Skip to main content

Simple Mackerel Pate

Simple Mackerel Pate Recipe

Simple Mackerel Pate Recipe – As a mum, I love to keep things simple, and as a family, we’re quite good at making meals that double up into a couple of meals or more.

Simple Mackerel Pate Recipe

Cooking a chicken as a roast, making a pasta dish the next day and a stirfry for the following day is quite a usual occurrence and is great for us as working parents.

I have to confess that Daddy is the main meal maker in our family and has a far better eye for making a meal from anything and everything, including whipping up a meal on the day before shopping day from the randoms left in the fridge/cupboard.

I will share some of these recipes with you as well as our firm family favourites.

One of my fave meals at the moment is mackerel salad. It’s really easy and quick to make. We usually buy the peppered mackerel fillets and grill them to make them extra crispy. We make a salad with lettuce leaves, rocket, red peppers, cucumber, tomatoes and beetroot and top it off with a side helping of potato salad (will share the recipe at some point).

Anyway, I always save some of the mackerel fillets to make Mackerel Pate for me and Belle the following day.

How to make

So to make the pate, you have to add mackerel fillets (we normally save 2 – 3) and put in the whizzer (aka blender), whiz it through for about 30 seconds, add a good squeeze of lemon, and then about 3 good tablespoons of mayonnaise.

If you don’t have a whizzer you can mash up the fillets with a fork which makes it slightly chunkier, but Isabelle prefers the smoother version.

Put into a bowl and then make a pile of toast.

Voila! Simple Mackerel Pate.

Easy lunch for you and your little!

Lisa x

*This post may contain affiliate links which means that I receive a small payment should you click the link and make a purchase at no extra cost to yourself.

The Donkey Sanctuary

The Donkey Sanctuary

Have you been to the Donkey Sanctuary? We were there on Sunday for the Family Farm Day but unfortunately, it poured down with rain. We did, however, make a trip round to see the many donkeys and grab an ice cream.

The Donkey Sanctuary was founded in 1969, by Dr. Elisabeth Svendsen where she dedicated her life to rescuing abandoned and mistreated donkeys. You can read more about her amazing story and life’s work on the Donkey Sanctuary Website as well as info on how you can help.

A Donkey from the Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth

What’s on?

During the School Holidays from 21st July – 3rd September 2017 they are running an Around the World Trail. You can pick up a trail sheet for £3.00 and can collect your ice cream prize at the end.

Entry into the Donkey Sanctuary is FREE as is the car park.

There are loads of donkeys to see along many trails including the giant Poitou Donkeys.

Discover the path to the beach through the Field of Dreams or follow the guided walks.

Take part in the twice-daily donkey grooming and lose yourself in the maze.

They also have a newly built restaurant called The Kitchen serving locally-sourced hot and cold food to suit both adults and children.

All proceeds taken at the Donkey Sanctuary go towards the work that takes place on-site and worldwide.

A couple of people stroking a donkey at the Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth

As well as being family-friendly, the Donkey Sanctuary is pram and wheelchair-friendly. You can also take your four-legged friends with you as long as they are on a lead.

The Donkey Sanctuary makes for a great chilled-out day. Ruffle the heads of a donkey or two and make sure that you stay for feeding time where you will see all the donkeys running and honking towards the food!

They also run events throughout the year so keep an eye on their Facebook Page for upcoming details.

For more great places to visit in Devon, take a look at our Devon Days Out Page for more suggestions.

•Images from www.donkeysanctuary.org.uk 

#SchoolHols2017 – Exeter Royal Albert Memorial Museum

Exeter Royal Albert Memorial Museum

So far I’ve only posted about out-doorsy type days out but after we got drenched and had to camp out under a tree whilst it poured down I thought it would be a good idea to choose an indoor activity. We make regular trips to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum as they run lots of themed events throughout the year as well as all the great treasures to discover in the Museum.

A display of butterflies at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum

What is there to do?

Loads.

If you’re visiting with little ones don’t forget to pick up a Bee-Bag which is full of stuff to make the most of your visit to the museum.

For older children (7 – 14 years) you can pick up an explorer bag from the Garden Reception.

There are lots of interactive areas dotted throughout the Museum.

Royal Albert Memorial Museum

Here are a few of the activities on offer over the Summer Holidays:

  • 2nd – 3rd August – Create a Neon Seascape – Draw an underwater world in neon crayons and fill it with fluorescent fish, sparkling starfish, or luminous lobsters. Suitable from 3 years. This is a drop-in session.
  • Various dates in August – Little Explorers – A chance for under-fives to take a journey of discovery and take part in art and craft activities inspired by the museum’s collections. Pre-booking for these sessions is advised.
  • 16th – 17th August – Make a Lego Aquarium – Who doesn’t love to play and create with Lego? Add to the display with your own underwater addition. Suitable from 3 years.
  • 23rd – 24th August – Marine Masks and High Tide Hats – Make a hat and decorate it with seaweed and fish or a mask and turn yourself into a seahorse or an anemone. This is a drop-in activity and is suitable from 3 years.
  • Various dates in August – Lots of underwater activities – Made an under the sea scene on a lightbox, make a badge, use a microscope or magnifying glass. These are drop-in sessions so do pop over to the site for more details.
  • 9th – 10th August – Suspended Sea Creatures and Meet the Curator – Make a realistic or imaginary underwater friend to dangle in a display from our cafe balcony. Take along your own beach finds and chat to Holly the Curator. Suitable from 5 years.

Royal Albert Memorial Museum

Don’t forget to pop into the cafe for some lovely cake.

Opening Times

Tuesday – Saturday 10.00am – 5.00pm.

Note (mostly to myself) that the Museum is not open on a Monday. Hand’s up how many times you’ve turned up on a Monday!

How much does it cost?

The Museum is FREE but some activities have a suggested donation, and others are bookable paid for activities.

What we think

We love the museum. You can go there for a quick drop-in or take your time and spend the whole afternoon there. As it’s based in the centre of Exeter it can be a pit-stop for the kids after you’ve dragged them around the shops.

If you’re visiting Devon and looking for something to do then please have a look at out other Devon Days Out for some more inspiration.

My Happy List – Eating and Fishing

My Happy List

Oops I’m not very good at this weekly Happy List round-up. Some weeks are so samey and boring that there really isn’t much to say about it.

However, the past week has had some silver linings so I thought I would share them with you.

Sunday I took Isabelle out to the river and did something that we did all the time as kids. We went fishing with a net and a bucket. Simple as that! The trick to fishing for little stickleback fish is to look for spots of water where the sun is shining in it. Unfortunately, last Sunday was quite overcast so we only managed to find one fish, a couple of little sticks (Isabelle thought they were fish) and a few tiny snails. She was a bit worried that we might catch THE Crocodile but we stayed away from the train bridge where he lives!

Monday

Monday saw the return of my part-time working hours so Monday signified the first child-free day in a long time. I worked on my blog of course after taking Charlie for a lovely walk. It was bliss and much needed.

Tuesday

Was a workday for me. As I’m just about to start a new job it feels odd that things that I’m doing now are my ‘lasts’. I have three days left in my current job. It feels like the end of an era!

Wednesday

Was Isabelle’s last day in year 1. She’s come on leaps and bounds in this last year. Her school report was great and she still has so much enthusiasm for school and learning. Off she went with the obligatory teacher present and a smile on her face.

Thursday

Was a normal day until work was finished and we headed off to Princesshay Shops in Exeter for their Summer Eats event. We were treated to yummy cocktails from Coal (the Raspberry Collins was my fave), watched the chef from Cafe Rouge cook mussels in a state of art kitchen set up from Berloni, and sampled some lovely food from the various restaurants. We tried these really lovely parcels filled with pulled pick which were amazing but I forgot to ask where they were from so I need to investigate that. As part of the event, we were treated to a demonstration by the South West Lindy Hoppers. It was a lot of fun and I would have loved to join in but my little sidekick wasn’t having up for partaking.

Friday

Was a great day in that it was the first day where we got up in no hurry at all. We had scrambled eggs on toast and did everything at a slow pace. This was much needed for both Isabelle and me. We walked the dog and then my mum came over later on.

Saturday

Daddy was home with us and after a leisurely morning, both Isabelle and Daddy took Charlie for a walk so that I could get some work done. Ryan is off on holiday on Wednesday so I’ve been trying to get all of his stuff together.

Sunday

I did the last of the holiday shopping which was a total fist-pump moment. Yey me! I also watched Bad Moms for the first time whilst I did the ironing. I loved it! We also went over to my in-laws’ garden party where we stuffed our faces with cake and drank tea!

What’s on your Happy List?

Like this post, then click here for more Family Life posts.

 

#SchoolHols2017 – Killerton House

Killerton House

I think our favourite National Trust property by far is Killerton House. The grounds are beautiful and you can either take a short walk or a long walk dependent on your stamina or if you have little legs with you.

Killerton House

What is there to do?

The house and grounds are family-friendly with baby changing and feeding facilities. You can take pushchairs into the house, but some of the off-path walks may be a bit tricky.

There is a children’s play area and several interesting things around the grounds to climb on. Don’t forget to check out the Bear House.

It’s a great place to take a picnic but you can of course opt to go to one of their two cafes for refreshments.

You can also take dogs on leads (not in the house).

Take a walk around the house and discover the history and take part in the Builder Mouse Trail which area dotted throughout the building and see what jobs they’re doing.

Try it Tuesdays – Take the kids along and let them take part in a new sport.

  • 1st August – Laser clay shooting and rugby skills.
  • 8th August – Frisbee golf and archery.
  • 15th August – American football and archery.
  • 19th August – Frisbee golf and American football.
  • 22nd August – Tennis and cricket.

Wicked Wednesdays – Themed activities for the kids to take part in. Here are the ones upcoming:

  • 2nd August – We’re going on a Bear Hunt 2 pm – 4 pm.
  • 9th August – Pirates 2pm – 4pm.
  • 16th August – Knights, Dragons, and Damsels 2 pm – 4 pm.
  • 23rd August – Fairies and Elves 2 pm – 4 pm.
  • 30th August – Jungle Explorers 2 pm – 4 pm.

Killerton House

Check out the website for 50 things to do before you’re 11.

They also have a Secret Supper Club which we haven’t experienced ourselves, but it sounds like a really nice thing to do.

Opening Times

10.00am – 5.00pm Every day.

How much does it cost?

Child £5.50
Adult £11.00
Family £27.50

Killerton House

What did we think?

We love Killerton. Thankfully Isabelle likes to walk as long as there are interesting things to look at and do along the way. Killerton has everything you need for the perfect family day out so a big thumbs up from us.

Lisa x

Don’t forget to leave us a comment if you’ve been to Killerton – and if you’re looking for inspiration this school holidays then don’t forget to have a look at our #SchoolHols2017 page where we have lots of days out in the South West listed.

 

Devon Days Out- The Orange Elephant

The Orange Elephant

Yey we’ve ticked another one off the Family Bucket List as we visited The Orange Elephant today.

The kids have both been before but with grandparents so this was a first for both Chris and I and it definitely won’t be the last.

The Orange Elephant

It wasn’t a long journey for us and excitement got the better of Isabelle as the signposts signalled our closeness.

Pulling in there was plenty of parking which is always a bonus.

The view of the entrance and the Meadow was lovely, and then the smell of the pig, cow and sheep pooh took over confirming that we were indeed on a working farm.

 

What is there to do?

Isabelle wasn’t interested in having a look around at all. All she was interested in finding was the ice cream selection, all the while wondering what toppings and sauces they had!

She wasn’t disappointed.

There were loads to choose from including Lemon Pavlova, Muddy Green Wellies (you’ll have to visit to find out what that one is) and Mango just to name a few. There was a choice of cones, toppings, sauces, and an impressive selection of ice cream sundaes.

With all the amazing flavours and the time she took to choose, she chose a plain cone with vanilla ice cream, strawberry sauce and marshmallows.

Admission to The Orange Elephant are extremely reasonable and we decided to get a season pass for £12.00 which admits five people (adults or children). The season ends at the end of September, but I’ve got a feeling that we will be making use of the pass.

After paying we were given our orange stickers and our maze map and off we went to find the Summer Meadow.

The Orange Elephant

We encountered sheep, pigs, chickens, and cows. The sheep weren’t really bothered with us, but the pigs were quite nosy and we got a great snout picture. A calf came to greet us and the chickens were very friendly.

If you look in the chicken pen, you can see that these are special chickens that lay green eggs!!

We went around the Maize Maze with Isabelle’s excellent map reading skills and then headed for a play in the park.

The Orange Elephant

The Orange Elephant

The Orange Elephant

The Orange Elephant

There were plenty of picnic tables and grassy areas to sit for a picnic.

There were plenty of swings and slides to go on, and an assault course which Isabelle really loves to do.

The Orange Elephant

When she’d finished playing we headed back to the cafe as us parents hadn’t had a chance to taste the ice cream!

The Ice Cream

We chose the  (Award-Winning) Lemon Pavlova and the Chocolate Brownie Sundaes which we shared and little cheeky minx managed to wangle another ice cream.

The Orange Elephant

The Orange Elephant

I didn’t take a picture but I loved the signs on the toilet doors – Heifers (ladies) and Bulls (Gents).

After finishing our sundaes (very filling indeed) we had another go in the park to round the trip off.

The Orange Elephant

But not before asking about the possibility of having Isabelle’s birthday party there.

What we thought

So in summary The Orange Elephant is definitely worth a visit. It gets both adult and kid thumbs up, and I would recommend a season pass as it’s somewhere that you can nip to if you have a spare couple of hours to let the kids let off some steam and finish it off with a cheeky ice-cream.

Visit the Orange Elephant Facebook Page to keep up to date with opening times and News.

Lisa x

 

The Bear Trail

The Bear Trail

Have you found the Bear Trail yet? Do you like the outdoors? Do your kids like mud? Do the kids need to burn off some school holiday energy?

If it’s a YES to all of the above then you need to add The Bear Trail to your list of School Holiday activities.

The Bear Trail
One of my FAVE pics!

Things to do!

Get Muddy!
Get Wet!
Have Fun!
Get the Kids Muddy!
Get the Adults Muddy!
Climb!
Roll!
Wallow!

There are loads of climbing apparatus, stepping stones, wobbly bridges, rope bridges, hay bales, tyres to squeeze through, a mountain to climb, and more……

Wear your oldest clothes and trainers and go and have some fun!

Either take a picnic or choose from their menu of panini’s, stonebaked pizzas or selection of cakes and drinks.

There is no age range, the idea being that if you feel able to take part then do it.

There is a smaller area for the littles to play but if they are feeling adventurous they can also take part in all of the equipment.

Once the kids have had enough (you can spend as long as you like) there are shower and changing facilities on-site to get you to a respectable cleanliness before heading off home.

The Bear Trail

How Much Does it Cost?

Under 1 metre £4.50
Over 1 metre £7.50

It’s advisable to pre-book your tickets during the school holidays to guarantee entry.

Opening Times

10.00am – 5.00pm Every day.

Our Thoughts

We loved it! Daddy and Isabelle (6) were straight in whilst I needed a bit of coaxing, but once I got stuck in we were all loving it and got thoroughly muddy. We went on everything and there were no tears just tired happy mud smeared faces by the end of the day! The pizzas are awesome too!

We hope you’re enjoying our #SchoolHols2017 series where we’ve posted some of our fave places to go in the South West. Drop us an email if you can think of any great places that you would recommend.

Lisa x

The Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour

The Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour

It’s a given that we’ll be heading to the Orange Elephant Ice Cream Parlour this school holidays.

We had Isabelle’s 6th Birthday Party there last September. We took a huge picnic, played and then finished off with some scrummy ice cream with a selection of toppings.

If you haven’t already paid a visit to the Orange Elephant then here are a few bits and bobs.

You must have seen the actual Orange Elephant if you’ve driven towards Torquay or Plymouth before you get to Telegraph Hill (we always look out for it).

The Orange Elephant

Info

Opening Times Every day 10 am – 5 pm until September

Entrance is £2 for adults and £1 for kids. Under 3’s are free.

A family pass is £12.

Baby changing facilities are available.

Summer Meadow and Play area – There are animals to see such as cows, pigs, and sheep as well as the Play area which has lots of wooden play apparatus as well as sandpits and open spaces (perfect for a picnic).

The Maize Maze – Find your way around the Maize Maze which is in the shape of an elephant. Split up into teams and see who finds their way around first.

The Ice Cream – The Ice Cream is amazing. There’s a huge selection. Last year we tried a Lemon Sundae and a Chocolate Brownie Sundae. It was total heaven in a glass. For Isabelle’s birthday, we had a little girl who was dairy-free, but she had a choice of several sorbets which was nice.

The Orange Elephant

Is it worth a visit?

Definitely!

We would recommend getting the annual pass so that you can visit any time that you like. You would only have to visit a couple of times before you would have paid for it. You could meet up with friends and spend the day and take a picnic or you could pop along for a coffee and an ice cream treat.

How to get there

This is part of our #SchoolHols2017 series for things to do and places to go in the South West. We’d love to know of any great places you take your family to. Do drop us an email if you have any gems to share.

Lisa x

The Orange Elephant

#SchoolHols2017 – Summer Eats at Princesshay

Summer Eats at Princesshay

To kick off our #SchoolHols2017 series we thought we’d stay close to home and head for the Summer Eats at Princesshay on Thursday 27th July 2017.

If you haven’t been into Exeter town centre recently then you’re missing out. There are regular events that pop up with the next one focusing on the restaurants and food available within Princesshay.

Princesshay Summer Eats

From 11.00am – 3.00pm there will be samples to try, live cooking demos, music and outdoor games.

Take the kids along, watch a demo or two by local chefs whilst they play games on the turf.

To add to the outdoor Summer theme there will be live music and face painting available. You can of course do a spot of shopping as well.

Pull up a deck chair and get involved.

Our top two places to eat in Princesshay are Carluccio’s and Cafe Rouge and on the odd child-free occasion, I do love a cocktail two at Coal.

Here are some fab Summer Holiday Offers for family’s.

Have fun.

Lisa x

PS – If you know of any great events or places to visit in the South West drop us an email.

PPS – We’re listing loads of great places to visit and things to do which you will find on our #SummerHols2017 page.

Pipity Kids Travel Activity Case – A Review & Competition

Pipity Kids Travel Activity Case

We were really pleased to be asked to review the Pipity Kids Travel Activity Case. We’re going on holiday next month and it will be Isabelle’s first time on a plane. The journey is relatively short as we’re going to Spain, but there will be plenty of opportunity for Isabelle to get bored so we’re going prepared.

What do you do on journeys to keep boredom at bay?

The last time we went away I put together a little bag for her to open once she was in the car which had a kids magazine, some colouring pencils, some snacks and a sticker pack which went down a treat.

We play all the usual games such as eye spy, count the number of (whatever colour) cars.

We also let her take her tablet with some of her favourite apps on.

The other week she had a little lego set in the car which was a disaster as she dropped some of the pieces which nobody could reach as we were driving along. I don’t think we’ll be doing that again.

 

Cue the Pipity Kids Travel Activity Case

Not only does this case look super cute with the star print which comes in a choice of Blue, Pink and Red, it as both a case handle and a detachable longer bag handle. It’s really well made from oilcloth to withstand the heavy handedness and has everything you need to keep a little one busy on a journey.

What’s inside:

  • A Pencil for drawing and writing
  • A Set of 12 colouring pencils
  • A Pencil Sharpener
  • A Gluestick
  • A pair of scissors
  • A ruler
  • An Activity Book

Pipity Kids Activity Case

The activity case has a built in easel with elasticated straps to keep your activity page in place whilst you colour it in.

Each of the activity books are packed full of exciting activities and games. Each page has a perforated edge so that you can easily tear the page out to use.

We love that these aren’t run of the mill activities, but cute puppets and games that you colour then cut out to create something to use.

We were sent the full collection of activity books which will provide many many hours of entertainment for Isabelle. These can be bought separately to top up as and when  you need them.

Also in the Pipity range is the Pipity Portfolio which is an expanding file where all of your kids creations can be kept safely together. These are also available in the matching Pink, Blue and Red Star design. I initially thought that the portfolio was for us parents to keep the creations safe which do tend to rack up, but I was quickly corrected by Isabelle that it was so that she could keep the things that she had made so that she could play with them.

Pipity was founded by Kate who was inspired by her own happy childhood memories of cutting and sticking and creating wanted to give her own three children the same experience. The Pipity has everything to spark the imagination and keep little hands busy.

The Video

Watch our video which shows you what you get in the Pipity Kids Travel Activity Case.

What we thought.

As a mum I think the Pipity is pretty awesome. Isabelle loves all things crafty and I know this kit will keep her happy and busy during any journey. The case has everything you need so no scrabbling around for things or having to add extra bits to my bag. It also gets a huge thumbs up from me personally as Pipity is a Devon based Independent Business which I love to support having been there myself.

Isabelle was so excited when the Pipity came out of the box. Before she even opened it she was doing her catwalk walk as pranced up and down with the case hanging off her shoulder. She’s going to love carrying this herself. She loved all of the activities, with the puppets and dolls being her absolute favourite. I should post the outtakes of the video that we did as she spent way too long messing about with the scissors (why do kids love scissors so much) AND the bendy ruler cracked her up.

This is a total winner for both of us and it will be coming with us to Spain next month!

Fancy Winning your own Pipity?

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck.

We plan to take our Pipity in the car, on the plane and possibly to the odd restaurant to keep Isabelle busy. Keep an eye on the Babynotincluded Instagram feed for updates.

Lisa x

•We were sent a Pipity Activity Case, a Pipity Portfolio and Activity books for the purpose of this review. All opinions and thoughts are our own.