A Mothers Ramblings: 2018

Friday, 14 December 2018

Robin Hood Milton Keynes Theatre #Review

It was only in the last few years, that I realised that going to the Panto at Christmas was a very British thing to do. As I've spent more time with friends from other countries who have made Milton Keynes their home I've realised that they have no clue about the genius that is shouting at a fully grown man "It's behind you!" because he can't quite see the one thing he is looking for. Of course, they also don't understand smacking one's thigh, the very thinly veiled innuendo or why everyone is willing to believe for two hours that Sherwood Forest is just down the road from Milton Keynes.

Milton Keynes Theatre were once more kind enough to invite us to see the Panto and we bumped into Santa!

The A Mother's Ramblings Family with Santa at Milton Keynes Theatre on the Opening Night of Robin Hood the Panto

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

A Last Minute Residential

Top Ender had three Christmas Meals last week. Yes, I know I had two Christmas meals, but that's not the point okay?! Top Ender had three. It was on the last of these three, that she was sitting talking with a friend and some of the Guide leaders about the Baden-Powell challenge when everyone sort of realised at the same time that Tops needed to go on a residential before her 15th Birthday... which was in just four weeks.


Luckily, Top Ender's guide leader is amazing and after letting me know (at like 9 pm, as I picked Tops up from the third meal of the week) what needed to happen, she let me know that she would get it organised the following morning and the most that I would really need to do was get Top Ender somewhere in the UK the following evening.

Top Ender in her Girl Guiding Uniform

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Week Two Light The Community

I don't think that I'm the only one that will find it funny, that the week I start my Christmas break from the various clubs and volunteer work I do in the community, that the Church I belong to, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has decided that Lighting the Community is the weeks focus for service completed by members in the Light The World Campaign they run each Christmas time.

Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting by President Thomas S Monson quote

Monday, 10 December 2018

What We Are Eating W/C 10th December 2018

This last week has gone so fast! There are just two weeks before the end of school and Seminary around here, (it's a late break up right?) and we are now in full swing of rehearsals, Christmas Concerts, Christmas Movie Watching, Elves being cheeky (whilst not sitting on any shelves) and of course I have relented and have broken open the Christmas treats... Anyhoo, here is the plan for this week's meals with a little bit of missed (mainly by me, occasionally by you) chat too!

Light the World

Sunday, 9 December 2018

This Is Ministering

Three Hot Chocolates With All the Trimmings

This is Ministering. Yes, I know those are three Hot Chocolates with all the trimmings, but trust me. Those Hot Chocolates are Ministering in action.

During one of the General Conference sessions in April 2018, President Russell M. Nelson made an announcement that changed the way that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints looked after each other.

At the time of the announcement Top Ender was super excited, as she had not long asked why she couldn't officially have a list of people to visit and care for and as the announcement was made that Young Women aged 14 and over were now going to be called as ministering sisters, we realised that she was preparing herself, me and a few friends we had shared the story with for the changes that were coming. Tops had truly been in tune with the Spirit.

Further announcements were made about how we would carry out this new Ministering, no longer were the cultural expectations to be a once a month visit with a message from the Ensign (a Church magazine), instead, we were being asked to be better at looking after one another. By getting to know each other, by visiting with each other more than just once a month.

Monday, 3 December 2018

What We Are Eating W/C 3rd December 2018

Wow, December already! I can't believe we are almost at the end of the calendar year and already into the full swing of Christmas Concerts, Parties, Panto trips and the Light The World campaign, where we as a Church Community like to do Service for people not only around the world, but in our local community, our families and even in our own lives.

I'm so excited! So, here is what we are eating this week!

Light The World Christmas Ornament

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Light The World 2018

For the last few years, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has encouraged its members to do something special each December. To take a few minutes out each day to serve others around them, to Light The World with goodness and happiness and to be like our Saviour, whose Birth it is we celebrate each Christmas.

Light The World Christmas Decoration

It's actually, really amazing to do and if you are here reading this and you're not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, then do it anyway! Spread some Christmas Cheer. I promise you that you will get so much more out of it than you put in.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Giving Machines And The Feel Good Factor

Vending Machines.

We see them everywhere. You can pay cash, or by card or even tap your phone on them these days and all it takes is a few prods of the buttons before the machine works out which item you wanted and pushes it off the shelf for you to collect at the bottom.

Instant gratification. If only, giving to charity was that easy.

Well, actually it can be and Tops and I were invited to London to visit the Hyde Park Chapel, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to witness the unveiling of the Giving Machines that have been installed for the Christmas season.

Giving Machine #LightTheWorld London Launch

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Christmas Wreath Crafts

If you are anything like me, this time of year your recycling bin is overflowing with cardboard boxes from various deliveries of Christmas gifts for various family and friends. Seeing all that cardboard makes me itch to do something creative and so I decided to make a few Christmas Wreaths with Dan Jon Jr, despite the both of us still being slightly scared of making anything craft based together.

I found a bowl that was about the right size I envisioned and used it to trace around on the cardboard for the outside of the wreaths. I found a slightly smaller bowl to make the middle of the wreaths and using a Steak knife because I couldn't find my pen knife or craft knife, cut through the thin cardboard. As you can see, I also found an old Cat Food Box useful to making a wreath ring from, which just goes to show that all those times Blue Peter told us to use Cereal Boxes and the like, they were on to a winner!

Cat Food boxes being turned into Christmas Wreaths

Monday, 26 November 2018

Family Meals W/C 26th November 2018

I'm so excited for this week, not just for our Family Meals, but for me, the Christmas season starts this FRIDAY! Yup, Tops and I are off to London for the launch of some very special vending machines, and of course, they really show the real reason for the season, giving as our Saviour would. This is followed by Tops going to see a show with Flyfour (one he went to see a couple of weeks ago!) and Dan Jon and I having a special evening together and then Saturday we're having a Brunch with a friend (Tops and I are) and in the afternoon finally putting up our Christmas decorations. I can't wait!

Christmas Cup at McDonalds

Monday, 19 November 2018

Family Meals W/C 19th November 2018

I can't believe it is over half way through November. It is nearly December people! I am rather excited because for me the month of December is a month of service, of times when people are nicer to each other, of carol concerts, of choir rehearsals (and our Choir leader has picked two beautiful songs for us to sing as a choir, a further song that I get to sing with our Young Women and of course some lovely hymns for us to sing as a congregation), of Christmas Craft Fairs, and the last minute rush to finish off all the projects we started for Christmas. Sorry Tops, you are so not getting a handmade jumper this year.

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

Home Made Mince Pies... Don't mind if I do!

Saturday, 17 November 2018

The Overnight Temple Trip

For the last few weeks, our ward (parish) has been arranging a trip to the Temple. There was going to be a coach laid on and everyone could travel down to the Temple together.

There was just one problem. Tops and I get really travel sick.

So we decided, that we would travel down the night before, staying in the Temple Accommodation for Patrons. We'd never done it before but knew that several of our friends had so knew it would be possible for us too.

The drive down the M1 and M25 were exactly as expected on a Friday night, and Tops and I made the most of having been loaned Flyfour's car by using the Cruise control and making the most of the Alexa that he has wired up into the car so we could use our Spotify account.

We ate Pringles and laughed and sang and sometimes were quiet so I could concentrate on a tricky part of navigating to the Temple.

And then suddenly, out of the darkness there it was.

The England London Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Monday, 12 November 2018

What We Are Eating W/C 12th November 2018

We missed a few meals last week, we were doing "other" things, that I forgot about or that took place last minute and so I've been trying super hard to remember everything in advance this week! Luckily nobody starved and we're more excited about the meals for this coming week and for some other things happening in the next few weeks too!

Cocoa on Dunstable Downs

Monday, 5 November 2018

All Meals W/C 5th November 2018

I really can't believe that it is already November, that means I can officially watch a Christmas movie every day and wear my Christmas socks and only one of my friends will moan at me (he says Christmas shouldn't be mentioned until December 1st, but I say Humbug to him!) and the rest will just either be "SAME!" or "Pippa, you so crazy!" but then again, my friends are like that most of the time!

So on to the meals for the week!

Christmas Jumper Cookie

Monday, 29 October 2018

All Meals W/C 29th October

As this week is half term, our meals are a lot more simple than normal. We've done this for a couple of reasons,

1 We get to save some cash by eating super cheap
2 The children can cook these simple meals
3 We really need to use up the stuff in the pantry and freezer
4 I'm having a week off
5 Did I mention this week is super cheap?

When I went shopping (with Dan Jon and Tops) we purchased a can of beans, a pack of gluten-free sausages, some items for the soup we're making for the Ward Trunk Or Treat, some treats (Dr P for me, Oasis for Tops, Oreos for Dan Jon and Pepsi for Flyfour), some bread and cat food. See, super simple and cheap!

Super Tasty Beans on Toast

Friday, 26 October 2018

14 Family Night In Ideas

Dan Jon and I were busy planning whilst Top Ender and Flyfour were away on their camping trip. We were planning for when our family nights are less outside Summer type things and more inside Autumn and Winter type things. Don't get us wrong, there will be plenty of walks, wrapped up in scarves and with flasks of Hot Chocolate and the odd Sausage Roll hidden in a thermos lunchbox, but Dan Jon was also aware that Top Ender is going to be getting up super early every weekday whilst she goes to Seminary and some evenings, Tops and I may just want to collapse on the sofa.

Dan Jon came up with a brilliant list of 14 things we could do as part of a Family Night in and I thought I'd share them in case anyone else is after some fun things to do as a family when the weather turns a bit cooler!

Winter Family Selfie

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Why Food Banks Don't Want Your Out Of Date Food

The School that Dan Jon goes to each Autumn asks the children to donate food items to a local Food Bank. Each class is assigned a different kind of food, there are ten different classes with around 30 children, so a lot can be donated. I remember a couple of years ago the chap who was sent to collect the items couldn't believe how much was being donated and was so grateful for the support from the School.

Last year, Dan Jon's class had Biscuits, I went out and purchased several boxes and individual packets, to donate. It was within my budget, but it wasn't something I had originally budgeted for if you see what I mean. This year Dan Jon's class has been assigned pasta in a can (like hoops or spaghetti), Dan Jon was eager to take in a can and so emptied my pantry of my stash of value Spaghetti Hoops, and over the weekend, I purchased several more. Not to stock up my supplies, but to pass on to the food bank.

My neat and tidy, and quite full Pantry

Some classes got dried pasta, or soup, or toiletries. Things that the Food Bank need, things that people who use the Food Bank need.

Monday, 22 October 2018

Flyfour and Dan Jon's Camping Trip 2018

Every Summer Flyfour goes camping one at a time with both Top Ender and Dan Jon Jr. We love this time because it means that we each get one on one time with each of our children and make special memories and just have time together. The children love it for the same reasons, one on one time, they are mostly in control of what we do, where we go and what we eat and of course, if they are at home with me they get a pass on bedtime and what time they have to wake up too!

Flyfour and Dan Jon headed off to Dorset, where they soon had the tent up in a field, which according to Flyfour was in the middle of nowhere. 

Dan Jon modelling the tent

Saturday, 20 October 2018

All We Are Eating W/C 20 October 2018

I explained a little while back that I was writing all our meals in one easy to go to place as I was trying to A Cut back a little on shopping, B Make it easier on me to remember (or know where to go) and C help me ensure we're eating a variety of things.

This week I've also gone through everything that is in the freezer and cupboards to ensure I've made the most of my budget, and actually don't have to buy much, just cat food, milk, a little fruit and of course the all-important snacks that the housekeeper tends to forget to buy each week and just leaves "ingredients" in the fridge and cupboards for us to make snacks from.

So inconsiderate.

A cake made with ingredients!

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

September's Holiday In A Weekend - Day Two

Dan Jon and I were the only ones who woke up early. Around 7am I woke up, and Dan Jon was already awake and getting bored of staring at the ceiling. Together we played on our phones, Dan Jon played a little on his DS and I did some knitting, as my suggestions of going for a walk along the seafront or seeing if we could find a park or something else he might find of interest were all dismissed.

Eventually, Top Ender and Flyfour woke up and so we dished out breakfast (cereal bars and crepes for all) before we got dressed, packed up and headed off for our second day of Holiday.

The A Mother's Ramblings Crew

Monday, 15 October 2018

All We Are Eating W/C 15th October

I'm not sure if I enjoy this whole keeping meals to under £1 per head. It means I have to actually think each week about what meals I'm making and I'm not allowed to buy my usual cheat ingredients... chopped onion being my favourite!

Anyway, I managed to get the meals this week for 73p per head, which I don't think is too bad. I've added on a tonne of tinned and frozen fruit this week, which the children will have after their evening meal, occasionally with Ice-Cream, occasionally baked into a cake or even just "plain" as I realised that they were wanting a little extra each night, because of the smaller portions and because 5 portions of fruit or veg a day is good, 6 or 7 is better right?

A large bowl of apples from our Apple Tree

Friday, 12 October 2018

September's Holiday In A Weekend - Day One

September's Holiday in a day was going to be a great surprise. Months ago Flyfour had suggested instead of going out for just one day that he would like to go away for the whole weekend... and he'd like to organise everything as a surprise for Tops, DJ and me. It would be a sort of Anniversary gift to us and a lot of fun would be planned.

So we said yes and left him to the planning.

The A Mother's Ramblings Family

It took great restraint on my behalf to not google things that were happening the last weekend of September and in the end, I managed to get one piece of information out of Flyfour with regards to the weekend. We'd need to leave at 6:30 am, as our first destination was a four-hour drive away. I worked out that this would mean we were heading to the North of the UK, and so knew to pack accordingly. Out came the fleece jumpers, scarves, hats and walking boots and away went any ideas of resting by a pool somewhere in Europe!

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

The Seminary Surprise

In the last post I talked about Seminary, The Seminary Challenge, I said that we were waiting on Sepli to get his revenge. Well, it turns out we didn't have to wait long.

The morning started like any other. We had our breakfast, we set off to pick up the lovely young woman whom we give a lift to each morning (she lives just around the corner from us, so it makes sense!) and headed off to the Chapel.

I unlocked the gate, leaving Tops and our friend in the car (it's cold early in the morning)! and drove into the deserted carpark.

The Chapel Car park before it is opened

Monday, 8 October 2018

A Social Media and Media Fast

Earlier this year, I went on a Social Media fast. It was a challenge aimed at the Youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and despite not being a Youth leader at the time or indeed a member of the youth, I decided to attempt it anyway. I mean a week away from social media wasn't going to kill me was it. Was it!?

Pippa is on a Social Media Fast Header

Well, it didn't. In fact, I learnt a fair bit about myself during that week. Like how when I'm bored, my first instinct is to check social media. Like how, when I can't "spy" on my friends, I actually message them to see what they are up to or if they want to hang out. I also discovered that whilst Pinterest is my go-to for when I want to get creative, it isn't always the solution and I came up with several ideas on my own, without the help of Pinterest or Google. I know, go me.

I'm pretty certain the Social Media fast was one of the reasons that I was called to be the Young Women's President, but then again it could also be because Heavenly Father just wanted me to start hanging out with the Teens of our ward. Either way, the fast helped!

Saturday, 6 October 2018

All Meals W/C 8th Oct 2018

So, the main meals that I made last week meant that the meal plan cost me just under £1 per day, which was a little bit of a cheat, as I had a few ingredients at home (frozen fish for example) that I used and so they didn't come into the price. However I also purchased some gluten-free plain flour and Olive oil, ready for a meal this week, so I think it sort of balances out!

A Balanced spinning Top

This week, I'm aiming for £1.50 per day for all three meals for Tops, Dan Jon and I as Flyfour takes care of himself for breakfast and lunch by making cereal and sandwiches at work during the week and guess what! It works out this week... so long as nobody adds anything else to the shopping basket when I go out later today to get it!

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

The Seminary Challenge

There are a few things that Top Ender and I don't like and being late for something is one of them. So with Seminary starting at 6:40 am, the plan is that we will get to the Chapel for 6:30 am each weekday. This means we need to leave our house at about 6:15 am, as even with no traffic it is still a fifteen-minute drive or so.

As it is so very early in the morning, I suggested and Top Ender eagerly agreed that in order to make this more pleasant I would cook breakfast for Dan Jon, Top Ender and myself each morning before we leave.

Top Ender eating Bean and Sausage Hash before Seminary

Dan Jon loves this because, as he is now waking up at 6 am with breakfast in bed, he is able to complete his morning scripture study, get ready for School and get at least a half hour in on one of the consoles! Plus BREAKFAST IN BED!

Monday, 1 October 2018

All Meals W/C 1st Oct 2018

The Meal plan is a little late this week, thanks to us having been away over the weekend. I also made a little bet with Flyfour, I'm going to see how cheap I can make the weeks meals for October... and try to keep it to below £1 per head per evening meal.

It came about as we were talking about different meals you can buy premade at around the 70p mark, and wondering if this was cheaper to buy than making a meal from scratch. I know obviously that if you make it from scratch it could be a lot healthier, but we were talking about living on an extreme budget (we'd been watching a documentary earlier in the week about a similar subject) and if it was still possible to eat filling meals (filling rather than healthy).

Anyway, we know I'm always up for a challenge!

Yummy Sausage Pie

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Under Pressure #Review

Every few months, Dan Jon and I go to visit with his care team at our local hospital. There they measure his weight, height, his hbac (blood sugar related) and his blood pressure.

They measure his various vitals because being a Type 1 Diabetic, comes with a few challenges that are made easier when the rest of you is in good health. At home, it is easy for us to measure all of these things, and so we do our best to keep him healthy and happy.

When we were asked if we'd like to test out a Kinetic Blood Pressure Monitor, I thought this would be a great way to help keep an eye on all the families health and so it soon arrived in the post!

Kinetik Blood Pressure Monitor

Friday, 28 September 2018

Early Morning Seminary

Members of The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints aged between 14 and 18, get to go to Seminary. Seminary is this wonderful class, which in a lot of places is held first thing in the morning. They go to learn about theology and the four-year course goes over the Standard Works, so The Old Testament, The New Testament, The Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, and from what I understand from my friends who grew up in the Church, they learn a lot about themselves too.

PippaD and Top Ender at the London Temple

Tops was due to start this past September, and with her recent ASD diagnosis, we weren't sure if Seminary was the right thing for her. Well, that's not quite true, we weren't sure if early morning Seminary classes were the right thing for her.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

The Folly

Ages ago, Flyfour and I had an idea that we wanted a garden room. We weren't sure if this was part of a ground floor extension, knocking down the garage and putting one of those cool sheds that you see in Garden Centers in its place or even if we would just convert the garage that was already there and of course in this scenario, figure out where to put all the junk that lives in the garage, that we can't live without.

With all the works that we did on the house last summer, we decided that the best course of action was to convert part of the garage into a room because A: We'd run out of budget and B: There was no way we were going through more building works so soon. Even a year later we are still sick of it!

The Garage full of junk but great natural light!

One day as we were clearing out the garage, I got a little stroppy. Most of the items we had in the garage were items we had stored with the purpose of turning one end of the garage into a room. A place where we could study or work or work out or relax or pray and Flyfour was wanting to throw them away. And worse, did throw them away.

Monday, 24 September 2018

An Almost Unexpected Haircut

In a move that I believe is typical of many Mothers, I quite often "forget" to get my hair cut. Well, I don't forget, I just tend to not put it at the top of my to-do list, because despite one of my best friends being a hairdresser, I put everything for me last. Then a couple of weeks ago, my husband mentioned to me that I really should get my hair cut, as I'd done nothing but complain about it. I really did need it cut, the split ends were out of control and so I bit the bullet and called my friend to arrange for me to visit with her and have a hair-cut at the same time.

PippaD having her hair coloured at a previous appointment

Saturday, 22 September 2018

All Meals W/C 22nd September 2019

What a week it has been! I've been ill, Flyfour came back from Amsterdam, the children went to School and their various other activities and I've managed to survive long enough each evening to stay up and watch a documentary or TV show with Flyfour. We are currently loving Killing Eve and The Bodyguard on the BBC, Grand Designs on 4 and Paddington Station on 5! What are you watching or are you recommending to everyone? We have Now TV, Netflix and Amazon Prime, so are well covered.

I love The Lego movie!

This week I'm trying something new, I'm listing all we are eating for our main meals, lunches and Breakfast! Yup, all in one post, mainly so I can just check one place each week.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

What's For Dinner? W/C 15th September 2018

I started writing this list before I got ill, decided it was too much like hard work (I was starting to get ill) and stopped. Now I can't smell a thing, food is the last thing on my mind and I've realised that the trip to the Supermarket yesterday was terrible as I apparently didn't buy any food for this weekend despite having spent £50 and this week planning to have a lot of leftovers and things from the store cupboard!

Tesco Bag hanging on Front Door

Oh well, back to the Supermarket we go!

Monday, 10 September 2018

Lunch Plans W/C 10th September 2018

Is it weird that I get more excited about preparing lunches for my children than I do about preparing an evening meal for them? I think it is because lunches are so much quicker to make and I don't have to worry about doing many dishes... well, loading the dishwasher anyway!

I love that my kitchen has a dishwasher. And looks pretty!

Monday - Cream Cheese Bagels with Cucumber Slices

We'll team these up with some Popcorn, an apple and some malt loaf because everyone loves Malt Loaf!

Tuesday - Leftover Meatloaf Sandwich

We've found that Meatloaf can be kept for four days without changing the flavour or killing us, so today the leftovers from Saturday will be used up. I'll also pack two satsumas, a milkshake and use up the malt loaf too.

Wednesday - Leftover Pasta Bake

If all goes to plan last night when I made the Baked Pasta, there should have been a little extra for today's lunch. I'll add some carrot and cucumber sticks, along with a little hummus dip and a treat of a homemade chocolate pastry twist. To drink, some plain milk or a bottle of water.

Thursday - Pizza Muffins

Dan Jon has requested Hawaiin muffins, which is fine by me. I'll give them three Muffins (they are small) along with a small bottle of Fruit juice. We'll add two satsumas to the meal along with a scone (cream and jam for them to spread).

Friday - Fish and Chips/ Cream Cheese Bagel with Salmon

Dan Jon is having Fish and Chip at School (Every Friday) and Tops will have a Bagel with some Cream Cheese and Salmon as I think they might be her favourite treat food. I'll also give her a bottle of her favourite fruit juice, some fruit salad and a packet of caramel popcorn I had been hiding for a secret treat for myself.

And that's what the Children will have for lunch this week!

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Evening Meals W/C 8th September 2018

I feel bad writing a whole post, going over how great the food we are eating is and how to make it, when it's just simple meals that anyone could work out how to make, or could search this blog or Google for recipes. So, welcome to week two of a stripped back post about our evening meals.

Meatloaf with Mash, Peas and Gravy

As I said, last week this month (and possibly next) we are eating cheaply, still keeping to the Healthy Eating Rules and all because the shopping budget is something I can control!

Saturday - Meatloaf with Mash and Peas
Sunday - Pork topped with Apple Sauce and Cheese served with Mash and Mixed Vegetables
Monday - Tuna Pasta Bake and Garlic Bread
Tuesday - Baked Honey Chicken with Diced Potato
Wednesday - Jacket Potatoes with Beans
Thursday - Salmon Risotto with Peas
Friday - Sausage Rolls and Salad

Flyfour is away from Friday morning until Sunday night for a conference, so the children and I are planning on indulging in some of our favourite gluten-filled foods, hence the Sausage Rolls!

Monday, 3 September 2018

Lunch Plans 4th September 2018

Poor Old Dan Jon, like last year he is going back to School a day earlier than Top Ender. This year he also has to put up with the fact that Top Ender starts Seminary and so our "normal" routine of getting up and having a cooked breakfast is a little... well it's a little changed. Luckily Dan Jon has some great lunches to look forward to and, hopefully, that will make his morning run a little smoother... Yeah, I don't think it will either.

Top Ender goes back to School on Wednesday and has asked to take a lunch to School with her until she has checked out what specials the canteen are doing, and when. So I'm planning on a couple of weeks of lunch every day before she picks a day or two to eat at School.

A Bento style packed lunch

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Evening Meal Plans 1st September 2018

I'm being cheap for the next few weeks and having very, very, very cheap meals planned, whilst still trying to keep to the Healthy Eating Rules of at least five portions of Fruit or Veg a day, two portions of fish a week and of course as Gluten Free as we can!

Winner Winner! Chicken Dinner!

Luckily the rest of the family were all in agreement and have helped me come up with some great, tasty and favourite meal ideas.

Saturday - Sausages and Mash

Sunday - Roast Chicken

Monday - Cheesy Wedges with Beans

Tuesday - Smoked Salmon Tagliatelle

Wednesday - Home Made Pizza

Thursday - Jacket Potatoes with Tuna and Spring Onion

Friday - Chili and Nachos

I guess with us getting back into the swing of early nights and even earlier mornings (Tops starts Seminary this Wednesday), we're just glad to have some routine back.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Giant Teddies and Happiness!

When I was organising the car boot for the Youth of my local Church, someone very kindly donated three MASSIVE Teddies. I happen to know that the monkey cost £60 to buy brand new and the Youth totally wanted to buy them to keep, but I managed to persuade them all that they didn't need huge Teddies to be happy, and also that their parents would never forgive me for letting them buy them because nobody has that much room in their house that a giant teddy wouldn't take up too much room!

Sad Giant Teddies

Saturday, 25 August 2018

What We Are Eating W/C 25th August 2018

FOUR MONTHS TODAY WILL BE CHRISTMAS DAY! Oh my goodness, that has sneaked up on us, right? Flyfour and I, when on a "Pippa forgot to get on the weekly shop" trip, saw that Tesco is already stocking tins of Christmas sweets (Yes, we did buy one) so I'm officially starting stocking up on Christmas goodies this week!

Christmas Jumper Biscuit

Yes, I'm a tiny bit excited.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Emily Veg Crisps #Review

When I was younger, my Mum would often (well it seemed often to me!) take a bowl of crisps to bed. I always thought that it was special and something I couldn't wait to do when I was old enough. As I got older, occasionally my Mum would share her snack with my Sister and I as we sat on her bed watching TV, and it was there that I got a love for different crips. When Emily Veg Crisps asked if I'd like to try their new Sweet Potato Sticks seasoned with Sea Salt, I said YES PLEASE, because A I love sweet potato and B I love free food.

Emily Veg Crisps Sweet Potato Sticks Packet

The packets are rather snazzy looking, I mean look at them! They are funky purple and they just look really appetising!

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Wanted: One Enemy

I've been feeling a little stuck recently. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my life and every single crazy thing that goes on in it. It just felt a little like I had stagnated. I wanted to be doing better, I wanted to be stretching myself, I wanted to... I didn't know what I wanted which is probably part of the reason I had stagnated if I'm honest.

So I had a think.

PippaD having a think

What did I need to get me moving forward again? What did I need to get me out of the rut? The answer came to me whilst I was in the shower.

An Enemy.  I needed an enemy.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Family History: More Than Just A Family Tree

What did my Nan's Christmas cake look like? What did I eat for breakfast most mornings? What was my favourite drink? What did I want to be? What did I accomplish? What did my Gran want to be when she was younger? What did my Grandfather think about the internet? What will my Dad be remembered for? What is my Mum's earliest memory?

All these are questions that I've pondered on over the last few weeks, as I've been filling in more memories on FamilySearch about my family, whilst simultaneously searching records to complete more genealogy work for my family and finding out who I'm related to thanks to a DNA test I did with Ancestry (currently 128 4th cousins or closer and around 21162 others!) and discovered that I am for the most part Northern/Scottish with a hint of Scandinavian, Iberian and Western Europen thrown in for good measure!

PippaD's DNA Test Results

Saturday, 18 August 2018

What We're Eating W/C 18th August 2018

I'm starting to think that my family and I need to start having different meals again, purposely pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone. Did I tell you that whilst Dan Jon was away with Flyfour he tried a Blue Cheese Sauce and loved it? Maybe it is me who is the one keeping us in the same meals... hmm I'll have to think about that during this week.

My thinking place on the deck in the garden

In the meantime, here is what we are eating this week!

Friday, 17 August 2018

A Walk Around Intu Lakeside

When Top Ender and I had finished our time at the Temple, there was really only one place that she wanted to go to.

Naked Dough.

Neon Naked Dough Sign

Now, for those of you not in the know (basically anyone that doesn't live within the boundary of the M25), Naked Dough is a cookie shop with a difference. It's a Raw Cookie Dough Shop, and you can buy a scoop or two of different flavours and... well it's just delicious okay?!

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

The London Temple Trip

A few weeks ago, Top Ender and I headed down to the London Temple with the Youth from our ward. It was a really lovely day, on the way down the two young women and two young men I was in charge of, entertained us all with conversations that ranged from one obscure subject to another via stories of school friends, events they were looking forward to over the summer and of course how good it would be to finally get out of my car to stretch our legs.

The England London LDS Temple

Monday, 13 August 2018

My Quiet Place

At the last General Conference, there was a talk given by President Russel M. Nelson where we as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, were encouraged to receive personal revelation, as in, we should regularly talk to God in prayer and then listen for what God wants to tell us and we should practice this regularly so that it becomes easier for us to understand the revelation that we are being given.

Quote by Russel M Nelson "Find a quiet place where you can regularly go. Humble yourself before God. Pour out your heart to your Heavenly Father. Turn to Him for answers and for comfort."

President Nelson suggested we find a quiet place to go and at the time I was filled with thoughts of finding a special place, somewhere in the nearby woods, or a local park that for some reason nobody uses. Somewhere private and off the beaten track. I didn't think about how practical it would be, I just wanted somewhere in Nature and somewhere private. Until I found that special place then, my bedroom floor would just have to do.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

What We're Eating W/C 11th August 2018

Another week where I'm sure that I blinked and missed half of it! The meal plans for this week are quite simple, mainly because on Monday we're dragging Top Ender kicking and screaming to FSY, which is a Church Camp and she'll love once she gets there... it's just she has to remember to not let her fears and anxiety get in the way of her having a great time!

GREAT graffiti

Saturday - Baked Sloppy Joe

We haven't had this for AGES and it is one of our favourites, so I'm sure it will be met with a lot of grins from the family! I might attempt to make two because I know that after we've eaten one, we always ask if there is more!

Friday, 10 August 2018

The Gyosei Art Trail

If you know two things about my family, the first is probably that we like to go on walks as a family and the second is that Top Ender is a Japanophile. Actually, so am I and Dan Jon, whilst Flyfour has an appreciation that has been cultivated because he lives with the three of us!

A piece of art on the Gyosei Art Trail

A few months back, Flyfour suggested that we might like to go for a walk that combined our love of things Japanese, Art and of course walking, It happened to be Father's Day and so we headed off to where the Gyosei International School UK used, which has since been knocked down and a Retirement Village and some houses built in what was once its grounds.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

The Accidental Extra Shopping

Since having become the Young Women's President for my ward my life has got busy. Like super busy.

Hear me when I say this, I am not complaining.

PippaD, Flyfour, Top Ender and Dan Jon at Church

I love that I get to hang out with the Young Women and I love that I get to do so many things with them. It's just that I'm trying to keep all my old promises that I made to my family and myself, all whilst working in my calling and of course, it's now the Summer holidays which means I have two mini me's wanting me to feed them every day and I still need to do things like, clean, study and I don't know whatever else it is that I fill my days with!

Monday, 6 August 2018

A Walk at Waterhall Park

Back at the start of May, we were having a blast of nice weather and decided to make the most of it by going for a family walk. I had been playing about on Google Maps trying to see if I could work out where a picnic table I could see from the Road was and why it was in the middle of a field, and discovered that there was a walk in this field, and it was called Waterhall Park.

A sign in the Parks Trust Waterhall Park South Car park

We arrived at Waterhall Park and have since discovered that we didn't park in the "official" car park at the North of the park, but the smaller one by the allotments at the south of the park. Honestly, the small one only takes about three cars, don't make the same mistake we did!

Saturday, 4 August 2018

What We're Eating W/C 4th August 2018

I swear it can't be Saturday already, but it is. Here is what we are eating this week and a little look into what goes on during our week too!

Saturday - BBQ Chicken and Salad

I have a lot of Salad in the fridge that needs to be eaten and I figure if I sprinkle it with lots of BBQ Chicken the rest of the family won't complain!

Chicken and Salad