Changes…

I am in the middle of moving hosts with the blog and things may seem a little topsy turvy right now but hopefully when it’s all done the site will be easier to navigate and a lot prettier šŸ˜‰

Please bear with me and thanks for continuing to read and support my blog. You know I love you for it.

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Babies on board at Camp Bestival 2013

When you think of music festivals ..do you think: LOUD NOISES, dirty toilets and drunken teenagers falling over your tents guy ropes? This could be correct in some cases and is the reason why some festivals are not really my thing. Camp Bestival is not one of those festivals.

At least once a week on Twitter someone will ask me if Camp Bestival is suitable for babies/toddlers/children? I always answer with a resounding YES. CB is all about the family. Yes if you go right next to the stage when Dub Pistols jump on there will be loud noises but there are a hundred places you can go which are a lot quieter and calmer right at the same time. I used a lot of toilets during the 5 days we were there last year in all the different fields from the posh ones in the Camping Plus field to the busy ones next to the main stage and I honestly didn’t come across a dirty one – some can get a little *fragrant* but they are toilets and it really wasn’t an issue. There are even special children’s toilets and they are always well supplied with toilet paper and anti bac gel. There aren’t many drunken teenagers.. I didn’t see any – there is the occasional tipsy mum and dad though šŸ˜‰

Baby on board

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If you are taking a baby – like I did last year then you will find baby changing facilities as well as a baby chill out tent where you can relax and feed your child in peace. Last year there were lots of free Bepanthen goodies which was nice. There are babies and toddlers everywhere – it will make you broody even if you have your own children with you. I had serious pram/stroller envy as there are so many cool ones on display.If that wasn’t enough most people have carts/trolleys which are covered with fancy paint jobs and fairy lights…and it really is adorable seeing all the little ones snuggly asleep while the parents munch on burritos and sip Pimms watching their favourite bands.

Tips for festivalling (made that up) with a baby/toddler:

* Clothes and bedding for all seasons – last year we had incredible weather.. It was gorgeously sunny everyday and my main concern during the day was keeping a hat/bandana on my daughters head and topping up the sun cream but at night well it does get chilly quickly and we had a padded sleepsuit for her as well as a Grobag and snuggly blankets for when she was in her pram. This year we are going to be using a Readybed and probably a fleecy sleepsuit too.

*Food – you will be able to buy all sorts of food at Camp Bestival and some of it really is superb but it can get expensive so packing snacks/pouches for young ones is a really good idea. Be sure to take a camping kettle if you are making up feeds or needing to warm food. Last year we cooked some really lovely meals on a tiny camping stove and I’m sure food just tastes better when you are camping.

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* Toys/books – you may find your child will wake earlier when camping due to the sunshine pouring in, the general hustle and bustle outside or just being in a strange place – it’s worth taking some small toys/games to occupy them while you continue to doze or make breakfast. We actually only had one night of slightly disturbed sleep the first night and then it was all fine – miraculous!

Don’t forget comforters, favourite blankets/teddies or dummies if you use them.

* Ear defenders – if you plan on going to watch the live music and want to protect those teeny ears don’t forget these. I think we paid approx Ā£11 for ours. ( Edz kids from amazon)

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*Sling or baby carrier – we used carriers and a hippy chick last year and they were great.

* Nappies/wet wipes – take more than you would normally use as it would be just typical for them to get an upset belly wouldn’t it?

* Calpol/teething gels etc – hopefully you won’t need this but if you do get one of THOSE nights you will be so glad you brought these.

* Trolleys/carts – you can buy/make these beforehand or hire them at CB. We only hired one for the journeys to and from the car on the first and last day. The price was very reasonable and made things so much easier. If your child is out of the pram/stroller but still likely to get tired little legs in the evening I think it’s definitely worth hiring one for the whole festival.

* Suncream/rain covers/broliies – be prepared!

I will probably think of lots more tips so this post may be ever changing šŸ˜‰

I know that many of you will still be worried at the thought of taking a young baby away but I really can’t encourage you enough to go – as a family we have said it was one of the best holidays we have ever been on and we do travel quite a lot! There aren’t many places when one day could include: Kool and the Gang, Rizzle Kicks, Mr Tumble and Dick n Dom alongside incredible food.. fabulous festival activities like the wall of death and bedtimes stories from Howard Marks. Each day is an amazing experience and you just will not be able to fit it all in.

Some lovely photos here of fellow Camp Bestival friends enjoying baby time :

So jealous of Abi and Bo in this pic!

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For those of you trying to decide I hope this pushes you in the correct direction and those of you already coming please say hello if you see us. We love making CB friends.

Read about last years CB here

Ticket Info here

I will leave you with two of my favourite photos from last years festival:

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Please ask any questions you can think of and I will try my very best to answer.

* We have been given press tickets to this years CB – thank you šŸ˜€

Phone, laptop, TV? What couldn’t you live without?

I don’t know about you but our electric bills seem to be getting bigger each month. The cost of energy is soaring. What are we doing about it? In our case we have tried (although perhaps not as much as we should have) to reduce the amount of appliances we use and at the very least to make sure that we turn things off when not in use.

How many times have you been at home sitting in one room for the entire evening but with possibly 3-4 different rooms lit up? I try to make sure now we only have lights on that are essential and where possible we use the energy efficient bulbs. I also turn off appliances rather than standby.

What electrical appliances could you not live without? I’m not talking about what you would choose on a desert island ( after all what desert islands have electricity hey?) but what do you use every day and that if you had to stop you would truly miss?

For me it’s the following:

Baby monitor : we have used a Tommee Tippee sensor monitor since our daughter was born and its been wonderful. It gives us peace of mind and recently has let us listen in on some rather funny conversations that she has with herself in the early mornings.

iPad/laptop/wifi connection : As a blogger I need the Internet. I use my iPad for blogging, banking, reading on my kindle app or just to catch up with friends online. I would miss this a LOT.

Slow cooker/kitchen bits: I love my kitchen and although I am an old fashioned cook ( I tend to make cakes using a wooden spoon rather than a kitchen aid ) I would miss my slow cooker.. My electric whisk.. My microwave..my smoothie make and my kettle!

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Washing machine : As a mum of a toddler I would be lost without a washing machine.

TV: As much as I hate to admit this I would definitely miss my TV. We really don’t watch an awful lot of telly but Izzy enjoys the bedtime hour on Cbeebies and well I like the odd cooking show and obviously Game of Thrones! We all like Shrek šŸ™‚

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So that’s my essential list.. What’s on yours?

*this is a sponsored post

Prose4T – You are

For the first time I am linking up to #prose4T which you can read more about here

This is a poem I wrote quite a while ago about my OH who even when times are rough is such a great support:

You are my ray of light
on a winters morning
my hot chocolate
on a cold rainy night
a warm caress
when I’m feeling lonely
the love of my life

You are a calming ocean
when life gets too much
a place to go to rest my head
you have the answers
when I just dont know
you always say
what needs to be said

You are there when
I open & close my eyes
even when you aren’t here
you are right at my side
I could talk forever
and never explain
You..
my friend,my love, my soulmate

Prose for Thought

Cinco de Mayo – Discovery challenge

Ok so we are a little early for Cinco de Mayo but we were sent some lovely goodies from the people at Discovery and I actually felt well enough to cook last night – I don’t know if this will last as my morning sickness has been pretty rough so I took advantage of a nausea free body and cooked!

We were sent a fajita kit which contained: 8 flour tortillas, salsa and fajita seasoning. We were also sent garlic and herb sour cream and Cajun season n sauce.

Firstly I got to work on a side dish to accompany our fajitas. Part of this challenge was to create a new recipe using some of the ingredients we were sent so I decided to make Fajita spiced parmentier potatoes.

You will need:

4-5 medium sized potatoes
1/4 packet of Fajita seasoning
Olive oil

Preheat your oven to 200.Firstly put a pan of water onto boil. Then dice your potatoes so they look like this:

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You could peel them first but I never bother. Put your potatoes in your pan of water and let them bubble away for 5 minutes. Whilst your potatoes are cooking put a large glug of olive oil in a baking dish and place in oven to warm.

Drain your potatoes thoroughly and set aside. Get your baking dish out of oven and tip your fajita seasoning into the oil and mix well. Add your potatoes stirring to ensure they are all covered in the spicy oil and return to oven for 25-30 mins.

Whilst your potatoes are in the oven get to work on your fajitas:

You will need:

Packet recommendations: 3-4 chicken breast, 1 onion and 2 peppers

What I used:

2.5 chicken thighs – boneless, skinless and fat trimmed. Cut into strips.
1 large green pepper cut to strips
1/2 a large yellow pepper cut to strips
1 large red onion chopped roughly
1/2 pack of fajita seasoning

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Firstly add some olive oil and fajita seasoning to your hot griddle pan or frying pan then add your chicken and add some more seasoning until fully covered. When the meat is well browned add your peppers and onions and cook until meat is fully cooked through. Thighs take longer than breasts in my opinion.

Warm your tortillas as directed on packet ( I prefer to griddle them to get the nice effect but last night I was lazy and microwaved) we used 6, he had 4 I had 2.

Get your potatoes out of oven, they should look like this :

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The chicken in its sizzle pan:

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The potatoes were gooooood:

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And Cider for him.. Non alcoholic cider for me:

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Fully loaded:

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So that was last night…fast forward to tonight and I again felt well enough to cook so I decided to try the Cajun season and sauce and a new recipe for fajita seasoned tortilla chips.

Firstly I marinated 3 chicken thighs in the Cajun seasoning and some olive oil and refrigerated it for a few hours. I tend to marinate chicken in the packet..saves getting raw meat on another dish. Other than this step I pretty much followed packet instructions.

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When I was almost ready to cook I cut my two leftover tortilla wraps from last night into triangles, placed them on a wire rack and brushed them with a mixture of olive oil and the leftover fajita seasoning.

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I set them aside while I boiled water and put my rice onto cook them griddled my chicken thighs whole until browned.

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I then cut into strips and put back in the pan to ensure they were thoroughly cooked prior to adding my sauce. When the chicken and rice were almost ready I placed my tortilla chips in a preheated oven for around 5 minutes. Keep an eye on them as I may have slightly overdone mine.. Although they still tasted pretty awesome.

Serve your Cajun chicken on top of rice with a dollop of garlic and herb sour cream and coriander.

Dip your chips into the sour cream or the Cajun sauce or a combo of both. Delicious.

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* please note there is Parsley in above pic and not coriander as I ran out!

I’ve used Discovery products before and have to admit that as always I was impressed. Their products are easy to use and pretty tasty. I hope you have enjoyed reading about my meals and the two new recipes you can create using leftovers. I highly recommended the garlic and herb sour cream if you fancy a change from the normal sour cream as its really good!

Enjoy Cinco de Mayo and get creative in the kitchen!

* I was given these products by Discovery in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Happy Birthday to me..well the Blog!

It is one year since my very first blog post. Something of a milestone yes? I am proud of myself for sticking with it!

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I started this blog as a way of writing again without any additional pressure of deadlines or targets. I didn’t expect to enjoy it quite as much as I do. In the past year I’ve had wonderful opportunities to work with companies and festivals as well as to meet other bloggers and make lots of friends in the online blogging and Twitter-verse. I am surprised weekly when I check my stats in that they continue to grow and I love the interaction from my readers.

I should really host a giveaway to celebrate this special date and I will .. Perhaps in the next week or so?

This is just a very quick post to say thank you for reading, commenting, nominating me for awards and giving me much appreciated advice when needed.

Hoping for another happy year of food, family and friends.

XXX

Message in our bottle – Ecover

I don’t normally blog about cleaning products. In fact I never blog about cleaning products but when Ecover asked me to spread the word about their message in a bottle I had to agree šŸ˜‰ I’m a big fan of Ecover products and have been since I met them at last years Camp Bestival. They had the coolest stall, giving out samples of washing liquid ( essential at a festival) and free yoga classes but aside from that they are just a pretty funky company.

This is what they say:

We clean with care when it comes to the environment; our products are made from natural, sustainable plant-based ingredients and we’re constantly working to ensure they leave fewer unnecessary residues, biodegrade even more quickly and have less impact on aquatic life.

Sounds good yes? A product which works well and reduces the chemical guilt that we all feel at some point. I do love an easy way to be a bit more green.

Cleaning the seas, one bottle at a time

Cleaning the seas, one bottle at a time. Visit The-Splash for more information and to read our pledge.

Anyway look at the pic.. Read about what they do and try their products. Worth trying for sure.

* disclaimer – I have not been paid for this post, my thoughts are my own. The lovely people at Ecover are sending me a free bottle to try and I’ll let you know what I think šŸ˜‰