Farewell Team Lloyd Towers

*Waves* Gosh it has been a while hasn’t it?

I don’t really have any excuses why I haven’t blogged, I guess sometimes you can lose your mojo. And I just haven’t had the time to go searching for it. However like many many bloggers this weekend I was at BritmumsLive and if anything can motivate you to write again it is listening to the Blogger Keynotes.

So things have been achanging here at Team Lloyd Towers. Back in the dark, cold, wet winter, Daddy Lloyd and I had a romantic idea that for Christmas 2014 we would love to be somewhere different, we wanted to wake up on Christmas Morning in the next phase of our family adventure. We decided to sell Team Lloyd Towers and embark on owning a grown up house.

Little did we realise at the time that finding a home that compared to Team Lloyd Towers was no easy task, there were many, many many viewings with us always saying “….but Team Lloyd Towers has this, has a bigger this, is better because of this…”

Then one day in Mid February we found her. We found our next home. The one problem being, she only had one row of bricks literally marking out the foundations. Could we do it? Could we wait till she was built? It was scary but we thought we could just maybe. It would mean renting after our sale completed until she was ready. Could we have no fixed abode for a few months? It was scary, and a big gigantic decision. We decided to leap and trust our instincts an offer was put in and accepted.

Fast forward to June and Moving Day Part 1 has happened, we said such a sad goodbye to Team Lloyd Towers, I have to say the happiest place we have ever lived. We were so proud of our home, when visitors came in they always gasped and we always grinned. Most of our friends would compare Team Lloyd Towers to Rachel and Monica’s flat in Friends, and in the end we felt the same. Team Lloyd Towers saw everything. Laughter, Happiness, Tears, Sadness and Memories. Oh so many memories. Through everything we felt safe inside the Tower, it was part of us. But just like Monica and Chandler it is time to move on. It was our first home, and it was a happy home.

Farewell Team Lloyd Towers

Now, just to wait until our new home is ready. A summer of camping? Bring It On!

 

Recipe: Sausage & Mushroom Gnocchi

This Bank Holiday I was lucky enough to be invited to be #MorrisonsMum, which I think is a great excuse for posting a recipe! We actually use Morrisons on a weekly basis particularly for their delicious fresh fruit – B Lloyd LOVES having a fresh fruit salad for snack-time at school! As delicious as it is though, Fresh Fruit Salad wouldn’t make much of a recipe:

  1. Get Fruit.
  2. Cut Up Fruit.
  3. Eat Fruit.

So, I decided it was time to let everyone in on the secret of one our favourite recipes over at Team Lloyd Towers: Sausage and Mushroom Gnocchi.

It sounds fancy, it looks fancy and it even tastes a bit fancy, but this recipe is super quick, super easy and (if you shop at the right place…) super cheap! Here’s another top tip too: we only use 4 sausages in the recipe but they come in packs of 6 – we cook all 6 of them anyway and put the 2 left over in the fridge for the next day. Daddy Lloyd loves having them sliced up in a couple of soft white rolls with a little butter and some Caramelised Red Onion Chutney from Morrisons “The Best” range. Yummy!

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the recipe. Give it a try and let me know how you get on!


 

Ingredients:Sausage & Mushroom Gnocchi

  • Morrisons Signature Thick Pork & Bramley Apple Sausages
  • 400 g Potato Gnocchi
  • 125 g Chestnut Mushrooms
  • Small Red Onion
  • Green Pepper
  • Cloves of Garlic
  • 100 ml Creme Fraiche
  • 20 g Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 100 g Grated Cheddar

Recipe:

First, prick the sausages and cook them under a medium/high grill for about 20 minutes, turning them every 3-4 minutes until they’re nice and brown all over. While the sausages are cooking, cut your mushrooms into thin slices, coarsely dice the onions & pepper and finely chop the garlic.

Once the sausages are cooked, remove them from under the grill and put aside for a moment. Place a deep frying pan with a splash of olive oil (or a little slice of butter if you’ve got it) on a medium heat hob and boil a full kettle ready for the gnocchi. Add the mushrooms, pepper, onion and garlic to the hot pan and fry for a couple of minutes until the mushrooms start to change colour. While the veggies are frying, slice up the sausages and add them to the pan. Once all the sausages are in, add the creme fraiche and the parmigiano reggiano. Stir it all up so the creme fraiche covers everything.

At this point your kettle should have finished boiling. Pour the water into a saucepan on a high heat, add a pinch of salt and return to the boil. Add the gnocchi and turn down to medium. As soon as the first piece of gnocchi start to rise to the surface (probably after a couple of minutes), use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water and add them straight into your sausage & mushroom sauce.

Once all the gnocchi are in the sauce, stir to make sure they all get a nice covering. Serve in two pasta bowls and sprinkle the cheddar over the top to garnish. Enjoy!


 

Disclaimer: Team Lloyd were paid by Morrisons and BritMums to write this post. They didn’t pay us to eat the sausage and mushroom gnocchi though, but we did and it was yummy.

Chessington World Of Adventures

10 Top Tips on Surviving a British Theme Park on a Bank Holiday…..

Most of you know that here at Team Lloyd Towers we are huge Lego Fans and spend most of our summer days exploring the wonderful world of Legoland, so when we were asked to look at the #Sunfessions competition that the Sun+ Newspaper are running we jumped at the chance to visit a different theme park. Head over there to join up for a £1 and bag yourself two free adult tickets to a Merlin Attraction.

So having chosen to go on a Bank Holiday we decided what other better write up than a 10 Top Tips to get the most out of your day,

1) Pre book your tickets
Chessington World of Adventures actually gives some really good online offers if you prebook your tickets in advance, and actually what is even better if you select a day that ends up raining, they will reissue your ticket if it rains for more than 60 mins during your visit…so you get to go on another day!

By being organised and prebooking your tickets you get to be one of those smug people that just walks past all the queues for tickets and head straight into the park to start your fun!

2) Pre Order Fast Pass Tickets
If you do insist on going on a public bank holiday day you have to be prepared to queue. There is a great little app you can download that gives you the real time queue times of each ride but we were seeing queue times of 130 mins so fast passes were a god send! We pre ordered ours and when we went to collect them we were told that they had been selling out all week by 30 mins after opening, so we had done well to pre order!

3) Eat Early
When you have little people with you, its not that inconvenient to eat early! And it saved us another massive wait time! We went to the Pizza Pasta Buffet Bar in the Market Square at 11.30am and got a table immediately, by the time we had been to the loo and washed our hands we were eating by 11.45 and watching as the restaurant filled up. By 12.05 the queue was around the Market Square and we were happily tucking into another slice of pizza!

4) Plan Your Day Planning Meeting
Now here at Team Lloyd Towers we are probably the most laid back go with the flow family when it comes to our adventures, we like to see where the day takes us and we will go with it – BUT to survive a busy day we sat and worked out our plan of action and which rides we most definitely wanted to fit into our day.

5) Visit The Zoo

Now Daddy Lloyd is not the keenest on Zoo’s and often will avoid such places but B Lloyd was extremely excited to learn that Chessington World of Adventures also had a zoo alongside all the rides. We headed here in the afternoon and it was a perfect break from all the queues and noise of the rest of the park. The penguins were the biggest hit with us and we sat and watched them for ages!

6) Take Regular Breaks
This tip is particularly good for those families with smaller children as well, we found that even though it wasn’t a particularly hot day standing in the queues and getting squashed whilst waiting to go on the rides makes everyone a bit hot and thirsty. We scheduled in plenty of loo breaks, drinks breaks and most importantly…… doughnut breaks!

7) Find The Alternative Doughnut Huts….

Being regulars at Legoland also does have it’s advantages, we knew that the mini doughnuts are to die for so we planned early we would have a doughnut stop! But again with it being such a busy day we avoided the main doughnut stand in the Market Square and headed back to the main entrance where there is a smaller doughnut stand but by the middle of the afternoon is almost not used so within minutes we were sat with our *coughs* 10 mini doughnuts, strawberry, chocolate and caramel dipping sauces and watching the penguins!

8) Pick The Ride You Most Want To Go On

This may sound silly but when you are faced with long queue times for every ride you may need to prioritise and agree amongst you all which is the biggest, fasted ride you ALL want to go on. If you can agree on that then you are all more likely to not minding waiting in that queue line. For us the one ride we all wanted to go on was the brand new ride Scorpion Express and it was worth the wait!

9) Agree On A Time To Leave

We have always felt that once we have had our fun for the day it is nice to relax and head home as soon as you feel ready, waiting till the park closes can be fun but you are very likely to get stuck in traffic leaving the park, so we always tend to head home late afternoon. B Lloyd is always given plenty of warning and is usually more than happy to fall into the car happy and tired!

10) Remember Where You Parked

We learnt the best trick in Disney last year and we always note down where we left the car at the start of the day – Chessington World of Adventures has SO many green fields it could get very confusing, they have helpfully named each field after a bird, and a quick and easy way of knowing which one you need to head back to is taking a snap on your phone as you walk into the park first thing in the morning!

Come and join in the fun! The Sun is running its ever popular Sun Superdays as well as a great competition whereby using the hashtag #Sunfessions you can enter to win £250 towards a day out at one of the Merlin Attractions. All you have to do share a cringeworthy or funny parental confession on Twitter and Instagram, along with the hashtag #Sunfession. This could be anything from embarrassing your kids in front of their friends, telling them a little white lie to get you out of a tough spotor accidentally destroying their Lego masterpiece whilst clearing up. So what are you waiting for?

Here is our #sunfession We told a toddler B Lloyd that it was “dangerous” to get out of bed by herself in the night time when she first went into a big girl bed – it worked we never had any nighttime visits :)

Disclaimer We were sent two free adult passes into Chessington World of Adventures and a monetary contribution to our day, all opinions and thoughts are Team Lloyd’s own.

 

Photo of The Week

Photo of The Week

Team Lloyd

The month of December is full of Family Traditions here at Team Lloyd Towers, so many in fact that we sometimes run out of days to fit them all in! This year we have had to make way for a new tradition, a visit to Father Christmas at Lego Lap Land. We are already massive Lego and Legoland Windsor Fans in this house so when Santa wrote to B Lloyd on her birthday and invited her to visit him there we just couldn’t say no!

What better than lego decorations for your christmas tree, AND we got to make them ourselves. Photo of The Week is all down to the clever building of one B Lloyd.

Have you got a photo you are proud of this week? Why not link up with Photo of The Week?



Photo of The Week

Photo of The Week

Team Lloyd
I love nothing more than playing with B Lloyd’s hair…I love making new braids in her hair and I take lots of inspiration from YouTube and Pinterest. This is one of my favourites the Waterfall Braid. Not a great photo technically but I was just snapping on my iPhone this week!
Thank you for all joining in with Photo of The Week, come showcase them again this week and I will share, comment, tweet and pin!



Photo of The Week

Photo of The Week

Team Lloyd

Introducing our GOOD little witch. B Lloyd is very insistant that she is a GOOD witch, not a bad one. For all those eagle eyed Harry Potter fans out there – yes that is a real Harry Potter (or rather Hermione) wand.

So what did you get up to for Hallowe’en?

As there was some technical difficulties last week I have decided to try out a different linky host this week, hopefully this one should work! So please join in below, visit the others in the list and I will comment, share, and pin all your hardwork!



Photo of The Week

Photo of The Week

Team Lloyd

It’s all gone a little spooky here at Team Lloyd Towers……..

So I have a confession to make, I need to go back through last weeks Photo’s of The Week and pin and comment, I am so sorry its been a hectic week here at Team Lloyd Towers but I promise I will do everything this weekend!

I am determined to keep Photo of The Week going this time though so although I haven’t had time to blog about anything else I wanted to post this today!

Join in, and I PROMISE to comment, share, pin and tweet!


UPDATE: We’re having some problems with the clinky this morning so please justadd your Photo Of the Week in the comments below – I’ll still share, pin & tweet them all, I PROMISE!