Friday, 18 April 2014

A Lurpak bake off!

Lurpak have recently launched their new Lurpak Slow churned butter, which is inspired by traditional production methods.  It is made by slowly churning cream over five hours in small batches.  Lurpak claims this results in a fuller tasting flavour, well we had to put this to the test!

Lurpak Slow churned butter

The girls and I made two batches of cookies, well I can't think of anything better really.  Once batch used Lurpak slow churned and the other used a supermarket own brand butter.  We followed the following recipe, after I managed to convince my daughter it was a bowl and not a hat!

hat or bowl?

Ingredients

250g Plain flour
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
170g unsalted butter
200g Brown sugar
100g Caster sugar
1 tbsp Vanilla extract
2 Eggs
325g Chocolate chips

Method 

1. Preheat oven to 170C, Gas mark 3.  Grease baking trays
2. Stir together flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt.

mixing cookie dough

3. In a separate bowl mix melted butter, brown sugar and caster sugar. 
4. Beat in Vanilla and the eggs until creamy.

yummy cookie dough

5.  Mix both bowls together and stir in the chocolate chips.

adding the chocolate

6. Place cookie dough onto baking trays to make your cookies.

empty mixture

7. Bake for 15-17 minutes until golden.  Allow to cool.

cookies in oven

After the cookies had cooled down it was time to put them to the taste test.  Each batch was placed on a different plate and sure enough one plate disappeared much faster than the other

supermarket butter cookiesLurpak slow churned butter cookies

The result of the Lurpak bake off was 

Lurpak slow churned butter really does make a difference in cookies and gives them a much fuller taste!  I can't wait to try some on my toast!

I have 10 vouchers to give away to 5 winners [each winner receives 2 vouchers], for a pack of Lurpak slow churned butter.  Entry is open to UK only, follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below and good luck!  Giveaway closes 30th April at Midnight.

a Rafflecopter giveaway





Exploring

With the weather promising to be nice the girls and I decided to explore somewhere new.  I had seen Langsett on Yorkshire Waters walks and leisure and this looked like a fun place to visit.  It had free entry, free parking and plenty of variety for the girls.  More importantly it was pushchair friendly and they had toilets [very important when potty training!].

We set off to explore Langsett and began walking around the reservoir.  

exploring LangsettLangsett reservoir  
 The water was so beautiful.  It is great to be able to see the beautiful landscape that Yorkshire Water own, and where they look after our water.  The paths were very pushchair friendly and beautifully lined with trees, it was very peaceful walking around.

tree lined path

The landscape started to change and we began walking through woodland.  This gave plenty of opportunity for the girls to explore and they soon both wanted out of the pushchair to have a good run around.

exploring woodsrunning through trees

The girls, and our dog, soon found one of their favourite things, Muddy Puddles!  Well no walk would be complete without one!

dog in muddy puddlesplaying in muddy puddles

The girls loved exploring and watching the water in the streams come through the hills.  There was so much for them to explore 

finding sticksexploring streams

The girls loved playing in the woods.  Our landscape changed again and became much more open.  This gave the girls even more opportunity to have a good run!

enjoying walkrunning free

It was so lovely to explore somewhere new and really great to have found such a beautiful place.  Yorkshire water are one of the country's largest landowner, with over 72,000 acres.  With all this land I think we are going to need a bit of a rest before exploring our next one!

taking a break

I am so glad that I am a Yorkshire Water customer and I can visit these beautiful places and see how Yorkshire water are taking care of our little part of the world.  All part of the blueprint for Yorkshire.

This day I love Exploring

I was asked by Yorkshire Water to visit one of their sites.  Entry to the site is free for everyone and I have not received financial compensation for writing this post.  Words and opinions are my own.











Friday, 4 April 2014

Magical adventures

It had been a long hard day at the construction site

Dress up construction

I was glad when work was over.  I parked the truck by our pink house

Truck parking

And began dreaming of our wonderful holiday to Butlins

Butlins Skegness

Lucky for me I knew I did not need to take a horse to get there

Fairground horse

Or even a plane

Fairground plane

Some even say its so magical that you could get there in a magic teacup

Riding tea cups

But for me there is only one true way to travel

Butlins van

We arrived at Butlins and I began to check out what was on and where to eat

Welcome to Butlins

I discovered I had just enough time to get pampered

Butlins FacepaintingButlins Paint Parlour

Before catching the pirate show

Puppet show

I wonder what magical adventures await me tomorrow, I am sure Mummy knows.

This day I love Magical adventures

Hold that thought Milton

Our March Book buddy book from Parragon sees the interesting story of Milton, 'Hold that thought Milton' by award winning author Linda Ravin Lodding and illustrated by Ross Collins.

This is a rather comical tale which follows Milton, a young boy with a lot on his mind.  His pet frog Burp disappears the day before his Aunts wedding and everyone is busy, no one has time to listen to Milton, 'Hold that thought Milton'.  The thing is Milton has a lot of thoughts and the more he tries to hold them, the more he becomes them.  Hilarity soon follows which is brought to life by the wonderful illustrations.  This is a lovely story to read with my girls and one they find rather funny!

Hold that thought Milton


We were sent a copy of Hold that thought Milton to review, all words are my own

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Weekend Ideas!

There are some products that when they really make you go wow.  The Weekend box was one of these, such a clever idea.  Let me introduce the Weekend box to you.

The Weekend Box

The Weekend box contains something in the following categories

Something to Cook 
Something to Make
Something to Explore and
Something Green

Each activity explores sensory skills and teach them something in a fun way.  My eldest at 3 years old loved it.  As a parent I loved that pretty much everything I needed was included.  I know how hard it can be to entertain a 3 year old with something fun and educational, particularly when you cannot go outside and play.  The Weekend box provided a great solution.  We had an idea of something to make for lunch, green pancakes and after an activity to make.  There was a fun game to play and a little experiment on sound.  Even my 23 month old got involved and had fun.

Example of Weekend box activity Contents of weekend box





There is a new box every fortnight and a box costs £7.50, which I think is very well priced.  If you would like to try a weekend box for free including delivery then please use this promotional code LEYLA130.  I personally think the Weekend box is an excellent idea, the girls loved it, I loved it and we could focus on what mattered over the weekend, having fun!

We were sent a free weekend box to review, all words are my own

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

A first flying visit

My eldest daughter was 6 months old when we first took her abroad on holiday.  I remember very well that this was the holiday she learnt to sit up from lying down by herself.  Looking back through the photos have brought back some wonderful memories which I would love to share, as well as sharing some top tips along the way.

sleeping in sky cotWe flew with Emirates and I have to say they were fantastic, even after all this time I remember how helpful the staff were with my daughter.  They could not have done more.  I would say it is worth asking friends and family who they have flown with in the past and their experiences of the different companies.  Emirates provided us with a sky cot which was great.  I could lie my eldest in it [its basically a crib] and she kept herself entertained, until she figured out she could sit up and climb out.  It is worth asking for a sky cot if you do have a baby.
eating cheese




Whilst we might enjoy sampling different foods whilst on holiday, the different tastes might not agree with a little one.  It is worth taking some food from home just in case.  We discovered that my eldest loved feta cheese and I love how its everywhere, even her hair!

bath in a wash tubBath times, nap times, sleep times, forget the routine, you are on holiday and so is your little one, enjoy yourselves.  The routine will come back once the jet lag has gone and you are back at home.  Bath times can be fun on holiday.  Some places don't have a bath and only a shower, so improvise.  Use a wash basket, the sink, your little one will have lots of fun!  

keeping cool Always keep cool and protect your eyes, even if it means borrowing Granddads!


feet upMake sure you take time to chill and put your feet up, after all you are on holiday




imaginative playWhilst it is a good idea to take a few toys with you to keep the little one entertained on the journey, I wouldn't take too many.  Children have a brilliant imagination and can have just as much fun with a roll of tissue paper!

beach at night
beach in sun 






Whilst we tend to want to spend most of our time outdoors in the sunshine, its important to keep little ones skin covered up.  I have found that many hats have straps underneath which is a great help at helping the hat to stay on.  Although it is lovely to be out in the sunshine, there is something magical about a beach at night or dusk.  Her Granddad took her paddling in the sea for the first time during the night, it was really special.


emirates strollerSome airports and companies have strollers you can hire whilst you are in the airport building.  Its worth finding out if this is available as its a great service to take advantage of, tired children in airports are not much fun.  Giving them space to rest is a real bonus.














in flight entertainmentMy eldest loved travelling on the plane.  I fed her during take off and landing, so as to help her ears equalise.  She slept in her sky cot and when not sleeping she would watch TV with me or we would play games and play with her toys.  It is not always bad travelling with an infant.  



















Summer wish list

As our summer holiday draws closer I am beginning to think more about the clothes for us all to wear.  I prefer to do all my shopping on line, I find it much more convenient, and I like to have something for the whole family in one place.  I have started to put together a wish list of a few ideas I have had for us and would love to know your thoughts.

Eldest

My eldest is a stereotypical girl. She loves all things pink, sparkly and has a current love for Rapunzel and Snow White.  She adores playing outside and the clothes she wears needs to reflect this and give her freedom to move as well as keep her cool.  I am really loving the following

eldest wish list

It is important with our summer holiday to have a sun hat and I think this one is very fitting for my eldest.  She loves hats and the pink ribbon on this is sure to be a hit.  The pink ribbon also ties in beautifully with this dress.  I love the beautiful colours and the lovely summery feel.  I can see her running around in this and generally having some fun.  I would see it more as a dress for in the evening than during the day but it is beautiful.  The blue colour really suits her too.  These gorgeous sandals will help to keep her cool and also give her the freedom to be active.  A beautiful combination.

eldest summer

Youngest

My youngest is the exact opposite to my eldest.  I struggle to get a dress on her, she loves mud, water and general messy things.  She is incredibly independent and has a real sense of adventure.  For her I think the following

youngest wish list

I have again chosen sandals but this time in a much softer blue colour to reflect more of her personality.  The hat also has the blue banding with white dots and they tie in nicely together.  With my youngest having a total refusal to wear dresses and skirts [it happens very rarely that she will put one on] I have gone for denim shorts as they tend to last longer and I can dress up and down according to the occasion.  The tunic style top I really loved as its made of cotton so would keep her cool, and also the design is very summery.  

summer youngest

For Me

In many ways I am very similar to my youngest.  I am a lot happier in jeans and a top than in a dress.  At the moment I am really loving the colour red in my clothes and seem to be instantly drawn to them

my summer holiday wish list

This beautiful red sleeveless tunic instantly caught my attention.  I love the detail around the neck and it would also keep me cool on those summer evenings.  I added a pair of skinny jeans too, simply because I like jeans!  I was drawn to these shoes, I think because of the red bow I think they would work well together.

What do you think of our holiday wish list?  What would be on yours?  Why not take a look where I got my inspiration from in the holiday shop.  Love to hear your thoughts.

I have not received payment or items to write this post.  These are my own opinions for my wish list.