What’s in season in July?

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A bowl of Chicken Salad with seasonal vegetables and fruitCan you believe that we are half way through the year already? July is here, and my thoughts start to turn to the school holidays and long, lazy summer evenings.

Salads can be great all year round, but salad vegetables really come into their own during the summer months. Over the next few months, we’ll be able to make the most of the wide variety of vegetables, and salads are great for adding in something a little different – some fruit, seeds, even edible flowers. Add some meat, fish, eggs or whatever protein takes your fancy, then toss with a tasty dressing, and you’ve got the perfect meal for a hot summer night.

I’ll also be tucking into the gorgeous British fruit which is so abundant over the summer –  all sorts of berries and currants are at their best around now, and the British cherries are a real seasonal treat. I won’t buy imported cherries, because they never taste as good as the homegrown ones. So when the British varieties come into season, we make the most of them.

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Sally tries a Spin class

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People on bikes in a spin class

This isn’t my spin class – I was much redder in the face than they are!

Spinning classes really aren’t a very new thing at all, but I have always been worried about trying one out because I felt it would just be too difficult for me. This week I decided to bite the bullet and have a go at a Beginner’s Spin class at The Shrewsbury Club, where Lyle does his tennis training. After all, if I didn’t like it, I didn’t have to go back again, did I?

The class was at 8am on a Saturday morning, so I got up early while the rest of the family snoozed in bed. I munched on a banana and drank a big mug of coffee while I pondered the insanity of foregoing a rare lie in to put myself through this. [Read more...]

Ten top reasons Tennis is great for kids

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A group of kids on a tennis court with racquetsHave you been watching Wimbledon? Maybe you’re considering a few tennis lessons for your son or daughter, or they’ve been asking to go on that summer camp that your local club is running?

As you may know, I spend a lot of time at the tennis club with Lyle. He’s been playing since he was 5 years old, and I think it’s a fab sport for kids to get into. Here are 10 reasons why tennis is such a great sport for your child to play. [Read more...]

A day at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

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William Shakespeare's Birthplace at Stratford upon Avon

Last week, Lyle and I spent a really fascinating day at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust for one of their Home Educator workshops, ‘Rich Man, Poor Man’. We were not quite sure what to expect, but it proved to be a really informative and entertaining day out. Lyle learned a lot about a side of Tudor life that had never been covered when he was at school, and really got quite inspired at the same time. [Read more...]

What’s in Season in June?

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Salmon and Asparagus - both in season in JuneJune is here and although it might not feel like it at the moment, Summer is just around the corner. It’s time to start thinking about picnics and barbecues, pitchers of drink with loads of ice, and eating lazy meals in the garden as the sun shines. That’s the general idea anyway, even if the weather isn’t quite here yet!

For me, June is all about the last of the asparagus season and the first juicy British strawberries. I never buy imported strawberries because although they may be big and juicy, the flavour always seems to be a disappointment. The first punnet of British strawberries marks the real start of summer for me – and of course, they are always associated with Wimbledon in my house! [Read more...]

How to make your own Butter

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Lyle making butter from double creamWe had a ‘quiet’ day at home today, because my car is in the garage being mended. So we did some Science and some Maths, and then we watched some of the French Open tennis. And then I needed to find something that would burn off some of the excess energy that Lyle has on the days when he doesn’t train.

So we decided to make some butter to go with the loaf of bread that I was planning to bake later. And it is without doubt the easiest recipe we’ve ever made together! [Read more...]

Review: Carte Noire Collection Espresso

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The new range of Carte Noire espresso coffee pods

This is a sponsored post – Carte Noire sent me samples of the Espresso Collection to test, but the opinions expressed below are wholly my own.

Carte Noire have launched a new range of coffee pods called Collection Espresso, and I was more than happy to put them to the taste test.

My Nespresso* machine is one of my favourite pieces of kitchen equipment. I love the ease of use, the lack of mess, and the fact that I can get good quality espresso with a fab crema, in just a few seconds. I also enjoy trying out the different coffee pods that are released.

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