Monthly Archives: January 2014

Review of Axel Scheffler’s Noisy Jungle and Competition!

I am a big fan of reading with my boys, it’s good for them and I really enjoy it! When we got the chance to review a fabulous new book from Campbell books called Noisy Jungle by Axel Scheffler (you might remember him as the illustrator of the Gruffalo!) Noisy Jungle is counting book, with fun noise buttons to press as you read, E loved counting as we read the fun rhyming story and dancing to the jungle rhythms on the monkey button!

It is beautifully illustrated, and at the end it encourages imaginative play with a task of what noise does this animal make (although E just wanted to press all the buttons the first time we read the book!). E really enjoyed spotting the parrot hiding on each page and he tells me that his favourite animal is the elephants! I think this is a lovely book, beautifully illustrated and enjoyable to read with my children. I also like the fact that as it is so colourful, both boys have sat and looked at it together! You can also replace the batteries once they run out too, which means the book can be loved with its sounds over and over again!

Axel Scheffler’s Noisy Jungle is available from all good book shops from 30th January 2014 RRP £12.99 if you’d like the chance to WIN a copy follow the simple steps below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
PLEASE NOTE: ANON comments which are left without a twitter ID or name which matches rafflecopter ID will not be deemed as valid entries, please ensure I can identify you in case you win!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book for the purposes of an honest review. Win competitions at

Standing on a platform.. Vintage Footwear.. #MagpieMonday

A couple of weeks ago, Mr G and I went to a 70’s themed party and we went on a special shopping expedition just for the occasion! I have to confess Mr G did rather better than I did, finding himself a marvellous 1972 (yes it is actually dated!) rusty red corduroy jacket some fabulously hideous brown synthetic fitted trousers! I had all but given up hope when I started chatting to a lady I know in one of the shops, who said she might have just the thing and then presenting me with a pair of platform shoes which literally made me squeal! I have a real fascination with shoes, and these are a genuine pair of 1970’s platforms, even better they fitted perfectly and were remarkably easy to walk in. The negative was they made me 6ft4.. 

They actually have a marvellous pink tinge to them and everyone made so many comments about how fabulous they were! I have to confess I think I might have to wear them again on a girls night out! 

Ms G xx


Meal Planning Monday W/C 13/01/2014 Grocery Budgeting..

For the next couple of months, I’m examining our food shopping, how we spend our budget and where we could “improve”. I have to confess, I am not intent on being frugal, I want to be able to eat the things we want to, I just think we could save money and be a tiny bit healthier along the way. This week we’ve heavily reduced our spend in the supermarket, we appeared to have loads of shopping for our reduced spend, but the really dramatic change was this was all real food, no ready made processed foods. OK, this means I’m going to have to cook from scratch, but this is a huge change to our usual shopping bills and we usually run out of food by the end of the week.. 


Chunky Vegetable Soup with home made bread

Spaghetti Bolognese 

Vegetable Curry

Grilled Cod with Rice & steamed Vegetables

Pasta with Tomato & bacon sauce

Cheesy Potato Pie

Chicken Pie with Vegetables.


Apple Crumble
Apple Pie
Sticky Toffee Apple Pudding with custard.

(Yes we still have an apple glut, but this is the last of them!).


Sandwiches (on home made bread) these are for lunch boxes Mon- Fri ; Cheese, Egg Mayo.. and all their variations!

Scrambled Egg on toast.


Tonight is all about the chunky soup, and I am already excited! x

Meal Planning Monday going to be all about ice-cream and muddy walks..

It’s been so long since I’ve sat down and written anything, that I’m struggling to know where to begin. Ignoring the 25 hour power cut which ended at 3.30pm on Christmas Eve, the wet weather which has left the garden looking more like a mud bath.. Christmas was good, it was kind to us, we had power and we didn’t flood, so many weren’t in the same position so I count my blessings. The lack of power meant I read the entire book shelf to the boys, and realised that we need to do some book shopping as most of the books Boo started reading to me! We had lots of family time, and even managed a few muddy walks as a family and with our friends too! I had won a Marwell zoo family day pass just before Christmas and we managed to pick a relatively dry day to visit, the boys were delighted and it made a lovely treat. We didn’t manage to see the baby pigmy hippo unfortunately, but the boys were captivated by the snow leopards and we then all sat in the cold enjoying a little sunshine and eating an ice cream!

 We’ve decided 2014 needs to be all about being outside and eating ice-cream, as we’ve had more laughs in the first week of 2014 (complete with muddy walks and random ice-cream stops in the pouring rain!) than we did in much of 2013. My aim is that every Sunday whatever the weather we’ll take ourselves out on a long walk and end it with an ice-cream (whether at home from the freezer or from the nearest shop!). Yes I must be mad, but 2014 is going to be fun, and the only way it will be fun is if I make it so! Our plan for this weekend involves a bike ride for the boys, as Elvis is getting a balance bike for his Birthday on Saturday, I’ll write a post to let you know how we get on!

Ms G x