A Mothers Ramblings: June 2014

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

What I'm Doing Now - A Meme

One of my most favourite things about being a blogger is that when you start needing a bit of inspiration there is normally someone on Facebook or Twitter asking if you want to be tagged in a meme. The great thing about memes is that they are a bit like a Blogging enema, yeah sorry about that picture I just planted. Basically though, a meme shakes you up and bit and normally after you've published you have at least twenty more things you want to say... so when Sally from Who's The Mummy asked who wanted to be tagged, I volunteered. I feel a little like a Hunger Games tribute, but without the threat of death.

So here it is.

Reading - Well, apart from my Scriptures I'm actually not reading any book at the moment. I know shock horror right? I think it's because I've finished all the books I got for my birthday and I'm just waiting for the next book to come along. I did spend a very long time in a lovely bookstore last week, looking for something new to read, luckily with all the Summer Reading lists about to start populating all my favourite book blogs I should be covered! Actually, have you read anything recently that I should read? I read ANYTHING. Seriously, I even read shampoo bottles when I'm in the shower.

Listening to - Right now I'm listening to the TV (Unforgettable is on, I recorded it the other night as it was on after I went to bed) but when I've not got the TV on I'm generally listening to Radio Two because I'm old now and that's what happens when you get old. The children and I are also trying to learn a new hymn, so I've been listening to that on repeat.

Laughing at - I've been laughing. I just can't remember what at specifically. Oh I know! Daddy, Top Ender, Big Boy and I have been having a bit of a giggle and taking selfies of ourselves on other peoples tablets or mobile phones and leaving them as the wallpaper... I can't show you the picture of Daddy or for that matter the picture of Top Ender, but lets just say that whoever set the 3am alarm on my tablet will be found out and will be suitably punished.

Swooning over - Oooh lets think. Erm, nope can't tell you about that one. Nor that one. Hah! Oh no can't tell you about that one either. Oh yeah, my husband. Totally swooning over him.

Planning - The Summer. Mummy Home School will be in full swing, as will a week of camping (in the garden) and a week of going to a really exclusive Bed and Breakfast, with all the comforts of home, the convenience of home, the look of home, the feel of home and did I mention it is totally free? We're holidaying at home if you hadn't guessed! We're also going to be spending a fair bit of time with five of the childrens cousins, as my Sister and I are hoping to go for a few country walks together to get some exercise in.

Cousins packed in the boot of the car

Eating lots of - Vegetables. Seriously, I'm eating roughly 11+ different types of veg a day. I'm going to turn into a vegetable at this rate.

Feeling - Hot and Sticky. Honestly, I hate complaining about the weather, because when it's Sunny we should all just shut up and enjoy it, but I'm not the right weight for this heat. Get back to me when I'm skinny, I might enjoy it more then!

Discovering - Green Smoothies. They are just awesome. I'm seriously in love with them, they taste so great and they make lush frozen licky things lollipops and also they're healthy as they are just fruit and green veggies!

Looking at - Right now? The Computer screen. In general? I'm looking at a tonne of paperwork that goes with being a governor of a primary school. It's like being an employee of some complicated multiracial town and not getting paid.

Wearing - Right now, I'm in my new white top with flowers on, I think it has a kind of 60's/70's vibe, with my black shorts and yes I do have socks on they are bright pink. This isn't a picture of me right now though, this was taken last Sunday.

Top Ender and PippaD

Cooking - For dinner tonight, the children have Sausage Rolls (that they made) and Veggie mash (just don't tell them it's anything but potato okay?) and I have Rosemary Chicken and Veggie Mash. It's all good.

Wondering - I've been thinking about a lot of things recently, but then you're used to me having random thoughts! I'm mainly focusing on weight loss, exercise, tidying up the blog, when to go to the Temple next week and if Andy Murray will win Wimbledon two years in a row. I say he can.

Trying Out - Paleo. Does that count? I've already told you I was eating Paleo didn't I? Well, that's what I'm trying out at the moment.

So now it's time to tag some bloggers. I'm tagging three lovely bloggers,

Susan K Mann
Life, Ninja Cat and Everything Else and

Monday, 23 June 2014

The Tour de France and Bonne Maman #Competition

Since the Olympic Games were held in the UK in 2012, there has been what seems to me to be a resurgence in cycling in the United Kingdom. Luckily for me I can claim that we were ahead of the trend, as Daddy started cycling on the 14th July 2012 a whole 13 days before the Olympics started and I was out on my bike not that long after him!

PippaD having cycled 7 miles and looking exhausted!

Daddy and I have in the past been armchair sport fans, but with cycling it really did encourage us to get out more as a family. Yes, Top Ender is still very wobbly on her bike and Big Boy is adapting to riding the Burley Trailercycle but the point is that we go out on our bikes as a family and we enjoy the time together.

Of course we still watch some of the sports we love on the TV and with the two big sporting events that our family loves coming up (Wimbledon and Tour de France) we're getting ready to spend some time together watching and tweeting our opinions.

Where does Bonne Maman and a competition come into this though I hear you ask. Well, Bonne Maman's parent company are one of the sponsors of the Tour de France this year and they thought it would be nice if Top Ender and I went to join them on the 4th, 5th and 6th of July and to ride in the official Bonne Maman car that is part of the procession that follows the cyclists on their route seeing and experiencing everything that goes on behind the scenes.

Top Ender thought this was a great idea, and not just because she is a huge fan of the Bonne Manan's madeleines, but also because we're also going to give away an extra pair of tickets for one of you and a friend of yours (I mean you can invite a stranger or a relative, but it's nicer to know people right?!) to join us on the Saturday and you'll get your travel and a night in a hotel paid for!

Now time is of the essence, so the competition runs from today until Monday 30th June 2014 with winners being notified that evening by email. They then have 24 hours to confirm they would like the tickets so that everyone has enough time to get all the little things sorted out.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So what are you waiting for? Get entering!


It's just been confirmed that to ride in the car you need to be 14+, however if the winners guest is under 14 we can still have VIP treatment, and follow the race via our own people carrier.

Dieting, Losing Weight and Why I'm Not Happy

I'm not happy.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still that big grinning loon that asks random questions on Twitter and Facebook. I'm still posting pictures of the kittens being undeniably cute and I'm still doing all the wholesome things you've come to expect of me, but I've changed and I'm pretty certain I'm not happy about it.

Selfie of me and Tops at Church

How have I changed?

Well, take right now for example. Right now I'm baking Kale Crisps. Why? Because they are tasty... well actually they aren't that tasty. The Kale Crisps taste like Kale that's been baked in the oven until crispy but that's another story. The point is I think that they are tasty (despite knowing that they actually taste like baked Kale that's gone crispy) and I'm making them as snacks for me.

Last night when my husband gave me a slice of Gluten Free Dime Bar Cake (and the Missionaries who were round for dinner had some too, nice guys and always a pleasure to invite them to our home) I cut a tiny piece off the slice he gave me and gave the big piece to my husband. I only ate the tiny slither and I didn't lick the plate. And I didn't mind.

The biggest shocker has to be the next one though.

Earlier today I saw a really great offer on Dr Pepper AND I DIDN'T BUY ANY.

That's right. I didn't buy any. I wasn't even tempted.

I think that after the last few years of dieting and seeing very little success that this Paleo diet that I was "forced" into by my sister could have actually been the best thing I've ever done. Not only have I lost 3lbs in the last week (that's right 3lbs over 7 days) with very little exercise (one thing and another meant just the usual walking, but none of the normal Wii U exercising) but my tastebuds have changed.

I don't think that for me Paleo is a lifelong thing. I don't even think that it'll last me until I reach my goal weight (well unless the weight continues to come off at a rate of 3lb a week) but for now it's working and that's good enough for me.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Philadelphia Has Helped Me #lovelunchagain

I have a love of food. I mean, seriously I LOVE food. I could plan what to cook and spend all my day eating (which is probably why I'm not as slender as I should be!), which why when I was asked to create a lush lunch featuring Philadelphia I was salivating at the thought of what I could make. In the end I couldn't decide which of the three lunches I made below was the best, so I'm asking you to tell me.

The first was inspired by Emma from Outmumbered, who had a Millionaire's bacon and french toast sandwich. I decided if she could do it so could I, so I made a Millionaire's Spinach, Tomato and Philadelphia sandwich.

Millionaire's Spinach, Tomato and Philadelphia sandwich.

To make this, I soaked two slices of bread in a whisked egg and then quickly fried them, to solid up the egg. I then spread the eggy bread with philadelphia, before layering on some wilted spinach and chopped mini plum tomatoes.


Sunday, 15 June 2014

A Picnic At The Lake

This week saw the children and I needing a little R&R and a little time reconnecting with each other. We have been so busy doing things that have to be done (chores and homework to name but two) and things that keep us apart from each other (Brownies and Beavers mainly) that we haven't had time just to relax as a family. With the weather being as fine as it has been I decided what we really needed was a picnic, so we headed off to one of our favourite lakes and set up camp.

We had an absolute blast. The Children and I had popped to the Supermarket to buy some picnic type food and so we knew that everyone would love everything chosen and once we set it up on the blanket (facing the lake) and blessed the food we all tucked in.

Big Boy and Top Ender at the lake

I love these little animations that Google does to my photos!

Top Ender and I had told Big Boy that there was something on his head, and whilst he held still for a photo to be taken, Top Ender raised her fingers above BB's head. Of course upon seeing the photo, BB cracked up laughing and whispered to me that he wanted to do the same to Top Ender.

Top Ender making shapes behind Big BoyBig Boy making Bunny ears behind Top Ender

Afterwards Tops looked at the photo and exclaimed, I look like a Teenager! To which BB replied, I was trying to make you look like a Rabbit and then he couldn't understand why Tops and I spent the next five minutes laughing.

Top Ender and Big Boy at the lake

As usual we had a great time together, it was good just to chat and to relax, to look at the sky, the lake and enjoy each other's company without the distractions that we sometimes find at home.

Top Ender and Big Boy being daftTop Ender and Big Boy being daft

I don't think that my children will ever fully appreciate how great life is for them right now, I know that I didn't understand as a child how great life was and it's only now looking back that I realise that although evenings like this are fleeting moments that when I am old and grey or the children are parents themselves that we will remember how lucky we were to have each other.

Top Ender and Big Boy smiling

Can someone remind me of this the next time the children drive me crazy?!

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Morphy Richards Compact Intellisteam Food Steamer #Review #GiveAway

In our house there are three days that you can guarantee what we're eating. On a Sunday, we tend to have a Roast, on a Monday we tend to eat Veggie and lately on a Saturday we have a Curry. This has become a ritual because of the new Morphy Richards Compact Intellisteam Food Steamer that I was sent to review. In case you're thinking oh yeah, steamers I remember when they were popular, know that I thought the same. I too had one of the multi tier steamers in my early years of marriage and countless times the timer would fail or I'd accidentally put it together wrong!

The Morphy Richards Compact Intellisteam Food Steamer box

This steamer is nothing like the ones you (and I) were thinking of. This one has a timer (which can be different times for different sides of the steamer), this one is a lot sturdier and it has some handy alarms for when it's running low on water. Although apparently only I make it run low on water and Daddy the master Curry cooker, (well supervisor as the Steamer does all the hardwork) is the only one who knows how to do it properly.

The Morphy Richards Compact Intellisteam Food Steamer in action

As is normal after getting the machine, I read through the instructions and read the suggested recipes out loud to Daddy. As soon as I mentioned a Curry, Daddy stopped me and declared that to be the winner for the first meal to be cooked in the steamer. Thanks to other things I had on that day, Daddy ended up cooking that first curry. It was one of the best Curry's that I have ever tasted and so we decided there and then that we'd make it again the following week. Daddy took control and cooked that Curry, and the next and the next... in fact Daddy is the only one that has cooked the weekly Curry!

Steamed Chicken Curry and Rice

I have cooked other things in the steamer though. I've made Salmon and Vegetables for the children and I, Couscous with Chicken, Noodles and I even hard boiled an egg, well steamed an egg until it was hard boiled... I don't know what to call that.

To put it simply, the Steamer is genius and I've got one to give away so all line up nicely to enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Top Ender's Homework

It's funny how blogs go through phases isn't it? I mean, at the moment this blog seems to be a little Big Boy heavy, just because he is at the front of everything going on. Top Ender is more in the background, more like me, just watching and waiting ready for whatever comes her way.

And stuff is coming her way.

Top Ender has been given a Homework task at School (along with the rest of her Key Stage) that was practically written for her. Top Ender and the rest of her key stage have each been tasked with caring for another person for eight weeks, and to accomplish this each child was handed a newborn baby.

They have to make sure the baby is fed and comfy. That they get enough sleep, that they learn skills vital to growing up, that they get to have fun and explore. They have to make sure that the babies don't get lost or get hurt.

It's all about taking responsibility and taking care of others, with a few other major life skills thrown in.

And on top of all this care taking, they have to document it.

It could be a scrapbook, or a diary, or a baby book, or a blog, or a photograph album, or one of a million other ways. The one option that caught Top Ender's eye though was the words a blog and so within seconds of being home from the day she was given her child she set up a blog all about him.

I'm so proud of Top Ender, that I said I would tell you all about her and her son and her blog.

Introducing Kyle Emmett.

Top Ender and Kyle Emmett

You didn't think I meant a real newborn baby did you?! No, each child has been given a Lego Mini figure that they are to care for, take to School each day, to Dr's appointments, on play dates, to after school clubs or they can arrange for a babysitter whilst they are out... which is why I currently have Kyle Emmett sitting with me as she is playing with her brother in the garden.

Top Ender is working so hard on her blog, and has only had a little help from me (I set up the header for her) and her School mates have said that they love her homework, but she is getting a little down that nobody else is visiting her blog or leaving her any comments, so could you do me a favour and go leave her a comment on a random post or two? It would mean the world to her!

Big Boy's Bar

Big Boy came to see me the other day, he asked if I would create a few bottles of juice for him and he handed me a stack of paper. After a moment of two I worked out what he had in mind, and set about drawing, cutting and colouring. He had a plan, a plan that would require the skill of an excellent artist (me and did I mention how modest I am?) and the skills of an excellent entrepreneur (him). After I had created these bottles for him, he disappeared with the instructions I was to follow him to his bedroom in ten minutes.

Daddy and I arrived exactly ten minutes later to find out that Big Boy had set up a bar in his bedroom.

Big Boy and his Bar

Big Boy was hilarious, he set up the bar showing the various drinks that he sold, he made sure he had a bar rag to mop up any spills, he wrote out a price list and he even decided that he needed to serve food if he was going to make a profit!

Big Boy behind his bar

The best part was that he came up with this on his own. There are times when I worry that Big Boy doesn't have the same amount of imagination that I used to have as a child (or still have for that matter) and wonder if the things which I make sure are available to my children, because I didn't have them growing up, are actually causing more problems than they solve.

Big Boy made money with his bar

And yet with just one idea, a whole new game was sparked and I realised that Big Boy has a brilliant imagination and apparently me wrapped round his little finger.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Dettol Antibacterial Laundry Cleanser #Review

There are a few things in life more precious to Big Boy than his soft toy collection. In particular his large Mario soft pal (who faithfully follows Big Boy everywhere and as such gets covered in everything too) who has recently been looking a little worse for wear and is starting to have a certain odour normally associated with the inside of my dustbin just before it gets washed out.

I knew that Mario needed a bath, but with what? How about the new bottle of Dettol Antibacterial Laundry Cleanser that I was sent to review?

Dettol Antibacterial Laundry Cleanser and Mario

So Mario had a bath and I used the Dettol Antibacterial Laundry Cleanser. Why? Well, I figured that this soft toy was covered in bacteria and as he sleeps in bed with Big Boy, sits with him when he eats his food and has his cannula changes it was possibly a good thing that I did a bit to get rid of the bacteria that could cause some problems for him!

Mario came out nice and clean and hopefully bacteria free!

Mario drying off

If you look carefully you can see that I also washed Big Boys Insulin pump bag with the Dettol Antibacterial Laundry Cleanser too and it makes me feel a little bit better knowing that something so important is being given a bit of extra care and attention.

I was sent a bottle of Dettol Antibacterial Laundry Cleanser to review. I thought it might have been chocolate so was disappointed, but now I love the stuff!

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Play The Hero with Philips #PlayTheHero

There is a great competition running over on the Philips Facebook page at the moment, one which Top Ender was lucky enough to be involved in from the start and with me being completely and absolutely useless I forgot to tell you all about until now.

You're not mad are you?!

No? Phew.

So the competition is a really easy one, all the children have to do is decide what Super Hero Powers they have and get you to tell the Philips team what their superhero powers are! Top Ender did just that and wrote a story and they created this fantastic piece of art for Tops!

Top Ender the Superhero

Right. So what can you win? If you win First Prize, then you win a brilliant superhero bedroom party and an animation from Marvel based on their entry such as the picture that Top Ender won.

Second Prize is for twenty winners and they will receive a Philips Marvel Spider-Man light (which look totally cool!) which will look fantastic in the winners bedrooms.

Third prize winners will win a Spider-Man bedroom poster, which will action up any bedroom!

Share your children stories on the facebook wall using the hashtag #PlayTheHero or go to Twitter.com/PhillipsLightUK to upload your child's entry along with the hashtag #PlayTheHero before June 9th (yeah I know sorry it's so late!).

Have fun entering now!

We received Top Ender's story in comic format and Big Boy has been offered a Spider Man Light :)

Friday, 6 June 2014

Big Boy's Adventures In Independence

Daddy and I have talked a lot about Big Boy and how we want him to have independence. Being a Type 1 Diabetic shouldn't change this, but it does a little because neither Daddy or I can be too far away from him at any time because of his medical needs. For example, say Big Boy goes to a birthday party, one of us goes and stays too. We need to be there to give him insulin for any food that he might consume (and we need to work out how much insulin), we need to check his blood sugar levels and make sure that he doesn't run low or high and in some cases we need to help him remove his pump to ensure that it doesn't get in the way when he's bouncing on a bouncy castle for example.

Big Boy on a Swing

So. How can we allow Big Boy the independence that he craves and all of his friends are getting?

His friends can come round to our house for playdates, but he can't go to theirs (I can't ask a parent to take responsibility for blood tests and insulin giving and if BB and I go then Tops kind of has to come too and that's a bit too much for some Mums). His friends can go to birthday parties and their parents can leave them and pick them up at the end of the party. Even when Big Boy went to an after School Sports Club, I had to be near by to make sure that if there was a problem I could deal with it.

Big Boy with a Cannula

This week Big Boy started his first real adventures in independence.

It started with Neighbour Mum's boys asking if BB and Tops wanted to play at their house (they had been to our house the night before) and me saying that it was okay. They were just next door and I knew that if there was a problem I could be there in three seconds flat. I don't think Neighbour Mum realises how grateful I am for her giving BB this first piece of independence.

The second foray into independence, came when after having been on a waiting list for what seems like forever Big Boy was given a place at a local Beavers group. I had put down on his application that he was a Type 1 Diabetic, and I mentioned it again when I spoke to the Beaver 'Scout Leader and again when we dropped him off. The leaders were fantastic, they understood that even though I was just going to be outside in the car (with Top Ender doing her homework) that it was important that Big Boy did this one on his own. Sure, BB was having a low when he came out of the session, but that probably has more to do with the fact that the Beavers group is held next door to a park on which the boys were allowed to burn off some steam at the end of the session and that he insisted on climbing over a fence in order to get to our car.

Big Boy, Top Ender and Kyle climbing a fence

The third piece of independence is that right now, at this very second, Big Boy is playing out in the street with Neighbour Mum's boys and Top Ender. Playing in the street was a huge deal for me when I was young, all the neighbourhood kids did it, but that might have been something to do with the fact that we lived in a cul-de-sac!

I've even let Big Boy play out in his choice of outfit. Yes, that is a tie he is wearing with shorts and T-Shirt, apparently he wants to look smart.

Big Boy's outfit of choice

This is an adventure that I'm really excited for Big Boy to be doing alone... now if someone could just teach me how to let go that would be good!

The Internet is made for pictures of Cats!

As we all know the internet is actually a directory of Cats and I think it would be remiss of me if I didn't contribute some cute pictures of cute little Kittens. So here are a few of my favourite pictures of Mario and Peach.

This was taken after the kittens had had a bath. They were feeling a bit cold, and Mario accidentally slipped into my top (he likes to sleep on my chest) and I didn't have the heart to wake him up by moving him. It was made even cuter when Peach decided to snuggle up next to him.

Mario and Peach sleeping inside a T-shirt

This next picture is a picture of Mario and Peach snuggled together. They love each other so much that I love to see them all snuggled up!

Mario and Peach The Kittens sleeping

Peach also loves to snuggle up on her own, the furry cushions make a great bed.

Peach The Kitten sleeping

Mario likes to make himself camouflaged against the cushions when he has a snooze.

Mario The Kitten sleeping

If you want to see more cute kitten pictures, then follow my instagram feed, I'll try and remember to post at least one a day!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Big Boy's Build A Bear Birthday Party

I'd been asked if I'd like to host a party for Big Boy's sixth birthday at the Build a Bear Workshop, so that I could blog about it, and as they were paying and I spend half my life in the shop with the children I figured it was a win win!

Build A Bear

We've had a party at the Build a Bear Workshop before, for Top Enders birthday a few years ago, and so I was fairly confident that I knew what I was doing when I used the website to book the party. Even if I hadn't have had previous experience of the website, the whole process is really easy as it takes you through step by step and I managed to book the party without any hassle.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Toy Review

Big Boy absolutely loves the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so much so that he refuses to believe that they could have ever been popular before he knew about them and that there was no way that they were popular before he was born and when I was a child. Luckily, I don't mind pretending that I don't know all about the Turtles, what their weapon of choice is, what they love the most or any other of the hundred titbits of information that he relates to me on an almost daily basis. On his birthday, a special parcel arrived for Big Boy. It was a parcel of toys for review and those toys were TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLE TOYS!

Big Boy Showing his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle SkillsBig Boy Showing his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Skills

Honestly, when Big Boy opened these gifts he thought that the team that sent it to him were the best ever and I was elevated to being the most fantastic mother in the world. He said so, many, many times that evening.

Big Boy loved the shell, and I have to admit that it was better than the one that goes with his costume, for a start the shell is hard, which is how a turtle shell should be right?! It is also great because it has space for the Turtles weapons on the back, which means a whole lot of swishing goes one with Big Boy pulling his sword from his back and attacking!

The foam sword looks impressive. It makes a good thwacking noise when it hits the floor or anything in its path, but thankfully when it accidentally hits me it actually doesn't hurt that much. It also make a good chew toy for two naughty kittens...

Donatello Practice Pal

The last toy that Big Boy got was a Donatello Practice Pal, which is a soft 16" figurine that you can practice your Ninja skills on. The great thing about it is that it makes a noise when you hit it, or sit on it, or throw it to the other end of the living room. It also makes a noise in the middle of the night when you're fast asleep and roll on to it!

The toys are suitable for children aged 4+, but quite honestly I'm in my thirties and I love playing with them!

We were sent the toys to review.

Monday, 2 June 2014

You Can Never Have Too Many Birthday Gifts Or Shoes

My Mum has absolutely loved coming to our home the last few weeks. Every time she sets foot in the living room Mario, came bounding over to her, ready for a fuss to be made of her. My Mum commented more times that I can count, how cute the kitten was and how she'd love to have a kitten again (we had cats as I grew up). Eventually it got to the point that my sister and I decided that my Mum needed one more Birthday gift.

Introducing Dotty

Dotty - my Mum's new kitten
So as you may have guessed, this little kitten is my Mum's new baby and she decided to call her Dotty. Dotty is Peach's sister and they look quite similar, with markings in similar places and of course she is Mario's cousin/half sister (same as Peach).

The reason for the blog title should be obvious, even though my Mum already had a tonne of birthday gifts this year you can never have too many and the shoes? Well, lets just say that Dotty left a wet surprise in one of my Mums shoes!

Expect even more kitten pictures to be flooding my Instagram timeline.