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Plum Recipe for kids with thanks to Organix

Its plum season!

I’m no food blogger and I make no secret of the fact I rely on some of my lovely blog buddies to help feed my growing pair with healthy nutritious food – im talking about you One Yummy Mummy. I like to eat it alright but im a hopeless cook!  This week its a little something different and im sharing a recipe with thanks to Organix.  It’s a delicious receipe for Organic Roasted Plums.  Not only are plums in season in Ireland in August and September, the month of September also celebrates all things Organic.

Some interesting facts that I never knew about plums!!

  • Plums are a rich source of vitamins C and K and dietary fibers
  • It can take 3-5 years after planting for the trees to bear fruit
  • There are actually over 200 varieties of plum in the world!!!
  • Plums are used to produce wine or spirits in some countries!

Organic September Roasted Plums

12+ Months
10 – 30 minutes to prepare
10 – 30 minutes to cook
Serves 2 adults and 2 children

Ingredients:

Roasted Plum treat

Pic Credit – Organix

Roasted plums
3 large plums
Coconut oil (or melted butter) to brush
Almond & oat crumble
3 tbsp porridge oats (or gluten free oat)
1 tbsp ground almonds (or desiccated coconut if nut allergies)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp melted coconut oil (or butter)
2 tbsp maple syrup (or honey for children over 12 months)

Mascarpone cream
150g of mascarpone
3 tsp lemon juice
3 tsp maple syrup (or honey for children over 12 months)
¼ tsp vanilla extract
A couple of mint leaves (optional)

 

How to make:

Step 1 –   Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6. Line a baking tray with parchment paper

Step 2 –   Prepare the crumble by mixing the oats, ground almonds and cinnamon powder together in a small  bowl. Add melted coconut oil (or butter) and maple syrup. Stir until you get a crumble texture

Step 3 –  Spread crumble on baking tray. Bake for 10-15 mins until golden and crisp. Remove from oven and set aside to cool down

Step 4 –   Put the grill on to 275°C

Step 5 –  Cut plums in half and remove stones carefully

Step 6  – Brush each plum all over with some melted coconut oil (or butter)

Step 7 –  Arrange plums in an oven proof dish, cut side up

Step 8 –  Place until the grill for around 5 mins or until the plums soften

Step 9 –  While the plums are in the oven, mix mascarpone with lemon juice, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a small bowl

Step 10 –   To serve, dollop the mascarpone cream on a plate. Add 2 halves plum per adult or 1 half plum per  child on top of mascarpone cream. Sprinkle with crumble.

And there you have it – Orangic Roasted Plums.  Let me know if you give this a go, even better show me the pic’s!

 

 

Features

Tips for making your garden a safe and fun environment for kids

We have been renovating our house over the last number of years and while the inside is nearing completion, an equally challenging task is next on the agenda……the outside spaces.  I decided to reach out to my fellow bloggers to get some tips from them on making the garden a safe and fun place for kids.

Garden Safety 

Garden Safety - locking shed

Garden Safety

First up some great tips around keeping the area itself safe and enclosed.  Elizabeth from The Homemakers Journal had some great suggestions in terms of basic safety, keeping the tools and equipment in separate storage areas.  Also crucially and a very important consideration, keep all sprays and fertilisers out of reach of little hands (and animals).  Jo from Cup of Toast also highlighted the importance of keeping hazards out the way, I love her suggestion of giving the kids their own shed that way they are contained and away from potential hazards or even escaping!

Pete who writes at Household Money Saving highlighted the importance of making sure the toys themselves are in good working condition.  This is a brilliant suggestion and probably one im guilty of not doing enough off particularly for the likes of trampolines and swings which could pose a risk if not installed or used correctly.

I love Natalie from Mummy and Moose suggestion of training the dog to do its business in one area and training the kids to avoid! Genius!! While we don’t have any pets one suggestion that ill definitely be implementing is from Sarah of A Few Favourite Things of keeping the wheelie bins separate. Safety aside we have 3 and they are so unsightly looking!

I also love Carolin of Mummy Alarm suggestion of  soft surfaces for playing on.  I have two boys and they just love playing rough, climbing and skipping around the place.  Hopefully a soft surface would lessen the cuts and scraps. Something like rubber mulch flooring would be ideal.

Garden Fun

Garden Fun in the sun

Garden Fun

The bit the boys will love!! Both Stacey of One Small Human and Anoushka of Spitting Yarn mentioned mud kitchens!! I have never heard of this before but I suspect the boys would love it, quite literally, a sectioned off area with some kitchen utensils and some muck/mud. You can’t beat the messy play to keep them entertained for hours.  Emma from Our Fairytale Adventure suggested a sensory garden including a fruit and veg patch. I love the idea of growing some of our own vegetable so this is something im definitely looking into. Check out Emma’s gorgeous garden at the above lunch, that pergola is some serious garden goals!

The boys really want a tree house and the Dada Fairy has promised them he would make one for them!   Some fantastic tips and inspiration above.  Ill look forward to revealing the finished product over the next few months.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post 

 

Mummascribbles
Features

Top 5 Gardening Projects in 2017

Every gardener knows that for a flourishing summertime garden, you need to start planning and preparing the year before. That’s why gardening projects in 2017 will come into full bloom next summer.

But what garden projects could you undertake? And why is the tail end of summer the best time to do it? We found out with thanks to Rattan Direct.

#1 Update the Garden Furniture

Why now? Late summer deals mean you can pick up great quality items for use next summer but at a great price.

Budget: mid-range.

Enjoying an afternoon in the garden, either reading the latest novel or admiring your gardening prowess is the ideal way to relax. However, gone are the days when the only option was a striped deck chair or dining table set.

From day bed to sun loungers, the range of rattan garden furniture has increased considerably, giving you ample choice when it comes to creating a superb relaxation spot or an al fresco dining area.

#2 Create an Outdoor Kitchen

Why now? The building work involved means it needs to happen during good weather. It will overwinter well allowing you the look forward to spring and summer in the garden the following year.

Budget: mid-range +

This is one step up from BBQing in the garden – the garden kitchen is a ‘fitted’ kitchen, just like you would expect to have in a home.

Lower end budgets will still get a lot for their money with built-in cupboards and worktops, along with a fixed BBQ. Why not add a pizza oven to enjoy in the summer?

For shade, add a pergola with pretty, scented climbing plants to spread their aroma whilst you cook and eat outdoors.  

We’ve seen some exciting examples, of outdoor kitchens also been plumbed in too, with a sink and drainage making it a fully working kitchen for the outdoors. In the UK, we have always shied away from creating outside rooms, so look to Mediterranean countries for inspiration as cooking is usually done outside for the majority of the year.

#3 Add a Pond

Why now? Adding a pond to your garden now means it has a chance to get established before the main insect breeding season in spring. It also means that when you add fish, the environment is not hostile to their survival.

Budget: dependent on the size of the project

Gardeners the world over will tell you that nature is both your enemy and your friend. To get the most help from other nature, you need to create the best environment that you can in your garden.

That means offering an attractive place for good bugs and insects, along with garden birds to enjoy – and keep bad bugs away! A pond is a great idea because where there is water, there is bound to be slug and insect eating frogs. Damsel flies and dragon flies are also welcome garden visitors.

You can create your own unique pond with plenty of digging, pond liner and stones or you can choose a rigid pond liner for extra stability. Add a water fall to oxygenate the water for the fish as well as adding a relaxing sound to the garden.

#4 Create a Meadow

Why now? Spreading wild seeds in a part of your garden now will mean an attractive meadow for the buzzing bees in spring and summer.

Budget: minimal

We tend to think of gardens as being manicured and ordered but our favouring of some plants over others have meant the bees, an important crop pollinator, are struggling to find the sweet pollen they need.

Creating a meadow is simple and easy. Choose a spot in the garden. Dig over the soil, adding plenty of organic matter. Either roll out seeded mats or liberally scatter seed across the surface, covering with a thin layer of compost. Protect over winter with a layer of mulch and enjoy the dancing meadow of native wild plants from spring to late summer. Allow plants to go to see and scatter their seeds for the following year.

#5 Create an Outdoor Chandelier

Why now? As the summer drawers to a close, introducing solar lights means you can enjoy the evening for longer, huddle around the fire pit. But this idea takes solar lights to a new level. Just one of many craft ideas for the garden.

Budget: the cost of solar light, around £5 or less

If you have trees you need to prune, then this homemade chandelier will reuse the smaller, more malleable offcuts.

Create a circle, square or any shape you like by intertwining the small branches of the tree or shrub together. You may want to use small cable ties or twine to hold it in place. Once you have your band of twigs, wrap solar fairy lights around the shape. Use twine to create a hanging strap and fix to your pergola, allowing the homemade solar light chandelier to adorn the seating area in your garden.

Pack away when winter comes but enjoy the sparkling lights in spring once again.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post with Rattan Direct who stock a wide range of rattan garden furniture and other accessories, all ideal for any garden, no matter the shape or size.

Features

Irish Life Health Feature on Marriage

This  week I was delighted to be asked to featured in a article for Irish Life Health talking out my opinion on marriage and whether I thought it still holds the same significance among my peers as it does for my parents or even grandparents. I’m thrilled to be featured amongst some amazing bloggers who I admired long before I began my own blog.  See link to full article here

Irish Life

Source: Irish Life

I think like lots of things in life there isn’t a simple to that question, the concept of marriage has evolved so much in recent years. Marriages now came in so many different forms but it doesn’t make them any less than the traditional view of a marriage.  The article made me think that all other things being equal would our relationship be different if we weren’t married? To be honest I don’t think it would.

 

As I said in this piece, its having kids that had the biggest change on our relationship and when we really did feel like a unit.

Would love to know what your view on marriage are? Do you thinks it still holds the same significance as it once did?

 

 

Features

Fathers Day ideas – Gift Guide

Fathers Day tends to get a lot more air time in our house than Mothers Day for some reason! The boys love to treat the hard working Dada Fairy for Fathers Day so we decided to pick out some of our favourites below.  I am very much in favour of pracitcal gifts or gifts that mean something. I loathe spending unnecceasarily, so with that in mind the Mamma Fairy house has picked a couple bits that are well worth checking out and wont break the bank either:

Handy cheap and cheerful gifts

While not the cheapest in the gift guide I think this from Lidl is well worth checking out. With the advent of contactless payments the security of cards has certainly become an issue.  It is so easy now to pay or perhaps even accidently pay with your card therefore a wallet like this from Lidl would be well worth considering. Its aluminum which protects the card itself and has in built technology which blocks the abiltiy to be able to use the contactless function in your pocket etc.  (pic credit: Lidl) At €24.99 is at a good price point too. Availble in Lidl at the moment.

Lidl also have a huge range of cheap gifts from aftershaves to novely golf balls, to mugs to insulated cups to superhero tshirts.  Safe to say most budgets are covered here with prices starting at €2.99. The kids wanted to buy the Dada Fairy the golf balls pitcured opposite! They thought they were hilarious! However the Dada Fairy doesnt even play golf!! (Pic credit: lidl).

I was in my local lidl today and picked up some great beer glasses, they had loads of types like the tulip style ones or the 300ml sampler type ones. Another good option for Fathers Day and at €4.99 per set great value and practical too!

Sentimental Gift

The Dada Fairy lives for his boys and he loves nothing more than filling the house with pictures of the boys or mementos to mark occassions. I totally fell in love with these personalised gifts from Makeitwithwords.com.  The pencil style portraits are amazing and can be personlised with any text and framed. Love love love them.

For any musical dads I love the mix tape picture where you can add the name of songs or bands that mean something.  You can also add personalised text to it too.  There is something about a personalised  gift.  Make it Words are a family business and my love of supporting local and small business is well known. They make a whole range of amazing personalised gifts from all occasions not just Fathers Day.

Grooming!!

I was having a nosey in Dealz last week and and I saw a card suitable for the Dada Fairy – “Bearded Dads make the best dads”.  I know its totally tounge in cheek and yes I did buy it as the beard is a long running joke in our house.  This lead me to our next option! See here from Top Men Shavers   which has some great articles on types of razors ( I havent a clue about anything like that) and some gift ideas for the bearded men in our lives!

I love this old school shaving kit pictured opposite. (Pic Credit: Top Men Shavers)

Lild and Dealz have some great very reasonably priced cards too.

 

Features

Renovations roll on……its all about the kitchen

Don’t get my wrong im not complaining (much) but for the last two years we have been undertaking a mega renovation job on an old house that we purchased while on maternity leave with my second little man.  The Dada Fairy is doing most of the work which is combined with his full time job is taking time! This weekend was spent picking the finishing touches to the kitchen.  As this is the room which I will be spending quite a bit of time I am taking my time in choosing the various finishes.

Due to how dark our space is we have decided on a cream kitchen to help the light into the room.  The wall tiles are also a cream colour therefore we wanted to introduce a pop of colour which is how we came across coloured acrylic splasbacks  see here here from Simply Plastics for example.  I think they are a brillant idea, durable, easy to wipe clean and most of all very reasonably priced.

I understand too that they are very easy to assemble and can be delivered ready to fix to the wall with the cut outs done for the plug sockets, switch etc.  I love the one picutered opposite (Pic credit Pinterest).

However for the braver there a huge range of funky colours to choose from see left (pic credit Simplyplastics). The great thing about splashback v tiles is that as they are reasonably priced you change it up every so often.

I think im hooked! This time next month should see the space liveable.  Cannot wait.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post.
Features

Those tricky subjects!!!

Who doesnt remember those cringe worthy episodes where the nude scene comes on the TV and your parents in the room! Yep we have all been there and those couple of minutes felt like an eterntiy while you tried not to look inteterested in the TV in front of the parents.

Which? Wills has commissioned new research that reveals the ‘unmentionable’ topics in life that we often feel uncomfortable discussing with family and friends.

The survey and infographic reveals the trickiest subject matters are sex, finances, death and relationships.  I can agree with all except perhaps the finances one. I suppose being an Accountant means that talking about finances for me can’t really be taboo!

Not surprisingly our perception of taboo subjects depends largely on our relationship with the person we talk to. For example, conversations with kids will differ to those with parents; siblings; grandparents or friends. I still remember being totally morto telling my parents I was pregnant and im the wrong side of 30!!

While the top three opposite we can in reality escape ever having to talk about them, however the topic of creating a Will really shouldnt be taboo. Whats is wrong with future proofing and protecting those around us when we are gone?

I am mid (coughs**) 30 and I have mine done.  Not because I think im heading 6 feet under anytime soon but because when the time comes, I dont want stress, drama or arguments about what I do or don’t have.

Which? Wills has simplified the process of learning how to make a will with its easy to use online tool to create a will in 30 minutes. It really is well worth taking the time to at least think about it.

With my Accountant hat on, its also a very useful tool to consider the tax planning nature of same however that is a whole other days conversation.

As the quote opposite says and never a truer word spoken…….therefore its no harm planning in as best we can for both.

 

 

 

 

 

Take Care

~Mamma F

 

Note: This is a collaborative post

 

 

 

Features

Winter Safety on Two Wheels

With the very quick onset of the bitter cold weather, never a better time to highlight the importance of being aware of the changing road conditions in the winter weather. As a family we love getting out and about.  The Dada Fairy and the oldest man love their Saturday morning cycle.  Great way for the pair of them to spend time together as well as getting out

Jefferies Solicitors have produced a really useful infographic to coincide with road safety week which starts 21 November. See below for some of the key messages, so important to be seen, be visible and ensure your vehicle is road worthy. Sounds like a given but you can never be too careful on the roads.

graphic1                                graphic2

 

In addition to the above, also very important to be aware when out and about walking with kids to use reflective clothing in the evening times, with it being dark so early now, its never been more important to highlight the importance of being seen.

Our local DIY shops sells reflective tape which I use on the buggy also. Its something I highlight to the kids in the hope that I instil its importance creating life long good habits.

Hope this post helps reinforce the importance of road safety particularly for the most vulnerable road users this Winter.

Take care when out and about this Winter – be safe, be seen and lets help save lives.

 

Features

3 ways I know im married to a builder

I am married to a builder……….

My husband is honestly one of the hardest working men I know between his work as a stonemason, his farming and being a brilliant dad to the two wee men however……this leads me to a conversation myself and my colleague had recently.  Three reasons you would know im married to a builder…….she concurs by the way!

1 – Tools, tools tools…..

ehardware2They are everywhere and I mean everywhere. From big to small to everything in between. No space is free when he is finished his days work!

 

 

2 – Work wear

At this stage I could sell Hi-viz vests, the kids love trying them on (!!). He owns more wear wear than casual clothes….think this page  from Engelbert Strauss his brand of choice, they are everywhere.  engelTo be fair it makes the present buying easy, the washing not so much! For any other farming mamas out there, they do a great range of kids protective clothes. Something which I am very strict on when they are out on the farm.

3- Our house is never finished

I’m not complaining…. but our house is never finished. We  undertook a mammoth renovation project when we bought our new house 2 years ago and its still on going, extending up and out and all the rest.  He loves to keep working on the house basically because he can. I love his vision and his resolve to give me the house of my dreams. Im currently waiting on a beautiful kitchen from Cherrymore to arrive. Hopefully by Christmas we will be done!

Features

#officeyoga – excercising at your desk!

As many of you already know,  I work full time as an accountant which involves 40 plus hours a week at my desk. I read the findings of Lead scientist Professor Ulf Ekelund, from Cambridge University and the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences with interest. His research found that at least  one hour of physical activity per day, for example brisk walking or bike cycling, helps to negate the affects of such a sedantary day.

While preganant with the boys I developed chronic hypertension which went after my first but unfortunately is still lingering a year after my second.  When Furniture @ Work asked me to get involved in a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of movement at work as part of their #officeyoga campaign, I didnt hesitate to get involved. It is something I make a huge effort to do myself. They have produced a range of handy infographics which I have reproduced with permisson below.

Chair Raise Hands    Chair Spinal Twist    Chair Cat Cow Streatch

The above are so simple and easy for us all to try.  Given the amount of time we spend at our desk its important to look after your posture and over the course of the day make an effort to increase the amout of physical activity you do.  Im based on the third floor and  I always take the stairs up and back. Its much easier on the way down than up!

Has anybody any other tips to increase movement at work, do share them, would love to hear.

 

Take Care

~Mamma F

 

Note: This is a collaborative post