Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Project 366 213/366

Bobs got a new scooter today to replace the one that was stolen from his garden, so he went out to play on it for a while before he went home. Lets hope he remembers to bring it in so nobody can steal this one.

ozbozz scooter

Our shopping trip to TKMaxx

I was one of ten bloggers picked by TKMaxx to take part in the challenge. The challenge was
We want you each to show off your own style and put together your own outfits,while at the same time keeping to a budget. With your voucher you can buy acomplete outfit, pieces to combine with something from your closet.

So who are TKMaxx
At TK Maxx we offer our shoppers a huge range of brands with up to 60% off recommended retail prices.
Our team of buyers deals directly with thousands of designers and brand owners all over the world. And then we pass the savings onto our customers.
The majority of our stock is fashionable, current season merchandise while a small percentage is past season (always clearly labelled) or timeless classics.
We really don’t want to boast but we do secretly think our concept is a little bit unique, and that’s why our commitment is to bring our customers big labels at small prices.

So Bob and I set off to our local shop to see what we could come up with. First off we did Bob's shopping. We had already discussed that Bob did not need t-shirts as he has plenty, so we headed off to the correct aisle to see what we could find that Bob liked. Now Bob is less than a meter tall and this puts him into approx 3 year old clothes, and as always the problem is getting him something suitable.

the red jumper
combat trousers

First off Bob picked a red hooded top that he liked, he looks good in red, he likes hoods and to make him even happier it had a pocket at the front for his hands, they only had this in an age 4, was slightly too big but the elasticated cuffs fold back so it was fine. The top has a grey design on the front, and so we went off to the trousers to see if we could find something to match it.

Bob found a pair of grey camouflage trousers,he didn't pick them just because they matched the top, his other reason behind this was they have an elasticated waist with no zip or button, which means they should stay up better than trousers with fitted waists bands.


the canvas shoes
So from here we worked out how much money we had left for him to spend and he wanted to look at a pair of trainers to go with his new trousers. So off we toddled and he looked at various shoes, but settled for surprise surprise a pair of canvas shoes with Thomas the Tank. That was his outfit completed, but we had some money left to spare, and so he went back and picked up a pair of shorts he had seen that he fancied and I had negotiated on that we would go back to once he had an outfit if there was enough left.

That was a fairly quick and simple procedure, so then we decided we would move on to looking for something for me.

the complete outfit

Now I have to admit I am a "larger lady" and they really do not do much for people like me. I looked round a lot of the rails, but struggle to find much to be honest with you. It did lead us to discussions on the shape of rails, some of them went all the way round in circles, some of them were oval like the train tracks he builds and others were just in a straight line. We read the front of t-shirts, we discussed what we liked and scary ones that we didnt, and Bob wondering how adult clothes are sized in comparison to children's done by age.

I found two very nice tops that will go with black trousers, (which I have,)  but it was possible to make an outfit as such there were no skirts or trousers suitable for me. I also picked up some socks and there is a little bit of money left on my card.

All in all for Bob it was a successful day with a complete outfit bought, for myself two very nice tops to complement items in my wardrobe.

We had fun, we talked about sizes, colours, textures, shapes and adding up. Bob is hoping time he is 9 he will fit into a top he liked that was for age 6....I wont hold my breath!!

If you would prefer save the hassle of dragging your little darlings kicking and screaming  round the shops with you then you can shop online as well.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Project 366 212/366

Took the kids for a run along the river after I picked them up earlier. We decided we would throw sticks in the river to watch them wash away quite rapidly in the swell. They then collected stones and were making splashes as well.


again not the best picture I have taken all week, but shows the fun times this week. TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky

Helping educate Bob about his allergies.

Bob is six, only six, not much more than a baby really. Bob is six, only six, but has so much responsibility to shoulder. Bob is six, only six, and he has a tough time ahead of him, and the only way he can safely grow up and mingle with the hazards that life presents him with is to understand about these hazards.

My daughter does a fabulous job on helping him accept that he is different, that he will always be different, but that he really is not that much different, he is a six year old who wants to do what other six years old's want to do.

She has educated him to the best of her abilities to help him live as normally as he can. He can explain to me about his epi-pen, he knows how to use an epi-pen, he knows when he needs one.  He was explaining to me last week about how he breathes with his lungs but sometimes his lungs get smaller and smaller and then he cant breath and that is when he needs his epi-pen to makes his lungs bigger so that he can breathe again.

He knows why he needs to take his "meds" and he knows what each of them is for. Last week we were discussing just how similar he is to grandma, that grandma has a blue inhaler - just like him, that grandma has a purple inhaler - just like him, that grandma takes antihistamines every day - just like him, and that grandma carries piriton and prednisolone in case of an allergic reaction - just like him. No I dont carry epi-pens but as of yet I have never had anaphylaxis.

We were discussing as well how grandma can't take dairy products, just like him, and all this helps him to realise that he can grow up with his allergies and that he can eat food that he enjoys and that we can make yummy food at home that we can all eat, and that grandma has managed to grow up by being careful. (I appreciate I am not on the same scale as him but for helping him accept his lot in life comparisons need to be made he can relate to.)

He is beginning to resent his allergies and he wants to be "normal". He asks his mummy why him? why not the bad boys in his class? he is a good boy and it is not fair. He told me last week that he is gong to write his letter to Santa soon and he is not going to ask Santa for any toys this year, he is going to ask Santa to take his allergies away. Breaks your heart to listen to him knowing that until medical science can come up with a break through not even Santa can perform that miracle.

Most six year olds know nothing about food groups, lungs, or have to think about their external environment and how they interact within it.

He brought across tonight for me three new books his mum has bought for him. These books are based on a central character, Freddie the mouse. Freddie lives in a mouse hole on a farm, and he meets up with some new friends who have severe allergies.

His mum bought him Freddie meets nutmeg, the squirrel who is allergic to nuts. Isobel the mouse who is allergic to milk and Ginger the fox who is allergic to eggs. The books are aimed at 3-6 year old children to give them a basic understanding of why they are suppose to avoid their allergens and the consequences of not doing so.

You can read all about them here. The author  Josie Warburton wrote the books when her daughter  was diagnosed with a nut allergy to help explain to her older daughter what was happening.

Recommended by TOP PAEDIACTRIC ALLERGISTS and featured at The London Allergy Show 2012, Freddy the Mouse is selling like [nut free!] hot cakes!

The Freddy the Mouse series of educational books for children features gentle, informative stories aimed at 3 to 6 year olds. They deal with the topics of severe food allergy and anaphylaxis in a clear and relevant way, using characters that children cannot help but fall in love with.
Each book conveys important messages for children who are exposed to severe food allergy - either directly as a child with a severe allergy, or indirectly via family members, classmates or friends.
These charming, colourful, character-based short stories offer an invaluable introduction to this increasingly widespread issue, and provide a useful framework to support discussions between adult and child. Each page features a full size, colourful illustration taking you through each story, where Freddy meets a different friend with a different severe allergy.

The books themselves make a nice story, with colourful illustrations and a relatively simple text.
Bob has only just finished his first year at primary school, but his mum said he sat this morning and read one of these books from cover to cover, it took him an hour and had help with a few words, but he was so proud of himself, and quite rightly so.

If you have children in the family with allergies why not take a look, or even ask your library if they want to stock them,

My daughter bough these books, so this is not a sponsored post but I wanted to bring these to the attention of other parents who would hopefully find them informative.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Project 366 211/366

I make my own yoghurt, begrudge the money to buy it, well it costs nearly £2 to buy four yoghurts, I can make twelve for change out of £1.50.

Made a batch yesterday with a  fresh spoonful of bought natural yoghurt, and this morning it was thick enough to slice, can even see the marking of the knife I used to cut it with.

and to prove it is yoghurt here it is in the slow cooker with a spoon stood up in it.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Project 366 210/366

There is to be major building work going on in and around our street starting soon. At the end of the cul-de-sac they are removing this grasses area and the car park at the top to build some flats on. Our car parking spaces are already over crowded without the cars that parked on this ground coming further into the street.

Our street is only one car wide as it is and to pass cars have to drive on the pavement. goodness knows how they feel they are going to get construction traffic in and out without causing major damage and upheaval. 

the fenced off area for development, right next to the houses
 A piece of history in the making is this inspiration for today's picture. 

Baking with chestnut flour.

I like to try different flours in my baking, and part of my choices for last month was chestnut flour.

  • A naturally sweet tasting flour.
  • Ideal for pancakes, waffles, shortbread biscuits, pie crusts and even home-made pasta.
  • Suitable for the gluten intolerant.
Chestnut flour is an interesting tasting flour which is ideal for sweet baking. It can either directly replace conventional flour in more dense recipes such as pancakes or moist sweet loafs, or it can be combined with usual gluten-type flours in cake and bread recipes for a more sweet and nutty flavour.

Not tried this one on the grandson yet, he is allergic to peanuts, which are not technically a nut they are a legume the same as lentils and peas which he is ok with, but I will leave this one for his mum to try if she wishes. If you want to read a bit more about allergy families then I came across this article that you may find interesting. 


6oz margarine
6oz sugar
3 eggs
chestnut flour cake
1 teaspoon vanilla extract    
4 oz chestnut flour
8 oz light brown self raising flour


  • mix the two flours together
  • cream marge and sugar, 
  • add eggs and vanilla extract 
  • and then stir in flour

place in a greased baking tin and bake for 25 mins or until cooked.

I used butter icing to cream together and decorated the top, my friend Kay told me this looks like the fairy version of a union jack. 

The finished result was a very light cake, cant say as I noticed the nuttiness at all, and hubby ate it which was a complement in itself. Looked just normal inside.  

The linked items were supplied by Healthy Supplies, but the recipe ideas and findings are my own

Friday, 27 July 2012

Project 366 209/366

Went for a walk along the harbour tonight, but the wind was really strong and whipping sand in out faces so we went off beach into a housing scheme we have never been in before and found a tower. All the gates were closed but got a picture of it from the edge, also got a picture of the plaque to give you some of its interesting and varied history.

St Johns Tower Ayr

this just for reference if your interested

A fun morning out for Fifi

As my regular readers will know during the first week of the school holiday Fifi got to menu plan. shop and cook for the week, I wrote about it here, and as a thank you for doing this her mum treated her to a morning at The Cook School in Kilmarnock. She also paid for her friend K to go as her birthday present.

the finished meringues
The cook school do children's sessions at a very reasonably priced £25, for a 2 1/2 hr session complete with food, if you think you can often pay £10 an hour for child care it is not too bad at all.

For that money the children get the cooking session, a chefs hat to decorate and their apron, all the food is provided and the children have a brilliant time with a break for juice and a biscuit. The sessions are split into 5-9 yrs and 10-16 the menus are age appropriate.

Fifi got to make today

turkey skewers and vegetable stir fry
  • Chicken Tikka Skewers
  • Vegetable Stir Fry
  • Berry Pavlova
I ask Fifi to write me a blog post on her experience, no pictures are allowed inside the school and parents are not allowed into the cooking areas either.

So in Fifi's own words;

well they were good.
I went to a cook school in Kilmarnock. My chef was Heather.  I cooked chicken Tikka Skewers, , squeezed lemon which were hard. We grated ginger and garlic, put in chicken it was really wet, we added chilli, paprika and other spices then mixed, Put them on kebab sticks and cooked them. 

Next we made vegetable stir fry. We chopped veg ( she had different coloured peppers and onions that I could make out) and grated garlic and ginger then we cooked them.

Last but not least we made berry pavlova (they looked like meringues and cream- her words not mine ) We had cream and icing sugar, we mixed them up and put it in an icing bag. We had two meringues each we put cream in them, We had a choice of raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. I chose raspberries and blackberries.

enjoying the meringue

We made a chef's hat as well.

Then when we finished we took them home and they were truly scrumdidilumptious .

I had great fun. 

mummy ate one of the meringues

Unfortunately her mum did not go straight home, so the cream fell a wee bit in the car, and the cardboard box was a bit soggy as her sauce had leaked out a bit, but apart from that it all looked and smelled superb.

This is not a sponsored post her mum paid for her and her friend to be there, but she enjoyed it and wanted me to tell you all about it.

Banana with Quinoa Pancakes

the cooked quinoa
Bob loves to make pancakes so for lunch on Tuesday we made pancakes, but decided we would try them with Quinoa in to add protein to them. I do not measure ingredients for pancakes, just throw it in but have added rough quantities for those of you not use to making them.

Cook 2 oz quinoa in enough water for 15 mins and cool.

Put 8oz soya milk and 8 tablespoons yoghurt into a bowl, add 1 tablespoon sugar. Add enough gluten free flour to make a thick consistency, if you like the thin english pancakes add less. Stir in the cooked quinoa and place small amounts in a heated greased frying pan. Add some sultanas at this stage if you want.

cooking, the small black specs are the quinoa
Cook until bubbles rise and top dries slightly then turn over to cook second side.

Must admit you did not notice either the taste of the consistency of the quinoa but for people like Bob that cant eat eggs the added protein is handy.

I had a few soft bananas in the fruit rack and sliced them up and dry fried them off and served them with the pancakes, Bob and I cant eat raw bananas. You mash them and add them it makes for a slightly heavier but perfectly edible pancake.

we added sultanas to ours

The linked items were supplied by Healthy Supplies, the recipe ideas are my own

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Project 366 208/366

Took a walk along to the town centre, over the bridge and back again. As we passed the back of 2 major shops I noticed reflections in the window ( well they are everywhere if I just look). The reflections were of the old bridge that was behind us, so I turned to face the other way fully expecting to see what was now behind me reflecting back, 3 tall blocks of flats that I thought would look good.  But no for some reason that I can not explain what was in front of me was reflected as if it was still behind me, and what was behind me was no where to be seen.

The bannister rail and stairs are inside the building and not visible to the naked eye. 

I am looking for a sponsor please.

I have seen all the big blogging events and have contemplated going along to one such event not  just to say I have been, but as I feel I could get so much out of the event but they are ALWAYS in London, and its a long way to go for a day.

I was talking to Jacqueline at tinned tomatoes and admiring her tattie scones, which I made on my own blog with the kids but adapted to our needs, and she was asking me if I was going to the blogging event in Ayr. I knew nothing about this so I looked it up.

Normally I work weekends, but I just so happen to have this weekend booked off work, I live in Ayr and what a brilliant opportunity this would be for me, with some informative workshops running, that could help me get more out of the content of my blog, and it is less than ten minutes away from home.

To enable me to go I am looking for a sponsor to cover the cost of the ticket at £80. For that I will give a banner on my blog (with a follow link) for 6 months and a blog-post highlighting the work of your company with anchor text/hyperlinks that you choose.

I will also do a blog post about the day itself naming your company as my sponsor. 

I have an average of 6500 page views a month, I use Facebook, twitter and google+ to promote my blog and have a google page rank of 2. I am a member of Tots 100 and Foodies 100 and I am in the top 10% of both of these groups. I am also a member of BritMums 

If this is something you or your company may be interested in, please feel free and e-mail me at
elaine.livingstone@sky.com and we can discuss it further by e-mail or telephone, or if you are local I am happy to come in and meet you.

Thank you

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Project 366 207/366

were rearranging a few plant pots in the garden earlier, and underneath one were a few strange looking worms, they were stripy.

took a picture of one stretched out as well so you can see the stripes better

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Project 366 206/366

3 little ducks went swimming one day

Making cakes and rolls with Bob

As Bob is here longer now the schools are on holiday he needs snacks as well as tea and breakfast and rather than buy stuff that he is not keen on but eats cos he has little choice I prefer we make stuff that he prefers.


The recipe on the back of Doves Farm Gluten and wheat free Brown bread flour adapts well to Bob's needs.

350 ml warm milk
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
6 tablespoon sunflower oil
2 teaspoon egg replacer mixed with 4 tablespoon warm water ( recipe calls for 2 eggs)

mix the wet ingredients together and place in bread maker

combine 450g flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon sugar
and 2 teaspoon yeast

and add to top of bread maker

Place onto dough setting. This with the eggs replaced does not make for a nice loaf, but if you are using eggs then you could make this on a quick programme.

Once dough setting is finished shape into rolls and place onto a greased tray, cover with a plastic bag and leave in a warm place to rise. Cook for approx 20 mins at 200 oC.

This does not make for the prettiest rolls but they are perfectly edible.

Fruit cakes

100ml rice barn oil
100g coconut sugar
2 teaspoon egg replacer mixed with 4 tablespoon warm water

add above to a large bowl and mix together, add a few handfuls of raisins and 200g gluten free flour

Makes approx 16 small cakes. The mixture looks very wet and oily when raw, do not be tempted to add more flour to "compensate" as the end result once cooked is "normal"

Bob put them in the cake cases, they look more like rock buns than cakes, but taste like cakes.

The highlighted items were supplied by Healthy Supplies but the recipes and ideas are my own.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Project 366 205/366

Only got Bob today, Fifi has her friend K staying for a few days while her mum away for a birthday treat short break. We made fruit cakes and rolls before we made tea. Here he is with his fruit cake and custard, which was still a bit hot but he was too impatient to wait.

TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Project 366 204/366

My latest find for using in the kitchen. Made cakes with it here  and very well it works too

Trying out Rice Bran Oil

I saw a fellow blogger using Rice Bran Oil and admit it is not something I have heard of before, so I had to go and look it up and was well impressed with what I read, so had to try it.

Rice Bran Oil is truly "The World's Healthiest" edible oil, containing vitamins, antioxidants, nutrients and trans fat free. It's not just delicate and flavorful, it can help lower cholesterol, fight diseases, enhance the immune system, fight free radicals and more. Rice Bran Oil is extremely light, versatile and delicious. Use it to fry, sauté, in salad dressings, baking, dipping oils and where ever you use cooking oil. Once you use it you will be amazed cooking light and healthy is also the best tasting.

apricot upside down cake

Luckily enough it seems to readily available  and I found some in my local supermarket with 50% extra free in. So I tried it last night to make some cakes.

I used 100ml of oil in place of 4 oz margarine
mixed with 100g coconut sugar
added 2 eggs and then mixed in
200g light brown self raising flour

at this point I needed to add some more liquid probably because it being a different type of flour, and as I had a tinned of apricots open I used the
fruit juice out of it. 

I used this to make an apricot upside down cake, well I had no pineapple. Put some half apricots round the edge of a round cake tin and put the mixture on top, some of the apricots moved  and enedee up more in the middle of the mixture rather than underneath.

The cake made for a very light, moist and pleasant cake. I often use sunflower oil or sun olive oil to make cakes ( quick and healthier option) but this makes for a lighter cake, not as oily as the other oils. The colour of the cake comes from a mixture of the sugar and flour.

cherry cakes

So the next night I made more of the same mixture to make cherry cakes with. I cut some fresh picota cherries in half, stoned them and stirred them through the mix, and these released all their juices and flavour into the cake mix as they cooked.

I'm glad I discovered this stuff and would highly recommend you give it a try.

The highlighted items were supplied by Healthy Supplies, the oil was bought independently but the recipe idea is my own

Kelvingrove Art Gallery - a day out

While we were in Glasgow visiting The Riverside Museum on Friday we also took in The Kelvingrove Art Gallery.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Mu​seum is one of Scotland's most popular free attraction.  It has 22 themed, state-of-the-art galleries displaying an astonishing 8000 objects.   The collections are extensive, wide-ranging and internationally-significant. They include:
  • natural history
  • arms and armour
  • art from many art movements and periods of history, and 
  • much more. 
​We even have a real Spitfire!
Kelvingrove welcomes families with children, and its displays have been designed with children in mind. There are lots of interactives throughout the museum that will appeal to younger audiences.

This is another of Glasgow's free museums that offer a fun, interactive, indoor day out - what better in this weather?  The museum was re-opened in 2006 having been closed for three years for restoration. The restoration cost £27.9m.

We use to take the children here at the same time as we use to visit, what was then called, The Transport Museum,  as they were across the road from each other at the time.

We arrived just in time to to hear the last minute of an organ recital, shame as it is the sort of thing we enjoy, apparently it is on every day at 1pm.

Again I have put some photographs together on Photobucket for you to look at, and again slightly different than the norm.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Project 366 203/366

popped along to check on the allotment earlier....and look we may get corn yet...none of the plants are any taller than 2 ft, but they have thickened and at least eight of them have the starting of a cob. Maybe we will get something from the allotment this year, though don't think I will need to worry about freezer space somehow.

Riverside Museum - A day out

When my own children were young we use to go ever summer holidays, along with a group of about twenty others, to what was then called The Transport Museum, now it has been moved to bigger premises, revamped modernised and changed its name to The Riverside Museum. In common with all museums on Glasgow entry is free and it is a fabulous day out. There is so much to see and do, from the exhibits themselves to the interactive content, you could easily spend a day there.

We also visited the Kelvingrove Art Gallery while we were in Glasgow.
This is the first time we have been since it moved into new premises, and changed its name.

At Riverside Museum there are over 3,000 objects on display, compared with 1,300 objects at the previous Museum of Transport.   These include some old favourites along with some new exhibits to the Collection.  One of the new exhibits is the recently acquired South African locomotive, Glasgow Museums’ largest object.  

All Aboard!

Visitors can climb aboard some of the exhibits to get a real feel for vintage public transport by accessing four locomotive footplates, three trams, two subway cars, one train carriage and a bus. 
Please note, with so much to see - especially overhead - take care not to bump into exhibits. 

Streets Ahead

One of the old Museum of Transport’s most popular areas was Kelvin Street.   At Riverside Museum there is a recreated street from 1895 - 1930, plus two additional display areas depicting shops from the 1930s, right through to the 1980s, giving visitors a fantastically detailed insight into Glasgow's distant and more recent past. For the first time, visitors can access the shops and subways.  These 'shops' include an Edwardian photography studio, a 1930s' Italian CafĂ© and a 1960s' garage.  

It was very interesting to walk round, there is so much to see, and things to do, and a lot of it is touch activated. A lot of the video footage is made up from people that were there, used the trams, or the buses, and were part of the history of transport. Footage from during the war is made up from news clippings. It truly is an interesting place to visit.

It is light, bright and airy, with a cafe and picinic tables.If you are in the area it is well worth a visit.

It says it is a 9 minute walk from Partick Station, just be warned if you have children it says the Kelvinhall Art Gallery is 9 minutes away as well, I would have estimated it at nearer 20 mins.

Now me being me I go along anywhere now as a photographer, not as a visitor as such and view things differently that I use to, so the pictures you have are that little bit different than what you may have taken.

Let me share with you some of the many pictures I took whilst there.Click the link it will blow them up to full size.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Project 366 202/366

Took a jaunt to Glasgow today, never been for years, and one of the places we stopped was the Riverside Museum, used to be called the transport museum until they moved it a few years back and made it bigger and better. There is so much to do there, and as is typical of Museums in Glasgow it is free, what more could you ask for. This is the first time we have been to the new one, took the children to the old one every school holidays for years as they never grew tired of it.

The sun was shining time we got there, and what you have here is actually a reflection,apart from the two people in the bottom left hand corner,  the picture was taken in the huge glass fronted building, the tall ships are part of the attraction and the buildings are actually across the over side of the river.

You really need to click on it and blow it up to get anything like the full effect.  The black mark on the bottom mast to the right hand side is a workman painting.  The diagonal row of five white dots are lights inside the museum.

I loved this, especially the clouds which were very photogenic in their own right. Have written up a blog post to share some more random pictures with you, click here to pop over and look if you wish,

reflective picture taken at Riverside Museum Glasgow  

TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky