Wednesday, 28 September 2016

BLOGGING: The positive impact it has had on my life...

Blogging has been a big part of my life for a few years now and at points it has taken over. Some may think that's a bad thing, but I see it as a positive. It's a hobby I enjoy and one that has taught me so much over the years. I've learnt new skills, about a loving online community and a lot about myself. It's been both enriching and exhausting at times, but a journey that never ends and continuously develops.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

RECIPE: Sweet potato and Pumpkin Seed Muffins

This is a warming, hearty muffin recipe ideal for this time of year. They are relatively filling, full of vegetables and seeds and freeze really well too. I make a batch of these for Isabella every now and again because they aren't too messy, so perfect for meals out or snacks on the go. You could always make bigger versions for yourself and I think the addition of some maple syrup would go beautifully!

Saturday, 24 September 2016

TODDLER ACTIVITY: Apple and Blackberry Picking (plus a delicious recipe for your finds)

Picking blackberries reminds me of my Brownie days where we'd spend many evenings collecting blackberries from around the village. There's something so magical about being able to pick fruit yourself, for free and then cook up something delicious. As soon as autumn comes around I love to go on country walks and pick blackberries from the hedgerows. This year we also have a few large apple trees in our garden, as well as a blackberry bush. So Isabella and I spent an afternoon picking, collecting and cooking with them, the perfect autumnal activity.

Friday, 23 September 2016

TODDLER HAUL: 7 Outfits for Autumn

Changing Isabella's wardrobe around when she goes up to the next size or if a season changes is one of my favourite things to do. I do a lot of toddler clothes shopping in the sale the previous year, so at the end of this summer I was picking up summer clothes in 2-3 years ready for next summer. Forward planning saves money! However when I got out all of the 18-24 month clothes I'd bought her last year I realised I hadn't picked that much up. We therefore went shopping and picked up most of the pieces below. Instead of just doing a normal haul I thought I'd put together 7 autumnal outfits including the new pieces...

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

DAY OUT: Running free, watching meerkats and collecting pebbles at Castle Ashby

A few weekends ago we ventured over to Castle Ashby, the ancestral home of the 7th Marquess of Northampton. The beautiful house is set in the heart of a 10,000 acre estate, with 35 acres of stunning gardens so as you can imagine there's lot of space to explore. There are romantic Italian gardens, a unique Orangery and impressive Arboretum to discover, with plenty of sensory experiences a long the way. The gardens are open 365 days a year, which I feel is pretty rare with older houses. During the winter time you only have to pay £4 for parking because the toilets, gift shop and café are all closed. However you could always take your own picnic and enjoy a vast amount of beautiful space for a very affordable price.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

RECIPE: Mixed Tomato, Mozzarella and Ricotta Tart

If you're after a family friendly meal that takes minimum effort and time, but is full of flavour then this is the one for you. Ready rolled puff pastry is such a versatile base and is easy to make vegetarian/meat options for my husband and I. This recipe is inspired by the home grown tomatoes my mother-in-law kindly gave to us. We had a bag full of delicious, fresh mixed tomatoes, so I wanted to create a delicious meal with minimum effort. The combination of mozzarella, tomato, ricotta and basil is classic Italian - any leftovers also make for a tasty lunch.
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