Cheesy flapjacks

I  know it sounds weird but bear with me. Apparently savoury flapjacks are a thing. 

As it turns out they are actually pretty delicious! I bumped into a friend in town a week ago and she was giving these amazing homemade flapjacks to her little ones and offered one to Alexander. To say he wolfed it down would be an understatement. I had to get the recipe!

Cheese and veg flapjacks

100g unsalted butter
300g porridge oats
350g grated cheese
2 beaten eggs
200g of one of any of the following (grated): carrot, courgette, red onion, sweet potato, swede, parsnip, or pumpkin. (I used butternut squash which worked well!) 

  1. Preheat oven to 180 and lightly grease a Swiss roll tin. 
  2. Melt butter in a pan over a low heat. 
  3. Take off the heat and combine all ingredients in the pan, mixing well.
  4. Press down into the tin using the back of your spoon/spatula.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown- they may need a few more minutes. 
  6. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then cut into small slices and turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 
  7. Store in an airtight container. I think they should also be stored in the fridge but that’s up to you!

I didn’t manage to get a photo but they were such a hit with all four of us and a great way of sneaking in a bit more veg (albeit smothered in cheese….) without ending up in this kind of state:

 

Nous avons fait du camping…

Two adults. Two small children. 7 hours in the car, there and back, 35 mins in a tunnel. One week in a tent. One trip to Paris on possibly the hottest day of their little lives. Easy right??

Actually, surprisingly, yes! 

I remember camping holidays as I was growing up, and the fun of being in a tent, in France or Italy, out of all routines and spending time with my favourite people (yes I’ve long counted my mum and dad and sister as my faves, obviously have added to this list with my own little family subsequently!)  It may even be why I ended up studying French at Uni, who knows!

I really REALLY want our children to feel the same way and so jumped at the suggestion of a last minute Eurocamp deal in June. 

We stayed in La Croix du Vieux Pont, in Berny Rivière (about 1.5hrs from Paris)  in one of their Safari tents, and had a great time. We visited Laon (beautiful old walled town), Reims (huge cathedral), Paris (re-visiting the place we got engaged!), and Arras (lovely squares lined with beautiful facades and cafes)

   
                   

We’re already planning our holiday for next summer, maybe the Loire… We do like a good castle! 

Things I have learnt

Never think you can’t do something. You can do anything.

You are you.
I did a triathlon in June. This may not be a big thing for some, but it marks a turning point for me. 

Having been a spectator and team-participant for years, I never had the will power before to contemplate doing anything like this myself. 

Then, in 2012, when yucky things happened, some things got put into perspective, and I made a promise to myself to do the whole tri by myself.

When it came to sign up, I remembered the phrase “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got” 

I was never going to be a cyclist, a swimmer, or a better runner, if I didn’t try. So I did. I didn’t manage to train as much as I had hoped (that “life” thing kinda got in the way somewhat!) but I did what I could and managed it.
In fact I quite enjoyed it (and might even do it again next year!)

  
So, little men of mine, when you read this in years to come, if there’s something you want to do but think you can’t – please remember that you can change habits of a lifetime, and the only person stopping you from making that change is you

Be active. Be happy. Have fun.

I love you x

Siblings {May, June & July!}

Oh dear oh dear! All good plans can suffer I guess. I had hoped to at least be able to take one reasonable photo of my boys and get it posted here once a month this year but these last few months have seen me focus attention elsewhere and for one reason or another I’ve neglected this little space. 

I guess I’m struggling a bit with the fact that people “in my real life” do actually read the stuff I put up here (n.b. this isn’t a shock, I do realise that I am posting on the World Wide Web, but you know it just feels odd that’s all..).  This tiny slice of the internet was only ever really about filing away memories for my little ones to read when they’re older (who am I kidding, it’s mainly for me….am so worried I’ll forget the magic of having grown two little people that I want to capture the whole damn thing so I get to look back when I’m older and greyer), anyway I kind of forgot that for a bit and got a bit freaked, and then didn’t do any capturing or filing away. Basically a bit of a vicious circle.. So I now have a three month gap to fill.

Three months in which LOTS has happened.

I did my first whole (mini!) triathlon in June and my little future Brownlee boys helped encourage my training:   

We went on holiday. Twice!:

      

Elliot finished at one Pre-School, and will be leaving his other one at the end of August, ready for starting school in September – how on earth is he old enough for that? 

  

And Alexander seems to have developed the ability to do forward rolls, at 18 months, which is pretty scary I can tell you…I think we have Tumbletots to thank for that, he loves it!

 

So, all in all a busy little time in our family. The boys continue to get on really well and they clearly love each other loads. Alexander can now say “lellot” and likes to point him out when we go to collect them from nursery. He’s really going to miss him when he goes to school I think. Big changes are on the horizon! 

dear beautiful

To my eldest boy

Dear Elliot

Tomorrow morning we will find out which Primary School you will go to in September. We’ve known this was coming but it always seemed far away enough to forget about. We’re now just a few months away from you becoming a school boy. That suddenly seems far too close for comfort.

I have been a working mama since you were 10 months old, bar the time I was on maternity leave with Alexander, so I know that in essence things are not going to be too different – I’ll be working and you’ll be at school instead of nursery/pre-school, but it just seems so final. This is the end of your baby days, you’ll no longer be a pre-schooler. It’s a huge change.

You’re so absolutely ready for school. I have no concerns at all over your ability to settle in and do well. You can read way above what would normally be expected at your age. You actually asked me today why I suggested you put your finger along the words as you read, and you’re quite right, you don’t need to as you read by sight absolutely perfectly. You read with appropriate emphasis on voices, questions and exclamations. It’s amazing how you’ve just got it! We feel incredibly proud of you.

You are fascinated by numbers too, and like to set us maths problems – “what is 156 take away 19 mummy?”

I look forward to seeing you grow in confidence when you settle in with friends who you’ll be with for your school life. I’m hoping that some of your pre-school friends will be going to the same school, so that will be a good transition.

We’re working hard with you at the moment to get you ready in other ways, taking yourself to the bathroom, and getting yourself dressed and undressed. You’ve basically got it nailed in just a few days.

So, I guess there’s nothing much for me to be concerned about. As usual it’s more painful for me than it is for you. Time to let you fly the nest a little, just remember I’m always ALWAYS here for you.

Lots of love,

Mummy xxx

A mummy cuddle