19 November 2013

My Sons Favourite Toys as Drawn By Him

My son thoroughly enjoyed last months Draw with Me over on This Mummy Loves blog (even more so because he won a fabulous prize from The Toadstool)

So when I told him this months topic was Toys he got out his felt tips and drew his favourite toys, an eclectic mix if I do say so.

Here we have some Lego Star Wars (pretty much his entire Christmas List), a lego car, a T-Rex, a minion and a pterosaur. I'll leave you to decide which one is which ;)



We loved this topic, although any opportunity to draw is seen as great for my son.


This Mummy Loves...
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17 November 2013

Castle Fun in the Mud

Today we visited Elvaston Castle for some fresh air, to feed the ducks and to have a walk with family.

It was the perfect excuse to don some wellies and head out for a splash about.

The trees are gorgeous at the moment, such beautiful reds, oranges and yellows.


 Running in the leaves


Looking at the ducks over the bridge.


 Looking at the wooden sculptures, we particularly liked this bear and owl one.


Cup of tea anyone?


Shortly before my daughter went face first in to the mud!


Spotting lots of mushrooms and looking for fairies!


Running through the trees is lots of fun.


Love the windows on this old building.


This week I am linking up to Country Kids on Coombe Mill


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
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10 November 2013

Lest We Forget - Visiting L'Aisne

This year sees the buildup to the centenary of first world war, I for one will never forget and never let my children forget the sacrifices made by so many people. My great grandad for one, I will never forget  the loss our family suffered and how it changed the course of our history.

So whenever we are over in France we always go and visit something from WW1 or WW2 and this year was no different.

We stayed in L'Aisne area of France, an area that suffered massive losses and over 90% of the landscape was destroyed from the heavy fighting.

A beautiful landscape, these first images were from hillside above Cavern Du Dragon, unfortunately you couldn't take pictures inside, but the cave itself was unbelievably moving. Seeing the cave as it was left all those years ago, some of it which will never be explored because of the many remaining unexploded bombs.

The tour guide was a knowledgeable lady who explained about the caves and areas around the Chemin De Dames or Ladies Way.


 

These black crosses were in a german cemetery near where we stayed, I cannot explain the sadness I felt visiting this cemetery, so many young men giving their lives needlessly and sometimes without really knowing why. The dark crosses so different to the English and American bright white stone, it really was a moving place. Each cross represents two men, here lay about 11,000 men.


This English Cemetery was resting place to a brave 16 year old soldier who lied about his age and was killed in the vicious fighting in the area, I didn't manage to find his headstone but just looking at the rest was enough to make me stop and stifle back the tears.


And finally the French Cemetery, compared to the English and German Cemeteries this had been left in a sorry state, I am not sure why but I still love the flowers and the shear number of small crosses is a stark reminder of the loss.


Crumbling French Crosses
If you visit this area of France I can highly recommend visiting the Cavern Du Dragon and stopping at the cemeteries along the Chemin De Dames.
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6 November 2013

Lemon and Chia Seed Loaf

Chia seed has fast become a nutritious addition to salads, breakfasts and smoothies and I see it being used all the time over on my Instagram feed..

So with that in mind and with the fact I had some lemons that needed using in the fruit bowl I decided to try replacing poppy seeds with chia seeds in this super easy and tasty Lemon and Chia Seed Loaf.


Ingredients:

2 lemons
225g Unsalted Butter, Softened or Stork Margerine
225g Caster Sugar
275g Self Raising Flour
2 Level Teaspoon Baking Powder
4 Eggs
4 Tablespoons Milk
25 g Chia Seeds you could use Poppy if you don't have Chia

For the topping:


Approx 3 tbsp Lemon Juice but possibly a little more.

225g Icing Sugar, Sieved

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160Fan/Gas 4. Grease and line a loaf tin mine is about 22cm x 11cm.
2. If you have one use a zester to remove the zest from one lemon and set aside to use as garnish. Finely grate the zest from the other lemon, if you only have a greater then just finely grate both lemons just set some aside to garnish with. 

3. Place all of the ingredients including the grated lemon zest into a mixer (alternatively place in a bowl and mix by hand with a wooden spoon or hand mixer) and blend until smooth,  use a spatula to get any bits from around the edge and mix again for a few seconds.

4. Bake in the oven for about 45-55 minutes or until the cake is cooked. You can usually tell this as it starts to come away from the sides of the tin and if you press in the middle it should spring back.  if you'd prefer you can use a cake tester or as I do to be 100% sure it is cooked through a skewer poked in the middle that comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin, once cooled remove carefully from the tin and place on a serving plate.


5. For the icing, mix together the lemon juice a bit at a time to the sieved icing sugar, until it is a smooth spreadable consistency. Should coat the back of a spoon without running off too much. Spread out evenly over the cake sprinkle with reserved lemon zest and leave to set.




And voila a really tasty cake that both hubby and the kids love.
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