Goals For the last 3 months of the year; Blogtober Day #7

How on earth have we only got 3 months left of this year already? it seems like just yesterday we booked the wedding on January 1st and now this year is almost over. So I thought this would be a great time to plan what I want to achieve before this year up.

I’m going to split this post into categories:

  • Family Goals
  • Personal Goals
  • Important Goals
  • Goals as a couple
  • Additional Goals

 

Family Goals

There is so much I want to do as a family especially near Christmas but I’d love to go to more mother and toddler groups with Finley or start doing some crafts in the house now that I get some alone time with him. Also every year we go to a winter wonderland with the kids so would love to continue that tradition, I can’t wait to go trick or treating this year with the kids, fingers crossed Finley stays awake this time. I really want to start going swimming too but with dan in work so much its hard to actually arrange a time to go.

Personal Goals

I’m just going to list these:

  • GET OUT MORE!!
  • clean more (i know boring)
  • make time for me
  • Eat healthier (cliche)
  • blog more and keep up with my social media
  • Carry on making wax melts

 

Important Goals

  • Pay photographer off
  • Pay wedding venue off
  • Book limo
  • Get wedding dress altered
  • Get organised with Christmas shopping
  • Try to find somewhere else to live (optional but very important)
  • Have hair and makeup trial.
  • Pay bridesmaids dresses off

 

Couple Goals

I think the only goal we really have is to have date nights id love to have a date once a week/two weeks but that’s highly unlikely to happen so I’m hoping we can do one a month, whether that be a takeaway and a movie without the kids, a few hours out for a walk, or a night out/ meal out.

Additional Goals

I felt like I needed this category because these are far from essential but I would like to get these things done if I can.

  • Try potty training Finley.
  • Re- wallpaper the kid’s bedroom
  • Get a new wash box
  • Get a single bed and bedding for both kids.
  • Get rid of the bookshelf and get a storage unit for the kid’s toys
  • Get a shoe rack
  • Try teach Finley some new words with flashcards.
  • walk Finley to pick aria up daily. (currently on day 3)

 

So there we have it that’s my goals for the last three months of 2018, it’s highly likely that I’ve forgotten something and will add to my list but for now that’s it. Have you set yourself any goals for the end of the year?

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10 Simple Halloween meal ideas; Blogtober Day #6

Following the theme from my last post I thought I’d post some ideas from some Halloween themed main meals. Great for if you’re having a Halloween party.

  1. Skeleton Pie – Simple yet effective, it reminds me of jack from the nightmare before Christmas.                                                                                          01f319791b782659f336ae6509269d47
  2. Toxic waste mac n cheese

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3. R.I.P Tacos and dips – How amazing does this look?

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4. Hot dog mummies – This is a must in my house this year the kids are going to love it!

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5. Pepper brain monsters

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6. Pizza Hands – You could also try using spooky cookie cutters for this!

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7. Spooky shepherds pie

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8. Pumpkin Cheeseburgers

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9. Veggie Skeleton and dips

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10. Pasta Faces

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12 Simple Halloween Sweet Treats; Blogtober Day #5

What better way to keep busy in the house than some Halloween baking? Why not get the kids to help decorate. This is a great way to let the kid’s imagination flow and to make them feel good. My kids always want to be in the kitchen when I’m cooking, so absolutely love it when I say they actually can!

  1. R.I.P Cupcakes

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2. Creepy Halloween Bark

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3. Witches Hats – These would also be great as Christmas hats!

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4. Ghost Brownies – Also why not try pumpkins, bats, witches or Frankenstein brownies. Dont be afraid to get creative.

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5.Frankenstein rice crispy treats

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6. Mummy brownies

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7. Bat Bites

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8. Popcorn Hands

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9. Strawberry Ghosts

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10. Chocolate dipped marshmallows

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11. Doughnut eyes

 

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12. Spiderweb Cheesecake

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10 Autumn Slow Cooker Recipes; Blogtober Day 2

As the nights start to draw in and the air starts to get colder there is nothing I love more than a slow cooker recipe. With kids it can often be hard to find a meal that you all like, that’s quick and takes little fuss.

I love being able to put everything in the slow cooker early in the morning and know I don’t have to do anything to it until we’re ready to eat it as a family after school/work. So this year intend on making full use out of my slow cooker, these are my top 10 recipes to make this Autumn.

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp mild curry paste
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 skinless chicken legs, fat removed
  • 30g pack fresh coriander leaves chopped
  • cooked brown rice, to serve

 

Method

  1. Put 1 roughly chopped large onion, 3 tbsp mild curry paste, a 400g can chopped tomatoes, 2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder, 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger and 1 chopped yellow pepper into the slow cooker pot with a third of a can of water and stir well.
  2. Add 2 skinless chicken legs, fat removed, and push them under all the other ingredients so that they are completely submerged. Cover with the lid and chill in the fridge overnight.
  3. The next day, cook on Low for 6 hrs until the chicken and vegetables are really tender.
  4. Stir in the chopped leaves of 30g coriander just before serving over brown rice.

 

Irish Beef Stew

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Serves: 8 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • 900g beef stewing steak, cut into 3.75cm cubes
  • 450g carrots, peeled and cut into 2.5cm chunks
  • 6 large potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 onion, cut into large chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 170g tomato puree
  • 340ml Irish stout beer, such as Guinness
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour

Method

1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Toss beef cubes with flour to coat, then fry in the hot oil until browned. Place the carrots, potatoes, onion and garlic in a large slow cooker. Place the meat on top of the vegetables. Mix together the beef stock and tomato puree and pour into the slow cooker along with the beer.

2. Cover and cook on High for 6 hours or Low for 8 hours. During the last hour before serving, dissolve the cornflour in cold water and then stir into the stock. Simmer on the High setting for a few minutes to thicken.

Bolognaise Sauce

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INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
large onion, chopped
large carrots, chopped
celery stalks, chopped
cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. tomato paste
2 lb. ground beef
can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. dried thyme
bay leaf
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. dry red wine
1 c. whole milk
Freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and cook until tender, 6 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir until combined, then add ground beef and brown. Transfer mixture with a slotted spoon to slow-cooker.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, salt, red wine, and milk. Stir until combined, then season with pepper. Cover and cook on low, 6 hours. Discard bay leaf.
  3. Serve over cooked pasta.

 

Pizza

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INGREDIENTS

Cooking spray, for slow cooker
1 lb. pizza dough
1 c. pizza sauce
2 c. shredded mozzarella
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 c. sliced pepperoni
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish

Method

  1. Spray bottom and sides of a large slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Press pizza dough into the bottom of slow cooker until it reaches all edges and bottom is completely covered. Spoon over pizza sauce and spread, leaving about 1″ of dough around edges. Top with cheeses, pepperoni, and spices.
  3. Cover slow cooker and cook on low until crust turns golden and cheese is melty, 3 to 4 hours.
  4. Remove lid and let cool 5 minutes.
  5. Using a spatula, remove pizza from the crockpot. Garnish with parsley, then slice and serve.

Lasagne

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INGREDIENTS

box lasagne noodles, unboiled

1 tbsp.olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped

garlic cloves, minced

1 lb.ground beef

1 tsp.Italian seasoning

3 1/2 c.marinara sauce, divided

kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

16 oz.whole milk ricotta

1/4 c.freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish

1/4 c.chopped parsley, plus more for garnish

4 1/2 c.shredded mozzarella

 

METHOD

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and cook until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add beef and season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Cook until no pink remains and add 3 cups of the marinara, stirring to combine and cooking 2-3 minutes more.
  2. In a large bowl, combine ricotta with parmesan and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and stir until fully incorporated.
  3. Grease the bowl of your slow cooker with a nonstick cooking spray. Using the remaining marinara, spread a thin layer on the bottom of the crockpot. Next add a layer of noodles (you’ll have to break some to make them fit) a layer of meat mixture, a layer of mozzarella, and a layer of ricotta. Repeat until all ingredients are used up, ending with mozzarella. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.
  4. Garnish with more parmesan and parsley and serve.

Chicken Fajitas

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INGREDIENTS

boneless, skinless chicken breasts

bell peppers, thinly sliced

onion, thinly sliced

(14-oz.) can diced tomatoes

2 tsp.cumin

1/2 tsp.red pepper flakes

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

FOR SERVING

Tortillas

Guacamole

Salsa

Sour cream

Shredded cheddar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place chicken, bell peppers, and onions in slow-cooker then pour over diced tomatoes. Season with cumin, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook on low for 6 hours, or until chicken is cooked through.
  2. Remove chicken from slow-cooker and slice into strips. Serve fajitas in tortillas with desired toppings.

Or maybe like me, you have a sweet tooth…

Reeses Cake

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INGREDIENTS

1 box Devil’s Food Cake mix

package instant chocolate pudding
1 c. whole milk
eggs
1/4 c. sour cream
1/4 c. peanut butter
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 c. peanut butter chips
Cooking spray, for Crock-Pot
1/3 c. melted peanut butter, for garnish
10 mini Reese’s cups, halved

1/4 c. chopped Reese’s pieces

METHOD

  1. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix. Whisk to combine. Add milk, eggs, sour cream, peanut butter, vanilla and salt and mix until smooth. Fold in peanut butter chips.
  2. Grease the bowl of Crock-Pot with nonstick cooking spray. Add batter to Crock-Pot and smooth top with a spatula. Cook on low for 3 1/2 to 4 hours checking at 3 hours to make sure the edges aren’t burning. Cake can be kept on warm for up to 4 hours before serving. The finished cake should be set on the sides and still gooey in the centre.
  3. Drizzle with peanut butter and garnish with Reese’s cups and Reese’s Pieces Serve.

Chocolate Brownie

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INGREDIENTS

1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. light brown sugar
2/3 c. cocoa powder
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
Vanilla ice cream, preferably Breyer’s Delights, for serving
1/2 c. chopped strawberries

METHOD

  1. Using two long 5” to 6” strips parchment paper, line the bowl of your slow cooker in an “x” formation and spray generously with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together butter, sugars, cocoa powder, flour, eggs, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips and pour batter into the prepared slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours, or until set around the edges and slightly gooey in the centre.
  3. Lift brownie out of slow cooker and serve with ice cream and strawberries.

French Toast

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INGREDIENTS

Cooking spray, for Crock-Pot
large brioche (or challah), preferably day-old
large eggs
2 c. half-and-half
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
small pinch nutmeg
Maple syrup, for serving
Powdered sugar, for serving

METHOD

  1. Lightly grease the inside of Crock-Pot with cooking spray. Slice brioche into thick slices then quarter each slice. Place bread in Crock-Pot.
  2. In a large bowl, combine eggs, half-and-half, sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, vanilla, salt and nutmeg and beat until well combined. Pour egg mixture over bread, folding bread gently to make sure each piece is coated.
  3. Cook on low for 2 ½ to 3 hours, until the French toast is warm and cooked through.
  4. Serve warm with maple syrup and powdered sugar.

What better way to end this list than with Heaven in a bowl… Cookie and Brownie together. Round here we call it a Crownie.

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INGREDIENTS

box brownie mix
1/2 c. melted butter, divided
large eggs, divided
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract, divided
kosher salt
1 c. chocolate chips
bag chocolate chip cookie mix
Vanilla ice cream, for serving

METHOD

  1. Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine brownie mix with 1/4 cup melted butter, 2 eggs, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and a pinch of salt. Fold in chocolate chips and set aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl, combine chocolate chip cookie mix with remaining 1/4 cup butter, 2 eggs, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and a pinch of salt.
  4. Into the slow cooker, drop alternating spoonfuls of brownie and cookie batter until all batter has been used. Cook until the mixture is set in the middle, either on high for 2 hours or on low for 5 hours. (Cooking longer at a lower temperature will result in a less gooey dessert.)
  5. Let cool slightly and serve with ice cream.

Most of these recipe ideas I got from Delish go check them out for more recipes like these!

Intro to Blogtober; Writing Challenge

So this year I’ve decided to attempt Blogtober. I’ve only recently stumbled upon it and I’m very excited to try it, fingers crossed if all goes well I’m hoping to do Blogmas too. For those of you don’t know Blogtober is where you post a new blog post every day of October, it doesn’t have to be Autumn/Halloween related but most people try to go with the theme and I’m going to try to do that too.

Another reason behind me taking part in Blogtober is as you will know from the last post I’ve rebranded so I’m starting from scratch, Blogtober is the perfect thing for me to get my love back for writing.

Heres a list of the blog ideas that have stood out to me, some of these I will be doing posts on some I may not, it all depends on the time I have to do it. So if your thinking about taking part in Blogtober then feel free to use some of these ideas.

  1. Intro (this is my intro)
  2. Fun things to do with the kids (outdoors)
  3. Slow cooker recipes
  4. Halloween crafts
  5. Autumn crafts
  6. Favourite things about Autumn
  7. Halloween costume ideas
  8. Things to do on a rainy day
  9. Books to read
  10. Favourite scary films
  11. Favourite family films
  12. Tips to help you cope with the darker mornings
  13. Autumn wishlist
  14. Pumpkin carving ideas
  15. Halloween Snacks
  16. Throwing a Halloween party
  17. Decorating your home for Halloween
  18. My favourite things to do in Autumn
  19. Ghost Stories
  20. Favourite Autumn Scents
  21. Meal ideas with pumpkins
  22. Baking with the kids
  23. Craft ideas with colourful leaves
  24. List of goals for the last few months of the year
  25. Ultimate cosy night in
  26. a guest post from another blogger
  27. Share a #tbt (maybe Halloween costumes from last year)
  28. Favourite quote and why?
  29. Superstitions
  30. I never thought blogging would…
  31. Halloween Costume Reveal.

Sweet Child Of Mine; Slow Down.

Today i’ve been planning some blog posts and jotting down some ideas ready for Blogtober, its definitely the kick up the arse i need to get my love for writing back and so far so good i’ve managed to write up one blog post, half write another and make a list of all the subjects i want to cover and i did all this in a two hour window, while Aria was at school and Finley was watching his favourite film, Frozen. (for the hundredth time)

Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life – J K Rowling

Do you ever get those days where you just stare at your child, study every aspect of their face and get overwhelmed with pride at their beauty, character and intelligence? Then it hits you, the moment when you feel like you have a lump in your throat, your stomach is full of butterflies and not the good kind like when you meet someone for the first time but they’re not going to be my babies much longer kind. Kids grow way too quick and its something people always say but you don’t really believe them until you have kids. Then you find yourself being that person constantly saying “they grow too quick, cherish the time while you can.” now I know a lot of you reading this will be thinking your children are two and three you’ve got plenty of time yet but in reality, we haven’t. Aria no longer needs us to feed her, She’s fully potty trained and she’s starting to ask to dress herself, she can do it. (sometimes inside out) She doesn’t want to hold our hand anymore she would rather run off and she doesn’t even look back when running in the school gates. All these little things make me so proud of her yet so sad that she’s needing us less and less.

You never know when the last time they will ask for a “huggy, kissy and nosey” at bedtime will be. How much longer they will find it funny shaking their bum at you or cuddle up with you for a film. Who knows how long it will be before they ask for their first sleepover at a friends house or if they will stop telling us they love us because it’s embarrassing. So please do cherish every moment, I know parenting isn’t easy. In fact, it’s the hardest job in the world but when your child asks you to sit and read a book or watch a film with them, do it the housework can wait. Cherish the i love you’s and the cuddles and love them like there’s no tomorrow.