Cornflake Cakes


Teddy had been asking for ages to make rice crispie cake …every day ….for about 2 weeks !!! So on the first day of half term we did just that … actually he changed his mind in the supermarket and chose cornflakes instead … but hey crispies/cornflakes … no matter !!!

My kitchen is tiny .. and the worktop space minimal (and badly designed )but with a bit of taking in turns … and a little bit of compromise  we managed to get those cornflake cakes good and ready for tea time treats ….

Teddy’s Cornflake Cakes

50g butter

150g milk chocolate

3 tbsp. golden syrup

100g cornflakes


Put the cornflakes  in a large bowl . Now pop the butter , chocolate and syrup into  pan and melt together over a low heat.

Once the chocolate and butter has melted pour over the cornflakes and mix well to cover all the cornflakes .


Now spoon the mixture into 12 cupcake cases and pop in the fridge for an hour to set .

These didn’t actually last long enough for me to take a picture of the finished cakes ! The gannets descended pretty rapidly …..

Book Review : The Little Old Lady Who Struck Lucky Again !


Have you ever found yourself sitting in a day dream  wondering what you will be like when you get old  ? I don’t mean 40 old … ( after all 40 is young isn’t it … ahem ?? ) I mean like old old …. ??? I had never really given it much thought until I started working with the elderly … and I sometimes find myself looking into their faces as I’m calling the bingo or serving them dinner and thinking * Who are you ? Who have you been ? What have you done ? What were your dreams ? ” Questions I don’t really get to ask them  but wish I did !! Now I look into myself and ask the question … who do I want to be ?

Well let me tell you .. in The Little Old Lady Who Struck Lucky Again ! you come across some fantastic characters who might give you some ideas ! A crack team of elderlies … the “Outlaw Oldies”  who take from the rich and give to the poor ! Quite the modern day Robin Hood and his Merry Men .. or in this case Martha and her League of Pensioners !

The book takes you on an adventure starting of in Las Vegas where the team pull off a simply stunningly beautiful casino heist  whilst inadvertently being party to a team of master jewel thieves … but it doesn’t stop there ! Under the façade of a group of honestly simple living old people who sew , play cards  and read mostly they plan and execute the most intricate of crimes … all for the greater good !!! You can’t help but love this clever bunch of Swedish oldies   never feeling slightly off kilter due to the obvious Swedish references and words  as these only serve to enhance the closeness of the reader to the characters .

I love how the author has invited us into this canny gang and we can wheel away with the adventure as they pit themselves against a gang of dangerous younger criminals to get the pot of gold ! I’m not going to  spoil the ending for you all but can you imagine what will happen ?? Old and genteel Vs Young & dangerous …. Who will prevail to get the biggest heist of their lives ?? Only time will tell …

So in answer to my question .. who do I want to be ? I’d love to be a breakfast liquer , whisky quaffing bank robber when i’m 80 odd  but in reality I want to have a good , interesting life  ( which may or may not .. it will … involve champagne and banks )  … one where if I’m sat in a lunch club aged almost 99  that I can say to the “young” girl  running it … I had a good life … sit down let me tell you about it ….  That’s who I want to be !!

I loved this book as you can probably tell … definitely a good exciting read for any reader ….  It’s a steal !!!!!

Catharina Ingelman-Sunburg  The Author

Catharina Ingelman-Sunburg
The Author

Weight Watchers Week One

Well Christmas is over once more … and the saving begins again !! Whilst it may have left me with an empty purse it appears it also left me with a few extra pounds in weight ! Cheers for that !! Of course I can’t blame Christmas entirely … I was the one wantonly stuffing chocolates and sugared almonds down my throat and happily quaffing champers and gallons of wine … and it was me who upon opening my Mum’s fridge discovered the delights of Alcoholic dandelion and burdock … I kid you not !!!

Anyhow … I decided now is my time to act … I turn 40 in 12 months time and I do not want to be fat at forty ! So I weighed up the odds .. bit the proverbial bullet and joined a weight watchers meeting … ! I wouldn’t say I was overly surprised at the weight the scales blatantly displayed … flashing away in my pudgy face with an almost audible sigh of relief as I stepped off … but I was disgusted in myself ! I’m bigger now than I ever was when full term pregnant with twins !! How bad is that ??? So I got my book from my new leader , listened to her spiel and headed home to discover the new me …

The first week was great .. religiously counting and tracking my pro points of  everything I ate and drank .. using my weekly extras to indulge in a glass of wine or 2 .. or 3  ! I never felt deprived of anything as I could have what I wanted … or choose a healthy alternative … I found myself cooking proper meals … instead of relying on my old friends at Spice of Life … and in return for my good behaviour the tale of the scale on my first weekly weigh in  was a loss of 3lb !!! I’m happy with that !!

Next weigh in is next Tuesday …. I’ve not been as good this week but I have been exercising so i’m hoping to balance of the loss with extra workouts !!! We shall see ….. Stay tuned x

My Before picture

My Before picture

Santa Claus is coming to town … at The National Forest Adventure farm


Are you still looking for the perfect Father Christmas experience to keep the magic of Christmas alive ?? Well look no further … I think I found it right here in the Midlands ! I make no secret of the fact that we all love it at the national Forest Adventure Farm in Burton on Trent but we had never experienced Christmas there … having only discovered it earlier this year !!

We certainly weren’t disappointed !!! Entrance is £6.75 per child with one adult going FREE with each paying child …. this entrance entitles you to use all the facilities … the indoor play area , the giant Christmas Pudding bouncy castle , the outside play area , the barrel stampede ride , the barn …. everything ! And for Christmas there is also Elf School and Elf Sing a Long’s … so much fun ! The farm is fully decorated indoor and out and looks fantastic … the plethora of Elves wandering around and being jolly pleasant to everyone just adds to the atmosphere … The indoor Winter Wonderland with father Christmas’ cabin in the middle is just magical !! For an extra £5  your little ones  can go and spend time with Santa … each child is allocated a time slot so you are not rushed in and out … Your child gets to have a proper chat with father Christmas so he knows exactly what is on their list ! You are then shown into the Elves workshop where your child can choose whichever toy they like from the admirable display … My two chose Teddy Bears !!

Elf School

Elf School

Santa's Sleigh

Santa’s Sleigh

Elf & Safety

Elf & Safetynf4


We again managed to spend the whole day down on the farm with the boys having an amazing day … Seeing santa was quite literally the icing on the cake !! So if you are looking for an enchanting experience for your children this Christmas … you really ought to get down to the National Forest Adventure farm this weekend …

Family Fun on the Farm

Family Fun on the Farm

Christmas Fireside Stories

xmas jpeg (1)

Have you ever just wanted to curl up in a ball in front of the fire and while away a few hours in another world ?? Well this book is the perfect accompaniment to that fireside dream …. A book jam packed with short stories set in Christmases of yesteryear ….. extracts of the authors new books , Christmas memories of the authors own childhood Christmases and   ending on a fine quarry of favourite Christmas recipes ….

I have never been a fan of short stories and I’m a bit greedy and always want more , always want the story to last but in all honesty these stories were perfect ! They were long enough to be meaningful but short enough that I didn’t forget to make breakfast, dinner and tea ….

Here the authors tell you what their story is about in their own words …

Can you tell us a little bit about the short story in Christmas Fireside Stories?

Rita Bradshaw

The heroine, Kate, is one of the brave and gutsy characters I mentioned earlier and she is fighting to keep herself and her two children out of the workhouse after her husband died.

Annie Murray

I decided that I’d like to write something set in the Victorian era, which is something I’ve never done before. It’s a time which our Christmases still seem to look back to, in terms of the traditional style of it. After all, Prince Albert is credited with introducing the Christmas tree from Germany. Also, I love trains and railways and the idea of steam engines and a group of people on a little branch line caught in the snow seemed very promising. Dear old Thomas the dutiful station master who finds women scary seemed to start talking to me in a clear voice right from the beginning…

Mary Wood

Here, I have to admit that short stories weren’t my forte. I am the girl that used to get into trouble at school for writing a novel when just a composition was called for. I cannot stop writing when I start. So, this was a new discipline for me. I was greatly helped by my lovely editor, Louise Buckley. She suggested that I based my story on the characters of my latest book, Proud of You. And so, I tackled it as if I was writing a new chapter of the book. The three friends, Alice, the posh and very rich girl, Lil, the northern lass, who is a nurse, and Gillian, the East-Ender, who is a Land Girl, come together at Christmas. Alice, who was once a patient in the Military Hospital where Lil works, visits and is inspired to try to give the wounded officers a great Boxing day. There are emotion-clouding moments, and relationships coming to new Plato’s, heart-warming moments and heart-rending ones, as together, they try to mend ‘A Wounded Christmas’.

Diane Allen

My story Christmas at Briar Farm is based loosely on my childhood growing up on a remote farm in the Yorkshire Dales. I wrote it through the little girls (Carol’s ) eyes as I think Christmas is all about children. It tells the story of a Yorkshire Farm at Christmas and the celebrations that involve all the family.

Pam Weaver

It must have been terrible to get one of those telegrams during the war, but it must have been doubly difficult if you were the bearer of that bad news. John is only seventeen and not only suffering the pangs of unrequited love, but he has to deliver a telegram to the girl of his dreams. What else would be in a telegram but bad news…

Margaret Dickinson

Several of my books have WW1 as the background and it seemed appropriate this year especially to write about the Christmas Truce of 1914.

A perfect stocking filler for the discerning reader ….

The Nativity !!! The results are in ….

Well it’s all go in this house right now … the nativity parts have been allocated !!! I have one choir member and a King Herod … !! Not just a King Herod … a King Herod with A LINE !!! One whole line …!!! I’m not sure if Teddy could actually be any more excited !!! Frank is totally nonplussed by it all and is spending his time practising the songs and thinking about how to accessorize his dressing gown and tea towel ensemble !!!

They have taken to googling and you tubing other primary schools renditions of the songs they are learning … It’s so funny to watch ! So Funny but so amazing …. these two fantastic little boys so immersed in the Christmas Story ! Sometimes I think my heart might burst !!!

Don’t worry I’ve not forgotten Billy – he’s still 14 and still PS4 obsessed !! I can’t wait to drag him to Carols by Candlelight …. ** evil laugh**

So I’ll keep you posted … King Herod and a singer in the choir … this Nativity is going to ROCK !!

You tubing the nativity !!

You tubing the nativity !!

Spudtastic Times at The national Forest Adventure Farm

boysand forks

The boys and I have found a new favourite place … and it’s literally on our doorstep !! We were invited during the summer to try out the National Forest Adventure Farm  in Burton on Trent  … so off we went totally unsure of what to expect !! It was brilliant … the boys adored the indoor play area with its abundance of slides  and ball pit and nets and …and … well lets just say we could easily have lost them in there for hours and they wouldn’t have blinked an eye !!

We then went outside   and played on tractors , petted the baby animals … ooohed and aaaahed at the calves and the piglets …. milked the cow … raced  the go karts … played on the assault course … looked longingly at the super soakers ….. !!! So much to do  …

We moved on and discovered the scarecrows … !! We MADE a scarecrow or two .. joining in with the world record breaking attempt for the most scarecrows !!! We are now world record holders … amazing !!!



We then went on to the Maize Maze where we promptly got lost for an age … finally reaching the exit after an hour in the sunshine !! At times I thought we’d be lost for ever !!!  Such alot of fun !!


We packed so much into one day we couldn’t wait to go back …. and so we did .. last month when we were invited to go potato picking !!! By now the Maize maze had shut for the winter months ready for replanting for next summer but that didn’t hold us back … after playing on everything again , seeing all the animals again , watching the pig racing ( yes really ) …


playing Frisbee Golf ( Yes … really !)  and going on the barrel stampede we headed  over to the potato field where we had loads of fun harvesting our own spuds !! The boys got all farmerific on me and wielded their pitchforks with aplomb … I was a very proud Mum that day !!


With bags of spuds in hands and sweat on our brows … we headed back to the go karts and played a little more !!!!

We have had two fantastic days out courtesy of the National Forest Adventure Farm  … and I know you and yours will too if you give it a try !!! We love it so much we are going back again  in a few weeks for the Pumpkin harvest and the Hallowe’en Half Term Spooktacular …. and I simply can’t wait for the Special Christmas Events in the pipeline !!!

We have landed on our feet finding this gem on our doorstep … Go try it out !!  We’ll probably be there ….