Thursday, 29 May 2014

The Foxglove

The foxglove stands tall in the front garden, swaying gently in the breeze, she offers shelter to passing wildlife and protects her home from the influence of evil. Her wide, open mouth sings loudly "Look at me, look at me. come Closer!" Her bottom lip, a landing pad for hungry bumble bee's, her thimble shaped head make pretty hats and petticoats for fairies, who carelessly leave tiny footprints on the surface, as they play and dance. The Foxglove, invites fairies to your home and keeps evil from your door.











Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?

Monday, 26 May 2014

Sharing A Caffe Cagliari Moment

 

I am totally convinced that I should have been born Italian. I love the food, the culture, the sexy accent and most all I love their coffee. My favourite coffee moment would be enjoying a morning espresso in my summer-house, the sun is shining and I'm munching on a massive piece of walnut cake, Bliss! That is my ideal coffee moment and I'm always on the lookout for good quality coffee pods for my machine.


Caffe Cagliari, a family run coffee company is steeped in over 100 years of Italian history and was founded by Ambrogio Cagliari back in 1909.  He worked hard to promote the great taste of coffee as it became more and more popular amongst the young and old. In 1951 Ambrogio passed away and his Sons took over and began packaging their Fathers Cagliari products and distributing them as far away as the Apennines. The coffee was packaged very simply, in greaseproof paper and soon became a well known quality brand.


history


Caffe Cagliari went from strength to strength  and today it is run by Alessandra Cagliari, the great great grand daughter of the founder, who handles the marketing and packaging that we see today.

Their single serving coffee pods to use in the luxury of your own home are Nespresso compatible pods so you can use them in your Nespresso machine. How cool is that! Every single cup is an exquisite masterpiece, the result of more than 100 years of knowledge and tradition. The qualitative and sensory standards of Espresso have been certified by the Italian Espresso National Institute (I.N.E.I.), which protects and promotes Italian Espresso.

history
Alessandra Cagliari


Where to buy - Here
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Friday, 23 May 2014

Vote For The Little Face Of Venture


Little Face of Venture


Venture Photography have been looking for their 'Little Face of Venture 2014'. Families up and down the country have been entering their childs portrait into a competition that could win them a one year professional modelling contract with top agency MOT Models. MOT will promote and market their child for an array of modelling assignments. Plus the winner will also receive a year’s supply of shoes courtesy of Start-rite and an amazing prize from LEGO. How cool is that!

There will also be a regional winner chosen from each studio who will receive their winning image in a hand made Venture frame worth £350, a pair of Start-rite shoes and a set of LEGO. And for every child who took part a £1 donation was made to Wellchild.

It's all very exciting and you can help pick the winner by voting for who you think is the cutest. Let me tell you, it is really difficult as they are all so cute. So what are you waiting for, pop over and VOTE HERE and help to chose the new little face of Venture. Entries to the competition close tomorrow (23rd May) and voting closes on the 6th of June so not long left now!

To find out more about the Little Face of Venture 2012 winner, click here.




Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The Gallery - One Word

One Word for this photo is SUMMER.

I love the summer, mainly because I can spend my days out in the garden.
Out comes the BBQ, the pool, the tent and the kids.

I Love the summer and I love my garden.




Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

Friday, 16 May 2014

Zoflora Review


I remember when I first got married, nearly twenty five years ago my Mum gave me a few worldly words of wisdom and one of them was to use Zoflora disinfectant. And I did for quite a few years and for some reason I just stopped buying it. I have no idea why, it was just something I stopped buying so I was delighted to review some recently because it reminded how fab this stuff is.

It comes in a tiny bottle in a tiny box and if you have never used it before you might look at it and think to yourself that it can't be much cop. But, I swear to you it is fantastic stuff. Super concentrated, you only need a capful in your bucket of water and it cleans (and smells) like magic.

My Son, who is in his twenties has his own place and recently he came round, rooting through my cleaning cupboard for something to clean his kitchen floor "Mum can I use this little bottle of stuff???" He shouted as he waved around my half used bottle of Zoflora. Reluctantly, I parted with it with strict instructions that it is super concentrated. That evening he called me up "Mum, that stuff is wicked!" "I only needed a tiny bit and now my kitchen smells the best it ever has!!!" Let me tell you, that takes some work.

So just as my Mum converted me to Zoflora, I have my Son. Great stuff, You really should give it a go!


Thursday, 15 May 2014

Turn Your Old Bed Into A Garden Bench


A few years ago I bought an old 1930's double bed frame from Ebay for a tenner. It was a silly buy because it had a really lose spring base, that meant every time you tucked yourself in bed you basically sunk to the floor. Also beds back in that time were really tiny and as I have a 6 ft tall husband, his feet could be found dangling over the edge every morning. So, sadly the bed had to go but rather than dump it, I wanted to try and re-use this lovely old piece of furniture.








Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Up Close And Personal

I love this photo of our eldest Son and his Daughter, our Granddaughter. It really shows the strong bond between them and it tells a story of love. My Son was concerned that it was too much of a close up and that it might show any flaws, he thinks he might have, but to me he is perfect. He is my baby, no matter what age he is, I still look at him as if he is my perfect, newborn baby boy, just like I do all my children. Capturing moments up close and personal make very special photos.


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Thrifty Fashion - Bleach Your Jeans

My teenage Daughter loves fashion and is a keen upcycler. As a Fashion student she likes to re-fashion old clothes, just like me she would prefer to think of a way to reuse an item of clothing rather than throw it away, so when she got bored of her old jeans she decided to bleach them. Bleaching denim is so easy and it can completely change the look of your garment.


The best place to bleach your jeans is out in the garden on a dry day. The fumes from the bleaching can be pretty strong so make sure wherever you do it, is in a well ventilated area. We hung our jeans on a cane that was hooked up and sprayed the jeans with a regular kitchen cleaner that contains bleach. Just keep spraying until you get the desired affect. 

Be very careful not to get any bleach on your skin because it burns, so wash it off immediately should you end up with any residue on any part of your body. Also wear something really old when doing this in case you get bleach on your clothes. Leave to dry then wash in the washing machine on their own. After drying they are ready to wear. Easy Peasy!



Monday, 12 May 2014

An Afternoon Of Family Fishing


There is a small fishing lake close to where we live. It's a great place for quiet contemplation, a place to reflect as a family. Somewhere to be at one with nature, even in the rain we can enjoy a cuppa or two while Papa teaches 'The Teen' to fish.

We didn't catch anything on this particular day, but we didn't care too much, it was just nice to sit and do nothing much else but enjoy each others company.








Friday, 9 May 2014

Camp Bestival Blogger 2014


I am delighted to announce that I am an official Camp Bestival Blogger 2014. Yes, The Syders will be packing our TuTu's, wellies, furry tails and glo sticks into our backpacks and heading off into the sunset towards Lulworth Castle, Dorset for a weekend of festival fun.




A multi award winning festival geared towards families, the line up this year looks fab with loads of Live acts, DJ's, comedians, theatre shows, poets, authors, talks, food and a ton of activities. I can't wait to see the likes of Basement Jaxx (super excited), De La Soul, Sinead O'Connor, Brushy One String (check him out on YouTube), DJ sets from Boy George and Marc Vedo, Rob Da Bank and DJ Yoda and the legends that are Chas & Dave. For the kids there will be Mr Tumble, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Horrible Histories, Michaela Strachens Really Wild Adventures and loads more.



With a Circus theme Camp Bestival tells us to expect moustachioed musclemen, lion tamers, high wire trapeze artists, performing seals, ringmasters and clowns. Festival Curator Rob da Bank promises us a weekend to remember, packed full to the brim of activities and acts that will appeal to all ages. Rob says 
“Is there a spare moment at Camp Bestival to just do nothing but stare at the beauty of Lulworth Castle under blue skies or meditate on just how good life is? Probably not, as we just keep piling on the activities to make sure there’s never a dull millisecond for you and your families."
Are we excited? Hell yeah! With less than ninety days to go we seriously can not wait, so please do follow us on our journey as we prepare for this wild family adventure. We will share our experience of Camp Bestival 2014 with four kids in tow, all of completely different ages and on as much of a budget as we can manage. I'm totally squealing with delight, so off to calm down, write my packing list, dig out my straw hat, poncho and knock up some festival bunting for our tent.



Camp Bestival takes place at Lulworth Castle Jul 31st - Aug 3rd 2014
For more info and ticket prices visit the official Camp Bestival website.



*We are an offical Camp Bestival Blogger and will receive Camp Bestival tickets for the family in order to share our experience. Our views & opinions are entirely our own and unbiased.







Thursday, 8 May 2014

#MorrisonsMum Bank Holiday Shop


Last week I was utterly delighted to discover that I was one of the many lovely BritMums to have been selected to be a #MorrisonsMum for the Bank Holiday weekend. I heard my postie rattle my post box, so I dashed out to see if I was one of the lucky Mum's to have been sent £80 in Morrisons vouchers. 

I must admit it's been years since I last shopped at Morrisons, mainly because since moving house I no longer live that local to a store, plus I live right out in the sticks they don't deliver to me yet. Usually I shop online at another well known supermarket so I was really interested to see how well I could do with my £80.


As soon as I walked through the supermarket doors my eye was drawn to plants, and not just any old plants, HALF PRICE PLANTS!  Instantly I could feel my adrenaline levels rising as I put three in my trolley. I already felt this shop was going well.


The plants were a fab bargain, but my Morrisons bargain of the day had to go to the huge 12.5kg sack of potatoes for £3.49. We eat a lot of spuds in our house, being a large family with a touch of Irish blood we do love to eat them with most meals, so I love this price.

Morrisons tell us that they have cut the prices on over a thousand of our favourite products. Not temporary reductions, these are new every day low prices on the things we buy every week. Bright yellow markers are everywhere telling us that the product is cheaper and it’s staying cheaper.


Our neighbours had invited us along to their bank holiday BBQ, so I headed for the meat aisle, and there was a lot to choose from. I particularly liked the 3 for £10 offer on certain meats,  So I picked up a few of those along with a chicken sharing platter and some Cava.






I also grabbed an Indian takeaway for two for a fiver, an old favourite of mine. These are great for a quick, cheap takeaway on a Friday night, especially if like us you are saving holiday pennies and are cutting back on luxuries.



I did really well with my £80 and I even managed to get myself a lovely new fry pan reduced from £5 to £3.75, I was chuffed. I found there to be lots of great deals and I love how they chill their veggies with cold steam, very impressive indeed. I also liked the fact that there were a lot of very smartly dressed staff everywhere, always on hand should you need them.



Usually at our neighbours there are two BBQ's on the go and Papa Syder helps out with the cooking. The meats we chose we yummy and everyone enjoyed them. We had a great time. 

While I was shopping in Morrisons I picked up the Ingredients for a Syder family favourite, Sausage Plait. Its so easy and cheap to make and the kids love it.



Ingredients - Serves 6 - Price per head £1.22
  • Morrisons Signature Thick Pork & Brambly Apple Sausages 6 Pack x 2 
  • Jus Rol Ready To Use Puff Pastry 500g
  • Morrisons Cranberry Sauce - 3 tbsp
  • Grated Apple x 2
  • Chopped Red onion x 1
  • Dried Sage x 1tsp
  • 1 egg beaten to glaze

 Method


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. 
  2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle. 
  3. Squeeze the sausage meat out of the sausages into a mixing bowl. 
  4. Mix in the cranberry sauce, grated apple and sage. Season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Put the sausage mixture into a rectangular shape and lift into the centre of the pastry.
  6. Cut slits into the sides of the pastry, roughly about 2cm apart, either side of the sausage meat at a diagonal. 
  7. Fold the top end of the pastry over then alternately cross the cut pastry, overlapping, to form a plait and to cover the sausage mixture. When you come to the end, tuck in the remaining pastry. 
  8. Lift onto a baking tray and brush with beaten egg. 
  9. Bake for 35 minutes, until cooked and the pastry is golden.


*We were sent £80 in Morrisons vouchers from BritMums for the purpose of this blog post. Our opinions are honest and our own.

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