crafts, gardening, gardening with kids, key stage 2

Chaos writes:

Get Planting with KidsChaosIt’s that time of year again! March is here at last, the sun is shining, and I cycled to the Post Office to pick up a parcel, which could not be delivered as the sender had not put enough stamps on the envelope! Mustn’t grumble, as it was a parcel from the lovely Sue at @SoggyWelly (a new friend  – through the gorgeous Georgie @TheFlowerFarmer, go follow them both!) with some seeds she wouldn’t be using (oh, how I love twitter).

Love how she addressed me on the envelope, ‘Veg Lady’ – that had them giggling at the Post Office!

We’ve got some delicious compost from our compost bin! We wanted to wait three months for the compost to “develop” and we still had our old ‘bee-hive’ bin which had been a birthday pressie from WigglyWigglers SOME time ago (wow, I hear you say, your family really know how to treat you on your special days!). The kids are really excited about getting stuck in! Wellies at the ready….

This new compost bin, and therefore the compost…. though, woah, it’s GOOD!

http://thegoodlifebloggers.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/hotbin.jpgIt’s a *HotBin* and can achieve hot composting between 40-60 °C, which means it’s producing a rich compost faster.

It has a little thermometer on the top, which satisfyingly tells you how HOT your compost is!
As hotter temperatures can be achieved we can recycle more types of household waste including food waste, grass cuttings, shredded paper etc. So great for land-fill-avoidance. And fascinating for the kids too!

The website is brilliant, with informative PDFs and videos. We have had great support from their team, for example they sent us a new filter through the post, and emailed a link to a simple ‘how to’ video…. Fantastic Customer Support!

We’ve got rocket, tomatoes, salad leaves, and more – I’ll be back tomorrow with news on our planting, will let you know how we get on! 🙂

Click here for a delicious recipe with Rocket and click here if you’d like to read our quick and easy Pizza recipe.

To see how our garden grows, follow our Gardening With Kids posts here.

cooking, cooking with kids, create, kids, life

Chaos writes:

SquidTagliatelleKidsChaos
We have a lovely recipe for Squid with Fennel…. 10yo LOVES it and requests it ALL the time. Trouble is, last time we made it together, 8yo cried the whole way through the meal… So, 10yo and I have come up with a compromise, and have replaced the fresh fennel, and fennel seeds with rocket. So cooking with kids has a new recipe for you….And 8yo was so delighted by this option, he offered to make it all himself!…. Using his beloved Sheeplands Farm Bamboo chopping board (his favourite Christmas pressie can you believe?) check out this speedy easy recipe:SquidTagKidsChaos

INGREDIENTS: (serves 4)

400g dried tagliatelle
600g frozen squid rings (calamari)
couple of handfuls of rocket leaves
1 lime
3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley (finely chopped)
olive oil
sea salt
ground pepper

Heat the olive oil, and gently fry the garlic. Meanwhile, pop the pasta on to cook in a large pan of water. Add the squid rings to the fried garlic (make sure they are defrosted) and the zest of the lime, and half of the lime juice, and the chopped parsley. Drain, and add the cooked tagliatelle pasta, and the rocket too, and give it a good stir.

Season to taste, adding a little more of the lime juice if needed.

We like to grate some parmesan over it to serve (although, according to the OH, this is ‘against the law’ of no cheese with seafood… don’t ask) which is delicious!

Want a speedy pancake pud to follow? Click here for the quickest pancakes in the history of the universe.

This one’s great for the school dinner packed lunch flasks for the next day if there are any leftovers!

For more Cooking with Kids recipes, join my community over on Google+ here.

Oh, and I’m on twitter.com/MoreKidsChaos too… Erm, and funnily enough onGoogle+Facebook and Pinterest! Pop over to say hello x Like it? Pin it!

Ali also writes over on AGreenerLifeforus.com
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crafts, google+ hangouts, kids, monster

Chaos writes:

What do you do with all of your children’s art, how can you preserve them as keepsakes?

portrait-towelmonsterkidschaos

My 10 yo is always drawing little mono monsters and aliens, so was delighted to be able to preserve his latest creation…. In the form of a 3D towelling monster alien!

We took the drawing, folded it in half, traced over it, onto a large piece of broadsheet newspaper.

Cutting around the shape, we then pinned our newspaper template onto the doubled-over towel, and cut and sewed around the edges. Leaving a corner un-stitched for stuffing the Towel Monster.

We turned the monster, inside out, and used ripped up shreds of plastic carrier bags we had in the cupboard (saving them from landfill!)  – He is safely the favourite ‘plush toy’ at bedtime now, and has been on a round trip of the UK to visit various grandparents already! Don’t forget your toothbrush! TowelMonsterKidsChaos

KidsChaosRedTedArt-screen-grab3

click image above to view the kidschaos.com hangout hosted by redtedart.com

AND then we had a google hangout hosted by Maggy at RedTedArt who talked about ideas for making Easter decorations to hang from her Easter Tree (as featured in her new book!).

We were also joined by Anthea Barton Zing Zing Tree with her Glass Paint jars, Adele Crozier’s Playful Learners Artwork Bunting, Missie Lizzie’s Bubblewrap keepsake (wow!), Aly Hodge at PLUS 2.4.I who embroidered her children’s drawings, Anna Ranson from The Imagination Tree’ Eric Carle Initial Art, The Fairy and the Frog’s Father’s Day Card, Stephanie Stanesby, and Helen Newberry.

Ali at writes at aGreenerLifeforus.com

cooking, crafts, create, google+ hangouts, key stage 2, kids, monster

Chaos writes:

BottleLidMonsterKidsChaos

8yo wanted to personalise his book bag so that he can spot it, at a glance, amongst all of the identical school book bags, piled high on the playground floor. So we made the most of the oven being warm from a baked potato supper, and positioned some plastic bottle lids on some foil on a baking tray.

Five minutes later, and as the ‘monster’ started to melt, we added some Hama (or Perler) Beads for a bit of colour, and they melted in beautifully. Bringing it out of the oven to cool (warning, it does get super-hot) we positioned the googly eyes (don’t do that too quickly as the eyes will start to melt too!) I pierced a hole with some scissors, and we added a key ring and out Bottle Lid Monster is complete and ready to adorn said book bag with pride!
KidsChaosRedTedArt-screen-grab2We also thoroughly enjoyed a Google + hangout with this one too, featuring Maggy’s redtedart‘s bottle lid stamps, and ladybugs. Adele from Playful Learners bottle top Easter art, Anthea at Zingzingtree‘s bottle top flowers and people. Also Cerys’s beautiful bottle top owl, and a first – our anonymous blogger with Spanish Marbles, plus Kath’s KnittyMummy’s beer bottle photo badges.

For more Monster ideas, click here and for other bottle lid ideas click here. And for a fab Despicable Me Perler Bead classic click here.

Oh, and I’m on twitter.com/MoreKidsChaos too… Erm, and funnily enough on Google+Facebook and Pinterest! Pop over to say hello x Like it? Pin it!
Ali also writes over on AGreenerLifeforus.com

baking, life

Chaos writes:

So, how my life has changed. Gone are the days of claiming a posh lunch on expenses, or even HAVING a lunch break. Working from home, and managing school runs, and budgeting on a day to day basis leaves us freelancers with little time for ourselves.

So there is nothing I like better these days that going to a cafe and having a (Fairtrade) coffee and a slice of cake. (click here to sample a slice of our own #Fairtrade Cake!) This has become a ‘treat’ to me, is that a little tragic? I just get such a pleasure from meeting a friend, having a chat, a soya latte and time out from the other ‘stuff’.

A bonus for me, is that our little local cafe owner (The Gooseberry Bush, SW19) totally has her heart in the right place too, she is constantly raising money for the local St George’s Hospital neonatal unit (@FirstTouchNNU) and all of her delicious food is locally sourced, and the coffee is of course Fairtrade too.

So as we approach Fairtrade Fortnight, I thought I’d give one of you a chance to get your hands on your own delicious Fairtrade coffee, with it’s own special story.

Mzuzu Fairtrade Ground Coffee is part of the Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference range. Grown by the Mzuzu cooperative high in the Misuku hills, in the northernmost region of Malawi.

Three years ago Sainsbury’s joined with Comic Relief coffee traders Finlays and Twin, the fair trade organisation which works with smallholder farming groups, to develop new African speciality grade coffees..

The project is funded by the Government’s Department for International Development under its Food Retail Industry Challenge Fund (FRICH), which sets out to improve the lives of poor communities in Africa.

Ellen Msiska, Fairtrade coffee farmer said: “I have brought water down to my house from the hills in a pipe which I paid for and laid myself. This was paid for from coffee money, and means I have good quality water for my children to drink.”

This prize draw has now closed. Many thanks for all of the entries! Really enjoyed reading them 🙂 MANY CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNER ‘FRAN’ TOO!!
How to enter:

1 – Comment below to tell us your coffee story… your favourite time for coffee? with a cake? IN a cake? A Latte? or a Flat White?

2 – ‘Like’ KidsChaos on Facebook and tell us how you like your coffee.
and comment below to tell us you’ve done so.

3 – Follow Twin Fairtrade on twitter to support their work and Fairtrade Fortnight

4 – Follow @MoreKidsChaos on twitter with a little fun #HowMuchIsTooMuchCoffee? hashtag

5 – For an extra entry, Add KidsChaos into your circles in Google + and comment below to tell us you’ve done so.

Terms and Conditions

– Entrants must be over 18 and in the UK
– By entering this prize draw, the player assigns to KidsChaos.com all exclusive rights to reproduce and represent the copy related to this competition on any media (both online and offline)
– Entries close Midnight on the 10th March (the last day of Fairtrade Fortnight)
– The winners will be notified personally
– KidsChaos’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered in to and no cash alternative will be offered
– This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Google+

Interesting Links:

Michaela Strachan reports on food safety from Malawi

Comic Relief

Fairtrade Fortnight 2013 runs from Mon 25 February to Sun 10 March

Mzuzu Project, Malawi

crafts, google+ hangouts, halloween, key stage 2, kids

Chaos writes:

kidschaos-dragon-shadow-puppetHere’s a very simple stick craft we’ve been doing this week… great shadow puppets inspired by Chinese New Year this weekend:

You’ll need some sticks (!) from the garden, or as we do, collected on weekend walks by small children. Some black card, sellotape, a pencil, scissors and some ‘brads’ (the pins with bendy legs, I never remember what their name is!) Oh, and some coloured tissue paper or sweet wrappers. AND a torch if you fancy doing a shadow puppet show!

We drew the dragon ‘pieces’ out onto the black card – cut them out, and joined them together with the brads (we used a bit of plasticine behind the card, and pushed a pencil through to make the hole for the brad).

KidsChaosRedTedArt screen grabAttach the sticks with tape at the back and you’re ready to go! You’ll need a couple of characters for the shadow puppet show – standing behind a large white sheet – we dimmed the lights, shone the torch and tried them out. We made up some short stories for our characters and put on a fun silhouette show!!

Click the YouTube link to view the Google+ hangout hosted by Maggy Woodley from Red Ted Art and meet me Ali Clifford at the Stick Craft hangout with Anthea Barton  from Zing Zing Tree, Kelly Innes ( Domestic Goddesque) and Liz Burton.

Don’t forget to head over to Red Ted Art and check out the links for all the crafts featured on the video:

I also write over on www.agreenerlifeforus.com 🙂

cooking, education, kids

Woah… try this, take one Fairtrade banana, mush it up with a fork, add two free range eggs, mix vigorously…for this quick pancake recipe
quick pancake recipeMelt butter in a little non-stick frying pan (ooh, you know how much I ‘heart’ my little orange Le Creuset (this is not a sponsored post!)…

 

this article and the recipe, has now moved to www.incredibusy.com/the-quickest-pancake-recipe/ 

thanks for stopping by!

 I also write over on aGreenerLifeforus.com  and now incredibusy.com and have found I quite enjoy Instagram too 🙂

kids, life

Chaos writes:

Every birthday, every Christmas, my lucky children receive new toys, new books, new STUFF – we have a rule of one in – one out, and it is SO hard to stick to!

Our lucky neighbours have slightly younger children than us, so they receive frequent hand-me-downs, and we are so grateful to them for allowing us to recycle our toys quickly and locally!

We go by the sorting-mantra “Bin, Recycle (via the neighbour’s kids), Charity” (much like the SKIP, KEEP, SELL, CHARITY piles on Aggie‘s daytime telly programme ‘Storage Hoarders‘ – very popular telly with my in-laws, who are fortunately following suit, they have SO much stuff!)

Having decided to have a bit of a grown-up clearout too, (it being NEW YEAR n ALL) I’m tackling my own STUFF bit by bit, I have recently joined the local branch of freegle for the first time, and have had a bit of a clear out, honestly, you’ve got to try it, it’s so cathartic… it gave me such a lovely warm feeling of community, I’ll chip away at our loft, so freegle, look out! 🙂

cooking, education, kids

Chaos writes:

You may have been following our latest ‘growing’ kitchen fun on twitter; we’ve been overwhelmed by this amazing phenomena – growing our own mushrooms on the kitchen windowsill…

This fabulous invention, the Espresso Mushroom Kitchen Garden has been the talk of our kitchen – This little ‘garden’ uses recycled coffee grounds and we grew our own oyster mushrooms in just two weeks.

Both kids have really enjoyed the experience of spraying the mushrooms with water, and rushing in from school to see how they’ve grown. 8yo even wrote a recipe (pictured) which we duly followed, when our mushrooms were ready to harvest –  fried them up, served with chopped parsley on a couple of slices of toast. De-Lish-ious….

We had been talking to Alex at Espresso Mushroom about just how much we wanted to tell the world about their mushrooms, and have joined forces with them and our friends at Cafédirect to offer you the chance to win this fab prize. We have some tasty espresso coffee from Cafédirect and an Espresso Mushroom Kitchen Garden gift voucher, so you can WIN and grow your own Pearl Oyster Mushrooms – it’s such fun!

This prize draw has now closed, thank you for all of your entries, the lucky winner is Eileen from Staffordshire. 🙂 xx

How to enter:

1 – Comment below to tell us how you’d cook your mushrooms

2- ‘Like’ KidsChaos on Facebook and tell us what you’d cook with your mushrooms!
and comment below to tell us you’ve done so.

3 – ‘LIKE’ Espresso Mushroom on Facebook and comment below to tell us you’ve done so.

4 – For an extra entry, Add KidsChaos into your circles in Google + and comment below to tell us you’ve done so.

5 – And another add Espresso Mushroom into your circles on Google + and comment below to tell us you’ve done so.

Terms and Conditions

– Entrants must be over 18 and in the UK
– By entering this competition, the player assigns to KidsChaos.com all exclusive rights to reproduce and represent the copy related to this competition on any media (both online and offline)
– Entries close Midnight on the 20th of December
– The winners will be notified personally
– KidsChaos’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered in to and no cash alternative will be offered
– This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Google+