Saturday, 30 August 2014

Saturday Caption #Satcap

Friday, 29 August 2014

Starting School & Nursery Tips

Many children start school and they have only just hit four which I find utterly amazing compared to other countries where it is 6 they start and they seem to fare no worse. Reception is very much an extension of nursery but putting in place even more structure , so by the time they are into year 1 they will be writing stories and amazing everyone around them.

Many are coming to school nowadays with a lack of social skills and I am not here to blame anyone , but the lack of skills does impact initially upon their learning.


  • They can not dress themselves.
  • They can not cut up their own food.
  • They don't know when to ask for help by putting their hand up.
  • They have no manners.
This is no way characteristic of all children but a snap shot of some of the problems when initially starting.


At the end of the day they are only children but when they are 30 in a class despite having a teaching assistant initially it is a very busy time confusing believe me for all.


It helps to prepare your child for school in conduction with nursery or anyone else that is involved within their care.


  • Visit the nursery or school before hand with your child to see exactly what the class/ school does.
  • Explain what will happen during the day; play at school , children love being the teacher.
  • Read books about starting school.
  • Reinforce the activities that your child is interested in that they perhaps do at the nursery/ school "there are loads of books there and you love reading or they have lego to build with" And trust me there is nearly always a class teddy !
  • Talk about the fun activities that you do at home that will be replicated in school/nursery such as painting,drawing craft etc.

At school there is always sand!

Reading is such fun at school.

You can dress up at school.nursery.

Everyone loves the school nativity! except when a costume goes missing.

Everyone loves a self portrait!


  • Try and mimic the timings of the school day where possible "Oh Look it's 12 o' clock the children at school are having their lunch now."
  • Practice doing up buttons and fastening shoes.... Velcro is ideal but as they get older laces are ideal especially as by the time they get to senior school : Velcros trainers  really are not cool.
  • Practise social skills, such as taking turns, following directions and making choices
  • Visit friends with children or invite other children to play
  • Teach simple  jobs that may be useful at school, such as packing away toys. The teacher doesn't want to break their neck on a stray sheep now do they?

  • Help your child to recognise his name - most children can't read or write yet, but they may be able to recognise the first letter of their name or even the whole thing
  • Remember, all these activities should be fun - it's important not to pressurise your child. If you're making your child in the least bit anxious, stop talking about it quite so much.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Blog That Moves The Body

I was thinking ...

Dangerous to think.

Dangerous to have an original thought.

That blogging is the blog that moves the body, you all with me so far?

We all I think have our own ways that blogs move our bodies , take me for example ( well it is my blog) recently I've been walking, travelling, foraging in fact this morning  I'm going back out to forage for what I hopefully expect to wild horse radish.

I've just baked a Blackberry Apple Charlotte sandwhich.

So for me it is the blog that moves the body.

 

Monday, 25 August 2014

A Relaxers Guide To Ibiza

Admittedly when I was searching for a family holiday this year in no shape or form did a Ibiza cross my mind. It is not the first place I would have though of for a family holiday but the lure of the free child place was all too good. I had to be told of unbelievable sunsets that simply just melted into the sea and I didn't believe them until......








You can relax in Ibiza but just make sure you research where you're staying we were stopping at the Fiesta  Tannit which is 3 star whilst I'll be honest I'm a 4 star person think Holly Go Lightly on holiday from "Breakfast at Tiffany's " and you're not far off the mark!

Clean and adequate , the room was typically tiled and airy , the beds a little hard but clean and the balcony gave breath taking views over San Antonio bay. Having got up at 3am that morning to get a 6 am flight to Ibiza , we were all tidied , the teen was cranky by the time we got to bed. Now I'm no holiday grinch I understand children are going to bounce their little bouncy ball ( they win oh so joyfully from the bouncy ball machine ) but when it got to 11.40 at night my eye was beginning to twitch.


So I finally cracked I stomped down to reception complete with me in stripy pyjamas looking like an escaped Where's Wally with a hint of Jack Nicholson from the shining. Now I know no Spanish except hello , thank you and 2 beers please, so trying to explain " the bouncy ball bouncing on the floor above me is starting to annoy me " was hard . They did speak English but it got animated and I looked like I was on ' Give us a clue' they came up but guess what it went completely quiet but then the dum dum went off again, off to the offending room and sorted it out. And so peace was restored and we could begin our relax in earnest.

We never ever go to to welcome meetings preferring to do our research before we go and then if necessary asking the happy smiley reps in the hotel.

One of the first places we went being 20 minutes outside the bay of Antonio was the little aquarium which was along a beautiful breathtaking coastal path.



The aquarium is situated in a very picturesque area 5 minutes away from our hotel Fiesta Tanit the aquarium is tucked tucked into the cave on the edge of a cliff, and the walk there along the sea front path was breathtaking. The admission price is just over 4 Euros for adults and less for children ( you can pick a leaflet that gives you a discount at the Fiesta Tanit hotel.

Aquarium Cap Blanc

It is a very small aquarium , I'll be honest you're not going to see the marine life you'd see in a Sea Life centre there, but the ambiance and atmosphere of the place, the setting and the sense of fishing history make it well worth a visit. There is great snorkeling in the bay, and most of the fish you see in the aquarium are the fish you would see in the water around this area. The sea directly enters the cave where the fish are kept; the small bar, more resembling an Australian surf shack immediately outside the cave entrance is very atmospheric, and you can sit outside here with a drink, overlooking the sea is a great place to spend a short visit, also quite spectacularly amazing when the sun goes down and the breeze rustles your hair.


From aquarium Cap Blanc you can a water taxi to San Antonio it's not much 4 Euros one way and cheaper if you have a return. The water taxi is a proper little boat , one that looks like it could have been used in the Dunkirk landings but completely serviceable and safe.

For the ultimate Ibiza beaches visit this blog 


Ibiza old Town

We got a taxi from our hotel and it was about 26 Euros and that took us to the top of the old town where the fort is and a cathedral  and I am glad it did as I am asthmatic ! then we could wistfully wind our way down and oh what a serene and inspiring journey it was.

And being finally tuned to no wifi I was able to look up and see the shimmering beauty of the whitewashed houses than wound their way down to the bottom.The old town is split into distinct areas from restaurants ,bar and hippy clothing. Do wear good shoes as they streets are cobbled , luckily I did ! 



A holiday is what you make it and on the days when we weren't wandering about I were lazing by the pool reading or taking a dip, but a week was just enough for us perhaps long enough there had been more at the hotel but it was enough and sometimes that is all you need.




Me time
You time
We time

Family Time


Friday, 22 August 2014

Nomadic Adventuring

A nomad is a wanderer.

I 've had a week with no wifi which was good , I didn't come back to a flurry of notifications. I suppose I should have aghast but it's a time to sort the wheat from the chaff.

A time to look up and see....



A time to step back from the cliqueness of social media which pulses through , rearing it's head every so often. It's not you ,it's more about me I can't be a friend to all. If you have my friendship then well done if you don't then so be it.

It's a time to focus....



A time to breathe....



A time to explore....


A time to look through the window...


Cooking and not a luvvy air kiss in sight.


I'm grateful for all the friends I have online and otherwise.

But if you can pick up the thread of what I'm about then I've succeeded in being a moment within your time being.

If you don't like how I mash things up then I quite frankly don't give a duck.

* no egos were harmed in this blog post but assertiveness was given in payment for this post.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Summer Menu Pizza Express Restaurant Review

Before we got to Pizza Express we took advantage of the time to do a little shopping and brought some perfume and after shave due to the fact we had £10 voucher off each. Now I spent £15 with voucher total my perfume cost £5 but Mr T spent £29.99 again with the voucher his cost £19.99. Perhaps this was due to the fact he is off on the town as I write this !



On Thursday Myself Mr T and Josh were invited to go and review the new Pizza ExpressSummer specials menu at the Derby branch of Pizza Express in the into centre .We are never one to turn down a free meal. We kindly accepted the offer and made our way to Derby.  We love Pizza Express it takes the pizza express to a whole new level we have been on nervous occasions. This time we were interested to try out the summer specials as we tend to always order the same sort of thing, so thought the change might do us good.

I know you can just enjoy a pizza at home but to share a pizza meal with family or friends and have a good chat means the world to me relaxing my soul and mind !


The summer menu is light enough for you to enjoy 3 course if you so desire and I promise you , won't feel stuffed. And the Hugo "Pizza Express cocktail is an absolute must.




And Pizza Express has bunting ! I have a silly giddy weakness for bunting as I believe that everywhere should have bunting, we feel so much jollier with bunting wouldn't you agree!? 




The whole ambiance of Pizza Express is bright,airy spacious and vibrant , the level of noise is just right so you can hear your companions talking and more importantly your waiter/waitress can hear your order.




Even if you don't like pizza there are plenty of alternatives ! We were seated in the middle of the restaurant and for once I didn't have to change my seat , I am guilty of being like Goldilocks ensuring I get the seat that is just right. The first seat however this time was just right for me so this night was going to be a sure fire winner.

Menus were issued with due diligence and drinks orders were taken , we weren't rushed begin asked if we wanted a few more minutes after which our orders were take. Myself and my son had Mozzarella garlic bread for starters and my husband had   Brushetta Con Funghi.


Brushetta Con Funghi Pizza Express


 The main course myself whilst Mr T choose off the new menu , he had Risotto Fresco whilst I had the Leggera Sloppy Giuseppe ( a pizza with a small section of the middle missing and filled with salad thus allowing you to lower your calorie intake if you so wish.) J had a Toscana pizza which he happily poised on all on his own , he didn't share * bah.


Risotto Fresco 


Leggera Sloppy Giuseppe




Toscana pizza



With our arms twisted behind our backs we were forced to have dessert ( we weren't really ) the new menu has such mouth watering deserts. I had summer fruit pudding served with real cream and Mr T  had the  Vanilla Panna Cotta. They were small in size and really left a refreshing edge to your palate, my son had Chocolate Fudge Cake for dessert which he loved.

Pizza Express is such a child friendly place and all the kids around were engaged and happily tucking into their food from the Picolo menu. Top notch food and service and the staff were exemplary  and Pizza Express has become a firm favourite and delivers individual service despite begin a chain establishment. Also there is choice if you are coeliac or need to avoid gluten as Pizza Express now have a gluten free menu from Pizza to beer.


Disclosure : We were provided with the meal for free , All thoughts words and opinions are my own and I have not be told what to write. And this is a place as a family that we go back to and I honestly mean that.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

White Pudding Savoury Rice

Thank you to the lovely Jane Willis for this recipe , ps it is her birthday today so if you like pop over and say Happy Birthday to her , suitable gifts would be tea, wine and bracelets but other than that just a kind word or 2 will suffice. You will find Jane blogging comps over at Compersgrapevine and as her talents know no bounds she also blogs recipes also she is awfully crafty as well displaying this in her craft blog Onions and Paper.



When I was dreaming up this dish, I called it a pilaff, but when we tasted it, it was so deeply rich and savoury that it was crying out to have the simpler name of savoury rice! We ate it with a green salad, but you could add some colour and make it into a one pot meal by stirring in about 125g fresh or frozen peas about 5  minutes before the end of the cooking time.

Ingredients  to serve 4

1 large onion, chopped
1 tbs oil
15 g butter
60 g diced pancetta or streaky bacon
200 g white pudding, diced into pieces about 1 cm cubed
one mugful of long grain or basmati rice
two mugfuls of water or light chicken stock
black pepper and a little salt
a few grates of nutmeg

Method

Heat the oil and butter in a flameproof casserole and gently fry the onion until soft. Add the bacon or pancetta and cook for 3-4 minutes then add the white pudding and cook for 5 minutes more, stirring constantly.

Stir in the rice and cook for a minute until it starts to look translucent, then pour in all the liquid and season lightly (the bacon and white pudding are pretty salty) with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Bring to the boil then cover and reduce the heat to very low. Cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender and all the liquid absorbed. This will take 15-20 minutes depending on your rice. If it is very tender and there is still some liquid left, turn up the heat to drive off the moisture. The texture should be soft but dryish.



Monday, 11 August 2014

Best Butter Chunk Biscuits

May I introduce Rachel who blogs over Eternally28 at she is a lovely lady who works in education , and understands when I say things about school etc. She is in ace cook and knits for England *well if they gave out medals for knitting then she would win one. So please take the time to read the post and comment. 






Now then, the very lovely Claire invited me to bore the wot sits off all her 
zillions of equally lovely readers by writing a guest post! How posh! A guest 
post! Little old me!! 

So I'm blogging up a biscuity piece all about some biscuits I made. These 
biscuits were very buttery. I say were, because I've blooming well eaten them 
all! They were good. They should have been. There was a FULL. BLOCK. OF. BEST. 
BUTTER. IN. THEM! 

The recipe was taken and adapted from this sweet little baking book I got from 
the Bookman at work. We have a few Bookmen. They are basically men who bring 
books. Sometimes from The Book People and sometimes from other similar 
establishments. The Bookmen are very patient with us as work, often making 
several repeat trips because non of us ever have any money on us when they 
deliver the orders. I'm waffling now... 

Oh. I need to add a photo here. Hang on. 



This is the recipe I based mine on. 
Except I had these to use up instead of white choc chunks. 



I weighed out my sugars 

Added that full block of best butter I was telling you about and popped the lot 
into Beryl ( my darling Kitchen Aid Mixer - she's Boysenberry! ) and she creamed 
them together like a sweetheart. Nothing is any bother for Beryl. 
Next I had to add some vanilla essence. But I didn't have any! ( this is why my 
bakes are only ever based on recipes! I used this, which I got from Lakeland 
ages ago. 

 I've also got a strawberry one, a raspberry one and a yet to be used custard 
one! Delicious! Anyway a few drops of this went in with an egg. Then folded in 
the plain flour 
and bicarb and this little lot of calorie's nuggets 

 
Then heaped teaspoons were put into well greased baking sheets with room for 
spreadage. If you make n eat these you'll definitely need room for spreadage - 
it's why God invented ELASTICATED Waists!! 

In they went to a hottish oven 
 And out they came ten minutes later - I reckon eight minutes would have been 
better. 


You have to let them cool on the tray for a wee while. Then wait until 
completely cold before devouring them. It does say in the book, best eaten on 
the day. 


Warning, if taken off the tray too soon they fall apart 




 
But I think the broken ones taste even better!!! 

So there's my first post I've ever blurbed my way through for someone else! 

Thank you Claire xx 


Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Annoying Fringe Syndrome



Annoying fringe syndrome ?

Do you suffer from it ?

Are you constantly blowing said fringe out of your hair ?

Are you resisting taking the scissors to it ?


Annoying fringe syndrome ?

Do you suffer from it ?

Are you constantly blowing said fringe out of your hair ?

Are you resisting taking the scissors to it ?








Also my first attempt at vlogging bear with me.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

A Time To Remember

I got to thinking.

At 6.08 am precisely.

About the lights out for the First World War, I was all for the light as a way of respect , but you see respect for one event doesn't mean you are thinking of any other situation less.

Yesterday I had tweeted:

"War is always going on sadly ,there is always a quest for peace . Just because I RT world war 1 stuff doesn't mean I think less of Gaza"

And in fact some of my friends tweeted back there are 32 wars going on ~ shocking.

For me the First World War brought family secrets/ sacrifice back to the forefront , so lighting a candle was a small but significant mark of respect.

And that's the key lesson respect for when you have respect of one situation then very often it will help you develop empathy for others.






Monday, 4 August 2014

Fairy Kisses Jam Biscuits








Baking is often born out of boredom or whimsical wandering a for me , the Victoria Sponge cake still alludes me , I 've no idea why but it terrifies me! One day one day  I shall bake a Victoria Sponge but for now I have just baked fairy kisses an ideal to bake with your child/children and no egg and you could even bake it with gluten free flour.

Fairy kisses ideal for a little snack upon a fairy glade in a quiet wood, or perhaps tea in the garden ( weather permitting of course!


Ingredients

6/8 ozs of low fat spread ( you might find you only need 6 ) 

100g caster sugar

2 tea spoon vanilla essence.

Plain flour.

Raspberry Jam


Method

Preheat the oven to 180c

First sift the flour into a bowl.

Then add the spread and sugar , try adding just the 6 oz (spread) if you want less spread the resulting biscuits won't be dry.

Now you could either use a mixer to cream the mixture together, but I just rubbed the fat into the flour gently. This is a task you could get your child / children to do.

At this point you will have a dough. I placed mine in a food bag and chilled for half an hour ( both myself and the dough)

After the half an hour , fetch the dough from the fridge.

Tear off a brussel sprout size piece of dough , roll it into a ball.

Place several the balls into a greased baking tray and gently squash with your palm or the back of a spoon.

Then press your thumb gently into each squashed ball so as it leave a little indent.

Then spoon jam into the indent taking care not to over fill.




Then place in the oven for 12 minutes or until golden brown. You will have enough dough to bake 2 batches.




Perfect to enjoy with a cup of coffee for your cheeky elevenses and I love my coffee machine , it gives me a taste of being in Italy * I have yet to get to Italy but with a good coffee machine and a cup of coffee I am half way there.



Sunday, 3 August 2014

Sunday Peak Photo



Upon the Peak

I stand 

Master and surveyor 

Of the land

Where 

Thoughts wistfully want

To conquer

More peaks 

No pits or knots

In my stomach 

For confidance 

Overrides any silly

Irrational 

Fear


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