Environment · Family · Giveaway

Win a Sudocrem ‘Get Out and Grow’ Bag Worth £40

Husband and I have always been passionate about getting the kids outdoor and spend a lot of time educating them about nature. It’s something we both find really interesting and that love of all things nature-related really seems to have permeated down to the kids, too. We’ve lived out in the countryside for almost 4 years now and we absolutely love it – we all agree that our very favourite thing about living out here is the huge variety of wildlife that we get to see every day.

That’s why, when I read the results of a survey conducted by Sudocrem, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad. Here’s what they found:

“Whilst 87% of British households do have a garden, it’s clear growing isn’t something that families do together. Over half of British children between 4 and 8 are unable to name 5 vegetables or fruits grown in this country, with 95% unable to name 3 herbs. Many of those couldn’t identify basic gardening tools, with only 8% able to identify a trowel, 80% never having seen a rake before and, worrying, 79% believing worms are bad for plants. 

73% of those asked said they had never grown a sunflower, while only 8% had ever picked an apple, which perhaps explains why they’re unable to name even one. Less than 10% had dug up a vegetable and only 6% had ever eaten a fresh pea from the pod. Based on this evidence, it is perhaps unsurprising that only 20% have ever eaten a vegetable they’ve grown themselves.”

That’s why we’ve teamed up with Sudocrem to give away TWO Get Out and Grow goody bags, containing a whole load of stuff that will help kids to get outside and learn all about planting their own produce.

Goody bags contents for 2-5 yr olds include:
– Get Out and Grow branded drawstring bag
– Get Out and Grow branded t-shirt for 3-4 yr olds
– My Little Sudocrem
– Child’s gardening gloves
– Small watering can
– Mini gorilla gardening tub
– Flower seed packet
– Lavender seed packet
– A few coloured sticks to use as plant markers

The packs contain over £40 worth of goodies and winning one couldn’t be simpler. Just leave me a comment below telling me what your favourite variety of apple is! The giveaway will stay open until 26th April 2019, so you’ve got plenty of time to enter. 

Cooking and Recipes · Food

Recipe – Herby Lamb Steaks #MeatMatters

Herby Lamb Steaks*This post is an entry for the #MeatMatters Challenge, sponsored by Simply Beef and Lamb. Learn more about the benefits of cooking and eating beef and lamb along with recipe ideas and inspiration here: https://www.simplybeefandlamb.co.uk/*

It’s no secret that I’m a bit of a meat-lover. Steak is one of my favourite meals and my mother-in-law’s lamb stew is basically my all-time best comfort food. Lamb is something I love to cook and eat but I do tend to favour the ‘low and slow’ method of cooking, which means that dinners around lamb usually have to be carefully planned and executed.

So when BritMums and Simply Beef and Lamb challenged me to come up with a recipe for beef or lamb which could be cooked in under 30 minutes, I thought this would be a great opportunity to make something quick and easy with lamb. Lamb is such a great meat for the family to enjoy; it’s packed with protein and provides four essential vitamins and minerals which help reduce tiredness and fatigue.

I wanted to pair our lamb with ingredients which were both seasonal and packed a nutrition-punch, so here’s what I made:

Herby Lamb Steaks with Spring Greens and New Potatoes

Recipe – Herby Lamb Steaks #MeatMatters
Recipe Type: Lamb
Author: Jayne Crammond
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
A tasty way to enjoy lamb in under thirty minutes.
Ingredients
  • Lamb steaks (we allowed two per adult and one per child)
  • Garlic – five cloves
  • Rosemary – half a cup, finely chopped
  • Sea Salt – one tablespoon
  • Spring greens – Two heads, shredded
  • Olive Oil – one tablespoon
  • Shallots – two, finely chopped
  • Mustard seeds – one tablespoon
  • Apple cider vinegar – two tablespoons
  • New potatoes – 500g
  • Knob of butter to serve
Instructions
  1. Boil a kettle and cover the new potatoes with boiling water on the hob, allowing them to simmer for around 20 minutes.
  2. Crush the garlic cloves and combine with the chopped rosemary and sea salt on a plate
  3. Lay each lamb steak on the herby mix on each side to coat
  4. Place herby lamb steaks under a pre-heated grill on high and cook for around 5 minutes on each side for medium rare (7 minutes on each side for well-done if you don’t like any pink inside your lamb)
  5. While the lamb and potatoes are cooking, add the olive oil to a pan and gently start to heat the shallots until they’re translucent.
  6. Add the mustard seeds and stir
  7. Add the shredded spring greens to the pan and allow to wilt for five minutes, turning frequently so that the shallots mix in and don’t start to catch
  8. Once the greens have wilted down, add the apple cider vinegar, stirring through quickly before taking off of the heat.
  9. Drain the potatoes and stir the butter through until melted
  10. Serve

I could tell this recipe was going to be a hit as Husband shouted down “dinner smells AMAZING!” while I was cooking, and the girls kept asking for minute-by-minute updates on when it would be ready!

Having a dinner which centred around lamb ready from fridge to plate in under 30 minutes was fantastic and the whole family agreed that it was one of the tastiest meals we’d had in a long time. It was absolutely jam-packed with essential vitamins and minerals, so I felt extra happy about feeding it to my family and the fact that it was all made using products which were in season was an even bigger bonus as it meant that the meal was super fresh.

The meat was grilled and only the tiniest amount of oil and butter were used to create the side dishes, making this a really healthy, well-balanced dinner. The girls love lamb steaks because there are no bones to deal with and they were so tender and juicy after being grilled – I think this may even be my new favourite lamb dish.

If you’d like to see the other beef and lamb dishes that people have created for the #MeatMatters challenge, head over to Twitter or Instagram and search for the hashtag.

Holidays

The Dos And Don’ts Of Keeping Kids Interested While Travelling

Kids are notoriously difficult travel companions. Even if they might be excited to head off on holiday at first, all of that excitement can quickly wane once they have been on a train or plane for a few hours. They can quickly become bored and fed up of all the travelling that is usually involved with going away on holiday, and this can be extremely frustrating for everyone they are travelling with.

So, there’s no wonder that many parents try to think of as many ways as possible to keep their kids entertained while on the move. If you are planning to go away as a family any time soon, you might want to know these great strategies.

Photo Source

Do Visit Somewhere The Kids Want To Go To

This might sound fairly obvious, but there are still some families who head to destinations that their children have no interest in whatsoever. The first thing you need to do is make sure that your children actually want to go, and then they’ll stay excited for longer on the journey. Travelbag’s great guide to film location destinations could give you some destination inspiration, as it could be worth going to where your child’s favourite film or show is filmed. They will love the idea of being in the same place as their TV and movie heroes!

Do Pack Plenty Of Entertainment

Make sure that you pack as many books and travel games as you can into your hand luggage. These will be invaluable once the boredom starts to hit. Most older children will be able to pass the time by getting engrossed in a book, while you can distract younger kids from the boredom of travel by playing a game with them.

Don’t Forget Snacks

If your kids get hungry when out on the road then they will immediately start to complain. In order to prevent this from becoming a full-blown tantrum, it’s a good idea to pack a few snacks and drinks into your hand luggage as well. Try to stick to healthy snacks as giving your kids too much sugar could send them as high as a kite, something which certainly won’t go down well with all the other passengers on your mode of transport!

Don’t Take An Indirect Route

If you are booking flights, try to always fly direct if you’re travelling with kids. Needing to change will only lengthen the journey, and that will mean that there’s more time for your children to moan and complain. So, stick to a direct route so that you get to your destination a lot quicker!

Do Get Them To Keep A Travel Diary

Another way you can keep the kids entertained is to encourage them to keep a travel diary. If you give them a notebook, they will be able to jot down their observations while travelling. It’s also a good idea to give them a disposable camera for the trip as well.

Hopefully, your kids won’t complain too much on your next holiday!

Entertainment

Four Shows You Should Be Watching Right Now

When it comes to TV, there’s never been such a variety of platforms to watch your favourite shows on. From Netflix to Amazon Prime, there’s a never-ending supply of shows and films that are available at just the click of the button. So what shows should you be watching right now? Here are four shows to watch on your next free evening or weekend at home.

Image Source

If this selection isn’t enough, then you can find plenty of new shows to watch here.

The Disappearance Of Madeleine McCann

It’s a case that shocked the globe. The disappearance of a three, nearly four-year-old girl from a holiday vacation spot in Praia da Luz. Praia da Luz will, unfortunately, be forever known as the place where a UK child went missing, and it’s mysterious circumstances. The documentary is pretty much made up of information a lot of us would have heard about around the time it all happened, but it’s interesting because it presents quite a balanced argument for all possible theories. Many of the latest documentaries that have appeared on Netflix like Making A Murderer, is particularly one-sided, so for this one to be so balanced, it’s surprising that the McCann’s didn’t want to be involved.

The case is still unsolved, and with the additional £150,000 that’s recently been given to the fund, it seems like there’s still lines of enquiry that are being pursued. Let’s hope Madeleine gets found one day.

Sex Education

It’s not as raw and hard-hitting like Skins, a similar TV show, was. However, Sex Education is a hilarious and accurate account of how difficult it can be to navigate high school. From fitting into to clicks and finding your crowd, the show follows a socially awkward teenager, Otis. He’s a virgin but manages somehow to create an underground sex clinic, giving advice to other teenagers having problems of their own. It touches on other topics like sexuality and troubles within family life, and that’s probably why it’s currently so popular, it’s confirmed to have a second series!

Cheat

A series that’s currently on air is ITV’s Cheat is about a dangerous relationship between a tutor and a student that spirals out of control. It stars Katherine Kelly who has had a glittering career already on TV and is a pro when it comes to hard-hitting dramas. What was meant to be a simple open and close case of academic deception turns into two fiercely intelligent minds willing to do anything to prove the other wrong.

Good Omens

Featuring two legends in TV and Film, David Tennant and Michael Sheen play opposite each other in Good Omens. Playing a devil and angel, they must join forces to save the world from Armageddon. The first episode is due to come out on Amazon Prime on the 31st May, so keep it in your diaries for then.

There’s a fantastic variety of shows in all genres to suit even the fussiest of viewers. So set aside some time to spend some quality time with friends or family in front of the TV.

Family · Happiness · Health · Mental Health

How To Help A Loved One Suffering From Addiction

Addiction affects friends, families and loved ones. Knowing how to help the person addicted can be quite a struggle. It’s hard to know when to get help, how to get help and how to approach the person. Helping an addictive loved one get help can mean the difference between life and death.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of addiction is important when deciding if it’s time to approach a loved one about their problem. When their abuse starts to interfere with their daily life, causes memory loss and they have accidents, it’s time to talk to them, and you may even wish to research places like Honey Lake that will be able to help them when they are ready to begin the recovery process. They may not realize their is a real problem or might not want to admit it. A loved one on the outside of the issue can give them the perspective they need to know it’s time to get help.

Addiction isn’t just about an event that happens once or twice. If they get drunk and stumble in causing a stir once in a year, they might have just had a bad night. Watch for patterns over a period of time. They may try to hide it or say they only drink socially. Note a difference in their physical statute and/or their behavior when you believe they are inebriated.

Trust

It’s hard to trust an addicted person many times. They may have let you down due to their addiction even if it isn’t in their control. You have to step back and realize it’s more important for them to trust you than for you to let your hurt take over. Don’t nag or lecture them about the addiction. You want them to be able to talk openly about the problem and vent about it to you. They may swear up and down they can change, but an addicted person will not change until they are forced to face the consequences of their actions. It can be hard to trust them due to this fact, but you have to trust they will listen and get help when you approach them about their issues.

Compassion

It’s important to help your loved one by using compassion. The thing they most need is someone that listens and understands. Many times the addicted person feels as if someone is suffering with them and actually going through the process with them. This means they understand you recognize their pain and are trying to truly help. They feel heard and seen so they aren’t alone. Fighting addiction alone is crippling to many addicts. They know someone truly cares and wants to help them without criticizing them through the whole journey. They may understand you have no clue about addiction and what it does to their mind, but they also understand you’re trying to step in their shoes and won’t let them fail.

Communicate

Keep all lines of communication open and free of judgement. You need to learn more from the person about their addiction daily and let them vent about their frustrations. They may feel like a failure or feel they cannot be helped. Listen to them and be open with your concerns as well. Don’t lecture them about their addiction, but be a listening ear offering positive words. This will help them as they go into recovery knowing someone is on their side.