Monday, 25 September 2017

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday

Last weeks meal plan went well considering I wasn't feeling too great. As of writing this yesterday we all seem to have shaken off the colds we had and are ready for a new week.

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Chicken casserole mash & veg....
Tuesday - Cottage Pie Bites and baked beans
Wednesday - Pork stir fry....
Thursday - Bacon and tomato sandwiches....
Friday - Pizza....
Saturday - Burgers in buns with fries.
Sunday - Roast chicken dinner....

What are you eating this week?

Saturday, 23 September 2017

A photo everyday for a year - Week 38 #Project365

This hasn't been the best week for taking photos....I've had a lot going on which I mentioned in my Word of the Week blog post. Yesterday was a better day....No more dramas. Hooray!

I have managed a photo every day though...

245/365 - 16th September
She's a unicorn. hehehe

246/365 - 17th September
My teen had a pamper session. She loves a face mask.

247/365 - 18th September
She loves playing the recorder....Loudly!

248/365 - 19th September
Tissues. My teen is full of cold and shared with me.

249/365 - 20th September
I had a lovely delivery of flowers to review.

250/365 - 21st September
Tidying up Ellie's toys. At least one of them has a helmet on. hehehe

251/365 - 22nd September
Off to school. She loves a non-uniform day.

Friday, 22 September 2017

This week has drained me. #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:

This week has really drained me mentally and physically....I am so ready for it to be the weekend....Sorry for the moan.

Becky came down with a cold. Not a bad one but enough to pass around. I haven't got a full on cold but enough of it to know it's there and to make me feel tired and achy.

On Monday Ellie started at the football after school club....She absolutely loves it! We did have a mix up on Monday though. I didn't know football club was on and she had got a place. There had been no letters about it so I went to pick her up at 3pm only to be told she was playing football. lol There was another school run later on....

The builders have been back working next door.....Drilling, hammering and some more drilling.....I know work has to be done but it has really done my head in. I haven't been able to concentrate on anything and have had a couple of days with a sore head. I am blaming them and not my cold...

On Wednesday we had a visit to the hospital to see whether Ellie has ADHD or not.....It doesn't look like she does but some sort of Autism was mentioned. There was so much to take in but we are being referred to other people and there is someone coming into her school to observe her in the classroom and at playtime....Her teacher has already got some learning support in for her so things are moving forward in a positive way. Her teacher is amazing. She has been such a great support.

Then yesterday was a new day with a new drama which I'm not going to talk about yet. It's no big secret. I spoke about it on a blogging group on Facebook but at the moment it isn't the right time to speak about it on here. Sorry to be all cryptic but when I do tell the story you will understand why....We're all OK so there's nothing to worry about.

So there's my big moan.....This week has been rubbish but it has shown me there is a lot of people there to support me and my family in different ways.....

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Early Christmas treats from Tesco....

I know it is early to be talking about Christmas but I don't care....I love it when the shops get their Christmas things in and a couple of weeks ago I was doing my normal online grocery shop and noticed that Tesco have started offering their Christmas goodies and it made me so happy.....

I always love the Christmas party food....These are a few of the things I haven't seen before. I actually bought some of the Cottage pie bites and they are in my freezer. I can't wait to give them a try....Usually by November they go on to the 3 for £5 offer. 

Black Forest Profiteroles - £2.00
12 Cottage Pie Bites - £2.00
Chicken Christmas Trees With A Bbq Dip - £2.00
10 Mini Chilli Beef Jacket P/Toe - £2.00
Thai Inspired Prawn Lollipops - £2.00
9 Mini Chocolate Melt In Middle Puddings - £2.00

They are already adding gifts to the health and beauty section too....Usually closer to Christmas. November time if I remember rightly everything goes down to half price or better.

Disney Beauty And The Beast Chip Nail Set - £5.25
Trolls Bathtime Buddies Set - £7.00
Star Wars Water Cannon Gift Set - £7.00
Thomas The Tank Timer Trainer Gift Set - £7.50
The Gentlemens Grooming Society Box Of Tricks - £13.50
Baylis And Harding Fig And Pomegranate Tray Set - £25.00
Calcot Manor Luxury Spa Treat - £6.00
Nivea Men Routine Gift Pack - £9.00

I have my eye on some of the alcoholic gifts....The Prosecco And Flute Gift Set seems a bargain at £10.00 and the wine glass is so pretty! 

 Mad About World Lager Gift Set - £7.00
Craft Gin Selection Gift Set - £12.00
Prosecco And Flute Gift Set - £10.00
Malt Whisky Appreciation Gift Set - £12.00
Vino Chic Wine Glass And Semillon Wine Gift Set - £6.00
Ale Trug And Bottle Opener Gift Set - £12.00
Red Wine And Stemless Glasses Gift Set - £12.00

I have already taken advantage of the offer they have on the tubs of chocolate.... 2 tubs for £7. At that price it would have been stupid not to....They have Quality Street, Celebrations as well as the Roses and Heroes which I bought.

Do you start shopping for Christmas early?

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Favouritism in schools....It's so unfair!

This post is really hard to write without coming across as a bitter parent....I am slightly but I more angry about the situation that keeps happening again and again.....

Ellie my youngest put her name forward to be a house captain at school. She wrote a speech and read it out in front of the whole school...I was very proud of her. There were 5 kids up for the job but the boy who won the position of house captain was a boy who is already a peer mentor, librarian and milk monitor.....I am really happy for the boy in question as he's a lovely lad but it did make angry at the school and think it's always the same kids getting picked for the big/special things....

This has been going on for years. It's not a new thing. When I was a kid the same thing happened....Those who had parents who worked at the school or who were trouble makers got the special treatment....

When Becky was in primary school there was about 4 or 5 kids who would always get the speaking parts in plays, picked to go on special trips, picked for jobs and awards....They used to say Becky needed more confidence. Maybe if she was given speaking parts or responsibility she would have gained some confidence....

There was a time with Becky when there was something at school (I can't remember what) but Becky turned around and said she didn't want to take part because so and so will get picked....They obviously did win and proved Becky right. 

You can guarantee that if there is say 5 kids picked out for something from Ellie's class it's always the same one's....Those who shout the loudest and have the most confidence....

The peer mentors were picked in the first week back at school....They were voted for by the children. Of course they are the same kids that had the job last year and the year before. It is just a popularity contest and it is not fair for other kids who are a little quieter and may do just as well as the popular kids....

Maybe if the quieter kids were given the chance they would flourish....How are they supposed to gain the confidence if the louder kids are getting all the opportunities....

I get that the quieter kids have to learn to speak up to get what they want but when they are getting pushed down again and again when they are young it knocks what little confidence they have. How is that supposed to set them up for life?

Thankfully Ellie was not too upset that she didn't get the role of the house captain....She took it really well, way better than I expected....When I asked her who got the job she said so and so, Obviously!!! At 10 years old even she can see there is favouritism in the school....It's a shame. 

I am going to have a word with the teacher. I will ask why the same kids get picked for everything and what Ellie can do to be picked for things too. 

I have already made my predictions for who will be awarded learner of the year at the end of the school year in July....hahaha! Now that is me "that bitter parent"

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

We have tried out the Betty Box - Review!

Periods are rubbish but they are part of growing up....Becky my teen has said I am not allowed to talk about her periods but at that time of the month she can get a little grumpy so anything to cheer her up and put a smile on her face is very welcome.....

We were offered a Betty Box to review and I jumped at the chance and saved it for "that time of the month".....

The Betty Box is a monthly subscription service which provides tampons and pads, alongside a beauty and pamper box which consists of a fab selection of products. Anything from makeup to jewellery and cute trinkets. The Betty box is aimed at girls in their teens and the idea is just to make that time of the month a little bit more pleasant!

For £12.99 a month (with free postage) you get everything you need. You can choose from Tampons, pads or have a mixed box. You can choose what brand of sanitary product you want to use. They have Always, Tampax, Lil-lets, Kotex, Bodyform and they come in different absorbency levels which is perfect....

The box comes with 3 boxes inside. One full of treats that I will come to in a moment, one to use at night time and one for later....The pretty bag is to use straight away. They all contain the sanitary products you ordered....

The "For You" box was packed full of treats which included:

3 Monty Bojangles truffles.
Joe & Sephs Popcorn.
A Minifelts iron-on patch.
Trust Fund nail polish.
Bubble T lip balm.
A Stabilo highlighter.
La La Land sticky notes.
2 T-Zone Charcole & Bamboo pore strips.
Chirp hair mask.

When you look at the contents of the "For You" box the £12.99 you pay for a Betty Box looks like a real bargain. The nail polish has a rrp of £12.00, the Minifelt patch is sold for £6.95 and the Bubble T lip balm is sold for £3.00. I think it is a real bargain.

This box is not aimed at me though.....It is aimed at teenagers. So what did my teen think of it? 

She absolutely loved it.....She loved everything about the box. She thought the separate boxes were a good idea and the little bag to keep sanitary products in was great to keep them hidden. She is still at the stage in her life about being embarrassed about her periods.

The box of treats really did cheer her up and make her smile....She thought there was a good mix of things and they were all things she would use too.

I think this will be something we will subscribe to. It is well worth the money and is perfect for my girl.

We were sent The Betty Box free of charge in exchange for out review. This is it!

Monday, 18 September 2017

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday

Last weeks meal plan went OK until we got to the back end of the week....On Thursday it was chilly so we fancied something warming and went with sausage, mash and beans. So simple but so good....On Friday we had a cheats tea. I bought ready made sandwiches and some cakes and on Saturday we made our own pizza's again....Next time my fella is making mine....His looked amazing! It had chicken, sweetcorn, mushrooms, onions, chilli sauce, spinach & pepperoni and tomatoes on.

The weather has changed so much and summer is well and truly over so we're going to be eating a lot of warming, hearty meals. I love this time of year!

This week on the menu we have:

Tuesday - Lasagne and garlic bread....
Wednesday - A Big baked breakfast I will be adding black pudding too....
Thursday - Beans on toast....
Friday - Pizza....
Saturday - Curry, rice & naan bread.
Sunday - Sausage casserole....

What are you eating this week?

Saturday, 16 September 2017

A photo everyday for a year - Week 37 #Project365

This week we seem to have got back into a routine with school and my fella going back to work...The weather has taken a turn for the worse and it is really starting to feel like Autumn which has got me thinking about Christmas. So exciting!

Now for a photo every day!

238/365 - 9th September
I wrapped Becky's birthday presents and left them in the corner of the room....She thought I was torturing her. hehehe

239/365 - 10th September
Becky had a wonderful birthday....I love this jumper. I wish it came in my size. hehehe

240/365 - 11th September
Ellie had great fun marking off what she wanted from the Smyths catalogue....She want's everything. lol

241/365 - 12th September
Porridge for breakfast....She is obsessed with it at the moment.

242/365 - 13th September
Just in from school....She loves having P.E last lesson. She gets to come home in her kit.

243/365 - 14th September
I washed my slippers they were stinking....I don't think they're going to last much longer. A new pair is needed.

244/365 - 15th September
She loves these big bows. I hate them but all the girls at school are wearing them....

Friday, 15 September 2017

Working hard. #WotW

This week my Word of the Week could have easily have been School again but I have decided to go with:

The kids have really settled back into school now and have been working hard...We are in more of a routine and on Monday my fella went back to work after having two weeks off for his holidays....It has been really strange being home alone but it means I have been able to catch up on the housework.

Becky is loving school....Really loving it. She is finding the subjects so interesting. Since choosing her GCSE's she has dropped things like cooking, art, drama, history and music which she hated. Now she is just focusing on subjects she enjoys she seems to have really knuckled down....

She brought home two pieces of homework on Tuesday. I made her do it straight away. It was a bit of a shock to her. All the way through year 8 & 9 she hasn't had much at all. Maybe one piece a month at the most....I hope this is the start of her getting more homework. It at least gives me an idea of what she is learning at school....Her Geography homework was about Earthquakes and tectonic plates! Google came in very handy....She was stuck on one question and I didn't have a clue....Eek!

Ellie is doing great too.....As she is in year 6 children in her class get to be peer mentors, house captains and have other little jobs. On Wednesday Ellie stood up in front of the whole school and read a speech that she had written herself about why she wanted to be a house captain....I never heard or saw her do this but she did tell me all about it....I am so ruddy proud of her. Today we find out who will be the house captains. I am keeping my fingers crossed for her but even if she doesn't get the job it is still such a great achievement.

Ellie is going to be busy this term. Over the past week she has joined 2 clubs. The recorder club. She gets her own recorder to bring home. Oh, joy! I suppose it can't be any worse than the trombone she played last year and she signed up to the choir again which she has done for a while and loves....She has also put her name down for Football club. She has never really been interested in football. I think she just likes after school I don't know if she will get into that as it's open to a few year groups and there is only 35 places and it seems all the boys have put their names down.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

My teenagers 15th birthday.

It was Becky's birthday on Sunday....Weekend birthdays are the best and Becky made the most of being off school for her special day.....

She had a wonderful day.....

Her and Ellie came into my room to wake Stu and I up just before 7am. Eesh! We told them to go back to bed for an hour and they did....Phew! I couldn't hold her off for long by 8am the girls were back and we all got up so Becky could open her pressies....

She got everything she wanted and more....I bought her a few surprises that she didn't ask for or know about and she was over the moon with them. I am glad to say the trainers fit her....I was worried. When we had gone school shoe shopping I had to buy her size 6. The trainers were size 5. I think it was just the fit of the school shoes. Phew!

She picked out some of her new clothes and we got ready to go out for breakfast! We had planned on going to McDonalds but then came up with the idea of going to Weatherspoons....The food is nicer and you get more for your money!

The only disappointment was that our Weatherspoons has stopped selling hot chocolate. Becky had her heart set on one....She had to make do with Pepsi. hehehe We all had full English breakfast's....They were so good and just what we needed on a Sunday morning!

Becky spent the rest of the day playing with her birthday pressies, reading and of course playing on her tablet.

She had a soak in the bath of course with a bath bomb and all the fancy bath products she got....Put her new pj's on and then it was time for tea and cake....She chose pizza from our favourite pizza shop and we had a couple of cakes for her.....I chose the emoji one and Ellie of course choose the Monkey one. hehehe

Becky had a fantastic day....Best birthday ever was mentioned a few times. I am so pleased. She has said that next year she doesn't want to choose the majority of her presents....She want's more surprises because the surprises I bought her were so good. hehehe


Wednesday, 13 September 2017

We love Roald Dahl here....Do you? #RoaldDahlDay

Roald Dahl has always been in my life....As a child, watching the films before kids and then my girls enjoying his books too....

Even before I could read Roald Dahl's books to myself I remember having the audio book on cassette tape of Charlie and the Chocolate factory.....I remember sitting on the kitchen table listening to it over and over again....I knew it word for word.

When I learned to read I adored his books....I think I had all of them and would read them over and over....It is hard to pick my favourite but it would have to be between Matilda, George's Marvellous Medicine, The Witches and Boy. 

When I was at school for a whole term we did a project about The Witches.....The term ended with us watching the film which was brilliant....I'll never forget the gasps when the Grand high witch removes her mask for the first time...I can remember being terrified...It was scary stuff when you're only about 11 years old....

When you think about it a lot of Roald Dahl's books are terrifying....The Witches for the obvious reasons, a child feeding his grandmother antifreeze in George's Marvelous Medicine, parents being killed by a rhinoceros in James and the Giant Peach, a teacher torturing children in Matilda and also parents who neglect their children, and giants eating people in the BFG.....

I have gone on to love all the Roald Dahl films too....Well apart from the Johnny Depp Charlie and the Chocolate Factory remake....That was just wrong. Gene Wilder will always be my Willy Wonka. I think my favourite book that was made into a film is Fantastic Mr Fox...

Roald Dahl has given me so many memories.....Now the wonderful writer is making memories for my girls too. They love his books. Over the years my girls have read a lot of his them at home and and school....Now Ellie has discovered the audio books on YouTube and she is working her way through them....She loves to read but also thinks if she listens to it she can do something else with her time as

What is your favourite Roald Dahl book?

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

FabLab Bath Bombs Kit - Review!

Recently we were send a few products when I wrote a blog post about the website what2buy4kids. My girls love bath bombs so the FabLab Bath Bombs Kit seemed perfect for them. Making bath bombs was something on our bucket list for the summer and we managed to squeeze it in just before they went back to school....

Kids love bath bombs and what could be more fun than making your own? With this cool kit, kids can tailor-make their own bath bombs, choosing their favourite colours and fragrances to make personalised bombs for their bath. Inside the box you'll find everything needed to make up to 12 bath bombs. The kit includes the fizzy component that makes bath bombs so exciting plus fragrance and colouring. There's also a bath bomb mould to make the iconic bomb shape plus all the accessories needed to create your own bath bomb mini factory. The kit also includes wrapping paper, ribbons and gift tags so kids can give away their creations as gifts for friends and family and comes complete with a step by step guide on how to make the bath bombs. 

We opened the kit and everything looked great....I realised there was no fragrance. That is not included even though on the what2buy4kids website it says it is but on the upside there is 2 bath bomb moulds...I expected there to be only one.

 I read the instructions and to add the fragrance you use liquid soap (shower gel or washing up liquid). We have some fab shower gels at the moment. Ellie decided to use banana flavour and Becky used Bakewell Tart.

There was 2 colours to choose from when it came to making the bath bombs...Blue or Red.

Ellie decided to go first making the first bath bomb. We followed the instructions, added the Sodium Bicarbonate, Ciric Acid and a tiny drop of shower gel and gave it a mix....It bubbled up but we thought we would carry on trying to get it into the mould.

The hole to put the mixture in is quite small and the spoon is quite big compared to the hole...Ellie struggled I could see there was no way this was going to work as we had made the mixture too sloppy. Ellie gave up and let Becky take over....

Becky had more success making the mixture and it was the correct consistency....Hooray. She got on with filling the mould. She found it a bit of a faff too. Well a lot of a faff. She was on a good 10 minutes, probably longer filling it. 

We then open the mould and this happened. It came in two halves....We read the instructions and realised we had packed it in too tightly. We tried 3 times and the same thing happened.

I tried again myself and I tried using washing up liquid and it made no difference....We could just not get a whole bath bomb....

It is such a shame that this didn't work out because we love bath bombs so much. Getting the exact consistency and filling the mould exactly right just takes the fun out of what could have been a great activity.

I would say save your money and just buy some ready made bath bombs.

Since trying this kit I have read some reviews on Amazon and it seems a lot of people have had problems with this kit too.

We were sent this free of charge for our honest review. This is it.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday

Last weeks meal plan went pretty well we only changed one meal. Instead of the sausage rolls, chips and beans on Friday Stu cooked Corned Beef Hash.....It was delicious and very nice not having to cook....In fact I didn't cook much last week as Stu helped a lot with being off work for his holidays.....He is back to work today so all the cooking will be down to me again but I am feeling enthusiastic about it and have found some recipes on Pinterest.

Yesterday was Becky's birthday and we had a fab day of food....We had breakfast out, takeaway pizza for tea and of course birthday cake. Yum, yum!

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Hot dogs in buns with corn on the cob....
Wednesday - Tomato ketchup chicken skewers and rice....
Thursday - Tuna & sweetcorn slice....
Friday - Pizza....
Saturday - A picky tea....Sandwiches, crisps, chicken dippers, sausage rolls, onion rings, cheese, cake.
Sunday - A roast dinner....

What are you eating this week?