Thursday, 31 January 2013

Special friends

They do not come around very often, this I know

When special people come into your life, ones you connect with immediately, you must treasure this. I do

Take care, Natalie xx

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

School cooking

I help at Asa's school once a week, I always wanted to be able to 'give' a little when he started and teaching cooking once a week seemed the best fit

So my Tuesday afternoons are spent with a litter of gorgeous and beautiful children. I now know all their names and they call me 'Asa's mum' I love this and so does Ace

Today after all the snow I wanted to teach them how to use ice and cold things in cooking, always with an eye on healthy eating I taught them how to make slush puppies

We used frozen strawberries, ice and apple juice. Can you believe that EVERY child liked and ate all their helping!?! Que me and Miss Pearce their teacher having very big smiles :)

Could you spare an hour to help at your child's school?

Take care, Natalie xx

Monday, 28 January 2013

To the zoo

After spending the morning at the eye hospital with Asa we decided a treat was in order, our last visit to the zoo with our membership. 

Take care, Natalie x

Sunday, 27 January 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

J- Having a quiet snack while you look out at the world, you are fascinated by nature
A - You are wise beyond your years and you take care of me like I take care of you. Everyday you are more like your Dad

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Friday after school

Barry was home early from work so we all collected Asa from school and headed to the woods, a perfect Friday evening

Take care, Natalie xx

Friday, 25 January 2013

Feeding children - Shepherds/cottage pie

Now my boys are older (5&3) I feel we have come through the struggle of fussy eating, I am going to be sharing with you some of my fail safe recipes which are healthy (having some veg sneaked in) but delicious.

There a few rules I stick to when feeding my boys, I have always been consistent with this and I think it has really helped. Number one, if they don't want what I have made them they don't have anything else, no pudding, no alternative. I will only give them fruit. Number two, keep things simple, children don't want their food to be a Heston style taste adventure, my boys enjoy their food when it is satisfying and tasty. Number three, have a proper table set, get them involved setting the table, sorting out their own cutlery, drinks and napkins, this builds confidence around food and meal times Number four, only make one meal, for you and your children, who wants to make two meals everyday? Number five, don't overfill their plates, better for them to ask for seconds than feel overwhelmed by what is on their plates 

If I have experimented and have given my boys a new recipe I try not to make a big deal of it, I will give them their food and then busy myself cleaning up, I find if I don't watch them they tend not to look for me to say they don't like it, they will basically give it a good try and after a few mouthfuls their taste buds have gotten used to the new taste/texture. This worked like a dream recently when I made them Chinese food with big strong flavours like soy, sesame and ginger.

This is a fantastic recipe which I have been cooking for years, slightly tweaked though with a suggestion from a friend, parsnip in the mash, yummy!

This recipe will make enough for 4, read on to find out what to do with the left overs!

2 onions, red or white whatever you prefer - finely diced
2 large carrots - finely diced
3 sticks of celery - finely diced
500g lean beef mince or 500g lamb mince
2 rashers of bacon
1 small courgette - finely diced
A handful of frozen peas
1 organic stock cube (who wants to make delicious food then chuck in an oxo cube full of MSG
2 tbsp tomato puree
2/3 tbsp Worcester sauce
1 tin plum tomatoes
4/5 medium potatoes
3 parsnips

1. Peel the potatoes and parsnips, boil the potatoes for 5 minutes then add the parsnips. Once cooked fully mash them together with a knob of butter and a little milk
2. Soften the onions, carrots and celery in an oven proof dish on your hob. Add the beef or lamb and brown. With a pair of scissors snip in the bacon
3. Scatter in the courgette and peas, crumble in the stock cube, pour in the tomato puree, Worcester sauce and plum tomatoes. Simmer gently for a 5 minutes.
4. Spoon on the potato parsnip mash, fork over the meat mixture and bake your oven at 180c for 25 minutes or until golden.
5. I always serve this with broccoli

I always cook some penne dried pasta the day after I have made this and mix the meat mixture with it, topped with a little grated cheese it is so good

Take care, Natalie xx

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Book week

It is book week at Asa's school, he needed to dress up as one of his favourite characters from a book, he loves reading and being read to so there were many. My main aim was to find an easy to put together outfit. 

Peter rabbit has always been a story we have both loved, my favourite part of the story is when Peter is caught in the gooseberry net,"Peter gave himself up for lost and shed big tears. But his sobs were overheard by some friendly sparrows, who flew to him in great excitement and implored him to exert himself" and "it would have been a beautiful thing to hid in, if it had not had so much water in it" 

Here is my boy, Peter

Take care, Natalie xx

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

New things

Have you enjoyed the snow? I think it would take me many many weeks to get bored of it. I love the way it makes everything look pure and clean, even the dustbins topped with a thick layer of snow look cute. I love the crunch of thick snow under my boots and holding my children up as we walk. I love the feeling of wondering when it will go and when it will come back again, this year, maybe next year. Snow please stay just a little longer

Photos taken with my beautiful new camera. Cushions were a birthday present from my dear friend Jenny, can be found here They are hand printed on linen, heaven, and so lovely to have on my bed

At the top of our garden after school 

Mumma my fingers are cold 

Down there is our little cottage, our very own castle. 

Take care, Natalie xx

Monday, 21 January 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

A - My poorly boy sleeps early evening
J - All went quiet upstairs 

Snow cones - recipe corner

If anyone still has snow give these little babies a try, oh so easy but oh so good!

Find some "clean" snow
Spoon into bowls
Pour over syrup (We decided on strawberry jam with a few tea spoons of water to make it pour-able) 

Sunday, 20 January 2013


Today, 20th January 2013 is my 30th Birthday. I have been pondering over the last few days about my twenties. So here is my list, good and bad of my twenties

1. Took Barry with me travelling to Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore
2. Bought my first house at 21
3. Got our first dog Quill
4. Swam with sharks
5. Became a qualified scuba diver
6. Danced all night on the beach under the stars
7. Rode a bamboo raft in the jungle alone
8. Began my love of cooking 
9. Got engaged to my one and only love
10. Moved to our cottage in Wotton-Under-Edge
11. Conceived Asa
12. Holidayed with 22 friends
13. Got married
14. Renovated our cottage over three months
15. Met Jenny and Kate my dear friends
16. Asa was breech so had a c-section
17. We met our beautiful boy Asa 03/12/2007
18. Conceived Jasper 
19. After 3 days of labour had a c-section
20. Met Jasper our beautiful boy Jasper 13/05/2009
21. Struggled through a year of post natal depression
22. Had major abdominal surgery
23. Left my job of 11 years
24. Made a huge mistake and spent over a year fixing it
25. Started my own business
26. Celebrated 12 years with Barry
27. Drove a speed boat
28. Grew into a confident Mumma to my two boys
29. Met new friends in Wotton
30. Started my blog

A friend said my 30's will be the best decade of my life, I have to admit I do feel more confident to just be me, something which I have struggled with my whole life. I have the two most amazing little men in my life and a husband who loves me more than I know. My parents support me and our relationship continues to change from parent/child to dearest friends and confidants

Here are a few things I have been doing over the last days. I did not do what we had planned but today walking through my garden crunching on the thick white snow I could not have felt happier or more lucky.

On Thursday I invited 9 friends to a craft evening we made brooches. My dear friend Belinda showed us what to do and we used her shop/studio. 

Friday it snowed so there was no school. We spent a few hours with friends in the snow 

Saturday we sledged, met friends for a proper pub lunch then had snowball fights in the garden

Sunday my birthday. Barry outdid himself. I was woken at 8am with a birthday song from my three men and a delicious chocolate cake. My birthday cards from them I will treasure for always. We breakfasted on pancakes while I opened my gifts. A hand made silver forget me not necklace. A flight in a glider in the spring (ek!) and my very own Canon EOS. 

We pottered around the cottage until lunch, had Barry's home made pizza then went sledging. 

I am so very thankful for my life and the people in it

Hoping you all had a wonderful weekend too

Take care, Natalie xx

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...