Monday, 23 January 2017

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday


Another week another meal plan.....Happy Monday! 

Last weeks meal plan didn't go too badly....We had a change when it got to the weekend.....I made a sausage casserole which we had on Saturday and we had the leftovers yesterday. The toad in the hole was scrapped.....

I remembered I had this post to write at 10 past midnight last night....Oops. It's a good job I had the meal plan mostly written in my drafts. I had a lovely evening seeing a bit of a celebrity. I saw Lorraine Crosby the female vocalist in Meat Loaf's 1993 hit single "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)".....She's been on The Voice and the X-factor too....She was brilliant. We had an evening of 80's/early 90's rock, power ballads! Cocktails at the end of the night were not a good idea and neither was the steak and kidney pie....Eww! I am going to regret that. lol Be gentle with me today.....I may be slightly hungover....

This week Stu is back at work so I am back to doing all the cooking which I am not too happy about....Having him home last week made my left a whole lot easier....

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Spaghetti bolognese & garlic bread....
Tuesday - Leftover bolognese in Old El Paso Stand And Stuff Tortillas....
Wednesday - Chicken stir fry....
Thursday - Beans on toast....
Friday - Fish finger sandwiches....
Saturday - Pizza....
Sunday - Roast chicken dinner....

What are you eating this week?

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Handwriter of the week. #MySundayPhoto

Ellie is a reluctant writer....I would go to far as say she hates writing so it was a big deal when she was awarded this in the weekly assembly at school....


Saturday, 21 January 2017

A photo everyday for a year! #Project365 - Week 3

Why is January lasting so long?....This month is really dragging.

It's not been a bad week for us....Stu my fella has been on holiday from work and has been decorating. The girls have had a great week at school and I was full of cold for a day or so but I seemed to have got over it quickly. Phew.

Now on to a photo every day.....


14/365 - 14th January
A delivery of bath bombs arrived...I have a review next week! The Pokemon ball one was a big hit....

15/365 - 15th January
My 9 year olds homework....I am hopeless when it comes to maths....Becky my teen was happy to help. Phew!

16/365 - 16th January
I drank a lot of Lemsip on Monday....Probably too much but it worked and by Tuesday afternoon I felt much better!

17/365 - 17th January
Just a photo of mu girls...Looking at something on You Tube...

18/365 - 18th January
Sitting there like they had all the time in the world....It was about quarter past eight. Ellie leaves for school at 25 past. lol Amazingly she wasn't late...

19/365 - 19th January
Before Stu started painting the wall under the banister was a really dark brown colour....It took a few coats of white to cover it....Now it is a biscuit colour....

20/365 - 20th January
I went shopping for clothes...


Friday, 20 January 2017

A little holiday. #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:


Stu my fella has been off work this week.....I don't know how but he has ended up with 3 weeks of holidays to take before the end of March so he is taking a week a month until they are used up....It's been a nice break for him. He works in retail so over Christmas things for him were quite busy it's been good for him to relax a bit....

I woke up on Monday full of cold. I felt rotten. Stu was there to do the school run, cook and tidy up....I had a day resting, drinking Lemsip and taking flu tablets and by Tuesday afternoon I felt just about back to normal....If Stu had been at work I would have had to power through and I doubt I would have felt so better so quickly.

Stu has spent the week painting the hallway.....It has actually taken a week.As well as Stu being an expert at procrastinating the hall needed 3 coats of white paint over the dark brown we had.....Eek! We have learned a lesson. Never paint anything in dark colours.....lol It is now a nice biscuit colour. 

It has been a little holiday for both of us.....Him from work and me from doing all the housework and cooking! 

The next holiday he has from work is the week the kids are off in February so we are hoping to have a couple of days out....I don't know where though as I can't imagine the weather being nice...Eek! I'm sure we will come up with something.

In other news:

Becky was at the dentist on Monday getting her braces tightened....She saw the head guy and he said when she goes back in March she will most likely be getting the braces taken off because they have worked their magic! She is very happy about this....She is already planning what she is going to eat as soon as they are off. Corn on the cob, popcorn, whole apples and popping candy. lol All the things she has been banned from eating.

I was picking Ellie up from school on Wednesday and her teacher said can you pop in and see the headteacher. Eek! I am so glad Stu was with me.....I was worried. My first thought was what has she done now?.... It turns out the head just wanted to let us know how well Ellie is doing....Twice a week there has been a group of children from year 4, 5 & 6 taken off to work on their confidence and talking skills. This seems to be really helping. It also give us chance to talk through a few concerns we had. It was a good chat and it left me feeling very proud of Ellie and reassured. 


Thursday, 19 January 2017

Tiny Tickers Heart Week 2017. #CHD

Next month from the 12th to the 17th of February it is Heart week and the charity Tiny Tickers is again encouraging you to raise awareness and funds to help babies babies ensuring they are given a fighting chance to beat their condition.....


One in every 125 babies is born with a heart problem – that’s more than 5,000 newborns each year in the UK. Heart conditions are the most common and deadly birth defect in babies – responsible for 1 in every 13 infant deaths.

Last year over 1,000 newborns were discharged from UK hospitals with no one realising they had a life-threatening heart condition.

Babies with undetected heart defects will often fall into the early stages of heart failure significantly impacting their long term quality of life and associated risks of heart failure including brain damage.

Both of my girls were discharged from hospital when they were babies with heart problems....No one knew, including me. It was only down to a freak accident of Ellie jamming her fingers in a door that their conditions were found.....In 2009 both of my girls had open heart, life saving surgery. Without the surgery they would have died in their teenage years.....The teenage years seemed a long way away then but Becky is 14 now. Without the freak accident and the surgery she may have been dead by now....

You can read our story....Part one and Part two....

My girls the day they came out of hospital after heart surgery.
Tiny Tickers want to increase early detection rates of cardiac conditions....Rates for heart problems being detected during pregnancy have doubled since they launched! They train sonographers to spot defects during routine pregnancy scans, support families with a diagnosis, campaign to improve service standards and generally raise awareness!

Just £1,000 is enough to provide training for up to 10 sonographers. If they can raise £10,000 though Heart Week 2017 they will be able to help more babies and their parents this year.

Here is how Tiny Tickers can use the money you raise:

£100 - Provides specialist on-site training for a sonographer to be able to detect heart problems during a pregnancy scan.

£500 - Lets us put information materials about heart conditions in 850 baby clinics and GP surgeries.

£2,500 - Produces a training video into one of the most common forms of heart defect for sonographers to refer to during scans.

You can sign up for a FREE Heart Week fundraising kit full of tips, advice, ideas, games and your very own collecting box...

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Life on the farm....

In October I took part in Blogtober16 writing a post every day with a prompt....I wrote a post about My favourite type of animal and it got me thinking about my childhood....I think I had a pretty awesome one and this is the first of a few posts I have to write about it and living on a farm.....I have so many stories to tell I can't fit them all in one post......hehehe


Before I was born my parents bought some land.....3 huge fields.....They had a dream of building a house and living in it with a family....They did!

Before we moved to the farm every Sunday as a child my mam would pack a huge picnic and we would go to the farm....It wasn't much of a farm then....More a building site with a few horses and ponies and the big shed....My dad had a milk round and half the people he employed were tradesmen of some sort.....Bricklayers, joiners, plasterers....They came in very handy building the house.....


When I was about 8 or 9 we moved into the farmhouse which was wasn't finished but fine to live in....Going from a small 3 bedroom terraced house in the center of a busy town to a 4 bedroom house in-between two tiny villages was such a big change but my brother and I loved it....We had the freedom to be outside all day....

When we moved in there were no carpets (which made it excellent for rollerskating), no kitchen units and no proper heating until we got the Aga stove installed which we used to cook toast on the top of....It was rough for the first few months but it was all part of the adventure....

There was also no electricity for about three years. There was some sort of dispute about who should supply it. I don't know. I was 9. lol.....The power was run on generators and was only switched on when it started to get dark.....It used to need refilling with petrol every couple of hours....My mam and dad had that job. Not much fun when it was blowing a gale or snowing....

We woke up in the morning to candle light.....Yes my parents let my brother and I loose with candles and we never burnt the house down....My dad ran a skip hire business and ended up finding a TV in one of the skips which ran off a car battery.....It was a Black and White one but who cares I could watch Saturday morning TV which was quite a novelty....lol 

I didn't feel deprived or hard done to....It was fun, an adventure....We were fed, warm enough, clothed, schooled and happy....Electricity is a luxury really.....lol Just don't ask me to go without it now....

I was in secondary school and came home one summers day and my mother was doing something which needed electricity....Watching TV or using the microwave.... Something like that....Something I wasn't used to seeing during the day....I didn't hear the generator and I just couldn't fathom what was going on...lol

I can't remember ever being bored while living on the farm....I have so many wonderful memories which I will be sharing with you over the next few weeks/months....

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Our Playmobil Hospital.

My youngest is crazy about anything medical.....She loves visiting the hospital, doctors or dentists. She loves watching all the medical shows her favourite is 24 hours in A&E. For Christmas she got the Playmobil Ambulance and that seems to have set off her love for Playmobil....

Over Christmas Ellie got some money and decided she wanted to buy the Playmobil Hospital. At nearly £67 we made sure she was sure and she was....Last weekend it arrived.

Playmobil City Life Furnished Children's Hospital has a working elevator which has space for the patient's bed, an adjustable operating table, a patient bed which rolls on wheels, a reception, a children's and baby section as well as an operating room. It has a lot of medical equipment including moveable surgical light, respirator and defibrillator.

It includes:5 Playmobil figures, 1 baby incubator, 1 toilet, 1 child's hospital bed, 1 reception desk, 1 childs growth chart, 1 scales, 1 operating room and lots of accessories. 


Ellie couldn't wait to get it opened and start building it.....It came needed assembling which I guessed it would. When she opened the box she kept pulling out bags and bags of things....Eek!


Stu and Ellie started putting it together....He got the base and one of the sides on before he had to go to work then I took over...

Oh my goodness. What a job. All in all it took about 3 hours to put together. I really feel for those parents who bought a few of these sets for Christmas and set about putting them together on Christmas Eve night.....


There was the main wall and floor parts then about 15 bags.....I followed the instructions step by step and it was take one part out of one bag, one out of another then spend 5 minutes looking for something else in another bag.....There was no logic to how they were packaged....It would have made sense to have each things parts in one bag. For example all the parts of the hospital bed in one bag instead of spread over at least 3....

I sent the kids upstairs when I was half way through so I could curse and swear at the half build hospital....Oops.



When it was built all the stress was worth it...When Ellie saw it she was amazed and instantly fell in love with it....


She has played for hours and hours with it....I am not exaggerating....She played with nothing but the Playmobil hospital and her tablet for the whole of last week.....

With a lift on the outside of the building you can transport patients and the bed between floors....It works really well.

I think it is fantastic too. There are so many little extras that are not listed on the box. Surgical instruments, drip lines, casts, baby bottles, a laptop, plates, cups and blankets....

Even Becky my teenager has been playing with it with Ellie.....It is fantastic fun. Ellie plays and there is an accident then the little people get rushed to hospital in her ambulance and are treated.....There has been car crash emergencies, heart surgery, broken bones and dog bites all treated in the hospital....

I really can't imagine Ellie getting sick of it anytime soon.....It was well worth the money we paid for it. 

We have already been looking for more Playmobil to buy and have found a few little sets which would go great with the hospital.....


X-Ray Room - £8.99
Dentist with Patient - £8.49
Maternity Room - £8.99
Doctor with Child - £8.99
Emergency Motorcycle - £9.99
Flying Ambulance Playset - £26.99

**Since writing this the lovely Louise who blogs over at Little Hearts Big Love has said that it would be a brilliant toy to help prepare children for hospital....I hadn't thought of it in this way. She is so right. It seems it is one more reason to love this Playmobil set!

Do your children like Playmobil?


Monday, 16 January 2017

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday


Last week our meal plan went to plan....We ate everything. The pizza hot dogs went down really well and the girls want them again which is a good sign! Stu cooked the Sunday dinner yesterday and it was lovely....I always enjoy food more when someone else makes it....

Becky is getting her braces tightened today so soft food is needed for a couple of days while her mouth is still sore and Stu is off work this week on holiday from work....Hooray which means he will be helping with the cooking.... 

This week on the menu we have:

Tuesday - Easy chilli con carne and rice....
Wednesday - Sausage & tomato pasta....
Thursday - Fish cakes, curly fries and baked beans....
Friday - Pizza....
Saturday - Chicken curry leftovers out of the freezer and chips....
Sunday - Toad in the hole, mash and veg....

What are you eating this week?

Sunday, 15 January 2017

A snowy school run. #MySundayPhoto

On Friday morning I expected to wake to a decent amount of snow.....Nope, not here where I live. This was it. By 9am it was all slushy and by about 11am it had all gone. Hmmf! No snowmen for us.


Saturday, 14 January 2017

A photo everyday for a year! #Project365 - Week 2

This past week wasn't the best week for us...We've had sickness, burns, sore throats and sore arms. We're all feeling a lot better now though! 


7/365 - 7th January
Ellie bought the Playmobil hospital with her Christmas money....This is Stu and her putting it together.

8/365 - 8th January
Ellie's teddies were having a get together....

9/365 - 9th January
I had a poorly girl. She was fine by the next day.

10/365 - 10th January
As much as I say put your toys away there is always a pile on the stairs. Grr!

11/365 - 11th January
I had the contraceptive implant changed in my arm....I was sent home with the info card and a fresh dressing to put on it. Ouch! It is still hurting.

12/365 - 12th January
I love her to bits but my teen is an idiot. She got stuck in a cardboard box....lol I had to take a photo before I rescued her.

13/365 - 13th January
We had snow....What a let down. It had gone by about 11am.


Friday, 13 January 2017

This week has been one big pain! #WotW

This week my Word of the week is....


There has been a lot of pain this week in my house.... Thankfully most of it was short lived and over quickly.....

It started at the weekend....This is probably too much information but hey ho....lol I had period pain. I don't usually get periods because of my Contraceptive implant but it needed changing (I will come to that) and I decided the only thing to ease the pain would be a hot water bottle on my belly.....I filled it and put it on my belly. Lovely. After a couple of hours it had cooled and I got up to refill it and go to the loo.....I felt something gooey. I had been burned. The hot water bottle had burned me. It hadn't leaked or split it was just too hot even though it didn't feel it.....There was one burn bigger than a two pence piece and a couple of smaller one's....Ugh! It has been sore. I've been keeping it clean and dry and it's been a great excuse to stay in my PJ's because wearing jeans just hurts and rubs on the burns.....

A pain in my bum this week has been Tesco.....I blogged about my parcel going missing....I thought it was all sorted. Tesco had given me £5 as an apology but they just keep giving.....I ordered a mouse and they decided to refund me the money for that too? I didn't ask for a refund or want one. The mouse works fine.....I messaged them to find out what was going on and it turns out someone had mistakenly hit a button somewhere....They are kindly letting me keep the £6 and the mouse....What a palaver! 

On Monday Ellie came home from school really chuffed with herself....She had cookery at school and had made spaghetti bolognese. It looked and smelled lovely. She ate it not long after she got in from school and by about 5pm she was complaining of a sore head and that she felt sick.....She had a sleep on the sofa, woke up and was sick! Oh joy! I'm trying not to blame the spaghetti bolognese but when she had been sick she perked up a little. She was sick a few more times and was up and down all night wanting cuddles and complaining of a sore belly.....She had a day off school & it took her until Tuesday afternoon to get back to her normal self.....

On Wendesday I went off to the hospital to get my contraceptive implant changed.....Last time I had it replaced they took the old one out & put the new one in it's place now the policy has changed and it has to be put in the other arm or so the lady thought telling me this....When she came to take the old one out it turns out they've changed the rules about where it's placed too so it meant I could have it in the same arm but just further round.....Phew! I was not looking forward to having two sore arms....Getting it changed was mostly painless.....I nearly cried when she put the general anesthetic in....lol In my defence I am terrified of needles....When the anesthetic wore off it was sore....It still is now but I'm sure it will feel better soon.....I think a few days of pain is totally worth it....I get no periods hardly and there will be no babies from me for the next 3 years.....hehehe

Becky hasn't being left out of being in pain this week either.....She is coming down with a cold and has a sore throat....Bless her. The only one this week not in pain is Stu....lol He had his share of pain last week with his shoulder but it seems better now. Phew!

What a week! I am hoping for no more pain for a while!


Thursday, 12 January 2017

The last thing I…

I saw this over on Lisa's Life absolutely ages ago, it has been sat in my drafts for ages and I have finally got around to it.


1. Who Did You Last Talk To?
Stu last night as we were getting into bed....Discussing the fact that the kids toys are taking over the landing. They shouldn't be.....

2. What was the last outfit you wore?
A big thick jumper and jeans....Pretty standard for me at this time of year....

3. What was the last thing you ate?
A Terry's chocolate orange bar last night....

4. What was the last thing you drank?
A hot chocolate....Chocolate orange flavoured to go with my chocolate bar. hehehe

5. Last sport you played?
I have no idea. Tennis on the Wii. lol I am not a sporty person.

6. Who did you email last?
A PR person about a product to review....

7. Which one of your friends did you talk to last?
One of my friends on the school run....

8. What was the last thing you watched on TV?
The news....

9. Last blog you checked?
The Inspiration Edit. If you haven't read Angela's blog do go and have a look....I love it. She has great advice, really thought provoking posts and she is just a lovely person.

10. Last game you played?
The Sims 4....I got the latest expansion pack for Christmas (City Living) and it has drawn me back into playing....

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Bread bun pizza's....

Last week we were supposed to have Ham and pineapple pizza muffins but someone forgot to buy the muffins and the pineapple (me) so we had to improvise and came up with Bread Bun Pizzas which was nearly the same thing.....Sort of.

Becky my teen made them and I supervised. 

We used:


4 Brown bread buns.
Mushrooms.
Frozen diced onions.
Tinned sweetcorn.
Tomato & Basil Sauce.
Grated mozzarella cheese.
Salami.

We fried the mushrooms and onions while Becky halved the bread buns and coated the buns in the Tomato & Basil Sauce. Becky then added the sweetcorn, the mushrooms and onions that had cooked....She chopped the salami and added the cheese to her two and one of Ellie's....I didn't fancy cheese on mine.


We popped them in the oven for about 15 minutes and then they were done....It was such a quick and easy tea. 

It gave Becky a chance to learn how to cook a meal and she felt so chuffed with herself.....It's now added to the list of meals that she can make herself.


They tasted so good and the girls are already asking for them again.


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

The story of a missing parcel....

I order a lot from offline and quite a lot from Tesco Direct.....Over the last few months I seem to have had an issue with things being delivered to me. Basically them not delivering when they say they are going to.....

I have been laying the blame at Tesco's door when in fact over the weekend I realised it isn't them which is the problem it is the people who deliver their products.....


Out of the last 4 deliveries I have had 3 not arrive when or where they should have.....Going back a few months I ordered some play sand on next day delivery it didn't arrive the next day and my order seemed to be lost at a warehouse somewhere. Tesco kindly arranged for my item to be resent....The day after it should have arrived my sand arrived and I told Tesco this and then the next day more sand arrived which I told the driver to take away.....Grr!

I bought Becky a new tablet nearly a fortnight ago and again paid for next day delivery.....It didn't arrive when it should. It was delayed at a warehouse somewhere. I can sort of understand with it being over the Christmas and new year period but I still wasn't happy....

Ellie had some money from Christmas to spend and on Friday I ordered her the Playmobil hospital for her and a new computer mouse for me from Tesco. I paid for next day delivery and it was supposed to arrive Saturday. I got the text from the delivery company DPD to say will be delivered between 9.57am and 10.57am. I sat here waiting....Keeping an eye on the window and there was nothing.....

Just after 11am I checked online on the status of my order....I saw that it had been delivered and signed for at 10.06am.


Nothing had been delivered to my house so I got on the phone to Tesco....They confirmed it had been delivered and signed for....They put me on hold and rang DPD who said a man had signed for it and that was is.....The woman on the phone said all they could do was raise a dispute and someone would be in touch within 48 hours....I felt like she didn't believe me....You hear of people doing things like this. Ordering things, saying they haven't recieved it and getting the money refunded or another item sent out.....I think they thought I was doing that.....

I was furious.....I had spent nearly £80 and wanted my parcel. I got Stu to ring DPD. He is better on the phone than I am.....He can use an angry voice without sounding like he is shouting. hehehe He had words and they got the driver on the phone.....He said he might of misread the number and delivered it to the wrong house. Say I am at 33 he may have delivered it to 38. (I don't live at 33. It was just an example) They agreed to send the driver back and find the parcel in a few hours.....

It still wasn't enough for me.....I sent Stu off knocking at doors.....Thankfully the parcel was with one of my neighbours!! The man who signed for it says he just assumed we weren't in and took it in expecting us to come for it later.....I believe him. We take parcels in for his wife and she does for us now and again.....

The DPD driver rang us and apologised....He said he is new to the area and didn't check properly because he was in a rush....Sorry, that is not my problem. I am putting it purely down to laziness.....With him being careless he has wasted more time faffing around on the phone to Tesco and his bosses trying to find my parcel. I hope he learned his lesson and takes more care in future....

I rang Tesco back to let them know we had found the parcel and spoke to a lovely man who was apologetic and said he would pass the message on to the people dealing with the dispute claim. Later in the afternoon the person who I first spoke to rang and said the parcel had been located at my neighbours house....I said I know and explained what happened after I had spoken to her.....She hadn't got the message. Grr! 

As I am writing this I am still very annoyed....I was made to feel like a fraud, spent at least a couple of hours trying to find a parcel which wasn't delivered to where it should have been.....It really puts me off buying from Tesco direct. I know it's not their fault at all but they need to have a word with DPD who delivers their products.....

Monday, 9 January 2017

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday


Last weeks meal plan went pretty well.....I forgot to buy the muffins for the pizza muffins so we just used bread buns. They worked well. Becky was feeling helpful and decided she would make them....I supervised and she did a great job...

I went through the fridge, freezer and cupboards and took notice of what we have in and this week the shopping only cost £61 which is a big difference from the £100 that I usually spend....It meant we got to put some money into the savings....

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Jacket potatoes and beans....
Tuesday - Soup of some sort....
Wednesday - Healthy Pot Noodles....
Thursday - Scampi, chips and peas....
Friday - Pizza hot dogs....
Saturday - Chicken fajitas....
Sunday - Roast chicken dinner....

What are you eating this week?

Sunday, 8 January 2017

The After Eight Game. #MySundayPhoto

My girls had great fun with a box of After Eights on New Years Eve.....They played the After Eight game....

The aim of the game is to move the chocolate from your forehead to your mouth using only facial movements. 


They had the best time!

Saturday, 7 January 2017

A photo everyday for a year! #Project365 - Week 1

Here we go again....As it is a new year it is time to start Project 365 again. Just the same as Project 366 but with one less day as it isn't a leap year this year......

On to a photo every day....


1/365 - 1st January
Fireworks....Just off the TV & technically the 1st of January. We had a late night and I didn't take any other photos that day....

2/365 - 2nd January
Becky got her new tablet.

3/365 - 3rd January
Bread bun pizzas.

4/365 - 4th January
I found the last of the mince pies. The girls were back at school and it made me feel better about the early start.

5/365 - 5th January
Scooting home....

6/365 - 6th January
Becky doing the she's happy it's Friday dance.