BBQ Salmon with Vita Coconut Oil Maranade #reachforthebeach

With the Summer holidays coming up, more and more if us will be dining Al Fresco. With the hot, hazy days ahead of us, what better way to eat your evening meal on the BBQ.

We do love a BBQ!

We are always on the look out for healthier ways to dine outside. As a family we are cutting down on the amount of red mead that we eat and introducing more vegetables and fish

Vita Coco Coconut oil is 100% raw, organic and cold pressed making it the ultimate cooking ingredient. It can be used in place of other cooking oils in baking and frying, it can even be added in to your coffee or used to whiten your teeth.

This recipe is a quick and easy meal to do on the hot rocks or in the oven if the weather decides to ruin your day.

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INGREDIENTS:

Fillet of salmon

2 tbsp Vita Coco Oil

1 chopped clove of garlic

tsp of chopped chilli flakes

1 tbsp cider vinegar

tbsp of chopped mint and coriander

Pink himalayan salt

Half the juice of a lime

METHOD:

  • Place the fillet of salmon onto some tin foil
  • Drizzle over some olive oil and a pinch of himalayan salt
  • In a small pot, add in the vita coco oil, chilli flakes, lime juice, chopped garlic and the chopped mint and coriander. Mix well.

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  • Place over the top of the fillet and then wrap it up into the tin foil, creating a parcel.

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  • Once your BBQ is nice and hot, place onto the grill and cook until the salmon flakes easy with a fork, roughly about 15 minutes.

Serve with a side salad and some slices of lemon.

Whats good about this recipe is that once you have wrapped the salmon in the foil parcel it can be placed into the fridge ready to use later on in the day. Especially saving time when you are entertaining.

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This is my entry into the Foodies100/Vita Coco #reachforthebeach  competition

 

A Letter To My 14yr Old Son

Dear Son

When I found out that I was pregnant with you, it was quite a shock! I doubted myself and my ability to look after you. Even though I was 24, I thought that I was still to young to have children. I didn’t want to fail you as a parent and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to take on the responsibility if looking after a young baby.

As soon as I began to feel you move around inside of my tummy my love for you began to grow, you was mine – all mine.

The day you was born, my life changed.

The moment you came into this world you brought an ache into my heart that I had never experienced before, a love that was so strong it brought to tears to my eyes and a pain in my chest. You taught me the meaning of unconditional love.

You was a mummy’s boy and I was your biggest supporter. With every milestone that you reached; crawling, first steps, first word, first pee on the potty, I reveled in euphoria.

You was such a clever little boy. At 2 years old you showed an interest in cars and used to point out to me all the makes of them as they passed by. I had no idea where you had learned it from as I didn’t drive and had no understanding of them myself. I remember sitting on a bus one day; you was looking out of the window and was pointing out the cars as they passed us, saying their names and getting quite excited. The other passengers were laughing and encouraging you by asking you what the next car was. You knew them all!

You have, to this day, a presence about you that leaves people in awe. Such confidence in yourself, no matter what it is you try you will always put everything into it.

I sometimes wish that you were still that little intrigued boy. I often miss him, thinking about what you were like as a small boy. The way you used to line up your cars in colours, sizes and models. How we could never pass by a Bob the Builder ride that was outside the supermarket because you would shout to have a go on it. When you used to come in to my room at night and sneak into my side of the bed for a cuddle. And, you was always full of energy, running around I circles in the living room because you wouldn’t give in to your tiredness.

You was such a caring, thoughtful young boy – Still are!

You filled my days with such pure delight

Over the past 14 years I have watched you grow from a young boy into a young man. You are still caring and thoughtful. You have learnt so much but there is so much more for you to learn now as an adult. Life is a continuous journey and I am so glad that I am a part of yours. You have hopes and dreams and aspirations. Their will be challenges but I have confidence in you that you will overcome them, you will make mistakes, as everyone does, but remember, that is how we learn. You will have times of contentment and times of sadness, life has its ups and downs. You are a strong boy who will overcome them all.

This past year has been a tough one for us all, you have shown such maturity and your attitude towards my illness has been a positive one. If anyone could be optimistic about their mum having cancer its you! You tell everyone that my illness has taught you how to grow up, how to fend for yourself and how to be positive.

You have taught yourself to cook and to look after your siblings. Your attitude towards it all has been a positive one. Giving me support and showing me that you are much more to me than just my son. You are my friend.

You are an incredible, unique boy and I want you to know what an amazing young man you have turned out to be.

There were days when I was in hospital, when I woke, to find you sitting by my bedside holding on to my hand and stroking my head. You are such a caring boy. Full of love and compassion.

You have such a bright future ahead of you and I trust that you will accomplish anything you set out to do. You have a drive to succeed. You are your own person, have your own interests, thought and opinions and are not afraid of showing who you are to others. You are clever and very knowledgeable. I have no doubt in my mind that you will succeed.

Follow your heart, hopes and dreams and become the man whom I know you will turn out to be. Be yourself and accomplish great things.

I am who I am because of you. I love you dearly

Your forever loving Mum

 

Cool Summer Lemon Slush Recipe

This slush is just perfect for hot summer days, it will keep you cool and refreshed and help you beat the heat.

We have been very lucky lately with the weather and have even had a good couple of weeks where the temperature has hit above 25c. Keeping cool, without constantly standing in front of a fan isn’t easy. I promise that this slush will keep you hydrated but also cool you down.

It is quick and simple to make, which makes it an ideal drink to make with the children.

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INGREDIENTS:

Half a lemon

A few sprigs of fresh mint

Handful of ice cubes

Coconut Water

This amount would make enough for one person just double up the ingredients if you want to make more

METHOD:

Place everything into a blender, leaving the coconut water til last. Add in enough to cover over the ice and blitz away. I kept some of the rind on the lemon as this gave it that extra bitter taste.

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Now all you need to do is relax on the sun lounger with your cool summer slush in one hand, sun glasses on and a good book in the other.

NB: You could add in some gin or vodka for an adult slush

Enjoy!

Disney Pixars Cars 3 Franchise review

We love a bit of Disney in our household, especially after our recent visit to EuroDisney. The boys have a newfound love for it and are enjoying it even more. They are spending more of an interest in Disney films and the characters; from the old ones to the new.

Disney isn’t just all about tiaras and marrying princes there are also many of the old classics like Lion King, Bambi and Pinocchio – also not forgetting the high-speed, blazing fast racers of Cars.

One of the latest Disney films to be released on 14th July, 2017 is Cars 3. The legendary Lightening Mcqueen strikes again and finds himself out of the game when a next gen- racer Jackson Storm hits the Piston Cup. Hoping to get back in the game, Lightening seeks the help of a young technician Cruz Ramirez.

Disney have announced an exciting new product collection that will bring the high-speed action of the highly anticipated Disney•Pixar film Cars 3 to households nationwide.

The boys already have the previous DVDs of Cars and a few of the franchises to play with. So they were all revved up when they were sent some of the latest products to review.

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Jackson Storm Remote Control Car RRP £17.99 (disney store)

Lightening McQueen Speed Launcher By LEGO Juniors RRP £7.99 (disney store)

Cars 3 Drinks Bottle RRP £6.99 (disney store)

Cars 3 Book of the Film By Parragon RRP £5.99 (asda)

Lightening McQueen LEGO Launcher – The youngest couldn’t wait to get stuck in and as his older brother – who absolutely loves LEGO – was away he took the chance to start with the speed launcher. He doesn’t normally show an interest, as much as his brother, for Lego but he was really excited to build the car. The sets are ideal for children aged 5-7

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It was easy to build – just as the box says with simple to follow instructions. He started with the car first and then on to the launcher.

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The instructions are picture related, so he found them easy to follow and keep up with. Each page showing you what pieces were needed for that particular part.

Whats great about this set is that it is a usable toy after it is built. The wheels turn and the launcher actually works. It doesn’t launch the car very far but it is still fun to build and play with. It also gives the children a sense of achievement and pride, having built something by themselves. He would normally take sets apart once he had built them but this one has stayed by his bedside and is being used every day. He was very proud of himself for putting it together.

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Jackson Storm Remote Control Car – Get the feel of what it’s like to race in the Piston Cup with this remote control car. It may be small but it is very powerful. The car is a designed in detail with some impressive artwork and comes with a steering-wheel controller. The controller is easy to use; it drives forward and backwards, steers left and right. It is the perfect size for little hands and simple to use

20170622_070613The actual size of the Car  is L15 x H5 x W7cm approx.

Any child that loves Cars would fall in love with this little beauty. It is rear wheel driven and very responsive. It is turned on by using the middle button on the centre of the wheel control. We found that If it is not used for a while it tends to turn it self off and all you have to do is press the button again to get it working.

The design is sleek and very eye-catching, It is a solid and sturdy car. We took it to the garden to see how well it would drive over the patio (excuse the weeds)

The boys have had so much fun with this car. I do believe that there are more to collect, so you could hold your own Piston Cup and see who could be the winner.

Cars 3 Drinks Bottle – These drinks bottles are ideal for little racers to keep hydrated, with detailed artwork of Lightening McQueen and Jackson Storm, they are bright to look at and perfect for pack lunches. They have a rubber tyre detail around the bottom of the bottle giving little hands that extra grip when drinking from the bottle, but also keeps them sturdy when placed on to the table.

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The lid also has the tyre detail with a button to open it. Once the lid flips open it has a flexible straw hidden within.

The bottle holds 12oz and is only designed for cold drinks only. They are easy to come apart to wash and store well in the cupboard. The size of the bottle also makes them perfect to fit into lunch bags.

I found that with the fun designs the boys were asking for their bottles to be filled up more than normal, they make drinking cool!

Cars 3 Book of the Film – This 144 page paper-back book with an 8 page full colour insert is excellent for any budding reader. Once you have watched the film you can relive it again and again in this book.

‘When the legendary Lightening Mcqueen is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves by a new generation of blazing racers, he needs to get back in the game, and FAST! Can #95 prove that he isn’t out of the game yet? The next Piston Cup will test the heart of a champion on racing’s biggest stage!’

With seven Piston Cups wins under his belt and an undying passion for motor sport, can Mcqueen ride carry on riding high with the new generation of blazing racers?

There are many new characters in this new book, including Jackson Storm and Cruz Ramirez.

I have been trying to encourage my youngest away from books that have more picture than text and this book certainly meets that criteria. Apart from the 8 page full colour insert there are no more illustrations throughout the book. This means that he can concentrate on the story without being distracted by the pictures. Although the illustrations that are in the book are very colourful and good, which does help with the imagination.

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He is really enjoying reading the book and it is keeping him engaged.

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The book is ideal for young readers who are developing their reading skills.

These Cars 3 products have helped the children carry on with their newfound love of Disney. We are carrying on the magic at home.

We was sent these products for the purpose of this review

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