Lip-Smacking Lockdown Lemonade

So, during these worrying of times, we’re back with a lip-smacking bang to keep the kids thirst kept at bay. This really is a treat in our house, not for the every day but a recipe the children love to make on sunny days.

Inspired by Allegra McEvedy who has written a cookbook inspired by the stories of Enid Blyton, why not give the kids a lesson on the art of making Lemonade? It really is so simple and I can promise the results are totally worth it! My kids delight in reading out and copying down the ingredients and method, the measuring and weighing and the jolly good shaking!!! Most of all, they love the outcome and it certainly quenched our thirst during these warm days in the Uk. Let’s get going!

Ingredients;

3 lemons

2 limes

100g caster sugar

Method;

Start off by quartering the fruits and then let the kids squeeze out the juices into a jug. You should end up with about 150-200ml of juice. Place the skins to one side.

Next up, place the juice into a jar, add the sugar and 250ml water. Place the lid on top and get the kids to give it all a good old shake until the sugar dissolves.

Add 1 litre of cold water and the squeezed out lemon and lime skins. Give it all a jolly good stir!! Add ice and Enjoy!!!

Demelza *Halloween Competition Time* Win 7 Tickets

Looking for things to do in Half Term?

We have two adult tickets, and five children’s tickets to give away to the Demelza Hospice Care For Children Rochester Pumpkin Hunt on 24th October.

All you have to do is go to our Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/mumsinreallife/?ref=bookmarks like and share this post, and tag a friend below who you’d like to take along with you.

Winners will be chosen from all entries at 9pm on Monday 21st October.

To enter you’ll need to:

1. Like & share this post

2. Tag a friend you’d like to take along in the comments below

3. One lucky winner will be announced on our Facebook page and by messenger (tickets will be sent by email)

Go go go! Happy hunting lovely

Easy Packed Lunches – Food That The Kids Can Help Out With

The theme this week is packed lunches. What do you put in your kids lunch box? We’ve always stuck to sandwiches, day in and day out for oh, about 7 years now. I’ve decided to change all of that and be a bit more experimental.

These gorgeous little pizzas/patties/pastries with toppings (not quite sure what to call them, if I’m honest) have gone done a storm at lunch time.

They are so easy to make – the kids got stuck in with their favourite toppings – and they cost pennies.

This time around I totally cheated and bought some ready made pastry (it was on offer for 90p – bargain!). We heated and thickened up a tin of chopped tomatoes, adding in some mixed herbs. Once the sauce had thickened, I took it off the heat and placed to one side to cool down.

The kids used scone cutters to cut out the bases, then we set about choosing the toppings. They went for green peppers, left over green pesto sauce (https://mumsinreallifecouk.wordpress.com/2019/08/22/basil-pesto-sauce/),sliced baby bells and Chiritzo.

Once all of the ingredients had been chopped and sliced, we set about spooning a blob of the tomato sauce on top of the pastry bases. We then sprinkled over the ingredients, made them look pretty and popped them into a preheated oven at 180•C for about 12 minutes.

As you can see, they look dreamy. Leave to cool down on a wire rack and enjoy! Bon appetite.

Here at Mums In Real Life we’re always looking for tips and hints. Please do share any favourite Packed lunch ideas with us. Thank you x

The Scuffin Way – Healthy Packed Lunch Boxes

The summer holidays have come to an end and it’s back to making packed lunches for the little ones. It can often be challenging to think of different healthy foods to pack in their lunch boxes, this is therefore a great choice and it certainly ticks the boxes in terms of taste.

I hadn’t heard of Scuffins before, until I picked up a recipe book from a trendy young lady called Izy Hossack. They are the shape of a scone but with the texture of a muffin. They also taste pretty damn good and got a massive thumbs up from my kids, which is always a bonus.

I used Izy’s recipe as a guide, but made quite a few adaptations based on the quantity I needed and the fruit I had to hand. Let’s go!

Ingredients (makes 6);

30g Red Lentils

1 Egg

3tbsp Milk

40ml Olive Oil

1/2tsp Nutmeg

80g Plain Flour

30g Oats

1tsp Baking powder

150g Pears (Cooked) & Strawberries – cubed

30g Demerara Sugar

Method;

Kick off by preheating the oven to 180•C fan. Line a baking tray with baking paper, or use fairy cake cases.

Next up, put the lentils into a saucepan and cover with water. Boil for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and place back into the saucepan.

Stir in the egg, oil, milk, nutmeg and sugar and stir well. Add the remaining ingredients combine everything together.

Using a tablespoon, scoop out about 2tbsp worth onto either baking paper or into the cases (I tried both) until the mixture has been shared out evenly.

Bake in the oven for 17 – 20 minutes, until spring and golden. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

Bon appetite!

Tips For Disneyland

We have just returned from a fantastic family holiday, topped off with a surprise trip to Disneyland Paris for our kids. We decided to keep it a secret as we didn’t want our children to only focus on the Disney element of our holiday. We therefore had a blissful week beforehand, without being constantly asked “is it time for Disney yet?”. It was worth it, their little faces were priceless, they really had no idea what we had planned for them & were blown away with excitement. Cute.

So, post Disney chats with my husband about what we’ll do differently next time we visit (we will, it was great) has prompted me to write this list. Hopefully this will help any Disney first timers out 🤞🏻

1. Download the Disney App and take a good look ahead of your trip. The app has times of performances & parades, queuing times, you can book restaurants (via a phone number), find the play zones, book fast passes etc and is generally really helpful.

2. Take enough water to queue but don’t go overboard and weigh yourself down – there are plenty of water fountains throughout the park where you can top up your bottles.

3. Try not to go at the weekend and preferably if you can, go out of season!! What an earth made us go in August and on a Saturday, I have no idea!! Seemed like a good idea at the time!! The Friday wasn’t too bad & we managed to go on a few rides. Saturday however was a whole different story. We queued for nearly an hour just to pass security and then had to queue again to get entry into the park itself. The queues for every ride were at least 75 minutes long, not so great with little ones in tow when they are hot and bothered. Prepare yourself for the Disney Princesses, the shortest queue we could find was 95 minutes. Fortunately our two weren’t that bothered so we managed to get out of that one this time round.

4. Ahead of the Disney performances & parades, work out the route and get yourself a prime position on the kerb. On our first day, we hung about in Main Street and then danced along behind Minnie & Mickey who were singing “we’re on our way”…we got so caught up in the magical atmosphere (they know how to gather a crowd!) and as a result promptly ended up right at the back.

On the Saturday, we’d learnt our lesson so we parked ourselves right in front of the main stage, 40 minutes before any show was due to start. We had the best experience ever – the show was incredible and our kids were mesmerised.

5. If you’re on a bit of a budget, take a packed lunch & some snacks. We treated our kids to an ice cream and saved our money for a meal at dinner time inside the resort. It’s not cheap, so brace yourself and accept it for what it is. Our meal for 4 people cost over 80€ (which is relatively cheap in there) and to be honest, wasn’t the best but it did fill the void and the kids loved the restaurant.

6. If going to the Disney in Paris, take a Poncho. Our first day was 28•C but with showers forecast. We all discovered that our rain coats were only shower proof. Despite spending considerable time drying our coats in the ladies when the sun came out, we would then get drenched again. Countless times. My kids didn’t care, but with rivets of water streaming down my back, I conceded defeat. A lady I met in a queue told me that to buy their Ponchos in the park they spent 15€ per adult and 11€ each for children. They do have the Disney logo on the back, so a nice souvenir if like that sort of thing.

7. Don’t worry too much about having cash on you. Everywhere accepts cards. EXCEPT the ice cream and cold drink carts. You’ll need cash for these if you want to avoid the long queues at the various cafes/outlets dotted around the resort. There is an ATM in Discovery Land at the Paris resort.

8. Don’t expect the Characters to be milling around all over the park. They won’t be. They each have specific times, they come along with Marshalls who put an umbrella over them and then an orderly queue is formed so you can get a picture & autograph.

9. If you haven’t downloaded the app or don’t want your head stuck in your phone for the entire time, remember to check the super large information boards in every zone. We only saw these on the last day towards the end…doh!

10. Above everything else, relax & enjoy yourselves. We soaked it all up & tried not to focus on the cost of entry vs the number of rides we managed to get on. If you allow it to be, the atmosphere is truly magical & for us that is all that mattered 💕

Do you have any top tips for Disney trips? If so, we’re always happy to hear what you have to say.

Quick 10 minute Rainy Day Cookies

School pick up is imminent and the weather here is miserable! Here is a fantastic rainy day cookie recipe to keep the kids occupied when they can’t get outside to play.

Ingredients:

125g unsalted butter

100g caster sugar

75g soft brown sugar

1 medium egg, lightly beaten

2tsp vanilla extract

150g plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

Chocolate bar of choice, chopped up

1tbsp peanut butter (optional)

Sprinkle (optional)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 140•C.

Melt the butter and chuck all of the ingredients into a large bowl. Give it all a good stir.

Use a large spoon to dollop blobs of cookie dough onto a large baking tray (lightly greased or top tray with baking paper).

Bake for 8 – 10 minutes until golden.

Struggling with Holiday Activities For Kids – Make This Cool Erupting Volcano

Struggling for things to keep the kids active with this week? Try out this throwback post 👍🏻

Day 4 of the Easter school holidays has drawn to a close. This morning we went to a beautiful park, the children had a fabulous play and we all enjoyed a wonderful walk.

Crazily, I’d left the bottles of water and fruit in the car and by then we were too far gone. One decaf coffee, two soft drinks and two cupcakes later I’d managed to spend £15! It’s so easy to go off piste if you aren’t careful. Now, I’m no angel. I’m trying to change my ways. I was once told by a friend that I’m the only person they’ve ever met who sets up a tab at soft play. That says quite a lot about me. Like I said, I’m trying to improve!  I know it’s unnecessary.

So, after the park we carried out a few Scientific experiments! They were so cool!

The first experiment we did, was an erupting Volcano.

Here’s what we used:

A small plastic bottle

Tray

Water

Measuring jug

Food dye

Washing up liquid

Tin foil

Funnel

Bicarbonate of soda

Vinegar

We folded the foil in half and cut a small hole in it (big enough for the bottle neck) the we wrapped the bottle up and placed a few dinosaurs around, oh and some moss. Just for effect!

Next up, we filled the jug with 300ml of warm water and then added two heaped table spoons of bicarbonate Soda. We gave it a good stir.

We then added a spoonful of dye and a spoonful of washing up liquid.

We again stirred it well and then poured it into the foil wrapped bottle. About two thirds full.

Next, we added 100ml of vinegar…and stood back…

The eruption took place!

After much cooing, my two wanted to do it again. So we did, but changed the set up slightly so we could appreciate the colours more.

Not a bad way to teach your children a few scientific facts (we talked through the why!).

We had so much fun!! We also made clouds and a Tornado in a glass – but we were far too absorbed to take pictures!!  I’ll post the details, though, if you are interested!

Give it a go guys – lovely (free) fun 👍🏻

Free Easter Holiday Activities For All Of The Family To Enjoy

School holidays, whilst fun, can be financially stressful for many people. I myself have squandered away a small fortune so far this week at the cinema, soft play, lunch out etc. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The truth is for my little family, whilst we all love a fantastic experience, we just want to be doing stuff together.

Now my kids love playing. Love it. They love baking (so do I), they love cooking (me too!), they love arts and crafts (another similarity!) they are complete and utter bookworms (oh! Snap!). But with 2 weeks off, sometimes we need a bit more.

I have this fantastic little book and when my own imagination is running a bit dry, I often flick through to get some ideas. The title is a bit misleading, many of the activities can be done indoors. Which is fantastic because let’s be honest, the weather right now isn’t great.

So many things to do! From Geocaching to building insect hotels. Building log pile houses to making your own barometer. The options are endless!

My two picked a Limbo contest and painting flower pots. Gazing out at the trees swaying madly in the wind, the sun was still shining so we gave Limbo a go!

So we got stuck in and the kids gathered bamboo canes from the garden. We used garden wire to make some hooks on two of the canes and then pressed them firmly into the ground.

At this point, I blasted out some traditional Caribbean music, put the Limbo stick in place and let the competition commence.

Cue the biggest blast of wind, much giggling and about half an hour of fun. Despite our best efforts, we decided to ditch the Limbo and wait for less windy weather.

Next up we decided to paint some pots. We rummaged about in the shed, prepped the table and the kids started on their creations.

They did a lovely job and we’ll fill them with compost and seeds as the week goes on. I’m sure the recipient will be thrilled when they receive these at Easter!

Not content to sit still for 5 minutes, with all of the wind howling about outside, my eldest thought it would be a fab idea to make a kite! Hmmmm. I referred to my little book. Hmmmm. A bit technical for me without a bit of Pre planning.

Then I remembered the plastic bag kite. This was a bit of a stretch as I only have the big reusable bags nowadays, but I managed to find an old thin plastic bag right at the bottom of one of my bag of bags (everyone has these bags, right?!).

What an easy activity. A bag, some string. Bingo! No time to decorate. They were far too keen to get outside.

Yup! If anyone saw/heard 2 kids running around gleefully singing “let’s go fly a kite” repeatedly (for hours!) along with a very wind swept Mummy, that was us!

We’ve had the best day! They are already fast asleep and do you know what? I didn’t spend a single penny. Result 👍🏻

Give it a go. Have fun and share any ideas you have.

Synopsis of a 5 day healthy eating plan (for kids)

It’s ‘throwback Thursday’!!! Way back when, here at Mums In Real Life we trialled out a 5 day healthy eating plan on some of our fussy little eaters. The results were AMAZING!!!! Take a read and as always, here at Mums In Real Life we’d love to hear any tips of secrets you may have! We’re all in this together, right?1

Soooooo, what an interesting few days in terms of the healthy eating plan we put in place and trialled throughout the week. As you may recall (or if you are new, welcome and all will make sense soon), we’ve been trying to encourage a couple of our fussy little eaters to try more food ingredients. Hail the red kidney bean!!! Hoorah for Mexican music! I salute you cod fillets rolled in breadcrumbs! You are forever in my heart, Avocado!

Looking through books, discussing what food we love & why, what food they REALLY dislike (and why – some untasted) we put together a menu. One that was simple, achievable but with a few dishes ordinarily a couple of kiddie winks ABSOLUTELY WOULD NOT EAT at this stage in their little life.

Quite frankly, meal times were starting to get quite tedious. I’ve mentioned before, it was like Ground Hog Day.

See our previous blogs for some of the results. The one I was most dreading, was our Mexican theme night. I’ve tried this before. Loads of times. However, at some point this week all of the cogs fell into place.

I made up a quick mince dish today – it was so easy. For the purpose of this menu I left out Chillies, but I did add Cumin, Ginger, Paprika and Garlic.

I whizzed a (very) ripe Avocado in the blender with a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream and some lime juices. It took about 30 seconds and then I twisted in some pepper.

That was it. Done. As I went to pick my kids up, I mentioned to Tahlia that I really wasn’t sure how dinner time would go down. I genuinely felt quite torn about it.

I shouldn’t have worried. Like I say, some cogs had fallen into place for my youngest. I do confess at this stage to playing traditional Mexican music this morning, us all dancing around, really ‘bigging up’ tonight’s meal.

best-gourmet-food-delivery-service

Here are the results: Yes, they even ate the kidney beans 👍🏻

So a good week. I will go to bed tonight knowing that I’ve been well and truly played. The fact is, there isn’t much my ‘fussy’ little doesn’t like. Apart from a bit of control. But before I head off to bed, I’m going to add some jalapeño peppers to the mince and enjoy my feast (Mexican music and all).

Give it a whirl 👍🏻