Month: June 2015

Elderflower Cordial – be quick before it is gone.

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This weekend I made a batch of Elderflower Cordial. I love making this or Elderflower Champagne in June. It’s now readily available in the shops but its so easy and cheap you really should make it yourself. Jamie even thinks it might help his hay-fever, we are thinking it may work in the same way local honey is believed to.

All you need is : 

Elderflower heads  – About a carrier bag full. Try to pick the flowers when it is sunny as they are more fragrant.

1.5 lt Water

1 Kg Sugar

2 Lemons – quartered and zest’ed with a potato peeler. 

Optional other fruit Pineapple / Orange / Lime and citric acid.

Equipment : A large pan,  potato peeler, jug, muslin or sieve and empty clean bottles, swing tops are best or plastic.

  • Place the sugar in the bottom of the pan, along with the lemons and zest. Give the lemons a little squeeze as you add them.
  • Pour over 1 lt of boiling water and stir.
  • Give the Elderflower heads a shake (to get rid of any bugs) and place on top of the sugar. Pour over the remaining 0.5 lt as cold water.
  • Leave over night to infuse, stirring once or twice.
  • In the morning, give the lemons another squeeze and strain it all through muslin into the bottles.

You could add limes, pineapple or orange they all work well.

The cordial is lovely just with water, lemonade, orange juice  or even as a mixer with a cheeky vodka. Add to an ice cube  tray with a little water for refreshing / cooling summer drinks.

The Elderflower has been out for a few weeks now and in some places already turning to seed. So be quick before it is gone. If you miss out then the Elderberries will be out later in the year and make a lovely jelly or wine.

What the mums of Tonbridge take out #ItsInTheBagBaby

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As a Mum what are your essentials? If you could say just three things to take out and about, what would it be? For me, 99% of the time, the thing a I cannot leave the house without is ….MATILDA!


As part of Pink Linings search for new Brand ambassadors, I decided to ask for help from the mums in my own little town Tonbridge. It turns out that we are a funny lot. Surprisingly a mobile phone along with snacks and a drink, seem to be high on the list ,above traditional items such as wipes, nappies, favourite teddy or blanket.  It seems that us mums need much more from a change bag than just a place to put nappies. In total there were fourteen different things listed!

Here are some of the answers that made me laugh :

” My little one, a spare pop (lollipop) and a mobile for when things get a little crazy”

” Wouldn’t know where to start. Too much taken out every time but … Roo roo (fav comfort) blanket n phone”

” That’s a hard one I walk out the house with my house (practically) but if I had to choose it would be water, dummy and phone x”

I think most of us would like to take a lorry for all those “just in case” moments, personally my top tip is a change of clothes all rolled up or tied up using a nappy bag. Ok so you will always take your mobile/ keys and money (we did that before being Mums) but a change of clothes is for that “oh my” moment 😉 Safely all rolled up and together means you can easy grab it.

This is my entry into the Pink Lining Ambassador Search – #ItsInTheBagBaby / :

FunKids Radio – Radio for small ones

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Fun Kids   Have you got a little telly addict in your house? Have you thought about radio?

Matilda loves her Bing and Raa Raa on CBeebies, BUT I do not like her watching too much of the telly. I think she learns a limited amount from it and sometimes ends up just hypnotised by the screen. When she does watch it, I like to do a running commentary for her,telling her what is going on plus getting her to copy the actions on screen. This way I feel like she is learning too. In this house we listen to more music than watch telly anyways..

I was really pleased to find out about FunKids Radio, a Radio station for Kids. The programs are mostly designed for slightly older children (7-12 year olds,) but the station also has Fun Kids “junior” , shows for pre-school children. These shows are linked to the CBeebies channel.

With nursery rhymes, story times and even readings from Disney films (Loved hearing the Lion king) it makes for an interesting listen. I was surprised how engaged Matilda was and how she joined in the same as with watching the TV. Matilda particularly loved the animal hour because the songs featured “quacking” ducks and “ooh oohs” from Monkeys.

You can listen online to the shows here :, me and Matilda will certainly be listening in some more.

Port Lympne – Wild Animal park

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Last weekend we went to Port Lympne Wild animal park. We were managing to get Matilda to say “To the Zoo” before we went.  In fact Port Lympne is not a traditional Zoo but a mini safari on our own door step in Kent. Jamie, and I, just about remember coming here as children….. however a lot has changed since then!


Port Lympne is run by the Aspinall Foundation. John Aspinall started his famous animal collection in 1957 when he bought Howletts Wild Animal Park (Howletts being its sister park also in Kent). Now the Aspinall Foundation is an internationally renowned animal conservation charity that works in conjunction with the two parks.

Matilda’s Nan nan and Gan-dad came with us, collecting us by car early morning.Once inside Base Camp we decided to do the main Safari  first, before going anywhere else in the park. We piled onto a very big truck, strapped ourselves in  with daddy grasping hold of Matilda tightly in his lap. Off we went finding Daffs (Giraffes), Elles (Elephants) and Rhinos. It was a very bumpy ride but this was all part of the experience,even having to wait for a Giraffe to cross the road (there is a joke in there somewhere!).

We decided to walk around the rest of the Zoo, which was divided into zones. We saw Matilda’s favourite animals, Baboons along the “Primate Trail” and Lions in “Carnivore Territory”.There are plenty of shops for food and drink and toilets for all important wee stops. There is also a fun play area which is good for when your own little animals need to let off steam and monkey around…. The set up of the Zoo makes it easy to spend the whole day there!


Port Lympne also now has a number of accommodation options. From a hotel, to glamping experiences overlooking the animals, and Pods..think of them as posh beach huts set in forest.

I think we all enjoyed this trip as much as Matilda, we hope to plan another visit in the future and to stay in one of the new accommodation experiences on site for the true Jungle VIP experience