Homely Halloween Happiness

Most people who know me in real life will be more than aware that I am not a massive fan of Halloween, I hate trick or treating and I think that part of Halloween has overshadowed anything else when I think of it. 

This year however I have decided that we are going to have some form of Halloween but more a scary tea time, some ghoulish foods, family time and all in the safe warm house with no knocking on doors and all when it was convenient for us! 

So with no real idea of what I was doing a little divine internet inspiration I decided that since I am not the best creator that I could just wing it! 

With help from Beth we knocked up these guys:
munchingmaggots.jpgWe made these with skewers, grapes and white chocolate with some icing used for eyes. 

Halloween Food with BreadNext on the list we created Garish Grins, for this we used Warburtons half and half bread, tomato puree and then cheese slices with a face cut out and then toasted. 

The Witches Fingers were very similar although for these we used the Warburtons the half and half thins and the fingernail we used red peppers. 
Halloween FoodGoblin Gob is a cheesebuger .. I wont teach you to suck eggs on that one …. The Gruesome Ghouls are strawberry’s dunked into melted white chocolate, cooled and then drawn on with an icing pen. Creepy Cats are Orea biscuits, with Smarties and chocolate drops stuck on.

There where so many other things we had  a go at from bloody fingers to rotten grins and monster boils! 
halloweenteaideas.jpgI think for me this may have been the epiphany I needed to maybe start liking Halloween … You wont be catching me out trick or treating on Friday but that’s because I have maggots to eat! 

Are you planning anything for Halloween?

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post with Warburtons 

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Where Loyalty and Fairness Count …

Bethany For me one of my greatest expectations I put on myself as a parent is to make sure I instil manners. fairness and loyalty in my children so it becomes second nature to be polite and use manner and to invest in relationships that are healthy and are not one-sided. 

Don’t get me wrong teaching these important life skills is not easy and not always immediately successful.

When Beth was 2.5 years old I took her to the local market, I chatted with the stall owner while purchasing some make-up with Beth in the pushchair. On arriving home I took off Beth’s coat to find her arm was covered in hair bobbles she had taken from the stall and put on her wrists! 

Needless to say I took Beth back to the market to tell the lady what she had done and to give them back and say sorry.

Although when we got there all she kept saying was thank you! so at least that’s something right?

So with manners and loyalty something that to us is imperative, I am going to be honest and lay it out there …… I hate rude people, I hate being excluded and I hate feeling like someone is getting something that I am not allowed and I certainly don’t think I am alone. 

To me everyone should be treated equally, with respect and that shouldn’t just be in the home. 

So recently when I heard about NatWest and their new methods of recognising loyalty, it really was a refreshing breakthrough for me to hear. 

Be gone best offers to new customers

Goodbye to 0% teaser rates for new customers

Shift over free gifts, overdraft and the year’s supply of cake for anyone that  has never been a customer … 

The  Hello/Goodbye campaign  from NatWest, finally shows what its like to bring fairness to its customers new and old alike … how?… no more special offers, free gifts, teasers rates or cake … no scratch that the cake aspect may have only ever been in my head. 

But what can you say?!  

I know what I want to say … well done! 

It also seems I am not the only one as NatWest finally take a stand in this rather amusing video: 



And if you would like more information on the campaign from NatWest you can find it on the website http://personal.natwest.com/global/fairer-natwest.html

Disclaimer: I’m working in collaboration with BritMums and NatWest on this project and have been compensated for writing this post. however all opinions are my own. 

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The Spookiest Places to Visit in Paris

4367003726_fdb0c5ef9a_zWith its history of spurned lovers, tortured artists, revolution and poverty, gay Paris hasn’t always been so jolly. Home of such shrouded and shadowy figures as the Phantom of the Opera, the Man in the Iron Mask and the Vampire of Montparnasse, it could well be the perfect spot for thrill-seekers and fans of the paranormal. Trips to Paris are a great way to immerse yourself in history, and all the delightful thrills that come along with it. Read on, if you dare, to uncover some of the French capital’s creepiest corners…

The Catacombs
Get off the Metro at Denfert-Rochereau and just across the road, you’ll see an unassuming green shed. The entrance might not look like much, but, rest assured, this marks the gate to a chilling underground world of death that is often said to be haunted. The Paris Catacombs stretch for miles, the walls gruesomely decorated with the human remains exhumed from the city’s overflowing graveyards in the 1800s.

Be careful not to get lost; in 1793 Philibert Aspairt descended into this city of bones, only for his body to be discovered, 11 years later, in another part of the dungeon. The irony? His final resting place wasn’t even far from a passage back to the surface.

Pere Lachaise Cemetery
A couple of minutes from the entrance to The Catacombs lies the largest cemetery in Paris. By day, the pretty cobbled boulevards of Pere Lachaise arecharmant, but by night, those 300,000 graves begin to feel terribly atmospheric.

Visitors have claimed to have seen Jim Morrison’s ghost by night, and with plenty macabre nooks and crannies amid the crumbling monuments, it’s easy to get a little spooked by this vast bone yard.

Le Manoir de Paris
This ultra-grand ‘haunted’ house in Paris is more theme park than genuine nightmare-maker, but it should still engender some chills, however controlled these might be. This creepy indoor tour traces Parisian terrors, from the story of the Nile crocodile mysteriously discovered in the city’s sewers, to La Voisin, a witch who held black mass in the Marais.

Eiffel Tower
Over 400 people have chosen to fling themselves from this engineering marvel, including Princess Anna Troubetzkoy, who is said to haunt its windswept iron ligaments. There are many other legends surrounding the tower, including one of an angry lover who flung his true love from the top when she spurned his proposal, whose screams are reportedly still audible to visitors today.

Photo Credit: Image by Racael Alter, used under the Creative Commons license
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post

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#52LittleThings Week 44 – Cross Something Of Your List

52LT-Week-44I am taking part in the #52LittleThings challenge with AXA PPP healthcare to make small changes in my lifestyle, one week at a time to become a healthier and happier person. 

This week it’s all about using time more efficiently and ticking things off your to do list … 

So last night the clock went back and we all gained a whole extra hour so this morning I am using my extra hour to tick off at least 3 things on my epically scary to do list. 

listsAbout a year ago I started making quite in-depth to do list as I was feeling totally swamped with everything I had to do. 

Having my lists have also helped me feel far less stressed and I am beginning to become more productive so this extra hour really helped me make a good start into my week. 

I am also intending to try to get up 1 hour earlier from this week onwards, as I have found I can get more done without my little sidekick (Joshua) under my feet so this will make a fantastic change for me to get things done! 

 I am not sure why I feel it’s so therapeutic to write a list and then complete it and then cross of it off but … since it makes me smile, less stressed and more organised I am all for it!

And today … the spare room has finally been cleared out, the emails have all been responded too and to make me even happier a lovely family dinner all been enjoyed, if this is the start of things to come I am going to enjoy being more productive! 

Are you a list maker? 

Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with AXA PPP healthcare’s #52LittleThings and I have been compensated for writing. However all words and thoughts were developed and written by members of The Oliver’s Madhouse

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Magic Moments 27/10/14

magic momentsWell what a week last week was, with interesting emails, horrific weather and some fantastic events I am hoping this one will be a little quieter … although I fear not as its now our half term and I am home alone with the toddler and teen from Tuesday! … eep!

Lets roll with some Magic as I think I will need it! …

Feel free to tweet me your links throughout the week several times if you would like and I will happily retweet you every time you do .. (please don’t tweet me every post you write this week .. just the Magic Moments one you linked up) 

Don’t forget there is a Magic Moments page on Google+ to, so if you are on G+ feel free to pop over and add your link and visit … also I have just created a Magic Moments collaborative Pintrest board too which you are more than welcome to pin your post onto too! Feel free to email me directly  ( jaime@theoliversmadhouse.co.uk ) so I can make sure I am following and that I can add you to the board too.

If you are new to Magic Moments you can find more information over HERE.

Don’t forget that linkys only work when people take the time to visit and share with others. With such a large crowd linking in please don’t think you have to comment on every one. I know many of you don’t have time for this and it’s unrealistic, however please visit as many as you can manage to share some love and build community spirit.

If you would like to join in  I would love it if you would pop on the Magic Moments badge or a link back to me  as it also helps others to see where you are linking up and they may decided to pop over and link up too! Remember the more people who take part and link up, the more people who are likely to visit, but this is only a polite request not a prerequisite.

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I’m Proud To Announce My Mumsnet Blogfest 2014 Sponsor

coca colaFor the last few weeks I have been hiding a little large secret …. 

Nope there is not yet another bun in the oven,

Nope I have not mastered the work/home life balance,

Nope again I am not 3 stones lighter,

Yep still struggling with early bedtimes and yes I am still a shouty driver… 

So what have I been getting excited about?

I have in fact been getting excited about the Mumsnet Blogfest conference that is gearing up for 8th November in London. More to the point I have biting my tongue not to tell anyone that I am being sponsored by the lovely folks over at Coca-Cola. 

Having fallen in love with the concept of their New Coca-Cola Life and their pro-activity at helping to get 1 million people active between now and 2020 … which for any regular reader will know is right up my street … literally, I am honoured that they are sponsoring me for this epically exciting conference! 

So if your heading to Blogfest not only will my happy face loitering round at the Coca-Cola stand there will also be the chance to try – Coca-Cola Life, their first lower calorie cola sweetened from natural sources!

If you are calling by the stand Fiona Angus, Science Manager, will be on hand to discuss Coca-Cola’s latest news, plus you can be in with a chance to win some special prizes! As may be expected from Coca-Cola we’ll be getting into the spirit of Christmas too, with some special festive treats to be shared at the stand! We look forward to catching up with friendly faces and getting to know new ones too.

So there you have it …. Jaime Oliver will be heading to this fantastic event with the support of Coca-Cola and I just cant wait! 

So who’s smiley happy face will I be seeing at blogfest?

magic moments linky

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