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A day at Bourton on the Water

May 13, 2012

Last bank holiday weekend, despite the horrendous weather (do you detect a theme here?!), we decided we wanted to go somewhere new.  Out came the piles of leaflets of attractions, theme parks and zoo’s and we finally decided on Bourton On the Water.  Neither my husband or I had been before and the description of Bourton as “Venice of the Cotswolds” proclaimed proudly on the website piqued our interest.

Off we set in the pouring rain, wellies and waterproofs at the ready (and boy, did we need them!).  We arrived quite early and struggled to find a parking spot on the main shopping street, but we later found a car park near Birdland. It was quite busy with tourists, but we decided to have a wander alongside the “Water” which was crystal clear and with lovely little bridges crossing it here and there.  We felt as if we had wandered onto a film set, it has to be the prettiest village I have ever seen.

We found the Tourist Information office and asked for directions to the model village, they also gave me a Bourton On The Water booklet with a free childs entry ticket into the model village. It was a 5 minute walk away if you went directly, however it was impossible not to visit some of the gift shops on the way, so took us a little longer!

The model village was a delight, it is a 1/9th scale replica of the village itself and is exact in details as can be possible!  The shops, pubs and restaurants had replica signage and even items in the shop windows – we especially enjoyed the Edinburgh Woollen Mills display of jumpers. My daughter loved looking in all the windows and thought is was fairies houses!  We also enjoyed the churches that played hymns as you walked past. They also had a small exhibition of miniature scenes and room sets which was fascinating.  It is worth noting that the paths are very narrow and not at all suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs

Unfortunately, the weather beat us in the end, and we decided to home early.  However, we are already planning on returning. The Cotswold Motor & Toy museum,  Model railway exhibition and Birdland being top of our list.

Peppa Pig’s Treasure Hunt

May 5, 2012

Last weekend, despite the horrendous weather we set off at early o’clock to go on a pirate adventure, otherwise known as Peppa Pig’s Treasure Hunt at St Davids Hall, Cardiff.  This was courtesy of some tickets I had won on the Primary Times website the previous month.

We braved the second Severn crossing with gale force winds and avoided the fallen tree branches on the motorway slip roads and arrived in Cardiff in good time.

It was my daughters first time at the theatre and I was apprehensive at how she would cope with sitting still for so long, but I needn’t have worried, for she was enthralled from start to finish.

It was a truly magical show, starting with the music I know so well “do-do-de-do-do-dooby-dooby-do-do” etc. and seeing Daddy Pig’s car driving across the hills.  We moved through the story where Peppa and her friends (including a new “human” friend called Daisy) were looking for buried treasure.  Peppa and her friends were puppets, rather than “people in suits” and I rather forgot the puppeteers were there after a while. The story was filled with action songs that the children were encouraged to join in with, and was very interactive which my daughter loved.

Of course, no childrens show is complete without the vast array of merchandise to go long with it, and this show was no exception.  We came away with a programme, which contained a few activities to keep her amused during the interval, a whirly light-up windmill thingy and a gold balloon which is still floating around the living room.

We all really enjoyed it, and would not hesitate to go again. My only negative was that the puppets were a little small and from level 6 where we were (basically nose bleed territory!) it was hard to see the puppets very well.

But I have to say how impressed we were with St Davids Hall.  It was our first time there and the staff were so lovely and attentive and the seats were roomy and comfortable.  And best of all, there was plenty of leg room, somthing that is really lacking in most theatres.

It’s been a long time…

May 5, 2012

I think it is about time that I made a little more effort with this blog and actually start writing about what I am up to!

Since becoming a mummy almost 3 years ago (where does the time go?!), my priorities have changed quite a bit, to give you an idea I am currently sat writing this wearing a pirate hat! no I really am…!

I now spend most of my time with my daughter, trying to find new things to do with her and keeping her entertained.  We still cook quite a lot as a family, but we would rather spend our spare time doing more exciting things.  I have also been “comping” again, which was a hobby I have had for some time.

So my focus for this blog will shift somewhat from the cooking side of things, to family days out, my competition successes (and failures) and all things me.

Making Jam

August 2, 2010

I have just completed my first batch of homemade jam and I am so pleased with myself!

I made strawberry jam as I found large punnets at my local greengrocer for just 89p each, 2 punnets was enough to make 4 large jars. 

I used old jam jars that I had cleaned in the dishwasher and sterilised in the oven. So the cost works out as 82p per jar, which is very economical compared to what I normally pay at the farmers market.

I used the recipe that was printed on back of the sugar bag, it was very easy to follow and even though I didn’t have any of the jam making equipment (thermometer, special pan etc.) it seems to have set ok.

Vegetable packed Spaghetti Bolognese recipe

July 22, 2010

 

Sometimes it can be difficult to get children (and some fussy adults!) to eat their greens.  This recipe is a family favourite, not only is it tasty, but it hides many normally untouchable vegetables too.

Makes 4 adult portions

1 Large red onion – diced

1 Carrot – diced

1 Courgette – diced

1 Stick of Celery – diced

Handful of chopped mushrooms

400g Beef mince

A dash of Worcester sauce

Pinch of dried herbs

Salt and ground black pepper

1 400g Tin of Chopped Tomatoes

1 200g pouch of Passata (If you can’t get hold of this, just use another tin of chopped tomatoes)

200ml Hot Beef Stock

Olive Oil

–         Fry in a little oil, the onion, carrot and celery over a low heat until soft.

–         Add courgette and mushrooms and stir well.

–         Add mince and brown meat all over.

–         Add Worcester sauce, tomatoes, passata (if using), herbs and stock and bring to a simmer.

–         Taste and season as required.

–         Cover and simmer gently for at least an hour, (I find a longer cooking time really intensifies the flavour)

–         Serve with Whole wheat Spaghetti

–         Leftovers can be frozen. 

My 1 year old daughter loves this for her tea, I just whiz it in the food processor for a few minutes for her.

It’s been a while…

July 19, 2010

I must apologise for neglecting my blog for the last year,  my beautiful daughter has taken up so much of my time.  However, now that she is more independent and the grand old age of 1 (!), I have more time to myself to blog and also to be able to get back into cooking proper meals again on a regular basis.

I will make a promise that I, the lazy housewife will:

– Create regular meal plans

– Post my frugal  family friendly recipes

– Blog at least once a week

I must go and work on my meal plan now…

I am now a lazy mum!

October 7, 2009

Sorry if I have not been so active with my blog recently, but we had a new addition to the family in July – my gorgeous baby daughter was born!  Weighing in at a healthy 7lbs 9ozs.  I will be adding my new family favourites recipes soon.