Monday, 19 March 2018

Easter Biscuits - Perfect Easy Baking Recipe

This weekend it was a little chilly to say the least. This may have had something to do with the so called "Mini Beast From the East" drifting over the UK from Siberia. Chilly days throw up the question of what to do to keep the kids entertained?

My six year old twin daughters love to bake, so we looked up some recipes that would be perfect for Easter. We found the perfect recipe for Easter biscuits, we tweaked it here and there to our taste (who invented candied peel!) and spent an enjoyable afternoon baking them. Kids love to do as much as they possibly can during the process and this recipe allows that, without too many mishaps. We needed to take extra care when brushing the biscuits with egg white as the tin was hot. 

The girls chose heart shapes for the cookies, but any shape of choice would suffice. We will definitely be making these again, they didn't last long in our house and were extremely popular with my teenage sons!

Easter biscuits


125g unsalted butter softened
75g castor sugar
1 egg, separated
I pinch of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
a handful of currants
extra sugar for top of biscuits


Pre heat the oven to 200 C 
Line or grease 2 baking trays
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the egg yolk and beat the mixture for another minute.
Sift the dry ingredients and add to the bowl.
Combine everything together to make a dough.
Work the currants into the dough
Roll out the dough on a floured surface to around 5mm thickness.
Cut into shape of choice.
Arrange on the baking trays, allowing a little space for spreading.
Bake for 10 minutes until starting to turn golden.
Remove from the oven and brush the tops of each biscuit with whisked egg white.
Sprinkle with sugar and return to oven for another 5 minutes
Remove from oven.
Cool on a wire rack.


* this post contains affiliate links

Earning Extra Pennies To Boost The Household Income

You may have your budgeting on point. You may know exactly what is coming in and out each month, but what about having some extra money aside for those things you need to save for? Not all households are lucky enough to have more than they need and sometimes you need to be creative to boost your current personal financial situation. I wanted to share with you some of the ways you can do it.

Making more of your spare time

There are many things we can do to make money in our spare time. However, I appreciate that when, as a mum, you do get a few minutes to yourself, the last thing you want to be doing is something taxing or that occupies the mind too much. This is when online surveys can be an excellent way to boost your income. There are many websites online that can help you earn some extra money while you are sat watching tv and relaxing. Other methods to consider would be mystery shopping, which could see you take your family out for a meal and get paid to do it, or even help pay towards items on your weekly shop.

Thinking outside of the box with investments

Investing money can seem a little risky. However, some investments can be a great way to boost your income. A little research online can really help with your confidence and even checking out things like the mtch stock quote or other similar ones can mean that you start to notice trends and when to buy and when to trade. Stocks and shares can be a great investment option, just ensure you feel sure about what you are doing.

Making savings on your current outgoings

Often we can forget that our current outgoings don’t need to stay the same every month. It is healthy to check over them and ensure you are only paying out what is necessary. Maybe you are paying top price for a TV package you don’t use. Maybe you haven’t changed your provider of energy in while. Even getting lazy with insurance renewals can mean you pay out more. Ask the question and look for better deals, you could end up saving quite a bit.

Selling unwanted items online

You could consider giving your home a spring clean and decluttering items you no longer want or need. Selling them online on websites like eBay can be a great way to boost your income and put money towards things like holidays or birthdays.

Meal plan

Finally, taking control of one of the biggest bills each week is actually one of the best ways to boost your income. Spending less can give you more money in your bank and a good way to do it is to plan your meals and write a shopping list. It saves you buying unnecessary things and helps you to stay on track with your spending. Furthermore, switching from brands to supermarket's own ranges can also save you a fair bit.

I hope that these tips help boost your income.

*collaborative post

Thursday, 15 March 2018

The Great Oreo Cookie Quest Challenge!

Who doesn't love Oreo's? They are a definite favourite in our family, especially as they are nut free!

Oreo is celebrating The Great Oreo Cookie Quest and promotional packs explaining the challenge are available now.

There are some amazing prizes to be won, including a once in a lifetime trip to California, which would be amazing!

My family and I decided to take part, by creating our very own Oreo Cookie Quest!

The challenge is all about spending quality time as a family. With the presence of Oreo's making it even more fun!

My girls favourite game of the moment is playing and seek with a twist. You draw a map of where you are going to hide, give the map to the other players, in the hope that they can read it and find you!

For the Oreo challenge we decided to hide the Oreo's instead to be found via a map! Being so small the game was a little tricky, despite the maps accuracy! So we used the "you are getting warmer" or "you are getting colder" classic.

Here's how we got on.

The Oreos

We hid the Oreos and the map was drawn!

The Oreos were discovered in some interesting hiding places.

They were then enjoyed in the best possible way by dunking them in milk! Yum ...

The following day was Mother's Day, so we headed off to Fountains Abbey after packing a yummy picnic featuring - yes you guessed it, Oreos!

We then had loads of fun hiding them and eating them!

Oreos are a great snack and we really love them. They are available in all supermarkets and come in a variety of flavours. As our family needs to be "nut free" we don't have to worry about allergens.

This post is an entry for BritMums #OreoCookieQuest, sponsored by Oreo 

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Making Business Easier For Yourself: Use The Tools Available

If there is one word which could single-handedly describe just about all humans on the planet, it would be “unorganised”. We are nowhere near perfect, let’s face it. However, one thing we do seem to have over other species on this planet is the ability to create and invent. Whether we do it out of necessity or enjoyment, nobody really knows. One thing is for sure if we’ve done anything over the years, we’ve managed to invent tools which make life easier for us.

Despite all of those resources and helping tools we’ve amassed over the centuries, life seems more complicated than ever. If you are running a business of your very own, then you probably know how hard it is to keep everything in order, fortunately, there are tools for that exact occasion. So, if you feel like you need a helping hand with your day-to-day tasks as a boss, we’re going to discuss two types of software which you might find useful.

Image source: Pexels

Stock management

Whether you’re selling cupcakes or laptops, one thing you have to always keep in mind is your amount of stock. It might seem like a tedious task; see what is missing and order it, but in reality, there is quite a bit to think about when ordering. Consider if some things are worth ordering in large numbers, maybe they are getting replaced by a newer model soon and having it around won’t be too useful?

Maybe a particular product sells a lot more than the other one? There are several things worth considering, and you should make life easier for yourself with tools like the finviz screener to keep track of your stock at all times. A good stock screening tool can be extremely useful as it leaves time to concentrate on other areas of your business.

Image source: Pexels

HR Software

Human resource software is always a hot topic when it comes to the software market. More and more advancements are being made in the field, all trying to outshine each other, resulting in some pretty great software. Competition drives development in all fields.

 HR software can handle so many tasks, ranging from managing employee rota's, managing annual leave and sickness, as well as streamlining the payroll system. All that and much more is readily available in a neat inclusive package and is fairly reasonable in cost.

 Once again, we can thank the insane amount of competition out there for lowering the prices a little bit, but with more choices come more decisions. Rather than guessing which package to choose,  do some research. Find reviews or user-made lists to see what people have been saying about the various systems available.

*collaborative post

Monday, 5 March 2018

Luxury Mother's Day Flowers Review - Prestige Flowers

Everyone loves flowers and I am no exception, so it was with great pleasure that I agreed to review a luxury bouquet of Mother's Day flowers from Prestige.

I received an email from Prestige to say that the bouquet was to be delivered at the end of the week. I was a little concerned that this would coincide with the arrival of the " the beast from the east!" If you are from the UK you'll know what I'm talking about, if not the "beast from the east" was the arrival of extremely cold weather and deep snow!

The Royal Mail van skidded up the road on Saturday morning and I opened the box with a little trepidation. I needn't have worried though as the bouquet arrived in perfect condition, if a little chilled!

The flowers were carefully packaged and contained a beautiful mix of roses and lilies. They actually smelt divine too!

I was pleasantly surprised to find a gorgeous teddy bear and box of chocolates. Also usefully there was another box containing a glass vase, the perfect size for the bouquet.

The flowers arrived with care advice and I spent time cutting each stem and removing the lower leaves. A sachet of flower food was supplied, which I mixed in the vase with lukewarm water, as advised.

The flowers look amazing and make my house smell gorgeous, I was amazed at the number of roses and they were a mix of pale and a darker pink.

Four days later and they still look beautiful, I've topped up the vase daily and I'm confident they will last a lot longer. My flower arranging is not great, however I have had lovely comments from visitors.

The chocolates were delicious and the teddy bear has disappeared into my twins bedroom!

I would definitely recommend Prestige flowers and my husband is considering ordering some for his mum.

Prestige flowers have a lovely range of flowers and gifts, perfect for all budgets and occasions. 

For the purpose of this honest review I received a bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates and teddy bear from Prestige flowers. All words and opinions are my own. 

Monday, 26 February 2018

Add A Sense Of Style To A Safe Home

Homeowners have one job: to secure the property. A house is a person’s castle, and castles don’t get robbed very often. However, your home should also be a place where you can relax and get away from the rigours of the day. Sadly, a state-of-the-art alarm system won’t help to relieve stress. What will is interior design. Thanks to colour, furniture and comfort, your house can be a retreat when things get too much at work. Of course, no one wants to impact security while increasing aesthetic appeal because it’s counterproductive. With the following tips, there is no reason to worry.

Chic Accessories

The first port of call is the technology that is inevitably running throughout the house. From alarm systems to CCTV cameras, there should be plenty of safety features lying around. As long as they work fine, the most important thing to worry about is their style. The last thing you want is a big, bulky piece of tech sticking out like a sore thumb and running the appeal. So, as a rule, try and buy chic and sleek pieces that fit into the scheme of the property seamlessly. A tip to remember is that black always hits the spot. As a rule, the smaller, the better.

Robust And Rugged

To keep the property safe, you need to put up fences and build barriers. That way, any opportunistic thieves won’t think twice about scaling the building to snatch an iPad. But, don’t just erect a huge wooden or metal monstrosity without understanding the style. Wood is warm and rustic, but metal is cold and bare and doesn’t look nice whatsoever. If you want something tougher than a dead tree, opt for concrete fence posts. One of the hardest materials on earth, concrete is durable and good-looking, as long as you paint it a different colour.

Different Textures

Safety doesn’t just apply to people outside the house. Sometimes, you can be your own worst enemy and trip and fall. Okay, it may be a one-off, but there is no way to tell. Plus, you don’t want to take any chances and break a bone next time. Therefore, it’s imperative to add friction to slippery surfaces. For example, hardwood and laminate floors are slick and feel like sheet ice at times. Thankfully, a modest rug can take away the risk and make it safer. And, a shag pile looks fantastic next to a modern, shiny floor.

Leather Furniture

Fabrics are warmer and cosier, but it has its cons too. For one thing, it’s difficult to keep clean. Its biggest problem is that it isn’t leather. Leather is an excellent safety feature for a family home. Why? Because it’s easy to clean and maintain, it’s soft and cushion falls, also it’s as stylish as it is practical. Kids are hard to watch all the time, so leather furniture provides parents with peace of mind.

Are you safety conscious? How would you add a sense of style to your home?

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Why You Need To Keep A Rainy Day Fund For When You Get Older

Lots of older adults struggle for money when they retire and stop earning a wage every month. For that reason, it’s vital that you begin to create a rainy day fund as soon as possible. If you have a few thousand pounds in the bank when you reach the twilight of your life, there is a decent chance that you will manage to avoid some of the issues facing pensioners today. If you’re not convinced about the need to create financial plans for the future, just take a moment to read through this post. It highlights some of the unexpected costs you might encounter after you retire.

Health and medical-related costs

People living in the UK benefit from the National Health Service. That means they never have to pay for their treatment if they need a doctor or hospital appointments. However, when you reach the latter stages of your life, there is a reasonable chance that you will spend more time with medical professionals than ever before. That could mean you have to pay for lots of taxis to get you to your appointments. You might also have to pay for many different prescriptions every year, and the cost can soon mount. So, do yourself a favour and ensure you always have some spare cash in the bank.

The cost of care

Nobody wants to think about what might happen if they become incapable of caring their themselves. However, that happens to thousands of older adults every year due to sudden and unexpected events like suffering a stroke or heart attack. You might have to cover the cost of care at home if you need someone to come round and clean or do some shopping on your behalf. You might also have to leave your house and move into a care home at some point. Residential care costs thousands of pounds every year, and so you might force your children to forfeit their inheritance if you don’t have a rainy day fund to cover the cost.

The removal of state benefits and pensions

At the current time, people in their late sixties receive a state pension and many benefits from the UK government. However, many politicians campaign to remove those lifelines, and so there is no guarantee they’ll still be available by the time you retire. If you have lots of debt, you will struggle to survive. Considering that, you can’t rely on the state to provide for you when you reach the last years of your life. The way things are going, the government won’t give a single penny to you when the time comes. That is why you must have a nest egg stashed away that you can use in emergencies. Otherwise, your creditors might force you to sell your home.

You should now understand why it’s vital that you create a rainy day fund and keep some spare cash in your accounts. If you save only £20 per week from the age of 25 until 65; you will raise around £41,600! That should be more than enough to keep your head above water and top-up your pension. You might even manage to pay for some exotic holidays!

*collaborative post