Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Guest Post - Around the world in 80 miles – world food for family car journeys

This is a guest post.

Around the world in 80 miles – world food for family car journeys

Do your kids wilt at the prospect of a long car journey?  
If so, why not perk them up by treating them to food with a travel theme? 
Eat your way around the world in 80 miles and keep your kids content at the same time.

Spanish tapas

Dispense with soggy sandwiches. Instead, serve crunchy crackers and oat biscuits accompanied by cuts of cooked meats, cheeses and olives. Keep meals light to avoid car sickness – try adding plenty of sliced vegetable sticks and finish off with a tropical fruit salad. Kids will love experimenting with different food combinations.

Always store strongly flavoured foods in separate containers, and keep any perishable foods fresh in a cooler bag or box.

The Italian job

Add a little bit of Neapolitan flair to your lunchtime stop by feasting the Italian way. Homemade pizza is a healthy, cost-effective way to fill up a family on the move. As a traditional Italian street food, pizza is authentic fare for travellers.  

Keep kids included in the journey preparations by encouraging them to join in the baking. Little ones will enjoy choosing their own toppings and look forward to tasting their creations.

Serve up a basil and tomato side salad in a Tupperware or recycled takeaway box, for a tasty and refreshing snack.

Vive la France

If you think that a baguette and cheese is the only delight on a Gallic travel menu, think again. Absolutely delicious and thoroughly portable, the tarte flambée is a traditional peasant food originating from Alsace in the east of the country. It combines a pizza-like base with a topping of crème fraiche, onions and thin strips of bacon called lardons.

Try making one at home in a hot oven – the BBC have a recipe here

Sushi box

Sushi is a great light bite for a car journey. There are just so many styles and flavours to choose from and, of course, you can always experiment with your own ingredients.

Owing to the worries of car travel, you should probably replace raw fish with cooked, or go vegetarian. Try delicious Californian rolls dusted with sesame seeds, containing cooked tuna and avocado.

On cold winter days, to complete your Japanese snack you could accompany sushi with warming miso soup in a non-spill cup.

It’s a wrap

The Mexican tortilla dates back to at least 3000 BC, when the people of the Sierra Madre first produced maize. The corn tortilla was a staple of the Aztecs and continues to be the food of choice for many Mexicans.  

The beauty of a wrap is that you can put whatever you like in it. For an authentic Aztec experience go for a wrap based around Mexican beans or  turkey, with a fresh fruit wrap for dessert.

Remember the essentials

Making sure your family has fresh and tasty food to last the whole car journey is key to having a stress-free trip. Make sure that you also have effective car insurance for real peace of mind.


Author Bio:
Liam Williams writes for the Sainsbury’s Money Matters blog . In his spare time he enjoys motoring and organic gardening

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Review of My Little Big Town Publishing

We were very excited to receive three books through the post. We love books in our house and me and the children have got loads, but you can never have too many books!

The lovely people at My Big Little Town sent us three books to review.
The books are written by Calvin Innes who is a UK author and illustrator.

We were sent :
Pale Henry 
Stuart the Bug Eating Man.  

Megan was really excited as there books are aimed at her age, 7 years plus. Megan picked Jenny for us to read first.

The blurb said:
She would play in the rain, 
The thunder and lightening
And in all the places, 
Other kids would find frightening! 

 You see Jenny is made 
From a different mold... 
She's a werewolf hunting 
Eight year old! 

Who could resist that?! Certainly not us! We loved it, it was our favourite of the three books, although Pale Henry came a close second and we loved the fact that the story was rhyming too. The story was original and perfectly aimed at 7 years and upwards. What is great is that the story has got lots of great illustrations throughout it to really bring the story to life.

Pale Henry was our next read.

The blurb said:
Gather round children,
Let me tell you a tale,
Of a young man named Henry,
Who was terribly pale.

He looked gaunt and sickly,
from his head to his feet.
Haggard and thin,
and as white as a sheet.

Another great story about Henry who really does want to play out with the other boys and girls but is too afraid, but eventually plucks up the courage and has a ball!

And finally, Stuart the Bug Eating Man.

The blurb said:
Stuart would eat bugs,
with his fork and with his knife.
Much to the disgust,
Of Harriet his wife.

He'd munch them and crunch them,
legs and all.
While they'd wriggle and squirm
and scurry and crawl.

He he, a totally disgusting tale!

I would defiantly recommend having a look at their website here for lots of lovely books.

We were sent these books for review but all opinions are our own.

365 Project Week 4

365 Photos 2013

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

I am taking part in the 365 photo challenge for 2013, linking in with The Boy And Me.
You can join in here.

I will add pictures each week. 

                                                                 365 Project
                                                       Week 4

Day 20
We went for a wintery walk in the park.
Note the red nose and cheeks, it was freezing!

Day 21
I had the morning to myself whilst Ben was in playgroup (a rare luxury!) so i sorted out the bedroom, 
tidying and sorting toy boxes under the bed and getting rid of lots of rubbish. Very therapeutic!

Day 22
After school Megan was being creative and making a necklace by sticking gems onto the template.
A fab Christmas present for my creative little one.

Day 23
Mr W put up together the scalextric which caused excitement from Ben, although he got
frustrated because the cars kept whizzing off the track and crashing!

Day 24

Day 25
Ben and Daddy watching Megan at trampolining. 
Daddy was off work today so had a chance to watch Megan (the first time he has seen her).
I think he was very impressed at how much she can do!

Day 26
These prints were ones we picked up today from a local photography studio.
Before Christmas I won a raffle and the prize was a photo shoot and framed print.
We look all four little monkeys for the shoot and Laura and I had a real job picking the prints
 we wanted as they were just gorgeous.
I couldn't resist buying the other two prints as they were just beautiful. 

Saturday, 26 January 2013

John Leigh Park

Last Sunday we went for a wintery walk and play at John Leigh Park. The little bit of snow we had was rapidly melting but we had a lovely time strolling round, playing in the play area and playing hide and seek. We only stayed about an hour as it was freezing, even though we were well wrapped up, but a lovely was to spend Sunday afternoon.

Photo Of The Week - Week 4

I am linking up with Louise from Team Lloyd for Photo Of The Week. Louise will post a linky on her blog for us to link our photos up. If you fancy joining in, click here.

It is an opportunity to capture a special moment from the whole week, something that happened, something that you saw or something that you want to remember.

Photo Of The Week

Week 4

This week we finally got a bit of snow, the most being last night, so this morning we went out and built a snow dog, which even as I type is melting in the sun!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

365 Project Week 3

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

I am taking part in the 365 photo challenge for 2013, linking in with The Boy And Me.
You can join in here.

I will add pictures each week.

365 Project

Week 3

Day 13
Last Sunday we went to the crematorium to visit Nana Betty.

Day 14
Megan and Ben were playing in the garden and when they came in they lined up their wellies and they just looked very cute!

Day 15
Megan and Daddy were busy with the Lego.

Day 16
Wednesdays are always full on as all four of the children are there! Megan was being a super star and feeding Grace her tea while I was sorting the boys out.

Day 17
Ben and Daddy set up his racing car track that Father Christmas had brought him. Ben thought it was great fun!

Day 18
We had a sprinkling of snow, but not enough for my liking, so when we got home, Megan and Ben wanted to play out at the front with a few of the local children. As Ben wanted to be at the front too, that meant I had to be out as well and it was freezing and getting dark. They had great fun on sledges, pulling each other and throwing snow balls!

Day 19
We went to the craft session this morning, but it wasn't on, it doesn't start till next week unfortunately. 
Instead we had a walk around the gallery where this caught my eye! (It's a horse and rider!) What do you think?? It gave us a bit of a laugh.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Photo Of The Week - Week 3

Photo of the Week

Week 3

I am linking up with Louise from Team Lloyd for Photo Of The Week. Louise will post a linky on her blog for us to link our photos up. If you fancy joining in, click here.

It is an opportunity to capture a special moment from the whole week, something that happened, something that you saw or something that you want to remember.

For this weeks photo of the week I have picked a photo of my beautiful boy with my gorgeous niece.
Ben and Grace shared bath time together and then they were both snuggled together in their jammies.
Ben also gave Grace a special kiss. Don't they look just adorable?!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

A New Year Get Together

On Saturday we went to Auntie Sues and Uncle Daves for a new year get together.

It was lovely, we saw Mr Ws side of the family. Sue, Dave, Claire, Nick, Brooke, Olly, Jamie Lee and nana Enid.

It was great to catch up and Sue had made a lovely buffet and corn beef hash.

Megan and Ben had a fantastic time playing with their cousins and we all had a great catch up.

Visiting the Crematorium

On Sunday Megan, Ben and I went with Laura, Jack, Grace, mum, and auntie Lynne to the Crematorium to visit nana Betty.

It would of been her birthday last week and as the weather was very wet we hadn't visited over Christmas so this was a perfect opportunity.

The weather was cold and bright, great for a walk.

One thing we all noticed was all the beautiful Christmas decorations that were there. There were small decorated Christmas trees, wreaths, cards and it all looked just lovely.

It certainly gave us ideas of what we could bring next year to brighten it up.

Once we had cleaned up the plaque. Nana Bettys great grandchildren posed for a picture.

Making Pizzas

Baking and cooking is something I love to do with Megan and Ben.

Making pizzas is something they love to do as they chose what to put on and then enjoy eating it as they helped to create it.

Last night we had great fun. Megan and Ben created very full pizzas, which were very tasty.

They both had tomato base, cheese, ham and sweetcorn. Yummy!

Don't they look delicious?!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Book 2 #50Books2013

This year I am linking up with Julie, Mama Owl for the #50books2013 challenge. You can link up here too, if you fancy a reading challenge.

Book 2

Letter From Chicago By Cathy Kelly

This was a book I downloaded onto my Kobo ages ago and never got round to reading.
Having now read it, it is right up my street. It is about an elderly lady called Elsie, who hasn't seen her sister for about 40 years as she moved to Chicago. During that time, they have wrote letters to one another, detailing their lives and families. What they both don't realise is that they have both been exaggerating the truth with regards to how successful everyone is. It all comes to light, but in a good way.
I really enjoyed this, but I do like Cathy Kelly books anyway.

Reading List

1. Winter Warmers by Carole Matthews (Kobo free download)
2. Letters From Chicago by Cathy Kelly (Kobo download)

Week 2 365 Project

365 Project

Week 2 

This week has returned to normal with going back to school and work.
Ben has also started five mornings at playgroup, so all change there too.
We started the week with a panto and ended it with a lovely visit with family, so in some ways we have still been in holiday mode!

Day 6
We went to the panto to see Cinderella, which was great fun.

Day 7
Bathtime funny faces!

Day 8
Sleeping beauty (in my bed!)

Day 9
Ben, Megan, Jack and Daddy playing Peppa Pigs Giant Snakes and Ladders.

Day 10
Megan with her cousin Olly. Look at that gorgeous hair!

Day 11
Megan trampolining.

Day 12
Ben and Auntie Sue playing Screwball Scramble.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Keeping the kids happy on long journeys - guest post

This is a guest post.

In car entertainment – keeping kids happy

How many families are brought to breaking point by long journeys with fraught children in the back? Probably rather a lot!

It’s not easy travelling with children, especially on hot summer days when the motorways are jammed and it seems the person in front wants to go as slow as possible.

The best way to keep your cool is by being prepared, so follow our guide for making sure your travels get off to the best start.

Travelling with Tech
There are a plenty of in-car systems that can occupy your little ones during the journey. DVD players which fit to the front headrests are a fantastic way to stop arguments.

Portable game players are great too – handheld and individual, they can help to keep children occupied on a long journey. For younger children there are a good range of educational and fun games that can help with a variety of learning skills.

Traditional Games
Today’s technology definitely has its place in travel, but there is also something to be said for traditional games such as I-spy and in-car bingo (give the children 10 to 15 items each that they have to tick off on the journey).  

These simple and effective games can pass an hour or two, and before you know it the seaside is in sight!

The little ones
If your children are too young for technology or I-spy then it can be hard to keep them entertained for half an hour, let alone for four hours!
Nursery rhyme CDs can help pass the time with a family sing-along, and can even help lull small children to sleep.
Toys that play music, interactive touch and feel books and toys that hang from the back of the seats can capture your baby’s imagination while the miles fly by.

Fast Food
As any parent knows, more often than not boredom is accompanied by requests for food! Keep a good supply of snacks at hand to top up the kids before the next stop. Luckily for parents, there are some lovely ranges available which include treats and healthy options.
Go easy on the drinks, however, unless you want to stop more often than you’d like!

Little extras
Extra things like wipes, a change of clothes or reading material can all help to make the journey more bearable.
Make sure you have all the important things covered too, like adequate car insurance and breakdown cover.