Homemade 83% less sugar Jim Jams Hazelnut Chocolate Ice-Cream recipe

Summer is here and we are all looking for a way to cool down in this scorching, lovely weather we have been having.

Home made ice cream is simple to make – incredibly delicious and makes you rethink about buying shop bought ice-cream again.

It’s that simple that even the children can join in with making it. There is no need for a machine – no churning – just simple mixing with a spoon will do

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tin of coconut milk
  • 1 tub of double cream
  • 4 heaped tbsp of Jim Jam Chocolate spread
  • A handful of chopped hazelnuts

Method:

Combine the cream and milk in a bowl until smooth

Combine the Jim Jam spread in the mixture with a mixer until smooth

Add in the chopped hazelnuts (for that extra chocolate flavour, swirl in some of the spread into the creamy mixture)

Transfer to a freezer safe container

After 2 hours, take it out of the freezer and mix together

Once frozen (about 4 hours) Take out of the freezer and leave in the room to melt for about 5 minutes.

Now you are ready to serve up

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This ice-cream is so smooth and delicious! A little bit of naughtiness but in a guilt free way

Why did I use Jim Jams Spread?

Jim Jams spreads are made up with 83% less sugar – thus meaning it is a healthier choice to feed the family. Instead of using refined sugar they use Maltitol, an artificial sweetener.  It is used to replace table sugar because it is half as caloric, does not promote tooth decay, and has a somewhat lesser effect on blood glucose. Not only is it less sugar but also, gluten-free, suitable for vegetarians and diabetics.

The hazelnut spread gives the ice-cream a rich, full-bodied taste. It is creamy and indulgent.

As a family we have dramatically cut down on our sugar intake; not just because of my illness but for the sake of our health and the children’s teeth. Since cutting down, we can see a difference in the children’s behaviour, they are less fatigued and have lots more energy throughout the day. We have noticed that our skin is much more healthier, we feel less full and that our hair doesn’t become greasy as quickly previously before the change of diet.

Jim Jams Hazelnut Chocolate spread can be found in most major supermarkets.

We was sent a jar of Jim Jam spread for the purpose of this review

 

 

Pointillism Art For Children

My boys enjoy arts and crafts but are not exactly talented in the subject- but that doesn’t mean they do not attempt to draw or make things.

Art is all about expressing your self, being as creative as you want and to enjoy yourself.

The boys came home with a letter from school a few weeks back, inviting them to participate in an art competition – called take one picture

The oldest boy was very excited about it and straight from the start knew what he wanted to do, the youngest one wasn’t very confident and said that he couldn’t draw or paint and was useless at art. This upset me, children are not useless at anything they just need encouragement and assistance in finding the right medium for them to use.

The task was to create a picture using ‘A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte’ by Georges Seurat’ as inspiration.

They boys tried painting a water-colour picture but they was not very happy with the outcome. So I pointed out that if they wanted to do pointillism then using an ear bud might work.

Pointillism is a technique of painting in which small, distinct dots of color are applied in patterns to form an image.

They experimented on a scrap piece of work first and then they were ready for the final picture.

Dipping their ear bud into the paint and then dabbing it onto the paper to create a series of dots that made up an image

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First, they did the outline of the shapes that they wanted in the picture

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Then, they filled it in

Dabbing away with the ear bud – creating little dots

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I think it is really effective

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I am loving the eldest boys final picture.

He has said that he doesn’t really mind if he doesn’t win because he is very happy with the final result and would like to display it in his bedroom later on.

This type of art medium can be used for any pictures, and for any ability

 

 

Review: L.O.L Surprise Dolls – Not your average doll

In a world where babies run everything, little rockers rebel against nap time and teacher’s pets become class presidents. In this world, all work is play and it’s all a bit outrageous!

Welcome to L.O.L Surprise

After taking the US by storm, L.O.L Surprise!™ is set to be the next collectable craze in the UK, as the ultimate unboxing toy is combined with the anticipation of surprise. Much like unwrapping a gift, watch the excitement build as each of the 7 layers reveal a different surprise, including emoji sticker, accessory, and finally their hero – a L.O.L Surprise!™ Doll. Never a dull outfit day for these fierce dolls, mix and match accessories with each character to work out who wears it best.

Not your average dolls, these fashion-forward characters are packed with personality. From Rockers to Merbabies, each L.O.L Surprise!™ comes complete with bathtub, doll stand and hangout, all doubling up as a purse.

Now here comes the surprise. Once the final layer has been unwrapped, feed the doll water with its baby bottle accessory and reveal its feature – with special dolls changing colour when placed in cold water! With over 45 to collect, there has never been a more exciting time start collecting the ultimate unboxing experience that offers a different surprise with each layer!

We was sent an L.O.L doll to review, having boys I didn’t think they would be too interested – unlike myself. I wanted to see how special these little adorable tots really are.

My youngest got very excited when he saw the little ball and when I told him that there was a surprise doll inside it didn’t seem to phase him one bit. He was even more eager to unwrap the ball to find out what was inside. He absolutely loves unboxing little collectible characters and the surprise factor involved in doing it.

As promised there are 7 layers to unwrap and reveal different surprises

  • 1st Layer: Secret message
  • 2nd Layer: Emoji stickers
  • 3rd Layer: Baby bottle
  • 4th Layer: Pair of shoes
  • 5th Layer: Awesome outfit
  • 6th Layer: Fashionable accessory
  • And Finally the 7th Layer: L.O.L. Surprise!™ 3-inch doll— the ultimate surprise!

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As you can see from the video; He was very excited to keep peeling away and it kept him engaged the whole time, eager to get to the next surprise.

The character and accessories are of good quality, not what I was expecting at all. It’s a fun little gift that will keep the children entertained for quite a while. And, even better that they get to carry it around in the ball that transforms into a purse.

The dolls are priced from £7.99 a little pricey but you do get a lot with that money. I can see it becoming a little disappointing if you unwrap the same doll more than once but they can always be swapped with a friend.

L.O.L. Surprise!™ Series 1 is for children aged 3+ and available from all good toy retailers including Argos, Asda, The Entertainer, Smyths, Tesco and ToyrsRUs.

We was sent a L.O.L surprise doll for the purpose of this review

 

When your body doesn’t work like it used to before…

It has been 11 months since my last chemo/radiotherapy session and 6 months since I came out of hospital after having 2 major operations.

I would like to say that recovery is going well although it has been slow. With a very active family It has been hard keeping up with them.

To think of where I was 6 months ago and to where I am now – I am very proud of myself. When I was discharged from hospital I couldn’t even walk up the stairs, I had to be carried and I couldn’t stand for longer than a minute without my legs giving up on me and collapsing. I thought I would never get to where I am now, but with the help and support of my family and friends I wasn’t allowed to give up.

I lost a lot of weight when I was in hospital and although I have managed to gained the weight back on, it has left me with many problems. Not just losing the weight but the treatment has too.

A few weeks ago I attended an appointment at my Doctors surgery as I was struggling with stiffness and weakness in my legs and pelvis area. I had been told previously from my Nurse that It was probably just my body getting used to being used again after so long resting in a bed. I was a little worried, understandably, after all what I had been through. So I thought that it would be best to get it checked out. A previous MRI showed no problem with the bones so I was referred to a physiotherapist.

Since gaining my strength and the weight back I have tried my best to be active. I am not strong enough to go out running but I have began to take gentle bike rides with the boys, jogging round the block and I walk everywhere. I believe that it was the walking that has helped me get me to where I am now.

I feel like I have got old before my time. I can no longer bend my knees and get down on the floor without having to spend a few minutes trying to get back up.

You take for granted how your body just does things, like bending down, walking up the stairs, sitting and kneeling down. All these things are now a struggle for me!

My body just doesn’t work like it used to and I have to work on these areas.

The physiotherapist has given me some exercises to do and is hopeful that I should gain some more strength back in my legs. The treatment and the operation has caused muscle loss in some areas and she believes that with a few gentle exercises and being taught how to use some gym equipment I should be on the right road to recovery.

I have two exercises to get on with; where I have to lift my pelvis up off of the floor and level it out and to stand up and sit down from a cushioned chair. I am also going to carry on with my walking as I do believe that in doing this type of exercise it has helped me gain muscle and strength in other areas.

Hopefully (fingers crossed) i will be stronger by the end of the year. I need to stay fighting fit!

Keeping hydrated with Robinsons Fruit Shoot Hydro #itsmything

During school holidays, kids are always on the go and need to stay refreshed. My boys are very active and always on the go, keeping them hydrated whilst they are doing physical activities is very important to their health.

‘Fruit Shoot has launched It’s My Thing, a campaign that celebrates real kids doing what they’re passionate about and champions their self-expression and individuality.

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Research commissioned by Fruit Shoot revealed that 80% of UK parents think that children are under too much pressure today, with 80% also agreeing that this pressure is limiting their creativity and individuality.

Parents love Fruit Shoot because with real fruit and an on-the-go format, it gives them the freedom to let their kids do their thing. Therefore, we want to start a conversation about modern childhood and parenthood and support parents who want their kids to have the freedom to discover and indulge in their passions (their ‘things’) and not feel pressured to follow an expected or set path. We want to celebrate kids who are doing their thing and encourage parents to let their kids’ have the freedom to express themselves.’

Fruit Shoot want to support parents to let their children express themselves and find the ‘thing’ that they love and enjoy doing – because finding their thing is everything.

Robinsons have been Working with kids nutritional expert Jo Travers, together they have developed a range of top tips on staying refreshed during the half term, how much children should be drinking, and highlighting the importance of doing so whilst taking part in fun activities.

Did you know that the amount of fluid a child needs to drink depends on many factors including their age and gender, the weather and how active they are? Children aged 5-11 should be consuming about 6-8 glasses of water a day.

A recommended daily amount of fruit and vegetable juice should be limited it at one small glass (150ml) and they should really only be drunk at mealtimes. The best choice of drink to keep hydrated throughout the day is water – this doesn’t provide extra energy or risks them harming their teeth

Here are some of Jo Travers Top Tips For Keeping Kids Hydrated

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The boys and I was invited along to join in with an activity session at The Castle Climbing Centre, where the children got to sweat it out and take part in a 90 minute climbing experience. Fruit Shoot Hydro was there to help them stay refreshed

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The sun was shining so it was quite a warm day so even more of a reason to stay hydrated whilst working up a sweat.

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The boys enjoyed their session of climbing, pushing their bodies to the limit. Learning new techniques meant that they needed to keep hydrated, not just for energy but to keep them focused on the activity as well.

Climbing is definitely something that I should get my son into, he absolutely loved it and was in his element being able to climb the walls without Mummy telling him to get down. He just has a talent for it; with good techniques and a natural ability to climbing. We have obviously found ‘his thing’

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Castle Climbing is an amazing place to go and experience indoor climbing, run by ‘climber’ for ‘climbers’. Housing over 450 roped and lead routes from 8m to 13m in height and an extensive range of bouldering surfaces. Set over 5 floors – with floor to ceiling climbing walls for all abilities.

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what’s not lo love about climbing, my little monkeys were in their element

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After the boys had tried their hands at the sport, they was treated to some light refreshments and of course a bottle of Hydro to help them quench their first after some strenuous climbing. They enjoyed the drink going in for more and also grabbing an extra bottle for the journey home. I encourage the boys to drink water all the time, it is our preferred drink but I was very happy to give them the Hydro Fruit Shoot as it has no added colouring, flavours and sugar.

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The key benefits of Fruit Shoot Hydro are :

It is a natural flavoured spring water drink

No artificial colours or flavouring added

Zero sugar – gets a big thumbs up from us

Each bottle has a re-sealable cap; handy for on the go, lunch boxes and hand bags

We had a lovely day at Castle Climbing Centre, learning how to keep the children hydrated whilst they are keeping fit and experiencing a new sport.

No bake Orange Cacao Balls Recipe

I don’t know about you, but my children are forever dipping there hands into the cereal boxes or grabbing a packet of crisp for a quick little nibble in between meal times. Even
though our fruit bowl is always full up, they still like to munch on goodies.

I made up these balls as a healthy snack for my boys to eat when they feel peckish but also to add into my bag for days out or to put into there lunch bag.

I made a batch of 16 balls and they had already gone by the next day, they are very moorish. One just isn’t enough!

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These chocolate orange balls are so simple to make, there is no baking needed and are easy for the children to get involved with too. They have so many healthy benefits because of the ingredients

Cacao – Highest plant-based source of iron, full of magnesium, anti-inflamatory, a natural mood elevator and 40 times the antioxidant of blueberries

Medjool dates – The healthiest natural sweetener, one medjool contains 66 calories, high in carbohydrates, loaded with vitamins and minerals and help to decrease cholesterol.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 Medjool Dates. I like to use medjools as they are very juicy
  • 100g Raw Cashew Nuts
  • 100g Raisins
  • 1 Heaped tbsp Meridean Peanut Butter
  • 1 heaped tbsp of cacao powder
  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil
  • Zest of one Orange
  • Juice of half an Orange

METHOD:

  1. Blend the cashew nuts to a powder and set aside in a bowl
  2. Blend the dates, cacao powder, raisins, peanut butter, zest and juice together. If the machine stops it’s because the mixture has become stuck under the blades and just needs setting free. If it is too dry just add a little water
  3. Place all together in a bowl and mix together
  4. Leave in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. This makes it easier to form into a ball
  5. Take about a tbsp at a time and form into a ball about the size of a walnut. Wrap each ball individually in some cling film or tin foil and leave in the fridge for when you want to eat them.

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Running together as a family at Westminster Mile

A family that runs together stays fit together

With three very active boys we are always looking for ways to keep them active but also for us all to be together. It’s not easy when you have three lots of sports clubs to get to all at the same time. We have tried football, swimming and athletics clubs and the boys even went to drama club but these type of clubs take up a lot of family time, especially when you’re a working family and just want to spend the weekends together doing fun stuff.

We found that going out running, jogging together ticks all the boxes. The boys are keeping active and letting off steam, as a family we are keeping healthy and spending quality time together.

Running is an activity that the whole family can get involved in and enjoy, no matter what your ability or age is. And what’s best is it requires very little equipment, meaning it’s not heavy on the purse/wallet.

The children partake in a 2k timed Jumior Parkrun every Sunday morning, Dad runs every evening at a club and also enters races for cross country and track and I just jog at my own pace. Since my surgery I have being trying to increase my stamina and to get my muscles working again in my abdomen.

For the past few years the family have entered into family waves in Westminster Mile. It’s just a short distance around St James Park – Starting on The Mall, going around the edge of the park and down Birdcage Walk and finally finishing on Spur Road, just in front of Buckingham Palace.

The eldest races in the Junior Athletics One Mile Road Championships, Dad races in the first wave and the younger ones and I race in the family wave.

Last year I ran along with the youngest, just 3 weeks into my chemo-radiotherapy treatment. This year I ran 6 months after having two major surgeries.

Even though the eldest and Dad compete in other races they also run along with us as family. I can’t tell you how proud i am of all of them and how warm i feel when i am running along with them close to me.

I wouldn’t class myself as a runner, not like the rest of my family (especially Dad and Jak who race at competitive levels) I just jog along at a slow pace or i get dragged along by the youngest. I still enjoy the feeling and we are all spending quality time together.

First up was Dad in the first adult wave, we cheered him on as he was the first person to cross over the finish line with an impressive time of 4.31

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It was then time for the family wave. We made our way to the start line, where many other families were.

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The boys sped off as soon as the gun fired and left me behind, they were eager to get a fast time. I could still see them up ahead of me.

Joseph finished first with a time of 6.50

Then came Oliver with a time of 8.10

And lastly, Mummy with a time of 9.53

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After picking up our goodie bags with our medals in them, we made our way to Green Park where there were plenty of fun activities to keep us busy in the wellness vitality festival whilst we waited until the eldest ran in his race.

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Then we found a spot on the grass where we sat down and had a little picnic.

There were many other fun child-friendly activities to try like target football, basketball, a range of demonstrations, zumba and yoga sessions.

Dad and Joseph tried the tumbleator. Which was a giant conveyor belt that they controlled the speed of, varying from 0-8m/sec Mo farah world 10,000m champion pace. Dad took on the challenge to get to 21mph on the Canning Conveyor Tumbleator, he made it look so easy! He said he wanted to carry on until he tumbled but they stopped him at 21mph. The machine is capable of in excess of 25mph

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Joseph was up next, he managed to stay running at a speed of 13mph for 60 seconds. What a star!

Joseph getting ready on the tumbleator
Joseph getting ready on the tumbleator

It was soon Jak’s turn to race in the road championships. He went off to the start line and we found a spot near the finish line to cheer him on

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It was his first time in the under 15s race and he done really well. Finishing with a time of 5.10, he even had enough energy to finish with a sprint.

I may not be in the same league as the rest of my family but I still enjoy to race along with them. It makes us all feel good, as well as being in each others company.

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