Dreamworks Home review – One for the kids, and RiRi fans. 


 Hi guys! So yesterday I took the kids to the cinema to see Dreamworks latest offering ‘Home’. 

Home is based on the book by Adam Rex The True Meaning of Smekday, with the voices of the main characters being provided by Rihanna, and Jim Parsons, better known as ‘the Big Bang theory’s’ Sheldon Cooper. So I was expecting some sas, and plenty of laughs. I wasn’t left disappointed, Home is funny, features great music (thanks to Rihanna), and was surprisingly heartwarming, with a story that focuses on making friendships and understanding and learning from those that are a bit different from us.  

‘Oh’ , played by Parsons is a misunderstood, clumsy Alien exhiled from his race the Boov, after having one to many mishaps. 

The Boov are a nomadic race, who whilst on the run from their Alien enemies, have decided to make Earth their new home. Not without consiquence though as the Boov relocate the entire human race to Australia. This is all except for ‘Tip’ Tucci, who gets separated from her mum, and left behind. 

Whilst ‘Oh’ is on the run, he and ‘Tip’ meet.  What ensues is an adventurous trip to reunite Tip with her mum, and a race to stop the Invasion of Earth from the Boov’s destructive enemy. 

Parsons brings ‘Oh’ to life in such a funny endearing manor, whilst Rianna provides plenty of sas to her role as ‘Tip’. As you watch their unlikely friendship develop this will leave you feeling all warm and mushy inside. From an adult perspective If that’s not your cup of tea, then this film is not for you, as it focuses heavily on friendship and understanding. Kids though will love the slapstick humour, music and feel good theme. Fortunately I love a bit of Mush so I was a happy customer. 

I may also find myself downloading the soundtrack from iTunes, as I’ve had a quick peek and it really is great. It features original music from Riannha, J-lo and more. 

Have you seen ‘Home’? Did you love it or hate it?

Bye for now, Katy 🙂

A refreshing spring walk, inspiring pictures.

Hi guys, I have just returned from a walk with my husband chris, and our dog Izzie. It was rather chilly I have to admit but the fresh air felt great.

We had a slow walk through local woodland trying to spot a woodpecker we could hear. Alas it wasn’t to be, as it clearly didn’t want to be spotted today. We did see lots of other wildlife though, and there was plenty of evidence that spring is on it’s way. 

I took a few pictures whilst we were out, some where a bit meh, but there were some that I was pleased with. I thought it would be nice to share my favourites with you. 

The last one is probably my favourite, we spent ages trying to get a picture of a robin, it kept bobbing about though ha ha. I love the detailing of all the branches in this picture. 

Bye for now, Katy 🙂

Feeling the pinch and reducing food waste, yummy roast with all the trimmings still gonna happen! 

Hi guys! So today’s post is a little bit different. I don’t know about you but but when it gets to the end of the pay month, (we get paid on a weird day), still trying to produce a decent meal for five hangry people (that’s not a spelling mistake) can be a bit of a challenge. 

I’ve always prided myself in the ability to be a bit resourceful, sorry if it sounds like I’m blowing my own trumpet, but I thought it would be helpful to show a few tricks I’ve learnt along the way. 

Today’s dinner is a roast chicken with all the trimmings, I’m talking stuffing, yorkshires, gravy, the lot. As this is very much about using up whatever I have in the back of the cupboard and fridge there is no set recipie for this, but it will give you an idea of what you can do yourself. 

1. The chicken is being roasted on a bed of vegetable peelings, I won’t be waisting any precious carrots here. Combined with the meat drippings and a bit of flour you can still get a good flavoured gravy from those peeling that would usually being going straight in the waste. I’ve even chucked in the leaves from the top of the celery. I love doing this as is it removes the need to buy seperate gravy, and is a great money saver. 

2. I love a bit of stuffing with my roast, this is a great way of using up the ends of the bread that no one wants to eat, and would otherwise go in the bin. In a food processor I’ve just combined 4 bread ends, 1/2 onion, 100g butter, mixed herbs, 1 teaspoon mustard powder and the last bit of celery I had, seasoned with some salt n pepper. I have made this into balls that I’ve cooked in the oven for about 20mins. These were a big hit with the kids. 

3. I always save some meat from the roast to be making a stir fry rice the next day, tastes fab and costs next to nothing.  As the meats already cooked it so quick to do aswell, perfect on a busy school night. 

As you can see the kids have enjoyed their roast, the hubby did as well. I hope you have found this helpful, if like me you hate to be wasteful or just want to stretch some basic food items a bit further. 

Bye for now, Katy 🙂

My life lately – Birthday’s,Good Food & A Spa stay.

Hi guys!! Regular readers may have noticed that there has been an absense of posts on School Run Beauty this past week. Sorry guys I have had an extremely busy time full of birthdays and lots of fun. I’m not in the habit yet of scheduling posts, this is something I’m going to address though before I start my next OU module in April. I want to continue to post regularly during my busier study periods.  Any hoo I thought that it would be nice to share with you some of the things I’ve been up to in my absense.

Friday 6th March – 

Friday marked my step dads 60th birthday. My mum had arranged a party for him so being a good daughter I helped out with preparing the food. I also made the birthday cake which was quite a time consuming activity. I was so pleased with the results though. The cake itself was a very moist chocolate cake, it was designed to look like a stack of presents. 

We had a great evening, it was lovely catching up with family members, and a few surprise guests my step dad wasn’t expecting. 

Thursday 7th March – 

Today was another birthday celebration. This time the occasion was for one of my husbands old school friends. His fiancé had arranged a huge gathering of friends and family for a meal at a The Raj curry house in Brentwood. We actually filled the restaurant. Even the birthday boy was surprised that he knew that many people. 

The food itself was really tasty and thankfully the chefs didn’t use lots of artificial colouring like you can get in some Indian restaurants. After the meal we went to a popular music pub in Chelmsford to see my father in laws band ‘Break for Cover’ play. 

They are a great band and have quite a following locally. Check out their website Here.

Sunday 8th – 9th March

This marked my turn to celebrate my birthday, I turned 33 this year. Boy do I feel old! Instead of a physical present my husband took me to stay at Lifehouse spa resort in Thorpe-le-Soken. 

This has to be one of the best spas in my area. My favourite room has to be the salt inhalation room. My skin always feels amazing after a a session in there. The pool area is also quite special. After dark mood lighting is used to create a wonderful sensory experience. How amazing does that water look? 

We had a superb meal in the restaurant, the chefs take extra care to ensure they are using locally sourced ingredients where possible. I had a very light beetroot and goats cheese tart, followed by gressingham duck with dauphinoise potatoes and a creamy wild mushroom sauce. 

I was also surprised with a special birthday platter of truffles. This is the cutest thing ever, I was a good girl and shared this with the hubby. 

The next morning after breakfast (the best Frinton sausages ever!),  I had an extra surprise in the form of a beautiful bouquet of flowers being presented to me at our table. 

We then went to the spa where we had a quick swim before going our separate ways for our beauty treatments. I had an amazing Espa facial whilst Chris had a shoulder, back and neck massage. We were so relaxed afterwards that we promptly fell asleep beside the pool, whoops! 

Lifehouse Spa is such an amazing place to stay, we took advantage of one of their spa break offers available on their website Here. This included dinner, bed & breakfast, full use of the spa facilities and a 25 minute treatment. If you have the chance to visit do, the grounds provide beautiful walks, the food is great and the spa is just amazing. It’s also an adult only hotel so really peaceful. You will come away incredibly relaxed, if not a bit too relaxed like us. 

So there you go that’s is what I have been up to lately. Bye for now, Katy 🙂

Sneaky veggie intake – tropical green smoothie 

Hi guys! So today your getting two posts, as I’m a mouthy so and so today, and seem to have lots to say. That and they are both relatively short posts, so I thought ‘why the heck not?’ Any hoo, I wanted to share this smoothie receipe with you, as it tasted great aswell as a great way to sneakily up the kids (and mine, hangs head in shame) veggie intake. 

What you’ll need:

1 large banana 

2 Kiwis 

10 green grapes

Large handful of Kale.

1 pot of mango chunks in juice – I have  used a handy del monte pot I have on standby in my store cupboard. A bonus is that it already includes the juice element I like to include. 

This will make either 2 smoothies or 4 smaller ones for kids. 

If a berry flavour is more your thing then check out this smoothie recipe from a previous post Here. I’ve  even gone to the lengths of telling my younger kids that this is green turtle juice, since they watched the TNT movie (Teenage Mutant Turtles to 80’s kids). I promise you though no turtles were harmed in the making of this post. Ha! I go to some lengths to get kids to eat the good stuff. 

Have you any crafty ways of including extra veggies to kids, or even for yourself? 

Bye for now, Katy 🙂 

A healthy Pick n Mix alternative – Holland & Barrett find

My local high street is going through lots of changes, for the better I must add. This I put down to the perks of my home town recently securing city status. One of these developments is a spanking new Holland & Barrett store.

Now I must confess my motives for nipping in store were to check out the improvements to their natural beauty section, not to secure some healthy snacks. Ha, nothing changes there.

Anyway impressive beauty department aside, what got me most excited was the shiny new pick n mix station.

This is a pick n mix with a difference, you won’t find any artificial sugary sweets here. What there is though is a huge selection of different nuts and dried fruits that you can mix and match like you would with a traditional pick n mix. Yum, guilt free snacking!

For me this is especially exciting as I have a son who is diabetic, so pick n mixes are usually a big no no, he’d end up in a diabetic coma – Awkward. Jokes aside, this is something that I know I can treat him to, he has no nut allergies fortunately, and loves nuts, we would have to be careful with the dried fruit but this is ok in moderation.

This is what my husband and I had this afternoon as a cheeky snack, whilst in town.


The apple rings and, sweet chilli cashews are particularly nice.

Priced at £2 per 100g, this is not the cheapest way of buying such products, but to me this is a treat so the price is relative. Today though, the pick n mix was on offer at half price, so actually a very inexpensive treat.

Are you lucky enough to have one of these in you local Holland & Barrett store?

What healthy snacks do you like?

Bye for now, Katy 🙂

A healthy start – Smoothies all round


Hi guys, this is just a quick one today. I thought I’d share with you what I have been making for breakfast this week. You see I’m crap at getting my five a day, however this little concoction helps out.

I call it my superfood smoothie, as it’s packed with dark fruit and some greens that the kids will happily drink without realising they are there. Thank you Kale.

These are also really cheap to make as I picked up the frozen bags of fruit for £1-£2 each, in Iceland. I got far to excited when I realised you could by peeled and wedged frozen apples, but there you go I’m easily pleased.

You can add what you like, depending on preference but here I have included

25 raspberries
A large handful of blueberries
1 large banana
A large handful of Kale
150ml ish of cranberry Juice

This will give you 2 large or 4 small servings.

I’m like a bear with a sore head in the morning, so I make these the evening before, and keep them in the fridge overnight. This is a great time saver when your in a hurry and saves the mess, who wants to be cleaning a blender before heading out the door?

Have you got any tasty smoothie recipes? I’m in need some more inspiration.

Bye for now, Katy 🙂

OOTD – A Breakfast date

This is a little bit late in posting, I actually took these pictures last week when it was much colder, check out that frost. This is what I wore for a breakfast date with my husband.

We have three kiddies, so it can be a bit of struggle to find a baby sitter whilst also juggling shift work. Consequently evening time dates are very rare. This is why we tend to have breakfast or coffee dates, when the kids are at school. It’s a good job I like breakfast.

On this occasion I wore high waisted mom jeans, ankles rolled up, paired with a chunky orange sweater. Despite the cold I was in the mood to wear my Leather biker jacket from French Connection. The leather is super soft and of such high quality. Regular readers will also spot my favourite biker boots and the snood I purchased last week from Primark. My bag was a Christmas gift from my mum, it’s by Floozie @ Debenhams.

After breakfast we went for a stroll around the shops, we were just window shopping on this occasion. Still it was nice to be out in the fresh air.


I think he's enjoying that sausage a bit to much.

Jeans: River Island.
Sweater: Marks & Spencer.
Leather Jacket: French Connection.
Snood: Primark.
Boots: Very.co.uk.
Bag: Debenhams.

Bye for now, Katy 🙂

Family time – Warner Bros Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter

Family days out are something that I treasure, particularly when your partner is a shift worker, opportunities can be a bit scarce. Nether the less we try to make the most of the free time that we do have.

Last Sunday we visited the Warner Bros studios in Watford. If you didn’t know already this is the home of ‘the making of Harry Potter’ tour.
This is a behind the scenes studio tour, which gives you the opportunity to see the actual sets, props and costumes used within the Harry Potter films.

Throughout the tour you are let in on some of the filming secrets that the filmmakers use to create the magic we see in the films most of us know and love. Some of the sets are huge, the attention to detail makes you feel like you are actually within the film. It’s very clear that a lot of love and care went into recreating J K Rowlings imagined world for film.

At the start of the tour you find yourself stood at the very doors Harry himself stood at when he first arrived at Hogwarts. These towering doors are then opened and you find yourself entering the great hall, just like Harry did.

From here you are left to make your way through the 2 studios (aptly named J and K), at your own leisure. Along the way there is the opportunity to fly a broomstick in your very own film, try the infamous Butter-beer, and have a go at casting spells. We took so many photos, that the rest of this post is very picture heavy, you have been warned.
















This is an expensive day out, so it’s worth planning and saving for it in advance. Die hard potter fans would be hard pushed not to part with a small fortune in the gift shop, it really is a potter fans heaven. We came home with three wands for the kids, and a very empty purse. I did manage to treat myself to a Griffindor notebook, I needed it, honest.

Have you visited the Warner Bros studios? What did you think? We had a fantastic day.

Bye for now, Katy 🙂

Cinema visit, Birdman – Did I get it?

(Theatrical release poster)

Last week I had the opportunity to visit the cinema. On this occasion it was my husbands turn to choose what film we would be watching. His choice was the black comedy, Birdman or (the unexpected virtue of ignorance) – long name!

Prior to watching Birdman I didn’t really know much about the film itself, other than the fact it stared Michael Keaton. That and the fact he was portraying a washed up actor who was famous for playing an iconic superhero – Birdman. I found this quite ironic really as when you say the name Michael Keaton I instantly think Batman. I’m by no means implying Keaton is washed up, that is just my own musings.

The story follows Riggan Thomsons (Keaton) struggle to get a new play ready for opening night on Broadway, in an attempt to regain some of his former glory.

The film though enjoyable, left me feeling confused. I’m not sure if I actually got what the director, Alejandro Gonzolez Inarritu, is trying to say. The film had definitely been made with an intelligent audience in mind and for want better wording is a bit of a head fuck. Perhaps it’s just meant to be enjoyed for what it is, and I’m reading to much into it, maybe?

Throughout most of the film I felt that I was actually inside Riggins head, and was experiencing his inner struggles. I put this down to the style of filming. The film has been filmed in long continuing sequences so it takes on an almost manic pace. The presence of Birdman within Riggins dressing room as goading external voice combined with the almost constant drumming from outside the theatre lends itself to the viewer experiencing the internal battle he is experiencing. I actually felt quite overwhelmed by it all. Hence I’ve said it was a bit of a head fuck.

I found the deliberate overacting, we are in theatre land of course, quite funny. It reminded me of a scene in friends, in which joey was being taught the art of spitting when you annunciate, as method of acting, with his characters co-star Gary Oldman. Comedy value aside though it added to the manic feel of the film.

Edward Norton and Emma stone also have given strong performances. The chemistry between the two characters I found to be believable.

Birdman is defiantly worth a look, I’m still not sure if I actually understood the film correctly but appreciated it nether the less. I wouldn’t wait for TV release as I think the large screen and noise of the cinema is essential to the viewing experience. My interpretation may be totally wrong but that’s ok as that is the beauty of film, we all take from it different things, whether right or wrong.

Bye for now, Katy.

(Theatre image borrowed, not my own)