunday 22 November 2015

Homemade Christmas begins.

As the title of my blog suggests we are a family who loves anything homemade. Christmas for the Random's is certainly no different. In fact I personally believe that anyone can 'buy' Christmas, but it takes skill to 'make' one. 
Being such a horrid cold and soggy weekend we have busted the Christmas crafts out a week early.  

We decided our first make would be a Partridge in a Pear tree from The Sugar Plum Christmas Book.
 We busted out a handful of crafty bits the lovely Kate kindly sent us earlier in the year and went to work. 
In the past few years I think we have made almost everything in the sugar plum book. We've certainly read all the stories and sung all the rhymes many many times. 
 Expect to see a lot more of it as we enter December and keep making our Christmas together.

Have you made anything for the big day yet?
X x x

Saturday 21 November 2015

A little update on the Randoms

DD1 has had a fab week at school. We've  had a lot of praise from her teacher about her enthusiasm and concentration this week. 

DD2 is starting to get the just of potty training. She is also recovering from a nasty cold.

Baby G is just starting to get both his head and his bum in the air at the same time.  I think he will be on the move by Christmas!


Tuesday 17 November 2015

Tucking things away....

Who doesn't like dressing up like a princess?  And in these beautiful reversable dresses my girls can have double choice!  The larger of two is perfect size for DD1 she can now choose to be Belle or Sleeping Beauty. DD2 can choose to be Snow White or Sleeping Beauty.

Both have been pre loved with a few little pulls in the fabric and one dress needed a quick few stitches as a strap was a little loose. 
But I was quite happy with them for £1.50 each! They have been repaired, washed, dried in secret and stashed away for the the big C. 
According to the  Disney online story similar dresses are £35! 
I definitely feel like I've bagged the bargain of the year for my girls.
But the real question is of course which princess to be first? Decisions....decisions.....

x x x

Monday 16 November 2015

Returning to blogging and simple living.

I feel like I need to start over. We aren't eating particularly well at the moment and I need to wean everyone onto consuming large amounts of fruit and veg ready for next year's veg plot plans.
I've started by buying this fortnight's super 6 deals from Aldi. Along with a few family favourites.
Romaine lettuce, parsnips, bananas, apples, cucumber, raisins and persimmon.

I've made a nice batch of cherry and coconut shortbread for the weeks after school treats too.

 I'm planning to make tuna salad boats tomorrow for everyone to start us off on the right foot. I will try and share a photo tomorrow.

 X x

Monday 2 November 2015

NanoWriMo 2015

Nano officially started yesterday. I've been really excited since the start of October when I came up with my plot idea.
 Yesterday I managed an impressive 2131 words and I'm hoping to manage another 2000 today.
I get a window of two hours Monday to Friday where I only have G to care for so I'm hoping to distract him with a handful of brightly coloured toys while I write.
 I try a write mentally whenever I have a minute so actual writting time is pretty much just putting it all down on paper. I quite like daydreaming so this method suits me nicely.

Who knows maybe this is the novel that gets me discovered...

x X x