Hot Chocolate Butterbeer Station

Hello my lovelies,

I have a confession to make.  I had planned on setting this Hot chocolate Butterbeer Station up on the last weekend of November, just in time for Christmas tree decorating but it’s just been so cold outside!

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Unfortunately, this little bureau is in a weird spot; on the small piece of wall that joins the back door of the kitchen to the living room sliding doors which means there are windows on either side. This makes taking a decent picture impossible, however, it means that everything I need to make a gorgeous cup of hot chocolate butterbeer is near the kettle.

This Butterbeer sign is from Two Delighted. As two fellow potterheads they have some gorgeous free printables for anyone wanting to recreate their fantastic Harry Potter party.

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Our hot chocolate station last year was a total mish-mash of different hot chocolate and drink powders and sprinkles.  This year, I wanted a much simpler look and I guess sticking with butterbeer instead of every other hot drink known to man means I’ve achieved that.SONY DSCKnowing I wanted to create a hot chocolate butterbeer station meant I could incorporate a few of the other Potter related projects I’ve worked on including the Three Broomsticks tray I made a couple of summers ago and my newest addition, the Butterbeer mugs.

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Originally, I was going to wait until we went to the Harry Potter Studio tour and buy some Butterbeer tankards there to make hot chocolate in.  I then realised that they would probably crack with hot liquid in them because they’re plastic and meant for a cold drink.   I then found a lovely lady on one of the groups I follow on Facebook who made me these specially printed labels that get baked onto glass!  I can’t tell you how delighted I am with how these heat resistant Butterbeer mugs came out.

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On a trip to TK Max earlier this year I found the Hazelnut and Vanilla syrups for £3.99 each and had to scoop them up for my Butterbeer station.  They taste awesome and really add something special to the mix.  I’ve also added some caramel syrup which was one  I picked up at Morrisons on sale for £2.

The sprinkles above are small honeycomb pieces I got from B&M in the baking section and tiny gold sprinkles that are from Morrisons Christmas range. They’re the perfect addition to any Butterbeer hot chocolate.

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The recipe for Hot Chocolate Butterbeer is as follows.  Make up your favourite hot chocolate the way you usually do.  Add 1 tablespoon of vanilla syrup, 1 teaspoon of hazelnut syrup, 1 teaspoon of caramel syrup and mix well.  Add squirty cream and top with white marshmallows and sprinkles.  Or chocolate ice cream syrup topping.

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It couldn’t be easier!

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

xxx

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Harry Potter Movie Night

Hello my lovelies,

Since we are not into going trick of treating since Missy was diagnosed dairy, soya and apple free we have chosen to celebrate at home this year.

I have been collecting Harry Potter its and pieces since the beginning of the year for our Harry Potter Christmas and lots of it is coming in handy for our movie night.

 

The Gryffindor and Hufflepuff blankets, and themed cushions were all bought at Primark.

The cauldron is an actual pot that you cook on the fire with. It’s called a Potjie pot in South Africa and I’ve served sweet and salty popcorn in it.  Being dairy free means Missy can’t have caramel popcorn but it’s good that she doesn’t really like it anyway.

I made the chocolate frogs using a mould I bought on Amazon and the ginger cats were from the Co-op.

The sherbert lemons can be found from morrisons and the time turner and Gryffindor scarf were from ebay.

I love this Polyjuice mason jar mug from Primark and drink my wine out of it!   I made the potion bottle lights using some led lights, potion labels from etsy and mini potion bottles from the Works.

The pumpkin drinking glasses are from Primark and were only £2.50 each. Bargain!  The owls were from the Range and the potion bottles were from Poundland.

Flossy the Pygmy Puff was a gift from a craft swap and is Missy’s beloved pet.

As you can see below we are having Bertie Botts every flavour beans, chocolate frogs, cat shaped cookies, liquorice wands, UFO’s of Flying Whizzbeez, lemon sherberts and sweet and salty popcorn.

Of course, we are having dinner before we tuck into all of these sweeties!SONY DSC

Happy Halloween!

Mrs R

x

Garsons Pick Your Own Farm – Esher

Hello my lovelies,

Today we decided to make the most of the last of the Pick Your Own (PYO) seasons and headed into the lovely little suburb of Esher.

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Not only is Garsons a fabulous PYO farm where during the peak season you can pick lovely fruit and vegetables, it is also an award winning farm shop and garden centre. Their premises also boast a fabulous restaurant and gift and homeware store.

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Since we’d already been to Pumpkin Moon for pumpkins earlier in the week, we decided to see what other vegetables we could pick for the week.  Sadly, we’d left it a little late for much of the PYO farm produce but were delighted to find that courgettes, carrots, cabbage, french beans and squash were still available.

We had thankfully had the forethought to wear our wellies and got stuck in! Missy had great fun digging up carrots and finding the biggest french beans  in the first field.

We drove around to the next field and found some decent corn on the cob despite the corn season being over.  We also managed to find tender broccoli florets. Cabbages are in season and I  picked three to use in our cooking in the coming weeks.  The find of the day, however was our much loved gem squashes! These are a staple in South Africa and we have missed them terribly!  The ones we bought at Pumpkin Moon for £1 each have already been devoured.  These gem squashes were only £1.29 a kilo which worked out to be better value and we took as many as we could find.

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The last field we gathered from was full of marrows and courgettes.  Marrows are not my favourite as I find them quite watery but I do love courgettes.  We filled our bag with these tender little beauties and I can’t wait to steam them and serve them with a little butter and a sprinkle of pink Himalayan salt.

Once we’d picked as much as we wanted, we headed to the kiosk to weigh our spoils and were very surprised to only pay £14!  What a bargain!  Not only did we bring home a gorgeous bounty of the season’s best to feed our family, we had a fantastic morning out while Missy learned more about where our food comes from.  A win-win situation!

On the cards this week will be carrot cake muffins for Missy’s school packed lunch and carrot soup for me. We’ll also have a roast chicken dinner with roasted pumpkin, steamed courgettes, corn and roasted pumpkin.  I save time during the week but steaming a large batch of veggies when I do my Sunday roast. This means I have lots of sides readily available during the week.

Tomorrow when I do my grocery shop I’ll be buying some clear stand up zip lock bags to freeze my soup in.  I’ve plans for carrot soup and some roasted pumpkin, chili and coconut soup to fill the freezer.  Also on the cards will be my favourite french onion soup. Not an autumn goes by without me making a batch of this gorgeousness!

Don’t you just love Autumn?

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

Chiddingstone Castle school of witchcraft and wizardry

Hello my lovelies,

*This post has not been sponsored by Chiddingstone Castle.  I bought tickets to this even and all opinions and comments are my own.*

We had the most awesome day!  A month ago, I managed to book tickets to Chiddingstone Castle’s school of witchcraft and wizardry day in Kent and we could hardly wait! It was so well organised and so much fun that I was blown away.

I ordered Missy a robe (which looked nothing like the pictures on ebay which led to me opening a case – but that’s another story), made her a tie, dug out her wand (see my wand making post here) and for a wand box tutorial check out my post here.  I also decorated her a witches hat. We were all set!

I must admit, Chiddingstone wasn’t the easiest castle to find as the castle itself has a little concealed entrance and I landed up driving past it and having to double back. But I found it in the end.  The parking was ample even though they said the parking lot was quite small and there was a port-a-loo in the parking lot which I found quite random but it came in handy since we arrived early.  There was also a little honesty box to pay for parking with the proceeds going to charity.

 

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The castle itself is beautiful and we were surprised to find it had a red postbox just outside!

Since we arrived early, we had some time to take pictures while everyone arrived.  We were the only ones not in Gryffindor robes!

About 10 minutes before the doors opened we could hear a Harry Potter soundtrack playing which just heightened the anticipation.  The kids couldn’t wait!

Upon entering, some very organised admin witches crossed our names from their lists and checked out etickets. We were given a map and from there, we followed the directions round into the Great Hall.

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The entire place was decorated so well and it really added to the ambiance and theme.

In the Great Hall we were met by the High Wizard Merlin Hopkirken who sorted the kids into their houses.  Our entire group was sorted into Wormtail (which was kind of a crappy  name since Wormtail was the name of that traitorous Peter Pettigrew!) the yellow house.  We were then given our class schedule.

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Our first class was Flying Lessons in the Marquee.  Captain Karkus Prospero was brilliantly entertaining and got the kids ‘flying’ their brooms round a marked out course and doing races.

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Each child borrowed a broomstick for the lesson and it was fantastic to hear them shrieking with laughter. SONY DSC

In between each lesson was a 15 minute break and the children were invited to the craft rooms to make wands or colour pictures.

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Our next class was Spells and Incantations with Ms Septima Warbeck.

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The Spells teacher instructed the children on basic spells and wand movements as well as defense against the dark arts spells.

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Swish and flick!

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There weren’t enough kids to give each child a partner so Missy practiced with Ms Warbeck.

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After each class the kids got a stamp on their certificates.  Once they had a stamp from each of the classes they could graduate.

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We had a fun tour of the Headmaster Merlin Hopkirk’s office while we waited for our next class to start.

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Our third class was choir practice with Madame Mourge. Not sore how the ‘ou’ is pronounced ‘or’ but it was pronounced Morgue.

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Each professor was so well dressed and made up. They kept in character beautifully and the kids really believed they were at a school for Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Choir practice was very noisy but the kids loved every moment of it.

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While the kids were in choir practice I got an opportunity to speak to the event organizers who were such lovely ladies.  This is the first time Chiddingstone has done this kind of event and if all goes well they hope to repeat it next year.  Also, if all goes well, Christmas may be something just as special. Perhaps not this year but it’s exciting all the same.

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We made wands in our break before the long awaited potions class.  Dr Elphias Thicknesse was waiting for us in the potions classroom which was a treasure trove of potion ingredients bottles and other curiosities. The massive cauldron was of particular interest to the children.

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The children helped Dr Thicknesse to prepare a love potion to help her woo Captain Prospero and got to help chucking various ghastly looking ingredients into the cauldron.  I must admit, Dr Thicknesse was my favourite by far as she was completely zany and had the kids enthralled.

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The magic ingredient (hot ice) was added by Dr Thicknesse and the cauldron exploded in smoke much to the children’s delight.

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The only negative feedback I have is that upon booking people had the option of attending with their kids or dropping them off and fetching them later.  I found this to be a bad idea.   These kids got quite rowdy and rude at one stage which was uncomfortable for everyone.  One such 11 year old boy kept following me around and shoving his broomstick in my face shouting aaaaavraaaa kaaaadaaaavraaaaa!  He didn’t take kindly to me pointing out that it was in fact Avada Kedavra.  He also didn’t like the fact that I told him in a very firm voice that I didn’t appreciate the broomstick being shoved in my face.  And that if he did it again, I would make sure his parents were made aware that he was being rude to an adult.  But other than that one small blot on the day, I couldn’t have asked for a better event.

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Prize giving was held back in the Great Hall where the Headmaster announced the prize for the best dressed child who was dressed like Seamus Finnigan after his spell backfired. Well deserved I thought.

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Then he announced the day’s star pupil who turned out to be my very own little Missy!

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She won a t-shirt named after the event and a voucher for a free family visit during the 2018 season!  A fab prize!

After our classes were done, we went to the cafe where I had a cream tea and coffee.  I had packed a dairy, soya and apple free lunch for Missy as it’s been my experience that most places struggle to provide food that is allergen free.

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The staff were very happy for Missy to enjoy her lunch which me while I ate my cream tea.  It was delicious however, there was no way I could finish two large scones!  I’m a bit of a coffee snob and the coffee at the cafe was heavenly!  I only drank one cup because I was concerned I would be desperate to pee on the drive home but I could easily have drank the entire cafetiere.

All in all, we had a fantastic day and it was well worth the money.  I would definitely attend the event next year and look forward to attending other events planned by Chiddingstone and especially to exploring the grounds.

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

Autumn Mantel

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Autumn is my absolute favourite season.  The smells, the colours in the countryside and the lovely warming casseroles just make me happy deep down in my soul.  Somehow, when I’m all wrapped up in my fluffy pyjamas, having eaten a warming casserole or baked pudding, all is right with the world.

I had no definitive plans for this Autumn mantle, things just sort of fell together. I collected the conkers and leaves with DD on the walk home from school and a friend brought me the pomegranates which were on clearance at the supermarket.  The orange slices are the ones we dried earlier in the year. Somehow, as I started layering everything fell into place.

I was a little worried that as the leaves dried out some of their juice may leach out onto the stone so I lined the top of the mantle with some hessian leftover from a previous Christmas craft. Then I started placing everything on.

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My favourite part of the mantle decor is the  old coffee jars filled with conkers and an orange slice. I used my glue gun and some bits of lace and ribbon with these star embellishments to decorate them.  I’m pleased with how they turned out.

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Autumn is my absolute favourite season.  The smells, the colours in the countryside and the lovely warming casseroles just make me happy deep down in my soul.  Somehow, when I’m all wrapped up in my fluffy pyjamas, having eaten a warming casserole or baked pudding, all is right with the world.

I had no definitive plans for this Autumn mantle, things just sort of fell together. I collected the conkers and leaves with DD on the walk home from school and a friend brought me the pomegranates which were on clearance at the supermarket.  The orange slices are the ones we dried earlier in the year. Somehow, as I started layering everything fell into place.

I was a little worried that as the leaves dried out some of their juice may leach out onto the stone so I lined the top of the mantle with some hessian leftover from a previous Christmas craft. Then I started placing everything on.

My favourite part of the mantle decor is the  old coffee jars filled with conkers and an orange slice. I used my glue gun and some bits of lace and ribbon with these star embellishments to decorate them.  I’m pleased with how they turned out.

Tonight, as the night has drawn in, I’ve lit the candles and it feels so cozy in here, I just wanna curl up on the sofa with a couple of episides of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries to keep me company.  Or I might do some googling for some ideas for a fall wreath for my front door.

Do you decorate for Autumn?

Bright blessings,

Mama R

x


My little cling on

That’s my little pun on the Star Trek Klingons… not really funny I know but it cracked me up!

It’s been a tiring day.  DD has been clinging on to me as if her life depended on it and while it’s been lovely to have the affection from her it’s also been a blimming pain!  Especially when I was trying to make lasagne!

I had my check up with the dr today and he’s happy with my report on the Venlafaxine and how it’s working for me.  Dr also checked out DD and he says she’s doing fine and I should expect her to be unsteady on her feet and irritable for at least a week while she recovers.

Since DD was in this kind of mood I didn’t get much done today… oh well, I got to be with my baby and that’s all that counts.

Bright blessings,

Mama R

Something stupid and other stories

Yesterday, I did something stupid.  I got dressed for my driving lesson before I’d made breakfast.  I then realised that frying eggs may get my shirt splashed so I took it off and continued frying eggs.  Here comes the stupid part.  I splashed myself with HOT OIL! All over the tender skin of my belly!  I now have M&M sized blisters from under my bra line to my bikini line.  And they hurt!  And the dumbest part? I have three aprons washed and ready for use behind my kitchen door.  Urgh!

Today, DH and I are taking DD to a gentle splash session at our local pool. I take DD on a Friday but was telling DH all about DD’s improvements and he wants to take her again so he can enjoy her new found water boldness.  Hopefully when I get home I can make a start on the lounge and dining room area.  Living with a toddler and a messy husband plays havoc with your housekeeping routines.  Suffering exhaustion and feeling down a lot of the time doesn’t help. But while I’m super motivated I’m going to take advantage of it and get sorting.

What are you up to today?

Bright blessings,

Mama R