30 January 2018

How to Celebrate Chinese New Year in the North East

The Chinese New Year is one of the world's most prominent and celebrated festivals in the world. Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival in modern China, or simply the Lunar New Year, which celebrates the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. 

Celebrations traditionally run from the evening proceeding the first day, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first calendar month. The first day of the New Year falls on the new moon between 21 January and 20 February meaning the Year of the Dog starts on Friday, 16 February 2018.

How to Celebrate Chinese New Year in the North East

29 January 2018

6 Ways to get fit and healthy in the Land of Oak & Iron (AD)

***COLLABORATIVE POST***
After overindulging at Christmas, many of us are feeling drawn to trying a new fad fitness regime. The start of a new year is when so many of us start to think (again) about keeping fit and healthy. We try to go to the gym, see how busy it is and are promptly put off enough and find it all so much easier just to head home and sit on the sofa (I do anyway).

But in this country and especially here in North East England we have so many beautiful areas of countryside and outdoor space just waiting for us to immerse ourselves in as we get active. And the Land of Oak & Iron, which focuses on the Derwent Valley and the surrounding area, following the River Derwent from Derwent Reservoir to the River Tyne, involving Consett, Rowlands Gill, Prudhoe and Whickham, is no exception.

Six Ways to get fit and healthy in the Land of Oak & Iron derwent valley

26 January 2018

Take It All On Board - Exclusive - Win a Signed Copy of the New Book (REVIEW)

On February 9, the 2018 Winter Olympics will begin in South Korea and snowboarding will once again be on our TV screens. I've been lucky enough to be working with a female snowboarder, now 48, who is also a performance coach in her day job, and who has written her first book all about gaining confidence and includes 8 steps to mastering the slope & life with confidence.

Snowboarding is perceived as a male-dominated extreme sport for young people but Kate a blogger, mum, guest lecturer and NHS management consultant didn’t take up the sport until in her 30’s. Not only have I interviewed Kate all about her book but I've got a copy of it to giveaway to one of you lucky readers too.


25 January 2018

How to Make Oat Milk & Dairy Free Vegan Milkshakes

***RECIPE***
Are you someone who can’t drink cow’s milk? Or someone who has chosen not to consume cow’s milk and follow a vegan or dairy-free diet? Do you know how easy it is to make your own plant-based milk at home? 

There are so many non-dairy and lactose-free milk alternatives such as soy milk or almond milk and coconut milk, but to make your own oat milk drink at home you just need two ingredients – oats and water ... and a blender.



22 January 2018

A Family Staycation in Durham at Radisson Blu Hotel (REVIEW)

***REVIEW***
Earlier this month we took advantage of the boys' school holidays and stayed mid-week in Durham, to take up an invitation to stay at the four-star Radisson Blu Hotel in a family room.  So if you are looking for vacation or staycation ideas this year, read on to see what we thought...

A Family Staycation in Durham at Radisson Blu Hotel

18 January 2018

How to Make Chickpea Hummus – Four Ways

***RECIPE***
Hummus is one of those foods that yes you can easily buy, it’s available in shops and supermarkets everywhere. But it is also a food that is also very easy to make at home, not to mention so cheap too. Here is my easy hummus recipe for making hummus in four different flavours – including chocolate!

Please note that this post contains an affiliate link to Amazon. It costs you nothing but if you do click the link and make any purchase then Amazon will pay me a small commission, 
so thank you if you do.

16 January 2018

Family Walks - A Circular Riverside Walk in Durham

Durham isn’t just one of the UK's heritage cities with a maze of medieval streets or the site of the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site of Durham Cathedral & Castle, or the location of a world-renowned University. It also offers a really pleasant walk along its river banks. Perfect for a family walk, family day and getting the kids some fresh air. It is like being in the countryside without leaving the heart of the city.


north east Family Walks - A Circular Riverside Walk in Durham

12 January 2018

Veganuary at JD Wetherspoons - Tasting The Vegan Menu at The Bishops Mill, Durham

A Wetherspoons pub isn't somewhere we often eat out on an evening, but we were in Durham and staying opposite the Walkergate Leisure Complex, which has lots of casual dining restaurant chains. 

The boys had decided they wanted burgers or hot dogs so as the Mexican and Italian restaurants weren't going to provide this, we took a look at The Bishops Mill menu. The boys were happy so we headed to The Bishops Mill in Walkergate to try out their menu. 

As it's also Veganuary this month we thought we'd test out their vegan offerings too.

vegan menu at wetherspoons durham
(Please note this post includes pictures of meat dishes as well as vegan dishes)

10 January 2018

Taking Your Tween to their First Football Match

Football is the nations favourite game. Over 13 million people watch a football match every year in the UK. Even more, watch on TV, and then there are the thousands of people, male and female, who play the game on a regular basis too. 

Newcastle United FC is our local team and one I have supported since I was a child. Over, 50,000 people watch every home game live in the stadium of St. James Park and I was really excited to get the opportunity to take my tween to his first footy game.



8 January 2018

5 Vegan Ways to Zing Up a Baked Potato and Beans (using items from the store cupboard)

***RECIPE***
I love a baked potato for lunch, especially during the winter months. It’s warming, tasty and also quick and easy to make if you opt for the microwave version – although an oven-baked jacket is so much better!

There are some great toppings out there to choose from, but not all are vegan.  One of my favourites has always been baked beans. Beans and potato just go so well together, but I’ve always cooked it with butter and added grated cheese. This month I’m trying to be not just healthier after the festive season but also a little more vegan too, it is January and Veganuary this month. 

5 Vegan Ways to Zing Up a Baked Potato and Beans

5 January 2018

Eating Out Vegan Style at The Ship Inn, Ouseburn, Newcastle

Ever wondered where you can find vegan food in Newcastle? And eat out as a vegan?

Eating vegan food whilst out is not always the easiest thing to do. So as January is increasingly becoming known as Veganuary I thought I'd share our recent experiences of eating out in a dedicated vegan pub with you. The pub is The Ship Inn, Ouseburn, Newcastle - luckily for us less than half a mile from our home! 

Eating Out Vegan Style at The Ship Inn, Ouseburn, Newcastle

3 January 2018

Watching The Snowman On Tour at Durham Cathedral (REVIEW)

***REVIEW***
Durham Cathedral was the penultimate stop for The Snowman on Tour show in 2017 and we were invited along to review the show.


1 January 2018

What's On January - 9 FREE Family Fun Events & Activities in North East England

Happy New Year everyone and to celebrate I am continuing the popular – FREE family event post into 2018. Every month I’ll highlight some of the great FREE events, places, attractions and things to do with your family across Newcastle, Sunderland, Gateshead, North and South Tyneside,  Teesside, Durham, and Northumberland.

To ease us gently back into the swing of things for 2018 we’ve compiled a list of free family events and activities taking place in January – in addition to the usual free attractions – to help us out as we recover from the festive season. North East England has so much on offer there are many great paid for attractions and events as well but as we tighten our belts after the festive season here are some events you can enjoy for free in January.

9 Free Family Fun Events & Activities in January 2018 in North East England