A Mothers Ramblings: 2017

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

The New Front Door

Ever since we moved into our current home, one of the things that I've hated is that the bathroom is downstairs opposite the front door. Ordinarily, this wouldn't really be a big problem, but the people who picked our front door picked one that was half glass and had a giant full-size window next to it.

This is really only inconvenient if you pee with the bathroom door open, or if you come out of the bathroom wrapped in a towel after a shower, or you forget to take a towel into the bathroom when you shower, or you run out of toilet paper and have to shuffle into the hallway to pick up a spare roll with your underwear around your ankles...

Pippa in plenty of towels after getting out of the shower

Yeah, I'm guilty of all of those things.

So Flyfour and I decided we wanted to change our Front Door and it was going to be the first thing that we were able to cross off our massive list of Home Improvements that we're working on this Summer... but then the door company cancelled our fitting appointment the evening before they were due to be coming out.

I rearranged our appointment and on the following Monday, we waited patiently for the crew to arrive. And we waited. And we waited. And then we phoned them up to say "Oi, where are you?" and discovered that they had accidentally forgotten* to add us to the schedule and weren't coming.

Monday, 26 June 2017

The New EPDM Roof

Well, the list of Home Improvements that we created to help us focus our efforts this Summer is finally off to a busy start and these past few days I've had more Builders, Decorators, Roofer's, Installation Specialists and other men in shorts splattered in things like plaster, sweat and spilt tea than I think you could ever find in a Builder's Merchants, doing things to my house to make it a home.

The roof wasn't going to be the first works we had done, it wasn't even one of the works that we were looking forward to really. Don't get me wrong, we knew that the roof had to be done because there is only so much patching you can do when the roof is already a patchwork of patches!

The old tired and patched Kitchen Roof From Dan Jon Jr's bedroom window

Flyfour was getting a little fed up of going up on the Kitchen roof in the rain to stop the collecting rainwater from drip, drip, dripping into our Kitchen and the Facias? Well, maybe the less said about them the better eh?

Saturday, 24 June 2017

What We Are Eating W/C 24th June 2017

I've decided that it is too hot to go shopping, think about meal planning AND that we have too much going on today for me to actually go out food shopping (think builders taking over the downstairs of the house and we're decorating Dan Jon's bedroom too) and so I've quickly looked at what we had in the larder, the fridge and the freezer and meal planned around that!

An Ice Cream - What I wouldn't give for one right now.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Things I Wish My Parents Had Told Me (Or I Wish I Had Listened To If They Did)

I had a good childhood, I've mentioned that once or twice before and yet the way I was raised left a few areas of my life strangely lacking in knowledge and so I present to you things I wish my parents had told me... or I wish I had listened to if they did.


Oh and don't worry, I'm trying to ensure that Top Ender and Dan Jon Jr will learn these lessons before they are out in the world!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Having Fun In The Garden!

I love that my husband has passions and hobbies that maybe I don't share the same amount of enthusiasm for, but I am appreciative of all the same. For example many years ago I remember watching Through the Keyhole and the guest on the show that evening had the best house in the world to my young mind.

If you were sitting at the kitchen table, you could press a button and a bath would start running (in the bathroom obviously), or you could make the table fold into place from the bath, look I was young, I was impressionable but I did not make this up. Ever since then, I wanted an automated house too but I'm the kinda gal who just wants to move in. I don't want the hassle of having to programme everything!

Luckily Flyfour doesn't feel the same way.

Flyfour, my genius geek of a husband

Which is why our home is slowly turning into an automated home, without me having to lift a finger.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Ready To Move On

My parents moved house just before my seventh birthday, which means that I moved house just before my 7th birthday. I remember it quite clearly because I hated my parents with my all nearly 7 year old might for moving.

I had good friends at my school, they lived down my road and I remember going to their houses to play and they came to mine and I knew that when we moved things were obviously going to be different.

Top Ender pulling a Face, much like 7 year old me would have

At the time I didn't understand why we moved, I just knew we were moving away from all I knew, moving away from all our extended family and I was angry. I don't remember showing anyone that anger, instead I let it fester inside.

Looking back, I can see how stupid nearly 7 year old me was.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The Cereal Debate

There is a debate in our house, that comes up everytime Flyfour and I have a breakfast of cereal together. You see, if we have cereal, Flyfour some gluten free and me some of whatever is needing finishing or if I'm lucky some cereal that I've actually chosen for myself then we will start debating over this matter. Flyfour is convinced I am wrong, I am convinced that he is wrong and I need you to help me settle this debate once and for all before Flyfour and I divorce over this matter!

Okay, so we won't really get divorced, but we might end up not talking for a few hours.

In an attempt to curry favour, I am not going to tell you who Flyfour and I are in the incidents below so you can't just say I'm right because you like me better than Flyfour!

Flyfour and PippaD looking all happy... because they are!

Monday, 19 June 2017

I don't feel like me today - A Poem

I've had a few words rolling through my mind over the last few weeks. Words that I once thought could be a poem and I wrote down, but they didn't quite seem right. I've had another bash at them over the last few days and I hope that if I share them with you now that maybe you'll read them and understand the feeling I was trying to convey.

Just so you know this isn't how I feel right now, I've just had these words circling and needed to get them out.

My laptop and tea in the garden

And if not, maybe you'll just think it's pretty or something.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Father's Day Church Gifts

I'm hoping that nobody here reading this blog post is in my ward if you are then 
PLEASE LOOK AWAY NOW 
and come back after Church! I don't want the surprise of the gift to be spoilt.

This year the Primary Presidency (me, and three others) took the task of organising a gift for the men in our ward (Parish) for Father's Day and we had a lot to live up to seeing as how for Mother's Day the Elder's Quorum President got every woman over the age of 13, a Lindt Chocolate bar and a red rose.

Mother's Day Roses

The roses and chocolate bars were presented by the young men of our ward and it was quite a sight to see the boys, aged between 13 and 18, handing out the gifts and it brought a tear to many an eye! Okay, so my eye. I cried as they gave them out and I'm not even related to any of them! Saying that I do love each and every one of them as I have got to know most of them really well over the last few years.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

What We Are Eating W/C 17th June 2017

Today I wanted to do one thing that I knew I could achieve. Just one thing because I needed a win and I knew if it was small and didn't really matter about being perfect, but that I could still cross it off my list it would count as a win.

So I made this meal plan.

As I said, it's not perfect but it's complete and it's now crossed off my list.

PippaD refusing to adult!

Friday, 16 June 2017

If You Were On A Desert Island

As I was falling asleep last night I started to play the Desert Island game.

You know the one, you're stuck on a desert island and you are allowed to take three things with you so what would you take?

The Beach and the sea

Thursday, 15 June 2017

You Probably Think This Blog Post Is About You

How many times have you walked past a group of people and thought they were talking about you? You know how they stop talking as you draw near or make excuses to leave as you join them?

How many times have you read a blog post or a tweet and sat there thinking that it was about you? Well, this post isn't about you and if you think it is then your a bigger narcissist than the person* this is about.

Sometimes it isn't all about you, believe it or not, nobody sits around talking about you.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Is Walking Exercise?

Flyfour and I were talking about the long walk I took a few days ago and were talking about how fast I walk compared to how fast the average walking pace is. I walk at around 2.9mph, and the average for people my age (but considerably fitter and a normal weight) is 4mph, according to the internet.

PippaD and Flyfour on a walk

Personally, I think that considering I am double the amount of weight that a person my height should be, that my walking pace isn't too bad!

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

I Was Thinking About Tarmac The Other Day

I was thinking about Tarmac the other day.

It's okay, stick with me on this.

PippaD with a thinking face on

I know that it was patented in 1901 by Edgar Purnell Hooley, but that it was used before this as some roads in the ancient city of Babylon had tar-paved roads, (honestly, the random facts I have in my head would surprise you)... but who came up with the idea of tarmac and why?

Was a bloke (you know it was a bloke and not a girl) laying in bed one night when he suddenly thought "I know what could make a huge difference to walking along the road if it was covered in a smooth substance" and immediately run out shouting it out to his neighbours?

Monday, 12 June 2017

The Best Role Model For a Family?

It is a well known fact that I'm a fan of The Simpsons.

Even if I have had to ban the family from watching the cartoon at least twice in the last few years. The show has it's fans and it's detractors but, what I think a lot of people don't get is that the Simpson family, is actually a pretty good role model for how a family should be, well in the first few seasons anyway, and here are my reasons as to why.

Hank Scorpio from The Simpsons - My Favourite character ever

Yes, I'm aware that the above picture is a baddie, but he is my favourite character from The Simpsons.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Primary Postcards

In case you've forgotten, since the last time I mentioned it, I'm the Primary President in my Church Ward (Parish) which means that I get to spend time with the children each week and I can honestly say that I absolutely love each and every one of them.

I'm so lucky because I get to speak with them each week and joke with them and learn about their interests and their hopes and fears and just generally absorb their enthusiasm. One of the things that I like to do with the children in the ward is to occasionally send them letters. I do this because who doesn't love getting a letter just for them, I want the children to know that I am thinking of them other than just at weekends when we are together and also I sometimes have a bit of time on my hands.

A fridge magnet that says "Of course I don't look busy... I did it right the first time."

During half term, I decided that each child in our Primary (aged between 2 and 11) deserved something a bit more special this time though and so I set wrote each child a short note on a postcard and then set about designing each one of them a front that I thought that they might like.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

What We Are Eating W/C 10th June 2017

We had a big surprise last week, the children discovered that they liked Jerk Chicken. And by like I mean LOVED Jerk Chicken. Well, they loved the version I made and so much so that Dan Jon asked if we could have it again this week, but I thought that might be a bit too much, so I'm trying to think of something that is similar but also different... leave me your suggestions in the comments!

Jerk Chicken with Sweet Potato


Friday, 9 June 2017

The Old School Crush

The other day when I was visiting with my Mum, we went to her local supermarket, which is in the town I grew up in. Unsurprisingly walking around this Supermarket means I bump into a lot of people I know. People who taught me, people who babysat me, people I babysat for, people I went to school with... It was a person I went to School with that I spotted in Tesco today.

I had a little bit of a crush on this chap when I was younger and my knowledge of the way they hold themselves in public has apparently not faded as even without looking directly at him I knew it was him, just from the way he walked.

PippaD not being followed, because there is a mirror so she can see behind her!

I say I spotted him, but I think that he actually spotted me first as I only became aware of him after I realised I was being followed (I'm like a spy me. Razor sharp senses) and they were pretty bad at doing it.

Maybe it wasn't all in my head when I was younger and he had a crush on me too?!

The first thing I thought was; "Do I look alright?"

Thursday, 8 June 2017

The Course We Didn't Want To Go On

A few months back on one of my visits with Dan Jon Jr to the Diabetic Team, we went to see the Nutritionist. Now, the nutritionist isn't my favourite part of Dan Jon's care team for many reasons and normally I refuse to go and see her because despite being a lovely person the advice that is given to us is pretty useless. For example, when Dan Jon was first diagnosed we were told to give him carb free snacks of meat and I'm pretty certain that's why his cholesterol level has been raised as it's not like we are sitting here scarfing down foods high in saturated fat everyday.

Anyway.

For some reason we went to see the nutritionist and she suggested that Dan Jon Jr go on a course for a few weeks, something which would get him to exercise more and was more of a club and it sounded great.

And then I forgot all about it.

Top Ender, Dan Jon Jr and PippaD

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

The Pippa Starter Pack

You know those clickbaity webpages on Facebook, that promise to tell you what you'll be talking about in the next twenty years, or where you are going on holiday, or how many kids you'll have? Yes, the ones that everyone hates but still manages to click on at least one of them at some point during the week. Well, I love them. Even though I know that they aren't really true and that the answers they give are selected from a small pool.

From the answers that I have been given, I have created a Youtube playlist of all the songs that various quizzes announce as my song to dance to, to be played at my funeral, is my theme song, is the song I get bow chicka wow wow to... I have quotes in my quote book that are supposedly perfect for me, I have enough holiday ideas to outlive any wanderlust and I'm pretty certain that if I were to have any more children they wouldn't look like a cross between Ryan Gosling and myself!

Ryan Gosling and PippaD morph baby

The other week I saw one that I had to find out the answer to. It was a Stater Pack for me. Everything you would need to be me. And it came up with this.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Ten Things That Make Me Happy

I've been trying to read some lovely new blogs over the last few weeks, and one of the best ways of doing this (that I find) is to read blog posts where the blogger talks about themselves and their families, and their hopes and aspirations... in other words blog posts like the one that is about to follow that Adventures in Websterland tagged me in recently.

So, I need to list ten things that make me happy. I'm pretty certain that you could all guess what I'm going to list, but that's okay it just proves that what I'm going to list are really things that make me happy!

PippaD being a Happy Bunny!

Monday, 5 June 2017

Home Improvements

I am SO excited.

After Flyfour and I discussed that our Bathroom needed to be revamped we came up with a list of a few other things that needed sorting in our home, or rather that we would like to have sorted in our home to make our house the home we have been dreaming of. It was a bit like dreaming of what you would do if you won the lottery, how you would spend the money. Together we created a list of things both big and small jobs that we wanted to do.

PippaD and Flyfour

Things like...

Sunday, 4 June 2017

The Gift Of Service

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, when you are baptised you make a few promises, I've explained about them before in a talk that I gave at Dan Jon Jr's baptism, but basically you promise to take upon you the name of Christ, you promise to be an example of Christ and you promise to help others, just like Christ did. This third promise, when we help others out, we call it Service and it's this third promise that I wanted to talk a bit about today, but first a sort of story.

Dan Jon Jr, Top Ender and PippaD looking cute!

A couple of weeks ago, Flyfour and I were walking past the grave of Flyfour's maternal grandparents and we noticed that a bush that had been planted atop of the grave was growing a little unruly and it probably needed trimming back a bit. I offered to do it in the upcoming week, as being a stay at home Mum I have more time than Flyfour to do things like this.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

What We Are Eating W/C 3rd June 2017

I part created this meal plan whilst watching BGT on Thursday and part whilst waiting for the bin men to come on Friday morning because I wanted to get my Green Bins emptied so I could get on with clearing the weeds and crud out of my garden. With all the works that are going to be going on soon (hang on have I told you about that?) I  wanted to make a difference myself and the only place I could really do that, was the garden!

Before and After in my Garden

So, with that all in mind here is this weeks meal plan!

Friday, 2 June 2017

Billy Elliot The Musical #Review

Dan Jon Jr doesn't often go to the theatre and if he does, it tends to be to productions produced for children or shows like the Panto designed for families, and he loves them! He loves it, because like Top Ender he is actually a mini version of Flyfour and me, who as you know both love the theatre. As Dan Jon says;

"It's the Theatre, what's not to love!"


So, when I was offered tickets to go and see Billy Elliot at the Milton Keynes Theatre and saw it had an age guidance of 8+, I asked if he would like to go with Flyfour or me to see the show. Guessing that I was probably the one who would let him eat more Ice-Cream and sweets than his Daddy, he picked to accompany me, which is why my phone is was filled with gifs like this;

Dan Jon Jr and PippaD at the Theatre

The boy could gurn for England.

Now, Dan Jon hasn't seen the film, Billy Elliot, and other than a brief synopsis from me (It's about a boy that is told he can't dance, because dance is for girls and it's set in the olden days and it turns out he's a really good dancer) he wasn't sure what to expect. And to be honest, neither was I. I'd only seen the film once and I'm pretty sure I missed some of it because I fell asleep or turned the TV over...

Billy Elliot the Musical On Tour Review

However, we were excited and as we took our seats JUST as the show started, we were transported back in time to the 1980's and to a Northern Town. I didn't hear a peep out of Dan Jon until the interval where he turned to me with his eyes wide and exclaimed: "THIS IS AMAZING!".

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Ginny Moon - A Book #Review #GinnyMoon

Recently I was sent a new book written by Benjamin Ludwig to read and of course review. It's a story about a fourteen-year-old girl who has been adopted, who has been sent back into the foster care system, adopted, returned, adopted... you get the picture. By the time we join Ginny, she is in her fourth forever home and things are, well things are possibly not going as well as Ginny or her new adoptive family would hope. 

Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig book review

Oh and Ginny is Autistic. Yes, it is an important feature of the book but I wouldn't say it is the defining feature of Ginny. 

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Pizza and Netflix For Family Night #NetflixStreamTeam

As Monday was a Bank Holiday, we had the pleasure of Flyfour being at home. Yes, I know he was at home on Friday (technically he was working from home) and on Saturday (The children and I were at a Baptism in the afternoon) and on Sunday (The children and I were at Church in the afternoon) but having him at home doing nothing was different to the previous few days!

Dan Jon Jr, Top Ender and PippaD at a Baptism

Well, sort of doing nothing. It was a rather wondrous day full of family time, TV catch up (it was raining most of the day), a couple of walks, a trip to a couple of shops, a bit of computer programming, an hour or four of gaming, new toys being purchased, new toys that we had purchased being tried out, crafting, Family Motto deciding, BGT watching and tweeting and somewhere amongst all the fun we managed to make pizzas together and watch a film on Netflix.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Spaghetti Tacos

I wasn't really sure where Spaghetti Tacos came from (apparently it was an episode of iCarly) but I knew when I saw them on Pinterest that it was going to happen in this house at some point and at some point soon. So I added them to my Birthday Bucket List and then made them for our family Saturday night meal. It s tradition in our house that the Saturday meal is a meal that we eat together and we try to make fun.

The question most people have asked me, is just what is Spaghetti Tacos as apparently unlike me they don't spend hours looking at Pinterest and like me were too old to watch iCarly when it was on and our kids were too young to watch it. Basically Spaghetti Tacos are Spaghetti Bolognese mixed together and served in Taco shells.

Easy right?

Spaghetti Tacos with Cheese

Monday, 29 May 2017

Skill Or Talent and Why Should It Matter?

The other week, when I talked about my recently rediscovered drawing skill, I didn't realise that I was opening a can of worms. As well as the several lovely comments about some of the drawings that I had shared, (thank you!) I also received a few emails, direct messages and comments telling me that I had got it wrong. That my drawing wasn't a skill but a talent.

So I thought I'd address that here, because I'm pretty certain I didn't get it wrong!

A Family full of natural born (W)rights!

I mean, my surname is (W)right!

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Fasting, Fast Sunday and Why It's Important

A few weeks ago, on a Sunday morning, I had posted on Facebook that one of my neighbours was accidentally torturing me as they were eating freshly baked Croissants and jam in the garden and the smell was wafting across their garden, to where I was sitting in my garden doing a bit of Scripture Study and I was fasting as it was a Fast Sunday. I posted to Facebook about the situation as a comment on my life, not as a complaint even though that is how I could be accused of dressing it.

It started a bit of a discussion amongst my friends and one commented that I should probably just eat something.The problem is of course, that Fasting is important within my religion (Latter Day Saint) and that of many other religions and I was fasting with a purpose that day not just because I fancied not eating for a meal or two.

Top Ender and Dan Jon Jr after Church ready for a meal in the garden

So, I thought I would write down a few thoughts about Fasting, Fast Sunday and why it's important.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

What We Are Eating W/C 27th May 2017

I'm late with my meal plans today because, well because I haven't made one yet! That's right, I'm making this week up as I go along. Not just because I haven't gone shopping on Friday like I normally do, not because I didn't go shopping today (Saturday) but because this week we are transitioning back to the whole Family eating in the evening instead of at lunchtime as Dan Jon Jr is going to stop having cooked meals at School and back to having Packed Lunches.

Dan Jon Jr pulling faces

At the minute we figure it is just until the weather turns back to being cooler again, but I think until Dan Jon Jr can work out his carbs himself it might be a permanent transition!

With that in mind, this is what we are eating this week.

Friday, 26 May 2017

52 Everyday Luxuries For Children

When I wrote the 52 Everyday Luxuries post. one of the comments had a luxury that their children loved and so it inspired me to write today's post, just in time for the Half Term Holiday and maybe to inspire you for the Summer too.

A word of warning however, some of these treats aren't suitable for the very young and might get you an eye roll from some teenagers BUT I can confirm that even my teenager confirmed that they wouldn't say no to anything on this list and if they have no attribution next to them, that's because they are tried and tested by Dan Jon Jr and Top Ender!

Top Ender, PippaD and Dan Jon Jr

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Dressing Up To Go Shopping #SponsoredPost

If you follow me on Facebook, or know me in real life and are friends with me on Facebook, then you know that I love going out shopping with my Mum each week. I sometimes get in a little bit of trouble with her because I do things that aren't quite what she expects a thirty-something daughter of hers to do. For example, I might play Hide and Seek, or stand at the bottom of the escalator and call up after her "Mum, Don't leave me!" with fake tears and overly dramatic gestures, I've even been known to randomly stick things in her basket or trolley just to see if she notices!

PippaD and her Mum DottyMawMaw

Secretly, though I know my Mum loves it, loves all the photos I put up of the two of us and all the times I post our amusing conversations on Facebook. Actually, there is no secret about it, look at her posing in that photograph above. She loves it.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Evita on Tour #Review

Flyfour and I like to tease each other about our love for Musicals. Whilst my knowledge is a little more encyclopedic than his, he isn't really that far behind me, especially seeing as how we both seem to listen to Encore Radio day and night (Flyfour has programmed me up a sleep timer so I can listen to the DAB radio whilst going to sleep because he is the best husband ever!) and do a mean duet with I know him so well and anything from Blood Brothers being our favourite to croon to!

Anyway, we like to tease others about what musicals we have and haven't seen and one Musical that Flyfour knows the music to but has never seen, not even the film version, was Evita. I have seen the film version at least a zillion times and was lucky enough to see a touring version of Evita back in 2013, so when I asked Flyfour if he wanted to go this time I wasn't surprised when he said yes VERY quickly.

Evita on Tour Poster

Flyfour took Top Ender with him, not only has she inherited our love of live Theatre and Musicals, but she is a lot of fun and it's nice to have one on one time with her doing "grown up" things when we can. The rest of this review, is over to Flyfour.

Top Ender and Flyfour in the audience at Milton Keynes Theatre

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Socks, Socks and More Socks!

At the weekend Flyfour and I were sitting on the living room floor folding laundry together when I was suddenly pelted with a pile of balled up socks. You see, I appear to have had an unfortunate influence on my children and Flyfour was a tiny bit annoyed about it with me.

Everyone knows that I love socks, remember the time I almost got in trouble with my love of socks at Church? Yeah, well, the children also love their socks and now Flyfour is finding it hard to tell the difference between which pair of socks belong to which family member. Well, apart from his. He can tell his socks from mine and the children's.

Plenty of Socks

Monday, 22 May 2017

My Last Meal

This isn't me being morbid I swear. It's just that I've been thinking a lot recently about food that I like, food that I couldn't imagine not having again. So I thought about it and write a blog post and then ask you what you would want as your last ever meal. Just a suggestion though, don't skype your husband and say something like "If you were going to die tomorrow, what would you want to eat tonight?" because your husband will wonder if you are planning to kill him, or if you'd planned something other than the jacket potato and beans you'd written on the meal plan...

If you asked me what my favourite meal was I would probably say Chicken Salad. The way I make it, however. I like a big proper salad, mixed lettuce leaves with a few tomatoes. I don't mind if the tomatoes are cherry or salad or even baby plum tomatoes, as long as they are there. I like to put some spring onions in and just to overload the onion taste a few chives too. I like a few slices of cucumber and sometimes some slices of peppers or celery too, but they aren't essential.

Slow Roasted Chicken and Salad

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Tomato and Chilli Jam - A Recipe

A few years ago, I realised that some of my favourite family recipes were going to be forgotten forever unless I asked my Nan to write them down or to tell me the ingredients and method, so I could write them down. I didn't want to sound morbid by explaining that to my Nan, but she would joke occasionally that at least when she died I'd have something to remember her by and so now I have a mix of recipes in both our handwriting and since her death a year ago, they have brought me some comfort. 

Looking through the other day I realised that there was one recipe missing, however.

Somehow I had forgotten to get a recipe for her Tomato Jam and honestly I am gutted as it was one of the nicest accompaniment I ever had and it was always on the table at Barbecues and whenever we ate lunch outside... which seemed to me to be every day in the summer, just like I'm sure it will seem for my children when they think back to their childhood.

Top Ender and Dan Jon Jr having a Summer Tea Party in the Garden

Which is why when Head Chef Adam Woolven at The Island Grill, (For reservations call 020 7551 6000) shared a Tomato and Chilli jam recipe, that he makes as an accompaniment to his Burgers I realised that whilst I don't have my Nan's exact recipe, I do have access to something rather similar and just as tasty.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

What We Are Eating W/C 20th May 2017

I'm thinking that we are stuck in a rut again at the minute with regards to meals. I'm trying to think of meals that we haven't had before, that we can cook twice on evenings where the children will eat earlier than Flyfour and I and of course meals that can be cooked quickly.

And I'm losing the battle.

My version of a Ploughman's lunch. Blooming lovely too.

Anyway, here is what we are eating this week.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Favourite Motivational Quotes

If you follow either Dan Jon Jr, Top Ender or myself on Instagram you'll see that we're rather fond of our quotes. I have a few quote books made up of quotes that I've found on the internet, or that I print off for our frame on the Fireplace (which I place quotes in) that are either from the monthly Visiting Teaching message or ones that I've seen and I love because they are relevant to things happening in our lives at the time.

So I thought I would share a few of my favourite motivational quotes as I hope they will bring you as much joy as they have given both the children and me.

Every Person is different and has a different contribution to make no one is destined to fail. Henry B Eyring

Thursday, 18 May 2017

My Birthday Bucket List

A few weeks before my birthday, when I was thinking about what gifts I could suggest to others I was thinking about what my priorities are, what I want in life and how I was going to achieve this. I realised that if I was asked for gift suggestions that I could mention gifts which I could use to further my progress to the goals that I'd come to realise I was aiming to and more importantly now that I was aware of these goals more acutely that I could actually focus on them more clearly.

Pippa and Flyfour on a walk

Some of them were really obvious. I wanted to be more active, I wanted to spend more time with my husband and I'd already made the promise to myself to dress up a little bit more and no always looks so scruffy. The other two were even easier, Flyfour and I made a promise to go for a walk each night together. Occasionally life gets in the way and we've missed just two nights, but I've walked over three marathons on my own since my birthday and Flyfour and I should be completing our second this week.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

52 Everyday Luxuries

When I was posting my answers to the 11 Questions I wanted to answer, the one question that stumped me (which I had set myself so I'm really worried about myself!) was "What one luxury could you not live without?". It stumped me, because apart from things like Fridge Freezers, Washing Machines, Flushing Toilets, Hot Water etc I wasn't sure what I classed as a luxury and what was a necessity these days. At first I thought that it was the internet, but I wasn't sure if that was classed as a luxury anymore, so I google it and found this quote;

"The internet is not a luxury, it is a necessity."
President Barack Obama

If the former leader of the free-world doesn't think it's a luxury, but a necessity then who am I to argue? By the way, according to the Independent it's Angela Merkel and not Donald Trump who is now the leader of the free world. That makes me feel a little better about the state of things at the minute, doesn't it you?

Anyway, as every day luxuries now means simply a way to indulge and spoil yourself I thought that readers of A Mother's Ramblings might enjoy seeing some ideas, as like me they may be stumped at what a luxury is these days. So, I asked some Blogger friends of mine what they considered to be their everyday luxuries and have complied that into a list of 52 everyday luxuries that you should find time to schedule into your life for a little bit of every day luxury.

An Ice Cream Treat - Sprinkles, Sauce and a Chocolate flake!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Walking To School, Exploring And Being Safe

In our house, unless Top Ender is taking her Cello to or from School we walk. I mean you've seen all the walks that Flyfour and I have been on recently right? We like walking, we like exploring and we like doing it safely with our children too.

However.

I also know that children are sometimes a little trickier than my two are to keep safe when outside. I've seen a child be hit by a car, I've seen a child have their foot run over by a car (well a lorry) and I know that I panic less than some of the other parents on the School run because I know that I have drilled it into my children about how to explore outdoors safely.

Top Ender and Dan Jon Jr, walking hand in hand and exploring the outside

Monday, 15 May 2017

It's Dan Jon Jr's Ninth Birthday!

It's Dan Jon's ninth birthday today, and so this blog post is just full of my love for him, and the love aimed squarely at him from his Daddy and Sister too.

Dan Jon Jr in an arch of a tree

Dan Jon is fearless, well as long as it has nothing to do with Spiders or anything too high. He is ready for new adventures and for new responsibilities, why just this past weekend he wanted to go to the corner shop on his own for some Eurovision supplies for the family, he helped put the weekly shop away and volunteered to tidy up after we had eaten supper together!

Sunday, 14 May 2017

British Sandwich Week

We love a good sandwich here at A Mother's Ramblings. We all have our favourites I have my guilty pleasures of a potato sandwich, Top Ender loves a Baked Bean Sandwich and Flyfour and Dan Jon Jr have slightly more "normal" tastes with Flyfour liking a BLT and Dan Jon Jr opting for either a Sausage Sandwich or a Fish Finger Sandwich!

And of course, there was that time I made the best sandwich in the world...

Double Layer Ham and Salad Sandwich, probably the best sandwich ever made

With British Sandwich Week starting today and continuing all this week, I've had some great tips shared with me by Gary Durrant from The Arch, London, (make reservations on 020 7724 4700) on how he creates the perfect sandwich, such as the ones you could be eating if you went for Royal AFteroon Tea at The Arch and I thought I'd share them with you too.

Watch out this week on my Instagram as hopefully, I'll be sharing some lovely yummy sandwiches for my lunch!

Saturday, 13 May 2017

What We Are Eating This Week W/C 13th May 2017

I've got into a little bit of a mindset when planning the evening meals for my family and I. During the week, Top Ender and Dan Jon Jr eat a meal at School, although this will be changing soon as I'm not sure that either of them are getting the full benefit from a hot meal at lunch and Dan Jon is pretty much only picking Jacket Potatoes as they are his favourite form of potato at the moment! Anyway, because of this, there is a lot of pasta happening!

My favourite pasta I've ever made even if the rest of the family didn't like it!

Friday, 12 May 2017

Birthday Gifts and Birthday Cash

Many moons ago, Dan Jon Jr hadn't quite learned that sometimes some thoughts should be run past an internal filter before they are allowed to come out of your mouth, or you'd face the consequences when your family would remind you forever. One such occasion was on Dan Jon's birthday a few years ago.

Dan Jon Jr dressed up as Mario

Dan Jon could remember on set of his Grandparents coming to see Top Ender on her birthday and having given her a nice wad of cash in a birthday card to spend on whatever her favourite obsession was at the time. I know that they gave her the cash, because they weren't sure what of the collection she already had, and just figured this was the easier way, especially with other friends and family all buying from the limited pool of obsession.

When they came round to see Dan Jon Jr on his birthday, he was expecting the same. Although, he didn't get it and without thinking Dan Jon exclaimed something along the lines of, "Where's my money?!" and we've never let him live it down.

Dan Jon Jr flush with cash

Thursday, 11 May 2017

A Walk In College Wood, Nr Nash Buckinghamshire

When Flyfour and I were walking around The Ouzel Valley Park, Flyfour told me about a woods that he had found in the local area not too far from a Village called Nash in Buckinghamshire, which in turn isn't that far from where we live in Milton Keynes. The woods were owned by The Woodland Trust and are just under 129 acres, which seems really large to me! It had been a toss-up between a walk at The Ouzel Valley Park and College Wood and so we decided that we'd go the next day to College Wood for a Sunday Morning walk.

The Woodland Trust Welcome to College Wood sign

Again, the children didn't join us. Top Ender was trying to avoid contact with humans (she was fasting and just a tiny bit ready for not fasting!) and Dan Jon Jr was having a well-deserved lay in... well he got up at 7 am and had breakfast and then went back to bed to read, watch youtube videos and basically wasn't getting up until lunch time!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

11 Questions I Wanted To Answer!

In the Liebster Awards post I posted a little while back, I asked two bloggers 11 questions that I made up. As I was writing them I was thinking, I kinda wanna answer these too... So I bet you can guess what this post is! That's right, it's my answers to my 11 questions.

PippaD being fabulous!