Friday, 26 June 2015

Cocktail Friday - Rum Punch

Ahhh, starting to feel really summery now.  And really getting into cocktails.  The fruitier the better!  

I found this one through Pinterest as usual.  What did we do before this website? we actually relied on books and word of mouth???  Out kids are gonna know a whole different world to what we did.....

Any whooo, this is a Rum Punch.  Recipe adapted from here

Ingredients for 2 Rum Punches 

6oz pineapple juice
4 oz orange juice
2 oz of dark rum, plus extra to our on top
2oz coconut rum
splash of grenadine
lime wedge for garnish

In a glass with ice pour in the orange juice, pineapple juice and measured rums.  Give a light stir.  Slowly pour in the grenadine so it sinks to the bottom of the glass.  Add 1/2 oz of dark rum to the top of the drink, and garnish with lime.  We chose a frozen wedge, it was what we had....

oh my, oh my oh my..... these were lush.  We had them at a BBQ.  yummy.  One to make again me thinks....

Friday, 19 June 2015

Cocktail Friday - Rum Runner

Ahhh summer, I love it.  What is more summer-y than a delicious cocktail?  

While traveling back from Kiawah Island, I stumbled across this info gram.  Very interesting I thought.  Not keen on South Carolinas cocktail, but Florida's looked lush.  Seeing as we are off there in a couple of weeks, I though i would give it a go. Might even try and make our way across the country!

Here is Rum Runner

Ingredients for 2 (recipe adapted from

1.5 oz Captain Morgan's Original Spiced Rum
0.5oz blackberry liqueur
0.5oz creme de banana
4oz orange juice

Pour ingredients into cocktail shaker, shake.  Pour over crushed ice.  Enjoy.

As you can see from the photos, I changed glasses.  This drink ended up being a short.  Probably because i do not have a proper blender to which up slush type drinks.  This will change in a few weeks....

This drink was lush, just the right mouth of sweetness.  Next time I will double them up again, and make them long drinks.  Until I get my blender....

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Extended time in Kiawah Island

Ok, so I am not going to bore you with a day to day running of what we did in our extra time at Kiawah.  To be honest, I can't remember exactly now anyway!  The day we extended, we went to reception to extend our passes etc.  We then headed off the island to a nearby (15 miles!) Walmart to pick up necessities.  This was the only time we left the island in our whole 8 days there!!!

Most days were filled with a combination of beach and/or pool, in no particular order.  We had a couple of mornings when it rained.  Then the kids pool was cold in the afternoon! 

Oliver loved the slides, and was happy to go off on his own to do them.  Oh the joys of having an independent 9 year old! 

Sebastian discovered he could go under water and basically run up the wall doing a 'back flip' like a monster jam truck would.  Thats his leg sticking up......

We saw this lovely little snake on the way back from the pool one day.  Right by the pool is a nature centre with all sorts of local creatures in.  Well worth a visit.

Still loving the water.  In fact, when he goes swimming now, he insists on his googles, as he spends most of his time with his head under the water.....

Our villa had a little 'wet bar' area.  luckily we brought cocktail stuff with us.  We didn't take much of it home....

We all enjoyed being on the screened porch, here are the boys having breakfast.  

We spotted the alligator one day.  We think he may have been resident to our particular lagoon.  Paul when out to take some pictures, and the alligator swam right up to him.

We went for a very late lunch at Cherrywood BBQ and Alehouse in the Osprey Golf Courses' clubhouse.  My word it was yummy.  Probably the most expensive BBQ we will ever have but well worth it.  We went about 3 in the afternoon, so it would be quiet. As it was, they had a lovely shaded terrace where we were able to eat, as it was not too hot.  Delicious.  We took a little walk around the outside of the clubhouse.  Beautiful.  This was the only one of five golf courses that we ventured on to.  

In our little trip to Walmart, we invested in some boogey boards.  Best investment ever.  We got 2, for the 3 of them to share, and they were good about it too.  They all loved the surf.

The beach was amazing, and the surf was perfect for our boys.  

even Isaac enjoyed it.

Even after 8 days we did not want to leave.  We managed to pack up early enough on the saturday morning.  Without a shadow of a doubt, we would go back to Kiawah Island again.  I cannot recommend it enough.  it is beautiful.  Martha's villa was amazing, and perfectly positioned for us.  It was so peaceful, even with 3 noisy boys.  

We arrived home mid afternoon on the saturday.  Sebastian sat in the car for half hour crying, as he did not want to be home......

Friday, 12 June 2015

Cocktail Friday - Strawberry Mojitos

So summer really is in full swing.  We have even had out first beach trip!!!!

Today I am going to tell you about another cocktail.  What a surprise, its friday!!! Strawberry season is pretty much over here, it is just too hot for those little berries now.  However in England and Europe, it is just beginning, especially with Wimbledon next month.

You know how I am always trying new things, well this is a strawberry mojito.  I have purchased a lot of local strawberries, and have taken the time to make jam ( yummy) and this strawberry syrup. The recipe is supper easy, and I have made a couple of batches.  I usually use it with white wine, but it works equally well here. 

Ingredients for a jug of strawberry mojito ( adapted from this recipe

White rum
Strawberry syrup
lime juice
mint leaves
lime wedges for garnish
strawberries for garnish

Place lime juice, strawberry syrup and mint leaves in jug.  Muddle.  I can't even remember the measurements i used, but I am pretty sure I tried to get equal amounts lime juice and syrup.  There was probably about 15 mint leaves. Pour over rum, think I used about 8oz.  Add ice, top off with sparkling water/soda, stir. add lime wedges (mine were frozen) and sliced strawberries.  

Flipping yummy, a little piece of summer.  The jug did two of us about 4 wine glass sizes each.  Think I might make this again this weekend.......

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Weekend Away in Kiawah Island

The boys finished school on 28th May.  They survived a whole year, woohoo!!! The next day we headed off to Kiawah Island Golf Resort.  This is on St John's Island, about a 30 minute drive from Charleston.

Honestly, I was so ready for this holiday.  I know we only went away at the beginning of March, but this was needed.  Summer has well and truly arrived in South Carolina, and the days are getting hotter and hotter.  Kiawah Island is just under 4 hours away, and we left early.  well, 10.30.  We stopped for some lunch on the way.  First time trying Bo Jangles, not bad!  

We arrived at the resort about 3.  We have never really done a resort before, we aren't even hotel people, though our children would like it if we were! We drove through the security get and parked up.  Paul went into the reception area and checked us in.  Unfortunately, we could not get into the villa till 4.30!  so we took a drive to see where it was, then headed to the pool.

I had done some wise packing, and left the beach clothing and swimming pool stuff separate from everything else.  We parked up at Night Heron Park and headed to the Children's Pool.  We did not know it at the time, but they offered a towel service, so they provided the towels.  We got changed, and headed past the family pool to the children's pool.

The kids loved it.  Loads of water features, and the deepest part is only 3 and a half foot.  Both Isaac and Oliver were big enough to ride the slides, though Isaac chose not too.  Good job as the pool there is over 4ft deep, and he cannot fully swim yet.  We ended up staying at the pool till gone 5, then we headed to the villa.

We rented this through VRBO, the owner Martha was exceptionally helpful.  The villa was perfect for us.  3 bedrooms, Isaac and Seb shared, and every bedroom had an en suite, which was very useful.  The living area was a good size.  The kitchen was a little small, but we managed.  It had a screened in porch looking out over a lagoon.  We spent a lot of time on the porch.  Only tv's in the living area and the master bedroom, so the kids didn't watch too much tv.

Scary Clare
After a picnic style dinner, we headed off for an explore.  We knew from Martha's info and looking at the map that we were not far from the beach. The photo below shows our villa, on the bottom, from the bridge over the lagoon.

When you turn around from the same spot and look up, you see an osprey's nest.  There was mum and dad, and at least one baby.  These guys were amazing. 

Over the bridge, across a service road, over another bridge through what can only be described as swamp, past a golf green, then on to the final bridge over the dunes and on to the beach.  About 10 minutes walk.  The beach was beautiful.

bad mummy, making faces

We were also very close to the Sanctuary Hotel.  This is a very nice hotel on the island.  

We walked back through the hotel.  Wow.  Luxury at its finest.  The boys like the guy playing piano in the lobby. Stunning, and waaaaayyyyyy out of our price range! 

We returned back to the villa, pretty much the same way we came.  The boys went to bed, and we were not far behind.

I love how my children like to get up early, particularly on holiday.  Because of this, we were on the beach by 9.30am the next morning.  When we arrived, the tide was just on its way out.  there were very few people on the beach, given the early hour.  There were plenty of cyclists, runners and walkers though.  The compact sand is just perfect for it.

As the tide retreated, it left pools of sea water.  Some where up past your knees.  All contained wildlife.  Plenty of fish, and a few crabs

The current was quite strong, but the sea bed was very flat.  You could walk out quite far, without it going above your waist.  The boys loved hanging out in the pools, which warmed up as the day went on.

We stayed at the beach until just after lunch.  Then we headed back for some lunch at the villa, before heading back to the pool.  I had spotted the day before that they did waiter service at the pool.  I had also spotted "The Cup".  These are souvenir cups, cost $20 each, including your first drink, then you get discount for any other drinks you put in them.  They also do a kids version for the same price, but with unlimited soft drinks included.  We had to get them!!! I am such a sucker for souvenirs these days.....

Paul and I enjoyed a couple of cocktails, while the boys began on their sodas.  We only got one cup for the 3 of them to share, and to be honest, they did quite well (to start!) 

Again, the boys had a great time.  It was saturday, but was not very busy.  Turns out, this is one of the main change over days on Kiawah.

We had out dinner at Night Heron Bar and Grill that evening.  We were able to use our cups, woohoo.  

We had the usual, grilled cheese, burgers, wraps, etc.  The food was good.  And the service was good too.  This is were we discovered resort privileges.  We were able to charge all our drinks from the pool and our meal to our villa.  Dangerous....

We headed back to the villa, and enjoyed more drinks on the screened in porch.  

It was so beautiful and peaceful, even with our noisy children. They were inside, we were outside.  Blissful.  Such a gorgeous view from our villa.  Left you feeling like it was quite secluded, despite the fact you had neighbors.  Saw out first alligator that night too.

The next day went pretty much the same.  A trip to the beach in the morning, followed by lunch at Southern Kitchen, and a trip to the pool.  While on the beach, we couldn't believe we were having to go home the next day.  We so wanted to stay longer.  I had a quick look on the web page for the villa, as I remembered Martha saying to Paul that she was surprised the villa was still available. The calendar for  availability said it was free till the following saturday.  We umm-ed and ahh-ed for a big, before contacting Martha, and asking if it was still free. It was..... So we sent some emails, contacted Paul's work, spoke to the neighbor about the cat and spoke with Martha, and sorted out payment. She was kind enough to do it at a reduced cost too!  

We managed to extend out holiday from a 3 night break to an 8 night break.  Now praying the weather played ball..........

Friday, 5 June 2015

Cocktail Friday - Orange vodka martini

I have been itching to try some of the drinks of my Pinterest board.  Have you seen it?  If not, you can find it here.

So this is a Orange Vodka Martini.  I had to go to our local Total Wine warehouse to get the triple sec, even though the recipe calls for orange liquor......

I made my own sugar syrup from the recipe I found on line.

Don't you love the martini glasses??? Thank you Dollar Tree!

Credit for this recipe goes to give and can be found here

Ingredients for 2 orange vodka martinis 

4oz vodka
2oz triple sec
2oz simple sugar
2oz orange juice (missing from picture)

Put all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake for 10-30 seconds, until the shaker becomes cold to the touch.  Strain into martini glasses.

hmmm...... Doesn't look a thing like the original website picture.  We chose not to rim the glasses (too lazy).  Still really lush.  Potent, with very little alcohol taste.