Meal Plan #96

After a nice and very chilled half term break we are thoroughly back into our school routine. Halloween was great fun. We did over an hour of trick or treating so my step count looks great this week! It does mean that we have a house full of sweets now which is a bit of an own goal. Everything in moderation though, eh?

One of the things I love most about Autumn is that the weather lends itself to the sorts of meals I enjoy cooking. I think that this week’s meals will reflect that.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good salad (not that you can tell by looking at me) but is there anything better than arriving home after a soggy walk back from school or the shops and having a bowl of warming soup and crusty bread? I think not.

cream of tomato soup

This week in food

Friday: Spaghetti and Meatballs with half a ton of cheese on top. Probably.

Saturday: Chicken and ribs served with jacket potato and coleslaw

Sunday: Roast pork with mashed potato and roasted veg.

Monday: Chicken pasta bake. I will be going out so has to be something I can easily prepare earlier.

Tuesday: Sausage casserole and dumplings with broccoli

Wednesday: Going to have a cooked lunch so will be something simple like a wrap as I am off to London.

Thursday:  Chili Con Carne with rice and tortilla chips

I would love to hear what you and yours are tucking into this week. Please feel free to comment below and if you are a fellow blogger then link up on Katy’s meal planning linky. I love reading the posts as I am very nosey and frankly still struggle with what to feed my family even after 18 years as a Mum – seriously, if I don’t know what I want then how can I be expected to know what they want?!

 

Katykicker

Half term crafts for rainy days with Milly&Flynn

We were sent these products for the purpose of this post

I find October half term a bit of a challenge. The wedding season is over, so work is hardly flooding in, and, when you are self employed, no work = no money.

No money at half term is not so great when you have little ones to entertain and it’s tipping it down every day.

Luckily we were asked to have a go at some Milly & Flynn crafts – just in time for the school hols. We were sent a Panda 3D foam puzzle, a Lion 3D foam puzzle, a Puzzle & Grow build your own treehouse and garden set, and a ‘Cake in a Mug’ mug.

3D Foam Puzzle

As a parent who hates cleaning may I first of all extend my thanks to whoever designed these puzzles. Clean crafts that you can just let your child get on with without fear of them sharpie-ing your sofa are to be applauded.

Inside the box you will find

  • Foam puzzle pieces.
  • 1 x Double connector.
  • 2 x Single connector.
  • 2 x Pupil inserts.

The first job for Moose was to push out all of the foam shapes, which are pre cut and come on foam boards. There are a lot of pieces. The foam is pretty thick and sturdy though and he managed to press out every single piece all by himself. It took quite a while, which I feel is an excellent plus point as it allowed me to drink a cuppa in peace. A rare occurrence!

Moose didn’t get bored. 3D puzzle was just challenging enough. I think he liked being able to get on with it by himself. On the back of the box, you will find instructions. Milly & Flynn have printed them in picture form. An easy to follow step by step so great for non readers. It says on the box that 3D puzzles are suitable for 5+ and I think this is spot on.

I really liked that Moose was able to put the 3D puzzle together without help. As well as this though there is plenty of play value after the puzzle has been completed. Moose quite happily played for ages. If you every wondered who would win in a Lion Vs Panda battle, we have you covered..

Priced from £7.99, the 3D foam puzzle would make an excellent stocking filler or party gift for any boy or girl. We will definitely be buying a few this Christmas!

Our stay at the Peninsula Hotel Guernsey

We were gifted our accomodation for the weekend in exchange for our review. All opinions are honest and our own. 

After crossing the channel on the Condor Liberation we found our home for the weekend on the North side of Guernsey at the Peninsula Hotel.

The Peninsula Hotel

With Moose leading the way, room key in hand, we soon found our room. Our generous family room had plenty of space. As well as 2 single beds for the children, there was a comfy double bed for MrG and I. It didn’t take long for us to settle in.

The Peninsula Hotel has plenty of facilities. As well as a laundry service, there is a self serve laundry room – useful if your children are as grubby as mine. Outside is a mini golf course and there is the option to hire bicycles, a great way to explore the island.

We absolutely loved the Peninsula Hotels outdoor swimming pool.

Moose and Bess are both total water babies so they were overjoyed to have the opportunity to take a dip. The pool isn’t massive but there is a shallow children’s section which was great for Moose.

The area around the pool is decked out with some tables and chairs and plenty of sun loungers. There is also a changing area which was useful and we found to be very clean.

The Peninsula Hotel has plenty of parking but is also really accessible by bus from St Peter Port. Set within 5 acres of gardens, the Peninsula hotel overlooks Grand Havre Bay on the north-west coast of the island.  The bay is just a short stroll over the sandy dunes and is well worth a visit for rock pooling or sandcastle building fun.

As well as the bay, the Peninsula Hotel is also a short walk from Rousse Tower.  One of 15 loophole towers built on Guernsey in the 1700’s, Rousse Tower 11 makes for an interesting point of interest close to the Peninsula Hotel. Both Moose and Bess enjoyed looking at the tower and the cannons on display. It made for an interesting after dinner adventure!

rousse tower

Eating at The Peninsula Hotel

We thought that the dining and bar areas of the hotel were beautifully styled. They were really relaxed environments and although I was a bit anxious about whether it would be child friendly. I needn’t have worried. All of the staff were excellent -especially with the children.

I won’t list everything we consumed during our stay at the Peninsula Hotel, I think that with food a photo is worth a thousand words (and with the amount of pics I take of my meals, that’s a truckload of words)

We were very kindly treated to half board dining during our stay. It was great to see that families were well catered for here.

The breakfast was a buffet. As well as a lovely selection of cereals, fresh fruit and pastries, there was also a delicious range of hot food available. It’s rare that such a breakfast comes with great coffee but the coffee at the Peninsula is spot on!

As we were half board we had a restricted menu to choose from. I say restricted but we were very happy with what we had to choose from. As you can see, both adults and children’s menus were varied.

Here is a selection of the adults dishes we tucked into during our stay

The children’s meals were great portion sizes and even the fussy 4 yr old enjoyed them!

Would we come back?

I would definitely stay at the Peninsula Hotel again. With spacious rooms for families, a great location being practically on the beach and plenty to do it’s a great choice for those travelling with or without little ones.

 

 

 

Our trip to Guernsey with Condor Ferries -No passports required

We were given ferry crossing and accomodation in return for writing this post. All opinions are honest and our own

Guernsey is somewhere that up until this year lived in my childhood memories. My maternal Grandad took me on holidays to the channel island every year until he sadly passed away when I was 8. This photo is one of the only ones I have from those Channel Island holidays.

Guernsey

It’s a photo of my Grandad and it was taken by me when I was about 5 years old. 1 photo and a million memories. We usually used to stay in the St Martin area of Guernsey at a hotel called Greenwoods which, I believe, is now a residential care home.

The hotel was white with green shutters.

It had a bar area with a cockatoo which occasionally spoke and a sitting room with board games. It was at Greenwoods that I learned to listen to my Grandads advice (there was an incident with a créme caramel).

Every holiday we would drive to the ferry port or the airport in his blue vauxhall cavalier called Vicky. The Everly Brothers would be playing loudly while we sang along. My Grandad would pack a box of sugarcubes which was a treat for me and any horses we would encounter. We would spend the week having cake and milkshakes in the cafes of St Peter Port and playing on the beautiful beaches. I would write postcards and always visit a nursery so I could send carnations home to my Mum.

I have a lot of wonderful memories of Guernsey

So, when I was asked if I would like to return to the island with my own family, I jumped at the chance. It was really easy to organise because you don’t even need a passport to travel to the Channel Islands from the Uk.

On our way

We were all really excited about sailing to Guernsey on the Condor Liberation. So excited in fact that it didn’t even cross my mind that we might not be great on boats. We were assigned what must have been the best seats onboard. Right at the front with stunning panoramic views.

 

Of course when it came to it we were all (except MrG) really quite seasick. It was such a rookie mistake not to have picked up sickness tablets – especially on such a rough crossing. Luckily because the crossing was so rough it appeared that most of the other passengers on the Liberation had the same sea sickness problem so we all chucked up together. Nothing much bonds a group of strangers as well as an experience such as this.

What an ice breaker..

Our seats were generous and as you can see we had lots of space to stretch our legs. We were seated in the Horizon Lounge section of the Liberation, right at the front of the vessel. The Horizon Lounge has a secure key code entry and lovely recliner seats. Each seat has a power supply and high speed wifi is available to purchase. The Horizon Lounge has superb views and it’s own bar. There was a great selection of food available on the Liberation but to be honest none of us could face it!

The crossing from Poole to Guernsey was around 3 and a half hours long and I had worried about how I would keep a 4 year old entertained for such a long time. I needn’t have stressed though, the children have a little area just for them with a television showing children’s movies. Moose made good use of this area as did many of the little ones onboard! As well as the children’s area we also explored the 2 outdoor decks and of course the duty free shop.

Back on dry land

Once we arrived at St Peter Port it was nice and easy to get off the liberation. We were all impressed with how quiet the Liberation was during the crossing and even more so with the staff. They looked after us all really well and made the whole journey an enjoyable (if not wobbly) experience.

We later learned that there was an issue with the stabilisers and one of the engines on the Liberation so I am sure that usually the crossing is a lot smoother.

During our stay we were being hosted at The Peninsula Hotel which had everything we could need for our 2 day stay including a fabulous dining room and bar and an outdoor swimming pool.

There is so much to do on Guernsey. We were pleased then that Visit Guernsey had provided us with a pass for some of the local attractions.

A weekend is not long but I knew I wanted us to visit the Little Chapel and to explore St Peter Port during our stay. We were lucky to be able to visit Fort Gray as well as a couple of the beautiful beaches over the course of our weekend too!

Would we do it again?

The answer here is an easy yes. Guernsey and the rest of the Channel Islands have tons to offer families. It was so lovely to be able to revisit places I had only seen as a child and experience them as a parent this time. It was nice to see my children getting so much enjoyment from simple pleasures. Over the 29 years since I last visited I was expecting a lot to have changed. Some has, of course. But much is just as it was when I was there with my Grandad. Except of course that now I have a LOT more photos.

Meal plan #94

Another week has flown by and I really need to get back into meal planning. So, here we are! We have been eating really poorly just lately and it has to stop. Now that wedding season is over I have to be more budget conscious. A lot of my money is spent on food so meal planning seems like the obvious first step in an overhaul of our spending habits. 

The children have their last day of school today so next week they will be home for half term. It will be so useful to have a plan for that!

I don’t know about yours but my children always seem to be constantly raiding the cupboards during the holidays and with this one being colder (and therefore more indoorsy) I have a feeling it will hit the wallet hard!

I am planning on having a baking day on Monday so we have lots of vaguely healthy and fast snacks for them to reach for during the week. The plan is to make a rocky road style tray bake as well as some cupcakes I think. Moose enjoys it when we bake together so I thought it would be a good way to fill a day really. Plus we save a bit of money because there won’t be lots of trips to the shops! 

This week in food

Friday: I am off to see my StepMum so dinner will be a surprise. Yay! 

Saturday: M&S posh dogs in brioche buns with thin cut homemade chips and either beans or coleslaw or both

Sunday: Roast pork with yorkshire pudding, mashed potato and green veg

Monday: I am going out so it will be something quick like pesto pasta 

Tuesday: Barbecue chicken lasagne with green salad

Wednesday: Sea bass with roasted veg and green beans

Thursday: Bang Bang chicken with vegetable chow mein and prawn crackers

 

 

Katykicker