Life is a gift…..(a quick update)

Firstly apologies for not being around for a while. Keeping the kids entertained and happy during the school holidays seemed to take up the majority of my time, and on top of the usual everyday things there never seemed enough time in the day to do anything else! I hope you all had a lovely school holidays? We really enjoyed ourselves but I must admit it is quite nice to get back into our normal, everyday routine again! I will be catching up on blog posts over the next few days – I have so much to write about!

Unfortunately, we also had a few family dramas including my beautiful, amazing Gran having another severe heart attack and ending up in intensive care. It was touch and go for a while but fortunately my Gran is one of the strongest women I know and she pulled through like a true fighter. Experiences like this put all the trivial, mundane worries into such perspective that you cant help but look at your life and question if you are living it to the maximum. Life is a precious gift which we should all completely treasure……

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One lucky little guy!

Last weekend took a surprising turn of events! Whilst I was visiting my Gran’s house with the kids, my daughter and son had been playing outside in her garden when they came racing in, shouting “There’s a hedgehog in the garden!” Now to say they were excited is an understatement, but there was also an edge of panic to their voices. It became clear as to why, when we went outside and saw exactly where the hedgehog was – down a rather deep hole in Gran’s garden! The poor little guy must have fallen down and got completely stuck!

My daughter was very worried bless her and went to go and get her Grandad (or Popsy) as we call him to help! He donned some of his welding gloves (“I am not getting those spikes near my hands!”) and tried to get the hedgehog out from the hole.

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It took several attempts before he managed to grab him and pull him out to safety. He was looking very dusty and was pretty wobbly on his feet. I wasn’t terribly hopeful that he was okay. We gave him some water which he drunk so quickly! It made us wonder exactly how long the little guy had been stuck down there for! It was strange as he wasn’t fearful of us at all – think he was just very grateful to be out of his tight squeeze!

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Once we knew that he was okay and that he had drunk plenty, we set him free down in Popsy’s allotment. The kids were so happy that they had played a part in rescuing the hedgehog and were chuffed to see him walking happily around back in the wild!

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A very strange end to our weekend but a lovely experience for the kids to see a hedgehog so close up and help to put him back where he belongs!

Herby cheese muffins!

The soundtrack to the summer school holidays this year has been “Mum, I’m hungry”……. I feel like I am being eaten out of house and home! I am always trying to find snacks for the kids which are cheap and easy to make. I decided to make some of my favourite herb and cheese muffins this week – super simple and yummy!

Recipe for herby cheese muffins – 280g plain flour, 1 tsp salt, 125g grated cheddar cheese, 3 – 4 tsp dried mixed herbs, 2 eggs, 75g melted butter and 200 ml milk.

1 – Preheat oven to 190c and line a muffin tin with cases.

2 – Sieve the salt and flour into a bowl and mix. Add the herbs and cheese and mix thoroughly.

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3 – In a different bowl, beat the eggs, butter and milk together, then pour into the dry ingredient bowl.

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4 – Stir the ingredients together to form a lumpy batter.

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5 – Spoon the batter mixture into the cases and bake for approx 20 – 25 minutes, until firm.

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These savoury muffins were so easy to make and use ingredients which can usually be found already in your kitchen. The kids really enjoyed them and they disappeared super quickly (note to self – make two batches next time)! They also taste really good spread with a little butter!

 

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We hope you like our herby cheese muffins! Let me know what you enjoy making for the kids snacks (Hey, I need more food inspiration here)!

Happy Sunday guys!

Beautiful blackberries (and a simple crumble recipe)!

The Summer this year here in Wales is turning into a bit of a wash out! However, I still like to get the kids out and about in the ‘very fresh’ air and the other day was no exception. I wanted an activity which was free and fun for the kids, so I decided to take them blackberry picking. We had spotted quite a few blackberries previously in our area so I thought it would be a nice idea to go blackberry picking. (We try and do this each year as the kids love it. You can see our post from last year here!)

We donned our waterproofs and set off, plastic tubs in hands to grab some of those yummy fruits!

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The kids love trying to spot and pick the blackberries, especially my two year old nephew who thought it was great fun! (Remember to supervise the little ones to make sure that nothing inedible is being picked – I find this activity provides a brilliant opportunity to talk to your kids about what is safe to pick and what isn’t).

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Once we had enough blackberries we headed home. I added some strawberries to our collection of blackberries and we all made a very yummy berry crumble!

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Recipe for berry crumble – 300g berries, 200g caster sugar, 180g chopped butter and 250g plain flour.

1 – Preheat the oven to 200c. Lightly grease your ovenproof dish with butter, then arrange your berries at the bottom.

2 – In a separate bowl mix together the sugar, flour and butter with a fork until it looks like crumbs.

3 – Bake in the oven for approx 30 minutes or until golden.

4 – Serve with ice cream, cream or custard and enjoy!

 

We hope you are all having a lovely weekend, whatever you may be doing!

A special moment captured!

Firstly, sorry I haven’t been around a great deal recently…… I am still here but just very busy as we are well into our school summer holidays and although I love the holidays, I feel like I have zero amount of free time right now! I hope you are all enjoying the school holidays too. Let me know what you have all been up to!

I wanted to share with you this picture I took the other day when I took the kids (including my two year old nephew) to the beach. My son loves skimming stones and uses every available opportunity to practise and perfect his technique! My nephew always tries to copy him and my son always tries to help him out and teach him how to skim. I watched them the other day and was struck by how lovely it was, so I grabbed the camera and took a quick picture. I think it captures a truly special moment between them!

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I genuinely believe that childhood should be about simple pleasures like this. I try to create memories for the kids which are more about special moments rather than expensive toys and presents. I hope that these moments will stay with the kids as they grow, and remain special to each of them. I know that they are certainly some of my most precious memories!

 

Floral garlands!

This year the British Summer hasn’t really gotten started, so to brighten up our days my daughter decided to make some lovely floral garlands for everyone! These garlands are super pretty and super simple! They use minimum materials so are really cheap to make too!

To make your garland you will need – coloured paper, straws, scissors and thread/wool.

Begin by cutting out some flower shapes from different coloured paper. My daughter finds it easier to draw her flower shapes first.

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Next cut some straws into small pieces. My daughter used different coloured straws to add some colour to her garland!

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Make a small hole in the centre of each flower and thread them and the straws onto your thread / wool. My daughter chose a pattern of flower, straw, flower, straw, but you can choose to place them however you like. Other shapes look really effective on the garland too!

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Keep threading and leave a small gap at the end to tie your garland together!

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My daughter loves making these pretty, bright garlands and they look super cute!

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We hope you like our floral garlands! A simple craft for the kids to have a go at which will bring a little sunshine!

We hope you are all having a wonderful Wednesday!

A jump for joy!

Recently my little boy has been pretty poorly with a horrible tummy bug. It meant that we were stuck in the house for several days and we were all beginning to get a little cabin fever! He is much better now and wanted to go out to the beach as quick as he could! He grabbed his favourite diggers and off we went! He was so happy that he was able to move and get out in the fresh air again. They raced those diggers up and down the sand, over and over again with sheer delight!

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Even his big sister was ecstatic at being able to play with her little brother again!

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Hand print fishes!

Now that the school holidays are well under way we have been doing lots of art and crafts, including the ever faithful hand printing! Hand printing always goes down well and is pretty versatile. We decided to make some hand print fish pictures the other day as a nod to the summer!

You will need – paper, paint, crepe paper, card and glue.

Begin by painting your hand in whichever colour you like. My kids chose to do multi coloured stripes like a rainbow!

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Print down onto your paper.

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Leave your prints to dry, then turn them into fish by adding a mouth and eyes.

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Then cut out your fish and stick them down onto some card. We also added green crepe paper seaweed and blue bubbles!

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The kids loved their finished hand print pictures! You could also add glitter and other sea creatures! A fab, simple art activity for the summer holidays!

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We hope you all have a very crafty, fun filled week!

 

The Happiness tag!

I was overjoyed the other day to find out that Anna from Life Bellissima had nominated me for The Happiness Tag! Anna has one of my most favourite blogs and I love reading her posts! (I completely love her posts about her beautiful chickens as we used to keep chickens ourselves and I still miss our girls so much)! She also has amazing recipes and her photos are wonderful. You really feel like you are there sharing those moments with Anna and her family! I feel incredibly blessed to have met Anna through our blogs. Please pop over and say hi. You won’t be disappointed! Thank you Anna, I hope you know how much your nomination means to me!

The Rules:

-Five things that make you happy

-Five songs that make you happy

-Five bloggers that make you happy

 

Five things that make me happy – 

1 – My family! I feel so blessed to have such a beautiful, wonderful family. We love spending time together and making memories.

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2 – My friends! I have a group of friends who are amazing. They have been through so much with me and are always there with advice, laughter, conversation (and wine)! I am very grateful to have met these beautiful people!

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3 – Music! Music is like my therapy! I am pretty much constantly listening to music. I know if I am having a bad day, I can pop on some certain songs and I feel so much happier. I love that different songs can bring back memories that were stored deep at the back of your mind, and can instantly transport you back to that time.

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4 – Wales! This beautiful country that I live in makes me happy. I used to live in a very busy city until my mum and dad decided that enough was enough, and packed us all up to move to the country when I was 18. Needless to say at first I hated the peace and quiet. I really didn’t like it! It was so different to where I grew up and I missed the hustle and bustle badly. However, Wales quickly won me over and I would never go back to city life now. I embrace the peace and quiet wholeheartedly and feel very blessed to live in such a beautiful country. The beach is on our doorstep and the views are amazing!

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5 – Creating with kids! Whether it’s creating at home with my son and daughter, or at work (as a nursery nurse), I am in my element to be helping kids to express their creativity and unleash their imaginations. Nothing brings me more pleasure than seeing pride on kids faces when they have made something that means so much to them! The whole reason for starting my blog was to share my ideas and hope that it brings inspiration to at least one person!

Five songs that make me happy – (this is hugely hard for me, I have so many songs which I love)!

1 – Kiss Me by Sixpence none the richer

2 – Kissing you by Des’ree

3 – C’est la vie by Stereophonics

4 = Valerie (the Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson version)

5 – Californication by Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Five bloggers that make me happy – 

1 – Lynne from Lynnes recipe trails

2 – Cobs from The Cobweborium Emporium

3 – Natascha from Nataschas Palace

4 – Sadie from Sadies Nest

5 – Ruthie from Ruthies Crafting Corner

All of these blogs bring me lots of happiness. They are a joy to read! (It was so hard getting it down to just five blogs)!

Once again, thank you Anna!