A Mothers Ramblings: 2010

Thursday, 30 December 2010

2010 in Review according to us here at A Mothers Ramblings!

Last year I reviewed the year in both words and in photos and as you may if noticed yesterdays Wordless Wednesday post was our review of the year in photos... which makes today our review in words!

The posts that are listed here are how I think I sum up 2010 here at A Mothers Ramblings

January: Daddy Date Nights I choose this because it was a sign of how much Daddy is a part of Top Ender and Baby Boys Life.


Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Going the Distance/Why my Marriage Works

Just before Christmas I was sent a link about a couple who have travelled the world asking the people that they meet about the secret to a long lasting relationship and now they are about to travel the UK asking the same thing. You can see them on Facebook and on YouTube or by going to goingthedistanceuk.com, and I will be interested in what it is that others have to say because whilst I don't proclaim to be an expert I can tell you why my marriage works.


You see when I first met Daddy I knew that we were going to be married, in fact he pretty much knew the same thing at the same time. It wasn't just love at first sight, it was understanding at first sight. We introduced each other to new things, we discovered things about each other (and ourselves) and we made each other laugh. I think that a few people know that Daddy and I got engaged just three days after we had met, (although to not worry our parents as much we waited a few months before we made it official), and this was because we knew that we had found the right person to be with.

Wordless Wednesday - This was 2010

January

February

March

April
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May

June

July


August

September
A New School Year

October
Crunching Autumn Leaves

November

Foggy Sunlight

December

Baby

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

A Trip to the Cinema

Daddy and Top Ender have always had Daddy Daughter Date Nights and Top Ender and I have traditionally had Mummy Daughter Date Mornings. It started when we needed to be out of the house on a Saturday morning so that Daddy could sleep (he would work all night on a Friday) and the one thing that I knew that was within our budget and would keep us out of the cold was going to the cinema (It was in our budget because the Movies for Juniors at the weekend are £1 per person) for a couple of hours. Top Ender and I loved sitting in the dark together holding hands in the "mild peril" sections of the film, eating popcorn and chocolate stars, laughing at the funny bits, waiting until the very last name on the credits rolled past before we got out of our seats and then discussing the film and our favourite parts all the way home. When Baby Boy was born we went a few times, but we soon stopped going because we had other things to do and our already tight budget was even tighter. Also Baby Boy wasn't that impressed with watching a film in the semi-dark...

Top Ender and Mummy in the dark at the cinema


Friday, 24 December 2010

Twas the Night before Christmas...

I am feeling a little like I am living the classic poem "Twas the Night before Christmas". Just to prove it here are some pictures that I have taken this evening.

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

An Ikea Toy Mouse hanging from the loft hatch

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

Christmas Stocking Garland


The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.

Baby Boy in bed on Christmas EveTop Ender in bed on Christmas Eve

Really I could't make my life up could I?!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

I don't do Ice-Cream... even posh Ice-Cream

I love sweet things. Give me some chocolate and I am happy. Give me a bag of sugar and I will look at you a little oddly, but will still be quite pleased. Give me a bowl of ice-cream and I will hand it right back to you. I don't do ice-cream. I have managed to convince myself that Ice-cream sets my teeth off (I have sensitive teeth so it does) when really I just don't want to become totally addicted to the stuff and put on more weight.  Top Ender, Baby Boy and Daddy love ice-cream and a mention of ice-cream normally results in me getting other chores done first.

"Yes, Darling you may have some ice-cream... but won't you just quickly tidy up the toys?"

That's not wrong or evil parenting; That's smart thinking I'll have you know. When we were asked if we would like to try Kelly's of Cornwall Ice-Cream (and they sent me some vouchers to buy some) I said yes as a look at the website showed this wasn't just ordinary Ice-cream. This was special ice-cream. Luxurious ice-cream. Gosh I sound like an advert for Marks and Spencer's don't I?

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

How Many Christmas Trees?!

I love Christmas and Christmas Trees. I know you know it already, but I just thought I should make it clear from the start, because this post is about the Christmas Trees in my house. That's right I said TREES, as in multiple. I don't think I am as bad as my Mum who for years had two trees in the living room (one either end as it was a long Living Room) as I have managed to keep it to one tree per room. Apart from in the Bathroom. And the Hallway. And possibly my Living Room...

Anyway, here is a quick tour of my Christmas Trees!


And because I wouldn't go out in the snow, here is a picture of the tree outdoors that I took the other day!

Stick Outdoor Christmas Tree

Yes I know that it has blue lights, but they are static!

Monday, 20 December 2010

Nativity - A Film Review

Everyone knows the story of The Nativity, as one character in the film says go to any school in any town in any Christian area of the world during December and you can watch it. And yet when Daddy surprised me with an early Christmas gift of a DVD of Nativity I couldn't wait to watch it. We sat down last night and I even put down my ipod and didn't tweet once despite it being the sort of film that has perfect tweet one liners!

Poster for Nativity!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

The Great Christmas Light Hunt

As I have mentioned before, going on a Christmas Light Hunt is one of the best things about Christmas for me. I love getting Top Ender and Baby Boy to look out of their windows looking for a display that is worthy of us all stopping to look at. We went on such a hunt just the other night, and found many houses in the local area who really have gone all out this year with impressive displays of colour and Christmas iconography. The one display that I still hadn't seen however was our local High Streets. This year I hadn't been able to attend the big switch on, as I had been at the Good Food Show and so Daddy, Top Ender and Baby Boy had walked down instead. As in the Milton Keynes area you are never too far away from anywhere, we decided to drive up the High Street so that I could see the tree, and the lights strung across the street for the first time this year and Top Ender and Baby Boy could see them again. I don't know what it is about our High Street, but when it is dark and the Christmas lights are on, there is something magical about it.

Christmas Lights in the High Street

Saturday, 18 December 2010

BBC Good Food Show

Five years ago Daddy went to the Good Food Show. He came back with goodies galore for Top Ender and I and he was very full from the samples of foods that he had been offered. It was/is one of those things on our bucket list that we would go to a show in the future together but we just never got round to it before Miele invited me this years Winters show. Sorry Scratch that Miele were sponsoring the MasterChef experience and so they invited me to a couple of cook along sessions on stage and to cook for the MasterChef presenters John Torode and Gregg Wallace.

Good Food Show Birmingham

Christmas Gifts for my Mum

When I buy Christmas gifts for friends and family I normally follow a theme. I find that it helps me focus what I am buying and also allows me to exploit a range of gifts that would be suitable for the recipient in a range of prices. It also means that I can create what looks like an expensive gift, but in fact is just well thought out and can be put together in seconds! The best examples of these are creating themed hampers as it is a nice way to link together a seemingly random series of gifts hidden under the Christmas tree.

Christmas Gifts under the Tree

Thursday, 16 December 2010

A Kenwood Mixer called Ken, who makes fantastic Christmas Cakes and Memories.

My Kenwood Mixer is about as old as I am. It used to belong to my Nan, but because of the weight and the size of it, it stayed in her kitchen cupboard just thinking about the old days when it was used all the time. One weekend when I was down at my Nan's, not too long before Christmas, she asked if I would like to have her Kenwood Mixer. I think that I got it out of the cupboard then and there and went and put it in my car before she could change her mind. This was the mixer which had made the all important Christmas Cake for the last *cough* twenty-one *cough* years and goodness knows how many other treats through out the years. When I got Ken home (Yes, my mixer is a he and therefore called Ken) I put him up on the side in my kitchen. No cupboard for Ken at our house. The first thing that I made in Ken was the Christmas Cake.

Kenwood Mixer mixing Christmas Cake Batter

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

A Garland of Christmas Stockings

Top Ender, Baby Boy and I seem to have got into some rather good habits of late and added to the bonus of us having cleared out a lot of junk this year from all our rooms (it took a lot of effort!) we are getting our daily chores done very quickly. This last Sunday Daddy went to work leaving Baby Boy, Top Ender and I up and ready and with not a lot to do after we had done the chores. As I have hurt my back going for a walk just wasn't an option and so we decided that we would make the Christmas Stocking Garland that I brought from a local 99p Stores. The kit wasn't something I would normally buy as with the large amount of craft items that we have in the house, we have everything we need to make our own... well everything really. When Baby Boy and I were having a good look round the store, these had caught our eye however and we figured that they would be a good buy (read Baby Boy wouldn't let go of them).

Stocking Garland on the Floor

Monday, 13 December 2010

Glittery Pine Cones

I thought that I had blogged about these before, but I couldn't find them anywhere! During the autumn a couple of years back Top Ender collected a number of pine cones. She was going through a real scavenger phase and everything that she brought had to be kept. I still have a couple of jars of conkers! I decided that if we had to keep them then they might as well look festive and so one afternoon Top Ender and I set about making the pine cones glittery.

Glittery Pine Cones

Saturday, 11 December 2010

No Ferrero at Christmas is like not having Turkey

When I was younger Christmas was a huge deal. We would really push the boat out with snacks and treats for during Christmas Day and the rest of the Holiday period. We would buy pickles and sweets and chocolates and crisps and nuts and everything else like Ferrero Rocher that at any other time of the year would be considered as luxurious treats. On Christmas Day the foods were a tradition, they were a chance to show our friends and family that we were affluent, we were posh, we were the kind of family that casually offered our guests luxury snacks as if we ate them everyday.

It was a tradition that I brought to my marriage, we have treats every night in advent, and on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and every night right up to Top Ender's birthday on the 3rd of January. For Top Ender, Baby Boy and me there are a lot more treats that we can eat than Daddy and Ferrero Rocher are one of the treats that are just for us. This year we had a card sent to us from Ferrero and because they remembered that Daddy can't eat the treats it was just Top Ender, Baby Boy and I that were featured on the card!


Friday, 10 December 2010

Personalised Messages from Santa

Last Christmas, I told you all about how Santa Claus had been talking to me via the TV and the Internet and I thought it was about time that I shared with you the personalised messages that he has been sending me this year. It turns out that my blog post Santa Caught on Webcam (where Santa comes out of my chimney and goes upstairs to Top Ender and Baby Boy's bedrooms) wasn't as naughty as I thought and I am still on the good list!

This year there is of course the fantastic Portable North Pole console available again. Santa has obviously been reading up on technology after seeing my webcams all over the house as he now has webcams all over his village and you can see him in his office, in the Reindeer Training Centre, the Elves Secret Quarters Ice Hall and the Message Centre.

Screen shots from PNP

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

A Huggies Mummy Graduate

Earlier this year when I became a Huggies Mum I knew that my days as a Huggies Mum were numbered. Baby Boy was really already aware of when he was going to the toilet and what he was doing in his nappy and I knew that it was only a matter of time before I took the jump and potty trained him. A Mum to a potty trained Baby Boy isn't in much need of a Huggies sponsorship! So I was the first Mummy to graduate from the Huggies team earlier this year in a very posh hotel. The very posh hotel was The Dorchester in London, where I and the other Huggies Mum's were going for afternoon tea with the lovely ladies of Huggies. I knew that I was graduating but had said to keep it a secret from the other Huggies Mum's so it would be a nice surprise for them.

Mummy Bloggers, Cakes and Tea

Monday, 6 December 2010

Saint Nicholas and the Clean Shoes

I am a bit of a magpie at Christmas time, anything that is shiny or catches my eye and I adopt it as my own. A good example of this is how even though I am LDS, and Daddy COE we still celebrate one Saint and that is Saint Nicholas who likes clean shoes...

Clean shoes waiting for Saint Nicholas/Sinterklass

You see a few years back at Top Ender's nursery the children were introduced to Sinterklass aka Saint Nicholas. One of the Nursery workers was Dutch and she thought it would be nice to show the children a few different traditions and customs that were from The Netherlands. I can't say that I disagree, as anything that teaches the Children about other cultures is a good thing in my book and this is why I believe that the more new things we introduce to our children the better!

Take an Oldie to School

Last Friday it was the second "Take an Oldie to school" day at Top Enders School. It was a programme started so that the parents, grandparents and other "Oldies" in the Children's lives could experience what a morning at School is like now. I went to the first one last Summer, and found it amazing how the class interacts with each other and how the teacher interacts with the class. I know that it was a fairly long time ago since I went to School (quiet in the back) but I didn't realise just how much School had changed.

Top Ender took Granny along this time and I must admit that I did wind Granny up a little bit. I made sure to take a photo of Granny on her first day of school, and made sure that she had been to the toilet before she walked to School. I made sure that Granny had a packed lunch with a note in saying that I hope that she was being a good girl and that I would pick her up soon.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth...


Is it wrong that I want Top Ender to lose her other Front Tooth in time for Christmas Day? It's not so that I can hear her whistle or lisp her way through singing We Wish You a Merry Christmas or even so that she looks cute (although she would look cute with her pigtails and missing front teeth right?). 

It's just that come her adulthood I want her to be able to look back and say that all she wanted for Christmas was her two front teeth...


Saturday, 4 December 2010

Breast Pad Snowmen

Whilst tidying up my bedroom I found a half empty box of disposable breast pads. I didn't want to throw them away and my sister already has the world surplus of her favourite brand so I didn't know what to do with them. They sat on my chest of drawers for a couple of weeks until an idea struck. I could make them into Christmas Decorations! Having already had a conversation with Daddy about doing a Christmas scene in our Living Room Window, I knew that we could make something to go on display there. The question of course was what? Well the answer to me was obvious what else could you think of when you see giant white circles? Snowmen! Breast Pad Snowmen!

Breast Pad

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

What to do with Oodles of Doodles?

I loved art at school and my books and pencil cases from the time were covered in doodles and quotes from various pieces of literature that I found particularly inspiring/funny. Top Ender has developed a similar trait and is forever doodling designs for a new outfit, flowers that she would like to create through cross pollination and her name if she were to marry various celebrities. Its fantastic, I love seeing how her skills are developing and how her mind works but there is a problem and that is that I am a hoarder. When it comes to Top Ender and Baby Boy's drawings and pieces of work I can't give them up and I know that I am not the only parent out there that wants to keep every piece of work that their child does.


Monday, 29 November 2010

Top Ender Giggles - You can't say that!

After coming in from the cold on Sunday Daddy told Top Ender and Baby Boy to take everything off (meaning hats, gloves, coats, shoes).

"But not everything, I don't want you running around butt naked!" qualified Daddy
"You can't say that!" said a horrified Top Ender
"What?" asked Daddy
"Butt! Butt is rude!" she said
"No, it's not!" said Daddy
"Oh no, its Arse that's rude isn't it!" said Top Ender

Top Ender on a chair


Sunday, 28 November 2010

A MasterChef Invention Test

I was at the BBC Good Food Show yesterday with Miele and took part in the MasterChef Invention Test. I created this Lemon Cheesecake with Caramel Stick and Spun Sugar. Gregg Wallace and John Torode liked it.


They liked it a lot and I got through to the final three.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Christmas Club - November

So it's the last month of the Christmas Club for 2010, only one month until the big day and there is still a lot to do. Well there is here anyway. We have made our Christmas pudding (it smelt lovely) but still have our Christmas Cake to make, and our decorations to put up and our advent calenders to fill with chocolate and even our Christmas outfits to be finalised!

Christmas Pudding Mix

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Jabra Cruiser 2 - A Review by Daddy

In recent months, changes at work have left me on the road a lot - regularly driving between TV studios, satellite uplink base-stations and outside broadcast events - so when Mummy was invited by the nice people at Wildfire PR and Marketing to review the Jabra Cruiser 2 Bluetooth in-car speakerphone, I realised I had the perfect opportunities to review it for her.

Because, until I started my current job a few years ago, I had never met people who relied so much on their mobile phones. For me, a mobile was something I carried to make emergency calls.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Song to get up and Dance meme

Emily tagged me earlier this month in a Meme about which song makes me want to get up and dance. At the time I had a great song in mind and wouldn't you know I had a great story to go with it. I was all ready to post it and then I forgot what the song was. And the story. You could blame my age or Daddy (I would prefer it if we blamed him) or just nod knowingly as you realise that I have a memory the size of my bladder. Be right back I just need to pee...

Monday, 22 November 2010

(Old) Friends Reunited

Many Moons ago when Top Ender was really a Top Ender at Nursery and Baby Boy was just a twinkle in Daddy's eye, I was a Go To Work Mum. The last job that I had was at a company in Central Milton Keynes where I worked in a small team of five. Four girls and our boss (the one I accidentally asked to have his babies) DC.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Simplify Your Christmas - Home Made Chocolate Shapes

Here at A Mothers Ramblings we love Christmas and part of what makes Christmas so great is that you can eat almost as much chocolate as you like. That doesn't mean that Daddy can eat his entire selection box before breakfast... nor does it mean he can eat mine either! To make it more simple for some people at Christmas I like to buy Charity Gifts. This way they aren't getting something they don't want, but someone who needs a helping hand is getting exactly that. I always feel that the person getting the charity gift needs to have something else to open on Christmas Day just to make things even more special. This additional gift from me tends to be a bar of chocolate.


Saturday, 20 November 2010

How to write a Christmas Letter (or a Round Robin!)

In the UK we don't do Christmas Letters, we do Round Robins and the problem with Round Robins is that most people dread reading and writing them. There is something about letting others know about the good that has happened that makes us feel odd, as if we are gloating or rubbing others noses in our "perfect" lives.  There is one particular branch of my extended family that send out a letter each year, and I wish I could share with you some of the more amusing aspects of them. Let's just say that even the most shocking news was delivered with a rather amusing upbeat twist and reading between the lines, I can tell that it wasn't as glowing as they made it out to be!

How to write Christmas Cards

If you have been following the Christmas Club blog posts over the last year, then you will know that I like to get ahead with my Christmas Cards. I am going to share some of my secrets for sending out Great Christmas cards. I know that you already know how to do this, but trust me some of the tips I am sharing are sensible!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Barbie A Fashion Fairytale

Top Ender adores Barbie films. It all started when we first watched Barbie Princess and the Pauper, I'm not sure why we first got the film, but I know that after the first viewing she was hooked. We watched that film what seemed like everyday. When Mattel asked if we would like to see the new film Barbie A Fashion Fairytale I knew that it was only going to be a matter of time before Top Ender asked to watch it all the time.


Thursday, 18 November 2010

A Halloween Toyologist Party

My Mum made a big deal about Halloween for my Sister and I and all the children that she looked after (she was a childminder) when I was little. Then seven years ago Daddy and I started a little tradition where we have had a little fancy dress Halloween Party for Family in the evening. Last year due to all of us here having just had Swine Flu we were unable to go to our own party!


Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Almost like they planned it


Spotted in Leighton Buzzard a Fatherson Bakery Van.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

A Magic Moment or are they are out to get me?

Yesterday Top Ender, Daddy and Baby Boy were playing a game where they were spelling words cheerleader style. It's a game that Top Ender quite often plays to test us on how to spell certain words, not realising that it's actually improving her own spelling skills.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Daddy Giggles - It's not his fault

Earlier this evening Top Ender, Daddy and Baby Boy were playing a game where they were spelling words cheerleader style. Daddy was going out and so he decided to carry on the game as a "treat".

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Friday, 12 November 2010

Top Ender Giggles - True to her art

There is a secret project in the making here at A Mothers Ramblings and it required us to take a few pictures of Top Ender and Baby Boy looking a bit sad. Top Ender was sitting in the garden already looking sad, a good half hour before we were ready to do anything.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

We will remember them

At 11am today I will take part in two minutes silence to remember the people have given the ultimate sacrifice for me to live the life I do today. Several of my extended family are in the Services and I don't think that I have told them enough how much I respect what they do and how grateful I am.


Tuesday, 9 November 2010

A Family Day Out to Drayton Manor and Thomas Land

One of the things on our Family Fun list of things that we want to do with Top Ender and Baby Boy was to go to Thomas Land, which is in the grounds of Drayton Manor. Baby Boy has seen adverts on the TV and picked up leaflets from shops and Hotels and was just desperate to go and see Thomas and his friends. Even Top Ender was quite interested in going to Thomas Land, although not strictly a Thomas fan.


Monday, 8 November 2010

Giant Gaming

Many years ago Daddy and I went to the Technology Home show. I had always quite liked the idea of a smart house (like Bill Gates has), but at the show I quickly got the idea that we did would have to be at a fraction of the cost. Luckily when I get ideas, Daddy is able to implement most of them (as he has the technical genius that I lack) and this is one of the reasons as to how and why we have a projector and screen in our living room.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Five F's Twitter Meme - I'm a Twitterholic...

I was tagged by Alethea over at Mom on a Wire in a Twitter Meme absolutely ages ago. I decided to wait until today however as I knew that something was coming up that would make a good connection to this Meme and all will become clear in a few moments!