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I have a super sweet tooth and love cookies! My favourite have to be 'Millies Cookies' but the recession has hit bad and Millies are very expensive so I was delighted when I tried this recipe to make my very own 'Millie-esque' cookies.
100g soft brown sugar (I used demerara and they were fine)
1 tbsp golden syrup
150g self raising flour
Few drops of vanilla flavouring/essence
50g chocolate chunks (milk or white or both!)
Preheat the oven to 170C
Grease a baking tray
- Beat together the margarine and the brown sugar, this works best when the margarine has been left to soften. Keep beating until creamy.
- Add the golden syrup and vanilla essence and mix in.
- Fold in the flour and the chocolate chunks, the mixture should really start to thicken up into a dough, so don't be afraid to use your hands!
- Mix until you have a ball of dough, then divide this into around 14 little balls.
- Pop the balls onto the pre-greased baking tray around about 3 inches apart.
- Bake in the preheated oven for around about 10 minutes until they are golden brown and start to feel slightly firm around the edges. They will still feel quite 'squashy' to touch but they will harden once cooled.
- Transfer onto a cooling rack or just a plate will do for around 10 minutes to cool
- Try to resist munching the lot (that part is the hardest bit!)
I have found that the longer the cookies have been left the nicer they actually become! I'm not talking weeks but I've left them for 3 days before (yes it was hard!) and they were simply lovely!
I think these would be fine to keep for around a week in an airtight container.
What I love about baking is once you have the basic recipe mastered you can not use the chocolate and swap for pretty much any ingredient you like, if you feel creative that is! Some variations I think will be nice are:
- Orange (a few squeezes of orange juice and maybe some finely grated zest)
- Lemon (as with the orange, juice and zest
- Chopped nuts
- Finely chopped cherries
- Dried fruit (raisins apricots etc)
I really hope you enjoy this recipe, it is so so simple to make yet the end result is far more superior than any shop bought cookie I have tried.
The recipe is so easy to do my 3 year old daughter loved making this with me.
I suggested Kirklees railway be added to the dooyoo catalogue a couple of weeks ago after visiting there for the first time at the beginning of August with my husband and daughter.
**How to get there**
Kirklees railways' station is called Clayton West, this is situated on the A636 just off junction 38 of the M1 motorway. It is very well signposted with tourist signs leading you there for around 3 miles. The tourist signs state 'Narrow gauge scenic railway' which I did find rather confusing and thought we were heading the wrong way! The actual station is situated at the top of an industrial estate.
There is a very large car park just outside the entrance which would easily hold a couple of hundred cars. The car park is free.
Pulling up at the railway the tourist attraction looked very, well attractive! The site was very well maintained and had much much more for children to do than I anticipated.
The play area and bouncy castle can be used free of charge, all you pay for is the actual train ride and also the miniature railway. The prices are:
Miniature railway - 50p per person
Return 50 minute journey -
Adult - £6.50
Child 3-15 yrs - £4.50
Under 3 yrs - Free
Concessions - £5.50
Family Ticket (2 adults & 2 children) - £20.00
- A large bouncy castle greets you at the entrance, which is free to use. This is not supervised although the castle is very enclosed. I'm pretty sure the bouncy castle would be seasonal however visiting in August we were lucky to have the use of it.
- Opposite the castle there is a beautiful pond with a miniature railway track going around it. Adults can ride on with the children - but we warned it is very tiny! The cost for this is 50p per person.
- A large gated children's play area is next to the miniature railway which is very well maintained and the play equipment looked fairly new and suitable for, in my opinion 2-12 year old. The play area is surrounded with picnic benches with parasols giving your children the freedom to play whilst you relax.
- Next to the play area is a large selection of show home lodges which I found a little bizarre! However great if you are interested in purchasing one, or indeed just for a nosy!
- A model train is available just outside the play area for you to explore which is filled with soft toys and comfy seats for you to relax whilst your children 'drive' the train! Parties are also held here with a lovely little function room to the back of the train which was decorated with Thomas the tank engine party wear.
- There is a large cafe selling fresh food hot drinks and ice cream. In the same building you will find toilets and also a gift shop filled with Thomas the tank engine merchandise and traditional old steam trains.
- And finally behind the cafe is the beautiful old steam train! It is a very old traditional train with separate carriages which seat 4.
The tickets fro the steam train are purchased from the gift shop next to the cafe. After purchasing your ticket you are free to choose your seats on the train. Trains leave on the hour, every hour between the hours of 11am - 4pm.
There is a great atmosphere once on the train, people buzzing from excitement and steam filling the air! The train ride itself is rather uncomfortable at times as it is very 'wobbly' and some carriages don't have windows so I imagine can be super cold on a bad day.
The train ride is a 50 minute return journey, after 25 minutes of riding through beautiful country side you arrive at a place called 'Shelley'. To our delight there was another play area and bouncy castle with a huge picnic area and ice cream shop! You can either wait 5 minutes for the train to turn around and head back, or spend as long as you like exploring the Shelley play area. We waited an hour and had a picnic before catching the next train back to the main station.
I was surprised at how quiet the entire place was to be honest, it was a gorgeous sunday in August and it was very quiet indeed.
Kirklees run special events throughout the year including,
- Thomas the tank engine days, where you can ride the famous engines
- Halloween train
- Santa train which is open throughout the festive period.
Overall we had a fantastic day out at kirklees and our daughter had heaps of fun. We will be definitely going back again soon and cannot wait to ride the Santa train!
This has to be one of my favourite shops of all time. The prices are much lower than you would pay elsewhere without having to compromise on the quality.
**What they stock**
Toiletries - Shampoos, shower gels, make up fragrances etc
Seasonal items - currently BBQ & beach items (I especially love when the christmas section comes in!)
Toys - mainly all famous brands including games, jigsaws, dolls action figures, the list is endless
Homeware - anything from crockery to lunch boxes
DIY - Basic tools, tape measures, light bulbs batteries etc
Bathroom - bath mats, towels face clothes etc.
Food - Large variety of sweets, crisps, nuts, biscuits, cakes tinned foods etc
Drinks - soft and fizzy drinks and also alcohol
Books and stationary - lots of children's books and stationary for all ages
Pet - ranging from food to bedding
Baby - nappies, baby wipes, food bottles etc
Clothing - vests, pants, socks and the occasional range of t shirts
Household - washing powder, polish, bleach, toilet roll, kitchen roll medicines etc
I have always found the staff to be very efficient and polite and also pack your bags for you. A range of recycling bags are available but they also offer the standard plastic ones at no extra cost to yourself.
There is such a huge variety of items at amazing prices in home bargains that I doubt very much you will leave with nothing!
Halls soothers have been around for quite some time now and are always my first choice when struggling with a sore throat and a cough.
The packaging has changed recently and unlike the picture above, the blackcurrant flavour are in a deep purple coloured packet with the recognisable 'Halls Soothers' covering the front of the packet.
Each throat lozenge is individually wrapped in a white wrapper with gold writing on. The lozenges are only quite small around 1 inch long. You receive 10 in each packet. The outer shell is crunchy and as you pop the lozenge in your mouth the taste is lovely, really strong yet not too overpowering. In the middle is a refreshing blackcurrant 'liquid'.
The rrp per each packet (45g) of 10 lozenges is £0.49p, so at 4.9p each these are a bargain.
I find these particular lozenges a lot more effective than the other competitive brands out there. These seem to work wonders when I have a tickley cough and or sore throat, but less so when I have a chesty cough.
Per roll pack:
Kcal - 165
Protein - Trace
Carbohydrate - 41.1g
Fat - Trace
May contain sesame seeds and traces of nuts
Thanks for reading
New magazine has been out for a couple of years and I've bought it since it was first published. It is the cheapest celebrity gossip magazine but to me, definitely the best.
View the celebs of today being papped with the best pictures of the week
'We like your style'
Celeb style that is rated out of 10
'Stories of the week'
Celebrity stories that have got the press talking this week
'Gossip to go'
Short snippets ideal to read when in a rush and when you want to save the bigger stories until later on (maybe that's just me?!)
'Hot or Not'
The stars who are making up and breaking up
Peter Andres very own column keeping us up to date with what is happening in his life
Kate Garraway's very own column also keeping us up to date with her life
'New! Exclusive Interview'
Interview with a different celebrity each week
-An assortment of the weeks hottest fashion with all the latest trends and accessories.
-A page on where to buy the actual items we have seen celebs wearing recently.
-Alex Gerrard has her own column in the style section keeping us up to date with her life and talking us through her favourite outfits.
- Bad clothes day - celebs who haven't quit been looking their best!
- 'new! Beauty' with the latest beauty products usually at a reasonable price too.
- 'We tried...' review of assorted products eg shampoo mascara etc.
Showing their pick of new! readers letters and e-mails.
Fiona Philips with her very own agony aunt style column offering great advice
'Licensed to spill'
The weeks hottest celeb scoops!
- 'A day in the diet of...' showing a celebs every day diet with an experts verdict on this.
- 'Diet' Showing the latest fad diets and tried and tested methods of losing weight.
- 'true life' Readers own true life stories
'The new review'
A weekly review of the weeks television soaps and films. Also a weekly voucher for £1.50 off OK! magazine is in this section.
- 'guy candy' showing their man of the week so to speak (this is usually topless!)
- 'eagle eye' the pictures that celebs DONT want you to see, fashion mistakes, flashing and just general embarrassing photos!
'Justin Topers horoscopes'
Weekly horoscopes with an option to phone for further details..
An expert analyses a celeb couple body language to see whether they are actually the real thing
Different weekly recipe which always look delicious!
A different celeb each week gives descriptions of their favourite things
As you can see you get a lot for your money. When it was first out it did cost 60p but at the time of writing this it is now 85p which I'm sure you will agree is a great price compared with other magazines on the market. There is around 90 pages in each issue of new! and the paper is very high quality with not a great deal of adverts which I find can often spoil a magazine.
If you've not tried new! give it a go, at only 85p you just can't go wrong.
Thanks for reading
Kinder is mainly known for the chocolate eggs which contain a toy, they have been around for many many years and are still as popular as ever.
I can across this multi pack on offer for £1 at my local tesco a couple of years back. My daughter was around 1 year old at the time and I was reluctant to let her try any type of sweets but thought we would give these a try.
There are 16 bars in total each individually wrapped. The bars are very tiny but absolutely perfect for little hands, just the right amount of chocolate. Ok so if youre a little bit older than 1, you may need a few of these to satisfy you!
The chocolate bars are milk chocolate but with the white chocolate on the inside - just like the kinder eggs yet thicker, bite size and MUCH better value.
Two years on these are still a firm favourite in our house for child and parent alike. You can still pick these up for around £1 a box at such a bargain price for 16 chocolate bars you just cannot go wrong.
I had wanted a train set for my daughter for a long time but have always been put off by the extortionate prices most shops seem to charge these days. That is until I came across a fantastic wooden train set in Tesco. It is their own brand and has 56 pieces including track, trains, a bridge, road signs, shops and people. All this for £9.99! I couldn't believe it so snapped it up straight away.
At such a bargain price I was a little apprehensive as to what the quality would be like but to my delight it is absolutely fantastic. The entire track fits together quickly and easily and is very very sturdy. The trains are brilliant and connect together through little magnets, this is so easy for my daughter to do. The other pieces included can be easily set up around the track creating a little village for your child to play with.
We have only had this set for a week or so but it has become a firm favourite for child and adult alike!
You can buy additional pieces of track and trains from most toy stores, brio track fits alongside this set so you have the option to be able to extend if you like.
This set would make a fantastic birthday/christmas present. It looks so much more exepensive than it actually is.
McDonald's is probably the best know fast food outlet in the UK. No matter where you are there will be a McDonald's close by!
I have to admit I used to really dislike the place when I was a vegetarian the lack of choices for me on their menu put me off. There was one occasion a couple of years ago where the bread bun on my burger was mouldy, so that really put me off going for a LONG time. However once I became a meat eater again I came to love the variety of the menu and really felt the quality had improved greatly.
What I like the most is how the menu varies, every few weeks or month new products will be added for a trial period the only downside is if you get hooked and they stop selling these trial lines which often happens.
My daughter loves the kiddies meal it is always exciting for her to see what toy she gets included! The toys are surprisingly very high quality with my daughter receiving anything from a soft toy to a small music player. The children's meals used to cost £1.99 but I think cost around £2.19 now so are still fantastic value. For this price you receive 3 of the following:
Soft drinks (such as coca cola, sprite etc)
The choice of happy meals in particular has grown in the past couple of years as as you can see above includes some healthy options. This is great for my daughter who is a very fussy eater, she loves having the choice between so many different items.
A lot of the menu is really reasonably priced which is great for families on a tight budget like my own. They have introduced the 'saver menu' with choices of burgers sides drinks and deserts starting from only 99p.
Inside the restaurant I have always found it to be clean and welcoming, filled with lots of colourful tables and chairs - even tiny ones for the kids to use! Occasionally you will find colouring sheets and balloons on sticks to keep the children happy, these are of no extra charge. You help yourself to straws, serviettes salt and tea stirrers. Some restaurants have a help yourself sauce counter with tiny pots you can dispense your chosen sauce into.
The toilets I have found to be high quality, always clean and stocked up with toilet paper. The sinks are the type where you just pop your hands under it it odes everything from rinsing to washing to drying for you, a Greta novelty to my daughter!
The McDonald's drive through is great and we have often called there coming home from a day out it's so convenient and means you are not rushing home to prepare the kids tea! We have never had to wait long for our food to arrive, it is usually ready within a couple of minutes.
Overall I feel the quality is really much better than a few years back and the service is friendly, fast and efficient.
Avon Naturals Strawberry and Guava Body Lotion
This product has become a firm Avon favourite in my household. I use it on a regular basis as does my daughter and we both have entirely different skin types. My skin is combination skin and my daughters is oily yet this product works brilliantly for the both of us.
You can find this product in any Avon book or on their website. I find this lotion tends to come up on offer fairly often I don't think I have ever paid more than £1 for this which shows what amazing value it is for a 200ml bottle as well!
Avon are a well know cosmetics and beauty brand who employ reps. The reps will then deliver a book to your home and collect a few days alter taking your order. Deliveries can take around 7-10 days and the rep will deliver straight to your front door with no delivery charge, you cant get much more convenient than that!
The packaging is very attractive and shows the lotions colour which is a baby pink colour. The instructions say it is suitable for use all over the body. I find it works best after a bath or shower as it helps to lock the moisture in to keep your skin soft. The smell is simply divine and the smell does last for quite a while after applying.
Don't waste time and money on various moisturising products - buy this one and it is the only one you will need.
I came across netmums around 3 years ago now, when I was struggling with post natal depression and needed some support.
Netmums has become a real life line support for me, I look forward to my daily catch ups and love making new friends.
There are a few moderators on there who are quite strict but always friendly and do a good job on keeping everything in check. There are also health visitors online ready to advise, as well as parent supporters who are really lovely and have put me at ease a few times.
Netmums isn't just a online forum they have so much information on their website it's unreal. The sections are split into the following;
* Notice board (Pop a not on your area noticeboard to find out any information local to your area)
* Household help (View a section on cleaners, tradesman etc local to your area)
* Nearly new (View items for sale in your area or sell your own!)
* Childcare (View a listing on childcare providers recommended in your area)
* Whats on (View all activities happening in your area, search by month)
* Places to go (Days out listings recommended by fellow netmums)
* Things to do (Ideas for rainy play, free play etc)
* Parties (View listings of recommended party venues, party ideas etc)
* Food (A huge directory of recipes, search for what you need or try posting your own!)
* Holidays (Advice on travelling with children)
* Working & childcare (great advice to put your mind at rest when returning to work)
* Shop window (View netmums' books for sale and other netmums own businesses)
Friends and support
* Coffeehouse forum (Online forum packed with information and people willing to help)
* Local meet a mum (Read notes from mums in your area looking to make friends, or pop your own note on too)
* Support for you (Information on lots of organisations who can offer support in which ever way you need it)
* Postnatal depression (Advice, information on post natal depression and where to get help from)
Your child (Advice & tips and lots of them!)
*Pregnancy & birth
* Older child
Whatever you are looking for you are bound to find it on netmums!
Many people including myself see netmums as a lifeline, a chance to break free from the outside world when everything seems too much and to make friends who understand.
Try it for yourself, you;'re bound to love it :o)
Author: Michael Rosen
Illustrator: Helen Oxenbury
Winner of the smarties book prize
Highly commended for the Kate Greenaway Medal
My daughter received this book for her 2nd Christmas and I must admit I was delighted. At last a book that i could enjoy as much as my daughter!
The story is very repetitive which is great as it becomes easy for children to remember the words themselves (so eventually they can read it to you instead!) and they can feel really involved in the story.
"We're going on a bear hunt, we're going to catch a big one, what a beautiful day, we're not scared!"
This is a story about a family and their dog, who decided to search for a bear, they face all sorts of obstacles along the way, when they eventually find a bear I think they rather wish they hadn't gone on the bear hunt at all!
The illustrations are really lovely, with some pages being illustrated in black and white whilst other are a lovely pastel colour.
The book is just the right length and I guarantee, you or your child will not get bored whilst reading this! The book is just far too engaging and enjoyable for that to happen!
You can buy this book from all major book stores, it is made by walker books and really is a must have for all children's book shelves.
My daughter received the hardback edition of this which is really quite big but great for sharing story time.
Now my daughter is fully potty trained I though I would start using toilet wipes rather than baby wipes. On a grocery shopping trip to asda I came across these great stuff toilet training wipes, on special offer at 3 packs for £2 so I thought I would give them a try.
You get 60 wipes in a packet and they have a 'fruity fragrance'. The wipes are derma-tested, flushable and biodegradable.
The packet is difficult to open, especially for little hands and it's even harder to remove the wipes from the packet one by one. Most of the time I end up pulling the entire packet of wipes out as does my daughter which results in much wastage.
The 'fruity' scent of these wipes smells really artificial, almost like cheap air freshener. Since I used baby wipes for 3 years I was used to the softness and didn't realise that these wouldn't be the same. They are barely soft at all.
The size of the wipes are about half the size of the average baby wipe which was also a disappointment. I thought these wipes were quite good value but seen as though you need twice as many this is not the case at all.
They don't remove dirty marks as well as baby wipes and you have to be quite a bit more rougher to remove stubborn 'stains' than you would with baby wipes.
All in all I'm looking forward to these running out so I can get back to good old baby wipes!
I only ever buy shampoo when it is on offer at the supermarket. I always went for the popular named brands but I saw this on offer at tesco, 4 bottles for £3 so I thought I would give it a try. Even when not on offer the bottles were only around £1 each and are available from most supermarkets and high street chemists.
The bottles are basic yet professional looking, they are clear so you can see the colour of the shampoo. They have a clip top which is easy to open when all lathered up in the shower.
I have found with this shampoo I do not need to use a great deal as it lathers up really well. It smells just divine a very sweet fruity scent, although the smell doesn't last as long as a few other brands I have tried. I used the conditioner to go with this shampoo also and found I only needed a small amount to thoroughly cover my hair. The shampoo washes off easily and leaves my hair pretty much tangle free.
The 4 bottles I have bought have lasted me 2 months which is great I normally would have gotten through twice as many of this so it really goes a great way, which is even better if you buy this on special offer!
I would recommend this product especially if you are on a budget
I've been going to this garden centre for many years now and have seen so many improvements in this time.
Recently they have had a new children's playground built which is fantastic and suits all ages. Next to the playground is a lovely little farm, but when I say little I mean little. You could easily kill 45 minutes there but not much longer. You have to pay to enter, only a few pounds and you can also buy the bags of food for the animals for a few pence. It has recently been improved and is really clean and has more animals to show.
The garden centre grounds are just lovely with plants around the walkways. They also sell a few items of garden furniture.
There is a nice little cafe there but it gets so busy I would recommend eating before you go as people are often queuing out of the door.
A few small shops surround a little courtyard including some lovely nick knack shops and a great butchers.
Our favourite part is the aquatic centre which houses 100's of fish and also small animals and birds.
Outside the entrance you will find a small market stall selling fruit and vegetables from a local farm which are great quality and competitive prices also.
There are quite a few car parking spaces but it often gets really busy especially on weekends.
All in all a lovely place to spend an afternoon
When I first saw an advert for febreze mist & refresh I though here we go another tacky air freshener! I was forever trying different types of air freshener trying willfully to find one that smelt nice and lingered, yet all I managed to find were cheap smelling ones where the smell only lasted a few seconds.
I decided to try this when it was on promotion at asda, I thought at full price it seemed rather expensive but didn't begrudge the £1 and a few pence I paid on offer. I tried it in my bedroom, quickly sprayed and then walked out, returned 20 minutes later and to my delight the scent was still there!
I use the cotton fresh one and love it so much that I haven't even tried any of the other varieties. The smell is similar to fresh bed sheets that have just come in from the washing line! And unlike other air fresheners doesn't smell fake in the slightest.
I had had a can of this now for around 6 months and use about 3 times a week in my bedrooms and living room and I still have a fair bit left in the can, as it is only a light mist that sprays out.
Although the initial price for this air freshener is more than other competing brands, this still works out better value as the quality is much better and the can lasts so much longer, I would recommend to everyone.