A Mothers Ramblings: 2019

Monday, 25 March 2019

All Meals W/C 25th March 2019

So, I won't know until late Saturday evening if Flyfour is sworn off Dairy products or not. After our month of Salad, Flyfour found that Dairy products were leaving him uncomfortable and having been warned many moons ago that he may find his body starts warning him not to eat certain foods, we decided to do a test, where Flyfour has consumed no dairy for a week and then will consume some milk to see if he reacts (it is what was advised)... so we may soon become a household of two halves again as I'm sorry but I'm not giving up butter or cheese!

Cheese, Bread and Salad - my ideal diet!

So, with that being pushed to the back of my mind, on with the week!

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Weekend Meals And Family Time 23/24 March

So. If you spotted on Monday that my meal plans had something missing, eg the food for this weekend, you'd be right. Well, sort of. I hadn't forgotten them, I was just planning on doing something and this blog post is that something and hopefully a regular (ish) feature!

For our family, the weekends are a chance for us all to relax, to hang out together and reconnect and the activities we partake in and the food we eat during this time normally reflects that. It's family meals, I guess what most of us would think of as comfort food and of course some new favourites, which I think the children will think of as comfort food in the future.

Hanging out together in London

Friday, 22 March 2019

Cats Prove The Earth Isn't Flat!

Dan Jon came in from School with some urgency this last Tuesday, he had run home from School and when he arrived at the door, he was a little breathless, but without even stopping to take off his coat, hat or bag he bounded up the stairs two at a time, pausing momentarily to call back to me;

"I need to do a search!"

What was so urgent?
What did he so desperately need to research?
What couldn't wait until after he had given me a kiss or even taken off his coat?

I knew that I had to follow him if I wanted to find out, so I went upstairs just in time for him that have turned on his computer and to see him type;

"My friend is a flat earther, how do I kill him?"

Dan Jon, all cute and innocent until he google searches!

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Windy Weather

Top Ender, Dan Jon and I were heading to the Cinema (we saw The Kid Who Would Be King) and got caught up a little in the wind, before we got into the Cinema. As we walked from where we had parked the car, I suddenly realised that the children were lagging behind me a little and that they were struggling to walk in the wind.

Watching them struggle towards me had me howling with laughter not because they were having such a hard time walking into the wind or because they were struggling towards me, but because they were making such a meal out of it and making some rather funny jokes about how windy it was.



Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Am I A Gardener Now?

When we had the back garden sorted out by the lovely Golden Gardens crew, Flyfour and I were sure that this was it. This was what we had needed to help us be successful adults in relation to Gardening. now we had three lush little raised beds, we'd be able to grow flowers and maybe some vegetables or herbs and then we'd have flowers, and food and a nice space to hang out in and everything would align and we'd realise that we did inherit our Grandparents green fingers.

Only it didn't work out like that.

Our first foray into the world of gardening had us all at a Garden Centre, picking seeds we could plant in the beds without having to germinate and plant out little seedlings. We found a few, we all gathered round and planted and were eager to have our lovely little border full of flowers. A week later and a flash flood caused all the seeds to be washed away.

Excuse Top Ender blocking the raised beds, but it was the only picture I could find of them!


Tuesday, 19 March 2019

The Boy In The Dress

Dan Jon Jr had had a plan for years, for his final World Book Day at Lower School. Dan Jon wanted to be Dennis, the main character in The Boy in the Dress and he wanted to wear a dress to School. Then the announcement came out, it was hats that the children were being encouraged to wear and so Dan Jon and I checked with the Deputy Head that he could still wear a dress... and then I checked with Dan Jon, that he understood what it meant, wearing a dress to School when hardly any of the other students would be wearing a costume.

Let me be clear, I wasn't talking him out of this, I wasn't trying to get him to change his mind. I was just checking that he was prepared for wearing a dress to School.

And he schooled me.


Monday, 18 March 2019

All Meals W/C 18th March 2019

A couple of weeks back, I made a few meals for some friends who were under the weather. One of the meals I made was a Fish Pie, and I accidentally didn't make enough Mash to cover one of the eight I made... So I decided to turn some of Flyfour's gluten-free rolls into breadcrumbs and added in a little Parmesan and Mozzarella and covered the fish pie with the mixture. It was honestly the best Fish Pie I have ever had, that the children have ever had AND it might be the only way I ever cook it from now on. Just wish I'd taken a picture of it! Anyway, I had wanted to share it with you as it was a big thing for me! Now, on with the week!

Paper Fish - Don't make a Fish Pie out of these!

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Forgotten Words

Last night as Flyfour and I were going to bed, we were having a conversation about the difference in prices and products between the Co-op near our home and the Co-op not too far from his work. It isn't a problem, we know that they have different offers based on who shops there and new products and probably even down to the Managers discretion at times, it was just interesting.

Flyfour mentioned that at the local branch to his office, there was an offer on gluten-free... and he blanked. He couldn't for the life of him work out the word that he had lost was, so he started to describe the item.

"Slimy round bread things..."

PippaD and Flyfour

Monday, 11 March 2019

All Meals W/C 11th March 2019

It's been really weird not eating Salad every day! I didn't think I would miss it as much as I have and even the children have both independently said to me that they think we need to up our veggie intake as they have been missing the Salad! I think the key moment I realised that it was something I'd got "used" to, was when I was out during the week and needed to grab some lunch, I picked a Salad not my favourite wrap like I normally would and I had two different Salads during the week, made up of veggies I had in the fridge.

Spicy Sausage Salad made using veggies in the fridge

I mean look at that Salad, that is beautiful right? And it tasted lush too.


Saturday, 9 March 2019

I Passed Out On A First Aid Course

If you haven't read my post from yesterday, then you won't know that I was being a good Brown Owl, and had signed up for a First Response First Aid course which is how last Sunday I found myself sat in a room with 10 other Guide, Brownie and Rainbow Leaders being taught the aforementioned First Response First Aid.

A CPR Dummy

We had covered CPR (see my blog post from yesterday) and my internal monologue around an hour after lunch was going something along the lines of:

Okay, dislocated shoulder, strap here and here, get them to the hospital.
Do you remember when that was on Grey's Anatomy? Or was it Holby? No Grey's, it was that teenage girl when Alex was going to prison and she just popped it back in.
Oooh, I feel a bit funny.
Oh, I know this feeling it's how I feel just before I pass out.
Yeah right, I'm going to pass out because of talking about dislocated shoulders.
I'm feeling a bit hot. I'll just fan myself with this clipboard.
That's not helping.
Oooh, I'm feeling a bit woozy. Cross my legs and clench my fists. 
Nope, not working, still feeling woozy. 
I'm not going to pass out in front of all these people
Oh yes I am.
I AM NOT GOING TO PASS OUT IN FRONT OF ALL THESE PEOPLE.

It seemed I had two options. Pass out in front of all these people, or try to discreetly leave the room so I could pass out in private. I opted for the latter and discreetly stood up and left the room.


Friday, 8 March 2019

First Response First Aid

Seeing as how I'm a Brown Owl, I got to go on a course last weekend to learn a bit of First Response First Aid and I have to say that it was a great day, I was reminded of a lot, I learnt a fair bit and I'm sure that if the Brownies (or leaders) in my care need some first response first aid, I will be able to leap into action.

Now, the chap who was running the course was an affable chap from Fusion Training, who let us know we could ask questions as we were going along and let us know that if anyone got the wobbles during the day, that we could leave the room for a moment, or let him know that we were talking about a touchy subject and he would move it on. I was sure I wasn't going to pass out when we talked about blood, and we all know about my blood phobia and sure enough, when we were talking about it, I was totally fine. If you want to know about when I did pass out, come back tomorrow when I shall reveal all.

The CPR Dummy I practised on

Thursday, 7 March 2019

World Book Day - #ShareAStory

Reading is important. You know that. I know that. The world knows that!

But, do you know why reading is important? Do you know what it changes in your children when you read to them or listen to them reading to you? Do you know what the long term benefits are? Do you know how it could affect your child's future?

Do you know the importance of spending 10 minutes a day reading with children? It can make a crucial difference to their future!

Well, thanks to research, by people way cleverer than me (for a start they don't say cleverer!) and personal experience I do and it is why I still read each day with both of my children, yes I am fully aware that Dan Jon is nearly 11 and Tops is 15 and today on World Book Day, I want us all to #ShareAStory!


Wednesday, 6 March 2019

A Doughnut Bar Kind Of Evening

At the end of last year, I had asked all the Young Women to list at least twelve different skills they would like to learn, twelve service ideas, twelve fun ideas of things they would like to do together and a further twelve of things they would like to do when we had Mutual with the Young Men. The young women came up with some BRILLIANT things to do, ideas that as leaders we may never have thought about, or may have thought that they wouldn't find interesting, or in some cases things that we didn't know that they didn't know.

One of the ideas they had come up with was having a doughnut bar, which was a great idea as the girls LOVE doughnuts and adding tonnes of toppings and different flavour combos? Well, that's the sort of thing that we all love to do right?

Heavily topped Doughnut Bar Creation


Tuesday, 5 March 2019

The Once Loyal Shopper

I didn't think of myself as a loyal shopper. I mean I have loyalty cards for at least a dozen different shops, I tend to go where the bargains are for the products that I buy that are branded items and I'm just as at home in Asda, as I am in Sainsbury's, Morrisons, M&S, or the shop I spent most of my cash in; Tesco.

Next Customer Please Tesco Till

The reasons for why Tesco was where I did my main shop each week were two-fold and super simple.

It was a one-stop shop, I could get everything I needed in the store, including Gluten Free items.

Whenever I used MySupermarket to compare my basket price it was Tesco that came up cheaper.

Cheap + Everything = A Happy Shopper/Pippa.


Monday, 4 March 2019

All Meals W/C 4th March 2019

I'm super excited at the moment about eating, I think it is because I haven't got to just think Salad and so I can think about Potatoes and Pasta and everything else I have "missed" during our month of Salad. It also means that Flyfour and Top Ender can stop suggesting a month where we eat nothing but sausages. Even if that does sound good.

Oh gosh, now I'm thinking about Sausages and Potatoes.


On with the week!


Sunday, 3 March 2019

Praying For Comfort

Dan Jon had had a rough day at School last week. By the time he had walked home, in the rain, not only was he soaked but he was ready for a hug that only his Mum could give him, as big sobs emanated from somewhere deep down inside his body. It was heartbreaking because other than giving him a hug, there seemed to be nothing I could do to comfort him.

Whilst helping to take his sopping coat off him, I listened to the sad tale of how a teacher had accused him and several on his table of talking whilst she was talking. He was sure he hadn't been, although he admitted that the others on his table had been talking and they rightly had been told off. It was when the teacher directed her anger at Dan Jon, bringing up something that really she didn't need to, that he realised that he was being singled out for something he didn't do. To make matters worse, the teacher said she was going to tell other teachers about the incident.

Dan Jon at School


Friday, 1 March 2019

Week Four Of Salads

So, the month of Salads is finally over and I'm not glad because I disliked the month, but I'm pleased because it was "hard" coming up with lots of different salads, especially when the family are so vocal in what they do and don't like and sometimes didn't want to try meals because they had preconceived ideas over what it would be like, what it would taste like or how it didn't fit in with what they thought they did or didn't like!

So the last week saw us having a BRILLIANT Roast Chicken, Salad and Rice combo. This is what I was brought up eating in the Summer when it was too hot to cook, or my Mum fancied a night off. She'd buy a Deli Roast Chicken from the Supermarket, a bag of salad and send one of us to the local Chinese to buy a portion of Egg Fried Rice.

Roast Chicken, with Salad and Rice, eaten in the garden

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Making Store Brought, Home Made!

I am in no way saying that I have ever done this, just as I am also in no way saying that I won't ever do this again in the future and more importantly I am not saying that this is right or wrong and I most definitely didn't know that one of my friends got the idea from me and has been passing off some cookies as baked from scratch when they are in fact purchased from a local bakery...

So, I love to bake. I really do and I'm not bad at it, but sometimes I want to take a treat to a friend and I realise that I've not left enough time to make something and there is only one thing left to do.

Some nice Gluten Free Cup cakes, that I totally told my husband I made.

Cheat.



Wednesday, 27 February 2019

An Unexpected Holiday In A Day

Flyfour had arranged a last-minute day off whilst the children were on half term and so we thought we would go for a walk as a family and just enjoy the sunshine that was making February feel Spring-like, rather than a cold winter day like it was just a week before!

Flyfour had an idea of a walk that he had wanted to do that he had driven past several times when he had been working in Chalfont and so we set off to central Buckinghamshire... actually we headed to Chequers (yes, the country house of the Prime Minister) as the walk we were going on was just up the road from the Chequers estate. In fact, the area used to be part of the Chequers estate!

When we arrived at Coombe Hill, we found the carpark to be quite, erm well there were a lot of Potholes, which is to be expected from a natural area like this. I wish I'd got a photo, but just make sure to go slowly and you and your car will be fine.

Coombe Hill, National Trust Site and a great family Walk

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Top Ender's Hour To Do Anything!

Whilst Dan Jon was at his Babysitting Faith In God activity last week, Top Ender and I had a whole hour to ourselves, and Top Ender was quite sure what she wanted to do with that hour. Now remember, within reason she could do anything, and what did this teenager of mine decide to do?

GET FOOD!


There had been suggestions of going to the Library, or looking in a couple of shops that she likes, but no. Top Ender was determined that if we were going to hang out together that there was just one thing that we should do, and that was to go to Costa for a drink and possibly a sandwich, or a cake or a sandwich and a cake! Luckily, the home of Brother and Sister Island is about five minutes away from a Costa, and so after dropping Dan Jon off, we quickly sped off, found a parking space and was sitting drinking our drinks and Top Ender eating a pack of Mango pieces, all within ten minutes.

Top Ender with her favourite Strawberries and Cream Costa Drink

Monday, 25 February 2019

All Meals W/C 25th February 2019

I hate to say that I 'm looking forward to the end of the month of Salads, but I really am. Don't get me wrong, I have LOVED the salads, almost all of them have been great and I certainly have several favourites that will be put into our regular meal rotation (and feature a lot over the Summer!) and it has helped the family to see what they do and don't like.

Dan Jon and Top Ender all lit up

Apparently, they don't like Salad.

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Week Three Of Salads

As normal, I'm just talking about the Salads that were good and not the Salads that were a little, shall we say disappointing. We think we know as a family what our favourites are, but there are a few close seconds!

We had a Fajita Salad on the Saturday night, that Flyfour and I really enjoyed but the children found a little spicy and it probably didn't help that I picked a few Salad leaves that had some bite to them... Still, it was fine and they all ate it if just a little slowly!

Fajita Chicken Salad Bowl


Friday, 22 February 2019

Babysitting - A Faith In God Activity

Dan Jon has a really cool Faith In God activity this last week, that he was super excited to attend because it was something that he wanted to learn, something he hoped he would be good at and something that he personally hasn't had much practice at, but loves doing. His new Faith In God leader, (we'll call him Brother Island for the rest of this blog post as his name sort of means that!) and he had wanted those in the Faith In God programme to learn a bit more about how they can serve others, which is something that Dan Jon loves doing, by helping them to learn how to Babysit and providing a small Babysitting kit.

Brother Island, is Dad to five young children and so with the help of his lovely wife and children, those who attend Faith In God were going to learn how to take care of young children, how to play games with them, learn how to be a great babysitter and of course there were some snacks promised too!

Dan Jon had been the first to arrive, but soon others joined him and together they helped Brother and Sister Island put some bits and pieces in a Ziploc bag, which was being explained as a Babysitting kit. It's actually not too dissimilar to the bag of goodies I used to cart around with me when I used to babysit.

Dan Jon with his Babysitting Pack. It includes Bubbles, an information sheet, some bits to craft with and some little toys too

Thursday, 21 February 2019

The Start Of GCSE's Revision

I spoke last week about our family plan of Dan Jon not doing any revision at home for his SATs, but for Top Ender it is a little different... and by a little I mean a HUGE amount. Top Ender will be taking her GCSE's next Summer, yeah I know, the little girl who is the reason I started this blog is old enough to be taking her GCSE's and then will be out in the big wide world.

Anyway, the last few weeks have been full of revision for her mocks, taking her mocks, going over the questions asked in her mocks with her classes in the different lessons and even speaking about them at home. They have discussed what they got right, what they got wrong, where there are gaps in their learnings, where they need to revise a little more, where they need to improve, where they can help each other and themselves. We've even spoken about them at her recent Parent's Evening!

We had made it important, revising for her Mocks. Ensuring that Tops had time, space and snacks. Asking her questions about various subjects, asking her to teach us so that things will fix in her own mind and do you know what? It worked.

Top Ender looking grown Up

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

All Change Day - Where We Come From

One of the things that the Head at the Primary School both Top Ender and Dan Jon have attended over the last few years (7 years each, well it will be this July for Dan Jon) put into place not too long after she became the Head, were these days where the entire School gets turned on it's head a little.

All seven years of the School mix together and learn together, divided only by one of the four house groups. The older students with siblings in the school, get to help their siblings, students like Dan Jon get to hang out with students in younger years and help them and of course, Parents are invited along too. This most recent "All Change Day" was about different countries, with each student asked to attend wearing something that represented their heritage.

This was Dan Jon.

Dan Jon in his "It's a Scottish Thing" T-shirt

I love that he is so proud of his Scottish roots! I really need to take him back to Scotland and show him all the things he loves about the place that he doesn't even really remember.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

The Food and Craft Fair

Saturday morning had us all up bright and early, despite it being the first day of the half-term holiday and everyone apart from me had stayed up rather later either reading or watching the Welsh Open. I had been doing both but had also gone to bed at a "decent" time because I'm a sensible grown-up.

Please stop laughing.

Flyfour and I had announced to the Children, the previous evening, that we would all be leaving the house at 9:30 am the next morning and we did actually get out the door on time. It was only once we were all buckled into our seats, that we remembered we hadn't said our family morning prayer and so we said that before we set off.

The Family Ready to go!

The plan was, that we were going to go to the local Shopping Centre to have a look at the Food and Craft Fair, (here until February 25th!) or more particularly, the Food part. Flyfour and I will often eat Cheese and crackers for our evening meal on a Sunday evening (or as my lunch during the week) and we like to support artisan companies because generally, they have the best cheese!

The problem was, when we got there the stalls weren't open, as it wasn't opening until 10 am! So we went for a quickish walk around the shopping centre and even managed to get Flyfour to offer to buy us all books (we declined, as we had all been gifted books in the week!).


Monday, 18 February 2019

All Meals W/C 18th February 2019

I'm actually a little upset, as I've realised today that our month of Salad is almost over! There are just eleven more days (including today) of a daily salad and I think, that the whole family are going to miss eating all these extra veggies each day... So we'll have to keep that up. I'm just not sure how at the moment. Maybe we'll be one of those families that eats a serving of Salad with our meal, or before our meal or as a side to your meal. I have no idea!

A rather large side Salad with Sandwich

Sunday, 17 February 2019

In Our House, Reading Is Important

In our house, reading is important.

Dan Jon with a giant reading book

Actually, no that isn't quite true. Reading isn't important, reading is, reading is a way of life.

Every morning before any of us even think about getting up in the morning we read. We read when we get home from School. We read when we go to bed. We read when we are waiting for our evening meal, we read whilst we eat our lunch, we read when we are standing in queues.

We read fast. We read slow. We read with passion. We read whilst crying and whilst laughing.

We read long complicated books. We read short easy books. We read books of quotes. We read books of history.

We read fiction. We read non-fiction.

We read blogs and news stories and newspapers and pamphlets.

We read textbooks for personal learning and formal education.

We read our Scriptures, for fun, for learning and for understanding the world we live in.

We read because we enjoy it and because it helps us learn.

We read because it makes us, who we are.

We read because we love it.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Week Two of Salads

By Saturday morning, I had mostly calmed down from my bad mood over the family ruining my salad plans. I realised that I was taking the whole not liking the salad thing personally. It's a salad, it isn't something to get annoyed over. I'm used to the family not liking food I do, that's why I get to have whatever I want for lunch when they aren't here! And the Coronation Chicken Salad? That will be something I have for lunch in the future, although, with a star-shaped fried egg on top it was rather lush for breakfast!

By evening time, the family (well Flyfour was at work, so he doesn't count) were contrite and understood that I was making food for them, that was healthy, nutritious and pushing the boundaries of what they were used to for a reason. I was doing it to help them, not to punish them. They agreed after the MASSIVE lunch they had both had (Tops had a Five Guys, and Dan Jon had been to Pizza Hut for a friends Birthday) that a small bowl of salad would fill them up, and I wouldn't get annoyed at the waste if they didn't eat it.

So we had the Roasted Pepper Panzanella.

Roasted Pepper Panzanella.


Friday, 15 February 2019

An Evening For New Beginnings

As a Young Women's President for our ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I get to spend time with the Young Women each week and I honestly love it. Twice a year we get to celebrate them with an evening about them/the programme they are involved in. At the end of last year, my counsellors had both been busy and so I had organised our "Young Women In Excellence" evening, and one of my counsellors volunteered to organise the next event, not realising it was just a few weeks away! It was this event, our "New Beginnings" that we had this week.

If ye love me keep my commandments bunting

The counsellor had printed this fab bunting, as a reminder of the theme for the year, "If ye love me keep my Commandments" and it was great hearing from the girls what it meant to them and how they apply it to their everyday lives.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

It's VALENTINE'S Day!

In case the postman is late with your Valentine's Cards, here is one you can see anytime you want from me to you.

Valentine's Day Cookie

Also, just in case nobody has told you recently, you are an amazing person, you are fun and beautiful and smart and a great friend.

You are so talented, strong and you know that dish you cook? That is the best I have ever eaten.

You honestly should win awards, but I know you don't like much of a fuss, so instead know that I love you and that you deserve great things.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Homemade Croutons

Okay, before I start this post, I need to know why nobody told me how easy Croutons were to make and just in case anybody nobody has told you, did you know that Croutons are so EASY to make? I honestly only just found out and have made them three times in four days and I am honestly going to be making these for every salad, soup and every other dish I can possibly imagine... in fact I think I may have a breakfast idea which might work too...

Golden Home Made Croutons

Right so how do I make these amazing croutons?


Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Playing With Light

A few weeks ago, one of the activities the young women had wanted to do was to play about with some light photography. Unfortunately, that evening the young woman who was going to teach us, was unable to attend and we only found out moments before the activity started. So, we decided to press on with my rather limited knowledge of long exposure photography. The girls and us leaders had a blast, so much so that this past Sunday evening, I managed to get the entire family out into the back garden to have a bit of a play with light. It was hilarious and we all laughed, giggled and got out of breath running around the garden whilst we wrote names and short words, and all the time remembering to write the words backwards, although in the case of Flyfour not always remembering the amount of space one needed!

Light Photography drawing of FLYFOUR


Monday, 11 February 2019

All Meals W/C 11th February 2019

Our First week of salads went quite well, did you see my post on Saturday confirming that? Well, pop over at some point to give it a read and see the pictures! This week of course see's Valentines Day, which is traditionally a meal involving Steak in our home. I just hope that Flyfour still loves me at the end of the month!

The picture below is our favourite meal of the last week. Flyfour ate his at a different time to the children and I, and was quite surprised at how "pretty" I had made ours look, compared to how he just dumped it all on the plate! There is the main difference between Flyfour and I. I eat with my eyes, he just uses his mouth...

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Christlike Love

I was thinking about Christlike love this week. To me, Christlike love is loving everyone, but therein lies a problem. How can I teach my children to love everyone?

Even those who eat really smelly food on trains or those who have different political opinions to the ones you hold or those who make off colour jokes or those who purposely say things about you behind your back to others or even those who decide that although there are very clear signs the traffic is merging up ahead and everyone else is queuing nicely, still try to push right to the very front because they can't possibly sit in traffic for an extra two minutes.

I'm really working on loving those last ones and I'm an adult, I should have this mastered.

PippaD pretending she is a proper adult

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Week One Of Salads

Flyfour is used to me. He is used to me coming up with wacky ideas and because he is truly my best friend, my soulmate, my foil (and if we're being honest my straight man!), he goes along with my wacky plans and basically humours me. Occasionally he gets an idea or two of his own, which is why as well as eating Salad every day for a month, we are also not shopping in our usual supermarket and for the last two weeks we've been shopping in Aldi and saving around 10% off our usual shopping bill. It's been a bit of a lightbulb moment!

Our first week of Salads has been a pretty good week and a good way to get the whole family on the same page with regards to what they will and won't eat when they are hungry and all that is on offer is something that they really aren't that fond of... yes I do mean Flyfour and Top Ender!

The A Mother's Ramblings Family

What did we think of the food? Well, let's just talk about the good ones as I saw them, shall we?


Friday, 8 February 2019

The Lost Security Pass

Earlier this week, Flyfour sent me a message asking for my superior skills to help him locate a man who had been sat next to him. No, it wasn't that he wanted to find him and run off with him, or to continue a conversation, it wasn't even that he had told the gentleman that his wife was at home and itching to look up some stranger on the internet, although it would have been cool if he had done that last one. I live for moments like that.

Instead, it was because in his rush to leave the train, the man hadn't noticed he had accidentally left his Security Pass behind on the seat and Flyfour sent me a picture of the pass so I could see what we were dealing with. The security pass had just two identifying pieces of information on the card; the gentleman's security photograph and his name. The name wasn't exactly a common name, but a quick Facebook and Twitter search found an awful lot of people with his exact name. Flyfour wanted to see if we could trace this man to let him know that Flyfour had his Security Pass, as I'm sure many of you know, replacing that is a right bother, and of course it would be a good deed.

I had a think.

The Shut Train Doors

Thursday, 7 February 2019

A Monumental Moment for Dan Jon

This week saw a monumental moment in the A Mother's Ramblings household and one that passed without much of a fanfare. You see, this last week Dan Jon started to grow up, well School grow up. He changed from being my "little Primary Schoolboy" to being my "almost at Secondary Schoolboy".

That's right, this week Dan Jon started his SATs prep at School.

Dan Jon will be taking his SATs the week of his 11th Birthday and like Top Ender, Dan Jon isn't that worried about taking the SATs, all he is thinking of is how his friends might not be up to celebrate, because they will be mentally exhausted.

Dan Jon isn't worried about his own mental exhaustion, because he understands from the number of times I told Top Ender, that the test is more about how well his teachers have taught him rather than how well he has learnt.

Dan Jon at School looking as lovely as he always does!

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

We Finally Got New Towels!

Flyfour and I were a little bit cheeky this past Christmas and when my Mum asked if there was anything we would like for Christmas, or would we like cash, we took the cash option. We had decided that we needed to replace our towels, which we'd had for a good few years... I shan't embarrass myself by confessing quite how old some of them were, but lets put it this way they were older than Top Ender and looking very rough!

Our original plan was to buy some grown-up towels (basically we decided we weren't going to go with bright colours but something like Stone) and after much groping of towels in various department stores, we were becoming towel snobs, and able to tell the difference between different GSM types, the different types of cotton and even looking if the hems were double stitched!

Fluffy Towels with a high GSM and double Stitching and pure cotton!

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Top Ender Doesn't Love Me!

On Sunday, after Dan Jon, Top Ender and I returned home from Church, Top Ender asked Flyfour if he was up for making some cupcakes with her later that afternoon. Since our trip to Aldi the previous day, when they had found some Chocolate Orange segments, they had been talking about making some Orange flavoured cakes and as we had all the ingredients needed it was a given it was going to happen.

After we'd had lunch and put the dishwasher on, they made some Cupcakes together.

They had a blast and when they'd finished, they asked if I would like one.

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Monday, 4 February 2019

All Meals W/C 4th February 2019

Finally February is properly underway and I can get the whole family eating Salad and not worrying about silly things like Snow, complaining how cold it is and how they can't possibly eat Salad and all the while not worrying because I might be crazy, but I'm not stupid and there is plenty of warm food available to have as sides if that is what they are worried about!

So, here is what we are having this week!

A Sunny Chicken Salad

Saturday, 2 February 2019

The New Unit

Flyfour and I were rather excited when we found out that our home was going to be one of the first in Milton Keynes to have the Superfast Internet of our dreams. Never mind that the rest of the world and our own machines would be slowing us down!

One day, shortly before the new internet was activated, I mentioned to Flyfour that I was after a box or a chest of drawers or something that the children and I could throw our, hats, gloves and scarves into when we got in from the cold. The current coat hanging situation just wasn't good enough for them and it gave Flyfour an idea.

We need a new unit for the routers to sit on, we need a new unit to put our scarves, hats and gloves in... let's combine the two.

our new unit

So we did!

Friday, 1 February 2019

Dan Jon Has Chilblains!

Just before Christmas, Dan Jon came in from School and commented that his knuckles were a bit sore. He took off his gloves and showed me, what looked like a little burn or graze. I questioned if he had caught his hand on the radiator in the bathroom, or at School, but he assured me he hadn't. So, a little magic cream later (Yes, it was a pot of hand cream I'd written magic on!) and it was sort of forgotten. Well, forgotten by me at least.

A week ago, Dan Jon called to me as it was his bedtime and he was crying with pain. His hands were sore, and from the look in his eyes, this was proper pain, not trying to get out of going to bed pain. I suggested he go and give his hands a good wash in warm water (just in case it was something on his hands!) and that he meet me in my bedroom afterwards.

Dan Jon looking warm and snuggly

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Twenty Eight Salads

With the news that we're going to be eating Salad every day in February, came the challenge to make 28 different Salads that would be good for all four members of my household (Gluten free, Crispy and filling) and wouldn't break the weekly budget either. Let me repeat that TWENTY EIGHT different Salads to please four very different people, two of which believe Salad isn't really all that great and two who could quite easily live on Salad and Pasta for the rest of their lives.

It was a BIG Challenge.

So, I did what I always do and asked the family what they thought I should include. Together with their answers and a lot of internet trawling I came up with the following 28 Salads, which we'll eat this coming month. They aren't in order, they are just here for my memory's sake and I'll eventually write blog posts and link them to them, letting you know how to make them too if you are interested!

Tuna Steaks and Salad

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Dan Jon's Super Sonic Hearing

Dan Jon has always been polite. I mean SUPER polite. He is known as the child who bows to his teachers (and a couple of teachers even had a little thing going where they would try and bow before he did so that they'd beat him to the punch although they never did), he checks I'm okay and I've had a good day before he tells me his news, he takes other peoples plates to the dishwasher, gets other people drinks before getting one for himself, asks after others, always wants to Serve.

He honestly is super polite and thoughtful, goodness knows what I did to deserve this child, but it must have been something super excellent.

The problem is that sometimes his politeness drives us crazy. Or maybe it has driven us crazy. You see, Dan Jon has developed some Super Sonic Hearing and combined with his politeness there is a something he does that is just... well super polite, incredibly endearing but also a tiny bit spooky at times!

Dan Jon at the Top of the Blackpool Tower

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Hot Chocolate Solves Everything

Is there anything that Hot Chocolate doesn't make better?


The answer, in case you were wondering, is No. Hot Chocolate, honestly makes everything better.


Monday, 28 January 2019

All Meals W/C 28th January

Squee! I am so excited for the February challenge, which is starting in just a few days, but also I'm rather excited about exciting prospects on the horizon, some new challenges and I'm going to need a few days to decide how my plan for the next five years or so is going to change. based on these exciting times and challenges. I did say I wanted Balance this year, looks like I'm going to be working hard for it!

A balanced arrangement of Flowers and Lanterns

Saturday, 26 January 2019

The February 2019 Food Challenge

I tend to do a food challenge in February, even if I don't blog about it, because it is the shortest month, and I figure my family will happily go along with what I have suggested knowing that in just 28 days (29 in a leap year!) they will be eating "normally" again. Although that doesn't always happen. After our month of fish a couple of years back, our consumption of fish on a weekly basis went up and I'm hoping that this challenge will have the same effect on our diet.

The challenge this year is to Eat a Salad as our main meal each day.

A Chicken Breast atop a Salad

Top Ender, isn't too fond of the idea, but my assurances that the Salads will be tasty and not boring wet limp things seems to have swayed her slightly. She is still giving me the side eye when she thinks I'm not looking though!

Friday, 25 January 2019

Pool Noodle Unicorns

Top Ender is the real reason that I'm a Brown Owl. Seeing her example and her joy as she volunteered each week with the Rainbows and Brownies made me realise that when there was a need, I was, of course, going to volunteer to fill that gap. And I'm so glad that I did volunteer and that Tops had set that example, because if she hasn't, then why on earth would I have made Pool Noodle Unicorns?

Pool Noodle Unicorns DIY

They were amazingly simple and such great fun to make too! Everything was in either my craft supplies or easily printed (the eyes!) and I made them without following a plan, just how I thought they should look.


Thursday, 24 January 2019

The "Not Snooker" Snooker Table

Flyfour and I were watching The Masters (it's a Snooker tournament) when we decided that we really wanted a half-sized snooker table. We would never be able do anything in our Living Room ever again, but that doesn't matter when we could possibly be raising the next great Snooker player right?!

Following our discussion, Flyfour disappeared with my car for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon and when he returned, well, Flyfour decided that what we should probably do, was buy something a little smaller than a half-sized Snooker table, which was probably a good idea as those things are HUGE.

The New Multi-Games Table

Monday, 21 January 2019

All Meals We Are Eating W/C 21st January 2019

I'm so excited for this week, the end of January! I mean next week I get to start my February Challenge with the family... Oh wait! I've not told the family about it yet! Oh well, Flyfour will read about it on the train (Hi Sweetie, Love you!) and go along with my plans because I'm a genius who he loves the most out of all other grown-up women!

It's like living in a Circus living with me!