Monday, 23 January 2017

Weekly Meal Plan #4

Four weeks into 2017 already! Last week we managed most of our meals until the weekend despite the poorlyness hanging around all week and the smallest two being on antibiotics. Barney was off his food for some of the week but I can't really blame him and he made up for it with milk. I am hoping this week will be better all round.

Weekly meal plan

Monday Lasagne
Tuesday Pizza Night
Wednesday Omelettes with beans
Thursday Pasta with pesto and peas
Friday Cod bites with potato waffles and peas
Saturday Cheese and broccoli pasta
Sunday Chinese Chicken Curry

Why not join with meal planning Monday? Add your link below.

An InLinkz Link-up

You can also take a look at my previous weekly meal plans and 5 reasons why you should be meal planning

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Totally Pawsome Paw Patrol Paw Print Cakes

Like so many other children my boys absolutely LOVE Paw Patrol, they just adore those pups! Alex spotted some Paw Patrol Paw Print cakes in the 2017 annual and decided that we needed to make them. In fact he left the book open on the correct page on the kitchen worktop. Thankfully I managed to convince him to wait until I had the actual ingredients in the house before we attempted it!

I used my own cake recipe to make the cakes instead of the one in the book as I know it works. For the topping I also used some awesome chocolate milkshake flavoured icing sugar made by Sugar and Crumbs to make the topping. I picked it up in Hobbycraft and it was so yummy that I want to try the other flavours now! You can of course also use normal chocolate buttercream. These totally pawsome chocolate paw print cakes would be so cute at a Paw Patrol or animal themed birthday party.

Paw print cakes

Chocolate paw print cakes

150g margerine, softened
150g caster sugar 
3 eggs, lightly beaten
110g self raising flour
40g cocoa

Preheat the oven to 180° and line a fairy cake tray with paper cases. Cream the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Stir in the eggs, flour and cocoa. Beat until you have a smooth batter. Spoon into the prepared cake cases until they are around 2/3 full. Bake for around 15 minutes unil cooked through. Leave to cool.

150g Chocolate Milkshake Icing sugar
150g margerine, softened
Giant white chocolate buttons
Normal white chocolate buttons

Beat the icing sugar and margerine together until you have a smooth buttercream. Top the cakes with the icing, add one giant button and 3 normal sized buttons to make a paw print.

Do you have any Paw Patrol fans in your household? Would they enjoy the paw print cakes?

Chocolate paw print cakes, Paw patrol cake

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Home Education in December

Well December certainly flew past and we are already halfway through January. I don't think I will ever get one of these update posts out on time! Here is an update of our home education in December.

December was definitely about the countdown to Christmas for us but of course learning never stops.Alongside the Lego advent calender(which the boys loved), each day we had an advent task to complete and it has been lots of fun. Some of my favourite activities were making Christmas pudding cakes, gingerbread and Christmas cards.

The start of the month saw Seb making use of his birthday presents. He built the Lego train set he received with no help which was a brilliant achievement. He also received a Hot Wires set for his birthday which is fantastic (I really recommend it), he has spent so much time building the various ideas from the book including a radio, burglar alarm and fan, he can do it all independently. Alex loves getting involved with this too.

We have had a few nice days out including Cannon Hall Farm where we met Father Christmas, visited the animals and let off some steam at the soft play and outdoor play area. They had baby meerkats which the boys loved, they are so cute! We also went to Temple Newsam, local parks and the boys went to Lotherton Hall with their grandparents one day. We also visited the panto Barnsley Civic Theatre with lots of other home ed families.

We have read loads of Christmas themed books this month, we had a few from the library plus our own collection at home. Of course there were some new books under the tree at Christmas for us to get into.  What do Grown Ups do All Day? is a new favourite with us all. We also watched some of our favourite stories on TV, We're Going on a Bear Hunt, The Snowman, The Snowman and The Snowdog and Revolting Rhymes were popular with both boys.

Seb has been really into his maths workbooks this month. He finished his times tables book and has nearly completed a more general maths book including place value,  fractions and time telling, I thought it might be challenging but he seems to be flying through it all.  He was so eager he was even working on it on Christmas eve. We used mini marshmallows to help with fractions which went down well! 
He has also started to enjoy writing which is a big leap as writing has never been something good he is keen on. I have left him to it and just encouraged lots of fine motor activities. This on the he has written his own short story and made it into a book, and him and Alex both enjoyed writing at their desk when I set it up with lots of Christmas cards and fun pens. I am going with the new found enjoyment and hoping it continues.

Of course with Christmas came yet more presents. We received lots of games this year and favourites with the boys have definitely been Orchard Toys games, Road Block Jnr and Pipeline. The last two are so good for logical thinking and we have been playing them a lot.

In December we also finally got round to doing the skittles in water experiment which captivated us all.  I love a bit of kitchen science. We got out some paper plates and coloured pens so the boys could draw what it looked like before and after too.

We ended the month with lots of talk about new year. Lots of questions about how many days, weeks and months are in a year. We let the boys stay up for the first time on new years eve, Seb managed but Alex was asleep by 10pm!

Thanks for reading about some of what we did in December. Come back next month to see what we are getting upto this month. 

Monday, 16 January 2017

Weekly meal plan #3

Happy Monday Meal Planners! Last week was pretty rubbish, we have quite a lot going on at the moment, paired with us all being poorly and limited sleep my motivation waned and our meal plan went a bit awry including a naughty Domino's on Tuesday. Anyway onwards and upwards, here's to a better week ahead.

I went through the freezer and will be emptying it a bit this week. As well as our main meals,  I also have a few portions of soup to defrost for lunches and a huge bag of cauliflower to do something with. I am planning on making a batch of pasta sauce up this week to portion and freeze for lunches and speedy dinners.

Monday Italian chicken and rice

Tuesday Cheesy hot dog pasta

Wednesday A mishmash day from the freezer. Cottage pie for the boys, steak for Phil,  chicken burger for me all with sweet potato mash

Thursday Slow cooked leek and potato soup with crispy bacon

Friday Fish bites with cheesy mash and peas

Saturday BBQ chicken pasta

Sunday Cottage Pie

If you like to meal plan, why not join in with the meal planning linky. Simply add your link below

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Things to do in Dewsbury With Kids

If you follow me on social media or read my blog regularly you will know that as a family we love to get out and about. Yorkshire is so beautiful and there is so much to do. Today I am focusing on things to do in Dewsbury with kids, some of these are in Dewsbury itself, others a short drIve away.
I wrote last year about the closure of Dewsbury Museum and sadly it has now closed but there is still plenty of things to do in Dewsbury to keep you busy. 

1. Crow Nest Park This is probably our favourite place in Dewsbury. When Seb was born we lived right by this park and I have lots of memories of walking him around the duck pond and playing in the snow. A green flag award winning park which is lovely in any season. Ducks to feed, grass to picnic on, a playground, outdoor gym and a secret garden. There is a cafe too just in case you fancy a cuppa or an ice cream.

Crow nest park, Dewsbury

2. Dewsbury Country Park A great space to take the kids when they need to run and be free. The boys had fun here splashing in puddles recently. Dewsbury Country Park is being transformed into the largest new woodland in West Yorkshire.

Dewsbury country park

3. Charlottes Ice Cream Parlour My boys love a trip to Charlottes Ice Cream Parlour. As well as the tasty ice creams and milkshakes there are animals, crazy golf, a brand new playground and gorgeous views. In school holidays there are also tractor rides, minature train rides and a giant inflatable slide.

Charlottes ice cream Parlour

4. The Pie Shed This is the perfect place to visit with the kids for a treat of cake and milkshakes. Their cakes are amazing and the range of milkshakes is pretty amazing too. Who doesn't want a unicorn milkshake?

The pie shed, Dewsbury unicorn milkshake

5 Wilton Park and Bagshaw Museum Or as we call it Batley Park and Museum. The park has a lovely big playground,  ducks and swans to feed, a cafe and some nice baths to walk. The museum is great for a small local museum with interesting exhibits from both local history and further afield.

Wilton park, Batley

6. Oakwell Hall and Country Park A bit further on from Batley is Oakwell Hall and Country Park. The hall dates back to 1583 and is open to visitors, we visited last year as part of Heritage Open Day. As well as the house (which has connections with the Brontes) there are beautiful gardens to enjoy. The Green flag award winning country park is lovely for a walk and there is a gift shop, nature trail and great play area too.

Oakwell hall

7. National Coal Mining Museum Around 10 minutes drive from Dewsbury the National Coal Mining Museum is a great place to visit for all ages. Learn all about the history of mining, take a trip 140m underground, meet the ponies, go on a nature trail, tour the site on the on site train or enjoy the play areas. 

8. Savile Town Wharf and Shepley Marina On a sunny day you can't beat sitting at the wharf, seeing the canal boats and having a drink at The Leggers Inn while the kids play on the play frames. Every summer the whole town comes to enjoy Dewsbury Canal Boat Festival (29/30th July 2017) with boat rides,  ice cream and donkeys. Down the road in Mirfield is Shepley Marina which on selected dates runs boat trips for all the family to enjoy.

Canal boat trip

9. Dewsbury Library Dewsburys main library in town has a large well stocked children's area. Every Wednesday there is a story time and craft session and during the holidays there are often activities on including the reading challenge during the summer holidays. 

10. Dewsbury Sports Centre Head to the sports centre and take the kids swimming. The centre offers lessons for all ages as well as normal swim sessions and there is a slide open on selected days. 

11. Soft Play Tire the kids out by taking them to soft play. There is one soft play in Dewsbury itself which is Krazy Kingdom, as well as soft play is also has a trampoline park.

12. Adrenaline International Based in Liversedge Adrenaline International is one of Europe's largest family entertainment centres. Both a trampoline park and soft play along with a cafe for refreshments we can't wait to visit.

13. Royds Park Minature Railway Based in Royds Park in Cleckheaton this minature railway is on our list of places to visit once the weather warms up a little bit

14. Pets at Home If your kids love animals check out Dewsburys Pets at Home who run free workshops throughout the year. Some are after school, some at weekends and some during the school holidays.

If you enjoyed my list of things to do in Dewsbury why not check out some more family fun in West Yorkshire, there is so much to do!