Norfolk Lavender

On our recent holiday to Norfolk, we visited Norfolk Lavender in Heacham. I love lavender but I was amazed to discover that there are over 100 different varieties of lavender. It was glorious wandering around the lavender, herbs and gardens. Unfortunately I missed the guided tour of how the lavender distillery operates. The boys had fun too at Farmer Fred’s Play Barn which was on the same site.

norfolk lavender

norfolk lavender

Norfolk lavender

I tried a lavender ice-cream there and bought a lavender cake and other tasty goodies from the farm shop to take home. I also bought some lavender syrup for my mum from the gift shop.

Lady's Mantle

It was really interesting to read about each herb. I loved the fact about Lady’s Mantle that in the 18th century, women applied the leaves to their breasts to make them recover their shape after breast feeding.

I’d love to hear any other unusual herb facts.

lavender distillery

The lavender distillery

Norfolk lavender

A couple of unusual items for sale

Norfolk lavender

Manneskjur

Pilgrims Choice Pick N Mix

My other half has been chosen as a Very Important Pilgrim to join the Pilgrim’s Choice special VIP club and has won some free cheese. He received a pack of Pilgrim’s Choice Cheddar Crumbles with Black Pepper and a selection of 6 flavours of Pilgrims Choice Pick N Mix Cheese.

Pilgrims Choice Pick N Mix

I have previously reviewed Pilgrim’s Choice Cheddar Crumbles and had agreed to also review the Pick N Mix range, so rather than wait for the identical review products to arrive, I thought I’d get ahead and review these.

The 6 flavours of Pick N Mix are
Vintage Cheddar
Smokey Cheddar
Firecracker
Indian Spice
Wensleydale and Cranberry
Apple and Wensleydale

So we decided to have a cheese and crackers picnic lunch in the garden. I loved all the flavours except for the Firecracker, for which I found the fieriness of the jalapenos dominated too much over the cheese.

Pilgrims Choice Pick N Mix

Son1’s favourites were Indian Spice and Smokey Cheddar and I think I have to agree with him. Although Apple and Wensleydale was a close contender, probably because cheese and apple is one of my favourite toast toppings. My other half’s all-time favourite cheese is Wensleydale and Cranberry, so I didn’t even need to ask him his favourite Pic N Mix.
Pilgrims Choice Pick N Mix

They all come in 80g size, a very generous portion for Pick N Mix, large enough to share. These currently retail at Tesco for £1.50 each or 3 for £3. I will certainly be looking out for our favourite flavours next time I’m at the supermarket.

Family Fever

Disclosure.  This post is a review of products that we won.  All opinions are my own.

National Crisp Sandwich Week

Did you know that it was National Crisp Sandwich Week this month? I didn’t. In fact I didn’t even know there was such a thing. But I do love a good crisp sarnie or even a chip buttie.

So I was pleased to find out that Tots100 have teamed up with Seabrook Crisps and challenged bloggers to share their favourite crisp sandwich recipe.

beefy crisps

My favourite crisp sandwich is grated cheese and apple with cheese and onion flavour crisps. However as I received a free pack of Beefy flavour crisps, I decided to try something new. I thought the Beefy crisps would compliment pâté or potted meat best. So as I had a tin of duck terrine in the cupboard, I decided to use that.

Crisp sandwich

Duck Terrine and Crisp Sandwich

Ingredients

2 slices of bread (I used homemade brown seeded)
butter
duck terrine
1 pack of Seabrook Beefy Crisps

Method

Cut 2 slices of bread from your loaf
Spread both with butter
Cover the bottom slice with a generous helping of duck terrine
Top with the crisps
Add the top slice of bread
Cut sandwich in two
Serve and enjoy.

crisp sandwich

The verdict. Delicious. I loved it and will be making this one again.

A crisp sandwich needs to be eaten immediately to savour the crunchiness of the crisps. So if you wish to have a crisp sandwich for your packed lunch, you will need to make your sandwich without the crisps, then open it again to add the crisps at lunchtime.

Disclosure. This post mentions a product I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.
This recipe is an entry into the National Crisp Sarnie Week competition with Seabrook crisps.

My Dream Bedroom

Good to be Home are running a competition for bloggers to show what their unique interior design style would look like by creating a blog post with samples of the furniture, wall paper, furnishings, art, etc that would be in your dream bedroom or living room.  This is being run in partnership with Laura of Little Stuff and Arianna from Heart Home.

I have decided to show you my dream bedroom. I’ve created a moodboard on Polyvore. I still need to work out why prices are automatically displayed in dollars rather than pounds and the product names also modified. I had to change them all back manually.

I’ve chosen the antique brass “Krystal” bed in a spacious king size as I love its classical look.  And I’ve never had wallpaper, so it was exciting to choose the Beka design in a gorgeous lavender shade.  I think 4 rolls should be sufficient.  I’ve then continued the colour scheme of purples and mauves for the duvet cover, pillow cases, curtains, cushions, throw and a comfy bedroom chair.  Then a light fitting in antique brass to compliment the bed.

My current wardrobes are fitted, so I plan to keep them along with the matching drawers, dressing table and bedside cabinets.  However I have chosen a beautiful mirror for the dressing table.  I couldn’t find any purple table lamps, but these grey ones will go nicely.  And finally I have always wanted a tea maker in the bedroom.

I’m linking my post up with Heart Home.

My Dream Bedroom

Grey lamp
£75 x 2 – debenhams.com

Tea Maker Alarm Clock
£60 – debenhams.com

Lavender Beka Wallpaper
£12.50 per roll x 4 – debenhams.com

Silver hinged dressing table mirror
£40 – debenhams.com

Designer Purple Geometric Applique Cushion
£26 x 2 – debenhams.com

Krystal Antique Brass Bed
£504 (kingsize) – debenhams.com

Plum Miramar Chair with light feet
£432 – debenhams.com

Plum Velvet Throw
£112 – debenhams.com

Lilac ‘Connaught’ bed linen
£62.40 king duvet cover
£22.40 pair of pillow cases – debenhams.com

Good to be Home Dream Room Competition

 

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My Bad Habits

My latest bad habit started about a year ago after we got son1 back home from the hospital following his diagnosis of leukaemia. I had been totally devastated by the news and I turned to comfort eating at bedtime. Usually something unhealthy like cake, chocolate or crisps. Absolutely the worst time of day to eat. A couple of months ago, I had to have three fillings. I probably hadn’t had one for 10 years or so and I expect these were due to my bad bedtime eating habit. However even after the wake-up call of the fillings, it hasn’t had any effect on stopping my bad habit. I know its bad but I crave these snacks, even if not really hungry.

chocolates, biscuits and crisps

However I did manage to overcome a previous bad habit of computer gaming which I blogged about here. So hopefully I’ll manage to kick the late night snacking habit, although I admit that I do still spend too much time online.

This post is my entry into the Bobatoo.co.uk Bad Habits blog competition.

’Bad

Center Parcs August Challenge: Dear Diary

Tots100 and Center Parcs have challenged bloggers to record their fun summer moments this month.  See this webpage for more details, where Center Parcs Community Manager, Steph Tilley, has shared her top tips on how you can chronicle your summer activities. I was most inspired by Steph’s fifth tip which says Create a scrapbook by sticking in different mementos of your summer – train tickets, photos and handwritten diary entries always work well, or why not try something a little more unusual? Ask your little ones to decorate your scrap book with hand prints and finger painting, cut out words from old newspapers and magazines or even have a go at creating a digital scrapbook, complete with video clips.

Son 1 was keen to do this and spent about 10 minutes each morning during the second week of our holiday sticking in leaflets to his scrapbook and writing a short sentence or drawing a picture.

holiday journal

This is my entry to the Center Parcs and Tots 100 August challenge. If I’m chosen, I would like to visit Longleat Forest.

Flowerbeds in Boats

Whilst on holiday in Norfolk, I came across a trend of using old boats as flowerbeds. I was quite taken with this idea. An attractive way of upcycling boats that were no longer sea-worthy. I didn’t get photos of many as mostly they were seen on roundabouts from the car, but here are a couple. The canoe was on the road we were staying at and the sailing boat was outside a nearby caravan site.

upcycled canoe

upcycled sailing boat

When I was a child, there was a sailing boat hidden under a tarpaulin for years in our back garden. My dad had used to sail it many years ago, but I don’t recall it ever being used whilst I was growing up. Eventually it got scrapped due to mice having eaten it. But wouldn’t it have been nice to upcycle into a flowerbed?

There must be a thing for me about boats and flowers. I’ve always admired the roof-top gardens of the barges when strolling alongside canals.

I’d love to hear what unusual items you’ve seen upcycled into flowerbeds or planters?

Manneskjur

42 Days of Summer

Britmums have challenged bloggers to share how they are going to fill 42 days of summer fun. The challenge is sponsored by McVitie’s BN Biscuits and I received 2 free packs of their biscuits, 1 chocolate flavour and 1 raspberry flavour.

BN Biscuits

I hadn’t come across these biscuits before, but the children and I loved both flavours of these biscuits and thought they looked very appealing too with their cheeky faces. I have to say it doesn’t need to be summer for us to enjoy eating biscuits. We love doing that all year round.

yummy biscuit

So some tips of what we’ve done so far this summer break and what other things we have planned. We have several National Trust properties reasonably near us which we enjoy visiting. Not only do they organise childrens’ activities, but they mostly have some great garden games. We’ve bought our own sets of quoits and giant jenga after hours of fun at the National Trust. And some have geocaching trails too and great natural play areas.

We also enjoy the activities organised for children at our local Squires Garden centre. And it has a soft play area.

And our local library is great for organising childrens activities. Plus they always have a summer reading challenge. This year it is Mystical Maze.

I also always keep an eye out for kids competitions. The boys enjoy taking part and are very pleased when they win something. Son2 has already been a runner-up in a competition this summer with his potato man. And a big thank you to Super Lucky Di who is great at compiling lists of kids competitions each holiday period.

We’ve just had a great seaside holiday and done lots of fun things with the kids. They have paddled in the sea, built sandcastles, learnt how to skim stones, collected shells, been blackberrying. We visited a nature reserve, a museum and a lavender farm to name but a few. And we’ve brought home some stones which we are going to make into memory stones, an idea shared by another blogger.

At home, we made a den in the garden, had water fun with the paddling pool, regular visits to the local play area, walks on the common.

And we love having lots of ice creams and lollies.

Enjoying a homemade ice lolly

Enjoying a homemade ice lolly

This post is an entry for 42 Days of Summer Linky Challenge sponsored by McVitie’s BN. Learn more at http://bit.ly/1mRpMCL.

Get Your Skills On Challenges

Tots100 have teamed up with Robinsons Fruit Shoot and challenged bloggers to try 10 new skills with your kids over four weeks, including at least two new activities from each week’s list.

So from week 1 both boys chose to walk for 15 seconds balancing a bean bag on their heads. Son1 even did it backwards.

And Dad was great at doing a head stand. Son2 tried but couldn’t manage it.

head stand

Then for week 2, both boys wanted to hop, jump or run around the garden like their favourite animal. Son1 was a dinosaur and son2 was a penguin.

They also had great fun making a brilliant den in the garden, using rugs and chairs.

den

And son1 tried throwing a flip flop as far as he could.

And from the list for week 3, son2 made his own musical shaker. And then had fun playing it.

Whilst son1 tried swinging as high as he could. He is not particularly keen on the motion of swinging, but he gave it his best try.

And of course, they chose to build a sandcastle on holiday.

building a sandcastle

For week 4, son1 dribbled a football around the obstacle course at a play area.

And the boys did a three-legged race together very well without falling over.

On our trip to the museum at Kings Lynn, both boys tried out an old fashioned version of skittles. Here is a photo of son 2 giving it a go. He knocked down lost of the pins.

skittles

I also taught son1 how to skim a stone. The stones mostly plummeted to the bottom, but he had one successful skim, however I wasn’t ready with the camera to capture the moment. So we completed a total of 12 of the challenges.

This blog post is an entry into the Tots100/Robinsons Fruit Shoot Get Your Skills On competition.