Pizza Making And Doughnut Decorating At The Num Noms Series 5 Launch

We kicked off our half term in a pretty spectacular way when we headed off to the Good Housekeeping Institute to celebrate the launch of the Num Noms Series 5.

For those of you that haven yet heard of Num Noms(where have you been) they are a range of collectibles that have been made to look and smell like food. They come in a whole range of different forms from lip glosses to nail polishes and so much more.

We were introduced to these cute little characters a while ago now and all three of my youngest have been really taken with them.

As we arrived at the Good Housekeeping Institute the celebrations were already starting and the entrance was covered with pretty balloons and we were welcomed with lots of friendly faces and so much for busy fingers to do!

The kids got stuck in straight away and loved seeing the new additions to an already great range. The most popular addition for my lot is definitely the lip glosses and they spent ages creating their own flavour.

It wasn’t long before we took to our seats and the event kicked off with an introduction from Nickelodeon’s Nigel Clarke. The first part of the day was pizza making, as the ingredients were being past round a room full to the brim with children I was more than a little anxious about how this would go, but the children were thoroughly engaged and enjoyed every minute of making their very own creations.

While their pizzas were cooking away they got the chance to make up some fruit kebabs which was pretty similar to the way Num Noms can be stacked and arranged which makes them a great for keeping little fingers occupied.

It really was a day full of experiencing, making and tasting different foods in different ways and I think one of the highlights of the day was hopping on a push bike that had a smoothie maker attached and cycling away to make our very own fruit smoothies.

Izzy however was a little preoccupied by the fact that Chloe Medows and Chloe Chloe Lewis from ‘The Only Way Is Essex’ were there and took half the afternoon plucking up the courage to ask for a selfie with them!

The last activity of the day though probably brought a bigger smile to my face than it did to the kids – doughnut decorating.

The kids were presented with two huge ring doughnuts each that they were then given free reign to decorate as they wished. Covered with all kinds of sweets and fab Num Nom stickers they all looked incredible.

After such an immense day the children were knocked off their feet again by taking home a goodie bag full to the brim with Num Noms goodies that they couldn’t resist opening on the train which made for a pretty messy journey home!

I know that mine were ecstatic about the new Series 5 and if you have a lover of collectables like me then check them out ‘here‘.

Exploring Stories With Pizza Express And Puffin Books

If a poll was taken with my family on which was their favourite restaurant I know that Pizza Express would win hands down!

The children love the delicious food that is served quickly to quash those all to familiar ‘I’m starving’ moans and as a parent I love the family friendly vibe that you get in each and every restaurant. The hustle and bustle means I don’t feel I need to be continually asking the kids to be quiet and with the great activities that are always on offer there is actually not much chance for fidgety bums and fingers to get restless.

It was in fact an exciting new activity pack and competition that Puffin Books have created for Pizza Express that saw us making our way to one of their Brighton branches last week.

We were taken to our seats by our super friendly waiter that handed the children their activities packs and they got started on them straight away. The Story Explorers Adventure Journal was full to the brim with activities and games inspired by different books and it really got the children’s creative juices flowing.

After trying to create their own Grey Huffley from their favourite series – Diary Of A Wimpy Kid they feasted on a starter of dough balls and vegetable crudités while I indulged in some delicately battered calamari that I had to keep Izzy away from!

Actually if you are a fans of Diary Of The Wimpy Kid too then there is a brilliant competition you can enter where you can design your own book cover and submit it online for your chance to win a family portrait down for you by Jeff Kinney, the author of Diary Of A Wimpy Kid himself.

As we waited on our mains we were treated to a visit from caricaturist Sean Savage who created a fantastic portrait of us all. The kids absolutely loved it and found the size of my teeth hilarious!

With our special memento safely tucked away we ate a delicious selection of pizza and pasta that didn’t fail to disappoint.

Aside from being so family friendly another highlight of Pizza Express for us is the way they cater for Frankie and his multiple allergies. The kids menu can be adapted perfectly which always makes him feel inclusive rather than having to have something completely different which can happen in so many other restaurants.

We had a quick break between courses where it was Izzy’s job to make up the chatter boxes that came in the activity packs. These are always a hit with us and they played for ages asking each other questions to unveil the final answer.

A meal out isn’t complete without desert and at Pizza Express you really are spoilt for choice. The children dived into ice cream sundaes and brownies whilst I went for the mini biscoff cheesecake dolcetti which I told myself was a lighter option!

Full to the brim and bursting with ideas on stories they were going to create and illustrate when they got home really meant that Pizza Express has been a feast for our minds as well as our bellies and we highly reccomend a trip there soon so you don’t miss out on all the fun!

*Collaborated post

Pizza, Prosecco and Live Music At Pizza Express

Pizza Express is always top of our list when it come to eating out as a family.

Their lively restaurants and good food make the perfect combination for us and brings us back time and time again.

It is however very rare for me to visit without the children, so when I was asked to come along to the newly refurbished Pizza Express Live in Holborn with a group of lovely bloggers then I was very excited to see what kind of a night I had in store.

At the far end of a extremely busy restaurant I spotted a table with lots of ladies and lots of cameras and I knew they was were I needed to be heading.

After a full on day of running around town this evening was just what I needed to relax and catch up with some familiar and some not so faces.

We were soon introduced to the manager who had a fun evening planned with us starting by getting a little messy!

Pizza making is something I have looked on from afar in Pizza Express, leaving it down to the children to get creative, but it was going to be my turn to don the white hat and get stuck in.

We were talked though each and every step and I can tell you forming a pizza base is way harder than it looks!

Bases swirled and twirled we added our topping and whilst they were cooking we had some time to chat over one…or two glasses of Prosecco!

So far the evening had been a lot of fun but I was still none the wiser as to why this beautiful new restaurant had the addition of the word ‘Live’ to it.

This all became apparent when we were shown to the middle of the restaurant and lead down the metal swirling staircase to the basement into an area that I would never have imagined seeing in a Pizza Express restaurant.

It was more like an über cool city members club with dark wood and plush velvet, sutble mood lighting and delicate glass wear.

This fabulous new area is set to be the place to come for top live entertainment 7 nights a week as of September.

Acts such as Martin Kemp and Mica Paris are a few faces set to take to this stage along with a whole host of other familiar names.

For me this evening really turned my thoughts on Pizza Express dining on their head and from having a very narrow minded outlook on what they have to offer I can now see that this would make a superb venue for a date night or a night out with friends.

I am hoping to have another visit in September to see the venue in full swing and soak up the fabulous atmosphere that I know it’s going to to create.  

*collaborated post

Quirky Gifts For Teens With Qwerkity

Presents for teenage kids are notoriously hard to buy for, with my fourteen year old son being the hardest of all.

I should be happy with the fact that he rarely asks for anything but when it comes to birthdays and Christmas it can be a real pain as I don’t even know where to start.

I always end up with the usual video games, smelly sets and chocolate which gets boring for me to buy so must be really boring for him to receive.

Luckily inspiration came my way in the form of a great website that has a whole host of different gifts for teenagers  that would please even the trickiest customer!

Archie’s room is usually awash with piles of rubbish and dirty clothes so what would fit in more perfectly then a stool disguised as a stack of pizza boxes.

The incredible cardboard stool pizza box is a super cool stool make of corrugated cardboard that fits together in nine easy steps.

It is just as easy to fold up as it is to assemble and can hold up to an unbelievable 200kg.

This would be such a cool addition to any teens room and has been a real talking point for all his friends.

Let’s just hope he doesn’t decide to recreate one with real boxes!

* I was given this stool for the purpose of this review and they are all my own honest opinion.

Celebrating National Pizza Day With Sweetpea Pantry

Who doesn’t like pizza would be an easier question to ask than who does.
Pizza is the the most popular choice when it comes to takeaways with pepperoni coming in as the top choice; and if you thought pizza was a relatively new thing you would be very far from the truth as the first ever pizzeria was opened in Italy way back in 1738!

There are a whole variety of toppings available now and as a family we love evenings of making up our own combinations.

It is the perfect meal to allow everyone to get hands on and pick the things they they really like.

To celebrate National Pizza Day I have joined up with the lovely people at Sweetpea Pantry who challenged us to create on own pizza using their fab Playful Pizza Dough Mix.

A while ago we were lucky enough to try out their Ginger Giggles Biscuit Mix and were more than impressed with the child friendly mixes that are easy to prepare, healthy and great fun.

The Playful Pizza Mix lived up to what I expected and created the perfect base to make our creation.


I decided to steer away from the norm and create a sweet pizza but keeping  sugar to a minimum with a few products that are low in sugar but still taste good.

Take a look and see if it is something you fancy giving a try, it would actually be the perfect treat for Valentine’s Day!

Chocolate Heart Pizza

  • Pack of Playful Pizza Dough
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g dairy free milk choc chips
  • 50g dairy free white choc chips
  • 300g Jim Jams reduced sugar hazelnut spread
  • 50g freedom vegetarian mini marshmallows
  • Handful of raspberries
  1. Mix the dough according to the instructions.
  2. Once ready take one of the three dough balls and create a heart shape leaving a slight lip around the edge to create the crust.
  3. Prick the dough with a fork and cook for 10 mins.
  4. Take out and allow to cool slightly.
  5. Next take the hazelnut spread and cover the base.
  6. Sprinkle over the chocolate chips first, followed by the marshmallows and finally add a few raspberries to the very top.
  7. Place under the grill until the marshmallows have slightly toasted and the chocolate has melted slightly.

Let me know if you give this a try as I would love to know what you think!

GB Pizza Review:Pizza Like No Other

From the moment I stepped through the doors of GB Pizza I knew this was going to be the perfect place for us.

Dark grey walls that had been brightened with flashes of neon pink lighting, exposed brickwork and quirky art work is exactly the kind of decor that draws me in.


We made our way to the till where we were greeted with a smile and explained to how the restaurant works.

The laid back approach to dining was a real hit, especially with two hungry, fidgeting mouths to feed.

If I’m honest pizza is never something I pick out of choice but the rest of the family adore it and with a gluten free option for number four I was more than willing to give it a go.

I was really impressed with their alternative menu.  Never before have I seen toppings such as Parma ham and nectarine or pear and English blue cheese.

My other half being a lover of basic food went for a margarita that that have cleverly used a play on words to create their own ‘Margate-rita’, the boys shared a gluten free pepperoni and I went for the pear and English blue cheese.


We took our seats outside to take in the beautiful view whist sipping on a glass of fabulous white wine from the restaurants temperate controlled barrels that you can top up yourself when you fancy!


After only a short wait our thin, crispy and perfectly topped pizzas arrived on beatiful wooden paddles with A cute instruction list on how best to eat them!

I can honestly say on my first mouthful this lady that can normally take or leave a pizza was completely converted.

They were the perfect size, the flavours complimented each other beautifully and I wasn’t left with that horrible bloated feeling you can sometimes get from pizza.

The boys demolished theirs with no problem which is a rarity and I had to stop my husband from going back for seconds!

Pudding is usually off limits to number four, but much to his excitement there was a gooey gluten free treacle tart with his name on it.

His little face lit up when it was brought out and by sneeking a bite to eat whilst he wasn’t looking I could completely see why.

I have earmarked some georgous looking browines from sampling on our next trip!

All there is left to say is that a pizza restaurant that can convert a sceptic and can easily cater for out little allergy boy is a winner in our eyes and will be luring us back on our next visit to Margate.

Allergy Friendly Pizzas

Saturday nights should be about rubbish food and easy watching TV with the family. 

With number four’s allergies the biggest no no is pizza so instead of ordering a big greasy takeaway we love to get the kids involved and make our own pizzas so that number four doesn’t get to miss out on the fun.

This allergy friendly pizza crust recipe is fine for the whole family but to be honest the others prefer a normal base.

We let the children chose which topping they like and let them get on and get creative.

   
 

Here is my pizza crust recipe if you fancy giving it a go:

Allergy Friendly Pizza Crust

  • 450g Wheat Free Flour
  • 3/4tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2tsp Baking Powder
  • 1tsp Sugar
  • 1tbsp Yeast
  • 360ml Warm Water
  • 1tbsp Olive Oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C 160CFan or gas Mark 5.
  2. Combine half the water with the yeast and leave for about five minutes.  Add the sugar after the first few minutes.
  3. In another bowl add the flour and baking powder and mix well.
  4. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the yeast mixture, oil and the rest of the water.  Stir well with a wooden spoon.
  5. Take the dough and place onto a floured surface and form your pizza base.  Place into a lightly greased tray and cook for around 30mins.
  6. Remove from the oven and cover with a tomato sauce base and your favourite ingredients.
  7. Place back into the oven and cook for another 20 mins.

    

We had a selection of cheese, ham, pepperoni, sweetcorn, olives and peppers.

   
 

The children loved the whole process and cleared their plates.

What is your favourite pizza topping?