A Mothers Ramblings: August 2016

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

A Funny Story About Socks

Everyone knows that I like Socks. It's one of the things that I regularly get sent links to via DM's, Facebook and email of different socks that people think I might like. It's a bit like how Jay likes Bacon and Rum and Nickie loves Stationary and Running (and her fitbit) and Sian loves the London Underground and Morrissey...

Anyway.

I like socks and Dan Jon Jr mentioned the other day that he'd been reading my blog, but hadn't found enough pictures or stories about my socks and was disappointed. So, partly just to appease him here is a story about my socks and some pictures too!

PippaD wearing Heart Socks

Monday, 29 August 2016

The Missing Bank Card

When Top Ender and I set off to walk my sisters dog, we decided to take the bare minimum with us. Basically I didn't want to carry a handbag. So instead of taking my wallet, I took out my bank card, about five pounds in change and my phone.

Top Ender and I loved our walk. We threw a ball at least a million times, we scooped up poop, we ran, we walked, we sat, we petted, we explored... it was a brilliant walk.

Poppy looking adorable

Saturday, 27 August 2016

What We Are Eating This Week W/C 27th August 2016

Flyfour and I were joking a little bit last week about not having any money at the end of the month thanks to the Summer Holidays. It's not true because we were canny over the summer, although to start with I didn't realise exactly what was going on and thought that the only way we were able to get out of the money issue was that we needed to eat very frugally this week. Even after Flyfour had revealed his "joke" to me I was still stuck in the frugal mindset and so had created a meal plan for the week with as little spend as possible, using up all the things that I could find in my freezer and cupboards.

It does mean that I am going to have almost empty freezers and cupboards BUT that's fine.

Saturday - Spaghetti Bolognese


Flyfour said he really faniced Spaghetti Bolognese the other day and so even after I looked into the Gluten free cupboard and saw that we didn't have any Spaghetti I added it to my list.


Everything else that we need we have in the Freezer and cupboard, so all I had to spend on here was the £100000000 on Gluten free Spaghetti. Only kidding it was £1.20.

We even have a few bread rolls that we can use to make Garlic Bread with as we have parsley, butter and garlic available to us too.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Have You Got A Camp Bucket?

I'm pretty certain that the only reason that Top Ender wanted to go to Guides camp was because she had heard about Camp Buckets when she was a young impressionable Brownie and wanted one. From her description, all I could work out was that a Camp Bucket was a bucket which she would keep some stuff in and would also act as a seat at some point during her camping trips. They are apparently invaluable to Campers and we all know how much Top Ender loves Camping.

Top Ender camping in the Back Garden

Flash forward a few years and Top Ender was given the all important Camp Bucket prior to her first big Guides Camp and she was tasked with the very important job of needing to personalise the bucket by decorating it. Older Guides let us know that Sharpies worked best and one evening Top Ender sat and decorated her bucket.

Tops made such a great bucket that I thought I'd share a few pictures of the different drawings and the meanings behind them that she shared with me... just be warned cos I'm pretty sure she made some of them up!

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Our Irish Adventure Part Three

This is part three of our Irish Adventure. You can read Part One (with real magic) and Part Two on those there links!

Top Ender loved Ireland too. Apart from the fact we kept seeing Petrol stations named after her (So now she owns a Pizza Chain, a Tile chain and a chain of Petrol stations) and at least a dozen stores which all bore her first name she loved the feel of Ireland.


Everywhere was relaxed, even in Dublin people weren't rushing about and that was in the non touristy bits too. I don't know if it was just because there seemed to be more space, or what but even rush hour seemed to only last a few minutes!

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Our Irish Adventure Part Two

This is Part Two of Our Irish Adventure, you can read yesterdays post aka Part One (with some real magic) on that link, and there'll be another tomorrow so come back then to read it!

Our plan was to fly into Dublin, spend some time there before driving to Cork, visiting around Cork and them moving on to Killagoley (as a base for our visit to County Wexford) before heading back the next day to Dublin for our flight home. The itinerary was busy, but not so bad that we couldn't have some flexibility and some down time during our little whirlwind vacation. It was a good plan and one that all of us had some hand in organising, requesting places we wanted to visit, picking out hotels and even using google maps to find the nearest petrol stations...


I think the most excited about our trip was Dan Jon Jr.

He had wanted to experience his first flight (apparently he's the last person in the world to go on a plane) for some time and was excited about the prospect of using foreign currency and of course going on holiday with three of his best friends and I'm not talking about the cuddly toys that he packed! I've already mentioned in another blog post about how amazing Dan Jon was on the trip and how he loved everything as he appreciated all the small moments as well as the big ones, but I think he deserves another shout out here for being so totally excellent.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Our Irish Adventure (The Bit With Magic)

When I was writing this blog post, it started off as one blog post and what you are about to read was the end of that post. However, as I wrote the post become longer and longer and I decided to turn it in to a few blog posts (three including this one) and I thought I should start off with the best bit, the bit with the real life magic in...

At Easter we went as a family to Ireland. We had decided, Flyfour and I, at the end of 2015 that we would go away at some point together as a family in 2016. We had a few options, Summer Holidays, Easter Holidays, even the Half term week in October, but it was only when Flyfour found some bargain flights for a trip to Ireland at Easter that our plans fell into place and we worked out where we wanted to visit. We decided to fly across, hire a car and drive around the various places we wanted to visit.


We hired a Renault Capture, which we picked up from the Airport. After a quick check of the car, loading our luggage into the boot, ensuring the children were strapped in safely and entering the postcode of our hotel into the sat nav we were off.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

What We Are Eating This Week W/C 20th August 2016

The meal plan for this week has changed several times in the last few days because Dan Jon Jr and Flyfour are off Camping. They were supposed to have gone today (Saturday), but the Campsite let Flyfour know that there may be some rather strong winds and so he might want to consider changing his dates, so he did as he didn't fancy possible 50mph winds in a tent!

Backyard Camping

So here is our adapted Meal Plan.

Saturday - Steak


I needed Flyfour in a good mood as I needed him to do some DIY for me today. I figured if I told him that I was planning on making him Steak for dinner he'd be happy and would do my SIY without hesitation.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Knitting - The Not So Old Fashioned Hobby

I learnt to knit when I was young. I'm pretty sure I remember being about four or five and my Nan teaching me. I'm also pretty sure that my Grandad could knit and he taught me a bit too, but it's a bit hazy and faded as a memory. My Mum encouraged me as I got older and every so often I would pick up a bit of wool and some needles and have a bash but if I'm honest, I was terrible at it. And then back in February Top Ender asked me to knit a scarf for her. I hadn't knitted for about eight years, and I'd never knitted with two different balls of wool, but I did it.

Top Ender and her Pink and Purple Scarf

And she loved it.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Backyard Camping

The Children and I were supposed to be camping this week.

We had plans to go to the Campsite that we went to last year and do a little bit of easy outdoor living again. You know, playing in the woods, hanging out at the tent, occasional trips to the beach and maybe a visit or two to local attractions. And then we changed our mind and decided to go to Norfolk and do almost the same thing. And then due to my Uterus hating me we decided to not go.

The Children were wonderful about it (I think it was the realisation that we have WiFi at home that swung it!), but we still thought we should set up the smaller pup tents and have a couple of days just hanging out in the garden, eating picnic meals and getting away from all the chores and the usual things that we do during the day.

Our back yard camp set up

We weren't planning on sleeping out in the Tents, but Top Ender decided she wanted to. I think after having camped for the last three weeks she was missing not sleeping under canvas! She did mention as she ate her breakfast outside her tent this morning that she was sure she had had the best night sleep that she had had since the start of the Summer.

I don't think I could say the same thing...


It was decided that I would camp out with her, for safety reasons and of course for company. Then Dan Jon Jr decided that he would keep me company and Flyfour decided that he'd stay in the house in an actual bed, because he is sensible.

Dan Jon and I shared a tent, to make the overnight blood tests easier and because we only have two pup tents. We had several conversations during the night, none of which he remembers this morning!


The Children and I didn't go to bed straight away, but sat out in the garden under blankets doing various activities. I was knitting, Dan Jon Jr was watching some YouTube videos and Top Ender was reading. It was nice sitting together in the dark and Dan Jon loved looking at the Stars, which luckily thanks to it being a clear night were plentiful.


As well as looking at the Stars, we took great delight in watching the moon as it slowly climbed higher over the fence and up through the branches of the Pear Tree, whilst sipping our Hot Chocolate and nibbling on Malted Milk Biscuits.


I'm not sure if we're going to be camping again tonight, but I do know that we are spending the day out here in the garden just enjoying some free time and each other's company.

And so our Camping Holiday may turn out to be our best one yet.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Summer Fun At The Beach! #Review

One of the things that the Children and I like to do every Summer is get away to the Beach. The problem is after an hour or so of building Sandcastles and eating our picnic the Children are a little bored... and to be honest driving two hours or so to the Beach for just a couple of hours seems a little much.

Dan Jon Jr and Top Ender at the Beach at Frosts Woburn Sands

Which is why we love that every Summer our local Frosts Garden Centre has a Beach in it's grounds. It only takes us twenty minutes to get to and better than that, if you book a lunchtime slot you get lunch included in the ticket price!

Saturday, 13 August 2016

What We Are Eating This Week W/C 13th August 2016

I've had some help with the meal plan this week, Dan Jon Jr is actually sitting beside me helping me plan. I think it is because he knows that his input would be useful as I've actually run out of tasty meal ideas... then again it could just be because he's got a technology ban on him which means that he's living vicariously through me and my computer usage!

As there is a computer ban in place, I'm being quick so as not to rub it into Dan Jon Jr that I haven't got a tech ban!!


Saturday, 6 August 2016

What We Are Eating This Week W/C 6th August 2016

I'm super organised this week, because I have only had one child to look after and entertain this past week as Top Ender and Flyfour have been off Camping near Blackpool for the last few days. Dan Jon Jr and I made a list of all the things we wanted to achieve (his was mainly based around computer games) whilst they were away and then we set about it! It was a lot of fun and we managed to squeeze in some other bits and pieces that we didn't schedule and so I guess it was overall a brilliant week!

Dan Jon Jr on his Scooter