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

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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! 

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Enjoying the winter sun at Middleton Park

On Sunday we headed to Middleton Park in Leeds to enjoy the winter sunshine that was desperately trying to break through the cloud. I do love a winter walk to blow the cobwebs away. It was really quite mild and we didn't need hats or gloves and the sun did manage to appear.

Just 4 miles south of Leeds City Centre Middleton Park is 630 acres, 200 acres of which are made up of ancient woodland. As well as the amazing woodland the park has a small lake with ducks to feed, a play area and lots of space to run around. There is also a cafe and visitor centre. Middleton Park is also home to Middleton Railway which is the worlds oldest working railway, pretty cool! The park is only 20 minutes from out house but for some reason we have never visited until this weekend.

With wellies on, we set off into the woodland first to explore. It is pretty interesting to walk around as the woods feature many bowl shaped pits which are the remains of an early form of coal mining. I had never heard of this before so it was quite cool to see and learn something new. There are benches dotted along the paths so we had a quick pitstop for an apple. It would be a gorgeous place to sit and eat lunch. There were other families around but it felt really peaceful and calm.
While walking we spotted a family building a den in the woods. The boys were so interested in what they were doing so I think we will be attempting one in the woodland behind our house soon.

We are definitely planning on heading back to Middleton Park in a few weeks when the railway is open again.  There is more to explore in the park and the boys want to go on a train ride.

Why not take a peek at our other local days out.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Barney at nine months old

Barney is now nine months old. I have been thinking about how miraculous babies are recently. How they are born helpless with just a few reflexes and how quickly they develop and change. It really is pretty amazing. Barney is no longer recognisable as the tiny newborn he was just a few short months ago

I haven't had him weighed since our last update but he definitely still growing! He takes around 28oz of milk a day at the moment as well as 3 meals and a snack some days. He is still enjoying his food.
In my last update i mentioned that he was starting to sleep tbrough the night again well scrap that. It lasted a couple of weeks and now we are back to giving a bottle at some point during the night again.  He likes to sleep on his front now and also sometimes wakes himself up by getting wedged into a corner of his cot! He is terrible at napping during the day and will happily have just 15 minutes sleep which is obviously not enough. It is difficult to have proper nap time which is the same every day as we are of course doing different things each day. He would happily naps for ages in my arms but again much as I would love that I have two other children to look after.

We still have a non crawler, he still spends a lot of time on his hands and knees rocking before giving up and rolling instead. He can move his arms and legs but hasn't worked out how to coordinate them yet. We all encourage him to crawl but then I step back and think hang on, I don't want him to crawl, he will be into everything even more!
He is getting very cheeky and I can see glimpses of the toddler he will soon become. He waves and tries to clap, chatters away and is generally a happy little thing.
He has been happier with other people this month. At Christmas he was happy to be held by others and I am thinking of leaving him with grandparents for an hour or so soon to see how he goes.

Being outside
Touch and feel books
Knocking towers down

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Our weekly meal plan #2

The first week of the year flew by in typical fashion and I am back with my second meal plan of 2017 already. Last week went well, we ate everything, woohoo. We also did some baking as Alex was desperate to make some Paw Patrol cake, I will post the recipe up this week as they turned out pretty well.

This week we are using up the left over Christmas turkey from the freezer. I think I am going to get some baking done too, some savoury muffins and maybe a banana bread. I am also going to do a stock take of the cupboards for next week's plan,  they are so full but I never seem to use much from them about the same old herbs etc

Our weekly meal plan

Monday Pork shoulder slow cooked on a bed of onions and apples with mash, veg and gravy

Tuesday Homemade Pizza, garlic bread and salad

Wednesday Cheesy vegetable pasta bake

Thursday Sweet potato and coconut soup

Friday. Turkey and ham pie with green veg

Saturday Date night. Baked brie with bread, popcorn and pringles

Sunday Steak for Phil, chicken for me and the boys with sweet potato fries and veg

What are you eating this week? If you want to start meal planning for the  new year, why not come and join our Facebook group or join in with the linky below.