Monthly Archives: July 2013

Love Parks Week

Love Parks Week


Love Parks Week

This may sound a bit odd but I love parks, honestly I do LOVE parks.

As a child of the seventies and eighties all we had was a patch of dried up grass, some swings with peeling paint and a roundabout that regularly broke children’s arms. Maybe that was just in my village….

My children however, have access to the most amazing spaces with brilliant equipment. Our local town has a wonderful toddler playground, fabulous swingy things and zip wires for the older kids and even outdoor gym equipment. All just a five-minute drive away.

Love Parks WeekAND excitement in our tiny village has reached fever pitch!

Or what passes for fever pitch here, which is a couple of us saying ‘oooo’ at the school bus stop in a morning. Work has finally begun on our park (I say finally as this park has been in its planning stages for the last ten years!)

What started off as four swings and a goal post is being transformed into playground heaven. Lots of fabulous equipment for our little ones, picnic tables and all complete with a view of the golf course on one side and canal on the other.

So, we will no longer have to drive to the park (smugly feeling green), we can now wander up to road to play and picnic to our hearts’ content.

And what do these parks cost us?
Nothing! So in the age of austerity
let us celebrate Love Parks Week
and enjoy them.

Look out for events in a park near you at


Don’t forget to pack your picnic.

Crunchy Peanut Brittle recipe

Take with you some of this moreish
Crunchy Peanut Brittle to nibble on
(just make sure you share it!)

Crunchy Peanut Brittle from the Dairy Diary 2014.

Crunchy Peanut Brittle

Crunchy Peanut Brittle recipe


Crunchy Peanut Brittle

Makes 425g (15oz)
Time 20 mins
Calories 72/15g
Fat 3g of which 0.8g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Caster sugar 175g (6oz)
Golden syrup 75g (3oz)
Unsalted peanuts 175g (6oz)
Unsalted butter 15g (½ oz)

1 Place sugar and syrup into a heavy-based saucepan and add 125ml (4fl oz) cold water. Fill a jug with boiling water.

2 Heat gently, stirring continuously, until sugar is completely dissolved, brushing sides of pan with hot water occasionally.

3 Add peanuts to sugar syrup and bring up to boil. Boil, without stirring, for 7-10 minutes until mixture turns to a rich golden caramel colour.

4 Immediately remove from heat and add butter. Mix into caramel by tilting pan – do not stir. Quickly pour onto an oiled baked sheet. Leave to cool and set hard.

5 When cold, break into pieces and store in a tin, interleaved with baking paper.

A Dairy Diary recipe.

Happy Holiday Checklist

Holiday Checklist | Travel Checklist


Happy Holiday Checklist

Woohoo holiday season is upon us again. Have you been away yet or do you have a get-away planned soon?

With three children all under six, we have decided to eschew the foreign holiday in favour of a good old British seaside holiday (with grandparents in tow for help!)

Although I am slightly envious of my friends jetting off to sunny shores, I am sure we will have an equally good time….as long as this glorious weather continues.

Holiday Checklist | Travel Checklist

have packed a bumper bag of rainy day activities, just in case.

Packing, that’s the most
stressful bit isn’t it?

Apart from travelling with toddlers. I have found my carefully laminated list from last year in the hope that packing will be a much easier affair.

Here is a handy holiday checklist to keep in your suitcase. It may just help to avoid forgetting that invaluable item!

Download the Holiday Checklist


I must admit that I always have a ready-packed toilet bag with lots of miniatures procured from beauty counters or give-aways. It means that I have everything in miniature ready to grab whenever I need to be away for a night or more.


Win a Liz Earle Travel Skincare Kit


Win-Liz-Earle-KitWhat I would LOVE though is this. Liz Earle’s skincare
is just beautiful and I adore the fresh fragrances.

Enter our comp and you could win this fabulous travel
skincare kit to whisk away with you.

Enter here.


Competition | Win a Liz Earle Travel Skincare Kit

Win a Liz Earle Travel Skincare Kit



Win a Liz Earle Travel Skincare Kit

Dairy Diary 2014 is giving you the chance to travel in style with this amazing skincare kit from Liz Earle. Your skin will love you for it!

What’s inside the Liz Earle Travel Kit?

  • Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser 30ml tube
  • Instant Boost Skin Tonic 50ml bottle
  • Your choice of Skin Repair Moisturiser 15ml tube: normal/combination, dry/sensitive or combination/oily
  • Intensive Nourishing Treatment Mask 15ml tube
  • Orange Flower Botanical Body Wash 30ml tube
  • Nourishing Botanical Body Cream 30ml tube
  • Hand Repair 15ml tube
  • Botanical Shine Shampoo 50ml tube
  • Botanical Conditioner for normal hair 50ml tube
  • 2 pure muslin cloths

Enter now


The Amazing Four Thousand Dresses Collection

.The Amazing Four Thousand Dresses Collection



The Amazing Four Thousand Dresses Collection

I have two very lucky little girls whose Mummy likes to pick up beautiful bargains in the sales and also have LOTS of gorgeous girlie dresses given to them by their friend Isabelle.

But it’s not just Western girls who love pretty things of course, there are many little girls in other countries who would love something gorgeous to wear but don’t have the means to buy them.

That’s where you (and me) come in!

IMalawi-Dress recently discovered this amazing project run by Louise Horler, who has amassed more than 4,000 beautiful handmade dresses for little girls in the developing world. Isn’t that incredible?

Despite my shoddy sewing skills I shall definitely be having a go at the pillowcase dress, which looks pretty simple to make.

If you would like to have a go, take a look at Louise’s blog for more details and patterns. You can even upcycle a pillowcase (hence the name) or a dress that you no longer wear.


And to nibble on while you’re sewing ….

Cinnamon & Raisin FlapjacksCinnamon & Raisin Flapjacks

From our fabulous new cookbook,
Clever One Pot.
Available to pre-order now!

Cinnamon & Raisin Flapjacks

Cinnamon & Raisin Flapjacks


Cinnamon & Raisin Flapjacks

Makes 16 squares
Time required 40 mins.
Per portion: 200 Kcal, 9g fat (5.1g saturated)
Suitable for vegetarians

butter 150g (5oz)
soft light brown sugar 110g (4oz)
golden syrup 110g (4oz)
ground cinnamon ¼-½ tsp
porridge oats 275g (10oz)
raisins 110g (4oz)

Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas 3 and grease and line a 20cm (8in) square tin.

Put the butter, sugar, syrup and cinnamon into a large heavy-based saucepan and melt over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and mix in the oats and raisins.

Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly. Lightly press the mixture down with the back of the spoon to level the surface, then bake for 25–30 minutes until the flapjacks are turning golden brown around the edges.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Carefully mark the mixture into 16 squares with a knife. Leave until cold before removing from the tin and cutting fully into squares or bars. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe taken from Clever One Pot cookbook.

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