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Showing posts from November, 2013

Things I Discovered This Week #Review

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This week with Daddy being away, I've had a lot more time on my own to do nothing.

And by nothing I of course mean the usual running around after the Children, cooking, cleaning, exercising, reading cookery books, coming up with meal plans, shopping, wrapping gifts, sorting out bills, dealing with the Insurance people, feeding the cats, doing the dishes, studying, playing Candy Crush... you know the usual nothing that fills my days.

This week I've discovered that grated cinnamon, isn't just good for baking Cinnamon Buns but is also great for adding to Hot Chocolate. I was sent a Cinnamon Grater from Cinnamon Hill and despite some initial problems with one of my neighbours forgetting they'd taken it in for me I am so pleased it was sent for me to review!


I discovered that I shouldn't eat Cinnamon Buns whilst reading through the Daylesford Sampler Cookbook (that was sent to me by Harper Collins), as the book contains Recipes and Notes for Cooking and Eating Well as I…

Better The Devil You Know?

Nope, this isn't some cheesy post about Sonia and the 1993 Eurovision song "Better The Devil You Know", but a real problem, following on from the problem I spoke about last week.

So.

There are several schools in Milton Keynes that I could send Big Boy to. I've looked at all their websites, I've spoken to friends who have children around the same age as Big Boy and Top Ender, I've spoken to teachers I know, I've spoken to teaching assistants, I've contacted people I used to work with who's other halves work in education, I've spoken to friends, I've spoken to friends of friends and of course I've read the OFSTED reports.

I had to make a hard choice to start with. I've had to decide if both my children will move to a new School or just Big Boy. It was decided that if I could find a School that was suitable for both my children, that would give the support to Big Boy and allow him to flourish the same way that it would allow Top Ender…

Dirty Fingers, Fresh Milk Cafe Lattes and Fresh Milk #Review

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My Granddad always seemed to be exasperated by me and my finger nails. It wasn't that I picked at them, or chewed on them, it wasn't even that I spent hours using them to scratch myself. No, instead my finger nails were always full of dirt. Even now as I sit here typing a quick glance at my fingernails shows that I have three finger nails full of dirt. I honestly don't know how they do it, just five minutes ago I washed my hands and my nails were clean. I must be a dirt magnet.

Now other than looking nasty the problem that I have with having dirty fingernails all the time is that when I take photographs of products that I'm reviewing I have to either clean them before I take the photographs (I do this at least twenty times a day anyway) or take the photograph in such a way that you can't see my filthy nails. I'm like a contortionist for some photographs.

These are my latest contortionist photographs.


I didn't drink the Lake District Dairy Fresh Milk Caffe …

Keeping Warm In Winter

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When I was on TV the other night (I am never going to get tired of saying that) there were several things that I said that didn't make the show and several things that were said that I think need to be reiterated because these little things make a huge difference to how warm you may be this winter and how high your energy bills might be too.

Just in case you missed us, here we are...


Left Behind

A rather dramatic title for this blog post, but you know it's how I feel today.

Today I dropped Daddy off at the local Train Station. He's gone to work which is normal for a Monday morning, but today instead of coming back home at the end of the day he'll be staying in a hotel. Instead of coming back home tomorrow, or the day after, or even the day after, it won't be until the day after that that he'll come home.

And I'm okay with it.

Seriously I'm okay with it. I've said so many times in the past that when we have to do something hard for the benefit of our family, that we have to do it. It means if it's living away from home for most of the week or having to give up something that we feel is important then we do it.

We do it for the good of our family.

And yet.

This morning, when I took Daddy to the train station and I saw him leave the ticket office, walking to the platform I cried. I cried because other than a few nights here and there and a tri…

Meal Plan For Three (W/C 23/11)

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This week sees the start of Daddy not eating with us Monday through Friday, or even staying here at night Monday through Thursday (he should be home late every Friday night) and so despite my initial plan of living on microwave meals so I didn't have to do the dishes (it was a good idea right?!) here is this weeks meal plan.

Saturday - BBQ Chicken
The meal for tonight was chosen by Daddy as the perfect accompaniment to watching the 50th Anniversary DOCTOR WHO. Sorry, got a tad excited there. I'll serve it in a bun with Salad on the side and because I'm generous there'll also be pudding. I'm thinking the Doctors favourite of Fish Fingers and Custard...

Sunday - Sandwiches
There is no roast this week! Daddy has to go to work this afternoon and will be out from before lunch until almost the children's bedtime. The children and I will grab some kind of sandwich at lunch and as we have a munch and mingle after Church we won't eat at home. Daddy might, but it'…

Doing Good For Good's Sake

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Whilst we were in Tesco's, doing the weekly shop I noticed that someone had dropped their Clubcard, as they had left the checkouts. I suggested to Top Ender that she should pick it up and return it to the customer Service Desk. Top Ender did this, and handing it over to the lady manning the lottery counter (the Customer Service Desk was busy) said she had found this persons card. The lady behind the counter read the name on the card out loud, and it just happened to be the next person in the queues card.


The chap was really grateful that Top Ender had taken the time to return his card, and he reached into his wallet to reward her. Top Ender declined the monetary reward, but he offered it again and again she declined. Finally after three attempts of offering it to her, he understood that she didn't want a reward, she was just happy that the card had been returned to the owner. Top Ender said if he really felt that he should give a reward that he should consider donating the mon…

Am I Being Selfish?

Hello Everyone,

I have a little problem and I'd rather like it if you could help me to work out the answer.

Big Boy is currently five years old and in year one of School. Big Boy is just like any other boy apart from he has an auto-immune disease which means that he needs a little more care at times.

You see in July 2012, just two months before Big Boy was due to start School, he was diagnosed as being a Type 1 Diabetic. I'm sure many of you remember my Tweets and Facebook status updates that day, and on several days since where I quote odd numbers or mention having to get up in the night to either give Big Boy food or an injection, or even ask you to remember a number for me.

Those first two months were a huge learning curve for us. We learnt a lot, despite having been the daughter to a diabetic for around 30 years (I still am a Diabetics Daughter!) I didn't know huge swathes of information about this auto-immune disease. When Big Boy started School, I was scared. Not jus…

Christmas Shopping at Rakuten Play #Review

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I've got an admission to make, and for anyone who has read A Mother's Ramblings for at least a year this may come as a shock.

I've only *just* started my Christmas shopping.

I mean technically that isn't true, I have brought a few little things here and there (they've mainly been eaten) and there are some bits that I can't talk about because Top Ender likes to read the blog (just to see what I've been saying about her!) and so I don't want to spoil any surprises but the main part? The part that we adopted from Jen's Tradition of having five gifts? I'm only one gift in for everyone. Today. In the last five minutes or so.


What about you, have you started your shopping yet? Make me feel better please!

I normally love Christmas Shopping, to me it's the start of a great season. I love that we celebrate the birth of Jesus and I'm rather fond of Christmas music, food, films and TV Specials, but this year part of the problem is that I can't …

The Brownie

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Top Ender made her Brownie Promise tonight.

She remembered her promise brilliantly, recited the Brownie Law perfectly and has now got a tonne of badges for me to sew on to her sash.
I'm rather proud.

Meal Plan W/C 16/11

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I'm pretty sure that the weatherman said it was going to be cold this week, so this is why the meal plan is as warming as it is!

Saturday - Chinese Chicken Soup
I got a new toy to play with yesterday, it's a soup maker from Morphy Richards and I'm going to be doing a review of the appliance followed by a Google+ Hangout during late November. If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram you may have seen the pictures that I was putting up. Let me just say that for now I think my new toy is my favourite winter accessory and I can see it doing great things this winter!

Sunday - Roast
Need I say more?



Monday - Fish Fingers and Carrot Mash with Sweetcorn and Peas
Top Ender has Brownies this evening, so something quick, warm and filling is needed for her and Big Boy. I've gone with Fish Fingers as I have some in the freezer and carrot mash as I love adding carrot to mash potato for a bit of colour and variety. Plus it's a great way of "sneaking" an additi…

Teeth and Plaque and Toothpaste

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I love my children, I really do. I know that you all know that, but sometimes I need to remind myself of that... normally after I follow top Ender into the Bathroom. This was the bathroom sink this morning after Top Ender had been in there to brush her teeth.


Don't get me wrong, I LOVE that Top's brushes her teeth and I love that she uses her mouthwash too, but honestly I would really LOVE if Tops could rinse the sink out too.

We've had an ongoing argument in our house about teeth brushing. Ever since Big Boy had to have teeth removed, I've maintained that neither of my children brush their teeth properly and that they need to really improve how they are brushing or suffer the fate of fillings or losing more teeth.

Recently I brought a packet of disclosing tablets, so that I could show the children exactly what they are missing when they brush their teeth. Randomly after they have brushed their teeth in the morning I will declare "TOOTH INSPECTION!" and then …

Meal Plans (W/C 09/11)

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Hello everyone! I'm hoping that someone is reading this, or else I sound really stupid talking to myself. Here is what we are doing for our Evening Meals this week and only some of them will be accompanied by Um Bongo, which is the children's favourite "special" drink at the moment thanks to a free pack we were sent.


Saturday - Date Night
As I mentioned last night, tonight Daddy and I are on a date night. Top Ender is away on Brownies Camp and Big Boy will be in bed... hopefully. We're not sure what we're going to eat and you won't see us on our Social Media for a couple of hours but once we're done I'll share everything in a blog post.

Sunday - Sunday Roast
The Missionaries are coming round this evening for a meal and after thinking long and hard about what to serve we decided they should get a roast too. We were going to go all out, but then I stopped and thought how as young men they must just be starving and what's better than a Sunday Roa…

Date Night

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When Daddy and I were first dating and then newly married, we made a huge effort to make sure that we had fun on all our date nights, fun that was different from the time when we weren't on a date night. Of course being in a new romance and then being newly married we did things like go out to restaurants, or go to the cinema or the theatre, we went for long romantic walks and picnics and gave each other little gifts. I can't even begin to tell you how many beautiful bunches of flowers or boxes of chocolates I got. These are the staples that most of us are brought up expecting date nights to be about, these are where we think that romance happens.

When we think of movies where there are a couple on a date night, we see them feed each other over candlelight, go dancing or some other romantic thing that girls in particular seem to lap up. Watch any show on TV about a single person and the world of dating and there are the dates with gifts of flowers or chocolates. The couple mee…

Parent's Evening

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We had Parent's Evening the other night.


I took cakes for the Teachers that we were going to see (and for a couple of our favourite teachers too) as I always think they must be starving sitting there talking to all their student's parents, when normally they are eating their evening meal and marking books or creating future lesson plans. Some of my Teacher friends have said this is something they wish more parents would do, but I think that's because they're trying to get more cake. Would you ever take a snack for a Teacher?

Anyway. I sat there listening to the Teachers, making notes in my notebook of things that they said, things they wanted the children to focus on, areas that they have improved in, areas they naturally excel at, things that are coming up that I want to be prepared for... just like a pushy parent. I don't think of myself as a pushy parent. My friends all think I'm crazy, but I know that I could have done so much more if I hadn't of realis…

A Cheats Cheap Draught Excluder

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Hello! So, you might have ended up here after seeing me on ITV's Tonight programme talking about ways to make yourself and your home a little warmer without turning up the heating, or you might be one of the many people who already know me, or you might even have found your way here by accident... whatever it was that brought you here, Welcome!
I talked a little, (well actually I'm not sure how much I talked because I didn't edit the piece I did to camera but I'm guessing) about how to make a Draught Excluder, and I believe that you even got to see me make one, but just in case you missed how to make my cheats cheap draught excluder then here it is again in picture form!
The items you need are;
Material One leg from a pair of tights (or one of a pair of knee length tight socks) Rolled up Newspaper Length of Ribbon

HOLIDAYS ARE COMING! #holidaysarecoming

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One of my very best Christmas moments was back in 2011 when driving past the Asda store in Milton Keynes I SAW THE COCA-COLA HOLIDAYS ARE COMING TRUCK!


I get so excited about the Coca-Cola advert each Christmas, it is to me the best Christmas advert and because I'm so excited, Coca-Cola knew that I couldn't wait a minute longer to see my favourite Christmas advert and so sent me a teaser which I'm sharing with you all too.



I AM SO EXCITED! Roll on the 9th November so I can watch the full thing!

Make Bake Cupcake - #Review

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I have to admit something, this last couple of weeks I've fallen behind with baking. I've only baked some simple cupcakes once, and even then it was only because Big Boy asked me to add a home made cupcake to his lunch box and gave me the puppy dog eyes.

You see, I've fallen a little out of love with cupcakes.

I know, I know. How can this happen? How can those little delicious rounds be out of favour?

Well, I guess what really happened was that after making some super special cakes for my Primary Class that the little normal cupcakes I make just didn't cut it any more and I hate working out the carbs in a huge cake and making sure that each slice weighs the same so that the number of carbs is the same and therefore BB can eat the cake in his lunch box safely... so shop brought cake became our only source of cake in the house.



And then this beautiful little book arrived in the post thanks to the reviewing programme I'm a part of with Parragon Books. Look at it, it&#…

FIREWORKS!

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I love Fireworks Night. As a child I remember the day being full of excitement because we'd have fireworks in the back garden and we delighted in trying to work out if this would be the year that our Dad set fire to the fence with the Catherine Wheel. From memory that only happened once, but there was definite scorching every year. For us the BIG night was always the Saturday night before, when a local School had a Fireworks display. I swear that we went every year, but looking back on it and from conversations I've had with my Mum we only went three or four times.

When Daddy and I started dating, he took me to the local Funfair which comes to Milton Keynes each November and has a Firework display on the Sunday closest to Bonfire night. It was a great tradition, but with the display being so popular and one of my children not being that good at waiting for prolonged amounts of time in the cold we didn't go this year. There was, until a new housing development was built, a…

Meal Plan W/C 2/11

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What a week it's been! I've been having a ball with the Children this past week, I love when the Children are on half term. Big Boy has loved waking up and asking "Is today a School day?" and getting the reply "No", but I think Monday may come as a shock to him. Anyway, here are this weeks meal plans made entirely from things in my freezer and kitchen cupboard!

Saturday - The Sunday Roast
Yes, yes, yes. I know it's not Sunday, but we're busy tomorrow so we're having it today.

Sunday - HOT DOGS!
We're having a Fireworks party tonight, early I know but if we had Fireworks on the 5th when we were all home, it would be too late at night for my Sister to come over and that wouldn't be any fun. We're going with Hot Dogs as we'll be serving

Monday - Shepherd's Pie
When we had Shepherd's Pie the week before last I had enough to make two, so I did. I put one into the freezer (And I forgot to line the dish, so it had to stay in the…