Friday, 26 August 2016

Classic Lemon Drizzle Cake

It is no secret that I absolutely love to bake and naturally I am a massive fan of Great British Bake Off which returned to our screens this week. As usual it inspired me to bake and after this week's cakes episode, I had to make a classic lemon drizzle cake.

Lemon Drizzle is one of my favourite cakes and I love to make the simple loaf cake for the family. Although I love baking my decorating skills are somewhat lacking so I err on the side of simplicity where I can and this all in one cake is as easy as they come.
Classic lemon drizzle cake, great British bake off

Classic lemon drizzle cake, recipe,  great British bake off

For the sponge

3 medium eggs
200g self raising flour
200g caster sugar
200g butter
1tsp  baking powder
Rind of 1 lemon, finely grated

For the glaze

Juice of 1 lemon
225g  icing sugar

Grease and line a loaf tin. Preheat the oven to to 180°. Combine all of the sponge ingredients in a large mixing bowl, beat together until you have a smooth batter. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for around 40 minutes.
While the cake is cooling slightly make the glaze by combining the lemon juice and icing sugar, pour over the cake while it is still warm.

I am hoping to bake along with this year's Great Blogger Bake Off over at Mummy Mishaps, why not pop over and check out what everyone has been making?

Mummy Mishaps

A Home Education Notebook by Ross Mountney

I recently blogged about two books for home educated children and how the fantastic publisher Birds Nest Books are committed to publishing books for those who are under represented in society.

As well as books aimed at children, Birds Nest books have also published A Home Education Notebook by Ross Mountney. This book is a collection of popular articles and blog posts written by Ross over the years which have been updated and organised into 52 chapters (handily one for every week of the year).

A home education notebook,  by Ross Mountney

I have read a few different books about home education since we decided it was the path we were going to take but i feel that this one has been the most easily accessible for me.
The book is easy to read, you can easily dip in and out of it and it is funny in places. It addresses those worries and wobble moments that so many home educators have such as curriculums, too much screen time, exams and social isolation among many other subjects. I really enjoyed reading about what Ross' home educated children and their peers are doing now, it is so inspiring to me. I think I will be using this book regularly over the next few years!

A home education notebook, screen time

The book aims to inspire and encourage and I do feel that it does that. I would really recommend A Home Education Notebook to anyone seriously considering home education, anyone currently home education or if you simply want to learn a little more about it. I get asked about home ed alot and think this is the perfect book to refer people too.

A Home Education Notebook by Ross Moutney is available to buy now with an RRP of £11.99

** I was sent a copy of this book for the purpose of this post, all opinions are my own**

Thursday, 25 August 2016

What's on in West Yorkshire this weekend, bank holiday special! 25/8

The weather has gone from full on summer to Autumn this week complete with rain and storms forcast. So of course that means it is a British Bank Holiday weekend! To celebrate the extra day off I have doubled my post from the usual 5 things to do, to 10 things to do in West Yorkshire this weekend.

  • If you fancy getting crafty with the little ones head to The Tetley in Leeds where they are holding their drop in family art workshops on Saturday and Monday, perfect for a rainy afternoon.
  • Also in Leeds is a Saxon Horse Show at The Royal Armouries, on each day at 12 and 2.30pm the show promises to take you back in time to witness a fierce battle between the Saxons and Normans and you get the meet the team and horses after. This sounds so exciting! Pop over here for information on how to get tickets.
  • If like me you love a party then head to the Leeds West Indian Carnival on Sunday. Starting with a parade through Chapeltown and ending at Potternewton Park there will be yummy food, good music and fab costumes to admire.
  • Temple Newsam is playing host to it's first beer festival this weekend, running from Friday to Monday the event is family friendly with games for children to enjoy. More information and ticket purchases can be found through the friends of Temple Newsam.
  • Over in Wakefield, you can go Pokemon hunting at All Saints Church in Crofton at 10am on Saturday, free refreshments for all and there is a treasure hunt for little ones with prizes.
  • Head to Castleford Museum on Saturday afternoon(12.30pm- 3pm) for a free family drop in session celebrating the life of sculptor Henry Moore. 
  • On Sunday there is a free family cycling day at Nostell Priory. Complete with a cycle skills course for all ages, free bike checks and information on local cycle routes. This is a free event  run by Wakefield District Cycle Forum and is running from 11am until 3pm. Why not make a day of it and spend the day at Nostell Priory like our own recent visit. 
  • If you fancy getting out on the canal this weekend head to Shepley Bridge Marina in Mirfield where they are offering free(donations welcome) canal boat rides along the Calder and Hebble. The boys recently did this at our local canal festival and loved it. The rides are running from 10 until 4 each day of the bank holiday weekend. 
  • If you have a puzzle fan on your hands why not head to St Martins Parish Church in Brighouse where there is a Charity Jigsaw Festival on throughout the weekend, where you can view and buy a plethora of puzzles.  There is also a tombola, raffle, craft stalls and food. Entry is £2 per adult with accompanying children free.
  • And finally, If you want a ride on the dodgems or a whirl on the waltzers head to Greenhead Park in Huddersfield as the funfair has come to town for the bank holiday weekend. 

Whatever you get upto this weekend, have a good one!

Monday, 22 August 2016

LapBaby #handsfree

As a mum of three, I am often heard commenting that I could do with an extra pair of hands (along with eyes in the back of my head) so that I can please everyone. Barney is four months now and of course he loves to be held and to be able to see what is going on which can make certain tasks a bit awkward!

LapBaby is a unique new product designed to secure a baby in your lap while leaving you hands free. It was designed by a mum on maternity leave who has since spent her time researching, making prototypes and and safety testing the product. 
I was given the chance to try a LapBaby and I thought it sounded like the perfect product for us to road test(and I was excited that I might get to eat with both hands!).

The LapBaby is made of lightweight fabrics and comes with a handy travel bag which will fit under a pushchair or in a changing bag. It is fully adjustable and the adult part will fit a waist of upto 44 inches. To use you simply pop it around your waist and secure with a buckle, sit down and sit baby on your lap and fasten the front part around them, it is so quick and easy and it really does feel secure when you wear it. 

I have been using this for several weeks now and I have to say it has come in very handy for so many everyday situations. Of course when we are eating(so much easier to eat with two hands!), when I am doing home ed work with the boys, when I am blogging and when I am reading bedtime stories to all three boys, all of these are things i do each day and have been made just that bit easier. It means Barney can see and be involved with family life  which he just loves plus the LapBaby has a strap where I can secure a toy or teether to entertain him if he does get a little fed up.
It is really easy to use and also to adjust, as you can see my willing model Phil has also been using it and we find it quick and simple to adjust the waist size each time we swap. The belt is comfortable for both the wearer and mosy importantly baby, Barney certainly looks pretty happy!

As we get to the weaning stage I can imagine that we will use the LapBaby when out if we don't have access to a highchair, the belt has a fold away lap cover which will be ideal for this stage!  I also think it would be great for long train journeys or flights. Phil thinks it would be perfect when playing X-Box!
Another great use for this product is for grandparents who may have issues meaning they find it hard to hold a wriggly baby. My own mum has issues with one of her wrists and on a bad day it is uncomfortable for her to hold Barney for too long so the LapBaby would be great for those days. 

Overall I am really impressed with the LapBaby,  it does exactly what it sets out to do and is really handy to have once tour baby can support their own head (around 3 months). With an RRP of £24.99 it is available to buy now on the LapBaby website. For more information check out the short video below.

Family Fever
**I was sent a LapBaby for the purpose of this review, all opinions are my own**

Our weekly meal plan 22/8

Happy Monday Meal Planners! After some lovely weather last weekend the weekend has been such a washout! Such a shame.

We ate 5 out of the 7 meals last week, we had an impromptu seaside trip on Tuesday so fish and chips on the beach it had to be and i forgot to defrost the chicken another day so we are having it this week instead. The food shopping has come this morning and I am all set for the week.

Our weekly meal plan

Monday eat out/takeaway

Tuesday Creamy chicken, bacon and brocolli pasta

Wednesday Slow Cooked Chinese chicken curry with noodles

Thursday Philidelphia mac n cheese

Friday Pizza, garlic bread and salad

Saturday Turkey meatballs slow cooked in a tomato sauce served with pasta

Sunday Chicken goujons, peas and sweet potato mash

Why not join in with the meal planning blog hop?