Saturday, 30 July 2011
This is my recipe for pasta salad which my daughter used to eat by the bowlful when she was bit younger. It's nice and simple and you can adjust it to make vegetarian if required.
- choose a nice colourful and interesting shaped pasta such as fusilli tricolore and cook the required amount as per the packet instructions (approx. 50 g per person)
- drain and allow to cool
- chop some ham into bite size chunks (omit for vegetarians)
- chop up some apple and pear (unpeeled for more colour)
- chop up some cheese into cubes
- chop up some different colour peppers into cubes
- toss all the ingredients into a large salad bowl and mix in mayonaise to make it stick together
- serve and enjoy
Friday, 29 July 2011
I have already spent some of the vouchers on some new furniture for the children's bedroom in the vain hope that it will help them to stay tidy! The open top boxes do make it easier for the kids (or me) to just chuck toys away at the end of play. Typically my daughter chose a girly option:
So now I need to keep looking out for ideas for what to spend the remaining vouchers on for my children's birthdays. I would love to introduce my son to Hornby but think I may have to hold off for a few years as he is still a bit young to respect it! He would probably ask me for Star Wars Lego. My daughter spends hours perusing the Playmobil section in the hope that she will get some additions to her collection. Although top of her list is a Nintendo DS and I can see that Argos so pre-owned ones to help stretch the budget.
You know I really shouldn't have started looking at the catalogue as there are far too many tempting items in it! So I am going to close the browser tab to the Argos catalogue and I'll try not to come back until nearer my kids birthdays...
Thursday, 28 July 2011
2) The weather
Its been amazingly good since the kids broke up from school. This has meant that we've been able to enjoy lots of outside time. Living up here there are so many things to do outdoors and its so much better than being cooped up inside for days on end. So far we've been to Brockhole and Abbott Hall Park and we are hoping to do lots more if the weather holds.
After nearly a month of stress over my benefits my persistent phone calls have finally resulted in them being restored with back-payments. Turns out my "rapid reclaim" a) been sent to wrong section b) been sat on by the Decisions Manager for over 2 weeks. Just need my Housing Benefit to be restored next week and then I can balance the books again. Nice to be able to spend time over the summer with kids and not have to worry about money for a while.
4) My garden
My mum came round yesterday and helped me make a big difference to my garden. We pulled out lots of weeds and she put in some spare bedding plants from her garden. Even the kids helped us. With my neighbour's father-in-law having mowed my front lawn on Tuesday (can you tell they are trying to sell their house!) the whole outside of my house is looking better to go with our stunning views:
Tuesday, 26 July 2011
Having really enjoyed the first 2 books we were sent I was looking forward to more good things. And I wasn't disappointed. For my 7 year old daughter I was sent Explore, Dream, Discover .... which is described on it's back cover as:
|memories of Mallorca|
|A way to transport your luggage|
Monday, 25 July 2011
Right now we’re starting a few new chapters in our lives. We have the arrival of Squatter getting closer and closer and all that entails. And after over a year of reading, research and a lot of soul searching we will be opting to home educate our sons.
We are not so different from you. We go to the supermarket and our local park. We like sweets and lots of things that are bad for us. We eat meat and dairy and have trouble getting our son to eat his five a day. You certainly don’t have to be a crusty hippy type to home educate. Infact more and more people from all walks of life are choosing to educate their family at home and my no means is it a decision that can be taken lightly.
Even with that decision made there are many more to come. Do we prefer the freedom of autonomy or feel that our kids would benefit from the structure of a curriculum? Do we push them hard or support them and follow their lead?
As school pupils neither myself or Moo Boy fulfilled our potential. Bullying, boredom and the inflexibility of the education system pigeonholed us into boxes that didn’t fit and that’s not something we want for our boys. At the same time that makes us entirely responsible for their learning and the opportunities open to them. Scary when I think about it those terms but then I remember instead of being cooped up in a classroom my boys will be able to spend their afternoons at Construction Club (lego and the likes) or learning how to build a fire in the woods safely which is a tad more useful in life than theoretical maths but then again they could do both if they wish.
Right now though the pressure is off. Technically the Wee Man’s official education does not commence until the first term after his fifth birthday. Before then we can plan and explore what will work for us as a family and explore the vast range of HE activities that happen throughout West Yorkshire and beyond.
Until then we carry on as normal. Helping the Wee Man answer the questions that pop into his head (What is blood for? Why do we have a recycling bin?), giving him the opportunity to learn what he wants (this week he’s started doing addition and subtraction in his head) and letting him play with cars, trains, mud, sticks and all the other things that little boys like to do.
Sunday, 24 July 2011
Saturday, 23 July 2011
Easy Peasy Fairy Cakes
This is something I regularly do with and without my kids and it is so easy that my 7 year old can do it herself (except putting in oven obviously!).
- Heat oven to 190 C (fan 175 C)
- Pop papercases into a 12 hole cake baking tray
- Get a large mixing bowl
- Sift in 4 oz of self raising flour
- Add 4 oz caster sugar
- Add 4 oz margarine or butter
- Add 2 medium eggs
- Add pinch bicarbonate of soda
- Add few drops vanilla essence
- Mix together until mix drops off a spoon
- Share between the 12 cases
- Bake for 15 minutes in the oven
- Once cooled decorate
- substitute 1 oz self raising flour for cocoa powder and instead of vanilla essence add a teaspoon strong coffee
- Add 2 oz of chocolate chips or dried fruit
Thursday, 21 July 2011
- Speaking and listening 2
- Reading 3
- Writing 2A
- Mathematics 3
- Science 3
3) Kids' swimming
At the end of term both my children passed their assessments to move on up a group. They have come on so much since starting at Troutbeck in January. Their confidence has increased and its a joy to watch them. We will see how things are after the school holidays and we must practice over the summer!
4) Slimmer of the Week!
What a great way to get back on track with the diet - a 5 lb weight loss and slimmer of the week! It may well be that listening to my Thinking Slimmer slimpod is finally working. Let's hope it continues to stop me feeling hungry so I can stick with my Rosemary Conley low fat and lots exercise regime.
NIVEA are marking their 100th birthday by celebrating closeness in 21st century Britain. We all know that being touched makes us feel better and in fact I’m typing this one handed whilst snuggling my daughter with the other arm!
The power of touch can bring us closer than ever together as a family, friends or lovers. We can bond together with a family hug:
Like many parents I have comforted a poorly or sad child with cuddles and stroking. Tonight I curled up on the bed with a very cross 4 year old until he calmed down. It comes naturally to most of us as parents and its great to share with our children. We start it with our babies and there is nothing quite like having a tiny infant nestling in our arms. This is why parents of premature babies are now encouraged to provide kangaroo care by placing the baby inside their shirt for close contact.
Buts it’s not just across the generations that touch can makes us feel closer to other people. Nivea have hi-lighted research showing that women who are regularly hugged and caressed by their partners have higher levels of Oxytocin and are therefore happier. No wonder that older couples that still show their love for each other with holding hands and hugs are happy and healthier.
There is even medical research showing that a gentle touch can encourage a frail person to eat. Even heart rates and blood pressure can be lowered just by the power of touch. What an amazing thing it is. This must be one of the reasons that when I’ve had a massage I come out with a better frame of mind.
To encourage all to get close to the ones we love Nivea have launched a million moments of closeness competition. They want to collect a million photographs of ordinary people enjoying moments of closeness with the ones they love. One photograph a day will be chosen to receive a £100 prize. I’ve entered myself and it’s wonderful to see all the other entries as well.
So go out and hug the ones you love and then share the moment on Nivea’s Facebook page and not only will you feel happier it may make you better off as well!Viral video by ebuzzing
Wednesday, 20 July 2011
Tara wants us to dig out our vintage pictures today! Left this a bit late so all I can do is drag out some vintage clothing pics showing my families vintage clothing...
My great, great granny
Oh dear she was wearing a fur stole!
Tuesday, 19 July 2011
The book is quite an eye opener as to how badly we treated children with disabilities even until the end of the 20th century. Sent to Briar Mental Institute in 1957 aged 11 when her parents can no longer cope and the doctors say that they can do nothing more society has given up on Grace. She was born with some sort of disability but a case of polio had left her with a range of problems. The story is told from her own words which she cannot speak out loud due to get disability.
The Briar is home to a whole range of children and adults who are shut away from society. Many of the medical and care staff show little feeling towards the people that are confined there. To get her through Grace has a best friend and later boyfriend Daniel who is an epileptic with no arms. Some of the staff do show kindnesses over the years but life at the Briar is no bed of roses. It is really is shocking about to read how people were treated by medical staff who thought that their patients had no emotions or could feel no pain.
I couldn't put this book down as I wanted to find out whether Grace and Daniel would ever escape from this awful place. There are bits of the book that make you want to cry, others make you laugh and others that will shock. I thoroughly recommend you borrow this from the library or buy a copy.
Monday, 18 July 2011
Since moving here just under 12 months ago we have done some lovely things so here are some of them:
- Low Sizergh Barn (no/low cost and outdoors)
- Holker Hall Gardens (mid range and outdoors)
- Fell Foot Park (no cost if NT members otherwise mid range and outdoors)
- Brockhole (low-mid depending on length of time in car park and in or outdoors)
- Keswick Treasure Trail and Puzzling Place (low-mid cost and both in and outdoors)
- Treasure Trail Kendal (low cost and outdoors)
South East Fun
- London and Bodiam Castle, East Sussex (some NT and some low-mid cost)
- Legoland (varies from Clubcard Vouchers to high cost)
To go with these I also had a blogpost about Perpetual Picnics which are a great low cost way of keeping everyone happy on a family day out.
Saturday, 16 July 2011
Here is mine for pancakes:
- Choose a cup, mug or beaker of required size
- Half fill cup with plain flour
- Top up the cup with wholemeal flour almost to top
- Tip flour into mixing bowl
- Fill cup to top with skimmed milk (or semi if for under 5s)
- Tip milk into flour
- Crack an egg into bowl
- MIx until smooth batter
- Heat a large frying pan after spraying with low calorie cooking spray
- When pan is hot spoon in as many pancakes as will fit:
- Whilst they are cooking slice up some fruit and prepare any other toppings
- Flip pancakes once they are cooked on the underside
- When second side has cooked serve up and add your choice of toppings
recipes I've been tweeted
@LakesSingleMum Bagel Pizza, Tomato puree, thin layer of Sacla Sundried Tomato Pesto, Grated cheddar, Cook under grill, quick and yummy.
Jul 16, 2:19 PM via web
Friday, 15 July 2011
|A xylophone and drum effect|
Thursday, 14 July 2011
|Windermere from Fell Foot Park on Sunday|
|Grasmere from Loughrigg Fell|
- very confident and motivated
- hugely creative and develops some fabulous play
- His imagination is a joy to observe
- has a superb general knowledge and wide extensive vocabulary
- has a wonderful knowledge of songs and rhymes
The best bit has to be "you have been a super member of the class and we will all miss you". I think it could be quite emotional when he has his last visit next week.
Wednesday, 13 July 2011
|My son travelling Spiderman style - not!|
|Travelling slowly on the Lancaster Canal|
|Travelling on 4 wheels and 1 foot|
|Heading off for their first ever foreign holiday|
Tuesday, 12 July 2011
On this occasion we took all the right routes and had our first fab views from the cairn on the secondary summit. Even though it was midweek there were plenty of people coming up the fell from various directions as its accesible from plenty of paths. Coming up from Rydal like us is one of the gentlest routes and as we climbed we had many glimpses of places such as Windermere from a height:
Then we had a little boggy walk and a scramble up to the final top. It was amazing to see so many of the Lakes fells from the top. All of them much higher than the 1099ft of Loughrigg and a challenge for future days. My mum snapped me with the trig point just to prove that I had actually made it:
|trig points hide a multitude of sins!|
The descent down to Grasmere was mostly stone steps that had been created to mend the path. This actually made it a slightly less comfortable path to walk on and is apparently very slippery after rain. The reason for coming down this way became clear as we got close enough to admire the waters of Grasmere from above:
Just above the lake we chose to take the mid height path which took us through the abandoned quarry and let us see in the caves that were created by the quarrying of slate in the past. As Wainwright said you could fit the whole population of Ambleside inside the cave, even if some would be rather wet: