A Mothers Ramblings: 2017

Friday, 28 April 2017

The Liebster Award

Having been a blogger for a while, you tend to see trends come and go. I remember, like Aly who kindly tagged me on her blog and gave me a chance to answer The Liebster Award questions, when awards like these were the way to find new blogs, to find people who thought the same as you and quite honestly they were an amazing honour because it meant that someone other than your Mum was reading what you were writing.

Even though my Mum doesn't read my blog.

Anyway, it's been a while since I've been awarded anything although saying that, I did get a medal the other week from Dan Jon Jr for having managed to last a whole day without bursting out into song.

So, I have 11 questions to answer that Aly has set me and then there are 11 random facts about me (I tried to think up some good ones!) and I've tagged a few bloggers you might not have heard of and they have to answer 11 questions that I've set. So read on to find out more about me!

The Liebster Award

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

My Birthday Wish List

It's nearly my birthday and so I've been thinking about what I would like, as I know that people are going to be asking me in the next few days. Actually, that's a lie. Flyfour has already told me to put whatever I want into an Amazon wishlist and he'll just order from that (he actually told me to leave it in his basket to start with!) and surprise me with a few little bits too.

So, I sat and thought about what I would like, just typing the words that fell out of my head, not caring about cost or availability just my material self, raising its head and pouring out onto the page. It made me feel better to make a list, and also made me feel a little greedy. Once I started thinking about it, there were hundreds of things that I would like. I took off things like a new Kitchen and a new Bathroom because hopefully by the end of the Summer they will be installed. I also took off a gardener, because I kinda want to do the garden on my own... well one I've had a tradesman in to do the heavy lifting bit of laying a patio and building a wall and the like.

So, I present to you in no particular order other than this is the way it fell out of my brain, my Birthday wishlist.

A Yummy Birthday Cake And Candles

Monday, 24 April 2017

List Writing

I like making lists.

I'm pretty certain that sometimes I make lists just to put off actually doing the things that I put on my lists. Like as I'm walking home from dropping Dan Jon Jr off at School I'll recite a list to myself of the things that I've already done and things that I'm going to do when I get in.

a random list of meals my family likes

Dishes are done, bleach is down the toilet, the washing is on, open the windows in the bedrooms, swap the wash out, hang the wash out, put the recycling out, wash the cat bowls, dust the living room, dust the hallway, polish the mirrors (why do we have so many mirrors in our house?), empty the bins in the bedrooms...

And then I repeat it again and again as a mantra for my morning and until all my tasks are done.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Saturday Night, Family Night

When I was growing up, Saturday night was the night we all watched TV together as a family. I grew up when Saturday night TV consisted of family appropriate things like Blind Date, Noel's House Party, Gladiators, The Generation Game, Surprise Surprise, Catchphrase, Challenge Anneka, Blankety Blank, Stars in their Eyes, The A-Team, Knight Rider, You Bet, Paul Daniels Magic Show, Bob's Full House, Telly Addicts, The Russ Abbotts Show, The Price is Right, Wheel of Fortune, Family Fortunes, Strike it Lucky, Big Break, Cannon and Ball, Game for a Laugh, Beadle's About...

It sounds like all I did was watch TV as a kid, but that list above was shown over roughly two decades. Then again, it only took Flyfour and me about five minutes to come up with that list. I'm not sure if it is just remembering the best of things, but Saturday Nights were also Takeaway nights in my house. We would have Chinese most often, but occasionally Fish and Chips and I don't think I ever remember having an Indian as a Takeaway!

PippaD, Dan Jon Jr, Top Ender and Flyfour having fun

Friday, 21 April 2017

The Blooming Cat!

Roughly a week before Easter, the children, Flyfour and I went to one of the local Supermarkets to purchase our Easter eggs. Well, Flyfour and children purchased eggs, I decided that I would much rather spend the money on buying multi-packs of chocolate bars as I thought it was better value for money!

Top Ender and Dan Jon Jr

Dan Jon Jr picked an Oreo egg, Flyfour picked a Wispa egg and Top Ender picked a Malteser egg. I went for a pack of Double Deckers, a pack Twirls and a pack of Mars bars. See more value for money. We decided to leave the Eggs in the Kitchen, as we didn't really have anywhere else to store them and all was fine until Easter Saturday.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

A Forgotten Skill

Many years ago, when I was taking my GCSE's I decided that the best thing for me was to take Art. I have no idea why because if I am perfectly honest, I can't draw. I remember just a few weeks into the course the head of the department set us some homework. He wanted us to come up with some logo's for companies, whatever we wanted to do, it was up to us. I can't remember if I left my homework to the last minute, or as is more likely spent hours designing various different signs (we each had multiple signs on one side of A3 paper) well before the lesson was due, but what I do remember was the head of art picking up MY artwork and moving it to the centre of the table.

In my head, it has always sounded like a compliment what he said next, but thinking about it now I'm not sure that it was. The department head said that whilst this particular logo wasn't complicated it had been thought about. I've recreated the piece of art below so you can see what I did.

Cut and Curls - the first time I remember my art work being praised!

Yup, I decided to create a hairdresser called Cut and Curls, oh so original, right? Well, the point is, the teacher gave me a confidence boost because the best artist in the class (naturally talented), their work DIDN'T get picked as an example and that confidence boost led me to work my butt off in that class. I still couldn't draw, but I started practising and practising and learning new techniques until I still couldn't draw as well as the best artist in class, but I could draw. I had learnt a new skill.

Monday, 17 April 2017

This Is A Complicated Old Game Isn't It!

Sometimes I forget that the people who read my blog don't just live in my head and don't know the hundreds of stories of events that happened before I started this blog. Today I thought I would share one of those stories.

Before Top Ender was born, Flyfour and I would often go and watch TV Shows being filmed. It was something that Flyfour had done semi-regularly for many years and whilst my family had been a couple of times to see Noel Edmonds House Party (remember that?!) I really only got into it when Flyfour and I started dating.

A few months after Top Ender was born, Flyfour and I were offered tickets to go and take part in a new quiz show, well it was actually a pilot of a quiz show called "Dial M for Money" and it was to be hosted by Philip Schofield!

Flyfour, PippaD and Baby Top Ender

Sunday, 16 April 2017

The Easter Secret Service!

On Easter Saturday, Flyfour and I had decided that after we had watched Doctor Who as a family,  (wasn't it fantastic? Bill is brilliant and added some much-needed lightheartedness and banter to the show!) that we would all head out to Tesco to grab a couple of last minute supplies and hopefully a few reduced bargains.

We didn't get any bargains. We did bump into Top Ender's Guides Leader though, which was nice.

Anyway, as we got home, we noticed there was something hanging from the front door.

An Easter gift left as an act of Secret Service from someone in our ward

Friday, 7 April 2017

A Family Visit To The Ideal Home Show

When Flyfour and I decided that we wanted to make some changes to our home, a visit we had made to the Ideal Home Show many years before came to mind. We had found a brilliant ladder system there, as well as a few other "bits" that have been well used since we purchased them. We thought that what would be brilliant, would be if we went down again as a family and had a family day out.

We could all look at the various items that were being showcased, speak with the vendors that were selling items we needed for our home improvements and hopefully sort out our plans a little more so that's what we did at the start of the week.

Top Ender and Dan Jon Jr at the Ideal Home Show

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

I Need Help With My Plans!

There are plans formulating in our home. Well, there are always plans formulating in our home, but these ones are quite specific plans. For what seems like a few years, Flyfour and I have been talking about improvements that we want to make, things that would make our home better, things that would make us happier... but we had no money and so these ideas, these plans have stayed in our heads, occasionally being voiced during those hypothetical conversations about what would you do if you had a million pounds?

Flyfour and PippaD

Recently, however, we realised that it was now or never. If we were going to make these home improvements we had to start now. So, we drew up a list and refined that list again and again until we got a list of things which were important for us, that would benefit us and that we could afford.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Ponies, Stuffed Crust Pizza and Cookie Dough Ice Cream

I was having some trouble trying to work out what to blog about over the last few days. I did think about blogging about what I've been watching on TV or Netflix, but I'm been watching very little really. I thought about blogging about what I've learnt from the children I read with each Monday and Wednesday. I thought about blogging about a zillion different things but nothing sat right with me.

I was moaning to Dan Jon Jr about it, not realising that he was in an Xbox party with a friend of his and Dan Jon asked his friends what I should write about. Phoenix x Panda and FireProMoo suggested I blog about Cookie Dough Ice Cream, Pizza Hut Stuffed Crust Pizzas and Ponies... I'm not sure exactly what the three have to do with each other but it did get me thinking.

PippaD and Dan Jon Jr

Saturday, 1 April 2017

What We Are Eating W/C 1st April 2017

Okay, first of all, I can't believe it is April already. It's like one month until my birthday. Secondly, today marks, (well yesterday marked) the last day of our six-week diet/lifestyle change. Flyfour and I both lost over a stone each, and are rightly pleased about it. It's great right?

The good news is that we have adapted to this lifestyle and the next six weeks are going to be a test of that. Flyfour and I have decided that we'll stick with the same breakfast and lunch ideas (so basically either Cereal with a yoghurt, or toast and a yoghurt sort of thing for breakfast and something along the lines of a sandwich and salad at lunch time) and get a bit more creative with our evening meals... or rather the children and Flyfour are going to!

Oooh look, a Chicken Salad!

The family gave me a suggestion of all the different meals that they like and asked that I find ways to incorporate them into the lifestyle. Some of the recipes were fine as they were, others needed a little adaptation and some were changed quite a bit... Just watch out over the next six weeks to see if you can work out what we have done.

So, what are we eating this week?

Friday, 31 March 2017

The Hero Homework

Normally, getting Dan Jon to do his homework involves a bit of bribery on my end of things. Not anything major and to be honest not anything that he would actually get anyway, but small things like;

You can have your evening meal whilst you stay in the Xbox party if you do your homework now... 


or

If you get your homework finished by the time your sister is home I'll let you both watch cartoons

However last week, he did his homework without any sort of bribery.

Dan Jon, my little angel.


Wednesday, 29 March 2017

A Sort Of Unexpected Benefit

A couple of weeks ago, Dan Jon Jr's year group started a science module about healthy living. You know, how many hours sleep you need, how much water you should drink, how many portions of fruit and veg and servings of chocolate etc... things that because of his Diabetes Dan Jon Jr knows ALL about.

Dan Jon Jr, Type 1 Diabetic and Messy Hair Extraordinaire!

Unsurprisingly, Dan Jon found the topic interesting because of his own involvement in our family meal plans and because he was a little ahead of most of the students... well he has for four years been dragged to see Dieticians and Nutritionists whilst they (for the most part), tell us things that we already know!

Monday, 27 March 2017

A New Look

I'm not one of those women that always looks polished.

You know the ones I mean right? They turn up, putting the breakfast stained T-Shirt and Jeans, or slightly faded suit, or the imperfectly ironed dress you are wearing to shame. They have effortless grace, never seem to sweat and despite having walked from where ever wearing 7-inch heels they still have perfect hair and makeup.

I don't think I have any make up on in this picture. Thank heavens for the beauty filter on mobile phone selfie modes these days!

Yeah, of course, you know who I mean. Every Office, Toddler Playgroup, Yoga class and School playground have at least one of them. The problem I have with them isn't that they look perfect ALL THE TIME; it's that I kinda wanna be like them but, I am a perpetual scruff who occasionally scrubs up nice.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

What We Are Eating W/C 25th March 2017

Today is the start of the last week of our Healthy Eating plan. Flyfour and I have spoken at length about this and have decided that we're going to take six weeks "off" the plan as outlined in the book, but use our discretion to create meal plans as of next week that are within the calorie allowances, but also some of the dishes that Flyfour has been missing. I'd live on pasta and jacket potatoes if given a chance so I'm not that bothered!

Jacket Potato and Salad

If after a month, we aren't still seeing weight loss then we will get back onto the plan as laid out in the book and have to lump it that some of our favourite family meals are crossed off the meal plan... at least until we are at a point where we are a healthy family.

So with that, here is what we are eating this week!

Monday, 20 March 2017

New Scales and Renewed Vigour!

Last Saturday (not the one just gone, the one before that!) morning I was ready for my scales to show a MASSIVE weight loss. Well, not my scales because I'd decided that my bathroom scales were terrible as depending on which way I peered over my bosom, I could make myself weigh a stone heavier or lighter. So as I was already picking up the shopping from Tesco, I thought I would make use of the Scales.

They had a sign on saying they were out of order.

The Weighing Scales in Tesco

I was deflated, but not for long as I managed to persuade Flyfour to come with me to our local high street to find out if the Boots still had a set of scales too.

They did.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

What We Are Eating W/C 18th March 2017

It's funny, on one hand, the whole lifestyle change is brilliant. I've realised that as well as taking care of myself physical with my diet I'm starting to take more care in my appearance and I'm kinda loving that I'm reading so much!

On the other hand, it's starting to get to me because some evenings you'll find me trying to distract myself from feeling hungry by reading a book or doing some knitting or as seems most common, bemoaning the fact that there is nothing to eat in the house. Despite me being the one who does the shopping!

Next Customer Please sign at Tesco

Maybe in two weeks time when I've lived the lifestyle for six weeks I'll be more prepared for the next six week chunk... who knows?!

Friday, 17 March 2017

The Music Exam

When Top Ender starts to take her Music GCSE next year, part of the encouraged extracurriculars is to take the ABRSM music theory exams. As preparation/catch up on this she and several of her fellow students have been attending a weekly club, where they have been studying together to better their knowledge and to prepare them for the exams.

It has been a joy seeing Top Ender concentrate on learning the one hundred or so things she needs to know as she is huddled over her worksheets and various books. We've discussed many things which my GCSE in music has given me a small understanding of, so I've, for the most part, been able to keep up with what she has been explaining.

Top Ender looking all lovely!

When we saw her Music Teacher at a special evening to ensure that the students and parents knew what they were getting into if they signed up for a GCSE in music, I had mentioned that I was worried about Top Ender taking a GCSE in music, because whilst looking back now I loved it, it was the hardest class I took because I had no knowledge of music other than I liked listening to it.

Top Ender's teacher was honest, which I appreciated, and told both Top Ender and me that Top Ender had the knowledge, had the ability and all she was really lacking was the same thing we already know she is lacking. To be able to push herself harder than she currently is (eg Managing to get by as an average student because of her natural smarts) and her lack of willing to work as a team.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

I Had A Dream And It Didn't Come True

Growing up I had a dream. I wanted to be a Teacher and I told everybody.

I loved School, I loved my teachers and the idea of being a teacher really resonated with me. However, I could never actually be a teacher who works in a School. Don't get me wrong, I love children and volunteering at my local primary school and being the Primary President at the Church I go to. I know however that whilst I would love to be a teacher, I am really not cut out to be one.

Me looking semi professional

Secretly, I had another dream. I wanted to be a singer.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Unicorn Farts Or What's A Good Perfume For Teenagers?

When I was in my late teens, my Mum purchased me a bottle of perfume for Christmas.

I didn't wear perfume other than occasionally dabbing myself with some White Musk from the Body Shop as I was really a non-make-up wearing or caring or even a perfume wearing or caring teenager. It was, of course, a big surprise, but a good one and I was thrilled with my new perfume.

The perfume that she picked for me (and my sister as she got a bottle too) was Escape by Calvin Klien and has become the only perfume that I ever wear. I'm normally a little heavy handed with the scent, but meh, who cares as long as it's not so overpowering it knocks you out as soon as you walk into the room I'm sitting in!

PippaD and Top Ender not falling over from a perfume!

Saturday, 11 March 2017

What We Are Eating W/C 11th March 2017

Now, before you ask last week I didn't lose any weight, and I didn't expect to either (Want some TMI? No? Well, work it out yourself then) but it was also a week where I was a bit bad and overindulged one night and had a curry. The curry was lush so I don't regret a thing and I expect to make up the weight loss this week as long as Mother Nature plays fair.

Some of the meals that are suggested in the Healthy Eating Plan this week aren't Gluten free friendly and so we are going to substitute a few meals from previous weeks into this week and a few meals from some of the other eating plans as long as they are the same values nutrition wise!

Talking of nutrition, here's a picture of a nice salad that I had.

Chicken and Salad

Thursday, 9 March 2017

We Are Still Here!

Last night, after I had checked Dan Jon Jr's blood sugars, I was finding it a little hard to get back to sleep because my brain wasn't turning back off and I ended up thinking about Life, the Universe and everything in between.

And I had a realisation.

People Will Stop Asking You Questions If You Answer Back In Interpretive Dance

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

But It's Pie Week!

Every morning after the children and I have got ready for the day and had our Family Scripture study we listen to Chris Evans on BBC Radio Two. We love the show because of the humor and the chance to have a bop along together and the children are also quite amazed that I'm able to sing along to so many different songs!

This week, it has been hard to listen to the show, however.

You see Chris and the team have been eating a lot of pies because it's Pie Week and the children and I have been fighting temptation. On one hand, we really want a pie, because you know PIE. On the other hand, we want to stick to our healthy eating plan.

It's a lifestyle change and we're trying really hard to adapt to it.

Luckily Vavista Life have come to the rescue and have a low fat and low salt alternative that still gives the brilliance of a fish pie, but is better for our health and they have said I can share this recipe with you!
Filo Fish Pie

Saturday, 4 March 2017

What We Are Eating W/C 4th March 2017

Flyfour and I have been talking a lot over the last couple of weeks about how we're feeling on this eating plan. The answer is we feel amazing! We have both actually complained to each other that we feel we're being told to eat too much! We think it is because the portions seem to be much bigger than we are used to and we're using a lot more filling veggies and good quality protein.

At the start, I thought that because we'd picked a way that we could still have sweet treats if we wanted, that we wouldn't feel like we were being hard done by. However I've realised with the combination of the larger portions, the extra fruit we're eating each day and by changing the times we eat that we don't want the sweet treats, well only occasionally!

Anyway, here is what we are eating this week.

Salad and Cream Cheese Sandwich - a rather filling and lovely lunch!

Monday, 27 February 2017

I Fought The Bogeyman!

I'm not sure why a childhood fear of the dark came back when I was pregnant with Dan Jon Jr, but it did. Actually, that's not true. I'm not actually afraid of the dark, no the truth is I am afraid of being alone in the dark and all the evil terrible secrets it holds. Last October, BuzzFeed had an article where people shared statements that became truer the more you thought about them. I didn't get past the first one when I realised.

I'm not afraid of being alone in the dark. I'm afraid that I'm not alone in the dark.

For me, it's the fear that the bogeyman is hiding in the shadows, or really that he is standing at the bottom of my stairs behind the door curtain that we hung as part modesty measure (our front door has a large glass window next to our half front glass door) and part energy saving measure (the aforementioned huge glass parts of the front door).

Saturday, 25 February 2017

What We Are Eating W/C 25th February 2017

Last Saturday was our first day on the new healthy eating plan that Flyfour and I agreed we needed to follow. We had got up super early to clean the chapel, along with two friends of mine, and we were really good and stuck with what we were supposed to be having with breakfast... sort of. I missed half of my breakfast as we didn't have any fruit or yoghurts in the house (it was the end of half term, our fridge was empty!) and Flyfour didn't have any fruit added to his cereal. I did notice about mid-morning that I was feeling hungry, but I put it down to boredom and got on with my chores and it wasn't until I was looking at the meal plan a few days later that I realised I'd short-changed myself!

The meals for the rest of the week were as good as we'd hoped, leaving us fuller for longer but I won't know if I've lost weight until I pop to Tesco later on this morning as depending how I stand on my bathroom scales, I can make myself up to two stone lighter.

PippaD with a Snapchat Bunny Filter. Why? Well why not.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Why Doesn't The Postman Love Me?

We decided that we were going to have a PJ day during the half term and generally just chill out. There wouldn't be any housework, there wouldn't be any guilt if we spent all day on the consoles, or watching Netflix. All I had to do was remind the children to drink plenty of water and having made up some packed lunches and suitable snacks, they were able to feed themselves as and when they wanted to.

The children were playing a console game together and they were being rather loud, so I had taken myself back upstairs to my room to watch Netflix and actually be able to hear what I was watching!

So all was going well. I had my really scruffy PJ's on, with the really baggy top and I hadn't brushed my hair and my horrid rash was being horrid and bright red and cruddy looking. All I was missing was a face pack and rollers in my hair to finish off the "I don't care" look.

PippaD's hair doing what it wants

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Another case of Pityriasis Rosea!

Last October Top Ender came down with a case of Pityriasis Rosea. I'd never heard of it and after about a month and a half, the rash disappeared, which was quite lucky, as Top Ender had had enough of the itching after just a few hours.

Then, you know when I was ill the other week? Well, I thought I was so sick because I had a really bad cold. I actually said I thought it was Man Flu because I was so sick. Honestly, looking back now I can see that the few weeks before I became ill I was coming down with something because I was just so run down and as I mentioned I was putting myself last.

PippaD (aka me) looking and feeling all poorly


Monday, 20 February 2017

The Pinterest Problem

A few weeks back, whilst watching TV with my husband, a beautiful building was shown. I said something along the lines of;

"Wow! That place is beautiful! I'd love to get married there. I'll have to find it online so I can add it to my Pinterest board."

My husband turned to look at me and gave me a quizzical stare, bordering on an accusation of stupidity.

"Pippa. We ARE married" he emphasised to me.

Flyfour and PippaD on their wedding day

And so returning his look because, Duh! I know he and I are married, I was there! So, I showed him my Pinterest wedding board, handily titled

"If I had got Married after Pinterest had been invented"


Saturday, 18 February 2017

What We Are Eating W/C 18th February 2017

Flyfour and I were both moaning about our recent lack of willpower. We've got to that comfortable place where we're not really watching what we eat, we're not really exercising all that much and basically, we're becoming really unhealthy.

So what's a guy and girl to do? Change our eating habits of course. We decided to follow a diet that we've picked meals from over the last seventeen years and well as you can see it has lead to a return of my weekly meal plans! There is a difference, however, I'm not specifying what days we're eating what!

PippaD and Flyfour

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Last Place In Importance

I was sick.

Luckily it was just a heavy cold, but the whole not wanting to eat, feeling like I'd barely escaped death and my body needing complete rest aspect of it all has really knocked me for six. I barely feel like I'm functioning now a week and a half after having "recovered" and I've been taking my vitamins and even purchased a bottle of vitamin tonic (and have been taking it) just like my Nan always told me to do.

I couldn't stop doing my normal things whilst I was sick, however.

I still had to get up each morning to get the children off to School. I still needed to go and calculate the carb amount for Dan Jon Jr's lunch. I still needed to get Top Ender and her Cello to and from School. Flyfour told me off at one point because I had taken to our bed, and was sitting moaning that I was sick but at the same time placing an online shopping order for the groceries for the week.

Top Ender and Dan Jon Jr ready for School


Monday, 13 February 2017

The Old Lady Gang And Me

In the road I live in, there is a mixed age range of residents and I like it like that. There are a few families with younger children, a few with children around Dan Jon Jr's age, a few teenagers (Top Ender included), a few empty nesters and a few older residents, whose families are all grown up and long ago moved out or away to raise families of their own. It's this last category, these older residents that have been on my mind recently. We call them The Old Lady Gang because they are... well, old ladies.

Over the years, these residents have got to know my family pretty well. We stop and talk when we're on the School Run, or when we're playing on our bikes or scooters in the street. The children have delivered small secret gifts and we have all always waved as we walked past just in case they were looking out the window as we've passed.

More often than not, they are and they wave back.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

What's the Connection?

Before Christmas, I had my hair cut and coloured by my very talented friend (if you're in the Milton Keynes area let me know if you want her details!). I had decided that I wanted to do something a bit outrageous (for me) and go with a colour and so I asked about going red and my friend agreed I could get away with it, so she picked out a funky bright red for highlights, a darker red for the base. As my friend is a proper hairdresser and stylist, she knew what would suit my colouring and allow me the funk I was after without being too outrageous!

PippaD with foils in her hair whilst it was being coloured

The day came and I was terribly excited and loved sitting in her kitchen having a chat whilst we waited for the colour to take/set/whatever it is that happens when you dye your hair. Just after she had coloured, washed, cut my hair and just as she was about to blow dry it, Top Ender's School rang to tell me she'd been hit in the head by an errant rugby ball and was suffering from a mild concussion and needed to be picked up.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Yet Another Grey Day

What I love about the Winter is that it is so easy to wrap up warm, hide under a blanket or Umbrella and hide away from the world. You know what I mean right? In Summer, we wear T-shirts (Yes I know I'm wearing a T-shirt right now, but I also have a cardigan on) and short trousers or shorts but here right now we're under layers of clothing, blankets, clouds and we can forget about the Sun warming our bodies, it barely has enough power to warm the British Isles!

So because I'm forgetting what it's like to be seen and to not have to wear twenty layers of clothing, here's a throwback to the Summer to cheer me up and remind me that Summer is a few short (and dark) months away.

Top Ender and Dan Jon Jr on the Carousel in the Summer was a lot of fun. Top Ender was the oldest child there and I'm pretty sure she won't want to go to the undercover beach at the Garden Centre again as a paying guest. Still, I can remember what this last summer was like!

Top Ender and Dan Jon Jr on the Carousel

Friday, 27 January 2017

It Could Only Happen To Me

When does a situation become awkward?

When does coincidence become more than a casual connection of events?

I'm not sure that there is really an answer to these questions, but it's something I have found myself pondering on after a series of choices that made me wonder... made me think about what I do and why I do it and if there is more to it than just because that's the sort of person I am. If where I live has more of an effect on me and my personality and manner than one would think...

I'm not explaining it very well, am I?

Let's examine a recent situation I found myself in, and you tell me if my findings and musings are the same as yours.

As you know, I'm a School Governor. I'm actually now, a governor at two schools. No, not because I'm a glutton for punishment, but because I realised after a friend gave a lesson at Church a few years ago, if we don't take accountability for what we can, if we don't volunteer our time and efforts, if we don't stand up and say "Actually..." then nobody else will.

PippaD taking her Civic duty seriously

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

The Family Trip Out

With the hectic life that the children, Flyfour and I lead, I shouldn't have been surprised that when I looked recently at how much time the children and I had spent together without the added distraction of computer games and TV, I realised that it was pitifully small and I needed to rectify that.

So I told the children that we were going out and the plan was we were to have a fun evening together.

And then I took them to Ikea.

Monday, 23 January 2017

My Word For 2017 - Focus

Last year I jumped on board the "word of the year" bandwagon. I decided that it would be a good thing to do, it would help me bring to mind my goals and allow me each day to ensure that I was doing what I wanted to be doing.

I put the word up on my wardrobe door, which meant I could read it each night before going to sleep and it was one of the first things I would see each morning after waking up.

It sort of worked.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

How Are You Always Happy?

I'm known for being happy almost all the time. On the School run, I give everyone a cheery hello, a smile or a grin depending on the age of the recipient, giggle with them over a shared joke and I am generally the smiley person everyone always assumes "larger" people to be. I guess it is because of this that sometimes people almost accusingly ask me;

"How are you always happy?

And I have to think about it.

I didn't always have a grin on my face, it was something I "trained" myself to do because I have resting bitch face (before it was a thing!) and because I don't think of myself as happy all the time.

I'm just me.

Normal Pippa.

Okay, crazy Pippa.

PippaD acting a little crazy whilst having her hair dyed

If you need further proof of this, you should see me at 3 am when my phone alarm has gone off to wake me up to do a blood test for Dan Jon Jr.

I am not happy then!

Thursday, 12 January 2017

I'm used to it now

I'm used to it now.

I'm used to the looks the other parents give me after seeing my childs name in the newsletter for having reached the next reading certificate in the ongoing reading challenge.

I'm used to the not so subtle questions the other parents ask about what we do after school and how many out of school activities we take part in.

Top Ender and Dan Jon Jr ready for School

I'm used to the even less subtle jibes about how parent A works full time and how by the time they get home and feed the family it's time for bed.

I'm used to it, but I still don't like it.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Why My Meal Plans Have Gone

I've not been publishing my menu posts for a few weeks. At first it was by accident, I simply forgot to post the meal plans after checking that I'd not written something super stupid, that they were formatted how I liked and that the majority of my spelling mistakes were corrected.

And then things changed.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Another Grey Day

The last time I posted my attemt to bannish the blues of a Grey day photographs, it cheered me right up and got me motivated to face the rest of the day head on and get not only my chores done, but also enabled me to remember that the Sun would be back in just a few short weeks and so I thought I'd post some more!

During the Summer, the Children and I decided to camp out in the back garden. I woke up before them one morning and set camp up at the patio table with my Fruit tea, my books, Netflix, my knitting and even my laptop to do a little bit of blogging if I felt like it! It was the best day.

Backyard Camping set up