Thursday, 23 April 2015

A day at the beach, M's style...

In half term last spring, we visited Crosby beach for the very first time. Its where my logo badge was captured. It was a great day out, albeit very muddy, when we were not expecting mud. You can read about it here. We had so much fun, that we decided to go back again this half term, with some different friends then last time, with 3 boys. Crosby beach is famous for the 100 cast iron statues of naked men, which the girls found hilarious last time.
This time with boys though, that hysterical side wasn't there, but I did hear from one of the boys, "mum, why is he showing his weaner?", then that was all on the subject. This beach in particular only took us 1hour 20 minutes from home, which really surprised me, I think we will be going more often. We don't get to visit the beach often due to the distance, so it really is a novelty to the girlies. When we arrived it was still foggy, but the sun was trying to break through, it made it really errie, and it seemed so peaceful, as we couldn't see the docks, or other people, just statues emerging... 

The sea soon captured all the children, and they were off to the sea line, it felt like we were abroad, not in Liverpool...

Once at a sea line, J's temptation couldn't last anymore, she was in the sea. We came prepared this time in wellies, expecting it to be muddy. It didn't seem it this time, just sand. She was allowed up to the buckles on her wellies, as were due to be out all day, and no one likes wet children...

JW also joined her, heading into the mist..

The water didn't tempt S who was happy enough to just draw in the sand with a stick.

We took along the girls metal detector, which they have had for a few years, but never used. This was a true novelty, especially with the iron men around... unfortunately, I don't think I programmed it right, and it didn't really do anything...

The statues couldn't keep J out the water for long, and she was soon back in. The tide was coming in quick, and we had to keep reminding her to walk closer into the beach.  This picture I think really captures the different personality of my girls. Both enjoying the location, but happy doing different things. S trying to skim stones, and J happy splashing around.

J was carefully trying to make big splashes without getting to wet..

Whilst, S didn't like sandy hands, and decided to clean them on me... Thanks sweetie...

JW soon was back by J's side, and they were happily playing together, got a little giddy splashing each other, and then I caught this... teeheee... couldn't help but laugh... think JW got his payback for J kicking water up at him...

Thankfully it was followed by laughter, and lots of it... and then as she was already wet through, there was no point in being careful with the splashes, as she tried to make as big a splash as she could...

Whilst S looked for shells...

 ... and made sand angels...

...we managed to tempt J back onto land with the metal detector, but she was soon complaining she was getting cold...

So after a "I told you so" she was stripped off and in my hoody. Her spare clothes were back in the car, and it was time for a picnic... JW was also cold, but hey ho, kids will be kids, and they need to learn.... however, J doesn't need anymore tips on pulling of a stroppy teenager. At aged 5, I think she has it perfect. I'm not looking forward to those years...

Once she was dried off, it was time for a picnic. The sea defence was the perfect place for it, off the sand..  and natty mats, came in handy to soften them on the bums... (and pack J's sodden clothes away without getting everything else wet, review coming soon!)

 S was soon bored of eating, like usual, and was climbing...

After the picnic, and with two children cold and wet, we decided it was best to head back to the car, and change them, ready for a walk, out of the sea. Once changed, they headed up onto the sand dunes...  the beaches of Bournemouth and Sandbanks, which I grew up with don't have dunes, so they are a novelty for me too, and yes, I did "have" to help S didn't I...

The photos came out amazing, the sky was a deep blue, and J stood out in her bright pink jumper... she was happy being "one of the boys" as much as could, trying to keep up with them..

 ..and climbing steep dunes, pretending they were castles...

..SW was showing J how to do it, by cannon balling it off the edge...

...J was a little hesitant, and S was following behind too...

 ...but with SW at the bottom egging her on, she did do it, and S followed too holding onto to my hands... was then back to chasing the boys along the top of the dunes..

...and attempting to slide down the dunes... she soon realised that they weren't very slippy...

..we managed to persuade them all down from the dunes, with a race to the post...

...they all managed it before the mummies, and were rewarded with some juice..

...and back at the other end, rewarded with ice creams, and ice lollies...

So that's how we spent our time at the beach this half term. The beach makes a change from the woods, and hill climbs and walks around the lakes that we usually do. I'm not sure if we are classed as country kids or city kids... but we are not beach kids...

How do you spend your time at the beach?
The Little Life of Ickle Pickle
Binky Linky

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Wicked Wednesday

J having a paddy as she is cold... a real "I told you so" moment. She got soaked in the sea, when we told her not too, she had to strip off on the beach, and wear my hoody... she has got that moody teenager look worked out, and she is only 5!! 


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

FARM Jigsaw and sticker book review

Just before half term, we were sent this Farm Jigsaw, and sticker book by Little Tiger press, to review with S. It got a little battered by the post, but inside was still perfect condition.
Inside the box was a well made floor puzzle, with 36 pieces. When I say well made, I mean durable, and not likely to break unless chewed and munched on. It was pretty much solid. We have had many floor puzzles, and can tell when they will last, this one will. It also comes with a sticker book, with pages that match up with the puzzle.
S wanted to do the puzzle first. She loved matching up all the different animals...

...But we made the edges first, so we knew how big it would be, and roughly where everything would be..

She LOVED it, it kept her concentration, and she completed it all, with only a little bit of help.

Once it was completed, there was another activity... on the border was animals she had to find within the picture. Again S loved this activity, she even started counting them.

After the puzzle, we opened up the sticker book. Immediately, S recognised the backgrounds as the same as the puzzle.

In the sticker book, there is a few lines, to tell you what your child needs to add to each page. S really enjoyed personalising her own farm, putting the animals in her very special places.

So, what did S think of this activity pack which retails at £8.99 ... well I think you can tell she gives it the thumbs up.. You can buy it from here.

*We were sent this pack in return for an honest review, all words, pictures and opinions are my own.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Tudors on Tour Ryschewys recipe

King Henry VIII is visiting the North-West for the very first time this bank holiday, 2nd-4th May, when he and his couriers take up residence at Tatton Park, as part of Tudors on Tour. Tudors on Tour is a spectacular outdoor family festival, where guests can be expected to be transported back to the year 1526 and get swept away with the excitement of the Tudor court on Royal Progress, when the king would travel around the country staying in the castles and manor houses of nobility.
It will boast a pop up palace, jousting daily, Tudor theatre, a hands on history zone, family zone, and access to the farm, as well as a quest to see if you are fit enough to meet the king himself, after visiting the costume tent. With every ticket purchased, you will also get a free ticket to Hampton court too, to use within the year.
The festival is being run by Historic Royal Palaces, an independent charity that cares for six palaces.
Advance tickets (Before May 1st) cost £30 for a family (up to 2 adults and 3 children), £12.50 an adult, £6 for a child, and £10 for concessions. You can book your tickets here.
S and I got into the spirit of Tudors on tour this afternoon, and made the "Ryschewys close and fryez" dish. To be honest I had never heard of these before, but we were ready to give them a go. They are delicious, and we will be making them again. I would say they taste similar to mince pies. So, for my girlies sake... old fashioned mince pies, aka Ryschewys close and fryez.
If you would like to make some, here is the recipe.
To make 12
3 Dried figs
3 Chopped dates
A tbsp. of currents
Half a tsp. of mace, aka nutmeg for the non Tudors
Half a tsp. of black pepper
Half a tsp. of canella, aka cinnamon for the non Tudors.
100g flour
Dessert spoon of sugar
pinch of saffron dissolved in a little bit of water.
1. Pound the figs in a mortar. We don't own a mortar, so used the end of a pastry brush and a bowl... it seemed to work.
2.Add the dates, and currants and pound some more
3.Finely chop, grind and mix the spices.
4.Add the spices to the dried fruit, and mix thoroughly.
5.Make a paste from the flour, sugar and saffron water.
6.Roll out the paste as thin as paper.
7.Cut out small circles, about teacup size.
8.Add a small amount of fruit mix
9.Damp the edges of the paste with water, and close forming a pea-pod shape. (Ours didn't resemble pea-pods, but at least they were parcels)
10. Shallow fry in oil, or in a deep fat fryer, until golden brown.
11.Serve warm, sprinkled in sugar. (I dropped them in a bowl of sugar)

 They are meant to look like this...

The original recipe photo looks more appealing doesn't it?
The verdict?? J enjoyed them, but stopped at one....

S who made them... wasn't keen., and preferred the currants as they come...

Both myself and Daddy liked them. I think I will re-attempt this recipe around Christmas for a lighter version of a mince pie. Delicious. If my instructions are not clear enough, you can cook along with Tudor kitchens at Hampton court palace at
*We were sent the ingredients, and the recipe to cook Ryschewys close and fryez in return for a write up on Tudors on Tour. All photos are my own.