A Mothers Ramblings: September 2015

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

The Hallway

It's no secret in our family that despite having lived in our house for err... nearly nine years that I don't think that the house is my home. There are a few reasons as to why, but Daddy thinks that it is mostly to do with the state of decoration. For example, everyone knows that I HATE my bathroom, the tiles are beyond terrible as is the layout, the actual suite itself and it is really, really high on my list of things to replace. I mean seriously, it's first on the list and it's going to be replaced... it's just it's a big job and it's our only bathroom and it's so much money.


The other problem is, the decoration that we have undertaken so far hasn't made me feel more at home. Why? Well, because I don't feel like this is my home I don't put much thought into it and so I haven't fallen in love with it. Our living room is jokingly referred to by me as Raspberry Ripple, we have some Raspberry Red streaks running through the living room and den area and the rest of the living room is Cream. See, Raspberry Ripple.

It's nice, it's unfortunately dated to the early 2000's because of the whole Red Statement Wall thing that was popular then, but you know. I can cope with four of my neighbours having the same colour scheme in their living room as me...


When I got an idea about how to decorate my hallway my husband was understandably excited. This was me showing an interest in making our house a home.

Plus our hallway really needs decorating.

I had decided that I wanted a brown in the hallway, mainly because of the stains on the wall by our bathroom door, where little fingers touch the wall whilst opening the bathroom door. We looked through a few colour samples and decided on two that we liked. One mainly because of the name (Chocolate Milkshake) and one because the colour was closest to a colour that I imagined (Oatmeal) the hallway being painted. The problem for me was that the names are the wrong way round!

So, here are the colour samples.

Two Paint Samples in the Hallway

Which one do you like?

Yeah, we like the top one too. The bottom one (with the best name) is just too pale and so we're picking the top one and I'm going to pretend that it is called Chocolate Milkshake!

There are a few more touches that I'm going to make, a couple of different stickers that I like that I'd like to put on the walls, a change of carpet (I'm thinking a Berber type), anyone any other ideas? I love the idea of having painted stairs with a runner down the middle and a matching carpet on the landing and the hallway floor... then again I also love the idea of having a really funky carpet... I just need to do some Pinning!

As I'd also like to put up a new bannister and change the front door but the latter is never going to happen!) and of course once this is all done I may have to reevaluate the artwork on the stairs and of course the lampshades!

And so, that's the plan for before Christmas. I'm sure Santa will approve of the new colouring scheme... and if not TOUGH, he doesn't live here!

On Wednesdays We Wear Pink - #WordlessWednesday #Linky

Mean Girls On Wednesdays We Wear Pink Socks

Okay, so you should just know we don't do this a lot, so this is a really big deal.

Sssh, no words. Well apart from these ones so my feed doesn't look weird.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Family Movie Nights #Sponsored

It is well known that every Sunday Top Ender and Daddy have a movie night. Together they are working their way through films of the Spy Genre, with an occasional Heist movie or Comedy thrown. For the Sunday night movies, Big Boy and I go upstairs. We could stay downstairs if we wanted to, but Big Boy and I prefer to do our own thing. Big Boy reads in bed and occasionally will play on his consoles and I tend to write a little and generally surf the web. Of course BB and I get the same treats as Daddy and Top Ender, well a bowl of popcorn anyway!

Tops and Daddy are slowly working out what makes a perfect movie night for them. For Top Ender it is a milkshake, plenty of popcorn and possibly a bit of Chocolate. Okay, definitely a bit of Chocolate. Daddy of course loves the treats too, although no milkshake for him, and really for him the most important thing is what he is watching the movie on. At the moment he is perfectly happy with our Projector, but with Christmas coming up he is researching for a 4k TV to put in the den, but Ssssh! It's a secret!

Sticky Popcorn - my favourite Popcorn!

What do you mean you want to know the secret? Promise you won't tell the Children? Well, okay then!

Sunday, 27 September 2015

The Third Week Of September

Hello Everyone!

I love my Children.

I need to tell you that, because they are fantastic and this week they have been so much fun and have just done things that I didn't expect and have had the consequence of having other people compliment me on my children, their behaviour and their attitude. Like I said I love my Children.

The Second Week Of September

On Saturday, we went Shopping as normal... although it wasn't because Top Ender didn't come with my Mum and I. My Mum and I had a real giggle chatting away together about all manner of things and then after dropping my Mum off back home I hurried back home to watch Doctor Who with the family. We love Doctor Who and always watch it together, even if one of us hides behind a cushion (it was me this last week!).

Sunday Tops and I went to Church. We had a Relief Society lesson, which I got to go to instead of being in Primary. It was lovely and made me realise how much I miss Relief Society.

Because I Have Been Given Much - Hymn

It also made me realise how much I miss singing in a choir again. Daddy actually told me a few weeks back to get myself back into having some outside activities (I used to be in a Choir, an AmDram group and do Archery) but I haven't got round to doing it... I really need to get round to doing it.

We actually didn't do anything remarkable until Thursday night, however I did manage to accidentally shut my little finger in a car door on Tuesday...

It hurt.

It hurt a lot.

If you'd like to feel sorry for me then please do, please give me the sympathy that my family are unfairly withholding from me!

So Thursday.

First of all I got to meet Top Ender's new form tutor. He seemed lovely and I don't think I was quite what he was expecting having known Top Ender for the last few weeks. He sort of implied that he didn't think he'd actually see me again as he thinks that Top Ender is a lovely student, polite, friendly and confident enough so that she isn't cocky but isn't a wallflower either.

Then after we'd been to Top Ender's School (and had a sort of quick tour around the School and areas that she has lessons etc) we took BB to Beavers along with his Poster that he'd been asked to make after doing some skills to get a Cyclist Activity Badge.

BB with his Poster as as part of his Beavers Cyclist Activity Badge

He was really shocked by my drawing skills, (he asked me to draw a boy wearing a helmet and a bike for him, which he then coloured in) and really chuffed when they put the poster on the wall at the Beavers meeting place.

And that was my very boring week. What did you get up to?

Saturday, 26 September 2015

What We Are Eating This Week W/C 26th September

What, what, what? The end of September already? Seriously this month is jumping along rather nicely isn't it? It'll be Christmas before we know it... YAY! Talking of which who else is already stocking up and getting ready for Christmas? Me too!

A Typical Christmas Meal. I am so hungry right now.

Saturday - Gluten Free Toad In The Hole - A Family Favourite!

I love our Saturday meals as a family, we'll tuck into something yummy together and then watch Doctor Who together. I just hope that there aren't any Snakes this week because I was watching behind the cushions last week.

I hate snakes.

Anyhoo, meal today will be erm. Yeah. I don't know. I'll see what I fancy when I go shopping later tonight. Hang on I just worked it out!


Yup, gluten free Toad in the Hole.

Sunday - Roast

We have the Missionaries round to share our evening meal tonight. Daddy likes when they come round because as I'm sure you know, Men are always hungry and Missionaries are no exception. This means that our meal tonight will be huge! 

Daddy is going to cook a Roast Chicken and with it we'll have Roast Potatoes. Stuffing, Yorkshire Puddings, Vegetables and if I'm a good girl and buy some Bacon and Sausages some Sausages wrapped in Bacon, Gravy and hopefully we'll have a pudding too. 

I've got my fingers crossed for Apple Crumble with apples from our Tree in the garden, because Daddy makes a great Apple Crumble.

Meatless Monday - Pizza

Well, see here is a problem. Today Daddy has the day off work to take the car for it's MOT. Of course this doesn't really impact on what we are doing BUT Daddy is a traditional meat and two veg type chap and the only other thing I could hide being veggie is a Curry which we'll probably have tomorrow as our Anniversary meal...


Pizza it is.

Tuesday - Some Kind of Take Away

Today is my anniversary. Daddy aka Flyfour and I will have been married for Fourteen Years. This means the children will have a different meal to us as we'll eat later...

Chicken Curry. Yummy Yummy!

As it is a special day I'm going to let the children have a take away too.

Wednesday - Meal with Granny

We'll be having a meal tonight with my Mum. I'm not too sure what we'll have, but we'll be having something.

I figure it'll be either something from Ikea or possibly a Roast Chicken with Rice and Salad.

Thursday -  Sausage and Mash with Peas

It's a quick meal tonight because the Children have their after School activities that take up our time. We're planning on eating early and going for a walk together before Beavers and we're hoping it won't rain...

Sausage and Mash

Please pray for us!

Friday - Store Cupboard Pasta

I think that Store Cupboard Pasta is actually the best kind of Pasta. For me, there is nothing better than just throwing a tonne of stuff into a pan and cooking it all. I thought I'd use mushrooms, onions and peppers from the freezer and knowing what else I have in the cupboard some Passata which will be the sauce and of course I have lots of herbs to use too!

So this is what we have for our evening meals this week. What are you having?

Monday, 21 September 2015

The Flat Tyre

There are dozens of things that I hate, but the thing that I hate the most is feeling helpless and not being in control. Normally I avoid situations where this happens, or I research a situation to the point of being able to not feel helpless or to give myself a sense of control. This past weekend however I found myself in a situation where I was completely helpless and everything felt out of my control.

I had a flat tyre.

Now, this actually wasn't the first time that this had happened. I have actually had a flat tyre before, and I successfully managed to replace the said tyre.


I didn't have, two children in the car along with my Mum, and two households worth of shopping in the boot. I also didn't have a spare tyre in a cage under the car.

A Tyre under the car in a cage

And to top it all off I was really really annoyed with myself.

I called my husband, he is almost always my first port of call. Sod that he was in Amsterdam! I asked if we were covered for this with our Breakdown Cover, he said we were but he and I both knew I could do this myself.

We unloaded the car of all the Groceries. I was very aware however that they were now in the sun and so wanted to get things done fast. The children were put back in the car, and somehow Top Ender knew to keep BB occupied so that they weren't annoying me. I think the look of pure anger on my face was the decider. Out came the travel games and they sat quietly playing.

My Mum stood by me at the rear of the car, knowing that I was fuming but wanting to help. Eventually I managed to get the spare tyre out... You have to unscrew that little bolt down there and then it sort of drops a cage under the car.

How to unhook the cage under the car

I just couldn't work out when the cage had dropped, eventually I just looked underneath and unhooked the cage. Then I couldn't work out how to use the jack. I was just about to call the Cavalry when a Man suddenly appeared and started changing my tyre for me.

I loved that man right there and then.

He quickly and efficiently changed the tyre, helped me put the other tyre back under the car and even his wife joined us for a chat whilst we stood around watching a stranger rescue a stranger. The man said he hoped that if his wife had the same issue that someone would help her.

And suddenly it was all better.

The man had changed my tyre. I didn't even get his name.

The Spare Tyre on the Car

The man went off with his wife thankful that he had completed his good task for the day and I was able to return home with the Children and my Mum.

And now, I'm looking for a course in basic mechanic skills... I figure it is the least I can do to make sure I'm safe on the Road!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

The Second Week Of September

How quickly has this week gone? I'm not sure if it is because I've been super busy or because I've been more organised or maybe just because now that I'm old time goes faster.

Anyway, this is what I and the family have been up to this week.

The Second Week Of September

On the Friday Daddy had gone to Amsterdam, which meant Saturday as the Children and I woke up we got to do our own thing... although we actually didn't. I ended up getting the Children to get dressed as quickly as possible as we had work to do! We headed off to Town to get some pieces that we needed and then returned home to do our homework before playing and hanging out.

It worked well for us, we had our lunch and headed out to my Mums to do our weekly shop together. The whole flat tyre thing I'm going to talk about on Monday, but let me just say that I wasn't amused.

Sunday, the children spent most of the morning reading whilst I prepared food for the Munch and Mingle at Church. I also got to teach two classes of Children about "Remembering Jesus Christ When We Take The Sacrament" due to the way we have our classes scheduled. It was a really great lesson and it was so lovely to be actually teaching a solid lesson. I know I get to teach during Sharing time, but I always feel like I'm the "light touch" and have too much fun with the Children. It was nice to tackle something that felt more solid.

The Munch and Mingle went great, the Children and I both Munched and Mingled and made our way home in order to pick up Daddy from the Train Station.

Monday morning had me back properly running, jogging, walking in the morning. I was pleased to see that I'd only lost a couple of seconds on my previous times so despite feeling like death was quite pleased with myself!

Of course, the week got off to a great start after that, with the Children and I managing to get out the house on time to get to School and with our remembered homework, folders and musical equipment. I've never felt so proud of myself or the Children!

I went running on Tuesday morning too, and was already back to my pre break running times. I just need to point out that I'm not really a runner as I do spend most of my time cursing myself and doing a slow half jog/walk. The point is, as has been confirmed to me by so many friends, that I'm getting out there and doing something.

I was most proud of myself during the day because ever since I tried this new weird New Age type thing where I push various pressure points and repeat a key phrase I've been less lazy than I used to be. Honestly, I've de-cluttered the Kitchen, rearranged everything to make sure it is all fully organised and we're able to get to the equipment we use frequently AND everything has been cleaned!

Wednesday night, Daddy came home early as I had a Governors Meeting. After the meeting I was talking with the Head about her little reading corner just outside her office. We were talking about various books that she has and ones that the Children have loved and said I was welcome to borrow any when I wanted.

So, I borrowed this one.

It was fabulous and I've added it to my library already!

Thursday night we had a Take Away with my Mum, after I'd picked up her from the Hospital. Afterwards, we took BB to Beavers and as expected he fell asleep super quickly when it got to bedtime. Top Ender of course had to wait a little longer to get to bed as Guides finishes at 9pm. By the time she had got out of Guides and we'd driven home... which may explain whilst Friday morning it was rather hard for her to get up.

Friday was a good day for us all, with BB going to his best Friends birthday party at Bounce, an indoor trampoline place after School. It was so lovely for him to hang out with his friends and do something "normal" for a change. Talking with some of the staff at the place I came up with a plan for future visits... so hopefully we'll be posting lots more about subsequent visits soon!

So that was our week, how was yours?

Saturday, 19 September 2015

What We Are Eating This Week W/C 19 September

I'm being uber-organised at the moment and meal planning a few weeks in advance, based on what I know our schedules to be like, what I know we like and also and this is the most important one our budget. I'm in a very lucky position that I get to stay at home with the Children, whilst my husband works in a job that he loves, but leaves him very little time to spend with the Children on week nights. Recently I've been trying harder to be the Partner and Wife he deserves, meaning that he doesn't have to pick up after me, spend hours doing the dishes or sigh that sigh when he looks in a cupboard and has to root through the whole darn thing to find the one thing he wants.

I think it's working...

This is what we are eating this week!

Saturday - Homemade Pizza

Daddy makes the best gluten free pizza, so I've asked him to make a few tonight. The Children will pick their favourite toppings, as will we and make the best pizzas we can.

Homemade Pizza

Apart from, my Pizza will be the best because I rule.

Sunday - Roast

One of the best meals of the week and not just because I don't have to cook it.

I asked my husband the other week if he liked being the one who cooks at the weekend. He didn't reply for absolutely ages, and when he did he told me he does like cooking on weekends. He likes the way that things come together and how he combines some simple ingredients into making a beautiful meal.

I love him so much for working so hard and still wanting to do things at home too.

Meatless Monday - Pea Pie

I was going with Pasta for this Vegetarian dish, but I decided to do something a little different and do a Pea Pie, which I'm going to get the Children to make too. I'm mean and evil!

Tuesday - A Meal Out

I've asked my Mum to babysit tonight as I'm out doing a Governor "thing" and so I know that our meal will be something quick and fun for the Children and my Mum.

Daddy and I will end up eating something later tonight, I have no idea what, but probably some "bits" such as cold meats, Olives for Daddy, some crackers and cheese and hopefully if I remember to get it at the weekend some Chutney!

Wednesday -  Tuna and Pasta

I was doing my usual drooling over the internet at various meals when I found a 15 minute Noodle Supper recipe on the BBC Good Food site. I thought that the recipe looked good, so I've taken inspiration and decided to do something similar, but more Veggie filled and with Tuna and Pasta, not Rice Noodles.

If it looks as good as I hope it will, and tastes as good as it looks I'll add a recipe next week.

Thursday - Salmon Quiche and Chips

We're off to Beavers and Guides tonight, so Top Ender, Big Boy and I like a nice quick and easy meal, with plenty of vegetables... I was thinking about grabbing a Fish and Chip take out, but in the end I decided to just make a quick supper.

Salmon Quiche with Salad and New Potatoes

Friday - Honey Mustard Pork Chops with Roasted Root Vegetables

I love roasted root vegetables, BB is with me and loves Roasted Parsnips whilst Daddy and Top Ender don't. However, they won't fuss about roasted carrots and I'm sure they won't notice if I sneak some roasted squash in

So, what are you eating this week?

Friday, 18 September 2015

Our Last Real Summer Day Out #Review

I don't know about you, but we have had an absolutely amazing Summer, even with the Children returning to School, we're not too anxious to say goodbye to it because as always there was so much that we didn't squeeze in and Daddy, Big Boy, Top Ender and I have been talking about a few other last hurrahs that we want to undertake as a family... with all the rain we've been having over the last few days it certainly feels like Summer is over now however! Maybe, we'll have to make them Autumn Activities.

One of my most favourite things that we did during the Summer, was visit Lyveden New Bield.

Wearing our new shoes at Lyveden New Bield

The Children were wearing there Gore-Tex shoes and I actually didn't even think about taking pictures of the children wearing them because I kinda forgot that we were reviewing them! Why did I forget? Well, I forgot because the Children just accepted the Shoes as being theirs. They were comfortable for long walks as proved when we were away Camping and on various other days out that we had, even random things like running down to the local shop!

Gore-Tex shoes as comfortable jumping up when sitting down

Something that Top Endeer got REALLY good at doing was doing up her own laces. One of the girls at School had shown her what to do, after I'd officially given up teaching her what to do! It was a common sight over the Summer to see Top Ender bending over retying her laces. I think this was more to do with her "fashionable" length of loops rather than anything else, but then again I'm also forever doing up my shoes because I've managed to trip up over my laces!

Top Ender doing up her laces on her Gore-Tex shoes and Big Boy laughing that he doesn't have to!

BB loved that his shoes didn't have laces...

Gore-Tex shoes stand up to Summer Heat and Walking everywhere!

As you could read in the link to my review of Lyveden New Bield we had a great family day out and by the end of it we were ready to head home... Actually, that's not quite true. Whilst we were visiting Fermyn Woods (which is close to Lyveden New Bield) we decided to go to Peterborough!

What had happened was we had gone for a walk in the woods and afterwards, Daddy and I were sat watching the Children play in the park, when we decided that Peterborough was just a short detour on our way home, in fact it would be quicker to get home from Peterborough than it would from the Woods...

Top Ender and Big Boy at Lyveden New Bield

So we got the children down from the Castle, which was fun as Top Ender and I both attempted to run down a rather steep hill, whilst BB went down the slides! Luckily neither of us broke our necks (what I screamed better not happen as I ran down the hill!) and we were both thankful that our shoes had decent grips on the soles.

Top Ender and Big Boy Racing down the hill

The day and the shoes were great, now we just need for BB to shrink his feet back to a smaller size so he can continue wearing them...

Ahh, never mind, we'll have a new pair of Shoes coming to us soon and we'll be able to have more Autumnal Adventures!

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Some Cartoon Fun And A Competition! #Spon

Big Boy and I get home at least a whole thirty minutes before Top Ender now that she has gone to Senior School. Once we've completed a blood test, put away the bits from his lunchbox, been to the bathroom, read BB's latest reading book and updated his Home Contact book we look for something to do. Some nights we watch funny videos on Youtube, some nights we play a quick game on the Wii, some nights we just play and something we're loving is this Create an Ultimate Super Hero site! Want to see me as a Super Hero?

Who am I kidding of course you do. BTW, I have an assumed identity so that no bad guys can track me down!

PippaD making herself Agent Sage

Saturday, 12 September 2015

The First Week Of September (and a bit of August, but Sssh!)

It's funny, over the Summer Holidays we did so much together as a family but I felt that summarizing it each week was just a repeat of the same thing. We got up, we read, we wrote, we tidied up, we played, we exercised, we ate.

Every day the same thing.

And, I fell out of the habit of doing these weekly blog posts that actually I really love doing, but I want to get back into it. I want to have something worth writing about, something different other than, we got up, we read, we wrote, we tidied up... And now of course we are here back at School and ready for a new year, a new challenge and hopefully I can write more... I said hopefully!

So, here is The first week of September, and the last few days of August.

The First Week of September

The last few days of August, saw Top Ender, Big Boy and I hanging out at home. Daddy of course had the Bank Holiday Monday off and we spent most of the day doing things that we thought that the Children would like to do with us. We went Swimming, we ate junk food, we played Video games, we coloured, we watched a movie, we played Scalextric. We wanted to make sure that we were relaxed and ready for the return to School, but also we wanted to make sure that the Children knew that we were here for them. That as always we were on their side.

I rock at Scalextric just so you know

The next couple of days had BB, Tops and I running around doing those last minute things that always seem to be last minute despite all the forward planning.

On Wednesday we were at the Hospital for a Diabetic Clinic appointment for BB. I ended up speaking for ages with the Dietician, as I've already mentioned on our weekly food post and we've sort of refined our diet so that we're now eating uber-healthily.

Well, apart from the Ice Cream Mars Bar I just ate.

Thursday, was Top Ender's first day at Senior School.

Top Ender on her First Day at Senior School

Daddy spent the day at home, he thought it important that he be around for Top Ender, plus it's a big step for us. Top Ender is our first born and now we're old, because our daughter is old enough to be in Senior School.


Actually, scratch that sob, I got Daddy to help me clear out a Kitchen cupboard or two so it was really rather lovely having him at home!

Top Ender loved her day at School however and I think it more than fair to say she loved her second, third, fourth, fifth... well however many we are up to she is still loving School. Loving the independence of walking to and from School without me and Big Boy but with her friends or alone.

Friday was Big Boy's first day back at School. I'm so lucky, because both my Children love School and so he was eager to go despite it being only one day before the weekend!

Big Boy on his First day back at School

On the Saturday, Top Ender and I attended a Baptism of one of the little girls in Primary. She's such a sweet little girl, and I was so pleased to be able to celebrate with her and her family. If you are the praying sort, I'd really appreciate if you could say one (or twenty) for the little girls Grandad. He is one of the kindest and interesting men I know and he's very poorly with Cancer. I hate that C word more than anything.

The rest of the day was spent with us going shopping with my Mum and then Top Ender and I watched a movie together. Sunday, the Children, Daddy and I went out for a walk before Tops and I disappeared off to Church. It was really lovely, but not as lovely as the meal that Daddy cooked for us when we got home!

Now, I know I said that I didn't want to say things were the same everyday, but they were for the most part on Monday and Tuesday. Apart from on Tuesday I tidied up a tonne of crud that had accumulated in the house and ended up clearing the top of the Fridge and Freezer and a few other places in the Kitchen.

It was strangely satisfying.

Wednesday I had an appointment with the SENCO at School. She was BB's teacher last year and Top Ender's the year before and she is amazing. I honestly think I love her, she has done so much for both my Children that I could never repay her.


Before the meeting I had cleared out two cupboards (double cupboards) and removed a lot of cups, pots, plates and general junk that somehow made it's way into the cupboards. It was really cathartic and I keep taking pictures of my tidy cupboards... Is that normal?!

A tidy Cupboard. I am way too proud of it.

The rest of the afternoon I got ready for some fun with the Children after School, but we ended up having the fun on Friday instead. On the Wednesday night we watched a movie and Daddy went out to see a show. It was actually a great night, but the best part for me was the shower at 9:30pm that was just the most amazing!

Thursday had us all back at our After School Activities, and things seemed a bit of a blur. Tops came with me whilst BB was at Beavers, and we went Blackberry picking. It was worth it, as we froze some berries for eating with Breakfast and Snacking on during the Autumn and we put some to one side for Breakfast on Friday morning.

I'm pretty sure that BB and Tops were exhausted at the end of the night, as they fell asleep in record time! This was of course, after BB had two tiny meltdowns. A combination of low blood sugar and a first week back at School. For the first few weeks back at School and our after School activities I think that Thursday nights might be my favourite night...

Friday had me saying goodbye to Daddy as he was off to Amsterdam for some kind of conference. After School, BB and I went to the Park and Top Ender met us there. We walked home together after a little while and then BB spent most of the evening playing on the Wii U on his new Super Mario Maker. Tops spent most of the evening working on her PC, although we had a good chat together. I think that both Children needed it, especially because it seemed to just allow them time to decompress and I found out a tonne about how they were feeling and what they were thinking about whilst eating our evening meal.

And so that was the First Week of September (and a bit of August too!). What have you been up to?

What We Are Eating This Week W/C 12 September

There is a lot that can be said about my Children. They are for the most part pretty perfect, they love to read, they help with chores. For the most part they listen to me and respect the rules that I and their Daddy have set for them. And then every so often they do something that surprises me, even though it shouldn't.

Top Ender and Big Boy

Like, recently I asked BB and Tops to only have puddings on weekends. They agreed without hesitation. Then I asked them to give up sweets. They agreed without hesitation. Then I asked them to give up treats in their lunchbox, apart from on a Friday. They agreed without hesitation. Then I suggested that our after School snacks either be fruit or nothing. They again agreed without hesitation. I was surprised because I'm sure if you had asked me at Eleven or even at Seven to give up Sweets or Biscuits or Puddings I would have not agreed.

So, the past few weeks we've been living rather healthily and it has scared me. Do you know how healthy I feel? How energetic? Do you know how easy it was to make these changes? (It was actually really easy) Do you know how brilliant my fridge looks crammed full of veggies and fruits?

Well, with all that in mind, here is this weeks meal plan.

Saturday - Mince and Dumplings

On a Saturday, I spend all afternoon with my Mum and Top Ender. We do our weekly food shops together, we sometimes visit a few other shops and of course we hang out drinking fruit tea... So. With Daddy being away, I wanted something that would be special for the Children and I, but also something that was quickish to make. The idea of Mince and Dumplings came to me, because I can have it on low in the oven and then do some mash when we get home and serve.

Sunday - Munch and Mingle

It's a Ward Munch and Mingle today, so I'll be taking a Salad and some Minion cakes and possibly something else, I just have no clue what. One of the great things about our ward, is we do food really, really, really well so everyone will eat a variety of foods and eat really well, we'll all have a good chat with each other and hopefully if everything else goes to plan when we get back the Children will go to bed

Big Boy is coming with me, as Daddy is still travelling back from Amsterdam until late tonight. It seems that BB is just a genius at working out when our ward has Munch and Mingles and working out that is the week he should come to Church.

Monday - Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

I do love our Meatless Monday Meals, I have no idea what to make half the time, but that doesn't stop me from loving them. This week we're going with Cauliflower Mac and Cheese because I already have everything I need to make this meal!

Tuesday - A Meal Out

I have been at home with the children for a couple of weeks instead of going out to see my Mum. This week we're back to visiting with her and having a meal together. We will either eat out or possibly eat Chicken and Egg Fried Rice with Salad as my Mum and I love this meal almost as much as we love a hot shower!

Wednesday - Twice Baked Jacket Potatoes

Big Boy and Top Ender love Jacket Potatoes, the way this one works in our house is I will either cook the potatoes in the Microwave or the Slow cooker the first time, scoop out the potato and mix it with some butter, some chives or Spring onion, possibly some bacon or something tasty and then I'll dollop in some sour cream or similar mix it all together and put it back into the skins of the potato before putting them in the oven and baking for a second time.

Using my Slow Cooker to make Jacket Potatoes

Then I'll serve.

And at midnight when BB has high blood sugars I'll curse myself.

Thursday - Fish Pie

We do love our fish pie, and it is such an easy way to ensure that you get some good protein in you! Plus, as you all know I do like to get my two portions of fish a day.

Friday - Garlic and Tomato Baked Chicken Thighs

I like to eat later on a Friday night, so that Daddy can eat with us. This dish is sort of made up but based on several years of meals with my Mum. What I do is put chicken thighs in a big dish, season with some Garlic Salt, throw in some tomatoes (baby plum or cherry), drizzle over some Olive Oil and occasionally some other herbs, Rosemary is always good with Chicken as is Basil.

And then all I do is cook it for about 50 minutes on Gas Mark 5 and then serve with plenty of bread and I think we'll have Mash too.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Death The After Effects - 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.

Death The After Effects

Having never personally died I can't speak for the after effects on the deceased person. I can make a guess at some things that they shouldn't be able to do anymore. The most obvious being getting married to their widows sister, (which is part of a riddle Top Ender is fond of asking people she meets in order to test how much attention they are actually paying to her!) but that is an entirely different blog post.

My Sister, My Grandad and I

Thursday, 10 September 2015

How To Make A Difference

Both Children are now back at School and have most of a week of being back at School under their belt. It also means that I've got most of a week of being back in my routines under my belt too. I've added some new chores, some extra exercise I've added a few more of course but that's not what this post is about. I'm feeling a little sad and am crying at TV shows, adverts and even books because as usual I've got so used to having the Children around over the Summer Holidays and spending quality time together that suddenly having them taken from me for six hours a day just makes me feel so... I don't know at a loss I guess.

Top Ender and Big Boy before School

I know however, for them and for me School is the best option. I'm not cut out to be a full time Teacher to the two of them, nor as much as I would like to a class of Children. I'm much better at topping up their education with Mummy homework, getting them to learn in addition to what their School teaches them. Rounding them off with understandings of Philosophy and Religion and a love of Literature, Art, Architecture and Music.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Make A Wish! - Wordless Wednesday #Linky

A Close Up of a Dandelion - Make a Wish!

Close your eyes, make a wish and then, one, two, three... Blow!

Saturday, 5 September 2015

What Are We Eating This Week W/C 5 September

This past week, Top Ender started at her new School, Big Boy started year three and we went to the hospital for BB's latest Diabetic appointment. I managed to spend AGES talking to the Dietician and I got complimented on a varied meal plan and more importantly a balanced varied meal plan. I'm so pleased and proud and well I guess that it's made me realise that my meal plans aren't as bad and boring as I thought they were!

So, here's this weeks!

Saturday - Chicken and Salad

We need to have a carb free meal every now and then, to check that the insulin levels that BB has set up are at the right level. Talking with the Dietician this past week about carb free meals I came up with some which aren't just Egg based as BB has decided he doesn't like Omelettes. The Dietician made me realise that BB loves a Chicken Salad Wrap, with May and so a meal of Chicken and Salad without the wrap is on this weeks meal plan.

A Chicken Salad Wrap

I'll add some potatoes for Daddy and Top Ender as Top Ender hates Salad and I still haven't found a way to get her to acquire the taste!

Sunday - Roast

It's Sunday, it's Roast day. The good thing of course is that my lovely husband cooks this whilst I'm out at Church and so I don't need to cook. The bad thing is that it tastes so good that I want to eat two or three plates of the meal and I can't because Daddy makes just enough to serve the four of us.

Meat Free Monday - Veggie Rice

It's Meatless Monday, so we're going with Veggie Rice.

Basically, I'll roast up some Peppers, Mushrooms and Cherry Tomatoes and mix in some Spring Onions and Petits Pois and possibly even some Sweetcorn.

I might end up doing this with Pasta, as when Daddy and I sorted out the cupboards the other day we found about ten different varieties, but that's my prerogative!

Tuesday - Salmon Quiche

This is my back up day for a carb free meal. I know that sometimes the conditions aren't right for doing a carb free meal and the following two hourly testing. BB might have a low before he eats his meal, or during the hours after and so we have to start all over.

Our carb free meal tonight is a Crust-less Salmon Quiche. I'll serve it with Cucumber and some other carb free or really low carb vegetables that are yet to be decided, but are probably on my list of carb free snacks!

Wednesday - Ratatouille 

I did want to do Fish twice this week, but with them having had Salmon last night I like to offer a bit of variety each night. No two meals the same and all that. However, as I do normally give the Children fish for lunch at least once a week (tuna is a favourite as is Prawns), if I can add in a breakfast portion we should be well covered! Saying that, I've not had Mackerel since I got a bone stuck in my throat, it just really put me off so any tips on making sure there are no bones?!

Tonight we'll have Ratatouille and if we feel the need I'll accompany it with strips of Beef or possibly throw in some Prawns... Hmm now I'm thinking about Prawns!

Thursday - Slow Cooker Soup

It's after School activities night tonight, so I need a meal that keeps well to serve Big Boy and I early, Top Ender can serve herself a bit later and will still be good for when Daddy gets in... I thought about Chilli and Curry but decided in the end that Soup with plenty of buttered French Stick slices would be the best.

I'm not sure what soup I'll make, but take a look on Instagram on Thursday to see!

Friday - Chicken Pie

The other night when we had Sausage Pie, the Children were talking about other things I could make with a Puff Pastry lid. I told them that Chicken Pie was fantastic, and so that's what I'm making. Daddy isn't around tonight as he is off to Amsterdam in the morning (and won't be back until Sunday night) so it'll be full of gluten!

A Puff Pastry Pie - Crust is quite poisonous so don't let children eat it, just eat it yourself

To make it more in line with what the Dietician and I were talking about, I'll also make individual sized portions, that way the amount given is set and hopefully that'll be more healthy. As there will probably be a lot left over, I will attempt to make some pasties or those clever lattice slices you see in some bakeries.

I'll serve it with Peas or something along those lines as that's what I see on the plate when I think about it!

And so that is my meal plan for the week. What are you having?

Friday, 4 September 2015

Easy Sausage Pie Recipe

As always, as soon as I mention Sausage Pie to the Children, their eyes glaze over and they start drooling. When I made it this week, Top Ender and Big Boy kept finding reasons to come into the Kitchen just to sniff the air and even when Daddy got home he admitted that our home smelt wonderful. The problem of course with Sausage pie is that it isn't gluten free (although I do have gluten free puff pastry that I can use, I just don't like it that much) and so Daddy can't eat it.

Anyway, as is also now normal, as soon as I post a picture on any form of Social Media, I get asked how I make the pie.

Sausage Pie with a Puff Pastry Leaf

This is how I do it.

I always start by chopping two leeks into small circles and then gently Sautéing them. Whilst they are in the fat, I then chop a handful or two of mushrooms (finely) and add them to the Leeks in the hot fat. Using scissors I then cut three or four pieces of bacon into thin strips and again add this to the Leeks and Mushrooms.

Chopped LeeksChopped Mushrooms

After letting the Bacon cook for a minute or two, I transfer it to an oven proof dish and gently fry Sausages (one pack of eight sausages) that I've cut into three or four pieces to give them some colour and also to partly cook them. Once these are done I add them to the oven proof dish and give it a good stir.

It's at this point, that I put my chopped carrots (a couple of handfuls of batons chopped into squares) into the frying pan. These are again Sautéed and hopefully absorb some of the juices from the pan that Bacon, Sausages, Leeks and Mushroom have been cooked in!

This all gets stirred together before I add gravy (1 pint) and quickly add my Puff Pastry pie top. You can make your own puff pastry, and I have done several times BUT there is nothing wrong with buying pre-made puff pastry and I won't tell if you don't!

There are normally pieces of pastry left over and I use this to make my leaves and roses or other designs. Leaves are easy, I just cut out a leaf shape freehand and score leaf veins on the top before placing around the centre of the pie top.

An Uncooked Puff Pastry Pie with Roses and Stripes

Making Roses is even easier. Take a strip of pastry and then roll it from one end until it is all rolled up. Pinch the bottom (or the end that doesn't look as neat!) and there you go! A rose to look all pretty on top of your pie.

I prefer to give a milk glaze to the top of the pie, rather than an egg glaze but it's up to you of course.

I then cook this for thirty to forty minutes at gas mark seven (basically until the pie top is golden) and then serve!

A Golden Puff Pastry Pie

What do you like to make with left over puff pastry? I like to make the Roses and leaves (obviously), but I also like to make the odd Jam Tart or Apple Turnover too.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

The School Pick Up - 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.

The School Pick Up

I love The School Run.

There I said it.

It's not the taking the Children to School and leaving them there, it's the conversations we have whilst we are walking the very short distance from our home to our local Primary School that makes The School Run so much fun for me.

Top Ender and Big Boy in the Rain on the School Run

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

The Big Hoot Birmingham 2015

A few weeks ago, whilst Daddy was on his way to work, he found himself standing next to an Owl. As he continued his walked to work, he found a few more and over the next few days, between trips to local shops and walks around Birmingham City Centre he found several more... a plan was forming, not unlike the plan we had when the Elephants were scattered around London, that we would as a family head up to Birmingham for the day and hunt out as many Owls taking part in The Big Hoot as we could!

We headed up to Birmingham by Car and started off on our search. Top Ender, Daddy and I were using the app to scan the QR Codes on the Owls and so Big Boy had the job of spotting the Owls (okay so for the most part Daddy and I were spotting them and whispering to BB where to look). We had such a giggle together hunting out the Owls and walking around Birmingham City Centre.

My Wordless Wednesday post is my favourite Owl, outside my favourite building (The Birmingham City Library) and I love the picture I took of both.

I didn't take pictures of all the Owls we visited with, it wasn't that I didn't love them, but they were so busy with other people wanting to take Selfies with them or photographs of their Children with them and we were on a tight schedule that I didn't want to throw off!

I might do another post in a couple of weeks of pictures that Daddy has taken of some of the Owls we visited with as a family and of course we have until the end of the month to find some more of the Owls so if you liked this post make sure you pop back in the next couple of weeks to catch up with the other posts.


The Owls are around Birmingham until the 27th September and the website has some rather brilliant suggested routes you can take, but Birmingham is such a great City you could just wander around looking at the sights and spotting Owls as you go.