Living Arrows 13/52 (2017)

Another week done, and not a huge amount achieved. Sometimes it feels like we never really do anything but then maybe we don’t really need to. The boys have both got colds at the moment. They managed their two days at nursery but the rest of the week has mostly been spent at home, and I have been wiping noses every five minutes!

This weekend though it was my dad’s birthday so we went out for a meal. Eating out is a bit tricky at the moment. It has to be early enough for the boys to not be too hungry or too tired…and we don’t always get it quite right. Gabe huge fan of sitting in a highchair unless there’s food in front of him, and even then he’s not always that keen! Read more

Recipe: Extremely Chocolatey White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies

White Chocolate and Cranberry cookie recipe

This is a super easy cookie recipe. It’s adapted from this white chocolate and raspberry cookie recipe on the Carnation website.

White chocolate and cranberry cookie recipe

You will need (makes about 20 medium-sized cookies):

  • 225g unsalted butter or baking spread (Stork)
  • 225g castor sugar
  • 170g tube condensed milk
  • 380g self-raising flour (this is more than in the Carnation recipe – I find it makes better cookies)
  • 300g white chocolate (you can use chocolate chips but I find using large bars is better)
  • 150g dried cranberries

Pre-heat your oven to 170°C and cut grease proof paper to the size of your baking tray(s) Read more

Remembering Childhood // Lyla’s Angels

It’s that time of week when another blogger is going to be sharing their childhood memories. This week it’s from Cara from Lyla’s Angels.

Lyla's Angels

Which decade were you born in?

The very tail end of the 1970s.

What is your earliest memory? How old were you?

I always thought my earliest memory was being nearly three and looking out the window of my gran’s house as my mum left to go to hospital to give birth to my brother. However, I’ve been told that this didn’t happen but I obviously have a wonderful imagination!  Read more

Gabriel is 18 months old

Well, OK, Gabe is actually 19 months old by the time I’m finally getting round to writing this, but hey, who’s counting?

So what can I tell you about Gabe at 18 months old? Well, I could start with his vital statistics, except I only know he’s about 83cm tall, and is wearing size 4 shoes. I have no idea how much he weighs! He is mostly wearing 18-24 month clothes (or 86 in European sizes) so he is definitely smaller than Toby was at this age – he was already moving into 2-3 clothes at 18 months, and had size 6 feet!

Gabe the cheeky chops is 18 months old

There are quite a few similarities between Toby and Gabe at 18 months though. At this age Toby could only say Dada, hiya, see saw, what’s that and shoe. Gabe’s vocabulary so far includes Read more

Living Arrows 12/52 (2017)

After our busy week at Bluestone we’ve had a quiet week at home this last week. We had a few walks to the post office, a visit from my mum and a drive to the supermarket (with a cheeky Costa coffee trip too). And this weekend we made it as far as the garden centre for cake!

Yesterday Toby did some painting with his dad – we’ve had a Clangers solar system mobile kit for ages and after Toby spotted it the other day he was desperate to do it. So I put daddy on crafting duty while Gabe had a nap and I got on with some work. It was lovely to see them working on something together and Toby really enjoyed it.

Toby doing some crafting with his daddy

Unfortunately Gabe’s good sleep of our holiday hasn’t carried on Read more

World Book Day with Milly & Flynn

We’ve reviewed some books and toys from the lovely Milly & Flynn before so when they got in touch again and asked if we would like to join in their 10 minutes book club (#10minsbookclub) for World Book Day I was very happy to agree. (And I know World Book Day was two weeks ago now but bear with me!)

We read to Toby every bedtime (the number of stories he gets sometimes depends on how late it is and how well behaved he’s been though!) and in the last month or so Gabe has really started enjoying books too. He’s not so much one for sitting and listening to a story but we have plenty of books that he likes to look at. He’s started bringing books over to us when he wants us to read to him, or sometimes he’ll even just sit and look at them himself.

The boys weren’t at nursery for World Book Day so we didn’t do any dressing up – I’m sure I won’t get off so easily next year when Toby is a school though! Read more

Remembering Childhood // Raising The Rainbows

It’s that time of week when another blogger is going to be sharing their childhood memories. This week’s Remembering Childhood comes from Mandy at Raising The Rainbows.

Which decade were you born in?

The 80’s  – the best decade!

What is your earliest memory? How old were you?

It has to be my little sister sat in her high chair screaming her head off and then putting her dinner on her head! It was sausage and mash and she squished it all in her hair, I was about 3 and a half I think.

What was your favourite toy at 5 years old? At 10?

I had a blue fluffy soft toy called Chiggles, when you clapped your hands its eyes lit up and it made a laughing sound. I say laughing but it sounded more like a demented robot. At 10 I loved my Poochie, which was a pink and white dog.

Raising the Rainbows

Do you still have any toys from your childhood?

Read more

Living Arrows 11/52 (2017)

Last week we were staying at Bluestone National Park Resort in Wales and we had a fab time. I’ll be writing a proper post all about it soon but we really did have a great week. This was helped enormously by the fact that both boys slept very well – Gabe even made it all the way to 5:30 am before waking up (twice) and even then went back to sleep again until after 7! Barry and I managed to watch all four Hunger Games films while we were away so they must have been sleeping well!

The weather wasn’t great for most of the week but on our last full day there the sun shone and Toby and Gabe got chance to explore the toddler play area. Gabe seems to have come on leaps and bounds in the last couple of weeks both in his physical and mental development. He was loving exploring the park and it was small enough that we could let him loose a little bit…

Gabe exploring the tunnel in the play area at Bluestone

On our way home we went to stay with my friend Claire who lives near Chester and had a day out at The Ice Cream Farm. Read more

Recipe: Roasted butternut squash with mushroom stuffing

It’s been a while since I blogged a recipe so I thought I share this one for roasted butternut squash with you. I first had this when my sister-in-law cooked it for me years ago and since then I’ve played about a bit with the stuffing – it’s one of those recipes that you can really adapt to use whatever you fancy (or whatever you have hanging around in the fridge which is what I usually do). The really great thing about this recipe is that you don’t have to peel the butternut squash – and if you’ve ever tried to do that then you’ll appreciate what a bonus it is not having to do it!

We usually have this roasted butternut squash with salmon and broccoli but you could have it with anything really, or even as a vegetarian main course on its own.

butternut squash and salmon

You will need (serves 2):
  • 1 butternut squash (I try to find a small squash, if you can only get a big one then I would maybe cut off some of the main fleshy part and use it for something else – butternut squash soup is delicious!)
  • mushrooms (or any other vegetables you fancy – I sometimes add courgette too)
  • cheese (you can use any kind of cheese really – feta is good, or something like Lancashire or Wensleydale that doesn’t really melt)
  • cream cheese (again, it’s up to you whether you use this or not, something like roulé or Boursin would work well too)
  • oil (I use garlic infused olive oil for flavour)

Pre-heat your oven to 200°

You will need the biggest, sharpest knife you can find for the next bit – and be careful!

First trim both ends of the butternut squash. This removes the stalk part from the top and gives you a flat base to stand the squash up.

Stand the squash upright then very carefully cut it in half length ways (this is why you need a big sharp knife).

Remove the seeds from both halves.

Use a smaller knife to make diagonal cuts through the flesh of the squash (but not the skin) so you get a criss-cross pattern as you can see in the photo. This helps the squash cook a bit quicker.

Rub oil all over the squash and place in a roasting dish in the oven.

butternut squash

Cooking time really depends on the size of your squash – for the one we had I put it in the oven for 50 minutes initial cooking. You want the squash to be soft after this initial cooking time so just leave it in until you can easily poke a knife in it!

While your squash is cooking you can prepare the filling. Chop the mushrooms (or whatever veg you are using into small chunks). Chop the cheese into small cubes. Mix the veg and cheese together – if you want to use cream cheese then mix this in too.

After your initial cooking time is up remove the squash from the oven and fill the hollow in each half with your veg and cheese mixture. Put back in the oven for another 20 minutes. If you are having your roasted butternut squash with fish then you could put your fish in a tin foil parcel and put it in the oven at this point too.

And that’s all there is to it. Serve with whatever you fancy.

roasted butternut squash

This is a great dish for babies and toddlers too. If you are following babyled weaning then you could just give them a bit of everything – I usually avoid the skin of the squash but that’s about it. If you are doing more traditional weaning  then you could always mash the fish and squash together or I’m sure you could even purée it if you wanted to.

baby portion butternut squash

Do let me know if you give it a try – and if you think of any other interesting ingredients you could use in the filling.

And if you like the look of this recipe why not Pin it for later?

Roasted Buttternut squash with cheesy mushroom stuffing recipe

 

Living Arrows 10/52 (2017)

I’ve been quite good this year at linking up my Living Arrows posts on a Monday and sharing pictures from the previous week. But we didn’t really do much last week, Gabe was ill again, and I didn’t get the big camera out once.

So I’m a little late this week, and these pictures were taken today on the beach at Tenby. We’re on holiday at Bluestone National Park resort in Wales this week (and I’ll be writing all about it when we get home). The weather hasn’t been great so far but we’re having a lot of fun and the boys loved it on the beach today, even if it was raining!

Toby next to the sea wall in Tenby

Gabe on the beach at Tenby

Oh, and I can’t take credit for these photos – Barry took them and I thought they were too good not to share.

Living Arrows