Saturday, 30 August 2014

Celebrating Crisp Sarnie Week With Seabrook Crisps #crispsarnieweek

When I was growing up a crisp butty was a regular snack in our house, our budget was tight and ready salted crisps and a loaf of bread were cheap, we would occasionally spice things up by adding a splash of vinegar to the bag of ready salted, us kids thought that was amazing.

Since becoming an adult I have indulged in the humble crisp sarnie less and less, but when I saw that Seabrook were celebrating crisp sarnie week I thought I would get involved and create a more sophisticated creation than my childhood palette was used to.

Mature Cheddar, Beef Seabrook Crisps & Wholegrain Mustard Sandwich




I used a cheese flavoured ciabatta roll, I spread a generous amount of wholegrain mustard on the bottom of the roll, next came the slices of mature cheddar followed but a very generous handful of Beef flavour Seabrook crisps for extra crunch.

The end result was delicious and it's given me the motivation to try some different crisp sarnie creations in future.

Do you like crisp sarnies ? what weird and wonderful things to you use on a crisp sarnie ? leave me a comment below.

Angela x


* This recipe is an entry into the National Crisp Sarnie Week competition with Seabrook crisps *



Friday, 15 August 2014

42 Days Of Summer Challenge #Sweeet

Although my two little ones are too young to have an official Summer holidays, I still like to plan lots of activities for us to do during the Summer, the days are very long and we like to make the most of the better weather this time of year as well as thinking of new ideas for indoor play.

BritMums and McVitie's BN Biscuits sent us two packets of BN Biscuits to try for the challenge, our house is full of chocoholics and we were all really surprised that the Raspberry BN's were our favourite, we loved the chocolate too but the Raspberry were so Moorish ! The sandwich biscuits are tasty and a very generous size making them very filling.



Here are some things we have been up to this Summer, both outdoors and indoors.

                                                           
                                                         We have blown bubbles

                                                        
                                                         We had our face's painted


                                                    We had fun in the bath on a rainy day

                                         
                                            We had fun with the hose pipe in the garden


                                               We went on plenty of walks in the sunshine

                    
                                                We went to a local farm and fed the goats


                                                               We had a few picnics



                                                              We made ice lollies


                                                           We went to the Aquarium

          
                                                               We went to the park


                                                                 We ate Ice-Cream


                                                        We drew pictures on rainy days


                                                             We had fun in the rain

 
 
We have had lots of fun this Summer so far and still have lots of plans for the weeks ahead.
 
Here are a few more tips for both indoor and outdoor fun this Summer.
 
 
Outdoor Fun
 
Fly a Kite
 
Go Puddle Jumping
 
Go To The Beach
 
Go Fishing
 
Make A Mud Pie
 
Indoor Fun
 
Have a picnic in the lounge
 
Make Cupcakes
 
Have a Marathon Movie Day
 
Have a Treasure Hunt
 
Have a Tea Party and Invite Your Friends
 
 
I hope you've enjoyed seeing what we have been getting up to this summer, maybe you could try some of our ideas or find some inspiration of your own, whatever you do enjoy the rest of your Summer.
 

This post is an entry for 42 Days of Summer Linky Challenge sponsored by McVitie's BN. Learn more at http://bit.ly/1mRpMCL .

Angela x
 
 
 
 


Saturday, 9 August 2014

Jacob At 3 Months Old

Today Jake is three months old today, it really does seem a case of blink and you will miss it, it seems like only yesterday we brought him home from the hospital and now it's hard to imagine what our life was like when he wasn't in it.

If you want to read the last update which was at ten weeks click here .

Sleeping

Sleeping at night has improved both for Jake and for us, he usually goes down to sleep in his cot by 9pm where he sleeps until around 5am which I think is fantastic and it's certainly made a huge difference to my quality of sleep.

The last few days I have noticed him falling into a little pattern with his day naps too, he seems to having a long sleep usually from about 12pm until 3pm, with several shorter naps throughout the day.



Feeding

Jake is still having six 6oz bottles of formula (hungry baby) milk a day , he still cluster feeds in the evening which means he usually has two bottles in quick succession, I think he has suffered slightly with colic in the evening although it's not been anywhere near as severe as Daisy was with it.

Growth

I had planned to go to the clinic and get Jake weighed this week but he's had a little cough and cold this week and I've been rotten ill with a throat infection too so I didn't fancy dragging us all out of the house. Jake doesn't fit in any 0-3 month clothes anymore, he know fits nicely into 3-6 months sizes.

Development

Jake is really alert all the time now when he's awake, he loves bashing at the toys on his activity mat, he has a really strong grasp now so has been enjoying holding his blue giraffe soft toy and having a good old slobber all over it.


Jake was due to have his second set of immunisations this week but with us all being unwell we had to cancel, I was quite shocked when the clinic said it would be another six weeks before he gets another appointment, this is a little worrying and I can't find much information on what effect this could have. I'm going to phone the health visitor on Monday and find out, has anyone else had this experience ?

I will be back at 16 weeks for another Jake update.

Angela x


A Little Girl And Her Blanket

I remember thinking before Daisy was born that all babies had dummy's (pacifiers), my two eldest children had always had them as did I when I was a toddler, so it came as quite a shock to me when Daisy wouldn't even entertain the idea of having one popped in her mouth as a newborn.

A couple of months before Daisy was born I went to a baby show with my cousin where I bought some dummy's with beautiful designs on them, I was feeling rather quite proud of my little self for being organised when my cousin said these shocking (at the time) words to me 'don't buy too many she might not take to a dummy', I had never even considered that a baby wouldn't !

Anyway to get to the point of the post Daisy doesn't have a dummy for comfort she has blankets, many of them, too many to count, she has to have one with her (recently two) at all times, sometimes it seems like she has one permanently attached to her mouth and nose, 'snugging' it as we call it, I'm not complaining at all I find it so sweet, she is like Linus from Peanuts although I do wrestle them off her for a weekly wash.



A few months ago she began to show a preference to one over all the rest, her 'pink blankie' as she calls it must be available at all times for 'snuggie' emergencies, I've been wondering lately how long the blanket will last, will it end up a tattered little rag of a thing by the time she grows out of the need for it or will she keep it safe for the rest of her life to show her children and grandchildren, the latter thought I find really comforting for some reason.



Daisy can be quite mean about her blankies sometimes, don't dare sit on one by accident or use one to cover Jake, her looks alone are enough to kill, but at the same time if she thinks you are sad or feeling poorly she will offer you a corner to 'snug' or if you pretend to be asleep she will cover you with it to keep you warm.

This little girl and her blankie melt my heart and I hope that she continues to find comfort from them for years to come.

As a side note Jake hasn't taken to a dummy either so time will tell if he's a 'blankie snuggler' too.

What do your babies use as a comforter ? Do you have a 'snuggler' in your house too ? leave me a comment I love hearing from you.

Angela x

Friday, 8 August 2014

Frozen Strawberry & Yogurt Ice Lollies

One of the things on our Summer Bucket List, which you can read here was to make some ice lollies with Daisy. She has recently been enjoying frozen yogurt so I thought we would make a more healthier option than the shop bought ice lollies she usually eats.

I needed a really simple idea that would be easy for little hands to help with so I chose two ingredients, Strawberries and natural yogurt.



We used one punnet of Strawberries and one 500g tub of low fat natural yogurt, you can adjust for the size of your own moulds. The Ice Lolly moulds were reduced to 75p at the supermarket what a bargain !


                                      
                                        Of course we had to taste test the Strawberries first !


Chop the Strawberries up into very small chunks, I always give Daisy a spoon so she can help to chop as well.



                            Add the Strawberries to a whole tub of yogurt and stir well.

                                        
                                         There was plenty of mixture left afterwards to enjoy.


                                          The finished products waiting to go in the freezer.

                   
                   Here is Daisy enjoying our homemade frozen Strawberry and yogurt ice lollies.

We will definitely be making these again as well as experimenting with other types of fruit, they are so easy to make and taste delicious.

Just to add if you have a sweet tooth you could try adding honey to the mixture.

Have you made any ice lollies this year ? what fruit did you use ? leave me a comment I love hearing from you.

Angela x


Monday, 4 August 2014

A Family Day Out At Acorn Farm

This weekend we ticked two things off our Summer Bucket list, we visited a local farm and had a picnic.

We were going to visit a farm that's quite local to us that I had taken my older kids to when they were young, but on seeing the admission prices and the fact they wanted to charge for Jake (he's 12 weeks old) I decided to look further afield and came across a lovely little place called Acorn Farm in Knowsley which about a thirty minute drive from us.

Acorn Farm started out as a community project in 1985 and has gone from strength to strength since then, they continue to involve people from the local community, as well as providing local employment opportunities they also provide day service placement for those with disabilities.

When I saw this statement on their website 'Acorn Farm is a registered charity and we try to keep our admission and other charges to a minimum to ensure that everyone is able to access our services regardless of their level of disposable income. Any surplus generated is used to improve the farm’s facilities' I knew the farm deserved our hard earned pennies.

Here are a few photo's from our visit


 The admission price is fantastic for families on a tight budget, £2.50 for adults and £1.50 for kids !


As well as the usual array of farm animals, they also have Meerkats, this little fella was busy keeping watch.





You can buy a very generous sized bag of animal feed for 50p, all the animals were really friendly and those who weren't were clearly sign posted.




There is a beautiful little garden where you can chill out, like the rest of the farm this area is beautifully maintained.


We paid £1 for Daisy to pet some of the smaller animals, the petting sessions are usually only offered on weekends but are available every day throughout the Summer holidays.


There are plenty of spaces outside to have a picnic, the farm also has a small café offering freshly cooked meals.
 

Although we had a picnic we needed to feed Jake so popped in the café for a coffee and Daisy enjoyed a huge slice of sticky apple cake.
 
The farm also has two fantastic play areas for children, a woodland walk and a shop where they sell local produce and plants from the farm.
 
I can't believe this little gem of a place has been sitting under our noses for years without us noticing, it will definitely become a regular day out for us now.
 
Acorn Farm also won a Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor this year and I'm really not surprised, the site is beautifully maintained and the animals look healthy and well cared for.
 
If you want to check out there website then you can click here .
 
Angela x
 
 


What's Happened? What's Happening?

Friday, 1 August 2014

May You Stay Forever Young

Some of regular readers will know that I have four children, I have quite a large age gap between my eldest and youngest.

I've been thinking lately about how different my relationship with each of them is, they are all at different stages of life that require something different from me as their mum.

I thought I would write a little post about what I feel each of my children need from me at the stage of life they are at now.

Jessica 16

If you have ready my earlier post here you will know that Jess is expecting a baby of her own in September, I feel like my role as her mum is now a completely different one, I now feel that I have an adult 'child' and this has changed our relationship for the better.

Jess had a few very difficult teenage years and there were times when I wondered if our relationship would ever recover, so the fact that we have overcome those turbulent times to arrive in a better place than either of us could have imagined is a wonderful thing.

I feel that now I can offer Jess advice, both about pregnancy and birth, I can offer her support when the baby arrives and help her through the tough times that having a newborn can bring and I can also support her into her journey into adulthood.

I'm not going to lie and say it's been easy to let go of seeing her as a little girl but I know how important it is to allow the relationship to change so we can grow as mother and daughter into her adult years.

Scott 14 (almost 15)

Scott is at that tricky teenage boy stage where I'm not actually sure what he needs from me as his mum, he probably wouldn't be comfortable with me asking him outright either.

The fact that Scott doesn't live with me makes it a little bit harder to mother him although the over-riding temptation is there to nag him to have a wash, tidy up and not play on his computer all night is still strong as only a mother could understand.

I'm here for him to talk about the subjects he enjoys at school and the ambitions he has for the future.

Scott and I have a lot in common, we share a love of horror films (until I became a massive wuss about watching them) , he likes the usual side of life and is a bit of a thinker like me.

I know when he comes out of that awkward teen boy phase we will be as close as we were when he was little, I miss those little boys arms round my neck (sorry Scott but I do).

Daisy 2 (almost 3)

My relationship with Daisy is full of fun, laughter and learning, although she also needs me to create boundaries. Daisy needs me to kiss her 'owies' better, comfort her when 'dinosaurs are coming', reassure and encourage her when she discovers something new.

I'm her mummy and she needs me to provide almost everything she needs to learn and grow into her little world, but she also needs me to give her small bits of independence.

With having the two older children I'm more aware of how fast children grow to eventually not need you in the same way, how quickly you go from 'mummy' to 'mum' , so I cherish every moment even more with Daisy.

Jacob 12 weeks

I think Jake's needs are so simple and practical at this stage in his life, he needs me to provide food, comfort, cleanliness, stimulation and of course tons of love.

I remind myself each day to try and relax and enjoy being totally relied upon for it's only for a fleeting moment that this tiny baby boy needs mummy hugs.


I suppose what I'm trying to say is that as hard as it is, relationships and needs change and you as a mum you must change with them, no matter how much you want to keep those babies wrapped up safely in your arms and be the one they always need.

Here is a lovely song that I think says perfectly everything I wish for all of my children no matter how old they are.




 
 
 
Do you have age gap children ? How do you feel about your children growing up ? let me know in the comments below, I always like to hear from you.
 
Angela x