Monday, 24 September 2018

I am going to try making beanies this week. #MealPlanningMonday

Our weekly meal plan title. Text with a plate and knife and fork

We ate everything last week! Hooray! It was a good week for food. Every meal was eaten and enjoyed. Simple meals like Fish fingers, chips and spaghetti hoops even though my teen said it was a childish meal. Hmmf. What is wrong with being childish now and again. I told her to make her own tea if she wanted something different. She soon changed her tune.

This week I am going to try making "beanies". I think they are a north east thing? The only place we can get them from is the chip shop in Amble. I always get two when we visit Amble. One to eat then and one to bring home and eat later. 

beanies and chips from the chip shop

Beanies are baked beans wrapped in sausage meat which is battered and deep fried. I tried making them a good few years ago but I made them too thick and the sausage meat wasn't cooked in the middle. This time it will work and if they do I will write a blog post on how to make them.

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Beanies (hopefully) and chips.
Tuesday - Chicken curry and rice.
Wednesday - Minced Beef Hotpot.
Thursday - Spaghetti bolognese with garlic bread.
Friday - Pizza.
Saturday - Burgers in buns with corn on the cob & salad.
Sunday - A roast dinner of some sort.

Meal planning linky button

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Batman, books and not so nice dumplings. Week 38 of #Project365

Another week is just about over. I seem to have struggled with photos this week. The weather hasn't been great, in fact it has been terrible. The wind and the rain which makes me want to just snuggle under a blanket which I have done most of the week while catching up on what I have recorded off the TV.

There is so much on at the moment. I have watched all of Killing Eve this week which started on Saturday and it was brilliant. Her who played Villanelle is such a fantastic actress. I have also got into watching The Circle on CH4 which is so interesting and every evening I am having to choose between that and Big Brother at 10pm. 

Anyway, now for a photo from every day.

My teenage daughter in a batman t-shirt and the radio antennas against a cloudy sky.
My teenage daughter reading a takeaway menu and a selection of vegetable crisps
My youngest daughter eating chicken and mayonaise with chopsticks and a photo of the front cover of a book
Chinese chocolate and banana dumplings.

258/365 - 15th September
Becky just happened to be wearing a Batman t-shirt on Batman Day. It wasn't planned. I didn't know there even was a Batman day. lol

259/365 - 16th September
Next doors radio antennas have caused us a lot of stress this past week. Our internet has been running slow because of them. I can't prove it but Sky said it was highly likely as they can't see anything wrong with our line. Later in the week the wind one of them moved and was nearly on the phone cable. Grr! We ended up ringing the council who said they will look into it.

260/365 - 17th September
My teen was doing a bit of wishful thinking looking at a takeaway menu when I have said we are not getting any takeaways until at least the end of October.

261/365 - 18th September
I was sent the Emily Crisps Sweet Potato Stick range to try. The Salt & Pepper flavour is new and very tasty. 

262/365 - 19th September
Ellie had a quick snack of mayonnaise and chicken just to see her over until she got back from helping with the open evening at school. She has a new thing of eating everything she can with chopsticks.

263/365 - 20th September
A fantastic book! I was sent to review. I thought I knew everything about keeping myself and my girls safe online but it turns out I was wrong and Parent Alert! How To Keep Your Kids Safe Online has really opened my eyes.

264/365 - 21st September
I saw these in Tesco and needed to give them a try. It's a no from me. The chocolate was not nice. The kids loved them though.

A blue circle with a camera on with the text Project 365

Parent Alert! How To Keep Your Kids Safe Online - Book review!

My girls spend time online most evenings. We have a rule that their are no electronics upstairs and that I am free to check what they are doing online any time. I think that I am quite savvy when it comes to everything online but there is things that I don't know and haven't thought about. I was recently sent a fantastic book to have a look at and it has really clued me up about everything online!

In summer 2017, TV presenters, best friends and mums Nadia Sawalha and Kaye Adams posted a video exposing the dangers of children's locations being identified on ‘Snap Map’, a feature on SnapChat. Their video attracted 26 million views in just three days. 

Inspired by this the reaction from other concerned parents, and constantly worried about what their own teenagers were getting up to online, Nadia and Kaye teamed up with international security expert Will Geddes to write Parent Alert!​ How To Keep Your Kids Safe OnlineA comprehensive, go-to guide for parents and carers on the greatest digital dangers facing children online today.

The front cover of the book Parent Alert! How to keep your kids safe online featuring Nadia Sawalha and Kaye Adams.

What makes this book so unique is the no-nonsense, Q&A approach. For each topic, Nadia and Kaye describe real-life scenarios and ask the questions all parents face, and Will provides the answers, with jargon-free advice.

Each chapter provides easy-to-follow advice to help parents prevent problems their children may fall victim to online. Alongside these are clear action plans to resolve issues which may have already arisen, including tips on how to recognise the warnings signs if something is wrong, and when to seek professional help.

The contents of Parent Alert! How To Keep Your Kids Safe Online book

Sixteen chapters cover the crucial areas all parents of teens and tweens as well as younger children should be aware of including social media and the social networks and platforms your child is using, cyberbullying and trolls, sexting and nude selfies, online grooming, cyberstalking and tracking, cyber-crime, and other modern online threats.

I really think that as soon as a child becomes able to use the internet parents should be made to buy this book. It really is full of information and guidance. It was a real eye opener! 

Two pages from Parent Alert! How To Keep Your Kids Safe Online. The first page showing dangers when you take a photo and the 2nd about how to create a strong password.

There is plenty of hints and tips. Things like how to avoid oversharing when you take a photo or use a webcam and how to create strong passwords which I already knew but there was a lot of things which I didn't know about. How to spot fake apps, monitor what apps are being downloaded and how to set up a secure wi-fi connection.

An extract from the book Parent Alert! How To Keep Your Kids Safe Online. About how to avoid trolls when running a youtube channel.

The book is more than just stating facts. The facts are put into scenarios and questions are answered in a way that you can relate to. Nothing is too technical and everything is put in simple terms.

I found this book so interesting and very useful. I will be keeping it nearby so I can refer to it in the future when I have a point to prove about being safe online.

As a parent it is worrying how much danger there is online but after just skimming through this book I feel like I am more aware of these dangers and I am prepared to deal with it. Becky has been reading this book too and as a 16 year old it is really opened her eyes too about the dangers online. It has got us chatting about social media and how to use it safely.

If you have a tween or a teen I would highly recommend buying this. You can buy it from Amazon, Waterstones and most of the places where you would normally find books.

I was sent this book free of charge in exchange for this blog post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, 21 September 2018

This week my Word of the Week is: Helping. #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:

A picture of the word helping

The kids have had a good week at school. On Wednesday Ellie even went back to school to help with the year 6 open evening. I think the school likes to show off the year 7's and how well they have settled in to the kids who will be starting next year. Ellie was helping to sell the drinks and sweets. She had fantastic fun and was rewarded with cake. lol 

I was so proud of her to offer her time like this. Things like this are really boosting her confidence. I would have never imagined her doing anything like this while she was at Primary school. I really feel like secondary school is changing her for the better.

Becky has been doing revision for a couple of months in preparation for her GCSE's and it's only the last couple of weeks that we have found something which really seems to be helping her. It is a website called Seneca

A screen shot showing the Seneca website which is a tool to revise for GCSE's

She can choose the subjects she is studying from the exact exam board so she is not learning things she doesn't need to know. It's a mixture of facts which she is writing notes about, videos and questions. It is fun for her to use and information seems to be sinking in. 

We ended up on the phone to Sky and the council during the week asking for help and advice. Next door has erected some radio antennas. I don't know what they use them for and I don't really care but since they went up our internet speed has been dropping every evening. There is no point approaching them because even the lads mother asked him to take them down and he said no, they're OK. Stu overheard them when he was bringing the washing in.

Sky were a great help and said that the antennas are probably interfering with the wi-fi & told us to contact the council. We did via their online service but when we had the high winds on Wednesday one of the poles had moved and was nearly on the phone cable (their's not ours) so we rang the council. They said they need planning permission for the height that they are at least and in the wind it was a safety issue...They are sending someone out to assess the situation but goodness knows how long that will take. I am waiting for it to move onto the phone cable and then I will ring BT. I am sure they don't want their cables ripping down. 

I had a message from the lovely Sass who blogs at Thinking Out Loud during the week which really made me think about how I blog. 

Sass is blind and uses a screen reader to read blogs. I have got into a bad habit of putting a lot of full stops after a sentence and it turns out a screen reader will read every full stop out loud which is so annoying to her and I had no idea. I felt so bad. It's one of those things that I have never thought about. I also haven't been putting image descriptions into the alt text box when I upload a picture. The image description helps blind people who use screen readers get a visual description of what is going on in each of the pictures.

From now on I am going to make a conscious effort to not use full stops as much and add description to images so my blog accessible to everyone. 

Word of the Week linky button