Last week we were very lucky to get a sneaky peak at Disney’s Big Hero 6, a fast paced new animated film out on January 30th 2015.
From Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Big Hero 6” is an action-packed comedy-adventure about robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who learns to harness his genius—thanks to his brilliant brother Tadashi and their like-minded friends: adrenaline junkie Go Go Tamago, neatnik Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred. When a devastating turn of events catapults them into the midst of a dangerous plot unfolding in the streets of San Fransokyo, Hiro turns to his closest companion—a robot named Baymax—and transforms the group into a band of high-tech heroes determined to solve the mystery.
The film was inspired by the Marvel comics and features comic-book style action. “Big Hero 6” is directed by Don Hall (“Winnie the Pooh”) and Chris Williams (“Bolt”), and produced by Roy Conli (“Tangled”).
The film hits UK cinemas in 3D on January 30, 2015.
What did we think of Disney’s Big Hero 6 ?
We loved it…Hiro and his brother Tadashi had my heart in the first five minutes. I was sucked in even more when Baymax, the very lovable inflatable robot appeared. Baymax has a knack of taking everything literally making him even more huggable.
The other characters GoGo Tomago, neatnik Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred were wacky but extremely likable too. I want to be Honey Lemon!
This is definitely a film for everyone, there is enough humour to keep adults mesmorised. I didn’t want this film to end.
The amalgamation of Disney mixed with Marvel worked beautifully.
The graphics were stunning. The anime style made it feel cutting edge and whilst it is a Disney film with the usual fab storyline this made it stand out.
I absolutely loved the film, it will definitely be one we will be getting for our DVD collection. The children haven’t stopped talking about it. You will love it!
Be prepared, you will need tissues!
I have some fab Big Hero 6 printables right here including recipes, chemistry experiments and activities..perfect for Disney’s Big Hero 6 fans.
Hands up who loves making packed lunches? Was that a huge groan I heard? Luckily I don’t have to make that many packed lunches, two children have cooked school dinners, one often gets lunch at school and obviously son who is gluten free takes his lunch. I have to admit I often feel uninspired though…only so many things you can do with cheddar or a slice of ham.
There can be no doubt that convenience is key to feeding the family and a sandwich is so portable and quick to prepare that it has become a staple of the British diet. Fear not though, I have come up with three healthy lunch ideas that will jazz up your lunch boxes. Using Warburtons Sandwich thins which come in at 420 KJ/100 Kcal per thin and in four varieties; White, Brown, Seeded and Half and Half I have come up with these three healthy lunch ideas:
Leftover Chicken Tikka and Tzatziki dressing on Warburtons brown sandwich thins
Hummus and Falafels with red onion on Warburtons white sandwich thins
Crunchy Cheese Coleslaw on Warburtons seeded sandwich thins
According to Warburtons creativity, contrasting flavours and convenience are the buzz words on the food scene this year and after research they predict the following food trends and options for 2015;
Sweet & spicy mix up
A nation of grazers
Beneath the surface: carrots are the new pork belly, cauliflower the new steak…vegetables now have the starring roles
Breakfast evolution: on the go portable foods
Search, eat, share: social sharing, technology…
Manipulation: of the way the brain tastes & interprets food
Rising stars: Young exciting new cooks
Back to the future: milkshakes, fishfinger sandwiches
Healthy Lunch Ideas 1- Hummus and Falafels with red onion
If you have a food processor then you have to make your own hummus, I promise you will never want to eat a shop bought one again, however if time is short buy some hummus.
Spread a generous dollop of hummus on both sides of the Warburtons thin.
Chop ready made falafels in half and place on top of the hummus.
Top with thinly sliced red onion before sandwiching the thins together.
Healthy Lunch Ideas 2- Crunchy Cheese Coleslaw
Using a serrated knife shred a third of a red and white cabbage.
Add a thinly sliced red onion and a grated carrot. Mix well.
Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of virgin olive oil, add a generous squeeze of lemon & a tablespoon of cider vinegar into the vegetables and mix well.
Season with salt and pepper
Add 60g grated cheddar and mix
Make up the sandwich with the crunchy cheese coleslaw with plenty left for seconds.
Healthy Lunch Ideas 3- Leftover Chicken Tikka with Tzatziki
You will have been organised and made Chicken Tikka (recipe below) for another meal so cut into thin slices
I was a bit slow to the Granola party, It’s taken me a long time to come round to it…I was never a fan of museli, hating the way it gets stuck in your teeth, and takes soooo long to eat. However, since I’ve been making my own Granola, Nutty Granola especially, I have come to love it. If you make it yourself the combinations are endless.
If you have a Tefal Actifry you are very lucky because this Nutty Granola can be ready in just eight minutes, and it is worth buying one just for quick access to this delicious breakfast/lunch/snack.
My eldest daughter is the worst for rushing out of the house in the morning with seconds to spare before her bus is due, it comes at 7.30 so I don’t really blame her. I often make overnight oats in a jar for her and she tops it off with nutty granola to eat on the way to school.
The children also love it with yogurt. I like to top steamy porridge with nutty granola.
I love this combination of pecans and almonds but you can use which ever nuts take your fancy, hazelnuts would be very yummy too. Also play around with the seeds too, I tend to use whatever I have in the cupboard.
Sugar…it’s getting a lot of stick at the moment, I’ve used Rice Syrup in this recipe but it’s still a sugar in my book even if it is supposed to be slightly better for you, or not as bad… use maple syrup if you can’t get hold of the rice syrup…or agave syrup.
You can of course add dried fruit too…cranberries, goji berries, banana… I purposely haven’t to keep the sugar content as low as possible.
I’ve used gluten free oats so that my son can eat this but again that’s just my preference, it doesn’t matter what you use.
If someone asked you where in the world you would like to go on holiday would you be a little stumped? I know I would be, there are sooo many places I want to go… Canada, South America, New Zealand. However right now whilst I sit looking out the window at torrential rain, gales and grey skies I could really do with some lovely sun to warm my bones (the boiler is broken) and seep into my soul. I certainly have the January blues.
Dreaming of sand between my toes now…
If I was looking to go away tomorrow where would be the best place to go for some sun, sea and sangria? I have no idea, I would have to do some research or I could take this fab quiz from Holiday Gems that works it all out for me.
I need to go tomorrow, I don’t really care how many hours I have to spend on a plane. I want a beach and a pool and I want it hot, hot, hot!
Of course I am going totally on my own…I told you I need a holiday!
So, apparently Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt is where I should be looking…
However if I was looking for a family holiday somewhere cold in February (I was expecting skiing in Europe perhaps) we could look at Antarctica! Hehe…
I am not sure the children would go for that one. In fact M and I were talking the other day about holidays as he has only been on one holiday, that he can remember, and he absolutely loved the beach, but especially the swimming pool where he gained a lot of water confidence. So much so that I couldn’t take my eye off him as he was flinging himself into the pool at every available moment!
Oh well here’s to dreaming… are you going on holiday this year?
So where in the world are you going ? Are you already booked up? Go on…make me envious, I can live vicariously through you!
So things aren’t going too swimmingly at the moment, I have been struggling a while. That’s about as open as I can get to admitting anything is wrong…but you know when you need a mum hug? That.
In the two years since she has been gone there are so many questions I wish I’d asked my mum; silly things, serious things, but all things I should have asked. I could have asked her…but I was a coward.
I wish I had asked my mum what her favourite song was, if she ever went to Ireland (where her father was from), the addresses of various relatives, who people are in particular photos (I have hundreds of them) and even what age she was went she started the menopause! Questions only your mum can answer.
I knew when the bus hit me, also known as ‘when she told me that she had lung cancer ‘ that she wouldn’t survive it. She didn’t know and just weeks before she died she still believed she would be back at work. I didn’t want to shatter that illusion, I can’t imagine how she felt she must have been terrified… so I can understand why she didn’t want to know in detail what was happening.
However, it meant that I brushed over things, there were things I wanted to ask but I felt if I did she would know…what was coming up. I could kick myself now.
We were so lucky too…those questions could have been asked, we had time, a few months at least to ask them, unlike in situations of sudden death.
If you are ever in the same situation, I pray you are not, then make sure you do ask all those questions because once they are gone, they’re gone…and naively I had imagined that I would still be able to ‘talk’ to my mum (you know us both being spiritual and all that). Whatever anyone says, death is final and you won’t get another chance.
Sometimes it takes my breath away when I realise I will never get the answers to my questions or talk to my mum again.
As a parent the desire to protect your child is eternal. No matter how old they get, your default position will always be to forgo your own safety in favour of theirs. Unfortunately, once your child gets to that magical age where the government says they can drive, there won’t be a lot you can do to protect them once they’re out on the road.
Similar to most things in life, once your child flies the nest and isn’t within arm’s reach the best you can hope for is that you taught them enough that they can look after themselves. This approach is one you’ll have to adopt when you close the door on your teenager’s first car watch them drive off into the sunset.
Although you’ll probably see your roving offspring every time they need some money for petrol, the chance are you won’t be with them every time they set off for a road trip. So, with this in mind, what values should you instil in them before they get behind the wheel?
Do it Legally
By far the most important thing both you and your teenager need to do before they start to drive is getting the necessary knowledge required to pass both the theory and practical tests. Understanding the rules of the road and the theory of driving is an essential part of the process of becoming a safe driver and not a mere formality.
It can be easy for a new driver to overlook the value of a theory test in favour of actually driving a car. Unfortunately, both parts of the equation are necessary, so it pays to emphasise the importance of completing both the theory and practical tests to the best of your child’s abilities.
Only once they’ve met the government’s standards should they consider any of our other safety suggestions.
It may seem like an obvious point to make, but it’s often difficult to think clearly when you’re surrounded by distractions (and filled with adrenaline). New drivers venturing out on their own for the first time will be a mixture of emotions. From nerves and excitement, to a desire to impress their friends, newbies on the road will have a lot going on inside their heads.
Because of this it’s important to stress the importance of taking a moment to collect their thoughts and think clearly when they’re behind the wheel. The UK government has been pushing the slogan “THINK!” for a number of years and, as obvious as it may seem, it’s something that deserves proper consideration.
You’re Not as Good as You Think
One of the traps young drivers often fall into is thinking they’re better than they are. The term “boy racer” may be somewhat prejudice, but there is a strong correlation between dangerous driving and young men. Unfortunately, one of the main causes behind these accidents is drivers overestimating their abilities.
Just because you’ve passed your test, it doesn’t make you Lewis Hamilton. In fact, even after years of experience, the gap between a driver’s skills and their perception of said skills is huge. Don’t allow your teenager to fall into this trap.
Talking on a mobile phone, putting the pedal to the metal and redlining their car and generally messing about behind the wheel is a recipe for disaster. Although you can’t control how your child reactions when they’re on the road, you can show them the value of safe driving.
Government campaigns and roadside warnings are all well and good, but a parent’s word often resonates more acutely with a teenager. Therefore, if you want to continue protecting your child long after they’ve driven away from the nest, make sure you give them a solid grounding in the fundamentals of safe driving.
Is anyone else like us? We have bits and pieces of food left over from the Christmas gorge, last year I seemed to do so much better but things are still hanging around, half empty cartons of cream, half a jar of toffee sauce, chocolate…arghhh we have so much chocolate!
We haven’t quite got into the typical January health kick yet so I thought why not put to good use some of these leftovers and make speedy five minute Banoffee Pies. Obviously this is not a science based recipe, use what you have, be inventive. If you don’t like bananas use some jam instead. If you don’t have any Ferrero Rocher use biscuits mixed with a little melted butter. And if you don’t have Mascarpone Cheese just use all double cream instead.
You could also use Greek yoghurt either on it’s own, just spoon over as you would the cream mixture. Or do a mix of yoghurt and cream.
Be inventive, look in the fridge and see what you can use up, I get fed up with half used up cartons of things that I needed for a specific recipe
Author: Cherished By Me
8 Ferrero Rocher*
150 ml double cream
1 small banana
4 generous teaspoons of toffee sauce ( I had a jar of dulce de leche in the fridge)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Sprinkling cocoa powder - optional
*if you don't have any Ferrero Rocher use more biscuits mixed with a little melted butter instead
Place the Ferrero Rocher and biscuits into a sandwich bag and crush with your hand gently. If the biscuits are very hard crush them with a rolling pin first and then add the chocolates. You don't want them too crushed.
Divide the crushed chocolate & biscuit mixture between four dishes and press down. Place in the fridge whilst you do the next stage.
Put the mascarpone, cream and vanilla extract into a mixing bowl and whisk either by hand or with an electric mixer until smooth.
Remove the dishes from the fridge and place a good teaspoon dollop of toffee sauce on top of the biscuit mixture. Don't attempt to spread it you will end up lifting all the mixture up, you can use the bananas to help press it down.
Slice the banana thinly and divide between the dishes. Press the banana gently to spread the toffee sauce.
Spoon or pipe the cream mixture on top of the bananas.
Optional, sieve cocoa powder to finish, or top with crushed nuts, or more Ferrero Rocher if you desire.
When I went to Walt Disney World Florida last year I have to admit that I was not expecting to have one of my best meals ever! I know I am easily pleased but I have eaten a fair few steaks in my time and I do know what is good, and what isn’t. It was hard to choose which restaurants warranted my top two as everything we ate was pretty much sensational but, here are:
My top two Walt Disney World restaurants.
At number two is ‘ Jiko- The Cooking Experience’ at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge resort which is also where we stayed during the Culinary Showcase press trip. This was the first meal we had after arriving at the resort and what a treat we had.
Crispy Duck Bobotie with Cucumber Raita & Mango Atjar
Seated among a huge collection of authentic African art the food is a blend of African, Indian and Mediterranean cuisine with an extensive wine list. I started with a Crispy Duck Bobotie with Cucumber Raita and Green Mango Atjar. This was followed by Spicy Botswana Style ‘Seswaa’ Beef Short Rib with Cassava Potato Purée, Sambal, Mushrooms and Fava Beans.
Spicy Botswana Style Seswaa Beef Short Rib
Topped off with a sugar free Pistachio and Cherry Trifle. Needless to say it was all delicious.
Pistachio and Cherry Trifle
There was also this amazing dessert on offer which made its way around the table.
Drum roll…My absolute favourite number one restaurant just has to be Citricos though.
This is in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, an elegant Victorian inspired hotel. Citricos serves Mediterranean-style food, I had a hard time deciding what to have as there were so many mouth watering dishes to choose from.
To start I had Fresh Fig Salad; Prosciutto, Mozzarella, Måche & Grecian Wildflower Honey. This was divine, the creamy mozzarella mixed with the salty prosciutto and then the sweet figs was a taste sensation on the tongue. I was so pleased that I chose something I wouldn’t normally. Unfortunately my photo of this didn’t come out very well so I am sharing a dish that someone else at the table had.
My starter was a hard act to follow but what I had next is probably one of the best dishes I have eaten, ever. Red Wine-braised Beef Short Ribs with Chorizo Risotto, Wilted Spinach and Mushrooms with Natural Jus. This was so tender it melted in the mouth, the combination of flavours were perfect, it literally was sensational.
Red Wine-braised Beef Short Ribs
A regal Warm Chocolate-Banana Torte with Vanilla Ice Cream and Handcrafted Couverture Chocolate Crown was the ultimate finish to a first class fine dining experience.
Warm Chocolate-Banana Torte with Vanilla Ice Cream and Handcrafted Couverture Chocolate Crown
The wines were gorgeous but I was so blown away by the food that I forgot to make a note of what we had. I do remember that it slipped down very easily, thank you. The ambiance is great in this restaurant too, but you might want to take a cardigan/jumper with you as the air conditioning can be a little fierce.
On the whole 2014 you rocked but I had higher hopes for 2014. I honestly thought it would be the year that everything slotted into place, we could feel slightly more comfortable and settled, I wasn’t expecting to go from month to month not knowing what money we would have coming in to the extent that we now have no choice but to move out of our home immediately. I am actively looking for a job but with two sickly children I have no idea how it will be possible.
I feel totally disappointed that I have had to defer one of my university modules because of all the stress, my little brain can only deal with so much, and whilst I was doing the degree so that I have greater job opportunities it looks as though it will take me at least an extra two years to finish it now.
And when I ‘lost’ a friend and ally overnight my faith is humanity was sorely tested once again. …their choice but it has made me sad, and just exacerbates the loneliness I’ve felt since my mum died. Hey ho.
I obviously set myself up for disappointment, the children and I are dealing with some major issues at the moment and the start of 2015 isn’t looking too great but we will get through it, we always do.
But, I do like to focus on the positives, there are people going through a lot lot worse than us and I am totally aware of that, even feeling guilty for getting down about what is happening here.
2014 You Rocked!
So, let’s get to the good bits. I never imagined at the beginning of the year I would be travelling to Walt Disney World Florida, I still pinch myself. It was the trip of a lifetime and I am so so grateful to have been asked to go.
The trip was amazing, I experienced so many new things that I never expected on a holiday to Disney, ate the best beef I have ever had (still thinking about it!), made new friends who have become great Instagram buddies and met in the flesh some old buddies, Laura and Becky.
I also went for a bit of R&R to Ibiza thanks to a very good friend, it involved a bit of juggling with the children but it was just what the doctor ordered. Sun, sea and sangria were much the order of every day…and there is something so decadent about drinking wine at lunchtime without having to think about watching children, it was bliss!
And then I was lucky to end the year with a quick trip to Dublin to try out all of it’s lovely food on offer.
Loved the grey stone buildings in Dublin.
I get many offers to review items and I couldn’t possibly do them all but I have been sent some amazing things this year, my favourite appliance was the Tefal Cook4Me .
I also was the very lucky recipient of not one but two Pamper Parcels from my friend Rosie’s amazing new venture. They make beautiful gifts, I highly recommend them.
I couldn’t have got through the year without some special people though, Susan has been so supportive even whilst going through a pretty tough time herself. She is so lovely, kind and thoughtful.
The children have also enjoyed some lovely times including a London break and meeting the great Pikachu!
A huge thank you to Sally, Liz and David who never fail to help me out when I am in need of technical help, which happens quite frequently. I really appreciate it.
Oh and I mustn’t forget that I actually cooked for Michael Caines which was a terrifying thought but a fantastic experience. How many people can say that they’ve cooked for a Michélin starred chef? And I have also cooked with Lisa Faulkner a couple of times this year too!
These wonderful products and amazing experiences will get me through the next few months whatever life throws up at us, thank you for being a part of it.
I am not a huge fan of sport so when Betfair sent me a hamper full of lovely goodies to help me get through all the Christmas sport it couldn’t have been a more apt gift. Being pampered is not usually high on my list of priorities so a little nudge in that direction has been more than gratefully received.
My eldest son is home from university for Christmas and he especially, is a mahoosive football fan! Sigh. There is something about the drone of football that gets to me everytime. He is also a lifelong Chelsea fan who just happened to be playing on Boxing day!!! Why do they have to play then? It is a question that I have wondered and resented for many years…after all Boxing day should be about spending time with the family. Thank goodness for smart phones which can now be glanced at discretely for an update on the score.
I have spent many an hour cheering (shouting instructions) on a cold pitch watching my sons and daughters play football, rugby, hockey and netball. Plus the slightly warmer games of cricket (the dullest of them all), tennis and rounders. That was just school matches, then both older sons played for football teams, and eldest still does. Fortunately, unfortunately he plays football at university which being in Nottingham is a tad too far to go and support. Damn.
I am sure I have a fair few more hours on the sidelines ahead of me now that the youngest has started playing football and rugby, actually to be honest I don’t mind watching my own children play I just can’t stand watching football on the television…
However, thanks to Betfair sending me an enormous Pamper Parcel chock a block full of wonderful chocolate I can and have been able to drown my sorrows whilst the dreaded football has been on, and when it got really bad I took myself off to the bath with the gorgeous Aroma Works candle burning (it is heavenly) and the bath fizzer and did a different type of drowning…relaxed bliss. Being pampered never goes out of fashion.
Hello! I am Nova and this blog is about me and my five children, who are rapidly flying the nest. I love baking, reading, writing, travelling and am a self confessed chocoholic, cakoholic and winoholic.