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Showing posts from April, 2012

What We Are Eating (W/C 28/04)

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Dinners last week were a little bit of a problem when I prepared Tuesdays meal before picking Top Ender up from School forgetting that Top Ender had a friend coming round for tea! Still with a bit of swapping around we  managed to eat our dinners in a different order and everything was good. This week we have two birthdays to look forward to (My Mums on Tuesday and mine on Wednesday) so dinner is going to be exciting!

Saturday 29th April

We are going to have The A Mothers Ramblings Sticky Apple Bacon and Sausage Roast tonight because we can and we love it. I'm going shopping with my Mum in the late afternoon and as this doesn't take long (half an hour roughly) it is a perfect miserable weather comfort food!



Sunday 29th April

We are having a Roast Chicken (again!) for dinner. Last week I did it with Lemon, Rosemary and Garlic and it was lush, although the gravy wasn't too good. This week I'm thinking that I will do it with a honey glaze as I am having a really big sweet…

A Day Out In London With Big Boy

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One of the reasons why I need a new handbag is because when we go for a fun day out with the family my current handbag is normally stuffed with spare clothes, notebooks, drinks and treats. It's a regular Tardis! All this extra weight has taken its toll with ink stains on the front pocket, zips losing their pull and holes where bags shouldn't have holes. Anyway it's still my trusty Tardis like bag and so when Big Boy and I went to London earlier in the month for the Warner Brothers Bloggers Day, I took my trusty bag and Big Boy took his. His bag was more fun than mine as it contained Top Enders DS, his ipod and a map of bus routes near our home. I'm not sure why BB thought he needed the bus map but with us it went.

When we got to London we had a great time with the gang at Warner Brothers. Big Boy loved playing with some of the team with the new Superhero Lego and it has led to a little bit of a Batman revival in our house. I never knew I knew so many Batman characters!…

Who's That Girl - Big Boy Giggles

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With Top Ender having gone back to School, Big Boy and I are slowly getting back into our daily routine. We were having a morning snack and catching up on some TV when Big Boy noticed that one of the people in the TV show has the same name as Top Ender.

"That's the same name as the girl that lives in our house!" said an excited Big Boy
"Who? Me?" I asked being Devils advocate
"No, you know! The girl that lives in our house with us!" said Big Boy
"Do you mean your sister Big Boy?" I asked
"Yeah! Her!"

I do love the fact that Tops just lives in our house with us.


Gluten Free Doughnuts - Wordless Wednesday

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Okay so including a recipe technically doesn't make this Wordless, but I think we can all agree that if you have a doughnut maker (or access to one!) and you are Gluten Free that this is a recipe that you are going to want to try!
Ingredients
225g gluten-free plain flour (we use Doves Farm Plain Flour) 100g caster sugar (plus extra for dusting) 1 1/2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder 125g butter, melted 120mls milk 1 lightly beaten egg 1 teaspoon vanilla lemon juice (optional)
Method
1. Preheat the Doughnut machine. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and make a well in the centre of the mixture and whisk in the butter, milk, vanilla and egg until the mixture forms a smooth batter.
2. Pour the batter into preheated doughnut rings and cook for 6 minutes or until doughnuts are golden and cooked! 
3. Take the doughnuts out of the machine and dip them in lemon juice, before dipping in the sugar to coat and Serve!
And if you are like Top Ender, then the addition of a squeeze…

Cardboard Box Cars

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We had worked our family budget to include a weekly take away treat for the family. After looking at our budget again, Daddy and I realised that this is going to be a monthly treat, but we still want to have this special Saturday family time each week. I was thinking about it and came up with an idea of how we could make our own take away meal at home a little more special. The first part of my plan was to convince Daddy that my plan was a good idea. Luckily, Daddy loves having fun just like me and so he was eager to join in with the plan. We decided to keep it a secret until the last moment from the children but still set off as a family to Tesco to get a few cardboard boxes.

We asked the Children to decorate the boxes like cars and they eagerly started decorating with the assortment of pens, crayons, pencils and stamps that we own with their own theme in mind (Top Ender went for fairies and Big Boy chose Dinosaurs).


I cut out circles of card to make steering wheels and then set abou…

What We Are Eating This Week (WC 21/04)

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Here are the plans for dinners this week. I will get my butt into gear and start blogging lunches again as Top Ender and I have some great plans for Friday lunches and I've come up with some fairly decent "adult" versions too! The meals this week are mainly relying on things that we already have, although Daddy went out last night to get a few bits and pieces (Cat Food, Washing Powder, Milk, Salad, Ham, Bread, Fruit etc) and we are planning on making some sweet and savoury treats over the weekend to last us for the week.

Saturday
We are really tight in our budget this month and so we are planning on not having a takeaway for lunch. We just need to convince the children that their weekly treat isn't a good idea too. We have some Gluten Free Burgers and Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets in the freezer and we have chips too so we could serve them home made take away and combine it with making some cars for a personal drive through. I'm actually really excited about this n…

The Average Eight Year Old - Wordless Wednesday

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When we were at Chessington World of Adventures we came upon a sign giving the average wing span of an Andean Condor compared to the average Eight Year Old. Seeing as we had an eight year old with us we measured her up against the board. Turns out she is the size of an average eight year old in arm span. Height wise she's a lot taller!


Big Boy of course wanted to have a measure up too. At nearly four though, he isn't quite the average eight year old!

Indecent Exposure - Big Boy Giggles

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We don't care that much about gender specific toys here and so when Big Boy brought down Top Enders Barbie dolls to play with we didn't really care. Daddy and I were watching the Boat Race and Big Boy was playing with the dolls at our feet and it was when Daddy tapped me to look at what Big Boy was doing that I started playing attention.

Big Boy was taking all the clothes off the dolls before sitting them into the car and driving them around the living room.

"Why are you taking the clothes off the dolls Big Boy?" I asked
"They want to get arrested." Said Big Boy
"...What?"
"They are fed up of living here."
"So they are taking their clothes off?"
"Yes. They will get arrested and go to jail and live there!"


I think I might try the school run naked . I need a holiday.

The Influence Of Social Media - Top Ender Giggles

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It's been a while since we had a Top Ender Giggles, because Tops hasn't been funny. No, not really! Top Ender is always funny, there has just been a lot that I couldn't share!

So Daddy, Top Ender, Big Boy and I had gone for a walk at the local shopping centre (okay so really I had gone to look at the bag I'd like for my birthday which you can read about over on Pippa World and if you want you can go and buy for me) and we were having a great time chatting together, trying to lose each other behind different displays and generally having fun!

Daddy started to tell me a story about work when Top Ender started repeating everything he had just said. We looked at Top Ender and asked her to stop repeating her Daddy. She stopped and looked at us and said;

I'm not repeating Daddy I'm retweeting him.


What We Are Eating This Week (W/C 15/04)

I have a little but of a problem with regards to the meal plan this week. I couldn't get on to the PC when I was making the shopping list and so I used the back of an envelope to make a note of what we were eating and when based on what we were doing this week. And now I can't find the envelope and I can't remember what I planned on making past today...

Sunday

We choose the BBC Chicken and Bacon Cacciatore recipe and decided to accompany it with Roast Potatoes for our Sunday Family meal. We've actually eaten it already and it was fantastic! We added a stick of celery and a handful of chopped mushrooms to increase the vegetable count and we didn't add as much chicken stock as it suggested (400ml as 500ml would have taken it over the top of my casserole dish!) and to finish it all off we put it in the oven rather than letting it do in a pot on the hob as I don't have any Le Creuset dishes. I should have added that to my birthday list!

Monday

It's Top Enders f…

Lego Duplo Creative Sorter

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We love Lego Duplo here at A Mothers Ramblings. I love that Big Boy can take the bricks and build whatever his mind creates. His imagination is amazing and with the number of drawings he has been creating of Boss Men for the end of levels in computer games, I shouldn't have been surprised when Big Boy started using a combination of Lego and Duplo to create 3D versions of his Boss Men Creations!


Big Boy was sent the new Creative Sorter. We were lucky enough to get a sneak preview of this last September and weren't allowed to talk about it! It was horrid not talking about the prototypes we had seen and I was so relieved when and there are some truly great products in the pipeline that we were told about that I can't wait to see when they are in production!


Big Boy loves the sorter and will make the animals over and over using the sorter as a guide. When he first saw the guide he followed the "map" to create the animals which pleased the Lego Duplo Experts no end as…

Shakeaway Shakes - Wordless Wednesday

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Save The Last Dance For Me

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I love taking Top Ender to the Theatre, she is so interested in fashion that I have encouraged her to look at every trip to the theatre as research for future lines. Top Ender has decided this is a great idea and loves to accompany me to any show she can, so I think if she doesn't make it as a fashion designer she might be interested in being a costume designer. As both Daddy and I love going to the theatre we are hoping that this will develop into a love of the theatre too and this week I was able to take Top Ender to see Save The Last Dance For Me which is set in the 60's in Luton (just up the road!) and Lowestoft and we loved it!


It wasn't just the costumes that Top Ender loved, but the tunes too! It's not often when I go to the theatre that the cast actively encourage you to sing along if you know the words. I normally do sing along, but have to do so quite quietly for fear of Top Ender poking me in the ribs (like she did when we went to see Joseph last week) but I…

What We Are Eating This Week (W/C 7/04)

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It always makes me laugh when people tell me how wonderfully behaved my children are and for the most part they are, but as I have alluded to getting them to eat a wider variety of meals isn't always easy. I remember reading once that you have to offer a food ten to fifteen times to a child before they stop seeing that food as new and accept it as something that they eat. As far as I can tell that's a lie because my children try things time and time again and still refuse them one day and eat them the next! Oh well, maybe by the time they move out they might eat my cooking without complaining and if I'm really lucky it might be this week.

Saturday

On Saturdays we have a take away, normally it is something like a McDonalds or a Burger King but with it being the end of Lent I'm hoping that I can persuade Daddy that I deserve a Chinese! Seeing as we won't have another Take Away this month I think we can afford it. I don't think that the children will want to give …

Dear So and So - The Non Gambling Custard Eating Edition

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Dear Man who tried to sell me Lottery Tickets at my front door,

When I say I don't gamble as it's against my religion you don't answer;
"Well I've sold tickets to other Christians and they are going to donate any winnings!"

Thanks for noticing my hair anyway.

The non gambling when it suits her lady, safely hidden back behind her front door.

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Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat

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Twenty years ago I was lucky enough to be part of one of the Children's choirs that were part of the cast of the West End Production of Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget and I know gave me a lot of confidence in myself. This week I was able to take Top Ender to see the touring production of Joseph staring Any Dream will Do runner up Keith Jack at The Milton Keynes Theatre. I was thrilled to be able to take her to see this musical as it was such a big part of my life and childhood and I wanted tops to see it for the magic I knew it held.


Whilst it wasn't the production I remember, it was a great show, and as I sat in the audience I was transported back and received a couple of pokes to my ribs as Top Ender got fed up of me singing along, under my breath! There were a lot of children in the audience and they all seemed to be enjoying the show, if not singing along like the adults they were with, then they were cl…

Milton Keynes Tree Cathedral

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Whilst the weather was warmer Top Ender, Big Boy, Daddy and I made the most of it with several trips in and around Milton Keynes. Somewhere that we were pleased to be able to visit for the first time was the Milton Keynes Tree Cathedral and whilst in early Spring it wasn't as vibrant as I am sure it will be later in the year, we had a great time wandering round the different parts and trying to identify the different parts of the Cathedral without using the picture we had taken of the map. The tree cathedral was created by a landscape architect called Neil Higson in 1986 and he cleverly chose different trees to represent the different sections of the Cathedral. There are hornbeam and tall-growing lime for the Nave, evergreens to represent the central tower and spires and flowering cherry and apple as a focus in the chapels. I couldn't really identify all of the trees, but luckily the information posters around the Cathedral were very helpful!


Instead of stained glass windows …

Show Me Your Easter Eggs! #ShowYourEasterEggs

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Over on Facebook I decided today to change my cover photo to one from Easter last year.

My Sister (Hi Kitty) gave me a call to tell me she was going to post a picture of her eggs for me to see and we thought it would be a good bit of fun to start a little Meme about Easter Eggs big and small. So come and show me your eggs!

You can either write a blog post and link back to here and leave me a comment so I know, or use the Twitter Tag #ShowYourEasterEggs and mention me @PippaD so we can track them via Twitter and I'll do a round up for Easter Sunday.

So come on show me your Easter Eggs!

They Do Love Each Other! - Wordless Wednesday

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A Whole New Me. Maybe The Start Of A New Half Of Me.

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It's no secret that I'm over weight or that I'm trying to lose weight. I am losing weight, slowly but steadily and I kind of feel that for me it isn't until I have lost all the weight I need to lose that I can start looking pretty. It's not that I don't like myself or see myself as pretty (I think I have nice eyes and I like it when I smile) it's just that it seems a waste to put effort into making myself look pretty when I'm so overweight.

Or so I thought.

A couple of weeks ago I headed down to London to have the team at Regis do something with my hair. I can't remember the last time I had my hair cut, or the last time it had anything remotely professional done to it and to be perfectly honest it showed; I guess that is why I always wear my hair back in a ponytail. Sitting in the Regis salon and talking to Chris Tilley (who is a member of the artistic team) and Guy Cammarano (the creative director) I found out more about my hair in five minutes tha…