Actimel ‘Back To School’ Workshop And Yoga Challenge

A couple of weeks ago the lovely people at Actimel invited us along to the mindfulness and yoga workshop they were holding in East London to celebrate the launch of their new yummy yogurt drinks.  I took number three and four with me, but was a little sceptical as to how well number four was going to behave!

I have only ever practiced yoga during my last two pregnancies, but found it a great way to really focus my mind and helped a great deal towards a much calmer and easier labour.  It is always something I have considered for the children as they tend to easily lose focus easily and would love to see if this had any impact on their learning.  With number three returning to school and number four starting nursery this was a perfect event for us.

Once we had arrived and had a super healthy breakfast at the yoga centre we set to work at practicing our yoga moves and learning the importance of breathing techniques.  The children remained engaged throughout and really enjoyed learning something new.  Next up we got to make some fabulous smoothies with the new flavours that Actimel had to offer mixed with lots of fresh fruit.  It is a fantastic way to get the children to start their day and I always find they are happier about trying new things when they have helped to prepare it themselves.  Number four was especially taken with the glow in the dark bottles and couldn’t wait to go home to try them out.


    

With five children to contend with in the morning it may be a challenge in itself to get the yoga challenge done before school, but with some new rules being implemented for September in our household the time they would spend sitting watching cartoons will now be used to fit in couple of yoga moves each morning.


    

We have started the challenge this week and have already seen a marked improvement in the children’s behaviour and is lovely to have ten minutes together to start the day.  Thank you so much for Actimel for inviting us along to your wonderful event and opening our eyes to something new.


We were invited along to take part in this event to try out Actimels new product.  All views are my own honest opinion.

Summertime Snacks For Little Fingers

With all this heat I always struggle to get my little ones to eat.  

The easiest thing to make are small finger foods that are bright and colourful and catch their eye.

We were off out today so I prepared some small bits to eat off of cocktail sticks and they went down a treat!

  
The boats were made of cheese cut into a triangles with a cocktail stick inserted into the middle and a satsuma segment on the bottom.

The noughts and crosses sandwiches were marmite sandwiches cut into a cross with a pastry cutter.  I then alternated these with a piece of cucumber and half a tomato.  All threaded onto another cocktail stick.

To cool them down afterwards I placed a lolly stick into the top of a small yogurt and placed into the freezer until they harden.  Once hard you can simply take them out and remove the pot and you have a lovely refreshing lolly.

  
You could use any sandwich filling and vegetable combination that you like.  Or replace the sandwich for meat of they are not sandwich lovers.

  

  

Celebrating National Picnic Week

As I’m sure many of you will know I am a massive fan of picnics.  It means you can get out in the fresh air, take in your surrounding and enjoy some time together with good food.  Our favourite place to picnic is Priory Park in Reigate, Surrey.  It is a beautiful park with lovely surroundings and lots to do.

Towards the end of last summer I had lost my mojo a bit and our picnics became very samey, and consisted of the usual sweaty sandwich, packet of crisps and a boring cereal bar.

I have made it my mission this year to create fun, interesting and memorable picnics that we will all enjoy and hopefully remember in years to come.

My first picnic of the year was made for a festival a few weeks ago which went down a treat with everyone.

To celebrate the start of national picnic week this week I put my thinking cap on and can up with some ideas hopefully you will be inspired to give a try.

The first couple of ideas were made up simply because I picked up the wrong tumblers whist shopping in Tesco.  Once I had opened them I realised they were infact a normal plastic tumbler with a raised section inside to pour a shot!!


These infact came in really handy as I made some vegetable crudités and added some salsa to one and sour cream dip to the other.


Next up for the fab tumblers was a mozzarella, avocado and tomato salad.  I sliced each of the ingredients up and placed around the edge of the tumbler and the added some balsamic vinegar and olive oil to the little well in the centre.


Simple sandwiches for my little allergy buddy were made with his wheat free bread and filled with ham and salad.  I then I  took a toast press that I had bought for Valentine’s Day to create an “I Love You” message on the top to make it a little more interesting.

I came across some mini bagels in Tesco that I filled with hummous and spring onion and cheddar and onion apple chutney.


My sister was coming with us and she is a massive fan of hallumi.  I sliced it into bite size chunks and wrapped each piece in a slice of streaky bacon.  I placed them on a greased baking tray and cooked them for about 10mins on 200C fan/180C or Gas Mark 6.


My boys adore olives and a few years ago I made an olive spider for Halloween.  They are just a black plum that you attach eight cocktail sticks to to made the legs and them thread on black olives.  For the eyes I just used a couple of sugar beads that you decorate cakes with and stuck them on with a little bit of icing.


The last of the savoury snacks was a mini corn in the cob. These were just cooked in boiling water for 10mins then once they were ready I placed a wooden skewer into the bottom of each of them and placed theminto individual  sandwich bags with a knob of butter and secured the end.  Just little you get in fried chicken shops!

Next up I got the tumblers out again to create a multicoloured jelly.  I picked three different coloured jellies that I mixed according to the instructions  and poured the first colour into the small well.  I placed them in the fridge to set which took about 10mins.  Then I filled the tumbler half way with the next colour and put them back into the fridge to set again for another 10mins.  I then added the final colour and placed into the fridge until we were ready to use them.  These are best done the night before.


We all love marshmallows in our house so I made some super easy skewers by alternating strawberries, marshmallows and grapes.  These would have been lovely with a chocolate dip!


Our last little treat were melon lollipops.  You can use any melon and cut it into any shape you like.  I used a gala melon and cut it into slices which I then halved.  I put a small hole into the bottom of a cake case and then inserted a lolly sick into the bottom of the melon then slip on the cake cases. These looked great but didn’t travel that well.


There was minimal cooking in all of these ideas and they were loved by everyone.  Even if you added on or two of these ideas I’m sure it would really cheer up any picnic.


        
Try and dedicate a little time this week to get out with your family and celebrate national picnic week.