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Single Parent Round-up: Bloggers to relate to, support & admire

Posted on 5:00 am

Photo credit: bokan, Shutterstock Hello, and happy April to you all. Well, we?re actually not that far off from May really, are we? The Easter holidays are just coming to an end in our house but we?ve one last hurrah with an inset day on Monday, before the local little ones head back to school, most in their summer uniforms, praying for the spring weather to develop into a glorious British summer. Blogging is hard in the school holidays, especially when it?s just you that is responsible for everything but I have managed a little. My most recent offering to the internet has been in support of Flexible Working for Parents. Things need to change, not just for, but especially for single parents. It can be so hard to find employment that can give the flexibility that a parent needs, let alone for those that don?t have family near by or are doing it alone. I asked for submissions for this month?s Single Parent Round-up from the blogging community and I was delighted to connect with a ?new to me? blogger.  Matthew, who writes at Me and Mini Mees, is a father to admire. He is a single adoptive Dad of twin boys who are teenagers. They have faced early childhood trauma and the road they travel is not easy. This month, he has written about the heart breaking pattern that has emerged with one of his sons that at 17, still needs to be saved.  Single Mother Ahoy  who you will remember, used to write this very Round-up, has written an honest and brave post about the realisation that she is depressed. My heart goes out to her and I hope that she is practicing the self-care that she has recognised that she needs. A woman after my own heart is Pen of The Single Swan. I love her frank, honest, no-nonsense style of writing. She writes about a diverse range of subjects but this month, she has written a post that I could have (and pretty much have) written myself. It?s so nice to know that I am not alone in this feeling towards dating. What about you? Finally for this month, I wanted to share a post from Ellamental Mama. It?s not a new one, but it?s a good one. Again, I know exactly how she feels in this piece. I too have ?that? ex, the one before, as she puts it, ?I was broken?. She too lost all faith in her ability to make these dating decisions, but not about this one. Can anyone else relate to Craving My Ex? I hope you like the selection this month and revisit some old favourites or like me, find some new blogs and the people behind them, to relate to, support and admire. Until next month, and thank you for reading,  Hannah x About Hannah Spannah Hannah is a (now) happily single parent to her young son, Bear. They have a little cottage in semi rural North Yorkshire and share it with a demanding yellow Labrador, a cat, 2 guinea pigs and 3 fish. She began writing when her health took a turn for the worse and Hannah writes about parenting and most aspects of life. She faces many a co-parenting challenge but hopes that her blog, hannahspannah.co.uk shows a...

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Bali Travel Guide

Posted on 9:00 pm

I?m an expert when it comes to Bali; you can literally ask me anything about Bali. And love Bali dearly. Here are some of the questions I regularly answer to readers from around the world and so this is my start at making an ultimate Bali travel guide. Before you read on I must say that Bali isn?t for everyone. However, I really think that?s because there?s so many myths and misconceptions about what Bali actually is and isn?t. A tropical island it may be, but a tiny paradise island with only quiet beaches it is not. Anyway, here goes. Where is Bali? Bali is one of the many islands (over 18,000 islands!) of Indonesia, set in-between the islands of Java and Lombok. It?s a 3 hour flight from the closest Australian airport, and 3 hours from Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) which is a popular route for tourists flying from the West. Why is Bali so popular? With over 18,000 islands in Indonesia, Bali is a popular holiday destination because its culture is different from the rest of the country. Indonesia has the biggest Muslim population on the planet yet Bali is of a Hindu culture. Also known as the Island of Gods, the local Balinese people follow their own version of Hinduism. Beautiful temples, small and large, are scattered across the island and the locals perform ceremonies on a regular basis. The island first became popular with surfers back in the 1970s who fell in love with the world class waves, and has been the number one holiday destination for Australian?s ever since. With friendly locals, a laidback environment, and a coastline of sandy beaches, Bali has fast become accustomed to welcoming all types of traveler; from backpackers and those on a budget, to high-end luxury travelers that enjoy the finer things in life. In Bali there is something for all types of visitor. It must be remembered that Indonesia is a third-world country and, although you can spend big in fancy establishments if you want to, you can always walk across the street to a local eatery or shop and pay local prices. Imagine walking out of the incredible Potato Head Beach Club where it?s GBP6 for a drink, to a local restaurant (called a warung) where you can pay just GBP1 for your lunch. That?s one of the beauties of Bali; the low-end and high-end (and middle-end and every type of end) is all very much combined together. How big is Bali? It?s a bit of a myth that Bali is a small tropical island as, in fact, it?s a huge island of 2,200 square miles and the home of almost 4.5 million people. It has many villages, some of which have grown in stature to become mini towns. The main tourist areas stretch 10-15 kilometres from the airport along the coastline. However, there are also many other villages in Bali that are also popular and worth visiting. A drive from the South to the North takes around 3 hours. And Bali also has a few smaller islands off the main Bali Island that can be reached by a short boat ride ? check out Nusa Lembongan. Map of Bali As you can see, there are many areas in Bali and they all have something different to offer. However,...

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Greek Bean Soup (Fasolada)

Posted on 1:00 pm

Fasolada is a traditional Greek soup, mostly prepared in cold weathers. It is a healthy combination of beans, tomatoes, carrots and various healthy spices. Bean lovers will appreciate this. Greek Bean Soup (Fasolada) Ingredients 1 cup white kidney beans 1 onion, thinly sliced 2 carrots, sliced 1 stalk celery, chopped 1 (450 g) can diced tomatoes 1 tbsp tomato paste 1 tsp dried oregano 1 tsp dried thyme ½ cup olive oil 1-2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped Salt, to taste Ground black pepper, to taste Instructions Soak the beans in cold water and let them stand overnight. Slightly rinse and drain in a colander. Transfer the beans to a large pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. After 3-4 minutes pour off the boiling water, add 3 cups fresh cold water and set over a medium-high heat. Once the water returns to the boil stir in the carrots, tomatoes, onions, tomato paste, thyme, olive oil, oregano and celery, and season with salt and pepper. Let the dish simmer over low heat for about an hour until the beans are tender. In the end, add the chopped parsley, give a stir and remove the soup from the heat. http://agirlcalledjack.com/greek-bean-soup-fasolada/ Tags: Bean, Carrot here in the manual Read this practical...

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Layers of the Earth Bowls ? Science Fair Project

Posted on 5:00 am

Layers of the Earth Bowls – Science Fair Project – Red Ted Art’s BlogFacebookGoogle+InstagramPinterestTumblrTwitterYouTubeFacebookGoogle+InstagramPinterestTumblrTwitterYouTube This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We’ll assume you’re ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish.Accept Read More Privacy & Cookies Policy … more link...

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Red Faction: Guerilla?s destructible scenery makes it still worth playing today

Posted on 9:00 pm

Two hostages. One building. Five government guards with reinforcements waiting in the wings. In most games, I?d try to sneak in with a silenced rifle, methodically popping enemies in the head one-by-one. But in Red Faction: Guerrilla, I don?t even have a gun in my inventory, let alone a silenced one. What I have instead are explosives. Lots of explosives. I rig five charges at random points on the outside of the building, retreat to a safe distance, and squeeze the detonator. Glass shatters and debris flies off at all angles, a steel girder whizzing past my left ear as concrete and metal crumble down on top of the EDF soldiers, crushing them alive. But, predictably, the hostages are caught in the chaos. One is buried in the rubble, the other limping out with her health in the red. The game tries to make me feel bad, alerting me that ?morale? in the local area has fallen to account for the dead guerrilla fighter. But I really don?t care. Because blowing up buildings is fun ? and Red Faction: Guerrilla makes it more fun than any other game out there. Its destruction physics remain the best in gaming, and virtually every building on the surface of the Martian setting can be torn apart in responsive ways. If you fire a rocket at a particular corner of a tall tower, that area will crumble and the building will topple over its weak point, destroying other structures in its path. Blowing stuff up in this game never, ever gets old, and I?ve spent countless hours driving around ignoring missions in favour of trying to create the loudest, most spectacular chain reactions possible. It?s damned addictive. If it were just mindless destruction, I?d be fine with it. But the game gives the player freedom to use its physics in interesting ways. There are guns, but I used them sparingly, instead opting for remote charges and rocket launchers as my primary tools. Why shoot a soldier standing on a bridge when you can blow up the gas pipes below him and send him tumbling to his death? There?s scope for more tactical uses, too. You can surprise enemies by punching through walls at the back of compounds, essentially creating new access routes for mission areas. You can destroy bridges as enemy tanks drive across, stopping their pursuit short. Tasked with taking out enemies, you can place charges strategically to blow out the front of the building they?re hiding within, exposing them to your gunfire. Combat is tough ? too tough in my opinion, and the sheer number of enemies often means you?ll have to actually resort to firing your gun and ducking behind cover. It?s worth dialling it down to easy, and even then you?re sometimes overwhelmed. Luckily, blowing up buildings or particular parts of enemy compounds is a handy way of creating escape routes when it all gets too much. If you tire of your arsenal of explosives, there are other ways to bring down a building. Vehicles become deadly battering rams that can weaken structures and take out propaganda posters for the EDF in a pinch. And, occasionally, you?ll get access to Walkers: giant mechs that can rip through buildings in seconds. They show the environments at their destructible best. Then...

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Health Round-up: Let?s get talking about PND

Posted on 1:00 pm

Photo credit: Peshkova, Shutterstock Hello everyone, and welcome back to the Health Round-up. I hope you?ve all been enjoying spring so far and had a wonderful Easter break. This month, I really wanted to get talking about PND, or Postnatal Depression. I have a feeling it?s a topic that I?ll be returning to at some point, as there are so many of you with stories to share. And it?s right that we should keep on talking about it ? PND is not a linear or finite illness, and in many ways I feel that we all owe it to each other as parents to maintain that open dialogue. As with all mental illnesses, PND doesn?t discriminate or take into account other lifestyle factors when it strikes. Oh, on the surface a sufferer could seemingly have it all and be incredibly high functioning, both full of love and very much loved. None of these things matter, and it?s breaking down that stigma and element of stereotype that?s so important. I?ve been sent some truly heartbreaking posts on this, but also some amazingly uplifting and inspiring blogs too. I hope you enjoy this selection and please, if you are suffering ? talk to someone about it. Reach out and don?t absorb it all on your own. My email address is at the bottom of this post if you just need a friendly ear, or to blurt something out that you don?t feel you can confess close to home. Equally, if you have a feeling that someone you know is having a hard time, then be that shoulder to cry on, that supportive ear. First up is Laura, who blogs at The Unsung Mum. Laura?s posts are usually fantastically sweary and honest, and this one is too ? but it?s a very wrenching account of her experience with PND. I?ve read a lot of posts on this, and I mean a lot, but I really do think Laura?s should be shared with all new mums as part of the ?bumpf? they get when their midwife visits them post-birth. Aleena from Mummy Mama Mum has written about the ?curse? of PND in her family, and I found it quite a tough one to digest. I can only imagine the anguish that Aleena must have felt at her 20 week scan and I?m so glad that she managed to break the cycle and share her story. Beth from Beta Mummy is renowned for just hitting the nail on the head, and I remember being stopped in my tracks when she published this post. It goes back to what I mentioned in my introduction about how, on the surface, a mum can seem like she?s smashing balls out of the park and achieving everything. But, when PND affects us, we?re all the same. We all feel the pain, and the fear, and the desperation, and we need to have each other?s backs just that little bit more. My next post comes from Laura, at Dear Bear and Beany. She hid her PND for months, afraid of letting the mask slip and gradually withdrawing from many social situations just in case people spotted how she was really feeling. I hate to think of anyone feeling so alone, and pressured into concealment. I?m so glad that Laura...

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Baobab?s Mausoleum is a JRPG inspired by Twin Peaks

Posted on 5:00 am

All right, please remain seated because there?s a lot going on with this one. Baobab?s Mausoleum [official site] is an upcoming episodic, sometimes point-and-click, sometimes JRPG about a vampire eggplant FBI agent called Watrucio investigating a town known as Flamingo?s Creek which only appears every 25 years within the confines of a nightmare. Look, I know. You think you have it bad? I?m the one trying to explain it on a Monday morning. Luckily, there?s a trailer that does some of that for me. Use your eyes to see it. [embedded content] It?s inspired by Twin Peaks, Monkey Island and Zelda Link?s Awakening DX, says the developer, which is a very specific Zelda game to name check. Here you?ll be helping agent Watrucio escape from the nightmarish town, which we?re told includes inhabitants such as wendigos, monsters and ?cosmic laser chickens?. It?s planned to be broken up into three episodes, the first of which is called ?Ovnifagos Don?t Eat Flamingos?. OVNI is the acronym for UFO in Spanish (Objeto Volador No Identificado), which makes sense as developer Jacob Jazz is based in Madrid. So Ovnifago is something like ?UFOphage?. Not sure where the flamingos come in. Not sure about any of this, to be honest. There?s no release date as yet, this is strictly a ?coming soon? type deal. But it looked strange and I know how you like eating loads of biscuits and looking at unusual things. Open this link Click...

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Ricciardo puzzled by Red Bull gains | F1 Fanatic Round-up

Posted on 9:00 pm

In the round-up: Daniel Ricciardo admits he is unsure how Red Bull have closed the gap to Mercedes and Ferrari in recent races. From the forum On this day in F1 The Renault drivers claimed the front row of the San Marino Grand Prix 35 years ago today as just seven teams turned up due to a row between Bernie Ecclestone?s Formula One Constructors? Association and Jean-Marie Balestre?s FISA. This adult …...

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Alonso studying Montoya, ?one of the best drivers?, before Indy debut | IndyCar

Posted on 1:00 pm

Fernando Alonso says he is studying the approach of ex-F1 driver and two-times Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya to prepare for his debut in the race. Asked if he was looking forward to competing with Montoya again Alonso joked ?I don?t know if he will be in the front!? Montoya won the Indianapolis 500 as a rookie in 2000, then returned 14 years later and won it a second time the following year. Next month?s race is one of only two IndyCar races Montoya is scheduled to start this year. Alonso is watching today?s IndyCar raceAlonso said it was ?great? to be taking on Montoya again. ?To race against the best drivers in the world, that?s the main thing.? ?Here not only Juan Pablo, I race Oriol Servia as well that I know quite well. There a few drivers, 20-25% of the drivers I know from F1 past, or the recent past.? ?I take Juan Pablo like one of the best drivers in the world, one of the most talented drivers I ever competed against. So to come here and to drive together in the super-speedway will be a massive thing for me.? ?Hopefully I will learn as quick as I can. I?m watching a lot of his onboard cameras because I think he?s one of the best out there. Really looking forward to talk in Indy with him and have some dinners or something because any tips will be very welcome from him.? Montoya is one win from the ?Triple Crown?Montoya has won two of the three races in the ?Triple Crown? Alonso is seeking: the Indy 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix. He has not won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but tested a Porsche LMP1 car in 2015. Alonso admitted he?d had little feedback from rival Formula One drivers about his IndyCar plans. ?We don?t talk much there,? he told a press conference ahead of today?s IndyCar race at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama. ?It?s a different world.? ?I don?t know, the only thing I know is probably what you guys read because it?s what I read as well. Some of them are happy for me and happy for this and curious to see how competitive we can be.? ?Some others they are not happy with anything in life so this was another thing for their own problems.? IndyCar Browse all IndyCar articles Panorama News Blog –...

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Corn Cakes with ?Egg-shaped Pockets?

Posted on 10:00 pm

This is a typical dish from the Caribbean region of Colombia where they are sold on street stalls with a cup of coffee for an afternoon snack. Egg-Stuffed Corn Cakes Ingredients 2 cups white corn flour 2 1/2 cups warm water kosher salt 1 Tbs olive oil, plus more for frying 8 eggs Hot sauce, for serving (optional) Instructions Mix corn flour and salt in a bowl. Stir in 2 1/2 cups warm water and one tablespoon olive oil until dough forms; knead until smooth, 2?3 minutes. Divide dough into eight 4-oz. balls. Heat oil in a saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 325°. Flatten balls into round disks. Working in batches, fry, flipping once, until puffed, 3?4 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Increase oil to 375°. Slice incision horizontally without cutting all the way through to make a pocket. Crack 1 egg into pocket; fry until egg is set, 2?3 minutes. Drain on paper towels; serve with hot sauce (optional). http://agirlcalledjack.com/corn-cakes-with-egg-shaped-pockets/ Tags: Corn more...

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