I have always loved decorating for Christmas, when I was a little girl we used to get the tiny artificial tree out during the last weekend before Christmas and I’d open the boxes of little hanging decorations like opening the door to old friends. They all had a story either from my parents or from my own few Christmas celebrations. Christmas was officially here when the fairy was in her rightful place on top of the tree and the chocolate decorations had been added. Then we’d go a bit mad – streamers, tinsel, hanging foil decorations and balloons would be strung across the room from every corner, it was gawdy but it was just what people did! I don’t think I ever saw lights on the outside of houses, just the sparkle and twinkle of the Christmas tree through the window. Continue reading “The ABC’s of Christmas…D is for Decorations”
I’m not quite sure how November is almost half over, I only have 5 more full weeks at work before Christmas…eek! This Christmas our present to ourselves is a family trip to Disneyland Paris which we are all looking forward to so much, but just adds more pressure to the preparations! I need to look on the bright side – less meals to plan and food to buy in the all out battle that is pre-Christmas grocery shopping.
Simple dishes on the menu this week as it’s a busy week, but some family favourites that are tasty and filling on these colder, darker evenings.
Continue reading “Weekly Meal Plan w/c 12th November 2018”
If you live within driving distance of the Norfolk coastline then I highly recommend a trip to Horsey Beach between late November and end of January to see the amazing colony of grey seals that come ashore to have their young. Only a few miles from the commercial seaside experience of Great Yarmouth, Horsey brings you right back to nature in a very up close and personal way. We try to visit every year and these photos are from our first visit a couple of years ago.
A team of volunteers does an excellent job of informing visitors and keeping you to the designated walkways. We park at Horsey Gap (pay and display £1 per hour) and then follow a signed pathway for about 15 mins up into the dunes. The walk is well worth it – hundreds of seals all along the beach as far as you can see. The mother seals leave their young in the dunes to fend for themselves until their fur has become waterproof and they can head to the sea. Many of them pick a spot just feet from the walkways so the photo ops are amazing and the seal seem very unphased by the steady stream of people (and dogs on leashes) passing among them.
At the car park there is usually a refreshment van serving burgers/hot dogs, hot soup, coffee and hot chocolate etc. There’s also a pub in the village which I understand is dog friendly and does very good food.
The Norfolk coastline is one of my most favourite parts of the British landscape. Maybe because I’m a fen girl, being able to see for miles and miles gives me a real sense of peace.
During my time living in the States I really enjoyed learning new recipes, and was often surprised that I’d never come across some of the combinations back at home. This is one of those dishes. It is family friendly, very quick and easy and this version cooks all in one pot. Chicken & Rice casserole is quite a comfort food in the States and there are many versions, most of which involve cans of condensed soup. This version is still delicious, but without the soup! This always gets a big thumbs up from C, whilst T and I add some hot sauce or chilli flakes to spice ours up a little. Continue reading “Recipe of the Week – Chicken, Broccoli, Rice & Cheese One-Pot”
I know…November is just about under way, but do you realise there are only 47 sleeps until the big day?? I thought I’d do a little series of the things we enjoy about Christmas and the build up – and try to get through the alphabet! This weekend I’ll begin wrapping books! Not because I’m a super-organised Mummy who’s busy finishing up my present wrapping before December arrives – I think I’d miss the last minute wrapping frenzy playing that well-known Christmas Eve game “do we have enough wrap and tape?”! No, I’m preparing for one of my favourite pre-Christmas activities…….
Each year, I wrap 24 Christmas and Winter themed books, number them from 1 to 24 and we begin a special month of Advent Bedtime Story Calendar – with the stories getting more and more Christmassy as the month progresses.
I don’t buy 24 new books each year! There are some that are fast becoming classics in our house and then each year I replace 3 or 4 with new stories that match C’s current level. After Christmas the books get packed away with the decorations so they are always fresh when they come out the next year.
Here’s this year’s list – in no particular order:
The links above will take you to Amazon where you’ll find may of these books, some of them were purchased while we lived in the U.S. and are not easily available here – but worth looking out for!
The Family Seesaw is an Amazon associate and, as such, earns from any qualifying purchases. I choose to have affiliate links with Amazon because it is by far my favourite online store for all kinds of products – and a lifesaver for a busy working Mum!
So sometimes life gets in the way of our plans. However, I’ve reached a place this year where I’m perfectly ok with that concept! We’ve had a fabulous Summer making lots of happy family memories – many of which I’ll share with you as the nights get longer and Summer drifts off over the horizon for another year. No, I haven’t posted regularly and you’ve got no idea what we’ve been eating – but in the grand scheme of things none of that matters!!!
Now the nights are pulling in I’ve become obsessed with warming comfort foods, even though the temperature is still in Summer numbers – something about it being dark when you serve dinner makes me think it needs to be comfort food and not salad! Continue reading “Weekly Meal Plan w/c 10th September 2018”
Ugh – shows how crazy our world is at the moment – I wrote this post over the weekend and then forgot to actually post, so we’re a day late – sorry!
And so another school year draws towards its end – C’s school don’t break up until the 24th which I believe is quite late. I’m not sure I’m ready for him to be in Year 4 in September – last year of being a single digit age…argggghhh! This week we have to go register for next season’s football as training starts the beginning of August – the weekend lie-ins are soon to be a forgotten luxury for another rugby and football season.
Continue reading “Weekly Meal Plan w/c 16th July 2018”
What a crazy couple of weeks it’s been around here – I feel like I got caught up in a whirlwind and suddenly we’re half-way through July, we’ve had 4 weeks of glorious weather and England are in the Semi-Finals of the Football World Cup…am I dreaming??
Continue reading “Weekly Meal Plan w/c 9th July 2018”
C came home from school on Friday with hardly any voice and that then developed into a full-blown summer cold yesterday. We are very lucky in that he’s rarely ill – he’s only missed 2 days of school in his first 4 years and we get the occasional letter from our Dr’s surgery asking if he should still be registered with them as they just don’t see him. Which means, when something does get the better of his immune system he feels rather sorry for himself. Yesterday we just snuggled a lot (yes, as a Mummy of one I secretly love the fact that my almost 9 year old still wants to snuggle when he’s feeling out of sorts!!), watched TV, read books, drank hot chocolate and had a Pyjama day.
Today is Father’s Day and we were going to go out but we’ve decided to hold off until C is feeling better so T is going to watch a movie as a Father’s Day treat and we will continue with our relaxed weekend.
Continue reading “Weekly Meal Plan w/c 16th June 2018”
C was lucky enough to win this Weird Science Volcano Eruptions kit recently. Timing was perfect as they have been studying volcanoes, floods and other natural disasters this term at school so he was keen to try this out. Continue reading “Sunday Funday: Volcano Experiment”