A Mothers Ramblings: July 2015

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Monster Crafting with Bostik!

I'm still pretty sure that every Craft blog post I start mentions how uncrafty I am. So, I apologise for once again starting like that again. With that in mind, I also need to apologise for having got really far behind with my Bostik Blogger Crafting. I think, it's because I'm not crafty that I fear using the craft items and so I leave them in a pile (after scrawling the month they are on the box) and eventually get round to them...

So here's June.

Bostik June Box

The theme for the month was Monsters, which didn't give me much to go on. However, Big Boy has been after a new book mark after deciding he really loves my Alligator/Crocodile book mark.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Because I'm Happy - Wordless Wednesday #Linky

A Smiling Box

Monday, 27 July 2015

Making School Based Activities Holiday Fun! - What You Want To Read

A few days ago, I asked my friends on Facebook if they were to read a blog post written by me, what would they like it to be about? This is one of the posts, based on those suggestions.

Making School Based Activities Holiday Fun!

If my children are anything like me, then by the time they go back to School in September they are going to have forgotten almost EVERYTHING they have ever learnt. I think this is why that for as long as I can remember, I've tried to incorporate the children's learning into everyday activities for the children to participate in. I figure that the if the children are being given little reminders on a daily basis that just maybe they won't forget what they are being taught!

During the Summer we want to do things which are fun though, right? Getting our Children to practising their handwriting and Maths skills is probably the last thing on our mind and rightly so. Summer is a time to relax, a time to kick back and forget about School work... but remembering that several of my Teacher friends have said that the first half term back to School they have to reteach all the basics to the Children maybe it doesn't hurt to do a little practising during the summer!

The are several easy ways to practice writing based skills.

Summer Writing Based Activities

Sunday, 26 July 2015

The Fourth Week Of July

I swear this last week has flown by, mainly because as well as all the normal activities the children and I have scheduled into our week, we've also had tonnes of other activities to attend too. I love the saying if you need something doing ask someone busy (or however it goes) because this week it has seemed a little like that for me and the children!

The Fourth Week Of July

The weekend was good, we were busy with playing with our new Tent, listening to the music coming from a local Fete and generally doing the things we do at the weekend, shopping, visiting my Mum, being together as a family. Top Ender even managed to squeeze in a birthday party for a classmate who will be going to a different School this coming September.

Daddy and Top Ender Playing with the Tent

We also managed to squeeze in a gala viewing of Inside Out, eat a lovely Roast dinner and I'm sure there was a walk along the way somewhere.

Then the week started.

Monday, the Children and I went about our day. The children went to School and then we returned in the afternoon to go to Top Ender's Leavers Assembly.

I was ready to cry before it happened, and then whilst watching the video that the staff had put together I got quite emotional and had to wipe away a tear or two. The thing is, it wasn't even watching the pictures of my daughter that made me emotional. It was seeing how her classmates and she had grown and just thinking about how they weren't going to be those little children anymore.

Top Ender at her Leaver's Assembly

After the assembly, we had an ice-cream social with the staff and parents and students. It was great fun, just sitting together and socialising. BB thought that it was wicked and decided that Ice-Cream for his evening meal would be a good monthly treat. I disagree!

Tuesday was the Children's Sports Day.

Top Ender and Big Boy ready for Sports Day

Sports Day at our School is competitive racing, but it's not sprints and hurdles and the like, it's more assault courses and skipping and those sort of things. The whole School is split into four house groups, (Red, Yellow, Green and Blue) and for Sports Day, the children sit in their house teams and then with the points from the races added to the number of Beads each house has accumulated through the School year the winner of the cup is announced.

This year it was RED HOUSE!


Red Team Sports Day Winners

Sorry, I got a bit carried away.

Wednesday was our last day of School. The Children happily went off, with Top Ender wearing her pink gingham dress that she had purchased to wear to School for one day partly because she is sad that the School Uniform changes next year (to Black jumpers and Pink and Lime and White Polo Shirts and Summer dresses of Pink and Green) and partly because who wouldn't want to wear a pink dress to School?!

Top Ender and Big Boy on the last day of School

The end of School was so sad. I managed not to cry saying goodbye to Big Boy's current teacher and TA's because I'll see them again and regularly for the next four years I'm sure, but watching the Year Six students say goodbye to each other nearly had me in tears. Especially when one of Top Ender's friends had a long hug with me whilst having a long sob over the end of the era.

Luckily we got home to my "treat" for the Children which stopped us being tearful and the best bit was I got to have a go too!

Crepe Paper Summer Door

We had a chat that night over our Chinese Take Away about what we wanted to do for our first two days of Summer. Last year we dyed Top Ender's hair, but until Top Ender has been to the Summer School programme for her new School, we figured we'd better play it safe!

The last two days of the week, we spent just having a good giggle together at home.

What have you been up to?

Saturday, 25 July 2015

What We Are Eating this Week (W/C 25th July)

Technically for us, this is the first full week of the Summer Holidays, however this week coming Top Ender is going to Summer School. It's billed as a week for students to get used to the school, meet some new friends, have some taster lessons and generally allow the students a chance to build confidence. The end of the week finishes with a fun day at a local water sports centre (that's Top has been to recently with Guides!) and an awards ceremony. Then our Summer Holidays as a family can almost begin!

A Grassy Knoll, where hopefully we'll be picnicking soon!

Saturday - Loaded Hot Dogs

Loaded Hot Dogs are a bug favourite of Daddy and I. The Children? Well, not so much, they like the Hot Dogs and some toppings but they don't like fried onions. I mean seriously, who doesn't like Onions on Hot Dogs?!

I thought that what we could do for our Evening meal tonight is have some Hot Dogs, some Bacon wrapped Hot Dogs, some fried onions, grated Cheese and whatever else we can think of that would be nice on top of the Hot Dogs.

Watch out on Instagram for hopefully some yummy images!

Sunday - Roast Chicken

I love a roast Chicken, I think it might actually be my favourite kind of Roast.

When I'm at Church it means it is up to Daddy to cook the Roast and I know that he has recently found that he's rather good at cooking a Roast Chicken, so I'm hoping that today the Chicken will be as lush as it was a few weeks back!

Monday - Pizza

Big Boy and I are home during the day together and we want to have some fun, but I figure that we could make our own Pizza Dough and still have fun. I was really reluctant to do Pizza for our evening meal because it does screw with BB's blood sugars, but I think that we could have fun tossing pizza bases around so it's back on the menu.

Knowing BB he'll want to make a Hawaiian Pizza, as will Top Ender. This is fine by me as I'll make my own Veggie Pizza with Mushrooms, Sweetcorn, Green Peppers and whatever else takes my fancy and when Daddy gets home he can top his own Gluten Free Pizza with whatever he wants too.

Tuesday - Ikea Tuesday!

Honestly my Mum will probably go to Ikea for her Lamb Shanks until there are either no lambs left in the world or Ikea closes it's doors after a failed attempt at taking over the world, or they stop doing the Lamb Shanks on the family price deal. The third one is the most likely scenario if I'm honest but it's fun to think that Ikea might try to take over the world...

Ikea Lamb Shank and Mashed Potato with Mint Gravy

Wednesday - BBQ Salmon and Potatoes

A few years ago, Daddy and I purchased a BBQ as my birthday gift. The idea was, if we spent a fair amount of money on a decent BBQ we'd use it more. For the first few years, we did use it more but then suddenly we stopped and I'm not really sure why. Today however I'm getting it out of the Garage and we're cooking Salmon and Potatoes on it.

It is one of my favourite meals to cook on the BBQ and I think that I might add either some Grilled Pineapple to the BBQ whilst we're eating our main meal for a pudding or possibly some cookie dough to BBQ up some Cookies. Either way, I'm sure we'll have a lovely BBQ meal.

Thursday - Lasagne

Top Ender will get back from her Adventure Day today and so I'm expecting her to be wanting a warm shower when she gets in and then some comfort food. BB says the most important comfort food, to his mind at least, is Lasagne and so we're making a Lasagne.

My plan is to actually make a couple, possibly more and freeze one for later eatings and possibly give another to someone who needs a meal. Depending on what is going on we might even get round to finally having the Missionaries round again. Last Summer was great as they came round quite a lot and I think that both Tops and BB got a lot from the time spent with these dedicated young men.

Friday - Summery Sausage and Mash

Big Boy asked for Sausage and Mash one night this week. With it being Summer however, I wanted to give it a twist. Instead of doing traditional mash potato, I'm going to boil some new potatoes and crush them, with the skins on for a mash that isn't quite mash. I think it'll be quite nice.

I hope it'll be quite nice...

What are you eating this coming week?

Friday, 24 July 2015

Top Ender's Festival Look From Hobbycraft #Review

Top Ender is rather taken with Music Festivals. It's my own fault, of course. Had I not taken her to a couple when she was younger she wouldn't have any clue what she was missing out on and wouldn't spend hours working out the perfect Festival outfits in her bedroom and creating outfits on Pinterest and various other mood boards that are scattered across her bedroom. Luckily, because I'm a brilliant Mummy, when Hobbycraft asked if Top Ender would like to review a Daisy Headband Kit I knew it would go with her outfit and she'd love me forever!

Daisy Headband Kit from Hobbycraft #Review

As I had worked out, I was indeed the hero of this story and Top Ender loved the Headband Kit. To the extent where she eagerly started making the kit as soon as she got home from School, ready to wear that evening to her Guides meeting.

She gave up after five minutes and told me that if I wanted it I could have it.

So I went out to the garden, and I sat there and I tried to work out how to make the Daisy Headband according to the instructions.

I really did not understand them.

So I gave up.

In fact, it's only now that I've come to write this review that I realise that it's still sitting on the side waiting for someone to make it.

So I've tried again.

The instructions are a little screwy but I worked it out by looking at the pictures and just hoping for the best. Now that Top Ender has a lovely headband to wear (I have a feeling that it's going to be worn to Church this week) she's less happy about her initial promise that if I made it I could wear it when I wanted to!

Top Ender wearing the Daisy Headband from Hobbycraft

Just don't tell her that I'm probably only going to wear it the once and that was after I'd made it!

PippaD wearing the Daisy Headband from Hobbycraft

We were sent the Daisy Headband Kit by Hobbycraft.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Inside Out #Review

In our home, we regularly have Trailer screenings. Basically, Daddy trawls the internet and finds trailers that he thinks the family will enjoy and then together we watch them. This does mean however, that sometimes we hear about movies years before they are due out, as was the case with Inside Out. As more and more teaser trailers have been released the Children and I have become more and more excited about the film and we we're guessing it was going to be a brilliant Summer blockbuster and one we were excited to see at some point during the holidays, so when Top Ender and Big Boy were told we were off to see it they were REALLY excited.

Inside Out

The film is about 11 year old Riley, she and her family have just moved from Minnesota to San Francisco and she's not happy about it. In fact we know she's not happy about it because when we go inside her head, we meet the characters in charge of her emotions.

Joy From Inside Out

Do you ever feel sure that someone else was in charge of your head and ruining your good mood? Well, if you are 11 year old Riley then it's probably because Sadness has managed to touch one of the marble memories and made you sad. I'm pretty sure this happens in my life ALL the time, and that's why I should have purchased shares in certain chocolate and beverage companies!

Sadness From Inside Out


The film is brilliant, it has several jokes that go over the heads of Children (abstract thoughts where everything goes all Cubists) and yet the children still find it delightful. Which, if I'm honest is because this is the magic of a Pixar film. The film settings are clever, the real world of San Francisco seems to be real and normal looking, whilst the inside of Riley's head (and what we see of other peoples too) is more vibrant and colourful and probably, if I'm perfectly honest, how I expect the inside of my head to look!

Disgust From Inside Out

So the film is really about how Joy and Sadness are accidentally shot to the far part of Riley's brain and they have to get back to the Head Quarters (hahaha, geddit? Head Quarters!) and with Joy not there to cheer Riley up or to moderate everyone else the pain and longing for her old Minnesota life almost becomes too much to cope with.

Anger, Disgust and Fear are not good leaders for 11 year old girls, well for anyone if we're honest.

Anger From Inside Out

Watching the film, is absolutely brilliant. Honestly, it's like being inside my own head, or that of my children. There is a really wonderful sequence when Joy and Sadness board the Train of Thought and it literally goes all over the place. It cracked me up, anyone who knows my daft though process knows that this is so how mine works, seeing random links between even more random ideas. It was so great to see that other people think this way too!

Rather like most of my favourite films, the whole point of the story is that no matter what life throws at you being with those you love most (be those your fellow emotions or your family) is the key and life can be actually rather wonderful when you let it.

We were given four tickets to a London preview.

Fruit Heroes #Review

A while back, Top Ender and Big Boy were sent some snacks to try. They were called Fruit Heroes and were fruit bars, that were a mix of Raisins and another fruit (or two in the case of the Apple and Raspberry  and Strawberry flavour!) and I figured would be a good way to mix it up when the children wanted a treat, but I didn't want them to have sweets or if it came to it when I was craving something sweet but didn't want chocolate.

Fruit Heroes Fruit Bars

As it happened, one day the fruit I'd organised for the Children to have in their lunchboxes wasn't looking too appetising in the morning and so I was stuck with what to give the Children. I figured that the Fruit Heroes would be a good last minute substitute and so threw it into the lunchbox.

That night, as I emptied out the rubbish from the lunchboxes I found that both children had eaten all the Fruit Heroes bars that I'd put into their lunch boxes that morning.

This is good news.

The press release says that each 20g fruit snack bar is made from freshly picked sun dried fruit that have been carefully mixed and pressed in to shape. With no added sugar and naturally high in fibre they also act as one of your child’s five-a-day.

Hmm. I hate when things are made to sound more virtuous by using deliberately evocative language.

It turns out however that as well as being Gluten Free, they are rather tasty and they can be used in various baking recipes, which you can find out more about on the Fruit Heroes website.

Okay, so they are healthy, they are gluten free, they are 1 of the recommended five a day, you can use them when baking and my kids will eat them. You know, I think that they might find their way into my shopping basket the next time I'm in Tesco or one of my favourite Health Food Stores.

I were sent the packs to review.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Summer Starts Here!

The one thing that I KNEW I wanted to do for the start of this Summer, was the crepe paper streamers over the front door again. The Children and I loved this last year, and it's just one of those things that's going to be a tradition until the Children are too old for it. I figure that'll be a lot sooner than I think, but for now it's a tradition!

Summer Starts Here!

Big Boy did give me one piece of advice. He said to me "Please make sure there are more streamers than there was last year". And it's true last year it was a bit sparse, but I think that's because I didn't plan that far ahead! 

I may have gone a little overboard this year.

The children were so kind, after they had burst through the door, they told me to have a go, bursting through the top part of the doorway, which they had been too short to reach. Top Ender offered to film me doing it, but I filmed me running through the streamers. It's so much fun!

So Summer has started officially in the A Mother's Ramblings house. What are you up to this summer? We need some ideas of fun things to do!

Summer Holiday Survival Guide - What You Want To Read

A few days ago, I asked my friends on Facebook if they were to read a blog post written by me, what would they like it to be about? This is one of the posts, based on those suggestions.

Summer Holiday Survival Guide

Every Summer, Parents all across the world are faced with a dilemma.

Now, that the children aren't at School for several hours a day, what shall we do together?

Summer Holiday Activities!

For me it's pretty obvious what to do. After breakfast and a few chores, we then have to do a little bit of Mummy Home School. I personally think that a little bit of daily reading, Maths practice and handwriting practice is a good thing. It's not for long, only twenty minutes of them each, but enough to keep them in habit and the handwriting practice is also a chance for the children to keep a record of what they have been up to during the Summer.

SCHOOL'S OUT FOR SUMMER! - Wordless Wednesday #Linky

Top Ender and Big Boy Cheering for today is the last day of School for us!

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Bright Star Kids Back To School Labels

With Top Ender going to a new School this September and Big Boys school changing their School Uniform, we need some new name labels for lunchboxes, bags, pencil cases, jumpers, jackets, shoes, trainers, umbrellas, water bottles... basically everything a child might at one point or another take to School and need to know which particular one of a hundred identical things is theirs. Just as I was starting to think about labels, Bright Star asked if I'd like to do a review which seemed to be a genius move of timing!

Bright Star Kids Back To School Labels

Normally, I just pick labels that I think are suitable or are plain, but when I saw the sheer number of icons that were available at Bright Star I had to ask the Children what labels they would like. The Children loved the variety of the icons and eventually picked an icon they liked, a colour and a font. It's a good job they did, because I would have picked entirely the wrong colour for Big Boy and the wrong icon for Top Ender.

Name Labels from Bright Star Kids

The labels arrived quickly after I'd ordered them, which was good as you know I do hate waiting around and the Children immediately wanted to stick them to something. So, we stuck them to a Sandwich pot, as we worked out that they'd definitely use them next year.

They washed well, and didn't wash off which is a bonus!

Top Ender and Big Boy with their new lunch boxes after a week of use and washing

The labels are a good colour and a good stick, you know what I mean? They are tacky in a good way!

I think for the price that they are great value, even more so with a couple of the options that they offer being value packs and with savings based on if you'd paid individually for the different types of stickers. If you're looking for new name labels, for the new School year then I can recommend these.

We were given the labels for free, in order to review the company.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Breakfast Before School

The other day I bumped into some friends. We exchanged our normal pleasantries and caught up with each other (mostly remembering things that we'd seen on Facebook) and then just as I was about to go, one of the friends suddenly remembered something she wanted to ask me.

How do you get time in the morning to cook breakfast?!

Dippy Egg and Soldiers for Breakfast

I didn't know what she meant to start with, then I realised. For the last few weeks I've been posting pictures of the breakfasts the children and I are eating each morning and occasionally I've made a cooked breakfast. Time has nothing to do with it however. I mean, if you get up early enough you can have all the time you want before School.

It did start me thinking however about Breakfast, and how the children and I have recently changed the way in which we've been viewing Breakfast. Up until recently, breakfast was almost an after thought, some form of fuel to get us through the day but that was it. And then when we got the new sofa, I started making Breakfast more like our evening meals.

Fruit Smoothies for Breakfast

I like meals to be a family affair.

I like to have everyone sit together at the table.

I like there to be jugs of juice on the table, and all the condiments needed.

I remember breakfasts like these from when I was little and my Grandparents came to stay at our house, or we went to stay at theirs. Everyone would crowd round the little kitchen table in my Nan's kitchen and we'd drink Orange juice or Tea or Coffee. There would be toast which seemed to constantly replenish and in my head it's a bit like the banquet hall at Hogwarts. Although in this case it was my Nan working quietly behind the scenes to make everything ready on time not House Elves.

The children and I are now looking forward to our breakfast time together each morning.

A Cooked Family Breakfast

We like that we get to start our morning together, that we get to chat about what we are planning on getting up to during the day and what we've been reading or thinking about. The children said to me the other day that they are going to carry on getting up early during the Summer holidays, so that we can continue to start our day by having breakfast together.

I starting to think that breakfast before School is less about the food and more about the family time.

I like that, almost as much as I like the food.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

The Third Week Of July

Is it just me or is July flying by? I think it's because I don't want the Children to be on Summer break just yet, because I don't want Top Ender to grow up and not be at lower School any more! Still, it's fine. I know it is, because I'm sure that every parent goes through this and there is nothing we can do to stop time marching on.

The Third Week Of July

The start of the third week of July had BB and I at Beavers camp. I've already written about it, twice in fact, if you want to go and catch up and find out more about what happened then you can find out but the main highlights are BB got to use an airgun and was really very happy about it. I love that he loves to shoot, as I do too.

Big Boy after his Shooting Session

Sunday, we were at Church which was lovely. I must write up a post about being at Church as I think I talk so much about it, but I hardly ever really explain what is happening.

Monday was a rainy day, but I managed to get a lot of work done, get the children to School, go shopping and even take Top Ender to the Theatre so that she could see her friend perform in Jesus Christ Superstar (read the review too if you like!).

Tuesday, Big Boy and I were on a School trip. It rained.

Rain drops on the window

Actually, despite the rain it was a great day and I'm so grateful to the KS1 team for organising a trip, that expanded the children's minds in a way that walking round the grounds of a National Trust property can.

Wednesday and Thursday were pretty much spent with my Mum and at School both times doing things that we needed to do. I did get a chance to speak with Big Boy's current teacher, who was also Top Ender's teacher last year and she gave me some fab ideas for Mummy Home School over the Summer and said some wonderful things to me about both my children and me.

This teacher is the sort of teacher who at first you might not realise is absolutely amazing, but is probably the one teacher in your child's life that will make the most difference. I'm lucky that I've got to know her well over the last couple of years, at first just from small things that the children have said that she has said in class, things that she shares when you're having a meeting and suddenly you realise that as well as helping your children she is helping you to be a better Mother.

Anyway, after we got home from doing some Governor type things after School we'd missed the BBQ that BB's Beavers were having. I celebrated it nearly being the end of a week by having an Indian with Daddy.

Friday was supposed to be the day that I got everything done. You know, the dishes, the washing, the cleaning, the general sorting out and tidying.

Instead I watched Pretty Little Liars on Netflix.

Netflix logo

Yup, almost all day. I am so obsessed with the show, which is ridiculous because I'm not a 12-14 year old girl, who is the ideal audience for the TV Show apparently.

So. That's what we got up to. How about you?

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Walk Round The Lakes

A few weeks ago, when Daddy and the Children and I had some time off work and School we went to the Millennium Country Park in Marston Vale. We're lucky that we live on the same train line as the Park/Lakes and so we hopped on to a train. Of course we took a train selfie!

Train Selfie of the A Mother's Ramblings Family

We've been to the Park before and we enjoyed our walk round so much that we knew we had to go back. The other great thing about the park is that there are several Geocache sites hidden around the the walk and as we had a good idea about the terrain and the areas where we could get some shade we were really looking forward to the family day out.

The most important thing was working out how to get to the Visitor Centre, where there is an Ice Cream stand and on this rather warm day we really needed the cool down!

Welcome To The Millennium Country Park

We walked round the entire lake, it was peaceful, it was fun and the children, Daddy and I really had a great time just enjoying the scenery and the sounds of nature.

Lake View At Millennium Country Park in Marston Vale

The smells around the park were also rather lovely, especially by this beautiful archway that was covered in beautiful flowers. I could just imagine someone in a wedding gown standing by the arch and having a really lush photograph to look back on in years to come.

A Flowery Arch At Millennium Country Park in Marston Vale

This time the walk didn't involve BB and I have in a competition to see who could keep their jumper on longest, which was great because it really was a warm day. Also I'm not saying anything because their might be Muggles around but this photo below could be quite significant for you if you go to the Millennium Country Park in Marston Vale.

Daddy, Top Ender and Big Boy on a Bridge at Millennium Country Park in Marston Vale

The Children and I are planning on going again during the Summer Holidays to the Millennium Country Park, taking a picnic and just spending the day enjoying a peaceful little secret beach we found on our first visit. The only other decision we have to make, is do we go by train and do we take our bikes?!

What We Are Eating this Week (W/C 18th July)

I really love making my meal plans and I'm so glad that Leoni-Fay asked me to start publishing them again. It's so much easier for me to see what we're having for our evening meal when we're out and about and I don't have to worry about adding the meals to my calendar to help me to remember! So the start of this week is the last few days of School for Top Ender and Big Boy and I'm starting to get really upset because it's the start of a new chapter for Top Ender and I'm not ready for this one to close!

Saturday - Baked Sloppy Joes

Top Ender and Big Boy LOVE baked sloppy joes, so much so that every time I ask what they fancy they ask if they can have baked sloppy joes. It got so bad the other day that Daddy requested that we have baked sloppy joes too. Apparently Daddy loves making the sloppy joes too and so that's what we're having tonight. I am making one change to the normal sloppy joes however and I'm asking Daddy to make twice as much, as we are ALWAYS wanting seconds and there is never enough for seconds... but this time there will be!

Baked Sloppy Joes

I'm going to post the recipe for the Baked Sloppy Joes tonight, as Daddy suggested that you all might enjoy it. We based it on the BBC recipe, but we've made some changes.

Sunday - Roast

We're in London this morning watching Inside Out, but after Tops and I have gone to Church we'll be back ready for a lovely Family Roast. This week we're going with Pork, because I really really really fancy some proper crackling!

I am going to ask that we have Mashed Potato instead of our usual Roast Potatoes as I really fancy that too!

Monday - Macaroni and Cheese

Top Ender loves Mac and Cheese. She doesn't always love my Mac and Cheese, but I figured that if I make a version of the Bernard Matthews Cajun Crumb one that it'll go down a treat and I'll be well fed as it will be served with a Salad and knowing my children Garlic Bread!

It's also a good and quick meal as the Year Six children, of which Top Ender is one, are doing some kind of event for us this evening and so we need it to be quick as we'll be late home.

Tuesday - Fish Pie

I've said it before, I do both the shopping and the meal planning and for the most part the cooking so I get to pick what we eat. Tonight we're going to have Fish Pie and I'm going to do it with eggs in because as we've discovered that is a much nicer way to add extra protein to the meal and it tastes amazing.

I'm also going to do what my Chef cousin suggested again and cook the fish in the white sauce instead of just the milk, as it tastes way, way better.

Home Made Fish Pie

Wednesday - Chinese or Indian Take Away

Today is the last day of School for the Children. More importantly it's the last day of School for Top Ender at her lower School and she'll be moving on to upper School in just a few short weeks.


So we're planning on celebrating with a Chinese or Indian Take Away for us all!

Thursday - Cowboy Casserole

The first day of the Summer Holidays for us and for our evening meal and we're planning on having something fun and quick. Big Boy was watching a cooking show the other day on the Disney Channel and has decided to make dinner himself tonight.

He's planned to make Cowboy Casserole, which is great as it's easy and tasty!

I'll serve it with plenty of fresh bread, which we can make during the day as a Summer Holiday Treat.

Friday - Pippa Paella

On a Friday, Daddy finds that the trains seem to run a little faster and he gets home a little earlier. With the children also not having to go to School the next day (well normally, as it's more often not the Summer Holidays than it is the Summer Holidays) we like to eat together, So tonight we're having Pippa Paella as it cooks away on it's own and will allow the children and I time to do some Summer Holiday fun rather than cooking all evening.

Pippa Paella

What are you eating this week?

Friday, 17 July 2015

I'm A Normal Mum

I'm a normal Mum.

PippaD showing off her Selfie pose

No, seriously I am. Stop laughing.

Okay, so yes I understand that there is nothing "normal" about me, but then again as I frequently tell Top Ender and Big Boy being called different or weird is a compliment not an insult. Anyway. As I was saying.

PippaD thinks she's funny.

I'm a normal Mum.

Sure, I wake up every two hours or so in the night when my husband or I check that my Sons blood sugars haven't dropped or risen to a level that is dangerous.

I'm a normal Mum.

Oh and yes, I'm aware that I actively encourage my children to read, practice their spellings, their number bonds and times tables, their handwriting and of course their Violin.

Top Ender playing the ViolinBig Boy playing the Violin

I'm a normal Mum.

I'm a volunteer parent governor at the School both my children currently attend.

I'm a normal Mum.

I go to Church and I'm lucky enough to have a calling (it's an assignment so I have a "job" at Church) and each week the Children and I read Scriptures, discuss Spiritual matters, pray several times daily, pray for our food to be blessed and have one evening a week where we spend an evening together talking over spiritual matters.

Acts 10:38 written on a chalkboard

I'm a normal Mum.

So why do I feel so different?

Why do I feel that others are judging me?

Why can't I be the kind of Mum everyone else is?

I wish I could read minds, or live someone else's life for the day, so I could experience what they experience. So I could understand what they think about me. So I could understand what they think about themselves.


I get it.

Everyone feels this way.

PippaD and Top Ender

Everyone is a normal Mum.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Clearing Out - What You Want To Read

A few days ago, I asked my friends on Facebook if they were to read a blog post written by me, what would they like it to be about? This is one of the posts, based on those suggestions.

Clearing Out

Despite what you might think, this isn't a post about evacuating your bowels. It's actually about how Daddy and I clear out the junk in our house. Which, is actually less often than we probably should, but is more often than plenty of people actually do if some popular TV shows are anything to go by.


I'm quite good about clearing out, when I get going. I normally adopt a three pile system of Keep, Rubbish and Donate. I learnt this years ago from Flylady and if you are stuck with keeping the house clean and tidy then the system she teaches you is brilliant. At least I think so.

When Daddy and I decided to clear out the loft the other day, the plan was to bring everything out of the loft (apart from the few things we knew we were keeping like Christmas decorations, CD collection etc).

The Loft with piles of boxes

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Heat Holders Blankets - A Review

A few weeks back, Top Ender and Big Boy received a parcel and within that parcel was a blanket, a Snuggle Up, for each of them from Heat Holders. You know the company right? They're the ones that we rave about because we love the socks that they do. Anyway, back to the blankets.

Heat Holders Blanket - Snuggle Ups

When we had originally got them the idea was that they would be great for picnics. The children however grabbed a blanket each, threw them into their bedrooms and I thought they were destined never to be seen again.

A few days later I asked the children to bring them with them when we went for a picnic. With one thing and another we forgot the blankets in the car and so the other night when BB was Beavers and it was a bit chilly sitting in the shade, Tops grabbed one of them and wrapped herself up.

Top Ender wrapped in her Heat Holders Blanket

She was quite happy, even if Daddy and I did think she was crazy as it wasn't chilly enough for a blanket in our opinion. The blanket somehow got forgotten in the car again, despite my requests to get everything out of the car that shouldn't be in there! 

When we were at Beaver camp, I was really pleased however that it had been forgotten. Why? Because it was really cold in the tent and Big Boy kept wriggling out of his sleeping bag! I'd grabbed the blanket and put it over Big Boy and he slept happily all snuggly and warm.

Big Boy wrapped in his Heat Holders Blanket

The blankets are really soft and the name Snuggle Ups is perfect, because as soon as you feel the blanket that is all you want to do with them. The rating of the blanket in tog terms is 1.4, which is lighter than a summer blanket, but with the softness of the blanket it feels much warmer. The blankets are £23.99 on the Heat Holders website, and I do think that they are really lovely and warm and although it seems a little much for a blanket, these are beautiful blankets, that make you feel you are being wrapped up in Hot Chocolate, and that my friends is normally a feeling that you can't buy!

We were sent two blankets to review.