Showing posts from February, 2012

Spring is Coming! - Wordless Wednesday

I took this on Sunday when I was Spring Cleaning and had stepped out to get a breath of fresh air. It felt like the first day of Spring and made me really excited! I can't wait for Spring to be truly sprung!

A Perfect Fun Half Term With Family

Half Term last week was fantastic. Having Top Ender at home with Big Boy and I was great fun and we had an absolute blast. There were trips to the shops, the park, playing in the garden, a meal or two out, a lazy day, a pyjama day, an art day, a tidy up day and a lot of love. Towards the end of the week Big Boy, Top Ender and I went to London to have lunch with some of the First Choice Holidays team at the Rainforest Cafe. Big Boy had been to eat at the Rainforest Cafe before, but for Top Ender it was a new experience and she loved it.

Tops loved her food, so much so that she hardly talked whilst woolfing it down. She ate so quickly that she also managed to help me eat some of mine and talked very politely with English Mum and listened to lots of talk about family holidays, which is probably why at the moment holidays is all she is talking about at home!

The train ride home was a lot of fun thanks to two new Thomson soft toys to cuddle whilst Top Ender and Big Boy listened to their ip…

Shrove Tuesday Pancakes Gluten and Egg Free Style - Wordless Wednesday

I adapted my Yorkshire Pudding recipe to come up with what has to be the best egg free, gluten free pancake recipe in the world.*
Pin It Recipe
100g Gluten Free Flour 180ml Water 180ml Milk 2 tbsp Oil 1/4 tsp Salt 1 tsp Xanthum Gum
Put all the dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk slowly adding the water to form a smooth batter. When the batter is smooth slowly add half of the milk to thin out the batter (you should find that it is quite thick before adding the milk). Depending on the heat of the kitchen, where you live, the outside weather, altitude etc you might not need the second 90ml of milk but for me I needed it. It seemed quite thin but it cooked brilliantly. I couldn't flip them but that was more a case of my lack of talent than any ability of being able to flip them!

*Okay so maybe not the world but they are pretty good!

Naked Fish Leftovers For Lunch

When I was about eight my family and I were in a pub restaurant near to my Grandparents home at the seaside. The owner of the Pub had become good friends with my Grandparents and had come to recommend that we order the fish for our meal as it was fresh and he had just had some and it has tasted delicious. My Mum ordered the fish but asked for it to be served without the sauce. The owner of the pub was shocked and almost horrified that my Mum was having Naked fish and he kept laughing over how funny my Mum was that here she was ordering Naked fish. Since then Naked Fish has become a tasty fixture to our family menus because of it's simplicity to cook and because it is so tasty.

Daddy and I tend to have Naked Fish in the Summer as I will slowly bake Salmon Fillets on the BBQ wrapped in tinfoil with just butter and a bit of Lemon to enhance the flavour of the fish, but when I was checking the freezer this week (so I could plan the weeks menu) I found some frozen portions of Hot Smoke…

Dora The Explorer Little Cooks Magazine

Big boy loves Dora the Explorer, so much so that at one point I was pretty sure she was sneaking in at night and teaching him to spell. At some point Big Boy had been passed Top Ender's collection of Dora magazines (and DVD's) and Big Boy loves to sit and read them and was getting rather excited when he saw on TV that a new magazine featuring Dora was available to buy.

The Dora The Explorer Little Cooks Magazine is about cooking together with your child and helping them (and you) to learn about healthy and tasty foods in a fun way as the magazine also has puzzles, games and stories to go with the recipes. Big Boy loved reading the magazine and was really eager to use the plate and silicon cupcake cases that came with the magazine and so we made the banana cakes in the magazine and as they were eaten rather quickly we made some other cakes and used the cases again, which pleased Big Boy as he is a big cake fan.

I think that the magazine is going to be a great help in the future…

Xia-Xia Pets Review or How To Keep The Children Happy

Big Boy is feeling rather generous of late and whenever an advert comes on to the TV for something that he likes to look of or things that he thinks Top Ender might like he comments "Let's buy that for Top Ender!". Something that he has noticed during the adverts which Top Ender has also suggested we might like to buy her for Easter (instead of an Easter Egg) is the new Xia-Xia pets range. I've seen the adverts too and as far as I could work out the Xia-Xia pets are crabs with removable shells which are then able to be swapped around between the different crabs to create something unique to the ones that your friends have.

After having got the children to help to clear out the Den and to sort out the drawers which contain the colouring books, pens, crayons, pencils (and goodness knows what else) we decided that they deserved a treat and so they opened up the newly arrived Xia-Xia Pets. The packaging that the Pets come in is pretty to look at, it's easy to open t…

Something For The Weekend - Pick a Picnic!

This weekend Top Ender has gone to stay at her Gran's for the night and so Big Boy, Daddy and I are going to do something a bit fun that Daddy and I like to do when we are wanting to do something special together. We love to go to a supermarket we don't normally go to, and to pick several items to create a hamper picnic for ourselves. We choose cold meats, fish, cheeses, fruit and vegetables, different breads, drinks, cakes, dips and anything that we see and think we would like to eat or try. We normally end up spending around £30 when we do this but when I work it out compared to the price of a meal out and add the fun of picking out the different foods it doesn't blow our budget too much.

I think it's a great weekend family treat as something like this needs some time, not only to choose the different foods but also to spend time together whist eating because it takes time to sample everything and this way of eating is conducive to conversation between all the family…

What we watched on Valentines - Dolphin Tale

On Valentines Night Top Ender and I were eager to watch Dolphin Tale. We had seen a trailer for the film last year and had intended to go and see it at the cinema, but with one thing and another we didn't get round to it. Big Boy didn't watch the film with us as he was feeling fidgety and so Top Ender and I curled up on the sofa to watch it.

The film is really sweet. It's based on a true story about a Dolphin whose tail has been damaged after being caught in some fishing traps. A young boy called Sawyer, finds the dolphin and helps to untangle her before the dolphin is taken to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. In the moments when Sawyer was rescuing the dolphin, they bonded and so instead of going to Summer School, Sawyer breaks into the Aquarium and finds the Dolphin and helps to nurse her better. When it becomes apparent that the Dolphins tail can't be saved, Sawyer finds a pioneering Doctor to give the Dolphin a prosthetic tail.

The film is based on a true story, whi…

A Hot Packed Lunch

Creating something different, tasty and nice looking for Top Ender's packed lunches is becoming a full time job these days. If I'm not cutting up fruits and vegetables in to different shapes, batch baking cookies and cakes or working out different designs for the Friday lunches then I am keeping note of what Top Ender has had so I know what to rotate in and out. After all, nobody likes to eat carrot sticks everyday for three weeks, even if they are tasty and sometimes come with a dip.
The other issue that we have had of late is the weather. It's my choice to give Top Ender a packed lunch instead of having a hot School lunch, but when it is just above freezing I can't help but feel that Top Ender might appreciate something a bit warmer in her lunch box. I had a little extra cash and so one weekend Top Ender and I drove up to one of our favourite shops (Dunelm Mill) and brought two of the Bento boxes that we had seen on a previous trip. These bento boxes are insulated s…

A New Hooded Vest - Wordless Wednesday

Big Boy got a new Hooded Vest from Nanny B. He has hardly taken it off!

My Clippy Bags of Style - A Review

There isn't a day go by that Top Ender doesn't mention how she is going to be a Fashion Designer when she is older. Top Ender is always sketching designs for dresses, handbags, shoes, matching pet outfits, pyjamas, dressing gowns, wall paper, jackets, trousers, tops... you name it and she has multiple designs for it. When she saw the adverts on TV for Flairs My Clippy she worked out she had enough money leftover from Christmas to buy it (as she found it for £14.99 on a website) and was excited about her planned purchase. It was a great surprise when it went and turned up in the post before she had a chance to buy it though!
Top Ender explained to Daddy how you were supposed to customise the different panels in the bag in order to make something personalised and unique and they sat together and worked out what they had to do. Daddy said it wasn't that straight forward, but Top Ender said that it was something that she understood because other things she has had in the past…

I'm Alone On Valentines Night... YAY!

Tonight Daddy has to work and won't be home until 9pm or maybe later. I don't mind because we spend time together every weekend, have a night that we spend together at least once a week and so not having dinner tonight isn't a major issue. Plus I know that he loves me because he gave me one of his cookies last night and they are tasty!

I'm pleased that I'm going to be able to spend some more quality time with Top Ender and Big Boy and we are going to have a romantic dinner together. We have all chosen something that we like as our main meal, we have a starter each and I have some special puddings which I have hidden away so that they will be a surprise. We are going to use the good plates, have candles, and music and after dinner we are going to watch a film together. We are thinking we will watch Dolphin Tale which Warner Bros sent us recently but on the projector so it is like we are at the cinema.

After the children have gone to bed, I'm going to take a nice…

This Is My Husband

When I first met Daddy I knew that he was the man I was going to marry. I knew that we were going to have children together, that we were going to grow old together and that if I achieved nothing else in this life I would at least know that I had been loved and had loved that person back with all my might. After having written the post about Big Boy I wanted to write one about Daddy too and what better day to post it than Valentines Day?

A Long Drive For A Photo

Last weekend after I had posted about being a fantastic Mummy and trying to find a book that Daddy's Grandma is pictured in, one of Daddy's Aunts (Hello "H"!) contacted me and gave the name of two books that she thought we might find the picture in. A quick search found that the one book we hadn't already borrowed was available to borrow from a library in Woodford Halse in Northamptonshire which was about an hour's drive from Milton Keynes.

We did what any family fun loving family would do.

We grabbed our adventure bag, our coats and ipods (well the children did) and jumped into the car ready for an adventure. Big Boy soon fell asleep and Top Ender was engrossed in her playlists so Daddy and I had a great chat and listened to the radio. We found the library and the library book and the picture of Daddy's Grandma and after taking a minute to join the library we borrowed the book (and a couple of others) and then we were on our way back home.

Top Ender is n…

Valentines on a Budget

This morning BBC Coventry and Warwickshire Local Radio had me on to talk about Valentines Day ideas on a budget. I explained how lucky I am to be married to one of the most wonderful and romantic men in the Universe and then went on to give some ideas that Daddy and I have used in the past (or are going to use this year!). I had been asked to prepare a Top Ten List but only got to explain three of them, so here they all are!

Make Food Heart Shaped.

Buy a Cookie Cutter and cut heart shaped sandwiches, lasagne, vegetables, slices of ham... anything that is going to be eaten. If you do it without your other half knowing then they will know you were thinking of them when they finally eat the food and who doesn't like to be thought about?

You Stupid Boy! - Top Ender Giggles

With Top Ender learning about World War Two at School (if I was still a Mummy time traveller I could just woosh her back there for the day) we have been trying to expose her to a few different films, TV series and books set in the period too. We were discussing a list of TV series and films that we thought that we could watch on our Date nights when Top Ender joined in with the conversation.

"We're watching a film about World War II at School; It's called Dad's Army" said Top Ender
"Oh!" said Daddy excitedly "We love that film, it's very funny!"

Top Ender paused for a second and looked at Daddy and deadpan answered

"Well, I haven't laughed yet."

Plum's Oaty Chomps - Good For Pudding!

I was asked by Plum if Big Boy might like to try some new Oaty Chomps and I said yes thinking that not only would Big Boy like them but Top Ender would like them in her Friday lunch box too! I included one in Top Ender's lunch a couple of times and they came back uneaten, Top Ender was worried that she wouldn't like and so it was only once I opened one and ate it to prove that she would like them that she tried them.

Big Boy ate them without question, but he likes all food and it doesn't matter to him what it tastes of as long as it is filling! The other thing about Big Boy is that if he doesn't like it he won't eat it again and Big Boy has continued to ask for the Plum bars, with the pumpkin pie ones living in my handbag for emergency snacks when we are out and about. Top Ender wasn't so keen, she ate one but she said that she thought them to be heavy and dry. I could understand what she meant but I thought that they were nice and as Big Boy thinks quite filli…

Warm and Comfortable Hotter Boots

For me shoes have one purpose and that is to keep my feet covered when I am outside. If they look pretty then that is all well and good but for me the shoes which are the best are the ones that I can put on at 8am before the School Run and take off at about 9pm before I go to bed. I guess that is why I live in my trainers! The one downside to wearing trainers is that they don't exactly go well with anything other than jeans. If I am wearing trousers or a skirt I look scruffy, and so when Hotter Shoes asked if I might like to have a pair of Sheepskin Charisma boots I was eager to give them a try.

The boots are fantastic. The sheepskin lining is soft and warm and fantastic for these cold days and Big Boy has been loving wearing them when I haven't! He has been making me giggle pretending to be me and walking around the living room but he likes to feel the soft lining so he takes off his socks and trousers! They are made of suede but they come with a free protector spray and I ha…

Changes At A Mothers Ramblings

Hello Everybody!

I'm doing some housekeeping here at A Mothers Ramblings and making everything pretty so keep looking out for the changes in the next few weeks and if you spot one let me know what you think! There is one task that you can help me out with and that is by changing your RSS subscription by clicking on the nice shiny badge below.

There are some great projects coming up in the next few months, so make sure you do update your RSS reader or you might miss out on the projects and some secret things that I am really excited about and I hope you will be too!

Don't forget that you can follow me on Twitter and Facebook, just by clicking the links below.

Five Things My Children Have Learnt From Computer Games

Top Ender and Big Boy love to play computer games. They play on the PC's, the Wii, the Xbox, my ipod and on Top Enders Nintendo DS and boy does that sound like a lot! They don't play for long (we have a thirty minute rule) but they play a variety of games some are educational, some are physical, some are just plain old fun but the thing that they all have in common is that they are teaching my children things I never would have thought they would teach them.

1) You have to eat when you are low on energy.

Big Boy loves playing Kirby and whilst playing is always on the look out for the little bits of food that replenish his Characters health bar. It has become a little annoying as Big Boy will often sit down in the middle of the room and claim he doesn't have enough energy to carry out a simple task (like putting away his toys) and that he needs some food to top up his energy. Luckily Big Boy has also discovered that fruits and vegetables are the best way to top up his energ…

Snow Babies - Wordless Wednesday


The Best Gift Ever

Today the postman brought me what could possibly be described as the BEST GIFT EVER!

Thanks Vic, I guess my love of Dr Pepper is as big as your love of shoes!

A Lazy Morning Breakfast

On Friday afternoon the Fish Is The Dish twitter account tweeted a link to the Smoked Haddock Rarebit which as soon as I saw thought would be a fantastic Valentines breakfast or lazy day breakfast. Daddy wouldn't be able to eat it (his egg allergy) and as Daddy will be going to work early on Valentines Day I knew if I wanted to eat it I would have to make it myself. So I did. It was really easy to make and for my lazy Saturday morning it was the perfect treat.

Saturday mornings for me are lazy. They are the day that I get up with the children and they graze on fruit or pastries, we don't get dressed until Daddy gets up (sometime after nine but always before ten) and if I'm feeling particularly energetic I might clean the kitchen or do some baking but it's okay if all we do is sit on the sofa and watch cartoons or play computer games together.

On Sundays I get to sleep in and Daddy gets up with the children. I'm not sure what happens, as I'm upstairs sleeping, b…

How I Mastered Time Travel (With No Tardis In Sight)

In trying to help Top Ender with her school work I found out that I had mastered Time Travel as a child. When I was around six or seven years old, I travelled back in time to 1939, (that's forty years before I was born). Whilst I was in 1939 I didn't warn everybody about Hitler or buy Ice Cream but I had my picture taken and then time travelled back to the future and somehow lost all memory of how to master time travel and that I had actually managed it. In fact I would still be none the wiser if I hadn't seen the picture of me and it's the only logical reason.*

Let me take you back in time to just a few weeks ago to explain this.

The theme for this term at Top Ender's school is World War Two, which means she has been coming out with little facts (Did you know Neville Chamberlain was Prime Minister at the start of the war Mum?) and is generally developing an understanding of the period in general. The children seem to be focusing on evacuees and what it was like to…

Rose Bouquet Valentines Cakes

In my quest for making Valentines really sweet this year I am baking, baking baking! I decided that making a lot of little treats would be best, as that way everybody that I love can get something. I'm not just limiting Valentines to my Husband and Children, but I'm including my Mum, my Sister and her family, my Nan, my Neighbours, my Friends and you the readers! That's right there is going to be a special Valentines gift and competition for you all.

Since making the Rose Bouquet Cupcakes for mine and my Mum's birthday I've been thinking about how to make them more easily and maybe a little less calorific. I mean I love icing and it's obviously one of my best skills (ROFL) but there has to be another way. I just needed to get thinking, or rather get my family thinking.

Love Heart Cupcakes, Egg Free Cakes And Another Hint

We have recently worked out that Daddy, as well as being unable to eat things containing wheat and gluten is now also unable to eat things containing egg. Cue much gnashing of the teeth and cursing from me and Daddy suddenly feeling a lot better after removing eggs and egg products from his diet. It has meant that Daddy and I are learning to bake again and so we've been practising on the children! Well, I have and funny enough they don't seem to mind being given cake after cake to try!

I'm slowly getting the hang of making light and fluffy cakes without using eggs but with Valentines Day coming up I wanted to perfect it so I could create some lovely cakes for Daddy. Standing in Wilkinsons I spotted some rolls of Love Hearts by the till and was thinking how cute they would be on a cake, either nestled in icing on cupcakes or if I could work it out covering a large cake completely. And this is how I came up with the idea of making Love Heart Cupcakes.

Me Right Now... Well Last Night - The Gallery

Tara is a tricky one isn't she? The gallery theme this week was Me Right Now, as in wherever you were when you read the prompt that's what Tara wanted you to take a picture of. So I asked Daddy to take a picture for me and here it is.

That's right I'm knitting (a pink scarf for Top Ender, the green one for Big Boy is just behind my head), drinking a milkshake (strawberry because my microwave disintegrated and I couldn't have a hot chocolate), watching TV (Suits on Dave in HD. It's a great show), reading a book (I've just got up to how to make Chutney), on the telephone (to my Mum) and of course surfing the web.
What does it show? I guess it shows that I'm a bit of a multi-tasker and I shouldn't start something before finishing the other!