Drowning in Plastic Bags

This is kind of a boring post, but one I've been asked about a few times recently is the problem of plastic bags. How do you store them? Do they breed? Why are there always so many in the house, but never an available one when you need it?

Lots of people use reuseable bags for their groceries now and I think that's great. Plastic bags going into landfill is a problem. What I can't understand is why the same people then buy bin liners and nappy bags. It makes no sense to me.

To save on money, I continue to take plastic bags from the grocery store, even if I get a dirty look from the cashier, and use them for bin liners throughout my house, as wet kit bags for my kids clothes and for nappy bags when out and about. I'm told the stores are going to start charging for them soon, but until they do this is much more economical.

The problem is, plastic bags seem to breed and take over peoples kitchens, until they eventually have enough and best case scenario throw them in the recycling bin, but realistically probably chuck them in the garbage.

We aren't swimming in plastic bags, because we have a system. The most important thing about storage is learning to put things away properly so they take up less space. So step one is learning to fold a plastic bag properly. This woman makes it take much longer than it does, a few seconds after each grocery trip.

This is going to save you plenty of space already. I actually fold the lentgh in half one more time to mae really little triangles. You could probably already fit most of your carrier bag mountain into the space down the side of the cutlery tray in your kitchen draw, but don't. Because here is the most useful thing I've learnt to do - store them where you need them.

Each bathroom bin/cabinet/nappy bin/wastepaper basket now has a little handful of triangle bags in it before I line it. That way, when I pull out the full liner, I can simply unfold the next one and pop it in it's place. No more bags cluttering up the vegetable rack, and it makes chores (like emptying the bins) easier for my family to get involved with (they don't have to go hunting for liners).

It works for us, so if you're swimmming in plastic bags, before investing in a storage system, try this one for free.

Happy organising!

Baby Miracle

Just a quickie for those with very small children, we have been really enjoying the 'Baby Miracle' series. We watched it when Will was about Elisha's age, so I pulled it out again for her to watch too. What I hadn't expected was how excited Will would be to see it again!

I would have thought he was too old for it by now, but I was wrong. He loves it and sits so nicely and quietly to watch it together with Elle, singing along to all the music.

If you are interested you can rent/buy some of the series on Jaman. We have the 'story of creation', 'Noah's ark' and 'Jonah and the Whale', but the 'story of creation' is Williams favourite.


Baby Miracle: The Story of Creation

Sugar Lime Treat

I'm loathe to call this a recipe, because the total sum of ingredients is sugar... and limes.

We have a bit of a lime addiction going on in our house at the moment. I love them and use them often in cooking, but Will noticed this and has started asking if he can eat them... straight from the fruit bowl! No amount of convincing him they will be sour was working, so I eventually caved and let him try one. His little face scrunched up as he licked at it, but in fairness, he kept at it for a good 10 minutes, then asked me for a fresh piece!

So I decided to revive and old treat from when I was a kid, using lime slices instead of oranges.

The basic idea is to slice the fruit, dip it in sugar (or Xylitol) and then freeze it. It makes an incredibly refreshing snack, and as citrus fruits are packed with vitamins C and B6, a healthy one too.

Other quick ways we are enjoying limes at the moment include:

  • juicing and adding to a carton of apple juice
  • stirring into rice to make it zing
  • adding a little ginger and stir frying veg
  • juice poured over ice cream (sounds wierd, but it's delish)
  • with coconut milk and sweet potato soup
If you think of any others, let me know! We are lime-aholics!

Valentines Meal

As some of you know, I love an excuse for a family celebration. Any reason to make dinner extra special and gather everyone together is good for me. So for me and Matt, valentines day means telling the whole family how much we love each other.

Inspired by this, William and Elisha made and sent cards to their friends (Well, I helped, and Elisha didn't really make hers) and we spent the day preparing lovely things for dinner when daddy got home.

Kids love a special occasion, so I'd encourage you to make some special memories by letting them join you for your dinner. Things can always get more romantic once their in bed!

We put candles on the table and I let William choose our dinner. For starters we had strawberry jelly. Wierd, but it was his choice and it was a special occasion. I made it in cute little heart moulds, so everyone got two little hearts as a starter.

After jelly Will wanted steak pie and chips (can you tell he's his father's son?) but I insisted on sweetcorn to go with it. As it's a special occasion I decided to let the 'one green thing' rule slide.

And for dessert Will chose cupcakes. We made little roses for the top with frosting.

Happy Valentines!

Can Your Baby Read?

Loads of people ask me how I taught Will to read, and the answer is simple, we bought and program and stuck with it. The first 6 months it looked like nothing was happening, which is why I think so many people give up, but then it suddenly just clicked.

I love that Will can read for several reasons:

i) one of his favourite activities is going to the library to choose new books - it's free and he loves it!

ii) I can leave him cute little notes for when he wakes up from his naps etc...

iii) I don't feel guilty sending him to bed when he's not tired but I am, because he happily reads his books until he is.

iv) he loves reading stories to his baby sister whilst I'm cooking/cleaning/doing laundry...etc... so I basically get free child care from a three year old!

There are lots of more important reasons that good literacy is a so beneficial, but these are my slightly selfish ones for now :D

Because so many people are asking (and quite a few have bought the program after we've told you about it!) I've signed up to become an affilate (let's face it, word of mouth is probably the best advertising they get and I've already sold several copies for them!)

If you or anyone you know would like to teach your children to read (aimed at 3 month - 5 years old or older children with learning difficulties), then please click on the link below and buy it from here.

There is even a 30 day money back guarantee on at the moment, so what are you waiting for? ;)

Coconut and Lime Burgers

I don't know about your kids, but mine sometimes get stuck in a rut of wanting the same things for dinner all the time - which is not much fun when you insist on family meals and everyone eating the same thing!
Will is going through a 'burger' phase at the minute, so we had a go at jazzing up our usual burger recipe with some surprisingly delicious results.
So here it is for you... Coconut & Lime Burgers (inspired by the Harry Nilsson:D)
500g minced beef
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1/4 cup chopped corriander (you can buy tubes, ready prepared, in tesco)
1 egg
3 tbsps lime juice
2 tbsps Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp cream of coconut
1 tsp soy sauce
some salt
can of creamed coconut
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp cream of coconut
1 tbsp chopped corriander
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup desicated coconut
Combine the beef, 1/2 cup coconut, corriander, egg, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon cream of coconut, soy sauce, and salt in a bowl until well mixed. If you don't know how much salt to use, go easy, then fry a little off and taste it to see if more is required.
Make four burger patties.
Stir together the mayonnaise with 2 teaspoons of cream of coconut and 1 tablespoon of corriander and set aside.
Heat the oil in a pan. Stir in 1 cup of coconut and a little salt. Cook and stir until the coconut has turned golden brown. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
Cook the burgers as you normally would, about 4 minutes per side for medium-well. Place the cooked burgers in buns, with mayonnaise mixture, sprinkle with the toasted coconut, and serve.
Yummy! We had ours with grilled pineapple rings too for that extra summery Hawaiian feel.

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