A Mothers Ramblings: March 2015

Monday, 30 March 2015

The Last Week of March

Okay, so I know that technically this isn't the last week of March, because there are extra days that don't fit neatly into my four week months... but just pretend with me okay?!

The Last Week of March

The week started with Top Ender being picked up from my Mum's home, as she had spent the night. Top Ender is really close to my Mum and loves her treats of staying over, although I think it has more to do with the fact that Tops is allowed to watch almost anything on TV and stay up really late if she wants. As normal. we went shopping that Saturday afternoon and had our evening meal together before we all went to bed... I promise despite what Daddy says I did go to bed!

Sunday was a beautiful day and so the children grabbed their scooters and Daddy and I took them to Campbell Park, where we went for a nice long walk together.

Top Ender and Big Boy on their Scooters when we went for a walk at Campbell Park

That afternoon Tops and I were at Church and a small accident occurred where Top Ender got her fingers stuck between two chairs, when one got moved and her fingers got a bit smooshed.

I had been conducting at the time, and Top Ender had been sitting in the front row so I was treated to the full horror of Top Ender screaming and the slow realisation of the child who had just moved the other chair. I ran Top Ender down to the bathroom, where I ran her fingers under cold water (I figured it was the next best thing to ice) and basically just hugged her whilst saying a prayer for comfort and quick healing. A few minutes later, Top Ender's hand was nice and numb and I was able to examine her fingers and see there was no damage.

We decided to go back to Primary and Top Ender came to sit next to me and the rest of the Presidency to carry on being hugged. It was at this point that I moved my chair to move it closer to the chair Top Ender was sitting on and trapped my fingers in the gap! A few of the children thought I'd done it on purpose and a few had a giggle at how stupid I'd been but, blimey that hurt!

Monday had me at the hospital (read about it in Crystalised Awesome) and Tuesday had me off getting some shoes from Hotter at the store in Milton Keynes, which I will blog about this week. I just need to actually sit down at a PC and type! Let's just say that my Mum was rather excited about my trip to Hotter.

Hotter Shoes Milton Keynes Check Out

The rest of the week was a mix of School trips (Science Museum for Top Ender, Salcey Forest for me and Big Boy), homework, last days of School and excitement about Easter!

The Last Week Of March Has Had Me Decluttering

My bedroom. Basically for the last few months, there has been a big basket in my bedroom full of everything. Honestly, it was full of everything you can imagine. Books, Sewing Patterns, Mementos, Craft Items, things that should have been downstairs, or in the loft or in the children's rooms...

So this week I finally decided that what I really needed to do was sort it out. So I did. Now my bedroom looks clean and tidy and more worryingly all the junk that was in it is all put away and it took me only about twenty minutes to sort it all out! I really do need to stop procrastinating!

The Last Week of March Had Me Reading

Well, I've been reading Children's books mainly and according to the "rules" I set myself they don't count to my total for the year because they are over so quickly. Well, they are when I read them anyway. I probably should slow down reading as much as I should slow down when eating!

The children and I are reading George's Marvellous Medicine together. We take a page or two each and sit for around ten minutes on the sofa before bed each night and read and then discuss what we've read.

I'm also, and this is a big thing to admit, reading the CS Lewis series The Chronicles of Narnia. I haven't ever properly read them and we've had a box set sitting on the book shelf for years. In fact until the start of this week it was still in it's shrink wrap!

The Last Week of March Has Had Me Crafting

Nothing. Honestly, at the moment I'm so tired that I know what I want to be crafting, I just don't have the energy to do it. I think from what I've read that it could be from the gallstones that I'm feeling so tired, but we'll find out soon I'm sure.

So that was March for me. How was the month for you and yours?

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Don't You Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me?

Over the last few weeks, the effort into losing weight finally paid off when I took a photograph of Top Ender and I that I didn't hate. It was mostly to do with the light and the angle, but the photograph showed me looking good. At least I thought so.

So I posted it on Instagram.

PippaD and Top Ender

And people liked it. And said I looked fab. And said they could see I'd lost weight. And do you know how fab I felt? Gosh, how I love the people on Twitter who say nice things.

I showed the picture to my husband and cockily sang to him;

"Don't you wish your Girlfriend was Hot like me?"

He smiled and replied,

"She's hotter. That's why she's my girlfriend and you're my wife!"

I came back down to earth with a bump, and even though I know he was joking I nearly pushed him in the canal. I think it would have served him right!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Crystalised Awesome

BB has blood tests at the hospital once a year to check for various things that could cause complications to his Diabetes, or that are often found after a Diabetic diagnosis. On his last test, they discovered that BB had a mildly elevated Cholesterol level. The Doctor and the Dietician went to great pains to explain that this wasn't a huge cause for concern and that it was only because BB had Diabetes that we knew about his Cholesterol level being slightly higher than normal on the scale. 100 other children BB's age could have a higher level than BB, but because they don't have regular check ups or even any blood tests to check for their cholesterol we don't know.

Anyway. I decided to have my Cholesterol tested too. The Doctor decided to run a few more tests at the same time, just to cover all the bases. I went to the Doctors, had my blood test and was told to call a few days later to get the results. "Don't worry" said the Nurse who took my blood "They only send a letter if there is something wrong"

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Little Dish Bigger Kids Fisherman's Pie #Review

The children do love my cooking.

Honestly, they do love my cooking. However, when Little Dish asked if I could get the children to try out their new Bigger Kids Fisherman's Pie the children were quite excited and readily agreed.

They do love my cooking right?

As normal, the ready meals looked amazing and I quickly set to work heating them up in the Microwave, as we were running short of time and I didn't have the longer time needed to cook them in the oven.

Little Dish Bigger Kids Fisherman's Pie

The Bigger Kids meal is about giving older children more chunkier textures (and portions) and the pieces of pollock and salmon are just that. They are then covered in a cheese sauce and mixed with petit pois. The topping is a mixture of potato and vegetable mash, which is how I normally sneak extra vegetables into the children's meals that I make from scratch.


The children loved the Fisherman's Pie. Top Ender loved it because the flavours were a good blend (according to her) and whilst she missed the boiled egg that I put into the Fish Pie I make she knew that this was a good substitute.

Little Dish Bigger Kids Fishermans Pie out of the packet

Big Boy didn't say much whilst eating the Fisherman's Pie because at the rate he was shovelling the food into his mouth, he wasn't giving himself enough time to breathe let alone talk! At the end of the meal however, he said that he had really enjoyed the meal and could he have it again next week?

I believe that Top Ender and Big Boy were both quite taken with the pie and I think that other bigger kids will like it too. I also think that we'll be able to keep up with a monthly Little Dish treat for Big Boy and Top Ender, as long as they keep up with their good behaviour!

We were given two portions of the pie in order to review it.

The Second And Third Week Of March

I was so involved in the world off the internet (I know, it came as a surprise that there was a world off the internet to me too!) that I forgot to do my weekly round up and then before I knew it, there was another week passed and then almost before I knew it again, it was almost bedtime and I thought I had better get a move on before I forgot to do another one! So here is my hopefully one time only two week round up and as I have Salads on the brain at the moment here is one of the best salads I've eaten this last week.

Lemon and Herb Prawn Salad

The Second Week Of March

The week started off great for us. On the Monday, not only did we remember to take PE Kits, Violins and music folders, Blood Test Monitors, Home Contact Books, Homework and School Bags to School. Oh and we also remembered water bottles, snacks and to bring all we needed home again too!

On the Tuesday my Mum and I went for a walk with my Sisters dog again. I have to say I'm loving taking her dog for walks and as long as the weather doesn't make a turn for the worse and start pouring down on me when I go for a walk (is there a worse smell then wet dog and wet dog poop?) then I should be fine... should be.

PippaD and her Mum

Big Boy woke up during the week with a stuff neck. He was screaming for me to come to him because he couldn't move. What he really meant was he could move, it was just so sore that he didn't want to. Hindsight is a marvellous thing and I had thought, that a day at School would mean that he would loosen up and everything would be fine, but when at lunchtime School called and suggested I should come and pick him up as he was quite distressed, I figured that maybe it was a little bit more stiff that I had first thought!

A day later and I took BB to the Doctors because he still hadn't loosened up and was told that he had Torticollis, which is a real medical thing and it wasn't just him making it up! BB's teacher and I felt terrible, we'd both not given BB the credit he was due in explaining the pain he felt and sort of dismissed him as making it up a little when he was actually really suffering.

I'm still feeling guilty, so if anyone is after anything now is the time to ask!

Friday, was the best day of the week. I'd been invited, along with every other parent at School to come and join in with some House activities for Comic Relief. I managed to spend the whole day with Top Ender and Big Boy and other children in their house and I think they all had a good day too.

Top Ender and Big Boy on House Colours Day

The Third Week Of March

Saturday was a good family day, but it was Sunday or Mother's Day here in the UK that held more for me in terms of memory making opportunities. The children woke me up and presented me with gifts and cards and letters and it was simply wonderful. Daddy even made me breakfast, which I got to eat in bed.

The problem was of course, that I kept tripping over the Mother's Day gifts for all adult women at Church. Luckily, they fitted into my car boot rather nicely and they were soon stashed at Church and when handed out I knew we were on a winner (in terms of would the Women like them) when several women had opened their packages and started eating the sweets contained before we'd finished handing them out!

Mother's Day Gifts

It was midweek when I ended up helping out baking some biscuits at school and the children attended the Easter Fete. It was during this, that we discovered that a Fire Alarm after School hours has a weirdly unique way of bonding people!

Daddy and I took Top Ender for a walk along the canal, as we had previously walked it ourselves a few weeks earlier and all of us had a great laugh talking with each other and just hanging out together. The best part of course, was I found my angle and I now demand that all photos of me are to be taken in a similar position, so as best accentuate my features!!!

PippaD and Top Ender

Apparently there was also an Eclipse, but I couldn't swear to it myself as I was at the hospital with BB when it was happening and to me it just looked like it was a little dark as we walked back to the car.

The funniest thing of the week had to be when the car started complaining that it was overheating, so Big Boy, Top Ender and I had to work out how to open the bonnet, where the water "thingy" was and then we used the bottle of water that we had in my handbag to fill up the water "thingy" to stop it from overheating. It worked, so it was a job well done and I've not scarred the children with my lack of knowledge about how cars work.

So this was a long post, I promise to keep more up to date in the future okay?!

Friday, 20 March 2015

Never Mind Diamonds, Jeans Are A Girl's Best Friend! #Review

I love House of Fraser, I know you already knew that because, well I used to work there and I've mentioned my love a few times on the blog on my instagram feed before. The dress that I wore to my friends Surprise Birthday Party for example was from House of Fraser and I was surprised that I was able to find a good quality dress in a plus size that I actually liked!


A few weeks back, House of Fraser asked if I'd like to try something from their plus size range. Even with me losing weight, I'm still plus sized, but I had been waiting to lose a bit before buying new clothes, because I didn't want to have to restock my wardrobe every dress size.

The one thing that I really needed was a pair of Jeans, mainly because my old pair were so big on me I didn't need to undo them to take them off, and they were, (as jeans always do on me) wearing rather thin at the crotch and thighs.

So I took a risk. I ordered a pair of jeans in a size smaller than I was currently wearing and waited.

The jeans arrived and I put them on.


PippaD in her new Jeans

Honestly I don't think I have ever been so ebullient about a pair of jeans before.

Then I got Daddy to take a picture of me wearing them. I looked at the pictures afterwards and cried because I looked so terrible.

PippaD not realising she looks terrible in her new jeans

But I carried on wearing them, I felt good in them and I'd had two compliments about my posterior whilst wearing them.

And then just a couple of weeks later, when I was sitting at the hospital, I realised that there was stretching on the seams on the inside seam and they weren't looking good. In fact they were looking like I'd had them for months and worn them dozens of times instead of the maybe five times over two weeks that I had worn them.

Pulling of the inside seam on PippaD's new jeans

Now of course this didn't have to be because of fault with the material. It was more likely to do with the fact that I have fat thighs and they were just too big for the jeans. The fit everywhere else was just fine, so I'm a bit sad that my thighs are fatter than other people who wear these jeans!

So are jeans an essential part of your wardrobe or am I the only one who loves to wear them both for dressing up or when dressing more casually?

I was able to choose anything I wanted from the HOF Plus Size range.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Why Shopping Makes Me Feel Magic! #Sponsored

Recently I've turned into a little kid when it has come time to pay for any shopping that I've done and the reason? Well, it's because I've started paying using the contactless method and the excitement of acting like a Magician and just waving my card over the paypoint like a magic wand just isn't waning no matter how many times I do it... although to be honest it had better stop soon or my bank manager is going to send me to Azkaban!

Daddy has had a contactless card for a lot longer than I have, and when he first got the card the children noticed that he didn't have to enter his pin and questioned him on it. Daddy told the children as much as he could, about how it worked (I would have just said it was magic!) and then turned it round on them and asked them what they thought was good about the card.

Big Boy and his Monkey

An Idea For A Night Out #Sponsored

I was chatting with some of the playground Mums before School finished last night and we were chatting about having a night out together. Several of us are in the same position, where our partners either work late, work away or are non existent. It makes going out hard, there are only so many babysitters around and if we can ever manage to get them all to sit for us all the same night, there is always something else happening for one of us that means we miss the night out.

PippaD all dressed up on a night out

Then I had an idea. I know, it doesn't happen all that often but when it does happen they're good!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

I've Made The Mistakes So You Don't Have To

Dear Top Ender,

Top Ender looking all Grown Up

I'm sure by now you've worked that out, that I'm a liar and a fraud as you are kinda smart. I figure that I need to come clean now so that you can use my experience to save you future heartache. And I know that you're going to have heartache because you are walking down the same path that I was and I think the truth is the only way to get you to understand.

Okay. I've always told you that I was a good student right?

Well, for the most part that is true. I was a good student. I enjoyed going to School. I raised my hand to answer questions, I did my homework and got it in, for the most part, on time. I wasn't generally one of *those* students who answered back or who caused issues and I'm pretty sure that most of my teachers liked me. Sounds a lot like you right? Maybe, you'll believe me when I say I understand what you are going through. You and I are so similar in so many ways, it's like history is repeating itself.

The problem is, like you I was kinda smart. And yes, that is a problem.

I was kinda smart enough to not have to worry about trying hard. I was kinda smart enough to not have to put any extra effort in. I was kinda smart enough that I was able to do well without trying. Sound like anyone you know? It should, I've pretty much just described you.

Just like me, you don't need to have to worry about pushing yourself in order to get good grades. All your teachers have told you, and me, about how smart you are, that your vocabulary is prodigious (look it up if you don't know what it means young lady), that you're creative and thoughtful and generally amazing.

We're lucky that it comes naturally to us, but here's the kicker, because it comes naturally to us we have to push ourselves to work twice as hard. We need to push ourselves to do more, to do better, to learn more. We need to push ourselves to give more than is expected. We need to push ourselves to get better than good grades.

I know it doesn't seem fair, I thought the same thing when I was your age. What was the point in pushing myself, when I could quite easily get good grades without pushing myself? What was the point in studying for a test, when I could easily not bother and still pass the exam? What was the point in trying something that I wasn't naturally good at?

And here's where I want things to be different for you Top Ender. I didn't have someone say to me that by not pushing myself I'd be squandering my chances and if I did then I certainly didn't pay any attention.

I need you to pay attention Top Ender.

I need you to listen to me. I need you to understand. I'm not doing this to punish you, or because I'm trying to live vicariously through you. I'm doing this because I understand you, I was you. Top Ender, I love you and I only want what's best from you. Sure, I can advise you, I can berate you, I can sit you at your desk in your bedroom and force you to study but when everything is said and done Top Ender it's all up to you.

I've learnt this the hard way. I learnt this after squandering my first chance and my second. It was on my third (and possibly if I hadn't take it my final) chance that I realised it was up to me. I realised that I had to work harder than all the others, I had to decide what was or wasn't important. I'm not going to lie. It's hard to push yourself out of your comfort zone, it's hard to expect more from yourself. It's going to be hard for the next, ooh I don't know thirty or forty years. The rewards however are far greater than you can even start to imagine.

And so Top Ender, please learn from my mistakes. Don't waste your first chance.

I've made the mistakes so you don't have to.

Love Mummy xx

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Levels of Awesome - Big Boy Giggles

Most of you will know that I go to Church each week. Top Ender goes with me and was baptised last September, but as of right now Big Boy and Daddy both stay at home unless something special is going on that we either ask them to attend or they ask to attend... like Primary Presentation or The Nativity or even in the case of Big Boy whenever we have a Munch and Mingle because boy does that child love a Munch and Mingle.


The other morning whilst walking to School, Big Boy was explaining levels of awesome to me.

Big Boy and Top Ender on the way to School discussing levels of awesome

The most awesome person in the world is Heavenly Father, because he is our Heavenly Father and listens to our prayers and is just awesome. The next most awesome person is Jesus Christ, because he helped make the world and died for us. Then there is the Holy Ghost, who helps us by whispering when we need help. Then there is you Mummy and then the rest of the world.

I'm rather pleased that I made the top four, I think I'm in good company too!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The First Week of March

March started off, for us at least with some beautiful weather that made us truly glad that Spring was on the way as it would mean more Sunshine, some beautiful flowers in the garden and hopefully a lot of walking now that the weather was a bit nicer! Of course the very next day it Snowed. Honestly it was the freakiest thing walking to School in the snow when just the day previous I'd been wearing a T-shirt and considering finding my long shorts!

The First Week Of March

The week started with Daddy commuting to Birmingham daily for the week. With Crufts being on, it made the Hotels in the area jolly expensive, which is a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of things and did mean I got to eat dinner with Daddy every night which is a rare treat.

Tuesday I got to hang out with my Mum. We went to the Laundrette and had a good giggle whilst waiting for her washing to dry and I did post saying I'd knocked something off my bucket list... my bucket list is really boring or so it seems!

Washing in the Launderette Machine

My Mum and I took my sister's dog out for a walk to some local woods. I've never really walked a dog before and was really worried that I was going to end up having to chase the dog all over the woods to get her back on the lead, but just like my sisters children her dog is very well behaved and came back to me when I asked her to.

Poppy the Labrador

The rest of the week passed in a bit of a blur of the usual after school clubs, family time and general chores and of course, you've seen the Bernard Matthew meals that we were challenged to make and hopefully you've seen my post about the Surprise Birthday party I went to!

PippaD all dressed up

 All in all it was a brilliant week!

The First Week of March Has Had me Decluttering

Mainly my living room! I have a terrible habit of creating piles of "junk" all around the house and I feel like I'm always going round and getting rid of these! As soon as I've got rid of one I vow not to make a mess again but a few weeks pass and then I'm cluttering up the space with my junk again and then having to clear it away again!

Still, the good thing is that at least when I do get round to clearing the piles away that it makes the house look tidy!

Rather disappointingly I didn't get to read anything this week or create anything but I did cash out £100 on Swagbucks, which I'm putting away for Christmas (or possibly for a rainy day) and I call that a rather lovely win for me!

Monday, 9 March 2015

Finally! I Can Share My Secret!

A few months ago, the daughters of one of my friends sent me an email inviting me to a Birthday Party for her Mum. It was going to be a Masquerade Ball and the most important part of course was that it was a surprise. This at the time seemed a brilliant idea (and it was) but I didn't realise how hard I was going to find it... not because I didn't want to keep the secret from my friend (I did want to and I did manage to keep it too!) but in order to keep it from my friend I couldn't post about it on Social Media.

So I couldn't post a picture of my mask.

I couldn't post a picture of the dresses I liked and wanted to buy but needed advice on which one.

I couldn't ask about suggestions of how I would wear my hair.

I couldn't ask for help of how to do my make up.

Do you know how hard I find making decisions? I need advice because I'm so rubbish at making choices and deciding what looks good!

In the end of course I made the choices that I had to make, got myself a dress, worked out how I was going to wear my hair, managed to get my make up sorted and fixed Top Ender's mask (as she was quite insistent that I wear it) and I think I looked fairly good!

PippaD in her Mask and Cocktail Dress

PippaD in her Cocktail Dress

The whole event was a complete surprise for my friend and Daddy and I had an amazing time celebrating her birthday with her and our mutual friends and of course making some new ones too. The evening was spent chatting, eating a rather lovely meal and of course there was a lot of dancing!

The Masks PippaD and Daddy wore

I'm so glad I can finally share this secret. Would you have been able to keep it? And what do you think of my Make Up and Dress?!

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Bernard Matthews Sweet and Sour Turkey

I had put the Sweet and Sour Turkey last on the meals for the week, because for our family (okay me) the only meal worth eating is one based on Chinese cuisine. I've made Sweet and Sour dishes countless times before and the family has loved them so I figured that I would be quite good at this one, especially because it wasn't me going "hmm, I wonder what it'll taste like if I add x".

Bernard Matthew Sweet and Sour Turkey

How wrong I was.

The actual prep of cutting the vegetables and draining the vegetables was easy and it was only when I was recycling the cans that I managed to cut my finger quite badly on the bamboo tin lid, but it was my own fault because I was singing Me Ol' Bamboo Dick Van Dyke stylee and everyone knows if you don't want to slice your finger off you shouldn't pretend you are Dick Van Dyke in the kitchen. I knew I was in trouble when before I could get to the plasters I saw the blood and nearly passed out! Apparently I'm only good with blood if it's Big Boy's but I didn't pass out (just nearly) and if I've not passed out after seeing blood for just under three years and so I call that a win!

Pippa's Cut Finger - Again!

Cooking the rest of the meal was easy, even with the throbbing of my bleeding nearly decapitated finger (okay so really it was just a tiny cut but I'm a big wimp okay!) distracting me, which could be why the finished meal tasted just a little too much of vinegar and not enough of sweet and sour, as I may have added a tad too much. Then again, it might be because I didn't cook it off enough or because maybe it was because I honestly can't cook.

Sweet And Sour Stirfrying

The meal looked good and for the most part smelt good, it just didn't taste good. Well that's not true, the vinegar just overpowered the meal and the children didn't want to finish it off. Luckily, having the noodles under the sweet and sour mixture encouraged the children to eat some of the dish, whilst shovelling noodles in their mouth!

Daddy and I did eat ours, but I think I'll stick with my own recipe in the future just add the Bernard Matthews Turkey pieces to save time and to add some protein.

Bernard Matthews sent us the ingredients to make the meal with and also chopsticks. Which only I was able to use, because the rest of my family just can't work out how to use them and get their food into their mouths instead of down their top!

Friday, 6 March 2015

Bernard Matthews Turkey Tikka Masala

The second dish that Bernard Matthews thought I might like to cook using the Turkey pieces, was a Turkey Tikka Masala. This went down well with Top Ender who has recently been converted to the delights of a Curry night (once a week, normally a Saturday) after being assured that the Tikka Masala was the one she liked (she thinks the Korma too sweet) and Big Boy was kinda told to like it or lump it...  It's okay, I knew that if he didn't eat the actual curry that the side dishes would fix things and mean he liked the meal!

Bernard Matthews Turkey Tikka Masala

I cooked the meal and this time ensured that the recipe reminded me to add the Turkey pieces and soon found myself rushing around the kitchen trying to get dinner on the table before I had to rush BB off to Beavers (we were about ten minutes late, but meh it's one of those things!) and send Top Ender to her friends house to hang out whilst BB and I were out.

It was with great surprise, that I found that BB had finished his curry and rice before Top Ender and was asking if he'd been given enough insulin to cover a second helping! We were running late for Beavers at this point, so I told BB to grab the poppadom and naan bread and that he could eat those in the car and I'd give him a second helping when we got home if he still wanted it, as actually he only been given enough insulin for one serving.

When we got home, the first thing he asked for was his curry!

Top Ender was also enamoured with the curry and having had a slightly large fit portion that BB wasn't after seconds, but did ask me to make it again. Which honestly I probably will because it was a really simple recipe and throwing in the precooked Turkey pieces for warming through is a great time saver, especially on nights where I'm rushing off to after school activities (which is actually three nights out of five!).

A few hours later Daddy got home from work and had some of the leftovers for dinner, everything in the meal was gluten free (well bar the naan bread, but the children and I had taken care of them!) and he also thought that the meal was lovely, and thought it might have been spicier than the children would have accepted, but they explained to him that they had eaten it just like he had.

We were sent the ingredients for the meal and the cool bowls and trays you can see the food on!

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Bernard Matthews Cajun Crumbed Turkey Mac 'n Cheese

The children and I eat together most nights and we eat a mixture of childhood favourites and what I consider more grown up dishes. The children have slowly learnt to appreciate the dishes that I prefer and have started to request meals that are more grown up and even suggest combinations of sides and main dishes that I think shows an amazing understanding of flavours and depth and other things that people on cooking shows mention.


Bernard Matthews Cajun Crumbed Turkey Mac 'n Cheese

Bernard Matthews asked if I'd like to try some recipes using their Turkey Chunks, they had three meals that they though the children and I might appreciate and so I said yes, as that also meant three less ideas that I had to come up with and to be totally honest, three meals I didn't need to buy.

The first meal we made was Cajun Crumbed Turkey, Mac ‘n Cheese. This is the sort of crossover between childhood favourites (the mac and cheese part) and more grown up tastes (It's Cajun, which to me means spicy which in my children's books makes it not child friendly!). Whilst I was making the cheese sauce, I tried it and realised that it was way too spicy for my children's tastes so added some more cream to relieve the heat. Luckily it worked and I knew that the children wouldn't refuse the dish just because the first taste was too spicy for them.

I mixed the tomatoes, pasta and sauce together, but because the instructions I had missed the turkey out I forgot to mix the turkey in... Ooops! I added the crumb topping (a little less Cajun spice and a little more breadcrumb to even out the spice level to something I hoped the children wouldn't turn their noses up to) and put it into the oven.

Bernard Matthews Cajun Crumbed Turkey Mac 'n Cheese just about to go in the oven

When it came out the oven, the dish was the same sandy colour it was when it went in, so I quickly tossed it under the grill to brown it up a little.

Bernard Matthews Cajun Crumbed Turkey Mac 'n Cheese just out of the oven

I thought it looked much nicer that way. Don't you?

Our verdicts on the dish was that it was okay, a more positive side of okay than just okay but you know what I mean. The children both thought that it was nice, it was different, the spiciness was interesting and added something, as did the crumb topping, but it wasn't anything that we would rush to have in the future... well apart from next week because then we're going to be eating the leftovers that I've frozen.

Which brings me to a very important note if you're making the Cajun Crumbed Turkey, Mac 'n Cheese. When it says serves six, along with a side salad and garlic bread what it means is serves six very hungry adults.

We were sent all the ingredients needed for this recipe.

Monday, 2 March 2015

The Last Week Of February

The end of February was brilliant, we had a great week and to be honest I think February was very kind to my family, well my little unit of four anyway.

The Last Week Of February

If you read last weeks post you might be wondering if I did indeed get my Fitbit... I did! On the Saturday morning I suddenly realised that I had been given a voucher for my personal use in a rather lovely department store. I had been torn about what to do with this voucher, I wasn't sure if I'd buy Beavers Uniform with it and then wait until Top Ender needed Guides uniform to spend the rest, or if I'd just go and spend it all in their sister Food Shop... and then I realised. I could spend it guilt free on me and get myself a Fitbit. So we braved going up the City Centre on a Saturday and I'm now the proud owner of a Fitbit Charge HR and I'm loving it. It's my bestest new toy... just ask me in a month if I still feel that way!

As usual we started our week with Monday bags from Daddy. Top Ender and Big Boy were both very pleased with what they got (as was I!) as Top Ender got a new PC Case and the J2O lip balm whilst BB got an Amiibo. A friend also passed on to him some rather lovely Nintendo merc that he had spare so BB was having a very good Monday.

Top Ender and Big Boy showing off their Monday Bag goodies

Big Boy was really excited about flowers, I assume he'd been talking about them at School as Monday night we walked home the long way to look for flowers that were growing, but I had to explain to BB he'd have to wait a couple of weeks before there would be anything for him to pick.

Spring Flowers

Luckily a couple of days later my Mum purchased BB a pot of daffodils all for himself, but they seem to have become a plaything for the kittens.

I got to have fun with my Niece for a little while during the week, and we had a fun time at the park playing on the swings and on the roundabout. It reminded me how much fun it was to have a little one around, I may either have to kidnap one or persuade my husband that another one would add nicely to our family... So, kidnap it is.

The children and I had two Family Home Evenings. Firstly on Wednesday night we took ourselves off to Ikea and after a lovely walk round where the children tried out all the furniture and decided how we were going to replace just about everything in our house that wasn't already from Ikea we went to have Meatballs in the restaurant. It was one of the best!

Hanging out in Ikea

Our second was actually on Friday night (but I'll mention it here!) where the children and I gathered together to watch Hercules as it fits with their school work theme Heroes! Top Ender is learning about Greek Myths (titled Where have all the Heroes gone?) and BB is learning more generally about Heroes (Do you need a cape to fly?) and

Watching Hercules - best Mummy Homework Ever

Thursday night, whilst BB went to Beavers, Daddy (because he was home early) and I went for a walk along the canal.

Sign post to the Three Locks

It was fun as we chatted as we walked the 3/4 mile path from where the Beavers group is held to the Three Locks, both three actual lock gates close together and a pub named after the three locks!

The Three Locks

The week passed quickly with it ending on successful completion of spelling tests and practice SATS. Big Boy has been brilliant pushing himself each week to memorise his spellings, but he does seem to know them rather quickly it seems that unlike Top Ender and I he is just rather fab at spelling. Top Ender and I are both of the persuasion that spell check was invented for a reason and that reason being us. Top Ender was rather pleased to have pushed herself on a Maths SATS test and achieved a brilliant score, she is doing so great and I hope that come SATS week, with all the relaxing I have planned for her after and before School I'm hoping that she won't stress herself out as I was rather prone to doing, whenever I sat an exam.

The Last Week of February Has Had Me Decluttering

Well, I tidied up my bedroom and my living room dining table and cleared so much rubbish out that I think it counts as decluttering! The good news about it all was that Daddy was really pleased because we can finally use the Dining table again and the built in unit in our bedroom doesn't look like a Giant Monster coming to eat us in the middle of the night!

It's one of those weeks where everything just seemed to go well and I'm a little sad to see it go, but I'm hoping that March will be just as lovely.