I took this photo of the boys at the end of one of our days out. I tend to take a lot of photos, so they had spent a lot of time that day being told to stand nicely and smile. My sons clearly had enough of having their photo taken by the look of their faces above.
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
Sunday, 23 November 2014
Our sunday morning started off being a very lazy Pyjama day. We had planned to stay in today and watch as many films as we could. However, by lunch time, the children were getting extremely bored and beginning to fight. They were also bugging me to over throw my limit on computer games which I refused to budge on. I decided from then that enough was enough, we had to get out the house. We are very lucky to live in an area where there are so many places to go that doesn't involve spending money. The closest place to us that we love to explore is a beautiful national trust property, Antony house which we had a fantastic time visiting today.
To get to Antony house we took the scenic trail through our favourite forest. As you can see from the pictures, Tom brought his giant Rudolph as long for the walk. I was amazed he carried it the whole way without making me carry it.
At the end of the forest is a large field where we spent a good half an hour playing football. Alfie beat us all of course. He is becoming a good little kicker. We eventually had to stop though because there was a sudden influx of dog walkers on the field and we didn't want to lose the ball to a labrador.
Antony house looked even more stunning as usual today. We arrived near sunset so with the low light hitting the autumn leaves in the garden, it made for a beautiful view. The boys love coming here as they have seen and enjoyed the film 'Alice in Wonderland', which was filmed here. In the fences are these little flaps which you can see above. We joked that they were put there for the white rabbit.
I hope you liked our post.
Linked with the B&W photo project over at PODcast and My Sunday Photo over at One Dad 3 Girls
Saturday, 22 November 2014
Today we decided to visit our favourite local wildlife park, Dartmoor Zoo. It was recently made famous by the film based on its owners story "We brought a zoo" which I have probably watched at least ten times. I have been coming to Dartmoor since I was a child and love it so much. There are so many good memories for me here and I am so glad I can give my children the same memories I have.
On arrival to the zoo, we noticed a lot of people had shown up today and this was because the zoo, very kindly, was offering free entry for today only. Currently the zoo is desperately trying to raise money to secure its future. By offering free entry today they were able to fill the zoo and encourage people to donate money to their fund, which was a great idea. You can donate via their crowd fund or if you would like to find out more about Dartmoor Zoo's plight: Crowd Fund Dartmoor Zoo.
The first enclosures you come to are along the path up to the main part of the zoo. They contain ponies, capybaras, tapirs, ostrich and ducks.
|The Capybaras having dinner with a duck.|
The zoo has a lovely restaurant by the main entrance which has a meerkat enclosure outside. They always seem to have tiny meerkat babies every time we visit which is amazing to see. Meerkats are very popular at the zoo and that's probably because they are so fascinating to watch.
Also by the restaurant is a fantastic education room where they hold animal encounters. The boys were able to feel snake skins, tiger fur and turtle shells. The also had a room containing different reptiles such as snakes, turtles and lizards. What caught my eye though was the gorgeous sugar glider you can see below. I have heard of them before but I have never seen one. I fell in love! Sugar gliders have these big black eyes that just makes your heart melt.
Next we visited the zoos beautiful wolf packs. The boys are not too keen on them due to their distinct smell but I literally could sit and watch them for hours. The wolves had just been fed as we arrived at their enclosure. It was interesting to watch their pack mentality as you could definitely tell which one the alpha male was. He was keeping the meat for himself while the others were trying to sneak a bite. As soon as he showed his teeth they would back down straight away.
Along from the wolves are the two big cat cages. They have a lioness and two tigers. There are no photos of the lioness as she was hiding today but I was happy to get some nice shots of the zoos tigers. The tigers had also been fed with what looked like a pony. One of the tigers slept as the other tucked into a nice piece of meat hung up on his tree.
Tom's favourite animal at the zoo is the otters. He has many otter teddies and always loves to watch the otter at the zoo swim and squeak about.
The zoo has two bears called Hayley and Fudge who are the same bears I used to love to see from my childhood. They were a little sleepy today as they should be hibernating but it was great to show the boys them today.
Overall, we had a fantastic day today seeing all the animals at Dartmoor Zoo. The zoo improves with every visit and it's so good to see it doing so well.
Salted caramel cheesecake is our favourite recipe to make together on a weekend. It's not as easy to bake as cupcakes but tastes amazing. I used a pretty Pinterest picture above because my cakes are not as presentable. I'm sure with practise I may get more confident to show my cakes on my blog.
This recipe should make 12 servings and takes 25 minutes prep time, 8 minutes cooking time and requires 2 hrs 30 minutes to set.
120g salted butter
200g pack of crushed shortbread
4 sheets of leaf gelatine
200g soft brown sugar
50ml of single cream
1/2 tsp salt
500g full fat soft cheese
50g Dark chocolate
1. Grease an 18cm cake tin and line with grease proof paper.
2. In a small pan, melt 60g of the butter, then mix in the crushed shortbread with a wooden spoon.
3. Press the mixture into the base of the tin with the back of the spoon. Place in the fridge to chill.
4. Put the gelatine in a shallow bowl and cover with cold water. Leave for 5 minutes.
5. Put the sugar and 50ml water in a heavy based pan and gently heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and let it bubble for 2-3 minutes, without stirring, until the syrup is a deep golden caramel. Remove from the heat and add the remaining butter. Stir until the butter has melted, then stir in the cream and half the salt.
6. Return to a gentle heat and stir for 1 minute until smooth.
7. Squeeze out the excess water from the gelatine and stir one sheet at a time into the caramel sauce.
8. Transfer the sauce to a heatproof bowl and leave for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
9. Put the soft cheese in a large mixing bowl and gradually beat in the warm caramel sauce, until completely combined.
10. Spoon the mixture over the biscuit base, level the surface with the back of a spoon and chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours or until set.
You can choose any topping you like for your cheesecake but for this one i usually use dark chocolate. Some use a caramel topping but in my opinion there is already a lot of caramel in the cake, so could get a little sickly.
1. Put the chocolate in a heat proof glass bowl and place over a pan of hot water. Stir until melted.
2. Add the remaining salt and mix well.
3. Use a teaspoon to drizzle it over the top of the chilled cheesecake.
4. Return to the fridge to set for 5 minutes.
5. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before serving.
Wednesday, 19 November 2014
My wicked Wednesday is a bit of a throwback photo. This is Alfie when he was around three years old. I think I just popped upstairs for one minute and came down to find a little boy giving him self a pampering treatment with the sudocrem I forgot to put away. He also managed to cover his baby brother too! All in the space of a minute!
Tuesday, 18 November 2014
Recently I reached 100 followers on Facebook and wanted to say thank you by doing a small giveaway. I appreciate every single follower, and get so excited when someone new likes/follows my page.
I picked up one of these amazing Christmas themed Yankee candle gift boxes for my first ever giveaway. It contains six sample candles in all my favourite scents and are all tied up with a golden bow.
How to enter
To win these candles, all you need to do is enter the rafflecopter below making sure you leave me a comment telling me what your favourite candle scent is. This competition is for UK entrants only.
Thank you again. I am so happy to reach 100 followers on my facebook page.
*This competition is not sponsored by Yankee candle. Prize brought with my own money.