Easy peasy birthday cake.

I am writing this from our holiday. I meant to write it before we set off, but birthday demands, end of term shenanigans and holiday packing left spare time in short supply. Apols, therefore for formatting of a poorer standard than usual – there are a number of things I am struggling to work out…

Super speedy Key Lime Pie and Father’s Day fragility.

A late-ish night at a brilliant party on Saturday left me feeling a little ‘tired’ on Sunday. I can only attribute my headache on waking to the loud music we danced to with such skill and vigour. It was a true treat to not be woken at 6 with a request to replace the hair…

Souped Up: soup recipes for a healthy lunch.

After an Easter heavy on Mini Eggs, I am trying to eat more healthily. As is often the case when I embark upon one of these fads, soup is featuring heavily and here I share some of my favourite, easiest recipes.

Lunchbox friction. And dairy-free banana chocolate biscuits.

About to tackle the second week back at school and the Easter holidays seem like a distant memory, entangled as we are, once more, with Biff and Chip and PE kits and morning rush hours and after-school clubs and snack boxes. Packed lunches are a somewhat contentious issue in our house. The junior takes one…

Fat Rascals. (A treat, not an insult.)

Five days into the school holiday – of which four were the long weekend, where double parental supervision was applied – and we have worked through pretty much everything in the programme of activities I suggested, and now we’re lapping ourselves. It seems hopeful that the dismal drizzle and frosty temperatures may improve as the…

Lemon cake and poor fine motor skills.

The Easter weekend was a busy one for us. As is my wont in the school holidays, I was stricken with the sort of horrible germs that left me with a banging head, throbbing ears, chesty cough and a husky voice. “Like Mariella Frostrup?” I asked, hopefully. “More Les Dawson,” my husband confirmed. There was…

Staying sane in the hols.

School here has just broken up for Easter. I think parental emotions were mixed. Some seemed merely relieved to be avoiding the tyranny of 8:55 registration and appropriate packed lunches for two weeks, others focused on the 24/7 x 2 nature of the upcoming interaction with their progeny. Holidays without plans can  be hard-going. I…

Sustaining ginger nuts.

I was a very reluctant gym visitor this morning. I dressed appropriately, but my heart wasn’t really in it and I was rather hoping to bump into a friend on the way and be diverted to coffee. No such luck. After showing myself up with my inability to operate the vending machine (I was after…

Swimming hell. Spa heaven. And smoothies.

Swimming this morning was pretty much the least enjoyable way imaginable to spend a portion of the weekend. On any day, it is abysmal, with the cramped changing rooms, cold, trickling showers and the inevitability of a key item of clothing ending up in a puddle, but the perishing conditions outside meant that even the swimming…

Thwarted snow day. And spicy red pepper soup.

Oh my, this weather! It is days like this that has me texting my husband with links to properties in Miami. He’s not always delighted to receive this in the middle of a meeting, or whatever it is he does during those hours between 7 and 6, presuming that this is another fad. True, I’ve never been…

Faffathons and fish cakes.

The relentless culinary demands of feeding two tiny tyrants often leaves me wretched – here I’d like to share some shortcuts to snapping approved by some harsh critics.

Longest. Day. Ever. And dairy-free chocolate banana muffins.

Today has been exceptionally long. The children – now tucked up in bed, like sleeping cherubs – have been extremely trying for much of the day, especially the smaller one who has had at least 15 episodes of hysteria and temper. The cat, meanwhile, to put it delicately, has suffered some gastrointestinal distress and the…

Morning mayhem: (healthy pancake recipe)

This morning, yet again, I was disappointed by the lack of any sort of medal awarded at the school gates for getting two little minxes in on time; clean(ish), dressed, fed, appropriately accessorised with water bottles and snacks and swimming kit. BUT NOTHING. Having been woken at 6:00am, thanks to our reliable 5 year old…

Freezer tea on a freezing day: (speedy fish pie recipe)

Today is cold; bitterly, perishingly cold – and I can’t face a trip to the supermarket. I sometimes can’t, having endured scarring incidents in both outlets offered in our little town. In the first I was asked for ID – at 37! How lovely! – but as the lady on the checkout shuffled closer in her…