Monday 29 June 2015

New Hens

Here are our new hens, there are two Sussex, two Speckeldy and two Bluebell hens, they have yet to be named but they have settled in well.

Wednesday 24 June 2015

My Buddy Box - #Aldichallenge

Many years ago I got sick of the amount of carrier bags we were accumulating in the house and made the decision to take my own whenever I go shopping. I keep them in the boot of the car so that I always have them and I rarely need carrier bags from the supermarket now.

When I was asked to take part in the #AlternativeAldiChallenge – a challenge to see if you can beat the Aldi cashier and fill your box before you get asked to pay, I thought it sounded like fun. I regularly shop at Aldi but I end up just chucking all the shopping in the trolley as you have to move your shopping quickly as there is only a tiny area for scanned items. You are expected to move away from the till to pack your shopping once you have paid. Whilst this means customers move quickly through the tills I find this is a real pain as I then need to unpack the trolley again to put everything into bags. I have tried having my bags in the trolley but because they don't stay open I can never keep up with the till operator and end up repacking once I have paid. To take part in the challenge I was sent a My Buddy Box which is an attractive foldable box that is perfect for shopping. When it isn't being used it can be easily folded to save space with sturdy press studs to keep it closed. It easily converts back into a box when you need it with simple plastic sliders that slide across the long sides of the box to strengthen it.

One the My Buddy Box arrived I knew it would be perfect for Aldi as I could put it in the bottom of the trolley and still throw my shopping in but I could then lift it out removing the need to repack my shopping once I had paid and ultimately saving me time. 

I put the My Buddy Box in the bottom of the trolley and put my shopping in it as I went around the store, this was to get a feel of how much shopping I could fit in it and I was actually amazed at how much we got in it!

We had a trolley full at the end and as you can see from this video I managed to keep up with the packing.

I have to admit that once we got back to the car I did wonder if we would be able to lift the box and whether it would be easy to lift it into the car however I needn't of worried. Whilst it was full to the brim it didn't collapse at all when we lifted it into the boot. I am very impressed with it and it definitely made shopping at Aldi much easier. I can see my using this box everytime I go shopping now.

The Rose My Buddy Box that I have costs £14.99 is available from There are 5 different designs available and I have been given a special discount code for my readers. Use Portia 1 to save 10%

Disclaimer - I was sent the My Buddy Box for the purpose of this review but all words, photos and opinions are my own.

Friday 19 June 2015

Cleaning up with Dettol

Dettol recently sent me a few of their products to try. Luke always makes a mess when he is baking so I thought that was the perfect opportunity to try some of them out!

It was Grandma's 90th birthday last week so Luke made a cake. Before he started I sent him to wash his hands. We used the Dettol No Touch Antibacterial hand wash which is brilliant as you just put your hands underneath the spout and soap is automatically dispensed. Not only do you use less soap but you don't have a grotty soap dispenser sat on the side of the sink. Good hand hygiene is very important as it helps prevent the spread of bacteria as infectious diseases can be spread from one person to another by contaminated hands, particularly tummy bugs, colds and flu. Dettol No Touch Antibacterial hand wash kills 99.9% of bacteria so is a great hand wash to have in the kitchen and bathroom.

Dettol have a handy guide to washing hands which you can read here.

We got the recipe book out and Luke had a look through to find the recipe for a Victoria sponge cake. The recipe we used was 

8oz butter
8oz caster sugar
8oz self raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 eggs

He weighed out the ingredients and then mixed them all together. We do have a mixer but both boys prefer mixing cakes by hand. My Grandma always mixed cakes by hand and hers always turned out beautifully so perhaps mixing by hand is the better method if you have time.

Once the cake was mixed he put it into two tins ready to go into the oven.

When the cakes came out of the oven we left them to cool and then we decorated them the following day.

I think someone has had a taste of this one!

We spread jam over one of the cakes and then made some butter cream by mixing icing sugar and butter together. This was spread on top of the jam.

He then sandwiched the two cakes together

To finish it off he sprinkled icing sugar on the top

Here is the finished cake with candles on - we didn't have 90 so we put 9 on instead!

Once we had finished decorating the cake it was time to clean up. I gave Luke the Dettol Power and Fresh multi purpose cleaner to try. He isn't a fan of cleaning up after baking but as I had asked him to tell me what he thought about it he was really good and cleaned up all the icing sugar that he had spilt. He said it was really easy to use and had a nice smell. I have been using it in the kitchen and it is great for keeping kitchen surfaces clean. I love the fresh smell too! Now Luke has had a go at cleaning up I am hoping he will clean up every time he bakes!

Silo Time

My Uncle's have been busy siloing, Luke loves standing at the gate and watching them. Luckily they managed to get it all in before the weather broke.


Mark and Luke have been cutting the grass in the field. It looks much better now and Luke enjoyed sitting in the tractor with Mark.

Charity BBQ

Last Sunday we helped at my work annual charity bbq. We were in charge of cooking and so I roped in Mark, William and Luke to help.

Last year the bbq took a while to get going so this year we started it much earlier and got it going with wood first. We had bought some much better quality charcoal which kept the heat better and when the people arrived they were able to eat straight away.

The weather wasn't great but it did fare up every now and again and everyone had a good time. We raised just over £2,000 which was amazing.


On Wednesday evening we took the Cubs to Waddecar and we spent the evening canoeing. The weather had been awful all day but fortunately it brightened up later on and we had a lovely evening. The Cubs all had a great time and hopefully we will manage another evening there soon.

Monday 8 June 2015


Over Half Term we spent a couple of days in a caravan just outside York. The weather was quite good and we managed a couple of bike rides as well as a day in York. We went into York on the park and ride as that always seems to be the best way to get into the city. 

We decided to go to York's Chocolate Story which we really enjoyed. The tour lasted an hour and was really informative and very well thought out. There was plenty of chocolate to taste and we even got to make and decorate a chocolate lolly which was fun. 

Despite having visited York many times we have never walked around the walls so we decided that we would do that too. It was a lovely walk and we got to see parts that we haven't seen before.

On one of our bike rides we decided to go down a bridlepath, I don't think anyone had been down it for a very long time as the nettles were waist high! William doesn't have a mountain bike so he carried on down the road and met us at the end of the track and he was beginning to wonder where we had got to.

Once we were through the nettles we had to cross the field and the best way was down the tractor tracks. The soil was incredibly hard and it was a very bumpy ride back! Mark and Luke have suspension on their bikes but mine doesn't so it was the bumpiest ride I have ever done.

As you would expect Luke enjoyed the off-roading best of all and the bumpy tractor track ride was his favourite part of all.

We had a lovely break and will certainly visit York again.