Why you need a morning routine

Hello my lovelies,

There is no doubt about it.  People who consistently stick to a morning routine are more successful.  There have been various studies that prove this.   But how does a morning routine make you more successful?

A morning routine, or lack thereof sets to the tone for the day.   A good morning routine sets the tone for a day where you are in control.  Basically, you want to drive your day instead of letting your day drive you. Think about it.  On those days where you’ve woken up late and your usual morning ritual has gone out of the window it’s been chaos.  You’ve been late for work, you didn’t have time for breakfast, you got stuck in traffic… see? Chaos!

But imagine a day where you wake up, get dressed (you showered the night before) and have a cup of coffee in the quiet before your kids wake up. You unpack the dishwasher ready for the breakfast dishes later and start breakfast before the kids come running through.  While the kids eat breakfast, wipe the counters, take out the recycling, feed the dog and get a load of laundry on. Dirty dishes go straight into the dishwasher.  While the kids get dressed, make the beds, take out something from the freezer to defrost and do a quick 5 minute tidy of the main living areas. By the time you leave the house, you’ve gotten quite a bit done, leave the house in a decent state for later and you feel in control.  Go Mom!

Before the school holidays started I decided to make these 6 weeks count.  I have been working on various techniques in order to get my home looking good, staying motivated and basically, training myself to spend as little time as possible cleaning on the weekends.  I can’t tell you have having a simple morning routine, especially during the school holidays is making life simpler.  I didn’t normally have a routine for the Summer.  But maintaining what I do during term time during the summer holidays means that by 8:30, I can go out for the day with my daughter and come home to a clean, peaceful home.

If you don’t have a morning routine, now is the time to start thinking about creating one. this is my morning routine:

Get up and make the bed

Make coffee (I don’t have to unpack the dishwasher because I did it before I went to bed)

Make breakfast and eat.  Take our vitamins

Tidy up after breakfast (dishes go straight into the empty dishwasher)

Take out meat for dinner to defrost

Laundry on

Quick tidy of the main living areas

While I’m in the bathroom after brushing my teeth, I swish the toilet bowl with the toilet brush, wipe down the mirror and basin with a bathroom wipe.

Boom!  You’re all set for your day. The kitchen is clean.  Laundry is on.  Dinner is defrosting. The bathroom is clean. The main living areas are tidy.  Your kids have been feed and are dressed.

Now that my routine is more established, I plan on working some personal development into my day.  So perhaps, wake up a few minutes earlier for some meditation with my coffee.  This part is going to take a while to establish because I can’t even think before my first hit of caffeine but I’ll work on it.

Get yourself into a morning routine and see how well your day goes.

As always, I’d love to hear from you, so leave a comment below.

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

 

 

 

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From doom and gloom to va va voom!

Hello my lovelies,

I have been a woman on a mission recently.  I have been watching loads of Youtube videos from some inspirational women who have been sharing their organizing and housekeeping tips and ideas. I’m totally hooked!

You see, for some reason if my home is messy and unorganized, I feel stressed.  And anxious.  And miserable.  And one thing I’ve learned in my life.  ‘Ain’t Mama happy, ain’t nobody happy!’  I’ve been feeling completely anxious in my home for years but haven’t known how to get my home in shape.  Not only that, I have been so trapped in my own anxiety and misery that I haven’t been able to do something more permanent about the clutter and craziness.   Of course, I’d open a wardrobe, see it in a mess, tidy it and next week it would be back to being a mess. I couldn’t understand why.  The answer, is mostly because

a) you can’t clean/tidy clutter

b) you gotta have a long lasting solution – not just refolding everything in the same way and hope that it will stay like that when it’s never stayed tidy before

So, watching these Youtube videos has been really motivating for me and is really helping me to see how I can improve the organization of my home. Not only so that I can keep it more tidy, but also so that it becomes easier for my husband and daughter to keep things tidy.  Another thing I am finding so refreshing and amazing is that I can now open a cupboard and lay  my hands on exactly what I need withing 30 seconds.  Life changing!  I’ll be sharing some of these organization pictures with you over the next few weeks but today I wanted to show you how we transformed a ghastly corner in our living room.

Our living room, dining ro om and kitchen are open plan. It’s basically a big L shape and up until a few weeks ago, we shared this space with my dirty little secret.  By this I mean, the Bookshelf of Doom and Gloom.

It was just horrible.  So bad in fact, that I would chuck an old duvet cover over it just to hide the contents. I’m going to show you a picture, so you may want to sit down.

Are you ready?

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It was just plain nasty!  It was like a clutter magnet and sucked every bit of nasty clutter straight into it like a black hole. Something had to be done.  The problem was that in order to clear out this bookshelf, I needed to re-organize my kitchen cupboards and get rid of some stuff to make space for the things in the Bookshelf of Doom and Gloom that we actually used.

So one morning, after a good bolstering of Youtube videos and motivation, I get down to work. We’d bought a Kallax unit from Ikea which one of my Youtube guru’s Clutterbug and I was determined to have it in my living room before the end of the day.

I’m not going to lie.  It took me the entire day!  And two trips to do the charity shop to donate items.  The ENTIRE day.  To sort my kitchen and set up this gorgeous unit. But it’s sooooooo much nicer and not only looks pretty but it’s so functional.

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Some of my glassware made it into the unit along with my Christmas planner – the striped file and my home control journal in the other folder along with a few recipe books we frequent.

The drawers contain all our hair supplies that we use every morning like hair brushes, ties, detangler and the hair dryer.  The second drawer keeps our stationery for homework.

The bottom drawer holds all our school homework aids, work books, dictionary/thesaurus etc. The bottom drawer on the right holds all my seasonally changed candle holders and other decorative knick knacks that I like to change around.

I am so happy with the way it came out!  Now when I see it, I feel almost zen like calm!  I go into the kitchen and can immediately find stuff.  It’s a homemade miracle!

Now you’ll have to excuse my kitchen cabinetry.  We are still renovating our house and the kitchen, while it has been rejigged using the existing cabinets, is still in need of a complete make over.  We’ve scrubbed the cupboards out but they’re still gross inside.

But look!

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When I open the plastic cupboard door everything doesn’t fall out on me!  It’s so liberating!  The blue plastic baskets were purchased years ago and were in the spare room holding crap we long since got rid of so they landed up in the plastic cupboard to corral everything. The plain white bin on the right was bought a few days ago at Poundland. I bought a whole stack and you will see how handy they are in later posts.

And I’ve just realised that I’ve stuck the labels for the blue baskets on the wrong baskets!  Nevermind!

This was our junk drawer. Excuse the crap picture.

IMG_3945You couldn’t close this drawer. It was shoved so full of rubbish. Now it has 4 little baskets – I got these in a set of 2 at Poundland – that hold our flashlights and lighters for the BBQ and my various candles.  The other little basket hold the electric toothbrush charger that we always charge on the kitchen counter for some reason.  We also keep batteries in another little basket (with zip lock bags to separate some rechargeable batteries that have been charged and some disposable batteries to be taken for recycling) and the last bin holds ties and pegs for open packages in the pantry.  It still looks messy but it’s organised mess and I can lay my hands on stuff in a second.

Can you hear the angels singing?

Now I could show you under the sink but it’s just more organizing really and nothing revolutionary.

But I wanted to show you this clever idea to help your kids feel more accomplished and give you a break.  My daughter is turning 7 this week and can quite easily make herself some squash or get herself a snack if she asks.  But she wasn’t able to do this because not only could she not reach the snacks/squash, she would have to  wade through the nightmare of a plastic cupboard to find her cups.  Well, no more!

She now has a little cupboard with her things in it.  She has her sports bottles and cups with the squash ready for her to use. And She has a basket of snacks that she can choose from if she asks.  She loves this idea and says she feels like a big girl.  Aw! Mommy heart melt moment!

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If you’re wondering where I found these fabulous labels that you can personalize, print off and laminate at home, check out Clutterbug’s website where she has them free to download.

Today I finished my Family Control Centre which looks fabulous!  I’ll show you that next time.

For now, just know that organizing like this takes time but it’s so rewarding when you feel less stressed.

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

Sugar free spiced apple ice tea

Hello my lovelies,

I’m trying to cut sugar free fizzy drinks from my diet and let me tell you it’s really difficult!  Especially since I’ve got my coffee consumption to just one a day.  I mean, I like water but it’s getting really boring and I’ve been craving something a little tastier to drink while at work.

Enter, my recipe for Sugar free spiced apple ice tea!

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It’s low carb, sugar free and deliciously refreshing! What more could you ask for in a Summer drink?

The recipe is basically the same as my ultimate southern sweet ice tea just sugar free.

This recipe will make approximately 1 litre of base tea.   To make up a jug of iced tea, you will need to add 750ml of icy cold water to 250ml of the cold base tea.  If the base has just been made and is still warm but you’d like to make up a batch of iced tea for later, add 750ml of cold water to 250ml of the warm base sweet tea and refrigerate for about 4 hours.  Overnight is better, I’m told.

To make the tea base you will need:

  • 1 litre cold water (more for topping up)
  • 6 Spiced apple teabags
  • 60ml lemon juice
  • 100g of Truvia

Place 1 litre of water on to boil. Once it’s boiling, turn off the heat and dump in your tea bags and let them steep for about 15 minutes.  Add the lemon juice.

Remove the tea bags and discard.  Pour in the Truvia and stir to completely dissolve.

Pour into a bottle and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before placing in the fridge. Don’t ever put hot stuff straight into your fridge.

I’ve filled my large water bottle and it’s in the fridge ready and waiting to go to work with me.

Can’t wait!

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

More Harry Potter Christmas crafts

Hello my lovelies,

I’m back today to show you what I’ve been up to the past couple of weeks.

I made a niffler!  He looks a bit like a pot bellied duck but I could only find a pattern.  Zero instructions. It was an extremely frustrating week.  But he’s finished and my daughter loves him.

We’re calling him Ned.

Ned the Niffler.

And as you can see, he’s ready trying to nick my belcher chain.

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Yesterday, Missy and I spent some quality time making these potion bottles to hang on the tree. Thankfully, we didn’t need to use a glue gun for this.  Did I mention that my glue gun blew up.  In my hand.  Bang!  Smoke!  Me:  *freak out*

Glue gun: 1

Me: 0

We used super glue to glue the corks in instead of hot glue.

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Please excuse the dust on our wood burner!  Super embarrassing!

Besides the potion bottles that I got from The Works for £1, I had everything else for this craft project at home.

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I bought the labels from an Etsy shop a couple of years ago when I participated in a Harry Potter craft shop.  I’d say all in this project only cost me about £2.50

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I’m still in the process of making the gillyweed label which didn’t come with the set from the etsy shop.  Once that’s done,  I’ll have a little set of 6 potions or ingredients for our potter tree.SONY DSC

Next up, a Dobby figurine made out of felt.  He’s probably going to be as good as the niffler!

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

 

Harry Potter Filofax Planner

Hello my lovelies,

I’m am soooooooooo excited to share my baby with you.  As you all know, I’m a die hard Harry Potter fan and with the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, my love for the wizarding world of Harry Potter has grown. I’ve had a planner of sorts most of my adult life but this is the first time I’ve had planner peace because my planner now is a complete reflection of me. Introducing, my Harry Po

I found this Finsbury real leather filofax at a charity shop for £2! I know, it was a real bargain. Over the past two months, my planner has really blossomed and come together beautifully. I’m so proud of it.

First of all, my family bought me a Harry Potter themed pandora-knock off bracelet and while I loved it, it kept getting in the way and caught on things so I recycled it into a planner charm for my filofax. I added Gryffindor colour beads and love the way it turned out.

From the top you can see the washi tape paper clips I made to mark some pages. I have tabs running along the top and right hand side of my planner.

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My chocolate frog and Deathly Hallows charms decorate the bottom.

This is the inside cover and the first things you see are some bits I’ve collected. The dashboard was made using some scrapbook paper and an image I found online. I added the little baby hedwig pic I found online as a type of tab to help me turn the page.  Of course, no journey into the world of Harry Potter would begin at any other place other than platform 9 3/4.

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Tiny Hedwig owl by  Cryptid-creations

 

I made the paperclip behind the Godric Gryffindor chocolate frog card using a large wooden button I found at The Works.  The Knight Bus licence was made for me by Woozelmom in a swap. Woozelmom makes the most A-mazing themed craft projects.   Check out my previous swap post about the wonderful things she sent me.

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On the other side of my filofax cover is a tag from a pair of Harry Potter pyjamas that I got for Christmas which was addressed to Harry. I kept it because I thought it was cute.  I then have some washi tape samples that I use in my planner to decorate pages.  Above that is my miniature Marauder’s map.  I love it!  It was a printable from Britta Blvd and you can find the link to the printable here.  The snitch card is one I got from a RAK from Storm in a tea cup gifts. They do lovely themed subscription boxes. 18033070_10154959681305659_7050404997375769262_n18033343_10154959575120659_1429067500139513524_n

From this view, you can see the tabs are planning, lists and occasions as well as a little peep of Pigwidgeon.18033407_10154959575125659_8659674820507246476_n

Through platform 9 3/4 the first thing you see is of course a Hogwarts Express ticket and my personal information that I’ve blanked out.  I figured that if my planner got lost I’d be distraught and would hope that someone would contact me to give it back.

I’ve also added mine and my daughter’s vital information such as allergies and medication that we take.  God forbid, we are ever in an accident, our information, along with my husband’s contact details are printed there as an emergency contact. Inked17992330_10154959575250659_211426713908378420_n_LI

Then comes the Hogwarts express which naturally follows on if you go through the barrier at Platform 9 3/4. I love the Hogwarts silhouette tab on the right of the page.

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On the back of the Hogwarts Express poster, I keep my owl sticky notes and tabs and my main goals for the year.

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The next first actual section is my planning section. This seems like a subject Hermione Granger would be adept at which is why I place a picture of her here. Again, I found this online through searching Google images here .

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Turning the page, there’s a quote from Ron Weasley, who was talking about Hermione at the time and then my lunar calendar. Most people think I’m crazy logging the lunar cycle but I find that the cycle of the moon really has an affect on my moods.

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The pages that follow include dates for the academic year, weekly prompts for when I’m planning my week, yearly calendar, my future log page where I write down all events and dates to remember as I find out about them, my perpetual calendar and my Yearly planner calendar pictured below.

The Knight Bus ticket was another gift from Woozelmom and I’ve laminated it to keep it nice.

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This Dumbledore quote is on the other side of my weekly prompts list and next to my future log pages.

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My favourite picture of Newt Scamander graces the list section divider.

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And one of my favourite moments of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them is on the other side of Newt along with my to do list pages.  Link here.18010873_10154959576245659_966801931237913801_n

My brain dump pages follow on from the To Do List pages. Don’t you love my pencil wand? I made it using a pencil, hog glue and paint. 18010264_10154959576395659_5625836229883820987_n

The occasions divider where I can plan any entertaining we are doing, birthday parties etc.

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Another Dumbledore quote and some birthday plans for my daughter’s birthday party.

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The next section is dedicated to my pen pals and contains their addresses and a log of letters written and received.  I love the little tab topper of Pigwidgeon. Hogsmeade poster here.

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One of my favourite characters and quotes from the series along with my pen pal letters sent and received log. Picture here18033369_10154959576955659_6019791198061277798_n

The next section is a where my daily planner pages start. The photograph was taken when my daughter and I visited Platform 9 3/4

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A map of Hogwarts follows and then it’s my monthly goals.  I like to set out my monthly goals along with my weekly intentions. More on those pages to follow.

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Here are my page per day pages.  I created them in powerpoint where all my pages are created.  I love how my page marker turned out. It has my morning and evening routines printed on it.

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My weekly intentions page is for things that I intend to get done during the week. I like the term intentions better than to do list.

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My finance section comes next. The snitch picture can be found on etsy here.

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Another Dumbledore quote found here.

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I haven’t shown my budget which is personal but I have shown some blank expenses pages and online purchase log pages.  I’m not sure about you but I sometimes forget what I’ve ordered especially if the items will take weeks to arrive such as some items ordered from China.  My purchase log keeps me updates of what is still to arrive.

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My personal section comes next.

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My transfiguration (weight loss measurements) come next and there are a few of these pages to help keep me on track. I adore Luna. I can’t find where I got this picture from but if you come across it please message me and I’ll give all due credit.

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Then there’s my cosmic ordering pages come next – they’re basically manifestation pages by another name.  If you are unfamiliar with the concept, check out the book The Cosmic Ordering Service or the website on the link above.

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Because my work can take me all over the area, I like to keep a log of where I’ve worked that isn’t my usual base and I have titled these pages Muggle Business.  Then there are pages for the Books I’ve read, books I’ve got on order at the library and books I want to read.17992308_10154959578085659_6157492901752482001_n

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Next comes The Burrow which is Swish cottage or our home.

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I keep things pertaining to our home here such a cleaning schedules, family schedules, details on family members such as clothing sizes and needs, wish lists etc.  Gryffindor poster can be found here17991900_10154959578405659_518650383477173535_n18010260_10154959578550659_4662343018696252841_n

Then there’s menu planning.  This adorable owl pic can be found here.

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I plan my weekly menu here along with any shopping that needs to be done. Again, I can’t remember where I got this picture from but if you know the source please let me know.

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Next comes my freezer, fridge and freezer inventories17952922_10154959583705659_2815238831386430107_n18033342_10154959584160659_3932955183703183554_n

There is also a page for writing down items I need to stock up on.

The last section is for writing where I keep blog post ideas along with my book ideas and notes. I love Vincent van Gogh paintings and this Hogwarts image done in the van Gogh style is just phenomenal.

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At the very back, I have a little pocket folder that I made to keep stickers, a couple of birthday cards and my Morrisons savers stamp folder. What would Hermione do image can be found here.

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I could go into so much more detail about the way I use my planner but I’ve run out of time!  This has been a lengthy post!

I hope you love my planner as much as I do.

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Raisin Baked French Toast

Hello my lovelies

I’ve been testing recipes again because I’ve been scouting around Pioneer Woman‘s website.  Oh my word, if you have not been to her website, you must run at turbo speed, do not walk!  There is sooooooooooooooo much to read and drool over!  Be prepared to linger…for quite some time.

Best take a cuppa.

And some cake.

While I was perusing the loveliness, I found a recipe for Cinnamon Raisin Baked French Toast.

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I couldn’t resist!  Especially since I had everything I needed to make it without making a special trip to the shops.  Hooray!

Honestly, this was sooooooooo incredibly good.  We had it for breakfast but it was so heavenly, it could easily be served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for dessert.

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We had ours for a lazy Sunday morning breakfast before more renovations started and it was scrumptious galumptious!

It was so incredibly easy because you make it all up the night before and pop it into the fridge to chuck in the oven for an hour the next morning.

Perfect, for if you’re like me and wake up like a grumpy badger until you’ve had your second cup of coffee.

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I would recommend tasting it before adding syrup though because I found it really quite sweet

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And there are leftovers to have with ice cream tonight for dessert.

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Does it get any better?

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

Princess unicorn marshmallow crispy treats

Hello my lovelies,

I’m back with another recipe. It seems like all I’ve been doing recently but I’m loving the domesticity.  You guys know I have a culinary crush on Ree Drummond aka The Pioneer Woman, right?  Well I do, and I’ve been watching her series on the telly and practically drooling over her home cooking.  On the latest show I watched, Ree made these gorgeous pecan marshmallow crispy treats and I couldn’t wait to give them a go.

No really, I couldn’t even wait until I had been to Morrisons, so I made them up with what I had. Of course, I didn’t have any regular white marshmallows so the mixture came out pink and my daughter dubbed them Princess Unicorn marshmallow crispies.

Because they’re rainbow coloured and pink of course!

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Ree’s basic recipe ingredients are:

4 tablespoons of butter plus extra for greasing

300g marshmallows (I used pink and yellow ones)

1/4 t of salt

6 cups of rice crispies

First grease your dish well, I used a square one and it worked out perfectly.  Next add the butter to a large (I used my pressure cooker!) pot and once melted add the marshmallows. Melt on a low heat making sure to stir to prevent it catching.

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Add the salt and the 6 cups of rice crispies.

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Here you can add anything you have lying about to ‘flavour’ them.  I added white chocolate chunks, 1/2 a bag of mini pink and white marshmallows and 1/2 a bag of smarties.

Mix it all together and dump it out into the greased dish.  Working quickly, spread out in the dish to reach the sides and trying to make sure the layer is even.  I found that although I worked quickly, the mashmallow mixture started to get really sticky and I was getting more clinging to the wooden spoon than in the actual bowl.

On a spark of brilliance, I wet my hands a little and pressed the mixture into the pan in a nice even layer.

Again, working quickly, I poured over a slab of melted white chocolate and rainbow sprinkles.

I refrigerated for 3 hours then cut into squares.

Mr R and dear daughter (DD) adores these!

I’m already considering some other interesting combinations…. stay tuned

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Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x