Monday, 19 February 2018

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday

Last weeks meal plan was pretty much a disaster....For those of you who think I am amazing at meal planning, last week was a plan that didn't go to plan at

Ellie was poorly on Monday so baking was off which actually worked out well because on Friday I received a fabulous stand mixer to review....Tuesday we ate the pancakes as planned. On Valentines day I had forgotten to checkout and pay for the meal deal from Tesco so we had takeaway pizza. On Thursday I don't know what we ate as we didn't go out like we had planned, we didn't get the Chinese takeaway. Stu did make a chicken stir fry so we still had Chinese sort of. On Saturday we had our day out to Newcastle and we stuffed ourselves with McDonalds at lunch we felt like nothing for tea and just picked and snacked....Yesterday we had a full on fry up. Sausage, bacon, eggs, black pudding, mushrooms, tomatoes and baked beans.....

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Mince & dumplings made in the slow cooker....
Tuesday - The leftover mince will be made into a cottage pie....
Wednesday - Fish nuggets, chips and beans....
Friday - Pizza....
Saturday - Meatball gravy subs.... 
Sunday - A roast dinner of some sort...

What will you be eating this week?

Sunday, 18 February 2018

The Fearne by Swan Stand Mixer - Review!

You may remember last year I was nominated by Jayne at Sticky Mud & Belly Laughs to take part in an gifting challenge.....I was sent the Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor & V6 Cord Free Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner Bundle to review. Well she has only went and nominated me again to work with AO.....

With it being Valentines day earlier in the week it’s a great time of year to treat someone and a fantastic excuse to say thanks to someone other than a partner or loved one. I have to agree! Jayne choose something for me and I chose something for her and you can read about what I chose for her one her blog....

I received the Fearne by Swan Stand Mixer....Wow! I was not expecting something like this. I watch the Great British bake off and I have always dreamed about owning one of these mixers! I am very grateful.... 

Whip up delicious treats with this peacock food mixer from Fearne By Swan. Its 1500 Watt output makes short work of combining ingredients, and with 4 accessories to choose from, you’ll always have the perfect tools for your culinary creations. The dough tool is specially designed to create the perfect loaf every time. You’ll always achieve the ideal consistency too, thanks to the pulse function, as it delivers short bursts of power until your mix is just right. It also has a direct drive motor which is really hardwearing and incredibly quiet, so you’ll have no trouble preparing heavier mixtures.

When the delivery driver handed me the box I nearly dropped it....It was heavy. Not too heavy for me to lift but heavier than I expected. 

There wasn't a box of things to put together. There was the bowl guard, whisker, beater and dough hook....It was just a case of giving it wash, attach the tool I needed and I was good to go.....Of course after I had read the instructions which were simple to understand. I could have actually have got away without reading them as it was so straightforward to use....

The tools were easy to put on and remove and it was easy to move up and down into the bowl....I am usually not good when it comes to using things like this but I managed everything myself without even asking my fella for help....

I decided to step out of my comfort zone and make something I wouldn't normally bake. I thought I would make something which needed kneading so I could really put the mixer through it's paces so I decided on the Hot Cross Bun loaf which I found on Tesco's website.

I rubbed the flour and butter together then added everything else to the bowl and set the mixer away mixing. I added the milk and I was jumping for joy seeing how quickly and well it all mixed together. 

I then changed the attachment and set it away kneading the mixture. It was amazing. You can see in the video below how it did. It certainly saved my arms....

There is 10 speed settings and I started off on the lowest speed and went up to about 4 while mixing and then when kneading I put it up to 5 which seemed enough.....

I would say it worked.....I have never made dough before but it did what it was supposed to do and the end result looked amazing and tasted even better.

I then went on to make carrot cakes and a Victoria sponge cake and I can honestly say they are the best I have ever made! They were so light and fluffy and I am putting that down to the stand mixer! 

I used the whisk tool to mix the cream and thicken it up. I worked my way up to the fastest speed and it took about 5 minutes to make the cream for in the middle of the Victoria sandwich cake.....

I would say it makes a little noise but no more than you would expect. When it whisked the cream at the top speed it did get loud but it wasn't deafening....

This stand mixer is fantastic. It makes baking effortless. I know I will be using it again and again....As well as it being brilliant it is also so pretty. The colour is gorgeous. Not too bright but bright enough to add some colour to my kitchen.

The The Fearne by Swan Stand Mixer costs £269. I think it is worth every penny. It is so strong and robust and I can see it lasting many, many years....It is one of those things I didn't know I needed until I got one.

I feel like I am now a star baker thanks to this stand mixer! Now I am on the hunt for more recipes....No more packet mixes for me! It really is a game changer when it comes to baking!

Thank you for Jayne for nominating me to take part and AO for sending it.

I was sent this stand mixer free of charge in exchange for my review. This is is! All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Helping with some baking. #MySundayPhoto

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Week 7 - A photo everyday for a year. #Project365

We have had a good week....The kids have been off school for half term and my fella off work....We've spent plenty of time relaxing, doing crafts, baking and I've had some exciting deliveries of things that I am reviewing here on the blog....

Here is a photo for every day....

41/365 - 10th February
The girls were busy colouring their canvasses....

42/365 - 11th February
A Sunday evening of not having to rush about getting ready for school. We love the school holidays....

43/365 - 12th February
She changed her bedroom around....All she needed help with was moving her TV. She was so chuffed with the end result....

44/365 - 13th February
We did some crafts. Some Chinese new year one's...

45/365 - 14th February
My fella knows me so well. He got me pj's for Valentines day....

46/365 - 15th February
I got sent a huge selection of teas to try....I was amazed! I was not expecting all of this.

47/365 - 16th February
Yesterday I did some baking....Ellie of course had to help out.

Friday, 16 February 2018

We've had a week of being together. #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:

This might be a long one....The kids have been on their half term holidays and Stu my fella has been off work. We have spent the week together and it has been lovely! We haven't really done much but at the same time we seem to have done loads and had a lot going on....

On Monday Ellie spent the day on the sofa sleeping after not feeling too well. She was fine after a long nap....Becky decided that she was going to change her bedroom around.....She moved everything all she needed help with was moving her TV. She was so proud with the end results.

I spent Monday afternoon trying to fix problems with my Twitter which weren't even caused by me. (I thought they were to start with. lol). Twitter is blocking all UK Blogspot links which meant I couldn't tweet anything promoting my blog. I spent a good couple of hours stressing about it while a few lovely ladies in a Facebook group tried to help. Another lady was having the same problem so I didn't feel so alone. I still don't think it's fixed but I have discovered that if I change the uk to com it works fine! Phew!

There was also the reminder from Facebook that it was nine years since Ellie broke her finger which meant it was 9 years on Tuesday gone since we found out she had a problem with her heart....

I have spent the last week or so blogging about all CHD related things as it was CHD Awareness Week. It is therapeutic to get things out and if one person reads one of my CHD blog posts and learns something I feel like I am doing some good....

On Tuesday we had a day of doing crafts. The girls finished their canvasses off which I showed in My Sunday Photo post...We painted plant pots and did some Chinese new year crafts which will be on a YouTube channel later today....I edited the video but forgot to upload it. Oops. Oh and we of course ate plenty of pancakes.....

I had a wonderful Valentines day and felt very spoilt. My fella knows me so well. New pj's, bath bombs, chocolates and a few other bits made me so happy....hehehe He loved the hammer I bought him and the personalised beer glass...I had planned on cooking a meal for us both. The £20 meal deal from Tesco. I added it to the basket but forgot to checkout and pay. lol We had a takeaway. The kids were happy.

Yesterday Stu had a day of DIY....He broke the flush on the toilet & had to buy a replacement and fit it. He then went on and hung a couple of mirrors that we had got a while ago. We now all have full length mirrors in our bedrooms....Becky played on the xBox and Ellie and I on The Sims....

We still haven't made it to Newcastle on our shopping trip. Time seems to have just ran away with us. When we haven't been doing stuff we have just been relaxing. We are hoping to go tomorrow....I hate Newcastle on a Saturday as it's always so busy. At least there isn't a football match on! Phew!

Thursday, 15 February 2018

100 Truths Tag....

Late last year I saw the 100 Truths tag doing the rounds and decided that I wanted to do it too.....I copied the questions from Our Rach Blogs and invite you to take part too! 

The Basics

1) What’s your name?

2) Any nicknames or aliases?
My dad calls me Kimbo. I'm Northumberland Mam and when I signed up for Instagram I used Kimmer2111.

3) Your gender?

4) Your star sign?

5) How old are you?

6) Your relationship status?
It's complicated....Only kidding. My fella and I are living in sin. We've been engaged for about 11 years.

7) Any children?
2 girls. Becky and Ellie.

8) Any pets?

9) Any tattoos or piercings?
No none of either...I am so boring.

10) What do you like about yourself?
I will help anyone if I can!

11) What do you dislike about yourself?
My achy back. I suffer with nearly constant back pain and it sometimes gets me down.

12) Righty or lefty?
I'm a righty.

13) The last thing you drank:
Pear drop wine.

14) The last thing you ate:
A doughnut.

15) Your last phone call:
It was probably from my dad...I hate speaking on the phone and only ever speak to my dad, great aunt, fella or my girls. lol

16) Your last text message?
Was to my dad's girlfriend asking if she had made a new Facebook account as I had a random friend request from her.

17) Your last email:
Was from Bloglovin telling me I had a new follower and the last one I sent was to someone who asked to place a banner on my blog and write a blog post with a follow link and they would pay me $12! Wow! I told them where to go in the nicest of ways....

18) The last song you listened to:
Defying Gravity. I'm rewatching Glee.

19) The last book you read:
Probably one of the Fifty shades of grey books years ago...

20) The last time you cried:
It was probably at one of the James Bulger documentaries last week...

21) The last blog you read:
Mum of three world I think....

22) The last person you spoke to:
Becky, my teen.

23) The last place you visited:
The corner shop.

24) Your last holiday abroad:
Never. I haven't been abroad....

Have you ever?

25) Have you ever gotten back with an ex?
Not officially but may have had a little fling of sorts....

26) Have you ever been cheated on?

27) Have you ever cheated on someone?

28) Have you ever lost someone special to you?
At the time I thought so. An ex but not really.

29) Have you ever been so drunk you threw up?
Yep! I am known for it. lol

30) Have you ever fallen out of love with someone?
Yes. Becky's biological father. He was lazy and paranoid. Not attractive qualities at all.

31) Have you ever met someone who changed you?
Yes. My fella Stu...He changed me for the better.

32) Have you ever been in a situation where you found out who your real friends are?
Yes! Several times!

33) Have you ever kissed someone you probably shouldn’t have?
I'm 38. Of course I have.

34) Have you ever found out people were talking about you behind your back?
Yes and it didn't really bother me...They obviously have nothing better to do with their time..

35) Have you ever broken someone’s heart?
I think so...

36) Have you ever kissed a stranger?
Yes. All I knew was his name...

37) Have you ever had your own heart-broken?
Not really....I have always been ready to leave the relationship before my ex's.

38) Have you ever had sex on the first date?
The 2nd

39) Have you ever been arrested?
No but I have came close...

40) Have you ever been attracted to someone who isn’t the gender you usually find attractive?
Beyonce, Adele, Chrissy Teigen, Kylie, Buffy the Vampire Slayer....Strong women. 

41) Have you ever done something you regret?
All the time....

42) Have you ever had a threesome?

43) Have you ever embarrassed yourself in public?
Not that I can think of....I probably have when I've been drunk. Oops.

44) Have you ever misjudged someone?
Yes! For better and for worse. Those who I thought were good people weren't and vice versa.

Your Beliefs and Opinions

45)  Do you believe in God?

46) Do you believe in yourself?

47) Do you believe in Santa Claus? 
I am Santa Claus! hehehe

48) Do you believe in ghosts?
I think so....

49) Do you believe in aliens?
I'm not sure....There has to be something out there?

50) Do you believe in miracles?

51) Do you believe in the power of positive thinking?
Not really. If something bad is going to happen it's going to happen anyway....You can think about it how you like but it will still happen.....Then you can be positive about the negative. I'm such a pessimist.

52) Do you believe in love at first sight?
Nope. It's never happened to me....

53) Can money make you happy?
Yes! Being an idiot with money will make you unhappy!

54) Would you describe yourself as a feminist?
I don't know.....I believe women are equal to men but seeing things on social media makes me roll my eyes and that some people go way over the top.

55) Are you pro-life or pro-choice?
I am pro-choice...

56 Do you have strong political beliefs?
No. The country is messed up....What I believe isn't going to make a difference.

57) Do you have strong religious beliefs?
No, not at all. I don't have any religious beliefs at all...

58) What do you think the most important thing you can give a child is?
Happiness and love!

Right Now

59) Are you eating anything right now?

60) Are you drinking anything right now?
Rose Blossom Hill Wine.

61) What are you listening to right now?
The Voice on ITV...

62) What are you thinking about right now?
That my teen is looking over my shoulder while I'm writing this and she is chuckling and questioning my answers...I am so glad she wasn't here when I was answering the questions earlier. #38 onwards. hahaha

63) What are you waiting for right now?
The kids going to bed....

64) What are you most excited about right now?
Going shopping in Newcastle with my girls....

65) What’s your pet hate right now?
People leaving links in the comments to my blog posts.

66) What’s your favourite thing right now?
Cactus Jack Schnapps.

67) If you weren’t answering these questions, what would you be doing right now?
Writing another blog post...


68) Your first best friend:
A school friend. Angelina, from primary school.

69) Your first kiss:
Some random lad, at a party via spin the bottle.

70) Your first celebrity crush:
Robbie Williams when he was in Take That. He's still a big crush of mine now....

71)  Your first holiday:
Was to Blackpool when I was about 6.

72) Your first pet:
Was Dillion a cat. He died when I was about 4 and I can still remember how heartbroken I was....

73) Your first regret:
Shaving the hair on my upper lip.

74) Your first job:
Was at some riding stables....I lived on a farm and had my own horses but wanted to shovel other peoples horses poop just for riding lessons.

75) Your first childhood memory:
Was sitting on the settee when I was four years old eating dry cereal and being told not to move by my grandad....I'd fallen down the stairs and I've been told since that my mam and dad were out collecting money for the milk round they had....There was no mobile phones back then so they couldn't be contacted so I was waiting for my Aunt Jean to come and take me to hospital....I had broken my arm..

Which would you choose?

76) Love or money?
Love. I have that now and I'm happy. Money would be nice but it's not the be all and end all....

77) Twitter or Facebook?
Easy! Twitter. I don't use Facebook now unless it's for blog things.

78) Hook up or relationship?

79) Dogs or cats?
Neither but if I had to choose cats.

80) Coffee or tea?

81) Beer or wine?

82) Sweet or savoury?
Savoury. I love chocolate but that is probably it. Sausage rolls, pies, crisps and pizza. Yum!

83) Introvert or extrovert?
Introvert for sure! I am so shy!

84) Vampires or werewolves?
I love Buffy the Vampire slayer so have to say Vampires. I do love Angel & Spike.

85) Seaside or countryside?
Both. It depends on my mood....

86) Summer or winter?
Summer as long as it's not too hot!

87) Books or movies?
Movies. The only thing I read now are blogs...

88) Horror or comedy?
Comedy! I do not like horror films.

A few random questions to finish on.

89) Do you wish you could change your past?
No. It has made me who I am.

90) What’s your dream job?
I don't know...I would love to do something social media related.

91) What’s your guilty pleasure?
Tv shows. All the soaps and Geordie Shore.

92) What are you afraid of?

93) What was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up?
A teacher.

94) If you could have any super power, what would it be?
I would love to know what other people think, especially my girls....

95) If you could change anything about your life what would it be? 
This could be a whole other blog post....

96) Would you want immortality?
I don't think so.....I would like to live to an old age and not die of something horrible and drawn out like cancer....Let me get hit by a bus in my 90's and I'll be happy.

97) If you could interview anyone alive or dead who would you choose?
Freddie Mercury! I am watching some show about him on TV at the moment and he was such a talented, interesting man.

98) Would you say you are happy?
Mostly, yes.

99) What one piece of advice would you give to yourself at age eighteen?
Be you! Don't try to change yourself.

100) Where would you like to be in five years’ time?
Eek! Becky will be 20 and Ellie 15. I can't think that far ahead....

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

How having a CHD effects my girls lives.... #CHDAwareness

It is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week! Both of my girls have heart defects and so do I. I told our story a good few years ago....Part one and Part two. I am sharing some posts about Congenital Heart Defect's (CHD's). 

We discovered Ellie had a heart defect in the February and Becky a couple of months later.....By the end of August they had, had their heart surgeries and were mostly fixed. They are still left with leaking valves but it doesn't affect their day to day lives. Well until I think about it....

The cold.
Becky really feels the cold.....More than the average person. She rarely wears just a t-shirt even in the summer. It has to be really hot for her to lose the hoodie or cardigan. In the winter I feel so sorry for her....Some evenings she will come home from school and her lips will have a blue tinge. It easily takes her a good couple of hours to warm up....

The sweating.
One of Ellie's main symptoms of her heart defect was sweating...She would be dripping with sweat even on the coldest of days...Since having her surgery she still sweats excessively but only at the correct times....No more sweating just sitting around on a cold day but will sweat buckets running around on a hot day.....More than the average child....

Missing School.
I think there has been one year in my girls school lives where they have had full attendance at school....Before Becky had her heart surgery she would catch everything bug or cold going....Since her surgery she has been pretty good at not catching things. Since the girls were diagnosed they had yearly checks and it's only the last 4 years where they have gone to 18 months/2 years...

The girls have to have the full day off school because of where the hospital is. Up until last year the cardiac clinic was always on an afternoon....It takes us 2 hours to get there so it wasn't a rush. Last year the clinic was moved to the morning and our appointment was at 10am. We left the house at half past 7 in the morning and were still 5 minutes late for our appointment.....It was nearly midday by the time we had finished at the hospital so even if we rushed the girls back to school they still wouldn't get there until after 2pm. What's the point....

Their Scars.
Both of my girls have scars down the middle of their chests where they were cut open and then on either side of their abdomens where there were drains to take the blood away....The scars a constant reminder of what they went through and how far they have came...Becky is paranoid about hers and keeps it well hidden but Ellie's goes a little further up her chest and is harder is to hide. She does not care though. She wears it like a badge of honour and I always remember a few years ago when one child questioned her scar and she went off on one telling them all about her surgery in graphic detail. I think she may have slightly exaggerated the amount of blood and the stitches. lol 

Medical history.
I always find it funny when someone asks for my girls medical histories....It always seems to result in someone saying "Oh my god!" or something along those lines. It's wrong but seeing their faces does amuse me...

Being honest.
I have always been honest with my girls about their heart conditions. Well to an extent. I never told them that their was a small chance they could die during surgery but since then I have been truthful....They know their hearts were fixed but they will need surgery in the future....

Future surgery.
My girls will need surgery in the future to fix their leaky valves.....We are not sure when but it is looking to be in about 20 years. They will be adults so it will be out of my hands but it won't stop me worrying......Worst case scenario is that their hearts will swell, get damaged and they need a transplant....That is the worst of the worst though. We are just looking at new heart valves being put in......