Friday, 31 August 2012

Foodie Penpals August 2012

This month I was lucky enough to receive my foodie penpal parcel from Pia, who lives in Germany. Armed just with the knowledge that I don’t eat meat and prefer sweet things to savoury, she sent me an awesome parcel filled with childhood favourites and new-to-me products!


As a lot of the products would be ones I wouldn’t recognise, she sent me a lovely letter explaining what they all were (plus a postcard of a seal as there is a seal shelter near the town she lives in. I thought I would copy extracts of the letter to explain some of the products, so here goes!

First up, we have the vegetarian jelly sweets, yoghurt gums:


Pia wrote that she likes to put these in the freezer to eat as a cold treat when it’s hot outside. I’m going to go and put the rest of my bag in the freezer as soon as I finish this as that sounds delicious, plus otherwise they are going to disappear too quickly before I get the chance to try them cold!



These, especially the pink ones for obvious reasons, remind me a lot of percy pigs…so good! Smile

Next are some treats for Izzy and Toby, chosen by Pia’s 5 year old twin boys. Brandt rusk biscuits, and Kinder chocolate bars:


I am saving the Kinder bars for when Izzy goes back to school (next week, sob!) as they are the perfect size for a lunchbox treat, but both bags of biscuits – or “toast” as Toby, kind of understandably, insists on calling them – have been eaten and loved!



The Eszet cuts, or something similar, are something I remember from my French exchanges when I was at school. You put them on toast or bread…I can’t wait to tuck into these!


Also some ice cream sauce which looks like Magic Shell – was that what it was called? Again, years since I’ve had any of this!


Pia’s favourites were the Knopper wafers…


which I’ve tried and agree are really tasty, and so pretty too!


and also the lemonade powder which you add to water to make sparkling lemonade…


I can’t work out what the green (“waldmeister”) flavour is…anyone??

The final product that Pia sent me is an old favourite – Nutella! Open-mouthed smile In cute little to go pots…I haven’t decided yet whether I’m going to be nice and give these to Izzy and Toby, or keep them for myself!!


Such a fantastic parcel. Whilst I do enjoy eating healthy foods most of the time, sometimes I need to indulge my sweet tooth, and this parcel was such fun – I had a big grin on my face when opening it, and then again when I showed it all to Izzy – she shares my enthusiasm for all foods!!
Thanks again Pia and family!! Smile

I sent my parcel this month to Vanessa at A Green Mess. I don’t think she’s written her post about it yet, but I will update this when she does!

If you want to learn more about Foodie Penpals, or sign up to take part yourself next month, then head on over to This is Rock Salt and fill in the form by the 4th of September.

What was your favourite childhood food? Or the thing you remember most fondly from childhood anyway?! Sweet or savoury??

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Beach with my Grandparents

As I mentioned in my last post, we’d planned to go to the beach with my Grandparents on Tuesday, but they unfortunately had to cancel at the last minute. Well, today our plans worked out more successfully!

We met up with them on the seafront, and walked along chatting for a bit before stopping at a shelter for a sit down, at which point Liam decided to take a few photos…


Toby had such a great time with his Great Grandpa. He seems to be drawn to any tall men!! I think they were taking it in turns to point out aeroplanes here…


We then walked back along the pretty seafront…


…to get ice cream. A single cone of banoffee for me!


After our ice creams, we went down on to the beach. Izzy spotted a friend from school, which gave her a lot more confidence (perhaps too much!) – she had a great time paddling in the sea and building “stone holes” (aka digging holes in the wet sand and then chucking stones in!)…


Toby was a bit more confident on the stones this time too – at first he sat with my Grandpa…


but he also had a fun time shuffling around on the stones!


After a while, I walked back up the slope with Grandpa to say bye to him and Grandma (she had stayed sitting up on the esplanade on her scooter as she can’t walk on stones or sand unfortunately), and I came back down to find Izzy (having been watched by Liam!!) lying face down in the wet sand pretending to swim! Soaking wet dress to walk home in then Iz?! Winking smile


Luckily Liam took pity on her and let her wear his hoodie instead!!


Such a fun few hours! I’m so glad we finally got round to meeting up with Granny and Grandpa on the seafront, normally we go round to see them at their flat but it was much more fun in the fresh air, and something that Grandpa has been asking me for a while to let him know when we were free/heading down there. I can’t believe it's been 14 months since we took these similar photos!

We came home and had lunch which, for me, was a delicious wrap with scrambled eggs, sweet chilli sauce and avocado…


And then this afternoon my sister came round to say goodbye to Izzy and Toby. She is moving to Portsmouth tomorrow to do her PGCE!!


I’m going out with her for a couple of drinks this evening, hence this early post! I feel like I'm making up for my lack of posting this summer in the last couple of days, haha, not really but with Liam off work this week we've a) been going out more/taking the camera with us (if I take the children down town on my own I usually leave the camera at home so there's one less thing for me to keep an eye on!) and b) I have more time/energy to sit down and write posts...Liam is cooking cauliflower cheese for dinner whilst I write this! I've also been compiling photos from the summer to put on Facebook - 175 photos as I haven't put anything on there since the start of summer, but Facebook is currently being a pain and not letting me upload them, grrr, at least Blogger is playing nicely! :)

Do you find that you get out of routine in the summer or does life go on as usual for you? I am definitely out of routine - less blog posting, less Facebook, and less coffee dates with friends...but on the flip side, a lot more time outside and spent with the children - we've had a really stress-free summer which has been lovely! I'm not looking forward to the early starts and school runs again from next week (love lie-ins!!) but I am looking forward to going to Costa with my friend...we have 5 kids between us so haven't tried to meet up much over the summer, but it will be easier when it's just the two toddlers!!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

WIAW - Izzy’s Party

Hello! Happy What I Ate Wednesday!

I haven’t taken part in WIAW for a while, but thought I’d re-join the party to talk about yesterday…quite a “summery” day as it included a trip to the beach and then Izzy’s party. First though, coffee. Every day starts with coffee, and yesterday I got to enjoy mine in bed, bliss, thanks Liam! Smile


I’ve gotten out of the habit of eating breakfast recently. I’ll still eat it some days, but yesterday wasn’t one of those days. Breakfast has been replaced by extra sleep though (love the lazy holidays!) so it’s not all bad. Once I’d drunk my coffee, showered and got dressed, it was time to get the children ready and head to the seafront. We were meant to be meeting my Grandparents but unfortunately they had to cancel at the last minute, but we decided to go anyway. The others enjoyed some ice creams…


And I went to Costa for the first time in about 5 weeks to get my favourite iced gingerbread latte, perhaps not so summery, but it is my favourite syrup!


I may also have had some of Izzy’s toffee ice cream, yum.


I was hoping for some of Toby’s mint choc chip but he gobbled it down too fast and then moved on to kidnapping Liam’s cone!!


After we’d all finished eating, we headed on to the beach for a little paddle. The waves were (slightly) rougher than they looked though…Izzy enjoyed squealing in faux terror and I got wetter than I’d anticipated!!!



Toby preferred staying nice and dry – throwing stones in is the closest he’ll get to the sea!


After a while we headed back home to get some lunch before the party – a sandwich with Philadelphia, basil tofu and cucumber…


Followed by one mini peanut brittle bite from this pack I bought in Lidl…I’ve been loving these as a little sweet thing to finish off meals Smile


Before we knew it, it was party time! Izzy had a joint party with two other children, so there were about 30 children in the hall in total, fun but hectic!! We had a bouncy castle, face painting and a couple of party games, plus food…the 2 hours ended up going by really quickly! I don’t feel comfortable sharing photos of other people’s children on here (still can’t quite decide whether to put the party photos up on Facebook…any thoughts/opinions either way??) so you’ll have to imagine all the other children, but here a couple of photos of the empty room and my two…



(the church hall we held the party in provided the bouncy castle, complete with slogan!)

Angel Izzy

Liam did Toby's face painting - incl devil horns!!!
Plus the all important food…I had quite a few egg and cheese sandwiches, plus carrot sticks, grapes, cheese straws, crisps etc etc…


and then a slice (or two!) of delicious cake



Once the party was over and we’d cleared up the hall, we went back home and after a little sit down (and an unpictured cup of tea) I headed out to spinning. The usual instructor is on holiday this week so this class was taken by a woman who I’d never spun with before. The class was very different, but really fun! Mostly fast tracks (although not as high resistance as the usual class) and a few resistance moves thrown in – one track she made us suck our belly button in 25%, then 50%, then 75% then back to 50% for 2 minutes spinning. Then another track felt a bit like body pump as she had us working our triceps whilst spinning by doing kind of push ups off the handlebars? I really enjoyed it anyway! She takes a class on Saturday mornings so I might try to go to that one sometimes.

After spinning, I came home and gulped down a glass of chocolate milk too quick to photograph, and then Liam made me a pitta bread filled with falafel, mayonnaise, blue cheese and cucumber…messy but delicious.


What kind of birthday parties did you have when you were younger? And/or what are your favourite type of children’s birthday parties to organise? This was my first time doing a joint party and, whilst it was kind of fun, I think I will go back to smaller parties next year!! Izzy was still only allowed 8 friends, which is the same number as I let her invite to her beach hut party last year, so in that respect there wasn’t any real benefit to holding a larger party. Plus both the other birthday children were boys, and the girls found them a little rough on the bouncy castle!! Izzy has been to a few at home parties recently which she enjoyed too – one at the start of the holidays, they all made bracelets and necklaces which I thought was a great idea, so maybe I’ll try to do something crafty next year, we’ll see…need to recover from this one first!! Winking smile
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