Today, we had another day in the garden. Some chill time and lots of fun with an #activity or two! Happy Sunday.

Daddy and I moved the old patio and rubble (which will have to live in our garden until the recycling centres open back up) and I think we’ve hidden it rather well. If you spot it I’ll be most impressed.

Where the rubble had been is now where you can see the outdoor dining area. It’s been out of action all winter, which we wouldn’t have used in any case. It’s opened the garden up even more now we’ve cleaned it all! It’s amazing how much space this garden has.

When we bought the house, the garden was full of stuff: rockery, pond, vege patch, pagoda and a 10ft greenhouse. It made the garden feel quite small, it’s amazing what a bit of hard work and a little vision can achieve. I knew this garden had the potential to be a perfect family space.

I cut the grass, tidied up some more of the bushes and watered everything. Whilst the kiddies played this game... they love it. But they do get rather competitive!

What activities have you been up to today?

#mummyphotoaday

Today, we had another day...

We made the most of the day today and it feels good! Whilst Daddy finished off the final 13 patio slabs (which look incredible), I sorted the garden.

I pruned all the bushes, weeded the flower beds, got rid of a lot of thorny weedyness, painted the potting shed door and filled an entire green bin. 😂 I even trimmed the grass edge with grass scissors.

I am loving the garden more and more. I hope that the sun keeps on shining so that we can get it looking how we want before Summer. Making the most of #lockdown. It was lovely as our neighbours on either side, both over 60, offered advice and help today. Deano nearly ran out of sand and one neighbour dropped some over the fence. It’s nice to have a sense of community even though we are all in our homes.

We’re looking forward to playing in the garden tomorrow and making the most of this space.

#mummyphotoaday 
#myhousethismonth #mygardenthismonth

We made the most of...

We have joined the rest of the country and made a #rainbow design in our living room window. The kids have drawn one on a piece of paper and also used window felt pens to design a 🌈 on the pane itself. It looks pretty. The kiddies are very happy with them. They lit up when the neighbours asked for them to make them rainbows for the window.

I love this part of the front garden, you can just see the flowers are about to bloom any day now. Daffodils are hiding in amongst the tulips, hyacinths full of a deep purple, the Heather has come up a nice reddy purple too. By the front door there is a sea of purple from the aster (I think that’s what they are). Can you see the beautiful Camellia to the left of the kiddies too? It’s about to bloom with its bright pink flowers. The yellow Jasmine is just starting to grow on the right side of the kiddies, can you see it climbing up the wall?

There’s so much going on. It looks beautiful. I don’t remember it looking this pretty last Spring. Maybe I didn’t pay much attention. Or maybe these things have grown from random seeds I planted last year and forgot about. I can’t remember what I planted though 🤦🏼‍♀️ Does anyone else do that?

Have you seen many rainbows in the window of people’s homes?

#mummyphotoaday

We have joined the rest...

A very happy birthday to my first furbaby, Rambo. He is 13 today. I can’t believe he’s been in my life for 13 years, we’ve done so much and seen so many places. It’s gone so quickly.

He is so good, his temperament is just perfect. He’s not a yappy dog. He barks to mark his territory but that’s it. When the kids were toddlers, they would pull his fur out in clumps and he would just lay there. He cleans the other pets in the house and always makes sure the kids are safe at night time. It’s so cute. He’s such a loving, fatherly dog.

This little man is my follower at the moment; more so than normal. He follows me everywhere. If I’m on the loo, he will sit at the bathroom door staring at me. When I’m in the bath, he pushes the door open and sits next to me and stares. Right now, he’s currently snuggling under the duvet.

Let’s hope we can go and explore somewhere new in the summer, with amazing views and miles of countryside. Our favourite.

Thanks for all the adventures Rambo 🐾 and the snuggles! We love you lots.

A very happy birthday to...

I wonder what is going through their tiny minds right now? Do you think they consider things like we do? Do you think they #dream of what’s going on? The kids seem to be taking it all in their stride and albeit they are sad they can’t see their friends, they seem to be just getting on with it.

Whereas, I go through waves of different feelings. I’ve discovered I’m at my best when I just take each day as it comes. When I start to think about things globally, or the time period of lockdowns and when the kids are going back to school... that’s when I start to feel worried and glum.

I worry that my employer will soon say “sorry Sonia we’re not paying you anymore as you’re homeschooling”, or the worry that I’m not teaching my kids correctly and they’re missing too much of their education. Or the impact of isolation on the kiddies at this age, making friendships and building rapport with people.

I hope these are worries over nothing. And I know all of the kiddies in the world are in the same boat. But, as a parent you can’t help but worry.

So for now I’m trying not to think negatively. Trying not to think more than 1 day ahead (except maybe planning Easter Sunday dinner) and I’m trying to keep smiling. So my babies keep smiling.

Keep calm and carry on. Isn’t that the saying!

#mummyphotoaday

I wonder what is going...

This afternoons activity with Daddy looked like lots of fun: they gathered sticks and the kiddies built their own pile of firewood for a camp fire. They then sat around the fire pit to test whose camp fire would flame up the best!

Isla created a very structured camp fire, logical and a pattern to where she placed her sticks. Noahs looked more sporadic but covered a wider area.

Neither camp fires took fire, it was quite windy. So the kiddies enjoyed a hot chocolate and marshmallow around their piles of sticks.

They had fun though and that’s the main thing. I’m loving all of these practical tasks they’re doing with Daddy.

I’ve been waiting, all day, for someone to tell me it’s all a dream and we are still going to Dubai. But, unfortunately, no one jumped out screaming April #fool and alas, we are still at home. I’m gutted.

Lots to look forward to though and right now it’s about focussing on our main objective: stay at home at all times, unless to buy essential food & walk the dogs! I have actually loved being at home everyday. It’s my favourite place.

#mummyphotoaday

This afternoons activity with Daddy...

“We are very excited to try out this new food from Forthglade, it smells woofing delicious” 🐾 Straight from the doggies mouth!

I am very excited to announce that I am a new ambassador for @forthglade. What does that mean? Well, I get to try out the products and tell you all how good they are and get special offers and discounts for my followers too!

It’s such a strange time with lockdown, however finding out about Forthglade couldn’t have come at a better time. When I went to get our usual dog foods in the supermarket it had all sold out. So, resorting to online orders seemed a very natural thing to do to ensure our furbabies are fed.

This food is a minimum of 75% meat or fish and is free from junk. With Snoopy, he has a tummy condition which means we have to be careful what he eats, it’s perfect. We will keep you posted on what they thought! 🐾 #gifted

“We are very excited to...

🌼 April is here and along with it comes another set of photo keywords for #MummyPhotoADay photo challenge.

We should have been flying to Dubai today, so my insta squares would have been very different to what they now will be. I’m expecting to see lots of Spring colours and stay at home families instead this month.

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #mummyphotoaday so I can comment and share my favourites throughout the month.

Does anyone have any creative stay at home plans for April?

🌼 April is here and...

Easter Cooking with Kerrygold

If your weekend was anything like ours in the Constant household, there was NO time for baking, but I have got hold of some fabulous recipes from Kerrygold, that I will still be trying out this week as they are great for Spring time feasts.

Who says that a Lamb feast with Hot Cross Bun bread and butter pudding to follow is just for Easter Sunday? Not forgetting the Shortbread biscuits in the shapes of bunnies and chicks to help celebrate the start of Spring!

Roast Stuffed Leg of Lamb

This Spring, try this delicious boned leg of lamb, stuffed with a tasty leek and herb mixture.

 Ingredients:

  • 75g (3oz) Kerrygold butter
  • 3 tbsp capers, drained and chopped
  • 2 anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
  • ½ bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 leg of lamb, boned and rolled (get your butcher to do this)
  • 3 long, thin leeks, halved horizontally

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan oven 160°C, Gas Mark 4
  2. Mix together the Kerrygold butter, capers, anchovies, parsley, rosemary, thyme and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Open out the boned leg of lamb on a work surface, fat side down. Spread the butter mixture over the meat, then lay the halved leeks to run along the middle of the lamb.
  4. Roll the lamb back up and tie with string, or use butcher’s elastic bands (ask for a few when you buy the meat).
  5. Place the lamb in a roasting tin and roast for 1 ½ hours or until cooked to your liking, basting from time to time.
  6. Remove the lamb from the oven and cover with a sheet of foil. Leave to rest for at least 30 minutes before carving.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1 ½ hours, plus 30 minutes to rest

Serves 6

Approximate cost per portion: £3.77

Calories per serving 432 / Fat per serving 18g

Top tip: Why not try cooking this recipe with Kerrygold Lighter Unsalted butter and save 2.4g fat/20 calories per portion. This recipe was made using Kerrygold block butter, for more delicious recipes visit http://www.facebook.com/KerrygoldUK

 Hot Cross Bun Butter Pudding 

Enjoy the fantastic flavour of this luxury bread and butter pudding for a Spring treat.

Calories per serving 552 / Fat per serving 31g

Ingredients:

  • 50g (2oz) Kerrygold butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 3 hot cross buns, split in half
  • 50g (2oz) dates, roughly chopped
  • 50g (2oz) dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 45g (1 ½ oz) caster sugar
  • 200ml (1/3 pint) whole Jersey milk
  • 200ml (1/3 pint) single cream
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange

Method:

  1. Use a little Kerrygold butter to grease a 1.2 litre (2 pint) baking dish.
  2. Spread the remaining butter over the split hot cross buns, then cut these pieces in half. Arrange them in the baking dish, buttered sides up. Sprinkle the dates and chocolate on top.
  3. Whisk the eggs and sugar together, then beat in the milk and cream.
  4. Pour the mixture through a sieve into the baking dish and sprinkle the orange zest on top. Cover and leave to soak for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 170°C, fan oven 150°C, Gas Mark 3.
  6.  Uncover the baking dish and put it into a roasting tin, then carefully pour enough hot water around the dish to come half way up its sides. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes. When it is cooked the top will be golden brown and the custard mixture should be lightly set.

Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus soaking

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Serves 4

Approximate cost per portion: £0.88p

Why not try cooking this recipe with Kerrygold Lighter Unsalted butter and save 2.4g fat/20 calories per portion. This recipe was made using Kerrygold block butter, for more delicious recipes visit http://www.facebook.com/KerrygoldUK

Easter Shortbread Bunnies & Chicks

These Easter shortbreads really take the biscuit for the best buttery flavour and crumbly texture. And they’re such fun to make!

Ingredients:

  • 100g (4oz) Kerrygold butter
  • 50g (2oz) caster sugar
  • 150g (6oz) plain flour
  • ¼ tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 300g (10oz) icing sugar
  • Few drops of red and yellow food colouring

Method:

  1. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  2. Sift in the flour and mixed spice, stirring to combine. Add the egg yolk and bring the mixture together with your hands, kneading lightly until smooth. Wrap and chill for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan oven 160°C, Gas Mark 4. Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment or greaseproof paper.
  4. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Use Easter bunny or chick-shaped cutters to stamp into biscuits (or use a plain or fluted cutter). Carefully lift onto the baking sheets.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes until light golden. Cool for a few minutes on the trays, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. To decorate, mix the icing sugar with a little cold water to make a thick icing. Use about ¼ of this to pipe thin outlines around the biscuits, and to pipe the bunnies’ tails. Leave to set. Share the remaining white icing between 2 bowls. Add 1-2 drops of red colouring to one bowl, and 1-2 drops of yellow to the other. Add a few more drops of water to thin the icing, then spread the pink icing into the bunny shapes and the yellow into the chicks. Leave until set, then pipe details with the remaining white icing.
  7. Store in a tin in a cool, dark place.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 12 minutes, plus cooling

Makes about 16

Approximate cost of total ingredients:  £1.60

Calories per biscuit 145 / Fat per biscuit 5.5g

Top tip: Why not try cooking this recipe with Kerrygold Lighter Unsalted butter and save 1.2g fat/10 calories per biscuit. This recipe was made using Kerrygold block butter, for more delicious recipes visit http://www.facebook.com/KerrygoldUK

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