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Mimi Rose and Me

A FAMILY LIFESTYLE BLOG

A Family Break at the Luxury Oak Cottage in Buckden.

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The end of last month saw us pack up our bags and head to a quaint village of Buckden in North Yorkshire for seven glorious nights. Oak cottage was situated in one of the most remote locations with only a few houses as neighbours at the end of a gated road. It was perfect. We arrived at the cottage on a Saturday afternoon so we could all unpack and get settled before planning adventures for the next day. 

With Oak cottage being such a remote location really did make it one of most relaxing accommodations that we have stayed in, and we have stayed in many locations within this area. The cottage was surrounded by many trees, shrubbery and plants making it the perfect location for a morning walk or run. 




The gardens were open and included a bird table and many bird feeders attracting an abundance of wildlife throughout our stay. We saw hummingbirds, woodpeckers, sparrows and not forgetting some very cheeky red squirrels, rabbits and we fell in love with the neighbourhood cats.



Oak cottage offers cosy and welcoming accommodation spanning two floors and offering superb views with the picture window in the living room. The barn conversion has been carefully designed and furnished offering a spacious location for up to six people. Styled to its beautiful countryside surroundings. Oak cottage brings nature into the interiors with topiary pots, rustic wooden furniture and neutral coloured walls and soft furnishings.


Country home decor would not be complete without bringing themes of nature into the home, referencing inspiration from nature throughout the interiors. There are three bedrooms, one bathroom and open plan kitchen fully equipped for every eventually you could possible imagine during your stay, including a breakfast bar and a rustic farmhouse dining table and teamed with a patchwork rugs and a vintage-inspired fireplace.



At the heart of the home is the living room. As soon you enter the cottage you are met with a beautiful living room equipped with an open fire, entertainment system and the beautiful picture window. The whole style of the cottage is elegant country chic with hints of vintage and the decor just adds to the feel of the cottage. 



The kitchen was more than spacious more than ample for the five of us and the cupboard space was a second to none. The cottage owners have really prepared for everything you could ever imagine including a slow cooker, a picnic set and extra supplies that we may need during our stay. In the kitchen there was an electric oven, electric hob, microwave, fridge/freezer and washing machine. The breakfast bar was a great place to make plans for the day. It was so easy to socialise together as you could cook and still be involved with the conversation. 



The kitchen also led to the first bedroom which included a double bed and a single bed, being more than ample for my parents as they had adequate space for their belongings. The decor was simplistic and modern with rustic touches in the furniture paired with pales green walls and neutral hues in the linen. 



On the first floor there were three bedrooms; a king size room, a single room and a small bathroom in between that included a shower over the bathroom. The decor on the stairs and landing was vintage inspired with a antique mahogany bookcase at the top of the stairs. The king size bedroom was very spacious with a slanted ceiling and a large window. Even though slanted rooms are often difficult to work with the ceiling really stood out adding to the over appeal of the room. This bedroom was ideal for my husband and I as there was more than enough room with large wooden wardrobes, bedside units and a dressing table with more space for our belongings. Again the decor was simple and elegant with lilac walls and lilac tones in the furnishings. An extra thought for guests during our stay as each room included a bin and basket with room linen spray. 



Our daughter had the single room and absolutely loved her room, the best part of the room according to her - the star pillow. So much so my mum has promised to make her a special star pillow for her. This room is best suited for a little one or a teen with a single bed, chest of drawers, a large mirror on the top of the unit and hooks for you to place coats and dressing gowns. 




The bathroom was small size for the five of us, but alright for what we needed. A bathroom can either make or break your stay and the left hand L shaped bath really made our stay as we could indulge in a big bubble bath after a day of adventures. The bathroom included an over the bath shower, toilet, sink and a large industrial wall mirror with a mini shelf. The bathroom curated a contemporary style with decorative glass paired with a country oak furnishings making the perfect combination. The only downside with Oak cottage that we found was that there was only one toilet. For families of up to six this can be difficult to get around during the evening, the ground floor bedroom would be the ideal place to add in an en-suite to make this accommodation ideal for busy families.




Oak cottage was just 7 miles from the bustling market town of Hawes where there is a large selection of individual country shops, pubs, restaurants and tea rooms, together with the Wensleydale Creamery, home to Wallis and Gromit’s favourite cheese. Further afield lies a view behind every corner with places like Dentdale, Malham and you can get one of the most amazing cream teas in the Village of Kettlewell. The large market town of Skipton which boasts a Norman castle standing proudly at the head of the wide cobbled high street full of shops places to eat and is home to one of the best reserved castles in Britain. 



Oak Cottage is a superb location that has been fully refurbished to a very high standard in the heart of the village of Bucken. Offering quality accommodation, Oak cottage is well located for all with the surrounding villages having so much to offer including shops, bars and restaurants. The cottage is situated in one of the most remote locations offering stunning views across the Dales making this a place to enjoy the sunsets across the views in the evening. As soon as you walk through Oak cottage you feel warm, welcomed and cosy from the spacious living room with the log burner and amazing picture window, a large kitchen that is fully equipped for every eventuality with breakfast bar and rustic solid oak dining table. The living spaces offer something for everyone whatever the season that would appeal for families and couples alike. The gardens are surrounded by trees, shrubbery and plan that also includes a patio set, a place to play with an abundance of wildlife to watch out for, it really oozes peace and tranquillity. If you're looking for a great place to rest and recuperate then look no further than Oak cottage. 

Things I've Learned in My First Year as a School Run Mum

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Wow and just like that reception is over. My daughter has just completed her first year of school and I have just made it through to the end of my first year as a school run mum. It been a big learning curve for the both of us. As she is learning about phonics, making new friends every week and exceeding in learning. I have been learning how to remove felt pen from school shirts, figuring out what she needs to take in her book bag and understand the importance of checking that book bag everyday. Not forgetting that labelling is queen. 

Somehow we managed it and survived our first year of school. My daughter loves school, and even though her first year hasn't been the easiest year she has become ever more independent full of sass and is bursting with knowledge. My girl can read, write and teach me a thing or two about the solar system and dinosaurs. I wanted to share some of the things that I have learned in my first year as a school run mum, partly just to share some of the giggles but more importantly to share these for those embarking on their first year of school who may be a little apprehensive.


The School Run. Whether you will love them or hate them they have to be done, five days a week. But ultimately the school runs are a nightmare. It really doesn't matter how prepared you are, or how much you plead and bribe your child to leave you alone for at least five minutes so you can look at least half decent on the school run. Most of the time you are having to deal with meltdowns and have those 'chats' explaining that they need to put their socks and shoes on for school before their teacher rings. That's even before you get out of the door. Pretty much four days a week we would forget something and have to go back. Or I have to go back and checked the house is locked up because I have been telling her to brush her teeth, finish breakfast [insert any excuse imaginable as to why she can't get ready on time]. Leaving the house forgetting something is inevitable.

The Teachers. There is nothing scarier that your child's teacher making a beeline for you in the school playground and asking if they can have a word. Over the course of the year we have been pulled over to the side a few too many times. But I like to think that our daughter's teacher has grown to really like us despite the trouble our daughter gets into. First terms she stole the teachers donuts. Half way through the year she took her drawing mummy and daddy to a whole different level with drawing private parts too, that was an embarrassing parents evening. Then for my husband to tell the teacher who was a beetroot shade already that her drawing was not to scale! I wanted the floor to swallow me up.



The Children. There will be children that you take an instant dislike to and their parents by association because of the things your child tells you. We have a list. However on a serious note at times there will be curve balls thrown at your child and its important for them to try and figure out ways to deal with their emotions and encourage them to talk about it. It is pretty much most certain that your child will ask every child and their families for sleepovers or birthday parties that have never been discussed. You and the other parent then have to come up with some excuse as to why they can't come over for a sleepover. Awks. 

The Parents. I have always struggled to make friends, it is even harder now that I am a mum. At first I found the school playground really daunting, there was so many faces that I recognised but I have no clue why. But I have made some fantastic friends, we have had play dates, organised parties and had a number of picnics in the park. Now we have a summer of adventures to plan. 

The PTA. You can't always always avoid the PTA, no matter how hard you try. We do like to attend the events that the PTA host at the school with the raffles, cinema nights, bingo and races. However its not something that I ever see myself joining due to the sheer fact that I am always so busy, but I do like to help out when I can. When in doubt make a cake. 

The Uniform. No matter how many you buy at the start of term you will never have enough and they can be sooo expensive. Two days into the her first week at school my daughter decided that it was a good idea to crawl around outside and scuff her new shoes. Every morning, every bloody morning she comes up with some reason why she can't get ready. My socks are too itchy, my button is too hard or I don't like trees (she has to wear a school logo of a tree and the name of the school on her jumper).

Non-uniform Days. Whilst we are hear talking about uniforms there seems to be a non uniform day every other and I am pretty sure I can guarantee that you will forget last minute as your child asks you on a Sunday night 'What am I dressing up as for animals day mummy?'. We had to resort to using a mask out of the elephant donuts game and dress in a grey top and grey legging. She was totally the best looking elephant. I am in no way shape or form remotely a pinterest worthy mum for this whole DIY costume malarky!


Snacks. Lunch. School Dinner. Before we get into the food police it should be noted that any parent arriving for the school pick needs bring a snack, no excuses! An after school snack is essential unless you want a meltdown or deal with tears all the way home. Always, always pack a snack. So school dinners haven't really changed since school with  fish fingers, chips, pasta and curries. No turkey twizzlers tho, damn you Jamie Oliver. I just love the fact that they have a mid week roast and fish and chip Fridays. But there is a bit of a lunchbox police who tell your child that their lunchbox should be full of fruit and veggies, but smuggling in a chocolate coin at Christmas can't be too bad. 

The Illnesses. Be prepared, there are so many little germs about. First term and my daughter gets tonsillitis and the week before Christmas she get suspected chicken pox but thankfully they didn't come out until boxing day. But the slightest chance your child has the squits or says they feel sick the school office is calling you to collect your little germ. Nits and threadworm are word no parent wants to hear. Once you find out that some child has nits in your child's class you will find yourself scratching and itching constantly, and you're straight up the pharmacy for a tablets for all the family just in case. 


Their Creations. Also known as the tat! As much as I appreciate my little darling making me so many beautiful creations, she doesn't half bring some crap home with her on a daily basis. I'm talking shoe boxes, milk cartons, scraps of paper with one line on them and princess lolly sticks, something that she made pretty everyday during the last term.

The Nativity. Like or not the nativity is a big deal. For us it was such an emotional event. Sitting there proudly watching your child in their first nativity is like nothing you will probably experience. Our daughter was given the part of Angel Gabriel and she was the only one that had lines, lines that she knows even today. When she was handed the microphone for her big moment it gave us all the feels. Yes we had a tear or two. But those tears turned into laughter as she wouldn't give the teacher the microphone back as she sang or should I say shout her song down the microphone. An unforgettable experience. 


Unauthorised Holidays. You may want to leave for a holiday a day early or stay on a day extra, which may mean that your little one could miss a couple of day of school. What do you do? Be completely honest and be upfront and write a letter to the head master and teacher about taking your child away and plead a little. This would be the right answer. However, the week we planned a long weekend away she was send home from school for being sick so there seemed no point of taking her back on the Friday. We decided to take our daughter away in the hopes that she wouldn't realise that she was supposed to be at school. Completely overlooking the fact that my child is so open and honest to the point that you're being pulled over in the playground getting a bit of a telling off from the teacher in front of all the parents in the first term.  


The Pick Up. It's the best feeling in the world, it really doesn't matter how far they may have pushed you that morning seeing your little ones smile from ear to ear is always so special. Everyday she would scream and run at me and I hope she never stops doing that. And you will never ever know what they did during the day, ever! No matter how much you ask.

So as you can see our first year at school has been a crazy adventure and we have learned so much along the way. My daughter has become independent, creative, fearless, courageous and still as sassy as ever. I adore listening to her brilliant mind. Her end of school report was better than we ever imagined and for the teachers to tell us her that she is exceeding against national standards. However despite all the amazing things about school there have been some hard parts about starting school and at times school began to dull my little sparkle. With support and encouragement our daughter soon  figured out ways to deal with her problems and stand up for her, perhaps a little too much. But even so, reception has been nothing but amazing. Bring on year one. 

Meal Plan: Week Four

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Oh dear, I'm a little slow at getting these meal plans posted! We have had so much going on this month it is a little crazy. We are well and truly in summer holiday mode. However before we get to go away we have to meet our daughter's new teacher, pack all the kitchen away and hope that our kitchen refit goes ahead and actually pack for our holiday so as you can see its all systems go. 

So the meal plan for this week went really well. We both managed to stay on plan, however I did indulge in some bread this week. I literally have no will power. But still even though we indulged in a few naughty treats I still managed to shift 2lbs, so I'm winning!

Monday:: Salsa Chicken, Savoury Rice, Salad and Peas.

I'm so crazy about salsa, however those salsa jars that you can get in the supermarket are loaded with extra sugars and salts and so we thought that I would have a go at making my own and you know what it wasn't too bad. This tasty salsa can be made in just 5 minutes with tomatoes, onion, garlic, lime, coriander and white wine vinegar. We decided to use a tin of chopped tomatoes too as we were layering the salsa on top of chicken to pop on the oven. After about 40 minutes the chicken was flavoursome and so succulent. We paired the salsa chicken with a salad, rice and lots of peas. 


Tuesday:: Salt and Pepper Chicken Breasts and Green Leafy Salad from Pinch of Nom

This salt and pepper chicken is always a good recipe to make if you're feeling you need a takeaway. It tastes exactly the same as salt and pepper chicken you can get from the a Chinese takeaway with an exception of being less calorific. This seasoning goes so well with chicken thighs, however we are all out of chicken thighs this week so we tried it with some chickem breast and they turned out just as nice. We made enough seasoning to last us a couple of weeks so we can add this to loaded chips which are also amazing. But be sure to taste as you cook as this salt and pepper chicken can pack a punch. 


Wednesday: Bacon and Mushroom Crustless Quiche, Crinkle Cut Chips and Salad from Slimming World.

These slimming world crust less quiches are sooooo good. I think what we love about these crustless quiches are they are so easy to make and you can really use any ingredients you have in the fridge that make a tasty meal. It’s perfect for a lunch at home, or for pack-up or picnic when you’re out and about. We have made this recipes a number of times since starting slimming world and each and every time is just as tasty as the one before. Who knew that cottage cheese would have so many tasty uses, eh? 


Thursday: Chicken and Bacon Pasta Bake with Salad.

If I’m stuck for time, then Italian is always invited in my house. It’s quick, simple and easily jazzed up with some store cupboard essentials without cutting back on flavour. This one tastes so good with chicken and bacon cooked in the creamiest sauce then added on top of some cooked pasta, if could also add some grated cheese onto the top and put in the oven for ten minutes or until brown and crispy. We normally use the cheese in the dish as part of our Healthy Extra A but you could syn accordingly.


Friday: Chicken Kebabs and Pitta with Wedges and Salad.

It is fakeaway night and what better way to do this than with a cheeky chicken kebab, wedges and salad. These Chicken Kebab pittas are an easy meal choice for anyone counting calories or following a diet plan. It’s a great slimming substitute for that late night takeaway. If you do choose to use this recipe its very important to ensure that the chicken has enough time to marinade so it soaks into the meat. You can add this chicken onto a skewers or just put onto a baking tray. This is particularly good if you're cooking for two to three people.

So there is our meal plan for our weekday meals, what do you think? Will you consider any of the recipes that I included?

Simple Teacher Gift Ideas to Say Thank You.

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As we are gearing up to the end of term I thought that I would share some gift ideas that are perfect for your child's teacher. I think that a little thank you goes a long way, so are you prepared to say THANK YOU to that special teacher that has helped encouraged your child throughout the year? Or perhaps sending a little thank you gift hasn't even crossed your mind and now you have so many teachers thank. Don't worry that's why I have chosen to focus on a few teacher gifts on the blog this morning. First, to share the friendly reminder. And second, I’d love to ease the burden you might be feeling … just a bit.


GIFT IDEA #1: Handmade Cards

What says thank you better than a handmade card. It's a one size that fits all, so you cannot really go wrong with this option. So why not spend an afternoon with your children to get creative and make their teacher feel special. There are so many ways that you could try and be creative with your card, Pinterest will be your new friend as it's great for inspiration. However if you have left it too late there are always some great crafters out there that are only too happy to help.

GIFT IDEA #2: Stationary & Notebooks

As a geek who loves stationary, this would be the perfect gift for me. If there was ever a job where you needed to be super organised pretty much constantly would be a teacher. Just think of all the lesson plans, the meetings, the schedules and that's all before homework! A teacher needs to be organised. We have a teacher in the family and when she goes into detail about her daily tasks I honestly don't understand how they can keep up. So a gift that comes in useful is most definitely going to be appreciated. What better way to help them keep organised than with a A5 Teacher Personalised Notebook. This notebook in Blue, Red or Green has a modern half-page vertical line design, soft touch finish hard cover and is the perfect place for journaling, planning, note writing or just doodling. This Teacher Notebook also comes with a colour matching ribbon bookmark with elastic closure.


GIFT IDEA #3: Chocolate. 

What says thank you in the best way possible, than with chocolate! Chocolate is always a winner. With these Morse Toad chocolate you can add your own personality by writing in chocolate and finishing with a note to say who it's from. Morse Toad have a huge range of messages for different themes from birthdays, anniversaries, new baby, a valentines gift or just to say thank you. You can write a personalised message, up to 44 characters long, including words, letters, numbers and punctuation. There are so many food gifts from Yumbles that you really are spoiled for choice. Keeping with chocolate idea, these dairy milk chocolate bars with personalised sleeves are also a fantastic idea too. One for a true Cadbury lover! I didn't actually know you could get so many different personalised gifts from Cadbury's Direct. For our lovely teacher we thought that this would be a wonderful idea especially as you are able to personalise the back of the bar and up to 100 characters. We chose the biggest bar you can get at 850g to make sure that they really enjoy the gift. With the personalisation we got our teachers name on the front and the words 'It takes a big heart to shape little minds. Thank you so much Mrs R.'. 


GIFT IDEA 4: Beauty Hand Saviour

Something that our daughter gave to her teacher last year was a hand cream, nail file, personalised tea bag and chocolate. We were told that apart from the chocolate hand cream is not a gift they get often. So a beauty hand saviour has to be in this teacher gift list. SEAMS Beauty Hand Saviour was a brand that was born from the fashion industry and especially formulated for couturiers and seamstresses to help mend, moisturise and soothe dry pin-pricked hands. As well something that heals, soothes and moisturises the cream’s been formulated to be fast absorbing and non-greasy, making easier to handle fabrics and surfaces without leaving residue behind. And now, the must have hand cream is something that seamstresses, make-up artists and models or simply anyone who wants incredibly soft and beautiful hands needs. Seeing as we use our hands everyday, we need to take the extra time in keeping our hands looking and feeling great, so that you can work faster and in comfort.


GIFT IDEA 5: Cookies and Treats

I don't know many people who don't love cookies, so why not surprise your child's teacher with a batch of super delicious cookies. A selection of sweet vanilla hand iced school themed cookies that you could also personalised with their name. For those who are looking for something that is organic, vegan friendly or free from then Creative Nature who specialise in healthfoods are your only choice. Their ranges include healthy flapjack bars, superfood powders, green powders wholefoods and breakfast toppings. An impressive range. A product that caught my eye are their healthy flapjack bars as they seems like the perfect treat to add into a teacher gift bag. These healthy flapjacks comes in a range of flavours such as goji berries, maca powder, cacao powder and muffin mixes. The carrot cake one is AMAZING! And if you make a purchase of these carrot cake ones make sure you bulk buy. They are so good. 


GIFT IDEA #6: Teacher Tea Gift Set

As a tea lover this would be a great gift to receive. I am more than sure that a few tea breaks are needed for teachers so why not surprise your child's teacher with these personalised assorted teabags. Each are packaged individually in a paper envelope. Handmade & designed specifically with quotes for a special teacher. These are the perfect gift for the end of term. The designs include cute, witty and encouraging quotes to brighten up a special teachers day! The teas are sourced from well known British tea companies and the set includes a selection of flavours: English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Camomile, Rooibos, Indian Spice Chai, Mint (spearmint), Jasmine Green Tea and Honeybush.

So have you thought about saying thank you to your child's teacher? If it's completely slipped your mind you have two weeks left, so be quick! We currently have a Teacher Gift Bundle over on our Facebook page, so why not go over give our page a like and enter. 

Meal Plan: Week Three

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So here we are week three of the meal plan. Now I am going to be completely honest and say last week was a bit of a write off as my daughter turned five and so there was cake, cake and more cake! Not only did I have cake, but we broke our no bread rule and indulged in a little picnic at the zoo. But you know what, I still managed to lose this week. 

As we were busying preparing for a weekend of birthday fun, I couldn't really sit down and meal plan like a pro so we are kind of free balling it with the plan this week, however we are determined to keep on plan this week and start our no bread rule again and stick to it, until our holiday at least.

Monday:: Sausage Pasta Bake with Broccoli.

As we had a busy morning I wanted to make something that I could whip up and put in the oven so sausage pasta bake it was. Yes the sausages have syns, but they were totally worth the 2 syns each in the delicious cheesy sauce which is so simple and easy to make. You need 100g plain quark, 100ml chicken stock, a tsp mustard powder and a tsp dried parsley whisk and then add to the pasta. So simple but jam packed full of flavour. 


Tuesday :: Turkey Koftas, Wholewheat Pasta and Salad. 

Oh these turkey koftas are always a good recipe, and these koftas are so delicious. What makes these turkey koftas even better is that a single portion of these are around 230 calories, and they go perfectly with a salad and potatoes or pasta and salad. Last week my husband and I were really craving pasta salad, so we decided that this would be the perfect partner for our turkey koftas. However this time instead of making mini ones, we decided to make them slightly larger and they were so good even if they did look a little odd, well according to my husband anyway. 


Wednesday :: Chilli Cheese Nachos from Pinch of Nom

Since starting slimming world one thing I have been craving is Mexican and especially nachos! Oh how I miss loaded nachos, however I don't miss the loaded calories. With Pinch of Nom their website is packed full of amazing tasting recipes that will sure to help with those cravings and I stumbled across this recipe for Chilli Cheesy Nachos. This recipe really has everything you need – gooey cheese, crispy “nacho” potato wedges, and spicy chilli minced beef. However we are not a fan of mince beef so we always use pork or turkey mince. If you're a fan of Nachos then you must must try this recipe it doesn't disappoint. 


Thursday:: Singapore Noodles

This recipe is ridiculously easy. Seriously – it’s 4 steps long & that’s it. It is low syn and less that 300 calories making it the perfect fakeaway. As always we like to add a noodles to this dish, however you could add rice, potatoes or keep to lots of speed veggies. I really do like this one as it can be cooked within 20 minutes and taste so good every time. 


Friday:: Spanish Omelette, Paprika Chips and Green Leafy Salad. 

My favourite egg dish is without a doubt an omelette because they really are so versatile and you can keep it simple and wholesome or be as dramatic and over the top as you dare. I prefer simplicity when it comes my omelettes but have to be jam packed full of goodness like this ham, tomato and mushroom omelette. The free foods are eggs, ham, tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach and I have used Frylight 1 cal cooking spray to cook the omelette on both sides. I have used reduced cheddar cheese and I will be using as part of my Healthy Extra A, however if you wanted to save your Healthy Extra A then you will have to syn accordingly.

So there is our meal plan for our weekday meals, what do you think? Will you consider any of the recipes that I included?

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