27 January 2014

Planning Meals Ahead

Once a month we go to a local farm shop to stock up on meat, this week so we didn't just end up buying random bits we have planned our meals (for two weeks in fact).

It is difficult planning around my husband as sometimes he is away till late and sometimes at short notice and when I am at work it is difficult to have the energy and inclination to make something so I have planned meals

So this week we have on the menu:

Monday - Sausage Casserole - this is a bung it all in the slow cooker dish super easy and cheap.
Tuesday - Stew -  this week I am trying beef cheeks instead of the usual skirt.
Wednesday - Meatloaf - i've not made this before so hoping it will go well.
Thursday - It's my daughters birthday so we are having people round for tea so I am doing a big Chilli.
Friday - Slow cooker Chinese pork (as I am at work) with enough for leftovers on Saturday tea of pulled pork.
Saturday - Leftover BBQ pulled pork
Sunday - Pot Roast again with leftovers for Monday tea.

The slow cooker is the perfect way to make dinners that use cheap cuts of meat with lots of flavour, as well as being easy for when you are working or even when your not. Giving you time to spend with the children instead of working away in the kitchen.

It also ensure wholesome warming meals that are often easy on the pocket.

This week I am linking up to Meal Planning Monday over on At Home with Mrs M

Meal Planning Monday

22 January 2014

Gorgeous Boots for Winter

We live on a huge hill, in fact in the middle of a street with two huge hills at either end, although we haven't had snow yet I am pretty sure it is going happen soon and as much as I love my Fly boots they are not waterproof in the slightest and well wellies are damned cold unless you have a pair of welly socks on!

So when we were in Bakewell at the weekend I got looking at some of the gorgeous Hi-Tec range in the walking shop so thought i'd share them.

I love these Harmony boots, I think they look great and not particularly like snow/walking boots which I think makes them perfect for every day use, from icy days to full on snow days. With 200gsm Thinsulate to keep you warm and a Vibram sole to give great non slip action I love these.

Next up are these fab Talia boots, I think they would look great teamed up with skinny jeans, again perfect as every day wear boots and ensure you stay looking good on the school run without falling on your bum ;) Super warm and non slip Vibram sole, plus a super soft lining for comfort.

And finally these gorgeous Sierra Pamir 200, again with 200gm Thinsulate, what could be better to keep you feet toasty and warm whilst still being stylish, oh and dry

So will the snow come? We have certainly already had some frosty mornings and moss covered pavements only add to the drama, so could these stand up to moss and frost? I wonder :)

18 January 2014

A Walk Around Local History

Not far from us is a country park which is home to one of the many great british landmarks, an old pit and the winding engine house that stood above it.

As you drive along the road to Bestwood Country Park you see the beautiful houses that would have once been home to miners for Bestwood Pit, beautiful little terraces with ornate friezes.

The park itself is over 690 acres so there is a lot to explore, today though we climbed the hill to find the adventure playground.

Walking up to see the winding house

You can just about see the hole but about 10 foot in it is filled in.

I adore the building, such an ornate and beautiful building for something that was such a messy job, guess that's how it was all those years ago.

Someone had carved a snake out of this tree, we seem to see so many tree carvings at the minute.

Finally after a steep hill climb, we get to the adventure playground, well worth the walk though.

Not sure who was having more fun? Father or Son?

Finding little hedgehogs again (sweet chestnuts)

Attempting a game of noughts and crosses

Looking at the moss on a tree trunk

We found this old rotting tree, lots of bugs and creatures in it...

Including this wasp, guessing it was a queen having a snooze, hope we didn't disturb her too much!

You can just see the yellow in the middle of the bark.
Hiding under this lovely big tree, discussing it's den making qualities of course

Accessing the way out

Walking back home to find some puddles to have a last minute splash in

Puddles found and also a hole in my sons wellies, time to find some new ones me thinks.

Lots of squelchy mud

Pretty gorse flower, if you haven't smelt these before they smell of coconut.

Bestwood Country Park is a lovely green place not far from the city and a lovely piece of history of something that was so important many years ago.

Linking up to Country Kids with Coombe Mill

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

17 January 2014

Basilia in Langley Mill

I have worked in Langley Mill for 7 years now so imagine my delight when a new deli style cafe opened but two minutes away.

Basilia offers a huge selection or gorgeous homemade food and cakes you can either eat in the welcoming cafe or take out, perfect if you are driving by on your way to Shipley Country Park.

I have tried several different items from the menu from the wonderful ploughmans with homemade ham and local cheeses to the rather delicious paninis and cheese and broccoli quiche.

Cakes are in plenty supply with my favourite being the chewy choccie slice, this is quite frankly the most amazing thing I have ever tasted, but they have so much more including a selection of gluten free.

They also offer a large selection of gourmet goodies to make into a hamper for a gift and lots of cheeses and cooked meats to take away too.

If you are over that way and fancy something a little different for lunch I can highly recommend Basilia.

The staff are helpful and knowledgeable about the food and everything is freshly cooked on the premises.


16 January 2014

Bringing the Outdoors Inside Vintage Style

I had been looking at the pot plants in a local garden centre but with a high price tag I had to find another way of getting some pretty hyacinths into my home.

So on passing a small florist I spotted a pot of hyacinths at a fraction of the price and snapped them up with the intention of repotting them.

Using some of the vintage pots and bowls I have around the house I repotted them to have a selection of gorgeous plants to add to each room.

You could use some old tins from hot chocolate or golden syrup for example if you have got anything else, even a treasured Bonne Maman jar.

I can't think of a nicer way to bring a pop of colour (when they eventually bloom) into you home and plants always seem to bring a smile to your faec as you watch them grow...a bit like children :)

15 January 2014

DIY Banner - The Perfect Addition to The Home

Last year on Instgram I saw this fantastic banner set, the pack contains 122 letters and symbols.

You put them together using the fasteners included, you know the split pin ones you used as a kid.

They were perfect for Christmas...

The only problem is now thinking of things to say with them, other than Happy Birthday etc on the children's birthdays.

On the wall currently is the lyrics from on of my favouite Ferry Corsten tracks Made of Love.

At £10 I think these are a worthwhile investment, I bought mine from a gorgeous little shop called Archie's Boutique but I can see them being on the wall all throughout the year with an abundance of inspirational quotes to use.

13 January 2014

Winter Park Fun

The weather is being rather weird at the moment, I have seen buds on trees and it has been so warm at times, certainly compared to the weather we were having last year.

Not that I am complaining, we live on a rather large hill and snow makes it a nightmare.

So this weekend we braved the what was the coldest day and went out to the local duck park to get some fresh air.

It was a good time to go out, as there is still so much to see...apparently this stick was too good to walk past.

 Running around the rose garden....

Playing hide and seek...

In to the sensory garden, lots to see on the walls...

Chasing each other through the tunnel...

We kinda thought this tree looked like a giant foot, can you see it?

Looking at the little hedgehogs aka sweet chestnut...

A year ago a friend of the family died of cancer, her family had this tree planted in the park so it was nice to find it and pay our respects.

Looking over the park at the old Home Brewery building, so sad this isn't a brewery anymore as I have fond memories of the smell of hops in the summer :)

Still running...

Duck spotting...

Can you see the man in the tree, of course you can.

This week I am linking up to Country Kids over at the Coombe Mill Blog

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

10 January 2014

Choc Chip Cherry Crumble

My current go to pudding is a choc chip cherry crumble.

Invented as an emergency pudding this delicious and simple pudding is now a firm favourite.

Using either frozen or tinned cherries (frozen are better in my opinion) this is an easy store cupboard pudding.

150g frozen cherries or a tin of cherries (drained)
100g self raising flour
50g sugar
20g dark chocolate
50g butter or stork margarine if you'd prefer
1 tbsp cherry brandy (optional)


Preheat oven to 160c

1. Place the cherries and cherry brandy (if using) in an oven proof dish.

2. Place flour, sugar and chocolate in a food processor and blitz together until the chocolate is well chopped add the butter/margerine and mix again until it resembles breadcrumbs. Alternatively if you don't have a mixer/blender then mix the butter and flour together with your fingers to make breadcrumbs and then add the sugar and chop the chocolate up and add that and stir until well mixed.

4. Place the crumble top on the cherries and spread evenly. Sprinkle a bit of sugar on top and place in the oven for about 20 mins or until golden brown on top.

5. Serve with cream or custard.

You don't have to include the cherry brandy, I personally think it adds a little zing and it isn't enough alcohol to really make it alcoholic.

This week I am linking up to Recipe of the Week over on A Mummy Too blog.

Link up your recipe of the week