A Mothers Ramblings: January 2016

Sunday, 31 January 2016

The February Experiment

This February I'm running an experiment.

Well, experiment isn't really the word, but I can't think of the right word for it.

Basically this February I'm going to help my family learn to love eating Fish.

See a few years ago, when we worked with Fish Is The Dish, my family started eating fish to an extent they had never done before.

Basically they started eating it.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

What We Are Eating - W/C 30th January 2016

This week sees the start of February, and February means a month of different fish dishes. Daddy and I have chatted about it and he is more than happy with the meals I've picked (I've done the entire month in order to pick different dishes and different types of fish for each day).

A Mashed Potato Fish and Peas

The only "thing" of course is each Monday will be Meatless, which of course means no fish, so it isn't quite 28 (well 29) days of Fish, but close enough right?!

Friday, 29 January 2016

How To Play Pong hau k'i or Two Stones

Big Boy has been off sick from School for the last couple of days and well, we're starting to get a little bored of just sitting on the Sofa, snuggling, dozing and generally not doing much because he's not been up to doing much.

Today, we decided to have a bash at doing some of his homework and somehow his School must have worked out that we'd be ill this week because homework this week was playing a game of  Pong hau k'i, an ancient Chinese game also known as Two Stones.

As this is such a great game to play, I thought I'd put some instructions on how to make the game board and how to play here on the blog.... So here it is!

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Living Lagom #LiveLagom

Last year, we started thinking as a family how we could make a few changes to our lives at home to live more sustainably and to spend more time together doing things that we enjoy.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of things that we do already that mean we try to do what we can with regards to recycling (paper, glass, cans, food waste etc), we've attempted for the last few years to grow our own vegetables and fruit (Strawberries and Pears not so successful, Salad Leaves, Potatoes and Apples very successful), we try to save energy (I'm currently freezing because I refuse to put the heating on when I could put on another layer of clothing!) and all the other usual steps like taking our own bags to the Supermarket even before the 5p charge came in!

Taking my Bags to the Supermarket

Quite coincidentally I found out about a programme that Ikea was running and was considering applying when my lovely friends at Ikea (come on we all know that I practically live in Ikea!) suggested that I join. The programme has run before with Ikea employees but this year was the first year that it was open to the public, people who love Ikea and who want to make changes to their lives for the better of the planet.

I applied and was chosen to be part of the Live Lagom project.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Our New Car

Last year, Daddy and I started talking about buying a new car.

In part it was a pipe dream, there is no way that at that moment we could afford a brand new car (which is what we were looking at) but we knew that if we started saving a small amount of money each month, by cutting back on other expenses we could eventually save up enough to buy a new to us car of not so advancing years.

The savings started building up, Daddy kept an eye out for cars that we had discussed buying (big family cars, perfect for transporting half a football team in) to see what their prices were doing and to see if there was anything that we *had* to get because of a bargain price.

Then there was a small accident (it was so not my fault) which led to a Saturday morning conversation over a treat of McDonald's (We'd been to clean the Chapel and felt we deserved a treat for hard work!) of how it would probably be a lot less hassle if we actually just purchased a new car rather than cleaned and fixed the damage on our current car.

An Amazing Sky #WordlessWednesday

An Amazing Sky Over Milton Keynes


Monday, 25 January 2016

A Free Christmas and Rudolph Club Days

This last Christmas, thanks to some savvy buying, use of vouchers and Swagbucks we managed to have an almost free Christmas. That was including all gifts, food, drink and treats and I think that is pretty good.

The Children opening their Stocking gifts last Christmas

However.

This year, I'm aiming for a totally free Christmas and I know that if I want to be successful at this, that I need to start planning early.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

What We Are Eating W/C 23rd January 2016

I'm really excited for our meals this week, I'm not sure why. I guess, as I've been planning the meals so far in advance (well an entire month) that the meals this week have excited me!

And with regards to Sunday, a couple of weeks ago, during Family Home Evening, the Children and I were talking about how we could do service on a Sunday and we thought that it would be great if we could invite the Missionaries round to share a meal with us... so we have!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Monday, 18 January 2016

*The* Gift

A friend shared a video on Facebook, of Steve Harvey talking to an audience after he had filmed an episode of Family Feud (we call it Family Fortunes over here in the UK), where he discussed how every successful person in life has stood on the cliff of life and jumped.

He goes on to explain that everyone has a gift, and it's the people who have discovered their gift, who are using their gift to live a life they are happy with.

It is those people who have jumped.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

What We Are Eating W/C 16th January 2016

This weekend is actually Daddy's birthday, and so yesterday he had his Take Away Curry (and probably annoyed me all day because he had the day off work), tonight he gets a Fakeaway Kebab (we're changing the quantities today, we want twice as much meat, half as much spicey stuff and lots more of the red cabbage mix thingy that Daddy picked up last time he was in Tesco) and tomorrow he gets his favourite Sticky Sausages with Apples, Mash Potato and some yummy veg (yet to be decided).

FakeAway aka Lamb Kebab

Seriously this man is milking the whole birthday weekend thing.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

January Is Wonderful

A friend of mine was grumbling on Facebook, that she doesn't like January and asked everyone for tips on helping her find a way to love the month. It was funny because just that morning, I had deleted a blog post I had been toying with, that would have been perfect for her.

It was a post about how to not be blue in January.

So I posted the following on her status. Let me know what you think in the comments.


January is Wonderful


It's a month for eating soup, wearing Jumpers, not shaving your legs and most importantly... eating all the reduced Christmas items in the local supermarket!

Sunday Roasties! #WordlessWednesday

And I'm still drooling!


Roast Potatoes, Parsnips and Gravy

Sunday, 10 January 2016

How To Achieve Key Stage Two SATs Success

Last year when Top Ender took her SATs I was sure I wasn't going to be one of those parents that freaked out about revision and practice Test Papers. I mean, I knew being the sort of Mum that I am, that I would encourage Top Ender as much as possible, that I would give her extra help in the areas she struggled with (Spelling mainly) and that I would take steps to help her prepare for these exams, but I wasn't going to be one of the Mums hiring a tutor, or enrolling her in a Boot Camp style tutoring session, as I had heard several parents planning in the School Playground.

One of my favourite pictures of Tops at School

My plan was to start early. To do a little each day and to not overwhelm Tops with the exams. Saying that, I knew that the three Secondary Schools that we were considering used these results to put the Children into ability sets and so I explained this to Top Ender and explained that if she were to do well now, it could help her when she got to Secondary School and of course good study habits now would ensure she didn't make the same education mistakes I did.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

What We Are Eating W/C 9 January 2016

Last weeks menu was actually a success... sort of.

See, the fresh Tuna got accidentally put into the freezer and so we ended up having Fish Finger Sandwiches for our meal on Tuesday and then on Thursday the Children had a HotPot that my Mum had got for them from the day before and so I had the Tuna Friday whilst the rest of the family had Sausages.

Tuna and Salad

It worked out okay!

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Foodie Stuff And Funny Stuff and Underpants

A few days ago, I asked my friends on Facebook if they were to read a blog post written by me, what would they like it to be about? This is one of the posts, based on those suggestions.

Foodie Stuff And Funny Stuff And Underpants


On Christmas Eve, the Children and I were jokingly practising our grateful faces and practising our most sincere expressions of gratitude for gifts we received. Big Boy opened up his pretend gift and exclaimed;

Underpants! Just what I've always wanted! I'll wear these tomorrow.

He was so sincere, I actually wasn't sure for a moment if he was pretending or if he'd misunderstood the joke. Still, it was time for bed and off he went.

Then on Christmas Day, BB opened up one of his Stocking Gifts to find six pairs of underpants.

He fist pumped.


Wednesday, 6 January 2016

This Is ME! #WordlessWednesday

Oh, And I'm FABULOUS!


This Is Me!

Monday, 4 January 2016

Being Proactive

My word of the year for 2016 is Proactive.

I want to be someone who doesn't procrastinate as much as I do, but someone who takes charge of her life and deals with situations head on.

Me being proactive. Well, sort of I was taking a Selfie!

Saturday, 2 January 2016

What We Are Eating W/C 2 January 2016

Healthy Eating.

Those are the key words that I have to remember every week when I meal plan from now on. Don't get me wrong, the meals I have planned in the past have been healthy. I have the pat on the backs from the Nutritionists and Dieticians to prove it, but now it's also about losing weight for me and Daddy. It's about reducing cholesterol for BB, it's about keeping hormones in check for Top Ender and BB and me if I'm honest.

It's about balance and flavours and trying to keep to a budget.

A Birthday Salad from a Few Years Back- it was yummy!

With all that in mind, here is this weeks Meal Plan!