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Showing posts from March, 2013

Half Term Lunches

One thing I love about half terms is that we don't have to worry about lunches as much. I don't have to get up before the Children to create a masterpiece, I don't have to worry that there is no bread defrosted or that the fruit looks a bit dry as I know that I have a few more hours to work the kinks out.

The one thing I hate about half terms is the exact same thing. It's okay during the School term for the Children to know that lunch today is a ham sandwich, because they know that I had to pack it at 8am and so if they aren't really in the mood for a ham sandwich that doesn't matter because it's already packed. During the School holidays by the time lunch comes round if the children aren't in the mood for a ham sandwich then they can fuss, because it's not made yet anyway.

With this in mind here is this weeks lunches.

Saturday - Steak Sandwich
Nothing special this week, just a plain steak sandwich because I couldn't find a recipe that grabbed m…

Our Evening Meals (W/C 30/03)

I'm trying to reduce my food budget as much as possible as I'm trying to save up for something special and also to prove to myself that I can keep my budget low. I was talking with Mediocre Mum about our weekly shopping budgets and I found it amazing how different we look at things. With this week, when I take out what I already have I'm spending  (includes cat food and household products).

Saturday - Chicken and Bacon Pasta
My recipe for this is one Chicken Breast shredded, 100g of Bacon cut into small pieces, 300g of Spaghetti and a 200g pot of Creme Fraiche.  It's so simple that I can do this blindfolded, but instead I'm going to get Big Boy to help me make it.

Sunday - Roast Lamb
It's Easter Sunday, which means we have Roast Lamb, with Roast Potatoes, Carrots and Peas and Gravy for our traditional Easter roast meal. Daddy has found a great Yorkshire Pudding recipe, so I'm encouraging him to make more, especially if we have my Mum round as she loves York…

A Diabetic Easter

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This Easter is our first Easter with Big Boy being a Type 1 Diabetic. For us of course, Easter is about the Resurrection and always has been, but there is also a large part about finding Chocolate Eggs and sharing a Roast Dinner with extended family and buttery toasted Hot Crossed Buns and other various Easter Sweet treats. If we want to keep Big Boy's blood sugars in what we consider a normal range then it suddenly starts to matter if we indulge a little more over Easter. Gone are the days of not having to give a second thought and now we live in the days of having to second guess everything.

So how can we make sure Big Boy is included and doesn't feel that Diabetes is stealing away the sweet treats that he is looking forward to?

We make new traditions.

We are going to decorate Easter Baskets. We have basic baskets that we use every year, but this year we're going to add flowers and garlands and bunny's and chicks and stamps and stickers and paper carrots and what ever…

What A Mormon Thinks Of The Book Of Mormon Musical

On Saturday I went to see The Book of Mormon Musical, with a journalist from the National newspaper The Sun, you can read their article in the paper (or here) as I can't find it online. What is so special about me going to a musical you might ask, I mean if you read my blog then you know that I go roughly once a month to see a stage show or musical. What was different about this musical is that I'm a real life practising Mormon. I belong (proudly) to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and this musical, by the guys behind South Park, is lampooning my religion.

I have to explain, first of all, that Mormon's are normal. I feel I have to explain this because it's one of the first things people say to me when they discover my religion, something along the lines of;

"But you seem so normal!"

Well of course I am, just because I'm a person of faith doesn't make me stop being me! You may have met other members of the Church and not realised it, i…

Double Smiles - Big Boy Giggles

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We haven't had a giggles for a while, as I've been sharing most of them via Twitter or our Facebook page but Saturday morning gave me a humdinger of a giggle that I had to share here.

It's become the routine that when Big Boy wakes up, I climb into bed with him to have a cuddle and talk about the day ahead. We talk about what we are excited about, things we have to remember and anything that we are worried about (well he does, I mostly listen and ask math and spelling questions). On Saturday morning I had curled up in bed next to him and we chatted away for a good ten minutes before my body realised I was awake and I gave a BIG yawn in recognition.

DO THAT AGAIN! said Big Boy
What? I said Yawn?
No! That thing! said Big Boy moving his chin towards his chest

I assumed he wanted me to do the same, so I pushed my chin towards my chest and was rewarded with a big smile from Big Boy, which of course I returned.

Now do a sad face Mummy. You have TWO smiles Mummy! said Big Boy pro…

When In Paris - The Jardin d'Acclimatation

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On our last day in Paris during our Summer visit last year, we were faced with two problems - the first was that the queue at our planned destination - the Louvre - was about half a mile long, and the second was the weather - no, it was the opposite to the usual weather problems, it was in fact one of the hottest days of the year.

A quick bit of Googling for alternative opportunities for the day, in Paris, with a family, and we decided to try the Jardin d'Acclimatation - an amusement park with a zoo and other attractions in the centre of Paris, and we had never heard of it before. The website, and a few other reviews, suggested it was worth a look, so we hopped on the Metro to Les Sablons, from where it is just a 5 minute walk to the entrance - a 5 minute walk that appeared to take us from the busiest street in Paris to the middle of the countryside!


In fact the Jardin d'Acclimatation sits at the northern end of the Bois de Boulogne, a 2,000 acre green space roughly the same s…

Lunches For The Week (W/C 23/03)

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It's nearly Easter! This week I'm planning on making Easter themed lunches for the Children, so I'm making use of my Bunny, Egg and Chick cutters and a few more sneaky treats too.

Saturday - Ham and Salad Sandwich
As I'll have been shopping yesterday, the salad ingredients will be nice and fresh today still, which means they will be great in a Sandwich. Plus, I'm not here as I've gone to London for the day this is so simple even Daddy can make it!





Sunday - Brie and Caramalised Onion and Mushroom Toastie
The best thing about the sandwiches we have for lunch on a Saturday is that I plan and make them, this means that Daddy can't complain when I serve up something I love and he isn't that keen on. As I wasn't able to make our Saturday Sandwich today we are having a Brie and Caramalised Onion and Mushroom Toastie. *Cue evil laughter* Mwhahahahahahahaha!

Monday - Chicken Pasta
I'm using the Chicken from yesterdays dinner mixed with a little sweetcorn…

Dr Oetker Panebello Deep Bakery Crust Pizzas

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I'm a big Dr Oetker fan, my cupboards are stuffed full of various tubs of cake decorations and sugar sprinkles from the company and when I was asked if I'd like to try some of their new Panebello Deep Bakery Crust range I was intrigued and said YES PLEASE! The pizzas arrived, and I have to say that the packaging looked great and had my mouth watering, but I was ready to be let down because everyone knows that frozen pizza never tastes or looks as great as the picture on the box. It took a few days until we had Pizza scheduled on the meal plan, and when I got the pizzas out of the box I was pleasantly surprised. The pizzas looked good, they were deep pan, there was plenty of toppings and they looked as good as the ones on the box.


Cooking the pizza is easy, just take it out of the packaging and throw in the already heated oven. You don't need a tray, you can just put them on the oven shelf (although I hate doing that as I always get the pizza stuck to the oven shelf) and ot…

Dinner Plans (W/C 23/03)

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Last week isn't even really started and I'm already planning next weeks menu, but I do have a good excuse... I was up early last Sunday with Big Boy and after I got bored of watching him play Little Big Planet (his latest craze) I decided to go and sort out the kitchen cupboards. I do this fairly often, but had noticed my "pantry" cupboards were getting a little dishevelled again and I like straight lines. It gave me the perfect opportunity to find and use up some of the ingredients in my cupboards that we probably never meant to buy.

Saturday - Tartiflette
Daddy jokingly suggested that we have Cheese for dinner, and this was the first idea I had of something that was fairly simple to make and had Cheese in. The Children have asked if they can have Macaroni Cheese instead, so I'll make the Tartiflette a little more special for Daddy and I, maybe in heart shaped dishes (aren't I sickeningly romantic lol). Also I'm going to use Reblochon, as I tasted some a…

Winx Club Magazine Review

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Many years ago Top Ender found a cartoon that she quite liked. It was about these girls who were into fashion, happy to be great friends despite having different interests, worked hard at School and happened to be Fairies. It ticked so many boxes for Top Ender, and I actually quite enjoyed it to, and so we watched Winx Club. And when Big Boy was born, he watched Winx too.

At first it seemed that nobody else watched Winx and trying to find gifts for Top Ender with characters on from this TV show was so hard, but I managed it thanks to some dedicated google searches and late night sewing.

And then it became popular, dolls were on sale in shops, pyjamas, bed linen, lamps, rugs even sweets. Top Ender was of course in heaven, but even more so when a copy of the new magazine arrived that we had been asked to review.

Top Ender loved the Winx magazine, she said;



and as you can see, she loved it so much she didn't even care that she has had to read it to Big Boy more than once!


We were sent…

News of the Week

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I enjoyed catching everyone up with our news last week, that I thought I would do it again this week (and possibly again the week after too!) as there are always little titbits of news that aren't complete enough to be a blog post or are too long for Twitter and Facebook and if you ever want to know more about something that I've mentioned on Twitter or Facebook then you can always ask. I might not give you any more detail, but then again I just might!

On Saturday 9th March, whilst I was driving home from the Supermarket, the car made a rather horrible noise, the sort of horrible noise that can only mean an expensive trip to a mechanic is in order. Luckily the mechanic fixed what was wrong for a rather reasonable price. I wish the same could be said of the cost of the new tyres the car needed, but at least it didn't happen at Christmas eh? The good thing about the car being broken on Saturday evening was that it gave me a lot of time to make the Mussel soup, which was LOVE…

The Reminder

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Since Big Boy was diagnosed as being a Type 1 Diabetic (July 13th 2012) we haven't taken the yellow sharp boxes back to the Doctors to be safely disposed of. They are sitting in my kitchen, under the boiler waiting for something.


They are a constant reminder of how our life has changed and yet they just sit there. Full of needles that have pricked my sons skin.


Since Big Boy was diagnosed as being a Type 1 Diabetic he has had at least 1080 injections, he has had at least 3570 blood tests. My little baby has bruises across his thighs and belly and his bottom from where we've accidentally hit a blood capillary with his tiny needles.


I don't want to work out how many injections and blood tests Big Boy will have in his lifetime to keep him alive. I don't want to work out how many boxes I'm going to have under my boiler between now and the one year anniversary of Big Boy's diagnosis.
I want to know there is a cure.

Lunch Meal Plan (W/C 16/03)

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I really have to get back in the habit of taking photographs of the children's lunches for sharing on the Facebook page, as I realised today I've not put any up for ages, mostly due to me being ill but partly because I forgot to charge my camera battery, and I know that some people were getting inspiration from them, but mostly I was getting asked to make lunches for other people and I liked that! I actually went ahead and made one for a friend who is teaching at Top Ender and Big Boy's School at the moment and she was quite surprised and I think she liked it (I got told she was showing off at lunch time!), if not she is a great a actress as she is a teacher, and her sisters say that just isn't possible...

Saturday - Avocado and Prawn Crunchy Rolls
I'm a big Prawn and Avocado fan, I'd happily eat them all day everyday, but apparently that would be bad for me. So I'm hoping this week to convert the Children and Daddy to the delights of an avocado, but I'…

The Parent Governor Elections

Today after School, I was standing in the School office looking over the Chairman of the Parent Governors shoulder as he split the submitted votes for the newest Parent Governor in to two piles. One with my name on and one with the other nominees name on. The piles looked to be the same size and from my rough counting there were slightly more in the pile for the other nominee.

I was gutted.

I put my name forward to be Parent Governor a few weeks back, after a friend was talking about how we have to volunteer, we have to put ourselves out there if we ever want to make a difference. It's all well and good standing in the School playground complaining about the School, but what good does it do?

I nominated myself, I got a friend to second me. I got told that another parent had volunteered. I wrote a statement to go out to parents, telling them how fantastic I was. I had a friend suggest I just write "I'm amazing so vote for me", I had other friends read what I had writt…

Oxtail Soup

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The other morning I needed to grab a few bits from the local Supermarket. Daddy said he'd take me on his way to work and whilst we were walking down the soup aisle he sighed a sigh of longing when his eyes rested upon the Oxtail Soup. Apparently Daddy's favourite soup is Oxtail (I thought it was tomato!) and since being diagnosed as a Coeliac he hasn't been able to find a brand that doesn't have wheat in... although I don't think that he has tried that hard! Being the lovely wife that I am I suggested that I make some for him, he jumped at the chance and so here is my recipe for Oxtail Soup, it did start being based on the BBC Good Food one, but I made a few changes based on a recipe my Nan sent me that she used to make when her family were young.

Ingredients
2 Sticks Celery
1 Leek
2 Carrots
1 Onion
1 Turnip
1.5 litres Beef Stock
0.5 litres Beef Stock
1kg Oxtail
Salt and Pepper
4 tbsp Gluten Free Plain Flour
Bouquet Garni
1 tbsp Tomato Puree
500ml Sorelle (Rose)
Ol…

Evening Meal Plan (W/C 16/03)

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Last week was quite fun, we didn't have the curry on the Tuesday, but we didn't seem to mind! I planned this week quite quickly with a little help from Daddy and am looking forward to cooking the dishes. I think that the food is interesting and a variety of flavours should help me to get the children interested in food again.

Saturday - BBQ Chicken Burgers
We like Saturday evening meals to be easy to prepare or something that can be thrown into the slow cooker so that it is prepared without really having to do anything because we are always so busy on a Saturday. This week we've decided to have grilled Chicken breasts as a Burger in floury baps and despite what Daddy says he won't be having two, but will be having salad or maybe some vegetable kebabs.

Sunday - Roast Chicken
Daddy and I were talking about different vegetables earlier this week and we decided that seeing as we both like cabbage that we should have it with our dinner this week. So the Chicken this week is…

Cookery and TV

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A few weeks ago Daddy and I were flicking through the TV Channels trying to find something to watch. For some reason we stopped on a TV programme that was a competition between different sandwiches, with each sandwiches creator hoping their creation would be crowned best sandwich in America. Despite not being hungry, we really wanted to try some of the sandwiches and seeing as how funds are a little short at the moment and we can't fly to the restaurants featured in the TV programme, we decided to recreate some of them at home. I'm actually having a lot of fun recreating the sandwiches as seen on the TV programme, and we've discovered a lot of different flavours that when fused together taste amazing. Who would have thought that Duck and Cheese went so well?!


It's not the first time that I've used TV programmes as inspiration for what to cook. I used to be a bit like Robin Williams in Mrs Doubtfire, sitting watching the cookery show making copious notes on what I h…

Painting The Stairs

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It's not often I have an idea that is perfectly formed and needs no refinement, so when it does happen it sticks out as being something to remember. A few days ago, I was suddenly struck with an idea about our hallway and how if we decorated it, that it would be more inviting and hopefully it would also stop the issue that we have where "magically drawn" crayon marks appear surrounded by grubby finger prints about Big Boy and Top Ender's size, but of course neither Big Boy or Top Ender know anything about it!

The idea was to paint the lower half of the walls a red colour, similar to the colour we have in our Living Room, and split the wall with a border, so that the line of where the two colours meet is hidden. We've narrowed it down to two different borders although we have no idea which one to pick, or even if we should choose something completely different and a totally different colour scheme.



As you can see we plan for the boarder to be behind the bannister …

Our Locked Out Adventure

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Yesterday afternoon as I set off on the School Run I picked up my phone (so I can be a playground loner!), the keys from the hook, the Mothers Day card for my Step Mother-in-law (Yes, I know it's a day late), did my coat up and set off up the road. I'd only gone a few meters when I had a feeling I should check the keys in my pocket, so I did and discovered that I'd actually picked up the car keys and not the house keys.

I had locked myself out the house.

The children and I walked slowly home, in the lightly falling snow. We had a plan, as the door wasn't locked, if we could reach in the letter box we could open the door.

Top Ender tried.

Big Boy tried.

The door remained shut.


So we sat in the car and came up with a few ideas.

Big Boy decided that we should get a Ninja Monkey who'd kick the door down. I let him know that whilst this would be good, it would mean that the Pirates could get in our house.

Top Ender suggested we scream the door down. I let her know that …

You haven't forgotten me have you?

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It's been so long since I've blogged about mine and the children's lives that I'm pretty sure you might have forgotten about me. Just in case you have, I thought I'd remind you of us by letting you know what's been going on in our lives for the last few weeks.


I'll start with me.

So February had me being ill. Nothing new there, since Big Boy has started School I've been ill a lot as he's brought home so many germs that for some reason have decided to plague me! My right ear drum burst and it's not until my birthday that I should have my hearing fully back because that's when my ear drum should have regrown.

I'm still looking for a job, I want to have something to do at home as I need to be around in case Big Boy needs me at School (Could you see a job letting me go out to give BB an injection if there is nobody at School to do it or to vanish at a moments notice because his blood sugars are high or low or he's been in hospital) and a…

The Time We Ate Curried Mussel Soup

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When the latest delivery of Fish turned up during the week, thanks to Fish Is The Dish, there was a net bag of Mussels included. I was worried, it's been hard enough to get Daddy to eat more fish and even though he had once eaten Cockles and Mussels on a little mini break to Clacton in 2003, I doubted he was going to eat them again unless I could disguise them somehow. I looked up a lot of recipes and finally found one for Curried Mussel Soup that I thought that Daddy would like and arranged for my Mum to come round to share the meal with us as I thought some adult encouragement to eat our dinner might be good for us, plus the recipe was for six and I can't each that much soup.


I made a couple of adaptations to the recipe, I used 300ml of cream instead of 500ml, 400ml of White Sorelle instead of White Wine, I used three small potatoes instead of one medium one, I didn't include any Saffron (it cost too much!) and if I were to make it again (which I will) I would make it wi…

Lunches This Week! (W/C 09/03)

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This weeks lunches are still coming mostly out of the freezer, when we sorted out the freezers we found more rolls, wraps, pitta breads and other assorted bread products than one family should ideally have and so I figured we really need to work on eating them all up.

Saturday - Steak Subs
We're a fan of steak and as we have slices in the freezer just waiting for us to eat them, we thought we should have a sub today as we're not sure our evening meal is going to be that substantial. We might hate Mussels, which would be a shame and also leave us hungry! Daddy and I will supplement ours with the hot sauce, some grilled mushrooms, some soft fried onions and cheese although I think the children will just go with the cheese and onion!

Sunday - Grated Cheese and Carrot Sandwich
I know that the children have had this for lunch in the past, and I've not made it for a while, but Daddy hasn't had it before so I'm not sure how he'll react. I think that the textures work …

Evening Meals (W/C 09/03)

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Last week, with me being just able to start using the computer again (the lack of an ear drum apparently also gives me an inability to look at computer screens without feeling sick), the Meal Plan was a sheet of paper on the fridge. I must say it worked out rather well as instead of having to look up my own blog to find out what I was supposed to be feeding the family I just looked at the fridge.

I also decided to sort out the three freezers so that I knew what we had (or rather what I'd forgotten we had) and eating it and every thing in the stock cupboard this week is an expensive week as I have to buy almost EVERYTHING as we've now run out of everything.

Saturday - Mussels or Pasta
I got a delivery from Fish is the Dish and Delish Fish this week, and I'll be using the Mussels as our first of two portions of fish this week (There is a plan to this, and I'll post about it soon!). I did think I could make a chowder, or maybe just cook them in garlic as my Mum would but …

Microwave Cookie

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You know how sometimes, you really, really, really, want a cookie, but because you're on a diet/healthy eating thingy in order to lose weight and be healthy you don't buy cookies or dare make a batch because you'll eat them all in one sitting?
No?
Oh. In that case me neither and this Microwave Cookie recipe won't be of any interest to you.

Just in case you are one of those people who would be interested in such a cookie, know that it is a little more like a cake than a traditional baked in the oven cookie but it is blooming delicious and my new favourite thing to make Daddy make me when I'm needing comfort and chocolate.
Also I made it with Doves Farm Gluten free flour and Orgran no egg and it was still as lovely as anything.

9 To 5 The Musical

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One of my favourite films is 9 to 5. I love the Dolly Parton theme tune, the idea of women taking charge and making the world better and who doesn't love a comedy set the year they were born? I like to read a lot of websites about the Theatre Scene (I would have made a great actress) and when I heard they were going to make the film into a Musical Stage show I was a little worried, how could they improve on this great film? I needn't have worried because the show is great and has been cast perfectly.


If you love the film, have a nostalgia for the late 70's early 80's or just want to see a feel good musical you'll love the show. Actually I don't think anybody could hate this show, because there are moments from Natalie Casey and Amy Lennox that will just make you grin and realise that like them you've been in a predicament fairly similar in the past... although I should make it clear I never kidnapped my boss before. Or fed him Rat Poison. Or shot at him.

I …