20 Oct 2017

Make Your Own Soda Bread - Australian Damper bread

Lately I've been having some problems eating shop brought bread but for me it's a bit of a staple. I love bread of all descriptions so I'm again making some Australian Damper bread. It's such an easy bread to make and one that the kids can get involved in which is really good because that means they'll also eat it!

Australian Damper bread is a traditional type of soda bread created in the outback and cooked on a camp fire and uses the most basic ingredients - flour, oil (sometimes milk), salt and that's it.

I have a huge (huge) bag of self raising flour which I got by accident as I already had a small bag still unused - thought I didn't already have one so it's just been sat there waiting for the right recipe. Today was the day and it was so simple to make and cooked in 30 minutes. I'm going to make more so I'll probably crack open the big bag sooner than expected because this goes amazingly well with soup and as it gets colder I do love to eat soups and slow cooked meals with lots of sauce to get mopped up with bread.

We had it for lunch with cheese and pickles and even Bubba liked it, my little man was a little less willing to try it but once he did he was a convert to.




Australian Damper Bread


  • 450g Self Raising Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 225ml warm water

Method

I then added Rosemary and sundried tomatoes to make it really nice although you can leave these out and it still tastes amazing.
  • 3 Sprigs finely chopped rosemary
  • 75g Olives or sundried tomatoes

Stir all together with wooden spoon and then make into a smooth dough, it needs to roughly be a circular flat (ish) loaf, add markings, as below, using the base of a wooden spoon and put in oven on 200 degrees for 30 minutes until nice and crunchy.


Score with end of wooden spoon
End result, a yummy soda bread


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16 Oct 2017

Five Great Ways to Simplify Your Mum Life

With our lives getting busier and busier and the children seemingly having better social lives than us, I find it increasingly hard to keep up with everything. So seeing as I love a good list at the best of times I decided to get myself organised and write it all down. Below are my top five tips on getting organised in a family setting (next week I'll show you how I organise myself with a Bullet Journal). So grab a coffee and a notepad or planner and we can get started.

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13 Oct 2017

Halloween Monster Rice Krispie Cake Treats

I always remember sitting in my best friends kitchen when her Grandma came down from York watching as she made us all some toffee Krispie cakes. We'd eagerly sit there waiting for them to cool down enough to stuff the stringy warm toffee and marshmallow treats into our little mouths. So when I wanted to make some monsters for Halloween I knew these would work perfectly and asked my bestie if I could use this recipe (her only caveat was that I send some of the finished monsters round to her).

These are so easy to make with the kids too so everyone is a winner and the very best bit is that you get to eat them as soon as you like and they store well for a few days. My little monsters don't like anything too scary at the moment so we went with some simple edible eyes but you could also add different food colourings or chocolate to make them more spooky for Halloween.


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11 Oct 2017

Inspiring Books For Young Girls (& boys)

My girl has gone through some anxiety struggles lately and has been having a bit of a rough time, so I've been trying to inspire and uplift her whenever I can. So I'm always on the look out for books we can read at bedtime (& ones her little brother can appreciate too), I thought I'd let you know what are our four current favourites and now on a bedtime rota of their own. I'm always on the look out for more books because they really help Bubba an we love a good bedtime story so I'll be doing regular features of the new books we find - for 6yr olds and 3yr olds.


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9 Oct 2017

5 Quick Stress Relief Tips for Busy Mums

As I've now hit the big 4.0 I've found my body has started behaving differently than before and I'm finding how I deal with stress has changed too. Before I could manage more stress and it didn't affect me but now it seems that my stress is manifesting itself as physical symptoms so I'm having to find ways to manage it. Mine are appearing in the form of migraines and also Irritable bowel Syndrome - until I actually got these and linked them back to stress, I wouldn't have believed it myself.

Lots of the advice I came across just didn't work for my lifestyle, with two small children, multiple school runs and a business that takes up evenings I couldn't just drop everything and do some stress busting hot yoga or take myself off for a long walk. So below are my five top tips on how I get a little stress relief in my life at the moment.


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6 Oct 2017

Meals Made Easy with Gousto Delivery

I was recently very lucky to win three Gousto box deliveries in a competition and couldn't wait to test out our first one. In the last few years lots of recipe delivery services have popped up where you can choose from a list of recipes and then the company send all the fresh ingredients for you to prepare at home.

Gousto pride themselves on using fresh, British ingredients and after receiving our first box we can't argue with this. I purposely went for meal options that we wouldn't normally make, as I see myself as a fairly adventurous cook at home anyway, so no pasta dishes for us. We wanted to try sauces that we wouldn't normally make ourselves and we weren't disappointed.



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2 Oct 2017

Top Five 'Organising the Week' Tips for Mums

Once you have more than one child and you have to add School runs into the mix, life needs to stay organised so everyone gets to where they should be. So to help you get out the door on time each morning I've put together our top five tips which get us through the week and out the door so we all make it to School and work on time. We've all got our family flash points but with this simple set of tips you can definitely minimise them on busy school mornings. I'll start with the most important thing you need to do;


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29 Sep 2017

Easy Meals: Easy Peasy Pasta - cooking with children

Easy Pasta Cooking with Children

When hubby and I first started out living together I was always cooking food from scratch and learning new skills...I was in training to be a wifey. Well in the years since, I'm still into cooking from fresh ingredients but well, I've sort of neglected the more fiddly makes and bakes and stick to what I know.

I've owned a pasta machine for a few years now and I used to regularly make Hubby fresh pasta for dinner and would make all these wonderful creations of stuffed ravioli which I would proudly cook like a perfect Stepford wife (yes this was before kids when I had all the time in the world).But I've realised that making beautiful plain pasta shapes couldn't be simpler and besides my kids now won't eat anything that (to me) looks mildly healthy. We also have started making the pasta together and it is so easy and fun thing to do.

 

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25 Sep 2017

What Age Should You Take a Child to the Cinema?

Well we got on the cinema bandwagon quite late with Bubba, unless you count the time I went to see 'The Inbetweeners' at the mother and baby showing and I fed her sweet potato stew half way through when she was 9 months old. I'm so rock and roll, I know!

I can't remember what we went to see but she was four (almost five) before we went properly and she spent the whole time sat on my lap. She was too small, even with the chair raiser, to see and the chair kept collapsing on her and she got sucked into the ravine.

So with my boy we wanted to go as a family and seeing as he is only three we were sure it was the best time for us. He is a runner by nature and doesn't sit still for very long so I was understandably nervous beforehand.


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15 Sep 2017

Making Cookies - Lemon Meringue Cookies

We love eating cookies, actually we love eating any biscuit type snacks (well I do and I know the kids and hubby eat them quick too). So I thought I'd try some different ones last weekend and on the way to work had a day dream about setting up my own gourmet cookie company. I spent a few hours afterwards googling where I could buy some (& failed) so set about creating my own lemon meringue cookies.

Basic Cookie Recipe

  •  220g plain flour 
  • 150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 120g golden granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2tsp Lemon Extract (usually use vanilla extract if plain)
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch salt

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8 Sep 2017

5 Top Tips for the Best Legoland Experience with a Preschooler

We decided to finish the summer holidays with a bang and take our two on their first theme park trip, we've done Peppa Pig World but Bubba was only young and Cub was in a pram so this was the big test for us all. Legoland has been on Bubba's hit list for a while now and she talks about it all the time so we thought a surprise trip would be something she'd love.

Here are our top 5 tips on how to manage the trip with a three year old and six year old and what to do to get the most out of your trip.


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3 Sep 2017

Gym Life - How I'm trying to Loose my Mum Tum

In the past I was fit and firm (how many times have we said that eh!) I used to not worry too much about my weight and was happy. I had two children and lost my motivation somewhat and since I have been struggling with my wobble and the scales have been going up and up and up.

After having cub I went to Slimming World and managed to loose 2.5 stone and kept it off for a long time. I then took a year and slowly put the weight back on and then had a leg operation which kept my sedentary for a while and piled more on.

We are going to a wedding at the end of the month and I want to feel comfortable in my skin and wear a dress (now that my leg is looking good again).



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30 Aug 2017

Coffee Break - Motherhood; is it supposed to be this hard?

I'm really struggling at the moment being a mum, it's all stress and very little fun right now. I'm not sure if it's this tough for everyone as so many people gloss over it and I don't often find other blogs that really go into it more than "oh he was being a bit of a terror, lol", this to me feels more than just the odd day of not having fun.

I don't feel I have much to laugh out loud about at the moment, from the tantrums in supermarkets, the disaster naps at 4.45pm meaning bedtime of around 9pm, to the back chat of a 6yr old! Honestly sometimes I engage in a war of words with my girl and then look at myself and think 'you sound like you are a petulant 6yr old yourself'...is it only me or is Motherhood supposed to be this hard?


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25 Aug 2017

Quitting Sugar as a family - Book review of three top books

 I recently entered a competition to win a copy of  Sarah Wilsons (I Quit Sugar) latest cook book for children. I won the book and I've been reading it with interest and it got me thinking about how much sugar our children are having and how it was affecting them - this will be in a blog post next week.

Did you know that children only need 5 sugar lumps a day aged 4-6yrs and currently most kids have double that in an average day. Shocking eh!

Anyway back to now, as I was walking through the library last week, these three books were together on a display so I picked them all up on a whim. I had a heavy bag that day. Below are my thoughts on all three books and which if any I'm going to follow.




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23 Aug 2017

Coffee Break - Some days...these are the things I think about.

 Do you ever feel like life is passing you by or that things aren't quite what they should be? I wrote down some of the things I thought about daily or weekly and it's really eye opening what goes through my mind, no wonder it's so muddled. Below is an ode to my lovely little people and shows what real motherhood looks like on an average day/week.



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21 Aug 2017

Five Top Things to do with kids on the Isle of Wight

When we book a holiday now, out goes the luxury and long journeys and in comes the need to keep the children interested. When Bubba was about 18 months old we went to the Isle of Wight and I fell in love with the relaxed pace, beautiful beaches and that it was also our first proper break as a family of three. Planning this years holiday we wanted to stay in the UK for one more year as we have a very lively three year old and the thought of going on a plane with him gives me massive anxiety. So we looked back to the Isle of Wight as we'd get a bit of everything...an exciting ferry journey, lovely beaches and the ability to get around the island relatively quickly.

With two young children, a preschooler and a six year old, we always look for things they can do to have a run around and burn off some energy. This was no exception on the Isle of Wight on our and we found lots of ways to keep us all entertained.


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7 Aug 2017

What to take to keep the kids busy on holiday

We have yet to go abroad with the children but it's planned for later this year (cannot wait) but in the meantime we have been going on holiday in this country which invariably means a fair bit of driving to get to where we are going. I hate the arguing and restlessness of children when they are in a car for any length of time, equally a few days into the holiday and it's raining or they are just a bit bored it can all get a bit emotionally charged so I like to be prepared.



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2 Aug 2017

Learning Through Play - Summer Holiday Ideas

Well it's been a while since I last posted here and to be honest I thought I was going to give up my ideas, motivation and time all vanished and I wondered if anyone really cared if I carried on!

Turns out my brain cared and so here I am...still plugging away. Anyway, enough of the waffle, I put together a Facebook post on Summer Holiday Ideas and seeing as we already a week into it I thought I'd share with you too.

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23 Mar 2017

It's been a while but I'm back

So you may have missed me (or not) but I took a bit of a break as things were getting the better of me. It turns out that the issues my lovely Bubba was having at school were also affecting me (big time), I lost all sense of myself and my role, I raged against everything and basically ate my emotions. I've put on weight, my skin is bad and I'm lethargic and the worst bit is I knew what I was doing and still didn't stop. My hubby even advised I stopped but I couldn't, I was punishing myself for not protecting my baby better.
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21 Feb 2017

Travelling with Children #Travellessons

We've just got over half term for the children - and when I say get over it, I mean I have had to sit in a dark corner for a while to compose my senses. We didn't go anywhere, just a few days out and I worked as normal but it really takes its toll with two small children who get cabin fever. So hubby and I have decided that the next holiday (it's only six weeks away!!!!) we will take the kids away somewhere but where to.....we are currently checking out Go Euro.

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13 Feb 2017

Cleaning Teeth - Brush baby Review

We've been dealing with brushing teeth now for over 4 years at least and I remember when Bubba was small we used the chewable tooth brush and she loved it, especially when she was teething. We moved onto a toothbrush when she had a full set of nashers and she has always been great about having her teeth cleaned twice a day.


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10 Feb 2017

Five turning Six - Your changes

I can remember when I sat up all night whilst you screamed as a newborn feeling helpless

I cried buckets when you used to hold onto my leg and had to be prised off at nursery

I would always make sure I was the first smiling face you saw when I hadn't been with you for a while

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8 Feb 2017

Keeping you Safe at School

As a mother you kind of get blasé about the dangers and how to keep your children safe, it becomes autopilot all day, every day.

  • Hand holding crossing roads, telling the dangers of car parks and roads - yeah tick

  • Kitchen knives hidden away and pots of boiling water pushed back to far corners of the kitchen - Yes...got that sorted!

  • Stranger danger and the virtues of having a safe word that only mummy and you know and if a stranger approaches...sorted!

  • Cutting up grapes and other small objects so you don't choke...tick

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24 Jan 2017

Toothy Pegs - Brushing

** Update **

When I was first sent Brush baby bits to try, my girl had already graduated to a toothbrush and so my nephews did the test for me instead. So by the time Cub came along I knew exactly what to use when those pegs reared their sleep defying little stumps. He suffered with teething and like his sister, those pegs were raring to go and he had almost a full set by the age of one (there were a few you could see under the skin from birth). He loved nothing more than chewing on the toothbrush and it helped relieve the pain, so I would not hesitate to recommend the toothbrush to all little people.

Brush Baby Chewable Toothbrush Review

I recently got sent this set of goodies through a twitter competition and seeing as Bubba is a fully fledged toothbrush girl (we kept the toothpast to use), I thought I'd pass onto my nephew to test out for us as he is just under a year old. First we had to wait until he had some teeth to test on the soft chewable toothbrush and also the dental wipes.


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19 Jan 2017

He is growing up...How life looks at Two and a half

I took Bubba to a soft play party and cub came along too, it was the first time ever that my boy went it along. I spent some of my time walking the length of the soft play checking on him, part of it perched on a seat scanning the equipment to see where he was and part of the time telling his sister off for leaving him and running away from him. All he wanted to do was follow her!

I felt a rush of pride followed by an odd sense of impending doom, it meant I could go drink a cup of coffee but it also meant that I was leaving my two to look after themselves in the crazyness that is soft play. I love my kids but I'm not so keen on other peoples kids, what if one of them pushed my boy over or his sister went off and left him to bang his head. I know these are extreme reactions as most parents wander off without a backwards glance and don't seem to look up from their phones until the session has finished (I don't much like parents like that either).

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17 Jan 2017

When you want another baby....

Walking out of the school playground this morning, I heard another mum telling her mummy friends that she was having another baby in June. They all congratulated her as her toddler ran around her legs, after dropping off her daughter who is the same age as mine and it got me thinking. Why couldn't I have another baby, her two are the same age as my two so if she can manage why can't I? I'm jealous as I want another baby but I don't even think it's the baby I want, I realised that my little boy is going to be going to school nursery in September, my five-year-old will soon be a six-year-old sassy as ever and where does that leave me?

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8 Jan 2017

Finding My Happy Place


Being Brilliant

This weekend I've been at my company Gala where we learnt about industry news, had  a big fat feed and a connected with other organisers.  Whilst there we were treated to a session from the amazing Andy Cope (he has written several books on happiness - the Art of being Brilliant is his best seller. He spoke at our gala last year and was brilliant and again this year he did not disappoint. He recapped on the fleas in a jar mentality....google YouTube if you don't know what I mean, talked about his happy chair and at one point asked us all who was the happiest person we knew. A room of 500 women came to a general consensus that our children were the happiest and then he asked us "if nothing changed could we be happy?" We all agreed we should stop waiting for the perfect time to wear an outfit or do something as now is the only time we have! So if I want to eat a cake then I should eat a cake!



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6 Jan 2017

Correcting Sleeping Patterns for a 5yr Old

Right I'm sorry if you've come to this post hoping to be offered the solution to sleep problems in five year olds as the title may allude to. I haven't got the answers but I do have some things to try and a view from the middle of the chaos to show you what you could be up against and what you may want to avoid!


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4 Jan 2017

Mummy goals 2017

I've had a lot on this year what with the new job and looking after two small children, bubbas problems at school being bullied and the little boy making a transition from being a baby into a toddler. Life has been busy. 

Im a big dreamer, I've got lots going on and I make big goals and get really motivated by them. But I've spent most of this year feeling guilty and underprepared and not good enough. I've compare myself to others and come away thinking I should be in the same position as them, my blog should be that good, my business should be growing and my family life should be better. This leaves me making unrealistic goals and feeling let down and useless when I don't hit them.


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