Gluten Free Vegan Crispy Bars

Today we tried out a recipe from Pinterest for homemade crispy bars. Jack really likes the bars from Tesco so was excited to have a go at making his own.

We used a mixture of half vegan milk chocolate and half dairy free dark chocolate. The recipe only needed two other ingredients: coconut oil and rice crispsy cereal.

Jack measured out the ingredients and mixed everything together once the chocolate was melted. After spreading out on a tray they only took a couple of hours to be set and ready to eat.




We have had a busy week of mostly working on DIY challenges this week and Jack has now completed his Puppeteer and Chef patches and finished the full six challenges to master the Lego skill.


Jack helped me make some gluten and dairy free pasta for vegetable lasagne which came out pretty well. The dough was very crumbly until had been through the pasta machine once and then it stayed together better for further rolling. The recipe we used was:

2 cups gluten free self raising flour – we used Doves Farm
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 – 1 1/2 cups water

Jack’s laptop stopped working so we had to return it and ended swapping it for another one. The only one in price range was a smaller netbook but it has turned out to be easier for him as he can sit with it on his lap much easier and doesn’t need to always use it at a table which is nice. Will be good to take on train journeys as well as it is much smaller and lighter than the full sized laptop he had. He has been back on Reading Eggs and brain Pop and of course You Tube! Brain Pop topic today has been ‘Where we come from’ and he has been happily watching videos about how babies are made and grow and telling me all about X and Y chromosomes.

Kirby is still a big favourite at the moment and his Pokemon obsession has defiantly died down some, for now. We have talked about making a Kirby themed t-shirt as another DIY challenge and will probably do that using the printer transfer paper soon. The warm weather has meant Jack can get out in the garden more, most of which has involved playing with water and having water fights.

Jack has a pet snail at the moment, called Marks after a Kirby character. He is always asking to keep various insects and creatures so I decided it couldn’t hurt to have it for a while. We used to have African Giant land snails so we have a similar set up and Marks is now living with two slugs that I noticed have appeared – with plenty of help I’m sure! lol


This week has been full of lots of practical activities. The home made goo is still around, though only about half is left (where the rest is I have no idea! :s) and I think it is something we will do again in future. Jack chose to grow black sugar crystals and we have set up the experiment and will leave it until Monday before seeing how well the crystals have grown. Jack posted a photo on DIY of some of his rock collection as part of the geologist challenge and the sugar crystals will be his second. One of the challenges is to break open a rock to see the inside which would be good to try but think we need some safety goggles or similar first.

Yesterday we were going to go bowling but Jack was in such a bad mood it didn’t work out but today we have been to the Special Sports group at the Surrey Sports Park which was really good and great value at £4 per family. Jack had a go on their big trampolines and at climbing. He was nervous at first but once he started climbing did great and got all the way to the top! In the hall they had soft play stuff, various balls, hockey sets, badminton and table tennis to play. Jack especially liked the giant yoga type balls and had a go at using one like a basketball and then as a football. Everyone was really friendly and Jack spend a while building a house from the soft play blocks with another boy. We ended up getting home later than I expected so glad I had put my veggie Mexican spag bol in the slow cooker before leaving.

Tomorrow we are going to an autism friendly screening of frozen at the cinema in Guildford and maybe a walk round town after.

Alice Holt and More New Foods!

Yesterday we went to Alice Holt in Farnham. We had originally planned to go with friends but when they couldn’t make it Jack wanted to go anyway. Normally when we go we go in at the Bentley station end which is the opposite end of the forest from where the play area, cafe and trails are so this time I wanted to go in that way. Too us a while to get there as I didn’t know what time the buses when and it turned out they didn’t connect up well. It was freezing waiting in Aldershot but once we got to Alice Holt it was much warmer.

We started at the cafe as Jack was hungry and had already eaten most of his lunch and after that Jack used a map to find the wooden play area.

Alice Holt

After the park we decided to try one of the discovery trails and Jack chose Willow and enjoyed looking out for the next marker arrow and figuring out which way too go. He chose the trail as it also had some rainforest activities and that is one of his big interests. We also found some interesting sights and a partly constructed den and spend some time playing there and adding some more sticks and fern. We also crossed two log bridges.


Jack asked for squid again for dinner but the Tesco fish counter didn’t have. They had some sea food cocktail (prawns, mussels and squid) so I went for that and Jack tried and liked mussels. He also tried and liked a samosa on wednsday. Normally he won’t et food he can see all of or is mixed up so that is a big step for him. Our plan for this afternoon is to make some gluten/dairy free pastry and make some homemade vegetable samosas.


After swimming the rest of the week went well and Jack has asked to go back next week. Monday he says because he doesn’t want to wait lol It is a little under 3 miles to the Spectrum from us but will most likely walk all the way tomorrow so we can pop into Sports Direct on the way for a float or similar and also because I miss walking. Now Jack is home he cannot manage the long walks I take and although we have a the Special Tomato buggy I tend to only use it when we are out for a whole day, going far from home or know it is likely that there will be sensory/meltdown/safety issues. I have been worrying lately about the fact that if he has a seizure (he has several a day) and then needs to sleep I’d be stuck because I honestly cannot carry him far any more and what if I have other things with me? That hasn’t happened since he started taking melatonin though which I hope is a good sign. I miss all the walking I used to do and now I am not even doing the school run I spend a lot of time sitting even if I am working, studying or crafting. From now I am going to start walking now and take the buggy. jack can walk as much as he can  and then I can push him. He does ok with most things but walking 3 miles, swimming or skating for 90 minutes and then walking another 3 miles is a lot!

Yesterday we went to Chessington World of Adventures. We got there for when it opened and there where hardly any queues at all. Jack’s favourites are the Vampire and the Pirate Galleon and Emily got to have another go on Dragon Fury. The bumper cars and Bubbleworks are also big hits. The Sealife centre fitted in nicely with our ocean project and Jack took some photos and also filled out the quiz sheet where you have to search the centre for the clues and answers. We bought a couple of Christmas presents in the gift shop and were ready to leave by 3pm. On the way home we walk through the town centre and popped into WHS to look what books where in the 2 for £10 offer. Emily chose a One Direction book and I got Hugh’s Three Good Things. A recipe from that has given me a good idea for a few more presents too and a vegan chocolate recipe that will most likely be my next hub.

Today was a stay at home day, doing some uni work, some washing and a bit of tidying up. Jack is currently crazy about the Wii game Poke Park. Dinner was Quorn and veg cottage pie with carrots, sweetcorn and peas and ‘square chips’. My mum always made them when we were kids and they are somehow so much better than normal chips lol Just slice thickly slice potatoes and then cut into 1 cm ish cubes and fry. Don’t even need to peel them unless you really want too. I am going to plan our timetable for the week and work on my final essay for my teaching assistant course before bed.

Weekend Project

Over the weekend we have made garden art tiles. jack and I collected some of the material from our local woods on the way to B&Q for cement and sand on Friday and the rest were things we had at home or from our garden. I collected the box of shells before we moved in 2011 with the intention of making a wind chime with them. Finally got around to it a few weeks ago and could not find my dremel tool to drill them.

Emily made a tile for the front garden with the house number on and mine is to go in the veg garden. Jack had fun filling his with as much as he could possibly fit! Waiting for them to dry out now and harden and then will post more photos.


I have also been working on my vegan wheat free cookbook and finished the third module and assignment of my SEN diploma course. Busy but good weekend 😀

August… A time for changes.

August seems to be a time of change for us. Last August certainly was and the August before we moved over 200 miles across the country, making real something I had wanted to do for several years.

Now this August has been the same. Lots of things are changing work wise for me, I am focusing more on my writing and have been writing a lot of jewellery making tutorials over the last couple of months; as well as hitting 100 hubs on HubPages last week. I have a good layout for my cook book (wheat free vegan) worked out and have chosen which of my recipes I am going to use, pretty much I am just need to lay it out and make and photograph each of the 26 recipes and it is done. Still looking into formats for eBooks though and what will be the best way to go. I can do PDF as well, which I have noticed quite a few downloadable books use but I don’t know how well they work as a file format on other devices. They download ok on my android phone but too small to read really.

I will be closing the shop on Elderberry Arts at least temporally before the end of the month as my supplier is closing down. I had been thinking about it for a while anyway as it takes up a lot of time and to be honest, I don’t have what it takes to do all the networking and marketing side of things. It’s just not me really. I will probably continue to sell on Mystic Bid once I figure out what and find a new supplier. I have some ideas but we’ll see. I still have my jewellery, but after over ten years I am not making so much any more and am prefering to do more complex and custom pieces when I do. I am working on a new chain maille design at the moment. This blog is going to be more general rather than focusing on the site too.

I have almost finished my Special Needs Teaching Assistant course and in October start my second to last Open University module. Next Augusts big change could be that I have finished depending on the start dates of my final module. At the beginning of the month I started trialling home educating my youngest. He has been having problems at school because of his special needs and in the near future would be transferring to a specialist school. On top of the fact that the school is quite far from me, I don’t believe another school is the answer however trained they may be as it is ‘school’ that is creating the problems. He does not do well be surrounded by lots of people and noise, he struggles and panics when he feels pressured and finds it hard to write at all. He can also be quite loud and lash out at times which has caused problems. His report stated he was behind in almost every subject, resistant to working, argumentative… I do a lot of what could be called home educating with him anyway and I never find he is like that so something is not right somewhere. Don’t get me wrong, his school have done a lot for him an have tolerated a lot, including him biting his teacher and kicking the headteacher which I am grateful for but there has to be a better alternative to the way this school year has been.
Home education is something I have often thought about but I guess it comes down to the fact that I simply wasn’t brave enough to give it a go. I explained to Jack about home education and at first he was afraid he would get into trouble for not going to school, which was solved the first time we went to a home ed group and he saw all the other children and now after a month he loves it and I have a much happier boy back. Meltdowns are lessening and he is happily completing tasks and even asking for things to do. This morning I got up and he was on Reading Eggs already and this afternoon has achieved a gold award on there. He wants to stay home and has said that school makes his head mad and as I suspected writing hurts his hands. Have to admit that I had set my heart on home ed so am glad he is enjoying it too! 😀